May 2012


Once in a while I overhear something on Glenn Beck’s show that leaves me slightly befuddled.  A few weeks ago, Glenn was enthusing over the Avengers and how much he loved the movie.  How Captain America kicked ass, how this was an example of America’s greatness.  And then he said that when he left the movie theater, he thought “Take that, Europe!”

Ummm…so, I hope Glenn realizes that the Avengers is a fictional story?  Yeah, Europe is having a lot of problems right now…but I kind of doubt that Captain America is at the top of their list of issues, unless he is involved in the Greek debt crisis in some way that I’m not aware of.  Economic growth, a stronger military—these are all ways that we can show the world what we’re made of, so to speak.  Imaginary superheroes?  Not so much.  Unless he’s applauding our ability to make superior movie entertainment, in which case, great—but I doubt an entertaining movie will convince the Europeans that we have a better system than they do.

Anyway, just another instance of Glenn unhinging himself from reality just a bit.  Maybe that’s why I like listening to his show, because I can relate to having a delusional side.  Cheers from one lunatic to another….

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So what does it say about my life that I didn’t watch the entire solar eclipse yesterday, because I had to get back inside and go online?  I guess I could use the cloudy sky as an excuse…but not really.  Yeah, there were clouds (damn Oregon!).  But the partially hidden sun came peeking through them, that surreal dispersed light was there, and, and…I needed to check everyone’s reaction to it on Facebook.  And of course, the pictures people were posting of the eclipse I was clearly NOT watching.

It appears I’m not the only one, as a few of the news blurbs about the eclipse mention how this kind of event has been completely changed by live webcasts, which make it unnecessary to travel out into the desert to watch it, or even to look up into the sky.  Not sure this makes me feel better.  I guess I should be grateful there are still folks out there willing to make the effort to lift up their head and take a picture.  Otherwise the sun might shrivel up and die, and I would never know until the moment I froze to death at my computer.

Anyways, congrats to Zuckerberg.  Facebook may have faltered at the stock market, but it has done just fine continuing to take over my existence.  For an introvert like me, it’s an even more tempting trap.  I can read about how my friends are feeling—and commiserate with them—without going through that awkward process known as a conversation.  We exchange virtual hugs and virtual beers.  And yes, I celebrate the anniversary of my relationship based on the date of my status change from “single” to “in a relationship” on Facebook.  (Granted, when you’re not engaged or married, it can be kinda hard to determine the true starting date of your relationship.)

Which makes this upcoming weekend the perfect antidote.  I will be at a pirate event for three days, camping out in the non-virtual mud, lazying in the possible Oregon sun, with real hugs and real beer.  I’m considering not taking my phone with me at all, so that I can be completely and gloriously cut off.

Naturally, I’ll post about it like crazy on Facebook when I come back…but that’s another story.

After catching up on my science news tonight, I can understand why some of my conservative religious friends don’t like science very much.  One of the articles told me that we exist inside a huge black hole.  Another one proposed the theory that we are just imaginary holograms.  And that wasn’t half as scary as reading about the reality of what is happening to our climate, and of what might happen to our crops and food supply.

So I’m almost ready to do as the Christian conservatives do and ditch scientific thinking altogether.  Now, instead of looking forward to the weather spinning out of control, I can dream about the Rapture, in which I will be magically airlifted out of any future problems.  Instead of fearing a world war, I can welcome it–it’s a necessary precursor to Armageddon, after all.  And who doesn’t want Armageddon?  If the Bible seems a little antiquated, I can always substitute the kindly guidance of aliens, which will culminate in a moment of global enlightenment in December 2012.  Either way, I will know what to expect, as opposed to feeling like I’m getting tossed here and there in a dark universe.  Take those scientists and burn them at the stake, like we used to!  They make me nervous.

Unfortunately, I’m a little too creative and too easily distracted, which means I will never be able to stick to one theology for very long.  My attempt at staying inside the safety of that box is doomed from the start.  That’s okay–there’s more than enough beauty in this chaotic universe to keep me going.

Heh.  Progress Illinois reports:

Some downtown Chicago office workers got memos to dress so as to blend in with expected protesters when they go to work Monday, May 21, the second day of the two-day NATO summit, hosted at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center. Workers at one building were told to dress casual and not wear suits, ties — or anything with a corporate logo. Workers at another building were simply encouraged to “look like a protester.”

Does that represent at least a symbolic victory for the 99% — that the 1% is temporarily being forced to look like us?  For even more effective blending, I suggest that the downtown workers learn how to wear a panicked expression on their face, that expression the rest of us have when we realize we won’t be able to make our next mortgage payment, don’t know where our health care coverage is coming from, and will not be able to find a decent job anytime soon.  Good luck imitating that!

 

 

In Salon, Gary Kamiya offers evidence that Mitt Romney might indeed be a robot:  “His zombie-like cheerfulness, his excessively regular features and his strangely perfect-looking family led to widespread suspicion that he had been assembled in Silicon Valley by a team of right-wing nanotechnologists and engineers and shipped secretly to GOP headquarters.”  And there is more proof given:  his incoherent attempts at humor and his sudden (encoded?) shifts of opinion.

My only wish is that Mitt were a better robot.  Like one of those bots that mop your house or do the dishes for you.  He has just enough bland good looks to make an okay sex-bot.  Or he could be cast as a cyborg extra in sci-fi movies and get shot at with lasers for our amusement.

But a robot that has been programmed to increase the gap between the rich and the poor?  Is that really a useful invention?  We already have plenty of human beings working towards that goal…

 

Interesting quote from Paul Krugman on the Rachel Maddow show:  “You’re watching the hereditary principle starting to make a comeback…We see that a little bit from Mitt Romney. We used to think it’s all about equal chances and starting line. Now it’s…people should have the right to pass advantages onto their children.” 

Is this true?  A week or so ago, we had SE Cupp extolling the virtues of marrying wealthy partners.  Is it still about the old American ideal of working hard for what you get in life?  Or has it become acceptable to be part of a ruling aristocracy?

It will be fascinating—and more than a little unnerving—to see if we keep moving in this direction.