This has been one of those weeks when craziness piled 20 tabs high in the browser. It’s one of those weeks it’s especially clear that the world out there is not only rapidly going nuts, but is fragmenting into specialized segments of insanity, all threatening war with each other.
Archive for the ‘Mind and Spirit’ Category
- No surprise at all: economic freedom creates personal happiness.
- One documentarian’s fight against the absurd (and profitable) copyright on “Happy Birthday.” Looks as if she now has some powerful ammo.
- Love it. A rogue Dairy Queen has been going its own way since 1949 (though why it doesn’t just go independent and avoid the franchise fees is a question). (H/T Jim B. in comments)
- As jed noted when he sent this item: good news, but not fast enough. :-)
- Bovard on how disability law went nuts
- Lessons learned (although probably mostly not learned) from the stupid, lying, inept drug raid that burned Baby BouBou.
- #TenThingsNottoSaytoAWriter” (ever changing Twitter feed). My contributions: “You’re just in it for the money” and “You’re so lucky to be able to sit home all day.” (H/T JB)
Sorry I don’t have much for you at the moment. Been a weird week. When not feeling inert (probably lack of sleep + gray weather) I’ve been busy beginning or resuming long-delayed spring projects.
Picked up another 75 pounds or so of broken glass and rusted metal from the lot across the street. Scrubbed stale cigarette scuzz out of Old Blue. Am gradually de-nailing, cleaning, and sanding 150 pieces of beadboard for my ceiling project.
It feels good coming to life again.
If I do too much my ankle reminds me to slow back down. And unfortunately the ankle’s idea of “too much” is still way less than the rest of me is ready to handle. (I’m ready to tackle that complicated ceiling; the ankle says it’s not getting on any kurflussed ladder for hours a day.) But we compromise.
My brain and body are full of summer.
- Eleven things to quit right now. (Might be more helpful if that list came with some how-tos …)
- Theodore Bikel has died. He was one of those amazingly talented people.
- The late Dr. Seuss has him beat, though. He’s managed to come up with a “new” book years after dying. (Amazon link)
- Judge bans Bong-a-Thon from the town of Stoner — yes, Stoner — Colorado. (H/T jed)
- Yet another reason to prefer older cars.
- Remember those bootable drives with the prep info? Mark, aka Greylocke, their creator, is adding files of surgery basics. And he’s still looking for somebody to take over the project.
- You might be surprised to learn that single-family housing is nothing more than a racist, classist plot. In Seattle, anyhow. (Sigh. Another formerly livable city is about to complete its spiral down the tubes.)
- Ten things you didn’t know about the Apollo 11 moon landing. Forty-six years ago this month.
- I’ve lost count. How many “anti-violence” activists and “anti-violence” groups have been busted now for weapons violations, assaults, or homicides? A big number.
- The fedgov can’t manage to charge a single mega-banker for wrecking the U.S. economy through fraud and malfeasance. But the state of New York (via the ever-present, ever-righteous Cyrus Vance, Jr.) can manage 184 counts against a tiny, family-owned bank that was apparently just trying to police itself.
- Uh oh. No surprise. Sandra Bland, that young woman who “committed suicide” in police custody last week was reportedly a vocal activist against police brutality. Well, guess they showed her, didn’t they?
- The science behind introversion and extroversion. (Yes, this subject fascinates me; you can tell.)
- Cannabis may help treat bone fractures. Darn! Why didn’t somebody tell me that two months ago?
- The house that saved their marriage. Most of us don’t have the resources, but I’ve thought this sort of living arrangement would be great ever since, as a teenager, I read about writer Mary Wollstonecraft, who (clear back in the 18th century) had a similar living arrangement with philosopher William Godwin.
- The velociraptor poodle?
- Joel already blogged this one, but it’s too good to pass up. This wannabe robber survived, but if there’s a non-fatal runner-up category for the Darwin Awards, he’s a shoo-in. (I read in another article that, in addition to everything else, the helpful customer was a high school wrestler.)
Over at TZP, I wax emotional about (among other things) distrusting emotions.
So I linked to (yet another) article about small houses. Which led Joel to link back to me and also to a very funny blog about people who actually live in the things. Which reminded me of tidy-up celebrity Marie Kondo (because you have to be mega-tidy to survive small-house living).
Which reminds me that, now that I’m living in normal-sized houses again, it’s time for another perspective in tiny-house living.
- Okay, these small houses may not be “tiny” in Tumbleweed terms. But boy, I’d take any of ’em in a heartbeat.
- What a diaper-wetting crybaby. Using the government to ease his hurt feelings, of course.
- Upon his 85th birthday, Thomas Sowell looks back on the uneducated people who helped raise him above his roots.
- People who radically change their spending habits via radical rethinking. They’re inspiring. Entertaining. Great examples. But how come they always seem to be young urban dwellers without, you know, gigantic house remodel projects going on? Or six kids to feed? Don’t get me wrong; giving up a daily Starbucks or buying fewer cosmetics can be a big thing to a yuppie & it’s a great mind change. But the rest of us …
- Jim Bovard … theater critic??? (And critic of DC’s empty culture.)
- For those of a certain generation: the story behind Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz.”
For those who need a Joplinesque reminder:
And a bonus, from Reason TV, the TSA’s 12 signs you’re a terrorist:
But on the other hand, America isn’t becoming more liberal. It’s becoming more libertarian. (H/T MJR)
Now, if only the message could get through to our growing corps of social justice warriors, inflexible bureaucrats, authoritarian congressthings, thuggish cops, etc.
Our cultural cold war is about to boil into open conflict, thanks to last week’s Supreme Court decisions. Some of us think we’re ready, but we’re not.
I’m not saying we’re going to be shooting each other by next Tuesday or even next year. Just that the last remaining bridge between the old culture of America and the new culture of elite America got blown to smithereens. Last week was a point of no return with the Supreme Court’s Obamacare (“the Constitution is whatever we want it to be”) decision and gay marriage decision.
Supremicists are pathetic. White supremacists may be the most notable of the breed. Their websites are loaded with scary-looking skulls and lightning bolts, but their prose is barely literate and their “proofs” of their superiority tend to be long-ago debunked books and transparently bogus “scientific evidence.”
They operate in cells of one (or two or three) not because it’s a wise security measure but because they can’t get along with each other for 10 minutes. And much of their semi-literate ranting consists of denunciations of each other.
Not one of these “superior” beings has made a single impressive accomplishment in any area of endeavor — except, rarely, murder. Which gets headlines but fails to impress as a great work of humanity.
But they are far from the only variety of supremacist, and all of them are pathetic.
Ever notice how many people have pugs these days? And how big pugs figure into “funny dog” videos? They’re funky little dogs with not-horrible personalities, but they have so many health problems that you have to practically become a vet to deal with them all. You wonder why people want them.
They want them because they look like nonagenarian Alfred E. Neumans. Period.
It wasn’t like that back in those mythic golden days. Back then, everybody wanted Rin Tin Tin. Lassie. Roy Rogers’ Bullet. Even though in my neck of the woods we usually just got, “It followed me home, Mom. Can I keep it?”
Then we started getting a little frou-frou. Cocker spaniels got bought and bred and re-bred and inbred to the point of being like something out of Alien. So they got dropped and … on it goes. You get little spikes — like Dalmatians every time that d*mned movie gets reissued or remade.
But to whatever extent we identify with our dogs (and it’s the next closes thing to a human bond, closer for some) it seems as if we’ve gradually gone from wanting to identify ourselves with heroic figures to something clownish, even pathetic.
At the same time, of course, we’re living in this marvelous renaissance of larger-than-life comic book figures. And it’s great. But it’s just entertainment. The film industry has reached the point where they can make grown-ups believe in Spider-Man or Captain America and make women lust for Loki or Thor (I am a Loki woman, myself).
Even if we secretly harbor some adolescent identification with Tony Stark or Natasha Romanoff, the well-balanced among us are not hankering to don sparkly tights or iron suits.
Every once in a while these movies will really speak to us. Captain America has had some strong words for the surveillance state. And maybe we harbor that within and watch that particular film clip again. But as far as action goes it’s something way off there in the distance.
So it appears that the more heroic the movies get, the farther heroism is from our real lives or any real expectations we have for ourselves or our culture. We’ve moved “heroic ideals” into the realm of fantasy while we increasingly lurk around, cowed by political correctness, by hostile law enforcers, by the need to avoid offending, by laws made by and for well-funded elites from an entirely different culture than our own, and by the drudgy necessities of life.
And Rin Tin Tin has been replaced with … a pug.