Monday, January 31, 2011

The virtues of capitalism...

I've asked on occassion - why don't we run our households based on the free market and capitalism? Instead we run our families via that evil socialism... Bill Maher has a great piece here about how another virtuous institution of capitalism - NFL Football - which is likewise based on that evil of all evils, an excerpt:

"That's right, for all the F-15 flyovers and flag waving, football is our most successful sport because the NFL takes money from the rich teams and gives it to the poor teams... just like President Obama wants to do with his secret army of ACORN volunteers. Green Bay, Wisconsin has a population of 100,000. Yet this sleepy little town on the banks of the Fuck-if-I-know River has just as much of a chance of making it to the Super Bowl as the New York Jets - who next year need to just shut the hell up and play."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

No time to think...

This media coverage in Arizona illustrates one of the challenges of our media culture. There's no time to take a breath... these aren't, by and large, idiots that are on t.v., but they are thrown on the air 2 minutes after a tragedy, make-up goes on, lights, camera, action - and the command is to tell us what to think. So, we get charge, counter-charge... then you can't back down and show weakness, so you've got to defend your opinion... you can't be wrong, because we live in a culture where errors aren't accepted, so we end up with crap. People take sides and we learned nothing.

So, after some time to think, here's my take. Wouldn't it be reasonable for us as a country to have a conversation about how we treat mental illness and perhaps to think about the VT murders and this one as we ask the question? And it doesn't strike me as out of bounds, given that a Congresswomen was shot, that we should also think about the rhetoric towards politicians.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's tough...

Essentially, I think life is damn hard. Some think life is easy, they wholeheartedly believe that every day's a holiday and every meal a feast... But, I'm convinced it's hard work and if not for pure ass luck, I wouldn't have made it this far.

When I was in 4th grade I was in a split class with 4th and 5th graders... my hero at the time was obviously a 5th grader, he was tough as nails, a good looking guy, with older brothers and sisters he knew things that the rest of us didn't... I looked up to this guy for my entire adolescence... one year older than I, over Thanksgiving he had a serious stroke. Seeing his picture laying there in the hospital he looked much older than his 40 some odd years... he stayed around home and rumor has it that he ran through life pretty damn hard and it about killed him.

My more recent friend and mentor has been Joe Bageant, I've never met Joe, but I've read every thing he's ever written. He's a bit older than I, but as I've read his stuff, I know for fact we've chewed much of the same dirt. Today I learned that Joe's got a nasty form of cancer.

I think me, Joe, and Skeeter would have had a helluva time bellied up to the bar... I wish the best for both of them... fella's your in my thoughts.

Should I stay or should I go now...

For years now I’ve vacillated between believing I should just keep plugging away in the 401K,managing my little pieces of silver, versus believing it’s actually all for naught as this world is fixing to blow up and when I'm old and my kids are my age, our life will more closely resemble life in parts of Africa and the poorest parts of former Soviet Union. If the latter is true, instead of silver, I better be finding something I can barter with in the future. When I read pieces like these two below, I start wondering what skills I have that would be useful in a simpler world:

This one from Immanuel Wallerstein who I read a lot in college – fascinating guy, developed World-Systems Theory – and the comments are great and depressing.

This one follows up on my fascination with Huxley and Orwell’s competing vision of the ‘future’ which looks a lot like the present...