I used to live in a small rural conservative town. Against impossible odds a few dozen acres of prime real estate were somehow exempted from feverish development for a “sports park.” The community took understandable pride in what they had built: a crowning jewel featuring baseball diamonds, fishing ponds, soccer fields, tennis courts, volleyball and more.
Finally the local amateur sport leagues had a place where they could shine and participate in the time-honored activity of athletic competition. The facility was promptly used as a means of gender-based oppression by giving all the best time slots to the boy leagues. Girl leagues were relegated to sloppy seconds.
Thanks for playing.
You’ll have to excuse the faltering nature of this post: My Facebook status is currently “Low on Mana.”
You know I like to think the Big Thoughts (har) and these mental excitations decidedly do not lead to good vibrations. In fact, more often than not, they lead to impasse.
Most people, I hear tell, have an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. Not me. I have a miniaturized and hovering Gandalf the Grey and he continually yells, “You shall not impasse!” For some reason, though, that’s not all that helpful.
What sort of big thoughts, you ask, oh helpful reader? Just wee trifling matters. Is climate change real and impacted by human behavior? Do vaccines kill my kids? Should girls be allowed to show a little shoulder in their high school yearbook photos? Will a little non-disclosed GMO kill me? Is it acceptable to harvest organs from poor people? Would raising minimum wage help or hurt the economy? Will we as a society literally swallow petroleum until it kills us? Does being armed to the teeth make society safer or more dangerous? Should politicians and people advertising products have to tell the truth? Does Earth orbit the sun or does the entire universe orbit the Earth? Does trickle-down economics represent the overall best solution for everyone? Why does Hulu Plus have commercials if there’s a monthly fee? Why does a good portion of the people on this planet feel it is acceptable for a 50-year-old man to marry a 12-year-old girl? Does Obamacare make our nation stronger or weaker?
It should be obvious my wee little brain is incapable of grappling with weighty issues like these (and many, many more). What to do? What to do?
Continue reading →
The place where I come from is a bit unusual. It’s a place in the Pacific Northwest where you can still go out and stake your claim. Literally, thanks to the General Mining Act of 1872. Yes, 1872. As in 141 years ago. Yes, just seven years after the Civil War. Outdated much?
Some miners will stay up in the hills year-round, utterly alone, and living in shacks with no electricity. Every few months they drive their pickup trucks into town and load up on supplies. Then it’s right back into them thar hills.
As you might imagine, that kind of lifestyle combined the total lack of human socialization can make them a bit eccentric. I hope to experience something similar on my one-way mission to Mars. (I’ll use the 1872 law to stake a claim in the cargo bay and shoot anyone who trespasses under interstellar law.)
Meanwhile, I have a person in my life who acts a lot like this. Allow me to introduce Emily, our former landlady. She’s elderly and lives alone in the hills outside of town with her cats. And, like her distant miner counterparts, she’s a bit eccentric.
Continue reading →
Holy white smoke, Fatman!
We now bring you a LIVE shot of someplace on planet Earth where surging throngs of Pope nerds have assembled to hear about the selection of some guy in some religion.
But first, some pharmaceutical ads. Don’t worry! We’ll do the multiple window thing so the LIVE shot of St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City will continue while we run the commercials. It’s our commitment to you to bring you continuous coverage of these people milling around a square.
Continue reading →