Sunday Morning Reading Material First Sunday in November 2011- Remember Remember Edition

George… Washington?

It’s Sunday Morning. Sundays are for getting ready for work. Sundays are for feeling sore after a night of birthday revelry. Sundays might be for hungover sex. Or, perhaps Sunday mornings are for squandering the year’s only extra-sleep hour to attend your son’s insanely early chimes performance.

This week, the US announced that it’s employment rate nudged up .10%. Also this week, Humanity took another halting step starward as China docked a pair of uncrewed spacecraft with one another. Also also this week: much of the East Coast of the US was without power as a result of weather. Oddly, they aren’t considering moving somewhere nicer. Also also also: The City of Oakland was shut down by it’s local Occupy movement on Wednesday. And finally: news searches for Oakland barely mention the Occupy movement, and all coverage is being done from the government POV.

No mater the media, sequels to huge properties sell. Big. If Shooty-Shooty Bang Bang made a billion dollars, 18-24 months later, there will be a Shooty-shooty Bang Bang 2: The encoloning. If “money” is the answer to “why should we make another version of this thing?”, it doesn’t answer the question of what the characters are going to be doing. That’s why it’s refreshing to read that there won’t be another Incredibles movie until someone has a good idea for a story.

Moral dilemma indeed

“Chivalry” seems to be a polite way of saying that someone else is less capable than you are. Sometimes, that’s a manifest truth. For instance, if a bus is crowded, it would be the height of rudeness to not offer my seat to an old person.
Or a parent and child. “Offer” is the key word here. When “chivalry” is enforced, it’s often used as a cover for something a lot more sinister.

Video game marketing is ridiculous.

As we all know, the US Post office’s insolvency is entirely the fault of a congressional order to fund it’s retirement account for workers who haven’t yet been born. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to see that Europe’s post offices seem to be working along entirely different lines. Perhaps bizarrely, those Euro-style post offices seem reminiscent of how US post offices operated before the days of Teddy Roosevelt.

Warning: tear jerking story. My cat would totally do this.

I literally cannot conceptualize 7 billion human beings. Nonetheless, we seem to have celebrated the birth of our 7 billionth human co-habitant of planet Earth this week. The industrial revolution did amazing things for the human population, including freeing us from a cycle of misery and poverty.

Edge of the America West is back. This is the best news ever.

When I was a kid, we went door to door trick or treating. And then came the wave of stories about how random psychos were poisoning candy. Today, many many many children get dressed up and beg for candy from stores in malls, rather than their neighbor’s houses. It does seem interesting that America in the 1980s and 1990s seems to have scared itself silly about mostly-fake stories. Just as the nation was getting to be safer than it ever had, we were telling ourselves that we were in more danger than ever. And now we cocoon ourselves inside “secure communities”.

I always knew that the Washington Redskins team name was flamingly racist. I had no idea that was on purpose. The real question, as always, is: what biases do I have which will look absurd and petty in 50 years?

As this post goes live on Sunday, it will be the 3 year anniversary of when I returned home- triumphant- from Ohio. One of the big hurdles I faced when trying to get voters to the polls, was making them believe that they would be allowed to vote. Our target voters were poor black folks who had faced decades worth of intimidation. 2008 was the first year when the State of Ohio stopped doing everything they could to hinder their voting, and instead did everything it could to help them vote. That is the legacy I am most proud of. That is what the GOP is busy trying to undo.

Want more adorable? Puppy with a seeing eye dog.

Class Warfare. Class Warfare never changes. I don’t mind when people have more money than I do. I don’t even mind when they have more money than I do and don’t work as hard. But the absolute sense that having more money makes someone a better human being? That’s the part I mind. That’s a lot of what the Occupy [city] protests are about. The only way to fix the problem is to create in America a genuine sense of Democracy.

I’m not sure why Steven Brust is asking about massacres of US citizens by the US government. The answers people are giving are frightening; most of the history they’re talking about is forgotten. Also? Most of the deadliest uses of US power against it’s citizens has been in the service of capital against labor. Remember: it’s only class warfare when the poor fight back.

The girl responds, “Oh I’m not nearly drunk enough.”

Walking is one of most powerful tools humans have developed for health. All things being equal, 30 minutes a day of walking- regular, boring, walking– can give an “obese” person most of the health benefits they’d gain by dropping weight until they were merely “fat”. American living spaces are created in such a way that we actively discourage walking. As someone who dropped 100lbs, I am speaking from personal experience.

These old white men plotting a terrorist attack will probably not trigger calls for race/age profiling. I am, however, sort of impressed that they connected the dots between Fox’s paranoid mutterings and an actual necessity for action. If only they’d applied that energy towards solving a real problem.

Whenever I hear about one of my coworkers behaving badly towards a guest they’re supposed to be serving, I mentally cringe. It’s shameful to know that someone in my organization is their job badly. Me? I’m just a server in a restaurant. If, say, I were an armed member of a police force, I’d like to think that I’d do everything in my power to encourage others to behave with the utmost professionalism. But I’m just a server in a restaurant. I’m sure there’s a very good, perfectly professional reason that cops are outraged that they’ve been caught abusing their power. I’m sure they’re simply unaware that their fellow police officers are making less safe the city they’ve sworn to protect and serve.

Here there ARE rules: MY motherfucking rules, and I govern with an iron fist. No, wait, fuck that, it’s a PLATINUM FIST with lightning bolts shooting out of it and diamonds and spikes and other badass adornments.

Elizabeth the Second– by the consent of the people, Queen of United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis– has overseen the slow transformation of England. When she was crowned, England held a global Empire with a semi-strong monarchy. Today England is slowly becoming an (important!) appendage of the European Union. It does seem that her grandson is trying to revive the monarchy’s power. Let’s see if it sticks.

a slice of San Francisco

Firstly, does it seem weird anyone else that potatoes have electric current? Always seems weird to me. Secondly, I cannot begin to overstate how important it is to have computer chips which require very little energy. Humanity has been using computers to help with brute-force calculations for decades. The problem is that we’re sucking up a lot of irreplaceable fossil fuels to do so. Now, imagine a computer powerful enough to calculate the fuel pump-rate on your car to give the best gas mileage– that is powered by the vibration of tires on the road. That’s not “energy creation” in the thermodynamic sense, but it is “free energy” in the sense that it’s using energy which would otherwise be wasted doing nothing.

Superheros for Truth, Justice, and the reformation of the American Way.

The other day I learned that “the land of the rising sun” is how the Japanese themselves refer to their nation. In order for that to be the case, they need a perspective from which the sun might not rise over their heads. The Japanese self perception, then, is formed (at least in part) as a definition of what they are not. They are manifestly not alone. All human culture is relative. We humans seem to create insider groups specifically by finding an Other against which to contrast ourselves. It’s one of the reasons I think “peace on Earth” can only be achieved when we band together against an extra-terrestrial threat. And that is why I favor the colonization of Mars.

Sunday Morning Listening Material.

If you click just one link:

I have never had to defend all men- or talk about all men- because I am “the dude on Twitter”. As a straight, white, cis, dude, it never seems to occur to anyone that I might need to be a spokesperson for all straight, white, cis dudes. So why don’t we grant that same privilege to all slices of humanity?

This week’s theme? Being unsettled. So if you made it this far, why don’t you reshare it on your social network of choice?

Reality hits you hard, bro.


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