Fuck the Spartans.
It’s Sunday morning. Sundays are for waking up in a NyQuil-hangover daze and wondering if your face is still attached. Sundays are for furiously making Valentines day plans. Sundays are for sleeping in. Sundays are for doing Tea for Two. Sundays are for kitties.
This week US Bishops got into a huff about being asked to treat their employees the way every other employer is mandated to treat theirs. This week the Republican Presidential Primary got interesting as Rick Santorum won three states. And this week a major video game producer was able to raise over a million dollars just by asking their fans.
The super power I most want is flight. I know that telekinesis, teleportation, or tele-rude-people-off would be more valuable, but I am utterly fascinating by the ability to defy gravity. It is fascinating to me that nature came up with a method for creating flight that was easy enough to have been independently evolved dozens of times– but that humanity came up with an entirely different method for our own mechanical attempts. Yet here we are, with over a century of flight experience, and decades of space travel, without a firm grasp of what birds and insects do by pure instinct.
I showed this article to my boss. He confirmed that it was his experience in reading a menu. One obvious point he mentioned: no matter how people read the menu, they’re much more likely to actually order something if it has a picture of the food item.
Planned Parenthood. The very name has been demonized by religious zealots. I remember in Catholic school (oh yes, I was a Catholic school boy), I was taught that there ought to be “consequences” for our actions. This, I was told, is why abortion was a moral wrong. The older I get, the more I realize that consequence free fucking is something that we humans really ought to strive for. Rather than a moral wrong, this would be an incredible moral victory. The focus on one medical procedure also serves to obscure all the other good work that Planned Parenthood engages in. The short version: any medical care that a woman needs can be obtained at low- or no- cost at one of their clinics. Perhaps that’s the part that actually scares the patriarchy.
Speaking of my education: Target. When I was at Davis, I used to drive all over hell and gone to get the basic home furnishings: Toilet paper, kitty litter, sponges, etc. For about a year of my stay there, the city debated allowing the opening of a new Target a short walk from my apartment. This would have saved me more gas money than I care to think about. And brought the city always-needed sales tax revenue. I’m glad to see the NIMBYs finally relented.
I bet if we look hard enough, we can find someone who exactly caricatures the right-wing view of lefties, the way this quote does for the opposite.
In a very real sense, the Civil Rights struggle was a second American Revolution. It transformed the way the government and society treated citizens. I think the Occupy movement would like to be a third revolution, and in some sense fulfill the promise of the Civil Rights movement. If they are truly refusing to engage with the legal aspects of society, if they really do not wish to effect a change in the laws of America, then they have no chance at all of accomplishing anything lasting. If that’s the case, then they really are what the media has painted them as: a bunch of privileged kids whining about mom and dad.
Barack Obama rose from nothing to become the most powerful man in the world. And he is still human enough to take delight in the small things. Love it.
In America, in the year 2012, it seems bizarre(!), strange(!), impossible,(!) that a human being could own(!) another human being in the same sense that a human can own a house or horse. In America, up until the year 1864, it was not only possible, but in many areas socially and economically mandatory. In some places, it wasn’t mandatory. In some places, it was social death, and a legal impossibility. A lot of that owes to one man convincing his coreligionists to give up that evil practice , at great economic harm to themselves. I know I’ve linked to that article before, but it does seem worth mentioning again that one person can make a difference. Also: remember that in 2012, in America, there are about 1 million enslaved human beings.
Despite the best efforts of the Republican Party, there is still no evidence of wide spread voter fraud. Lack of evidence will not deter voter-suppressing laws from being passed.
I don’t trust Facebook. It isn’t that I don’t trust the amount of information they collect. It isn’t even the way they advertise or roll out new features. It’s the ethos of the company. Facebook was started by a man represents the very worst parts of American capitalism. Before day 1, he had a plan to sabotage his competition. Since then, his company has consistently broken privacy promises and violated user expectations. As a result, I’m not using facebook. Also: feel free to put up a link to this post on facebook. I’m not picky about where traffic comes from.
A new book on the FBI is set to be released on Valentines Day. I don’t think it’s more than an amusing coincidence. The book itself seems like a great, but terrifying, read. Our intelligence agencies (both internal and external) really do think that they are the only people who see the ever-looming threat to the American way of life. As a result, they’re more paranoid than they ought to be. This paranoia makes them willing to lie to elected officials, and grants them an unhealthy contempt for the democratic process. So the security state stumbles ever onward, turning America into something unrecognizable fearful, mean, and small.
In the US, the years between 2001 and 2010 were not very good. They were characterized by wars, economic stagnation, and- eventually- the Lesser Depression. They were, however, some of the best years so far to be a human being. It may not be as dramatic or flashy as warfare, but it is awesome.
An interesting Slate article about the rise of Chipotle. It’s the last three sentences that I find the most interesting. Certain things just take a certain amount of time to do. If we continue to have long commutes, and continue to need 6-8hrs of sleep every day, and we continue to want to spend time with friends and family, then something will have to give. Our society had decided that we’d prefer to have someone else cook for us than to spend the time cooking for ourselves. This actually makes a lot of sense. Cooking can be a leisure activity, or a hobby, but having to do it every day quickly turns it into a chore. I wonder if there’s a commensurate rise in high-end cookware: as people cook less often, they’d want to use better tools when they do.
Valentines day is Tuesday. I’m not sure what I’m doing yet, but I do know who I’m spending the evening with. Modern romance, though, can be so confusing. Text messages, instant messages, jumbotrons, etc. What we really need is to get back to basics. We need to flirt like the Victorians. I’ll be wearing my best cravat…
This does set a pretty high bar for proposals. And makes me ache for the long-promised Android port of that card game.
This week’s theme has been revolution and love. In the comments section, leave a note about your over-the-top ultimate bad-ass Valentines day plans are.
By the by: Some weeks I post on days that aren’t Sunday. For instance: this week I did a small post on Republican chances in 2012, and what makes a good review. Last week, I posted about The limits of marketing.
My Valentine wanted me to share this with you: