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Alex Baer

Meditations on Our Daily Horror

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October:  This is the traditional month for frost on the pumpkin,  a jump-started sweet tooth, and a handful of artificial horrors.

Except every day is a day of all-too-real horror with Republicans.  Forget Elm Street -- every day is Nightmare on Capitol Hill these days, and each day comes with at least one twisted plot twist and adrenalin rush.  It's not unlike the ultimately depressing, empty-calorie gore-banquet of a slasher flick.

You know the feeling:  The highly-charged, hyper-energized sensation stemming from emptying half of your Trick-or-Treat stash in one sitting.  As usual, that sugar-rushing rocket ride can be exhilarating, but the plummet back to Earth is always queasy and dizzy-making.

Thing is, for adults, there is no staying home from school, no matter how much of a bellyful you've had of it all, and no matter how much it hurts.

* * * * *

I know a little something about horror.  For the last 263 days, I've been playing host to my own Mortality, night and day, with no breaks and no time off for good behavior. I've been fighting cancer.

Last Updated on Monday, 07 October 2013 18:42 Read more...

On Exhausting All of One's Possibilities

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Well, after more than a decade of heavy use and pushing their certified load limits, it's finally happened:  I've broken the backs on all my expletives.  They're in traction, up at Lingua Franca University Hospital, in Esperanto.

I blame the current GOP-created-and-sponsored government shutdown as much as I do the amount of overwork my profane and explicit oaths and exclamations have been subjected to, ever since Reagan slipped through the cracks of the founding fathers' notions of a wise and informed populace, and a watchdog press, keeping a close and good eye on its leaders and their use of power.

Doctors of Etymology had been providing me steady warnings about the possibility of buckled expletives ever since I sprained my tongue back in late 2000, when the U.S. Supreme Court drove a stake through the heart of the U.S. Constitution on December 12th and ended democracy here.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 October 2013 14:10 Read more...

Starbucks. Guns. Waffling.

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More on our country from the only viable, mostly-untainted point of access -- the foreign press:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24142085


My reaction?

Well, sure, I mean:

If someone doesn't get their Uber Grande Triple Mocha Espresso with Caramel Monkeybutt Sauce and Cupid's Arrow and Heart Design in their Whipped Cream just right, then, in 'Merica, that customer should have the right to pump a couple of magazines of steel-jacketed rounds and dum-dums into the bastard barista who ruined their day, week, and life, right?

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Five Bucks Says You Won't Take This Bet

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I'll bet you five bucks you'd react differently than you think you would, once your doctor tells you that you've got lung cancer.  And that it's been using your body as a combination playground and nursery for four years.  Or that it's possible you might not be here this same time next year.

No, wait -- scratch that idea.  The only way I could collect on such a bet would be for your doctor to actually break that same news to you, and I wouldn't wish that pronouncement on anyone -- not even on lower life forms like brain-damaged Teabaggers, deluded Ayn Rand supporters, those struggling with the selfish demons of religion, or any other member of the helpless, hopeless, and hoodwinked.

Believe me when I say that the news, when it breaks, is filled with puzzling, aqueous cartoon moments involving stopped time, suspension of gravity, and immersion into a sluggish, slow-motion world usually reserved for filmmakers' shorthand, where someone's ambushed drug state, psychotic episode spike, or some other sudden lapse from reality is conveyed.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 February 2013 20:12 Read more...

Helping Amygdalas Jump to the Left

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Intellectual knowledge is one thing, and emotional experience is another.  This is one reason why it's "a darned shame" when you hear a friend's story of having compared ticket prices on the plane with fellow passengers, finding out he or she paid a couple hundred bucks more than any of the others for the same deal -- and why it's "a murderously cutthroat breakdown in society" when you are the one stuck with that extra-jumbo-jet of a bill.

Those differences are the birth pangs of empathy, so mutter away, and to your heart's content. Welcome to humanity.  We are not ants or otherwise able to experience the hive mind, so we have to grow our awareness and empathy fresh, every day.  And yes, tending that particular garden can be a real drag at times.

You can unexpectedly explode an expelled spew of coffee over a sudden comeuppance or shock of news, or choke without warning on a bite of food, or have your tongue trip over a sip of soup and collapse.  The causes of the so-called spit-take can be many.  Roll around some of these possibilities in your mind's eye, while swirling around some pleasant liquid or other in your figurative -- or literal -- mouth:

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 January 2013 19:44 Read more...

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