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Bob Alexander's Commentary

All the World's a Grave

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Most of us will spend our tomorrows doing what we did today. If we have a job we’ll go to work. Kids will go to school. And stuffed somewhere around all that is shopping, laundry, cooking, and everything else. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow look pretty much the same.

Here’s what’s going to happen if we all keep putting one foot in front of the other courtesy of Jeremy Leggett, geologist turned environmentalist writing about the near-future in 2006, "The price of houses will collapse. Stock markets will crash. Within a short period, human wealth -- little more than a pile of paper at the best of times, even with the confidence about the future high among traders -- will shrivel. There will be emergency summits, diplomatic initiatives, urgent exploration efforts, but the turmoil will not subside. Thousands of companies will go bankrupt, and millions will be unemployed. Once affluent cities with street cafés will have queues at soup kitchens and armies of beggars. The crime rate will soar. The earth has always been a dangerous place, but now it will become a tinderbox.

... As with the Great Depression, economic hardship will bring out the worst in people. Fascists will rise, feeding on the anger of the newly poor and whipping up support. These new rulers will find the tools of repression -- emergency laws, prison camps, a relaxed attitude toward torture ..."
Last Updated on Sunday, 11 December 2011 15:44 Read more...

Not as Smart as Lemmings

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An angry Rhesus monkey is apt to defecate in its hands and throw its feces at you. I think this accurately sums up the debating skills of the current crop of Republican cartoons currently vying for The Top Job. All except Rick Perry of course. He’s taken the deer-caught-in-the headlights stylings of George W. Bush to a whole new level by simply soiling himself on national television. But he’s not as smart as Mitt Romney et al because he doesn’t know what to do with his ammunition once he’s made it.

After watching the Republican Gong Show it’s obvious to anyone smarter than a goldfish that any one of these “leaders” of the Republican Party, if elected, will take this country straight to hell at roughly the speed of sound. The Democrats are the obviously prudent choice. Obama proposes proceeding down the road to perdition at the stately rate of only 55 miles an hour. Thank God our country has a two party system. We have the freedom to choose how fast we want to die.

Last Updated on Monday, 28 November 2011 21:39 Read more...

Dead Ahead

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One of my favorite films about aliens invading the earth is John Carpenter’s They Live. The aliens strip the earth of its resources and accelerate global climate change to change earth’s environment to that of their home planet. Some humans collaborate with the aliens and are rewarded for their betrayal with money and positions of power.

My all time favorite film about aliens transforming the planet isn't science fiction. It's the recent documentary Gasland.

The film is about what happens to the people, communities, and the environment, when natural gas is obtained by a stimulation method known as hydraulic fracturing.

Last Updated on Monday, 28 November 2011 21:37 Read more...

The Trick

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FADE IN:

A newsreel reporter, hot on the trail of the meaning of “Rosebud,” is interviewing Mr. Bernstein, Charles Foster Kane’s personal business manager. One of the things Bernstein tells the reporter, “… it's no trick to make a lot of money … if all you want … is to make a lot of money.”

When I saw Citizen Kane over 40 years ago I thought it was a well written line, but not a realistic one. It seemed like a bit of dialogue a relatively inexperienced 25 year old Orson Welles might write for effect instead of realism. But I was a relatively inexperienced 20 year old. Now I know it’s as true as gravity, “… it's no trick to make a lot of money … if all you want … is to make a lot of money.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 October 2011 19:26 Read more...

Noise

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When I find myself in times of trouble, The Firesign Theatre’s Chester Cadaver comes to me … speaking words of wisdom, “Sure, understanding today's complex world of the future is a little like having bees live in your head. But, there they are.

And those damn bees are noisy. With all the humming and the buzzing, it’s hard to get a thought in edgewise. And if you think about it for a moment or two … if you can think about it through all that noise … you might realize that’s the bees’ job. To keep you from thinking at all.

When I was a kid I was deathly afraid of atomic bombs. I had seen newsreels of Hiroshima after the blast and knew “Duck and Cover” wouldn’t keep me from being turned into radioactive charcoal when The Commies dropped The Big One. The Cuban Missile Crisis made home fallout shelters the talk of radio, TV, magazines, and newspapers. I didn’t know my dad had a fatalistic side to him until I asked if he was going to get a shelter for us and he said, “No. If they drop the bomb we’re all going to die anyway.” Soon after, I read that the hydrogen, or H-Bomb, was thousands of times more powerful than the bombs we dropped on Japan. I remained fearful of thermonuclear war until 1980. Then I discovered something more powerful than all the nuclear weapons in the world. I was no longer afraid of bombs. I was terrified of television.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 October 2011 20:07 Read more...

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