A bell tolls each life event.
Bong … New Year's … Bong … Birthdays … Bong … Spring … Bong … Summer … Bong … Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas and … Bong … Happy New Year.
Before we can catch our breath the bell tolls again for the very next thing as we continue to race around the sun at the speed of time. To remember what we have seen, rushing from one thing to the next, we watch television, the medium designed to make us forget. To facilitate the forgetting process the most trusted television news network tells us lies 60% of the time.
The second hand sweeps around the face of the clock, every second a new story is told, and with every revolution memories are wiped clean. Memory is a palimpsest; the new erases the old and is itself overwritten by the next. But … stop the clock … and we can see the ghosts who live between the tick and the tock. Before the present is erased by the future, we can still see the faint traces of the past. As Faulkner said, “The past is never dead. It's not even past.”
A bell tolls each life event.
Everyone knows the basics of the dispute over the nuclear deal with Iran. In no time at all, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaped directly into the American political arena to take potshots at that agreement in a way that, had any other world leader acted similarly, would have been denounced across the political spectrum.
And he did so backed not only by his own party and government but by established opinion makers in Israel, all of whom are deeply convinced that the deal is neither reasonable nor in Israel’s best interests. Similarly, when the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and other similar organizations got involved in a giant, multimillion-dollar lobbying effort to ensure that the agreement is given a congressional thumbs down, they represented not just the interests of Netanyahu and the Israeli ruling elite but of American Jewish opinion, which naturally believes that a deal bad enough to be nixed by Israel is not in the best interests of the United States either.
All of that seems obvious enough -- the only problem being that it isn’t so.
I admit it, I am helpless when it comes to commenting on Republicans when they so thoroughly bushwhack (see footnote, later) themselves. They are hopeless buffoons, or to echo the mystic guru of the ages, Bugs Bunny, "What a bunch of maroons."
One of the latest, of course, is Baron von Hairpile, trying to insert both feet, and most of his lower torso, into his mouth -- ahhh-gain -- by tangling himself up with a Faux News spokesdroid, in a gushing geyser of unfiltered brain goo direct from Mr. Lip-Spanky's so-called thought-and-speech centers.
Dear me. Go look up what he said. Uck. Definitely not very presidential, there, Bubba.
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My new coffee mug's art on the side is a thing of retro-futuristic beauty -- part steampunk, part Bradbury, maybe. There is an art deco scene of a mad scientist's lab, including a robot and assorted glowing objects and tools and scattered projects -- shelves filled with curious and intriguing things.
Above that widescreen-band of art, above: "Certifiable Mad Genius." Below the art, in a smaller font: "I have a death ray, and I know how to use it."
(There is nothing to define just what "MAD" may be - it could mean angry. It might mean mentally disturbed. It could be the acronym for Mutual Assured Destruction. It could mean all three.)
Like in the United States, it's federal election campaign season up here in Canada. This time around the campaign will drag on for … 78 days. The average length of the past 10 campaigns prior to 2015 was 45.8 days. The standard is 37 days.
How do Canadians feel about a protracted 78 day campaign? Bob Brown, interviewed in The Calgary Herald, called the move “ridiculous,” but one that wouldn’t benefit any of the three parties in the long run. “I don’t see how issues can be dealt with any greater in three months than they can in 30 days. There are only so many issues. What do you accomplish by running that discussion out over three months?”
Lies are marketing's best friends, just as Desire is the single best pal consumption ever had. Combine Lies and Desire, along with a hurried, staggering set of lunges and lurches to pick up any dangling or loose minutes or seconds in the evaporating days of our lives, and you've got a toxic cocktail -- one we call American Life.
We are about to have more American Life on Thursday, during a gathering not of eagles, but of turkeys, vultures, and turkey vultures. (It used to be a dog-eat-dog world in politics. Now, it is about rabid dogs biting one another, and themselves, and chewing their feet, chasing their tails, then springing out into the audience in search of unguarded jugulars.)
On Monday, August 6, 1945, after six months of intense firebombing of 67 other Japanese cities, the United States dropped a nuclear weapon nicknamed "Little Boy" on the city of Hiroshima , Japan. This attack was followed on August 9 by the detonation of the "Fat Man" nuclear bomb over the Japanese city of Nagasaki. To date, these are the only attacks with nuclear weapons in the history of warfare.
When the bombs were dropped I was very happy. The war would be over now, they said, and I was very happy. The boys would be coming home very soon they said, and I was very happy. We showed ‘em, they said, and I was very happy. They told us that the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been destroyed, and I was very happy. But in August of 1945 I was only ten years old, and I was very, very happy.
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