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Wednesday, Oct 22nd

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Alex Baer: Out of Sight, Out of Shut-Eye

Drone deathsThere'd be no telling what's really bugging us, second-to-second, without all the constant, helpful reminders from our talking-head gadgets, sound sources, headline services, downloaders, and assorted cultural pulse-takers.

The media does our thinking for us, so we can continue our sleepwalking, and our sleepdriving, and our sleepworking, and our sleepeating, and our sleepsleeping, in uninterrupted bliss.

It is now possible, for example, to go from coast to coast in this country, one of outlandishly enormous land mass and huge distances, and never once hear any local programming on the radio.  Instead, we can hear just one, long, steady drone, not unlike the long, steady drone heard just before an actual drone drops from the sky, a split second before the sky itself drops out of the sky, and right onto you.

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Bob Alexander: Roy Orbison was Right

It's OverOn my 40th birthday my younger sister gave me a coffee mug with a picture on it of a mouse singing, “Hi Ho … Hi Ho … It’s over the hill I go.” It immediately became my favorite mug I was never going to use. I was going to keep it in pristine condition so I could give it back to her on her 40th birthday. But I almost didn’t get the chance.

When I went to retrieve it after eight long years in storage I found the handle of the mug had snapped off. Now it was time to see if all those Crazy Glue commercials were telling the truth.

I repaired the mug, wrapped it up, and was able to re-gift as well as re-joke. But … if someone had taken a sledge hammer to the mug and reduced it to a fine white powder, no amount of Crazy Glue would help. There would be no doubt that it was irrevocably broken, smashed to bits, and it would take some sort of deranged magical thinking to think that it even could be fixed.

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Alex Baer: Turning Now to Weather...

America sold at auction... In other news, Yoosa (TM), the country formerly known as The United States of America, Amuhrikuh, 'Merica, 'Murricuh, and so on, was sold today to the highest bidder.

Never you mind who.  It's none of your business.

Please report to the Reassignment Station in your neighborhood.  Your new overlords want to give you a thorough looking-over, before they decide on an appropriate wholesale price for your ass.

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Alex Baer: Learning the Kind of 'Out' We Are

OUTThe ability to learn is Nature's way of keeping us from dying from the same thing, over and over again.  Except that it works only for the species, not individuals, and only some of the time at that.  Individuals are as free as ever, Nature says, to perish or be punished by almost any lame-brained, bone-headed thing we'd care to do.

The ability to learn may be fickle, appearing to pick and choose its candidates by invisible lot, or by some other means we mortals cannot detect.  However much we ponder, mull over, and squint, in mid-thought, Nature still retains the ability to surprise.

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Alex Baer: Welcome to These Out-Rage-Us Times

hissy fitWe've become a nation of fleeting snits and hissy fits.

We nurse along so many hurt feelings that we all get emergency Red Cross parcels, plus the thanks from a grateful nation, for our extensive enmity-nursing skills.  Our spending on pets last year was $61 billion -- and that's not even counting what we're willing to pay to keep our pet peeves alive.  We have so many kinds of hairy grudges, it's surprising none of them ever showed up in Dr. Suess books, all raspberry and lime.

But, none of these petty issues includes the stuff that really ignites us in some way, really toasts our scalps, like we've just grabbed hold of some stripped-bare 220 cables long enough to have Tilt or Free Game show up on our foreheads, or to start spitting little lightning bolts, in a sudden show of Looney Tunes solidarity.

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Alex Baer: Swimming Against the Yo-Yo Tide

yo-yoEveryone's heard the one where Life, after closing one door, opens a window.  After doing two of the most dangerous things in America that one can do -- reading and thinking -- I have to take exception to that one.

This is especially true as it often seems Life is intent on demonstrating that other insightful discovery:  that, when you die, your soul goes up on the roof of the garage, and is stuck there, with the Frisbees.  As soon as I have read something and thought about it some, this is often what happens to my own consciousness.

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Alex Baer: This Just In -- We're Blue, Tattooed, Etc.

little match girlWell, it's just about official:  We can all go get blued, tatooed, and have some machined screw threads carved into ourselves, if you catch the drift.

Oh, sure.  There's lots of chest-beating about the sacredness of human life, especially from the Family Values segment of the population -- a group of highly religious policy-pushers noted for doing whatever can be done to utterly rip, rend, and wrench apart families, legally.  You'd do better with Charles Manson as your social worker, Jeffrey Dahmer as your nutritionist, Jack the Ripper as your morale officer.

More correctly, all the hollering and screaming and protesting and Bible-thumping is about the sacredness of The Fetus.  Once the thing is born, to heck with it, say almost all GOP policies for the past 35 or so years.  If it's no longer in vivo, or even in vitro, then it's no longer in our supposed thoughts, in our sham prayers, or in our political hay-making and mud-slinging -- that particular life, once sprung from the womb, is simply no longer in play.

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