Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lunatic Fringe Frays

The recent statements by Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson, and Glenn Beck in regards to the tragedy in Haiti are so vile, disgusting and especially in Robertson's case outright loony, that I don't care to repeat any of them. One can take comfort in the hope that they are losing all but their most rabid followers as they race each other to the edge. When even George W. Bush won't defend them...

Friday, January 1, 2010

I've Been Searching...

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” --Neil Gaiman

I've been searching for a quote that spoke to me, on a very difficult day. And thanks to my friend, The Mad Voter, I've found one.

Usually, I don't do things like this, I find them maudlin, and self-pitying. I don't want anyone else feeling sorry for me-why I avoid certain gatherings back home-so I try to discourage myself from throwing any pity parties. But with the turn of the decade, one that she has missed, I can't help thinking about my mother.

She was born slightly after midnight January 1st 1937 and died January 8th, 2001, a mere seven months after my father. She was a massive science fiction fan who claimed I was conceived to Star Trek. A woman who dragged her young child to every now iconic SF film the first week it opened.

As I watched Avatar, I thought how much she would have loved this.

I'm sure I'll add to this later, but for now, Happy Birthday, Mommy.

Addendum: I've surprised myself quite a lot since she died...

First New Year Surprise! I Agree with Something Written By David Brooks!

David Brooks' column today discusses something I have been attempting to ignore: the reaction to the Underpants Bomber. I was in the air on the way to Miami the day the Shoe Bomber struck, and was outraged that I had to walk barefoot across the airport, and that others who were not wearing sandals like myself, had their shoes cut open by the screeners. (I wasn't exactly quiet about my distaste for this practice. I'm probably lucky they didn't root through my luggage and slash up every bit of footwear I carried in revenge.)

Both articles-of-clothing-bombers are clearly not right in the head. And by that I don't mean simply the sort of evil craziness of a suicide bomber, but the extreme level stupidity-madness that would lead someone to think he could create his own James Bond gadget in his kitchen and that it would be able to take down a plane. People this ridiculously insane always surprise the authorities because no one even approaching intelligent or sane would think up such things. This is Darwin Awards level stupidity with a horrifically evil twist.

Ultimately, focusing on Darwin Awards terrorist is a waste of time and energy. We are spending time worrying about the bizarre and unlikely, and not doing the mundane, but difficult, like securing our ports, and rail system. The truly crazy portion of the population should not cause this much angst. They have always been here, and always will.