We’ve all been there. Christmas as a kid, maybe, or a random birthday in your adulthood. Some kind soul offers you a wrapped gift, you open it and it is…terrible. Like, you want to say “what the fuck am I supposed to do with this thing?” terrible.
Yet, you make eye contact with the giver, you smile, and you muster up the most sincere “Thank you!” that you can; because like your Mom taught you growing up – it’s the thought that counts.
Yesterday, we Americans saw a considerable shift in power, yet again, from one of our two parties to the other. It wasn’t a surprise either in the moment or in the longer scope of history – six years into a sitting president, folks will always bemoan that there is still discord somewhere in the world and the Treasury hasn’t yet backed a Brinks truck up their driveway to shower them with cash, so they insist that we need a new direction.
Continue reading Democrat vs Republican : It’s the Thought That Counts
After enduring the check in and boarding process at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport – the Tenth Circle of Hell – and weaving between the folks depositing their carry-on and sundry gifts for friends back home into the overhead bins, I found my seat, 27A, in the front row of the rear Economy section of the Airbus A330. I got myself organized and took my seat, immediately subjected to small talk from the business-travel-guy in 27B.
When the attendant came to check on our willingness and ability to operate the door in an emergency, he interrupted her, reciting the required questions she was about to ask, ostensibly to impress her, or me, or both with his innate knowledge of FAA safety procedure. Clearly, he didn’t know who the fuck he was sitting next to. But I digress…
Continue reading The Old Man and the Pee
It’s tricky to criticize a person that works in social activism. Whether you’re a businessperson, athlete, unemployed writer, or high-price escort, you’ll be starting with considerably less credibility from an altruism standpoint. Who are you to be critical of how they go about their work? They’re out there trying to make the world a better place, and you’re out there whoring yourself for bigger paydays (literally, in the final example).
If they’re dedicating their entire week – if not their entire life – to a cause greater than their own bank account, then logic seems to dictate they will, in fact, do much more than the average member of society to make the world a better place.
Continue reading Circlejerk Activism
As predicted in last week’s post, the true magnitude of the current Ebola epidemic – as it related to potential spreading in America – turned out to be somewhere between pants-shitting exponential growth feared by some, and the tidy, clean finish where all risk, panic, and fear would be put to rest along with Thomas Eric Duncan that was smugly expected by others.
Granted, all scientific evidence and history points to the latter group being much closer to the proper level of concern. This is a relatively difficult disease to contract, and with proper precautions taken by a responsible and thorough medical staff and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the odds of anyone contracting Ebola stateside were almost nil.
Continue reading The Fault in Our SARS (and Ebola)
The scene plays out in a strikingly similar manner, regardless of topic. During a group discussion about prominent news items, you’ll state your belief, the group unanimously disagrees, and you find yourself looking around the room, eyes wide open whilst scanning each individual, palms up, emoting a very clear “Seriously? No one is going to back me up on this?”
Eventually, you become unsure if you should jump in the fray and explain your viewpoint or just let it pass without comment. After all, what’s the point? Online and off line, opinions on virtually every topical event are becoming increasingly antithetic. The conversations are shortening, the distance between opinions are lengthening, and consensus is being reached ever more rarely.
Continue reading The Disappearing Middle