These Men Do Not Represent Me

I can’t take one more slimy, sleazy political figure getting caught with his pants around his ankles[1] and resigning from public office. I just can’t stomach this type of “breaking news” again. I’m not sure what irritates me the most:

  • that public servants are clearly abusing their false sense of power to get laid,
  • that there seems to be a contingent of the female population that is attracted to married politicians,
  • that these politicians only resign when they get caught,
  • that they try to fake remorse in their press conferences after the news breaks,
  • that their wives stay married to them,

OR

  • that to get elected into (and retain) public office in this country you have to put forth the image of the happily married family man (or woman).

It’s probably the latter.

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And I Feel Fine

I saw a story today on a morning “news” program about the new wave of survivalists that has sprung up in response to the current state of the economy.  Now I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next person (actually probably more so).  Among my favorites are Apollo Moon Landing hoaxes, the Illuminati, and the Freemasons. I admit that I am tempted to buy into some of these theories, and frankly, I’m not really set on a line between fiction and reality.

But come on people, have a little faith in the machine.

These survivalists are stockpiling years’ worth of food in their homes in case the economy collapses, leaving the world in complete and utter chaos.  One family even had a year’s worth of water purification tablets so they could drink their swimming pool water.

I don’t have a lot of faith in humanity (individuals – yes, the collective – no) but the last thing that is going to cause a post-apocalyptic, Mad Maxian world to suddenly erupt is the economy.  Nuclear holocaust? Sure.  Giant meteor crashing into Earth? Maybe.[1] Global warming? Eventually.  But the economy?  Never.

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A Spin on Frost

I don’t really get poetry.  It’s not that I don’t like it, I just don’t understand most of it.  I don’t properly appreciate it no matter how hard any of my former English teachers and professors tried to teach it.  I can say that I like a lot of song lyrics, as well as death poems written by Zen monks, and I also tend to like Robert Frost.  Much like Ponyboy, my favorite is probably Nothing Gold Can Stay, though I also like Fire and Ice.

Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if I had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

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Yes, this is a blog, but I’m no technophile.

I don’t have a BlackBerry, an iPhone, or any of the knockoffs.  I don’t have an iPod.  I rarely download music or movies.  I don’t use my cell phone very often because I hardly keep any minutes on it.  I have never even owned a video camera, and I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t be able to upload or edit video if I tried.

I’m not hyper-connected.  I do belong to a couple social networking sites, but it honestly is mostly just to say hello to my old friends who are spread out across the country, and/or to take ridiculous time-wasting personality quizzes.  I also admit that I love the fact that Brian Griffin has his own Wikipedia page.  And obviously I have a blog, but that’s mostly because I write constantly and am trying to get more comfortable with the idea of people being able to read my writing.

So I know that I’m kind of a black sheep to my generation, but I just don’t get all the technology.

Sometimes the internet is great for finding information immediately that would require time-consuming library research, or to do things like finding academic papers, buying used books, paying bills, comparing products and prices, getting directions, etc.  Of course, I am able to do all of these things using other means, and still often do.  And frankly, I don’t want to be able to do these things all of time, from wherever I am.

I need to stop and take a breath sometimes.  I need to be able to just stop and think.  I need uninterrupted silence.

It seems that people are addicted to being connected via technology.  I mean, nearly every time I see someone walking alone they are on their phone.[1] But at the same time, technology allows us to increasingly isolate our physical selves from the world.  Our relationships devolve into a few words sent across cyberspace or by way of satellite.

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When in the Course of Human Events…

My mother is single-handedly trying to reintroduce the two-dollar bill into circulation.[1] I find this to be an admirable goal and do my part to aid this mission as well.  Most people have stopped using cash (unfortunately I usually don’t have any on me), but now that you can hardly find anything for less than a dollar it seems that the two-dollar bill would have increased in popularity.  Many people I encounter in retail settings, however, seem not to realize that the two-dollar bill is in fact still legal tender in this country.

Two_Dollar_BillNow, I admittedly hesitate to use two-dollar bills in vending machines and automatic checkouts, because… well, because I don’t trust machines of any sort, but also because the two-dollar bill is often omitted from lists of bill denominations that are accepted.  Cashiers almost always give me very odd looks when I hand over my two-dollar bills, and I inevitably have to have a conversation with them about the two-dollar bill.  Which I don’t mind; especially when the conversation proceeds to a discussion of Thomas Jefferson.[2] But I don’t even bother using two-dollar bills when the cashier is my age or younger.  You remember the story that circulated the internet a few years back about the guy who tried to buy a seven-layer burrito from Taco Bell with a $2 bill and the manager did not think it was real.  Whether or not this story was exaggerated does not remove the fact that it seems entirely plausible.

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Livin' on the Ledge

Sorry for the Aerosmith reference.  The Sears Tower now has a glass enclosure (“The Ledge”) suspended from its 103rd floor skydeck.  You can go out onto this observation deck and look out at the city of Chicago through an inch and a half of glass, suspended 1353 feet above Wacker Dr.

I want to go to there.

The_Ledge

Now, a fear of heights seems like a reasonable fear, but I just don’t have it.  I’m afraid of flying, dying, and drowning.  But when I am on a high place looking down, I love the dizzying sensation I get.  I’m almost compelled to look down from high places, especially stairwells.

Stairwell

So, the next time I go to Chicago, I am so there.

And nevermind that they are renaming the Sears Tower… I don’t want to talk about it.

Note: Stairwell photo found: here.