Archive for May, 2011

“If You Are Reading This, Judgement Day Has Come and Gone”

20 May 2011

I love Potholer 54’s videos.  In fact, I find him both funny and erudite enough to have fit in with the original cast of Beyond the Fringe, the group whose end of the world skit appears in this video.

For those unfamiliar with Beyond the Fringe, I suggest you remedy that.  Immediately.  The Wikipedia entry on the group  is a good start.  Smart, funny, and eccentric, the original cast of Fringe still ranks as one of the more innovative ever.  Peter Cook and Dudley Moore were great, but they were the lightweights of the four.  Scary thought, that.  I suspect my models for eccentric genius formed when I discovered Jonathan Miller and Allen Bennett.

Happy Doomsday, everyone!



Doomsday Questions

19 May 2011

How many believe that the world will end on Saturday? This Saturday. Hands up, please.

Somehow, I expect few hands in the air, which leads to my next question.

Does anyone else wonder what the few folks whose hands are in the air are doing with their worldly belongings right now? Does anyone else wonder if some people are asking these folks to donate everything?

The thought is tempting, isn’t it?

Good article on this particular Doomsday calculation in Scientific American here.

Did I mention that I have a copy of The End of the World signed by editor-author Lewis Lapham?

Did I ever mention that some high school friends and I held an End of the World Party way, way back when some Tibetan monks did their calculations? Care to guess if we showed up at school the next day?

Happy Saturday, folks.


Where’s My Pitchfork?

19 May 2011

If you are one of the few remaining middle class Americans, you may well feel your taxes are too high. They aren’t. They are actually quite low. The problem is that those who are making the big bucks have taxes that are MUCH LOWER.

For example, Robert Reich’s “The Great Switch by the Super Rich” pointed out a tidbit I’d missed:

Billionaire hedge-fund and private-equity managers are allowed to treat much of their incomes as capital gains (again, at 15 percent).

Some of these guys hauled in BILLIONS–and kept them.

Speaking of hauling in billions, how about Big Oil? Are they paying out hefty taxes? Nah. In fact–“Senate Rejects Bill to Cut Oil Tax Breaks”

Why haven’t the non-elite, those of us not in the ruling one percent–myself, for example–grabbed our pitchforks and axes and Uzis and cream pies and gone after the Super Rich?

We should. However, we are not only poor. We are also poorly organized and hence without power.

My pitchfork is resting against the side of the hay shed. But it’s raining. I’m going to go take a nap.


Once More–A Reprint

15 May 2011

Frankly, I love it when I do not have to write anything; it’s Spring and reprints allow me more time to pull weeds from the garden, which, metaphorically, is often all that I’m attempting to do when I write.

From Political Irony via Daily Kos: “Vote Conservative?”

Cassandra of the Garden

“Neoconservatives Love Jon Stewart”

13 May 2011

“Neoconservatives Love Jon Stewart,” a short piece on Political Irony, presents a surprising statistic: “[S]ince Obama took office, Stewart has had more conservatives appear on his show than liberals.”

Few more rampant liberals appear on cable, so this might seem off. Yet it’s not. This article quickly presents the reason for this in the words of conservative Bill Kristol: “He doesn’t take cheap shots. Jon is smart.”

Smart people reveal their intelligence by asking intelligent questions and actually listening to answers before asking other intelligent questions. That’s the key to discourse, in fact. And Stewart does this well. So I’m not at all surprised that many online polls put this comedian at the top of the list of trusted names in news. Political irony indeed.