Wednesday, April 21, 2010
So Iceland's Prez, good ol' Oli Gris, has done it again.
Infamous for his less-then-well-considered faux-pas (as well as his unabashed cheerleading for the pack of banksters responsible for bankrupting the island) like "You ain't seen nothing yet!" and "We will not pay!", Oli has topped himself by scare-mongering about a possible Katla eruption at the absolute worst time to do so.
Now, I for one think he should step down, but then again I think the entire political class in Iceland, left right and center, should just admit they have no idea what they are doing, knew exactly what they were doing, and fuck right the hell off.
However, as there is a longstanding political culture of non-accountability on this blessed rock, I don't see any of that happening.
So what to do about Oli?
Well, while I usually can't stand the tendency of Icelandic institutions to go gonzo protectionist on their language (it is illegal for MPs to address Parliament in anything but Icelandic, and even my work place, which has four non-native workers requires that all meetings and communications from management be made exclusively in Icelandic) in this case I can see a practical use for it.
Pass a law stating that whoever holds the Office of President of Iceland must at all times when addressing anyone in an official capacity speak Icelandic. Then hire a translator who can edit out his more painful attempts to swallow his own ankles...
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
We all know that socialized medicine is immoral, un-American, un-Christian, causes homosexuality, pre-mature baldness, hip-hop music, vampirism, and is just one more bar of conveniently dropped soap on the slippery slope down into the pit of demonic progressive tyranny, but few realize just how far down that slope we've already slipped.
But instead of ranting about the current evil socialist programs busily burrowing through the once-hallowed flesh of America like satanic tapeworms bent on redistributing the very life-blood of America to their parasitic brethren, I figured I'd try to catch more flies with honey, and give my reader's (all three of them) a glimpse into what a true Libertarian Conservative future will look like, when we have finally rid ourselves of the Progressive scourge and their evil attempts to socialize our communities ,which they have the gall to call “societies”...we all know what that means Ivan!
Presenting... “Let Free Markets Ring”
RING RING RING
“911 Inc. What's your emergency?”
“Oh God! Help us! Our house is on fire!”
“Ok sir, just remain calm. We have you calling from 114 SW James St, is that correct?”
“Yes!...Donna! Get the kid's to the window!!!”
“Can I have your fire insurance carrier and account number please?”
“Do you have fire insurance sir?”
“Sir, are you eligible for Firecaid?”
“Oh god! The flames are climbing the stairs! Please help us!”
“Sir, if you are not insured or covered by Firecaid, there's really nothing we can do.”
“You can't just let us die!”
“That depends sir, do you have life insurance?”
“Yes! With Capital Insurance!”
“What's your account number sir?”
“Cough cough cough...oh god...its 299-15-667!”
“And your policy covers everyone there?”
“cough cough cough...hack...um, yes!”
“Ok, I see you're paid up, a rescue crew is on the way, if they get you out there be a $40 co-pay.”
“Thank God! Hey honey, keep the kids by the window, firemen are on the way!”
“I'm sorry sir, but you and your family are only covered for rescue, we'll have to let the house burn.”
“Goddamnit, just get us out of here!”
“There's no reason to be abusive sir, none of this would be necessary if you'd just bought fire insurance.”
“They dropped me! ...cough cough cough...My dad's house burnt down when I was six, so they said I was a preexisting risk!”
“Well sir, that's not my problem. You just hang on, try to breathe out the window, and the rescue crew will be with you shortly. Please have your co-pay ready and thank you for using 911 Inc.”
“911 Inc. What's your emergency?”
“There's someone in the house with a gun.”
“Remain calm, is the gunman in the room with you ma'am?”
“No...I'm hiding in the closet. Please send help!”
“We have you at 24 Western Way, apartment 2, is this correct?”
“Ma'am, I'll need your insurance carrier and account number.”
“Yes...oh god...I've got Crime and Mishap insurance with Freedom Limited, account number 22-45-1987...please, he's coming this way.”
“Try to remain calm, Law Enforcement Inc. is on the way. Do you have life insurance in case the gunman takes you hostage?”
“Its a different company, Western Value, account number 7364-834-253!”
Easter Sunday, 2010.
Tonight I was made to feel very, very small.
I stumbled out of Embla's family summer house, too full of whiskey, barely recovered from my traditional Easter Vacation Flu, to smoke an obscenely uncalled for pipe, when I looked up.
Not the brightest or most colorful I've ever seen, not by a long shot. Dull enough that the jaded elders at the gathering poo-pooed them and went back inside to argue about what DVD to watch.
Me, I stood there staring. I've seen them before of course, but never so much at once. The whole sky, from horizon to horizon was a subtle, shifting, melding green water-color wash, spiraling above this lonely farmstead in walls a photon wide and a hundred miles tall before racing off at the speed-off-light-deciding-to-notice-magnetism across the sky, careening into itself, rebounding, rolling, waves on a sea that we've forgotten we can sail.
I sat there thinking that there may well come a day when we can all agree what the Northern Lights are, but I hope we never agree what they mean.
Tonight, to me, they meant this.
I'm a tiny little organism, crawling through my whiskey-soaked, tobacco-stained existence. I'm never going to see the Earth from orbit, my feet will never tread lunar soil. With a lifetime to spend and a fortune to propel me I would never glimpse but a fraction of the wonders of this planet, let alone worlds untraveled and unnamed.
But I wish to whatever power you believe in that we'd get off our collective asses and start!
We're better than this people. We are more than our economics and our petty nation-states, our dogmas and our superstitions, our fetishes and idols. Or at least we should be. We, the collective meaningful we, should be out there staring into the furnace of creation, planting fields in alien soil and singing in atmosphere so foreign that our melodies are remade into gravity's songs.
We need something truly heroic in our lives, in the bigger-than-all-of-us-because-it-is-all-of-us sense.
When my parents were children my grandparents generation sent men to the moon.
And then they stopped.
That was the one of the most underrated tragedies of the 20th century. Yes, there was genocide and ecocide and war and pestilence and famine, but frankly that shit had all been done before and has been done since. Lamentable yes, heartrending yes, never fucking again yes, but not specific to the 20th. After finally witnessing its own utter cosmic insignificance, humankind decided to just give up and stay home.
Which brings me around, as it usually does, to me.
Who's going home.
Icelandic has these two words that form a brilliant symmetry; útþrá and heimþrá. Þrá means essentially “desire” or “longing” so heimþrá is the longing to go home, and with that, the love of home, and útþrá is its complementary opposite, the longing to discover, the love and desire for that which is outside of your experience. I'm currently feeling these same things in equal proportion.
And so should we all.
The love of one's home and the desire to explore are not contradictory, they are complimentary.
But people, especially lefty intellectual types and their complementary opposites on the right have long argued that space exploration is a waste of time and money, that we “have problems here on Earth to solve first”.
And they're right. To a point. We do have problems that need solving.
So let's fucking solve them already.
We have the necessary wisdom, knowledge, and will to feed, shelter, clothe, educate, care for, and encourage every single person on this planet. Don't even try to argue with me. We could do it if we wanted to.
We could make our home not a Utopian (nasty things Utopias, always with the fascist nastiness just under the surface) but so much better than it is now that our children's children would hardly believe it. It wouldn't be that hard. We have the technology, we have the systems, we have the theories of ethics, of politics, of economics, etc.
Which leaves me wondering, chicken or egg? Is the fact that we went to the fucking moon with far less computational power than the average IPhone going to wake people up to the fact that solving our earthly woes isn't about finding some new miraculous technology, or is finally getting off our asses and out into the cosmos finally going to convince people that we're all in this together so we might as well fix shit when its broken?
I honestly don't know. I can't tell you.
Because tonight I feel very, very small in the face of existence, and its glorious.