Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Just not much to say at the moment.

Something about the dog days of Summer, perhaps?

I just can't find anything to say that doesn't involve:

1. Domestic stuff that, while infinitely entertaining to me, isn't really worthwhile fodder for public conversations,

2. Public matters that I can provide neither intelligent discussion nor a unique perspective.

The sad fact is that, once again, my own present circumstances are fairly benign and even pleasant while it seems like the larger world is going to Hell in a handbasket with someone unpleasant - Newt Gingrich, perhaps?

I observe this, noting in passing that the top "news" stories on my Comcast webpage (unavoidable when checking mail, otherwise avoided like an orthodox rabbi walking wide of the Armour hot dog packing plant...) were something about Kate Couric making snarky comments about Sarah Palin's kid's names, and a woman who sent a text message with her toes while tied up by a burglar.

And the only real reaction I can manage to all of this is a sort of irritated grunt.

There seems to be nothing I can do about this idiocy, and to even attempt to tease out whatever threads of common sense are hidden within is to lend myself to the madness surrounding the celebritized, commercialized, Tea-Party-ized, Sarah-Palinized, moron-grade pottage that passes for the Velveeta brand of middlebrow American culture. I come away feeling vaguely unclean and with a strong urge to bite something, perhaps myself.

I have been thinking about teaching, learning, and education as I see it effecting this mess, and I want to post something about that. But that will have to wait a bit for my work schedule to ease off a little bit.

Until then, enjoy the great Ella Fitzgerald bringing you "Night and Day"...


Ael said...

Sadly, and boringly, your post shows the fundamental success of the democratic political system.

The power of a democracy is not in its ability to govern wisely, but in its ability to prevent truly awful governments (think Zimbabwe or Burma) where the only way out of a dead-beat government is via a civil war.

Luckily, you and I get to despair about the utter foolishness of our political actors whilst sipping lemonade under an umbrella.

EGrise said...

Here's something that may amuse you - COIN in Afghanistan is in danger from...all the farting:

On the base, I heard incessant talk about COIN, the "new" doctrine resurrected from the disaster of Vietnam in the irrational hope that it will work this time. From my experience at the FOB, however, it's clear enough that the hearts-and-minds part of COIN is already dead in the water, and one widespread practice in the military that's gone unreported by other embedded journalists helps explain why.

So here's a TomDispatch exclusive, courtesy of Afghan-American men serving as interpreters for the soldiers. They were embarrassed to the point of agony when mentioning this habit, but desperate to put a stop to it. COIN calls for the military to meet and make friends with village elders, drink tea, plan "development", and captivate their hearts and minds. Several interpreters told me, however, that every meeting includes some young American soldiers whose locker-room-style male bonding features bouts of hilarious farting.

To Afghan men, nothing is more shameful. A fart is proof that a man cannot control any of his apparatus below the belt. The man who farts is thus not a man at all. He cannot be taken seriously, nor can any of his ideas or promises or plans.

FDChief said...

Ael: Not sure I wouldn't include the Bush 43 administration under the heading of "truly awful government". But you're right, we managed to get shut of them technically (although the oligarchy they represented is thoroughly represented in the 44th Presidency as well) without a civil war.

But let's not fool ourselves; it's not our time, the Flavian Era, that will pay the piper. IT's our kids' time and their kids who, I think, will have to deal with our version of Commodus and that ilk.

EGrise: My experience with GIs is that anyone who doesn't dip Skoal and enjoy bass fishing (or drink OE800 and love hip-hop) is looked upon as a fucking effete tool. So this surprises me...not.

Lisa said...

Idiocy -- "moron-grade pottage that passes for the Velveeta brand of middlebrow American culture" -- your eloquence even when describing the swill is humbling :)

What can one say when Ms. Couric passes for serious reportage?

I hope you are feeling better, and you bring interest to anything you write upon

Lisa said...

p.s. -- thanks for the Ella.

One of my favorites of hers is "There's a Small Hotel".

Ael said...

I too am worried. I can see changes in my environment. Our frost free season is longer and it makes my garden better.

If climate change seriously affects harvests, then Commodus might look good in comparison to Attila and mass migrations of people looking for food.