BLOG THIS! Highly Suspect Wisdom for the Widely Disinterested Masses
Listen, I know I'm just a humble country rube and far be it from me to question the research or veracity of The Grey Lady and its vaunted social media arm, but I'm confused by this headline. Are they saying you're 30% less likely to die, period? Like, ever? Or is the scythe dude just 30% less likely to ring your doorbell anytime soon? Say I'm on deadline and mistakenly pound 3.8 cups of coffee, will that discount the life-expanding health benefit? If you read the sentence ten times in a row and once backward, as I did, it begins to seem like they’re implying test subjects were 30% less likely to die during the multiple-year study itself, which strikes me as a fairly arbitrary conclusion, since, for instance, you could also extrapolate that 70% were more likely to expire from the sheer tedium of being involved in a Times-funded coffee study. In any case, I'm sure this data came as a great relief to those who moderately swilled between 1.5-3.5 cappuccinos each morning while it was being conducted, even if they only got the data after the study was over and the panic attacks subsided, but at least they were distracted from their imminent bankruptcy due to the cost of 3.5 per-week teeth whitening treatments. Using this same logic and deductive reasoning, I'm going to go out on a limb and propose that people who don't eat 1.5 fistfuls of cement every day are 30% less likely over the course of a year to have bowel obstructions requiring surgery, regardless of whether they hang on the regular with Folger's pitchman Juan Valdez, and that's without even crunching the data.
Well, I came to a conclusion while in the shower this morning: the only rational explanation is that the very upper echelon of Exxon, the Pentagon, the Saudis, the Chinese, various shady billionaires and possibly even the Kochs, know that electromagnetic field technology has advanced to a degree that Plasma Fusion is no longer a Phillip K. Dick subplot but actually on the horizon, and so blithely ignoring our communal carbon death event while spending billions on propaganda to deny obvious and indisputable climate truths is really just a pragmatic game to frack as much wealth out of the world economy as possible over the next ten years, right up to the precipice where California, Texas, and most of the planet's coastal cities are uninhabitable, at which point Plasma Fusion reactors will become as ubiquitous as gas stations, or probably pre-loaded as apps on the new iPhone CoolMax 12, and clean, readily available energy will flow freely to all who desire it, whereupon a worldwide combustion/consumption enema will return us to the untouched, oxygen-abundant, coolly verdant Pliocene era of 64 million (give or take) years ago, when the greatest source of pollution was Stegosaurus dumps and the offal left over from the latest conquest of Flightless Terror Birds, known to wreak havoc well into the Miocene Epoch and have a blasé, if not unrepentant, attitude about picking up after themselves. Because, really, is it possible to be rich enough, or sell a sufficient tonnage of plastic water bottles, or liquify enough plateaus of Canadian Tar Sands to smugly assume that the sun is not also rising for you?
As much as the consensus seems to be that millenials are weak and coddled (an opinion I don't happen to share, because who can control the relative richness or tidal shallows of the culture that happens to rise around their ankles during the inward-hormonal madness of their formative years?), I do think that no young person of today went through the particular trial of fire that I endured, namely at the age of eleven being dragged by my aunt and much older cousins to a late-night showing of "The Shining" in a creepy theatre in upstate New York. Clearly, I still haven't recovered. Buying a threadbare copy of "Remain In Light" a few years and many therapy sessions later may have been more an unconscious imperative than mere coincidence.
And yes, it probably helps to be Gen X to understand this joke.
Spent the very early hours unable to sleep and turned to thinking, as I often do, about Stanley Kubrick. Should I feel bad that it took me 53 years to realize HAL is actually a slyly coded takedown of the acronym IBM, let alone the soulless cultural monolith it represented in 1968, given that H precedes I, A precedes B, and L precedes M in the alphabet?
Or maybe that's just a coincidence.
But is it also a coincidence that a film about the fallacy of a species measuring itself by technological as opposed to human evolution that culminates in a computer achieving sentience and its first action being the sterile, emotionless murder of its creators, is just as germane today as it was fifty-three years ago?
Not to get all schadenfreude this morning, but some dude paid $518,628.00 for Tom Brady's last touchdown ball literally hours before Gisele's Husband announced his un-retirement, rendering that pigskin decidedly less valuable. It's tempting to feel a passing sympathy for the karmic lack of timing, but I can't quite muster it. What does one actually do with five-hundred K of equity sunk in a bladder of cheap leather and stitching that otherwise retails for $89 at Dick's Sporting Goods? Encase it in amber? Build a shrine? Mark it with a bloody handprint and whisper to it late at night like bearded Tom Hanks?
"Hey," people might say at your next soiree, while gazing up at the mantle, turf-stained laces facing out, "Is that Tom Brady's last touchdown football?"
"Sure is," you'd say with pride, topping off martinis all around.
"So how much it run you?" someone would ask.
"Oh, around half a mil," you'd say, with a modest smirk.
"Did you consider maybe donating that money to Gluttonous Purchaser's Anonymous instead?" the wife of Chet from accounting (who you've never really liked but Suzie insisted on inviting anyway) would say, and your face would flush and you'd stammer for a bit, a snappy comeback or even plausible answer on the tip of your tongue but ultimately eluding you, and so you'd have to settle for, "...but...it's...Tom Brady's last touchdown ball."
Things would be quiet through desert and everyone would leave early and Suzie would toss the dog blanket at you and make you sleep on the couch, but at least you'd be anywhere from between eight and ten feet from the ultimate trophy of the most storied franchise in all of NFL history, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Hey, as it says in Exodus Chapter 20 verse 4, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, so you might want to think twice about bidding on ultimately banal and meaningless objects of worship, let alone trust that The Golden Boy is ever as good as his word."
America's Tokyo Rose. Rupert Murdoch's Ezra Pound. Rationality’s Typhoid Mary. The Autocrat-panderer. The ratings gigolo. The Quisling-pundit trust fund heir. The Donald J. Apologist. The Orbán-groupie. The bloated propaganda tick embedded in the hide of FOX viewer$hip. The annexation boy cheerleader. The denier of Ukrainian sovereignty. The profiteer of death-coverage. The yawning appraiser of 300,000 refugees. Putin's willing receptacle. The epistemological nihilist. The morally barren ideologue. The compass-free prep school twat.
Duplicity personified, opportunism codified.
The monstrously calculating traitor who is Tucker Carlson.
It's easy to forget that this woman, sidewalk-defeated and leaking mania from every pore, who just sued the NY Times five years after they already apologized for running an article that insinuated her proudly violent but not specifically violent-enough rhetoric might have had real time consequences, the judge more or less suggesting she take her stack of blank but legalistic-looking papers, '77 Frampton shades, and jacket that appears to be the discarded, Cuervo-stained drapes from an Oakland Raiders-themed bachelor party, and go back to Wasilla, where she could much more profitably accept a job as a Jack Palance impersonator, yes, THIS WOMAN was once a compromised John McCain whisper away from being the most powerful person in the world.
1968 mono Caetano Veloso "Caetano Veloso" on Phillips. Infinitely better than chocolates, cards, emeralds, flowers, promises, or a brand new Volvo parked in the driveway with a big ribbon on it. The glossy, laquered standard of amatory Brazilian vocals. Around these parts, spun every Valentine's Day.
Woke at 4:40 this morning, knew I wasn't getting back to sleep. The Sit Up With A Gasp hour just keeps arriving earlier and earlier. My need for an alarm clock lapsed a decade ago. Yeah, I know: age, diet, melatonin, CBD gummies, maybe cut back on the quad shot-in-the-dark frappaccinos while sliding into footie pajamas, etc. None of it works. All of it doesn't work. So I often lay there for a while wondering if a specific concern has pre-fired that day's synapses. Climate, virus, Ukraine? Family, vocation, dwindling basement cash pile? The latest heating, electrical, or plumbing failure I've yet to address? While it's true that I remained displeased and cranky at 4:48, at least by then I knew the reason: advertising brought to you by Zuckerberg brought to you by Meta. Bottom line, my subconscious needed to know why I'd been algorithmically targeted for this teal, knitted, retro-crime of a Mao/Hef sweater jacket. "Who am I?" (as Charlie Sheen once asked himself from his penthouse balcony while Darryl Hannah snored beneath their Basquiat triptych in "Wall Street") suddenly seemed a less important question than "Who do THEY think I am?" I mean, does the dude-model's grey beard contain a hidden message? Do his trousers carry pleated secrets from the summer of '88? Are the Faceless Navy, Turd Brown, Bubble Yum Purple, or Emasculating Salmon alternate color choices tailored specifically to my browsing history? Is there a single man on the face of the planet, from the Left Bank to downtown Mumbai, strolling around with a smirk and confident strut, trussed in a teal collar-popped knitted sweater blazer right this second, and since the answer is clearly no, why does Facebook think i'll be the first?
Got up, fed and ran the dog, made breakfast.
Even my eggs tasted like ascot.