Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gesundheit, or should that be Thank You for Flushing

This guy has my beard and glasses. His name is Peter Kropotkin.

The Mountain Line is my usual transportation to and from work. Once every week or two, I drive in order to shop or run errands, after work. There's a copy of the Missoulian, on the bus, each day. The other day, there was a letter from someone totally pissed that liberal propoganda was being promoted in our schools. This individual cited the showing of two videos, as examples. One was an episode of Bill Moyers PBS program, and the other was an animated short about manufacturing and pollution, among other related topics.

Bill Moyers is one of my heros, but I haven't seen his new program and will not comment. The short, entitled The Story of Stuff, is at the first link under things I like in the column to the right. While the letter writer thinks it should be banned from the schools, I think it should be shown to every student in the country. It's a clever and informative piece, not a negative shriek about capitalism. Check it out, here.

It is time for an end of the year clearing of the decks, and taking a good dump, in order to get on to something new. Here's a batch of random facts, quotes, and such like to clear the air (and empty my note folder).

"Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible. " --Umeyuno

Merchandise seen at Wal-Mart: A five pound bag of "Assorted River Rocks...Product of China," with a price of $2.99. I really want to know if someone living here would pay for river rocks from China.

"Apathy develops when disappointment becomes normal." I didn't write down who said that, but it feels true.

The average farm worker, in the U.S., makes $7,500 a year and dies at age 47, usually of pesticide poisoning.

400,000 people a year die from smoking cigarettes, in the U.S.

George II's recent snub of Helen Thomas reminded me of the little scandal, when one of the White House Press Corp, supposedly named Jeff Gannon, lobbed a particularly slanted, softball question at the president. Turned out he was the only employee of the news department of a Texas station owned by a right wing millionaire. In addition, Gannon was really named James Guckert, and had his own sideline, advertising gay escort services online. His signature photo showed him wearing only his dogtags and camo boxers.

Last century, it would have taken seven servants to equal what our modern conveniences do for us.

Confession: I'm a bit of a sports fan, having been sports editor of my high-school newspaper. I've followed some sports since then. I must say, there are too damn many bowl games. Six and six teams should not play bowl games. A winning record should be required. This year, the Pac-10 went five for five in bowl games, and both Oregon schools won upsets. My ducks came back to beat Oklahoma State. They were ranked fairly close, but unranked Oregon State nipping 20th ranked Pitt 3-0 was a surprise to some. Earlier, Arizona jumped on Brigham Young and blew up their season. Cal beat Miami; who cares? It was no surprise to see the USC Trojans clobber Penn State.

Approximately 600,000 Christians are among the 2.5 million refugees who have fled Iraq. That surge thing really worked, didn't it!?

The newest treat at the Arkansas State Fair was chocolate-covered bacon on a stick. Where do they come up with that stuff?

lyric on the radio: "...the road goes on forever, and the party never ends."

Confession: I am addicted to caffeine, not just caffeine, but real coffee. I saw a statistic saying 1.6 million hot beverage cups are trashed every hour in this country. That made me feel guilty. Steve, at Butterfly, suggested I buy one of their insulated cups, saying I could get it filled for 75 cents for as long as I have it, because they consider it advertising. That solved that itch, and the cup is still with me on a daily basis.

Plastic beverage bottles are clogging the land even faster than those cups. Two million bottles are used in the U.S. every five minutes. Think about it. I don't buy beverages in bottles or cans and have no guilt on this one, but the waste bothers me.

426,000 cell phones are "retired" every day in this country.

"Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Give a man religion and watch him starve to death praying for fish." --Scott Stockdale

The oracle repeats: Set your house in order, tend to business, be clear, and wait on the will of heaven.

The solstice is past, the darkness has reached its zenith, and the turning point meant the light will return. We may not notice, at first, but the days are getting longer. Next up: spring! There will be flowering leading to fruit, blossoming leading to beauty, and warmth leading to nudity. Well, I can always hope.

The wind up of the old is hereby handled. Onward and Upward. Where's some music? Oh, I know...

Coming up soon: Tom Catmull plays Artini at MAM, and Bob Wire @the Union Club.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, love all the little factoids!

    Speaking of coffee, we should get together over some one of these afternoons or evenings.