Misplacing Bigfoot: Turning a Great Quest into a Brainless Shouting Match

Todd Standing recently released a documentary on Netflix titled—informatively if not creatively—Bigfoot.  Taking these ninety minutes in conjunction with yet another season of Finding Bigfoot leads me irresistibly into a few reflections.

Standing is the real deal.  On his own weekly serial called Survivorman, Canadian naturalist and hiker-extraordinaire Les Stroud tramped through British Columbia with Standing for a couple of episodes two or three years back and was probably more than half persuaded by his host of the gigantic crypto-hominid’s existence.  Standing spends days and weeks at a time quietly fusing with some of the wildest terrain in the Northern Hemisphere.  He is the source of what must surely be the best close-up photos ever taken of a Sasquatch (on the assumption, of course, that the photos are genuine).  Yet he is no black belt when it comes to producing entertainment for the broadcast media.  Stroud, having logged years of experience filming his own series, integrated Standing into two riveting episodes.  Their well-edited pace preserved a flow sadly lacking in Todd’s just-released documentary.

Nevertheless, both Bigfoot and Survivorman share a potentially lethal liability, from the mainstream marketer’s perspective: they have no bells and whistles, no fireworks and hoopla.  Investigators of this caliber (and there aren’t many) examine unnaturally bent or snapped trees in highly artificial formations, they scrutinize indentations in the moss that might be enormous footprints, and they assess the tidy disappearance of apples and other goodies placed high on spindly branches that wouldn’t support a squirrel and would require a mangling assault from a bird.  All very CSI, very professional… just not likely to induce the consumer of reality shows to dribble potato chips and pizza from his dropped jaw.

Now, the FB Four Stooges, as I’ve grown fond of calling them, have their shtick down pat.  Entry scene in van cruising along an interstate, initial night exploration with hoots and hollers, “townhall” meeting, interviews of individual witnesses as one of the party camps out in a “likely spot”, then reunion for the final night’s grand finale of more hoots and hollers… which of course turn up nothing—“but we’ll be coming back here.”  No kidding.  As long as the cow gives milk, keep pulling on her udders.

I’m afraid I’ve taken a positive dislike to the Stooges.  They’ve milked their cash cow for too long.  Unless they are themselves representative of some less evolved primate species, they’re bound to realize that the routine isn’t going to produce close contact after… what is it?  Six or seven years?  A Sasquatch just might respond from a very great distance—if the moon is blue—to one of their yodels with a howl that no audio equipment can capture.  As soon as they repeat the cry in the wrong pitch or cadence, however, or fail to repeat it after the proper interval, the critter and his whole clan know for the remnant of this infrared media blitz to stay under cover.  Bigfoot doesn’t want to be seen, idiots—and you don’t know his language!

A good case could be made, I know, that we’re the idiots for watching.  I, for one, am watching no more—or perhaps fast-forwarding to the eye-witness accounts, which are much the most relevant information gathered by the series.  On the other hand, I think the hubris of this lot is very genuine.  The presumption that Bigfoot is a lumbering mega-gorilla without enough sense to invent clothes or leave trash in the open infuses the entire hour, year after year.  The high-handed digital imposition of a young King Kong in the bushes to animate every witness’s testimony is especially annoying.  These mock-ups look nothing like Standing’s photographs.  Have you noticed that the witnesses themselves are never invited to comment upon the accuracy of the cartoonish reconstructions?

The Stooges are now in full celebrity mode, trotting out family members, devoting episodes to their favorite reminiscences, traveling the country to do live gigs on campuses… laughing all the way to the bank, and posing all the way to Hollywood-class stardom.  Meanwhile, poor grunts like Todd Standing try to keep pace by piping in Heavy Metal from some old Rambo flick to cover transitions from one scene to another as an ATV crashes through the underbrush.  Todd, please take a tip from Les Stroud.  Just stay simple.  People who are receptive to this possibility are few and thoughtful, if popularly represented as weirdo wackos.  The multitude who mock and rail are tuning into Animal Planet because the prospect of several adults screaming wildly into the night turns them on.  Let the wheat and the chaff separate.


Christmas: Merry If Possible—Better Yet, Meaningful

One more try at free speech.  Is this the lump of coal in your stocking? I hope not! Perhaps that depends on who’s pulling off the wrapper.

Have I said that I consider the honoring of free speech to be a holy obligation, not a mere civil right?  Let me say so now, and attempt a better, fuller explanation.

I wrote earlier that we shouldn’t view keeping open the channels of communication as an extended opportunity to convince the misguided. Are all of us “free speech” advocates, then, taking for granted that we’re right, and that the freedom we seek is the chance to make the whole world admit it? That attitude reeks of the obnoxious conceit inherent in progressive and reactionary ideologues alike—the ones whose clenching argument that you have the wrong opinion is a firing squad or a burning stake.  If re-education camp or a public recanting before the Inquisition doesn’t work, a bullet in the head always gets those jumbled ideas sorted out… and what better way to “open” a new channel?

I also wrote that free exchange forces one to think through one’s own position more meticulously, even if nobody else is persuaded by it.  But the wording there bothers me inasmuch as it implies that we might absolutely nail the truth if we just keep refining our conceptions.  It sounds rather like scientific method, which isn’t what I’m after. Approximating the truth is a worthy goal, to be sure… but also a notion fraught with such potential danger that my intended meaning, ultimately, lies in the opposite direction.

How perverse! In what way would I wish to veer down the path opposite to drawing near the truth? Wouldn’t that require me to draw away from the truth? Obviously, I do not wish to celebrate error. What I mean to say is on the order of this, if I may be allowed to stumble through a mathematical analogy. The arc of a parabola always approaches an axis—but to suppose that it intersects the axis at any eventual point is false.

Or let me return to my earlier terms. I wrote of the “mystery of presence”: there I should have lingered.  Usually when one shuts down exchanges with others, one does so because a “reachable” answer has, in fact, been reached, whether those other parties acknowledge it or not.  Sometimes, too, we turn and walk away because the others “have the answer” (they claim) and aren’t listening to us.  Further exchange is useless.  If the truth is in our court, we arrive at a point where we have no more patience with folly… and we go on about our business.

This is a good thing, and even a necessary thing, in “business” of a practical turn.  A straight line cuts an axis at a given point—and life does indeed have many straight lines. You can’t confer infinitely with others about whether your car needs an oil change or your store needs to move to a less heavily taxed venue.  Even though there may be irreducible vagueness in some such material matters, we must eventually go with the best evidence. We cannot operate two stores at once to find out which does the better business.

The spiritual danger of cutting short our discussions appears when controversy leaves the realm of nuts and bolts and enters that of value judgments.  Once again, I will instantly and vigorously deflect the charge of being a relativist. I am no such thing. I am certain that human sacrifice is wrong; I am so precisely because the practice removes a being like myself permanently from earthly exchanges—from participation in negotiating our shared uncertainty.  I am certain that child abuse is wrong; I am so precisely because traumatizing a being like myself at a stage when he or she may never be able to reason freely, as a result, is an assault on our common humanity.

The certainty I mean—the certainty that dangerously shuts down the exchange—treats issues of value as though they were mechanical questions or budgetary decisions: as though they could be arbitrated by scientific method.  What is good for a human being?  Easy, says the politician: a full belly, full pockets, free trips to the doctor, a thousand stations on the TV’s menu.  But all of these “blessings” can rot the soul if they completely remove anguish, striving, and learning from the human condition.  Their one great asset is their “thingness”—their quiddity.  They allow discussions to end on the same note as our determination about an oil change.  We may not agree with the collective verdict, but time will surely tell if it was correct.  The number of starved bodies lying dead in the streets can be counted.  Cases of influenza can be logged and graphed.  The availability of ESPN2 is a fairly objective determinant for frivolous amusement’s “abundance” threshold.

Is the discussion now truly finished about liberated sexual practices, for instance, just because sex feels good and modern medicine can make its unwanted consequences disappear?  Was it all always just a question of moving merchandise from A to B? I will never endorse gay marriage or homosexuality, because I believe that such practices subordinate higher objectives to lower objectives.  As in hedonistic heterosexual practices, the pattern here drives child-bearing and rearing from center-stage to leave sexual satisfaction the star of the show. Sensual gratification then becomes a dominant element in defining our personhood—a mere appetite, something that defies the rule of reason, wanes with the coming of old age, and can leave us completely with sickness or accident.  Yet I would not have the other side commanded to be silent, under threat of being stoned to death: I merely protest against treating the issue as an algebra problem where X has been definitively found.

For the link between body and spirit must always remain a mystery to me (and, I think, to you): I don’t see how any specific value for X can solve it. I do not and will never fully understand the connection between the spirit’s self-surpassing genius and our egocentric, carnal drives for sex, food, sleep, and the rest.  If the spirit is real, why was it encumbered in this manner? How is one side intended to be integrated with the other—what formula could make so irresistibly volatile an integration seem successful?

Such “discomfort” reminds me that my mind, as it is on this earth, cannot possibly occupy every room of God’s house.

They say that Artificial Intelligence will soon be able to pass for the human variety (the goal of the so-called Turing Test).  This will clearly be so if we continue to define our spiritual side downward, such that every moral quandary has a specific solution.  I am already risking my career to write what few words I have offered here against gay marriage; and were I to detail my views about extramarital adventures, I would face not so much instant expulsion as enduring derision.  We all know how our robot-compatriots will be programmed in those matters.  What coding, I wonder, will they receive with regard to a sunset or a misty valley?  “Good/pleasant”?  Why so?  Because the majority view would have it so?  What’s our theory on why we enjoy such scenes?  Probably something about our simian ancestors knowing that they’re safely on a tree limb or in a cave by day’s end… for the only reason you enjoy something is because you “get” something out of it. Right?

I love singer Giorgia Fumanti’s rendition of Espiritu.  Why?  Why do we love any work of art?  Because it relaxes us—we “get” relaxation out of it? So the right pill, then, would have the same effect?  Is Xanax the “art” drug? Do younger people actually love anything artistic any more?  Where do you see such open-ended discussions taking place?  Certainly not in college English departments, where works of literature are “great” because of the genitals or the pigmentation of their authors.  The same departments are rich in professors who want “offensive” speech banned from campus.

Am I coming any closer to expressing the holy obligation of free speech—to expressing why the end of free speech is asymptotic?  I doubt it; I have failed yet again!  In my mind, I keep orbiting that single word “mystery”.  We must speak to each other so that we may constantly fail to say quite what we mean to say.  We must be forever reminded that the inexpressible is a reality.  A robot doesn’t know that—cannot know that.  We seem to know it less and less ourselves as we concurrently shut down expression and reduce it to transmissible clichés.  And as free speech goes, so goes the fate of our souls.

A meaningful Christmas to you—the birthday of Him we crucify!

“Da Gub’ment”: Lying Liars, or Just Liars?

(I composed this piece before the church shooting yesterday, which I haven’t fully grappled with yet.  These events are not tragedies, by the way: they’re atrocities.)

My wife passed along a link to an article that explained “the truth” behind the Las Vegas slaughter. Seems that George Soros sold his stock in one posh resort and purchased another in deep trouble because he knew the Arab Air Force was taking a holiday in Vegas, and he boarded the whole crew in his new purchase on the condition that they train in helicopters to practice surgical extractions, and this they did for a while… and… and then when what’s-his-name (I’m not going to refresh my memory) opened up as per orders, the Arabs supplied further shooters, and then they offed the Yankee swine so that it looked like a suicide, and then the chopper picked them up, and they were soon back in Riyadh without leaving a fingerprint behind. And George Soros had thus brought the collapse of the United States one step closer by mowing down the attendees of a Country-Western concert, and had also fattened his real estate portfolio.

Or something like that.

I have a few things to say about the “conspiracy” phenomenon. I suppose I should begin by admitting that I didn’t read the article in question very closely. It probably has more merit than I’ve indicated: I just didn’t have the time to plow into all of its tortured intricacy.

As absurd as such wild-and-woolly yarns appear, I will also say that the attitude of the authorities in this and many other such cases primes one to suspect the presence of skeletons in closets. Why is it that the hotel security guard in Vegas with the dubious account of events is still at large? If he’s in Mexico, why has he not been extradited? And why is it that certain survivors of the massacre who contradicted the “one shooter” narrative appear to have turned up dead—or is that also an exaggeration? Since the media are no longer offering any information at all, how is one to process the hysteria-laden fragments that leak out over the Internet?

Do we just trust our avuncular authority figures? I recall that there were one or two cases of Sudden Witness Death Syndrome after 9/11, as well. Were these, too, apocryphal? But why did our beloved Uncle Sam double down on the story that a massive structure compromised mostly on just one side would quite naturally fold up like a telescope straight down into the ground (as opposed to hurling its eventually severed top quarter lengthwise over Manhattan)? How is it that PBS Nova immediately managed to find some academics (I think they were from MIT) who obligingly produced a lab experiment to validate this patent imbecility, imposing parameters on their mini-tower under stress that had little correlation to the actual event? And the event, remember, was repeated not once, but twice, on that fateful day. Three towers neatly telescoped in a fashion that demolition experts must labor weeks to arrange.

Whom should we trust about the Roswell “flying saucer”: the local ranchers and first-responders whose families were thuggishly threatened if they didn’t shut up, or our “heroes in uniform” who apparently couldn’t distinguish one of their own weather balloons from a speeding metallic craft and who cordoned off a huge amount of acreage to collect—on their testimony—balloon guts?

People believe garbage nowadays and gravitate to any kind of conspiracy theory because their government has accustomed them to suppose its agents capable of any kind of duplicity. Look at how the FBI, even as I write, is doing everything it possibly can to stink up the last syllable of yesteryear’s Hollywood PR (farewell, Ephraim Zimbalist, Jr.) as the shilling of James Comey and Robert Mueller for the Clintons leaks from a broken sewer line.

Indeed, I should not be surprised to learn that the harebrained George Soros fantasy about Las Vegas was hatched by a government entity with the express purpose of defaming all conspiracy theories aimed at our courageous authorities. Merely condition the public to roll its collective eyes whenever “da gub’ment” is accused of something dastardly… and you, as a proto-totalitarian government operative, have created a “get out of jail free” card that can be played a dozen times.

I genuinely, sincerely hate this. When officially sanctioned lying becomes ubiquitous, as it has in our failing democratic republic, then one is reduced to trying to live by the maxim, “Believe nothing”… which is impossible.

And I just now have new thoughts about Vegas, which I’ll hold for next time.


9/11: The Wrinkle That Just Won’t Smooth

I’m going to write a word or two about 9/11. I wish to do so not only because, a few days back, I mentioned lingering doubts I have about the official version of events, but also because I will raise the subject a few days from now in another context.

Imagine an enormous missile flying broadside into an enormous building. You see all of the missile virtually disappear into one side of the gargantuan high rise: on the far side, the missile’s nose scarcely pricks the surface. The remaining two sides, angled at ninety degrees to the affected areas, do not bear any visible sign of having been fractured by the impact.

What does common sense tell you so far? That Surface 1 was severely damaged on impact, both latitudinally and longitudinally: a big gap must have been created, vast in both width and height. Since the building has floors, let’s just take a wild guess that the supporting framework must have been dangerously compromised on about half a dozen of these floors.

Surface 2, on the building’s far side, has also suffered damage in its supporting columns—but not nearly as much: perhaps two floors’ worth. Sides 3 and 4, running parallel to the missile’s line of entry, are completely intact as far as their supporting skeleton goes. Naturally, a lot of scaffolding in the building’s interior has been weakened or wiped out. Here, too, however, the severest damage must belong to internal areas adjacent to where the initial impact took place.

The missile happens to have been filled with tons of highly flammable fuel. This does not spread evenly throughout a certain floor of the building, because the created gap in some places spans several floors, whereas in others it covers only one or two. We cannot have a scenario similar to a swimming pool in which a depth of five feet is maintained from end to end, since liquids run to the lowest level.

The burning and heating that ensue from the fuel’s being emptied into the interior is thus very much more intense around Side 1 than Side 2, and probably not very intense at all in the corners of 2/3 and 2/4. After about an hour, nevertheless, the whole structure comes toppling down as evenly as a contracting accordion, all the way to the ground.

What explains the accordion effect? Not the rupture of supports along external walls: some of these have been obliterated, while some have been left intact. Maybe the fiery fuel heated up all the steel columns and beams on Floor 83 (or whatever the true floor number: I don’t recall) until they gave way at the same instant, having reached the critical temperature of fatigue and failure simultaneously because of uniform heating… but, no, that’s impossible, because some areas would have been deluged in fuel, while others wouldn’t have taken on a drop.

I know very little about physics or engineering. You probably know scarcely more than I do. Officialdom has taken advantage of our layman’s ignorance concerning such matters to assure us that both towers—yes, both of them, and also WTT 7–neatly telescoped because their supporting skeletons were compromised to precisely the same degree at precisely the same rate. Our being “engineering ignoramuses” has been assumed, and our yielding to the verdict handed down by “academic experts” after “rigorous testing” has also been assumed. Our intellectual vanity, in other words, will sense its glorious reputation in jeopardy, go into defensive mode, and snap us to the side of the “experts” lest we expose ourselves as know-nothing, risible idiots. “Hah-hah-hah! Don’t you know that buildings always collapse straight down? The MIT study proved that it couldn’t have happened any other way. I thought everyone knew that!” Hah-hah-hah.

Well, I’m not quite that big of an idiot, that I will embrace an idiotic conclusion to avoid being called an idiot by an “expert”. I known that we have been played by the “authorities”, and it immensely annoys me. Why have we been played? What is it that needs concealment? I am eager to accept that 9/11 was the work of evil terrorists… but if you proceed to make your case against these jackals by feeding me a plateful of patent, absurd lies, then I’ll spit them back in your face. Why would you need to lie to me about such a thing? If you didn’t have some horrible secret to conceal, why would you abuse a well-disposed audience in this manner?

Who are you, O Government of mine? Who are you?



The Most Frightening ET Could Be the One You Voted For

It has been almost exactly three years since former Lockheed engineer Boyd Bushman delivered a now-famous (or infamous) deathbed confession on video, the gist of which was that he had many times been funneled alien technology from Area 51. Bushman’s tour de force included photos of little gray men like the one above, as well as accounts of his telepathic conversations with the strange guests of Motel 51. De mortuis, nihil nisi bonum est dicendum, and all that… but Internet commentary that reverse-engineers the Bushman Bombshell into the ultimate prank is easy to come by. My own greatest problem with the “confession” is that, as I have long maintained, extraterrestrial visitors would almost certainly have to be robots or bio-robotic hybrids. Even if an alien race discovered a quick way to reach us through (say) a wormhole, infections, depression, quarrels, consumption of food and water, sleep, and a host of other problems would confront any carbon-based life-form.

So in the Bushman case, we have the long-sought smoking gun of ET visitation… or else we have a dying old man’s last bid to shaft his employers or just enjoy a good laugh. Possibly, too, we have a pack of clever lies that was meant to be exposed as such, and thereby to discredit the entire conspiracy industry surrounding ET activity. In that case, Bushman might be the ultimate company man who served his masters faithfully even unto his final breaths. The Soviets were well known for grinding out disinformation of this variety. You make it eminently credible, secreting a couple of ruinous inanities in layers of splendid intel; then when the whole package explodes, the one-time believers are caught up in such a disillusioned letdown that they want to hear nothing whatever related to the subject for the rest of their lives.

There remain enough plausible accounts of UFO’s, however (such as the Phoenix Lights incident, witnessed by hundreds and recorded by dozens), that no thoughtful person dare rest satisfied with a “business as usual” conclusion. Something is being hidden from us. Quite possibly, an immense amount of Space Age gadgetry—a new universe of technological options completely fantastical in the eyes of currently taught and published physics—hums away a mile underground or in hangars around the desert Southwest. Here is what bothers me and has always bothered me about the situation: our “dark government”. How many unelected covert operatives funded with cataracts of off-budget wealth are planning the future… and whose future is it? Are we to believe that it’s ours, when Kim Jong Un is allowed to toy with nuclear weapons though a zippy little Frisbee might annihilate him and his staff with a laser beam? Are these ultra-high-tech gurus also responsible for running up our national debt to unsustainable and suicidal levels? Are they the same geniuses who have left our power grid unprotected while Russia and China secured theirs? Is part of their plan for future prosperity to overrun our society with immigrants who reject its language and customs and want only to bleed its social welfare programs dry?

Perhaps the real question, then, is this: what’s the relationship between the Washington ruling elite and the “black ops” white coats? How many senators know what’s going on in the bunkers? Two? Five? Forty-five? Eighty-five? Are they destroying the nation because they’re pompous idiots who can think no further than the next election… or are they destroying the nation because they plan to be in those bunkers as all the architraves come crashing down, drinking champagne until it’s safe to re-emerge à la Dr. Strangelove?

We don’t need to be asking what visitors from another planet intend to do with, for, or to us; we need to be asking just how much covert knowledge is in the possession of the oligarchy that arranges our lives—and exactly what purpose is being served by that knowledge.


The Point of No Return Lands Us Right Back Where We Started

The History Channel began airing a special titled Two Degrees: The Point of No Return on Friday night, September 15. I survived about five minutes before my own temperature started to rise alarmingly. Here are some reactions based upon that minimal exposure.

The documentary appears to be somewhat more credible than Mermaids.

The two fatal degrees actually refer to the Celsius system, meaning that they equate to nearly four degrees in the Fahrenheit system more familiar to us laymen. No attempt to dramatize there, I’m sure.

The footage of Arctic icebergs releasing sheets of ice into the ocean has been so widely circulated among the documentary community that I quite literally saw it fifteen minutes later on another station where the Ice Age was being discussed.

Juxtaposing footage of melting icebergs, ambulances on a tear, hurricane-flooded streets, and high-rises in conflagration is a very sorry substitute for rational argument.

Similarly, footage of smokestacks belching out pillars of fumes is evidence of nothing whatever. Most of the billowing effluvient may be water vapor (i.e., steam); and the videos themselves may have been taken in 1968 or 1975, or at any point over the past fifty years when pollution controls were lax to non-existent. The documentary’s argument, of course, would not be served by acknowledging that we’ve gotten much, much better—not in China, but in the West—about filtering out toxic particles.

Is it entirely arch, by the way, to observe in passing how much this kind of fear-mongering serves the imperialist ends of Communist China, its objective being to curb our own industrial production rather than to point the finger at immensely more zealous offenders? Might full disclosure reveal some modest involvement of the PRC in this production, I wonder… wonder… wonder?

The opening assertion that, in the century and a half since weather records have been kept, eight of the hottest ten years have occurred in the last decade is a prima facie absurdity. You cannot take the planet’s temperature the way you take a sick child’s. In 1880, a great many reaches of the planet were not even fully explored. Today as then, furthermore, many areas where temperature readings may be harvested in abundance are, naturally, urbanized—and we can indeed say confidently that urbanization has both increased over the past century and that urban construction heats things up. But…

But the manmade activity in the crosshairs isn’t hyper-reflective, headache-inducing steel and concrete, all of which god-awful mess I detest as much as anyone on earth; the culprit is supposed to be CO2, which alone (for some reason) must take the rap for nudging up the mercury. But…

But plants love CO2. They eat the stuff up. I’ve never seen the desert Southwest so green as it was this past summer. Is that bad? Does that spell the end for us all?

Well, yes… because mosquitoes will descend upon New York and Boston just as they currently do upon, say, Brazil. Bet you didn’t know that there actually aren’t any human beings still alive in Brazil. The mosquitoes got ’em all.

I could go on. I could question, for instance, why the same people who want to shut down our industries (but not the PRC’s) also want our southern border flung wide open so that millions of blue-collar workers driving uninspected, high-emission smoke-bombs can take their place in our twice-a-day rush-hour traffic. But…

But my temperature is starting to rise again. Yeah, I hate car culture and the contemporary American city. Hate it more than the ambassadors of Green who fly innumerable jets to endless conferences in Seattle. But kindly stop insulting my intelligence with the Halloween panoply of skeletons and ghouls held together by paperclips and Elmer’s glue. Come back after you’ve done your homework, and try to talk like an adult.


Perspective: Nowhere in Sight

(I wrote the following last weekend, before Harvey made landfall.  Now our most publicized preoccupations seem more idiotic than ever.)

Let’s get really ticked off about Confederate statues and monuments that have sat collecting bird droppings for well over a century! That’s an important issue: everybody pile on–show your true colors or forever be branded a racist bastard! Never mind that many of the works were created with real artistry and add to their ambiance (I mean, by being stone or bronze); never mind that most people nowadays actually take zero leisurely walks per year across the town square or the capitol grounds; never mind that almost no one today could tell a Confederate colonel’s uniform from that of one of Her Majesty’s fusiliers without the nameplate on the plinth, or that we could easily cover up any distinctive marking on the jacket and then replace the plate with, “unknown soldier of the nineteenth century”.

The statues are a huge problem–much bigger than, say, the piddling inconvenience that most recent high school graduates believe the nineteenth century to be the 1900’s, or that most cannot place the Civil War in the correct century, anyway; or that an immense majority is unaware of the role African Muslims and Yankee slave ships played in human trafficking, or that certain Northern states allowed legal ownership of slaves–and that Lincoln grandfathered in their privilege when he drafted the Emancipation Proclamation. Stop muddying the issue! It’s clear racism! Statue… racism! It’s that simple!

And let’s start getting serious about Climate Change now that Texans are being punished by the Weather God for collectively deriding the notion! Let’s save the planet while we still can! Never mind that climate is not weather, and that weather patterns of about half a century are required to propose any hypothesis about climate–and that the atmosphere is only about .04% carbon dioxide, or that plants love the stuff and need it to breathe out oxygen for us, or that the same highly centralized government upon which we want to confer the clean-up duties has been covertly fooling around for two decades with the strategic manipulation of weather systems. It’s the capitalist private sector that’s responsible for poisoning us–shut up about the satellite photos of yellow smog over major Chinese cities! And I know nobody wants to hear about how the Soviets were planning to warm up the climate in the early Sixties by channeling the Humboldt Current far up into the Arctic.

We could actually be applying all the money and brainpower that’s researching Climate Change to figuring out how the super-volcano under Yellowstone Park might be diffused before its next eruption, likely to envelope the planet in a nuclear winter that could quite possibly exterminate all terrestrial life. But no, you’re right: those waters inching their way up beaches along Chesapeake Bay are much, much more worrisome.

And we’ve got to do something about people using gender-specific pronouns! EMP… EMSchmee! What does that stand for, anyway? Who cares? Everybody knows the talk about the power grid going down is just a bunch of claptrap meant to distract us from exploring our gender identity! Ninety percent of Americans won’t really die in a year if Kim Jong Un explodes one of his raggedy-ass little nukes in our stratosphere (or if the sun has one of its overdue major flare-ups). Haven’t you seen all those windmills out west? We’ve got that covered. Now, let’s get back to important things. What’s on your restroom door?

I want my society and my nation to survive… but what concerns me more every week is that, in a Darwinian sense, we seem unworthy of survival. Why should so many idiots be allowed to occupy so much of the planet’s limited space?