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STFU, Preacher Man

17/08/2016

Before we begin, let me state for anybody who thinks anything that follows is a back-handed reference to those in my own family — immediate and extended — who are ministers: NO. None of them have crossed this line.

I understand the concept of “hold your nose” voting and why many people find it distasteful. It is possible for people of goodwill to look at two or more flawed candidates for office (and gawd noze they’re all flawed to some degree) and come to entirely different choices about who should fill a particular office. A farmer who thinks Candidate A has a better grasp on agricultural issues would need some pretty compelling evidence that they’d be terrible at everything else to vote against his own self-interest. A city dweller who thinks Candidate B would be harmful to urban areas would need compelling evidence they’d be so much better at everything else as to be worth voting for.

As Robert A. Heinlein famously observed, you may never ever find anybody you want to vote for but I guarantee you’ll always find somebody to vote against.

And I understand that most people make choices for ultimately irrational reasons — and by “irrational” I do not mean “insane” but “emotional”.

“I do not like thee, Doctor Fell
The reason why I cannot tell
But this I know and know full well
I do not like thee, Doctor Fell.”

So, as much as I might disagree with their reasons, I can understand a person deciding to vote for Donald Trump.

No, my peeve is with those so-called minsters of God who proclaim Trump is God’s anointed.[1]

There is a precise theological term for this sort of thing and it’s called bullshit.

I was all prepared to call out specific offenders by name, but the sad truth is that there’s just too damned many of them. Unlike Albert Mohler and Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention — two men with whom I typically can find precious little to agree with — who said they couldn’t endorse Trump without losing all claim to moral credibility, much less proclaim him God’s chosen candidate, we have numerous prominent fundamentalist and evangelical media hogs[2] spokespersons trotting out their hoary[3] rationales why voting for a twice-divorced three time philanderer with a history of compulsive lying[4] and a string of billion dollar bankruptcies in which he cheated business partners, employees, contractors, investors, and clients[5] is not merely a justifiable act but rather a mitzvah, a righteous deed, and one ordained by God.

The political aspect of this is not my topic for discussion, at least not in this post. I cannot imagine the set of circumstances that would convince the average voter that Donald Trump would make a superior president than Jill Stein, much less Gary Johnson or Hillary Clinton.

Rather, it’s the God damned naked greed and avarice and lust for power of the so-called “religious right” that rouses my ire.

And I use the term “God damned”
in its correct theological context.

What these bozologists have done is to wipe their asses with the Bible.

If you’re a Christian, I want you to take all the time you need to let that image settle in deep within your psyche. Imagine your favorite old family Bible, the one with the scuffed leather cover that’s been handed down from generation to generation.

Imagine this fat pink[6] perfumed crew of choir boys[7] slowly and gleefully ripping those thin-thin-thin pages out of that Bible and cramming them between their fat cheeks to wipe the filth off their bottoms.

Got that image in your skull? Good.

I want it there, and I want it associated with them, because I want you to understand that they have just led millions of people away from Christ, away from the Good News.

I don’t care how many Bible verses they cite, I don’t care how many theological exegesis they execute, I don’t care how many hours in prayer they have spent on the matter.

They have demonstrated to the world that they are no different from the other greedy power mad rat finks out there, and are in fact more contemptible than most because they are such blatant hypocrites.

You might be able to rationalize Trump as being the least bad choice[8] and maintain your integrity: Having a toe amputated is bad, but having a leg amputated is even worse; preferring to have a toe amputated over a leg may be Hobson’s choice, but if one of the two are going to happen, there’s no sin in preferring it to be the least traumatic.

But the people claiming Trump is God’s own anointed are not saying make the choice with the least potential harm; they are saying not only is losing your leg a good thing, it’s a Monumental Good Thing, and if you don’t cheerfully support said amputation, you are sinning against God and man.

Co-religionists, please…

You can sell that bullshit to the bigots and the cowards, to the fanatical and the fearful, but you can’t sell it to anybody with a pair of eyes and a pair of brain cells rubbing together.

They can read.

They can compare the actual teachings of Christ with the bogus crap issued forth from our contemporary Pharisees, and they can recognize the enormous disconnect.

This is not someone saying “hold your nose and vote for the candidate who will do the least harm” but rather a crowd of con artists telling us that the exact opposite of what Christ taught is what God wants us to do.

The unchurched[9] see through that phoniness. There is no way to win them back by convincing them the con artists are really holy saints of God; there is no way to win them back to the old and failing mainstream denominations.

There is a way to unite them in the community of Christian believers, but you can bet the heart transplant money on this: Whatever that way is, it is not going to resemble church the way North Americans have been doing it.

animated nightmare trump

[1] Fair is fair; I’m sure there are some people somewhere who have made similar claims about Clinton (in a country of 320,000,000 there has to be a few). But there aren’t as many and they’re nowhere near as vocal as the blasphemers on the religious right.

[2] I was originally going to type “media whores” but that would have been a gratuitous insult to sex workers worldwide, most of whom hold to a far higher ethical standard.

[3]  Not “whorey” and certainly not “holy”.

[4] A con artist lying in order to steal your money is lying for a rational reason (i.e., profiting off your loss), they will cheerfully tell the truth if it makes them money. A compulsive liar will lie even when the truth will suffice!

[5] And these are just the things that have been proven in courts of law; I’m not even touching the really salacious stuff!

[6] Mostly.

[7] Mostly.

[8] You’d be wrong, but you could rationalize it.

[9] More and more this is coming to mean not those who have never been exposed to the Gospel message — because c’mon, who hasn’t been exposed to it through sheer osmosis if they live in the US of A? – but rather those who grew up in the Christian community and now willingly walk away from it. Contrary to what the con artists would tell us, they are not walking away because they have been seduced by the blandishments of sin, but because they have seen first hand how most Christians and most churches have made no genuine effort to live a Christ-like life.

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I Luvz Me Some GHOSTBUSTERS 2016

16/07/2016

This is how you do a remake![1]  Keep the core idea and story, keep the elements and tone people like, but feel free to go afield from that so long as you stay in the same ballpark.

Ghostbusters (2016; directed by Paul Feig, written by Katie Dippold & Feig, based on the 1984 film directed by Ivan Reitman, written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis) does that perfectly, adapting and expanding upon the original by reinterpreting it for the 21st century and reflecting a female cast.[2]

The new all-female Ghostbusters are not simply the original characters in drag: 
They are unique and interesting on their own account, their relationship is not that of three college chums + an employee but rather a series of overlapping relationships and histories that finally jells into a single compact team.  Kristin Wilg as Erin Gilbert is former BFF with Melissa McCarthy’s Abby Yates; the friendship broke up over Gilbert’s desire to pursue “serious” science instead of paranormal investigations.  Yates is now friends / co-researcher with Kate McKinnon’s Jillian Holtzmann, a hyperkinetic engineer whom my younger granddaughter describes as “the best because she’s funny, she builds things, and she’s flexible.”  And to this mix Leslie Jones as MTA employee Patty Tolan who first comes to the Ghostbusters as a client and pretty much invites herself into the club; her encyclopedic and photographic memory of New York history and geography make her a vital addition to the team and while her character may lack to formal education the others possess she is certainly their equal in the brains department.

Oh, yeah, these ladies are all smart.  Very smart.  That’s what makes this film so delightful:  The female characters are characters who are female, not stereotypes being forced into an old story.  They come across as fresh and original while still maintaining the flavor of the 1984 film.

In fact, the only real dummy in the film is their beefcake receptionist, Kevin (played by Chris Hemsworth) who is one of the stupidest yet most endearing characters ever in movies.   He, too, plays a vital part in the construction of the film, albeit not the one you might expect.

The basic plot is still the same: 
Ghostbusters, after being drummed out of academia, start a business that nobody takes seriously until they finally catch a ghost; then as business booms the government tries to regulate them out of existence only to find itself hopeless outgunned by a massive supernatural invasions and forced to rely on the team to save the day.

The script construction is great, you get everything you want in a Ghostbusters movie only not in the way you expect it, including cameos galore featuring the original cast.

Highly recommended.

ghostbusters-2016-cast-proton-packs-images

[1]  Not a reboot, a remake.  A reboot drastically alters something about the theme / tone/ intent of the original  Reboots done well are good, but too often they are just a new creative team pissing on material to mark it as their.

[2]  There’s been a lot of hate directed at this film by MRAs suffering terminal butthurt from the fact the four main characters are female as opposed to the four male protagonists of the first film.  Congratulations, guys; now you know how women feel when they see men starring in 88%.  Ghostbusters ’16 is aware of that animosity and comments on it directly more than once in the course of the film, and almost always to dismiss it as unimportant to Just Doing Their Jobs.  Brava, Ghostbusters ’16!

 

 

 

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GMO Crops / GMO Crap

5/07/2016

GMO smoking-medical-camels-chesterfieldGMO smoking-babys-drs

There’s a lot of pressure to quiet criticism of GMO crops and the companies (Monsanto, front and center, but others as well) that promote them.

Typically the protests against GMO are depicted as being on par with Luddites or anti-vaxxers.

While you can find some folks who oppose unlabeled GMO in our food supply for purely bogus sci-fi horror movie reasons, the truth is the bulk of objections are pretty sound, and the more the GMO producers try to silence the objections, the louder they have to become.

And we’re excluding criticism of merely the business side of GMO crops — the producers’ exclusive claim to all seeds, their usurious leasing rates for new seed crops, etc.  That’s awful and well worth hammering them about, but it would be the same for any business using similar high pressure tactics against customers.

No, the problem is this:
History has shown that industry is fully capable of selling dangerous and defective products to customers, and not merely products that later prove themselves to be dangerous, such as thalidomide, but products they already know to be dangerous.

Such as tobacco.

Such as cars with vulnerable fuel tanks.

Such as hot coffee capable of producing 3rd degree burns.

Industry has repeatedly demonstrated even when regulatory agencies were fully authorized and funded that they knowingly hide damaging information from public, scientific, and governmental review, all so their stock holders could make more money.

So when the GMO producers want to hide the fact that some of our food supply contains GMO produce despite the fact they have well established procedures and mechanisms in place to track such crops so that they can bill farmers, then we see red flags being waved everywhere.

Something is not right in this picture,
and it isn’t the fact people are
ill-informed on GMO crops.

What the GMO producers are saying when they demand there be no labels on GMO crops is that their right to make money supersedes their customers’ right to make informed purchases for any reason.

Maybe you don’t like the taste of something.

Maybe the color or the texture doesn’t appeal to you.

Maybe you want to buy only from local farmers.

Maybe whether it’s organic or GMO, you still say it’s spinach and you still say to hell with it.

The fact is that you the consumer have every right in the world to make a purchase based on your own personal choices, and no one has the right to trick you into buying something you do not wish to purchase.

If the GMO producers were 100% certain there were no long term health risks to GMO crops, why would they be opposed to GMO crops being labeled as such?

Okay, say a certain percentage of the “free market” opposes them and won’t buy foodstuffs with GMO ingredients.

So what?

The people who do purchase GMO crops will be buying better quality (it will be better, won’t it?) and cheaper priced (it will be cheaper, right?) food than their neighbors who don’t.

After 10 – 20 – 30 years with no health problems, pretty much everybody on the planet comes around to the fact that GMOs pose no health risk and everybody except for the real health food fanatics are buying them.

I mean, it’s not like they won’t make
money between now and then, right?

And the patents will run for gawdawful long periods of time, so they’ll still be reaping the benefits — literally and financially — of GMO crops a century from now.

Why don’t they want us to know if there are GMO crops in our food supply?

See, our thinking goes like this: 
In many cases GMO crops are designed to withstand lavish amounts of pesticides and herbicides, significantly higher than the current acceptable levels. We know the pesticides and herbicides are relatively harmless over a human lifetime at their current dosage; we don’t know if multiplying those doses by a factor of two or four or eight times is going to have long term health problems.

We know what Agent Orange did to people with even mere passing exposure to it so you can’t say our concerns are groundless.

What we wonder is if the GMO producers, like the tobacco companies, do not want a paper trail pointing back to it in the event there proves to be a long term health problem in the future. To us, that indicates they are not 100% convinced increased pesticide / herbicide use will be harmless, even though said pesticides / herbicides are supposed to break down in nature and be rendered harmless before the crops enter the human food supply.

It also makes us wonder how well our ecosystem will react to massive extra doses of supposedly harmless compounds entering our water tables, our soil, and our oceans.  This is not a groundless fear!  We’ve seen the damage fertilizers can do to once pristine fresh water supplies in Florida and other places, not to mention laundry detergents.

What the GMO producers want is this:

  1. To use deception to force us to buy products we have no trust in
  2. To hide the trail leading back to them if anything goes wrong

Sorry, no.

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Why So Angry, Buzzy-boy?

28/06/2016

I’ve had people ask me why I get so angry over certain kinds of posts.

It’s because I’m not stupid, I know how to readI know my history.

You say: “Syrian”
I hear: “Italian”

You say: “Muslim”
I hear: “Catholic”

You say:
“We shouldn’t let those Middle Eastern Muslims into this country. Their cultural values are too different from ours, they’ll never assimilate. Anyway, they owe their allegiance to Islam, not America. They want to impose Islamic laws and religion on us. They’re nothing but a murderous bunch of gang-raping violent terrorist thugs; if they aren’t full fledged members of ISIS then they’re supporting them and they won’t tell the police about Al-Q’aeda activity. Their culture hates women and exploits children. What have they ever contributed to the world except crime and bloodshed? Send ‘em all back where they came from!”

I hear:
We shouldn’t let those Italian Catholics into this country. Their cultural values are too different from ours, they’ll never assimilate. Anyway, they owe their allegiance to the Catholic church, not America. They want to impose Catholic laws and religion on us. They’re nothing but a murderous bunch of gang-raping violent terrorist thugs; if they aren’t full fledged members of the Mafia they’re supporting them and they won’t tell the police about Mafia activity. Their culture hates women and exploits children. What have they ever contributed to the world except crime and bloodshed? Send ‘em all back where they came from!

Think I’m exaggerating?

anti Italian cartoon 3

Read

anti Italian cartoon Ganges1876

‘Em

anti Italian cartoon 1

And

anti Italian Demons+loose+in+New+Orleans

Weep

To this day prejudice exists against Italians, not necessarily the vile bigotry of the late 19th and early 20th century, but prejudice nonetheless

Who are the most famous Italians in America?

The Corleones and the Sopranos.

anti Italian Mr._Big_Render

When Americans think of Italians, they usually think of the mob, the Black Hand, “the La Cosa Nostra”*, not the scientists and the scholars and the explorers and the engineers and the artists and the composers and the musicians and the poets and the writers and the film makers.

“The mass media has consistently ignored five centuries of Italian American history, and has elevated what was never more than a minute subculture to the dominant Italian American culture.” — “Hollywood vs Italians”, The Italic Way, a publication of The Italic Institute of America, Vol XXVII, 1997

Wow! Does that sound familiar?!?!?

So, yeah, I get a little short tempered when I hear somebody ranting and raving against “them” because what I hear instead of “them” is “your mother” or “your grandchildren” or “your cousins” or “your wife”.

I can’t be around my family 24/7 to protect them. All I can do is be willing to stand up for others who are the targets of bigotry and defend them against hatred and ignorance when I see it. It would be great if those whom we defend would then in turn defend us and ours when we are threatened, but truth be told, we don’t really need that kind of quid pro quo.

It’s enough that some ignoramuses spreading the hate start to look over their shoulder, wondering if they’re going to get called out for posting unverified nonsense.

If all I can do is make those people have second thoughts before posting — at the very least making sure they have their facts straight before sharing a hate bomb — then I’ve helped turn back the dial on hatred and prejudice just a smidge.

If that’s all I can do,
that’s all I can do.

But I’ll do it.

I know who my friends are.

And I know who my enemies are.

anti Italian cartoon 6

* Literally “The The Our Thing” to use the terminology of ignorant anti-Italian-American bigots who heard criminals euphemistically refer to “this thing of ours” when discussing gang activities and assumed “cosa [thing] nostra [ours]” was a proper name.

 

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Connecting The Dots or How I Think

17/06/2016

MGWG cartoon

I saw and shared the above cartoon because it struck me as funny.

The incongruity of a cartoon gorilla and a cartoon alligator agreeing to a mutual protection / revenge pact was ridiculous.

As Monty Python has pointed out:

Accountants acting like accountants or Vikings acting like Vikings = Not Funny

Vikings acting like accountants  or accountants acting like Vikings = Funny

What’s doubly ironic is that these two characters have diametrically opposed goals: Magilla Gorilla wants to be purchased and cared for as somebody’s pet, Wally Gator wants to escape the zoo and recover his lost freedom.

Some have asked if it’s too soon for this sort of humor, and all I can do is repeat what Lenny Bruce said as he took the stage for the first time after President John F. Kennedy was shot: =phew= Vaughn Meader…”

One can sympathize with the terror and tragedy of a two-year old’s death, or the deadly peril of a child who fell into an ape pen, while at the same time recognizing the irony of gorillas and gators being punished for acting like gorillas and gators after humans intrude on their habitats.

But even as I was typing that, I became conscious a connection between this cartoon and a different problem on a different scale that I had obviously “seen” in the cartoon, only didn’t realize it at the time.

What happened to those two poor unfortunate children and then to the animals they encountered parallels the arrogance of racism and white privilege.

Now, I am most emphatically not saying the parents in either case were arrogant; far from it.

But they were certainly benefiting from an arrogant human mindset that said destroying a gorilla’s native habitat for human needs was okay and imprisoning those surviving gorillas in a small enclosure was okay, a human mindset that said building elaborate recreational facilities in the middle of a deadly predator’s native habitat was okay and if the animals did not go along with the plan then they were expendable.

No, I am not saying any number of gorillas or alligators are equal to one human life.

But I am saying the families who experienced these terrible events wouldn’t have experienced them if there hadn’t been a presumption on somebody’s part that it was okay to imprison large primates for the amusement of humans or build human vacation resorts in the middle of gator country.

Those families who suffered those horrible encounters certainly did not arrogantly demand that the zoo or resort be built and animals exploited for their personal benefit…

…but when they saw there was a system for that already in place, they thought, hey, why not?

No, strike that. They didn’t think anything. Going to the zoo or the resort was as natural to them as breathing. All their lives they had been told that zoos and resorts were good things and if the topic of the animals in them ever came up, it was probably dismissed with a PR claim that the animals were actually safer and better off now than they had been before.

A few weeks ago we had dinner with a Dear Friend whom we’ve known for close to thirty years. I won’t identify Dear Friend any further other than to say they’re slightly older than us.

Dear Friend told us they didn’t like President Obama.

Okay, why?

“The country has gotten worse under him.”

By what metrics?

“Well, the economy…”

Whip out the smartphone*;
a few quick keystrokes and…
nope, economy’s doing fine.
We’re enjoying a recovery.

“Those numbers don’t mean anything.”

Those numbers are the same
statistics and measurements
both parties use when they’re
in control, they’re not whipped
up in some publicity hack’s office.

“Crime is going up…”

Another quick flurry of keystrokes.
Nope, crime has been falling for
the last two decades. The numbers
vary from year to year, of course,
but the overall trend is down.
Last year, in fact, had less crime
than the year before.

So says the FBI database.

“Well, maybe nationwide, but
here in Los Angeles it’s going up.”

More keystrokes. Nope, crime
in L.A. is falling. too, about at the
same level as the national average.

“Well, maybe in Los Angeles as
a whole, but in my neighborhood…”

Ahh, and now the little light comes on.
Dear Friend, your neighborhood isn’t
becoming more dangerous.

It’s becoming more brown.

Now, Dear Friend is as kind and as generous a person as you could hope to meet. If Dear Friend was told there was a non-white family that needed help, they’d chip in what they could. Dear Friend certainly has several non-white people whom they love dearly in their circle of friends.

And Dear Friend certainly wouldn’t go around slandering or libeling non-white people.

But Dear Friend grew up immersed in a culture that said, overtly and indirectly, explicitly and implicitly, by word and by image and by deed, that there was something wrong with being non-white, and if not wrong wrong, then certainly not as right as being white.

And Dear Friend has never questioned this.

Dear Friend, like the parents cited above, would never question why we have zoos, or what those zoos mean in the larger scheme of things. Dear Friend might recognize in the back of their head that a resort for families that abuts right against an alligator habitat might not be the wisest thing in the world, but it would never occur to Dear Friend to question the whole idea of having a resort.

That’s what we mean when we say “white privilege”.

“No white skin off my nose.”

Which brings us full circle to Magilla Gorilla and Wally Gator, and why this cartoon resonated so deeply with me.

I grew up with these characters as a child, and encountered them in various professional venues when I was writing for animation.

Both lead lives of anxiety and longing based not on what they would have wanted in their natural habitat, but on demands placed upon them by the humans who dominate them.

And mind you, for all intents and purposes, these characters are the equals to human beings: They speak, they can plan, they even wear clothes.

Despite this, and for purely arbitrary reasons, they are regulated to animal status in their cartoons; conversely Huckleberry Hound and Top Cat are treated as equals by the humans in their cartoons.

Magilla Gorilla has been told his function in life is to be the pet of a human being; he is typically found confined to a pet store at the beginnings of each episode until a new owner is located, but by the end of the cartoon his hopes are dashed and he’s returned to the pet shop.

Conversely, Wally Gator is trapped in a zoo and constantly schemes to escape; when he does he is returned to his pen.

It would be a gross oversimplification to say Magilla Gorilla represents the African-American experience in America while Wally Gator represents the Native American experience but dang, they fit, don’t they?

The more I thought about the cartoon above, the more I realize the reason it resonated with me so strongly was because it reflected a very real change that is going on in American racial and cultural attitudes right now.

And a big part of that change is that various minority and ostracized groups in America are realizing they no longer need the permission of white America to live fulfilling lives.

In the cartoon above Magilla Gorilla and Wally Gator realize they have no friends in the human camp, their lives are circumscribed by roles the humans have forced them into. They realize they will receive no support or protection from the humans, either.

The only choice left is to look after one another or live and die miserably alone.

Here’s another cartoon, this one from Sophie LaBelle of Assigned Male webcomic.

MGWG assigned male LGBT comic

Not a funny cartoon, pretty tragic actually, but it uses humor (okay, sarcasm) to make a point:

The privileged always want to make it about them.

And minorities and ostracized groups are getting tired of it, and are starting to say no.

And the fact they’re doing that is making some privileged people lose their s4!t.

So that’s the way my mind works,
those are the connections I see.

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* I am a total fncking asshole when it comes to using my smartphone in an argument; I will not let you fob off some egregious piece of b.s. without a fact check. My late aunt used to say, “Put that thing away!” whenever she saw me reaching for it.

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Bill Clinton in 2016

18/05/2016

Normally I try to avoid direct political commentary on this blog, but this isn’t going to be a normal election year and so I’m going to posting a few observations between now and November.

This one is an air clearer; it’s something I think needs to be openly acknowledged before discussion can shift to a more current topic.

And we need, both as party partisans and American citizens as a whole, to acknowledge what went on here, and why it is important, and what we need to do to improve things in the future.

For those willing to face the ugly truth, proceed apace.

For the rest of you,
here’s a cute gif of a
cat eating spaghetti.

animated cat slurps spaghetti

Read the rest of this article »

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Duty Now For The Future

4/05/2016

Criswell rest of our livesI direct your attention to this fascinating article in the Washington Post:
Six maps that will make you rethink the world

It’s derived from a new book by Parag Khanna called Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization.

It’s a glimpse into the world of the latter part of the 21st century, 2050CE+ or thenabouts.

If you are a climate change denialist,
this is your cue to go visit a porn site.

There’s a lot of interesting stuff here, but I’ll let the article speak for itself.

I will say this for North American readers based on his predictions (and these are my take aways from the article, Khanna does not necessarily address all these particulars):

  1. While a political entity called The United States Of America may exist half a century from now, it will not be the geopolitical powerhouse it is today. [1]
  2. Much of the US and Mexican / Central American populations will be disrupted by climate change and move north, many crossing the border and heading on into Canada.
  3. Canada and Russia will become the breadbasket of the world.
  4. Denmark, which thanks to its claims on Greenland will be reveling in vast untapped natural resources as its glaciers melt, is gonna be fnckin’ RICH!
  5. The new global trade routes will be located through the Arctic region, which will be ice free for most of the year; life there will be bracing but not impossible.
  6. Those US citizens remaining in America will be working in thermal / solar energy jobs or supporting same; agriculture in the South and Southwest will quite literally dry up. The great Dust Bowl Migration of the Depression will be dwarfed by the population shift northward. [2]

The article focuses on the-glass-is-half-full side of the equation,
and as the old saw goes, it’s an ill wind that blows no one any good.

As noted, Canada and Russia will benefit from global warming, exporting food to the rest of the world. Trade routes will flourish through the Arctic, avoiding high tension choke points we have today.

But those blessings are only
the heads side of the coin;
there’s a tails side, too.

Solar energy will be a huge industry, but only because climate change is going to turns vast swaths of the planet into deserts.

The southern hemisphere is going to take a huge economic hit but will probably muddle through.

China is going to spend half its time in partnership with Africa, developing and exploiting the resources of that vast continent. It will be for them what the American West was for the United States, and if they learn from our mistakes and treat the Africans with more respect and dignity than we did our native peoples, they will be a dominant force in the world for many centuries to come.

A new Chinese-African ethnic group will emerge.

The other half of its time, China will probably be involved in a never ending series of slugfests with India.

As lowland areas of Pakistan and Bangladesh are flooded by melting Himalayan glaciers and rising sea levels, tens of millions of people will be on the move, disrupting and crowding India and Southeast Asia even more.

They’ve got to go somewhere and China is the closest spot available.

What’s left culturally of the United States will be found along the northern border we share with Canada. [3]

Southern US culture will vanish, the last shreds of the old Confederacy finally drying up and blowing away in the northward migration. [4]

The agricultural base of the American South, Midwest, and Southwest will cease to exist and be replaced by a solar energy based culture — and probably one funded by China, who will have no patience for archaic American ethnic BS.

Among the first generation of emigrants north — and if historical models hold true, skipping a generation to the third and fourth generations in the new land — there will be a great nostalgic look back at a mostly imaginary America. Americana — which will either whitewash or romanticize the historical struggles of the United States and the people in it — will be a hugely popular genre. [5]

While there will be a great temptation to blame these changes on this party‘s or that party’s political intransigence, the truth is this will be larger than politics.

Politics is going to be like a monkey dancing on the back of a whale: It may do it well, and it may do it successfully enough to ride the whale for a long, long time, but the whale is moving of its own accord and nothing the monkey can do will change it.

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.

[1] Think it can’t happen that fast? Ask the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Czarist Russia, and the Ottomans how long it took them.

[2] Canada would be well advised to prepare for this huge influx of climate refugees from both the US and Mexico. There will be plenty of agricultural jobs for them to fill, but if Canada isn’t ready for them, they will disrupt Canadian culture and society. My advice is to tell them to drop their old attitudes and allegiances at the border and become good Canucks, eh. That’s going to require a lot of re-education.

[3] It’s not impossible at some future point, perhaps in the 22nd century but maybe even sooner, Canada will absorb the US.

[4] They won’t be the only ones. West Coast culture and Gulf Coast culture will also evaporate under the relentless glare of the sun. Enjoy ‘em while you can, folks.

[5] It will be coexisting with newer genres born out of the coming great migration, and probably never as the dominant genre, but it will be there.

 

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There Are No Skeletons In My Closet

4/05/2016

animated jason skeletons

Like Jason, all mine are out
in the open, hacking away.

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Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

3/05/2016

smith_w_eugene 01smith_w_eugene 04smith_w_eugene 02smith_w_eugene 03smith_w_eugene 05

photos by E. Eugene Smith (1949)

read the poem
“Beyond W. Eugene Smith’s Photographic Essay Life Without Germs”
by John Kinsella  

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Thinkage

18/04/2016

“The American Empire, especially states in the ‘bible belt,’ love vengeance and a blood-for-blood way of living. As Jesus people, we must contend with living our lives under the umbrella of a violent empire who wants nothing to do with the peaceful way of Jesus– just as Jesus too had to contend with life in a violent empire.

“Like Jesus, we must have the courage to stand amidst this empire and speak up to say, “you have heard it said that it’s okay to take an eye for an eye, but we tell you that you should love instead!”

“Like Jesus, we must continue to speak into culture and remind them that only the person without sin is able to administer the lethal injection.

“Like Jesus, we must lovingly speak into the lives around us and say, “go and learn what this means: God desires mercy.”

“Like Jesus, we must have the courage to tell those around us, ‘put away your sword!’

“And, like Jesus, we must be willing to endure persecution at the hands of the religious elite for teaching his message of love and mercy.” — Benjamin L. Corey, “Georgia Execution Proves We Love Vengeance Over Restoration

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