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Alex Baer

Progress Means Siring Satire & Parenting Parody

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Once upon a time, life in America made sense, at least in everyday comings and goings.  There were unspoken bargains of reasonableness in effect.  These were the handshakes and nods of fairness in play.  When it came to some sort of public issue, there were more tipped hats than launched birds-of-a-middle-finger flocking together.

Of course, back then, we were a hat-obsessed nation, with head coverings of all sorts trickling their way into the language.  When we weren't hanging around, hats in hand, we were taking our hats off to this or that person or idea.  We even had feathers that others gave us, to put into our caps, thinking or otherwise.  You could actually wear a Pork Pie, right on your head.

(We could even do something quite crude to fill up a hat, in one hand, and then wish in the other, in order to find out which event might happen first -- a sort of an early barometer of misfortune and an early betting calculator.)

Life here wasn't perfect, not by any means.  But, it was earnest and shared.  Then came the birth on these shores of Satire and Parody, the two hipster kids from the big city, corrupting our farm-hand sensibilities as we kept morphing into a nation of city dwellers, where a couple major corporations would come to own all the food and farms, and our roots, in order to keep competition nonexistent, but always espoused, and to give farm subsidies a place to go when they got tired of hanging around the Treasury.

Last Updated on Friday, 14 March 2014 23:14 Read more...

Death: No Longer a Passing Fancy

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The cost of paying attention keeps going up:  Increasing cases of thyroid growths near Fukushima.  Tar sands.  Poisoned water supplies.  Drones.  North Korea.  Corporate welfare.  Tainted and questionable food supplies.  Chemical weapons.  Gun violence.  Man-made gases eating the ozone shield.

There's even a recent report of a dormant virus coming back to life after a nap of 30,000 years.  After a run through the headlines, I'm feeling very much like I could use a nap of a few thousand years myself.

As hazardous to one's sense of calm as is trying to stay abreast of current events, it's even more dangerous to one's head wiring to start connecting the dots between disparate events.  That's where you go from losing peace of mind to shredding, and shedding, pieces of mind.

Show you what I mean:  What do you do with the realization that your country and culture is a death cult?  Taken individually, there are a number of troubling points of concern.  They go deep.  Added up, and you start to feel like an accidental conspiracy theorist, thunderstruck on a sunny day, zapped by a bolt from blue sky, holding the lightning rod high when the Big Paranoias have come out to play.

Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 15:08 Read more...

Wake Me When We're Star Trek

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Every once in a while, I want to write a note,  roll it up, and jam it into a old milk bottle.  The scribbling part is easy.  The tough part comes when trying to decide where to deliver it.  There are not many outlets around willing to accept delivery on such a thing, and even fewer staff people able or interested enough to pay much attention to such a note, especially for one beginning this way:

"I see by the clock on the clubhouse wall, and by the full-faced frown on the burly, white-uniformed orderly I can't seem to shake, that it's time for a nice, hot cup of Thorazine and some phosphene therapy, staring off into space, my eyes shut tight..."

Such lightless light shows like this, like life, are sometimes called "prisoner's cinema."  This seems fitting.  I often feel like a prisoner of my era, of this historical cycle in which we are now treading water, waiting for the next chapter to start, the next shoe to drop, the next shot from the starter's pistol, the next tick of the clock...

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 March 2014 23:20 Read more...

Dying for More Life: Skinny-Dipping in the Fountain of Youth

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Most of us get used to living in clusters of contradictions.  Hypocrisy is part of the human condition, and irony is Nature's way of trying to lure us toward more introspection and humility.  And, once those forces are in play, we gain perspective and are able to laugh at ourselves and the absurdities of life.

This is healthy and is supposed to work that way -- at least, once the laughing finally dies down a little.  But, you know, difficult truths that fuel our recognition and laughter can sometimes linger and fester.  I fell over another one of these today.  I am still not certain how I feel about any of it.  Still thinking on it.

The conflict and conundrum of the moment starts out being an easy one:  All life is sacred.  Then, gravity goes bonkers while we form the question:  So, why are we such a death cult of a society?  There are side branches to this stuff, and it runs off in all directions, once you get started on it.

For example, if life is so precious to us, as we espouse, why the endless fascination with murder and killing?  Count the number of times in just one day in which death and dying keep us entertained:  TeeVee shows, movies, books, news shows, and so on.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 February 2014 20:26 Read more...

Chomping on Food for Thought vs. Just Deserts

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It's nice of the universe to cut me some slack now and again.  Usually, life serves up swarms of fastballs quicker than a bank of berserk robo-pitchers in a major league batting practice, making me the unwitting mole in the Whac-A-Mole game, getting bonked witless, and scared, um,  excretion-less.

Whatever.  Life is probably quite good at throwing racetrack walls at you, too, just as you're punching out of the turn, just in time to catch sight of the slippery, surprise pool of motor oil now under your racing slicks -- apparently and simultaneously, according to your vision, both beneath and above your cartwheeling car frame as it bash-dances on the track.

Yeah, I've hit that same wall, on fire, and at a high rate of speed, as it is said.  Life has no compunctions about such things.  I try to not take things personally, even when it is damn personal and completely unpersonable.

Usually, The News is the instigating propellant in this mad equation of consciousness.  I have no idea what 9 out of 10 doctors may make of things, but, for me, The News makes me foamingly loco about 479 times out of 10, not to put too fine a point on it.

The plan here:  Impossible math counters insane developments -- I hope -- or, at least provides some sort of interim shield, like zombies passing up unhealthy hosts.  The more I stroke out at The News, the universe provides more counterbalancing fluff pieces.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 February 2014 20:21 Read more...

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