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Alex Baer

Stalling Around with Bathrooms

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We used to make fairly regular advances in our culture.  Some were dubious, many were trivial, but, overall, we seemed to be tracing a generally positive pathway forward.  Now, it seems we're just stalling -- unable to get a grip on things, so to speak.

This is not news.  Way back before the Earth's crust cooled and dinosaurs appeared, we used to go get coffee.  Cream and sugar were the only tricky, ponderous variables which might throw us off our games -- especially, first thing in the morning, before we'd had our coffee.

Now, you're lucky to get out of a coffee order with under ten adjectives and after having made 62 ordering decisions.  This is called Freedom, and with it comes the Stern Burden of Responsibility.  But, I sometimes long for the simplicity of Formica countertops in a streamlined establishment looking and sounding nothing at all like the cross of a plumbing store and a steam locomotive factory.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 August 2016 20:42 Read more...

Fables for a Modern Age

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There came a sturm und drang-y time in the nation when the old myths, tales, and dreams no longer applied for 99 percent of the people.

And so, the great mass of people gnashed their remaining teeth and cried out for help, pleading and beseeching into all corners of the land, seeking a new champion to set things right -- to have new stories constructed, which would then help the People survive their overly restrained and heavily-regulated lives at the hands of a cruel and unjust emperor, called the President.

And so, the people went straight to the well which was poisoning them, which was Unrestrained, Celebratory, Cutthroat Capitalism, and drew from that well a well-dunked champion who had arcane knowledge of chants and spells, and who also had some tips on how best to drink from the well's wooden bucket without anyone catching on, or having to pay the evil emperor for the right to do so.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 August 2016 17:52 Read more...

Toward the New Neo-Con Con

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So far, the conversation about real extremism in America has been underwhelming, ranging on the low side of things, pinging in the ones and twos on the Overall Awareness Meter.

Such is the reward when focusing the energies and efforts of all hands, and all eyes, on the ugly, snarling surface issues espoused by extremists.  If you trick people into noticing only the incoherent policies and speeches made by your candidate right now, however crazed or crass they may be, you can get these same people to blow past the lowest-gravity spots where previously inconceivable thoughts and verbalizations really start to bubble and bake.

Such is the alluring quicksand of true lunacy.  Some practiced candidates are able to sound a bit whacky, and others even more than a smidge crazy -- but it takes clinically-approved sociopaths and psychotics to master the crowd-speak of madness, to pull off the snake-charmer act combining snake-charming, talking in tongues, and hypnotizing the masses.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 August 2016 16:23 Read more...

Oh, Goody: Oyyow.

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Wonderful.  We've managed to get through another set of political conventions.

Frankly, this is tantamount to celebrating a fleeting victory over jaundice,  a temporary flare-up of malaria, or an ongoing resurgence in hemorrhoids.

If I didn't know better -- and I'm not sure that I do, not anymore -- I'd say someone slipped some blotter-paper acid, or mind-warping alien spores, into my preventively-medicated, yeast-enhanced beverage.

Of course, it could also be that the candidates themselves have divvied up the hallucinatory goods, right before each one got off their respective Gravy Trains, for their respective stops at Podiumville.

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 July 2016 12:32 Read more...

'183,429 Better Ways to Elect a President'

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The best book I've read in quite a while is a nonexistent one called Scorched-Earth Realpolitik Cookbook:  Cajun-Style Political Elexting and Black-Eyed Peace for the Rest of Us, by Pfisher Pranx, a renowned, well-respected, award-winning author whom I made up only a few seconds ago, while typing this sentence.

The alternate title of the book, I just now realized, is:  Or: 183,429 Better Ways to Elect a President.

This fictitious book is from Keisterville Publishing, a company which fails to pass the real-company sniff test.

  • (Full disclosure:  However, this is true except in an accidentally oblique, and quite eerily coincidental sense, way out in pretty-much-still-real Pennsylvania, where Keisterville actually exists. This is a coincidence for which I deeply apologize discovering, and then mentioning, after first selecting my own fake company's name, liking it, and then Googling it at the last second to make sure there wasn't a real publishing company named that, thereby accidentally setting up myself and others for a lethal, 60-kiloton mega-legal blast.  Sorry, Keisterville -- about, uh, everything -- and hello there, Keisterville Publishing.)

In this book which exists in some alternate reality not our own, there is also featured The Best Music Video Which Doesn't Really Exist.  Two of them, in fact.  (This is an incredible accomplishment, I have to say, having an old-fashioned paper-and-pressed-board book, with the ability to project a full, room-sized high-def hologram with rich colors and 10-point sound, simply from within the book's pages and binding and vocally activated with individual password... amazing!)

Wait -- I should probably start again.

Here's the thing: Since the Laws of Legitimate Political Reality have been totally gutted, abandoned, and forever revoked by the Lame, Hamstrung, and Hungover Lower Deities of Self Governance with whom we Humans have saddled ourselves in a cruel trick of Fate and our own brain-dead decision-making attempts, the common civic reality we once all shared has been shattered and suspended. The common good, and common sense, have all been devastated and obliterated by far-right-wing psychoses, propaganda, and personal Ponzi pyramids.

We're just about back to monosyllabic grunting, if you haven't noticed.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 March 2016 16:27 Read more...

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