And now, a word about Landmark Decisions: Boxy.
(No, not like the hyper vlogger, nor like those who boil down everything to thinking in-or-outside of that very same box -- but, well, squarish. You know, like a box -- not, um, square-ish, like not being hip or very uncool. Uh, to quote a Monty Python sketch: Wait, I'll come in again...)
As I has begun: Landmark Decisions -- no, wait, hang on, hang on. No running away in panic is required here. There'll be no airing of legal briefs, or any other kind, here today -- much to the relief of all concerned.
No, I was starting to warm up on the weirdly interwoven subjects of Time, Change, Culture, Cars, and Architecture.
And now, a word about Landmark Decisions: Boxy.
It would be so much easier if election laws specified a new tag line at the end of every candidate's campaign ad: a one-line summation of what, exactly, the candidate's overall goal, plan, and aim was all about.
I think you'll admit the current format doesn't help much, where the candidate is heard saying, "I'm M. T. Poseur, [or Ecoli Ebola-Zika, or whoever] and I approved this message."
This gets into trickier ground, though, of course. Who is to say what, exactly, any candidate really, truly stands for -- what he or she really hopes to accomplish? It triggers the whole who-watches-the-watchers Orwellian nightmare.
This way to the time machine: Back when one had to fight pterodactyls in the schoolyard at recess, in order to keep hold of one's snacks, there was a terrible candy called Good & Plenty. It was white and day-glow, neon pink, before there was day-glow anything, and only just as neon was itself being tamed to do electrical tricks.
It was terrible junk -- a chalky outer shell with a hard, black licorice center -- but, it was dirt cheap. It was also pay dirt for the non-discriminating 5-year-old on a budget.
Yes, the downside was that it was horrible, but the upside was that there was a lot of it. Somehow, the combination worked. Such is youth.
Let me guess: You're short of breath, your palms are sweaty, and you're not sure where to run and hide. In fact, you suspect this could be the Big One, ala Fred Sanford's eternal get-ready warning to the previously departed Elizabeth. You imagine this must be how the first lungfish felt, when they heaved themselves out of the primordial ooze, and up onto the shore, trying to evolve workable lungs, right on the spot, while hanging out in a Darwinesque While-You-Wait Bait and Tackle Shoppe.
Don't worry about it. It's only one of a couple things -- or, maybe, today's combo platter. I mean, it could be your body struggling with a severe disease or sudden medical condition, but, I'd urge caution here. This is a year evenly divisible by four -- so, your symptoms could mean at least three different things:
It's easy for a little guy to get lost in a crazed crowd.
No, not Rand "Really, it's Randal, not like Ayn" Paul, or Donald "Stop Calling Me Rumpo" Trump, or even Rick "Don't Ask Anything or Look Me Up Anywhere" Santorum. No, we're talking about Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil here, whose annual foray into the spotlight got overrun by a stampede of frothy-mouthed Iowa mammals, mostly baboons escaping their GOP handlers.
While portents of the American future were being expounded upon in definitive, if overly waffling, back-and-fill, sunny-then-wintry descriptive terms by politcos, high atop their own self-made gabbling pedestals and berms, Phil drew his own single-minded throng at Gobbler's Knob, awaiting his forecasted divinations of the nation's weather, and the possibility of any ray of positiveness, or, at the least, Spring.
The good news is that Trump failed to win over Iowans. The bad news is that the GOP is not likely to run out of trumped-up, self-important ignoramuses and egomaniacal know-it-alls anytime soon.
If there is a third wheel to this standardized joke format, it is that Iowans have only a 50-50 success rate in predicting party nominees, which is some relief.
(Now, let the debate begin about probability trees! At least, we will have something like facts to endlessly analyze, explore, question, and poke about with sharpened, fire-blackened sticks, and just gut instincts, chicken bones, and leaden hunches to nudge around in the dirt.)
Welcome to your Day of Rest, aka A Brief Opportunity to Catch Your Breath Before You Have to Jump Back On the Hampster Wheel. Me, I prefer to call this Mulling Day -- the only 24-hour period in which the long list of Haftas takes a breaks, and something from the Wanna pile gets to slip into the mix.
The trick in life, of course, is to minimize your Haftas and maximize your Wannas -- a truth known by the ancients, which is to say, known by Trump, by Clinton, and by your boss, for example, and by any hyper-hormonal teenage spawn in your roaring, throbbing, pulsating vicinity.
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