Sunday, July 19, 2015

Stardust Memories



I don't normally seek out sugary things. Just wasn't born with a sweet tooth. But I was near the soda cooler when I was struck with an irrevocable desire to quench a thirst my body normally reserves for a dry martini.

I was evaluating my choices as I neared and they came into focus, and I saw the Jones Soda options. I didn't feel I had a choice. The bottle pictured addressed me directly--promising a shotgun blast of memories of the time that I worked for the company. I tried to resist, but the bottle would not allow another selection to be made. I even tried considering another Jones flavor, but I wasn't allowed to choose any other. I picked up the bottle, but could not put it in my cart. The memory burst was demanding to be experienced--like a criminal I untwisted the cap and swigged wantonly. 

The siren's promise was unfulfilled. No flood of memories like an acid flashback, no good vibes or fond thoughts from that little slice of my life. Just some really, really sugary soda. And a buck seventy nine gone from my wallet. But it was my favorite flavor, which is weird for a guy that doesn't really like sugary things.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Donald Trump is Awesome



No, Donald Trump is NOT awesome. But sometimes, when something is so flagrantly, mightily freakishly bad, you call it awesome. Or at least I do. There is a point up until which, when something is bad, it makes you mad and you feel like you have to condemn it. But then it crosses over that line, into complete unbelievability (except that it is still right there in front of you), that you just kind of chuckle--that's what I sometimes call awesome.

When created or conceived or born or willed or whatever you want to call it--I was infused with an inordinate amount of interest in the thoughts and beliefs of others. I can waste day after day reading up on belief systems that have no appeal to me, but for the pleasure I collect from learning about them.

Which brings us to Donald Trump. It just so happens that the circles I run in have me in close contact with a few people who are excited for Trump's candidacy. When they first told me this I of course assumed it was some sort of elaborate ruse...but their earnestness quickly proved my assumption wrong. Here were people in front of me, who I consider to be intelligent and reasonably well-balanced, telling me Trump is "exactly what this country needs."

I don't have to spend any time articulating an argument against Trump's candidacy. As it turns out, apparently I do, but I shall stoutly refused. I didn't argue with my friends, I just simply stated the obvious, as it seems like it's enough. And if it's not enough, then all I can say is God help us. I simply said he is clearly an arrogant jerk that has a knack for being needlessly offensive.  That's my entire argument. There are other relevant attributes, such as the fact that he has an economically protectionist mindset that went extinct well over 100 years ago, and his utter disdain for diplomacy and political decorum, while perhaps refreshing for a moment, is completely unworkable in politics as they are (not as the fantasy world of what we want or prefer). But all of that is putting the cart before the horse. He's just an asshole.

I had been kicking around these thoughts over the last few weeks, and then I awake this morning to the perfect distillation of exactly what I am talking about. Donald Trump opened that unfortunate mouth of his again this morning to pick a fight that never would have otherwise occurred. His words are taking a blowtorch to a hornets nest that is a week and a half safari trip out of his way.

From the Washington Post:

AMES, Iowa -- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump slammed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a decorated Vietnam War veteran, on Saturday by saying McCain was not a war hero because he was captured by the North Vietnamese.

"He's not a war hero," Trump said. Sarcastically, Trump quipped, "He's a war hero because he was captured." Then, he added, "I like people that weren't captured."

Needlessly offensive. Like setting your car on fire because it's a little chilly, and you didn't want to walk to the woodpile.

Look, if he's your family then I understand you have to tolerate him, but we're talking about presidential politics here, and we have freedom of association at our disposal--why would Republican's want to hitch their wagon to an anchor headed straight for the deepest point in the ocean? Why pick a born political loser? Maybe it's one of those zen "you must go down to go up/winning is losing/wrong is right" type of things. If so, Republican's are much smarter than anyone ever gave them credit for--which of course can't be the case, so no, they're just temporarily insane.