Minutiae
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"Chuck Norris doesn't read books; he stares them down until he gets the information he wants out of them."
- ChuckNorrisFactsdotcom

Tuesday, November 07, 2006
You are Hard Harry from Pump up the Volume





You are shy, but once you overcome that you are inspirational to those around you. You are rebellious and like to push the authority figures buttons.




Take this quiz at QuizGalaxy.com

Hmmm. It feels like high school reunion week lately. All these old cliches wearing new faces. It's half nostalgia and half surreal.

posted by Rachel 11/07/2006
. . .
Oooh. I want one of those. It seems about as foolhardy as racing speedboats, but... It's a flying car that you can push into your garage. It can take off from a long driveway. It's so Jetsons. What a toy.

posted by Rachel 11/07/2006
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Oh
squeee.

posted by Rachel 11/07/2006
. . .
Holy freaking
CRAP dude.

posted by Rachel 11/07/2006
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Aw, screw it all. You're all
completely insane.

posted by Rachel 11/07/2006
. . .
Yes. Regardless of the outcome today. I have seen and appreciate that there are other people out there who see what I see and hear what I hear.

"One person - resolute - abiding by truth shall rally a majority."
- Emerson

I still remember being asked if I was Jewish by an old Muslim boss. I was only 17 and so didn't really understand the point of the question. I explained that, no I was from a Lutheran family, and that Rachel was a biblical name. We got along quite well. He taught me not to sell pig leather to Muslims. 'Cause there's a religious rule for everything, and Islam is as anti-pork as Orthodox Jews.

He was a good boss and a reasonable person, but I've always wondered if that would have been the case had I had family ties to Israel. I had Jewish friends too, see. I also watched him change his "work name" from something that sounded very arab to something that sounded very midwestern, in order to blend. Nice guy, fun to hang out with, not very devout, still a little unbalanced about the zionists though.
Well, that's seven-year-old boys for you. Had I been so inclined, I was certainly smart enough to have determined that one could not build a Polaris Nuclear Sub with missiles and firing torpedoes and all the rest for $6.98. All $6.98 would buy you in 1967 was a cardboard box painted like a submarine.

I believed it - like so many of my cohorts - because I so desperately wanted to believe it... and the X-ray Specs, and especially those damn Sea Monkeys with their little briefcases and hats and aprons. What heartless son of a bitch wrote those ads? I hope he chokes on his brine shrimp, the bastard.

We live in a sea of information, an Information Age: and yet, it has been almost half a millennia since mankind has been so unwilling or unable to use critical thinking to separate the intellectual wheat from so...much...chaff! Critical Thinking - the ability to analyze data, determine it's usefulness and fidelity, to learn how to asses reliability, question methodology, weigh expertise and all the rest - is in shockingly short supply these days. It's not just a shame; it's an epidemic, it is a fatal metastasizing disease in a democracy where information is used by the public to make the decisions that steer the ship of state. For the ability to think critically allows us to see the unseen; to find the truth behind the falsehood, as well as the falsehood behind the truth.

Today, it seems that legions of people - growing legions - are falling victims to ideas and beliefs that on the face of it are patently false…things that are so clearly and obviously nuts that you really have to wonder what deep, mighty engine of emotional need could possibly drive a brain so deep into a hole. Seriously now, there are millions and millions of people on this planet who will torture logic and reason to mind-bending extremes in order to believe monumentally ridiculous "theories" ... theories drawn from an emotional need so warped and debased that you are catapulted beyond anger and disbelief directly into pathos and the desire to call 911 before these people hurt themselves.

So perhaps we could take a walk through Fantasy Island armed only with a shotgun of logic and a few fact-filled shells and see what intellectual tumors we may safely blow into atoms. Time is short! So let's start with the easy stuff and work our way up to the Lord God King Mack-Daddy falsehood of our age.

***

Coexist!

You've probably seen this word spelled out with various religious symbols.

Who can argue with this? Not me, certainly.

What I CAN argue with is the idea that if only enough stupid, warlike Americans would just get on the Coexist train, then the world would be a happy and peaceful garden. Who else are the people with these bumper stickers preaching to, if not their ill-informed, knuckle-dragging neocon fellow commuters?

Unfortunately, here's where reality inserts its ugly head. There is no more multi-cultural society on earth than the United States. The United States owns the patent on Coexisting religions and ethnicities. Drive half a mile though any major US urban area and you will see more ancient ethnic enemies living cheek by jowl in harmony that any other spot on the planet. Thursday morning water cooler conversations about Dancing with the Stars wallpaper over more ancient ethnic and religious murders than history has been able to record, and this despite Hollywood and the news media's deepest efforts to remind you on a daily basis that the black or Hispanic or Asian or white friend in the next cube is secretly seething with racial hatred just beneath that placid veneer.

Americans are able to coexist because they have subjugated, if not abandoned, those ancient religious and ethnic hatreds to join a larger family, that larger family being America. And this is why, if you truly value the idea of coexistence, you should be dead set against multi-cultural grievance and identity politics, which do nothing but pit one ethnic group against the others and reinforce, rather than dilute, ancient resentments and grievances.

Now as it turns out, there is one member of the human family that seems to be having a little difficulty with the whole coexist thing. Muslims are at war with Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan, they are fighting Animists in Africa, Hindus in Kashmir, Buddhists in Southeast Asia... they are blowing up nightclubs and schools and police stations and trains and buses and skyscrapers and are under daily orders to kill Jews on sight anywhere in the world.

I don't mind preaching so much as preaching to the choir. When I see Coexist bumper stickers in Islamabad and Cairo and especially Riyadh to the degree I see them in Venice, California, I will be a happy man. They will make a very welcome sight covering over the Death to the Infidel! stickers that seem to be somewhat outselling Coexist messages in that part of the world. Until then I think we should coexist and carry a big stick.

posted by Rachel 11/07/2006
. . .
There is an ancient Aztec legend. It tells of a
magical blue frog. The frog brought people the gift of chocolate.

posted by Rachel 11/07/2006
. . .
Oh wow. That's sublime irony. That's just
priceless.

posted by Rachel 11/07/2006
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