Monthly Archives: November 2008

‘If current trends continue…’

-

Does anyone else think it's weird how often we've been publicly reminded that History Is Happening Right Now in the past month? The permanent Democratic majority! The end of the financial system as we know it! A new era of American leadership!

It's probably not a terribly good idea to be making era-scale predictions based on data points from, you know, August. I feel like we're all watching a thunderstorm outside our window and arguing over the most prudent kind of Waterworld jetski to purchase.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

4 Comments

Filed under Random

Green is the color of my true love’s faddish obsession

-

This is exactly what I was trying to say:

If you look at how people live in the United States, the real green individual is the poor person who lives in a small apartment, rides the bus to work, and consumes beef relatively sparingly. That guy’s environmental footprint is probably smaller in most ways than that of a prosperous person who goes out of his way to consume green products. [...] “To go green” on a social level would probably look very different from what an individual upper middle-class environmentally minded consumer’s personal efforts to do so look like.

Yep. 'Going green' isn't necessarily a bad thing, but a two-car suburban mom putting a WatR-SavR on the showerhead and calling herself small-footprint is like an obese woman putting a slice of orange on top of a pound cake and calling it a salad.

In a time when we need to be asking real questions about the way we all live our lives, messages that essentially boil down to 'Buy something different than the thing that you normally buy!' are not going to cut it.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

1 Comment

Filed under Random

We went to a Heritage Site called Pingyao

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

1 Comment

Filed under Random

Denmark doesn’t pipe Christmas music into all indoor space for a month every year

Say what you want about the low poverty rate and robust social justice, the real reason I'm still here is that I don't have to survive 300 Starbucks-tinny renditions of 'Jingle the Fuck-Nosed Wonderland' every December. The stores and cafes here have realized that fully-functioning humans generally don't want to hear the same three songs on a loop for 31 grinding Shopping Days in a row, and just play the same gloomy Euro-bivalence as the rest of the year. In the states, I used to spend my Decembers thinking that trough-fed capitalism and Hallmark-tatorship were eroding our morals and making us miserable zombies. But now I realize that, no, it was actually just that fucking music.

So imagine my surprise this morning when I found this.

Is this the beginning of middle age, when you start liking things because they're nice, and they make you smell pumpkin pie coming from your earbuds? Is this a gateway to Thomas Kinkade, Richard Gere and Jesus Christ My Personal Savior? I feel like I have to find some yuletide cocaine or something now.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

1 Comment

Filed under Random

Back once again with the ill behavior

-

The last three times I've taken trips spanning more than six time zones, I've ended up getting sick like two days later. I know that jetlag, cramped quarters, Sani-Wipes and adventure films with the word 'hijack' removed are generally bad for your health, but I appear to have a particularly effete constitution in this regard. I spent the entire time in China with a Leonard Cohen throat, park-bench pedophile eyes and sinuses jammed like a Beijing afternoon.

-

These were ignorable enough, but 24 hours before my flight home, after a night of rural drinking, my symptoms decided to band together and make a 'No on Prop 8!'-style post-emptive assault. They started in the stomach and marched to the rest of my autocratic, coal-burning body, taking capacities and dignities as they went along. My system responded with a Burmese Monk crackdown, shutting off all auxillary function and ceasing any social services related to digestion, wakefulness or erect-walking thought.

-

 

Between 2 pm Saturday and 4 pm Monday I didn't eat, spoke exclusively in Palin-tameter and accepted the concepts of 'sitting down' and 'being awake' as mutually exclusive. I genuinely don't remember my entry interview in Paris, though the stamp in my passport indicates it occurred.

-

 

I'm better now that I'm back in Copenhagen, but I need to do some serious Web MD-ing to make sure this doesn't happen again next time. Everyone chirps 'vitamin C!' but I've been taking that urine-dye for years and it doesn't seem to make any difference. There's probably some really great Chinese medicine for this, come to think of it, but I was too busy squinting and spasming while I was there to look.

-

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

1 Comment

Filed under Random

China’s next top dissident

Leave a comment

Filed under Random

O’er the ramparts

Leave a comment

Filed under Random

Who dat hutong?

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Leave a comment

Filed under Random

Caitlin Flanagan wins the ‘most irrelevant metaphor’ contest

In her review of the 'Twilight' novels:


Reading the book, I sometimes experienced what I imagine long-married men must feel when they get an unexpected glimpse at pornography: slingshot back to a world of sensation that, through sheer force of will and dutiful acceptance of life’s fortunes, I thought I had subdued.

Ummm, yes, those men who have not so much as glimpsed pornography since they gave it up for gleaming matrimony lo those many years ago. Are there women below the age of mummified who believe in this version of men, or marriage, or pornography?

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Leave a comment

Filed under Random

The Occidental tourist

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

1 Comment

Filed under Random