Concerto for blunt instrument

An irregular heartbeat from d.o. to you. Not like a daily kos, more like a sometime sloth. Fast relief from the symptoms of blogarrhea and predicated on the understanding that the world is not a stage for our actions, rather it is a living organism upon which we depend for our existence.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Mems and memoirs

In his recent essay in the back of the New York Times Book Review, Benjamin Kunkel takes a whack at the seemingly endless number of memoirs published these days in the U.S. All that pain and redemption going nowhere! Kunkel closes with this remark:

“But no one says what to do with recovered health, let alone uses his newfound sanity to reckon the personal cost – in guilt, dread, shame or resentment – of a vicious political economy promising dividends in ecological catastrophe.”

Hmmm…seems like this writer has been doing that forever. Maybe the fact that I seldom self-reference lead the few readers I have to think I’m just another soul-less ideologue.
Hey, isn’t Rachel Maddow always talking about herself! And aren’t blogs supposed to be “my site about me!”? This damn program won’t even allow me to use a lowercase “i” for me! Sounds like I’d have more readers if I spilled my guts all over the page and avoided the end of the world as we know it. Fuck that!

I’m inclined to think a good bit of the cause of today’s ecological crisis has everything to do with “personal freedom” and “rugged individualism” (did I fail to mention the quest for personal gain?). Those potent mems, fucked up as they are in so many ways, have been hyped as a free pass to freebooters and corporados to trash the planet and its inhabitants for centuries. Don’t you think that here on the edge of the abyss we might want to consider some OTHER frame? How about “collective living beats collective suicide”? The so-called right-to-lifers might identify with that given their aversion to euthanasia and abortion.

How about this one: “There is no security when the climate melts down”. Hey, even the Pentagon buys that one. Their study, “An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security”, reinforces what the world’s scientific community has been saying all along. The report's authors identify climate disruption as beginning now, with the most devastating effects occurring possibly between 2010 and 2020. So much for that old worn-out bullshit about “natural fluctuations” (sorry, Rush). Even the biblical “dominion” meme is coming undone, thank god for that!

OK, indulge me: Once upon a time I was a drug-crazed hippie ready to party at the drop of a hat. Before that, before the proverbial “60s, James Dean turned me into a Rebel Without a Cause. I never was good at following orders, so I became disorderly. Somewhere in there I nearly screwed everything up with substance abuse, but somehow managed to pull through and become relatively sane. Now that I’ve recovered I’m filled to overflowing with RESENTMENT toward far-right Republicans, heartless corporados, assorted neocons, and brain-dead “patriots” bent on throwing Jefferson’s dreams against the curb. Let’s kick their ass!

Thanks for reading my memoir.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Some dog people

You gotta' wonder what some dog people are thinking. It seems sometimes as if the concept of freedom extends only as far as their own sphere of existence. All others must conform to that geography. Case in point: we set out the other day for a walk down the Great Beach on the outer shore of Cape Cod. Before we had barely descended the cliff we encountered a large gray dog running loose across the beach. He was totally engaged in investigating every object he encountered, often lifting a leg to add his own mark in the process. That in itself is not so much a problem unless, of course, your beach bag happens to have been one of those objects, or if you happen to be an endangered piping plover with a nest full of hatchlings.

Somewhere out there are rules about keeping dogs on a leash in the vicinity of plover nests. Granted, often the dog owner may not know of such regulations and, one might assume, after their pet has traumatized a nesting plover, or worse, they may wish they had known. On the other hand, some dog owners could care less. Such was the case with this particular dog's owner who lagged hundreds of yards behind his hyper four-legged friend, no leash in hand, and who, upon being informed of the rule, waved off any further discussion. He did however half-heartedly attempt to call the dog back, but Rover would have none of it.

In this case the plover in question lucked out.The dog saw something further down the beach to capture his interest and the plover, being an expert at concealment, was spared, though no doubt frightened. The return trip up the beach may have been a different story.

To the dog owner, their companion's freedom to run unencumbered is often unquestionable. The idea that other creatures are entitled to the freedom of going about undisturbed seems not to have occurred to many of them. Perhaps they rationalize that their pet is no different than a prowling coyote or fox and thus permitted the same considerations. But hey, be serious! The K9 population explosion is no natural occurrence, and like their over-populated owners, have pushed into every conceivable ecological niche like invading hordes, shoving aside or destroying other species, decimating diversity.

Truth be known, I'm a cat person. Like dogs, domesticated cats carry much of the same baggage when it comes to harassment or attacks on wildlife. Their range however, is more limited and few people take them for walks on the beach or in the woods. Like my feline friends, I look upon most dogs with some disdain. As a human, I look upon irresponsible dog owners with even more disdain. Dear dog owners: It's the 4th of July, the celebration of certain codified rights like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Value life. Use liberty wisely. We'll all be a lot happier when you do.