A few days ago I told you not to listen to the news! But then you went ahead and did it, didn’t you? Dumbass.


So the first thing you heard this morning, courtesy of the brave people at NPR. How they do stuff like this every day is truly admirable.

Abused and betrayed: people with intellectual disabilities and an epidemic of sexual assault

 

 

MAGAFL, or the White Supremacist Football League that will be so third-rate that it will be laughable.


Will they use helmets?

The Vast Right-Wing Brain Trust is speckalatin’ that Vince McMahon sold $100 million of his WWE stock in order to resuscitate something like the disaster that was the XFL. I saw this news in the Charleston Post and Courier, but being the hard-digging journalist that I am, I followed up on Breitbart.com to get my finger on the pulse (Result: there is one at the wrist, but the carotid pulse was barely detectable–methinks the brains aren’t getting enough oxygen).

Apparently, there are a core of genius nuts out there that think that hatred of free speech, unquestioning love of the police, bigotry, and a desire to see more on-field violence, jingoistic half-time displays, and I can’t even imagine the lewd sexism of the cheerleading squads will be enough to sustain a football league. I’d say they were wrong with 100% certainty, but then again, Orange Mousselini did get elected. (When one commenter stated that the games should be filled with nationalistic demonstrations, I couldn’t resist saying that first downs should be followed with mandatory prayer,  and I actually got up-voted twice. )

“I couldn’t be happier, now that I’m  playing for the Memphis Grand Wizards!”

I’m scratching my head trying to think who would play in this league? Say someone doesn’t make the NFL draft. Say this someone is African-American, as are 68% of the players in the NFL. How many of those players are going to want to parade themselves in front of a half-full stadium where most of those in attendance are Black Lives Don’t Matter crackers? Maybe with $100 million they can get enough guys to field a team. I wouldn’t blame a guy who spent all of his effort trying to make pro, didn’t make the NFL and doesn’t have many other options from taking a job, but this sure doesn’t seem like a sustainable business model.

players taking a knee

This is why I’m not a writer


I just haven’t felt like writing. The noise of life is too deafening.  The readers, few that they are, have demonstrated more interest in my co-parenting and other personal topics than in politics, which is loud, everywhere, and  therefore unavoidable. And I feel I should write about theses things,  rather than my own solipsistic mewling.

Things are crazy now. An isolated, paranoid, and vindictive child holds the keys to what he wants to make his kingdom. We watch astounded. Everyone accuses everyone else of lying, and thinks that that makes things equal. I begin to wonder if the US is a failed experiment:  If the Constitution can allow this, how can we ever make it right? Anyway, I could go on, but, as I said, you can find worry like this anywhere, and probably better written (The New Yorker has been great).

The sun is actually out, and we haven’t seen it in a while, so I think that I’ll take some sunshine over fretting.

portnoy

Another problem I’ve been having: I  have to decide who I want my audience to be? I guess the big question for every writer who has children is,  what will they think when they come across my writing one day, and am I okay with that? I’m in awe of some writers’ abilities to be brave and bold. I’m am neither. I could don’t think that I would have ever–as a child of living parents and children–had the guts to write Philip Roth’s line from Portnoy’s Complaint:

“I fucked my own family’s dinner.”

Good golly, and what great book.

 


About what I should be posting.

In the meantime, one cartoonist’s view of the Rapture. Hmmm, maybe I should convert.

The Great Snatch

Parasite Attack! Flesh-eating Worms in the United States!


 

A Meta-Bug News Roundup

Screwworms in Florida

The New World screwworm, Cochliomyia homnivorax, isn’t probably something you think about. Fortunately, you don’t have to. The screwworm, a larval form of a fly, has been eradicated in the United States since 1982.

220px-Cochliomyia_hominivorax_(Coquerel,_1858)220px-Screwworm_larva

Unlike maggots, which eat only dead flesh, the screwworm eats live tissue. When I was in Haiti recently, I saw what they are capable of. Any wound, any abrasion, any cut is an invitation for the flies to show up. Then the larvae come out, and work their way not just into the necrotic parts, but the actual live tissue.

Screwworms obviously present a serious danger to livestock. I can even find you a gross story where they went into a woman’s ear. But since the ’50s, researchers began experimenting with the release of sterile male flies, first on the relatively controlled setting of an island, and then on the mainland. By 1982, there were no more screwworms in the US.

Naturally, flies don’t recognize international borders, so in partnership with Mexico and the nations of Central America, the screwworm has been restricted to south of the isthmus of Panama, a bottleneck that is relatively easy to defend. The breeding of sterile males is ongoing in Panama.

Recently, 40 endangered Key Deer had to be euthanized in Florida when it was discovered that they were infested with screwworms. Sterile males were introduced, the Florida Department of Agriculture set up inspection stations in Key Largo for animals leaving the keys, and the outbreak was contained.

 

Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, has died.

“When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called a Religion.”

pirsig

Here’s a passage  from Zen  that I always found interesting.

Things are getting worse.

Twittler has proposed huge tax cuts, and naturally they benefit him and those in high income brackets the most. They propose eliminating the inheritance tax, which is probably the best tax we have: WE’RE TAXING DEAD RICH PEOPLE! They’re decomposing, they can’t complain, and if their whiny little offspring think it’s just horrible that they have to be just a tiny bit like the rest of us (which they won’t, they’ll still be stinking rich), well, they can commiserate in their gated communities and in their country clubs, just like they always have. The Great Unwashed will be able to perhaps feed and educate their children a little better. It’s understandable how those at the top don’t really want a level playing field, but keeping the “Paris Hilton” tax–or maybe we should call it the Trump Kids Tax–is a good thing. Just ask Teddy Roosevelt. Whatever you name it, don’t let anyone get away with calling it a “death tax.” It’s not.  It’s a tax on plutocracy and oligarchy.

I can’t write anymore today. A buffoon is fucking up or determined to fuck up so many things at once–relations with Canada and Mexico, military policy, health care, foreign trade– that it’s overwhelming. As I’ve written before, there’s a good chance that the American Experiment has failed, and the wise will at least be keeping an eye open on an exit strategy. While I’m here, I will work to make this a better and safer place, but I do not believe that this is the best place for my children to plan their future in.

My Street Band Made the New York Times, Marching for Science


Woohoo.

Here we are, the Jamaica Plain Honk Band (subsumed for the day by the Boston Area Brigade of Activist Musicians, otherwise known as BABAM). That figure on the right , sort of behind and to the side of the tuba player?  The guy whose head is out of the picture, but you can see the blue raincoat? Yeah, that’s me. Promise. And that’s E, our young brass player, leading the charge. 25MARCH34-superJumbo

Shavuah Tov. Impeach Drumpf.


Marched for science today. We all got together and spent over four hours outside on a ridiculously cold and drizzly late April day agreeing that we like science, that we are sorry that the current administration doesn’t, and that we wish that would change. The only hope that anyone saw was that Tangerine Jesus might get a chronic disease for which there is no cure, in which case he might fund research for it. It wouldn’t cover much, but it’s a start.dog protester

I was there with a street band, and I have to admit that if you’re gonna protest, it’s more fun playing music than it is listening to speeches.  Google “march for science signs” if you’re in need of a laugh.

(Social) Media Shabbat


I’m concentrating on what I’m trying not to think about for the next 25 hours.

  • Don’t think about Neil Gorsuch, and how a 5-4 vote sent a man in Arkansas to lethal injection, part of the state’s planned Execution Fest.
  • Don’t think about how Berkeley is playing into the hands of right-wing whack jobs by saying that Ann Coulter couldn’t speak there safely. Kudos to the Young Assholes Sycophants Smarmy Army Republicans for picking provocateurs instead of someone who would actually put together a cohesive argument for conservative policies. We now know that you don’t need to be middle-aged and embittered in to subscribe to the Fuck You School of Political Thought.
  • Don’t think about Marine Le Pen, and how the terrorist attack on the Champs Elysee might help her get elected.
  • Don’t think about the Great Barrier Reef.
  • coral bleaching

Alas, I’m marching for science tomorrow with BABAM (Boston Area Brigade of Activist Musicians), so I’ll have to think about the Handbasket Express at least a little bit.  I’ll be there with bells on, literally (Ich spiele glocken).

Stupid GropenFuehrer Supporter Quote of the Day


From Facebook:

What a disgrace. Wrong call boys. O’Reilly is one of your best news outlet. You let two women’s that have no bussiness or experience to dictate you boys how to run your company. I hope O’Reilly, Greta and maybe Hannity create their own bussiness and pull your Network down. Shame on you boys. Your lost

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