February 3, 2002

I was talking to a friend of mine last night. She’s in Seattle now. Inevitably, we talked a bit about the latest planetary lunacy – the Afghanistan business, Iraq, terrorism, blah, blah, blah.

Interest is still quite high in all this. If it were a movie, it would be breaking box office records and plans for the DVD would require at least three, staggered versions with a second theatrical release just prior to the final (ha!) Director’s Cut.

The Web is littered with blogs and online news sites that are filled with stories about all of this. They range from the far right to the far left and all the shades between. You could spend the rest of your life just reading about the War online. And that’s without even going near the traditional media outlets like TV, radio, and print.

And here’s what I was thinking today: Beyond this stupid little rock, out there amid all the uncountable galaxies and stars, does anyone give a shit? I’m in my forties and I’ve concluded this crap NEVER goes away. It mutates, it puts on a new suit of clothes, sometimes it even changes its accent, but it NEVER GOES AWAY!

This is the hope and the horror of space travel. Sometimes (and tellingly) referred to as space colonization.

The hope is that one day we can get off this dust ball and in doing so leave the assholes behind to rant and bitch at each other and eventually blow themselves to hell and gone.

The horror is that we eventually get off the rock and take all the same shit to the stars, fucking up the universe the same way we fuck up everything else.

The rights and wrongs of all this business aside, the thing that most strikes me about it all is how tiresome it all is. The endless nattering about who did what to whom and how to deal with it and who knows what they’re talking about and who doesn’t and what we should and shouldn’t do and today we like the U.S. president and tomorrow we think he’s a screw-up and the day after that … It’s like an episode of some annoying TV show, a single episode, being rerun over and over endlessly. Are we talking about Reagan or Carter or Bush … and which Bush? And the names we can’t pronounce from lands whose names have never made it to prime time TV before …

We think progress is the advance of technology but good God! The middle-east has been going on FOREVER! Can anyone, anywhere remember a time when the middle-east wasn’t a principle news story? This is not progress. This is a car with a wheel in a rut spinning mindlessly, unendingly, and never going anywhere.

Good guys and bad guys – who’s who? Dunno – check the calendar and see what day of the week it is. Call Madge down the block – “Hey Madge! Who we liking this week?”

Last night, I turn on the TV and see the World Economic Forum, one of those asinine economic summits or whatever the hell they are. And the lead characters in the story? Serious suits with a variety of degrees by their names, political appointees with the charisma of dried mud and … Bill Gates. And Bono.

Bill Gates? BONO?!!! Argentina – your problems are solved! We’ve put U2 on it!

Afghanistan – we’ve put Microsoft in charge of the rebuild! Soon you’ll be able to effectively farm that massive abandoned parking lot with the aid of wizards and pop-up windows! Just be sure you download the right character set.

The entire world is locked into a dick measuring contest. Who has the biggest pecker? And don’t think if you’ve got the biggest, you’ve won anything. It’s like those lines in Revelation about Death on a pale horse. The guy with the small dick is going to have serious issues, and he’ll be ready to take on anyone. Hell follows the guy with the teensy pee-pee.

Now that’s a rambling rant if ever there was one.

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