Sunday, November 26, 2006
Once again, Somafm, coolest station on the planet, has Xmas in Frisco, its irreverent holiday music channel, for your pleasure. Chaos ranted about the relentless commercialism of the most commercial nations on the planet last year, and is not about to do it again. (Ok, a little bit: the crowds are bigger and meaner this year, and there isn't a business establishment which is unwilling to use the holiday to sell whatever--tires, massages, etc. The decorations are more gaudy and ridiculous but the citizens of the Empire are spiritually poorer. $350.00 will get your holiday lighting installed in a 2 story suburban tract home--yes, we are taking in each other's laundry).
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Update: Here's a local letter to the paper that you can contemplate:
"It was a simpler time
Back in the good old days, remember when:
Our flag was respected, both at home and abroad. The government was of the people, by the people and for the people, not of the politicians, by the politicians and for the politicians. Families took care of families, not the government.
Girls in high school did not have children. You felt safe in your own home. Your house was seldom locked or windows closed. The key to the car was kept in the ignition. There was no such term as "drive by shooting." There was no need for a "war on drugs."
Children walked alone safely to and from school. Police and security guards were not needed at schools. Boys gathered at parks, vacant lots, open fields, etc. to play baseball and other sports. There were no knives, no guns and no need for adult supervision. It was a good time to be a boy.
Movies and TV did not rely on sex and violence to entertain; they entertained the old fashioned way. They did it with talent. You had a competent and caring personal doctor, not today's impersonal socialized medicine system. We were paid to work, not to not work. U.S. Grant was a president, not a government handout.
Children were taught manners. Your word was your bond. A person's good reputation was his most prized possession. Defending our country was a man's responsibility. Democrats and Republicans did not hate each other; they were Americans first and foremost. We fought wars for the right reasons and actually fought to win the wars. And on and on.
Today's society has more modern conveniences, but the good old days were truly "the good old days."
Yeah, those wars were pretty good, weren't they? Chaos supposes not so good for those killed in them, but pardon the digression. At any rate, an expanding population will certainly account for the effects mentioned in the letter, and the writer is to be commended for noticing the difference, although seemingly unaware of the reasons for it.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
"When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for the people to abandon civic spaces in which daily social and commercial Intercourse have, throughout history, bound neighbour with neighbour, customer with merchant, tradesman with client, manufactory with location, and citizen with community; and to indiscriminately pursue unfettered Motion and Isolation in the separate Vehicles to which their incomes entitle them; an unquestioning obeisance to the demands of motorized Movement requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all Motorists are created more equal than non-motorists; that they are endowed by Our Lord Economic Growth with certain unalienable Rights; that among these are the Right to drive wherever, whenever, and as much as they desire; and to do so in whatever size and type motor Vehicle shall please them; and that, moreover, they are entitled to as much Energy and motoring Infrastructure as shall prove needful for these purposes. That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among oil Companies, motor vehicle Manufacturers, the highway Lobby, and the land development Cabal, deriving their just Powers from Consumers as evidenced by their vehicle purchases, fuel consumption, and selection of residences that make Driving a "necessity". That whenever any Form of historic municipal arrangement impedes the right to drive and park without limitation, it is the duty of departments of Transportation, acting on behalf of Motorists, to alter or to demolish it, and institute a new Master Plan, laying its foundation on an expansive Network of limited-access Highways, Streets wide enough for two ladder-type fire Trucks to pass with parked vehicles on both sides, turn Lanes, access Roads, drive Aisles, and abundant off-street Parking, as to the Motorists shall seem most likely to effect their Motoring Ease.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that city and village Designs long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that Motorists were sometimes disposed to suffer, while evils were yet sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Delays to which they had become accustomed. But when traffic Bottlenecks persist into the 21st Century, and insufficient free Parking near the front door of their every Destination continues to impede not merely the Motorist but Progress itself, it is the Motorists' right, indeed it is his duty, to condemn and pave over such confined Spaces, and to provide, moreover, abundant Capacity for future traffic Growth."
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
"The way we use the oceans is that we hope and assume there will always be another species to exploit after we've completely gone through the last one," said one of the researchers.
That's right, you can't make this stuff up, it's too depressing. What's even more depressing is the "ho-hum" response this story generated. Chaos noted the riot of exotic fish offered at the local market over the weekend: wild shark steak, Chilean sea bass, tuna, steelhead trout, etc. Oh well.