Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cracked Lips and Paper Cuts

Now it seems that Bernie Madoff did not, in fact, act alone in his $50 billion Ponzi scheme. Well, surprise surprise! Who knew that when a job this big is pulled off, it takes more than one person? Even Hitler had to have his “willing executioners”. Again, the belief in the power of a single “Dr. Evil” is shown to be a powerful archetype, even in a supposedly-enlightened (if not totally cynical) society like the U.S. Of course, the motivation for this belief may be two-edged. If one man is capable of that much evil, then why cannot one man be capable of an equal, or greater, amount of good? Why cannot one man, for example, save us from all our sins – from things like racism, poverty, economic chaos, terrorism, and so forth? Someone like... well... like Barack Obama, for instance?

An opinion piece in Sunday's paper by a high-ranking member of PETA points out that “lobsters and crabs are capable of experiencing pain and distress and are worthy of legislative protection”. Gee, that sound a lot like the argument pro-life people use when advocating government protections for the unborn. Apparently some species are more worthy than others when it comes to protection from pain and distress...

It seems that 31 million more people watched the Super Bowl than voted in the November election. But this finding hasn't been presented with the usual degree of indignation as to the foolishness and distorted priorities of the American public. Maybe the culture mavens are starting to realize that this sort of thing reflects realism – even a sort of patriotism! A pollster commented that “the only folks not watching the game are folks who aren't paying attention to America... people who seem to be on the fringes of American culture.” Like chronic NPR listeners, I guess. Well, one thing's for certain – the results of the average Super Bowl are more satisfying than the results of the average election... and even if your team loses you don't spend the next four years saying “don't blame me”. Plus, at least the Super Bowl is an open and fair contest between two highly-competent teams. When was the last election that could be said about? How about “not in my lifetime”?

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