Thursday, September 16, 2010

It Puzzles Me

1.  How can people continue to deny climate change? The planet is hot and angry…and can you blame her? Even if the dire predictions prove not to be completely accurate (and we should all hope they don’t) why would you not act prudently to try to do what you can to mitigate further impact? Hello, we clearly can’t turn back the clock, but we can do better in the future, right? The answer is obviously yes, but not if we don’t get out of bed with big industry (big coal, big oil, the natural gas lobby). Nothing good can come from allowing them to continue dictate environmental policy.

2.  And speaking of big oil (and their cohorts) why would anyone usher these foxes back into the proverbial henhouse? They will continue to compromise safety, the lives of their employees, and our environment in the name of profit as long as they have no oversight or regulation. Allowing them to regulate themselves is like allowing a drunk driver to have the keys--deadly. And if you think natural gas is the answer to all our energy troubles, watch the HBO documentary Gasland, it is an eye opener. T. Boone Pickens and his friends, who own millions of dollars in natural gas leases, also have spent a fortune buying up water rights and leases. When you see the havoc these corporations have wrecked on our environment, imagine what they can do when they get to ration and control water rights.

3.  How can inflammatory sorts like Glenn Beck even begin to suggest that violence is going to come from the Left when it’s his followers who have all the guns? That’s ridiculous! Much to my dismay, President Obama has not been a friend to gun control advocates in this country, and yet Beck’s minions seem to think the president is going to come after their guns any day now. Are they living in the same world as I am where disgruntled employees--bearing both legal and illegal weapons--walk into work places and take their murderous revenge out on their colleagues? I cannot fathom a reason why an average person needs a semi-automatic or automatic weapon. I’m not anti-gun, I’m anti stupid guns in the hands of stupid people.

4.  How did it become so unpopular to be smart? When did having a brain, an opinion, and an erudite voice become unfashionable? There’s a strong wave of anti-intellectualism in this country and it’s really rather worrisome. The sillier and more down home you talk, the more “real” you are. And if you really butcher the language--repudiate, refudiate, what's the difference?--so much the better. Your loyal followers will leap to your defense and tell the nasty, pedantic grammar police not to be so elitist. I think of FDR--one of my favorite historical figures and certainly one of our best speakers--and how he’d likely be viewed by certain factions today, and it really saddens me. Good ideas can come from everywhere and just because they come from someone who is well educated doesn’t mean they are anti-American or subversive. I want someone smarter than me to be my representative in government! 

And a few other less political puzzlers…

5. What genius at TVG decided not to broadcast most of the opening day’s races from Belmont? Yet again, racing seems (in my opinion) to shoot itself in the foot.

6.  How could the venerable Grey Lady even consider ceasing to print newspapers--albeit at an unnamed future date? What would a Sunday morning be without ink on your hands from doing the NYT crossword? Madness I tell you.

7. How could my Habs have traded my favorite goalie, Jaroslav Halak?? Yes, I’m still a little bitter. Halak carried the team a good distance into the playoffs with little or no help (other than the occasional pout) from Carey Price. Only a few weeks ago Halak returned to Montreal where he signed autographs and raised tens of thousands of dollars for a local hospital. Jaro was and is a class act and I’m afraid any positive opinion of Carey Price remains to be formed. I know, I'm working on getting past this. 

* The citizen of the world phrase always reminds me of Humphrey Bogart's response to Major Strasser (the criminally good Conrad Veidt) during an early scene in Casablanca. When asked about his nationality he says he's a drunkard and Captain Renault (the brilliant Claude Rains) replies "that makes Rick a citizen of the world."

** "these things puzzle me" should be read with your most Tim Gunn-like inner voice


Mark Devereux said...

Superbly stated, as usual. I'll happily adopt you as an honourary'd be welcome anytime!

sid fernando said...

ornery and opinionated and smart --- it all goes together rather well. :)

The Paper Tyger said...

Thanks Sid and Mark for the kind comments. Me and War Admiral , ornery and high strung :p

MK said...

As someone with slightly different political views than you, I can only speak for myself (and sometimes, I don't do that so well)

I think the right's issues with climate change are less about the change and more as to whether what we're seeing is a) man-made and b) catastrophic. The earth has been changing climates since the Big Bang; Egypt was once an ocean.

Did Glenn Beck really say that? Not that I watch his show anymore.

As for intellectualism, I think that started to wane in the late 50s; perhaps it was the Brando effect. I wonder if it's a class thing - lower classes thinking that the upper class are taking advantage of them with fancy book-learnin' and all.

The Paper Tyger said...

MK--As always I appreciate your views and from our many convos I can attest that you represent yourself v well:) I fully understand the man-made versus Mother Nature argument, but why wouldn't you err on the side of caution and do anything possible to not make things worse? I don't get that. Healthy skepticism is important, but so is science and I don't see my science coming from the right on this issue.

Glenn Beck did say that and it's as out there as he usually is, I think.

I see what you're saying about Brando et. al., but this is different. There's a real dislike and distrust for intellectuals that I don't think has been this prevalent before. I may be overreacting (high strung and ornery, haha) but I don't think so.

Thanks for reading, commenting.