Friday, January 24, 2014

Pleasure Cruise Aboard the Digital Titanic

By the time Common Core, The Gates Foundation and other presumed future-looking projects and denizens finish educating children who aren't already screwed up enough, the breakdown of society as we knew it ought to be pretty much right on schedule.  I was, for one thing, rather intrigued last week when I read that police departments are running short of officer recruits who can even write a coherent incident report.  One suspects flawless talents when texting or sexting are involved, however. 

Yes, indeed yes, the digital revolution has tightly clenched us all, and if one is old enough to have experienced the benefit of accumulating an old-fashioned education, all the better.  However, for the younger folk who know only a computerized existence, a life of fantasy and un-reality may not serve them well, should the day come when the digital world is momentarily, temporarily or permanently obliterated by way of some unmitigated disaster.

As perhaps one of only a dozen or so bloggers around the globe who doesn't blog whilst sitting around the house in my underwear, I must admit to some hypocrisy, for here I am, taking full advantage of the digital world, spewing out my literary poison with the kind and determined assistance of Pac-Man's offspring (to me, everything digital is Pac-Man; it just seems so right).  Yet, if I had to -- as I did for most of my writing life -- turn out the printed word in real ink on a vintage manual typewriter or the far more advanced IBM Selectric III typewriter, I could make the change in an instant.  Sans the archaic typewriter era, however, I could take a pen and write coherently with a pen in block letters -- or I could use the cursive technique, currently the bane of alphabet lessons in elementary schools, where cursive is assumed to have had its day and should no longer be taught.  Just perfect, a recipe for disaster.  Anyway -- so there, I have all these options if computer technology disappears tomorrow.  Can school kids make the same claim?  Of course not.  It's the digital keyboard, pad or nothing.  Eventually, voice-operated functions will become the norm, but we're still talking digital, and what the computer gives the computer can take away, particularly when the computer itself is swept out of existence through a series of unfortunate events. 

The Internal Revenue Service:  I once had an opportunity to work for the IRS in an entry level position, but declined.  That was long ago, when the IRS was reasonably honorable and not taken over by political thugs determined to destroy presumed enemies.  Better luck next election. . .

Eric Holder speaks!  He was asked about clemency for Edward Snowden.  I didn't really care about his response, enveloped as I was with an immediate fantasy scenario where he and Snowden would appear before "Judge Judy," who would find Holder guilty right away for Fast and Furious and sentence him to prison.  Snowden, receiving much less lockup time, would spend it with Holder in the same cell.  Dreams can make so much more sense than reality.

Antiquities of Medicine:   Ah yes, it seems like only yesterday. . .when society proclaimed an equal doctor/patient relationship, when patients and physicians discussed treatment options together and the blood & guts playing field was fair.  Well, forget that.  Now it's the government/doctor/government/patient/computerized/one-size-fits-all-guidelines medicine approach.  Thanks Obama, thanks Congress -- and a really big thank you to the pharmaceutical industry, conspiratorial insurance companies and the lawyers hiding behind every tree to sue drug company pants off.  ALL of you stand to gain something under Obamacare, though evidence increasingly suggests that the fruits of this health care "reform" are turning rotten faster than even its perpetrators believed possible (the rest of us saw this coming, and it didn't even require brainpower).  Single payer socialism, anyone?

But forget the long-term stuff, we have the Sochi Olympics to divert us from important stuff,  and after that considerable ado about nothing concludes, and we determine whether the athletes or terrorists will take home the most awards for outstanding performances, the people can move on to more pressing matters. . .of sports.  Entertainment vs. education vs. information.  Entertainment will win, and as throngs of fans insist upon the simplicities of team-driven mind candy, thugs of major political parties continue determining the fate of the masses behind the closed doors of "open" government.

California's progressives love illegal immigrants, so will the state be as kind to China, whose exported air pollution reportedly is responsible for at least 10 percent of California's own pollution problems?

New York not only features a new NY City mayor who may as well hang a communist banner over his office entrance -- now the state's governor has basically declared there's no room for folks of certain political opinions in NY.  Of course, as all good politicians do, Gov. Andrew Cuomo backtracked and stated his comments were "distorted."  The only person who could have distorted his words is the governor because his words were recorded, and no matter how often one listens to his words, it's kinda difficult to find even a whiff of distorted anything.  Meanwhile, overtaxed and excessively regulated businesses and people continue to abandon NY State in haste, even as the state government pays for expensive TV advertising around the country, enticing (read as: begging) companies to set up shop in the state.  Yeah, that'll work out great once the communism and fascism close ranks in ol' corrupt New York.

My favorite person of Hispanic heritage this week is actress Maria Conchita Alonso, instantly attacked by San Francisco's Latino "community" for daring to break from the crowd of hyenas to voice support for a conservative running for governor.  Ms. Alonso, already outspoken about the dangers of illegal immigration, actually had the nerve to appear prominently in a campaign ad for assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who seeks the Republican nomination, as reported by CBS-TV affiliate KPIX. 

“Politicians and big government are killing our prosperity, pushing welfare costs through the roof and driving our schools into the ground,” Donnelly states in the ad.  Standing next to Donnelly, Alonso humorously adds in Spanish, “We’re screwed.”  As one might expect, the actress currently holds little favor with San Francisco Hispanics who dismiss or violate immigration laws.  Gotta put her on a pedestal for that.  Maybe commission a statue of her for public display in the city.

My least favorite person of Canadian heritage this week is Justin Bieber.  This guy is a mess.  He fought the law and the law won, at last.  I don't care about the DUI charge, I just want Bieber arrested, tried -- "egged" -- and jailed for his abuse of music in general, and add an additional charge for his smiling mug shot.  Yeah, I guess rehab would be nice, now that he's been all screwed up by hanging out with the "thug" element and trying to become a number of things he can never be.  Deportation?  Nah, not unless there's a willing country with an economy dependent upon prison colonies.  Could even the Phantom of the Opera coach and correct Bieber's rampageous life of melodic crimes?  Ladies and gentlemen, may we present for your listening pleasure cats fighting in a garbage can?  Fingernails scraping on a blackboard?  The lilt and lively music of Justin Bieber?  Baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby. . .arghh!  Alcohol and drugs surely are not the answer for Bieber -- but for those who audibly endure his creations against their will, maybe so.