And now for something completely different.
Pretty much summed it up. Well played.
This whole bit is made all the funnier by knowing that all of the guards were just random extras who weren’t told what was going to happen only that they weren’t allowed laugh at any cost as they wouldn’t be payed if they did.
‘We bring good things to life!”
Just when I thought Scott C. had all the high-spots…
"He posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency. The torturers go free. The Wall Street executives go free. The war crimes in the Middle East, especially now in Gaza, the war criminals go free. And yet, you know, he acted as if he was both a progressive and as if he was concerned about the issues of serious injustice and inequality and it turned out that he’s just another neoliberal centrist with a smile and with a nice rhetorical flair. And that’s a very sad moment in the history of the nation because we are—we’re an empire in decline. Our culture is in increasing decay. Our school systems are in deep trouble. Our political system is dysfunctional. Our leaders are more and more bought off with legalized bribery and normalized corruption in Congress and too much of our civil life."
I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve brought this up (less eloquently than West, of course) and am met with blank stares or outright anger that I dare suggest such things.
The five major oceanic gyres from “The terrifying true story of the garbage that could kill the whole human race”
This is a stunner of a story. It’s a seafaring adventure, full of salty characters and incredibly beautiful (and also salty) language, and it’s worth taking the time to read. Yes, it’s about the terrifying reality of how we’re poisoning our oceans, but it also captures the wonder of the animals and vastness that make up the world’s seas:
“We gather in the cockpit and train our headlamps on a shallow cake pan, eager to see what shakes out. Lots of little fish, battered to a pulp like anchovies from a pizza. “Myctophids,” Eriksen says. “Lantern fish.” The better-preserved resemble miniature gargoyles, an inch or two long, with underslung bulldog jaws. “It’s the greatest migration in the world, the vertical migration. These little guys coming up out of the darkness of the deep by the billions to feed on the surface every night.” And lots of little black flies, Halobates, tiny marine insects that stride upon the surface of the sea feeding on fish eggs. (What a planet, eh? Where you think there’s nothing, there’s always teeming strangeness!) And finally, among unidentifiable hunks of mucous-like stuff, little bright bits of colorful confetti.”
… the strangeness and danger of sailing through waters never before fully researched:
“Tonight, as the Sea Dragon crosses the western edge of the gyre—about 3oo miles due east of Rio—Watch Team A can’t see squat beyond the little illumined stage created by the ship’s running lights. The seas arrive out of the darkness, implode into fractals of foam and force, then shove off aft into oblivion. They make a sound like applause. Or hissing disapproval. A fuse? A tremendous snake? It’s beautiful and eerie out here, hundreds of miles offshore, both unreal and hyper-real, and ultimately hypnotic. Why not—I woolgather, shivering in the spray—just beyond our circle of light, a bizarro Atlantis of plastic crap populated by bobbing Barbies and molded plastic action heroes? And hovering above Crapopolis, perhaps, a ring of judicious aliens holding clipboards like doctors in a surgical theater? And how surprised would I really be if, with the next big wave, we crashed through construction-paper scenery, and the lights came on, revealing us to be actors in bad community theater? Pretty fucking surprised, I suppose. And relieved.”
… and the stories of some captivating sailors and scientists:
“In August 2003, Eriksen launched Bottle Rocket, a little catamaran with plastic bottle pontoons, an old Mustang seat, and two bicycles cannibalized to drive a paddle wheel. He started in Minnesota and didn’t reach the Gulf until February of 2004. That self-imposed ordeal helped him reclaim his fighting spirit. He was homing in on his true adversaries. He writes: “Become mentally prepared, factual and thoughtful, about principles of human rights and sustainability. Become a force of greater persuasion. Choose justice, choose your army, find your students, know your enemy, and then prepare yourself with clenched fists.””
It’s long, but so totally worth the read. Stick through it to the end.
Beautiful to read, and ultimately, very sad. The things our selfishness, throw-away culture, and myopic tendencies have wrought…
Principal types of Dragonfly venation. 1917.
As if our resource depletion, lack of income inequality, gender bias, sexual preference bias, crumbling infrastructure, mediocre education, and countless other things going on are not enough - we have this History Repeating bullshit. How much privilege do we need before we can just share some of it? Unreal.
The absurdity runs deep: America is using American military equipment to bomb other pieces of American military equipment halfway around the world. The reason the American military equipment got there in the first place was because, in 2003, the US had to use its military to rebuild the Iraqi army, which it just finished destroying with the American military. The American weapons the US gave the Iraqi army totally failed at making Iraq secure and have become tools of terror used by an offshoot of al-Qaeda to terrorize the Iraqis that the US supposedly liberated a decade ago. And so now the US has to use American weaponry to destroy the American weaponry it gave Iraqis to make Iraqis safer, in order to make Iraqis safer.
It’s not just ironic; it’s a symbol of how disastrous the last 15 years of US Iraq policy have been, how circuitous and self-perpetuating the violence, that we are now bombing our own guns. Welcome to American grand strategy in the Middle East."
U-S-A! U-S-A! Nummer one! Think of all the shit we could have done with the money, lives, and resources that were pissed away for this debacle.
"We think this is reality. But in philosophy, that’s called naive realism: "What I perceive is reality." And philosophers have refuted naive realism every century for the last 2,500 years, starting with Buddha and Plato, and yet most people still act on the basis of naive realism.
Now the argument is, “Well, maybe my perceptions are inaccurate, but somewhere there is accuracy, scientists have it with their instruments. That’s how we can find out what’s really real.” But relativity, quantum mechanics, have demonstrated clearly that what you find out with instruments is true relative only to the instrument you’re using, and where that instrument is located in space-time. So there is no vantage point from which real reality can be seen.
We’re all looking from the point of view of our own reality tunnels. And when we begin to realize that we’re all looking from the point of view of our own reality tunnels, we find that it is much easier to understand where other people are coming from.
All the ones who don’t have the same reality tunnel as us do not seem ignorant, or deliberately perverse, or lying, or hypnotized by some mad ideology, they just have a different reality tunnel. And every reality tunnel might tell us something interesting about our world if we’re willing to listen.
The idea every perception is a gamble, seems to me so obviously true that I continually am astonished that I could forget it so many times during the course of 24 hours. But to the extent that I remember it, I just can’t stay angry at anybody, so it’s a thing worth keeping in mind.”
set of nostalgia drawings by gabriel picolo. i don’t think i have enough space on my tumblr for all his works that i’d like to post.
Holy shit, this guy is on some interstellar levels…