Let’s just get that out of the way right now, because after you finish reading this you’ll be going ‘wow, thanks, moneysmith, this is great. You rock!’ Seriously. You will. Because I have a feeling a lot of us are at the end of our proverbial ropes, which by now are so frayed they look more like worn-out drawstrings on a pair of ten-year-old sweatpants than the nice, thick, resilient ropes they once were.
Ready for more? Walk this way (it’s all in the hips, really not that hard) …
After all, how much bad news can one person take? My theory is that we (we being those of us who actually follow the news) have already exceeded our lifetime quotas by – oh, I don’t know, something like 250,000% or thereabouts.
Maybe you’re holding up in spite of it all, but I’m burned out. Actually, beyond burned out. Forget Google News and CNN. Lately, even the theme music for “All Things Considered” makes me cringe. Between the horrendous reports of violence everywhere, the doomsday climate change scenarios, housing crisis, humanitarian disasters, and all the rest, life is turning into the movie “Groundhog Day” but without any jokes.
Not that long ago, I used to take refuge in my in-box, where friends provided a seemingly endless supply of wacky videos and silly websites. Remember — the good old days of exploding Pop-Tarts and skateboarding dogs? But that was before my friends got into screaming fights over Obama v. Hillary. Sigh.
Even reading regular email is like torture. (Okay, bad choice of words, sorry. Lost my head.) There’s something like 27 emails waiting for me, all sent by sincere, well meaning organizations hoping to save the bison, the wolves, the Alaskan wilderness, reproductive rights in the US, baby seals, giant Sequoias, organic food standards, Lake Tahoe, farm animals, and I can’t even remember all the other stuff that needs saving. All important, worthy causes. But so is my sanity. And frankly it’s slipping away faster those melting chunks of Antarctica.
So I did what any self-respecting adult would do when circumstances are driving them bat shit crazy (actually, it wasn’t that long of a drive, but still….). I decided it was time for an intervention. If my friends weren’t all fighting, they would probably have done it, but what the hell – I just had my own. I told me that I was going to be okay, that I cared about me and that buying OxyContin from Pakistan was probably not too bright, given the fact that we appear to be bombing the crap out of that country at the moment, and that I could get through this crisis without a pharmaceutical crutch. Then I even had a couple of laughs at the nuttiness of my own last remark.
And then — lawd hammercy! — one of the three people who’s not part of the national Obama/Hillary hair-pulling fest sent this: an 8-minute long video of an elephant. Painting a picture. Of an elephant!!!
And I’m all like — Oh, sure! Elephants can paint. Uh-huh. What is this – an April Fool’s Day joke? Very funny. Remind me to remove you from my “online friends” list.
But after about an hour of scouring the Google, it looks like elephants do paint. A lot. They paint like crazy. They can’t stop painting, some of them. They’re painting in Tennessee, in Thailand and in Toledo, plus other places that don’t start with a T. There’s just no end to the painting going on by elephants.
So I’m wondering – why didn’t I know this? And then I wonder: What other wonderful shit have I been missing out on?
Well, apparently, quite a lot. According to one expert, only 3 percent of the Earth’s oceans have been explored. In that tiny little 3 percent, they’ve already found the highest mountain range and the deepest valleys on Earth. Who knows what else might be there? “We don’t know much about this planet at all,” he says.
Come on — you gotta love a guy who can say “We don’t know much about this planet” with a completely straight face and not even sorta looking like silently he’s blowing a couple of gaskets from just thinking about the squillions of tax dollars disappearing into the black hole known as the Bush Misadministration, dollars that could be spent on cool stuff, like exploring the freaking oceans before they’re too full of plastic bags to get a ship through. Or other frivolous stuff, like decent food and shelter, education and health care. But let’s get real. There aren’t enough drugs in Pakistan and India combined to get any of us delirious enough to think that’s going to happen anytime soon.
So being the kind and helpful person I am when I’m not thinking about myself, which normally is 110% of the time, I thought maybe some of you would like to see what’s going on in the world that maybe you don’t know about, either. Some of it is truly amazing, so amazing it makes you think there might be some hope after all. And if you’re not buying that, just consider it a short break from agonizing over the Bush Administration. You can thank me later.