Tag: random thoughts

Popular Culture 20120713: Random Thoughts

I am not quite ready to start another long series about music just yet, but probably will begin next week.  Due to popular request, Jethro Tull will be the focus when we do get started on that.  I promised something lighter than last week, so here are a few random thoughts about my likes and dislikes in popular culture, past and present.

First of all, today is Friday the 13th.  I am not superstitious, but many folks are.  Not as many as in the past, but still many are.  Interestingly, friggatriskaidekaphobia is of quite recent origin, not being much noticed until late in the 19th century.  Reasons to be afraid of this combination of date and day are quite nonscientific.

Friday has been considered an unlucky day for a long time.  The reasons for this are unclear, but Chaucer mentioned it in the 14th century.  Twelve has always been considered a “good” number (we still use dozens, have twelve hours for each half of the day, and many other examples) and 13 is thus imperfect, and a prime number as well.  One popular idea is that because of Judas, 13 (including Christ) at a table is bad luck.  A similar idea also appears in Norse mythology.  Actually, the numbers 2 and 8 have a more scientific basis for being “good”, since they describe the number of electrons required to acquire the noble gas configuration in the elements.  In any event, I consider any Friday the 13th just another day.

Who’s in that mirror?

Greenwald suggests that the equation “Obama = Bush” is a “banal expression of indisputable fact.”  Why not attack Yemeni tyrants? Bahrain?  Indeed, the Saudis?  He rhetorically asks.

(Heh.  My cognitive indeedyeum is exhausted from absolute impregnation.  My imaginary shrink long ago recommended an Indeedy-otomy (to the Ottomanth power!).)

IOZ, on the other leg, clutches the problem in his barely-civilized dewclaws, pretty much ignoring the whole “war for oil” banalities of indisputable, polydactyl heft, and jack-knifes into the relatively virgin snow-drift of the current ice-cold season to pluck a perhaps more deeply, ever-burrowing, nutritive-and-crunchy-if-intestinally-waste-filled rodent of truth: that “the roots of our narcissism drink from a deep well of insecurity that requires we constantly blow shit up lest we admit to human limitations.”

In either case, we are blotted and defamed by the distances between what can be and what is.

We can’t decide whether the Hubble telescope is preferable to depleted uranium cyclops babies, because we fear not being able to afford the Hubble without tortured cyclops babies from Omelas.

In our dwindling, guttering humanity, there remain big hearts and minds amenable to reason and empathy, dignity approaching our capacities for reason and empathy.

Cheers to you.