Monday, February 12, 2007


Not really sure how this happened, but that's the age I turned today. It seemed oddly appropriate that this blogthing was on the "new" page:

You Are 46% Misanthropic

You're somewhat misanthropic, but you're not willing to write off the human race (yet!).
There's a few people you like, and even them you like at a distance.

So anyway... it's been an odd day. Props to MLW for trying to make the day special (though I really didn't need to hear "it's your birthday!" one more time... -- I'm kidding, dearest, I love you. (Actually, I'm not)). Some strange items in the news: some oddly apropos and others not so much.

The usual folks sent in well wishes by e-card or snail card (that's a phrase, right?) -- thanks usual people... MLW made me a nice dinner and we sat and watched Star Wars on video (yeah, that's right -- video, VHS, tape -- I haven't bought the DVDs yet because I'm waiting for the inevitable box set that has all six -- I've given Lucasfilm enough money already, I don't think I need to buy multiple versions of the whole saga (especially since the first half kinda blew...)) I opened some presents and cards (I save them all for my birthday as a rule) and fielded the usual calls from home. All-in-all as nice a day as a random birthday year and a day spent working can be.

While I never intended to give it much thought I found myself compiling a birthday Wishlist (and no, not the nigh-300 items on This would be things I really, truly want.

  • I want the smokers driving in front of (and alongside and behind) me to stop treating the world like it's their personal ash-tray. If it's so great, keep it in your car, and while you're at it, keep the window rolled up too; I don't need to be sucking in the second hand smoke through my vents...

  • I want the news media to remember what journalism is. That's journal, not sensational -ism. I understand how they might confuse those two. If aliens arrived on Earth yesterday, they would have had to conclude that Anna Nicole Smith was a world leader or great thinker or something. And don't give me that crap about how "well, if it didn't sell people wouldn't buy it or watch it or read it." I'm pretty tired of other people deciding what we're capable of. Admittedly, I haven't traveled all over this nation of ours, but I suspect that people are smarter than we give them credit for. At least individually....

  • And speaking of our once great nation, I want our government to realize that not every problem can be solved with a stick, no matter how big. Sometimes we need other methods. And likewise not every problem can be solved by throwing MORE at it, be it more money, more men and women, or more bombs.

  • While we're at it, I want America to realize that More is not always More. And New is not always Improved. And that you can't have your cake and eat it too. And then have a pill that makes the affects of that cake disappear. You can't have a job you can do from a reclining position, like on the Jetson's, and you're far more likely to be struck by lightning or killed in an automobile accident than you are to win the PowerBall jackpot (for gods' sake put the money into a fund, a savings account, even under the mattress, or if you insist on throwing it away at least throw it at a charity...) Put down the fries, America, and don't drive around and around looking for the closest space -- you need the walk.

  • I want everyone to realize that the Greenhouse Effect is not just a headline, and the clock is running out on the time we have to fix it. And this clock has no snooze button. And I want the energy companies to apologize for using Big Tobacco tactics and positioning this issue as one open to debate or interpretation or I at least want them to pay.

  • And hey, while we're at it, I want people and the government to realize that with a few notable exceptions, Big Business does what Big Business has to do... and that's watch the bottom line. And any shortcut they can take to get there (whatever the quasi-legality of it) they will use. Because when you're single-minded of purpose and goal, morality tends to evaporate. So we have to make them accountable.

  • And speaking of accountability, isn't it about due for a comeback of some sort? I want our leaders, and hey, just ordinary people to say, "Yeah, that was me. I did that. Maybe you disagree, maybe you condemn me, but I will at the very least admit that the issue was my responsibility." Wouldn't that be nice? Wouldn't you be able to respect someone like that? And if you respect them and find them capable, wouldn't you vote for them? Could they do a worse job than the usual suspects? And it's not just leaders, parents blame teachers, schools, TV, music and video games for their kids bad behavior. (You know what? I had all those things and I've never done something horrible, never shot up a strip mall or a school. You know why, because my parents (and other people) taught me there's right and there's wrong -- it's a choice and you know it when you make it. You can pretend afterwards you didn't, but unless you're a sociopath, you most likely were aware of the choice when you made it...) Everyone seems to look to someone else to blame for their problems. Hey, I have problems, we all do, and some aren't even of our own making, but that doesn't mean they don't need to be dealt with. And wishing or hoping or praying isn't going to make that glass slide across the table, you have to get up and get it.
Wow. Listen to me... "I want, I want..." always about me isn't it? Might as well wish for a pony as I think we all know I stand a much better chance of waking up with superpowers, so I guess I'll just get a PS3 instead... And now to steal a page from JADO's book...*

* = The preceding rant was brought to you by to you by Old Age and Crankiness®. That's Old Age and Crankiness, now with extra Bitterness®.


Jado said...

Congrats on the Big 3 6

I think that poll thingy is broken - I am only 54% misanthropic. Maybe it is colored by the fact that I tend to like individual people, but I think as a species we will succumb to Marching Morons syndrome.

And now that my Old Age and Crankiness brand name is out, I'm gonna be famous. Thanks for that - you get 10% of the profits. Gotta get new sunglasses and practice my fake smile for the screaming hordes of fans that are sure to mob me at every opportunity.

JAM said...

I looked and looked through my old emails to find one of your rants, but couldn't seem to locate it (which means it's in an older, pre-gmail archive). I think I may have gotten it wrong. Now that I think of it, it may have been Scorn as the extra special ingredient...

Insidious Mr. Huge said...

Whoa. 65% misanthropic. I guess it was that whole "poor and sick people are a drain on society" question.

Congratulations on joining the ranks of curmudgeondom. Now get the hell off my lawn.