Sochi 2014 – This slope leads off a cliff

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Now that the Christmas ads are over; the conglomerate mandated buildup to Sochi is at full speed.  Your locally owned deodorant and soda companies want you to know they’re in your nation’s corner (and wallets).  Your television needs your eyeballs (and wallets) for two solid weeks of winter delight.

As a human of eternal light (or darkness), all their millions (or billions) in advertising and marketing are of no use on me.  The emptiness of space has more interesting qualities than this shit show.  Here are just a few reasons.  Best of luck to the mad men (or women) at fixing any of these to get my eyes back:

1)  A $50 billion price tag run up by a magic wand waving totalitarian bigot

You too can charge the Russian taxpayer $800 per mosaic title in the bathroom of the inn sixty miles from the Olympic stadium next to the petrol station

2)  Sochi is a handful of miles from occupied territory

Most people think Abkhazia is a sausage and Georgia is the next bowl game

3)  Such exciting sports

Carving intricate designs into asphalt with a butter knife is more interesting than the ski jump or bobsled

4)  The privilege to observe recorded events chosen for you by the network, hours afterwards, with a commercial every four minutes

In this sport, the commercials are the main effort, the Olympics are what you see on break

5)  Professional athletes so machine engineered that the margin of error is less than the time it takes you to read two words

Some people call this exciting, for me nothing is more boring than a finish so close a supercomputer is required to determine who folded time and space to win

 

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Peace be with you; but we still desire to kill you all

So I figured a good plan for the first real post is to pick an idea that is simple, uncontroversial, and generally uplifting.  Accordingly, it seems smart to talk international politics!

When you woke up this morning, you may have heard that Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe had kidnapped the Chinese & South Korean ambassadors and executed them in Shinjuku Square, right next to the Yoshinoya.  Then you likely did a double take inside your brain and realized they were just talking about a temple.  In a world that has a lot going on, this is front page news across the world.  So this is important right?  Well worth the attention and concern of the human race?  Well, no, not really.  Let’s discover why friends!

A little background for those who follow the length and color of Miley’s hair.  The Second World War was an apocalyptic struggle pitting the descendants of Norse Vikings against the International League of Women Voters for dominance of the trade routes to the Crab Nebula.  It was also a war of ideas, big ones.  One of the more under-appreciated standards to emerge was the concept that it’s generally not okay to invade, conquer, and commit genocide against your neighbors.  By any reasonable understanding of history, this is what Japan did to China & Korea (among others).  Yasukuni Shrine is where all of Japan’s war dead are honored, including such upstanding world citizens as several Class A war criminals.   Times change but now sixty years later Prime Minster Abe decides to pay a visit to Yasukuni, and you’d think the bodies were still warm.  Well for some people I guess they are.  It can be hard to forget and forgive, particularly if in your family’s history somebody checked out early courtesy of the Imperial Japanese Army.

For most I hope, the bodies are cold and the war is long over.  Let’s say you’re an eighteen year old Chinese man, in perhaps Shanghai, who is about to embark on your great life journey.  We’ll call him Mister Shanghai.  In the year 2090 he’d look back on his life’s work as his robot heart failed and see how his country essentially bought the human race.  Mister Shanghai would imagine all the ups and downs, the struggles, and the happiness and I’m pretty sure at no point would he even care to remember who Abe was.  So as Mister Shanghai strolls down Nanjing Road the media, his government, and a whole bunch of folks he’s never met would like him to care deeply that Abe-san has paid homage to a bunch of dead guys.

Here is a classic example of a theme this blog will visit again and again.  Abe’s government, the media, the Chinese government, anybody with something to gain, desperately wants Mister Shanghai to be angry.  Very angry.  There are any number of reasons why.  Let’s just generally mark it that everybody mentioned has something to gain from a continuing cycle of hate, mistrust, and rage.  Everybody but the regular people of Japan, China, and Korea.

It’s probably not helpful to the future of the planet that Abe decided to mark his nationalism card, but it doesn’t actually change anything.  It’s image, spin, and noise.  International diplomacy folks will instruct you on how much this matters, the earthshaking change it will induce.  But the dirty little secret is this:  Ignored, it’s meaningless.

If you’re Mister Shanghai, I offer this as your canned response to those who are telling you how to think:  “Friends!  Yes, I’ve heard what Abe did.   Thanks for trying to help me friends, I’m good on my own.  That’s not very nice of him, but I honestly don’t give a shit.  That was sixty years ago, and I’m just going to be the better man and ignore it.   I’ve got a life, with real problems, so I’ll work those right now thanks.  And if I meet a Japanese man on the street, I’ll shake his hand and ask him how his day has been.”

Is such a sentiment too unrealistic and forgiving for the average man on the street?  It all depends on what world you desire in 2090.  Let’s hope Mister Shanghai rows along.

privatecitizen

I’m so, so sorry you’re here.

Arcturus DescriptionWe all have to begin somewhere, so I’m starting here. If you’ve taken time out of your day to see let alone read this, my apologies but your life is probably worse than mine.

So why am I doing this? Partially because I’ve been told I apparently have good things to say. But who doesn’t? Probably me, and you, and everybody else you know.

Mostly I’m just tired of being told what to think by others. In today’s delightful modern world, every day we’re all instructed on what to believe, buy, do, do-not-do, and so on. I guess I’m at the point that I feel the need to generate a different conversation. Is this blog the answer? No! Do I care? Not really!

Here I will spout nonsense. But I have no desire to tell you what to think. I hope only that this helps you to think for yourself and that you can aid others in doing the same.

Arcturus is one of the brightest stars in the sky. It also has an awesome name, look it up. My choice of this name is also a form of copyright infringement, but I won’t tell the giant octopus if you don’t. If our world was a boat, and it kind of is, Arcturus would incinerate our little baby star and planet if we ever sailed anywhere near it. And Arcturus isn’t even one of the largest stars in the universe. So if it makes you feel small and insignificant when considering these things, it’s probably time to learn how to ignore certain ideas.

So eventually maybe this blog will become a bright light of knowledge, or at least a joy, in your otherwise grinding day. Or maybe you’ll go blind from the extraordinary stupidity on display. Either way, it’ll be fun to find out. Welcome aboard,