Showing posts with label may you live in interesting times. Show all posts
Showing posts with label may you live in interesting times. Show all posts

Friday, January 1, 2021

The State of the Zeitgeist

May you live in interesting times

                                                 Image by Pierre Blaché from Pixabay 

This is: A weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids and my great-grandkids — the Stickies — to advise them and haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — A Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering. Viewing with a tablet or a monitor is highly recommended for maximum enjoyment.

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Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"My conservatism is fairly avant-garde, and it is a kind of rebuke to conformity." - Roger Scruton

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies and Great-Grandstickies (and Gentlereaders),

Once upon a time, there was a (self-styled) columnist who titled some of his columns The State of the Zeitgeist

He thought this would be a regular feature, that there would be, eventually, a whole series of columns of the same title helpfully followed by a number that would distinguish one from another. 

He only wrote three of them and at some point declared that the series would now be called May You Live In Interesting Times. He wrote a half dozen or so of those but then apparently had a mild stroke and forgot about the whole concept.

Feeling much better now, and being triggered by the approach of one of the Republic's more absurd traditions, the annual State of the Union Show, my faulty memory was jogged, research ensued, and like the blind man who peed into the wind, it all came back to me.

[A more refined writer would've used spit into the wind.]

Perhaps, Dana, but I'm striving for edgy. Edgy is cool. Edgy is how one goes viral. Edgy is...

[You're not, and never will be edgy. You're just... odd.]

In the land of the contrived controversy, allegedly cutting-edged, and deliberately downright disgusting, an odd, Neoneoconservative is the truly edgy one. 

[I guess that's one way to look at it, but... Hey, you've yet to explain exactly what a Neoneoconservative is, now that you mention it. ]

I'm working on it... Regardless, going forward, I shall combine my State of the Zeitgeist concept with my May You Live In Interesting Times concept.

[On behalf of a grateful world, I thank you. Have you alerted the media?]

Historically speaking, Zeitgeist is a concept that has meant different things to different people. A solid ten minutes of exhaustive research confirmed my notion that it's a word that originally referred to, as Wikipedia puts it, the "...spirit of the age. It refers to an invisible agent or force dominating the characteristics of a given epoch of world history."

Nowadays, it's often used the way I use it, much more narrowly, to describe a fad on steroids/the existential crisis of the moment/...because Trump/etc.  

Ironically, historians of the future may declare that the spirit of the age we're living through was an obsession with the crisis/fad of the moment fueled by the tireless efforts of the Purple Press who regard objectivity and perspective as quaint notions.

Anyways... Since I like the word for its own sake...

[Word lover!]

And since in the course of my exhaustive research I accidentally discovered that in German all nouns are capitalized, a convention I endorse and an obvious sign that God endorses my use of Creative Capitalization.       


I'm stickin' with: 

The State of the Zeitgeist
   May you live in interesting times

The upcoming State of the Union show has devolved into a State of the Zeitgeist extravaganza. 

The Constitution says that the president should, "from time to time," provide Congress with info about how things are going and make recommendations as to what sort of "measures" the people that we the people send to the Swamp should take to keep the Republic shipshape. 

Until Woodrow Wilson came along, this was usually accomplished by the Prez sending a written message that was read out loud in Congress. 

Wilson, who ironically regarded the Constitution as an outdated impediment that stood in the way of rule by well-meaning experts leading the Deplorables to the promised land, began the current tradition of addressing Congress in-person to promote his agenda.

...As opposed to Jefferson who thought that a president speechifying to the legislative branch was too much like a given monarch's "speech from the throne."   

Long story short, we now have The State of the Union Show, a carefully staged  "reality" show featuring seemingly endless applause/ignore lines, a handful of guest stars, live coverage chockablock with talking heads, and the anti-speech by the party not in control of the White House. 

[Applause/ignore lines?] 

If you and the Prez are of the same party you're supposed to jump up and applaud at all the scripted moments (I'll bet Nancie Antoinette will be sore for days). If not, you're supposed to sit and look like it's all you can do to keep from walking out.

Virtue signaling by wearing the right color outfit and/or sporting some sort of lapel pin or other forms of virtue advertising is not quite de rigueur but encouraged.

[Wait, why are you picking on Mrs. Pelosi?] 

Mostly because it's so easy. Anyway, now that I'm officially a Neoneoconservative it's almost my duty to pick on rich Progressives. And it's edgy. Mrs. Pelosi's net worth is $100,000,000 more or less.  

Of course, his Royal Orangeness is worth... Well, who knows. But it's a lot, right?

The current state of the State of the Union Show is a snapshot of the current State of the Zeitgeist here in our Republic -- all showbiz, all the time. 

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Saturday, April 11, 2020

May You Live In Interesting Times

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandchildren (who exist), and my great-grandchildren (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.
                                                       (Meme by Weibo)

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering



Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"China is trying to become America without democracy while America is trying to become France without cheese calories." -P. J. O'Rourke

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

Obligatory disclaimer:

"May you live in interesting times" is apparently not an ancient Chinese curse. Many have investigated the origins of the phrase; a consensus remains elusive.

I begin with a digression by the garrulous geezer that authors this column, a question:

If labeling the new bug on the block that's currently causing such a cacophonous kerfuffle the Chinese virus (I much prefer Wuhan flu) is racist, why aren't the woker than thou whining about the ancient Chinese slur above?

Could it be because they're too busy trying to keep Asian kids from making everyone else's kids look dumb by hiding behind diversity quotas for college admissions?

But that's not what I'm on about at the moment.

[Pray tell us then, your crankesty, what are you on about at the moment? Your tens of readers are waiting to exhale.]

The World Health Organization.

In a column that I wrote in the distant golden age before the Wuhan flu took over our lives, the first week of last month (3/7/20), the WHO received a passing mention.

The column — Lies, Damn, Lies and statistics — was about how Cuba uses lies, damn lies, and statistics to present themselves to the world as a medical utopia that the supporters of socialized medicine love to point to and that their foes love to debunk.

The WHO...

[You just like typing that, don't you? Every time you type, the WHO, you grin like a schoolboy. It's all you can do to keep from adding a question mark every time you do it, isn't it?]

We must do our best to maintain morale in these difficult times, Dana.
Positivity is very important (even for those of us that think the word itself is very ugly).

I mentioned in that column that Cuba rents doctors out to other nations, pays 'em next to nothing, and turns a nice profit. I linked to a New York Times article that points out that the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), a division of the WHO, gets a cut for brokering the deal.

The WHO continues to cover itself in glory.

Our World in Data, a "...scientific online publication that focuses on large global problems such as poverty, disease, hunger, climate change, war, existential risks, and inequality." (phew!)... 

published by Oxford University, has decided that the WHO is not to be relied on according to an article on the FEE (Foundation For Economic Education) website.

[Speaking of phewness...]

Point taken. The bottom line is that almost a dozen reports by the WHO about the Wuhan flu betwixt 2/5 and 3/16/20 not only contained errors, the WHO corrected the reports without bothering to tell anyone, sowing confusion.

And then there's the senior official of the WHO (a Canadian) who accidentally stumbled into his 15 minutes of infamy by singing the praises of Emperor Xi's China and blowing off embarrassing questions by a reporter about Taiwan.

But I guess, now that I think about it, what I'm really on about...


What I'm really on about, is China.

[Could you be a little more vague?]

I could indeed. I could point out that vaguer, like the equally ugly positivity, is an actual word.

Instead, I'd like to express my support for the Hong Kong dissidents and those folks calling for America to uncouple from China as much as is practically possible. To reassess all aspects of our relationship. Particularly with Emperor Xi and his minions.

As a self-identified wild-eyed free marketeer, my usual knee jerk position is that anyone in the world should be free to trade with anyone in the world as long as the rule of law in general, contract law specifically, is in place and enforceable.

Despite acknowledged problems and awareness of the law of unintended consequences many folks, including me, hoped that inviting China to participate in the economic system that reduced the number of folks living in extreme poverty by 80% from 1970 to 2006 would be a, good thing (HT: M. Stewart).

That it might help loosen the fingers of the fascists who call themselves communists — perhaps more accurately labeled as a 21st-century version of a bloodthirsty Chinese emperor and his minions — from around the throats of the Chinese people.


In consideration of the ongoing rape of Tibet, the rounding up of a 1,000,000 or so Uyghurs and placing them in concentration camps, the social credit system, putting Hong Kong booksellers on trial for selling books, being the world's number one source for the precursor chemicals the Mexican cartels use to create fentanyl, intellectual property theft, declaring the South China sea to be their private swimming hole, loaning money to other countries using the same methods and with the same intentions as the mob, pumping money into institutions of higher learning all over the planet bristling with attached strings, deliberately deceiving their own people and the rest of the world about Boomer-B-Gone... inhale (hope you're wearing your mask).


Now that they're reopening the "wet markets"...

Fresh bats! Killed while you wait!

I must admit that I may have been wrong.

It's a Sputnik moment America, wake up and smell the disinfectant. 

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day    

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