Fatigue Fatigue

Election fatigue.  Fiscal Cliff fatigue.  War fatigue.  War hero sex scandal fatigue.  Bomb Iran or not fatigue. Crazy politicians saying psycho things fatigue. Human-engineered natural disasters fatigue. Finger-pointing fatigue.  European debt crisis fatigue.  Stock market sinking fatigue.  Living in precarious economic times (controlled by others) fatigue.  Dealing with a failing parent fatigue.

Wow, I am tired.  If one or more of these things come to fruition, it (or they) will dwarf the others and can send our nation, our society and/or just me into a tailspin.

In fact, I was too tired to get all excited that President Obama was re-elected.  I was more relieved that the months of uncertainty were over.  And BOB, who lives in a Red State, wrote a poignant Facebook post just before the election that made me re-think any self righteous glee after the president’s re-election.  BOB wrote:

I don’t post, particularly about politics. Others do, for whatever reason. I am certain that whoever wins the election tomorrow, and his supporters, will continue to be reviled and mocked by those that did not vote for him. I do not care who my friends vote for and will respect the fact that they believe what they believe. I do not try to lobby them and I ignore any efforts to lobby me. The diversity we have is what makes us a unique place in the world and what makes no sense to one makes all the sense in the world to another. So, my hope is that on Wednesday morning we get back to (or start) respecting each other, doing good in our own way and not just complaining about what others are not doing the way we see fit, and working together instead of bullying and demeaning, recognizing that it is too late to take all of that money that was spent (read: wasted) campaigning on all levels to help feed hungry mouths here and elsewhere around the globe. And that’s all I have to say about that.

BOB is a good and smart man.

But Nate Silver (fivethirtyeight.com) is my new pin-up boy (ok, so many levels of complexity there).  Nate:  you have gotten far too many love letters from straight and gay men and women for a numbers geek.  I think Brad Pitt’s agent is trying to have the exact tally sealed.  It is a Hollywood thing.  And that guy with a girl’s name who is really popular now is soooooo not loving you right now.  Neither is Karl Rove and that is just fine with me.

But, I digress, comme d’habitude.

I am so tired of our national issues being treated like a really bad reality TV show that masquerades as news.

I am hungry for good news, for hope, for public service without political advantage.  I am hungry for good things happening to good people who work hard and do the right thing.  I am hungry for a commitment by those of us who have more to share with those who have less.  Not wealth redistribution; rather, compassion.

Good policy and hope come from searching, sometimes emotional, debates about our national values and our common future and how we best meet the challenges ahead.  It involves compromise and respect.  It is not a winner-take-all game.

Until then, the fatigue will slowly, but surely, become indifference or powerlessness.  And, assuming it spreads beyond just me to the greater populace, that will bring a good and mighty nation to its knees more surely than any war or any economic crisis could ever.

Even More to Talk About

COB (colleague of blogger), wants to write for the Alternate View (see prior blog entries).  He thinks Blogger and SNOBFOB (my awesomely funny friend who isn’t so sure she wants to be associated with blogger on-line) should try a YouTube video first, one that is a “parody” of The View.
Here are his ideas for the guests:
  1. Someone from the “Iced” Tea Party [blogger comment:  or The Latte League, truly effete, New York liberal intellectuals]
  2. A 10 year-old who has ideas for running government more efficiently [blogger comment: or Christine O’Donnell, who has the IQ of a ten year-old and is a witch to boot]
  3. A gay/lesbian person who is against same sex marriage [blogger comment: or Mr. Michele Bachmann, who thinks he cured himself]
  4. A person who is now an actor/actress since they can’t get a different job in this economy [blogger comment: because everyone assumes actors and actresses, especially the most talented ones, are unemployed]
  5. A crazy person (COB thinks I could fill that role.) [blogger comment: I think COB could audition for this role.]
Not a bad start.

Flying into the Wild Blue Yonder

So, I was coming home from an interminable conference on Saturday night.  I knew I was in trouble when my row was called right after first class and those needing extra help or assistance.  My row was the last row in the plane.  The seat doesn’t recline.  The bathroom was behind me and, behind that, the flight attendant service station.  It was 8pm and I was exhausted.  Someone used the bathroom while the plane was on the ground so I could get a preview of the wooooooshing waterpark experience that would almost consume me by the trip’s end.

I wanted to scream.  The flight attendants were gossiping in loud, high-pitched voices that made me understand air rage.  Luckily, the seats next to me were empty.  At least, I would not feel claustrophobic.  But, wait, a couple changed seats so they could sit together — next to me.  The man sat next to me and sat “wide” in that way that makes you wonder if there is something horribly wrong with his testicles.  Then he opene food that he bought in the food court in the airport, overwhelming me with the smell of deep-fried, faux Mexican food.   So, no sleep for me on this plane ride.

Luckily, Jet Blue provides free TV (it charges for the headphones ($2) and the blanket and pillow ($7)).  So many channels, so little to watch.  I was desperate so I watched a Nicholas Cage movie.  I am sure he is a fine actor, but all I can think about is his financial problems.  (Why do I know this about him?) The man made millions and didn’t understand that buying multiple, multi-million dollar homes could bankrupt a person, or at least cause a cash squeeze?  It is hard for me to watch someone who is either a raving idiot or a male version of a prima donna who can’t take responsibility for his decisions.  The saving grace in the movie was Téa Leoni, who was just enchanting.  She made me think of Ingrid Bergman.  The movie was so plodding that I had to turn off the sound.  Then I remembered (ok, I googled it) that Téa Leoni is married to David Duchovny.  All I know about David Duchovny other than he starred in the X-Files is that he was at some point being treated for a sex addiction.  Why do I know that?  The same way I know about Nicholas Cage and that Lindsay Lohan has a drug problem even though I could not pick her out of a crowd and have never seen her in a movie.  Popular culture seeps through even my best defenses.

My head aches from all of this useless information.  I hope someone devises a brain dialysis soon so we can flush out useless information and reinvigorate those sad brain cells that have to hold that useless information.  Poor, poor, brain cells.  Help is on the way.

When your 7 year-old wants “to test a hypothesis”

Disclaimer:  My son is adopted so I have nothing to do with his intelligence.  He is crazy smart.

The good news is that his big words are juxtaposed with imaginary and cartoon worlds, so he isn’t our own Little Man Tate.  Tonight, he wanted to test his hypothesis — HIS words — if a mobile post office car (like the ones in his train documentary videos) were added to the train on the new show, “Dinosaur Train,” would the mail be distributed faster to the dinosaurs in their dinosaur towns?  Hmmm.  He does know this is make-believe, but a show with his two favorite things, trains and dinosaurs, well, it just doesn’t get better than that.

Newsflash: Watching TV is even worse for your kids than you think

Apparently, not only are their minds going to mush but there is a link between blood pressure in children and their choice of TV as their inactive pastimes.

To some it may be a chicken-and-egg issue, but I am going for broke on this one to say that the brain mush-ification is causing kids to choose TV and leading to all these other bad things.

I watch cartoons with my son on weekend mornings and I was so sad when he moved from Arthur and Animalia to the Cartoon networks and WPIX.  Some serious weird stuff on those channels.  But watching this stuff prepares them for adulthood.  Look at what the average American watches:  American Idol, I am a Celebrity–Get me Out of Here, Survivor, Dance your A@@ Off, Deal or No Deal.  The real worry is that if the mushification of the brain starts too early, then by the time a person is 25, his or her brain will be liquid and pouring out of his or her ears.

Now, THAT is something to worry about.