Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

I'm just trying to develop an online body of work (even if the work is throwaway nonsense) to advance my writing career.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Call It A (Not Terribly Welcome) Comeback

The reason for my recent blog inactivity is a valid one: I'm working on a novel. It's good, too! I'll concede parts of it are rambling and convoluted but that tends to be the style I employ, for good or ill. I will dish out an obligatory summary of recent events, for what it's worth.

First, I wanted Chicago to get the Olympics. I love it there. It's far from a perfect place, but I consider it the definitive American city full of all the contradictions for which this country is known, loved, and loathed. However, I'm pleased South America finally gets an opportunity to host. Africa ought to be next. Cape Town put together an unsuccessful bid for the 2008 games but whether they're poised for another run in the near future is uncertain.

Reasonable opponents of Obama's health care plan could probably formulate sensible arguments and propositions, really adding something substantial to the proceedings. Indeed, they have probably done so already, but their voices are, for the most part, being drowned out by histrionics. Equating the Obama Administration with Nazism is offensive, over the top, and deeply insulting to people who actually had to endure the Third Reich. If it wasn't fair to compare the Bush Administration to Nazis--and it wasn't--it isn't fair to hurl the same epithets toward Obama.

Special recognition goes to Investors Business Daily. About two months ago, that publication printed an article indicating how fortunate physicist Stephen Hawking was not to be living in Great Britain, since someone with ALS was not "valued" by their health care system and therefore would not have survived to his current age (he's 67). There were two problems with this, one of which proved very embarrassing to Investors Business Daily while the other went largely unremarked. Stephen Hawking, as anybody capable of picking up one of his books or performing an Internet search can easily discover, was born in Britain and resides there yet. The other problem, obscured by IBD's egregiously lazy error or general disinterest in facts, is the sweeping generalization and assumption made in the first place, the idea that anyone can know for certain whether Stephen Hawking, or anyone, would have fared as well in another country. This is pure guesswork because it isn't merely a matter of the health care system employed by one country or another; so many other factors can influence patient outcomes--doctors, nurses, the patient's own behavior--that it is impossible to made accurate predictions about whether a patient would have lived or died in another situation. Besides that, it's crass. Stephen Hawking is alive and well and even if he weren't British, it's very tasteless to imply he'd be dead if he had a different address.

President Obama should not have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He has all but admitted as much himself. But he should accept it, then go out and earn it. Receiving an award before you deserve it is unorthodox, but instead of making him complacent, he ought to use it as motivation. That's what I'm hoping for anyway.

Is it just me or are the Pussycat Dolls even worse than most performers of their ilk? Not many contrived girl and boy groups make great music, but the Pussycat Dolls seem so derivative, overwrought, overproduced, and flat-out dull that I simply can't understand the appeal of listening to their alleged music. I do understand that dirty old men and pre-teen boys might find their gyrations alluring even if they are a canned and phony act. They are, in fact, canned and phony even by the standards of the genre. In terms of spontaneity and passion, the Pussycat Dolls make Destiny's Child look like the Donnas. "I Hate This Part", indeed!

Regrettably, there has been no desperate outcry for me to resume blogging. It seems the forces of the world still expect me to earn a living and this stands as yet another bitter disappointment.


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