Archives – May, 2009

Flu Overflow, or would that be over-flu?

Maybe it’s because I have a nasty cold, and I’m a little grouchy, but as the city braces itself for the impending onslaught of the dreaded swine flu, I wonder if this is all some kind of social experiment. A lesson in control from our friendly faceless puppet masters.

OK, so maybe that overstates the problem, but this media apocalypse is way overblown. From the news to the office, from the subways to the streets a pall of uneasiness has swept my little corner of the world. The housing crisis, pirates in Somalia, failing banks, bankrupt auto makers, the list goes on and on. It’s relentless. People on edge, society all keyed up, then this?

When things are broken, or even when they seem broken, people look for someone who promises to make it better, they abdicate their responsibilities, and the pendulum swings towards tyranny. The path of history is crowded with the muddy footprints of they whose over-reaching has led to the disenfranchisement of cheering crowds.

I don’t believe in messiahs. Life is to be lived one day at a time, one moment at a time. I can’t stomach the thought of a future kept in constant crisis, with people betraying their better judgment for some collective cure. It either ends up as a Demolition Man prozac world of neutered sameness, or Roddenberry’s Borg. Neither is very appealing.

My suggestion? Let’s all take a step back and gain a little perspective. When I used to run fast-food joints we’d train the cashiers to never focus on the line out the door, but to just handle the customer right in front of you. Give them your full attention and the line will take care of itself. I think it works in life too.


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The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
All the Light We Cannot See
The Martian
The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914
Full Force and Effect
Understanding Our Mind: 50 Verses on Buddhist Psychology
Starship Troopers
Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography
The Men Who United the States: America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible
The Aviators: Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, and the Epic Age of Flight
No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State
Stay Where You Are And Then Leave
If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit
Winter Moon: A Season of Zen Teachings
Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door
Jackpot: High Times, High Seas, and the Sting That Launched the War on Drugs
Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story

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