We Supply the Pictures & They'll Supply the War

I've been fed up with media-ized news for some time now but just to drive home the ineptness of that industry I'd like to point something out.

In recent days, as the major networks and the 24 news channels have harped on the blithering back and forth over healthcare reform proposals so watered down from their original intent that they resemble political homeopathy, as everyone went bat-shit over the drunken rantings of Kanye West and as right-wing blowhards tittle over the songs that school children sing, a number of vastly more important things have happened.

The largest trove of Anglo-Saxon treasures ever seen in the UK may revolutionize our understanding of dark ages era Britain.

The US Army in cooperation with The National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease have made a breakthrough in the development of an AIDS vaccine.

Oh and we found water on the surface of the moon.

I've seen barely more than a blurb about any of these stories on any of the major television news outlets. I've seen plenty about the two guys in the Bahamas that were trying to blackmail John Travolta, though.

Seriously people, where are our fucking priorities?

submit to reddit


It Can't Rain All the Time

Here in Atlanta it has not stopped raining long enough for the pavement to dry in nearly six days. Bridges have been washed away. The Chattahoochee river has overrun its banks and a neighborhood not far from where I attended high school is underwater. Schools and highways have been closed. The department of public safety is urging people to stay home from work as if this were an ice storm. Some neighborhoods have had all of their roads flood, effectively trapping the residents in their homes. Someone on the radio estimated fifteen billion dollars in damage. Three people have died.

Though it is supposed to slacken in the next forty-eight hours, NOAA anticipates the rain continuing through next Sunday.

This whole week is a testament to T.S. Elliot's thoughts on the nature of disaster, of whimpers instead of bangs and we are all watching a natural disaster unfold around us in slow motion.

submit to reddit


And Some Days...

You find yourself alone in public. The place is strangely quiet for a spot so crowded. Just the clack of keys, the hiss of air compressors and the muted cacophony of soothing, senseless satellite radio. So many people in once place saying nothing to one another, they just read, study, work, muse silently and occasionally stare out the window at the drizzle; it's barely stopped raining for a week now. Five days of languid and relentless precipitation, of the utterances of verbose clouds, have stolen our voices and interaction no longer seems necessary.

Three dozen people, alone in each other's company.

submit to reddit


Stand in the Closet for Practice

"In case of fire, use stairs," it says.

We've all seen this sign posted beside elevators the world 'round and it's always sort of troubled me. For years I couldn't figure out why.

I realized this past weekend as I spent many hours waiting for elevators in the hotels hosting Dragon*Con that the actual meaning of the sign, by virtue of its grammatical construction, is entirely different from it's intent.

Now, I grant that this is a subtlety of language so finespun that, much like the German language distinction between jelly-filled pastries and US presidents, might be meaningless except to pedants like me. On the other hand, it still irks me.

The sign should read, "In the case of fire, use stairs." Meaning, in the event of a fire, use the stairs and not the elevator.

But, the sign lacks the article "the" and thus means "use the stairs because there might be a fire" or perhaps even "if you don't use the stairs, you might cause be a fire."

In any case, it means, "don't use the elevator," which is advice I wish more people at the convention would have taken.

submit to reddit