Hello and good morning. It’s Thursday, the 5th of January, and this is my first official, “original recipe” Thursday morning blog of the new year. Isn’t it exciting?
Yeah, I didn’t think so. But people are supposed to pretend to be enthusiastic and celebratory about every little thing it seems, until there are so many celebrations and holidays that it becomes a relief when a rare day arrives in which nothing in particular is being celebrated. There are so many sweets and treats and rewards and awards, day after day, that soon people feel entitled to receive a medal for not drooling and peeing on themselves, and a piece of cake for dinner because they skipped a cookie at lunch.
Eventually, many seem to think that, because they got their various “best attitude” or “cleanest desk” awards throughout their formative years, they’re just as worthy of admiration as someone who received a Nobel Prize in Physics or a Fields Medal or a Hugo and/or Nebula Award for science fiction. It’s nauseating. No wonder we consume so many acid blocking medications these days!
As you can probably tell, I’m a bit grumpy today. This is in large part because I’m very tired again. My insomnia has been reasserting itself over the last few days, with last night being worse than the night before. Though exhausted and stressed from matters at work‒another contributing factor to my grumpiness‒I couldn’t get to sleep once I finally got back to the house, and then, despite that, I woke up starting at 3ish this morning, slightly earlier than yesterday. It’s a weird situation when one finds oneself wistful and nostalgic for the times when one was (more) severely ill, because at least in those situations, one could rest.
In other matters, at the time of my latest look this morning, there have been two total votes on my poll from yesterday. I would say that’s not a statistically significant sample of any kind, especially since the two didn’t choose the same option. Perhaps the statistically significant result, which should have been obvious to me from the start, is that nobody gives a flying fuck at a rat’s ass what I do.
Well, why should they?
Apparently, the Tri-rail has given up on even the pretense of trying to run their trains in time in the year 2023. So far, every train I’ve been on, and the other ones I’ve seen going the other direction, have been five to ten minutes behind schedule. There are those who believe in some notion of “American Exceptionalism”, but sometimes it seems that we’re most exceptional‒at least among wealthy, “western style” democracies‒at being slipshod and disorganized.
Oh, I know, I know, NASA is pretty darn impressive, and always has been. But NASA by its nature draws applicants from among the brightest, hardest working people in the country (and the world) and can be selective‒for now, at least‒about whom it hires even from among that group. Of course it would tend to do exceptional things, even if that were the only factor that made it exceptional.
But to be exceptional is a judgment only properly to be applied after the fact, rather like “luck”. There is no inherent “exceptionalness” which would mean someone or something is exceptional before it’s done anything at all. Of course, one could say that everyone is exceptional in some way; certainly each person’s specific genes and environment are unique, and indeed each new moment in the universe in any given place is different in some sense from every other that has come before. But this sort of “universal, uniform exceptionality” is trivial at best. Or, as Dash so wisely noted in The Incredibles, to say that everyone is special is just another way of saying that no one is.
“Ignorance is strength. Freedom is slavery. Speech is violence.” One of those three statements is not from the original book, 1984, but spiritually it belongs right there among the aphorisms and axioms of Big Brother’s Party. Of course, nowadays, if you mention Big Brother, most people will probably just be triggered* to think of some idiotic “reality show”.
I don’t know how I got on that track, but that’s one of the things about a free-form blog post: you never know what you’re going to get**. I honestly didn’t much feel like writing at all, today, but “mood is a thing for cattle and loveplay, not fighting”, and also not for most anything else to which one has committed oneself. An Impala that doesn’t keep a watch for lions and leopards and hyenas and the like because it’s not in the mood is soon going to be removed from the population and gene pool. That’s more or less how it has to be, given the laws on nature.
*Shouldn’t we be eliminating the use of the word “triggered”, given that it could be, well…triggering in and of itself, since it can invoke thoughts of firing pistols and rifles, which thoughts can cause recurrent trauma in those who are personally devastated by news stories of mass shootings, even if they’ve never experienced a single instance of true violence in their own lives? It seems rather insensitive. We really ought to put edge guards and drawer locks and padding on (and apply sanitary wipes frequently to) all surfaces, literal and metaphorical, should we not? We need to child-proof the world, since it is, after all, populated merely and entirely by children. Of course, it bears remembering that all the Powers That Be are children, too, so they certainly can’t be trusted with doing the child-proofing.
**This is in contrast to the Gump-ian box of chocolates, since with a box of chocolates, unless it is a prank or joke or a trap, what you’re going to get is a selection of chocolates. Of course, what you’re going to get in a blog post is some sort of writing on some subject or topic of the writer’s choice, so perhaps it’s unfair of me to criticize the line from Forrest Gump, but rest assured that when I do so criticize, I do it for a very good reason: I am a Hypocrite.