Reflections on the Weather

This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but the Weather Channel
—Tia Selyut, The Ways to Land

Tropical storms should all have Latin American names—because they’re tropical.

Rita, Gloria, Ernesto—Ok—but not Tropical Storm Thorvald.  It just doesn’t sound right.

And sounding right is important:  there can never again be a Hurricane Adolf, for instance, or Typhoon Jesus, not even in its Latin form Jesús.

We wouldn’t want people to have to board up their houses with spray-painted messages reading “Go away Jesus!”

Even God might get confused at that.

Mohammed, Gautama, Krishna, Moses–these have got to be off-limits too.

Even Hurricane Fidel is too edgy, too political.  Especially if it started “brewing up trouble in the Caribbean” and “threatening Florida.”

Hurricane Genghis would piss off the Mongolians, which, according to ancient Chinese wisdom, is stupid.

And Tropical Storm Twelfth Imam is just asking for trouble. Hurricane hunters face enough danger flying into storms, they don’t need fatwas. Much less fatwas with considerable justification.

But the larger lesson we’re not learning is that the weather proves that powerlessness can be good. Yes, good. Because if you could choose your own weather, it would soon become like just another light-switch, boring as hell:

“I can’t hang out with him anymore—he’s always got the rain on during the daytime.”

“It’s that Gothic chick he’s been seeing—she doesn’t go anywhere without mist and fog.”

“Dark, moody people are fine, but when they start impinging on my weather, it gets annoying.”

“You have a constitutional right to your own climate, damn it!”

“Except when you’re drunk.”

“Well of course, no one wants a repeat of the Frat Row Floods of 2072.”

“Or the Oktoberfest Blizzards that same year:  thousands of innocent bystanders got wet and inconvenienced.”

“Oh the fucking humanity, or whatever.”

postscript re: Hurricane Adolph (2001) for the Fact-stopo’s:

Wikipedia says:  Hurricane Adolph of the 2001 Pacific hurricane season was the first and only East Pacific hurricane in May to reach Category 4 strength on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale since record keeping began in the East Pacific. The name was also retired due to sensitivities surrounding the use of Adolf Hitler’s first name.[1] Adolph was the first depression of the season, forming on May 25; it became a hurricane three days later. After rapidly intensifying, Adolph became the most powerful storm in terms of maximum sustained winds this season, along with Hurricane Juliette.[2] It dissipated on June 1 after moving over colder waters after briefly threatening land.

So I’m right.

Sexism Equals Political Science when it comes to Women Voters

Once again, it’s all about the women’s vote.  Just like every presidential election!

It’s sexist to think of women as vacillating and indecisive, as emotional and lacking information, and favoring style over substance.

And yet apparently it’s almost “science” to say such things about women voters, at least in presidential elections.

I’m sick of every election being about the last-minute impulses of Soccer Moms and Security Moms and Swing Moms.

Sick of it, and resigned to it.

But I can still dream:  Let’s have new voter groups–what about the Haters vote?  Are people who hate life breaking for Romney or Obama?

And how is that Awkward vote shaping up?

Did you know that Obama won the first debate among Shy voters?

Of course, you know what would happen–even if we did have these new improved voter categories, presidential elections would still come down to the last-minute vacillations of the Hater Moms, the Awkward Moms, and the Shy Moms:

“He came across as rude, and therefore I’m gonna vote for guns over butter this year.”

Some things will never change, including the things most subject to change.

Alan Brech 2012

The Real Meaning Behind the Things They Say

They say power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, meaning the purely good can never accomplish anything since they have no power.  Those do-nothings you despise might actually be saints.

They say the past is a foreign country because the future will always be American.

They say you only live once and most of them are dead–anything to prove a point, I guess.

They say history is written by the victors–Victor Borge, Victor Hugo, Victor Mature, Victor Kiam. Case closed.

They say it’s just a coincidence that my social security number equals the population of China in 1970, but I mean what are the odds of that?!

They say pets are more sensitive to spiritual entities that we can’t see, and that’s why my cat hisses at the unplugged vacuum cleaner every time he walks by it. Yes, it’s a Dust Devil.

They say you only live once and yet the same people keep popping up at different times and places.  I know I’ve seen that dude before! You’re all the same!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words because a thousand words ain’t worth shit. Check the latest commodity prices if you don’t believe me. And when you factor in inflation, words actually cost you–they have negative value.  Dump them if you can.

Most people say beauty comes from inside, but most surgeons don’t.

They say the early bird gets the worm, meaning the real winners are the late worms. Given enough evolutionary time, you’ll be lucky to get a worm to show up for anything.

Speaking of time, they say it heals everything only because the lack of time never healed anything. Not a fair contest.

They say a rolling stone gathers no moss but what’s wrong with moss?  I’ve never heard “We had to rush him to the hospital after he contracted moss” or “Tell your doctor if you’ve been rolling in moss lately” or “Avoid exposure to sunlight, cool breezes, and moss.” Moss is harmless, soft, and pretty!  What a rolling stone does gather are the blood stains of the creatures it runs over. Moss is better.

Alan Brech 2012

These are my scams

Whenever I see a new ad for a pharmaceutical medicine I immediately start taking it just so I can join the inevitable class-action lawsuit that follows. Side effects may include a butt-load of money.

I deliberately don’t have a cell phone or tools in my car so I never have to stop and help stranded motorists. In fact, if I did stop and offer my useless condolences, my parked car would only dissuade good Samaritans from stopping to provide real help.  I’m doing them a huge favor by speeding by.

In third grade I found a dollar on the floor and kept it even after there was a public announcement saying that this poor kid had lost his lunch money.  Later they brought him into our gym class crying and I still didn’t come forward.  The irony is he turned out to be a dick and I’m a helluva guy.

So you never know with kids.

I’ve billed for bathroom time.  Because it’s nice to have your shit paid for.  Especially if it’s a big firm or client that you see advertised everywhere:  “TransAmerica? I took a dump for them once.”

I’ve read very few of the documents I’ve signed.  On the internet, I’ve “agreed” to all sorts of shit I have no idea about.  So take my conflicting loyalty oaths to the Kurdish PKK and the government of Turkey with a grain of salt.

Whenever I make a charitable pledge, I only pay half of the amount I pledged.  The rest is my profit.

That way, the more you give, the more you make.

Alan Brech 2012