Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sequester the right way

I don’t give two lumps about Congress’s current threats to hurt everyone but themselves.  Like most reality shows, this one has played out, becoming more unwatchable as it becomes more desperate.   What I do care about is the abuse of language.  For the vast majority of people, sequestering is the tucking away of a jury.  There is no other meaning.  To use the word for the general public in any other way is misdirection.  Because this ain’t a magic show in Vegas, that means the misdirection is a con.

Calling sever budget cuts a sequestration both elevates the action – it sounds so official – and obfuscates the impact.  The law should have ben called “Blind Cuts” or the “Mindless Cuts” which would help people better understand the stakes.

As would limiting the use of the word “politics”.  The connotations of the word have become muddied over the years.  It’s become a derogatory term, when in fact, it is necessary, but misunderstood.  If we were to call our elected officials “Compromisers” or better yet “Dealers” maybe everyone would remember what they are supposed to be doing.  They are not supposed to freeze, committed, unwavering on whatever stance they’ve chosen.  We could program iPhones with pat answers and send them to Washington if that’s all it took.

No, as a people we’ve decided to send a group of humans to our capital for the purpose of resolving issues too tough fix themselves.  To decided things.  You know, like a jury.  Sequestered until there is an outcome.

Maybe that’s the answer.  Maybe we should use ‘sequester’ the way most of us understand:  No one leaves that big dome until we’ve got a working government.

Friday, February 22, 2013

A laser upgrade

Laser eye surgery does not give your eyes any kind of energy projection abilities.  I can’t burn holes in books just by staring.  I know because I’ve tried.  This is a great disappointment to me.  I thought a corrective procedure might actually correct that fact that I don’t have any super powers.  I could really use some.  For good, of course.  I would never think of using my powers to swipe a Lichtenstein, even just one, from a Russian oil tsar who couldn’t possibly appreciate it.  Anyway . . .

I had surgery on my eyes last Friday.  Today is the first day I can really stand looking at the computer long enough to write anything.  My eyes were too yucky for a lasik. I had advanced surface ablation.  Instead of cutting a flap and my eyes and lifting them like a hatches, I had the surface of my eyes erased.  They did a chemical peel, which I got to watch because it happened right on my eyes with the lids propped open.  Then they shot lasers into the open pupils, fixed whatever was wrong and told me to stay calm until the surface grows back. 

This is not as painful as it might sound.  Pain is not the correct word.  The experience is like sunburn on your eyeballs.  A tight, sandy agitation that, emanating from your eyes, stays in the forefront of your mind.  My loving wife got me a Jim Butcher audio book.  That helped more than anything.  It put my eyes on the back burner. 

No, the only pain is in knowing that I will not any time soon light a woman’s cigarette with a glance or pop the tires of my pursuers, looking back over my shoulder and winking.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Quoth the Poet, ‘Nevermore’

This last Superbowl, the NFL spent more on confetti than Edgar Allen Poe earned in a lifetime.  Yes, yes, poets are always poor.  It’s part of the mystique.  Who would even trust a wealthy poet?  How would they, you know, poet?  Still, seems a shame that Poe writes a piece that thrives for 168 years, and comes to be appreciated by football fans, no less, and dies destitute.  The professional football/poetry crossover is rare.  The Baltimore Ravens are an exception.  There’s no Los Angles Dream Deferred or Las Vegas Wasteland.  You can’t watch the Portland Road Not Taken vs. the Salt Lake City Seekers of Truth, though that would be pretty cool.

Poe initially sold his poem for $15.  There were further publications, but he never made any real money.  Not football money.  Funny how that works out.  Something enduring like a poem doesn’t generate a lot of income because it’s ubiquitous.  Something momentary, like a football game, brings in huge amounts of cash.  It’s value is based somewhat, in its inability to endure.

I should read my next book aloud and then burn it.  A novel, nevermore.   Mmmm . . . .