Culture vulture

Courtesy Of Andre Welling

The great debate
It was kind of like watching a kindly and wise school principal being forced by circumstance to debate the leader of a gang of schoolyard bullies. The bully’s thoughts were written on his face as he slouched and grimaced at the podium: “If I could, I’d have my gang beat you up so bad right now! And then I’d sock you in the nose myself.” And the old educational administrator’s thoughts were written on his face as he diligently scribbled notations: “I can’t believe that the system has degraded so badly that I have to spend my time debating this poor, emotionally and mentally crippled little boy when I could be devoting my time to actually fixing some of the mess he and his gang have caused.”

It seems that politics has become a branch of the theater of the absurd.

Apparently something within our collective psyche just can’t get enough of people with differing political agendas regarding each other as opponents. Any individual capable of even rudimentary logic realizes that cooperation is the only way to achieve positive results and that any system of government that perpetuates a system of losers and winners is not a benevolent system. But even when viewed as a collective group, such as United States citizens, we never fail to divide ourselves into opposing camps. Peacemakers and warriors, lovers and fighters, social reformers and prison builders, laborers and administrators, dancers and wallflowers, scientists and artists, poets and grammarians, carnivores and vegetarians: “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” is how Honest Abe summed it up before someone who disagreed with him shot him in the back of the head.

And the house is still standing, ramshackle as ever. Maybe Abe just didn’t get the big picture.

Time marches on, or does it?
The tattooed suburban youth trend certainly gives one plenty to think about, as long as you don’t mind not being able to come to any genuine conclusion as to its source or ultimate outcome. For instance, I have yet to hear an explanation of how tattoos last so long. Given that according to biological science the human body is constantly repairing, healing, and otherwise replacing all of its myriad parts, how is it that tattoos remain sharp and well-defined for as long as they do? You’d think they would dissolve or migrate as the body replaced the skin cells holding the pigment. I seem to remember learning in high school biology that the entire human skin is regenerated every seven years or so, but I know people whose tattoos are 20 or 30 years old, and they may be faded and blurred to some degree, but their tattoos are still visible on the surface of their skin. It’s one of those little mysteries that keep life interesting.

Timely listening

“Time Is on My Side,” Rolling Stones

“Time Has Come Today,” Chambers Brothers

“Time of the Season,” the Zombies

“Time We Left This World Today,” Hawkwind