We can’t stop. We have to keep going. He have to keep going. Don’t we?
Watch this. Right now. Then bookmark it, because I want you to come back and watch it at least once a week until you have it memorized. Also, I’d be grateful if you’d drop me a line every so often reminding me that I need to watch it again, too.
What the hell is up with 2010? And will it ever end?
This has been the worst year of my life. I guess those who were there to see the trainwreck that was 1988 might argue that it was marginally worse, but the point is that this year has sucked from the outset. It began with the collapse of my marriage. Which led, as you might expect, to extraordinary amounts of depression, self-recrimination, loneliness, etc. Then it kind of kept getting worse.
But it’s not just me. I look at the lives of the people close to me, and extreme stress is an all-too-dominant theme. For instance:
- A close friend who happens to be one of the brightest guys I know got fired from his job last year. Read more
They say money can’t buy happiness. The same also goes for celebrity, and even the status that accompanies being among the best in the world at your profession. We’ve had ample demonstration of this in recent days.
Robert Enke, the goaltender for Hannover 96 (who currently hover in the middle of the German Bundesliga standings) and a potential member of next year’s German World Cup team, died the other day. His death was apparently a suicide.
“At 1825 (1725GMT) he was run over by a regional express train running between Hamburg and Bremen,” said police spokesman Stefan Wittke. “The train was travelling at the speed of 160-kph.”The player’s friend and consultant Joerg Neblung told reporters: “I can confirm this is a case of suicide. He took his own life just before six (pm).
Enke lost a child in 2006 and has left behind a wife and eight month-old daughter. Read more
Susan Klebold, mother of Columbine High School killer Dylan Klebold, has finally, after all these years, decided to speak publicly about her son and the events of 4.20.99. She doesn’t give us anything like the understanding we might want – I doubt such a thing is possible – but it’s interesting nonetheless.
Read it here.
Not that this should come as any surprise, but we now have confirmation that the Bush administration refused to award Harry Potter author JK Rowling the Presidential Medal of Freedom because the books “encouraged witchcraft.”
For a second, let’s set aside any arguments over whether or not Rowling’s work merits such a lofty honor and do something that we simply don’t do enough these days. Let’s dig beneath the surface silliness and examine the deeper implications of what this revelation really means.
Put simply, would you be worried about “encouraging” something you didn’t think was possible? It’s one thing to want to discourage, say, meth use or binge drinking or texting while driving or unprotected sex. Those things are real and they have real, observable consequences. Read more
You’re honey child to a swarm of bees
Gonna blow right through you like a breeze
Give me one last dance
Well slide down the surface of things
You’re the real thing
Yeah the real thing
You’re the real thing
Even better than the real thing
Fantasy stories, myths, legends, tall tales, fairy tales, horror, all these have been with us for a very long time. Science fiction, as well, has been with us since Mary Shelley found herself in a bet with Lord Byron about the possibility of writing a new kind of horror, one not grounded in the gothic.* So the presence in our popular culture of stories based in unreality of one form or another is certainly nothing new.
It seems to me that there’s been a lot more of it lately, though. Read more
Part two in a series
How did it happen? Why did it happen? There’s simply no way to measure how many hours have devoted to these questions in the ten years and four days since Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold opened fire at Columbine High School, and while we don’t (and never will) have all the answers, we do have some of them. Obviously a good bit of the discussion focuses on the individuals themselves, and other analyses cast a broader net, examining the social factors that shaped the individuals. In a way, the question we’re still debating perhaps boils down to nature vs. nurture. Were Harris and Klebold Natural Born Killers? Or are they better understood as by-products of deeper social trends and dynamics?
The answer is probably “All of the above,” but we can’t simply check C and be on our merry, uncritical way. Read more