Through Thick and Thin, November 27
I’m tired of all the war and violence posts, heck, I’m tired of all the war and violence period. Plus my charming cats kept me up all night, so I think I’ll see if there’s any good news making the rounds this morning. Something, anything to cheer me up. Considering the news lately, this will be a challenge, but with enough coffee all things are possible.
There’s been some positive signs in Israel/Palestine. Most parties have agreed to a cease fire, time will tell whether or not this one holds. Still, any talks and any attempt to reduce the tit-for-tat violence has to be a good thing.
A male birth control pill has been developed that will allow men to take a pill a few hours before sex and have no lasting effects, IE it wears off by the next day. I can confidently predict that other than making some money for the pharmaceutical industry, this will have no other consequence. Responsible people already take appropriate precautions to avoid unwanted pregnancy, irresponsible people aren’t going to magically become responsible because a pill is available. Still, it’s a good thing, more birth control options are always a boon. Lastly, this pill is a spin-off from research into drugs that treat schizophrenia. I’m sure that means something, but I’d rather not speculate.
Um, Pope Benedict has gone several weeks without putting his foot in his mouth. (OK, scraping the bottom of the barrel here, there just simply isn’t a whole lot of good news in the headlines today.) He is travelling to Turkey this week, and people are already protesting his trip, so he will have ample opportunity to stir up trouble with ill considered remarks. In my opinion, if Benedict does manage to “innocently” say something that offends millions of Muslims on this trip, it’s a going to be damn hard to explain away. My fear is that a heckler will bean Benedict with a Turkish pastry, and he will go into a tirade a la Kramer or Mel Gibson. By nightfall half of Europe will be burning, while NATO and America gear up for “Operation Find the Pope’s Head.”
Moving right along, a spectacular pre-Inca tomb complex has been found in Northern Peru. The breadth and depth of known human history just keeps expanding. When I was a kid it was all so much simpler. Fertile crescent, Egypt, Greeks, Rome, Dark Ages, Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Voila: blissful modern times with the world neatly divided up into the civilized Europeans and Americans, and everyone else who was catching up to our high standards as we blessed them with “independence” and the wonders of western culture. Even at the time I had a little trouble with the likes of Nixon and Gilligan’s Island being the pinnacle of human civilization, but still, it was a simple and satisfying world history for a privileged white kid who didn’t want to use his brain.
Since then many ugly interactions with reality have forced me to use my brain as something other than a shock absorber, and I know now that human history is a lot richer and more complex than I dreamed when I was a kid. Heck, it’s even possible now to publicly admit that maybe there is more to world history than the history of what white male Europeans and Americans were doing. At least in some parts. On the other hand, human history is still remarkably simple in some ways. Some thousands of years ago a guy picked up a rock and realised he could use it to bash the head of his annoying neighbour. The idea spread like wildfire. And here we are today, the end result of all that head bashing…Doug’s Darkworld!
One final bit of good news, science is very close to developing a pill that will lessen the mental anguish of painful and traumatic experiences. A pill to forget so to speak. Like washing the bad taste out of one’s mouth, now people will be able to wash the bad parts of memories out of their brains. If they make enough of these pills, everyone will be able to read my blog in comfort and safety! Heck, Maybe I’ll be able to watch Bush give a speech without his smirk and tortured English burning holes in my grey matter. Just kidding, no pill in the universe could do that. And truth be told, I’m starting to feel sorry for the guy.
(The above Doug’s Darkworld image Copyright © 2006, Doug Stych, all rights reserved. Image created using Terragen landscape generation software, Terragen software may be used free as long as generated images are not used for profit.)