Trump, Aleppo, & Standing Rock: A World Fueled by Fossils

Human history, as taught by history books, is a story of great wars and great leaders, exploration and adventure, ideas and inventions. But underneath it all, the world has largely been shaped by one thing: energy resources. The discovery of fire gave our ancestors warmth and allowed them to get more energy from their food. Further harnessing the energy of nature through agriculture led to the dawn of civilization as we know it. The use of coal for steam engines brought about the industrial revolution. Even today, our exploitation of fossil fuels continues to shape the world around us.

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In early 2016, the world was exposed to the struggle of indigenous people in the United States against the construction of an oil pipeline through their sacred lands. The clash between American government forces and Native Americans at Standing Rock is just another chapter in a long history of genocide in this country for the sake of resource exploitation. As the new nation of America expanded west across the continent, Native Americans faced mass deportations and executions, all so the new government could envelop the continent’s resources into its own. And unfortunately, the US’s exploitation of resources is not limited to the continent it occupies.

In November 2016, Russian state officials employed hackers and propagandists to influence the US presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. Many people speculated that Trump’s business ties – and possibly massive debt – to Russian industries was a determining factor in this unprecedented alliance. Later, Trump’s nomination of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to Secretary of State further clarified Russia’s intentions. Previous US sanctions against Russia for the annexation of Crimea, Ukraine had stopped a $500 billion dollar deal between ExxonMobil and Rosneft, Russia’s state-owned oil company, to drill for oil in the Arctic Circle. With Tillerson in position to lift those sanctions, both ExxonMobil and the Russian government stand to make an unprecedented amount of money extracting the oil from an increasingly endangered region of the earth. And if destroying the environment isn’t enough to deter the exploitation of resources, don’t think destroying people’s lives will be any different.

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On December 13, 2016, the Syrian government took control of the majority of the city of Aleppo, killing at least 82 civilians and getting one step closer to ending a 5-year civil war in that country, which has already taken the lives of at least 86,000 civilians. The war has been plagued by confusion and conflicts of interests, concerning some experts about the possibility of a third world war, as US-backed rebel forces clash with the Russia-backed Syrian government. The reason for such international involvement in an otherwise domestic dispute was unclear, unless you boiled it down to energy resources. It turns out Syria was smack dab in the middle of two competing Natural Gas pipeline propositions that stood to deliver the majority of that resource to all of Europe. One pipeline would go through Russia-aligned Iran, and the other through US- and EU-aligned Saudi Arabia. Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad went in favor of the Russia-backed Iran pipeline, and immediately the US decided it was finally time to overthrow this brutal dictator.

The debate about climate change and energy resources still rages on in every corner of the world, and it mostly seems isolated from any debates about these other geopolitical issues. But make no mistake, this world, and our place in it, is continually being defined by how we find and use energy. We can continue to invest in an energy infrastructure that destroys lives, nations, and environments; or we can choose to safely harness the energy that exists all around us, with technologies that have been available for decades. Unfortunately, the time to make that choice is quickly running out.

Listen.

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What happened last night was due to a lack of empathy. On both sides.

We high and mighty liberals decried Trump and his supporters because it was easy. It’s easy to decry racism, bigotry, xenophobia, and misogyny. And it feels good. Because we know we’re right. And we let each other know that we were right. And we all enjoyed being so so so right. But it’s a low-energy response. It’s the same function as decrying immigrants, Muslims, or minorities. It’s easy, and it feels good. What we failed to do was to listen, and to empathize. Trump supporters tried to tell us it wasn’t about the racism, the sexual assaults, and the basic indecency. They tried to tell us that they were willing to look past all of that. And instead of asking why, we attacked them. We refused to listen. Because listening is hard.

Republicans were no better. We tried incessantly to shove facts down their throats, and they refused to listen. We tried to tell them that our friends and loved ones were scared, and they refused to listen.  When anyone challenged Trump’s business dealings, his behavior toward women, or his false views of the world, they brushed it off. They fabricated lies to tell themselves that Hillary was ‘just as bad.’ They spread misinformation at a rate that fact checkers couldn’t even keep up with, not that it would have mattered. They made it very clear that they didn’t care about facts, no matter how many we came up with. And that they didn’t care about the fears of people who didn’t look, pray, or love like them, no matter how many they claimed were their friends.

What happened this election season was a populist uprising. As much as I hate to admit it, Bernie Sanders’ movement was linked with Trump’s. Both were giving working-class people something to fight for, and something to fight against. The cry from the people was that the establishment was not working. And neither party listened to that cry. Trump forced his way through a crowd of adversity from the Republican party and landed in the driver’s seat. And the Democrats outrightly and corruptly rejected their own populist candidate for one that represented the very thing the uprising was against.

This is not to place blame on any party, any candidate, or any voter. We are all to blame. Because we refused to listen. Because being right was so much more satisfying. Now we’re left with a choice. To keep blocking people, unfriending people, pushing people away. To refuse to listen to facts and opinions we don’t like. Or to embrace our enemies, love them, and for god’s sake listen.

Words Matter

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“It’s just words, folks.“

I’m a writer. Words are my trade. Everyday I wake up and ask myself, what words will I write today? My head is constantly filled with words. Words I’ve heard in movies or songs, spoken by great thinkers or just witty comedians. I think, as I assume most you do, in words. The words that flow through my head determine my worldview, my actions, my behavior. I write for a simple reason: words matter. Words have meaning. Words convey thoughts, and thoughts direct action. Much like the first step to a movie is a script, the first step to any movement, idea, legislation, war, or religion, are words. Words spoken by world leaders hold enormous weight in our minds. If words didn’t matter, we wouldn’t all know the words “I have a dream” or “The only thing to fear is fear itself” or “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Donald Trump’s words matter. They matter because words inspire actions. Since Trump announced his candidacy, there have been countless acts of violence, discrimination, and harassment where perpetrators specifically mentioned his name. A former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan is running for Senate in Louisiana, specifically citing Donald Trump as the man who inspired him to run. Multiple outlets have reported a marked rise in white supremacist hate speech and hate groups on the internet since the start of his candidacy. Even an innocent internet meme has been commandeered by white supremacists and used by Trump himself in tandem.

No, Trump doesn’t have a political history that we can look at for proof that he will actually instill bigoted, hateful, and intolerant policies during his possible presidency. We do have a long political history for the man he picked as his running mate, but not for Trump himself. All we have are his words. Words like “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the country.” Words like, “..they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” And words like “When you’re a star, they let you do it. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” These words matter. They matter because they inspire others who share those views. Views that we as a society have rightly ostracized. And his words are bringing those people back into society. His words are making those views acceptable again.

Words matter because every woman I know has a story of being verbally harassed. Words matter because 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted. Words matter because no matter where you say them – whether it’s in a locker room, on a bus, or on national television – they spread ideas outside of those venues. Words matter because Brock Turner blamed his rape of an unconscious woman on “party culture.” Words matter because the judge in that case said, “it’s more morally culpable for someone with no alcohol in their system to commit an offense like that than with someone who was legally intoxicated.” Words matter because a judge in Canada asked a rape victim, “Why couldn’t you just keep your knees together?” and said that young women “want to have sex, particularly if they’re drunk.”

Words matter because they inspire action. Words determine legislation, verdicts, and sentencing. Words affect the behavior of those who hear them. The words a person speaks offer a glimpse into that person’s mind. And when words are said by world leaders, the entire world listens.

On consciousness

A brief but honest response. I’ll admit I included the last question in a (possibly fruitless) attempt to drudge up an admission from a self-proclaimed atheist as to even the slightest possibility of a vague definition of the misnomer ‘afterlife.’ And now that I’ve stated it as such, I doubt I’ll receive anything less than a blunt and unwavering ‘no,’ but I’ll hold on to hope.

 

In response to the first question though, Mugatu (as I like to think of him) has only tackled the ‘easy problem’ of consciousness as described by David Chalmers (see this post). Namely, he has outlined why he believes that the outward appearance of consciousness is merely a brain state, which is all but unarguable. He, possibly for brevity’s sake, did not address what Chalmers calls the ‘hard problem,’ that is, the qualia of one’s subjective experience, which he states, and I agree for the most part, has no physical or chemical counterpoint in the brain, or in physical reality at all. Chalmers argues that these phenomena cannot and will not be found in physical reality, as their definition restricts them to metaphysics, but I’m sure my friends at EoA will have some arguments against this. So, as I have nothing else to add to Makagutu’s response, let’s see if anyone will tackle Chalmer’s ‘hard problem.’

Enquiries on Atheism

 Do you believe consciousness exists in this reality? Is it merely a by-product of brain function? Is it contained somewhere in the brain?

Do you believe in the possibility that consciousness can continue to exist after death

The quest to understand consciousness

These questions appear here. I have decided to combine the two because they deal with the same subject matter, that is, consciousness. We all must be aware that this happens to be one of the questions that our species has been attempting to answer for centuries if not millenia and as such a blog post by yours truly would not be sufficient in dealing with this problem. Having said that, we will then attempt to give the question an attempt.

I am not a neuro-scientist and so in order to answer this question, I would first like us to look at the definition of consciousness, definitions that…

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Open Enquiries from a Featured Theist

In my first ever blog post, almost a year and a half ago, I declared my sentiment that the debate on the existence of God is ultimately meaningless.  Since that fateful day, I have posted articles about philosophy, science, psychology, history, mythology, as well as random thoughts and just some utter bullshit.  Inevitably though, I am time and time again roped into the same religious debates that I denounced with that first post.  In these debates, I have argued from both sides of the fence, playing Devil’s and God’s advocate depending on the context, all while stealthily avoiding affiliating myself with any one denomination.  Throughout the course of these discussions, the rare times I’ve had to directly address the question, I’ve described myself as an omnist, a deist, an agnostic apologist, and an aimless wanderer between all beliefs (and no belief).  But, despite all my efforts to avoid it, I have recently been labelled by a wonderful alliance of atheist bloggers on their compendium, Enquiries on Atheism, as a ‘Featured Theist.’  Now don’t get me wrong, I am both honored and flattered to be featured on this collaboration, and I want to send my sincere thanks to whoever is responsible for making the decision (even if it’s just a random computer algorithm).  But it does draft me onto the losing team of a competition of which I’m growing more and more wearisome.  Through all my debates for and against the values and hypocrisies of religion, the one consistency has been inconsistency, specifically, the inconsistency of beliefs among those of the same nomenclature.  Even within a specific denomination of a specific religion, you’re not likely to find any two people who share all of the exact same beliefs, moral, philosophical, or otherwise.  For example, two Christians who attend the same church and both declare Christ as their Lord and savior may have completely different views about the importance of the factual validity of the bible.  Likewise, two atheists may be variably certain about the nature of objective reality.  It’s these and similar discrepancies that have led me to avoid declaring any affiliation myself.  Nonetheless, we humans need to categorize our world in order to understand it, and so people with vastly different beliefs may end up being labelled, by themselves and others, with the same assumption-laden label, which further sparks the debate based on nothing more than each person’s own presumptions about that label.

But while I’m being cast, I might as well play the role, for the show must go on.  And I’d like to take the opportunity to explore the varying beliefs within one of these sticky labels.  Atheists are notorious for avoiding declaring any of their own beliefs by exploiting the loophole that atheism is a lack of belief.  But as atheism is merely a lack of belief in gods, as opposed to nihilism, I’m not gonna let the writers over at EoA wriggle out of the witness stand so easily.  So I do have some enquiries, which I’ll list here and also shoot over to them, that should, if they choose to answer, help clarify what beliefs atheist do not lack. These questions are open to all who want to answer though, and if you don’t mind disclosing your preferred label, it may help to exemplify my point even further.

1. Do you believe in the finality of objective reality, despite that our only source of knowledge about that reality is subjective experience. In other words, do you believe that the physical universe is all that exists?

2. Do you believe that logic, and thereby science, is inherent to reality, or do we project it onto reality.  Is logic the language of nature, or is it simply our method of understanding it?

3. Do you believe that our logic, and thereby our science, can or will someday explain the entirety of reality. Can the true nature of reality be known?

4. Do you believe consciousness exists in this reality? Is it merely a by-product of brain function? Is it contained somewhere in the brain?

5. Do you believe in the possibility that consciousness can continue to exist after death?

I’ll stop there for now, as these are the questions I’m mainly interested in.  Hopefully from here we can foster a discussion that explores each others’ worldviews.  Until then, have at it!

Why this dog has to die.

A common claim by the antireligious is that religion can and should be blamed for the wealth of atrocities committed in its name.  From the Crusades to the bombing of abortion clinics, religion is to shoulder the blame for the sins of those who claim it justifies mass murder.  By that logic, this poor lil’ pup is to be held accountable for six murders committed by David Berkowitz in 1976 and 1977.  Sorry Harvey, but it’s your word against his, and you can’t talk, ’cause you’re a dog.  Don’t worry though, you’re in good company.  Last week we put J. D. Salinger to death for the murders of John Lennon, Rebecca Schaeffer, and the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan.  And while we’re doing away with any arbitrary reason people might use to murder, we better get rid of love, lust, power, property, politics, money, drugs, music, books, food, water, shelter, nature… let’s see, anything else?

 

The Religion of Atheism

Would love to open a discussion on this, especially to hear thoughts from some of my atheist readers. Debilis has pointed out some key questions:

 

1.Does this make Atheism into a religion, where hitherto Atheists have claimed that it is simply the lack thereof?
2. Does this set forth Atheist ‘beliefs’ as has hitherto been denied as #1? And for atheists, do you share these beliefs?
3. Is an ‘Atheist Church’ more or less helpful to Atheists than other secular or humanist assemblies?

 

Personally, I’m in favor of anything that brings people together for community fellowship and self-reflection, and if this makes it so Atheists are more comfortable doing it, then more power to ya. Though I can’t help but feel that they are merely borrowing practices of religion and simply taking God out of them. The Huffington Post aritcle states that members meditated and group-sang Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back In Anger.” Again there is nothing inherently wrong with doing so (though I would have preferred “Champagne Supernova”), yet an article by another (obviously biased) attendee stated that comedian Sanderson Jones’ “sermon” was more focused on bashing other religions than promoting the Assembly’s stated theme of “New Beginnings.” This seems odd for an assembly that is “radically inclusive,” ” a place of love that is open and accepting,” and “won’t tell you you’re wrong if you do [believe in God].”¹ As an assembly of like-minded people to reflect on their lives and minds, I support this new assembly, but if it devolves into nothing more than scheduled and organized religious bashing, I’d have to whole-heartedly withdraw that support.

Fide Dubitandum

atheistSunday Assembly (more casually known as “The Atheist Church”) has announced a campaign to spread itself into a global movement. The “Atheist Denomination”, as it were.

The criticism has been that these people are “turning atheism into its own sort of religion”. 

Personally, I think the criticism is unfair. The group is simply not religious in anything like a traditional sense of the term. But, I find that there are a number of interesting things about the fact that many (even many atheists) are making this complaint.

How so? Let me run though some thoughts:

1. This Assumes Atheism is a “Thing”

Atheists have recently insisted that atheism is simply a “lack of belief”. I find it odd, then, that they think that atheists gathering to share there (non-religious) beliefs turns atheism into anything. It could be a slip of the pen (or keyboard), but the same thing…

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The Pink Elephant in the Room with Six Blind Men is Hiding in a Strawberry Patch

I awoke this morning with a joke in my head.  This is not a particularly uncommon occurrence for me.  I often wake up with a song or scene from a movie inexplicably tumbling around in my brain.  Maybe some left over dream absurdity, who knows?  This morning it was a joke, one I hadn’t heard for a long time, and one I can’t remember ever recalling before this morning.  The joke, as it was told to me, goes like this:

Ever seen an elephant hiding in a strawberry patch?
No.
See? They’re good at it!

Admittedly not the most laughable joke.  To be frank it sounds like one your grandpa tells and you laugh at out of sympathy.  Yet, for some reason this joke wouldn’t leave my mind.  It was nagging at my brain all morning.  As a fiction writer, I tried to log it away as a possible witty quip that some clever character would say in something I write someday, but I still wasn’t satisfied.  Somehow I was compelled to get to the source of this joke.  Little did I know the rabbit hole I had stumbled upon.

I started of course with a quick google search, and came across a cultural fad from the 1960s called elephant jokes.  Elephant jokes, much like the modern fad of anti-jokes, derive their humor from deconstructing the riddle-joke formula.  This works because we all know this formula, either consciously or subconsciously.  It works by setting up a ridiculous premise and providing a simple, reductive solution that usually involves a pun or a stab at the characteristics of the subject matter.  So a basic joke about an elephant might go like this:

Q: Where does an elephant keep his stuff?
A: In his trunk!

Hilarious, I know.  If this joke isn’t particularly funny to you, you probably have an intellect higher than that of a small child.  Hence the need to add some irony into the format.  Elephant jokes do this by replacing the simple, reductive solution with one more absurd and complicated than the premise, while also usually ignoring the obvious characteristics of an elephant, most commonly its size, for example:

Q: How can you tell that an elephant is in the bathtub with you?

A: By the smell of peanuts on its breath.

Obviously, if an elephant were in a bathtub with you, you would notice for any multitude of reasons besides the smell of peanuts on its breath.  This format has lent itself to some rather offensive jokes in modern time, like this one about Helen Keller:

Q: Why couldn’t Helen Keller drive?

A: Because she was a woman.

This joke is funny (if you have a sick sense of humor) because it casts Helen Keller’s affliction of being blind and deaf as less of an impediment to her ability to drive than her being a woman, a tasteless jab at a gender stereotype.  The fad has evolved in many other ways however, and the elephant has since become the centerpiece for any kind of nonsensical or absurdist humor, such as this website dedicated to all of the absurd methods you could use to catch an elephant in the Sahara desert, including one that extends the strawberry patch joke (though they use tomatoes, but we will translate it to a strawberry patch for our purposes):

Put a strawberry patch in a cage.  The elephant will naturally come to it for hiding.  Close the cage.  The only problem now is to find the elephant in the strawberry patch.

Anyway, it is from this fad that the precursor (that I was unaware of) to the joke I couldn’t shake comes:

Q: Why do elephants paint their toenails red?
A: So they can hide in strawberry patches.

As explained above, this joke defies your expectation of a simple, possibly punny answer with one more illogical and absurd than the premise, as well as playing on the illogic (and comical imagery) of an elephant trying to hide in a strawberry patch, given its size, coupled with the absurd suggestion that painting its toenails red would do anything to help hide it.  Often many of these jokes were strung together to create an outlandish surreality where the normal characteristics of an elephant are completely ignored, which gives us the complete version of the joke that I was unaware was incomplete:

Why do elephants paint their toenails red?
Why?
To hide in strawberry patches.

Have you ever seen an elephant hiding in a strawberry patch?
No.
See? It works!

The second part of the joke can stand alone though, as it plays on the logical fallacy known as the converse error. This logical fallacy breaks down as such:

If P, then Q.

Q.

Therefore, P.

This is fallacious logic because P is not the only condition that yields Q.  Plugging the joke into the equation (which necessitates a double premise) yields:

If elephants hide in strawberry patches, AND they are good at it, then you wouldn’t see an elephant hiding in a strawberry patch.

You’ve never seen an elephant hiding in a strawberry patch.

Therefore, elephants hide in strawberry patches AND they are good at it.

This, I believe, is why the joke somehow stuck with me for so long.  The joke blatantly points out this logical fallacy, one that you often encounter in arguments with deluded individuals.  It is the basis for confirmation bias, which is the basis for many delusional theories.  The intelligent design theory, for example, breaks down when we subject it to the logical equation:

If the universe were created specifically for us, then we would be extremely well-suited to survive in it.

We are extremely well-suited to survive in the universe.

Therefore, the universe was created specifically for us.

The Ancient Alien or Ancient Astronaut Theory is also broken down this way, though it involves some syllogism:

If aliens visited our ancient ancestors, then our ancient ancestors would have misinterpreted them as gods.

If our ancient ancestors misinterpreted them as gods, then they would have written stories about them.

Our ancient ancestors have written stories about gods.

Therefore, aliens visited our ancient ancestors.

We could go on with other theories like Creationism or the Illuminati, but I think you get the idea.  The point is that the joke blatantly and humorously exemplifies the illogic of this line of reasoning in an absurd and obvious way, and that’s what makes it such an interesting joke.

 

But the internet wasn’t done with me yet.  I kept digging and found that the common thread of the elephant jokes, the obviousness of an elephant being present in any situation, has long been fodder for comedy and ironic situations.  Wikipedia gives us this bit of trivia:

In 1935, comedian Jimmy Durante starred on Broadway in the Billy Rose stage musical Jumbo, in which a police officer stopped him while leading a live elephant and asked him, “What are you doing with that elephant?” Durante’s reply, “What elephant?”, was a regular show-stopper.

It may be from this joke or any derivations thereof that we get the phrase “the elephant in the room,” generally referring to something obvious to the situation that no one is addressing.  It conjures up an image of people sitting around a room in which there is a giant elephant without even addressing the presence of the elephant, almost reminiscent of an absurdist play.  The irony of the situation comes from the fact that to have an elephant in a room without addressing it takes a conscious effort on the part of everyone in the room not to address it.  This phrase has become so common as to be conflated with other phrases, for example “the pink elephant in the room.”  In this case the phrase was combined with the idiom of the pink elephant, which comes from a thought experiment in which a subject is asked not to think of a pink elephant.  Inevitably, and even despite the conscious effort of the subject, he is forced to think of a pink elephant, exemplifying ironic processing.  This psychological phenomenon is also the basis for the popular game you may have encountered in which whenever you think about the game, you lose.  If you’re unaware of this game, you may have noticed some people around you unprecedentedly and unexpectedly complaining, “Damn, I just lost the game.”  It should delight you to know that these people are not, in fact, schizophrenic.

The Elephant in the Room, Banksy exhibition, 2006 Barely Legal show, Los Angeles

Hold on now, this is where it comes full circle.  The ‘elephant in the room’ has also been used by several philosophers to debate our method of gathering information or knowledge known as epistemology.  The most famous of these arguments comes from… I’ll give you three guesses… got it yet… if not, go check the about page…….. You got it!  In an early philosophical discussion with his friend and mentor Bertrand Russel, patron of this very blog Ludwig Wittgenstein was asked if he could at least say with certainty that there wasn’t an elephant in the room.  Sometimes the story involves a rhinoceros instead of an elephant, but Russell’s own autobiography confirms that it was indeed an elephant (granted he wrote this much later in his life).  Unwilling to admit to certainty in any matter, Wittgenstein replied that he could not say that with certainty.  Russell then went to work searching all of the cupboards and under each piece of furniture for the elephant, a sight gag very similar to Durante’s much later use of it.  Ironically, the information superhighway had thrown me down a rabbit hole only to bring me back to a familiar starting point.  I’m not sure if there is meaning in this or not, but I know better than to try and find it.

There was one last stop along this journey, however, seemingly unrelated, but interesting nonetheless.  While exploring this cultural psychological philosophical phenomenon surrounding elephants, I came across a parable I hadn’t heard before, but which goes along with my own philosophy about epistemology and theology.  The parable seems to be shared among Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and others, but the moral is always the same.  I’ll go ahead and tell my own version for the purposes of this post.

Six blind men are called by the king to his court in which he has placed in elephant.  Each of the blind men is asked to touch a different part of the elephant and confer with each other on what the elephant is like.  The blind man who feels a leg says the elephant is like a pillar; the one who feels the tail says the elephant is like a rope; the one who feels the trunk says the elephant is like a tree branch; the one who feels the ear says the elephant is like a hand fan; the one who feels the belly says the elephant is like a wall; and the one who feels the tusk says the elephant is like a solid pipe.  Unable to agree upon the nature of the elephant, the blind men set to quarreling and throwing blows, all to the delight of the king.

The king in this allegory may be God (or for my atheist friends, ‘that which knows the true nature of reality’), who instills within us a desire to know the true nature of reality, knowing full well that we cannot know it.  Each of us attempts to investigate it by our own means, and we quarrel and fight amongst ourselves when we cannot confer on its true nature.  This allegory has been used to describe many things, from philosophy to theology, and even the strange phenomena encountered in quantum physics, such as wave-particle duality.  Ironically, the story has become like the elephant itself, with each of us determining our own interpretation of it, unwilling to confer on one meaning.  This is at once the beauty and the curse of stories, jokes, and metaphors.  When we hear them, we know we’ve learned something, but when we try to put it into words, we create our own controversy.  To tie it all up, a clever elephant joke retells the story this way:

Six blind elephants were discussing what men were like. After arguing they decided to find one and determine what it was like by direct experience. The first blind elephant felt the man and declared, ‘Men are flat.’ After the other blind elephants felt the man, they agreed.

US Gov’t Shuts Down In Wake Of “Breaking Bad” Finale

 

At 12:01am EDT, the Federal Government of the United States finished the series finale of AMC’s Breaking Bad, and, unsure of what to do with itself, decided to shut down indefinitely.  The central government of the world’s foremost superpower was forced to postpone its viewing of the highly-anticipated television event, as it had a “thing to go to” Sunday night.  But as soon as it had finished the no-holds-barred nail-biting final episode late Monday night, it announced that it would need some time to recover.  “I just don’t know what to do with my life now that it’s over,” decried the legislative branch.  “Without ‘B Bad’ to look forward to every week,” sniffed the judicial branch, “what’s the point?”  President Obama could not be reached for comment, but could be heard whimpering the lyrics to “Baby Blue” from the Oval Office.  When asked how long it would need to deal with the emotional stress of not seeing its favorite characters return to its TV set every week, the global standard for a functional democracy stated, “I don’t know.  Maybe when Walking Dead comes back I’ll think about getting out of bed.”  This is the first time the US Government has shut down since the finale of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in 1996, and may have as much of an impact on the economy as the recession caused by the end of The Wire in 2008.

New Digs

Trying out a new theme with better navigation tools, to make it easier for visitors to enjoy the depths of my barely-one-year-old blog.  Let me know what you think! Any and all suggestions are more than welcome!