Posted by: coloradokiwi | March 15, 2009

Sunday Errata

* Does anyone get the feeling that the U.S. government has basically just become Lloyd Christmas?  And I don’t mean in the obvious “dumb” sense.  I meant in the sense that in order to finance their stay in Aspen, Lloyd and Harry basically just use the ransom cash in the suitcase.  Near the end of the film, Lloyd admits this to Mary Swanson, who seems appalled but resigned when he says something along the lines of, “But don’t worry, we didn’t just spend all that money, we kept track by putting I.O.U.’s in there, which we’re totally good for.”  In this metaphor, Lloyd is the Treasury Department and Mary Swanson is China.

* If society were to collapse, I’d want to be just a little bit younger, I think (clearly I’m assuming I am not purged or starved or whatever).  I’d want to be able to live long enough to enjoy a reversion back to how things ought to be in terms of every day living, once the inevitable wars have ebbed:  you are a part of an interdependent community, everyone naps in the early afternoon, and everyone works hard at a meaningful job to which they see can see and access the fruit of their labors, and so on.  I mean, on the downside, no internet, possibly really medieval medical care, and we might even live in a Hobbesian nightmare not unlike that depicted in Xena:  Warrior Princess.  Still, though:  there’s something to be said for that more pastoral pace of life, which is how I think we’re meant to live.  Perhaps the trick instead is to apply that pace of life to modern society.  Greater freedom, equality and limitless, free energy may be the only way.  So here’s to my future of anarcho-syndicalism powered by cold fusion!

* WTF is it with this trend in pop music of overtly distorting the voice?  I just don’t get it, because aside from pure electronica masquerading as singing, it just doesn’t sound that cool (I have no problem with the lack of authenticity, per se—they’re not trying to pretend this is a natural voice or about talent, it’s that it stands in for the human voice).  Does T-Pain have a discernible talent other than looking cool in an eccentric hat?  

* I just watched a Tui do its thing on the tree outside my window for about fifteen minutes.  Unfortunately my camcorder is still without a power converter for Down Under.  God dammit.

* There really is nothing more pleasant than a Sunday afternoon in a park or botanic gardens with perfectly clear, warm weather.  Runner-up:  a lap full of sleeping kitty and/or baby, hot cocoa, and either a book or fave movie (bonus if it’s snowing outside).



  1. I would just like to point out that looking cool in an eccentric hat is not an easy thing to do. Especially when you’re on a boat:

  2. “there’s something to be said for that more pastoral pace of life, which is how I think we’re meant to live”

    Indeed. Two things come to mind. First, that many of us work in the ‘modern’ world (think cubicles, technology, etc) in order to amass the wealth needed to, one day, purchase property and live comfortably in the country (admittedly, the collective pastoral/social element is missing from this dream). But it’s as if there’s a necessity to become a slave to the system in order to escape it. Second, that the “winds of history” continually push us forward, preventing us from enjoying the simpler alternative. I mean, we have all this amazing technology and potential to learn, discover, and improve as a society, that it’s almost blasphemous to consider, en masse, a move to the simpler lifestyle.

  3. Db: Such a great vid. It’s on heavy rotation over here, lol.

    Spanky: good points. I would add to this that there’s really no going back (not completely), nor should we necessarily want to. The key to the simpler life, in my view, is not necessarily abdicating technology, but a transformation of the urban landscape coupled with a transformation of labor. To some extent we can see signs of this already: smart design (ala New Urbanism, although this doesn’t go far enough), things like flex-time, and so on. Having time and good public space seems to me like a good way to try to live the “simple” live in terms of enjoying nature and family.

    The really tricky part is this: was Marx right about labor? Is it fundamental to the optimum human condition that we do not find our labor alienating, or whatever? I for one am placing a lot of hope in the potential for people’s “real” labor being in stuff they do of their own volition that makes them happy and helps out society in some way (here I’m thinking of the millions of work hours put into stuff like Wikipedia).

    But I’m not smart enough to see how this translates, ultimately, into a kind of update of the pastoral life.

  4. Sir, that is possibly the finest response anyone has ever posted on this blog or any other. Marvelous.

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