Gosh-ee, happy holidays, bah-humbug, and all that other rot. 'Tis the season to make folly, as I seem to say every year when it comes time for the Xmas piece. With so many jokes available in this present, one hardly knows which cans of worms to open up 1st.
Let's start with a lame off-topic celebrity news distraction joke to give some credence to the current crop of marshmallow fluff they feed us as news. As I know you've heard, Tiger Woods is a sports star who has been bagging babes from here to Kalamazoo since he was old enough to want somebody else to carry his balls for him and that is as expected. Face it, the fantasy of getting to bag beautiful groupies is a component of the determination that keeps some kids, maybe most kids practicing long enough to grow to be sports stars; and that particular fantasy is also a component of the communal fantasy we share of our sports stars.
We want 'em to be sexy. Sports is all about vigor and that makes it sexy. We'd be kidding ourselves with somebody else's false morality if we tried to pretend it was otherwise, by and large, for most sports fans in these American states. For every mock-shocked talk jock out there who pretends to have his delicate sensibilities afflicted by the news Tiger Woods has shagged his more than his share in the rough; well, there are scores of red meat Americans on both the left and the right who are quietly thinking "You go bro. Nine women, no way?" Now those people will wait till the Pharisees finish their faux scold and wind up liking Tiger even more because of it. So in the long run the yolk will be on the shock squawkers over this one.
So this joke here is for those who feel they were honestly shocked and awed: hey folks, they didn't call him pussycat, did they? No. They named him "Tiger." Though apparently horn dog might've worked just as well.
Now, the present I've have most wanted to open for the longest time has got to be those miraculously "found" 22 million Bush era emails that somehow "disappeared" right around the time investigators began to have questions about the odd pattern of firings of US Attorney Generals around the country for patently political motives. Lawsuits against the Bush Admin finally shook the long missing emails out of the underbrush, but 22 million emails means there are a lot enlargement spam and lol cats forwards to weed through so this might take awhile.
Then there's that one piece of news so weird it's like somebody paid Chuck Shepherd to make it up: Official War Prez Action Figure Barack Obama staged a26 hour attack on Oslo to steal somebody's Nobel Prize and then triumphs in his proclamation that war is peace. To make sure the audience didn't bolt before they can make their getaway, this same week Team Obama also threw down numerous landmine treaties and defended John Yoo in a lawsuit against him brought by one of his tortured. One can only imagine what Obama will do for education if war is his answer to peace? It's seems the freedom of slavery works in there somewhere. The joke in this one? The prize itself.
While the stunned world gasped, Team Obama hurried back to Washington so he could appear scold big banking. The joke on this has got to be Obama's quote to 60 Minutes' Steve Kroft, "I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street." Really? I thought that's what they had hired him for. They were his number one campaign contributors after all. Alas, the joke in this case seems to be on us.
Lastly, this week, I want to climb up on Santa's lap and go wah-wah-wah about all those Grinches turning Copenhagen into Nopenhagen. The Palin fanned fake "Climategate" to get things off to a bad start and get the deniers all erroneously up in arms. Though demonstrably faked up to create derailing controversy the right wing anti-global warming noise machine drummed up the call of faux scandal. As time wastes away at another climate conference while the US fiddles around and the rest of the world is doing a slow burn. Which would be bad enough all by itself without the further holiday mistreatment of having to endure all these GOP wing nuts boasting by the planet's open pyre.
Then when the news of a secret back channel treaty between the US and other industrialized nations that gave very little got out the G77 (which somehow equates to 130 different countries) denounced America among others as callously destroying everyone's planet. I mean, when you've got 130 nations banding against you and walking out of the talks, you may well be offtrack. Just saying.
But the most sobering news from Copenhagen is not the damage we are about to fail to prevent, but the grim results of the damage already wrought. US scientists gave an opening day report on the impending end of Arctic ice which could not help but give one chills. As expected, the ice is melting more than expected. Seems CO2 loves cold water, so it absorbs more right out of the air, conveniently put there by greenhouse gases, conveniently put there by you and I and our coal, oil and gas.. Yes, it's those same greenhouse gases global warming deniers propose to purport as harmless. Meanwhile, this increase in carbon in the seawater raises its acid level, eventually killing " well, first plankton, then the guys that eat plankton, then the guys that eat them and so on.
The scientists say that they don't want to alarm anyone by using the phrase "tipping point" but they sure make it sound more like "Already Gone Over the Cliff." The ice will go away, be gone by 2050. The water will turn to carbolic acid, and that'll be a problem by 2020 and then the planet will, what, pickle?
The Great Pacific Gyre, a Sargasso Sea of plastic crap thrown into the oceans, gathered by the currents, a floating monument of our mess. Dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico where not even Oxygen lives and now an acid Arctic, which is already spreading? Have we really, already killed our oceans? We've come to another case where Vonnegut may have indeed written humans' epitaph when he quipped this quote should carved into the Grand Canyon as our memorial: "We probably could have saved ourselves, but we were too damned lazy to try very hard" and too damn cheap."
Ho, ho, ho and boo, woo, woo, I'm trying to fake some holiday spirit here; but this acid oceans thing sure leaves a sour taste in my mouth. This is the ghost of many interesting Xmases to come announcing it is time to check your boarding passes and survey your quarters. Ladies and gentlemen, the Titanic has sailed. If that's what passes for you as holiday spirit then, get your deck chairs, strike up the band, the show should be spectacular. Season of lights, after all.
--mikel weisser writes from the left coast of AZ.