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Friday, September 30, 2016

Shooting stars.

Mitch, I'll be frank ... I don't think this is a good idea. I know it's the middle of the night and most likely no one can see us, but that contraption makes a lot of noise and ... well ... never mind.

Oh, hi. Yeah, I'm trying to talk our mad science advisor Mitch Macaphee off of the ledge again. This time I mean it literally - he's up on top of the Cheney Hammer Mill, all worked up in a lather about the recent news from deep space. Did you hear about it? Well, in case you haven't, the space probe Rosetta has crashed into Comet 67P/Churyumov--Gerasimenko after having gathered data about what that cosmic snow cone is made of.

This kind of news always sets Mitch off - he's apparently got a hand in every celestial body from here to Andromeda, I'm gradually discovering. He's a bit like Heath on the Big Valley. Every time a stranger comes to town, it turns out that Heath had "sworn to keel him" at some point. (I always wondered why brother Jarrod, being a lawyer, never demanded that Heath write up a list of everyone he ever swore to keel ... I mean, kill.)

Aim high, Mitch.Anywho, Mitch's overheated response to the comet collision news was tantamount to a declaration of war. He brought Trevor James Constable's patented orgone generating device out of mothballs, tinkered with it for a few hours, then - with the help of Marvin (my personal robot assistant) - hauled the pile of junk up to the roof of the mill and pointed its multi-pronged array at the heavens. He borrowed one of our longer extension cords, fired the orgone generating machine up, and started muttering to himself. "Yes, yes ..." he said maniacally. "It won't be long now." (I'm leaving out the twisted little cackle he interjected between phrases as I do not wish to frighten the children.)

I'm not clear on what Mitch hopes to accomplish here. The orgone generating device, after all, does little other than its core functions of opening time portals and attracting invisible flying predators. In short, it's a poor choice if you're planning on shooting stars.

Week that was 3.0.

It's been another one of those weeks. Not sure how many more I can stand. This election is enough of a nightmare without the regular drumbeat of disasters, but I guess it always works like this on some level. Maybe I'm getting more sensitive in my dotage. In any case, this is what I've been thinking about this week:

Lives not mattering. Police shootings of black men in Tulsa, Charlotte, and outside of San Diego demonstrate that this is not getting any better and perhaps is getting much worse. Whereas there has always been a degree of indifference about these incidents, as more and more take place without just resolution, people will tend to become inured to the issue, just as they have with mass shootings. And of course, in at least two of these incidents, details about the dead man's background have been made known, including brushes with the law. They did this with Patrick Dorismond back in the later nineties and it's become a favorite tactic: If you're black, you have to be an angel to deserve to live through a police encounter. That's a high bar.

Lopsided matchupNot-so-great debate. I was witness to the nerve-wracking exchange between former secretary Clinton and Donald Trump, and I have to say that something about seeing the two of them on the stage of a presidential general election debate was disturbing enough even before they said anything. Clinton bested Trump, but that shouldn't be hard. The guy literally knows nothing about anything. Honestly, the Republican party seems determined to convince people that there's nothing to the presidency, that any dunce off the street can do the job. Count me among those who do not agree. That rambling wreck Trump would be a total disaster, to borrow one of his favorite turns of phrase. If Monday's debate proved anything, it's that.

Name one leader. Did I mention that Gary Johnson is a dunce? That should be obvious after blowing another softball question on MSNBC. With a brain that flaccid, he should have run for the Republican nomination. I don't know how this guy ever ran a state without being possessed of even a little bit of knowledge about the world. What makes him attractive to hipsters must be the perception that he would legalize marijuana ... or perhaps that he provides a titanic opportunity for irony.

luv u,

jp