My dear readers, I have hit for the monomyth cycle for you this time. I heard the call to adventure, that is, to read a left-leaning magazine to try to empathize with and understand the arguments of others. I crossed the first threshold when I bought such a magazine when I was in the belly of the whale at the bobomart where my beautiful wife buys her uberhealthy snacks and where I once bought an organic beer that tasted like barley soup. So I was initiated when I met with woman as the temptress, in this case Mother Jones (although I must admit I am not quite into the whole crone fetish). So I have returned, by the magickal flight of the magazine looping through the air as I tossed it in disgust, to bring knowledge, or at least a lot of words, about the experience.
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The cover story, “Goodbye, New World Order“, retells the story of how the unilateralist cowboys in the Bush administration have wrecked the great edifices of the New World Order. You know, of course, what I say. I sing, “Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road“. The New World Order can start picking through its own rubble for loose change to afford its bloated needs. Got enough to retire your population with full pay at age fifty and develop the third world (now promoted to the second world with the collapse of the original “Second World”) to a state of state largesse wherein the formerly-impoverished can also retire at fifty, too? No? Well, maybe you can find enough for a burrito instead.
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Then, we hear about the weepy circumstances in Tuvalu in a story called “All the Disappearing Islands“.
It seems that this idyllic paradise features no arable land, offers jobs in fishing and gathering coconuts, and has a per capita income of $1,100, is threatened by (one supposes) George W. Bush (remember, he determines the fate of every living being on the planet). There’s no crime in Tuvalu (apparently, there’s no market for hot coconuts), and the people live close to nature (that is, at about sustenance level). It’s paradise to certain political thinkers.
Of course, the piece is more of a dirge than a stirring reveille. The piece harps that global warming is gonna keep happening, regardless of what we do, and humanity’s going to die out from our own wretchedness. So I won’t opt for a subscription to Mother Jones in case that happens before the subscription would lapse.
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The photo essay “Too Beautiful For Death” describes Kashmir, the Indian province upon which Pakistan wants to get its mitts. The pictures are beautiful, of course, as the region must surely be. The text by Suketu Mehta wrings its hands suitably about how this area could lead to the single most devastating war to ever occur, and soon. It’s hard to miss the significance of the numbers of millions or hundreds of millions who could die in such an event. As if that’s not bad enough, the article’s final pièce de résistance:
But so violently vital is the idea of Kashmir to both nations that they have thrice gone to war over it. The next war could escalate into a nuclear confrontation. One nuclear bomb on Bombay or Karachi could kill more people than the entire population of Kashmir; and it would not stop at one bomb. Kashmir is an impossibly beautiful greenhouse for death, which could grow to engulf the peoples who have planted it and nurtured it with Kashmiri blood and tears, grow until the entire subcontinent is filled with the insane screaming of dying elephants. [Emphasis mine]
Dying elephants? What the schnuck? Never mind the people, but save the Indian elephants?
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In the story “Keeper of the Fire“, a writer wraps its forelimbs around the leg of an anti-capitalist crusader who’s out to raise labor costs required to manufacture the cheap goods we enjoy in this country without realizing that this successful crusade will drive investment from the underdeveloped regions benefitting, belatedly, from the Industrial Revolution and will make products we take for granted impossible to afford. After all, if a low-seniority union laborer who earns $20 an hour plus benefits spends two hours making your blue jeans, they’re not going to cost $20 at Kohl’s any more.
By the second paragraph, before anyone sensible could grab a break stick to pull the swooning writer from the profilee’s trousers, the writer gushed this about the dreamboat liberal:
Technically, he is a part of the National Labor Committee, a letterhead group of four or five in a small warren of rooms loaned by UNITE in New York City. But beneath this façade he is an independent, a man controlled by no backers, free of any union, immune to academic nuance.
All righty then. Dick Cheney once worked for Haliburton, and he’s forever damned as their puppy. George W. Bush once ran the Texas Rangers, and now he’s in Major League Baseball’s batting gloves’ pocket. But this guy is actively employed by the unions, and he’s a renegade, unbeholden to anyone? That’s when I fell for leader of the pack (vroom!).
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About this time, I am just flipping through to find the back cover. Hurrying past the reviews, and BAM! There it is! An ad for www.banpoundseizure.org. It says:
The betrayal must end.
(cute dog picture)
Some states still allow or require the release or sale of healthy, adoptable dogs and cats from shelters and pounds to research labs or schools where they likely will be killed.
Oh, please, it’s not as though the shelter gets on the horn the minute a golden retriever arrives and says, “Hey, Igor, I got that brain you wanted.” I would guess that research labs are the second to last resort for animals that have not been adopted and are going to be put down. And not all research labs kill all the animals that pass through.
Oh, I do understand that animal whack job organizations want every shelter to be a no kill shelter, which means public animal control become infinitely growing housing projects and welfood programs for the good of a sub-sentient species. However, it’s just not feasible. Don’t say it is. Don’t. You nutbar.
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And then I finally made it to the end of the magazine, not much dumber than when I started. Some of this stuff is so a priori wrong that I cannot understand it. To whom are they talking? People who don’t like Indian elephants or puppies dying or don’t want impoverished people earning money, I guess, and unfortunately this American nation has too many who hold those soundbite views without deeper understanding.