Saturday, March 19, 2005

Desperate Hard Drives

As readers and especially fellow bloggers using Blogger have noticed, there’s been trouble in Blogland over the last few weeks. They promise to get it fixed “soon,” and if you can read this, they’ve done something. As I write this, I have no idea when — or even if — this will get posted, but hey, it’s a Saturday morning and I’ve not got much else to do. Therefore I’m going to cram several posts into this one and see if it will fly.

The Terri Schiavo case is all over the papers and the TV, and of course the blogosphere is at full throat on it. Several of my fellow TLC friends have picked up on the thread I started when the US Senate tried to subpeona not only Mr. Schiavo but Terri herself. Upyernoz, the keeper of rubber hose and an attorney, trackbacked to my post and started a long comment thread with his thesis on the abuse of the subpeona. Against my better judgement I jumped into the fray and proved that I made a good move when I started my own blog rather than just keep commenting on others because I know I will never win a Koufax for “Best Commenter.” You, Dear Reader, on the other hand, are free to jump in over there (once you’re done here, of course) and add your thoughts, and you’ll probably do a better job than I did.

The one thing that really bothers me about this case is that once again we as a nation have found a made-for-media story that polarizes an issue, glosses over the feelings of those involved and gives very little thought to the past or the future. Since when do absolute strangers with nothing but a political agenda get to inject themselves into the most private aspects of our lives? The rank hypocrisy of those who rail about “imperial liberal judges making up laws” then running to the courts for relief would be funny as hell if it wasn’t such an old joke. And if the State of Florida or the United States Senate says that all people in her condition and who didn’t leave written instructions must be preserved and cared for, who is going to foot the bill to pay for maintaining these human Produce sections? Did we not decide this issue decades ago in the case of Karen Ann Quinlan, and at that time did we not say that such a thing should never happen again?

At some point this story will come to a sad end and the attention will move on to the next celebrity basket case. Such is life. (And my critics complain my novel is episodic. Gee, how lifelike.) I sure as hell don’t have the answers, and neither do the ghouls in the U.S. Senate or the “right-to-life” crowd (who vow to kill abortion doctors), but one thing I do know: I’m going to update my will and make sure that if something happens to me and I end up like a brussel sprout, my family will pull the plug and dump my ashes off Longs Peak, accompanied by the strains of the Largo movement from the Dvorak Symphony No. 9 “From the New World” and Nether Lands by Dan Fogelberg. Don’t call CNN. (Does that count as “written instructions”?)

Moving on: The Miami Herald has a cage match in the Opinion section on the future of Hillary Rodham Clinton. One is a laudatory piece by Cliff Schecter who says that “she’s good but unelectable,” and lists the liabilities that the right wing is holding in storage until she runs. Interesting to note that Mr. Schecter’s byline notes he is “a political analyst for the Sinclair Broadcast Group.” Yeah, those guys. Take that with a box of Morton’s. The second piece is from Bogdan Kipling (there’s a name right out of…Kipling) who is the Washington correspondent for the Halifax Chronicle Herald. Kipling says the Democrats would be fools not to run HRC in 2008 — she tested, she’s hugely popular overseas (as if that was a prerequisite), and she actually wants to run. Frankly, I hope she doesn’t — not because I have anything against her or her politics. I just don’t want to be a part of the Full Employment Act for Wingnuts in 2008.

Shorter David Brooks

Politicians should learn to hold hands and sing “Kum By Ya” or the voters will get disgusted.

No, really?

Tomorrow morning at 7:34 Eastern Time the sun will be over the equator. It’s the vernal equinox — the beginning of Spring. I’ll have pictures. Millions of people will try to stand an egg on its end at that time to test the theory that special gravitational forces apply when the sun is over the equator. The fact that it’s bullshit will not dissuade people from trying…and later making an omelette.