Notes From The Ant Empire #3

You know how they offer toys for guns around the holidays to get you to turn over your 44 in exchange for a Barbie or a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle for your kid?

gun.jpg

Why not something similar for cars? A tax break for sneakers or something?

Cars kill more people per year than guns do, by far, and are much more destructive to the overall health of our environment. Shouldn’t we all have keys to safes where we keep the keys to our cars, lest someone should accidentally drive one? (and no, this isn’t a pro-gun metaphor!)

It seems to me, if one were willing to forgo their ownership of such a calamitous machine they ought to receive some financial compensation for doing their part in ridding the world of a nuisance. The automobile.

But that’s not how America works.

Here, you only get rewarded for owning something. A house. A SUV. Stocks. Shouldn’t the ethos be the other way around? You’re rewarded for sharing. For conserving. For not burning oil. For not creating Greenhouse Gasses. For not being another dick in the neighborhood with a Lincoln Navigator.

We could fight Obesity, Global Warming, and Terrorists in one act: get out of our cars.

I know I say it over and over so much that I must sound like a broken record but it’s the easiest way any of us could chip in to cut down our energy usage.

Walk!

It’s better for ya’ too.

Next time you’re yelling to your spouse or your kids that you’re just going to run down to the store to pick something up, while reaching for your car keys – stop, think of me and ask yourself: if possible, might it not just be better to walk down to the store?

Who knows?

There might be a nice breeze out, the twittering of song birds, or the smell of a fireplace to delight your senses. You might even enjoy it.

You may even thank me.

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Once you remove all the fancy arguments, the main difference between Capitalism and Communism, is the difference between owning and sharing.

Entire economic structures sprouted from those simple concepts.

Except they both fall apart in practice because in Communism, not everyone shares. And in Capitalism, not everyone owns.

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Last night my wife, myself, and a friend were watching Lost when there was a short scene featuring Kate and Juliet running through the jungle. The thing that stood out and grabbed our attention was Kate’s boobs. Both the girls noticed that one was bigger than the other, while I just noticed them.

We were all so distracted by the sight of her boobs that we missed what Kate had even said. We had to rewind to catch it. It does turn out, on a second viewing, that the left one was a little smaller than the right.

It was an amusing moment, the three of us realizing that we were all distracted by her breasts, but mostly because it perfectly encapsulated the difference between a male and a female’s reactions to said mammalian body part.

On a more emperical level, it also shows just how attached we are to a person’s physical properties. Their body parts and such.

Boobs. A crotch. Asses.

And such.

There’s some kind of animal defense mechanism that causes both men and women to check out a female’s breasts as she’s tramping through a jungle in a tight-fitting, sopping wet t-shirt.

I eyed them like a predator, while they eyed them like competitors.

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If you reach blindly into a trashcan and your hand clenches around a crumpled, sticky, mucous-filled ball of tissue paper; could you tell the difference between a snotrag and a cumrag?

Just asking.

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There was a man who lived in the country, in a small blip-of-a-town barely on the map. This man used to swear, cross his heart, that he was abducted by aliens at the age of 23. That was his local claim to fame. Of course he was drunk at the time, and often drunk while sharing this story, although not always, however, he always told the story with solemnity and suspense.

He also swore that his dog drank whiskey, but didn’t know where the dog got it since he kept a close eye on his own stash, but his dog’s breath reeked of rye all the time.

Years later the man recanted. Now he swears that it was the light of God that abducted him that night. That it was God, not aliens, in that space ship that hovered over the pines, that cast a purple light that, once it grabbed him and entered him, our hero describes as the power of 20 Novocains. “It made all the pain just drift away,” he likes to say, gesturing levitation, “that’s how come I know it was God, not aliens.”

He still claims that his dog used to drink whisky when he wasn’t looking, though.

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What is it about a woman in a flowing sundress riding an old beachcomber bike that is extrememly romantic, that reminds me of a Sam Beam song?

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The one solace that I take from living through this administration is that one day all their heinous deeds will be written in a history book.
My one satisfaction is that despite all the power and wealth and ego he possesses Bush does not possess a time machine, nor any sort of immortality device that I know of, so, like me, his cells will start to decay and turn on him and he will be lying in a small room somewhere and angels will be there playing their harps, but they won’t be singing and he won’t be able to hear the harps, and in fact there are no harps, and he will be gone.

Not to be redundant but it’s my one consolation, when his cells finally quit on him, George Bush will reckon for all he’s done.

And for those that death is too merciful for, there is infamy.

Imagine the day…

Our kids will only know of George W. Bush through tales of his failures.

His name will be a scourge upon all future politicians. (pulling a Bush will be like pulling a Homer – “d’oh!”) Our children will learn in poly-sci class how the country turned against him. They will read about the 2006 election and how the country began to defend itself from a corrupt, power-hungry administration. They will see, through this discussion, just how wise the founders were when they set up the checks and balance system. (even if it took a while to kick in)

And, oh blessed day, my children won’t know what it was like in 2004, watching half of my fellow citizens vote this guy back for another 4 years, after the lies, and the inepitude, and the coarseness.

And they won’t recognize the sound of Limbaugh’s, O’Reily’s, or Hannity’s voice cheering on the war and the destruction of our civil liberties, espousing lies while cowering in ergonomic chairs, in a cool air-conditioned studio, back home, ensconced in their corporate-funded punditocracy.

Still, there may be a whole new slew of demigods on the right that my future child might have to contend with, enabling more destructive foolishness with even more vitriolic rhetoric.

But I hope not.

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Honeybees are disappearing and it’s a mystery why.

I’m not sure what this means for the price of honey on the world market, but it effects more than just honey as bees help the whole ecosystem out by pollination.

Bees help spread life.

From MSNBC: Moving from flower to flower, the bees help produce $15 billion of seeds and crops each year — everything from the alfalfa in cattle feed to the pears in Hirsch’s orchard.

[…]

So far, no one knows why the bees are disappearing. It might be three or four or five different things intersecting all at the same time and affecting the honeybees’ health dramatically.

As scientists try to solve this mystery of nature, the laws of supply and demand are already at work in the grocery aisle. If there are fewer bees to pollinate, farmers could see smaller harvests and that could mean higher prices at the supermarket.

This is just another reminder how connected everything is, how elegantly interwoven nature is, how vital even a thing like the honeybee is.

Next time a bee lands on you and you reach to swat it, stop – ask yourself – am I killing one of the last bees in America?

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(Once) When I was little someone pointed out to me/
some constellations, but the Big Dipper was all I could see

— Doug Martsch

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Some people collect their thoughts in a journal
I collect mine online at ARTOFSTARVING.COM

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