Iron Filings - 72
December 1, 2021
Iron Filings – 72
Last October 11 I found myself doing a bit of mulling (mulling is better than thinking – too often when I think I get into trouble) over Columbus Day, and particularly the fact that in many places now the day is being called Indigenous Peoples Day. In part, this is because reliable historians have pretty much concluded that, after a great deal of research, Columbus was, to put it politely, a thug. This, of course, has put a lot of people in high dudgeon, especially as we dismantle the various monuments and statues honoring Columbus around the country. Actually, thug or not, it has always seemed kind of odd that we honor him in the first place, since even my (older) generation learned in grade school that he didn't even discover America, just some place in the West Indies where he began to make shrapnel out of the natives. Anyway, I think it's fine to honor those many indigenous peoples who took such good care of the country before we came along and stole it from them.
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The next time I hear someone shout "freedom" as their reason for not getting vaccinated I'll want to hit them over the head with a KN95 face mask. Frankly, I respect their freedom to choose and their choice, but I do think that those who refuse to be vaccinated should be required to wear an armband with a Grim Reaper printed on it. I just want to know who they are so that I can avoid them; i.e., that's my freedom of choice.
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What Were They Thinking Department?: A city down in Florida decided to honor its first black female deputy fire chief by painting a mural of her with other firefighters. Unfortunately, they painted her face white. Yes, that sound you hear is a lawsuit speeding down the pike. The smart money has her winning the suit.
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I Don't Make This Stuff Up: Down in Texas, where being brain dead is seen as a virtue, a school board leader told teachers that if they teach the holocaust then they must also teach opposing views. If my logic is right, that would mean they must also teach views that say the holocaust was a good thing. I'm pretty sure it wasn't.
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Such a well-made, if wrenching, movie with an excellent cast – do put "Babyteeth" on your must-see list. It's a tear-jerker and a little quirky but wonderfully done (and it's not about babies). (We got it on Netflix discs.)
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Last month I suggested we call this time The Age of Issues. Perhaps a better one would be The Age Of What In The Hell Happened?
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Sometimes I wonder how it all works. Looking at those scenes of thousands of shipping containers in the various ports I'm just amazed at how someone can figure out that this one contains televisions, that one refrigerators, and that one over there has ten-thousand teddy bears. Yes, I know they're computer-coded but, still, someone has to figure out that this trucker is going to that New Hampshire distribution center where they need ten-thousand teddy bears for fifteen Boston area Target and Wal-Mart stores. Of course we then have to call in numerous warehouse workers who will unload that container and then reload those teddy bears into the appropriate trucks going to particular stores. It's pretty cool how we can do all that. I'm also amazed when I look at those horribly complicated oil refineries and wonder just how it is that they know how to work all those valves and computer programs that fill up the tanker trucks so that the truckers can drive those complicated interstates and eat bad food at truck stops - so that when I'm standing there at my Circle K pump something actually goes into my car. Nor should we forget that when I'm holding my cellphone in my hand it's much like being in touch with the spirit world as electromagnetic radiation wafts in and out of that little device and allows me to be in intimate contact with all manner of creatures, but I still wonder how all those spirits find their way out of computers and onto towers and then across the globe. It's all rather magical, much in the way that a piece of glowing radioactivity means that when I flip a light switch the light actually goes on. Frankly, most of life seems to be pretty magical.
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Speaking of magic, may you have a wonderful and magical Christmas and New Year!
Photoillustration by the author