Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Day After April Fool's Day

Guy comes to the pay window yesterday and says, "Have you been watching teevee? They shot Obama. April Fools." This is your rural North Carolina voter. He probably does vote too. Hates unions. Listens to Limbaugh. I thought about obscene comebacks and busied myself with other office tasks while someone else dealt with him.

At Martinsville on Sunday we drove up in snow-flurries, and it was as cold or colder than a few years back, when I got as cold as I've ever been since delivering the Raleigh Times one winter afternoon with only rubber boots and cotton socks on my feet. This time I wore layers and layers, and was not nearly as cold--I thought. But Monday I was still cold all day, and my arms are still kinda cold this morning, with temps heading up into the 70s they predict. Spring came the day after Martinsville. Kurt Busch won the race with a nice piece of driving, beating Jimmie Johnson fair and square. There was a kerfluffle between him and Keselowski over a pit incident. Brad K. called Busch "dumb." There was talk of rearranging faces. I was happy for Busch. He needed a win badly, and Martinsville was a nice place to get it. As he said, Johnson's owned the joint for over a decade, and must own ten or more grandfather clocks--that's the Martinsville trophy. I'd like to see Kurt climb back into some semblance of an even keel. I'm hoping he never runs for office, and can one day stop thinking of himself in the third person. While I'm at it, it'd be nice if Keselowski would stop wrapping himself in the American flag when he wins a race. Kez is a likeable dude, but calling someone else "dumb" is somewhat myopic of him, if you get my drift. The two guys ought to go out for a beer, and not a damn Bud Lite.

The pic is before the start of the race. Look how the flag is standing straight, like it was cardboard. Look how cold the sky looks. It makes me shiver. There's also a freight-train passing behind the stands, sort of "above" those STP signs, though it's hard to see. Martinsville is a blue collar town. I expect they make the grandfather clocks there. It's the only thing of national note that happens there--twice a year, spring and fall. It's a lot of fun, but I do wish they'd push back the date a bit. Martinsville is quite close the the Blue Ridge.

Sheila O'Malley put up a great piece on Christopher Hitchens and Trotsky. Here's the link:

Trotsky's insights on history and the human condition are remarkable, and remain relevant. The implications of electricity remain only skin-deep. As Tyson pointed out Sunday on "Cosmos," simply accepting the fact that the Crab Nebulae is 6,500 light years distant is enough to demolish the literal belief in the old ancient accounts of cosmology. The rest of the "stars" would vanish if the universe were only 6,000 years old. That is as much a fact as gravity, and indeed is part of the same network of facts as gravity. Read the whole O'malley post, and particularly Trotsky's observations on the beginnings of World War II.

Yesterday they reported that in December we will cross the threshold of 400 ppm carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. North Carolina and several other states have passed laws forbidding the consideration of such matters in any legislation. You might want to read the current piece on the West Virginia Elk River chemical spill, "Chemical Valley" by Evan Osnos. The author notes that the Mountaineer State is now solidly Republican, with every county going for Romney in the last election. This is how a several decade immersion in Limbovian propaganda, three hours a day, five days a week with reruns on weekends, slowly eats away the judgment of the electorate. After the spill the Governor said, about drinking chemically enhanced "Adam's ale," "it's ya'll's call."

Thus is the government drowned in the bath tub. A far far cry from those days when people like Trotsky thought they were about to transform the world. Instead, the world--the gravity of psychology and superstition and fear--won hands down. "They shot Obammy." "April Fools!"

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