Why are you even HERE?!?

You should be reading Serocity, the blog of TeeVee writer Kay Reindl. I have nothing to add except to say that I’ve found it so eminently readable, I believe I’m going to wind up reading every last post.

You have your orders. Go!

Generational attitudes towards values and ethics in Western culture

What follows doesn’t really have a lot of supporting language or framework in terms of organization, so I’ll ask your forbearance while I explain an observation I’ve made and want to expand on.

The popular conception of “The 60’s” is frequently cliche and distorted, conjuring a shift to the left in social and political values on the part of the baby boomers from their more conservative, “greatest generation” nuclear family parents. There’s almost a tendency to want to characterize the era as the point of departure when the renaissance and reformation finally became part of mainstream culture, though I, personally, think that’s overselling it. Yet it’s still significant in so far as the WWII/Greatest Generation was, effectively, the last generation whose values and ethical structure derived almost wholly from political and social authoritarianism.

In a nutshell, the boomers entered a brief period during which they openly rejected their parent’s values, only to shift back to favor them quite sharply, having discovered that radical value shifts are much less easy to manage than merely bringing about change. Put simpler still, they rejected their parent’s values in college, went on to have children of their own, then panicked and attempted to revisit the values they’d rejected (an enterprise engaged with similarly uneven results). Bearing in mind that this is a pretty broad generalization and over-simplification, I believe it’s observably close enough to the truth to be worth examining.

In short, as a culture, we need to learn to examine our own values to determine what they REALLY are (and not what we would LIKE them to be, necessarily, or believe that they SHOULD be) and adapt our ethical/political framework to address them.

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Withdrawing a bit futher…

So there will be fewer updates to the blog, most likely. Subject to change on a moment’s notice, but there have been significant changes to my personal regimen that weight this outcome more heavily from the standpoint of probability.

Probably the simplest being that I’m just very tired these days. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it, elsewhere, but I began participating in my hospital’s home hospice program following my most recent discharge; this led to a change in medication, not only in terms of self-directed protocols for antibiotics and steroids, but the addition of others for pain management and sleep.

In short, anti-anxiety meds and heavy opioids. This, in turn, both leave me even more fuzzy and disoriented as well as encouraging me to spend more time resting. I can’t say this is a bad thing at all; I’m still experiencing issues with respect to adjusting to the change in seasons (it turns out that there is some relationship between humidity level, barometric pressure and temperature and respiratory illness — things I’d suspected but never heard broached directly until recently), so the additional rest compensates for problems I’ve been experiencing in the early morning hours when the worst of my symptoms seem liable to flare up.

So if you don’t hear from me? Please, don’t take it any too personally. I’m just too tired, too high and too preoccupied with keeping the basics together anymore. I still love you, but my reserves are running pretty low these days, and I need to stay focused on carrying for myself properly.

Nerd versus geek…

In honor of Star Wars Day, I want to establish a distinction between two words with similar meanings that are frequently used interchangably, their meanings are distinct and separate, and tend to be used incorrectly. Both tend to be prefixed by a term used to designate a personal interest that, for the individual being described, either borders on obsession or qualifies as an obsession outright, although they may be used without such descriptors (and this is one reason why the two are incorrectly conflated with one another).

Geeks are focused on the coolness of their area of interest, and frequently seek acceptance for themselves and the subject of their interest outside of the community of enthusiasts who share it.

Nerds are academic, and tend to limit themselves to like-minded individuals (consciously or not) through displays of (frequently exhaustive) knowledge about their specific interest.

As both terms have shed much of their connotation as derisive origins, they have also been broadly expanded to encompass most areas of personal interest as opposed to those traditionally associated with the stereotype they describe. For example, while there are still science fiction geeks and computer nerds, there are also baseball geeks and war nerds. Geeks tend to be more descriptivist in conveying the interest of their affections and therefor, accepting of deviations within those who share it, whereas nerds are much more dogmatic and prescriptivist — to a nerd, there is only ever one “right” answer, even where the answer is purely subjective or contested. A Star Trek geek might argue about whether Kirk or Picard was the superior star ship captain while seeking to build consensus based on their personal preference, whereas a Star Trek nerd will remain adamant that their preference is the ONLY correct choice, while presenting a list of facts and arguments intended to “prove” it.

Yay. I suppose.

Doubtless, the death of Osama Bin Laden will produce such a tremendous volume of analysis that we won’t have a fuckin’ clue what we actually think about it by the time it’s finished.

Which is fine. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think it means a whole hell of a lot. I’m glad it’s finally done; I think we probably did the right thing in shooting him in the head. This isn’t a statement I make lightly; I’m a firm believer in due process. But neither do I see that there was a different outcome possible, nor do I think we would have learned anything or benefited from the trial in any particular.

But we’re nowhere near finished even telling one another how one should feel about it.

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Some of the most profound thinking of our time…


(Courtesy of my mother, who emailed it to me. Really lovely stuff, actually!)

Hot Sauce Committee Part 2

Go give it some love. And your money, if you have some.

This wasn’t a masterpiece — but it made me cry when I heard it. I was just SO good to have them back. The second track, Non-stop Disco Powerpack, is probably the single greatest justification for this response (and proof that I wasn’t just experiencing the drains when I heard it). It starts out like standard hip-hop fare — and then shifts into fifth gear.

I dare anybody to TALK that fast without running out of breath, let alone rhyme.

And it’s a bunch of old dudes, still running a kid’s game. And pulling it off.

If that doesn’t make you smile, you need to re-check your priorities.

It’s gonna be a great summer.