American Elephants

Six O’Clock on a Sunday Evening in January! by The Elephant's Child
January 8, 2023, 7:34 pm
Filed under: Politics

Pitch black outside, and has been for nearly an hour! I have never become acclimated to the short days in the middle of winter. I know all about it intellectually, but emotionally I hate it! I guess that’s why people trot off to South America for a winter vacation. President Biden just got back.

Of course, around the United States we have a lot of climate variation, which is why so many head for Florida or the gulf coast to leave winter behind. In Seattle, you get the complete downside: Short days, no snow to play in, rainy and miserable.

One can head for the mountain passes to ski or sled or just throw snowballs, but skiing has become hugely expensive. Lift tickets are outrageous. I grew up in the country at 4000 feet altitude, and winter offered all sorts of sports unavailable at any other time of the year. Good skiing, sledding, snow forts and statues to build, and in my case, a hot springs pool to swim and soak in. I really miss it. Perhaps the solution would be a big motor home to follow the best parts of each season around the country. Unlikely.

President Biden is apparently heading for El Paso, Texas “to finally get a look at the border”. Looking at the border will accomplish nothing, nothing at all, except to get one’s picture taken in the proper place at the proper time. Meaningless. Politicians do a lot of that. My favorite was A.O.C. clinging to a chain-link fence in Texas, I think it was, peering out at an empty parking lot. You can probably find that one if you search.

Are Murders Becoming Fashionable? by The Elephant's Child
January 8, 2023, 6:40 pm
Filed under: Politics

I continue to be troubled by the current fashion for murders. A nice mass murder gets the perpetrator right at the top of the daily news, understandably. but that is not a good thing, and is what the mass murderer seems to be seeking — being at the top of the daily news.

As far as we can tell from the press reports, the reasons for the mass murders remain unknown. Not personal animus, not retaliation for anything, we simply do not know why they are doing this. Killing another person is a terrible act, everybody knows that deeply. So what impels someone to kill and not just kill one person, but a whole group of people? It’s a truly bizarre act, the killer has to be aware of the societal rejection of such an act.

It’s easy to just slough it off as something not understandable and leave it to the criminal justice system to deal with. It would clearly help if we knew what allows a person to slip over into such a bizarre state. I guess that’s what the whole criminal justice system is all about. Trying desperately to find ways to prevent such acts. Is it somehow simply a plea for societal attention? No idea.

City Sounds! by The Elephant's Child
January 8, 2023, 3:02 pm
Filed under: Politics

Looking out my second story window, straight ahead is currently a too-tall hedge between our house and a lane just below. Getting it trimmed down is currently on the to-do list. To the south, however, I can see a long ways, probably 15 or 20 blocks at least. Smoky, undoubtedly on a dismal rainy day, people have cheery fires in their fireplaces if they are at home. Not the kind of day when folks want to go shopping or even out if they can help it. Thus smoky skies.

This, oddly, seems to be a period when murders are a regular, major, news item. Does the frequent reporting of news stories about murders somehow make murders more common, more usual or more acceptable? I have no idea, but it seems that if they are common news stories, they are somehow no longer shocking, which would seem to be a very bad thing. I would want murders to be extremely rare and extremely shocking. A lot follows from public attitudes and if the public is shocked and disturbed, action gets a little more pressure. These are not just matters of one individual being murdered, but but mass murders, where whole groups of people are murdered by some deranged person. That is, indeed a very big deal.

I live on the side of a hill, and some six blocks or so to the north is a main east-west drag in our community. You hear when the police stop someone for speeding, or when they are off in pursuit of an important event somewhere else. Those normal city sounds that tell you quite a bit if you are paying attention.

%d bloggers like this: