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Silencing The Lambs January 30, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
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There was a time when the words “We The People” filled me with pride, a sense of empowerment, a wet-eyed wonder at the possibilities.

Ah, the Innocence of Youth.

I guess I should have known better. I guess I should have seen this coming.

I remember the day in fifth grade when we were suddenly ushered back to “home room” to hear The News, through the trembling lips of my favorite teacher, that Camelot had burned to the ground, that the vision of an America where We The People were empowered not just to Buy and to Own and to Possess, but to Do, to Dream, to make a difference, was obscured by the dark clouds of Hope turning to ashes.

I remember less distinctly the day in 1968 when Martin died, perhaps because of my unexamined whiteness, perhaps because of the sense that we had come so far with him, accomplished so much with his guidance, and would continue to walk in his presence for as long as we were willing to walk.

Of the days and years between then and now, I remember most proudly the High Point, when We The People seized the power of popular opinion and ended an unjust war. It was a singular victory for the Common Man, fueled by images of The Truth, by an unprecedented real-time accounting of the costs, by frank dinner-time discussions from dissenting voices, by a rude awakening from the American Dream. It was the Age of Television, a time of images.

But it was also a time of awakening for the Dogs of War, the captains of industry who supplied the Pentagon with its engines of destruction, the beneficiaries of this ultimate form of planned obsolescence. Build it, sell it, blow it up, build some more. They had seen the Ultimate Cash Cow, the corporate juggernaut of Eisenhower’s nightmares, derailed by We The People.

That would be the last time that the Military-Industrial Monster would be bitten by Hamilton’s Beast.

Today the Captains of Corporate Hegemony control the miracle medium of television, and with it, the message. They tell us what to buy, what to wear, what to drive.

They tell us what to think.

And We The People are buying it. Across America, in a torporific tidal wave of diminishing expectations, of curiosity being systematically replaced by complacency, we’re buying it. We’re breakfasting on bullshit, lunching on lies, supping on sound-bites designed to make us think we’re thinking,

Where are the voices of sanity in this time of turmoil, of caring and compassion in the face of callousness and corruption?


Where are the voices who speak for you and me, informed by facts, grounded in good will, demanding the fabled Justice For All?


Ask Dennis Kucinich, who dared to suggest that we demand health care instead of settling for health insurance.

Ask John Edwards, who had the audacity to suggest that we take our government back from the Corporations who control it today.

Sorry, Gentlemen, but you’re Dismissed, your ideological pair of aces Trumped by a full house of corporate kings. Voted off the island by a tribe which never really got to hear your message, who knew only that your haircut cost $400 or that you’d seen a UFO. There will be no more Dancing with the Stars for you two, just a sullen trip back to your day jobs among the American idle, you and the likes of Ross Perrot, who had the wacky idea that NAFTA would cost us hundreds of thousands of good jobs, that Globalization would lead to the out-sourcing of our tech sector, that our supply-sided economic system was broken and needed fixing.

Control the Media, Control the Message, Control our Destiny. The Opiate of the Masses, the Electric Lobotomy, Soma made Simple. Plug it in, turn it on, let the talking heads do the thinking for you. It’s the New American Way. Oh, and don’t forget to vote!

Because they will let us “vote,” alright – for a Corporacrat in magic underwear, or maybe for a Corporacrat in a skirt. And half of us will be slapping each other on the back, and half of us will be kicking stones down the road and grumbling about “next time,” and ALL of us will be getting screwed.

John Edwards asked exactly the right question: What will it take for the American People to wake up to the realization that we’ve lost our Democracy to Corporate Power?

Apparently, more than we’ve taken thus far.

Dinner With TCR January 29, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
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Tonight, a mélange of veggies; baby spinach, cherry and yellow tomatoes, portabella mushrooms, white onion, fennel and spiced green olives, with sautéed chicken sausage with basil and sun-dried tomatoes, over a bed of penne al nero di seppia in a light tomato sauce:



Swallowing The Sun January 29, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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This morning’s darkness was so profound that it swallowed the sun.

The darkness spun out of the West, dense, hungry. It met the sun full on in its corner with a cobalt-blue body slam.


The Sun wasn’t ready. It stumbled back against the rope of the horizon, dazed. Before it could recover, Darkness swallowed it whole.

For the rest of the day, Darkness ruled the sky in glowering discomfort, radiating a strange grayness over the Children of the Land and the Water and the Air.


This was not how Darkness had envisioned its great Victory over the Sun. Below, the Children hardly noticed, barely looked up. Where was the respect due the victor?

Night came early to the Day, humbling the Darkness with its starless inevitability, driving its gray amorphous bulk down over the Eastern Horizon.

Such are the spoils of Impetuous Power; such is the legacy of ill-conceived conquest.

The State Of The Union: January 29, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.


Nothing a trip to the mall wouldn’t fix up just fine!

Light. January 28, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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The air was good today.

It was light in weight, softly lit, rich and smooth.

I headed up to the High Country, looking for a stream.


The woods were untrodden, the snow cleanly folded.


The brook was mostly frozen, rising occasionally through dark holes to play crystal bells,


Some hollow and deep, some tinkling with the motion of the unfrozen ice.


Trees listened intently through their scars, aligned like patrons in a balcony, straining to hear the quiet scene,


As the light leans westward, leaving the pastel lichen to wait


…for Spring.

Images From The Weekend January 27, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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A granite boulder in a meadow in Savoy:


A meadow with birch and alder, Savoy State Forest:


Let’s Play “Find The Bird’s Nest!” January 27, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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No, it’s not in the bird house…



Dinner With TCR January 25, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
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Tonight: Avocado and Onion Quesadillas on a Sun-Dried Tomato Tortilla, with three cheeses and salsa, and a cilantro-lime yogurt dipping sauce:



The Spawn Are Gawn January 24, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
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This week, both of My Little Passion Fruit went back off to college.

Ultimate Spawn once again left These Here Hills for the high-rise hustle and bustle of BU. Talk about “culture shock!”

That ride was courtesy of her Mom, who hates driving in Boston (and yes, it is the craziest place in The States to drive,) because I was not available.

Thanks, Mom.

I’m personally just wacked enough to consider the Brownian movement of the Beantown Bumper Fest a hoot.

To be fair, it’s not that Bostonians drive like Italians (though some do) or that they exhibit the road-rage of LA (though some have,) or even that it’s a lawless free-for-all. On the whole, I’d say Bostonians drive as civilly as most American urbanites, with an equal measure of harried, hurried Me-First-ism, tail-gaiting and Orange Light Phenomenon.

The “problem” is the “roads.” They were laid out four centuries ago.

By white-tailed-deer.

Picture 4.4 million body lice trying to navigate a cubic yard of dry Ramen Noodles (sorry Kids, No Leaping Allowed!) Now give them all cell phones, and you begin to get the picture.

Quincey (a “suburb”) is the only place on Earth where I was ever trapped in a one-way cul-de-sac. Seriously.

Oh, and if you need to get east of where you’re at, go ahead and turn east. I predict you’ll be watching the sunset through your windshield before you hit the next intersection.

Ah, Boston! Red Sox, white knuckles and “blue” politics.

But that’s not what I want to write about today.

Today’s subject is Mount Holyoke College, to which I returned Elder Progeny yesterday.

“MoHome,” as the young ladies who go there affectionately refer to it, is the oldest Women’s College in the Country. Founded in 1837 by the brilliant and visionary Mary Lyon, Mount Holyoke was the first all-women’s college in the U.S., and the first of the Seven Sisters, the female equivalent of the then-male Ivy League (MoHome’s “brother school” is Dartmouth.)


What an amazing place! With students from 70 countries and enough American “minorities” among its 2100 students to claim a 30% “diversity rate,” the place is The World in a nutshell.

The greatest commonality among Mount Holyoke’s students is that they’re: a) brilliant, and b) pretty well off. In fact, unlike a lot of other $45,000/year schools (think: Yale,) one is unlikely to get in on the strength of, say, Daddy’s Governorship.

E.P. is, however, a “minority.” She is (or rather, “We are”) Financially Challenged. Despite having the best package of financial aid anyone she knows has ever heard of, the “small” balance challenges us, with her Mom and I maxing out on loans, E.P. amassing a mountain of Under-graduate debt, and a younger sister deserving our equal support.

Anyway, dropping Elder Progeny off yesterday was a trip, meandering among the mostly brown-stone buildings in castle-like edifices.


E.P. scored a “single” on the third floor of this cool building:


…and after dropping her off at the door (XYs Need Not Apply) I headed around to the sunny side of the building (her suggestion) for a photo.

And while I was backed into the bushes taking pictures of this gurrrls’ dormatory, a pair of undergrads walked by, their casual stroll suddenly transforming into a shifty-eyed hustle.

I stood up ( I was kneeling) and looked down.


Flannel shirt, torn down vest, faded jeans, and a pair of knee-high rubber boots, like I should have been shoveling out the barn or something. And two days’ stubble. Hey, I’m unemployed!

I packed it up and split before the sirens came even close. 😉

Dinner With TCR January 23, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
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Did some Cumin-Rubbed Chicken Thighs tonight, with a nice all-organic salad – baby spinach, yellow tomatoes, onions, avocado, lots of cilantro, some fresh-grated Manchego cheese and tamari-roasted spicy sunflower seeds, with a peanut/ginger dressing:


Hey, Doc said, “Protein is Da Bomb.”

‘K, Doc 😉