Life in These Postmodern Times Part One

Those who read this blog know that I sometimes have issues–serious issues–with the way things (fail to) work in what John Prine calls the ‘big old goofy world.’ So here’s what I’m sure will be a semi-regular installment about things that amuse and/or piss me off.

Among the things that are just wrong!
1. Who was the genius that decided that men’s shorts can’t be? I’m tired of looking for actual chill-out pants only to encounter ‘shorts’ so long that they make me look like a land mine victim. To the hip-hop/NBA crowds who think these monstrosities are ‘fashion,’ one small suggestion: check out the mirror, dude!

2. While I’m on a trouser rant, who decided that every man in America has an even-sized waist size? Or that inseams start at 34”?  Don’t tell me I can just hem long pants, because that’s not true. I’m a freakin’ 29” inseam, so even if I find pants for my odd-sized waist, the crotch is roughly half way between my actual goolies and my knees.

3. One more for the fashion file. I can’t think of a single thing that makes me worry about national security more than the sight of some guy clad head to toe in camouflage who has a butt the size of Wyoming and a belly a blue whale was happy to lose. How about a national law that forbids the sale of military garb in sizes that would deem a recruit unfit to serve?

4. We know that oil and water don’t mix. Apparently oil and sanity don’t either. You’ve seen those mall come-ons where they display new cars in the aisles.  Today I saw several that gave me pause. The first was for a Fiat smaller than most people’s ovens that got a whopping 28 mpg.  Its ad copy bragged of a high-performance engine. First of all, there’s not enough room in that pile of tin for a high-performance cigarette lighter, let alone a big engine; second, is there anybody on the planet who thinks ‘Fiat’ and ‘high-performance’ in the same sentence?  Alas, that’s only the second dumbest car pitch I saw at the local mall. Our grand prize loser was a Jeep that seems to have been crossbred with a Brink’s truck and gets 14 mpg. So we’re fighting wars to secure soon-to-be-exhausted oil supplies so some egoist with a pimple for a brain can exercise his ‘freedom’ to poison the Big Blue Marble? Enough already. Time to put away the stupid toys and pass a law mandating every new car and truck must get at least 50 mpg–no exceptions.   

5. I was chatting with a friend about Michael Lewis’ new book about Wall Street. Among other subjects, Lewis looks at the use of fiber optic technology that gives the Big Money Boys a head’s-ups on what stock prizes will be a nanosecond before anyone else. In computing terms, a nanosecond is a long time—plenty, in fact, to allow those with the capacity to make millions. Everyone agrees the practice is unethical but, alas, it’s not illegal. So can someone explain the difference between the computer-assisted programs and old-fashioned insider trading, which is illegal?

6. NFL gridiron or World Cup football? The latter please.  Don’t be deceived by flashy promos and the NFL’s current awash-in-cash status; insiders are worried that American-style is an endangered species. It hasn’t caught on outside of the U.S. and Canada, and kids are gravitating toward soccer for several very good reasons: it’s cheaper, safer, and global. The more we learn about concussion syndromes, the less attractive football becomes. To be sure, football remains king in lots of places, but its future doesn’t look so rosy. If you live in one of those places trying to raise mega-millions to build a gridiron palace, you’d be in your civic right mind to work with groups opposing it.

No comments: