More Bad Ideas

It's nice to know in our age of limits that there's never a shortage of bad ideas out there. Here's the latest bountiful crop.

Men's rompers take the already ridiculous fashion industry to depths I couldn't have even imagined. I am actually at a loss for words to describe how appalling I find these. Simple message to anyone who thinks donning a pair of rompers makes you a hipster: No! They make you look like a bigger rube than a Bernie Madoff investor. Take a good look. I wouldn't wear one of these to bed for fear of mattress rejection. Wait. I take it back. I did wear these to bed—when I was two. I'm stupefied that any guy would wear one of these.

A dubious hero.
Alex Honnold is an amazing physical specimen and a brave guy. He's also incredibly lucky. Honnold is the first person to scale Half Dome at Yosemite National Park solo without the use of any ropes or safety equipment. He did it four hours, often hanging over sheer drops that would have sent him to a quick but terrifying death. I get it. Mountain climbers know that what they do is dangerous, thrive on the adrenaline, and accept that risks. I don't mean to belittle Honnold's achievement in any way, but making him into a media hero is a very and idea. About a dozen people per year already die in Yosemite and valorizing acts such as this serves only tempt those with less skill and common sense to try to top Honnold's feat. If you think I exaggerate, check out the numbers of injuries and deaths associated with trying to top stunts in the Dumb and Dumber movies. We should not give such exposure to acts such as Honnold's. What he does with his life is his business, but it should a private act, not a media circus.

Is this the best way?
Last Saturday I was strolling toward my local farmers' market and was approached by religious pamphleteers standing by a sign that read: "What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality?" I politely walked on by as I've (finally!) learned that there is no point in debating those whose minds are already made up. I will say, though, that in my life no gay person has ever tried to convert me to anything. Nor have they ever accosted me on the streets, rang my doorbell, or stuffed a pamphlet under my door. Mostly, though, I have come to think that on-the-spot proselytizing is a bad idea. I think the same thing when Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons come calling. Does anyone ever open the door, take a pamphlet, fall to their knees, scream "Hallelujah," and give all their assets to The Watchtower? Or don a white shirt, tie, and black pants for Brigham Young's sake? I am not anti-religion, but it seems to me that this sort of raises ire, not followers, which is what happened at the farmers' market in decidedly gay-friendly Northampton, Massachusetts. Plus, I happen to think that Christian conversion efforts rely too heavily on the Paul on the road to Damascus narrative. Conversion to anything—faith, sobriety, or political ideology—is almost always a process not an instance.

Imagine a world...
Pulling out of the Paris Accords is beyond a bad idea—it's an act that moves the hand on the Doomsday Clock. Most of the Climate Change deniers aren't actually anti-science; they are just so pro-greed that they refuse to contemplate the future beyond the next investment quarter. They are perfectly willing to parry your concern for your grand kids with a middle digit thrust upward. The sad part, though, and the really, really bad part is that they are allowed to get away with this. That is to say that we give forums to such craven people and allow them to spread falsehood among the gullible and/or less informed. I'm generally not a fan of censorship, but I would favor laws to prosecute climate change denial along the lines in which Germany has outlawed Holocaust denial. Let me put it this starkly. If you are a climate change denier, you must ask yourself this question: "What if I'm wrong?" It's lunacy to gamble on being right. Far better that a future generation should laugh at alarmists than there be no one left to laugh. It's a very bad idea not to oppose withdrawal from the Paris Accords with all your might.


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