Three Years Ago. . .

. . . we first discovered Sarah Palin and were horrified. Today, we look at Michelle Bachmann, who is Palin times three, during the debates of the Republican nominees and she kind of doesn’t look that horrible against the other folks who share the stage with her.

And that isn’t a good development for the GOP. I have a na├»ve question to ask here. They’ve had three years to look for a presidential nominee. Was there really nobody better to be found anywhere?

I had the same question to ask when I first saw John Kerry, so I’m being fully non-partisan here.

This is a big country, and I can’t believe there isn’t at least a single presentable, likely-to-win Conservative politician. I wouldn’t support any Republican candidate, of course, but it’s kind of sad to see the collection of clowns the GOP came up with for these elections. (Come on, you have to agree with me that those debates were truly comical).

If Obama fails to win now, then the Democrats are beyond hopeless. I mean, even more hopeless we always knew they were.

Through the Eyes of a Stranger: The Apocalyptic Mentality

One of the characteristics that defines the American people for me is the joy with which they indulge in doom-and-gloom scenarios. People seem to collect stories about how everything is horrible and about to get even worse. “Yippee! I have discovered something else to be miserable about!” they often seem to say in their articles, blog posts, and tweets.

There are people who scour the news for confirmation that the world is going to the dogs at an alarming pace. I know a guy who used to walk around looking all tragic on behalf of the victims in Darfur. He must have thought his endless melodrama was somehow helpful. I haven’t seen him for a while but I have no doubt he is now getting a lot of mileage out of the famine in Somalia.

This is an extreme case, of course, (albeit not as extreme as that of the folks who were expecting the world to end a couple of months ago), but even perfectly reasonable people seem to get impatient with good news and welcome the tidings of disaster. After spending some time reading articles and blog posts, I often have to look around and remind myself that we all live in a reality that is a lot more benevolent towards us than in many other places in the world.

My explanation for the phenomenon of this apocalyptic mentality is that people have it so good that they feel the need to spice up their lives with some imaginary drama. Only a person who hasn’t known true exhaustion can come up with “Somebody said hi to me in the street, this makes me feel exhausted.”

Among my people, there is an opposite trend. Nothing is ever a big deal. No catastrophe needs to be taken seriously and anybody who mentions, for example, that an explosion of a nuclear reactor in the middle of the country should probably not be dismissed lightly is an old bore.

News Sources

I need to get back to my newspaper, my Google Reader, or even the regular TV news because my Twitter feed is making me stupid. Next time I go on vacation, I’ll have to take care not to get isolated from the world news-wise.

If anybody wants to mention any important developments in the world, please do. Not in the form of links, though, because I can’t follow links right now.

Inequality Index

I now have Twitter as my main source of information, and I’m appalled at how much stupidity gets floated around. @Injustice Facts tweeted the following weird statement: “Brazil is the only country in the entire world that ranks higher than the United States on the inequality index.”

I don’t know who made said inequality index, but it’s simply stupid. With all due respect to the US and Brazil, have the creators of this index ever heard of Russia? I suggest that everybody who is secretly happy that the US made the top of this list visit first Moscow and then some provincial Russian town like Samara. For full measure, you can then go by a little village in Russia. After those experiences, the word “inequality” will acquire its full meaning for you.

Neurotypicals Are Strange

And it becomes especially evident in summer. These strange people gather in groups for barbecues, garden parties, weddings, etc. And they do it not because anybody makes them but because they actually choose to. Because they think it’s fun. To me, it is completely incomprehensible why anybody would choose to spend time this way.

As an autistic, I resign myself to several such events during each summer. But I have never comprehended people who don’t dread them but welcome them instead.

Hedonists in Search of a Burger

The following has been sent out by the Twitterer @_Capitalism_: “I am capitalism and I have destroyed human consciousness, I have turned you into blind hedonists in search of burgers and pleasure.” You have to agree that the image of blind hedonists stumbling around in search of those pleasurable hamburgers is priceless. How could I fail to share it with my readers?

Twitter is a medium where anybody can pretend to sound wise by uttering 140-character platitudes. The sheer shortness of messages is interpreted by many as a sign they have to contain a valuable insight.