Christmas Presents

What are the best Christmas presents you have received in the past few years?

What are some things you always wanted but never received?

I always wanted a gift card for the Las Américas bookstore in Montreal or an amazon.es gift card but people probably think gift cards are soulless gifts and don’t like to give them.

Curious Silence

Putin’s only hope is that somebody (obviously called Elizabeth Warren because who else is dense enough?) will put limits on fracking.

It’s curious that, among all the obsession with “what Putin wants” nobody is making this point. Putin seems to want all kinds of extremely bizarre, arcane stuff but never the one thing that can dramatically improve his economy. At the same time, he’s this total genius who controls the whole world.

Butt in Norway

I’m sure everybody here knows at least one “but in Norway” person. They’ve never been to Norway but have convinced themselves that it’s a magical place where sugar is sweeter and sun in sunnier. Any question of any complexity they resolve with a triumphant “but in Norway!!!” that is supposed to shut down all discussion.

So finally my “but in Norway” acquaintance took her butt over to Norway for a job-related thing. I’ve talked to her since she came back, and she looks like a Trump supporter who just noticed that Trump gas zero interest in building the wall or a 7-year-old who discovered there’s no Santa.

Turns out, there’s nothing to buy, the food is crap, and people are polite, sad robots who are only awakened to any emotional response when someone tries to stand out in any way. Then they descend with fury. Which is precisely why goods, services, and food are such crap.

It’s not even that people are afraid of saying anything not approved by the woke dogma. It’s that it never occurs to them it’s possible.

There’s no advancement based on merit. Everything is based strictly on seniority.

“X is a terrible worker!”

“That’s impossible. He’s been here for 20 years!”

Kids who stand out in school in terms of intelligence or a desire to learn are persecuted until they stop.

The “but in Norway” friend has now been transformed into “it’s a total butt in Norway” person.

This is story number five million eleven of this kind I’ve heard but it never fails to entertain. It’s totally like the stories of the Soviet immigrants who showed up in the US and discovered that you need to work and that nobody is eager to shower you with mansions and limousines upon arrival.