Tempted to do more soul squeezing tonight, but I got a lot of links cluttering up my browser so I will do that instead, and leave all that catharsis for another time.
The year was 1961. Cold War level : intense. A B-52 bomber crashed in North Carolina. It was carrying two 4-megaton Mark 39 nuclear bombs, each 260 time more powerful than the bomb that level Hiroshima.
One bomb landed safely with all four safety mechanisms having done exactly what they were supposed to do, namely prevented the bomb from detonating.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that in the other bomb, which landed around 12 miles from Goldsboro, North Carolina, three of the four safety mechanisms failed and the only thing that kept the Eastern Seaboard from disappearing in a nuclear fireball was a simple low-tech low-voltage switch.
Let that one roll around in your head for a while. If that little switch from the era of the vacuum tube had not done its job, millions would have died in the blast and millions more would have died from the secondary effects like the shockwave and the fallout.
Some of that fallout would likely have fallen on my home in the Maritimes.
Talk about a perfect starting off point for an alternate history tale. I can’t even begin to imagine how the world would have been changed if that little switch had failed. The consequences are just too profound to be calculated. It would have, no exaggeration, changed everything.
Thanks, little switch.
Next, we have a powerful piece of satire from an all-woman comedy group from India.
Warning, this is satire, but you probably won’t laugh.
If that was done by women in the USA or Europe, I would call it heavy-handed and overbearing, but India has a really bad rape problem.
Basically, they are where we were in the bad old days of the early 50s, where rape gangs roamed with impunity and the heavy institutional sexism meant law enforcement just did not listen to women or care if they got raped. They lazily assumed that any woman who got raped did something or other to deserve it, and women were hysterical anyhow, so she’s probably just making the whole thing up.
It’s hard to imagine, in the modern world, just how bad thing were for woman back then. But we can see it all happening again, live and in 3D, in places like India which are struggling to modernize.
It takes a very long and very brutal struggle to make your culture believe that women are people, and it is going to be a long time before the women of India have what every woman in the modern “top 2 billion” world takes for granted so deeply that she can’t even imagine things being otherwise.
Read your feminist histories, ladies, and you will realize that you are in the position to help do for women in places like India today what many strong, fearless, desperate women did for you before you were born.
To me, that is what modern feminism is all about.
A few short things now, like this absolutely killer anecdote related by rave-fave Stephen Fry :
Damned right it does! Take a real hearty, can-do, stiff-upper-lip, we-shall-fight-them-on-the-beaches spirit to go out for a bit of fun on one of the coldest nights of the year, yet alone the sort of fun that has to involve at least a minimum amount of genital exposure.
Presumably, their labours kept them warm until some jacked up cop had to make his quota by ruining it.
Then there’s this story, one I never ever get tired of, about Japanese cat islands.
Yes, there are two different Japanese islands (Japan has LOTS of islands) that feature a cat population far greater than their human populations, and these cats roam free in great numbers.
That looks like this :
I have got to go to one of these places some day. That looks so awesome. It reminds me of my childhood in a house full of cats.
Next, another example of Jimmy Fallon making it harder and harder for me to dislike him.
I mean, how can I argue with that? I love lip-sync! It’s such a wonderfully democratic art form. You don’t need to be able to sing or play an instrument, you just need to go out there and perform the hell out of the song just like you would if you were alone with nobody watching.
I was around for the lip-sync craze of the 80’s, and I loved it. There was a show on TV, I forget what it was called, but it was a network lip-sync show and it was ten tons of fun to watch. I love to see everyday people, just regular old nobodies, channel their inner performer and just put it out there with all their hearts.
So if this instigates a lip-sync revival, I will officially forgive Jimmy Fallon for being such an annoying, giggling, unprofessional, smarmy, Mike Myers wannabe jagoff when he was on SNL.
More or less.
Finally, of course, we have my little thang of the day.
Just another silly little slideshow. It turned out okay I guess.
I feel like I am entering a dangerous but potentially very important phase of my artistic development. I am not happy with the sort of things I am producing, but I don’t yet have the right combination of energy, focus, and confidence to do better.
So I get the feeling that it is time for one of those painful but productive painful phases where I don’t like my own work and spend a lot of time brooding and seething and grumbling to myself before the pressure finally leads to a growth spurt.
It’s not fun, but it was just such a process that led to me to start making videos in the first place.
We will see where this one takes me.