A bridge too far

Donald Trump and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are hanging off a bridge by their fingertips. Which one would you save?

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I’m going to avoid trite and glib answers. As you might imagine I don’t really like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Nor Donald Trump. Neither of them though look like they have the upper body strength to haul themselves back over the side of the bridge though. And I assume if you save the one the other would fall, in the classic sense of this trolley-esque conundrum where you have to make these sort of life and death decisions. No, I’m not going to get a sandwich, I’m not a psychopath. Even if I am a little peckish. Just to be clear… what kinda sandwich is it?

After a brief moment of consideration I’m going to have to try and save Alexandria. I am more confident in my ability to haul her carcass back over the side and onto the asphalt. Sorry DT, but your girth has doomed you to… I was going to say terminal velocity… but I suppose the bridge would have to be pretty darn high for someone reach that before coming to an abrupt stop.

I mean if I think about it. There are some things me and AOC would likely agree on.

  1. Immigration is broadly a good thing. (although we would likely quibble on the mechanics of allowing people to meander wherever they desire)
  2.  The Department of Homeland Security is a grim and somewhat superfluous entity that should be disbanded.
  3. The War on Drugs has been a complete and utter failure.
  4. Mushrooms and psychedelics should be decriminalized.
  5. The police are NOT supposed to look and act like the military.
  6. Government should give not be giving tax credits to corporations. If you can’t make your business work without a handout… you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

I suppose there are some things me and DT would also agree on. (and some things I that I don’t actually mind giving him props for)

  1. Obama was a fiscal lunatic who doubled the US debt from 10 trillion to 20 trillion. (admittedly you’re not doing a great job on this either guy)
  2. Medicare etc (although I would add social security in its current form) is not sustainable and may eventually lead to the collapse of the free world.
  3. He destroyed… severely crippled ISIS.
  4. Hasn’t gone to war with Iran… eh… yet.
  5. China is going to be very scary (although fighting this opening battle with tariffs is, imo is the incorrect tactic)
  6. Tax cuts are good. (Unless you borrow money to make up the shortfall)

Damn. This actually makes it looks like I agree more with Alexandria. To be fair I wouldn’t let AOC near the cash box for a (licensed) lemonade stand never-mind the coffers of the Federation.

Also, I should probably add that I expect adulation from the masses for this self-less act. I will obviously try and be modest about my roll in this… outcome. Just know… that on the inside… I am dancing.

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Shark bait

On a list of human beings, Steven Spielberg, I feel has a lot to answer for. And I’m not just talking about Indiana Jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull. Although, I must confess, if I look deep inside myself, left of my libertarian heart (which is three times smaller than a regular heart) there are still some smoldering embers of hatred there that, even after a decade since… my childhood was crushed under boot like someone mean-spirited might step on a snail… simply will not go out. I have since gathered this ever-smoking detritus in a tiny earthen bowl and placed them on the shrine (to the Nuestra Señora de la Santa Muerte) that I keep down there for when situations (now more numerous than I would like to admit) like this occur in my life. Actually... now that I think about it this altar is looking a little crowded. *picks up the little First Order Tie Fighter* *puts it back on the altar* ‘Not quite ready to deal with you yet either’.

In ANY event. Steven is also responsible for (one of) my biggest phobias.

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Being young and impressionable Jaws really robbed me of my appreciation of the surf zone and any water that isn’t clearer than a LED lit aquarium.

Even now… many years later, the murky kelp forest near my parents house in the Cape is persona non-grata for the Jo and his delicious multi functional appendages and other extraneous protuberances.

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My reluctance is also at least particularly fed by the their proximity to that particular stretch of water where the Great Whites have learnt to breach, somersault and then belly flop in a manner that may suggest playfulness. And also to snatch prey lollygagging on the surface at incredible velocity.

Weirdly these creatures are no longer the dominant predator in these waters.

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Which is kinda scary. If not nothing else, today I learnt that Orca’s are basically the Hannibal Lecters of the ocean and totally less cuddly than I gave them credit for.

Also Blackfish makes sense to me now. Lull them into a false sense of security. And then drown them.

 

Sleep study

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Having once been for a sleep study… this is potentially the most accurate portrayal of what it is like do one of these things…

How they manage to gather any significant data from someone who sleeps for like one out the eight hours they have you hooked up to their machines is a mystery to me. Also… forget about going to the bathroom… not without some serious calisthenic movements and potentially an assist from the technician.

I’m a survivor…

Having survived his three Herculean trials-slash-days-of-abandonment

*Jo does a victory lap*

Not unlike the US Womens soccer team. Although… in all honesty, they did it better. Also, mine was more like a hobble, after I had, through an exuberant skip-leap-jump right near the beginning, twisted my ankle and lain on the floor, mewling for a time… until one the dogs (in a concerned manner) started licking my face.  After that, the decision needed to be made whether to get up and finish said lap of triumph, or continue to receive a coating of canine saliva in and around my orbital socket. Its possible I lay there just a little longer than some might have considered decent…

Also (as an aside) I am remarkably cheerful because the onus is now on DT to decide whether to invite them to the White House knowing that they are going to tell him to get fucked. I don’t know why this makes me so happy. It just does.

I guess this also means I have to stop channeling Ricky Gervais in After Life as the pathetic, miserable personage abandoned by his spouse.

Although… in all fairness. She did kinda die…

Ricky Gervais always has such wonderful insults though. Insults that only a Brit can do.

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No one can cuss you out like a Brit. I find it quite an enviable cultural trait. Which… lets be honest, its a rare thing for a German to find himself lacking…. also the real reason we didn’t cross the channel in September 1940. No workable stratagem to counter English snark. Every culture has some form of kryptonite…

which is probably a good thing.

… day three.

Captains log. Stardate. Eh… two zero one nine oh seven oh six? AD… or is CE now? Things progress. I’ve been thinking of a good reason, so when my wife inevitably asks, on her return to our domicile on the morrow…

‘Jo… why is there a massive grappling mat in the lounge?’

 

… I will have a good answer. So far it’s not going well… because… some impulse purchases are more difficult to justify than others. Especially those with expansive square meterage.

I have a suspicion she will object to it living here permanently, which is a pity, because this afternoon it caught the winter sun perfectly and it was a great place to sprawl out on and build lego. Yes. I am basically a regressive man-child. Also when I got tired of playing with blocks it was a good place to read, drink apple cider and then (perhaps inevitably after all that excitement) nap.

I totally understand the allure of Japanese Tatami mats now.

 

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Damn. Foiled. Already. bb stands for bloody basset. Which is what he is and so we refer to him as such. I sent my wife a picture of him, post walk, passed out on the couch. And her astute CPA gaze noticed an anomalous background effect. Curse my foolishness.

Sow in the slough

I’ve been very suspicious of empathy (and by association altruism) since the beginning. Ha ha. It always seemed (to me at least) like a psychological deadfall, meant to pin you down in a bad situation. Especially when empathy is employed (often against you) as a factor in a decision making process. This also likely explains my libertarian bend. I much prefer a more ‘honest’ approach to doing ‘good’ in the world…

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Mr. Lincoln once remarked to a fellow-passenger on an old-time mud-coach that all men were prompted by selfishness in doing good. His fellow-passenger was antagonizing this position when they were passing over a corduroy bridge that spanned a slough. As they crossed this bridge they espied an old razor-backed sow on the bank making a terrible noise because her pigs had got into the slough and were in danger of drowning. As the old coach began to climb the hill, Mr. Lincoln called out, ‘Driver, can’t you stop just a moment?’ Then Mr. Lincoln jumped out, ran back, and lifted the little pigs out of the mud and water and placed them on the bank. When he returned, his companion remarked. ‘Now, Abe, where does selfishness come in on this little episode?’ ‘Why, bless your soul, Ed. that was the very essence of selfishness. I should have had no peace of mind all day had I gone on and left that suffering old sow worrying over those pigs. I did it to get peace of mind, don’t you see?’

-‘Mr Lincoln once remarked’, C Daniel Baston et al , ‘Where is the altruism in the altruistic personality?, Journal of personality and social psychology 50 (1986).

Abraham is my second favorite US president… in so far as I’ve thought about this sort of thing, where one person is ranked over another in a certain sphere of proficiency and (often) perceived personality. Theodore is… and likely always will be my #1. If only because in a celebrity death-match I give more credence to Teddy’s barrel physique and penchant for firearms over Abes tall and wiry build. Although maybe that expertise with axes could count for something…

In any event, be more selfish, do more good.