For those keeping track, I'm feeling better, but still have probably two more procedures to undergo. I'll keep this not so graphic so that the more squeamish among us (looking UBJ's way), won't get too queasy.
Queasy was my operative word last week. Doing much better this week. The urologist was unable to put a stent into the ureter on the left kidney, so that's still a problem that we discuss at next appointment. But whatever the heck he did, I am in significantly less pain, so that's good. In fact, I just take a sleep aid to get me through the night, and the occasional acetaminophen. So that's very good, a vast improvement to dry puking from the pain. Enough about that. I thank everyone for the their kind words.
I check my essay stats and know that, whenever the essay on Bret Stephens pops up, he has once again managed to shake a sticky turd off his fur, plopped it down into the litter box known as the Wall Street Journal editorial pages. I think that anyone who wishes to study laughably transparent rhetorical blunders and compound logical fallacies really needs to spend some time on the WSJ op-ed pages. And then, icing on the cake, read the comments of these vicious little half-wits that seem bound and determined to convert civilization back into walled-off feudal serfdom. In any case, sure enough, Bret Stephens delivers a moldery old switcheroo which should fail to convince an eight-year-old, but is preaching to the choir with the WSJ clowns. And yes, Bret Stephens is still a silly little cocksucker.
Speaking of stupidity, the Atlantic has a nice piece on walls, and how declining great powers like to build them right before they take a shit in the shower, slip on it, and crack their heads wide open (which is, if not the best way, is certainly the most entertaining way for great powers to decline). I remember reading about Ciudad Juarez, right across from El Paso. People think of Cuidad Juarez as an utter shithole of anarchy, which yes, it has problems. But riddle me this, Batman, who is creating the demand for drugs and the supply of guns? Good ol' US of A. Here's what struck me. They got a wall of Mordor there at the border. On the wall's US side, it is all drab and grey and grim and businesslike. And on the Mexico side it is all colorful graffiti and creative artwork. Remind of you anything? It does me. It reminds me of the Berlin wall, and I got to tell you the US does not the enjoy the comparison of the West Berlin side of that wall. Still more evidence that we are finally entering the capitalist's version of Soviet Empire collapse. Maybe a few more years of obscene military spending will do it, because it sure didn't stimulate the economy the way Bush hoped it would.
But then, it's not like Americans can be considered healthy or happy, especially when compared to the rest of the haves in the OECD world. Shit. The statistics consistently point to the fact that there is something to be said for socialized medicine.
I am looking forward to seeing Pacific Rim. I don't care if it's bad. I don't care if it's hokey. I watched, and will watch, every awful Japanese monster movie ever made. I'm all for dumb but fun movies. And occasionally even dumb but stupid movies like the Matrix trilogy. The first Matrix was, eh, OK, way too derivative of far too many better movies, and the second two were just plain awful. I mean, when I'm yawning and glancing at my watch during the money-shot action climax, that's not a good sign. Someone once told me they felt it was a "brain on" movie. I responded that the only way I could consistently suspend my disbelief was by the neck until dead, dead, dead.
I swear I don't undertand how the Warchowskis, or M. Night Shyalaman are allowed to continue to make movies. Who is funding these hacks? All I can figure is that they must possess the monumental fellating skills of a Wayne LaPierre.
So, Pacific Rim. My brother objected to it because of the giant robots. Seriously? No problem with the physical impossibility of giant monsters? I mean, the bone cross-section of a 200 foot tall reptile or giant turtle is ludicrously insane. And you are worried about a giant robot? Anyway...
On the tech front, I continue to get that gut feeling that something is going to happen. People complain that we don't do big things. We do do big things, they are just small, and getting smaller. And I notice my favorite obsession, ultracold atomtronics, is finally going commercial, with the ColdQuanta startup. And they just provided a BEC manufactory to JPL for use on the ISS. I'm telling you, man. There is something there. Not sure what. But something.
Speaking of something, as in speech, it appears human language goes back a million years. I'm not surprised. All that horse-shit about language causing the Big Culture Bang 40,000 years ago just doesn't ring true. I mean, function follows form, Mother Nature is a stingy and penurious old bitch, so you aren't anatomically modern and possess giant brains for 200,000 years and not do anything with them. As I've said before, language is over-rated.
And apparently, so is intelligence. More and more research on animals suggest that you just don't need that many neurons to behave intelligently. I'm reading a book on it right now. I'll write a book report when I'm done. But I'm becoming more and more convinced that Maggie Thatcher, that poisonous old bitch, had it all ass-backwards when she said "there's no such thing as society". Actually, Maggie, it's starting to look like there's no such thing as individuals, at least, no recognizable individuals that would exist without societies.