"A screaming comes across the sky."
Entropy is mocking us, lewdly poking its tongue at us and brandishing a half-emptied bottle of tequila. (When speaking of Entropy, the glass is NEVER half-full. It is ALWAYS half-empty.)
I can scarcely recall a moment like this in my lifetime. Everything just seems to be going to hell in a handbasket, as though fundamental processes of the Universe were deteriorating; I am not at all convinced that I can trust gravity right now. It may be a law, but it seems poorly enforced.
Today, one glitch took out my dialup connection, which meant that I was neatly cut off from my email. Insane bureaucratic crap. Meantime, I'd just learned that my C: drive on the P4, "Big Blue," was essentially unrecoverable. The "click of death" indicates that the physical mechanism is screwed up beyond any immediate repair. The disc goes into storage for eventual (pricey) data recovery. But, there is more than a year's work on it, not backed up, so what can you do?
The price we pay for computers is learning that large portions of our brains have suddenly vanished, or become obsolete. As my Teacher used to say: A computer is a brain, as a camera is an eye.
Except that if your camera lens gets scratched, you don't lose your sight for a week.
Entropy is lying on its back, rolling helpless with laughter.
It is in our nature to delegate memory and other semi-automatic thought patterns to the "virtual" mind of the computer, and, slowly but surely, we find ourselves split: in two places at once, half the thought in our heads and half on our computer. So, when the computer dies suddenly, no matter how well backed up we are, it takes some time to restore both brain and computer.
Best case scenario? Some tech fixes it overnight. Worst case scenario? It never comes back.
But meantime, a chunk of us has been suddenly relegated to limbo, and we spend some time in phantom-limb limbo: feeling a computer that's not there.
Trust me: if you're not heavily into epistemology, and the nature of reality, you don't want to even GO in the direction of determining what does and doesn't "exist" in the case of the dead computer and its symbiotic taskmaster, YOU.
But I resurrected "Alpha" (the "mother" of the virtual movie star "Alpha" -- but that's too complex for this little blog). And right now, Alpha is trying to find the network, while the other computers are trying to find "Big Blue."
And I'm busy feeling the Teamsters of my subconscious packing away the "Big Blue" portions of my brain, and pulling out the "Alpha" stuff, because there's a whole lot of gigabytes of half-thoughts that need unpacking to use "Apha" effectively.
But it isn't just me. All around me, the systems are crashing. Major personal and financial crises. One thing gets fixed and another breaks. Things wear out. Entropy is having a temper tantrum.
It's Dagny Taggart struggling against Entropy on Steroids. (Entropy, not Taggart.)
Fine: I access my email via FTP on the high-speed wireless. But I can't send this out to my mailing list. Or, can I? YES! I can use the backup hotmail.com account (which I use when I'm on the road).
Entropy looks a little disappointed. Still, it is but a trifle. Entropy is kicking ass and taking names:
Air America suddenly becomes "solvent" again, and out of Chapter 11; Al Franken leaves. Ed Schultz gets in a shitstorm (two actually, a week or so ago, he all but COMMANDED Hillary Clinton on to his show, and she thus didst Ed's bidding). A potential ego supernova as he throws a temper tantrum on the air. Randy Rhodes makes sure she's NOT at AirAmerica on Al Franken's last day (although it is all but certain that she was celebrating his departure with champagne -- and no real pain at all).
One day after Valentine's day (what a weird time for all this crap to happen), and we've also got the House and Senate arguing about whether or not to say that escalating the war is a bad idea and something that Americans don't want, by a 70/30 margin in some polls.
Scooter Libby is on trial for the White House's vindictive outing of former Ambassador Joe Wilson's wife, for Joe Wilson's truthful New York TIMES Op-ed after the 2003 State of the Union address -- where Dubya Malaprop insisted Saddam was trying to buy yellowcake uranium from Africa.
Joe Wilson, you might recall, had the cojones to take on Saddam Hussein in Baghdad in the tense days before Gulf War I. Daddy Bush called Wilson a hero. His son was in such a hurry to "spank" Wilson that he not only outed Valerie Plame Wilson -- an undercover CIA operative specializing in nuclear proliferation -- but her entire CIA front company ("Brewster-Jennings") and exposed every person who'd ever had contact with anyone from Brewster Jennings to suspicion of being a stooge for the American CIA.
This is a very unhealthy thing to be in an awful lot of countries around the world.
Because Junior and "Darth" Cheney had all the emotional sophistication and intelligence of two third-grade bullies planning to ambush the kid with glasses on his way home after school.
It's so insanely petty and fundamentally crazed that no one seems to be able to get their minds around it. I recall that it was only two years ago, at this time, we were fixated on the former vegetable Terri Schiavo. Now it's Baby Anna Nicole whatever.
A screaming comes across the sky.
We're rattling our sabers (and sending in more carrier groups) about Iran. Now, Bush, Cheney and the rest of the organ grinder monkeys are claiming that Iranian weapons are being used to kill US soldiers in Iraq.
It's that same, "Osama is Evil and an Arab; Saddam is Evil and an Arab; they both hate America, ergo they must be the same guy" that led to this long Gulf War II in the first place. The one where we invaded Iraq just a few days after Joe Wilson had the gall to tell the truth about a blatant lie Bush told in his State of the Union Address. That war that began on March 20, 2003, 1,429 days ago, or 3.92 years ago. "March Madness." Like A Rock.
[Compare with World War II: 1365 days, or 3.74 years.]
Hey. Ronnie Ray-Gun got into office because of the Iranian Hostage Crisis. Now Ronnie's Running Mate's Son is about to take the whole mad drama into the tragic Third Act.
No: Entropy is standing on our magnificently carved marble gravestone in steel baseball cleats, tap-dancing like Fred Astaire on Crank. Entropy is knocking back shots of Cuervo and stopping to blast away at the portraits in the museum with a sawed off shotgun. Entropy's flunkie, Stupidity, is following behind, with a straw hat full of shotgun shells.
Entropy has tied us face down on the examination table of history. Entropy has pulled down our pants.
A screaming comes across the sky.
[Synchronicity note: As I wrote this, Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" played on the FM station I'm listening to -- "Bob-FM," a Canadian FM format that's been successful enough to be ripped off at least thrice: Jack, Joe and Dave. But that's another story.]