Everything is amazing, and no one should be satisfied

The other day I saw a clip from Conan O’Brien’s show when the comedian Louis C.K. was on. I’m not sure when it was, exactly, but it wasn’t especially recent.

LCK complained about how everything is amazing, and yet no one is happy. Things are better now than they’ve ever been in the history of the world, and people are unappreciative and unsatisfied. For example, LCK grew up with rotary dials, while today we have multi-functional cell phones, and people still complain about how long it takes a call to go to space and back down to Earth.

Continue reading Everything is amazing, and no one should be satisfied

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Sure it’s unbearable, but it’s a dry heat

The summer season is fast approaching, if it isn’t here already. By my reckoning, it is summer because there are far more summer days in the week than winter ones, and very soon the winter echoes will disappear for near a year. (Good riddance.)

Ah well. I love the summer season. Spring is by far my least favorite, and if I can, I skip over it. A poor man’s summer with more dust and allergies. (Achoo.)

Continue reading Sure it’s unbearable, but it’s a dry heat

It’s nice to have some quiet time once in a while

The other day I went up to Odessa College during the afternoon to see my former professor and current friend David Newman. It wasn’t that long ago I walked those halls for my own edification, but already so much has changed that I spent most of my time thinking, “Well I don’t remember that being there.”

In any case, not many students were on campus at the time, and the experience reminded me of one of the things I miss most about school: being there when very few or no one else is.

Continue reading It’s nice to have some quiet time once in a while

Torture is awful and we should never do it — unless we have to

It might have been more topical to write a column about the swine/Mexican/North American/H1N1 flu, but I’m sick of it. At this point, the panic seems to be more virulent than the virus, but then again, overreactions can only exist in retrospect.

That’s as close to a segue as I think I can manage, so I’ll just go with it. Some people are now looking back on the anti-terrorism policies and actions of 2001 and 2002 as excessive at best and literally criminal at worst, and at the center of all of it is the supposed torture of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, and elsewhere.

Justifiably, it’s a very contentious and complicated issue, even when discussed civilly and with intellectual honesty. Mutually exclusive good principles sometimes butt heads, and this is unavoidable. Most of the time, the conversation is cast to make the opposing views look evil or ridiculous, but this isn’t helpful.

Continue reading Torture is awful and we should never do it — unless we have to