Monday, May 7, 2012

Every Cloud Is Filled With Misery

Those damn Nazi Communists....

Today I am on a quest to find butterfly nets. There are loads of butterflies in the back yard and my daughter wants to catch at least one. It was with this breezy sense of innocence that I've tried to cheerily waft throughout the morning. But the entire thing has been sourly undercut by an undercurrent of death and misery. For example the weather is delightful this morning - warm and bright. So I click the TV weather on and the doomsayer on there warns of approaching apocalypse. Well no - he said it will more than likely rain a lot this afternoon - but because it may last until tomorrow noontime he was wearing the expression of someone who has just announced that you have kidney cancer, and that is totally going to ruin any plans you had for a picnic later. Mind you the same man said the same thing yesterday and it was by far the nicest day of the year, so I'm the idiot for giving him any credence in the first place.

Quickly after that the news switched to a barrage of their favorite car accidents of the weekend. They call it the news, but it was just a run down of who died or nearly died. The news reporter started giddily reporting a fresh accident and that they'd rush another reporter out to the scene quickly to report on it and I shut it off. That's literally car crash TV. Deeply unpleasant stuff. So I threw the kids in the car and zoomed off to seek out that butterfly net. I clicked on NPR and the words, "death" and, "killed" seemed to be repeated like machine-gun fire. Death, death, kill, death. Jeez - lets flick for radio music. Nothing is more cheery than the forced joy of morning radio DJs. The first thing I hit was Glenn Beck. Who I swear said right off the bat that muslims had gone door to door in France using Barack Obama's ACORN money and helped to elect Nazi Communists to power (credit to the man for getting every single right-wing bogeyman into one stream of bollocks). So prepare for worldwide destruction. I'm not even going to go into an expats rant about how annoying it is that so many bloody Americans conflate Nazism and Communism as if it's one thing. Or the weird invective-filled loathing for the word, "socialism" as if it's the same as saying, "pedophile." I thought about turning around to my captive audience (my kids) and having a whine - but thought better of it. So I flicked the radio dial again - and up came Soft Cell with Tainted Love. Which I turned off. Normally it'd be fine - but this morning listening to Marc Almond's version as a paean to anal sex just left a bad taste in my mouth (poor use of analogies there....).

I should have known though. This weekend was delightful. Although it did start off at the breakfast table with my daughter asking for affirmation that (as told by her teacher) when she Stop, Drops, and Rolls that she should over her face lest her eyes be burned out of their sockets. I confessed that I had no idea - we didn't concentrate on various unpleasant ways of dying when I was in school in Britain. My wife confirmed the whole eye-boiling nightmare for her though. A little later on Saturday morning we went out to an antique tractor fair thing at the local high school FFA. Mostly to let my son run around insane with glee that so many tractors are in one place just begging to be touched. That was nice. They'd all been arranged in order of date so you could see progression. But someone had seen fit to put up signs detailing the decade the tractor was made in with depressing details about the inherent misery that decade includes. Take the 1980s. Stood in front of a nice display of shiny red and green tractors was a sign that blurted out, " 1981 - The AIDS global pandemic started killing millions." Nice. Sauntering through the newer more impressive tractors of the 2000s everyone was reminded that terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in 2001 and that America has been in a state of timid mourning ever since. This is a tractor display. At a school. For Future Farmers of America. If there's one thing I'll never understand about this country it's the constant permanent attitude that everyone should be prepared to hide under a school desk due to the likelihood of impending megadeath unleashed against them by a distant enemy thousands of miles away.

Anyhoo - Sunday was even nicer. We had a lot of work to do in the yard so we got to it. I obviously finished watching up all the football that was on first before moving rocks, bricks, flagstones and cleaning out the new stretch of yard. . But even the photographs of it look nefarious. My wife and the kids edged the front flower garden with bricks for for a few hours. That seemed nice. But looking at the photos it looks like my daughter is about to brick her brother to death.

And, in case my daughter (heretofore known as the defendant) tries to claim no malice or intent, here's another one from a slightly different angle.

Anyhoo - we ventured out to China's depository of cheap shit (Walmart) and they didn't have any butterfly nets. So now I have to actually think about where to get one. Although if my local weatherman's dour expression pans out perhaps I should forget the net and spend some money on a new kayak. My daughter has also reminded me that I have to ask her teacher how to do Stop, Drop and Roll because if our house catches fire I will be the one who likely dies or goes blind.

Yay me.


  1. I listened to RTE news for the first time. It followed similarly. After the news of Sarkozy's defeat, it was a melange of deaths and with a dash of catholic church scandal for variety and to lighten things up.

    1. It hurts my brain that news is now focused solely on actual and potential catastrophe, misery and celebrity mischief. Lord helps us all if Kim Kardashian is found to have molested an altar boy.