Monday, October 28, 2019

Sperm bikes. Un-sexy Millennials. The Circleville Pumpkin Show. Plus other stuff the cat dragged in.

This is either a weird solution for low sperm motility or a really
stupid bicycle. I have nothing more to say about this.

Is it possible that Republicans have ruined everybody’s sex life? Or at least the sex life of millennials? Turns out that America is suffering from a sexual recession.  Millennials, who by virtue of their age ought to be the most randy among us, just don’t feel like it tonight, honey. And if you trace the problem to its root cause, it’s economic insecurity, brought about by numerous factors.

These might include the mortgage meltdown of 2009, which was the offspring of Republican-cheered deregulation. Or it might be because of student loans that will never get paid off, and that Republicans oppose letting the government pay off because, you know, socialism. Or, who knows, maybe, the story continues, it’s social media.

In any case, a lower birth rate portends bad news for businesses ranging from the real estate business, to the clothing business, to the condom business. But understanding that would force Republicans, who support Donald Trump, to equate two conceptually different things — sex and the impact of its absence on the economy. So forget about it.

And speaking of birth rates….

Murdered by Mickey Mouse
Lemmings, say it ain’t so! I grew up believing that lemmings committed mass suicide, as part of that species’ compulsion to prevent overpopulation. Somebody just had to go and ruin that for me. Worse, it turns out that the image we all have of lemmings jumping by the thousands off a cliff into the ocean is a Disney concoction. The little rodents suffered a horrible death for the sake of a movie, but hey, that’s show biz. I’ve never seen the movie, which dates back to the 1950s, but I’m pretty sure that it didn’t contain a disclaimer saying, “No rodents were harmed during the making of this film.” 

My Cranky Vlad the Impaler Award, given at irregular intervals, starting now, to the person who makes the most money doing the most damage goes to…Adam Neumann, who tanked his company, WeWork, and got paid $1.7 billion — that’s billion — dollars for the effort. Why could I never get fired like that?

When I became too old to be employable (in the ad biz, that's 50-something) I rented a cubicle for my one-person free lance writing operation in New York’s garment district. My rent included the cubicle space, occasional use of a conference room, a phone number, a lockable file cabinet, a receptionist, a business mailing address, and a high speed Internet connection for $350 a month. When they raised my rent, without warning, to $475, I went snooping around for new space and stumbled into a WeWork suite. But I stumbled out of it again very quickly.

At the time, if I remember correctly, WeWork accommodations started at $500. For that you got no phone (“Just use your cell phone, Crank”) no file cabinet ("Paper is so yesterday") not even a cubicle. Instead, for five hundred bucks every month, you could sit at a kind of refectory table where other renters of table space could look over your shoulder, watch what you were typing on your laptop, overhear your cell phone conversations, and create all manner of distractions. 

“There’s no privacy here,” I complained.

“But it’s so collaborative!” the manager parried. “You don’t want to be a lone wolf, do you?”

Yes I do.  I’m a free lance writer. Like the guys on Wall Street, I only get to eat what I kill, and have no intention of sharing it with a pack of strange predators who might have an unnatural thirst either for plagiarism or client poaching.

Meanwhile Adam Neumann reportedly also hopes to live “forever” and to become the world’s first trillionaire. Because what’s the point of having more money than you can ever spend, if somebody else has even more than that?

Pumpkins, pumpkins, Tumpkins, Trumpkins! For the 62nd consecutive year I missed the Circleville (Ohio) Pumpkin Show, which I visited only one time in my life, when I was a college student, back in 1957. Once again this year, there were two beauty contests. One was for high school students, with the winner getting declared Miss Pumpkin Show. The other was for, I suspect, kindergarteners, vying for the title of Little Miss Pumpkin. (It gives me the chills to think that Little Miss Pumpkin of 1957 is likely somebody’s grandmother today. ) 
This year's winning 1,421-lb. pumpkin

Every year there’s also a prize for the biggest pumpkin, which this year weighed in at 1,421 pounds. Do you think Donald Trump could be entered as a pumpkin next year? His skin tone is more orange than this year’s winner. And I suspect he already weighs enough.

Elizabeth, Bernie, even more lemmings. As of when I’m writing this (Monday night) Elizabeth Warren has still not released her promised Medicare for All Plan. Hey, I am, or was, a Warren booster. I even sent her a campaign contribution. But having a plan for everything, and then not releasing a plan for Medicare, is more suicidal than a Disney portrayal of a legendary lemming population control campaign. 

On the other hand, Bernie Sanders has released a legalize marijuana plan. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it’s crazy to imprison people for 30 years, or even 30 days, for smoking, or maybe even for selling a little boo. On the other hand, Bernie may be handing the right-wing crazies even more ammo to discourage conservative-but-wavering swing voters. 

It’s one thing to say, “My plan will help to keep you healthy.” It’s another to run for president singing One Toke Over The Line. 

Pumpkin-cannabis pie, anyone?

1 comment:

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