The Gazebo was airborne for a moment; the wind picked it up and moved it over a few inches before the cheap Made In Crapgafistan Velcro ties ripped off and the fabric roof shot off the roofbeams. The wind knocked down the lamp and threw two potted mums three feet. I think the wind is trying to tell me something: time to take apart the gazebo. Time to admit it’s done. Time to hunker, time to swaddle, time to bundle up. Time to book a plane to Mexico well in advance, just to hold out something to live for.

Home all day, again. I spent the morning on the various chores and duties, including the long-delayed Project Hard Copy, which involves printing off everything I’ve written in the last ten years. I wrote a column. I watched the Gazebo do its Orville-Wright routine. I put up the recycling, schlepped it out to the bins, but did not put the bins out; that must be done under cover of night, I guess, lest people paw through your cast-off bottles and judge your choice of potations. I chucked some stuff in the emergency supplies bin, which had nothing to do with the Bob Davis show conversation about the average American’s unpreparedness for an emergency. Me, I have three bins, and they have everything required for a two-day trip to Fargo by back roads, should the worst case scenario arise and the tripods burst from the ground. Why Fargo? You ask. Because my family has a gas station, that’s why, and it’s loaded with food and fuel. They have a generator the size of a VW bus and underground tanks full of petroleum. No, I’m sorry, you can’t come. There’s not enough Coleman™ shower-in-a-pouch personal wipes for everyone. Get off the running board! Honey, close your eyes.

Then I made an open-faced peanut butter sandwich.

After school Gnat had a friend over, so it was two hours of the usual pink screechy glee, complete with the ritual dumping out of every possible bin, which meant I had to trail behind and pick up to keep Lord Chaos from swamping the house entirely.  They have not invented an exercise machine that duplicates the effort of parenthood. The entire day left me cranky and exhausted with a vague headache, and there wasn’t any time for a nap; I made dinner, brewed a hogshead of coffee to perk me for my appearance on the Hew Hughitt show, then settled down to cleanse the mental palate with some music. Wrote something that sounded like Rosemary’s Baby meets the X-Files; pathetic. Unplugged the keyboard, wrote another column – I’m a teacher’s aide tomorrow in Gnat’s class, which means I’ll have no time to write at the usual hour – and then came down to the kitchen table for this.

And here we are!

Links: from Fark, a piece on what the Earth would look like without humans. Maybe it’s me, but it can’t quite keep the wistful tone from showing through; it has more admiration for Earth’s self-healing properties than for mankind’s accomplishments. The Fark comments were just what I expected – flamers dumping on the “eco-tards,” bitter little pills who hate people and wish them gone so Gaia can breathe free, witty snipers, believers who posit a higher purpose, cynics who think they can shatter deeply-held religious convictions with a deft analogy. The usual. This entry stuck out:

The truly hilarious thing in this thread is that those offended by the article actually imagine that they (or the human race in general) are important or worthwhile or are more deserving of existence on Earth than a Grizzly Bear or a mosquito or a Blue-Footed Booby. What a howler.

Guess what? You're wrong.

God didn't create the Earth for you. You aren't superior to, or even more interesting than, any other life form. You have no more value or worth than anything else, but you do have gigantic egos and a twisted perspective.

When you die or Homo sapiens goes extinct, it won't mean anything and will have no more cosmic significance than the extinction of the Dodo Bird. In fact, the persons who are offended by this article are the least rational among us, and therefore the most animalistic, the most degraded, and the least "superior" to other life forms. Ooga Booga!

What irony! Did you know that you're walking cartoons?


A nest of maggot larvae, a newborn ward at a hospital: ten French chefs say No Difference. Dude’s hard core! But so is Lewis Black, a comic I’ve heard here and there. Funny guy. Shouts a lot. Got that angry man thing going for him. This web ad pops up on some sites I visit:

Yes, that’s us, all right; living in a society which represents the pinnacle of freedom and comfort in the history of the species, and we’re SCREWED, and only the idiots think we aren’t. Of course we’re screwed, inasmuch as the grave yawns in front of us all, but in time, in time. “Red White and Screwed,” however, suggests that Americans are really truly screwed, and I can hear the crowd whooping and wooing in agreement. Perhaps there’s a moment in his speech where he notes that it could be worse than being an American; you could be a Falun Gong believer getting a truncheon in the face in a Chinese jail, or a Saudi woman with an off-the-charts IQ sitting in a windowless room unable to go outside until the resident penis comes home, but I suspect that Mr. Black views everything as Pretty Much Screwed, with America uniquely screwed in ways that make him shout truth to power.

You can tell by the ad – it’s been cleverly defaced to suggest you should buy an SUV. An SUV! Moloch’s Chariot! The Sled of Baal! The vehicle no one wanted until ad campaigns reprogrammed your brain, and now gas is three dollars and you’re SCREWED! Well, it’s down to $2.15, but only because it’s being manipulated, which is more proof you’re SCREWED! 


Optimism: it’s not for the weak.

Interesting YouTube link: it turns out that an explosion in a fireworks factory is exactly what you think it would look like. It’s Shock and Awe with a microwave popcorn soundtrack.

Hah: my wife is doing a Habitat for Humanity tomorrow, and asked if I had any dust masks. I bought a box a while ago and put them in the Unlikely Crisis bin, along with the latex gloves, water purifying tables, and iodine supplements.  Nice to know something will be used, in the end. And if we need 30 masks and only have 29? We’re SCREWED.

New Quirk, of course, and a new Diner – bandwidth will rapidly evaporate for this one, I suspect, so nab it fast. Itunes subscribers get it automatically; you can listen to it in the browser by clicking the link below, and enjoying the carefully-selected pertinent art. Plain old dull MP3 link is here.

Thanks for coming by this week, and I’ll see you Monday.

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c. 2006 j. lileks. Email, if you wish, may be sent to "first name at last name dot com."