House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) seemed to echo Mitt Romney’s infamous claim that 47 percent of Americans are “takers” who suck up government benefits during a speech at a conservative Washington D.C. think tank on Thursday. Addressing the American Enterprise Institute, Boehner suggested that President Barack Obama’s economy has lulled many unemployed people into a sense of dependence on government.“This idea that has been born, maybe out of the economy over the last couple years, that you know, I really don’t have to work. I don’t really want to do this. I think I’d rather just sit around. This is a very sick idea for our country,” he said.
I’ve long thought about writing a short story featuring a “Kudzu Monster.” (I doubt I’m the only one contemplating a story like that!) Anyone who’s at all familiar with kudzu will understand.
No, I didn’t make it up. “Kudzu” is, I’m told, an awkward transliteration of a Japanese word. The plant it refers to was imported from Japan as a decorative vine, first promoted at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, and later promulgated by the federal government as a combined means to control soil erosion and feed livestock.
As you can easily infer from this, kudzu looks attractive (unless it’s killing more essential vegetation, which sort of spoils the fun). And it grows very, very rapidly. Indeed, it’ll cover anything in its path, and it continues to spread. What do I mean? Check this:
I don’t want to get distracted by reflections on living entities like coral reefs, comprised of many discrete organisms, or communication from one part of a vine to another. I’ll save that for the short story or other creative expression. This is much more prosaic. Nevertheless, if you take time to think about it, it’s equally fascinating.
Imagine this as the illustration for a highly melodramatic story where this passage appears: “…the palm tree monster stalks its prey…slowly, imperceptibly, inexorably.
Eventually, without anyone’s realizing it, the monster has struck. It crushes its prey, then in total silence it consumes that prey, making it a part of the monster’s own flesh and substance … and thus complicit in its subsequent predation.
Alas, poor Garden Hose! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow
of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath
borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how
abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rises at
it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know
not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your
gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment,
that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one
now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen.
All kidding aside. Serious problem of kudzu to trivially pathetic joke substituting a garden hose for poor Yorick, nature will out. It will continue “naturing.” Did you see the video where Steve Stockman was totally castrated by the scientist he was attacking re orbital wobble and global warming?
Nature will not be denied. We can work with it, or we can perish. Our choice. Oh yes, we can hurt nature. We can hasten our own demise by doing so. But regardless of how many stupid buffoons like Steve Stockman show their respective asses, nature will not be mocked. The processes of natural law are inexorable. Kudzu continues to spread its suffocating blanket across our states. We introduced it, and it’s strangling us. Global warming continues to rise. We caused it — we continue to feed it! — and it’s likely to destroy human civilization.
∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞
For the record, the palm tree engulfing the garden hose is real, not Photoshop. I took the photo close to the south side of our house.
The following sentence in an MSNBC article caught my attention: “The percentage of Americans who believe the United States is less safe is at its highest point since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.”
There’s nothing unusual about that sentence. We hear or read variations all the time. This one struck me because of the present context, I guess. Anyhow, some questions to ponder:
What does it mean to say that “the United States is less safe”?
- Less safe than what?
- Less safe from what?
- Does the assertion refer to the nation per se…?
- … or to individual residents of the nation?
The politicians, the Right Wing Noise Machine, and the “mainstream” media are so eager for blood that they’re working day and night to terrify Americans sufficiently to get them to accept yet another war of choice. This is what we all should really fear. Consider some numbers:
We are in much greater danger from ourselves and each other than from international terrorists.
Maybe a picture would help:
See the blue dot inside the red circle? That’s a generous estimate of the size of the territory controlled by I.S.I.S./I.S.I.L.