I have never had an appearance by a guest blogger because "Big Bad Bald Bastard" is an identity as well as a blog... as much as I love everyone, I have no intention to franchise out the Bastard brand. Additionally, I don't write a lot about family, because I respect their privacy, but a couple of weeks ago, I received an e-mail from my older brother, Sweetums, who has been living in Switzerland for the last few years. In it, he expressed some concern about the direction in which the U.S. seems to be heading. I am flirting with "guest poster" status by posting his e-mail, with some links (picked by myself) to serve as annotation:
Now, I have to vent a bit about something…I nearly wept when I read this morning that NJ's Gov. Christie is putting the kibosh on the ARC Tunnel under the Hudson. Contrast this with the Swiss, doggedly digging away under the Alps. The Gotthard Base Tunnel will be the world's longest, and should be done in another 7 years or so. What a sad lack of vision in the US, seemingly at all levels of government! I'm so tired of 'Don't Tread on Me', and all the other 'Me'-centric noise floating around. How about 'Duty Now for the Future', borrowing from the Brothers Mothersbaugh (Brothersbaugh?) - you know, the quaint notion that as Americans we collectively strive to build a better life for the generations that follow? Does that no longer resonate with anyone?
Yeah, in his zeal for waging Teahad, Governor Christie* destroyed a much-needed tunnel that would have improved the lives of New Jersey residents for decades to come.
Now, with the ascendency of a Repuplican House which sees "lower taxes on the superrich while reducing the deficit" as a possibility, America's slide into senescence continues apace. Yes, we are continuing to ensure that the "lost decade", the "'noughts", continues, and are well on our way to what Gene Wolfe called "the do-nothing future, in which humanity sits at home and waits for the money to run out". Gene Wolfe's Seven American Nights makes good reading for this depressing continuation of stagnation and deregulation- it is best read in public, as you watch unsightly families gobbling down chickenesque goo molded into proteinaceous nuggets. The novella, which is set in the U.S. after a soft apocalypse (caused by our chemically-saturated and infrastructure-ignoring lifestyle) is a real downer- the perfect coda to a downer of an election season.
*It is to be remembered that his opponent was once CEO of Goldman Sachs. While it is not difficult to see how NJ voters didn't want to vote for the financial industry insider, I have to observe (in my typical smartass fashion) that they traded the "Goldman Sachs" candidate for the "God, this man sucks" candidate.