Here we are with another Monday, and the last two days are just a much-faded memory — seems last Friday afternoon is now just a finger-snap in the past.
This coming Friday? Way-the-fuck down the road.
Madeleine Albright yesterday responded to Bob Schieffer’s question on how uniquely screwed is the world right now: “We all grew up in a very different era, when we were focused on the threat from the Soviet Union. What’s happening now is we are seeing problems from a variety of places, some of it due to globalization, frankly, which has an opposite side that has created a lot of nationalism in those countries or places where people feel lost within the facelessness of globalization…But to put it mildly, the world is a mess.”
(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Tete d’homme du XVIIeme siecle,’ found here).
One must remember, however, Ms Albright’s deeper feelings about nearly half-a-million Iraqi children dying due to US-influenced sanctions against that country in the 1990s: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it.”
I’m sure she doesn’t consider herself a help-maker of the before-mentioned “mess.”
And a similar vein of “mess,” Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast exclaims the “world is exploding,” or something like that, and the US is helpless: This was once a country where, for all its ills and all the bad it did in the world from Tehran to Saigon to Santiago and in between, we could occasionally muster that consensus. We can’t now, and we and the world will pay for this failure in ways that we can’t today comprehend.
A new ballgame off the debris of the old one.
If you do read closely all the news and sub-features, the nowadays is steadily growing beyond worse — if that is possible. Not just the Middle East, where shit-storms thrive, but all over the place — Ebola in east Africa, the biggest outbreak of the disease in history is just a tip of the proverbial iceberg.
Last week, the Washington Post reported on a really-bad near miss two years ago:
On July 23, 2012, the sun unleashed two massive clouds of plasma that barely missed a catastrophic encounter with the Earth’s atmosphere.
These plasma clouds, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), comprised a solar storm thought to be the most powerful in at least 150 years.
“If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,” physicist Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado tells NASA.
Analysts believe that a direct hit … could cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket.
Most people wouldn’t even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps.
According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, the total economic impact could exceed $2 trillion or 20 times greater than the costs of a Hurricane Katrina.
Multi-ton transformers damaged by such a storm might take years to repair.
The firing mechanism for this was pointed away from us — whew!
But we can expect even worse, if Larry Schwartz at AlterNet is correct — 10 of the biggest threats facing the earth. He lists the normal ones, climate change and all its by-products; even bee/bat decline; pandemic shit, like what’s happening now in Africa; a nuclear fuck-up; even asteroids…but also number 10, zombie apocalypse, in reality time:
I know. I said zombies aren’t real.
But there is a parasite called toxoplasmosa gondii.
This terrifying little bug infects rats, but it can only reproduce inside the intestines of a cat, so it evolved a nifty little trick wherein it actually takes over the rat’s brain and compels it to hang out around cats.
Naturally, the cat eats the rat.
The cat is happy.
The parasite is happy because it gets to reproduce in the cat’s intestines.
The rat? Not so happy, one would suppose.
Why should we care about unhappy rats?
Because rats and humans are actually very similar, which is why we conduct so many medical experiments on rats.
And humans are infected with the toxoplasmosa gondii parasite.
About half the population of the Earth, in fact.
Now it so happens that toxoplasmosa gondii does not affect humans the way it does rats.
But what if it did?
Viruses are manipulated in bio-weapons laboratories.
Suddenly half the population would have no instinct for self-preservation.
Half the population unable to think in a rational manner.
Half the population suddenly very much resembling zombies.
Nah. Couldn’t happen. Could it?
Dude, it’s freakin’ Monday, all kinds of shit happen.
(Illustration out front found here).