Nowadays, whenever a politician speaks, there’s a sign language translator to translate their remarks for the deaf and dumb. And when Fauci speaks, there’s Trump to translate for those who are just dumb.
You can’t do a Wuhan handshake anymore; with social distancing, you can’t get close enough to tap shoes.
When you go to the bank wearing your mandatory mask, wear your blue disposable gloves too. That way they know you’re not a bandito!
How to hook up during a pandemic? With a full-body condom.
And which of us will ever forget the most important 20 seconds of our lives?
A meme now making the rounds of thoughtful people who understand politics, and especially the census year statehouse elections in purple (and even red) states (see Politico article): “Friends don’t let friends vote for Bernie.“
Economics is known in the trade as the dismal science but, next to political science in our current Age of Demagogues, it’s starting to look like the feel-good science.
Kant was a Prussian, and not noted for his sense of humor. But it’s there, if you dig for it, and it’s deep and dark.
His work on human progress through history, Perpetual Peace, was published, like all books in its time, with an engraving inside the cover called the frontispiece. For Perpetual Peace it was a Dutch tavern sign of the same name depicting a graveyard.
Kant’s point was not quite that grim. He meant that human history, driven by the perpetual and accelerating growth of human powers, leads inevitably to a fork in the road between lawfully-governed relations and mutual annihilation. Put more positively, Kant foresaw Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) in 1776.
In that same work, Kant, says that it would be possible, in principle, to create a law-governed society from a race of devils. The joke here is that this claim is not a hypothetical, it’s a historical observation, and it’s about us.
In other words, history can take man out of the state of nature (i.e., self-interest run amok), but it can’t take self-interest out of man.
And that is all that historical progress shows us, or ever could.
The other day I was taking a long walk and just avoided getting caught in a thunderstorm. I took refuge under the local park admin building canopy. While there, I used the restroom inside, where they were having some kind of community event. A woman, obviously part of the event, saw me standing there and asked: “Are you here for the…?” “No”, I replied, “I’m just an old guy with a bladder.”
There’s a technique used to motivate oneself called gamification. It essentially means turning work you have to do anyway into something like a video game in which tasks have point values and you are always aiming to raise your Highest Score. So, applied to the perpetual chore of adapting to getting old, I’m going to rechristen the process “Game of Groans” in which I put down insurrections in each of the seven kingdoms of my anatomy as they rise in rebellion against me, the true-born heir to the Groan.