The fight that can’t be won.
A critique on the-better-then-never, a-day-late-a-dollar-short, progressive radio voice that is battling the monopoly on stupidity. Or. Why H5N1 Birdflu was predicted by Newton.
It hurts me to say this but truth-seeking will never be the answer to fighting neo-cons. I have recently come to this conclusion because, the other day, in St. Augustine, Florida, while I was doing my stretching exercises, which is part of a regular break from home-office-work, I saw a bird fall out of the sky and smack the pavement in front of my apartment window with a loud jell-o thud. The bird was a swan with a wingspan of at least three meters. It fell out of the sky when I was squeezing my chin to my knees. At first I thought it was a stuffed animal but quickly after it let a last gasp that it wasn’t. Within minutes of my call to nine-one-one, and just as my right calf muscle was cramping, the bird was surrounded by smartly dressed, almost corporate looking men with homeland security pins on their lapels. As my calf muscle was relaxing there were a total of twelve men and as many vehicles around the bird. Some of the men would jump out of their cars while the tires were still screeching to a halt and, like TV used to be, they would leap out yelling something that sounded like: “yee-haw”.
By the end of the day the whole ordeal caused what is called a ruckus-epiphany in my cerebral cortex. This form of epiphany is very dangerous and was discovered by accident by an east-German horse doctor who was also the first physician banned from working with Olympic athletes. It is said to be a very dangerous form of epiphany and if not treated promptly can lead to various forms of neurodegenerative disease. Luckily I was able to get help but while doing so I strained my Achilles tendon, which has prohibited me from adjusting my sitting position with my left leg and, in turn, has caused me to miss at least three days of home-office-work. When will the stress end?
I don’t want to languish on the details of the diagnosis but three doctors in the greater St. Augustine area examined me with a particular thoroughness attributable only to the European insurance coverage I was totting. Using the internet and other modern technologies they also questioned my German doctor. Specifically, the American doctors were curious about the acclimation therapy recommended by my German doctor. In helping me get over my fear of repatriation he had recommended that I make a link back to where I was when I expatriated. Knowing that I was a media junky and that I always complained about not having good radio in Germany, he recommended that I stream radio using the internet. After a couple of weeks of failed attempts of finding something decent to listen too, and seeing the stress build up in me trying to search the maze of what’s available, my German doctor eventually recommended that I listen to a radio guy named Mike Molloy. He knew from past visits that I had listened to Rush Limbaugh when I left America some twenty years ago and he thought Molloy would be a good alternative now. And so, like a prescription, I streamed Molloy every night for six months before flying to Florida.
What the doctors didn’t tell me and I later learned from the very talkative Homeland Security temp agent named Julstice was that the doctors concluded the combination of television imagery locked in my subconscious from the seventies, specifically “Streets of San Francisco” and “Dallas”, and the recent jolt of Mike Molloy, the infamous and dubiously arrogant radio host from Air America who refuses to participate in public discourse and instead dictates it, are all part of the outbreak of ruckus-epiphany, initialized by the falling bird. Julstice jokingly said that, according to their records, the only real change they could see after streaming Molloy was that my consumption of free internet porn was way down.
Excuse me if I drift from subject. You can blame it on my trauma.
(About Julstice – do I need this?) It was a few hours after homeland security hired a company from two states away (the license plates of their converted SUVs were personalized with: we clean it all) to get rid of the dead bird, that I first met Ed Julstice Jonah. As I mentioned, he’s a homeland security temp agent whose office was in a local Motel 6 located just outside of St. Augustine; his second job was guarding Wal Marts at night. Julstice was about five feet, four inches, almost a head shorter them me, he shaved with a bic single blade disposable (you can tell by the scars around the adam’s-apple) and wore a plastic watch that must have been a promotional gimme. He wore a pen in the outer breast pocket and a pair of dark green slacks that was only an attempt to match his jacket. He carried a brand new briefcase made of plastic. His shoes were black and plastic and probably cleaned that morning after he had to request one of those shoe-shine-pads that you often mistake for soap that lie around cheap motel bathrooms.
During the interview with Julstice, he preferred his middle name because there were thirty other Ed’s from the temp agency, thirteen of which were with homeland and the rest with custodial services for highway rest stops, I was asked twenty-two questions about if I had seen kids around the neighbourhood between the age of fifteen and nineteen who, it was recorded, visited a mosque during a junior high school trip to Arizona. Julstice even showed me the yearbook pictures of all the kids. I asked what that had to do with the bird.
“Everything,” Julstice said. “We are particularly interested in how you could witness such a thing. You’re obviously a man who is in right places at right times – you see things. And God bless you for doing so.”
“I called nine-one-one about the bird? I was just in Europe and they’re cordoning off all the bird farms in France and Germany and prohibiting the British from travelling to those farms.”
“Is that so?” he says; he looked intensely through his notebook and eventually pulled a manila folder from his briefcase with my name on the flap. “You were in Europe? Wait a sec…”
“I live in Europe. I’m only here on a six month stint to work for an Indian software company.”
“Visiting who? You don’t live here?”
“No. I’m a project manager. I manage offshore software development.”
“Your name is Thomas…?”
“Here is says Thomas.”
“I don’t go by that. Especially since the whole Thomas Gospel and Jesus twin thing became dinner talk.” I giggled but Julstice didn’t respond.
“Fine. Tommi Stone, then.” He makes a mark in his cheap spiral pad.
“You are responding to my call to nine-one-one that a bird fell out of the sky, right?”
“Yeap. And you live in Europe, you say? What country? Wait…”
He reaches a climax in his search through the cluttered dot-matrix printed papers with the perforated edges.
“Here we go. Now I have you. Yes. You’re on our ex-pat list. You haven’t filed your taxes in ten years.”
“Nope. Says ten.”
“Well, I haven’t had any income for that long either. I only recently got this job. I did send a letter to the Philidelphia saying that I’d file if I ever got a job again.”
“Right. Either way. Make sure you clear that up or there’ll be hell to pay – excuse my French. You know how the IRS can be.” He laughed and shuffled more papers. “And don’t worry about the death of the bird. It’s been taken care of – accordingly.”
“You realize bird-flu has hit US shores?” I asked.
“You have the flue?” he said.
“No, birdflu. H5N1? Whatever. You were asking me about high schools kids and if I’ve noticed anything strange in the community”
“That’s right,” he said.
“I only noticed the bird hitting the ground,” I said while he made marks in his Wal Mart spiral pad.
“We also want to know if you’ve been listening to this man?”
Julstice pulled out a computer printed pic of Mike Molloy.
“That’s that radio host. Yeah. He’s pretty crazy.”
“So you have been listening to him?”
“I podcast him. He’s part of my re-acclimation therapy.”
“We’re aware of that. And you haven’t seen any school kids doing strange things around here?”
“Fine, then. Here…”
He gave me a business card with shinny raised letters that included a one eight-hundred number; he also handed me a mint with the red and white spirals, reassuring me that the number was enough.
That night, for the first time in just over six months, I didn’t podcast Mike Molloy. Instead I drank a bottle off overly expensive California red wine, when I should have bought an overly expensive bottle of Italian wine, and ended up having the strangest dream about Isaac Newton and the bird.
It is a myth that Newton witnessed an Apple falling from a tree which caused him to postulate gravity. But like most myths there is an origin that is devoid of mystery. During an inquiry by Royal Society board members regarding a recently published anonymous document about gravity, Nicolas Fatio de Duillier, a controversial friend of Newton and fellow society member, fell ill after being hit on the head by a very heavy stone. The cause of the blow was due to inexcusable gestures he made to a very young, but also very womanly, niece of Newton. Nicolas Fatio de Duillier had lured her under an apple tree and was subsequently hospitalized with a major concussion. Early diagnosis was a traumatic head injury that to immediate neurological illness, to include delusions.
For the board members of the Royal Society questioning the publication and Newton admitting to not having written it, there was only one other person who could have. When approached regarding the document, it is said that, Nicolas Fatio de Duillier, in an almost catatonic state, admitted to writing the document as a prank to get back at Newton for causing him great anguish and emotional hardship.
But the members of the board to the Royal Society were perplexed. What did de Duillier mean by Newton having caused him “anquish”? Or did it have something to do with the research being done within the tight confines of the university? Did this have something to do with the hierarchy of the Royal Society and Newton’s controversial election to lead that society?
Fortunately the published document caused little excitement. Mostly this was due to the fact that it contained mathematical formulations few could understand. Beyond that it also said denied God as a factor in defining gravity.
de Duillier’s misguided advance to Newton’s niece, was, of course, a godsend – and Newton knew it. There were two servants who witnessed, what was now being termed, the assault on the young woman. The servants clearly described the situation as having occurred under the apple tree behind the rose garden, the heavy stone was in actuality a brick taken from a supply that was being used for repairs to the south fence of the grounds. But most importantly this was the perfect opportunity for Newton to finally be rid of the dubious de Duillier.
When the infamous document arrived Newton’s first reaction was that of humour. A large smile appeared on his face. The formula was taken directly from his newly formulated universal concept of gravity.
unconventional manner not seen in a man in those quarters regarding both a “love affair” and a new mathematical formula.
Frustrated and confused and unwilling to leave the Royal Society on anyone else’s terms de Duillier began the crusade of proving his manhood. Hence the lovely niece. Being the great thinker that he was, he went on the offensive and decided that his … The hit on the head of Duillier caused premature neurodegenerative disease
1. Newton’s First Law (also known as the Law of Inertia) states that an object at rest tends to stay at rest and that an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by a net external force.
2. Newton’s Second Law states that an applied force equals the rate of change of momentum. For constant mass: F=ma, (Force = Mass × Acceleration) or force equals mass times acceleration. In other words, the acceleration produced by a net force on an object is directly proportional to the magnitude of the net force and inversely proportional to the mass. In the MKS system of measurement, mass is given in kilograms, acceleration in meters per second squared, and force in newtons (named in his honor).
3. Newton’s Third Law states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Suck on thumb now.
I love to imagine what De Vinci went through, how difficult it was for him, the scientist and truth-seeker hiding behind the mundane facade of an artist. What did he say, how did he talk among peers whom he trusted and did not trust? Or Einstein when he would entertain frivolous questions about God? Was De Vinci full of so much wit as Einstein?
What is it that drives us to want to believe so much in things worth a hoot?
“Move thumb slowly but surely from your ass to your mouth,” is the subtext of the preacher.
This is where the so-called conservative and liberal fight will fail. Because there is no need for truth-seeking. The formula is missing today. F=ma.