Wednesday, September 07, 2005

death and destruction

*This story about a parasite that causes grasshopper suicide is at once the most fascinating, creepy, and just plain cool thing I have seen in quite some time. Read the article and then get over your squeamish tendencies and watch the video. It's interesting enough by itself, but then you start thinking about the implications for future research on the murky waters that comprise our understanding of neurochemistry and behavior and the relationship between the two and...woah. Go science! Perhaps someday Tom Cruise will be put in his place. Or at least get himself a nice big parasite.

*Eurotrash was probably the first personal blog I read regularly, and she's slowed down quite a bit but not lost a thing:
And then I woke up on Saturday morning and I felt incredible. The most peaceful and relaxed I've felt for years. Hmmmm. I need to probe this. Did I want a cigarette? Hell yeah. I had one. Yummy. What's going on? I thought about mum. Nothing. No pain, no fear, no stomach clenching. Just an incredible sense of calm and peace.

So I went to a hynotherapist to give up smoking and instead I finally made my peace with my mother.

This is perhaps the first Eurotrash post that has not made Diet Dr. Pepper come out my nose, and it's probably her best one yet. Heavy shit, but sometimes heavy is good. Sometimes, that is...

*Yesterday I received a reader email. This may come as a shock to you, but this is a pretty rare occurrence. However, that's not the reason I'm writing about it. First, the email:
To: Gina
From: Reader
Subject: ?
I'm curious? How do you write about the last week and not mention Hurricane Katrina, even in passing? Or in a footnote attached to a drinking story? I like reading your posts, but come on! I dont expect coverage, just perhaps, an indication that something out of the ordinary may just have happened.

Second, the implications. Cleary, Reader is passing self-righteous judgment on my character. Also...actually no, that's pretty much it.

Third, my response. Well, Reader, your email implies that you've noticed that my blog generally does not deal with current events. As I mentioned in what is probably the only post I have ever written about current events, I have always been somewhat politically disinclined, at least in comparison to my smartypants peers. This doesn't mean I don't like to stay informed, or that I don't have opinions, or that I don't care about what happens in the world. It just means that the Daily Show was my primary news source before I gave up cable and that I spend more time reading the New York Times wedding announcements than the articles on the front page (though I do read the headlines.) I don't write about pertinent world issues because, frankly, other bloggers--boatloads of bloggers--spend more time thinking about that stuff and thus write about it better than I would.

With regard to Katrina in particular, yes, it's a horrible tragedy. Yes, I feel bad for all those people who are seriously screwed. Yes, it's raised all sorts of questions for me like "Why did a city below sea level in a hurricane-prone area not have adequate defenses or at least recourse for dealing with something like this?" and "Why does this country have a president whose mere image on television gets me almost as riled up as when a cockroach accompanies me for my morning shower?" But I didn't write about it because 1. I tend not to dwell in issues of great magnitude that have the potential to be incredibly distressing and 2. lots and lots of people wrote about it and I didn't feel that I had anything unique to add and 3. I had a lot of shit going on last week and was pretty much phoning in my blog. I suppose one could conclude from this that I am overly consumed with the trifling details of my insignificant little life but, well, I'd rather be self-absorbed than self-righteous.
[No, I have not had a cigarette today. Yes, I am cranky. If you are offended by anything I've said here you can take it up with my parents.]


Anonymous said...

I got some similar shit at work today, when, after a failed attempt to alter my horrendous teaching schedule (back-to-back double labs with badass Bio I kids in two rooms on opposite sides of the builiding....fuck) I moped out of the guidance office and bumped into our assistant superintendent. He asked me why I looked so mopey and I explained my plight. His response was to start a big spiel about the people in New Orleans and how my problem was really quite insignificant. Um, thanks. Worse than not talking about the hurricane is to use it as a way to downplay your administrative incompetencies.

Anonymous said...

Days before Hurricane Katrina made landfall, Dubya coordinated “all disaster relief efforts” in Louisiana. He declared an emergency would exist and ordered federal aid for the area.

Read that off some snobby -yet lovable- Austinite’s blog. Yeah, looks like the ball was dropped. Just an interesting twist that, well, shouldn't be discussed here. Just thought you would find that ironic.

Everyone loves a self-centered girl, keep it up.

Gina said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gina said...

I don't really see how that's ironic, even by Alanis standards, but thanks for the information.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go brush my hair with boar bristles 500 times for optimum sheen and texture.

P/O said...

right on, g.

Fat Asian Baby said...

did you steal my brush?

Robo's Drone said...

I keep waiting for your self-righteous reader to retort. Aside from being similarly self-consumed, I am also wildly impatient.

Gina said...

Please refer to anonymous comment number 2, Drone, and read it carefully. Well at least that's the one dissenting and therefore most exciting comment.

Though that's a pretty funny story, anonymous #1 aka Friend S.

And FAB, I was just borrowing it for a little while. Do you need it back?