Evolving Mores

Undies, Mother Teresa & Brazilian
Prostitutes: They All Got Upgrades

We all have expiration dates. In fact, pretty much everything about us, life and everything has a rotting point, beyond which it must evolve or it’ll dissipate. The same with clothing, reputations, and things people do for a living: it’s either reboot, or become as good as an old BlackBerry.
Take underwear, for instance. There’s no telling what they mean to so many, even those who don’t consider them a priority. Or Princess Di’s favorite poor of West Bengal, whose notoriety is under heavy artillery right now. As for the Brazilians, it’s all about professional improvement.
More often than not, change is good. One needs to keep on tiptoes if something will ever get done, and many a fine and exquisite way of doing things, in a certain, exquisite way, well, went the way of the Dodo. It simply couldn’t withstand these times of instant reward and viral videos.
Then again, some industries take advantage of this natural cycle to push their wares, as anyone who’s ever wondered why they wound up being stuck with this year’s model, when the one parked nearby is still running, would rush to tell you. We’d tell you more, but your smartphone probably would need an upgrade to put up with so much data.
In any event, we can’t help it. We crave the new, as long as it’s shiny, and smells fresh, and has a big logo, or set of functions, we’ve convinced ourselves we absolutely can’t live without. Even if last year’s is still perfectly fine, and running, and takes all calls, thank you very much. We just never care to pick it up.
So in anticipation of the new season, and whatever new crap they have in store for us, at a premium price, we’re got this first-world problems thing really down. After all, there’s something else common about these three themes that follow: they’re all much older than your mother.

It seems that everywhere you look, everything is getting an organic version of it. This wave of labels may have started with food, but now it’s spreading like a malware throughout the fabric of our society, to use a pompous old-fashioned dictum. To the point that such labels may as Continue reading

Nuking the Future

Mutant Butterflies May Fail
To Prevent a New Fukushima

There are just a few kinds of people who’d feign surprise about this news: those who have been living under a rock for the past four years; those paid for by Japan’s nuclear industry; and Lady Barbara Judge, who’s nothing of the former, and more than a bit of the latter.
With the fast approaching third anniversary of the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, which prompted the world’s worst nuclear meltdown, at the complex of plants at Fukushima, what was once logical is, startling, no longer a certainty: that Japan would phase out its nukes for good.
Apparently, not even high radioactive readings surrounding the complex, or the fact that a beautiful creature such as a butterfly has become the canary of the mile, showing disturbing signs of mutations, seem to be enough to deter a renewed push to forget what could’ve been a horrifying tragedy.
Perhaps, the fact that it wasn’t, either by luck, or because genetic mutations and cancers in humans will take years to reveal their patterns, is the one to point as culprit for such short-memory mentality, driving Japan’s government and its aging generation of energy executives.
Who, by the way, should know better: after all, most of them were eyewitnesses of the devastation of the atomic bombs dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, some 60 something years ago, and how the staggering health toll it took continues to claim lives and hopes for a future.
We’re not about to bash the brave Japanese people here, who has paid such a heavy price for the sins of its rulers during the war and before it. In reality, Japan has one of the most progressive environmental Continue reading

Two Minutes to Go

Elle Jane Townsend, U.K.

When There’s No Time to
Pick What You Really Love

Few events present a more dramatic picture of the absolute temporality of our experience on earth than the eminence of an unavoidable disaster. Except, of course, the moment of our last breath, in which case, such concepts as time and disaster are really beside the point.
Otherwise, at that crucial realization that we must get out in order to survive, our very next thought may be about what to take with us. Not being quite our final trip, we may be allowed to pick some beloved possessions before we go. But how to know what that would be?
Naturally, the Internet is full of disaster preparation guides, designed for those who’d rather be on the lookout for a possible early call towards destiny. Those who live in areas prone to ‘acts of god,’ in plain insurancenese, may be familiar and even have already a kit, with a few necessary items to take.
We’re not talking about that sort of situation, which in most cases can be well addressed with a simple permanently packed suitcase. What we mean is the kind of unexpected catastrophe that, ironically, would give you just enough time to go insane, imagining what you’d really need to take with you.
For most of us, it’d be a losing proposition, and we’re bound to choose exactly what we’ll never need. In a hurry, we most definitely forget a number of irreplaceables, which we’ll spend the rest of our lives regretting having left behind. If we’re lucky, eventually we may learn why those trinkets were so dear to us, and why it was all so silly.
At the same time, we may find ourselves treasuring previously useless items, such as a pair of socks only heaven knows why we actually took the time to salvage, almost as a reminder of that aforementioned Continue reading

Sorry, Not a Winner

Congrats, Jackpot Losers. Now
It’s Time to Become an Astronaut

The Powerball beat all records, but in the end, two people who apparently deserved it beat us all out for the $550 million. Good for them. Seriously, we’re glad they got it and all that, sure.
We had a better shot at something else all along, anyway. Like, becoming a movie star. Or giving birth to quadruples. What about finding a four leaf clover? Come on, don’t be such a sore loser.
You knew you couldn’t possibly have a shot. And your Uncle Bob had already told you to never play these big drawings. After all, he’s always winning a few bucks on those scratch games.
He then crosses the street and loses them all on the races, you may say. But hey, you’ve just lost a few of your own, but are already thinking that today just may be your day to take them all to the cleaners.
If you think of it. all the money you’ve already spent in games throughout your life, would amount to a small fortune by now. Which, of course, you’ve have spent on charity, of course, sure.
The truth is, they keep wiping us clean, and we keep on getting back for more. What can you do? You haven’t come up with a counter-argument to what they say: someone must win it, so why not you, right?
You’re too old to apply for International Space Station Commander Sunita Williams‘s position and, let’s face it, you were never good at math, so that should be out. The odds beat are 12,100,000 to 1, by the way.
Movie star? We know it’s your dream, or one of them, but has anyone ever told you that you’ve got the looks? Those who beat the 1,505,000 to 1 odds to become one usually have some kind of looks to boot too.
Ah, so you think that being the U.S. President is easy? Well, besides the 10,000,000 odds of not becoming one, which a poor single-mother Continue reading