Musings of a Malcontent: Let’s Get This New Year Started Right!

Musings of a Malcontent: Environmental Irony in an Imperfect (but humorous?) World“Musings of a Malcontent” is a weekly op-ed by GlobalWarmingisReal contributor Carlyle Coash


Maybe it’s me, but I was hoping for a better first week of 2012. I know – it’s silly. To have great leaps forward as we began the year is an optimistic attitude to hold. I envisioned great leaders stepping up to pledge the end of hunger, war and suffering on our planet. I dreamed of the major oil companies vowing to truly change their ways, photos of executives out cleaning up the various spills with their own hands. I pictured pollutants being disposed of properly and chemical companies vowing to find better ways to make their products.

So far, well – it could be better.

The headlines have left little for inspiration. Kim Kardashian got a new haircut. Tiger Wood’s ex buys a $12 million dollar mansion and then tears it down. Snooky looses weight and is stunning everyone with her new figure. Twilight: The Musical is opening on Broadway. A fast food restaurant in Belgium is coming out with a Darth Vader Burger – the bun is jet black. (This actually perked my spirits a little). Iran is still threatening to block the Strait of Hormuz. Pre-wedding plastic surgery for brides-to-be is becoming common with thousands of dollars spent on boob jobs and the like.

No wonder the environment gets no respect. With headlines like these it’s hard to get noticed – too much competition from the banal. Plus I keep finding crazy stories of scientists and researchers spending their time on pointless activities. I figured at some point they would get re-focused, but still the madness keeps happening. It is hard to have energy for the big issues when you’re tormenting some small creature to see if it dislikes being impaled. Sure it’s great to know it hates impaling, but we could have guessed that without much effort.

Thanks to the excellent folks at Harper’s Magazine I am kept well informed. So for your amusement:

  • Finnish and Swedish researchers captured the glaze stare unique to the hypnotized.
    Is there a military use for this? I wonder if they tested subjects by having them read this column every week.
  • Chinese and British psychologists announced the creation of a Physical Appearance Perfectionism Scale.
    Great, just when I was starting to feel good about myself.
  • Male golden orb spiders, to avoid being eaten, placate their female partners with intercoital back rubs. Scientists who deadened the female spiders’ sense of touch with superglue observed more males getting eaten.
    Ya think? That is just mean. Seems like that is a hypothesis not needing to be proved. Plus have you ever tried to get off superglue? Too bad there is not a spider defense league. And how progressive for the males to offer back rubs! I’m sure this will make Cosmo’s next 100 Best Sex tips.
  • Honeybees were found capable of pessimism; scientists who impersonated badgers by violently shaking the bees’ hives further proposed that today’s bees may be particularly pessimistic because of pesticides and hoped in future to elicit happiness from bees.
    Badgers? Did they wear suits of some kind? I would pay to see pictures of that. What I am wondering is why they were spending research money on that and not to find out why 30% of U.S. honeybees were found to have died last winter. Pessimistic indeed.
  • Marine biologists hoped to deter lampreys with the smell of death.
    I know the smell of napalm in the morning is stunning – but death? It is not the kind of thing you can bottle. Well actually you can, but why would you? What is troubling with this one is that they had to do the research to find out what the smell of death was first – and I do not want to know how they figured that out. I suppose you’ve gotta do something will all the contestants voted off American Idol.
  • Cocaine addicts prefer $500 in cash now to $1,000 worth of cocaine later.
    Well duh!
  • Sex with animals doubles a man’s risk of penile cancer.
    Thank heavens for that. I think the animals of the world will take whatever they can get.

So let’s hope that next week will prove to be a little more transformative. After all, we have 11 months before all the Mayan stuff occurs and we need to get prepared. A shift in consciousness does not just happen over night. No time like the present.

Luckily there is an election soon, so that will set everything straight.

I hear Thailand is a lovely place to live.

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