Thursday, 28 May 2009
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
The US army, possibly just like all sorts of jingoistic organizations with secret patois, is also fond of making up words--a language by fiat rather than use the perfectly good and precise words and grammar that already exist. Out-processing was conjured up instead of discharge--transitioning came about as a euphemistic short-hand (long-hand, really) for restructuring, down-sizing and closure. There is a high frequency in the recurrance of particular terminology as the Army in Europe prepares to undergo another endless round of base-closures, mostly veteran and old-school terms used: RIF (reduction-in-force), in-direct reporting garrison, non-enduring, table of distributions, standard garrison organization, staffing template, nonappropriated funds. Ah well, time for more fright, edginess and back-stabbing. I have gone through this routine a few times before--but it's not as if I know what to expect. Finishing off large construction and modernization projects are usually a bad sign, a death-knell, since a brand new, high-technology security parameter or a fancy garden pavillion may be installed, only to mothball the whole place the next month. The army must honor its contracts, regardless how long it has delayed and procrastinated and become non-sensical. Also restoration and remodeling are cheaper than leaving facilities in place in disrepair or dismantling totally: it is harder to find fault with a refurbished building (even if it was a building no one particularly wanted) than to pay the costs associated with the environmental impact for tearing it down. The allied occupation has been winnowing itself away for decades now, but seems to take a step back when it comes to the hard-scrabble of placing those displaced
Friday, 22 May 2009
The news about the re-discovery of the fossilized remains of Darwinius masillae does not strike me as terribly exciting--and at the risk of sounding like a Creationist, or as compelling evidence of anything. Maybe the information was released prematurely--what does it mean that we are decended from proto-lemurs now and not some aquatic ape, monolith, or divine respiration? Did the scientific community ever seriously doubt that the miss link wasn't lurking around somewhere--or collecting dust in someone's basement since 1983? As not as if when we watch the evolutionary progression (at least in cartoon form) from fish to man that there are a lot of missing scenes and skips. Then I wonder about the case of the Hobbits from Flores Island: most scientists were initially of the opinion that they were malformed or malnourished cases, until concensus decided that they were a separate race, even though they cohabitated with Man as recently as 40, 000 years ago. I don't understand these things. This find is certainly not as impressive, to my mind, as Lucy or Heidelberg Man, but I doubt any living-being, no matter how advanced, has ever been capable of the abstract thought, when I grow up I want to be a fossil. Only we bury time-capsules and make sure our dead don't decay. Maybe Man managed to out-perform the Hobbits too, like the Neanderthals--who apparently Man ate and made their bones into trinkets.
Monday, 18 May 2009
Epic tasks notwithstanding, the move has gone outstanding well and the space is becoming our own. It would not be a task, however, that I would like to repeat again soon, nor is it something that I have become more expert on, despite excedingly numerous moves in my lifetime. Being incognito for the past weeks, off-line--as if what's not reported on, parodied, exaggerated and otherwise posted does not happen, has been quite nice: no lazy, ambient internet, no fixed phone service, and no television. It's been quiet and the picture of tranquility out the big kitchen windows, manicured rough and the gaudy excesses of nature. I chose this image of a dandelion going to seed because it is an absolute snow-storm in the wood by the shore, and when the wind comes in gales, it just pours through the trees and over the roofs in great blasts. A little rain did not do much to dampen this invasion, however.
Wednesday, 6 May 2009