The Test 59: A Cult Classic

This week on The Test, Cunningham uses her quiz on cults to whip Stacey and I into a fervently rapturous passion . . . so give it a listen, keep score, promulgate the tenets, try to maintain autonomy of consciousness, and be warned: you may need some deprogramming once the show is over.

Two Things I learned at the Pool Yesterday (Both Explosive)

The first thing I learned at the pool yesterday is that if you put enough rubber bands around a watermelon, it will explode . . . my wife and I saw a bunch of kids clustered around a picnic table, and so we went to investigate, and we saw a dad and a bunch of brave children stretching rubber bands around a watermelon-- which seemed very odd until someone explained the premise, and it took quite a few rubber bands and a good ten minutes, but the end result was a real crowd-pleaser; moments after the watermelon exploded all over the participants, our own children arrived (they were with friends) and we excitedly told them what we had witnessed, but they were unmoved by the information . . . apparently "everyone has seen that on YouTube" and the second thing I learned at the pool is that intestinal gas is visible in an x-ray; I learned this fun fact from a friend (a lady friend!) who will remain nameless (her request) when she recounted her last visit to the chiropractor, he took a full upper body x-ray, put it on display, and began assessing her spine, but she wasn't paying attention to his chiropractic wisdom, and instead was looking at the numerous black balls in her stomach and intestines . . . she knew what they represented and was appropriately mortified (even more so when the chiropractor said, "Wow, you're quite gassy," but she still had the wherewithal to reply, "I had Thai food for lunch").

Alfred Hitchcock Presents . . . The Flies

I certainly can't complain about the weather on our trip to Sea Isle City, but after an idyllic six days of ocean breezes and warm water, on our last day, the wind start blowing from the west, and with the west wind, the flies-- hordes of flies-- and with the flies . . . madness.

You Can Tune a Piano, But You Can't Identify Half of a Fish

My son Ian caught a little flat fish in his net today, but it looked like half of a fish, just a swimming head . . . and it had red spikes on each "tail" end-- we tried to identify it on the internet, to no avail: does anyone know what kind of fish this?

Whitesnake Foretells the Future

I finished two books at the beach yesterday, both on the the theme of human nature, and one was inspirational and disconcerting and the other satirical and reassuring;

1) the disconcerting and inspirational award goes to Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari; this is a Guns, Germs, and Steel-style Big History book that cuts a broad swath while telling the story of "an animal of no significance" that emerges from several other hominid species to conquer the earth-- it's one revolution after the next: cognitive, agricultural, religious, scientific, industrial, economic, nuclear, philosophical, and digital-- and we become the most wild and unnatural of all the animals, at first hunting and gathering in small tight-knit groups, but with a desire to create art (the Lion Man is 32,000 years old) and a desire for conquest (we probably took out the Neanderthals and we certainly killed all the megafauna) and this led to something larger and larger, but in no way inevitable or "natural" . . . in fact, according to Harari, there was just as much lost as gained when we settled down and became farmers (peasants ate worse, toiled harder, died of starvation and disease more often, and the great inequalities of wealth and class began) but this paved the way for one revolution after another, eventually leading to out effete, technological capitalist miracle-- fueled by cheap credit and trust in the future-- but, of course, capitalism is efficient but not ethical, so capitalism produced institutions like slavery and led to a devastation of the "natural" world . . . there are 300 million tons of humanity on the planet, and 700 million tons of domesticated factory farmed animals to feed us, but the total tonnage of the surviving large wild animals-- "from porcupines and penguins to elephants and whales-- is less than 100 million tons" and so while Harari portrays humanity as progressive, intelligent, conquering beings, he also acknowledges what Whitesnake told us long ago, that we don't know where we're going (though we sure know where we've been) and we're walking, alone down a street of dreams, drifting this way and that, into unknown, unforetold territory, revolution after revolution, looking for answers, and here we go again . . . so get ready to hold on for the rest of your days . . .

2) the second book is a refreshing change from Yuval Harari's big thoughts and philosophical speculations, and it is free on the Kindle and I highly recommend it; Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome is an account of a men's boating holiday down the Thames River, and it is semi-autobiographical, hysterically funny, and was published in 1889 . . . and I shit you not, if you read this book, you'll realize that if you took a time machine back to 1889, you would have no problem hanging out with these folks-- the tone and the jokes and the diction are perfectly modern, and Jerome K. Jerome's observations could have fallen from a Seinfeldian observational comic, here are a few examples:

a) the mildest tempered people, when on land, become violent and blood-thirsty when in a boat;

b) few things, I have noticed, come quite up to the pictures of this world;

c) little was in sight to remind us of the nineteenth century;

d) in a boat, I have always noticed that it is the fixed idea of each member of the crew that he is doing everything . . . Harris's notion was, that is was he alone who had been working;

e) each person has what he doesn't want, and other people have what he does want . . . married men have wives, and don't seem to want him; and young single fellows cry out that they can't get them.

One Upping ad Infinitum

You have probably witnessed some one-upmanship, or been the victim of a one-upper, or possibly even one-upped someone yourself, but this one-upping is beyond the pale-- and I recognize the irony of saying that I am in possession the best one-upping anecdote in the history of one-upping: my wife and our friend Connell were sitting on the porch at Sea Isle, drinking and discussing the profound beauty of the night sky (and the travesty of light pollution) and my wife reminisced about the vast array of visible stars in the sky that she witnessed when we stayed inside Mesa Verde National Park, high atop the mesa, far from civilization . . . she said "there was a star in every piece of the sky" and Connell replied to this, without malice or premeditated hyperbole, by describing his trip to New Hampshire,  where from beside a mountain lake he could see "a thousand stars in every spot in the sky" and and we all reflected upon this description for a moment and then realized that Connell had one-upped Catherine, but by a thousandfold, and not a simple thousandfold, he one-upped her by a thousandfold per piece of sky, which is enough one-upping to last a lifetime (or at least inspire a lifetime of ridicule, which we have heaped upon him in the succeeding days).

A Surveyor, an Anthropologist, a Psychologist, and a Biologist Walk into a Bar

Jeff Vandermeer's sci-fi novel Annihilation certainly owes some of its tone and plot to the Strugatsky Brothers cult classic Roadside Picnic, but instead of navigating a mysterious area through the eyes of a Stalker, Vandermeer gives us a weird, gothic, and evocatively creepy tour of Area X through the mind and observations of a biologist, and the passages in which she analyzes the bizarre ecosystem of Area X are the most vivid and memorable in a book which is generally ambiguous and confounding . . . the team investigating Area X, purportedly the twelfth mission sent in to contain and understand the zone, consists of a psychologist, an anthropologist, a surveyor, and a biologist . . . but nothing is as it seems, everything goes awry, and the group spirals deeper and deeper into an area that has more to do with the Wallace Stevens poem "Of Mere Being" than an actual location on earth; the book is short and the first of a trilogy, and I liked it enough that I will probably read the other two, but be warned: the plot is more like a dream than a linear sequence of events, and the nature of reality is constantly eroded and called into question-- this is exemplified by the biologist's husband, who went into Area X on the 11th expedition, and came out as the walking dead . . . this was a man who thought he had been abused as a child, but when-- as an adult-- he saw a classic horror film, it "was only then that he realized that the television set must have been left on when he was only a couple years old" and his memories of abuse were a fake and a forgery, and "that splinter in his mind, never fully dislodged, disintegrated into nothing" and the looming menace, that all of our consciousness is faulty and false and misguided, takes root on every page of this book, and colors every detail of the lush, variegated environment of Area X and whatever lies beyond and below it.

Thank You Netflix!

The Netflix series Stranger Things succeeded where I failed, and convinced my kids that The Clash is the only band that matters.

Cult Classics . . . You Get My Drift?

During a recent recording session for The Test, we discussed the definition of a "cult classic" and the idea that cult classics might not even exist any longer (because of the easy access and ubiquity of everything "cult" on the internet) and we arrived at this conclusion-- a cult classic has to be relatively obscure and difficult to access, but not too obscure . . . because it has to last the test of time in this low-grade state of minor fame . . . when I was a kid, Monty Python and the Holy Grail was a cult classic, I had to track a copy down and buy it to see the film, but now, of course, the movie is world renowned, but a better example would be the satirical film Porklips Now, which I watched multiple times in high school and college; looking back, it's quite bad, but this is before the advent of YouTube, so I guess we didn't have much to choose from if we wanted to watch something beyond the pale of regular media: anyway, go four minutes and fifteen seconds in for my favorite bit of dialogue . . . so you go down and you find Mertz and you know . . . you go through the gate and you find Mertz  and uh . . . what he means is you find him and you know . . . you find Mertz . . . you find him . . . go through the Chinatown gate . . . you find him and you take care of business . . . you go through the gate . . . you get my drift?

The Future Hasn't Happened Yet

In one corner, you've got Robert Gordon claiming that American growth is over-- the greatest technological leaps happened between 1870 and 1970 and those kinds of radical changes will never happen again-- but his premise is challenged by Kevin Kelly's book The Inevitable: Understanding The 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future . . . Kelly envisions a world where we don't own much at all and instead subscribe to services-- the Netflix, Uber model-- but we do this for for everything, and we participate in "dot-Communism" and do a tremendous amount of work for free (e.g. this blog and Wikipedia) including making and placing our own advertisements and photos on the internet for micro-payments, and we live in flowing "real time" of course, where everything happens instantaneously, and most of our jobs are replaced by robots . . . and if you don't think this is possible, check out Kelly's Seven Stages of Robot Replacement (of course my job won't be replaced by a robot-- you say to yourself-- a robot couldn't possibly do what I do . . . it could do some of the things, but not everything . . . and it might break down . . . ok, it can do the routine stuff: grade papers, ask questions, check for reading comprehension . . . but I need to train it to do new stuff and teach new lessons . . . ok, it can do my stupid boring job, but that's because teaching is inhuman and should be done by robots . . . and now my new job-- designing curriculum for robots to teach is much better than my old job and pays more . . . and I'm glad that a robot could never do what I do now . . . and so on) and Kelly readily acknowledges that what will be lost in this real-time, collaborative, cybernetic, collectivist, brand-based, robotic, completely searchable future is what scholars call "literature space," the place your brain goes when you read a book . . . according to scientists, your brain goes to a different place when it is immersed in a large linear logical piece of writing-- what is traditionally known as a book-- as opposed to what Kelly calls "screening," which is using various devices to browse the loosely connected miscellany that is the web . . . but maybe in the future there will be no reason to think that long about any one subject, and it will be considered antiquated to read in that fashion, and we'll be happy wandering from idea to idea, narrative to narrative, video to audio to text to who knows, adding a bit here, taking a bit there, like digital hunter-gatherers, wandering the binary plains.

Lesson Learned . . . The Hard Way

On Tuesday, my son Alex learned that you can't stand behind someone and talk to them while they are hitting tennis balls (Ian's racket hit the ball and then, on the follow through, hit Alex flush in the face . . . Alex immediately hit the deck crying and Ian, to his credit, was really upset-- he had no idea how close Alex was standing to him-- Alex suffered a swollen lip, a sore jaw, and a red mark on his face . . . and I had my usual reaction, which is just terrible but I can't help it, I checked to see if Alex was okay (and he was . . . no blood or dilated eyes or missing teeth) and then I immediately chastised him for being a complete idiot and told him he had learned a valuable lesson: you don't stand near anyone on the tennis court, especially behind them . . . and this pissed him off, so I apologized and said I should have only been concerned with his health and well-being, and I should have talked about the lesson he learned at a later time . . . and-- to Alex's credit-- after sitting out a few minutes, he recovered and play another game with us, and he was quite intimidating, with his misshapen face and all).

The Upside of Genocide

Sentence of Dave does not endorse the act of genocide (although Dave occasionally endorses arachnicide, particularly in the film Starship Troopers) but that doesn't mean that the aftermath of a murderous apocalypse can't have some benefits; in Rwanda, after Hutu extremists slaughtered more than a million people (mainly Tutsis) in 100 days, there weren't many men to be found-- the population was now skewed to 70% women, and so while a typical feminist movement takes time, and goes from Rosie the Riveter to Gloria Steinem to Hillary Clinton, in Rwanda, things moved at a breakneck pace and women's participation in the legislature is mandated; the result is that Rwanda is the only country in the world where more women than men serve as elected officials . . . and this doesn't make everything perfect for women, while they've moved into many typically male professions, they still suffer discrimination at home-- but this may be a last ditch effort for men to preserve traditions that are on the way out (e.g. Donald Trump) and once women enjoy a few generations of economic success and political clout, even those rather sexist Rwandan norms will erode; for more on this topic (and theme) and a compelling story about an all girl Rwandan debate team, listen to Invisibilia: Outside In.

Sorry Chuck, The Inevitable is Coming

Chuck Klosterman concludes his book But What If We're Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past with this thought: "I'm ready for a new tomorrow, but only if it's pretty much like yesterday" and while this is a pleasant thought, there's very little chance of it happening; before he gets to this romantic notion, he speculates on just how much the future will be different from the now, and how that will change the lens through which those future people view our time . . . and he also recognizes that not much will survive the test of time and that we have little to no chance of predicting what those things will be:

1) it's very difficult to predict what band will become the John Philip Sousa of rock'n'roll . . . no one can name another march music composer (and Klosterman points out that in one hundred years Bob Marley and reggae will be synonymous) so you can speculate: Chuck Berry? Led Zeppelin? The Beatles? The Rolling Stones? Def Leppard? who knows?

2) once a genre becomes insular and arcane, it's the "weirdos" who get to curate the art form, and select what is great;

3) American football now seems to be on the outs, as everyone educated knows that the sport is too dangerous because of the head injuries-- but Klosterman points out that this is because football is trying to become the sport for everyone . . . everyone watches a game or two, and almost everyone belongs to some kind of fantasy league or pool and everyone watches the Super Bowl . . . so this is too much exposure for something so dangerous, but there are plenty of sports that are more dangerous-- auto racing, UFC, base-jumping-- but they don't command such a large audience, so football may become less popular, and that may save it-- it may have a core group of diehard fans and  to them, the sport will represent valor and fortitude and toughness and all kinds of conservative values, and the rest of society will look upon it like auto-racing . . . or it may be deemed too dangerous and expensive it may die at the youth levels and go the way of boxing and the dodo . . . we won't know until the future;

4) folks in the future may look at The Matrix as a seminal film not because of the groundbreaking "bullet time" effects, but because the Wachowski Brothers transitioned and became the Wachowski Sisters, and so the world-within-a-world theme takes on an entirely new (and possibly more compelling) spin for future generations;

5) Klosterman concedes that important art from our time should reflect the most important elements of our time and he gives a list of these possibilities, while admitting that we see these through the cloudy and low vantage point of the present, but here are a few . . . and while I don't use quotes, I am usually using his exact words, just truncated: the psychological impact of the internet, the prevailing acceptance of nontraditional sexual identities, the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers, an unclear definition of privacy, a hatred of the wealthiest one percent, the artistic elevation of television, the recession of rock'n'roll and the ascension of hip-hop, a distrust of objective storytelling, the prolonging of adolescence;

BUT, while I love Klosterman and had a great time navigating his ambiguous, philosophical arguments about how we can't predict the future, or how the future will view our present, Kevin Kelly does present a convincing counter-argument in his new book The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future . . . I'll save the summary of his most interesting predictions for another sentence, but, Chuck Klosterman, I'm warning you: tomorrow is going to be nothing like today, and the day after that is going to be exponentially even more wild . . . we've leapt over the edge and into the realm of the zillions . . . zillions of bits of interconnected information, zillions of smart objects, zillions of interconnected screens, zillions of hyperlinked pages, zillions of sprawling dendritic tendrils, stretching across the earth, in an ever-expanding, self-revising smart tangle of digitally connected humanity, so strap yourself in and get ready for a wild ride: we'll be in the future before you know it.

Telekinetic Kids

Not only does my son look like Eleven from Stranger Things, but he can also levitate objects with his mind (and feet).

The Test 58: Can You?

This week on The Test, Stacey puts Cunningham and me on the spot . . . and while we occasionally perform admirably, there's plenty of failure and humiliation as well; as a bonus, there is a rousing debate on the appropriate use of mnemonic devices . . . so give it a shot, keep score, and see if you can too.

The Tale of Dave's Consciousness and the Red XLR

On the way to the Outer Banks, I saw a red Cadillac XLR with vanity plates that said "Red XLR," and my first reaction was critical; I found the plates to be overly literal and a bit on-the-nose (I decided it would have been much funnier if those same plates were on a green minivan or a blue SUV) but upon reconsideration, I have decided that selecting such a literal description of your car on your vanity plates is actually a bold move, and here is why: if you commit a crime-- hit and run, bank robbery, kidnapping-- and then try to escape in your red Cadillac XLR, with vanity plates that say "Red XLR," there is little or no hope to escape the clutches of the law, because if someone gets a glimpse of your plates, not only have you cemented the make and model of the car in the memory of the witness, but the witness is also going to remember the plates much easier than if they said "PAZ-76T" . . . so really what that driver is saying with those plates is either "I am not a crook" or "I am the most badass crook around."

Who is Rude? Dave or Catherine? You Be the Judge!

When two married teachers occupy the same space in the summertime, there are bound to be conflicts (and they will usually center around the sink) and I don't think I can write an unbiased report about our latest incident, and so I'll just present the facts of this most recent kitchen controversy and let you be the judge:

1) my wife just finished all the dishes and cleaned the sink;

2) I was in the middle of a rather long-winded oration to my children, moving towards the peroration; the subject matter was their schedule in the following week-- they weren't attending camp and so I was rattling off the different things that they would be doing: Khan Academy math, practicing musical instruments, researching intriguing topics, doing chores, walking the dog . . . and I certainly had no exit strategy from this speech and might have been rambling a bit, and my kids might have been concentrating on reading their cereal boxes rather than taking notes BUT . . . well, I'll try to just state the facts and let you be the judge;

3) in the midst of my monologue, I put my yogurt bowl into the sink;

4) my wife INTERRUPTED my monologue to tell me that I was rude, and that proper etiquette indicated that I should have put my dirty bowl into the dishwasher, because she had just unloaded the dishwasher and cleaned the sink, and dirty dishes belong in the dishwasher, not clogging up a clean sink;

5) I countered and said SHE was being rude, because she interrupted my monologue to the children, and I also argued that it was NOT rude to put a dirty dish in the sink, even if someone had just cleaned it, because we always put dirty dishes in the sink . . . it's sort of a way-station to the dishwasher;

6) she pointed out that I interrupt people all the time, and I acknowledged that I was working on that problem, and that just because I did it, didn't make it right;

7) the kids happily watched us argue, because they were no longer on the receiving end of my monologue;

8) at some point, I told my wife that I would take full responsibility for doing the dishes and that the dishes would be my domain, i would be in charge of them and I would get them done in my own particular style and manner;

9Who Is Rude? Dave or Catherine? You Be the Judge!) several days later, when she arrived home from the gym and saw that I had half-completed the dishes, she gave me an "F" . . . and I argued that now that I was in charge of the dishes, I could do them in any time-frame I was fit . . . she countered with the fact that I knew her friend was coming over and I countered that with the fact that having a few dirty dishes in the house doesn't make the house dirty, and I'd also like to point out that when she chastised me for not finishing the dishes, I was in the midst of an intense game of MarioKart 8 with Alex and his friend, and her comment influenced my play and cost me the race, and so I would also like to receive compensation for damages.

The Test 57: Love Me Some Elevators

This week on The Test, the ladies reveal that they have something in common with Aerosmith: an inordinate passion for vertical people movers; while we avoid politics, we do not avoid controversy (there's an elevator-related religious discussion) and-- as a special bonus-- Coach Brady makes a frenetic cameo appearance . . . give this one a shot, elevate your intelligence, and see if you can beat Stacey (despite the fact that she's married to a dude who builds elevators for a living).

Blue Pill AND Red Pill in One Podcast

The current political climate is coloring everything I listen to, and so when The Magic Bureaucrat and his Riverside Miracle, an episode of 99% Invisible, began with a story of welfare reform that seemed to be a conservative's wet dream, I was wary; 99% Invisible, though usually about design, takes a fairly liberal view of the world-- innovation is good, new ideas and designs can empower people, and we are progressing towards better and better designs of nearly everything-- the story begins with Larry Townsend's new welfare program in Riverside, which would come to be known as workfare and would encourage welfare recipients to "find a job, any job" instead of getting education and training . . . and this was during the Clinton years and the program was regarded as a huge success . . . BUT the story takes a predictably liberal turn, and the reasons are significant and very topical and I think both liberals and conservatives could learn something from the piece, about the economy, economic research, and the power of music . . . Townsend enlisted his staff to make an album of original songs in various genres to inspire people on welfare to get a job (and spent a few thousand dollars of taxpayer money to produce the album) and, in case you were wondering: yes there's some '90's rap on there and it's stupendous.

Taking the Purple Pill: Trying to Step Outside the Moral Matrix

This sentence is going to be a random, stream-of-consciousness mess, but I think (for once) my form fits my function: lately, I have been trying my damndest to understand the polarization between liberals and the conservatives in our country, and how this is shaping the current economic policy and the election platforms . . . I've been doing my homework and listening to conservative talk radio-- some Rush Limbaugh and plenty of Mark Levin, and in between the overblown rhetoric, the ranting about Hillary "Rotten" Clinton . . . how she is a felon and a serial liar and the devil incarnate, the disgust with poor people and immigrants, the lack of empathy for people of color, the absolute hatred for the government and its programs and the possibility that our liberties might be curtailed (guns!), the fear of socialism and any redistribution of wealth, the paranoia that taxation and public works projects will just allow the government to get its dirty hands on our money, and like the mafia, take its cut-- as a public school teacher, it's hard to listen to this-- but in between all this vitriol, there is a kernel of an idea that these conservative blowhards are trying to espouse . . . that the government should be smaller and taxes should be lower and regulations should be less and that the best way to produce wealth is an unfettered free market-- and while is think this is true in a limited sense, for certain goods and products, I also think a free market is expensive and volatile with certain things, especially things that we wish to flow: electricity, water, health care, infrastructure . . . we just want these things to be reliable so that other things can work on top of them, and I also think there's a question of externalities, which the conservatives rarely mention . . . but underneath all the hatred there is something to talk about, and I find it interesting that the conservatives don't agree with all Trump has to say, especially on jobs and government infrastructure spending and protectionism and minimum wage . . . meanwhile, the liberals want a revolution-- free college, free healthcare, higher living wages, alternative energy, restrictions on corporations, control of externalities, and equal treatment for all people: rich, poor, immigrant, native, white, black, gay, transgender, and don't mind some redistribution of wealth to encourage this, and I've been listening to the ultra-liberal and fairly funny Citizen Radio to get a bead on some real radical left wing logic and emotions, and while I have more in common with those ideas, they can be really annoying and idealistic and insular and obnoxious as well . . . and it doesn't seem like any of these candidates or their followers are going to do what Jonathan Haidt suggests in his TED talk and "step outside the moral matrix" and actually look at what some smart people have figured out, which is that it's a combination of free markets and regulations that make economies work, and no one knows the exact balance . . . read some Ha-joon Chang to understand "kicking away the ladder," which is how many developed countries arrived at economic stability and wealth through complex and strategic protectionism, tariffs, regulation of foreign investment, regulation on imports and exports, and subsidies-- but then once these these nations (and he uses America, Britain, and his home country of North Korea as his prime examples) have reached a position of economic power, they use institutions such as the WTO and the IMF, treaties, embargoes, copyright law, and tariffs to force impoverished nations into adopting extreme free market policies despite the fact that these countries are not ready to compete in a free market . . . in other words, there's no magic bullet for an economy and it takes a mixture of ideology to understand this, which is what Jonathan Haidt's TED talk is about, his research shows that while there is some consensus between liberals and conservative on fairness/reciprocity and harm/care as valid moral concerns, conservatives tend to be much less open to experience and thus much more concerned with three moral traits that liberals don't interest liberals: purity/sanctity . . . so the strict interpretation of the Constitution . . . in-group/loyalty . . . so "real" Americans and patriotism and military jingoism and Ronald Reagan as God . . . and authority/respect . . . so law and order and belief in the police and a more traditional patriarchy and Christmas and religion and all that . . . and Haidt points out to the mainly liberal crowd (he polled them, and it's a typical TED talk audience: open to progress, science, and new ideas and almost entirely liberal) that BOTH of these mentalities are required to create a great society . . . there needs to be some revolution and progress, but order is also delicate and hard to maintain and actually requires the three moral traits that liberals tend to ignore . . . now Trump throws a bit of a monkey wrench in this because he doesn't seem to be concerned with some typical conservative values-- purity and respect for authority-- and so his economic and policy plans might be something entirely new (and unpalatable in some respects to the "true" conservative) while Clinton certainly can be more jingoistic about the military and more loyal to her group (the Democrats) than a typical rebellious, progress-minded liberal might like and while I know that these two sides are never going to love each other, or even see eye-to-eye . . . conservatives work on a five-channel moral system while liberals work on two-channels, so conservatives will always be annoying to liberals because they care passionately about more stuff and seem angry, and liberals will always seem to be amoral libertine radicals because they don't care about enough things, but we are going to have to embrace the fact that what makes America great is diversity, and Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and Ronald Reagan are part of that diversity, and those conservative views-- which I often find hateful and ranting and humorless-- are important, just as important as the stereotypical diversity most liberals embrace: multi-cultural, multi-gender, pan-religious, multi-ethnic diversity . . . diversity that appeals to people who are open to all kinds of experience, the diversity that leads to a wide-variety of good restaurants, many of them quite cheap . . . such as the new Tacoria in New Brunswick . . . and that's what this is all about, right?
A New Sentence Every Day, Hand Crafted from the Finest Corinthian Leather.