my jaundiced eye

the absurdities of life

Month: March, 2016

god is my campaign manager

god is my campaign manager

You know things are really and truly in the political dumpster when ted cruz is considered to be the great taupe hope of the republican party. The sages caution us that those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. MJE agrees, the careful examination of political history may well result in its repetition, which is just what cruz’s spin doctor ordered.

Back in the last golden era of Louisiana politics, before right wing dweebs like Bobby Jindal and his ilk threw a wet blanket over the electoral fun, we had Edwin Edwards. He was a rapscallion of the highest order, beloved by all who appreciated his dexterity with legal technicalities as well as the English language. He once proudly proclaimed that the only way he’d ever get thrown out of office would be if he were “caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.” And he wasn’t far wrong.

In 1991 Edwin was running for his fourth non-consecutive term as governor. The feds had been sniffing around him for years, suspecting all manner of skullduggery. That baliwick is so common that any Louisiana politico not under investigation demonstrates a breathtaking lack of ambition. Edwin’s best hope was to compete against an opponent even more unsavory than he was. Enter stage far right david duke, a white supremacist and former KKK grand wizard. Only in Louisiana would you find political bumper stickers that read “Vote for the crook. It’s important.” I suspect that edwin’s craven cronies recognized divine intervention when they saw it and surely a local nazi and aspiring politician was a gift from the gods. But how would a reviled figure like david duke manage to raise the substantial funds necessary to wage what appeared to be a “legitimate” campaign. The answer just might be from the one source that really, really wanted him on the ballot. The Silver Fox handily won the election.

The parallels to the current republican frontrunners are striking. How could mr cruz, the most detested member of congress (and beyond) possibly win the nomination? The man who just weeks ago was described as so loathed by his colleagues that he could be murdered on the senate floor in full view of the members and the murderer would be acquitted for lack of an eye witness. Perhaps the self-righteous evangelical called upon the gods for a similar divine intervention. “Please god, send me an opponent even more repellent than I am, if such a specimen walks this earth. “

And so sayeth the lord, I deliver unto you donald trump. Verily, of all my creations, he alone has the ability to make you seem tolerable and that my son is one hellova miracle.

spire!

spire!

Some time ago MJE wrote about the Fitbit, which I then thought was the plus non ultra in full frontal digital narcissism. In that same post I predicted the probable invention of a gadget that would document and regulate a number of bodily functions. It did not occur to MJE that there might be a market for a device that measures not your colonic progress but the dryer lint of your brain. MJE grossly underestimated several things: the astronomical levels of self absorption, the dim intellectual wattage of the populace and the speed with which some huckster could exploit both. Folks the future is now.

Meet “Spire!” The Wall Street Journal (a publication I rarely read because it doesn’t reinforce my world view) reported on a new device called, “Spire!.” which advertises itself as “your personal mindfulness coach.” It promises to reduce your stress by 50% via “smart notifications and gentle reminders.” Personally, MJE finds that mindless activities are the best stress reducers around, but that’s just me.

“Spire!” clips onto your bra or jock strap and monitors your breathing which is, according to the“Spire!”-land marketing department, a better indicator of your cerebral wellbeing than a brain scan. It is “backed by seven years of research.” So what, the OB&C has been “researching” a magnetic bead technology for 11 years and it still doesn’t work worth a crap.

“Spire coaches you to a more calm, balanced state of mind. It tracks and improves your state of mind by allowing you to discover when you’re stressed, where it happens, and what you were doing.” Yeah, well booze and xanax do that too and I can guarantee you that I don’t need any gentle reminders for those.

The online accolades from “Simone,” “Michael” and “Hilary” are so effusive that you want to cyber stalk them and make their lives really miserable. Then we’ll see just how effective “Spire!” really is.