Understanding the theory and practice of Christian fasting can be difficult. So to guide the perplexed through to the blessings of clarity, I can think of none better than BRAK! BRAK FROM SPACE GHOST! LET BRAK EXPLAIN THE THEOLOGY!
(as he explained Romantic Love!)
Lent is a solemn time
All throughout the Universe.
It’s when the sinful part of the species goes to the God and says,
“Hey! Do you wanna bless my austerities?”
And then He would say,
“Why, yes, I’d like to bless your austerities”
IF YER LUCKY
And then, they’d go forty days, and they get something called
and not a big piece of beef
That they don’t eat
And that, to me, ladies and gentlemen… is Lent.
Kinda makes you cry, doesn’t it?
A good fast to all. Paschal blessings await.
I just finished a biography of Bella Abzug. Abzug was one of the leaders of the second wave of feminism and a leading political voice of the Seventies. These days she has been sadly and unjustifiably forgotten. Youtube has this video of her, one of the few examples on the site of footage of her in her prime.
I quite enjoyed learning about Bella, but I couldn’t help–I beg her forgiveness–the whole time I was reading it, I kept hearing:
White on white translucent big hats
Pinned on her head
Bella Abzug is dead
Ed Koch has left the House floor
NOW statements have been read
Redistrict lines, the ballot box
Bella Abzug is dead
Bella Abzug is dead
Undead undead undead
Undead undead undead!
The feminist groups file past her tomb
Strewn with position papers
Bereft in sisterly gloom
Alone with Ted Kennedy
Bella Abzug is dead!
And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us
Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.
Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
It is Lent.
If the world wants the Truth, let them sit down a doctor and a banker together to compare notes.
Anyone who wants to think deep thoughts–anyone who claims to be a philosopher or a theologian–should be rigidly excluded from the conversation, having proven by their urges to be incompetent of contributing.
OPEC has not had effective pricing power for well over thirty years.
OPEC only had control over world oil prices between 1973 and some unspecifiable point in the early 80s, and only because prices were generally rising then anyway.
During the 70s, the price of oil shot through the roof. Many trembled in awe before the power of OPEC. However, while OPEC was being so powerful, investment in oil exploration and production cranked into high gear. Over time, this resulted in greatly enhanced world oil production. In 1982, a worldwide recession caused demand for, and the price of, oil to go into the basement. Even after the economy recovered, oil prices did not, and, with the exception of an anomalous spike in 1990 due to the First Gulf War, they stayed in that basement until the turn of the century.
OPEC couldn’t do jack squat about low oil prices. The members would meet and set restricted quotas, trying to prod the market. Then they would all go home and cheat on those quotas. They had to; most of them had nothing else to drive their economies. This is problem with cabals.
In 1998, after the Asian financial crisis cut demand, oil was going for $12 a barrel.
(Not coincidentally, those years saw America fall in love with SUVs.)
Since 2000, we’ve had a dramatic price rise caused by production declines meeting growing demand. Which meant…investment in exploration & production cranked into high gear! Leading to our current price sink. It’s a cycle. And OPEC can’t do jack squat about it.
Each generation of Americans dies in a country alien to that into which it was born.
Every fifty years, to arbitrarily pick a round figure, sees a new America.
Rereading, for the umpteenth time, The Thin Man, it strikes me that Hammett was insightful, that, as was said “He is a great observer, and he looks quite through the deeds of men.” He saw how people worked, how society worked.
His reaction to this vision was to drink himself to death.
You can’t blame him.