Heaven and Earth
Thoughts on Baseball, Art, and Other Altered States

Tobacco Road
Tom Rogers and the Philip Morris Tollway

Coyote Waits
Native American folklore says that Coyote will outlive us all and be the last survivor on earth

Hallucination Engine Revisited
The Psycho-dynamic Obsolescence of General Motors

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The Unknowable Selfie: Looking at the Tech Mirror
OK. I’ll come out of the closet. I admit it. Here goes: I don’t have any gay relatives. I’ve looked and listened everywhere. Family trees. Prying neighbors. Deathbed confessions. But alas, it seems that my entire family is chuck full of breeders. As a result, my presidential aspirations crashed.

Not so for Dick Gephardt. Just when you thought his political career was bunker-busted (at least among anti-deceptive-pre-emptive war fanatics like myself) Gephardt pulled a rabbit out of his presidential candidate hat. In a Democratic triangulatory coup, his daughter Chrissy, we are told, turned out to be a lesbian.

I didn’t learn about Gephardt’s liberal family agenda on an envelope grabber to some political junk mail, although I’m sure I will in the future. I read about it in Los Angeles Times, under the headline, “Gephardt raises the stakes for gay voters.”

“Gay activists are ecstatic,” los Times said, “hailing the event as evidence that homosexuality is now so widely accepted by voters that candidates who ignore the homosexual community do so at their own risk.”

With an absence of gay relatives, my political future was in jeopardy. I phoned my cousins and asked if any of them would be willing to change sides. There were no takers. I sulked for at least an hour and a half. That bastard Gephardt had screwed me good. The Nathan Callahan for President 2004 Exploratory Committee was about to disband.

Then, as if transported to a cross-dressing bugle-blowing cavalry vignette, I was rescued by my friend, Kitty.

“I was disturbed to read that gay activists are ‘ecstatic’ about Richard Gephardt and his lesbian daughter, Chrissy, who will join his campaign, “ Kitty said. “My fear is that the gay political power structure will seize upon this very irrelevant aspect and throw their full weight behind the warmongering Mr. Gephardt at the expense of other, more important issues. There is a growing movement for the other candidates because they are more aligned with a true liberal agenda rather than the failed, business-as-usual strategy employed to force us to accept the lesser of two evils.

“This may be what we have to accept in 2004, but be assured it will be a very reluctant rather than blanket endorsement. And it won't be given without a fight.

“While I acknowledge that her presence and activism is a great advance for our community, I don't give one whit that Ms. Gephardt is a lesbian, and neither should other gay and lesbian voters.”

Thank you, Kitty. I don’t give one whit either. Now tell me, does it count that my grandmother liked Eleanor Roosevelt?

— Nathan Callahan, June 10, 2003

Are you oversleeping, undersleeping, binge eating, tying one on, gambling like a Bill Bennett, hyperactive or just plain out of sorts? Get used to it. You live on a bipolar planet.

Summer Solstice — June 21 — is the official start of summer and the day the North pole inclines to its farthest point sunward. This global tipping does more than force our clocks into daylight savings. On solstice day, the world suffers from a bipolarity that is not only chronologic, but emotional. Everyone North of the equator (that includes the United States, Mr. Bush) will be experiencing the longest day and shortest night of the year. With the greatest amount of sunlight at hand, our pineal glands will be working serious overtime hours. As a result our serotonin levels will rise.

Experienced Prozac users know that when serotonin is up, so are emotional joy factors. June 21 is the northern hemisphere's serotonin festival — nature's way of giving us a Prozac/MDMA high.

But for every yin there is a yang. Down under on the southern curves of the earth, June 21 is the winter solstice — the shortest day of the year. Less light equals less serotonin. Less serotonin equals less mood elevation. The medical profession, as if it didn't have enough subcatagories already, christened this dim human condition — SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

So while we're cresting, Southern Hemispherians will be bottoming out. Globally and pineally speaking, the summer/winter solstice is Worldwide Manic Depression Day — high in one hemisphere, low in the other.
Avoid long-distance North South flights. Anchorage to Tierra del Fuego is out. Business contracts involving anyone below the Tropic of Capricorn should be avoided at all costs. Remember: We will be giddy, they'll be cranky.

To experience the ecstasy of this occasion, stay above the equator on the 21st. May you have an joyous abundance of solstice serotonin. In six months you're in for an astronomical mood swing.

— Nathan Callahan, June 10, 2003


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