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Category Archive for ‘trends’ at Three Roads Blog
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Archive for the 'trends' Category Page 2 of 4



Talking = tough

FINALLY, thanks to Obama and an increasingly message-savvy Democratic party, the correct approach to dealing with distasteful regimes now has the right rhetorical framework, which can be boiled down to this phrase: “strength is diplomacy.”

Moreover, those who don’t talk to people they don’t like are …

  • Politically weak (afraid of a photo opp with a bad guy)
  • Shameless (pandering to Cuban-Americans in order to win Florida, for example)
  • Ineffective (not talking has gotten us nowhere)

Those who do talk to people they don’t like (keeping in mind that merely talking is not appeasement) are …

  • Traditional (continuing the long American tradition of talking with the enemy)
  • Strong (as in not hiding in Washington behind blustery statements)
  • Diplomats (no further explanation needed)

Arugula

A LOT OF FUSS has been made of Barack Obama’s chagrin at the price of arugula at Whole Foods. For the past couple weeks, arugula has been, for McCain and the right wing of the Republican party, a handy emblem for Obama’s alleged “liberal elitism.” Move over latte, arugula is the new gastronomical weapon of the reverse snobs of the right (who are, as it happens, usually beltway insiders who are pretty well fed on fancy food, but I digress … )

[Full disclosure: Three Roads blog loves the lively and spicy taste of arugula but usually buys it at the local Albertson's, not at Whole Foods, so I'm not in a position to bemoan the cost of arugula. I simply bemoan the cost of everything at Whole Paycheck Foods.]

So if we’ve left the era of the latte-liberal, what’s going to be the catchy, reductive and polarizing term that incorporates the leafy green vegetable known as arugula? Here are some ideas, free for use to all conservatives who frequent this blog (I’m looking at you, John Lofton!):

  • Demarugulas
  • Arugulacrats
  • Liberugulas

Hmmm. As you can see, none of these has the same snap as latte liberal. Maybe it’s alliteration that we need! Ok, here goes:

Arugula ahhh … arugula ahhh ….

I’m stuck. Can anyone think of an a-word that describes people who are left of center? Aristocrat could work, but it’s historic ties are to, I would guess, a more conservative political ideology.

Let me know if you come up with anything.

Leave job, take insurance.

WHAT A CONCEPT. And what a politically brilliant way to frame the debate.

I don’t get it.

privatize-gains-socialize-l.jpgI CAN UNDERSTAND the Fed’s desire to preempt a larger financial crisis by helping broker a deal between JPMorgan and Bear Stearns.

I can also muster a high degree of sympathy for the hapless Bear employees who had everything in Bear stock.

I can’t, however, fathom why Bear shareholders should be entitled to get a certain price for their shares. I just don’t get it. (Please, someone explain it to me.)

I’ve never used the following acronym before, but it seems fitting now:

WTF?

Heady

Roger Cohen in the Times:

I understand the rage of his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, however abhorrent its expression at times. I admire Obama for saying: “I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.”

Honesty feels heady right now. For seven years, we have lived with the arid, us-against-them formulas of Bush’s menial mind, with the result that the nuanced exploration of America’s hardest subject is almost giddying. Can it be that a human being, like Wright, or like Obama’s grandmother, is actually inhabited by ambiguities? Can an inquiring mind actually explore the half-shades of truth?

Yes. It. Can.

A New Type of Sadness

Talking to my mom on the phone yesterday, the subject of the weather came up. The temperature in Vermont—keep in mind this is January—was pushing 60 degrees. Earlier that day, I’d heard there were flood warnings for upstate New York and parts of Vermont.

Here in Colorado, winter is typically peppered with mild days, some of which go into 60 degree territory. Vermont, however, is not supposed to be like Colorado.

“It’s creepy,” my mom said of the warm spell.

I agreed. Pause.

This month’s issue of Wired Magazine features a short article with the headline, “How the Next Victim of Climate Change Will Be Our Minds,” and it tells the story of Glenn Albrecht, an Australian philosopher who has created a new word.

The word, solastalgia, is an amalgam of the latin words solacium (comfort) and algia (pain), “which together aptly conjure the word nostalgia,” notes the author of the story.

Albrecht created the new word to describe the reaction of his fellow Aussies to the effects of climate change.

In interviews Albrecht conducted over the past few years, scores of Australians described their deep, wrenching sense of loss as they watch the landscape around them change. Familiar plants don’t grow any more. Gardens won’t take. Birds are gone. “They no longer feel like they know the place they’ve lived for decades,” [Albrecht] says.

The current and potential economic and environmental effects of climate change are forefront in people’s minds. But what about the mental effects? Albrecht’s observations are a wake-up call: there will be a mental toll to climate change. “In the modern, industrialized West, many of us have forgotten how deeply we rely on the stability of nature for our psychic well-being,” says Albrecht.

Thinking about my conversation with my mom, with this new word in my brain, I guess there was a sense of loss in our exchange. It wasn’t creepy that Vermont was so warm in January—it was just sad.

Writer Clive Thompson closes the article with this harrowing thought: “In a world that’s quickly heating up and drying up, you can’t go home again — even if you never leave.”

w00t

Merriam Webster announced their Word of the Year yesterday: the word is w00t—spelled with two zeros instead of Os. It’s a exclamation of joy spoken by a video game player.

Yeah, pretty silly. Destined for the shelf of embarrassingly dumb words. Right next to hella.