Saturday, December 15, 2012

Damniato Memoriae

December 15, 2012. I've logged back into my blog thing that I haven't used since I don't know when, because I have some stuff to get off my chest, and it's too long to write on Facebook. Facebook is a hard place to be today, because of (a) people trying to show how massively well intentioned their grief is, (b) people wanting to debate guns and gun control, and (c) people wanting to talk about god or the lack thereof.

Too soon, everybody. Way too soon. Let's give the people of Newtown and their loved ones some breathing room to mourn, and to bury their honored dead. Everybody who's trying to play politics at this point is building their platform on other people's dead children, and it's fucking despicable. Well, it's the third most despicable thing about Newtown. I don't have to talk about the most despicable thing, and I'll explain why not in a minute.

The second most despicable thing in Newtown CT tonight is the media. I read a quote attributed to Morgan Freeman (although that's unproven as of now) that most everybody who's got a Facebook account probably also read today. Whether Freeman said it or not, there's a nugget of truth there. Jack the Ripper, Jim Jones, David Koresh, Manson, Klebold, Harris. Every one of these names is famous (infamous), because somebody wrote them down, and the media repeated them, over, and over, and over again until they were burned into out societal psyche. The victims' names will be forgotten by society at large, but the killers' will live on forever. Isn't that exactly backwards?

The Romans and some other cultures had a practice that we in the Western world should emulate: Damniato Memoriae, the damnation of memory. Those found guilty of heinous acts had their names removed from public edifices, their statues and busts smashed, and every possible reminder of their existence removed. Why should we let mass murderers keep their name, their identity, their infamy? If we have to name them, why not name them nil, nihil, void, blank?

We should erase their names and photographs from every record. Let their birth certificates be destroyed, their school yearbooks blacked out, their names be stricken from every news item. Delete their twitter feeds, user accounts, online photo albums, Facebook walls, and anything else containing their name or image. Let those who knew them never mention their names again. Deny them the fame their final, desperate, despicable and nihilistic acts inherently cry out for. Let the media go home, turn out the lights, and allow those most closely affected to grieve.

You, reader, can be a part of that denial as well. Turn off your tv. Deny the 24 hour news cycle access to your mind. Turn it off, let the facts come out as they will. When the time is right, lets have those discussions and political debates, but lets all agree to never, ever name the killer again. Let his name sink into ignominy and nothingness, not infamy. That's still a kind of fame.

12/15/12, Littleton, CO

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A run, and two dumpers.

"Turn Joe Into a Runner" project, updated: Week 5 of C25k is complete, with a slow 20 minute jog. I know it doesn't sound like much, but for me, it is. I'm honestly kind of proud of myself, even though I was admittedly dogging it a bit on the run.

"Make Tasty Beer" project, updated: I'm bummed. earlier this year, I made two batches of beer with washed Cry Havoc yeast. Either I fermented WAY too warm, or the yeast was off, because both beers (a blonde ale and a 90 shilling-type ale) turned out amazingly estery.

Hpoing to recover the beers, I kegged them and let them condition for four months in the basement. Nope, still nasty.

I think it's time to dump 'em and move on. Sigh.
I need the keg space anyhow. Time to brew my Oktoberfest Ale and start thinking about holiday beer.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Just an update...

Well, the "turning Joe into a runner" campaign is going well, and I'm nearly halfway through the C25K program. One of the best things I've found is Letsyn's C25K Podcasts. They contain audio cues for when the walk vs. run intervals change, so I'm not looking at my watch the whole time I'm running. Instead, I load the week's intervals into a sound mixer (I like Audacity), layer in whatever music I want to use for my run, and write it out as an MP3 track I can play on my crackberry. Easy, peasy.

Brewing update? No news is no news. It's hard to get weekend time in the summer, what with kiddo's schedule and something to do seemingly every weekend. Fall is coming. I need to start an Oktoberfest soon.