Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Myth of the Mighty Mississipp'

I decided to take a nice, leisurely bike ride to the Mississippi River today. There's a lovely trail that follows Rice Creek through a wooded hollow from New Brighton to where it meets the river in Fridley. Or where I thought it did.

Due to construction, there was a detour I found somewhat difficult to follow. The route didn't seem to be taking me any closer to the river, until I realized the shocking truth. This is all that remains of the Mighty Mississipp':

Through internet research, I discovered that the Mississippi River ran dry over a century ago, shortly after the historian Frederick Jackson Turner announced the closing of the American frontier in 1890. What we've been led to believe is the Mississippi River is actually an open sewer system that funnels the waste of Mid-America into the Gulf of Mexico. Chemicals are pumped into the sewage at strategic locations to mask the smell and create the physical illusion of water.

This elaborate hoax was concocted by the nation's captains of industry to avert a Socialist revolution and the miscegenation that would surely result. With the active collaboration of the press and federal and state governments, America's leading industrialists oversaw the construction of a 2,320-mile-long concrete trench in the dry riverbed.

It was the greatest hoax ever perpetrated against the American people (until 9/11). But it's time people knew the truth. Fiat justitia ruat caelum. "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." That's what I say.

Nah, I'm just joshin' ya! Here are some river pix to ease your troubled minds:

Monday, October 12, 2015

Hipsters of a Certain Age

I'm getting too old to be a hipster. I'm tired of trying to keep up with fashion trends. I've reached that age when hipsters either start dressing like cool adults or give up and procreate. Unfortunately, I have all the personality traits of a parent except the desire to be one.

I'm a creature of habit. I like stability and security. I've never really liked the night life, baby, so my interest in going out is driven solely by my desire to make new friends and meet women. (I remain stubbornly single due to my aforementioned homebody tendencies and self-sabotaging thought patterns.)

Is there anything sadder than the aging hipster? The sight of a middle-aged man (This condition seems to afflict women at a much lower rate.) clinging to the final moments of his window of coolness brings tears to my mind's eye. I don't wanna be that guy.

I don't wanna listen to that sad bastard music anymore. Maybe most Top 40 doesn't have the same depth or artistry as indie rock, but at least they're lookin' on the bright side! Sometimes I wanna grab those mopey indie rockers and shake some sense into 'em.

"Snap out of it! Your problems aren't that bad! I've got real problems! Help me out here! Give me a peppy, chipper, happy song for once, or at least something that doesn't make me wanna blow my brains out! That'd be really nice!"

Teenagers and 20-something's can wallow in that self-pity, because they don't have any real problems yet. Once you hit your 30's though, then you've got real problems, and the sad bastard music just brings you down.

I'm glad I rediscovered musicals during my Return of Saturn (age 27) breakdown. Those also gave me a better appreciation for my parents. (They love musicals and are pretty corny.) I learned the value of what I'd previously thought of as cornball, cock-eyed optimism.

The difference between happiness and sadness can be as arbitrary as one's perspective. Intellectually, I believe that, but it'll take a while before I can fully embrace the concept emotionally.