My apologies for the long absence. Your humble contributor Zadig has been reduced to a state of speechless stupefaction of late owing to a potent infusion of the zeitgeist, but I offer now a brief intermission from Lozen the Apache Warrior Princess's desperate and hopeless pleas to keep the last free-flowing river in Arizona alive.
My vacation all started with Senator Larry Craig's perfect-ten interview with Matt Lauer (analysis by Andrew Sullivan here) followed quick on its nervously tapping heels by Bush's ominous mention of World War III; the cocktail was further enhanced with unrecommended ruminations over the recent revelations of the Nature Conservancy's seemingly joyful poisoning of prairie dogs and the subsequent depressing announcement that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals would grant en banc review of their recent panel decision to reverse a mercenary and pointless Forest Service project that would expand the Snowbowl ski area near Flagstaff onto the Navajo people's most sacred peak (made possible with man-made "snow" made from reclaimed sewage) along with that agency's simultaneous new rule to absolve it from the need to conduct public review or environmental analysis of a host of actions like logging (if done to "enhance wildlife habitat"), remote natural spring "development" for livestock watering, and oil and gas drilling. It all concluded with a piece denying the import of global warming from my former hero Daniel Botkin, in the Wall Street Journal (fairly poor Realclimate.org rebuttal here). Tip back that that particular cocktail and your head will spin too, dear reader, assuming you are not yet a robot.
My admittedly unorthodox reaction to these past few weeks has been to attempt to write an illustrated children's book that incorporates the fascinating Larry Craig affair with the World War III reference (oh this reminds me -- what kind of bemused response do people from South America have to the label "World War" for the great and the second world wars? Anyone know? I mean, they weren't really involved, right?-- but that's an aside), the biography of the military genius Red Cloud (a real-life Cassandra, who after winning his war against all odds was summoned on a peace mission to Washington D.C., and returned a broken man, newly aware that his people could never prevail over the superior numbers and technology of the whites, and he died--in an irony of ironies that haunts me every single day--spurned by his people for his perceived cowardice and in terrible pain and nearly blinded from eye cataracts--just think about that a second), and Hunter S. Thompson's staggeringly perceptive essay on Jean-Claude Killy. For some reason though I can't quite get the children's book to work right. It's a great idea and it all makes perfect sense until you try to do the illustrations.
I did however along the way discover a new diet some of you may be interested in, and I think I can guarantee favorable results. First, although not strictly necessary, if you can, try to create some kind of fundamentally inexplicable personal incident that results in ostracism from your entire social network (for enlightening but somewhat hard-going background, see pp. 63-172 in this troublesome book) and then spend a few weeks, while mourning and attempting to grasp and explain your new pariah status, striving to write aforesaid fruitless, and probably insane, children's book. During that period consume the following:
Breakfast: 4-10 cups coffee, plus cigarettes. Tap water to taste. Don't touch that dial--your state is far too fragile for those sanctimonious imbeciles on NPR. Instead, listen to this.
Lunch: coffee (as needed), 1/2 bagel with cream cheese, and any chapter from this book.
Dinner: coffee, cigarettes, 6-10 beers. Re-read pages 3-28 and 119-127 of this great but deeply flawed book. Try to complete this task before beer no. 5.
Late snack: bowl of something you find in the refrigerator, plus 2-4 double nightcaps. Note: never smoke in bed, at least not while drinking and reading.
Stick to this regimen with any degree of fidelity and I am confident you will see a dramatic alteration of your waistline (you'll need it for your trip to white person's Disneyland over the holidays), but even better you will achieve a zen state of clarity--rare these days--that is both empirically provable as true and demonstrably insane. Take it from me.
See you next week!