slouching towards zanzibar…

SOTU is in a half hour or so. To my mind, this is when the second Obama Administration begins (everything since the election –Hagel, Brennan, drone memos, the fiscal cliff– has just been the usual noise and aftermath, at this scale). That just seems to be part of the national rhythm. Between that, and exhaustion, I haven’t been paying as much attention to politics since the election as I usually do.

It’s been a bizarre few weeks, outside of politics: Aaron Swartz committed suicide over the JSTOR case. Iran may (or may not) have launched a monkey into space and got it back to Earth safely. North Korea managed to sort of launch a rocket, and then went on to confirm that they could still make Uranium go critical under highly controlled conditions underground. We had a Blizzard of ’78 class storm here. The pope resigned (like many, I didn’t even know he could do that). An ex-cop starts out on an OJ-esque rampage of revengeful murders and multi-cop chase scenes, and (as I write this) ends up in a Waco-esque burning cabin, complete with billowing black smoke (in karmic honor of the upcoming Conclave, I can only assume).

Oh, and Ted Nugent (who has made physical threats against coined some disturbingly colorful ‘metaphors’ involving POTUS in the past) will attend the SOTU, at the personal invitation of some (to me) obscure Tea-Party House member.

Compare this to the post-2003 career trajectory of the ill-fated, anti-Bush Dixie Chicks.

About ten minutes to SOTU now. And they’re announcing Dorner’s apparent death (and that of at least one deputy). Finishing up just in time for the 9pm speech coverage. Tidy, that.

The title came to me as I was typing my news summary, it really is the Stand on Zanzibar era in some ways… and I really do need to finish that book.

no peanuts in church…

…probably had something to do with allergic reactions in crowded spaces.

The last time I was on an airplane, they wouldn’t give me my bag of peanuts. Because the kid in front of me was allergic.

Some actuary had actually modeled, computed and assessed the risk of me spraying the kid in the seat in front of me with Sublime Airborne Peanut Spray, thereby causing their horrible death via anaphylactic shock.  And my taste for peanuts (and sincere need for vegetable protein) were just not worth the actuarial risk.

Ok, fine. I didn’t want to kill anyone. I had just wanted to eat some peanuts.

That said, I (much later) remembered the old Boston Puritans had outlawed eating peanuts in church, long ago, and it was still technically on the books. As a child, I had assumed this had some obscure almost-medieval reasoning behind it (peanuts were of the devil and sparked fires, summoned earthquakes and made the cows infertile). Or maybe it had something to do with the slave trade.

But no, it was probably allergies. Someone’s kid got sprayed with Sublime Airborne Peanut Spray in church, and died in convulsions. Accusing the neighbors of Witchcraft to get their land was long passé at that point (and that nonsense had always been for the backwards Country Folk, anyway), so they just decided to ban the peanuts.

It’s a theory, anyway. And so now I have this domain name.

Makes perfect sense, really.