Sunday, July 18, 2004

I woke up Saturday morning to the smell of cherry smoke, like a smokehouse had set up next door. I assumed it was just the stench of the Academy fire still hovering in town. Later on, Ben opined that the ruins were smoldering, or had started up again. I don't know... it's raining this morning. You can't smell anything but the rain.

We went down to the panic meeting in Baltimore. Dave Asher drives like a maniac, but Ben is even worse when you put him behind the wheel of a big automatic. My stomach is still a little unsettled from all the swerving and jostling. The lot at the Holiday Inn in Baltimore was curb-to-curb SUVs and emergency vehicles - the firefighters convention was in town. There's nothing quite so intimidating as being the sole sedan in a sea of SUVs.

Some idiot was mocking the inclusion of a seminar on dealing with suicide-belt bombers in a found copy of the firefighter's convention program book. "It's never happened here - it never will!" By that logic, I'm going to live forever, because statistically, I, personally, have never died even once in the history of existence!

Speaking of idiots, a big fat fool whose MoveOn politics have pissed me off in the past was opining in my hearing on other, nominally non-political subjects. He was spinning off conspiratorial theories about our convention competitors' radical highballing of their numbers, and ranting about how their con chairs ought to be arrested for embezzlement and so on. Not much different from his politics, come to think on it. He also was raving about how the producers of the recent Battlestar Galactica had "no respect for the fans who kept the franchise alive for twenty-five years", and offered as an example of squalid betrayal that they re-named a poker-type-game from "pyramid" to "triangle", and got all the rules wrong. Words fail me.

Another individual, when I mentioned that some low-level news about commotions on airliners and such were getting me worried, assured me that it was all propaganda and misinformation by the evil administration designed to get us all scared and make us vote for Republicans. Nice to know that some folks' politics are driven by ostrich impulses, primitive political paranoia, and what I can only describe as a problem with authority that amounts to a daddy-complex.

I don't know, some of these people are friends of friends, and I ought to be kinder. But it sometimes seems as if my generation is no more willing to grow up and take responsibility than the last. It's as if we were the long hangover left over from last night's epic, orgiastic party.

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