Just a Man, Just a Tiger

  • September 12, 2017
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Hello, friends! Rob here.

I'll start by saying I was surprised, and frankly a little moved, by the response to my previous entry, in which I skipped band stuff altogether and voiced my apparently courageous opinion that racism is bad. There were many likes, comments and shares- worth their weight in gold these days. I called someone (admittedly a pretty horrible person) a "factory-recall dildo” and my father-in-law texted me to tell me it brought a tear to his eye. He probably wasn't talking about that specific part, but still. There was a lot of support. MANY PEOPLE ARE SAYING it was THE MOST TERRIFIC, BEAUTIFUL PIECE OF WRITING THEY'VE EVER READ.

In light of such an overwhelming response, I'm gonna learn the absolute wrong lesson, and instead of growing confident enough to occasionally share my views on social issues and current events, I'm just gonna rattle off some more things which, as with white supremacists, I don't really like very much:

Motion-activated bathroom fixtures: They never work. Do they really even save that much water? And don't tell me they're "touchless” and therefore "more hygienic-” the sweet spot to get them to turn on is always right under the base of the faucet, so you end up having to rub the backs of your hands against the inside of the basin (in a public restroom, usually in a train station, and definitely right after someone vomited in there) in order to keep the water running. I lose sleep thinking about the fact that somebody invented these abominations and probably got paid for it. If you told me where that person lived, you'd be an accessory to arson.

Continental breakfast: On what continent do a stale pastry and a couple spoonfuls of diseased cantaloupe constitute a breakfast? Underwhelmica? Disappointia? Europe?

Restaurants whose websites have their menu in .pdf format – It's bad enough that I have to choose between an app that makes fart sounds and a bunch of pictures of my loved ones. Do you really expect me to waste valuable storage space on a copy of your lunch menu (these places alwayshave a lunch menu and a dinner menu, because heaven forbid a customer might want a turkey sandwich after five PM) just so I can find out that I don't want to eat at your bistro? Get bent.

Motion-activated bathroom fixtures again: I almost forgot about restroom stalls where the auto-flush toilet is activated by a sensor on the wall, but the sensor's calibration is off so it triggers every time you breathe. These toilets invariably will flush with the violence of an erupting geyser, so you're guaranteed to leave with a damp undercarriage. Also, racist soap dispensers. Get woke.


We're home now. We've been in and out of New Orleans all summer, traveling predominantly by airplane. The last few weeks have been pretty nice for us: a few trips to Colorado, California, and the northeast- all welcome vacations from the typically oppressive heat of summer in New Orleans. We played a show at the Greenville Zoo and they let us feed the giraffes(!). Our annual working vacation in Nantucket was as magical and wonderful and lobsterful as ever. In its third year, David Shaw's Big River Get Down (I will never not call it by its full name) officially reached critical mass. Vibe vortex. Love supernova. They changed the name of the city to "Jam!lton” for a day and awarded Mayor David Shaw with a key to the city, thereby doubling the number of politicians I would willingly invite to my wedding (I couldn't find Vermin Supreme's mailing address online). A series of apocalyptic hurricanes pummeled Texas, the Caribbean, and Florida-

Damn. Lately it seems like I can't go more than a paragraph or so without tripping over some kind of catastrophe.

At times like these, itis vitally important that we remember to be good to each other. This is a time when we should all be able to come together and support our neighbors. In the days to come, I'm sure we'll have a better idea of what specific steps can be taken to assist in the recovery from Irma, but we already know have a better idea of how we can help Texas- especially Houston- get back on its feet after Hurricane Harvey. Clearly, this relief effort will be massive, but, just as importantly, it will be comprehensive. Aside from the immediate necessities like food and shelter, there will be many less obvious needs to address both in the short-term and in the coming months, like helping people with disabilities, rescuing and caring for lost pets, and providing diapers and other infant care supplies to the less fortunate, to name a few. There are so many ways to help. Just pick one. Or several. Please. Thank you.

…Okay, fine, here's a hot take: Given the seemingly endless procession of "worst hurricanes in history” lining up to pummel coastal communities around the world this year,would now be an appropriate time to ask if maybe, just maybe, there might be something to this whole "climate change” thing? I mean, look- we all know that China invented the concept of man-made climate change as a means of undermining western civilization, and that scientists are happy to play along because scare tactics help them drum up enough grant money to sustain the extravagant lifestyle of a typical research associate, but what if, by sheer coincidence, they actually got something right for once? Wouldn't it be nuts if it turned out that the overwhelming majority of the world's environmental scientists- all of these highfalutin' "experts” with their fancy "college degrees” who have "dedicated their lives to measuring and understanding the world around us-” actually understood a thing or two about environmental science? I know, I know, it seems unlikely- especially given the fossil fuel industry's strict denial of any sort of correlation between carbon emissions and global temperatures, as well as their unblemished track record with regard to safety and public interest. But it kind of makes for a fun little thought experiment.

Anyway, be good to each other. If you're still here, here's a video of a robot that probably won't be taking our jobs any time soon: