The Decline of Bipartisan Small Talk and Other Developments

Posted by WiredSisters on June 8th, 2014 filed in Climate Change and Desertification, Guest Blogger, Race


This morning I woke up to public radio telling me that conservatives and liberals cannot agree on the issue of climate change even when presented with the same set of facts. The studies the announcer cited seem to indicate that it makes some difference whether we call it “global warming” or “climate change”–but not much. I sat bolt upright in bed laughing hysterically. One more conversational topic has been placed off limits in politically mixed groups—we can’t even talk about the weather!

OTOH, while the bigoted inclinations listed in “How Common is Racialism?” are all pretty creepy, and many of them involve conduct that is now illegal, I’m not sure that the others should be illegal. Recent cases involving bakers who decline to make wedding cakes for same-sex weddings, for instance. This is maybe different from photographers who won’t photograph such weddings. The worst that can happen to a photo is somebody sneaking up behind the new spouses and making horns or bunny ears behind their heads. But would you want to risk eating—or, worse still, serving to your friends and family–a cake baked by somebody who thought your wedding was an abomination? I sure wouldn’t.

More restaurants have closed down near my office lately. This is discouraging. I have moved to a new office, just around the corner from the old one. It’s also next door to the Symphony and across the street from the Art Institute. So I can pig out on culture, but will have to go back to bringing lunch from home.

Finally, a new contest for anyone who wants to play—a Paranoia Sweepstakes. The best conspiracy theory of the year gets a gift certificate from the local Spy Store, which I just discovered last week while looking for something else. My entry connects to the electronic “chips” many pet owners have imbedded in their dogs and cats. It is supposed to serve as a tracking and identification device for pets who stray from home. But the NSA would have had no trouble persuading the manufacturers to add listening and recording capability to pick up all conversations  in the vicinity of the pet. I look at my cat more suspiciously since coming to this realization. Can you top this, gentle readers? Submit all entries in longhand in invisible ink (scan to PDF) to the Wired Sisters at this blog.

Red Emma



One Response to “The Decline of Bipartisan Small Talk and Other Developments”

  1. Sappho Says:

    Actually, even if the NSA just asked for the ability to track all the chips on a map, not listen to them, they could acquire a lot of data about people’s movements, since, given leash laws these days, most dogs move in company with their owners far more often than they wander freely. (Cats have still not been persuaded to take to the leash.)