POLLEN CAPITAL OF THE WORLD

One of the downsides of my current circumstances is the extent to which 29 years in the Midwest did not prepare my body for what Georgia was going to do to it. Heat, I knew there would be heat. Humidity too. But the pollen? Good lord, the pollen. It's so heavy in the spring that one's car is covered in a layer, as fine as cake flour, of green pollen every morning. After a few weeks of this a mighty thunderstorm comes along and treats us to three days of green rain, approximately the hue and consistency of Ecto Cooler. But in the fall it's just a barrage of silent killers. I see no pollen. I know only that I can't breathe and I'd love to scoop both eyes out with a melon baller.

It is 11 PM on Wednesday, the usual "time to start writing a post" hour, and my eyes are virtually swollen shut by…whatever Georgia uses to attack me. Not only am I unable to stare at the screen for very long through burning eyes, but my ability to be interesting is severely compromised. So here is a pair of images that came across my social networking feeds on Wednesday. Please decide which one is more troubling, for I cannot. Also, enrich your mind for a few minutes with the musings of the Discovery Channel hostage-taker, God rest his crazy, crazy ass.

The question is no longer if America is doomed but if it is worth saving at this point.

53 thoughts on “POLLEN CAPITAL OF THE WORLD”

  • Tina is a bit disturbed, but rather cute, I would say.

    The second picture shows a sick, sick society.

    We are in a proto-fascist state, with no remedy in sight.

    In that context, Tina is welcome relief.

    WASF,
    JzB

  • It's ragweed, more than likely. The pollen is so small because it's designed to be spread by the wind, which means that there's lots and lots and lots of it–one plant is supposed to be able to produce a billion grains of pollen. and the thought of that is enough to make may eyes and face itch, even though I had my double dose of Claritin and Zyrtec last night, right on time.

    Find the antihistamine(s) you can live with and take them until there's a killing frost, or the reported pollen count drops low enough that there's pollen in the air instead of air in the pollen. Do not stop taking it because you don't have symptoms and think "Hey, I feel, OK, so I guess I really don't need any more of that stuff." That'll be the effect of the drugs, not an actual absence of pollen.

  • party with tina says:

    I imagine that we're more allergic to plants found in the America's than those found in Europe. Also, I would move away from Georgia if I was reacting that badly, your body can suffer damage eventually.

  • Side note: if you live in an area where there was heavy community development a-la planted developements, manicured lawns and a fleet of hispanic workers that everyone around you wants deported (asides from the ones that cut their lawns and clean their houses) then there is another thing to note: there are very few male trees in developments.

    Drive down an old street in Somerville/Cambridge/Boston and you'll see these big thigs which have landed on people's cars. They make a mess and have to be swept up. Those are the male parts.

    Drive through a new section by a park, and you'll see younger planted trees of the same variety and they don't drop the seeds – they're all dropping pollen instead.

    For grounds crews in developments, its easier to overwater sligthly and clean the pollen off the sidewalk than it is to have to leafblow every week to keep things looking manicured. They drove the industry to pretty much produce and sell principally female trees – meaning that you get more pollen producers in newer areas. Some developments even go so far as to cut down all the trees and re-plant the female trees.

    So yeah, your allergies seem worse principally from an increase in the prevalence of pollen producers.

  • Ed:

    A traditional remedy for allergies is to obtain local honey (produced within ? miles of you) If you live in the Atlanta metro area you would likely have to get some from the near burbs. I don't know if there are many beekeepers in the Atl itself.

    If it is any consolation, the big yellow and green pollen particles are too big get down in the tiny pasages in your system to do a good job of irritating you. It's those invisible suckers that do the job. Good luck

    If we were a fascist state, we would be putting our citizens feet first in trash grinders like Sadam's sons used to do for pleasure.

    //bb

  • Oh, bb, fascist ideology isn't owned by torturers; I think you know that. And Ed, you might try mechanical means: hot and cold compresses, saline eye drops and nasal spray, neti pot use if you dare. Next year you might be habituated, if you make it that long. Good luck.

  • LB,

    You are absolutely right! My lower trollian nature, as yet unsanctified, is at fault. As you might guess, my fear is that we will wander into a Leftist paradise of "fascist equivalent" statism.

    BTW – the hot/cold compresses (hot as you can stand for 2 to 3 minutes) followed by cold (tap water) for a few minutes cycling for 20 – 30 minutes has woked well for me for sinusitis.

    Put somethin' on the Radio (Boortz for me, Randy Rhodes for you :-) !) and work out by the sink about three treatments per day can get rid of the crud and corruption w/o using drugs.

    Those drugs usually give a choice of breathing, at the expense of being able to think. Imagine how much worse it would be if I were on anti-histamine drugs!

    //bb

  • I agree with the local honey (and anyway, it can't hurt, tight?). Ragweed is a major bugger, and getting worse with longer growing seasons and more CO2 in the air. I use sloshing the face with warm water on getting up, showers before bedtime to clear the pollen off the body and out of the hair, pillowcase changes, long-term use of Claritin or the more modern prescription versions (late July to the first hard frost, anyway) and on bad days, my wife will use nasal steroids (too much in my opinion, but I can't deny that they work). As for the use of teargas, the best short-term anti-allergy effect I ever had was from a tofu-and-gound-red-pepper dish called "ants-climbing-the tree" in a fledgeling place run by a young Chinese family. It steamed open my sinuses in the most wonderful and delicious way I could ever have hoped for, and the effect lasted almost 24 hours. I've seen other dishes with that name, but none like that. Perhaps a good curry would do the same. Or getting tear-gassed.
    The thing about the country is, we have a lot of push toward American fascism right now, but I think the real danger is that we've got Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin both pushing it with all the financial and PR backing they could possibly wish. They're both dangerous, but Sarah Palin is the more frightening, in that Eva Peron kind of way. The backers always think they can control the tiger they think they're riding, and maybe this time they're right, but it's hard on everybody else no matter what. And you may not have noticed, but guess who "the Jews" are in our modern NSDAP play? Sure, "the Muslims" are the target of choice right now, but "the liberals" are always there as the real 'stab-in-the-back', 'bringing down the country', 'hating the real Americans' villains. Nobody ever worries about the danger until it's already on top of them, of course.

  • I guess everyone has a favorite remedy for hay fever. But I was going to suggest finding a good allergist and making enough visits to get results. Two fellow-sufferers (never moi, however) wound up getting 2 strong shots per season that annihilated the symptoms. Worth a try. Otherwise the good news I have for you is that after a lifetime of suffering (a.m.s in Castaic, CA and Amherst, MA were so bad I couldn't open my eyes) I've outgrown it! Just mark time till you reach 60.

    "We are in a proto-fascist state, with no remedy in sight." And here I thought Obama was leading us into socialism. Suffice it to say when we hit bottom, most of the citizenry won't even know why…

  • If it's not worth saving, where do we go? I've contemplated this question seriously more than once in the past year. And not in the "If X is elected I'm moving to Canada!" spirit, but the "I want to live in a society that is decent" sense.

  • I favor Eco's take on fascism, with its selective populism, fear of difference, etc. As a resident of CA, I have been confronted by the authoritarian Left, to my misery, but they have never advocated racism, violence, or homophobia, that I have seen, and I will always choose them over race-baiting bigots — even when I disagree with them. bb, are you a die-hard party liner? For some reason, I don't think so (though I could be wrong.). And hey, to answer the question, hell yes I think the US is worth saving! I just don't think it's possible. "Goodnight, Chet."

  • @JohnR:
    On the Palin/Peron analogy: It comforts me to think that the Mama Grizzly will one day be known primarily as an icon for cheesy gay dudes.

  • I have always held that the two viable American political parties both wish to take away your freedom, it's a question of which kind you are more willing to give up.

    The Democrats wish to take away your economic freedom. They generally desire more social programs at the expense of higher taxes, and more limits on the economy in order to defend vulnerable consumers and/or the environment. Under Democrats, you will be free to do almost whatever you please so long as it harms nobody else, but you will get to keep substantially less of your paycheck.

    The Republicans wish to take away your social freedom. They generally desire the end of social programs to secure lower taxes, and a lifting of limits on the economy. This of course leaves disadvantaged and vulnerable citizens in a far worse state of affairs, and willfully destroys the environment in the name of profit. A good percentage of them would dearly love to force their particular flavor of Christianity on the populace, and barring that, would love to eliminate competitors in the religious market. Under Republicans, you will be free to keep almost all of your paycheck, but you will be imprisoned or, at the very least, socially harmed and stripped of your rights if you refuse to follow Christian doctrine.

    Money, or People. Which is more important to you? I've made my choice.

    That there can be widespread opposition to the free exercise of the constitutionally-guaranteed religious right to observe Islam is an indicator of just exactly how much the Republican Party really cares about the United States Constitution and the freedoms of non-WASPs.

    Though the Manhattan mosque is by far the most focused-upon in the media, there are movements throughout the nation to block the building of mosques in places thousands of miles away from the WTC site, on the most patently ridiculous of grounds. The fact is, if you open up a history book regarding World War II and replace "Jew" with "Muslim", you get a horrifyingly close description of modern America. No, we're not sending people to the gas chambers just yet — but neither was Germany, in the very beginning.

  • I say that the second one is more troubling. The girl in the first photo probably heard (as I have) that straight guys find girl-on-girl action totally hawt and is acting on that. I certainly can't blame her.

  • Ladiesbane:

    I generally go with John's exposition of the parties and generally tolerate Rs only slightly better than Ds.

    I think John is overdoing the KKKristian Nazis among us. There were no Muslim pogroms after 09/11, there are none today, and according to my Klan calendar…oops.

    Anyway, I don't know if John keeps up w/ these things, but churches are also regularly turned down "on patently ridiculous grounds" even here in the Bible Belt much less in Liberaland.

    Too much of the "Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood has seeped into the psyche of Liberal America. I don't even have to drag out the stats on who gives and what % of income to charitable works w/o regard to the recipient's race, color, or creed.

    As long as there is an ACLU and like minded individuals who stomp on Christians whenever they can, I'm sure you will not be enslaved by the KKKristians anytime soon.

    //bb

  • "As long as there is an ACLU and like minded individuals who stomp on Christians whenever they can"

    Translation –

    "Those mean liberals won't let us set up a theocracy!"

  • bb, I don't say the things I do simply to bash on the Christian religion itself, but rather those practitioners that use the force of Government to enforce their doctrine on the populace. I do not subscribe to the notion of "KKKristians" or anything of the sort. Religion itself is neither good nor bad, the only evil is those that use religion as justification for violence and oppression.

    Until 2003 or so, engaging in anal sex was illegal in the state of Texas. And this wasn't a case of an old law staying on the books — it stopped being illegal around 2003 because they tried to imprison a gay man for having consensual anal sex in his own home, and he took it to the supreme court where the Texas sodomy laws were struck down as unconstitutional.

    There is *still* a national debate over whether homosexual people should be allowed to marry. And there is absolutely no basis for denying them marriage that is not founded in a religious text — which is why the higher California courts overturned Prop 8. And there is a large national outcry, supported on national television by Fucked News no less, complaining about "activist judges" going against "the will of the people".

    The "will of the people" said interracial marriage should be illegal too, until an "Activist judge" put an end to those laws.

    That parts of the nation are having the Bible's religious doctrines forced upon them is simply fact. Not all Christians support that, but some do. And those that do, are the ones I take issue with.

    If there is a church whose construction is blocked by anything other than established and universally-applied building codes and property ownership, I oppose that just as I oppose it for any religious building of any sect of any religion. The point of religious freedom is freedom for ALL religions. I may disagree with them or their teachings, but they are free to practice as they see fit so long as it harms no one else.

  • Ditto on the shots, but until then antihistamines and nasal steroid spray (e.g. Rhinocort, Veramyst, etc). Do not fear the steroids. They are a Godsend. Believe me, we live in an old neighborhood canopied with live oak trees, and they saved my life.

  • Most Christians I know disapprove of a lot of things they would never dream of enacting into Law. Damn, No theocracy in the offing cause of mean ol' Kong. I never understood how forcing you to be unable to buy alcohol on Sunday or love the one you are with (in the privacy of your own space) garners respect for my God.

    That being said, I don't have to appeal to religious doctrine to argue that man-woman marriage has been a cornerstone of civilized society for thousands of years. Do you think it wise to throw that over?

    Once you untether yourself from 1-man and 1-woman as the basis for marriage how can you logically deny polyandry or polygamy (and all permutations)? Can you point me to successful modern societies that have operated that way? You wanna try? Can you see that Charlie Foxtrot in the legal system? Alimony? What about the children – custody, child support, visitation?

    On the Constitutional Law front, Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986), is a United States Supreme Court decision that upheld the constitutionality of a Georgia sodomy law. Seventeen years later the Supreme Court directly overruled Bowers in Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), and held that such laws are unconstitutional. In overruling Bowers v. Hardwick, the 2003 Court stated that "Bowers was not correct when it was decided, and it is not correct today." The main basis for their decision hinged on privacy rights which also figured strongly in Roe v. Wade.

    Oh BTW, this is an example of why it is silly to ask a SCOTUS nominee if he or she is a believer in 'stare decisis' I prefer the legislative solutions to these these difficult social problems – Dred Scott was ultimately corrected by Constitutional Amendment, not a court decision.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowers_v._Hardwick

    //bb

  • "That being said, I don't have to appeal to religious doctrine to argue that man-woman marriage has been a cornerstone of civilized society for thousands of years. Do you think it wise to throw that over?"

    And again. White man-White woman and Black man-Black woman marriage was "a cornerstone of civilized society" until sixty or so years ago when the courts finally decided (rightly) that the state has no business dictating what consenting adults do with each other. The exact same arguments were made then as are made now — if you break tradition and allow those heathen negroes to marry white folks, why, you'll break down the very fabric of society and desecrate the sacred institution of marriage as it has been for thousands of years!

    I absolutely do believe it is wise to overthrow stodgy, oppressive tradition that exists merely for its own sake, and not for any provable practical purpose. Prop 8 was overturned because its proponents could not produce evidence that homosexual marriage was of any detriment to society whatsoever. All they could do was say that the Bible said it was icky. That is not enough to enact law in a civilized society.

    "Once you untether yourself from 1-man and 1-woman as the basis for marriage how can you logically deny polyandry or polygamy (and all permutations)? Can you point me to successful modern societies that have operated that way? You wanna try? Can you see that Charlie Foxtrot in the legal system? Alimony? What about the children – custody, child support, visitation?"

    You cannot, and in my mind you should not. Again — the state has absolutely no right to dictate what consenting adults do with each other, so long as it does not harm anyone else. If you allow the state to criminalize relationships on the basis of "It makes me feel uncomfortable", you give them the power to criminalize sexuality itself. If four people want to form a relationship with each other, it does not affect you or I in any way whatsoever, and we have no logical basis on which to stop it.

    I would rather live in an unsuccessful nation that is free, than a wildly successful dictatorship.

    Of course, the tired old follow-up is "Then what about beastiality or pedophilia?!". That's quite simple: animals and children are not consenting adults. They are not capable of giving consent, they cannot enter into contracts, they have no viable standing for legal proceedings.

  • party with tina says:

    I copied this post into this website, http://iwl.me/ which analyzes sections of writing and tells you who you write like….

    Mother fucker, edward got james joyce… http://iwl.me/b/d760c1b4

    Strangely, I've read Ulysses so I'm somewhat familiar with him… I don't really know what to say about that tho'….

  • @Amanda

    I've thought about learning Swedish, Finnish, Chinese or French. At 29 years old, it'd be no easy task.

  • John:

    Made no argument and would not make one about beastiality or pedophilia based on your informed consent point.

    Miscegenation was a specific wrongheaded argument about keeping the purity of one race v another NOT about heterosexual marriage. Racists believed it was proper for Black Men and Women to marry, or Orientals (they were part of the miscegenation laws too. I remember specifically about a Filipina and a White man being denied a marriage license back in the day.) so the "thousands of years" thing doesn't apply in your example.

    Marriage as it stands seems to be in trouble (> 50% failure rate on 1st marriages and worse on subsequent ones) Do we need the added chaos? So far, when given a chance to express themselves, the American voter is about what? 6 for 7 against?

    Ordinarily, I am with you on consenting adults and contracts. I believe that gays and polyamorists could have binding agreements regarding property division and contnuing obligations. This could be workable for gay civil unions and others.

    However, once you introduce children into the mix, the legal and moral terrain is much more difficult. We have enough trouble with abused and neglected children – Liberals are usually their strongest advocates. Do we need to erect a legal structure that is bound to fail these innocents? Yeah I know there are DNA tests so that we can connect biological mother and father, but in poly marriage you know it won't just be biology involved.

    "I would rather live in an unsuccessful nation that is free, than a wildly successful dictatorship."

    I think their is a bit of false dichotomy here and the US Constitution was not written to be a suicide pact. I would argue that Liberals and Libertarians (of which I tend towards) need a better appreciation for the difference between Liberty and License and the close relationship between Freedom and Responsibility.

    //bb

  • Aslan Maskhadov says:

    BB, marriage as we know it has not always been 1 man 1 woman. I would say for most of human history marriage has usually been polygamous, either explicitly or implicitly.

  • Slavery has been a cornerstone of many successful civilizations throughout history, but most people agree that is best left behind us. In my opinion, we should not even have the discussion of whether religion A allows this or that union. the state grants a civil union, structured much like a corporation, and the religion of your choice has a commitment ceremony.

  • I think I have a form of Dunlap's Disease

    In the body sometimes your belly gets so big it Dunlaps over your belt buckle. Well in these exchanges my Freedom Dunlapped over my Responsibility to others here about boring the snot out of them off topic.

    For that I apologize.

    //bb

  • First pic remiinds me of a line from that old movie Fandango – we ain't tryin' to expand their minds, Phillip.

    Second pic – well, yeah…it makes you wonder if we can save the place….

  • I sympathize, DC has insane pollen levels too. It's bearable when you can see the blossom on the trees, but when it's hot and everything is still carpeted in green dust, that sucks. I find the green stuff (tree pollen?) much worse, so I buy the off-brand Loratadine 10mg. Coupled with saline sprays and eye drops, it works well.

    And bb, I believe the preferred nomenclature for "Orientals" is Asian-American.

  • "Marriage as it stands seems to be in trouble (> 50% failure rate on 1st marriages and worse on subsequent ones) Do we need the added chaos? So far, when given a chance to express themselves, the American voter is about what? 6 for 7 against?"

    I just can't accept an argument that says that, since straight people can't get their shit together on marriage, gay people shouldn't even be allowed to try.

    I'm not saying the state should force a church to marry homosexuals againsts its own will. One of the very large problems with marriage is that it is, at present, a conflation of church and state in many cases, with churches granting unions that carry with them legal rights in the eyes of the state. If there were such a thing as a Civil Union that was completely equal with marriage in terms of legal benefits, I could support that.

    But we should all be quite well aware of how "Separate But Equal" works out. I hope to whichever deity the reader believes in that Americans aren't stupid and shortsighted enough to forget such a recent lesson of history.

    Regarding the voting public being against the idea: History has shown, again and again and again, that the American voting public is not to be trusted on matters regarding the freedoms of their fellow citizens. That is why we have the higher courts, that is the entire point of judicial review. There once was a time when the voting public at large held that slavery was OK, until they were forced to stop. There was once a time when the voting public at large held that segregation was OK, until they were forced to stop.

    I do not argue for the dismantling of the democracy, nor do I intend to equate the struggle for equal gay marriage rights with the struggle for equal civil rights for black citizens. I merely wish to point out the similar situations in history where it didn't matter whether the majority felt that suppression of rights should continue — they were still wrong, and it took a force "acting against the will of the people", as some like to say, to slap them out of it.

    I do understand the desire to protect children in this case — but again, no evidence can be produced that says there's any harm for them in non-heterosexual marriages. They tried it in California. They failed. The evidence does not exist.

    If you can produce a credible scientific study that proves, empirically, that children suffer ill effects from being in a non-traditional family in ways that they do not suffer under traditional marriages, then I could be convinced to accept some restrictions. But the fact is that there's nothing stopping straight people from beating and abusing and neglecting children, and in fact it happens all the damn time. In that light, there's no ground to deny homosexual and poly marriage on the "think of the children" front.

  • John:

    You get the last word as far as you and me.

    Prudence:

    Oriental is an old term and I was thinking back to the 1960s 'cause I was there! BTW Oriental is technically correct and descriptive in the way that Negro is technically correct, just neither is currently PC (unless you are Rev. Jeremiah Wright. "I am tired of these Negroes that just don't get it!")

    //bb

  • party with tina says:

    @ John
    Actually Prop. 8 essentially did that, California has allowed same-sex civil unions since forever. Prop. 8 just didn't allow them to be called marriages, it didn't really have any affect on people's lives. I'm pretty sure there aren't any states that don't allow same-sex civil unions, although many don't allow "Marriage". The Prop 8 debate was never about denying people the ability to file taxes together.

  • I'm pretty sure there aren't any states that don't allow same-sex civil unions, although many don't allow "Marriage".

    Not only do most states not have civil unions, but Idaho, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Louisiana, Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan have constitutions that specifically ban both same-sex marriage and other kinds of civil unions.

  • can the United Snakes be saved? who cares.
    those of us surviving Creeks don't really care.

    if you can see pollen, that's not what you're breathing.

    in what part of the cherokee nation do you reside?

  • @Tina – "I'm pretty sure there aren't any states that don't allow same-sex civil unions, although many don't allow "Marriage"."

    Next time you're 'pretty sure' about something, how about you look it up?

    Might save you from looking so damn silly all the time.

  • Twisted_Colour says:

    we would be putting our citizens feet first in trash grinders like Sadam's sons used to do for pleasure.

    Buying into the propaganda, BB?

    BTW Oriental is technically correct and descriptive in the way that Negro is technically correct

    Umm… no.

  • Twisted,

    No and Yes

    Actually, the sons are up for Nobel Peace prizes posthumously next year for their humanitarian work in the Oil for Food program administered by the grand and glorious UN.

    Technically correct, but now thanks to our greater sensitivty and some among us who love jacking other people around we are commanded not to use those terms any longer.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/oriental

    "Oriental meaning "eastern"is that it identifies Asian countries and peoples in terms of their location relative to Europe. However, this objection is not generally made of other Eurocentric terms such as Near and Middle Eastern.

    The real problem with Oriental is more likely its connotations stemming from an earlier era when Europeans viewed the regions east of the Mediterranean as exotic lands full of romance and intrigue, the home of despotic empires and inscrutable customs.

    At the least these associations can give Oriental a dated feel, and as a noun in contemporary contexts (as in the first Oriental to be elected from the district) it is now widely taken to be offensive.

    However, Oriental should not be thought of as an ethnic slur to be avoided in all situations. As with Asiatic, its use other than as an ethnonym, in phrases such as Oriental cuisine or Oriental medicine, is not usually considered objectionable."

    //bb

  • "However, Oriental should not be thought of as an ethnic slur to be avoided in all situations. As with Asiatic, its use other than as an ethnonym, in phrases such as Oriental cuisine or Oriental medicine, is not usually considered objectionable."

    I will bet my insubstantial fortune that the above was written by a white dude.

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