Friday, July 2, 2010

From Michelangelo to Michelle Malkin, From Botticelli to the Blonde Bombshells of Fox News

Since my last post, my wife and I have been on vacation in Italy. Rome, Pisa, Cinque Terre, Florence, Siena, Venice, Verona. I had thought about doing a post or two from an Internet cafe or something, but drinking local wine and seeing the Renaissance masters won out over blogging every time. The trip was fantastic and mind blowing on so many levels. For one thing, when you see 2,000 years of history in layers right before your eyes, you can't help but think long and hard about the human experience on this planet, about what changes and what remains, and about your own place in it all.

We walked into the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome, a church from the early 12th century, to look at the medieval mosaic behind the altar. In 1857, they discovered that beneath the church, is an older church founded around 392. An archaeologist basically punched through the floor and found it. We climbed down the stairs into the cool damp to see faded frescoes from the fifth or sixth centuries. Then more steps led down to a first century A.D. Roman house that was converted into a temple to Mithras, god of a late-Roman mystery cult that was popular among Roman soldiers.

And this was just one place that we easily might have missed.

We got back to DC on Sunday night, and the next morning I was starting work in a new office, where I'm on rotation for at least a year. There's a lot of new stuff to adjust to, but let me tell you the worst. I'm working in a big room with 40 or 50 other people sitting at computers, and all around the room there are TVs. The boss picks which channel they're on. My boss likes Fox News. So this week I watched over 40 hours of Fox. I think I could file a workers' comp claim for that. Even worse are the conversations that Fox inspires in the office. Yesterday I listened to a couple of guys nearby talk for half an hour about "the myth of climate change." I wanted to walk over and say, "Let's name some other areas where conservatives have ignored science for their own political gain."

Anyway, something's going to have to change, or this year will feel like 20.


Becky said...

Oh my God. That is straight up unacceptable. I tell you, I would think really any TV on constantly would be unacceptable. How are you supposed to concentrate?

I think a worker's comp claim or a class action suit is in order.

And welcome back from your vacation! Did you have fun with the other liberal elites? Heh.

Amy said...

Wow, Dave. For real? That sounds miserable. I agree with Beck--TV on ALL THE TIME makes me batty. Can you wear headphones and listen to something else? Or maybe get some of them thar fancy Bose headphones that cancel out noise?

Welcome home! I'm sure you've got a fire in your belly and some great posts waiting for us. Let 'er rip!

Becky said...

Yes, post away. It killed me that you were out of the country when that dude apologized to BP for the "shakedown."

The True Football said...

Amy, you may want to be careful, referencing sisters or not, about slinging around the sentence "I agree with Beck..." on a progressive website. :)

Dave, glad you had a great time in Italy. I've lived in Florence and Siena. My grandmother lives in Chiavari, a 25 minute train ride from Cinque Terre. I grew up in those hills and in that water. Jumped off of all those cliffs and have walked, run and crawled that trail more times than I can count. I'm pleased you chose that as your destination.

Fox News plays at my auto mechanic. I shudder to get oil changes. At least now you'll know by rote memorization the rhetoric of the enemy!

Elizabeth said...

I've always found it comforting to be in other countries -- we Americans tend to think the world revolves around us and all our b.s. -- when you travel you see that life is going on, people are living in other ways, etc.

I hope you figure out something regarding the Fox News TV thing going on all the time. It sounds like some kind of layer of Dante's hell --

Amy said...

Eek! Good point, T.F. *That* Beck gives me the shivers!

Elizabeth said...

You could turn it into a drinking game! Every time they say "Barack Hussein Obama" take a shot of tequila. Every time they say "Founding Fathers" take two.

In all seriousness, while I could never EVER do it, it sort of gives you street cred with Ds and Rs. In a "Yeah, I watch Fox News all day and I'm still a progressive" sort of way.