August 9, 2008

Wall Arch Collapses!

One of the most photographed arches in southern Utah collapsed earlier this week.  I remember standing under Wall Arch in Devil's Garden area of Arches National Park and getting my photo snapped by my mother.  Now the photograph opportunity is gone and most likely the area will be closed to the public as the structure continues to collapse as it's weight is shifted.
Gravity and erosion are the culprits for the arch's collapse.  Over time the slow march of natural forces took its toll on the arch, which joins the 1991 collapse of Landscape arch is merely a memory.  All other arches in the park will meet this same fate over time.  Something like this should remind us all of the incredible power of time.
The arch was once just a solid rock whose center was eaten away to reveal a beautiful formation.  This arch stood for hundreds of thousands of years until eventually the same forces which shaped its pleasing aesthetic caused it to collapse under the delicate frame that time had left it with.  This is one of those punctuating events of geology and the evolution of earth's mass, similar to an earthquake that builds tension for hundreds, if not thousands, if not millions of years.  Every point in time in which the earthquake doesn't begin but builds the potential for action is just as important as the event itself.  Over time this slow build up, like drops in a bucket, wields heavy penetrating power which is released in the geologic equivalent of blink.  A geological bomb, assembling to reach critical mass, punctuates these events.

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Anyone following the race between Obama and McCain has been constantly bombarded with this idea of Obama's "presumptuousness." That he's some elitist liberal, looking down his nose at the rest of the country. He ordered arugula lettuce at one point, which obviously indicates how out of touch he is, right? His Ivy League education is another evident smudge on his "average Joe" record, despite Bush's (C average) degree from Yale which wasn't an issue in 2000 or 2004.

But the worst of it came during Obama's recent trip abroad. He was greeted with massive crowds at each campaign stop and met with various heads of state in Europe and the Middle East. And at each appearance, Obama carried himself with the dignity and courtesy of, well, a president. He was respectful, inspiring, and noble, and the foreign crowds and dignitaries he met with responded in kind. Yet he has been slammed as merely "acting" the part, that he thought he already had the election in the bag and was putting on the airs of his assumed victory.

Of course, I never bought that criticism. John Stewart said it best when he pointed out that both Obama and McCain are running for the office of the freakin President of the United States, of course they are going to have egos. But watching the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics, I think I now understand where these ideas are coming from. This is what we have become accustomed to from our Leader.

Can you believe this putz? He is on the world stage, for Christ's Sake, maybe he could act interested, or at least grown up. This guy, who we elected twice (/shame), is bouncing his knee, looking at his watch, looking bored as hell. He's like a toddler in church! When I saw that I started yelling at the TV, telling George to "fucking behave yourself!" I mean, the whole damn world is watching, and you can tell that all this jackass wants to do is go back to the hotel room and make a fort out of the extra pillows. The man has pissed me off too many times to count, but damn it, I never thought I would be so embarrassed by the POTUS. Next to his shredding of the Constitution, torture policies, Iraq, the economy, etc, this isn't such a big deal, but it is such a slap to our national image. Behaving like an adult at major state functions is kind of the bare-minimum, I would guess, of the President's job description, and this immature frat boy can't even get that right.

So no wonder everyone thinks Obama is being snotty. We're used to a leader who probably shoots spitballs at the Joint Chiefs during briefings and has his old drinking buddies over for late night toilet-papering runs on the Hoover Building.

So if that is presumptuousness, I'll take that over juvenile jackassery any day.

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