Busy as Hitler in a one-armed man paperhanging contest. See, he'd be strangling all the contestants as unfit to live.

Not to build up any false enthusiasm for my own benefit or anything, but here’s a statement designed to do exactly that: I will have some news about my situation at the paper next week. It’s good news. Meanwhile, buzz.mn redesign continues apace, at least on my end; crisp and stark are the bywords. But that’s another story.

You’ll have to forgive the thin gruel today – I wrote sixteen tons on the Michelle Obama New Yorker article, but I can’t quite finish it, and I don’t want to dump a big half-baked tendentious screed on the overburdened internet without thinking it through. So, tomorrow. It’ll be two-thirds cooked by then. This is just one of those nights where the entire site is a pain in the arse, frankly.
Most of the time I’m all cheery and chipper about the double-deadlines at the end of the night – the Bleat and the Buzz – but some nights I want to watch a little TV and get to bed before 1 AM. This seems lazy. As ever I hew to the standard of labor my father set; he picked up barrels, he drove truck, he went out at 3 AM – hell, he’ll still go out at 3 AM at the age of 81 if the driver called in sick and the trains need to be filled – so this is not work. But the world will still spin if my post goes unposted. And besides, it’ll just make for a super-hellacious post tomorrow.

I just remembered that I called the Bob Davis show this morning to talk about the new theory re: Moses and the Ten Commandments: dude was high. Apparently a professor somewhere has suggested that the entire experience was the result of a mushroom or some such ceremonial intoxicant. I called to say I didn’t believe it, because if Moses was tripping we wouldn’t have ten commandments. We would have three. The first would make sense, more or less; the second, written half an hour later, would command profound respect for lizards who sit on stones and look at you, because they’re freaking incredible when you think about it, and the third would be gibberish. Never mind the problem of getting the tablets down the mountain – anyone who has experience of watching stoners try to assemble pizza money when the doorbell rings doubts that Moses could have hauled stone tablets all the way down.

It’s still a fascinating idea, though. It has something to irritate everyone. Those who believe we should relax the bond between the Commandments and their supposedly divine origins find the theory appealing; it unyokes the good idea from the god idea without delegitimizing the idea of a rule-based society. Those who hold fast to the notion of divine transcription dismiss it out of hand, since it strikes at the very foundation of religion. Others wonder whether the idea that God works in mysterious ways might not include a whisper slipped in betwixt the hallucinations. Does it matter? Sure: you cannot call them Commandments without someone doing the Commanding, and once they’re not commandments they lose the moral authority that supercedes the individual precepts. It doesn’t mean they’re not good ideas still; it just means they are one set of ideas in competition with other ideas that found their origin in the rude clay of history.

Unlike the other ideas, though, we haven't just internalized the rules, but the logic behind them. This is bad because this will happen, and that leads to this. Amazing foresight for a fellow hopped up on goofballs. I had a roommate once who did mushrooms; he would start making ramen noodles at dinnertime and forget about the boiling water until the next morning.

Anyway. I didn’t meant to start rambling on that. I’ve cut into precious TV and popcorn time! Here’s this week’s Bleat Radio Theater – Gregory Peck et al in a radio version of “The Yearling,” drastically compressed, with more “gosh, paw” young-boy speeches than you kin shake a hick’ry stick at. I do love the Reader’s Digest approach: yes, times were good for a while, and, bein’ good, didn’t lend themselves much to dramatic radio. Then came the day when Paw got kicked in the walnuts by a moose.” You’ll see what I mean.

New Sears 1973! See you at buzz.mn.