Monday, April 19, 2010


Life here in Mexico is simple. At least for me. Should I go to the beach with the dog or eat a bagel and read the Wall Street Journal? That was the conundrum this morning. Very difficult, I know. Today the WSJ won and I found this great piece by Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller. He is not so simple. As I read, I realized that he reminds me a bit of, well, myself. Myself not in Mexico.

I tend to feel like I am a bit complex, at least when I am living American-style. I want my food to be clean (clean as in "organic," not as in "washed in iodine"). But I don't want my government to say that all food has to be clean. I want people to choose clean food for themselves. I am pro-life. I am also anti-death penalty. In my mind, these things are not contrary, but in our political system they are. I almost always think that less government involvement is best, but I also vehemently believe that our country needs a $4/gallon gasoline tax in order to curb our addiction to oil. I don't even care what happens to the revenue. See what I mean? Complex. Full of contradictions. Not always logical. Still figuring things out.

So, this Penn Jillette piece was extraordinarily interesting to me. I was drawn in by the "Homage to Hummer" title because I think Hummers are ridiculous pieces of machinery, for reasons too numerous to go through here. I also have opinions about their drivers which are not appropriate to share here. So I keep those to myself.

I thought the article, being an "homage," might lament the loss of Hummer. I thought that would get me riled up, which I enjoy, so I read it. And as it turns out, he doesn't lament the loss of the Hummer, the machine. With humor, he laments a possible cause of the loss of Hummer, the company: our government not allowing people to make stupid choices. Because the freedom to choose "stupid" over "smart" or "logical" or "healthy" or "noble" or "conscious" is really what makes America America, right? We have freedom like no other place in the world and it is an amazing blessing to us all.

So, yeah, I still think we should have a big fat gas tax and I know that means that people have less freedom to make stupid choices. Complex. See what I mean? I don't know how I live with myself.

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