Monday Musings 69

Like Galileo, many people today are being shunned for speaking the truth. I hope that doesn’t happen to me.

In this country, college educated whites under 40 and evangelical christians don’t have anything in common, do they? Actually, they do: both groups have a much higher proportion of anti-vaxxers than average.

The first group has fallen under the spell of “social media.” My writing this will not change anyone’s mind, but your cousin posting on Fack Fucebook that her husband’s cousin had a bad reaction to a vaccine, or that her friend heard that vaccines are an effort at mind control is not credible in any way, shape or form and certainly does not constitute meaningful data.

I know less about the second group but understand that many evangelicals have always been ambivalent at best and mistrustful at worst of large secular institutions. They interpret the “words” of Jesus of Nazareth that his followers are in the world but not “of the world” to mean they should engage with secular institutions with a certain measure of suspicion. Some skepticism about all institutions is healthy, in my opinion. Of course, they blindly follow their favored institution.

I have given up on the hope that most people will use their brains to seek real knowledge. I think we are headed to a new type of Dark Age, where people get off the information superhighway and use the technology of the day to reinforce their prejudices and misguided beliefs and to be “entertained” by mindless garbage.

In his review of one of my favorite movies, “Quiz Show,” the late Roger Ebert wrote this:

 

“The early quiz shows rewarded knowledge, and made celebrities out of people who knew a lot of things and could remember them. The post-fix quiz shows rewarded luck. On “The $64,000 Question” and “Twenty-One” you could see people getting rich because they were smart. Today people on TV make money by playing games a clever child can master. The message is that it’s not necessary to know anything, because you can be ignorant and still get lucky.

The 1950s have been packaged as a time of Eisenhower and Elvis, Chevy Bel-Airs and blue jeans, crew cuts and drive-ins. “Quiz Show” remembers it was also a decade when intellectuals were respected, when a man could be famous because he was a poet and a teacher, when TV audiences actually watched shows on which experts answered questions about Shakespeare and Dickens, science and history. All of that is gone now.”

 

I think those words are spot on. I will once again offer my opinion that much/most of the decay in the respect for knowledge stems from bad and/or indifferent parenting and the serious decline in the quality of public education. Political correctness is also a negative factor. I don’t think any of this is fixable at a macro level, anymore.

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Here are two recent photos taken from our house:

 

 

I tried to keep my phone as steady as possible for the first picture. We have these views almost every day here. Oh, these photos were taken inside through a window in the bonus room on the second floor on the north side of the house.

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Someone on our block has a first generation Firebird and first generation Mustang, each sporting Arizona historical license plates. The picture below is not of that specific Firebird, but of one I took earlier this month:

 

 

I think the first-generation Firebirds are at least as sharp looking as their F-body cousins, the first-generation Camaro. Both models took a bite out of the Mustang’s position in the niche they really created, the ponycar market.

Mustang production declined by about 135,000 units, or 22 percent, between model years 1966 and 1967. Of course, the latter was the first model year for the Firebird and Camaro. It is not true that Mustang sales declined by almost the same amount as Camaro sales or Camaro/Firebird sales. The two GM cars sold more than 303,000 units for model year 1967, of which 73 percent were Camaros. The entire ponycar market grew. Competition is not inherently evil.

A restomod first-generation Firebird (or Camaro) sounds like a great car to me, but one that I will almost certainly never own. Oh well, such is life…

 

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I Passed Up A Car Show Today

No, I am not running a fever. Maybe it’s because of the sunburn I suffered last week or because my wonderful wife would not have accompanied me. Maybe it’s because too many people are not wearing masks. In any event, I decided against attending a local monthly car gathering.

The event is sponsored by a company that builds custom garages for those who need more space for their cars than that afforded by their home garage. Maybe I didn’t go because I didn’t want to be tempted by that company. 🙂

Perhaps by next month, when the percentage of people vaccinated will be even higher, I will attend the show. In this county, well over half of the people age 55 and over have received at least one shot. Actually, in this county that stat means more than in most other places as the median age for most of the zip codes around here is in the mid-50s. The median age for the US as a whole is about 38.

Of course, most people attending these gatherings are older as it usually takes time to build the resources to have a nice car or two that one would take to such an event. Before we moved here, I thought that we would make many of our new friends among the car community. Perhaps we still will.

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I had to show this photo taken just a few days ago at around sunrise:

 

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Here are some more pictures from last weekend’s GoodGuys event at Westworld in Scottsdale:

 

 

I was quite taken with this car even if I was slightly disappointed it wasn’t a Chrysler 300B; the front clip for the 300B was “taken” from the Imperial. I have come to be enamored of green as a primary exterior color.

 

 

I have been a fan of the Sunbeam Tiger for a long time; I seemingly have always liked roadsters with small-displacement V-8s. I don’t think labeling these as the “Poor Man’s Cobra” is an insult in any way. The mountains in the background don’t hurt the picture, either.

 

 

Maybe the wheels on this custom Oldsmobile are a little much, but I really liked this car. If I had A LOT more money, I would probably have some car of this vintage. Of course, it would be a restomod.

 

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Serpentine Saturday

Should I be worried that the manufacturer of one of my prescriptions is on an FDA recall list for the same drug, but in a different dose? Our new pharmacy filled our prescriptions for the first time and one of the meds I take has been in the news over a recall for high levels of NDMA, which is supposed to be a cancer-causing agent in people. Our new pharmacy dispenses the drug, a generic, from a different manufacturer than our previous pharmacy.

In 2018, this drug was the third most-prescribed in the US with an estimated 83.8 million prescriptions. Some people have 12 scripts per year and others only have 4 so the actual number of people on the drug is not easy to estimate, but obviously it’s in the millions.

We really are at the mercy of many people and companies who are unknown to us. How many of you have heard of Apotex Pharmaceuticals, the company at the center of this recall? (They are not the manufacturer of my prescription.) How many of you check the name of the manufacturer of your prescriptions?

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From this Corvette Blogger piece comes the news that a lawsuit against General Motors over cracked wheels on C7 Corvette Z06s and Grand Sports has been dismissed. Of course, I own a C7 Z06.

Since becoming aware of this lawsuit I have been extra careful in trying to avoid manhole covers, of which there seem to be many in Arizona, and in slowing down while crossing over railroad tracks. Of course, the wheels of my Z06 are the one design feature of which I am not completely enamored. I really like the split five-spoke design of my wonderful wife’s 2018 Z51 convertible:

 

 

I don’t want to have to spend the thousands of dollars it would take to replace my wheels, at least not now, but if my wheels were to crack I would probably not replace them with factory wheels, anyway. In case you need to refresh your memory:

 

 

I don’t dislike those wheels, but I prefer a simpler design. You know, less is more.

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Here is a picture I took just a couple of minutes ago. It would be better if it weren’t for the fact that I took it on the “wrong” side of the screen of my office window:

 

 

On one level, the distortion caused by the screen adds an interesting perspective. On another level, what I just wrote is full of sh*t. It is interesting to me that for the camera the screen is more prominent than it was for me.

 

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