February 08, 2013

The results are in

A couple of days ago, I asked Goat Rope readers to weigh in on a terrible tale of marital betrayal that involved not the usual stuff but rather Netflix.

To briefly recap. Here's the deal. Both husband and wife enjoy watching Mad Men. However, when the female partner was away, the male--it still mortifies me to even relate this--watched it alone and then sent it back. Read the whole post here.

Several people have responded, although they didn't necessarily do so in the comment part of the blog.

One commentor agreed to me that this was a sin that Dante would have cast into the lowest depths of the inferno and did so in imitation of the Tuscan Bard:

"Abandon hope, all ye
who return to Netflix the DVD
before the spousal unit
has had a chance to watch it"
Another reader took the opposite position, saying "Madder than a hatter? Madder than an adder with a stone in its bladder? I think it's OK if the viewing was solo, not with the neighbor gal."

So adamant was this person that when I further argued the perfidy of the case, I received this reply: "So re-order it--I think the cat's got your brain!"

(In fairness, while I don't necessarily disagree with that assessment, I think it's an entirely separate issue.)

Still another respondent, all the way from Italy, took my side--but assumed I was the guilty party! The message read,

"I think you (excuse me 'he') should get the maximum punishment. You are talking SERIOUS marital transgression here!"

(Once again, in my own defense let me state that while I am a wretched sinner capable of many an atrocity, up to and possibly including cannibalism, even I have my standards.)

Last word: this correspondence from a fellow gentleman goat farmer suggests an altogether alternative approach to such issues:

"Save series for viewing with significant other and substitute porn while she's gone...
That way there will be no conflict."

Blessed are the peacemakers.

Have a nice weekend, y'all. I'm glad we sorted that one out.

February 07, 2013

When indeed

West Virginia just hit a milestone with the first coal mining death of 2013. Brandon Townsend, 34, of Delbarton in Mingo County was killed at an eastern Kanawha County mine when a hydraulic jack exploded, according to the Charleston Daily Mail. I wonder how many more there will be,

Meanwhile, WV's 2012 mine safety legislation, which wasn't worth cracking open a really good bottle of wine over (sorry about ending that phrase with a preposition), still hasn't been implemented. Although it made some modest improvements in state law, plenty of people, including myself, were critical of its drug testing provisions, since drug abuse hasn't been a factor in any major mine disaster.

In other coal news, mining employment dropped in the last quarter of 2012, with a total of 1,200 jobs lost. Ken Ward reports that 2/3 of the losses occurred in surface mines.

Since I'm leaning pretty hard on Ken today, let me give a final shout out to this great post of his at Coal Tattoo, which asks, not for the first time, "When will W.Va. plan for 'after coal?'"

From what I can tell, the answer so far is, not any time soon.

February 05, 2013

You be the judge

Image by way of wikipedia.

Far be it from El Cabrero to ever discuss, gossip or blog about the marital woes of my friends, having a surfeit of my own. Recently, however, I learned of an incident so egregious, so heinous that I am not sure forgiveness for it can be found in this or any other world.

It was of an order of magnitude that would seem to tax the very mercy of Our Lord and Our Lady and the boundless compassion of Amida Buddha.

And it had to do not with the sins of the flesh, nor with cruelty or avarice, but rather with Netflix.

Let's suppose that a couple, otherwise happily married up to this point, enjoyed watching a series together. Let's call it Mad Men.

Now imagine that one partner is away and is unavailable for shared family time of watching 1960s males behaving badly.

The honorable thing, worthy of the praise of decent folk everywhere, would be to forgo the pleasure of the show until the beloved's return.

Still, given the frailty of human nature, it might be forgiven if one watched it alone and then watched it again without complaint upon the joyous reunion.

Less praiseworthy but still permissible would be to watch it, keep the disc and encourage the partner to watch it as convenient.

But no. Imagine the sheer perfidy--it makes the angels weep to think on it!--of watching the disc solo and then sending it back in the mail before the beloved even had a chance to watch.

Did Heaven look on this and not send aid?

I'm trying to think of where Dante might have classified this sin in his Inferno. Not with the sins of intemperance, which got off the easiest. Nor with the violent, who occupied the next rung down. As I see, the minute the US Postal Service became involved, this became an act of video betrayal, placing the offender  at risk of lying frozen in the ice beside Caiaphas and near the three headed body of Satan, chewing forever on Judas, Brutus and Cassius.

In fact, one of those three guys might even get a break for the first time in 2000 or so years...

(The fact that the video marital betrayal occurred with a video about marital betrayal only adds a post-modern veneer to a primal iniquity.)

This one is too tough for me to call. What do you think, Gentle Reader? Is redemption possible here?

LINKS? Schminks!


February 04, 2013

Laid low

El Cabrero hasn't been much of a blogger lately, due in part to what seems to be a bout of noro virus, which is pretty nasty. So far, it knocked me out of attending my grandson's birthday party and completing a 10 practice trail fun, not counting other stuff I can't remember.

At one point, it was so bad that I must have fainted, getting a nasty knock on the back of my head. That was one of the more pleasant symptoms.

I wouldn't wish this on....well, that may be best left unsaid.

FIRST SOME GOOD NEWS. Ohio's governor, a hardcore Republican who opposed health care reform, supports expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Now if only WV's Democratic governor would do the same.

THEN SOME BAD. One veteran commits suicide every 65 minutes.

and now, for something completely different,

HIS KINGDOM FOR A HORSE. A skeleton found under a parking lot has been revealed by DNA tests to be that of English king Richard III, immortalized--not in a good way--by Shakespeare.

RANDOM FEVER INDUCED THOUGHT. I think I'll name my next dog Eponymous.