The Death of an Empire

What the fuck are we doing? Has everyone lost their goddamn mind? What in the hell is wrong with you people? We have people killing eachother over the right to protest, we have a president who should’ve been sent off to pasture years ago, and we have a percentage of the country that just wants to see the world burn.

I want to believe that we’re better than this, I want to believe that we’re still the greatest country on Earth. It’s kind of like being a Browns fan: you see their potential, but they keep fucking it up.

That picture of Minneapolis burning is iconic, it should be someone’s album cover, it speaks to everything that needs to be said right now. I’m not a good mouthpiece for change, I have no idea what I’m doing with my life, so don’t make me delve too deep into the stupid shit I say to give me that momentary serotonin hit that keeps me going.

You’re Going to Die

It’s true, sorry to spoil the surprise. I’ve long come to terms with my mortality, I’m perfectly fine with whatever’s going to happen because I know that I’m probably not going to be able to overcome whatever happens. You should get used to the idea as well.

You’re going to die. It’s that simple, but nobody thinks that it will happen any time soon. Most of you are right, you’ll die of something simple after you’ve lived a long, happy life. The rest of you won’t be so lucky. You’ll get hit by a drunk driver on your way home, you’ll have a brain aneurysm, you’ll get some awful form of cancer, you’ll get hit by a stray bullet walking home from work, it’s going to happen, it’s just a matter of when and where.

What do you do after you come to terms with your mortality? Whatever you want. Once you understand that this is all bullshit, you’ll start to relax a little bit and stop sweating the small stuff. I like to think long-term: will this event matter in 5, 10, 20 years? Usually, it won’t. I know this sounds kind of shitty, but once you realize that life isn’t that impactful, you’ll start to see it under a new set of eyes.

I’m sure that my mind will change if I have kids and start thinking about my legacy, but for now, fuck that. I never hear anyone talk about this, it seems like talking about dying is something that we’ve pushed aside and made taboo, even though it’s the only thing that everyone on Earth shares with each other. With everything that’s going on in this fucked up reality TV show we call a country, I think that now’s a great time to take time to account for what’s important to you. If you’re scared, I’m sure that’s a totally normal response to the idea that eventually you’ll no longer exist, but being afraid of it doesn’t do anything productive. If you decide that fighting for what you believe in is worth it, go for it and make America proud, if not; stay home and try not to make things worse. I know where I’ll be: on the golf course with a joint and a cold beer, enjoying however long I have left.

The Great Molasses Disaster

In this installment of weird historical events, I’ll touch on The Great Molasses Disaster, one of my favorite wacky accidents, that devastated the North End of Boston. On January 15th, 1919, a storage container holding 2.3 million gallons of molasses burst, flooding the streets at 35mph and killing 21 people.

Now, let’s unpack this a little. First of all, let’s picture what 2.3 million gallons of anything coming at you like a soccer mom in a carpool lane. Not great. Now picture molasses: it’s gross, it’s sticky, it’s heavy, and the more you try and fight it, the quicker it’ll take you under, like some sweet-smelling version of quicksand. Now imagine you’re on your way home from one of the many amazing restaurants in the North End when you hear something that sounds like a freight train roaring down the street, enveloping you in some sticky bullshit that slowly drowns you.

Why did this happen? Simple physics is to blame. New England weather is wild, we can go from 60 degrees and sunny, to -5 and snowy, in the same day. That’s what happened ln January 15th. The molasses was previously warmed to make it easier to transport, but when the newly-delivered molasses met the previously-delivered cold molasses, the difference in heat caused the molasses to expand and puncture the container. Thankfully, storage regulations changed, and now there aren’t any more industrial accidents*.

After all the damage was done, and the flood of molasses was cleaned up, over $9.18 million dollars (adjusted for inflation) in damage was done. Locals say that on a hot day, you can still smell the molasses. I’ve been to the North End in the summer, and I don’t buy it, unless molasses smells like the combination of great Italian food, garbage, and stale beer.

The Great Emu War

During my daily Wikipedia dive, I found something that shocked me: The Great Emu War of Australia. Now, Australia seems like both an awesome place to visit, and a horrifying deathscape straight out of Mad Max. Australia is where the British dumped their prisoners, who grew up to be hearty, resilient people, who then got beaten by flightless birds. This historical event makes me even less likely to visit Australia, just in case I run into an emu with a grudge against humans.

The Great Emu War happened in 1932 due to the ever-increasing number of emus, leading to the decimation of crops. The farmers, understanding that you probably shouldn’t fuck with a bird that can keep up with your car, called the government for aid. By the time the army arrived, over 20,000 emus were causing a ruckus across Australia. Australian leadership dispatched Major G.P.W Meredith to take care of them.

On the first day, there were 50 emus, and the Army had machine guns. No problem, right? Wrong. Those crafty little bastards used guerrilla tactics and divided the Australian forces, making it so that they were only pursuing a single emu at a time. Only 12 emus were killed before the machine guns started to jam, and the emus retreated. Emus-1, People-0.

This went on for around a month, with the emus displaying similar tactics to Zulu warriors. In the first 6 days of fighting, 2,500 rounds were fired, and only 50-100 emus were killed. Shortly after, the soldiers ambushed over a thousand emus, firing tens of thousands of bullets, and only killing around a dozen emus. Emus-2, People-0.

During the course of the conflict, the soldiers observed the emus following pack leaders, and obeying commands from them. This is a terrifying idea, that giant birds that can outrun my Honda can communicate with each other well enough to defeat a military unit.

After too many defeats from flightless birds, the Australian government had enough, and pulled the troops out. Emus-3, People-0.

This blew me away, I’ve seen emus in nature documentaries, YouTube videos, and Kangaroo Jack, but I never would’ve thought they were capable of defeating humans. If you’re from Australia, I really want to know more about this, is this taught in schools? Are there any other wacky wars like this? Let me know, I’m super interested in your crazy country.