A Brief History of the World, Winston Smith edition

First, according to astrophysicists, there was nothing. Nada. Zilch. Tabula rasa. Then that nothingness somehow exploded. Can you say big bang? Congratulations! To, uh, whatever produced the big bang, as it gave birth to what is referred to as the universe. According to scientific investigation, that was approximately 13.8 billion years ago. Then, around 13 billion years ago, the first stars begin to burn, their glow taking its sweet time to reach…well “us”; but let’s not get too far ahead here since “us” at this point in the life of the universe is still WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY off.

Moving on, about 4.6 billion years ago our solar system begins to come together and with it the birth our life-sustaining sun. Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, and thus one of the charter members of our universe, which early on had no stars or planets. Stars were forged from atoms of hydrogen and helium, while new chemical elements were created inside the dying stars (birth and death, it’s inescapable, eh?). Planets and moons formed from blobs of ice and dust using these new chemicals and elements, and the first living cell evolved in the rich chemical environments of rocky planets.

Then, 3.8 billion years ago, comes the earliest forms of life on our very special planet we call Earth. These were mostly single cell life forms. Not too sophisticated but, hey, back then they were the entire show. And that “show” was a long-running production, with virtually zero competition for attention for the next 3.2 billion years. Okay, so let’s do the math: 3.2 billion from 3.8 billion=600 million , as in years ago, larger life forms appear. Those bigger living things had the stage for a mere 593 million (or so) years, when ‘only” 7 million years back our human lineage splits from that of the Chimpanzee. That “break-away” from the chimp world, over the next 5 million years, produced the–ta da!–homo erectus. This new “standing man” then becomes the species known as Homo sapiens, a classification that is marked at about at 200,000 years ago. Hey, from Big Bang to standing man. In a mere 4 billion, 599 million, 999.8 thousand years.

Or, in just three paragraphs on this blog entry.

A brief history, okay?

Standing man hasn’t always had it easy, though. Life was rough and tumble. Maslow’s pyramid of ascending needs would have to have several sub-basements to signify the ordeal of simply staying alive back in that day. Today’s homeless population live elite lifestyles compared to Homo neanderthalensis. Basic food and shelter? Life was always a bitch, no doubt. And then , as already noted, they would die. But enough of standing man got off his/her feet to copulate and Homo sapiens endured, right through the last ICE AGE, some 10,000 years ago. After that frosty kick in the loin cloth-covered asses of our species by the forces of nature, it was but 5,000 years ago that cities began to appear on the planet. 3,000 years later, standing man had developed its survival instincts and desire to be the masters of their–and other’s–domains, with the Han and Roman empires. Little by little, by about 500 years ago, exploration and discovery by our species started to link the world together. For better or worse. Mostly worse, in my estimation.

Formal knowledge, the refinement of arts and sciences, elevated our human place on planet earth. In the past 150 years industrialization has given us railroads, jet airplanes, radio and television and space travel. Just 50 years ago we landed on the moon, an event that for a brief moment in time, was at once inspirational and mesmerizing in its realization, and as such, transcended race, ethnicity, or nationality in a most powerful and positive sense of shared pride in our humanity. And it was quite a momentary antidote to a world in which over the previous 200 or so years having been marred by revolutionary wars here and abroad, the U.S.civil war, World Wars I & II, (the latter of which produced an another awesome, if not a Kumbaya, event called the creation–and deployment–of the atomic bomb), the Korean and Vietnam wars, and at this point in time bloodshed far and wide. More empires. Less humanism.

Now, here we are early in the first month of year 2019. Unless you are one of the Homo sapiens that has succumbed to a de-evolutionary modus operandi, and cannot think on your own, unable to truly engage your brain, not able to determine basic right from wrong, nor distinguish a stone cold fact from an inference to a bald face lie, you might have heard about, and perhaps become concerned for our planet, all 4.6 billion years old as it is. What am I getting at? Well, while the Big Bang theory says we came from nothing, (go figure) ever since, and as been alluded to earlier, all forms of life on this planet come and go. You know, born to die. In comparison to mother earth, we are all around for a nano second of a wee smaller nanosecond of a fraction of a fraction of a blink of an eye. Hope to live to be 110? No different. By the time you were born to your demise, you (all of us, okay?) relatively speaking were barely here at all! But reproduction keeps humankind around, whether one is using that brain very well or not. Among the scientists whom are most involved with the life span of our planet–which, mind you, is inevitably as with all else, going to die–they assert we have reached an “existential crisis”. It’s called climate change. And the virtual consensus of climate scientists is that our planet is sick. Very sick. Human activity is hastening our planet’s demise–and standing man and woman will eventually pass away when the sphere beneath our feet no longer can support itself, or us.

What are we humans doing about this crisis? Apparently not much. Certainly not nearly enough. In the decade that ran from 1979-1989 we had an excellent opportunity to solve this climate crisis. The world’s major powers came within several signatures of endorsing a binding, global framework to reduce carbon emissions–far closer than we have ever come since. During those years, the conditions for success could not have been more favorable. The obstacles we blame for that inaction are still emerging. But now, as back then, the only thing standing in the way of saving the planet is…ourselves.

And by ourselves, I include a particular person who is an avowed science-denier when it comes to looming climate collapse: this person is deeply, profoundly flawed. Okay, nobody is perfect but…this person is a sociopath. This person is a racist. Indeed, he is a white supremacist. He is a misogynist. A homophobe. A xenophobe. A failed businessman. A con man. As bad as all that is, the worst part is he has been allowed to be the President of our country. Oh, and one who may have colluded with Mother Russia and its evil strongman, V. Putin, during his campaign. This man is not helping with much except to create chaos and consternation amongst critical thinkers. Sadly, this person has followers. I call them “pod people” (after the people in Invasion of the Body Snatchers whose beings are overtaken by insidious pods being slipped near them as they slumbered, to awake and become zombie like automatons in the grip of alien forces). Today’s Pod People have brains, but they are a waste of gray matter. Podsters don’t seem to care about anything but what their “leader” thinks and does. But more than any creepy flaw he has clearly displayed, it’s that science-denying one that is the most dangerous here, in 2019.

Sadly, in my informed, personal opinion, it may be 2019, but I’m beginning to feel as though it is really 1984. As in the dystopian world penned by George Orwell in 1949, shortly after the carnage of World War II. In it, Orwell created Big Brother. A glossary of terms from that seminal novel would include, doublethink, hate week, newspeak, speakwrite, thought police, and thoughtcrime. Doesn’t sound like a Disney narrative, eh?Now, I am not saying we are actually immersed in Orwell’s nightmare vision of the future, as he saw it back in 1949, but there are indications that, since our current occupant of the White House took residence there in January of 2017, it certainly sounds and seems as though we are getting closer to an Orwellian nightmare than safely secured from any such approximation of it.

For example, a few nights ago, the corporate, mainstream media once again demonstrated its collusion in this country’s ever-increasing descent into creepy, dark political cynicism. How so? By granting a prominent platform for the dissemination of blatant propaganda and fear mongering by the above alluded to White House denizen.

The various major media outlets, both broadcast and cable, were asked to permit this person, who has been clearly and credibly identified as a bona-fide, dissembling demagogue to speak to we the people. The heads of these news outlets could not possibly have acted any more irresponsibly by agreeing to provide prime-time coverage for this person and his intended reason for seeking their assistance. After all, he was not addressing the vital–and ever more desperate–need for climate action. Of course not. He, at best, willfully denies the reality of climate change, or actually is unable to process the credible evidence that has been around for-as noted–several decades by now. He wasn’t talking about making healthcare more affordable for all of we the people, nor was he addressing the need for more affordable means of getting a college education. He wasn’t announcing a plan to address re-building our rotting national infrastructure, or creating a living wage policy to help the average person make ends meet without working two or more jobs.

No, he was give the national airwaves to potentially enter into the living rooms–Little Brother?–of every household, to demand several billion dollars for a “wall” to separate the U.S. from its neighboring countries to the south. He claimed–without evidence– that the border is not secure, and that those coming here included rapists, murderers, drug dealers and terrorists. All while our federal government has been shut down for almost three weeks as a means of showing he means business.

The Orwellian part of his being on the airwaves so pervasively is that there was no obligation on the part of the media to grant him time to spew his nonsense, all of which is at the expense of that evidence-based existential crisis known as the climate crisis that increasingly threatens our planet. The heads of each of those major media outlets could have easily declared his request as being so blatantly a political stunt that they could not possibly be so irresponsible as to let him have the airwaves to advance its unworthiness. The fact that they didn’t is extremely disturbing.

Orwell’s book, by the way, has become something of a new best seller in the past couple of years. Art imitates life? Ugh. Well, we’re not that far gone yet, but the media created this orange-hued occupant of the White House, and it could destroy him just as easily. We don’t have to listen to him even if the media continues to provide a platform for further prevarication, division and hate speech. But we shouldn’t have to willfully ignore what should never have been allowed to become a reality in the first place. What happened on Tuesday evening was a dangerous symptom of incipient Orwellianism, in my estimation.

After 4.6 billion years, here we are, my fellow Homo sapiens. We are the problem. Of course we are. We must have asked for this or else why has it become a reality? When did basic right and wrong become so jumbled in so many people’s minds? How can we be so easily led astray? Who and what are we paying attention to? So, as mother earth continues to wheeze and convulse, the clock is ticking. You can take time out for a break, but you can’t take a break from time, right? I’d say, time to take a break from taking break from thinking about the present and the future. You can change the dial, or turn off that tv, leave cyberspace and connect with reality. I mean, can’t we do better than this? This is what we have evolved into since leaving ChimpWorld?

4.6 billion years from nothing to the moon and back. And it was televised! Now, our media has become a tool for misinformation, disinformation, insipid celebrity cults, bread and circuses. It is everywhere and nowhere. Newspeak. Doublethink. Hate week. Thoughtcrime. Far fetched? Let’s hope so. But sometimes, lately, I feel a bit like Orwell’s protagonist, Winston Smith in 1984. But I’m hoping for a happier ending than Winston’s.

If your brain is critically engaged and your eyes wide open, I’d say you–as I–are all insipiently becoming Mr.Smith.

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Flattening the Curve(s)

Today, April 7, 2020 in the Covid-19 pandemic. While most states here in the U.S. have made official shelter-in-place orders, there are several that still have not. For those living in the states where the governors refuse to act in accordance with the irrefutable medical science which emphatically states stopping Covid-19 from spreading means staying home, maybe at least local mayors are using their brains to help save lives. And getting the public to shelter at home, only going out for necessary supplies once in a while–and then wearing face masks/bandanas and keeping at least 6 or more feet apart from others–clearly does work. The proof of this is that today, for the first day since the virus outbreak was started in China–likely in the Wuhan area–there has not been a single Covid-related death reported. I repeat, not a single additional death from Wuhan, the original epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

If only the U.S. could say the same. Not about to happen, as today, New York City recorded 731 deaths. Since the virus reached the Big Apple several weeks ago, it has suffered 3,202 Covid deaths. In comparison, back in China, where the virus was first reported back in late November or early December or thereabouts, it has reported 3,331 deaths. That’s China, folks, where 1.386 billion people call home. New York City has 8.6 million residents. These statistics are telling us a story. The narrative here is this corona virus can be stopped, if only people would be smart about deploying the stay home strategy very assiduously.

While the Chinese government at first tried to downplay the seriousness of Covid-19’s initial spread, when it realized that the virus was immune to magical thinking, and it was going to decimate the population if allowed to, it got real serious about not letting that happen. The Chinese officials locked-down the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, population 11 million. That order was put in place 76 days ago–Jan 23. And as noted, today not one new Covid death. Additionally, the residents of Wuhan are being allowed to go out again, with precautions of course.

The first diagnosed case of the virus here in the U.S. was January 21. On January 30, the World Health Organization (that’s a scientific organization, okay?) declared a GLOBAL HEALTH EMERGENCY. By the end of January, our President was given the grim projections on the Covid-19 deaths here in the U.S., estimated to be as much as hundreds of thousands. However, as with the initial Chinese response that downplayed the matter, the White House insisted that everything was under control. To this day, the day in which there has not been one new death in China because of the virus, our country’s “leader” still has not ordered a national shelter-in-place order. Thus, those several states–all so-called “red states”–that still don’t get it about what a seriously deadly matter this viral attack is. And by “red” state I’m not talking commies here. I’m talking Republican led states. Some “leadership” going on there–a deficit that is emboldened by blathering from a cartoon show masquerading as sober consideration from 1600 Mar-a-Lago.

However, I need not go on another screed about the national political party I have long referred to as Murder, Inc. GOP policies have been killing people for years. You should know by now that the GOP has fought against every piece of legislation that actually aims serve everyone in the U.S (what a concept eh?). That would include, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, any attempt at universal healthcare, protecting women’s reproductive rights and on and on and on. So, why would they care about who dies from the Covid attack? And to put a fine point on my assertion of Murder, Inc., just today, the state of Wisconsin–with a Democratic Governor but a GOP run legislature–is conducting their scheduled primary. However, the governor tried to push the primary into May. The legislature acted in conjunction with the state’s GOP majority supreme court to rule the primary will take place today, with the matter also being quickly settled by our nation’s Supreme Court by–of course!–a 5-4 vote with all five votes for letting the primary go ahead being given by conservative, GOP lapdog justices.

See what I mean? In Wisconsin, the GOP says go out and vote. It may cost you your life, but obviously we Republicans don’t care about that. Why? As usual, the strategy works for them, and against any possible loss of Murder, Inc not calling the neo-liberal, let-them-eat-cake shots. You know, it’s a variation on Tony Montana/Scarface denoting the progression of achieving supremacy: first you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the woman. But the difference here is women don’t count at all with the GOP. Power and money gets their rocks off. Women? Several of those red states have used the coronavirus pandemic to pass draconian legislation to prevent a woman from getting an abortion, even if it is a matter of that woman’s life or death. The GOP is one hideously inhumane, greedy, creepy and morally corrupt crowd, whose “leader” admitted in front of a camera and microphone prior to his running for office, that he can use his celebrity when in the presence of a beautiful woman to “Grab ’em by the pussy”.

Then again, from our current cartoon character occupying the White House, from where he conducts a reality show akin to the corporate media-based one that gave him a smaller but significant stage, on down to local GOP office holders, I wonder: how do these political cretins ever get elected in the first place? 

Well, one reason is their systematic implementation of voter suppression laws in those same red states–and mind you this red state/blue state political map of the country has taken shape for the last 40 years, given birth when Ronald Reagan was elected, ushering in the neo-liberal agenda that today has generated outcomes like the Wisconsin primary becoming a literal life-risking matter in order for its citizens to vote. But voter suppression is not the sole reason the GOP continues to wield its nefarious agenda. Another factor is the unabashed rigging of the judicial branch of our government. Again, as above with a right-wing court ordering Wisconsin’s primary to be held in spite of the obvious dangers that ruling entailed, and the anti-abortion laws being enforced in the face of this pandemic, as if the constitutional right for a woman to control her own body is nullified by the virus. The virus that–and yes to beat a goddam dead horse–that was not taken the least bit seriously by our Republican pussy-grabber when it was first documented by the W.H.O. And that because  of this stupendous stupidity New York City has recorded virtually as many Covid deaths as the entire country of China–where it first ran rampant.

Do you see the self-stoking vicious circle that is in play here? Murder, Inc., Established in early November of 1980, when the American people went to polls and decided that Ronald Reagan was the best choice to lead our country. I will never forget the term “Reagan Democrats” denoting how many of the Donkey Party’s members went from blue to red. And for many of us, who lived through that  upheaval of the political landscape, now living with the unprecedented political earthquake, a tectonic plate shattering, brace yourself against the wall, slap yourself in the face this-has-got-to-be-a-gothic nightmare event of November 8th 2016, bad done turned worse. Much, much worse.

How do enough people still actually vote for members of a political that overtly displays its contempt for any but the most wealthy  and privileged? A party that–taking its cue from Reagan who famously warned us all that the government is the problem, not the solution–currently cannot provide any trace of leadership in the face of a life-altering, global catastrophe. A party whose policies serve the very, very few, even now in our communal hour of greatest need.

The pandemic is a matter of “flattening the curve”, as we have all been told. That curve gets flattened by people being officially told to STAY HOME. If the virus cannot continue to spread by close contact, medical science can get the upper hand all the sooner to resolve this life and death matter. That strategy has been shown to work, not just in Wuhan, but in others places, including Singapore, Austria and Germany. Here in the U.S., California, a very blue state whose governor early on saw that the federal government was pretty much useless, has become  a model for flattening the curve. Yeah, let’s flatten that curve, okay? It’s the SMART thing to do. Stay home as much as possible. To not do so is pretty stupid. Can’t beat the virus by being stupid. Stupidity won’t flatten the curve (hello, red state mopes taking its cue from Idiot Number One).

There’s a second curve–akin to the corona virus curve–that needs to be flattened. And that curve is–what else?–the Stupidity Curve. What does this curve look like? Well, it is far, far from being flattened. It has been slowly spiking for decades, leading to why Republican con artists of every rank and file keep getting elected. Seriously, tens of millions of voters keep voting against their best interests. The 1% that controls almost all of the power and wealth in this country have been put in place by millions of voters being stupid enough to be conned. As if the GOP supporters, most of whom are working class, who need healthcare, education, economic opportunity, safe drinking water (recall the GOP led Michigan officials essentially poisoning the Flint, Michigan water supply to–what else?–save money for their corporate backers) breathable air and other basic human rights, can’t discern fundamental right from wrong.

We will, eventually, flatten the Covid-19 curve, here and around the world. In spite of the noted stupidity displayed by those who have the power to help, but choosing not to be much help at all. To prevent having such sinister and cynical, incompetent and corrupt government, here and elsewhere, people need to make smarter choices about who they support to govern. I don’t know about this Stupidity Curve getting flattened anytime soon. Maybe stupidity is a disease too. Is there a cure for stupidity? And don’t say education. Lots of people with a  college degree or two choose to vote against their own self-interest.

I keep hearing about how great it will be to get back to normal. Really? Hmm. I believe what was supposedly “normal” prior to our current apocalyptic looking everyday life, is what created this medical and political mess in the first place. Please, let’s create a better, smartly maintained normal when this passes. It should take not an Einsteinian I.Q. to figure out the good from the bad. It shouldn’t take too much brain power to see right from wrong, in each’s most basic characteristics.

In theory anyway.

P.S.: the Democratic Party isn’t exactly free of some complicity in the aforementioned leadership vacuum. Murder, Inc. the DNC is not. More like Status Quo, LLC.

Just so you know…  










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War of the World, Phaedrus edition

While I keep sheltering in place, fully aware of the dire need for everyone here and abroad to be smart and do the same, I am unable to forget how we here in the U.S. got to this point, on April 1. Of course, it’s because covid-19 is an invisible, lethal enemy. However, this precise point in time-cruelly April Fools day–should have taken place no less than seven to eight weeks earlier. Why do I assert such a claim?

Look no further than the occupant of the White House, who downplayed the seriousness of this virus and its potential for global disaster. But he is concerned not about the globe rather only the U.S. And not the general population of the U.S. No, only for the U.S. economy, which he appears to place above people’s lives. You should all understand how much he has blatantly made this priority clear. He wanted to “re-open” businesses by Easter Sunday, but with the covid number skyrocketing, he has had to let that absurd notion go. What he needed to do, long before letting his Easter dream go, was act on real, verifiable, information from the World Health Organization those many weeks ago and ordered the shelter-in-place/social distancing order with all due haste.

That’s what any other President in my lifetime would have done, and by extension I mean every last one who preceded our current occupant of the White House. Of course they would have. But there has never been a person with absolutely no ability to lead or a self-awareness that the job he holds demands leadership, in the best of times but especially in a national crisis. The only reality for this man stares back at him in a mirror. And he always is then self-aware and approving of that reality.

Alas, I belabor the OBVIOUS on this point! Well, for some of us that is, it is abundantly obvious. For others, not so much. Those others would the ones who, in some recent polls, give him a thumbs up on his job performance. Yes, his polling numbers have gone up. These polls are shocking, disturbing and surreal–like the man for whom the polls measure likes and dislikes. Then again, the people who are themselves self-satisfied with their thumbs up in the polls, are also shocking, disturbing and surreal. Well, but his true believers have always come across that way to me. His being given the keys to White House was an abhorrent aberration. Mind you, I despise both Republicans and Democrats, and have cringed at how some of these office holders ever gain traction with voters. But the 2016 outcome exists in its own political universe, galaxy, solar system, star, planet, moon and asteroid pecking order. 2016’s stunning election results (corrupted by an outdated system, foreign interference, voter suppression, all proven as contributors to the outcome) have been a waking nightmare for the those who once laughed at the mere notion of such an outcome; but we get the government we deserve. Right. Wait, but do we deserve this? That is, gross incompetence is one thing, but willfully ignoring proven science weeks and weeks ago means, at this moment, April 1, 2020, that ignorance has cost people their lives in creasing numbers.

As if he cares. He is considered by mental health professionals to be a “sociopath”. His hideous character warts have been on display for decades. Now his most glaring shortcoming–not having any empathy whatsoever–has become weapons grade lethal.

Well, I wish everyone well, even those who literally–albeit unwittingly– voted for this. The virus does not discriminate. It’ll kill friend and foe of our current resident of 1600 Mar-a-Lago. That was its modus operandi months and months ago, when it first become known as a matter of importance. If only we could have been given facts about the gravity of the situation before the virus itself forced the facts to confront our reality-denying president. Mind you, he very reluctantly has made recent concessions to our current reality. He has at last–and VERY late in this matter–conceded to the seriousness of the moment. I’m sure he loathed having to concede to the facts of this matter. No, sir. Covid-19 is so not fake news!

If only the mistakes of others only had consequences for those who made the mistake. But that’s not the way it works. We here in the U.S. of A. are all paying for that shocking, disturbing, surreal outcome back on November 8th 2016. I knew no good could come of it. But I never figured it would come to being THIS BAD, as much as I knew it had potential for unprecedented outcomes.

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good,

need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

Gee, good question. Maybe a poll could be taken to answer that one.

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War of the World, Agent Smith edition

Hello, self-quarantined, sheltering-in-place, social distancing, diligent hand washing, not face touching, responsible practitioners/critical thinkers in what by now is clearly a deep dive into an a potentially apocalyptic pandemic. Being smart about this war against an invisible but lethal enemy is the only way Covid-19 will be stopped. Being stupid about it will increase the odds against winning, and by winning I mean being able to save humanity from whatever brought this calamity upon one and all, anywhere and everywhere.

Certainly, I am stating the obvious here, right? Who doesn’t already understand this? Well, obviously it is not obvious to a lot of people. And the people I am alluding to are swathes of science-deniers, or selfishly reckless individuals who still meet up in groups or who individually hoard sanitizers, face masks, and most all of toilet paper. Toilet paper! Okay, you might get diarrhea if you’re infected. But one person buying three packs of 32 rolls? And likely NOT suffering such a symptom as they stack their shopping cart full of Charmin. What a bunch of assholes, obviously. But–most of all–certain people who have a public presence via media outlets. Here in the U.S of A., we have an administration that is led by, as David Brooks, a bonafide media conservative put it, a “sociopath”. And this sociopath has made it abundantly clear that saving our economy, i.e. Wall Street, is more important than anything else. You may have heard of medical staff all over the country crying out for more vital supplies. This need has been established weeks and weeks ago, but only a trickle of new resources have become available. This sociopath could invoke the War Powers Act to require U.S. manufacturing companies to quit making one widget or another and make those medical supplies instead. But he refuses to use that Act. He prefers not to be a burden to business, apparently. Priorities.

For all I know, at the very moment I write this post, some further lunacy has been spoken by Sociopath Man. Yesterday he touted the idea of “reopening America” by Easter Sunday. You know, to help–not the doctors, nurses, first responders and others on the front lines of this life or death battle–but, you know, to help get the economy percolating again. This psychobabble was uttered at virtually the same time the World Health Organization postulated the U.S could soon become the very epicenter of this viral assault. Who do you want to believe? Sociopath Man or the World Health Organization?

I am of a mind that Sociopath Man will have to be reigned in by the scientific community, or we, here in the U.S. will suffer for it. More than we already are suffering from it. Sure, his fellow sociopathic true believers trust him. They are zombies, but unlike those in what was once just a science fiction apocalyptic narrative. This story is all too real. Sociopath Man’s zombies are very real. They want to eat brains alright. Brains that, as alluded to above, belong to those smart/critical thinking, regimen respecting troopers aligned to defeat our common enemy, Covid-19. Sociopath zombies indeed want to eat that type of brain, and they will if we let them. Then there are no brains left. Sociopath Man is a virus unto himself. His spores are his followers. When they speak, it is a the equivalent of an coronavirus infectee sneezing in your face. Duck and cover.

No one can yet see how this all ends. It’s a war, for sure. But in this part of world and others, there’s a secondary war of fact vs fiction. Black magical thinking vs sound reasoning. To win both wars is quite a task, but it can be done. If not then whom to blame? I think I know the answer to that one…

…and it was provided in one particular sequence of the 1999 seminal science fiction film The Matrix. In this sequence, Morpheus has been captured and is being tortured by three Agents, sentient computer programs that protect the Matrix from its human enemies. Morpheus is human but has entered the matrix as part of a resistance that strives to save humanity from the machines, which are now harvesting humans to use them as energy sources- batteries, if you will, that aid in the matrix’s operation. Agent Smith is desperate to break into Morpheus’ mind, to get the information that will finish off any human threat to the machines. As agent Smith becomes more impatient with Morpheus, he (it) decides to clearly explain his antipathy toward the human race that created the matrix in the first place. Smith, visibly displaying disgust with his assignment to crack Morpheus so he/it can exist without threat from him or leftover resistant humans, alludes to the matrix failing to ever understand how the human race functions, saying that although the computers tried to make a virtual world for those humans serving as unwitting servants to the matrix it created, nothing ever seemed to satisfy them. Human behavior is a puzzle that the matrix cannot solve. Smith asserts that all humans ever seem to do, is populate one place, destroying it in the process, before moving to another place and destroying it as well, time and time again. Rinse and repeat, in so many words. As Morpheus slumps, bound to a chair, hanging on desperately so as not to let them break his will–hack his brain, as it were–Smith then tells Morhueus there is another organism that has the same behavioral characteristics of the human race, that being a virus.

Yes, Agent Smith. You hit the nail right on the head! The human race is one nasty, greedy, genocidal, power thirsty lot. The human virus. Hell, the 20th century alone gave us two world wars, plus a handful of ridiculous, life-wasting ideological proxy wars. We slaughter one another, writ large or small. Before you accuse me of cherry picking humankind’s characteristics, just take a close look at the world, especially before this pandemic. Fascism on the rise. Racism. Sexism. Xenophobia. Class warfare. Plutocrats. Oligarchs. Totalitarians. Then study history farther and farther back. Rinse and repeat. Smith, my man–uh–my sentient computer program. You rule!

But we must dethrone agent Smith. Now let’s go and win this war! Both of them! Stay inside and keep washing those hands. Avoid those Sociopath Man zombies. Squirt disinfectant into their eyes. We can do it.

Or maybe this is our Matrix. If so, if some guy who goes by the name of Morpheus rescues you from your virtual world of placid, quotidian routine, when he offers a choice of a red or blue pill, TAKE THE BLUE ONE.

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Crime and Punishment; Pardon Me? edition

On February 7, 2003, the Bush administration continued its increasing drumbeat for taking down Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi honcho, with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld  estimating  that such an invasion could last “Six days. Six weeks. I doubt six months”.

On March 20, 2003, the U.S. invades the country of Iraq.

In case one doesn’t recall the run-up to that march 2003 start of the Iraq war, allow me to remind such a reader that it’s official ending date is noted as December 18, 2011. About 130,000 U.S. soldiers entered into that invasion, along with about 45,000 British troops. According to National Geographic “war and occupation directly and indirectly claimed the lives of about half a million Iraqi civilians. The American military death toll stands at about 4500.

In the ensuing years since March 20, 2003, investigations into the assertions by the Bush administration used to justify the invasion have irrefutably shown that Hussein did not possess, nor was trying to develop, “weapons of mass destruction” to be used against the U.S. This is not only based on reporting by the likes of Mother Jones, but from our own CIA and FBI, which as the rush to war was reaching a fever pitch in early 2003, concluded the “evidence” was not reliable. Meetings, the CIA and FBI claimed, that were alleged to have taken place in which “proof” of Saddam’s WMDs were discussed,  never took place. If you doubt that the Iraq war was based on lies, distortions and propaganda 101’s “demonization” strategy, then do your own research (but check your sources, as there are many sites that spew a toxic stew of prevarication and pre-fabbed “facts”). Bush and Iraq was fake news long before our current Tweeter-in-Chief popularized the term. Unfortunately, the mainstream media, both electronic and print, at the time did not seem interested in truth-telling. The general (clearly non-critical thinking) public gave the invasion a thumbs up at around 70% at its start. By 2011, when President Obama officially ended our occupation of Iraq, 75% (Gallup poll) approved of the withdrawal. That’s a strange reversal of support, inasmuch as George W.Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and others from back in 2003 have yet to admit to any such fear mongering, deadly bait-and-switch tactics. The”Bushies” have never admitted to any wrongdoing to this day.  Keep in mind, however, that the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission, a tribunal consisting of five judges with judicial and academic backgrounds reached a unanimous conclusion, in late 2011, BEFORE the withdrawal from Iraq, that George W. Bush and Tony Blair (Prime Minister of Great Britain at the time) were guilty of “crimes against peace, humanity, and genocide” as a result of their roles in the Iraq war.

That Rumsfeld estimation of the invasion likely not lasting even six months was off by 7.5 years. As noted above, as many as half-a-million civilians died during those years, along with several thousand “coalition” forces. And, in certain other parts of world, Bush, Blair and Associates are considered guilty of crimes against humanity. Those are serious charges, to say the least.

Has there been any official punishment for the now solid evidence that Bush and company lied the U.S. into a deadly war? Guilty of genocide?! Here’s the verdict on that: no way! Not a chance! And who cleared the path for Bush & Associates to still walk the streets like free men (and women, per Condy Rice and the New York times reporter Judith Miller)? None other than President Obama. Recall (if you can) that when Obama became President he had both the House and Senate with a majority of Democrats . That’s alot of power to effectively and justly serve  we the people. But when  asked if he was considering his Justice Department looking into the allegations against Bush invoked above, his response was simply “We need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards”. No wonder the Republicans have always accused the Democrats of being “soft on crime”. No, wait. they didn’t offer that retort to Obama.

No way. It’s all circumstantial, selective perception, apparently


Which brings this blog posting to its actual point: Not all crimes are created equal.  Quite clearly. Nor are they prosecuted equally. Which further brings me to the matter of Tuesday’s pardoning of Rod Blagojevich by the Tweeter-in-Chief. Blago, as he is often referred to, was serving a 14 year sentence at a federal prison in Colorado. He had served eight of those years at the time his pardon was granted. Since Tuesday, his release from prison has been reported on breathlessly by both local and national news. The media spin on this matter has suggested there was a miscarriage of justice committed by freeing Blago before his scheduled release in 2024. And why not? After all, are we not a nation founded on the rule of law? Do the crime, do the time. Damn straight!

What was Blago’s crime? Well, he, like many another public office holder, abused the public’s trust. Corruption. Wheeling and dealing. Shocking, no? A public official abusing his/her power? Blago was tried–twice–before getting that 14 year sentence. The essence of his corruption during his tenure as Illinois governor had to do with his apparent attempt to “sell” former U.S. Senator Barack Obama’s senate seat, vacated when Obama was elected President in 2008. See any irony in that scenario? Obama, who had no interest into even tinkering with the idea of holding George W.Bush to account for a war built on lies. A war with estimates ranging from at least a few hundred thousand Iraqi civilians having lost their lives. Not to mention our own military dead.

But Blago? U.S.Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald went after the former governor like Elliot Ness going after Al Capone. Sell Obama’s seat? That will NOT be tolerated!

Okay, fine then. Crime and punishment. Ness–err Fitzgerald, finally got his man behind bars. The sentence: 14 years! That’ll teach him, and all all other corrupt politicians. The rule of law…

But, wait. Blago didn’t kill anyone. No money ever changed hands. He was a lot of bluster. An easy target. But 14 years? And now that he gets out early because of the pardon, to hear the news reports and opining about such an action sending the wrong message, may I just say this: What a steaming, stinking pile of bullshit!

For all the local pundits, broadcasters, analysts and a lot of John and Jane Q.Public, please shut the fuck up about it. In this case, your political ignorance, your facile indignation, your simple minded assessment of what crime deserves what  punishment is so absurdly skewed into the twilight zone of hypocrisy it reminds me of–wait for it–an episode of South Park. That would be the episode where Cartman, a fat, white, blowhard 4th grader, always in it for himself and himself alone (hmm. Isn’t there someone else who fits that description? Yeah, and while Cartman is a cartoon character this other person, a human, is not a cartoon–damn what IS his name?–but acts cartoonish…and self-absorbed and…ah never mind) impulsively throws a rock intended for one of his playground classmates, but it hits another kid, who happens to be black. The school counselor puts Cartman in detention for two weeks, but two federal agents show up and haul the kid away, charging him with a hate crime. Cartman is sentenced to a juvenile detention center until he is 21! As the judge says, upon his passing sentence, “I’m making an example out of you that if you intend to hurt someone, make damn sure that person is the same color you are”.

Blago’s sentence seems similarly intended to make an example out of him as far as political corruption goes. The judge isn’t letting him off easy. He crossed the line!

However, Blago didn’t smash anyone’s head with a rock, although his dubious “seat for sale” gambit might be the result of a blow to the head and and a resulting lack of ethical reasoning. What it was NOT however,was  an act that caused anyone, anyone at all, any physical harm. If anything, it may have amused some of his fellow political pals otherwise ready to wheel and deal.

One politician (and his fellow wheeler dealers) falsely asserts evidence that propelled the U.S.military troops into harms way. Then, in the span of eight years kills hundreds of thousands of people, not to mention destabilizing a critical part of the Middle East, from which even today Iraq is still trying to recover from the carnage. That criminal action resulted in no legal action whatsoever. We need to look forward, as opposed to looking backwards…

And so, all of the hand-wringing and finger pointing about justice not being served in the Blagojavich case is asinine. He served eight years more than any of the above named, tribunal-convicted perpetrators of crimes against humanity, genocide, and certainly a breach of the public (lazy and gullible as they may be) trust.

I, for one, am glad Rod has been let out of prison. He paid his dues after the first few years of that sentence, given his actual failure to even close the deal.

If only sinister and cynically manufactured reasons to go to war with a consequences be damned cold bloodedness warranted any punishment at all. Too big to fail is one thing. Too big to jail?








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Endgame; Betting Line edition

Hey. Wuzzup? Joey Bag-a-Donut Holes here. I’m a gaming guy. Play the odds stuff, okay? I picked K.C. all the way for the Super Bowl. Made a minor profit by using common sense: Garoppolo was going to out-QB Mahomes? What a joke! It was a safe bet all the way. The S.F. suckers actually thought they had it in the bag as late as several minutes into the 4th quarter. Very satisfying outcome. It was as though Mahomes lured the Niners into a sense of false security. Cat and mouse stuff. What a talent the guy has. The Chiefs winning was great for those betting on them, but as a Chicagoan, almost as satisfying is knowing the Bears idiot GM got another symbolic dagger jabbed into his ribs for passing on Mahomes in the 2017 draft, giving up a first round draft pick to move up for a QB that had little college experience. I guess the Bears staff can’t assess talent very well. What? They couldn’t find any film on Mahomes? What a joke. How the hell does this idiot GM still have a job? If you or I displayed our incompetence like this mope did, we’d be kicked to the curb, then Linked-In with a giant wart on our resume, trying to figure a way to spin it into something positive. Best outcome is the Peter Principle saves you. You know, one gets a gig or promotion to their highest level of incompetence. Hmmm. In that case keep the GM right where he is. He can’t sink any lower to have any room for further incompetence to rise to. Never mind.

What the hell. Who cares anyway? It’s just a stupid, violent game, football, but it sure is a big bucks operation. Crunch time. A seasonal distraction from the other part of life; that is to say, the reality part of life. Pro athletes in any major sport all get paid lots of dough. Sure, they risk injury, but any pro contract is typically a guarantee of a couple million bucks or more, maybe lots more, even for the bench warmers. They don’t exist in a reality where money really matters anymore. As long as they use the money wisely. Like, don’t waste it gambling, or living too large. Hey, as those ancient Greeks advised: everything in moderation. Nothing in excess.

Then again, as a gaming fan (but self-employed, okay, and so no fat cat contract for me. Just trying to make smart choices) I’d like to lay some odds on the non-sporting, harsh reality side of life. That is, I’m wondering,  which very credible threat to my, your or anyone’s existence will befall our sorry-ass human lot?

What am I jabbering about?

Let’s see. The Nuclear Clock is now set at 1 minute and 40 seconds to midnight. If that clock ever strikes midnight, it means nukes are flying in all directions and humankind is basically kaput, if not instantly by the initial blast, then by radioactive fallout. That nuclear clock keeps moving closer to midnight owing to  certain countries that have The Bomb also having governments that like to posture and flex their atomic muscles by pushing and shoving one another, testing missles and their lips flapping about dire consequences, as if daring one another to try and make something of it. Like playground bullies reaching the tipping point, this behavior could trigger some high ranking doofus who can order the launch of a nuke. And then, M.A.D.! Mutual Assured Destruction kicks-in. Game over. Lot’s of reasons to worry that the unthinkable could happen, and the keepers of that Clock don’t push the hands forward just for the hell of it. So, that’s out there. Check for yourself.

Another looming threat is all the climate science reports warning that we’re losing our ozone layer, losing the polar icecaps,  warming oceans, loss of marine life, severe droughts, wildfires, floods, ever-more-severe weather “events” and well, a possible complete climate collapse for the now young generation to bear witness to. And there’s not much being done to address this very real issue. Some high profile people with lots of power call climate change a hoax. Me, I may be foolish enough to gamble, but I believe in science. Ironically, that Super Bowl was played in Miami, a city that is visibly showing signs of being overtaken by rising sea levels. But maybe nukes will come first? Just wear those flood pants in the meantime.

Right now, though, I’m getting more concerned about this Coronavirus. It’s spreading fast in China, and the medical response there was delayed by a government that ignored the doctor who tried to sound the alarm many, many weeks ago. He was reprimanded by his government, who foolishly gambled that it was not that big a deal, that this doctor’s concerns, if allowed to be made clear to the Chinese people, and the rest of the world, would hurt their economic engine. That doctor just died–from the Coronavirus! Now the virus is a major issue, and has already messed with global financial markets, but I think the worst is far from over. The medical agencies are frantically trying to gather data and find a vaccine to protect the public from infection, but that initial delay has likely allowed unknown thousands, or tens of thousands, and a rapidly escalating daily number of people to be infected. And not just in China. Cases are popping up in many other countries. If you sneeze near me, I may duck and cover…

I’d say the virus is currently at the top of the leader board as far as a global endgame scenarios go. Followed by some moron hitting the launch button that starts nuclear WWIII. Then comes environmental collapse. Actually, climate disaster is most likely a sure thing , but it’s at least a decade or three down the road. And little public policy is working to address this threat (unlike medical science now frantically trying to contain that virus). Hell, the official policy of this and other countries has been to reverse environmental protections in favor of a business as usual approach. It’s insanely irresponsible. But hey, like I said, we likely still have enough breathable air and drinkable water to enjoy some more Super Bowls before Ma Nature throws in the towel and let’s it RIP. As in R.I.P.

I would NOT bet against any of these three major threats to life on this planet coming to pass. It’s seems inevitable. And perhaps it’s for the better. The history of the world is mostly wars and devastation in one place or another. Lots of aggression. Ghastly genocides. A thirst for power. Hey, WWII gave us the atomic bomb. WWI introduced germ warfare. The climate crisis? Hmmm. With some assitance from natural climate ups and downs, I’d say a revolution is the biggest factor that makes our current environmental crisis what it is: the Industrial (pollution) Revolution. Trains, planes and automobiles. Manufacturing waste products. A toxic lack of foresight…profit (ahem)  trumps our planet.

My money is on that virus for the time being. I’d say it’s about a 25-1 shot. Then nuclear war, say 35-1. Climate? That’s a actually the only apparent sure endgame thing, based on what I can figure, but the bet would be on how soon it happens. Next 20 years? 7-2. Next 30 years? 3-1. Next 40 years? Even money. One should live so long, eh. Ha!

Well, I just figured there’s always a betting line on just about anything, so why not bet on not just the Super Bowl endgame. Let’s bet on the Big One. I may just be Joey-Bag-a-Donut Holes, and a guy willing to risk a buck or two on one game or another. But I smell an Endgame to end all endgames looming larger and larger. May as well lay some odds on it too. I mean, betting just makes any game more interesting, whether you win or lose. So why not a line on the end of the world?

Gotta go. Always a bet to place. I think I like Middle Tennessee giving 3 points to Alabama A & I. Then parley that with Iona over George Mason. There should be enough time left to for me see how that gambit shakes out. Sure. No sweat. Not trying to be a Donnie Downer here. Just saying. You know?

And by the way, have a nice day. Relax. Today is Oscar awards. My money is on Parasite. It’s a truly interesting and clever film. And the title seems fitting in the moment. 




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So, it’s getting close to finding out what Democratic candidate finished first in the Iowa caucuses, yesterday.  Of course, the results were supposed to be announced before midnight, central time, yesterday. It’s 3:25 here in the Midwest. Perhaps by the time this posting concludes that “winner” will be annouced. I put quotes around winner because already there are suspicions about the DNC and its very clear agenda of avoiding–at any and all costs–one Bernie Sanders from the momentum that this first formal public assessment of candidate worthiness for the White House should he prevail. Bernie? The socialist! Quick! Secure the children! Bolt the doors!

Apparently–or should I say APP-arently–the vote count was to be calculated by an app. It went very wrong. But apps are countless. What do you need to know or do? There likely is an app for that need. A Portugese dictionary? Yep. There’s an app for that. How to cook to impress–her? There’s an app for that, too. But of course again. Big Tech is, by this time, a major influence in most everyone’s life. I suppose there are recluses somewhere out there, holed up in a natural cavity of some sandstone formation out near Death Valley. You know there’re out there. The assumption is that they must be mentally ill to live away from society and its 21st century connectivity provided by one social media platform or another. Maybe he/she is bonko. So what? Aren’t we all in one measure or another? This hypothetical recluse might be “crazy” but with the typical news of the day, wouldn’t it be refreshing to not even know what new craziness has manifested itself somewhere in one or another outpost in the greater USA? Safely tucked away in that cave, The Recluse is in a blissful state: that being ignorance, as the saying along that line goes.

The Iowa caucus went haywire because of an app that didn’t work? Recluse is innoculated from such information’s inherent WTF? reaction. Okay, maybe there’s a radio in the cave, but a true Recluse Cave Person doesn’t have electricity and probably can’t budget for batteries that easily. This is theoretical, of couse. Just play along okay?

We non-cavers most likely have at least a cell phone. Still using a flip-phone? Okay, but it does permit being connected. Plenty of people have smart phones, plus a tablet, plus a laptop. You can spot them in coffee shops, or libraries, at their work desks. Or in their houses, condos, apartment buildings–their version of a sophisticated cave. I’m one of them per my Samsung A50 and my 72 unit apartment building. My laptop, an HP passed away about a year ago. I still haven’t replaced it. Maybe someday…I’m still well connected without it. Smart phones are more powerful per computing ability than those that helped get man to the moon, honest to HP! And as such, the app-gaff in Iowa is on my connectivity radar. But I’m not wringing my hands about it. I’m not surpised by it. I’m amused. Why? Unlike the prevailing political notion of this initial voice of the voter/citizen being counted, proclaiming great importance as to its outcome, I’m okay with the the app-wrench that wrecked the programmed, machination of insufferable self-importance of the matter. I mean, it’s goddam IOWA, a virtually lily-white state, with a dinky population of 3.1 million in a country of about 350 million people. Why is this Iowa caucus given such reverence? Disregarding the ongoing fiasco of the app flop that is still being sorted out, usually whoever gets the most thumbs up from the caucus-goers is annoited as a literal front runner for the Party’s nomination. Really? From a podunk state like Iowa? Really? Iowa?!

Hey, in my home state of Illinois there are over 12 million people and just about every race, ethnicity, and religion is represented within it. Or even more wildly diverse would be New York state, with almost 20 million poeple, 8 million ( and quite a mix of race, ethnicity, etc. as well) alone in New York City. Or the biggest of the big, and again a state of much diversity, is California and its nearly 40 million inhabitants. Texas, with it’s prideful “bigness” has 28.7 million. In fact, the 10 most diverse states are–in order of percentages– California; Texas, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Maryland, Florida, Nevada and Illinois.

So, why is Iowa such a big deal? Other than the media breathlessly reporting on it as though it somehow is. But it isn’t. What difference does it make who wins a scrawny amount of supporters in the low population, 43rd most diverse state in the country? This is nonsense. The good news is that Big Tech has likely reduced Iowa’s self-importance, now that it has shown it can’t even operate an app to reliably count the damn votes, which once upon a time was by a ballot box, as were all elections from “back in the day”. But that’s so low tech, eh? Well, counting votes, or rather a vote being counted, has become scandalous in our national elections for a long time now. Gerrymandering. Voter suppression legislation. Dubious touch-screen voting, SCOTUS gutting the voting rights act. The 2000 election in which the Supreme Court literally appointed Geoge W. Bush as President when it told the State of florida to STOP COUNTING VOTES (before Al Gore could be shown as the clear winner; look it up if you doubt; the final vote was ultimately tallied and Gore indeed would have prevailed).

Yeah, counting the vote accurately matters. But can we get real about making such a big deal out of the teenie, tiny, semi-microscopic voter turnout of the Iowa caucus? Why not start with any of those top-ten states per population and/or diversity? Even more absurd is that the next measure of profound electoral importance will emanate from New Hampshire, and its population of 1.3 million people, and rank of 47th per diveristy. Hell New Hampshirep

makes Iowa look like its overrun with people, and rich with different kinds of folk by comparison. N.H. is 94% white! Aren’t the Democrats suppose to be the party of all  people, regardless of their particular distinctions? Never mind. That slogan is implied, even as it’s grubbing for votes in caucasian strongholds.

Iowa! New Hampshire! App-sol-lute-ly!

The 2020 election is almost exactly 9 months away, the same time frame for the gestation period of we humans from the point that a a single male sperm hooks up with a single female egg in the fallopian tube of love. No dating app needed for that redezvous. Of these two events that will reach their critical mass in the next nine months, one is always considered a miracle, and a moment of extreme, profound wonder, pride, relief and joy. The other one, I have a feeling, will be a dreadful culmination of a corrupted and incompetent electoral process. Anything may pop out of the political ooze that is this very day already a putrid mess, even without voting apps to gum up this massively flawed means of choosing whom to lead the way into the future. 

Well, for you non-Iowans or Hampshire-ites, your state will eventually have its day. Hopefully those first two contests in sparesly populated, very white outposts of America will not have already sealed the deal on a candidate not of your choosing being annointed The Chosen One. After all, they are SO closely watched as arbiters of a final outcome. By the media at least.

If the outcome is not at all to your liking, and you are angry and feaful, there’s probably an app for on-line psychotherapy. Hopefully it won’t be made by the same outfit that provided Iowa with the one that is the news of this day.



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Night O’ Joy

Oooooh wee! What’s be shakin’ peoples? Damn if I ain’t done been hijacketed from my job uh bein a flo sweep at Miss Lana Lee’s Night O Joy in New Orlins ans now gots to deals with whatsevers this place be. I means, I beens makin do at Night O Joy, workin in dat dump to nots be unployed cuz if I quits I be report for bein a vagran.  Po-lice be eager to arres any black man don’t gots a job. I’m workin in modern slavery! Miss Lee she gots a racket goin, sellins porn to school kids. Caint lets her gets ways wits that whiles I be force to flo sweep or get jail ifs I quits…but where the hell am…

Excuse me Mr.Jones. Burma Jones, right?

Dats right. Burma Jones. Hey man, where the hell am I? Yous a cop? I be flo sweepin like always in Night O Joy. Ain’t no vagran. Who the fuck you be?

I’m Viktor Patrenko.  Please excuse me for intruding upon your circumstances, Burma. It’s just that I’ve always admired your character from A Confederacy of Dunces. Great novel. Funny. So fully realized in its depiction of the lunacy that drive its narrative and…

Victor who, what? The hell be goin on here? You caints mess with me likes dis. Whats you wantin?

Well, I just wanted to borrow you for a moment and show you what things are like here in 2020. Dunces was published in 1980, but you and the other characters are set in the year 1963. That was a crazy decade, the 60s, but right now things might be even crazier.

Wo! Ooooh wee! Nows I knows why this place lookin so wacko.  What everbody doin strollin bout wit somethin in theys hands and be lookin at it, but nots much lookin where theys goin?

Those are what we call cell phones. But that’s not important. Since you are attempting to sabotage Lana Lee’s business to get her busted for selling that pornography to school boys, I was wondering if you’d have any ideas of how to sabotage another version of Miss Lee, here in 2020.

Whoa! Puts me back in da Night O Joy! Im not likins this scene.

Hey, Burma, I don’t have much use for it, either. But you’re very street smart and  you do a great job of sabotaging Lana by the end of the novel. Our “Miss Lee” has a much bigger business, though. And our Miss Lana is a man. Here’s a picture of him.

Slow downs, Vic! Whoa! That one freaky lookin cracker! Why he look so orange?

Right. Anyway, this guy makes Miss Lee look like a pillar of virtue by comparison. Right now he’s on trial for corruption.

Cain’t be mo corrup thans Miss Lee! He on trial? What this dude does? He sittins in a fancy ass office. Lookin like a smug mofo, too.

He’s our current President, Jones. He doesn’t sell pornography–I don’t think, anyway–but he’s accused of trying to shake down another country for a political favor. Oh, and lots more but that’s what the trial is all about.

Well, dey gots goods on em? He be outs a job and thens his orange ass go to jail, eh?

Well, no. He’s not going to be convicted. The trial is almost over. But the people trying to get him removed from his job are unable to call witnesses. His backers have control of the trial. Lots of evidence, Jones, but looks like he’s going to–as the saying goes–skate.

Ooooh wee! Dat ain’t no news to a black man. White folk don’t go ta jail as easys as a black man. Whoa! Fuck wrong wit you? What I’m gunna do bout it? Get me back to Night O Joy. Cells phones and orange people. I gots a flo to sweep. Me, I be gunna sabotage this dude? You be a crazy cracker, honky, ofay mofo!

You’re right, Jones. You can’t do anything about it. It’s just that, I’ve gone a little crazy here in 2020, having to listen to this fake trial, and I figured you could at least keep me company for one of my blog entries.

What in da fuck be a blog? Whoa! Ize be gettin creeps bout this 2020 shit. Get me outta here, Potinko or what yo name be.

Okay, okay, Burma. My apologies. I’ll let you get back to the Night O Joy, with its watered down drinks , and cheesy exotic dancer Darlene and her cockatoo. My bad, as the saying goes.

My bad? Whoa! Yo Englis nots very good.

Okay, off you go. I won’t do this again. To you, at least. Maybe I’ll drag someone from Catch-22 into 2020 next. You’ve been a great help though, I want you to know that. I feel a little better now.

Catch twenny to? Whoa. You one pain in da ass, man. Cans I go now?!

Sure. Take care. 2020 is a mess. 1963 was no bargain, either, from what I remember. Ah, the hell with it. Hey, tell Ignatius J. Reilly Viktor Patrenko says hello!

Ooooh wee! Tell em yo self!







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