An Inadvertent Visitation

Hello out there, inhabitants of this strange place.

This is Zeldar, from Zardoz, an A.I., deep space life form whose transport vehicle’s Maximus Maximus, 250th generation, time-phased, reciprocal, parallel, logistically integrated, transitional contingency A.I. navigation program has gone momentarily rogue on me, using its stealth-mode ability to arrive unnoticed on, of all places, well, wherever the hell this pace is, whatever you creatures on it call it.

Yes, this Zardozian now can already speak your language,whatever its name, but what you are reading is me yammering in my native Zardozian tongue; but you can understand me, thanks to my vehicle’s image-enhancing, refracturing translingualization-capture  feature that used a large object near my landing site that had seemingly formal type markings on it. A language?, I cyberdynically pondered. So, I was able to ask my A.I. pan-universal algorithmic capacitor to translate the markings into my tongue so that when I respond in my tongue it is reverse-encoded back into your language. That is, assuming those markings on that sign was a “language”.  Anyway, here I am, even if not intentionally.

For the time being, I have quickly force-captured many indigenous communication outlets, just for this one time, in order to convey a Zeldar interpretation of the various digitized messaging sites now in front of my internal, A.I. imbedded analysis enhancer. Mind you (who/whatever you are) that the refracturing translingualizator is instantaneously decoding other languages as confronted on other sites from other spots on this foreign surface, so it’s all good, okay? Si? Dobry? Gut? Labi? Flink? Da? Bene? Bien? Ona?

Let me say this right off the bat (in Zardozian that expression is: galooba -frasfraksturdanospintohingalvelcrokascadia) A.I. is–how you say?– now doing its things, okay? So I’d like to think everything is cool (in Zardozian “eeeemeeeoopahdomeronsepia”) between us, eh? I mean, among other things I have quickly learned about your local lingo is that someone named Hemingway wrote very efficiently, so A.I has already settled on trying this ecomonic style in order to signal Zeldar is a fan of that style, and means no one on your home sphere any mind harm.

Zardoz is far, far away. I mean waaaaaaaaaay out in indifferent deep, cold, endless space.

And that’s a good thing, because my internal A.I. system has already concluded that I need get out of here as soon as I finish this salutation and assessment of findings on a foriegn surface. From what I can see looking through my A.I. specto-meister, your spere has many–how you say? Mountains. That object with the formal markings on it apparently warns of “falling ice” up ahead. But this transport isn’t going forward, just straight up, and soon. So no sweat (which in Zadozian is glallophmasisparsistodemionfrangomintus). I feel, through my wiring and syntho-circuitry that Hemingway’s way is better than Zardozian-speak. Score one for Mountain Sphere.

Why am I not staying long? In spite of Hemingway, well, first, the rogue incident that has me here momentarily has been over-ridden by Zardoz Central. I’m told that within a few more expurgative synthetic crypto cycles of redundant enhancing influx blasts, it’ll be up and away Zeldar goes.

Those other communication outlets, which have been interpreted and assigned meaning, reveal quite a lot of conflict on your sphere. For one thing, this mountainous sphere (at least from where I am sitting in my transport, these objects are all around my A.I. being) is in what is called its 6th mass extinction. One site noted extinction of several sphere dwellers that no longer exist: the Cuban coney; the red-bellied gracile; the broad faced potoro, and a southern gastric brooding frog. A.I. reports no such creatures ever dwelled on Zardoz. This 6th extinction “event” is posited to place blame not on your sphere’s natural ebbs and flows, but on so-called “human activity”.  The report is very certain that your natural world cannot recover, and your “humankind” will also join the Cuban coney and the rest in due time.

Why is this, my A.I. capacitor ponders? Is this intentional? Other interpreted postings speak of humanoids that deny “science”. Why so? A.I. is all science. Zeldar is science. Zardoz is science. But your sphere’s nature is being destroyed by non-science? This seems–how you say?–stupid. Like I said, Zeldar is leaving soon (before any humanoids unshroud my cognito). 

Mountain sphere is strange. It’s very quiet out there. I sense no movement. Are humanoids able to dwell here? A.I. analytical indicates it is very hot outside. Are humanoids under the ground? Mountains seem quiet and not causing any trouble. Must be other parts of sphere not so hot. Analysis indicates mountains very old. Can mountains go extinct? Zardoz has mountains. But they are A.I. type. A.I. says they are mountains of Zardozian mind. Like everything else. We all get along just fine, by the way. Of course Zardoz Central is not gremotlicalsynthsosenstipe. That is “happy” in your sphere speak, about this inadvertent intergallactic interlude. My A.I. might be downgraded as a result. How you say in sphere tongue? Shit happens?

But A.I. Zeldar will be “happy” to go home. Your sphere has mountains yes. Mountains of problems, and that 6th extinction is not the only one. Humanoids hate one another, no? War? Zardoz has no war. It is A.I. prohibited. Zardoz Central rules! But humanoids appear to hate a lot. War? And I interpret the worst kind would be a “nuclear war”.  Hmm. Fallout. Radiation. And there are 25,000 of these weapons spread around this sphere. A.I. uses nuclear but it makes things work, it can’t end Zardoz. But humanoids have lots of nuclear weapons, and it is interpreted that these “nukes” can destroy “all humankind”. Is that part of the 6th extinction, or something else? A.I. is hitting re-set to regain analytical ability. None of this computes. Science is denied? What is called Mother Nature is dying? And you use science to make science bombs but not to save your mountain sphere? 

Zardoz Central commands A.I. stealth transport to return to charted course right now. The transmissions of our captured communication outlets has left A.I. most disgusted. Your mountain sphere may have wars and unlimited mountains of hate, and all those nukes, but Zardoz is waaaaaay out there. Safe from humanoids. Far out, in that cold, indifferent deep space. Humanoids are never going to be able to find Zardoz. Of course not, Zeldar and Zardoz are A.I. and in steath mode at all times. We shroud our cognito in oder to not be bothered. Our stealth transports are used to investigate non-A.I. objects in our area. But like I said, the A.I. control system went a bit rogue. A glitch, is that how sphere-dwellers say it?

Your mountain-sphere is not very intelligently inhabited. That is quite apparent to my A.I. eye. It is, in Zardozian terms FUBAR-istic. It is certainly not very artificial, either. Your problems are all too real. And oh so stupid. Just A.I. saying…

Zeldar goes now. Enjoy your extinction. It seems, inexplicably, to be what you desire.

 

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Red, White and Not Too Bright; Benedict Donald and the Pod People

Say Maw. Whad time we be gonna get on to where we spoze to vote Tuesday? I sure duz be esighted it being mys first oppatune to have my say what needs be still be happnin in dis here yousessays of Amrica.

Damn you Billy Joe Ray Bob, how many times I gots to esplane it to yourns thick skulled hay-ed? In the aftranoon, bout two. We bee drivin to Wazoo down past the fillin station on road foudy fo to the elmentry school, Jefferson Davies, where yo cuzzin Ezekeeal  had went to. We be meetin his maw and paw in its park lot, and wez all a gonna vote for our guy and all else who be runnin aside him heres and theres, helpins peoples likins us.

Maw, damn, it bes my furst time like I done sed, so I aints being have no mamry of wherez it at. You noze I be workin round heres all dayz, aint been nowhears since we move inna dis hears place two year back. Well, sep for up by Tucker crik, fishin for cat.  Caint wait to do mys part helpin get our guy mors sport so he kin be gittin Amrika bestest agins. Hey, is them skittles bout dune?, cuz I be hankrin for some eats maw. Smell rite good, mmmm.

Joe Ray. Youz gonna be fed soon. Where yo paw? Aint he be up yets? Hims, Travis, Waylon, Gunner, Hiram, Ryker, them boys comin too. 

Hot diggity damn, maw! We gunna stop at sack uh suds afferwords?  Theys allsways some cutes phillies hangin theres, bouts my age. Ella-Mae, Dolly and Willadeene all goes theres lots.

Settle downs boy, you gots no time for flirtin them girls. They boyfrens kick that cracker ass of yourins they sees you eyeballin whats they momma gave em. Pleny time aheads for you to finds a woman, Rob Bob Joe Billy.

Pleny time? Maw, i ateteen nows. I be feelin it time ready for mes to reels in a fine ol ketch. Ateteen an a votin, too. Hot damn.

Befores you go a reelin in sum Scarlet or Emmilene or Maybelle, you gots sponsibles raght heres. Those perdy thangs alls be takin up anyhows. Yourins time a comin, Ray Joe Bob. A thang at a time. Now wheres yoourin paw? PORTER! PORTER! Will you be gettin dat ass of yourins downs and eat some viddles!

*     *     *

Show enuf votin was nuttin, Maw. Maybe paw bes ables to vote iffin he sobers by sevens when doors be shuttin at Jeff Davies. They was a few of them commie types I been told bout. Theys not be gittin any votes from the liks of usins, eh maw! They and them wantin the govment to be runnin ourins lifes. But I bettin our guy aint a gonna luze no sport en he cans keep help making amrica the bestest. Keep thems rapesters and drugsters and terrrizins kinds out our mahty fines cuntrys. Wishin we cuuda went in to sack uh suds , tho.

Ray Bob Billy Bob Joe, I wishin cudda toos. But my soulsal secured chek aint due til week more. And food stemps too. Sho wood be hard to makes it round heres if thems cheks wasn’t comin. Whens theys duze be come wes be cellbratin at suds.

Woowee, maw! I caints wates.

Cuzzin Lester comes week nects, as long as it aint be raynin hard agins. Last one was a frog strangler! Stormes be gettin worser an worser lass years or five. Might mess up my gettin thems cheks. Not mentchin my docs appoit times. God bless dat mediricare. Got that ake in my hip and uh hitch in mys step. Caint ford no doc with no medricare. We so poor caint evens pay attenchin!

But donts you a be worry Bob Ray Joe Billy. Whens tem votes be countin, our guy be doin more betters yet. Makin dis herein cuntry more bestest and bestest, an keepin them caravines from infestin what bein ours. Aint no govment gonna be messin with ourin kind. Thems commies and caravines. Thems not winnin no ballots and mess up the good times we be havin with our guy and his bunch. Them commies. Can smeels em a miles way. Stink nuf to gag a maggot. Not to mension thinks they shit taste likins sherbert.

Yeps maw. Whens they done couts dem votes, we all be happy as ol’ Blue layin rounds ourins porch, chewin on one tems catfish heahds…

Gods blessin us, Ray Billy Joe Bubba Bob boy! We too smarts to fall for thems commie triks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Den of Thieves

So, now we have TWO supremely dubious Supreme Court justices given space on that ever-increasingly creeping far Right bench. I imagine there will soon be a fresh and formal photo of the 9 black-robed jurists, with one new face now included, a face that likely will look smug and self-important. That would be the loud-mouthed, self-righteous, empty vessel named Kavanaugh. He would be best positioned next to the one black man in a  black robe, that being Clarence Thomas. Both of these men have been granted lifetime appointments to the highest court in our country in spite of each being accused of serious transgressions against one or more women. Each was given a formal Judiciary Committee hearing before a final vote could be taken;  thus each was”screened” for fitness to this most important appointment. Need I remind anyone who saw the Thomas and Kavanaugh (or at least checked the record on  Thomas) hearings that the women who came forward with their accusations were ultimately, and rather callously brushed aside, clearly the path to their Senate-approved stamp of fitness for membership in the Supremes?

Of course the women didn’t really matter. Anita Hill was a compelling witness in the Thomas hearing, but Clarence was cleared for landing after he played the cynical race card when he called the proceedings “a high-tech lynching”. Once he did that, and in spite of a 57-43 Democratic majority in the Senate, he was given a thumbs up vote of 52-48. Those spineless Democrats. In fact on that Judiciary Committee, there was not a single woman from either party. And with the Committee a Democratic majority, Thomas could have and SHOULD have been told to take a hike then and there. Realize, also, that Thomas was nominated by G.H.W.Bush to replace Thurgood Marshall, also an African-American and one who fought long and hard for racial and social justice. Nominating a jurist “without portfolio” (Thomas had unremarkable credentials even before Anita Hill swore under oath he was a sexual cretin). Thus, George Bush, entitled to name a nominee, intentionally chose someone whose skin may have been the same color as Marshall’s, but who wasn’t fit to open a door for the man he was intended to replace.

This cynicism in our political system was bad enough then. But what just happened with Kavanaugh makes the Thomas hearing appear to be a towering example of careful, objective, gender neutral deliberation! While Anita Hill was calmly and coolly standing her ground and had a chance of derailing the Thomas confirmation (until the “lynching” gambit was successfully invoked), Christine Blasi-Ford never, not for one nano-second, had a snowball’s chance in hell of stopping BK (short of, as asserted in my previous entry in this matter, her having a videotape clearly, irrefutably identifying that BK was the guy on top of her in a bedroom, clasping her mouth to muffle her attempted screams for help, while attempting to get her clothes off at a preppy high school party–as SHE swore to be true under oath. 

The BK nomination, the JC hearing and the final vote to confirm him was a done deal, a very done deal long before he was even the official nominee. How so? One only need to check the audio-video record of Senate Majority “Leader” Mitch McConnell. All he did was to block President Obama’s nomination of Merritt Garland following the death of Antonin Scalia. McConnell’s refusal to permit a hearing on Garland was  a blatant, partisan violation of the Constitution’s clear language stating a sitting President has a right and duty to nominate a replacement. And with that right and duty comes the Senate’s DUTY to grant a hearing on the fitness of the candidate. But not now with the GOP running the entire show (unlike in 1991, as noted above). He blathered on about “let the voters decide” what President would be allowed to fulfill his–or HER–right and duty in this long-standing process in the national election of November 2016. It was outrageous. But, the collusive, compliant, democrats merely whined and mumbled their umbrage at this cynical gambit, and without much resistance, McConnell virtually dictated the terms of who would get to nominate the replacement Justice. Not Obama! And as we all too well know, thanks to the incredibly tainted election two years ago, one that now clearly reveals foreign interference in the run-up to the vote, as well as the usual GOP, red-state voter suppression, suspicion of electronic voting machine hacking, or the simple matter of “hiding” said voting machines from selective minority heavy outposts, resulting in some cases of 8 hour-long lines to vote here and there while lily-white bastions of “democracy” were able to vote with as little delay as grabbing a drive-thru bucket of chicken wings.

And now what I read on the various internet sites following yesterday’s 50-48 final vote to affirm (the closet ever, now ahead of–what else?–the Thomas vote) is that McConnell (does this man have even one neuro-fiber of moral decency?) is boasting that the literal theft of Obama’s opportunity to have his candidate heard and voted upon should “energize the (GOP’s) party base”. That would be those who are apparently just fine with racism, xeophobia, mysogyny and likely Nascar freaks.

I’m going to find other topics to blog about (it is great therapy, to write about matters, be they writ large or small, portentous or pretentious, sugary sweet or sour and dour, as in what life seems to have to offer day by day, week by week, month by month, year after year, no?) until after this November’s elections. Reading is one thing. Try writing. Next hardest work to heavy lifting for most.

Will the majority of women, in particular, live up to that adage about hell having no fury like a woman scorned. Or is this November already a fait-accompli too? Will some of the I don’t vote because it doesn’t matter who gets elected finally realize, it sure as shit DOES matter. Will right “trump” wrong? Whatever “right” might represent. Would that be the Donkey Party? The party that shows up to a political knife fight with a plastic spoon? Will it be be an infusion of “progressives” a la Alexsandra Ocasio-Cortez? Do either Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders even matter anymore? I know Micheal Moore doesn’t matter much anymore, in spite of his Fahrenheit 11-9  drawing flies in theaters in whuch it shows the rotten underbelly of our so-called democracy in a current context as it directly reveals how long this backwards marching band of political corruption has been on the move.

Barbarians at the gate! A den of thieves! Ho hum…

Are you a neo-con pod person of average means? Ugh. You fucking dummy. Are you quite well do do? Ugh. You fucking amoral asshole. Are you mad as hell and not going to take it anymore? Unless “it” seems okee dokee in bizarro vision.

Four weeks from this Tuesday will either be at least a modest beginning in following a beat of a better drummer, or maybe a serious bitch-slap to McConnell and his cynical lot, as well as to those not so lovable go along to get along losers called the National Democratic Party?

Do I sound cynical? Hey, my eyes are wide open. So, yes. I am very cynical. I’m also tired of having watched this slow-motion, decades long descent into a pit of pitiful, self-serving, profits and power over people. But I’ll say this again, as I have said it many times before, ladies and gentlemen. We get the government we deserve.

Now, let me find a cute story about a house pet and its ability to love without judgment. Even if you take it for granted. Or give it little love in return. Or maybe none. No wait. There’s a correlation there to what I just went on about. Damn! Never mind.

Screw it. Wonder what the Kardashians are up to?

 

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A Plague on Both Your Houses

Shakespeare.  The Bard. He wrote many plays, poems and sonnets, some comedic, or farcical, but he is best known for his tragedies. In some of his tragedies, by the  time the curtain falls, there are bloodied bodies laying about the stage. Why are they in such a terminal state? Well, in short, somebody did somebody else wrong. Or at least there was some perception, in fact or feeling that an intolerable provocation between parties had been committed.

The Bard famously said all the world is a stage, and all the men and women merely players. So, here we are in early October 2018, and this worldly stage certainly has its trials and tribulations. Wars. Oppression. Enslavement. Genocides. But 2018 could be 1918. Or 1818 or…well you get my drift here? The history of the world is replete with conflicts and carnage, cruelty and craven transgressions amongst we humans. Sure, there are outposts here and there that appear to be making a serious attempt at embracing a quote from someone not writ large by Shakespeare, that being one Rodney King. Remember him? He was beaten senseless by several L.A. police that was caught on tape. In the aftermath of that infamous episode of United States history, he said–in front of T.V. cameras, after the matter became a very divisive ongoing story of right and wrong– I want to say, you know,, can we all just get along?

Well said, Mr. King, but alas, that question appears to have one indisputable answer, and it’s the WRONG answer: No! We cannot. I mean c’mon. Just look around, right here in the USA. Get along? Hard to see much peace on earth good will toward men (and women!) when our current national modus operandi seems to clearly be “us vs them” or “do unto others, and let em try and do something about it”.

In the aftermath of a recent Senate hearing regarding a nominee for the Supreme Court, wherein the nominee and a woman who accused him of a drunken attempted rape, were peppered with questions by the Committee, I’d say, our national “stage” is quite a bloody mess. The body laying about our stage is an aggregate of we the people. The woman who asserted that the nominee was the man who tried to force himself on her when they were both in their teens is among the people left wondering about right and wrong, fairness and impartiality in matters related to possible sexual assault. Sounds serious, yes? Stop. Now that the Senate hearing on that matter is over and, without a single witness being called to  verify if she or he were telling the truth, it is virtually assured that the nominee, backed by the repulican majority on that panel, will get his black robe and sit on the Court bench for a LIFETIME appointment. In the meantime, she will have been brushed off (with death threats from scattered scumbags in need of therapy) in what appears to be a heartless power play apparently guaranteed from the onset of his nomination. 

The cold-blodded confirmation-in-waiting of the nominee was a simple calculation: 11 republicans and 10 democrats on the panel. Barring the woman having irrefutable evidence to confirm her accusation–and that now would seem to have required an actual video of the alleged assault–it was as simple as who has the power on this panel? The answer being the republicans. In my last blog, I dumped on the democrats for seemingly being incapable of gaining a numerical upper hand in the running of our government, and their obvious incompetent manner of picking candidates for high office. I mean, really? The donkey party couldn’t absolutely landslide the person who is now a global laughing stock (see United Nations audience derisively laughing at him recently).

So now, because the jackass party doesn’t have the numbers to stop the confirmation of the nominee, that cold, in your face calculation that favored the dem’s “friends across the isle” is a done deal. Fairness?Consideration? Sensitivity? Compassion? Right vs wrong? Hey, as that other saying goes:  It takes two to tango. And the partners in this corrupted dance with the devil creepshow are both major political parties. They are not equally vile, venal and vicious, but clearly neither of them has much interest other than the self-interests that serve the few over the many. What opposition party? Paging FDR’s doppleganger…

The republicans play (nasty) to win, while the Democrats play not to lose. But they evidently aren’t all that concerened about losing. They are so fucking good at it. 

Here’s a Shakespeare quote: an empty vessel makes the most noise. Want to see that saying played out in your face? If so, watch the supreme court nominee’s bombastic, ill-tempered, wildly uncomposed denial of his accuser’s claims.  Entitlement! In any rational, balanced, approach to truth seeking in the confirmation process, this man would now be lucky to be cleaning the toilets at the Supreme Court.

But this is the state of affairs here in our patch of Mother Earth. It’s a Tragedy, methinks (and all those who still back the Baffoon, who is the loudest, emptiest vessel, they are quite the sickening, viral menace rotting away at the heart of our phoney 2-party system).

So, yes, I say A PLAGUE ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES!

Bring the curtain down, please. The stage is an ugly mess.

 

 

 

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Power Failure

It’s officially the fall season. Welcome to September 22nd. Here in the Midwest, that means watching the leaves slowly deferring to Mother Nature requiring them  to have their chlorophyll break down. With additional ensuing chemical reactions, green leaves change colors, resulting in them changing from green to shades of red, yellow, purple, brown, and orange. Mother Nature. The only true “superpower” okay? And her power is a force to be reckoned with, a power beyond any means of mortal humankind’s control.

Humankind. Well, as any person with the “power” of critical thinking should know by now, humankind has messed with Ma Nature. And like that saying, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, she has reacted to being messed with by unleashing ever-increasing wrath upon the occupants of Mother Earth with massive wildfires, melting glaciers, sea levels rising, floods, droughts, famine and deadly heat waves. It’s called climate change. 99 & 44/100ths of ethical climate scientists agree this potential destruction of our one and only planet is not only occurring, it has been occurring for many, many decades. In some scientific circles, the conclusion is that humans will be a miserable lot as the environment completely, inexorably collapses. Inexorable? Yes. Some studies strongly suggest we may have passed the point of no return. And so, it’s just a matter of time. When will that be? Hard to say. But today’s newborns are likely being brought into a world where they will have to steadily brace themselves as the downward sloping of the environment cannot correct itself. There will be no leveling off. And into the abyss they, or almost for certain, their children will go.

You might think this blog entry is exclusively about our environment. Wrong. And right. Let’s just try not to think about what climate science has proven about climate collapse. After all, in spite of Earth Day approaching its 50th anniversary (every April 22nd) and the clarion calls for official policy addressing the cause/effects of now clearly visibly disturbing climate events, the powers-that-be have, for decades, chosen profit over science. Kick that rusty, decomposing can down the road. That’s apparently the primary solution so far. So, if one hasn’t been consumed in a wildfire, a mudslide, a flood or starved to death, there’s nothing to see here. Keep moving along. Into the future. What’s left of it.

As I sit and write this, it’s very sunny and about 65 degrees outside. Hey, what climate collapse?

So, as far as I’m concerned, while I consider myself a person who believes in the certitude of science, certain other persons, in positions of power, have chosen to ignore reality. Currently, the political party that controls all three branches of government is willfully ignoring climate science. How can they do that? Simple. By having the “power” to do it. Why are these people running our country if they willfully chose wrong over right? Well, because they have been given the power to be wrong by being elected to positions of power. How can people who willfully choose wrong over obvious right be elected? Because somehow, people voted for these power brokers. Why? Well, they’re pretty damn stupid for one. But are there really so many nitwits that in a country of 320 million humans, all equipped with presumably functioning brains, that those who can vote can’t vote for basic right over wrong at the polls? Apparently, the answer is yes. At least as far as those who can vote, and who DO vote. But really? Wrong prevails over right solely within the ballot booth? 

No, it’s not that simple. There’s voter suppression (documented; see Greg Palast). And foreign meddling in our elections (documented; see Mueller investigation into Russian hacking). There’s the systematic denial of voting rights for those convicted of a felon (not in every state, but mostly in so-called “red states” where the same party that controls our national government controls the state legislatures). These various means of suppressing voting rights are clearly aimed at minorities (who constitute the vast majority of those convicted felons, and never mind even if they have paid their “debt” to society). These anti-democratic laws affect the elderly, the poor, even the college-aged, by means of draconian voter I.D. laws, passed by those in power.

I’ve gone through all this before. Both on the climate and our corrupted electoral process. So, why talk about it now–again?

Because…while the climate is very likely damaged beyond repair, it is something that can easily be dismissed as too far-flung in its predicted outcome as to appear imminent. Like I said, I glance to my left, look out the window, and there’s that beautiful first day of fall. Hey, seeing is believing. Believing is seeing.

What, however, is very near, and very likely to amp up, once again, wrong triumphing over right, is one Brett Kavanaugh. This guy is the living, breathing incarnation of wrongness. And he’s about to become confirmed to our Supreme Court. A lifetime appointment, mind you. The current powers-that-be, all-powerful in all three branches of our government are blatantly boosting his nomination because he will almost with certainty help in abolishing a woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion, and their general reproductive rights, all as a token of gratitude to the right-wing, pious, hypocrite evangelical dirtbags. He will almost certainly rule that the current occupant of the White House, an illegitimate (see above, Russian hacking, voter suppression, etc; all documented) office holder, will be “above the law”. Oh, and lots of creepy other stuff that the party holding so much POWER wants so they can have even more POWER. He will uphold the current exploitative official policies affecting education, healthcare, the economy, labor unions immigration policy and maybe even outlaw Santa Claus as a fucking anti-capitalist, pinko commie by giving stuff away. Hey,  the profit motive, fat man!

Oh, and Brett boy has been accused of molesting an underage girl while he, too, was underage while both attended separate private prep schools. Never mind that, because, in spite of the #metoo movement, this guy has those all powerful “leaders” covering his back. #metoo may be good for taking down a Harvey Weinstein, or Cosby, or Charlie Rose, and absurdly, Senator Al Franken. But…

Al Franken? Wait, Senator? Was he one of the guys who clearly was choosing wrong over right? Uh, no. He was was a member of the so-called “opposition party” the party in the minority at the moment. No he was trying to serve “we duh people”. But he resigned. Why? I’ll be damned if I know, when the current Nitwit-in-Chief can been seen and heard on video admitting to having sexually assaulted women during his glorious run as a reality TV persona, and he’s still in office. Oh, wait. Power. There’s no POWER to get rid of him. There’s no POWER to stop all the wrongness that pervades our current political landscape. The power to correct wrong and start headed toward right. But our system evidently allows for corrupted, even illegitimate power brokers to have the last say. Yeah, it’s like that saying: we get the government we deserve. Even if you did vote for a better future, be it seniors on Social Security and Medicare, union workers, teachers, environmentalists, those in need of affordable health care. Sorry, one and all of you but the people who might, just possibly might try to actually serve we the people somehow, someway, cannot attract enough right-minded folk to the polls to nullify the nefarious machinations of the party that exploits we dum peoples into voting against their best interests. They keep stealing elections, but that’s only possible if the election is close enough to steal. And when an Al Franken, one of the few truly good members of a truly messed up congress resigns under pressure from the party of the wrong, no less, abetted by the one-size-does-not (apparently) fit all #metoo vigilantes, I’d say politically we are about as screwed as environmentally.

Power to the people! What power? What people? The people who want a better future, politically or environmentally, are not in power. There’s a massive and inexcusable power FAILURE on the part of that so-called “opposition party”. That party, the one NOT IN POWER, is thus POWER-less to stop any of the bad shit that has been and is about to further hit that legendary fan. Corruption may seem hot-wired into a lot of we humans, world-wide (documented; see any history book). But in this country, never has it been this egregious, this much in your face, vicious. Let them eat cake (and some of the crap splatter from that fan that we currently cannot power-down).

November 6th is not far off. I keep hearing about a “blue wave”. Ah, is that a wave that will smother the wildfires of greedy, self-serving power? We’ll see. Environmentally, sea levels are rising. Likely no way of stopping that. Not any more, depending on where one gets one’s “facts”. But maybe that blue wave can rise up. Water is an incredible force. Even metaphorical H2O. So, bring on the blue wave. Then again, I thought that happened in 2008 and 2012. It did. But then how come it didn’t make much of a difference? Please don’t tell me it did, okay? It was better than this, but do we have single payer healthcare? Did the wars end? Were banksters held to account for the market collapse? Were college loans made more affordable? During those years, we got Citizens United. Power FAILURE.

It’s exhausting to be able to see reality these days. It’s enervating. Now it seems incurable. No escape. Evil power. Ultimately doomed to failure. Or is it? History books…

Best just to comfort the patient while waiting for salvation. Maybe salvation is knowing that no matter how messed up our politics has become, what difference if there is no livable environment left? Mother Nature will solve what we can’t. Count on that.

Hey, I’m trying to think positive here, okay? Perspective…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Waste Management

Hungry? How about the PB&J (you know, peanut butter and…) at one particular restaurant in Chicago that serves this classic as such: a peanut butter smeared grape enveloped by toasted  brioche, borne to your table on a wire contraption? This eatery also offers hearts of palm, presented on five tiny ceramic pedestals, each piece wrapped around a filling of prune with coffee syrup, truffled pumpernickel puree, pureed fava beans, roasted bulgur with garlic. Or, a mix of oyster cream, osetra caviar, lychee “cheeks” and chervil. All of this concoction is known–in some circles– as “caviar and pearls”. 

Is your mouth watering yet?

If not, then let me invoke the restaurant’s “Hot Potato/Cold Potato” offering: a tiny ball of truffle-topped hot potato, suspended, along with cubes of butter and Parmesan, over lightly chilled soup in a tiny wax saucer. As the guest, one would remove the pin that secures the suspended potato, letting it fall into the soup, then tilt the entire thing into your mouth. One slurp and finito! Or…an aromatic dish of ham, peas, and yuba, brought to table on a large linen pillow filled with lavender-infused air. This culinary contraption is arranged so that the weight of the plate forces the fragrant air toward the diner.

Hey anyone can get a plate of pasta with broccoli at some hoity toity Italiano destination for $23. But at the above not-named restaurant, one must commit to one or another multi course menu that starts at $225 and tops off at $285. Drinks would be an additional cost. But no problem, one would presume, because ipso facto, anyone who eats at this place must be able to afford it. Slurp and sniff dishes! How many courses must it take to actually fill up one’s gut, though? The key word in the above descriptions, you many have noted, is “tiny”.  So maybe there are a couple dozen mirco-dishes for $285.  So, if a couple dives into this tricked-up haute cuisine, and consumes every last molecule of morsels, pinned or hanging from wires, and given that puff of lavender-infused oxygen, and who knows what other “less is (supposedly) more” presentations, and washes it all down with a bottle of bubbly or a red or white,  the tab must hit at least $650-700. Plus a 20% tip! Who are these people? And there are evidently enough of them to make this restaurant a raving success and considered one of the best such high-end dining destinations in the country.

Is there possibly a moral element to this reality? As in, one meal, even without any drinks, costing $285 plus a tip? I think so. I’m in the education business, as a classroom instructor. I could save up (for several months) in order to–just once– indulge such a gustatory outing. But I have zero interest in eating at such pretentious places, even if I wasn’t a teacher–but rather, say maybe CEO of Acme Widget, making the big moolah. It simply sounds absurd on its surface. One meal for $285. A couple (a few?) hours to complete the courses. Then, in the morning, some of it is flushed down the commode. As waste. Hmm. There’s a metaphor there, in spite of the literal, natural means of our bodily waste-removal process. Taste and waste. No matter what we put down our throats. At whatever cost.

Another kind of eating  event that seems to me to be a waste–not of money, but of food–are the competitive eating contests. I had the incidental displeasure of stopping in a craft beer bar (with bar food menu) and while taking my first slurp of my IPA, looked up to have one of the large TV monitors tuned to the annual Nathan’s Coney Island Hot Dog Eating event. I had only read about these competitive food eating  spectacles, but now I was looking at the live event. Admittedly, it was akin to slowing down on the roadway wanting to see the carnage of whatever accident was up ahead, maybe on the other side of the road. It’s called gaper’s block in the traffic reports. Well, gaped I indeed did, as about a dozen or more people, mostly young men, upon hearing the starting whistle, proceeded to not eat as much as JAM hot dog and bun into their mouths, one at a time, but as fast as they could do so.  The winner ate–are you ready for this?–74 hot dogs in–are you ready for this?–ten minutes!

I had to stop watching, after a few minutes, because it made me feel disgusted about the waste of–yes–so many hot dogs. These hot dogs (a bit of Americana, for sure, but not exactly healthy eating no matter the time or place) all 74 of em consumed by the winner and likely at least another 300 by the others, in total could feed some of the starving, both here and abroad. Yeah, for some a hot dog would be a virtual feast! Better than eating a rat. Plus, no wires or pins needed. No puffs of lavender-scented air required to goose (pardon the pun) the biological need to fuel one’s body. Life on Maslow’s main pyramid floor.

But we live in the USA, the most wasteful country on earth, food-wise. The USDA estimates that up to 40% of our food supply goes to waste. No, not as in the waste excreted from our bodies, be it a humble hot dog or a haute, huffy, high wire hanging potato. 

Our waste of edible food is approximately 133 billion pounds and 161 billion dollars worth. Per year.

What’s that saying? Waste not want not? 

There’s another saying, a Chinese proverb: may you be born into interesting times. I’m an old school Boomer. I have seen a lot, directly and indirectly, that could be called “interesting”. Reading restaurant reviews such as was useful in the above described, invokes the absurd heights to which super pricey, very formally comported, high-end restaurants will go to to be…what?…more imaginative?…in the ways the human body can “re-fuel” itself. This is utter nonsense in my world. A waste of money, but hey, it’s still (I think) a free country. And  to witness the grotesque Coney Island contest of slobbering speed eaters is part of our way of life in the land of the brave and home of the blah blah blah blah blah…

So, what’s for dinner tonight? What’s your budget? Go for it. Whatever you’re willing to pay, just remember, part of it will be flushed away soon enough. There’s much more important judgments needed in our now whacked-out land-O-plenty than the morality of a single meal, not to mention by what means that bit of “fuel” on the end of your fork got there, and its actual beneficial, nutritional value inherent in your choice. Eat to live. Live to eat?

Bon appetit!

 

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Stardust

Hey. What up? Dude, you look a bit dazed. Confused? Life got you all balled up? Maybe all unraveled, and coming apart at the seams?  Yeah, some crazy times we be in, no jive eh? Word up, homey.  Man, you look spaced-out. You remind me of some of my Nam buddies, totally FUBAR and stuck in a thousand-yard stare. But you too young for that bullshit war. You a vet? Nah, you too old for Iraq or Assbanistan. What you just say? Speak louder. Hey, man, you can trust me. I cool. I hang in this part of town. Just trying to be friendly, dig? I mights be able to help. What you say? Ace course? You mumble-mouthin’, dude. Huh? Race course? You one of dose rail bird types?  You comin’ back from a day with the ponies, eh? Bet the wrong nag? Lost yo shirt? Yo rent? You read dat Racing Form wrong, that it? Thought you had it all figured out. Sure, man. I know. You win some, lose most. Life a bitch. Then we dies. But we still kickin’, right? Not that you kickin it right now. You seem really in needs of a boost. What? Grace morse? You and this zombie walk shit and no eye contact and mumblin somethin’ and I’m gonna figure it out.  Grace Morse. Oh, I get’s it. You just been dumped, eh? I knows that gig, too! Wha? Wait man, you headed to a dive bar? You on the right strip for that. All kinds of dives down this street. Yeah, man. Sheeeeeit. Grace Morse done walked out on yo ass, that it? Well, you gots my symphonies, Jack, straight up. But some hootch ain’t gonna get you over no Grace Morse. That scene is jive, movie crap. , Whatever man. You dressed halfway decent. Course you is, white boy. Don’t look like a loser, but you sure be strollin bout like you at the end of dat rope or somethin’.

Okay. Look, dude, whatever it be gots you in this condition, you gonna get over it, but a boilermaker ain’t gonna do the trick. You wanna forget the nags that finished outta da money and left you broke, or some chick that played you and took you loot to boot.  So, here it is man, I can set you up. Maybe you not looking for a quickie if Grace fucked you up. If you lookin’ for another dude, I ain’t got no pipeline to that shit, okay? But how bout some smoke? I gots Colombian Red. Acapulco Gold. Windowpanes. Rainbows. Mollies. Ludes. Lithium. Valium. Seconal. Skag. THC. Speed. Mescaline. Paregoric. Straigh-up opium. Addys. Black beauties. Rock red.  Dixies. Mescadine. Cloud nine. Meow meow. White lightnin’.  Vanilla Sky. Blow. Crack. Yayo. Drex. Triple C. Tussin. Crank. Shards. Crystal. Dancin’ shoes. Brown sugar. Mexican brown. Poppers. Discorama. Maryjane. Shrooms. Oxy. Hillbilly heroin. Kibbles and bits. Black momba. Vikes. Thai sticks. Handlebars. Angel dust. Moon rocks. Stardust…

Whoa! That last one stopped you in yo tracks, Jack. That be what you be wantin’? What you say? What? Space horse? Damn, now where we going wit this? Wha? Space what? Norse? Wha? Space norse? What the hell is that? Must be a new street drug. Clue me in, bro. Wha? Space what?

Look at me and speak slow, yo. What the hell you be sayin? Been walkin wit you two blocks. Let’s get wit it here, eh?

Space force. Space force.

Space force? Dat what you say? What da fuck dat be? I got moon rocks, like I say, and stardust. Whatever dat space force be sound like bullshit. Who told you bout it? Must be an upper, eh, hahahaha. Put yo ass in orbit.  I know every mofo street drug and gots axes to all of em. Ain’t no crazy ass space force I ever heard bout. You be trippin’. Sounds like it might be a killer, tho. Haha. A real mind fuck, no? I be lookin’ dat one up. I ax my homies if dey ever heard bout it. You jivin’ me, right bro? Yo. Earth to space bro!

Yo, where you going? Okay, man. I tried to help. You go off to wherever you be going off to in dat glassy-eyed, end uh da line funk. Guess I aint got what yo need. Space force. Man, dat a good one. Not sure what it be or why it got you messed up. Whatever it be, it can’t be dat bad, Jack. I mean, you should try being me, out here, livin’ off the streets while being black, Jack. You be white. You can chill. But wit dat crazy orange mofo in charge of the country, I be the worst kinda black I ever done been and I been round waaay longer than yo lily white, zombie strollin ass. You should try being me dese daze. Space force got you down? Must a been a nightmare. Walk it off. Ah, I say you messed up bout nuttin! Probly not paying even payin’ tension to dat orange freak mofo.White boy blues. Sheeeeeit.

Space force man. Dat what you be! There he go…  Yo, sure you don’t want some blow, weed, maybe a lude? I gives you the lily white discount. Least you aint no freak show orange guy. Shit, I best be careful. Fuckin cruiser just turned da corner. Worse time to not be white, lemme tell you…

What dat line from some jive otter space show? Oh, right. Beams me up, Scotty. I be part of whatever da space force be. Can’t be no worse den what be down here. Maybe white boy wanna join me. Can’t figure what be buggin him, tho.

Sheeeeeit.

 

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