Ivory Towers, Trophy Cases

Shortly after Robert Maynard Hutchins became the President of the University of Chicago in 1929, at the ripe ol’ age of 30, he started to implement his ideas of what a university should be. Well, of course a university needed to be about education. In general, that’s students, classrooms, professors, lectures, labs and learning of course.

Hutchins was  a man with some pretty daring proposals that were implemented, not without initial resistance, and by the time he left his post as President, he had made a most indelible impression at the school. Most notably, he retooled the undergraduate program to follow a Great Books, Socratic dialogue pedagogical system. He eliminated fraternities and religious organizations from campus life. Most dramatically, President Hutchins eliminated the school’s football program. How was that dramatic, you say, since who follows the U of C football program anyway?  They’re a Division III school, barely a level of competition above a club sport, with a 2017 schedule that included some school named Macalester. They also faced off against St. Norbert. Uh, so, right. Who the hell follows U of C football other than those involved with its program, their family and friends, and maybe some of the general student body that isn’t too busy studying at their school, one of the most academically respected universities in the country?

Oh yeah? Well, Hutchins didn’t ditch a club sport at U of C. To understand what he did by ridding the school of its varsity football program, in today’s college football universe, it would be tantamount to whoever is today President at Notre Dame doing the same, at once causing the Fighting Irish Nation to freak, faint and then awake to spew vitriol and dissent, pitchforks and torches taken up, administrations buildings occupied, hostages taken, all the while Touchdown Jesus, as seen on the south panel of the school’s library that faces the football stadium, weeping tears for the such a cruel and callously inhumane act . Knute Rockne and Ara Parseghian would be spinning in their graves so furiously tremors would be felt for a 50 miles radius from campus in South Bend, Indiana. I wouldn’t doubt that frogs might start falling from the sky. I mean, Notre Dame is known for one thing and one friggin thing only: its football program!

Okay. Maybe it has a decent chemistry program too. Whatever.

Getting back to Hutchins and his decision to ashcan the U of C football program back in the 10930s, you need to learn a little history to appreciate how serious was the man about a university being about enriching the minds of its students, rather than testing their mettle on the gridiron. At the time, the varsity football team was a member of no less than the Big Ten football conference. You know, the one with Ohio State and Michigan, among other schools. In fact, not only were the U of C Maroons a member of a major football conference, they were pretty darn successful, winning two national titles (!) and 10 Big Ten championships. One of its players, Jay Berwanger, was the first recipient of the coveted Heisman Trophy as best player in all of college football.

That’s the football program for which Robert Maynard Hutchins felt had no practical place at the U of C. Why did he feel this way? Well, the man was quite insane, of course, owing to his reason for scrapping the scrappy team coached by Amos Alonzo Stagg (Stagg’s name still resonates at the school, the still standing football stadium bearing his name, a structure that also just happened to be the site of the first controlled nuclear reaction). Hutchins view of the attention the football team (and its successes) was that it was counterproductive to what the college should be known for, that being the aforementioned academic programs. I told you he was crazy! What? Academic successes are more important than any athletic trophy? Football was nothing more than a distraction in Hutchin’s eyes.

Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so academics was more pleasing to his eye than those gleaming throphy cases with their shiny objects encased for posterity,  and the press praising them as the most pleasing aspect of what the University of Chicago stood for. All snark aside, I really admire the man from afar, historically. Not that I don’t watch college football now and then. The admiration is a function of not just how improbable any such similar scenario would be a la the Notre Dame example above, but of what has become the tail wagging the academic dog dynamic of the many so-called “factory” schools of today. Factory for sure, as in football factory or basketball factory. The leading examples of such schools would be, well, in football, first and foremost, Notre Dame, Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, Oklahoma, U of Southern California, Louisiana State University, Clemson, Florida State. Seriously, do any of those schools conjur up rigorous academic institutions?  In basketball it’s Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, UCLA, North Carolina, Villanova, Michigan State, Arizona State. These schools and their athletic programs bring in the big bucks if not attract the big brains to their classrooms. Money corrupts, for true, and to emphasize how some institutions of higher learning see things much differently than Mr.Hutchins did 80 years ago, the coaches at these factory schools make anywhere from 4-9 million dollars a year. Hmm. Wonder what the head of the chemistry department makes back at Notre Dame?

At these modern-day universities where their names connote young athletes who can run, pass, kick, catch, dribble, shoot, or slam dunk so well that in both professional basketball and football, their scouts start salivating over the next pituitary case towering over his teammates at a middle school in inner-city Chicago or some crazy-legged powerhouse tearing up the Astroturf at Denton High School in Texas.

Okay, I’m sure there are actual academic scholars at all those “factory schools” who will graduate with honors and (hopefully) find a good job that rewards their intellect if not their time in the 60 yard dash. But when they do get that prestigious gig as Vice President in Charge of Looking Out the Window, at Acme Widget, and the next fresh-faced intern is at their beck and call, the VP’s Honors certificate from Alabama or Michigan or Duke won’t compel any inquiries into the rigors of the school’s School of Business. The intern will likely want to know if Mr. or Ms.VP had any classes with that BMOC, or if he/she can score any tickets to the upcoming Big Game.

Hutchins=Great Books program. Multi-million $ coaches at those factories= Great playbooks.

By the way, next Monday’s college football championship (remember, the U of C won TWO of them back in the day!) has Alabama as 4 and a half-point favorite over Clemson. Bama’s coach is highest paid in college football. Hutchins wouldn’t understand how in the world that would make any sense. No, Hutchins wasn’t crazy. But something else sure seems to be…




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Uphill Battles

Mountain Lions. Monarch Butterflies. Bison. Polar Bears. Allen’s Hummingbird. Whooping Cranes. The Borneo Elephant. Black Rhinoceros.  Bengal Tiger. Brown Bear. Polar Bear. Red Wolf. Cheetah. Crested Penguin. Albatross. Darwin’s Frog. Komodo Dragon. Butterfly Fish. African Wild Dog. Radiated Tortoise. Bactrian Camel. Monte Iberia Eleuth. Cross River Gorilla. Kiwi. Otter. Iguana. Jaguar. Mandril. Yak.

What do all these species have in common?

Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?

If you said, they’re all endangered, you are correct! Some of them critically so. Critical sounds bad, but it’s better than the Wooly Mammoth or the Dodo, which are extinct.

Is this the natural order of things, (a.k.a. natural selection) this shaking out of what species endure or die off, or uh, you know, is this situation aided and abetted by another species? A hostile one?

Bueller? Anyone? If you said the human species, you are again correct. And if you pointed the finger at Homo sapiens, then you must believe in science, because the extinction or declining populations of those noted above and many, many more species are studied and monitored  scientifically. Facts. Empirical observation. Testing of hypothesis. Rigirously so.  Organizations such as the Nature Conservancy, Audubon, and National Wildlife Federation and National Reources Defense Council are documenting the cause/effects of man-made climate change, poaching, and habitat destruction by commercial encroachment, all of which are not the natural order. 

These science-oriented members of humankind are NOT the hostiles. They have a truth-seeking agenda and a magnanimously oriented intelligence that their fellow,  adversarial, Homo sapiens apparently do not share. Their studies and data and conclusions, point fingers at exactly those who clearly create the hostilities to the environment, creating man-made threats to all earth-dwelling species, and our planet itself, and therefore require consciousness-raising battles that are always an uphill effort 

There is some good news, at least, from these eco and wildlife hill climbers, as in the creation of over a million acres of conflict free habitat via the Adopt a Wildlife Acre program. However, the information I receive (having donated a modest sum to a few of these organizations, and thus getting their newsletters/updates) related to species decline and environmental causes all use the same phrase to describe the dynamic of fighting the (unnatural) forces at play here: an uphill battle.

Battle. Right. Against the deniers. Against the willfully ignorant. You know, from the White House to–in the most cynical of examples–the anti-environment Environmental Protection Agency. All part of what I call the new abnormal normal. Hey, shrinking polar ice caps, rising sea levels, greenhouse effect global warming, groping women’s private parts, foreign interference in the 2016 election are simply labeled as “fake news”.  For those of us who have rational minds, now woeful and weary of trying to understand how things have gotten this bad, we wonder when deliverance will come. Or IF it will come before it’s too late? Sure there have been a series of disappointing administrations the last few election cycles as far as their acting to benefit the general welfare of We, the People. But this?! This?! W.T.F?

We now live in the era of multi-national interests, with international treaties, trade policies, globalization. But it is a struggle to feel there is at least a presumed default level of common wisdom at work to guide our global common interests. All for one, one for all, right?….anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

At least in theory, that is.

Remember, as children, we were exposed to the fairy tale world? We were told stories. Stories that embraced seeming unreal beauty, good luck, happiness, even perfection. Well, that’s for the teeny little ones to ingest and believe in, still. For awhile. You know, about the time we stopped believing in the Tooth Fairy and the fat man in the red suit. Apparently, it would seem, not all little children were read fairy tales that stuck with them, providing a sense that while the years go by and by and life throws curve balls, bean balls, trials and travail at us, there is great value in knowing that individually and collectively such difficult episodes of life can be overcome. You know, the balm of the happy ending.  It might be an uphill battle but nonetheless that hill can and oh, yes, will be conquered and at its top there can be some approximation of unreal beauty, perfection, even happiness.

Then again, as children we encountered the antithesis of the fairy tale: Monster tales! Tension and relief. Tension and relief. Be careful. They’re out there.

So, I’m thinking the current ethos, far and wide, is skewed far more toward a Monster scenario than any hint of a fairy tale. Those newsletters I get from those battling against the dark forces? It seems to be one step forward, at least one, if not two steps back. Hey, let’s open up some of the protected natural wonders to fracking. Let’s gut the Clean Air and Water Act. How about we drill for oil in ANWR?

Recall the now extinct Wooly Mammoth. It would be larger than the Indian or African Forest Elephant (both endangered species) if it were still around. It would be monstrously large. But that wouldn’t make it a monster.

But they are out there…banal, cold-hearted killers. Monsters. 

Monsters under our beds. Monsters in our heads. Monsters from the Id. Monsters full of dread. No, they don’t look like Frankenstein’s monster, or the acid-blooded Aliens, or the romping, stomping, fire-breathing Godzilla. Those are “make believe” monsters. I’m talking about the real ones: The nuclear bomb is a monster. Man made, sitting dormant but waiting to be unleashed on humankind. The science-deniers. The willfully ignorant. The indifferent. The alien-ated. They’re all monsters writ large or small in the many “uphill battles” for our environment, for creatures large and small, for the “common good”.  Size aside, they are all man-made monsters emerged from the minds of once little children, who quite possibly have never been happy or good. But the biggest of them, those with official power? Watch out. They’re looming large.

These are the “fake” grown-ups. They are the perpetual playground bullies, not yet having been put in their place.  They, rather, have been put IN PLACE. Unwittingly? Stupidly? Monstrously. They’re out there all right. And in plain sight. I’d like to think that maybe in another generation or two, if our environment can hang tough with occasional victories of good people fighting those uphill battles, plus those now slowly seeing the need to act, a bit of a fairy-tale reality might come about. Maybe not pixie dust stuff, or Bambi or Tinkerbell; you know, when the Cookie Monster is as bad as it gets, and the flesh and blood ones are on the endangered species list, and with some of that fairy-tale luck will eventually become extinct. 


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A Fake Victory

Hey, the Democrats are giddy about their HUGE win in Alabama-stan. It obviously bodes well as an arbiter of the Party’s fortunes come 2018 and beyond. And why not? After all, their candidate Doug Jones absolutely destroyed Roy Moore in the that Senate race to replace Jeff Sessions.

No, wait. That’s not what happened. Jones barely edged out Moore. Jones won by about 20 thousand votes out of more than 1.2 million cast. So, it took a probable pedophile and religious loony who once put up a monument to the 10 Commandments in the Alabama Statehouse, and who considers homosexuality a sin and other icky ideas a la Roy Moore, for Jones to eek out that win. The African-American voters clearly made the difference. Without their big turnout, Jones would have been toast. At the same time, the vast majority of white Alabaman voters, both men and women, voted for the creep-a-zoid! If any other variety of Republican was running against Jones–anyone short of another suspected pedophile, that is–Jones would have been easily beaten. The black voters, in such a “normal” election case, figuring the Democrat has little chance of winning would not have hit the ballot booth in droves, figuring it would be a waste of time. Not to mention, historically, black voters across the land figure the democrats simply take their vote for granted. You know, the arrogant attitude of the DNC being blacks and hispanic voters have no where else to go, given the racist DNA of the GOP.

Well, bully for Jones. A win is a win is a win. He’ll likely get voted out by the Right white men and women of ass-backwards Bama as soon as they get the chance. In the meantime, as testament to the actual, undeniable, irrefutable, disastrous modus operandi of the national Dems, who lost the 2016 election up and down the voting ticket, giving complete power to the Party that has no shame when it comes to serving their corporate donor-masters, just today “net neutrality” has been done away with and the GOP tax cuts are ready to be approved by both Houses. And both the FCC’s 2-1 vote to do away with net neutrality and that tax cut–a massive transfer of wealth from everyone as far as one’s eye can see to the top 1/10th of those one %-ers, hidden behind gated mansions or ensconced in their lavish corporate suites–are accomplished without a single Democratic vote. That’s how useless the Democratic Party is these DAZE.

This eroding-away of the once-upon-a-time idea of our democracy being of, by and for the people doesn’t change one iota because of that Senate seat going to a Democrat, not short nor long-term. Given the mid-terms are still almost a year away, who knows what other damage can be done by the GOP and their morbidly wealthy donor class. There’s still not a thing, not any possible means for Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and other long-in-the-congressional-tooth democrats to stop the carnage being committed by republicans. They handed the keys to our kingdom to a sickening gang of cutthroats, somehow, someway, implausibly, stupifyingly, in losing that 2016 election.

Thinking back on it, whereas Doug Jones managed to get just enough of the vote out against a cretin like Moore, it is all the more nauseating to think that the DNC couldn’t run a winning campaign against a candidate who was then and is now as reprehensible a sociopath as Moore, with just a teeny, tiny slight variation here and there, a-morally. Thus, the irony of the specious spin by many DNC mouthpieces that Alabama shows that if they can win in that blood-red, hayseed haven, who knows what else may be possible? Right.

Yeah, sure. Nancy and Chuck, and their wheezing Calvary to the rescue.  They’ll probably just run off a cliff. Again.

Never mind…



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Instincts. Extincts.

Arthropods. Hey, they help keep soil healthy. You know, soil, from which things grow. The Arthros include insects, mites, spiders and millipedes that dwell in soil, ranging in size from the microscopic to the fully visible to the naked eye. These creatures do a wide range of work, including shredding dead plant tissue, improving soil structure by burrowing, and controlling the number of other harmful soil organisms that may cause damage to crops. Creepy, crawly millipedes help the soil by breaking down dead material so it can be converted into organic matter by many of those other soil organisms. Their brethren in making soil healthy are single cell microscopic bacteria called protozoa, which are one-celled animals doing positive work, down and dirty work in soil, as well as the good ol’ earthworm. Earthworms are quite industrious invertebrates that shred plant residue, burrowing channels for roots and water to infiltrate and more! As thanks to the earthworm, they are often eaten by birds or impaled on a fisherman’s hook to lure fish to pounce on only to themselves be reeled in by said fisher-person, gutted and eaten.  As Woody Allen once noted, such a food-chain that sees one thing eating another makes the world essentially one huge restaurant.

Speaking of restaurants, including the one called your personal kitchen/dining digs, a great service to what can end up on our plates is performed by the also instinctual hard-working honey bees. Having watermelon, blackberry pie, lemonade, olives, cucumbers, peppers, broccoli,  guacamole, peanut butter and jelly, anything with onions, or anything with tomatoes? Great, then send a note of appreciation to your local honey bee hive, because you aren’t eating any of those foods if the honey bee wasn’t around.

Heard about the “colony collapse” regarding such bees? It’s real. And it’s really serious, as one study by Northwest Honeybee Habitat Restoration showed a loss of 44% by beekeeper’s colonies.  One significant contributing factor of their endangerment is neonicotinoid pesticides. Science shows there are a number of different outcomes to the bees after exposure as they do what comes natural to them as pollinators of fruits, vegetables and much more that we humans take for granted; but the pesticide causes bees to become confused and unable to navigate back to their hives. Unable to find their way home, they die. Even if the exposed bees are able to find their way home, covered in contaminated pollen, they then contaminate the entire colony.

So, let’s hear it for Ma Nature’s natural order of things!

And now let’s hiss and boo the human element that, even beyond the honey bee situation, may contribute to a la fin du monde. You know, the climate science that bodes ill for Mother Nature and our planet? And if not that outcome, which is on course and not helped by science-deniers, and  our current EPA basically defunding itself and possible palliatives if not a complete recovery from greenhouse gases, shrinking polar ice caps, depletion of the vital ozone layer, there’s our “doomsday”nuclear clock, that thanks to the blustering and dick-measuring between President Strangelove and Kim Jun Un of North Korea, has now been set at two-and-a-half minutes til midnight. If the clock strikes midnight, then Mutual Assured Destruction will bring a different but equally deadly contamination upon honey bees and the whole lot of life on our sweet, swinging sphere.

In either of these disturbing, but real possible outcomes, there will be no restaurants serving much of anything, eventually.

As Sir Isaac Newton once said: I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.

And consider this: Newton died in 1727.


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Ms. Justice Now!

Oh, it is SO refreshing to see the Democratic Party leadership take a strong stand in this, possibly our nation’s “darkest hour”.  Am I referring to their dogged defiance flung in faces of the feckless Republicans and their cruelly destructive tax plan, thereby thwarting any chance of it becoming law? Of course not. How could they? The Democrats have absolutely zero impact on national politics theses days–at least as far as their GOP adversaries goes. That’s because, well, the GOP has the numbers.  That is, a 240-194 edge in the House of Representatives and 52-46 lead in the Senate (there are 2 Independent Party senators). Those numbers mean the GOP, technically, doesn’t need a single vote from their friends across the aisle in order to have their legislative way. Never mind that the GOP is so divided as far as how heartless, venal and vile they want to be. I call the Republicans Murder, Inc. Why not, given their way people should either be wealthy enough to afford health care or just die. They want to gut Social Security, Medicare and many social safety net programs, turn that money over to the free market cutthroats, and fuck anyone who suffers and withers away. It a dog-eat-dog world, eh? The GOP mascot is an elephant (an insult to that species, which is very socially conscious and intelligent) although the Grim Reaper seems most suitable with this bunch  who are clearly saying yeah, people are gonna fucking die and in some cases the sooner the better and that’s what they get for not being wealthy enough to not let us kill them as quickly–and profitably–as possible.

But back to the Democrats and that “strong stand”. That’s Nancy Pelosi and her other wheezing political hacks demanding John Conyers resign NOW! for his apparent sexual offenses recently reported upon, a la Weinstein, Spacey, Rose, Keillor, Laurer and the lot. Sure, these men are scoundrels and pigs. But Pelosi being so  adamant about Conyers having to resign NOW! Hey, where was all this vigor, outrage and bile when President Pussy Grabber was busted (by himself saying he grabbed women by their…on camera!) during the 2016 campaign?  Where was she and her righteous brothers and sisters in the DNC when the GOP was continually preaching the proven to always fail dogma of “trickle down” economics in decades past (she’s been around a LONG time, this Pelosi). Where was this justice now! cry when the 2000 election was blatantly stolen by the GOP? Or the 2004 election, again stolen, or the phony “evidence” that rushed the U.S. into a senseless war in Iraq? Where was this sense of urgency earlier that wrong-doing must have consequences? Did Nancy immediately and relentlessly scream foul back then? 

If Conyers is a sexist pig, he needs to go, certainly. But then so does Pussy Grabber, by any moral (and criminal) measure. Hey Nancy. Anything to say about that? Of course not. Because Nancy is a tired old political hack. She’s trying to convince herself that she can still make a difference when an injustice comes to light. But those old bones that were once young and at least at one time had the potential to chase down much bigger targets than a haggard John Conyers are gone. Nancy has just enough loose teeth left to go snapping at the heels of another very old-timer, who is now low hanging, rotten fruit. Easy pickin’s, I’d say.

Pelosi the Pathetic! She and the rest of the DNC and 95% of her fellow flaccid, impotent, incompetent Dems should all be held to account themselves. Their “injustice”?: committing serial political malpractice. Party of the People, my ass. And committing malpractice for the better part of at least the last 36 years. If not for the corporate lap-dogs and turncoats that infest the Democratic Party, the GOP’s horror movie wouldn’t play as a continuing loop. We’ve seen this crummy film too many times. But now it’s even more sickening. It’s a snuff flick!

Pelosi and the Irrelevants. The Pussy Grabber and the Incorrigibles.

As Bill Shakespeare once said, a plague on both their houses!

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Murder, Inc.

Yesterday, in commenting on an opinion piece alluding to the “darkest hour” and our fake President by Richard Cohen in the Washington Post, I said the marquee of American was full of dim or burned-out bulbs, and wondering how much darker things could get. Well, looks like some nasty, possibly enduring dark is almost certainly about to descent upon 99+ % of the American public. I am specifically alluding to the draconian tax legislation proposed by the GOP.

Unlike the umpteenth attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which even with a GOP controlled congress has failed over and over again, this tax bill, without needing a single Democrat or Independent member of the Senate’s vote, is about to be approved. Made into LAW. And unless you are somehow insulated from such political matters (by apathy, exhaustion, being easily distracted by pop culture/social media or too busy with trying to find that bluebird of happiness) you have GOT to have heard just how horrible a tax bill the GOP has crafted. Hey, it’s what the Republicans do.

And what they are doing is shepherding a blatant transfer of wealth to–not simply that  1% most often noted as the benefactors of Republican economic ideology–but more like the top ONE-TENTH of that %! The Congressional Budget Office, as well as countless other economic experts (look em up) has spelled out the short and long-term damage that will be done to just about everybody but those with the vast majority of the wealth right now. Powerful multinational corporations and the obscenely rich will become all the more powerful and obscenely rich. I will get taxed more (sooner or later, as the bill is written with its slight-of-hand provisions that give with one hand while taking away even more with the other) and you will get taxed more. It is literally written. If you are sitting in a coffee shop, a restaurant, or at a supermarket, or at work, in a college classroom, on a commuter train, at a movie, or a play, walking down the boulevard, possibly pushing a toddler or two in a carrier, at a museum, waiting in line at a bank, browsing a bookstore, at a laundromat, a library, in church, in an elevator, a department store, at the post office, with your book club, at a concert, a car wash, at the airport, mall-walking, at the gym, or perched on a bar stool–wherever–look around and whoever you may see, from a total stranger, or barely an acquaintance, a friend, a close friend, maybe even your “intimate other,” THAT person, and that person’s family and friends, acquaintances, co-workers, neighbors and exponentially friends of their friends and their friend’s friends  and virtually every person you will randomly run into or see by routine will today and into the future, all will be economically strong-armed by this tax bill to help transfer more and more and more wealth to those who need it least. We all have a bullseye on our backs. And the GOP archer assassins have many arrows in their quivers.

It’s what the Republicans do.

Again, check out the CBO’s assessment plus those other experts who have weighed-in and condemned this piece of heartless, cold-blooded, amoral, avariciousness. This is the GOP: Murder, Inc.

We need a revolution, folks. Hello, out there. I said we need a…

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Men-tal Cases

Hello, folks. Are you on prescription drugs, trying to cope with reality? If so, good luck with that. Beware the opioids, of course. Maybe just some primo weed, eh? Or Wild Turkey 101.  MD 20/20? Sniffing glue? Or maybe you have religion. Possibly an organized, writ large system of faith or your own proprietary brand of belief in a higher power? As in see above, any of those noted options, possibly in a combo of indulgences. Hey, whatever gets you through the night.

You have your act together, sans any substances, or supplications to the imaginary Big Guy in the Sky? Good for you. This blog is my crutch, my form of relief from the fatal condition known as life. Oh, this and some abv beverages. And beyond, but not in need of rehab or anything like that. We all need stress relief. Anyone who claims to be stress free is a on something, for sure. Xanex (or the like). Or not awake. Not paying any attention. Or maybe dead. I’m confining this screed to life here in the good ol’ U.S.A. okay? You know, the country formed by our founding fathers. Good men they were, except for the slaves they “owned”.

I’m stressed. People! Especially the power brokers, but even random encounters with my fellow commoners. Opinions. Attitudes. Beliefs. Behavior. To truly express this everyday version of drip, drip, drip angst, I refer you to Charles Bukowski’s poem entitled The Shoelace. Bukowski told it like it was. Who’s telling it like it is today? There’s much to tell, most of it not pleasant. You know. Lots of men in the news. The buffoon in the White House. Congress again trying to give the wealthy yet another tax break by taking from the rest of us. Endless wars. Racism. Religious hypocrites (Roy Moore!). Scapegoating. Divisiveness. Plus the latest outrage, the daily busting of sexual assaulters (guys, c’mon) and the resulting ever-louder and angrier movement known as Me Too (good for you ladies!).  These revelations are becoming as routine as the mass shootings that plague this country. The subtext of most of the noted stress points invoked here clearly is: men behaving badly. Well, no one is perfect, regardless of gender, but there sure seems to be a much likelier chance of some male of the species causing everyone else concern, from that doofus in the White House to what I call Murder, Inc. a.k.a. the Republican party, to the scumbags who treat women like their personal playthings, to the street thugs jacking cars, or driving cars through retail shop doors and grabbing the goods, a sort of much more loud and violently expressed version of the five-finger discount,  or the deceptively “quiet” closeted psycho who, when it’s time to SNAP, with the help of the male-dominated National Rifle Association, is easily able to obtain an assault rifle and express his twisted disapproval and disappointment.

I’d like to think I’m not part of this seeming male-dominated source of stress, grief, shock, rage, tension and turmoil.  Okay, I’m generally in contempt of the public-at-large, that being because too many people, male and female, seem not to be able to think for themselves, and mistake prevarication and bullshit  for prime beefsteak. However, I am respectful toward the elderly, small children and animals. Well, most of the time.

There’s a Chinese proverb that goes: may you be born into interesting times

My lifetime? Interesting? Some of it. Although I can I can think of many other adjectives for all that I see or hear.



There’s something happening here

there’s a man with a gun over there

telling me I got to beware.

I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound

everybody look what’s going down.


Hey, for what it’s worth…






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