Saturday, June 30, 2018

Ortega y Gasset

"I am I and my circumstances."  Life, existence, from birth until death, whatever you want to call it, Ortega Gasset suggested was a drama on the one side of which was necessity and on the other side was freedom. Ortega was a philosopher and a psychologist. He lived through the first part of the 20th Century, he died in his homeland of Spain in 1955. I guess in a way, for Ortega reality was the sum of all human knowledge and experience, an ecology rich with magic and opportunity. There's always debate of course, but outside the drawing room, I would argue that by 'freedom' Ortega was thinking more in terms of 'possibilities' and as everyone knows 'possibilities' are pretty much limited to the point of being absent when men and women become entrenched in an idea that cannot be challenged. Ortega was a Liberal thinker, a shining light to a bunch of Spanish Poets who either died in jail or were forced into exile by Franco's Fascists. And his view of science was a cold shower for those of us who seek salvation from it, he thought it useful but shallow, a fast food jingle in its grasp of the complexities of existence, his word back then was mediocre or ordinary.

In his 1929 book, Ortega argued that Liberal was an extraordinary and truly remarkable form of generosity in which the majority gives rights to minorities. This determination to share existence with an enemy, even when the enemy was weaker, was so supremely noble and against nature that it was no wonder that we people often did our very best to totally get rid of Liberal. It wasn't elites, it wasn't aristocracy or any of the ocracies, it was a discipline of mind toward "I am I and my circumstances" that preserved the splendor of Liberal. Ortega's book was called Revolt of the Masses. The masses, no matter whose masses they were, crush everything, he suggested. Their banner "To be different is to be indecent."  Ortega's point about the masses was simple: they get their way through violence, so if you're interested in the wealth of possibilities avoid letting the masses get their hands on the state. Classically enough both the temporal Ayn Rand and spiritual Gandhi were influenced by Ortega's writing. Not long afterwards Europe was engulfed by violent attempts to obliterate differences. Nowadays the smooth talkers prefer to quote the Uruguayan, Eduard Galeano, global soccer's preeminent man of letters - "History never says goodbye, rather it says, see you later."

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Kitty-Kitty

Of the domestic pets, the Girl Cat is innately curious, she's so extremely cautious she might even be a little neurotic, she deeply distrusts heavy rain, both loud and little noises, and when there is thunder within earshot she has the amazing capacity to completely disappear for hours and hours. It's a vanishing act which can on occasion lead to anxious caretakers exhausting themselves, risking injury, crawling around on their hands and knees with a flashlight.  Where the expression "kitty-kitty" came from I've no idea, but like me the Girl Cat obviously finds it derogatory and very patronizing, and rightly takes no notice of it whatsoever. It's the sort of coo-coo, woozy-woozy nonsense that no feline in their right mind would take seriously, kind of like naming a cat "Bernard" or "Hubert."

But sometimes an anxious interim primary caretaker can panic, they'll try anything, and yesterday after the thunder and lightening had left us and in anticipation of a possibility the Artist would return from travelling to find the Girl Cat lost to caretaker carelessness, and no good blaming something like a Coyote, I found myself reduced to "kitty-kitty."  Nor was it just one "kitty-kitty," it was several "kitty-kitties." Some button in me must have been pushed that chose to believe it was the tone and quality of my "kitty-kitty" that lacked sincerity, or resolve, or soothing-ness, indeed my final "kitty-kitty" might even have sounded unnerving. It was pathetic behavior on my part, not lost on the Kitten who having a very low tolerance for any kind of interruption to her routine, glowered at me from her day bed and deliberately yawned whenever I politely requested her assistance.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Discourse and stuff

Godwin's research declared that if you mention Hitler in an internet exchange the conversation is likely to end and everyone retreats behind their stockades where they lick their wounds, eat cheeseburgers and ice cream, kind of like Valhalla. He also suggested that the longer an internet exchange continued the probability of Hitler being mention increased to 1, which is pretty much a hundred percent.

His other point I think was that comparing others to Hitler because you disagree with them, or just find them incredibly creepy, belittles the horror of truly appalling figures in history, so why do it? Apart from the assumption that the future is finally secured against appalling figures, it's safe to say that what might or might not be judged "appalling" in civil discourse is like the word family, very clearly something of a moving feast. 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Baby Steps to Fascism

I guess if it looks like a Duck, walks like a Duck, and quacks like a Duck, there's a good chance it's a Duck. And it's an odd thing, you can pretend all you want. But I'll tell you this much if our Republic survives the next few years then it'll definitely be a Duck. If it doesn't then there'll be a picture of a Duck in every Post Office, Martin Luther King Avenues will be renamed Quack-Quack Boulevards, and from sea to shining sea there'll be a dunes of faces wondering what happened to the internet. Well, you don't need me to tell you.

Despite the pleadings of Saint Godwin, an unrecognized saint, one of the problems bureaucracy faced was what to do with so many people. One idea was labor camps. Work will make you free. Another was a more Final Solution which would have been pretty expensive until the best minds came up with the idea of gas chambers and furnaces. And you know something else, it all began with a circle jerk rhetoric at rallies that dehumanized the other in the pursuit of making someone great. Sudetenland was like giving in to the wall.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Crows

A member of my extensive parental side had a story about Crows. It was wartime, he'd escaped prison, he was on the run, food and shelter harder and harder to find. One isolated farmhouse became almost like a home, it was high in a valley, and as the night came he'd return from foraging for his own contribution to the warm kitchen table and he could hide in the hills look down at the farm house, check to see whether soldiers were visiting, which they'd do sometimes in their search for partisans, escapees, whatever they could find. The farmhouse had three resident Crows, but a good chance they were Ravens. The birds were fit, well feathered, agile in the sky, they were usually content and they roosted in the farm's ancient stone barn. The farmer was long gone, he'd been killed in the war, the farmer's children, both boys, had grown and were gone to know one knew where, but their elderly mother still managed the farm as she waited for her children to return, and she was pretty good at hiding food and livestock from occupation soldiers who were always hungry, well armed and entitled.

One evening, looking down at the farmhouse, there was no sign of soldiers and the coast looked clear. But the Crows were absent from their evening chatter on the barn roof. Maybe they'd had already settled in for the night. There was a chance with spring on its way they'd set their minds to wandering. Possibly they'd all fallen to a shotgun. There were easy answers. And yet, he remained where he was, cold in the chill and damp just two thousand yards from shelter. In the morning, there was glint of sun on the barn, the farmhouse kitchen door opened, cigarette butts casually tossed to see if the farmer's wife would pick them up, save them from the dew so she could smoke them in her pipe. Then a military vehicle which had been hiding inside the barn fired up it's engine. Off they went so as to be in time for breakfast at their barracks, the Crows circling and silent in the sky above them. And the thing about it was, soon after his escape he'd once been rescued from starvation by a little girl who'd given him a European Robin to eat. Shown him how to cook it, insides and all, nothing wasted. European Robin is about the size of a Sparrow.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Divide and Rule

Well, well, well, it's give him a Power Tool and Feed Him Meat Products Sunday! In the late Seventies, I guess, Warren Zevon at the end of his Album "Excitable Boy" had a song titled "Send Lawyers, Guns and Money."  If I remember the song was about an American Boy who insisted he was an innocent bystander but had got himself in trouble with a waitress, who might have been a Russian, down in Havana and had somehow ended up in Honduras, and he wanted his Dad to save him from his sorry fate. It was a song about rich innocent boys for whom the world beyond the suburbs was not a playground, unless they had lawyers, guns and money. With song writers it's difficult to know, but lawyers interpret the law, guns enforce the law, and rich Daddies can afford lawyers. Stranger still, on this day in 1885 a ship called Isere, named after a river, docked in New York. In the ship's hold was the Statue of Liberty, all 350 pieces of it packed in 214 crates, a gift of friendship from Les gens de France.

Then you got John Fogerty's "Fortunate Son." Vietnam and the draft. The story goes that President Eisenhower's grandson, David Eisenhower, received a deferment. Our song writer did not, he was off to war without knowing why and he sat on his bed and he cried out,  "It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no senator's son!"  "Some folks inherit star spangled eyes... and when you ask them 'How much should we give?' .... They only answer 'More, more, more.'" Mind you not many top of the pops songs tried to hit the big time on the subject of how many thousands and thousands, millions, of families were ripped apart by slavery. Another "Trail of Tears." Sadly, some subjects would be far too much of a downer for our delicate and "Excitable Boys." Me, I celebrated the day through intimate Interpretive Dance, my partner was a Snapping Turtle, our subject was Moral Compass, the music as I led the waltz toward the river was Waterloo by Abba. A truly bonding experience, and there could even be Snapping Turtle eggs safe in the Compost Piles.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

A Road for Carts

Saul of Tarsus, like Engels, was from a well heeled family of property owning business people. But unlike Engels Saul of Tarsus began his career persecuting ideas that threatened his understanding of the Old Testament. Engels for his part was also restless, he saw his world and reckoned the future could be made better. What happened to Engels is that he discovered Karl Marx. Saul of Tarsus, while on his way to Damascus had a bonk on the head and God, apparently, had a few words with him. Both Saul and Engels were bossy, both men inclined toward pragmatic editing, and to the extent that both men wanted to be shepherds rather than sheep, they might both have been little power hungry. Neither man was self centered to the point of doing something like burning down Rome to improve the view from their domicile. (If you're in doubt about Engels, he enjoyed the English version of Fox Hunting, he had the little outfits and everything.) And, both men had a powerful influence on the movements of mind which spread idea. Engels as Marx and Engels, Saul of Tarsus as Saint Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles, and current rising star in the warped world of white nationalist interpretations. With us people, what we are has less to do with the real, more to do with explanations of the real. And in the long run it's a very rich, sometimes apparently deceitful and often uncomfortable, deeply depressing tapestry of possible answers.

Which is why a gardener will sometimes wonder what it might have been like to have been employed by Isaac Newton. It must have been an early bearing Apple tree something like a Beauty of Bath, because the image of Newton is of him enjoying a sit in the sunshine, he might even have been having a cup of cider and a Cucumber sandwich when he saw an Apple fall from his Apple tree. Quite clearly his first reaction was to seek an explanation from his gardener, who was probably doing a little light weeding, maybe a little trimming in an attempt to look politely engaged. His gardener would have patiently explained that unless there's something seriously wrong with them, Apples always fall from their trees and a fall can bruise an Apple which means the Apple might not keep as well, and there'd be a whole set of ideas about the best time to get the ladders out and actually pick Apples to keep them safe from harm. Then when Newton became all excited about having seen an Apple fall down to earth, instead of falling upwards or sideways, Newton's gardener who would have been dour and reserved, kept his thoughts around mental anomalies, alcoholic refreshments in the afternoon and the devil to himself. It was a good job he had in the garden, few prospects but it was regular pay so why risk bruising his employer by pointing out the blatantly obvious. Yes indeed, to make sense of it all, worth remembering the word Career comes to us from the Latin, "a road for carts."

Friday, June 15, 2018

Utter Cads and Liars.

The Ghost in the Machine, or Duality, as those who explore existence often put it. Are we one thing or are we two? Is there a distinction between me and my body? Is there an "I" part of me that exists somewhere above, beyond, inside or outside my body? And if you're brave enough to ask people, some will know straight away, and they can get quite fierce about it, stamp their foot, desperate perhaps, political possibly, and such people can sometimes become a major pain in neck.

 Others will ramble on a little and will often come back with one or other iteration of the idea that concludes something like, "Yes, I think I do go somewhere when I die." In other words they draw a distinction between the temporal and the spiritual without necessary knowing which one of their two parts should be given priority. Me, I still go back to the Palestinian mother who'd just lost her child to a violent exchange. "God is mostly silent," she said. "Yet people do terrible things in his name."

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Cults and Technical Devices

Very tempting to go on little about the Cult of Personality, draw conclusions from previous examples. For some reason, even though he was a skinny little man, Pol Pot springs to mind. Yet history is awash with those frailties of personality that enable leaders to dominate their followers. I guess too it's a "Great Man" theory which offers purpose through mindless obedience. At the same time, I'm one of those sufficiently obnoxious members of the species who cannot name what might be called a personal hero. Leopards don't count, I'm told. A character flaw possibly, or perhaps far too anxious to spot flaws in others and I am particularly good at spotting flaws in Windows 10. Which this side of the interface does in my view qualify as a Cult of Personality which is right up there with our very own Kara ─łefo, Esperanto for Dear Leader, a stultulo if ever there was one.

The stress of a failed Windows 10 update and one thing and another was finally solved. However the endless, day long and apparently pointless subsequent updates have clearly expressed their intention to turn my life from an exercise in calm into a Running of the Bulls. Then out of nowhere, and without any prompting from me, I got a message. "Aren't you lucky!" it read. "Your device has just got the latest Windows 10 update..important security..find out what's new...etc, etc..." I was never asked if I wanted anything to do with the updates, I don't feel in the least lucky, the whole thing was just foisted upon me, my time, my emotions, and it's quite a long list. My better instinct is to throw the technical device out of the window and be done with it. Instead I find myself kowtowing to it. It's no wonder we're all doomed.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Hacking

Not the perfect morning to spend hoeing, or hacking, the neighbors Tobacco Rows. High heat factor, and interesting that the two much, much older fools far outlasted the youth of this fair county, which is why the nation is doomed to become a sloppy pale of lard within the next decade or so. All I can say is to hell with liberal values it's time to ban cell phones, television and definitely time to bring back the Draft, let them waddle around for the drill sergeant.

Kind of worrying really. No idea what happened to me. Could well have something to do with getting old, brain processes losing their ability to grasp nuance before heading off into the gullet of decay. Yet I'll insist that pride in useful physical labor and the capacity to endure it cheerfully is a fundamental human value, or should be. And why? Very good question, it's right up there with the meaning of it all.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

WRT

I was going to talk about the lessons to be learned about Free Trade from an understanding of the Corn Laws, the Irish Potato Famine, Vested Interest, the Iron Law of Oligarchy, Populism, the current problems facing the Canadian Liberal Party and why facts are the opposite to wishes. It was going to be a long, soothing explanation that would totally defy the classically elitist codswallop of the now redundant US TPP Negotiators who did insist that the proposed Pacific Rim Treaty was a little like Climate Change, too complicated for the man on the street corner to even begin to understand. But suddenly I felt as though I was an Uncle, or maybe a Great Aunt, or at least a God Parent of some sort, conceivably a Hospital Porter. And I'll tell you why. While enduring the morning chores the first Tree Swallow fledged. Engaged as I was with truly sour and possibly elitist thoughts of my own I didn't actually see it fledge, but there he was on the electric line, admiring his wings, wondering when and how large his tail feathers would grow as he waited for his parental side to pop something tasty in his mouth.

"How do you know it was a he?" Simple, with birds I work on the WRT (white republican theory), the first to fledge is the greediest, biggest, whiniest and least attractive, the others just can't wait to get rid of him. And if you don't believe me, through the course of the mid morning three more Tree Swallows fledged and they gently gathered to preen on the electric line, each little creature a sociable distance between them, and all three a good five to six yards away from he who fledged first. A blissful sight for a Sunday. But of lessons learned there's one wish and one sad fact. I wish no matter their personal reasons, Tree Swallows wouldn't fledge in the mid-day. And the sad fact is that I'm still struggling with sun blindness, a few shivers from lack of water and overheating, a bit of a headache, blocked sinus and a general sense of exhaustion which having a late lunch does absolutely nothing to ameliorate. But on the bright side I can say with a degree of confidence that enduring fledging pains however they arise is right and proper, and perfectly natural. Of interest, and a little depressing, when the time comes Girl Swallows are inclined toward pairing with Boy Swallows who have the longest and most glamorous tail feathers.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Indigo Bunting

Indigo Bunting arrive quite early in the year. A person can see little groups of them looking for sustenance in the low grass, on the gravel and they do all seem to get along with each other, chatting about this and that, recalling past moments and yet a keen observer can sense the tension in their midst. A couple of months later, when nests are up and thinking about the possibility of eggs, if a person sees an Indigo Bunting it's more likely to be an Indigo Bunting hell bent on chasing another Indigo Bunting. They're like blue darts screeching across the higher grasses. To my mind this sort of berserker behavior is amongst the first of many depressing sights of summer. Then if you still haven't recognized the signs, you might find yourself already in bed before the sun has troubled to set. And yes, we're talking the Summer Solstice which is up there with Christmas Day as one of the more depressing days of the year.

"Whoa!" I hear the call. "There's a long time to go until the leaves fall to the frost, there's days and days of canning for you to get excited about, beets for you to pickle, Johnson grass to wage war upon, that sort of thing. And there's compost for you to get worked up about. You might even get another chance to to throw stones at the Bald Eagle if he comes too close. Life's far too short......" All of which totally misses the point. From about the two weeks before Summer Solstice until Winter Solstice, some of us spend far too many of our important contemplative hours wondering whether the six months between Summer and Winter Solstice is a down hill slope or an uphill slope. It's a big question, that lurks in the way that a Saber Toothed Tiger might once have lurked around a playpen for the bright young stars of the Stone Age, back in the day before we got all hoity-toity around bronze. The thing is, for me at least, sometime on the day of Winter Solstice this big question just disappears, evaporates, off into the mist, like magic until something like Indigo Buntings start having a go at each other.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Right Foot

Your correspondent has been informed that raspberry donuts, ice cream, peeled grapes and lardy cake are no cure for an ailment of the right foot that has one of those difficult to pronounce and impossible to spell Latin names which always sounds as though a person should give serious consideration to a final testament.

Plantar comes from the Latin word for sole of the foot. Fascia is a term for connective tissues that surround muscle, blood vessels and nerves. Fasciitis is an inflammation of that connective tissue. Fascism comes from a Fraidy-Cat Lumpen Right, which is interesting because my left foot doesn't feel in the least nervous.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Windbreaks and Nesting.

Always stressful when birds chose to nest in or near the vegetable garden. One year the Close Mockingbird pair had their nest in what, to make it sound functional, we gardeners like to call a windbreak. This windbreak is on the more northern fence around the vegetable garden, the feeble excuse being to keep anti-social and sometimes fierce north winds in check. It wasn't always a windbreak. It started out as a pair of Apple trees, which after very severe instructions from me did for a while become what's called an Espalier and they did look elegant for about ten days a year. These days it's more of a bunch of green stuff with a climbing rose twined into it, all if it has to be hacked back at least three times a year. The whole thing is a pest hole for the Cedar Rust, and it should really be dug up and ceremoniously burned. But the northern windbreak is ideal for nesting and there's a particular Lichen that grows on the trunks of the Apples that employs the x factor of fascination to ensure the security of its home. It's one of those Lichens which toward the end of the year decide to send up stalks that look like little beady eyes.

When the Close Mockingbirds had their nest in the windbreak I could glance at their two chicks, I'd get an "aren't they perfect" from the proud male of their pair and he'd go on about his business. In subsequent years it's become quite  fashionable for members of the local Chipping Sparrow community to nest in the windbreak, in the Cucumbers, the climbing Squash, pretty much anywhere. But one of the things about Chipping Sparrows is no matter how much I tiptoe around if I go anywhere near one of their nests they go straight for the hat and I have hell to pay. This year a pair of Tree Swallows adopted a nest box which I'd casually attached to a fence post to keep it dry while I gave huge consideration to a more appropriate location. Being tourists I assumed Tree Swallows would be over bearing, obnoxious, critical and full of themselves, but they've been a total joy to share the garden with, no snapping at me, none of this Chipping Sparrow Rottweiler behavior from them. Their chicks of course are a different matter. Recently if I go anywhere near their box, there's a bunch of noise, a big quarrel and out pops the greediest little head expecting to be fed. The maw is a bright, custard yellow. And you have to wonder what places and sights that mouth will see when time comes to fly away.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

John Lackland

Around the time of King John, who was in some respects a competent man, he was a fairly good general, he had a vague understanding of the executive branch, there was an idea amongst the rulers that kings were essentially above the law, and their justification for this idea was sometimes referred to as "Divine Majesty." This idea asserted that a king was subject to no earthly authority, a person's ascension to the thrown was the will of God. Oddly, Divine Majesty is making a bit of a come back here in the United States. Indeed a radical and wealthy Christian outfit which for some absurd reason is called Liberty University, is hoping to further its fundamentalist cause by funding a movie that will attempt to encourage the idea that the current President of the United States was chosen by God. It strikes me that such obsequious star-effing so bites the big one a person has to wonder whether events since the end of the Early Stone Age ever happened. And it's true Aboriginal Peoples of Australia held the view that waking hours were more likely fantasy, it was the dream world of sleep were reality actually existed, so we got that to hold on to.

 King John, who was a Norman King of Saxon England, struggled with appalling social skills which included being very petty, very spiteful, very cruel and red-headed. But after all, he had been chosen by God, so how could he go wrong. During his reign he fought a war against the King of France and he succeeded in losing Normandy, the land of the Normans, which is or was no small territory in the north eastern part of France. One of the main reasons he lost the war was his attitude toward what you might call his natural allies, he pissed the hell out of them. In those days when kings lost territory it kind of aggravated the populace. The loss of territory was usually a big financial hit to the upper income group. Lower down the scale, the common man, or peasant, would probably begin to wonder whether God might have made an error of judgment which always aggravated the priests. It's also the case that primarily as a consequence of John's appalling social skills and his zoo of self serving Liberty University type courtiers, so infuriated both Norman and Saxon Land owners that in 1215 they ganged up and forced him to sign the Great Charter or the Magna Carta, which did absolutely nothing for most of us but which I always thought was at least the beginning of the end of this Divine Majesty nonsense.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Crossword Puzzles

Tomorrow is the anniversary of D Day. On the 5th of June 1944, which would have been 74 years ago today, weather conditions and the forecast along the English Channel for a full scale invasion of Europe were a long way from ideal, and it was down to one man to make what must have been a very, very hard decision. The man's name was Eisenhower, he became the 34th President of the United States, his classic adage, "plans are useless, planning is indispensible." Two years before D Day, in the August of 1942, a force of around six thousand mostly Canadian soldiers had crossed the English Channel to conduct a raid on a French Port Town called Dieppe. The objective of the Dieppe Raid was to hold the Port Town for two tides and then scuttle back to the English Islands. The purpose of the Dieppe Raid had as much to do with demonstrating willingness to die on beaches as it had to do with gathering intelligence and learning lessons about how best not to die on beaches. Brave men indeed.

In the days leading up to the Dieppe Raid an English Newspaper called the Daily Telegraph had a crossword puzzle clue, "A French Port" and it was six letters. The answer was Dieppe. All hell broke loose in the security services, who quickly convinced themselves that the clue was obviously the work of a foreign agent disguised as a crossword puzzle compiler for the Daily Telegraph sending messages to the enemy. Intensive investigations concluded it was total coincidence. In the days leading up to D Day the Daily Telegraph's same crossword puzzle compiler again had innocent looking clues, very suspicious answers to which included, "Mulberry," which was the name for a secret floating harbor. "Utah," which was the secret name for one of the landing beaches near a small town that has the beautiful name of La Madeleine. And "Overlord," which was the secret name for the invasion of Europe. Again all hell broke loose in the security services, and again the answers to the clues were deemed entirely coincidental.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Straight from the Fridge

Once upon a time Kerouac was asked what he meant by Beat. His answers had little precision and were kind of vague, but he'd achieved status sufficient for everyone to assume he knew exactly what he meant by Beat. By this time of course there was a whole thing about Beatniks and black polo neck sweaters, record labels, books, shocking interviews with the bourgeois media, black and white television and the plethora, so it didn't really matter what Kerouac reckoned he meant by Beat. A difficult time for some of us, we had hard decisions to make, whether to become a Mod, a Rocker, a Teddy Boy, or a Beatnik and soon enough you found out that the authentic Beatnik did not call him or herself a Beatnik. He or she was just Beat, and everything about Beat was glorious except for the bongo drums, which could be incredibly irritating around two in the morning. Meanwhile older people were talking about the rot having set in, and would often say things like "hanging's too good for them," and "bring back the cat," a reference to the cat-o'-nine-tails.

Now that I am an older person, I realize I have absolutely no idea which of the many possibilities the young people are exploring today. A visit to town tells me nothing, and certainly there's no one saying anything  like "daddy-o" or "digging it man" on a street corner. So maybe it all happens at night, but more likely this amazing paucity of visible self expression has to do with the evils of Social Media. It all happens in the ether and all that remains are the occasional convoy of large angry looking sweaty middle aged men hogging the road on their motorcycles and the odd callow youth with what look like Bull testicles attached to the tail-hook of their pick up truck. Granted both are well worth a "throw away the key" but all the same I sometimes feel robbed of the generous opportunities for self expression showered by my own generation on previous generations of older people. And that's "Straight from the Fridge" which for those concerned is an infinitely more subtle and much cooler way of saying something like "Ain't that the Truth," but who really knows.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Ancient Mysteries

Much scholarly debate about the origin of the word Yahweh. Some will tell you it was place lost to the sands of time, others will tell you it translates from an ancient Canaanite language into Popeye's "I am what I am," still others will come up with all sorts of mystical offerings and entirely possible because it has something to do with Religion and Politics and Academia there's no real incentive for an objective answer. My own view follows an account which naturally enough I can no longer find in any real sense, yet variations of which remain a constant for those moments in the vegetable Garden when there's just a little bit more to do and the body begins to express a sudden yearning for The Rapture and failing that a good long cigarette break in deep, Tic-less shade. The other point I'd like to make is that there's no way Bruce Springsteen singing "Santa Claus is Coming" figures in any reputable account of the origin of Yahweh, so best to keep that in mind.

Many years ago, in a part of the world where rain was uncertain and land subject to plagues of Centipedes, a gardener exhausted from the endless monotony of separating the Tares from the Wheat thought he heard a voice and he looked up unto the heavens. And lo it was what sounded like a Late Bronze Age Bruce Springsteen singing, "You'd better not cry, you'd better not pout, and I'm telling you why, so be good for goodness sake."  The gardener, having followed the calling of gardeners, was a dour, fusty old grump and he replied, "The odd Tare never hurt anybody! It's all roughage!"  And with a degree of unction the voice answered, "Well you'd better watch out because sooner or later I'm coming to town." A terrible quarrel ensued during which Blossom End Rot was mentioned several times, and finally the gardener put his good hand on his bad hip and demanded, "Who exactly do you think you are?"  "I am the Creator. I have no name. I can't help it, I am what I am."

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Achilles Heel

Many years ago, as a young bright eyed, enthusiastic youth of tender years, your correspondent endured two life altering experiences. The first was a winter that included snow, freezing temperatures, heatless dormitories and an attitude amongst his peers that included the unbelievably absurd idea that two blankets on the bed was for sissies. The second was the change in time from ordinary time to daylight savings time. And it became clear to him that life in the land of the pink people was  under no circumstances reasonable, so it was basically no wonder Anglo Saxons generally did everything they could to get the hell off the green and pleasant land by conquering as much of the rest of the world as possible. Back then of course teachers of English History considered these views D minus to the point of subversive material which is how your correspondent was first introduced to something called Detention.

 In my view Detention was kind of like heaven, because the alternatives to Detention was a thing called Free Time, which meant that while my peers were forced to remain outdoors entertaining themselves by trying to keep warm, I was well sheltered from the stiff breezes that usually contained rain. Sadly the alternative to Detention was something called a Visit to the Headmaster, a deviously cunning man who knew a slacker when he saw one. Briefly your correspondent was able to maintain dominance in the battle of wits by demonstrating symptoms that characterize the Moron, which is just above idiot. Then one day, your correspondent was called from the algebra class and introduced to an extraordinary sight. She was gentle to look at, she smelled nothing like wet socks and she sat me down and asked me to perform a number of simple tasks that included arranging different shaped blocks. I was like putty in my determination to impress. It was pathetic, weak minded of me, an Achilles Heel that's lingered big time.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Chemistry of Mind

Interesting the more recent attempts to interpret the dubious wonders of psychotropic chemicals from some of our intellectual elites. For those of us who have been here long enough to understand the heights of existence upon earth almost entirely in terms of a successful bowel movement it might seem that somewhere, someone has money to make from persuading the milk cows that solace is available from taking what many years ago was called, amongst other things, an Acid Trip. And it's also possible that quite a few of us, sometime in the distant past, might have spent more time then they really wanted to persuading some idiot male not to leap from the top floor balcony because he firmly believed he was that rare creature an Ostrich that could fly. Oddly he had the feathers and everything.

Yet as I understand the latest literature on the subject, a Good Trip encourages those of us old people who might have suddenly discovered a concern about the pointlessness of it all feel better about the prospects of dying. The Trip, apparently, opens the mind to possibilities which instead of being called fantasy worlds are referred to as spiritual worlds. Mind you, much more of this current administration and the mass production of a pill that grants access to spirituality would certainly result in several additions to the Billionaire Class. Entirely possible I have completely missed the point, but a quick glance at the alarm clock and we've only got about three weeks before Intelligent Machines take over. So there's that for us older people to hold fast to.