Always room for one more little political shit on the roof of California
I don't want to make too much of this story: Pigeon Droppings Cause Roof To Crash, but....
Actually I do want to make too much of this story. It seems to me to reflect as a real world metaphor, the past, present and what is to come for the no-longer-great state of California.
This small news item about a collapse is a real world example of the adage, "If something can’t go on, then it won’t. Gravity wins in the end." And, as far as California goes, it's about to reach the point in the Sgt. Pepper album where the Beatles sing:
"We'd like to thank you once again
Sergeant Pepper's one and only Lonely Hearts Club Band
It's getting very near the end."
And that's what's clearly on tap for a state that has let itself be run by an unholy cabal based in the S&M Swamps of San Francisco and the Mountains of Moonbat. Too bad really. I feel sorry for my friends who are trapped there in the land of "Why pay less for less?"
California once had some nice aspirations, before it allowed itself to be loosened and whored out like some pubescent pegboy from the Barbary Coast.
Here's the article in toto. I've just swabbed it lightly with strikethrough.
It's a fecal fiasco caused by 20 years of neglect.
The roof of a Quick Mart gas station in Vacaville, Calif., came crashing down under the weight of
pigeon politician poop. Yes, that's right, pigeon politician poop. Twenty years of leaving the birds to it.
When firefighters showed up, they said it was nearly a foot thick in places, reported KOVR correspondent Jonas Tichenor.
"Disgusting," said customer Chris Doss, who narrowly missed the ultimate you-know-what storm.
Doss heard an explosion just seconds after she got in her car and said she "didn't realize it was pure
pigeon politician poop at the time" but there were "a lot of feathers."
An outdated roof design allowed the
pigeon politicians to have the run of the roost for decades, but that's about to change.
The owner who purchased the property in a foreclosure last year plans to take the entire structure down and invest in a badly needed
pigeon politician protection plan, reports Tichenor.
The pure products of America
. . . . .
It is only in isolate flecks that
is given off
and adjust, no one to drive the car -- William Carlos Williams
Meet Sir Vival, the safety car from a future that wasn't: Let's ignore Sir Vival's horrifying looks and the utter lack of a compelling business case for it (Americans will always choose a stylish, unsafe ride over a nightmarish $10,000 safety-mobile) and take a look at its several innovative features.
A central steering position isn't such a bad idea -- at least the boys at McLaren didn't think so when they designed the F1. Doors that stay closed in an accident? Who could be opposed to that? That conical driver's portal/dome setup is actually rather ingenious, too. Instead of conventional windshield wipers, Jerome positioned built-in felt wipers on the inner and outer edges of the dome's frame. By rotating the dome, it was cleaned continuously. Brilliant!
Maybe Sir Vival deserves a second chance. If you're in the mood for a hopelessly expensive restoration job and don't care a whit about making your money back when it's all done -- if it's ever done -- we just so happen to know where Sir Vival is living out his slightly rusted, more or less complete dotage.
First of all, Sir Vival consisted of two parts - the head, which housed the engine, and the rear, where there was a triple cabin - and had a so-called "scrap" frame.
The inventor had to tinker with the transmission for rear-wheel drive remained, and the management of such a structure. However, management has been made quite simple - by using the gears turning entire front part. No booster, of course, was not in sight. Passengers comfortably arranged interior padded, protected safety cage and tied the straps, and the driver was sitting proudly in the middle and at the height provided by almost all-round visibility through the Plexiglas "recess". Rubber bumpers around the body and the absence of sharp corners - is also noteworthy details. The safest car
No, not "blind dating" where the danger is in the dated one, but "bungee dating" where the danger lurks in the date itself. "Bungee dating" because one finds oneself jumping into a situation that is 100 feet deep with a bungee cord that extends to 101 feet.
Thus it was with this sorry pilgrim, this old and true friend, who called my West Coast retreat from New York this morning, tattered and battered from his bungee date of the previous evening, telling his tale of testosterone-powered urban woe.
He will be distressed that I have related it here, but it is for the greater good I do so. Men, take heed. Ladies are advised to avert their delicate eyes.
So I'm having this telephone relationship with her, see? You know, the kind of relationship where you're doing this long dance to the tune of "Getting to Know You," and its going pretty well.
I mean, I like it the way it is. We don't see each other a lot because of jobs, errands, New York yadda-yadda, and all that sort of thing. But also its neat, unusual, to spend hours on the telephone just sort of chatting away.
I *never* talk on the phone this long with anyone, but she's clever with questions and sort of keeps me blathering away. I don't feel weird about it until after when I notice that she's winkled all this information about me out of me, but I still don't know a lot about her.
She's a reporter type. I keep feeling I'm getting my notes taken, you know. But still I like it. I mean, hey, it's all about me so who wouldn't?
Still, we are really not having enough face time. She's getting all these weird ideas about me -- which just aren't true. Or maybe they are and I don't like being in such total disclosure with a telephone relationship.
Anyway, she's been under a lot of stress -- job, sick loved ones, hangovers, insecurity, the whole mini-catastrophe. She's sounding fried on the phone and I'm getting the 'let me help you' impulse big time. So when she mentions how uptight her body is, I say, utterly innocently, "I know just how you feel. We need a spa night with major shiatsu massages. That'll tune us up."
The next thing that should have gone through my mind was a dum-dum bullet wrapped in raw bacon, but sadly that did not happen.
Instead she picks up on it. Starts to go through the Yellow Pages seeing what's available on a Friday night in New York City in the way of massages.Continued...
The beauty parlor is filled with sailors.
The circus is in town.
-- Bob Dylan | Desolation Row
The frozen rain that would not stop drove me out of Seattle a few weeks ago. I took shelter at a friend's house deep in the Florida Keys. No rain. No chill. Turquoise waters. Long bridges and longer sunsets. A half an hour north from Key West. Fish sandwiches, large flocks of snowy egrets, Tiki bars specializing in Rumrunners with a dark rum float. Hammocks and sunshine. Powerboats and new yachts and boat drinks and running up on plane past Little Palm Island and out into the Gulf Stream with twin Cats putting out a perfect wake.
In a word, "Paradise." Right?
Yes. If you don't track in for the close-up.
Because, as much as the boosters of Florida want you to believe it, Florida is no longer "ready for its close-up." Florida is still pretty from the air and also in the middle-distance. But a close up examination of Florida, in the Keys or elsewhere, is like a close-up of a once beautiful woman that time is beginning to dissolve into age lines, lank hair, and too many calories in too many visible places.
Like that fabled great beauty, Florida is going to great lengths to keep anybody from noticing. The brochures have increasing amounts of make-up slathered on in the form of retouching. The flab is being trussed up in Spandex or draped with new clothes cleverly cut for the "ample." Most of all, the fact that large sections of the Keys and the Florida coastline are really quite dead is being hushed up at every opportunity, and new shades of rouge are being applied to the corpse to keep the money rolling in.
But close up, the truth is still visible. Very, very visible. Even in the soft and lambent hues of yet another Tequila sunrise it can't be hidden. In the words of one man gazing across the bar to the person walking in from the beach, "No way I can drink her to a 10. Can't even get to 3."Continued...
[HT: Sense of Events The U.S. Army is about to double its Howitzer range]
Photo from Poretto @ Bastion of Liberty
This image in this morning's email brought this meditation from 2006 to mind:
To the secular, nothing is sacred. Then again, why should it be? They're "secular."
Back in 2006 National Geographic and other media echo chambers thought enough of this "discovery" to headline it, Jesus May Have Walked on Ice, Not Water, Scientists Say . I'm not nearly so objective. After I read the story, I thought it could more reasonably be headlined, Scientist Confirms Popular Theory That Most Scientists Are Atheistic Asses with Too Much Time and Money on their Hands, Sensible People Say
The New Testament says that Jesus walked on water, but a Florida university professor believes there could be a less miraculous explanation -- he walked on a floating piece of ice....
Nof, a professor of oceanography at Florida State University, said on Tuesday that his study found an unusual combination of water and atmospheric conditions in what is now northern Israel could have led to ice formation on the Sea of Galilee.....
"If you ask me if I believe someone walked on water, no, I don't," Nof said. "Maybe somebody walked on the ice, I don't know. I believe that something natural was there that explains it."
"We leave to others the question of whether or not our research explains the biblical account."
We leave to others the question of whether or not this research is worth diddly-squat. What is of broader interest is the present state of the secular mindset to all things religious.
Religious in the Christian sense, that is, since the current global climate of "Fear of Muslims" seems to have created a shortage of "scientific research" into the various miracles and powers assigned to Allah in the Koran. Indeed, given the reaction to a drawing of the Prophet with a bomb in his turban, it is not hard to imagine that even if a "scientist" were to notice "something natural that explains" Allah, his next thought would be something on the order of "Why should I put my head on the chopping block?" Jesus, being a more forgiving God, is safer game.
Of course, it is, as scientists are wont to say, 'only a theory.' This is used in two ways.
When it comes to a central tenet of modern science, Darwinism for example, the word "theory" is used in a manner that merges forcefully into the word "fact," and a great deal of effort is put into why "The Theory of Evolution" really means "The Absolute and Forever Established Fact of How the World and Life and Everything Else Came to Be and Everyone Else Can Just Shut UP and Sit Down."
Nof opts for the Non-Denial Denial use of "Theory" in his paper. The Non-concluding Conclusion to his paper, "Is there a paleolimnological explanation for 'walking on water' in the Sea of Galilee," reads:
We hesitate to draw any conclusion regarding the implications of this study to the actual events that took place at Tabgha during the last few (or several) thousand years. Our springs ice calculation may or may not be related to the origin of the account of Christ walking on water. The whole story may have originated in local ancient folklore which happened to be told best in the Christian Bible. It is hoped, however, that archeologists, religion scholars, anthropologists and believers will examine such implications in detail.
Translation: "I just pulled the pin and threw the grenade in the building. Can't blame me. I was just the hand grenade's messenger. And, by the way, you may cower and abase yourself when you note the insertion of the word "paleolimnnological" in the title. Makes it sound real solid scientific, don't it?"
Of course, when Nof gets a little attention from a supportive and loving media, he phrases it a bit differently, "If you ask me if I believe someone walked on water, no, I don't," Nof said. "Maybe somebody walked on the ice, I don't know. I believe that something natural was there that explains it."
Nof's entitled to his 'belief' in "something natural." That belief system is not only the foundation of his career, but of his self-limited life itself. It is, in a very real sense, his religion.
As far as the whole "Jesus walked on the water" issue goes, my own belief is: "I don't know. I wasn't there. I can't seem to find the weather report from that day online. And there's no video tape that I'm aware of. Just some eye witnesses, with all that implies."
I'm also aware of another theory that holds that the Star of Bethlehem was a supernova that just happened to show up in the sky at Christ's birth. Arthur C. Clarke used this to good effect in his short story "The Star." T.S. Eliot used it earlier in "The Journey of the Magi." In a much less distinguished manner, I've even used it myself in Sunday Meditation: The Star @ AMERICAN DIGEST where I noted, in passing,
In time stronger sciences would rise upon the structures of the proto-sciences of astrology and alchemy. These sciences would push the first sciences into the realm of myth, speculation, and popular fantasy. The new sciences, you see, were much, much more about Reality. They would never be tossed aside in their time as so many playthings of mankind's youth. The authority of astronomy, biology, physics, chemistry and others was certain. Unlike astrology and alchemy, they would never be questioned. We had the evidence. There was no doubt. They were as eternal and as fixed in the truth as... well, as astrology was in 5 B.C.
Nof seems to have a sense of timing and a way with words as well. I'm sure there are nods of approval and various other high fives pinging into his email today from other true believers world-wide. After all, it seems that the only thing that makes a bigger splash in Science these days than a cure for cancer is some bit of "cutting-edge research" (almost always with the aid of computer modeling) that either warms the globe or disparages religion.
Why? Because it is a central tenet of faith, of pure faith, in the Secular Religion, that traditional Christianity is the "Anti-Darwin" to that faith. Strange when you consider that, in terms of actual dogma and actual acts, Islam is far more hostile to all the core tenets of science, but -- as I noted above -- it really isn't very safe to take too close a look at that collection of ergot-derived insights out of the desert. Those adherents are a bit more lethal when it comes to accepting slights on their religion. But then Christianity is the dominant religion of the First World and that's what we're discussing here -- not which faith is right, but which faith is to be master. It seems that for Science to triumph as the new religion, Christ has to die again -- and this time he's got to stay dead.
There are fundamentalist Christians who hold that everything in the Bible is as the Bible says it is. And there are fundamentalist Scientists, like Nof, who hold that nothing in the Bible is as it says it is.
My very small puppy in this fight says that there is a lot in Science that lets all of us live longer and better lives while there is a lot in Christianity that lets us live deeper and more meaningful lives.
I don't look to Christianity to bring me the weather reports for tomorrow. At the same time I don't look to Science to ever, in its widest dreams, reveal the core of the miracle and mystery of being a conscious entity who has been granted the gift of being able, in my better moments, to witness -- even for an inch of time -- the wonder of Creation.
I know that there are many zealots of the Secular Faith who will think the less of me for not being "tough minded" enough just to face up to the fact that everything really is "purposeless matter hovering in the dark." I know that habit of mind well. I wore it like a pre-fab Medal of Honor for many years. Then one day I had had enough of Nothingness and I sent it back.
I guess you could say that being a Secular Atheist started to feel like trying to walk on thin ice.
We present the second ROSAT all-sky survey source catalogue, hereafter referred to as the 2RXS catalogue. The 2RXS catalogue is the second publicly released ROSAT catalogue of point-like sources obtained from the ROSAT all-sky survey observations performed between June 1990 and August 1991, and is an extended and revised version of the 1RXS catalogue. We have developed shell scripts containing a collection of individual MIDAS/EXSAS commands to create the new data products in addition to the source detection parameters. X-ray control images were produced, which show the source and background extraction regions, selected by the timing and spectral analysis procedures, to allow the user to validate the derived parameters. Thirty-one large extended regions with diffuse emission and embedded point sources were identified and excluded from the present analysis. The 2RXS catalogue contains about 135,000 X-ray detections down to a detection likelihood of 6.5 in the 0.1-2.4 keV energy band. Our simulations show that the expected spurious content of the catalogue is a strong function of detection likelihood, and the full catalogue is expected to contain about 30 % spurious detections. A more conservative likelihood threshold of 9, on the other hand, yields about 71,000 detections with a 5 % spurious fraction. We recommend thresholds appropriate to the scientific application. X-ray images with overlaid X-ray intensity contours provide an additional product to allow the user to evaluate the detection likelihood. Intra-day variability in the X-ray light curves was quantified based on the normalised excess variance and a maximum amplitude variability analysis. X-ray spectral fits were performed using three basic models, a power law, a thermal plasma emission model, and black-body emission. The 2RXS catalogue provides the deepest and cleanest X-ray all-sky survey catalogue before eROSITA data will become available.Larger Image if you....
One Stab: "I thought Tristan would never live to be an old man. I was wrong about that. I was wrong about many things. It was those who loved him most who died young. He was a rock they broke themselves against however much he tried to protect them. But he had his honor and a long life. And he saw his children grow, and raise their own families.
"Tristan died in 1963. The moon of the popping trees. He was last seen up in the North Country, where the hunting was still good. His grave is unmarked, but it does not matter. He had always lived in the borderland anyway, somewhere between this world and the Other.
"It was a good death."
Jim Harrison, author of Legends of the Fall, the finest American novella ever written, dead at 78. An American.
But before he moved on down the road he had a few things to say.
Legends I wrote in nine days. But that's the only time it ever happened that well. It was like taking dictation … but it was after I'd thought about the story for five years.
I probably wouldn't have been a poet if I hadn't lost my left eye when I was a boy. A neighbor girl shoved a broken bottle in my face during a quarrel. Afterward, I retreated to the natural world and never really came back, you know.
It's just like when I was twenty and my father and sister got killed in a car accident. I thought, If this can happen to people, you might as well do what you want—which is to be a writer. Don't compromise at all, because there's no point in it.
I work every morning, all morning, sometimes in the afternoons. Then sometimes I hunt in the afternoons—quail, doves, grouse up north—but just to stay alive, because writers die from their lifestyle but also from their lack of movement.
The danger of civilization, of course, is that you will piss away your life on nonsense.
You end up missing your dogs.
What's the meaning of it all? Seems to me nobody's got a clue. Quote Jim Harrison on that: Nobody's got a clue.
Death steals everything except our stories.
Now, where did I put my cane?
From Donald Sensing's Easter Meditation:
The Resurrection means that the worst thing that happens to us is not the last thing that happens to us. Christ's resurrection reveals that we do not die, "period"; we die, "comma." On Easter God turns pain to power; God transforms tragedy to triumph and pushes through crucifixion to resurrection.
If Christian faith is about nothing but the here and now, then Paul admits it isn't worth the time we spend on it. That is why the cross and the empty tomb stand at the center of our relationship with God and one another. On Good Friday's cross is where the Advent proclamation, that Jesus was "God with us," was made completely true, for Jesus died as we do. Easter's empty tomb beckons us to trust in a gracious God who provides throughout both our life and our death.
Clint Bruce, Navy Seal:
"If I take the wings of the morning,
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea...." -- Psalm 139
WE RISE in a banking curve of pure velocity
over fallow fields and grids of neighborhoods,
arcing over ponds painted with slick scum oozing
-- from the oil pans of countless sunken cars,
-- from punctured sacks of toxic trash,
-- from fleshless graves of abandoned murders,
of missing persons filed in muck.
WE RISE embraced by first-class armchairs,
pondering the crisply printed histories
of yesterday's most meaningless events.
We rise up above our lives and lies,
above, alone, away, alas, good-bye
to families and to friends, to all terrestrial ties.
Our very cellulars, by strict law silenced
so that our murmurs not disturb
the delicate electronics on which so much
at this tremulous moment depends
that we dare not think on it, and so select
music of our choice from mid-heaven's jukebox.
WE RISE in the faltering dark
into the pale flicker of a cosseted sun
slatted in flashes through fingers of cloud,
up into the white blood of the sinewed sky,
and so our day and world slips by.
WE RISE UP to where all breath is snow,
so far that all above becomes below,
up until the sky is seen as vapor,
smeared white on blue construction paper
and framed by dark remorseless space.
WE RISE UP until from Earth we seem
only a fading gesture, some echoed trace
of fog, distinguished only by our direction,
out over arid ancient seas, past all reflection.
AND STILL WE RISE, our lush ascent
powered by ageless diatoms' descent
into the ooze between the fossiled stones,
the shattered crypts of shells and bones;
above the planned sere autumn fields
of pasture, silage, grain that yields
the bread we break in this, our floating world.
AND STILL we rise, resurrected,
through the thinning strands of sky reflected,
until the edge of day the stars deny,
where all the worlds we knew slip by,
tangled in a mapless maze of rivers,
our passing but a whisper that shivers
the dream of a drowsing owl, a silver splinter
caught in a facet of the eye of winter,
and, unremarked or written, quickly glides
beyond the reach of records or of guides.
WE RISE until at last held still
in that blue hand which grasps all sky,
awake within our tube of paper steel,
our long ascent levels and we slide
onto a gleaming lake of granite ink,
reflecting now the empty gaze of God,
beyond warm hands and done with Earth.
NEVER NOW to stagger or to slip
back into the shadows and the rain,
back into the warm musk of the day,
but, keen as an iron blade
touched to the tongue,
we sail forever on these slate seas
out to the far edge of imagine,
and on, and still on beyond
into the heart of the stars,
into the silence of their song.
"Why seek ye the living among the dead?" -- Luke 24 KJV
Beginning on October 13th of 2011 I spent eleven days among the dead and then was returned to life. Why and for what I still cannot say. What I can say is that, in some brief and infinitesimal way, I have had a small shimmer of resurrection shine upon my dead shadow and raise me back into the light. It was a tiny touch and yet it would seem that was all it took. This time. Next time I have no doubt it will require divine intervention. Perhaps it did this time. I have no way of knowing.
Nor can I say that I know what it "was like" to be dead because of my death I have neither shred of memory, nor the slightest sense of a blank space between one moment of life and the next moment of life. My mind holds only two instants; the one enjambed against the other.
In the first I am standing on the front porch of my house looking across the road at the playground sometime on the afternoon of October 13, 2011. There is the impression of small children running about in bright clothing. The sky is clear and there is sunlight from overhead. Shadows are small pools moving beneath the children. It is in the high 50s neither warm nor cold.
Then, in the very next instant, I am cold. I am lying in a bed covered with only a sheet. I am looking past my feet in a room ringed with drapes hanging on rails from a ceiling. At the foot of the bed a man in a blue tunic is sitting in a pose similar to Rodin's "The Thinker." His arm is bare to the shoulder and he has a Maori tattoo on it. I think, for a moment, that someone is speaking to me from the side, something about being in a coma. Then I am gone again.
Those are the two moments. One is right next to the other. There is nothing in between.
I lose track of what happens next and come to know it is not an instant between memories but eleven days and that I have spent that time in a medically induced coma after spending some unspecified number of minutes dead. It was nothing so dramatic as a crucifixion. It was simply a ceasing to be of which I had no awareness. What followed, as dramatic as it was for those around me, was a blank to me; something available to my soul only via hearsay. There were, it would seem, heroic measures involving tubes, machines, drugs, and methods of lowering the temperature of the human body and maintaining it lower for some days. For some minutes I was, it would seem, dead and for some days after that I was, it would seem, as good as dead. I was kept cold and under the stone of coma. Then, after eleven days, that cold stone was rolled away and I was returned to life. It was, I suppose, a kind of cut-rate resurrection. Yet it was mine and I was, and am, glad to have it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in this world.
I’ve spent no small amount of time wondering what it is I am to do with this “resurrection.” It seems as if I should do something; something more than I was doing before, something that is somehow “better.”
I ask about this "purpose" in passing in the daylight and more formally in prayer, but I have to date received no answer, no voice out of the whirlwind or the burning bush. I don’t expect such although I would not be utterly unprepared if it happened. I’m used to the mysteries of the universe or the tricks of the monkey mind at this point. Still, it would be nice to get a message neatly laid out, sent in from God’s great cosmic sign factory in the clear and in a crisp typeface. It would be nice but it is clearly asking too much. “Still not satisfied” is not a good attitude to have if one has been resurrected. As they say in meetings, “The attitude is gratitude.” I had that for a long time. It slipped away. Maybe I should try to get it back.
Or maybe I should not.
Maybe I should just drop all that and drop the searching for the BIG MESSAGE. Maybe, just maybe, I should try to see again what we always forget: the Here and the Now of the Miracle. Maybe, just maybe, on this day, I should strive always to recall that Christ is not just the Resurrection, but “the Resurrection and the Life.”
Today, resurrected, I sit here and look through my front window, across my porch, to the playground across the street:
“There is the impression of small children running about in bright clothing. The sky is clear and there is sunlight from overhead. Shadows are small pools moving beneath the children. It is in the high 50s neither warm nor cold.”
That was both then and ,[two/ three / four/ five] years later, now. There is “the Resurrection and the Life.” Of the two it is the latter that remains the larger miracle.
I got a little mix tape here I'd like to play you.....
"We can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
Cause your friends don't dance
And if they don't dance
Well they're no friends of mine".....
It is so silent here that the softest of noises can wake me. This morning it was the rush of wings and mutterings from the two doves that seem to have taken up residence in the foliage outside my bedroom window. In the half-life between dream and waking it seemed I was back in a bed chamber in that small town north of Paris where two doves had nested in the tree just beyond our balcony where my beautiful daughter was conceived in that past, gone year.
It was just after first light, 5:45 by the red numerals on the coffee pot in the kitchen. I took the pot and filled it with water, put in the beans, and started the device. As it whirred and chuffled away, I walked out onto my deck that looks out over the brindle hills and down to the Pacific a mile or so away.
The sea seemed ruffled in large smooth circles, slate in the fading shadow of the hills but, as it rolled out towards the horizon, shading up into a charcoaled blue, then to a gray blue haze at the horizon rising up into rose that gave off abruptly into clear and fresh blue.
Hanging just above the line of rose was the full moon gleaming gold in the exact center of all that I could see.
I watched it slide down the sky for some time, then I went back into the kitchen for coffee. When I came out to look again, the moon was gone.
Unexpected beauty rising in the center of all you can see.
Take your eyes away and then look again and its gone.
But the day goes on and the light rises around you and you know, with an abiding faith, that beauty will astonish you again when you least expect or deserve it; that it will come to you out of the dark on a rush of wings. There are many ways of this world and that one is not the least of them.
I thought for a moment about turning on the news to see what had transpired in the rest of the world while I slept.
I decided against it.
Held halfway between a death and a life, between Good Friday and Easter, I'd already learned the news of the day.
"Advertising signs they con
You into thinking you’re the one
That can do what’s never been done
That can win what’s never been won
Meantime life outside goes on
All around you"
The joint is called #hottub (pronounced "pound hot tub''), and it's open almost all the time. I've been soaking in it for two hours with "Bubbles,'' "Hard Charger'' and "Lush Lady.'' Charger and Lady are, shall we say, flirting heavily, while Bubbles is trying to get my attention. But s/he's a notorious transvestite, so I'm keeping my distance. People float in and out of this hot tub, which is open to all comers, but no one ever gets wet -- just a little damp sometimes. If you fancy someone, and he or she fancies you, it is possible to go private and exchange sexual fantasies until you're too exhausted, or bored, to continue.
This steamy place doesn't exist in the physical world. It is a "channel'' on Internet Relay Chat (called IRC among netheads). IRC consists of a series of real-time discussions on the Internet. Think of it as CB radio that you type instead of speak. Any number can play. And lots do.
A maze of steamy places that don't exist makes up the warp and the woof of sex on the Net today. The fact that virtual sex happens on the Net upsets a lot of people. Unfortunately, sex on the Net turns on a lot of people too. I know. I've been covering sex on the networks for nearly 10 years. Strictly as a professional, of course. I've seen things that would make William Burroughs blush and send Catharine MacKinnon into cardiac arrest. I've had a chance to order whips and chains by the gross, drop in on group sex and download more explicit pictures than are displayed in a decade's worth of Hustler. In one day, I've read more intimate confessions than are found in a year's worth of Penthouse letters. All this as an objective journalist, mind you. I report on cybersex, but I don't give it my essence.
Today online sex is as wild and far-ranging as the human imagination -- a real Twilight Zone of the Id, which causes one to reflect on whether or not the human race is indeed an evolutionary cul-de-sac, until you remember that cybersex has been going on since humans received the gift of imagination. Cybersex is, at bottom, simply old sexual fantasies in a new electronic bottle. As with all other new mediums, online draws its energy from the same two timeless topics: radical politics and sexual fantasy. They are the first uses made of any new means of communication when it becomes popular, widespread and affordable, and they recede as the medium matures. The printing press has a long history of revolutionary tracts, such as Tom Paine's The Rights of Man and Jefferson's Declaration of Independence -- along with what are now erotic classics, such as the Marquis de Sade's The 120 Days of Sodom.
In the 19th century, photography gave us historic images -- pictures of Abraham Lincoln -- and naughty photographs, sold under the counter. You can be sure that the first obscene telephone call was placed not long after the Bell Telephone Co. connected the first network. As for the first phone sex? That was probably the first obscene phone call in which the recipient didn't hang up. When The Birth of a Nation was released in 1915, the erotic film A Free Ride was circulating through the men's smoker circuit. The explosion of VCRs coincided with the release of videotaped versions of such porno classics as Deep Throat and Behind the Green Door. Sales of video cameras didn't explode just because people wanted to tape their holiday celebrations and stupid pet tricks. As Tonya Harding and Jeff Gillooly recently reaffirmed, lots of videotape is recorded in bedrooms.
Now computer networks are the hot new medium, and, like all those launched before, they rely on radical politics and sex as primal energy sources. In cyberspace there is an ever-expanding menu of places to visit and sexual material from which to choose. Some people roam the networks collecting massive amounts of what, in its more sophisticated versions, is termed erotica. Most of it, frankly, is smut.
There are endless text files describing sex with strangers and strange sex. There are photos and films and sounds (Girl in Cage, Women in Wet Clothes) to download that are usually found behind the curtain in the back of mom-and-pop video stores. There are personal ads of the ilk published in the back of swingers' magazines: WANTED TOPLESS MAID CLEVELAND AREA. One can order sex toys of the inflatable and battery-driven varieties, available via 800 numbers and direct mail. There are costumes (men's black leather harness with silver studs) and condoms, leather and rubber goods, the full catalog of kink -- if, of course, you are a consenting adult with some room left on your credit card. The price of ordering the John Wayne Bobbitt video, Uncut: $49.95. Many people like to have this electronic sex in real time and become fixated on "chat'' -- a kind of phone sex pecked onto a keyboard. Chat on the major online systems has been a dependable cash cow for nearly a decade, and, at rates from $2 to $12 an hour, it is easy to understand why.
Others use the medium as a pickup bar and a place to set up real assignations in the no-tell motels of America. The real cybersex conquistadores employ the networks to seduce distant lovers and keep a kind of score of their "hits.'' Not everyone who does this is male, by the way. Indeed, recently on America Online, a woman with the handle "Stolen Kisses'' became the object of many others' fancy after she wrote an article in Penthouse magazine titled "Confessions of a Cyberslut.'' While it was once the case that women willing to engage in erotic give-and-take on the networks were in short supply, they are becoming much more prevalent as the medium expands.
Yes, it's also true that lots of people fall in love over the Net, meet, get married, have children and go on to live decent lives as upstanding members of their community. But most who venture into the explicitly sexual arenas of cyberspace do so for the freedom it affords them. One of the benefits of cybersex is that you get both to meet and to be new people every day. If you learn how to use the anonymous-posting programs that are proliferating, you don't even have to reveal your real name or location. You can be utterly untraceable. Another benefit is that since no one can see you, you certainly don't have to look your best. Yet another plus is that you can, to a certain degree, experience and understand life-styles that you would never dream of trying in real life. And, of course, the safety of virtual sex is unparalleled. The only viruses that can be transmitted in cyberspace are computer viruses. While annoying, they tend to let the users live.
The downside is that, especially on the Internet and the adult bulletin- board systems, many people are going to see, hear and read things that are intensely pornographic. Some are not going to like it. Just knowing that this is going on will drive lots of people, including ambitious public officials, to "do something'' about it. Another problem with cybersex is that it can be addictive and chew up large amounts of money. And it tends to leave a lot of things lying around in your computer that you surely wouldn't leave out on the coffee table. I mean, face it, how many people brag about the collection of X-rated videos in the back of their bedroom closets? There is no life- style, life-form or item of furniture in cyberspace that does not become -- sooner or later -- part of some cybernaut's sexual fantasy. Some of the most popular alt.sex groups carried on the Internet provide lascivious text, images and sounds for the wired world, all day every day. Three of these such groups are alt.personals.spanking.punishment, alt.sex.fetish.fashion and alt.sex.strip-clubs.
Is this kind of thing good or bad? That's an argument that's probably been going on since the first crude painting of a naked person was drawn on the wall of a cave. Does cybersex conform to community standards? The idea of community standards starts to evaporate when the "community,'' like the Internet itself, is global. The large commercial online "communities'' like CompuServe and America Online expressly forbid the posting of any explicit sexual material. Since, by popular demand, they are providing increased access to the Internet, however, they do allow you (after many disclaimers) to add the alt.sex groups to your personal inventory of Usenet newsgroups. Besides, the "private'' chat rooms on both these services are notorious cyber-fleshpots. In fact, the most unnerving encounter I've ever had took place in the CompuServe adult-chat area. I won't go into it in these pages, and I shudder to think about it. To this day, I'm not even sure about the genders or species of the people involved. I dimly remember the names "Michael,'' "Lisa,'' "Pee Wee,'' "Jo Jo,'' "the Bong'' and "Elvis,'' but after that, everything is a blur.
In the beginning it was one of those wonderful bookstores; a jumbled cornucopia of the mind and spirit ruled by the goddess Serendipity.
On the weekend days when Court street was fine for strolling to the butcher and the baker, you could wander by and glance at the "Buck a Book Bin," or dive deeper into the shop itself and browse the long afternoon away. I once found a catalogue to a long forgotten show of paintings by John Denver in that buck book bin and bought it. I sold it later on Ebay for over $900 in the wake of Denver's death to a fan with more money than restraint. I still cook from the elegantly produced Classic Home Cooking by the brilliant and wonderfully named Mary Berry. At least a hundred other volumes in my library came from the labyrinthine aisles and niches of this endlessly quirky store.
But as the years went by, the mania that catches many old booksellers set its talons deep into the the owner. He began to buy books at a greater rate than he could sell them. It became an uncontrollable compulsion until the shop contained towering cliffs of odd volumes threatening to collapse at any second and bury you in a mound of remainders and the rat-nested remains of remainders. It went from being an inviting jumble to a horrorshow of hoarding. You might spy, somewhere in the stacks around you, a volume that called out to you. Taking it from that stack was like playing a game of giant Jenga. You never knew if removing the volume was going to bring the whole thing down on your head; as from time to time happened to the hapless customer.
In due course the shop went from diamonds and rust to cobwebs and dust. The owner drifted in that direction as well. I often thought he had no home but just lay down in the aisles at night after closing and then got up in the morning to open the store and have himself hosed off up along Warren Street.
And now, like so many other bookstores run by bibliophiles, it has folded in on itself, and will be gone in May.
All things must pass....
This is its bookmark.
These fragments I have shored against my ruins. - - The Waste Land
The full moon is sliding down the dark sky over Catalina Island off on the western horizon. Slipping in and out of sheets of haze it spreads a blue on darker blue pool of moonlight out from the silhouette of the island's steep hills and across the open slate water to the shore. Below me to the north, the winding lights of the village converge on the long dark strand of the Pacific Coast Highway arcing up and over the hills of Laguna Beach and on into the towns that string out towards LA, growing ever denser along that route until it fades into the bleak streets of the metropolis.
Driving that way towards the central coast, you'd be tempted to give up the coast highway, old Route 1, for a quick transit through LA and out over the Grapevine to the featureless plain of the central valley and the torpor of Highway 5. But if you stay on the Pacific Coast Highway as it disappears into the scuzzy sprawl of LA, you'll find, in time, you took the better route.
It's true that to find the deeper rewards of the Pacific Coast Highway you have to crawl through endless renditions of our modern malaise laid out as the strip malls and neighborhoods of low degree in that part of the passage -- the fried food joints, the store-front fortune tellers, the endless quick shot bars and bad to mediocre restaurants, drive-through churches -- but in the end the Highway emerges in Santa Monica, gives way to the long beaches and headlands of Malibu, sweeps out of the city completely and leads to highlands and sea cliffs and finally to the Sur. You'd never get there if you take the fast and easy freeway to the east. It is true that you might get to someplace else, some other clot of cities, quicker. But then you'd just find yourself in another variation of Los Angeles. It would be as if you never left, since, in truth, you had not.
All of which is a roundabout way of saying that if you take your time with a journey, you have a much better chance of finding, again, that the journey itself is the destination and not some distant city; that if you can accept you need to pass through the uglier parts of the landscape to get to the highlands and the vistas, they will in time appear again. But if you try to take the fast route, the route that leads around all the clutter, detritus, and smash of our disposable culture, you will in the end have seen little and understood less, you will be traveling on the bland Highway 5s that always run into the dark end of nowhere special.
This morning, having come back from a very long journey, it seems clearer than usual to me that our recent ability to achieve speed in transit has infected us with the idea that all transitions in life need to be done at speed. After which, we complain that there seem to be far too many wrecks and breakdowns on these highways of our lives. We complain that there is always too much traffic around us and all we can do is hunker down in our own steel shell and drive with one foot on the gas and the other on the brake, boxed in by a flying wedge of semis hauling things we don't need to houses that are not quite homes, and tailgated by our own impatience to get there on time only to discover that destination is not really where we needed to be at all.Continued...
Stefan Molyneux speaking off the cuff is not amused by those who made the Brussells bombing happen. And that's not the Islamic scum.Continued...
"Behold, the most ironic video in the history of Youtube! This video is a piece of leftist propaganda, originally published by https://www.youtube.com/user/bruxelle... in Jan. 2016, that was promptly made "private" in the wake of the Islamic terrorist attacks in Brussels on March 22, 2016. Preserved so that we may all laugh and mock the stupidity of multicultural leftists."
"Well, this shit literally blew up in their faces."
FILE UNDER 'THE MARCHING MORONS:' ""Do you see someone fighting with guns or bombs?" "Nooo." "If you want to come to Molenbeek nothing is happening. Don't listen to CNN or BBC or anything else."
Published on Jan 18, 2016
http://www.visit.brussels - HOW IS LIFE IN BRUSSELS ? ASK SOMEONE IN BRUSSELS.
After Brussels was linked to terror plots,
the international media portrayed the city as a warzone. visit.brussels wants to change this perception with an honest answer. We gave people in Brussels the opportunity to tell how life really is in the city.
From 7 January to 11 January, 12688 phone calls were made from 154 countries. The campaign was exported to the entire world: from neighbouring countries to The United States, Japan, Brazil and even Australia. 74 % were international phone calls.
The action was also widely followed on social media. The hashtag #CallBrussels was used all over the world and became the most popular hashtag in Belgium at its launch. Over 9,317,000 people have seen the hashtag. Thank you very much for calling and see you soon in Brussels.
The original video, above, was sent down the memory hole last night at YouTube so that the scum who made it wouldn't have to eat their enormous bowl of sewage.
"The United States WAS a Constitutional Republic. This monstrosity is in no way, shape or form a Republic, under the Constitution. It is a straight-up oligarchy. The country I was born in NO LONGER EXISTS. And since I am a person who ACTUALLY BELIEVES WHAT SHE BELIEVES, when you ask me, "Who do you support for President?", in order to be INTELLECTUALLY CONSISTENT, I can only respond with another question:
"PRESIDENT OF WHAT???
"Further, as I have been screeching for going on eight years now, all of this political stuff, especially presidential politics, is totally, totally fake. It is Kabuki Theater. It is scripted theater designed to "entertain" and mollify the class of people whose IQs are 15-20 higher than the people watching Ballroom Dancing with Honey BooBoo or whatever the hell is on TeeVee these days. And to make enormous amounts of money for the oligarch players and their toadies.
"It occurred to me a couple of days ago what it all is. It's EXACTLY the same business model as Professional Wrestling. EXACTLY.
"It was all scripted. It was pure entertainment for children and low-IQ adults. In the adult category there were the adults who were smart enough to know it was fake, but enjoyed the spectacle and the soap-operaesque storylines. Then there were the adults who were so stupid that they truly believed it was real. And there were a BUNCH of those. I remember one of the Wrestlemanias filled the Pontiac Superdome. And I remember the reportage on how much money the then-nascent Pay-Per-View paradigm would rake in for the WWF as people would pay fifty bucks to watch Wrestlemania live on Pay-Per-View. It was a massively lucrative business model.
"So here’s a YouTube of a WWF wresting show from the 80s. I was struck by the similarity of the “news desk” set that Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon sit behind, with their fake, scripted antagonism and bickering (they were actually extremely close friends offstage). And then there are the segments where the Candidate, er, excuse me, Wrestler delivers a monologue, and then there are the debates, er, excuse me, I mean MATCHES, which are, again, 100% scripted and choreographed. I look at this and I think, “My gosh, they have templated all of this political entertainment off of the Pro Wresting model.”
What do you think is the maximum number of slaughtered Americans we will have to absorb before we start killing off the Islamic terrorists wholesale with fire from above?
The nuclear incineration of San Francisco? After all, Muslims don't suffer homosexuals lightly. (Remember, pals, that the SF blast radius will roast Berkeley right down to the pizza stones in Chez Pannisse, and take out Silicon valley right down to Google and Facebook so it can be seen as a win-win-win.)
No? Not enough? How about a nice Iranian/Korean nuke in the Los Angeles basin on Academy Awards night? (Hummmm, might be cleansing and cut down on the traffic jams at the same time.)
Nope? How about frying New York City? (All the boroughs and when the schools are in session so the Muslims can kill a lot of our children. Think of it as a way of pre-unloading of all those stifling student loans.)
Nope? Howse about DC during the Inauguration of the next president? (Didn't Tom Clancy already do that? Yes, but not with a cute nuke so he got all the DC offices and the suburbs.) It would solve the Trump and Obama issues at the same time.
Nope? How about some nice Saturday afternoon machine gun slaughters at about, say, 20 big shopping malls on the last big shopping weekend before Christmas? (Easy-peasy. The Muslims have already got their sleeper cells in place, complete with weapons and ammo, and the 60-80 odd sleeper cell phones they'd need to co-ordinate at, say, noon Pacific time so a lot of folks are sitting in the food courts that the assassins will start shooting from.)
How many slaughtered Americans (Unlike 9/11 and San Berdo the next time will take out a lot of our children) will it take before we start to cut out this spiritual syphillis from the body politic?
Brussels bad? Nah. A mere scratch compared to Islam's plans for the Great Satan. As we lean in the holy script of Next of Kin: “You ain't seen bad yet, but it's coming.”
Children screaming while being evacuated from Brussels Metro
"Men like us? Son, we do dumbbell presses with weights heavier than you.... And for those who would use this message to spread false racial division in our country, take a close look behind me. Standing next to every cop is a leader of our black community. This is not about race. It's about right versus wrong. One last thing to the gremlins. You don't like what I am saying to you? I'm easy to find. "
Because if it ever comes up it's probably too late to learn what to do.How to Jump from a Building Into a Dumpster | The Art of Manliness
Trump is Hitler.
Trump is a demagogue.
Trump is a racist.
Trump is a liberal.
Trump is a KKK sympathizer.
Trump is Charlemagne.
Trump is none of those things. Trump is a flashlight. Trump shines a light on forgotten truths. Trump also reveals the disgusting frauds within our punditocracy and political elite. He does not wash away the sins or clean up the garbage, but he shows you that it exists. He ends up revealing the truth behind people’s motivations, directly or indirectly. Sometimes he does not even have to do anything, and the other side just gives up the charade and reveals their true form or beliefs. MORE HERE @ RADIX
Théoden: "So much death. What can men do against such reckless hate?"
[The Uruk-hai keep trying to break the door.]
Aragorn: "Ride out with me."
￼[Théoden turns to face Aragorn.]
Aragorn: "Ride out and meet them."
Théoden: "For death and glory?"
Aragorn: "For Rohan. For your people."
Gimli: "The sun is rising."
[Aragorn looks up to the window as the sun rises.]
Gandalf (voiceover): "Look to my coming at first light on the fifth day. At dawn, look to the East."
Théoden: "Yes. Yes! The horn of Helm Hammerhand shall sound in the deep, one last time."
[Gimli climbs up to blow the horn.]
Théoden: "Let this be the hour when we draw swords together."
Théoden: "Fell deeds awake. Now for wrath. Now for ruin. And the red dawn!"
Posted because it has absolutely no redeeming social value.
With American stockpiles at unprecedented levels, oil tankers laden with U.S. crude have docked in, or are heading to, countries including France, Germany, the Netherlands, Israel, China and Panama. Oil traders said other destinations are likely, just as supplies in Europe and the Mediterranean region are also increasing. […]American Oil Reaching Every Corner of the World - The American Interest
Then Duke stands up and beats his chest,
Says "I made it. Why can't all the rest?
You got nothing to lose
But the shine on your shoes"
-- Steve Strauss, Wolfgang & Strauss
I've known more than a few very rich men. Some of them came by their wealth via a win in the sperm Kentucky Derby. Some of them got a very big hit from the money machine in the first Internet Bubble lottery. Some of them married or divorced into it. Some of them got gobs of greenbacks the "old fashioned way, they worked for it."
None of them are the old fashioned millionaires. All of them, if they do not have one billion and up, have at least two or three "Units;" a "Unit" being a wealthy person's casual way of saying "One Hundred Million Dollars." And while it is true that "A million dollars isn't what it used to be," a "Unit" will do nicely, thank you. Even $1 Unit gets you the G$4 with your three initials on the tail and a passport and visa to The Planet of the Billionaires.
Let's say you're one of these. Let's say you are so wealthy that, as one said to a friend of mine, "I no longer need a 'rate of return'." You've got ALL the stuff you will ever need and the dough just keeps piling up. You've got the private plane and your advisors keep saying you need the private helicopter "for tax purposes."
You've got the house here, you've got the house there. You've got another house over there and one down by the beach too. You've got so many houses the only place you ever feel at home is flying on your private plane going from one to the next. And all around each an every house is a fine, well-manicured garden. So well-manicured and kept that they appear to be entirely natural, wonderfully wild, pure wilderness. Of course, none are a real wilderness, but they look it and so you decide to keep them around -- for sentimental purposes.
Next to many of your houses are your beaches since no really wealthy man can possibly hold his head up on the Planet of the Billionaires without multiple and numerous beach houses. They are handy to the marinas of the world where your yachts are kept waiting for the few days of weeks a year you can repair to them and cruise about on the pristine seas that lap the shores of your present, pleasant Planet of the Billionaires.
Now it is true that all the planes, yachts, helicopters, and cars consume an ocean of fuel that is brought in from the other side of the world at ever increasing prices, but in fact you don't care a whit outside of a passing bit of blather at your dinner parties that the price of gas is hard on "the little people." To you it doesn't matter if gas is a nickel a gallon or twenty bucks a gallon. You still fill the tanks and it doesn't dent your cash-flow in a way that makes you feel it.
Then one day your advisors come to you with great news. Oil has been discovered in a number of your wilderness gardens and just off the edge of your beaches in those pristine seas you like to cruise about in having boat drinks. There is so much oil there that it is a bonanza of crude that can free you from the high price and potential servitude to all those annoying semi-fascist Islamic regimes that keep sending their excess kids out to blow up the world. Yes, just by a little careful drilling you can get the price of gas for all those machines your wealth gives you down from five dollars a gallon to, well, three dollars a gallon -- maybe.
The question is, O Daddy Warbucks of the World, "Will you drill?"
Your answer is pretty pat: "Are you kidding, O my doltish advisors? You are all so very fired for the sin of drooling stupidity!
"Fired too for the deeper sin of being stupid about capitalism which, I remind you is how I and all the other richest people on the planet -- now about 300 million of us -- got rich in the first place.
"Why should we dig up our garden wilderness or drill in our pristine seas off our clean white beaches when we can easily afford to buy what we need from those knot heads in the Middle East or those drooling Socialists in South America or those clumsy kleptocrats in Russia?
"Pay attention, my overpaid idiots. Why do you think we have money in the first place? It is to buy the things we need and the things we want and to make more money at the same time, which we can do better than most on the planet.
"And if, at some point in the future, the supplies of crude lurking beneath the ground in all those pissant third-world crappers starts to actually peter out and get to the state called 'bone dry,' do you think the entire developing world will just shrug and say, 'Oh well, so much for the internal combustion engine?' You think China is just going to junk its smog-machines overnight and go back to push-carts? Get a grip.
"The fact of the matter is that when all the oil in all the cesspitts of the world is history, the need for oil will be greater than it is now.
"And who is going to be still sitting on an ocean of oil to sell into that ravenous global need? The one nation that didn't pump all of theirs out just to save a buck at the pump when they could afford a buck or two or five at the pump.
"And that's when this free and capitalist nation is going to make some real money. Clear out your desks and be gone by noon or I'm going to call security. Dismissed."
"From the beginning, we knew this would be a political revolution. Be careful boys, be very, very careful. You don't want to make this a different kind of revolution."
“Why would Republicans try to sabotage their own front-runner and risk a Democrat winning the White House? I keep coming up with the same answer. The Republican establishment, elected officials and party leaders are in bed with the Democrats. If Hillary wins, nothing is lost for them, it’s business as usual. The lobbyists keep their offices on K Street, the pharmaceutical companies keep paying them, the unions keep adding to their pensions and the lawmakers get their reelection bribes – I mean contributions – while we the underclass work two and three jobs and rack up a debt our children and grandchildren will have to pay for generations!”
[Sigh: It's that time again. The global dementia continues. The good news is that most of the Earth missed it this time around as the boredom increases.]
It looked as if a night of dark intent
Was coming, and not only a night, an age.
Someone had better be prepared for rage.
There would be more than ocean-water broken
Before God's last Put out the Light was spoken.
-- Robert Frost, "Once By The Pacific"
In 1914 Sir Edward Grey said to a friend one evening just before the outbreak of the First World War, as he watched the lights being lit on the street below his office: "The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."
In that instance, it was the Great War that loomed. Now the Great Forgetting looms and, from time to time, it washes across the world. "Earth Hour" is such a dark moment as millions either choose to, or thanks to their compliant or complacent local governments suffer through, an hour in the dark.
Once upon a time we knew enough to curse the darkness. In the aeons long climb from the muck, we have only had the ability to hold back the dark for a bit over a century. Now millions yearn to embrace it and, should they yearn long enough and hard enough, the darkness will embrace them and hold them for much longer than a brief hour of preening and self-regard.
The Big Picture at the Boston Globe site routinely publishes stunning photographs of what is taking place in the world. But at editor Alan Taylor's whim after last year's "Earth Hour", it went a step further in "celebrating" the rise of mass insanity in our age. "Earth Hour 2009" presents a round-the-world tour of cities with each picture designed to fade from light into darkness at the click of a mouse. Proud of his clever variation on a theme, the editor's instructions were -- without a hint of irony:
Of course with a second mouse click the lights came back on. It never seems to occur to the people with the Green Disease, that is perfectly possible to
and get no second click.
"Pater dimitte illis non enim sciunt quid faciunt." ("Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.") -- Luke 23:34
[Republished from 2009 because it's not worth spending new powder. And because I can't believe I almost forgot it was the sacred "Earth Hour." Oh, you did as well? Typical.]
Yes, and so much more besides... Speak Memory!
10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?
11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.
12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.
15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased,
16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?
17 And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.
The tumbril creaks and rumbles on
Upon the road of Slate,
Retracing rutted years of sand
Whose Distance storms Debate.
Its passengers stand fixed as stone
While faces cheer from Snow.
The blade awaits it's midday meal,
When Above becomes Below.
Innovations carved from clouds
Give despair and dance New measures.
The blade reflects its evening meal
When kings slake lower pleasures.
Arrived at Hope they gaze on mist
Where granite horses roam.
Their schedules as fixed as Dark.
Their future -- White as bone.
The head within the basket sees
Vast Parliaments of sky.
Its ears hear only fading surf
Where all past gone years reply.
** The Ancien Régime was the monarchic, aristocratic, social and political system established in the Kingdom of France from approximately the 15th century until the latter part of the 18th century ("early modern France") under the late Valois and Bourbon dynasties. The term is occasionally used to refer to the similar feudal social and political order of the time elsewhere in Europe. The administrative and social structures of the Ancien Régime were the result of years of state-building, legislative acts (like the Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts), internal conflicts and civil wars, but they remained a confusing patchwork of local privilege and historic differences until the French Revolution ended the system.
Donald Trump has a way with words—and with people.
Yet despite his popularity, he has been a mystery to the media, which have mostly derided his campaign as consisting of nothing more than random insults and ignorant bluster.
Scott Adams, prolific author, blogger, and creator of the massively popular comic strip Dilbert, has a different theory. He tells Reason TV's Zach Weissmueller that the media are being trolled by a skilled manipulator, or in Adams's parlance, a Master Wizard. So exquisite does Adams believe Trump's skills to be that he predicts The Donald will go on to win the presidency.
"What I [see] in Trump," says Adams, is "someone who was highly trained. A lot of the things that the media were reporting as sort of random insults and bluster and just Trump being Trump, looked to me like a lot of deep technique that I recognized from the fields of hypnosis and persuasion."
One such technique is what Adams describes as a "linguistic kill shot," in which Trump uses an engineered set of words that changes or ends an argument decisively. According to Adams, when Trump describes Jeb Bush as low energy, Carly Fiorina as robotic, or Ben Carson as nice, he's imprinting a label you already feel about these people. They're not random insults, but linguistic kill shots that you can never get out of your mind.
Similarly, where the media see random insults, Adams sees Trump creating a significant polling gap between those who attack him and those who compliment him, resulting in chilled aggression from his opponents. Trump, says Adams, uses "anchors," which are big, visual thoughts that drown out any other argument. Think, for example, of the billionaire's florid descriptions of a Mexican border wall.
Adams also describes Trump's use of "linguistic Judo," vagueness, and a carefully developed persona to defend himself against attack and promote the image he desires. "You see apple pie and flags and eagles coming out of his ass when he talks," says Adams.
About 8 minutes.
Scott Adams' Blog is Here.
"The scene, which spans 150 light-years, is about 17,000 light years away, so what we see now is how it actually looked 17,000 years ago."That was 2009. Now, nearly five years later, the same story is back with this droll drip of the deepening dullness:
"We don't know if the hand shape is an optical illusion," said Hongjun An of McGill University, Montreal, Canada. -- 'Hand of God' captured in NASA image
How quaint. How wonderfully secular the measurements and the standard pop quotes around 'Hand.' Sort of like dropping the word 'allegedly' in front of the name of someone who was caught on tape boosting a fifth of Maker's Mark in the back of the store. I love the unremitting pressure to qualify the obvious in 21st century life. It's so high minded and sensitive. It's a pose that makes everyone who assumes it appear so advanced, so non-judgmental, especially when it comes to "the facts."
It's a funny thing about 'fact.' We've spun so far off center we've actually used fact to replace truth.
Indeed, there are whole industries dedicated to expunging truth with facts. This isn't really what the Enlightenment was hoping for when it set out to enlarge the edifice of fact in the search for truth, but facts are funny that way. Pile up enough into a "great complexity" and they can bury simple truths. Not that facts aren't an element of truth. They are. But they're not, as they say, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. If you wish to see lies built of facts, you have only to look about you.
"We had the experience but missed the meaning." We look upon the lies of fact in order to miss the miracle. It's part of our disease, our Adam's Curse, that we can see the miracle whole, obvious, and manifest, and strive, immediately and with all our might, to shrink it down into "facts." Our tragedy is that this base struggle to evict the soul from its vessel does not avail us. At bottom we simply lack the power to disengage the soul and erase the miracle. Our struggle to do so only deforms us. It does not release us.
The miracle persists. It persists right in front of our eyes, in all that we see in every moment of life. It persists, infusing everything from the farthest roof beams spanning the vault of heaven deep down into the vibrating phase-changes of the atom, and deeper in still until, in either direction, the great chain of being seems to have no top and no bottom, but like the Ouroboros locked in a Möbius that spins into a circle ever returning to the self-same spot.
Many of those who spend their lives studying cosmology, as well as many of those whose lives are spent studying subatomic particles, strings, charm, quarks and the ever expanding pantheon of mini-matter, have noted, sometimes only in passing and without pause, how close our most cutting-edge physics come to our most ancient metaphysics. And so, beneath all the vast drifts of data and the oceans of facts, we always seek, with instruments always more powerful, to look deeper in and further out. Suspecting, only sometimes and only in passing, that it is the same direction; that as Heraclitus knew, "The way up and the way down are one and the same."
We have always looked to the heavens for signs. It is what we do. And we have always sought to understand those signs to the best of our always limited ability;
"And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate
With shabby equipment always deteriorating...."
This photograph gleaned from one of our most powerful, modern, and oh-so-technical instruments is just the latest emblem out of a million years of signs from the heavens. And in the end it is seen, as it is seen here by me and by you, through the oldest of our instruments, the soul.
Do I, an exemplar of the most advanced culture in history, actually believe that this is the image, the manifestation, the fading photograph of the hand of God, the Supreme Being? Of course not. Not for a moment do I think that what I see in this image is that. I believe... no... I know for a fact that what I am seeing is merely gas and stars in a seemingly random arrangement shining in a narrow, very narrow, part of the spectrum so that, to my deeper mind and imagination, I pull together some vague shapes in the play of color on the void and relate it to what I have seen elsewhere, felt elsewhen -- and out of that produce a feeling, thought, in my mind that makes my eyes see what appears to be an impossible hand reaching across space long ago in exactly nowhere. It's a cosmic Rorschach image, a glowing gasblot somewhere in limitless space. That it is a 'hand' is impossible. It is even more impossible that it is even an image of a hand.
But that is not the most impossible thing about this image.
What is even more impossible than this utter impossibility is the fact that you see it too.
I know, from all the facts that I have learned, that if the Earth itself were positioned in relative space a few degrees this way or that, moving at a slightly different relative speed towards a slightly different point in the sky, with its local group of stars slightly tilted a bit this way or a bit that way, that the purely imaginary impression of this being a hand would disappear utterly. It might look like a dagger. It might look like a flower. It might look like nothing other than the random assortment of gas clouds that it most assuredly is. What it would not look like, given just a few minor (on the cosmic scale) variations is 'The Hand of God.'
And that's a stone cold fact. Note it. File it. Toss it to the top of the always rising mountain range of facts that we love to build as bulwarks against the dark.
But is it the truth?
Well, it is a true fact. But here's another.
After all the facts are filed, here I am and there you are. We're spinning about an immense ball of thermonuclear fire on the third stone out from the Sun. We're the end product, as of today, of a great chain of being stretching backwards in time for billions of years to a primordial spark that we do not know or understand. That spark created life here and began the long process to us. It began life that is -- as far as we know today for a fact -- the only life anywhere in the billions of light years we can see. (Yes, I know it is unlikely we are alone, but until we know differently for a fact, that's the fact.) We do not know the why of it all even though the persistence of the miracle whispers there must be a why. At the same time, it is highly likely that beings as limited as we obviously are will never know the why. The why is pretty much outside of science, barely within metaphysics, and above our evolution grade.
What we do know is that, because of how we are made and what we have become, through suffering, striving, effort and, yes, grace, that there are some six billion of us that can look at this strange image of gas and stars and somehow understand it as a hand. And that, at will, we can move our hands to write words such as these to reach across space and time and make others like us understand that although it looks like a hand it cannot possibly be one; that such a thing is utterly impossible.
If you don't think that's a miracle that surpasses all understanding, you simply don't have all the facts.
On one side are the committed Leftists: people who believe that egalitarianism, including its economic offshoot socialism, will solve our problems.
Bullshit. On one side are the spoiled children of privilege who've never been threatened with getting callouses on their soft hands, and who for their own amusement spend their idle hours scheming on how to stir up the dumbasses to go out and riot in the fucking streets.
Just exactly like 1968, and for that matter 1789, when Denis Diderot and Voltaire and the other descendants of that idiot Rousseau lolled around in silk-lined 18th-century drawing rooms and speculated how best to inspire the hoi polloi to spill its own blood in the streets.
And yes, I hate those little cocksuckers, just like I saw through them in 1968 when they inspired people I loved to go get their heads cracked in Lincoln Park to disrupt the Chicago convention and get it blamed on the cops.
There has categorically never in the history of the world been a "spontaneous" demonstration that wasn't carefully planned and instigated by a very few people who had absolutely none of their own skin in the game. That little punk Billy Dohrn-Ayers woke up this morning with a diamond-cutter hardon over the memory of getting to throw one last tantrum on the living-room floor of his imagined parents.
Brownshirts, boys and girls. You're watching it live and in color.
Posted by: Rob De Witt commenting at The Top 40: By instigating the biggest political riots in America since the 1960s, the Left has declared war on all who have not joined the Left.
Wait for It; Here's a kid that is going to have exactly zero father issues when he grown up.
The coy caption at the link reads: "Surveillance footage from January, showing a 24-year-old woman attacked in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood."
The records reveal the attacks are most frequent in parts of the Bronx and Queens. That information isn’t very helpful because these areas show higher-than-average incidences of all crimes, Boyce said. And the unpredictability of most of the attacks make them much more difficult to police than a knife-wielding repeat offender, for whom investigators could begin to see patterns of behavior, he added.... The stabbings may be symptomatic of a breakdown in civility in areas of the city where police have scaled down their enforcement of minor offenses, said Heather Mac Donald, a research fellow specializing in crime at the Manhattan Institute, a policy research organization that has been critical of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s initiatives to reduce police stop-and-frisk tactics in minority neighborhoods. “The same strategies aimed at getting guns off the streets, including stop-and-frisk, should apply to knives,” she said. “The public feels like the streets are getting out of control, and it’s hard to talk to anyone in the city who doesn’t feel there’s been an increase in street homelessness, litter and a general sense of order breaking down.”Yes, cops and reporters are just baffled (Baffled I tell you!) as to the "who and why" of this. Because, of course, you really can't say that blacks are doing the stabbing. That would be too much truth for New York citizens of all races to stand.
The cliched objection to such objectification is always something along the lines of "Hey, you don't know that all these stabbings are done by blacks. You're tarring every criminal with the same brush." To which the only sane response is not, "Hey, you know, you've got a point there." but "Hey, moron, 'in general' does not mean 'universal'. "
The new default solution to this is to let images from surveillance cameras fill in the UnPc, BadThink truth. That way nobody has to say what everybody knows even before they see it.
In this way "truth" has been transmogrified from "what everyone knows and says" to "what everyone doesn't say but knows." This sort of thing never, ever ends well. This sort of thing often "ends in guns."
Do this enough and for long enough and you just keep tightening the emergency pressure release valve on society until it blows up and it ends in guns. And for all the primping and puffing in the urban black community about having a lot of Glocks, pistols don't really have a lot to say to a deer rifle with a telescopic sight at 100 yards.
Everybody knows it's coming apart
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
Before it blows
And everybody knows....
If, after watching this, you just want to go out and inject a half a quart of Seconal directly into your brain through your pupils I quite understand the impulse. Remember that all you see being interviewed here graduated, at least, from high school. The moron at 1:26 is especially illuminating.
My pal who forwarded this to me writes: "I still don't like Trump But it is going to be an interesting campaign. This is hilarious and I think will be proven very effective. Looks like we are going to see ads on one side that are from gut instinct, and committee Focus-Group Think on the other. Should be good!"
"Many of you asked my opinion on Trump’s anti-Clinton ad that shows Hillary Clinton barking like a dog and Putin laughing. I give the ad an A+ for persuasion. It was funny and doesn’t take itself too seriously, but at the same time it appealed to our irrational minds just as Trump intends. Your rational mind knows that Clinton’s “barking” has nothing to do with anything. But your irrational mind sees Putin and ISIS looking powerful on the video while Clinton barks like a chihuahua.
"The humor in the ad is what makes it work. Without the humor it would look like a lame comparison. And people equate a good sense of humor with high intelligence, whether or not that is true. The ad leaves us feeling that Trump is funny-smart and Clinton is ridiculous.
"You know who wasn’t funny? Hitler, that’s who. Every time Trump makes us laugh he chips away at the Hitler meme that has been dogging him. So it works on a branding level too.
"Don’t listen to the 2D pundits who say the ad looked like it was created by a college student. Ignore anyone who says it lacks content. That video is a masterpiece of viral persuasion." Stamina - Trump's Lingistic Kill Shot for Clinton... | Scott Adams Blog
In the darkness with a great bundle of grief the people march.
In the night, and overhead a shovel of stars for keeps, the people march:
"Where to? what next?"
-- Carl Sandburg: The People Yes
IN THE DAYS AFTER THE TOWERS FELL, in the ash that covered the Brooklyn street where I lived at that time, in the smoke that rose for months from that spot across the river, when rising up in the skyscraper I worked in, or riding deep beneath the river in the subway, or passing the thousand small shrines of puddled candle wax below the walls with the hundreds of photographs of "The Missing," it was not too much to say that you could feel the doors of history open all about you.
Before those days, history happened elsewhere, elsewhen, to others. History did not happen to you. In your world, until that day, you lived in the time after history. There were no more doors in front of you, all history lay behind you. It was a given.
You would have, of course, your own personal history. You would live your life, no bigger or smaller than most others. You would meet people, have children, go to the job, enjoy what material things came your way, have your celebrations, your vacations, your possessions, and your dinner parties. You would hate and you would love. You would be loved and betrayed. You would have your little soap opera and the snapshots and emails to prove it. At some point or another you would die and be remembered by some for some time. Then it would all fade and the great ocean would just roll on. And that would be fine.
History was behind us. It was something our parents entered for a while during the war but they emerged into what was, essentially, the long peace. They'd had enough history, didn't want any more, and did what they could to keep history from happening. In general, the history of the Cold War is the history of what didn't happen punctuated by a few things every now and then such as Korea and Vietnam. But all in all, for over 50 years, history didn't happen.
With the end of the Soviet Union in a whimper and not a bang brighter than the sun on earth, history was officially over. The moment even got its own book, "The End of History," which stimulated an argument that even more than the book emphasized that history was over.
Most sensible people liked it that way. In fact, a lot of people really liked it that way. Because if history for the world was over, these people could get on making the history that really mattered to them: The History of Me.
More and more throughout the 90s "History" was "out," and "Me" was in. "Me," "Having My Space," "How to Be Your Own Best Friend," "Me, Myself, I," were hallmarks of that self-besotted age. The History of Me was huge in the 90s and rolled right through the millennium. It even had a Customized President to preside over those years; the Most Me President ever. A perfect man for the time and one who, in the end, did not disappoint in choosing "Me" over "Country." How could he do otherwise? It was the option his constituency of Many-Million-Mes elected him to select. I know because I was into Me then and I voted for him because, well, because he seemed to be "just like me." It was a sad day when "Me" couldn't run for a third term, but The Party of Me offered up "Mini-Me" and a lot of Mes turned out for him too.
Many millions of Mini-Mes were very upset when there weren't quite enough Mes in one state to put Mini-Me in office to continue with the wonderful Me-ness of it all. I voted for "Mini-Me" in 2000, but not because he really seemed like Me, but because he was the only thing out there that said he was Me.
Unlike millions of miffed Mini-Mes, I wasn't too upset when he didn't get in after stamping his feet and holding his breath. I suppose I should have. It was what all the really intense Mini-Mes were doing. But I'd already started to become disgusted with all the Me-ness that had been going around so long and this tantrum of the Mini-Mes just made me not want to hang around them. After all, we were well beyond the End of History by this point, so what did it matter?
Then on one bright and unusually fine New York September morning History came back with a vengeance we'd never seen before in the history of America. It came back and it stayed and stayed and stayed. The doors of history swung open again and we were all propelled through them into... what?
Nobody knows. Not the President, not his opponents, not the right, left, center, or just plain unhinged and now in low-earth orbit. We know how it began, but we don't know how it will end. We don't really know what's next. Indeed, we never know.
It was better when we lived in The History of Me. We knew how Me would end -- birth, fun, school, fun, job, fun, family, fun, age, fun, death and then ... probably fun, who knew, who cared? The meaning of this history was not deep but was to be found in the world "fun." Mini-Mes love fun. You could almost say it is their religion, a religion of fun. A funny concept, fun. Fills the space between birth and death. "He was a fun guy" could be a generic epitaph for the era.
Now we find ourselves back in history as it has always been and it is not fun. Not fun at all. The history of history has little to do with fun, almost nothing at all.
Most of the Mini-Mes don't know what to do in a history that isn't fun. All their lives have been about shaping history towards fun and they've been having a good run at it. They like it so much, they are now willing to do anything to bring it back -- the Kennedy Era, such elegant fun; the Clinton Years, "Hey, we partied like it was 1999." In the run-up to the last election and now for the next, there's been and there will be a lot of code swapped about getting the fun back in the game. "Remember the fun of the 90s? You can have it all back. Peace. Love. Understanding. Stock-market Boom. Money. Any number of genders can play." Indeed, these Merry Pranksters of our politics are setting up to run "The Bride of Fun" for President in 2008, even though it is clear she is the least fun of any of them.
Unlike "The Bride of Fun," Fun is very attractive. It is an illusion to Us now, but the Mini-Mes need Fun and want it back more than, well, life itself. The Mini-Mes talk a great game about groups, entitlement, empowerment, but their program really is, like fun, "all about Me."
This is not to say that the incumbent administration is the Second Coming in any way, shape or form. Nor is it to say that Me-ness doesn't dominate that bumbling faction as well. Washington is always about Me-Magnified. In a way, it is true to say that a lot of what is going on is a fight over which set of Mes shall be master. But that is always the case.
Still there are always "differences of degree," and it is on those differences that one must judge. Weighing the two, it seems to me clear that there is, within the core of the current party in power, at least the recognition that "fun" is no longer what we need to be about at this time. Indeed, there is an understanding there, backed with deeds and policies, however flawed in conception and execution, that our holiday from history is over and we need to get back to business if we'd like to be around in any kind of recognizable form by mid-century. There is even, if you look at it closely, a distinct lessening of "Me" and the beginnings of an "Us" on the peripheries of the Party. Not a lot, but when you look at the other, there is none. Only a yearning for the warm mud of Me.
History as it will now unfold will require little from Me but much from Us. I'd like to say that this country's going one way or another tomorrow will be the ruin of the nation. If I could I would be able to get my Me into the Punditocracy. But that is false. One result or another will not be the ruin of the nation for there is, as one of the founding fathers once remarked, "A lot of ruin in a nation."
Should the nation choose to continue in the elections of this year to move forward, to stay the course and continue the offensive, our encounter with history will move forward at much the same pace as it has these past four years, perhaps a bit accelerated. Should the nation choose to step back, to retreat, it will simply retard the process that grips it a bit more than otherwise might be the case. Neither result wil place us back in the History of Me no matter how many yearn for it.
History, having returned, will continue to happen, not to Me, but to Us.
We will have war whether we wish it or not. It will continue to be brought to us as it was brought for many years before we could see it in a pillar of flame by day and a pillar of smoke by night. We will be long in this wilderness, perhaps as long as forty years, and it will take a terrible toll from us, soldier and civilian alike; a toll we have not yet begun to see. Like all global wars in the past century, the war upon us will rise in violence until such time as we either capitulate, or find the will to kill our enemies wholesale. This is not what we would choose, but it is what we shall have.
We could, if we wished, withdraw every soldier from every inch of soil that is not American territory and leave them here inside our borders rusting for a decade. War will still come because war is already upon us, and wars do not end in staged withdrawals, but in either defeat or victory. The lessons of Vietnam and the Cold War teach this to us if we have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.
In this First Terrorist War, the character of our leadership will make a difference to some degree, but it will not decide. It is who we are and who we shall become as a people that will decide. How that will be in the end, I do not know. What I do know is that history, no matter what they tell you, never comes to an end. And because of that, the one small thing that I have the power to do is to decide that I shall no longer vote for Me. I shall vote for Us.
First published March 2006
There's art and there's exercise. Then there's artercise.
If the Trump campaign needs a theme song, it could do a lot worse than Rascal Flatts' "Unstoppable."
So, so you made a lot of mistakes
Walked down the road a little sideways
Cracked a rib when you hit the wall
Yeah, you’ve had a pocket full of regrets
Pull you down faster than a sunset
Hey, it happens to us all
When the cold hard rain just won’t quit
And you can’t see your way out of it
You find your faith has been lost and shaken
You take back what’s been taken
Get on your knees and dig down deep
You can do what you think is impossible
Keep on believing, don’t give in
It’ll come and make you whole again
It always will, it always does
Love is unstoppable
"Listen to this clip and tell me what the party stands for. I mean besides power for insiders." -- Don Surber
Yes, it's that time..... again!]
Who let them out? Why are they everywhere? On the corners, by the entrances to supermarkets, at the crossings, and all over the place. They swoop into the neighborhood in massive SUVs driven by classic MILFs. They pull in, tumble out giggling, and yank their card tables and their boxes of contraband from the back. Then they set up their offerings in stacks, and slap crude handmade signs with a heavy helping of glitter on the tables. Then they don their gang colors and get to work on you.
They are the most ruthless retail agents known to man. They are virtually irresistable in their peddling of their wares. They do it with cutting edge cute, and they have no scruples concerning your desperate attempt to diet away the winter flab.
They are the Girl Scouts and no matter how I try I cannot avoid them.
Their web of pushers has been strung across Seattle. They don't even offer the first one free. They just jibber-jabber among themselves with their guardian MILF smiling knowingly at you. Sometimes, when the junkies are slow to line up for their fix, they do things like cartwheels or jump rope. Then they get your attention. The MILF sees this and smiles again.
And you are sunk. You have no hope of escape. Your whole universe of abstaining from sugar collapses. The few measly ounces you've lost by denying yourself that fourth scoop of Cherry Garcia at one in the morning are swamped by the tsunami of the C.U.T.E. in their little vests with their patches. You world of hope for a change in your gut is gone, and the only thing left for you is the stark choice: Thin Mints or Samoas?
I've tried to escape their clutches, but it's no good. Today, desperate to kick after discovering last night that I could hear a box of Thin Mints calling to me through a closed door, I even invented a granddaughter.
The MILF saw my glance at their cookie table and smiled. I said, having bought no less than three boxes of their krispy krack over the last week, "I'm sorry, but my granddaughter has made me swear to buy cookies only from her troop." (I have no granddaughter, but I was in despair.)
One of her henchgirls shrugged and did a cartwheel while the other two looked disappointed in that trademark Girl Scout disappointed look that I'm sure they give a patch for.
"Oh, don't worry," said the MILF. "We'll never tell. Right girls?"
"We'll never-ever tell," said all three virtually in unison as if they'd practiced it throughout all of February at their Girl Scout/MILF coven meetings.
It was all over for me. All I could say was,
[Archival from 2006 but still, in light of recent events, worth repeating.]
If your life on the web is running too s l o w, if your browsing and grazing at this site or that is just b o g g i n g d o w n, what do you do?
Like any good cybernaut, you look for the "techno-fix."
There are, of course, many fixes to find. New connections, new computers, new hard drives, new browsers, new plugins, and more. But the first thing everyone should do is to take the cure common to all cyberspace slowdowns. You click on your browser menus and tell it to "Clear History."
"Clear History" works wonders for your cyberlife. As you move within the web, your History grows, and the more History you hold the slower your web brain, your browser, thinks and acts. Thinking slowly and acting slowly may be wise in life, but it takes the zip out of your online drive.
When you "Clear History" your browser forgets all the places it has been, all the things that it has seen, all of what it has learned. All that bitsludge is wiped away and your browser's internal brain is made as smooth as a baby's bottom, as blank as a goldfish's brain. Things run faster, you get loaded more quickly and will probably stay loaded longer. You flash but you don't crash. Why would you? You've "cleared your history."
I probably didn't have to tell you to "Clear History." You knew it. Pretty much everyone knows it. But this better browsing tip seems, like many other dubious cyberspace insights, to have oozed out into the real world, into the world dimensional.
And when 2D goes 3D there's always a problem.
Applying cyberspace notions to the world at large, like believing the Mapquest is the territory, is usually a mistake, but people, being people, are always eager to make new mistakes. After all, "cyberspace" explains so much, doesn't it? Cyberspace has become the new paradigm and controlling metaphor of our age, supplanting the use of the computer as the controlling metaphor in the last quarter of the 20th century, much as the idea of the "clockwork universe" caught on at the dawn of the Enlightenment as the Age of Reason was driven forward on the escapement of the highest tech of that time, the clock.
As humans, we prefer that our "things" define us. It is always easier to explain ourselves through things than to explain ourselves outright. If mistakes are made, well, "Things didn't work out."
Of course, during these intellectually eviscerated times we can look back on the clockwork universe of the Enlightenment as a time when giants walked Europe's Cathedrals of Thought; Newton, Descartes, Voltaire, Montaigne, Kant, Hume, Jefferson.... the list is, as you know, still dominant though it be mainly male, all dead and very white. They all rose up in the age of clocks but they, in a real and metaphorical sense, wound the clocks. They "had" time and they would never "Clear History."
For when the world is too much with us.
Scott Adams Takes the Blame:
According to social media, and the mainstream media as well, Trump might be the next Hitler because he does things Hitler would have done. For example:
- Trump is charismatic and appeals to our prejudices.
- Trump approves of violence against people he thinks deserve it.
- Trump blames “others” for the nation’s problems.
- Trump has an authoritarian vibe.
All that is true. But it would be equally easy to build a list of why Trump is definitely NOT like Hitler. For example:
- Trump is anti-war. Hitler, not so much.
- Trump asks us to favor legal citizens over non-citizens. He makes no mention of race. Hitler killed his own citizens and mostly cared about race.
- Trump wants citizens to be heavily armed to protect themselves against bad people, including dictators. Hitler didn’t want to arm his potential enemies.
- Trump wants greater freedom of speech that would include politically incorrect topics. Hitler wasn’t so big on free speech for others.
- Trump assures us his genitalia have “no problem.” Hitler had one testicle.
I could go on, but you see how easy this is. The mainstream media can either portray Trump as Hitler or non-Hitler. So far, they have chosen (subconsciously I assume) the Hitler analogy all the way.
Again, none of this is conscious. It is just the result of individuals pursuing their own emotional truths and doing the best they can. Weirdly, everyone involved is trying to make the world a better place. But at least half of them have the wrong plan. We just don’t know which half.
So now we have a situation in which two-thirds of the country and most of the mainstream media believe Trump is a Hitler-in-the-making that must be stopped. Only the mainstream media can remedy this situation and apparently that is not financially advantageous. So don’t expect anything but escalation in the “disruptions” and violence.
The Secret Service will do a great job of protecting Trump. But even so, his odds of surviving the next year are dropping quickly. I put the odds of an attempted assassination at about 25% before November. And apparently that’s on me for being a Trumpsplainer. I apologize for that.The Trump Riots That are Mostly My Fault | Scott Adams Blog
Many in the no-longer-so-loyal opposition to the Obama juggernaut -- now in it's seventh year of taking the wrecking ball to the Republic -- fret about how to slow or stop it. Especially now that the Brownshirts have shown up on the streets.
Here's the news: You can't.
There are now so many progressive programs and initiatives in play on so many levels that just keeping up with a fraction of them will have you pointing and clicking 25 hours a day.
Believe me if all those endearing young charms of the current administration were to fade to black when a Corillian Death Ray from the orbiting Arquillian Battle Cruiser reduced it to Frito dust at the bottom of a bag, eradicating the Obama parasites left behind and sucking down paychecks all over the nation would tucker out both Stalin and Pol Pot. If you wanted to do that you might actually run out of ammo and have to go full Rwanda on their asses with machetes. Fun, but tiring.
Frantic and "tryin' to make it in due time / Before the heaven doors close" the current administration of crooks, thugs, liars, leftists, and wreckers are pushing every half-assed social theory into law and policy with no let-up in sight and no quarter given. And they are breeding like gay roaches on roofies in a night darker than a hundred midnights down in a cypress swamp.
Short form: If you want to "reform" this government from within, get extra ammo, extra fuel for the wood-chipper, and pack a lunch.
Pour into this political compost pile swirling in the whirlpool of a seething sewer sewer our leprous media fully in love with the easeful death this toad-licking street mob serves up, while simultaneously dedicated to slobbering over whatever turgid appendage our panty-waist president deigns to offer them daily, and you've got a perfect slow motion storm of political, educational, legal, moral, and cultural disasters. You've got the mob in the streets of Chicago.
Take a hint from Keanu Reeves in Speed above:
If you can't stop it, you've got to wreck it.... and to wreck it you've got to "make it go faster."
They say their plans for the future of the United States are "better?"
Okay, take them at their word. Only faster.
Let's see how this stuff plays out in real life. As soon as possible. Let's make our own little Venezuelan paradise of breadlines and $755 condom packs right here in the good old U.S. A.
If they're right, all will be well. If they're not, let's have the disaster now and in double portions. It seems to be already hitting the "youth" and the low-information voters of Obama's base with 29+% unemployment. Let's do what we can to spread the no-wealth redistribution.
But first stock up on canned goods and ammo.
After all, as we used to say in the socialist paradise of Berkeley in the 1960s,
"If you're going to have a revolution, you've got to do revolting things."
In times like these it's not enough to say "No!"
If you are not ready to sight in your rifle and start plugging street melons at 300 yards, you've got to say, "Go fuck yourselves with a thermonuclear weapon. Here, let me help...."Continued...
Owners May Have 'Torched' Building for Insurance Money By DON PRENDERGAST AND LAKSHMI GURTZ Moments ago The New York Times building is currently on fire. While the building has been evacuated by the NYFD, several intrepid Times staffers, including this correspondent, have stayed inside to report on an historic event as it unfolds. The cause of the fire is unclear
The brazen torching of the New York Times headquarters by its soi-disant publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr, is a sordid attempt to wring a paltry few million more from the corpse of a once great newspaper. His shameless looting of company coffers as the paper spiraled into bankruptcy, gave new meaning to his nickname “Pinch”
Markets Refuse to Slump on News of Times Demise By FRANK LEE CRAVEN 1:06 PM ET Facing the catastrophic collapse of the world's most prestigious news institution, financial markets apparently remain in denial.
No, the customer is always right. And if Times customers determined they’d sooner let the Old Gray Lady die of money cancer than behave like grownups, it’s cool, and no one’s upset or angry. That’s their prerogative.
Besides, we’re sure you'll all be better off without us. We just hope you’re happy you leprous fuckbags.
GET THE FULL STORY AT The Final Edition
The "Hook" is what always sells you the song and makes it live in your memory. Regarding "The Hook" here's the definitive explanation and example from Blues Traveler, 1994.
It doesn't matter what I say
So long as I sing with inflection
That makes you feel I'll convey
Some inner truth or vast reflection
But I've said nothing so far
And I can keep it up for as long as it takes
And it don't matter who you are
If I'm doing my job then it's your resolve that breaks
Because the Hook brings you back
I ain't tellin' you no lie
The Hook brings you back
On that you can rely
The 2016 Hook Is Many Hooks:
And yet fewer and fewer are being hooked....
DEWEY FROM DETROIT sez: "I guess since Detroit now boasts three 7-Elevens and one Whole Foods (on the far northern border of the city, with armed security) we could declare victory and leave. Except there’s the matter of the area’s 10.4% unemployment rate, the highest property taxes in the nation, the utterly failed school system and the continuing demise of Michigan’s manufacturing base which has decimated the middle class.
"The natives (micro-aggression alert) are finally figuring out who is to blame for this 50 year debacle. Sadly, the committedly ignorant tried to fix it yesterday by voting for the socialist instead of the designated hitter, Hllary. Because you know, nothing fixes rot like equalizing incomes.
"Butt it seems that once again the Blue Dog Democrats found their voice; they chose the Republican ballot in Tuesday’s open primary and voted for Trump." - - Michelle Obama's Mirror:
Bill Whittle's latest video on the shame of Detroit.
TRANSCRIPT: This is the story of your enslavement; how it came to be, and how you can finally be free…
Like all animals, human beings want to dominate and exploit the resources around them. At first, we mostly hunted and fished and ate off the land – but then something magical and terrible happened to our minds. We became, alone among the animals, afraid of death, and of future loss. And this was the start of a great tragedy, and an even greater possibility. You see, when we became afraid of death, of injury, and imprisonment, we became controllable – and so valuable – in a way that no other resource could ever be.
The greatest resource for any human being to control is not natural resources, or tools, or animals or land – but other human beings.
You can frighten an animal, because animals are afraid of pain in the moment, but you cannot frighten an animal with a loss of liberty, or with torture or imprisonment in the future, because animals have very little sense of tomorrow. You cannot threaten a cow with torture, or a sheep with death. You cannot swing a sword at a tree and scream at it to produce more fruit, or hold a burning torch to a field and demand more wheat. You cannot get more eggs by threatening a hen – but you can get a man to give you his eggs by threatening him.
This human farming has been the most profitable – and destructive – occupation throughout history, and it is now reaching its destructive climax.Continued...
"Won't look like rain. Won't look like snow.
Won't look like fog. That's all we know.
We just can't tell you any more.
We've never made oobleck before."
-- Dr. Suess, Bartholomew and the Oobleck
Sean Malone begins a predictably tendentious essay, Arguing with Republicans, with a claim I see, read, or hear all the time when people explain why they actually spend time arguing with the colonized minds of the Left. He cites the irritating situation of
"debating with leftists, liberals and progressives who's poor grasp of economics and annoying tendency to support style over substance has turned a good many of them into socialist weasels.
These boilerplate claims of ‘economic ignorance’ and ‘style over substance’ are as constant as disclaimers in drug ads. But they are either false or ignorant or both. Grown-up and fully functional LeftLibProgs know economics very well indeed, and never mistake style over substance. If this is actually Sean’s experience he’s 1) shoveling seaweed against the tide, and 2) spending too much time debating with LeftLibProg children.
It’s common for LeftLibProgs to say, in passing and without much feeling, that all their proposed hopeful changes to the economic system of the United States and the developed world is “for the greater good.” But it is not and it never has been that way. It is and it always was “for their greater good.” In passing they also know to the deepest diseased marrow in their bones that their proposals also lead to a weakened and, they hope, destroyed America. This is also touted as being “for the greater good,” but again it is always and only “for their greater good.”
I’ve read, known, lived with, talked with and to LeftLibProgs since I was an undergraduate at UC Berkeley. That phase included a whole raft of demented Young Socialists, Latter-Day Wobblies, du Bois Clubs, and seedy Communists right down to the execrable Bettina Aptheker, demented daughter of high-ranking American communists and first cousins Fay Philippa Aptheker and Herbert Aptheker.
Bettina, never an attractive person in body or soul, was a classic LeftLibProg of the era, and she knew her economics down to the last jot and tittle and penny. It was just that her sense of economics all aimed, as LeftLibProg economics always does, to the stealth re-concentration of wealth, the destruction of the USA, and the rise of “The Party.” In this way, even though she is now sunk into the obscurity she so richly deserves, she’s still a poster child for the Iron Lung economics of LeftLibProgism. She’s still selling her scarlet oobleck today because, when it comes to LiftLibProgs, “Once the needle goes in, it never comes out.”
The justification for the destruction of all capitalist systems and, in train, the United States for Bettina was never "for the greater good," although she was articulate enough to spin this straw into gold for the kids that listened to her. Instead it was always for the good of “The Party” which, at that time, included her family pretty much in the way that Saddam Hussain’s economic plan for the future of Iraq centered on his family. LeftLibProgism was then, as it is now, just a gangster play. It always has been anywhere it has been implemented.
Whenever the objection is made that LeftLibProgism has failed everywhere it has been tried, the response is always that it just wasn't tried on a large enough scale. This is the argument that the cure for bad pop music is to just make it louder. The implied endgame is that only when the entire world is remade in the LeftLibProg model, "world without end always," will the promised utopia arrive. Hence the wrecking ball of LeftLibProg economics must be swung against the pillars of civilization until the whole structure comes tumbling in upon itself. With help from the scions of greed at the far end of maxi-capitalism this vision currently has a whisper of a hope of actually happening.
This is why the sclerotic public unions here and abroad are so increasingly violent and strident in their demands. It’s an economics not based on a rising capitalist tide lifts all boats, but one based on the ancient dictum of Lenin: Who-Whom?
Lenin, with his knack for hortatory pungency, reduced the past and future alike to two pronouns and a question mark: "Who—whom?" No verb was necessary. It meant who would prevail over whom? And the question was largely rhetorical, implying that the answer was never in doubt. Lenin and those who followed him would prevail over "them," whoever they were. -- Communism: The Specter and the Struggle - TIME
The LeftLibProgs are not at all clueless about their economics. They know exactly what Iron Lung economics do to societies. They wreck them while funneling all wealth to the members of "The Party." You know, the ones driving their limos in their special lane in the middle of the road; the ones on the private plane far, far overhead that never get the proctological moment at the security checkpoint.
Neither is this class that would be masters about “style over substance.” They are about using the “style over substance” on it’s infinite number of chestless and thoughtless acolytes to bring the “substance” of “The Party” into power, and to keeping “The Party” in power. Kids and adult-adolescents may think it's about “The Family of Man” and “the greater good,” but it’s really always and eternally about "Who-Whom?" The leadership of the LeftLibProgs knows their economics right down to the last pile of ash in the ovens of Auschwitz and the last shattered skull in the muck of The Killing Fields.
If they say, "Don't you know you can't take it with you?" tell them, "I'm not leaving."
Now being launched as a "conversation" in Canada, but coming to the States real soon now:
"They got the big debate goin' on about exterminating humans, er, we mean about doctor assisted suicide, er, we mean, death by doctor, er, we mean doctor assisted dyin' or dyin' with dignity or "end of life health care" or whatever the fuck they're calling it. One thing is for sure, no matter what they call it, we know that money is gonna be made for exterminatin' human beings and if some bleedin' heart pro-something arse hole wants someone to kill them, we know a guy who'll beat ya to death with a 2X4 for fifty bucks an' a case of beer."
At just first light in surge and drift,
Within the darkling seas,
In sheaves they swirl -- as winter mist
Evaporates in trees.
I show you here one diatom.
God's smallest lamp of glass and oil,
Suspended in our ancient seas,
Then frozen far beneath our soil.
Beneath our star these diatomes,
Misprisoned cells of oil in glass,
In drifts descended into sand,
And melted stone while eons pass.
Within such stone they liquify,
And flow in streams through granite glades
To slumber in their vaults of pearl,
And dreaming dream the dreams of shades.
Awakened soul and substance now
What dwelt in seas then leaps to fly.
We see their shadows, cold as mist,
When contrails sketch our frozen sky.
I show you here a diatom,
God's smallest lamp of glass and oil,
That keeps us in mid-heaven safe
And warm above our winter's soil.
In life's first dawn they scintillate
And merge in death to darkened stone.
In sheaves they fade into the mist...
Unplanned? Unsought? Unmourned?
I show you here one diatom.
Richard Tofel inThe sky is falling on print newspapers faster than you think notes:
The simple chart below lays out the numbers for “total average print circulation” of the nation’s 25 largest newspapers as of March 2013. These are the basis for the figures you get if you Google search the issue or look for a list on Wikipedia. Then the chart compares these with the number of copies most recently reported to the Alliance for Audited Media (in September 2015) for “individually paid print circulation,” that is the number of copies being bought by subscription or at newsstands. This is the best indication of consumer demand for the product. In both cases, the figures are for weekday average circulation. Sunday numbers are generally higher.
A few quick observations:
Cushing Biggs Hassell who says, in passing, among many other things:
"... of the young members who, having no spiritual life, cannot partake of spiritual food, and for the raising of money for pretended religious purposes—such as strawberry and ice-cream festivals, oyster suppers, concerts, burlesque hymns, comic songs, amateur theatricals, Sunday School excursions, and picnics, and banners, and emblems, Christmas trees, Easter cards, charity balls, and " church fairs" (with their rafflings or gamblings), rightly termed " abysses of horrors," mingling* sham trade with sham charity, obtaining money under false pretenses, teaching the selfish and thoughtless patrons how to be " benevolent without benevolence, charitable without charity, devout without devotion, how to give without giving and to be paid for ' doing good'..."
Got it? Now try the whole sentence on for size: Running On from Futility Closet
Cushing Biggs Hassell’s thousand-page History of the Church of God (1886) is notable for a single sentence — this one, on page 580, beginning “The nineteenth is the century …” It’s six pages long, with 3,153 words, 360 commas, 86 semicolons, and six footnotes. Many regard it as the longest legitimate sentence ever written in a book.
Weak minds would just give you the link to History of the church of God @ Google Books. But we are not that forgiving. We're giving you the whole enchilada. Take a deep, a very deep, breath.Continued...
–with one exception; you could never be replaced with a transplant.
Whatever I treasure and enjoy–this home, our ranch, the sight of the sea–all would be without meaning if I didn’t have you. I live in a permanent Christmas because God gave me you.”
Circa 1892. "Woman diving from pier
Pantry Patrol: June 1943. New Britain, Connecticut. "A child care center opened September 15, 1942, for 30 children, ages 2 through 5, of mothers engaged in war industry. The hours are 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., six days per week. Miss Machmer and the dietitian checking the amount of food used during the month and making a general inventory of all supplies on hand." Medium format nitrate negative by Gordon Parks for the Office of War Information.
SIRI: The Early Years Richmond, California, 1914. "Victor Talking Machine display. Hawley Piano Co., Macdonald Avenue." With Nipper headlining a list of the latest platters.
August 1937. "Steam baths are very popular among the lumberjacks near Craigville, Minnesota." After your schvitz, try the Tobacco Lunch.
Andour special added attraction, American Royalty if you....Continued...
This just in....
* UNINTENTIONALLY and/or INADVERTENTLY
"Please watch the entire video, you may miss the gist if you don't. ***The title is controversial only if you don't watch the whole of the video. "
Partial List of resources used in the making of the video : WHY WOMEN DESTROY CIVILIZATIONS....Continued...
June 1968. "Cartoonist Charles M. Schulz reclining outside next to cutouts of his Peanuts comic strip characters carrying political campaign signs." History records one Richard Milhous Nixon as the victor in this particular electoral contest.
San Francisco, the nation's leading open air exhibition of failed social policies, never fails to instruct one in the infinite disabilities of social utopianism. Although large sections of this city still retain their charm in the far or middle distance -- the swooping helicopter pan shot in from the Golden Gate; the brightly painted Cable Car cresting a backlit hilltop -- most soon lose all charm in close-up.
Example: A clear and crisp dawn in a small side street near Laguna and Hayes. Plantings in all the window boxes, well but not fussily painted facades. A few, very small, very well kept front yards. Clean curtained windows. All in all a pretty and quiet moment in the city's morning. Then, between two of the cars on the street and a bulging shopping cart on the curb, I noticed a man who has obviously slept rough for at least 200 consecutive days turning in a slow pirouette and gazing intently at the ground. Then he lowered himself delicately down between an Audi and an SUV.
Seeing no real reason not to stroll on past, I did and noted that the man, pants to his ankles, was relieving himself. I was to see this behavior twice in a single day in San Francisco. And I was in the better neighborhoods.
In the course of a random walk of four hours through the most touristed sections of the city, this scene was only the most unhappily memorable of a serious of disturbing moments. Perhaps they only disturbed because they were playing out against the postcards of my memories of San Francisco during the six years I had lived and worked there in the early 70s; against even deeper images of the city in the Summer of 1968.
Against memory any present day moment would pale as nostalgia took its toll. You'd be prepared, at the least, to be disappointed since feeling that the past is preferable to the present is a common human instinct. What you're not prepared to be is disturbed but yet not shocked. After all, you've read and heard about it for years. No matter. The actual San Francisco of the present is a clear reminder that the rap is not the territory.
The extent to which the homeless, the hard-core unemployed, the drunk and the addicted, and general shabby personalities of all kinds are deployed about the city is something to bring even the most hard-core liberal from elsewhere up short. If the myriad policies and millions man-years of effort, coupled with untold billions of dollars in funding deployed in San Francisco over the last four decades have created the current visible result, something is seriously askew with the city's basic social engineering. It is as if the entire region has spent 40 years and 400 billion building a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge on Ocean Beach intending to span the Pacific. A good intention, but a city's gotta know its limitations.Continued...
In the same way that history doesn't repeat but rhymes, so Citizen Kane rhymes with Citizen Trump; the former now myth and the latter now becoming mythic as we can see.
And Citizen Trump knows it. In fact he made a video about Citizen Kane. Some time ago as you will see.
Prescient? Perhaps. But we shall see.
Bonus featurette: The Bizarre, Low-Budget, Last-Minute and Utterly Off the Cuff Original Trailer to Citizen Kane as shown in theaters as one of the Coming Attractions if you choose to....Continued...
....Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
--- Shakespeare -- Sonnet 116.
THE FIRST TIME I WAS MARRIED I was married to over 200 naked people. We weren't quite buck naked. The men had crudely made laurel wreathes on their heads, sometimes just a wad of weeds, while the women had wreathes of flowers around their brows and, for those old enough to have any, small bouquets of blossoms lodged in their pubic hair. All the men had large clubs and all the women large breasts. It was the butt end of the 60s and people in my set tended to have that kind of equipment. What children there were tended to be either infants or toddlers, all still nursing at will.
The men and the women had separated an hour or so before the wedding and, at dusk, the two groups came together from opposite directions.
First the men came, chanting and grunting and pounding and waving their clubs. At our center was the groom, long black hair streaming down over his back, nude and tanned, under a kind of pagan huppah of a custom tie-dye made for the occassion and four sticks sporting Gods Eyes, also hand crafted for the ritual.
Chanting and grunting, (Yes, the LSD had kicked in an hour or so before and was still not peaking.) we made our way to a bluff of hard black stone overlooking the Great Central Valley in California from the first rise of foothills that step up into the High Sierra. All about our feet were deep, smooth indentations in the black rock where the Indians had, for centuries, ground acorns into mash with stones.
Looking down from the stone bluff we could see all across the Great Imperial Valley to where the sun was descending behind the Coast Range. It was a green day shading into an orange dusk. There were guitars strumming somewhere. In those days somebody was always noodling a long nothing on a guitar. We turned and, as men in groups at wedding have always done, we waited for the bride and her estrogen entourage. The waiting for the women was perhaps the only traditional moment of matrimony to be had on that day.
The women emerged from the shadows of the pine forest that rolled up behind them to the starker slopes of the Sierras where the timber line looked cold and gray under the lingering slabs of snow that still, even in high summer, caught the light and shined from inside the shadows. They numbered around a hundred. Never before or since have I seen such a large grouping of naked women. All shapes and sizes, all ages. I'd like to say all races but this was early in our forced march into the leaden halls of mandatory diversity and they were mostly white.
And all, at least in my memory, lovely -- each in their way.
They'd spent their two hours (as the mystery molecule that was our sacrament in those years kicked in), gathering vast quantities of wildflowers from the valley and the forest. They carried large bouquets and had used the surplus for adornment. This adornment consisted of wildflower tiaras ringing the long hair or all colors that fell from their heads, and as smaller bouquets formed by placing individual stems in large quantities into their pubic hair -- and in those days of dedication to the natural body, pubic hair was much more formidable than the current rage for plucking, shaping, and waxing could possibly indicate.
Standing with 100 naked men on a stone bluff as 100 naked women walked towards you singing some ancient melody is something that a man does not easily forget. I have, in my memory, a large set of mental Polaroids from those minutes and they have not faded. Primal, true, baked at high temperatures and very elemental moments have a habit of lodging themselves deep your the cerebral cortex never to be evicted.
In time the groups merged and stood close together in the warm dusk as the bride joined the groom under the tie-dyed huppa through which the sun's light glowed.
The man chosen to lead the ceremony stood at the apex of the arc we'd formed behind the bride and groom, his back to the valley and mountains to the west. He was a man of strange interests and a fascinating philosophy. At least, that's how I remember him since, at this remove, I don't remember any of the odd things he believed, except their were a lot of them. He'd suffered some sort of catastrophic accident involving fire and the left side of his face was a mass of shining scar tissue which was usually pink but became inflamed and glowed red when emotions surged through him. Since this was a moment when both emotions and LSD were surging through him, it was like looking at some strange naked harlequin mask perched atop a short and stock naked body with a large mat of red chest hair.
Somehow this pastor or shaman pulled himself together enough to begin the ceremony. Since those present at the ceremony, taken en masse, represented a lot of the original tribe that had, in San Francisco in those years, invented the Hippies, we were -- so we saw ourselves -- the Acquarian Center of the World and the Crown of Creation. As such, we were inventing the world anew. And one of the things that simply had to be invented anew from scratch were the Wedding Vows.
Not for us were the tired promises made by our parents and all those who came before our parents going back into the centuries long before.
Not for us to be gathered in the sight of God ( although He saw us all more clearly that day than we could hope to know), but rather in the sight of our self-selected naked tribe that would later imagine something named Gaia as a shallow but faintly adequate god that mapped to our own egos and self-willed agnosticism.
Not for us to respond to the warning "as ye will answer at the dreadful day of judgment when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment, why ye may not be lawfully joined together in Matrimony, that ye confess it." Confession was not in us, not necessary. We believed in being 'up front,' except in those cases where fronting something would bust us in the other's eyes. In which case, we stuffed it and lied. We did not fear the day of judgment. We lived in the realm of "Hey, no judgments. Cool?"
Exempt from both history and the uncool straight world that was cool with a "criminal war" against the Vietnamese peoples' right to place themselves under a Communist dictatorship for decades, we didn't have to take the part about "Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honor, and keep her, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live? " except as it pleased us to do so.
Love was cool. After all, was it not written in the Sacred Book of Beatles that "Love was all you need?" -- here and there and everywhere. Comfort was something you could get off on so that could hang around somewhere in the vows. Honor? Very 19th century warmonger kind of deal, man. What did it mean anyway? Sickness and health? Say, if we kept eating our macrobiotic, utterly natural salad bar we'd never grow old, sick or even -- yes -- die. Health from the magic of the old ones would always be ours. Forsaking all others was, well, right out as the groom and the bride both were to demonstrate later that night repeatedly. Theirs was going to be an open marriage going in and an explosively open one coming out. None of that fidelity for life -- or even for an afternoon -- operated in that post-pill, pre-HIV era.
With all those half-baked newly minted and untested values in play, the deeper part of the traditional vows -- ...to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, for fairer or fouler,in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us depart, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereunto I plight thee my troth. -- didn't have a chance of even making it into the first draft of this couple's Acquarian imaginings of what to say when, ostensibly, getting married. If they'd wanted to translate it to their new age palaver it might have read:
... to have and to hold until the next lover walks through our front door, for better until something better comes along, for richer and only for richer, for fairer or knock-down gorgeous, in health but not in an extended illness or if you should lapse into a persistent vegetative state in which case you, my love, are out of here, to love and to use in groups, till being uncool on any level makes me dump you, in accordance with nothing holy in particular, and unto you I plight thee my maybe...
All of which would have been true enough since, over the years that followed, that's pretty much how it worked out for those two.
They had no use for the uncool traditions of the vows of the straight square world, so they did what many have done since then, they rolled their own vows.
Well, not exactly vows since the promises made were thin as mist and not true as steel. Instead, they created a minor literary masterpiece by cobbling together a hodge-podge of quotations from non-Western, non-running-dog imperialist sources until they had something like a clumsy collage of notions and potions that they were easy about promising each other. Nothing in them that they couldn't find the out in if it struck their fancy.
They weren't vows at all as I think back now, but merely a display of their shared coolness. There were a lot of bits and pieces from the Native American realm since that was just getting big then in the catalog of cool, and a few shards of poetry... something about not breeding impediment to a marriage of true minds, and it was easy to see there weren't going to be any impediments at all in this marriage.
The scared and naked preacher read through these while standing at the center of the naked company assembled. I don't remember much about most of the 'vows' except that at a certain point it became very, very evident in a deep rose purple that either the words or the situation were having a very, shall we say, arousing effect on the preacher. I've been to many wedding since including a couple of my own, but that was the only time I've noticed an erection on part of the preacher. They are usually much more detached from the moment.
What I do remember about the vows they'd written together was the last line which seems now to reflect so much that has gone wrong with our very modern methods of marriage. It was a straight cop from James Joyce's Ulysses where, in Molly Blooms monologue at the end of the book she says, "...and I thought well as well him as another.."
That said, they were wed. Not forever after, but for a few years or less.
"As well him as another" or "As well her as another," pretty much sums up the real level of dedication to another human we took on in those years and that has gone forward, under one great wail of rationalization or another since then. Vows that reduce themselves to temporary promises until boredom or better comes along. A light shrug of the soul that, sighing, accepts that nothing between two people is really for life, but only until things become, well, difficult and unromantic and then its back to the chopping block and on to the next new person.
We didn't notice then the temporary nature of the arrangement the two had just agreed to. If we had, we wouldn't have minded. After all, life was change and change was all good. Wasn't it? It was, to us, as we learned from our music not important to keep you promise but to "... don't make promises you can't keep." In that I'll given them credit for at least being honest if not honorable.
The sun had faded behind the coast range as the ceremony was pronounced finished and we moved off to a party that would continue for another two days. As the darkness slid down from the mountains, I recall seeing the wedding feast being prepared as large fires flared up and goats and pigs were turned slowly crisping on spits turned by long-haired naked men that capered about, dark silhouettes against the rising flames.
Couples and groups were merging here and there about the meadows and in the shadows of the trees, pale ghosts tumbling through the flowers and grasses down the slopes of the hills and off into the rubble of their lives to come.
I found myself with someone I didn't know... who really needed to know anyone in those days in order to make love to them?... down by the black swimming pool where I saw, in the long evening, the bats swoop down to snatch small insects up from the surface of water and "splash the other dreamers with twilight."
The insects came out to mate and the bats spiraled down to snatch them up. So it was.
And so we went on down all the past gone years, making promises like those made that evening that we would not keep. We'd call them vows, as if that word made them sound more serious than we ever intended them to be.
Then it was later and we needed to stand in the autumn meadows and look down not on a wide valley, but on a narrower way where we'd left, heedless in our lightly given but little considered word, the small mundane disasters of our lives. We'd fashioned our own new world out of utopian fantasies and LSD-driven dreams and it had been all been formed from gossamer.
The Chinese ideogram Truth: a human standing by his words. To standby the word when given, rather than just toss out some fancy words untested by the hard rain of the world and pass on.
Perhaps if we'd taken, on that summer day, not the tissue of words from our brave new world, but the tempered steel of the old vows and stood by them we'd all have learned that it isn't the Wedding party and the Wedding night that needs to endure in our hearts, but the things that stand at the center of the old vows. We all know them. They are the words that allow no misunderstanding when said from heart's truth: love, honor, comfort, fidelity. We all know too the promises that come later: to have, to hold, for better, for worse, richer or poorer, fairer or fouler, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, unto death and beyond, under God's holy ordinance.
Real vows are not the casual things come to of a stoned summer's afternoon, but the hard things come to over long lives and many generations. We thought we were a brand new generation, that nothing like us every was. We had a lot to learn.
[Footnote 2010: Three days after this was written on May 5, 2008, Michael, the groom at the wedding died. His wife, Karen, was at his side. They endured.
....Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.]
And it is past time to open some windows....
In a comment to The Top 40 tscottme says: "Many voters, approximately 40-55% of Republican voters, want nothing so much as no conflict. They don't care about policy, even recently failed policy. They just want people to stop arguing. The only way to guarantee no more arguments is to surrender. You, Mr. Nice, either surrender or The Left will keep the argument going. Mr. Nice tires of the browbeating and surrenders. Mr. Nice comforts himself with "I didn't completely surrender. I only went along with 90% of The Lefts plan. Mr. Nice would not stick to a principle because his only principle is "no more arguments."
"Try to discuss policy with Mr. Nice. To him, it's like listening to someone explain 2 seasons of some dreadful soap opera plot from Hell. Or like listening to unabridged replay of Hatfield-McCoy feud. Mr. Nice tunes out. He assumes if the issues are important then some Smart-Set will figure it out and prevent some extreme outcome. Mr. Nice may admit The Left will fake hate-crimes or dishonestly attack a Good Person, but he never lives according to that idea. Mr. Nice simply interprets EVERY media firestorm J'accuse as based in some fact, even after they have admitted it could be entirely baseless. Just to be safe, Mr. Nice supports casting Mr. State Enemy adrift for a safer choice, just as The Left knew he would.
"The vast majority of Republican voters simply will not conclude much of anything. They seek safety by moving toward the center of the media storm, never noticing The Left can create a storm on command over nothing, or that "center" is really about 90% toward The Left. The Left stops squawking only when you give them an intermediate step toward their goal. The Left squawks "bloody murder" if you move away from their goal by a millimeter.
"Many of us are no longer Citizens. Like the LifeLock TV commercials, we are Monitors. When we see Constitutional Outrage, we announce it, and nothing else. This is what we used to complain about European Conservatives. They did nothing as what is happening to us was happening to them. We do nothing but tune out, withdraw into games and entertainment.
"I don't know what actions are perfectly suited to the moment. But feel strongly any action is better than any inaction. I know we need to pierce this amnesty Leftist enjoy in public. Do as they have done and make every public moment for them a battle. Disrupt their conversations everywhere, all the time. Stop being Undercover Constitutionalists. We are the majority. Speaking up you will find allies, but all of us are waiting for the other to start.
"The Left will punish you, whether you fight back or not. Fight back and take some of them out. At least you will have that victory. You might even generate some victories."
Posted by: tscottme at March 1, 2016 4:05 PM to The Top 40: Monsters. Tyrants. Horrific. Racist. Sexist. Homophobic. Islamophobic. Theocrats. Extremist. Draconian.