Sunday, January 24, 2021

I Got Nothing This Weekend--The Movie

 "Hyperpig" by Ducard84 on Deviantart. Check out his other work


My winter-induced inactivity is still a problem. Spent Friday evening doing essentially nothing and just to be consistent my laziness for the entirety of Saturday was close to record breaking. Now understand, just like subatomic particles can never truly stop vibrating, I did perform the required household maintenance like weekend laundry, keeping the cat and dog fed and watered, and putting my dirty dishes into the dishwasher.

If I really want to stretch a point, my most strenuous effort Saturday was starting the dishwasher. On the other hand, depending on how different people judge activity, I did spend several hours after that reading. Sadly nothing profound, I was in the mood for an Alastair Reynolds novel where a genetically-uplifted pig leads a group of human refugees fleeing from an alien artificial intelligence millions of years old out to purge the galaxy of starfaring organic life.

Getting back to proper housework, I would have probably broke down and vacuumed the living room floor Friday if the professional carpet cleaning person wasn't coming to the house next Thursday. This company brings in one of those ultra-industrial vacuums that looks like an out of work Transformer or Terminator before cleaning the carpet. So I'll just let them do the heavy lifting sucking out all the pet hair, dead skin cells, and assorted bits of food from the carpet.

Last time the carpet people came the cat was so traumatized by their evil-looking vacuum cleaner he spent the rest of the day hiding on top of the living room book case.

So with my utter laziness dominate for at least the another month I have nothing real to write about. So I'll just throw and few lazy points out there.

First of all we're finally rid of the Orange Buffoon. Despite his demand for a military send off and a large crowd of mindless, cheering idiots but he got far less. Ideally, I would have preferred an assortment of law-enforcement types arresting his sorry ass but that is hopefully coming down the road.

I almost laughed my ass off after various Trump-loyalists started whining about how the rest of the country should be mindful of their hurt feelings. That if the Democrats, and any other sentient American wants “unity” we shouldn't push any agenda other than what Trump enacted. Particularly funny was Mitch “Turtle” McConnell saying the Democrats shouldn't play with established senate rules to force their policies through.

I'm also loving how the people living in the “Qanon” fantasy universe had their bubble busted by the total lack of anything happening. How Trump was part of some double top-secret sting operation that going to have hundreds of Democrats, Hollywood celebrities, and other “elites” arrested for being part of a worldwide, Satan worshiping, pedophile ring. I sure that psychology students of the future will be write their PhD thesis papers on that shared delusion.

Well, that's about it for now. I really should go unload the dishwasher of clean dishes so I can get the dirty ones sitting in the sink washed before the cat licks them completely clean. Plus, I really want to get back to the intelligent, spacefaring pig, apparently there is a group of aliens from another universe promising to help him defeat the mass of planet-crunching, star-destroying machines running wild through human space.

Seriously it's a great series of books! Maybe, I'll get off my ass and do a book review.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Looking at Poverty


 Recently stumbled across an obscure website that offered up philosophical questions for people to write about. A lot of the questions, while interesting were a bit too abstract to really affect how most people live in the present. For example there was a questions asking if the human species will still be around in a thousand years. My short answer is yes, but the circumstances of that existence will depend greatly on how things go for the next forty years.

There was one question though that struck home with me:

“What life-altering things should every human ideally get to experience at least once in their lives?”

Right off the bat my first thought would be that everyone should somehow experience poverty. I'm talking the full-blown belly hungry, wearing rags, homeless, cold, and hopeless poverty that millions of essentially invisible people suffer through everyday. Just to get the full scope of the condition this experience would include living in a third-world slum being terrorized by drug gangs whose product invariably makes it way to the streets of America. Where things get so dangerous that Central Americans pack up their meager belongings to make a desperate trip to the believed safety of the United States.

I've seen the reports of whole families, moms with small children, to kids no older than twelve fleeing for their lives. It goes without saying that untold thousands die during that passage while others face exploitation that borders on slavery. Even if these refugees are extremely lucky by making it to the United States to find jobs and a home, they often have to face conditions ranging from indifference to outright hate from Americans.

You can guess they types of Americans I'm talking about. These monsters range from the semi-literate blue collar type who hates anyone with a darker skin tone. Then there are the uppity suburbanites who live in their protective two-thousand square feet cocoons and bitch about tax dollars going for foreign aid all the while clutching their Bibles signed by some mega-church preacher who drives an Italian sports car. (I'm talking Joel Olsteen and anyone else pulling this shit or close to it.)

I figure the average middle class American needs to spends anywhere from two weeks to two months in the shoes of a Central American refugee. Let's go whole hog and include in the experience the backbreaking, dangerous, and disgusting labor they provide so Americans won't get their hands dirty. The middle class folks love their cheap, year-round fruits and veggies never once thinking how they got to Walmart.

Ideally, after the average blue collar to middle class American survived this experience they would come to realize that they are far closer to being a refugee than ever joining the rich elites. That all it takes to fall down into bankruptcy and then poverty is for a recession to hit, or have a family member come down with a debilitating illness. That they can spend decades playing the accepted game of going to work everyday, paying taxes, never taking a handout, to one major disaster leaving them destitute and homeless.

For me, one of the bizarre aspects of our time is how the rich elites have deluded working class folks into believing they are on our side. That billionaires and multimillionaires gave a shit about the people who have to struggle with mortgages, pay bills, put food on the table, then deal with hospital bills and sending their kids to college. That a legion of welfare deadbeats and illegal aliens are going steal your precious lifestyle.

I don't come to my opinion just on a whim of bleeding heart liberal guilt. My mom was a mentally disturbed alcoholic who looked for companionship from similar individuals. I've experienced poverty of varying degrees and at times the uncertainty that comes with not knowing where you'll sleep some nights. Luckily, I only spent a few years in that situation before I went to live with my grandparents.

So poverty is not some abstract concept for me, when I see someone on the street I at least feel a hint of what they're going through. One of the major problems with our society is that many others can't, or simple refuse, see how others are forced to struggle.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Agent of Chaos



 The absolute last thing I wanted to do was write another political post. It was my hope that with January 20th drawing near the crisis that had began back in November 2016 would be drawing to a close. But the sacking of the United States Capitol last Wednesday by nothing less than insurrectionists out to overthrow the United States Government made that impossible.

Make no mistake, the sacking of the Capitol was something that was destined to happen. Mainly because a deranged narcissist was able to slime his way to power while stoking age old fears and prejudices.

But also because there is a huge segment of the American population that neither understands the concept nor principles of democracy. To these people, the vast majority being white, believes democracy and freedom means getting what they want before anyone else. And that if they are not eligible for some service or benefit, it is either a waste of “taxpayer dollars” or being abused by segments of the American population they consider alien or unworthy.

It was easy for the white majority of America to ultimately, but reluctantly, acquiesce to the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s because they felt on top of the world. Factory jobs were plentiful, there was a growing economy, and as far as they were concerned they understood society and had it firmly under their control. During these times, white folks were fat and happy with beer in the fringe, a boat in the backyard, and a color television in the living room. During such times it's easy to talk shit about spreading freedom and democracy and being the “Shining City on a Hill.”

But the world got complicated with new groups demanding a voice in society. Nothing scares white folks like their preconceived notions of what is normal and moral being challenged. But most of all it was the American economy showing signs that it wasn't necessarily the unstoppable force it was at the end of the Second World War.

Such things as Japanese cars became dependable and cheap along with the manufacture of heavy duty items like televisions and washing machines were completely moved overseas taking the good paying jobs with them. What manufacturing jobs that remain here in the United States became excessively streamlined with benefits and pay for blue collar types cut to “help the company.”

Blue collar workers accepted such compromises becoming something akin to willing serfs while the professional suits up in the swanky offices exponentially increased their salaries and gave themselves fantasy-level bonuses. The most amazing thing about this development was how the blue collar types came to believe the rich suits were on their side. That it was the poor and disadvantaged who are the ones wrongly sucking the life out of the economy.

What we ended up with is a white American underclass frustrated and unable to understand why the Hispanic, African-American, Asian, or any other group not them was moving up in the world. It was an easy recipe for societal estrangement and for a narcissistic demagogue to use to his advantage.

It's a historical given that past societies often sow the seeds of their own destruction. That the very strengths and actions that once made them successful turn sour over time and bring about their downfall. In my opinion, we are in just such a situation and whether we can weather this storm is open to question. The most dangerous aspect we face is the monster we let inside the heart of our government. He's very much a cornered rat possessing a disgruntled army of people all too willing to commit atrocities..


Sunday, January 3, 2021

After the Ball Dropped


Back in January of 2020, there were a lot of people posting stuff on the internet about how that year would be the start of a new decade of hope and understanding. It was troubling and unrealistic display of unbridled optimism and deranged good cheer in the face of numerous warnings that a massive amount of human waste had hit the tabletop air recirculating device and was flying our way.

I wasn't having any part in that internet delusion. On New Year's Day 2020, I posted an essay saying we were already FUBARed and that things were going to get worse. I can't fully describe how much it sucked to be right beyond my worst nightmare. No, I didn't see the pandemic coming, although do I vaguely remember hearing several news stories in December of 2019 about a troubling outbreak of a flu-like illness in China. I remember reading about those stories the same time my ass was living it up on an all inclusive Caribbean cruise.

No, my reoccurring nightmare last January revolved around the Orange Buffoon and the November election. This is where I could also mention how back in November of 2016 I wrote that OB would burn the country down if he lost in 2020, and dammit I was right again. The Orange Buffoon has engaged in an actual coup to overturn what his own people have called the most secure and fair election in recent memory.

Proving that we are in a definite low-point in American history and courage, the vast majority of Republican senators and congresspeople are going along with OB's attempt at wrecking the United States Constitution.

The little good news I can manage in this ongoing clusterfrak is that OB will fail and that President Biden will be a reality at noon on January 20th. The overwhelming bad news that I can't shake is that despite being responsible for the deaths of thousands of people from the pandemic, the Orange Buffoon almost won the reelection. No the election wasn't as close as it was in 2016 with just seventy-something thousand votes in key swing states giving OB an electoral college win. But given the Buffoon's behavior and open misconduct, it should have been far more of a landslide for Biden than it was in reality.

So here goes my prediction for the new year. It's going to seem a lot like 2020 for several more months. After that who the Hell knows, although I'm not feeling any warm fuzzies.