Monthly: scrapbook: reborn each month
(Monthly Note follows below)
Bye Bye Irma
2017 09 16 The power went out, then the water went out, then the phone; now they’re coming back, the power returned one hour ago. I could have lost everything: as is, I lost very little. Luck can come in handy.
September 13 I had an arrangement with the VA van to be picked up at 5:45, on Flare Road just all Highway 27. I noticed that the traffic lights still were not working. The more I thought about it, the more I hoped that the van would no show. No light at 27 & Flare is one thing, but not light in Tampa, BayPines, or St Pete is something else again. I waited till 6:15, then walked back home.
Make America Great Again: Get Back to God
2017 09 08 Where do politicians get off talking about making America great again without first demonstrating that America was ever great to begin with? When was it great? How would we prove it? W’a dya mean “great”? But that’s nothing, that’s humble behaviuor compared to recommending that we get “back” to God: when were we ever with God in the first place? And shouldn’t God be the one to make such a claim? We need God’s own testimony here. Until God speaks, until his speech can be verified, all such talk is preposterous.
We Only Shoot Black People
2017 09 02 Cop cam shows cop pulling over woman driver. He instructs her to do this and that, she’s nervous, reluctant: he tries reassuring her with some choice sarcasm: “We only shoot black people”, he says. This was Georgia: not too far from the truth.
Now the video is on line, the boss cops are calling the joke “racially insensitive”: got things exactly backwards, as usual. Rude, crude, revealing, painful; but not insensitive.
But: there’s no reason to believe cops, governments, states, feds … alpha hypocrits, to be capable of getting a joke, or responding to any sort of political self-mocking irony appropriately.
The FBI demonstrated no obligation to so much as know who I am much less understand what I wrote or said when they arrested me in 1997.
Actually, how true that is depends on which cop is talking and whether there are any witnesses. The Sebring sheriff joined the FBI in interviewing me: when it was the sheriff’s men, state and county cops, they thought everything I said was riotously funny. They printed out quotes from Knatz.com, hung them as banners around the cop station. When the feebs came into the room all jolity ceased, humor, intelligence, wisdom, irony was banished.
We tolerate government by Trump, by Nixon, by Lincoln; there’s no reason to support any pretense that we’re capable of understanding. We censor Mark Twain, we never published pk in the first place.
Good joke, but it isn’t exactly true: we mostly shoot black people but actually we shoot all kinds of people.
But we selcom shoot “white” people. Sherman didn’t shoot any white people; he shot Confederates! Slaves weren’t white but neither were Confederates. Lincoln, and Grant, they were “white”. Whites are whoever the Nazis say. Don’t expect a scientific distinction.
2017 08 30 Salute Ian McHarg once again, now and forever. Why did we build a city on a swamp? It flooded before we invented in infrastructure there, it’s flooding now: why are we still there? Why are we again asking for help from people who told us not to build there in the first place?
Actually those who built in the face of warnings should hold those who failed to stop us entirely responsible. If I warned you about Hitler, and you supported Hitler anyway, isn’t it my fault if I failed to stop you? Failing, obviously I didn’t try hard enough. Obviously that’s my fault.
Democracy of Facts
2017 08 27 Majority rules, right? Unless something else, also powerful, wins instead.
In school, 1940s, 1950s (and universities thereafter) I was taught that the Civil War, Lincoln, Gettysberg, etc. was fought over slavery: the Confederates were willing to kill in order to keep enslaving, the North was willing to kill to promote human equality. As an adult I began to learn that that’s oversimplification at best, deliberate lies at worst. Now all the news is right back to the errors and lies of my childhood: the Confederacy was morally a blockhead; Lincoln’s terrorists, Sherman etc., were noble selfless sacriicing Christian good-guys. Excuse me while I puke.
Nevertheless, the point is, the majority, those who believe, or pretend to believe, the assigned lies, rule. The facts are whatever the fascists proclaim. Might wins.
2017 08 27 I glimpsed a headline at Yahoo about using drones to spot sharks in Australia. Instantly I wanted to check my story about sharks at the beach on Fire Island. Did I tell it? Not finding it quickly, I retell it here:
In the late 1970s I got a time share in a house in Ocean Beach: heterosexual singles. I quickly became acquainted with a girl I wasn’t attracted to but who seemed friendly: talked to her in the mean time. I’ll call her Bess. OK: a word about Fire Island demographics. Fire Island is a barrier island on the south shore of Long Island. Going east to west the Rockaways are the first such, then Atlantic Beach, then Long Beach, Pointlookout, Jones Beach, Fire Island … and on, out to the Hamptons. All those places are like other places, except for Fire Island, where sexual orientations are clear: there are topless beaches, there are hudist beaches: there are family communities, there are homosexual communities, lesbian communities, and so on. Fire Island itself offers a string of communities. Robins Rest is tiny, just a couple of families: or so it was in the 1950s when I was a guest. Ocean Beach is huge: and mixed. The Ocean Beach beach is topless for girls who want to show their tits. My date and I learned the embarrassing way that there are distinctions yet to come: my date and I joined some housemates on the beach. Giny immediately showed her spectacular tubes. After a minute I said, Let’s swim: and Giny got up with me and raced to the waves, her bare boobs bouncing. Gasp! fro the crowd. Most girls took their tops off, but put them modestly back on before getting up, walking, running … bouncing. Ginny took her top off, then bounced.
Anyway: Ocean Beach was mixed: families, faggots, lessies, singles, heteros, nudists … swingers, conservatives … One day I’m at the beach, and I notice, no one’s in the water. Then I see the dorsal fin of a shark. I point it out to the life guard. Oh, that’s just a brown shark, he says, dismissing it. So. I’m the only one in the water. But here comes Bess. I’m standing in surf up to my knees. She comes and stands by me. She lathes her arms, and her legs, and her belly with the surf water, getting comfortable with temperature. I say, Bess, I owe you an apology: I thought you were a big coward, I have to take it back. Huh, she responds: shy?
Cause you and I are the only ones not afraid to be in the water. And I point to the shark fin protruding in the next wave out. “It’s just a brown”, I added, totally harmless.
Bess sees the shark fin and sprints for dry beach: a cow of a woman, running like a bull.
Two Fer Journalism
2017 08 27 Used to be you’d ask a question, listen to, or pretend to listen to, an answer, then ask another question. But no longer. Now all journalists ask a question, then prevent an answer with a second question: “Do you think Conor MacGregor can beat Floyd Mayweather, Jr? and do you think Dublin will be the new Las Vegas?” It’s scripted. It’s rehearsed. All those questioned wait for the second question before addressing the first.
2017 08 24 The net is filled with footage of creatures with human help and helpless without it. Mythology already told stories: Androcles helps the lion by taking the thorn out of its paw: then, in the Coloseum, the Lion protects Androcles from Caesar, from gladiators, and from lions. Normally, men run from lions. When they know better lions run from men. The next thing we know uncontacted tribes on the Amazon are lining up for missionary handouts from Macdonalds.
At YouTube once you watch Steph Curry highlights, YouTube will stack its menu with Steph highlights, you can watch the NBA finals over and over again. Watch actresses being sexy with David Letterman and future menues will offer Julia Robert, Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron showing their legs on late night TV. Once upon a time foxews could get caught in a crack in a rock, now there’s footage of a baby fox with its head caught in a tin can. Ah, the friendly interfering human rescues the fox from the can, now Natflix and YouTube menus are replete with rescues baby foxes, happy to see their liberator in future. I can’t count how many lions I’ve seen this month rescued from insensed crockodiles, how many elephants rescued from pythons. Once upon a time the elephant avoided snakes bigger than twenty feet in length, but no longer; now they’re interviewed by Letterman and his ilk. We see the grisly being nice to the wolverine; Letterman tends not to show the grisly eating Grisly Man alive.
(Of course I’m using “Letterman” as a symbol; the actual great host is retired.)
If we could get film of a grisly meeting a man in Alaska six hundred years before Columbus, would the grisly be ready to gobble the man? ignore the man, or run from the man? Never mind. There’s one thing I recently saw that I bet could only have been filed in the last couple of decades: a condor embracing the man who rescued her, enfolding him in her wings, using her wings to press him to her breast, I mean a real hug: looking anthropomorphic as hell.
2017 08 25 Now I see a horned owl behaving the same way at a wildlife rescue center. Now reality can be PhotoShopped: we can’t be sure what’s “real”, what’s natural (if we ever could).
2017 08 26 And now I see the same gag with a swan! If you can train a dog to sit up and beg, surely you can train a wolf to pretend to be a lap dog.
Simple Moon Shadow
2017 08 22 The world has been bracing for this eclipse. Yesterday many millions saw it. Trump looked right at it without eye protection: so did I, decades ago: I think I’m still blinded from that.
I know astronomy far better than most English majors. Further, I know science fiction far better than most English majors: both the science and the fiction. But I know one thing from science fact (and, thanks to Isaac Asimov from science fiction, that everyone should know): the reason we understand as much astronomy as we do, the reason our cosmology is not wholly hogwash, is because our local universe is simple! If we had three suns and seven moons (as so many places in the universe do), no one would have a rational clue about eclipses. Elliptical orbits would be the least of our blindness.
We found theories that matched experience because it’s a relatively simple system: one sun, one earth, one moon.
Light radiates, shadows are cast, somebody is going to guess a basic or two of what’s happening. We know this walking down the street: that shadow is from that man, this shadow is from his dog, that other shadow is from the lamp post … When we’re familiar with men, dogs, and light posts, we’ll make sense of it. Once we realize that the sun is going to cast a shadow from the moon somewhere, and occasionally we’ll see that shadow, then we can deduce a rational system: the lighting on the stage can be controlled. But with the sun, moon, and earth, alignments are rare, space is so huge. Still, by now, we understand eclipses fairly well, can predict them with precision. Still, they’re not intuitive, even wildlife gets confused: birds, rats, and critturs like men.
The first science fiction novel I ever read was Isaac Asimov’s Pebble in the Sky. Coincidentally it was his first novel. I had the pleasure of telling him that in person in 19743 I was a newcomer in 1951 or so, but Asimov was already famous: and justly so. He’s famous for working out a code of morality for robots; but that’s trivial gibberish compared to what the science fiction world had first responded to: a story about a civilization with more than one sun, more than one moon: and an insane population in which nothing was correctly figured out. Reason needs sismplicity to take root. Once rooted, all kinds of things can grow; but not start, not root.
Dear North America
2017 08 19 Enjoy the eclipse on Monday, best view for Americans in 100 years, but be warned: have those glasses or don’t look at it! not directly. The last solar eclipse I saw I was skiing on Hunter Mounting, NY. I didn’t need the glasses because I was skiing, not eclipse watching. But of course the eclipse came, and as I skied I also watched, and wasn’t it true that exactly what I’d been warned against, and understood without warning, happened: I was near blinded! And the effect on my sight lasted for years!
Well, whoever said we were intelligent? Whoever said we were intelligent was only half-right. And sometimes the smarter you are, the dumber you are.
2017 08 17 Imagine this: The Senate decides it has enough votes to impeach Trump. The assume that Trump will resign, follow the Nixon tradition, save the government a lot of money and himself a lot of embarrassment. Trump takes his women on vacation, himself drives a big van, seats nine, and drives amok into the once-upon-a-time Robert E. Lee Park in Charlettesville. Out on bail he wants to rent a van in Barcelona.
Trump Unlike You, Unlike the Media
2017 08 17 Trump’s demagoguery isn’t a “religion”: religions include their members in salvation, in specialness, wisdom, truth. Trump divides populations, with everyone in the wrong, and Trump, alone, in the right.
(Gee, he’s just like me after all!)
Note that the idea of “Innocent until proved guilty” is a WASP idea, a white idea, Protestant at its core. older Christianity presents man as damned until saved, guilty by definition: until God declares not innocence but forgiveness.
Proof? Facts? There is o proof; only God’s declaration.
If you want facts, reason, truth, evidence, then you’ve got to get rid of God, and priests, and miracles.
Me? I’ll take God, sometimes, ’cause that’s my havit, life long: or adulthood-long. But at rational moments, never very long-lasting, I’d take reason, science, evidence: I’d banish authority, shoot bishops. And demagogues.
Fire and Fury
2017 08 12 Pearl Harbor is one of my earliest memories, I was barely a toddler. By the time I was ten or eleven, the war seemed to be over, sort of, but not really. I’m not the only kid who feared that any loud noise overhead was the last loud noise I’d ever hear. In 1951 I wanted to live; now, 2017, I don’t. But I want my son to live. He turned fifty last month. If 78 or 79 is long enough, maybe too much too long, what the hell, maybe 50 is half long enough. So the hell with me, the hell with him: but what about his son, my grandson? He’s eleven or so. Already he’s an exceptional sentience, but he’s merely merely approaching the threshhold for a decade or two of adequate life. I don’t want him jumping at loud sounds overhead.
On the other hand, after WW II, the beginning of the Korean War, loud sounds overhead were a novelty on Long Island. They’re been common since: so common. Do they register? Does anyone hear them? let alone attribute them? Regardless, I want my grandson to have at least a few decades to worry about.
That means I don’t want Trump scaring the shit out of everybody, especially not out of Koreans who themselves want to live, and have rights.
What a wonderful time to be alive and to have WiFi and YouTube. Every other hour new material featuring Roger Federer, Steph and Milana! And they’re not the only ones: did you see Garbina as she accepted her Wimbledon trophy? Jeez what a dress. What a haunch! What an appealing new star.
By normal yardsticks maybe LeBron is the best player (and Steph merely one-of-the best players) (and KD and Westbrook etc are in there). But what star athlete has ever ravished us the way Steph does? And it isn’t just basketball: everything about him is ravishing. And it doesn’t stop there: his family is ravishing: and not just his daughters, and not just him mom! his sister, his wife! …
And it doesn’t seem to be calculated: I just watched a YouTube video of Steph in China. OK, that’s scripted, and why not? But it goes far beyond script, it’s importantly improvised. Ayisha is on the floor! with Steph! and a bunch of Chinese guys, all of whom can dribble and shoot and pass, and Ayesha shoots a ball that hovers near the rim, an alley oop, and Steph finishes it! Wham! Decisively. And then says Who knew she had such eyes! No, no, that’s not script. That’s the current cream of the Curry clan having fun.
Ayisha was having fun. She’s not embarrassed to be on the floor. You or I would be embarrassed, but not Ayisha, or Sonia, or Sydel. I watched a doc with the whole family the other day, Sydel was just a little girl, Ayesha and Riley and Ryan weren’t in the picture. Sydel was shooting, Sydel was missing; but she was getting the ball near the rim, she wasn’t apologizing to anyone, no one was pushing her: she was growing, getting stronger, her percentages were improving, I don’t doubt: and if she never scored one basket it didn’t matter, it was a family, playing, men, women, children: boys and girls. Steph and Seth went at each other, brothers, one bigger, older, stronger, more experienced, so what, brothers! and their little sister was 100% welcome, she didn’t have to win any contest, no score was being kept.
I’m telling you, we get to see a lot of Fed, and his family, and very welcome, thank you. But it’s not the same: Fed’s familty sits in the audience. Mirka used to play and play well, but she infured, then she was the girlfriend, the wife, now the mother, the multi-mother … but it’s Roger who’s on the court, embarrassing the world’s best.
I don’t know: maybe there are films somethwere where they all play, and welcome, and no one keeps score. I bet his da and mum are good athletes too. Otherwise, where did he come from?
2017 08 05 Jeez, not only is it against the law to kill yourself, it’s against the law to encourage help in the area. Guy was miserable, guy’s girl says so what are you waiting for, guy’s girl goes to jail for 15 months! The state already told the guy he had to go to school, couldn’t talk about God while there, couldn’t opt out; now his friends can’t help him either. It’s like being a Jew at Auschwitz: you can’t leave, you can’t complain, and if you see a way out that might apply to others, you can’t tell them either..
Fortunately, the stupidity of the Nazis is always near infinite: And Always Growing.
Maybe I should have chosen a German camp, in Germany, not one in Poland, but that’s the camp that came to mind as I was scribbling fast.
We’re In Love
2017 08 02 We’ve all noticed this girl, even me who watches next to no TV. I’ve also noticed that I’m far from being alone. Heterolsexual males of all ages love her: but so do people from all other gender and preference categories. “We all love you!” blurted one network beauty.
OK. My life has been filled with astonishing females. It’s nice to hear them named, to learn something about them; but Milana’s bio is staggering: Modelng since three, choice TV spots since age 5 … drops out of high school to start university …
But of course she’s surrounded by people who dress her carefully, light her well, give her choice material, offer scripts for everything she does, listen to her hints, she knowing better than anyone where her strengths lie … And Jesus does she fly with it.
Continues as reverse chronology: Monthly Archive
Such archives date backwards: counter chronological: today, yesterday, the day before …