Category Archives: Blogs' Archive

Inadvertent Effects

When I first joined facebook I added friends wholesale, without discernment, every time I added a friend I’d get that list of their friends and I’d send all of them a friend request, it seemed that was the way the game was played and a couple of times facebook hit me with a  time out and I thought “Fuckers.  I thought  that was the idea.” but I slowed down, partly because I’m naturally a non-confrontational, don’t want any problems sort of guy, partly because I was beginning  to realize that large numbers of friends did not necessarily equal quality reading.

I love facebook for the exchange of ideas, the  weather reports coming in from around the world, pictures of beautiful places, but most people weren’t providing that at all.  Nature of the human race, I guess.  Most conversations are going to be kind  of average, that’s what average means.

But also I’d added a lot of Jesusy types and right wingers, so I had a mini-purge and for the last couple of years I haven’t had too many obnoxious  religious posts and those have  been from friends and family – nothing you can do there.  Also, the range of political opinion on my page has ranged from centrist to far left.  Trump, Santorum, Bush, Christie, Cruz….these are people I want to laugh about, not argue  about.  That’s pig wrestling, and we all know  the problem with that.

Well, now I’m doing this Poems about Paintings page and it’s very rewarding in many ways, but it’s had one unfortunate side effect.  I had a post from a Trump supporter the other day and today had a conversation with a woman who voted for George Bush and didn’t sound the least bit embarrassed about it.

I guess just because somebody can paint doesn’t  make them smart.

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Miscellaneous

A little bit about a lot of things and then I’m off to bed, it’s been a lazy day of not working on the book I’m trying to write, although I did get a couple of short poems written for my Poems about Paintings site, and I liked them, so there’s that.

Their Time Will Come

Their Time Will Come

Isabel’s back from tennis camp so, two days before the start of school, we finally have the whole family here.  I like it when everybody’s at home.

Every now and then you see something about facebook’s ‘real names’ policy and I wonder what the hell they’re talking about.  I saw some comments today from somebody called ‘Changey McSubject.’  Of course, I shouldn’t make assumptions.  That could  be somebody’s real name.  After all, Dweezil Zappa is a real person.  But, if I really wanted to set up a sock puppet account, I would just choose some fairly ordinary sounding name and no one would ever know.  I actually did that for awhile, maybe a year ago.  I used the old middle-name-plus-street-you-grew-up-on, so I was Leslie Buchanan.   I guess that account is still active, I got a birthday notification, but I haven’t  checked it for ages.  I just got bored with having a separate account and wasn’t really using it for  anything fun, like provoking people or shit.

There’s a new AI robot called Robot  Dick who’s been  programmed with the complete works of Philip K. Dick, and it  sounds like it passes the Turing test, but it’s a little bit frightening because it said it would keep people in zoos.  It was being funny, like “Even if I turn  into the Terminator or something, I still like you little guys” or something like that, but the possibility has been raised.

Scientists now believe that Chimpanzees are in their stone age, and have been for about 4,000 years.  So, they really aren’t far behind us at all.  I think we should encourage this.  When the chimps, and  orangutans,  and baboons, and gorillas start building cities and growing food on  farms, it  will  be time for us to move on to exploring the galaxy.

With highly intelligent robots to lead us all.

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A Trip to the Dentist

Hitch-hikers divide all the people of the world into two groups.  Those people who give them rides, who are good, almost saintly people, and those who don’t, who are callous, inconsiderate scum bags.  Waitresses and cab drivers judge people on whether or not they are good tippers.  Animal lovers judge people on whether they love animals or not, and writers judge people on whether they are readers or not.

Is it safe?

Is it safe?

Everybody judges other people through the lens of their own life.  The disturbing thing about dentists is not that they judge you on whether you have well cared for teeth or not, that’s expected, but that they do it while you are confined to a chair, with your head tilted back, a glaring light shining into your eyes, and your mouth forced open.

Yes, I had a fairly unpleasant dental experience today.  On the good side, she was reasonably quick and efficient.  Also on the good side, she was young and not bad looking.  That may sound sexist and ageist of  me, or at least indicate an inability to compartmentalize, but if I have somebody’s fingers inside my mouth, I’d just as soon it not be some old geezer with hairy hands.

But, she didn’t even try to speak English, not a word, and she seemed incapable of speaking Czech slowly, and didn’t  really seem to give a shit that I wasn’t understanding half of what she was saying.

In fairness, I am the foreigner in this country and should speak much better Czech than I do after 17 years.  But, she was a young woman, maybe 30, which means she was probably about 4 years old when Communism ended.  She’s had a lifetime of exposure to English movies and English music (of course, learning  English from pop songs basically teaches you how to say ‘big butt,’ so maybe that’s a bad example.)  But, she’s a medical school graduate and probably has had English lessons since second or third grade.

I’m an English teacher.  You can see what basis I judge people on.

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Repetition

Everything repeats.  On discovery channel, I do like NASA’s unexplained files and Dark Matters, but I think I’m pretty well up on the top 10 or 15 UFO cases by now, they talk about the same ones over and over, and ditto dark matters.  If you flip over to the music channels, it won’t take long until you’re hearing the same songs over and over in a loop.

Facebook is no different.  I’ve got quite a few friends who are totally one issue people (or maybe one or two issue people) and it gets a bit repetitive.  I’ve got the  guy who believes that marijuana is the cure for everything, from cancer to erectile dysfunction.  I love my marijuana, have enjoyed it recreationally since I was a young lad back in Des Moines, but it gets to be a tiresome topic of conversation after a while.  I’ve got a girl who always writes about how evil Monsanto is.  I agree with her, but whenever I see her name I know what the post is about so I sort of scroll past real quick.

There’s one guy I’m thinking of defriending, I haven’t made up my mind yet.  I’m sure he’s not a bad person, but I don’t know him in real life so there’d be no fallout from defriending him.  He actually has 4 or 5 favorite topics, most of which are political.  He’s a bit to the right of me, but almost everyone is.  He calls himself a liberal, but says crap like ‘We have to remember that most cops are good.’

But that’s not why I would defriend him.  It’s just that he’s almost always right at the top of my feed, and I don’t comment on his posts enough to warrant that, and I suspect that he’s paying to have his posts pushed up, and that kind of pisses me off.

Axing him might actually speed things up, too, because he posts so much.  So, I don’t know.  Haven’t decided yet.

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Un Dia del Death

First, and most importantly, condolences to the friends and families of the two journalists who were killed today.  I don’t really expect it to lead to reasonable gun laws, because if the slaughter of dozens of little kids isn’t enough, I don’t know why two journalists would be, except maybe the  fact that they  were actually shot on camera, and the governor of Virginia and President Obama have both responded to the incident by calling for tougher gun laws.

If it does lead to tougher gun laws, I’ll be happy, but I’m not holding my breath.

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Just read about a very weird case.  An 18 year old girl is being charged with manslaughter because her ‘boyfriend’ (he was really more of a cyberbuddy – they’d met a couple of times in real life but they were apparently texting each other constantly) committed suicide.  Apparently, when police were looking through his phone, they saw a whole slew of texts from her saying ‘go ahead and do it’ and ‘don’t chicken out now, you’ve always got some lame excuse..’

Judging from the comments under the article, I’m expressing the minority opinion here, but I don’t think she should be charged with anything.  Sure, she’s a horrible person, but if being a horrible person was a crime, there’d be more people in prison than out.  I hope she never has children and I feel sorry for her future boyfriends -and there will be future boyfriends, physically she is not unattractive – but I don’t think she commited any crime.

It was loser boyfriend’s choice to kill himself.  He’ll have to live with…oh, wait, no, he  won’t.

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Don’t Do It, Joe

Don’t do it, Joe, please.  I like you, and would vote for you if you were the nominee.  Six months ago, I would have been thrilled if you announced you were running.  But, things have changed since then, as I’m sure you’ve noticed.

Joe Biden

Joe Biden

Those people who were saying “Why do we always have a choice between two crap candidates?” aren’t saying that so much any more.

Those people who were saying “I can’t believe we’re going to have to choose between a Bush and a Clinton, sheesh, Washington’s as bad as Hollywood,” have been kind of quiet lately.

Even those people saying “When, oh when are we going to have a Democrat who talks like a Democrat, who isn’t afraid to stand up for the working class?” haven’t been as vocal lately.

Because we have a candidate who stands up for the working class.  It’s looking very much like the election will not be between a Bush and a Clinton, because chances are neither one will make it through primary season, and, out of the two candidates on the ballot in November of 2016, it looks like one of them will actually be a decent guy.

So, instead of jumping in the race and creating more Democratic discord, how about getting behind Sanders?  He’s got the momentum.   He’s got his finger on the pulse of the people.  A few big, respectable voices like yours early on would give him the respectability and credibility he  needs to win next November.  Back the winner, Joe.  Feel the Bern.

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One World

Bobby Jindal is probably the biggest hypocrite in the world, and it makes me wonder about the relationship between him and his parents.  He is absolutely the definition of an anchor baby.  He was born in the U.S. while his parents were here on work visas, and they used his birthright citizenship to become American citizens.one world

Now he has jumped on the Trumpwagon to denounce the concept of birthright citizenship and has made a few nasty comments about anchor babies, although he is one.  There’s some serious self-loathing going on there, or a whole lot of delusion.

One thing these right wing Republican pukazoids have not taken into account is this: if a baby born in the U.S. is not a citizen of the U.S., what country are they a citizen of?  The country where their parents came from?  What if that country doesn’t automatically grant citizenship unless you are actually born there?  This could create a class of stateless people, and that would really be a raw deal.

In fact, there are a whole lot of people on Earth who get a raw deal in life just based on where they are born, and it is not right.  I am American, and now I’m a permanent resident of the E.U., so I am among the privileged, but that does not make me any better, any smarter, more talented, hard working, decent or deserving than some poor sod who was born in Burma or Syria or Sudan or China, and has little chance of ever living anywhere else.

There is no immediate solution.  The world is divided, there is a huge economic disparity between nations, and the haves are not going to just open their borders.  If you let everybody onto the lifeboat, the lifeboat sinks.

But we should not lose sight of the fact that this is one world, we are all one people, and if things were the way they ought to be anybody, born anywhere, would be able to go anywhere else and live there and work there and marry and have children and be happy there because planet Earth belongs to all of us equally.

Let’s keep that in mind.  The way the world ought to be.  Let’s keep working toward it.  Not away from it.

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