There is no Bottom

There was a woman recently who was speaking at a Trump rally and said something along the lines of “I never thought I’d support a dictator, but if there is one, I hope it’s Trump” which is kind of incoherent if you analyze it, but if you don’t it’s real clear what she meant.  And the crowd cheered.

Trump was absolutely right when he said he could shoot somebody on 5th Avenue and he wouldn’t lose votes.  There is nothing these people won’t accept from him.  Take his recent comments about John McCain, for example.

“I gave him the kind of funeral that he wanted, which as president I had to approve.  I don’t care about this. I didn’t get a thank you. That’s O.K. We sent him on the way, but I wasn’t a fan of John McCain.”

How much is wrong with this statement?  A lot.  Pretty much everything, really.  Let’s take it point by point.

“I gave him the kind of funeral he wanted.”  Trump didn’t give anything to anybody.  He didn’t even attend.

“, which, as president I had to approve.”  No, he didn’t.  The National Cathedral, where the funeral took place, said immediately that that’s not true.  No presidential permission was required, asked for, or given.

“I don’t care about this.”  Whenever somebody says “I don’t care about this” you can be damn sure they care about it a lot.  The things people really don’t care about, they don’t even mention, because they don’t care.

“I didn’t get a thank you.”  Well, of course he didn’t.  McCain, being already fucking dead, could hardly thank him for the lovely funeral.  Or perhaps Trump was expecting a thank you from Cindy McCain, or Meghan.  Maybe they could have thanked him for not attending, I suppose.  That was kind of a favor.  In any event, even if somebody has arranged a funeral (which we have already ascertained Trump did not), it would be kind of tacky to complain about not being thanked.  The family has other things to think about.  Let it go.

“That’s O.K.”  See “I don’t care about this.”  Same thing.

“We sent him on the way.”  Now, there’s a cheerful euphemism.
“But I wasn’t a fan of John McCain.”  Well, actually, neither was I.  But he’s been dead for about 8 months now, and I almost never even think about him.  I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way to criticize him (and his family).  Compared to Donald Trump, he was a goddamned paragon of virtue.

It was an absurd statement on every level.  But, will he lose votes over it?  Probably not a single one.  He could stand in the middle of 5th avenue and kill the first person to pass by and he wouldn’t lose votes.  His supporters are just that deluded.

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Dreams

Dreams are ruminant thought and, in that, they are similar to what I’m trying to do with my blog.  The hope is that if I spill enough words onto paper, and do it freely and disconnectedly enough, eventually something of worth, something revelatory, something brilliant, will emerge.  Law of statistics, infinite monkeys and typewriters, and so on.
So, last night, once again, which is starting to become a bad habit, I crashed before blogging, and my dreams were very vivid:  there were essentially three scenes which kept repeating.  A pub I was sitting outside of and refusing, because of some strange principle, to go into, a classroom in which I was perpetually arriving late, although there was never more than one or two people there, and I was the teacher although I was usually just sitting at one of the tables, and the deck of the Enterprise, in the series Enterprise, the one with Scott Bakula as Captain Archer, which is very much in the spirit of the original, just a big shoot ’em up in space, and that was the last thing I watched before bed, which is often a big influence in setting the scene for a dream.
Is this a problem of the modern world, or the promise of it?  Is this a feature, or a bug?  Not sure, but of all the thoughts meandering through the mind at any given moment, far more of them are externally generated than was ever before possible.  It sounds not good, but all change is good in a sense, in that infinite monkeys kind of sense, that we are looking for something different that we haven’t found yet.
In the part of the dream where I was sitting outside the pub, a lot of it had to do with whether or not a band was going to arrive, and people kept stopping by and giving me advice on my blog, and on my writing in general.

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O’Rourkes Big Haul

The rabbit is happily chewing away at straw inside her cage, and everyone else is asleep and I am at a complete loss over what to write about.
Bernie supporters are enraged and calling foul because Beto O’Rourke is claiming to have outdone him in the newly important metric of opening day contributions.  Bernie got 6 million.  Beto got 6.1, and we know he does not have anywhere near the loyal fan base that Bernie does.  So, the rumor floating around was that he paid the DNC money that was left over from his Senate campaign, some 4.5 million smackeroonies, and then they gave it back to him in this hyis hour of need.

But, word has come down the grapevine, the Bern of command, that that’s probably not true and we should shut up about it.  It would have been a lot easier, and a lot less illegal, like not illegal at all, just to have raised that total from some big ‘bundlers,’ which, I’m not 100% certain, means people who hand a candidate huge bundles of cash, and it’s legal.  Hell, the man’s a billionaire on his wife’s side.  5 or 6 of her uncles and cousins could have put up a million apiece and, hey, Bob’s Your Uncle.

To quell our suspicions on that account, he has invoked the old rule of “I don’t have to say where I got my donations from, I just got ’em, O.K.”
But, we certainly should be keeping all of this about policies, and not fretting overly much over what portion of that 6.1 million dollars was not legit, and if not, in what ways was it not legit.
The fact that he doesn’t support Medicare for All should disqualify him right there.

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“That’s Just The Way It Is”

That’s just the way it is.  Parents say it to their children.  Bosses say it to their employees.  People who have no imagination and can’t see solutions to problems say it to everybody.  You will be trying to make a point and people will just throw up their hands and say “That’s just the way it is” and all that means is that they don’t understand a word you’ve said and have no real interest in trying.
It’s natural, I suppose.  To drift with the current is easier than swimming, to sit on the sidelines is easier than getting in the game, and carries far less risk of actual injury.
But, it’s not a good enough excuse any more.  Once upon a time you might have said “That’s just the way it is” and it would have been true.  People lived in one place their whole life, people did the same job their parents did.  We had centuries of that shit.  But, it’s over now.  We have the knowledge of the world at our fingertips.  We also have a plethora of visions of how the world could be.
We could have a future of peace, a society where nobody is poor, where the air is clean, the water is drinkable, where everybody had a home , where there is fresh fruit growing in the parks, long boulevards lined by shady trees, and so on and so forth.

Yet, there are some who would hold us back from all that.  “That’s just the way it is,” they say.  But it’s not.  Not any more.

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College Admissions Scandal

O.K., I don’t think I’ve written about the college admissions scandal as yet, so here are a few of my thoughts on that.

I’m not terribly surprised.  Once you’ve had the revelation that rich people would rather let 90% of the human race die and scar the surface of the planet irrevocably than give regular working folks a share of the pie, nothing is terribly surprising any more.  Once you’ve realized that rich people will gladly start a war, one in which they know tens of thousands of completely innocent civilians will die, just so they can get their hands on the resources lying under their lands, it’s hard to be horrified that rich parents would bribe top schools to get their kids into college.
I’m a bit at a loss to know why they bother.  I suppose it takes them a big bribe to get them into one of the high prestige schools, but you can get them into a perfectly good four year state university just by paying the fee which, admittedly, is an arm and a leg for the working class parent, but peanuts compared to what these families were willing to fork over.
I suppose that for some firms, an Ivy League diploma is what they look for:  lobbying firms, political consultants, probably some legal firms.  Firms which are operating at that Olympian level where who you know is more important than what you know.
If that’s what it’s all about, then this amounts to rich people paying huge bribes to other rich people just so they can stay in the rich people’s club, in perpetuity.
It’s the American version of buying a title.
The solution to the problem is free university for all.  It won’t stop the rich people from offering money to rich people’s colleges, so their moron children won’t have to rub shoulders with the common folk.  What it will do is make a decent college education available for everybody and, if that were the case, nobody’d care too much what the rich kids do.

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If It Doesn’t Happen, Something Else Will

I went to a poetry meeting last night and it was lovely.  As to my work, I was totally satisfied.  It’s like this:  The last reading was only a couple of weeks ago, so when this one was announced, I was in a bit of a self-induced panic.  I say self-induced because I know that nobody else is worried about only presenting original material, and I certainly could just bring a couple of my books and read random selections, and almost nobody in the audience would have ever heard them before, but I’ve got my own rules and I almost always abide by them.
So, I had an idea, and I began to execute it.  The idea was to pick a theme, then pick a rhyme scheme that I liked, and hammer it out.  As an assignment, I felt I could do it.  The theme was that all art, poetry, music, painting, sculpture, drama, and even all science, is latent, floating in the air around us, the ideas are real just because they are possibilities, and possibilities are real.  The artist is just a miner, a farmer, a collector of stones from the beach.  The rhyme scheme I chose was that used by Tennyson in The Lady of Shalott.  Lots of rhymes in a swiftly flowing meter.
I had the first couple of stanzas and it was the morning of the reading, and the rest just wasn’t coming.  So, I went out to the balcony to smoke a joint, looking for inspiration, and wrote something completely different.  Which was pretty good.  So, I have that, plus the other one that I’ve started and will finish in time.  That’s the whole point of the readings.  They keep me writing.

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Telepathy

Well, I was letting my fingers do the walking through the Netflix offers, and I’d just started a show called Nightflyer when my wife got home.  She wanted to watch her soap operas, I was about to step out onto my balcony and smoke a big fattie, and I could see I wasn’t going to like the program much, so I haven’t even gone back to it.
This blog is about my reason why.

I do like science fiction, of course, and I’m not terribly discriminating.  Something can be a fantasy, and not very science fictiony at all, and I’ll enjoy it if the stories good and the characters compelling.  I enjoy post-apocalyptic movies, and view them as sort of an instruction manual.  If the apocalypse ever comes, the person who will lead the ragtag band of survivors, outcasts and mutants will be the person who’s seen The Postman the most times.  I particularly enjoy sci-fi with themes of space travel, robots, and AI.  That’s all stuff that I think is coming, it’s totally physically believable, and it’s important that they keep making lots of films about it so we can explore the ethical considerations.  I like sci-fi with lots of aliens, because aliens make very interesting people.  Of course, if we ever do make contact with an alien species, they are likely to make all films made up to that point seem quaint.  I even like time travel themed stuff even though it’s way beyond our current technology and I actually think it’s not possible.  I enjoy history as well as sci-fi, and it usually makes for a great story.
What I don’t like is telepaths.  While some people are good at cold readings, and can figure things out from watching body language and analyzing tone of voice, that’s not the same as actual mind reading, or being able to see the future, or stuff like that.

And, it’s a cheap plot device.  In the future, there will be all sorts of cool spy software, foolproof lie detector tests, future prediction algorithms, and more.  This whole ‘ship’s telepath*’ thing is kind of crap.  Why do they even need to bring telepaths into it, with nary a mention of how they came to be that way?
It’s a bit too much like magic.  No matter how dark the situation, somebody will come along and magic you right out of it.  That’s too easy.

 

*DeeAnna Troy was an empath.  That’s totally different.

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