Category Archives: Blogs' Archive

All Tomorrow’s Parties

I just finished reading ‘All Tomorrow’s Parties’ by William Gibson, an author I’ve avoided up till now because I’m not really a computer geek and thought some of the tech and terms might make for tough sledding.
But, with the quarantine, I figured it’s a good time to read books that are a bit challenging, so I did. It wasn’t as hard as I thought. Confusing in parts, but not really so tech detailed that there was anything I didn’t understand. There was VR, there was AI, there was a sexy hologram, and there was the guy who was living in a cardboard box in a Tokyo metro station and monitoring the whole world, but there wasn’t too much nerdy stuff about the inner workings, and the book was written in 1999, so all that stuff is old hat by now.
In fact, although set ‘in the future,’ it seemed to be set in sort of an alternate present, and one that is similar enough to our own present, that it didn’t really seem like sci-fi at all.
Interesting enough, though. I’d give it 3 stars out of 5.
I’m also reading a book about famous inventors, and how quirky they are (or were, in some cases) in their private lives, and Ulysses, by Joyce, who I’m finding much less readable than Gibson. Oh, well. Lots of time inside, and no better time for it.

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“You Ain’t Black”

Full disclaimer straight up, right off the bat, I, like Joe Biden, am whitey white white, not a person of color by any definition, unless that definition includes sort of an off beige.
But, Joe Biden is the one who is running for president, and Joe Biden who said, to a black interviewer, “If you’re still deciding between me and Trump, then you ain’t black, man.”
There are multiple things wrong with that sentence. First of all, it’s not just Biden v. Trump. People, people of all races, are allowed to vote for Howie Hawkins of the Green Party, or any of the other numerous names on the ballot. It is clear that the DNC’s strategy is just to keep hammering away at that ‘Us v. Them’ argument, which did not work for them in 2016, and seems unlikely to in 2020.
Second, what’s this ‘still deciding’ stuff. It’s early stages. Joe is not the nominee yet, and we are still six months away from the election. The choice seems clear to me (I’m voting Green because both Biden and Trump suck), but there are a lot of people, like millions, who will still be making up their mind in late October. They are dumb asses, they probably shouldn’t be allowed to vote, but they are.
Then there’s the whole thing of Joe Biden telling a black man that he isn’t black if he doesn’t vote for Biden. As stated above, not my place to call it, but if I was black I would be pissed off.

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A Free Press

Much has been written, both on the right and the left, about how dishonest the American press is, and most of it’s true, I’m sure. The question of tonight’s blog is “Was it ever any better?”
Sure, you had the ‘fairness doctrine’ and lots of smaller, more independent newspapers, but they still all lied about the Viet Nam war, right up till the end. The Smothers Brothers were removed from television because of the phrase “President Johnson is a big damn fool.”
Back in the 1950s, married couples in TV shows all slept in separate beds, nobody used bad words, and black people barely existed. Was the press really going to give the public the news about how J. Edgar Hoover loved dressing up in his mother’s clothes?

In 1898, William Randolph Hearst told a reporter “You give me the pictures, I’ll give you a war,” and he pretty much single-handedly got the U.S. in a war from Spain, in which we stole from them such properties as Cuba, and the Philippines.
They’ve been lying to us from the beginning of time.
One ray of hope for the future, as far as I’m concerned, is social media. Oh, you get plenty of lies there as well. But whatever anybody says, somebody else will say the opposite, so we have the beginning of a dialogue. That is a good thi9ng.

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Tough Luck, Stacey

There’s a video I’ve seen posted a few times, on all my Bernie loving and Biden hating pages, of a Joe Biden appearance on Laurence O’Donnell’s show on MSNBC. Now, former gubernatorial candidate from Georgia, Stacey Abrams, was also on as a guest.
Discerning viewers and fantasy politics players might well have jumped to the conclusion that Biden was going to announce her as his VP pick. There’s some logic behind it. She’s a woman, and he’s promised women he would pick a woman, and that might also appease some feminists who don’t like his creepy/rapey image, and she’s black, which wouldn’t hurt him and, although Georgia is an unlikely pickup, it sure would be a sweet one.
Even the undiscerning viewer, who doesn’t know shit about politics, would have figured that out from O’Donnell’s intro: You’ve specifically asked for her to be here, is there some kind of special announcement? At that point it’s like being in a public place and you suddenly see a marriage proposal happening and the whole restaurant/shopping mall/airplane goes silent and everybody waits, hoping for a yes, a happy, tearful yes.
But, ramblin’ Joe started in about what a great, courageous leader she way, and rambled on a bit about mail in voting, and then started talking about the post office, and I’m not sure what he was saying but a couple of minutes in you could tell he wasn’t going to announce her as his VP. and her gleaming VP candidate smile had flattened and hardened into something more like a grimace.
Why the confusion? I suspect this wasn’t a vicious sort of snub, as some people are saying. I get the feeling old Joe didn’t really know why she was there, maybe his aides had told him it would be good to be seen with the nice black lady, and his handling of it was just kind of ham handed and it was Laurence O’Donnell who screwed up.
I don’t think he was being cruel and malicious. Although there’s some evidence of that in his legislative career, it would just not make sense in this case. She’s a political ally.
I do think that he’s a doddering old fool with a mismanaged campaign, who walked right into an embarrassing situation and stumbled his way out of it, without ever being aware of it.
It’s not as if I was going to vote for Biden, even if Ms. Abrams was on the ticket, but I still feel kind of bad for her.

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What We Deserve

If everybody got what they deserved, we would not exist. All that we are and all that we will ever be we owe to the pre-existence of existence. Every human being, every dog, every cat, every cow, every tree and plant, river, rock and bacteria on this planet or anywhere else in space owes its existence to that.
Whether it is due to divine fiat (which, also, would pre-suppose a state of existence for a creator to exist in), random chance, or the inexorable nature of existence itself, is another discussion entirely.
We did not do anything to deserve to exist except to be born, and we didn’t deserve, we didn’t earn the right to do that, because prior to that we did not exist, we had zero points on the board.
So, forget what we deserve.
What do we want?

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Priorities

Somebody posted a picture of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez wearing a mask, and the reason for the posting was that the poster had made the mask, and was therefore very proud of the fact that a famous person, a very awesome and trendy famous person, was wearing her mask. Appropriate comments would have ranged from “Awesome!” to “Congratulations!”
But, of course, there were a couple of sharp eyed people, human mosquitoes, in a way, who said she was not wearing it properly, that too much of her nose was exposed. (Her nostrils were covered, but it was a bit of a low rider. If it had been a dress, it wouldn’t have been a scandal but the amount of cleavage would have been discussed.)
This is a bit ridiculous. We should be discussing the amount of carbon in the air. How to provide housing for all the homeless. All of the reasons for legalizing marijuana. How to make sure pandemics like this are properly addressed in the future. How to end corruption in politics. What constitutes a reasonable immigration policy.
It is not surprising that society is in a state of paralysis, unable to move forward, end things like war and poverty, and create a better world for all human beings. We have lots of people, adult people, people who are legally entitled to vote and whose opinions matter as much as anybody else’s, who would rather focus on Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s admittedly very attractive nose.
The mask is not a burqa, people. If you’re wearing one, and your nostrils are covered, it’s all good.

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Bitching About Poetry

I don’t know how big an overlap there is between people who read this blog and people who just know me from poetry sites, but I suspect it’s like two or three people, tops. Nonetheless, there’s apparently nothing important happening in the real world except the Corona Virus, so that’s what I’m going to write about tonight.
These poetry sites. Some are larger than others, I don’t usually post on the ones that have like 30,000 members or so. That’s like skipping rocks in the ocean. They scoot across the surface, have barely any ripple effect and then sink like a… well, like a rock.
Even the sites where I post, there are barely any comments and usually none, and whatever you wrote slips down the list pretty quickly. That’s O.K., though, it’s sort of like going to readings. There are so many people, and everybody deserves a hearing, and no matter how good your work, you’re only a small part of the crowd, one tiny thread in the human tapestry. And a lot of peope are probably bothered that theirwork isn’t getting seen enough. It’s human nature.
But all that isn’t what I wanted to talk about. Not everybody’s posting poetry. Lots of people try to get conversations started by asking questions like “Do poems have to rhyme?” or “Can anybody think of any good poems about unicorns?” or, the one I saw today that prompted this blog “Should a poet use big words or small words.” I don’t understand this kind of post.
If you don’t have some kind of an idea of how you want to write, if you’re looking for some set of official rules as if all there is to writing is to stick to the recipe. Two cups of big words, one cup of small words, add a bit of rhyme to spice it up, and stir well.
Still, although I thought it a silly question, it got more comments than any of my poems ever have. So, whatever.

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