One Day in Babileto

It was an extended family Sunday, which started with a half  written poem and ended with heavy metal.  It was a beautiful day of Babileto, that 5th season in a year that only has four of  them, so that in Babileto, you want to get  outside and do  something physical because, in the words of the Starks, ‘winter  is coming.’  Babileto means ‘grandmother’s summer’, which we would call in America Indian Summer.

It’s true that the day started off with a half written poem, because in my last dream before awakening, I had just taken a turn, and was walking along a hard, dirt path.  I was also wearing a bowler hat, for some silly reason.  Either side of the path, there was a low hedge and a lawn of bright, bright green.  And the single line, which I am certain will eventually be part of a poem, was ‘open your eyes, and see the  hidden green.’

My nephew Dylan was coming to town, he’s the drummer in a heavy metal band, and Helena and I managed to hook up with him about 4, went out for a drink with him and 3 friends, then walked around and showed him a bit of the center.  Then, around 10 p.m., Sam and I went to hear him play.  Good band.  They know how to wail. But, not really  our style.

Meanwhile, Helena went to pick up Isabel, who is back from Scotland.  Then she looped back and pick  us up.  And now, we four are under one roof again and all is right with the world.

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Festival of Mediocre Installation Art

It’s a good thing I’m at retirement age, because I just saw an article today titled “10 Things You Can Do  to Boost Your Resumé, and not only am I so entirely lacking in expertise that  I didn’t understand any of the 10, 8 of them  were things I had no idea what  they meant.  All computer stuff.  So, I’m really glad I’m not  20 years old and trying to get into  the job market.

Bernie’s going to  speak at a Women’s Conference, and a lot of the attendees are angry.  Of course, they are angry with Bernie because they feel he caused Hillary’s loss, and they might be right.  When he stood against her on the debate stage, a lot of people saw what a Democrat should sound like, and it  wasn’t her.  Anyway, I’m glad it’s going to happen.  He’s a persuasive speaker – not dramatic, not flashy – and maybe he’ll bring some of them around.

Went out to see  a bit of the Signal Festival  this evening and, just as in year’s past, it  was kind of a yawn.  Putting Christmas lights on some scaffolding, covering the whole thing with a heavy plastic tarp, and playing some weird music, does not  make a work of  art.  Well, maybe it  does, if you’re using one of those definitions of  art like “anything the artist says is art is  art” or “art is anything that has never been seen before,” or something vague like that.  But, it’s bad art.
We only saw four or five of the installations, so it’s quite possible, out of the large numbers of them spread out  all  over the city, that there are some good  ones.  It’s also possible that  there aren’t.

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Weekend List

I very often make to-do lists but I never do all the stuff on  them so it’s kind of a pointless exercise, and even more pointless no doubt is to announce it here.  However, it’s late, I’m high as a kite (yes, that’s a tired old metaphor, but whatever) and I’m falling asleep  in front  of the computer screen, so that’s going to be my blog for tonight.

But the proof is  in  the  doing and not in the  list making, so this weekend I’m keeping it simple and I’ve only got one thing on the list.  This weekend I’m  going to work on putting together my next book.  Taking the stuff I’ve got, titling it and spacing it so I’ve got as many  of the poems as possible on  one page, not  that I mean I want lots of  poems on one page, but I  mean I  want each poem to  start and end on its own page, which will not  always be possible, because two  or three of them are long.  Then,  I’ll look through the random lists of uncollected poetry, checking against my published books  to make sure they actually haven’t been  used yet and if not, and if they’re not embarrassingly bad, which a few are, they’ll go in the next book, too.  Maybe I’ll  get the introduction written.

So,it’s one item, but  broken  down into a few separate units  to make things easier.

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Politics: You Can’t Not Have a Side

When we talk  about politics, we run  up against the roadblocks right away.

Even religion is not as rigid.  Outside of the fanatics, which is a minority faction in all major religions, most people are quit willing  to make friends with people from other religions.  They will discuss and compare the details of their religions and people will even, sometimes convert from on to the other.  People can eat a seemingly infinite variety of foods  and  very few (except  for the vegans and food fanatics like that) every  argue about it.  Sports fans tend to be adamant supporters of one team or another, but most, if they meet one of their opponents in a pub, will have a drink.  Same with music.  There’s  no actual reason  why a punk  girl and a country boy can’t date.  Morning people and evening people  generally, outside of an occasional complaint about  noise,  manage to stay out of each other’s way.  Dog lovers and cat lovers disagree very vehemently, but they generally don’t try to kill each other over it.

With politics, though,  it gets  serious.   I guess  because then you’re talking about things that really matter, you’re talking about different versions of what being human is all about, what civilization is FOR, and which way we want to go in the future.  So, yeah, politics is  different.  It  counts.

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The Slowly Unfolding Catastrophe

The wildfires continue in California, and the word that  keeps springing to  mind is  ‘freakish.’  From the tone of voice I’m hearing in print (you know  what  I mean) from my Facebook friends in the affected area, this fire is extreme, fast spreading and out of control.  It seems like  it is to fires what  Maria was to hurricanes, what Harvey was to hurricanes before Maria, what  Sandy was to hurricanes before Harvey, and  what Katrina was to hurricanes before Sandy.
Speaking of Maria, people have begun to die from disease in Puerto Rico.  Disease caused by lack of clean drinking water, deaths  that can  be attributed directly to the criminally negligent emergency response.

The fires, and the hurricanes, are both results of global warming, and it will get worse.  Not because it has to get worse.  Because people are making money by making it worse, and politicians take money from those people, and keep us from implementing the programs needed to reverse it.

We need solar  power, and  wind power, and all  sorts of clean power.  We’ve got the technology. We’ve got the room.  We need high  speed electric (or magnetic) trains, we need electric, driverless cars.  We need a water distribution and desalination and purification system that can move the water away  from the floods and  bring  it to the forest fires, and  drought stricken areas.  We need trees, billions, maybe trillions of trees.  We have places to put them, that’s seriously not the problem.  We need all of these things, and  we need them right now.
But instead we’ve got fires, hurricanes, and entirely preventable diseases.

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On Grammar

I’m not a grammar Nazi.  That’s being a bit harsh.  I’m a grammar conservative with  a slightly authoritarian bent, I’m a grammar pain  in the butt, a grammar noodge.  Not really  a Nazi, though.  I’m not likely  to unfriend anybody just over grammar mistakes, unless they’re an asshole about it and I also disagree  with their political opinions, and if  those  two things are true  I might unfriend them anyway, even  if their grammar and spelling are impeccable.
Also, I realized early in my internet experience that correcting every grammar or spelling error on Facebook would  be  a never ending and, ultimately, unpleasant task, and I generally  avoid unpleasant tasks, especially those  I’m not getting paid for.

So, I  decided to become a specialist.  I correct people whenever they spell lose  with two o’s, and I correct  people who write could of, would of, and should  of.

Your v. you’re, or their  v. they’re v. there might just be  a  typo, and I’ve slipped up occasionally  myself.  I might  sometimes make a joking comment if  somebody picks  the  wrong homonym. (yesterday I caught somebody writing ‘He was dressed  in black  from head  to tow’ and I couldn’t just let that  pass)

I think one reason for the spelling errors is that people don’t read  enough, and it shows that they know the word from having heard it and not from having seen it in print.  So, when somebody writes “You are a looser,” they are trying to transcribe “You are a loooooooser,” but they’re getting it wrong.  And with ‘could of,’ etc…, that  is pretty much  what  it sounds like.
It’s sort of a corollary to the  Dunning-Krueger theory.  People who don’t read, and therefore  have  bad grammar and spelling, don’t seem to be aware  that people  who  DO read, and have large vocabularies which they use correctly, can spot them as non-readers in a second.
Or else they just don’t care, which is  scarier.

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October 9th and, No, I’m not Going to Talk About Columbus Day

Just a few  small observations.

Donald Trump makes a joke about people pronouncing Puerto Rico  as Poo air toe Rico, which is actually the correct pronunciation.  He’s not  just being offensive to Puerto Ricans (he has allowed the temporary  waiver of the  Jones Act to lapse, btw, once  again making it  difficult for any other country to offer assistance), but he’s also mocking anybody who uses  the correct pronunciation.  Darned smart people.  Always have to be showing off how  they can talk correctly  and shit.

Dianne Feinstein is running for re-election.  She does not support medicare for all, and her main  accomplishment as Senator has been to steer huge government building contracts to her husband’s company.  She will have a Berniecrat opponent in the primary, a man named David Hildebrand.  It’s not going to be easy  for him, because DiFi is about as entrenched in the DNC establishment as it’s possible to be, has access to insane amounts of money, and, being a part of the Democratic party’s power structure, you know she is prepared  to cheat.  I wish David Hildebrand all  the  luck  in the world.  One bright spot, in any event:  she is 84, so the argument (which you know they are going to use if Bernie runs in 2020) that Bernie is too old will not have any credibility at all.

There’s a show I  watch sometimes called “Invent it Rich.”  I know  there’s another show in  the same genre called “Shark Tank” but we don’t get it over here so I  haven’t ever seen  full episodes.  Anyway, the other day they had a couple  of teenagers who’d invented a prosthetic arm which could be controlled  by  clenching muscles, a firefighting robot, and a jogging shirt which  changes  color according  to which  muscles you’re using  the most.  Once the investor made his decision,  I realized what is wrong with this  program and what is wrong  with our society in general.  Admittedly, robo-fireman didn’t  work really well.  Prosthetic arm, though, was a huge  step  forward in prosthetic arms.  But,  he went for  the  jogging  shirt, because that was  the one  he could make quick  money  on.  Which is, I  suppose, the premise of  the  show.
But wouldn’t it be nice to have a show  like  that  but  where the criteria was “which product can best serve  mankind.”  That’s one  I’d  like  to watch.

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