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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.