Long-Awaited?

hotmailSo I haven’t posted here in over three months. My stats indicate daily visits are down under ten. Yet, mysteriously, I have nearly thirty notifications in my e-mail of new followers — all with hotmail addresses and none of whom appear in the list of those following the blog here on WordPress. What’s up?

Facebook LogoOn Facebook I recently have been fed up with dextremist garbage and periodically respond to the wickedly wrong crap that gets posted. For many months, perhaps even a year, I’d held my, ah, typing fingers, attempting, unwisely, to be “fair.” Once I post contrarian comments, the blitz of ghostly followers… Coincidence?

Probably.

Yet I wonder.

ghost iconAnd I am again, however briefly, and/or sporadically, back. Unlike, currently, the U.S. government (ridiculously pretending to “defund” the ACA has nothing to do with continuing resolutions in lieu of an actual budget, Greedily Opportunistic Poopyheads).

Happy, spectral new “fans?”

©2013 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

D J T

I tried to prevent myself from even writing — let alone posting — this trivial, overly subjective whinge. However, after I spent too many half-conscious hours last night running variations on the initials so central to this post through my mind, I had no real choice but to succumb and exorcise De-vile Jouncechops Turgidity. Really — even asleep, or half-asleep, or mostly asleep, I was devising various phrases, such as “Demonically Jaundiced Tushie,” to describe the (thinly) orange-thatched subhuman whose ranting and invidious presence on our planet has cornered me into writing today.

Last week (I think — perhaps it was earlier: I shall know better when I seek out the image I intend to use in illustration for this article, for this particular portion of this article, in fact*), a certain (to-be-unmentioned by name) financial scam artist** (Dumb Jerk Talking) made an outrageously offensive tweet against fellow New Yorker (actually a New Jersey native by birth) Jon Stewart — this tweet:

Dullard Jerkmember (Torture-us) Twit

Dullard Jerkmember (Torture-us) Twit

Initially, I read about, then ignored and then forgot about Drooling Jivemonkey Thickpate and his nonsense. Until yesterday evening, when awaiting the start of The Good Wife at 8:00 PM Our Local Time (Daylight Savings Variety), I accidentally endured the final few minutes of Dirtwuss Jackstaff Thatchskullʼs wearily lame “reality” hour of enhanced-interrogation maltreatment (failed-celebrity version thereof). And the subjection to Dolt Jute-chewing Tipplepratesʼs braying and painful pontifications, even for a few hundred seconds, left me on the uneasy and sickened side of sleep.

Thus this post and its Joycean exuberance in ringing the changes on Deafnoggin Jughead Turpitudeʼs initials.

And I have only just begun, but also run on too long about too little. However, I was having so much fun, I thought you (whatever faithful peruser has made it to this point) might like to participate on your own. Using the chart below, just select one from Column A, another from Column B and the last from Column C (I really should have called those columns D, J and T) and create your own burlesque caricatures to lampoon Driparse Japehoax Tincturation (not really necessary, as It, sleazy merchant of valueless twaddle, does such a woefully awesome job of making Itself ridiculous).

Doofus Jackdaw Thirdrate WordsChart

And you could  consult a dictionary or thesaurus yourself for even more variations to play. Obviously, I didnʼt even make it through the alphabet on various traducements to use, so feel free to add (or invent — the addition of… “-head” or “-breath” or “-ass” or any gross physicality may transform even the most mundane and titmousian expression into a truly splendiferous and gargantuan aspersion absolutely appropriate to the abomination that is Demi-apt Jumbomalicious Troglodyte).

* Turns out it was only “four days ago,” according to Google Images search.

** Also here and here and here and (I think we all get the picture… long before now, too.)

*** Heck, Dullard J. Twatfumble probably went no further than a quick look at Stewartʼs Wikipedia entry for the naming thing asininely featured in the tweet (or, to be accurate, forced an intern or other employee to do the job for His — Dirty Jobs Trashmeister — Ineptitude-Personified Haughtiness).

©2013 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

Past Blast

As the dextremist Enemies of Americans at Fox News attempt (tiresomely, repetitively, again) to distort real news/events for Their own smarmy purposes (abetted by that shady and seditious shark, Andy Breitburp), I, who have mowed the lawn today (such a major accomplishment, we must say), feel the best post I can make for this Labor Day is the one I published one year ago. You may read it here.

Our Iowan 2011 Labor Day brings/continues the midwestern coolth we first experienced yesterday, and, even as I type with sweatshirt and long pants upon my body, the temperatures are a pleasure. The Lovely One and I traveled on Saturday to Mt. Pleasant to visit Dawn and Kevin (she has been suffering from chicken pox, a truly unpleasant experience as an adult), returning yesterday. Dawn was pretty completely recovered (even being permitted back into her elementary art classroom this past week), and (I think) all four of us enjoyed a good time together.

I came home a bit lighter in the head (very marginally) when my just-more-than-a-week-old crown fell off the stump of my tooth about 11:00 AM Sunday! Fortunately, I wasnʼt chewing anything, and the $1000 misinserted (or failed) part is nestled in my vest to be restored for free (or so I presume) early tomorrow (or so I have requested). Happy holiday to me. And I certainly hope you, gentle readers, have enjoyed more fully your three-day weekend (which corporate powers and the dim Dextreme, along with their utterly mindless Teabots, would like to render more meaningless than the day has become).

By the way, the birthday bash for my mother-in-law at Timmermanʼs Friday evening was very fun. Janet brought home a full meal of leftovers from her order (Chicken Chardonnay with added artichokes), while I consumed both of my Greek-style pork chops. My Beloved is right now on the phone with her sister, but that call is probably drawing toward an end, so I should cease saying somewhat less than nothing here and be ready to actually speak with my spouse.

So thatʼs the news for now. Power to the People, and welcome back to work tomorrow.

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

Apologetic Punkʼdee

Sometimes oneʼs own foolishness can provide the meat for a blog post. Well, thatʼs true at least in my case. And hereʼs the post, today, to prove the axiom. (I could have entitled this one, “Stepping in My Own Droppings.”)

And some wonder why I picked Wakdjunkaga as a pseudonym/alter ego…

…or Facebook Follies

Over the weekend I got punked* via the internet. No, my identity wasnʼt stolen (at least not yet), but I got tricked into making a terribly false post on Facebook. About Michele Bachmann.

A Facebook page I have permitted on my Newsfeed posted a link to a Twitter feed this past Saturday morning. 

No, as you may observe below, AATPʼs original post did not mention anything about satire.

The Facebook page, “Americans Against the Tea Party,”  has a definite agenda in its online presence, determinedly in opposition to Dextremism and narrow-minded nonsense of that rigidly Rightist sort, but in general, although utterly opinionated, their posts have been sincere for the nearly a year that I have received their updates. I clicked their link to the Twitter remark Saturday, and found this:

Now I am no Twitterhead. The entire concept of “following” folksʼ 140-word pronouncements strikes me as the pursuit of the illusion of information as opposed to acquiring (and, we hope, attempting to understand) actual information.** To me, although I wondered about the abbreviation of the junior Congresswomanʼs name (and therefore cited my source when I repeated the “quote” as “@MicheIBachmann,” copied directly from the tweet), the remark seemed only slightly (d)extreme for the recent victor in the infamous Iowa Republican Straw Poll. In fact, except for the use of “tsunamis,” a pretty lengthy and unusual word for her, the remark seemed to fit snugly within her record of gaffes and ridiculosities pretty well.

So, believing that I was alerting the world to further pseudoChristian, fully fundamentalist/Dextremist folly, I reposted the “quote.” And a few of my Facebook comrades “liked” my observation that Ms Bachmann was more than merely crazy eyes.

Unfortunately (for me), I was deluded. AATP had  posted a “satirical” link, as they admitted themselves a little later:

Ha ha. So truly amusing. I got tricked. Punked.

Being but discontinuously online, I had no clue about my error until a friend from the Right bothered to tell me Saturday evening that the post was “from a satire site.” Although I felt blushingly ashamed, I was wrong (and he was more than right). Thus my thanks to him for bothering to politely and firmly point out my nonsense.

My correction

And my apologies to Ms. Bachmann (although sheʼll never know theyʼre here, Iʼm sure) after she has created a public record that could so easily include the horrible (but satiric) tweet.

* …Perhaps I should spell that “punkʼd” or something like that?

** Not that Facebook posts (which are now limited to fairly brief number of characters — which I have violated repeatedly and been forced to edit/reduce my remarks) are really all that worthwhile.

(All images today are accurate and unedited captures from Facebook and Twitter.)

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

Dirty Work (at and away from The Crossroads)

Thereʼs nothing particularly dirty about this shot (from today). But this is the tree I actually climbed to get the trap about a month ago. It is (I firmly hope) the ONLY tree Iʼll have to climb. (The trap is visible in the photo, but you have to look very closely to discern it in the quite low spot where I rehung the thing and from where I removed it this morning.)

My job is dirty work. I havenʼt mentioned this issue before partly because it didnʼt seem that way back in April when I got started. (I am thinking about “when I got started” as I have begun to take down the traps, beginning with those we first put up.) But even in those (dreamily now?) chilly and rainy days of not-quite-spring-here-on-the-prairie, I was using the “goop” weʼre provided to clean the sticky stuff (Tanglefoot®) on the traps from my fingers and the extendable pole. On a fairly regular basis.

Since those early days, especially as heat has swelled and the dry epoch of summer descended, the roads have become dustbins thick with yellow grit my vehicle plows up into clouds of dense fog-like filth, even as complicated and unreadable medleys of weeds have sprouted (neck-high in some places) in the ditches along those dusty country roads… my work has gotten dirtier. My clothes really require a daily cleaning, partly to remove my own bodily exudation but also the thick layer(s) of accumulated dust and stickiness from traps.

I had thought the worst was two weeks back when temperatures soared to nearly 100° (with — pardon my mentioning it, Tushie Lamebah — heat indices often nearly 120°). And at the end of the aforementioned three weeks of utter aridity. But today, as I began to take down the traps, the filth factor (and the sweat, even though the day topped out just about 92° with the heat index only at 105º) the grimy grunginess hit a new level of ugliness. Taking the traps apart (saving the hardware but eventually folding the purple cardboard into a flat with the glue sides inward* for later disposal) with the glue in a molten state (mixed with bug bodies/parts/guts and windblown dirt) had me cleansing my fingers every single stop.

And the dust puffed in visible waves of billows around me, reverberated from my clothes with every step I took from the back of the GOV to the driverʼs door.

I just wanted to report: my job is dirty work.

And now, as it is not air-conditioned here in the office, I think Iʼll quit and leave this post brief. But dirty.

*  — but only after very, very carefully scrutinizing each peculiar bug — after all, this is the final examination, and I wouldnʼt want to miss anything exciting, however much I donʼt want emerald ash borers around here in my lifetime.

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

Visitations (or “Family Values”)

Some families are less outgoing than others…

Today the parents-in-law get their new computer and network installed. To ease their initiation into the digital etherspace, I promised that I would be present when the Geek Squad arrives this morning (sometime — the appointment is between 8:00 and noon) to help with questions or concerns the pair might have. And to get them actively online with at least one e-mail address and an awareness (I hope) of what a browser is.

Since retirement began, I have visited them on my own a couple of times, generally to help with something or to get their help (like acquiring their used lawn mower last spring). And those two are the only parents of any kind that I have on earth these days (fortunately, they’re the kind of spouse’s parents who accept their sons-in-law and daughter-in-law and actually seem like another set of parents). But it’s still kind of odd visiting with one’s in-laws, no matter how much the mutual appreciation. For instance, I adore Janet’s sister, Diane, but when she visits I do realize that the two women spend long, unwearying hours together while I generally read or something for parts of the weekend, leaving them on their own, sometimes for hours.

That was not my pattern last weekend when my sister, Margaret, came to visit. She and I were talking (not as nonstop as Janet and Diane, but then our family is far from as social as theirs) from Friday afternoon until noon on Sunday. And although Janet made herself much more present than I tend to do (notice that comment about Wakdjunkaga’s family sociability index above), she was the one being silent for long stretches and on Saturday night retiring two hours earlier than the siblings.

The Lovely One has let me know that perhaps not everyone is enchanted with my political insights (and I don’t mean wisdom, but everything that all-too-easy internet research has made terrifyingly visible to me over the past year or so — it is a very scary Dextreme out there, selfRighteous and wrongheaded religiously and lunatic politically), nor amused by incessant discussion of science fiction and fantasy or childhood recollections or my various analyses of Homer’s Odyssey (about which I really should write, having been reminded of those arguable theses in debate with my sister), nor enthralled with theological discussions (Margaret taught me about “adoptionism” and about a half dozen or more contemporary theologians and Biblical scholars, Saturday night). Clearly role reversal, for sure, dependent on which family is visiting.

Antigone burying/honoring Polyneices

One’s own family is the one that one knows and that knows one the best. (Like that? The objective third person derives from helping sophomores with their persuasive essays for the last month — their real teacher doesn’t appreciate writers using first and second person, so utterly unlike this blog, for instance…) That profundity reminds me of another, critical literary observation I used to impose on certain classes: about Antigone — so obsessively infatuated with death, purity and finality — choosing her original family into which she was born over the potential and future family she might have made for herself (electing to bury her dead and dishonored brother instead of marrying her espoused cousin, who himself, on another hand, elects to die with/for her, his unrealized bride, against his father).

And oneʼs own family alters, blooms and grows wider in compass. Margaretʼs husband, Brian, was one of the best goads and inspirations in my life, brimming with wisdom, learning and wit (his spirit surely supervised and stimulated our sibling conversation this past Saturday night). Yet so many think of in-laws as pests or problems somehow… Dianeʼs husband, Steve, is, I think, no actual nameable relation to me (is oneʼs sister-in-lawʼs husband considered to be related to one?), but he is an important part of my family, right along with his son, one of my two nephews (a named relationship interestingly, although the two nephews — one on Janetʼs side and one from mine — arenʼt themselves related. Are they?). And my brotherʼs son is going to get married this summer…

Oneʼs family is a living entity, not a narrowly predefined cold case.

Antigone and contemporary zealots are wrong. Real families grow and change, sharing the love, as the anonymous They like to say (some time). And unlike the “views” of mindlessly vanderplaatzed Tighty Righty radicals selfsnared in their rigid, irrational Dextremity, real “family values” accept and embrace those innumerable, questionable and uncertain strangers who bring the future — surprising and disorienting, breathing life and renewal, embodied as their neoteric present and beloved selves.

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

The Perfect Birthday Surprise

Periodically I’ve commented on the luscious spam that both I and WordPress have permitted to appear through commentary here on the blog, but the world of spam took on a whole new level of un-splendid astonishment with a mailing for Janet that arrived Wednesday, just in time for her birthday, and accidentally mixed in by me with all of her birthday cards.

She skipped her usual workout at the Y in Dubuque that day to come home early (well, early by our standards — meaning directly after work) so we could go out to eat in celebration of her natal day. Even though precipitation of the light and foggy kind filled the air, threatening to freeze at the point the temperature fell below 32°, we headed off northward through Andrew to Bellevue, where we ate at The Happy Bean/The Market, a really great restaurant* where we had eaten only one previous time back in the fall of 2010 when we were in Bellevue to witness friend Mary Nevans-Pederson’s exhibit of photographs at the art gallery associated with the restaurant and coffee shop. She and her husband Clayton really recommended this place, and they were right. (It’s so good that Janet had, once we had enjoyed a meal there, passed on the recommendation to her boss, who has frequented the place several times since — while we malingered at home.) Amusingly, both of us enjoyed risotto, mine a sausage-less shrimp dish (it was supposed to have Andouille sausage, but it happened they didn’t have any Wednesday night) and hers orange roughy on a very different rice accompaniment.

Our whole birthday experience at The Happy Bean was really great, even though Janet left her reading glasses on the table, and we still have yet to pick them up, although the waitress called us specially to let her know, the call arriving even before we reached home after our visit. The relevant moment (at least for today’s post) arrived when, having listened to the message from The Happy Bean, she sat down with me to open her birthday cards before we retired for the day. Mixed in, as I already indicated, was the amazingly bad piece of hardcopy spam we feature today. I have scanned the document so you can see what some scam artist thought was appropriate to send someone on her birthday.

Here is the mailing cover (that which you see when the mail arrives):

That which was not a birthday card for The Lovely One

Notice the official look, particularly the dove with olive branch that looks strangely governmental and which directs the eye to the “United States…” Yet this bit of garbage did decidedly not come from anything even remotely official (in fact, it took me close examination to discover the name of the sending corporation**, if that).

Once we opened the trifold card, we found this:

Jut what every woman wants to read on her birthday…

Itʼs not sorry enough that she (I believe) has one of those paltry little life insurance policies provided through work just for the costs of a funeral (costs which The Lovely One wishes to avoid entirely, by the way, preferring to donate her organs and remains however possible; just within the past few weeks she talked about the futility of graveyards for us twain, with no one bound by blood descent to visit such ancestral shrines — I agreed in advance, naturally). But what organization was offering her this brief chance to “qualify” to pay them money for this questionable service? I really had to search the flyer to find the tiny print…

The response card at the bottom of the “information” pictured above

Note the absence of information about the “sponsoring company” (would that be the appropriate term?) on this response card, above. When I mail back such cards for magazine subscriptions, the magazine in question is always clearly marked. So I checked the address side to verify to whom the card would be returned…

The address side of the response card

Nothing. We return to “Processing Center” at a P.O. Box in Phoenix. Really solid. Again, no identifying insurance company behind this scam. Finally, I checked the back of the two folds that contained the “information.” One fold was the front cover, the side addressed to The Lovely One. The other fold was this:

Look closely. You can finally find an insurance company name…

Find it? “The Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company.” Well-known outfit… But they actually exist. Here is their “funeral planning” link. However, if this bit of sleaze portrayed in todayʼs post is their modus operandi, I canʼt say much for that company. Not much except… stay away from those slimesack scambags.

Has anybody received equally amusing sucker-mail?

* (whose website, at least yet on the Big Birthday, as our wonderful waitress noted herself, was somewhat out of date)

** Considering my skeptical, if not openly antagonistic attitude toward Big Business/Multinational Corporations/Old Wealth trying to control our nation and politics with Big Money, is it any wonder that my erring fingers seem invariably to type “coprolation?” The scent of “coprolite” in that error is too good to resist.

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

Getting it all wrong

I like the Times Literary Supplement. Unfortunately, it is so expensive that my subscriptions to the periodical run for a year and then expire for year or a few months or a few years. Why? Because every now and then the publishers offer a really reduced come-on, I think for “educators,” which I can afford, about a third or a quarter of the real subscription price. When I get one of those offers, if I’m feeling sufficiently flush, I subscribe. (Or at least I did so subscribe for nearly three decades, all the way back to the time Janet and I met.) I entered my subscription most recently back in the fall (in an orgy of spending, thanks to a full week of substitute teaching, I resubscribed to most of the periodicals I had let go when I retired, TLS included).

Saturday morning I finished reading my current copy (they are never very current, being mailed from Great Britain — that issue was for February 11) and felt surprisingly interested in many things I had read, some of which you may get to read more about soon (or not). Actually to choose the word “surprisingly” is inaccurate, as I usually enjoy at least half of the reviews and articles in every issue. I had begun the magazine on Thursday, I think, getting through the first 24 or 25 pages (I am dictating, having resurrected the pairing for the Bluetooth headset, which had evaporated, and I am still uncomfortable with Dictate’s predilection for digits over letters when I speak numbers; an old-school old fart, I still think numbers should be words through one hundred, or at least through twenty and the even tens to a hundred — and I had to edit the digits the software included in what you just read). I paused at an article reviewing a new book on ethics that constructs an elaborate system of rationale to clarify making moral decisions.

Reading the article, I thought about conflicts in medieval dar al-Islam (particularly in al-Andalus) between conservative religious figures and progressive philosophers. The philosophers held very broad and liberal views that frequently diverged entirely from traditional Islam and even verged into atheism (or at least a rejection of paradise and hell, an afterlife, and post-mortem reward or punishment forever). But these subtle thinkers devised and articulated some of the most astute insights into morality and science ever (in part or in total because of their [lack of] religious views), powerful enough to sway the scholastic philosophers of medieval Europe a few hundred years later, including (or in particular) Thomas Aquinas. (And the swaying didnʼt just involve the science but the ethics especially.) The religious guys, on the other hand, imams and jurists, argued that no matter if any of the philosopher guysʼ moral arguments were correct, the common person just wasnʼt built to understand such sophistry and intellectual finesse. The ordinary fellow could only be swayed morally by the threat of punishment, if not instantly here and now, then in the hereafter, regardless if such a supernatural retribution were actually real (for the philosophersʼ reasonings had some power in devout Muslim circles, too).

Back to the TLS article? I wasnʼt sure any typical lowbrow yahoo, like folks who post comments to Dextremist blogs (and even those who write the blogs themselves), would act morally based solely on the refined principles espoused in the book under review. That consideration made me wonder about the dubious power of narrow and judgmental fundamentalism today (and I am not just talking about Islam now, either, obviously). Does such a rigid system have any benefits whatsoever?

I may loathe the terrible folly of trying to twist oneʼs mind into accepting every word of scripture as valid (and no one does that; they all cherrypick instead — a friend posted a very funny “oops” article about someone tattooing an OT verse against homosexuality on his arm but getting the citation wrong: it referenced a verse forbidding tattoos!*), but now I wonder if goofs need the threat of hell to be decent people…

If so, what kind of dark and selfish cesspools of vileness are such supposedly simple people? And consdering the negative impacts of fundamentalism around the globe today, is that presumed moral-rectification by posthumous paddling even real?

Thatʼs a pair of scary thoughts.

* Although the source I located says the tattoo is accurate, the verse against tattooing is later. Even so… pick and choose, pick and choose…

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

Driven to Desperate Measures (Maybe)

More days without a post. Am I losing interest in the blog? Not at all.

with a tip of the hat to Fox and The Simpsons…

So what has been happening instead of blog-writing? Ironically, considering my most recent post, I have been arguing away on Facebook. The governorʼs sleazy sleight-of-legislation in Wisconsin* got me angry. It is one thing to tighten our belts (particularly if elected officials tighten first — hint, hint) in times of financial crisis, but it is another thing entirely to use such a crisis as the pretext in forwarding an aggressively selfish and uncharitable political agenda. And thatʼs exactly what Gov. Walker has been up to. Worse, he tried to ram through a nationally organized union-busting bill underhandedly, trying to slip it through the legislature as quickly, quietly and sneakily as possible. And when he got caught, and people protested his lack of ethics and his subservience to out-of-state interests and powers, he glibly attacked the protesters instead of honestly acknowledging his error.*

And I got my wind up and posted repeatedly to my Facebook page items about the Wisconsin Scam, arousing of course the predictable (and predictably lame and predictably identical) unsupported and undocumented complaints of my Dextreme friends. So I spilled out hundreds of words, if not thousands, attempting to convey reality to minds so well washed and firmly set that I accomplished, as always lately in that forum, nothing. So Friday and Saturday and (after a computer-free gap on Sunday, per The Lovely Oneʼs request) Monday passed. (Actually, thatʼs how Monday continues to pass, as I just finished being distracted from this post with several long responses to fairly silly comments on my links.)

The one good thing that may come from all of this, as I realized while out for a run in the wet and cold this morning (itʼs snowing right now, late in the day), is that I may be motivated to continue a story I first began to imagine more than a year ago about a desolate dystopian future with “No Public Options” and no big government whatsoever. My idea is based on the old Internet meme about a conservative individual realizing what he owes to public service. Letʼs see if I can find it…

Well, hereʼs one version, with no apologies for its semiliteracy or errors:

I AM AN AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE •••••••• (censored for all our pleasure)

This morning I was awoken** by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US department of energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the national weather service of the national oceanographic and atmospheric administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the national aeronautics and space administration. I watched this while eating my breakfast of US department of agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the food and drug administration.

At the appropriate time as regulated by the US congress and kept accurate by the national institute of standards and technology and the US naval observatory, I get into my national highway traffic safety administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads build by the local, state, and federal departments of transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the environmental protection agency, using legal tender issed by the federal reserve bank. On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the US postal service and drop the kids off at the public school.

After spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the workplace regulations imposed by the department of labor and the occupational safety and health administration, enjoying another two meals which again do not kill me because of the USDA, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to ny house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and fire marshalʼs inspection, and which has not been plundered of all itʼs valuables thanks to the local police department.

I then log on to the internet which was developed by the defense advanced research projects administration and post on freerepublic.com and fox news forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government canʼt do anything right.

Get the idea? My own story begins…

Tomorrow morning (or the next year).

As he stuck the key in the ignition, John Q. Cerfʹs car dutifully chimed to indicate that it had rushed his bank account for the beck toward a new vehicle from HenryMotors in just 2.78 years, a minute amount of money every time he drives his car and the concluding clause in the purchase agreement he had signed upon buying this model last year.

Cerf had been rushed already for electricity and water (water beck per usage, of course, but electricity prorated in daily becks over each month based on the previous yearʹs usage). The water corporation had yielded him a morning shower and coffee, once the electric alarm clock had roused him from sweet dreams. Heʼd been reading some complaints about the water quality, but in these free days without regulation, you had to take LocalWaterCorpʼs word that all sewage was indeed being correctly processed at a profit and not simply dumped into the river.

Want more? I actually came up with a device to turn what was merely polemic (that bit in blue above, that I didnʼt write, however accurate or powerful) into a tale…

* I can, if anyone wishes, reproduce the FB exchanges with relevant evidence and links on the underhanded union-busting being billed as financial belt-tightening…

* Seriously. There is evidence. Wanna see?

** We could make a game of catching the grammatical errors in this thing.

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

Taking the Easy Way Out

I skipped a few days putting a post up. Work has intervened, both actual, in substituting for several days, and potential, in a new job I might get for the spring and summer (rather like last yearʼs experience with the Census). The eight hours at school each day take their toll in time, but the job application process has really been distracting me from other projects. On the potential job front, as my application is still just that, only an application so far, I can’t really say anything more yet.

In the meantime rather than posting what little I may have to say to this blog, I’ve been spending my words, perhaps less pointedly and usefully, on Facebook. As my debates there tend to evaporate into digital oblivion, thanks to Facebook’s terrapin pace at revealing older posts on one’s own page, I thought I’d indulge myself in reprinting my most recent exchanges simply not to waste all those words written. (Apologies in advance for the use of ALL CAPS, a stylistic choice Facebook makes necessary with its un-Rich-Texted limitation of expression.)

Or, The Long and Winding Road (to Nowhere)

I had posted link to a YouTube video of my least favorite paranoid pundit (a word I chose fully aware that I have redefined it in the light of contemporary commentary to mean “a self-promoting, delusional hammerhead very loudly braying utter nonsense for hidden ends”) promoting one of his favorite idiotic scare tactics (which do have his desired effect of scaring idiots) with Let-Me-Interrupt-You OʼRudely — all in the wake of the successful Egyptian protest revolution (in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia). My comment on the video was:

“Backʼs just annoyed that he canʼt become the Caliph… (Can he?) Or else heʼs just nuts. Either way.”

From the video I raised a couple of doubts. “Reagan at the Brandenburg gate? Wasnʼt that forty-plus years after? ‘Right away?’ Dextreme blinders on.” and “ ‘The one organization is the one-world movement… about thirty organizations…’ One or thirty? Which is it, oh mastermind? Both ways, Glennie? What a dupe (oh, wait, thatʼs our role…)”

I garnered a response pretty quickly from a favorite conservative friend: “45 years after Reagan was elected. what? really! No childish names for Reagen.. you can do better!”

I answered, “No, Reaganʼs pointless speech in Berlin came nearly a half century after the wall, decisively NOT right away, as OʼWrongly said in the interview.” (Although my half-century was about thirteen years exaggerated.)

So my opponent explained, “In essence, it was right away after he was voted in as president. A WHO sports broadcaster standing on the Brandenburg gate would not of been the same! Still no disrespectful Reagan names?”

Me: “And the speech was still a half century (nearly) after the wall went up, irrelevant to the forces then tottering communism from WITHIN (how very much like the Arabic world today), and utterly irrelevant to the ‘discussion’ the two back-patters were faking in the video. Itʼs the Dextreme pulling out the Gipper Card. Again. Oh, the election of the actor from California was a turning point in my life, the night I felt the future died. As it has.” I knew that I would draw ire for questioning their Sacred Reagan, but I did nearly cry over the lost future his election rejected.

Conservative: “YES! The true progressive has come out! The difference between you and me sir, is I have a positive outlook on our country, no matter who is in control (Slick-Willie, The Mighty Bamster O, or even Malaise me Jimmy!) You have more opportunities here than any other place in the world! No wonder the Lib actors who threatened to move away never did after George Bush was elected!” drawing approval from Conservativeʼs spouse.

Me, rejecting the chance to mention overfed commentators who havenʼt followed up on their promise to leave the country if healthcare reform passed: “Positive means what? Dementia will rule? The way someone lushly insists it always was (even when it wasnʼt) is the way IT MUST BE? I see a positive possibility of growth and change (that which Ronnie slew for me) into fluorescent futures yet undreamed (particularly by paranoiacally limited anti-imaginations loudly and repetitiously demonizing all but the powers they be). If it matters not whoʼs in control, whatʼs with the narrow putdowns, too? Or is that phrase just more Right irrational rhetorical flourishing of arms, signifying nothing? Oh, yes, and explain to me whatʼs wrong with being a ‘progressive’ (as once again the Tighty crystal ball has given you a slot into which to place me unwillingly)?”

Conservative: “If dementia is what I got then dementia is what I want. We are all allowed access to the shining city on the hill. It matters not who is in control because of peoples ability to neuter an ineffective politician like Obama,”

Me, ever the uptight old English teacher and then wishing to clarify which President suffered dementia in office: “That would be ‘peopleʼs,ʼ by the way. That ‘shining city on a hill’ actually (those danged facts!) was a Puritanical allusion to a religiously exclusive and undemocratic society that the Founders, in the U.S. Constitution, repudiated, also by the way. And my dementia reference was not about you, unless the shoe fits, I suppose…”

Conservative: “The shoe fits!”

Me: “Then by all means wear it, if you insist. Oh, and looking back, ‘neutralize’ would definitely be preferable (to avoid the Palinesque trap of violent foot-in-mouth disease).”

Conservative: “I believe neuter still fits.”

Me: “…So like the unrepentant gunsighter herself? Violent imagery to the end…” and then adding, “Oh, and considering the reason why the Tighties are so dismayed at the Presidentʼs election, true to type, rather excessively and obviously racist, too…”

Conservative: “There comes the race card! Libs need mirrors when playing the race card!” and then adding, “What, pray tell did I say that was racist??? Mr. politically correct!”

Me: “Umm, the neutering of African American males involves a long history of, well, eugenics and ethnic cleansing, to be polite… I see nothing PC in my observation, either. Once again, just facts (rather than the Dextremeʼs hysterical ranting and ill-considered slogans).”

Conservative: “I sir, work in the animal industry. We castrate most male animals so your meat is tender and tasty. Animal scientists joke about castration. Any given day I might make reference to somebody (more than likely my wife) nutting me for doing so…mething wrong. Eugenics is really a progressive movement as abortion is a form of this! DEXTREME is not a real word!”

Me: “Yeah, as we discussed, I coined the term ‘Dextreme,’ (Tighty memories really are all that limited? Fox et al. count on that narrowness daily in their dreary and continual selfcontradictions), but ‘Dextreme’ decidedly identifies a real threat to the American way of life. My grandfather, uncle and cousins work in agriculture and with animals, and no such rude remarks, sir. Hmmm? Your categorization of eugenics once again derives from Beckʼs lies (and his semiretarded reliance on John Birch Society materials of the 1960s). Get some reliable resources in your arsenal someday. Hitler and pals practiced eugenics — not, no matter what the Brat or the Lard say, progressive. The French and American ‘scientists’ behind it were just racist (how ultra-Right/neoNazi of them) with other politics unclear to me. Finally, equating our President (who is, by the way, black) with animals regresses us once again to the dismal days of the pre-1860s. As I already said above. Grow up? I see you continue to practice the recognized Tighty strategy of ‘ignore when you are unable to answer and change the topic.’ ” and adding, “Oh, yes, the Hollywood Actor hadnʼt been a WHO broadcaster for nearly ANOTHER half century…”

Conservative: “I equate myself with animals.” and adding, “Reagan was a WHO announcer in1937…”

Me: “And you are still pullinʼ a Palin on the original remark, sir! Additionally, we donʼt equate ourselves with animals, I believe — we ARE animals; but we donʼt neuter other humans to make them, umm, ‘tender and tasty.’ Or do you? Perhaps Maherʼs ‘Teabagger’ epithet possesses more truth than I was aware… As must the accusations of racism, clearly. Ah, the dark byways and alleys of the dim Dextreme.” and then adding, “ ‘Tear down this wall’ exactly fifty years after WHO, and considerably after his election. Likewise 37 years after the Wall. And still irrelevant to what actually happened in the Nineties.” And then correcting 37 to 27, “dagnabbit.”

Conservative: “Isn’t Barry half white? He’s a craptastic president no matter what his nationality. Why are you such a sexist against Palin? Nutting (to neuter) somebody is a figure of speech from the industry I work in. Dextreme still not a real word!”

Me, ignoring the potent if unperceived racism inherent in observing if anyone is “half-white” and deliberately misreading the inept Presidential slam: “Umm, point out the so-called sexism sir. I see it nowhere whatsoever. I simply indicate the stupid. Kind of you to offer your thoroughly unsupported assertions. And then pointlessly repeat what has already been contradicted and undermined before. Thanks for the insincere effort. The last I knew, by the way, Goldwater was Caucasian… and conservative (and would have made a totally, uh, ‘craptastic President’ just as you say, regardless of his nationality, which was the same, you see, as the current, legitimately elected — how unlike the Shrub — President). Words are real based on use, furthermore. Thatʼs grammar. I use “Dextreme.” Too unfortunately often. Because I encounter it. Way too much.”

Thatʼs where we left it yesterday (at least as I posted this). The debate above actually spawned about three other exchanges, all much shorter, on other posts that my esteemed adversary or I put up during the few days we conversed through comments.

Obviously, I suffer from a predilection for verbosity, “Oh, and” and “by the way,” among other rhetorical weaknesses. Clearly, Facebook comment-arguments arenʼt where I should place my principal attention.

Apologies to my Facebook-friend readers for posting what you probably already endured on that forum. And many thanks to my conservative friend for fomenting so much thought on my part since retirement.

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.