Author Topic: Miscellany  (Read 316 times)

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Offline anthropositor

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Miscellany
« on: Monday October 14, 2019, 12:46:05 AM »
Miscellany was a regular section near the back of LIFE magazine in the '40s and '50s.  Even as a kid, I read such things with some frequency.  I never new what I would find until I had the magazine in my hands.  When I was about eight, I discovered the New Yorker magazine.  It was a whopping twenty cents.  The most grown-up magazine I had ever seen.  Certainly not in my budget.  My allowance had just gone up to a quarter a week.  But I had to have it.  When the proprietor called my father, a Presbyterian minister, as a courtesy, my Father, an authority figure one step down from God, came down to take me into custody, before I was to be turned over to the cops.   When he saw that the magazine was The New Yorker, he burst out laughing-- at the druggist.  "My kid is EIGHT.  Tell me another one!  You think you can make that fly with the Police?  Tell me another one.  What did he really do?  Sass you?  Swipe some gum or candy?  I'll whop him good."  The druggist, apparently now becoming embarrassed in front of his other customers just said, "Get him out of here."  My father gave my a great resounding whack with that New Yorker going out the door of the drugstore.  "What did you really do?  You sass him?  Apparently no one but me noticed that the magazine had still not been paid for.  My old man threw it in the back seat of the Ford.  "Get in.  I better not hear a word out of you!"  He didn't.

Parenthetically, today the cost of New Yorker magazine is $8.99, a 4500% increase in 70 years, and I still read it.

                                                           *    *    *

Hello to all.  I am back!  I am also behind on just about everything, of course.  The blisters on my fingers from scooping hot gravel on the transmission fire under my old GMC truck are almost all gone now.  The odd things are; most of the blistering was on the edges of the fingers, not the pads of the fingers or the palms of the hands.  Exceedingly puzzling.  And of course, I was lying in that hot gravel on my back wearing a flimsy shirt, yet no blistering on my back, in spite of the time it took to put out the fire, probably four or five minutes.  To have that truck (legally) rustled by a tow truck company, after I risked my life to save it for my Guatemalan mechanic, a man who supports a village of impoverished people, would absolutely infuriate me if I allowed it to.  The scoundrels are too many, the corruption too varied, not just here, but everywhere.   I left full particulars about how and where I could be reached in a gallon ziplock bag under the widshield wiper.  It could not be missed.  I received a notice more than a month later by mail with instructions about how I could recover the truck by paying astronomical storage fees.

Do I name things?  Not if I can help it.  I am more likely to un-name things.  The name of rottenness was once Drumpf.  One world leader now uses an infamous alias, as his father and grandfather did, instead.  Is he an isolated case?  Not at all.  Leaving aside history, in the present time, other demagogues, dictators and dunces rule over billions.  One, seemingly unstoppable, called his predecessor a "woman with bound feet."  Name-calling is widespread in domestic and international politics.  Several of the unstoppables kill their rivals and other dissidents, not only within their own borders, but anywhere in the world they wish, with complete impunity.  Almost all genocidal monsters die of old age.

On a different note, when I came to this forum, I had an intractable bleeding problem on my arms.  I ultimately found its' cause and solution, all without naming it.  I had another problem too.  It wasn't on my arms, and it wasn't in plain sight.  It is not cured.  It is ameliorated substantially.  Fine!  Despair is not in my vocabulary.  Nothing is perfect.  Among all the people I love around here is one named Margarita.  Beautiful, this post is for you, as well as all the other beautiful people who already know I love them, whom I have never met.

Ahem!  A closing note.  In conversations I sometimes ask those attending the conversation to name a creature that sheds its skin.  I have gotten a lot of good answers, but not once has anyone mentioned humans.  But we do.  And we shed it all, repeatedly.  Not in a piece that a snake slithers out of, or an exoskeleton husk that an insect abandons, but in big flakes and particles.  That condition is curable!  Not necessarily by the creams, salves, shots and other notions of the allopathic dermatological physician, but just by realizing that it is normal to shed some skin continuously.  It is amazing, the curative power of not giving a simple normal condition a complex mumbo jumbo name.  Many of us become completely bewildered when an authority figure tells us the name of what is wrong with us and the fancy name of what may make us better.  A very, very fancy name, at a very, very fancy price.  And often with very, very fancy side-effects, which could be even worse than the original condition.  Others, upon hearing that their "disease" is real, has a special name, and can be treated, are eager to proceed.  Examples on request.

                                                        *    *    *

I did read some comic books as a child.  Perhaps my father's profession drew me towards fantasy.  But kids take to it quite naturally don't they?  One issue in particular included Donald Duck and his nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie on a trip to a Castle in faraway Scotland or Ireland, visiting Scrooge McDuck, who was to be found wallowing in a flood of money somewhere in the inner sanctum of this great castle.  I could not sort out why that was such an enjoyable activity.  Apparently it is a pursuit that has entranced plutocrats and oligarchs from almost the beginning of time, and as alien to me as the most fanciful science fiction stories of planetary despots lording-it-over the contrasting plebeian masses of the ordinary and destitute commoners.  Sounds a lot like the present day doesn't it?
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." Chinese Proverb.

"What all men speak well of, look critically into; what all men condemn examine first before you decide"-- Confucius

Pray to the Gods, for the Gods are not unless you pray to them.--Don Marquis

Offline anthropositor

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Re: Miscellany
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday October 22, 2019, 11:05:35 PM »
In spite of the Reich which has now lasted now more than a thousand days, not counting the years of chaos it took a devilish demigog to consolidate his power, and link up with a so many of his his fellow monsters and murderers, not mentioning all his disposable dupes and henchmen, there are plenty of happy signs and portents to savor. 

But let us not be premature or overconfident.  Evil that does not know it is evil is incredibly hard to eradicate.  I am going to be very, very busy for several weeks.  But first I am going to smell the flowers and recreate in as many ways as I can think of.  And, afterwards, with luck,  I'll come back and tell you about it.
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." Chinese Proverb.

"What all men speak well of, look critically into; what all men condemn examine first before you decide"-- Confucius

Pray to the Gods, for the Gods are not unless you pray to them.--Don Marquis

Offline Bamawing

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Re: Miscellany
« Reply #2 on: Saturday October 26, 2019, 06:27:21 PM »
I have no idea what you're about to do, but somehow I have a feeling I'll read about it in the paper. Good luck, Anthro.

(I'm still cracking up over the swiped New Yorker.)
I'm more confused than a mood ring on a paranoid bipolar schizophrenic chameleon in a bag of skittles!

Offline anthropositor

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Re: Miscellany
« Reply #3 on: Monday October 28, 2019, 07:48:29 AM »
With some exceptions, Bama, most of my life has been spent doing my best to stay out of the papers, and avoiding getting my picture taken, unless it was a cast picture in a production of some sort, in costume and makeup.  During the interminable LBJ, Nixon, Reagan, and Bush-Cheney and present day disasters, I worked very hard to be discreet.  But I was of journalistic bent, and also gave spontaneous anonymous speeches at events that were well infiltrated by authorities not of my persuasion.  During Vietnam, I wrote for a short time for the Los Angeles Free Press, run by Art Kunkin who took inflammatory liberties with my language while leaving my name at the top of the story.  I left him behind without much regret.  (Actually, none at all.

Years before that, I had been approached by a professor at a community college in southern California, seeking my attendance in one of his courses.  He had seen me in a local bar, expounding on the social conditions that had evolved during the cold war, with special emphasis on the last address to the Nation by Ike, warning of the dangers of an out of control military-industrial complex, and what it could lead to, while wagering on fast chess games for drinks and dollars, with young budding intellects from that institution of higher learning.  Other heroes I favored were Edward R. Murrow, and Mort Sahl, who had been pretty vigorously against the Korean War, and not to shy about his perspective.

I was flattered by the professors attention, unlettered bumpkin that I was.  I said I would register for the course, but that I had never completed my lower education, having escaped my original household at the ages of 12, 13, 14, and 16, whereupon a court in Pennsylvania just emancipated me.  Better late than never.  This had been quite disruptive to my public schooling.  Would I not have to take some tests, and so on?  He said not necessary.  Just audit the class without registering.  Work out better for my classmates, since I won't shift the grade curve.  I was silent about not knowing what a grade curve was.

Ostensibly, he was teaching a philosophy course, whose title I no longer remember.  But it had to do with thinking, and persuasion and propaganda and advertising.  It was quite an eye opener for me.  That professor was quite a pivotal person in my life.  I am glad to have known him. 

But I have a train trip of about 2600 miles, two days from now, and tomorrow an oral surgeon will be removing several broken and loose teeth, right before I leave.  It promises to be an interesting trip of a couple weeks duration, during which I will be toothless.  The purpose is to bond with one of my teen grandsons who is a bit troubled by autism coupled with a certain flair for the arts and music.  When I get back, I hope to get some dentures matching my ideas and specifications, virtually immediately.  That should be quite interesting.

I am, after all, an idea man.
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." Chinese Proverb.

"What all men speak well of, look critically into; what all men condemn examine first before you decide"-- Confucius

Pray to the Gods, for the Gods are not unless you pray to them.--Don Marquis