Thoughts

Whaz Up!?! Monday 6 September 2021


Howdy y’all

Is it possible that the second week of school was worse than the first? I’m not as tired as I was last week, but close. I’ve got myself a little better organized and clearer picture of what the coming school year will look like, but man it is melting the candle into a puddle of wax on the floor and lighting the curtains on fire.

Ye Olde Blogge has definitely had a week of it. We had two noteworthy events:

  1. Hook ’em horns! Starting on Sunday 29 August, I noticed a new source of referrals to Ye Olde Blogge, surlyhorns, a forum for students and people adjacent to the University of Texas at Austin. Sunday, there were ten visits from there; Monday there were 25; and then the rest of the week slowed to a trickle with about twenty all told. As near as I could figure, someone posted a tweet with a link to Making Explicable the Inexplicable.
  2. MBRU: Then on Thursday, Mike’s Blog Round Up dropped with a link to The Texas Anti-Abortion Law resulting in hundreds, literally hundreds, more visitors Thursday and Friday. Thanks, Tengrain who blogs over at Mock, Paper, Scissors!
  3. COMMENTS: We must be doing something right because we’ve seen an uptick in our comments and the number of commenters! In addition to our intense, insightful, interesting comment exchange with BobCabKings, we heard from these folks:
  • Arty wrote in on Thursday to whine about GOP scapegoating of Blacks and immigrants causing an increase in hate crimes and violence to suggest that we’re doing it wrong — How can that help them stay in office? As if he were just asking a question. Instead I should check out this undescribed and untitled Youtube video that had a better explanation. As if. I answer everyone. I invited him to tell us more about the video, how it was a better explanation, and that he was welcome to search the blog for more on the matter. I did not, however, approve his comment for publication because who knows what awaits an unwary visitor on the other side of that link.
  • Shartline: When I first “met” Suze — we’re blogging buddies — I noticed her email address read, Shartline. I thought that she sounded like Ye Olde Blogge material, snarky, sarcasticky, and, especially, profaney. It turns out that it is just the initial of her first name appended to her last. Hunh, go figure. It’s always a good day, though, when you hear from Shartliine, and even better when she tells you it was a good blog post. Visit Our “Failure” in Afghanistan for more.
  • Un- and Underpaid: We had a Shepherd visit as well. Late Thursday evening, Phnom Penh time, y’all, he stopped in to remind us that the Afghan Army had been underpaid and unpaid for quite a while softening them up to capitulate to the Taliban. That was also on the Failure” in Afghanistan post.
  • It all started with a hit of LSD: Any story or comment that refers to hit of LSD is bound to be good, and Ten Bears didn’t disappoint. It was so tightly packed with anecdotes, pithy remarks, and insights that it is bound to create a blackhole. Check it out in the Mass Psychosis is the End Game post, and perhaps tell us what started in your life after a hit of LSD!
  • Three Cups of Tea: The comment of the week, and, every week, honor goes to BobCabKings, who inspired yet another post when he described the more traditional ways that various tribes and ethnic groups in Afghanistan formed alliances, kept the peace, and, otherwise, made deals of trading gifts, intermarrying, and having serious talk over strong tea. It led me to seriously think about the role that culture played in our “failure” in Afghanistan and what happens when two cultures come into contact — assimilation and acculturation. If you haven’t taken a dive into our lively discussions in the comments, you probably should… and join in.

From the Reading Roll

Reading time is scarce around Ye Olde Blogge, but we managed to come across a gem or two in the blogosphere and in the news.

From the Blog Roll

  • The Chatty Introvert poses a tough question, When is it appropriate to speak ill of the dead? Gee, I dunno, when they lived as a complete asshat urging people to take horse dewormer and go unvaxxed and unmasked during a deadly pandemic. The better question might be, when is it appropriate to speak highly of an asshole like that?
  • Superstitious fun! Nan thinks being superstitious might be fun and plays a mean game of synchronicity which resulted in insights to none other than Ivanka Trump. What??? I’ve always believed that it was much more fun to believe that coincidences were signs of the hand of god moving in your life than just random chance. So, great minds think alike?
  • Glory be to god: Just in case you missed it or hadn’t had the time or energy to devote to it — welcome to my life — Scottie over at his toy box walks us through the history of an LGBTQ+ history display at the Missouri State House that offended one religious zealot raised a stink on the socialized media and got it removed. Good editorializing, good detail, a thorough and efficient treatment of the issue.

From the News Roll

  • Filed under, I told you so: The FBI reported that hate crimes were at levels not seen in a decade last year. My prediction, it will only get worse given the intensity of radicalization that the GQP base is undergoing as they gear up for pre- during, and post-2022 election violence.
  • Filed under, How did this happen? A high school football game raised questions about the legitimacy of one of the schools playing. What the hell is an illegitimate high school football team? Where did the players come from? Had they practiced? Where did they get their uniforms? What the hell? Before we get there, I guess I’ve been outta the country too long because ESPN broadcasts high school football games, now? I don’t know. Something something online school… something… third-party organized the game… something… shoulda done better. Mass confusion. The state is “investigating.” Update: The school is no longer fielding a football team as a result of the investigation.
  • Filed under, Florida, but of course: A woman and her husband both come down with #COVID19 — not vaccinated, of course. She goes to the hospital. He stays home to watch the dogs. During her eight-day stay in the hospital, she cannot get a hold of her husband, so she asks the police for a wellness check. The police say he’s okay. A corpse and emaciated dogs greet her upon her return home. Jeezus Florida.
  • Filed under, True madness: An Ohio judge orders a hospital to treat a patient with the horse dewormer, ivermectin, because the wife of the patient requested it. ORDERED. There’s an Ohio doctor telling people that not using ivermectin to treat #COVID19 is genocide. To comply with the order, the hospital has to allow a doctor without admitting privileges and not affiliated with the hospital to write the prescription and administer the drug. This is true madness. True fucking madness.

From the #COVID19 Roll

The news here in Cambodia continues to be mixed regarding #COVID19… and disturbing. The Khmer Times reports that the government’s reporting of new cases in its largest cities, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville continue to lag or go unreported leaving us with deep doubt about the true severity of the situation here. If the provinces are any evidence, it is getting worse after a short period of improvement. New cases have been rising all week in the provinces with the latest number topping 600 cases this week.

The governor of Phnom Penh, mayor to you and me, but like the mayor of Washington DC, New York, or Los Angeles, says that the #COVID19 situation in the city continues to improve with the number of people being treated in the dedicated hospitals down and the positivity rate among those tested being down. I will note that he has omitted the number of new infections. However, the improvement is enough for him to talk of a return to normality in the tourist sector — who’s coming to visit? — and schools. Yes, they are considering returning to in person education in the areas of the city where infection rates are low… if the numbers are to be believed.

Huzzah!
Jack

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Image Attribution

A blog and a handfull of quarters will get you a cup of coffee.” by DonkeyHotey is licensed under CC BY 2.0

17 replies »

  1. Isn’t that the epitome of the communication craft: packing it with anecdotal pith?

    I was making an observation on how television is a hypnotic device (as are these things we’re staring at, when not looking at the keyboard), I had no idea it would turn into a (pleasant) reflection on our collectively mis-spent youths. Ok, my misspent youth. I have of course long been an advocate for getting back on the bus, and do so as often as I can, but that wasn’t the point. As I recall the mindset and other conversations going on elsewhere what we’re dealing with, herding the population, is directly an outgrowth of … ahhhhh, the German’s studies (corruption) of the application of television and drugs ~ beer and football ~ to the far older studies that they were of course a corruption of. Everything: the entire “media”. None dare call it a conspiracy.

    I think I mentioned that sharing the conviction with my students that the Internet would be the “entertainment” medium of the 21st century may not have been such a good career move …

    That second link is busted, but I don’t mind. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Ten!

      While the TV and media certainly are suggestive meaning they make effective suggestions to the people watching, it says more about how vulnerable people are to suggestion when delivered in ways that they identify with and evoke emotional responses. Being a trained hypnotist, I quibble with the characterization that it is hypnotic. Commercials and other environmental events disrupt any trance or trance-like state, even the shallow ones that people enter into while watching.

      All of that said, I have to report that I used to marvel at going to a movie at the theater that started during the daylight and ended after the sun set and being surprised that it was dark or even that the world continued to exist. Two more caveats: (1) when I drank diet soda during the movie the effect was much more extreme. I experienced time distortion and a kind of chemical high. And (2) I remember the disappointment when I would watch movies that hadn’t transported me into that realm of the world completely dissolving for the 90 to 120 minutes I was there.

      And, full disclosure, the first time I watched “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” I had taken shrooms and was convinced that Toon Town existed and I just needed to find it. I have watched “Brazil” multiple times and for the first few I was convinced it was a comedy and was quite shocked the first time I watched it and realized it was a tragedy. The first half dozen times I had watched it I was high.

      All of that said, the page out of Hitler’s Playbook in which the public is pummelled with lies, the Big Lies, and waves of terror has been utilized quite well by the GQP.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      PS Thanks for the tip on the busted link. I fixed it.

      Like

      • The aspartame problem is one I’ve followed for a long time. Banned virtually everywhere but the US, it’s really a pretty insidious drug for an “artificial sweetener”. Yours’ is not the first report I’ve read of a “high” feeling and temporal or time distortion. I have questioned whither or no mass shooters are regular consumers of aspartame sweetened diet sodas, but ahhh.uuhhhm … Cassandra’s Grandson.

        Hypnotic may not indeed be correct, but I haven’t found a better way to put it out of the popular lexicon. Close as I might get is with what I am sure is a cultural touchstone for us all: Three’s Company. 70s (?), 80s sitcomm about room-mates – couple gals and a “gay” guy, was probably the simplest demonstration I’d seen of how sitcomms were/are “training films”, canards built around hypothetical real-world possibilities and what the proper response should be. Cheers is another good example, Eight Is Enough; perhaps the most insidious was the Bill Cosby show: a black family aspiring to live white. There’s an expression for that my grandmother wasn’t particularly fond of, but is a good cookie none-the-less. For lack of a better term, the effect I have observed in the bare-footed, barely literate rubes sprawled drooling Pavlovianly across a “couch” the back seat out of a nineteen and sixty-nine Chevy Suburban drunk as a skunk on the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on television Kool-Aid is … hypnotic.

        I am open to suggestions …

        Liked by 1 person

        • Howdy Ten!

          You’re thoughts about how TV, especially in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, acting as a leavening agent in American culture is probably right. Something I’ve written extensively about is how we create our reality. We match our opinions and interpretations and reactions to those of the people around us. Back then, TV had a huge effect because (a) it reached so many people and (b) the choices in shows watched was so limited. We all watched the same things. Consequently, we accepted them as reflecting reality — by we I mean a majority of people. Those shows defined our reality. They told us what life was like out there. They reinforced our beliefs but they also challenged them.

          One way they challenged them is by making Black people more acceptable. You can track a progression of the roles Black people played on TV from “Gone With The Wind” to “The Good Times” to every show now having two white people, one Black person, one Brown person, and at least one woman. A similar thing happened with LGBTQ+ and is occurring now with autism.

          We define normal as what is happening around us. We use the beliefs, reactions, and thoughts of others to help us interpret new things and the ambiguous. TV helped us come together to agree that Black people and LGBTQ+ people should have equal rights. The Internet is helping to split us apart by limiting the number of people who are exposed to stimuli. The social bubble. Now we don’t agree and are certain we’re right because everyone around us says we’re right.

          That’s funny, right?

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Like

  2. Well, Jack, that was quite a week.

    I can’t quite say it all started with a hit of LSD, but it got a serious boost. It was Saturday, March 18, 1967. I remember the date mainly because it was my first time and I somehow also remember that the next day was Palm Sunday, which normally would be of exactly less than zero interest or significance to me. Some time in the wee morning hours, after the roller coaster of staring amazedly into the awesomeness of the suchness of the everythingness had subsided, we four were sitting a candle in the living room relearning how to socially interact. Somebody picked up a copy of “Zen Flesh And Zen Bones” a collection of 101 Zen stories and other writings compiled by Paul Reps and Nyogen Senzaki, and began reading aloud, I think with the Preface. After that it passed around the circle (square, actually, there were only four of us) story by story until we finished it. With the coming of dawn, we went out to a favorite deli for brunch and then walked over to the Museum Of Science and Industry (We were in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago.) and managed to enjoy pushing all the buttons of the displays that did things without making utter fools of ourselves or getting kicked out. I haven’t been without a copy or two of that book since.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Bob!

      Probably, about that same time, or at least sometime in that decade, I, too was reading “Zen Flesh and Zen Bones.” I blame Zen Buddhism for getting through my late teens and early adulthood. I don’t know where I’d be if it weren’t for it. It has been thirty years or more since I’ve read it. I’ll have to look for it at the library.

      I’ve been going down a nostalgic road of late going back over many of the periods of my life, but especially those from the late 70’s to the mid 90’s.

      It amazes me how differently your perceptions and processing of information are when under the influence of LSD or mushrooms. Reading aloud from Zen Bones woulda been amazing.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      PS I had a friend from Chicago who reports that they would giggle constantly at the LSD signs pointing the way to Lake Shore Drive. It always amused me and something I think about when anyone mentions Chicago.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, that’s funny about the LSD signs. I don’t remember noticing them at the time, but operating from the South Side and southern suburbs, we didn’t spend much time on that road.

        Yes, that reading was amazing, especially after having read a bunch of Aldous Huxley and Alan Watts. It is still like some of the stories are still at my mental finger tips. At the time, I had dropped out of college (lost track of just what the heck I was doing there, particularly after the great blizzard of ’67) and enlisted in the Army (able to choose a specialty rather than get drafted and end up Combat Infantry) with a six month delay. I don’t think I could have handled the military had it not been for the trips and Zen. Another after-trip excursion was to the museum of the Art Institute of Chicago. There, in a side gallery off the main entrance was a traveling exhibition of classical Indian art. At the entrance to that, spotlighted was a life size bronze Dancing Shiva (12th Century, if I recall right). That image stuck with me too.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Gee, y’all’s trips ended in more interesting and “better” ways than ours. We usually ended up at the all-night diner in the wee hours giggling way too much and wondering how we got so dirty.

          I don’t know that I would still be alive if it weren’t for Zen Buddhism, though. It got me through some rough moments in my early adulthood.

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Liked by 1 person

          • We did tend not to go out in public until the giggles and muttering “awesome” were over. Also, some of them did end with finally getting some sleep.

            I was thinking about the recent used of some of the trip drugs in therapy for depression, which also includes CBT or some variant. The interventions in the Zen stories look a lot like CBT and the Mental Research Institute model of Brief Therapy.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Howdy Bob!

              I have long wanted to try ayahuasca after reading several accounts of how it changed people’s lives. I know that there has been documented success treating severe depression with ketamine and end of life anxiety with mushrooms. The alteration of our brain chemistry to produce hallucinations has to be drastic, so such a drastic change should affect other systems of our brain, too. It makes sense to me.

              Huzzah!
              Jack

              Liked by 1 person

              • It is unfortunate that research with the hallucinogens was squashed for so long when LSD escaped the laboratory and panic ensued. There was a lot of work going on in the 1950s. One example: https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Use_of_LSD_in_Psychotherapy.html?id=-hzxvwEACAAJ

                The participants in the conference included Gregory Bateson. The Macy Conferences began in 1942 with one titled “Toward a Theory of Self Guided Munitions” (i.e., applied cybernetics) . The one on LSD was the ninth and last. The eighth, in 1951 was “Cybernetics: Circular Causal And Feedback Mechanisms In Biological And Social Systems”.

                Liked by 1 person

                • I read that book and at least one other about hallucinogenic-based psychotherapy while I was in university. I had.a good friend who put himself through his PhD program by studying the effects of LSD and signing his friends up as subjects to take his US government supplied acid. The same is true for research into the medicinal value of marijuana. The drug war hurt more than petty users.

                  Jack

                  Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      The drug problem was caused by the US government looking for something for the FBI to do after prohibition, meaning they were sent out to find people who were trafficking in marijuana and other drugs, which wasn’t a widespread problem. It mostly affected Blacks then. It was used by the whites to further vilify Black men and frighten whites. It was used to justify locking up large percentages of Black men and keep them off the voting rolls, impoverish the Black community, and disrupt Black family structure. The war on drugs was just an extension of Jim Crow.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

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