Whaz Up!?! Biking Through Cambodia and Mixing “The Magic Flute” and “Reamkar”

Uh… Boo, y’all!

Hope your Halloween was happy and spooky and all that. Better, though, is to celebrate Dias de los Meurtos, in my opinion on 1 and 2 November. Tell us about all about your celebrations of the dead in the comments!

The week’s been busy as always. Made busier by the end of the first term of the school year with incumbent extra duties like finalizing report cards, writing student comments, meeting with parents, and completing professional goals. Through it all, I found time to blog, read, and explore Cambodia. Here are some interesting highlights from the week, in no particular order:

  • I was fortunate enough to attend a lecture by Aaron Carpene, an Australian-Italian opera academian who has traveled the world melding European opera with traditional performance art in such far flung places as Bhutan, Australia, and Japan. He is now staging a mashup of The Magic Flute and the Cambodian epic poem, Reamkar. The Reamkar is the Cambodian version of the Ramayana epic poem. The two stories, according to Aaron Capene are remarkably similar, so he’s using traditional Khmer performance of dance, shadow puppets, and musical ensembles to tell the tale. Fascinating stuff. I’m making plans to go see it in January 2022. Wish me luck… in the comments!
  • I found Newsline to be a fascinating source of insightful, reliable, and detailed reporting on the Middle East. I couldn’t put this article down until I was finished! Apparently, the seal that ISIS uses on its infamous black flag is from a forgery of a letter purporting to be from Mohammed himself. Haha! Don’t you just love Schadenfreude? Hating on ISIS is just too easy, isn’t it?
  • Cambodia is still overrun with unexploded ordnance (UXO) and landmines as this sad article can attest. Three boys injured when playing with some kind of shell or round that they found.
  • We went for bicycle trip around an island on the Mekong River just as it exits Phnom Penh to the southeast. We were back in Old Cambodia. To get to the island, we had to take a ferry. To get to the ferry, we had to walk down a dark narrow alleyway in a market area. The ferry was just a flat platform spanning two of the small river boat hulls. The island had a concrete paved road which people lived along in houses and sold goods from their front yards. We stopped to buy coffee — GREAT coffee, strong, sweet, and milky made with Cambodian robusta beans like in Viet Nam — and to buy some vegetables. The woman selling vegetables wouldn’t take our money! She was treating us like guests, not customers. No forgeingers tourists or resident visit this island very often. We just lucked into it and rented some family’s bikes for a dollar a piece. Here are some pictures from our adventure:

From the Calendar

The Week that Was

Last week saw a couple of posts and one day that got added to the calendar for next year:

  • How the GQP Divisive Politics is Destroying the American Way of Life. My thinking on how we should be treating those members of MAGA Nation, not their political and media leaders, but the rank and vile. The GQP is trying to split us in order to take us over. The way to stop them from stealing our democracy is to deny them the division. We will not be able continue as a country divided like we are.
  • Charles Koch, Racial Animus, Critical Race Theory Furor, and What to Do About It. Then I read an article in The Nation about how Charles Kock is funding the CRT school board outrage movement just like they did the anti-ACA Tea Party movement. They are trying to get demagogue white voters into voting GQP… AGAIN.
  • Friday 29 October was, of course, the date that the stock market crashed in 1929 ushering in the Great Depression. How could I have overlooked THAT date?!? How could any of you not remind me in the comments?

Next Week

I don’t have anything in the pipes right now. I’m still thinking about revisiting Timothy Snyder’s Twenty Lessons and the continuing effects that the #COVID19 pandemic is having on us. Here are the dates on the calendar:

  • Monday 1 and Tuesday 2 November is Dias de los Meurtos celebrated across Mexico to remember our departed ancestors and party with their spirits. It is a beautiful holiday. Everyone should celebrate. Remember your dead, everybody.
  • Monday 1 November is the first day of Native American Heritage month. Let’s see if us whitey white meats can steal that from them, too, howboutit?
  • Tuesday 2 November is election day in Virginia and New Jersey. They elect their governors and other state offices. Say a little prayer for our democracy and cross your fingers that we can continue holding on by our fingernails.
  • Saturday 6 November is A Day of Global Action on climate change. What will you being doing to take action on climate change? Tell us about it in the comments!
  • As always, if there is a day you think should be on the calendar, you should let us know in the comments, and we’ll add it.

Friends of Ye Olde Blogge

  • Friend of the blog from over at Cabbages and Kings writes a mean poem. This offering is a spine-tingling tale of an immortal beauty that is beyond temptation by earthly desires. It must be read to be understood.
  • Tengrain over at Mock Paper Scissors totally scores with this compendium of the evil that Facebook has wrought. Check it out. It is a smorgasbord of coverage.
  • Infidel has assembled quite the collection of Halloween themed memes and GIFs. It is well worth the time it takes to check it out.
  • Burr has his weekly summary of all the Interwebs worth reading with his typical pithy commentary liberally scattered throughout.
  • I found Scottie’s daily cartoon rundown from Thursday 28 October to particularly entertaining. Perhaps, you will, too, but you’ll never know unless you check it out!
  • TenBears treats us to an article that basically explains how the Supreme Court could declare the entire federal governing apparatus as we know it unconstitutional. Wouldn’t that be something? The conservatives really are determined to burn the whole thing down, aren’t they?
  • Apparently, Mike’s Blog Round Up has found itself in quite the dilemma this week with few submissions to be used. We immediately offered our latest efforts in violation of their two-week cycle of promoting blogs, i.e. no blog can be promoted in the two weeks following its last mention. Check the round up often, check out the blogs they’re pimping that day, and check out Ye Olde Blogge when we pop up in the rotation.

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Image Attribution

This is the photo of the island spirit house from the street that I took on our trip. It is unlicensed and free to be used, abused, and confused for work that you did.

15 replies »

  1. I found it elsewhere, but thought it important to replicate. That others have seen it … thanks for the link!

    Things are pretty rough here at Valhalla, ’bout all I have time for today is our ideologically stacked unelected panel of actively partisan Catholic Illuminati vigilantes furiously trying to back out of letting the Texas Abortion Vigilante bill stand … which is a pretty good distraction from declaring pretty much everything done since WWI “unconstitutional”. An ideologically stacked unelected panel of actively partisan Catholic Illuminati vigilantes is unconstitutional; illegitimate, and contrary to The Founders intent.

    Nearly twenty years ago I started putting together what became The Screed: history, if there is a history, historians, if there are historians, will mark the appointment by an ideologically stacked court of non-elected actively partisan judges of the scion of Hitler financing, old school Robber Baron money with limited intellect, less education and no experience to the highest office in the land as the End of America. We are where we are on mere momentum. Momentum that has run out, and to be perfectly honest with you today is no better example of it.

    America is over. What we need to be doing is thinking about surviving …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Ten!

      I agree with you. We are now the #ZombieNation. We’re dead; we just don’t know it yet.

      I think the real death or at least the thing that plunged us over the side of the cliff was John Roberts declaring that money doesn’t corrupt. Roberts was the true death of our democracy between that the gutting of the Voting Rights Act.

      I am amazed at just how vulnerable the average white person is to the sweet Siren song of racial angst. How many elections have we seen turn on some racist dog whistle getting Republicans elected so they can further gut our country while Dems can’t seem to find their way out of the fucking corner?



  2. Ten Bears’ article on the non-delegation doctrine is excellent. Considering that we have a Congress that can’t even seem to pass a budget on time, demanding that it write the details of any regulations and enforcement actions needed to carry out it’s laws and appropriations with no flexibility granted to the executive would be insane. I mean, the poor Representatives and Senators would have to spend all their time actually working instead of raising campaign money and such. But, the doctrine has a hidden flaw for those who want an authoritarian President For Life. The legislature would not be able to just delegate all power to the executive and go home. If the goal is a single party pseudo democracy (dictatorship), non-delegation would be a problem.

    Thanks for the shout out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Bob!

      The world has gone mad, I think. The GOP just want to burn it all down. It doesn’t matter whether things make sense or not as long as the government is destroyed, and by destroyed, I mean rendered non-functional. They would be happy to write all regulations and laws using the vigilante enforcement mechanism of the Texas abortion law and have their courts be openly biased in their enforcement of the doctrine restricting it only to those measures that they find acceptable.

      When you have a single-party pseudo-democratic minority-rule autocracy, hypocrisy, consistency, legality, and accountability are no longer issues you have to be wary of. Their guiding principles will be (1) if it hurts Black folks first and worst, then it’s okay. And (2) it’s okay for a Republican to do it, but no one else. Everyone else’s job is to shut up and die quickly and quietly when they are no longer able to pay more than they cost.


      Liked by 1 person

      • Silly me. I was trying to make sense in terms of a functional system. As for actually writing regulations and policies, the GOP’s pretend legislators wouldn’t have to write the details. They would just let the lobbyists write them as they already do. Most of that would actually be non-regulation anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m afraid the GQP outsourced all of their legislating a long time ago to ALEC and other think tanks. When was the last time a Republican legislator actually wrote a meaningful piece of legislation? Once they are truly insulated from any form of accountability, they just do as they please and call it right.


          Liked by 1 person

          • They have, indeed. After all, they are all too busy raising money and blabbering talking points on Fox “News” to either write or read the bills they will vote on however the leadership directs. Which reminds me of one of my favorite Gilbert & Sullivan patter songs, When I Was A Lad, from HMS Pinafore.

            “I grew so rich that I was sent
            By a pocket borough into Parliament.
            I always voted at my party’s call,
            And I never thought of thinking for myself at all.

            He never thought of thinking for himself at all.

            Sir Joseph.
            I thought so little, they rewarded me
            By making me the Ruler of the Queen’s Navee!”

            Liked by 1 person

            • And just like Monty Python, the theater of the absurd hews so closely to the bone you’re not quite sure where reality ends and the absurdity begins. Perhaps the boundary is in the clear articulation of it.


              Liked by 1 person

              • “You and me we keep walkin’ around and we see
                All the bullshit around us
                You try and keep your mind on what’s going down
                Can’t help but see the rhinoceros around us ”
                Jefferson Airplane – The House At Pooneal Corners

                That kind of covers it, referring to Rhinoceros the absurdist play by Eugène Ionesco.

                Which leaves me thinking about the Build Back Better bill and feeling like those guys in Waiting for Godot.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Howdy Bob!

                  Waiting for Godot is the perfect metaphor for the Democratic Party right now. They seem completely befuddled by the moment. Their anxiety is paralytic. Now is the time to take risk if we follow the behavioral economist rule, no one likes risk, except to avoid a sure loss. The lesson from Virginia is go big or go home. We’ve got to take the biggest risks, put forth the most transformational candidates, to borrow a phrase from the Squad. Milquetoast obviously didn’t sop up too many of the independent voters.


                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Exactly. I really think it was a mistake to focus so much on the total dollar numbers rather than the per-year-for-number of years numbers. When people hear a huge dollar number, they tend to imagine spending it all at once. Retailers learned this long ago, focusing attention on the monthly payment more than the total price.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Being a Democrat is a lot like being a Detroit Lions fan. You’re always going to be Charlie Brown thinking that this is the time Lucy doesn’t pull the ball. They succeed just often enough to keep you coming back for more. It’s that intermittent reinforcement that just really sets the hook deep, doesn’t it?


                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Intermittent reinforcement (especially when random and unpredictable) is the most durable. One of the enduring puzzles for political parties is the “Big Tent versus Unanimity” problem. The parliamentary systems tend to solve it with many small tent parties which then have to form coalitions after the election. Sometimes that works better, sometimes, even worse.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • But as long as everyone is playing by the rules, it doesn’t matter. What we have is the GQP defying the rules. A house divided cannot stand against itself, that house cannot stand. We are a failed state as long as they refuse to cooperate. That’s it. right there.



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