Thoughts

Whaz Up?!? Thank God 2021 Ended and We’re Still Here


howdy y’all!

Well smell, just when you thought we were going to escape 2021 binge drinking alone in your darkened living room watching the ball drop in New York’s Time Square on your TV, it pauses at the exit to show us its colostomy bag. Has there been a worse last week in the history of New Year’s celebrations?

  • DESMOND TUTU, the anti-apartheid superhero bishop of South Africa died on 26 December for a major Merry fucking Christmas and Happy New Years to you and yours from 2021. It was people like Tutu who made you think that the world had a chance of getting it right and becoming a better place…
  • JOHN MADDEN, the football player, coach, and commentator died on 28 December. He was the everyman of his professions. I remember him hollering at us from the broadcast booth something mundane like, “They’re running a sweep! They’re pulling their guards!” which always made me think I was so smart because I knew what a Super Bowl winning coach knew, or he would say something ridiculous like, “If there were a play that could score four points, that would be the play they’d run,” which always made feel smart because logic, amirite? God bless John Madden.
  • HARRY REID, the pugilist of the senate, and, perhaps, the only Democrat besides Elizabeth Warren that McConnell ever feared, also died on 28 December. If Reid were still leading the senate, we wouldn’t have no stinking filibuster and BBB and voting rights would be signed and passed. I swear to goodness 28 December will never be the same again.
  • BETTY WHITE died on 31 December at age 99 just 18 days shy of her 100th birthday and after millions on social media jinxed her by openly praying for her “protection” until she reached this arbitrary milestone. How could those self-absorbed chasers of likes, shares, comments, and follows not realize or care what they were doing to her? We live in a hellish age, don’t we?

Other than those deaths and the catastrophe that is our Congress and climate, I hope your holidays have been merry, happy, and gay, and your 2022 will be richly rewarding and filled with love and success.

Man, who am I kidding? We’re so fucked!

The Week’s Reading

Being a holiday week in which nothing much was happening, I had an unusual amount of time to read, so here’s the cream of that crop if you can manage it through the grief-stricken sobbing and hysterical realization of just how dire our situation is.

On the Interwebs

There were some very interesting things written that don’t fall into the category of blogs that I follow.

  • GREENACRES!?! Anything with a reference to that Eddie Albert-Eva Gabor vehicle already has my unwavering attention, but when it gets used to explain Derrida’s deconstructionism, I get all warm and fuzzy! (New Lines Magazine)
  • WELL-WRITTEN RHETORIC: I have found my Bible and tome. Never shall I write another tortured sentence or aimless wandering post. Everything from now on shall be engaging, informative, and flowing, and suddenly, I was run over by a truck. (One of the truly most bewildering and befuddling experiences you can have on the Internet, Coldbacon)
  • DEATH THREATS: We live in the age of the anonymous death threat. If someone surfaces in the news, it seems that the threatening phone calls and emails cannot be far behind. Reuters has done a masterful job of not only cataloguing almost 900 threats to elections workers but arranged them on an interactive page for your perusal, which you should definitely peruse. (Reuters)

From Ye Olde Blogge Rolle

Nothing beats getting your favorite blog posts delivered straight to your email inbox (hint, hint sign up for our email list), so these were the posts that caught my eye. Amazingly not all of them are end of the year stuff and the ones that are are damn sure worth looking at.

Posts on Grief because Holidays

The holidays can be rough on all of us and even rougher if we’ve been unfortunate enough to have lost someone during the holidays, near the holidays, or if it is one of the first without them. Knowing how important grief is to Ye Olde Blogge, here are two personal posts:

The Professional Blogs

It would be possible just fill this column with posts from the more professionally written and oriented blogs that I follow. Okay, they’re not blogs, but publications that use WordPress. Here’s what was just irresistible this week.

Friends of Ye Olde Blogge

New Years and the holiday season has come and gone yet again. Here’s what the special friends of the blog were blogging about in the last week of 2021.

  • DREAMS OF NOVELING: Who hasn’t dreamed of being a novelist? We’ve all got at least one kicking around inside of us, right? As I head into Joseph Conrad territory, I was heartened to find this promotion of Indie Blu(e) Publishing (Of Cabbages and Kings).
  • DUMBALIZATION: The MSM political press is half of the problem! These folks are asleep at the profits looking to exploit the gullible just like all the other corporate overlords because corporations, even media corporations, won’t save our democracy as long as the authoritarians allow the profits to flow. Our Failed Political Press Announces The New Normal (Mock Paper Scissors)
  • DON’T LOOK NOW! Ten Bears has finally seen Don’t Look Up, so we can all relax. He’s given it his seal of approval, so we can all give a huge sigh of relief. If you haven’t had that lingering feeling of we’re so fucked, you will once you’ve seen it. Discuss in the comments, y’all! (Homeless on the High Desert)
  • EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY! COME RIGHT AWAY: Burr Demings has had himself a some something medical that landed him in the emergency room, so this usual column of entertaining commentary on this week’s reading is delayed or just put off until next week. Join us in wishing him a speedy recovery. Better yet, drop by and leave him an encouraging comment. (Fair and Unbalanced)
  • THE COMICAL NEW YEAR: Scottie has put up his cartoon round up and there are some GREAT ones there this time. The end of a rather shitty year has inspired our current crop of cartoonists to make some biting commentary on our current state of affairs. (Scottie’s Playtime)

We’re officially in 2022. There’s no getting out of it now. Let’s try to have it at least twice the fun as we had in 2021.

Huzzah!
Jack

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Image Attribution

“Getting ready for 2017 New Year’s Eve Ball Drop” by AndrewDallos is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

20 replies »

  1. Well…all I can say is thank goodness for the calico buddies that bring a smile to my face! Thanks for the shout out (again) and for the lovely blog posts that I finally had time to peruse. This year simply has to be better…am I right? Even if I am wrong, PLEASE don’t tell me. I want to live in this nice little bubble for a bit

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Suze!

      Here’s to hoping that the seventh blog is the most charming one of all. I had thought you’d gotten out of the business all together. Nice to see you back.

      Here’s to living in bubbles… seems to be our new normal… and I’m glad you’re in my blogging bubble.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Another fine kettle of links you’ve gotten us into, but these aren’t fishy. 🙂

    Has anybody tried seriously deconstructing the utterances of DJT, or does he not make enough sense in which to find the nonsense?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Bob!

      I remember watching Green Acres as a child and early teen and thinking it was just crazy seeming. The juxtaposition, contradiction, and seeming irrationality made it seem out of this world. It was right up there with Monty Python.

      I think DJT has some sense to him in two ways. First, you have to be able to decode his tangential associations. If you could do that, you’d have something. I don’t know that anyone could, though. And second, there is a more universal association to the things he says as he says that could be deconstructed if you were writing your rhetoric PhD dissertation.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

      • GA was remarkable, a strange kind of cognitive exercise.

        It occurs to me that in some degree that task of deconstructing DJT’s utterances actually does fall to the Jan6 committee and some lawyers at DOJ. The questions of what he was really saying and intending have to deal with the fog of his tangential material and distractions.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Howdy Bob!

          If he’s ever charged, I wonder if he will fall back on some variation of the Tucker Carlson-Sydney Powell defense of no one should take anything I say seriously or as truth or news. Probably not. He’d fall back on his tried and true, throw someone under the bus.

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Liked by 1 person

          • I doubt that his lawyers would have any success persuading him to say anything he had ever said was not absolute truth. He could deny having said something, and do so with a straight face, but never admit to having lied or being wrong. As for throwing somebody under the bus, if/when he is charged, anybody and everybody involved with him should make a plea deal as fast as they can and spill their guts because they will be on the under the bus list.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Howdy Bob!

              I’m surprised that the CFO of the Trump Org didn’t spill, but that is the power of gaslighting and the narcissistic delusion. The guy is supposed to have all but worshipped Trump.

              The kids, I would hope, would know better. We’ll see. Unfortunately, to dish on Trump is to dish on themselves. Even if they do have immunity, it would mean trashing their entire identity as frauds. I don’t know that any of them have the ego-strength to do that. I also don’t know whether they can overcome the cognitive dissonance justifying such a trashing to save their hides.

              Eric didn’t cut a deal that we know of last year when he testified. But, they’ve all been as gaslit and are as invested as the CFO is. They may be too narcissistic to realize what is at stake and how much real danger they are in. If they can get them to come in and sit at the table, maybe they can present their evidence to help convince them that it is in their best interest to cut a deal.

              Unfortunately, most of us are moving at the speed of social media nowadays, when justice moves at the speed of justice.

              Huzzah!
              Jack

              Liked by 1 person

              • The Trump kids will only dish on Dad if/when it is crushingly clear that he is going down and taking the family fortune with him. Then, they will try to save whatever they can of it to fight over. I would expect they would try to go for a conservatorship, get him declared incompetent.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Howdy Bob!

                  Similar to what I said about Trump not fleeing when the legal noose is tightening around his neck and losing the election. His narcissism will convince him that he is on the cusp of winning if he just stays the course. He’ll manage that stand until it is too late. His kids just may feel the same way. It maybe that none of them will turn because by the time they realize it is in their best interest to, it will be too late.

                  If one of them is more Machiavellian than narcissistic, then that one may already be thinking of throwing everyone else under the bus, but I haven’t seen any signs of strong Machiavellian tendencies among any of them. Mostly they are narcissistic with executive dysfunction, like the old man.

                  Huzzah!
                  Jack

                  Liked by 1 person

      • What people seem to forget ~ there’s a similar post up at Climate Crocks about Mayberry ~ is that when Hollywood was filming these sit-coms … they were making fun of the yokels. Ma ‘n Pa Kettle were out of Klamath County Oregon, contemporaries with my grandparents. Yes, Oregon is Appalachia.

        I have argued, here perhaps … scratch that, start over: think of television situation comedies as cigarettes. There’s nothing inherently wrong about nicotine, it’s a stimulant no better no worse than caffeine; the cigarettes are just the delivery device, that they are inherently harmful is what makes them inherently wrong.

        The hillbillies are the wacky-tobaccy, a delivery device none-the-less …

        Liked by 1 person

        • Howdy Ten!

          There was a substantial migration out of Appalachia for the NorthWest during the Depression. Interestingly, there was a homecoming the generation after that.

          I knew a Native American spiritualist back in the day you used to remark that their sacrament, tobacco, is now killing the white oppressor and white people’s sacrament, alcohol, is killing Native Americans. I suppose there is something to that even though cigarettes are killing Native Americans and alcohol, whites.

          The roll of humor in introducing minority viewpoints to the majority has always fascinated me. You see it in sitcoms. In the ’70’s, Blacks were used as comic relief in various sitcoms, All in the Family, comes to mind, but there were plenty of others. By the ’80’s you had Blacks starring in their own sitcoms, The Jeffersons, a spinoff from All in the Family. You had gays in sitcoms of the ’80’s. I think Mary Tyler Moore had a gay character or at least an episode or season with a gay storyline. By the ’90’s you had gays headlining their shows, Will and Grace — okay, barely in the ’90’s. I guess the big sitcoms, Seinfeld and Friends, had very little about race or gay culture in them. They did touch on feminism, but that had a very different story arc. The jokes in those shows were very cringe-worthy in today’s climate because they used gay culture, ethnicity (especially Jews), and women as the butt of their jokes. But, all of it made those issues more acceptable in the minds of those in the majority (white people).

          But, when we were making fun of hillbillies in the ’60’s, it wasn’t to introduce and make acceptable a minority group. It was just to abuse hillbillies. It has left an indelible mark in most of our minds: hillbillies are backwards and stupid. It does us a huge disservice to associate MAGA Nation with hillbillies and country bumpkins. They aren’t. It causes us to underestimate them. We shouldn’t. And, it causes us to dismiss them as a viable threat. That is a huge mistake.

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Like

          • I’ll admit there has been a time or two when I ran with the “I don’t know, I’m just a dumb f’ing Logger” schtick,

            There was a sign on the wall of my grand-parents’ little campground, camp store gas station in the Middle of Nowhere Oregon, started out “best to keep quiet and” at which point g’da had painted over the rest with red branding paint and yellow logging crayon “whatever the hell they want to think”. And I should caveat this conversation with my grandparents also had a house in Pasadena, as did Ma ‘n Pa Kettle. They (my grandparents, grandmother Oregon-born) followed the fruit through the twenties and thirties; when they started having kids and could no longer spend summers in a “motor home” they bought the campground and that became their summer migratory revenue generation. They did quite well, and no, the only trickle-down was warm and wet. The point …

            Things were not as they seemed. Ma ‘n Pa Kettle were not hillbillies; they were making fun of hillbillies.

            I think our observations dove-tail: it’s my feeling that All In the Family was the last of the “making fun of the rubes” sit-com, that it was with the advent of The Jeffersons and all those you quite thoroughly detail we started to see them beginning to deliver sub-conscious, sub-lineal if you wish demonstrations on how one “should behave” in a given situation (hence, situation comedy). Programing. It was about that time that I began noticing how television is hypnotic, how it sucks you – more accurately the weak minded, the susceptible – in.

            There’s a science to it …

            Liked by 2 people

            • Howdy Ten!

              One of the most influential and insightful psychological studies was Moscovici’s Minority Influence study. Basically, the conclusion was that if the minority message gets presented to the majority in a way that the majority will consider it seriously and it gets presented consistently, then it is likely that the majority will moderate their view towards the minority view. TV and media have tremendous influence just because it is widely and consistently watched. Humor helps the minority view be considered without being rejected outright. Maybe TV execs decided to socially engineer the States or maybe they were just going for something that seemed to sell well.

              I know Norman Lear, producer of All in the Family and so many other influential TV shows, knew he was influencing the social views of America and set about to present the issues in dramatic and humorous forms.

              No doubt the Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, Ma and Pa Kettle and others were denigrating the hillbillies and country bumpkins, which explains why our views towards the rural dwelling among us haven’t softened. They were not presented in a sympathetic light but simply ruthlessly chided.

              Huzzah!
              Jack

              Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah’m not sure I’ve ever had a review quite~like~that. Was it something I said?

    I don’t run, thank you. If you’re running you’re in a hurry, and if you’re in a hurry you’re not doing it right; if you don’t have time to do it right the first time what makes you think you have time to do it right the second? A five mile walk on-the-other-hand, with fifty pounds of walking weight and doing a couple hundred (inclined) push-ups, (inclined) pull-ups and weighted stretched, torso-twists and windmills … well shite, I can’t answer the in-house cannabinoid observation because I am generally consuming cannabinoids while doing all that so … belay the whole thing. The more we learn about it the less surprising these things are.

    I posted a couple of clips about hemp houses because I think my son and I are going to try and crack into it. It is so freakin’ simple ~ lime and hemp hurds ~ and goes together like Legos. With a 1 to 1.5 production to storage carbon footprint Your average “American” house could store up to ten tons (20,000 lbs) of carbon for the life of the hempcrete ~ crete that to all observations rivals if not exceeds Roman concrete in strength and durability. Possibly thousands of years.

    I can see a dinner-hour viewing of Don’t Look Up a new New Year’s tradition.

    On-the-other-hand, there are 33,000+ things we know of we can do with hemp, one of them may be save the world …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Ten!

      I think I was riffing off of the line, “Now that I’ve seen the movie, I can read the reviews.” Personally, I don’t read reviews one way or the other. Just somebody’s opinion.

      Exercise is exercise. Sounds like you’ve got a good routine going. Last time I indulged in cannabis it made me so paranoid, I decided to never indulge again. It just felt bad. I’m glad to have found another way of reaching the same high without the paranoia.

      I had thought about linking to the hemp house stuff. It’s interesting. I’ll keep an eye out for it in the future. Lord knows we need to remove all the carbon we can from the system. Maybe hemp will save humankind after all.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Like

      • Now having slept on it twice, and read the reviews … I could have, you could, just read the reviews, they’re as good as the movie. I see that post was pretty … exasperated. Frustrated … that a movie billed with the unlikely moniker of “The Strangeglove of Our Times” so both exposes our – we, all of us – utter vapidity, and the asinine futility of it all. I want to do a post “Eat! Drink! Be Merry … We’re Not Gonna’ Make It”

        But as I reminded my son just yesterday, we are not Lucky Men. We don’t get to just lay down and die.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Howdy Ten!

          When I was a young man, I lamented the galvanizing event in our lives for my generation like Viet Nam and civil rights had been for the previous generation. Now, we have an organizing issue, really several of them: climate, democracy, #COVID19. I guess it is a case of being careful for what you wish for.

          The problem with all three of our issues is that you cannot see them or their effects very easily. Unlike a comet streaking through the sky, by which it was way too late. They did get the real culprit right though, greed and self-absorption.

          I guess at some point we may want to eat, drink, and be merry since we’ll have passed some tipping point for all three and just try to enjoy our time as the inevitable arrives kind of like the survivors or the last to die during the Black Death, but I think all three are slowly moving enough that we’ll never realize that we’ve gone past the point of no return, we’ll have hope til the end.

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Like

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