Whaz Up!?! Khmer New Year

Howdy y’all!


I’m enjoying commemorating important days. This one is the day MLK was assassinated. We need to enact his message of nonviolence this year as we fight for our rights and democracy.

Tell me you didn’t enjoy picking up chicks using the line, Happy First Contact Day! or at least showing off to friends, family, acquaintances, and complete strangers that you KNEW and they didn’t.

Part of the GQP plan is to drive us all into stupefied submission by pummeling us with outrage after outrage, threat after threat. Putin is doing his part to support the party he bought.

I am particularly pleased with this post. It is both personal, informative, and useful.

Not only is the conservative media manipulating the emotions of their viewers, they are driving them to mass psychosis through the constant strum und drang and angst and anxiety and existential crisis that they put them through, and now with solid empirical evidence.

It’s been an EXCITING week this past week! We had a run up to the Khmer New Year holiday, which is this week, so posts about Ye Olde Blogge’s misadventures during the week will be next week!

KHMER NEW YEARS. It may come as a shock to some of us, but not every place in the world celebrates the new year on 1 January even though most of us recognize 1 January as the beginning of a new year. Many traditions locate the new year as starting on or around the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. Others use a lunar calendar to determine the first day of the new year. Here in SouthEast Asia, including some of the southern provinces of India, Hindus in Pakistan, and the country of Sri Lanka, use a lunar calendar that puts the new year around 15 April because culture flowed east out of India in this part of the world. Wikipedia has a particularly useful write up of the traditions.

ANIMAL NEWS. We’ve had a couple of animal incidents this week!

Mary’s love dart is that circular patch

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY! Some of you may remember that my sixth grade classes have adopted a giant African land snail found on campus as a class pet. She’s been endlessly fascinating to watch and interact with. Friday as I was taking her home, though, I observed a large white alarming protrusion from the right side of her “neck.” It looked rather like a pimple, and like so much of her body, she could expand, extend, and contract it at will.

Of course, I googled it as soon as I got home. As it turns out, our Mary has become a woman. The protrusion is called a love dart.” Apparently, snails are hermaphrodites and exchange sperm with each other. They can also self fertilize. The love dart actually pierces the skin of the other snail and makes it more likely that the other snail will use its sperm to fertilize its eggs through an complex alchemy of chemicals and mucous.

Seeing the love dart emerge signals that the snail has reached sexual maturity.

That sound you just heard is the servers in multiple Republican dominated states banning Ye Olde Blogge. Let me know if you’ve been arrested or otherwise harassed by state officials for reading about hermaphroditism and snail reproduction. I’ll send you a file in a cake or something.

BARKING LIKE A DOG: We had occasion to visit the local computer and electronics store. It is in a lovely store front with the traditional enclosed courtyard. In theirs along with shoes, motorbikes, potted plants, and the odd stored item were two large bird cages. In one was a yellow parakeet or maybe parrot. In the other were two myna birds. While I stood in the courtyard waiting for Ma Belle Femme to complete our purchases, the myna birds began to talk!

They could say several things. The thing they repeated most often was something that sounded like, “low-high,” but they said it in a low-pitched masculine voice and a higher-pitched feminine voice. Also, one would bark like a dog! A dog!

I have to say, it was terrific fun to stand there and talk to the birds. If I worked there or had them as pets, I’d never get anything done. Mary is distracting enough. You’re lucky that I have enough discipline not to make this into an all about Mary blog filled with endless pics of the lovely snail.

The Week’s Reading

We’ve managed to return to the vaunted “normal” at Ye Olde Blogge and have begun writing posts in bits and pieces and scheduling them for publication to ratchet up the pressure to finish them on time. We’re quite pleased with ourselves. We’ve also begun reading regularly, so here’s what we found that was interesting.

The Professional Press

Stories that were published by legacy media, alternative professional sites, or by professionals publishing in their field.

  • SIZE ISN’T THE ONLY THING: Apparently, men tend to overestimate several of their dimensions besides just their hands. One of them, as it turns out, is their intelligence! Ha! Three important things here: (1) IQ tests are controversial. This study is looking at perception of intelligence and using IQ as a measure of that perception, not actual intelligence. (2) The IQ scores of men and women do not differ in any meaningful statistical way. And (3) it isn’t the gender that you were born with that correlates with your misperception, it is how masculine you act as measured by the Bem Sex Role Inventory! Follow the link to take it yourself. Tell us what you think in the comments! I came out as “undifferentiated.” (Neoscope)
  • TWO YEARS AND COUNTING: Now that we are starting our third year of #COVID19 as a fact of life, we can take a moment and look back at how bad the first two years were. Spoiler: They were bad. Here in graphic detail are just how bad it was. Have a visit. Getting a proper perspective is one way of validating the stress you felt and understanding our situation going forward. (Medscape)
  • GOING TO THE DOGS! Dogs did evolve to lure us in with those cute puppy-dog eyes! #SCIENCEFACT! Scientists have looked at the number of fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers in the faces of dogs, wolves, and people. The distribution in dogs is far closer to that of people than wolves. People and dogs use their fast-twitch muscle fibers to create emotional expressions. Since they fatigue quickly, the expression fades rapidly. The only reason dogs would have these muscles is to communicate their emotions, ergo, presto, they’re communicating like we do. (NBC News)
  • POST YOUR OWN: If you’ve come across any fun or interesting news this week, please tell us about it in the comments!

The Bloggosphere!

This week we hear from all the usual suspect!

  • LIGHTNING DOESN’T STRIKE: Sex just isn’t as easy as Republicans and the movies make it out to be. And, for some of us, we’re more befuddled than others. Here’s an interesting letter from a fella asking for some advice in the area of what do I want from a sexual encounter with a very instructive answer. (The Honest Courtesan)
  • …IZZAT FISH?!? What is it about sardines that brings about dread and repugnance? Does anyone really ever buy those tins of sardines and actually do anything with them other than leave them rusting on a shelf or feed them to a cat? I guess they actually do. (The Chatty Introvert)
  • A STRANGLED CAT?!?! You know how much of a sucker Ye Olde Blogge is for a good dog story, but one that includes a dog whose bark can be described as strangling a cat, well, we all welcome spring in our own ways, don’t we? (Pretty Pirate Patty Reviews)
  • PARADISE FOUND! With the world slowly returning to normal like a snail unfurling from its shell, those of us still not traveling much can live vicariously through the travels of others. Take a trip down Old Mexico way on the Baja Peninsula. Enjoy the sand, water, and beach! (bluewater)

The Friendlies

And, now for the best and most entertaining posts from those who are the particular friends of Ye Olde Blogge!

  • SHOULDA WOULDA COULDA Why is it that those words of self-beratement are so universal? Why are they so especially true of those of us who aspire to write regularly and frequently? Here are a few poetical thoughts on it all. (Of Cabbages and Kings).
  • THEY PUT THE SECRET into the secret service. Apparently, one of the 6 January Insurrectionists thought it a good idea to have Trump testify, and, so, served him with a subpoena. The server was turned away at the door to Merd de Lardo by an armed servant. Smart money is on it being a secret service agent. Since when is it the secret service’s job to protect its protectees from the justice system? (Mock Paper Scissors)
  • HOME GROWN There are accusations, credible accusations, that the Oregon GOP is WORSE than the national party or any other state due to its open embrace of the Proud Boys and QAnon and other such conservative extremists. It is, after all, ground zero for extremist inspired hate crimes. (Homeless on the High Desert)
  • HERTORY HAS BEEN MADE Burr covers all the coverage both big and small of the KBJ confirmation to the Supremes and all of the Putin war crimes and crimes against humanity, you know, just in case you missed something. There is some useful, instructive, and insightful commentary and actual reporting. (Fair and Unbalanced)
  • A THRASHING GOOD TIME! Seriously, Tucker Carlson and Fox News are going to get someone killed. They are openly calling for violence over LGBTQ+ issues. This whole grooming thing when discussing gender identity is going to push someone over the edge. You have to think that’s what they’re hoping for. (Scottie’s Playtime)
  • OOPSIE! THERE GOES SOMEONE’S HEAD! It’s difficult to get good help nowadays, what with the US unemployment to its lowest in decades and the Russian economy in shambles, you can’t hire anyone in either place. Well, Putin learned the hard way when Russian TV aired a clip of Ukrainian soldiers letting the world know what they thought of Putin and Russia. It’s all fun and games until Putin lops someone’s head off. Mike’s Blog Roundup is being curated by Jon Perr. (Crooks and Liars)
  • IT’S NOT ALL BAD once you get to know it. Yes, the IPCC did publish a report saying that we’re all fucked, and we are if you don’t consider all the good things that have happened so far. I mean, if you want to get all caught up in is it enough, I suppose, you can, but really, we’ve done a lot, right? (Infidel 753)

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Comment on the post! Let us know where you are on the gender scale, how your week went, about any close animal encounters you had, or any blog or news article you thought was particularly noteworthy.

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Image Attribution

This is my picture of a mynah bird, so you can do with it as you please. It has no licensure.

23 replies »

  1. “Not only is the conservative media manipulating the emotions of their viewers, they are driving them to mass psychosis through the constant strum und drang and angst and anxiety and existential crisis that they put them through, and now with solid empirical evidence.”

    The official framing of the mass psychosis “phenomenon” is misleading and wrong. The false hope-addicted psychologists and their acolytes want you to believe this is “just some temporary occasional” madness by the masses that has been going on since only the 20th century when it is but a spike of a CHRONIC madness going on for aeons with “civilized” people —

    One of these mainstream psychologists who have been spreading this whitewashed reality, Dr. Desmet, also fails to see that the Covid Psyop is a TOTALLY deliberate ploy because he doesn’t think it’s ALL intentionally sinister. This makes him witting or unwitting controlled opposition.

    Worst of all, perhaps, the mass formation/mass psychosis notion frames the problem as the public being a mere unaccountable non-culpable victim in this phenomenon. Nothing could be further from the truth…


    • Howdy Lientez!

      I’m not entirely clear here, but that’s okay. Here at Ye Olde Blogge, we like to have fun with language, even loaded terms and inflammatory language, but we also like to make well supported arguments.

      We have several posts up about mass psychosis, you are welcome to look those up. One of them examines the our current moment in hysteria to the Witch Hysteria in the Late Middle Ages. You’re welcome to search the site for those posts.

      You might could also consider looking for a post on proportionality bias. Our current #COVID19 mess seems like it couldn’t’ve happened without some kind of equally big cause, but it probably isn’t any more of a conspiracy or other sinister plot than the 1918 pandemic was. Occam’s Razor and all of that.

      One thing that has become clear as the blog explores the psychology behind our politics is that people are easily manipulated. We evolved to have cognitive tendencies that make processing our environments quicker and working in groups better. These tendencies worked well on the savannahs when we were hunter-gatherers, they work less well now that we are living in ultrasociality numbers.

      Whether someone is deliberately pulling the strings to produce mass psychosis or whether it is the result an unfortunate series of events, it merely describes the behaviors and beliefs of a group of people who are badly misinterpreting reality and reinforcing that bad interpretation with cognitive dissonance and groupthink.

      Since we rely on the opinions, beliefs, behaviors to form our own, it makes us vulnerable to that moment with a group has a set of beliefs that is so far removed from reality that it is detrimental to the group.



  2. Oh, I forgot. The talking birds reminded me of a mocking bird in a neighborhood where I used to live. It had a wide repertoire, including the songs of several other birds, chain saws, leaf blowers, lawn mowers, and a Harley Davidson.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My result from the test: M=104, F=96 — in the masculine quadrant on the chart, but very close to the center

    After I read The Chatty One’s post about sardines I had the thought that i haven’t had sardines in a long time. But, that was days ago and it faded. Now, having just gotten back from the grocery store, I still have no sardines.

    This week’s On The Media is very good on lessons learned, lessons learned and forgotten, lessons not learned, and lessons pending, and the discussion of the shape of the pandemic in relation to Vonnegut’s shapes of stories is good. The bad news is that it is the shape of story that people change the channel on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Bob!

      Thanks for the link! It was a good show. I enjoyed all three segments, but the segment on the things we haven’t learned from this and previous pandemics and how we push people into being ill and then blame them was very interesting. The segment on Vonnegut’s mapping of stories and how the #COVID19 pandemic map violates them was also interesting. I figure there’s a blog post in there somewhere if I have the time to pen it down and post.


      Liked by 1 person

          • When your culture practices abuse and exploitation, the choice is to either blame the victim for the consequences, or take responsibility for them. So, there’s an easy choice and a hard choice.

            We also have theologies that blame the victim, saying those who are virtuous get health and wealth, and those who don’t get those things are lacking in virtue or even wicked. I suppose that Job is not the favorite Biblical story of those who believe that.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Howdy Bob!

              Back to that Puritan deep culture of if you’re not successful it’s because god don’t love you. It leaves us ripe for abusing the most vulnerable among us. We can see it right now in the evangelical right who despises all of us who don’t love Jesus right, and it is okay because god says it is.

              It’s no wonder we’re so screwed up since our culture was founded on victim blaming and narcissism.


              Liked by 1 person

              • Whenever this comes up, I think of a verse in “The Yew Tree” by the Battlefield Band.

                “Did you no’ think tae tell when John Knox himsel’
                Preached under your branches sae black
                To the poor common folk who would lift up the yoke
                O’ the bishops and priests frae their backs
                But you knew the bargain he sold them
                And freedom was only one part
                For the price o’ their souls was a gospel sae cold
                It would freeze up the joy in their hearts”

                Liked by 1 person

                • Howdy Bob!

                  I can see that Protestantism was popular from the beginning. Freezing joy is a good description of it. I guess it is no wonder that the Reformation came about as feudalism was giving way to a freer more individualistic market-oriented economy. It is a religion tailor made for capitalism.


                  Liked by 1 person

    • One last point. It is nice when other people much better informed than I come to similar conclusions. The segment on not having grieved as a nation and the effect that a million dead will have on us were all points that I had been trying to make last year sometime. It is a shame that we priorities our sportified politics over our fate as a country.


      Liked by 1 person

      • The part about long term and delayed problems similar to Long Covid from other virus epidemics and pandemics was new to me. We are going to be paying for our mistakes with this bug for a long, long time.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Howdy Bob!

          Between the sheer loss of human life and productivity, the detrimental effects of Long #COVID19, and the failure to immunize the world in a timely manner, we’ll be paying for our failures for a long long time. I too was surprised by the long-term problems caused by pandemics. I hadn’t realized the effect even though I know people who had polio, for example, and still suffer from it.

          As a child, I became conscious of the wider world as polio was being stopped. I remember the reverence with which my teachers talked about the polio vaccine and the sorrow with which relatives and friends spoke of people they knew who had polio. It was a devastating disease that scarred the psyches of world. Those memories have faded as that last polio generation and the generation of the vaccine passes.

          Our failure to learn the lessons of pandemics past is the most concerning. One of the functions of government is to provide that institutional memory that should improve our responses to these things, but just as easily as Trump dismantled Obama’s pandemic response team, we forget those lessons.


          Liked by 1 person

          • Again, we demonstrate the truth of what happens to those who forget history (let alone those who stay too ignorant of it to have anything to forget). It has been argued that it is our human ability to accumulate knowledge across generations that has led to our domination of the planet. Alas, as good as we are at it, social systems are as lazy as individuals and screw it up often.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Howdy Bob!

              It takes real effort to apply the lessons of history, especially if they are telling you to do something different than what you really really want to do. That is the real tension there. There’s the pull towards what is really good for me personally, but may not be so good for everyone else versus the pull towards what is good for most people, but may not be so good for me. Right now, the folks who seek personal gain are winning that tug-of-war. Hopefully, we can get that turned around.


              Liked by 1 person

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