WWSP's Shadow of th Marigold

Friday, June 30, 2017

Stupid Burning Questions!

I'm not even gonna "Google" it. Fuck the Oracle. My burning questions will have to just hang in the air, or reside in this blog, like a little cloud of unknowing...

Do Human Beings Enjoy Being Stupid?

Is Being Stupid Entertainment for these Stupid Beings?

Is there some kind of Evolutionary Advantage to Willful Stupidity?

You may be wondering why I am asking these questions. But really?! Come on! And well, I suppose, (as an essentially stupid person would surmise), we already know the answers.

Another thing that I was mulling over yesterday... take alcohol and drug use out of our lives and much of what consumes Human Beings seems so ridiculous!

Think of all the cultural pursuits of the Human Being and subtract  alcohol and drug abuse. Most of what we do day to day would be intolerable.

Those who choose sobriety, (it is a radical choice), find themselves in another land far far away from center of the Human Herd. Sober Strangers in a Strangely Stupefied Land.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Stress Test?!

Maybe this is all just a stress test? In this case the patient is the U.S. Democracy? A test of all of our major institutions. You'd think multiple choice or an essay would be better, less, well, stressful. But stress test it is...

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Being Optimistic Seems Sort of Radical.

Optimistic: "hoping or believing that good things will happen in the future." Yes! Why not?!

It may seem a bit naive: "(of a person or action) showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgement"

But maybe that "lack" can be useful. Let's say the "glass is half full, not half empty." 

As they say, "Perception is unique to every individual and is simply one's interpretation of reality."

Being optimistic seems sort of radical and out of step these days.

And those "interpretations" can get us into trouble. You hope to see the world with clear eyes. You want to listen to reality at all times. Still... I say... lean forward, and to the light.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

World Contempt!

They don't love us any more. The rest of the world. All those other countries out there. Maybe that's how our new President likes it. World Contempt!

According to Pew Research, only two countries have a more favorable impression of us from our last President to our current one. Israel, and, of course, Russia. Everyone else? They are reeling from the disaster that is the new America!


Monday, June 26, 2017

We are All Nancy Drew Now!

I have a good friend who is grouchy - easily annoyed and complaining. She's been grouchy since November 2016. Our new President has not made America Great Again, but he has made my good friend very grouchy. He has also captured our brains. It's not good, not fair, not a good use of a brain, but as Kurt Vonnegut wrote often in "Slaughterhouse Five," - "So it goes."

Anyway, Josh Marshall over at Talking Point Memo is one the finest brains in America that has been completely obsessed with the story of our last election. TPM's new Investigative Team starts business today. And just what will they be investigating? The story of our time. We still all want to know the answers to these questions...

1. What did Russia do during the 2016 election?

2. Why did Russia seek to elect Donald Trump?

3. Was Trump an unwitting beneficiary or did Russia’s help grow out of a relationship with the Russian government or Russian nationals in which President Trump or his close associates were active participants? Did Trump or his close associates have inside knowledge of Russian subversion campaign? Put most broadly, if Russia conspired to subvert the 2016 election, was Trump or his close associates party to that conspiracy?

4. What is the nature of President Trump’s current relationship with Russia?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Age of Snark!

Snarky:  (of a person, words, or a mood) sharply critical; cutting; snide.
‘the kid who makes snarky remarks in class’


Right. We live in the Age of Snark. We are all so critical, cutting, snide. I think our Smart Phones feed this snarkiness, which is a sort of a corroded snakiness too.

It is so easy, to sit back on our couches (in our underwear), surf the known Universe, and snark on every little thing in our timeline. Especially snark on things we know very little about. Snarkiness and Unknowingness go well together.

We are all so childish. Biting. Cynical. As Marshall McLuhan once remarked "the medium is the message." In my lifetime we've gone from the TV to the PC to the Smart Phone.

In the olden days we used to sit in our living rooms and yell at, or shoot bullets at, the TV. It was sort of private thing, or if not alone, only your closest friends and family members were in the club. Now it all spills out online for all the world to see.

We used to sit stupefied in front of the TV, our twirling eyeballs taking it all in. Now we are in a dialogue with everything floating over and thru us. And we are getting expert at snark. It is a grand snark culture.

Can you build an economy on snark? Can you keep a Democracy in the Age of Snark? Can you live a full, well-rounded life snarking off? Me thinks probably not.

Maybe our only hope is to once in awhile to put the smart phone down. To do something with all our heart and soul. Fully engage in something. Give it our all. Fill ourselves up so there is no room for snark.

The radical rebellious pose: Be engaged. Love. Live. Devote yourself fully to everything you do. Always be onto the next thing. There is no time for snark, life is too short. The clock is always ticking...

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Intuition is a Thorny Subject!

Intuition: an ability to understand or know something without needing to think about it or use reason to discover it, or a feeling that shows this ability:

[ U ] You should trust your intuition in making your decision.
[ C ] Hank’s intuitions were right.

Intuition is a thorny subject. Do you trust your intuition? Or are you always second guessing? When is your intuition right or wrong? When does it lead you astray? When does it just confirm your own prejudices? When does it lead you off the cliff? When does it guide you to the light? When does it reveal the secret machinations of the Universe?

I don't know... but... I may have an inkling... maybe we call it a hunch?

Friday, June 23, 2017

A Brutal Bill!

Healthcare in America. What a mess. We are all just one catastrophe from catastrophe! Except, I suppose, the seriously wealthy ones. Of course, even they have to face the grim face of disease, accident, and death.

But if you are wealthy, you can, and will, get the best medical care known to man. And really if you are wealthy why should you possibly give a farthing for anyone else? 

And the party you support really is out to punish anyone not lucky enough to be wealthy. To understand the latest "healthcare bill" you must understand really it's just a "tax-cut for the wealthy."

It punishes everyone not wealthy. Krugman delves into the details here. It's a brutal bill, a brutal way of living & thinking & governing. What of the poor, the children of the poor, the sick, the old, anyone without? 

Eschaton puts it this way: "But Republicans don't think poor people should have health care. They think people who get sick should die if they can't pay for treatment. Sure it's "the free market" (to some degree, nothing in our health care system is really "the free market"), but only in the sense that if you can't pay you don't get to buy the product. Fair enough for Maseratis, but in this case the product is "living."

We are a better country than this, by miles. Wonder when we will all decide to live up to our own ideals? Universal, single-payer healthcare anyone?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Silence in the Midst of Babel!

Sometimes, nothing to say, nothing to do, seems so right...

Silence -
1. Complete absence of sound.
1.1 The fact or state of abstaining from speech.
1.2 The avoidance of mentioning or discussing something.
1.3 A short appointed period of time during which people stand still and do not speak as a sign of respect for a dead person or group of people.

That's appealing. Especially in our present 24/7

Tower of Babel -

1. And the whole world had one language and one speech.
2. And it happened that as they moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
3. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.
4. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
5. But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built.
6. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.
7. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”
8. So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.
9. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

Wow. If this story is true, "the Lord" has some serious explaining to do...

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Reality & Pain!

Hope for the best. Expect the worst. Always envision the best case scenario, and plan for everything to fall to shit. Be strong. Resilient. Be ready to improvise, to think out of the box, to try new things.

Let reality and pain be teachers. They are relentless phenomena. Unforgiving. Always there, dangling over you. Don't let them get you down. It's just the way of the world. Try to navigate with intelligence, grace, and compassion. These are the best tools available to us.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Cheeky Monkeys!

People. Holy Shite. Can't live with them. Can't live without them. Let's just say, they are complicated. The Human Herd. You read things, see things, hear things about Human Beings and you just can't get your head around the scope of the topic. Humans can do amazing, wonderful things, but often they fall short, sink to the lowest of the low. It's not just what they can do, sometimes what they do is what they can get away with. Cheeky Monkeys. Some days you just don't want to be a member of a club like that. Clever. Deceptive. Double-Dealing. Liars. Cheaters. Crooks. Murderers. Bad actors. You name it. Every bad deed in the book. All part of the Human repertoire. Just pick up a newspaper. It's all there. Every day. I don't want to get all Misanthropic this morning, I realize, I am just part of the herd too. I have hope for myself and my other Human Beings, but if you are in the Human frame of mind, disappointment is always front and center.

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Highest Calling!

Looking for the good guys, and gals. Looking to those folks with integrity, honesty, compassion. Looking for the superheroes amongst us, the bodhisattvas*... looking in the mirror, thinking does this guy have the right stuff? 

You aspire, hope to be, a good guy, a cool guy, someone who walks the walk, and talks the talk. That's pretty much the highest calling. Sounds simple, easy, but it's not - to live with heart and soul and always "do the right thing" - takes a bit of work, soul-searching, putting your own "feet to the fire." 

Sometimes it seems you don't know what's right, or not - how to act, what to do - but maybe that's an evasion. Be honest with yourself. That's a start. Then try to be honest with others.  Move forward... with a smile and love in your heart...and maybe don't judge too harshly, yourself, or others, show compassion. It's not easy being a human being. We are both unique and common. Everything and nothing in the bigger scheme. It's a weird position to be in.

*Regarding the question “What is a bodhisattva?” you could also define a bodhisattva as one who acts as a true adult. That is, most people in the world act like children. The word dainin means “true adult” or “bodhisattva.” Today most people who are called adults are only pseudoadults. Physically they grow up and become adult but spiritually too many people never mature to adulthood. They don’t behave as adults in their daily lives. A bodhisattva is one who sees the world through adult eyes and whose actions are the actions of a true adult. That is really what a bodhisattva is.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Refreshing Sleep.

A refreshing sleep. That would be nice. What if you woke up and you were younger, taller, sexier, cooler, smarter, more satisfied, more intelligent, more courageous, more adventurous, more compassionate, brimming with enthusiasm, and full of great, world-changing ideas. That would be nice. Last night's sleep wasn't quite that refreshing.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Easy to Be Engulfed in Flame Too!

I get the impression, from my lonely outpost, that the crazy, trapped rat, is gonna do something crazy. He will burn down the house. He realizes that he's under investigation, and he knows he's guilty as sin. The White House is crawling with lawyers. The lawyers are lawyering up too. It's complicated. And we are watching a meltdown of epic proportions. And a more crazed, disloyal, disreputable, less honorable or decent crew you could not imagine. Even pirates and thieves have more integrity. Honor among thieves, don't you know.

But if you are an ignorant bully, who has bullied his way through life, all his life, without ever having to face the consequences, well, when the consequences come knocking at your door, all hell will break loose. We are getting to that all hell breaking loose phase. It came quickly, amazingly. But now we are here. No idea where the hell this goes. The crazed rat is capable of pretty much anything. I suppose he could end up backing down, going easy, pretending that really, really he is a winner, not a loser, but then again, he is so ignorant it's not unimaginable that he sets himself on fire right before our very eyes.

Anyone too close to the empty suit better look out... easy to be engulfed in flame too...

Friday, June 16, 2017

Morning Musical Question...

Those Dead Singer's voices haunting me this morning...

Ian Curtis tells me: "Heart and Soul, one must burn..."

Jason Molina tells me: "The Heart is a risky fuel to burn..."

What's a Lonely Pilgrim to do? Damn the torpedoes, Burn that Heart and Soul for all they are Worth!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

"Zero to Obstruction in 5 Months!" - Josh Marshall


Much our lives are bounded by "unreason." The cycle of birth and death. The inhumanity of man against man. Racism. Misogyny. Random acts of violence. Suicide bombings. Mass shootings. Floods, pestilence, hurricanes. The rain of frogs!

So it's unlikely, gratifying & satisfying when reason (for once) wins the day. A story takes a satisfactory turn. The gods smile down upon us. A good deed is rewarded. Man saves the baby. The good guys win. A cooling shower in the midst of the blaze.

So yes, I must say I was "tickled pink" when I heard the news: the President is under investigation for Obstruction of Justice. It seems so right. So inevitable. The man has been shooting for this kind of achievement his whole life. Not an easy thing to do: "Zero to Obstruction in 5 Months."

Astonishing. It is a "super-human" kind of achievement, takes a special combination of personal/spiritual corruption, a decided self-absorption, and an uncommon, determined idiocy. 

I may be getting ahead of the story, but sometimes Truth, Justice, Reason, The Rule of Law gets the upper hand. Sometimes the good guys and girls really do win! Got my fingers crossed!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Yes!

Yes!

I mean, of course, my beloved Dalai Lama preaches peace, tolerance and non-violence, but can we make an exception for Wonder Woman?!


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

He is not sensible, honest or reasonable.

What will he do next?

What he always does. Lash out. Lie. Lash out. Lie again. He is a bully. It has served him well. He is shameless. It's his Superpower.

The Special Prosecutor is breathing down his neck. The Jaws of the Law are chomping at his heels. Will he fire the Special Prosecutor? Why would he fire the Special Prosecutor? Because he's guilty, of course. The world waits with bated breath. It would be so like the man to do what no sensible, honest, reasonable man would do.

But he is not sensible, honest or reasonable. So who knows what he will do? Expect a political apocalypse...

Monday, June 12, 2017

A JLB Kind of Day...

Without going into the details (I will leave that to your imagination), it was a Jorge Luis Borges kind of day yesterday...

"Let us admit what all idealists admit: the hallucinatory nature of the world."

And... 

"Death (or its illusion) makes men precious and pathetic. They are moving because of their phantom condition; every act they execute may be their last, there is not a face that is not on the verge of dissolving like a face in a dream. Everything among the mortals has the value of the irretrievable and the perilous."

And...

Centuries of centuries, and only in the present do things happen; countless men in the air, on the face of the earth and the sea, and all that really is happening is happening to me....

Sunday, June 11, 2017

There are Simple Truths, Harsh Realities, Things We Can't Really Wish Away!

Reality will bite you in the ass...

We are all experts in denial. Who knows, maybe in order for us to lead a happy existence we need a dose of denial in our lives, but that strategy has it's limits.

You can float on a cloud of lies for awhile. You can convince yourself you defy gravity. You can tune out voices of reason or choose to ignore Science, spin & bluff your way out of tight squeezes.

Still, there are simple truths, harsh realities, things we can't really wish away. Ultimately too much denial will lead you over the cliff, it's a long way down, and there is sure to be a whole lot of pain when you reach the bottom.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

But really, I mean, hell, well, god help us all...

A musical interlude...



This last week I listened to Black Sabbath's first album, recorded in 1970, once each morning. It has been my soundtrack for the "Comey Week," the week when it was confirmed that our 45th President is under a Counter Intelligence Investigation as well as a Criminal Investigation. Exciting times.

For some reason Ozzie Osbourne has been my guiding voice & light this week. I have never been a Black Sabbath fan. When I was a youngster, Black Sabbath was the band for the "bad" kids, you know those kids who always wore black, took Quaaludes , ate glass, tortured cats and opened pop bottles with their teeth. I was always a bit scared of those kids, kept my distance. I stuck to the Beatles and the Stones. The heaviest I ever got was listening to Led Zeppelin. Seemed like a better wavelength to ride.

Funny. I recently bought Sabbath's debut album at the used CD store. I now think it's absolutely fantastic. It speaks to me in ways I never thought possible. And it seems right for these dark times. Of course the band is phenomenal, great heavy guitar, a solid drums/bass combo, a bit of blues, a bit of jazz, a bit of that dark druggy, heavy r&r thing that seems just so, so right. The record holds together. All these many years (47 years) later. Classic. 

And I love in the title song where Ozzie calls out "Oh no, no, please God help me." That line totally resonates with me on so many levels. I have been saying the same thing this week. Ozzie far back in the mists of time, reaching forward to touch me now. And yes, I too think, "God help me."

But really, I mean, hell, well, god help us all...

Friday, June 09, 2017

Stunning, Devastating & Persuasive!


Yes. I don't care what anyone else says. Yesterday's testimony from ex-FBI Director James Comey was stunning, devastating and persuasive. Comey told the world that he believes our President is clearly and unequivocally a liar. And when the President declares "total and complete vindication," well, you can take it to the bank, that that is a load of complete and total bull-crap! "This will not stand!"



Thursday, June 08, 2017

How long will these folks pretend, deny, enable, make excuses for, and lie for this poor excuse of a human being?

Yes, America in Crisis. It's obvious for all to see. Except of course for the enablers, the collaborators, the deniers, the quislings. And there are lots of them. Pretty much most of the GOP, and the tight cadre of scoundrels in the White House - the boot-lickers, the water-carriers, those who would corrupt themselves for a Malevolent Floundering Moron.

How long? How long will these folks pretend, deny, enable, make excuses for, and lie for this poor excuse of a human being? It's an ugly embarrassing spectacle. It's one thing to be the Malevolent Floundering Moron, we can expect him to be defiant to the bitter end, but it's everyone else around him who you really marvel at. How can they do it? How long can they hold out? How far and deep are they willing to corrupt themselves?

The clock is ticking. We are watching folks shed every last drop of their dignity & integrity in their service to this clueless bully. It's a dirty, stinking business. It's funny too. In a gallows humor kind of way. It's painful to watch human beings act this way. What a shameful spectacle. Who knew the depths of depravity and deniability of our fellow Americans.

They are like the "pod people," the Zombies, the mindless, brainless wonders. But it's even more amazing because we know they do have minds, they do have brains, but they have chosen to use them so thoughtlessly and carelessly, without any shame or sense of responsibility. Baffling. Strange. Sad. Ridiculous. America in Crisis. 

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Glued to the TV!

Most people have real jobs, more important things to do with their lives.

We all have heard that sitting around watching Cable TV all day  will turn your mind to mush. Yes, indeed. It's true!

“Alone in the White House in recent days, President Trump — frustrated and defiant — has been spoiling for a fight, according to his confidants and associates. Glued even more than usual to the cable news shows that blare from the televisions in his private living quarters, or from the 60-inch flat screen he had installed in his cramped study off the Oval Office, he has fumed about ‘fake news.’ Trump has seethed as his agenda has stalled in Congress and the courts. He has chafed against the pleas for caution from his lawyers and political advisers, tweeting whatever he wants, whenever he wants.”

Fake News. Not fake. Ha! Malevolent Floundering Moron Writ Large!

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Take Your Pick!

As Josh Marshall would have it: "Clearly a  Floundering Moron."

Although...

I would amend it or embellish it a bit to: "Clearly a Malevolent Floundering Moron."

Monday, June 05, 2017

How Not to Be Decent!

There is a lesson for all of us in this debacle; the human catastrophe of Little Baby Man. All the sins, all the bad thoughts, all the bad acts, all the ignorance, depravity, bad will, and bad blood seem to gather and pool in one man's empty head.

If you want to learn to be a decent human being, take note. Watch Little Baby Man closely. He is an illustration of how not to be decent!

Looking for guidance, for advice, for a good role model? A good word? Never mind. Look somewhere else. This Pustule of Ego (see previous post) has nothing to offer us. 

Terror in London? Our thoughts are with the people of the UK. Our hearts go out to London. Ignore the old man in his bathrobe tweeting his stream of bile, piss and shit.

Zero. Void. Nothing.

Little Baby Man is just a seething ball of pitiable nothingness. How low will he go? How much human decency is he willing to burn?  Looks like there are no bounds, no limits, no borders or filters. It is an ugly, awe-inducing spectacle, unmatched, ungraspable.

If we pay attention, it is only to understand how not to conduct a life...

Sunday, June 04, 2017

"A Pustule of Ego" Plunges into the Dungheap!

The ascendancy of our Presidential Idiot, our petulant, malevolent, Little Baby Man has unleashed a torrent of words. So many words. So many think-pieces. A lot more thought than the man deserves. He doesn't deserve one thought-bubble, one brain-cell, one pixel. He is a nothing, a loser, a void, a nasty, empty-headed cipher, an over-blown ego that has blotted out the sun.

There is a long list of great writers who have tackled the subject of this Little Baby Man over the last few months. Add Rebecca Solnit to the list. Check out "The Loneliness of Donald Trump." I just love to read words from a writer who knows what they are up to. Rebecca knows what she's up to.  The last paragraph is a perfect kick to the guts...

"The man in the white house sits, naked and obscene, a pustule of ego, in the harsh light, a man whose grasp exceeded his understanding, because his understanding was dulled by indulgence. He must know somewhere below the surface he skates on that he has destroyed his image, and like Dorian Gray before him, will be devoured by his own corrosion in due time too. One way or another this will kill him, though he may drag down millions with him. One way or another, he knows he has stepped off a cliff, pronounced himself king of the air, and is in freefall. Another dungheap awaits his landing; the dung is all his; when he plunges into it he will be, at last, a self-made man." - Rebecca Solnit

Saturday, June 03, 2017

A Secret Garden


We all need a secret garden. A private space, to get away from the hubbub and hurly-burly. I am really good at exiting the day to day; with music, books, long walks, grand and fabulous thought-trains.

Lately, in my musical space, I have been spending obsessive amounts of time close-listening to Joy Division, based in Manchester, England, 1976-1980. Three records - the two full studio releases Unknown Pleasures, and Closer, as well as a collection of singles & b-sides released in 1988.

Of course, I've also read books by Peter Hook, Bernard Sumner and Debbie Curtis. And seen the fabulous movie 24 Hour Party People. So I am well-steeped in the myths and realities of Manchester, the death of Ian Curtis, the growing legend of his band.

The music stands on it's own. And it pays to close-listen. I never grow tired of listening. The music continues to intrigue and haunt me. It's dark, moody, atmospheric, important. For sure.  I do believe the band never made a false move artistically. They were doomed and fated to a short window to make music, but the music they made is truly extraordinary.  As their brilliant, mad-man Producer Martin Hannett called it: "adult gothic music."

Joy Division's records exist in a special place. A secret garden. Hermetically-sealed off from the rest of the world, sort of like brilliant, monochrome butterflies captured and preserved under glass.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Gratuitous Bullshit!

The Petulant Little Baby Man pulls the USA out of the Paris Climate Accords. Just an act of gratuitous bullshit. You know he is doing it for no good reason. There is no good reason to do it. Just a finger in the eye to intelligent, responsible citizens all over the world.

Why did he do it? He is a Petulant Little Baby Man. Throwing a fit.

I was not surprised. But surprisingly, I found myself spinning in a cloud of angst and pissed-off-ness. I hate when "unreason" wins. And this is a perfect example of unreason winning. Of course, it's a complete loser's move. Bad politics. Bad economics. Just plain stupidity in action.

Add it to the list of "crimes" perpetrated by this immense fraud of a human being.

Criticism of his ridiculous decision came from concerned citizens all over the world. Love this one...


Thursday, June 01, 2017

I Fear a War of Attrition...

I do fear that Little Baby Man will burn down the house. He doesn't care about anyone but him. As the screws tighten what will he do? Hit and thrash and lie, and lie, and lie. And he will appeal to his base, which is about as base as a base can be.

So can it all get so much worse? Yes it can. 

You hope for swift justice. But that's probably unlikely. Expect a long, slow grind. A war of attrition. That's more likely. But I do think Little Baby Man is in way over his head, he has made way too many enemies, and he has a long history of illegality around him.

The system needs a major cleanse. There are still good people alive in the land armed with truth and honesty and integrity. Yes, there are, I promise.

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