Sunday 10 March 2013

Deixe de bobagens! Cala boca! Vai embora ...

G'wan! FCOF! STFU!                                             (Ok.)                                             Up, Down.                        Tibet 1959 
I can do it in French too: Fou-toi Tabernac! Taisez-vous crétin! Va t'en ...

Contents: Diehard:(Again, Again again, Again again again, Soup & a road trip, Cognitive dissonance), Keystone:(Sequestration, José Mujica of Uruguay, State Department Report, Hand-wringing & Bleating, Hagiography, Object Lesson, Wrinkles, Tzeporah Berman), Food:(FAO, China), Perfect Moral Storm, Bicycles, Joan Baez, Drat Google, Cadence:(Finis Kaputt Caput, Garden, Beyond the Zero, Choices, The Cat).

More than usually discontinuous this time gentle reader, sorry about that. And the Musak® that has shown up is such awful dreck I hesitate to tell. ... it's ... Donovan, Sunshine Superman; and here he is again more recently. Doh!? (With an ad for "Beautiful Chinese Women for dating and marriage," included free.)

March 10 is a more-or-less arbitrary date in Tibet's recent history - see Wikipedia - but it'll do; either as an appropriate Lenten meditation if you are into that kind of thing; or as a reminder to seek clues to why young people who were not born when the Chinese began it are now ready to lay their new lives down for it.

Or one could celebrate Daylight Savings Time? Not likely. Send the bureaucrats who do it home. Fire them all!

Washing dirty laundry in public? Not a good idea? Like sending cash in the mail? Maybe so, in a world which is not facing obliteration; but it seems to me that straight talk, right or wrong, polite or rude, faces us in a direction which may ... save us. Not done without misgivings certainly. 

Well FUCK! ... ... ... there I went and did it again. Some people never learn.

Forward On Climate: Just Say No To Keystone.Forward On Climate: Just Say No To Keystone.Forward On Climate: Just Say No To Keystone.
Friends, this has been sitting in my 'Drafts' folder for almost a year now - time to get it outa there.
       I am sending it to some of you who somehow connected with me (or not) during the Bella Bella fast - to pose what is for me a central question - so I hope you can temporarily suspend any bad email habits you may have and actually read it, think about it, maybe even respond, if for no other reason than that it has taken me some hours to compose.

The question is this: Where do we go from here? And how? And when?

I've seen the energy dissipate before - to quote Bob, "I seen pretty people disappear like smoke." I went to Washington in 2011, got arrested and then saw the energy wasted in premature claims of "Victory! We won! You won!" I went to Ottawa a month later to "climb the fence" (with my son) and saw the COC organizers squander the energy by sending us away when the police decided not to arrest us (because the clerks had all gone home at 3:30 PM - it's Ottawa :-). I participated in Occupy Toronto and watched, again, again, again, as the energy was frittered away to a rump.
       In October last year I got on the train and went to Victoria for the 'Defend Our Coast' rally - and about the same thing happened afterwards: nothing - though it was a great trip and I played with my grandkids for the first time in too long.

I am not blaming here (much as it may appear) I am just stating the facts as I know them - first hand.

I happen to believe that the only enduring good that comes out of actions like the ones I mentioned, and the Bella Bella fast, and even more generally, that comes out of being alive at all - is the strength of whatever connections are established between individuals. Unfortunately I seem to be particularly bad at such connections: I have no ongoing correspondence with the people I met in Washington, or Ottawa, or Occupy - but rightly or wrongly, this belief of mine persists. A hedgehog, but stubborn.
       This will be known in the history books as LUCKY '13 - THE YEAR WE TURNED IT AROUND. I am sure at least some of you agree with me that if CO2 emissions do not peak in absolute terms by about 2015 then the rest is ... the fat lady singing (maybe it's 2020 like Joeri Rogelj et al say in 'Nature', maybe she is already tunin' up). What I am doing now is trying to figgure out how to make that happen, make Lucky '13 ... lucky.
       We have a wonderful example recently with 35,000 showing up in Washington. WOWZERS! ... In Canada, not so much, 35 brave souls in Edmonton I heard.

So ... there's the question; and the best I have to offer in the way of a clue ... to a direction ... to an answer.
Be well. 
I think for a minute about including a dedication, "In respectful and honouring memory of Wiebo Ludwig 1941-2012." Decide against and send it off to the dozen or so I have emails for who came out or discussed it with me at the time.
Bella Bella Community School.Bella Bella Community School.
Also at the time no one answered my (repeated) questions about the story behind the Bella Bella Community School logo; but I am not trying to shove anything up anyone's nose and don't mention it - and anyway, the thing is getting too long. 
Leo Jung in the NYT, smoke.Leo Jung in the NYT, smoke.
Replies? As close to none as makes no nevermind.   A few polite acknowledgements; not a single proposal or even a proposal to look for a proposal. No "Let's" in any of it ...

I hear that three old friends, or, say, an old friend and his two brothers, are up just south of Fort Mac somewhere buildin' pipelines & makin' a pant-ful. Good on 'em! I wish I'd had a brother. (And a pocket-ful would do me.)

And I've been thinking about that Muslim woman I talked to ... She must have it wrong. Have to wait until I can check it out with someone who knows the Quran. One is not enough because ... well, one person could always be simply, mistaken; two or three not so much. Scripture writers are surely savvy enough to know that.

So: IF I could be wrong, and IF there is no echo to be heard, THEN I must be wrong. It's the only conclusion I can reach. Good thing I am an asshole and not charismatic - think of the damage I mighta done. And the cognitive dissonance can only improve things. It's not despair that stops me, I can handle despair, it is the lack of conversation.

"Let the echo decide if I was right or wrong." (Silvio)

Fuck man! I had it made in the shade: beautiful women in Rio always glad to see me comin'; drinkin' beer with the aunts & uncles in favela barzinhos; flyin' kites in the lanes with their kids. How stupid was it to walk away from that? And the bridges back all burned.
A slow learner?! Well I guess; and more: retarded, a dill! 
In the Sunset Grill.Start Loving aka Jay McGinley.Doh! And I knew there would be nothing. Not rocket science. Another penny down the well into as good as complete silence. Guilt ridden, hag-rid old fart with psychology written all over 'im warning everyone to "Stay the fuck away from this asshole!" That's the point with guys carryin' around "Repent, The End Is Near" signs. Sure, they know something, like Jay McGinley I met in Washington, Start Loving, good man; but they are always alone, atomized, easily dismissed, no way of telling for sure if the hunger strike is really goin' on or if it's just another solipsism.

Anyone could change all that. This blog accepts comments. Anyone could say, "No, that's not it! It's like this ..." But it doesn't happen and I have to wonder why not.

Gary Larson, The Far Side: What we say to dogs. What they hear.OK. Finis. Acabou. Maybe it's really done this time. I fuckin' well hope so. "Give what I got 'til I ain't got no more." Well I'm there. I gave it. Can I stop now? Some people never learn and maybe I'm one'a those.

Still make pretty good soup though. Four large pork chops in the food store on special for $1.99. Get two soups outa that. How can they sell it for that price? Ginger, cayenne, black pepper, onions & barley, bit of rice & corn, can of tomatoes ... brussel sprouts! Dunno why but I've got a yen for 'em lately?

Food for a week and more.

Have to find something else to do. Out to the street and turn left or right like in '93? No van this time, walkin' ... that might be a problem. 

Cognitive dissonance reaches a K-Pg boundary:

My friend told me a story about sled dogs among the Inuit. When they are puppies they are treated as members of the family with approximately full privileges; but at some point they are put outside and become dogs. It's quite a shock for them he said.

Bill Brandt ~1942: Bombed Regency Staircase Upper Brook Street Mayfair.How much of this is being immersed these days in the shifting landscapes & timescapes of Thomas Pynchon's 'Against the Day' I can't say; dunno.

Some kind of automatic keyboard shortcuts kick in periodically on this (piece of junk) laptop and make typing almost impossible - Oh, I wish I could figgure out how to pull their little tongues out! - or maybe it's part of the general 'dropsy'; again, dunno.

As the water seems to be receding - after a flood or just in the bath when the plug is pulled - what emerges is sometimes familiar but ... strange, new. For me it is often a renewed memory of building geometric models - polyhedra, tensegrities. Happened again yesterday. The first print-shop I approached turned me down (for no good reason). Maybe tomorrow I will try again. It would be good to pass some of these skills & techniques on. 

This so-called sequestration is happening in the US - but the masters & mistresses & matrons are not cutting their own salaries are they?
Tom Toles: Coal plants as semi-automatic weapons.Tom Toles: A sinking boat lifts all tides.Tom Toles: The canary died.If they were the 2% décroissance would ... raise hopes.

It's like the Pope, a white elephant in the room, a foregone conclusion, smoke but no heat or light, toatelly irrelevant to the issue that really confronts us.

Or in another dimension it's The Tragedy of the Commons played out upon The Mighty Ship of State: most bureaucrats & politicians just barnacles on the hull until it can no longer slide through the water at all and stops, stranded, mired. Perhaps recorded (though likely for no future generation to see) as another dinosaur in some Rancho La Brea on some Miracle Mile somewhere.

Not all of 'em though ... 
... Yo no soy pobre. (I am not poor, says José Mujica.)
José Mujica in 1972.José Mujica & Lucía Topolansky.José Mujica & Lucía Topolansky.José Mujica & Lucía Topolansky.José Mujica.José Mujica & Lucía Topolansky.José Mujica.José Mujica.José Mujica.Lucía Topolansky.
Worth getting to know something about José Mujica and Lucía Topolansky. He is the president and she is a senator in Uruguay.

[Brasilians say do Oiapoque ao Chuí, roughly equivalent to 'from sea to shining sea.'   Chuí/Chuy being the town in which the southern end of Brazil stops and Uruguay begins.]

I thought nothing good came out of Rio+20 - I was mistaken. Here, watch and listen (with English subtitles) to him, and visit Verónica Pamoukaghlian's blog for a complete English translation.

Truthful, eloquent & passionate, and with a personal life to back it up.

Yes gentle reader, I am so pleased to learn that José Mujica and Lucía Topolansky not only talk the talk, they walk the walk. Thanks to Gord for getting me started on this, and to Verónica Pamoukaghlian for her fine translation.

Now, if we could only find a way to house-train Barack Obama & Stephen Harper ... David Cameron, many others (Xi Jinping maybe not so much, see below). 
Kerri-Ann Jones.Kerri-Ann Jones.John Kerry.John Kerry at UVA February 20.At Univerity of Virginia on the 20th John Kerry is introduced by no less than three eminent burghers; he baffles their brains with bullshit; and then towards the end makes several oblique remarks about climate (?). Worth watching on C-SPAN (hour & 5 minutes), not for any bearing on Keystone but to get to know the American political process better as it plays all sides at once.

The U.S. State Department environmental report is out: A 2,000-Page Lubricant for Keystone XL says the NYT, KY Jelly for the rapists. The Globe is happy: U.S. State Department says Keystone XL won't impact global warming. There was the (a?) FEIS (8 volumes) in 2011; now updated as the SEIS (4 volumes); 45 days to review then it becomes a FEIS and goes on up the ladder. That some of the consultants hired to prepare this report have connections to big oil & the Koch brothers (original here.) comes as no surprise.

Aislin: Keystone Kops.Ambiguity at all levels weighted (not too subtly) towards building the Keystone; but who knows? If another 35,000 show up for a rally with a thousand or so ready to be arrested for non-violent disobedience, or there are simultaneous rallies all over the country adding to, say, twice that, then Keystone might be cancelled maybe; or if Obama figgures more extreme weather events will make the decision look better sometime before the end of his 2nd term, maybe again (except, rising average temperatures can be predicted, weather not so much). If ever there were a time to push hard it is now but I receive no invitations and it looks like an exceedingly long shot to stop it. 
Instead there is hand-wringing, whingeing & bleating?   (And not much of that.)

One sentence from James Hansen's statement: "To say that the tar sands have little climate impact is an absurdity," is everywhere quoted and nowhere available in the original. Why is that? (See: Keystone XL pipeline report slammed by activists and scientists, and Keystone XL Pipeline Analysis Disspirits Climate Change Community.) Emails to the journalists go unanswered.

Bill McKibben bleats, with a dozen links to signups and no others, not even to the report itself. Why is that? (See: Some tough news on Keystone XL.)

At least there is something from Michael Brune though I expected better. One more lame request to write to president Obama. So I write another one, sure. You can reach him (?) here, and if you tick the 'A response is requested' box you might get an answer - I've had two over the years (not from the man himself, some intern, but still).

Laughter is good at moments like these. A short clip from Rick Mercer: Oil Rules, 2008 or before apparently. (This is funny too, though not on-topic: 22 Minutes: Air Strip.)

Otherwise the aficionados of growth and the deniers and the oil plutocrats are (understandably) full of glee and out in force. No need for links to find 'em. Surprising though to find this kind of shit about James Hansen in the NYT: A Scientist’s Misguided Crusade. (?!)

This feels like Leonard Cohen territory. Where's that bit on Catherine Tekakwitha and the A___s? ... Yeah, here it is: some short excerpts from his Beautiful Losers.

Crouch at the bottom of the elevator shaft and wait for hubby to come home? Is that it?
WTF'ingF   ¿!¿ 
Hagiography: (Yeah but, who are these guys ... really?)

Andrew Revkin 2003.Andrew Revkin & James Hansen 2010.Andrew Revkin & James Hansen 2010.I am looking for James Hansen's statement on the State Department Keystone whitewash and come upon this: A Communications Scholar Analyzes Bill McKibben’s Path on Climate. The scholarship in question (such as it is) is here: Nature’s Prophet. And of course, pretty much up front comes the "In 1989, at the age of twenty-nine, McKibben published 'The End of Nature' recognized as the first popular book about climate change."

A video of Revkin & McKibben chatting (with statistics disabled) catches me amidships, t-boned in the intersection.

Matthew Nisbet.Matthew Nisbet.Matthew Nisbet.Matthew Nisbet looks like an opportunist - you can Google around and find all the dirt. I have to take him up on this 'first' thing, and in an exchange in the comments on Revkin's blog he admits "Others wrote earlier books, but ..." which is close enough to QED for the girls I go with.

I am left wondering if it's something in the culture, part of the American way - everything must always be in BOLD CAPS, superlatives - no more than this that these guys share and that turns me off. Is that it?

Still looks like opportunism & self-promotion to me. There you go. 
Object Lesson - Jason Russell & Kony 2012:
Jason Russell sometime before March 2012.Jason Russell March 2012.Jason Russell March 2012.Jason Russell March 2012.Danica Russell October 2012.Jason Russell October 2012.Jason Russell 2013.Jason Russell 2013.Jason Russell 2013.
Everybody knows the story of Jason Russell and the Kony 2012 campaign (Invisible Children: .com, blog & Tumblr) right? 100 million+ hits on YouTube & Vimeo yadda yadda; Jason goes berserkers and the air comes out; Joseph Kony still on the go a year later. The pundits focus on what are to me trivialities, and two central questions seem to go unasked: 1) How did his wife and colleagues just let him freak out like that? and 2) What does it all say about the efficacy of YouTube, Facebook and the like?

My thoughts on 1) are around the apparent inability of bourgeois individuals to either be aware of or deal with what is right in front of them, ever. I wasn't there, sure, but I have dealt with some freak outs in my time (and not dealt with some others, and been freaked out myself) I am just asking if anyone saw and said to him, "Whoa there Jason my friend, let's go somewhere for a ... milkshake and talk about this."

On 2) we can estimate by results. The short answer is that the so-called social media are little more than superficial time wasters. They are touted as being the facilitators of Arab Spring, and ... I don't believe it (and I'm not the only one, but I wasn't there either). 
Think about it and form some hypotheses of your own: If our networks fail our leaders then let's imagine what it would take to properly support them. And if the social media can't get from A to B then let's imagine what it would take to make them actually work.

(And I don't see any sign of any of this work going on.)

The other wrinkle that interests me is the role (if any) of fundamental Christianity in Jason's mis-step. Theoretically his brothers and sisters in Christ were there for him. Maybe it's no more than that they are bog-standard human beings, too busy celebrating what looked like a huge victory to be paying enough attention to the man himself. I'm sure they backed him up after-the-fact.

Of course now he's got himself on anti-depressants (look at his hands in that last photograph); so maybe ten years from now he wakes up one day, stops taking his pills (because of course something in him knows and he hates the pills), and dies of a heart attack (there is a well established connection - a friend of mine had the problem, check it out). I think he deserves better, way way better than that.

Jason Russell is 34. My kids are just coming into that 35 year-old zone. I fear their educations were insufficient. We had nuclear armageddon to think about, what they are facing is orders of magnitude worse. Public institutions are generally so hollowed out; there is no public moral compass - and yet ... the morality is there, springing up like Topsy. It's a miracle!

The OED entry for 'dill' quotes Patrick White from 'Riders in the Chariot': "I am the same dill that always stuck around!"; I can't remember but I think that is Arthur speaking. He figures more in 'Solid Mandala' and his amazing dance (which I have mentioned here somewhere ... before, and an excerpt). 

- Tzeporah Berman -
No, Minister Oliver, the oil sands have not become 'green'.
Joe Oliver.Tzeporah Berman.
Stephen Harper pulls out all the stops: Joe Oliver, Alison Redford, Bairdy, wazizname ... Brad Wall; SEND 'EM ALL SOUTH! and convince those people they need our oil!

Every day comes the newsletter from Amigos da Terra with the latest environmental news from Brazil. They keep an archive, the tags work - select 'Belo Monte' and up come relevant articles in date order. Not rocket science. Maintained by hand of course.

Also arrive every week a dozen emails from a dozen Canadian organizations with my name cleverly woven into the fabric of the text (but very little news), urging me to email Stephen Harper and his ministers and my MP (which I do, though I get no responses), and always at the top a plea for donations.

I found this article by Tzeporah Berman only because I have a Google News Search shortcut with her name in it that I poll when I think of it. Powerful, factual (maybe a tich fuzzy on percentages but not to make much difference), worth reading two or three times.

Bill McKibben (in the video mentioned above) touts his website - maybe he's right. Go there and have a critical look at it for yourself. One of my redneck friends says to me a few years ago, "The trouble with those people [meaning environmentalists] is that with them IT'S ALL ABOUT ME!" So take another look at that video and the site with that in mind. What we need is Real Climate for activists (an it ain't nowhere yet).
What ever ... 
FAO Food Price Index to February 2013.FAO Food Price Index to February 2013.Food:   The FAO Food Price Index (FPI) is steady as she goes at 210. This can't be right; or it's the lull before the storm.

The graphs are scaled by application of the World Bank's Manufactures Unit Value Index but the shape doesn't change.

When I started watching the FPI I thought Abdolreza Abbassian, the FAO economist, could be trusted, he sounded forthright. Now his comments are more to the ass-covering end of the spectrum (it seems), judge for yourself: "Things could still turn quite nasty with the weather, but everything else seems to be pointing to better prospects in the grains sector for 2013 (here)," and "We should have a season ahead of us that could be a little more comfortable balance than the season in 2012-13 (here)." He doesn't appear to issue complete statements or information releases or if he does I can't find them.

Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed.Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed.Abdolreza Abbassian.Abdolreza Abbassian.So now it's duelling pundits; all of 'em going for media market-share and/or career advancement. This from Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed (previously here, and here).

And I go off re-reading Thomas Pynchon's 1960 story Entropy. 

Recently this appeared in Xinhua talking about plans beginning in 2010 for a carbon tax: "In 2010, MOF [Ministry of Finance] experts suggested levying a carbon tax in 2012 at 10 yuan per tonne of carbon dioxide, as well as recommended increasing the tax to 50 yuan per tonne by 2020." 10 yuan at today's rate is $1.66 CAD; 50 is $8.28 CAD (from XE); not quite at the $200-$1,000 level I have heard cited as effective, but OK - it's a start.

The report has been variously pooh-poohed and underestimated in the financial press: NYT, WP, Bloomberg, Bloomberg again, FP etc.

BUT Gwynne Dyer offers a more nuanced view (and here) linking the discussion to food & the UN treaty.

Nevermind the quibbles (which seem very important to me, critical even) such as the distinction between Fee & Dividend and Cap & Trade schemes. 
Perfect Moral Storm:

Stephen Gardiner has published a paperback version of 'A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change'. Available in Canada at Indigo or from the publisher.

Not much of a price advantage in the paperback (and no cheap copies showing up yet on Abe's) ... but hey! It's more compact to carry on the streetcar. And he fixed some of the typos.

He don't talk to me no more though, don't know why not: I thought the question about Cuba was a good one; dunno. 

It's getting to be standard bollocks that you are not taking proper care of your kid unless she or he is wearing a helmet while riding a bike. It is good business for manufacturers of such bourgeois nonsense; and probably good for insurance companies somehow - another actuarial table for some coven of bureaucrats to maintain somewhere.

Good to see that Trevor Ward over at The Guardian has got it figgured out.

A girlfriend of mine came off her bike one day on a crushed limestone path in Vancouver. She was wearing a helmet as it happens but her face was largely scraped off. Not a small matter since she made her living at the time in the lobbies & bars of large hotels. Like all my stories these days this just gets too complicated to finish.

I also remember back when the Canadian mavens of correctitude began insisting on crash helmets for motorcycles. I got a speeding ticket one rainy morning on the 401 between Montreal & Toronto at 115 mph. There wasn't another vehicle in sight. It took three cop cars to simply get my attention - couldn't catch me and radioed ahead you see. I was wearing a helmet. The cop was a nice guy, let me warm up in his car for a while & shared his coffee with me (the fairing only kept me dry when I was moving). He said, "You know, at that speed I could have your licence taken away (he didn't). If you come off going that fast there's nothing left nevermind leathers and crash helmets." That was OK with me, still is. Going very fast I wore the helmet, and goggles, and gloves - they were a necessity - but most of the time I ... didn't want to, regardless.

A bicycle saved my life once; long story; no helmet involved. One might save it now with or without a helmet ... another time. 
Schultz: Charlie Brown & Lucy & the football.If Charlie Brown could somehow be simultaneously himself and the football ... we would have AIG in a nutshell.   Or ... could someone re-draw this please with Charlie on a bicycle, Lucy with a stick to shove into the front wheel spokes, and Charlie with a helmet? A-and a policeman standing by to give him a ticket if he doesn't wear it. Maybe a judge there somewhere in the back. 
Seems like only yesterday
I left my mind behind
Down in the Gypsy Café
With a friend of a friend of mine

Who sat with a baby heavy on her knee
Yet spoke of life most free from slavery
With eyes that showed no trace of misery
A phrase in connection first that she averred
That love is just a four letter word

Outside a rambling storefront window
Cats meowed to the break of day
Me I kept my mouth shut
I had no words to say

My experience was limited and underfed
You were talking while I hid
To the one who was the father of your kid
You probably didn’t think I did but I heard
You say that love is just a four letter word

I said goodbye unnoticed
Pushed toward things in my own games
Drifting in and out of lifetimes
Unmentionable by name

Searching for my double, looking for
Complete evaporation to the core
Though I tried and failed at finding any door
I must have thought that there was nothing more absurd
Than that love is just a four letter word

Though I never knew just what you meant
When you were speaking to your man
I can only think in terms of me
And now I understand

After waking enough times to think I see
The holy kiss that’s supposed to last eternity
Blow up in smoke, its destiny
Falls on strangers, travels free
Yes I know now traps are only set by me
And I do not really need to be assured
That love is just a four letter word

Strange it is to be beside you
Many years the tables turned
You'd prob'ly not believe me
If I told you all I've learned

And it is very very wierd indeed
To hear words like forever please
Those shifts run through my mind I cannot cheat
It's like looking in a teacher's face complete
I can say nothing to you but repeat what I heard
That love is just a four letter word.
Love is just a four-letter word:

They say Dylan wrote this for Joan Baez; and apparently never performed it himself. The lyrics at Sony seem incomplete - maybe she wrote the last stanza herself.

To the left is what I could make out of this where she sings it as a princess. Here she is much later as a doyenne princess senior grade, more-or-less unchanged.

There is something missing in this song. Now that I have it here all etherized upon the table I can't remember what I thought was the problem. It was quite a while ago (but not long enough to be out of Alz' range). I guess he knew her pretty well if he wrote it with her singing it in mind; if not I understand somehow why he didn't record it himself.

Can't put my finger on it ...

[I suppose it would be unkind to compare Steve Jobs & Bob Dylan to bookends?] 
Oh well, it's here now, maybe what's niggling will come back to me and I'll be able to fill this in later.

She sings, "Yes I know now traps are only set by me." Is that true? No, I don't think so. I think it reflects a perverse & insidious ideology. Tell me how Congolese women set themselves up to be raped, or Indian kids to work in brick yards & coal mines. Pretty young things with nice tits (then) and all the appliances (now) spouting ... "It's all about me!"

"There are no mistakes in life some people say, and it's true sometimes you can see it that way."

(But that's not quite it either ...) 
Drat that pesky Google:

I keep noticing Noam Chomsky & Lennie Cone in my YouTube search results regardless of what I am searching for. Nevermind that the YouTube search is the worst of a bad lot - the experience lets me know I'm being watched and tracked. I don't like it. I am not impressed that they think I have some special interest in Noam & Lennie.

What it does is make me shut down all browser windows (which clears the cookies - or sweeps up the mouse droppings as the case may be) and start again (if I can remember what I was doing).
Finis Kaputt Caput:
[Ah, another usage in the OED: caput mortuum, skull or death's head. One of those times that Wikipedia does not give up what you hope for, the OED & even Google Translate (severely limited as it is) are also essential tools.]

How is it that memories fade but habits not? Even relatively recent ones like this blogging - just coming up on 8 years. Not a habit really, more like an addiction; although not having anything else to do certainly contributes.

Mona over at Exile on Moan Street seems to be trying to quit; give it some time and we'll see if she succeeds. I made it for 2½ months last year - went west hoping someone would make an offer; soneone did but then I put my back out and thought I might be a liability.

There is narcissism, self-absorption, solipsism and so on to consider; and then discard - since blogging is (at least) an attempt at communication which rules out extreme forms of those. There are security issues - one wonders how closely CSIS and such monitor to see if citizens are hatching sedition. Conjures up visions of Terry Gilliam's Brazil.

If it worked as a communications tool it would be worth the trouble. But there you go, it doesn't. Email doesn't really 'work' very well either. In that case I think it is devolving standards of conviviality - but not just; more could be said. What the nitwits on Twitter & Facebook think they're doing is completely beyond me. Which segues into the whole gamut of interactions with computers. Ken Kesey's 'Sailor Song'
[Fuck, is Kesey gone too?! 2001? I guess I knew and forgot.] gets at some of it. There is supposed to be a huge up-side but it is mostly for governments and other corporations. I am more-and-more coming around to viewing it as negatory - not necessarily but in practice. I remember joking in the late 60s that 'my' IBM 360 very dependably gave me its full attention whenever I needed it to, unlike family, lovers, friends ... other humans (even police).

The scandals around e-health are symmetrical both with the notion of it and the medium? Is that it? Difficult to replace, thinking. 
Voltaire, Candide & Cunegonde in the garden.Anyway, I'd be happier with a garden and books - my own copies so I could mark 'em up - and snail mail ... and a bicycle. The garden could be my own or not; don't matter. But I'm not holding my breath.

Giving the finger! Defiance!So. The specific details of dénouement will likely be determined by external events; whereas the hill I am sliding off was my own choosing to try climbing. Sounds like a complaint but it is not.

The Tim DeChristopher salute is good ... and John Goodman in Treme: Fuck you, you fucking fucks! is good too.

All good. (But I am tired gentle reader, weary.)

Be well.
Beyond the Zero:    An hilarious encounter between Lew Basnight & Lamont Replevin in Three: Bilocations part 12 (excerpt). Parts 15 & 16 are also very good.

                         One: The Light Over the Ranges part 5 - Lew Basnight becomes a detective,
                         Two: Iceland Spar part 12 - Lake Traverse marries Deuce Kindred.
                         Three: Bilocations part 5 - Yashmeen Halfcourt & Cyprian Latewood.
                         Three: Bilocations part 6 - Kit Traverse on the S.S. Stupendica (short excerpt). 
Choices:    Easy to scoff at that line: "Yes I know now traps are only set by me." Not so easy to walk completely around it. The last few pages of Three: Bilocations, part 17 begin with Kit's dream of his father Webb Traverse - and are about choices too, a choice.

It is taken as given among the la-las that one is responsible for one's self. Roughly parallel notions - that one is born and dies alone f'rinstance - seem to augment and reinforce that evident nonsense. No good trying to blame some of it on your mother then; except that your mother may have been complicit (through unexamined feminism perhaps) in fomenting that very doctrine, delivered wisdom, & foundation block of correctitude and positive thinking.

Like Bob says: "It's true sometimes, you can see it that way."

Cadillac, good car to drive after a war."Standing next to me in this lonely crowd is a man who swears he’s not to blame," he sings; as usual leaving the choice of exactly what he means (graciously) up to us. (Joyce's Stream of Consciousness as a fictional mode - which has certainly caught on - may be a vain attempt to assume the undisputed authenticity of dreams. D'you think?)

And of course, every choice I (choose to) reveal, here or anywhere, makes a choice for you too gentle reader: to hear, to read, to accept, understand & savour - or not. Mostly not.

While the other, daemonic Bob - Bobbie McFerrin - sings, "Don't worry. Be happy." Or ... hum a few bars of 'The Little Drummer Boy'. (From 1941. Dig it!) 

The cat:    Riding a Triumph 650 with a willing & beautiful girl on the back (not willing enough but yes) through the summer night. Roaring around a curve on the Lakeshore Road and suddenly there is a cat. The front wheel catches it right in the guts. We stop and go back. I scoop it up in both hands, still alive (wearing heavy motorcycle gloves y'unnerstan'). It is the old part of Lachine, all stone walls and wrought-iron gates and the scent of Lac St. Louis in the warm darkness. She turns and goes back to the bike and I am alone there. I lay it in a corner and stamp its brains out with my boot heel, putting it out of its misery. (Or do I? I have told this story before and ended it that way.)

The claws are flexing in and out in agony. The eyes are looking straight at me. They seem to say, "This is my end. Leave me to it."

She writes some months later from somewhere west, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, to tell me she has met a guy who makes sex fun, makes her laugh.

A pome: (first time in years :-)

                          breathless indictment, complicit entire
                          dread (and a laugh) on the wire
                          midnite dance all past dawn's glance
                          spin, pale pilgrim's grin, we're bound for fire.

Malvados: gargalhar / laugh out loud.Malvados: gargalhar / laugh out loud.Malvados: gargalhar / laugh out loud.
My life and work, Terêncio Horto:
I wept in the firm's washroom to be able to smile in the office.
One afternoon in August the washroom was closed.
That was the first time I laughed out loud in the office.                                                                                 (Original here.)


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