social media, Technology, Uncategorized

Fooling all the people all the time

I’m old. Lets just get that out there right now. I grew up watching Watergate unfold, and each morning brought a new bit of news about the plumbers, the tapes and the cover-up. If nothing else, that experience taught me, in addition to a deep skepticism of the governments ability to function for the common good, to follow the money. Basically, the main motivation in most situations is profit, so to get to the bottom of things, follow the money. So when we suddenly find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic and  it seems as if many have taken the blue pill, barricading ourselves in our homes, freely accepting the closing of our economy, the destruction of many or our livelihoods, even shunning social and physical contact from one another and believing that a bandanna or simple mask will keep us all safe- not even considering ulterior motives. No please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying here that there is no virus or that it isn’t a matter of concern However, when did we jettison common sense and belief in our own thought process and drink the “government knows all” Kool-aid. There is only one way to survive this and there is no other option or possibility.

Where was and how well served was the trust in government for those sitting on their roofs in the lower 9th ward as Katrina’s water came higher and higher. What about the children in the back seat of the car whose parents have passed out from opiate abuse of prescribed  drugs that our government seemed helpless to stop. Perhaps we can “Just Say No” to Covid like Ron and Nancy Reagan’s response to illegal drugs- remember how well that worked out (not unlike the response to the AIDS crisis but one can go on and on.)

Perhaps the real question is when did we decide it was ok to just suck on the government teat (well, they do give us money after shutting down the economy and our livelihood and a few more sips couldn’t hurt…) or more to the point, have we become so drunk from the fire-hose of 24 hour media that we have lost any sense to think for ourselves.  We blindly accept what ever is fed us and gladly wait for the next post to send us into apoplexy. While you may read this and say “oh no, not me..” just wait till we are all told the only thing that will save us is wearing tinfoil hats and see how fast you fall in line.

covid-19,Trump

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social media, Technology, Uncategorized

Slouching toward Quietus

High school was when I first heard the term Domesday-book- and of course we quickly changed the title to Doomsday book and instead of being a record of survey of William the Conqueror’s holdings in England, it became the foretelling of oblivion- like the book of Revelations, (A prophecy, not a foretelling of doom- indeed the word  Apocalypse means a revelation or unveiling- the end of the world was added later) and it seems this need for despair has become a necessary transition for all great bodies of surveying. As the Domesday book became the dooms day book- so to the internet has gone from being a place of accumulated knowledge to a spreader of doom. This is noted in the recent article in Wired, “Doomscrolling Is Slowly Eroding Your Mental Health” while we can use internet to find the worlds wonder, information and connect to one another, we seem to be dedicated to only seeing the worst of things, passing joy on our way to despair or as Joan Didion wrote “Slouching toward quietus“.  We start our day with the worlds despair from the night before, and news amalgamators are pleased to oblige with the If it bleeds, it leads, point of view. Really, what is so important that we need minute to minute coverage. When I cant find my glasses or don’t know how to cover next months electric bill, I seldom find the neighbors in rapt attention (even if I were to make them aware of the situation) needing moment to moment updates. Perhaps putting things on the screen is the same as putting them on a pedestal. They become important and necessary while our own lives go on as drab and unexciting. Yet what makes their situation so different than ours? As Oscar Wilde once said, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars”, perhaps now more than ever we need our eyes to the light.

Covid19, Covid, Trump, Biden,Media

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Uncategorized

Words, words, words, I’m so sick of words

In this pre-post covid world, I find myself thinking of Eliza Doolittle. If you remember her, you would know her from Shaw’s Pygmalion or from the musical version, “My Fair Lady”.  But unlike Eliza, who implores the listener, don’t talk about things, show me! I seem to be pondering the change of meaning of life. Not in its largest sense but in the verbal sense and seems to have moved from a noun to a verb. In the past something that we participated in, a verb, implied action. However,  today, life seems to have been transformed into a noun, while not a person or place but truly a thing that one can watch. We seem all to have become Chauncey Gardiner, or Chance the Gardner if you prefer, finding it easier to watch than participate. “How dreadful about that black man dying with a police mans knee on his neck. Have you seen it?” Why go protest in the streets, one could die without the benefit of having it filmed for Tic Tok or Instagram. What better way to be safe now- why risk physical or mental injury actually participating in life when one can simply observe it behind glass and mask? So perhaps to this we have come, our lives are no longer what we do but an accumulation of what we can watch others do. Hopefully, I am not alone in hoping that the day will come when life returns to being a verb and our epithet will not be “I like to watch”

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internet, social media, Technology, Uncategorized

The Internet is Stupid

At first I was offended. An artist friend of mine had started doing a series of sketches called, “is Stupid” which was a loose sketch of one of his friends with their name written out followed by the words- is stupid. As he was a recognized artist, I had hoped that a small bit of immortality might be obtained through being portrayed in his work, alas, that was not to be so. However, while the internet was not immortalized by his work, it never the less, is stupid.

When we educate children we teach them at best to think for themselves, to find answers but more than that to value the question. To look at a situation and find ways for themselves to solve it, to overcome the obstacle and to solve it at least and at best in a graceful and beautiful manner. That is knowledge. Answers are a the doorway to a closet while a true answer presents more questions and greater growth. The simple act of questioning invites growth, makes us look at things differently and see things that are not yet there. The internet is a great tool but unfortunately it can only bring us answers, what already is. It will only bring us fish when what we are need now, more than ever, are more people figuring out how to fish.

Internet,covid 19

 

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social media

“‘Cela est bien dit,’ répondit Candide, ‘mais il faut cultiver notre jardin’.”

In Voltaire’s, “Candide” the titular character is brought up to believe that this is the best of all possible worlds and that everything that happens in it is for the best, and after barely surviving all sorts of terrible situations and painful disillusionment finally settles down with the love of his life to live a quiet life and to “tend to the garden”. As we deal with this most recent plague and the plague mentality, there seem to be more and more articles written about the “new normal” let us think about what that would look like. This may have refocused our attention on the things that truly matter in “tending to our garden”. Perhaps we should give as much attention and dignity  to the grocery store workers, cleaners and minimum wage workers who keep us going rather than the social media influencer, talking heads and pundits whose aim seems to be stirring up either controversy or profit for someone else’s gain. Where the purpose of businesses are to produce a product, not only a profit. Maybe its time to measure people by the contents of their hearts rather than the contents of their wallets. Where 30% of American workers make less than $10.10 per hour creating an income below the federal poverty level.  Lets not return to a normal where the richest 0.1% take in 196 times as much as bottom 90%.  We now have an opportunity to return to a place we have never been before, to look beyond what we have been to what we can be. It’s time to tend to the garden, take care of each other no matter our color or belief, Time to make this best of all possible economic systems work for everyone and turn our world into an isle of dreams.

income disparity, illuminati, the 1%

‘Tis well, replied Candide, but we must tend to the garden.

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social media, Technology

You need us….right?

As I read the recent New York Times article, “Economic Pain Will Persist Long After Lockdowns End” I found myself thinking of a song, “You Need Us” by one of my favorite TV bands, The Honeybees….In short the article details how the recent plague has effected the economy, which segments and how they might recover. However a glance at the stock market seems to have shrugged this recent unpleasantness off and is ready to resume its bullish bacchanal it makes one wonder where the true reality lies. Nearly 1/3rd of the country can be without a paycheck but why be concerned. While unemployment soars so does the Dow Jones. While we close many businesses as non essential, it begs the question, what is essential to this new economy. With the possibility of robots and drones doing many “essential” features how long will we need the rest of the work force. Will this virus’s relocation of assets also reassign much of our workforce to obscurity? Will most of us still be needed?

amazon, covid,covid19

 

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social media, Technology

A well lit place

It seems that at one point you become a curator for others. You maintain a well lit place for others to come back to, to recover and to leave, refreshed and renewed. In this modern mid plague world this seems to be more important than ever. That we have a place to retreat to, a home, a tall parapet where we can gaze out upon the world, be it real or electronic. Some of us will be the curators of those spaces for our children, lovers, siblings or friends. That space too, may be physical or electronic, a home, or a website or a shared place to chat. As you keep your social media account, please use it as a place for light, there are enough people flinging mud or useless gripes. More light, please.  As John Donne once said, They also serve who stand and wait,” we also serve who maintain a light in the darkness, a warm hearth and an open heart, we also serve. May we all be blessed, those who keep the light burning in the darkness and those who stay awake, in the dark, looking for the light- know the morning will come.

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social media, Technology

A Plague for Another Time

There is a song with the lyric, “everything old is new again”. With that in mind, the post of a few weeks ago seems strangely relevant. In the post, The Perfect Consumer, we proposed, with tongue firmly in cheek that this current plague might be the perfect way for asset reassignment, with old people dying off to create more housing for younger people, freeing up assets they would use such as health care and benefits pent up there for revitalizing the economy and for the greater good. Well, in saying of Karl Marx, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce”, what seems to have started as a tragedy now has become farce. While we joked about a silver lining in this rising, though still small, death toll, others leap to similar conclusions wrapped in a shroud of truth. Once respected commentator, Britt Hume opined, that it was entirely reasonable that the elderly would want to die to save the economy and that perhaps we should override DNR’s (do not resuscitate) orders on the dying as to keep the resources available for those still alive. One can only wonder if such precautions would be taken if the thrust of the pandemic were the working poor or minorities. Alas, we have wars and drafts to take care of that issue. Perhaps that is a plague for another time.

relocation of assets,COVID 19

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Uncategorized

Our Greatest Weakness, Our Greatest Strength.

While on my morning walk, usually about 5.30 or so, I am privy to seeing many peoples televisions broadcasting the news through their living room windows. Lately, I have seen a parade of images of people wearing masks for the corona virus and this morning it reminded me of the images of the plague masks used during the Bubonic plague. These masks have a bird mask with a bird-like beak to protect them from being infected by deadly diseases such as the  which they believed was airborne. Not unlike our current situation, it was believed that these masks could protect the wearer from harm. Later, they became transformed into a part of the Venetian carnival masks, the celebration before Lenten frugality. This thought brings me hope that in this time of challenge, we might draw strength from challenges before us. That the masks we now wear for protection might become a sign of strength, like the pink triangle, the yellow star of David or the cross.

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Uncategorized

Empty Chairs at Empty Tables

There are those of us who might remember the Nixon administration, waking up every morning to see what the Washington Post had brought to our doorstep, be it the latest utterance of Deep Throat,  news of the plumbers, CREEP, or the details of Saturday Night Massacre . Those of us grew up in a time that distrusted the government and saw the press as a lionizing force for justice and good. Now more that 50 years later, it seems that the pendulum may have swung. 

In this age of multiple media outlets, we have to wonder who really has our best interests at heart. The heirloom media seems to be struggling for its former glory posing as our knight in shining armor saving us from heartless politicians, dastardly corporations and evil doers of all persuasions- the intrepid reporter saving the day be it Erin Brockovich or the reporters on Boston Globe uncovering pedophilia in the priesthood. Now it seems that media is more content to piss on our leg and tell us that its raining. We could hardly be concerned when the corona virus was rampant in China as we were being force fed the spectacle of an impeachment in Washington with relentless urgency. Then when it appeared Bernie Sanders could actually be the front runner in the Democratic primary, we were lead to  buffets of the evils of socialism and how everything we held dear would be consumed by this plan. Following hot on the heels of the redemption by Status Quo Joe, we were told how the corona virus would destroy our world and we had to sequester ourselves as our only hope of salvation. If it bleeds it leads, and an apocalypses must be a ratings bonanza. Now our media is falling over itself to walk the line between Armageddon and a happy ending trying to keep us glued to our screens for ratings. Even the New York Times has joined the cautious chorus of people suggesting that we may have over reacted to this threat. It seems odd that, as I write, in the state of Florida there are currently 6 fatalities from the corona virus and yet a discontented student could walk into a school and kill the same number of people only to be met with transient hand wringing and wailing. Thank heavens we have this slow moving exploitable situation for our media to keep us in a waking terror of other people. How else to keep us home glued to our screens watching what once was our lives.

corona virus,hoax, coronavirushoax

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