It’s A Combination Of Remembering (AND reading) ~ Late Evening Thoughts…

By now, we all know the cover that uncovered a huge stream of hate/hysteria ….

I'd also direct your attention to the Willie Nelson story in the left hand corner ...

I’d also direct your attention to the Willie Nelson story in the left hand corner …

. Now, I have no argument that the picture is one of a self-confident, somewhat attractive youth.  The look of a lot of college students.  But, even as the picture hit the internet, before distribution – the flames began to fly.   OK, here’s where one of my points comes … IF the cover was only to glorify the bomber, then I don’t think they would have included this statement:


The article itself – which hopefully some people read online – while not exactly the world’s greatest journalism – attempted to deal with the question – why would someone who seeming had everything going for him do something such as this?  What failed him? Did his brother “turn him to the dark side”.  Some of these questions we may only get answers to at the trial…if ever,

I want to wander back in recent history a bit, and take a look at a moment in time and TIME magazine.  When this cover was published, TIME was pretty much everywhere and if not in most homes, was probably read somewhere by someone in that home.

Here’s a cover about Timothy McVey ….

The explosion killed 168 people, including 19 children in the day care center on the second floor, and injured 450 others.

The explosion killed 168 people, including 19 children in the day care center on the second floor, and injured 450 others.

Here’s a good-looking fellow, who lit an explosion that killed 168 people, including 19 children in the day care center on the second floor, and injured 450 others. And TIME is having a debate about should he die.  I don’t recall a huge uproar over the photo or the story.  I don’t recall people wanting to burn the issue or stores refusing to carry it.  It was published, distributed and seemingly “forgotten” as a major issue for people to deal with …

OK, let’s go to another TIME issue a little more recent…Osama Bin Laden

3,460: Approximate number of people killed in the 9/11 attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., including firefighters and paramedics (New York Magazine /Guardian ) 20: Percentage of Americans who knew someone “hurt or killed” at the World Trade Center (New York Magazine )  422,000: Estimated number of New Yorkers with symptoms of PTSD post-9/11 (New York Magazine )

3,460: Approximate number of people killed in the 9/11 attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., including firefighters and paramedics (New York Magazine /Guardian )
20: Percentage of Americans who knew someone “hurt or killed” at the World Trade Center (New York Magazine )
422,000: Estimated number of New Yorkers with symptoms of PTSD post-9/11 (New York Magazine )

So, just looking at the photo as a photo, here’s a fairly handsome person with a slight smile, piercing eyes – and to my untrained eye – has been slightly airbrushed.  Just slightly. And yet –

  • 3,460: Approximate number of people killed in the 9/11 attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., including firefighters and paramedics (New York Magazine /Guardian )
  • 20: Percentage of Americans who knew someone “hurt or killed” at the World Trade Center (New York Magazine )
  •  422,000: Estimated number of New Yorkers with symptoms of PTSD post-9/11 (New York Magazine )

Now, admittedly you might think I’m begging the question with this one, but in a sense, it was presenting a very pretty picture of a very evil person …

Which brings me to the Rolling Stone cover … warts and all.  One of the Boston Police was so upset at the cover he released some shots of the capture (which has now gotten him suspended) .  Sgt. Sean Murphy, Massachusetts State Police photographer really might not have wanted his photos to be used as the cover but was trying to counter-act what he perceived as the glorification of the bomber.  Here’s his picture … and my comments below ..

 caused injuries and death totaling 3 spectators killed and 264 casualties whose injuries were treated in 27 local hospitals

caused injuries and death totaling 3 spectators killed and 264 casualties whose injuries were treated in 27 local hospitals

There actually people today demanding (on Facebook and other places) that Rolling Stone should reissue the magazine with this picture on the cover.  Here’s my problem with that.  Go ahead, enlarge the picture for a moment…. I’ll wait …

This picture does as much to glorify him as the other might.  You have the handsome – albeit blood spattered – youth, with his shirt pulled up above his abs and a laser target on his forehead.  For an arrest photo, it’s also quite well-lit. It could actually pass as a fashion advertisement in a glossy magazine. [if you didn’t know who it was] Certainly, nothing that would tell you “this is an evil, scary killer” …

Here’s where I’m at with this … people didn’t like the photo because it didn’t reach their preconceived notions of what a killer should look like.  It also struck deep into the biases and dislikes that people have.  And sadly, there is no arguing with that.  Let me repeat that – there is no arguing with folks who are biased, discriminatory or yes, even racist.

S. I Hayakawa in his landmark book “Language In Thought And Action” talked about the idea that once we have cast someone in the role of the enemy all communications and actions are immediately suspect and forced to fit the narrative we’ve given them.

Seem familiar? We’ve seen it at two MLB events in the last couple of weeks.  I was watching on Twitter someone attempting to counter someones frankly bigoted argument with the truth Puerto Ricans indeed are US Citizens (have been since I think 1917). the discussion went about as well as you would think … nowhere.

More on this anon ….

Sorry About That ~ Late Afternoon Thoughts ~

Yes, it’s several (ahem) days AFTER April Fools.  I had every intention of getting the answers to the videos posted – but a bit too much got in the way.  I’ll admit that a nasty cold/cough illness played a great part in it ….


In The video from Charlie Chaplin’s “The Circus” …. It certainly looks as if there were cell phones in 1928 …. right?

Chaplin's The Circus 1928

In staying with the comments on YouTube, which is a fascinating/horrifying place to be for any length of time.  It was suggested and confirmed that this is nothing more than a compact hearing amplification device that was available and was actually quite expensive.  Personally, it seems to be nothing more than something to replace cupping your hand behind your ear ….

The video from 1938 causes more  “conspiracy” theories … It looks like a cell phone, she’s talking on the phone and THEN she puts it down from her ear.

1938 radio phone 1938 radio phone2

The film itself is, evidently, part of a longer film from DuPont .. who at the time was working with the concept of radio phones – think walkie-talkies (walking and talking – having nothing to do with the famous BBC series which introduced the world to “walkie-walkies”.)

The problem with this device (as there was NO infrastructure at the time) It would only work within a very small radius and for a very short time … the batteries evidently sucked as well.

Sadly, I’ll have to put my Dr. Who fantasy back in the drawer for a while, but I’m sure there’s other fascinating videos out there …..

Intermezzo ~ Late Evening Thoughts

For tonight, I’m going to leave myself at the hospital with a broken arm, and various problems with Julius Caesar and Midsummer Night’s Dream unresolved. I wanted to head in a different direction for tonight …

Today I found out that D&D,who have been close (if dramatic) friends for over 10 years, are ending their unending relationship of over 9 years. I would like to say that this came as a complete shock to me, but it did not. For a number of years, they have sounded more like a couple that’s been married for a long time – but didn’t want to be. And their idea of communication seemed more to talk AT each other, rather than TO each other.

I haven’t done this for sometime, but I went back and looked at various quotes that I thought were relevant and realized again – any relationship/friendship takes work. Sometimes a lot of work. The advantage of friendship, as I see it, is that there is a separation inherent in the dynamics.

However, as I learned in my marriage that ended after 15+ years, marriage is not a minimizer but an enlarger. Those charming idiosyncrasies that are so charming when dating – can become major mountains that need to be overcome!!

(but it’s all worth it!!)

“Love is not written on paper, for paper can be erased. Nor is it etched on stone, for stone can be broken. But it is inscribed on a heart and there it shall remain forever.”

“It is strange how often a heart must be broken before the years can make it wise”
–Sara Teasdale

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.
–C.S. Lewis

“When love is lost, do not bow your head in sadness; instead keep your head up high and gaze at the stars for that is where your broken heart has been sent to heal!”

“A broken heart is what makes life so wonderful five years later, when you see that special guy in an elevator and he is fat and smoking and saying ‘Long time no see’”
–Phyllis Batelle

“The day you finally decide to love me will be the day after the day I have given up on chasing you.”

“I don’t miss him, I miss who I thought he was.”

” Maybe nature is fundamentally ugly, chaotic and complicated. But if it’s like that, then I want out.”
–Steven Weinberg

“Man is harder than iron, stronger than stone and more fragile than a rose.”
–Turkish Proverb

—and as Paul Harvey might have said: Tomorrow, more of the Shakespeare story

And The Bleet Goes On ~ Early Afternoon Thoughts

This was posted on one of my absolutely favorite morning blogs –> Daily Kos<- -, which if you have not bookmarked, you should. It is updated during the day, and for American politics, culture with amazing commentary could not be any better (sorry, Huffington Post!)

At first I thought I might make a few “comments” about the mess in Albany, NY ~ but they’re doing just fine holding THAT circus without any further comments from me!!

I had written about RIAA and MPAA –> once before here <– an ezine called Zeropaid. This was the section that was posted at Kos and really caught my attention … These might be the reasons they lost the PR battles and probably the "war" ~ (Republicans, are you listening???)

We figured a short list might be in order:

-destroying Napster and Audio Galaxy and not creating an alternative for the get-go,
raiding people’s homes because they uploaded Star Wars (not necessarily leaking it in the first place),
-hacking the URN hash and polluting FastTrack,
-hacking The Pirate Bay,
-having Viacom serve DMCA notices to people posting video’s of people eating in a restaurant on YouTube,
-suing tens of thousands of average American’s including fining one individual $222,000 for sharing a couple songs,
-saying that files in a shared directory is copyright infringement in court,
-saying that evidence is too hard to get and that the industry shouldn’t be burdened to prove their cases in court,
-suggesting that iPods are little more than little pirate ships,
-saying in court that even making one back-up copy of a DVD is illegal,
-lobbying to put in the DMCA, demanding that laws should be in place to prevent any tinkering with DRM including for research purposes,
-installing rootkits on people’s computers,
-installing spyware on people’s computers via the MediaMax technology,
-being outed for being hypocrites for pirating a documentary movie and claiming that it’ll only be in a safe place,
-tried to bring people a broadcast flag and telling people you can’t record TV shows if the broadcaster doesn’t like it,
-trying to bi-pass the backfiring of WIPO and the FCC to bring in the broadcast flag anyway, -tried to get ISPs to do all the copyright industry’s dirty work,
-pressured and bullied other countries to implement laws the industry saw fit and using shady lobbying tactics to accomplish this,
-tried to sell us music that cannot be copied through the internet and on discs,
-tried to bi-pass the will of the European Union and get countries to pass “three strikes” laws even if artists disagree with it,
-attempted to price fix music albums,
-secretly hold negotiations to pass draconian copyright laws that would see people’s physical property effectively stolen on the mere suspicion of copyright infringement through ACTA, -demanding that laws be passed that mandates the promotion of legal alternatives,
then not providing the kind of deals that would allow legitimate services to flourish with internet groups and businesses like ISPs,
-alienate an entire generation by labeling their own customers as pirates,
-likened downloading music on the internet to terrorism,
-likened internet users who download music online to “biker gangs”,
-spread blatantly false information about file-sharing,
-forcing people to watch anti-piracy ads on movies,
-suing people who had a recently deceased family member,
-argue that the industry is for artists, then going to court and demanding that royalty rates should be lower for artists – thus having to pay them less and keeping more money from album revenues,
-forcing radio broadcasters to pay royalties even if they don’t play music from the copyright industry,
-suing a lawyer for blogging about court cases related to copyright,
-and possibly the whole issue of listing countries that hold 70% of the world’s population and labeling some as rogue nations that need to update their copyright laws via the USTR Special 301 report – thus alienating many countries in the first place.

Again, a short list of probably simple misunderstandings in the world of PR that have been taken out of context by the “enemies of copyright”.

Just so it’s clear, the copy is from the articles, the pictures I added …

Parental Moments ~ Early Evening Thoughts

About the time my daughter was in High School. a ladies only strip club had made the news here in town. It was owned by a former dancer of note (according to his press releases) and had become quite the party spot. It had (at that time) a firm “ladies only” policy ~ so, from what we understood the evenings were fairly raucous. This became quite the topic of conversation from my daughter and she was making all sorts of devious plans to go. I didn’t worry too much about it as 1) she was way to young to get in and 2) I doubted she would really have gone even if she could have gotten into the place and 3) she was talking out loud about the plans ~ probably to see what kind of reaction it would get.

My daughter also loved to go to the various trade shows (travel), home and garden shows and the other exhibitions during the year. She was the exact opposite of my ex-wife. who could tolerate those kind of gatherings for – oh – maybe ten minutes and then was done. My daughter, on the other hand, loved to go, look and see everything that was there. She also was beginning to “scope” out men which was quite funny to be around. She would decided someone was cute, and I’d tease her to go talk to him, to which she would refuse, etc. It was a fun time to be around her …

One week, there was a home and travel show at the convention center and I extended the invitation for her to come with me and for once, she decided that she didn’t want to go but “Bring me home something from it, Dad.” was the response.

So, I went and wandered around the exhibits on the main floor and then went to the second floor exhibits. In the center of all those exhibits was not only an exhibit for the club she had been talking about, but about 8 of the dancers were there as well. And yes, everything was quite G-rated. I wandered by and realized they were selling pictures, slides (!?!) and calenders. Ah ha!! A calender would be the ideal thing for her – if I could find one that she would be allowed to hang in her room! I found a large wall one with all 12 months and a different dancer for each month. This was a little more PG rated, but they were basically clothed and I was pretty sure that my ex (not ex at the time but later) would allow it in the house and in her room.

Not only did I get the calender, I got the dancers who were there to autograph the calender for her – and they each personalized it. I was sure it would be a great hit. (two of the dancers circled their birthdays with hearts – as if!!)

I waited to give it to her for several days. We were heading to do some shopping and I reminded her about the home/travel show and that it was too bad she wasn’t there, because … and then I told her who was there. It was a wonderful dramatic moment on her part as she was quite vocal about having missed them, etc. THEN, I gave her the calender.

A long silence followed, and all I could think was: “Oh, great, she doesn’t like it!!” Finally I asked her if she was unhappy with it …

Another long pause, then she replied that she did like it but ~ she said; “I just realized that there is no way I could date someone who has bigger boobs and more hair than I do!”

Writer’s Cramp And Pain ~ Late Eveing Thoughts

I have to apologize for the silence in this blog. I really haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, nor have I been captured by a mob bent on burning, raping and/or pillaging.

I have been deeply involved in two creative projects . . . one is total vanity on my part – I have been putting a book together which is now taking shape. It will hold it’s shape as long as I don’t get the “Oh, good Lord – what do I think I am doing” vision and use the delete key to take it all away. I don’t think it will happen as there’s been a bit too much of my energy, etc. involved in it.

I can tell you that the title will be “Do You Want Me To Bring The Ashes?” which comes from an incident involving my Mother’s funeral. Almost the entire book are base on my memories of things in and around my life. Much of the material has come, so far, from the postings in this blog ~ all of which has required a LOT of rewriting and “fixing” – especially when it comes to names and such.

The other creative project that has really consumed me, I was asked to create a theater piece. I have NO idea if it will be performed or even make it to a staged reading. It is a type of theater I have always had difficulty writing, but I am slogging though all this and fully expect to come out the other side. Perhaps I will not come out the other side triumphant but I certainly will have accomplished a major goal.

I think that things will begin to settle down now and not take quite so much of my time and energy.

Talks about writer cramps and pains … Sometimes creativity hurts!!!

Words, Words, Words ~ Late Eveing Thoughts

This is a two-part post tonight . . .

First, Good Ol’ Oxford University has complied a list of the 10 MOST irritating expressions . . .

The phrases appear in a book called Damp Squid, named after the mistake of confusing a squid with a squib, a type of firework.

The researchers who compiled the list monitor the use of phrases in a database called the Oxford University Corpus, which comprises books, papers, magazines, broadcast, the Internet and other sources.

The database alerts them to new words and phrases and can tell them which expressions are disappearing. It also shows how words are being misused.

As well as the above expressions, the book’s author Jeremy Butterfield says that many annoyingly over-used expressions actually began as office lingo, such as 24/7 and “synergy”.

Other phrases to irritate people are “literally” and “ironically”, when they are used out of context.

Mr Butterfield said: “We grow tired of anything that is repeated too often – an anecdote, a joke, a mannerism – and the same seems to happen with some language.”

Here is the list ~ I’m sure there are others we all would like to see added –

The top ten most irritating phrases:

1 – At the end of the day (a phrase I have come to detest!)

2 – Fairly unique (is this similar to being somewhat pregnant?)

3 – I personally

4 – At this moment in time (a bad song title as well)

5 – With all due respect (usually followed by something showing NO respect)

6 – Absolutely

7 – It’s a nightmare

8 – Shouldn’t of (instead of shouldn’t have ~ my Mother would be so proud!!)

9 – 24/7

10 – It’s not rocket science

The American Dialect Society ~ Word Of The Year

Their press release says it best:

Word of the Year is interpreted in its broader sense as “vocabulary item”—not just words but
phrases. The words or phrases do not have to be brand-new, but they have to be newly prominent or notable in the past year, in the manner of Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

The vote is the longest-running such vote anywhere, the only one not tied to commercial interests, and the word-of-the-year event up to which all others lead. It is fully informed by the members’ expertise in the study of words, but it is far from a solemn occasion. Members in the 119-year-old organization include linguists, lexicographers, etymologists, grammarians, historians, researchers, writers, authors, editors, professors, university students, and independent scholars.

In conducting the vote, they act in fun and do not pretend to be officially inducting words into the English language. Instead they are highlighting that language change is normal, ongoing, and entertaining.

2007 Word of the Year,
subprime, an adjective used to describe a risky or less than ideal loan, mortgage, or investment.
Most Useful: green- prefix/compounding form, designates environmental concern, as in greenwashing.
Most Creative
: googlegänger, a person with your name who shows up when you google yourself.
Most Unnecessary
: Happy Kwanhanamas! [Kwanza + Hanukka + Christmas] Happy holidays!
Most Outrageous
: toe-tapper, A homosexual. Senator Larry Craig was arrested in June for an encounter in a public restroom in which toe-tapping was said to have been used as a sexual come on.
Most Euphemistic: human terrain team, a group of social scientists employed by the US military to serve as cultural advisers in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Most Likely to Succeed: green- prefix/compounding form, designates environmental concern, as in greenwashing.
Least Likely to Succeed
: strand-in, protest duplicating being stranded inside an airplane on a delayed flight.
New Category, Real Estate Words
: subprime, used to describe a risky or poorly documented loan or mortgage.

These are the words for 2007, I will be posting 2008 soon . . . .

Show me – from My Fair Lady

Speak and the world is full of singing,
And I’m winging Higher than the birds.
Touch and my heart begins to crumble,
The heaven’s tumble, Darling, and I’m…

Words! Words! I’m so sick of words!
I get words all day through;
First from him, now from you! Is that all you blighters can do?
Don’t talk of stars Burning above; If you’re in love,
Show me! Tell me no dreams
Filled with desire. If you’re on fire,
Show me! Here we are together in the middle of the night!
Don’t talk of spring! Just hold me tight!
Anyone who’s ever been in love’ll tell you that
This is no time for a chat! Haven’t your lips
Longed for my touch? Don’t say how much,
Show me! Show me! Don’t talk of love lasting through time.
Make me no undying vow. Show me now!
Sing me no song! Read me no rhyme!
Don’t waste my time, Show me!
Don’t talk of June, Don’t talk of fall!
Don’t talk at all! Show me!
Never do I ever want to hear another word.
There isn’t one I haven’t heard.
Here we are together in what ought to be a dream;
Say one more word and I’ll scream!
Haven’t your arms Hungered for mine?
Please don’t “expl’ine,” Show me! Show me!
Don’t wait until wrinkles and lines
Pop out all over my brow,
Show me now!

A Moving Tale ~ Early Afternoon Thoughts

Le Mutt (officially called Bonzai – because the first day he was around, he had the startling habit of throwing himself off furniture ) and I were quite comfortable in my apartment. While not an enormous space, it was comfortable and had a view of the Bayou unmatched except at the very expensive restaurant down the road. As a two bedroom I had visions of turning the second bedroom into an office/craft room. In actuality, it consisted of piled boxes and “stuff” – with the computer tucked into a corner of clear space.

The apartment laundromat was a matter of steps from my apartment, and when the machines were working was quite convenient. At least that is what everyone told me . . .
in actuality, they are never convenient.

Having the quarters,
loading the laundry,
carrying the laundry,
washing the laundry,
getting more quarters,
drying the laundry,
folding/hanging the laundry,
carrying the laundry (now occupying much more space)
putting the laundry away.
(rinse and repeat theme song here)

And, of course, with any apartment dwelling there are neighbors. I was fortunate in that mine were nice and except for the ones above me, relatively quiet. On my side of the building ~ next to me was a couple who were in residence only during the week. On weekends they went to their ranch to play with their cows and horses ~ nice job if you can get it!! Upstairs from them were a delightful couple with a five year old son that was going to be a stand-up comedian someday and a new baby. They were wonderful neighbors, and when I had my first knee operation actually showed up at my door during the recovery to find out if I needed anything and to check that I was OK.

The neighbors directly above me were . . . well . . . quite interesting and unusual. Aside from some strange activities and loud noises from above ~ there was the day (a beautiful Saturday afternoon as a matter of fact) they made rather passionate love (cue bad movie porn sound track here)~ with their windows open. Ah, the sounds of nature. There were a number of people out on the area in front of my apartment which had some BBQ pits and benches . . . they were as fascinated stunned as I was. Even Bonzai was stunned into silence and immobility.

But as I said, Le Mutt and I were quite comfortable where we were and not planning to move anytime soon. (cue ominous sounds here) I really didn’t want to go through the hassle of packing, unpacking and transferring everything into a new apartment. Besides, mine was quite convenient and I was settled into the space. Albeit a somewhat cluttered space, but MY space none-the-less.

The 1st week of January, the people next to me told me they were planning to move ~ something closer to their jobs. We chatted about options, and then they told me that the BC building in the complex had a 2 bedroom/2 bath available. THAT conversation was what set all this in motion.

When the complex was built ~ there was a supper club right in the middle. It had the charming name of “Barbary Coast.” From what I understand, it didn’t take the owner very long to realize that he really didn’t want to be in the restaurant business . . . running a large complex was quite enough. After several years, the building was revamped/redesigned with ten individual apartments. Because of the lay-out of the building, no apartments had the same floor plans and each had washer/drying connections. Because of the type of building it is, and the larger apartments along with the connections, demand is rather high for them. As a matter of fact, when one becomes vacant, the complex doesn’t even advertise them – current tenants rent them in a matter of days.

So, off I went to the office to ask about the apartment and to get the keys to see it. The apartment itself was about 150 yards from where I was, so moving wouldn’t be a major ordeal. Or so I thought . . .

–more to come

An Explaination Of Sorts ~ Early Evening Thoughts

I apologize for my silence ~ on January 25th I moved from one apartment to another in the same complex. This was not a move to another town or even across town…I moved approximately 150 yards from where I lived.

I finally got my land line hooked up Monday and the internet TODAY ~ (cue frustrated sounds here).

I have a lot of emails and some work to catch up on and then I will post the story(ies) of this saga.

Again, my lengthy silence was certainly NOT my intention …