TODAY FROM THAILAND:
A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:
1. Paradise by the Sea:
A few days ago, I decided to spend some time back at Jomtien Beach (Paradise by the Sea.) The Little Masseuse and I set off by bus intending to spend two days there. Upon our arrival, I decided to buy a new pair of prescription glasses. I did so, purchasing a pair with thick black plastic frames. It seems, this grossly ugly fashion in eyeglasses has returned. The glasses cost $100 US.
We then checked into a guest house about 50 yards from the beach on a pleasant little alley called Soi 3. After lunch went for a walk along the beach that during previous stays here I named “Siberia by the Sea.” It being summer in Siberia, there were few of those huge white bodies lolling about on the sand. I assumed they were all back in sunny Siberia swatting mosquitoes or whatever it is they do there, when not huddling around a fire attempting to protect themselves from violence of the Arctic ice storms of the Siberian winter.
I walked barefoot in the sand about two miles until I came to the area where I used to live. Walking on the sand is good exercise for an old person like me. It strengthens the small muscles in the ankle and the foot that aid in balance that usually do not get exercised in the gym. Except for dumb-bells generally the large muscle groups get exercised and strengthened with normal gym equipment. This is especially true for exercise machines that from my perspective, are only good for lifting as much weight as you can as often as you are able until you panting and gasping for breath and then moving on to the next machine. At least it makes one strong, healthy or dead. While exercising, I rarely see the difference among the three.
After a brief nap we set off by songtheuw, the small open sided busses common it Thailand, and travelled to “The Outskirts of Hell” as I refer to Pattaya and walked along the walking street and out on to the Long Pier. We ate a dinner of truly horrible fish and chips while I watched the bar-girls and go-go dancers (and their ladyboy counterparts) pass by on their way to work perched on the back of motor bikes and motor scooters their already short skirts hiked up almost to their waist or mincing along on 6 inch spiked heels.
That night, I woke up and found myself is a state or total despair. It was as if a succubus crawled in through the window and sucked all life out of me. By this time in my life, I accepted that no matter the event triggering the episode it is chemical and not philosophic or psychological in nature. Nevertheless, my life during the next few hours ceased to have meaning and I writhed in terror until I fell off to sleep, having consumed a handful of Tylenol in the interim.
The next morning after coffee, we set off for another multi mile walk along the beach. I walked on ahead in some semblance of a power walk while LM hung back exploring the morning’s detritus that littered the beach deposited by the night’s waves.
I walked to the jetty and sat on the rocks contemplating my evening’s despair. Peter’s observation, “The Seventh Seal artfully balances a beach ball on his nose,” rattling around in my brain screaming above the noise of the surf.
After all what is our job in life but to kill and eat as much as we can and leave progeny who then kill, eat and metastasize in their turn. Everything else that does not contribute to those goals, as much as we deny it, is vanity, just there to pass the time in between the killing, eating and fornication.
It is men’s ego (I am sure women would not had thought of it this way) that insists on referring to ourselves as “predators” the “greatest” of the predators no less. We are not. We are “parasites.” Parasites live off the living until they and their hosts die. As a species, it survives by seeking new hosts until none are left. Only most plants, that make their food from the sun water and the dead bodies of their predecessors and carrion eaters like vultures and hyenas avoid the trap of horror and uselessness.
Having worked myself back into a state of despair and wondering if I threw myself off the jetty would I sink or swim, I noticed LM far down the beach and decided that finding out what she had been up to seemed more rewarding and interesting than anything I was doing where I was. So, I got up and walked to her.
I discovered her and a male gleaner arguing over possession of the carcass of a two foot long squid they found floating in the surf. In between competing claims of ownership, they were also sharing recipes on how best to prepare the cadaver for eating. I decided it better if I just walked on by.
I returned to that portion of the beach adjacent to the soi on which the guest house was located. LM arrived a few minutes later. Apparently she had lost the argument. She then demonstrated for me how well she had learned the many different uses of that handy and flexible english word, “Shit.”
LM has great difficulty learning english. I believe part of the reason is that like most people learning english (and probably other languages as well) she thinks that the more words she memorizes the better she can speak the language. Others, often those who teach english for a living seem to emphasize grammar. Now grammar may be great for learning Latin or ancient Greek, languages that are no longer spoken, but I frankly fail to see what it has to do with modern english much less to teaching it to a non-native speaker.
English seems founded upon basic sentence structure. Words have little meaning in english apart from where they appear in a sentence and grammar is often secondary to position in english comprehension. Some have suggested that one need only to learn 500 or so basic words to have a working knowledge of the language. I think one needs only to learn even fewer basic english sentence structures to do so. I would guess that there are only three or four basic sentences that need to be mastered: identity (Tautological, “I am a man” or positional, “That is a tree”), objective (“John walks to the loo”) or non-objective (John walks). Most english is built out of these sentence types, unlike fully inflected and many other languages, get the words out of order and you have gibberish.
After LM vented for a while we checked out of the room, ate lunch and returned to Bangkok. I remained depressed having learned that Hayden will be leaving next week and prefers to spend his remaining weekend playing with children his own age rather that with a morose old man.
That night I dreamt I was a dead squid.
Since I last posted “This and that…” my schedule seems to have changed once again. The custody hearing may have been postponed so that now I probably will leave in the middle of July, first to Rome, then to NY and returning to the Bay Area in early August. This will change again I am sure of it.
The “original” Bee arrived in BKK from North Carolina to visit her family and take some classes in Thai massage. She accompanied her daughter, a very together you woman, who is beginning her studies at one of the universities here. We had dinner together in one of the restaurants in Terminal21, the new shopping center I described in a previous post. We talked mostly about how unpleasant life has become for them in North Carolina. The daughter complained about how much criticism and hate she receives from her step-father for having some black friends. “I play sports,” she said. “Of course some of my friends are black. I am a straight ‘A’ student. Some of them are smarter than me and help me with my homework. What’s wrong with that?”
Joey just returned to California and David has gone back to his job on the oil rigs off of Qatar
B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:
1. We would be number one but for Rumania.
The latest edition of UNICEF’s report on child poverty in developed countries found that 30 million children in 35 of the world’s richest countries live in poverty. Among those countries, the United States ranks second on the scale of what economists call “relative child poverty” — above Latvia, Bulgaria, Spain, Greece, and 29 others. Only Romania ranks higher, with 25.5 percent of its children living in poverty, compared with 23.1 percent in the US (Huffington Post)
If we try a little harder I am sure we can become number one.
The Most Important Election of our Lives (Snark Warning):
The 2012 Presidential and Congressional election are perhaps the most important election in our nations history – – for white males of certain socio-economic classes.
Of all the socio-economic classes into which one could divide the population of the United States, white males have done the most to self destruct. For example, for no other group, women, blacks, Latinos, homosexuals can it be said that without exception as a class they have failed to achieve the economic, social and educational attainments of their parents. Women continue to outperform their mothers (as well as white men). Individual Blacks, despite the horrendous impact of youth unemployment and vociferous opposition from white males continue in fits and starts to leave the lowest paying labor intensive jobs their parents were relegated to and move into the professional and managerial classes. Latinos carry on fleeing the feudal rural and demeaning service jobs they had historically been assigned. Despite the crushing burden on unemployment that has fallen hardily on them, they all still are doing marginally better than their parents.
But not white males from the middle and lower classes especially in the mid-West and the South. They persist in their decline from the economic and social backbone of our nation to become hate-filled failures in life. And, if truth be known, they chose this path to decline. They chose to refuse to educate themselves so that now they are even less equipped to survive in the modern world while women and immigrants and children of immigrants continue grow their dominance in enrollment in our colleges and universities. They are the heart and soul of the modern conservative movement.
To hear it from these white males, if based upon their internet posts and the rhetoric of their spokesmen, it is all because of the unfair advantages given over the years to these others. This is nonsense. At best these others were aided into a position where they could compete for jobs and for educational attainment. It was the job of the white males l(Like they demand of everyone else but themselves) to meet the competition by for example studying harder and getting even better grades. But instead they complained and sought the solution the uncompetitive always seek, to use government to limit the competition by denying their competitors the ability to compete (After all isn’t that what breaks and industrial subsidies are all about).
Now do not get me wrong, I find things like forced busing for integration abhorrent since its negative impact fell almost exclusively on the working classes. Similarly the pattern of distorting the labor movement by force while the nations boardrooms were left to voluntarily accommodate social change appears suspicious to me.
Nevertheless the continued decline of this class cannot be attributed to these programs. For example white women have thrived while their male counterparts have not. That certainly cannot be blamed on Title IX, abortion or availability of contraception. Or could it? Perhaps this is one of the reasons for the almost unreasonable hate shown by the Republican Party towards women.
It is advantageous to the economic and political elite to attempt to harness the dissatisfaction and fear of this previously all-powerful group in order to achieve its goals. No matter what else you may consider them to be this economic and political elite is not stupid. If they cannot win riding on the back of dissatisfaction of white males they will find another horse to ride in future elections. Most likely they will decide on appealing more to women and Latinos and the assaults on woman’s privacy and border security will cease their prominent position in the Party’s platform.
I believe it possible that Mitt Romney could be the last white male presidential candidate to be put forth by the Republican Party for a long time. I guess that should Obama win reelection, the Republicans will field a woman and latino ticket for the 2016 presidential election to face the Democratic Party’s similar gender and ethnic ticket except that one of the standard bearers will also be black.
NOTE: I am a white male. True many years ago while growing up, I was not considered really “white.” (Nor were my Jewish friends and of course Puerto Ricans flooding into NY at the time. The latter had not yet graduated from “non-white” to “Spanish surnamed.”) At that time I was subject to the jokes of the then exclusive club of whiteness and maleness similar to what Latinos are subject to today; such as the ring our oily skin left around the bathtub.
What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:
“To be an austerity groupie, one has to ignore the actual behavior of people; to believe fervently in Keynes, one has to ignore the behavior of politicians.
Economics is not a science; it is not even a social science. It is an antisocial theory. It assumes behavior is rational. It cannot calculate for contradiction, culture, altruism, fear, greed, love or humanity at all.”
Suzanne Moore, The Guardian.
ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE QUOTES:
Peter Grenell sums up human existence:
“The Seventh Seal artfully balances a beach ball on his nose.”
When I was a child you were either a Roy Rodgers of Gene Autry fan. I preferred Roy Rogers. I thought Roy was ok but I really liked Trigger more than Gene Autry’s horse Pal. But mostly I liked watching Dale Evans tits press against her tight starched cowboy shirt.
Later when we were a bit older the choice was between Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. This time I favored the Gene. Eventually I learned that that decision had political implications; you know, working man vs patrician. I really liked “Invitation to the Dance” which, although in was a commercial failure, remains one of my all time favorite movies. It along with “Blood Wedding” by Carlos Saura are two of the greatest dance movies of all time. Of my list of my favorite top 10 dance movies, Kelly would be in at least five of them and those directed by Saura in three more.
I liked Kelly because he reminded me of a baseball player who danced. I also preferred Leslie Carron’s thighs to Ginger Rogers. On the other hand, I never could get it up for Debbie Reynolds.
- STELLAR English for upper primary to start next year (todayonline.com)
- How To Improve Your English (inenglishinstitute.wordpress.com)
- How to Learn English (answers.com)
- A little rest in Chiang Mai – Chiang Mai, Thailand (travelpod.com)
- What is the fastest way to learn a foreign language? (io9.com)
- Minibuses in Thailand: Not for the faint of heart (wanderlustginger.wordpress.com)