[R]eality is partially composed of irony in its various forms.
Pike, J. Zachary. Son of a Liche (The Dark Profit Saga Book 2) (p. 34). Gnomish Press LLC.
Happy Birthday Richard McCarthy
Congratulations to Brendan and Ashley on their upcoming wedding.
Happy Birthday Ann Vita
TODAY FROM AMERICA:
POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THE ENCHANTED FOREST:
So, on Friday we attended “The Sock Hop” at the Community Center in the Enchanted Forest at Campus Commons. Every month there is a themed TGIF party at the Center. This month it was the 1950s. I had been volunteered to bartender and Naida was a cashier. We were in costume. I more or less like a skinny rogue biker and Naida in crinoline and a poodle appliqué on her vest. We danced to 1950s tunes.
The Biker and the girl in crinoline.
A group of ladies began things by dancing the Hokey Pokey.
Doing the Hokey Pokey.
Now you may think we live in a senior center. Not so, there are a lot of younger people who live here. It is just the old birds who seem to flock together for events like this.
One old girl came up to the bar several times and asked me to “fill it to the rim with gin.” Senior fun.
Speaking of fun, a few days ago, while driving HRM somewhere or another, I asked him if he had done anything enjoyable recently. He said, “Yesterday, I thought it would be fun to walk up to random people and hand them a few dollars so they will feel something good happened to them that day. So I did.”
I never did anything like this for amusement. Perhaps I should worry.
A few days later while driving him somewhere, HRM suddenly exclaimed, “I am going to ace history in high school.”
“Oh, how so,” I replied.
“I already know everything about the Sikhs, even how to tie on a turban. I also know the history of Arabia and the names of all their leaders.” He then went on to name the current leaders of the UAE, Dubai and several other states in the area.
“That’s great,” I said. “How did you come by this knowledge?”
“Well,” he said, “don’t tell anyone but, I learn it in class when I am bored with what’s going on.”
“Oh,” I said, “I too used to read history books in class when I was bored.”
“I don’t read books,” he explained, “I get it all on my smartphone.” Then he added, “What do you think the accent of Sikhs living in Australia sounds like?”
Should I worry?
As for my health, The PET scan showed three places with a high probability of cancer. Tomorrow, I go for a biopsy again.
I am now back in EDH for a while. Dick has left for Asia for two weeks and I have resumed my nanny duties along with my ongoing chauffeur responsibilities. Mon, a young man from Thailand, is living there also. His job is to cook and clean.
On the way to school one morning. I mentioned to Hayden that he lives like one-percenters of old with his own nanny, chauffeur, and Asian houseboy. “Yes, I know,” he responded. “Don’t forget you are my lawyer also,“ he added.
Ok, now I am worried.
After I drop HRM off at school in the morning, I usually drive to The Enchanted Forest. There, to spend the day with Naida. She working on her memoir and I wasting time on my computer like I am now writing this. Then about 2PM, I leave for EDH to pick up Hayden from school and with a brief break at the Skateboard Park, drive him home. He to do his homework and me to waste more time.
Went to my biopsy appointment today. Told the Doctor that my previous appointment was inconclusive because that doctor’s sonogram could not penetrate the scar tissue on my neck. This doctor said his sonogram should have no trouble. I then told him that the subsequent PET scan report showed three high probability sites. The Doctor said he thought there was only one.
Then he got down to work and stuck a needle full of Lidocaine into my throat. After fooling around awhile, he said, “Oh-oh there was some air in the needle and it is now lodged beneath your skin. Let’s wait a half hour and maybe it will go away.” And with that he strode out of the room.
Since the mass is lodged between my muscle, tendon and my carotid artery, I had the pleasure of lying there imagining my sudden death from a brain embolism. After a half hour or so he returned and applied his sonogram to my neck and after some more fooling around said, “I can’t see anything. The air bubble is probably still there. Let’s schedule another try at it next week.” And he walked out.
After dressing, I approached to nurse to schedule a new appointment. She was giggling. After we agreed on a date she said, “Oh Good, a really good doctor will be there then.”
A few days ago on Wednesday, I picked up the entire Scooter Gang and brought them to the house to wait there until it was time to go to the teenage get together held every Wednesday in an overly large modern church complex labeled the Community Church. I do not know what denomination it is, probably Baptist. I know they sometimes like to hide their affiliation.
Anyway, the Gang consisted of five burgeoning adolescents – Haden (HRM), Jake (Big tall longhaired Jake), Graham (the Genius), Tyson (who gets blamed whenever anything goes wrong) and Ethan (the first one to have a girlfriend).
HRM, Ethan, Graham, and Jake
(Hayden is wearing something he picked up in Dubai when he visited there this summer. He is holding a magic lamp that he also bought there.)
Ethan has an interesting history. His mother and father had made a good deal of money in a trade that recently became legal which will soon end the growth of mom and pop millionaires as the industry consolidates and becomes a subsidiary of something like General Foods or Coke or some super large drug company — alas, so it goes.
Anyway, about three or four years ago, Ethan’s mom was murdered. His father discovered who did it, tracked him down and beat him almost to death with a large iron rod. Ethan’s dad was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison. He got out a month ago. Ethan, who has been living with his grandparents leaves next week to stay with his father for a month or two so they can become reacquainted. HRM decided to throw him a going away party at the house on Saturday.
After picking them up at the Church event, They talked about Christianity and Heaven. Hayden thinks there were many heavens a person lives through, here on earth is the most recent one and the next one is the last. Graham said he was a professional atheist but now he decided to become a Christian —whatever that is.
Okay, now I am really very worried.
After an evening back in the Enchanted Forest, I returned to the Golden Hills to chaperone the going away party. Actually, it was not so much a party — about six or seven boys gathered to spend the night. After giving them the rules of the house — no bragging things, no spilling of liquids on the floor and no getting hurt — they joked with me awhile about the various things that were included or excluded in the rules. For the rest of the evening, they stayed quietly together in HRM’s room except for when they came into the kitchen for Pizza or coke.
The next morning I drove one of the gang, Caleb, home. He lives in the “low-income” side of town, a group of apartments hidden in a depression, behind some trees and on the far side of Town Center. During the drive, I ask Caleb what he wanted to be when he grew up. He quickly responded, “A forensic scientist.” “Interesting,” I responded. “What made you decide to do that?”
“ Well,” He answered. “My uncle was murdered. He died in 7/11. He was one of those people who you saw on television that jumped of the top of the buildings.”
“Oh,” I said. “I am sorry to hear that.” Then, unable to think of anything else to say, said, “Well I guess that will be a good profession for you.” Then, with my feeling like an idiot, we drove on to Caleb’s house in silence.
Well, I finally had the biopsy and now wait for the results. The next day, I met my new primary care doctor, my previous one retired as of September 1. His office is in a gym. Apparently, he doubles as a sports physician He is in his late 30’s and looks more like an ex-NFL linebacker than a doctor. We set a follow-up appointment for next week when the results of the biopsy become available.
After the appointment with the doctor, I rushed to a regular Parent teachers meeting at HRM’s school. The day before the school changed his classroom schedule to separate him from the rest of the Scooter Gang because the teachers felt that the socializing that went on in the classroom was adversely affecting his school work. Although it was done for his benefit, he took it as an attack on him specifically. Frankly, I thought they could have handled it better by reassigning several members of the gang instead of just him.
After the meeting, I was as exhausted as I have ever been and so I returned to the Enchanted Forest and slept through to the following morning.
Ha, Ethan returned from his uncle’s house where his father was living. He stayed only one day there before returning to EDH. He told me his uncles house burned down and so he had no place to live. After a little more prodding the story emerged. He said that the room in the attic of the house where he was to sleep also contained the circuit-breaker for the house’s electricity. His uncle fiddled around with it. He went for a walk. On his way back, he heard an explosion and saw that the house was on fire. He rushed back to the house, woke up his three cousins who had been sleeping in other bedrooms, and lead them out of the house. Almost as soon as they emerged the entire building exploded. It seems that Ethen’s prospective bedroom, the one that contained the exploding circuit breaker also contained 5000 assorted fireworks (yes — 5000) that also exploded and leveled the house when the fire that was consuming the heat of the bedroom reached the fireworks. Ethan seemed relaxed about the fact that only by a stroke of luck he escaped death.
One evening we went for dinner at a Czech-Italian restaurant on J. Street, after which, as we walked down the street we passed a group of young people one of whom said as we walked past, “You two are adorable.” We are now old enough that doing what people normally do is considered “adorable.”
Watched the Kavanaugh/Ford hearing. I do not know about the assault but he lied in just about everything else — a Golden Triangle is not three glasses of beer.
And then the weekend came drifting by as I waited to find out whether I am a dead man walking.
“Identity politics,” a meme, used by the media and commentators to describe a social movement demeans what is actually occurring. It is not “Identity Politics.” It is good old dissent a fundamental element of a working democracy.
Social arrangements, including governments, although they may begin by pursuing valid social goals, gradually become institutions serving their own purposes and needs. Without constant reform, those institutions eventually disintegrate.
Protection of minority rights may be even more important to a society than suffrage because suffrage not only is often less than universal but, even where it is broad and inclusive, groups other than the majority of the voters routinely wield the actual power. It is minorities seeking their place in society that ultimately engenders change and reform in a society.
Dissent is necessary to an organized society if that society is to remain capable of reforming itself to meet the challenges of the ever-changing and evolving environment which it must constantly confront and adapt to if it is to survive.
Ideology or labels are not significant determinants of the nature of the dissent but convenient tools for its expression (fashions if you will). For example, the US Communist Party, first funded by Wall Street and then by the US government for their own purposes, nevertheless still functioned as a mechanism of dissent, even against their paymasters.
First of all, we must understand that allegiance and dissent are the opposite sides of the same coin. Without allegiance, an organized society cannot continue to exist for long. Nevertheless, a society also cannot continue to exist for long if it is incapable of reforming itself. The prerequisite to reform is dissent.
MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:
I went to Georgetown University about fifteen years before Kavanaugh. At that time Pat Buchanan was a student there.
I knew Pat and many other boys from Bethesda and from Georgetown Prep.
They were Catholic as was I.
They went to all boys schools as did I.
I grew up on the streets of New York.
They were raised in an upper-middle-class suburban lifestyle.
I was used to the hardscrabble morality of poor communities.
I believed that my morals and those from poor neighborhoods like mine were more flexible (read lower) than those of the wealthier and more educated class.
When I arrived at school in Washington, I was shocked at the rigidity with which the boys from Bethesda, Georgetown prep and places like that maintained the rituals of their religion and the ease with which they ignored its moral precepts. (On the streets, among the poor, it was usually the opposite.)
Brett Kavanaugh comes from that milieu.
“Right from the start, brewing, a kitchen task, was women’s work. Both the Sumerians and Egyptians praised beer goddesses and associated brewing with women. In addition to Ninkasi as a woman to look up to, the Sumerians also had Kubaba. She is the only woman on the Sumerians’ list of kings, and she earned her ruling role not through birth, but through her work as a brewer. The Egyptians worshipped a goddess of beer Menqet, and celebrated sun god Ra’s daughter, Sekhmet, whose bloodthirsty ways were calmed by beer.”
“In Bruges, the first association of brewery workers met in 1447 to protect themselves from ‘innkeeper, woman, and provost.’”
A. Krugman on Top:
“A thought: the Kavanaugh mess has structural roots. Rs needed someone who was both ideologically reliable and at no risk of developing a conscience when it came to defending Trump against rule of law. So it had to be a bad person, which meant good odds of nasty stuff surfacing.”
B. Trenz Pruca’s Observations:
Trickle down economics is an enviable thing. It affords those who promote it the appearance of concern for the people while not burdening them with any responsibility to deliver anything.
C. Today’s Poem:
Haroun Al Raschid
One day, Haroun Al Raschid read
A book wherein the poet said:–
“Where are the kings, and where the rest
Of those who once the world possessed?
“They’re gone with all their pomp and show,
They’re gone the way that thou shalt go.
“O thou who choosest for thy share
The world, and what the world calls fair,
“Take all that it can give or lend,
But know that death is at the end!”
Haroun Al Raschid bowed his head:
Tears fell upon the page he read.
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“But did it matter whether it was authentic or not? Hasn’t this country been built on the promise of avoiding this very question?”
—KARL OVE KNAUSGÅRD, in The New York Times (2015)