Thursday, February 24, 2011

Strange Wind Blowing

Once upon a time I assumed that everyone believed in live and let live freedom. I thought everyone at least thought basic do-not-steal honesty was a good thing. Or almost everyone. I thought good people felt honor bound not to dictate to others how they must use their resources and property, and that they would never go along with things which enriched themselves at the clear expense, and over the protests, of others.

I was wrong. There are some people who think that the way to freedom is through control over others and their property. Then there are those who don't think that way. Some seem to fall in the middle because they'd still get gung ho on drug laws and support police abuse of the 4th amendment. And they think of the "unborn" as an abused minority group. I'm sorry, but that is one place I part ways with many who agree on other issues. Like it or not, and I am no big fan of it, but abortion ought to be off the table as far as outlawing, or funding. Nothing wrong with buying it on time. But using tax money for that is forcing the point.

I will say, despite how many have decided to look at the issue, I consider it a blessing when some people opt not to multiply, even if the ball was rolling. Seriously, let it go. I probably would not perform one but I sure don't see it as my business if I am not involved. I don't care to pay for it myself, but I don't think a lot of things should be tax funded. No surprise there.

The interesting thing to watch is to see how far the mob action thing goes. There is a fine line between reasoned dissent and mob abuse. To describe every riot or chanting mob as what democracy looks like is a stretch I think. Sometimes it is what a bully looks like.

The things that strike me the most are when it degenerates down to personalities, avoiding the true issue at hand. That is usually what happens. It preps the people to look for a savior to love, a leader, a king, a despot. First focus their ire on one person, then their love on another. Forget the actual morality or philosophy, or even the facts.

It's OK. As long as you can say you stand in SOLIDARITY with the union or whoever, it is always cool. The word "solidarity" is one of those unassailable terms of our times which has taken on the magic of holiness. To question what the hell that means or exactly why, I, in California would stand with people I don't know regarding issues and bills I haven't read, or regarding people and cultures I cannot honestly say I understand, would throw up my fist and proclaim my solidarity when I don't really know the philosophy or moral ground involved is considered sacrilege.
(no way I am going back to figure that sentence out so I can fix it)
They cried "solidarity" first, so I have to be one with that side. It's like calling shotgun, or dibs.

It's like those who chant union slogans and don't care if the union is right, wrong, run by mobsters, or anything else.

So. Where is it going to lead? You know there are millions of people who can't wait to find a chance to be on the news, stand in the middle with the megaphone, feel like they are a part of whatever it is. The thrill of the mob, and the self righteous zeal of the protest. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with everything that draws a crowd. I do always resent people with megaphones who shout, expecting the mob to shout a preset response, or repeat as told.

It is the difference in some basic makeup of people. I know many who relish the crowd and the loud dissent, even if it drowns out discussion. I don't fall into that group. But I don't fall into the group who reveres the police and every law on the books either. Some are OK. Most are not--in both cases.

Personally, I do not trust what is going on around the world, or at home. I only wish I had my secret bunker with ten years of good food, and other stuff in there.

They're gearing up for something stupid--I just have a hunch. No doubt it wil be glorified later as for the greater good, our safety, security, economic well being-- who knows? On the official level the reasons, the cause and effect, are always 180 degrees from what is said. (that means opposite for the compass degree challenged)

What people don't realize about mobs is that as dangerous or powerful as they can be, they can also be very easily manipulated and controlled. Rule of thumb on mob mentality is that a mob of geniuses becomes an entity with an IQ of about 82.5. It is true. It works just like committees comprised of more than 3 or 4 people. The level of intelligence is about 2/3 that of the weakest link. Can't do anything about it. That's why sub-committees were invented. The moral quotient weakens along the same curve as the smarts, as well.

I don't know. Just seems like some odd stuff all happening at once. I'm not chalking it up to a sudden mass elevation in awareness level of humanity. That would be nice, but I am not feeling it.

Pale and Pail; no, not equal

Several times lately I've seen the word "pail" used as a verb where "pale" would be correct.

Dear AP, and others--Pail= a bucket, container
Pale = lacking color, vigor {as in "that pales in comparison to his last outburst"]
also as in "Are you felling well? You look PALE"
= fence stake or boundary {as in "beyond the pale"]

Normally these things don't bug me, but there are times. It is what we get for A. spellcheck, B. the fact that most people ain't got good larnin' in the pubic skoos.

I catch myself writing phonetically all the time. And many times I do not catch it. When I see it I know. I believe most of the errors I'm mentioning here are cases of not knowing the difference. It happens.

While I'm at it, (and I, too, lack the education I think fitting a person of my stature) let's take a look at "then" and "than"
Then deals with sequence and time--as in first I punched him the nose, and THEN he shot me.
Than ideals with comparison---as in, "He announced to the entire locker room 'mine is bigger THAN yours'".
or, "I'd rather be a hammer THAN a nail"

Valley girl speak sometimes confuses the vowels A and E, so it is natural that the spelling and context of words gets screwed up in print. "she's my best girl frand, gah" "He is rally rally cute"

Oh The Humanity!

What has become of me? I'm beginning to think I have found a different edge from the one I tried not to go over sometime ago. I'm almost getting fat, though that is merely a side effect.

I realized that I was looking for the grits because I am becoming an insomniac who seeks fatso comfort food. Still, that is not so bad. I like grits, and I'm not actually fat. I'm borderline on having to wear size 33" waist pants instead of 32. Mostly butt taking up the space I think. That sounds silly and it is. This is the edge I'm treading; bizarre, vain, and sad considerations occupying my time, rather than money making frustrations, day trading, or selling used vacuum cleaners that I find and fix.

So, I wanted to read the instructions on the grits because I forget if you boil the water first or heat it with grits in place. Because I don't want to turn on the kitchen track lights which would mean three 100 watt spotlights sucking down electricity, I carry the bag over to the bed where the floor lamp with one squiggly bulb which pulls 23 watts (supposed to replace normal 60 watter) resides.

Later I go to check the water, now boiling on the very slow two burner hot plate, and can't find the grits. Oh, there they are sitting on my bed. Then it struck me, I may not be normal. No wonder the horde of wild women I would think would be after me are not beating down my door. If they could weave their way through the junk upon entry, they'd find a bag of grits on my bed, along with some clean clothes, a towel, and other textiles piled up on one corner.

The up side is that if the feds ever nail me for not knowing how to approach taxes or other official matters, I can present a strong case of being too nuts to know better.

For some reason, when I looked over and saw that I left the bag of grits on the bed, I felt it was a sign. Something was telling me I am not properly organized and perhaps my life is mixed up. It is not the ultra dark place where I dwelt so long before leaving Memphis, so that is a relief. It is also something good to remember. My biggest fear upon setting out for new horizons was that I would bring the part of me that can never get it right along. Of course, I knew I couldn't run away from myself. I was more trying to assert a form of control over my mind and destiny. It worked to a point. But once I stop moving, I am always in danger.

I think there are ways to manage this issue, if I could get the nerve and discipline to do it right, but there is probably no curing it. I'll always be the guy with grits on his bed because he doesn't want his utilities-included rent to go up. I've even considered using the camp stove instead of the electric hot plate thing to save energy--and because it is about 20 times faster.

If I were a junkie or a drunk, this would all make sense. As it is I have no excuse, except the one I'd use in court, should the need arise. And it wouldn't even be a lie. I simply am no good at taking care of my basic self. That was obvious as soon as I became unmarried a lifetime ago. But I haven't been too willing to let any interested parties get overly involved because I also have an aversion to judgement, or someone taking over based on half true assumptions, or later using it all as ammunition against me in some crazy campaign of defamation.

In the mean time, we tested our PA on site for the upcoming church fundraiser, praise be to [deity of your choice]. We're using GV1's system, rather than that of the holy place. Despite the work involved, and the distance of the place, he correctly reasoned that it would be good to know how it will sound, if it is adequate, and if there are problems so that we can correct what needs it. By doing it now, we have time.

GV1 is my new name for the guitar vocal guy in this group. One of them anyway. G1 is from the Memphis band.

I could not believe how well it all worked. No matter where you sit in the place, the sound balance is the same, and the volume is close to the same. And the monitors were great as well. I don't think adding people to place will influence it much---unless they are chattering and being a problem. I have a stick in my car I can use to make them behave if need be.

The big trouble is I sometimes lose all faith in my skills. I'm such a jammer at heart and this is not jammer type of play. It is good to be able to do it, but it is sometimes worrisome to me. I often play things that suck. The next time I might nail it. I seem to lack consistency and it all appears to depend upon my inner state of mind, even more than practice. The goal is to help enhance the sound of the group, not detract.

Got to get a place set up to work on harps. Seen the price of harmonicas lately? Through the friggin roof. I can't find my Lee Oskar tool kit but it is around here somewhere. It has all the things you need for most harp work. I could make good harps out of the dozens I have with stuck or out of tune reeds. The problem with having a good ear is that you know when one is beginning to go south. The trick is to play whatever position requires the most bends so you can hit the right note. If it is a bend note you just make it work. Maybe it is just me, but it seems that harp playing depends upon a lot of faking it.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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