Sometimes I used to wonder if there was some way we could figure out how to tell someone is a racist shitbag. So that when they walk into my business, I could tell them they’re not welcome at my lunch counter. But of course, you can’t always see racism very easily.
Now we have a pandemic, and wearing a mask is suddenly a hot button issue. The thing is, maybe we should have required people to wear face-masks sooner. It really makes things so much easier.
What else is amazing is that the battle lines they’ve drawn are suddenly concentrated on the right to choose what someone can do with their own body. And no government (or local deli) can tell them what do to with their bodies!
I shit you not! They’re actually saying this now. Anyway, what I’m saying is that it’s easier to see them now…
The KING, the MICE, and the CHEESE, by Nancy and Eric Gurney is a book I read at least 40 years ago, and I’m just getting around to telling you about it now. It was absolutely in the top 10 favorites I would reread. It’s illustrated with fantastic cartooning, especially the mice. I absolutely love how expressive their faces are.
It’s a lighthearted tale of your usual self-important, rich white guy who has a series of problems he needs to solve. In typical fashion, he throws his weight around and until he can get someone else to satisfy his petty whims.
His subservient advisors go to outlandish lengths to please their tantrum-prone Mucky Muck. They begin to bring in everything from cats to elephants in order to try to solve the latest problem. Yet each new catastrophe is really nothing more than the growing happiness of these animals as they begins to relax and settle in to the new home they’ve found themselves in.
Each one is brought there for a specific reason, with never a moment’s thought given to its well being or happiness. He would use them only for what he needed, and after they’d outlived their usefulness to him he would quickly mark them as the next problem his kingdom must eradicate.
The book itself is of course, a work of fiction. Nothing more than childhood stories of the outlandish. I mean, could you imagine the leader of a country being so self-aggrandizing, and so hyper-focused on only his own comforts and whims, yet so blind to the suffering of everyone and everything he can’t use somehow? Thanks just crazy talk.
That’s whackier than a mouse eating a nice cheese dinner, with very good manners.
I have come to believe that people pray to God not because One exists, but because our Ego does. I believe Prayer works because it takes our most naturally destructive energies (intention, will, hope, judgement, etc.) and channels them outward, rather than back toward ourselves where they do the most damage.
After a few weeks of being hunkered down and working all kinds of weird hours doing mobile tech support for a couple of thousand users, I’m starting to get a chance to sit up and look around at where things are in the world.
But in doing so, I do so remotely. As do you, if you’re reading this. We have all been suddenly thrust into this strange new world that is partially shut down, and partially virtual.
For the first time in human history, we can continue to carry on large portions of the global economy through virtual methods. Virtual meetings, Internet-based commerce, digital banking, in-home entertainment, and the internet of things. Of course you can’t eat a Tweet. And the sooner we are able to get back to a more normal semblance of life, the better off we will all be.
But the reason I am writing this is to say thanks to a group of people that have been invisibly making large portions of what we do everyday possible at all. And that‘s because they’re the people who make all of our technology possible. From the network engineers, to the call center worker, including the electricians who makes all run, and the hardware repair folks who put it all back together when you break it at the worst possible time, even that annoying office tech guy who grunts every time he has to listen to you swear again and again that it’s not your fault that email hates you, all the ay our to the entire population of earth that is now available to me at the touch of a button on this powerful computer we still call a cell phone.
We live in a world that continues to move at an unprecedented speed, all doing so from our couches now. The whole thing takes a constellation of jobs and technologies to make it all work.
And for that, take a minute to just thank a tech person you rely on. And if you can, resist the urge to ask them a ‘quick question’, just this once.
The Renaissance came after the Dark Ages because people had started to engage in critical thinking and using something that became known as the scientific method. The natural result was to grow away from the teachings of The Church at that time, because the results science was getting threatened the validity of the Church itself, the authenticity of its edicts, and its iron grip on power.
Now the United States has a leader who is in a position of power he neither earned, nor deserves. And like the church, he is so frightened of being wrong and losing power that he is willing to put countless lives at risk just in order to appear as if he isn’t wrong.
And so, here we are centuries later slowly sinking back into the same dark abyss of magical thinking, selfish prayer and quack ‘cure-all’ medicines. We are again leaving behind rational observation and thought as we bound head first into cults of personality and brand identity, as if they offer something more substantive than a street gang mentality and some Second Amendment bumper stickers.