(This is an idea that comes from Bruce the Bottle Imp, so, don’t blame me if this humor blog-post isn’t really very funny.)
The thing I am grumpy about today, besides the dog chewing up last night’s pizza box and spreading the shreds all over the kitchen before I had a chance to take it to the trash barrel, is the fact that it seems like the world is ending.
I know, the “How can you say that?” crowd are going to argue with me if I say it’s because we let Adam Sandler get away with making too damn many movies. But in spite of the existence of Jack and Jill, I actually kinda like the cartoons where he plays Dracula and Selena Gomez plays his daughter. So, Sandler doesn’t give me the feelings of existential dread his movies used to provide.
No, I think the reason is because when I went out to walk the dog this morning on a sunshiny and blue-skyed dawn, and took a deep breath of fresh air, I nearly coughed up a lung thanks to that yellow-gray patina delicately painting the horizon.
We are running out of time.
President Grandpa Joe, the mildly confused one, is proposing a huge infrastructure bill that is even larger than the one he rammed through congress without a single Republican vote in order to keep the poor and the middle class from starving and becoming homeless… and potential fuel for the zombie apocalypse. The infrastructure bill will provide a starting point for building green-energy projects, providing thousands of green-energy jobs to an ailing economy, bullet trains and healthcare improvements, and life-changing transformations to rival FDR’s New Deal, which Republicans will also vote against. And he might actually do it if Senator Turtle McConnell doesn’t convince Senator Grumbly-Grampa Joe Manchin to vote against his own party in dismantling the foofy filibuster and then voting down the infrastructure bill both to fully insure the extinction of the human race.
For some reason, probably involving dark money, Republicans want so badly to see all middle class and poor people die a horrible death that they are willing to sacrifice the lives of their own grandchildren and great grandchildren. After all, they will mostly all be undead and undying critters by that time, and they won’t want pesky younger generations to support using money from their treasure hordes that they are planning to swim in like Scrooge McDuck for eternity.
I am also deeply grumpified by the whole Congressman Eddy Munster… er, I mean… Matt Gaetz thing (seen pictured in the Vampyr Paffooney above.) That happy-go-lucky blood-sucker is facing child sex-trafficking charges involving a 17-year-old girl, and the investigation was started under Attorney General Bill Barr, Trump’s Fred-Flintstone-impersonating, Yabba-dabba-doo collusion-denier. Senator Al Franken(berry) of Minnesota, a leading Democrat, had to resign from the Senate over a picture where he wasn’t actually touching the sleeping Republican-lady’s boobs, just making a crude joke-photo the way former Saturday Night Live comedians will often do… er, well… doo doo. But Eddy Matt Gaetz doesn’t have to resign, or even give up his assignment to the Judiciary Committee. And that’s because we’re okay with unindicted criminals running our country, just not Democrats.
I hate to say it, but, now that we have gotten rid of the Orange Prexydent at long last, if we still can’t prevent human extinction, we deserve what’s coming to us. We have work to do…. and things to grumble about… and Republicans have acts of vampire-evil to commit.
I am diabetic. I am not supposed to have donuts for breakfast any more. Hence the obsession with donuts. I am only guessing here, but I think it may have something to do with the fact that the very name of donuts tells you what to do.
“What?!” you say. “What goofiness are you talking about now, Mickey?”
Well, I’ll tell you. I had a donut for breakfast this morning… with nuts.
The name “donuts” is literally a command. It tells you to “Do nuts”. So I had nuts with my donut this morning. Peanuts to be precise. Of course that’s what is wrong with the whole scenario. It doesn’t mean “peanuts”. It is commanding you to do something nutty. Maybe more like eating a donut when you have diabetes. No matter how good that particular donut tastes when you eat it, an hour later you are going to suffer.
So here’s the result of my being nuts this morning. I have come to the conclusion that the root of all evils in the modern world is “donuts”. Especially when it is pronounced “doo nutz”. Yes, eating a donut subjects you to the command, “Do nuts!”
And we all know how bad Trump’s diet is. Could he be imbibing donuts? Horrors! That explains Twitter, cabinet firings, tariffs for the fun of it, random protestations of “No collusion!”, and even “Covfefe”. Although Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary is an evil beyond even the power of donuts.
And how did Trump even get elected? Do people in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan glory in eating donuts before voting? How about disgruntled Bernie Bros? And one also suspects that middle-aged white women can’t resist a good donut… or an evil one either.
Could it be that I am down on donuts because I ate one and now I am writing this with a pounding high-blood-sugar headache? Well, yes. Eating one inspired this post. It was a chocolate donut with green, mint-flavored frosting. And it was evil. It is taking out its evil revenge on the blood vessels in my brain.
So, I implore you if you are reading this… no, I’m not going to tell you not to “Do nuts”… I am going to tell you, “Please, for the love of God, keep donuts away from me! Eat them yourself if you have to. But be warned! They have a secret meaning.”
Here are some things that are probably true. Although, I know, most of you don’t want to hear them and probably don’t want to believe them if you are forced to read further by what is probably a foolish compelling curiosity.
The word PROBABLY probably means;
1. almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell: “she would probably never see him again”
2, The narrator probably wishes to leave you with the impression that there are probably doubts and scientifical uncertainties that any dire things predicted here have a chance to not come true… probably.
Here’s lie number one;
Human beings are in control of what happens on this planet and can prevent unforeseen factors from killing us all.
Here’s the reason that lie will probably kill us all;
Yes, our beloved Standard Oil of Ohio have committed to telling the lies, the whole lies, and nothing but the lies since 1977 when their senior scientist, James Black, told them the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth… about how burning fossil fuels would lead to too much carbon dioxide building up in the atmosphere. He warned that mankind had about a ten year window to get control of their carbon dioxide out-put to keep climate change from happening. That, of course, was 44 years ago. Exxon (formerly Standard Oil) has been lying to us ever since to keep us buying their product and keeping the stock price of their corporation high. My primary (but not only) source follows;
We are already seeing lethal effects from climate change, everything from devastating wild fires in California to the unprepared-for freezing of the Texas power grid in February 2021. Really, Governor Abbott, if the Texas wind-power and the Green New Deal (Which hasn’t yet been implemented anywhere, especially not in Texas) is totally to blame, why didn’t you weather-proof it after the freeze of 2011? Iowa’s windmills didn’t let them down even though they endured colder temperatures than Texas during that same week.
The biosphere of the planet is in grave danger because of the lies we have been believing in. Here again is a primary source;
So, what possible reason could our wonderful corporate-capitalistic system have for lying to us? Gee, that’s hard to answer. PROFITS!!!
Here, then, is lie number two;
If we just let the wealthy capitalist job-creators and business-creators do whatever they want to make themselves richer, they will boost the economy higher and make life better for everybody.
Here’s a breakdown of that lie quoted from Odyssey;
“Here are the most significant reasons why Reaganomics, a.k.a. “Trickle-down” economics and Trump’s go-to financial plan, is the worst possible solution:
1. It drives up national debt
During the years of Reagan’s presidency, the national deficit almost tripled due to the lack of incoming tax revenue and only partially-decreased spending. When he first entered into office, the debt was around 900 billion dollars. At the end of his terms, it was close to exceeding three trillion.
2. It cuts into funding for government programs
Social programs lose funding when defense programs take precedence and drain limited funds.
3. Most importantly: It DOESN’T trickle down
The wealth that began at the top never made it all the way down. Most of the wealth stayed with the top few percent; the income gap was the highest it had ever been since 1947. Over the ten years it was implemented, the top one percent of the population’s salaries/wages increased over eighty percent while the bottom ninety percent’s only increased three percent and the poorest twenty percent of the population’s family income actually decreased four percent over those ten years.
Ultimately, Reaganomics is NOT the policy to support if you want any benefit from the economic policies of your government. (Unless you are among the richest one percent of Americans… which ninety nine percent of Americans aren’t)”
Of course I will be told that I am a loony liberal and I am obviously wrong because my facts are not believed in by anybody who counts, mainly conservative politicians and their corporate donors, and besides, why do I want to hurt the feelings of conservatives who believe in their version of the truth so hard that it has to be correct?
Okay, I did say these things will probably kill us. That leaves some wiggle-room, right? But I can also say that if you heat the bottom of a propane tank with a blowtorch, it will probably blow up and kill you. It is about the same degree of probably.
Yes, I admit it. I am a goofy old coot and an embarrassment to my children.
That’s my role in life now. Eye rolls abound when I am around.
There are several reasons why, which I intend to list here in detail in order to embarrass my children further. But it basically boils down to the fact that I am a writer, and though I write mostly fiction, another way of saying I lie a lot, a real writer tends to reveal more of the naked truth about himself than a child can stand.
Who wants to see their father naked? Especially when he is old… wrinkled, spotty, and mostly fish-belly white.
Speaking of nakedness, one of the things that my children are most embarrassed about is the fact that I know a lot about nudists and naturists, in fact, I know many real nudists, and I have been nude in at least one social situation with other naked nudists. And, even worse, I admit it in writing where my children and their friends can see it. Of course, none of them read this blog anymore for that reason.
I have written novels where there are nudist characters based on some of the real nudists I have known. The novels with nudist characters in them so far are, Recipes for Gingerbread Children, The Baby Werewolf, Superchicken, The Boy… Forever, and A Field Guide to Fauns. And these novels might not embarrass them so much if they read them to discover that the novels have something to say that really isn’t about their father being a crazy naked coot. But they won’t read them because I am embarrassing to them.
And there is the verified fact that I am something of a conspiracy theorist. I firmly believe that the actor/theater owner William Shakespeare only offered his name to the real writer of Shakespeare’s plays and poetry, the 17th Earl of Oxford, Edward DeVere. There is actual evidence that is so, though it was a secret that DeVere took to his pauper’s grave after spending away his entire family estates and fortune. A pauper’s grave that no interested scholar can find the location of to this very day, although maybe he’s buried in the same place of honor as the actor/theater owner, as there are cryptic clues to that as well.
I also believe that Dwight Eisenhower met with alien civilizations in the 1950s and the Roswell Incident was a real crash of more than one spacecraft from other star systems. There exist real deathbed confessions that confirm those details, and the government has been covering up the facts for decades.
The conspiracy-theory skills I have as a crazy, embarrassing coot have resulted in books like Catch a Falling Star, Stardusters and Space Lizards, and the Bicycle-Wheel Genius.
And lastly, I was a school teacher in middle schools and high schools for thirty-one years, which means I can create kid-characters in fiction that are very realistic and have a good-but-comic qualities that make readers generally like my stories.
So, my children are probably right to be seriously embarrassed by my very existence. Of course, I, like all old coots registered with the Crazy, Embarrassing Coots of America, the CECA, am totally immune to being embarrassed by the embarrassment of my children.
“And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” “The Cat’s Quizzer,” “If I Ran the Zoo,” “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!” and “Scrambled Eggs Super!”
Apparently, according to conservative-minded friends and cousins on Facebook, evil liberal Democrats are out to cancel and get rid of Dr. Seuss. They are taking seriously the warnings of the good-hearted, common-sense broadcasters at OAN and Fox News and rushing out to buy copies of Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who, Green Eggs and Ham, and Oh, the Places You’ll Go before the communist-leaning book-burning enemies of the people get ahold of them.
I say to this dire warning, “Okay! Great! Buy every wonderful Dr. Seuss book you can get your hands on! That’s the right thing to do!”
But I would be remiss in my duty not to also say, “Don’t spend a thousand dollars on e-Bay to get a copy of And to Think that I Saw It on Mulberry Street.“
Let me say this, as a teacher who taught reading skills in all of my thirty-one years as a public school teacher, I always made use of Dr. Seuss books whenever and wherever possible, even reading Fox in Sox aloud to gifted students (and reading those tongue-tying tongue-twizzlers as fast as it is possible to read aloud without wrapping my tongue around my eye teeth and crashing into my molars because I couldn’t see what I was saying.) (Which the kids always found profoundly entertaining.) And I celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday every March since that became a thing in 1988.
But I also think that we have to recognize that Theodore Seuss Geisel, Dr. Seuss, is a man from a different time. Some of the tropes and techniques he learned and employed in the 1940s as a political cartoonist and ad illustrator are no longer appropriate in the time of George Floyd and Asians being attacked over the “Wuhan Kung Flu.”
Remember, his cartoon skills were developed back when America was fighting propaganda wars with the Axis powers.
So, in some of his works, he may have been guilty of some outdated thinking and is unintentionally racist in some of the things he cartooned and thought were funny.
And of the books that will no longer be published, I admit that I read and enjoyed If I Ran the Zoo while I was learning to read in the first grade. And I think I read McElligot’s Pool in school in 1965, but I don’t really remember what was down there at the bottom under the protagonist’s fishhook. I looked up a hard-to-find copy of And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street in 2009, and saw that it was not really right for my ESL class at that time. The other three controversial books I haven’t even heard of before this whole thing first outraged Fox News reporters. These six books were not available for purchase from either Barnes and Noble or the Dr. Seuss website before the controversy.
So, I love Dr. Seuss. But I am not worried. Democrats and liberals like me are not trying to do away with Dr. Seuss. In fact, Random House publishers are not even the ones who decided. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the business that preserves and protects the author’s legacy, announced it would cease sales of these books. So, this is purely editorial in nature and certainly within the rights of Dr. Seuss’s family, friends, and promoters to do.
But by all means, buy up more Dr. Seuss books! Give them to kids you care about! I can’t think of anything I would rather have conservatives, Republicans, and Fox News viewers doing than reading about Horton, the Grinch, Sam-I-Am. and Daisy-head Maisy.
Yes, I am really, really tired of politics. The crappiest of crappy people always seem to win. And everything I learn about them in the news makes me more and more disgusted with them. They don’t tell the truth. But I can’t call them liars. I tell lies all the time because I write fiction. My lies are wrapped in creative ideas, perceived underlying truths, and jokes. (Okay, maybe not always good jokes, but I am not guilty of machinational prevarications like they are.) They use propaganda tactics to twist and tear people’s understanding of what is real and what is important. They are actively seeking to take power in order to enrich themselves and let us bear the consequences. They are cutting out and going to Cancun with their daughters and rich neighbors while the rest of Texans are freezing to death and going without electricity and water.
And now that the orange one is no longer Prexidense, I was looking forward to never having to say his name in this blog again.
But even though the monster himself is now exiled to Mar-a-Lago Goolf Courses, we still have to deal with the nuclear fallout from his four-year rampage, and all the other monsters the radioactive ideas have mutated 70-some million Americans into.
You see, the real problem is what the radioactivity has morphed the American experience into. Since the Prexidensity of Ronald Reagan, the shift has been from doing what is right for the nation as a whole into doing what most benefits the privileged and wealthy elite. This they do by convincing the unthinking that they need to fear the “other,” whether that be black people, Black Lives Matter, Antifa, Muslims, Jews, or retired school teachers… you know, all them communist badguys. And they dangle policies in front of stupid people’s eyes that say, “Through trickle-down economics you can one day be rich like us and all the people that we hate will be punished and America will be Great Again” And all of those run-on, mangled incentives are prevarications. Snake oil. A con game that leaves the listener broke and exploited.
And in a mean-spirited way, they try to deny us anything that will help everybody, to the point that we will no longer have any air to breathe and the planet will boil itself to death.
Is there a way out? Is there a chance that it will get better now that the orange one is, at least temporarily gone from the main stage? Probably not. But the dance of the rich folks on the radical right (The horse’s rear end in that last cartoon) will stop when they reach the point where they are forced to eat their own feet because all the people that work for them on less than a living wage will have starved to death.
But not everything in politics is bad all the time. Sometimes our better angels do make a difference. And there is hope. At least until the Republicans manage to vote it all down again… with electoral-type votes where somehow you don’t have to have more votes to win.
I am not Richard the Third. But I did do that soliloquy in college for my class in oral interpretation and got an “A” for it. I can channel those who think they have been wronged. I know whereof they speak… forsooth.
If you are not happy with the former President’s handling of the pandemic and economic crisis, (and if you are happy, I hope your recent lobotomy is giving you some peace and rest) you are not alone. The former Sun of York has not been the right answer. Hopefully the new ruler will do better, but only time will tell.
I am not, however, a dissembler like Richard. I have no evil plot to remedy the discontent. I can only tell the truth. I will probably die of the virus before this pandemic passes. I honestly do not fear death. I do fear for loved ones who are also at risk. But while I do not welcome death, it will not find me with any sort of burden of regret. I have been an honorable man. I have taught children, and acquitted myself well of the task. I have been a passable husband and father. I have committed serious acts of art… as well as numerous less-than-serious ones. This is not a suicide note. This is simply me declaring myself at peace with the universe.
And this is also me declaring that I once again am unwell. I’m pretty sure it is not the virus. I have been extremely careful. But this one stalks more successfully than the H1N1 and various bird flus that I have previously survived. It has mutated in an effort to be more virulent. And I always seem to get whatever serious virus is passing around.
Still, it is not the Coronavirus that currently has me sick and in bed. No fever. Only back pain, sinus headaches, and the blues. I also have a variety of other pains, mostly psoriasis in nature, but also some other internal ones. I could be suffering from prostate cancer, heart disease, or mini-strokes brought on by diabetes. My eyes are going bad. And I am not going to any doctors because of the risk of infection in the doctor’s office and the expenses that health insurance expects me to pay for myself. (I hope this pandemic eats all of Aetna’s lunches for the rest of the year. I have finally gotten away from them to Blue Cross and Blue Shield, but still…) There are plenty of ways that this current health crisis can do me in. I will endeavor to die at home on my own terms. And I stayed alive long enough to vote the bast***s out of office.
I apologize that Mickey wasn’t funny today. Sometimes he needs to complain a little. Even Richard the Third was down and blue in between villainies. And he ended on one really bad day at Bosworth Field. I kinda hope that Trumpalump still has his Bosworth Field ahead of him even though he cannot be impeached no matter what he does.
You know how that Bible lesson goes, right? What He hath given, He can also take away. And the Bible doesn’t suggest He ever owes us any explanation. God is subject to capricious whims, apparently.
This is part of the reason why I often have doubts about the fairness of most religions. How do you worship that which is cold, uncaring, and capricious? And yet, to say there is no God above… or below… is anathema to the way I was raised and the fundamental structures of my moral and inner self.
If there is no God, then why is there any life at all? Life is complex and intricately ordered. How can that be if the universe is random and mindless? Physics already says all order is headed for eventual chaos. Our chance to control the climate crisis and save the planet is now down to seven more years. If we don’t get our act together before 2027, we are doomed. What is the need for order at all? Why do you need to have a counterpoint to chaos if there is no underlying point to the whole process?
Philosophical questions like this are why what I really am is a pure and simple agnostic. I am open to all possible answers. But I have no scale to weigh any of it.
One way that the Lord is taking things away right now is through the capitalist system worshipped by wealthy and greedy men. Especially the Septuagenarian Mutant Turtle currently in charge of the Senate. He and his billionaire mutant overlords don’t want to raise the national debt to help ordinary people through the Covid crisis and the economic chaos it caused, even though they were fine with ballooning the debt in 2017 to give tax breaks to billionaires and corporations while actually raising taxes on pensioners like me.
My house is falling apart. I can raise no extra income because of the pandemic. And the bank is making noises about balloon payments and raising the specter of homelessness for the four of us.
And, of course, the biggest thing God may soon take away is my very life. I am having problems with high blood pressure, fainting spells, and numerous symptoms that could easily be interpreted as the onset of Parkinson’s, the disease that took my father’s life. Of course, going into the clinic to find out for sure could financially sink me, as well as infect me with Covid and kill me even though I previously survived my son’s experience with the disease without becoming infected.
This January and February are expected to be the worst part of t the pandemic that we have yet experienced.
But this little exercise in philosophical whining and complaining will, in the long run, do nobody any good. I don’t blame a God for my troubles because of the atheist in me. I know difficult times lay ahead for everybody, not just me. And just as Muckman, the superhero, turns his unfortunate condition of nearly-deadly body odor into his super-power for fighting evil guys, I need to turn my misfortunes into something good.
Some of us believe mildly stupid things, and all of us get a multitude of things wrong.
But there are many of us who know that most of what we see and hear is not true, and some of that is propaganda, lies, and manipulation intended to exploit us and cause us to lose something for the benefit of others.
We are trying to set the sails of our ship of State again, and sail onward toward a better future. But after four years under a mad captain seeking white whales of ego, we still haven’t finished throwing the foam-at-the-mouth Ahab overboard. He’s got 18 boatswains from red-sailed ships to petition the harbormaster to throw our newly-chosen captain into the sea and let him sail us back out into the typhoon. Enough, already! Our mutiny was justified to try to save the whole ship.
The red ships all firmly believe the lie that we are better off under elephantine officers, and apparently, they have the right to tell us who our captain should be, even after we decided that ourselves.
Here are a few of the things too many of us believe because the red captains say so;
Money belongs in the hands of the few who have already been in charge for generations. They know how to use it best for the good of all. That is; pay any price for their own comfort and benefit, and that of their families who will make the same decisions after they are gone. And the rest of us, if we don’t make them increasing profits for decreasing wages, deserve to be homeless, get sick, and die.
Anything can be justified, as long it profits the business owners and corporate investors. Only the already wealthy deserve to have money.
If we pooled all the world’s wealth, and then we distributed if fairly according to need, all the billions currently alive on Earth could have decent, comfortable lives. We could also battle the climate-change crisis and restore the planet. And rich people could still keep more than they need to survive. But those who control the money now are allowed to choose not to do that.
I have grown a little tired of stupid people telling me how stupid I am because I don’t believe what it is apparently comfortable for them to believe… and they want me to stop being stupid and believe what they believe.
But I know I am stupid most of the time and take steps to try to be a little less stupid a little more often. And I wish they would give it a try too.
Okay. I am done yelling now. Nobody heard me anyway.
But we should tie an anchor around foaming Ahab’s neck and toss him into the sea.
And I don’t believe I am the Emperor of Stupid for saying so.