Category Archives: pessimism

Don’t Give Up!

Yes, I am philosophically a pessimist. I expect always that the worst outcome is the one I will have to live with. Hence, I was not as devastated by Donald Trump’s election as some who were too confident that Hilkary would win. And the climate crisis seems to be good reason to prepare for the worst that can happen. Some of it is already happening, already here.

But you really should listen to what this career futurist has to say about it.

The near future is, as documented with evidence in the video, far worse than we think it is. “Just doom, nothing else,” as Robin Williams declares. But too much pessimism at this point is the death of us. We have to keep trying. We can’t just give up.

A cheerleader who is not me.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not the right person to be elected head cheerleader on this issue. I have given in to despair and weeping on more than one occasion already. Since the election of Trump, the conservative pillaging of the Supreme Court, the roll-back of EPA guidelines and restrictions, the erosion of fundamental voting rights (soon to be followed by other rights,) the mismanagement of the economy, the Covid crisis, wildfires in the West, the insurrection after the election of Joe Biden, and more and more things that signal doom and possible Armaggedon, we have to battle the urge to lie down and die.

Here is where the optimism of the Reverand Peale is critical.

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, also definitely not me.

If we stop trying, our loss and subsequent death is insured. It is only by continuing to fight that we will have a chance to save ourselves. And this is beginning to happen everywhere.

In 2020 we turned out against the Evil-Clown President in record numbers. We wrested the control of the government out of the hands of the corrupt elephants and put it back in the hands of the hard-working but mostly stupid jackasses. Biden’s donkey-like devotion to following through on the work that needs to be done got us through the rest of the pandemic, getting ourselves vaccinated and acclimated to life with the reality of the new deadly virus.

We need, like the faun, to be one with our environment.

We have tried hard and kept at it to achieve much-needed climate-control legislation. The fossil-fuel industry has made it difficult, and we nearly gave up on the Build Back Better program, but it seems through perseverance that we may have finally gotten a critical piece of that over the hurdles after all.

One thing definitely indicated is that we will need to turn out to vote in the midterm elections again this year. If we don’t, the elitist elefantiasis party will take away all our gains and punish us again, playing their golden fiddles while the world burns.

We will never have the magic we need if we don’t try to conjure it.

But despair is still not warranted here. We know what we can do to solve the problems that face us. We have done similar things before, with the Cold War, World War II, and the hole in the ozone layer in the 1980s. What’s more we have the tools we need already, and what we don’t have is quickly being developed. There are plans in the works for mountain-sized storage batteries, massive solar-power arrays, and wind farms (many of which are already built and operating.) We can rebuild and upgrade the entire power grid, not just in the USA, but for the whole world. It needs, of course, to all be weather-proofed, meteor-proofed, solar-storm-proofed, and, hopefully, greedy-Republican-idiot-proofed.

We are not beaten if we don’t give up.

And as the futurist tells us in the video you didn’t watch, pessimists prepare us for disaster, but only the optimist can make us successful in living through it to a brighter future beyond.

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Filed under angry rant, battling depression, commentary, feeling sorry for myself, healing, health, humor, insight, inspiration, Liberal ideas, magic, Paffooney, pessimism, philosophy, politics, strange and wonderful ideas about life

What We Are About to Lose

The world is on fire. The heat is getting worse than it has ever been (in the time we limited sentient creatures have knowledge of.) There is a very real chance that the end of life on Earth is actually a short time away in the near future (a thing some religions have been predicting unsuccessfully for thousands of years.) What will it actually mean for us to be at the end of time (realizing that we are only talking about our pale blue dot in the near-endless universe?)

Here’s what we face. The greenhouse gasses, particularly carbon dioxide, are keeping the heat from the sun from radiating back out into space. Temperatures have already passed what a few years ago was described as the point of no return. The permafrost in the northern hemisphere is melting, releasing increasing amounts of methane, an even worse greenhouse gas, and creating a feedback loop that makes the problem overwhelming. The glaciers in the north and the ice shelf in Antarctica are melting, and sea levels are rising. Major coastal cities are not preparing fast enough for being underwater. Huge populations will be displaced and become refugees. Food-production systems will break down due to drought and unrest amongst workers in both farming and the distribution of food. The mounting expenses of battling these unbearable problems will destroy economies. More wars will break out to add to the misery Putin has already caused by war crimes in Ukraine. Eventually, nuclear weapons may cool the Earth with nuclear winter and stop the production of carbon dioxide by obliterating all manufacturing and depopulating the northern hemisphere. The cockroaches will inherit the Earth. Hopefully, as the dominant species, they will do a better job of managing the environment. But one never knows how they will handle it once they reach their own industrial revolution.

The probable next dictator of the American Fascist Union of Republican States.

Politically, the party with the power denies the existence of the climate crisis. They are concerned with expunging any record of white-people guilt for any crimes against racial groups caused by slavery, Jim Crow laws, genocide against Native Americans, lynching, and any of the other fruits of racism from the history books. They are, after all, quite comfortable in all-white conservative bubbles of thought, and are easily offended by any defense of the Black Lives Matter group. They also focus on removing any suggestion of sexual ideas or knowledge from school books and libraries, because anything but Bible-touted notions of love and sex is pornographic, perverted, or somehow related to lifestyles they certainly don’t want to have anything to do with and prefer to legislate away. So, every effort they are willing to make to avoid the things in that previous killer paragraph involves loudly saying “No!” to any possible solutions to the problems that are going to kill us. Hopefully, the cockroaches won’t become Trumpist Republicans when they take over, giving their rise to intelligence and civilization a better chance of thriving.

It is probably still within our power to stop this relentless life-extinguishing future from happening. There are definitely people who understand both the scientific challenges and the value of all the things we will lose if we sacrifice the entirety of our future for short-term corporate profits (the things all the Republicans we will continue to elect will vote for because of where their priorities really lie.) The human population has shown repeatedly throughout history that they are resilient and inventive, and can overcome all sorts of evil if the will to do so is truly there.

I am a pessimist, which means I always prepare for the worst possible outcome. Fortunately, that way of thinking means I am usually pleasantly surprised at the outcome, and if it does turn out bad, at least I am prepared for that outcome.

So, if we are going to destroy our world and ourselves, I have to ask myself, was it worth it for us to have ever existed?

Can you look at the smiling face of a child and say the existence of the human race on planet Earth was not worth the effort?

And there are reasons to be glad we are here and we have a history that came before us. The Civil War and World War Two were both terrible things. But one eliminated legal slavery. The other eliminated fascist genocidal regimes from Europe and Japan.

We are able, as a species, to laugh at our own foibles, to create humor and music and literature and poetry. We were able to produce Shakespeare, Mozart, Rober Frost, Red Skelton, Robin Williams, Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss, Beethoven, Kurt Vonnegut, the Beatles, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, Elvis, Goethe, Socrates, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mohammed, T. S. Eliot, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Julie Andrews, Johnny Carson, and the list could go on for days…

We were able to rise up from the ground, fly through the air, and eventually land on the Moon.

We were able to survive the Black Death, Small Pox, Ebola Virus, AIDS, and Covid 19.

We unleashed the power of the atom. We observed and learned about the far reaches of the galaxy and the many other galaxies in the greater universe beyond the Milky Way using only telescopes, mathematics, and the scientific method.

Is it enough to justify the existence of our race? You tell me. I foolishly think we are worthy to live on into the future, even if I myself will soon no longer be able to keep living. I hope to die of non-climate-crisis causes with peace in my heart. But I realize, too, that it depends on a lot of other people besides me. And I do not have confidence in all of them.

If there is a God who can help us, He is certainly welcome to make an announcement in the comments. But barring Divine intervention, what are you willing to do to move the question forward? I am doing what is within my power.

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Filed under angry rant, commentary, feeling sorry for myself, humor, irony, Liberal ideas, pessimism, philosophy, politics

The Case for the Clown

The criminal was led into the courtroom in chains and forced to sit in a box made of metal bars so his influence would not reach out and harm anyone by drawing their sympathy in.

“Mr. Prosecutor,” said the learned judge, “what terrible crime has the perpetrator been charged with?”

“The alleged perpetrator!” objected the defense attorney, a mousy old man who looked like a cross between Santa Clause and Robert E.Lee because of his white beard, stern face, and a twinkle in his eye.

“Shut up please, Mr. Badweather. You will have your turn to speak.” The judge banged his gavel smartly to emphasize the shut-up-ness of his overruling.

“Your honor,” said the prosecutor, “Mister Pennysnatcher Goodlaughs stands accused of being a clown.”

“The people of the State of Texas, home of the free, land of the brave, and place where cowboys can hang their hat on the antlers of a moose they shot in Canada, will prove that Mr. Goodlaughs did willfully, and with malice of forethought, commit acts of supposed humor in order to make people laugh. And we will further prove that in a time of very serious things, he intentionally made light of very serious matters and the very serious men who try to turn those serious things to their exclusive… err, sorry, I mean… everyone’s benefit.”

“Your honor,” said the defense attorney, looking like a cross between Mark Twain and Colonel Sanders, “I would like to request a new venue for this trial. My client will not get a fair trial here.”

“Sir, your stupid request is rejected on the grounds that Mr. Goodlaughs cannot get a fair trial anywhere. We are all conservatives, and are therefore incapable of having a sense of humor. Continue, Mr. Prosecutor.”

“We will show numerous instances of Mr. Goodlaughs putting paint on his face to hide his true features or assume the identity of a character not his own. He has repeatedly used false noses, large shoes, and floppy hats to exaggerate his flaws and scare young children. He repeatedly wears polka-dotted clothing to simulate terrible taste and ridiculous lack of fashion-sense. He employs pratfalls and slapstick humor in his performances, things that, if any school-age child would imitate the behavior, might lead to serious injury or even death. And he has even dared to make fun of our glorious leaders, implying that they make mistakes and may even have hurt people. That they act without thinking about anything but their own pocketbooks. In other words, this clown has knowingly made jokes in order to get people to not take things seriously.”

“Your honor, I object to this jury. I object to the fact that it is made up of fifty percent rednecks and fifty percent kangaroos! My client demands a new, more impartial jury!” cried the defense attorney, looking like a cross between Captain Kangaroo and Ronald Reagan.

“Has anybody noticed?” asked the judge, “that this attorney looks like he could influence this jury unfairly? He looks like two people who could lead the two halves of this jury to the wrong conclusion. Bailiff! Take the defense attorney out back and execute him by firing squad.”

After the entire courtroom heard the gunshots go off, the judge then turned to the prisoner.

“It seems, Mr. Goodlaughs, that the defense’s opening statement is now entirely up to you. Do you have anything to say in your own defense?

“I do, your honor. Ladies and gentlemen, kangaroos and Reagan Republicans of the jury, I submit to you that I have never actually been a circus clown, or wore face paint. Not that I wouldn’t if the opportunity presented itself. I merely claim the right to laugh at anything I think is funny… or can be made funny. Whether I am being what you call a clown, a humorist, a cartoonist, a comedian, a fool, a village idiot, or a witty fellow, I believe I have the right to make light of anything. Life is always better when you can laugh. Especially if you can laugh at yourself.”

“I’ve heard enough,” said the judge. “What say you, jury?”


“Yes. And I preemptively waive the prisoner’s right to appeal. Sir, you are guilty, and you shall be executed immediately.”

Everyone in the courtroom breathed a long-awaited sigh of relief.

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Filed under clowns, comedians, commentary, foolishness, humor, insight, Paffooney, pessimism

Thinkology – Who Thinks for You?

I know you will responId right away, “I think for myself!” After all, everyone believes this even when it is not true.

Ideally, we first learn to think from parents, grandparents, and other significant family members (actually related or not.) Not everyone is lucky like I was in that regard. Especially among poorer families that tend to fracture, be violently unhappy, and often malnourished. And also among obscenely rich families who tend to isolate themselves in self-indulgence and ignore and even disdain others. Their children tend to be raised by servants, friends, and television (or YouTube and streaming services for today’s children choking on silver spoons.) I was lucky in the family I was born into, but I have to confess to being significantly impacted by television, though I lucked out there too in that I watched the simpler, more positive TV world pre-Kennedy Assassination and pre-Vietnam War and pre-9/11. It was a time that was far less cynical and less filled with anxiety and anger.

As we grow, we are influenced too by the educational experience forced upon us by society. We are supposed to learn how to think for ourselves in school, though the opposite is actually true. In your third-grade classroom, you are supposed to learn how to add and subtract, multiply, spell correctly, read at least at a third-grade level, and understand the fundamentals of science and social studies. In truth, however, the school experience spends most of its time teaching you to be obedient. You are expected to sit at your desk in orderly rows, open your various textbooks when you are commanded to do so, study and do worksheets quietly, and generally accept that what the teacher tells you is true and should be remembered.

That, of course, is not how children learn. Children learn by doing, playing, and interacting with others, things teachers spend a lot of time punishing. I found as a teacher that you made more progress in educating kids if you do things, talk about things, and turn lessons into playing around with ideas. Basically, allowing children to be themselves, choose which direction the lesson takes, and answering the questions they ask as truthfully as I could without using bad words. These, of course, are things that most principals hate to see going on when they walk by the classroom. Schools tend to be conformity factories, getting kids to think alike, be obedient, and accept what is considered normal, making them perfect future MacDonald’s and Walmart employees.

Happy Walmart employees (a rare species in my experience) only do what their managers tell them to do. And the managers do only what the policy handbook tells them to do. And problems are solved by corporate. Nobody has to think very much.

And there are people who very much want to control what little thinking is done. If you watch news shows, especially on CNN, MSNBC, and infamously, FOX News, they give you a host talking to panels of experts, talking heads that are happy to tell you what to think.

a malevolent, manipulative monkey

CNN and MSNBC attempt to give you a panel of experts with representatives of three or four different positions. A range of people who will gladly give you opposite opinions of what to think.

FOX News gives you a panel skewed towards the radical-conservative viewpoint with “liberal” commentators present in order to mock them, or, if they are real liberals, gang up on them.

All of these are trying to do the thinking for you. A good word for that is “propaganda.” But if they are honestly providing you with a range of competing ideas for you to evaluate and choose between, they are not as toxic and dangerous as the unabashed propagandists behind the radical-conservative movement.

Conservative media is now highly organized into funneling machines which collect non-thinkers and direct them to the ideas that will make them more supportive of top-down control (in other words, fascism.) This is what allows a political group (ultra-conservative Republicans) to dominate the government and create laws and tax breaks that go against the best interests of the general public and impose an order on the country that a majority of citizens don’t want.

The following video explains how the malevolent, manipulative monkeys do what they do.

So, the next question to be dealt with is, obviously, “How do you think for yourself?” Ah, another post on another day.

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Filed under angry rant, education, humor, insight, Liberal ideas, Paffooney, pessimism, philosophy

The Final Day of March

I went for a walk in the park today, trying to get the three miles of walking in for the day to help strengthen my heart and blow the filth out of every valve and carburetor in the engine that makes my life run. But it was a gray and dreary day, threatening rain and being downright spitty.

I counted at least four male cardinals sitting high in the tops of mostly leafless trees. Each was surveying his own jealously-guarded territory and singing his little red heart out with the trills of his mating song. No female cardinal was out in the wet and the cold to answer any of them. It appears they were all sitting home in their bird houses sipping hot cocoa by the fireplace. And probably laughing at the stupid males.

March is supposed to be the tail end of Winter and the first bars played in the Song of Spring. It has been more like a skunk’s tail followed by the squawk of a dyspeptic crow.

The trees who lose their leaves are supposed to have buds by now. Even leaves. But that seems to be delayed for cold rain and the frustration of love songs by redbirds going unanswered.

And it reflects the end of the Covid Pandemic like a mirror. There are still masks on faces at Walmart. There are maskless faces as well. Inflation makes spring strawberries expensive. Gas prices made Spring Break travel limited. Donald Trump is still not in prison. And the best descriptive word for the feelings in the moment is, “Meh…”

Things should be looking up. Robins should be returning from their extended vacations in Cancun. The people in Texas should be smiling more. Especially the rich white people. The world is pretty good for them. But apparently we have a bit of hail, a lot of rain, and some killer tornadoes to get through before the season sets itself aright.

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Filed under commentary, feeling sorry for myself, humor, irony, pessimism

Boo Boo Testing

Blue and Mike in color

I miss being a teacher.  But even if I was suddenly healthy enough again to return to the classroom, I would have to think twice… or three times… or twelve times about it.  I know excellent teachers who are being driven out of the education field by the demands of the job in the current educational whirlpool of death and depression.  My own children are very bright and capable, but they face State of Texas mandated tests this next couple of weeks because that’s what we do in Texas, test kids and test kids and test them some more.  If we don’t stress them out and make them fail on the first round of testing, there will be at least two more to get the job done.  And believe me, the real reason for all the testing is to make kids fail.  It sounds harsh, and like one of my loony conspiracy theories, but the Republican legislature of this State has discussed in earnest how test results prove our schools are failing, and how we must certainly need to fund more private schools and schools for profit, and stop teaching kids on the taxpayer’s dime (although they don’t really care about my dimes, only the dimes of millionaires and billionaires which we have more of in Texas than we have ever had before).  Of course, these private schools they speak of will be for the children of well-to-do families, particularly white Anglo-Saxon protestant families.  Public schools will be okay for everyone else, preferably built next to for-profit prisons where the public-school kids will move after graduation.

in the wild

Arts and humanities-type class offerings are becoming increasingly rare.  We don’t teach them to be creative any more.  We have to focus on core subjects, Reading, Writing, History, Science, and Math.  And not the high-level stuff in any of those areas, either.  We test them on the minimum competency stuff.  But we make it harder every year.  Back in the 80’s it started when Governor Mark White let H. Ross Perot spearhead a school-reform drive that began with idiot-tests for teachers.  The Mad Dwarf of Dallas was convinced that the biggest problem with Texas Education was incompetent teachers.  But we didn’t test them on classroom management skills, or skill at motivating young learners.  We took basic English tests where the teachers weeded out were mostly black and Hispanic.  I helped one very gifted Science teacher pass the test which she nearly failed three times (the limit before contract non-renewal) since she was taking her teacher test in her second language, not her first.  When they finally got it through their heads they were only weeding out the good teachers with test anxiety, they changed the tests to make them harder.  They stopped giving life-time teaching certificates and made you prove that you were not an idiot every five years.


It was Governor George W. Bush (a Forest Gump clone with DNA mixed in from Bullwinkle the Moose and Elmer Fudd) who decided that teachers needed to be weeded by demanding that their students perform to a certain level on standardized State tests.  If you watched the John Oliver video, you have a clear idea already of the value of that.  We worked hard for a number of years to do better on the alphabet tests.  The TAAS test became passable by most of the State, including the poorer districts, and so they replaced it with the TAKS test, a criterion-referenced test that they could provide all new and harder questions for every single year.  I sat on a test review board for two years as the representative of the Cotulla District in South Texas.  I got to see some of the horrendously difficult question before they were asked.  There were very real cultural discriminations among those questions.  Why should a Hispanic child in South Texas be required to know what “galoshes” are?  And when teachers began teaching to the tests well enough to get a majority of students passing, Emperor Rick Perry, the permanent Governor of Texas after Bush, decreed we needed STAAR Tests that students had to pass in order to graduate to the next grade level.  And, of course, we had to make them harder.

sweet thing

When I started teaching exclusively ESL kids in high school (English as a Second Language) that special population was mostly exempt from taking the alphabet tests.  After all, it takes at least five years to gain proficiency in a second language even for the brightest among us, and all of those students had less than five years of practice speaking English or they weren’t qualified for the program.  But scores on the TAKS and then STAAR tests were generally too high.  So ESL and Special Education Students were required to take them too.  And, although the passing standards were lower for ESL students than they were for regular students, the passing standards were ratcheted up every single year.  And we eventually did worse than the expectation.  Our ESL Department got a lot of the blame for Naaman Forest High School in Garland, Texas losing its perennial recognized school status.  (We got the blame even though our scores were high enough to be rated exemplary on the sliding scale… it was actually the low socio-economic students in Math that lost us our yearly recognition… just so you know.)  The paperwork nightmares I had to fill out for our ESL Department were one of the reasons my health got so bad I had to retire.  Healthy teachers can’t take it any more either.  We are looking at a crisis in Education in Texas.  Teacher shortages in Math and Science are already apocalyptic.  We are intentionally doing away with Art, Band, Chorus, and other artsy-craftsy things… things that are good for the brain and the self-esteem and the creative problem-solving abilities of students.  Teaching has become a nightmare.

I hope you will take me seriously over my conspiracy-theories and lunatic teacher complaints.  I have been told too often that you can’t solve education’s problems by throwing money at it (though I do not remember the time they speak of when money was actually flying through the air).  I have been told too often that teaching isn’t a real job.  You just sit around all day and talk to kids and you have the summers off.  How hard can that be?  And I have been told too many times that Johnny can’t read, and it is apparently my fault as a Reading teacher… it can’t be anything politicians have done, right?  It certainly isn’t anything that politicians have done right!

God help me, in spite of all that, I really miss being a teacher.


Filed under humor, Paffooney, pessimism, teaching, Texas, Uncategorized

The Possibilities are No Longer Endless

This is an oil portrait of me and David. I can probably no longer create a picture like this. My arthritic hands are not steady enough anymore to blend shadow colors, especially in clothing.

My personal connections to the 1800’s died in 1980 with the loss of Great Grandma Hinckley.
Much of my connection to the bucolic days of family farms is gone too. I am a part owner now of the family farm, but it is being farmed by a renter. and I only get to visit once a year, which hasn’t happened during one of the two years of pandemic.

I will never return to the classroom as a teacher again. Not even as a sub. I am no longer physically capable of doing the job. Most people don’t realize how tough a job it truly is.

When I pass on, my connection to the future will also be gone… At least to all the parts of me that are not confined to words in a book.

My super powers are fading, even the incredibly bad smell that makes criminals pass out during combat.

I am slowly going color-blind.

Fortunately, my kids can carry the family name onwards.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, humor, Paffooney, pessimism

Reasons Why the World is Crazy

Reason #1 : People Believe Stupid Stuff

Do you believe that there are shape-shifting lizard people who control the world’s governments by ruling in disguise? Do you believe a secret CIA operative called simply “Q” is fighting against the “deep state” by telling MAGA world about Democrats and intellectuals eating Republican babies to give themselves super powers? Do you believe giving tax breaks to billionaires and corporations will trickle down to the rest of us and make us all rich? If you do believe those Stupid Things, you probably want to stop reading this. The possibility exists that you will be called stupid at some point and be blamed for things those of us who vote for Democrats and wonder where all the baby-eating is taking place think is really bad stuff.

The truth is… people are all human beings (depending on how A.I . research has actually gone, and whether or not the lizard people are aliens, or just imaginary.) And there will always be selfish people who will willingly harm others for their own gain, and there will be selfless people who give to others to the point that the world turns on them and assassinates or crucifies them. But most people are on a continuum between those two polar opposites. There will also always be people who use the scientific method to try to prove things before they believe in them. And there will also always be people who will believe anything said by a Republican leader, FOX News talking head, idiot in a red hat, Q Shaman, or legally insane person as long as they have the right color skin, the right religion, or they hate the same groups of people the true believer hates.

Doing good in this world would be so much easier if people were only more loving and capable of looking for the evidence before they decide what to believe. Believing stupid stuff causes wars, mishandling of pandemics, insurrections, and Republican Presidents (at least in the last twenty-two years.)

Reason #2 : You Can’t Actually Prove Anything

The thing Descartes says is important. I know I am here and I exist because I can think and perceive stuff. Of course, the mind can be deceived and vision, hearing, touch, taste, and smell have no absolute truthfulness guarantee. I could be a disembodied mind floating in darkness for eternity and everything I have experienced in life could be a lie I tell myself daily. And some mathematics-obsessed philosopher/scientists are even suggesting that evidence shows that reality is a computer simulation. So maybe I can’t even know what I know. I can’t prove anything even to myself.

Reason #3 : War is a Thing

Ukraine proves that War is a part of human life that we will never be without. I have been alive now for sixty-five years. In that time, while I was aware of the news, there was never a time I can remember when there wasn’t a war somewhere in the world. History class from the seventh grade onward always included learning about wars and dates of wars and who won and who lost and how “The War to End All Wars” was followed by an even bigger war twenty years later. People believe in stupid stuff, and some of them are always willing to kill you for not believing too.

Putin believes Ukraine belongs to him. The Ukrainians disagree. He has killed a bunch of them already.

So, the World is Crazy! What do we do about it?

There is nothing you can do to change it. It will always be thus. But there are things you can do. Survive it. Write a blog post about it. Give money to someone who will actually use the money to do something good. At least someone you hope will use it for good. Vote against the people you think are bad guys. Vote for the ones you think are good guys. But check first to see if you are correct about their goodness or badness. Think about things twice, or three times, before you decide. Seek wisdom. Make fun of the crazy stuff, and laugh a little. Life is a white-water, raging river. Try to avoid the rocks. And enjoy the ride while you are still on it.


Filed under angry rant, pessimism, philosophy

The Snark Factor

One should never be snarky. All you can accomplish by being snarky is making Snark Smallberg mad. He doesn’t want to be called “Snarky” anymore. And we should respect him since he is a movie star and makes millions of dollars by making terrible movies. Don’t you get why he deserves respect? Did you not read the words, “Millions of dollars?”

Of course, I understand snark really well. I was a middle-school English teacher for many years. The answer to most teacher questions asked directly to students is made up of 50% teacher-pleasing and 50% needing to be translated from teen-speaking Snarkese. You have to understand that half the time the answer means the opposite of what is being said.

“You are such a good teacher, Mr. B, and you teach us really useful stuff. That’s why we throw spitballs at you when your back is turned, because we love and respect you so much.”

And I would see that same level of love and respect in my paycheck each month.

And of course, we are coming out of a golden age of good government right now. Under the greatest president we ever had (by his own testimony) we were treated to a healthy time of nothing but helpful tax cuts to the fortunes of the golden job-creators who continue to generously agree we can keep living this wonderful life if we just work hard enough. Pulling ourselves up by our boot straps because gravity doesn’t exist if you are rich. The problem of climate changed, though not real in any way, is solved by removing regulations from industries who want to enhance our waterways with chemical waste. And any crime committed by those in public office is to be forgiven because it is so good for the economy. And we should stop all witch-hunts because we have already caught too many witches, and we are not finding enough of them on the Democratic side.

Daffy is definitely angry because things are going so well, and we just aren’t appreciating it enough.

And why am I sparking with so many snarky sparks in today’s hitching post for horses of a different color? Well, my two sisters, my brother, and I recently inherited a 150-year-old family farm. In our parents’ will, nothing could be done to the property, including selling any part of it, without the agreement of all four of us. But little brother, by the unique privilege of being the youngest and most spoiled of us, has decided to contest the will. One out of four of us is aparently going to use legal means to split up and sell off a family legacy. Life is so wonderfully fair. God bless his Republican abilities to be generous, kind, and thoughtful… but before I can snark any further, I am getting a phone call. Caller ID says it is “Spam Risk.” That’s a Russian name, isn’t it? I am sure it will be an important phone call.

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Filed under feeling sorry for myself, humor, irony, pessimism, satire, word games, wordplay

Forever Fumbling Forward

What do I really think the future holds? That’s a question where, if I answer it truthfully, I will be told, “You should not think that, stupid man! What good does it do to be that negative? Lighten up or we’ll burn you at the stake for evil thinking.”

Okay, okay. I get it. The truth makes you afraid. And it should.

As California, Arizona, and Nevada, as well as the aliens working with the military-industrial complex at Area 51, are all burning up with record heat, drought, and wildfires, we are definitely going to need to find a new, cooler place to live.

Maybe a planet in the Tau Ceti system. Tau Ceti is a star system with a solitary G-class Star only 12 light years (3.7 parsecs) away. Do you think the Tau Cetians will mind us colonizing. Or do the Republicans plan on simply invading?

Or there is Mars. But do you really think Elon Musk will be willing to share? And we do have to figure out how to breath mostly carbon dioxide to thrive there. Or do the Republicans plan on just taking a lot of stinky Earth air with them? That’s still a matter of learning to breathe carbon dioxide, along with methane cow farts and whatever chemical crap Dow and Monsanto have been burning and pumping into our atmosphere.

But you know full well the Republicans are not planning to spend any of their vast fortunes earned by all their hard work investing money in stocks and avoiding taxes to take the rest of us along wherever they plan to go. They will leave us behind to enjoy the climate change catastrophe that they have worked so hard to convince us is still not happening.

But all of that doesn’t mean I necessarily believe we are all gonna die a horribly hot death being unable to breathe on the garbage ball that Republican Space Forces will leave us all behind on. Not necessarily… just probably.

But I do have a certain amount of faith in the ability of people who actually have beating hearts in their chests rather than empty spots for installing safes packed with gold bars to use their problem-solving abilities to teach us all about carbon recapture, solar and wind power, carbon sequestration, air scrubbers, vertical farming, and reforestation. Before we get a total grip on weather control, we may have to move into underwater cities and spend some time countering the acidification of the oceans. We will also have to apply conservational farming practices to fish and kelp and shellfish, because if we let the oceans go sterile and lifeless, we’ll all be doomed anyway.

Human beans (of course, I meant to say “beings,” as I would never get that wrong on purpose only for the sake of a bad pun) are better under pressure than you probably believe. We have survived terrible things before. And, I am sorry, T.S. Elliot, but it is more likely to end with a bang rather than a whimper. Beans in the pressure cooker explode rather than deflate or dissolve. We will succeed in becoming successful carbon-dioxide-breathing baked bean-people or go out with an impressive bang while trying.

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