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Thursday, Aug 27th

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The Ghosts in the Clock

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A bell tolls each life event.

Bong … New Year's … Bong … Birthdays … Bong … Spring … Bong … Summer … Bong … Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas and … Bong … Happy New Year.

Before we can catch our breath the bell tolls again for the very next thing as we continue to race around the sun at the speed of time. To remember what we have seen, rushing from one thing to the next, we watch television, the medium designed to make us forget. To facilitate the forgetting process the most trusted television news network tells us lies 60% of the time.

The second hand sweeps around the face of the clock, every second a new story is told, and with every revolution memories are wiped clean. Memory is a palimpsest; the new erases the old and is itself overwritten by the next. But … stop the clock … and we can see the ghosts who live between the tick and the tock. Before the present is erased by the future, we can still see the faint traces of the past. As Faulkner said, “The past is never dead. It's not even past.”

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Helplessly Hopeless

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I admit it, I am helpless when it comes to commenting on Republicans when they so thoroughly bushwhack (see footnote, later) themselves.  They are hopeless buffoons, or to echo the mystic guru of the ages, Bugs Bunny, "What a bunch of maroons."

One of the latest, of course, is Baron von Hairpile, trying to insert both feet, and most of his lower torso, into his mouth -- ahhh-gain -- by tangling himself up with a Faux News spokesdroid, in a gushing geyser of unfiltered brain goo direct from Mr. Lip-Spanky's so-called thought-and-speech centers.

Dear me.  Go look up what he said.  Uck.  Definitely not very presidential, there, Bubba.

* * * * *

In Star Wars terms, we could re-christen The Donald -- please allow me the honor of personally delivering the magnum bottle of champagne over the famous, oddly-coiffed head -- and call him Bubba Feet...

Bubba Feet, a strange, scalping headhunter and backward backwoodsman with interests only in blonde pelts, be it his own or anyone else's.  The story lineage would be that Bubba Feet is purportedly human, having pulled himself up by his father's stolen bootstraps, and who has a combination of Mad Cow -and- hoof-in-mouth disease, and is only very distantly related to Boba Fett, the bounty hunter.

This works right in with the latest from the Bloom County 2015 comic strip, in which Donald followers are dubbed "StormTrumpers."

And, in yet another triumph of serendipity, Bloom County fans have chimed in, adding even more insight to the free-for-all:  One notes that "trump" is UK slang for breaking wind, while another notes that StormTrumpers are "all white, mindlessly follow a great evil, and can't hit anything."

Trump-stormers certainly can't aim their thought processes very well, so it's impossible for them to even aim at an idea, let alone hit it.

Myself, I am tempted to go with sturm-und-trump, or, maybe, sturm-und-drang troopers -- or, to simply jam everything together, ala Germanic compound-word-fashioning, as sturm-und-drang trumpers.

* * * * *

When these slapstick moments happen to Republicans -- which is most of the time --  I can't help but laugh at them, while pitying them, even as they get knocked from pillar to post, sailing headlong, far down to the hard tarmac below, far from their self-vaulted heights setting them atop Olympian pedestals, where they and followers have carefully placed them, unbalanced as all get-out.

Talk about schadenfreude.

* * * * *

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The Living Dead

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Like in the United States, it's federal election campaign season up here in Canada. This time around the campaign will drag on for … 78 days. The average length of the past 10 campaigns prior to 2015 was 45.8 days. The standard is 37 days.

How do Canadians feel about a protracted 78 day campaign? Bob Brown, interviewed in The Calgary Herald, called the move “ridiculous,” but one that wouldn’t benefit any of the three parties in the long run. “I don’t see how issues can be dealt with any greater in three months than they can in 30 days. There are only so many issues. What do you accomplish by running that discussion out over three months?

Well … the answer is pretty easy to figure out. Money. The Conservative Party of Canada has more cash than the Liberal and the New Democratic Party. The longer the campaign, the more cash the Conservatives can throw into TV commercials. And since they're Conservative commercials … they're filled with innuendo, ad hominem attacks, and flat out lies. The Conservative Party of Canada … aka the Tories … differs from USA Conservatives in that they are not howling at the moon crazy. For sure they are Creepy Capitalists who don't mind flirting with Fascism but they keep the flat out drooling lunatics away from cameras and microphones.

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Life, Death, and Spark-Tending

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My new coffee mug's art on the side is a thing of retro-futuristic beauty -- part steampunk, part Bradbury, maybe.  There is an art deco scene of a mad scientist's lab, including a robot and assorted glowing objects and tools and scattered projects -- shelves filled with curious and intriguing things.

Above that widescreen-band of art, above:  "Certifiable Mad Genius."  Below the art, in a smaller font:  "I have a death ray, and I know how to use it."

  • (There is nothing to define just what "MAD" may be - it could mean angry.  It might mean mentally disturbed.  It could be the acronym for Mutual Assured Destruction.  It could mean all three.)

The mug is good as a standalone item.  The mug also makes me think of a cartoon I have pinned on a battered cork board.  It's an old, yellowing, dog-earred clipping, from a New Yorker magazine, as I remember, a cartoon by Charles Addams -- yes, that Charles Addams.  The setting is in an office building, in a patent attorney's office, in perhaps the 1890s.  Out the window, we see other buildings -- enough to realize the office is on the third floor, say.

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The Bombs of August : In Remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

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On Monday, August 6, 1945, after six months of intense firebombing of 67 other Japanese cities, the United States  dropped a nuclear weapon nicknamed "Little Boy" on the city of Hiroshima , Japan.  This attack was followed on August 9 by the detonation of the "Fat Man" nuclear bomb over the Japanese city of Nagasaki. To date, these are the only attacks with nuclear weapons in the history of warfare.

In Remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

When the bombs were dropped I was very happy. The war would be over now, they said, and I was very happy. The boys would be coming home very soon they said, and I was very happy. We showed ‘em, they said, and I was very happy. They told us that the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been destroyed, and I was very happy. But in August of 1945 I was only ten years old, and I was very, very happy.

The crew of the B-29 was so young and heroic, and in the photo they also looked very happy.  For some reason, I clearly remember the name of the pilot, Paul Tibbets. Of course I remember the name of the plane, the Enola Gay.  And oh yes, I remember the name of the bomb.  It was called Little Boy. That made me smile.

I was so proud to be an American that day because we had done something so remarkable. They said we were the first. We were Americans. We were powerful.  But they didn’t say that Little Boy had killed 66,000 people with its huge fireball that fateful day in August. They didn’t say that Hiroshima was not a military target, but a city filled with men and women and children and animals who had no idea they were about to die so horribly.  When you’re ten, they don’t always tell you everything.

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Eyes, Oys, and Ayes

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Lies are marketing's best friends, just as Desire is the single best pal consumption ever had.  Combine Lies and Desire, along with a hurried, staggering set of lunges and lurches to pick up any dangling or loose minutes or seconds in the evaporating days of our lives, and you've got a toxic cocktail -- one we call American Life.

We are about to have more American Life on Thursday, during a gathering not of eagles, but of turkeys, vultures, and turkey vultures.  (It used to be a dog-eat-dog world in politics.  Now, it is about rabid dogs biting one another, and themselves, and chewing their feet, chasing their tails, then springing out into the audience in search of unguarded jugulars.)

Yes, the Toxic Ten will be on Faux News, the four-letter channel, and they will be marketed to us like soap suds and light beer and 30-day steak pads, and eternal tire straighteners, and every other useless and tasteless invention from The Department of Citizenry and Voter Maintenance, Heavy-Duty Consuming Division.

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Creative Cursing -- This Taste Bud's For You

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Sometimes, when I remember, and when I am trying to be polite (despite being mightily peeved at something or other), I will exclaim "Bolshoi!" instead of shouting the name of the food that comes out of bulls, after the bulls are all done with it.

It's a few semi-tasteful steps removed from the more obvious "Oh, bullcrap!"  Plus, I'd like to think that this small effort on my part helps the people around me keep some calming distance between that particular nitrogen-fixer and their own finer sensibilities.

Which is to say, my silly, sly substitution hopes to introduce some room to maneuver and to squeeze in an ability to have sidesteps kept handy for the squeamish.  For some people, keeping bull manure far apart from sensitive olfactory equipment, is a must. It's an aural-oral sort of thing.

No matter how organic people say they are, for example, I've discovered very few of them really want to contemplate bull manure while they are just starting to tuck into their beefsteak entrees.

Go figure.

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