Sunday, September 6, 2015

Summer update

I don't know what has made me finally update this thing. Well, okay... yes I do. Full disclosure.

I looked up some critic I used to read in the 80s/90s. A common hack, but a very puffed-up, self-righteous hack; one of those you remember for their never-ending indignation and bluster (which should not be confused with genuine insight). Whatever happened to that person?--I wondered.

Answer: They are teaching at an Ivy League university.

This warmed-over, self-congratulatory HACK is now teaching AT AN IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL ... and apparently, is regarded as pretty damn important. Say what?

And when did THAT happen? HOW did it happen? Who did they blow to get that job? Surely, this Ivy League school read the same warmed-over bluster that I did? Didn't they?!?

See, this is why writers give up. This is why. The hacks who repeat dopey conventional wisdom are rewarded with the best jobs in the land, while us poor local radio-hosts/bloggers/burnt-out columnists trudge ever-onward, totally ignored. They steal our ideas, our memes, our catchy phrases, our radio-show topics, et. al... and then they get the gigs the rest of us will never get because we are too poor, don't live in the right part of the country and don't wear the right shoes.

Further, we don't even know WHERE TO BUY the right shoes.

Anyway, I just thought I would mention that. Ivy League. Somebody who can't put together two decent similes in a row, now teaches the privileged children of American how to write badly. Jesus wept.


And now, the summer update. Yes, the summer is almost over, so I figured it was safe to update now.

Aside from posting some pretty photos and similar inconsequential ephemera, I have basically taken leave of evil tumblr, Heart of Darkness. My account was hacked and I thought, okay. This is it. They really really do not want me here, it certainly isn't just my imagination. I considered deleting my entire account/tumblr blog, but I have linked it here (and other places) a few times, and therefore have no desire to do that. If people dislike what I have written or what I have reblogged, I really don't care. (Reblogging does not equal agreement, but that concept is FAR TOO COMPLEX for the nasty suburban brats at tumblr to comprehend.) The vicious kids on tumblr remind me of those carnivorous dolls in Barbarella, except their actions are safely baptized with the words SOCIAL JUSTICE so its all perfectly okay. In fact, they routinely assure each other how wonderful they are with "appreciation posts" and "appreciation threads"--the more vicious and nasty you are, the more likely you will be greatly appreciated.

I have made a few friends on tumblr, for which I am grateful, but these people are notable for being NOTHING like the majority of participants, and proof of this is that all privately reached out to me. All seemed eager to talk to someone (anyone?) with a different point of view, but they are also afraid to cop to this desire out loud. And yes, I do understand.

The ideological lockstep governing the Left right now, is stifling and horrible. The only words for this paranoid climate are Stalinism and McCarthyism. For example, I am the only person I know hacked on tumblr for "transphobia"--as well as banned from (what many consider) the most "transphobic" blog on the net, Gendertrender (there is your warning). So go figure.
EDIT: I attempted to link to Gendertrender, to no avail... blocked already. (Am I important or what?) If you are sufficiently curious, you can copy and paste As I said, Stalinism... which of course includes lots of textbook KGB cloak-and-dagger paranoia. (Why have a blog if you don't want anyone to read it? Ahhh, never mind. The paranoid mindset is a puzzle best left to the Freudians.)

As the Firesign Theater famously said, in a "marching cadence":
You ain't got no friends on the Right! (you're Left!)
You ain't got no friends on the Left! (you're right!)
Sound off, 1-2, sound off, 3-4...
I am very fortunate in that the work I have done in the real world (over decades) speaks for itself. If they want to hack, screech, holler, ban, call names, block my links, threaten, etc... have at it. I know what Stalinism is and this ain't my first trip to the Cultural Revolution.

I was getting purged way back in the day, long before it was hip.


At left: The best thing to happen this summer! I nominated our local activist dynamo, Traci Fant, as "Hero of the Month" on the Investigation Discovery network... and she won! Her organization, Think2XTwice, was awarded $1000 and she was also highlighted on the ID network site and on TV. I WAS SO PROUD!!!!!

See, watching true crime shows can have unexpected benefits!


On a postmodern note: I also co-organized our local demonstration against the misnamed SC Freedom Summit in May. This turned out to be a terribly depressing event, if there ever was one. Here in Greenville, it was Artisphere weekend (which I have mentioned here before many times) and the "summit" (a bunch of Republicans giving speeches, paid for by Fox News and the Koch brothers) was at the Peace Center, the same place we protested their last "debate" during last election season.

The weird thing was, nobody seemed to know it was happening. Nobody even knew it was going on. People looked at us quizzically and asked what we were protesting. There was NO big sign outside the Peace Center announcing the SC Freedom Summit and there were few campaigners outside, compared to other election events we have protested. (We believe this was deliberate, a way of speaking over the heads of the majority, to the "tuned-in" minority who vote in the primary.) This little soiree was practically invitation-only and private, like some parallel universe: Artisphere was the bread-and-circuses diversion for the Masses, as "serious business" was conducted inside the auditorium by Those Who Matter. Inside the Peace Center, important policy was being decided, whilst the folks outside eating hot dogs and listening to bands, were totally oblivious to the fact that the rich were planning their future. Our signs and chanting, all reminding them of these facts, were not particularly welcome. It was like, they didn't even believe us. The empty suits that showed up outside for photo ops, seemed to make this point; nobody recognized Ted Cruz or Ben Carson or Marco Rubio... the only excitement occurred when (guess who!) Donald Trump showed up. My co-demonstrator Elaine Cooper has been making the best of things: here is her photobomb campaign, which started with Trump at the Freedom Summit.

Elaine and I went inside at one point (she taped a good deal of it on her phone), but since we had "hostile" signs, we were deemed to be "acting inappropriately" and unceremoniously asked to leave. A FREE EVENT about FREEDOM (ha!) and we were bounced out. That's the Republican idea of freedom, baby! And don't forget it.

Elaine's first-person account is here in the Greenville Bray (pdf) and includes a good photo of us demonstrating too. I wrote a few words on Tumblr about it, but not much.

Elaine concurs with me; nobody outside at the festival seemed to know what was happening inside at the Summit... a very good metaphor for our entire political system.


And here is the star of our show, Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders.

I regret that my photos are not as good as they used to be. I have developed a pesky ESSENTIAL TREMOR due to thyroid disease, which makes taking good photos difficult. (another reason I no longer update as much as I used to) The tremor isn't too noticeable right now, but like most things, that will likely change. (*I* notice it, though, during fine motor coordination-type activities... such as writing, typing, sewing, braiding hair or photography.)

Anyway, we saw Sanders speak a couple of weeks ago and it was like Old Home Week ... as I saw nearly every southern progressive activist I know from here to the coast, as well as from here to Atlanta and Charlotte. He is inspiring a lot of hope right now... but I am cynical. I am always cynical. I have been cynical since they got rid of a nice peaceful peanut farmer and foisted a has-been right-wing actor on us. I doubt the cynicism will subside.

Photos below: August 21st, TD Convention Center in Greenville, SC.


Speaking of cynicism: Mr Robot was terrific. Can't wait for season 2.

Hope your summer has been eventful. I promise to drop in regularly from now on. I hope you will join me!

And yeah, we are on the radio for, I think, another month? We are winding down there, too, the end of an era. Check us out live on WOLI AM/FM at 8pm EST on Monday at least for a few more weeks. I don't know what comes after, but something always does. (More about that to come, I promise.)

I once hyperventilated at the mere thought of doing the show (and lost entire nights of sleep worrying over it!), but NOW after four years on the air, somebody can have an actual seizure in the studio while I am talking (I have witnesses) and I don't miss a beat.


Finally, some heartbreak ... after 15 years of true companionship and love, we lost the Official Cat of Dead Air. Our bodhisattva-kitty has gone on, to teach enlightenment to other humans. Truly, the most affectionate animal I have ever known, and his earthly death was crushing to both of us. But we know he has many others to teach besides us, so he was called home. We know his next owners will be forever changed when he appears at their door, as he appeared at ours.

Welcome the beloved and noble bodhisattva-kitty, who will teach you the meaning of unconditional love.

And when you meet him, please give him our best wishes, warm regards, love and kisses ... we miss him so much.


senchi said...

nice 2 c u post, d.

-so sorry- abt kitty. :(

JoJo said...

So sorry about your cat. :( I don't even really know what Tumblr is. I don't have the time to get involved in one more social media site, if that's what it is. As to 'ivy league', I don't think it means the same thing these days as it used to. It's just a title and a reason to charge tons of money and put kids into student loan debt for the rest of their lives.

Mark Bennett said...

Hello - stumbled across this somehow while surfing the net. Enjoyed your writing. Sad to hear a hack teaching English at an Ivy League university. I was hick from the sticks with a highly unlikely (but nevertheless true) excellent education in math and science when I attended an Ivy League university. But, I had abysmal background in English and literature. The TA that taught my Freshman essay class was rather eccentric, but also rather tyrannical about writing well. I learned, for example he had learned Italian just so he could read Dante's Divine Comedy in the original language. Since he berated the other students - all of whom were from fancy east coast high schools - as well as me, I boldly went to him and sincerely asked for help. So I think he took some pity on me and had me running for the library to get many books that I SHOULD HAVE already read. Fortunately, I knew nothing about testing out of classes, and my freshman calculus class was a breeze. Spent all my time reading all these books. I also went for free tutoring and lucked out when I got a very nice young woman grad student (who kept her black lab with her at all times) as a tutor. However, looking back, high school aged people can certainly learn the mechanics of writing well, but I wonder - given the limited life experience of most of them - how much can they really relate to most of the "standard" great works of literature. OH - I have nearly forgotten something. So in one of the books I found in the university library there was a wood cut picture that was thought to be of a young Will Shakespeare - AND IT LOOKED EXACTLY LIKE MY ENGLISH TEACHER! OK - got to go for now, and I agree - Mr. Robot was my favorite new TV show. Just started watching Hand of God series on Amazon. So far so good, but not as good as Mr. Robot!

Dennis the Vizsla said...

hello daisy its dennis the vizsla dog hay i am sorry to heer abowt yore kitty it is never eezy to say gudbye to owr frends but we never forgit them!!! ok bye

obat kaligata said...

Thanks for sharing