Friday, May 30, 2008

1. Barking Dogs...

Apologies are not really in order, I suppose, since the only people who read this log are I, myself and me...

Still, for the sake of good order, one of the reasons posting has been more weekly lately, rather than semi-daily, is I have been trying to dig out yet another of the poem cycles the unknown poet of the Third Galaxy called a "Sonnete Corona" -- but to put this one together, I have had to delve into not only the 2nd level but also the 3rd level footnotes of the Absolute Truth, 21st Edition.

The concept in these poem cycles is that the last line of each verse is the first line of the following verse. The last poem in the cycle begins with the last line of the last verse, folowed by the last line of the penultimate verse and concluding with the first line of the first verse.

The unknown poet did not title this collection, so I have taken the liberty of calling it "Our Common Insanity". The first poem he called, "Barking Dogs..."

We woke because we heard the dogs barking...
We thought it was nothing...

We should have known better!

But then, we heard the sound of soldiers' harking,
spitting in the cold and misty damp weather!

I called them soldiers -- but that is not what they were:
scoundrels, mercenaries and killers for hire!

It was obvious what would all too soon occur:
a night of pillage and rape and our village on fire...

That was the time of the War of a Hundred Years...
or was it Seven or Thirty -- or more, or less?
(It's hard to get those kinds of numbers straight...)

All I know for sure is that we harvested tears...
the root of war is planted in greed and hate.

We do things much better today, we kill from great distance!
War has become greater than Pestilence!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mad Kane Comes Out of the Closet...

Geeze, all the time I thought Senator Mad Kane was running for President of the United State of Arrogance, it turns out he really wasn't.

In a speach he gave on Memorial Day, he revealed that he is actually running for "Commander in Chief". I quote:

"I am running for the office of commander in chief. That is the highest privilege in this country, and it imposes the greatest responsibilities..."

This is complete and utter bullshit, which almost but not quite surprises me coming even from Mad Kane. Commander in Chief is not an office! It is one of the duties of our civilian president to be commander of the military -- the Founding Fathers were leary of the power of the military. They were also leary of the power of an executive president -- therefore they entrusted the power to declare war to the Congress...

Yet, one frequently hears people of right wing confusion refer to the president as "my commander in chief". That is scary shit which especially accelerated from the very beginning of the reign of the Codpiece.

Commander in Chief, by the way is a good translation of the latin "imperator", which we usually read as "emperor"

One last piece of not exactly trivia:

Memorial Day
is not actually a day to pray for U.S. troops who died in action but rather a
day set aside by Congress to pray for peace. The 1950 Joint Resolution of
Congress which created Memorial Day says: "Requesting the President to issue a
proclamation designating May 30, Memorial Day, as a day for a Nation-wide prayer
for peace." (64 Stat.158). [my emphasis]

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Novel Twist on the Concept of "Duck and Cover"

Myke Hugababy, the pastor turned politico who tried out in the opening heats of the Quadrenial Horse Races and, although he did surprisingly well in the beginning, had to drop out for the lack of both votes and funds -- and who, by the way, is on the short list for the Veep position in the final lap of the Quadrennials; yes, that same Hugababy who as governor of Organsaw, pardoned a serial rapist because he one of his victims was a distant relation of Billy "Big Dog" Flintstone, former governor of Organsaw and Prez of the Arrogant States (therefore, the poor rapist must have been unjustly convicted by the criminally and insanely vengefull Flintstones!)

Yes, the felon who, upon release, promptly went about carving a few more notches by raping, killing and otherwise desecrating the bodies of at least two more young women (that we know of, but he may have worked overtime and moonlighted a bit...).

Yes, that Hugababy, politician, pastor and Man of Gawd, was holding a speech the other day at the NRA, and cut what one might call a joke but might just as be called a verbal fart...

This was the situation: While Hugababy was speaking, there was a loud noise backstage, perhaps of a chair falling over. "Heh! heh!" says Hugababy, "I guess that was Bulimo Charisma diving for cover because somebody pointed a gun at him, har-hardy-har-har!"

If one, like myself, knows something of the number of threats, veiled in jokes and innuendo -- and sometimes not veiled at all -- that have been made against Bulimo, you would find this about as funny as having a fresh turd stuck down the front of your pants.
That said, I like to pose a question that has been bumping around in what for me passes as a mind: if the Prez- and Veep-Elect somehow leave the land of the living before the Inaugaration -- what happens? Does the Speaker of the House take over as in the case the Prez and Veep die or are unable to function? Is there any rule for such a contingency?

Or, would, as I suspect, the outgoing Prez hang on to the reins of power until such time, assuming it ever came -- and that might depend on just how the Prez-elect managed to leave his mortal coil -- until such time as new (s)elections could be arranged...?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ship of State...

[Yet another unusual piece, apparently from the unknown poet of the Third Galaxy. As with "River Descending", I am convinced that this is yet another of those which, as he says several places, he "...composed in my bed at night as I go back to sleep after having gotten up to take a leak.

This explains their dreamlike quality, I suppose, but offers little in the way of understanding their meaning.

It would seem that this was composed a few months before the final laps of the Quadrennial Horse Races, the last ones held before the Terrible Times were ushered in...]

We have a problem in the lower decks,
a major problem, a matter of life and death!
The miasma discharges are disturbing our sensor screens;
it's all chaos down there and nothing is what it seems!

The angel crew is turning blue from dread:
"Where fools rush in, angels dare not tread!"

We ought to have, with our ship's power, a chance
to escape somehow from this dire predicament.
We ought to be able to turn the ship around
and chart a new course before she runs aground.

We ought to be able to do it -- but don't hold your breath!
Too many have gotten used to the taste of death!

You've guessed by now the ship is our Ship of State?
In the end, you know, we all will share her fate!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Look on the Bright Side!!!

By what would seem to be popular acclaim, the unofficial national song here in the Happy Little Kingdom is the Monty Python number from "The Life of Brian" -- "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life!"

I try to adhere to that bit of cracker barrel philosophy.

A hundred thousand drowned in the flood that Typhoon Nargis donated to Myanmar and that number will increase many times because lack of sanitation, drinking water, food, shelter -- which will bring on dysentery, dengue fever, cholera and other pestilence. All of which will be accompanied by another old acquaintance -- famine.

On the bright side, the international press seems to be learning to refer to the poor country as Myanmar and not the colonial name of Burma. True, that is not much of a bright side, but, to paraphrase Mr. Rumsfart, you go with the bright side you've got and not the one you'd like to have...

A major earth quake in China started with a modest two thousand dead which quickly went to ten, then twelve thousand and may continue to exponentially increase. The quake came at the worst possible time -- around three in the afternoon. At that time, people are all in schools, offices and factories. Since the building codes, their enforcement at least is shoddy -- this not being a high priority for the present regime -- many buildings, in particular factories, collapsed like the concrete card houses they were.

On the bright side? Well, this may well mean that China will not be able to ship as many Arrogant flag-pins to the USA as planned in time to be worn during the Quadrennial Horse Races also known as the Prezidenshul (se)Election. In turn, this could harm chances of Senator Mad Kane to win the races!

On another bright side -- except for an elderly lady who died and a lot of cattle who are going to starve to death because their forage is covered in pumice -- is the recent dramatic eruption of the Chaitén Volcano in southern Chile. Some of the photos of the eruption and the electrical displays in the clouds of ash and pumice are simply awe inspiring!

Actually, it is very much on the bright side that all that ash, dust and sulfides Chaitén is belching into the upper atmosphere will counteract something of effect of the 385 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere as well as the methane being slipped from the thawing permafrost of the northern tundras.

Why, Chaitén might even give us a few more months before we reach the tipping point where global climate change is irreversible -- isn't that a wonderful thing to think about?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Minor Case of Anti-Serendipity...

You have exactly 30 seconds to catch the joke in this little example of anti-serendipity:

The clock is ticking...

Don't feel bad if you didn't catch it -- I didn't either, I'm a bit dyslexic...

Hint, if you still don't get it, use a spell checker...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Is There a word for Anti-Serendipity?

There ought to be a word for events where, in a sort of anti-serendipity, our leaders, rulers, the high and mighty are suddenly revealed, like H. C. Andersen’s Emperor, to not only be wearing no clothes, but have big pimples on their butt.

Moments like this rarely reach in the history books. But I assure you they happen -- I’ve usually seen them several times on television and heard them with my own two ears.

When Prez Nixon’s made his last State of the Union Speech to the joint session of Congress, he referred to the storm clouds of scandal and cover-ups which were even then on the verge of destroying his Administration, asking Congress to join with him in a bipartisan manner to "remove the President [painful pause] -- remove the present situation..."

I guess that was more than a Freudian pratfall than a slip. "Even presidents have to stand naked sometimes" as the Bard of the Sixties once wrote.

Another story -- again, you won’t be likely to read it in the history books, but it happened just the same. Pope Pious IX was on television opening a Jubilee Year. The ceremony required that he open "Peter’s Gate" which is normally kept closed.

The Pope was to open the gate by knocking on the door with a little silver hammer and the gate was supposed to swing open -- but nothing happened and the Pope, the Vicar of Christ, the Keeper of the Keys to the Kingdom was suddenly an embarrassingly puzzled wizened old man. Meanwhile, banging sounds were heard from behind the door and a few minutes later the door swung open as if by carpenter magic...

When the Secretary of State, Colin Powell held his (in)famous press conference at the United Nations in the February, 2003, just before the US war of aggression against Wudda-Wreck, there were so many press folk that the conference had to be held in the main hall.

As was reported, the tapestry copy of Picasso’s "Guernica" behind the podium where Mr. Powell was to do his little performance was covered with blue muslin.

Contrary to what many believe, the tapestry was not covered at the request of either the State Department or the UN -- it was at the request of the photographers, they needed a neutral background in order to take good pictures.

But that is what made the anti-serendipity even more delicious!

The covering of Guernica that drew more news then the picture itself would have -- and how fitting! The war was foisted upon us through cover-ups, disinformation, omfustication and bald-faced lies -- but every one knew what was behind the blue backdrop.

Have any of you ever noted any examples of anti-serendipity?

Monday, May 05, 2008

A Soldier Needs a Bodygaurd?

Can you imagine that the Army had to send a soldier stateside because they could not guarantee his personal safety in Wudda-Wreck? Well, you needn't bother yourself trying to imagine it -- it happened

Yes, I know, there are thousands of soldiers whom the Army has failed to ensure the safety of by issuing defective body armor and under armored vehicles -- but the case of Spc. Jeremy Hall is special. He has served two tours of duty in Wudda-Wreck and has been a Combat Action Badge -- I guess that means he was somewhere where bad people were shooting at him.

Things started going sour for Jeremy on Thanksgiving, 2006. He declined to take part in a Christian prayer before doing the turkey thing as he is an atheist.

His troubles grew and came to a head in July when he organized a meeting of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers. The meeting was broken by a major who chewed Hall out for being a disgrace to the Constitution [sic!!!] and threatened him with charges of conduct detrimental to good order and discipline.

As the harassment and threats grew and became more serious, Hall was assigned a permanent bodyguard and now has been sent back to Arrogance to serve out the rest of his tour of duty there.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

May Day and More...

It's kinna weird, but it's a fact: May Day, that is as a day dedicated to workers' and class struggle originated in the United State of Arrogance.

In 1886, in Chicago, there was a three day general strike by laborers, artisans, merchants and immigrants. During the strike, four people were shot and killed by police at the McCormick factory.

The next day there was a large, peaceful demonstration at Haymarket Square.

In the afternoon the police entered the crowd in a phalanx. A bomb was thrown by "somebody" and a policeman was killed. In the ensuing chaos, twelve people died, half of them policemen.

The eight people who had organized the demonstration were arrested and charged with murder. They were all found guilty and sentenced to be hanged. Four were hanged and one committed suicide in jail. The remaining were pardoned by the new Illinois governor. Who threw the bomb was never proven, but a strong suspicion points to the goons of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency.

Both the trials and the hangings were public. The defendants were tried more for their political beliefs than involvement in the bombing. The case awoke anger and indignation across the globe and the 1st of May became a day celebrating the struggle of workers for such ridiculous things as an eight hour work day and honest wages for honest work.

A number of steps were taken to defuse the effect of May Day in the USA. In 1921, the 1st of May became "Loyalty Day" where people affirmed their loyalty to Arrogance. In 1958, Congress confirmed the day as a nat'l "Loyalty Day" -- not as a holiday, but as a commemoration day.

In the USA, "Labor Day" is the first Monday in September and not the 1st of May. You might think that this was a sop to divert attention from May Day. This is a truth with a lot of footnotes. The first September Labor Day was celebrated by the Knights of Labor in 1882 and became a nat'l holiday in 1892 by act of Congress. Originally, it was a day to awaken the consciousness of the working people. Today, with the emasculated unions in the USA which have but 12% of the working force organized, the fight for worker rights and the very idea of worker solidarity is little more than an Arrogant fairy tale.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Sniffing for Fun

I always thought we had a corner on silly sex scandals in the United State of Arrogance, but, they are showing a certain amount of initiative Down Under.

The leader of the Western Australia Liberal* Party broke down in tears -- on television -- and admitted that, yes, he had been sniffing the seat of the chair in which a female Liberal Party staff member had been sitting...

Geeze, when I was a kid in Poosah City, these many years ago, one of the definitions of a "perv" was somebody who sniffed girls' bicycle seats. I always assumed it was a joke, like wearing green on a Thursday meant that you were "queer" -- but now, I'm not so sure...

* Please note: "Liberal" outside the USA does not translate to "librul" and is rather somewhat right of center.