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Trump is not Hitler, if only because Trump is too lazy. All his cronies are the same. When Adolf came to power in 1933, he had been working like a draft horse for 11 years. He had the SA (stormtroopers) a disciplined, organized group of thugs thousands strong, He had recruited all of the future war criminals who made up the working bureaucracy of the Reich. He had the beginnings of the SS and Gestapo prepared, and the bureaucrats needed to run them already lined up. He had an organized propaganda ministry that never said anything stupid or contradictory. (They LIED all of the time, but that's different.)

Even as we speak, Trump's closest (political) associates are purging each other and fighting over the spoils. Adolf would never have tolerated that.

NONE OF THE ABOVE is meant to say that the President-elect is not similarly *dangerous*, but to point out that he has a lot of work to do before he can "be" Adolf Hitler. Or even Mussolini.

We should be watching.
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So, I was awake for most of the night on Election Day, but not for the reasons that many of my friends were. I spent a long time staring at the walls and ceiling trying to figure out: “Why am I so blasé about this disaster?”

That’s right: I felt so disgusted at the choices people had made when filling out their ballots that the next day I posted a rather insulting status to several sites. But what was really on my mind was wondering why I wasn’t in worse shape.

Wednesday night my friends Paul and Julie and Tony invited their friends list to come to our local pub and ‘co-miserate’ (their sp) with one another and a stiff drink. I thought it over and decided to attend. They three, and me, and after a bit, Sue and Steen, showed up and had some booze.

And after listening to the expected disappointment and rage and despair etcetera, I asked politely if anyone would be offended if I gave my own (different) take on the events. Those present assured me it would all be well, so I held forth.

In the process, I found my own way to making sense of the weird way I act around election time.

Here it is, highly elaborated from what I actually said that night:

Read more )

HUH?

Nov. 9th, 2016 08:11 am
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By all the gods above and below, what a bunch of redneck morons.

(If that shoe doesn't actually fit you personally, just don't even try to put it on. You ALL know who I'm really talking about.)

So...

Say goodbye to your Social Security. I hope for your sakes you got a bunch of money saved up for rent and food and medicine in your retirements, cuz Medicare and Medicaid are on the block as well.

Say goodbye to your VA benefits, too. The last time the Rs had full control they cut the sh*t outta that while illegally invading two countries.

But hey, at least your personal firearms are safe for another few years.

Sh*t. See ya, I guess.
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What is the difference between "Obedient" and "Cooperative"?

Into which category do you usually fall?

Why?

—Bureau of Nosy Statistics
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Galacticon was a bust, and a mess, and really boring. The background here is, the woman in charge of booking exhibitors and merchants for the con worked her butt off. As a matter of fact, it appears that everyone involved in the event worked their butts off, with one exception: the head cheese. That guy was responsible for, among other things, publicity, which he clearly did not do.

Now think about this: the City of Seattle, its population swelled by new tech businesses, home to huge numbers of geeks, nerds, and fangirls/boys. Really, promising us three thousand through the gates was a seriously lowball number. Considering the number of potential attendees who live within an hour’s drive or bus/train ride of the Space Needle, it might have been possible to bring in ten thousand people.

I doubt there were five hundred Paying Customers on site.

I sold one book and two bags, for a total of $50. Now, I know there are some things I can do better next time, and I’m on that; but really: nothing I can do will substitute for competence in the organization of the con. Particularly in a situation of massive incompetence at the top of a hierarchical organization where evidently even the head cheese’s silent partner did not know how bad things were until two days before the event. That fellow muttered something in Marian’s hearing about perhaps being forced to file for personal bankruptcy as a result of the FUBAR outcome of their partnership.

I could write a whole essay about how this shows the flaws inherent in crony capitalism and hierarchical organization. I’ll pass on that for now, but it may appear at a future time.

I met some cool people, and did a little potentially useful networking. But the sparse attendance limited even that aspect of the event to a few drops in an ocean of wasted time and money.

And I learned stuff. Yes, I did. I now know a few things to look for in terms of non-functioning publicity and/or a con with Slackers In Charge, and those warning signs may well allow me to cut my losses in a future similar situation.

But really? I’m getting a little tired of “Learning Experiences” and “Networking Opportunities”.

Oh well. I knew from the start it would be a long climb for a self-published author, and I am working on being patient and continuing to plug along.

What I want out of a weekend’s mercantile activity is the chance to pitch my novels to people who might ACTUALLY read and enjoy them, and to sell my handicrafts to people who can use them. I’ve gotten such opportunities in the past, at volunteer-run conventions. For a con that started out as a commercial proposition to end up being a huge money loser...well, I already talked about Slacker In Charge.

I guess I better go back out to the landscaping soon, and also consider when I can next pry out a trip to the Word Mines.

Gotta go. See ya!
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Back from the 2015 Oregon Country Fair, and somewhat re-grooved to fit into this so-called “real life”.

I saw some cool cosplays.

People on stilts: with giant monarch butterflies on their heads; ‘dressed’ in hospital gowns and clumping along on really tall walkers, shouting about getting old; dressed as angels, with huge white wings.

I saw one really good raven outfit.

I spent most of my time during open hours in the booth; it’s just too crowded out there for me to move easily from place to place during the day.
I did visit the ‘new area’ a couple times. That’s a welcome addition: new crafters, new food booths, and a LOT of open space and seating and new art.



I wore this shirt for a lot of the Fair, and I got scanned a few times. All hail the Spectacle! Salute the new order: we are all ‘brands’ now, we advertise our creative functions like dish soap.

Recall that in French ‘advertissement’ means “Warning!”.

The OCF: what can I say about it? It would require a long, deep essay to describe the contradictory thoughts and feelings this event inspires in me. It is simultaneously a magnificent spectacle and The Spectacle, a hint of what a better world would be like, and a glimpse into how egalitarian values can lead to authoritarian outcomes. More than anything , it serves to remind me how investing power in a Board or executive can turn an assembly into a (dis)obedient mob.

I’ve begun that essay (in my mind) at least a hundred times. The balance eludes me.

Oh, well I had fun. And the people watching was fantastically entertaining, as always. One aspect of the Fair-as-Festival that’s always fascinating is the freedom people feel to dress as they wish, manifesting all sorts of archetypes and individual dreams and nightmares. Among the ordinary folks and the oddly-dressed and the conventionally “costumed”, there are always a few whose personal vision transforms them. That raven, for one. S/he even had some of the head movements...
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The Luddite Author continues the process of dragging *himself* kicking and screaming into the Twenty-First Century of the Christian Hypothesis. The foundations of Reality shudder, and the Multiverse takes note.



Now I can print t-shirts and stuff and make myself into a walking advertisement.
Better yet: I can cause unsuspecting people to wear the shirts, turning *them* into advertisements.

OK, maybe not that last bit. Consenting adults may wear the t-shirts, tho.
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...about things I saw, or heard on the radio, or read in social media, or in the newspapers:

Is Heroism a zero-sum game? What constitutes courage? Who decides?

In the end, all States are “self-declared”.

Did Max Boot (Council on Foreign Relations) ever serve in the military? (I believe I know the answer.)

How many people are gonna die on Highway 58 before the rest of us slow the F**k down?

I’m always amazed when people confuse median and mean. I realize some people are doing it on purpose. But it still amazes me.

I remember learning about a concept similar to median and mean, which was the point halfway between the highest and lowest number. I don’t remember what it was (is?) called.

Why do people believe that they can save the earth from global warming and heal the damage done by working within the System that is heating the planet and doing the damage?

Dick Nixon did not hang for Treason. Feature that.

And finally: the driver of the dark grey SUV who used the left-turn-only lane to pass me on 18th Ave, just west of Jefferson St. last week: That was a school zone, dude. With “children present”. May your car break down in a bad neighborhood on a rainy day at an inconvenient time.

Gotta go. See ya!
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Being an unsupported assertion, the following statement is an Opinion.

What the human species really needs, and the planetary situation demands of us, is a worldwide *wildcat* General Strike, with at least 75% participation.
Then a global conversation, online and IRL, about what is to be done. (I'm in favor of "widespread and globalized local self management in a moneyless economy.")

Failing that, I guess I'll go drop off this %$#*&^%&$ ballot.
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There are times when I really enjoy writing.

I like it when the characters speak directly to me, tell me how they feel, and the writing flows smoothly onto the page.

I like it when I get it: when I understand exactly how Selos is going to react to Saltos, and how he is going to scorn Saltos, and why he’d accept Saltos’ apology, and what kind of advice he’d then give, and why. I like that. It’s cool. I got 1200 words, a single incident, and I think it’s just right.

So, even though the interwebs are full of stupid today, and the police and their apologists are going steadily insane, and Wall Street is looting the savings of anyone who has a Mutual Fund or an IRA and the early members of the Emerging Global Ruling Class are rubbing their hands together and snickering about how much imaginary profit they are gonna make on slaughtering and starving six billion people over the next thirty years…

Today was (for me) a Good Day.

And a Good Day to all of you as well! (No irony intended. Despite the above, I wish you each a Good day, and tomorrow as well.)

Gotta go.

See ya.
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Arrenji leaned back in the chair, until she looked precariously close to tipping over. She smiled, her dreadlocks bouncing a little as she nodded in time to the music drifting in from the street in front of the pub.

“I like this music,” she said: “Regay, you called it, right?”

“Reggae,” he said, then spelled it: “That’s funny,” he added.

“What is?”

He gestured: “Your hairstyle, the slight accent that you still have, the graceful way you move: people assume you are from Jamaica. That’s where reggae comes from, originally.”

“Ah,” she said: “That is amusing, isn’t it? I knew about Jamaica and the dreads even before I met you, from studying the US Imperial Lines. I hadn’t heard any of the music, though.”

“Oh.”

“But it’s really the lyrics that I admire. Listen to her plea for community; the first thing Commonwealthers notice when we visit US Imperial Lines is the lack of true community among your people.”

“Tell me about it,” he said, in an ironic tone.

She ignored the irony: “Sure. The money economy is what fosters it, of course. All of your interactions, even gifts and conversation, become infused with the spirit of exchange. This for that, tit for tat. Mine and yours, I owe you. You owe me. You pass someone in the street, and because she owes you naught, she exists only as a face passing by. She…and you…both adopt an expression of neutrality, showing no emotion: she cannot ‘afford’ to show respect for your apparent age; you may not even hint at an appreciation of her youth and beauty. This is not one encounter in the course of a day, but hundreds, thousands. Then you see a friend, and for a moment the spell is broken and love fills the void between. But your respite is brief: your affairs call you on. One by one the people you must ignore pass you by, each one placing a weight upon you: a gram of unresolved and unrealized debt. The alienation each of you feels from the others turns inward…and outward, slowly crushing your spirits and driving your humiliation in the face of the System. One man snaps and shoots up a stoa…a shopping mall; a child cries herself to sleep because of bullies in her Skolo, a boy twists a rope around his arm and shoots the drug into himself, secretly hoping to wake not at all, to escape the blank faces all around him.

“Here in this Line, even in best of times, even at a festival like this…” She looked at him quizzically.

“Benham Avenue Block Party,” he supplied.

“Yes, that,” she said, nodding. “Even here, while the neighborhood pulses with the sound of song, and dancing people fill the alleys and yards, and that singer cries out for love and understanding, lamenting the fate that holds her separate from her sisters and brothers, still the instruments of exchange rule, driving your interactions with others.”

“I know that. I’ve railed against it most of my adult life.” He grinned: “You talk like Vaneigem, you know.”

She closed her eyes, seeking the knowledge imparted by RNA induction: “Yes,” she said. “Yes, I do. Most Commonwealthers would, you know.”

He grinned: “I do know.”

“Yes.”

They sat unspeaking, nearly immobile, while the broken rhythm of drums and bass pounded at their ears. He could feel the bass vibrating in his ribs; the singer began again, one love, candles in the darkness, I and I.

He got up and went to the bar, where he got Arrenji another beer, and himself a shot of Jameson’s. He pushed the cash across the bar until the woman’s fingers touched it: he thought of Vaneigem’s story, the waiter, so long ago in Paris.

“Thank you,” he said, deliberately, smiling. He caught her eye, nodded; he tried to break the spell, to cross the void between them, to make the money disappear for a moment.

She looked into his eyes: “You’re welcome,” she said. She searched his gaze for flirtation or other hidden motives, and didn’t find it. He smiled again, and she returned the expression. “You’re welcome,” she repeated.

“One love,” the singer cried: “Let’s get together and be all right…”



I’ve been reading The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord and The Revolution of Everyday Life by Raoul Vaneigem. In case you didn’t notice.

AND I’ll be at Sam Bond’s tonight, 4th of July or not.

Gotta go. See ya.
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What if the biggest debate in global society was between Egalitarians and Meritocrats?

Instead of what we have: long and winding non-sequiturs and ad hominem attacks from various factions of the ruling class and their paid (and unpaid) dupes. Attacks upon each other—but also, very vicious attacks upon those who try to pull the curtain aside and reveal the little men who pull the levers.

If we could shake off the baleful influence of Church and State, take control of the media, and speak directly to one another, could we settle on a balance between the birthright of every human being and the rewards due to those who do more? Or might we reach an 'unsettled balance', such that variations in time and place might occur, but the principle was clear and strong?

I think that we could do this, that we *can* do it. Will we? Or are we extinct, and don't know it yet? This is what I write about, (mostly) in fiction.

(Arrenji sits in the back of my mind, laughing. She shakes her head. Her dreadlocks, fine as worsted yarn, slide across her shoulders. "Get it together, people, or it will be too late. All too soon, it will be too late...")

The Situationists began (about 1954) with conversations in cafes and pubs. In 1968 they nearly (so nearly!) *changed the world*.

I'll be at Sam Bond's Garage tonight. 6-ish.

Gotta go. See ya!
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A friend found this and sent it to me...I wonder if Zappa's Black Page Drum Solo owes any debt to this?

http://socks-studio.com/2012/05/19/the-unplayable-score-faeries-aire-and-death-waltz-john-stump/

Additionally, I found a short bio of the composer, by his nephew:

http://lostinthecloudblog.com/2010/03/13/john-stump-composer-of-faeries-aire-and-death-waltz/
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On Sunday I went to Pacmac day 2 at Best Martial Arts and spent a half hour doing iai draws, from kneeling block to standing cut. Then I did judo with Michael Ehli. So my quads were screaming bloody murder at me to start the week. Then...
I spent Monday AM pulling ivy at the M's house in south hills. And I realized (somewhat belatedly) that I have to treat this week like the "week before the week before Egil's" and do all the trimming and edging and extra short areas so those are done for next week because I'm going to Norwescon and I have to leave on Thursday AM at nine...Oy, vey, am I sore. And here's to another day of that tomorrow. (clinks glass).
So, that's why I am not at practice tonight.
Gotta go. (just not very quickly)
See ya.
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Oddly, no matter what period of history I happen to dig into, the new discoveries I make never turn me back in the direction of consensus reality. Shit just gets weirder and weirder.
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Yesterday it was raining hard and my back was hurting, so I stayed home and wrote. I can’t do that again…I swear, at noon I’m gonna go out and mow some lawns and try to get some money.

The good part about staying home yesterday? The last three chapters (18,19,20) of SALTARAE are now first-drafted. Less philosophical and more action-oriented than earlier parts of the book, but that’s okay. Weird aliens, amnesiac cops, odd, nutty old ladies, and a bizarre anti-climax…but hey, if you wanted sanity and orderliness, you’d write your own book.

I’ll need to let it sit for a day or two, then do some intensive re-reading and editing. There’s room in each chapter for explanation, description, some more dialog (internal or otherwise) to help things hang together.

As for the continuation of the story, well that depends on the reaction to the end of this one. Mr. Rothakis has yet to hit a challenge that he can’t overcome, or a test he fails to pass. His evolution into a more badass version of himself has proceeded mostly smoothly…but he has a past that may yet creep up on him, and a nearly impossible assignment from his ‘handlers’ in the Sacred Band. Sooner or later that excrement may hit the air conditioning unit. Who knows? Who cares? Find out next week, same time, same station…

Gotta go. See ya.
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I posted this elsewhere, in response to blather. I'm reposting it here because why not.

OPINION ALERT. The emerging global ruling class is polluting and heating the planet into an uninhabitable swamp, for the sake of their (short-term) profit and standard of living. Even those profits are mostly expressed as dots and dashes in mainframe computers around the world: their money doesn't exist, it's an illusion, a scam. Dissatisfied with the current absurd level of inequality, unfazed by the likely outcome of their course (the extinction of this planet's population of the human species) they continue to extract wealth from both the planet and the poorest people on it. How does arguing about the details of election law in a corrupt system serve anything other than the interests of our rulers?
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what he said^ Happy new year dammit!
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This is a story that they told in Persia long ago:

When Mullah Nasruddin was an old, old man, he was hied before the Caliph. The Caliph said:
“I am OZ, the great and…” zip beep. Sorry wrong story.

The Caliph said: “Nasruddin, I have had it up to here with you!” His assholiness was indicating a spot somewhat above his head. “I feel inclined to have my guards cut your infidel head off! Guards…”

“Wait, your Majesty, please, listen to me…”

“I shouldn’t. It never works out well for me when I listen to you.”

“Just this one last time, please. My last request.”

“Oh, very well: speak.”

“Thank you your majesty. I beg you spare my life, and I will do a most marvelous and miraculous thing for you.”

“I dunno,” said the Caliph: “The last miracle you did for me was a wash and the one before that…”

“I pray you, Sire, bring that not to mind. This will be a very fine thing I will do.”

After a long, worrisome (for Nasruddin) silence, the Caliph said: “Okay, scum, let’s hear it.”

“Yes, Sire. If your most gracious Majesty will spare my life for a year and a day, I will teach your Majesty’s favorite horse to sing.”

“That’s ridiculous.”

“I am prepared to accomplish it.”

And lo, the Caliph assented, and instructed the guards to take Nasruddin to the stables every morning for a year and a day: “And when you have failed,” said the Caliph, fingering his scimitar, “I will cut off your worthless head myself!”

The guard looked at Nasruddin with wonder as he led him away. When they were out of earshot of the court, he said: “Most esteemed Mullah Nasruddin, have you been smoking hashish again? Horses can’t sing!”

“It is true,” said the holy man: "No horse has ever sung, that any man has heard. But say, I am an old man, and a year and a day is a long time. Before the time is up, I might die anyway. And the Caliph…”

“Yeah, he’s no spring chicken, huh?”

“Right! So he might die! And you see, also the horse might die…or…”

“Or?” the guard asked.

Nasruddin shrugged: “Who knows? Allah willing, the horse might sing!”

So they told it, in Persia long ago.
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Some time ago, a wag declared that Economics was ‘the Dismal Science’. My recent researches suggest strongly to me that Economics is not a science at all: It has more of the attributes of a cult.

The ‘dismal’ part is probably correct, though.

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