Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Materialism Dilemma

I've mentioned before how most consumer products are little more than "mantel pieces"

...how one assumes, when they buy an expensive product, they're paying for a "better product"
...when, in fact, these days all expensive products are are simply "status symbol" items
...you only buy them to "show off" to the world that you're able to afford something exquisite

Remember:  The U.S. is a culture of trend-obsessed blowhards, and the "American life" is mostly about being ostentatious and staying "one up on" everyone else.

...so don't be surprised if whatever you buy has a brief "shelf life" and falls apart on you should you ever try to actually seriously USE the item for whatever it's been presumably "designed" for.

This isn't the '70s anymore
...it's not about "you get what you pay for"
...well, actually, you do---but nowadays it's not about paying more for better quality...it's all about image and status symbol
...being "on-top-of" whatever the latest trends are and possessing whatever's in vogue at the current point-in-time.

I DO hate summer

This particular summer has been particularly harsh and brutal, what with all the extreme heat and unusually barbaric storms.

Of course I, in general, can't stand summer anyway
...as far as I'm concerned it's little more than a "breeding season" for mildew and fungal infections.

Although it's probably good for the profits of CLOROX corporation as well as those companies who make medication to treat athlete's foot, jock itch and vaginal yeast.

"...Shoot 'em before they run now..."

You know that James Holmes guy?  I'm wondering---was he, perhaps, the victim of identity theft by any chance?
I know if someone embezzled MY checking account or looted my credit card account to buy themselves some "nice toys" I'd probably be mad enough at the world to want to "get revenge on society" myself, what with all the crap one puts up with from it in general..."the straw that broke the camels back" and all that...

Of course I could never afford all that illustriously exotic arsenal of weaponry that guy has
...I'd never have THAT kind of money, and if I did I'd be more inclined to want to spend it on things more pleasurable and productive.  (Save the "mass annihilation" stuff for the military and terrorists).

It's amazing, though...Holmes set out to "get revenge on" a group of over-privileged upper-middle-class types
...and yet he himself comes from the same background.  
A bit ironic, no?

But you should know these sort of events are what's ruining society.
Already you must've noticed that, even in your own home town, there are hardly any 24-hour restaurants, coffee shops, and laundromats left anymore.

It's all on account of the collective paranoia surrounding the increasingly violent social climate of the last 20 years (give-or-take)
...the way society's given up it's authority and turned it over to the gangs and such
...plus this inexplicable ongoing phenomenon of all these "average" type guys suddenly going bonkers and massacring large groups of people for seemingly no good reason.

While I'm not even going to speculate on what's up with this "gun obsession" stuff, I will mention that this society of ours is but one step away from the kind of martial law mandates of World War II era 1940s:  food rations; 9 P.M. to 7 A.M. curfews; "lights out" after 10 P.M.; civil defense emergency drills.
Little by little we're returning to the days of Al Capone, Bonnie & Clyde, and the height of a "mafia-ruled" society.

If everything keeps going the way it is, this is our immediate future---guaranteed.  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Comedy Central---hardly the center of good comedy

...or at least any kind of REAL comedy anyway.

What's with that which is considered "adult humor" anyway?
Seems to me it's little more than a facsimile of 6-year-olds telling "dirty jokes" to one another to appear more "grown up" and "worldly" to the others
...except that it covers racy and "intimate" subject matter, but otherwise with all the worldly wisdom and integrity of 5-year-old kids who can't help laughing hysterically every time they hear someone fart.

Sort of makes you wonder about those among us who are old enough to drive a vehicle, legally buy alcoholic beverages, and vote
...what is their level of emotional and spiritual development?

Taking a look at the program agenda on the cable/satellite channel COMEDY CENTRAL:
...it's not enough that the actors and comedians themselves are so ineffectual and unconvincing---their aptitude for delivery being not much better than that of most child actors...but the scripts themselves are so capricious---completely lacking any kind of imagination or meritable premise
...a kind of "appeal to overage '10-year-olds'" disguised as rough "in-your-face" style humor
...such hackishness being so unbecoming of what's supposed to be a "professional" cable/satellite station.

I'll throw this back in their faces:
I'm not the least bit impressed by nor interested in your sophomoric "offerings" in the name of cheap laughs
...I have a sense-of-humor, true---but, for me, the jokes and scripts have to be actually FUNNY in order for me to be "rubbed-the-right-way" by them.

Thanks AT&T...

...for the increase in my monthly phone bill.

It makes sense I should pay more for you to allow all those solicitors, robo-calls, and other assorted oddballs the privilege of their daily reign over your lines.

...nothing like playing back a "message" on my answering machine and hearing a minute or so of background cacophony then a "woman's" voice telling me:  "You've been kicked off this dialogue".
...I can really make sense out of that, can't you?

...and, of course, all the idiots who keep calling repeatedly (for the past five years or so) with their offer to "reduce my credit card debt" or whatever (I've never had a credit card, just for the record).  Not once have I ever responded in any way to them, but they still don't get the message:  I'm not interested and quit bothering me all the time.

AT&T is just like everyone else I guess...just out to rob others of their time and money.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Another Upcoming Celebritory Birthday

In another week-and-a-half---July 26, to be exact...the world celebrates the 69th birthday of a certain Michael Phillip Jagger

Yes, Mick Jagger---the illustrious lead vocalist of The Rolling Stones---will turn 69 that day 
...and what a better age for an obsessive womanizer to be than 69?

He was born in Dartford England on July 26 1943.

                                             Happy Birthday, Mick!

Everything is so in vain...

Life itself is so much like working in a restaurant
...you scrub the place down after closing time, getting all the cracks and crevices until it's all shiny and spiffy
...then you wonder "Why?"  It's just going to become a mess again in a few more hours anyway.
The reason this place exists is for customers to be able to come in and have food-and-drink for a set price
...which involves putting grease on a hot grill on which to cook up whatever's been ordered
...but the minute you heat up the grease it's going to splatter all over and send the grimy fumes out all over the place
...and then, when the dirty plates, bowls, and cups come back, it becomes necessary to splatter water and food residue all around in order to keep the dishware clean and usable for the next patrons.

Just like one's own body.  You shower and change your clothes---only to continue sweating and excreting afterwards
...so your butt and armpits start stinking again shortly after anyway (especially in the summer).

Just like the way you brush your teeth in the morning to get rid of that nasty "morning mouth"
...only to down a doughnut, banana, and cup of coffee
...and you realize:  to consume any kind of food and drink is to have chronic halitosis.

Another Myopic Musing

It's been said that there are two basic types of elements in the world:
those which are enabling and those which are debilitating.

That there are basically two types of people in the world:
Those who are "helpers" and those who are "saboteurs"

That's the thing about this world:  everything seems to be about interruption and disruption
Any time one tries to do anything that's anything-worth-doing the first order of business is throw as many obstacles as possible in that person's way
...try to make even the simplest task or project as difficult as possible.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Another Myopic Musing

Have you ever noticed that those who are most easily offended are usually also the most obnoxious?

I figure if one is going to be "thin-skinned" at least they should be pleasant themselves if they're going to feel "at liberty to" complain about others for being grating.

But if they want to bash you (either verbally or physically) for being an "ass-hole" (or a "jerk") when they're one themselves, that just makes them little more than your average run-of-the-mill hypocrite.

I should stay off the subject of "sex"

It's probably a good idea if I did
...it's such a touchy subject matter (both figuratively as well as literally).

The late John Lennon once stated:  "One of these days sex will take it's rightful place---as just a part of life"
...but I doubt it.  There are way too many prejudices surrounding it.

Society's still, to this day, just can't handle this peculiarity of humans to hedonistically "objectify" another human whom they find physically attractive
...somehow fully acknowledging this tendency seems to frighten the general mass.  The reality of human sexuality conflicts too much with long-established conscious moral standards.
That's one reason why those who express their desires in any kind of unbridled manner are ostracized as being "creeps", "perverts", and "degenerates".

Along with xenophobia, dogmas and stigmas involving sexual matters will probably be among "the last prejudices left in mankind's history".
Should they ever somehow finally dispense with all manners of racism. sexism, and antiSemitism the two forms of bigotry left will surely be hatred and contempt towards "weirdos", "freaks", "perverts" and "degenerates".

Therefore, I refuse in the future to ever bring up anything to do with "sexuality" as a topical subject matter for this blog.

Another Celebritistic Birthday Acknowledgment

                       Linda Ronstadt...66 years old tomorrow
                               Born July 15 1946 in Tucson

Excessive Heat Had People "On Ice"

As you well know, the last two weeks saw hellacious storms coupled with a prolonged excessive heat wave
...which also resulted in numerous power outages (luckily for me, my power somehow managed to stay on).

During this period I noticed, when making necessary trips to the supermarket to buy essential food items, that a lot of people were purchasing bags of ice
...I'm assuming these folks have large coolers in the back of their cars in which to put these ice bags.

I can't imagine them simply putting the bags in the back seat or the trunk
...and stopping off at McDonald's or Bob Evans to grab a bite to eat---or making rounds at Target, WalMart, or Lowes to pick up a few more items afterwards.

I can just see the scene when they finally arrive home:  "Hey, what the hell!  Will you look at this?  This ice turned to water...how in the hell...?"
"Oh,my...we'll have to return it now...try and get our money back.  Apparently this is a defective bag or something."
"Damn these merchants---always trying to rip us off."

I wonder...just how long DOES a bag of ice last in a warm freezer when it's 90-degrees inside and 100+-degrees outside?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I'm glad that FORD Motor Company's not making any PINTOs in this day-and-age.
I can imagine, upon discovery of the defective rear-engine design, that the most they'd be required to do  in these days of deregulation, is simply put out a "consumer notice" advising owners to "try to avoid rear-end collisions".
Right...just use your psychic powers to telepathically communicate with the driver behind you to "slow it down a bit" and to "not tailgate" lest the worst happens upon wacking your rear-end.

I can understand personal responsibility in terms of taking care of one's own domestic obligations
...but these days one is expected to be accountable for things they sort of...have no control over

...we're expected to take care of our own health and welfare---yet how many of us have any kind of extensive medical knowledge?
...and we still have to depend on whoever grows, packages, and distributes the food and drink we consume---how many of us are able to grow our own garden and raise our own livestock?
...how many of us would even know how, even if the opportunities to do so did arise?
...and, if we should succumb to the effects of food poisoning, is it our fault that health-and-safety standards are either lax or not enforced when we have neither the knowledge or license and authority to see to it that such standards are both adequate enough and well-enforced?

We're forced into codependency par-for-the-course for the simple reason that we're forced to be part of some society
...and the very nature of being part of a society is that of assuming a submissive demeanor to "the system"---accepting it's paternal/maternal nature and being one of it's "children", obedient to whatever expectations it has of us
...in return society's expected to "take care of us" to a large extent:  provide police departments to deal with those who "violate" us in some way;  provide a fire department to deal with overwhelming infernos and to rescue us from any impossible situation we get ourselves into that we can't get ourselves out of on our own;  government regulators who write laws to ensure our health and safety...

Since most of us are not geniuses and have a limited scope of knowledge and aptitude---only specializing in one field or two---we wind up codependent on those who have whatever knowledge and abilities we don't
...if you're "all thumbs with two left hands", obviously you should not be engaging in any kind of "home repair" or "home renovation" projects---nor be attempting to sew your own clothes, or anything else involving manual dexterity of any kind.  Which means you're stuck with hiring persons who are professionally trained at (or have natural aptitude for) such tasks.

The problems arise when we have to be vigilant about "not being taken advantage of" alongside still "being responsible for" seeing to it that certain things are done
...being responsible for operating a safe motor vehicle, for example:  if you know nothing about cars and have to depend on the services of a mechanic---and he/she overcharges you for shoddy workmanship, and the result is a mechanical failure that causes a fatal wreck, the laws can still stipulate that you're partially "at fault" because it's still your vehicle and technically you're still responsible for ensuring it's in sound condition and safely operable
...but, if you have no knowledge of or aptitude for auto mechanics, how would you be able to determine whether or not the mechanic did the job you paid them to do properly?

It's this way with everything:
***Banks don't invest in acquiring thorough and comprehensive security systems that would protect the accounts of their customers.  (Too expensive and could be disruptive to their normal day-to-day functions in the event something transpires that could cause such a system to temporarily tie up or affect any of their other systems.)  They pass the responsibility onto those who have accounts with them.  You have to peruse your bank statements, you have to bring everything to the bank's attention if something looks amiss...
***And what about Internet Service Providers?  How come THEY don't have antivirus filters as a part of their services?  Why do the PC users themselves have to purchase their own, and with no guarantee some crafty hacker might still get through even the best cyberdefenses?
***And even with all the "anti-crime" tips the authorities give the average person, if you are attacked and have to resort to some kind of physical counterattack, even to ward off the other person just long enough to get away, you still stand to also be legally charge with "aggravated assault" the same as the person who initially attacked you.
It stands to reason the only REAL way to be able to protect and defend yourself is to be  granted some kind of recognized offical authority of your own (officially "deputized"?) and to recieve adequate training in the ins-and-outs of the ethos of self-protection.  Of course who among the collective citizenry would society ever allow to have the kind of unbridled authority it grants it's designated officials?

Society expects us to be responsible, but then doesn't allow us any authority to be able to do so, doesn't enlighten us enough so that we would know what we were doing anyway, and doesn't train us in what we would need to know in order to pull off our efforts without looking ridiculous and having everything backfire on us.

A small percentage will learn specific trades and professions
...and the rest of us will have no choice but to just trust such persons and hope they know what they're doing and that they're of good character and not the kind to subvert their duties and just "take advantage of" others and circumstances.

One more note:
How come, in the 21st century, are there still mailboxes on front porches?
Shouldn't it be all solid wood front doors with mail slots instead?
How are we supposed to ensure our mail doesn't get tampered with?  Stand guard outside on our front porch  day and night "Buckingham Palace" style?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Laundry Blues

I'll be ever-so-grateful if they ever get the power back on in the laundromat across the street from where I live.

I've been having to use one five (long) blocks away.  It's one of those sandwich shop/grill/bar/washeteria "combo" places
...so far, it's cost me $6.00, three washers, and one dryer (the only thing that worked properly) to do just one full load.

I wouldn't mind this place so much if they would take care of their machines once-in-a-while.
But I guess they'd rather just stand around shooting the shit with the "regular" bar patrons than serving their laundry customers.
That's what's known as "earning a paycheck" and "making a living".

Hell, I've worked harder myself just on my own hobbies than a lot of people do on their actual jobs.

                                                                                                    Update 7/11/12:
                       The power's on again in the laundromat I normally patronize.  I'm back to my normal laundering routine now.


Born Richard Starkey in Dingle, Liverpool, England on July 7 1940
...72-years-old on Saturday.

I remember YELLOW SUBMARINE being ridiculed as being a "children's song"
...and it is, actually.  But it's an example of The Beatles showing their wide range of musical aptitude.

Let's not forget the flip side of the original 45-RPM is ELEANOR RIGBY, a serious "social commentary" type song...a perfect antithesis to SUBMARINE

...and, let's not forget the REVOLVER album also comprises some of their earliest "psychedelic" efforts as well
...and even a "romantic" song or two.

So, why a "kiddie song" like YELLOW SUBMARINE?
Well, it was the 1960s---and back then people still had a sense of humor
...so being "lighthearted" wasn't considered inappropriate.

...unlike today, when life seems to be all about paranoia and conspiracy.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Three strikes and you're out

Let's see now...first the hellacious storm, then the power outages closing down all the places I frequently do business with
...now, on top of that a city bus strike.

My main concern is that this is a short-lived one as I have an appointment with a medical clinic in August, and I'll need to use the bus service to get to it.

Ahhhh, yes...unions.
Let's see:
Way back when...business owners and factory owners took advantage of the workers
...long hours, slave wages, exposing workers to unnecessary dangers.

Enter the unions:  the official "spokesmen" for the workers.
Their original intent was to back them up in their quest for "fair wages" and providing decent working conditions.

In time the unions, now organized entities themselves, became just as all-powerful as the business and factory owners
...and just as power-and-control obsessive as well
...as did the workers they represented

No longer merely content with fair wages and the safest working conditions possible, they took to making more and more exorbitantly grandiose demands and expectations.

Eventually becoming as ill-reputed as the business owners, there seems to be a sort of "cultural war" that's been declared on them in recent decades.

In fact there are a number of states who proudly proclaim themselves  to be "right-to-work" states
---that is, because it's a violation of their laws to even attempt to form any unions.

Speaking for myself, any "right to work" I've ever had has always been more dependent on whatever prejudices my potential employer had than on any kind of state laws.