Monday, May 23, 2016

     Three songs for you to track down, assuming they still have them up on YouTube:

THE NAUGHTY LADY OF SHADY LANE
                                       Ames Brothers (1954/55) and Archie Bleyer (1954/55)
                                                
                                                                         and

MY GIRL BILL
                                      Jim Stafford (1974)
                                                                         and
BEAUTIFUL WORLD
                                      Devo (1981)


Pay attention to the lyrics now as you listen to each of these three songs.


Don't you appreciate the way some crafty songwriters play upon our propensity for assuming and for jumping to conclusions prematurely?

Now play each song again.
Notice there's nothing inaccurate about the way the main subject matter is described.
But that nothing is explicitly expressed until the very last verse, the deliberately ambiguous nature of the early verses "entrapping" us into revealing certain deep-down inner prejudices we harbor within ourselves.
                                      A Final Solution?

Amidst all the controversy surrounding the North Carolina law requiring people to use the restrooms correlating with the gender they were born as I offer a make-shift solution of my own:
                                                                  Unisex Bathrooms

Whatever happened to unisex bathrooms?  You know, those closet-size single-toilet type restrooms with a lock on the door that were labeled not either MEN or WOMEN but UNISEX, along with a cartoon depiction of both a man and a woman figure.   I remember them being quite common in the 80s and 90s.

All one had to do was use whichever bathroom was available.
No fears of officiously sanctimonious employees or managers trying to accuse you of some kind of attempted metaphorical "excretory rape" simply for sneaking into the women's restroom out of desperation.
                               I.Q.  ...Fact or Myth?

There's no such thing as "intelligence".
Everyone's a savant.  They're exceptionally knowledgeable in one or two areas.  And often at the expense of being able and adept at all other areas of their lives.

The English major probably couldn't figure out how to change a flat tire to save his own life.

Someone illiterate but with considerable mechanical aptitude is "the one to call" when the plumbing fixtures go on the fritz and there's water leaking everywhere.

Some of the most prejudice people I've run into are college educated types who have all this immense clinical knowledge but, emotionally, are "still in grade school and high school" and can be really petty and myopic.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Coin Laundries

It never fails.  Every time I go to the coin laundry ...

I should mention I always do just one load per trip since I'm always on foot.

And every time I'm in there, even if it's not busy, I'll sometimes not even be halfway done with my load when somebody will stroll on in with huge basketfuls of clothes---enough threads to practically open up a used clothing store with.
And I'm left wondering:  Is all that actually their own personal stuff?

And it's not always couples or families either.  Sometimes it's just one person doing it all (of course I'm figuring them to either be married, or at least have kids.  Or, maybe, they're caretakers).

Either way, I don't think there'd even be enough room in my apartment for the amount of clothes some of these other laundry patrons freely truck on in to wash. 

What I always dread is the place already being busy when I stroll on in to do my own stuff.  Then I'd be paranoid about whether or not there'll be enough machines for me to use.




                                      Another site to check out:  www.newyorker.com/cartoons
                                                                                    And another one: www.in2worlds.net
                             Change of Address

Moving from one place of residence to another entails a "change of address" for the obvious reason that each location has its own street address.

Conceptually speaking that's simple enough a notion.
The problem is in passing such information on to others.

Now the advertisers, who are always stalking you as a "potential customer", never seem to have trouble tracking you down.  You'll get their flyers at your new address, in your name, even before you've informed the Postal Service of your change of address.

The important parties, not so much.  The IRS, the bank that has your checking account, social services and government agencies, the medical and dental clinics.   You practically have to show up in person at each place with proper I.D. and proper documentation in order for them to know you're "living in a different place now and are no longer at your previous address".
And even then you have to emphasize the importance of them disavowing your previous address (as in "delete it from your computer system").

The advertisers, on the other hand:  They're already on top of the game, apparently seeing "how disposed you are to" desiring a dozen cars, SUVs and pick-up trucks (even if you don't drive), enough beds, sofas, chairs and tables to fill an entire warehouse, all the latest electronic high-tech gadgets you can get ahold of, and a constant need for home repair/remodeling services
...even as you reside in a one-bedroom apartment unit.
                            Con Artists and Reformers

Most people one runs into are either con artists or reformers.

Either they're intent upon messing with you or misleading you in some way.
Or they're convinced there's something "wrong with" you and feel a need to "enlighten" or "discipline" you.  That can be irritating, especially when one doesn't have a problem with how they live or with their beliefs.  Nothing is "broken" and one doesn't need to be "fixed" in any way.

For instance:  These philosophical "know-it-alls" who'll tell you that "you make your own fate".
Stuff like:  If you project a negative attitude into the world that's what you'll get back.  But if you're cheerful and upbeat everything will go hunky-dory and those around you will be ever-so-friendly.
If only reality was as simple and cut-and-dried as their simplistic metaphysically-based myopia makes it out to be.

What I don't like about that way of thinking is that it puts all the responsibility for "the condition of the world" on you, one person.
If someone's angry or cranky you're to be upbeat and cheerful towards them and they'll miraculously change their frame-of-mind and become more friendly and peaceful.
But if you're the one stressed-out and cynical, and everyone else follows suit, it's because you caused the whole social climate to become dark and wicked by your negativism.

If only I could ever believe myself capable of having that level of power-and-control.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

George Zimmerman is back in the news again.  (God, the red herring subjects the media keeps throwing at us.)

It's ironic that a guy who's a biracial Anglo-Hispanic with a Jewish surname would be "made an example of" in the still-ongoing universal "black verses white" cultural conflict when there are so many "pure-bred" Anglos who are far more racist.

We'll never know what really happened in that incident where Zimmerman shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, mainly due to the polarized hysteria surrounding that case.
Was it self-defense?  Did Zimmerman simply overreact?
Or is Zimmerman, in fact, a "domineering asshole" type who'd probably shoot you in the face or beat you to a pulp just for "looking at him wrong"?


           The above is my Musing For Today

Another CeleBirthdate

                                     Bob Seger
Born May 6 1945 in Dearborn Michigan.
                               He's 71 years old?  (Wow!!!)

Check out his 1967 single PERSECUTION SMITH, his 1969 single NOAH, and his 1971 single LOOKIN' BACK.
Three early classics of his.

I Guess it's A Freedom-of-Choice Matter

              Another "Media Red Herring" Alert:
Should transgender individuals be allowed to use the public restrooms of their choosing?

I, myself, would never challenge nature's default as to what gender it designated to me.
To me it seems pointless to undertake a risky surgical procedure unless it's a life-or-death matter or involves a condition that could seriously jeopardize my physical quality-of-life.  I see "sex change" operations as being phony and fraudulent.

There's more to one's gender besides just one's genitalia and hormones.  I think both physically and mentally one's biological makeup is far more nuanced than the mere superficial aspects.

I think there are certain personality characteristics that are simply a part of being alive and/or being human.  But that some of those characteristics are regarded by some cultures as "belonging to" one gender or the other.  And when some individuals find themselves behaving in a way that's attributed to the gender opposite of theirs they get a complex about it.  Like, somehow, "Nature(/God) must have made a mistake" and, maybe, they're actually "a woman living inside a man's body" or vice-versa.
When it's actually a matter of them being impacted adversely by the social prejudices of their culture.

Of course how an individual chooses to respond to any personal life situation is their business.  It IS their life after all.

Friday, May 13, 2016

                              Fish Out Of The Water


Two 1960s sitcoms, THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES and THE ADDAM'S FAMILY, had one element in common:  That being the huge rift between the everyday reality of the average person and the everyday reality of an isolated demographic, be they a "forgotten" subculture or a fringe lifestyle.


In the case of both THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES and THE ADDAM'S FAMILY the main characters were totally oblivious to how out-of-touch they were to the mainstream, and actually thought themselves to be "the mainstream".


While THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES were "fish out of the water" due to their relocation from the backwoods to the elitist suburbs of Los Angeles, in THE ADDAM'S FAMILY it was the mainstream outsiders who visited them who wound up becoming the "fish out of the water".
              Christian Street Gangs


I wonder what such an outfit would be like.


Do they pray over and bless "in the name of Jesus" their 9mm rifles when preparing to undertake a drive-by shooting?


Tithe 10% of the profits made from their sales of illegal drugs and weapons to the gang's ministry to ensure further "blessings" in their endeavors?


Will not partake in prostitution rings only because they involve "lust" and "fornication"? 


Have disgruntled ex-members slam them for obviously "not living up to Biblical principles"?
As long as I live I'll never understand this world I'm forced to live in.


In particular the infatuation with "fucking things up" everything seems to have.
And it's not just living creatures either.  I constantly have issues with material items and gadgets not following through on their proper functions, or just plain out doing something downright weird and inexplicable.


And when depending on them it can really turn everything on its ear.  And I can't stand it when things go wrong as such situations tend to be Sisyphean---turning into issues that are either insoluble or that have only temporary solutions.




                The above is my Musing For Today

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Responsibility (Revisited)

We pretty much know the score:  We have to be totally accountable for our mistakes, our misdeeds, our oversights, whatever we damage accidently.


And if it's the other guy who makes a mistake, commits a misdeed, oversight, or damages anything in our custody, or if something falls apart on us due to shoddy workmanship or faulty inadequate repairs we're still the ones "at fault".  We're still the ones who'll have to be accountable for whatever's been "put on our watch".


Responsibility can often be a game of "Find The Hidden Turds".

Synergism

That's what made top-40 radio stations in the '60s so special.
And what enabled mankind to walk on the moon on at least three separate occasions.
Inspired and enthused like-minded individuals merging their efforts for the sake of a perceived all-important ends.


Of course after the Apollo program ended the space program degenerated considerably.
A lot of the reason is because of all the protests of "We can afford to spend millions to 'send a man to the moon' but we still can't solve any of our problems with racism, or economic disparity, or pollution of the environment".


The reason we can't get a handle on our social, economic and environmental ills is because those we put in charge of dealing with those issues are not of the same caliber as those who worked on the Apollo project in the mid-to-late-60s.
Instead of being unified and "loyal to the cause" they lack interest and enthusiasm for what they're doing.  There's interpersonal discord among them and their half-assed efforts seriously lack the essential symmetry needed for success in any kind of project or endeavor.
It's more than any "lack of adequate funding" dilemmas.
                                              Once Upon A Time


The 1930s.  The 1940s.   Into the 1960s and 1970s even.
The "golden age" of crime syndicates and the mafia.
The likes of Bonnie & Clyde and Al Capone was before my time.  Well before my time.


Lately the power and influences of the mafia and organized crime have pretty much waned.  You don't hear much about them anymore except in various forms of lingering folk legend.
The organized crime syndicates have pretty much been replaced by the modern-day minority street gangs: e.g. Crips, Bloods, and others of their ilk.



Racists will often cite the gangs and hip-hop culture as "proof blacks and non-whites are little more than a bunch of natural-born savages".
I have to find that brand of naivete amusing (never mind that such types are apt to act upon their myopically ideological notions).
They long for times past, when "blacks knew their place".  Like "things really started going to hell the more they took over everything".


Was American society "better" when Anglo sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons of western European immigrants had monopolistic domain over "structured domestic terrorism"?

Thursday, May 5, 2016

                                                        Safety First?

I think I've finally figured out why American society has apparently outlawed mufflers on cars.

They could make cars really quiet if they wanted to.  But pedestrians strolling along and bicyclists cruising down the curb or on the sidewalks would never hear them coming when they, for example, make their sudden abrupt turns into the McDonald's parking lot to "get that 'most important in the world' Big Mac" via the drive-thru.
They'd "suddenly appear out of nowhere", and BAM!  That would be it!

So the logic is that if you can hear someone's vehicle from at least 5 miles away you can't miss them.
But still ...you always hope they'll miss you.

Pop Music Epitaph/Obit (another one)

Billy Paul
Best known for his 1973 hit the Kenny Gamble/Leon Huff-penned ME AND MRS. JONES.
A song whose lyrics are sort of along the same line as YOUR HUSBAND, MY WIFE.  Or ONE HAS MY NAME (THE OTHER HAS MY HEART).
                           Lead with safety and others will follow

                    Hopefully not too closely.  Tailgating is not very safe.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Warm weather is almost upon us once again.

And time for air conditioning everywhere you go.

One question:
What is it with the air conditioning systems installed in commercial and institutional structures that the only two settings on them seem to be either "Off" or "Siberia mid-January"?  Never anything in the "medium" or "reasonable" range.

You would think, this being the 21st century, air conditioning units would have improved a little by now.
Instead, an ongoing "Goldilocks complex" continues.



                 The above is my Musing For Today

Slogans

End Discrimination Now
Anyone caught treating any group or individual unfairly will be ostracized

Stop Abuse Now
Those guilty of abuse shall be beaten and kicked

Stop The Violence
Violent individuals are to be beaten, shot and hanged

End Harassment
Those guilty of harassment shall be publicly shamed everywhere they go

End War Now
Are we going to have to bomb the Pentagon to make our point?

Black Lives Matter
If you're not of African ancestry just crawl under a rock and die.  This also goes for you, too, Native Americans, Jews, Asian Americans, Hindus ...

To Protect and to Serve
"Protect" and "serve" who?  Or what?

Take Back The Night
Who took the night away in the first place?  And what do you plan on doing with the night once you get it back?

See Something Say Something
I see things all the time.  Does this mean I'm obliged to talk non-stop?

Fight Hunger
Who is this Hunger fellow?  And why would I want to fight him when I don't even know him to have any feelings of animosity towards him?
   "The People I Run Into Who Seem To Be The Oddest Are Often Those Who Consider Themselves To Be Normal."

I can't remember where I came across that quote (or one like it), but it's an interesting observation.

My personal experience with normal people seems to be more that they tend to be prejudice more than anything.

By "prejudice" I don't necessarily mean racist or sexist.  More like an inability to be accepting of co-existing with those who are different from themselves and their friends.

This isn't to say that normal people can't be provincial, ideological, or idiomatic.  But all that indicates is the simple fact that most people are affected and influenced by their upbringing and whoever they're around the most.