Remote Outrage

June 12, 2020

I went to the BLM meeting in the park in our town Tuesday night. There were speakers of all ages addressing a crowd of three or four hundred. There was enthusiastic and noisy support for the spoken words. When the speeches were done we lined the sidewalks of the highway that passes to the West of the town and shouted and waved signs. And then, once the event was over, I returned to my nice comfy bourgeois house and poured myself a drink. Until I start a more active and involved plan that might actually add to what appears to be a movement in the country my outrage is remote. Remote and useless.

It shames me to say this but I already knew of the level of injustice African American and other minorities suffer day to day. I already knew and was thinking surely someone else with more power, with better words and networks could do the job that obviously needs doing. I already knew, and since I am nothing if not an average white man I guess most if not all the white folk at last nights meeting had thought the same. And if that is true then nationwide we number in the millions. We are all remotely outraged. Outraged and desperate to know what to do.

It is not going to be easy to reverse the accumulated injustices of hundreds of years that white power and privilege has heaped on African Americans, Hispanics, Chinese and other Asian minorities. The scars are on both sides. Minorities bear them most painfully in every part of their daily lives from the day they are born. We, the white majority are lessened by our inactivity, by the far less painful side effects of remote outrage. We should be and could be more, and somehow, collectively, chose not to. We have chosen to be in a way, absent.

We can blame our leaders. But unless you live in Russia or China, your leaders reflect, albeit at a distance, your wishes. How else can so many racist politicians continue to be in power? And so, my first step is to acknowledge all of the truths. All of the uncomfortable truths that I buried and ignored, making me a smaller man. There will be more steps, many more. But I have to start somehow.

For those of you who prefer carefully crafted and harmless nonsense to the utter nonsense issuing from the so called White House please enjoy these links to all five editions of Non Viral News (NVN) completely free of charge!

March 21, 2020

March 29, 2020

April 5, 2020

April 12, 2020

April 19, 2020

April 26, 2020

May 3, 2020

No I am not talking about the Corona Pandemic, but something that I have failed to understand for decades. The paragraph below is from a post I made in 2009 about the failure of technology to silence something which it surely could. I mean of course, leaf blowers, power washers, lawn mowers, weed whackers, and any other device powered by a tiny under 200 c.c. gas engine. I am prompted on this date to re-post the paragraph following a neighbors decision to power wash something for four days in a row. I would have loved to ask them what on earth could be so filthy it needed nearly 20 hours of washing, but in a Pandemic it is not cool. So without more words here is the post from 2009.

My neighbor’s truck has an enormous V-8 engine which the designers thought necessary to haul around the empty metal box attached to the back of cab. However silly this application of the internal combustion engine may seem it does possess one impressive feature. You can’t hear it coming. Those same engineers made sure that the noise reduction and muffler system of this behemoth; usually carrying one person; works so well that cats sleeping in the driveway are surprised at its approach.

Let us compare this to the Leaf Blower. A device which uses an engine probably less than 5% of the size of the truck, and yet makes as much noise as a small Cessna aircraft landing in ones yard. Why?

It’s not as if these infernal devices were any more efficient that the rakes they replaced. I would bet that one man with a rake and a broom could clean up a leaf covered driveway in about the same time or less than two men with blowers. It would also be a lot more peaceful and less polluting.

Way back in the 1980’s I actually bought an electric version blower. Replace Cessna with Lear jet and you have the noise level. And of course the pollution occurs far away at the power station, but it does happen. Was it faster? No, it was fantastically frustrating. After a few weeks, it was shelved in the garage and remained there until we moved. We remained a raking family, and I recommend this to all. Get out there in the leaves, rake, and enjoy. Don’t give me that, “Oh, but my yard is so large” nonsense. Start a neighborhood raking team. Rake, drink cider, beer, schnapps, tell long involved stories about rakings of the past. Make huge piles, watch your children jump in them and laugh.

Kill your blower!

I think you get the drift. Technology has failed us. It has failed to make things quiet so that we can actually enjoy sitting in our yards, listen to birds and hear the wind in the trees, and our children playing. I have sent an email to a famous manufacturer of yard machines. I got a reply which thanked me for my input and assured me it would reach their product development department. A cynic has told me, “Live in Hope, Die in Despair”.  Nevertheless, I invite you all to contact your favorite transgressor and support the idea that if a Ford 150 can be silenced so can a power washer.

As FOX News (Ugh) demonstrates every minute of its revolting existence fake news is easy to produce and sell to a gullible public. With less gullibility in mind than amusement I offer you my version of news. Non Viral News for April 5, 2020

Please share if the fancy takes you. But fair warning; this episode contains poetry!

Continuing my un-alarming reporting as we go through the double jeopardy of a pandemic and the utter idiocy of a clown in the White House. Here is the LINK to my second news cast.

Non Viral News

March 21, 2020

I have decided to start my own news channel in response to the global corona virus pandemic. It is a mirror image of Fox News. Fox News is the propaganda arm of the republican party, and has little regard, or none, for the truth. Neither does my channel. But the difference is that my words, my poetry, whatever I say, are not designed to mislead, misinform and corrupt minds. I merely seek to entertain. Please enjoy today’s broadcast, and tune in every Sunday morning for the next news round up of non viral news. Harmless, inconsequential and often dull, but sure to get a smile or an ironic grimace. Here is the LINK

Corona Beer - LimeHumor is not a vaccine, but man it really helps. So for years I thought that the reason Corona Beer was served with a slice of lime stuffed into the neck of the bottle was to actually hide the awful flavor. A sort of rustic lager and lime. But no! It was obviously necessary to suppress the deadly virus lurking in the lower half of the bottle. Now that there is a global shortage of limes the virus has escaped…and you all know the rest.

Well it is about as sensible and likely as some of the garbage passing for common sense coming out of the mouths of Boris and the Chump.


Dont Wish Me That..!

May 27, 2019

Military Cemetary Etaples

Nothing says ignorance like wishing someone a Happy Memorial Day. And yet it happens. It is a day of reflection and sorrow when thousands if not millions of lives are inadequately mourned. Of those lives many died in wars started for almost idiotic reasons. At the risk of scorn I include the first world war, and certainly the Iraq war. It is also salutary to understand how many died on both sides. So today, before we wish anyone happiness give a thought to these incomplete military casualty numbers, which horrific as they are still fail to deter politicians worldwide from making war again and again.

WW1 Casualties (Estimates)

Russia 1.7 – 2.2 Million

France 1.4 Million

UK 800,000

Italy 500,000

Romania 300,000

Serbia 400,000

United States 116,000

Germany 2 Million

Austria-Hungary 1.3 Million

WW11 Casualties (Estimates)

China 3 – 3.5 Million

Germany 5 Million

Russia 8 – 11 Million

Japan 2.2 Million

UK 384,000

France 210,000

United States 407,000

Korean War

China 600,00

North Korea 400,000

South Korea 230,000

United States 54,000

Vietnam War

North Vietnam 250,000

South Vietnam ?

United States 58,000

Iraq War

Iraq up to 480,000 (includes civilians)

United States 4,500

A songwriter is a poet who can put music to their words. I am only a poet. I see sheet music in much the same way as most people view Egyptian hieroglyphs. Unless you reduce the scales to a series of Herzian frequency steps I will always be mystified. It took my friend Barbara Bridge to put music to the words of my poem ‘Freeway Blues’ which has now become ‘I Remember That We Kissed’ in this recording. It is an arrangement and mix by Peter Duff who did the recording with my wife Anne-Louise on guitar and backup vocals. Like many amateur singers who now and then put on a show I am very sensitive to how people hear my voice. Hearing my voice transformed by modern recording technology was something of a revelation. Here is a LINK to the recording. Let me know how it strikes you.

women (1)I do not doubt that it is possible to make an estimate of the loss to the world’s economy made by our continuing undervaluation of women. I also believe it possible to make an estimate, a very rough estimate, of the improvement in the general sense of well being a society could enjoy if that undervaluation were to diminish or even vanish. I am not clever enough to completely understand why this rather stupid inequity does continue. I have my suspicions, and sadly they all seem to point to men and their fears and greed. Recent events have raised hopes that this inequity may actually be shrinking. Sadly again, this is only true in a few locations. Globally this shrinkage is minor. Even in the United States, a so called advanced civilization, there are many cities and states where undervaluation is blatant. And if one adds the thick layer of racism hope can be very hard to generate and maintain. And so, on a day after International Women’s Day 2019, I offer this link to a  short poem to mark my own dissatisfaction and unease with the loss.