Toque and Ptomaine

7 Jan

toquemadchaf

We have had mostly males in the world’s ‘kitchens’ (read: everywhere important) as executive chefs for generations and their record is pretty spotty. Granted they’ve come up with a few tasty dishes; penicillin comes to mind and tap water on demand, yes, and fertilizer, that’s pretty good and some of the desserts and treats are okay but the ‘ ptomaine poisoning’ count is pretty high and people are dying like flies. So maybe it’s time to equally share the ‘kitchens’ with others who have different instincts when it comes to ‘kitchen’ management. Others who are less likely to prepare and serve dishes that are toxic.

Now the first thing we must insist upon is you chefs give up the one thing all executives prize more than  anything else: the recipe. You might reluctantly share the ‘kitchen’ under duress or when feeling magnanimous, but to give up the recipes: never! The recipe, along with the strong right arm and symbolic toque high hat has made the male executive chef the boss, worldwide. Until now.

No more ‘ptomaine’; too many have died from your lethal preparations.  No more ‘kitchen’ slops out the back door into the creek. The creek has carried all that careless glop to the river; then to the ocean. The ocean’s a mess and the fish are ending up in my kitchen with big sores all over.  And fix those exhaust fans; they’re stinking up the place.

Just so you male executive chefs understand clearly you will share the space equally from now on.  Plus you will share the recipes with your new peers.  Come in ladies and meet your new partners.  Here is a copy of the current recipes for each of you to vet and hopefully alter. And here’s a sparkling new chef’s toque hat. Congratulations.  Now all of you, get to work. The place is a mess.

lady-ch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JEEPERS CREEPERS

7 Jan

jeeper

Things are crawling out of the woodwork.  Things are emerging from weird places where I didn’t even know we had woodwork. This election cycle for no intended reason has become an accidental fumigator of creepy crawlies.  It has by no means killed those strange woodwork dwellers but it has certainly flushed them out. It has also started a sort of political trench warfare between the two principal creeper nests. Perhaps exposure to the bright light of day will stunt their growth. That in itself would make up for all the toxicity their unheralded appearance has released.

We’ve known of the existence of the so called ‘deep state’ but now, at last, we realize how shallow it really is.  It is mainly the province of posturing civil servants and turgid militias, using every macho dodge to hide the fearful atmosphere they dwell in. Bluster and cant, with the occasional wet work to justify the longed for perks and pensions, seems to prevail. It resembles a malignant mushroom colony; all gnarled roots, coddled and rarified earth and the occasional toadstool popping above ground to look for apostasy; maybe treason.

What a sorry place we’ve come to as a country. To avoid living within our means, which includes suffering the occasional financial depression, we have mortgaged our integrity to create a constant supply of mortal enemies against which we have kept our economy on a decades long war footing. Now as a crippled imperialist we continue to lurch about the world using borrowed money. We fool no one save ourselves.  How good we have become at self deception is the sad message heard today as a cacophony of whining and frenzy fills the airways. Any sober voice is lost to ten thousand supplicants pleading for comfort and succor.

They would be laughable, maybe not laughable but at least worth a snicker, if thousands did not suffer and die because of our angst and hubris. The next few years will test our ability to undo the damage we have inflicted as a nation. It’s time to dump out the Kool-aid and change the program.

 

https://robertmagill.wordpress.com

 

Eve Was a War Prize

26 Dec

 We Are a Post-Bellum Species

They were nomads, herdsmen, wranglers of animals.  Their homes were the deserts and steppes; lonely places with wide horizons and vague boundaries delimited only by looming mountains. For thousands of years these wanderers roamed about with little regard for place or home site. During dry times they left hearth, tent and domesticity to follow the grasses with the flocks. They lay each night, under the stars, projecting themselves upon the vast cosmos. Reflecting back was celestial hubris. They were star-struck. They were sovereign.

 All their charges were held to be less than they; children and women included. The resultant desensitization caused by unchallenged rule over their beasts and their fellow humans was then layered with enormous inflation of self until: a power-centered ‘cowboy culture’ entered history

They brought their weapons and their gods.  To smite and to smote, to rapine and to enslave, these warlike hordes brandished metal weapons and in the way of the plainsmen, rode their war ponies into the lives of agrarian homesteads.

Their gods were as they were; fierce, relentless, demanding and macho. Nothing was the same after these visitations and the planet itself suffers today from the manifestations of this chaotic influence.  Humankind never recovered from these violent intrusions into our peaceful and hitherto, successful, existence. In a scant seven or eight millenniums, the more benign behaviors that assured successful human existence during the passage of incredible amounts of prior time were stripped from the future and left us as we are: murderous, fanatical, patriarchal and now possibly, doomed.

The gender war was insidious and victory was swift and decisive but in the context of the times, not unusual.  Conquest and usurpation was considered the norm by the victors who ravaged and pillaged at will. The resultant disenfranchisement of the entire female gender continues intact but is not recognized now as a legacy of theft.  It is universally regarded as simply the way things are.

Several thousand years of manufactured consent combined with near continual social and religious reinforcement have almost removed all memory of our previous existence. A form of collective amnesia prevents any alternate reality from appearing at the horizon. Humankind is seemingly untroubled by the criminal takings that occurred in the past but is troubled by the impossibility of finding harmony in human existence today.  The brightest and most favored have no greater insight into the perils of this ongoing gender inequity than the dullest.

Alas, a gender conflict of such shattering aspect has promoted the weaker human partner into near total prominence and relegated the stronger to a lesser position. “Men aren’t really very strong at all…At the first sign of trouble a man falls apart. That’s why women have to work so hard to stay optimistic and upbeat, to be frugal and understanding. To not question everything”  Ann Hood …’The Obituary Writer’

No species can exist for long when guilty of manipulation of gender equality solely to maintain dominance and disguise weakness.  It seems miraculous that humankind has managed to avoid extinction thus far but I’m doubtful we can avoid the inevitable much longer. Things are coming undone and since the stronger are everywhere still beholden to the weaker, the entire planet suffers from the flawed results.

Only an immediate return to a bucolic, equal partnership between the sexes and a cessation of the fatal imbalance caused by myopic male vision and de facto male rule of the entire planet can save the day. The odds of this occurring are exceedingly low and without it all is, more than likely, lost.

 

The Screaming Meemies

14 Dec

micea

Millions of Americans have the screaming meemies these days.  Never have so many been so terrified of the future and unable to cope with current reality. The recent election demonstrates how close we are to a collective breakdown and how oblivious we are as to the causes. Our culture of hype and spin and downright lying at all levels has finally caught up with us. Nowhere in any important place is a clear, untainted voice able to communicate regularly any particle of truth.  All major assets have been tainted with mendacity and cant until they are properly suspect or ignored by most everyone.

Perhaps this reflects an ongoing national projection of all evil on others with reflected guilt showing up in ourselves as the heebie-jeebies. How many more decades can we be at war all over the place, destroying entire countries but almost ignoring this at home and remain sane?  We have been led to believe that whatever we do at home and especially abroad must be correct simply because we are the ones doing it.  No national instrument exists to gainsay our actions or even to question their correctness or desirability. If bad things happen to others it must be for a good reason because we are the force for good.  Have we become a nation of True Believers, unable to escape some narrow secular American mindset?

Maybe the screaming meemies is the silent voice of millions whose lives have been destroyed by our willful efforts? We live comfortably at the expense of others with little genuine input into the collective welfare of the planet.  That makes us a form of super parasite rather than super power. To do all this with borrowed money makes us financially profligate; craps shooters in a serious money world.  Everybody knows this but us.  When they don’t need our markets, need, not want that is; they will not need or want our bonds.

Bye Bye.

Barry we hardly knew ye

9 Dec

Have we ever seen as sterling a behind-the-curtain, Wizard of Oz act, as performed by Barack Obama for the past eight years? Do we know anything at all about this man aside from the fact that he loves his wife and kids?  Has he any friends?  Ever hear of, or see any?  Aside from pickup basketball and golf, has he any personal interests? We would have to go back to Richard Milhous Nixon to find a president as secretive and even Nixon had Bebe Reboso as a friend.  Maybe Aaron Burr was the major Washington personality who was as closed as Barack Obama has been. 

Good behavior is to be applauded but in these days of daily exposure of prevarication at all levels, perhaps this pristine image is too good to be real. The current wave of presidential icon polishing we are constantly being asked to indulge seems a bit over the top.  Why is our president more devoted to his legacy than that former frontrunner of the sort, Jackie Kennedy, who was zealous in the care and maintenance of the Camelot image?  Having read Obama’s bio published before the presidency his demeanor should come as no surprise.  He clearly described his standoffish relationship with other faculty during his tenure at University of Chicago.  All of these character traits or, perhaps, studied attitudes certainly have been helpful propelling such an unlikely candidate to such high places. Well done, sir, I say.

I also say that as a professor teaching Constitutional law he should of necessity been aware, more so than most others, of the need for honesty in the recording of history.  Then, sir, are you not now attempting to write history with a personal agenda? Please stop being the presiding  hagiographer and consider instead, the future generations who will rely on your words.

STOPPIT, DAMMIT

1 Dec

 STOP Everything, and the final end of civilization will be postponed a tad.  Postponed, that is, not avoided, that will not be possible.  Decisions taken in our deep past and continued to this very day mandate our coming failure.  Species collapse is now written into our DNA, we authored it and continue it.  STOP doing just about everything you now take for granted as absolutely necessary and prepare to learn to simply survive. Survival is a useful condition to enjoy but is in jeopardy, so just plain STOP, NOW.

Perhaps, also, by STOPPING now we can provide a measure of hope to our young and, just possibly, produce a future generation, maybe two before it all ends. So try to learn to be content with very little starting at once.  Something to eat on a regular basis, suitable shelter and something to wear should be your goal and provide you, in time, with some measure of contentment.  STOP dreaming of the unobtainable i.e. traveling for pleasure, conspicuous consumption or wasteful habits. That’s over.  Park those cruise ships and jumbo jets, use them for shelters.

 STOP. Don’t even think of going, ever, to Mars or any such blather.  We’re grounded.  Okay, if you insist, keep building those electric cars until the lithium runs out; it won’t matter. There will still be two billion motor vehicles on the road by 2020 and one and one half billion will still be running on fossil fuel. Also, at the very least, to even begin to plan for new construction of homes and industry where sole access is by automobile is counterproductive. We are too many; too destructive, too demanding of nature’s largesse and too homicidal to be allowed to continue as we have been. No excuses.

Put a STOP to all government projects that are accelerating our pace to disaster.  That, of course, precludes overseas adventures involving blowing things up.  Wasteful in the extreme thus, no longer permissible.  Gunboat diplomacy involving flotillas of warships is no longer wanted, needed or desirable.  STOP launching them.

 Of course not all humans living on this planet need be included in the STOPPAGE.  Far from it.  Millions have never even started. So, no need to STOP if you already live now the way the rest of us will soon be doing.  We salute you!  The goodies and pitfalls of our civilization are not of your doing so please don’t Start now. Thank you.  However, you may have been tainted with exposure to our fatal historic flaw and need council and guidance.

 If, among your peers, there is evidence of this malady manifesting in unearned male prominence and privilege based solely on gender you are suffering the effects of the early conquest of the female gender by males. The contest was decided at the dawn of civilization and humankind has had to live with the result ever since. STOP IT.

We were not to be a benign, compassionate and responsible species living harmoniously with nature and each other.  One half of our kind decided early on to dominate and ignore the council and equality of the other in perpetuity.  The descendants of those early conquerors possess a musculature advantage and are favored with more biological leisure and use these to subjugate their human partners. The importance of the female principal, one half of the human whole, is thereby forfeit, disenfranchised and ignored.  The demise of our species is preordained by this fundamental imbalance. FULL STOP.

REVERSE COURSE!

How A.A. Saved my Sanity

16 Nov

 

I remember having seen it before, several times.  It was on C deck, about amidships, in the window of a small meeting room that was always dark and with closed shades.  You couldn’t go from the pool ramp to the casino without having gone past it.  At the time it made no sense, “Friends of Sam-10AM’, so I gave it little notice. Until now.

It happened last evening at the late night snack bar.  It was one of the few times on this cruise  no  Nation people were in the crowd, no Americans at all  apparently, lots of others.  In a way it was sort of different, more relaxing, maybe that’s why it happened. Did I mention this was a theme cruise I was enjoying, sponsored in part by The Nation magazine. It began in Alaska, ended at Vancouver, BC.

Anyway, at this small gathering the conversation, as it often does, drifted to America’s place in the world and why.  The usual.  Maybe as the result of so many intense seminars and ardent cocktail chatter for several days with the Nation people I was expounding on the usual talk of America’s greatness: her stellar role on the world’s stage, you know the drill.

Well, after a long spiel on my part a hush was apparent.  People glanced at one another until finally someone said to me, “You might want to try A.A.  They might be of help”.  Others murmured assent and I looked about in amazement wondering what on Earth was going on. Carefully it was explained, the consensus being firm, that I was hopelessly American and could benefit from A.A, Americans Anonymous, and they met every morning on C deck.  I should look for the sign, ‘Friends of Sam.’

I stormed out of the area and headed back to my cabin in the stern of the cruise ship. Of course I stopped in front of that now sinister room and glared at that annoying sign. Whatever, I pondered, does this have to do with me? Now I’m about to learn since it is 10.05 AM and I’m at the meeting room door.

Come in friend. A voice beckoned.

Is this your first time?

I have no idea why I’m here.  What’s goes on?

What’s your name, friend.

What’s that got to do… I don’t want to…

First name is enough here. Just so we know how to address you.

Well, yeah, okay, it’s Bob.

Welcome Bob!  Welcome to Americans Anonymous.  A chorus of voices.

Then one: Remember our motto. “If you Don’t Want to Think, That’s your Problem.  If you Do Want to Think, it’s Ours.”

I sat down then and studied the group. All ages, sexes and appearances. They sat about casually and occasionally sipped at glasses of what appeared to be simply water. The one who seemed the spokesman addressed me and asked:

Bob, have you anything to offer us.  Are you bothered by any tendency to think or say certain words or phrases that you can’t control as you would like to?

What do you mean…certain words, phrases…What?

Well, Bob, such as American exceptionalism, city on a hill, indispensible nation, we’re number one… that sort of thing.

Yeah, yeah is that a problem?

Well, is it, Bob?  Can you control your thoughts, your language or…?

Sometimes, I…

Do you want to tell us, Bob? Nothing leaves this room, ever!

It’s just that…sometimes I want to not think that way but…..

The chorus muttered encouragement and whispers of we all suffer at times and we’re here to help you Bob, came across to me.

Do you feel you’re not in control at times, Bob? Is that part of it?

Exactly.  I want to think in other directions but something pulls me back. I slide down into banality and cant that I’m unable to overcome.

Keep talking, Bob. We’re listening. We feel your pain.  We’ve all been there. We’re Americans, too.

What can I do? Is there any way…

The session continued for another hour with several individuals offering insight into struggles with their own Americanism and support was offered where it was fitting. At breakup I was encouraged as a newbie to express my thoughts of what I had experienced thus far.

You’ve started, Bob. This is first step. More to come.  Take one of our “City on a Hill-Not” pamphlets, with you.

Yunno,  it’s a load off me already. I hope I can someday begin to finally think and speak without all that cultural baggage prompting me. And think and speak without sounding like…I don’t know … some kind of demented jingo or talking head. Glad I found you A.A guys. I’ll be here tomorrow.

The cruise will soon be over but I feel I can more comfortably endure the Nation folks chatter now that I will possibly be able to think for myself; if only a little.  After all, I’ve only taken the first step, They told me there are eleven more. Twelve steps. Wow, I’m saved!