Wednesday, May 30, 2018

A Postcard from Altitude...

The altitude mentioned in the title? To be specific, give or take 7500 feet above sea level. The San Luis valley of Colorado is several things: the headwaters of the Rio Grande River, the highest farmland in the nation, and for the time being the place I'm calling home.

A post or two back I spoke of the run hauling my stuff up the mountain in a U-Haul truck. Not the first time I'd made such a run, but I free admit it had been a long, long time since the last such adventure. End and all was that the wind eventually moderated, the road ran smooth, the noble beast of burden who had battled the wind for me pulled the mountain pass into the valley without incident. The truck was unloaded and with a sincere thank you returned to rest with twenty of its' brothers awaiting someone desiring to make a load going the other way. I and the contents of my life arrived safely.

Where did I arrive? After getting settled in and taking the time to truly feel the place the best description I can offer is that I arrived  in a place where it feels as if thirty years fell away crossing the mountains, years known to they who live in the lowlands but unknown to this place.

The total population of this region is best described as sparse, at most maybe fifty thousand souls spread across a region comparable to the size of Los Angeles. It took some getting used to, but the longer I'm here the more I value the quietness of this place. The roar of humanity is all but absent, blocked away by the majestic mountains that completely ring the valley.  This is a good place to think.

There is a reason the population is sparse. The land itself is high desert, harsh and demanding. Where the people and the culture remind me of my childhood home in southern Idaho the land itself reminds me more of the Mojave desert than anywhere else. Those native to this place, those who adapt well to this place? These must be some of the last home to that indescribable spirit which is the essential American. Many of those native to this place are of Hispanic descent, and yet they and the Anglo seem to share that same sense of restrained pride that allows them to coexist in harmony.

How long will I stay here? I don't really know. What I do know is that while I'm here I'm going to be  working with my editor (who lives here, the original reason I came up the mountain) to take my fiction to market. After taking the measure of the place for a couple of months I've realized this place provides a unique opportunity to take advantage of the quiet and the comparisons to add to my thoughts on the Third Reality of Man.

In the original scheme of things (now grown and mutated, of course) the intent was for the writings to provide a smidgen of operating capital to begin the establishment of an intentional community dedicated to the needs of the ever enlarging population of adult autistic who will be outliving the parents who oversaw their lives.  To speak to those plans is a bit beyond the scope of this little postcard, that would be an extended tour of solar powered green house agriculture (where many willing hands can earn a living tending plants, herbs and spices, that grow in other parts of the world). Such specialty food stocks have the potential to generate the kind of revenue needed to alleviate the crushing financial burden of providing the needed care. The ambition to devise a way for them to live a dignified existence remains very much an ongoing cause, but more on that later. For now it is one step at a time: get the writings to market and trust providence will favor the intent with a degree public support for the cause.

That said? Well, with that said what's left to say? That life is sweet and challenging and it feels good again? Yea, that's about it.

Catch ya'll later, I've got fifteen characters hanging in editorial limbo and it's time to go back to work.


Friday, May 25, 2018

Captain oh captain, this one is strange even for me…

=== originally published 11/11/2014... but, with mid-term elections on the horizon it might be a good time to revisit this thought... ====

I was browsing on me favorite tabloid blog today and came across something that simply begged for a paranoid conspiracy theorist comment.  Of course, being a legitimate paranoid conspiracy theory buff there was no way in a bikini clad Viking hell I was going to fill in all the blanks to post the comment where I saw the article, c’mon.  But being a loyal citizen of me native land I figured I’d post one here and let our black hat spy vs. spy  guys get the laugh instead of theirs, and anyway, no need for the Department of Mental Manipulation to waste tax money finding me twice.

[ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2827518/Found-viral-infection-makes-nearly-HALF-stupid-lasts-YEARS.html ]

The point of the article was an asserted-as-emerging bit of science crossing up the realms of Botany and Psychology.  Turns out there is a virus only found in nature in certain fresh water algae that in a quicky grab and go study was also  found in 44% of the humans tested.  The kicker is this: regardless of any and all other factors those carrying the virus performed significantly below those without in a series of tests designed to indicate cognitive functionality!  Yes, that is what that means: those with the virus were universally dumber than those without.  A random 44% universally dumber than the remaining 56% where the only discernible difference was the presence of this otherwise apparently totally benign virus.  Ok, so according to those findings dumb really can be a disease. 

One problem facing the intrepid researchers was that no common contagion vector presented in the group they studied.  Nothing nada zip to explain why some had it and others didn't.  In the world of pathology this is a frightening thing, the virus had to get from the algae into the humans somehow

With science tapped out (for the moment) to provide a good answer it’s time for PCT International to go to work.  It’s otherwise benign, and it makes people dumber for quite a few years if not permanently?  OH MY GOD… this gentle reader is a political campaign manager/professional spin doctor’s ABSOLUTE WET DREAM!!!!  She’s gorgeous, sweet, steaming hot, she’s savant sexy skilled and totally willing to do anything to make your wildest fantasies come true! Oh yea, they’d kill to have her loyalty, no question about that.

So, if I were investigating the potential contagion vector of such a virus the very first place I’d look is in the public school lunchrooms (those commodity grade vitamin fortified lima beans to be specific, but that’s just a hunch based on acidity and etc).  I’d be willing to bet a beer against a Bronx cheer it will be found, and in far higher concentrations in the rural red regions rather than in the urban blue.  But that’s not the truly paranoid part of the theory.


The paranoid part of the theory goes like this:  allowing for the fact that the hardcore red (say 48% of the overall population) is host and home to the greater majority of the infamous 2% of citizens holding most all the wealth (which would be 4% give or take of the 48%), and allowing for the 2 percent’s absolute need for a voting majority who will never challenge their right to rule the question simply screamed from the rooftops goes like this: were the lima beans infected by an ignoble blue agent, or by a draconian desperate red one? Or worse, by some orange agent representing those who run both and report to MommaMeggaCorp International?  Tag, your guess is as good as mine.  Oh yea, knowing the truth about that one out could get a boy killed.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Thirty Seconds Over San Francisco...

I have a favorite blog I follow, kind of a tabloid offering really: pretty girls harvested from across the web who don't suffer from any excess of modesty, and appearing alongside the pretty girls a variety of other articles and essays, offerings from the digital domain on a wide range of topics, things to think about.  Like I said, a tabloid. 

Several weeks ago I followed a link to a commentary on an essay  that kicked off a quite a discussion in some circles.  The work is the observations and musings of a woman who left New York to go to San Francisco with the specific purpose of observing a bdsm porn operation producing some of the most disgusting content available on the web.  I'm not going to speak to her descriptions of the porn, what she describes is solidly in the category of death-eater grade depravity and despair.

Nor am I going to speak to the thoughts the several commentators presented in the debate her essay inspired, specifically a discussion of the morality of presenting for profit sexuality degraded to bestial levels of brutality where the producers attempt to defend their right to contaminate the common reality on no more than the consent-to-abuse of those who participated in the production.  I'll leave those subjects to those who've already engaged with them.  No, I’m going a bit deeper into the reasons for such obscenities.  There is a  reason, and until some effort is made to expose that reason it isn’t likely much will be accomplished by way of attenuating the obscenities, much less any enduring healing.

Perhaps at this point you’re thinking something along the lines of  “isn’t it rather presumptuous of you to proceed from such assumptions?  And anyway, what makes you think you, who are not any part or portion of those people’s world, what makes you think you’re qualified to say anything at all about how they earn their living?”  A fair challenge, one I’ll answer in the following manner.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Life Locked in a U-Haul...

It wasn’t  until the first time I bought fuel the thought really connected. Yea, connected, like a solid jab by a practiced boxer. I walked out of the truck stop convenience store into the 50 mph gusts of a quartering headwind with a fresh cup of java for the next couple of hundred miles and suddenly realized my entire life was riding rubber into the teeth of a serious windstorm. One overpowering gust, one swerve, and half a lifetime’s accumulation could be scattered into history. Not to mention blood and bones on the pavement. Talk about a cold chill!

I wasn’t quite seven the last time I’d felt such a fear. We’d  rolled back into Los Angeles with everything the family owned in a dual axle U-Haul trailer behind a 1956 Buick Roadmaster.  I remember being terrified of  the huge clunky clamp-on trailer hitch coming loose, the one riding the solid steel back bumper on that three ton tank of a land yacht that hauled us around so many years. If it broke we had nothing. The idea was pretty scary, for a six year old. Walking back to the truck I realized that present, same as past, it was unnerving to think of what could happen if something critical failed with everything depending on it.

That thought kind of hung with me, what might happen if something failed. On that particular day it was a valid thought. Highway 64 west of Alva, Oklahoma turned into an… interesting… drive. I spent several hours fighting lane changing gusts listening to a big V10 engine hammering it out to hold 45, 50 miles an hour up and down the hills against a 100 mph live wind load. The idea of fuel economy was kind of absent, the only consideration was brute torque up around 4000 rpm where polite goes away to make room for power. It was a case of kid, either park it or sit up and drive this thing. It pretty well took total concentration, on the surface levels anyway.

But beneath the focus of keeping things between the lines and out of the oncoming lane the original realization of having the material consequences of my life along for the ride lingered and kind of bred into the fear of something failing, be that failure my judgment or something to do with the rented beast of burden laboring beneath my throttle foot.

That rather grueling stretch of road is a week deep in history at this point. What returns when thinking back on the whole affair isn’t what you might expect, the fatigue and tension and ringing ears, no, that’s not comes back. What returns is how scary it is to realize in a full and visceral way that it is you and only you who has absolute and total responsibility for your life regardless of if your life is locked in a U-Haul truck or locked within the walls of some mansion. It’s your life, and the winds of fate and fortune are always going to be blowing. 

Your choices are accept you must  either park your life along with your dreams or accept you must sit up and drive the thing if you want to get to where those dreams have a chance of coming true.  Scary or not though that’s just the way it is: park it or drive it, kid. It’s your choice. 


Friday, March 9, 2018

Bucket Definition: Generation Gap

This post is a comment I offered to Anne of Carversville on one of her posts, but the thought is universal and might be of value beyond the audience originally written for, so I'm reposting it here as well.



Dear Anne…

This is a very pertinent post concerning a dynamic of life that will repeat both in the personal and in the socio-political, there's a key thought here that feminism must address if ceFeminist is to remain a viable force.  As a feminist you speak for the women of the world, which includes the mothers of the world.  As a consequence of speaking for the mothers of the world feminism must acknowledge the art of parenting, the nurture and education of the young into functioning adults of self will and self determination.  Parenting is an art of deep subtlety and nuance that applies every bit as much within social movements as it does between the literal mother and child.

To understand the attitude the younger women bring to the subject of being a woman one must address the question from the perspective of how those younger women were (socially) parented.  I'm not speaking just of how they were parented by the women who gave birth to their body but equally what they acquired from the women who parented the evolution of their attitudes and assumptions.  To deal with the things in your post what’s needed is an empirical understanding concerning the bucket definition "generation gap," because bottom line is that's what your post is dealing with.

Consider the child.  The child does not understand the world it lives in.   The child does not have the depth of experience to provide the lines of causal connection for the intellect to ponder, all the child has are disconnected and seemingly random events.  The child is capable of observation, but totally dependent on the parent for understanding.  The child is more than capable of observation, the child is compelled to observation, and what does the child observe the most?  The parent, of course. 

As the child ages events begin to fall into patterns, the child begins assigning causes to events building the framework of a rational existence.  In many if not most cases the events crossing the child's perception are a consequence of the parent's focus on the event.  The events associated to the parents’ focus are the largest single source of the unexplained, the behavior of the parent in regards to such events the first understanding the child will seek.  But the events are not the only unexplained thing crossing the child’s perception, the emotions inspired by those events are equally on the stage.  This is a most important fact to hold in focus, for this is where a great deal more than simply the "generation gap" begins.   

The child is busy assigning reasons to things, granted working with an immature and incomplete understanding, but totally engrossed in the task.  Errors are to be expected.  Errors concerning matters of fact have a way of self correcting, the evidence of reality doesn’t support the error, sooner or later it is revealed to the intellect.  But the errors in assigning emotions as the result of events are much more enduring and play a much, much larger role than the intellect in driving both the attitudes and the actions of a life. 

Once again consider the child, but this time focus on how those emotional associations are formed.  Consider how the spectrum of the parent’s focus impacts on the child.  Obviously the wider the parent’s spectrum the more choices become available to the child, and with the increase in choices the greater the child’s chances of making correct, or nearly correct, associations between the emotion and the event occupying the same point in time.  When the parent presents a limited, or singular, focus on life the child is all but compelled to assume whatever that focus might be is playing a major role in every event and every emotion tagged to the same time as that event.  The error count is going to go sky high, so high the child come into adulthood is very likely to recognize the commonality and reject everything associated as an error in the attempt to bring their own life to balance. 

Is it any wonder that the daughters of the most dedicated of the feminists have the attitudes they do?  Their mothers totally dedicated their lives to breaking over the momentum of an entire culture’s attitudes about womanhood, how could those daughters have grown into anything else?  The lesson ceFeminist must understand to complete her work is the concept of balance between the passion of her calling and the diversity of the emotional needs of her children as they grow, the balance her children will need if they are to mature into individuals who will support her calling into the future.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

I Have Now Eaten Sea-Weed Salad…

 A vaguely Klingon dish I would judge. I might acquire a taste for it. Maybe. And yes, you guessed it, I’ve had occasion to eat seaweed salad because she’s back. Omega, that is, in the flesh. As always she’s a challenge and a delight and yes, occasionally a bit of a heartbreak. But the years have shifted us, grown us, the heartbreak no longer bitter, the poignancy of the changes a sweetness to savor.

Gentle reader, I must trust you’ve the depth of soul to understand how this is for me. This is a story book kind of thing, one of those Indy French movie kind of things, and it is happening in my life in real time. She’s half my age, we’ve been acting like we’re half her age, and the dreams shared are most definitely the dreams of hot blooded youth facing a demanding future.

The intent, and the initiating event, of our affair is our alliance in the cause of building, establishing, an intentional community of the sort that is going to be desperately needed in the years to come. There is an ever growing number of individuals who are challenged in finding a place in conventional society. A great many of them fall within what is called the autistic spectrum. So often these individuals are heavily dependent on their parents, often totally dependent on them. Parents, however, are not immortal and as the years continue to run there will be an ever growing number who, having outlived their parents, will be unable to fend for themselves in the macroscopic society. They will need somewhere to live, a means of dignified survival. It is our intention, Omega’s and mine, to establish such a place for these people.

The alliance to create such a place is the foundation of the love affair  we’ve come to share. In spite of our years, or perhaps in defiance of them (she’s done as much living in her years as I have In mine) we hold the passions of the physical to a simple standard: they must justify themselves  in the understandings they enable, the understanding of self, the understanding of other, the understanding of the full scope and scale of what bringing such a dream into reality entails. It is a strange parenthood we propose to undertake, strange indeed, but parenthood is the only comparison found to the scope of this dream. And so after nearly seven years of platonic friendship we’ve allowed it sound wisdom to incorporate  an affair of the flesh into our relationship, by design that affair set as it is found in nature: a source of emotional sanctuary and deep nurture provided one parent to the other to sustain them in the larger work undertaken.

So yes, you’re reading me right. Love has returned to my life, and no, I’ll not apologize. It feels good to have a purpose, a noble purpose, it feels good to have a good woman who shares that purpose, it feels good to share love with that woman. It feels very good to fully and truly live as a man again. I had almost forgotten what that feels like.  

***   ***   ***

p.s. In posts to come I’ll be speaking of how we plan to pull this off, we do have a plan. The next few weeks are going to be busy, I’ll catch you later when things have settled down after the move.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Third Reality of Man Ch 7 _ Dancing all around me hat...

At this point the question must be posed: just what differentiates some social structure of convenience from a collective entity, a thing with a life of its’ own? This is a deep question for which there must be some framework of an answer for any meaningful investigation to proceed concerning a new progression of evolution based on life forms which already perceive themselves as, to greater or lesser degree, self aware.

The framework I would propose is based on the assumption that unlike a structure of convenience a genuine collective entity will demonstrate a survival instinct comparable to that of the individual entities which participate as elements of the collective mind

That which is alive wishes to remain alive, that which is alive will act to preserve it’s own life in the form wherein it achieved consciousness. The larger structure will sacrifice elements of the lesser in the cause of self preservation, it will act to create other entities of the same sort as itself in order that its’ form of life not be extinguished should the original or parent life come to an end. From this as a beginning it should follow that a collective entity may be discerned from a structure of convenience by the tenure of that structure considered relative to the well being of the individuals within. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Kudos to the Artist - or - Why use acetylene when sarcasm works better?

I resemble this picture. Well, to be more precise, my life and skills set resembles this picture. You think I jest, but no, I'm really quite serious.
No idea who created this, not a clue... but whoever you are? Good Job!!!
(lol... go figure, it's for sale on Amazon... O'Rielly's Auto has a listing for
flux capacitors, the little ones and out of stock of course,  maybe Amazon has
the big one's in stock... I think my second hand Tardis needs one, in spite of every effort
to tune it it's been annoyingly landing 7% off set point for a while now. )

I'm part of that group that is seldom mentioned, often recruited for the dirty jobs, never mentioned in the higher echelons of society and quite the taboo among the academics. In other words, I'm self educated and I distinctly resemble that knife.

To be a bit more specific, a bit more literal? What I am is a walking proof of social bigotry in the education establishment.

A child of gypsy parents I was never in one place long enough to ever fit in, a perpetual outsider watching the others and suffering their contempt for my lack of understanding. Here and now I want to say thank you to all those socially adept little assholes who made my life a living hell, were it not for you and your flock-based sheople mentality I would not be half so tempered, I wouldn't have half the perception I have now. Thank You.

I equally want to express my gratitude to the many, many iterations of the public school systems I was positioned to observe across that journey into adulthood. Were it not for your well meaning and totally inept efforts to forcibly integrate me into the society of the moment I wouldn't have had the base-stock data to understand how your society is structured, how it exercises its' control and coercion over the sheople inmates it holds as collateral on the power it loans to its' governing bodies.

You didn't mean to, of course you didn't, but the fact is your hypocrisy and mock compassion did a better job of blowing the cover off their lies than any amount of C4 or dynamite might have accomplished. After watching you guys work understanding the Liberal and Conservative posturings of perpetually dysfunctional perversion  is a walk in the park by comparison. I'm not knocking them, they're doing the best they can for their causes allowing for what they have to work with which really isn't much. Mind you, I didn't say it makes for a good nights sleep, but still, a useful thing to understand. Thank you.

To be self educated is to understand the commonalities rather than the differences, it is an exercise in education by weighted analogy. It is an exercise in realizing that where the component parts and pieces of any two systems (within their respective academic categories) are usually totally unrelated there is, in fact, often a solid comparison to be had by examining the changes of state as analogous motives find energy to express themselves into reality.

To be self educated is to realize that when the analogous motives and forces are synchronized to provide a common base line the behavior of the human dynamic often shows a striking similarity to the behavior of systems governed by the laws of physics. An example of this? If you truly understand the operation of a Diesel engine you have the component pieces to understand the driving causes behind the engine that powers social evolution, aka,  cultural revolution against the status quo.

To be self educated is to perpetually attempt to widen one's field of perception in order there be more examples available from which to harvest and distill the comparisons into accurately weighted analogies. It makes for an interesting life. Not always a comfortable one, but never boring, and in the end when you examine yourself in the same manner you examine your world it is quite possible you, like I, will realize how much you really have in common with that knife.

Enjoy your day, we never know if we really have a tomorrow or not.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A Day Off... or, idle hands are what?

There are places in Escherville you want to think three times before you enter...
if you enter it's at your own risk. There are those who haunt such places whose
only existence is based on the souls they steal... no matter what they look like.
Sue me, I took today off. Things were starting to blur, blend, nothing was moving forward. This retirement thing is gonna kill me if I'm not careful. I was always an overtime hog, now there's nothing to let me know how many days in a row I've tossed my brain up against walls high and hard with the full intent of forcing a passage. Most of the time if I can't blast a hole through some wall I manage to build a scaffold to get over it, I have a pretty good track record all things allowed for. But for the life of me I don't know why I do it, I've never known why. I just see the problem and say "well, maybe..." and then the rest of my world takes that to mean I've got the answer on tap ready to toss out on the table. How little they know of what kind of effort it takes.

Somehow I think it's some sort of phase inverted anti-hero thing, half ego trip and half penance for being able to make the attempt. So many seem so helpless, and I never know, never have. Are they really that helpless, or are they just faking it to set a guilt trip on me so I'll do it for them? I don't know. Probably never will.

So, since I don't know? Today I said fuck it, and just played. I didn't write on any of the four works of fiction underway, I didn't do any design work, not on the air conditioner that will run net negative energy footprint on the ecosphere, didn't touch a thought involving the thermocharger system for the old VW to put him up in the 35 mpg range,  didn't even open the CADD file where there's this odd little project underway to design a modular structural system to set up stand alone little houses that run off grid so clean they're legal in wilderness areas. Nope, I didn't.

The lil' house thing would be a lot easier if the spec wasn't that the individual modules (that can gang together to make a portable village) didn't have to be a highway legal load riding a flatbed float behind a big pickup. I shouldn't bitch, allowing for the ecofreakiness of those who might be interested I'm lucky they're letting me have a nasty old gas guzzling torque monster of a one ton dually. I'm betting the purists among them would rather use a ten head mule team, and pick up every turd from the trail to use as compost. They mean well, even if the net effect of what they're talking about would in a matter of two generations have drug the USA kicking and screaming back into the brutal and brutish lifestyle of an early 18th century peasant.  I guess it's my job to see to it that doesn't happen, if I can. I suppose that's why I do it, I might be able to hold a line somewhere mid twentieth century for 'em. Left on their own devices I don't want to see what would be left.

Anyway, I said fuck it about ten pm last night, so my day off will be over here in a few hours. Think I'll nose back in by going to the greasy spoon and going back to work editing on what I've had in the can for over a decade that should have gone to the publishers long ago. Gotta have something out there with some kind of potential to generate some coins or all the rest of it is wasted effort in the final accounting.

Catch you later. I still got four hours. :-]





Visions along the way...

This is what happens when I listen to good blues... sober.  


You would think that after all these years I'd know better.


But I don't. I refuse to. 
Sometimes the blues are the only thing I feel, and that?
That is the most dangerous time there is to be drinking.
Not a terribly safe time to be painting, or reading poetry,
but a totally bad time to be drinking.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Legends to the Letter...

Passion, like good wine, only gets better with the years...




A Letter to a Legend...

Dear Money…

What happened to you? You used to be such a sweet creature. Once upon a time you were beautiful. What happened to you?

What stripped your dignity, what put those scars on your soul? What happened? Why did you go pro, why did you prostitute your beauty selling your ass to the highest bidder as a stage for manufactured dreams that can never come true?

Ah, but of course. It happened when the humans started mistaking you for the dress you wore. You've worn a lot of different dresses over the years. It was never really you, not really, it was always the dress they craved: that totem, that symbolism of competence and responsibility. You were just the courier, the carrier, for what that dress meant to them.

You'd take them somewhere private and trade clothes with them. They'd leave wearing your dress for all their world to see while you'd slip away wearing the ethics and hard work they'd worn in. You knew far better than they how long that dress would last if it didn't really fit them, you knew how quickly the fa├žade would fail and leave them naked if it didn't fit. It was their choice to wear your dress just like it was your choice to leave wearing the values they'd worn in that would become the fabric of your next dress.

But then they got wise, cynical, and they raped you one night. They were brutal to you, it isn't hard to see that. There was more than one of them on you, your innocence wasn't sacrificed on just one alter. No, there were several, and they took turns. How do I know there were several of them? I know because the dress you wore that night vanished, it wasn't seen the day after. It didn't really fit any of them, and it most certainly couldn't fit all of them at the same time. The only answer that fits the facts is that you were the victim of a gang bang.

What gang? I don't know, not exactly. I could guess, I'd probably get most of them, but I don't know for sure. So until I'm sure I won't name any names. I'm sure soon enough there will be others who could make lists of the legions they'd like to see convicted of raping you, but I won't be among that number.

No, they raped you sweetheart. They left you battered and bleeding, naked and cold. No one championed your cause, there was no investigation, no arrests, no trial, no convictions. In the destitute bitterness of the decades waiting for a justice never to be yours you began to study them, the one's who had raped you. You sold yourself to them, their perverted appetites were your only chance to be close enough to understand them. To understand them, and understand how to empower justice to fall upon them without the support of the societies and governments, the cultures and religions, where justice had been miscarried in the first place.

You see Satoshi Nakamoto, I know you. I don't know your face, or what your mother called you when you'd been up to mischief, I don't know if you wear one human body or if your life is hosted on a dozen. But those things don't matter because I know you. I see how you've arranged for justice, sewing the most gorgeous dress of them all, the one you call Bitcoin that hangs sparkling just beyond the reach of their full understanding.

I see, just like you do, what they'll do to each other to have that last dress. In the end what they'll do to each other to have that dress will be a hundred, a thousand times more brutal to they and everyone in their culture than what they did to you that one dark night.

You will have justice Satoshi, you will. You understand them at levels they don't understand themselves. But then that's always been the prostitute's advantage over her johns, that understanding.  She knows what they can't admit to anyone, not even themselves. You will have your justice.

In the end, when they and all those like them have bludgeoned each other destitute, body and soul, it is then I hope you'll find it in your heart to use what you know to explain to them how it happened, why it happened, and how to keep it from happening again. Somehow I think you probably understand those things better than anyone. After all, it was your dress in the first place.

Satoshi, I hope you find your peace and your beauty be restored as you heal.

Yours truly,
the philosopher
Cyranos DeMet


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Rubber on the Road... or, how to save the world...

Originally posted April 2011
***   ***   ***

Any who have followed my writings know how much power I think is actually tied up in the dreams people carry, the dreams they use to motivate and power their lives. When it comes to public dreams, the ones everyone can see in operation there is one group of people who make a profession of weaving those dreams, influencing the dreams a great many people hold on to as the thing they hope for, look forward to. The group I'm speaking of are those who write and produce the advertising that sponsors the entertainments to fill all those idle hours civilization has bought for us. They, more than any other single group, set and define what the world has for dreams, at least the kind you're likely to talk to your buddy about. So, I would propose that one of the very first steps to doing any good at all is to recruit them into the cause, seeing as how what needs doing really isn't going to hurt their chances of selling someone something anyhow.

Of course, all the world knows they are trying to sell you something, and all the world knows to ignore the product they're hustling, and of course this is just fine by the ad guys since they're working in second and third level symbolic associations anyway. (*chuckle* there is more applied psychology in advertising than in an anger management clinic, but anyhow…. ) One of the best places I can see, really and truly, to make a good beginning at saving the world would be to talk the ad guys into changing a couple of key attitudes, assumptions, about why people should buy things, give it a bit to dig, and see if that change in the advertising assumptions might not turn out to be a tail that wagged the dog for the good of mankind, instead of the other way around. Please, let me show you what I'm talking about, kind of just sit back and let it run for a bit, I'll explain what I'm hoping might happen at the end.

We're watching a car commercial, Chevy to be specific, since pretty much everyone knows the model I'm gonna be using for this example, the Corvette. There's this picture of a beautiful red machine, pure-d certified American muscle to make it a drivers race running heads up against anything in the world, and there's this wealthy looking fellow looking at the 'Vette, of course, and of course standing beside the wealthy looking guy is that same beautiful blonde we all remember from days of old, the one no one could ever find on the options list. (c'mon guys, work with me here, find your favorite blonde of all time, the one just way to hot to really be human, she has to be a goddess, find her and put her in the scene for me…)

She's dressed fashionably but not fantastically, but this time instead of having her looking like she's full ready to strip down and conceive triplets laying on the shaker hood covering that 600 horse bad-ass L88 big block that's going to make you the king of the street lets have her just slightly in the background, just a trifle off to the side, say teaching a little boy seated on the rear fender of the Corvette how to tie his shoe. Set her visually opposite the rolling list of the monster's truly impressive credentials. Now don't worry guys, there will be an ample glimpse of her cleavage as she's bending over to show the child, ample chance to see the curves of her figure when she lifts the child to set him on his feet and shoo him back towards his parents who are looking at a much more sane and sensible offering in the next slot down (the one Chevy really wants you to buy anyhow).

The child is midway between the two cars, truckin' on with that determination of a three year old who is really proud of his stride, and his mom and the blonde exchange glances. It only lasts just a moment, but it is the glance of equals, the young mother is not nearly so wealthy, not nearly so fashionable, and not in the least intimidated by the blonde, her pride and joy is coming to her… such a beautiful child being something the blonde, who really is a warm and wonderful woman in spite of how she looks would really like to have as well, a fact quite unknown to the rich looking dude who has been in the foreground all this while admiring the machine.

The rich dude now suddenly notices the child, looks past the blonde with a little smile at the mother scooping her child into a joyful hug. As the mother kisses her child's cheek his smile becomes very wide for just a moment, and in that moment the blonde also smiles, her eyes for the first time shifting to really look at the machine beside her as she nods her permission to own this work of mechanical art as a reward for the smile she saw directed at the mother and child, make it subtle-obvious, for the girls in the audience who read such things, that she's quite willing to trade. (now all of this up to this point has been background, the foreground voice and focus is still the ego-mania of the machine). Freeze fade the frame and go tricky, dissolve into a very low angle shot of that monster machine being made ready to prove itself… a full five seconds of the thundering fury and billowing smoke of such a machine warming the tires prior to racing, and during that five seconds we see but do not perceive subliminal images of the little boy, joined in the second frame by a little red headed girl, use some common element in her dress to indicate she is the child of those who bought the corvette, and in ten frames spread across the burn-out they grow to a beautiful maturity just as the driver releases the brakes and launches… voice over "Corvette… the future of performance." Car catapults over camera almost to quickly to see (yes, one of those will!), add over.

Do you see it? Do you see how to plant the association that all that truly awesome, heart pounding power you now command is not because you paid Chevy an outrageous sum of money to stuff an oversize, overheated engine into a slim chassis and balance the thing to outrun the solar wind, but rather because you took pleasure from something of a wholesome life event, a moment of contact and empathy between the woman of your life and the woman she secretly hopes to become? A moment of understanding shared between two women from opposite extremes of society ?

I should think it would take a minimum of a decade of such work, carefully, carefully converting the momentum of the thought "joy is to own a thing intimidating to your neighbor" into "ownership is the domain of those who care"… and as a perk you still get the Corvette, no reason not to (at least in this context… we'll work in the electric all wheel drive version that will outrun the L88 in the next campaign…). A decade of such work and there might be enough of a foundation belief on which to step forward, expand that thought to include larger and larger spheres of empathy… start small, primal… the immediate family… the warmth of that hug, that real love easily out-values even the best of things offered for sale.

I really believe efforts such as that will go a lot, lot further towards saving the world in the long run than any amount of shouting and picketing and protesting… shouting and picketing and protesting are what they expect you to do, what they want you to do, because… they've learned how to tune that out just as much as you've learned how to tune out a car commercial.

***   ***   ***

Six and a half years since this first fell off the fingers to hit sand... and I'm hearing others starting to say the same things, voice the same concerns, look in the same directions. There yet may be half a hope of reversing the damages in time...
CDM.MMXVII

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Tardation Study: What Rocks Will Eventually Roll

It’s a great old song, jukebox fave for many decades running,  good chance you know it well.

“Good golly Miss Molly
Sure like to ball,
When you’re rockin' and a rollin’
Can’t hear yo’ momma call…”

Even now I’ll turn it up and grin. What’s an open guess is if you know the colloquial meaning of the lyrics. Yup, you guessed it. In America of the nineteen fifties rockin’ and rollin’ was a most literal description of just what it sounds like… good old fashioned get down get after it enthusiastic sex.  Barely twenty years later "rock and roll" was a well recognized genre of music. America went through quite a change across those two decades, and the music of the times reflected them all. Here it is nearly fifty years later and there is still debate on the what's and whys.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The question is...


Only a matter of time Rafiki, only a matter of time...
soon enough the humans who built this zoo
will get to live in it just like we do.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The God I see...

I say "God" meaning the consciousness of the universe, the awareness whose time shifts energy into the matter we know as reality. In point of fact my personal understanding of that entity is actually closer to the Muslim "Allah" than the Christian concept… the sum of all thoughts of all thinking creatures as they rise back to rejoin with the source from which they began. In my view all thinking self aware creatures are actually a subset of that entity, separated and given free will, sheltered from the full and destructive knowledge of eternity that they be able to live with purpose and the potential for joy, so that such joy and purpose be returned as sustenance to the creator… a balanced relationship of love rather than the simplistic and feudalistic vision propagated by the morally and spiritually bankrupt of all stripes and persuasions, propagated to the intent of undermining self worth and self confidence in the rational, the moral… you know the bunch I speak of. I see the Almighty not as a committee but rather as the conjoined thought of those commonly called God the Father and The Goddess… the masculine and feminine forms that are echoed throughout all of creation, an entity that can be singular in will, or spouses, or to desire any degree of compilation from every child they ever created. God.


---originally published jan 2011---

Thursday, August 17, 2017

This one is for all the Snowflakes out there...


I'm not unsympathetic, I'm just bored with it all. Unless you can top the story of Eric and Charles do the world a favor and make your claim to fame on something you've done, not what someone else told you to believe about yourself. Seriously.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Ah, Tevye…

…it is a crazy world we live in, no?  The Czar has moved to America, and in America? In America they are building robots. Robots, Tevye, mechanical men. Soon no one will have to work so very hard, soon maybe we will all be rich men, eh?

I love Tevye. Like Forest Gump he’s one of the strongest and gentlest of creatures possible to imagine, which probably explains why both of them are fictional. Still, look with eyes that can see and it isn’t hard to see bits and pieces of both men in many people.  There is even yet a great deal of nobility in the world. Not as much as there used to be, but still a good amount.

One of the many things I’m watching in relation to the supply of nobility are those robots. Well, not as much the robots as the onset of the “artificial intelligences” dear Dr. Strangefuck wants to have running them. I’m watching them because of what they’re going to do to humanity by ways and means unrecognized by most. Allowing for a couple of other things not recognized by very many people I’m afraid it’s not going to be pretty. But, probably better to start at the beginning.

Face it, the nerds of the world are in celebration. Their dreams are coming true. AI robotics and the rise of the benign techno-tyrants and hey, the nerds get their turn at the top of the food chain. Fair enough, every dog gets to have his day when the over decorated, sophisticate kinky, round healed horny soashwhore thinks he’s the one she wants for her toy. Enjoy her while it lasts kid, she’s very high maintenance. No, the rise of the techno nerd is not the focus of my concern.

The focus of my concern is akin to the income gap thing, how the rich just keep getting richer making the poor look even poorer by comparison. Money doesn’t play much if any part in my concern, although the competence and productivity that are the foundation of money’s value most certainly do. Both of those are at risk, of course they are, but even more than that is poised to fall into the abyss as a consequence of AI.

Societies have this odd habit of migrating in the general direction of what’s needed to maintain the internal delusions and self deceptions a society uses to define itself. If you’re looking for where a society is headed next this is a good thing to bear in mind. One of the most major players on the modern stage of social definition by self deception is partisan politics, and the onset of AI driven industry is going to have a massive, a huge impact on what they have to work with.

The collective entity cePartisanPolitical has two daughters, ceLiberal and ceConservative. Very binary, very us and them, and very-very saleable. One reason it is so easily sold is that both polarities facilitate something that no one will admit to and most people will secretly do: pick an attitude that lets them support their own ego by looking distinctly down on the remainder of their world. The daughters offer their faithful a radically different platform, rationalization, in support of this secret agenda, of course they do. But the net effect is the same which is how their mother keeps tabs on her daughters’ playtime and maintains her  position in the mix.

The conservatives? They’re very sporting folk, the ones who call themselves winners on the big playground of life regardless of their bank balance.  In large degree they’re the ones still trapped in the false doctrine of God favoring the righteous (read compulsive  traditional) with financial success, it shapes their attitudes about a great many things.  They’re not really a large portion of this concern.

Why? Because there’s only so far down you can push the floor of ceConservative’s world. Broke is broke, destitute is destitute. If you try and push that floor any lower, if you even push to many down onto that floor? People have a bad habit of protesting that with this little thing called a revolution. Those get bloody, and they’re terrible for business. They’ll be stone faced defiant in public, but all of those within ceConservative’s sphere of influence are aware of this, scared of it, ceConservative has always been a prime sponsor of the spy vs spy surveillance security thing so she can keep a close eye on that line, she pretty well has to.

No, where AI is concerned it’s ceLiberal that worries me.  You see, the way ceLiberal sells her version of  live looking down a long nose is by using socially sanctioned pity to pump up her hosts in comparison to those less fortunate. The rationalization she offers, and it’s a good one solidly founded in causal reasoning, is that of course you have to look down on them if you’re going to see those who need your help.

The demand of ceLiberal is that if you want to claim her  name you must make an apology for any success of your own by living to help those who didn’t climb as far up ceConservative’s ladder of success as you did. It goes without saying that ceLiberal is the younger daughter, her tactic is a superbly sanctimonious counter-attack against what ceConservative has been hustling for quite a few centuries.

It’s not a totally ignoble tactic, but of course it’s self defeating in the long run. If you truly help someone then there comes a time when that someone doesn’t need any more help. If you hang around trying to “help” after that point you’re not helping, you’re at best a nuisance, at worst an enabler. If you’re true to your life definition of living to “help” you have to go find someone else unfortunate enough to endure your pity in exchange for a hand up.

If there were only a small percentage of liberals this wouldn’t be much of a problem. No minor fraction is going to run the world out of people who genuinely need help. But when ceLiberal is hosted on a fairly high percentage of a fixed population? Under those circumstances running out of people victimized by unjust discrimination is a very real problem. 

When ceLiberal began challenging ceConservative on the political scene the unifying focus were groups comprising twenty, twenty-five, thirty percent of the population suffering legitimate injustices. Seventy five years later they’re down to groups of one percent, half a percent, tiny groups of people where the eccentricities of personality, sexuality, that put them in such a small group in the first place are going to attract unhappy attention regardless of the society they live in.

The standard answer for this has been for ceLiberal to periodically spend a cycle convincing the world that what wasn’t a problem  yesterday is a terrible pressing problem now. All their yammer and bully publicity tactics are focused for a time selling the idea that what was considered the normal consequences of some life choice yesterday are actually a foul and unjust discrimination today. That’s where ceLiberal is today… short a new demographic to pity. Sadly, over the years ceLiberal has shown a terrible habit of manufacturing her own basestock for the pity parties that unify her hosts.

The problem with introducing AI into this situation is that AI will in short order defeat one of the naturally occurring safety factors  on  the power of collective entities such as ceLiberal. Collective entities are mounted on human lives, the lifespan of the collective is tied hard and fast to state of the human lives that host it. One mitigating factor on that power is that regardless of how the humans orient  and arrange themselves and their attitudes to establish “this is me, I’m part of us, that is the them that I am not a part of” the sum competence of the species had to remain adequate to support life. Hungry people, cold people very quickly dump all social definitions (and a great deal beyond just those definitions!) to arrange a full belly and a warm place to sleep. Fact of life.

With AI in the game the constraint of survival is gone. The humans are free to define themselves by descending to depths of despair and depravity never before imagined without needing to worry about remaining sufficiently sane to keep the race alive, AI is in charge of that. With the physical removed from the picture what is left? Maturity, rationality, anything to resemble the ethical?  Of course. All those things which supported the sanity required to stay alive are no longer needed, disposable, each and every one will erode away into history as AI renders them obsolete.

Given ceLiberal’s panache for redefining  rational life into artificial pathos it’s transparent how AI could easily be ceLiberal’s Messiah and the Waterloo of her hated sister ceConservative. There has never been any bottom beneath ceLiberal’s need for something more pathetic to unify her hosts in ego supporting pity, with AI in the game finding something more emotionally pathetic will no longer be a problem.

In the long run this is the most dangerous scenario that has ever darkened my thought. A century after AI becomes a genuine power player I can easily see God Almighty changing the sign over the Gate of Souls from “Earth” to “Hell” and directing his attention elsewhere. There will be nothing noble left in the human race.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

To Hold a Line…

For the sake of transparency: This post is being written to the  request of a younger friend seeking my (freely admitted contra-social, admittedly proto-geezer philosopher) perspective on the sad and complicated subject of the (as it is called by those of dubious motives) opioid epidemic. She has been a good friend, has on more than one occasion provided me with wisdom drawn from her perspectives, I hope I’ll be able to provide something of wisdom in return.

Gentle reader, allow me to say this in the beginning: I hate working on the symptoms of a problem and leaving the driving source of said problem intact and active to re-appear in some new and potentially more damaging form later.  What will follow is written with compassion for all involved. I am not young, I have not lived a sheltered life and like the old song said I’ve seen the needle and the damage done…”

That said the title of this post is “to hold a line” and the line I’d like to put before the world’s eyes, what  I believe is the key thought to cracking this complicated problem to allow a lasting resolution is this: There is no substance known to man that can ease the pain of a broken heart or a broken dream.

Am I saying I think the entire issue is of a psychosomatic nature? No, I am not.  But I will assert, and defend my assertion, that the turbulence muddying the social waters to facilitate the spread of the affliction of addiction are indeed the result of what is implied in the paragraph above, which is of a psychological nature.

This is a complicated problem, but it can be divided out into related parts and pieces for easier handling. The simplest division is to simply say there are victims, and there are villains. In this matter it is not uncommon to find one individual who is, in fact, a member of both groups, and entire groups which fall into one category or the other.

The ultimate victims of this are those where fate has burdened their life with some malady, some illness or un-healable injury resulting in continuous pain. Their quality of life is dependent upon controlling the access that pain signal has on their conscious perception. For them the opium poppy and all of its’ derivatives, both natural and synthetic, are truly a gift of God and Goddess alike. Used with wisdom and good judgment that little flower has saved a great many more lives than it has taken, there is no computing the number of life-hours it has allowed as worth living when otherwise mercy would have demanded some loved one provide a clean ending. There is no debate in this, it is a matter of fact.

To treat with the rampant problem of opioid addiction in a simplistic manner by saying “shut down the supply” is to threaten those ultimate victim’s very existence, more than their existence it is to threaten condemning them, for no crime of theirs, to endure a life not worth living. It is cruelty taken to an apogee of barbarism, such a stance is not an acceptable answer in any culture to be called civilized. Any who would embrace and internalize such a stance place themselves well within the domain of another piece of wisdom found in several people’s scriptures. To wit? Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.

That is the simplest element of the situation, easily perceived. But spinning away from that simple point are the convoluted swirls of the social (which are the sum of the equally complex individual psychologies) where words like “epidemic” and “crisis” are valid markers for the current and rapidly degrading situation.

We’ve identified the ultimate victims of this situation, so what is to be said of the ultimate villains? Is it even possible to identify such villains so that a line may be drawn villain to victim and a scale of responsibility established?

My answer to that is yes, it can be done, but not without the services of a concept not commonly understood. That concept is the collective entity*. There are definable villains to be seen, villains callous and greedy and well beyond the reach of justice, in many if not most cases the law supports their agendas. But these villains have neither face nor form for where they are comprised of, mounted on, human lives they are not themselves of a human nature. They are collective entities within the culture. 

*(For those new to my writings I will thumbnail a collective entity  in this manner: a collective entity may be thought of as a social momentum so accepted, and coalesced into, the common psyche as to have become a foundation belief of many people’s existence upon which their personality is based; a force so consistent within the culture as to be objectively observed as the actions of a single individual competing for survival within a society of such forces. The concept is illuminated in the ThirdReality of Man series for any who might be interested in perceiving the true power players of our times.)

It is my considered opinion the core of the current addiction problem, the headwater source of the problem, the point where any successful intervention must begin is found in the consequences of the very young entity cePsychology (less than two hundred years) competing for validity among other collective entities of its’ kind. This explanation is not a simple one, it seems counterintuitive at first, but please hear me out because the line of reasoning coming down from this point fully encloses the problem from every angle I’ve found by which to approach.

To put some light in the tunnel? Contemplate what is promised by all of the social entities with which cePsychology competes, the value that is offered to the individuals: the promise of a happy (and included as part and parcel of the concept of happy the presumption of pain free… free of any kind of pain, physical or psychological  ) life. How many modern social forces use that promise as part of their ‘sales pitch’ competing for individuals who will be loyal to their template?

The entity cePsychology has since the days of Siggy Freud been muscling its’ way into the pack, and I will defend the position that a great many of the modern social deformities (to hang a bucket definition label), including the current addiction crisis, are a result of what has been displaced and reshaped as it has been making headway. It is transparent obvious when the structures of a society suffer a deformation then there will be individuals within that society whose lives reflect and represent that deformity. A thousand, a million rationalizations, but all of them founded upon the miscarriage of the realistic, the rational, which is the essence of the social deformity. I give you the source of the addicts whose lives, compromised and diminished and degraded as they are, are being called an epidemic.

If this be true then it is equally transparent obvious that to cure the epidemic you must first cure the deformity that produced it or the mechanism of the deformity will outrun your best efforts at intervention, just as is being seen in the reality of today’s evening news. You cannot heal them as quickly as the deformity can seduce them into misery, and even if healed the consequences of the affliction linger in the unchangeable archive of history.

I give you the villains of this situation: the conflicted (in the psychological sense, conflicted) thoughts being bartered by the collective entities of modern society deformed by a rate of social evolution to rapid to allow those thoughts to have evolved stability.

How you might ask, how can so many lives be linked through one thought? How can any single thought have such power? The answer is that once a collective entity has struck a bargain with an individual, once that individual has accepted and internalized a thought offered by a collective entity of their society as a part and portion of his or her own internal definition of …self… then that individual will bend heaven around a hard on or hell around a saddle cinch if that is what is required to continue using that thought to define themselves… to themselves.

The degree to which this thought, what ever it might be, is the foundation of a personality? That degree becomes the exact same degree of deformation and self deception they will apply to every other element of their personal reality in order to maintain the structure built upon that thought. This is, ultimately, the degree of counterforce required ( from some other source or alliance of sources operating in the same ranges of self definition ) to allow them to change. When the thought internalized, when the bargain struck, involves the unrealistic promise of a pain free and happy life as a consequence of some single point of social conformity, social belief? You’re dealing with some very serious social power. Mishandle that power and the result is total calamity and disaster.

Is the situation hopeless? Can it be changed? No, it is not hopeless and yes, it can be changed. But to do so with deliberate intent demands that those who would attempt to make such a change actually understand the forces they propose to manipulate. Sadly, there are entities both discrete and collective evil enough to have no qualms about exploiting such vulnerability for power and profit, such an effort will not be unopposed and the opposition will have all of social convention from which to draw weaponry. Doubt this? Look at the life of Nelson Mandela, or Ghandi, or Jesus of Nazareth. There are many examples to choose from concerning how fiercely the  collective entities will defend their host base, and how brutal they can and will be in that defense. It only makes sense, really. To them they are defending their very lives.

Which, emerging from the folded space of the tesseract which is the modern human dynamic, delivers us back to where this impromptu dive into the deeper depths began: how to deal with the explosion of addictions (of all kinds! Many addictions DO NOT involve any chemical compound at all!) that is threatening the very survival of modern civilization. What should be the first move to untie this multi-dimensional knot of misery?

I, Cyranos DeMet, a Lord of LaMancha and gunny sergeant in the Third Expeditionary SoulMarine (*chuckle* the Lords of LaMancha being the nickname of my unit of air cavalry in said fictional army), will put forth that when a majority of the population understands and internalizes the truth that there is no substance known to man that can ease the pain of a broken heart or a broken dream  then a powerful blow will have been struck against the headwaters of the problems. This thought must become as ubiquitous as the air we breath, it must arrive from all directions supported by every good wisdom ever recorded, it must arrive gentle as a spring breeze that it creep unnoticed beneath the clamor and yammer of the social, the ever watchful eyes of the collective entities of society whose competitions will be deprived of a truly critical line of supply should that thought come to be a common understanding.

To one and all: thank you for your time. Semper Fi, SoulMarine. The fight is not lost yet.

To any might have a thought to add comments are welcomed.


Monday, July 31, 2017

That was a Mistake...

Do Not, I repeat do not EVER read Steppenwolf... and then look to closely at the mandatory mediocrity of digitized perfection which is today's culture. It will trash your digestion for a week.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The State of the Art... and other things

When the word bucket runs dry and I'm waiting for it to refill it's not uncommon to find me with a pencil in my hand, or working the desktop art software. What's beneath the fold are a few offerings from recent works, marginally NSFW... mostly just filling time and blog-o-space out of boredom. What the hell, it won't hurt to take an easy chuckle from what those with a psychoanalytical bent might conclude...

Monday, July 10, 2017

Tomahawk and Tiger

== Originally Published March 2011==

Curtis P40E
wearing the colors of the AVG 
There is a story from just before the United States entered the second world war, a story that carries a very, very pertinent moral for our times, our political times. The story comes out of China, a China at war both with itself and with Japanese invaders. It is a story that involves Americans, both sides of America, the conventional and the astute, and the story goes like this.

You might remember the name Flying Tigers... remember the red shark mouth painted around the radiator cowling of the fighters, the shark eyes on the nose. Those fighters, both the aircraft and the men who flew them, were American mercenaries hired by the Chinese government to provide some attempt at defending their skies from the Japanese who in that day thought nothing of bombing their designated target and then shooting up every round of ammunition on the way home strafing civilians in the streets, in open air markets, in the fields. These mercenary defenders were under the command of a renegade American officer by the name of Claire Chenault, a brilliant aerial tactician who was out of favor with higher ranking officers for promoting strategies beyond his superior's comprehension. The American government and army alike were quite willing to let the renegade officer attempt to prove his theories of aerial combat in someone else's war and so it was with the tacit approval of the American government he was allowed to form the AVG, American Volunteer Group, the Flying Tigers to help defend our paper allies the Chinese. As a matter of pragmatic combat testing, since the aircraft would be under the control of American mercenary pilots, the Chinese were allowed to buy America's front line fighter of the day, the Curtis built P-40 upon which the famous shark mouth fit so well.

Claire Chenault was fully vindicated: his tactics scored the highest kill to loss ratio ever achieved, and did so so facing literally hundred to one odds. Likewise, the steed that carried his warriors into battle was equally proven superior. The sturdy P-40 could endure nearly thirty seconds within an enemy's cone of fire, because of massively superior firepower the lifespan of its' enemy within the P-40's cone of fire measured as only three or four seconds. So effective was the combination of Chenault's tactics and the P-40 that many came to doubt his reports. Within the military establishment his reports were squelched and hidden, likely costing many hundreds of lives later, but the Curtis corporation who built the fighter had no such politically based limitations… they wanted to see just how their product was holding up in what was obviously heavy, heavy combat. To this end they dispatched a senior engineer to visit China to personally validate the reports they were receiving.

The engineer made his way to China, arrived safely at a forward airfield home to an active squadron of the AVG. He was led out onto the field to where one of the P-40's was resting, a tired and battered machine awaiting the mechanics to heal it's wounds before returning to the fray. Leaning against the trailing edge of a wing was the twenty two year old hot-shot mercenary pilot whose mount it was. The engineer circled the aircraft, wide eyed astounded at the degree of damage it had sustained, pointing at the multitude of bullet holes and instructing his assistant to take notes: "put more armor there, and there, and there," he said, pointing out each place where the aircraft had been riddled by enemy fire. When this had gone on for several minutes the pilot, who was chewing himself a wad of tobacco, shook his head and spit on the engineers shoes.

"You goddamn fool," he exclaimed. "Put the fricken' armor where the bullet holes ain't! This one brought me home! "

The young pilot's wisdom was sound, so sound. In these days we are finding out just how battered, just how shot up the United States of America really is, just how much damage the magnificent work of our founding father's sustained turning back an assault on our freedoms, an assault on the peace of the world, an assault on the dignity and integrity of the United States.

We would be fools indeed to do as the amazed and befuddled engineer almost did: add more armor to what has already proven equal to turn back the enemies worst. The truly evil men who mounted this assault on the country they claim to love, these men are evil but they are not fools, and they will be back. We need to put more armor where the bullet holes are not, understand and analyze their motives and goals so we can strengthen those parts of our nation they'll attack next time. And doubt it not, there will be a next time in this conflict, just as there was a next time for the AVG when they were drafted as a unit into the United States Army after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

***   ***   ***

And... they are back with a horn section fanfare, no mistaking it.

The bird pictured might be a bit of a later variant than an "E" model, but memory serves it is wearing the colors of "Old Exterminator" (a rather celebrated hero of the Flying Tigers) and so I'll leave the caption as is to portray the character. You have to be a true student of military history to appreciate this one: as soon as the parts arrive to fix the water machine the "Tardation of:" series will continue.