Monday, December 14, 2015


I was in my yurt playing yahtzee with a yeti when you began yelling about yawls on the Yellow River filled with archers with yew bows. The yeti yelped  about wanting fresh yams could we go yonder to the Fresh Mart but you were still yowling about the youthful archers on the yawls so I placated you by giving you some Young and Restless videos for which you always yearned.

I yawned as we watched the show and thought I should go weed the yard but you passed me a bowl of yogurt that you bought in Yonkers and and that was great cuz I always had a yen for yogurt. The yeti began yodelling and you broke out some yarn to knit him a sweater.

The yogurt was pretty yucky so I yielded to temptation and ate some yolks instead. You yelled "Yikes!" and told me that that "that's no yolk, that's boiled yucca"

Of course you were wrong. Cuz, you know, these are the yolks folks

That was in my head. Now it's in yours. You're welcome

Friday, December 11, 2015


Oh The Donald

I have been trying not to pay attention to Donald Trump and the republican sideshow happening in the US. I try not to pay attention to Trump in general

I've watched The Apprentice. I knew very little about Trump before that. He built stuff. He was some sort of shady real estate guy who began building a casino in Atlantic City and didn't finish and got called on for violations and said he was out of money then he finished it and said the gov't somehow needed to support him. He seemed very typical of North American big, big business people who found ways (campaign funding, pork barrelling, threats of job loss) who maneuvered governments into supporting their bottom line, with everything from cutting regulations to special tariffs to tax breaks

Whatever. Dime a dozen in our much ballyhooed "free enterprise" system

Then I began to watch the Apprentice. The first seasons, before it became a detox centre for washed up "celebrities" I liked the little marketing assignments the participants went out on, it spoke to some facets of my education. And I learned something.

I learned that Donald Trump is a moron. No, really. I'm not just talking about his opinions. Smart people can have stupid opinions. I think I'm passably bright and I think William Shatner is one of the most interesting actors alive. I feel that this belief is insightful and well informed, other people have expressed that it is stupid. In the words of the noted philosopher Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse, "opinions differ"

Beyond his beliefs, Trump is just not bright. The man could never catch even the most obvious cultural references, even ones available to people his age. It was clear this guy lived in some kind of Faberge bubble, he had very little clue what was happening out in the world. He struggled with his vocabulary. I was often shocked by the words he did not understand. Someone would use a Grade Ten level word and The Donald would throw up his hands and proclaim "I've never heard that before"

The guy claims he graduated college. It was a business degree but really, his vocabulary is about the Grade Eight level

I don't think he really listens to people or doesn't have the capacity to understand them or both. He sure as hell doesn't possess critical thinking. If someone made an analogy he wouldn't get it, he's very literal. He would take someone's innuendo at face value and could not be swayed away from it. If it was pointed out to him that he misunderstood some reference he would grow angry and embarrassed and shut down; smart people, when faced with something they don't understand, figure out a way to acquire that knowledge. Stupid people just get angry

So, through his current run in politics I've just not really cared what the guy says. He's a moron. He's going to say moronic things. That's how it goes

But I paid attention to the dumb guy when a smart guy recently made a comment about him. I'm a fan of Kareem Abdul Jabbar. I think he is one of the greatest pro basketball players of all time. No argument. Don't even try. He is at least top two, I don't care what you think. Let's just move on

But I also like Kareem the man. He's a bright guy. He's made mistakes in his life, he's gotten things wrong. His early experiences with racism had him turn to the Nation of Islam, the Black Muslims, as a way to feel better about himself. Of course that organization was akin to a cult and used the religion for their own often criminal agendas. Kareem has admitted that he was wrong about all that. He remains devoted to his faith but he knew, as a young man, that he had been hoodwinked and taken advantage of. He's been able to learn from that and make himself better

That's what smart people do, after they've done something stupid

In a recent article, in response to Trump's proclamation that a president of the US should deport all muslims, Kareem compared The Donald to Isis. He was using terror, Kareem contended, to bend people to his will

Comparisons to Isis have become the new versions of comparing people to Hitler. If someone was presenting a point of view contrary to yours, certain people would compare them to Hitler. Now it's Isis. Here in Toronto we had a taxi strike, the crabbers can't compete with Uber X and they don't like it, one driver compared Uber to Isis

In the case of The Donald and his comments about muslims, I would not compare him to Isis. For once, in a very long time, you could actually compare him to Hitler and be in the ball park.

Hitler isolated a large part of the population by a religious/cultural/racial definition. Although numerous, these people represented a minority and a religious perspective that differed from the majority. He pointed at these people and said "Look, there is the enemy, these people are dangerous, even if many of them were born here, even if the majority have never participated in any crime, they are the enemy. They are different from us. They are the enemy"

He needed an enemy. He needed to take the focus away from his own designs in order to drum up popular support. It's the old magician trick of distraction. Don't pay attention to this hand, look at my pretty assistant. Don't watch me convert the nation's economy to war production, look at that Jewish bank over there

Donald Trump has no political platform. None. Zero. He is stupid. He need a distraction. He needs to prey on fear, he needs people staring at the burka so he can bust trade unions and put banks in his back pocket

I wonder if The Donald has figured out that, if he could actually deport every muslim, he could have access to all their assets. As did Hitler. Seizing all the wealth and assets of the Jews helped him prop up his shaky economy. Trump wants to fix the US economy. Perhaps that's his plan.

And perhaps Trump can follow the Hitler plan, for all those muslims he can't deport well they can be stripped of all their rights and used as slave labour. Hitler employed that technique to build highways. Trump could do that to build casinos

None of this could happen of course. There is no possible away the US constitution could allow millions of innocent people from being deported. Did people back in World War II Germany feel the same way?

In this case, no I don't think this can happen. But Trump is following the model and people are swallowing it. It's a popular concept among certain people. Stupid people. That makes me wary. After all, they outnumber us

Sunday, December 6, 2015


"Let me look that up" "Hold on, I can find that out" "Um, no I don't think that's right, let me Google it" "Right, well I can find out who that was"

The internet, my friends is a wonderful thing. I've actually lived without it as long as I've lived with it and it is a wonderful thing. As is Google and all the ways we can search for infos and answers. Not 100 per cent reliable, not completely accurate but an easy and quick way to confirm some info or begin a more proper detailed search for answers

Google has its place. And its times. As do most things

But not everything has to be certain. Some things don't need to be answered, right now, immediately, at this moment. Sometimes, being uncertain is just part of being human

I'm a fan of conversation. Some would say I'm a fan of hearing my own voice but hey, what I do in my own bathroom with a Walter Cronkite wig is my business

Seriously, I love conversation. Just talking. Real talking, face to face. Texting and phone has its place but that's more for an exchange of information like "When are you coming" "Do you need me to bring anything" "Did I leave my Walter Cronkite wig there"

Real conversation: Unstructured, reactive, perhaps even meaningless but to be always remembered, always takes place face to face. Not face ON face. That's a whole different deal. Let's move away from that image. Quickly

People just sitting around, having a chat, seeing where it goes. Invariably there may be some discussion of cultural media; books, music, movie, TV. "Hey do you remember that show?" "Ever see that movie?" "Did you ever consider that Price Is Right is a conspiracy of American big business to get us to associated overly made up models with Kraft Dinner?"

There are answers to these questions, probably, but back before our wonderful internet we didn't worry much about that. We didn't really need to find the answers. Because the questions weren't important, in reality they don't mean anything. It was just part of the conversation. Just a jumping off point to the next topic. "Oh you know that movie, the one with the guy who does that thing" "Yeh I love that movie, and that guy he was in that other movie where he does that other thing" "Yeh, what was that movie called" "Oh it doesn't matter but you know the thing he does, I saw someone do that once and .."

And the convo continues. Making its own way, finding its own path, not being consciously guided, just wandering as we make these connections; oh you like that too? Oh you never knew about that? Oh you dated her as well .. um, how bout them Blue Jays .. that's a convo. An organic thing, moving from connection to connection

Now we have convo's with phones in our pockets and when someone says "who was the guy that does that thing" screens light up, eyes move down and thumbs start flying. The convo ebbs as we turn away from the connections created by our own thoughts to seek the connections created by our new electronic superconsciousness. Google enters the convo and there is always that risk that it will now be given an equal role

As you search for that thing it shows you another thing "oh hey look, did you see this" and the connections start sparking from the glowing box you hold in your hands. Is this so bad? Maybe not, perhaps it's just another way for the convo to flow

But I still like the organic path. Where we have eye contact with each other, not that glowing screen. And our mistakes or uncertainty have a part to play in that moment, in that convo, in that chimerical thing exists only for that moment, never to be repeated

Don't worry if we can't remember that name, that title, that date. It really doesn't mean anything. Sitting there together, bouncing ideas off each other, stoking each other's memory or thoughts, that's what important.

Put the phone down. Time to talk with Google later. For this moment let's just be human. And accept the fact that we don't know every single answer and that that doesn't matter. Because we're not knowing together

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