Safe Asleep

Well, what do you know?  It’s the Angst-giving Season again and the days are short and getting colder.  At this time of year, as is my way, I look forward to going to bed at night.  It’s a big production.  We live in an 85 year old house with plaster and lath walls, and no insulation.  We keep the downstairs toasty with a beautiful new wood stove, and leave the upstairs bedrooms to fend for themselves and pick up what heat they can manage from the sun, and what heat seeps up through the floors.

The high tomorrow is going to be 34 degrees, and the low tomorrow night will be 17 degrees.  Fifteen degrees below freezing will be keenly noticed by those sleeping in unheated bedrooms.  They must dress appropreately.   One might be tempted to think that this will be inconvenient.  One would be wrong.

This is a bit of a story now,… involving a small cast of characters.  I promise to keep it as short as I can.  You see, two years ago, while floating on her back, backwards, and unrolling the solar cover on top of the swimming pool, poor Mrs. N. felt something “rip” down deep in her innards, and experienced some rather intense pain.  Since that time she found that she was unable to eat, and then bend over, or, lay down without extreme pain after eating.   Like an idiot, the pain was so intense, and against her better judgement, she consulted a physician who prescribed a strong medication intended to greatly inhibit the production of acid in her stomach.  It was his reasoning that poor Mrs. N. had inflicted grievous damage on her diaphragm, and the valve that closes off the top of her stomach.  The one that keeps our stomach acid from rising up our esophagus, and eating nasty holes in our plumbing.   That was poor Mrs. N.’s self diagnosis too.  The only difference was, she did it for free.

The medication prescribed only had a few, slight, side effects.   Nothing to complain about really, but, perhaps worth mentioning.  First of all, 24 hours a day, if felt like someone just punched poor Mrs. N. in the gut, like maybe Mike Tyson.  Second, rather than defecating with the precise regularity of a Swiss watch, as was formally her way, she considered herself fortunate to move her bowels once every week to ten days.  When that magic and much anticipated time came to pass there was no putting it off…  AND, it was wise to inform the workers down at the sewerage plant that… something absolutely astounding was coming their way!  I advised them not to be frightened, but, after the first episode, I don’t think my advice did any good.  Other than that, and this may fall under the heading of nit-picking to some readers, poor Mrs. N. found that she was farting uncontrollably, and at the least appropriate moments.  In the middle of conversations.   On the advice of licensed professionals poor Mrs. N. endured this absurd and painful scenario for months… until her body became accustomed to the medication, is what they strongly advised.

Then came the day… (and I promise I will get back to the story of loving to go to bed at night and the new wood stove.)…  Where was I…?  Oh yes…

…Then came the day Mrs. N. said  FUCK THIS  and threw away the nasty pills.   She ordered a wedge from Amazon.com to elevate her upper fuselage at night, only slept on her back with a pillow under her knees, and never ate a bite after 3:00pm.  Safe, tucked in bed at 9:00pm with Itzie the Cat curled up like a well cooked shrimp on her chest, she slept very deeply, and well.   Positioned on her bed snugly, like an expensive antique pistol would be fit in a custom made velvet lined case, Mrs. N. sailed off to Dreamland promptly at nine.  Her health improved.  She came to love the routine.  Reading a bit before casting off the line and letting the current take her she ended each day by thinking deep thoughts.

Itzie the Cat

Itzie the Cat

Mrs. N. sailed away last night thinking about how much of who and what she was as a person was the product of her unconscious mind.    Itzie the Cat purred and purred…

The Dawn

The Dawn

Dawn came this morning, and eight hours after falling asleep, Mrs. N. awoke EXACTLY in the same spot she lost consciousness in the night before.  If she hadn’t become accustomed to this happening every morning, over the past months, it would have seemed freaky.   She had, so, it didn’t.

Finding herself with a powerful hankering for mixed nuts Mrs. N. piloted her internal combustion vehicle to the High Temple of American culture.   She went to WalMart.  There she found the two primary poisons that are eating away at the flesh and bones of this once great and powerful republic known as The U S of A..

Jesus, it appears, has been swallowed whole by a middle aged black woman.  This explains the strange, Jesus wants you to consume resources, and gather great piles of crap together, turn Christianity has taken as of late.  No one of any competence what so ever is at the wheel of our vast universe.  It’s a runaway train.

And Gluttony.  What can you say about containers of cheap ice cream large enough to be cornerstones in some frozen construction project, perhaps at one of our two poles?  …”Momma loves nothing more than to sit herself down in front of the TV with her ice cream and a big spoon.”…  And Momma looks it…

The flags wave proudly over the cash registers down at The Temple of Consumption.  Patriotism is in the air so thick it’s hard to move.  The Christmas Trees are all lined up for sale outside.  It’s more than a month till Christmas.  The “Beautiful People” are nowhere in sight, and the children seem strangely detached, and not at all handsome, or, innocent any more at all.

I Pledge Allegiance to the Stuff, and to the concept, for which it stands.

I Pledge Allegiance to the Stuff, and to the concept, for which it stands.

The bed will begin to call me early tonight I think.  Itzie already has that look in her eye.  As I settle myself into position with the full realization that I will awaken, six to eight hours in the future, in exactly the same physical place.   I realize that I have begun a journey that may end far, far from where it began.  Some nights, after I turn out the lights, I picture myself cocooned in some vehicle, sailing out alone in the vastness of uncharted space.   It’s warm, I’m snug, and I’m speeding on my way to where I know not.  Itzie is sleeping on my chest.  I’m like Sigourney Weaver in ALIEN, after she has jettisoned herself, in the escape pod of The Nostromo.  Except I’m not dressed in panties and an undershirt, and no hideous space creature has been chasing me.

Not Mrs. N.

Or, maybe it has, and that is what all this is really about.  A seasonal rehearsal of an escape, from a long standing situation, that can only end badly.  A little death.  Not as anything permanent, but, rather a way to get more comfortable with the whole idea of endings, and being done with seasons when it is obvious they are done with you.

The monsters are always out there.  It’s wise to have some sort of escape craft.  Mrs. N. doesn’t worry because she knows that her and Itzie the Cat will wake up after traveling miles from here, tomorrow morning.  It’s funny how some things that start off as a real pain in the ass can end up being quite enjoyable.  Quite enjoyable indeed.

Kiss, kiss

Mrs. N.

Mrs. N. lost weight, not that she was fat to begin with, mind you.  She hopes you enjoy the song.

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Thoughts on how it all went wrong…

There once was a time when a person could be unhappy.  If they took the wrong turn in the road, or, made some bad choices it would usually lead to a life that did not produce happiness in sufficient quantities for them to feel good about themselves and the life they were living.  They ended up “unhappy” as a result, at least in part, of choices that they themselves had made.

Today, thanks to a partnership between pharmaceutical manufacturers, health care practitioners, and consumers, unhappiness has gone the way of smallpox.   It no longer exists in nature.   Unhappiness was conquered by science when it was finally recognized for what it really was… a disease.  No longer must sufferers of what used to be called unhappiness carry the blame for any of their own suffering.   As it turns out what human beings used to call unhappiness was really a condition that can only be cured by doctors.  We call it “depression” today, and it is caused by improper chemicals in your brain that, in more cases than not, are a result of genetic factors far beyond your control.

I submit to my gentle readers that, in todays world, this is a VERY GOOD thing to know.   Honestly, it sucked being responsible for our own happiness.  To be unhappy meant we were failures at life.  It meant that we ourselves recognized that we were not capable of playing our part effectively, and competently, in our consumer culture.  Quite frankly it was nothing less than wonderful to learn that we were off the hook .   It wasn’t our fault after all.

In a sense this knowledge and the new found scientific ability to alter our consciousness chemically has immunized us to the inherent dangers of consumer culture.  The dangerous discontent, generated by advertising, that is the basic driving force and operating principle of consumer capitalism can, thankfully, be rendered harmless with the two edged sword of education and pharmaceuticals.  Education tells us that hope springs eternal.  All of us are “special”.  Even the poorest of the poor can win fame and happiness through the purchase of lottery tickets and even the abysmally ignorant can become sports heros, or, outrageously wealthy media phenomena.    Who, with eyes to see and ears to hear and a functioning TV can ever doubt this?  Who does not know that happiness rests just over the horizon awaiting our arrival?

Today there is simply no need to be a slave to any faulty mix of brain chemicals our genes may have dealt us.  There is no need to feel “bad” about anything in a culture where anything is possible and, thanks to modern science, purchasable.

Discontent…  of course must remain alive in its purest sense because it is what keeps the American Dream going.  Unless we all WANT things we do not yet have there can be no perpetual progress, no jobs producing things, no creation of wealth, no viable economy.     If one is not discontent… we are forced to conclude one is simply not paying attention.

Happy… but, discontent is what we are looking for, and at just the proper mix.  We must guard ourselves never to admit to being unhappy, to admit that would be to announce to the world that we were a loser.   The stench of unhappiness on a person is today as a bell on a leper once was.  UNCLEAN!

Proper mental hygiene demands that we want the things that we do not have.  Discontent at not having important things to have, must, if we are normal,  drive us to work harder, longer and with more ingenuity.  Desiring and acquiring,… to live to desire and acquire again another day are the kind of meat machines we are.  If one day we find that we are not humming along nicely, sporting a happy face and acquiring sufficient things, with decent cultural value… we should consult a physician.  The chemicals in our head are almost certainly out of whack, scientifically speaking, and the proper adjustments need to be made.  Failure to do so means we will become, if we have not already become… depressed.

That’s how it works.  Be careful.  Work hard.  Don’t fuck around.  If everything goes to shit in spite of your best efforts, don’t worry about it because it isn’t your fault anyway.

THE END

Kiss, kiss

Mrs. N.

( As the days get darker and shorter Mrs. N. finds herself taking great joy in being unpleasant to the annoying who, at this festive time of year, seem to circulate more abundantly among us…  )

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Thought you had problems then?

The unwavering disciples of the Prince of Darkness performed a Pink Mass over the grave of Catherine Idalette Johnston, the mother of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps Jr.  Westboro has yet to officially comment on the eternal gaying of its leader’s dead mom, but the owner of the cemetery where the ceremony was performed has filed charges with the local police department.

http://www.vice.com/read/mississippi-police-want-to-arrest-the-satanists-who-turn-dead-people-gay

It’s a good thing Mrs. N. isn’t the “I told you so” kind of person.   It isn’t like Mrs. N. didn’t try to warn people when the Fundamentalist Christian scholars over at Liberty University started praying Gay people Straight.  Don’t you remember?  And, it isn’t like she didn’t warn you all about the shenanigans those Mormons get up to out in Salt Lake City with that Mormon Pumpernickel Choir of theirs.  Marrying their dead Mormon relatives to non-Mormon dead people so that they can get into Mormon Heaven (where ever the fuck that is).  Them and their magic underpants and all.

It was only a matter of time until someone put all this religious mumbo-jumbo together.  It was inevitable that Freedom of Religion, that ridiculous notion that America was supposedly founded upon, showed its true colors.  Sure, people of different religious allegiances and persuasions can be expected to hate and kill each other over actual, or, perceived insults, and unavoidable lapses in polite conduct… behavior… manners are all sure to end badly.  That kind of stuff is, more or less, a given.  But, as Mrs. N. knew all along… It was bound to get silly.

“Give them an inch and they will take a yard”  How many times have you heard that said.  Well!  THIS is exactly the kind of shit you get when you let more than one brand of CRAZY, more than one breed of dog, loose in the yard unsupervised.  This is the kind of misbehavior the deeply religious will get up to if you let them… and BOY do we let them!

It’s the same kind of baloney we get up to when we discuss kids.  How many times have you heard it?  “Oh, they are all special in their own way.”    Sure they are.  All special…

Now all this bullshitting each other in the name of Freedom and Liberty is really starting to take its toll on a persons ability to take ANYTHING seriously.   We are beginning to learn that the more times you say yes to crazy… the harder it gets to ever say no.  We are living the nightmare of our own design.  We are adrift, all alone, in our own little flimsy boats in a vast and rolling sea of bullshit.  Anything Goes… as it turns out, in the end, means everything goes.

For all any of you know, tomorrow morning, you could wake up to not only find yourself dead, but, Gay and Mormon TOO!

Don’t you dare say I didn’t warn you.

Kiss, kiss

Mrs. N.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Innies & Outies

Mrs. N. is a bit of an antique.

As of this writing Mrs. N. has never spoken to anyone on a cell phone.  She doesn’t own one because she has never found herself in a position where she had to, let alone “wanted” to.  As a result of this she finds herself in a somewhat unique position to comment on the cultural ramifications of instantaneous communication, and those who indulge in the throughly modern phenomena of being “plugged in” to the world throughout their waking hours.

As the years have passed, from the first bulky, and, by todays standards primitive cell phones to the mini-computer-camera-phones that are today ubiquitous I have observed the transformation of my fellow human beings.  Needless to say I’m not on Facebook.  My fear of being spied upon by my, or any other government, is approximately zilch.  Other than this poorly written and utterly inoffensive page you see before you Mrs. N. is as devoid of opinions as a cabbage.  “My country tis of thee sweet Land of Liberty..”   A threat to no one and the kind who enjoys nothing more than a day in the contemplative company of… you know who.

Mrs. N. remains, as she always has been, an “innie” rather than an “outie”.  She prefers, on almost all occasions, what she finds going on INSIDE her head than what she observes going on OUTSIDE.  She is unmoved by the meticulous “billboards of my life” almost every other human being she knows has constructed in, or on, what has come to be known as the “social media”.   She isn’t anti-social by any means.  She merely prefers to not know 99% of what the rest of humanity erroneously seems to feel she is dyeing to know.  She doesn’t buzz, beep, vibrate or play a silly song.  Messages cannot be left for her.  She will not return your call.

As these years of electronic “plugged-in-ness” have passed we have observed our fellow human beings disengaging from what we like to think of as sustained interpersonal human relations… more and more.  Eye to eye, face to face uninterrupted concentration on the person you are physically with has become almost nonexistent.   Mrs. N. finds that for most the incoming call, tweet, or text message is irresistible, no matter WHAT the time, place or situation.   The “new” must not be kept waiting.   Nothing can be missed.  The “need” to know proves as addictive as heroin.

Mrs. N. is saddened to think about where this is all going.   She regrets to inform the reader that, no, she is not a multi-tasker.  On the contrary she is a “Uni-Tasker” with a different monkey on her back.  Her habit of choice is something called “sterpulation”.  It makes pure heroin look like child’s play.

Don’t waste your time looking up “sterpulation” in the dictionary.  It isn’t there yet.  It’s an obscure word from a little know language, spoken by one.  It means calmly rolling  things over in your mind.  [ster-pu-lation.. (the act of sterpulating)]

Beeps, rings, buzzers, vibrations and unsolicited arrival of unrequested information are, for poor Old Mrs. N., what is commonly known as a complete BUZZ-KILL   …(Something that spoils or ruins an otherwise enjoyable event, esp. when in relation to ruining a drunken or drug-induced high.)…   She enjoys it as much as she would anticipate enjoying a good case of smallpox… or, a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

This particular and highly peculiar situation can, at times, make Mrs. N’s day problematic.  As she ages she finds herself less and less tolerant of her fellow human beings.. On more and more levels.  In point of fact she has begun to experience most of them as outright aliens.  This is indeed unfortunate, but, as luck would have it… curious.  Curious enough, if you must know, to keep the Old Girl interested in this breathing in and breathing out again business.  If for no other reason than to just… see what happens.  

Mrs. N. expects nothing good to come of all this perpetual interconnectedness.  It’s a little secret of her’s.  Expect nothing good and you are rarely disappointed.

Kiss, kiss

Mrs. N.

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MAKE BELIEVE

This little essay is like a cat that got out the back door by mistake.  It won’t come home till it’s good and ready no matter how many times you call.  What a pain in the ass.

It’s out wandering about the back yard, poking around investigating the local goings on and trying to see what it can see.  It smells something.  It doesn’t know what quite, but, it must investigate.   That is what cats do.

The term Make Believe started bouncing around inside my head this morning out of nowhere.  The more I tried not to think about it the more I did.  Make Love not War… Make Hay while the sun shines… Make Believe…

The more I considered the term the more I realized that “Making Believe” was, in fact, as essential to my existence as breathing.   Without the ability to “Make Believe” I am convinced that human beings, any so called sentient beings, could not exist.  Our land, it seems to me, where ever we may physically reside, is always The Land of Make Believe.  

All this began with me asking myself what matters without me believing it does?  The answer is nothing.  Before I was born I wasn’t there to believe that anything at all was important, or, true, or… anything else.  When I’m dead the universe will, once again, have to find another way to demonstrate its importance.  It will have to rely on others to Make Believe importance into existence.  Importance is entirely a product of human existence, as is beauty, wonder, love and just about everything else.  We are each called upon by our natures to manufacture our own reality.  With the help of other human beings, all doing their part as best they can, we are schooled from an early age as to what we should make believe is important.  Continuity is everything and the more we can agree the easier it all becomes.  Because we are not identical we can never ALL agree… as a result, conflict comes into existence.

The fly in the ointment here is knowing that you have the ability to pull the plug on the whole show any time you please.

When you are dead… nothing matters.   Nothing can be of any importance unless you are there to make believe that it is, and if you are not… it isn’t.  At least as far as you are concerned.   The burden of all the making believe falls to others of your kind.  Good luck.

Isn’t it curious how suicide is such a taboo unless it is intimately connected with something that many other people Make Believe is terribly important?  Throwing yourself on a live grenade is suicide, but, it is viewed as a totally different “kind” of suicide than throwing yourself off a bridge is.  The grenade kind of suicide makes you a hero and the bridge kind a chump.  This is what we teach our children.  In the end, of course, it’s all Make Believe.

In the end EVERYTHING is Make Believe.  In the beginning and in the middle it is too.

THAT my gentle readers is the thing we can’t let get out.  It’s the fact, the one fact, that, if it got out and were widely recognized as the truth would bring down the whole circus, tent and all.

The Universe, what ever that is, doesn’t seem to want us to stop the show.  It has built into human beings (and I will conjecture all other sentient forms of life) mechanisms, both physical and mental, to preclude the outright stopping of the show for personal reasons like boredom, misfortune and even intractable pain.   Yes, at times these “mechanisms” can be overridden, but, only as the exception that proves the rule… Life MUST go on!

Suicide is only acceptable to us if it somehow emphasizes the importance of… Life going on.

If this were not the case the Universe would find itself in danger.

So remember to muddle on!  Set a good example for others in spite of any facts that may be making your continued existence unbearable.  The Universe is counting on you to do your part.

Make Believe it’s not all Make Believe because, in the end, it’s all we got.

Kiss, kiss

Mrs. N.

p.s.  Except, of course, the knowledge that the cord that goes to the plug is always in our hand.  Which is nice.

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Up to No Good

Mrs. N. was out and about yesterday… Up the Rockfish Valley and over the Blue Ridge…  Down into the Shanandoah Valley she went in the hope of observing a yearly cultural event that takes place just a bit up the road.  Like the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano, or, great sea turtles returning in their multitudes to the very beaches where they themselves began as eggs, the Mennonites come together in an orgy of Capitalism known as The Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale… once a year.

Welcome!  (the advertisement said)
Each year, thousands of volunteers come together to raise money at Relief Sales for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) for the relief of suffering in the world. MCC works at home and with people around the world to ease oppression, poverty, and conflict. They lead natural disaster relief efforts, community development and peace work in more than 50 countries.  
Relief Sales offer a little bit of everything—quilts, artwork, homemade food, antiques, crafts, music and activities for the whole family. We hope you’ll join us!

As Mrs. N. expected the place was crawling with pick-pockets, Gypsies and fortune tellers of every stripe.  The donuts were superb.  In the Big tent, quilts, hand sewn by women held prisoner and forced to wear dull dresses and bonnets covering all but a few square inches of their flesh, were auctioned off at enormous prices.  Was it just Mrs. N. that perceived vaguely pornographic outlines and motifs in the patterns and the intricate stitching?  We don’t think so.

Organ trafficking, obvious to those of us trained in spotting it, by knowing where and when to look… was rampant!  All the bruised and sour spots of just what it means to be human were there, festering in the early Autumn sun, at the Fair Grounds, just outside of Harrisonburg, in the valley long known as “The Breadbasket of the Confederacy”.   By the end of the day enormous amounts of money were taken in and turned over to the MCC.  The Mennonite “Central Committee”…  Now, where have we heard THAT term before?

Starving children will be given Bibles to read and the unfortunate and wretched of this earth will be comforted with nonsense.  The rich will be rewarded with lower taxes and even more of what they already have too much of… for this is pleasant and pleasing in the sight of The Lord.

God spelled backwards, as we all know, is dog…

This very morning, while giving her orchid friends a “tubby” to enable them to soak up enough water to face another week of life on this doomed planet, Mrs. N. came upon an article in the Sunday New York TIMES that… well..

It was called    Dogs Are People, Too

If you don’t want to be bothered, or, don’t have the time to read it yourself, I will give you the beginning…  

FOR the past two years, my colleagues and I have been training dogs to go in an M.R.I. scanner — completely awake and unrestrained. Our goal has been to determine how dogs’ brains work and, even more important, what they think of us humans.  Now, after training and scanning a dozen dogs, my one inescapable conclusion is this: dogs are people, too.

You see?  This is what poor old Mrs. N. gets for reading the paper.  Now I have to live with the knowledge that highly educated people thought they could look inside a dogs head with a MRI and learn what that dog was thinking.   The article goes on to say…  “The ability to experience positive emotions, like love and attachment, would mean that dogs have a level of sentience comparable to that of a human child. And this ability suggests a rethinking of how we treat dogs.”  The article ends by saying…  “Perhaps someday we may see a case arguing for a dog’s rights based on brain-imaging findings.”

OK… Mrs. N. has come to accept the idea that the acquisition of language is what provided human beings with the ability to think.  What is thinking, after all, but a conversation we have with ourselves within our heads?  Without language that conversation could not begin, let alone end in something meaningful.

Mrs. N. found herself, while reading this article, wishing that she could have been there, at the very start, before all the time and money was wasted on MRI’s and the training of dogs to be still, and not afraid of the noises made in the process of “looking” inside their hairy little heads at “what” they might be thinking with a MRI machine.   Mrs. N. can’t help but think that the “scientists” performing this research must be terribly unfamiliar with the creature we call the dog.  If not, I ask you, why oh why would they choose to study, when looking for what dogs think, what was going on at… the WRONG fucking END of the animal?  When a dog is happy it wags it’s tail.  When a dog is sad, or afraid, it puts it’s tail down to a degree dependent upon the level of anxiety it is experiencing.

This is what a dog looks like when it is happy!  Who doesn’t know this?

Fucking crazy stupid people “think” that you can look inside a head to see what is being thought in there.  The whole idea is ridiculous, and the so called “scientists” who ran this absurd bit of neurological folderol KNEW IT from the very start.

Now, those of you who take the time to read the musings of Mrs. N. found on this blog know full well that you have to get up pretty early in the morning to pull the wool over this Old Girl’s eyes.   Have you spotted the flaw in this baloney science yet yourselves?

Let me help you out.

Any real scientist worth a dime, “IF” they thought they could “REALLY” look inside a dog’s head and see what they were thinking would NEVER waste time and energy trying to find out what they were thinking when their owner entered the room.  Why would they care?  Who gives a shit?  How is that interesting?

If these “so called” scientists had the one indispensable attribute common to all TRUE men and women of science (real science) they would have done what scientists do and attempted to answer an IMPORTANT question.  They would have sought the answer to the one and only question worth asking when it comes to man’s best friend.

Not IF…… but WHAT is a dog thinking when he is licking his ass?

The fact that they did not is proof positive that they were not really scientists at all, but jerks, who found themselves with the opportunity to fuck around with dogs & a MRI machine.

Between you and Old Mrs. N.  I’m betting there was beer involved too.

Kiss, kiss

Mrs. N.

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On Showing Off

….After witnessing the behaviors of the indigenous people, the government was appalled at the ritual of Potlatch. They saw the ritualistic act of giving away nearly all of one’s hard-earned possessions as a sign that the indigenous people were ‘unstable’. Under the encouragement of the Indian Reserve Allotment Commission; the Indian Reserve Commission; and the Church, this behavior was deemed possibly as a destabilizing force in the nation because it was so dramatically opposed to the values of the ideal “Christian capitalist society”…..  [Wikipedia]

Ever since her triumphant return to the Plutocratic Corporate States of America [PCSA] Mrs. N. has been intrigued by something she was told and something she observed while touring through The Netherlands, which was a lot like touring Holland.

People in The Netherlands don’t put bumper stickers on their cars.  Announcing on your automobile what university you or your children attend, what political party you support, or, what your particular religious affiliations are is considered to be a form of showing off that is culturally unacceptable in polite society.  It isn’t done.  They are against showing off.  Imagine that.

On the flight home to Utopia Mrs. N. could not help but wonder why The Netherlands did not place very high on the list of countries that are the “ENEMIES of FREEDOM”?  North Korea has a crazy leader, nuclear weapons and tortures and starves its people into obedient submission.  They are on the list.  Iran, since its Islamic Revolution, refuses to permit international corporations to loot their natural resources with impunity.  They are on the list.  Granted, both North Korea and Iran have earned a place on any decent capitalists list of bad actors… but, none of them dare to hold the Goddess of corporate consumerism up to ridicule!  None of them DARE to even hint that showing off, the very foundation of American Exceptionalism, and the driving force behind the most powerful economic engine ever constructed by man is… rude, or…culturally unacceptable in polite society.  

Why the citizens of the Plutocratic Corporate States of America [PCSA] haven’t bombed the Dutch (who don’t amount to much) back to the Stone Age for their insults to our way of life remains an enigma.

[On the other hand]… In his book Escape from Evil, Ernest Becker describes modern consumerism as a second rate religion.  He goes on to say… “today we are living with a grotesque spectacle of unrestrained material production, perhaps the greatest and most pervasive evil to have emerged in all of history.”

Hmmmm

OK, so what are we supposed to do if we can’t show off?  Just how are we supposed to feel, WHAT are we supposed to feel about a person we observe talking into their I-phone 5… when we have an I-phone 7?  How much are we capable of appreciating a kitchen with formica countertops and a white stove (that isn’t gas)?  Above ground pools?  How do we begin?  Are they “good” in the sense that children can get wet and laugh and make good memories in them, all on a hot summer day, or, are they bad in the sense that they detract from the appearance of neighborhoods with in-ground pools, forcing the passer-by to experience vague feelings of embarrassment for someone, or, a whole family, that they have never even met?    What’s worse, a snob, or, a phony?

Culture gives us our reasons for doing stuff.  It tells us what is valuable and what isn’t.  It tells us exactly what REAL is and WHY it is.  Provided one understands a culture one can, if one is careful, disagree with some of the aspects and ideas promoted by a particular culture without getting oneself tortured, killed or, otherwise inconvenienced.  You have to be careful.  But, it can be done.

The Dutch continue to walk the Earth…  after all

Mrs. N. is of the opinion today that one of the most curious things about homo sapiens in the Age of Consumerism is their extreme passivity.

Billions live in want and filth, short pathetic lives that make those of us in the West want to look away… change the subject.  Two and a half billion people will live their entire lives without ever seeing a flush toilet.  On the other hand, just about all of them will get to see TV.  On the TV will probably be re-runs of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and definitely will be commercials that will be centered on someone showing off and bragging about something THEY have that YOU don’t.  In the case of the billions and billions that don’t have Jack-Shit…. That would be just about everything under the sun.

What strikes Old Mrs. N. as curious is how this nonsense manages to perpetuate itself.  I understand greed.  What I don’t understand is what “makes” those in need and those who want “feel” like it’s somehow their duty to accept the status quo, ignore the utter unfairness, and actually look up to and treat with respect those who flagrantly parade and display the fact that they have ever so much more than they could ever need, or use.

Is that innate?

Are we hard wired to kiss ass when we are confronted by a bird with more feathers in its tail than we have?  Is it as simple as that?  Does that little quirk of a possible neurological left over from another time and place hand the keys to the Kingdom over to the graceless Plutocrats among us?  Can they sleep tight and secure knowing that the masses are hardwired for kowtowing…. and not throat slitting and bloody murder at the thought of the greedy laughing and eating cake while the less fortunate suffer and starve?

Or, is it culture that, universally, somehow, teaches us all that “IF” a person has more “THEN” that person not only must deserve more, but, should have power over those with less?

Is it some of both?

It’s gray and dripping here in Dixie and I’m wondering how it will start.  If it will start.  I’m wondering what idea, what group, what person will prove to be the catalyst that starts the chain reaction that transforms the greedy among us into the repulsive that are no longer tolerated in our midst..  Who will begin to Judge and when and how will the Judging take place?  What will it take?…  How bad does it have to get before the phrase… “Tis better to give than receive” .. is considered to be more than something dumb to put on a… bumper sticker?

Such a transformation will be hideous and painful and it may never work for long, if it works at all.  We just may not be up to the task.  Inequality, needless suffering and pain may just be our lot as humans… pathetically squishy experiments in sentience that we are…  Or, maybe there is a kid out there right now dragging a sharp key along the side of a new foreign car that costs more money than he will ever earn in ten years… and he has a toothache, and no money for the dentist.

He is hungry.  He is hungry a lot.  He is dirty too, most of the time, but, he has this thing with putting words together.  And his eyes have this special “something” that you really can’t explain that makes you feel good as you listen to his words flow out in a way that makes you feel inside that he is nothing but right about everything he says.

I would advise him to lay low.  I would advise him to quietly build an army of like thinkers as fast as he can.  I would tell him that drawing attention to himself would be deadly too early on…

Who am I kidding?  If I were honest I would tell him that he is already dead if history is any judge of what is to come.  The Plutocrats have their hounds out perpetually sniffing all around for the likes of troublemakers such as he.  It will be a miracle if he lasts the year.

Given enough time they say that anything can happen.

Given enough time they say it has to.

The question is, how much time have we got?

Kiss, kiss

Mrs. N.

 

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