Monthly Archives: June 2013

Gay Marriage

The Supreme Court of The United States of America just struck down what was known as “The Defense of Marriage Act”.  It did not take long for patriotic minded citizens of the South to remind us of just what that means.  This morning, in response to an article entitled… [Rulings may open way to challenge Virginia gay-marriage ban]… I found this in the comments section, below the article, in my local newspaper.  (I copied it exactly)

Mrs. T. Goober ·  “Top Commenter” · Downtown, Virginia

why does what one doe in their bedroom have to a a law. this will open the door for brothers and sisters to marry, pedophiles to marry children, owners to marry their pets. why should my christian beliefs be compromised for people who want to sin? God did not create adam and steve to procreate the earth. Some of you that say we who are Christians hate, why don’t you look in the mirror for a change. what do you think you are doing by calling us racists and bigots? These judges should not be ruling on morality but what the constitution says. We are now living in Sodom and Gomorrah redux.
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Now, I don’t want anyone to get the idea that I am out to criticize, or, condemn Mrs. T.  Goober for her well thought out and beautifully articulated opinions.  Oh NO!  People like her are perhaps the primary reason I choose to live in this part of America.  Quite honestly, where else can an American go to study such a foreign and exotic culture without having to worry about all those pesky immunizations and travel visas?
Mrs. T. Goober…, bless her, seems to be a stickler for something that is rapidly disappearing in America…. TRADITION!
What happened to the days when marriage was a Holy Bond entered into with solemnity before God?
When chaste young women and upstanding young men entered upon a life together with dignity?
Where invited family and friends put on their Sunday best and feasted on delicacies provided by the finest caterers and made of the most premium ingredients?
No, I can’t and I won’t condemn Mrs. Goober and all the others who she speaks for here in the very neighborhood where Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, James Madison, Lewis & Clark and Jerry Falwell ALL were born and grew to adulthood.  If anything… I owe her a debt of gratitude.
I am fortunate enough to live in one of the most beautiful places America has to offer.
The air is clean.  Streams, rivers and mountain springs are abundant.  It is home to more species of trees and flowering plants than any place else in America.  The land is fertile.  The population is low.  Historical sites abound.  Spring and Fall are, by far, the longest seasons of the year.  Property taxes are (no exaggeration) a little less than 10% of what they would be for similar property in most other East Coast states.
NO!  I will not condemn Mrs. G. and others who share her views.  I will not lift one little finger in an attempt to educate her, or her friends and neighbors, into a different way of thinking… a different way of viewing the world.
My reasons for this are entirely selfish… I admit it.
In point of fact, people like Mrs. G., and their willingness to share their opinions with others make up one half of what I like to think of as… My little insurance policy.  As long as people like her exist they will vote into office politicians that will say and do such amazingly stupid things that businesses looking to relocate and people looking for a place to settle down and raise a family will all say to themselves…. “Those people are fucking nuts!”, and they will not move here and my rural paradise will remain in the unspoiled condition it now enjoys.
You are probably wondering what the other half of …My little insurance policy is, aren’t you?
It’s the fact that people still remember the movie “Deliverance”.
And the fact that “if” you find yourself passing through my neck of the woods, and you feel the need to ask for directions… the person you are most likely to come across will probably look a whole lot like someone you remember from that movie.
Kiss, kiss
Mrs. N.
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FAT (the disease)

The Guardians of my nations health just declared obesity to be a disease.  This is, as the New York TIMES puts it… a move that could induce physicians to pay more attention to the condition and spur more insurers to pay for treatments.  A speaker for the AMA said this…

“The suggestion that obesity is not a disease but rather a consequence of a chosen lifestyle exemplified by overeating and/or inactivity is equivalent to suggesting that lung cancer is not a disease because it was brought about by individual choice to smoke cigarettes,”

Right…  And, of course, we all can see the beauty of that analogy.  Obesity and lung cancer, because both “diseases” go away when you stop engaging in the activity that causes them, rightfully belong in the same category.

So here I am again.  Alive and well in crazy land.

One-third of the people in America are obese.  Another third of the people in America are just fat, or, shall we just call them underachievers?  I don’t know.  The sun isn’t even really up yet and already my head hurts from trying to make some kind of sense out of what I hear and see around me.

I know that is my mistake.  I’m a repeat offender when it comes to that.  I keep trying to make sense of things when I know it’s silly.  Last week a person came into my office and told me that President Obama is trying to get the Congress to make him President for life.  I asked this person where he heard that and he said…  “It was on the news.”  

Stupid, fat, REALLY fucking fat… that seems pretty much to wrap up most of the categories, but, not all.  Sure there are some people out there that could be called “normal”, but, what does that mean in a world where normal is so rare.  How can it be normal if it’s that rare?  Ouch!

I have to blame myself for not seeing this “Fat being a Disease” business coming.  There have been “hints” of what was about to happen all around me for years.  Here are some examples of [HANDICAP] License Plates.  Take a good look at the handicap logo.  I bet you thought it was some representation of an unfortunate person in a wheelchair.

Well, it wasn’t!  It wasn’t that at all!  It was a picture of a person with an ass SO FUCKING BIG that, not only could they not park in any parking space more than a few feet from the fast food emporium they were headed for…  they were too fat to even go to work and earn their own keep.  Too fat, and that’s that.

The way things are going here in “America the Exceptional” I’m pretty sure we will see more license plates designed to designate just what kind of fucked up citizen… Excuse me… “diseased person” is behind the wheel.

This one will designate that the driver is a sufferer of “Shit for Brains” syndrome.  They won’t be able to work either, but, the logo will warn us that they will also be too stupid to use turn signals or remember that the passing lane is for passing.  As time goes on and more and more ways in which people are fucked up are rightfully recognized as “diseases” we can expect to see license plates specifically designating the drivers particular affliction in detail.  Little logos up in the corner, or off to the side, will clue you in.  Below are but two examples.

It’s a brave new world out there readers and it is going to take a special kind of bravery on your part to navigate your way through it.  Gone are the days of my youth when bullies ruled the school yards and gym teachers always made the fat kid climb the rope over and over again as the other kids laughed.  What am I saying?  The kids are so fat today that the very idea of any of them climbing a rope in gym class is out of the question.  FUCKING GYM CLASS IS OUT OF THE QUESTION!

Hey, what are you going to do friends?  As a species we have pretty much shot our load.  We are left to live in the mess we created.  We can sit around and piss & moan about how bad things are, or, we can try to enjoy ourselves with the tools at our disposal.  I have memories.  I have memories of times and places where things were not fucked up entirely.  I remember a time of standards and expectations when the crap that passes for normal today could never happen.    A time when we all paid a little bit more attention to how we were perceived by others because not to resulted in negative attention.

Hold on!  What am I saying?  Those were HORRIBLE days!  We actually used to be so cruel as to openly LAUGH at fat kids and adults.  We shunned assholes and fucking bastards in an attempt to drive them from among us.

We were so ignorant then.  We knew so little about psychology and the damage we were doing.

Who wants to go to the beach?

Kiss, kiss

Mrs. N.

 

 

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Standing Stones

“If half of China’s population starts consuming, growth is inevitable,” said Li Xiangyang, vice director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics, part of a government research institute. “Right now they are living in rural areas where they do not consume.”

...BEIJING — China is pushing ahead with a sweeping plan to move 250 million rural residents into newly constructed towns and cities over the next dozen years —  [From this mornings NY TIMES]…

You really have to wonder about two things when it comes to the Chinese.  [1].. How, in spite of so many obstacles, they managed to come so far so fast?  [2].. If all it ends up accomplishing is entitling the Chinese people to the same level of existential displeasure hyper-consumerism and conformist consumption have produced in America…. What the fuck was the point?

Mrs. N. is scratching her head raw over this business.  She is asking herself how they can be so incredibly good at so many things, have such a rich philosophical history, and STILL entirely miss the punch line of the joke that modern consumer culture has turned out to be?  Miss the levels of depression, meaninglessness and unhappiness that stalk the dark corners of what life in America’s consumer utopia has turned out to be for so many.  Yes, there is something profoundly disappointing going on with my species.  Our treasured social and economic systems are, for the most part, deeply pathological.  In spite of this… our absurd model remains the template for more of the same.

Maybe you are wondering why Mrs. N. is going on and on about the Chinese when the title of this little exercise is “Standing Stones”?  The reason is this…  After reading the article about the Chinese in the TIMES this morning I took a walk out back around the gardens.  The standing stone (Mrs. N. has ALWAYS been about the business of standing up stones) that you see in the picture reminded me of the lovely summer day I spent, 42 years ago, climbing around the standing stones in Wiltshire, England known as Stonehenge.  They were open to the public then and climbing around them like a monkey was perfectly acceptable.  People are much ruder today and they are fenced off, but, I digress.

Books on the subject of Stonehenge will tell you that nobody really knows “why” it was built.  There are many different theories.  Some historians claim that it was a temple, or, an observatory, or, a place to cremate the dead.  They all agree that it was constructed over 5000 years ago in many phases over many lifetimes.

Having stood on the sight admiring Stonehenge, and having spent many days and much effort standing up stones of all sizes myself, in gardens here and there, Mrs. N. can tell you with certainty what it was all about.  It was about the feeling deep in the bones a human gets from observing the glorious results of their physical labor.  It was about the bonds that form between humans dedicated to completing an apparently impossible physical task.  Building places like Stonehenge, terracing mountainsides into magnificent rice paddies and building beautiful stone walls out of the stones farmers remove, one by one from the fields they plant, are all examples of what it really means to be human.  It was about satisfaction.  It was about REAL accomplishment.  It was not about the bullshit work, the acquisition of more and more shiny pieces consumer crap, that took the place of REAL accomplishment and REAL satisfaction.  Building hard, even impossible things,  worked and promoted human sanity as surely as our culture now produces human dissatisfaction and insanity.  It was as natural to stand up huge stones for the shear existential joy of it as it is unnatural to spend one’s afternoons in gyms, lifting weights and riding bicycles going nowhere in an effort to look like you just came off 5 years on a Georgia chain gang…. in spite of the fact that you pay a man to cut your lawn and a woman to clean your house.

This is America’s idea of Stonehenge.  A tourist attraction made out of Styrofoam.  It’s not far from my house as the crow flies.  Many fat Americans go there to have their picture taken.  5000 years from now it will not be there.  At least that is something to be thankful for.  Now, all we need is something to be thankful to.

Kiss, kiss

Mrs. N.

 

 

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Redneck Chinese

There aren’t really any Asian people where I live.  If you want to see an Asian person you have to go to a Chinese restaurant.  The people who own the restaurants and work there are Chinese, but, nobody has any idea where they live.  You never see them anyplace else but in the restaurant.  They are exotic creatures in the Great American Southland and do not appear to thrive in the cultural soil Dixie has to offer.  What Sky-Lab is to astronauts orbiting earth in the airless and hostile environment of space Chinese restaurants are to Chinese people in my little redneck corner of Dixie.   They dare not venture out unprotected.  Not from a lack of oxygen and gravity, but rather from a lack of the cultural nourishment and foundation they require to thrive.

The title of this little slice of the absurdity that is my life, like my life itself, makes absolutely no sense at all.  There are no Redneck Chinese.  It’s what they call one of them there Oxymorons… like Giant Shrimp, First-strike defense and Thank God, I’m an Atheist.  You scratch your head for a while.  Then, you move on.

The problem is I can’t let things like this go.  I’m suspicious by nature and my suspicion is that Chinese people, Asian people in general actually, can be seen and used as canaries in a coal mine were, at one time, used to gage the wholesomeness of the environment.  In short, the better an environment is at supporting Rednecks the worse it will be in supporting Chinese.  The opposite it appears is just as true.  For example, Ivy League universities and high tech research facilities are always crawling with Chinese and Asians of every variety, but, search as much as you like there ain’t a redneck to be found in such places.  Not a one!

My hypothesis, for starters, is that it’s all about education, in one way or another, and rednecks and Chinese people occupy the opposite ends of that spectrum.   Statistically bout 44% of all Asians have a Bachelors Degree or higher compared to 24% for the total US population.  In the county I live in the figure is 16.2% and a very large part of that figure is made up of people known locally as “come heres” as apposed to “born heres”.  The average median income of Asians in America is much higher than any other group.  In contrast, 37% of the people who live in the county in which I reside live off a “Government check”.

Chinese people tend not to join Fundamentalist Christian Churches.  My county has a little over 30,000 people and 87 Fundamentalist Southern Baptist Churches.  Rednecks are just crazy about Fundamentalist Christianity.

Asian people tend to not be Republicans.  In the entire history of the Tea Party not one Chinese person has ever joined.  Whenever there is an election for anything where I live the local newspaper always publishes the results the very next day.  It always reads something like this…

“Everybody voted Republican again yesterday except for Mrs. Neutron and we spect Y’all know where that hateful atheist Yankee Bitch lives by now.”

It is indeed comforting to be recognized by ones community and as P.T. Barnum once remarked… “Even bad publicity is better than no publicity at all.”

All that aside what this really comes down to is culture.  What are any of us really except for our culture?  Where would we be without the pack of lies and bundle of bullshit that “we” (those of us IN our cultural group) agree to pretend to each other ARE the absolute, undeniable, truth?  We wouldn’t be human… that’s for sure.  Culture, in all its kinds and permutations defines us as human and the real rub is that part of the “deal” with culture is to “believe” that your culture is the best culture and teach that belief to your children no matter what.  Rednecks do that.  Chinese do that.  All cultures do that and, usually, out of respect for people who are different from us we are supposed to just… let… it…go.  But, we never do because our culture is the best.  Thinking, believing and teaching that to your children is how a culture survives and if there is one thing a culture wants to do… it’s survive.

At this point you are probably asking yourselves… “So, where does that leave us Mrs. N. and what the fuck are you trying to say here anyway?”

What I’m saying is this.  When you go reading statistics like half the people in America don’t believe in evolution and such & such percentage of Americans think President Obama is a Muslim and that global warming is a Liberal plot to destroy American capitalism and force us all to become communists… you have to see it for what it is and what it isn’t.  The temptation is to think it’s CRAZY.  That would be a mistake.

Culture dictates it all and there are cultures that work to promote happiness and economic success and cultures that do the opposite.   Any attempt to understand a person without understanding the culture they come out of is condemned to failure.  Not to understand this is to entirely miss one of the basic facts of what it means to be human.

I read, just the other day, in John Schumaker’s The Age of Insanity” that  …  psychology managed to get things backward as it came to see the individual as a separate entity that operated outside larger cultural contexts.  We ended up with an asocial and misdirected field that was thoroughly preoccupied by the mythical disturbed individual.  In the midst of this preoccupation, psychology largely forgot about wider contexts in which these individuals operate.

Now, all that may not sound like much.  You may be saying… “So what?..  Big shit.”  Who gives a crap Mrs. N. and what’s it to me?”

Well Mrs. N’s gunna tell you.  A house divided cannot stand.  The smaller the world gets the less room for multiculturalism there will be.  Only the strong will survive and culture will determine strength.  The time has come for the wise to “pick” their culture.  The survival of mankind will come to be less and less a matter of luck and more and more a matter of educated choosing.  Choose wisely.

I think it is always helpful to remember the story of the single Chinese man who owned a Chinese restaurant.

One day a beautiful Chinese woman walked in. He immediately walked over and asked her out on a date. She agreed. They went out for a while, and soon, the man proposes to her. She says “Yes, but before we do, there’s something you must know. I have never had the sex, but I’ve read about it.” He says that it’s not a problem, and they are married.
On their honeymoon, the man tells his wife that since she’s a virgin, she can choose what they do first. She says “Oh, most honorable husband. I am honored to be your wife, even though I have never had the sex, but I’ve read about it. So, I have chosen to have the 69.

The husband looks confused, and after thinking about it, he says “You want.. the beef and broccoli?”

Kiss, kiss

Mrs. N.

 

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