“…From 1891 to 2007, real economic output per person grew at an average rate of 2 percent per year — enough to double every 35 years. The average American was twice as well off in 2007 as in 1972, four times as well off as in 1937, and eight times as well off as in 1902. It’s no coincidence that for eight decades, from 1890 to 1970, educational attainment grew swiftly. But since 1990, that improvement has slowed to a crawl…”

“…Poor academic achievement has long been a problem for African-Americans and Hispanics, but now the achievement divide has extended further.  “family breakdown is now biracial” Among lower-income whites, the proportion of children living with both parents has plummeted over the past half century…”

“…Many children are culturally disadvantaged, even if one or both parents have jobs, have no books at home, do not read to them, and park them in front of a TV set or a video game in lieu of active in-home learning. Compared with other nations where students learn several languages and have math homework in elementary school, the American system expects too little. Parental expectations also matter: homework should be emphasized more, and sports less…”

The title of this little slice of the absurdity that is my existence is “Jack-Shit”.  If I were asked to use the title in a sentence it would go something like…  “It’s rather obvious to me, after speaking with you, that you don’t know Jack Shit about anything.”

More and more each day I find myself thinking ..”This person doesn’t know Jack-Shit about what we are discussing.”  Because of this unfortunate reality I find myself engaging people in conversation less and less.  I avoid people I don’t know well.  In point of fact I have come to realize and accept the fact that the only thing holding America together is our collective disease.

[…”Positivity-peddlers are working overtime, but the big picture is sobering. Consumerism and predatory capitalism are not viable long-term organizing principles for a society. Our myths about progress, superfluous wealth, limitless expansion and endless resources are formulas for global ruin. Hyper-competitive individualism is a lonely straitjacket that fuels frustration, alienation and rage. Freedom has cheapened into a demeaning free-for-all in a prison of petty wants. As a springboard to happiness, emotional health and social wellbeing, ‘the good life’ is an exhausting flop…”  (John F. Schumaker)


Now, I wouldn’t blame any of my gentle readers if they asked themselves… “What the hell got up Mrs. N’s dress today to cause all this fuss?”

It wasn’t much really.  A new business opened up in my little town last week.  It’s a Tanning Salon.  You give the owner money and watch a video.  Then you go into a little room, take off your clothes and get sprayed with a chemical that makes you look  orange/brown.  The woman who runs the joint is orange.  This is not her, but, she is this color.

When I was a teenager and crashing a car at about the rate of one a year there used to be this guy named Earl Scheib.  His commercials were on the radio all the time.  …“I’m Earl Scheib, and I’ll paint any car, any color for $29.95.”..  My first car was a 1964 and a half Mustang.  Earl’s gang did the body work and painted that car 5 times in the years I owned it.  Earl had quite the business back in the day.  You might want to read about it  …http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_Scheib

Anyway, my point is this.  In the fucked up place we call America it now costs 5 cents more to get your body spray painted a sickly orange than it did to get your car spray painted when America was the undisputed champion of the world and Americans were walking around on the moon.  Back then, if you told someone you were opening up a business to spray paint people so they looked tan… people would laugh at your stupidity.

Not any more.

Not any more.


Kiss, kiss

Mrs. N.



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4 responses to “Jack-Shit

  1. I’m sure we’ve had spray-on tanners in our town for close to a decade… welcome to the club! I had my own mini-moment of absurdity the other day as I was landscaping the yard and was in need of some flat rocks for stepping-stones. My wife reminded me that if I became too frustrated in my search, I could always go out and buy some. For some reason this just struck me as bizarre… that we can go to the store and buy water, dirt, and yes, even rocks! I can’t bring myself to do it.

    Have you had any luck tracking down Schumaker? I wonder if maybe he’s just stumbled upon the secret to happiness and is not wanting to share with the world?

    • I bet your yard looks great Brad. The closest I got to Schumaker was an E-mail from the head of the Psychology department of the college he once taught at in New Zealand saying they had no idea as to his location, or, how to get in touch with him. He’ll turn up. They always do. One way or another.

  2. Robert Redus

    At last we speak again My Dearest Mrs. N.

    I have been off taming the wilds of the west, immersed in the consumeristic struggle as one who contributes to the small crumbling of the western world, via Paypal swipers and “local checks only please”….I will admit. Your post pokes an all to clear sharp stick to the old eye. Something I too have seen on a regular basis…some very stupid people….

    What matters far more these days than intellect, smarts and the ability to discern the size difference of a planet to that of a mammal…or the whole chemistry mystery is the number of “Likes” one can attain. The imagery of a success without the true trappings of the trade…lying on an On-line dating site with no intention of meeting those who have been duped…I mean really who cares…and it doesn’t matter if that photo is 30 years old and you’ve gained a few pounds…you look great…

    I am reminded of the feat, (no pun intended) of Tom Dempsey, the clubfooted New Orleans Saint’s place kicker who nailed the 63 yarder with a few feet to spare, (again, no pun intended)…2 seconds before the game end…winning by a mere 2 points. The controversy around his club foot and the special shoe he wore, was never important until it became important…sounds rather Taoist I know, yet his special deformity saved the day….sending the Detroit Lion’s, tails between their legs back to the den…

    We can only hope…and I pray to anything/anyone who will listen that the deficit of our youth, the stupidity and dumb down nature of the old US of A…will someday rise much like Tom’s club foot and score the winning field goal…yet until then we have to settle for the fact that intelligence has been replaced by spay tans and good ole fashion invasions…

    I can only imagine the leaves are giving you hints of what will be arriving soon..and your garden is tiring from what was hopefully a very bountiful season…I wish you well Mrs. N.
    I return to the high desert in a few weeks…eager to explore what waits…

    • Robert Old Thing… It is indeed wonderful to hear from you. I had assumed you had been kidnapped by the forces of Darkness… or, even worse than that… Rotarians!

      The leaves are not yet turning, but, I have zinnias OVER 7 feet tall! It has been a strange year… and it ain”t done yet.

      Be well Robert
      Mrs. N.

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