Monthly Archives: October 2013

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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