Offensive Fences and Walls

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One of my newfound WP compatriots employs a clever method to come up with a prompt word; i.e., to inspire some of his posts. He randomly selects and opens a book and, without looking, simply lets his extended finger land on the page!

Voilà, he’s found his “word”.

And on this new day, his prompt and now, mine too, becomes: Wall

For a left leaning man, such as I, there’s an instantaneous, free association with a freedom loathing X-prez who’s also an inveterate xenophobe.

As most of us are all too painfully aware, throughout his odious tenure, he was obsessed with making good on his bad (actually awful, deplorable) campaign promise of constructing a big, badass, electrified, spiked wall along the U.S. / Mexico border. And if memory serves, he also wanted to dredge out a moat, alongside, and stock that water filled barrier with fanged, venomous snakes and take-no-prisoners ravenous, carnivorous alligators.

Alas, memory serves well.

Long exasperated sigh.

Well, now that I’ve caught my breath, let’s let this wall issue promptly move our thoughts in a more humane direction…

Let’s address the defensive attitudes, which prompt people to erect invisible walls around themselves; just as formidable and impenetrable as the brick and mortar variety; the very type that get in the way of human understanding; the awareness that, deep down, most of us are more alike than different from one another.

The walls that inhibit problem solving, and, yes, even friendship and love.

Let’s deconstruct the word “defensive”, itself, right down to its root, “fense” and then sub in the letter “c”

Voilà, the word “fence” emerges; yet, another type of wall.

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An Aesthetically Disagreeable Ad

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As the “webmaster” of a freebie WP site, I just happened upon one of their in-rotation adverts, which reads:

“U.S. Surgeon: This Simple
Trick Empties Almost
Immediately Your Bowels
Every Morning.”

WP Sponsor (who shall go nameless)

Side Issue #1 (numerical pun intended): To feel PO’d about WP sponsors is counterintuitive. After all, they do pay the bills. Obviously, as WP freeloaders, we beggars cannot be choosers.

Side Issue #2 (numerical pun intended): At least, the good doctor had, mercifully, opted to go the “Almost” route for “The Go” to go down.

Main Issue: Granted “The Go” is part of life, but what ever happened to aesthetics? I mean, depending on the viewing mode, this ad either closely preceded or followed my post. And more to the point, it totally uglified the beauty of my heartfelt sentiments.

What’ll be next? An aesthetically disagreeable, drone’s eye aerial view; i.e., the before and after bowl pics; you know, just to provide proof-positive that this “Trick” really works?

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Considering the Ad content, all the more reason to mask up.

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The Land of Opportunity; LOST

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Just yesterday, while blogging away this pandemic era’s wee hours, my Internet connection went AWOL, again; this time out, just as my virtual, clicking finger was poised over the aqua hued, WordPress “publish button”.

Well, rather than rushing thru a manual re-connection, I allowed my router to engage its auto-reboot function; all the while delivering my muttered pep talk to A-I: “C’mon, red light, turn true blue!” (all to no avail).

With the recalcitrant tech gremlin giddily turning its deaf ear to me, I soon found myself leaning back on my sofa, eyes closed, drifting in and out of dreamland; waiting for my brain to go into auto-reboot mode, too. Well, at least, that’s how I view the realm of REM sleep.

Fortunately, my unconscious mind’s counseling session helped me better connect to my life as it truly is; arrive at this first waking moment conclusion:

My existence within this godforsaken tech desert, is truly emblematic of existence within Michigan as a (w)hole.

Michigan: The Land of Opportunity; LOST

I suddenly began comparing my life to that of my very first WordPress follower; best described as a kindred spirit; how his life and times in California, had afforded him the very creative paths Michigan, invariably, had (has) denied me,

Oh how I wish my father had taken Horace Greeley’s “Go West, young man!” wisdom to heart; made better use of his teaching degree by seeking out the California public school houses. Had he done so…

Suffice to say / safe to say, I believe the Golden State would’ve been my golden opportunity; afforded me a far better chance to lead the life I never had.

I can only imagine what it’d be like to not be languishing in Michigan; squandering my writing, broadcasting and musical talents. And even were such a self-assessment invalid, at the very least, I’d have found more doors to knock on.

I can only wonder how different life, elsewhere, would’ve been.

  • How many novels would I have authored and published?
  • At what radio stations would I have hung my FCC license?
  • Would my keyboard skills have rocked me onto the stage?
  • Would I have met the love of a lifetime and married her?
  • Would we have considered going the parenthood route?
  • Would we be co-authoring memoirs of our life and times?

Inevitably, some will wisely point out that my shelf life might extend outward, as far as 2041. But, such an invisible, bar coded time stamp is merely quantitative. The qualitative perspective would suggest otherwise.

Lest anyone forget, the unforgiving light of our youth and beauty obsessed culture tends to blind potential employers.

Beyond that, how does one safely walk life’s path set against the backdrop of a global pandemic? Who knows how much longer the vaccines’ efficacy will last? How much more microbial crud remains within Corona-V’s dirty bag of tricks? How much of it “he” has yet to hurl at humanity?

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
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1 VirtualChat > 1 ZillionFollowers

> = Greater Than

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• PC’s MSRP: $2000
• Monthly Internet Fee: $20
• Home prepped cereal/toast/jam/coffee: $2

• Social Network virtual breakfast time bonding chat with a
kindly, caring soul nearly half a world distant: PRICELESS!

• There are some things money cannot buy…
• For everything else there’s “Flying” with WordPress

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• Giving credit where credit is due: Today’s post is based upon
McCann-Erickson’s classy, creative advert campaign crafted to
add a decidedly human dimension to folks carrying MasterCard

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• Giga Thank-Yous to both Y and WP!

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Another Rainout?

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Pregame Show: With Major League Baseball’s 2021 World Series slated to run 10/26 thru 11/03, and my being a Detroit Tigers fan for sixty years, the diamond related metaphors will abound in today’s post. Here’s my play-by-play / pitch…

Upon my springtime arrival at WordPress Coliseum for the opening of the 2016 season, along with my laptop, dictionary and thesaurus, I unpacked my open ears. I mean, in this game, being a good listener is paramount. Hey, why do you suppose our creator made damned sure our tympanic membranes would outnumber our tongues 2 to 1?

Hey, what can I say? Lovers of the game do obsess over statistics.

Anyway, ever since my first at bat (first post), I’ve had high hopes that my views on life, in general, and the political scene, in particular, would be akin to base hits; maybe the occasional home run. That post, post game, I’d inspire a few (comment section) chats with teammates (followers) and, maybe, even a few visiting team players (passersby), alike. After all, comments do add dimension to issues that I’ve likely missed.

Anyway, a post without comments is akin to a dreary, rained out game. And it’s all those on the horizon, almost daily, gray rainstorm clouds that have got me wondering (worrying a bit, too) about whether or not I’m a monumental bore?

If that’s, indeed, so, why do spirited conversations come so easy to me in the real world?

Case in point, once I depart WordPress for the virtual homeward bound “commute”, I’ve ofttimes found my next door neighbor ready for many a lengthy and lively over the backyard fence confab. And you know what? I’ve never seen her yawn. Nope, not even once.

Suffice to say, these past five seasons, nearly all of my posts, have wound up rained soaked; and that’s dispiriting.

Maybe my thoughts are Uninspiring? Unsophisticated? Irrelevant? Inconsequential? Incomprehensible? Annoying? Antagonistic? Polarizing? Outmoded? Out of step (within our regrettably regressive right wing world)? Depressing (to readers ISO a mood elevating pep talk or escapism)?

Hey, I’m a big-leaguer (15 year veteran blogger) who’s sufficiently humble, objective and grounded to consider all the above.

So, for now, here I am; seated in the WordPress dugout in the late innings; plenty of time on my hands (hey. it’s baseball!) for thinking prior to my next at bat.

I do know this is not the first and won’t be the last time I’ll be talking to myself. Just keepin’ it real, folks. Nope, not about to cry in my virtual beer.

Besides, my team manager (my conscience) reminds me that booze ain’t allowed until the game’s final OUT; preferably in celebration of a well played game’s victory.

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C’mon In!

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“Books are like seeds. They can lie dormant for centuries and then flower in the most unpromising soil.” (Carl Sagan); “Nothing ever dies on the Internet.” (anon.); “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile.” (Madison Ave. [m]adman). My posts amalgamate these three philosophical elements into one novel experience; they champion critical thinking, human dignity / equality, levelheaded / even-handed / liberty-based governance and solid environmental stewardship. C’mon in!

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Thank-U AI

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As most folks, who’ve ever Googled their own websites, can likely attest, there really is that sudden rush associated with getting a glimpse at one’s name / website name gleaming in the virtual sunlight.

And that surge can morph / escalate to joyousness whenever everything goes beyond the perfunctory, one entry acknowledgment of one’s mere online existence.

Granted… long sigh… in all likelihood… AI has been calling all the shots.

Nevertheless, one can still entertain the old school notion that, instead, at least one set of human eyes has been pouring over one’s blogs on a regular basis; liking what (s)he is reading; so much so, that (s)he’ll opt to specifically link to at least one of your posts.

Case in point, mere moments ago, I discovered a grand total of 8 Links!

Well, at least “someone” is enjoying the view; i.e., my prevailing op-ed, prose and poetry POV; even if this is “only” being seen thru the eyes of AI

Naturally, in the event that an actual human being has / actual human beings have been going the extra mile / kilometer to promote my work, at this juncture, I’d like to amend my above headline; to wholeheartedly acknowledge YOUR existence by expressing, to YOU, my undying gratitude!

Those 8 Links really did make my day!

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It’s ALL UnSustainable! (Parable)

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Once upon a time, in the Land of Opportunity, there lived Arthur Artisan, a post-global-apocalypse-era job hunter, consumed by both anxiousness and exhilaration. While, for him, such seemingly at-odds emotional ingredients did feel downright counterproductive (and rather unnerving, too), his conflicted state of mind could hardly be deemed unique.

Would that not be experienced by most anyone, who’s about to reenter and retest the reawakening work-a-day-world waters? Who’s simultaneously able to entertain a keen awareness of having found one’s true vocation?

Fortunately, for chef-wannabe Arthur, he’d been able to table such fruitless drama. Long parable sort, he had no sooner begun circulating copies of his cleverly crafted résumé, completing job applications and interviews, than, tout de suite, came the big pay off! The personnel manager singing out those magical lyrics, “You’ve got the job!”, had, most assuredly, been music to this new-hire’s ears!

And, this was no ordinary entry level job, either. Quite unexpectedly, his yet-to-be, real-world-tested, culinary training had already earned him the prestigious title of Head Chef, no less!

A mere 24 hours later, he found himself donning his tall white toque; toiling within the three specialized kitchens of a swanky, five-star eatery. And, in short order, via his superbly created/plated delectable dishes, and courtesy of word of mouth props from his 600, newfound, loyal patrons, almost overnight, he’d become renown, far and wide.

The massive influx of hourly phoned reservations both delighted the maitre d’ and worked him to a frazzle. During each hectic day, of these 600, approximately 200 ravenous diners (typically 40 parties of 5) would show up.

But, alas, that success, in itself, had become the fly in the ointment. And, ahem, Arthur did sigh his relief that this was only metaphorically speaking; not some actual, drowning in the soup, disgusting, winged, buzzing bug.

Yet, in less time than it had taken to set his sighs aside, the real bugaboo had managed to float to the top.

And that took on the form of Arthur’s big boss, Tasman Taskmaster, whose utterly unwise business strategy was to severely curtail food prep time; thereby permitting Arthur only 5 scant minutes per hungry patron. Talk about Fast Food! YIKES!!! That Mr. Taskmaster hadn’t hired another chef or two could be attributed to his also being an overhead obsessing tightwad (the details of which are best left bused to another parable, another day).

Anyhoo, tout de suite, Arthur’s “OH NO” moment of truth had arrived. Nary one doubt, he was working for the proverbial sweatshop whip cracker from Hell.

Sadly, it had been the sheer elementary school mathematics, which powered the driving force behind this 5-Minute Rule; that is, what was driving Big Boss to slave drive his Head Chef. To crunch that bean counter’s numbers.

200 diners X 5 mins prep time per diner = 1,000 mins burned up daily (16 hrs 40 mins to be exact).

So much for the 8 hr workday, huh? So much for the recommend 8 hr sleep cycle, too!

There simply was no time for Arthur to lead an active, healthy social life outside of his workplace; hell schlep thru any existence at all! No time to complete household chores, tend to property upkeep, to even do his own laundry and grocery shopping. Hell, he’d have probably starved to death were it not for his sampling the food he was preparing and his scarfing down the shift’s end leftovers, which were (unforgivably) destined for the dumpsters.

Seeing too, how his own career was dumpster bound, Arthur Artisan took a hike and took his talents elsewhere.

The End?

Our Parable’s Primary Moral:

Life is too damned short for anyone to waste away within any toxic environment

Our Parable’s Secondary Moral:

Everything will begin to coalesce upon our comparing Arthur’s unenviable vocational woes and far from ideal workplace conditions / expectations to society’s typical Social Network Platforms; indeed, the very one you and I stand atop as I type, you read.

Localizing that more to my own blogging avocation, it’s been my regularly posted content, which has attracted nearly 600 followers. The bugaboo, here, is how my staying meaningfully connected to even one third (200) of them would inflict fictional Arthur’s identical time constraints on real Tom’s real world life. In other words, I don’t have 16 hrs 40 mins each day to fully savor every mega-talented blogger’s content; to post meaningful props in their comment sections re their oft entertaining narratives, spectacular poetry and overall, sheer artistry.

And, I’d be remiss not to mention how my doing so would leave me no time to compose/post my own content.

Beyond that, just how, pray hell, do bloggers who boast 10K, 100K and even 1 Million followers, ever manage to stay connected? I’d challenge each of them to, without peeking, name them all by screen name!

Beyond beyond that, I curse that math that hath morphed me into an unresponsive, almost non-member of the WordPress Community.

My sincere apologies to all, who I had never ever intended to snub, yet, nonetheless, still did.

Alas… long sigh… today’s headline doth sum up, succinctly, the paradoxical, anti-social nature of so-called social network life:

It’s ALL UnSustainable!

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