The Undotted Infinitesimal “i” and Uncrossed Teensy “t”?

 

It almost seems like just yesterday that I was a high school senior, settling back into the normal classroom routine following the Christmas break. That’s when just prior to my physics instructor beginning his lecture, he took me aside to inform me of my summons to the assistant principal’s office. The incredulity in his voice was both palpable and justifiable since I’d never given anyone any reason to peg me as a troublemaker.

At that point, my only option was to close my books, make my exit and walk “the final mile” through the now deserted hallways. Peering into the countless classrooms I was passing by, my mind flooded with envy. Why? Well, unlike my classmates, I was being denied my education.

My clear conscience notwithstanding, I was also keenly aware that that assistant principal… let’s refer to him by his initials, CC… was a school rulebook hard-liner. Which raised the big question…

Just which of HIS infinitesimal “i’s” had I undotted and which of HIS teensy “t’s” had I uncrossed?

Upon my arrival, I counted myself amongst the approximately one dozen students… all male… all standing in a semicircle before our judge, jury and executioner. That morning, the bug up CC’s ass turned out to be our long hairstyles, which were in direct violation of the school’s oppressive, grooming code. To paraphrase “Da Man’s” gruff, grunted out ultimatum to each of us… Either get a haircut or get the Hell out… and stay out!

From my side of “The Bench”, His Dishonor’s edict flipped off strict Federal and State statutes which, btw, explicitly state that attendance is MANDATORY for all school aged kids.

Well, the next morning, thanks to Mom’s barbering skills, I wound up passing CC’s inspection. He next handed me a re-admittance form. This required signatures from all six of my teachers… their acknowledgement that they were required to “award” me Fs for all incomplete assignments and/or missed tests.

Admittedly, how two of those six handled this signing “ceremony” certainly turned out to be priceless.

My cool physics teacher, Mr. S (who, btw, sported a much longer hairstyle than what I’d been expelled for) just glumly shook his head side to side while delivering his tongue-in-cheek “tsk tsks”. In guarded, hushed, more serious tones, he expressed both his disbelief and outrage that such a good student could’ve ever been treated so shoddily. When I lamented over how the previous school day’s “Fs” would mess up my GPA, with a conspiratorial smirk Mr. S informed me that I hadn’t gotten any Fs from him. He had had my classmates spend the entire hour quietly reading the next chapter in our textbook. He had also set up a chess board in his office where he had matched wits with anyone who had already read ahead.

My not-so-cool English teacher, Ms. D couldn’t wait for her golden opportunity to gleefully and publicly humiliate any of her students… especially longhaired “hippies”. Yep, I hadn’t even made it halfway to my assigned desk, when, with her stern “So-where-do-you-think-you’re-going-mister” glower… she goose-stepped over to block my path. Had I not first waived CC’s form before her very eyes, that gestapo officer-in-training could’ve easily snarled, “Papers Please!”

It wasn’t until the next day that several of my fellow, readmitted exiles told me how, on the very day of our suspension, our town’s barber had “conveniently” kept his clip joint open for biz well past his regular 5 p.m. closing time. Ah yes… corrupt, small town politics had apparently, heavily influenced CC’s ruling. You see, that barber also moonlighted as one of our school board members… and likely also moonlighted as an author whose self-serving, potentially wallet fattening verbiage had mutated much of our school’s grooming code.

The good news here… mere days later, Judge Damon Keith had ruled to strike down our school’s grooming code. You see, a fellow longhaired student (and friend of mine) had also recently faced down a similar expulsion. But, instead of knuckling under to CC’s BS, his parents… with an assist from the American Civil Liberties Union… had successfully argued that our entire school board and administrative staff did not have the legal right to deny an education to their son or anyone else.

On the upside… from that day forward, I regrew my hair until it reached waist length. And even on the occasions where I’ve opted for substantially shorter “dos”, I’ve always made damned sure my style would, in some way, remain in violation of CC’s code. Why? Just because that’s what freedom is all about. It also feels so good to get the last laugh. And, ever since my retirement, I’ve been free to maintain my mane in all of its lengthy splendor.

On the flipside… my long hair has flipped folks out in varying degrees. Must I point out the obvious… namely that the Y chromosome does permit such hair growth? Just who, beyond that local barber from out of my past, felt they had the right to countermand nature and restrict any man’s individuality? Why the hell should my personal grooming choices ever open me up to profiling… e.g…

  • One man, who couldn’t contain his intolerance, called me a “GD hippie!” Had he been packing heat, he’d have likely blown me away!
  • In an era where customer service within brick and mortar establishments is nearly non-existent, I’ve experienced retail managers and salesclerks first swooping down upon me like buzzards and next shadowing me. I’m almost tempted to (truthfully) claim, “Hey, buzz off! I’m not now… nor have I ever been… nor will I ever be a shoplifter”… but such reassurances would only make them more suspicious.
  • I recently dealt with an Urgent Care physician who, while removing three stitches from my thumb, asked me if I was a musician. True, I do play piano. But, mercifully, I choose not to do so before a captive audience.
  • This past summer, while seated on a park bench, a man mistook me for a homeless person and actually offered me money. Since I’m still solvent I rejected his donation, commended him for his attempt to extend a helping hand, encouraged him to remain philanthropic… BUT… in the same breath… offered my friendly reminder, “Don’t be too quick to judge the book by its cover”.

This would also be a good time to offer up yet another friendly reminder. It’s just as easy for folks to misjudge a well groomed person to be electable. Throughout human history, this has resulted in grotesquely, corrupt regimes headed by the well coiffed, fashionista fascists… such as Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.

Of course some might point out how Donny’s “do” does appear a bit unkempt. Hmm… maybe we could coax CC out of retirement to expel him?

 

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Footprints in the Snow

Just before the ’17 winter solstice, I had set forth on one of my early a.m. power walks, which upon arrival at my favorite park, typically transitions into a more contemplative, leisurely stroll.

On this particular occasion, it soon became evident that while we homeowners do a good job clearing snow from the public walkways we’re responsible for, the DPW does not always shovel those they’re required to maintain.

Judging from the neglected, snow-covered condition of that park’s asphalt paths, I presumed that some austerity program adopted by our city fathers had either furloughed some of their snow removal crews or had assigned them to less frequent work-shifts.

Looking glumly at the sorry state of affairs, I soon found myself wishing I had worn my boots instead of athletic footwear. My options were now limited to two. Either walk gingerly to prevent snow from collecting inside my shoes or do an about face and head for home. Since I normally slow my pace in this setting, anyway, I figured I’d be OK with cautiously staying the course.

As I soldiered onward, all the sudden, I spotted a trail of fresh footprints, ahead. My lucky day! Executing a slight course change and matching the previous park visitor’s stride, I had found that third option. In other words, my following in the footsteps of an anonymous, out of sight trailblazer had saved the day.

It was afterwards, on the return home leg of my fitness walk that I sensed something much deeper than those actual footprints in the snow. True, my observations are hardly anything unique and groundbreaking. But, upon factoring in how, our increasingly “What’s in it for me, Me, ME” driven society needs an attitude readjustment in that regard, my following “deep” thoughts are worthy of mention. Let’s refer to them as…

 

A Refreshing Refresher Course

  • In humankind’s walk through life, we are following in the tried and true footsteps of others who came before us. It’s that intergenerational continuity from where we learn what worked for our forebearers and what didn’t. In other words, if we watch where we are / where they were going, they’ll save us from repeating their mistakes… and, if nothing else… that’s a great time saver.
  • It’s our slowing down, thinking on our feet and… when appropriate… accepting someone else’s fresh, course of action (e.g. our following those footprints) that can work wonders whenever we’re trying to work through some unanticipated, problematic situation.
  • More importantly, regardless of our “shoe size” / our station in life, at any given moment anyone with a good idea has equal footing.
  • We humans are helping one another even when we don’t realize it. And that says much about each individual’s importance. Of course, this doesn’t even take into account how much better life can get when we do consciously cooperate / work well with each other. Words such as “offering a helping hand” and “walking hand in hand” do come to mind… that latter phrase possibly even adding the dimension of love into the equation of life.
  • Seeing how the person who had walked in the snow before I had, wore a smaller shoe size, as I enlarged that original trail of footprints, I may’ve even made life easier for the next person to follow in my footsteps. And maybe, someday, some newly arriving person (with even bigger feet) will do the same!
  • It’s safe to say that the spirit of human kindness and cooperation can have a snowballing effect…and that improves the quality of everyone’s life.

 

In spite of how those footprints in the snow had helped me, I do know they best serve us as a metaphor. Were that not the case, with the arrival of the warmer months everything would soon melt away and we’d lose our way. We’d then have to depend on the next snowfall to regain our bearings (and with global warming snow days could become rare).

That means we must take great care to heed the wisdom of our past and present, actual, venerated trailblazers… many of them brilliant scientists, who are ignorantly ridiculed by the present DC regime. After all, it takes trailblazers to hurdle political speed-bumps and roadblocks… to help us stay the correct course upon humanity’s path to survival.

 

 

BlogCast: Tom’s Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas: Song 1

 

Five Decembers ago on the 14th… I first learned of the Newtown, Connecticut, Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. My heart immediately sank. I could only imagine the ghastly horrors experienced by the traumatized student body and staff… how they were forced to endure watching a mentally disturbed individual so callously and casually blow away 20 young children and 6 educators.

My thoughts then turned to the grieving survivors…of how the families and friends of these victims would be undergoing a mourning process, made even more unbearable because of the close proximity of Christmas… a holiday that is all about families and friends.

In the days to follow, with the crime scene tape still fluttering in death’s icy wind, I naively thought…

Newtown has got to be the very tragedy that’s sure to trigger an open, honest discussion about gun control… one, which will break down that wildly partisan, stone-hearted, stone-headed Republican stonewall. What Republican would not FIRST see this as America’s wake-up call and NEXT be as publicly and visibly moved… perhaps even to the point of fighting back their own tears… the same way President Barack Obama had had to do.

Death is tough enough to accept but that gets compounded a zillionfold when we consider how 20 of the victims were innocent school kids… children who had not yet lived long enough to have seen more than 6 or 7 lit candles on their birthday cakes… how they’d been denied all the good things life has to offer… growing up, discovering their innate talents, joining our workaday world, falling in love, marrying and watching their own kids growing up.

This Christmas morn, I dusted off my family photo album to leaf through its old-school, black construction paper pages… to fondly reminisce over two Christmases past… the very years when I, too, had been age 6 and 7. Yep, there was my all-caught-up-in-the-holiday-spirit, younger self… my ear to ear grins, eyes wide with wonderment. Yeah… those had been the cherished Christmas mornings that, within my memory, have lasted all my life. I could feel my present day face recreating those same smiles… but not for long.

My thoughts now turn to this morning… to Newtown’s surviving, still mourning parents… of how their own photo albums have wound up with missing of photos, empty black pages… and will continue to do so.

December 14, 2017 came and went without so much as even one whisper of the Sandy Hook massacre by the new, so-called prez. To these survivors he would not even be deadpanning or Tweeting one of his patent pending, insincere, robotic, braindead, “You are in our thoughts and prayers.”

Far worse… well… let’s now quote Nicole Hockley, whose 6-year-old son, Dylan, died at Sandy Hook Elementary School. From her Facebook post, which went viral… she justifiably lambastes Donald Trump…

 

“Not only did he ignore the five-year remembrance completely ― not even a single tweet ― he slapped us all in the face by having none other than NRA President Wayne LaPierre at his White House Christmas party that night. The appalling lack of humanity and decency has not gone unnoticed. While they ignorantly partied and remained uninformed on an issue that kills thousands of Americans every year, I was crying myself to sleep. While they got the chance to kiss their children goodnight, I kissed the urn holding my beautiful boy’s ashes.”

 

To be sure, the alleged prez has no need to fight off tears… for he has none to fight. True, his handler, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would likely spin this with her snotty, smarmy and sycophantic, Geeze what the hell is the big deal? What do ya want… blood? After all, this shooting incident did occur five long years ago.

To any such bullcrap, I’d counter…

 

“Oh yeah? Then how come I saw my eyes welling up this morning?”

 

During this new DC regime’s first year, we’ve seen even more massacres… to name two… Las Vegas and Texas… the latter one involving a church… A CHURCH FOR CHRIST’S SAKE! Yet, even mass murder’s blood stained, stained glass locales have yet to trigger that sorely needed, open, honest discussion about gun control… have failed to prod the infantile minded powers-that-be to take even the first baby steps towards keeping guns out of the hands of mentally unstable people… to cure American society of its gun sickness.

I realize my tough talk may’ve bummed some folks out this holiday morn. But… long sigh… any momentary depression I may’ve caused you would pale in comparison to the lifetime of grief and sorrow which the Sandy Hook massacre survivors will be forced to endure. If there are any doubters amongst my readers, just scroll up to re-read Nicole Hockley’s eloquently stated, spot-on words.

We must never forget there are countless survivors of countless other mass shootings, too. And what about those shootings that fly under the media radar because of what? Too few deaths? As if what? One person dying isn’t enough to warrant coverage? Folks, the day society becomes jaded to the point where every such death does not move us… well… long sigh… that is the death of said, sad society.

Getting back to the music… I fully and freely admit that my featured Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas Song #1, Christmas In Heaven, is not the feel good music that will paint smiles on the faces of decent folks… but until indecent, NRA propped up politicians are cured of their sociopathy, corruption, avarice, lust for power and gun sickness… we really don’t have much to smile about… now do we?

 

Read related article HERE

 

My Childhood Innocence Was Shot To Hell!

 

The following is an excerpt from my very first WordPress blog*… my memories of 54 November 22nds ago… when… as a (then) 9-year-young boy… a horrific, blood splattered, national tragedy forced me to eyewitness too much age inappropriate content… to grow up way too soon.

 

I voted for John F. Kennedy when I was ONLY six-years-old!

Well… uh… sort of. Here’s what had actually happened…

After Mom had closed the voting booth curtains, hoisted me up to adult eye level and demonstrated how everything worked, she actually let me shift JFK’s lever down! My having done something so grown-up on Election Day 1960 had been a feel good, defining moment in my young life.

As I grew physically, so did my understanding of (and respect for) the immense leverage, which each of those tiny levers can exert in shaping our nation and world. Tragically, not everyone opts in to such a civilized, orderly process. Such was the case on November 22, 1963…

It had been a gray, overcast, rainy Friday. There had been no school for Sis and me (due to parent / teacher conferences). I was just finishing lunch when my sibling came rushing into the dining room. Still clutching her pocket-sized transistor radio, she blurted out…

“Somebody Shot President Kennedy!”

Mom, Sis and I quickly adjourned to the living room. Even before our Zenith TV’s B&W picture tube had fully warmed up, we could already hear one of CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite’s earliest bulletins.

As time came grinding down to a dead halt we felt ourselves rapidly descending into the depths of our nation’s communal shock. There was little else we could do… save for waiting and hoping that our worst fears would not be confirmed. But…

The bad news just kept on spilling forth from our nation’s TV screens while Kennedy’s dream for the betterment of our national / global society, was hemorrhaging forth from his head wounds… dying along with this great man.

Eventually, Cronkite had to choke back his own overwhelming sorrow as he reported…

“From Dallas, Texas… the flash apparently official… President Kennedy died at 1 p.m., Central Standard Time… 2 o’clock Eastern Standard Time… some thirty-eight minutes ago.”

And that’s the way it was… the feel rotten, defining moment in my young life. The President I had “voted” for three short Novembers earlier had been blown away. Bullets… not ballots… had removed John Fitzgerald Kennedy from office and shot to hell my childhood innocence.

 

 

Assassin’s (perhaps assassins’) bullets had also irreparably devastated our entire global society. We can only speculate what the alternate timeline would’ve been… what our present day world would now look like had JFK opted to stay in DC 54 years ago, today… had kept a low profile for the remainder of his time in the Oval Office (he likely would’ve won a second term).

I do think it fair to conclude that had the voters witnessed what a real president’s policy and demeanor should be… had JFK been able to usher into reality his visions for a better world and better day… our electorate would’ve NEVER, EVER settled for any of his deplorable, dishonorable, stick-figure successors… namely…

The psychotic, “used car dealer”, war-hawk Tricky Dicky Nixon… the labor union busters, devastators of the middle class Ronny Reagan and George H.W. (daddy) Bush… the war criminal / torture chamber manager George W. Bush who on 9/11, first, got caught with his CIC pants down  and, next, went on a rampage to fear monger Americans into granting him carte blanche… to recklessly trash U.S. Constitutional freedoms and needlessly, pointlessly war monger his way into no-win invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq… to stupidly allow himself to be morphed into the ventriloquist dummy / puppet of his own VP; the evil, greedy, sociopathic, war criminal Dick Cheney.

And saving the worst of the very worst for the very last, real Americans would’ve booed and hissed the xenophobic, homophobic, narcissistic, misogynistic, jingoistic, materialistic, infantile, senile, bullying #45 right off the stump.

Well… long sad sigh… to borrow and update Walter Cronkite’s sign-off catchphrase…

 

And that’s the way it is November 22, 2017.

 

 

If you’re a fan of sci-fi twinged, episodic TV… writer J. Neil Schulman’s “what if JFK had survived Dallas” themed alternate reality gets brought to life by the cast and crew of the classic TV series, Twilight Zone… this particular installment titled: Profile In Silver

 

 

*My debut blog, A Tale of Two Timelines Part I, is filed away in my Archive. For those who’d like to access it, click onto March 2016 and scroll down… way down.

 

bad, Bad, BAD “Grooming”

 

With all of the recent, front page reportage exposing sexual predators who infest our entertainment industry and political arenas… with many of their victims now speaking openly of how they were abused… I suppose it’s only natural that an old memory of mine has resurfaced.

This incident had to have occurred when I was a 10 or 11-year-old… a public school fifth grader. This was at a stage in my life just prior to entering puberty… a time when I was still totally naive about sexual matters… or more to the point… unaware of the existence of sexual deviants.

You see, the common parental wisdom of that 1960s era, small-town America was childhood ignorance is bliss. Little did they know that kids living in cocoons is every sexual predator’s dream come true.

That certainly set the stage for something awful. In my case, it involved an affable, well respected, “happily married”, veteran schoolteacher, Mr. K… who (no big shocker) also attended the same Catholic church I did. True, I wasn’t officially one of his students. But, since he was also a playground monitor, we soon became pals.

His grooming routine consisted of his ear to ear, grinned greetings and never ending repertoire of silly jokes. His “What’s the good word” catchphrase certainly was a conversation starter, too. His pockets bulging with a never ending supply of chewing gum and candy all but ensured he’d always have tons of kiddies constantly swarming around him.

One day, Mr. K entered the boys lavatory and stood at a urinal near the one I was using. It was just the two of us. At first I didn’t think this was any big deal… but…

Within mere minutes, he turned left… aimed his sticking straight out penis right at me and spewed forth what I believed to be pee. Looking back at it now through my adult eyes, there was no way in hell that that had been urine. Even if it had been, why the need for his messy, abrupt, 90 degree pivot? Huh?

My reaction that day, fortunately, was to totally skip the hand washing routine and bolt for the door. While what Mr. K had done did seem rather odd to me, I simply could not connect the dots… realize that this pervert had just gotten off while, perhaps, even fantasizing about me?

And what if I hadn’t successfully escaped? What would he have done next? Would he have targeted me further in the future?

Well, I did act less friendly towards him afterwards. The very fact that I had run away also must’ve worried him… forced him to believe that I was totally on to him… rattled his cage to the point where he never bothered me again. Back in the here and now, I cannot help but wonder if he ever did the same thing… or worse… to any of my classmates?

Because this had been an isolated incident and sans any physical contact, I’d rank my level of psychological damage to be low. Yet, since I did remember this all so vividly… more than a half century later… I cannot help but wonder if, perhaps, I’m actually underrating it?

 

Read a related article HERE.

 

 

Guest Blogger: My Late Father, George

 

On this day, 29 years ago, my father died at dawn. For 37 years, he had been the consummate educator… delivering his Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Mathematics lectures to two generations of teenage students residing in Minnesota and Michigan.

As a sophomore and junior I had answered, “Here” during each of Dad’s Monday – Friday morning role calls… as a senior I had been his lab assistant. Of course, I had also benefited from his home schooling, which encompassed life’s lessons.

As most of us know, historically, public school teachers have been underpaid and under-appreciated. So, to supplement his meager income, Dad expanded his lecture circuit… his byline appearing beneath our weekly, local newspaper’s front page column: “The Science Corner”.

Had Dad been born a bit later and lived longer than his 75 years, I’m positive he’d now be an enthusiastic blogger… perhaps even setting up his “lectern” right here @WordPress. I know he’d be thrilled by the prospects of his wisdom and wit spreading outward… at the speed of light… to all four corners of the Earth.

Keeping all the above in mind and with my saved and cherished, time-yellowed, brittle, actual hard copy newspaper propped up before me, I’ve decided to transcribe one of Dad’s lectures. And since 23 of my 46 chromosomes are my father’s… in a sense… 5 of my 10 fingers are his as I… no strike that… as we both… type it out.

I cannot think of a more fitting way to honor my father this day… than to afford him a bit of Internet immortality… resurrect his thoughts… restore his “voice”…  allow him to mind-meld with countless other minds, anew.

 

The Science Corner

DATELINE Thursday, July 2, 1953

 

The age old question – which was first, the chicken or the egg – has been used as a debate-ender, a counter dilemma, and even as a joke. If one discounts the dissertations of the debaters and philosophers and the quips of the comedians and truly strives for a scientific answer, then both the meaning and answer become crystal clear.

All living things, both plants and animals, are made up of tiny bits of protoplasm (living matter which looks very much like raw eggwhite). These bits of protoplasm are called cells. In animals, including the chicken, there are skin cells, muscle cells, bone cells, sperm cells and egg cells – to name just a few. All of the types of cells mentioned above except sperm and egg cells are ordinary body cells and are called somatic cells. The sperm and egg cells (collectively called germ cells) differ from the somatic cells in that the former are used to perpetuate life.

When a sperm cell unites with an egg cell, fertilization takes place. All cells, including new somatic cells and new sperm or egg cells, originate from the fertilized egg cell through processes of division and differentiation. In keeping with these principles, both the new chicken (somatic cells) and all of the eggs (germ cells) that the new chicken will ever lay come from the same egg. To put it still another way, the fertilized egg produces both the body cells which will make up the new chicken and all of the new eggs which the new chicken will lay during its lifetime.

The answer, then, to the original question is: the egg must have been first, because it came necessarily from the previous egg and not from the new chicken.

This concept, first enunciated by the German biologist – August Weismann, is known as the continuity of germplasm theory. According to this concept, the germ cells are immortal if reproduction takes place.

Next Week: Why Does Smoke Rise in a Chimney?

 

 

My Word Document / Nightlight Website?

 

Typically I don’t obsess over my WordPress daily statistical reports. However… what they’ve been telling me has been baffling and I need to make some sense out of this. So here goes.

I do know the vast majority of you, my readers, are arriving at my homepage. Now, unless you’re merely using my layout’s white background as a brilliant nightlight… that means you’re here to read. And I do thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for deeming me worthy of your precious time.

While that’s the good news, the bad can be summed up thusly…

I’ve been experiencing a lack of “blog likes” disproportional to my fairly respectable posting day traffic.

Recently, it occurred to me how readers could wind up scrolling down my entire homepage… viewing hundreds of my posts… without ever seeing even one clickable “like button”.

While it’s common knowledge that one must click onto each blog’s title to even find that “button”, in the first place, is everyone remembering to do so? More to the point… is not seeing that “like button” not prompting that reaction?

Perhaps another technical issue exists, too? If my understanding is correct, it’s impossible for readers, sans WordPress accounts, to register such “likes”. Additionally, professionals, who’ve opened business accounts on this platform, cannot interact in this manner, either.

Now that we’ve quickly brushed aside the nuts and bolts aspects, let’s explore some possible flesh and blood explanations…

  1. Sociability Factor: Social networks are no different than real world communities. To make and maintain good friendships you must be a good friend. Admittedly, I’ve not been the best WordPress neighbor. I’ve not been viewing and liking my followers’ posts as much as I’d really like to. For that… I am truly sorry. All I can offer, in my feeble defense, is that not all is going well in my real world… and being a private person, I guess I’ll just have to leave it at that. It’s not that I don’t care or have lost interest in you. I’ve been impressed by your limitless talents… appropriately laughed and cried… even audibly whispered my “oh wows”… while experiencing your eloquent prose, poetry and stunning imagery. Trust me, your blogs have far more to offer than mine.
  2. Longwinded Factor: In short, in our say it on a bumper sticker… say it in 140 characters or less world… my posts do run long. Even so, I’ve got to believe that somebody, somewhere out there can still savor a long read.
  3. Shifting Winds Factor: In short, the dinosaur… a.k.a. liberalism… is likely headed for extinction. In short… if mainly right leaning readers are stopping by to visit, they’re finding my left leaning content unappealing and unlikeable.
  4. Fear Factor: My stats also indicate my readership includes many, who reside in far less democratic societies… where my politics would undoubtedly rub the glowering, intolerant powers-that-be the wrong way. Might some of my readers fear top-down reprisal… ranging from their tyrannical leaders to their likeminded next-door neighbors? If that were the case, it’d be best for them not to “like” me… I’d not want my readers to ever wind up pummeled, punished and/or imprisoned.

And I do feel their pain, too. Stunningly, my homeland is finding out, too late, how rapidly a once-upon-a-time free society deteriorates when misled by an avaricious, vengeful, ill-tempered, capricious, so-called leader who eggs on his rabid devotees to commit deadly acts of violence… emboldens them to embrace all of humanity’s worst possible, character flaws.

Hell, even my own sibling, a successful, independent businesswoman, has confided that while she shares my liberal POV, she oft refrains from openly “liking” my blogs out of her all too legitimate concerns that she’ll lose clientele.

 

SIDEBAR: I might as well mention another related phenomenon, which no stats could ever begin to help me figure out. Almost invariably, when someone first starts following me, they don’t click any blog “likes”. Ergo… I’m totally clueless as to why they’ve opted to follow me (don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for their doing so). Anyway, I’ll oft pay them a visit, too… in some cases, even clicking some likes on their posts. Then I wait and wait… never to hear from them again.

 

Well, I believe I’ve explored this issue honestly, inclusive of taking some personal responsibility for my lack of “likes”. Not that two wrongs would ever make one right, but…

I’ve got to wonder about the sites that boast multiple thousands of followers. There’s no way those webmasters could ever, possibly, give sufficient, personal attention to each and every one of their followers… yet… their readership thrives.

To wrap up this lack of “likes” , still unresolved conundrum…

I’ll now turn to the world of music to feed my soul, sort out and shed some light on my feelings. Specifically, I’ll be paraphrasing the following lyrical couplet to excise some mild, seventies era, male chauvinism from the otherwise wisely penned song, Every Kind of People.

Each and every one of us is the same… we want the sunshine in our name.

Folks, here at WordPress that’s the sunshine, which streams onto bloggers courtesy of those “like stars”.

Forgive me if my long-windedness, once again, has persisted. I’m just trying to figure out why, typically, my blogs cannot even muster enough stars to form the bowl of the Big Dipper… while some my blogging colleagues wind up with enough to create a virtual galaxy.

Most Importantly: You, my readers, must never feel any obligation to click a “like”… or worse yet, to do so out of pity. Click “like” only if you’ve truly found my blogs elevating, enlightening, entertaining and/or enjoyable.

Your honest appraisals are what will help me figure out what topics are of interest to you and to hone my subject matter accordingly. Perhaps, I’ll even wind up growing my audience and following? Increase those “like” responses, too?

So, what if I still wind up with a lack of “likes”?

I’ll either have to pack it all in or be content that my website has been and, perhaps, shall forever be little more than an online word document and/or nightlight.

While I’ve said this before, it does bear repeating…

I am neither God’s gift to the www nor do I ever expect to be. But… with your help… with your honest feedback as my guide, I just might become a wee bit better?