Can Vegetation School Vegetables?

Preface: If you’re one who truly digs how humans have triggered (perhaps irreversible) climate change and how that can only negatively impact both flora and fauna; how it can only jeopardize the very habitability of our home world, you are not a vegetable. That said, be you afloat with the science or drowning in cluelessness, dig my own damning evidence of the looming troubles ahead…

Unplanned Field Experiment: Several weeks ago, this inveterate sixties era flower child enjoyed a few moments of preemptive gardening (more about that in a moment). My Goal: To set up a temporary, two foot tall wire fence capable of supporting two peony bushes, thereby extending their typical, 7 to 10 day peak blooming season; one that any garden-variety rain storm can end prematurely. Naturally, the major prob, here, is how these long stemmed fragile flowers simply cannot withstand even minor water retention.

Background: I’m reasonably certain that the plant that blooms white had been transplanted by my folks when our family of four transitioned from renters to homeowners back in June ’61. As for the one that blooms ruby red, it’d been my self-planted birthday present to my horticulturist mom (for her eightieth birthday). I can still vividly recall my greenhouse visit (purchase price a mere $8). And, by the by, that bygone MasterCard ad campaign which promises priceless memories remains spot-on. Anyway, it was one decade beyond that, upon inheriting my mom’s flowers (both indoors and out) that my motivation to honor her / keep her memory alive rendered this annual construction project akin to a labour of love. As such, I even welcome this upkeep.

Damning Evidence: Alas, during this 2021 lap around ol’ Sol, things did not pan out as planned. While my fence did successfully prop up the waterlogged blooms, the very next day, the flowers began turning sickly brown. I suspect the culprit is either acid rain or too much UV radiation (both?). And it doesn’t take much dot connecting to extrapolate that whatever shortens plants’ lifespan can similarly impact animal / human existence. Which brings us full circle back to my headlined Q:

Can Vegetation School Vegetables?

Long Sigh / Short Answer: That’d depend on the vegetables not remaining oblivious to the obvious evidence; e.g. such as that discovered right in my own backyard; and, doubtlessly, planet-wide, too. Or, in lieu of their heightened awareness / digging reality, their simply getting out of our way. After all…

To not dig the dangers of climate change is akin to digging humanity’s grave.

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Pols, Pals & Foes

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Let’s pick up the pieces; when humdrum Pols take tame stand
And stick to pedestrian speeches; bond to strike up lame band
Once slick admen join them; Pols and Pals both play game bland
They trick to paint tainted world; sell us a spiffed, spoofed name brand

Their nice ads roll ‘round the clock; spread thru the airwaves and stream
“Roll up your sleeves!” they beseech, “Please join vaxxed people’s team!”
While vaccine science, trustworthy, rolls out the Game-Changer scheme
“Jabs” can’t knock out / cure social ills; not at such nauseous extreme

Bottled up in ads’ ointment, the flies team / teem; galore
Trump troglodytes engage erudites; THAT no-win, endless war
Normal notions stump Trump; also his dumbbell / oddball corps
Freedom? Justice? Just buzzwords; they all buzz off / abhor

In most known negative “isms”; Trumpers sprawl, wallow, bask
To learn from pandemics’ hard knocks? They’re not up to that “task”
They won’t even thwart Covid; by simply donning a mask
Are they beyond all redemption? Need anyone ask?

Deep down in the deep end, of the primordial pool
Trumpers get off on their guns; nuff to make them all drool,
Some strafe houses of worship, the workplace, the school
Others are BLAM-BLAM bad cops, who flip off BLM’s rule

Trumpian race and class warfare, proves chronic infection
Dots Pandemic? Dots Climatic? Simps can’t make the connection
Freakin’ fools who can’t fathom the Free Fair election
These days, go on a rampage; foment insurrection

Epilogue:

Granted, verses, above, tell the heart-rending tale
Of my homeland’s decline; beyond the pale / stale
Might “where there’s life there’s hope” wisdom, somehow, prevail?
Well, our Stars and Stripes still fly; Trump’s insurrection did fail!

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A Non-Flesh ’n’ Blood Kindred Spirit

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One scant week ago, a much too long absent, non-flesh and blood kindred spirit arrived at my front door to resume our regular visits. At first glance, a double take was in order; mainly because I hadn’t seen this otherworldly friend since the pandemic had shuttered our world; well over a year ago.

Suddenly, upon factoring in my (typically) restless / sleepless condition, I had to wonder if I had nodded off? Wandered off into Dreamland? Or, was something else playing out; oh, say, along the lines of a supernatural themed TV series-come-true? Might I be blasting off from Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone launch pad?

However (brushing all reader attention grabbing hyperbole aside), as everything actually turned out, ‘twas not unnerving in the least. Quite the contrary!

What we’re actually discussing is my unexpected reconnection to a newsprint and ink publication; namely, a weekly newspaper (featuring state and local goings-on, human interest stories, recipes, op-eds and obits; not to mention the brain challenging Sudoku and crossword puzzles. All in all, food for thought!

Now, I do know (long sigh) that newspapers don’t mean all that much to the general public anymore; especially folks who’ve never known anything other than our (regrettably) Internet dominated and dependent world.

And usage of “regrettably” is not an exaggeration; especially considering how easily we could all become disconnected; be that issue related to tech gremlins / www dead zones, consumer cost-cutting or something far, Far, FAR more wicked and UNNERVING!

With regards to that last listed item, at present, we’re discovering too damned many nations on the brink of ideological collapse; inclusive of the United States (in spite of President Joe Biden’s efforts to thwart his immediate predecessor’s ongoing treachery). Problem is that fascistic leaders are far, Far, FAR too proficient at manipulating the misguided masses into committing what is tantamount to ritualistic, socioeconomic suicide.

Freedom does die wherever / whenever the cultish rabble get fired up by (smarmily) charismatic firebrands; otherwise known as a-hole autocrats to us wise, reality based, critical thinkers.

To take a brief spin thru that rogues gallery let’s “try on for size” the ideologically and psychotically supersized Vladimir Putin (Russia), Xi Jinping (China), Kim Jong Un (North Korea), Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi (Egypt), Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Turkey), Rodrigo Duterte (Philippines) and, saving the worst for last, the duly deposed in 2020 (and presumed 2024 chomping at the bit wannable Donald J. Trump.

Uh, on second thought (re that try on session), let’s not.

More to the point, ever since tyrannical Trump made “FAKE NEWS” his catchphrase that pays / got that reverberating in the echo chamber, brain-dead heads-of-state, worldwide, have been overusing and abusing such vernacular, ofttimes verbatim, whenever genuine article journalists spot on expose them as societal parasites.

Even more to the point, most autocrats keep their grubby little paws poised over the Internet Kill Switch. After all, in the end (THE END) when it comes down to trampling human rights, their first order of biz is to sever all lines of communication, especially online reportage. It’d not be hyperbolic to say that, in the wrong hands, such a “circuit breaker” could eventually unravel the Internet and kill the truth.

My above concerns are the very reasons why I deem all reputable, hard copy newspapers akin to:

A Non-Flesh ’n’ Blood Kindred Spirit of mine; hopefully yours too.

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To whom this MUST concern:

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Preface: Prior to 2021, I had taken for granted that, in spite of the irreconcilable, ideological feud, no U.S. citizen would ever be spiteful enough to harm America. Then came January 6th, when Donald J. Trump, the (in title only) President of the United States of America, rallied, weaponized and repurposed his followers; enraged them enough to attack the United States of America; all on his behalf; all based upon his delusions that voter fraud had cost him reelection. Seeing how, to date, too damned many of his co-conspirators do double duty as sitting federal level Senators, Representatives and Judges; that no arrest warrants for DJT have been forthcoming; how, as such, he remains unpunished / at large, his followup attack still looms. Hence, the impossible to dismiss missive, below…

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To whom this MUST concern:

As of this day, 2021/06/02, this open missive gets www posted; on behalf of ALL oppressed masses, world-over. Seeing how it’s been said, “Nothing ever dies on the Internet”, even were your hands dripping with all 4.7 liters / 10 pints of our lifeblood, our truths WILL outlive tin gods, such as you; indeed, long after you’ve become unbecoming footnotes inked onto the moldering papyrus of our History books.

Purpose:

To address and edify each and every brownshirt who dares to goosestep in ugly, gargantuan sized jackboots.

To flesh that out:

• We are pointing our collective finger of blame (both hoisted middle fingers, too) and thumbing our unified nose at each and every reprehensible, reptilian authoritarian, who dares to author and/or enforce draconian decrees.

• Ditto those digital gestures re the above-mentioned addressees’ bankrollers and bootlickers.

• Ditto those digital gestures re all would-be power hungry Fascists / Nazis.

Our red flag magnitude reminder, too:

No matter how hard you may try, there is not a place on Earth (not even within the vast mulitverse’s most far-flung sectors), where you can completely hide from the truth, namely:

Your words can never “pretty up” your odious ideologies and the consequent heavy handed, human rights violating / gutting laws, which you lord over the masses. You and everything you stand for are akin to lumps of fetid, fecal matter. Oh, you can try to gift-wrap and affix shiny bows to your wretched régimes, but, your lumps of ideological dung have always been, still are, and shall forever be, lumps of dung. As such, incensed, critical thinking commoners shall NEVER, EVER, become noseblind to YOUR insufferable stench.

Signed,

CommonSenseTom and
All LikeMinded Souls WorldOver

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P.S. (addressed to the oppressed): Granted, the drunk on power will likely never read the above words. And even were they to happen onto them, comprehension would be way above the paygrade of such mindless, heartless and soulless, stick-figure tyrants. Nonetheless, it did feel good to get such sentiments off our collective chest, did it not? Transcending their doom and gloom is the glimmer of hope that, if not now, our exercise in free expression could even…

Well, seeing how my originally planned parting remark has been expressed far more eloquently, before, check out the following sentiment; one which, naturally, is fully applicable to missives, too:

“Books are like seeds. They can lie dormant for centuries and then flower in the most unpromising soil.”

[Read related quote HERE]

Carl Sagan “Cosmos”, p.281, (©1980) • Random House, Inc. New York

If you’d like to sign this open missive and/or immortalize your own views, along these lines, the comment section awaits…

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What (else) is flat as a pancake?

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It was during this Sunday’s early a.m., where I found my larder shy of several key pancake ingredients, feeling zero desire to mask-up for an impulse visit to my in-town, price gouging supermarket, YET, still hungering for the damned flapjacks! Oh, what to do?

Well, for starters, it didn’t take much effort to free-associate what else is flat as a pancake.

Hence, right after I finished cooking up / serving up my (daily) bowlful of oatmeal, I quickly rinsed the double boiler free of lingering goo, dried it and tossed in an experimental slice of cracked wheat bread.

By the time I had finished my cereal, this steamy, piping hot mock pancake was table ready. Upon plating it, pouring on the syrup and refilling my coffee cup, the moment of truth had arrived!

Not all that surprisingly, this substitute proved the best invention since (what else?) sliced bread; just as tasty as most other made-from-scratch pancakes. Then again, why would it not? Just read any loaf’s label. Obviously, bread and pancakes do boast many, in common ingredients.

“Department of Afterthought” commentary: Had I warmed the bread a tad longer, it could’ve even morphed into a crunchy mock waffle.

To transcend this morning’s “mmm” moment now comes my “hmm” summation…

While I’d never toss / recycle any of my cherished, handed down from generation-to-generation, pancake recipes (the cards still neatly filed in my late mother’s recipe box), I do know that, in a pandemic related pinch, an acceptable alternative can be found to sidestep nearly any non-problem; such as this one.

Beyond that, this morning’s experiment also proved to be a practical application of the proverb…

“Necessity is the mother of invention.”

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The SlimeLords of OutHouse Earth

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As a lifelong, steadfast, science adherent, over the course of the past sixteen months, my preexisting respect for our world’s pandemic professionals could only intensify. To CliffsNotes what I’ve learned from them:

Whenever / wherever folks impulsively and prematurely let down their guard, the opportunistic coronavirus has rushed in to fully exploit that unfortunate, unforgivable lack of resolve.

For the corroborating, damning evidence, reasonable people need look no further than the alarming worldwide Covid-19 infection and fatality spikes (past and present); in particular, within the United States, India and Brazil.

In other words, what that godforsaken Corona-V and HIS asshole, inbred, variant varmints have taught me is that THEY… NOT HUMANS… are the SlimeLords of OutHouse Earth. Sorry to coin such a phrase, but from the microbial POV, that’s, precisely, how they assess the damned dump. Beyond that, whenever THEY decide time is ripe to collect the rent, we wee mortals can wind up coughing up (our lungs); worst case scenario, wind up paying in full (with our very lives).

Alas, of late, my pandemic expert heroes have begun to (impulsively? prematurely?) minimize their own masking up / social distancing protocols; my word choice, indeed, intentional. To further drive home my point, let’s take a few secs to free associate several synonyms of “minimize”: belittle, downplay, make light of, pooh-pooh, etc.

That’s not too harsh an appraisal, either, seeing how when “The Suits” follow suit / let down their guard, too, they’ll need to rely on the easily exploited “honor system”; one where their hardcore antimasker, antivaxxer “Karen” customers will shamelessly lie about being inoculated; for the express purpose of satisfying their psychotic urges to go maskless.

True, the vaccines are becoming a game changer; playing a significant role in ushering in our return to a more normal life.

However, everything these experts have taught us, tells me that it’s not, yet, time to be letting down our guard. The last thing we need is for yet another variant to rear its ugly head; to get its (literal) choke hold on humanity. What if such a mutation winds up bamboozling the available vaccines, oh, say, one month, one week or even one day from now?

On a more uplifting note, just yesterday, I did manage to breathe a sigh of relief into my pandemic mask when I discovered how my fellow grocery shoppers (store employees, too) were not, yet, buying into shedding their masks; even though the proprietor had impulsively and prematurely torn down his entryway’s “you must mask up to shop here” signage.

Look, there’s nothing I’d love more than to be proven dead wrong. But, how is erring on the side of caution wrong? How does masking up and staying socially distanced harm anyone?

It’s the alternative that could be dead wrong; could even involve the permanent microbial overthrow of society; all “courtesy” of Corona-V and “his” variants; a.k.a. The SlimeLords of OutHouse Earth.

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George Floyd (One Year Later)

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All citizens, sentient and civil, mourn for George Floyd; of course
We know there’s no way in Hell, we could ever endorse
That white racist cop / horse’s ass; high on his high horse
Who said, “Whoa!” to due process; spurred undue deadly force;
Whose knee snuffed out life / justice; sans microgram of remorse

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For countless other such victims; we grieve, too, of course
Be our locale bustling metropolis or town branded “One Horse”
To depose cops, demented; is the Step One we endorse
Step Two, vet job seekers, well; to create principled force
For, unless cops can feel human, we’ll feel buyer’s remorse

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Pandemic Elegy

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Oh, the high hopes I had had for humanity
That Corona-V’s “lessons”, could usher in sanity

Yet, the chronic infirmities; confirmed grim fatalities
Failed to touch every heart; teach all righteous realities

The food insecure; the ailing uncured folks, rife
Cannot claim birthright to the long and good life

So, society still stagnates; suffers abundance of denseness
The trigger happy oft spawn, sheer sorrow’s immenseness

Be breaking news gun nuts, civilian or cop
There’s no way in Hell, they ever can stop

When warlords gleefully slay, each new conflict’s white dove
Ditto couplet’s conclusion; mentioned above

Greed for green and green envy; both too frequently meet
At the crash prone intersection; namely Main and Wall Street

Then there’s the myopic, moronic throne sitter asses
Who flat-out refuse to reduce greenhouse gasses

The rightwing’s science deniers pooh-pooh Covid infection
And their spin doctors downplay their Jan. 6th insurrection

In our world, infamy glutted / gutted by inanity
Corona V’s lessons could not lessen insanity

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Shaving Face

The following “transcript” represents yesterday’s, late afternoon, barbering-before-the-bathroom-mirror-musings; just prior to my unavoidably setting foot into our Covid-19 ravaged world…

When taken at face value, for most coming of age males, facial hair management is little more than a “Hey everybody’s doin’ it.” societal custom. Believe me, from the very moment that ol’ razor makes first contact, a boy really starts to feel manly.

Of course, be we meticulous shavers or low-maintenance follicle sculptors, many of us can relate at least one hair- related (hair-raising?) anecdote.

For instance, my bygone public school system’s totalitarian administrators totally nailed their mandatory shaving manifesto to our schoolhouse front door; that grooming code not stopping at students. Yep, one conservative curmudgeon / bible thumper / school board member (who also just happened to run our town’s barbershop), actually wanted to fire our bearded, affable art instructor, T.J. (who had refused to comply).

I swear to God this IS true! That holy roller / capitalist’s contention had been (words to the effect)…

His amorous female students will fantasize about his facial hair tickling them.

Let’s refer to Mr. Conflict of Interest by his initials J.C.
(far, Far, FAR from the bearded one; i.e., Jesus Christ)

Setting aside that above aside, let’s scrutinize the motivation behind shaving, in general. Methinks something far more telling is afoot. But, is this (forgive the wordplay) an outgrowth of Practicality? Inadequacy? Denial? Hygiene? Opportunism? Or, some permutation, thereof?

Fleshing that out…

  • Practicality: Hey, few fellas enjoy “filtering” food (especially soup) thru a mustache.
  • Inadequacy: Let’s face it, guys feel bummed out when beards look uneven/scraggly.
  • Denial: Re this Psych 101 issue, some guys OBSESSIVELY cling to bygone boyhood.
  • Hygiene: Pandemic / pubic health concerns oft unearth beard / mask incompatibility.
  • Opportunism: Capitalism has manufactured an entire industry around facial follicles.

Personally, I’ve always found my own beard to be a force to be reckoned with. Based upon the late, great stand-up comedian, actor, social critic and author George Carlin’s Hair Poem / Beard Poem, I’m sure he’d concur with this man’s Follicle Manifesto when I proclaim, “Live and let live!”, “Let yer Freak Flag fly!” and “Let the damned thing do its own thing!”

Of course, such philosophizing, of late, has not been tenable.

The pandemic (rife with its own end of the world implications) has changed everything. To properly mask up, I’ve had to lose 99% of my end of the world beard, which, way back in February 2020, had dipped far below my sternum. Oh, the irony!

The hair-raising Corona-V disaster, notwithstanding, throughout my entire adult life, I’ve drawn the line at what my mustache does. My being a soup connoisseur demands it!

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