ThursDao, the program that normally occupies this spot, has been preempted by ThursHowl.
Because sometimes, one must.
[Yes, my calendar is slightly skewed. Today is Friday, not Thursday. I began writing this article more than a week ago. I planned to publish it tardily but (as you will see) fittingly, last Friday.
Then, Connecticut. Too many beats skipped. Too many beats lost. Too soon to write of it. But to post without speaking to the loss of life there would have been wrong, disrespectful.
Since the article shares some thematic threads with what happened in Newtown, I publish it now (still fittingly tardy) in the same substantive form it took prior to the tragedy. While it’s been hard to read the news, it’s been even harder to abstain from howling. I will keen for Connecticut in another post, though not in a way that one might expect.
So hop in. It’s a winding ride. Do as Jack would do, and if you got ’em, smoke ’em, but please don’t Bogart. It’s my gas.]
Therewego. A new neologism. (Is the word ‘new’ unneeded here? I say no, insomuch as there are pre-existing neologisms and neonatal neologisms and ‘therewego’ is one of the latter.
Or at least it was
a minute a week ago.)
FROM the BBC Online headlines:
One if by land.
Two if by sea.
Nations play dodgeball.
Don’t step on a crack.
Watch your back.
A coupla swells wearing 1980’s Baltic civilian casual, their collars open beneath leather bomber jackets, Kalashnikovs in hand, look to the sky as Russia (AKA the Formerly-Finite-Human-Being known as Putin) declares that the Syrian rebels may win.
And well they may.
But first they will have to fight it out amongst themselves.
EU finance ministers, in a bid to leverage some rollicking after-parties at the Brussels summit, agreed to new bank rules for the countries they represent. Beginning March 2014 some 200 banks will come under direct authority of the European Central Bank.
The agreement was finalized two days after HSBC received a $1.9B smack on the wrist, and nearly five years after the world economy (or 99% of us, anyway) took a nose dive that cannot be fixed – not even by that master of ‘plastic you can believe in’ Dr. Terry DuBrow, Heather DuBrow’s (Real Housewives of O.C.) plastic surgeon hubby.
(Oh, and we believed in all the plastic, baby, no matter how derivative. Plasticity and a complete lack of transparency fueled that meltdown.)
A wrist smack.
Always-Forward-Never-Straightjackets designed by the bailedbirds who will spend their time in the cuckoo’s borrowed nest. It’s as irrefutable as Nature.
CODB for the rest of us?
Piece of My Heart
[Soul rending. Don’t bypass this performance by Janis Joplin & her boys.]
(It’s all in who you know.)
This content doesn’t seem to be working. Try again later.
I am intrigued by a short that I cannot access. BBC videos never work on my machine. (Yes, I tried the fixes, got tired of working for the machine, and decided to be happy with the headlines alone, and, if I am really interested, to be satisfied to google the damn topic, find a book, and learn by reading, as G-d intended man (and apparently a few women) to do.
The short’s short title: ‘If books could kill.’ (They can. And they have. Please don’t tell me that you are unaware of this. If so, you must go immediately to the nearest library or house of worship and read a book. A proper book – hardcover, with a front and back board, and heavy cotton pages bound to a leather spine. It will have a beginning and an end. Neither is negotiable nor protractible. You can learn a lot about life from a book.)
(Then again, this is coming to you from a woman who is just now publishing an article she began writing nine days ago.)
(Then again, beat it, Hobgoblins!)
The short’s long title?
If books could kill:
A reader’s guide to paranoia & anxiety
(Oh yeah. That should help.)
(Kind of ironical, ain’t it?)
(It’s all in who you know.)
(Hey, it doesn’t bother me if it doesn’t bother you.)
(Frankly guys, I wouldn’t mind a hand with this stuff.)
(Who are you calling a guy?)
(It doesn’t bother me if it doesn’t bother you.)
( I said, Beat It, HOBGOBLINS!!!)
The medium of this BBC story matters, owing in part to the technical limitations of Yours Truly, but also because (given the subject matter) one wonders whether the authors have chosen the appropriate medium to reach their intended audience.
The story is delivered via video. It’s a story about books, delivered neither by book, nor by magazine, nor even by digital text, but by video short.
If, on the one hand, the producers wish to inform those who eschew books that books can kill – which is well-proved by the merest glance at either history or a book – then their media choice is spot on.
It’s the perfect way to say, ‘Well done! We agree! Way to eschew! ¡Viva la bibliofilia!’
It also warns those feathery fickles perched on the library fence, with a cuidado de alta, as it simultaneously gives its congratulatory pat on the back to those birdbrained bibliophobes who knew danger when they saw it and who flew from the libraries like bankers from the vaults, out into the streets, where everything worth knowing lives and every dividend worth filching lies.
If, on the other hand (notice please – as you dodge my too numerous sentence fragments – notice please the parallel structure of the paragraph introductions in which I use the phrases ‘on the one hand’ and ‘on the other hand.’ These idioms are hand-me-downs from another pastime of the not too distant past, that of face-to-face conversation.
People spoke in person for all sorts of reasons, from the most inconsequential daily fancies to important matters of family, society, and the world. When considering a topic one would say, ‘well, on the one hand,’ holding up the palm of her right hand, and then, when introducing the countervailing argument, she would say, ‘but then, on the other hand,’ holding up her left palm, giving her companion –
– oh yes, we had those too, back then – companions – people who were with us. Not photos of faces we called friends in a non-book that called itself a book. We had entire communities of living, breathing people, bodies and souls, all around us, silent sometimes, talking other times –
– giving her companion the most certain impression, with the slightest turn of her hand, that she, the speaker, was considering the weight of her arguments, the weight of her words.
Unfortunately, all were not free to participate in these face-to-face conversations. Laws ‘protecting’ the welfare of women, still extant in some countries, prohibited a woman from leaving her home without the permission of her husband, father, or senior male family member, and prohibited any face-to-face meeting, supervised or otherwise, with unrelated males.
And what adults think of children vis-à-vis communication hasn’t changed much. (‘Don’t talk back.’) The adage that children are best seen and not heard is still around. It is an old canard, an obscenity, really. Tell me how a person treats a child and I will tell you what he thinks of humanity.
Children are people, no less than you or me, fully vested in that mantle of human rights that each of us claims as our natural, irrevocable stock in life.
Some argue that things have progressed. But saying that child welfare law has improved is like saying that chemotherapy has improved. Both statements are true, but each fix is toxic to those it aims to help. Sometimes, it saves the patient. And sometimes it kills him. Even at its best it’s a brutal way to treat someone you are trying to protect. It’s invasive, painful, and debilitating.
But I don’t mean to disparage chemo. Chemo has a better track record treating cancer patients than we have treating children. Statistics don’t lie. (Well, these statistics don’t lie. But then they weren’t developed on Wall Street.)
Still, an advance made by one brings others along. At least women’s rights have improved. We can control when and how we have children. If women don’t like the laws they can vote, or go on the road, or drive across the border to another state or another country, or – ah, oops – nope – sorry.
“This content doesn’t seem to be working. Try again later.”
Perhaps instead, Kind Reader, you could just change the pronouns in the previous paragraphs to ‘his’ and ‘he’ and ‘him’ and then trouble yourself no further, just let the conversation flow freely – a painless for-adult-men-only fix.
Anyway, who knows how people found the time for such vis-à-vis, la vie à la vie encounters? Life was easier then. But I digress. How beat is that?
So if the producers of ‘ If books could kill: A reader’s guide to paranoia and anxiety’ are targeting those who do read, their media choice has done them a disservice.
Had the full story been presented in text, I would have read it and actually had some cause to address its topic.
Instead, I can offer the video’s producers no promotional bolster and all that remains for me is the gnawing sense that if Japan and China, or the EU leaders and the financiers, or what’s left of the government and rebels in Syria, or men, women, and children, had spoken face-to-face, early on, things might have been different.
What’s that, you say?
It’s been done?
League of Nations, G7, G8, OAS, G33, G20, NATO, OSCE, WTO, UNSC, ICJ, ASEAN, APEC, EU, EC, The Six Party Talks (two sets of them, at least), Arab League, Gulf Cooperation Council, SESAME, Council of Europe, European Parliament, IMF, World Bank, UN, The Family as A Social Institution.
Wow. We’ve been at this a long time.
Do you mean to tell me that even the scientists at SESAME
can’t open things up?
Well, I stand corrected.
No, I take that back.
I shall stroll, corrected.
Then I’ll select a book, and I shall sit corrected.
Then, though I am a woman (or rather because I am a woman) I shall walk erectly, eschewing any further correction.
And then, after a visit with my companions, I’ll sit down once again, upon my well-earned, well-worn rear, and I’ll read yet another book of my own choosing with all of my well-fed, book-nourished anxieties and paranoias happy and in their proper places.
All of which is a lot more than most women or children
or men are free to do.
I told you that you can learn a lot about life from a book.
G-d Bless America.
G-d Bless all fair governments and freedom fighters.
G-d Bless the free press and the laissez-faire, free economy.
G-d Bless all good leaders everywhere.
if you can figure out
who, what, or where
any of them are.
Die bei Rollenspielen üblichen Würfel – The Usual Role-Playing Dice (sic)
On the Road
Loch Long Road
ThursHowl, showing up a few days late.
No longer working for the machine.
©13 December 2012 Isabella Darling All rights reserved. Images as attributed. Video via standard youtube license.