Category: you know who you are

My Hands

I received a really hurtful email this morning. It was from a fellow flutist who said, and I quote:

“You have really ugly hands. Maybe you shouldn’t video yourself playing flute. Or doing anything. Its [sic] no fun to watch. Ever think about getting your nails done? Try some lotion, too.”

Well, to that, here’s my response …though I neglected to mention in the video, an expert equestrian’s hands:

For those who can’t hear, here’s a transcript of what I say:

“People comment about my hands. The brave ask about them, the concerned and well-intentioned offering me bottles of flowery-smelling lotion, presenting me gift certificates for a manicure and nail job, bringing me ointments and salves. It’s true, I don’t have elegant hands. I’ve got working hands. These hands play flute and piano, type 120 words per minute, move heavy objects, in short, do a lot of hard, physical labor. They’ve moved tons of hay and grain, dug post holes, strung barbed wire, carried wood and water. These are a martial artist’s hands, a musician’s hands, a swordwoman’s hands. They ain’t pretty, but I love them.”


Trump, Raul Labrador, & the USPS

I blame Trump …or Raul Labrador. I have no proof that it is Trump and his policies that caused this, but I can’t think of any other reason why, suddenly, my mother who has lived at the same address since the last third of the twentieth century and gotten her mail at a post office box in town for the same amount of time should suddenly have to prove to the USPS that she is, in fact, an Idaho resident who actually lives at a residence in the state of Idaho by providing such proof with, not just an official photo ID, but a rental receipt/lease contract/mortgage payment receipt/deed of trust/deed. Ah…really?!

And, yes, that’s what they were demanding! Got this form in the mail demanding this or they would shut down her P.O. Box.

Pissed me off.

I called the post mistress at 8:30 am when the place opened, and we’re such a small post office that it was the post mistress herself who answered the phone.

Quizzing her, she admitted that, yes, this was a demand for record updates for people who had applied and continued to use their post office boxes for decades. “At the time when the application was filled out, everybody knew everybody else and the forms didn’t have all the identification requirements they have now. It’s no fun for us, either,” she told me. “We’ve got over 200 of these to process, and a lot of them are people like your mom who are elderly and have lived here all their lives. Nobody’s pleased about this hardship, but we have to do it. We have to update our records.”

Why now? Why, after all these years of payment upon payment to the USPS by check for the post office box on a yearly basis? Why all of a sudden, with the threat of denying Mom access to her decades upon decades mailing address?

Trumpkin — that’s my guess. And what’s he trying to do? Maybe find out:

a. who owns what assets,

b, who is a transient, and/or,

c. who isn’t a legitimate U.S. citizen.

Now, the post office no longer has chairs or benches provided to sit upon…which they got rid of a while back. (They also got rid of garbage cans, and, on the weekend, when I go get the mail, they also take out the giant junk mail recycle bin, too! How effing thoughtful.)  Back to the lack of chairs, though.  If Mom were to go in, which they require, mind you–in person–she would have nowhere to sit. Mom, who can’t stand for very long, would be in dire straits unless I loaded her into her wheelchair, something she’s never keen on, preferring to walk with her cane.

Call me ticked off.

Well, I got the legal documentation required, not that supposedly required by the USPS form, but by LAW, after researching it and checking with a lawyer. A utility bill would function, along with her state ID card. I sent a utility bill and her ID with her and her friend Patrick off to the post office. I sent her with Patrick because he’s one of those people who keeps a cool head and always manages to say the politically correct thing, where I’m more apt to tell them all what I really think.  It worked. They didn’t even whimper. They did not require Mom to go into the post office, but allowed her to sit in the truck to sign the form after accepting the picture ID and the utility bill as proof of residency–not a whimper.

Whoever thinks that they have a right to look at our deeds, or any other private asset papers can go stuff their heads up their rectal orifice and suck hard. And whoever thinks that a U.S. citizen shouldn’t have the right to a mailing address, even if they’re homeless, ought to be gutted with a dull antler and left to suffer until dead.


What’s Important? Not That, For Sure.

Animals and people, both, are starving, in pain, suffering needlessly. Wild places, native habitat, even whole countries (Syria, for instance) are being consumed by varied disruptive forces, be it climate change, greed-driven destruction, or war, leaving nowhere for those displaced–animals, plant, and human–to survive. And what do I come across this morning? An article decrying the ‘bra tax’. Really?! And I countered, what about pharmaceuticals? That’s more critical, for sure, isn’t it? What about food, clean water, clean air, health care, safety from warring factions?

I am constantly faced with just how ludicrous is the furor and foment over non-critical issues. Reminds me of the airhead decrying her broken acrylic nail and another whose favorite salon girl was sick and couldn’t lavish skilled hands on her tresses. Then there’s the upset over, of all things, Oscar night or who won the Stupid Bowl. Really?!

Oh, my. How very insulated and trite.

“Omigod. I don’t have any cell phone signal.” I know, I know–the sky is falling, the sky is falling, you can’t text your bff, is that it? Gee. Really tough, ain’t it! Meanwhile, your grandmother can’t afford the medications that keep her alive. But you don’t care. You’ve got to TEXT. You’ll just DIE if you can’t!

You know, there are certain times when I just want that Big Daddy in the Sky you all so fervently believe in to wipe the slate clean, and, no, I’d say to him, please don’t try again. It’s hopeless, a bad model, a worse idea. Intelligent design, my ass.


Now, There’s More Hate, Less Tolerance!

So, this morning, the first thing that comes in on my feed is…a rant about hating Baby Boomers. And, along with that social media post, comes a blast of support from a whole bunch of other haters. I move on, but there’s more, a whole wave of rants about everyone from liberals to conservatives to Bernie supporters to ‘deplorables’ to….

And that’s just the US feeds. Next comes in the UKers and the AUers and the NZers and the…and it’s all hate, hate, hate.  The indigenous and other POC hate the whites, the nationalists despise the immigrants, the young hate anyone beyond their generation, the middle-aged blame the young adults, and so it goes.

I sit back, blink, think, send out a quickly scripted bot to mine, for just thirty minutes, the trends around the main interactive communication net spheres–Faceplant. G-, Mediocre, Twitchirp…. I go down for coffee, walk the dogs, again, then come back.

Sure enough, today’s Internet theme to the posts and comments, even to innocuous posts completely unrelated, generate streams of venomous remarks concerning anyone and everyone the contributor blames for:

  • the state of the world political situation;
  • the state of the environment;
  • lack of jobs;
  • taxes;
  • …you name it, and there are lots of ‘it’s.

Millennials and, what are they, Gen Zers?, hate anyone they classify as a Baby Boomer, within which they lump the very aged WWII Gen, the true BBers, the Gen-Y and the Gen-Xers, too, blaming anyone older than them for everything they find wrong with the world and life. For example: lack of protectionism and slowing globalization, simultaneously. (Ok-aaaaay. Hmmm. There’s consistency all rolled up in one pulpy, irrational burp.) Or the millennial raging on about having to support all the aging previous generations on her dime paying into social security. (They paid a lot more than you did into social security. Honest. You haven’t been working long enough to significantly contribute. And it is something they are entitled to, because they contributed every week, every month, every year, their entire working lives for that benefit. Same thing with Medicare.)

There’s the diehard Clinton supporters blaming everyone else for Hillary losing…except the DNC and the liberal elite, labeling everyone except themselves as bigots and calling for their eradication from the population. (Really!)

And the Blacks–excuse me, African-Americans–blame the whites, calling everyone not sharing both their skin color and their sentiments a bigot, even other Blacks.  Meanwhile, the white supremacists are busy raving against anyone not sharing their intolerances, and the same applies, just swap out pigmentation genes.

The rich blame the poor and the poor blame the rich, while rural points at city and city derides rural, never mind it’s where their food comes from.

The Christians blame anyone not of their faith, especially condemning the atheists, while the atheists blame religion for all the ills in the world.

And so it goes.

Wow. Just wow.

I grew to majority (look up the idiom, if you don’t understand it) prior to the rise of the Internet. By the time the Internet became available for public consumption and, yes, abuse, I had lived all over the world, all over the U.S., as well, and gone to schools located in both the  ghetto and in privileged communities. Do you know what? Never, and I mean never, have I experienced the kind of hate, bigotry, and intolerance I now find saturating our cultural landscape. Never.

You know what else? I tolerate bigots. I had to learn to growing up, because, honestly, they were nice people, except for their prejudices. And, once they got to know me, they got over those prejudices (most of them did, anyway).

And I embrace the tolerant, because they demonstrate the finest art of living in their open-minded, unbiased forbearance. They demonstrate charity. (Definition of charity in this use: kindness and tolerance in judging others, usually number 3 on the list of definitions in common dictionaries.)

I tolerate those who hate me because

  • they think I’m white, they think I’m Asian, they think I’m Native,
  • and those who think, because of how I dress and wear my hair, that I’m a lesbian, even lesbians, then hate me because I’m not,
  • those who hate me because I’m female,
  • because I’m older than twenty-something,
  • those who hate me just because they can….

And I embrace those who put aside their skepticism, their fear, their suspicions ingrained from bad experiences, their crowd-sourced brainwashing, and discover me for who I really am and love me for it, learning tolerance…because that’s how I love others.

In point of fact, I’ve never met anyone, one on one, I couldn’t love for who they are. I may not like how they act–their cruelties, their bigotry, their hate–but, still, when laying that aside, when getting to know them for what they cherish, there is gold there. Everything else is just a product of their negative experiences and conditioning.

I’m sorry to live in a world, in a nation–the U.S.–where those younger than me want me dead and gone, every trace of who I am eradicated from memory, where those a different flavor want me enslaved or at least subjugated to their benefit, where those of different ideology want me silenced. And, when you get your wish, through your own actions, instigation, or through legislating my de-existence, maybe then you’ll find it in you to tolerate and even love those who come after you who condemn you for who they THINK you are and for all the ills they claim you have perpetuated by your existence, even when you were, like I was, fighting for the same causes for which, now, they claim as theirs.

 

 


Not Yours, Only Mine.

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A couple of days back, there happened amid the staid and stolid pages of a writer’s community a small foofaraw ←(a very suitable word for this, used thanks to one S. Bradley Stoner, author, who reminded me of its existence). It was a kerfuffle over the audacity of authors using social media to promote themselves and their books, specifically by sharing their latest customer satisfaction reviews. Someone was very bent about it. And, yes, personally I’m not in favor of the practice, except for the most occasional share of a nice five-star review that’s got meat and flavor. But the sharing isn’t the problem I’m going to address.  The problem that steps up is the attitude and actions of the complainant, namely, “Not yours; only mine.”  First some background, though.  (If bored with any background, skip to paragraph 4)

There are millions of authors on social media all trying to bring attention to their literary endeavors (books, anthologies, shorts stories, poems….). Most of them have swallowed the old ideas that if you just proliferate enough noise about the existence of your book and how good it is, people will buy and you can retire to scribbling more, rather than working for the man.  Oh, and corral as many people as possible into signing up for your newsletter, then remind them of your existence and your wonderful books at least twice a month, if not once a week. Whatever you do, keep posting updates about anything and everything happening in your writing and publishing and book sales life. That’s the ticket, by cybergads, and don’t you forget it. Do especially post about your loss leaders–freebies and 99 centers–because everybody wants what they can get on the cheap, and, especially for free. (This is all said now quite tongue-in-cheek, of course. None of these things really work, anymore, and haven’t for quite some time. Not really. And I mean pretty much NOT AT ALL.)

What worked for folks who got in early–“early adopters”–might have worked way back when…for about six months to, maybe, two years at longest when self-publishing and the various ‘hot’ social media platforms were all relative infants in the cyber world, but then social mediaville–the people who live there along with the platform owners–caught on. People on social media began to ignore all these self-promotion efforts, even (gasp) to the point of blocking those proliferating the feeds with what resident denizens considered ‘spam’…and it was and is spam. (Nobody likes spam, not even the meated variety still occasionally, nostalgically smiled upon by those still ‘lost in the 1950s’.) Platform owners? They chuckled and began to utilize the desires of people to gain exposure for themselves and their product to their advantage. I won’t bore you with the details, but, yes, it worked out quite well for the platform owners, if not so much for everyone else.

Meanwhile, back to the denizens. Social media denizens want quality ‘stuff’ in their feeds. They vehemently object to what THEY consider ‘noise’. A lot of them (and me) just ignore the noise, scrolling right on past, thanks. But some take extreme affront and, foaming at the mouth, will unfriend, unfollow, even block or mute someone whose content they consider ‘noise’ or ‘spammy’. In fact, they’ll unfriend, unfollow, block, or mute someone just for posting more than they consider “appropriate”, even when the shared stuff is of interest to them. It’s the fact that the person doing the posting is sharing stuff that does nothing whatsoever to promote the affronted’s own agenda–say, his/her books or product, his/her brand, and his/her online enterprise(s). And that’s the root of what’s at issue here–this ‘only mine, not yours’ attitude. Because, you see, these same individuals are the ones who post about their own stuff almost exclusively, and I mean exclusively. Check out their feeds on FB or G+ or anywhere else–it’s all about them. They don’t up-vote anything that isn’t about them. Almost never, IF ever. They won’t follow folks who aren’t in it for them.

Selfish, self-centered, self-interested, and disinterested in anything that doesn’t feed them and theirs, they go out of their way to castigate others for doing exactly what they themselves do–promoting their own projects and products. They grumble, they dis(respect), they dismiss and despoil, and, when, having been discovered and labeled as Machiavellian, they find themselves left out, they start rattling the bars, editorializing their blame of others for doing exactly what they do, never mind that at least most of those others they berate do, unlike the affronted, up-vote other people’s promotional efforts and interests.

So there you have it. In a nutshell, from me to you, if you’re one of those who is affronted by somebody doing something that you yourself do, then I think you’d best either swallow it or get TF off of social media completely. If you’re one of those who promotes and expects to be promoted by others, you have to reciprocate. If you don’t, then you’ll get left out in the cold once discovered that you’re only in it for yourself.

Of course, the easiest way to avoid all this fuss and blather is just don’t promote yourself and your books, enterprises, or products on social media, except in the most conservative manner while promoting others works at a moderated pace. It’s the only way for others…other than the “only mine, not yours” folks not to get affronted.

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Post Vacation Horror

Forrest_1-13-2015_900web I wrote about the beginning of Forrest’s week off, about how he went out of his way to try to make the newbie driver’s experience taking his run as easy and successful as possible. So, returning to his truck after his vacation, Forrest finds that said driver left the trailer with a driven-on flat that was ruined and off its bead, a larger-than-golf-ball-sized rock hit in the windshield, and the inspection reports falsified.

Added to that, there was spilled popcorn, candy, chips, and nuts, plus lots of cast-off, sticky, gooey wrappers all over the interior, including in the lower bunk. There was a bottle of this guy’s urine stuffed behind the driver’s seat. In short, Forrest’s clean truck was trashed, and it took hours to clean and disinfect.

Whatever happened to ‘return something in the same or better condition than when you received it’?

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Guilt Demonstration

When guessing correctly exactly what is and what isn’t yields the suspect accusing another of divulging the secrets, guilt is demonstrated.

We have, in our lifeway, a commitment to openness and honesty. Underhanded, less-than-forthright actions and intent by others often comes to our attention, not by word-of-mouth, but by acuity. When that behavior is implicated, we’ll broach it, suggesting to the suspected the possibility in a way designed to expose the culpability, and we do it openly, in a forthright manner.

Bingo.

In a pertinent and particular circumstance, the guilty, having received the direct question of intent, immediately chided another party, accusing that party of speaking “private things” to another…which, supposedly, in turn, came to our ears. Of course, it wasn’t true. The person accused of loose lips with whom the guilty was collaborating hadn’t spoken to another and nothing had, in fact, reached anyone’s ears. The suspect’s accusation, on the other hand, did stir waters, the hurt feelings of the innocents driving them to verify their honor and their innocence to one and all.

The fact of the accusation proved the guilt and less-than-honorable actions and intents of the suspect by his own mouth leveling accusations on the innocent parties. Guilt will do that, you know. It makes the culpable blame innocent others as they desperately try to cover their self-exposed tracks. (Mold and mildew hate sunshine and fresh air and desperately flee from it.)

Beware you who hold guilt within your mind and heart. Truth comes forth regardless, and accusing others of exposing your culpability often leads to you unveiling yourself to one and all.


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