Friday, May 8, 2015

Tasty Chicken ...

Kintala and her crew are solidly back in the “Land of Plenty”, currently floating on a dock at Oak Harbor Marina. We were supposed to be on the hard by now, but the brutal climes that passed for a winter around here have JB and his crew about a month behind schedule.  They are getting boats back in the water as quickly as they can, and JB will find a place for us as soon as he can. There is plenty of work that can be done on the boat while she floats, so it isn't like we are sitting around with nothing much to do.

Friends David and Nancy have a car in these parts since this is their normal summer base. They have graciously allowed as we should use it as we have need. Since we had need of boat parts and provisions we took them up on their offer, and so found ourselves wandering around the other day, looking for both.

The food store had a big sign out front, “Whole rotisserie Chicken for $4.99.” Deb thought that was a pretty good price.  We haven't enjoyed such eats for a while so one was added to our cart. At the auto check-out the chicken passed by the magic glass, the thing “beeped” and the price came up at $6.99. Two bucks isn't that big a deal, but Deb – being the customer service guru she is – was curious. Turns out the $4.99 only applies to those who have a store card, a detail not mentioned on the sign. In other words, they were lying to us. Deb was a bit incensed and the nice lady guarding the auto check-out isle allowed as she could get us a temporary card if we liked. My response was a bit different; we are back in the United States of America, OF COURSE they are lying to us. What else would you expect?

I'm going to make two guesses. The first is, if you are reading this you are, at this very moment, agreeing with me. And the second is, just a few moments from now, you are going to start thinking what that really means, and what it says about the society we have built and live in.

“Of course they are lying to us.”

We expect nothing more. The “race” for POTUS is in full swing. (Race? Isn't that a demeaning way to describe a process for selecting the person who controls the largest collection of nuclear weapons on the planet? Are they going to win a Blue Ribbon for the world's destruction?) We expect every single person in that “race” from one party to boldly lie where no one has lied before. Global warming? Not happening. Evolution? Not happening. Jobs going away and the middle class dying? Not happening. Or, if it is, it is the fault of the “Government” and not the corporations that have bought said government, in full, no refund needed or demanded. The erosion of civil rights and the walking back of liberty and voting rights for women and minorities? Not happening.

From the other side we will likely get someone who voted for the War on Terror, who sees NAFTA as a great way to sell American jobs for cheap, and would like to do more of the same. One who thinks that deregulating Wall Street and Big Banks was a good idea. After all, her then President husband is the one who signed those bills. None of them, from either side, is going to suggest that “Pro Life” and “Pro gun” are mutually exclusive ideas. None of them is going to even hint at the idea that America's military spending is completely out of control or that our “Security state” is getting ever more insecure.

None of us expect the American media to point out these lies with any regularity or with much enthusiasm. They are fully on board with making sure “The Race” is treated as democracy at its best, a shining example to a world who, in reality, thinks the US has gone completely mad. Sure, a few on the Right will insist that Fox News is True News – and the only one. Those on the Left will point to John and say pretty much the same thing. In any case, all of us, Left or Right, correctly assume that MOST of the media is lying MOST of the time.

Or, when not outright making stuff up, just exaggerating to the point where one can't tell the difference. Since when did a snow storm become AN EVENT, named like a hurricane, with “storm trackers” dispatched to point at the sky and breathlessly claim, “LOOK, it's SNOWING!"  No kidding dork, they pay you for that?

Some of us expect our particular God spokes-persons to tell the truth, while being pretty sure all of those other god's spokes-persons are agents of the Great Deceiver. A few of the more enlightened might think not all of those others are so bad, occasionally touching on telling a bit of the truth, though still not up to OUR spokes-person's words from God. In any case most of us agree that most of the religious leaders in the world are lying most of the time. (There are a few who are pretty sure they are all lying, pretty much all of the time, but we are a still a minority in the world.)

Virtually all of us agree that “advertising” is all pure, uncut, in your face, unadulterated B.S. If we thought about it just a little more, we would realize that all political campaigns, all Corporate Announcements, and virtually all religious pronouncements, are nothing more than advertising, and cringe.

We live in a bubble of propaganda, know it, and have come to expect nothing more. How, one may wonder, can such a society long survive? I don't know that it can, which is one of the many reasons I live on a boat.

But I do have to admit that the chicken was mighty tasty.


Goldie said...

Excellant Rant unfortunately so much of it is True. As for de-regulations of the banks I thought that initiative was mostly moved forward by the Regan administration and Billy Boy thought that it was a good thing and at the same time lower corporate america's business taxes or at least let them move there profits to countries with lower taxes. The future for the middle class on whole is moving to a tipping point and social unrest has grown and will continue to grow, only by the fact that local police have moved from serve and protect to quasi military group and sadly in some instance poorly or mentally unstable group. Perhaps we will see more planes delibertly crashed. Two possibly 3 in the last year (Air Malasia) but we will never now. While I have been considering joining the 55 plus cruising lifestyle, still grinding it out to possibly making it happen by freedom 75 ha! By the way it is not much better here in Canada. Enjoy your chicken!

Robert Sapp said...

One thing I've learned in my 57 years on this planet is that many (most?) liberals are very angry people deep inside, because damn it! The world won't conform to their beliefs!

The true road to peace is learning to accept things as they are. Change what you can, ignore what you can't, and hopefully have the wisdom to know the difference. It's called the Serenity Prayer. I know you're not much on prayers, but if you treat it more as a philosophy, I think you'll find a lot of good in it.

And please don't get yourself all worked up over non-existent problems. After all, in 2008 the IPCC said that by 2015, the arctic would be free of sea ice. Last I checked, it's currently setting records for icepack. There's some comfort to be had in that. The reason plain old weather has become leading news is because the damn planet just won't produce the massive increase in monster storms that has been predicted for decades by climate alarmists, so everyday thunderstorms and tornados have to be pumped up for dramatic effect to keep people convinced that disaster in just around the corner. And until Deb gets turned away from a polling place because she's a woman, I don't think I'd stress over voting rights. That's just bull hockey used to inflame the base.

Make a boat drink, roll out the jib, and catch the evening breeze for a nice sunset sail. Just take delight in being able to live a life that many would consider just this side of heaven.


TJ said...

Robert, you have a strange way of looking at anger. You are not angry at systematic racism and sexism? Sweat shops, unnecessarily dangerous working conditions, and child labor are, what, just the way the world is so it must be okay? You don't care that police kill more than a person a day, often unarmed, often minorities, and (as we have now seen clearly on videos) not a threat to the officers involved? Endless, unnecessary wars roll off your back as just “one of those things”?

Deb hasn't been turned away from a polling place, but her grandmother was. Deb's right to vote is less than 100 years old, and was brought about by people who were angry. And though she votes, she never earned as much as the men who were doing the same jobs as she. My bi-racial daughter has faced racist attitudes all of her life. Less than 150 years ago she WOULD HAVE BEEN A SLAVE. In my life time, if she had lived in the south, she would not have been allowed to drink from the same water fountain as you, go to the same schools, or visit the library. It was angry people who did away with those evils. Walking back voting right for American citizens doesn't make you even a little angry? And that makes you wiser than me?

Non-existent problems … you have set yourself up as more of an expert on the climate than the vast majority of the climate scientist on the planet. Sorry, I don't have enough ego to go there. “I'm not a scientist, but ..” makes a good dodge for a politician working his base or, more likely, bowing to the will of the people who paid for his campaign. When one of them goes under the knife of someone who says, “I'm not a brain surgeon, but ...” well, even they can't be that stupid. By the way, the last time I checked, the record sea ice is not a good thing, and is a result of global climate change. The ice on the Antarctic mainland is melting at record levels, flowing into the salt water ocean, and freezing, at least according those who are actual scientists. See, that's how science works, they learned something new about what happens when massive amounts of ancient fresh water ice melts and flows into a salt water ocean.

Accusing liberals of “always being angry” is to accuse them (us) of having an element of social awareness and desire to see the human condition improved. If it wasn't for the angry liberals you would still be a subject of the King of England and likely be a serf. (The conservatives wanted to remain loyal to the King.)

So I'm pretty content with my anger. I don't like being lied to. I don't like living with a thoroughly corrupted political system that has been sold to the highest bidder. People who kill in the name of a god piss me off, as do those who use the same excuse to harm those who are doing them no harm. The evil in the world is human created, and exists because we let it be. But you go ahead and kick back, have a drink, live easy … others will do the heavy lifting for you. I love my life, live on my boat, am pleased and happy every day, and do live a life others wish the had. The difference between you and I is I think they can have this kind of life too, as long as enough of us get angry.

TJ said...

That being said my friend …

I suspect you are a little more involved (if that is the right word) than you allow. After all, you take the time to try and keep me in line. Perhaps there is just more distance between you and some of these realities than there is for me.

The riots in St. Louis happened just blocks from my middle daughter's house. The protesters, and the police armored vehicles complete with snipers stroking the triggers on their guns, were on her street. I raised a bi-racial daughter within sight of the West Virginia boarder, in Arizona (slightly less racist) and then in Missouri. Racism isn't some past “problem” that has been solved. It was, and is, an everyday reality to my family.

I have always taken offense at misogyny. It is among the many reasons I abandoned the religion of my youth. I watched over the years as Deb was systematically taken advantage of by small business owners and managers. Angry? You bet.

I'm older than you by a couple of years, and know well that things change slow. But they don't change at all if we just accept them as “things we can't change.” When it comes to the way humans treat other humans, and how we react to the world around us, there is NOTHING we can't change. There are just things we haven't come up with the willingness, courage, or anger, to change.

So you are right, I don't have a lot of use for the Serenity Prayer. I don't expect the world to get much better in my lifetime, but I never want to be okay with that either.

TJ said...

Ah, and one more thing. A good friend of one of my Daughters is both African-American and gay. Though he is a generation younger than I am, I consider him a friend. What amazes me is that he is not more angry than he is.

Which got me to thinking about your "very angry" comment. It seems to me many (most?) conservatives are pretty quick to accuse anyone who happens to disagree with them of being “angry”, as if that somehow diminishes the strength of their argument or the truth of their accusations. The truth is, becoming angry is the only appropriate and moral response to corruption, oppression, bigotry, deceit, and hate. If you don't get angry at these things, there is something wrong with your heart. But like everything else, anger is defined by the person.

It is when I read what the Conservatives say that I see the real anger, with conservative propagandists being the most angry of all. No one is more angry with the gays than the Christians. No one is more angry at labor demands than the Stockholders. No one is more angry with the climate scientists than the Oil Companies (and the politicians they own). No one is as angry with free-speech as the religious fanatic. No one is more angry at black voters than white political leaders. It is the rich who are angry with the poor, the uneducated who are angry at the learned, the propagandist who is angry with the reporter. Those who live in secrecy are angry at the whistle-blowers, the military angry with those who call for peace.

You are a smarter person than to dismiss someone just because they are angry. I happen to be, sometimes, a rather angry person. But that doesn't mean I am wrong.

Unknown said...

I, on behalf of man, apologize for killing the dinosaurs and trilobites! Something nobody mentions is that the earth's climate has been changing since the beginning. Don't get me wrong, I believe that we should not pollute its air, water, and land and that laws be in place to prevent pollution. However, the survival of our species (I think this is why we are all so concerned with global warming/climate change) hinges on adaptability and not on stopping the change. Just ask the dinosaurs or the trilobites, oh wait they are all extinct.

Control what you can, change what you must, and please be happy. Life is too short.


TJ said...

Nic, I wasn't aware that anyone was blaming us for killing off the dinosaurs and trilobites. I'm pretty sure they were gone long before we came on the scene, done in by … drum roll … climate change. They couldn't adapt fast enough and that, as they say, was that. Well, mostly that. Apparently a few of the dinosaurs evolved into modern day birds. Maybe, if the climate does collapse and the human population crashes, the few remaining will evolve into a truly intelligent species. Wouldn't that be a kick in the head?

Unknown said...

My point exactly. The climate on the earth will change and is changing whether we humans like it or not. 104 million years ago there were no or very small ice caps. The folks on the coast will need to move inland, but the seas are not going rise over night as some may think or hope. The only good thing is my boat will be a bit closer.....we should be more fearful of a large metereorit.

Jeffrey Michals-Brown said...

I get most of my news from public radio. I don't think they lie much, and in "On The Media" they try to dissect those lies, biases, and shades of meaning--including their own. A very useful and thought-provoking sort of navel-gazing.

As for the irrational and head-in-the-sand types among your commenters, I've found it isn't worth the time it takes to reply. Sadly, it's human nature that argument from evidence just provokes most people to cling more firmly to their own (and their tribe's) prejudgements.

TJ said...

Jeffery, I tend to "cherry pick" my news sources, and get pretty good results from searches like "latest news in science" or "latest new in physics". I'll admit though, sometimes I can't follow the math. One can search nearly any country and get an English language news source, which seems a better idea than going to FOX or CNN to find out what's happening in France or Canada. There are places for "religious news", which I visist just so see how bad things might get.

I go to T-party sights to see what kinds of things they actually say, (mostly fringe or out-right bat-shit, but at least I get in their own words.

Robert and I have been debating, on and off now, for more than a year. I'm looking forward to meeting him someday, I think we will both have a good time. And, truth to tell, it does my heart good to know there are some folks like him. He may be way out in right-wing city; but he doesn't come accross as mean spirited or looking to hurt someone just becasue they chose to live in a different part of town.