Archive for July, 2013

Givin’ up being bored to death…

July 22, 2013

Just not all that excited about computers anymore.  You know?  What could keep me occupied and quasi transfixed for a handful of years there…is now pretty much bore-ass.  E-mail is mostly banal…and just slightly more important than texting.  Articles passed along have already been read by the time they get passed.  Free on-line newspapers like the NYT and WaPo aren’t worth reading now that they are restricting readership — and are charging  — while the level of investigative reporting is a parody of what it should be… and should have been.  Even porn looses its luster at some point. There’s just a finite number sexes and races and shapes and sizes and places to put things.

Google searches are loosing their novelty…buying stuff on line has become boringly normal…partisan media doesn’t make my blood boil anymore – and my side just keeps saying the same things over and over — and effects nothing in terms of change… while the other side continues to be the same incredibly un-American sociopaths they’ve been since Reagan. And the country is a shit heap and I’m tired of thinking about it.  And frankly I’m sick to death reading about “losing” all the time…or being angry at a non-stop stream of injustice and in-inhumanity dished up by manipulators as the being opposite.

I’m tired of ranting to my self in a blog that no one reads.  I have come to hate Facebook for sucking us in — and then for selling us out – peddling access to our private shit to corporations and governments who have no right to know.  And I’ve  come to despise Linked-in which has institutionalized lying and pandering and wholesale falsification of credibility — with their “endorsement” nonsense, whereby people who know nothing about what I do or am good at…are encouraged to endorse me without knowledge — pandering for a like and similar endorsement from me for claimed attributes and competencies they don’t have either.

I’m tired of being spun by made up non stop and largely puny bloviated sensationalism — and the homogenization of real and fake – and by blatant pruriency – where fake boobs and well turned asses get equal billing with the collapse of the western world…and by the constant churning of unsolvable moral (and immoral) issues of the day (same sex marriages, abortion, the right to carry weapons, etc.) — where nothing is ever resolved — to the point where decisions can’t be overturned — because the sides are split dead evenly.  Not so much on real ethical issues though…where we have just collapsed attempts to do things that are ‘right’ anymore.

And now that the computer industry has pretty much solved the “size matters” issues of how big or small devices need to be – and have solved the ever popular and never stopping “up-grade” problems that have kept software companies minting money since the very beginning — by creating the “cloud” where upgrades will be made for you and will be billed through you USP providers…it feels like our obsession with computers is pretty much hitting the wall.  At least that’s where I am.  I don’t give a shit anymore.  And I own a million of the damned things.

It’s only “down” from here, I fear.  From this point forward, we will be forced to pay to get what we have here-to-fore have gotten for free.  And won’t have a choice on upgrades as they become institutionalized in service fees.  And of course we will continue to lose all semblance of privacy from here on out. And there will not be a damned thing we can do about it.  And we will continue to be assaulted with endless streams of desperate junk promotions from computers outlets…and travel companies and airlines carriers…and for drugs that perk your perks up and that keep our decrepitating bodies from decrepitude.

But mostly we are will continue to be increasingly bored with it all — cause we’ve done it all…way, way too many times to give a shit anymore.  And computers and all this hyper communications social media will finally settle back down to the natural level they need to be at in our lives.  Like granola, and yogurt…and housing bubbles…and fake tits.

Maybe then we’ll have time to get back to getting serious to repairing this desperately screwed up country of ours again…and start doing things to minimize the effects of global warming…reregulating our financial world…beating corporations back to where they belong…stopping the wholesale bribery of politicians…getting health care available to all…simplifying tax laws and making tax codes fair and equitable…cleaning up our justice department…reinstating civil rights legislation…repairing safety nets…making education better, more available and, for god’s sake, affordable…and solving for clean and renewable and sustainable energy…and clean water.

But then again, maybe we can just let it all slide a while longer.  Hell, we made it this far…

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Simple subtraction, really…

July 4, 2013

Shutdown!  How on earth did we ever allow this to happen.

I’d really like to say that my baseline was a stable, predictable, optimistic, and essentially fair play kind’a of world.  Where most people were pretty OK with their lives…where there were very few who didn’t get enough to eat, or didn’t have a job or a place to live…or who were falling through the cracks. Or who couldn’t get ahead if they really wanted to.  And where most everyone had at least the belief that their children’s lives would be better than their own.  And that would be mostly true, I think…but it wasn’t always so.  And it isn’t now.

And, to be honest, I’d have to acknowledge that the “state” I’d like to call my baseline didn’t really last a long time — if you were counting in years of stability and security and predictable-ness and fairness and OK-ness…when the world seemed to have a social conscience — and took care of people unable to stay inside the system…or who started out too far behind.

But mostly, it was there for us to rejoice in — for the time it was…and the entire country was proud of what we had accomplished together.  Mostly.  And we did so because the world we lived in then, was — we believed — the direct result of our intrinsically good ethical deportment and moral beliefs.  We believed in fairness and honesty, and in equality under the law…and in helping our neighbors, if they needed support getting through rough times – or had an unequal, or unfair, start.

And because we believed that we were the soul and the heart of America and of the corporations and companies who employed us – our leaders there, believed that their business involved a social responsibility with the people who worked there, and with the communities they worked in…and that they had a social contract towards preserving and strengthening the greater good.

We (or people much like us) ran those companies then – and we worked in partnership with them.  Their ethics were our ethics…their morality was our morality…their sense of community was our sense of community.  This was long before someone decided that Corporations existed solely to increase shareholder wealth.  Corporations actually felt they had social and civic responsibilities there for a minute of two.  They even acted out of those beliefs.

And through the years — after the great wars — and after the great depression – and after the great social wars on racism, poverty and unfairness were fought…we built social systems and established social mores…and a whole bodies of law…that reinforced and supported and inculcated the ethics and values that we all felt good about – that we believed would insure that stupidity and greed and mean spiritedness and abject evilness would not occur in our world again. And after 50 or so busy years of securing our future from those whose malice we feared — we felt mostly safe and secure that what we wanted to believe to be true and good, was safeguarded from corruption.  Because we believed we had successfully beaten “them” back to where they belonged.  Where we wanted them to remain.

Then the subtraction started happening.  Chipping away.  Chipping away.  Subtracting incrementally…but with determination and completely focused and deliberate intent. Undermining the bulwark of the social and legal and legislative protection that we had constructed to protect us from them — and that we believed would keep the darker impulses of human nature we knew men were capable of — from intruding back into our world.

Slowly – the presence of malevolence is first sensed…then finally is recognized as being real. But, we’ve been aware that there has been something malevolent playing with our American dream for quite a long time now.

For most people of right reason and good intention and good-will — the awareness and acceptance of threat comes slowly.  Most people of right reason and good intention…and of good will “don’t want to believe” that others “don’t care so much” (or at all)…or that they are facilely “mean spirited”…or that they will deliberately do things that are unfair or mean without concern, or that are intentionally hateful…or are so entirely self serving that subsequent hurtful impact on others is never considered (or is considered intentionally).

Most people want to believe that everything is — and will be, OK in their lives…and will remain so forever.  Because that’s the way they are.  We are.  It takes a lot to force essentially nice and good people to see what “is”…and to accept that what they are seeing is real – and that it is not a benign force, but rather is deadly fearsome.

Good and nice and socially committed people seem to require things to be dire – to reach impending disaster status – before they are moved to do anything.

That’s kind of where we are in the subtraction game right now.

Enough protective social and civil law and electoral law — and financial system oversight and due process controls — and social and safety net support services and funding – and civil rights and search and seizure and privacy law has been striped from our carefully constructed “evil doers retaining wall” – where we are finally now looking at the beast at the gate. And recognizing that we may well have already allowed evil doers to destroy the country we loved and were so proud of…and fought for…and now, can’t quite believe has been ravaged to the degree it has.

We’ve had the shit beaten out of us when you get right down to it.  We’ve given up the better part of the bad guy retaining wall.  Rights and protections – and oversight bodies and regulatory process – election laws that once kept the process and elected legislators from being corrupted by big money and people with “exclusive” agenda…and elimination of basic privacy rights and due process access to recourse for rights violation.

It wasn’t always this way…

And I think it’s important for us who lived in the day when we were proud of who we were and what we stood for as a country — and when we thought that evil had been beaten back, and thought that life was pretty OK — to spend a few moments imagining what our response might have been in 1970 — if someone had even suggested that assassination of the troublesome was acceptable…or that rendition and torturing uncharged prisoners would ever be acceptable or allowable…or that wars could be initiated and funded on specious lies…or if banks and securities ever made sense to be allowed to merge — and then be allowed to plunder without consequence.  Or that corporations would ever be allowed to take horrendously huge risks that potentially could destroy a world economy — or contaminate the gulf of Mexico — or the entire Pacific ocean…or a whole world ecology…at the public’s liability.  Or that we would ever accept that “habeas corpus” (the corner stone of our justice system) should be suspended without any dialogue whatsoever…or that we would ever allow the voting rights act to be subtracted from…or that we would ever tolerate the insanity of allowing corporations to be classed as citizens…and be allowed unrestricted influence in the election process at every level…and in the implicit (and overt) bribery of candidates before they ever hit Washington. Nor would we have stood a second for the un-funding of safety nets for the poor and the marginal and disadvantaged in perilous times…or to even consider threats to social security and medicare. Or to allow a political process to degenerate to the point where a handful of sociopaths can obstruct due process.

And we need to tell our kids about what it was like — once upon a time — when we felt ok and safe in America…before the subtraction started.  Back before we stopped fighting for what we believed in.

JMcDB                                                                                                                        July 4, 2013