26 February 2019

"Fractured Modernity"

In the review of the novel for The Washington Post, Marie Arana called it "a deeply affecting novel, not only for the dark nooks and crannies it explores, but for the magic that seeps into its characters’ subconsciouses, for the lengths to which they will go to protect or damage one another, for the brilliant characterizations it delivers along the way ... Murakami can herd the troubles of a very large world and still mind a few precious details. He may be taking us deeper and deeper into a fractured modernity and its uneasy inhabitants, but he is ever alert to minds and hearts, to what it is, precisely, that they feel and see, and to humanity’s abiding and indomitable spirit."[57]

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorless_Tsukuru_Tazaki_and_His_Years_of_Pilgrimage

 Fractured modernity is the paramount theme for our times, and exploring it and the nature of our lives is why Murakami succeeds so well.

"While the predominant value of existentialist thought is commonly acknowledged to be freedom, its primary virtue is authenticity."

Flynn, Thomas (2006). Existentialism - A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press Inc.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Existentialism

21 February 2019

When Johnny Comes Marching Home

One of my earliest remembered songs from my childhood, what meaning and impact could it have held for me then?

Article: The Impasse Between Modernism and Postmodernism

SOURCE: http://quillette.com/2017/12/07/impasse-modernism-postmodernism/

“Postmodernists eschew any notion of objectivity, perceiving knowledge as a construct of power differentials.”  Confirmation bias, empiricism Foucault, Kant, and many modern philosophers featured in this long-read on knowledge and these two "-isms."

03 December 2017

The State of Our World

I see it everywhere I go.

The scene with the baby in the delivery room crawling away, neglected:  It's the reason I don't put my loved ones in my Facebook posts, and am careful what I put out where.

I was the last one I know to get a smartphone. And it still bothers me how much it seeps into my day.  Always checking, swiping, notifying...  very disruptive for even one's sleep.  Sad.

23 July 2017

Emergency courtesy cards - why not?

The Japanese have done a magnificent job of putting together guidance for visitors that mainly contains, well, a refresher on common sense.

Don't climb cherry (sakura) trees.  Don't swim in sacred fountains. 

Chinese tourists are in a class all themselves, but on a recent trip to Guam, after looking over the safety card, I thought, "Why not make courtesy cards for everyday use?"

Paying customers, a.k.a. "fares", a.k.a. "cattle" have come in the news recently at the hands of angry stewards.  Fist-fights, brawling ensue, and not only the airlines' reputation has taken a severe plunge, but let's not forget about the casual tourist or everyday customer who is quick to point out minor deficiencies and quite austere in doing so, jumping over the counters to fight with front-line staff who aren't necessarily at fault for service mix-ups, but trying to do the best job they can in today's high-speed and taxed convenience society.

If you were to make a bell curve showing 10% of customers as extremely polite, 10% at the bottom representing the future prison population, and 80% at the middle - half of that number inclined to be patient and the other half quicker to anger, why not target that large 40% population with messaging that enhances one's awareness of what constitutes common courtesy?

More to follow.

06 October 2016

Should white people be able to be Chief Diversity Officers?

Today, I received an alumni e-mail from my alma mater, the great University of Missouri,  blemished in recent years by racial prejudice fomented by professor(s) and students, not aiding to any sort of good, but rather running quite contrary to good order and discipline. Only in America, a country which focuses on division rather than unity, could we now be hallmarked by prominent collegiate posts such as "Chief Diversity Officer."

In this very touchy post-modern age, quick to anger, and quick to label, tag and bag, this all throws a wrench commonly overlooked in the discourse of diversity.  That wrench is:  Should a white person be excluded from holding this kind of post?

If so, how does diversity truly contribute to this all-important keystone now securely upholding the tenets of university scholarship?

And what about diversity of thought?  Philosophically speaking, hould that not be the highest form of diversity?



15 December 2015

Flotsam and jetsam

Recent thinking on liberalism, political correctness and current events:
The reputation economy is yet another example of the blanding of culture, and yet the enforcing of groupthink has only increased anxiety and paranoia, because the people who embrace the reputation economy are, of course, the most scared.
-Bret Easton Ellis

 Liberalism has sadly become a knee-jerk ideology, with people barricaded in their comfortable little cells. They think that their views are the only rational ones, and everyone else is not only evil but financed by the Koch brothers.  It’s so simplistic!
- Camille Paglia
This moral superiority that the media thinks it has is key to understanding them, folks, and I wish there were a more effective way of explaining my opinion here.  I just keep taking stabs at it.  When I say "moral authority," they do believe that they are the smartest, the best and the brightest, the most informed, and they do believe that they are uniquely qualified to proclaim anything good or bad, good or evil, right or wrong, or what have you, and their arrogance is such that they believe that a majority of the American people are just like them.They represent a really tiny pocket of radical liberalism that they believe is a majority of where the country is, and they believe this because Obama got elected so it must be.  They will never acknowledge the phony or negative reasons that people voted for Obama that had nothing to do with agreeing with him or his policies or what have you.  So if the media thinks that the country's racist, they think the country's racist. They think everybody else agrees with them that the country is racist, and this is how they cover news events.     - Rush Limbaugh
The fourth estate, the press, the disciples of Voltaire, had replaced the clergy it had dethroned as the new arbiters of morality and rectitude. Today the press decides what words are permissible and what thoughts are acceptable. The press conducts the inquisitions where heretics are blacklisted and excommunicated from the company of decent men, while others are forgiven if they recant their heresies.
 - Pat Buchanan

03 July 2015

Article: Lynyrd Skynyrd and the culture wars

Popping up the 'scope for a quick looksee. Ah, the culture is smouldering.  We used to do a lot of politics here and trailed off.  Today, I'm posting three key articles on 1): What the hell is going on in the U.S.,  which prompts 2): Oh, political correctness.  Finally 3): What is cultural Marxism?

1. Please read about Lynyrd Skynyrd, the convenient distraction of the Confederate Flag from the rest of America's cultural conflagration ;in the Supreme Court.


"You grew up being taught to respect authority - and now the police and the military are increasingly coming under attack. Then-candidate Barack Obama mocked people who "cling to guns and religion". But you grew up around guns – both for hunting and protection. And you grew up attending church every Sunday. Now Christianity and guns are both under attack all of a sudden. Some are even suggesting Walmart shouldn't sell guns anymore."
Football - dangerous. Men = women as illustrated by Bruce Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair. The Justice Department wants people to use whichever restroom they feel their gender associates with on a given day. Health Care has been O-boweled, made unaffordable and is working to become the next U.K. or even Cuban system - foul, rife with hang-ups and bureau rats. Up is down, and someone putting in print that homosexuality is abnormal is grounds for destroying his reputation and livelihood.
2.  As discussed before, political correctness has been a deevolutionary force .

3. "What is Cultural Marxism?", another fine article by William S. Lind, explains its objective is:

"To criticize every traditional institution, starting with the family, brutally and unremittingly, in order to bring them down. It wrote a series of “studies in prejudice,” which said that anyone who believes in traditional Western culture is prejudiced, a “racist” or “sexist” of “fascist” - - and is also mentally ill."
So now, friends, I ask you, "What is your escape plan?"

27 May 2015

Untangling interconnected settings for Google, YouTube, Yahoo - privacy concerns still important

Interconnected settings for Google, YouTube, Yahoo are far from private

"Don't be evil."
- Google motto

Why is privacy important to people?
This is a kind of heady subject, too big to take on
in one fell swoop.  First, I've used YouTube for
years, to watch '80s music and other geeky stuff
that I'd rather not advertise publicly.

I'm not interested in sharing social media with
people in a non-anonymous manner.  I've read that
there is a not insignificant percentage of
relationships now left smouldering by Facebook. I've
experienced a bit of that personally. We value our
ability to manifest what represents us in the public
domain. The internet, social media in particular,
can make that very difficult - and we're not always
there to control the context - because context and
true meaning have become needlessly complex and
easily misinterpreted in these spheres. Before I
forget - couples should discuss and strongly
consider keeping their social media profiles

Me?  I've been in trouble numerous times:

- Deleting a public comment by a girlfriend that I
found embarrassing;
- Changing relationship "status", seen by all, when
it was not executed with Blue Angels level of
- and a few other faux pas, new and untested in the
pioneering of internet etiquette. 

Like the clothes we wear, it's nice to have control
over what we say to the world, and thus have a say
how we are perceived.  Now, consider the acquisition
of YouTube by Google, and the labyrinthine
engineering of options, and options on options,
settings on settings, to manage what is transmitted
about ourselves. Like I often say, "How many clicks,
how much digging does it take?" - to get the
simplest thing done?

Take a look at some people showing their

After setting my playlists to private,one of them is
still public. Why?

daev9814 said:
 YouTube's handling of playlist privacy is terrible.
Before the site got a makeover, my playlists were
private. After the makeover, they had been made
public. So I made them private - again. They were
still showing up in public search results when
searching for my username. So I deleted them
completely. They're STILL showing up in public
search results. What gives?
Gaiwa said:
Same problem here. If I change my viewlist/playliste
to private it shows them as private only in the
"Edit Playlist" Menu. If I save and go back to
"Manage my playlists" everything is public again.
The "Edit Playlist" for one single playlist always
shows me it is private (they all are supposed to
be), but is is not, it is public. I have no idea
what to change anymore....

My issue currently is that google+ for my business
page has linked and hijacked my old personal Youtube
account. So now my old youtube's name has changed to
my business google + page name and is connected to
the google+ business account so that the videos from
my personal and home subscriptions are showing on my
business page. How do I disconnect my youtube from
my Google+ and go back to my original Youtube
account name? I then need to create a separate
youtube (business) channel that I will connect to my
business google+. I cannot find out how to do this.
Google sends me to Youtube, youtube doesn't respond
to me and since this is my business, I need someone
to talk to asap.

Today, while messing around with my Yahoo email, I found that it somehow sucked in my very arcane and unused YouTube email address; my Yahoo email is actually the login for my YouTube account; from my YouTube account, a Google+ account was created.  This is disturbing.  You can't manipulate one without being transferred in circles to another, and it's virtually impossible to adjust privacy settings (keeping video playlists private doesn't work, after a few hours of experimentation). I might just delete it all.

There's nothing inherently embarrassing about the playlists I've made; but I made them for me, and not for the world.  I'd still like to have some say in the Information Age what I say about me.

12 May 2015


“Time weighs down on you like an old, ambiguous dream. You keep on moving, trying to slip through it. But even if you go to the ends of the earth, you won’t be able to escape it. Still, you have to go there – to the edge of the world. There’s something you can’t do unless you get there.”
Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

"Everyone makes mistakes, that's human.  If there's a hot burner, and you touch it twice, you're a dumba**."

"Adapt and overcome."

- Unknown

10 April 2015

L.A. Times immigration article is classic example of modern journalistic demagoguery

The article: "Kern County sheriff a defiant California maverick on immigration" by Kate Linthicum, published April 9, 2015.


So he's a maverick.  Is that good or bad?  Does the media take an implicit role in normalizing illegal activity and the Malthusian issue of illegal immigration?  Well, assuming you'll have to read through to find out, the author will have achieved her objective of planting her liberal seed unless you maintain a critical eye - something that the media relies on you NOT to do, and what I estimate 3/4 of the U.S. population doesn't care about anyway.

In the above linked article, a California sheriff retains his prerogative in areas where state and federal laws don't mesh on the deportation of illegal aliens, and the journalist ends her article with this quote:
"If everybody thought the same, this would be a pretty boring place," Youngblood said. "This is where I learned my behaviors and my thoughts and my beliefs. None of which make me right." 
It's sadly conventional wisdom that journalists harbor an iconoclastic ethos in order to dismantle traditional values and institutions of the American republic.  [The American Journalist - Pew Research Center]

This article's hidden agenda is exposed at the end:  Vilify any figure opposed to liberal runaway detrimental policies supporting illegal immigration, with subtlety or not. 

Here, the author ends with a sentence that was cut-off mid-stream.  Backing up, the core of her article was how an illegal was severely beaten, and afraid to ask for help due to the possibility of being deported - in the grand scheme - due the sheriff's obedience to the rule of law.

The final part of the story focuses on seemingly mute details, such as the sheriff's traditional hearth, and the conservative presence within. 

Building up to that point, she ends the article with, "None of which make me right," prompting the ordinary reader to wonder what the sheriff said next.  Surely the interview didn't end there, with the sheriff contradicting himself. 

Congratulations - by cutting off there, the sheriff never gets to complete his thought, and the reader will walk away thinking, "Oh, the sheriff just said he was never right," assuming the litote is true: the affirmation of the negative.  A strong negative at the end of the article isn't an explicit claim that the sheriff is wrong in any conservative practices, but it is a great example of how the media conditions the public, has shifted from taking neutral positions to aiming at conservative values, and debunks common sense.

19 March 2015

Comedian celebrities share insights on taking risks

Both of these men are sharing their epiphanies on stepping out of their comfort zones.  Having been conditioned for years by the Navy to avoid risks (ironic, I know), their ideas are now more valuable to me than ever before in order to live a more fulfilled life.

Jim Carrey explains that it's better to take a risk on something that may seem improbable than to go with a low-risk option and end up getting burned.

"I never stopped believing in who I was... we kept striving... we don't back up for anybody, and never ever back up from the dreams we have - ever." -Andrew "Dice" Clay

05 February 2015

QOTD - US Manga

jirvin6878 I am not a fan of the military. And I am certainly not a fan of empires. But there are some facts that have to be considered too.
I spent most of my youth protesting against US intervention in places from Central America to Asia. And I still feel very strongly about unwarranted US intervention. But this is not the case in Okinawa.
Japan and the US have a mutually beneficial relationship in terms of this treaty. The US presence brings a balance of power to offset both Chinese and Russian influence in the region. It provides strategic as well as political advantages that strongly benefit and protect the interests of both the US and Japan.
With China spending far more on military development and her influence growing, it is critical that there be a counter weight to that influence. Too often we let the success of cities like Shanghai blind us to the very real danger that China poses. Just talk to Uyghurs, Taiwanese and Tibetans if you have any doubts about PRC intentions.
Balance works. It has avoided a regional arms race, it has spared Japan having to keep a larger standing military and it brings economic benefits to Okinawa.
I grew up near and airbase and didn't like the noise or the military guys around. But the base created jobs and strongly supported the community. Don't forget that this is case in Okinawa too.


11 January 2015

Kampai - 2015

Never having pre-loaded toasts ready to go except for, "Here's to swimmin' with bow-legged wimmen,"  I made a few of my own. Enjoy.
Raise your glass for this kampai
The bottle empties until it's dry
A grape or grain, barley or rye;
A taste of time as life goes by.

A kampai to outkampai all the rest 
The trace of sweetness in your breath;
Close your eyes and wonder when
And the best kampai will begin and end.
- by Cagey

04 December 2014

"The Paradox of Our Time"

"We have bigger houses but smaller families;
more conveniences, but less time.
We have more degrees but less sense;
more knowledge but less judgment;
more experts, but more problems;
more medicines but less healthiness.
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back,
but have trouble in crossing the street to meet our new neighbor.
We built more computers to hold more copies than ever,
but have less real communication;
We have become long on quantity,
but short on quality.
These are times of fast foods but slow digestion;
Tall men but short characters;
Steep profits but shallow relationships.
It’s a time when there is much in the window but nothing in the room."
-Dr. Bob Moorehead

02 November 2014

On fulsome, increasingly rank military surveys

Early in my career I would complete all the surveys. Over the years, the number of surveys increased and became longer and longer. At that point I started to get choosy as to which surveys I would complete (most are not mandatory). Towards the end of my career, if you can believe it, survey numbers and their length increased further...it got to the point where I deleted them as fast as they hit my inbox. If you combine the increase in surveys over the years with the increase and length of online training such as tornado training, hurricane training, fire training, fire extinguisher training, sexual assault training, various forms of security training, human trafficking and the list goes on. Then add in attendance for various ceremonial functions such as going-away lunches, change of commands, commander's call, etc., it's a wonder any work gets done at all--so after some interesting reading, this latest survey would have ended up in the trash bin too. 

- Goose


10 October 2014

On e-mail

With e-mail... perhaps the only way to win the game
- is not to play.
(With apologies to War Games starring Matthew Broderick)

29 August 2014

QOTD: Procrastination

Let me share a few thoughts I keep in reserve about writing, which transfers to procrastination in general: #1 - One time Jim Thorpe was competing for high jump, and his coach found him resting under a tree, eyes closed. To the coach's rebuke, he replied, "I am practicing my jump." IOW, whenever you have a project, make a habit of mapping it out in your mind during the odd hour, and well before you actually sit down to write it. #2 - Another time someone approached Goethe and asked him how me managed to write so much, to which he replied, "I just blow on my hands!" IOW, just start writing. You can worry about editing it later. Writing is just like speaking, albeit a bit more formal. So just start. It's only after you start that you can see what the problems are going to be. Then it's time for a nap, a la #1. #3 - Jacques Barzun used to say, write a brouillage, that is, a scrambled mess. You can figure it out later. The key is that most procrastination grows out of inactivity and inertia, both of which create anxiety and then performance anxiety and then failure. Start writing yesterday, and, also, write every day. As William James used to say, "Habit a second nature? Habit is ten times nature!" #4 - The last thing of course: be yourself. Don't be afraid of yourself, and don't be unhappy with yourself. Just write who you are. The good parts will show, eventually.
- "Edward Fortyhands. Original story: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/08/the-procrastination-loop-and-how-to-break-it/379142/2/#comments

20 August 2014

The death of common sense

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: - Knowing when to come in out of the rain; - Why the early bird gets the worm; ... - Life isn't always fair; - And maybe it was my fault. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies, don't spend more than you can earn and adults, not children, are in charge. His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion. Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault. Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife Discretion, his daughter Responsibility, and his son, Reason. He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers - I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame and I'm A Victim. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on.
It's an Obama world, it's an Obama world.


Do you ever get p'd that Blockbuster closed? I do. We have a DVD player, and entertainment is pretty limited out here (according to me). We used to go to B.B., then ColdStone IceCream next door, and then look in the window of the Chinese Food place to see if the common housefly was still stuck to the window. Now - just stand in front of a RedBox like a zombie. WHERE DID THE SOUL OF AMERICA GO, MAN.