Welcome to part three of the Vonnegutian excavation of Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut. Parts one and two have already been published. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. It is written like J. R. R. Tolkien.
It is a lovely last day of July in Georgia. This chapter will be include chapters three and four. This project is at a lovely interlude. The rythyms and methods have been established. It is still fun to write, without the dreary duty involved in the final chapters. Hopefully it will be fun to read. It is early enough in the day that the window can be left open. Joggers and dog walkers are in the road, accompanied by baby strollers and cell phones. It is a great day in post racial Amerika.
Billy Pilgrim (BP) has been captured by the Germans. It was the tail end of the war, and most of the elite soldiers were pushing up Russian daisies. The Germans who captured BP were teenage boys and toothless old men. Their uniforms were taken off of dead soldiers. This ghoulish bit of recycling was marked by the phrase “so it goes.” It is noted in this text as SIG020.
The commander of the unit, that captured BP, was a corporal. He had been wounded four times, and sent back into action. The corporal wore golden cavalry boots, stolen off a dead Hungarian colonel. SIG021. This theme of stealing footwear from prisoners will be played out soon.
Roland Weary is well equipped. He has a spectacular hunting knife, scarves, boots, and a bullet proof Bible. When he is captured, the Germans take all his pretties away. His combat boots are taken off his feet, and given to one of the teenage boys. The boy had wooden clogs, which were given to Roland Weary. It did not work out well for the captured Amerikan.
While admiring the manly footwear of the colonel, BP hears three shots in the distance. Two Amerikan scouts were killed. SIG022. These scouts had been with BP, and Roland Weary, and had left them. Roland Weary thought thet him, and the scouts, were the Three Musketeers. The scouts thought Roland Weary was an obnoxious jerk. As KV said in another book, some people are just no damn good. Some people say that KV had a negative attitude.
While the Germans were dealing with him, BP began to time travel. He wound up in Ilium NY, 1967, when BP was 44 years old. His apparent date of birth varies throughout the text, which is not a big deal on Tralfamadore. BP, a wealthy optometrist, drives a Cadillac El Dorado Coupe de Ville. It has a bumber sticker that says “Impeach Earl Warren.”
PG was 13 yo in part of 1967, and can remember Earl Warren. The man was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. This version of SCOTUS handed down decisions about school desegregation, and Miranda rights, that upset conservatives. Before that, Mr. Warren was Governor of California, and the Republican Vice Presidential candidate in 1948. This was an election the Republicans had no business losing, but Harry Truman got the electoral votes. Earl Warren is little remembered today. The fact that PG recognizes the name, and the bumper sticker, makes him feel old in 2015.
BP had a good life in 1967. He drove a Cadillac, and made lots of money. BP went to Lions Club meetings, where the speaker said to bomb North Vietnam back into the stone age. His daughter was about to be married. One problem is the death of a beloved dog, Spot. SIG023.
1967 was much more appealing than the 1944 reality of capture by Germans. BP, however, was an optimist, and eventually an optometrist. It was all about how you see things. BP saw soldiers with piano teeth, and corpses with blue and ivory feet. SIG024. Soon, the captured Amerikans were paraded in front of a movie camera. There was no film in the camera, but the POW did not know that. On the horizon was a puff of smoke. A battle was being fought, and soldiers were dying. SIG025.
Eventually, the POW were loaded into train cars. The cars were marked with orange and black stripes, as a signal to the allied bombers. Later, when Barbara Pilgrim was married, the tents at the reception had orange and black stripes. The reception was in no danger of enemy bombers, even though it was hosted by a time traveling former POW.
While on the train car, BP had to endure a conversation with a geriatric Colonel, whose lungs rattled like greasy paper bags. The Colonel invited everyone to a barbeque in Cody WY. After a while, PG was ushered into a different train car from the Colonel, who outranked him. Soon, word arrived that a man had died in another car. SIG026. The deceased combatant was Wild Bob. SIG027. BP was chatting with a hobo, who said he had seen much worse than this. Little did he know what awaited him. Or maybe he did know. This is the end of chapter three.
At the start of chapter four, we learn that BP’s wife is named Valencia. Her daughter has just been married, before having a reception in an orange and black tent. BP is having trouble sleeping, and goes downstairs. There is a half empty bottle of champagne. Yes, the bottle is half empty, not half full, as if that is an important distinction on Tralfamadore. BP pulls the cork out of the bottle, and there is no fizz. The champagne is dead. SIG028.
Soon, the spaceshop … no mister clumsy typist, it is a space ship, not a space shop. … the spaceship from Tralfamadore lands in the back yard. Trallies do not speak. However, they have a voice synthesizer which imitates earthling sounds. This tactic is employed for comic effect in the movie. While BP is screwing Montana Wildhack, the voice machine asks if they are mating.
Nobody dies during the Tralfamadorian abduction, and there is no occasion for an SIG. This is made up for when BP returns to the POW train. First, the hobo says “You think this is bad? This ain’t bad.” SIG 029. Then, there is a death in the car ahead of BP. Roland Weary succumbs to gangrene, brought about by marching, in wooden clogs. SIG030. Roland Weary blames BP for his death.
This is one of the moments when PG feels a bond with BP, who, it should be remembered, is a fictional character. You meet someone, under bad circumstances, who is an asshole. Something bad happens to the asshole, who follows the asshole tradition of looking for someone to blame his misfortune on. The lucky person is you. It is not always pleasant. This thought may, or may not, be with BP as he finally gets off the POW wagon. BP is the next to last person off the train. The last person off is the dead hobo. SIG031.
When the POW arrive, they are led to a pile of clothing. It was overcoats, taken from other POW, who are now taking the German dirt nap. SIG032. BP gets a civilian coat, with a fur collar. It is way too small for him, and looks like a three cornered hat. SIG033.
BP meets Edgar Derby, who will play an important role in this story. We already know this. KV does not like suspense. Mr. Derby cradled the head of Roland Weary as the asshole left the planet. SIG034. KV cannot resist the temptation to tell us what will happen to Mr. Derby in sixty eight days. SIG035.
By now, BP is naked. This is part of the introduction to POW life. By coincidence, when BP went to Tralfamadore, the first thing they said to do was take off the clothes. BP is being deloused, which is an underrated function in wartime. The clothing of BP goes through a chemical process that kills lice, bacteria, and cooties. SIG036. This is the last SIG in this installment.
Before long, BP time travels back to Tralfamadore. The trallie is explaining a few basic things to BP. At this point we get the most important quote in SF. PG read this in 1978, and never forgot it. PG looked for this quote on the internet, and nobody thought it was important enough to share. It is amazing that this should be so esoteric, as this quote is at the end of chapter four.
“If I hadn’t spent so much time studying Earthlings,’ said the Tralfamadorian, ‘I wouldn’t have any idea what was meant by “free will.” I’ve visited thirty-one inhabited planets in the universe, and I have studied reports on one hundred more. Only on Earth is there any talk of free will.”
PG was coming home from dinner. Part of the meal was chicken tenders, with the poultry raised under horrible conditions. The radio whiner, whose name rhymes with profanity, was talking about people who eat meat. How can someone who eats hamburgers be upset about the execution of Cecil the lion? All of this got PG to thinking, which is not a good idea on a full stomach.
There was a motivational video a while back called How To Be A Leader. It inspired PG to write a post, The value of sheep. Truth be known, if Cecil provided entertainment for a murdering dentist, then the feline gave something of value to the planet. Most lions contribute nothing except their own survival, at the expense of their neighbors. Here is the post:
There is a video out now, where the speaker says “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.” This man must not like to wear wool.
A lion is a predator. It lurks in the jungle, and kills to eat. It does not produce anything except it’s own survival. A sheep lives in a community. Every once in a while, it gets the coat clipped, and grows another one. The fur goes to make woolen clothing, which keeps people warm in winter.
Maybe if you want to be an egophile, living on the destruction of your neighbor, then you might be better off as a lion. If you want to contribute something of value to others, it is better to be a sheep.
There is a trending hashtag, #alllionsmatter. It relates to a line of thinking, expressed in articles like Cecil And #AllLionsMatter Is Exposing Hypocrisy And Racism In The Media. If you can’t say anything good, you complain about hypocrisy in the media.
True,the media does not cover events evenly. A few years ago, a putrid politician named Paul Broun made a speech. The line that got attention was this. “All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell.”
That is a few seconds out of a forty two minute speech. (The link to the entire speech in the post no longer works.) Here is a paragraph about the rest of the speech. You will see in a minute why it is included here. Dr. Broun went on to resign his seat in the House of Representatives. He was soundly defeated in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate.
The testimony was delivered at “Hitting the Mark” Sportsman Banquet, Thursday, September 27, 2012. “There were Giveaways & Door Prizes including: GUNS & SPORTS-RELATED GIFT CERTIFICATES.” The first twenty minutes of his remarks are about hunting. Dr. Broun shows slides of trophies. There is a bear he killed in Alaska. There are two lions that he killed in Africa. The second lion was leaping towards him when Dr. Broun shot it in the face. “I believe G-d directed that bullet.”
Pictures are from The Library of Congress.
This post is about the “N word”. We all know what that word is. It has six letters, rhymes with trigger, and makes the brains of some people turn into jello. It is a derogatory phrase for people of African origin. I try to avoid using this term. Here are four reasons.
1- The “N word” hurts people’s feelings. I have known many fine Black people. I do not want to say anything that will hurt these people.
2- Being heard saying the “N word” can cause all sorts of problems. This can include physical retribution, loss of employment, lawsuits, and having to listen to enough loud angry words to make you wish you had never learned how to talk.
3- It is not a fair fight. There is no equivalent phrase for a Black Person to say to a White person. I do not wish to give that power to another group of people … to turn me into a mass of incoherent rage, just for hearing a six letter word. The closest thing is “Cracker”, which I only recently found out was an insult. We once had a minor league baseball team, the Atlanta Crackers.
4- The use of the “N word” demeans the user. When you say an insulting word about another human being, you make yourself look bad. For a Black person, using the “N word” degrades them as the object, as well as the speaker. Why would a person would want to do that to their family and community? This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.
This is part two of an excavation of Slaughterhouse-Five, a story by Kurt Vonnegut. Part one has already been published. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. It is ok to skip over the text and look at the pictures.
The second chapter is the beginning of the story. The first eight words sum up the plot nicely. LISTEN: Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time. The first word is the most important, and the most likely to be ignored. People love to talk, but do not like to listen. If they do quit talking, and allow the other person to speak, then they are thinking of what clever comeback they can say. If only people were as proud of the ability to listen, as they are of the clever things they say.
Billy Pilgrim, or BP, is the main character of this story. By trade, he was an optometrist in Ilium, NY. BP led a reasonably pleasant life, in spite of, or perhaps because of, being shaped like a Coca Cola bottle. His father was a barber, also in the mythical town of Ilium, NY, until he died in a hunting accident. This incident motivates KV to write “So it goes.” This will be abbreviated as SIG006.
BP … which under no circumstances should be confused with British Petroleum … survives infantry duty in World War II and a plane crash in 1968. This crash killed everyone except BP and the co-pilot. SIG007. The plane crash is an important moment in the movie version of SF. PG saw the SF movie, while a UGA student, at the PJ auditorium. That is enough initials for one paragraph.
While recovering from the plane crash, BP’s wife dies of carbon monoxide poisoning. SIG008. (In the note taking that preceded this text, PG missed SIG008. If this was a scholarly dissertation, this would be a big deal. To a slack blogger, it is not. While PG will try to chronicle all 106 SIG in SF, he is not making any promises.) After the plane crash, BP comes out of the time travel closet. BP tells earth people about the wonders of Tralfamadore. These folks are two feet tall, green, and shaped like plungers. Tralfamadorians feel sorry for earth people.
PG has long suspected that he is a Zorlac, from the planet Thrunombulax. PG is quiet about this, as prejudice against Zorlacs is acceptable by polite people. Many white people are trying so, so, hard not to appear prejudiced against anyone. When they see an approved target for their tribal rage, white people lose it. Just look at the way people with deviant attitudes about race relations are portrayed. With this in mind, PG has learned to keep quiet about his Thrunombulaxian origin. The relationship of Thrunombulax to Tralfamadore is unknown.
A letter was written to the Ilium News Leader by BP. He tells about the lessons he learned on Tralfamadore. This was in 1967, on the eve of BP’s daughter’s wedding. Trallies see a person who is dead, and say that he/she is having a bad day. It is a Trally custom to say, about death, so it goes. SIG009. Number nine, number nine, number nine. Turn me on dead man. The Beatles white album was recorded at approximately the same time as BP going to Tralfamadore.
A wonderful tool is now available for the production of this SF commentary, and SIG inventory. The text of SF … not to be confused with science fiction or San Francisco … is available electronically in the sf_pdf. Alas, it is an imperfect tool. You can download a copy to your machine. On this copy you can highlight certain words in yellow magic marker, but you cannot copy text. You can copy text from the online version, but it comes out funny and you have to do so much editing that it might be easier to just manually copy the text.
While working on the letter about Trallies, BP is visited by his daughter, Barbara. At a young age, she had to manage her mother’s funeral, and take care of her senile father. KV, who has a way with words, describes the young lady as a “a bitchy flibbertigibbet … legs like an Edwardian grand piano.” Barbara … we might know her married name later … asks her dad why he waited until 1968 to talk about time travel. He did not think the time was ripe.
The tale segues into the first experiences with time travel. This was in World War II. BP was a chaplain’s assistant, which is not a well thought of position. One day on maneuvers, BP was playing A Mighty Fortress Is Our G-d on the organ. (KV made a mistake here. AMFIOG was written by Martin Luther, without any assistance from Johann Sebastian Bach.) A war game umpire showed up, and told everyone that they were dead. Before long, BP got word that his father had been killed while hunting deer. SIG010. The offending shot was fired by his human friend, and not by a deer.
When BP returns from the funeral, there are orders for him to go to Europe. A chaplain’s assistant has been killed in action. SIG011. Soon, BP participates in the Battle of the Bulge. BP has no weapon, helmet, or boots. BP looks alternately like a box of kitchen matches, and a filthy flamingo. BP meets foulmouthed Pittsburgh refugee Roland Weary, so saves BP numerous times before trying to kill him. Roland Weary was the only member of a gun crew to survive a 88mm German tank gun. SIG011.
The name Roland means many things to PG. Rowland NC, with an ornamental w, is the hometown of PG’s father. Roland Cofer is a former co-worker. Roland Cofer was the cheerful son of Willie Simpson, the store manager. The fact that Roland is black, and Willie is white, which should not concern the reader. It did not concern Roland or Willie.
The father of Roland Weary was a plumber. He collected guns, knives, and torture devices. The noname dad gave his wife a model of an iron maiden, which was a torture device before it was a heavy metal band. The device was a small chamber, with doors on hinges. The doors were lined with spikes, which impale the guest when the doors are closed. There is a drain in the bottom, for elimination of blood. SIG012. No mention is made of who cleans the iron maiden, or if it was cleaned. Eventually the smell would make the spikes redundant.
Roland Weary was a bully. He saw BP as a good target for his tough talk. Once, he described a torture where someone was tied down, with his eyes facing the sky. The eyelids are cut off, so there is no stopping the sun. SIG013.
BP is showing signs of common sense. He lets the motor mouth ramble without protest or argument. It turns out that BP is no stranger to gore. (This is blood and guts, not slick Willie’s VPOTUS.) BP had an explicit crucifix in his bedroom. Though nominally nondenominational, the Pilgrim family made sure young Billy knew all about the terrible things that happened to Jesus. SIG014.
Roland Weary had a pornographic picture, which BP saw numerous times. The legend was that André Le Fèvre an assistant to Louis J. M. Daguerre, was busted for selling a print of this photgraph. Mr. Le Fèvre died in prison. SIG015. A killjoy website, mental floss, says this never happened. Roland Weary later fantacizes being the only survivor of a German attack. SIG016.
It was about this time that BP starts to time travel. The first visit is to the YMCA, where his father is teaching him how to swim. The second adventure is to 1965, when BP is 41 years old. His mother is in an old peoples home. (PG once used the phrase “old folks home” at an estate sale, and was quickly told that OFH was considered rude.) While BP was at the OPH, a former marathon runner crossed the mortal finish line, and was wheeled out on a gurney. SIG017.
While sitting in a chair at the OPH, BP noticed a lump in the cushion. It was a book, The Execution of Private Slovik. Eddie Slovik was an American soldier, who was executed for desertion in 1945. SIG018. An excerpt from the court opinion in the case is quoted. It seems as though Pvt. Slovik was executed as a morale building exercise. SIG019.
The next time travel episode was a party in 1958. BP gets drunk, and screws a woman he is not married to. This is putting the tryst back in optometrist. When BP comes back to real time 1945, Roland Weary is about to kick him in the lower back. This effort at self expression is interrupted by the Germans, who take BP prisoner. This is the end of chapter two.
One of the touted TED talks in the weekly email is Color blind or color brave? It is by Mellody Hobson, a POC in the investment business. It is the standard call to talk more about race. Talk, talk, talk, and talk some more. The word listen is not used.
At the 3:13 mark, Mrs. Hobson makes a remarkable statement. “Now I know there are people out there who will say that the election of Barack Obama meant that it was the end of racial discrimination for all eternity, right?” It is possible that someone has said that. There are also people who say the earth is flat.
PG asked Mr. Google about this. The top two results are about the TED talk. The third result is an article in Forbes magazine, Racism In America Is Over. It is written by John McWhorter, one of the “black guys at Bloggingheads.tv.” Dr. McWhorter does say racism is over, sort of. The problems that remain are a lot worse. Too much food for thought, for a population with intellectual bulimia.
There is a quote in the Forbes article that is pure gold. “When decrying racism opens no door and teaches no skill, it becomes a schoolroom tattletale affair. It is unworthy of all of us: “He’s just a racist” intoned like “nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!””
There are a lot more results. PG is getting tired of looking. If you want to see for yourself, google “the election of Barack Obama meant that it was the end of racial discrimination for all eternity.” Except for a rogue title editor at Forbes, almost nobody has said that. This is a repost. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
Did Amy Shumer shave off her beard? ~ Sharks don’t bother Fox talking heads when they go swimming. It is a professional courtesy. ~ other than Israel there are very few people you can cheer for in the middle east ~ Gays Have Aerosolized Homosexual Christians, Covertly Attacking Chemtrails ~ Were people allowed to invest in Mr. Trump’s business ventures? That would seem to be a form of gambling. ~ Complications are overrated ~ Mr. Trump should try carbon monoxide. ~ Post Has Been Removed The post or object that you were commenting has been removed by its owner and can no longer be commented on. ~ Tacky political memes qualify as taking the “name of the lord” in vain. If you have any questions, consult the third commandment. ~ 6 Obnoxious Phrases Everyone Says Without Realizing It ~ 6 obnoxious phrases everyone says without realizing it Literally, It’s Like Crack!, I Would Totally Hit/Tap That, Man, That’s Gay, No Offense, Haters Gonna Hate, Addicted, Like, Totes, That’s so ghetto, Sorry not sorry, It is what it is, That’s retarded, ~ This is too much food for thought, and is leading to mental indigestion. There is a dandy comment, in the thread following a rebuttal post. “I blame the acronym LGBT. I think it’s become a four dimensional matrix of oppression olympics.” ~ I hope this is not derailing this thread. If it is then I can delete, and discuss later. Who made the decision to use cis- as a prefix? As I understand it, cis- is the opposite of trans. I can appreciate the need for this word. What I do not appreciate is the word itself. Cis- sounds like sissy. The s sound is tough for some people to say. There should be another phrase that we can use to designate someone who utilizes the gender of birth. ~ Every sperm is sacred! ~ Also scared. ~ They’re not scared, they’re happy! ~ There is a .005% chance they will have to work. ~ Well I think that progress is not possible without deviation. And I think that it’s important that people be aware of some of the creative ways in which some of their fellow men are deviating from the norm, because in some instances they might find these deviations inspiring and might suggest further deviations which might cause progress, you never know. Frank Zappa (VPRO-TV February 1971) ~ The previous post was “Important Lessons We Can All Learn From Franklin Graham” This is a very, very short post. ~ @norm_1142 every day I see new applications of how a policy of “don’t tell people what to do” makes everyone happier. ~ @fieldnegro No Mr. Jindal, we don’t need to “pray”, we need to change the culture of guns in this country. ~ I publish a blog, chamblee54.wordpress.com . I have a twitter account, @chamblee54. For some reason, you have blocked me on twitter. Now, this is really not a big deal, but it is puzzling. I honestly don’t think I have so much as written your twitter address on any tweet of mine. I did quote you on the Planned Parenthood video in a post I wrote.I gave full credit, and included a link. Otherwise, I have had little contact with LGF, or even read it that often. Why did you block me? ~ “White liberals talk about race all the time” The problem is that nobody listens. ~ I Am NOT Cisgendered ~ I have mixed feelings about this. I was put off by the academicism of the first paragraph. I decided to scan the rest, and look at the last paragraph. I found myself agreeing with much of what he said. I am so tired of being labelled and pigeonholed. So many of the things that people use to judge me have little to do with who I am as a human being. The whole cis/trans clusterfuck is just one more source of conflict that serves little purpose. ~ Breaking Down HuffPost’s “I am NOT cisgendered” Tantrum ~ Matt makes a good point about the looney left, and then blows it by whining about media coverage. He also does not mention that the radical right is better armed than the looney left. ~ Humor rhymes with boomer, tumor, and rumor. It is designed to appeal to poets. ~ ppl who want a white pride movement probably need a bowel movement ~ without deviation from the norm progress is not possible ~ dumb de dumb dumb ~ I have only heard the first 25 minutes Truth be known, after the first two minutes it is not that great. But the opening story. You should hear it yourself, as told with a british accent. This man is in a bdsm dungeon. (spell check for bdsm is bdrm) he asks for a bunch of bananas the idea is to see how many he can stick in his butt after a few he cries uncle, and asks for a bucket to eliminate the product. In the minute that the hostess goes to try and find a bucket, the man starts to uncontrollably projectile eliminate the bananas There are 19 episodes of sex with strangers I have downloaded all of them, with the exception of the ones that sound boring, like sex with mormons. The banana episode is 3. Episode 2, Grindr in wyoming, is recommended. ~ @WernerTwertzog Please grant me your pardon if my spell changer converted your name into an insult, obscenity, or vile liquid. ~ @Trepanatus Dennis Rodman just endorsed Trump. Parody and satire are now impossible. ~ uth pb o ~ I got to the question ” “Do you have the word ‘skanky’ in America?” Then the popup ad hit. ~ Pay ATTN: We share commentary, news articles, and videos that cover important societal topics as well as give you opportunities to take action. ~ I use firefox, for the time being anyway. Idk if what I saw was technically a popup. It is where a full screen thingie covers the entire window. Sometimes you can close it, sometime you cannot. ~ Faith is the excuse we provide to rational people who believe to be real the mad, antithetical fictions of the Bible. ~ pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. ~ selah
Some people are proud of being anti-racist. This is not always something to be proud about. Often, as in anti communism and homophobia, the struggle against the unseen enemy is worse than the problem you are fighting. When you denounce someone as racist, you might be talking about yourself.
The discussion that follows should not be seen as pro racist. People should treat people with kindness. The word people does not need an adjective. This kindness should be extended to those who do not share your opinions about racism.
Maybe you should lead by example. Instead of worrying about how your neighbor thinks, worry about how you think. If you don’t like the nasty word don’t use it.
To some, racism is the ultimate taboo. It is the worst charge you can make about a person, and the quickest to be made. Once accused, you are guilty until proven innocent. It does not help that the definition of racism is expanding all the time. What one person considers racism is normal thinking to another. It used to be that racism was when you treated someone poorly because of their ethnicity. Now is is a multi faceted boogieman about power and prejudice. Keeping up can be a full time job.
Anti-communism has been compared to anti-racism. To our younger readers, there used to be a system of government called communism. It was alleged to be involved in a cold war with the United States. This cold war was the justification for a bloated military industrial complex. Many crooked politicians were elected on the basis of being anti communist. Often, the fight against communism was worse than the actual system of government.
Anti-racism is the new McCarthyism. Guilt by association is the rule. Difficult to refute charges are made against people. The charge of racism is used as a red herring.
Homophobia is compared to anti-racism. In both cases, the accuser has a set of standards. If the accused does not meet those standards, then the accused is considered fair game for abuse. The accused and the accuser may not agree on these standards. That does not matter. If someone wants to make the accusation, then they will, and will feel righteous about doing so.
It is frequently speculated that the homophobe is secretly gay. The need to be heard badmouthing gays stems from a perceived need to prove heterosexuality. Could this be the case with the anti racist? Maybe the anti-racist is secretly afraid that he/she might be a racist. The “calling out” of others, for perceived racism, is an effort to overcompensate for his/her own shortcomings.
Some things need to be said one more time. People should treat people with kindness. The word people does not need an adjective. Shaming and guilt mongering, because someone does not share your attitudes about race, is not appropriate. To use an anti-communist expression, there are better ways to win hearts and minds. This is a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
It is one of those tweets that keeps coming back. @PolliticalCom How bad is racism in America? Take the poll –> PG was through with the yard sales, and looking for entertainment. Being easily amused is a progressive lifestyle choice.
To take this poll, it will be necessary to use internet explorer. Firefox does not do some things well. While at ie, PG checks in at bloggingheads.tv The top show at the moment features Glenn Loury and John McWhorter. The headline reads “Ta-Nehisis Coates is no James Baldwin.”
Racism may, or may not, be a problem in Amerika, but it is one helluva marketing tool. The racism poll we will take in a minute is at a tacky website, Political dot com. You can be assured there is merchandise to sell. There is a header ad, for an “URGENT NATIONAL POLL … Should GOP fight Obama on gun control?” Like the results are going to matter, without a campaign contribution.
The first question is “Does racism affect the political attitudes and overall policies of the United States domestically? The possible answers are Yes, definitely, Yes, slightly, Maybe, No, No, not at all. If the browser is working, you can see some numbers after the answers. It is as if the nation has already made up its mind, and you don’t matter.
Do you believe racism is still alive in the United States? Is the American Dream still alive for low class minorities living below at or below the poverty line? Does racism inhibit our ability to progress as a nation? Which political party do you favor? What is your gender? The last two questions have different answers. It might be fun to offer “No, not at all” as a possible answer to the questions “Which political party do you favor” and “What is your gender.”
The marketing kicks in after the gender question. “If you or a loved one snore, what type of snoring do you suffer from?******Sponsored Poll by Our Snoring Solution******* You will receive a free custom report and a letter from the inventor of the cure on how to cure your specific snoring problem. “
While the mp3 was downloading, PG listened to a few minutes of bhtv. It seems that Ta-Nehisi Coates has been anointed the national scribe when decrying the race issue. When David Brooks dared to question the glory of Ta-Nehisi Coates, he became the national poopyhead of the week. In the bhtv show, Dr. McWhorter suggests that the uncritical praise heaped on Mr. Coates indicates that the race situation is not as bad as Mr. Coates says.
Dr. McWhorter compares anti racism with religion, with Ta-Nehisi Coates as the high priest. PG has made the connection of race to religion before. In both race and religion, there are massive amounts of preaching to the choir. Arguments that you agree with are seen as entertaining, with a satisfying side dish of virtue. The opinions of strangers regarding race, and religion are seen as proper subjects for corrosive critque. Dr. McWhorter notes that race religion has nothing to do with creating change. Indeed, if racism in Amerika were to go away, Ta-Nehisi Coates would be out of a job. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Football season will be here soon.
In the first part of Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut goes to Dresden, East Germany. He rides in a taxi. The mother of the taxi driver died in the Allied bombing raid on Dresden, Germany. KV says “so it goes” on page 2, as a reaction to this information. The eight letters were a stand alone sentence .
This is the beginning of a chamblee54 reaction to Slaughterhouse-Five, hereafter known as SF. When PG reads a book by KV, the style of writing takes over. PG begins to think like KV writes, which is not necessarily a bad thing. This series should be easy to write, and hopefully not too tough to read. The idea is to stop reading, and start writing, every time KV says “So it goes.” This will be abbreviated as SIG. That is four abbreviations, and should be enough.
Soon after the taxi ride, KV is talking to a man. The subject is a book KV is writing about Dresden. “Is it an anti-war book?” “Yes, I guess” “Why don’t you write an anti-glacier book instead?” This conversation took place around 1967, or 48 years ago. With the Vietnam conflict escalating, anti-war stuff was popular. What few could have foreseen was the 2015 reality. War is just as painful, profitable, and prevalent as ever. Glaciers, on the other hand, are starting to melt. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but 350 ppm carbon dioxide has them both whipped.
SIG002 is on page 6. A rabid American has a quart of jewels, stolen off the dead of Dresden. SIG003 is on page 9. A man gets his wedding ring caught in an elevator, and is crushed to death by an automobile. It didn’t make much sense.
Years ago, a couple of years after the first reading of SF, PG worked at a department store called Davisons. They had these fabulous freight elevators, which you controlled by turning a brass knob. If wanted to go up, you turned left. If you wanted it to go down, you turned right. One of these elevators used to have a wooden gate in front of it. One day, a man stuck his head in the shaft to see if the elevator was coming. The elevator car cut his head off. The blood stains remained, between the third and fourth floors of the number 10 elevator.
PG first read SF a few years before working at Davisons. It was a tacky paperback. The current version is a deluxe, hard back, 25th anniversary edition. It has a new introduction, where KV calls George Will an owlish nitwit. PG remembers a conversation KV had with someone who was not pleased about another war book, thinking it would make killing seem glamorous.
Not to worry, the conversation is in chapter 1. KV promises that there would be no role for Frank Sinatra, or John Wayne, in the movie based on his book. This is ironic. For all of their tough guy posturing, neither Mr. Wayne nor Mr. Sinatra served in World War II.
After the conversation we have SIG004 on page 20. It has something to do with Sodom and Gomorrah. A few sentences later, Lot’s wife, who evidently had a job description but no name, was turned into a pillar of salt, thus begetting SIG005. This is more or less the end of chapter 1. The story of SF, such as it is, begins with the first line of chapter 2. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. The men shown were Union Soldiers, in the War Between the States.
1. The roundest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference.
He acquired his size from too much pi.
2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.
4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from the algebra class. It was a weapon of math disruption.
5. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.
6.. No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.
7. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering..
8. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
9. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie..
10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
11. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
12. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
14. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway.
One hat said to the other, ‘You stay here; I’ll go on a head..’
15. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
16. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: ‘Keep off the Grass.’
17. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital.
When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, ‘No change yet.’
18. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
19. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
20. The man who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
21. A backward poet writes inverse.
22. In democracy it’s your vote that counts. In feudalism it’s your count that votes.
23. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.
24. Don’t join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects.
25. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
26. Stories are in the public duh-main. This is a repost.