Chamblee54

The Revenge Of Samuel Clemens

Posted in History, Library of Congress, The English Language, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on July 7, 2017








Mark Twain left earth to take care of itself on April 21, 1910. Now that 100 years have passed, his uncensored autobiography is about to be published. As True Slant tells the tale, Reports of Mark Twain’s resurrection are greatly exaggerated.

Samuel Clemens is an icon of americana, his books a staple of high school english. The clever sayings of Mr. Twain are quoted to this day. On his death in 1910, President William H. Taft said
“Mark Twain gave real intellectual enjoyment to millions, and his works will continue to give such pleasure to millions yet to come. He never wrote a line that a father could not read to a daughter.”
The White House predecessor of Mr. Taft was Teddy Roosevelt. Mr. Roosevelt became famous as a result of what Mr. Twain called “the iniquitous Cuban-Spanish War”. When the newly conquered Philippines did not greet the Americans as liberators, a brutal little war broke out. There were reports of massacres of women and children by American troops. This conflict led Mr. Twain to write The War Prayer, which would not be published until after he was dead. (Teddy Roosevelt became President after the murder of William McKinley. Some people speculate the Mark Twain was involved in the death of President McKinley. There used to be some youtube videos with more information, but they have been taken down. )

The truth is, Mark Twain was a rascal, with many sharp opinions about religion, big business, and war. As Henry L. Mencken wrote
“Instead of being a mere entertainer of the mob, he was…a destructive satirist of the utmost pungency and relentlessness, and the most bitter critic of American platitude and delusion, whether social, political or religious, that ever lived.” His present day image of Colonel Sanders, played by Grandpa Walton, is far from the mark.
But then, Grandpa Walton is not what many think. He was played by Will Geer, whose birth name was William Aughe Ghere . Mr. Geer, a member of the Communist Party, organized a violent dock workers strike in San Francisco. The co organizer of that strike was Mr. Geer’s boyfriend, Harry Hay.

Getting back to Mark Twain, it seems like some people don’t like to have their heroes tarnished by reality. True Slant wrote a feature that is the basis of this post. (The text part anyway. The pictures are from The Library of Congress . HT to dangerous minds. ) It seems like when the True Slant author, Mark Dery, posted a link to his article on Facebook, Chaos ensued.

Weekend Update: Apparently, some Bronze-Age bible troll reported my Facebook link to this essay as “abusive,” presumably because Twain was an atheist and Huckleberry Finn, one of the most banned books in a nation that stinks to heaven of god-bothering, is the devil’s handiwork. Now, due to Facebook’s guilty-until-proven-innocent logic—a rule of thumb that wins the Idi Amin Dada Award for enlightened online governance—I’m unable to repost. Anything. Whether you like Twain or my work or not, I hope you’ll consider reposting a link to this page on your Facebook page as a way of saying you support free speech. If that sounds like product placement, mea culpa maxima.) YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Facebook appears to have repealed its ban on my links, at least for the moment, restoring the link to this article. Heartfelt thanks to all who stood with me in free-speech solidarity by reposting a link to this essay on their FB pages. Twain would be proud of you!

In the sandbox epic Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance , a philosophical ramble detours on the concept of mythos over logos. The concept is that people, when presented with information that disproves there illusion, will continue to believe in the illusion. This would seem to be the case here. The inspiring story of Mark Twain is threatened by the reality of the writers last work. (Actually, this autobiography was dictated to a stenographer, rather than written.) People would rather feel warm and fuzzy about a myth, than read the truths of the mythmaker.

This is a repost. A few things have happened since 2010. Autobiography of Mark Twain has seen three volumes released. 13% of the Volume One comments on Amazon are one star. True/Slant has been purchased by Forbes, and links for this article no longer work. A new edition of Huckleberry Finn has been issued, with America’s favorite dirty word deleted.

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Snob Supremacy

This is a double repost. There are quotes from a defunct site, Owldolatrous. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This was written in the style of H. P. Lovecraft.
What is a snob? PG always thought it was someone who thought he was better than others. This is one of the “sins” that most people denounce, and then practice. Who doesn’t see someone that is just a few notches below you on the scale of human coolness?

A trip to the dictionary yields this: 1-a person who imitates, cultivates, or slavishly admires social superiors and is condescending or overbearing to others. 2-a person who believes himself or herself an expert or connoisseur in a given field and is condescending toward or disdainful of those who hold other opinions or have different tastes regarding this field: a musical snob.

The origin of the word is amusing. Snob was a nickname for a cobbler, or someone who makes shoes. This is a working class occupation, but one that is needed by all people. How this would become a label for someone who “puts on airs” is a mystery.

There are snobs in a book PG is reading, “The city of falling angels” by John Berendt. An American writer goes to live in Venice, and has tales to tell. At one point, there is a dispute in an organization devoted to restoring stuff in Venice, and some of the players are labeled snobs. On page 318, there is a definition of a snob. You can be a snob upwards, by working the people on a level above you. Or, you can be a snob downwards, by being rude to those on a level below you.

The reader may have figured out by now that this post is going to ramble for a few paragraphs and not really go anywhere. The practice of “uppity”, or “putting on airs”, is hard wired into the consciousness of almost everyone. Like telling the truth and lying, no one wants to admit to being a snob, and yet almost everyone plays the game on some level.



“Supremacy is the habit of believing or acting as if your life, your love, your culture has more intrinsic worth than those of people who differ from you. Supremacy can be about race, but it doesn’t have to be. Supremacy and hate aren’t identical, but they often go together. Some people turn supremacy into an over-arching philosophy. For most, it’s just a habit of mind. As a habit of mind, supremacist ideas can spring up in anyone. Being liberal doesn’t make you immune. Being gay doesn’t make you immune. Being a minority doesn’t make you immune.”

There is more, but this is enough for our morning discussion. Supreme, Supremacy, Supremacism, Supremacist. It is not just for white people. The whole business of thinking that you are somehow better than your neighbor is part of being a human being. Think about it, aren’t there some people that you think you are better than? Of course there are. You are a competitive animal, and you have to win sometimes. You, and your tribe, are just better than that other tribe.

PG saw a sign over a desk once. I have never met a snob who was not a born liar. Above this sign was a plastic case. In the plastic case was a white dress shirt, with an ink stain in the front pocket. Like telling the truth and lying, no one wants to admit to being a snob. Still, almost everyone plays the game. Maybe the sign should have read “I have never met a human being who was not a born liar.“ Many of those lies begin with “I am not a ___.”

There is a concept, mythos over logos. The idea is, when you present people with information that contradicts a long held belief, the person will ignore the information and stick to the belief. This is related to the concept of supremacy. What happens when you think you are better than a person, and you get evidence that the person is better than you? You will ignore that evidence, and continue to believe the person is inferior to you. It helps when your magic book agrees with you.

Is Anti-Racism a form of supremacy? PG associates with a so called “radical community”. There has recently been a rabid discussion about racism. Now, this is a pretty enlightened bunch. The type of virulent racism that PG saw growing up in Georgia is simply not there. This does not stop the Anti Racist Supremacist Egophile (ARSE) from looking for racism to combat. The ARSE will expand the definition of racism to include every PWOC, except him them and his their immediate tribe.

One root word of Supremacy is Supreme. There were once three young ladies performing as “The Supremes.” Four videos are embedded into this post. That is not real hair.


Fighting On Twitter

Posted in Library of Congress, Religion, The English Language, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 17, 2017


There was a twitter battle last week. It was mildly ironic, and amusing to one of the participants. There may, or may not, be a message about Jesus here. If you want to skip over the text, and look at the pictures, you will be excused. The pictures are from The Library of Congress.

PG was on twitter, using his nom de tweet @chamblee54. PG found a tweet from @Phil_Johnson_ . Mr. Johnson is the founder, and copyright holder, of Pyromaniacs, a once popular blog . PG is banned from commenting at Pyromaniacs.

Did God Promise Health and Wealth? is the post linked to in the tweet. Mr. Johnson is a doctrine enthusiast. This post is an example. “I’d rather talk about the truth than concentrate on error. I love doctrine and instruction. … All of us need words of challenge and caution; not always words of blessing and benediction. The faithful preacher is obliged to “reprove, rebuke, and exhort””

PG is a recovering Baptist. He disagrees with most of what he hears of Christian doctrine. To PG, the best way to know Jesus is through the words, and deeds, of his believers. Sometimes Jesus gets dragged into personal quarrels. Believers find a way to work through this, and go on believing. To PG, this is one more reason to stay home on Sunday morning.

For some reason, PG looked at Did God Promise Health and Wealth? He saw some graphic mistakes. Here is a screen shot. The version at the site has been corrected. Of course, the internet never forgets, and here is a cached copy. Here is an ironic example of the graphic errors: “Every Christian has a duty to differentiate between truth and errorCto proclaim truth and refute error.”

@Phil_Johnson_ Did God promise health and wealth? link to post
@chamblee54 “Cand reproof and correction” “Cespecially when false teaching” “truth and errorCto proclaim” Did you proofread this?
@Phil_Johnson_ I didn’t post it. Someone else does that. Looks like the WP conversion changed my em-dashes to capital Cs. Should be fairly obvious.
@chamblee54 do you take responsibility for something published with your name?
@Phil_Johnson_ Not if I’m not the one who published it. Why? Do you think I deserve a fine or a public flogging?
@chamblee54 dude you are a professional You should not allow something like this to go out It makes you, and Jesus, look bad
@Phil_Johnson_ Jesus “looks bad“ to you because someone posted a sermon transcript with typos? I don’t think that’s the real reason you hate Him, Chamblee
@chamblee54 either you are responsible for what goes out under your name, and “in the name of” Jesus, or you are not who said I hate Jesus anyway?
@Phil_Johnson_ You did. Frequently. Here, for instance, you flatly disclaim the Jesus of Scripture:
@chamblee54 #ThingsJesusNeverSaid anything in the bible
@chamblee54 that is not “hate” I don’t believe that the bible is an accurate record of what Jesus said… my tweet is a slight exaggeration
@Phil_Johnson_ Jesus: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
@chamblee54 some scholars say entire book of John is suspect … all you had to do was change web page with typo you must love to quarrel
@Phil_Johnson_ That’s not MY webpage. I don’t post my own sermons. I told you that. If you weren’t looking for a quarrel, why keep pressing the point?
@chamblee54 I am replying to you A web page, with the name of a church that employs you as executive director, would appear to be your responsibility
@Phil_Johnson_ As you know, appearances can be deceiving. Sorry. So what’s your verdict on my original question—fine, or public beating?
@chamblee54 Neither fine or beating are helpful opening tweet: Did God promise health and wealth? Maybe responsibility for grammar from pro editor
@Phil_Johnson_ PS: I am not employed by the church. I’m a lay person.
@Phil_Johnson_ PPS: And I may be an editor, but I’m not such a grammar Nazi that I would demand the keys to every website that botches my transcripts.
@chamblee54 Instead of beating/fine, why not delete the tweet, or suggest that people not retweet it… did anyone else notice this? does anyone read?
@Phil_Johnson_ You could always just listen to the sermon, so your eyes won’t be assaulted with a computer error every time my transcript used an em-dash.
@chamblee54some people don’t like having their doctrine criticized…subject of post… compare to your reaction to having the graphics criticized
@Phil_Johnson_ Criticize all you like. I said in my first reply that the punctuation is wrong. But (as I keep saying) ***I don’t operate that website.***
@chamblee54 you continue to recommend the content, even knowing about mistakes that have your name on them
@Phil_Johnson_ While I do appreciate your deep concern about my editorial credibility, there’s little I can do tonight to correct someone else’s webpage.
@chamblee54 if you do not object, I would like to write about this exchange on my blog… if you do object, then I will not do so
@Phil_Johnson_ Please feel free to write about it. Thanks for asking, but even if I object to your opinion, you have every right to express it.
@Phil_Johnson_ Turns out they fixed it for you: link to post

The tweet #ThingsJesusNeverSaid anything in the bible, deserves a comment. Is this evidence of hatred for Jesus? Does it “flatly disclaim the Jesus of Scripture”? Maybe Jesus is more than the result of translating Aramaic, to Greek, to Latin, to English. Maybe Jesus is a living spirit, seen in the words, and deeds, of those who will not quit talking about him.

When you hear Americans quote the Bible, they almost always use an English translation. This English document is said to be “The Word Of G-d.” When you consider that Jesus spoke Aramaic, not English, you realize that Jesus did not say any of the English sentences that he is given credit for. One of the few things PG believes is the G-d does not write books.

That is it. Two white guys exchanging tweets. Nobody was saved, or damned. Was PG in error by saying that Jesus looks bad as a result of this? Maybe. With all the mud on Jesus’s face these days, a few em-dash errors aren’t going to hurt. Should people tweet links to a post containing unsightly errors? Probably not. Do people like to quarrel on the internet, for the sake of quarreling? Is the topic of debate just an excuse for some good time twitterbashing? Anybody who cares can answer that.

Another Round Of Charles Bukowski

Posted in Library of Congress, Poem, The English Language, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 12, 2017

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An internet facility (IF) called Mind Openerz recently posted a feature, Charles Bukowski’s Top 10 Tips for Living a Kick-Ass Life. Hank writes enjoyable stories and poems. This does not make him a role model. Even if the tales of degenerate lifestyle were exageratted for public consumption, as many suspect, the butt ugly drunkard is nothing to aspire to.

One thing to admire about Hank (a publisher thought that Charles would be a better selling pen name) was the volume of product. He would write dozens of poems, with the lines popping out “like hot turds the morning after a good beer drunk.” Keep the quantity up, quality takes care of itself.

Many of the rules for living were taken from his short stories. PG recently stumbled through Tales of Ordinary Madness, and recognized a few. Hank would toss words of wisdom into stories about being arrested. One time, it was for threatening to rape a lady with a codfish. You can’t beat fun at the old ballpark. Of course, Hank hated baseball, and hated poetry that rhymes. PG writes rhyming poems, with pictures of dogs in the background. Hank is dead, and his opinion doesn’t count.

The fun starts with rule number eight. “8. Have confidence in yourself. “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts.” You are awesome, and all you have to do to let your true talents shine is believe that fact. Have complete confidence in yourself and you might be surprised with all you can achieve.”

Several of the stories of ordinary madness involve people who think they are poets, show work to Hank, and are insulted for the lousy ouput. The line in number eight was familiar, but PG was too slack to go looking through ordinary madness to find it. This is where you ask Mr. Google for help. The full quote: “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”


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PG sat in the workplace cafeteria and read the last line of Tales of Ordinary Madness. TOOM is a book of short stories and underground press columns, allegedly written by Charles Bukowski. This collection was published by City Lights Books, the facility of Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The poet-businessman was not admired by Mr. Bukowski.

The author was born Heinrich Karl Bukowski, on August 16, 1920, in Andernach, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. His Catholic parents moved to America in 1923. The name was americanized to Henry Charles Bukowski. Friends called him Hank, and his literary alter ego was Hank Chinaski. Somebody decided that Charles would look better in print.

Hank Chinaski was a hard boiled character, or so he would have you believe. He was not a teetotaler. In spite of his many excesses, Hank lived to be 74, when leukemia sent him to the likkastow in the sky. This was March 9, 1994. Eleven days later, Lewis Grizzard met his maker. Lewis was 47, the same age as Hank in much of TOOM.

You should always separate the creator from the creation. Enjoy the product, and don’t worry about the ingredients. That is the case with TOOM. The stories are reputed to be little autobiographies. (An Amazon one star commenter thinks the stories are the result of “some kind of posthumous ghost writer, and not a very good one.”)

Hank, if nothing else, was productive. He wrote thousands of poems. It is not known if they have all been published, or if anyone is drunk enough to read them. Here is a quote from a previous Chamblee54 feature, The On Time Charles Bukowski.

The writer/drunk had always been a bit of a fascination to PG. Out of the millions of useless drunks feeding the urinals of planet earth, at least one will turn out to have had literary merit… this leads to a newyorker piece about the gentleman. After nine paragraphs, and two poems, there is the phrase that set off PG…graphomaniacal fecundity. (spell check suggestion:nymphomaniac)

As best as we can figure, g.f. means that Hank wrote a lot of stuff. This is a good thing. PG operates on the notion that if you keep your quantity up, the quality will take care of itself. Hank seems to agree, spitting out product “like hot turds the morning after a good beer drunk.” He seemed to take pride in doing what Truman Capote said about Jack Kerouac…he doesn’t write, he types.

Holy drunken author synchronicity. Last summer, PG was working third shift in a midtown sweatshop. He would read a couple of stories of TOOM, then shift gears and read a bit of The Dharma Bums. At some point in the procedure, there was a collection of output from Truman Capote.
Hank Chinaski might not like PG. There is the rhyming poetry. There is buying a book of repackaged prose at a yard sale. There is the twenty five year retirement from alcohol use. This is beside the point. You have to live for what is important to you, not what a deceased barfly might think.

Pictures for the last part are from The Library of Congress. After publishing Hank Chinaski Lives on Tuesday, PG decided to repost two other pieces about Hank Bukowski.

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Cuck A Doodle Do

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, The English Language, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 5, 2017


Cuck is a popular insult. The primary audience is people who take Milo Yiannopoulos seriously. Cuck is short for cuckold, a time honored insult for a man with an adulterous wife. One popular legend has St. Joseph, the step father of Jesus, as the patron saint of cuckolds.

Urban Dictionary has an alternate perspective. “A word used by White Supremacists to solicit sex. Because they believe people whom they call cucks would want to fuck them. … Cuck itself is an onomatopoeia derived from the moaning sound white supremacists make while fantasizing about getting fucked. It is NOT, as some trolls suggests, derived from “cuckold” – a fantastical troll logic only horny White Supremacists would believe in.”

MTV Decoded recently had a video, The Strange & Gross Origin of “Cuck”. The host is natural hair maven Francesca Ramsey. The entertainment has 42,621 views, with 327 likes, and 9,970 dislikes. This is a 30-1 thumbs-down-to-thumps-up ratio.

Frannie says that cuck is the love child of racism and misogyny. Racism says cuck isn’t his kid, and refuses to pay child support. Frannie offers, as evidence, the popularity of cuck pornography. In CP, a white man watches his white wife get fucked by a black man. CP, with productions like Cuckold Creampie Cleanup, is a noted crowd pleaser.

A possible origin for cuckold is cuckoo. This bird likes to lay its eggs in another bird’s nest. How Republican! As for the etymology, cuckold shows “Middle English cokewold First Known Use: 13th century.” Cuckoo comes from “Middle English cuccu, of imitative origin.” At least one source suggests that cuckoo, the bird, is derived from cuckold, the clueless husband.

Frannie’s video has links in the show notes. It is not known what fact is connected to what source. Still, it is better than having no source at all. One of these stories is from BBC news, Cuckolds, horns and other explanations. This article does not mention racism.

“But that gesture – the hands to the forehead, finger and thumb outstretched. How has that become to mean “you are a cuckold”? One explanation comes from the Roman era. Back then, returning soldiers were given horns, symbolising success on the battlefield. But the horns also came to imply failure in the bedroom, and that it was never a good idea to leave a Roman wife alone for too long. A more common explanation is that a horned beast cannot see its own horns. And husbands are often the last to know about their partner’s infidelities.”

This is a possible source for “horny.” But the fun doesn’t stop there. “In Britain, the word “cuckold” is old-fashioned. But youngsters still love to stick their fingers up behind their friends’ heads in photographs, to make them look silly.”

The Library of Congress supplied the pictures for this feature.

04-30-2017

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Politics, Race, The English Language, War by chamblee54 on April 30, 2017






PG was stumbling through the sunday morning fog, and remembered what day it was. On this day 25 years ago, PG was downtown during a riot. There is a post about this day, 04-30-92, which is repeated below. The idea was to repeat an old story on a slack sunday.

Chamblee54 referenced a post by Atlanta newsmonger Doug Richards. Is his blog still published? Yes, it is. The post today is a doozy, and totally connected to the events of 1992.

One Lousy Word is the title of the post. Yes, it is the word you are thinking. The fishwrapper is more explicit: Valerie Hoff of 11Alive resigns after jokingly using the N-word in private Twitter exchange with black viewer. One day, corporate media will be forbidden to say “N-word.”

The reporter was trying to get a video of a policeman hitting a motorist. @CurtFromDaBlock had the goods. He said (the tweet does not turn up in a search) that “a lot of “news n***as” were trying to track him down for the video.” The reporter sent CFDB a private message, and unwisely repeated the magic word. The reporter resigned from her job later.

The fishwrapper article notes that CFDB is fond of using the magic word. While trying to find the seminal tweet in this thread, a few examples came up. In deference to nasty word mania, *apple* will be substituted for the magic word. @CurtFromDaBlock *apple* you ARE a *apple* RT“@OfficialAmiyah: When yo *apple* got good dick you be paranoid like shit.. “Why you gotta go outside bae?! @CurtFromDaBlock *apple* deserves prom king for all 3 school @CurtFromDaBlock *apple* drinking grape Fanta RT“@_Wrek: That purppppppppppp ”

So this is where we are with race. People talk the talk about systemic/systematic, institutional oppression, and presidential elections. It is not known how much impact this talk has on economic inequality, police misbehavior, and educational opportunity. But let a reporter quote someone using the magic word, in a private message, and the sky falls in. Chicken Little may have a point.





Doug Richards is an Atlanta tv news reporter. He writes a blog, live apartment fire. He was on the scene twenty four years ago. There was a riot downtown. Mr. Richards had a bad night.

PG was working in the Healey building that day. He ran an RMS, or reprographic management service, in an architects office. He had a blueline machine, ran jobs for the customer, and had free time. PG did a lot of exploring, and enjoyed the various events downtown. On April 30, 1992, there was an event he did not enjoy.

The day before, a jury in California issued a verdict. Four policemen were acquitted of wrongdoing in an incident involving Rodney King. The incident had been videotaped, and received widespread attention. The verdict of the jury was not popular. The dissatisfaction spread to Atlanta.

Sometimes, PG thinks he has a guardian angel looking over him. If so, then this thursday afternoon was one of those times. PG went walking out into the gathering storm. He was a block south of the train station at five points, when he saw someone throw a rock into a store front. The sheet metal drapes were rolled down on the outside of the store. PG realized that he was not in a good place, and quickly made his way back to the Healey building.

A group of policeman were lined up in the lobby of the building, wearing flack jackets. One of the police was a white man, who was familiar to workers in the neighborhood. A few weeks before the incident, he had been walking around the neighborhood showing off his newborn baby.

There was very little work done that afternoon in the architect’s office. Someone said not to stand close to the windows, which seemed like a good idea. Fourteen floors below, on Broad Street, the window at Rosa’s Pizza had a brick thrown threw it. There were helicopters hovering over downtown, making an ominous noise.

There was a lot of soul searching about race relations that day. The Olympics were coming to town in four years, and the potential for international disaster was apparent. As it turned out, the disturbance was limited to a few hundred people. It could have been much, much worse. If one percent of the anger in Atlanta had been unleashed that day, instead of .001 percent, the Olympics would have been looking for a new host.

After a while, the people in the office were called into the lobby. The Principal of the firm, the partner in charge of production, walked out to his vehicle with PG and a lady in operations. The principal drove an inconspicuous vehicle, which made PG feel a bit better. PG took his pocketknife, opened the blade, and put it in his back pocket. It probably would not have done him much good.

PG usually took the train downtown. As fate would have it, there was a big project at the main office of redo blue on West Peachtree Street. That is where PG’s vehicle was, in anticipation of working overtime that night. The principal drove PG to this building. PG called his mother, to let her know that he was ok. The Atlanta manager of Redo Blue talked to him, to make sure that he was not hurt.

If PG had not gone back downtown the next day, he might not have ever gone back. He was back at the West Peachtree Street office, and was assured that it was safe to ride the train into town. The Macy’s at 180 Peachtree had plywood nailed over the display windows. A gift shop in the Healey building had a sign in the window, “Black owned business”. Friday May 1, 1992, was a quiet day.

This is a repost. The events of twenty five years ago are mostly forgotten in Atlanta. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.





Google It!

Posted in Library of Congress, The English Language, The Internet, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on April 25, 2017


It is becoming a cliche. Someone makes a claim. Someone else asks for a source, asks what they mean, or challenges the bully in any way. The knee jerk response is to say Google It, frequently accompanied by an insulting comment about not knowing how to do online research. Is this the best way to handle the situation?

If you go to the shrine of the search engine, and submit Google It, the first page of results is connected to the information colossus. On the second page, you get the mandatory Urban Dictionary result: “An answer to a question that you are too lazy to answer.” There is also the inevitable arrogant joke-page: www.justfuckinggoogleit.com.

“Google Is Your Friend. All Smart People Use Google. It Appears That You Are Not One Of Them. Someone thinks you are an idiot because you were too stupid to check Google before asking a question. They gave you a link to this site as a joke. The fact that you followed it pretty much proves the point. Hope that helps. Have a nice day.” Idiots Served: 1344482

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away. “Google does not endorse this site, and is not associated with it in any way whatsoever. I have added an information page” “WARNING: SITE ABUSES It has come to my attention that some sites are redirecting to this one when their users were not expecting it. I have no control over this. The only sites I have control over that have anything to do with this site are http://www.justfuckinggoogleit.com, and http://www.fuckinggoogleit.com. If any other site is sending you here, it is their problem, not mine. They may have been hacked, or they may be playing a joke. I don’t know, and I can’t do anything about it. Please stop sending me e-mail about this issue. Please direct abuse reports or server problems to webmaster@justfuckinggoogleit.com

Should you respond, to requests for information, with those eight magic letters, Google It? As you may have gathered by now, saying GI is both arrogant, and intellectually lazy. It has bully overtones… I am telling you this, and how dare you challenge me? In a academic setting, GI is not a replacement for a footnote. Links are easy to install. You should show where you get your information.

Google is agenda neutral, unless your program includes sponsored search results. In other words, when someone accepts your dare to Google It, they may find out something you do not want them to know. If you want someone to learn what you want them to learn, you can control the process by including a link. If they want to challenge this, and Google It, they are free to do so.

@ShaunKing 7 people were killed by American police…YESTERDAY. That’s more people than police in most developed nations kill in an entire year. @RealMarr Post the stories, id like to read about them @clanie There’s a thing called the internet you can possibly find them on your own if you’re truly curious @RealMarr Wow lol pretty pissy on a Friday @clanie Suggsting someone do their own research is pissy? You’re too sensitive bro

When the going gets tough, the tough Google It. PG decided to investigate. Seven People Killed By Police was the result. None of the SPKBP involved questionable police conduct. When you shoot at police, they are going to shoot back. @ShaunKing probably was trying to stir the pot with his tweet. A bit of research (actually, a couple of hours worth) shoots his agenda down effectively. Pictures for today’s entertainment are from The Library of Congress.

Agnotology

Posted in Library of Congress, The English Language, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 28, 2017

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Agnotology is the study of ignorance. It is not connected to Agnetha Fältskog, the Abba G-ddess. One messenger of this noun says “Today I learned the word “agnotology,” or the study of why we do not know what we do not know. These are the “unknown unknowns,” the questions we don’t even know to ask.” This exploration of etymological ignorance is a repost.

PG found the messenger’s blog through a google search for the phrase “G-d is a concept through which we measure our pain”. The resulting post was about the death of John Lennon. The embedded video has a guest appearance by Howard Cosell, a well known scholar of ignorance.

There is a book, Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance. A two star review hits on a cause of ignorance, the inability to communicate knowledge.

Bartolo interesting, but beware, if you value good writing June 11, 2011
… It is the level of writing that is atrocious. Maybe I should have waited for the Bill Bryson version, or for anyone who could use these materials to fashion a book that doesn’t insult the language and waste one’s time. These writers, to a person, are academics, and almost all should be soundly thrashed with a hardbound copy of Strunk & White. This is a compendium of every fault scholarly writing is heir to: wordiness, redundancy, needless complexity of sentence structure (often designed to mask or extend mundane observations), pointless jargon, infelicitous phraseology, obscurantism, even lame humor (as per the double entendres in the essay on the clitoris, by a feminist no less!) that probably plays better in the senior seminar than in a book intended for mature adults. These scholars write as though being paid by the word–and for a nonexistent editor. The book could have been half its length with no sacrifice whatever to the content.

A facility called ResearchGate offers an article about agnotology. You need to pay to see the article. The disclaimer is free. “Data provided are for informational purposes only. Although carefully collected, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The impact factor represents a rough estimation of the journal’s impact factor and does not reflect the actual current impact factor. Publisher conditions are provided by RoMEO. Differing provisions from the publisher’s actual policy … may be applicable.”

Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This feature is written like H. P. Lovecraft.

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Make America Slate Again

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, The English Language by chamblee54 on March 24, 2017


The Rise of the Alt-Center was published last December, in the wake of the Trumpageddon. When you look at the article, the screamer strip says “THE DERANGED TWITTER THREAD THAT PROVES ESTABLISHMENT LIBERAL HAVE LOST THEIR MINDS.” The article is about a much praised twitter thread by @ericgarland, which is collected for easy reading here.

The Slate article has some of the damnedest adjective abuse ever. “because one jumped-up narcissist and his limp, frothing coterie couldn’t deal … If Trump’s devoted hype squad of pustulent, oleaginous neo-Nazis can now be euphemized as the “alt-right.” The article seemed to imitate the style of the twittergasm. Those 127 tweets were fueled by @IV Adderall and Schlafly Pale Ale. “I’m good, thanks! WHOOOOOOO! *passes out*”

The whole thing is based on the concept that Russia stole the election for Mr. Trump. This is a popular notion today. Certainly, the concept of our government being taken over by communists is disturbing. But can the November disaster be blamed completely on the evil Rooskies? The slate author devotes a long paragraph to disagreeing.

“Whatever Russia did or didn’t do, the idea that its interference is what cost Hillary Clinton the election is utterly ludicrous and absolutely false. What cost Hillary Clinton the election can be summed up by a single line from Sen. Chuck Schumer, soon to be the country’s highest-ranking Democrat: “For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.” As it turned out, he was fatally wrong. It wasn’t the Russians who told the Democratic Party to abandon the working-class people of all races who used to form its electoral base. It wasn’t the Russians who decided to run a presidential campaign that offered people nothing but blackmail—“vote for us or Dangerous Donald wins.” The Russians didn’t come up with awful tin-eared catchphrases like “I’m with her” or “America is already great.” The Russians never ordered the DNC to run one of the most widely despised people in the country, simply because she thought it was her turn. The Democrats did that all by themselves.”

There was one other thing. The central focus of Hillary’s campaign, in the closing days, was to say that Donald Trump, and anyone who votes for him, is a racist. Millions of voters, in states that Hillary needed, were alienated from the political process. These voters said that they were tired of snooty liberal elitism. The Democratic response was to call these voters racists. People do not vote for a party that gratuitously insults them. .

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information photographs were taken by Marjory Collins, November 11, 1942. “Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Armistice Day parade”

Equality vs. Equity

Posted in Library of Congress, The English Language, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 9, 2017


Equality vs. Equity is a recent bit of internet wisdom. It shows three kids watching a baseball game, from behind the outfield fence. In the left side, all three kids are standing on one box each. The tallest sees over the fence, as does the kid in the middle. The shortest kid is behind the wall. This all-caps EQUALITY is the bad news side of the picture.

In the right side frame, the tallest kid has feet on the ground, and sees over the fence. The middle kid is the same. The shortest kid stands on two crates, and can see over the fence. This is EQUITY.

To be fair, the graphic does make a point. People have different needs. If everyone gets the same help, then some will get too much, and others not enough. Maybe this is what is meant by the semantic wrangling. For those who think equity has something to do with home mortgages, the dictionary does recognize the kids-behind-the-fence definition.

Not all logic memes are equal. While the image of kids behind the outfield fence might have worked in Our Gang features, today you would need a ticket to get to the standing room section. And how did that little kid get on top of those two crates? Someone would have to help them up. Falling off is a painful possibility. Maybe the graphic gremlins can think of a better way to make their point.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress. Fritz Henle took the pictures in November, 1942. “Nurse training. Through classes in pediatrics, student nurses learn how the right toys can be almost as important in getting a sick child well, as medicine and diet. Encouraging an interest in play and normal activities of childhood hastens convalescence.”

Who Invented The Word Racism?

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Race, The English Language by chamblee54 on March 7, 2017


Writers tackle was rampaging through Brookhaven. PG looked in a list of old product, and found a feature built on the output of Teju Cole. He has a dandy article, at the New Yorker, about what is antiseptically called drone warfare. It is the twitter feed that gets attention. This is a repost.

@tejucole George Carlin’s original seven dirty words can all be said freely now. The one word you can’t say, and must never print, is “racist.”

The quote marks lend mystery to the tweet. Does he mean the dreaded “n word”? Or does he mean that other six letter slur? There is no shortage of people screaming racist in Georgia, often at the slightest provocation. There is an attitude that racism is the worst thing you can be accused of, and that, once accused, you are guilty until proven innocent. If you do a bit of research into racism, the word, you will see some interesting things.

The concept of groups of people not liking each other is as old as mankind. The word racism apparently did not exist before 1933 (merriam webster), or 1936 (dictionary dot com).

Something called the Vanguard News Network had a forum once, What is the true origin of the term racism? This forum is problematic, as VNN seems to be a white supremacist affair. One of the reputed coiners of the R word was Leon Trotsky, also referred to as Jew Communist. Another Non English speaker who is given “credit” for originating the phrase is Magnus Hirschfeld. As for English, the word here is: “American author Lawrence Dennis was the first to use the word, in English, in his 1936 book “The coming American fascism”.”

The terms racist and racism seem to be used interchangeably in these discussions. This is in keeping with the modern discussion. As Jesus worshipers like to say, hate the sin, love the sinner.

The Online Etymology Dictionary has this to add: “racist 1932 as a noun, 1938 as an adjective, from race (n.2); racism is first attested 1936 (from French racisme, 1935), originally in the context of Nazi theories. But they replaced earlier words, racialism (1871) and racialist (1917), both often used early 20c. in a British or South African context. In the U.S., race hatred, race prejudice had been used, and, especially in 19c. political contexts, negrophobia.”

Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

Things People Used To Say

Posted in Library of Congress, The English Language, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on February 25, 2017

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A blogger named gartalker has a list of words that are becoming extinct. Maybe it is a southern thing, but PG still hears supper used. The rest of the list is amusing, and can make you feel old…even if your age is not an interstate speed limit.
A term I haven’t heard in a long time, and thinking about ‘fender skirts’ started me thinking about other words that quietly disappear from our language with hardly a notice like curb feelers. Any body remember them. And steering knobs.’ (AKA) suicide knob, Neckers Knobs. Since I’d been thinking of cars, my mind naturally went that direction first. Any kids will probably have to find some elderly person over 50 to explain some of these terms, like fender skirts.
Continental kits They were rear bumper extenders and spare tire covers that were supposed to make any car as cool as a Lincoln Continental.
Emergency Brakes At some point ‘parking brake’ became the proper term. I miss the hint of drama that went with ‘emergency brake.’
Clutch – Foot Feed – Dimmer Switch. I’m sad, too, that almost all the old folks are gone who would call the accelerator the ‘foot feed.’ Many today do not even know what a clutch is or that the dimmer switch used to be on the floor.
Running Board Didn’t you ever wait at the street for your daddy to come home, so you could ride the ‘running board’ up to the house? You felt like a real G-man. Heck, most of you most likely don’t know what a G-man is.
Store-bought Here’s a phrase heard all the time in my youth but never anymore -’store-bought.’ Of course, just about everything is store-bought these days. However, once it was bragging material to have a store-bought dress or a store-bought bag of candy.
Coast to Coast Coast to coast’ is a phrase that once held all sorts of excitement and now means almost nothing. Now we take the term ‘world wide’ for granted. I guess that soon it will be Universal.
Wall to Wall On a smaller scale, ‘wall-to-wall’ was once a magical term in our homes. In the ’50s, everyone covered his or her hardwood floors with, wow, wall-to-wall carpeting! Today, everyone replaces their wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood floors. Go figure.
In A Family Way P G When’s the last time you heard the quaint phrase ‘in a family way?’ It’s hard to imagine that the word ‘pregnant’ was once considered a little too graphic, a little too clinical for use in polite company, so we had all that talk about stork visits and ‘being in a family way’ or simply ‘expecting. The more sophisticated town girls called it P G.
Brassiere Apparently, ‘brassiere’ is a word no longer in usage. I said it once to my daughter when she was a teen and she cracked up. I guess it’s just ‘bra’ now. ‘Unmentionables’ probably wouldn’t be understood at all.
Picture Show I always loved going to the picture show. In fact, I have written about it in this very blog. I considered ‘movie’ an affectation.
Rat Fink Most of these words go back to the ’50s, but here is a pure-’60s word I came across the other day – ‘rat fink.’ Ooh, what a nasty put-down! These two words could cut like a sharp knife.
Percolator- DynaFlo – Elevtrolux – Spectra Vision Here is a word I miss – ’percolator.’ That was just a fun word to say. What was it replaced with? ‘Coffee maker.’ How dull. Mr. Coffee.
I miss those made-up marketing words that were meant to sound so modern and now sound so retro. Words like ‘DynaFlow and‘Electrolux..’ (spell check suggestion: Electrocute)Introducing the 1963 Admiral TV, now with‘SpectraVision!’ (PG has a percolator in his camping gear. It works well over a propane stove, but the coffee is way too hot.)
Lumbago- Castor Oil -Food for thought – Was there a telethon that wiped out lumbago? Nobody complains of that anymore. Maybe that’s what castor oil cured, because I never hear mothers threatening kids with castor oil anymore.
Supper Some words aren’t gone, but are definitely on the endangered list. The one that grieves me most, ’supper.’ Now everybody says ‘dinner.’ Save a great word. Invite someone to supper.
Chimney One last thing, when I was a kid we passed a neighbors house. They had a T V antenna strapped to their Chimney. It was a cold day and smoke was bellowing out the old leaning stack. My mother said, “Look there can’t afford butane to keep warm but they got a television set.” Yes, when I was kid a sure sign of poverty was smoke coming from your chimney. Now you know you are in an up scale neighborhood. A fireplace in the den is a luxury.
This is a repost. The pictures are from The Library of Congress.

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