Showing posts from 2017

The Soul as the Ultimate Real Estate

There's a certain element of preclusion that allows all religions to continue to exist and even to recruit new generations of followers and it includes this: It may be that creationists do not believe in evolution not because their belief system prevents such a belief but because their belief system offers up ignorance such as theirs as the solution, the end point, the ceiling, the finish line. It is a kind of circular argument that threads through ones image of oneself and through the eye of one's beliefs. To admit to evolution one has to be the kind of person who is themselves evolved enough to have finally crawled out from the darkness of pre-medieval superstition and what we now call ignorance and therefore evolved enough to have already discarded the creationist belief. In this kind of argument, this kind of philosophical entanglement there is no actual entanglement. No segment of the circle of creationist belief at any time crosses over any segment of the circle of evo…

Swim Bad Ramble

I was at the local pool the other day with my daughter, little Bonnie. The local pool, or "Bad", is this fun-theme-park thing called, wait for it, Filderado.
It's in a town called Filderstadt. When I heard the name I thought it was a Mexican restaurant chain.
But no, it's a water park. It's got a big loopy-loopy water slide. It's got a double decker water slide. It's got a water jump slide. It's got a little pink elephant next to the wading pool (more my speed) and it's got a sauna, a salt crystal room (heaven, mostly cos no one except me is ever in there), and heated pools of different temperatures and salt/chloride mixtures.
Being a German pool it is packed to the rafters with shower sandals. If there is a national German garment then the shower sandal is it. The shower sandal is specifically designed to make other swimmers aware that yes, you do in fact own and are prepared to wear your shower sandals to the pool, in the public shower, the t…

Clowns To The Left, Jokers To The Right

Though it shames me to admit it, to feel it in the first place, I confess I am deeply in love with Ivanka Trump.

Her face so streamlined and non-wind-resistant it must have been worn down over the years from all that bluster snorting out of Papa's open maw. The exquisite play between her chin and bottom lip betray a real human inside that body, that frame, that life. Her father. His world-devouring ego. How unfortunate to have been given everything in life and still, still...

I like to imagine that Papa Trump gives family talks the way he gives public speeches - his potholed cantelope of a head pivoting first extreme right, then rolling across to extreme left to read from the two sets of identical prompters set up at the sides of the room. I always am overcome by a temptation to stuff ping pong balls into his mouth as it swings from one side to the other. When you first notice it it seems hilarious, awkward, extreme, stiff, over-coached. And then later on, after you've seen it…

"Don't Wish Too Hard For What You Wanted, Cos Then You Might Get It, And Then When You Get It You Might Wish You Never Got It At All" ...Peter Allen

You would have to have been incredibly naive or ignorant or both to believe that a vote for Trump was a vote for the average American. It's like slipping through the bars into the Lion's den believing the Lion has your interests at heart. DJT's core supporters seem not to even notice that they have been bent over so far forward, their paints down, their asses in the air, all the blood rushing into their heads, while Trump and his gang screw them harder and harder, careening their futures into the kind of base hell that they'll be hard done to ever recover even the current ground from. And they're all yelling "Freedom! America! Fuck Muslims! Build The Wall! Trump is for the Working Man!". Meanwhile Trump is golfing, bolstering awareness of his personal brand around the globe, doing whatever he can to raise the stock values of the corporations his associates, supplicants and servants own shares or interests in, all the while grunting and snorting and snif…

Only The Thief Knows When and How He Will Attack

A certain amount of modesty prevents any balanced individual from claiming that the reason things are tight is mainly the fault of someone else.
The rich rely on the normal human decency of other people to permit them to continue on with their pilfering of the world, its resources and its citizens. In the same way that a bully relies on the reticence of his hapless victim and the paedophile relies on the helplessness and shame of his victim to keep the machinations of exploitation in place and steadily rolling.
Power must be an intoxicating drug. It must be a seductive enabler. Studies have shown this. Any given group of people, handed the reins of power for any period, soon abuse that power. 
People come to believe there is something divine or God-given in their ascent to a position of power or control - whether over other people or even animals. 
We all recall teachers who seemed to revel in meting out punishment for this or that – detentions, extra home work, even public displays of ad…

All for One and One for One

Conservatives are focused on themselves. Their own selves. No one else. Conserving. Holding on to what they got. But this is a misnomer. To call someone conservative is to grant that they earned what they have and are merely trying to hold on to it. They are never called "thieves" or "takers" or "Bullies" or the descendants of successful people, should any of those shoes happen to fit. This is why each election cycle is kind of weird for them because at some point they have to leave their house, go out into the world where the bad people are - not to mention the sick and the poor - and pretend to be friends with other conservatives who are also pretending to be friendly with them because if they don't they would never be able to form any kind of team and certainly not a political party and so they have to pretend, at least for part of each four year term to be working for each other, for the country, for the constitution, for the founding fathers, for…

The Weather And Other Numbers

I'm interested in starting a campaign to replace the weather map on TV news broadcasts with other maps of interest. No one really cares or indeed believes that it might be 22 in Belfast tomorrow, or 24 and raining in Des Moines. I believe they would be interested in maps showing, for example, the number of cats rescued from trees - 11 in Minsk, 21 in Tokyo city - the number of women who stood up for themselves in the face of chauvinism - 109 in Sydney, 13 ahead of a fresh change in Bahrain.

Arch Conservatives Want To Do Everything Themselves

The aim of arch-conservatives, although the logical extension is never actually arrived at, is to keep Americans safe from mysterious and dangerous unknown outsiders so that they - Americans - can be killed and maimed instead at school shootings, cinema shootings and mall shootings perpetrated by lovable locals and boys-next-door.

Gravity, Oxygen, Ancillary gasses, Health Care

The Trump White House has asked me for advice on how to govern. I've responded thusly: "Start by killing yourselves. This would go a long way to meeting the promise of one of your major election campaign promises - draining the swamp. All those unable to figure out how to kill themselves are therefore unlikely to be able to figure out how to immediately kill somebody else. With this policy you buy some time. Secondly introduce bills which are far more simple, basic, and more prone to be passed, thereby allowing you to lay the groundwork upon which to build a feasible governing entity. First new bill to be introduced would be fundamental, simple, basic. For example: The Gravity Bill - under which all Americans are covered by the forces and reach of gravity. Second Bill would be The Oxygen Bill... under which all Americans, excepting perhaps anaerobic organisms, are covered by the reach and plentifulness of Oxygen and whatever ancillary gases are required for life, metabolism, …

The Whine House

The Trump White House belongs in the middle ages.  A time when equality, fairness, justice, the commonweal were barely imagined, let alone decreed by law.

The 2017 Whine House - all the hysteria and hand-wringing of the best of Shakespeare's tragedies (it shouldn't be long before it debuts on Broadway) but populated by a third rate cast without the theatrical chops to pull it off. Like, ever.

No Accident


When To Cancel

I just canceled a concert in Muenster. I don't normally cancel concerts but I'm feeling sick and tired this week, literally ill with some virus that's going around, and when the venue called me earlier this afternoon they said: "So listen, Paul, thought I'd let you know, we've only sold two tickets so far..."

And normally, you know, I wouldn't be that fazed. I'd be like, well, people are gonna show up. It's not unheard of for there to be no tickets pre-sold right up to an hour before show time and then in trickle thirty or forty or fifty people. Sometimes those sleeper concerts, where it seems on the surface of it that nothing is about to happen, they can be the best concerts of all. I've lost count of the number of times I've turned up to a venue and the owner looks at me, then looks at their shoes, then says: "Um, sorry to say this, Paul, but um, maybe no one will come."

And I'm always like: "Have a bit of faith, d…