Saturday, May 30, 2020

Watching The Cake Crumble - The rest Of The Way

I'm on CBS streaming App.

A lot of folks are probably on other ways of watching layers four, three , two and one of the cake that is America topple into history's ash bin.

But we are all watching the cake crumble.

Kinda sad, I have to feel.

But kinda inevitable, I can't deny.

The lion-monkey shaped layer, so recently (today by my reckoning) toppled, was, after all, only a symptom of the hopeless toxicity of the whole cake, starting with its four hundred year old first layer.

That toxicity had become in recent years one of the key potential ingredients to a new, and now final,  layer of the cake.

That layer recently emerged as something looking like a lion-monkey.

That layer was the first to topple.

Only yesterday.

Today the other layers crashed into oblivion.

In the end, the thing that toppled the cake was a new ingredient: bovine-like, stupid self serving victimhood.

Much like a sows ear, you can't make a country great again trying to build it upon a herd of mewling victims.

It's even harder if the country already was great in spite of seventy thousand victims whining at the margins.

But they won and we lost and the last layer of the cake was put in place.

Too bad both the frosting and all the cake's ingredients were toxic.

That, in the end, was what toppled the cake.

Today, I think

The Cake That Was America

The obvious analogy is that we've finally witnessed the straw breaking the camel's back.

But I've always thought that that is a stupid, facile, useless and probably biblical allusion, so I don't use it.

But events in the last several days scream for some kind of analogy driven drivel.

So I'll throw my hat in that ring, and see if anybody salutes.

America is a four hundred year old cake.

The foundation layer is slavery.

That layer produced vast wealth for a limited number of white people and left millions of black people dead, and left the heirs to that aggregation of dead black people in an economically negative net worth situation - a condition that they have been privileged to pass down through the centuries to all who followed, thus making no hope a hereditary condition.  The economics of this cake layer are only the awful mechanics of the overall cake; the psychology of slavery and its resulting eternal state of semi-humanness are the real flavor of the foundation layer.

There was some frosting between that layer and the next layer on the pile. The ingredients of that between-layer frosting are the Civil War and the Thirteenth Amendment; but, as is always the case with the frosting between the layers of a piece of cake, this frosting was pretty disappointing.

The second layer was the guerilla war that commenced after General Lee surrendered.  That gave birth to the Ku Klux Klan and a reign of terror among the fiercest in human history.

The frosting-between was President Grant's dismantling of the Klan.  It was nice but just frosting nonetheless.

Layer three has been called Jim Crow.  The Klan went underground, the South coalesced into a terror driven  aggregation of feudal principalities.  The economics and psychology of slavery were made permanent in this layer.  Black people in America were cast into a permanent state of being vitally necessary to the "system" but permanently outside of the circle of the "system's" beneficiaries.

The between layer this time had more substance than its predecessors.  This frosting consists of the northward seepage of the mechanics and psychology of Jim Crow to all the states of which the gradually maturing cake was composed.  This frosting was a bit more robust from the viewpoint of the "system".  It had more sugar, butter and a bit of strawberry jam.  It was the best between-layer frosting so far in the cake.

Layer four had to be thrown in the trash.  It had been intended to be composed of civil liberties, voting rights and civil rights but while it was in the mixing bowl somebody forgot to put in any baking powder and it came out flat.

So layer three has been the most recent layer until most recently.

Until they baked a new layer four.  This one is comprised of the distilled essence of all three preceding layers, subjected to all the refinement, subtlety, nuance and targeting that modern communication, marketing and mind science can deliver.  Additionally, it includes a very large dollop of unfettered bloody fanged capitalism.  It also includes a very sophisticated ingredient taken from a cupboard housing only the most rare and sophisticated spices: the "system" is bloody fangedly capitalistic during good times and utterly self servedly socialistic during bad times.  That ingredient optimizes the "system's" access to both the pockets of the average citizen during good times and also to their tax payments in bad times. This layer puts the stamp of permanence upon the concept and existence of an economically and psychologically hindered underclass.  The subtlety of the layer is that it has been vastly expanded to include most of those who live in the United States.  In fact, it includes everyone except a very small number of very rich white people. This layer is an odd one.  Even after being baked and laid atop the cake it needs to age and mature - sort of like a fruit cake.  At final aged maturity, the end game of this layer is a permanent mudsill of serfs; the black serfs being allowed to exist as an object lesson to their fellow - white and non black - serfs of what the bottom really looks like.

Nobody put any frosting between layer three and layer four: the requirement for aging and the need for that aging to amalgamate the ingredients of layer three and layer four eliminate the possibility for any such frosting.

Everybody has always assumed that, even though the cake is over four hundred years old, it is a work in progress, so no final frosting has yet been concocted to wrap the layers into a finished product.

But that might have changed.

In a secret bakery the best of breed bakers of our time have been readying what they claim will be the final layer.

Layer five is not traditionally shaped.

It is instead a lion-man shaped head, a head that looks vaguely human, vaguely simian (an orangutan comes to mind) but also vaguely leonine (the installation a vast arrays of yellow cooked pasta passing as hair contribute to this impression).

And its ingredients are legion:  hate, lies, innuendo, venality, sociopathy, stupidity, ignorance and racism.

The cooks have lots more but they decided to keep this layer simple and focussed.

And they have a special frosting.

It has one ingredient additional to the basic butter, egg and sugar - sort of a strawberry jam substitute: state sponsored murder of black men.

And that frosting is not only for the between layer, it is intended to envelope the entire cake: "voila, c'est un fait accompli" was heard emanating from the kitchen as the frosting was slathered in place.

Over the last week the cake proved to be top heavy; the between-the-layers frosting proved to be too deeply slathered, its single novel ingredient too noxious; the installation of that frosting as "the icing on the cake" proved to be eating away - selectively - at all the layers.

And then came the mighty wind.

It caught the copiously random pasta hair of the lion-monkey head such that the layer crashed to the table, then to the ground then into the floor drain in the middle of the kitchen floor.

And the other four layers sit madly askew.

Another gust will no doubt finish the job.

So how do I end this metaphorical tale?

Humpy Dumpty allusions seem best.

But, in a catastrophe, I have learned that it is unwise to employ mixed metaphors.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Lopez Purple Flowers

I have always loved these purple flowers that grow on the sea side of the tombolo.

In fact, since it has looked to me as if our shore-side habitat at Swept Away  is pretty much the same as the one where the flowers grow, several years ago I harvested a bunch of seeds – they are like dandelions, seeds with parachutes all in a fluffy ball – and floated them out over the shore grass just beyond what had been the lawn in the Old Regime.

Nothing ever came up.


This morning I was looking out from the bedroom and made note of the fact that I was going to have to “get after that thistle” because I had seen a splash of purple in the shore grass.

Then I looked again.

The seeds have finally sprouted!

It wasn’t a thistle at all!!

And there are several more plants.

No more weed whacking for that veldt.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

George Floyd

Early last year I posted some thoughts I had been having about "taking a knee".

I am deeply saddened by feeling the need to post them again.

I am sad because the story is always the same: white cops kill another defenseless black man.

The thing that got me thinking about this post, though, was not sadness; it was that I just had seen that Lebron James has said that acts like the Floyd murder is why athletes take a knee.

I immediately felt the firmament twitch as donnie started firing off angry racist tweets.

And then I remembered my "taking the knee" post.

Here it is.

"From my point of view there is no question that the the police forces of America feel licensed to kill black people, mostly men.

So having prominent black people like athletes calling the attention of the rest of us to this outrage has always seemed to be something I would want to do were I black; in fact I want to do it even though I am not.


And there are many who do and how they do it takes various forms.

Not too long ago an especially effective form of registering protest against police brutality on black people has been taking a knee at the National Anthem at the outset of NFL games.

The hoorah that has gone up in the face of that action would be laughable if it weren’t so bogus and racist.

The fact that donnie is at the head of the hoorah underscores the degree of bogosity and racism involved; after all donnie is the lying racist in chief.

That all notwithstanding, there has been something about the specifics of the hoorah that has bothered me from the hoorah’s outset; I have had a little voice saying “bullshit” very softly somewhere down in what might be my soul were I to possess such a thing; I just couldn’t get it to elaborate, or speak to me very loudly.

Just this morning, though – unassisted by the voice – I figured it out.

Memory finally cut in.

I remembered Easter masses back when I was a child in the still Latin speaking Roman Catholic Church.

In those masses there were long Latin parts that we in the congregation chanted – we were standing while chanting.

Periodically the priest would chant: “flectamus genua”.

And we would all kneel.

Which was because flectamus genua means “let us take a knee” or some such.

I think “let us bend our knees” is closer, but “let us take a knee” is closer to my point; in either event, the physical action is the same.

Then someone would chant “levate” which meant “stand up”.

And we did.

Stand up.

So why does doing something that we old time Catholics took to be an act of worship make Colin Kaepernick, according to donnie, the NFL owners and “The Base” “a son of a bitch” who is disrespecting – something (I have never been clear what that act of worshipful respect was actually supposed to be disrespecting, but it apparently includes truth, justice and the American Way)?


Just for fun, let's put a picture of donnie here.


Friday, May 15, 2020

Operation Warp Speed: This Just In

donnie the dildo has appointed the Minister of Communications of Madagascar to the post of Operation Warp Speed Commander, a post just created by donnie as he appointed her to the new position.

The lady from Madagascar, until now, has been the Madagascar International Interface for the Madagascar Covid 19 Home Remedy, a brew of jungle herbs that Madagascarins brewed up after their science folks got the blueprint of the Covid virus in March.

"That was fast" said donnie.

he said he could recognize a person perfect for his vaccine acceleration plans the moment he heard her speak.

Watch out for falling turkeys.

The Mr. Carlson Moment Revisited

A few days ago I predicted that donnie the dildo was about to surprise his keepers by ordering all of us "warriors" into the streets in support of the economy and his chances of electoral success.

Today I have to admit being wrong.

We have a Mr. Carlson moment but it isn't the warrior one.

donnie has decided instead to careen off the tracks and create a great international vaccine disaster.

It's called Operation Warp Speed.

Watch out for falling turkeys.

A Different Paris

I walk a lot when I am in Paris.

I always have my camera with me.

So I take a lot of pictures.

A lot of the pictures are the standard stuff - it's so beautiful that I can't stop taking pictures of the same things from visit to visit: "The light is different" I tell myself; and really, it is; different; each time.

Inevitably I occasionally see things that are not the standard post card sort of scene.

But they are well worth documenting.

In Paris there is a sort of odd panache to homeless enclaves and individual people.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Richard Penniman

When I was 15 or so I first heard Chuck Berry.

I got it immediately.

I also heard at that time for the first time Fats Domino.

I got it immediately.

And I heard Buddy Holly, whom I also grokked, immediately.

Elvis took a little time.

But I got it fairly soon after first encounter.

Little Richard I just didn't get.

Didn't hurt his career though.

And as happens, time passed: a lot of time.

Forty or fifty years of my life passed with no Little Richard hearings and then I happened to hear him.

I absolutely had to wonder what had been wrong with that 15 year old kid of so long before.

With that hearing I didn't just get it; I joined it; I became one with it.

I am sorry to lose that "little" giant.

Mom - Or Dad - And The Kids

Hard to tell with swans.

At Parc Montsouris.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Some Finch Pictures

Get Ready For A Mr. Carlson Moment

One of the great TV comedy episodes of all time was one from the show WKRP in Cincinnati.

In that special Thanksgiving episode the haplessly incompetent station manager, Mr. Carson, without telling his constantly vigilant and highly competent staff, decides to implement a special Thanksgiving  promotion: he takes a bunch of live turkeys up in a plane and throws them out.

Since domestic turkeys can't fly the rest is a genuinely macabre but outrageously funny disaster.

Last evening I saw the haplessly incompetent current occupant of the white house refer the the "great American People" as "warriors".

That description was invoked in the context of the fact that he was supposed to be talking about the disaster of growing creeping death that will inevitably follow his "re-opening" of America.

Today marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

I think donnie has secretly decided to go on national television, invoke the heroism of the 16 million Americans who fought in WWII, and won it, and tell all of us currently living that we are today's warriors who need to fight and die just like those of 75 years ago did.

It will be a simple message.

"You are all warriors under the MAGA banner; make us all proud; go forth and mix and match and buy and die".

Mixing his history he will majestically declare "ask not how many of you die; ask instead the Dow Jones how high"?

Should be great TV.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

A Beautiful Paris Picture

At least I think it is.
It's in a tunnel on la Promenade Plantée.