Saturday, March 28, 2020

Picasso Man

A Mr. Cranky's Neighborhood story

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandchildren (who exist), and my great-grandchildren (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.

                 (Image by Thanks for your Like • donations welcome from Pixabay) 

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering
Blogarama Readers: Blogarama renders my links useless, click on view original

                                                  Glossary  

                                                    About

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"Picasso said, 'Art is a lie that tells the truth.' What if you just want to tell the truth and not lie about it?" -Nicolas Cage


Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

The other morning I was lost in the midst of some random ruminations while purposefully perambulating  letting my mind wander while taking one of my one mile, twice-daily walkabouts in my personal hood — when I crossed paths with Picasso Man.

Not having seen him in quite some time I had assumed that he was either as rehabilitated from whatever afflicts/afflicted him as he was ever likely to be and is no longer walking his circuit,

Or,

That the only affliction he suffered/suffers from is old age and that he had come to the conclusion that his daily walks didn't help and that he and his wheeled walker now stayed home.

But,

I may be full of crap, a phenomenon that occurs with disturbing regularity.


The potentially specious speculations above are just that. I actually have no idea as we've never exchanged more than casual, polite greetings. I don't know what motivated/motivates his purposeful perambulations.

I do know...alright, I'm still guessing...I'm reasonably sure he doesn't want to discuss it. It might just be because he strikes me as too tired to bother. I know from personal experience there are all sorts of too tired to bothers and I try to tread carefully.

The closest we've ever come to a conversion was briefly trading observations about a bark, bark, barking dog in someone's backyard that we both think desperately needs a referral to a dog whisperer.


When I used to see him all the time it was always on my morning walk. 

Not having seen him in a while, and me being me, I had created a Picasso Man scenario in my head based on nothing more than my imagination.

I (pictured him/hoped that nowadays he was) eating warm, locally sourced bagels on cold, damp mornings and longing for hooge, yummy, real bagels from New York city — Damn the Gluten! Full speed ahead! — instead of the tiny, bland, generic bagels we have available to us here in the greater Hooterville metropolitan area.

He and Sylvia once spent a three day weekend in the Big Apple. He wasn't impressed, but he had fallen in love with real bagels.

I imagined him watching the Today Show and missing Tom Brokaw, Jane Pauley, and his younger self. He had always had a crush on Jane that he had diplomatically never mentioned to his late wife.

But, there he was.


He was pushing/being held up by his flimsy-looking wheeled walker.

I'm amazed, that to the best of my knowledge, the crappy looking wheels have never gotten stuck, or sent him flying, as he valiantly navigated what used to be sidewalks but now are more like gentle obstacle courses.

Not so gentle when icy or snow-covered.

Picture mostly more or less normal-looking sections but where you have to watch out for subtle up-croppings (in front of ginormous old trees attempting to dislodge or crack the concrete with their roots) or subtle drop-offs from subsidence.

Picture sections that have nearly vanished into the Earth and are now grass-covered. What used to a sidewalk now resembles random stepping stones with no rhyme or reason.

Picture sections that appear to be constructed of enormous, flat stones that are slippery when wet, dangerous when iced over. I'm guessing they're actually made of concrete but have been there so long they've been worn smooth.

Picture... well, you get the picture.

And there are obelisks! Perhaps my hood is even older than I thought?

Most intersections no longer have them but there are still some narrow, six-foot-tall concrete obelisks coated with seriously faded paint (red letters, white background) with the street name spelled out vertically and St., Ave., Ln., etc. tagged on at the bottom.

 S
 T
 A
 N
 T
 O
 N
Ave.

The letters are carved/cut into the concrete.

[Which has what to do with anything?]

I'm painting vivid word pictures here, Dana. Also, I just think they're really cool.

[Are you ever going to explain why you call this dude Picasso Man?]

I guess I better. We've crossed the 600-word line already and I'm (semi)firmly committed to observing a 1,000-word limit.


Picasso Man is somehow simultaneously blurred, jagged, angular, rounded, bent, and crooked.

He looks like what I suspect many people, certainly me, imagine one of Picasso's less bizarre-looking subjects might look like in real life.

He's very small and looks as though you might see him bouncing and flying down the street like a tumbleweed if the wind picked up.

He has a seemingly permanent stubble on his cheeks and chin that looks like boar bristles.

He always greets me with a wide grin that reveals a limited amount of blurry, jagged, angular, rounded, bent, and crooked teeth.

He gives the impression that he's about to run out of gas, or that he needs to get home and plug himself in. I've seen him pause as if he's powered by the sun and has to absorb a watt or two to keep going.


I'd like to know his story but I'm afraid that if he stopped to talk for too long he might not be able to start again. He does seem a little stronger than when we first met.

I wish my daughter walked around the neighborhood. He'd tell her his story, he wouldn't be able to help himself. It's a gift/curse she inherited from her late mom, the force of nature only one of you Stickies got to know.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Your friendly neighborhood crank is not crazy about social media (I am a crank after all) but if you must, you can like me/follow me on Facebook. 

Cranky don't tweet.

          

Friday, March 20, 2020

The Boomer-B-Gone Virus



This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandchildren (who exist), and my great-grandchildren (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.
                  
Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering


(Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

                                                  Glossary  

                                                    About

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"The Renaissance took place in chaos and plague." -Shiva Ayyadurai 

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

The Boomer-B-Gone bug has attacked my freakishly large household.

Or not.

See, here at Casa de Chaos, my daughter, my son-in-law, The Stickies (4.5 in number, there's a part-time one), and our long term house guest and her kid have taken turns suffering from some sort of respiratory illness of varying intensities.

And, some of them have endured repeat afflictions.

Me? Nothing so far (fingers crossed) but I'm a semi-hermit who was semi-self-isolating before self-isolating was cool. This was not due to some sort of pandemical premonition on my part, I was born this way.

Still, I haven't isolated myself from the other inhabitants of Cranky Manor so I don't...

[Is pandemical an actual word?]

Yes, Dana, much to my surprise, it actually is. I wrote it to be funny but when my spelling/grammar checker didn't flag it I went a-googlin' and sure enough it's the adjectival form of pandemic.  


My daughter returned from an out of town gig that was based in Cincinnati (but the work was in the surrounding area) towards the end of last week and she and her colleague were both seriously ill with...wait for it...

Some sort of respiratory illness.

Long story short, a couple of days later she spent multiple hours being treated in the emergency department of a local hospital. They put her in a room by herself, told her husband to go home (isolate) and administered tests and treatments.

"We'll call you when we know something."

It went fairly well, they only almost accidentally killed her once. She was able to get help by tossing her cellphone at the door they made of point of keeping closed and was able to get someone's attention.

She was laying on a bed with an oxygen mask on when a whole bunch of mucusi decided to vacate the premises simultaneously and due to the mask and the fact her head was only slightly elevated she began to choke and couldn't breathe.

[Mucusi? There's no such word as...]

Since the door was closed and there was no panic button she tried calling for help but couldn't get the words out. That's when she bounced her phone off the door and was rescued.

The preceding anecdote has been provided as a public service by your friendly neighborhood Crank. Hospitals accidentally kill a lot of people and if you can't follow Consumer Reports advice and have a champion on hand to look out for you, be prepared to do whatever is necessary.

Oh, and question everything.

[What makes you an expert on...]

My late wife was born with lung disease, spent a lot of time in hospitals, and was almost accidentally killed several times. You learn not to take it personally but you also learn to maintain a certain level of vigilance.

[Well, what happened, does she have Boomer-B-Gone?]

We don't know.


The local hospital I mentioned only had/has a couple of test kits available for  Boomer-B-Gone and they're only for the patients judged to be so sick they need a ventilator and a hospital admission.

Everyone else gets a bunch of scripts...

"All the same stuff we'd be treating you with if we kept you, honey."

And is told to go home...

"Good luck. Call an ambulance if the excrement hits the A.C. and we'll see ya when they bring you back."

Which sounds awful, but, without a test or a vaccine to administer what else can they do? Even if you passed the test, assuming they actually had one on hand, they would still send you home unless you were judged to be ICU material.


Now, given that the bottom line here appears to be that the Boomer Remover bug is just a particularly nasty version of the flu that we don't have a vaccine for (but will) that's unlikely to kill us all...

And, given that the garden variety versions of the flu, and even a common cold if it morphs into pneumonia, kill all sorts of people every year...

What's the takeaway? What have we learned Dorothies?

That many of our alleged journalists are just as concerned with their personal bottom lines and prepared to exploit the customer as much or more than whatever business, politician, or identity group they're currently claiming are Satan's minions.

That you can substitute the phrase, weaselly politicians, for the phrase, alleged journalists, in the preceding paragraph.

That the thin veneer of civilization might be even thinner than we thought.

That given that The Fedrl Gummit, aware that Boomer-B-Gone was on the way, gave itself a monopoly on developing a suitable diagnostic test and came up with a test that doesn't work...

[What are you trying to say? Medicare for all might not create a healthcare utopia?]

Yup, and...

That bureaucrats that work at any level of gummit are not saints and suffer from the same flaws, limitations, and temptations (power, money, ego-gratification, office politics, etceterics) as every other H. sapien on the planet.

That a lot of college students and college-aged young folks, woke or not and as is traditional, think they're bulletproof and ten feet tall — or are just too dumb to empty the beaches and the bars for the time being.

[And many of them are old enough to vote!] 

That toilet paper may be all that stands (as we sit) between us and anarchy.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Your friendly neighborhood crank is not crazy about social media (I am a crank after all) but if you must, you can like me/follow me on Facebook. 

Cranky don't tweet.


Saturday, March 14, 2020

News That You Can Use



This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandchildren (who exist), and my great-grandchildren (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.
                  
Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering

Blogaramians, please click on View Original for links not rendered useless by Blogarama                                     
                                   -Image by Alexas Fotos from Pixabay-

                                                  Glossary  

                                                    About

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"I find having a column a very difficult form of journalism. I'm not a natural like Tom Friedman and Anna Quindlen." -Maureen Dowd


Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

An article I set aside, forgot about, and recently found, reminded me that I haven't written a News That You Can Use column in quite some time.

The article, a comprehensive overview from a scientific perspective, of how and why our brains have trouble separating truth from falsehood — news that everyone can use — cites several studies and was published last August in the Wall Street Journal.

The bad news, according to the article, is that our distant ancestors, prior to the development of language, formed their beliefs from objects and situations that they experienced directly.

Language is a powerful tool that enables us to network our brains together, however, "We tend to treat language as an extension of our senses, but it is much more open to manipulation."

In other words, language (and images, sounds, etceterounds) can be weaponized. We can even use it to manipulate ourselves.

"There are none so blind as those who will not see." -Unsourceable  

The good news is that a study done at Indiana University by Patricia Moravec
(and other studies have confirmed) indicates that just by finding a way to remind people to stop and consider the fact that what they believe (or are inclined to believe) might not be true, can make a significant difference.

And, that this is a skill that can be taught to kids.

Consider yourselves reminded.

Going forward, every time you're reading or watching something that trips your bonkercockie detector, remember this column and the studies I mentioned and consider buying me and mine some cheap coffee.

[Wait, what? Buy you... You can't do that! Isn't that unethical? Besides...]

See what I did there, Dana? I perpetrated a humbug just so you would kick up a kerfuffle. That little bit of drama will serve as a memory aid that helps you, and my gentlereaders, to remember to be more careful.

[So you don't actually want them to...]


Reaching back a bit further, another article I saved in the same folder, from June 2018 (I'm even further behind than I thought) is called, When is an Ad Not an Ad? written by Madhulika Sikka.

I'm thinking about making his name my pen name. 

As best I can tell Mr. Sikka works/writes for Ricardo Sandoval-Palos, the Public Broadcasting Systems public editor,  "...an independent internal critic within PBS".

When I originally stumbled on this article it immediately caught my interest because being an occasional watcher of PBS, who almost feels guilty about never contributing, even during a Saturday evening begathon, I smelled forgiveness and redemption. 

[What does that smell like?]

Like the sort of Catholic church made of stone, stained glass, and decades of burning candles and incense that I spent a lot of time in a very long time ago. 

I've noticed that PBS has begun running commercials which strikes me as a maximum contradiction in terms. I hadn't looked into it till I accidentally refound the article.

I speculated that, at least according to PBS, The Fedrl Gummit, and maybe even God, that these somehow weren't really commercials.

I read the article and guess what? These aren't really commercials.

The article helpfully includes six videos.

Three pairs of shameless commerce style adverts vs. the enlightened PBS versions — for the exact same product — that aren't really adverts.

At this point, I must apologize to those of my readers that someone prints out my columns for who can't link to the article or watch the video below. I owe you a description; you ain't gettin' one.

I started to write out a summary and was nearly swallowed up by the legal quicksand that saturates the article when it occurred to me that all I had to do was say:

Picture Slick Willie Clinton testifying before a grand jury about his adventures with a 22-year-old White House intern with whom he didn't have sex.

Remember his now (in)famous reply to a question. "It depends upon what the meaning of the word is, is."

That tells you everything you need to know.



Now. You've probably heard about the next article I wish to discuss, "The Perverse Panic Over Plastic" since Greta Thunberg tweeted about it before boarding a private jet and heading off for a little R&R at one of Emperor Xi's re-education resorts.

However, you may not have read it once you discovered it's very long, very detailed, and appeared in the latest issue of City Journal magazine which is published and produced by the Manhattan Institute think tank.

[Just reading the preceding paragraph makes me want to take a nap. Who's got the time to...]

Not to worry, I'm sure USA Today will soon provide a simplified, short synopsis. The cable news channels will likely devote a couple of minutes to breaking it down for the Citizens of the Republic as well.

After all, if we can't rely on our informational gatekeepers to tell us what's really going on, who can we rely on?

While we're waiting, permit me to mention just two things. First, I would posit that the subject of the article is that all the time and money that's been spent on recycling plastic has made everything worse.

The reasons why are explained clearly, logically, and are well documented.

Second, I really, really, really wanted to reproduce the following sentence.

"And if you’re worried about climate change, you’ll cherish those gossamer grocery bags once you learn the facts about plastic." 


Finally, in honor of Freeman Dyson, Matt Ridley, and Bjorg Lomborg — brilliant scientists all, who, like me (your less than brilliant correspondent) accept that global warming is probably real,

BIG BUT...

All of whom have pointed out that there are other ways to think about, maybe even resolve, climate change — I submit some very old news that you can use. It's a video from 1978 narrated by the public intellectual Leonard "Mr. Spock" Nimoy.


[You're not only not brilliant you're just a smarty-pants.]

No comment.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Your friendly neighborhood crank is not crazy about social media (I am a crank after all) but if you must, you can like me/follow me on Facebook. 

Cranky don't tweet.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics


This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandchildren (who exist), and my great-grandchildren (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.
                  

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering
Blogarama Readers: Blogarama renders my links useless, click on view original

                                                  Glossary  

                                                    About

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader
(Image by Mediamodifier from Pixabay)


"Statistics show that of those who contract the habit of eating, very few survive." -George Bernard Shaw


Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

The title of this missive comes from a quote, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics," one of the many quotes attributed to Mark Twain that shouldn't be. This makes perfect sense given that it's both clever and commonsensically true. Mr. Twain...

[Is commonsensically an actual word? I know that commonsensical is but...]

The results of my in-depth research suggest, Dana, that it's not. However, I like it, it's my column, and my poetic license is valid. This is one of the many reasons I'm running for King, someone who thinks commonsensically should have the final word in these matters.

As I was saying, Mr. Twain is well known, as he should be, for being both clever and his commonsensicality, and those of us, that is to say, all of us, drowning in the Information Ocean could do worse than using his words like a life preserver.

Speaking of life preservers and the Information Ocean, when I was a callowyute a life preserver was a — life preserver  — although I had only seen one in the movies or on TV.

Nowadays we have life preservers, life rings, lifebuoys, lifebuoy rings, boat safety throw rings, etceterings.

However, lifeguards, as far as I can tell, are still just lifeguards. I thought by now they would be called something like aquatic recreation rescue technicians (ARRTs).


This brings us to Cuba's official infant mortality rate, a subject that serves as a perfect illustration of lies, damned lies, and statistics. 

[Huh?]

Bear with me for just a sec'. One of my many mild obsessions is sensemaking. Full disclosure, sensemaking is not the word I came up with for this particular obsession but I've appropriated it.

Sensemaking, according to a Wikipedia entry, "is the process by which people give meaning to their collective experiences." The reason...

[Well duh! Why...]

The reason it has a Wikipedia entry is that there are people that study the process of sensemaking from both psychological and computer science perspectives.

From my perspective, it's the perfect word for the struggle of Joe and Joan Bagadonuts, and all the little Bagadonuts, to derive truth from a daily tsunami of often contradictory information.


In one of my many recent past lives, I found myself cleaning the cafeteria — excuse me, dining hall — late at night, of a small liberal arts college in N.E. Ohio that shall remain nameless on a daily basis.

Once upon a time, this school was known for its high standards and the fact the overwhelming majority of the professors could legitimately add the post-nominal letters Ph.D. to their name.

The profs were still there but due to declining enrollment, standards had been gradually lowered and the institution was now locally well known as a party school.

Although this was several years ago, shortly after the arrival of the new millennium, the woke had begun to wake.

One night when I arrived the entire cafeteria — excuse me, dining hall — had been... decorated (there's no other word for it) with pictures, posters, and propaganda celebrating the Republic of Cuba.

It was as amateurish is it was extensive. It looked like some Heather's sweet sixteen birthday party with a Cuba after the reevoluseeon theme. Apparently, the lower standards had even affected the Future Communists of America club.

Over the course of the next week, all of this bric-a-brac slowly but steadily vanished (must have been mischievous students) but before it did, I had read most of the propaganda sheets. The only one I remember was about how great the free healthcare system was in Castro's paradise.

I've heard this repeated, often, since then. I never looked into it but color me dubious.


A relevant article recently caught my eye. "Why Cuba's Infant Mortality Rate Is so Low" published by the Foundation for Economic Education ("To make the ideas of liberty, familiar, credible, and compelling to a rising generation.")

Since FEE focuses on high school and college students, clearly this was a sign from God.

[OMG! This verbal meandering is actually going somewhere! There may be a point! Perhaps there is a God!]

Patience is a virtue, Dana. It always does and there always is... eventually. Don't scare the gentlereaders, it's just my charmingly eccentric writing style. 

Bottom line? 

Early neonatal deaths: "...defined as the number of children dying during the first week after birth." Makes sense, yes?

Late fetal deaths: "...the number of fetal deaths between the 22nd week of gestation and birth." Makes sense, yes?

Watch carefully to see how the trick is done.

Cuba reports many early neonatal deaths as late fetal deaths. This dramatically and artificially lowers their infant mortality rate (IMR), which is actually much higher than the rates of developed countries. 



Lies, damned lies, and Statistics. If they're lying about these important stats don't you suspect that stories about their wonderful healthcare system might be bullshit?

If you go-a-googlin' you will discover no shortage of articles debunking their reported IMR, and other fictions, from reputable sources — interspaced with articles that unashamedly report their propaganda as fact.

Interesting related side note: Cuba is capitalist when there's good money to be made. Cuba rents enslaved doctors out to anyone willing to pay with the help of an arm of the United Nations that gets a generous cut. 

Running a large island sized prison ain't cheap.  

Rust, weeds, lies, damned lies, statistics  and bullshit  never sleep.      
  
Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

Please scroll down to react, comment, or share. If my work pleases you I wouldn't be offended if you offered to buy me some cheap coffee.  

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Your friendly neighborhood crank is not crazy about social media (I am a crank after all) but if you must, you can like me/follow me on Facebook. 

Cranky don't tweet
To make the ideas of liberty familiar, credible, and compelling to the rising 








     

















Saturday, February 29, 2020

An Interview With the Man Who Would Be King

-Photo by Bret Kavanaugh on Unsplash-

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandchildren (who exist), and my great-grandchildren (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.
                  
Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering

                                                  Glossary  

                                                    About

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"I'm not a Republican any more. Not so voraciously anyway - I'm not in favour of the concept of monarchy, but I do see the good in it if there's a good person in the role." -Helen Mirren


Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

Dana here. This is an interview with the man who would be king.

I've been after His Royal Crankiness for quite some time to let me write a letter/column.  He's fiercely resisted claiming that what little credibility he has as a yet to go viral columnist, or even pick up a steady gig, might be destroyed.

Some nonsense about inviting an erratically appearing hallucinatory guest star to be a guest columnist might not, in his opinion, be a good business move. 

I helpfully pointed out that, "When you ain't got nothin', you got nothin' to lose." In other words, he has nowhere to go but up, right?

Strangely enough, this failed to persuade him.

We were arguing about this particular subject when I happened to notice a certain gleam or spark in his eyes every time I used one of his many self-awarded titles, the ones he claims are just jokes.

The one above, His Royal Crankiness, for example.

Your Royal Crankesty, the Crankmeister, Your Garrulousness, etceteraness — even the patently absurd Crankelicious — all produced the same reaction.

Inspiration struck.


I pointed out that he's made clear that he's running for the non-existent office of King of the United States of America but he's provided only a few vague details and no practical steps have been taken.

There's not even a political action committee or super PAC supposedly launched by his grassroots supporters. Everyone knows that when it comes to politics it really is all about the Benjamins.

So anyways, I slyly suggested, while slipping as many of his titles into the conversation as possible, that he let me interview him so that America would know what this was all about and he lit up like a Christmas tree.

My people negotiated with his people and it was agreed that as long as my questions were limited to the campaign and that I provided fresh, warm soft pretzels and ice-cold diet Mountain Dew we would, as they say, do this thing.

I managed to insert in the fine print that we would reverse the usual format ant that my words would be unitalicized and free and that his would be italicized and bracketed for a change.   


So, Mr. Mehlmauer...

[Please, call me Marcus.]

So, Marcus, let's get right to it. You claim to be running for a national office that doesn't actually exist, isn't that right?

[Look at you going all Mike Wallace on me right out of the gate!]

Could you please answer the question, sir

[Well, technically speaking, I suppose you're right.]

Technically speaking?

[The hope is that my base, and enough other Citizens of the Republic, will write my name in when voting for president. I'm betting that once the primaries are over and the choice is the Orange One and what's his name vs. Bloomberg/Hilliam I'll be the rational choice.]

What makes you think that the Hilliam will be the running mate of Mr. Bloomberg? What makes you so sure he'll be the nominee for the top spot? How do you know he'll choose the Hilliam?

[That's three questions, maybe you're not Mike Wallace, perhaps your channeling Phil Donahue, master of the often unanswerable multipart question. I remember this one time...]

Phil who?

[Follow the link. First, the only thing that will end the bottomless political ambitions of the female half of the Hilliam is a stake through the heart. Mighty Mike is pushing 80 and if he doesn't go quickly and quietly they'll just... Well, you figure it out.

Second, who's a better choice for the (D)epublicans that Mighty Mike who switches to whatever party is necessary when there's an election that needs purchasing?

Answer to your third question: Matt Drudge, the ultimate click baiter and master of deniable subtle shadings said so recently on the Drudge Report... Sort of.]

What if one of the other (D)ebpublicans manages to...

[I'll still be the rational choice. I'm the one person in the race that truly doesn't want to win. The only one that truly doesn't want to the Monarch of America.]

We'll be right back.


In the good/bad? ole days CBS would run a commercial at this point. When we returned to the interview, Mike Wallace would take a big drag on his cigarette, elaborately exhale, spread his arms wide and say:

"But Sir, you say you're running to be the King of the United States of America!?!"

[Correct, and you've cleverly and helpfully pointed out there is no such position. Now, ask the obvious question.]

I would put to you, sir, that this is just an elaborate publicity stunt! That you are cynically exploiting the Citizens of the Republic!

[I would put to you, sir, that that ain't a question. That you have learned to practice purple journalism at the knees of Phil Donahue, Mike Wallace, and Matt Drudge.

Since we're running low on allocated words, permit me to explain myself.

If elected king/president I will appoint three administrators. One each for the East Coast, Flyoverland, and the Left Coast to deal with day to day administration and who answer directly to me. 

With the help of the members of my carefully chosen privy council, I will issue only absolutely necessary executive orders. 

We will offer suggestions and advice to Congress, the branch of government that, according to the Constitution, being all the people's representatives, is where the power is supposed to lie -- not in the White House. 

Most importantly, I'll make it my mission in life to pass a constitutional amendment that sets term limits for the people's representatives 

and, 

to get a series of simple, straight forward laws passed that limit the power of the unelected members of the hooge and powerful administrative state.]

Wait, you can't...

[Thanks for coming out. Feel free to take some pretzels home with you.]

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Cranky don't tweet. 








      






Saturday, February 22, 2020

Calling Out Google Privilege

-Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay-

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandchildren (who exist), and my great-grandchildren (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.
                  
Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering

                                                  Glossary  

                                                    About

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"We want Google to be the third half of your brain." -Sergey Brin


Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

Recently, I wrote about white privilege. In the course of researching that letter, I learned a lot and now it's time to call out Google privilege. I'm a current events junkie and if what I've been able to surmise is correct...

WARNING! - Your semi-humble correspondent is wrong with disturbing regularity!

Googlers are, for the most part, proudly and overwhelmingly members of the Blue tribe.

Which is fine, it's still a relatively free country. Now...

You know... At this point, a more garrulous and less woke and loving man than myself might digress and point out that in spite of the fact some of our friends on the left predicted that the Orange One was going to dissolve the Republic and declare himself King Donald the first it never happened.

His political opponents haven't been incarcerated in secret FEMA camps and...

No, wait, secret FEMA camps is a conspiracy meme embraced by some of our friends on the right, right? Wait a sec', I...

[Cough, cough. Google privilege?

Thanks, Dana.


Google privilege is double privilege. First of all, it's white male privilege.

Despite literally years of wailing and gnashing of teeth by the Blue tribe, and even though the Googlers excommunicated James Damore for the sin of speculating that perhaps many women are too smart and too civilized to want to join Eric Schmidt and the boys on the creepy line...

“The Google policy on a lot of things is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.” -Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO

"Google crosses the creepy line every day." -Dr. Robert Epstein

Google is plagued by white (and to a lesser extent, yellow) male privilege.  

Your semi-humble correspondent dug up and read not one, but two Wired magazine articles chock full of charts and statistics so that my gentlereaders wouldn't have to. 

Both report that Google (and the other techmosters) are overwhelmingly staffed by white and Asian men in spite of literally billions of bucks and billions of words spent on the quest for diversity. 

It makes me wonder if most of the members of the 1,001 officially recognized gender/racial/ethnic/sexual/etceteral identity groups are actually more concerned with the selfish pursuit of happiness than they are with diversity. 

However, given all the folks who make a living, directly or indirectly, from the diversity business:

Writers of magazine articles, the Infotainment industry, HR departments, college administrators, politicians, bureaucrats employed by the gummits and The Fedrl Gummit, consultants, etceterants...

Too much diversity too fast might bring on a recession.        


The Goog also benefits from disruption privilege. The Silicon Valley techies worship at the altar of disruption. Why? because as famous bank robber Willie didn't actually say, "That's where the money is."

For the record, Mr. Sutton, in his autobiography, modestly admits that he never actually said it, that some reporter or other made it up to spice up an article and it caught on.

I dunno though... Hard to imagine that a member of the fourth estate would put their integrity, dignity, and credibility on the line for profit and job security. 

The sort of billionaires that apparently will never have enough money (serial accumulators?) and the wannabe billionaires who are living in the Goog's parking lot dream of "disrupting" (destroying) an established industry via software and/or cutting edge hardware to make a name and a pile.

Another for the record: All I want is six million (with an m, not a b) and you'll never hear from me again (I've got it all planned out). 

If any one of my tens of readers happens to be an absurdly rich tech lord (I'm talkin' to you Ev Williams) and would like me to shut up and/or suspend my campaign to be the first king of the United States, please email me at: 
theflyoverlandcrank@gmail.com.


Anyways, for a group of people, the majority of whom I'll wager consider themselves to be members of the Social Justice Warrior National Guard or Reserve, they don't seem overly concerned with the fate of the disruptees.

They don't discriminate though. This applies equally to their fellow Democrats as well as the Deplorables and Bitter Clingers of the Red tribe.

[What about that Universal Basic Income thingy? A lot of 'em support that.]

Yeah — paid for with additional taxes on everybody. As you're well aware, Dana I'd prefer that the Pete's Pals and Bernie-bros that make a living from slicing, dicing, and selling our data cut us in before The Fedrl Gummit steps in and makes everything worse.

Speaking of which, Bernie? Seriously dude? The professional socialist of little accomplishment, net worth $2,500,000, owner of three homes, even older than me who recently had a heart attack? 

And while I'm at it... Pete? Is a 38-year old whose political claim to fame is running a small city with mixed results what we're looking for? I think...

[You're ranting and digressing again and you're nearly out of words... And regardless, Sleepy Joe and Fauxcahauntos are hangin' in. And don't forget Bloomberg, he's got a ton of executive experience and he's so dedicated to public service that he bought a third term as mayor, despite term limits, knowing NYC still needed him.]

The Donald vs. One of the above. Hoo-boy.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Your friendly neighborhood crank is not crazy about social media (I am a crank after all) but if you must, you can like me/follow me on Facebook. 

Cranky don't tweet. 











Saturday, February 15, 2020

The 1963 Jeep Pickup Truck

The Crank's close encounter with a 1963 Jeep pickup truck



-Image by Markus Distelrath from Pixabay- 

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandchildren (who exist), and my great-grandchildren (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.
                  
Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering

                                                  Glossary  

                                                    About

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"Technology is constantly improving our lives. Look at the cellular telephone. Just ten years ago, virtually nobody was able to get into a car crash caused by trying to steer and dial at the same time; today, people do this all the time." 
                                                                                              -Dave Berry 



Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

I, Marcus Mehlmauer, a.k.a. Flyoverland Crank, do hereby certify and affirm that the following account is 91.39% true. I invoked the rights and privileges granted by my poetic license lightly and tastefully.


Recently, I was in the process of returning home after picking up my oldest granddaughter at work. I was driving my daughter's car. The burger distribution point Sticky #2 works at is less than a 10-minute drive away.

I was using my daughter's car instead of mine because it's much newer, has a much better sound system, and primarily because it was parked much closer to the front door than my car, which was parked "out back."

I put my right turn signal on and had made it about a foot into the driveway when someone decided to pass us (my granddaughter's best friend, probationary Sticky #5, and my youngest grandson, Sticky #4, were along for the ride) — on the right.

To accomplish this... let's call him Dick to protect his privacy, Dick had to drive up on the sidewalk of our next-door neighbor's house, squeeze between us and an oak tree in my front yard and skid to stop about a foot short of a telephone pole.

He was now parked on our portion of the sidewalk.


Dick, as you can tell, is one hell of a driver.

Unfortunately, he clipped the door behind which Sticky 2 was sitting and the right front fender of my daughter's formerly pretty and pristine SUV, Ms. Iddybiddy, (her horn sounds like it came out of a toy car) as he went sailing by in a 1963 jeep pickup truck made of cast iron.

We exchanged obligatory you okays? and through gritted teeth, I inquired as to why he had just done what he had just done. He calmly replied that since I had signaled that I was turning left he had decided to pass me on the right.

I pointed out there were three passengers in my car who would beg to disagree as to which turn signal I had employed. This remark provoked a reaction I would describe as air slowly leaving a balloon.

I also pointed out that most folks — even if what he claimed was true — not having his superior driving skills, would have stopped and waited patiently rather than drive through my front yard and that I thought this might have been the more prudent choice on his part.


I initiated a document exchange and dispatched one of the kids to get mom and dad — and call the cops out of earshot of Dick — who was having a spot of trouble trying locating the relevant documentation for what he said was his friend's truck.

Realizing what might have happened to me or my passengers if Dick wasn't such a talented driver and had rear-ended us, or hit the aforementioned door harder, my legs began to tremble as shock and surprise were shoved aside by anger.

I was about to approach Dick (shuffling through the contents of the truck's glove box) and um... express my displeasure when my daughter, son-in-law, and more Stickies appeared and four SUVs of the local constabulary pulled up, one right after the other in front of our house, lights flashing.


I changed my mind and stood off to one side. As I took in deep breaths of the cold, clean night air it occurred to me that if I were driving by I would think there was a significant drug bust in progress or that at least a heinous murderer had been cornered in my house and hostages taken.

I also noticed, that in spite of this festival of emergency lights, many people were driving by way too fast, all things considered. You'd think they would slow down to get a good look at a 1963 Jeep pickup truck that was more primer than paint and parked on the sidewalk.

The gummit of our rusty little town suffers from chronic cash flow problems and has for years. In spite of this, our unionized gummit employees struggle to maintain services at the highest possible level.

For example, they're currently objecting to volunteers from a prison a few rusty towns over going around picking up trash occasionally. Clearly not the way to maintain high standards. 

Forgive the digression but I was thinking of suggesting that a couple of the unionized cops should be handing out tickets and turning this non-crisis into a profitable evening.

But now I was asked to produce relevant documents and to tell my story and I decided they likely field enough helpful suggestions, and take enough crap, so I didn't bring it up.

The fact that the two cops that were processing me repeatedly voiced some version of, "He passed you on the right by driving through your yard?!?" and were struggling to repress grins restored me to my happy place in short order.


Anyways, It took a while but eventually, all the eyes were dotted and all the teas were crossed. Unfortunately for Dick, he was officially cited. It seems that it's against the law to pass by driving through someone's front yard regardless of the extenuating circumstances: real, imagined, or hallucinated.

[Well, all's well that ends well, right?]

Right, Dana.

After being interrogated, at great length, by my daughter's insurance company like a suspected murderer "in the box" of your favorite police drama, "Why were you using your daughter's car and not your car"...

Just like on TV, the same questions were asked six different ways to make sure the perp wasn't lying. I was hoping I wasn't going to be beaten with a phone book.

After spending five days and dealing with four cops to get the screwed up official accident report amended...

After waiting for three weeks (and counting) waiting on my daughter's insurance company to tell us what's what...

A glimmer of light has been spotted at the end of the tunnel.

Also, my faith in my fellow man has been restored. There are all sorts of lawyers and chiropractors sending notes of concern and asking if they can help.

[What's a phone book?]
         
Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Your friendly neighborhood crank is not crazy about social media (I am a crank after all) but if you must, you can like me/follow me on Facebook. 

Cranky don't tweet.