AUDIO FILE to listen while you read (with maybe one reading error):
So, it’s come to this?
I started a reading a piece based on a lecture based on book called, you got it: “Doing Nothing”
It had nothing to do with nothing. It was a ploy, a tease, a ruse, a lure to get me to read an article about the meanderings of a creative artist’s mind. I felt irritated – however the artist had some brilliant pieces of art she had photographed and a chuggingly slow river of tangential ideas, images and sensations. I suppose if one weren’t withdrawing from the intoxication of USA productivity and strung-out on random stuff it could seem like nothing relatively speaking. If it wasn’t titled “Doing Nothing” I might have liked it.
But I was anally attached to finding out how to do nothing, which, of course is an oxymoron. And I’m still attached aka stuck in the fucking past obsessing about not finding nothing. Go ahead – smile and feel embarrassed for me. And I’m being serious.
Let’s face it – no can do nothing at any time. But—
If we rule out autonomic functions such as blood pimping around in our arteries and veins or breathing then we have at least pretended we can make a space for maybe doing nothing.
Here’s the thing though – and I know I’m splitting hairs (very hard to do by the way) – as a nation of workers who eschew down-time and laziness the idea of doing nothing seems more Zen and cooler than acting lazy.
Maybe, the closest seemingly non-action state we can take is Za Zen Meditation. If it weren’t connected to the idea of mindfulness it would be an excellent cover for laziness. I mean sit and just “watch” all your thoughts and ideas et cetera coming and going. The one who watches is the mindfulness give-away so it’s not as close to doing nothing as I might imagine.
There’s lots of apps – one of which promotes “doing nothing” for a certain number of minutes – but in reality it’s listening to rain and sounds of nature as a mediation. Anyway, you get the idea.
The idea is that as workaholics who love to work, work, work – even if you love what you do and in your spare time you work and improve yourself – if you’re filling up all your time with stuff to do then you’re never celebrating laziness. Here’s what I think – Americans love to be busy, even when they’re in downtime. So, when some American says:
“I’ve been doing nothing,”
it really means they are doing something that seems like nothing in comparison to a super busy lifestyle. They need re-grooving in the cognitive think department – unless they are attempting to market “nothing”. Marketing “nothing” is got to be the perfect scam, because you can make up anything especially if its tangential, has no plan and seems like the positive side of laziness – though I don’t see how doing nothing is more positive than being lazy.
Me, Tex JB Papel and my team of 4 of the Toilet Paper Brigade of the Texas Rangers have ben fielden calls and letters or emails lack this one from ordinary citizens lack you. Due to them crazy-ass TP hoarders – understandably panicked by the Co-Vid- nan teen crisis – we were ordered into the field to seek justice for kneady pursuns lack yourselves in search of a soft wipe. Here is an example of one of da emails my office has received, I’ll read it fer ya all brackets below are my comments [in-serted]:
“I ordered 36 rolls of the Family Sized Cottonelle TP for friends of mine. They reported the following: 1. They only received 24 rolls of TP and they were not “Family Sized” rolls [maybe rolls for single pursuns]; 2. The box it arrived in was tampered with, had holes and was beat up.
My friends are technophobes, and though I have instructed them to use the iPad Camera to photograph the package material, which in their haste – due to a need to have toilet paper [rott away] they opened it. Nevertheless, I asked them to photograph the box and the packaging to prove to you that they did not receive the item as paid for by me and promised as advertised.
Due to the shelter-in-place order I won’t be entering their apartment. But tomorrow, Sunday, I hope to instruct them on how to take a photo with their iPad and email it to me so I can email it to you.
Either your employees [of the manufacture-er] or your local post office have a black-market toilet paper ring or have made a mistake of some kind.
I expect you to rectify the matter.
name withheld for confidenture-ality
[reported sympathically by Tex Papel of the Toilet Paper Brigade of the Texas Rangers]
Although we have not found anything out from the local company or the United States Postal Office we have brokered a deal with your go-between agent and will be refunding you money of $1,200.00. Next thyme you buy TP don’t pay so much in da first place.
Our bill will faollow sune.
(based on a true story and Apologies to all Texans.)
Garden of Delights breakfast and lunch restaurant 113 C Highland St. Worcester, MA
From 1975 to early 1976 I had one of the best part-time jobs of my life if you could even call it a job. It combined two of my favorite past-times: driving and having fun. It also revealed a few other tasks I excelled at – more on those later.
I began as a dishwasher in a lunch and dinner restaurant – the Garden of Delights on Highland Street in Worcester, Massachusetts. Inside it was all black – black walls, black ceilings, interrupted by two tropical fish tanks, spider plants with their own grow lights and placards with single cell cartoons each with their own illuminated lights and a few maps and prints. This was the work of Tinker and Princess. They were the owners of the restaurant. It was obvious that Tinker had done the interior work / décor.
Tinker was dressed in all black with long black hair and custom-made shoes that curled up at the toes with tiny bells on them. He made them, of course, along with his black vest and its many pockets. He may have bought the wide-brimmed black hat. Princess was the chef. She created the specials that changed every week. It was a vegetarian restaurant except for the tuna of the very famous open-faced tuna melts on toast.
It was a special place at a special time.
Dish washing was not my most favorite task, actually it was my least favorite task. But everyone that worked there brought in a vinyl rock LP that was stacked about 15 records high on the spindle. We’d rock out all night long as we worked, worked, worked.
My good friend, Valerie who worked there, as a waitress, told me they were looking for a driver to pick-up food and supplies for the restaurant. Tinker and Princess did not own a car. My job was to pick up food for the week on one day and make bank deposits. I started in the spring of 1975. I drove my 1969 VW Bug which was mostly a good car for pick-up.
I went to Mitchell’s Bakery every Wednesday and shopped for the rest of the stuff on Thursdays to my recollection. At Mitchell’s I would buy 100 loaves of whole wheat bread and 50 pounds of fresh ground Mocha Java Coffee; I loved the aroma of all those coffee beans being ground into the bags. They would grind the beans as I loaded the bread in the bug. Next stop – Stop ‘n Shop for cans of White Albacore Tuna – it was the only brand of Tuna where dolphins were not attracted to the nets of the fishing boats. On the other day I’d do everything else:
Off to the Greek Market for 2 to 3 pounds of Feta Cheese, jaw with the owner.
On the opposite side of town was a cheese wholesaler open to the public where I would buy Gouda and Muenster in large bars, no need for cutting. A woman customer remarked once: “You must have a big family?” “You have no idea,” I cracked.
Then to the bank for a deposit.
The cheese wholesaler stopped carrying 50-pound wheels of Aged Vermont Cheddar Cheese, so Princess or Tinker had to locate a different source. I was given an address down in the warehouse section of Worcester. I parked and started to walk towards the enormous building whose sign read: Boston Beef. I had to laugh. A Natural Foods restaurant that did not serve poultry or red meat was the address I was sent to. In my minds eye I could see Tinker and Princess laughing.
There was a buzzer at a side door. A guy with a hard-hat and a white blood-soaked coat arrived there. I gave him my name, the name of the business and the product I wanted. He had me wear a hard-hat. We walked through the place with beef hanging on hooks deep into the back of the building. He opened the door to a cold-storage locker and brought out a giant wheel of cheese. It was on account and I signed it and he gave me a receipt. Then I hiked out with him. He took the hat and away I went.
I’d go over their apartment a block away from the restaurant for food experiments that Princess would try out for the three of us – as vegetarian dinner specials. After dinner in the dining room amid the low slung and bean bags chairs surrounded by industrial sized wooden spools for tables and swing arms mounted on stands with an alligator clip at the end of each arm, four arms all together. It was the lazy person’s way of smoking a joint. Well one of the three of us would have to get the joint and transfer it to the next clip, oh such work for “the slammed”.
Summer was great. But the winter of 75 – 76 with the snow storms and the sludge was a drag. On a Wednesday I did a small bit of driving in the city and then off to pick-up 80 gallons of organic Apple Cider and Juice in Sterling north of the city about 30 miles. It had started snowing during my morning run, it was light, but wet.
a 4-foot exact replica of Donald Duck made of solid sharp Vermont Cheddar Cheese with toothpicks holding the pieces together
When I arrived at the mill the parking lot up to the loading deck wasn’t plowed yet. I had stripped all superfluous stuff including two small sandbags from the trunk in order to fit all the cider in the Bug. There wasn’t enough weight in the from to get across the parking lot. Two guys around my age stood on the front bumpers and the drive over to the loading dock was one of ease.
It was an engineering feat getting those 80 gallons of glass bottles loaded with that sweet nectar into the car. There were 60 gallons of cider and 20 gallons of juice: 4 gallons to a box. I tried loading them with the backseat down, but it worked better with it up because I could get some boxes on the floor. Boxes in the passenger seat and one on the floor and two in the trunk with it tied down by some cord. I laughed.
Later, on a winter’s Wednesday morning I was taking a shortcut back to the G.O.D. from the bank. There had been two heavy snows earlier in the week and it was snowing lightly when I came into a very tiny traffic circle. It was the exact same time a woman in a Mercedes entered from the right and I pumped the breaks to stop. It wasn’t enough. Our bumpers crunched. My bug was more damaged than hers. It was clearly my fault. We exchanged insurance information and phone numbers.
When I got back Princess and Tinker could see something had happened. It was around 10:30 am before the place opened. There was another guy there in a suit. I explained what had happened. Fortunately, my work for that day was done.
“What can we do,” they both asked. I didn’t know. The suit, Tom, had overheard me. He told me he had just graduated from Law School but hadn’t taken the Massachusetts Bar yet. He wondered if he could investigate the accident for me.
“Sure,” I said.
He had me draw a map of how I hit the car and the names of streets etc.
Later I negotiated with Princess and Tinker for one free meal a week, all the free coffee I could drink and to smoke pot with them in the basement after my run once in a while.
They both beamed:
“Yes. Good. Anytime,” they said.
A few weeks later Tom was waiting for me when I returned from my run. He told me that she was driving the wrong way down a one-way street, but hadn’t seen the signs: one was broken off by a plow and the other signs were covered by piles of snow.
In the meantime, I had used a heavy-duty rope to pull my bumper out. I called the woman on the phone and explained the new situation. She was beside herself. But since I had done my own “repairs” I told her there was no need for our insurance companies to get involved. Relieved and disappointed, she agreed and that was that.
Near St. Patrick’s Day ’76 Prink, Princess had shortened her name to match Tinker and they had become Prink and Tink, she had me drive her to a deli south of Clark University on Main. On the way there she told me her real name:
“And you have to promise never to tell anyone. Okay?”
“Yeah, sure. No problem.”
“And I’m thinking of going to the Culinary Institute of America in New York.”
“Oh God, the CIA,” and we both laughed.
By early spring of ’76 I had to stop working there due to faltering grades at Clark. I graduated in May of ‘76
Years later – in ’77 Tink found me and invited me and Val to their Thanksgiving Day Feast at the GOD for all employees past and current complete with a 40-pound turkey, stuffing, and all the fixings including a veggie alternative. And pies, pies, pies and a cheese cake, the same kind I used to get – the one that was so thick and sticky you had to cut it with waxed dental floss.
Tink made a 4-foot exact replica of Donald Duck made of solid sharp Vermont Cheddar Cheese with toothpicks holding the pieces together.
What a riot.
In 1986 the Gardens of Delights was gone… Nobody knew what happened. Prink and Tink had disappeared. Someone had said the owner of the building had raised the lease… but no one really knew.
I thought of calling this dictionary the FKO Social Commentary Dictionary – after my initials, but would that give a flippant and a wrong message. You get the idea.
So, I thought “O”
As in Oh or “O”MG.
“O” is the first and last letter of my last name letters and could signify – “what goes around – comes around.” Maybe it is an endless cycle of karma or in a higher realm dharma.
Stupid– as in stupor – could be a zombie-like absence operating as if conscious from a place of shock and emotional regression. In short, a dissociative state brought on by triggers. It was once thought of as being struck by too much of “something” – like information and then by fear choosing a non-rational or irrational answer. Cognitively operating from this place empowers the user via the uses of anger, rage and righteousness that arising from being overwhelmed superseding logic based on faulty premises. When this happens, the person falls into the ocean of stupidity.
Another nation, Torpor is where the block of non-voters live & who can blame them?
Then there’s Stupid’s cousin and sometimes spouse Ignorance. There may be a lot of inbreeding between Stupid and Ignorance, but not always. This is a common disease amongst the moderns – probably originated in the autoimmune cue. Stereotypes come to mind, but to repeat them is to dip into elitism where ignorance also breeds and may fall into the stupor.
Ignorance – to turn away or not pay attention as in ignore. Unlike stupor ignorance arises from increasingly narrowed states or focused frames of reference brought on by fears and anxiety of the other especially when the other is unfamiliar or strange. Everyone shares ignorance to some degree except perhaps those that are enlightened. When ignorance begins to feed their spouse/cousin information then Ignorance and Stupid are super-glued together dance partners headed towards the flat edge of the earth and fall off into the sluggishness of torpor. Another nation, Torpor is where the block of non-voters live and who can blame them? Sometimes seeming non-voters might be suppressed voters by those noble Night Riders the GOP protecting us from those minority illegal voters, right? Wrong!
In fairness haven’t we all been falling into occasional stupor and ignored some things out of fear? (To be dealt with in another installation of An O Social Commentary Dictionary.)
Entrenched Ignorance and Stupidity often produces children of Prejudice, Bigotry, Racism, Misogyny, Homophobia and some more I’m not recalling in this instance. They huddle in camps, groups, communities maybe smoke too many cigarettes, vape, drink or do opioids in nations named Xenophobia – A Nation set out to blame the strangers.
Pointing out the ignorance and stupidity in others by identifying their logic is a fruitless endeavor, they are too much inside to see that the macro ideals are arising from a fear/anger base. For instance, I have a relative that rarely listens to me, talks non-stop and told me that we wouldn’t have to worry about climate change because we’d be dead by the time the worst comes (each of us has no spouse or children BTW). Mischievous me interjected: “What about reincarnation?” The next time we talked – or they talked, they told me “I don’t want to be reincarnated as an Indian.”; meaning a person residing in India – and from the tone of their voice they meant a poor person or an untouchable. I said “It’s highly unlikely that you’ll remember this life (meaning their current life). And, wow, you’re a racist.” Oops – didn’t follow my own advice. They denied it, said they were friendly with Indians living nearby on the same street in the USA. Nevertheless, they were friendly in-person but had a racist bias towards a group but denied this. Then they segue-wayed into their disgust of younger people that expressed themselves with ink, said that tattoos were unhealthy for the skin – I interjected that tattoo artists had to have licenses from the board of health. But their anger / fear found its mark and would not have stopped save I had an upcoming appointment. All that anger feels so sad.
The Rise of the Stupid from the Swirl of Ignorance
Part of the problem is that the education system (now more than ever is a training system and does not care about education) has thrown out critical thinking and compassionate self-examination. Other than elite private secondary education and some higher educational institutions the focus of learning is to learn how to do a skill etc. that is solely oriented towards tech, finance, or sciences with the emphasis on money, profit and whose vehicles are conquering mentalities.
Critical thinking be gone!
A good attribute of ignorance is a way of screening out the glut of weaponized commercialism thrown at people through media – including the internet. If we didn’t have a perceptual filter to ignore the barrage of information that assaults us daily we wouldn’t enter into zombie dissociative states and file mindlessly into massive stores and buy massive stuff. Right? Right? R-i-g-h-t… (Not a stutter). Although we could use critical thinking to screen out weaponized data – but OMG that might require some work, aghast!
Critical thinking be gone!
It’s all about me and carving my place out in the American Dream with as much money as possible so I can have a buffer from those in-control and blah, blah, blah…. I imagine some people think critical thinking is having mean thoughts about someone else.
Finally, there is so much loss – humans find loss unbearable – and loss begets grief. Rather than face the unbearable, grief gets rationalized, filed away, goes underground and becomes fear of change masked by anger and ignorance. We as a people – in general ignore our losses, act as if it was better in the past – pretense on some level and justify a steady state of rolling back progress or trying to keep things normal, while an existential crisis brews.
Ego (E) versus Alter Ego (AE) on the time change to DT
AE: I’m not going along with it.
E: I changed some clocks; my body says no to the other clocks.
E: How about moving the clocks ahead 6 minutes per day for 10 days then the adjustment could be gradual? AE: Are you nuts? WTF!
E: You know Trump will never approve what we’ve already voted on in California because he hates we didn’t vote for him unless it’s to his advantage. AE: Like changing it on November 2nd 2020? Election eve? WTF
E: My Computer, Cell Phone and Tablet are on board with the change – maybe tech could fix my internal body clock too. AE: No Way!
E: One clock says its 4 pm and my body says it’s 3 pm. AE: Quit complaining and buck-up.
AE: I can’t think straight.
E: Dude, detach from linear time and enter eternal time. AE: Too much science-fiction? But okay, sounds good.
Here’s the thing about resolutions: like so many people I will make a resolution and break it.
Why is that?
It’s got to be the word right?
We need a different word for resolution or just throw the whole thing out and give me a break.
To resolve something just to do it over again re- solve it.
Why would I want to solve something that I’ve already solved that doesn’t make any sense does it?
So that’s why I gave up making resolutions a long time ago because I stopped trying to solve problems already solved once. Or why try to do it over again if you can’t do it the first time.
This is just a harangue a rant, a complaint, wah, wah… It’s a New Year’s thing, I know. It’s tradition on New Year’s to make up a list of things that you’re not going to do ever so don’t do it that’s what I say. I mean if you’re going to do it you just do it once and then it’s done and you don’t have to do it over again on New Years. I mean how many people do you know that actually make a resolution and go through with it I don’t know anybody. Maybe they’re self-help gurus, or highly successful goal driven people but I’ve never met one who has to re solve something.
I didn’t even realize until it was too late that my narcissistic cat was elected President of the United States.
I know what you’re going to say – all cats are narcissistic and you’d be right. But how many of them have the kahunas to become President?
Some history and the current resulting behaviors might be in order.
Hestares longingly at the refrigerator because he knows there’s food to bite on in there.
Hestares longingly out at the “biggest crowd in the history of Presidential Inaugurations” and feels the adoring millions because he needs his feeding.
He pounces on birds with the full power of his grasp. He plays with the birds, but doesn’t kill them, at least not right away and doesn’t pay attention to their noises.
Hepounces on those that oppose him because well its fun to plot against them for the kill as he put in his claws and listens to their tweets.
Hemarks his territory. What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine.
He marks his territory. What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine.
He gets mad when he doesn’t get his way. As a manipulation he ignores me, then whoosh he attacks.
He gets mad when he doesn’t get his way. As a manipulation he ignores the shootings, the hurricanes, the fires, the international incidents, the assignations, the poor, immigrants, those not in his tax bracket, et cetera, then whoosh and he attacks often accompanied with cries of “fake news”.
Cat-nip does nothing for him – but he sniffs diet coke
My cat – is no longer mine. Before he pounced for the Prez he changed his name to: T. R. Ump. Many call him Ump because with one swipe of his mighty paw he could call the game but always in his favor
I only wish he’d go back to being cat-sized again with a sunnier disposition and maybe as a female. Or become a duck and duck like Donald never did.
One group said let’s save money, balance our checkbook, don’t owe money or pay interest and everybody being equal works hard and gets what they want. After that the common good gets addressed.
Another group says let’s take care of the common good first since not everybody is equal in practice, so we have to make rules to make things fair. People who have so much money they can’t begin to spend it all need to pay more into the common good treasure chest to make things better for everyone including themselves. When this happens everybody gets richer.
How it is now:
One group says there are slackers created by the other group giving stuff away for free. But let’s save money, balance our checkbook, don’t owe money or pay interest, but if we have to pay interest let’s make a ton of money from it at the expense of the slackers to balance everything out and everybody being equal works hard and gets what they want. Our ideas of the common good are different from theirs. The other group is anti-American so they should be punished.
Another group says let’s take care of the common good first since not everybody is equal in practice so we have to make rules to things fair. People who have so much money they can’t begin to spend it need to pay more into the common good treasure chest to make things better for everyone including themselves. When this happens everybody gets richer. We have to be fair to the other group that makes us look bad because we ARE fair. And we don’t need to fight the other group in a down and dirty way because we’re better than that.
Each group used to serve all American People regardless of the amount of money they made. Now each group sold their souls to BIGMONEYso they pretend to support all Americans when they are not doing this. So nothing gets done for regular shmoes. Only “the right people” and Corporations and their BIG MONEY are rewarded. Everyone else is shafted.