Monthly Archives: August 2010

Why is There a Love/Hate Relationship with Cats?

  

  Not long ago a friend’s wife found a stray cat. It needed food and some tender loving care. She wanted to nurse it back to health. My friend, claiming to despise cats, protested and said if she did not find a home for it in three days, he would shoot it. When his wife was not around he fed and cared for it as if his own dear mother.
  His wife returned home one day and found bits of dry cat food in the bathtub. “Have you been feeding that stray?” she asked.
  “Oh no,” he said. “Not me, I hate cats.”
  “The next time you eat cat food in the tub, please rinse it out.”
  That’s how many feel about cats. Is it because we don’t want to be hurt later? It’s like in junior high. You like a pretty girl who you know will break your heart, so you say you don’t like her. The second she says, ‘hi,’ you’re all ‘ga ga’ and ‘goo goo’ eyed. Could it be that the attitude towards cats is merely a protective emotional response to eventual disappointment? (Look whose getting all psychological and analytical now.) 
  For some reason cats are easy to hate. They don’t respond to human stimuli in a normal fashion. A cat can be kicked off a porch or ran through cloths dryer and it responds as if you’re still best friends. Talk nice to it, give it a treat, pet it, and pamper it for years and it will leave on a moments notice as if an illegitimate teenager off to a life of drugs, debauched living, and homelessness.

Jolly Ole England Loves Their Cats

  Not long ago surveillance cameras in England caught a lady first petting a cat and then tossing it in a trash can. Funny, if a scene from a comedy, but not in reality. The Brits took umbrage with this dose of British humor played out in real life. The woman received death threats and when she offered to apologize to the family was prevented from doing so.
  Outrage for abuse or at least in this instance unkindness to animals has reached an outrageous disproportionate response, although it has not achieved its apex. If done to a human or child, lawyers would be falling all over themselves to defend her. They would claim that the surveillance video was prejudicial to a fair trial and try having it not admitted as evidence. There would be advocacy groups claiming her actions were a reaction to a cruel and cold society – it’s society’s fault. Will not one person come forward and say that perhaps she was once jilted by a cat?
  This happened in Great Britain; the country that beheaded queens, tortured its subjects in the Tower of London, and released the master mind of the Lockerbie bombing. British Petroleum is excoriated for the death of some sea life in the Gulf, even to the point of calling for the execution of their executives. Many have expressed outrage for the loss of turtles, gulls, and dolphins but where is the sense of outrage for the eleven human lives lost on the oil rig in the Gulf?

For the Love of Pete or Garfield?

  Mistreatment of animals is inhumane, but should never overshadow the cruelty done to humans. Those who act otherwise have probably been victim to some sort of cruelty done to them at the hands of a fellow human. They perhaps see the animals as a creature that has done them no wrong or wanton violence and any harm they do is instinctual, thus more easily forgivable. Frankly, instinct should tell us that all life is valued, but human life is precious.

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Why Men Pick Boogers and Women Do Not

 

Men are all about economy of time and space. We try to get as much activity into a small frame of time as possible. We take advantage of every little portal of time and opportunity to get away with something. Our lives revolve around getting as much done with little effort or movement. We brag about it.  It’s not enough to kill two birds with one stone; we want a way to hurl a whole truckload of gravel at a flock.

How Men And Women Approach A Task

Take the backyard barbeque. It started out as just a flat grate grill. It was simple – burgers. The rotisserie was added to roast chicken and grill hamburgers at the same time. Then came another grate above the other one to keep items warm while grilling the hamburgers and roasting the chicken. Somewhere in time, the lid was added to give a smokier flavor to the grilled burgers, the roasted chicken, and items on the warming grate. A side burner was added to heat the beans at the same time the burgers were cooking, the chicken was roasting, and the food was warming, and all while getting a smokier flavor. I’m certain that some man somewhere already has all of the above along with a microwave oven, satellite dish, and cruise missile launcher. You’ll see it in a year or two at Cosco.

Women are known for multi tasking, but in a different way. They come already genetically engineered like that grill that took man centuries to develop. While driving they apply make-up, style hair, brushing teeth, text a dozen friends all while eating a sausage, cheese, and egg muffin and sipping a vanilla latte with extra whipped topping. Men would have to build a devise to do all that.

What Do Men Do With Boogers?

Men experience entirely different dilemmas while driving. Suddenly there is an uncomfortable sensation in the nose. He inserts the exploratory finger to investigate. The unexpected and unplanned occurs. He dislodges a booger loosely attached to the sidewall of a nostril. (One might wonder why he did not use a hanky. That means unsnapping the seatbelt. He, being safety conscience, would not put himself or others at risk by reaching to unsnap the belt.) He cautiously removes it from his nostril as if he’s disarming a time bomb and examines it for cut, clarity, and size. What now to do with it? Again, to extract the hanky from his pocket might be too dangerous. He rolls down the window in preparation to allow wind velocity to remove it from his finger. He calibrates the speed needed to have it freely dislodge from the finger. He extends his hand, but the booger sticks. He is already at the posted maximum speed. He rolls it hoping it might just drop from his finger. It remains as if attached with Velcro. He must now flick it. For a brief moment, he quickly calculates the speed needed for it to clear his car and land safely on the street. If some one follows too closely, a booger could end up on their windshield. As disgusting as this all sounds, think of the lives saved.

The next time you see a dead fly on your windshield, check the car in front of you. Five will get you ten you will see a guy conducting an after pick nostril inspection. In addition, if he happens to look back, honk twice and say, “Ya got me.”

What Do Women Do With Boogers?

I have yet to see a woman drive and pick her nose. I don’t know how they do it. Are women genetically engineered not to have boogers?  On the other hand, are they just more couth than men? I am sure they would argue that. I think the answer is far more sinister. They treat it as if a mystery only women know. It’s like when they say, “You know what I mean!” and we haven’t a clue what they mean, but we pretend to know what they mean. Then we go around all day with a headache trying to figure out ‘what does she mean.’

The answer to that mysterious and unknown statement is that she means nothing. There is nothing. It’s all a conspiracy. They only want us to think there is a meaning.  Which leads me to another conclusion; they have to be picking their noses. I know it. Physiology and logic dictates they do. The mystery is, what do they do with it?

I’ve wondered with all the stimulus money spent on studies, if I could get a million or two to study why men are more nostril sensitive than women. Are nerve endings in different places with men than women? If a man has an obstruction in the nose he knows it immediately, but he can go around for a week with barbeque sauce on his chin. You don’t see that with a woman.

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Are We Buying The Big Rock Candy Mountians?

 

The song Big Rock Candy Mountains, I can’t remember the first time hearing it. It’s one of those songs that have always been there, like a nursery rhyme. It seems I’ve heard Burl Ives sing it and maybe Pete Seeger. One thing for certain it should never have been song by Sinatra or Presley. Their voices were far too good. Although Ives had a pleasing voice and carried a note well, his voice was not star quality. Seeger likewise did not have a great voice. It should be sung by someone who can pull it off as a hobo, like the late Johnny Cash.

The Big Rock Candy Mountains captured my attention when used in opening song in the movie O Brother Where Art Thou and most recently in an L.L Bean TV commercial. 

Even as a kid I sensed there was something wrong with the song. The lyrics masked it a bit. I never liked those come-along-with-me songs. No matter how catchy the melody, beat, or lyrics, I always felt that I was being sold a bill of goods. I bought only into the melody and beat, but skeptical of the lyrics and the philosophy or message behind them.

Come Along With Me To The Rock Candy Mountains

Nearly every song from the sixties had that come-along-with-me quality; Peace Train, San Francisco, Imagine, Mr. Tambourine Man, Dacnin’ In The Streets and many more. One might think that it was all orchestrated, the music industry in a country that contains only five percent of the world’s population influencing the other ninety-five percent of the world. Is it not hypocritical that those of that same music industry shout the loudest criticism and blame that same five percent in leading the way with other just as lucrative commercial ventures?

I always thought The Big Rock Candy Mountains had a Woody Guthrie feel to it, but the composer was Harry McClintock.  I also thought, like many songs, there was a deep social message of promising a Utopian society if one followed socialism or communism. Actually McClintock revealed a dark side of the song some years after the first recording in 1928. It was a song about hobos who exploited young boys to travel and do favors for them. McClintock said he wrote the song in 1898 when sixteen years old. Although apparently not writing it for the purpose of exploiting young boys, but perhaps to exploit those who did. Nevertheless it has that sinister quality and haunting melody designed to seduce the hearts and imaginations of young.

What Is The Message Of Music?

Often time those come-along-with-me songs have a common thread – no morality or structure, just give your mind over to the collective single thought. That single thought is usually love or peace. Artist/entertainers all seem to advocate love and peace.  Countless of them when talking about their careers or performance proclaim “It’s all about love” as if they are reading from the same script. One famous entertainer said, “It’s all about love. It’s all about the children.” Interviewers should challenge that statement and ask, “Can you be more specific or give me examples of how performing sexually explicit songs and provocative dances promotes children, peace, and love?” Such a question will mean that the interviewer will no longer have access to the entertainer.

With out much more explanation does the come-along-with-me songs now have more meaning? Come-along-with-me and give me your mind and money, but mainly your money.

Many songs have an idyllic theme, such as follow your heart. The heart is emotional. The heart is like a lawyer. It is paid to get you out of trouble, to say or do anything in order for any wrong to be mitigated or justified. Like a lawyer it is paid not to judge guilt or innocence, but to make sure you get off Scot free. On the other hand the conscience should act like a well trained judge who no one can pull the wool over his eyes. Most songs are about the heart and not the conscience.

Performers Are They The Modern Day Jocker?

Look at the private life of the performer, not the lives portrayed by Oprah Winfrey or Larry King type interviews. Their real talent lies not in conducting a good interview, but who to bring down and who to bring up (promote). Many entertainers are self-indulgent narcissistic pampered egotistical pompous individuals. This is not to say they don’t have some goodness in them. Some are well balanced, humble, kind, and generous, but the nature of notoriety and fame spoils the real person.

Here are the lyrics to Big Rock Candy Mountains:

One evening as the sun went down and the jungle fire was burning
Down the track came a hobo hiking and he said boys I’m not turning
I’m headin for a land that’s far away beside the crystal fountains
So come with me we’ll go and see the Big Rock Candy Mountains

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains there’s a land that’s fair and bright
Where the handouts grow on bushes and you sleep out every night
Where the boxcars are all empty and the sun shines every day
On the birds and the bees and the cigarette trees
Where the lemonade springs where the bluebird sings
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains all the cops have wooden legs
And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth and the hens lay soft boiled eggs
The farmer’s trees are full of fruit and the barns are full of hay
Oh, I’m bound to go where there ain’t no snow
Where the rain don’t fall and the wind don’t blow
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains you never change your socks
And the little streams of alcohol come a-trickling down the rocks
The brakemen have to tip their hats and the railroad bulls are blind
There’s a lake of stew and of whiskey too
You can paddle all around ’em in a big canoe
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains the jails are made of tin
And you can walk right out again as soon as you are in
There ain’t no short handled shovels, no axes saws or picks
I’m a goin to stay where you sleep all day
Where they hung the jerk that invented work

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
I’ll see you all this coming fall in the Big Rock Candy Mountains

There was a verse to the song omitted or replaced from the original written by McClintock. It points the song in an entirely different direction, rather than a come-along-with-me song it is an I’m-not-coming-along-with-you-song. It speaks of the raw reality to which the song leads.

The punk rolled up his big blue eyes
And said to the jocker, “Sandy,
I’ve hiked and hiked and wandered too,
But I ain’t seen any candy.
I’ve hiked and hiked till my feet are sore
I’ll be damned if I hike any more
[To be buggered sore like a hobo’s whore]
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

In a convoluted way it is much the same path that some music leads the unwitting today. It seduces the listener to shed themselves of inhibitions and morals and come along and join them – the enlightened. The omitted verse sheds light on the reality, the public is often the punk.

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Thank You Gomer Pyle For Citizen’s Arrest

Nearly everybody of my generation remembers the morning of December 17th 1963. It had nothing to do with the Kennedy assassination three weeks earlier, but it was something that few of us forget. Here is the clue: “Citizen’s arrest! Citizen’s arrest!” – Here is a link to a shorter version.

The night before was the first airing of the episode of the Andy Griffith Show that had Gomer Pyle, the village idiot, performing a citizen’s arrest on Deputy Barney Fife. For weeks, if not years after that, every infraction in school was punctuated and revealed with the words “citizen’s arrest!”

We had heard of citizen’s arrest, but how does one actually perform one? Gomer Pyle, in his crude hickish innocence, showed us the way.

Even to this day, when people think of The Andy Griffith Show they cannot help recall Gomer’s clarion call.

Was It Citizen’s Arrest Or Social Unrest?

Was this one of the sparks that led to student unrest and protest during the sixties? Suddenly people realized that the real power and authority rested with the citizen.

Barney was always misusing and abusing his position and authority. Finally, someone stood up to him. When it comes down to it, it was just meant to be funny. Unlike many episodes on TV today I do not think they were trying to manipulate our thinking – just entertain.

We Can All Use A Little Mayberry Morality

There was a strong civics’ lesson in that episode; a safe and crime free society does not depend on police departments or protection, it is the active involvement of each citizen not to turn a blind eye or condone crime of any sort. That seemed to be the original intent of the law, which was adopted from English Common Law of medieval times. Seems that the dark ages weren’t so dark after all.

Crime, particularly theft, was viewed as a scourge to villages and community of that time. Merchants were few. People raised what they ate and the community saw first hand how thievery could affect an individuals and families. Stealing from person’s garden was like taking food from their mouth. In time, communities became more specialized. With various specialized trades, it became more convenient to buy from merchants and shop keepers. Somehow, along the way stealing from a merchant was less intrusive, but not really. The community still pays for it. If a bag of chips is stolen and the profit is 10 cents a bag, the merchant must adjust the price. Let us say 2 cents a bag to recover profit lost by theft. He must now sell five more bags to cover that loss. Who pays for it? Not the merchant, but the five honest customers paying the additional 2 cents.

That is how Mayberry, the town of The Andy Griffith Show ran. The town policed itself, even the town drunk, Otis, locked himself in jail. Those citizens of that fictional town would not put up with crime.

What Happened To Mayberry?

Mayberry fell out of favor with the American viewing audience along with Leave It To Beaver, My Three Sons, and The Brady Bunch. Some say because it did not reflect real life. Is that really so? Which sitcom or TV program today reflects real life? The real problem was that the values and principles that guided the lives of the Taylor’s, the Cleaver’s, the Douglas’s, and the Brady’s showed what communities and families should be.

It is common for some to comment disdainfully about the idyllic life portrayed in those programs. What were portrayed were good manners, character, and moral clarity. One might conclude the reason for the demise of these innocent portrayals of Americana was not the lack of relevance, but rather a society that increasingly ignored good manners, character, and moral clarity. They ‘quilted’ an age.  

“It Takes A Village Idiot.”

Politicians, social reformers, and educators have taken the phrase, ‘it takes a village’ to promote their particular agenda, but leaving the real social problems and social issues off the table – manners, character, moral clarity, and discipline. Their use of the phrase normally means more taxes, more government control, social engineering, and more agencies.

“It takes a village” is the same hickish call, “Citizen’s arrest! Citizen’s arrest!” uttered in the early 60’s. One citizen bravely saying ‘that ain’t right.’ It is concept from ancient times – the village policing itself because they all had manners, character, moral clarity, and a strong sense of right and wrong. Even the village idiot knew that.

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