MM #54 – March/08

1. Sagacity by Arthur C. Clarke: “I don’t believe in astrology. I’m Sagittarius and we’re skeptical.”

2. Paul Hogan tells us: “Success is biting off more than you can chew and chewing as fast as you can.”

3. “A kiss was designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.” said Ingrid Bergman.

4. The poem IF offers a road map on how to stay out of a pickle.  This editor is producing a book that is about getting out of the pickle you get in if you didn’t follow Kipling’s advice.

1. WRITERS BLOCK

2. GENDER NEUTRALITY

3. ATTITUDE

4. US POLITICAL SOLUTION        

5. RETREADS FOR SIGHT

6. NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

7. NOSE OUT OF JOINT

8. MUSIC & QUOTES

9. IT IS NOBLER TO OPPOSE

10. PASSION

11. BE THERE

12. ROCKY ROAD EQUIPMENT

13, PHOTOGRAPHS AS ART

14. ACCEPTANCE & BIGOTRY

15. EGOCENTRICITY AND SPEECHES

16. LEGAL COST

17. ETHOS

18. DIFFERENCES

19. WHAT’S IN A NAME?

20. TWELVE POINT PROGRAM

21. COMMUNICATION SYNDROME

22. SILENT PLAYS

23. YOU CAN TAKE WHAT COMES

24. SOLITARY CONFINEMENT

25. PORN FOR WOMEN

26. MISLEADING LANGUAGE SUCKS!

27. USSR

28. RUSSIAN FRIVOLITY

29. LIGHT VERSE

30. CRUTCH

31. THE BEST LANGUAGE IS PRECISE

Alzheimer’s antidotes

Editor contact

Editor contact & feedback

 

1. WRITERS BLOCK

When a person is writing a book or a letter, it is a creation.  It is unplanned but words come about like happenstance.  As it is, writing a book or letter is very much like reading a book or letter.  That sounds like a conundrum but it is part of the creative process.  As you write, you discover what you’re going to say next.  It can be like turning the next page of a book.

Writing s book is very akin, that way, to Stream of Consciousness.  Once your mind is on the task at hand, the next page seems to come of its own volition.  You, not by design, tie it in with the preceding page so the book naturally hangs together.

Editing is disguising the fact that this book is a birth and the need fulfils the avoidance of the umbilical cord being where it doesn’t belong.  An editor is basically an obstetrician who makes sure the birth is as safe as it can be.
As another part of the analogy, contraction pains are similar to writer’s block.  If you have an ultrasound, you can decorate the baby’s room the right colour. That is equivalent to finding a publisher before the book is named or written.  Both things should be totally accepted at birth!  Flow with the anticipation.

 

2. GENDER NEUTRALITY               

Many pregnant women undergo a procedure that lets them know the gender of their unborn child.  To undergo such a procedure eliminates a major part of the discovery aspect of birth.

Parents are willing to gain such knowledge pre-birth so they can prepare the baby’s room and name.    

a)  Even though the baby doesn’t know colours, WE need it to be pink for a girl.  Perhaps a weapon against gender discrimination could be to have a baby’s room decorated in colours that weren’t pink or blue. 

b)Many parents without a preselected name look at the baby and instantly know what name is suitable.  Many times, a parental disagreement arises when choosing a name.  The middle of the road can be taken by choosing names that are multi-gender.  Chris can be Christian or Christina, Rob can be Roberta or Robert, Alex can be Alexandra or Alexander, etc.

Kids learn so much about how they are supposed to be by sexual stereotypes and colours.  It would be an interesting generation if a Barbie dolls were the toys of young boys while GI Joe became little girl’s manias.  Let’s try and be gender neutral from birth.  Humanity can’t be harmed by that.  Oops!  That word ‘humanity’ was almost replaced by ‘mankind’!  They both contain the word “man”!

Kipling wrote the poem IF.  That poem gives a fabulous message on how to get through whatever circumstances befall you.  However, the poem closes with the line “And what is more, you’ll be a man my son”.  How gender discriminatory!  It was thought by women that the poem should have ended with “And what is more, you’ll be a woman my daughter’.  A forerunner of the knowledge that there is equality of gender proposed that IF should have ended with line “And what is more, you’ll be a person my progeny”.


3. ATTITUDE

The words of a man called Charles Swindoll tell us how we are in control of our attitudes.  Those words are:

The remarkable thing we have is a choice every day regarding the attitude we we’ll embrace for that day.  We cannot change our past…..we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have and that is our attitude.  I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.  And so it is with you.  We are in charge of our attitude. “

 

4. U.S. POLITICAL SOLUTION

There is a resolution of the American political scene.  That is that is the electoral system should be changed so that John Wayne selects the next president.  The Duke is trustworthy and is a master of getting out of any pickle known to man.  He will put the right man at the helm!  His success rate with any problem can’t be beat!

 

5. RETREADS FOR SIGHT

Because a person is always waiting for the other shoe to drop, she finds the cloud behind every ray of sunshine.  Expecting the worst thing to happen allows her to find it.  However, her ability to remember things is impeded by this attribute.   When something happens that should happen, she forgets it because it’s not the bad thing she expected.  She realizes now that her rotten memory, which is the result of a brush with death, will improve once she starts accepting that there IS a ray of sun behind most clouds.  She has learned repetitively and traumatically that a cloud should not be taken at face-value.

Probably, if she goes into “dark behind the cloud” withdrawal, her memory will work for her instead of against her.  It is vital to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.  Who wants to mess with Mr. In-between!  Have an enlightened way of looking at things.

A person with occasionally inoperative eyes learned that her eye muscles weren’t working together from tiredness.  She was advised to close her eyes for a short while to rest the muscles when her vision faltered to let them have a rest.  This worked so well it is apparent why an optometrist degree is worth a lot of money!

This person’s emotional sight and eyesight may need occasional retreads!

 

6. NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

In order to look at positive, not negative, open a PC file listing those important people in my life and their good points.  This can be updated and about the people and their good points and will make you feel like you have a life with people you care about.  Even those people you don’t feel positive about should go on that list as the trait of finding the positive will be recorded that way.  There is always something good about anyone!

People love to hear something good about themselves, so focus on trying to make others feel good.  That has an amazing reflective effect in that it makes you feel good also.

 

7. NOSE OUT OF JOINT

When you get your feelings hurt and feel damaged by people, it is helpful to realize that people aren’t deliberately trying to hurt your feelings. They can be having a bad day, may be focused on something else or may feel testy for some reason.  It is highly improbable that they are intending to make you feel bad.  Remembering that can help you roll, silently, with the punches.

When you have a problem that’s overwhelming, tackle it bite at a time.  If you have to walk on eggs around someone important in your life, be creative enough to find another route.

 

8. MUSIC & QUOTES

It has been proven that music makes one healthier, smarter and happier. This is such a news flash to the uninitiated that it was a head line on a city newspaper early in 2008.  This can be singing it, listening to it, playing it, composing it, performing it and teaching it. 

Some people have said about music:

            - Music is the divine way to tell beautiful things to the heart

                                    Pablo Casals

- The whole problem can be stated quite simply by asking: “Is there a meaning to music?”  My answer would be “yes.”.  And can you state what the meaning is?”  My answer would be ‘No.’.

                                    Aaron Copland

- I merely took the energy to pout and wrote the blues;

                        Duke Ellington

-         Canned music is like edible wallpaper.

Alistair Cooke

 

9. IT IS NOBLER TO OPPOSE

Shakespeare said it all!  When you feel like you are “suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”, it is nobler to oppose and END them.  This takes courage and it also takes the wisdom to know that you need not accept what you can’t accept.

Pythagoras said that the oldest, shortest words – yes and no - are those which require the most thought.  Shakespeare, The Serenity Prayer and Pythagoras have in common that it’s okay to say NO when you can’t say ‘yes’. 

Only you are the one who is aware that you can’t say ‘yes’.  Others can think what they want about the issue, but they aren’t the ones who can’t accept the situation.

It is intriguing that there is a legal rider which can be signed giving another party the power to say NO over your property with no justification.  Since it’s inconceivable that the controllers of your property could be saying NO without thought, one can only assume that they feel the one being denied is incapable of comprehension of rational justifications.  In such a case, OPPOSING is the only answer!!

Unfortunate, but true!  Being brave and noble is nothing ever to be ashamed of.

 

10. PASSION

People growing up have a passion.  Their passion can be to ride a bike, to read, to help their parents, to be independent, etc.  Passion is how we learn and how we accomplish.  It is also how we manage to get time to pass without awareness.  Adults seem to lose that element of passion in their lives.    Their passions of golf, bridge, poker, fishing, getting raises at work,  having the nicest house on the block and so on don’t deserve the name “passion”.

One man is unique in the passion he has.  This passion is not justifiable, not remunerative, but he’s passionate about doing something just for the sake of doing it.  This man has hand-made a 39% sized Maserati replica.  He has made every part himself.  It is a beauty to behold!  Many viewers asked if it was able to be driven.  Tired of saying NO, he is now hand manufacturing an engine from the original plans on a scaled down basis so it fits in his Masserati.

He is passionate for spending the time in his life doing something just for the sake of doing it.  For the rest of us, we need to have a reason for the doing anything, let alone such a painstaking, time consuming and exacting task.

While in a passion, time, the world and personal problems disappear.  While there, the purpose of life is not a mystery.

 

11. BE THERE

Most parents will always be there for their offspring when they have a legitimate need.  That expression ‘be there’ is emotional, financial, supportive and understanding.  For some people, ‘be there’ is actually being there physically as well as emotionally.

Because example is the best teacher, the parents who are “there” for their off spring are setting a parenting example also. 

“I’ll be there for you” predominately implies advice, empathy and a soldier to cry on.  By using this language properly, that expression means so much more.  It’s a credit to the offspring who is trying desperately for independence, as we all are, to be able to accept them ‘being there’.  To accept that graciously is a sterling example to that person’s own offspring and so you won’t be in deprived when you age and have the need for your offspring to be there for you.  “What goes around, comes around.”

 

12. ROCKY ROAD EQUIPMENT

Everybody has a patch of their life journey that is a rocky road.  Some people’s rocky patch is huge.  As they cross that rocky strip their attitude can resign themselves to knowing they’ll never make it, their mood can be full of self-pity and their life is completely unproductive.  Nature and nurture are what seem to tip the scales in the rocky road traveler’s favor.

Three people that have made it over a rocky road with their spirit intact have the same genes.  Those genes aren’t even Levis!  Their attitude has carried the day for them.  This attitude is because of nurture, but one believes nature has a huge part because of their common genes they each had from being related.

We must do our best with what we’ve got, all the time, but those who haven’t had the rocky road don’t even know if they can take whatever comes their way.  These people with the rocky road know they can take anything and handle it as well as any other person could.  Challenges should be welcomed!

This editor has had a rocky road and can go that extra mile whenever needed.

 

13. PHOTOGRAPHS AS ART

What makes a good photographer?  Anybody can do it and anybody is pleased to show their result to anybody else.

Photography is an art form and requires as much effort as a painter uses putting oil on a canvas.  Such photographic art can be viewed of real things photographed by Kersti Abawi.  The address where they can be viewed and ordered is www.primarypointimages.com. 

The renown photographer, Ansel Adams, says meaningfully: “”I have even thought that if photography were difficult in the true sense of the term – meaning that the creation of a simple photograph would entail as much time and effort as the production of a good water-colour or etching – there would be a vast improvement in the total effort.  The sheer ease with which we can produce a superficial image often leads to creative disaster.”  

Kersti Abawi is an artist!

 

14. ACCEPTANCE & BIGOTRY

When there is anything we cannot change, it is vital to accept it.  Some people actually don’t want anyone to know they have cancer.  When it’s not contagious, that’s hard to understand.  Maybe they feel it puts them on a lower rung of the human ladder, so their pride forces them to keep it a secret.  It doesn’t though.  We are all human and may be struck by any human condition.

Once you can accept that you have any condition, you are not trying to hide it or be triumphant over it by ignoring it.  That is a loser’s game.  Presume that you were female and wanted no one to know that thing about you.  You could happily become a cross-dresser.  Is that sane or accepting of reality?

It is equally inane to have a condition and be proud of it.  You can be proud of how you cope with it.

If people can never mention your condition around you that can make them feel like such a bigot, their best ploy for their own sanity is to avoid you.

Everybody’s different and let’s each try to make anyone comfortable being around us.  We may have a phobia about anyone knowing our condition or mentioning it.   That is our problem, not their problem.

Oscar Peterson encountered bigotry in Toronto where he wasn’t allowed to live downtown.  He easily got a place in Mississauga outside Toronto, and would NEVER live anywhere else while he was alive.  He repaid bigotry with his own bigotry about never living there.  It does seem appropriate to repay bigotry with bigotry.  Good for Oscar Peterson!

A sad side of meeting bigotry with bigotry is that a person was caught between this prejudicial animal.  While institutionalized, she was treated in a bigoted fashion by social workers because of inadvertent damage that had befallen her.  On release from that situation, she couldn’t avoid plastering all social workers she heard about or met with that same brush.  She became bigoted towards bigots.  There’s something wrong with that picture!

 

15. EGOCENTRICITY AND SPEECHES

Most people are nervous when giving a speech in front of a group of people.  For this editor, it is a piece of cake!  There are some reasons for this which will be shared with you:    

a) While orating, the group she is orating to a captive audience so she doesn’t need to feel like a nonentity who people would prefer not to listen to.

b) Her low self-esteem is an absolute bonus.  Most orators are nervously worried about what the audience is going to think of them.  She knows that no member of the audience can possibly think less of her than she does of herself.

c) Because her disability broke her retrieval mechanism, she is completely comfortable reading from a text of her speech.   It is akin to a person feeling comfortable wearing glasses because they need to.

d) To any questions, she can say ‘I don’t know’ with aplomb and expects the understanding of others who know her challenges.

Thus her disability is a perfect asset for orations.  She has yakkability, knows no one can think worse of her than she does of herself, her text removes any fear of getting rattled about what she’s going to say next and there’s no way any question can present her with a problem.

 

16. LEGAL COST

A person got a huge legal compensation from the government which was held in trust.  This person was , some few years later advised by her lawyer to visit their offices to sign papers, completely irrelevant to the trust, that were connected with her divorce.  In her reply to the lawyer, she indicated that their fee for this was hereby authorized to come from her trust.  ‘Her’ trustee was copied on this note to forestall the efficacious comment of ‘No.  That’s not in your parameters’ or ‘No.  That’s not what the award was intended for.’  Her written comment of authorization was made to forestall such comments.  After all, since the trustee had ‘unfettered discretion’ on trust expenditures, use of her trust fund to pay the divorce cost was being fettered as well as she could.

She aped herself by doing the same thing with her accounting bill for her personal income tax preparation.  Regrettably, no specific notice needed to be given by the trustee to let the beneficiary know such, not what other, amounts were being paid from her trust.  Because the accountant umbrella was wide, perhaps her trust fund paid for many other non-trust accounting charges.  Ignorance is bliss?

 

17. ETHOS

Some people don’t steal or kill because it is in contravention of our judicial system.  Others don’t steal or kill because it is not the right thing to do.  While similar behaviour is important for compatibility, the reason for the ethos is what gives rise to the aura we all have. 

As their defense, some thieves can actually believe they steal because their mother didn’t bring them up properly.  That may be part of the story, but the thief’s aura is the more significant part.

Some people can detect aura by seeing a colour around a person.  Some people can detect aura by the feeling it generates in them.   It seems likely that lower animal forms, like dogs, can detect it instantly and shun it or bite it.  When you feel negative about a person or about a group, the best thing to do is to leave.  Listen to yourself and don’t taint your own aura.  Keep it untainted.  Listen to your animal nature.

Some people take a time-out when they don’t wish to be somewhere.  That time-out can be because of something in themselves or something in another person.  When this is necessary, we should never lie.  Say something like “I don’t want to be here anymore.” instead of anything that is a meaningless lie like ‘I haven’t time to stay here.’

To be true to ourselves, we must be true to the other person too.  Lies belie the ethos of the liar so that their aura becomes tainted.

A simple analogy would be that people with a complementary aura are tuned in on the same wave-length.  When people of the same family aren’t tuned in like that, it seems to demonstrate that nature is prevalent over nurture.  What!  With the same genes and the same upbringing, how could that possibly be!  We’ll have to put Erle Stanley Gardener on that case!

 

18. DIFFERENCES

People often disagree.  That is natural because we’re each different and have different viewpoints.  However some differences don’t need to feel like they are demeaning, belittling or making you unacceptable.  If others say that this person is better because his parents helped him while you say that person’s better because of the help he gave himself, it doesn’t mean you have a disagreement.  It can be considered an either/or situation.  It can mean that the parenting would have seemed scanty if the person weren’t who is.  It can also mean that the person wouldn’t be who he is if the parents hadn’t helped him. 

Many differences are simply either/or situations.

As another example, a person could say ‘This room is very dark’ if they’d just come inside from staring at the sun.  Another person could say ‘This room is very bright’ if they’d come into the room from total blackness.  Neither person is wrong nor are they belittling the others viewpoint.  They have different view points because of their different perspectives.

 

19.WHAT’S IN A NAME?

It’s strange that when you meet a Barbara, a Fred, a Gail, a Susan or a Tom you have a reasonable idea of what they’re like.  How strange that is!  That same concept can be applied to literary titles.  After all, would Coleridge’s THE ANCIENT MARINER have endured in such a noted fashion if the author had called it THE OLD SAILOR.

A rose by any other name is still a rose, so why do names seem so significant. 

This editor has a doctor called Payne and a lawyer called Virtue.  Is it conceivable that occupations are chosen to match one’s name!

It seems sensible and straightforward to choose an offspring’s name from one’s family.  That, though, makes genealogical trees less straightforward to understand, prepare and make sense of.  It’s weird to imagine if Shakespeare’s surname had been Smith!  Even Hamlet couldn’t have been called Tom with the same dramatic result?

 

20. TWELVE POINT PROGRAM

The Twelve Point program is a philosophical program that helps anybody get serenity in whatever circumstances they are in.  They can have been in a gross pickle, but this program is their life raft.  The benefit of each of the points isn’t apparent for a while.  Once one is immersed in such a program, insights come which bring such peace.  Those insights are a result of following one of the twelve points. 

One of the Points is “admitting to yourself and another person the wrongs you have done.”  One can read that step and admit all their wrongs up to that point.  That accomplishes a minimal amount of peace.  That point is saying what you would always do during your life.  When there is a tiff about something, then you then realize that your words had been misinterpreted and therefore caused the rift.  The other person was also at fault by taking your words the wrong way.  However, that’s not your problem.  You must only focus on your own wrong.  If you E-mail that other person owning up to the fact that your words were at the root of the tiff, you feel incredibly lighter.  You owned up to your part in the misunderstanding.  You have cleansed yourself by such owning up.  It may, or may not, be that the other person is also relieved and is glad you admitted your own role.  Once they have that relief, they may apologize for their own misinterpretation.  If they do, that’s icing on the cake.  However, the cake is that you took the step of admitting your wrong.

This program offers signposts along life’s path.  When you heed the signpost, you may not realize the point that you were applying nor be aware that you were even applying it.  Your awareness doesn’t matter, but your serenity does!  It is interesting that a synonym for the ‘owning up’ step is “confess”.  It always feels better not to hold bad things inside yourself to go rancid there.  Owning up and confessing are so cathartic they are a gift to embrace.

Many human beings scoff at the Twelve Point program when one of their family is attending it.    Hopefully, their ignorance is their bliss.  This program can’t be legitimately scoffed at by anybody for any reason.  Such scoffing is very akin to scoffing at a life jacket!

 

21. COMMUNICATION SYNDROME

When one makes a phone call, they can always call back if the phone’s not answered.  One knows if the person is unavailable because of the unanswered ring.  The dire thing about the new communication service of E-mail isn’t so kind. 

You may send an E-mail to a person and never know if they’ve received it or not.  If you assume they have and you get no responding message, how much time should you let go by before you resend them the message?   There is no right answer.  You may re-send after a week and that will get greeted with a degree of annoyance.  It will seem to some as if you’re ‘bombarding’ them with messages.  Some people get such a vast number of E-mails a day that you wonder when they get a chance to pass water.  When you send a message, the problems can be immense:

-         The person has too many to go through so yours is just treated like ‘one of a crowd’.

-         On a priority basis, your may come at the bottom of the barrel, even though it is at the top of your barrel.

-         Time for replying may be a problem.  For some, there ability to both type and compose is so laborious, they must devote at least 30 minutes to acknowledging you, thus they don’t bother.

-         They may not remotely care about your problem, information, or wonderment as they have judged you as being basically irrelevant to their life.

-         Their or your system may have a virus or a server problem, which means your message & their reply went into dead air.

-         They may have been captured by extraterrestrials or gone on a moon walk, so have never gotten your message nor are likely to.

Some kind souls have a button they can press which sends back a message that they’re not able to get to your message for a certain time period, but tells you they actually got it.  Some others have a message which advises that they are not going to answer you.

When we press ‘send’, we’ve no choice but to join in with their game of prioritizing, ignoring or going to the john.  For some people who have retrieval challenge, their problem is twofold.  They wonder if they did actually send the thing that wasn’t answered.  They wonder if the answer came but was forgotten.  They can laboriously check to see if they actually did send the thing they want an answer to.  When they learn they did last week, they believe that’s enough time for a human to have replied.  They are caught between the rock and the hard place of generating annoyance by reminding them again or being patient thereby forgetting what they wanted to know.

Since actions speak louder than words, one wonders what the message is from a family who are collectively unique in being silent as opposed to friends and acquaintances who are polite as a matter of course.  Of course, when the sender is disabled, family can know that they have a life while the sender obviously doesn’t have a life.  Perhaps that IS the message family is trying to get across.  If so, let them rest on their egos!  It certainly is fortuitous that this Newsletter is in the third person so with no mention made of the names of the Communication Abusers.

 

22. SILENT PLAYS

Before television, there were plays performed on radio.  Because there was no vision, the words had to be very descriptive of what was going on.  In one case, there was a play with a robber in it.  The robber said ‘Put your hands up.  I’m pointing a gun at you and it’s loaded.’

 

23. YOU CAN TAKE WHAT COMES

If you know yourself, you know that you can take whatever comes your way.  William Ernest Henley wrote a poem called INVICTUS which lets you know that you are captain of your soul and the master of your fate.  Invictus is a Latin word which means invincible and unconquered.  This poem is worth learning so it can be emblazoned in your soul for whenever you need to hold your head up high.  The words can be googled or supplied by this editor on request.  This poem closes with ‘I am master of my fate; I am captain of my soul”!

 

24. SOLITARY CONFINEMENT

There was a time in this fair land when the death sentence was abolished and replaced by solitary confinement.  It certainly was arguable whether living alone was better than being killed.  Many would rather die that be confined solitarily for life.

From this perspective, it is interesting to think of astronauts.  They volunteer for a space trip to a distant planet and are honored to be selected.  They, though, are volunteering to endure solitary confinement for the lengthy duration of the space adventure.  They have no gravity, no rhythm of day and night, nothing and no one.  They don’t even have time to clock off their progress but must be in solitary for what must seem like an eternity with no ending.

Just as those who have been abused by institutionalization must go through de-institutionalization, similarly, astronauts must need de-spacing.

We know that if you don’t use it, you lose it.  There would have been so much that is unused in space, like speech, smell, taste, temperature, balance, hearing that so much of that unused stuff would no longer be usable on return to solid ground.  It seems reasonable to presume that astronauts to Jupiter would be eligible for disability on their return to this planet.  Is science worth it!!

 

25. PORN FOR WOMEN

A book cover shows a man vacuuming the living room.  Some of the books bon mots are:

- A man in the kitchen says “I made some lamb tenderloin with garlic and black pepper and Indonesian soy sauce for dinner.  I hope that sounds OK.

            - From bed in the middle of the night, a man says ‘Is that the baby?  I’ll get her.”

- A man with a kitchen bag in his hand says ‘As long as I have legs to walk on, you’ll NEVER take out the garbage.”

- A man reading the paper and smiling says ‘Oh. Look, the NFL playoffs are tonight.  I bet we‘ll have no trouble parking at the craft show.”

            - A smiling man says “Let’s take you shoe shopping!”

-         A man in the bathroom puts the lid down on the toilet while saying ‘I don’t want anyone falling in the middle of the night.”

-         A man comes into his home carrying flowers.  His words are “I don’t have to have a reason to bring you flowers.”

-         A man in a car says to a person in the passenger seat “Hold that thought a second.  I want to pull over to ask for directions.”

 

26. MISLEADING LANGUAGE SUCKS!

It is awesome to receive letters that begin with a mask of their true meaning.  Such letters can begin ‘In my humble opinion….’, ‘With all due respect…..’, ’Very interesting.’, and similar meaningless movement of dead air on the written page.    A Dilbert cartoon spoke well to this meaning masking.  In the cartoon, a man says to his boss “I’ll tell you my idea if you promise not to reject it without thinking about it.”  The boss says “I’ve already rejected it because only putrid ideas come with that language.”  The boss then goes into his CEO and tells him “My time management is getting better.”.  The CEO says “I can’t pretend to care.”

 

27. USSR

The USSR was a world power of the stature of the USA, even though it occupied more square feet of this planet.  It was comparable to USA in the United Nations, in the Cold War, in the Space Race and in influence.  The USSR died and was reduced to Russia while a person was institutionalized.  To discover this on her institutional release let her know that she was either in a purgatory equivalent or in a spot that was completely removed from the world, news and humanity.  The word “institution” says it all.  Institutions are very equivalent to jail, although, jail is preferable in that you have a sentence so know when you’ll be released. 

To learn of the death of a major power in the world only once released is gruesome, unfair and cruel.   The equivalent would be a person, on release from an institution, learning that USA had become reduced to Washington & Cape Cod.  It is not physically painful but it underscores the fact that you were/are a nonentity with no rights and knowledge.  It makes it evident why you are demeaningly labeled as a person with a reality problem.  STOP THIS WORLD, I WANT TO GET OFF!

 

27. RUSSIAN FRIVOLITY

A person was recently at a resort in Cuba, where there were a great percentage of guests were Russians.  All Russians encountered asserted their English literacy.  A fellow guest, when she heard each proclamation, said to the Russian: “My mother was a Russian.  My father was a Russian.  However, I’m in no hurry.”  That remark was consistently greeted by the question “What part of Russia?’  That remark was funnier than her quip!

 

28. LIGHT VERSE

OUR GAY COW

In Berkshire, where we live now

            Barbara bought home a dairy cow.

            She won it in a raffle – Hip Hip Hooray.

            You know what, that cow was gay.

 

            “I can’t take it back” she said to me.

            No matter what sex it will be

            What will we do with a cow that’s gay?”

            “I guess” she said, “we’ll try and milk it every day.”

 

            We lodged the cow in our own back yard

            When our neighbour started looking real hard.

            He asked “DFoes that animal eat up your grass?”

            “Yes” I said as bold as brass.

 

            “Eats up your grass” he said with a grin.

            “Yes” I said “and it drinks lots of gin”

            “Drinks lots of gin” he said with a grin.

            “Drink lots of gin” he said. “What a cow.

            Can it sing and dance? Can it pull a plow?”

 

            Look-ah here smarty, I said with disgust.’

            This cow will save me money or I will go bust.

            I started thinking : Oh lord what a day.

            Here I am stuck with a cow that is gay.

 

            The very next morning, the cow let out a moo.

            From its rear end some light sparks flew

            I grabbed my extinguisher, sprayed it’s behind.

            The gay cow exploded, there was nothing left to find.

 

            So please take a lesson, pick a cow that aint gay.

            Then the neighhbours won’t have nothing to say

            After it exploded, I was left in despair

Then my neighbour sued me for losing his hair.

 

            I got the blame for the whole darn mess

            The neighbour won the case and I can’t say “God bless”

            Now I can’t understand how a cow can disappear

            With one big blast into the atmosphere.

 

            Barbara aint buying any more of them Raffles.

            Oh lord, I just can’t cope with all of the hassles

            Especially when you win a cow that’s gay

            After a big moo, it’s all blown away.

Amen

                                                            - Alex Robertson

           

29. CRUTCHES

Crutches help people to get around.  They also help people get through life.  When people don’t like the way they are or the way their life is going they, unfortunately, come up with an excuse for the reason.  This excuse can be a psychological crutch that helps them cope.  This psychological crutch can be their way of validating their excuse.  They are the only ones who can determine that.  Perhaps their crutch isn’t an excuse but is a reason.  No one has any right to judge.

“Throwing away a crutch brings out the best in you!” is a flawed truism.  It must specify whether the crutch is an excuse or a reason.

 

31.    THE BEST LANGUAGE IS PRECISE

A person gets the gears frequently because her interpretation of language is precise.  We should each be direct and say what we mean unless we’re trying to pull the wool over someone’s eyes or over our own eyes.  It is interesting to look at her flaw from the perspective of legal beagles.  They are masters of precise language and abolishers of doubt about what they are saying.  We should all be like that, regardless of anyone’s view that it is a “flaw”.

A legal beagle, when commenting on a question concerning eye witness identification and conflict of interest made the following sentence as part of his brief comment: “The fact that a witness had a bias towards or against a particular racial group could be used to impeach his/her credibility in a case where he/she identifies a member of that racial group as being the perpetrator of a crime.”  That sentence seems like it can be taken apart because racial bias is not a provable fact about anyone.  It is a sense, an impression, hearsay, etc., but it is not a fact.  However, it becomes apparent that that sentence by the legal beagle cannot be taken apart that way.  It is stating that the racial bias as a fact about the witness, could impeach their credibility.  That person had been told that so, that fact was being addressed.  The subjunctive nature of that sentence and its dependence on the information supplied makes it eminently acceptable to anyone.  You can take that to court!

 

ALZHEIMER’S ANTIDOTES

1, Exploit at length advantageously (8)

2. Positions assumed by a duettist (9)

3. Gateshead girl became a tumbler (5)

4. Swindler has to show regret and go back inside (5)

5. One generates power for lots turning up in the party (6)

6. So American a composer (5)

7. In fact, exam is very much disliked (8)

8. It enables one to turn ones hand to many things (5)

9. Sharpens games up (6)

10. Cook went around New Zealand in state of violent excitement (6)

 

 

1, usefully 2.attitudes 3.glass 4.rogue 5.dynamo 6. Sousa 7.detested 8.wrist 9. strops 10. frenzy

 

FEED BACK AND EDITOR’S ADDRESS

The author, Marilyn Macmillan, can be reached by mail at 80 Ridout St. S., #307, London, N6C 5H7 or by E-mail at marilynsmusing@execulink.com.

Feedback is always welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marilyn's Musings