Let Your Freak Flag Fly
(Theme song to The Dukes Of Hazzard)
Just’a good ol’ boys
Never meanin’ no harm
Spendin’ all their summer days
With a pig in the barn
Makin’ their way
The only way they know how
By tryin’ to milk a bull
Just’a same as a cow
I’m a visionary. Decades ago I thought the Confederate Flag was as queer as a three dollar bill. It just took a while for this notion to become trendy enough for y’all to take it down.
I have a few words to say on the subject. As you can probably reckon from the subtle opening, I’m here to treat the topic with all the reverence that it deserves. I’m also going to try to avoid repeating all the same tired arguments we’ve heard from both sides of the issue.
A national Gallup poll this month found that 32% of Democrats and 78% of Republicans view the flag as a symbol of “Southern pride” rather than one of “racism.” Let that stick in your craw for a bit.
At the same time, 64% of whites favored the “Southern pride” view while only 19% of blacks felt the same way. Ya think?
Seldom are numbers so astonishingly black and white.
Keepin’ It Reality Yo
As a person that constitutes a form of life (or so I assume) there are two realities that I’m reasonably sure exist:
- My own (that I’m fairly familiar with)
- All that other shits
Note: If you get lumped in with the latter group please don’t take it personally. I don’t make the rules.
Even with the stark duality of this view, however, I imagine certain explorations into that other realm where y’all live are still possible.
For example, using inference, deduction and other external stimuli, I can attempt to discern what’s going on in that gray matter you recklessly call a brain. Clues might include things like your primitive vocalizations, ritualistic dance and other movements, and how you are adorned.
That plumage on your head in the form of a fedora speaks volumes. I interpret that as a rather pronounced attempt to establish position within your group. Am I right? Judging actual intent of other life forms can be tricky. It’s always murky guesswork. But I’m pretty sure I nailed it.
I mentioned to my wife the other day that I would deliberately do the opposite of what I really wanted if I perceived that it might be perceived by other people as an attempt to be cool. Think about it. That’s a very deep thought. I’d literally do the exact opposite of what I want, which, by definition, is that which I hate.
I’m committed. And now, a brief case study.
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You Don’t Know Polite
Why does shit like this happen to me? (This is my version of the “dark and stormy” night opening as a literary device.)
My wife and I were out to dinner and having our usually jolly time. Things were clicking. My jokes were firing on all cylinders. I was witty. Our repartee was fast and furious on a highly intellectual level.
As we exited the restaurant I was feeling pretty good. (It could happen.) I saw four people behind us. They were far enough back that I could have let the door close and no slight would have been perceived. I decided to be nice and waited to hold open the door.
They came through single file. As she passed, the first person actually said, I kid you not, “Thank you.”
Wow. It’s a modern day miracle. I’m now that much closer to sainthood. I was momentarily stunned and at a loss for words. As quickly as I could I responded with, “You’re welcome.”
Oops. By then the third person was already walking by. She heard what I said and turned and looked at me. With dagger eyes. Of hatred and death.
Ah. She thought I was talking to her and assumed I was being snotty because she decidedly did not bother to say thank you.
Good intentions: 0. Crass misunderstandings: 1.
Bad form, Mr. Smee. Bad form.
And now some politeness tips from yours truly.
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Neutral Universe Theory
Behold my latest creation: Neutral Universe Theory. Or, as I like to call it, NUT.
I scientifically debated calling it Negativity Universe Theory. It would have been just as nutty. But, in the end, the word “negativity” implies a point of view and I don’t think the Universe really gives that much of a shit. Besides, like I’ve always said, recognizing that things are the way they are isn’t negative at all. It’s known as “reality.” A little place you should visit sometime.
So what’s in the Universe? Matter and energy. Like Carl Sagan said, we’re made of the same “stuff” as stars. Hand in hand with this is the Law of the Conservation of Energy which states “the total energy of an isolated system cannot change – it is said to be conserved over time.”
Therefore, the stuff in the Universe is a zero sum game. Nothing is created or destroyed. It just gets reorganized.
What else can be found in the Universe? Besides matter and energy? A core component of NUT is the belief in life and all that goes with it. Things like emotion, thought, and pain. “I hurts, therefore I exist. Sometimes I just hurts.” This is the realm of all that is not energy and is not matter. It’s something else.
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I can be naked in front of my cat without being self-conscious. I am secure in how my cat feels about me and I know that there isn’t any judgement or opinion there. Just pure love. And the feeling is mutual.
Then I worry. What if heaven exists? And what if I get there and find that my cat is waiting for me. And what if she can talk and we have fantastic conversations? And what if one day she says, “Hey, dude. You know all those times you undressed in front of me and I meowed? That was cat language for ‘ugly naked.’ We were trying to get you to stop torturing us. True story.”
I don’t think I would like that. Yeah, like I need more things to worry about.
The point is: Can you ever know what someone else is really thinking? And even when they tell you outright they’re still probably lying. It’s what we humans do.
So why should it matter what they think?