Aristocracy stymied corptocracy

European countries do not kowtow to corporations the way the United States does. In the US, the corporations own the politicians and they do the bidding of the plutocrats and the oligarchs — you know, the share holders and board members.

But European countries don’t let corporations run the show. And I wondered why this is.

Could it be that because Europe has had the bad taste in its collective mouth regarding kings and queens through the ages, that when it came time to form democratic governments they KNEW how to construct rules of government that limited the power of the powerful?

In the US, the new aristocracy are the corporate plutocrats that run and pay for government. The Koch asshats, and their ilk. When the corporations were just beginning to become “a thing” in the US, the likes of the robber barons, the train tycoons, the oil and steel magnates (Rockefeller and Morgan) we tried to handle them and the monopolies they formed (as all true capitalistic enterprises will eventually try to do). But when dozens, then hundreds and then tens of thousands of corporations and the power they wielded rose and demanded control of the country, its resources and its wealth — US Citizens had NO IDEA what to do? Why? Because we’d never had tyrants trying to run our lives for century after century.

So, is the United States just an aristocratic victim in the making because there’s no way that the plutocrats in power are going to relinquish that power? Or, like Europeans, can we learn to control the corptocracy?


Tonight the world explodes

Tonight is the 4th of July.

Of course the whole day has been the Fourth, but it’s the night that rings in the actual event. Did I say “rings” I should say detonates! Destroys! Explodes!

And I have to wonder — where in the HELL do these people get their fireworks? Russia?

Criminy! If this doesn’t sound like Mosul during Iraqi Freedom, or the war against Isis and the associated put-you-in-a-box-and-send-you-to-the-bottom-of-the-sea, I don’t know what does.

BOOM! Crap! That just made me dive for cover. And I’m am NOT trained for this. Well, I am couch-trained by Hollywood. Is that enough? “INCOMING!”

Crackle-snap-pop… It sounds like Rice-Krispies made out of potassium nitrate and charcoal. Sheesh! Was that a SCUD missile?

Yo! North Korea! You know, you’re trying to send a wee-little-bomb over the whole damn Pacific ocean to hit Amazon and our good ol’ capitalist friend Jeff Bezos with one of your makeshift DukeNukem’s? Um, yeah! That ain’t gonna happen, yo! Hell, Jeff himself has got better rocketry than you do! And his buddy Elon? Yeah! Say goodnight MOON!


There should be a law…

NOT that the world needs more laws… But…

Tupperware should be normalized.

There, I said it. I’m a, what am I? I’m a consumer!

How many different type, sizes, colors, shapes, depths, lids, cavities, volumes do you own that try to enclose — in plastic — your coveted leftovers? I KNOW for a fact you have at least two different styles of containers in your cupboards.

I would wager, (like a lot, like $50) that you have MORE than two. In fact, I’d bet that you have — OK, OK, get ready — FIVE different strange, funky, some are your’s, some are neighbor’s, some are, “where the hell did this come from” containers. Am I right?

Hell yes I’m right.

So, damn Tupperware! Rubbermade (or maid) (or mayde), get your shit together! Save the planet from the plastico-armageddon! Make all your stuff with STANDARD dimensions. And don’t give me no SAE measurements yo! I’m saying metric here. Cuz, you know, metric ain’t no size of someone’s got-damned shoe!

Are you feeling me Tuppermade? I CAN’T HEAR YOU! (Burp! — still good!)


Writers commune

If I told you that the world was about to to end, and that it was due to a mad man having taken over a fusion reactor, and that he had pointed the beam of energy at the center of the Earth and he was about to switch it on and you — YES YOU — had to communicate to your friends, your family, your town your country, THE WORLD, that this was about to happen, in-the-fewest-words-possible, describe what was to happen… Could you?

See? Exactly! That’s the point. Novelists. Writers. Need to communicate to their readers IN-THE-FEWEST-WORDS-POSSIBLE, the intent of their story ——- at all times.

That means that writers must commune. They must communicate PRECISELY. They must get to their point, with the fewest words possible.

Because, you know, the world is ending and you don’t want to mince words, or waste them, or time, or effort. HELL! The world is ENDING! So get on with it already!

So, remember, when you’re writing, you MUST say what you want to say, what you want your characters to say, with the fewest words possible. WHAT?

GET TO THE POINT — quickly!

Like now.

And you know that humans are wont to hem and haw and couch their problems in a way that makes them palatable to their audience. BUT DON’T!

JUST BLOODY SAY IT – and this is the key – PRECISELY.

I’m done. Later!


ET is an asshole

If intelligent extra terrestrial beings exist, and they have access to Earth, then they’re assholes. Hear me out…

If IETs (intelligent extra terrestrials) exist then they have the where-with-all to:
first) get here — across light years of space,
second) understand that we too are an intelligent race, and
third) intervene if they so choose, given their vast advances in technology.

  • Let’s assume they exist.
  • Let’s assume they know about us.
  • Let’s assume they have visited us (and are currently visiting us).
  • And let’s assume they’re not refugees, or small bands of wanderers, or scout/archeologists.

That is, they are a presence in the galaxy (or universe). They’re a real space faring race with the power and technology to affect their world — and ours. They’ve got it goin’ on.

If the IETs are aggressors, or bandits, or  conquers or bad dudes — then of course they’re assholes. So we can exclude those automatically.

But, if they’re not, if they’re peaceful, and inquisitive explorers (like I would expect Earthlings to be were we to someday explore the galaxy) then why the hell haven’t they come down and helped us? They must see us struggling down here; at each other’s throats; destroying our own world; over-populating it, polluting it, eating it up, killing off untold species. Yet they sit up there and WATCH?

“Oh, the Prime Directive says hands off.” What bullshit! What kind of race watches another race kill themselves when they could intervene and ameliorate the situation? Oh yeah — assholes.

Even if they don’t have the full capacity to help everyone, they must know that humanity is fraught with racial, gender and economic stresses that are tearing at the very fiber of our civilization; and that simply “knowing” they (IETs) exist would unite humanity under the umbrella of Homo Sapien Sapiens. Yet they do nothing? Why? Oh yeah – because they’re assholes.

And if they really don’t want to publicly denounce their Prime Directive, they could very easily “influence” a few engineers here and there to guide them on how to produce fusion, or anti-gravity, or some other advanced energy generation technology. Sneak down and whisper in their ears… Hell, whisper in Elon Musk’s ear. But have they? Will they? No they haven’t and won’t. Why? Because they’re assholes.

So, either intelligent extra terrestrial species don’t exist — or they’re all assholes.

 


Media content tags

Rather than brand media (film, television, novels, art) with assumed age guestimations

G, PG, PG-13, PG-17, R, X, Adult, Young Adult, Middlegrade, Childrens, Mature Audience, General Audience, and so-on-and-so-forth, we should simply state what is contained within the media and then mark the following checkboxes (or initialisms) on the labels.

  • XSX: explicit sexual situations
  • ISX: implied sexual situations
  • XNU: explicit nudity
  • BNU: brief nudity
  • XDU: explicit drug and/or alcohol use
  • IDU: implied drug and/or alcohol use
  • XLA: profane language
  • SLA: strong language
  • XVI: explicit violence
  • SVI: strong violence
  • MVI: violence against minors
  • XMO: explicit mortality
  • IMO: implied mortality
  • XCB: explicit criminal behavior
  • ICB: implied criminal behavior

Using such a list would standardize all media regardless of form. Then, rather than have media judged by some arbitrary age restriction (what IS a young adult novel anyway?) the consumer could know the content parameters (or metadata) and choose for themselves (or their children).

Want to watch the movie Fury? Well, Fury would be: ISX, XLA, XVI, MVI, XMO
Harry Potter novels? IDU, SVI, IMO (some are XMO)
Bambi? IMO
Raiders of the Lost Ark? XDU, SLA, XVI, XMO

Are there a few other tags we should include? XAX – extreme anxiety inducing perhaps?
Want to tag a few more media items?
Your thoughts?

 


We’ve seen it all

Through narrative, lead us with nuance and innuendo for we can already see the land, the room, the crowds, the forest. We are programmed to visualize stories. We’ve all seen so many movies and shows that every possible setting you, as an author, could imagine has already been witnessed. So nudge us with your words — we’ll fill in the rest.

~~~

She’s tall. He’s not. She can fight. He can run. She’s stubborn, fierce, dark-skinned and gorgeous. He’s none of these. He possesses skills and patience. The child standing between them, peering down into the valley and its smoking fields and piles of debris, holds onto their hands. Their journey, directed by the child, has brought them to this edge, this next decision.

“Will we find it here?” the man asks, gesturing at the destruction below, his right hand wrapped in protective tape.

“No,” the girl replies. Her tire-tread sandals flap loudly when she walks, and the rags she wears smell of stale urine. She seeks and identifies the pool and its attached mound of rocks, both features large enough to be seen from their vantage point.

“Then why risk poking through the trash and the bodies of missock, and infected krek?” The woman’s irritability could be excused; last night’s disturbance allowed her little sleep.

“Tana, Vink, come.” The girl tugs their hands and walks down the broken roadway, her slapping steps muffled by the tangled jungle to either side. “We must help. I must help.”

~~~

Can you see it? Have you visualized the woman, the man, the child? The village below? the child’s garb, the man’s bandaged hand? The pool and destroyed whatever near it? The broken road and the jungle?

In less than 200 words we’ve been thrust into a story with hardly any description. Yet we can see it, feel it, smell it almost.

Perhaps prior to the last few generations, prior to 1960 let’s say, stories needed much more evocative description. We needed to be told what this scene looked like — in detail. Readers had never seen a tall Amazonian huntress, or a burning jungle village, or a child in sandals and rags, or even a man’s hand  wrapped in bandage (tape?). Of course some had. And no doubt many could have read the above and deduced much.

But today? Every reader will have visually experienced all of the above through movie and television. This is a given. So I say, let’s use this common awareness and prior visualization to our benefit. Let’s leverage, in our narrative, the fact that everyone who might read our stories has already seen a craggy mountain, a rushing muddy river, a barren desert, a darkened bat filled cave, a closet full of toys, a thundercloud, an exploding starship. Sure some of these things will have special attributes, and those should not be assumed to exist, must be told and described. But in general I think we can skip much of what used to be required to tell a story and jump straight into the conflict, the intrigue and mystery.