The Earth is Flat in Indiana

Not too long ago I was talking to a friend of mine and .somehow we got onto the subject of science.  After a little pause he said to me that he’d found somebody who believed the Earth was flat.

You must mean a creationist who believes the Earth is 5,000 years old, i say.

No!  He says emphatically.  This guy believes the Earth is flat!

Was he just pulling your appendage?

No, he says, shaking his head.  This guy believes it because the world looks flat so it must be flat.  I just didnt know what to say to that.

Was he psychotic?

Not as far as I know.

Then dont engage him, I say.  The more attention he gets the worse he’ll get.

I promptly forgot about it until weeks later when someone else told me he knew a guy in his home town who seemed otherwise normal except he was convinced the world was flat, and there was a government conspiracy to cover it up.  Here are two people who dont know each other who have independently surmised that the Earth is flat.  I dont know if this a sign of the times or a commentary on how poor the education in this state is or what.  I just dont know.

Sometimes I listen to conversations going on behind me in the checkout line.  After hearing one I decided to never listen again.  This one may not seem as egregious as the flat earth but it is bad enough.

One of these hayseeds behind me said he wouldnt drink milk from the stores because he was worried it was spoiled and he might get food poisoning.  So he decided he was only going to drink milk right out of the cow because it was safer.  After all, he went on, there is “too much government inspection,” which, according to him, is the real problem.

Just in case nobody knows it, when milk comes out of the cow it is at its most dangerous.  Tuberculosis, Listeriosis, Salmonella, E. Coli, just to name a few.  That’s why they pasteurize it.  Heating milk below boiling for about half an hour kills all the bugs just waiting to maybe kill you.  Such things I learned in grade school so I guess I’m being naive about what adults should know.  At least here in what they call Kentuckiana.

And I dont know what else to say.  Sometimes I have to get on here and bitch and blow off steam when these things get to me.

Good Day.

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Sunday in Scottsburg

There is a real criminal element in this town.  Not like the mob.  More like the hard core dopers in Breaking Bad.  Because this is a small town instead of a city there’s not the violence that was in that show and I have never felt at all threatened since I moved here, so it doesnt matter to me.  I first became aware of this after the drug bust in February of last year and when I listen to people talking in the stores around here I notice everybody has a daughter or son or parent or spouse that’s in the joint for dope charges.  I dont know why this town and not one a county over, but this place is what it is.

A few weeks back someone asked me when I was going to write another Dana story because he thought Dana was “epic.”  I didnt think anyone used that word in that sense anymore but I thanked him for the compliment.  And I told him there wouldnt be another Dana story because I was done with that bitch.

So of course a few days later an idea for a Dana story insisted itself into my mind, one that will never be written because of technical problems with it and because I dont feel up to it.  But the idea was that some time after Erik was forced into being transgendered by his bitchwife Dana, he finally gives up and leaves her.  A few years later he finds out he has breast cancer from the estrogens he had to take.  After a double mastectomy it spreads to his lungs and he only has a few weeks.  He doesnt want to die alone so he comes home to Dana and asks if he can come back and die at home.  Will she let him or not?  That’s the hook.

The problems with writing this are formidable.  I have many readers here at WordPress that didnt know me at Xanga, where all the Dana stories were written.  It would require flashbacks and I hate flashbacks because I dont like writing about events already written about and telling the story of what led him back to die with Dana that havent been written about.  Besides, it slows the story down.

It’s intriguing though.  All the stories have been about Dana.  Flamboyant, outrageous, larger than life, crazy as a shithouse rat.  Erik has always been just a narrator that talks about what it’s like to live with her.  And how he cant live without her.  But this one is about Erik.  Erik, Living and Dying, I would call it.  But I feel too sick to write anything as chalenging as that.

But I’ll feel better tomorrow.  That’s when I can get my pain medicine refilled.  When I take some life really doesnt feel so bad.  But Dana is in the past and will stay there.

Stump Humping

Back when I was a practicing psychologist I/we would get a lot of referrals from the court.  When it was a court order we had to see the person in trouble and they had to see us if they wanted to stay on probation and out of the joint.

There’s one that i remember vividly.  It was an ol’ boy from way out in the sticks who was highly unsocialized but there was nothing really wrong with him.

When I asked him why he was there he said he was there was for stump humpin.’  Now I’m a city boy and didn’t know what that was.  He said it was when a cow was out in the field with its ass toward you, you would get up on a stump behind the cow and drop your pants and…

At that point I stopped him and said that I got the picture.  In my psych eval I said that this guy was just unsocialized and was neither disturbed nor criminal nor a danger to society and that he should be taught more appropriate ways to express his sexuality,yak, yak yak.

Anyway, I wrote a song about him called Bessie and Me.  I borrowed a melody from a beer commercial and put the chords in from that.  The lyrics are all mine.  And I’ll share it when I find it.  BTW I don’t see that there was any damage to the cow.  I doubt she even noticed.

The Promise

I got this from someone at a cat lover’s group on FB who got it from somewhere else.   The last three lines are mine, since i cant leave anything alone.  If you’re a hard core cat lover i think you’ll understand.

I will never leave you at a shelter

or let you starve

or let you hurt

or desert you when you get old

or leave you when you go blind

And if that time ever comes

I will be there to hold you

Even to the end of the world

Because i love you

And you are my child

 

Ramblings About Dylan

Early this morning I got the news that Bob Dylan won the Nobel for Literature for 2016.  Maybe it’s just me, but this is a very big deal.  I posted it on FB and got one like.  Everybody else was busy slinging political shit, getting more wound up as they went on about an election whose outcome is all but a foregone conclusion.  I backed away from this, not wanting to make it worse.  I did make a couple of witty remarks that people liked, just to slow things down.  Maybe it helped.

It just served to remind me how out of phase I am with everything and how it seems to get worse with time.  This Nobel is just something that I never thought I would live to see, like when the Braves won the World Series.  Someone at Nobel referred to Dylan’s work as being sort of like poetry.  Actually it’s different.  Poetry rhymes words where song lyrics rhyme syllables.  Take it from someone who has written both.

But this is quibbling.  It’s a great day that I’m glad to see and that is that.  It even motivated me to work on the next chapter of Roswell which I havent added to in weeks. Fan fiction is much more complicated than I would have dreamed but writing it gives me a purpose that lately I have lacked.

As to why I wrote this I guess I just thought that a lot needed to be said about this instead of almost nothing, which is what seems to have happened today.  During the summer of 2009 when I was writing Destiny Road I was listening to Blood on the Tracks and realized that the whole story’s language was inspired in part from Dylan’s worldview.  And I remember playing Girl of the North Country on a Yamaha guitar at parties when i was in college.  I got to sing Dylan’s part because I did a better Dylan than my room mate, who was stuck singing Johnny Cash.

I’m rambling, which is what happens when I’m not writing regularly.  I guess I’ll stop.  Spotify finally got a Dylan playlist today.

Roswell 24 Michael and Maria

MICHAEL AND MARIA

So you get hungry like the rest of us?  Maria says with tentative curiosity.

Of course i get hungry, Michael says.

What other human urges do you feel?

They are standing close to each other.  Michael says, not if you were the last woman on earth.

Likewise, Maria says bitterly.  And i will not get an F on this assignment so you better start answering some questions.  Right now.  And i mean for real.  So, what’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Pistachio, he says.

Uh, favorite book?

James Joyce.  Ulysses.  

You have not read Ulysses, Maria says.

‘What incensed him the most was the blatant jokes of the ones who passed it off as a jest, pretending to understand everything and in reality not knowing their own minds,’ Michael quotes.  Page 655.  Michael smiles.  Told you you wouldnt understand.  Next question.

Alright.  If you’re so smart why RU failing every class in school?

What number is that?

It’s my own personal question, Maria says.

I dont answer personal questions.

Then maybe it’s number 16.  What RU afraid of?

I hate this.  This is stupid.

Alright.  Then how about just one personal question?  Since i didnt turn you in back there?  Why is it so important to you to find out where you come from?

Because there must be something better out there than Roswell, NM.

How about somewhere else on Earth?

I dont think i’ll find it on Earth.

Maria chuckles.

Michael’s face turns grim and he says, You think that’s funny?

No, no.  I dont.  When i was a kid i used to stay up at night and um, make up stories about my father.  About where he was and what he was doing.  They all ended exactly the same way.  He would come in a limo and pick me and mom up and take us off to some exotic place where we’d live like royalty.  Because i believed there’s gotta be something better than Roswell, NM.

Substitute a starship for a limo and you’ll understand then, Michael says solemnly.

I’m getting really tired, Maria says.

Yeah, he says.  Been a long day.  He gestures at the bed and says, I dont suppose we could share?

Maria stands up and faces him and says, Not if you were the last alien on earth.

   

 

Blowup, Minimalism, and the Baroque

Believing and seeing are often both wrong…Robert McNamara

When you live like i do every day is pretty much like every other day, and you’ll do anything just to occupy your mind.  Lately it’s been mainly Netflix.

Since i dont even leave the house much there’s even less reason for one day to be memorable at all but today was, just by accident.  When i cant find what i want on Netflix i go to Amazon and rent a movie.  Last night it was the largely forgettable The Fog of War, Robert MacNamara’s movie.  But today it was a very old film i have wanted to see for years but was never able to watch on cable when it was on in the middle of the night.  And i’m very glad i saw it before i croaked.  It was a 1966 art film called Blowup.  And yes, it was just that fuckin good.  Most of you wouldnt even like it but from the standpoint of being as close to perfection as flawed humans can be, it is very close to perfect.

It’s not like other great films like Deliverance or Chariots of Fire in that they are enduring masterpieces that retain their stature over time; everybody’s seen these but not many have seen Blowup.  It was before my time and starts off looking like a period piece but that is soon forgotten because there’s so much that hooks you early.  I wont even describe the film because it would be too involved and because if i did and you watched it my perception might blind you to something in the film that only you could see.  That’s the only relevance of the opening quote here from MacNamara except that it sounded good.

I understand that Antonioni ran out of money when he was making this film and had to omit some extra scenes that would have “explained” some of what happened in the movie.  I think the fact that it remained unexplained added a crucial touch of minimalism that is often the last touch needed for greatness.  I’m a big fan of minimalism and they really are right in English 101 when they tell you less is almost always better.

Still, you cant generalize too much.  If this were always true Baroque art and music would all suck.  Actually i do think Baroque art sucks but that the music is the most moving and perfect that i have ever heard.  Check out the second movement of Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor.  

But now i am rambling like the fool i am and the greater fool that i am becoming.  There’s a birthday looming and it’s making me distracted.