Tuesday’s Theme Music

After the three-day holiday weekend in the U.S., it feels like a Monday. To kick off this week, a 1983 Elton John song has jumped into the stream.

Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I ever did?
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
And I’m still standing after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I’m still standing (yeah, yeah, yeah)

h/t to Genius.com

 

 

Monday’s Theme Music

This is Memorial Day in the USA. As we remember the ones who gave their lives in wars to preserve our freedoms and celebrate their lives, I watch with wonder at others thumbing their noses at the efforts to keep them safe.

“Tyranny,” they shout. “My body, my choice.”

Tyranny

“You’re trampling on our rights.”

Just Mary

Watching the social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines collapse in Missouri (via video) yesterday (well, they did have hand sanitizer and were taking people’s temperature, so I’m sure it’s all good…), an old Steve Miller Band song, “Serenade”, came to mind.

Wake up, wake up
Wake up and look around you
We’re lost in space
And the time is our own

h/t to Genius.com

That’s my choice for this Memorial Day’s theme music.

 

 

Chipgate

A recent Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows that “44 percent of Republicans believe that Bill Gates is plotting to use a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign as a pretext to implant microchips in billions of people and monitor their movements.”

I said, what? Is this the BillGatesgate? Or is it called chipgate?

I hope it’s not chipgate. Chipgate should be about ridiculous chip flavors being inflicted on the salty, greasy crunchiness that are potato chips. If I want a maple doughnut, I’ll eat a doughnut, not potato chips.

Note to self: get doughnuts.

Other polling results include the Chuck Norris kick to the head that only 26 percent of Republicans were able to “correctly identify” a false and “widely debunked” conspiracy theory. More than 80 percent of Democrats realize that Bill Gates isn’t microchipping people. I pause, though, to think, 20 percent of Democrats believe this crazy idea.

Hmm, I wonder. What’s old Bill up to, chipping us like that? Is he trying to take control of us to stop the spread of crazy ideas about him?

That they’re spreading the idea via social media explodes my head with irony. Many people have cell phones almost glued to their hands. “Where’s my phone?” is a common question people ask themselves. “Why did I put my phone?” “Where did I leave my phone?” “Has anyone seen my phone?” It’s like another child. Or do they not own iPhones and other smartphones with GPS, or cars with navigation systems or net connectivity? Are they using VPN at home, not accepting cookies, and wiping their tracks from the net?

I’ll bet over eighty percent of you said, “What?”

No surprise, then, that madhatters are out there insisting that no mask is a good mask, mocking the maskers for being sheeple. Meanwhile, over half of the social media posts demanding that the U.S. re-opens for business can be traced back to bots. Well, if it worked once, then it’ll work a zillion times, right? Sure; bludgeon people with the same information again and again and they’ll start believing it.

I mean, it worked for invading Iraq as part of the response to 9/11, ‘her emails’ to smear Clinton, show us the birth certificate trumpshit, and the whole, ‘the poor wealthy need a big tax break, cause trickle-down’ nonsense.

Now, excuse me, but a doughnut awaits. I just read that eating a doughnut a day will help you live longer, keep you mentally sharp, and improve your sex life.

Can you believe it?

 

 

Memorial Day

With 97,000 plus deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the United States in 2020 and states starting to re-open, I believe we’ll probably start seeing a new meme about ‘Memorial Day’ as we’ll certainly cross 100,000 deaths before Memorial Day.

Which prompts me to recall Trump’s February 26 comment. “You have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”

Today, three months later, we’re at 1,637,593 cases in the United States, which is a long way from zero.

Friday’s Theme Music

Masked up and went walking yesterday. Of the ten pedestrians I encountered, one was masked. So, about eighteen percent are masked when out and about, contrary to guidance.

Our little town has a reported ten COVID-19 cases. That’s an unofficial count. The county has had fifty-two cases. Social distancing and sheltering-in-place has been practiced, but most only wear masks when in stores, because the stores demand it. So, I suspect our low count is due to our rural nature, limitations on travel, and luck. I hope it all holds.

While out exercising my legs, I realized I was humming a song and identified it as the Rush song, “Freewill” (1980). I have one friend who was a devoted Rush fan and another who can’t stand Rush because they don’t like Geddy Lee’s voice. The Rush lyrics rushed in with these memories (sorry for the pun).

A planet of playthings
We dance on the strings
Of powers we cannot perceive

The stars aren’t aligned
Or the gods are maligned
Blame is better to give than receive

[Hook]
You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill
I will choose a path that’s clear, I will choose freewill

h/t to Genius.com

These lyrics are taken in different ways by different people. (Well, words, right? That’s how it goes with words.) I’ve always thought that the song referred to thinking for yourself. I like to believe I think for myself. I wear a mask because that’s recommended; studies show it helps reduce viral transmission.

Maybe I am sheeple, as non-mask fans charge. Perhaps my twenty plus years in the military conditioned me to obey orders without question. Don’t think so, myself; I was known for challenging orders.

Then again, we select and frame the information and memories that best suit what we want to know as the facts, don’t we? We’re each in our own bubble. We try to control what comes in and goes out but there’s quite a bit beyond our control.

Nebulous? No, complicated. One thing that I’ve discovered as I’ve aged is that I’m not the person who I think I am. My window into myself is as limited as my windows into others. My body is often doing things that I don’t know, responding to chemicals in ways that science knew but I didn’t, and my brain often reacts before I think. We depend on surface impressions and isolated moments to inform our decisions. Some of them are magnified in importance – in our heads – rising on waves of emotions and intellect.

Such complicated beasts we are in a complicated world. Which takes me back to “Freewill” and Rush. You make a choice. Sometimes it seems to work, other times, it seems to flop, but a lot of times, we’re forever waiting to learn the results.

Thursday’s Theme Music

An old familiar song entered my head yesterday as I did yard work. Written by John Fogerty, the Status Quo cover of “Rockin’ All Over the World” (1977?) kept me coming.

The mind introduced the song toward the yard work’s beginning. Addressing an issue that I had to do, I told myself, “Here we go.” That invited the song’s refrain, “Here we go, here we go,” in. Once invited in, like a vampire, it can do whatever it was; I’d let it in.

It’s a simple rock song, upbeat and happy, a throwback to simpler times. Your impression of simpler times will vary according to your mileage and mindset, but it works for me.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

I often wish that I was more ignorant of the world, that I lacked the capacity to see the big picture, understand the science, recall history, and remember the lies.

Not a genius nor overly bright or educated, I recall matters and critically examine almost everything that crosses my mind and my eyes. Doesn’t help that I’m married to a similar person; we feed off one another. Nor does it help that throughout my military and civilian positions and work, others saw these traits in me and honed them. I become overly critical and analytical; any skill that becomes too dominant can be a liability.

I’d like to live in a ‘just-pretend’ world where things are better, which is probably why I write. I’m attracted to writing detective stories where the main character is deeply flawed and struggles with seeing the good in others over his insights into the wrongs that they do, no matter how small the wrongs. Always on the top of that list is his own wrongs.

Likewise, dystopian fiction, where governments, corporations, religions, and individuals have misled others so they can advance themselves or keep themselves in power, always attracts me. It’s a dark world for my characters.

No surprise, then, my thoughts on the novel coronavirus pandemic of 2020 is that civilizations are poor learning organizations, not infrequently out of step with one another. It’s a messy dance floor where different music is heard by almost everyone. It’s the nature of trying to meld political weld out of individual agendas. We advance by degrees. I always think we could advance more quickly. Yet, too, disagreement and debate are required and healthy for relationships, including governments, societies, and civilizations. It’s when facts become distorted that it gets unhealthy.

Into this mess of morning thinking, prompted by a restless night of writing in my head and chasing dreams, is Jackson Brown’s first hit, “Doctor, My Eyes”, from 1972. His lyrics about seeing too much, looking too long, and how it has influenced his life view, has always been a favorite.

It’s worthy theme music for a rona Wednesday.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

I have a few pieces of the old Berlin Wall in my office, along with a piece of the original original barbed wire. Yeah, so it’s all claimed; none of it is authenticated.

They’re symbols of oppression and come to mind now because of the constant chatter about people being oppressed. Businesses aren’t permitted to open, or open with severe restrictions. The restrictions are in the name of health and safety; the people protesting them believe that either the government can’t be trusted, that the restrictions are part of a larger plot, or that state, local, and Federal governments don’t have the right to make such restrictions in the name of safety and security.

Anyway, the discussions and disagreements are building metaphorical walls. The Berlin Wall eventually fell; the Great Wall still stands. I wonder how high our walls will go and how long they’ll stand?

Meanwhile, a John (Cougar) Mellencamp song, “Crumblin’ Walls”, 1983, came to mind. I saw him in concert twice, surprisingly in Germany both times.

Enough of this verbal nattering. To the music.

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