Had the strength, stamina & desire to attend the Manhattan Short film festival last night. Great event and pleased I could attend the festival again. Interesting slate of short films this year. Everyone in my party of film viewers & voters found it difficult to choose their favorite ("best").
Also, my distaste for and distrust of public "servants" who "shape" or "influence" U.S. foreign policy and who have strong, personal ties to professional capital (like the present Secretary of State and his predecessor?) is indescribable.
Fam & Friends,
Rach and I love our JEEP. We love and appreciate the fun-loving & inclusive JEEP culture, especially those people who have been a part of it for far longer than we have and created it. All the people. That includes first and foremost the autoworkers and laborers and staff who build JEEPs. As you know, Rach and I are toying with the idea of purchasing another automobile. I can tell you the purchasing decision is on hold—and that includes our recent efforts in doing research on a JEEP electric hybrid—until autoworkers negotiate terms with management that are acceptable & agreed to by union members.
There is loads of news coming out of Toledo, OH press outlets (like this one, for example) if you are interested in reading or listening to local (up close & personal) coverage of the strike.
Fam & Friends, specifically the gents from one of my Guys Night Out groups:
The following italicized text is from my March 30, 2022 entry to the WTF?! webpage of this website I was posting to last year:
1.) A businessperson is defined as an oligarch when? (or where, perhaps?)
2.) A businessperson's wealth is "ill-gotten" when? (how defined, precisely? the historical details of privatization processes being intriguing, no?)
3.) A businessperson's "ill-gotten gains/wealth" is related to their nation's leader invading a neighboring country/executing a military operation how and when, precisely?
4.) So, it is possible to quickly seize the accumulated excess(ive) capital held in the hands of the very few, if they're people of another nation, but it is impossible to pass legislation to tax excessive wealth within one's own nation to fund infrastructure projects and raise one's people out of poverty, fund improved healthcare price-delivery systems, etc.?
5.) . . .
Oh... hello... didn't see ya there... sorry, I guess I started typing the questions I am asking myself while considering the notion (and various implications of) there being more happening than meets the eye and also much being screamed (by closed mouths) and signaled (by enshadowed hands).
I bet certain people in China are watching closely and asking questions. Likely people in other countries, too.
Russia may or may not be bungling their invasion of, and act of aggression toward, Ukraine. Such determinations are well beyond my pay-grade. I'll leave those conclusions to the experts, military historians and academics who propagandize with fancy wrappers torn away easily to reveal cultural-diabetes-inducing sweets. I am, however, curious and anxiously await the next steps for the world after certain (value/worth) signals have been communicated and coordinated actions done by western economies and their --apparently, and worryingly, too-- captive governments.
I am reposting the above in response to a BadFaith podcast/video posted May 4, 2023. (Some of) What Ben is referring to in yesterday's video is where the proverbial (hockey) puck was heading last year when I posted what I did. It is, therefore, somewhat old news. I don't disagree with Ben's comments but, again, the puck is already where it is. Are present facts & circumstances productively actionable? The adage states it is better to be moving in the direction of where the puck is heading, not where the puck is currently. I shared last year where I thought the puck was heading & I'll share my latest thoughts about the updated coordinates for where the puck is heading presently during a future get-together.
Also, gentlemen, thanks for accepting my recommendation and voting to dine at the Cuban restaurant last month. That Lechón Asado is tasty, yeah? Hope to be able to talk & see all y'all again...and soon. Cheers, G. (aka: your token "communist" friend; aka: our group's version of the Highwaymen's Kris Kristofferson)
02-May-2023 - III
Fam & Friends:
I am not yet at the place that I've been creatively describing or colorfully referring to as a special, or unique, type of event horizon; and since I happen to have time to post today and the functionality to do so, here's another...
I have no idea if Hell exists but if it does then I choose to believe there's a special place in it that will receive certain wealthy & popular—whether or not they're influential—screenwriters & novelists using this WGA strike to project an image and pretend they are friends & supporters of the working class; I am talking about the people who chose silence a few months ago — who consciously chose to remain quiet and not place any public pressure on the Biden Administration when railroad workers sought better terms & working conditions in December ('22).
The folks I am describing are easily identified using a keyword search or two; these folks are not at all friends of the working class, and they are not showing solidarity with rank-and-file workers (writers, in the present case) who deserve better; they are simply lighting tribal fires, signaling virtue and highlighting their professional affinities & industry affiliations.
Aside: The only person from the media & entertainment (& academic) industries who, at this moment, I recall vocalizing any type of support in December '22 for the railroad workers was Susan Sarandon, a woman who one of you (fam + friends), while several of us were recently reminiscing & goofing on past times & memories during dinner, reminded me of my having loved for more years than I've loved Rachel¹.
¹ Technically speaking this is true (different kind of love, certainly, but true); I was already a multi-year fan of RHPS by the time Rach & I met and so my fam's/friend's point is accurate, in the strictest sense, from a dateline perspective; to be fair, however, the first seven years of my feelings toward Susan Sarandon were those of a pre-teen & teenage boy and so, given that immature age, love is not the most accurate term for the first half-dozen years.
02-May-2023 - II
Fam & Friends:
Good 'Ol Dave tried to sneak in [shoot] "yourselves" without using the word 'suicide' in the second sentence to attempt to frame his argument. By leaving out the word suicide the language gun violence and death in red-state rural America... is lent greater force than is necessary or fair when reading it. Do your own searches... below you'll find some data to get you going.
And, Dave, when your mother died, I posted a message of sympathy & condolences on your blog. It is posted under the name Geoff, or Geoffrey, I forget now how I presented myself at the time. (I just checked; my message is posted under the initial G.) Regardless of how I spelled my name, please feel free to delete that message.
Fam + Friends,
I cannot tell you I am entirely paralyzed from a disgust with authors who virtue signal to their audiences and peddle popular "righteous" or "correct" beliefs in the products they sell, publishing calculated prose encouraging readers to conclude the author is a heroic soldier standing up against class warfare or climate devastation or degradation, etc., all while these same authors personally do little if anything to (publicly) challenge people actually in power, or they direct & use their social capital & cultural platform to highlight & perpetuate the lowest common denominators of partisan politics.
The fact is, while I am disgusted by these duplicitous & insincere authors¹, I am not paralyzed because I can't help but laugh at how willingly & eagerly John & Jane Q Public dine on (these author's & entertainer's) bullshit.
¹ a.k.a., shitbag citizens virtue signaling to the public while lining their pockets & simultaneously greasing the wheels for the very same status quo they pretend to stoke inspiration & hopes in readers to fight or battle against
Straight up using an audio book collection of Poe stories to cleanse my ears after soiling them with a listen (prematurely ended, admittedly) to a Pop! culture writer's relatively recent effort.
If popularity were based on talent, then the waiter and waitress working at one of my favorite cafes located just down the road would be broadly recognized for their storytelling talents and more than a couple dozen famous contemporary writers would be dangling from a coat-hook-of-obscurity inside culture's closet.
11-Apr-2023 - II
Because everything I have going on I have recently been talking regulary with a broader set of family & friends, including finance industry acquaintances. While I'd classify some of what I have heard as gossip or rumor (at least for now¹), I admit hearing stories of self-professed progressives & inequality fighters communicating pleas up the ladder—during the SVB time of troubles—on behalf of endowments invested in venture funds has generated belly laughs.
The Leets just gotta leet, yo!!
¹ Might be a story here for some intrepid newbie indie journo wanting to make a name or a long standing indie journo wanting to further increase their newsletter subs
11-Apr-2023 - I
In the past 14 months I have checked out of more books, tossing them on the DNF pile, than ever.
I have thought about & identified common causes knifing my enthusiasm & letting my interest bleed out before the story ends. There are two recurring reasons. First, an obvious limited scope/perspective of the story's "reality," even if & when the fictionalized reality is necessarily (for genre) heavily fantasized. Second, an overuse of flat, simplistic, generalized characterizations (e.g., descriptions like, the man was clearly a Red Hat-wearer, etc.).
There is the old saying: people write what they know.
Well, if this true then, sadly, there are dozens of authors that trad publishing view as bankable who "know" little or have lived very smally—existing within narrow bands or miniscule circumferences of life experience, encounters and friendships—that negatively impacts (at least for me) their fictional narratives such that no amount of so-called 'imagination' or creativity or expertise or mastery of craft can offset or mitigate.
Furthermore, books & stories by authors whose lives are obviously comprised solely of reading & writing (with limited to no life or living done outside of media consumption or production) clearly shows up on the page... and not at all in entertaining, informative or beneficial ways.
Bottomline: for my taste & preference, I have concluded I dislike books & stories created by the so-called full-time writers of the present day; their resulting work product is just that... product; not only easily identifiable as being created by persons with limited frames of reference & experience but generally weaker in several story & character-related dimensions (breadth, depth, nuance, love, care, hatred, understanding, etc.) when compared to other books & stories & poems, etc.
An odd thrill to have endured the 4-day wait of Patience (i.e., hospital stay) to be able correct during a brief period of internet accessibility not one but two instances on this website where I had intended extant but mistyped extent.
Yes. Hahaha. Yes. Yes.
What I find comical changes over time, obviously. Most comical to me at present are privileged people who routinely display their intractability, being insulated by wealth or position or both and having no desire to shift their viewpoint or alter their position, while attempting to convince others to adopt attitudes that embrace the spirit of exchange or inquiry at either an intellectual or values-based level.
It is an insincere act, an ancient gimmick: Attempt to influence others to move while remaining stationary (and hoping other parties do not notice).
21-Mar-2023 — II
Although I am somewhat shocked, I must admit my foray (deeper dive) into the world of poetry & poets in the autumn of '22 had an indirect side effect and created an unexpected appreciation for Stephen King.
Based on these experiences, stretching back to August '22, I have a newfound appreciation for the statement King made about his writing desk—a statement that I believe is made in his book about the craft of writing, a statement about the importance of recognizing how art exists to support life, not the other way around. Additionally, while my appreciation for King has improved, I find my appreciation for other writerly (arche)types has diminished; specifically, I no longer believe—as I had once, perhaps wrongly, I admit—that poets and the writerly persons going out of their way to present themselves to the world as artistes possess any special wisdoms or significant insights that members of the human (animal) family do not already possess or are aware of — perhaps the common human animal has even a greater awareness than writers themselves possess at times.
Aside: While I have never considered Stephen King books as personal favorites, I have always respected the man's work ethic, even though I also recognized that such an approach & behavior (i.e., productivity, prolificacy) creates, or amplifies, or widens inequalities when practiced or performed unchecked inside the current socioeconomic system, the present economic & political state & condition: wealthy get/ting wealthier.
21-Mar-2023 — I
Hilary Plum's writing is exceptional!! A few months ago, in an IG DM, I told someone (I recall who, intentionally not naming here) that I thought Hilary Plum to be one of the smartest contemporary writers. At the time I made the statement I had not thought about the fact an Iraq War anniversary approached. Now, in that light and with all the chatter littering my news portal websites, Hilary Plum's style & approach to (oft utilized) subject matter are even more beloved by me.
I have been awake since 2AM. (Working.) Heading to gym at approximately 2:30pm. The cropped (gym) selfie image was not taken today; however, it captures my mood going into today's workout. (Lack of desire to workout today.) Music & exercise should (I hope) push aside or mitigate this exhaustion.
last edit: 21-Mar-2023
Extremely interested to learn the soon-to-be-discovered & updated market values of certain SVB assets (and also the names of persons & entities who buys these)
No; I will not be surprised if certain folks suddenly desire action (bailouts, protections, etc.) for professional money managers, sophisticated investors & entrepreneurs who, theoretically, understand risk (& reward) and freely entered into a depository relationship, because there is a class of person who always thinks they deserve preferential treatment... while the masses must make do with another set of rules.
Will the SVB debacle highlight systemic issues in the culture & reignite aspects of the class/culture war?
While I really, really, really abhor snobs, I find persons who are—given the natural, unavoidable hardships of life and living—too eager to near-constantly embrace seriousness to be every bit as tiresome.
I guess this is sort of an addendum to the 06-Mar-23 post...
Too fun. Too easy. Too funny. Incredible.
(smdh) (really, really, really abhor snobs)
Nothing tops a simple menu, well-prepared, crafted from the heart.
In randomness. Coincidence. Without causal connection there's often an odd, brief yet enlivening, electricity in those moments.
I am intentionally seeking different perspectives and sources of information and updates about the earthquakes and the related recovery efforts happening in Turkey & Syria as inputs to aid & guide me in my on-going volunteer efforts in this area. Just attended an FPRI session—was what I'd expected.
After two months, I canceled a subscription service publicly committed to in late autumn. Timing & mechanics does not work for me this year. Remaining, unspent monies originally earmarked for the subscription service will be spent in a similar manner/area to fund literacy outreach efforts.