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For Whom the Yarzheit the Glows June 8, 2018

Posted by voolavex in Jesus, Jews, Jews, Social Issues, Tributes, Yarhzeits.
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Yesterday a friend posted this moving tribute and memory of his late sister Jill who died one year ago June 7th. breast cancer.  

Our tribe lights candles called yarzheits every year to remember, with love, those who have passed on. He told me I could share it and so I have done here.  This stopped my heart for its shining light and the love he felt for his sister.  Here is his memory of  Jill Kogen Arons, from the heart of her brother Jay Kogen. 

‘It’s been a year since, my sister, Jill Arons died of breast cancer. And, now, with 12 months to reflect on what she meant to our lives, it can be boiled down to one thing: Jill was weird.

Growing up in an upper-middle-class Jewish house our parents exposed us to what you’d expect — sophisticated movies, literature, TV shows, the great American songbook, and the higher end of culture. Occasionally they liked to dress up and go to fancy restaurants in Beverly Hills and socialize with funny comedy friends. They liked trips to New York and Europe. As a kid, Jill liked none of those things. She liked Chocolate Frosted Pop-Tarts, Monopoly, KROQ, needlepoint, symmetrical rainbow art, and boys with long hair. She liked bowling and bingo and the Saugus Speedway to see stock car races and the Demolition Derby. My parents were shocked and baffled. Instead of a Jewish American Princess, they were raising a Hillbilly and I hated having her for my big sister.

How could someone so different and be a Kogen?  Jill preferred Disneyland to New York. McDonald’s to Chasens. Las Vegas to, well, anywhere. When the rest of the family was into “A Chorus Line,” Jill loved “Jesus Christ Superstar” about the death and resurrection of Jesus. My parents were concerned that she wasn’t getting the Jewish cultural indoctrination they hoped. But it wasn’t Christianity she loved. I think she thought Ted Nealy was hot. Still, she wasn’t that into being Jewish either. That was clear the year she begged for and got my parents to put up a Christmas Tree.  Jews didn’t have Christmas Trees but we did. Jill insisted. We put an odd spiral cone at the top instead of a star but everyone knew it was not a Hanukah Bush. People don’t put presents under the “bush” and open them on Christmas morning.

Jill was big on presents. Giving and getting. She liked them wrapped and plentiful. This may have stemmed from her birthday is three days before Christmas and she often got one gift for both days from people. She wanted two like everyone else. She didn’t care about big-ticket items. She just wanted the present to reflect her. The best thing I ever got her was a case of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese when she was 13 because that is all she ever ate for years. She LOVED that gift because that’s who she was. Her all-pasta and fake cheese diet was a deficit to others, but she wore the badge of picky eater proudly. If she got Jewelry or a fancy sweater she’d smile politely but we all knew that wasn’t really for Jill. That was for another imaginary Kogen daughter who didn’t exist. Jill didn’t like shopping or designer clothes. She liked the LA Kings and Magic Mountain and dating a guy who was almost 30 when she was 16. Some people march to the beat of their own drum.  Jill River-danced to the whine of her own bagpipe.

Jill was fearless, and unstoppably her own person. She dropped out of Cal-Arts, got married and had a kid at a ridiculously young age, ran a typesetting business and eventually went to work at the Bingo Bugle. That was a life path attempted by no one else from Encino, ever. I, of course, took the safe and pre-approved path of going to UCLA and then getting a job in show business. While I was bending to the mold my parents unconsciously created for me, my sister was breaking the mold. She was a pioneer. And if you knew Jill, you’d know she didn’t make a big deal about doing her thing. She just did it, stubbornly moving forward. Jill’s dreams just happened like they were inevitable. And on the few occasions when they didn’t work out, like her first marriage, she dusted herself off and moved forward.

Jill was goofy. Little things made her happy. Literally. She collected tiny bottles of ketchup and other miniature stuff. She also loved items that had “AS SEEN ON TV!” on the box. Snuggies and Hallmark Collector Sets and knickknacks were her jam. I think she also collected small bottles of jam. Admittedly she wasn’t the most motherly of mothers but somehow she managed to raise one of the best people of all time, her daughter Samantha. This may have to do with one of her greatest super powers. Jill was honest… very very honest. If I gained weight she’d asked why I gained so much weight. If I lost out on a Job she’d never beat around the bush. She’d asked if I was sad I didn’t get the job. Good or bad, Jill called it like it was. It was never said with malice or jealousy, always with love in her eyes, but she wasn’t putting up with anyone’s bullshit. If you had a zit or a divorce it was going to get talked about. If you had a victory, that was going to get some airtime too. And in her honesty, she was one of the funniest people I ever met.

Comedy in my family is highly prized. It’s a big deal. It was so big I went into the business and my style was formal and calculated. Jill was naturally funny because she saw the truth and talked about it. She knew it was a little crazy so she laughed and that made the rest of us laugh. She had hope and joy.

She moved to Canyon Country because that deep suburban world was the good life to her. She met and married her amazing husband Rich on J-Date, (maybe the only time she identified as Jewish) and it was a great match. How could it not be? Rich knew exactly who he was getting from the first date. Maybe this is why he fell in love. Jill was always Jill. She had the clear-eyed authenticity I was never brave enough to employ.

Our relationship had twists and turns. When I was a baby, Jill adored me. She loved my little fingers and toes. She liked to dress me up in weird outfits. She liked to play games with me. She thought I was a cute toy. I was kind of shy and didn’t speak much. I was kind of like a cute toy to her. But then, at some point, maybe around 5, I started talking. And from that point on we started fighting and didn’t stop until she moved out when she was around 18. I know why we were at odds. I was the goody-goody to my parents, which made her seem more out of step. I made it harder for Jill to be Jill and part of me knew what I was doing. She liked to claim I was secretly bad. She said I pushed her out of a moving car on the way to Camp Fun Time. She did fall out of the car but I didn’t push. My bad was more covert. I might tell on her or act out in ways that were just short of the line where I could get in trouble. She always compared me to Tad Martin on “All My Children.” If you know the show, he wasn’t a nice guy. One day when I was 16 she chased me out of the house with a steak knife in her hand, which I’m sure was a fight I started. I thought we’d always be like prisoners in a family chain gang, uncomfortably forced together for our entire lives. But then once she moved out we suddenly became friends. I’m not sure how it happened. Our differences seemed to melt away. I finally saw Jill for the fearless warrior she was and she liked me because I still had stubby fingers.

She finally took an interest in show business when I went into it. We took a few excursions together. Went to concerts. We watched our hometown hockey team, the Kings, finally win the Stanley Cup. (Jill was a fan since she was 10. And one year, my parents arranged to have some of the Kings including Butch Goring sing her happy birthday and bring out a cake at the Forum Club.) We rented a boat on July 4th a few times to watch fireworks. We talked about taking other trips together in recent years but it never happened because I couldn’t find the time and part of me didn’t want to spend a week at “The Biggest Loser” camp.

In the last half of her life, this rebel was the rock of our family. Jill took care of all of us, especially my mom and dad. She would find tricks and coupons and the best life hacks for all situations. If you were going to Istanbul she’d tell you where to go even though she’d never have been there. She’d find a website or forum and get you the coolest tour for the Hagia Sophia that includes snacks. There was nothing she couldn’t become an expert on fairly quickly. She became the keeper of technology and finance for my parents. She knew all the passwords and had trackers on everyone’s phones. When she wanted to learn something new, she took charge and did it. One year, she decided she hated paying someone to do her taxes so she took classes on doing taxes and did it herself. (I think she was even a notary.) And she took pleasure in the things she loved: her family, husband, Samantha’s dog, and online coupons. And she did all this with clear-eyed Joy. One of her greatest qualities was being able to see the good in the simple fun things in life. She didn’t need to exaggerate what was happening to make anything seems cooler or more impactful to make it worth doing. No drama. Just reality. Real sorrow when things sucked and real joy when things were good. Mostly there was joy.

Even when the breast cancer came, she kept her spirits up. She did what the doctors said and waited for good news, which ultimately never arrived, but she plowed ahead anyway. Through painful surgeries and chemo and radiation that ravaged her body she somehow got through it hoping for new treatments to save her but the disease beat the cure. The day she decided to start hospice she met it with the usual combination of complete honesty, humor, and a determination to get on with the journey. She talked about hoping there was a heaven and joked about how embarrassing it will be to see some of the relatives we didn’t like but how great it would be to see the people we loved and missed. In those last days, we watched movies and game shows when she wasn’t sleeping or trying to move to a position that wasn’t painful. She didn’t go out of her way to be anything more than what she was, a person who loved us who was dying. She was honest about that too.

So it’s been exactly a year since Jill left us. The hole in my heart is as big as ever. We all miss her. But her legacy remains. She’s a beacon of truth and joy and beauty that I will forever hold up as a role model for how to live — free and daring and authentic. She became one of my best friends. I could never ask for a better big sister.

This is a week of yahrzeits for me too.  I wish I had the eloquence of Jay Kogen to say how I feel about those I have lost  But he allowed me to share this and it is exquisite.  As the Boston Irish say – “Gawd love ya”.

And I must add – Jill,  your brother is one of my favorite people.  Rest in peace, look down from the cosmos and know he is still being loved as he loved you and Gawd, this is starting to sound Jesusy.  Thank you, Jay.

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Folding Shoes April 27, 2018

Posted by voolavex in birthday, mother, serial monster, funeral, life baggage, loss, dead, death certificate, guilt, My Mother, Social Issues.
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Today is my late mother’s birthday.  Had she lived, she would have been 95.  And had she lived I wonder what would have happened. I wonder about it too often, I think.

When I was a girl of tweenage – 11ish I’d say I went to Ballroom Dancing School in Salem, Massachusetts.  The teacher, Harriet James, was a kind of crone ‘too old to be teaching much of anything’ and she was bitter because she was teaching dancing school in Salem, Massachusetts. Dreams do not always come true.   She had a sort of Boston Brahmin/British accent, dyed hair, and a clicker.  (Used to be sold to kids at Halloween as well as in dime stores.  I have one-…thought I would “train” kittens and I knew better – cats come trained.  But I digress).  As we stumbled and counted in time to the music and we tried to learn the upper crust skills for the cotillion or debutante ball none of us would ever go to, she clicked at errors in waltzes, box-steps, cha-chas and the record would abruptly stop and we would start over again.  And boy, could she work that clicker with malice aforethought.  The sound still haunts me. I hate to think what she would do with a Flicker Spinner today. It was a class for boys and girls.  Mostly girls.  This culminated in fancy dress “Ball” we all wanted to attend and of course to win the 1st prize or just be the best.  Something like that.

I was a very thin child and wore glasses and in my own mind, no beauty. Clothes usually never fit right but the real problem was shoes.  I had feet like snakes.  Long and thin and in order to actually wear shoes, they had to be ordered from St. Louis.  From the shoe factory direct and so no Thom McAn’s for my AAAA/AAAAA feet.  (How I longed for cute, chubby feet with little cute toes).  And, we are talking “good” shoes –  au courant ballet flats for wearing with full length, tulle ball gowns.  Black or red or white (red was best) or, dare I say – gold or silver.  As I recall, my good shoes came a long way from St. Louis but color-wise they still had a long, long way to go in the metallics.  I had to endure jokes about glass slippers and sox and of course, I had no clue about my single mother’s money situation.  I just wanted “good shoes”, for the Ball.  And I knew how to whine.  And whine I did while my wonderful mother searched high and low for some sort of “good shoes” for me to wear to Miss Jame’s’s Ball.

I went to the lessons weekly and actually got the hang of the various dances but the thrill was gone.  Shoes were my only concern.  The dress was purchased.  Filene’s Basement.  And one fine day my mother came into the house with a shopping bag from a department store and announced she had found the shoes.  In gold, in my size and she presented the shoes to me with a smile and a sigh of relief as I tuned up and started to pitch a running fit.  “These are FOLDING SHOES”. ” They FOLD.  I don’t want shoes that fold”. I will not wear them and don’t get shoes that FOLD.”  A full-fledged tantrum and she was about to cry. “Just try them on”, she pleaded.  I screamed “No” and sobbed. And they sat on the table in their tacky plastic case, gold and FOLDED.  Night fell, I pouted and we went to bed.  By morning we had both gathered our arguments like Philadelphia lawyers and the “shoes” were once again on the table. “No,” said I. “I just won’t go”. And went to my room. And waited. And then as only mothers can  – she said, calmly through the door she would take them back and left them on the table. And went down the stairs and out the door.  What could I do now; ungrateful, spoiled snake footed bitch that I was?  I attacked the plastic case, unfolded the shoes and put them on. And they did fit.  And they did sparkle and they would work perfectly.  And because my mother was beautiful and perfect and wonderful,  I went to the Ball and my shoes never got mentioned.   But they were the first in a long series of folding shoes I wore until I watch a real teenager and the memory still makes me laugh.

Now, of course, comes the irony of ironies, she didn’t live to see that rebranded folding shoes are now “amazing” and “cool” and “all that”.  She would never see them all over the Internet (she wouldn’t see that either).  She would never gasp, as I do, at the prices asked for what used to come, folded, in a tacky plastic case for $2,99 at Jordan’s.   Choices unlimited, all colors and made mostly of pleather and vinyl and sometimes even leather and always “imported” from the Mystery Land of Folding Shoes. Who would have ever thought?

So for -, Happy Birthday Momma.  You left far too soon. But I see you in my dreams. and in memories of the damn folding shoes.

Folding Shoes. April 27, 2018

Posted by voolavex in Social Issues.
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Nothing is Wrong with Apu April 15, 2018

Posted by voolavex in Social Issues.
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This is a response to the recent Apu stereotype campaign. I put it on “contact me/write something” available on his website.  Hari Kondbulo has not replied.  I think he did for the publicity.  Talk about Apu being exploited.  I am a long time Simpsons fan – since they were “bumpers” on the Tracey Ullman.  Hari Kondabulo was a baby then or simply not even born.  Anyway, this is my own take.

I know a pretty fair amount about India. Spoken and written, history and humor. I also know that Apu’s accent is how many Indians sound when they speak English. Is it demeaning and (buzz word alert) racist?? Isn’t it funny that when a character (live or in a cartoon) is French or British it’s okay to voice or portray the accent as charming and often funny? And it doesn’t have to be a native-born actor. Yet the accent is often authentic and correct. Russians can have very thick accents very often – and they are imitated in the media (and my neighborhood) that’s okay too.  Voice actors are invisible.  It is only lately we know the name of any.    It is only lately we know the name of any. Just like regional accents in America – this is how many people sound. Suppose Apu was voiced by a South Asian – the same accent but one that is “real” and not an imitation by an American actor? Would that be okay? And a larger question exists as well: What should South Asians sound like.  Call center slaves?  Should they bleach their speech so other South Asians will not be offended?

Here’s the skinny:  Many mini-marts are owned by South Asians. Many motels are run by South Asians. (The name Patel was and is a term for a parcel of land.)?  Lots. Run well, profitable and a business that hires other South Asians and helps them make a living. Many sound like Apu;   Should they not? The characters on the Simpson’s are satirical. Snake sounds like a cultured street thug. Mr. Burns sounds like many old white men I have been around especially in  Ivy League areas. Mr. Smithers is a gay stereotype.
Wiggum is an Irish cop.  Milhouse is a whiny nerd.  Should actors and millions of fans BDS Apu’s accent? Should all beer guzzling, overweight numbskulls rise up and protest? (You may be married or related to one? ).

The Simpsons is satire at its very best.

But hooray for the documentarian/comedian that questions all of the above. And hooray for the publicity and fame and money it is making him. I suspect this: The Simpsons for its long run and delighted audiences and guest voices will remain funnier long after Hari Kondabulo and “The Trouble with Apu” has heard hits last laugh.

Namaste.

 

Just Say NO. SOTU. Solutions January 30, 2018

Posted by voolavex in despicable, Election 2016, Idiots in Government, nose picking, Putin, serial monster, sexist, snot, Social Issues, Social Media, solutions, The 45th, Washington Post.
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Tonight, the Asshole in Chief.  Thief of the Truth.  The Rotten Orange Who Spoiled A Nation, is going to spew some falsehoods speciousness, deliberate lies and fantasies over broadcast TV.  The Social Media participants are raving and roiling and cursing and nasty and demeaning this farce – as they should be.  You know who you are.  I join you in your disgust.  But I have come up with a BRILLIANT solution. Bigly.  Yuuuuuge. Cheap – Free actually, no special skills needed.

JUST DO NOT WATCH IT.  DO NOT WATCH IT.  DO NOT LISTEN TO IT.  CHANGE THE CHANNEL. PICK YOUR NOSE. BETTER STILL.  READ A BOOK, PLAY SOME MUSIC.  GO TO BED EARLY.  JUST SAY NO.

No frills solution.  Those who decide to view it.  DO NOT REHASH it to those who took my sage advice.  It will be just as bad as you think and editorializing is for the media.  Don’t even listen.  

JUST SAY NO.

That is all.

#Metoo. Now What? (Edited) December 7, 2017

Posted by voolavex in despicable, Domestic Violence, Genital Matters, guilt, Guilt relief, Halter tops, Harvey Weinstein, illegal, marriage, murder, serial monster, sex, sexist, sexy, sins, Social Issues, solutions, The 45th, vagina.
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I have been informed that I have made some errors in this post.  There are 51 sets of sexual assault laws in this country.  They can be found on findlaw.com.  These are the 50 states and Federal law.  I did not check all of them and I did not include territories or possessions, however each body of laws regarding sexual crimes have various types, sentencing recommendations and those that cross state lines become federal. What I sensed in those I read was that various degrees of these crimes exist but I also think – only my opinion – that they should be codified better throughout the various legal systems.  And I hold to the idea that the accused and the abused should both have due process.  I should add that sexual crimes are very complicated and very much disagreed upon globally.  But indeed they are, in this country, set down by each state and  the federal government and guidelines, statutes and many laws exist. I apologize for not researching this better and I hope that simply by searching  a state’s sex crimes law on the Internet these resources will answer questions I cannot. I am not in law enforcement nor am I an attorney. This post has been edited to reflect my errors.

What happens when you unleash predators and dump them into a big cage with room for  many, many more?  Some are misdemeanor predators with only one egregious  act to their name and others are serial predators who would still be doing it if they had not been exposed.  It’s a valid question because every crime on our books has degrees of offenses.  Sexual crimes do as well (see above) – I would guess because it has been ignored, not believed, excused or just plain denied by the offenders or the legal and LE systems these laws may slip through the cracks.  It has a statute of limitations in some states so if you got assaulted 26 years ago – time has run out and the offender walks.

For many reasons – that of shame, trauma and fear of not being believed,what are considered criminals among us who don’t get charged and we have #metoos who do not get their day in court.  All  these particular offenses  are are not equal and herein lies the rub  (sorry).  Is a pinch on the butt equal to a rape in an alley?  Is workplace harassment comparable to a gang rape in a fraternity house or at a party.  Is substance abuse a factor?  Is domestic abuse with rape the same as rubbing up in subway car?  Can a husband rape a spouse legally.  Is flirting frought with danger.  Is it an invitation or is it so complicated a message it can be a crime to even do it? You know the variations on this theme and you also know that the acts themselves are not all the same.  They may make us feel violated and threatened and dirty; but they are not all the same.

Those accused – whom we so readily name and those who are not named but pointed at  – areoften not charged and therefore not proven guilty.  The millions of #metoos are still only  making accusations.  And while these offenses include the murdering of the souls and psyches of the women and male victims who have been abused and violated,  there  are still  very broad interpretations of such crimes by judges and juries. Frequently the evidence in any court would be one word against the other. I suspect even lawyers on both sides have issues with this problem.

How could you apply a statute of limitations on better defined degrees or would all sexual high crimes and misdeanors be treated exactly the same.  Anthony Weiner provided proof of his own aberrations – and he made himself the villain because he was the villain.  He is in the fedslam.  He has been disgraced and he is being punished through the legal system.  Due process.

Because a culture of fear and shame denied the violated, the violated were denied due process.  I think if I were so  inclined, I would sue those who perpetuated this.  And if I were in the legal arena, I would collect all the evidence available and bring causes of action in each case that could be a cause of action.  I would not favor the race or age or gender of the accused or their value to a college or a career or a future.  Let Justice be blind. We are a nation of accomplished finger pointers.  We use reputations to defame and extol many people who deserve neither.  But I am more concerned with the way in which these crimes or alleged crimes (because people do lie) are handled and have been handled. And I speak personally; that not all people violated have their lives ruined.  Many do, but many don’t. There are those of us who can relegate memories to a place where #metoo no longer has a daily impact or incessant pain.  We are the fortunate ones.

While members of the Congress and commerce are resigning in droves and without due process we are committing further injustice  and a rush to judgment outside the courts of law.  This is wrong too.

I do not claim to have answers that are effective in the moment.  But the crimes of a sexual nature; the rapes, the rubs, the feel-ups, the date rapes, the marital rapes, the campus rapes the injury, the accused who do go on trial, the anger, the retaliation all have to be placed in a context that other crimes against society and people are placed.  This body of crime has existed for all of humanity.  Some sought power, some sought satisfaction, some went nuts in war and kept on abusing.  But in any context – this  is not new.  And as such we need to make it fit into our legal system better and be adjudicated as we do many other offenses.

And please remember that women and men can be #metoos.

 

 

 

 

 

Ancient Astronaut Theorists Missed This November 27, 2017

Posted by voolavex in Social Issues.
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I love the UFO station – Discovery, I guess and I absolutely LOVE Hairguy.  And even though they have many reruns – it’s not a subject (if you are intrigued) you can opt out  casually, just in case someone reveals something that starts you  thinking.  I notice many of the commentators are Ph.Ds from real universities and I actually believe many astrophysicists are primed for that AHA moment too.    It’s just as plausible as religion – I say if you have a place for Occam’s Razor – sharpen it and think outside the sphere.

I happened to flipping stations and Hairguy was on an episode about “Secrets”.  (They are all about secrets actually )but the astrodocs and their colleagues were expounding on the images of “star beings” in so much of ancient art and   on the similarities.  Which I find fascinating.  Of course the came in on the dreaded Akhenaten – misshapen and heretical – but  I started to look not at him – although he is mesmerizing – but at the tomb art.  Especially the 18th Dynasty’s radical changes . I love the art itself, but it is strange.  I once knew someone who could decipher the glyphs (with the help of Wallis Budge) and it’s meanings were hard for me to fathom.  (Assuming the Rosetta Stone was a true translation.) However what caught my brain was their immediate comparisons to Aztec and Mayan, Chinese,  Sanskrit Inuit, Viking (etc) art that -carried  a common theme  and seemed to be saying the same thing in other “languages”.  Which led me not to think that “ancient aliens” made a round the world tour but essentially told the same story in (maybe) holographic visits and the art of the cultures were more like directions. or a Fodor Guide. “How to” manuals with arrows and pictures and directions on just what they had to say and wanted done.  Not art.  But information translated into the vernacular of these various cultures so they could absorb and use it.  And not too long after, whole peoples disappeared and in some cases left no trace of anything.  And some died and got the full Monty of funerals, but it happened world wide.  Assuming (and of course ancient astronaut theorists assume this) these visiting travellers had the ways and means to figure out there was a here here, surely they had some powers that were – well – other wordly and far more advanced After all, why make the trip if you weren’t going to either kill us all or share the info. Sightseeing came later. So if you think then about our attempts to rove Mars or photograph Saturn or go to the moon; how is this any different – except for us, it’s on a far less advanced scale.   But we buy it.

So many discoveries  and we continue to hold onto our position of “no this can’t be”; we know the only way it could be.  What have we missed by not viewing the “art” as something far different that just religious scribbles.  And consider this – we didn’t figure out the Double Helix until 1952 – anyone dropping by thousands of years ago could have done anything to us.  Maybe what we swab is not ours at all.  Science has developed CRISPR and bionic and genetic engineering.  Maybe all we are just late to the table.  The simplest answer is usually the right one – being married to science is wonderful and necessary for some – but Carl Sagan thought further; Neil Tyson may, the rumblings of Asimov, Arthur C, Clarke, even Gene Rodenberry have evolved into reality and who knows – maybe that whoosh through the wormhole will have us believing ancient astronaut theorists.   Open minds work best.  They really do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vocabulary Constabulary: Part One Newspeak is Annoying. November 7, 2017

Posted by voolavex in New Speak, Social Issues.
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Each generation and culture adds words to our languages.  And that’s to the good mostly.  English, though, is really taking a beating.  I blame, to some degree, social media, but other villains are at work.  Who are they? Poseurs, snobs, wannabes, politically correct  or just pretentious.   Maybe you know someone like that?  Off the top of my head these are a start – as this will be posted in installments.

When you select or choose a group of things – you do not become a curator automatically.  I think the term robs real curators of their skills and education.  If I want to display a group of “stuff” and I publish a photo – I did not curate it.  I lumped it all together and snapped.

When you wrap up a token of esteem or affection or obligation and hand it to the recipient – this is not gifting.  And if they rewrap it and palm it off on someone else – that is neither repurposing nor regifting.  It’s getting rid  of it in a nicer way than the trash .  You may be cheap, or hate the gift or already have one – but that’s another gripe.

I have two cats who are pets.  I adore them both and they are my constant company.  I do not regard them as animal companions – the actual difference is in the definition of the word .  It suggests cherishing.  Mothers call babies pet; spouses and aunts and uncles  do too.  Grammies use it a lot.  When I hear the word pet, I think of special and important and cuddling.  An animal companion has all the warmth of the crossing sign lady at grade school.  It would not be wise for me to elucidate on my feelings about service animal companions.  Everyone is miserable somewhere along the line – it has been pretty much established that pets can alleviate or banish those feelings.  Seeing eye dogs are service animals and those animals that perform therapeutic acts for the truly disabled.  So far I don’t think ferrets have made the grade, but they are cute little scamps and probably make their owners very happy.  That is more a gift than a service.

Do you separate your trash?  Recycle that which can be recycled.  Compost? Good for you.  So do I.  Do you find other uses for things with specific names (funnel, sieve, jars, pretty box that held candy or cards)?  So do I.  Do you regard it as repurposing.  I tend to think – “I wonder what I can do with that; it’s too good to trash”.  For example – a friend sticks you with her parakeet and you are too nice to say no.  You don’t really want it but now it’s yours.  Can you repurpose it to be an alarm clock? (Birds are smart and easy to train I hear) Would you?  It would become either a pet or a pass along to a friend who liked birds.  Saying this could useful for something else is okay.  Figuring out what can be, may be a problem.

Posh words from posh Britain are floating like jetsam across the pond.  I admit to using some but I have also lived there (among the posh and titled – doncha’ know) and have many wonderful UK friends (though not mates – that’s sort of a guy word and also makes me think of soccer hooligans).  I do use a lot of nasty Britslang.  Strange bedfellows make for acquired habits quite often. Cockney rhyming slang is used by the posh because it is fun.  It also allows you to call out people in code.  But I am talking about everyday use.  Suddenly (after eons of use in the Empire) we now have co-opted the word shortlist.  When I see it -much more frequently – I am always looking for the Man Booker.  I am always cheesed off when it isn’t . Elevators are widely called lifts (something I am quite sure Mr. Otis Regrets) and we tuck in for eating. I have whole books of this slang but it’s work to find the whole book.  Bollocks!  Feel free to add to this one. It shows no sign of ending  and consider this:  the Brits use bad language with a marvelous accent and can  say almost anything still sound Belgravian.

I invite suggestions, comments and I shall make this post Installment 1.  It will be  occasional unless there are many suggestions.  Players are welcome to participate.  Free admission.

Still #metoo. Yet I Did Wise Up October 27, 2017

Posted by voolavex in common sense, Harvey Weinstein, sex, Social Issues, solutions.
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 (Please note – these men are all deceased and no names are mentioned)

Back in the halcyon days of Hollywood – when connections could open doors and a pretty girl went out to become a star, I did too. Not a starlet.  A star.  I was a lazy model, a wife, a mother and a dreamer who frequently thought – “I could do that”.  So in the guise of going to Hollywood to check on a house, we held a second on – up in the Bird Streets, I took my daughter and myself and flew to Hollywood for a week. Due to NYC connections of my then spouse, I had entrez to every studio in town – no waiting, valet parking, generosity of time. courtesy and no casting couch.  Stayed with a friend who was the most unhelpful director born.  Couldn’t, wouldn’t, didn’t even say no.  Just didn’t. No help at all.  His best moment was driving by Kirk Douglas’ house and saying casually “Oh, Kirk’s finally getting his driveway fixed”.  With that gem, I quickly found a hotel and rented a car.  I did check on the house stilted high above the fault lines with an excellent view of the city as it was then.  (It was on Warbler Way if you are wondering). Before that pivotal moment, however – the day before, I mentioned the name of a well-known studio exec who had a reputation for many things.  Elegance, erudition and expecting favors for his time and a possible bit part.  I was pleased about it until my friend shakes his head like a yenta and say “Oh, we were roommates when we first came to Los Angeles from NYC,  you’re not seeing him I hope?” And  I replied I did have his number as a person to call and then I was treated to the entire, blow by blow activities of this power broker and it was pretty graphic, but no big surprise.  I assured him that was not gonna happen and he mentioned it more than once and I ignored him. It turned out I did call this bigwig of Hollywood who nonchalantly invited me to his house above Sunset Strip for drinks the next evening and I went!!!!   Young, but not eggshell young.   I made a simple speech in my head to deliver that involved candor, name-dropping and explaining what I knew and what I had no intention of doing. (And frankly by that time – I was disgusted with the entire town, the “Industry”, whether or not I could act (I couldn’t) and I was about to get outta Dodge the next day. And so I went.

Up Sunset Plaza in my little rented Pinto (yup – Pinto)  And up some more and found the house, where I carefully backed into the driveway, put my keys under the seat and went to the door.   (Right now you think I was insanely stupid, driven by my “friend’s” paternalistic warnings; more like stubborn and over the movie star thing entirely.) I  rang the buzzer; the door opened and there he was in his silk jammies and robe!!!!  I swear to God.  DId I run.  Nooooo.  I walked past him, looked him in the eye and said very pleasantly, how do and I have heard all about your casting couch activities and I am not impressed or interested.  Everyone I know in this town (drop, drop, drop) knows where I am and (names, dropped, dropped, dropped) and stopped. He said nothing except to ask me what I would like to drink and I asked for a soda.  Long silence.  But he got one for me and then patted the couch like they like to do (still) and I laughed and all of a sudden,  as I sat in a chair, I knew he had gotten it and it had worked. We moved to the kitchen and he made ice cream sundaes and he was indeed erudite and well-educated and we laughed a lot.  He told me “it was a shame I was so pretty because what I was, was funny, but no one laughed at a comic who was a pretty girl.  I hesitated to mention Carole Landis, Judy Holliday or Myrna Loy.  Thanked for the ice cream and drove away to my little hotel room laughing like a maniac.  It was in fact, the best part of my week of getting famous (and lucky).Long before fat (yes because he is,) slobbering Harvey got busted for the myriad list of offenses he is accused of and likely did.

I am still a #metoo from more naive days,  But not that time.  Probably why I recall it so clearly and why I was proud of myself.  And why I still laugh and wish I had been able to give a course there and then it to the other #metoos.  Maybe back then on Kirk’s fixed driveway. (more…)

Who Killed JFK? Hasn’t Trump Heard Yet? October 21, 2017

Posted by voolavex in despicable, Election 2016, Idiots in Government, murder, Politics & Religion, Putin, sins, Social Issues, The 45th.
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So the 45s have turned into the Borgias. This may be one of the best examples of diverting attention from the now to events in then.  Instead of concentrating on the immediate issues at hand; the lack of action in the Congress and the White House, the lack of intelligence in the government, the never-ending suspicions – yea – beliefs that the 2016 Election was a joint effort by The US and Russia, the lies, high crimes and misdemeanors that rouse no anger or suspicions, we dig up the good old “Who Killed JFK” tamasha. This one never crossed my mind, but the plan is brilliant and evil.

Those who still remember that day in Dallas – 54 years ago(!!!!!) are still fascinated by the entire story. Theories, conspiracies, facts, lies, the size dress Mrs. Kennedy wore,  the grassy knoll, the unanswered questions, Jack Ruby and the weeping are a never healing suppurating wound in the side of this nation.

Is this the fiddle that the 45’s have found to accompany the nation’s perpetual dirge? Gone are the perps ; their due process null and void. The people in the painful images of those days are mostly dead. The last child standing is a grown woman. Does he want really yearn for this “history” to be further told. Why not just disinter the corpses and have them be questioned. Or preserved under glass and laid in the rotunda? Was this one of “promises” and did I miss it.  No wonder he stays up all night.  Stephen Miller at his finest hour (his folks must be so proud).  Or maybe he had never heard of it before?

I must note that of all the dirty, nasty red herrings the 45’s have tossed, stinking, into the last 22 months – this one defies description.

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