Apparently, the bereavement coordinator wants me to contact her so that she can coordinate my bereaving. There was a standard-sized business card on Mom’s nightstand from her last night when I went to visit.
Beverly. Her name is Beverly. Beverly the Bereavement Coordinator.
On the back of the card was written, “Michael, please contact me.” Underneath the bereavement business card was a bereavement checklist. Seriously, that’s what it said: BEREAVEMENT CHECKLIST. Below, were actual things to check off. Number one was “I’m glad you were my father, mother, sister, brother, cousin, babysitter, gardener, person behind me in line at Wal-mart.”
Number two was “I forgive you for….”
There were others. I sat in the chair looking at them as Mom dozed. A nurse came in on her quiet shoes. “How is everything?” she asked. “Any pain?”
“Not as far as I can tell,” I said, looking over at Mom. She turned to go, smiling professionally. “Nurse?” I said.
“Are we in an episode of the Twilight Zone?”
I love idioms. English is one of the most idiomatic languages in the world, which is one of the many reasons it’s so awesome.
I started thinking about this because this morning someone asked me if I drank coffee or tea to get my juices flowing. “Tea,” I said. “I’m a big tea guy.” But even though I drank a pot of tea this morning, as I do most mornings, the juices did not get flowing. And what juices? Flowing where?
Once I was reading an article in the paper about an American businessman. He was in Russia, where the company he worked for was expanding, and had to give a speech to a group of investors. Since he only spoke English and the investors only spoke Russian, his speech would be translated as he gave it. The businessman started off with a greeting and some pleasantries, one of which was “I’m tickled to death to be here.” The translator, who was Russian, was not familiar with this particular idiom and rendered it “Being here is like getting scratched to death.”
I consider myself a nice person. I do not hate anyone’s guts, unless I’m caught with my pants down kicking up a stink about spreading myself too thin. A lot of people say I have half-baked ideas and they scream at me like their hair’s on fire, saying I’m dumber than a door knob. But I never lose heart because I am so happy-go-lucky. Some say that my humor is off color, but really it’s off the hook or off the rails—or just off the mark.
Ignore me. I don’t have the foggiest idea what I’m talking about.
It was a seminal event. The word seminal is derived from semen. They’ve always invited me, clear back even unto the 90s. I have never attended. First of all, I didn’t graduate with them. I dropped out during the first month of 10th grade. Don’t worry, I went on two get two college degrees, both of which I’m not paying for.
I do not recall high school as being a fun time. I don’t understand those who do. Teenage years are nightmare years. Awkward, terrified, self-obsessed. Where’s the fun in that? I wasn’t exactly unpopular, but I certainly wasn’t popular. A sort of hoodlum nerd, I would help you cheat on your test, but only if you smoked me up.
The pictures of the event, which ends today, are now appearing on Facebook. Everybody looks very normal. Several of them I don’t remember at all. The names and pictures do not ring anything, let alone a bell. The ones I do remember I wasn’t that close with, though I tended to be a friendly sort back then, much like now. The was no deep interpersonal anything with them, though.
I feel like if I went, I wouldn’t fit in. What would we possibly talk about?
Weird how absolutely nothing changes, even after a hundred years….
I am missing the Olympics, which is ok. It’s my own damn fault anyway, getting rid of tv like I did. I saw a tiny bit last night when I went to my cousin’s for dinner. It was just a vast, disorganized recap anyway. It was 1:30 in the morning in London.
They talked about a 17-year old swimmer on our team, a female. I was interested, thinking, wow, when I was 17 I could barely shop for myself and yet here she is in the Olympics. But they didn’t elaborate on her. Next thing I knew, they were telling me about beach volleyball and showed a bit of it, but not the whole thing. Then they flashed over and talked about swimming again, but our boys. Males = less interesting. Something about Michael Phelps. Blah, blah, but they didn’t show anything, only said it was coming up (sometime between 7 pm and 11 pm). Next, they talked about boy gymnastics and showed a bit of it, but not the whole thing.
I became officially annoyed, thanked my cousin for the lovely supper, and went home.
Now I’m reading about all the empty seats. At prime events, seats are empty and it seems to be embarrassing. Officials say those seats are going to be filled, even if they have to give them away, which is cool. I’d go to the Olympics if it was free, too.
I did get to see some of the opening ceremony recapped and, unsurprisingly, it was as garish and over-the-top as always. Each country tries to one-up the previous country. Eventually, I think, the opening ceremony with just be a series of nuclear bombs going off, set to whatever pop diva is current. Until, of course, we colonize space. Then, the opening ceremony will be supernovas going off or, perhaps, giant stars being rent by black holes. All for the point of spectacle.
Subtlety? Taste? What the fuck is that?
I’ve always much perfered the winter olympics anyway. Curling FTW, baby!
It basically gives the government the right to take over the internet or kill it whenever it wants—-AN EMERGENCY! OH, NOES!—-If you try to read it, it’s pretty unclear, like all modern government and legal documents. They are written this way so that they are difficult to understand and an entire industry of interpreters can be created (lawyers, newspeople, etc.).
It starts off talking about how important it is for the government to maintain its ability to communicate at all times, then goes on to talk about how it will take this ability away from the people in an—-AN EMERGENCY! OH, NOES!
The internet is becoming more and more problematic for authoritarianism/fascism/corporatism, which is our current social and government set-up. Most recently, the case of Savannah Dietrich can be pointed to as successful public activism on the internet. She was sexually assaulted, went to court, and her attackers were given a slap on the wrist in a plea deal (they were minors). Savannah was ordered to not speak of the case again, but she said “Fuck that” and did it anyway. She tweeted their names, hopefully ruining their lives (cross your fingers!) The lawyers for her attackers then pressed for contempt and Savannah, a victim of sexual assault, was looking at 180 days in jail for exercising her right to free speech. God bless America. The public rose up in her defense, at lightning speed, fascilitated by the internet. The lawyers for her attackers then withdrew their demands for a contempt charge, admitting that it was the very public outrage that caused them to change their minds.
While this a wonderful story and great for Savannah, it wasn’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. But it does show you the power of millions of people instantly communicating. The will of the people changed the behavior of the government, and we can’t have that, not on a massive scale. The internet makes it seem like the whole world is right there in the same room.
This is very dangerous for the government, whose sole purpose is to maintain the status quo and increase its own power. That is its nature, and that is why the internet has been killed locally during some protests. It is much easier to beat people and spray chemicals on them when the whole world isn’t watching.
This executive order gives the government the power to shut off or take over the internet, should lots and lots of people get really, really mad about something. In short, it is to prevent revolution or rebellion of any grand scale.
Now, some are politicizing it, which is bullshit. Right-wingers are calling Obama a dictator. Left-wingers are apologizing, saying it’s just for—-AN EMERGENCY! OH, NOES!”
They’re both full of shit. Romney or Bush or any president would do the same thing, except maybe Ron Paul, but Ron Paul is full of shit, too. While I agree with him for the most part on foreign policy and war, domestically he simply wants to transfer federal authority to the states. People think that’s “libertarianism”. But, as the Who said, MEET THE NEW BOSS. SAME AS THE OLD BOSS. Plus, Paul ain’t even pro-choice—and people think he’s libertarian. Hello?
For libertarianism to be something more than just a masturbatory fantasy for the 18-40 year old white male demographic, liberty has to given to be the people and power has to be taken away from the states, both federal and local.
So, too sum up, this executive order is simply the government taking the initial step in a possible revolution or rebellion. Or, if you want to be paranoid about it, the government is planning to do something in the future which will cause revolution or rebellion and this is a preventative measure.
Whatever you believe, it is, without question, the government saying that “We, The People” should not be in control of our own means of communication.