Just this week?
THE ABSURD TIMES
Illustration: He said that 90 years ago. Have we progressed?
It’s a Stochastic World
A great deal of nearly insane actions and activities transpired this week, so many
that it is overwhelming to deal with. The most succinct way of summarizing it is to say “Well, you know, Republicans were at it again.“ They used to be so staid, so boring, and formal, but now they seem much like a bunch of grade school pupils let out for a long-awaited recess. The recess seems to be very long-lasting because nobody in the party seems to have any The search for STOCHASTIC TERRORISM is somewhat below some of the other insanities of the past week or so. Anyway, here it is.
Now this one seems more to be out of a science fiction world, but many can not comprehend the censorship and overwhelming zeal of right-wing zealots in forbidding books to be available in public places. Missouri is seldom mentioned in these contexts as Texas and Florida have taken the forefront, so it is worth looking at. Also, the illustration shows what has happened in general there. Compare that to today.
Missouri has long seemed to be a border state, partly with the North and partly with the South. There is even one county that calls itself a kingdom, the same county where Tom Eagleton of long times past was arrested on drunk-driving charges and thus assuring an election to Nixon. For more on the “Kingdom,“ idea, the book and the movie Kings Row is about that very area and the official historian of that area reports that the author was probably an illegitimate child, not to cast aspersion on him, but to confirm his opinion of the rest of the family. Nixon also was the first to acknowledge that the Republican Party was more in sync with the South than the Democratic Party. After all, the main reason the South remained Democratic was that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.
The confusion over Missouri is obvious as it is often thought of as two states: Missouri and Muzzuruh, the latter increasing in relative size. Linguists use the Interstate I-70 as a convenient marker for linguistic divisions. Dealing quickly with this last division, there are many traits of language that are associated with the North and other with the North, for the same item. For example, “Lightening Bugs“ is the term used mainly in the South and “Fireflies“ in the North. The 50/50 points are along the I-70 highway. Another example would be “bucket“ and “pail“. All of the regional duplications act in the same manner. However, with mass communication and political changes, the boundary becomes less clear. What is clear is that Muzzuruh has become much more pervasive.
Kansas City, St. Louis, and to some extent, Columbia are still solidly in the Missouri category. Harry Truman is in the Missouri category, although he was the least favored by FDR to replace him. Henry Wallace, a much more liberal thinker, was FDRs choice. Even though he led in votes on the first ballot at the convention, he did not have enough to ultimately replace FDR. Big Business (we would today say Corporations) fought fiercely to keep him from being appointed and FDR finally capitulated. This was actually the first real attack on FDR’s New Deal policies that saved this country from the Great Depression. That attack continues even today with attacks on social programs such as Social Security and Medicare, let alone Medicaid.
Today Mizzuruh has banned a number of books in order, they say, to keep obscenity from children. Protect the children, by all means. Books by Tony Morrison and James Baldwin, for example, are banned, they say, not because the authors are black, but because they mention sex somehow. Curiously enough, one of the books banned is the Children’s Bible! Now, the King James version is allowed, even though it mentions such passages as “a woman grabbeth a man by his secrets“ [mommey, what are a man’s secrets?] and people who “pisseth against the wall.“ [which possibly means society in general?]
What is so foreboding is that Missouri is not even mentioned in the national news as most of the publicity surrounds Texas and Florida. You need only imagine how many other red states have similar movements. Mississippi is a safe bet for anything of this nature. Just recently, on April 17, someone was shot in Kansas City, Missouri.
We leave Abortion pills to another section.
RACISM AND GUNS
Tennessee is as good a place as any to take up this topic. Popular opinion has it that it was the state to give birth to the Klu Klux Klan and all its original wizards. It seems to be the state (the only other possibility is Kentucky) that outlawed Sharia Law, even though it was already outlawed in the original Constitution of the United States Centuries ago. At any rate, Nashville, and to some extent Memphis, are fairly cosmopolitan cities and thus do have black representatives in the state legislature. While helping a protest against guns after a mass shooting (three of the victims were nine years old) in a nearby school, they ran afoul of the white super-majority and were scolded and then voted out of office. A school teacher, a woman, also had joined them, but she escaped expulsion. (Oh, yeah, she was white and said that was a reason she was not expelled -- still she joined with her fellow protestors in continuing.)
They were voted on and sent back, one the next day and the other by the end of the week. They also went from completely unknown minor politicians to heroic national activists. It was the Republican party that so honored them. Still, no gun legislation has been introduced for consideration.
This would seem to be an isolated incident, but it was repeated a day or so later in Louisville, Kentucky with more mass shootings. Well, yeah, but sheer coincidence? The next day after that, another mass shooting in Alabama took place. There was an official statement that is a bit puzzling, but here it is for you to decipher: “There are two lives lost – not fatalities.“ Well, that’s Alabama, we must assume. Later on, it seems that the term was explained to him as he has used it forthwith.
ABORTION OR JESUS IS MY SCIENTIST
Mifepristone is the so-called “abortion pill“, although it is also prescribed for various forms of cancer and other conditions. Some judge in Abilene Texas somehow was able to order the drug off the market for the entire country as its nearly perfect record over 23 years proves and other scientific evidence as well attests to its efficacy and safety. Another judge ruled the opposite, but only for about 17 states who had filed and were given what is called „standing“. This last is a concept in the law that means the person filing the suit is actually harmed or adversely affected in this case. The suit in Texas was filed by ignorant and selfish white males, none of whom have ever considered themselves being forced to give birth (or even becoming pregnant). Actually, as Republicans do oppose most regulations, some women have taken to carrying signs that say DEREGULATE MY UTERUS.
There have been other suits as well. The overturning of Roe v. Wade was done at least partially through a ruling in favor of states’ rights, but his issue here and now is advocating a federal ban on these pills. This is at a time when many states have legalized marijuana and the federal government still keeps it illegal. So far, no one has filed suit to oppose whatever rule or law exists on the federal level to make it a matter of states rights. I’M GETTING A HEADACHE FROM ALL THIS CRAP, REALLY, BUT I AM DEDICATED AND WILL PUSH AHEAD.
Now, the battle is going to the Supreme Court, the same group of maniacs or 18th Century thinking retrograde poseurs or moralists that abolished Roe v. Wade and it is, therefore, difficult to be sanguine about it. In fact, of the three Trump appointees, only one told the truth about anything vital other than Bret Cavanough when he said “I like beer.“ That seemed to be an honest statement, said to prove he was not guilty of sexual misconduct. Curiously enough, that was the charge against Clarence Thomas at his confirmation and he said the charge was a “high-tech lynching“. Right now, he is mired in charges about his relationship to a white billionaire named Crow and one can speculate as to his first name (“but that would be wrong,“ to quote another ex-Republican President. Or is that another Republican ex-President?)
This is a relatively new term to gain currency and it does not appear in any Psychological manuals nor in any Linguistic histories of date, yet language study is descriptive, rather than prescriptive, so we need to search for it. For this, we reached out to social media where, despite all the insanity, one can select one’s company and that is what we did.
Our own question is “Stochastic” implies to me some sort of mathematical field that is akin to Caos (or Chaos) theory with a bit of probability also in reference. [For the Math demons, yes, I know the misleading and imprecise nature of that view, but it is good enough to find its looser definition]
Of course, the issue arises as a result of these days from descriptions of Trump, but it is quite old. The earliest example that comes to mind is Henry II [or at least one of the many Henrys], who said “Will nobody rid me of this meddlesome priest?“ The priest was dutifully killed, but Henry was able to say he gave no such order. The practice was later enumerated by his ex-lawyer who likened it to a “Mob Boss“ and this Trump seems to take as a compliment. In Trump’s case, however, he simply makes the statement as to how persecuted he is and the rest follows, specifics are not predicted, but most likely will have a desired effect, whatever it is.
This has even had its effect in Congress where Jim Jordan has seemed to abandon his voyeurism in men’s showers that he apparently enjoyed at Ohio State as a wrestling coach and now wrestles for Donald. He is taking his committee to New York to show how much “real“ crime there is in New York.
On that subject, after his arrest, he flew back to Florida and mentioned how the people there had “tears in their eyes“. The next time he was in New York for another court case, the chant went NEW YORK HATES YOU, NEW YORK HATES YOU, and on and on. They apparently wanted to make sure that he got their point.
While all this is going on, Fox News, as well as the entire corporation, is on trial for defamation by Dominion Computers for 1.6 Billion dollars. The network spread lies about the company [and knew it] and this led to accusations [this will obviously sound insane, but nonetheless happened]. The idea is that Ceasar Chavez [who died about a decade ago] created this company along with George Soros [who is Jewish and also rich and, as a Jew is evil or unchristian and Jesus tells us to smite them] in order to take votes away from Trump and give them to Biden who is obviously a front for all sorts of extreme behavior just like Pol Pot. Many people who look only at Fox News will believe this. Really.
Why should you care? Well, the most expensive station for cable companies to carry is ESPN with Fox as a close second. This means that Fox News is responsible for increases in your cable bill. That should be enough to outweigh other considerations.
APPROACH OR REMEDY
After dealing with only a few of the issues of the past week, many of us like a character in a Bergman film, are faced with bleak and endless oppression. Actually, that might be too obscure a reference. In the theatre of the absurd, there is a play called WAITING FOR GODOT. Of course, Godot never comes although they wait for him throughout the play. If he did come, it would no longer be absurd. Well, Godot is not coming anytime soon, that much is certain. Never was.
There is a reasonable way to deal with this and it is summed up in a Zen parable that goes as follows:
Two students are walking together towards the monastery which is their home, and walking along beside a river. After about four or five hours, it is noon and a lone girl is looking across the river, obviously frightened by the prospect of crossing it, but also in need of crossing it. One student picks her up, carries her across the river, puts her down, and the two continue their journey. As they approach home in the late evening, the second acolyte says to the first: “Are you so foolish? You know we are not supposed to even think about women as it will hinder our progress, yet you actually not only touch but carry in your arms one?“
The first replies: “I left the girl at the river. Are you still carrying her?“
I am leaving this insanity at the river and have other things to do. There is an entire world that is invisible to these issues and insanities.
Yeah, I’ll probably see you next week.