Why does Banksy make me cry? (interlude)

Waterloo Bridge, London 2004

By Dominic Robinson from Bristol, UK – Banksy Girl and Heart Balloon, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=73570221

Sometimes we need to remember their are heroes who fight as they can, when they can, to try and save humanity. We listen to them less and less frequently now. Why?

Because we don’t hear about them. Our world view is carefully curated. The Social Dilemma outlines this better than I could ever hope. And no it doesn’t matter how enlightened you may think you are. Grow Up. (digression over)

Banksy has been and continues to be one of those heroes. The picture above always gets to me. For years I never saw the lettering. All I saw was the loss of the balloon, which for me was tied to my idealisms, my dreams.

But there are letters, and there always is hope. Never forget.

Be Well…dcd

Oct 11 2027 when email disappears…

I have a number of long term bets with various people. One of those bets is email will disappear by 2027. Six years is not a long time. But all things considered, email, not email addresses, will be basically gone by then. We can see it in how Virtual meetings, Teams, Slacks etc. are taking over the world. The only thing we use email for, is authorizing or connecting apps to us.

There was a time when having an email address was rare and people thought, what would I do with that? Likewise today we send messages through Facebook messenger, Slack channels, texts, or links in various apps. Don’t email me.

In six years time I suspect it will even be less. By that time our notifications will come primarily from the apps we are connected to, not the addresses we use. DM messaging will be the go to, not emails. For many people that is the way it is now.

The courts and governments will of course drag behind the rest. But banks, are already ahead of the curve. Why invest someone’s time to look and an email and process. If someone wants to send someone money, just direct transfer it. It makes sense. The people we pay bills to, want the money direct deposited, it saves them the administration of processing cheques or emails.

Emails for me are just becoming an alert service, this Twitch streamer is on, Oh Rogue Wave is live on Instagram, new Tweet from Andy Mckee.

Hopefully we will all be spending less time on email. Not so that I win a bet, so that all of us have more productive and fulfilling lives. Lives with real work in them. And not the mindless shuffle of papers, electronic or otherwise.

The random babble continues.

Stay tuned for Part Three of the Tribute to Utopia, the British series, mindless made-up conspiracy blogs of long titles in the near future.

Be Well…dcd

A Conspiracy Theory in homage to the British TV Series Utopia – A Long Blog Post Title Entry

With the release of the US Netflix take on Utopia I was drawn back to my memories of the British TV series of the same name. Although the show was too gory for me, I did watch it all, captivated by the cleverness. Genius work in my opinion. But I’m easily impressed. I would argue it is one of the least appreciated tv series of all time. Yes, it’s that good, if you can get past the blood and guts.

Today’s entry is a short conspiracy theory for your consumption. No, not the disease consumption.

The basis of the conspiracy is of course the world order that controls us all and the current COVID pandemic.

Consider the following.

All the free donated masks, millions, perhaps billions by the time COVID is over or controlled or vaccinated against, are made in China or the US. Or a subsidiary of a company controlled by a large multi national. Further they are all made to the same standard. Each and everyone has a micro dose of a reagent in it. Can I prove this to your satisfaction? Doubtful. But you can prove it to your self.

The first component of the drug is inert and simply takes up residency in the muscle tissue of us all, building up with each disposable mask we put on. No noticeable side effects, or any effects for that matter. Fine.

Wave two or the second wave of COVID. Really?

Have you ever thought why there would be a second wave? Doesn’t it make more sense the infection would be constant, dependent on contact and spread? Why would it stop? There is no vaccine, there is no treatment, there is no herd immunity. The second wave is to get us to wear the second wave of masks. To get us to inhale the second component. More masks.

I’m going to digress slightly here. Bare with me. World wide we are all wearing masks. Why don’t we wear them every year with the seasonal flu? Are the 650,000 people who die to respiratory illness related to the flu not worth it? We all know COVID is deadlier than the flu. But think, if we wore masks during flu season. Think of the savings to health care systems world wide. The decrease in long term hospitalizations alone would save billions.

Have you figured out why we don’t wear masks yet every year? Neither have I. There is no good reason not to. Cheap health care. We should have been doing this for decades…we’re idiots.

The flu deaths, I would note, follow a similar profile to COVID: elderly or a pre-existing condition. Not the young, not the healthy. Oddly enough it is the young and healthy who threaten the world order the most. They are not controllable it seems. The last thing the WO (World Order) needs is a group of independent people who are free thinkers. People who use the existing systems for their own purposes. They who don’t vote, and more importantly don’t consume mass market products. These are the people who listen to podcasts of like minded souls, they like bespoke products. Or hell, make their own products. And they live in society. They are not the ‘off the grid’ whack a moles. THEY are becoming society.

A society that is mindful.

You may think it funny for me to say ‘they don’t vote’. But if you don’t get what you want, why vote? Their experience with voting resulted in nothing tangible for them. So why vote? There are other ways to game the system, to get what they want. Their numbers are growing. Simply look at the increase in the number of podcasts or micro breweries. The number has exploded over the last 10 years.

Jumping back to ‘why masks now, try and keep up. The highest levels, of the WO are under attack. In general the richest people can’t hide anymore. Reasons for this in my opinion:

  1. Too brazen, some of the elite have just decided it doesn’t matter to keep the secret any more. Too rich to care about the masses. After all what can the masses do? You only need to look at 45’s tax bill to realize this. You do the math. The turmoil in the middle east power structures is another example. The, ‘ I’ll just kill you ‘ mentality. And this is between their own elite with nothing the lesser of the elites can do about it. Three letters MSB.
  2. Lost control of the media. Everyone is a reporter now. The People are the Media. No hidden death squads, or people who disappear.
  3. Rebels in their midst. Altruistic members of the WO wanting change. Whose conscious is over burdened with guilt and can’t be killed. Because they are part of the media, part of the people.
  4. They’ve gotten sloppy. Gone is the cold war era of careful planning. Corrupted by their own wealth, they no longer need to hide.

Edmonton, Alberta Canada is known throughout consumerism as the perfect test market. McDonalds tests there, everyone tests there. And low and behold, little old Edmonton had it’s first race riot ever. Spontaneously two groups met in a the same parking lot and the police had to be called in. Never happened before. Never, ever. Except after a Hockey game…odd…

Anyway, they all were wearing masks at the start, masks that had just arrived, new disposable masks. Freshly handed out. The test of the delivery system containing the second reagent was a success.

Be well…dcd.

Laundry…

On the bed I see a shirt with a small stain on it. The blotch won’t come out, no matter what is tried. It’s a work shirt, simple, blue with a fine checked pattern, just enough to break out of being solid blue. I’ve had it for years. I don’t want to throw it out. There is nothing wrong with it, in my opinion.

But

We live, or at least I live, in a society where you can’t wear a shirt like that to work. Makes you look sloppy, dirty. Throw it out. We do that, we throw things out when they aren’t perfect. We judge others by how close they are to a misplaced concept of perfection.

Why?

How did I get programmed to throw things, anything, out when it is no longer pristine? The black shirts that aren’t pitch black, but faded black. Into the homeless shelter donation bag. Small hole in a dress shirt, can’t be worn. Scandalous!

I’ve noticed the same thing about fruit. When I was a younger man, it was common for me to cut out the bruised part of an apple. It happened regularly. A bad spot on a banana, just remove it and eat the rest, not a big deal.

Now, we complain about any blemish, on anything. We expect, no we demand faultless fruit. The right color green on our salads.

Its only a matter of time before we start doing this with people. Oh wait…

Amos Garret, a legendary guitarist, once said, ‘Don’t hide the mistake in your solo, play it loud, play it proud.’ or words to that effect. Those words have hung with me over the years. We are a people of mistakes. Our mistakes, as many before me have said, define who you are, who I am.

I don’t want to be an endless consumer. The slave of mindless consumerism can be fixed. Some would call it adopting simplicity. I call it doing the laundry. The mending of an ideal from my youth I lost along the way.

Be Well…dcd

Argh! My Muse is closed!

We all have muses. At least I believe we do. For me, and no one, absolutely no one who knows me should be surprised to discover my primary muse is the coffee shop.

And mine is closed.

I’m at the point now where I have to face the fact of moving my muse. How does one move a muse? One doesn’t.

The simple fact is writing is a habit. And like most habits, its tied to locations, triggers honed after years of development to allow us to get work done. The work of writing.

Secretly I’ve hoped the closure will be ‘one more week’. Just one more week and it’ll be open, and I can sit a table a write. Oh the glory of it. I can feel the seat, see the smiles, and the typing. The screen with words magically appearing. The best words, all the words, the words my story. (Yes I know the prepositions will still be missing…now be quiet).

The first taste of a pour-over coffee, closing my eyes and the brief moment of transcendent bliss. A slight inhale of breath with a slow exhale, a gentle smile of, dare I say it, happiness. The pause and then writing about Dyson Kinton and her crew trying to save the Lunar Empire from machinations of the Martian Marines. Or maybe it will be the completion of The Cocktail Mysteries Book One: The Case of Jonathan Smythe Concord, esq. where James discovers…

Perhaps I’ll return to Markaz, the first city where magic is discovered. Maybe we’ll visit Jorunn and Othin as they strive to survive being a channeler and forge who can wield all four elemental magics.

Maybe it will Tanner Kindly, trying to save the universe from falling into another diaspora by visiting retribution as the arm of vengeance for the Trifecta.

But I don’t have a muse, I’m not able to dive into the habit of writing. I’m in the habit of dreaming. Day-dreaming, wishing, longing for the return. The return of a table, a coffee and writing. The state of writing in dribs and drabs.

In case you haven’t identified what this rambling blog is about, its wallowing. And it’s not as bad as I make it out to be. I’ve actually gotten quite a lot done on the Cocktail Mysteries. But I long for a routine to make me more productive.

Becoming mindful of lessons learned and write. Your muse, my muse, will find its way to you, wherever, whenever you are.

Be Well…dcd

Some thoughts on why I’ve wanted to be a monk at various times in my life, another entry in the long blog titles series.

At various times in my life I’ve wanted to be a monk. Specifically to be left completely alone with my thoughts, to contemplate, to just be. I suspect many people have wanted this, just to be left alone.

When Iris Eyes Are Smiling…

Thought One: Why can’t we just be nice to one another? Really, why can’t we be good people, all of us? Fundamentally I don’t understand why people are evil, mean or abusive. It is a great weakness in my writing. It’s hard for me to understand and put myself in that place. I am referring not to a reaction state, as in when someone hits you and you want to hit them back. There are evil people, people who do mean things because that is their nature. People who believe they are better than others.

Where does this come from?

This thought can overwhelm my soul and drive me to the solace of solitude.

Thought Too: I enjoy peace, the place of the tranquil soul on still water. I am sure others, perhaps even you have experienced moments of tranquility. When you the turbulence of your mind becomes the flat still water of peace. I long for this when wanting to be a monk. The place of being in the still moment of nothingness. A place to remain forever. In my youth it was easier to find this place. As I have aged, my tolerance for people intruding on my peace has become nill. In fact I become quite upset. The once still pool of deep waters has become a shallow puddle, easily disturbed, muddied by the merest infringement on it’s edges. The isolation of the monk calls to me, assuring me the monastery can protect me from this.

Thought Three: It’s a lot of work to cultivate the peace desired in my life. I need to book a time, find a space, hope that no one is going to interrupt me. Do I have the tools I want to use ready, a coffee, some music and notepad. A monk is again protected by the abby. There is less struggle to create the sacred space needed for contemplation.

Some people will say I need to learn to meditate, I am not going to argue, but the point of this rambling writing is not just a an injection of daily meditation but a life of solitude and peace.

Living a life were the interruptions of life are birdsong and kettles boiling to make coffee, a dream, a hope.

Be Well… dcd

What is procrastination, let’s talk about it to avoid working on what we should be working on. Part Two of the Long Blog Title Series.

I don’t like the word procrastination, hate it actually. I think it is a ‘cheat’ word, well at least for me it is.

I’m lazy, and lack discipline is what I think in my head when I hear procrastination. Why is it I can’t do what I want to do? It makes no frickin sense. For some of you, you will never understand this. Others will be tired of hearing about this again. It can be so tiring to read about the same issue over and over again. I understand, remember this blog is self-indulgence for me, not you. Move along, there are better blogs for you to read today.

Are you looking at me?

/digression – I was going to write “Why can’t I do the right thing?” But I can’t use that phrase. It always reminds me of Spike Lee’s amazing film, “Do the Right Thing” (1989) If you haven’t watched this film, you should. In my opinion one of the greatest uses of the film/movie art form in the history of humanity.

You may wonder why I commented on the digression I had in my thought process. The title of the blog should explain why, the evil P word. Secondly I’m trying to use the blog as a process to get into the flow of writing. The stream of consciousness writing and not self-edit as I write the blog.

Second digression completed.

Part of this is tied to the concept ‘The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak’. Similar expressions are found in Islam and the rigors of the scientific method. I am not a scholar in any of these areas.

A crude analogy would be trying to change the course of a river that has run the same way for thousands of years. The river is solidly entrenched in the path it wants, the path of least resistance. Each erosion of the earth has been made to make the river’s journey easier.

Perseverance, Evaluate yourself honestly, Seek help in writing from others. Those are my answers today.

The problem with each of these answers is they require self-discipline or perhaps in my case, the correction of the easy habits, just letting my life run on auto-pilot. Everything around me now seems to revolve around the concept of how to change.

Dynamite or damming the river can change the course of the river. A little drastic, don’t you think? Some of the pools and eddies in the river are just fine, thank-you very much.

And I have successfully procrastinated, at least I’m good at something…

Cheers…dcd

Some thoughts, about a quote, from a guy, from the second century, involving philosophy.

“Treat with the utmost respect your power of forming opinions, for this power alone guards you against making assumptions that are contrary to nature and judgements that overthrow the rule of reason. It enables you to learn from experience, to live in harmony with others, and to walk in the way of the gods.” (taken from The Emperor’s Handbook -Marcus Aurelius- , A new translation of The Meditations by Scot Hicks and David V. Hicks)

Please note the above quote does not say guard your opinions, but the power of forming opinions. The authors of the translation go on to talk about what controls this power and how The Meditations helps guard against foreign powers from taking over how I get my opinions. These powers can be anything, drink, love, lust, or an actual foreign power influencing you.

Again it is not our own prejudices we are guarding, although they are a real threat to living a better life, or so I believe. If we can’t with confidence evaluate how we live our lives and change as a result, we are in far deeper trouble than being manipulated.

Not that reason is the be all end all, indeed, the current modern expression of the scientific method has been co-oped by research grants controlled not by the search for reasons, but by the search for funding. Scientists can only research when there is funding. And funding rarely, if ever, rewards innovative unproven hypothesis to test. Our investigation is derivative. It must be built on something previously proven.

But I digress, the quote is about the individual guarding their own process for coming to a conclusion and forming an opinion. I doubt there is a single course of study providing guidance in this matter. Critical thinking, you say? Critical thinking is by enlarge about thinking, not protecting.

What are your defenses for guarding your process? When you write do you jump on the latest bandwagon, magic bullet for writing? I sadly don’t have an answer other than I try to:

  1. Record what works for me to write and then practise that process.
  2. Avoid ‘triggers’ that put me out of the writing flow.
  3. A space to write in.
  4. Music

Somedays I wish I could wrap myself in bubble wrap. How about you?

Today’s diatribe has been brought to you by the word ‘Trigger’ and I don’t mean the horse.

Be Well…dcd

Butt In Chair

Rambling string of conscious blog done at high speed…

The singular most important action you can take as a writer, is to get your butt in the chair and write as often as possible. Good, Bad, Ugly, rambling, off topic, anything.

The habit of writing is an elusive lover, once found, you will cherish and safeguard. But like smoke, will escape in a careless moment, leaving the faint smell of missed opportunity and regret. I

If I had only written every day this week I’d be finished this chapter, story book.

Many people treat writing like a one night stand, fun, mysterious, dangerous…but not a commitment. Commitment, a foreign concept in today’s world sordid social media where many want to spread their hate as fast at the STD rate.

The dirty secret about commitment is it involves accountability. And is anyone accountable for anything today? We have excuses for everything. No one owns their mistakes, and if they do, they are considered weak.

All relationships go through struggles, the ups and downs not involving pleasure. Writing is no different for me.

Like a recovering alcoholic all writer’s need a support group. Find one.

Be Well…dcd

There are always more anomalies than you planned for – j.townsend 2019

In the mythical world of earth I am a character working in information technology at a company. We recently moved into a new building. Therefore for the last two weeks, I’ve done nothing but work and discover anomalie s . Anomalies require two immediate steps be taken, one is a prompt work around solution to allow the business to function and two, a report sent to allow for the issue to be resolved. Step one requires creative out of the box thinking. Step two requires accurate details to permit the swift resolution. Those of you who have been in this position know that “swift” can sometimes mean 6 or 7 weeks.

The third aspect of this process is the pristine perfect work, your work, your pride, is often compromised to get people working. And unless you do my job it is beyond difficult to experience the ruination of your own work because of others. Such is my situation. Instead of an impeccable server room with neat cables, I have what amounts to a rats nest of chaos. In fact I doubt whether rats would live there.

Random Cat Picture!

The astute reader will identify this as a metaphor for the writing process. And as someone who is going to send out three manuscripts this year into the chaos of slush piles, I have a lot of pain ahead of me. A writer fulfills all these roles, from owner to architect to finish carpenter to accountant to receptionist to IT guy. (PS – IT people hate being called “IT Guy”)

The result is the next several blogs will deal with aspects of anomalies that have corresponded to events in the new building. It’ll be fun, we’ll laugh, we’ll cry and I might get my sanity back. Hopefully I will get my writing mojo back.

Topics include, More phones than places to plug them in: Bridging your main character until you flesh them out making them a better character and thereby making your story better.

Why is it so cold in the building: Building heat in your story that is consistent with your characters. Not just a tussle in the bedroom.

Dealing with false accusations: How to get the enemy to aid your cause without compromising your values.

All of this will be from my limited perspective as a writer. Join me on the mythical adventure into the real world of my writing.

******

More than ever this year, be good to people. Recognize kindness, take time to honestly praise people in front of others. Hate surrounds us, destroying the soul of society do not aid in the destruction.

Be well…dcd