Tuesday, October 17, 2023

A Morning's Stroll Through the Briar Patch

It is too soon to write about the Jazz Age with perspective, and without being suspected of premature arteriosclerosis. Many people still succumb to violent retching when they happen upon any of its characteristic words–words which have since yielded in vividness to the coinages of the underworld. It is as dead as were the Yellow Nine- ties in 1902. Yet the present writer already looks back to it with nos- talgia. It bore him up, flattered him and gave him more money than he had dreamed of, simply for telling people that he felt as they did, that something had to be done with all the nervous energy stored up and unexpended in the War.

 That's the opening paragraph to Fitzgerald's "Echoes of the Jazz Age" (link).  That's as far as I got last night as there was a knock on the door and an early evening visitor.  When they left, I needed to "research" (i.e.-- Google) something, and after that, I never got back to reading.  It is a pity.  The collection of essays in "The Crack-Up" are better than any collection of his short stories and is on par with his best long fiction writing.  I think the collection, however, should have my photo of the junked Rambler with the luggage in back on the cover in tribute to Gatsby's car.

"It was a rich cream color, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hatboxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of windshields that mirrored a dozen suns.

 All gone to ruin like the remnants of the age.  

That's as far as I've gotten on that, though.  And I barely have time to think.  I rose late and have much to do before I meet my former secretary for lunch at noon.  I'm not used to being busy anymore.  Having to do two things in a day makes me very nervous.  It can send me over the edge.  I read today that the stress Americans are experiencing due to a number of factors is shortening their lifespan.  Just remember, America turned to shit at the inception of the Trump presidency.  The MAGA base will try to tell you different, but they statistically  own below average scores on all intelligence tests.  They are bots with brains invaded by Russian and Chinese parasites.  You don't really even need intelligence tests to verify this.  Not even conversation.  There is a dumb, mean look in their eyes that is a major symptom.  I've seen that look before in a retarded pit bull.  You can give them the Authoritarian Personality Test if you think you need to, but you already know how they will score.  Quibble if you will.  

There were nearly 23,000 homicides in the U.S. last year.  Louisiana is the per capita homicide leader.  If you look at the overall stats (and ignore Washington D.C.), red states far and away have more homicides than do blue.  But again, that D.C. homicide rates are astronomical--THE NATION'S CAPITOL--is testimony to this country's health.  

I've given up the news for Mad Magazine and The Onion.  

We live in the Era of Data.  All decisions are driven by data kings and queens.  I must admit, I had fallen prey to the logic of it.  But now I think it is data that is making us sick.  We thrive by illusion, not fact.  Strip away people's illusions and they go mad.  The happiest, healthiest countries in the world have a shared world view and their place in it is consecrated by a homogeneous faith in their cultural myths.  I don't think I've been the same since we quit believing in Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster.  Last night, in my sleep, some of my own self made myths were shattered.  I exist in a weakened state this morning as a result.  

I'd recommend you read "The Iceman Cometh."  Well. . . maybe not.  

There's a morning's ramble, a little stroll with me down the briar patch of enlightenment.  Sorry.  I'm distracted and in a hurry.  I'll never be ready for my lunch date in time.  

Selavy.  Selah.  

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