"Thou shalt not be aware" → "For you own good" (Alice Miller)

Abstinence is hazardous to your health. Ignorance is even worse.

In my (BMcC) social surround of origin, the word "innocence" meant preventing a child from knowing about sex and sexuality, that premenopausal women bleed each month, etc., but also assuring the child does know about other things such as barber's chairs. (They succeeded quite well with myself.) Therefore innocence was anything but innocent, because it was willful suppression of awareness of life by persons who knew more than they were letting on. Liars! Or maybe they didn't? As has been said: Never attribute to malice anything that can be explained by simple stupidity. But I don't think my prigs really believed babies came by StorkEx (where is that freight forwarding company's main hub? Amsterdam, Schiphol airport? I'll take Narita or Zaventem).

There is a quite offensive and fairly inane film which is harmless because it's just celluloid or computer bits, not sticks and stones which can break a person's bones: "The Innocence of Islam". Buildings have been burned because of that film. So much for innocence.

I would define innocence differently than the prunes(sic): I would define innocence as (1) a person being unaware that persons get raped instead of enjoying erotic love, (2) a person being unaware that persons are low paid wage slaves instead of independent master craftspersons, (3) a person being unaware that people do not live surrounded by Handel's and Bach's music, {4} a person being unaware that persons do not all speak at least three native languages, (5) a person being unaware that military conscription exists and young males are sent to be slaughtered in battle, (6) a person being unaware that human bodies get cancer, (7) a person being unaware that some persons do not have Richebourg with dinner each nite... This is an infinite set. That kind of unwillful ignorance, to me, would be innocence.

Why aren't kids sheltered from knowing bad things until they are old enough to be able to handle them? Does a 5 year old really need to have their innocence spoiled by opening a bedroom door and seeing mommy put a bullet thru daddy' skull, or just seeing mommy and daddy in bed watching such violence on their bedroom TV?

Innocence, for me (BMcC[18-11-46-503]), is not naked little putti flying around on aerodynamically unworkable wings and showing their cutsie little asexual penises for the delectation of dirty young or old crypto-pornographers whose perverted sex act of choice is getting hormonally saturated teenagers to: "Just say no!" Innocence would be kids not seeing grown men being obscene going around on public beaches with their nipples exposed, and fathers not taking their sons to promiscuously expose their little wee-wees in public "rest rooms" where nobody ever rests, or subjecting their sons to medically unnecessary genital mutilation (aka: circumcision), a crime sufficiently bad that people get self-righteously indignant if they are told it is a crime and that they themselves are criminals for being perpetrators, and/or that they are victims for having had it been done to them, or to being haircutted, as if the little boys were adult women who had been caught for copulating with Wehrmacht soldiers in Vichy France....

Dear prigs! As far as I am concerned, you can have your birds and bees, because it may not be advisable to reproduce species life on an earth that may soon turn Venusian, not in a Roman pantheon but a meterological sense. I want you to teach the kids Donatello's David (above, right)! Man (or woman or other) up!

I recently heard Cat Stevens (aka: Yusef) sing: "Why am I dying to live when I am only living to die?" Answer, please.


I (BMcC) have no idea what the above picture is a picture of or where it is was taken or anything else about what it is a picture of. It was shot by an entirely respectable middling-upper middle class male senior citizen who had erectile dysfunction, during an otherwise frivolous vacation with his also senior citizen wife, to Europe (2012'ish). The man, in his daily life, took lots of often rather technically good photographs of all sorts of socially respectable things. This picture is not from some pornography website; it is a photograph of a putative art object on display in a public museum of contemporary "art", presumably, somewhere in either London or Western Europe.

I (BMcC) find this picture close to horrific, maybe a 2021 rendition of Purgatory by a Hieronymus Bosch wannabe, or a scene from a mixed gender concentration camp barracks where everybody was SStripped(sic) naked? What could have motivated this guy, who for years took The Metro North New Haven Line commuter train to and from Manhattan five days each week, and was mesmerized by his second wife to serve her her afternoon cocktail as if her deigning to let him serve her was being transported to Heaven, and who was chronically sentimental over his step-grandchildren, to shoot this picture of variegated pose mixed gender naked mannikins (or are some or all of them living human bodies, after all?) slotted into industrial storage shelving racks? Also: Where's Waldo? (Celebrity on earth is not likely redeemable for sentence time reduction in Purgatory or reduced eternal torments in Hell.)

No pain no gain and other nonsense

Petty people with social power have lots of highfalutin cliches about life: "No pain, no gain", "You have to pay your dues" and other such shibboleths. When everybody's matinee idol United States President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, said we choose to go to the moon not because it is easy but because it is hard, that was no skin off his ass, was it? The Apollo engineers sweated that one out. "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." Volunteers are the cheapest labor they can hire.

The royal we [subjects of discourse], as always, being served by the we they rule [objects of their discourse]. If working class people stopped having children, their rulers would soon enough have to wipe their own asses (or stop making a mess). As George Wallace did not say: "Purgatory today . . . Purgatory tomorrow . . . Purgatory forever". Smile for the camera, Jack! You have a photogenic face.

Ode to The New York Times

As I have written elsewhere here, attending an Episcopal prep school made me an atheist (Professor Louis Forsdale was one, too). Reflection changed me to being an anti-theistically biased agnostic (if God exists He is not good). My substitute in 2020 for a Church? The New York Times newspaper. Now, in the current Covid-19 pandemic and (POTUS №45) Donald J. Trump catastrophe, I have begun praying there, i.e., submitting Reader Comments and Letters to the Editor[1].

"The Gray Lady", as "The Times" was once called, has proven magisterial in these times. One recent OpEd piece documented the history of "the rape kit". Nobel economics prize winning Professor Paul Krugman wrote of us being volunteered "to die for the Dow". Another OpEd piece elegantly referred to DJT as "the Nosferatu of American politics". A recent front page, simply covered with the names and brief bio info of Covid-19 casualties, is a work of art. 'Tis a shame that master of English language prose, Winston Churchill, is not still with us to contribute an OpEd piece, too. TMTC (the nuclear industry acronym for "too many to count"), but in this rare case, fortunately so.

+2021.06.13. Unfortunately, in early 2021, The New York Times, and even more, CNN, joined the lemmings march to the sea of George Floyd hysteria that gripped America, as if one rogue cop doing a very bad thing to one petty criminal who otherwise would never have got his name in the media, was more important than a school teacher having been beheaded by a RELIGIOUS BIGOT in Paris (France) 16 October 2020, for teaching freedom of expression in a public school, more important than Global Warming, more important than Covid-19, more important than individual persons' singular lives. They seem to have Woked up: Both The New York Times and even moreso CNN were proudly proclaiming the overarching importance of "Black lives matter" when they should have been reporting the news disinterestedly and pointing out that "Black lives matter" can mean reverse racism, sectarianism, and the devaluation of individual personal life. They also got all worked up about Alexei Navalny, a Russion dissident who, after just barely surviving being poisoned by Vladimir Putin, did not even wait to fully recover before rushing back into the lion's den to get himself thrown by Mr. Putin into the Gulag, and when Mr. Navalny went on a sympathy (aka: "hunger") strike, they said Mr. Putin would be accountable if Mr. Navalny hurt himself -- no, they said Mr. Putin would be held accountable "if anything happened to" Mr. Navalny, which is patent nonsense, since Vladimir Putin, while he is apparently a bad actor, did not coerce Mr. Navalny to return to Russia, nor did Mr. Putin make Mr. Navalny go on a sympathy strike.

I love the page format of the print edition, jam packed with good text. I wish they would go back to the 1980s format of having exactly 4 sections in each non-Sunday paper. All NYT is divided into 4 parts: News, Sports, Business, and theme of the day, e.g., Science Tuesdays -- if I remember correctly. But they still are not yet either post-modern or just more colorful/less text dense [I'm not finding the exact words here...] like most newspapers have always been, at least since I've been seeing them. I don't denigrate those others; they have good reasons for looking less like Roman Senators. But I like The New York Times's more "serious" format better, myself. "Newspaper of record": what goes on needs to be recorded and remembered, lest "we" forget.

B-29 Superfortress bomber. B-29 Enola Gay dropped atomic bomb on Hiroshima. B-29 Bockscar dropped atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Colonel Paul Tibbets commanded 509th Composite Group; with the code word "Silverplate" Colonel Tibbets had unlimited authority to requisition anything he wanted, to carry out the atomic bomb missions.

I recently had a fantasy that The New York Times was soon to become the Enola Gay of American politics. That it was 02:15 on journalistic Tinian, time to turn off the krieg lights and for all the assembled "brass" get out of the way. And they were about to take off, 15,000 pounds over-weight, heading for "Primary" (not Heroshima, but (POTUS №45) Donald J. Trump). Who's your Thomas Ferebee, NYT? Weather conditions reported "good". Aim accurate, men!  

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  1. Now many years ago, I did get a Letter to the Editor published in the print edition. I responded to architect Paul Rudolph's obituary by noting that his death from lung cancer may have been caused by the esthetically appealing but asbestos-laden ceiling coating used in his Yale Art and Architecture building. The ceiling coating eventually resulted in the building being closed for a major renovation to remove it. As a Yale undergraduate I had liked to study in the library in that building; a recent chest x-ray apparently showed I do not [yet?] have lung cancer. And: If you ever get an x-ray and see the manufacturer of the x-ray machine was "Picker", that's my wife's distant relatives from whom, however, she does not seem to inherit or offer me a job opportunity. How I wish I had a good family business to be part of!
    Also: I have learned that Albert A. Volk, whose gravestone I feature on my "Incipit" page here, sent so many Letters to the Editor of the NYT that they dispatched a reporter to interview him. Another thing to wish for!

Unfortunate for themself, the person who lacks one; unfortunate for others, the person that is one. Don't be an a**hole!

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2022-04-29 07:01:04