"Bad news does not get better with age." (ref. lost. I (BMcC) believe this is from a former Police Commissioner of Philadelphia, PA, USA)
If you, my reader, do not find the two above pictures of classic Americana insipid, inane and hypocritical, at best, then I think you want to leave this page, because I will not here be celebrating happy little bluebirds flying somewhere over the rainbow [without radar and without monitoring local Air Traffic Control for current weather conditions], or some self-styled "fool" [with a face that slightly resembles a chimpanzee's] just walking in the rain and getting soaking wet so alone and blue all because his heart remembers you ☂ (no, not you as a person, my reader, but some unbound variable).
This will be a page of miscellaneous warnings and admonitions, i.e., things I will suggest may save you from premature dying or other blessings. If you, my reader, don't like it, skip it, and go some place else, but please do not behead me (as happened recently to French school teacher Samuel Paty, in "The City of Light", Paris, France), and please do not cancel me, either, because I need to breathe, eat, have a bed to sleep in, etc.
Prevent avoidable deaths due to cost effectiveness (etc.)
"The cheapest alternative is not always the least expensive." (Wausau Insurance Company)
Watch, on The Smithsonian Channel, the series: "Air Disasters", "Disasters at Sea" and "Space Disasters". Why? Because the docudramas in these series will teach you the co$tly and murderous consequences of being stupid, irresponsible, trying to maximize profits and other good things that are either overtly celebrated or covertly pressured for persons to do, in The United States of America today.
All the shows are based on documented facts, often interviewing persons who were there or quotations from them concerning the incident at hand. The dead often speak thru real-time voice and data reccrders recovered form crash scenes. As Laurie Anderson once sang: "Let X = X; You know, it could be You". I (BMcC) especially recommend these programs to be watched by MBA professors, students and degree holders. There are lessons here for attorneys, too, but in the opposite direction (i.e,, collecting damage claim awards, not creating the damages).
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matt 5:16)
Read (study) The New York City Department of Public Health guidance on safe sex during pandemic. This document cuts through the sex-hypocrisy which I (BMcC) believe is still rampant infestation in The United States of America, in 2020, even though Fred and Ginger (above) no longer are America's Numero Uno mass-cult heroes/icons.
Diogenes of Sinope's commentary by living example on the hypocrisy of social customs would still not be celebrated in The United States of America today even though humanity has had over 2,000 years to learn and grow up since his days: Famous lawyer Jeffrey Toubin was recently humiliated and dismissed from his job at The New Yorker Magazine for an inadvertent minor faux pas on Zoom. Yesterday they came for your neighbor; tomorrow they may come for me (or, for you, my reader). And look out for new Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett try to revert Griswold v. Connecticut to take away your right to privacy and give the government power to monitor everyone 24/7 in their bedroom.
Protect yourself (and others) from Kitsch infection
Kitsch is not technically inept art; Kitsch is unethical art. (Hermann Broch, paraphrase)
We should all know and take it as obvious that Kitsch (example here) is not just esthetic dreck but also potentially fatal. A young man who ideates that "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori", or a woman who ideates that she should lure her husband, son or other beloved male to that, is either potentially going to get themself murdered or egging others on potentially to be murdered, or getting maimed themself or causing others to be maimed for life if they do not die from it. Patriotic agitprop is not ads for Musical Comedies on Broadway.
There is a problem here, if you, my reader, were, like myself (BMcC), childreared and schooled to know nothing else than this soul poison and so may have drank the Kool Ade but not yet perished from it.
Parable here to help prevent myself (and maybe you, my reader) from succumbing: In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus wants to listen to the fatally seductive Song of the Sires and not crash his ship into their rocks and all hands die. He has his crew plug up their ears so they cannot hear it, and he has them lash him to the mast of his ship so he cannot hurt himself from hearing the Sirens' fatal Songs (the [al]lure of Kitsch). His ship gets thru the hazardous waters and all survive. Once safely out of range of the treacherous noise, the crew unplug their ears and Odysseus is unstrung from his ship's mast. End of parable.
I (and you, my reader?) may not have a crew, but we can imagine we do, and bind ourselves the the mast of Universal Culture whenever we are tempted to be seduced by a bit (or a massive avalanche) of Kitsch. (If you, my reader, were healthily childreared and/or schooled, this warning may not apply to you).
Trust nobody; test everything
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions." (Unknown)
(1) "Every sentence I utter must be understood not as an affirmation, but as a question. [A caution he gives his students, to be wary of dogmatism.]" (Niels Bohr, Nuclear Physics). Anyone who does not affirm this and act consistently on it is a threat to everyone's safety, health and life. Try to investigate them. Find out "where they are coming from" and "what their angle" is. Remember: Every Absolute Truth is an Absolute Truth du jour: Example: Saul of Tarsus became St. Paul. (2) "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (1 Thess 5:21).
Wilfred Bion said that social customs are shared hallucinoses aka social psychoses. Investigate everything anybody believes, especially your own beliefs (Item: Do you believe in ritual genital mutilation of infant boys (aka: circumcision sans medical exigency)? If Yes, then why do you not also believe in the social custom of Female Genital Mutilation, too, or do you?). I (BMcC) would modify the Biblical text by adding one word: Between "fast" and "that" I would add: "only": Eject the rest overboard like, in Sergei Eisenstein's film "The Battleship Potemkin", the ship's crew launched the physician, who had certified maggot infested meat as good for them to eat, in a parabolic arc down into the briny deep.
All lives matter
""First of all, I'm Debbie the person!" (Cartoon or possibly real life statement by a woman who, as a small child, was the poster girl on packages of "Little Debbie" donuts)
Be suspicious of anybody who says something like: "Black lives matter". If by that they mean they identify as black and they demand for themselves and their friends to be treated as peer persons with all other mortals, including but not limited to, white ethnicity male mortals, I think that is great (it also should be obvious: An Oxford educated black African diplomat is clearly superior to white ethnically Christian male Bob Couch Potato or Joe Sixpack, for example, albeit (POTUS №37) Richard M. Nixon made a tape recording of privileged white male President of The United States of America (POTUS №40) Ronald Reagan calling such diplomats: "monkeys").
But if they mean: I, as a self-identified black person who may even have a tenured professorship in a white male established university, deserve and will endeavor to extract reparations from you white male because some other white person(s) centuries ago enslaved my ancestors (often with the help of black go-betweens back in Africa), then I propose the following is also obvious: Such a person is a threat to me although I have done nothing to hurt him or her. I too am a victim. As Elie Wiesel said: "Don't compare! All suffering is intolerable." The net: If person X does not care about person Y or Y's hopes in life, etc., but only seeks to extract material goods (e.g., money) out of Y or just leave Y for roadkill, why should person Y not treat person X the same way? Do unto others as you would be incensed if they do unto you? Eschew White Power Racists, and also eschew all other ethnic cleansers, even if they are, today, only doing ethnic cleansing-Lite because they lack weaponry to go all the way today.
Raise up those who are low, not pull down those who high. Those who are high should always be able to give a hand up to those who are below them, which raises them [those who are high] even higher than they were before, because they can learn by teaching. We need a race to the top! Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes, too.
You must watch Adam Curtis BBC videos on YouTube
"What is the truth? Where did it go?" (Bob Dylan)
Adam Curtis's BBC documentary videos (free on YouTube) are great. The whole BBC online is great. Adam Curtis's documentaries speak truth to power, elegantly and eloquently. The narrator's (Curtis's?) voice penetrates ideological obfuscation (which is pervasive in modern United States of America, and maybe other countries, also?) like crosses being squarely stabbed deep into vampires' hearts (which, indeed, his documentaries aim to do!). My (BMcC) favorite, since 2005, is: "The Power of Nightmares" (3 episodes; an hour each); Even just the introductory two minutes are devastating. After watching a few more minutes you will find out that University of Chicago Professor Leo Strauss is a very treasonous clerk [intellectual], who, perhaps like Plato, believes the masses[' hormones] need to be managed for their own good, by an elite deploying myths the elite know very well are fairy tales but need to mouth at the many in a convincing way to dupe the many to believe these myths, for what they [the elite] believe is the latter's own good! And on and on it goes....
"The Century of the Self" will introduce you to perhaps the world's first and only Applied Psychoanalyst: Sigmund Freud's nephew, Edward Bernays, who invented manipulative advertising which has taken America to hell in a handbasket (not Curtis's phrase here, but mine, BMcC). Bernays applied psychoanalytic theory to sell cigarettes to women, because, to borrow from a famous quote about his Uncle Sigmund's theories with a twist: for women, a cigarette is not just a paper tube stuffed with ground tobacco. Dr. Joseph Goebbels learned from America's very own Edward Bernays!
Adam Curtis's documentaries are Ex-Lax for the soul. Who among us does not suffer from some measure of constipation of the soul in "our" mass mass-marketed social surround? I find it amazing that Adam Curtis made these videos in association with a government agency, but maybe that's what you get when you do not have deregulation → not a meaningless freedom of expression for those who will likely never have anything to say or if they do it will not be be heard, but free expression of truth about the powerful. God save the Queen!
- This webpage contains footnotes, and you should not exterminate me. When I am certified dead, you can have my corpse if you want it, raw or cooked to your taste. Bon appétit, cannibals! Thank you.
- Near the start of the old popular movie "Chariots of Fire" I vaguely recall a short scene which does not seem to fit in with the rest of the almost unrelievedly upbeat film: a crippled woriking class World War I veteran with his face wired together comments to another working class veteran on seeing the dashing young Oxbridge men who never saw service at the front jauntingly go by, something like: "Those were the blokes we fought for."
- Question: ¿If the person performing the ritual circumcision sucks blood from the wound he has inflicted on the infant, does that or does that not logically entail that he is a ? I (BMcC) do not know the answer to this question.
- I (BMcC) do not want it. I didn't ask for it. I wish it would just go away. How do you feel about it, my reader?
- I (BMcC) feel that, if the Brits would give us an NHS (National Health Service) and representation in Parliament, we should annul the nasty little Colonial rebellion and go back to mommy.