Tag Archives: philosophy

The men at Eva’s Boarding House, Houston, Texas, 1967

metropolitan 2

Hi readers.  There must have been 20 of us staying at Eva’s for $20 a week.  Two meals a day and a bed, usually 2-3 guys to a room.  All the rooms were sectioned off with imaginary boundaries so each renter had a footlocker and place to hang his clothes, shared a shower and john.

We were welders, mechanics, service station attendants, short order cooks, construction workers and day laborers.  Eva made sure we all had jobs, before she’d rent to anyone.  She ran a high quality place and didn’t want any riffraff staying there.  And most of us stayed.  During the year I lived there only a few moved on, only a rare new guy came in.

So we all got to know one another, became a mealtime community of sorts.  Mostly hung out nights at the bar next door called the Buckhorn.  We were almost all veterans, by hindsight I’d say we were headed to an alcoholic future if we kept on the way we were going.  But we were America.  Young guys between 20 and 30 years old, all white, all working hard and assuming that was how a person lives.

Naturally most of us thought about women a lot, tried to pick up women anytime they came into the Buckhorn.  Flirted with Eva when we got a chance.  Told one another stories about women we knew, women where we’d been, women we’d been in the sack with, women we couldn’t get into the sack.

A few of the guys at Eva’s were divorced, and I recall one from Victoria or Wharton who was still married and went off weekends to see his family.  The rest of us mostly hung out in bars or tried to womanize however we could.  Around that time I began dating my [now] ex-wife in Port Lavaca and spending the weekends down the coast.

We guys at Eva’s couldn’t care less about politics.  Lyndon Johnson was president, the Vietnam War was raging, and it was none of our business.  We wanted to drink a lot and we wanted women.

One day during the evening meal someone said a shop had opened further down Alabama Street where the sold dirty books and had machines you could put a quarter into.  He said they actually showed people screwing in those machines.  Movies showing people screwing for a quarter.

Most of us were skeptical.  That sort of thing would get a person in jail, we speculated.  So after supper we all headed down there, walking along Alabama Street, laughing and joking, poking one another in the ribs.  Into the first porn shop in Houston, Texas.

A lot of quarters went into those machines that night.  And on the way home, at
meals for days afterward it was the dominating subject of conversation.
Wondering how those people were getting by with showing that.  Wondering what kind of people the women were, whether they were hookers, strippers, or just regular women.

Most of the guys figured they were strippers and hookers. Figured the place was
run by off-duty cops so’s to allow it to stay open.  Shows how the world has
matured since 1967.

We guys at Eva’s had been around the block, been overseas, most of us.  Served in the military.  Hung around with hookers, drank, gambled and drove too fast.  While drunk sometimes.  We thought we knew a lot.  And we knew nothing.

I never saw any of those guys again after I got married in August that year for the next 25 years.  I’m betting they all went right on through life thinking they knew a lot, same as we’d thought back at Eva’s.  I certainly did.  A lot of what I knew I learned from those guys at Eva’s.  Or at least a piece of it.  And none of us knew anything for me to learn from.  We wee a bunch of ignorant normal people.

We thought the women in those porn videos were different from other women.  Different from the women we knew, except maybe hookers we knew.  There was no way we could have guesseed they were probably just regular women who decided they wanted to give that a try and weren’t ashamed, browbeaten, frightened by public opinion into not doing it.

Likely some were fair to middling good people.

But we guys down at Eva’s Boarding House hadn’t lived long enough to understand this world is a complicated place for human beings.  It’s bad about keeping the cards close to the cuff.

Old Jules

Unsettling entertainment – Killing rapesters who’d been protecting our freedoms

Hi readers.  When a movie rattles the eye teeth enough to cause a person to think about it longer than a minute afterward, it’s probably rare.  If it causes thought for a duration longer than it took to watch it, even rarer.  Black Rock, streaming on Netflix, is one such movie and for unanticipated reasons.

Black Rock 2012 R 79 minutes, Three life-long-friend women’s vacation on a remote island turns into a nightmare.   Three guys 18 days home from Afghanistan and Dishonorable Discharges are chilling.  One of them is the younger brother of a childhood friend of the three.  More Info Starring: Katie Aselton, Lake Bell Director: Katie Aselton

So here’s a tiny island with three guys capable of being badasses when provoked, and three 30ish women, one of whom is horny enough to seduce-to-the-edge one of the badasses, then try to interrupt biology with the word, “No!”

Badass doesn’t think no means no, so she kills  him with a rock upside the head.

And thoroughly pisses off the other two previously only potential badasses who saw her saying too many yeses and not enough no when the whole thing could have been just a friendly interlude.

So the first potential badass is dead.  The girls have been beat around considerably before escaping to the woods.  Angry badasses 2 and 3 are stalking them with guns with the stated purpose of murdering them.  Shivering huddled together crying the seducer/coitus interrupter weeps, “Oh God!  This is all my fault!

No,” her friends assure her.  “It was just an accident.  You didn’t intend to kill him.  It wasn’t your fault.”

Well.  Um.  Lessee now.  Reality has an inconvenient way of trying to elbow into life sometimes.  Women have rightfully attacked the old “She was asking for it,” male predisposition when rape not involving racial issues was discussed.  It generally works in town and something called ‘date rape’ is frequently prosecuted.

But maybe there’s a larger issue here.  Maybe females owe it to themselves to recognize at some fundamental level there’s a such thing as angry, angry men who aren’t out looking for trouble, but who don’t need any female genitals rubbed up against them just to give a girl a thrill.

But hell, I liked these guys.  Jeeze, they were Dishonorably Discharged!  I’ve never known anyone who was Dishonorably Discharged I didn’t like fairly well.  Although my step-brother, Bobby Jack Nelson, did have some character flaws to recommend against him over the long haul.  I liked him anyway.

If any of you watch this movie I hope you’ll come back and comment on the post.  I’d like to hear whether you find the flick as thought provoking as I do.

Old Jules

Protect our freedom by invading someone

Hi readers.  It’s time you younger readers hoisted your overalls up by the straps and increase the amount of geography the US owns.  You can easily tell we don’t have enough land, that the US needs more geography, by the screaming everyone’s doing about aliens.  The ones who don’t have PHDs and Asian surnames, I mean.

In 1849 our troops protected our freedom by invading Mexico, and Mexico does have a lot of ground with nothing on it but Mexicans, so that’s a possibility.  Last time we protected our freedom by invading Mexico we got California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and maybe some other places.

But there are also some Indian reservations with nothing much but Indians on them.  The only way we’re ever going to protect our freedom from those Indians is to invade the reservations and put them up for real estate development.  There’s some good hunting and fishing country in some of those, along with potential for ski slopes and other tourism.  Gambling casinos.

But Canada’s also a place been threatening our freedom too long and it has plenty of real estate with nothing on it but Canadians.  If we ever expect to solidify our security with Alaska we need the Pacific Northwestern Canada real estate.  And for all practical purposes it’s empty.  Nobody much from the US lives there at the moment, which is one hell of a provocation.

The truth is though, we’re never going to feel safe invading Guatemala until we’ve got our freedoms protected in Mexico.  We need International Boundaries that connect to places connected to somewhere else where there’s more growth potential.

We acquired Puerto Rico protecting our freedom in the Spanish American War, but what the hell did we get for protecting our freedom during WWI?  Guam?  How’d we get Hawaii?  I’m trying to remember which freedom it was we were protecting when we got the US Virgin Islands, and US Samoa.

Fact is, the US has really dropped the ball.  US veterans of WWII hardly gained us any real estate at all to savor our freedoms in.  And we lost our freedom in Vietnam and North Korea.  And all the freedom our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan protected didn’t gain one inch of new territory with nothing on it except Arabs.

Sheeze.  It’s fairly clear we need to be protecting our freedoms closer to home.  Starting with those damned tribal lands nobody’s been able to build condominiums on.  Finish the job on the damned Indians before having a closer look at Canada and Mexico and the freedoms we need to protect involving them.

Old Jules

Maybe to some it was a terrible tragedy. To others likely it was a blessing

Hi readers.  Wil pointed out in a comment that the guy in the White House mightn’t have known yet whether a plane went down when he made his might be a terrible tragedy statement.  I’ve been re-thinking the post and I hope Wil is wrong.

Maybe Wossname, the guy in the White House was demonstrating an uncharacteristic, Zen-like wisdom.  Maybe he was trying to exert some of the world leadership thing presidents are occasionally accused of, albeit wrongly accused.

Fact is, that airplane actually mightn’t be a terrible tragedy because someone the CIA or such had on a list of suspects of being terrorists.  In which case everyone else on the airplane was just part of the price of fighting terrorism.  Maybe the prez didn’t want to stick his foot in his mouth and be forever harangued about it until all the authorities went over the passenger list carefully.

It’s an ill wind that blows no good, any way you cut it.  While it’s tempting to think Wossname wanted to make certain someone he’d personally like to see dead was on the plane, or that someone he had to make a public display NOT being glad as hell, the crash was certainly a secret blessing to some peoople.

People can accurately be described as a pain in the ass to other people.  All of us.  If one of the passengers was the guy next door to someone and had a dog that barked all night, he neighbor would consider the prez a fool, or a liar if Wossname proclaimed it a terrible tragedy.  And so on 295 times.  Plus or minus the airline crew.  Lots of people collecting flight insurance, losing troublesome mothers-in-law, competing people on the career trail, it all reduces the equation when attempting to determine whether there was a whiff of good in the ill wind.

And Wossname!, the guy in the White House, might have recognized this!

Maybe.

In any case, we might as well be ecstatic because now we can make up our own minds whether anyone on the airplane needed killing more than the rest of the people aboard needed to keep living.

Old Jules

Spoof on WWII – A Man Called Sarge – Heluva funny movie

Hi Readers.

This one’s worth the laughs.

You watched this on 7/17/14

A Man Called Sarge

1990PG-131hr 28m

You rated this movie: 4

This parody of WW II movies finds the overly zealous Sgt. Duke Roscoe leading his band of oddballs on a mission to blow up a vital German fuel dump.
Meanwhile, if you agree with me that we’ve been taking a lot of our presidents, particularly Franklin Delano Roosevelt, too seriously, you might enjoy this for a change.
Streaming on Netflix:  FDR: American Badass 2012R93 minutes, After contracting polio from a werewolf bite, FDR and a team of historic figures seek victory in World War II by defeating an army of Nazi werewolves. More Info

Starring: Barry Bostwick, Lin Shaye Director: Garrett Brawith

 

Wossname, the White House Guy, says that passenger plane crash killing 295 might be a tragedy

Hi readers.  I’m thinking terrible tragedies only involve killing 300 or more unsuspecting travelers.  But wossname’s come right out and strongly implied the 295 killed in the Ukraine “might be a terrible tragedy“.

I really hate to see anyone messing around with the English language this way.  If the word “might” can be placed in a sentence ahead of “be a terrible tragedy” the terms of engagement need to be defined for the purposes of clarity.

Hells bells readers.  You know me.  I’m not pickypickypicky about this sort of thing.  If one policician, or 295 regular normal people, or some specified number of a particular ethnic group is what’s required to make a terrible tragedy it’s no affair of mine.  But planners need to know what the hell is needed.  Who the hell wants to know about non-terrible tragedies?  Which will almost certainly happen now, thanks to this ambiguity created by the wossname, President of the US.

What the hell is the matter with these people?

Old Jules

Prosthetic flagpole after-market extensions for that permanent half-mast look – Half-mast inflation

the forbidden door

Hi readers.  Jeanne and I pulled into the parking lot of the Olathe Community Center prepared to do serious battle with exercise machines.  But my focus was distracted by the half-mast status of the flag.

“Why’s the flag at half-mast?”  Me, trying to think of how many living ex-presidents might have kicked.

“I dunno.  I guess someone died or got killed somewhere.”  She didn’t pause from gathering her water bottle and unbuckling her seat belt.  “Maybe someone in Iraq or somewhere.”  She shrugged.  “Half-mast inflation.”

They seem to do that a lot in Kansas.  Running the flag up to half-staff as frequently as possible on the safe assumption somebody died.  But I suppose that’s everywhere.  When I was in Texas and only got to town every couple of weeks I noticed they held off dyings of important Americans to coordinate their half-staff flag-flyings with me being in town.

But it probably began a lot earlier.  Hell, it got in style when Elvis Presley died, I think.  Damned flags all over the country celebrating the day the music died.  Bye, bye Miss American Pie.

There are only, what?  365 days sometimes, and either 364 or 366 other years, and so damned many important people.  Finding some days when the flag flies from the top of the pole is going to leave someone who ought to have a half-pole lying dead with a full masted flag.  Not properly recognized.

The obvious solution is to retrofit extensions on all the damned flagpoles across our great nation so’s the default position is half-staff and there’s no option of insulting any deserving half-staffers.

Considering how many important people we lose every year to drug overdoses, suicides and downsizing there aren’t a lot of options.  Although they’ve got a Commemorative US Postage Stamp of Jimi Hendrix, I noticed.

But even having a postage stamp with your picture on it becomes inflationary.  Next thing you know they’ll be naming cars after the Killed In Actions [KIA] and changing street names every time a two-bit politician or a button pushing drone-jockey in Afghanistan falls off a bar stool and offs himself.

Old Jules

I respect Native Americans and other minorities because it’s so dehumanizing.

Imagine it readers.  Someone saying aloud, no hint of humor, “I respect white people!”  Imagine that bullshit.

Now, turn that around and imagine you’re hearing what you’ve heard a thousand times from the lips of a white person speaking about this or that minority group.  Or women.  [Parenthetically, I think males, especially white males, are the minority in the US gender-wise.  I haven't checked the statistics, but I recall somewhere women live longer than men because they don't have the stresses, wars to fight, and don't have to do the hard, dangerous work all us men do just for the fun of it.]

Anyway, think of it.  Suppose you were a self-respecting US citizen of color, and some white person said to you, “Hey man, I respect blacks.”  Do you suppose he’ll just figuratively roll his eyes back into his head and grunt?  Or will he say, “Just what the hell are you talking about you freaking lying hypocrite?  You believing your own bullshit again?”  Because it ain’t like he’s been living on the moon.  He’s living in the world where the prisons are full of black males, where black males are gang banging, selling black women off to prostitution, and strutting around being proud of it.

How the hell could anyone except some stupid white person insult, dehumanize decent black people who aren’t doing those things by saying he/she ‘respects’ generic, stereotyped, cardboard cutout blacks?

Same with Hispanics.  The only Hispanics a person could claim to respect and mean it across the board are the ones illegally crossing the US/Mexico Border to work their asses off for peanuts doing anything lazy assed US citizens don’t want to do.  But just saying, “I respect Hispanics,” is to stereotype them in a way any fool knows is a blasted lie because it simply isn’t possible in the real Universe.

It’s a similar with Native Americans.  That’s because the insult is compounded, squared and cubed.  Probably 90% of people guilty of even thinking such assinine thoughts have never even spoken to anything remotely akin to whatever the hell they think a Native American is.

There ain’t any such thing, is what I’m saying.  No such thing.  No such thing.  There are Lakota, Zuni, Navajo, Mojave, Mescalero.  As different from one another as a NYC black trumpet-player living in Greenwich Village is from a bayou Coonass in Louisiana.

About the only thing descendants of  aboriginal tribesmen in North America have in common is white people and Mexicans and blacks.  Every Rez is full of people who know how stupid white people, Mexicans and blacks are.  The Rez is full of stupid people too, but mostly they don’t know it.  But they could be a lot stupider than they are and still recognize how stupid white people, Mexicans and black people are.

And they’re damned well sick of being dehumanized by being respected by them.

Remember where you heard it first.

Old Jules

Jasper Fforde – The Fourth Bear

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read, despite the fact none of you ever take my advice about authors and books.  I’d be disappointed in you if I didn’t know you probably wouldn’t have liked them anyway.

For instance, Balzac’s Droll Stories, you’ll probably recall, I told you was the funniest book I’ve ever read.  Told you where you can download it free on wossname, gutenberg.org website.  And I’ll go to my grave confident not a damned one of you bothered to have a look.

So when I tell you about Jasper Fforde I can do it with a high level of confidence I could say anything and not get caught in a lie.

I first told you about The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde, along with The Well of Lost Plots, and maybe some others in that series.  I’ve managed to actually get a few people to try some of those and nobody liked them.  Gave some the books free.  Poof!  Not a, “Hey!  Funny, intriguing book.”  Nothing.

Jeanne likes Jasper Fforde.  Might well be she introduced me to his works.  Shows how the coincidence coordinators are always at work.  Two people, the only two in Christiandom who’d enjoy Jasper Fforde, happen to be close friends.  I love those guys, the CCs.

Anyway, The Fourth Bear is a good book I think you’d enjoy if you were ever stuck in a prison cell the way Steve McQueen was in Pappilon and not allowed to talk to anyone for several years, do anything but read the book.  Fforde explains the deep mystery, for instance, of why three bowls of porridge all poured at the same time, are vastly different temperatures.

 Fforde, for the purposes of this book, lands the reader in a world where talking bears are fighting for their rights, trying to become civilized the way Native American tribes tried to become civilized to keep from being slaughtered by whites.  But the bears come at a later time in history, when a larger or more vocal part of sympatric humanity carries some weight. 

Not to say they’re able to pass legislation, THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND ARM BEARS, to allow bears to defend themselves from hunters.  But the do put them on reservations where it’s more difficult to shoot them.

 Fforde’s main character, Detective Jack Spratt, heads the Nursery Crimes Division of a city police department.  Constantly he’s chasing down criminals out of nursery rhymes.  Persons Of Questionable Reality.

But he’s one himself, and from the time his wife died from overeating fat, he’s able to overcome certain behaviors considered compulsive.

This  plot contains a fast moving set of  plot devices involving the Gingerbread Man, various bears, Goldilox, and giant cucumbers responsible for cuclear detonations threatening the bears, the humans, and possibly world peace.

Read it if you’re ever in prison.

Old Jules

“Barbie Goes Native” sparks reevaluation of US Military posture

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

The 1970s, pre-US military adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan movie, Caravans, has come to the attention of US military planners.  Careful study of the overwhelming success beautiful actress, Jennifer Oneal, had influencing primitive tribesmen to behave themselves suggests new avenues of approach to US militarism.

Caravans 1978PG 125 minutes, An American diplomat is tasked with retrieving a famous politician’s daughter, who is married to an Iranian colonel but has run off with a rebel leader. More Info Starring: Anthony Quinn, Michael Sarrazin Director: James Fargo
 
During past military adventures,” White House spokesmen declared, “The US had never put women into combat-like roles.  It was believed doing so would undermine the claims that wars were motivated by the need to protect moms, wives, sisters and potential girl friends from the evil forces of the enemy.”
 
But, he explained, today women occupy active roles in a wide range of combat positions and while the Draft statutes have not yet been amended to include women, modern warfare justifies doing so.
 
“Jennifer Oneal was married nine times during her years as an actress.  In Caravans she enjoyed huge influence among primitive Moslems.  Today a few women of the Jennifer Oneal variety might replace the entire US military presence in Afghaistan. 
 
“Female porn stars could probably serve the same real-life function today as Jennifer Oneal with her stunning blue eyes, blonde hair, and nine husbands did back in the 1970s, and the cost would not be prohibitive.
 
“Changing the outdated US conscription statutes to include beautiful females, particularly porn stars, might well be the key to shrinking US military involvement, in most foreign countries. “
 
A major general  in the Pentagon who wished to remain anonymous agrees.   “War has simply become too costly to allow it to be pursued by traditional means.  Drafting female porn stars to replace both male and females in combat, secretarial, and other position would greatly reduce costs and boost morale.”
 
Jennifer Oneal’s performance in Caravans was not considered particularly impressive when the movie arrived in theaters of the 1970s.  It was not nominated for Academy, nor any other awards. 
 
But history has proved them wrong. 
 
The NSA is now monitoring all online pornography sites with a view to voluntary recruitment pending the needed reevaluation of US Draft Law to determine whether it can be interpreted to allow conscription of beautiful females.
 
Old Jules