From Unclassifiable Blather

You’ve Heard it All Before

I’ll say it anyway

I’m taking my queue from a line in Elvis Costello’s “All the Rage,” one of two of the truly great and bitter breakup songs ever written.[1] The line:

I’ve heard it all before, you’ll say it anyway

From which I can only say, “Why not?”

So here are things I’ve said before. I’ll probably say ‘em again. Tomorrow I will be 60 years old. One day closer to being Mean Mr Mustard, sitting in a park feeding poisoned peanuts to pigeons and grunting incoherently about “the Man” who is out to get me.

After soon-to-be-regretted political ravings, I do get to some lighter stuff. Persevere! Or if you must, scroll past the angrier misfiled bloviation.

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Locked-down and loaded: I’ve got this. The less I go out, the better. A heaty humidity wave has made staying in–with ozone-fouling AC cranked up to two PBPD (polar bears per day)–more appealing than ever before. It makes avoiding the earth’s nasty infection–humanity–easy peasy.

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Uh-oh, Karen’s got a gun!:[2] This guy is infected. Who would have thought that wearing a mask, which is done primarily to protect others, would be politicized? What the fridge is that about? If only the T-rump/Pinched 2020 campaign sold MAGA Masks©
Karen's got a gun

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Humans, an “infection?”: Yeah, that’s pretty harsh. It is not something I really believe about people in general. Even people with whom I disagree with strongly about politics, religion, and other matters of personal choice. We are all free to believe whatever we want to believe. Or at least, we should be. Except where the exercise of of our beliefs infringes on others’ rights. The tricky part is defining what are the “rights” of an individual in a society, and what are “wants” that cannot always be accommodated. The much-quoted third paragraph of the U.S. Declaration of Independence names three about which most of us can agree.

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness[...]

Even those three can be difficult to codify into law (and I will just ignore the absurdity of the “all men are created equal” written by a group of white men who clearly did not believe it). The “pursuit of happiness” thing? I often wonder just what I might get away with under the guise of “pursuing happiness.” Then of course, a Bill of Rights followed. It hasn’t always clarified matters.

The point is that defining rights in a free-ish society is not easy. Personally, I feel that being required to wear a mask in public places to help mitigate a public health crisis is not too much for a government to ask of its citizens. (Walmart? They have a broad authority, though not absolute, to regulate their private establishment.)

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Humans, an infection? I do believe that from the point of view of an idealized Mother Nature–loving all of her wonderful flora and fauna equally–humans are a dangerous infection. Perhaps COVID-19 is an antibiotic she has reluctantly employed for the betterment of her “children?”[3]

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Socially-distanced distraction: Away from the humans outside of my bubble, but not far enough from very social mosquitoes, I had a rare opportunity to see a comet. And you may know about Bachblog’s peculiar fascination with comets. As posted on Fazebonk:

Last night Joann, Nicole, Cole and I caravaned *not quite far enough* north to escape the cities’ light pollution and see comet Neowise. Still, a fun adventure (especially after the skeeters scattered). We did see the comet, however faintly. Plus, with vans parked on the side of a dirt road while the dynamic duo of Meadow and Haaken–untroubled by politics, viruses, rising temperatures and tides–loved the adventure (not least the staying up and out ’til 11PM, peeing outdoors, and asking lots of questions). We heard two calling loons; saw bats, fireflies, a running deer, Jupiter, Saturn, the recognizable part of Ursa Major (the Big Dipper), Cassiopeia (a “star grouping,” not a constellation), a shooting star, and the ISS. And for Joann and me, a precious chance to watch the young pups experience the world.

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The view of the comet was beautiful: So I hear.

XXXXXXThis photo shared on Wikimedia by the photographer SimDe is what we hoped to see. Our view was just a bit fainter and more diffuse. Imagine peering through clouds of mosquitoes at a semi-dark sky, where upwards of two dozen stars are visible. A nearby cottonwood tree is optimistically shedding the cottony seed-bearing puff balls which float by on a gentle breeze. Neowise the comet is barely visible! You are slack-jawed in awe. Then–what’s this?!–another comet catches your eye and seems to be coming closer. Alas, it enters your open mouth and, wait, that’s no comet! It’s an aspiring cottonwood tree, and it tastes worse than the half dozen mosquitoes that you’ve recently sampled.

Click on the photo to see the original 2900×2400 pixel image on Wikimedia. It might make a nice background image for your desktop computer.

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This is not good: My granddaughter is really enjoying the Dr Demento mix I made for her and her brother. Recently the recording of “Der Fuehrer’s Face” by Spike Jones has really caught her ear. She’s a precocious 5-year-old, but I’m not sure she fully groks the song’s message. But she said to her mom, “Is this from grandpa? This is the best song he’s ever made me!” Her two-year-old brother also enjoys it. But there may be a problem.

Before I identity the problem, and in case you are unfamiliar with the tune, have a listen:

You may have anticipated the problem. A couple of days ago, my grandson’s mom wrote to me:

Update: the only vocab Haaken seems to have gleaned from this song is ‘Heil!’ So now, our blonde-haired, light-eyed Scandinavian boy runs around yelling, ‘Heil!’ Great.

Yeah, that’s not good.


  1. Bob Dylan’s “Idiot Wind” is the other. I have alluded, and more, to both songs here on this blahg. [^]
  2. Late edit: One person on Faceplant objected to my use of “Karen.” He considers it a racial slur. I didn’t intend it that way, and after reading more about its meaning in this context have kept it in this post. I just am not persuaded it rises to the level of “slur,” though reasonable people may disagree. [^]
  3. No, I do not suggest that Mother Nature is real, nor would I expect such an entity to unleash a virus on mankind to punish the species for its misdeeds. Pat Robertson might, if he worshipped her. In fact, what is he saying about COVID-19? If he hasn’t blamed it on lesbians or people who don’t shop at Hobby Lobby by now, he may be dead. [^]