IT’S A MASTERPIECE! – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Masterpiece

They gasped at its originality. The family matron was bowled over by its original design and creative conceptual images. Even the family teenagers were completely awestruck by its astonishing combination of colors and textures.

They took pictures of it and sent them all over the internet.

The artist was unimpressed. She kept sucking on her dummy and gurgling for more fingerpaints. Her genius would not be fully discovered until at least kindergarten.

THE CHANGING SEASONS – AUGUST 2019 – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons, August 2019

It’s official. This has been the hottest and wettest summer more than a hundred years. The hottest days and hottest nights. Until it cooled off a week ago — and we went critical on E.E.E. (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) mosquitoes, so now that the weather is decent, we can’t go out anyway.

Not a great summer.

Meanwhile, one side of our house is rotting. It’s the south side. Somehow, during one or more of the storms that we’ve had, water got in under the siding and turned the underpinnings to muck and mold. We have to find a way to fix it. It is unlikely the insurance company will do anything. As the adjuster pointed out, they don’t actually fix anything unless your house burns down.

They don’t do it for you. It’s to protect your mortgage holder.

So, we haven’t been outside much. We did take some pictures, but mostly, we have stayed inside. My current entire mentality is trying to figure out how to come up with a few thousand dollars to fix the wall. It’s ironic, really. I was just reading about somebody who spent more than a million dollars to redesign his garden and I was thinking “There really isn’t any justice, is there.” I commented to the adjuster we would be better off burning the place down.

He agreed.

Photos are by Garry and Marilyn Armstrong.

When we were young, we took each other in if someone got into trouble. We just did it. Of course, we had parents who could help us if we really got desperate. Now, we are the parents. Hell, we’re the grandparents.

There’s nowhere to go. Our kids don’t have houses, our parents have passed on. C’est la vie, eh?

About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.

If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

    • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
    • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
    • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

    • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
    • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
    • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to Su-Leslie’s post, she can update it with links to all of yours.


Garry was saying he was taping an old movie, “A Letter to Three Wives.” He thought the whole concept of writing letters was kaput. No one writes letters anymore. We may dash off a note on a card, but a whole letter?

“When,” I asked Garry, “Was the last time you wrote a real letter.”

“When I wrote to you, in Israel?”

“Yup,” I said. “And the letters I wrote to you from Israel were the last personal letters I ever wrote.”

“Funny about that,” he said.

“Sure is,” I answered.

That was 1987.


We’ve lived in this house for just under 20 years.

When we moved in, we put up all new vinyl siding, tore off the old roof and put up a new one. We installed fencing around the property. We got rid of the beaten up sliding doors that went from the dining room to deck with French doors, replaced the front door (the first time). In total, it was about $30,000 worth of work. Then there were appliances like washer, drying, refrigerator, stove. And of course, the water heater popped. Eight years later (that’s about the longest a water heater lasts), it popped again and we replaced it again. We had to replace the water heater again this year, too.

The newly refinished deck — which is also why there are no birds. It was time to take in the feeders until the fall. I miss my birds!

As for the water pump in the well (it’s almost 500 feet underground), the lightning loves it. It’s the combination of iron and water — a magnet for electric. We replaced the output for the septic system and all the pipes that ran to it because the people who had lived here rolled over them with a truck and crushed them.

French doors in the dining room

New front door!

We added a sump and a pump and French drains so the basement would stop flooding. We had to rebuild the well because it was old and it needed it. We replaced most of the pipes in the house and redid the electricity twice (two new circuit boards, if you please).

This year, we replaced the bathroom which urgently needed it and all the plumbing from the upper floor to the basement (time turns copper piping into rust). We replaced the front door (again) and added a chair lift.

As much of the room as I could fit into the picture!

The chimney still needs repointing and the west wall of the house has been beaten by storm-after-storm since the end of the winter. This summer has been both the wettest and hottest on record.

Remember climate changes? Guess what? It’s not “on the way.” It’s here.

Despite being just on the edge of out of money, we nonetheless managed to get through each thing that had to be done. We consolidated our biggest credit cards which had been used to pay for these fixes. I was counting on at least one year of breathing easier. I was pretty sure the chimney would survive until spring unless a tree falls on it … and THAT is one of the things insurance covers.

I did not count on having one wall of the house turn into mush and mold. It was the wind-driven rain, falling trees, and branches. The gutters are so bent from being whacked by falling branches they no longer do anything useful.

This year, we ran out of money. It took 20 years, but the house got older and we got older. And then there was getting rid of the invasion of the field mice and the ants. Living in the woods is a mixed bag.

What’s astonishing is how your home insurance never covers ANYTHING. Except when lightning hit the pole in front of the house (that was a really LOUD noise!) and knocked out two computers and a router. Insurance paid for that. Otherwise, they have collected some very big money from us for a long time and never paid anything to us.

I think they owe us because it isn’t wear-and-tear. It’s storm, wind, and crashing tree limbs. But, we don’t get to make that decision. It’s entirely up to them. When lightning hit the well, they said it wasn’t part of the house so we had to pay for it. How could it not be part of the house? But, that’s what they said. They agreed it was lightning, but not their problem. OUR problem. As usual.

Apparently, the only way your well is covered is if it happens to be inside your house and wells are NOT inside anyone’s house.

We are out of money. We had a nest egg. It got eaten. Houses always need work. No matter how much you do — and we’ve done more than I’ve bothered to list — there’s always more. The windows were good when we got here, but they are old now. We replaced the horrible old rugs with fake wood floors, but it wasn’t installed well and it needs to be redone using better materials and a much better installer.


Now, there are changes in the climate.  These will eventually affect everyone. Do you think insurance companies are going to cover climate change damage?

Would you like to put down a few bets on that one?

Insurance companies are not in business to cover you no matter what the advertisements say on television. They are in business to make money by NOT paying you while proving whatever happened, it’s your problem.

Basically, they cover three things: lightning that damages things IN your house (like having it burn down), falling trees, and fire. Everything else is “wear and tear.” With climate change beating up everyone’s house, there’s going to be a lot of damage — and it won’t be their job to fix it because they don’t fix. They collect.

House in summer

So maybe you understand when I say homelessness is not on my agenda, I’m too old and too sick. We are both too old and if we are unlucky enough to not get the Republicans out of office, it’s going to get worse. Remember:  Social Security and Medicare are insurance too — and if they decide to stop payments, we will all be in very deep shit.


FOWC with Fandango — Churlish

I couldn’t have picked a better word for this morning if I had searched the dictionary myself.

I should start by saying that Garry has been a customer of Commerce Insurance, now renamed MAPFRE since he moved to Massachusetts in 1970. Admittedly, part of the reason was that there weren’t a lot of companies servicing Massachusetts in 1970 and for private vehicles (Garry was a renter, not a homeowner), Commerce pretty much owned the market.

They are not even close to the cheapest insurers on the market. In fact, they are a couple of hundred dollars more expensive than most of the other companies, but over the years through lots of car bang-ups, they’ve been fair with us and even when, for reasons I still don’t understand they doubled their rates this year, we stayed with them. We have a long-standing record with them and I always think — usually to my detriment — that loyalty should be rewarded. I am usually wrong. I still anticipate when you’ve hung in there with a company for 49 years, they should at least treat you with civility and respect.

When I reported the problem, I was assured I’d be seeing an adjuster by Friday. I assumed it was a done deal.

Indeed I got an email and a telephone call from the agency assuring me the complaint had been received and properly filed and would be dealt with ASAP. I had a complaint number. An adjuster would be calling shortly to make the appointment for Friday.

I’m not sure why this stuff always seems to happen on a holiday weekend. It’s Murphy’s Law. This is not merely any old holiday weekend, but it is followed by an extremely busy week including more checkups with my heart specialist, Garry’s eye doctor/surgeon (his cataract surgery might need a bit of updating). Plus, a meeting with his friend who he is hoping will help him find a spot in the voice-over business.

Every day next week is booked and supposedly, we are going on vacation shortly thereafter — the vacation that got deferred earlier in the summer. I haven’t even begun to deal with Owen and dogs yet because until this mess with the house is sorted out, I can’t go anywhere.

Thus when the adjuster did not call yesterday as expected, the last thing I did last before going to sleep was write down the number of our insurance agent as well as the claim number so I could call first thing in the morning. There are events you can cancel — but then, there are events you really can’t and shouldn’t cancel and next week is full of the latter.

I called my agent and then, reading the emails I got from MAPFRE insurance, I called the agency itself. My claim agent (who is not the adjuster — just the person who handles the paperwork) was out until Tuesday. Long weekend. It’s the last time the kids won’t be in school full-time. I used to do the same thing, so I wasn’t surprised.

I really needed to see the adjuster today. I moved Garry’s doctor appointment to next Tuesday because I thought I needed emotional and mental backup today. That appointment officially made next week 100% fully appointed.

The adjuster finally called me and yelled at me for 10 minutes for apparently having the gall to call him TWICE inside a few minutes. Twice! He shouted how he had more important places to be than dealing with my little problem (it’s good to know they are concerned for my welfare). I pointed out in my best dulcet tones (no yelling) that all I had asked him to do was call me. He said he hadn’t heard about the appointment until Wednesday night and I said, “Today is Friday and all I asked for was a phone call.”

He finally agreed to see us later, around two. I said I don’t move fast, so please wait. It takes me a while to get to the door. He didn’t seem to understand what I meant but finally said he’d call and tell me when he was on the way. I said “thank you” and hung up. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been talked to that rudely by anyone with whom I was doing business. I didn’t think business people talked to clients like that. I know when I was in business, I’d have been fired for yelling at any client. Even if I had a good reason — and he didn’t have one.

I thought about it awhile, called MY agent, explained that I just been thoroughly dressed down by the adjuster who apparently didn’t think my job was important enough to give me a phone call and make an appointment.

I’m worried about the mold, too because Garry and I haven’t been feeling well and I wonder if the mold has something to do with it. I know we just saw it, but it has probably been growing underneath the damaged vinyl for weeks. Months?

Churlish hardly begins to describe this morning. I don’t even understand why. Has he been watching too much Trump on the news? Maybe he had a fight with someone else and I just happened to be the person on the phone.

Overall, not a great week. I’m trying to feel better, but I don’t think I’m succeeding. I’m working on it, though.

I’M A MAN – THE SONG – Rich Paschall

Who Sang It Better, by Rich Paschall

The British rock band The Spencer Davis Group was formed in 1963 and had various success in the mid 1960s. One of their biggest hits was “I’m A Man” written by singer-songwriter and keyboardist for the band, Steve Winwood, and their record producer, Jimmy Miller. The song was released in 1967 and made the top ten in both the U.K. and U.S.

Spencer Davis Group

Winwood is on lead vocals and drives the Hammond organ with a strong beat. It was the last big hit for the group. Winwood and his older brother Muff (Mervyn, actually) left the band shortly after to pursue other interests. Steve formed the band Traffic and Muff joined the record industry as a talent scout and artistic developer.

The band The Chicago Transit Authority, later just “Chicago,” covered the song 50 years ago on their first album we know as CTA. It was not released as a single and found little success in the early going. It was, however, a band favorite in concert.

The Chicago Transit Authority

When Chicago started to earn success and singles were hitting the charts, “I’m A Man” came out as the B-Side to “Questions 67 and 68.” Radio stations were playing both sides of the record. The song even did as well in the U.K. as the original.

Today, Chicago continues to play the song in concert. It is an extended version with a long break in the middle for the percussionists to show off their talents as the other band members literally take a break.

The version below is with the incomparable Terry Kath on guitar and lead vocals for the first verse. The entire Tanglewood 1970 concert from which this cut is taken is available on YouTube — for free.

You might be able to guess my vote for best if you have been following us here.

A.B. NORMAL – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Abnormal

What is normal? It there such a thing? Does anyone lead a “normal life”?

This has been a week when it feels like I should not have gotten out of bed. Or, for that matter, gained consciousness. Every time a hint of consciousness appeared, I should have taken something that would put me back in a chemical coma.

Between the news about Bonnie and discovering one wall of my house is about to fall off (and there is no money with which to fix it) and the critical invasion of lethal Eastern Equine Encephalitis Mosquitoes — it has not been a good week. It hasn’t even been a bad week. It has been an atrocious, abnormal, messed up, disgusting, horror of a week.

Wolf spiders vary greatly in size. The smallest may measure only 3 millimeters in body length, while most lycosids are larger, reaching up to 30 millimeters. Many species live in burrows in the ground, and most are nocturnal. Most lycosids are brown, gray, black, pale orange, or cream. They often have stripes or speckles. The head region of the cephalothorax usually narrows. The legs, particularly the first two pairs, are often spiny to help the spiders hold their prey. And this is exactly what it looked like.

A coma seems my best possible choice. Or a long leap off a very tall bridge. My primary problem with long leaps off tall bridges is that I might not die. I might just get broken into many pieces and have to live with that, which probably would make things worse — although I figure at that point the powers-that-be might consider that we need to have a place to live. Or, who knows? Maybe they will just drop me by the side of the road and drive away.

Who needs all these “old people” cluttering up our world?

It’s all about climate change. The climate change we don’t have has been battering this house with endlessly pouring rain and raging wind storms. Apparently on at least one side of the house (the short side) has had the vinyl siding so ripped apart that not only is the wood beneath it soaked, but the actual vinyl is soaked. The door which the vinyl surrounds is black with mold from the endless wetness and for reasons that I cannot fathom, hordes of yellow jackets seem to be trying to make a nest on our deck.

There is nothing ON our deck. We removed everything when we repainted it. The only remaining things there are broken pieces of branches from the trees and one of the most enormous wolf spiders I’ve ever seen.

Mind you, I knew they lived in the woods, but this one wanted to climb in through our screen and I finally pulled out the really poisonous spider stuff and sprayed him to death. The first couple of time he sat on the screen and leered at me, I just knocked him off to (I assume) the deck below. The fourth time, I decided it was war.

I killed him. Through the screen. With spider poison spray. So his carcass — his rather enormous carcass — is stuck between the boards on the deck and between the huge dead spider and the hundreds of yellow jackets, I’m staying home.

And still trying to figure out how we can repair the house — it really looks like we should completely redo the vinyl siding and the gutters which have been battered by falling tree limbs so they don’t do anything useful.

But we have no more money. Any money we had has gone to fixing the well, replacing doors, replacing half the front of the house and putting in a new window. The deck is falling off the house.

I’ve been running through my possible ways “out” of this life, not because I expect to see heaven, but because this life just isn’t working out for me. People say that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, but these don’t seem particularly temporary. The house really needs work and we can’t do it. I’ve been trying every way I know and just winding up in enough debt to wonder if either Garry OR I will live to see the end of it.

He’s trying to find some work. I just want to leave all the details to anyone who wants them and slide into oblivion. NOT because I think oblivion would be nicer, but because I’m not going to try to live on the street. As a simple start, I’d last about three minutes and they wouldn’t be nice minutes and the other because frankly, I’ve had enough.

Every time I think I’ve found some solution that MIGHT work, I discover that there’s oh so much more that needs to be done.

I’ve looked for solutions, but there don’t seem to be any solutions. It may look like a solution but it’s really just another trap. A tar pit. Maybe we should go back to the caves, but I’m pretty sure it would be full of big spiders too.


Fandango’s Provocative Question #38

Do you really want to tell your wife she looks fat in those jeans? No? Do you need to tell her you slept with her best friend, even if it was before you got married? Or for that matter, with anyone besides her since you got married?

If you tell her any of these things, are they going to improve or ruin your relationship?

Do you believe that honesty is always the best policy? Is there is ever a time or circumstance when dishonesty (lying) is justifiable? Please elaborate.

We lie to each other all the time. Usually little lies. Like how much you paid for those sneakers … or for that matter, how much you paid for your wife’s birthday present (she warned you to NOT spend a lot of money). Or maybe shearing $100 of the price of that camera lens or telephone or computer.

We lie to our kids all the time. Some of them are huge, life-changing lies like: “You can do anything you set your mind to.”

No, you can’t. If you don’t have the talent, you can’t become a great writer or musician or mathematician or engineer. You need tenacity, but you also need talent. When we don’t mention the whole “talent” issue, it’s a lie and it can ruin a kid’s life, too.

I’m in favor of telling the truth when not telling the truth will cause harm to anyone, will destroy a good relationship, or simply make someone unhappy when they don’t need to be. I am also strongly in favor of honest conversations so that people don’t waste years believing something they partially heard while eavesdropping. AND I strongly, passionately believe in NEVER EVER EAVESDROPPING.

Whenever I watch a movie and someone has cheated and the cheater feels a compelling need to confess, I always wonder “why”? If his/her spouse never heard about the cheating, they would be okay. So the only reason you are confessing is to make ourself feel better. It isn’t going to make your relationship better or make your spouse happier. If you need to confess, find a priest. Get a shrink. Confess to your seatmate on the bus across town.

Leave your spouse alone. They didn’t do anything wrong and don’t deserve to be punished. If you have the kind of spouse who is going to eviscerate you for failing to “tell the truth,” they need to have a brain adjustment too.

WE KNEW WHO WE’D BE – Marilyn Armstrong

It has been pointed out to me that there’s a lot we don’t know about the people who came before us.

How — why — they dressed and spoke and related to each other as people in their society. We are fuzzy about a lot of cultural material and mostly, we take our best guess as to what they were thinking as they lived from one day to the next in whatever capacity they lived it.

We have no clue about how our great-grandfather confessed his love for great-grandma. We don’t know what words he used, or his tone of voice. We don’t know if they had a moment of passion because they left no evidence for us. They spoke differently, yet surely they held the same emotions we do.  We base our fiction on that assumption.

We could be entirely wrong. It’s guesswork based on some facts.

The United States Slave Trade

On the other hand, we know precisely — anyone could know this because it’s easy information to find. The people who drew up our Constitution understood how deeply wrong slavery was. They knew failing to remove this horror would cause a war. A big war.

Many expressed gratitude they would not live to see it.

They knew right from wrong.

They spent agonizing hours, weeks, months and years writing about it. Discussing it. Keeping notes about what they said and what others said. They didn’t for a minute think building a nation on slavery was “okay.” Abigail Adams, for one, didn’t want to live in the White House — not merely because it wasn’t finished, but because slaves built it. Yet without the compromise of making slaves three-fifths of a person – a person who would never vote or have anything to say about his or her own life – there would not have been a Constitution or a country.

I used to think it was the right decision, but I’ve changed my mind. We should have fought to do the right thing.

When you start doing what you know is evil, righteousness
does not follow.

Getting the country to be a country was, ultimately, what mattered. Under this devil’s decision lay the future in which we are now living.

We didn’t get here by accident. It wasn’t a bad election or even a few. It was not a couple of unfortunate choices. The path on which we are walking was being laid out for us before our nation existed. The issues we now face have always been there. Waiting. 

The northerner’s objections to slavery didn’t mean there were no slaves in New England or New York. Southern plantations bought slaves, but New England sea captains brought them here.

The first port of call for southern slave owners were the slave markets of New York and New England. Until the Constitution when northern slavery was formally abolished, there were plenty of slaves up north, too.

About those Native Americans from whom we grabbed this land and who we slaughtered to keep it? We knew it was wrong.

Maybe not every unread slob understood it, but anyone with a trace of education got it. We still know it, even if we have tried our best to tuck the information as far from “common knowledge” as we can. We don’t want to think about what we did to get this place — and what we are still doing.

Did our ancestors understand this? Yes.

But they wanted this country. They wanted it beyond any moral compunctions. If that meant slaughtering entire tribes — see Andrew Jackson for more on that — so be it. Why should “those savages” get this rich and beautiful country?

They didn’t deserve it. It should be ours. To make this officially righteous, we made up a bunch of crap about white being better than not white, but we didn’t get that from anyone’s religion. We quite simply made it up because we needed to believe it.

So, as has happened throughout history, we did what we wanted. We took everything, killed anyone who got in our way.

We have pretty much continued to do that ever since. Was it the first or last time an invading group of foreigners stole a nation from its native inhabitants? Obviously not.

I do not buy any concept which says “we didn’t understand what we were doing.” We knew. Our ancestors might not have talked the way we do, but they were better at acknowledging good and evil. 

Again: How do we know this? Let me reiterate.

They wrote about it. At great length. In documents, diaries, letters, newspapers, and books. We don’t have to guess: they told us.

What a great job we’ve done with the place!

The reason the Trump White House can do what it is doing is that there’s so much hatred in this country. All he needed to do was play to the haters and leave the windows open.

We don’t know what our so-called “leaders” believe, but we know who and what they hate. I don’t care how many other countries are pursuing the same ugly scene. That doesn’t justify it happening here. If the whole world needs to clean up its act? So be it.

The majority is not necessarily right.

For my entire life, I believed my country was improving and becoming more of what it said it wanted to be. We were struggling but trying to become a moral light in the world.

I’m not seeing that today.

Are there many individuals still fighting the good fight? Yes. But as a nation, that isn’t what I see. I cannot begin to tell you how deeply disturbing I find this. How is your conscience doing these days? Having a bit of a rough patch?

FATE IS IRREFUTABLE – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Irrefutable

Bonnie has been changing. The relentless barking. Her unwillingness to sit with us on the sofa. She seeks out dark corners and no longer hears me when I call her. She also can’t see well and the other night, one of he teeth just fell out. But she sure does sleep well.

It was vet time yesterday. There was too much that seemed wrong and so un-Bonnie. We learned immediately that her teeth were awful — and considering we had them done twice in a row two years ago, they shouldn’t be that bad. But the teeth of small dogs go very quickly as they age. We have seen in it other small terriers and even though our vets are the most reasonably priced in the area for this work, she’s going to lose a lot of teeth. And she also needs senior dog bloodwork because, as the vet rather gently pointed out (he’s not always a very gentle guy), dogs change, much like aging people change with their years … and they don’t change back.

She isn’t the dog she was been for all the years we have had her, which is from baby dog — 9 weeks — to now. I trained her in the deep snow of winter and she was always the most charming of our dogs.

The vet delicately pointed out that since she is going deaf, is partially blind and to top it all, she appears to be getting a bit demented. Which is probably what all the barking about. These days, all she seems to know how to do is shout.

We need to consider her quality of life, the vet’s polite way of saying “That time is coming around again.”

We’ve had Bonnie longer than any other dog and while I know  — knew — always knew — this moment would come, I always dreaded it. Especially because we are getting too old to take on a young pet and too poor to manage old ones.

We’ve got a few months to think about it. To square up our elderly hunching shoulders and get it together.

I don’t think we’ll be getting more dogs. We are now at the point where our dogs are likely to outlive us. We don’t really have anywhere to send them, either. There’s no one to care for them if we are gone.

We have both throughout our lives had a morbid tendency to wait until too late to deal with the end game properly. We don’t want to let go. There’s nothing easy about it and even though we have two other dogs in the house — and I know part of the reason we got Duke was that the other two were getting old. We were not talking about it, but we knew. We didn’t want to know.

I’m quite sure Duke will be our last dog. I swear, he knows. Dogs know a lot.

I’m not going to make this a crying and wailing post. I have been through this too many times. It’s the worst when there’s no lethal ailment to make it inevitable but just a general winding down of a life.

I thought she would live longer. She’s small. I had hoped for a good solid 15 or 16 years from her, but she has been aging faster than seemed reasonable for the past couple of years. I could see it in her coat turning so quickly gray and odd changes in her behavior.

Technically, Gibbs is the same age but seems much younger. I’ve always wondered if he was really the age on his papers. He was kenneled and they lie about their dogs. So I think he’s good for a while … but I wonder how Duke and Gibbs will get on without Bonnie. She has always been the sweet spot between the two boys.

Talk about irrefutable. The passage through life always ends the same way. It doesn’t matter how well we feed them or how sweetly we love them or how they care for us. Time does what time does. Why do the best ones always seem to go first?


You can’t use the word “p#rn” on Google because as everyone knows, Google is so carefully-regulated and selective about who publishes on their site, one need never worry about what one might see there. It’s the word, NOT the subject of the writing that is at issue. Do they have any human beings who know how to think in their administration? Or is it all accountants, computers, and software hunting for buzzwords? I am not the only one wondering about this!

There was an interesting article in the news concerning a porn site called I don’t know why it’s called that and I really don’t want to know. They’re in the news because they closed off their website to anybody living in the state of North Carolina.

Why? Because of the harsh, horrible anti-LGBT law they passed. If you log onto their website from anywhere in that state, you get a blank screen.

blank screen
Blank screen for you!

The tone of all the news reports and nightly talk shows was that this was a funny but useless protest. There are thousands of other porn sites where North Carolinians can … well, you know. But, as usual, the mainstream media and the nightly talk shows missed the real story. I am not offering an opinion on the virtues or evils of porn. However, there is a larger truth which is widely known but rarely talked about regarding the porn industry. Porn has been a major driver, financial backer, and early adopter of technological innovation since the beginning. Since forever.

When mankind started drawing on cave walls, I guarantee you some of the first things depicted were people getting some Neanderthal Nookie.

Porn was very popular in the Middle Ages. Moreover, it utilized some of the earliest encryption technologies. I saw an exhibit in a museum once that showcased one of them. The exhibit consisted of huge tapestries painted with very strange distorted images. You couldn’t tell what they were.

What were they? Porn. The artist would draw the original naughty painting on a regular canvas. He would then look at the painting’s reflection in a cylindrical mirror. The image in the mirror would be all distorted. He would then paint that distorted image onto the tapestry. If you looked at the tapestry the painting made no sense.

anamorphic art

But. If you looked at the tapestry’s reflection in the same cylindrical mirror the artist used, the image would be reconstructed back to its original form. (“Naughty Knights 5”)

When photography was first invented in the 1800’s one of the earliest subjects was, of course, naked women. Having sex. When the telegraph was invented, telegraph operators were known to spend their off-hours “telegraph sexting”.

I didn’t believe it either.

OPERATOR ONE: Who you talking to?

OPERATOR TWO: I don’t know, but she sure can dit my dot!

The VCR became popular because porn producers started switching to videotape, abandoning film. Finally, you didn’t have to go to a movie theater for porn. You could “bring it home.”

VHS beat out Betamax because the porn industry chose VHS. Really. No kidding. That’s the way it really happened.

Porn money propelled other technologies, too. Online payments, DVDs, streaming video, and two-way internet chat rooms. Virtual Reality headsets were only been available for a few months before there was Virtual Reality Porn.

(I wouldn’t know this personally, but I read a lot).

So here’s the real story that everybody has missed.  One porn site blocked off an entire state. It has been viewed as a symbolic, but mostly useless protest.

What if they all did it?  What if all the porn sites got together and said to North Carolina: “NO PORN FOR YOU!”

no porn for you

I’ll bet you that anti-LGBT law would be overturned in about an hour and a half! Maybe less. Then, the porn industry would realize it’s true power! Imagine, Lysistrata on a national, even a global, scale!

“You won’t do what we want? NO PORN FOR YOU!” All the porn industry needs to do is come together. Organize.

Organize into a cartel.
A conglomerate
 A Ring.

“One ring to rule them all. One ring to find them.

One ring to rule them all and in the darkness bind them.”

Pray they use their power for good.