WRITHE AND WRING YOUR HANDS – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Writhe

Even though it isn’t Earth Day today, I have come to feel that every day is Earth Day, at least as long as we are allowed to live on the earth. All of this happened because I follow Bizarro and a number of other cartoonists on Facebook.

Earth’s day in court

It’s really about the only thing I do follow on Facebook since they stopped posting the scores of the currently playing teams I follow. That, at least, used to get me to go over and look to see who was winning or losing whatever they were doing — football, baseball, basketball. You know. Whatever is currently in season.

These days, having to look at Facebook for any reason makes me writhe nervously and twitch uncontrollably. These are the people who got me hacked. Whenever I am on their site, I’m convinced something evil is happening, if not to me, then to someone I know. But there’s still stuff there I can’t find elsewhere, so I swallow hard, breathe heavily, and go.

Facebook is beginning to remind me of Charter, our well-hated cable network. We don’t have a choice about using Charter because whoever runs our town (I literally don’t know and it’s better if I don’t know) made a deal that only Charter can ply its wares in Uxbridge. Thus we do not have Fios, for example. We can get Dish, but the trees don’t agree. Too many tall trees. Many too many.

FIOS isn’t allowed to run their wires down our road. Meanwhile, Charter is having problems, so we get dozens of little “off air” glitches that last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Some knock us off the air entirely. After which I need to reboot the router, modem, TV, telephone, and both computers. They always glitch exactly when Garry or I am about to place an order for dog biscuits or Gingko Biloba or a book I’ve been hemming and hawing about ordering for months.

Speaking of sports …

Suddenly, you get the all too familiar “can’t reach that page” and you realize the computer is down. I look at Garry. His computer is also down. I don’t bother to check the telephone because I’m sure it’s not working either.

The more we depend on ISP services, the more they run our world. To have your world run by Trump is bad enough, but to have it run by Charter Communications is demeaning.

I spend a lot of time writhing and twitching. Life in 2019 is uncomfortable in all kinds of ways.

We are all human beans

Today, I had reason to check out Bizarro because he’s going to have a live feed on Facebook tomorrow and if I can figure out how to make it run, I’m going to tune in.

I’m not big with “live on Facebook” stuff mainly because I really don’t know how it works. I can usually make it work — eventually — but I haven’t put much mental energy into figuring it out. By the time I get myself hooked up, the event is over. I’m not sure why, but I swear everything is far more complicated than it used to be.

I remember you used to find the page and click it and you were “on.” Now, there’s a link and a code and usually, one of those “I’m not a robot” thingies that despite not being a robot, I can’t read. So by the time I dope out what kind of robot I’m not, it’s finished. I’ve missed it. I will try to get there early, but no promises.

I’m not a robot. Really. I’m not. I swear it. Or if I am, no one told me.

LOOKING BACK – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Hindsight

They say that hindsight is always 20-20 and considering the situation right now, I should have been a lawyer specializing in the problem of billionaires who have lied to Congress. Who knew there were so many? And who knew they would all need lawyers?

Jeff Danziger / Rutland Herald

Had I seen ahead, I could have planned. So sad!

This is not a profession that has always been a goldmine for the wealthy, but right now, I think you can name your own price. Lord knows Giuliani is not a man to be trusted with anyone’s law case, much less that of the President.

He has already fired the best of the bunch, so even if I were a mediocre lawyer with a specialty of making deals for the very VERY rich and lousy with wealth, I could at the least earn a year or two’s wages just by gibbering something incoherent to the press.

Even if lawyers weren’t something of a joke before, they sure are now. And we all laugh with great merriment as they haul their riches to offshore bank accounts.

God bless the American Way!

CARTOONS! – Marilyn Armstong

FOWC with Fandango — Cartoon

I love cartoons. I collect them, even when I don’t know what I’m going to do with them. But somehow, something always comes up. You can’t go wrong with a really well-drawn cartoon!

A lot of these are political. Been that kind of year or two. Some aren’t and I have SO many more, but I thought I’d quit while I’m (sort of) ahead!

Witch hunt?
Evacuate or not?
Chris Britt / Illinois Times
Shhh!
Leave your message …

Cartoons!

A NEW KIND OF BALLOT FOR A NEW KIND OF TRUTH — Marilyn Armstrong

Imagine, for a moment, if we actually had a new kind of ballot.

Since we no longer have a grip on “true” versus “fake,” instead of voting for or against a candidate, we get a long list of True/False boxes for each nominee. We fill them in.

When we are finished, we add up the “true” and “false” values, then vote for whoever gets the most “true” checks. It won’t mean that the candidate is more truthful, only that we think he or she is — as Stephen Colbert so well put it — “truthier.”

True versus false?

We no longer believe in science and are letting the earth slide into disaster. We aren’t vaccinating children, so measles and whooping-cough have returned and are gaining ground with each year of vaccine-free kids.

If we aren’t going to believe in provable facts, why not design our own “truth” for voting? Let’s skip reality entirely and base our votes on what we read on Facebook or the back of a cereal box.

Or maybe we can give up using ballots at all. Just toss horseshoes at hooks. Wherever they land, someone gets that vote. It’ll work as well as anything else has.

I never imagined a world like this. I’m living in it and I still can’t imagine it.

GIRLFRIEND OF THE WHIRLING DERVISH – Marilyn Armstrong

I always thought this goofy song was made up for a Looney Tunes cartoon. I vaguely remembered it as Daffy Duck, but it turned to be Porky Pig. Moreover, it’s a real song, written by Johnny Mercer et al. It has been performed by a variety of artists, including Bette Midler.

Why did this come up? Well, we were watching baseball and some dumb commentator referred to a player as “The Whirling Dervish.” And I started humming “She was the girlfriend of the whirling dervish …” and then, I simply had to find that cartoon.

After which, I had to find the song and the lyrics. It is still — even not as a cartoon — a silly song.



The Girl Friend of the Whirling Dervish

Song by Bette Midler

Lyrics:

One fine day, I chanced to stray
On a little side street in old Bombay
And met a sentimental oriental
She saw me and I saw she
Had a manner too bold and much too free
Her eyes were positively detrimental
When I asked about this gay coquette
I discovered much to my regret

She’s the girl friend of the whirling dervish
She’s the sweetest one he’s found
But ev’ry night, in the mellow moonlight
When he’s out dervishing with all his might
She gives him the run-around
All the boy friends of the whirling dervish
Are his best friends to his face
But there’s no doubt, when he isn’t about

They all come hurrying to take her out
She leads him a dizzy pace
He dreams of a Hindu honeymoon
He doesn’t dream that ev’ry night when he goes out
To make an honest rupee
She steps out to make a lotta whoopee
Oh, the love song of the whirling dervish
Has a sweet and tender sound

But will he burn if he ever should learn
That while he’s doing her a real good turn
She gives him the runaround
She’s got a nervish, throwin’ him a curvish
Which, of course, he doesn’t deservish
Poor old whirling dervish!


Songwriters: Johnny Mercer / Al Dubin / Harry Warren

The Girl Friend of the Whirling Dervish lyrics
© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc


So I decided to do it as a post. Because it’s silly and totally pointless and it makes me laugh.

These days, a laugh is about the only thing that really makes me feel better. It’s also the only thing that keeps me sane.

MYSTICAL, MAGICAL SOCKS – Marilyn Armstrong

Two years ago, I order 30 pairs of socks in all different colors and patterns. I realized, finally, that I was down to a bare two or three pairs and I wasn’t even sure they were real pairs, but they were at least more or less the same color.

Around the same time, I also bought a lot of underwear on the theory that we wouldn’t have to do laundry nearly as often if I didn’t run out of underwear. Oh, and I refilled Garry’s sock and underwear collection too.

socks without partners cartoon

Yesterday, Garry did laundry. My 30 pairs of socks have shrunk to about half a dozen pairs. I swear to you not only am I careful to keep pairs together, but Garry is passionate about matching them up. And keeping them clean.

Which isn’t always easy because I wear them as slippers and have been known to go outside in socks … not always my best choice.

socks-lost-in-the-dryer

Nonetheless, I realized no matter how much I didn’t want to face the crisis, I had to buy more socks. I found socks on Amazon — 12 pairs for $14.00 and they are all exactly the same. Because I know. We all know.

Socks vanish. No matter how careful you are. No matter how hard you try to keep track of them, over time, attrition will chew at the edges until you have no more than a few days worth of socks in your drawer. You will search that drawer.

Socks-lost-in-space

“Who took my socks?” you cry, but no answer will come to you. They are gone through the black hole in the universe (via your clothes dryer) into which all the single socks are eventually drawn. The mythical land or planet where a single sock can live forever. They are looking down on us and laughing. Because we persist in looking for them. Foolish humans.

Socks-come-back

Garry, despite my assurances that there is nothing more he can do, that socks will go missing regardless, is sure I’m accusing him of sock-knapping. He does not yet understand. There is nothing anyone can do. There are greater forces at work here than mere humans can control.

So this time, I’m ordering 12 identical pairs. As each sock disappears, I can wear it with another lonely sock. Variety is not the spice of life when discussing socks.

WISE REFLECTION? – Marilyn Armstrong

With two prompts, wise and reflection, I thought about me and wisdom. And reflection. And came up with the general feeling that I am not particularly reflective or wise. I probably never was.

Just getting by would probably describe my current package, along with the realistic understanding that I can’t handle this house on my own. There’s too much to be done and too little of me to handle it. Which would normally require a lot of reflection. I can’t think about that. I can’t even let my mind drift off in that direction. I will get depressed and then I will not only make myself miserable, I will make everyone who comes in contact with me miserable too.

If I have learned anything at all in my years on earth, it’s when you are gloomy and thinking dark thoughts, have the decency to shut up about it. Especially because it will pass and then, if you’ve been passing your misery around, it will all come back and bite you. Just when you are cheering up, everyone else is in a really bad mood and it actually is your fault.

I have some innate capacity to make the people around me feel like me. I had it when I was very young and was warned about it by various teachers. I was such an unpopular kid, it never occurred to me that anything I said or did had any effect on anyone, but apparently, I was completely wrong about that. Whatever was bothering me, give me a day or two and all my friends and colleagues will feel the same way.

It was the first time it occurred to me that I had any kind of effect on the world around me.

It was a shock. It took me years to learn to learn to control myself. Learn to shut up about stuff that’s bugging me, especially when it isn’t really important. Mostly, it took me a long time to figure out what was or wasn’t important. Almost everything just goes away. I get upset, but I work my way through it and come out the other side feeling okay.

This does not necessarily work for all the other people I’ve upset.

So, unless it’s important and I need help dealing with it, working through it on my own is my best bet.

To this day, I have to be careful. I affect others without realizing it, though to this day I have no idea why anyone bothers to listen to me. This was a huge shock when I was 12. By now, at least I’m used to it and a lot more careful.

I am not reflective.

I am not wise.

But — at least I have learned that it’s usually better to not haul in the brass band and a few dozen monkeys and open a personal circus. Making every little thing into a big deal is not a healthy choice.

FOWC with Fandango — Wise

RDP # 54: Reflection