Seeing Eye to Eye

In regione caecorum rex est luscus — a proverb from at least as early as 1500, authored by Desiderius Erasmus. A short story by H. G. Wells.

illustration of 3 reaching hands to nunez
The guys without the eyes are trying to locate those two roundish objects  in Nuñez’ face. They feel like peeled grapes, perhaps the source of the hallucinations that cloud his mind and prevent Nuñez from fitting in. Would enucleation (surgical removal of an eye or two) correct his vision?

My father once mentioned to me that a curious aspect of growing old is a realization that you no longer fit contemporary society, and that immortality wouldn’t help you socially adapt. My dad was a sagacious fellow, he often told me that he would rather be healthy and rich than sick and poor. A little sage makes the dressing. That’s what I think.

I didn’t wait for old age to know that feeling of disorientation, confusion and re-disorientation that the inexplicable brings. The only thing 100% predictable in life is the unexpected.

quote-in-the-land-of-the-blind-the-one-eyed-man-is-a-hallucinating-idiot-for-he-sees-what-marshall-mcluhan-35-84-51

Let me tell you about my friend from Edinburgh, from that town north of Hadrian’s Wall that isn’t Glasgow.  Well, he met my son around 1981, said son was going on three — it’s what happened to earthlings born in 1978.

Any of the way, that Scot spent some time with my boy and proclaimed that he liked him because the youngster recognized the essential absurdity of life. Recognizer of essential absurdity, ‘twould make a fine line on a business card, would it not?

These are the confessions of a guilty bystander, to borrow a few words from Thomas Merton, a philosopher I heartily commend to your attention. He died young and he died tragically, but his works are immortal and always fresh. I wish to confess generational theft: squandering limited resources for a lifetime and lifestyle of self-absorbtion by elders who do know, or should know, far better. If the glove fits, don’t acquit. I must remember to have “generational thief” included in a future obituary.

We’re supposed to leave the planet better than it was when we inherited it. You don’t improve a tightly shared planet by chowing down on the products of animal husbandry, that’s what I believe.  No eyeball-equipped planeteer should consume similarly eyeball-equipped planeteers for the dining pleasure that meats you from the inside out.

You don’t just have a law passed that decrees husbanded animals as free of pain, so that you can just get on with it all legal-like by saying “So there! Now let us serve man.”

You’ve inspired us to write ad-copy, Bill —

“The only grass our cows eat spring from the fruited plain.”

“Our contented cows eat only amber waves of grain.”

Let’s talk about the creatures who developed eyes during the Cambrian Era. Eyes improve your odds of surviving, you see something dangerous and you get out of the way, you see something nutritious, like an apple, you eat it and you’re better for it.

james.herriot.soul.animals

Creatures with eyes also possess a highly developed nervous system, complete with complex nuanced nerves from brain to brainstem to tailbone, from tailbone to brainstem to brain. Back and forth, forth and back. Creatures with eyes are not interested in ending up on a plate next to peas and potatoes, or transformed into Andy Capp’s Hot Lardy Fries and Pinker Pork Rinds, Perky Pig Ears? Would you?

Thanks for reading.

 

Alley Oop and Woogazoola

In search of the ineffable WOOGAZOOLA.

My youngest sister C. recently posed a question in an electronic forum. It addresses an etymology that continues to pique the interest of my oldest sister: T.

“My sister T. and I are trying to figure out what a “Woogazoola” is. Our mother used to say our hair looked like a “Woogazoola” when it was messed up. My understanding was that it was a comic strip character from maybe the 1920’s or 1930’s. Anyone have any idea?”

A response from H. followed in short order:

“My mom thinks it might have come from the comic strip Alley Oop from the thirty’s.”

hamlin_arizona-2

I think H.’s mom has hit a nail on the head. Let’s take some time to consider this clue. I have discovered an Alley Oop comic strip from sometime between 1932 and 1939. My mother would have been from 11 to 18 at that time, perhaps already remarking upon classmates’ messed hair. Here we see Alley Oop with The Grand Wizer:

alley.oop.wizer

A point to ponder: text contained within comic strip balloons is scarcely as googleable as:

===> this here text <===

Internet search engines do not parse the words in a balloon, so I decided to actually read some more Alley Oop comic strips from the 1930’s.

In the highly unlikely event that you are reading these words, I will point out that my findings are anecdotal at best. They are also probably incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial — I leave it to the judge to decide that.

Well then, I shall now toss in a few presumptuous conjectures. These have been peer-reviewed by our cat Loki: my go-between editor (Loki is sitting in a cardboard box between the keyboard and the monitor).

oop.punctuation

Now, let us consider context. We already know that “messed up hair” elicited what I am tentatively calling an incantation: “Woogazoola.” Additional research is needed to find other contexts that would have elicited the motherly exclamation “Woogazoola.”

But let’s work with what we have: two words that beggar the imagination. Consider the 3rd frame. The Grand Wizer has a skull on his head, he incants: “GAWOIK GEEEZOOOIE !”

Hamlin has a way with ALL CAPS, bold fonts and the gradual change in font size. Witness GEZUNK! and ZONG!

Look for the consonants G K W and Z, for example. Then switch over to vowels that wow you with their repetition: OO, OOO. The name of Oop’s girlfriend? OOOLA.

Ooptimemachine4939

Modern science fiction owes much to Hamlin’s vision. He set a model for time travel that is still familiar stuff. Take a look at The Precisely Rendered Blam to whet your interest 🙂

Woogazoola!

Thanks for reading.

 

Call Me Left-Over Man

Call me Left-Over Man — Feeder of Raccoons.

We’ll call you Ishmael. Waste is the birthright of might, the backbone of a God-fearing society. Raccoons spread rabies and babies, so keep your cans closed and your trap shut, pal.

I once attended a team-building session at Procter and God: marketing lion. Spoiler alert: I am not much known as a team player. Any the way, each team member was to reveal their inner animal. I chose raccoon. Quite unsurprisedly I drew beg-to-differ comments from the tigers and bears in the room.

Are you a dumpster-thriver, Bill? A social-justice warrior? Sharing and caring leaping gnome? A cow-worshiper from India who would die before eating a cheeseburger? It’s survival of the fattest now, Bill. You lose — bigly. 

I follow a lifestyle that fits me as well as the knapsack on my back. It also suits my societal role of iconoclast and vegan (several percent of humanity, we vegans). Competitive sports lure me not, particularly the concussive world of American football. I hug trees instead.

welcome.to.the.anthropocene

To the victor go the spoils. God loves US most because our unimpeachable forefathers, originalists to the man, trusted in Him. You’re rewriting history, Bill — an imprisonable offense.

Yes, I understand that criticizing the Oval Office tweeter can land you 20 years.

Advertisers sometimes lie about their products. Advertising lingo leans on ambiguity, truth in advertising has left the building along with business ethics. Gone south, now approaching Antarctic waters.we.come.as.liberators

All’s fair in love and lotion. We brought civilization and faith to the Indians. We gave slaves a free ride to faith and civilization. 

Today I celebrate something that a counter-advertising team in Canada started promoting in 1989: Buy Nothing Day. I step back from the freneticism that troubles my spirit often enough. Borrowing a tidy phrase from Bartleby the Scrivener: I would prefer not to.

buynothingday

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading.

Veganism 101

On Saturday Lisa and I met Peter Schreiner and his lovely family for an incomparable vegan celebration at their home. Anyone fortunate enough to know Peter’s steady mindful support for animal rights and the wisdom of veganism knows that this would become a singular moment. Of course it was much more than a wonderful experience, it was immensely fruitful and vegetable-full.
Here is a reblog from October 2016 that speaks to the power of Mr. Schreiner’s voice. Written a bit over a year ago, the sentiments still reverberate.
Dedicated here to all sentient creatures gifted with this planet.

billziegler1947

Peter Schreiner is the voice of Crows Head Soup. His post Animal Welfare is stirring enthusiasm for the pillars of Veganism and the bedrock supporting those pillars.

veganism-is-not-a-sacrifice

Veganism happens one human at a time, one awesome realization at a time. As Peter suggests, the information is out there. And so is well funded disinformation.

Caveat emptor

I have found that adopting a vegan lifestyle is not privation. It’s not like “giving up something” at all, unless you view toxins as dietary supplements. Detoxing is uncomfortable and wearying. Eating a portion of animal or animal byproduct provides short term relief. It’s like waking up in the morning with a coughing fit that goes away when you light up the first cigarette of the day.

Nicotine is also a cough suppressant. But it takes a while for nicotine to excrete completely. Withdrawal is agony. I am an ex-smoker as well…

View original post 240 more words

Relax and Eat Clean

I wish the NYT had asked Andrew Kirschner to write this post on their editorial page. Aaron Carroll’s opinion piece should never have been approved by a media giant that proclaims itself the newspaper of record. I could not have done a better addressing the false statements myself — actually I would probably have lost myself to rants and ravings, so my grateful appreciation goes to Kirschner’s Korner for countering so much misinformation.