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The Nothing I’m Not Buying

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҉   Welcome to the post Thanksgiving-post, food-induced coma edition of my blog.   ҉
It’s lighter, less filling, gluten and dairy free
(unless you count the following cheesy jokes):

What happened after an explosion at a French cheese factory?
All that was left was de brie. 

What is the name of the country near Iraq that is made entirely of cheese?
Curd-istan 

What cheese surrounds a medieval castle?
Moatzeralla 

What do you call a hunk of cheddar that isn’t yours?
Nacho Cheese! 

stinkly cheese

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Department of Name Your Poison

It’s the day after.  Is it Black Friday for you?  Or National Buy Nothing Day?  It’s your choice.  I sentimentally and intellectually dread the former [1] and support the latter, particularly the organizers’ [2]  suggestions for playful activities to challenge the “entrenched values of capitalism” and shine a spotlight on consumers’ addictions to immediate gratification.

You could camp out in front of the Apple Store with a bajillion greedy, self-centered selfish over-consuming zombies other gadget fans who would trample their own arthritis-stricken grandmother if it meant they could be one of the first to have the hottest techno toy eagerly await the release of the latest I-yi-yi gadget, but it might be more fun to annoy them by participating in a Buy Nothing Day Zombie Walk:

“The cheerful dead wander around malls, marveling at the blank, comatose expressions on the faces of shoppers. The zombies are happy to be among their own kind, but slightly contemptuous of those who have not yet begun to rot.”

adbusters_everything-is-fine-keep-shopping

*   *   *

Making Ursula Proud of Me

Last week Ursula K. LeGuin gave a kickass speech at the National Book Awards ceremony. She was there to receive an award for distinguished contribution to American letters, and in her acceptance speech the not-so-soft-spoken 85 year old LeGuin rebuked literary profiteers and the “corporate fatwa” [3] which IHHO threaten writers.

“Right now, I think we need writers who know the difference between the production of a market commodity and the practice of an art….Books, you know, they’re not just commodities. The profit motive often is in conflict with the aims of art.”

One look at my royalty statements for The Mighty Quinn (or any of my works) would affirm that my motivation must be art, not profit. [4]

Yeah – that’s the ticket.

*   *   *

Just Wondering

Speaking of pathetic royalty statements (an honest-to-goodness segue!), as I ponder my mid life crisis dwindling career options – specifically, should I jump the fiction writers’ ship and if so, is there a less soul-sucking way to remain a part of the Creative Arts ® ? – I find myself considering a foray into movie making.

Yep, like every other writer (established or wannabe) moiself is [5] writing a screenplay.  Do you think Hollywood (or Bollywood?) [6] is ready for the tale of a gigolo with a heart of gold, who services his lonely clients without asking for payment?

I’m thinking of calling it, Free Willy.

Just say the safe word, ma'am, and I'll put on the orca suit.

Just say the safe word, ma’am, and I’ll put on the orca suit.

*   *   *

May your Friday be every color of the rainbow, and may the hijinks ensue.

Thanks for stopping by.  Au Vendredi!

 

 

[1] Shopping, for me, is a chore, not a recreational pursuit. The idea of voluntarily shopping on one of the busiest shopping days of the year…. I just don’t get it, whomever you are, People Who Do Such Things.

[2] Adbusters

[3] (read: the Amazon- Hatchett dispute)

[4] Either that, or I’m just an incompetent business boob.

[5] I need at least one more footnote, or my footnote-counting friend SCM will complain.

[6] I’m not picky, and I think my idea lends itself well to a lavish musical treatment.

The Nothing I’m Not Buying

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You know that just before that first Thanksgiving dinner there was one wise, old Native American woman saying, “Don’t feed them. If you feed them, they’ll never leave.”
Dylan Brody

Crazy

[2]

 The Day After, aka the BLACK FRIDAY blog

MH and I usually observe Buy Nothing Day , which is no great (or even meager) sacrifice on our part.  I need no encouragement to not join the aggressive, clawing masses that begin lining up in front of major retailers’ doors in the wee hours of the morning…although I must confess to a certain snarky enjoyment the day after, when I read the reports of assaults and even shootings among the greedy swarms of people in the Toys R Us queue who have no qualms about trampling their fellow shoppers while attempting to procure the best deal on Tickle Me Asshole or whatever is the pathetic consumer ripoff manufactured via sweatshops in China or Malaysia   treasured toy of the season.

I’m probably going to spend money, in some way, today – a lunch out, if nothing more.  And while I’ve always supported the Buy Nothing Day ideals, it seems rather precious and self-congratulatory to refrain from shopping on one certain day if we’re just going to go out – or go on [1] – and make the same purchases on another day.

BLACK FRIDAY PIX

*   *   *

It’s tomorrow; can I stop mentioning it?

Aside from Black Friday the Saturday after Thanksgiving is the most important shopping day for small businesses of all kinds, including independent bookstores (yes, there are a few intrepid survivors).  Tomorrow, November 30, moiself and other local authors will be taking shifts at Vintage Books in Vancouver (WA), in celebration of Indies First day.  I’ll be selling and signing (optimistically, she wrote) copies of The Mighty Quinn and recommending other favorite reads.  My shift is from 12 – 1 pm. Stop by, and join MH and I afterwards as we search for a suitable lunch spot across the river.

*   *   *

TDAYjpg

Although Thanksgiving is often listed as the favorite holiday for we USA-ers, Christmas gets most of the attention when it comes to holiday movies, and I think the ratio of Christmas-to-Thanksgiving themed movies is something like ten to one.  Still, there are some memorable films and/or cinematic moments that revolve around Thanksgiving.  Planes, Trains and Automobiles is often cited as “the best Thanksgiving movie ever.”  While I think there is no competition for the title of Most Existentially Depressing Thanksgiving Movie Ever © (The Ice Storm), there are other films that could vie for the Best title, including Hannah and Her Sisters and Pieces of April.[3]  I love Jodie Foster’s underrated Home for the Holidays, particularly the scene where the miscreant Bad Brother played by Robert Downey, Jr. somehow manages to flick an entire turkey in his sanctimonious sister’s lap.

My all-time favorite Thanksgiving-related movie moment comes from Addams Family Values.  I refer to the scene wherein the Addams siblings, miserable at being sent off to summer camp, find a way to liven up the camp’s lame musical production of the first Thanksgiving by leading a revolt of the [4] camp’s social outcasts.

*   *   *

“Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants.”
(Kevin James)

Here’s hoping it was a good holiday for you and your pants, and may the hijinks ensue.

Thanks for stopping by.  Au Vendredi!


[1] For the first time, on line shopping is predicted to top in-store shopping during the holiday season.

[2] Thematicpictures.com

[3] An indie delight, with the pre-Tom Cruise Katie Holmes showing her acting chops before life with the Scientology Poster Boy audited the nuances out of her acting.

[4] No footnote needed here.  Everyone knows “the” is a definite article.

The Black Friday Sales I’m Not Shopping

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Well, of course I’m not shopping the Black Friday sales today.  Black Friday was last Friday. The Thanksgiving week lingers on in my mind; having K and Belle home from school threw off my calendar sense. When all else fails, blame the fruit of your loins.

On the actual Black Friday Day (BFD?), we observed our traditional ode to consumerism:  Buy Nothing Day. Getting lunch at a local sports pub doesn’t count, because…well, because.  I hadn’t pledged to observe Eat Nothing But Leftovers Day.

*   *   *

I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.
(Jon Stewart)

pilgrims

Even as a child I was skeptical toward the Disney-fied version of what my school taught about The Pilgrims. The idea that, to this day, there are still people who celebrate the survival of the Plymouth colonists trespassers by thanking a god who supposedly protected and championed the European offensive makes my mouth feel as if I’ve been sucking on a cotton ball.[1]  Nevertheless, faced with the mythical vs. factual scenarios –

☺ Pilgrims invited the locals to a feast after surviving their first year in New England.

☺Indigenous Americans broke bread with the invaders they’d saved from starvation, those who later stole their land and decimated their numbers via murder and disease.

– which image would your grandparents favor for their Hallmark holiday greeting card?

*   *   *

Ah, but I’ve mellowed in my dotage. I am pleased that the observance of the third Thursday of November has evolved into a special day set aside for gluttony gratitude. There was much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, including last week’s politics/world affairs-free blog from moi.

It even seemed as if there were several days (as in, maybe two) that were rant-free. Silence from the Repugnicans – what gives?  I began to wonder if the sore losers of the election finally decided to just go away.  But, nooooooo. Like a recurrent arse pimple or a psychotic, spurned lover, the acumen-free, neo(lithic) cons are not going to be ignored.

But the latest rightwing hysteria cause caught me by surprise. I’d thought the kind of minds attracted to the secession twaddle would have so many other things on their agenda. After all, they’ve got crosses to burn, mayo-on-white bread sandwiches to eat, pro-wrestling matches to watch, and there are sheep out there, somewhere, in desperate need of lovin.’

But really, some of them sound like they’re serious.  And the loudest-sounding seem to be (surprise!) from Texas.

Now, I acknowledge the majority of the whining comes from fringy-wingnut element of politics and punditry. There are many decent, rational, realistic, intelligent and compassionate people from Texas, even some political and media figures I admire, including Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Walter Cronkite,[2]  Molly Ivins [3] ….

Oh yeah, they’re all dead. Anyway….

Memo to Texas Nationalist Movement President Daniel Miller and like-minded loonies: Stop holding your breath and kicking your feet and otherwise throwing the political equivalent of a marginally potty-trained toddler’s tantrum.

tantrum

And, hey you — any state claiming to be serious in your girly-man threat to secede: go ahead, make my day. After your residents have ponied up for their share of the national debt[4], don’t let the information highway[5] hit you in the ass on your way out.

Cleverer minds than mine® have taken the secession speechifying seriously enough to come up with about twenty Declarations on the matter.  I’ve seen so many variations I can only offer attribution to the version[6] brought to my attention by my alert Swednadian friends.   Here it is, with just a bit o- tweaking from yours truly.

~~~~ * ~~~~

The Declaration of Oh please, are you serious? November 2012

From: Red/Slave State Secession Support Group, aka The E.S.A.

To: the Red States Threatening Secession

Dear Red States:

We’re sick of your Neanderthal beliefs and 47% politics. We who support your secession intended to form our own country anyway, and we’re taking all the Blue States with us. In case you aren’t aware, that includes Hawaii, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, New York, and all of the Mid Atlantic and Northeast states (as per the most recent election, Florida and Virginia have a two-year probationary status).

We believe this split will be beneficial to the hopelessly polarized nation, and especially to the people of our E.S.A., The Enlightened States of America.

You wanna secede?  Go for it. A brief summation of the results of your departure:

  • You get Texas, Oklahoma and almost all of the other slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches.
  • We get Barack Obama and Joe Biden. You get Bobby Jindal,  Richard Murdock, and Todd Akin.
  • We get the Statue of Liberty. You get OpryLand.
  • We get Harvard. You get Ole’ Miss.
  • We get Tahoe and Vail and Aspen. You get Utah.
  • We get Intel, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft. You get Chic-fil-A.
  • We get 85 percent of America’s venture  capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama.
  • We get two-thirds of the tax revenue. You get to make your states pay their fair share.
  • We get science. You get myth and fantasy.

With the Blue States in hand we will have:

  • firm control of 80% of the country’s fresh water,
  • more than 90% of the pineapple[8]  and lettuce,
  • 92% of the nation’s fresh fruit,
  • 95% of America’s finest wines (y’all can serve French wines at your state dinners)
  • 90% of all cheese,
  • 90% of the high tech industry,
  • most of the US low sulfur coal,
  • all living redwoods, sequoias and condors,[9]
  • all the Ivy League and Seven Sisters schools, plus Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT,
  • the Rose Bowl

With the Red States you will have:

  • 88% of obese Americans and their projected health care costs,
  • 92% of US mosquitoes,
  • nearly 100% of the tornadoes,
  • 90% of the hurricanes,
  • 99% of Southern Baptists (without counting our provisional states),
  • virtually 100% of televangelists,
  • the philosophers Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilley, and Sean Hannity
  • Bob Jones University, Liberty University, ‘Bama, and the University of Georgia.
  • 90% of all deep fat fried foods.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite – jackpot! Thank you!

Here’s just a sampling of the cheap entertainment provided by y’all; in other words, what we may actually miss about you when you go:

  • the 38% of you who believe there was an actual dude name Jonah who was actually swallowed by a whale,
  • the 62% of you who believe life is “sacred,” except in cases of war, the death penalty, and shoot-first laws,
  • the whopping 5% of you Republicans (according to Gallup Polls, really) who even partially understand the scientific theory of evolution.
  • the 61% of you crazies who believe that you have higher morals than we lefties.

Oh, and BTW, we’re taking the good weed from Oregon, too. You can have that crap from Mexico.

~~~~ * ~~~~

Revisiting the subject of gratitude, I am thankful to be able to confer a Pretty Purple Toe award this week, to my most deserving friend and blogging mentrix,[10] SCM.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ve always loathed “ess” or “ette” or other attachments to what should be gender-neutral nouns. Such suffixes add a diminutive/diminishing effect, and presume – and teach, IMHO – that there are male “defaults” for certain occupations. If I act in a play I call myself an actor, not an actress. My family (MH, K, Belle and I) has a family practitioner who sees us for our respective medical concerns;[11] when we have our annual exams we see our doctor, not our doctress or doctrette.  When I had friends over for Thanksgiving dinner I was their host, not their hostess.

However….

A day or so before I was to host the Tday dinner I e-queried one of our dinner guests, SCM (also an attorney), re questions I had about updating MH’s and my wills.  I mildly tweaked SCM for using the term “executrix” in her reply.  She was, as always, succinctly witty in her own defense:

I like executrix instead of a gender-neutral executor, or administratrix instead of g-n administrator. It just sounds faintly naughty and it’s more precise. Maybe you should be a hostrix?

Hostrix.  I think I could get used to the sound of that.

Hijinks ensue.

*   *   *

Thanks for stopping by.  Au Vendredi!


[1] Or on a piece of overcooked turkey breast. I was the cook. The legs & thigh portions were fine. Sound familiar?

[2] Beloved by most Americans for his “most trusted man in America” journalism, and by moi because I was able to get the traffic court judge to drastically reduce  my one-and-only speeding fine when I explained how, mesmerized by an Uncle Walter radio interview, I failed to notice the lowered speed limit and thus was driving “under the influence of Water Cronkite.”

[3] One of my fave MI witticisms: “I have been attacked by Rush Limbaugh on the air, an experience somewhat akin to being gummed by a newt. It doesn’t actually hurt, but it leaves you with slimy stuff on your ankle.”

[4] A whopping portion of it run up by the war now pay later policies of a president from Texass

[5] As well as those pesky Federal $$  paying for your Social Security, Medicare, Johnson Space Center and other defense contract businesses, highway improvements and fee-free interstate travel, the defense of your borders from illegal immigrants….

[6] Paul Magnusson, Spokesman for the Red/Slave State Secession Support Group, The Enlightened States of America (E.S.A.)

[7] Swedish-Canadian

[8] I like pineapple

[9] I like condors, too, but wish they smelled more like pineapple

[10] Not mentor or “mentoress”

[11] It’s a good thing our good Dr. MM can write her own Xanex prescriptions.