Don’t Look!

Happy Eclipse! It made me glad to see people join together outdoors, across the country, to watch. I think it’s good whenever humans join in peace for any purpose greater than their opinions.

This was an event for everyone; old and young, rich and poor, and literally from sea to shining sea. I think it’s amusing though, to call it the Great American Eclipse. Leave it to Americans to take national pride in something that’s not even happening on this planet.

I want to send a big thumbs up and a sincere attaboy to the president of the electoral college, Clown Prince Covfefe. Not to be outdone by the sun and the moon, or let a day go by without a blunder, he took off his protective eye-wear and squinted right up at the sun.

One galactic yellow ball of gas staring at another, locked in a battle to see which blinked first.

Way to go, babyhands. We all look forward to seeing how this turns out for you.


Ha ha ha ha ha. Moron.

Trump Eclipse

To Know and Not to Know

Yea, though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil….

Here’s a writing idea for us, for a bit of horror fiction. I don’t really write horror, but I’ve come close, so I’m willing to give it a shot.

Imagine a dystopian society — perhaps post-apocalyptic, Orwellian — in which each week the people permit an armed person to enter a school at random and attempt to kill one or more students. The killer might be an adult or another student. It’s random. It goes on week after week. Children die, so it goes.

The police would do anything of course, but they’re always a moment too late. No champion arrives to protect the children because no one knows where the next shooting will occur. The leadership of the land is helpless, in part because this suffering is accepted as the sacrifice for freedom. And if they try to stand and speak they’re shouted down, rebuked, reviled, and lambasted for their liberal proclivities.

Imagine there is a slowly rising tide of grief, rolling like muddy water in a shallow ditch of tragedies recalled. The people grow tense and tired, though they’re becoming immune to pitiful images of candles and flowers and teddy bears stacked against walls and curbs and chain link fence.

How long should we — the authors — let the present tense arc of bloodshed go on, before that salty wave of past tense sorrow overcomes and washes it all into a poignant denouement?

Do you think we could write such a tale with verisimilitude? I don’t know. It’s hard to imagine a society that wouldn’t put the safety of children above all other motivations, or a country where this could really happen every f—king week, for months on end.

Maybe instead of a treatment in short story or novel, we could pitch it as a movie of the bloody week.

The attack with what police said was a semi-automatic weapon — “Shooter dressed in all black w AR-15 and vest and helmet. Cornered in bathroom by officers” … was the 74th since December 2012, when Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. That’s one about every eight days.

In 2014 so far, there have been 37 school shootings. As of February, about half of the incidents were fatal.


To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again ….

— Orwell, 1984

the venturi effect

I have noticed something which may well be proof of the paranormal right here in the hermitage.

On windy days, the water level in my toilet goes down.

Really. This is not a joke and I’m not making it up. The level in the bowl today is distinctly lower than normal. It’s always and only the case when the wind is up. If you’re expecting a photo or video as documentation, you’ll be disappointed. Some matters simply range beyond the imperatives of the empirical. I feel no mandate to offer proof. You may believe or not as you wish.

I have no personal explanation for this; even an intellect as encyclopedic and erudite as mine lacks the reach of this phenomenon’s portent. 

Thankfully, we have at easy reach the vast and trivial tubes of the Internets. Truly, nothing is too bizarre that somebody online hasn’t pinched off a piece of it. Behold, the mystery is laid to rest on Yahoo Answers. 

The Venturi Effect – I do so love Wikipedia.

Strange but true. And you learned about it here on Metaphor.


JERUSALEM (Aug. 4) – Israeli airport police say a couple going on a European vacation remembered to bring their duty-free shopping and their 18 suitcases, but forgot their 3-year-old daughter at the airport.

I dropped my cell phone headset on the ground outside a coffeehouse this morning, and didn’t realize it was missing until I got ready to drive away. Fortunately, someone found it, and the baristas were keeping it safe for me. Thanks folks!

I can honestly say I’ve never forgotten a member of my family. So no, this silly analogy notwithstanding, I can’t relate.

everybody bail!

This comes from the vast archives of Uncle Kyle’s Strange but True:

Disneyland’s venerable Small World ride has been shut down for a retrofit. Boats have been bottoming out – and taking on water ‘cross the gunwales – because we are bottoming out. People are getting fatter, and the ride designed in 1960 – when the average adult weighed 25 pounds less – can’t handle the loads.

I guess it’s not such a small world anymore, after all.

For the record, Disney says it’s not the people, but the ever-thickening fiberglass which results from repairs. What would you expect them to say? “Ya bunch of fatties are groundin’ our boats!”

Welcome to Tomorrowland, Kids!


Hilton screamed

It’s almost like “Jesus wept,” the way the media are making another Anna Nicole’s Baby out of the preoccupations of Paris. I mean, honestly, you’d think she was being dragged off to be decapitated in the courthouse parking lot. Good theatre, no doubt. And it goes to show, no matter how much money you have, don’t bet it on the Powers doing paperwork for you.

Is there any hope out there that our entertainment – our diversions – will ever give us some relief from their unremitting pathos? Do they not realize there’s little reason for us to care more for their personal lives than they do for ours?

Let the word go forth from this time and blog: there’s a big difference between being someone I care about and merely playing one on TV.