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OK, so I’ve been sick; one day off work and then last weekend on the couch. My poor 88 year old mom had to “stay in” all weekend, as I could not get in my car and drive over to pick her up at the retirement home, for her day out.
Besides, she probably would have gotten my cold, which would have been a bad thing, although, I swear, she doesn’t get sick as often as I do. Not that I get sick all that often any more, just that she gets sick LESS often,w hich is kinda annoying, when your 88 year old mom is healthier than you.
So, anywhoo . . . . back to the topic. Here is a link to what sounds like either a lame movie, or an artsy type, called . . . ta – da! “Roadkill”. It’s a road movie about a woman who takes a job that requires her to travel all across Canada looking for this group, and she doesn’t know how to drive, so she takes buses, trains, taxis, and hitchhikes. The summary says she learns how to drive by the end of the movie. Possibly this leads to some roadkill. Oh, and there seem to be several movies with this title. There is another that is a “supernatural thriller about a group of teenagers menaced by a driverless train in the Australian outback.” Get your head around that. Can’t they just walk away from the tracks?
You can get Roadkill T-shirts here. The company describes them as “funny, offensive, humerous and graphic.
Oh, sorry, the count for this week (the past two weeks, but I didn’t drive much when I was sick):
- Chicken – 2
- Rabbit – 1
- Bird – 1
- Opossum – 1
- Unidentified – 3
I ran across an ineresting, and strange, theory about roadkill on a blog “Triangulations“. This person felt that roadkill such as squirrels, mice, etc, must be the same karmically (cosmosically?) as human roadkill. I don’t really know what he/she means. As far as the universe is concerned, I’m sure they are the same – accidents, and we still don’t know what happens after death, even though there are those who are sure that THEY know. Has anyone come back and told us? No. So, there you are.
The previous comments aside, one can certainly reduce the amount of roadkill by paying attention when anywhere near a road. So please do so.
The sad tally this week:
- Squirrel – 1
- Bird – 1
- Opossum – 2
- Unidentified – 2
I suppose you all read about the really tragic deaths of so many beautiful tigers, leopards, bears, a baboon, awolf and mountain lions. I am mystified as to how this guy got these exotic and WILD animals onto his property. Most of them are not native to North America and had to have been brought here from across the Atlantic.
It must be illegal to keep such animals in private zoos, and if it isn’t, it should be.
We have decimated their populations in the wild to the point of near extinction and the remaining animals cannot range as they should, as it is their nature to. Lets face it, there are way too many humans, and we have eliminated the natural habitat of so many other mammals that we are in real danger of becoming the only, and probably the last, species to inhabit the earth.
Because when we have killed off the last lion, bear, wolf, jaguar, we will not be far behind in eradicating ourselves. We need the rest of the natural world; we need the bees to pollinate our crops, we need fish in the oceans for food and to maintain the balance of life there; we need them also for our own sanity.
We are part of nature, and as much as some among us like to think we can live in a totally man-made environment, the fact that so many of us do may be partly responsible for the horrible acts of inhumanity (war, torture) that too many of us have perpetrated on the innocent; innocent humans, innocent animals.
We need the earth and all our fellow creatures, and we ignore this fact to our peril.
I’m sorry, the imprisonment and deaths of so many beautiful creatures is really upsetting. I guess it makes me wonder where we are all going to end up.
Are you feeling like roadkill yet? I know I am. Economy in the crapper and going down fast; global climate change is pretty much destroying the future; trying to live on next to nothing, and damn lucky that it is “next” to nothing and not actually nothing.
OK, on to mammalian lifeforms smashed by fast moving, carbon-spewing machines (and yes, I own one – in fact, I own two – because they are so old, I need one to drive while the other is in the shop and I’m not a mechanic).
Don’t get me started on why I can’t repair my own cars. I am female, raised in the 1950′s and 60′s, that era that right wing conservative types want to bring back. In that era girls could not take autoshop in school, and fathers did not teach their daughters anything about the family car. Yes, I’m bitter about that. I have been ripped off to the tune of thousands of dollars over my lifetime thanks to that little omission. I for one am not fond of the 50′s.
Hmmm . . . back to the roadkill report:
- Mouse (I think, it was kind of hard to tell at 50mph) – 1
- Squirrel – 2
- Opossum – 3
- Unidentified (there are always some so far gone it is impossible to identify) – 3
- That’s it.
Here’s a different kind of road kill. I hadn’t thought about it, living as I do in the Pacific Northwest, where we don’t even go into the ocean unless we have some kind of wet suit on to keep from freezing to death in the 44 degree water, but in Florida they have those neat sea creatures called Manatees. Slow moving, so guess what happens when Manatee meets powerboat? Ocean-going road kill.
“A record 95 of the beloved sea cows died under the hulls and propellers of boats in 2002, unable to lumber clear of the oncoming missiles.” – article from the Orlando Sentinel, in 2003.
Wonder if there are any left to kill this year. That was 9 years ago.
The sad tally this past week:
- Raccoons – 3
- Squirrels – 2
- Unidentified – 3
- Cat – 1
The Free Online Dictionary defines “roadkill”, with it’s number 2 definition as:
“Slang: One that has failed or been defeated and is no longer worthy of consideration.”
Are not most Americans now “roadkill”? Our economy is disintigrating, and for about 30% of us, education and college degrees have no effect on job searches. As far as I have been able to discern, the primary qualification for getting a job, is being under the age of 40. The younger, the better. And if you are cute, that is a major plus.
Roadkill? We are all roadkill. Some just don’t know it yet. “It will get better, it always has before, so it will this time.” Really? Open your eyes and use logic and ask yourself the question again.
What is the old saying? “If your neighbor loses their job, it is a recession. If you lose your job, it is a depression.” Can we not see beyond the tip of our noses? What was the old Simon and Garfunkel song, The Sound of Silence:
“Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Within the sound of silence
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
“Fools”, said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
In the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls”
And whispered in the sounds of silence”
Well, I have an excellent quotation at home on my fridge, but I can’t seem to find it on the internet. I think it is by Carl Jung, and it goes something like this:
If we follow the rules and regulations of society, we may be accepted, even admired for our good deeds; but following the mores of a society may just be a mask. For deep inside us, there may be an uncomfortable feeling that something is wrong.
I will have to get a copy of the actual quote and print it out. It is a very thoughtful quotation. If we follow the rules and laws of our society, does that mean we are “good”? Even if everyone around us accepts these laws and mores as the highest standards of human behavior, are they really? We need to think for ourselves and examine why we do what we do.
Did I ever get into how much I dislike change? Every time a computer program gets “upgraded” it takes time to learn what the hell they did to it. It never works better, just different. This sucks time from your life that could have been spent doing something constructive, or even taking a nap, which is more constructive than re-learning something you already knew how to do.
Another change is your income level. Has it gone up? For most of us, it has gone down. Ergo, change sucks. Do you know how to live on this new income level? Unless you were a poor student putting yourself through college at some point in your life (usually when you were young, but for some of us, repeated at later ages), you may not know how to live on nothing. That sucks big time, especially if you still have kids dependant on you.
Did you come down with some health issue later in life that required you to change totally the way you eat? Like, maybe making you pay close attention to EVERYTHING you eat? This sucks big time also. Though not so much if you were already changing the way you eat and don’t mind eating healthier. Still, it was much nicer to just eat what you felt like without having to think about it. I personally do not like taking an hour to buy groceries because I have to stand there and try to read the stupid ingredientls list on EVERYTHING I buy. I should bring a magnifying glass.
How about if your career that you spent thousands of dollars going to college to learn no longer has any jobs for you? That sucks big time also. Want to change careers when you are 60? Good luck with that. I’m working on that. I hope I can get someone to hire me when I graduate at 65. In any case, maybe I can stave off alzhiemers because I’m learning new stuff until I’m really old. Old, not odd. Damn this spell check thing.
change sucks for the hamster, she soldiers on
I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic since the worker at the brewery in Connecticut went postal and killed eight people before shooting himself.
Several years ago I read a book on this topic written by Mark Ames titled “A Brief History of Rage, Murder and Rebellion”. A huge percentage of Americans today are living under tremendous stress due to the economy. I can speak personally to this, however I am not one prone to violence and I certainly would not do anything that had a high probability that the end result would be me ending up dead.
So, every time I hear of one of these workplace massacres I wonder how many occurred that I did not hear of. I don’t watch TV and I quit reading the newspaper when they stopped doing real news coverage. So I get my news off the internet, which requires that I spend time doing searches to find the news and do my best to sort out facts from fiction. Inevitably of course, this sort of news gathering leaves a few holes insofar as comprehensive news coverage.
All that said, workplace violence is real and it is increasing; what I find really interesting is that Mark Ames says it has not always existed. There is even a website now, called “Workplace Violence News”. Its website is located at:
. In their article titled “Experts: Many factors can contribute to workplace violence”, they state that “Nationwide, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that roughly 2 million American workers are victims of workplace violence every year.” There’s a creepy statistic for you. They went on to add that “Experts said those who resort to violence of this sort are often set off by a mixture of personal and societal issues.” Well, duh, I say.
The final paragraph in the article stated “incidents like this are rare, and most people don’t respond to workplace stresses with gunfire.” I might add, so far. If the economy continues to deteriorate and corporations continue to lay off people and hire lower-paid employees oversees, I hate to think what the future holds.
So, Mark Ames was interviewed in 2005 by Jan Frel and an article about the interview is on the Alternet.org website, titled “A Brief History of Rage, Murder and Rebellion”. He was interviewed about his book, “Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion – From Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine and Beyond” (2005).
“Ames takes a systematic look at the scores of rage killings in our public schools and workplaces that have taken place over the past 25 years. He claims that instead of being the work of psychopaths, they were carried out by ordinary people who had suffered repeated humiliation, bullying and inhumane conditions that find their origins in the “Reagan Revolution.” Looking through a carefully researched historical lens, Ames recasts these rage killings as failed slave rebellions.”
“rage murders in the workplace never existed anywhere in history until Reagan came to power. Reagan made it respectable to be a mean, stupid bastard in this country. He is the patron saint of white suckers. He unleased Americas Heart of Vileness – its penchant for hating people who didn’t get rich, and worshipping people who despise them, and this is the essence of Reaganomics.”
“I hate to sound like a Clintonite here, but let’s remember Hillary Clinton became the most hated human being alive because she tried to give most Americans the opportunity to lead longer, healthier lives, while these same American adored goons like Sam Walton, George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump – everyone who had dedicated their life to transferring wealth, health and pleasure from the masses to a tiny elite. Liberals are hated in America precisely because they want to help people, which is seen as “patronizing.””
“You can see how this kind of cultural insanity, unleashed by Reaganomics after decades of New Deal (relative) harmony, could make someone snap, when the cognitive dissonance suddenly strikes on a very personal level, and you realize that you’ve been screwd hard by your own dominant ideology.”
Another article, titled “Death at the Supermarket” was posted on July 31, 2006 on the website “Economy”, it was written also by Mark Ames. I thought the comments made by people interviewed after another workplace rampage were fascinating: “I can’t imagine this happening out here. It could happen anywhere.” This was how one employee, Raymond Rivas, reacted to the shooting – words that are a repeat of a repeat. This disbelief can be found in practially every article about a workplace massacre, word for word, going back to the first ones some 20 years ago.”
Ames writes: “The rage murder crime first appeared in the mid-late 1980’s when a rash of post office massacres by postal employees gave American slang a new term: “going postal”. Within a few years, post office massacres jumped like a virus to the private workplace, beginning with a disgruntled employee at a printing press in Louisville, Ky., who killed or wounded 20 co-workers in 1989 . . . and from there, the crime metastasized to the middle-class American schoolyards.”
Ames writes that the media and the culture reacted as they always do, by focusing on the rampager and never questioning what was going on at their workplace or in society as a whole that would put the kind of pressure on a person to cause them to flip out and kill.
“If you consider the possibility that these crimes have socioeconomic cause, as does inner-city violence, then you find that much more is revealed by profiling the company where the massacre took place than by profiling the murderer.” – Ames
We are like the story that if you put a frog in a pot of boiling water he will jump out immediately. But if you put him in a pot of warm water and gradually raise the temperature to boiling, he will not notice the incremental changes in temperature and will sit there and be cooked. I contend that we are the frog in the second scenario.
What to do? I am only a pawn in the game of life. I cannot change American society and I even have serious doubts that my votes matter any more. Some say that “Change starts with you”. Yes, but it may also end with you, as you are only one person.
Hey, but don’t forget to dance; you know what they say, “it’s not over until it is over”.
Remember the great philosopher, Douglas Adams and this quote from Marvin the robot: (Marvin, reflecting back on his 576,000,003,579 year career): The first ten million years were the worst, said Marvin, and the second ten million, they were the worst too. The third ten million I didn’t enjoy at all. After that I went into a bit of a decline.
The hamster never gives up
I just had to plug my link to the Demotivation website. Those guys are brilliant. Get a load of this logic, from their website:
“In this revolutionary new management book, Despair, Inc. founder Dr. E.L. Kersten plumbs the depths of employee discontent and identifies its root cause. Though most employees live lackluster lives full of wasted opportunities and trivial accomplishments, they grow ever more certain of their enormous worth and glorious destinies. This is because they are the products of a narcissistic age, the results of a grand social experiment that has gone terribly awry. As a result, they are afflicted with an irrational sense of entitlement that simultaneously increases their dissatisfaction with their jobs and prevents them from accepting responsibility for their lives. Thus, in a terrible irony, managers who attempt to motivate employees by bolstering their self-esteem have only compounded the problem. By reinforcing the delusions of grandeur that imprison and torture the average worker, management has only further reinforced their sense of entitlement to the wealth, stature and privilege that justice dictates be reserved for the truly accomplished and inarguably worthy: namely, Executives.”
This picture, also from their website, tells it all. For anyone who has been unemployed for a long time and who is smart enough to know the job prospects are exceedingly thin, these guys are hilarious. I know that what I have learned from my years of work experience, in which I started out willing to work unpaid overtime and work my ass off for 8 or more hours even skipping lunch to get more work done, is that I was stupid to think my employers gave a crap abut me or would show any loyalty to me due my hard work and diligence. As soon as the bottom line dipped a bit, I was kicked out the door. Compensation package? I got about 2 hours notice to clean out my desk and don’t let the door smack me in the behind on my way out.
If I had been a lazy faker on the job it would have worked out about the same. In fact, all the time I was unemployed I saw all around me people who were either incompetent, lazy or stupid who had good jobs and were obviously being paid to do them. I have concluded that the only people who have good paying jobs anymore must be related to their employers or are blackmailing them, probably due to some bedroom type indiscretions.
Your pissed off underemployed hamster
I took my first load of old mostly rotten decking to the dump yesterday. I feel a real sense of accomplishment! The bank under the removed decking looks great for creating my new pathway to the upper backyard area. I’m going to have so much fun with this.
It took a lot of courage to go ahead with this project, and I might not have even tried it if I was still working as an engineer and could afford to hire someone to do it for me. I guess some good comes from being “downsized”. May they all burn in hell. Oh, sorry, I forgot myself there. The anger burns very shallow these days. However, I am proud of my accomplishments, and this will be great when it is all done!
There is one thing in particular that I have learned from my life; if you can’t do things the way most people do them (meaning the way ‘everyone’ says you have to do it, whatever ‘it’ may be), then there is always another way. Find it and go ahead and do it. Don’t give up and don’t let the bastards win. Remember, the majority are usually wrong.
Just thought I’d let you know; the queen cat and the still un-named kitty are getting along well. I even let the little squirt roam the house today while I’m at work. Cleo is treating the fuzzball in a much more friendly way now, and they even play together. Also, kitty has learned to keep her distance when Queenie hisses at her, an important survival skill.
Last night I let the squirt sleep on my bed, which I’m not sure is so great for me. She likes to climb up to my neck and snuggle there. That of course causes her whiskers to tickle me and wakes me up. Then there is my necklace, which normally I have always just worn all the time and rarely ever take off. Guess what? Squirt likes to chew on it, and I don’t seem to be able to persuade her that is a bad idea.
So, I had to take the necklace off, which means I have to put it on when I get up. I try to reduce the number of things I have to do in the morning, as I inevitably forget to do some of them. Plus, I have timed myself, and from the time I say, “I have to go now” it takes me 15 minutes to actually find myself in the car and backing out the driveway. I don’t want to add more tasks in the morning . . .
Anyway, I didn’t get to sleep as well as I might have, which is usually very marginal anyway. I have insomnia, the severity of which varies from time to time.
Well that’s it for now. Later I may get to ranting about climate change. I heard some more scary ‘end of the world’ type stuff on Democracy Now this morning, and they are a very credible news source. I believe I have found my peace with whatever comes, but I feel incredibly sad about what the human race has come to and what we are doing to the earth. These days I often feel as though I am living in one of those sci-fi novels I read as a kid. The future does not look good.
Remember these important words: “In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.” Douglas Adams
Your hamster survivor
Because of some family problems I won’t go into here, when I was growing up I struggled with escapism from my life and was desperately seeking reality. It is not as easy as you might think to know what is real and what is not. I am not talking about seeing things that aren’t there, or hearing voices or any stuff like that.
I am talking about knowing the difference between what TV commercials say about products (will that deodorant really make you sexier?), family created views of the world, and concepts of right and wrong that are instilled in many of us from the religion we grew up in.
We are all familiar with the phrase “seeing the world through rose colored glasses”, and “For him the glass is always half empty”. These phrases imply that people interpret the world through an internal filter that “colors” everything they think they know.
In illustration of that, I just finished a book by Joe Bageant called “Deer Hunting with Jesus” about America’s class war between those who have more than they need, and the working poor. Bageant has a great way of informing about the devastation of the America we thought we knew through telling intimate stories about the people in his hometown. The working poor don’t even realize that they have been screwed by the system and then abandoned by the ‘liberals’.
The locals in Bageant’s home town Winchester, Virginia do not see the reality of their situation; they follow FOX news, watch professional sports and ‘reality’ shows on TV, and live out their lives fighting to stay one step ahead of the homeless.
My point is this; I just found a website that promotes reality as a religion. No joke! it’s at the website
. I like this quote: “We care about what is real, not what we think is real or what we want to believe is real.” That sentence is profound. All of my life I have seen people that no matter how ‘good’ they are or how well meaning, see life through some internal lense and do not see what is really there. I can see why they do this; generally speaking, life is not pleasant and people have a very hard time dealing with the awful things that people sometimes do to each other. It is easier to live in a fantasy where they ‘color’ the world just enough to make it palatable.
The big problem with that is, those same people will fight to the death to keep their fantasies, and they cannot fix what is wrong if they deny that it exists. It is a delusion that can be self destructive as well as contribute to the destruction of others. It is the source of the “Blame the victim” mentality, seen everywhere from why women get raped to why there are poor people in America.
I will end this topic for now, and leave you with this hamster thought: “Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.” – Douglas Adams. And one more: “He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” – Douglas Adams, of course.
Your hamster report