Monday, November 13, 2017

So how bad has it gotten

So how bad has it gotten? 
The news coverage of our politics has gotten so bad that, trumpet players have taken up the cornet.

Don’t leave. I’m NOT going to write anything more on that sad subject.

extra charge for this guy's pedi

Instead let’s discuss fantasy characters and maybe a myth or two. Regular readers of A Few Clowns Short know the myth topic is seldom covered here. Really I don’t have the time to cover all the odd ideas that cross my synapses daily. Most of those odd ideas could be turned into a decent myth. I wrote about myths way back in 2011. (link )

Much like that 2011 post and many others for that matter, this post came about in a convoluted manner. Do you care? If no, then skip ahead.

I have in-laws who subscribed to the New Yorker (they would like the one liner at the top of this post). They started moving around frequently and decided to send the magazine to our house. They typically read it online anyway. You may know/experienced the high quality of writing in the New Yorker. I suspect some people may get it just for the cartoons.

I found this piece titled, “Fantastic Beasts and How to Rank Them” in Nov. 6 issue very thought provoking. (link )

I must say the first thing that caught my attention was at the very top of the page - Dept. of Speculation

Wow that’s exactly what I need here. I would certainly appoint myself as the first head of the department. Call myself Chief of Speculation. Enough about my organizational plans.

The author, Kathryn Schulz, writes, 

“One of the strangest things about the human mind is that it can reason about unreasonable things.”

The article centers around the workings of “willing suspension of disbelief”. I learned that idea goes back to the 1790’s. Even if you don’t belief in Spiderman or Wonder Woman you can still get very involved in their stories. How does this suspension of disbelief work? Ms. Schulz offers up various ideas about this ranging from the creature's biological makeup (size of Big Foot) to the physical nature of their powers (transformation of a vampire).

Within her discussion on judging the plausibility of fantastical beings there is a suggested game for your next party. Create a list of supernatural/mythical beings and ask your guests to rank their plausibility. I plan to try this and expect some interesting conversations. Now if it is a Christmas party, I suggest not including Santa or his elves.

Here’s my list:

  • Wonder Woman
  • Mermaid
  • Big Foot
  • Extraterrestrials visiting earth
  • Angels
  • Zombies
  • Vampires
  • Werewolves
  • Flying fire breathing dragons
  • Ghosts (do you agree an angel is not a ghost?)

Remember you do not need to actually believe in these creatures just rank them. If you are wondering, I rank mermaid as most plausible and flying dragons as least.

I agree with what she writes toward the end:

“Yet, in the end, what’s most remarkable is not that our fantasies contain so much reality; it is that our reality contains so much fantasy.”


“Better, perhaps, to know that what we feel in our happiest moments has some truth to it: life is magical.”

Unrelated to this speculation exercise - I found a TED talk that Kathryn Schulz gave on the importance of embracing our own fallibility. It was given in 2011 and still applies now as it did then. Maybe more so. Worth watching.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

its been building up inside of me

Well its been building up inside of me
For oh, I don't know how long
I don't know why
But I keep thinking
Something's bound to go wrong

anxiety attack?
No I'm fine.

going with the flow

In the spirit of going with the flow, how about you helping me analyze this great Beach Boys song.

Now first I'll remind you that hot fast cars (muscle cars) were all the rage back. Many sixties songs provided guys evidence that girls were attracted to fast sport cars. The drag strip was more popular too. I read that the drag strip was created because of all the dangerous street racing.

Here's a song clip with the lyrics.

And she says "Don't worry baby"
Don't worry baby
Don't worry baby
Everything will turn out alright

So this guy's anxiety is reduced by his girlfriend. Friends can help with anxiety. Also, a lesson I've learned over my time traveling around the sun is that bragging can get you into trouble. Although the negative reaction people have to braggadocio (I've read that word more since 2016 than ever before) isn't part of the lyrics I believe many more Americans have reacted to this recently.

She makes me come alive
And makes me wanna drive

This seems like an odd reaction to being turned-on by a girlfriend. "Oh don't keep giving me that look, I'll just drive away really fast." Do you think this urge to drive would be better in the long run for excited males? 

I've concluded after little thought that "drive" was a good rhyming word for "alive".

She told me "Baby, when you race today
Just take along my love with you
And if you knew how much I loved you
Baby nothing could go wrong with you"
Really? Your love is going to protect him? A good helmet, seatbelts and going to a regulated drag strip would be my advice. Of course I have no idea how to work those ideas in a rock classic song.
Oh what she does to me
When she makes love to me
And she says "Don't worry baby"

What can I say? There was very little safe sex education back in the sixties.

Worried? Don't worry reader everything will turn out alright

Monday, October 30, 2017

tricks treats do you have them

Most of this post was written back in 2015 for Halloween that year. So excuse me if I recycle this post. Most of my thoughts are recycled.

We still enjoy Halloween in our neighbor. Luckily there are young kids around and a couple of our grandkids come by too. There was a period after our kids were becoming adults, the number of young trick-or-treaters noticeably dropped off. It seems the number is back on the rise again.

Of course, Halloween celebrating has changed over the years. If you would like to read/discuss the Halloween changes check out Pam's blog post - the link.

I dropped the old man in our porch chair for Halloween

In the paper (you know that thing you can read but comes from natural trees and doesn't need to be plugged in) today there was a story about Halloween in this one Chicago neighborhood where the local churches bus the kids in.  Homes can get a 1000 or more visitors. Too much traffic I think but it would be an event to see the street filled with costumed kids.

In the story the term "Halloween hater" was used. I guess they are out there but I don't understand why anyone would be a Halloween hater.  Yeah, you might not get into the spirit of spirits and costumes but a hater? I suspect anyone like that probably hates kids too.

Halloween should be fun and enjoyed.

Our youngest much more than a decade ago

The guy passing out candy in this youtube clip has much more patience than me. He does manage to scare a few kids. Funny - I think the oddest thing about the clip is a guy wearing a pumpkin on his head for that long.

There is something happening this weekend much scarier than the ghosts, skeletons, and political characters out on Halloween - Daylight savings change disaster arrives Sunday morning. Be prepared.


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