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  • mistermuse 12:00 am on July 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: complexity, critical thinking, , good literature, , introspection, Presidential politics, , rape, , self-awareness   


    Blessed is he who takes himself seriously, for he shall create much amusement. –Strictland Gillian

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    Picking up from my last post, this post will re-print selected serious parts of old clippings left hanging on July 15. If you’re still into that post’s humor act, this character (actor) should help set the stage for transitioning from reacting like this  😀 to reacting like this.

    Now that the appropriate mood has been established, I trust that you are in a frame of mind to engage in some serious Trump-like introspection as you consider the following. It’s going to be great, believe me:

    No matter how many prayers uttered, no mater how many [guns fired] or coffins draped, a nation cannot heal itself without self-awareness. We seem not to want to recognize that we are the problem. –Kathleen Parker

    We learn not from what we know, but from what we don’t know. — T. C. Collins

    What is it in the American character that squirms in the presence of eloquence, that revels in barroom disdain for brainpower? The irony is that this country was founded by intellectuals, the Constitution written by men enlightened by the top thinkers of the day. We’ve gone from Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton to [Donald Trump*] and Dan Quayle. What happened? –Joe Robinson  *my proxy for a long-forgotten senator 

    Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups. –John Kenneth Galbraith

    There is still another reason to grant literature an important place in the life of nations. Without it, the critical mind, which is the real engine of historical change and the best protector of liberty, would suffer an irreparable loss. This is because all good literature poses radical questions about the world in which we live. –Mario Vargas Llosa

    What is woman’s basic physical metaphor? It is mystery, the hidden. Psychoanalyst Karen Horney speaks of a girl’s inability to see her genitals and a boy’s ability to see his as the source of female subjectivity and male objectivity. The female body’s unbearable hiddenness applies to all aspects of men’s dealings with women. Mystery shrouds woman’s sexuality. This mystery is the main reason for the imprisonment man has imposed on woman. Modern feminism’s most naïve formulation is its assertion that rape is a crime of violence but not of sex, that it is merely power masquerading as sex. But sex is power, and power is inherently aggressive. Rape is male power fighting female power. It is no more to be excused than murder or any other assault on another’s civil rights. Society is woman’s protection against rape, not, as some feminists absurdly maintain, the cause of rape. Whenever social controls are weakened, as in war or mob rule, even civilized men behave in uncivilized ways. Sex crimes are always male, never female, because such crimes are conceptualized assaults on the unreachable omnipotence of woman and nature. –Harper’s Magazine, May 1990

    The great physicist Hans Bethe said, “Well, I come down in the morning and I take up a pencil and I try to think.”  It’s a notion that appears to have gone the way of the rotary phone. Americans not only seem to be doing less serious thinking lately, they seem to have less and less tolerance for those who spend time wrestling with important and complex matters. If you can’t say it in 30 seconds, you have to move on. Donald Trump (“You’re fired!”) and Paris Hilton (“That’s hot!”) are cultural icons. Ignorance is in. —Bob Herbert, Feb. 2005

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    There are more clippings where those excerpts came from, but the above should be enough to chew on for a while. If you like to fantasize, perhaps a few of these topics will be raised in the upcoming Presidential debates, as I’m sure The Donald would be more than delighted to discuss his views on such matters in depth — not that his supporters (or even the average American) seem to believe the capacity to think in-depth is an asset of any particular value for a President.

    A penny for your thoughts?


    • Cynthia Jobin 12:16 am on July 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      If I were to vote today, I would certainly vote for Donald Trump. I take it that makes me a stupid, unthinking, illiterate, unintellectual idiot.


      • mistermuse 2:04 am on July 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Only if
        1. I thought you were serious, OR
        2. You’re voting for what many consider the lesser of two evils, OR
        3. Your better angels believe, as I do, that there’s no accounting for taste (in which case, it seems to me, our better angels are highly overrated).


        • mistermuse 2:11 am on July 20, 2016 Permalink

          Come to think of it, #2 & #3 are reasons NOT to take you for “a stupid…..idiot,” so pardon my ‘arithmetic.’ 😦


    • painkills2 12:36 am on July 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Isn’t it funny how we pay people for their thoughts. Their opinions. There’s a so-called expert on just about every subject. But it seems like most paid opinions have nothing to do with actual experience. Unfortunately, the American public is easily fooled, especially by media-hype.

      Trump doesn’t have opinions (or experience). I don’t imagine he does much thinking (except about himself). Perhaps that’s what supporters really like about him.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 2:57 am on July 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I wouldn’t say that Trump doesn’t have opinions – the problem is that he has almost nothing but opinions, the quality and civility of which (to say the least) don’t pass the smell test. But I agree with (and herewith quote in part) “Jill” from MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN — THE PROBLEM WITH DONALD TRUMP’S CAMPAIGN SLOGAN:

        “Trump’s supporters have some legitimate grievances. But instead of blaming the political forces that cut holes in the social safety net (if such a safety net was even built in the first place) and that prioritized the desires of the wealthiest segments of American society while the working class withered — those “political forces” would be the Republican Party — Trump supporters blame the long-oppressed groups who have finally gotten a toehold on the American dream.Trump promises his supporters that if he’s elected, he’ll put them back on top. The problem is that “back on top” means stepping over those who don’t share their race and gender.”

        Liked by 2 people

        • painkills2 8:24 pm on July 20, 2016 Permalink

          What do you call it when someone’s opinions change from day to day? Someone who has such a difficult time communicating that I can’t figure out exactly what his opinions are. Ramble, ramble, ramble, build a wall, ramble, ramble, terrorists, ramble, ramble, Hillary’s a criminal, ramble, ramble…

          And I’d just like to say that I’ve tried to understand why anyone would support Trump. I’ve listened to what his supporters have to say. I’ve listened to what Trump has to say. Anyone who thinks this man has the experience and temperament to be President of the United States is just fooling themselves. They’re not supporting him because he’s qualified — his supporters are supporting him for other reasons, mostly because they hate Hillary. Trump supporters hate Hillary as much as they hated Obama.

          I’d also like to say that if more people in this country support Trump than Hillary, then that is their choice. If I want others to respect my choices, then I also have to respect theirs. Ya’ll want Trump to be President? I say, bring it on. Let’s see what happens.

          Liked by 3 people

        • mistermuse 10:05 pm on July 20, 2016 Permalink

          No matter who wins, there isn’t the proverbial snowball’s chance in hell that he or she will unite this hopelessly divided country. And as for getting things done, the only chance of that happening is for the majority in Congress and the Senate to be of the same party as the newly elected President, and I don’t see that happening either. Hopefully I’m wrong.

          Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:36 am on July 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Cynthia, after sleeping on it, I am going to apologize (something Trump seldom, if ever, does) for the somewhat uncharitable tone of my previous replies. I wasn’t sure if your comment was serious or humorous, but assuming it was serious, I would re-word my reply to say that PERHAPS your Trump vote would be for the lesser of two evils, or PERHAPS your better angels believe as I do, that there’s no accounting for taste (in which case, it seems to me, our better angels are highly overrated).
      A small difference, perhaps, but better intended.


    • Cynthia Jobin 10:01 am on July 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      There’s a whole lot of opining going on that is based on judgement without knowledge, judgement without real experience of what is being judged. I submit that you KNOW very little, actually, about Trump, or about most of his “followers” when it comes right down to it. Like the rest of us, you must rely on hearsay (the media) whatever “authorities” you trust, guesses, and your own gut.

      Politics are a game at the very center of the Inferno, and most often involve a choice between the lesser of two evils, yes, but also the evil of two lessers.


    • arekhill1 10:26 am on July 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Trump’s character, or lack of it, is manifest. We all know someone just like him–fortunately, most of those people never rise higher in life than being the boss you simultaneously hate and have to clean up after and, in off hours, the biggest jerk at the country club. Anybody who thinks such a character should be President betrays the fact that their years have taught them nothing.

      Unlike Sr. Muse, I don’t suffer fools gladly, so call yourself any synonym for stupid you want–you’ve earned it.


      • mistermuse 10:52 am on July 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Ricardo, I don’t know that I suffer fools gladly (SADLY is more like it), but there does come a point where trying to meet the other guy (or gal) halfway only gets you so far (and I don’t mean halfway). I suspect that if there’s one thing Obama has learned in the last 7 1/2 years dealing with Congress, that’s it.

        Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 10:35 am on July 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Cynthia, what I don’t know is how you can know what I do or don’t know about Trump. If you’re implying that my knowledge of Trump is superficial, that he has depths only his supporters can plumb, I beg to be enlightened beyond the point of my limited understanding. Until then, I must remain agnostic.


      • Cynthia Jobin 11:00 am on July 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        It appears there is nothing I can say which will not heap more abuse upon me, so I will fold my tent and steal away from here.


    • Carmen 9:08 pm on July 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Hi mistermuse,
      I’m visiting in Australia (and suffering the question daily, “WHY would you come here in winter?” – to which I always reply, “Grandchildren!”) and it seems that the Aussies are as incredulous as Canadians as to the popular nominee of the Republicans. (I can’t bear to utter his name). What else can anyone say, except that there’s just no accounting for some people’s tastes? I can’t think of a worse person to be a leader. Unfortunately, there’s already been one person in history with the same personality traits and, although he did achieve territorial conquests, his name is another that doesn’t bear repeating. 😦

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 9:52 pm on July 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Good to hear from you, Carmen. As incredulous as I am about what’s-his-name, I’m even more incredulous at the sheer numbers of supporters he has seduced. I still think Hillary has the electoral edge despite her perceived untrustworthiness, but anything can happen between now and November. Time will tell.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Carmen 10:54 pm on July 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      As I’ve said on other blogs, I trust the good sense of the majority of Americans; they’ll support establishment over flamboyant, egotistical bluster. To go out on a limb here and think outside the box, if the worst happens, I think Canada might be getting an influx of the very best Americans. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 8:00 am on July 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I like that one from Harper’s 1990. Some people obviously get up in the morning and have nothing much to do all day.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:18 am on July 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Don, you’re the first one to comment on (one of) the quotes themselves, which I appreciate, as this post became such a lightning rod for all things Trump that the quotes seemed to get lost. And how true your last sentence is!


  • mistermuse 12:01 am on January 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: attitude, , complexity, coping, drudgery, early retirement, human relations, , , jobs, lost souls, unemployment benefits,   


    And to think that you can turn on the television any hour of any day and find a politician railing against the outsourcing of these manufacturing jobs, as if this is any great loss at all. The outsourcing hasn’t gone nearly far enough if you ask me; we should be outsourcing these factories to the ninth circle of hell, outsourcing them into oblivion! It’s not work fit for a human being….  —Franklin Schneider

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    If you think my last post featured jobs that stink — stink again. Franklin Schneider, author of CANNED (subtitled How I Lost Ten Jobs in Ten Years and Learned to Love Unemployment) has held every type of job — briefly. He’s detasseled corn in Iowa, served time at a doomed Internet start-up, and for one shining moment became the “Most Successful Telemarketer in America.” But his search for a fairly compensated, fulfilling position free of pointless drudgery taught him one thing: Such a job does not exist. And if it did, his boss would  probably be an a**hole [quoted from back cover].

    CANNED is a book with an attitude you’ll probably either loathe or relate to. As I read it, I found myself doing a bit of both, because, although Schneider tells it like he sees it, I was left feeling — well, more or less like a combination of these reviews/reviewers:

    “For the majority of you reading Canned, a feeling of contempt will wash over you toward the writer for exemplifying the worst in Americans. Others will read these words and show some form of remorse for the author and his ill-conceived notions as to what he is ‘entitled’ [collecting unemployment benefits while deliberately ducking work]. In either respect, I am sure that every one who is not a Marxist can agree, Franklin Schneider is the type of person this country can do without.” –Charles Signorile

    “[It’s] a caustic celebration of the loser life, a ranting jeremiad against the working world and all its slavish pieties. It’s like watching Thoreau hand out tokens at the mall arcade, Melville grind his teeth in an Aeron chair at a media portal startup, or Bukowski lose his mind in an MCI telemarketing carrel: a twisted kind of fun.” –Tom Lutz

    “Franklin Schneider’s writing is smart, energetic, funny, illuminating, outrageous, painful (in the best possible way), quirky, distinctive and wildly entertaining.” –Josh Emmons

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    I view CANNED in the broader context of a roiling world of differing individuals, groups and classes who can’t put themselves in the other guy’s place, unable (or averse) to consider there may be a happier way to run a steamboat. The late comedienne Joan Rivers put it like this: “Can we talk?” The answer: Apparently not really (unless by “talk,” is meant moving our lips and making sounds). No wonder many of us just don’t “get it.” Sometimes it seems that only kids make allowances.

    Like fellow lost-soul Schneider, I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was young. Unlike him, I wound up falling into a thirty year career with one company while I “found myself.” It was a career in which I take neither great pride nor lasting prejudice (in other words, I worked to live, not lived to work), from which I was able to retire early and end up doing what I came to want to do. Was it worth putting up with all the “slavish pieties” one must observe along the way? Given the cards we’re dealt, I never felt as if I had a choice.

    It’s easy to envy those who have the good fortune to earn a living doing what they love to do, but even some of them go off the deep end, unable to cope. For the everyone else of us, Franklin Schneider cites this quote: This is how the hero of our time must be. He will be characterized either by decisive inaction, or else by futile activity.* Perhaps so. In any case, I rest his case.

    *from A Hero of Our Time, by Mikhail Lermontov

    P.S. And what was it “I came to want to do?” Well, since you asked:



    • Midwestern Plant Girl 6:53 am on January 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I may have to read this book! I work to live right now, but would love to live for work. .. with the right job. I have never been on unemployment b4, but wouldn’t be ashamed to be now. I want to take classes to change careers, but have no time to go while working! Catch 22. 😯
      I need to change the way I feel about responsibility… why feel guilty about changing jobs when this is my life and I have only a short time to enjoy it!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Don Frankel 9:01 am on January 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      My 25 year career as a Civil Servant was at times exhilarating, challenging, boring, annoying, stressful, boring, fun and did I say boring? But it was, well, life.

      The best thing is to own your own business which I got to do as well. Now, I follow my passion.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:33 am on January 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        As the pig said in the PEARLS BEFORE SWINE comic strip, “BEING LAZY IS NOT A PASSION!” (Just kidding, Don — I couldn’t resist!) 🙂


    • arekhill1 10:36 am on January 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Still working here. Never been on unemployment, disability or workman’s comp in my life. Find time to write, too, in addition to carving out time to sit on the couch and drink beer. How does it all get done? Saving time by skipping personal pronouns helps.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:09 am on January 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Couldn’t have said it better myself.


    • literaryeyes 12:06 pm on January 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      This is a subject we don’t want to talk about, but many people are stuck in drudgery, and even worse, what they do has no lasting positive value. Most know it, but it’s easier to say, I’m doing it for my family, and I’ll “live” outside work. I love that you quoted Lermontov’s A Hero of our Time (some say a precursor to The Stranger); he was WAY ahead of his time. Worthwhile occupation may not bring you the same monetary compensation, but what is your sanity worth? I made little money doing what I believed was helpful to others, and in the process have a wealth of experience (if I modestly may say so!).

      Liked by 2 people

    • Michaeline Montezinos 12:16 pm on January 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Worked and or went to school from the age of 6. Schooling is work where you can only learn what your professor teaches. Finally had time to sit on the couch with my fourth daughter and loved every messy minute spent having babies and watching them grow. Not sure if marriage falls into any one of these categories . Maybe it has a passionate beginning and then the work begins. But it is a career you must want to pursue without selfishness and with devotion to responsibility. So I finally married the man who inspires me to do both.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 1:05 pm on January 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I can think of no job more important than being a stay-at-home mom (or dad, for that matter), but of course, that depends on the family financial situation and requirements (which shouldn’t put acquiring luxuries ahead of giving one’s kids the love, time and attention they need).


    • Todd Duffey Writes on Things 6:21 pm on January 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Hear hear! I’ve been an actor in cult films and TV shows, and yet I’ve also been on the government teat. If you’ve ever found something you absolutely love to do, nothing else will bring you the satisfaction of that thing. To those who haven’t found it, the point is moot. To those who have, they tax us for just such the occasion that, should we need it, it is there. Not to live off of. Simply to get us to the next opportunity.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:34 pm on January 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Wouldn’t it be heaven if everyone could earn a living doing what they love to do, whether it be digging ditches, writing the Great American or Great Armenian Novel, or sitting on the couch drinking beer (preferably craft beer). With all the promises politicians make, I don’t know why no candidate has promised that.

        Liked by 1 person

    • moorezart 6:27 pm on January 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on From 1 Blogger 2 Another.

      Liked by 2 people

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