Monday, April 11, 2022

CUDDLING THE ROBOT


 

I AM NOT A ROBOT

     In preparation for a recent trip to SF I decided to get a burner phone. Trump may not know what that is but anyone who has seen Better Call Saul or The Wire knows that a "burner" is a pay as you go, untraceable cell phone originally favored by drug dealers. You should be able to plug it in, charge it, and set up your account in the front seat of the truck. Guess again.

    I purchased both my burner and my $40 pre-paid AT&T card at Walmart. I asked the checkout girl how it all worked and she just shrugged and told me the "phone people" weren't in yet. "If it doesn't work you can always return it." Knowing enough what NOT to do I let it all sit in the very secure plastic packaging until Shewho could assess the technical issues. The first instruction they gave was to scratch off the number on the AT&T card. Done. How hard could this be? With the use of another phone, a computer, multiple passwords and pin numbers, and 1 1/2 hrs. of precious "date night" time Shewho still hadn't cracked the code and got a dial tone. After another frustrating hour the next morning we both gave up and I drove back to Walmart to return the phone and card.

    The nice young man took the phone and card from my hand and mentioned "We've had a lot of returns on these." I could see why. I told him of my frustrations and how drug dealers must have to have a team of IT experts these days just to do business. He didn't laugh. Then he held up the $40 card and said he couldn't refund that. "The number is scratched." he said with a sigh. I calmly told him that was the first thing they instructed you to do - scratch the number. He sympathized and understood my "catch-22" dilemma. Then he called his manager. She'd sort it all out.

    The manager was a pink, squishy-faced, over weight young woman who began talking over me immediately, explaining that I had "scratched off the number so....no refund!" My calm vanished. "MISS! Stop talking over me....this FUCKING process has been BULLSHIT since the get go." She just stared blankly as other yellow vested employees froze in their tracks, pondering if they should call security. It went on like this for a couple of minutes. The young man offered "cash" on the phone in order to placate me. It didn't work. I told them both I was not yelling at them but the yellow and blue Walmart (Ukrainian?) colors they were wearing! "YOU ASSHOLES REPRESENT THESE CORPORATIONS LIKE AT&T AND WALMART THAT STEAL US BLIND. CAN YOU AFFORD TO THROW AWAY $40? (more stares) WELL I CAN'T. YOU ARE ALL SLAVES TO THE MACHINE, CHECKING BOXES AND SCRATCHING OFF SILVER STRIPS ON COMMAND.....ROBOTS! I AM NOT A ROBOT!"Then I drove home minus $40, once again with no cell phone. If you want to get a hold of me call Cheeky.     

    

Friday, April 1, 2022

FEE WITH FAN

 Photo: R. Kern 313: RICHARD KERN, Fee with Fan < Modern and Contemporary Art, 19 November  2002 < Auctions | Wright: Auctions of Art and Design

A SHORT UPDATE

       I really believed I could become a capitalist. I did. I wanted to give it a try. So I put this declaration out into the universe, shouted it from the roof tops, waving my hands wildly. I gave it a solid 48 hours and all I felt was disgust and shame. No sales. Forget the fact that I now have 276 drawings, completely disregarding the laws of supply (seemingly unlimited) to demand (none), the inner turmoil that my declaration as a person "only concerned with the bottom line" was unfathomable. I was already an alcoholic. To put capitalist in front of "drunk" seemed redundant. Why would I ever want to be a part of that very large club? So I'm back, a social sculptor working on the fringes for no remuneration.......broke as hell, but happy as a clam. I won't try that again. Phew! That was close.

 

Thursday, March 31, 2022

JESUS HELPS ME TRICK PEOPLE


 

RACE OR TOXIC GENDER?

   When I wrote the blog on the Oscars I had no idea this subject would go much further than blogspot let alone become a trigger flashpoint in today's super-woke sub-culture. Once again a blog that combines the pre-#MeToo era of mutual sexploitation and a day to day journal of hunting conditions (in season) has grabbed the world's attention. For those of you who have day jobs here's the update: the C. Rock v. W. Smith dust-up at the Academy Awards has (to no one's surprise) become a cultural touchstone. Video, that by now has been altered more times than Trump's Russian piss tape, is being poured over by sociologists, cultural anthropologists and anybody with a degree higher than secondary school to get at the REAL reason Smith clocked Rock. Was it because he was a "man" or specifically a "black" man seems to be the discussion. Hmmm? Let's see.

    I come down on the side of his sex, not race, being the problem. Not being a black man I may be dead wrong so I qualify everything I'm saying with I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about. But that never stopped me before. Being a man I can relate to what goes wrong in our brains in times of crisis. When you pick apart the footage Will Smith is going along with the joke. "Oh that Chris." he's thinking  "he's such a........" then he turns and looks at his wife. Jada is not having it. In the time it would take to launch a nuclear bomb. the keys are turned and Will Smith is nothing more than a zombie-like vessel of retribution, a laser focused "smart bomb" about to be unleashed on Jada's (not Will's) enemy. He is helpless to resist. He WILL defend his wife's honor! Here I come you fucker..... 

   I know some of my forward thinking, post-feminist, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ friends may disagree with my premise and defense of temporary insanity as a justification of violence at the Oscars, but I would argue that it is too little too late. I don't know how many best pictures or best directors deserved, if not a punch in the face, at least a pink belly. Gone With the Wind? Gimme a breakIt's right up there with Birth of a Nation. Nevertheless race seems not to play a big part in this example, except for the embarrassing fact that a black man can be viewed as as big an asshole as any white man. These two men have been successful, rich celebrities since the time they were just out of their teens. They don't exactly represent. The triggers are being pulled without thinking. Two uber-rich celebrity capitalists got in a PG-13 No Nudity bit of righteous indignation.  They just happened to be African American. I think we have way bigger racial issues to concentrate on in the real world. Let's move on. The lawyers will take it from here.             

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

DIE FOR CAPITALISM