Post # 585 MALIGNANT DISCONTENT

We include ourselves in the vast number of law- abiding American citizens who were shocked and deeply disturbed by the recent obscene and egregious insurrection, which took place on the premises of Washington’s august and historic Capitol Building. The motivation of the riotous and threatening participants, it seems, has been popularly ascribed to a forced overturn of the democratic result of the recent Presidential election, at the  behest and invitation of its miscreant loser. It is our considered opinion, however, that the expressed anger and motivation of the unruly, flag waving, gun toting and highly destructive mob, was, to the contrary, brought about by a perceived singular opportunity for a mob, composed a virtual conglomerate of individually nuanced malcontents, to release their long term, pent-up emotional panic, based on a felt recognition of their malignant discontent with their life.

Presidential choices aside, our regular followers are cognizant of the foundational raison d’etre of this blog space, (“plinyblog”) and observably, the various themes, evinced in our more than one half thousand published essays. We have eternally believed that one’s aspiration for the ultimate feeling of satisfaction and self-fulfillment with his relatively short span of life, is attained by the cerebral benefits of reading good books and/or cultivating an enduring personal interest in an elective field or activity. The advancement in any educational or liberal field of education develops mature perception,  the capacity to deal in complex matters and, additionally, the ability to not be threatened by diversity of opinion. A cultivation of the awareness of other modes of thought tends to avoid conflict and encourages empathy and the toleration of others.

It has always been our perception, that contrariwise, the lack of desire to advance one’s understanding and maturity of perception, has the predictable reward of a repetitive, insular, and disappointing life. In such instances, there is a total absence of perception as to the shared universality of man’s issues, his commonality. Thus, life is shallow, lonely, overly insecure, and often threatening. Ignorance, we would bravely declare, is the quiet death of human evolutionary potential, and a fertile breeding ground for fearful insecurity and resultant fear of difference; it is the promoter-in-chief of pernicious bigotry.

It is our considered opinion that participation in the unprecedented and violent insurrection was based largely on the perception of unlawful license, irresponsibly given by President Trump, [for his own pathological reasons]; a license to vent their respective idiomatic frustrations and angry disappointment with their nuanced personal lives, under a faux but more rationally stated, common banner, viz., the improper computation of votes in the past election.

-p.

Post # 584 SELWIN’S AWAKENING

It was just another 6 A.M., on January 19, 2021, when Selwin routinely and stubbornly, made his usual vain attempt to sit up but was, as regularly experienced previously, restrained and resoundingly thrust back down to his big, sleep- warmed soft pillow, by the irresistible pull of Orphean gravity. However, at 6:20  he did succeed in being fully awake and standing erect.  After pushing aside, the heavy bedroom window drapes (which had, in recent years, mysteriously appeared to emit an eerie, Orange glow) and looked down from the height of the four brick stories of his apartment at the street scene below. He noted that all seemed unchanged and regular; including that ever-present and mysterious, Orange stain. He saw it everywhere and on everything, policeman’s batons, and weapons, on television aerials, mailboxes, newsstands, and telephone poles. Yet, having during an entire period of four years, adjusted, as a matter of practical necessity, to such ubiquitous, Orange-like shimmer, he was sufficiently reassured that all continued to be unchanged and unremarkable.

After a brief shower, Sherwin opted for his regular breakfast, vanilla yogurt, elderberry jam, two un-buttered multi-grain biscuits and a cup of unsweetened green tea. It was too early to go to his job, (where he was employed as a senior apprentice bagel baker) thus, as was his custom, Sherwin decided, to take his customary walk. He decided this time, however, to hike to the verdant and attractive suburban area as a needed respite from his customary, treeless, concretized, and citified route.

The walk took place in cloudy, unpleasant, and threatening weather conditions. As Selwin neared the suburban area, he was surprised and disappointed to observe lawns which were not green and healthy but sickly, desiccated, and evincing much of the ominous, Orange tinge. Residential decorative plantings appeared droopy and orange-fringed, rather than bursting with verdant health and many trees wore occasional Orange colored wilted leaves. Selwin was heartsick to observe the deterioration and the  all-pervasive, wistful vista of the ambient environment, which appeared to be in a decaying, and unhealthy state. Our protagonist dejectedly returned home and that evening, following a tasteless dinner and a few hours of depressed rumination, disconsolately, retired for the night.

After enduring a long and restless night of inadequate sleep, Selwin awoke, as customary, at 6A.M. on the 20th day of January 2021, feeling surprisingly, and unexplainably, rested, and relaxed. On this occasion, he arose effortlessly to a sitting position, and then jumped up to a standing position with alacrity, with inexplainable sensation of joy and relief. As he routinely walked to the window, he noticed the absence of the mysterious Orange emanation from his drapes. Looking at the street scene, he confusedly, but happily, noted the absence of the ominously appearing, Orange hue from newsstands, telephone poles, police batons, television antennae, in short, from everywhere.

He showered quickly, ate his customary breakfast, (vanilla yogurt, elderberry jam, two unbuttered multi-grain biscuits and a cup of unsweetened green tea)  and then quickly descended the stairs to begin his morning walk; this time, a reprise of his previous disappointing hike to the sub-urban part of the City. He noted with pleasure, that the weather this day was sunny and comfortable and was absolutely nonplussed and joyfully relieved observing this day, the healthy, natural color and appearance of the fresh verdant trees and plants. This walk, by contrast, seemed to have rewarded him with secure feelings of confidence and normality; of positive feelings, barely remembered.

When back at work,  busily engaged in salting and sprinkling onion bits on yet unbaked bagels, he ruminated upon the sea change between the dismal reality of the 19th of January, and the ostensibly “religious miracle,” merely one day later, the 20th day of January, which had evinced such joy and relief.  The only thing he was ultimately able to conjure up, was the (no doubt, irrelevant, he thought) inauguration of a new President but, truthfully, nothing thing else.

-p.

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Post #583 THE DEMISE OF THE “GIULIANI ILLUSION”

House cleaning in the wake of the shocking Trump- incited Capitol riot, is proceeding apace, the latter inclusive of the prosecution of the criminal insurrectionists as well as their miscreant, Pied Piper, President Donald J. Trump. The latter has been the unique recipient of an historically unprecedented, second Impeachment, for the deranged incitement of last week’s insurrection, by his base, targeted to overturn the (certified) results of the past American election. The responsive, rampaging horde of his “base,” seems to have been populated with representatives of the eternally ignorant and discontented underbelly of our Nation. Trump, together with those of his elected and elective co-conspirators, participating in the fomentation of the lawless and despicable insurrection, can entertain the firm assurance of being deservedly, “enshrined,” in the future accounts of America’s history.

While America, presently, is in the process of a seasonally early, but no less than existential, White House Spring cleaning, it cannot responsibly or justly, overlook the nefarious and immoral participation by the (undeservedly) praised, past (1994-2001) Mayor of New York,  Rudolph Giuliani.

Giuliani, in a recent television appearance, affecting as ever, his tactically employed, “Cheshire Cat Smile,” and sporting sweaty, black hair -dye face streaks, had for years, been undeservedly awarded the title, “America’s Mayor” for his purportedly, admirable actions, as Mayor of New York, during the horrific events of 9/11/93.  The accurate facts regarding Giuliani’s performance on  9/11 reveal, by contrast, his gross malpractice and blatant stupidity. Such matters included the senseless and irresponsible location of (no less than) all of New York City’s facilities for emergency communication, at 7 World Trade Center. Most reprehensible and deadly, was Giuliani’s careless omission to update the outdated, Fire Department’s radio communication equipment, tragically preventing receipt by firefighters of lifesaving evacuation orders, frantically transmitted, just before the sudden collapse of the Trade Center buildings.

Later years evinced his retainer for legal services by the miscreant President, Donald Trump, who was found by a Special Government Inquiry, to have treasonous liaisons with the autocratic Russian ruler, Vladimir Putin. The Governmental Inquiry also revealed that Russia secretly interfered in the American election, to assist in the surprising election victory of Donald Trump. Media disseminated photos of Rudy, with a salacious smile and wide-open collar, happily socializing in Trump’s treasonous interest, with known corrupt, wealthy Russian Oligarchs, in Trump’s treasonous interest. It is not clear to us whether Giuliani’s bills for legal fees were $20,000 per week or per diem.

At this point, we would return to the referenced White House Spring Cleaning, necessitated by last week’s unprecedented, riot and insurrection, criminally incited by Donald Trump. The crime of incitement to riot was, as known, additionally perpetuated by our dethroned hero, Rudolph Giuliani. The highly compensated bearer of the Cheshire smile, reportedly encouraged the delusional Trump in his baseless and neurotic conspiracy theories, falsely challenging the results of the 2020 Presidential Elections. Trump’s good buddy and retained lawyer, also incited Trump’s loyal and nefarious base to engage in violent insurrection, exhorting them to engage in “a physical trial” of their grievances.

We adjudge Giuliani to be an irresponsible, opportunistic individual and see no rational reason for his not being subject ( in addition to his nefarious client, Donald J. Trump) to criminal prosecution for the Federal crime of seditious incitement to insurrection. It was interesting to learn that he has already been summarily expelled by his New York Bar Association, with further serious consideration being given to the revocation of his license (“disbarment”) for such wrongful behavior, as stated, “to publicly protect the honorable standing of the legal profession.”

[We always “knew” that there existed sinister proclivities, underlying his ingratiating smile and quick- darting eyes.]

-p.   


 [HJC1]

 [HJC2]

Post # 582 BARBARIANS AT THE GATE

Last Wednesday witnessed a perverse, unprecedented, and riotous insurrection that occurred at the Washington D.C. Capitol Building. The blatant event involved forcible entry and  (Bastille like) scaling of the walls of the legislative landmark building, breaking windows, damaging valuable historic treasures, and menacing lawmakers and staff employees. The boisterous, Victor Hugo style melee, also featured an installed hangman’s noose, which rioters loudly proclaimed was for Vice-President Pence. There were five reported fatalities; one of which resulted when a D.C. policeman was psychopathically beaten on the head with a fire extinguisher, by one of the zealous insurrectionists.

The singularly nightmarish event had its undeniable etiology in the Pavlovian-type response, of many discontented inhabitants of the “powder keg” underbelly of our Nation, to the explicit invitation by our visibly, deranged President, calling for a reversal, by violence, of the (certified) result of the recent election, in which he was determined the loser. The entire nightmarish and surreal scenario seems to be more suitable to some conjured up, homicidal version, of a nightmare fantasy by Lewis Carroll, than it does to any version of clearheaded reality.

The event was a frightening omen, that a Democratic Republic has its vulnerabilities,  including the potential of perverse individuals in its free society, to use their liberty (for which they should be grateful) for miscreant and destructive purposes. We have recommended, to those who have not read it, the frightening, consciousness-raising (1937) Sinclair Lewis novel, “It Can’t Happen Here.” The real possibility that it “can” easily happen here, is the warning and the ominous theme of the novel. Such warning,  predictably, will be articulated, [together, perhaps, with some reference to the 1930s deterioration of the Wehrmacht Democracy to Hitler’s hellish regime]  by the responsible press and media.

We resolutely oppose all violent assertions of the need for change, allegedly meritorious, as well as those that lack merit.[see our earlier essay: “THE MEANS ARE THE ENDS”]. If society is to continue and advance, solutions to extant problems must be attained by peaceful, non-violent revolution in education, knowledge, and in mature human perception. We have always had the concern of possible existential danger to our Republic, brought about by the militant potential of the discontented -with-life, insufficiently educated or informed, and easily propagandized, portion of our population.   

The intent of this essay, nevertheless, as a less important subject, but hopefully of general reader interest, to reference our personal observation of this bizarre and odious event, as a matter of reflective and, perhaps, some historical interest.

Reference at will, any revolution or insurrection in history; conceivably, the American, Russian, French Revolution(s) the Cuban, Nicaraguan, Chinese, Iranian or any other like government upheaval, and you will realize, at once, the utterly bizarre nature of the recent insurrection. Without exception, it appears that all historical political uprisings and revolutions were undertaken by the subjects against the King or head of State, viz., The Czar, King Louis, King George, Battista, Chang Kai Shek, the Shah, et al.

While not in the least minimizing its existential threat to democracy and the tragic five fatalities, we have unashamedly titled, the insurrection “The Trump Tantrum” for arguably, good reason. This insurrection was the mad hatter version or polar opposite of every other political rebellion; perhaps conceivably, because  Donald J. Trump is the antithesis of every desirable quality in a human being, let alone, an American President. In this bizarre instance, the overthrow of a head of state was not, at all, the motivation for the event; in fact, it was an insurrection, insanely, summoned by the head of State, against his own Nation’s headquarters in the Washington Capitol; a Kafkaesque suicide by stupidity.

The revolting crowd pressed for no doctrinaire issue, no need of bread (instead of “cake”), no demands for the amelioration of poverty nor, indeed for any purported injustice or cause. We are of the resolute opinion that there existed no common or singular stimulus, which motivated the varied, colorfully costumed, flag-waving, conglomerate of repressed bigots and reprobates; each had his own individual nuanced, accusatory, and defensive rationalization for his discontent with life, and acted in violent sync with his personalized angst. Meanwhile, our Orange Nero looked on while Rome burned, and rejoiced in the neurotic, egocentric fantasy, that the insurrection was essentially about him.

-p.  

Post # 581 THE SWARM

Last Wednesday was witness to a monumentally, historic addition to the copious, record of immoral, criminal, and treasonous behavior on the part of the petulant and reluctantly departing Chief Executive, Donald Trump. In addition to the plethora of his publicly known incompetent, unconscionable and illegal behavior, he has, as a parting shot, added to the long list, the treasonous incitement and vocal encouragement of insurrection against the Government of the United States, in the nefarious and delusional effort to keep himself in office, notwithstanding his current (and certified) electoral defeat.

A  relevant Federal  Criminal Statute, 18 U.S.C. 2383, makes it a serious felony, to incite or engage in, any act of insurrection or rebellion against the government of the United States. Trump’s broadly televised illegal incitement in the nature of clarion calls for Wednesday’s insurrection, was expressly and inarguably illegal, un-American; and consistent, with Trump’s publicly known persona and previously demonstrated lack of mature judgment, and demonstrably, stupid. The stated declarations, confirmed by the witness of millions of television viewers, are patently obvious, and we impatiently anticipate the imposition by the Federal Authorities of the legislated penalties against this miscreant, Presidential Pied Piper, and his incited and willingly reactive respondents.

We find it especially worrisome and disappointing that such a substantial number of Americans were zealously responsive to Trump’s seditious call to arms, and who dedicatedly participated in the criminal insurrection against our Nation’s Capital Building. One can liken them to a swarm of previously undetected termites, hungrily invading and busily undermining the foundational structure of our Democratic Republic.

A mandatory prerequisite to purchasing real estate, whether for residential or business use, is a prudent inspection of the contracted building or buildings, by a competent termite service, to confirm the absence of that subterranean wood destroyer. Banks, understandably, before extending Mortgage moneys will require the positive result of a certified termite inspector of the subject realty. The infestation of these highly destructive insects is not visible, since they conduct their nefarious and destructive activities, under the surface (Northeastern Subterranean Termites) but can be eliminated by a course of extermination treatments; The extent of termite caused structural damage in such instances, should be investigated.

We would again refer to the swarm of misguided Americans, whether members of the “White Christian Nationalists”, “The Proud Boys,” the “Klan” or any other, underground, termite-like, destructive infestation. If there is a positive and redeeming feature to Wednesday’s ugly and illegal insurrection, it consists in the useful feature of the awakening and consciousness-raising of the American citizen, as to the existence of the continued sub rosa pathology of anti-black, antisemitic, anti-intellectual, delusional, “faux Patriotic” pestilence.

We have strenuously urged the prerequisite vetting and non-political examination of all aspirants to Presidential nomination, to avert incurable pathologies such as Trumpism, and thus, at election time, offer two suitable candidates for President, albeit of different platforms for the universal vote.

-p.

Post # 580 CAPITOL CHAOS: A POSTMORTEM

After so many bankruptcies and failures [ in real estate, Trump Vodka, Trump University Trump Eastern Air Shuttle, Trump Mortgage Company, Trump Steaks, Trump Magazine] and other specious ventures, Donald Trump can breathe a sigh of relief that he finally attained a success, at least, in preaching the malignant gospel of insurrection to his base. In response to his seditious summons, thousands of deluded Trump worshipers stormed the Capitol Building in an insurrection, witnessed not only by shocked American citizens but by amazed and confused witnesses throughout the World[ presumably with a good measure of satisfaction from Mr. Putin and other autocrats]. These also include Nations which the U.S. has forbidden the maintenance of nuclear weapons because of their “instability”.

The violent insurrectionists, many of whom, armed with lethal weapons and carrying American and Confederate Flags and banners, climbed the walls of the Capital Building, as if it were the storming of the Bastille, broke through doors, damaged valuable historic properties and easily [?] overran the Capitol police like an enormous herd of wild cape buffaloes.

It is extremely worrisome that this successful call to arms of the flat earth, inadequately educated and propagandized base was, inconceivably, supported by certain members of Congress, a shining and outstanding example of whom is Missouri’s Senator Josh Hawley.

The Hawley example is most instructive as to the customary, cynical and pernicious tactics of the Trump camp. Hawley had submitted a book, to Simon & Schuster for publication. By reason of his publicly known egregious action in inciting the subject un-American insurrection, canceled his publication contract. The typical tactics of Trump and his supporters are clearly revealed by Hawley’s specious assertion that such contract termination was “unconstitutional.” This claim is an intentionally fraudulent, and tactically aimed at the poorly educated, populist Trump base. It is well known by all but the incurably ignorant, that “Constitutional” rights and issues are matters, definitionally, between the Government and the American citizen; not between a publisher and a(cynical) author. The miscreant Hawley, who is an attorney (Yale Law School) and a graduate of Stanford University, is only too aware of this obvious and elementary point, nevertheless, by an egregiously hateful tactic [identical to the typical behavior of the members of the Trump conglomerate] seeks to mislead the populist, uninformed Trump follower who, predictably will hungrily consume such falsified propaganda du jour.

This pernicious tactic of intentionally misleading reductionist and uninformed citizens is typical and is a demonstrative illustration of the routine tactics employed in the recruitment of Trump fans (his “base”). It also supplies further and emphatic endorsement of the Jeffersonian admonition, concerning the existential dependence of the institution of democracy, on citizen literacy and awareness.

Nevertheless, we remain incurable optimists, and maintain the hope that the unprecedented shameful, un-American and shocking immorality of the insurrection, like the incomprehensible cruelty and inconceivable immorality of past Church burnings, as tragically occurred in Birmingham, will likewise have the effect of raising the moral consciousness of citizens [like the many Republicans who have condemned the subject seditious event] to, at last, see the bright light of reason.

-p.

Post# 579 “THE MADDING CROWD”* [redux]

We will unashamedly confess to the intentional commission of the systemic error of repetition of the admonition of our Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson viz., “For a Democracy, to succeed what is required is an informed, educated citizenry,” because of its undeniable, no less than existential significance. We have also observed, on a myriad of occasions, following the eye-opening and shocking, election of the incapable, immoral and ignorant Donald Trump to the Presidency, that the quality and character of our citizenry is far below that basic and fundamental Jeffersonian requirement.

Our Nation, unhappily, has empirically revealed itself to be populated with a great many citizens who are far below the required minimal Jeffersonian standard. This observation has been evidenced in many ways, but, perhaps most revealingly, in their continuing and resolute support of Donald Trump, notwithstanding his demonstrated ignorance, empirical incapability, and publicly demonstrated acts of immorality. It is certainly about time we owned up to the, less than desirable, characteristics of (as the polls show) slightly less than one-half of the voting population. Another example of our confessed sins of systemic repetition, has been our observation on many occasions, that even more worrisome than Trump (if, that were at all, empirically possible) is the existence of millions of his ardent supporters.

The evident, issue du jour, is how to maintain a successful, right-thinking, and morally acceptable representative democracy, in a Nation possessing so immense a population of less than acceptably literate and informed voters.

For a brief time in the recent past, we, in frustration, entertained the possibility of a change to a democratic, two-party parliamentary form of government; thus, subjecting a President with the grotesque persona of a Donald Trump, to removal at any time, by a vote of “no confidence” by the legislature. We offered this, admittedly, tsunami-sized Constitutional change, by reason of our desperation with the Punch and Judy show of the Trump Administration. However, in a recent blog, we suggested a better and less revolutionary solution to the problem.

Accepting, by empirical necessity, the disappointing reality that the Nation is possessed of so many flat-earth, reductionist and inadequately educated voters, we can avoid the pathology of another Donald J. Trump, by not ever offering such a despicable Presidential candidate for election. We would thereby avert another Punch and Judy show, while not interfering with the universal American right to vote for the Candidate of one’s choice. If no charlatan is approved to run for President, none can ever be elected.[QED]

We would commit the sin of repetition once more,  by offering the following prudent solution as an enduring assurance of the avoidance of another manifestly unsuitable President.

It is inarguable, that the Office of the President of the United States, in addition to being the head of State, is functionally and ostensibly , the leader of the Free World. With his potential hand on the nuclear trigger, his office as the head of our military forces, as well as his role as the leader of the Constitutional Executive Branch of our Government, can anyone gainsay the assertion that the American Presidency represents the most powerful and significant position in the entire World?

Yet, it seems to be inexplicably irresponsible, Candidates for such a singular office is chosen solely by the inadequate and arbitrary processes of the political system.  An ignorant, neurotic, former second -rate television game show host and real estate grifter was America’s tragic and shameful result. The proposed method of selection of Presidential Candidates would, by contrast, result in the elective choice of two suitable Candidates, albeit of disparate platforms, to present to voters of every description.

We would earnestly (again) recommend that legislated prerequisite standards for all aspirants for Presidential Candidacy be legislated and that each desirous party be vetted and examined by an impartial panel of experts (e.g., political science experts, psychologists, leaders of both political parties, historians, and erudite members of the public media), for personal acceptability, irrespective of bi-partisan issues. Such a procedure would weed out the Trumps, Nixons, and Andrew Johnsons. The Nation would, by such prudence, be resultantly assured of, at minimum, the election of a reasonably acceptable President.

It has eternally been a matter of wonderment to us, that an applicant for employment at a local Supermarket or Shoe Store, must as a mandatory prerequisite, undergo an official employment interview; but not the Chief Executive of the Nation.

-p.

* apologies for the name to Thomas Hardy [1897, “Far From the Madding Crowd”].    

Post # 578 FANFARE FOR THE ANTEDILUVIAN or, “SO WHO INVITED ALEXA?” [redux] *

All right-thinking American citizens should be gratified at the significant advances in science and medicine, and the dedicated and steady march of societal progress in civil rights, women’s, and gay rights in the recent decades. This writing is not intended, to any degree, as an expression of nostalgia for the (imperfect) past. Instead, it is an attempt to explain the perceived awkward posture of those, born in the decades of the 30’s to the 50’s, (“antediluvians”) experientially hampered by their lack of currency in electronics, and in their less than au courant compliance with many contemporarily changed social folkways, understood by the younger generations to be appropriate and universally acceptable.

It is not our view that younger generations, on principle, reject the social expectations and assumptions of the elder, or conversely, that the elder generations are so fixated in their traditional assumptions, that they are blind to modern circumstances and evolving social change. This mini-essay is solely purposed with the raising of consciousness, where needed, that individuals of disparate age, share identical wants and moral and ethical principles, yet may, respectively, express them in styles which are nuanced reflections of their own generation.

Most novice parents necessarily reference their remembered childhood experience as a basic compass or primer to follow or modify, in their subsequent roles as parents. Noticeably, the phenomenon of additional children will evince empirical adjustments to such earlier established preconceptions. In any event, the implicit responsibility to keep the child healthy, safe, and regularly compliant with parental and societal behavioral expectations, is a daunting challenge, variously met by parents in their own, nuanced way. At some point in the child’s developmental maturity, parental restrictions, once resented, typically become understandable, accepted, and later in life, replicated in an analogous fashion. Predictably, parental fears and aspirations for their offspring, to the extent that they are factually based, are generally, analogous, if not identical. As appears, the responses of their offspring are, in various styles, essentially similar; perhaps at first, somewhat resentful in their untried early experience, but later, seeing a commonality of the restriction imposed by other parents, are more resigned to parental acquiescence.

This familial “round robin” of analogous behavioral and attitudinal evolution, as between parents and children of disparate generations, seems repetitively eternal. In bright contrast, the relationship between the generations, becomes progressively nuanced and less predictable, in the context of the use and reliance upon computers ( by the younger generations); most notably, upon computerized telephones (the latter electronically gifted with a reliable facility for recording, photography, encyclopedic inquiry, computational capability, as well as, media access, directional advice, meteorological reporting, sleep alarm and calendar reminders).

It is not only the existence per se, nor even the ubiquitous use and accepted reliance upon these electric marvels, (the progeny of a seemingly computationally gifted, proto-hippie, mutational, sub-species in the Darwinian evolution of homo sapiens, classified as “geeks”); it is the universal, revolutionary upheaval in interactive communication, affecting vocabulary, messaging, written correspondence, and quality of conversation that has evolved (or deteriorated, depending upon generational perception).

As declared in earlier essays, we have been confronted with a veritable, sea- change to cold, impersonal, data-like, abbreviated characters, appearing on a small, lighted, handheld screen, from the pleasant, reassuring sound of a familiar voice with known characteristic nuance; as well as the confident receipt and exchange of intended meaning, expressed in chosen, familiar vocabulary, plus the absence of the natural warmth of personal contact. The younger generation has, seemingly, intimidated the older, into a compliant preference for “faster, and more efficient” modes of communication, in lieu of such natural and personal experience of familiarized, recognizable, and expressive interaction. We see such unaesthetic, impersonal, and less expressive decline in interpersonal interaction as a tragic and predictably, irreversible, loss.

Computer-telephone “texting,” the reference to typed messages, utilizing code-like cryptic symbols in lieu of vocabulary, seems to also replace the special efficacy of selected, personalized speech expressed meaningfully and aesthetically in the iconic language of letter writing. Speed of exchange has, deplorably, prevailed, totally, over accuracy, aesthetics, and the welcome warmth of personal expression.

The revolutionary change, (or repression) of natural and expressive interaction has given life to a new techno- mechanical vocabulary and contextual reappraisal. Words like “texting,” “sending,” ”uploading” and ”downloading,” ”rebooting,”  “friending,” ”tagging,” are among a virtual plethora of relatively new and specialized language, used in contemporary computer babble. Other ordinary words have, somehow, morphed into the electronic patois, like the  word, “remote.” The word, pirated from the American-English lexicon, meaning distant or conceptually unrelated, is universally employed to designate a hand-held small appliance, used to turn on and off or change the setting, on a television set or music player. It appears that the act of standing up to select a program has been universal accepted to qualify, as requisite in difficulty, to become one of the Homeric “Labors of Hercules”.

We find that apart from technical changes, antediluvians, occasionally find themselves challenged with the need for behavioral adjustment to their long-term traditional mind-set. By reason of the metamorphosis to computer phone technology, we have been obliged to wrestle with the following illustrative adjustment to our communication assumptions. On many occasions, we have thoughtlessly refrained from making a telephone call for the assumed reason that the recipient at such hour, was “not home” but was, “working,” or ”out to lunch,” and the like, forgetting that in contrast with the home (“land”) phone, that the recipient is eternally reachable, by reason of his cell phone. This traditional and outdated concern about current telephone availability is one that we find is chronic and dies hard. However, we now generally, do remind ourselves on second thought, of the party’s ever-constant accessibility by means of the modern-day cell phone.

Before setting out for an unfamiliar destination, we often, routinely, request directions and prudently write them down for ready reference, forgetting about the availability of the modern GPS. We are amazed that Roku type movie channel will resume at the point where we last tuned out. Antediluvians may remember that during the era of newspaper comic strips, the celebrated detective,” Dick Tracy” had a “miraculous” telephone connection with his police precinct, through his wristwatch; today we can talk and see family members, or have face to face teleconnections with others, by laptop computer.

While all these new electronic advances do make changes, in many cases (but not all) for the better, it in fairness should be recalled, where relevant, that folks of previous generations emphatically need liberal catching up time; to be able, above all, to adjust to, what they perceive as bizarre, impersonal and data- like communication, and to many other novel electronic capabilities.

If there is one electronic “advance” to which we find accommodation difficult, it is the  ever on duty, echo -robotic deejay, responding, mechanically to the name  (sound ?)  “Alexa.” Does the “remote” and easily accessible radio or television dial afford to the resting patron such arduous labor as empathically calls for such needed compassionate relief? Now the proverbial couch potato, when awake, is not only freed from the heavy labor of pressing his remote button or bravely standing up and walking, perhaps, as much as three full steps, to sleepily access his desired diversion; presently, if he can stop feeding chips into his face for a full five seconds, he can utter the magically responsive sound. Things just keep on getting better and better!

In the foreseeable future,  we can be witness to even greater labor-saving devices, such as when computer science has progressed to the point, for example, where blinking the left eye twice, will turn on the coffee maker and doing the same with the right, will result in perfect crispy, buttered (rye) toast.

-p.

*  Statements on child-rearing and parenting are based solely on observed experience; we claim no expertise or educational training on the subject.