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A Sunny Place for Shady People

Pithy, contrarian, politically incorrect and curmudgeonly rants on sex, money, power and politics and religion and philosophy. In short: Nothing matters, everything changes and there are no guarantees. The rest is rationalization and bribery. (c) Tom Milner 2002-2003. DIRECTORY of offensive POSTS at Archives: 07/09/03. RECOMMENDED BLOGS: Archives: 07/29/03. email: theoldbuzzard AT sunnyplaceforshadypeople DOT com.

Friday, October 25, 2002

Monday, October 28, 2002

Hereafter this rant will appear thrice weekly, probably on Monday, Wednesday and Friday

(c) Tom Milner 2002

Just as being a dope addict or a secret alcoholic requires much work, so too a lazy man needs ample and detailed planning.

We are lazy.

But to provide for the languorous venues for our indolence, we just have to plan ahead.

This is laziness lurking behind the facade of prudent organization.

To achieve ultimate freedom (if such is possible) from the quotidian demands on our independence, we map out in advance those lazy days and lethargic nights, uninterrupted by career, email, bills, phone calls, and the detritus of life that interferes with such liberation.

Procrastination is the real enemy of laziness.

A truly indolent man wants no overhanging shadows on his license to do as he will -- or won't.

To delay, postpone or stall the inevitable jobs at hand is to imperil your autonomy.

Carlyle insists we "[D]o the duty which lies nearest thee."

He, being Carlyle, would not have added that then you'll have the time to goof off.

(The advance publication of these scribblings is testimony.)


Thursday, October 24, 2002

Friday, October 25, 2002

Hereafter this rant will appear thrice weekly, probably on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

"This will go on your Permanent Record."

Remember those chilling words from grade school? The "PR" was the ultimate weapon of the schoolmarm.

We were clueless that the PR was simply a folder in which grades, absences and tardiness were recorded. No lurid entries detailing school pranks.

So: "They" can't threaten us with the PR anymore, can they?

But they can, and do, every day.

It's the new PR or, more precisely, your credit score, probably determined by software developed by the Fair Isaac Co. (FICO).

If you screw up this grade (even through no fault of your own), you're effectively denied full participation in the American Dream (whatever that is). Either you won't get a home mortgage -- or pay comparatively usurious interest rates if you do. You may go unapproved even for an apartment rental, or a car purchased on installment.

Your FICO score and its equivalent from the three credit rating agencies is the new Magic Number that opens -- or closes -- doors.

My homework reveals about half the populace scores under 700 -- a dishearteningly vast number who are disconnected from the dubious glories of expansive credit. (The scores range from a low 300 to a high of 900.)

No affirmative action at work here: race, sex, color, religion, marital status -- all ignored.

Be wary of this new PR.

Flunk this and you're expelled -- at least for a long time.


Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Thursday, October 24, 2002

The states that run lotteries (few don't) couldn't believe their luck in helping to scheme a new way to tax the stupid.

Our quibble is not with the morality or ethics of government "profiting" from gambling -- not the euphemistic "gaming," please. A government entity, like a person, is responsible only to itself. (We know: government is supposed to answer to the vague notion of "the people." What nonsense. The wallet comes way ahead of the commonweal .)

We digress. These state run lotteries were mostly conceived in greed by one or two substantial printing and gambling consulting companies, who then snookered the pliant and stupid electorate into signing petitions to get these measures on the ballot.

Most voters, burdened with their own petty lives, could now delude themselves once again they might become major "players" -- at about 14 million to 1 odds.

Often the state doesn't even technically pay off. They annuitize the jackpot over twenty years.

We do not care if the poor want to squander their money on a silly gamble -- or on drugs, alcohol or sex, for that matter.

That the state abets this lottery foolishness is truly an example of taxing the stupid.


Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Over the last year we have been diligently feeding two young feral cats from the south garden.

One, Scooter, we found under the house's eaves. Another, Sarah, hearing of our bounty, also enlisted in our S corps of cats. (We have no idea what sex these animals are.)

We've found the ideal bond with these creatures: we feed and water them and they spare us their arrorance.

Low maintenance pets suit us. No vet bills, litter boxes, flea collars, no demanding purring and no scratches on the hands.

We keep a respectful distance, as do they.

But we felinophiles enjoy their feeding rituals, stately postures and condescending stares through the sliding door. We look forward to greeting them every evening.

The Cat Elegant.

The Cat Supine.

The Cat Attic.

T. S. Eliot opined that a cat must have three names.

Three Names in Nine Lives?


Monday, October 21, 2002

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Is there nothing so vile as senior citizen?

We're referring of course not to the denomination but to the euphemism. (Look it up.)

"Senior citizen" is a condescending usage not quite offensive but certainly patronizing. Not as demeaning as "golden ager" or "oldster," perhaps, but still vaguely insulting.

Some of us well past the age of consent prefer to be called what we are: old. As in old man, old woman -- preferable to senior citizen or "elderly."

We object on euphemistic grounds to the very word "senior." Old is simply old and there is a bit that's quite all right with it that helps balance what's wrong with it (quite a lot).

Avoiding the unpleasant by conjuring up synonyms with sweetened connotations is very old established usage. H. L. Mencken, arguably the most cynically brilliant journalist-linguist of the 20th century, cites many amusing examples in his The American Language (1921).

When we ask for age-discounted tickets, we request admission for an old man, not a senior citizen.

By the way, the only reason "senior citizens" get slightly reduced prices is that venal merchants know they have limited longevity in which to bilk them.

Bury senior citizen.


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