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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.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

Monday, November 18, 2002

Essential to the comfort of the ordinary (but probably cloistered) gentleman is a competent complement of occupations on which he relies for the more civil necessities: auto mechanic, barber, bartender, clothier, dry cleaner, florist, grocer, housekeeper, pharmacist, physician and undertaker.

Some additionally require able butlers, cooks, drivers, exterminators (when not standing at stud in the Congress), gardeners, maids, poolmen, stable boys and valets.

Uneasy is today's gentleman, whose number ever declines, and for all the usual reasons: the loutish issue of the fecund ill-bred dominate the tasteless banality of everyday American life, and the (untaught) codes of manners and honor have gone missing.

Can you even picture a social stratum in which one's word is his bond, and his equals neither lie nor steal?

Our society values above all avarice and greed, and countenances any means to those ends.

Cheating at all levels is epidemic, probably an attempt to be more preparedely competitive in careers naturally inclined to the avaricious, like politics, law, and order.

Not to mention corporate crime rampant, and violent drug-crazed felons lurking everywhere.

For the gentleman, there are few retreats.

But finding efficient help makes reclusivity easier. One is absolutely lost without a tony mortician, for example.

And do remember: no gentleman ever orders soup for lunch.



Thursday, November 14, 2002

Friday, November 15, 2002

Think you're protected from a shabby product or a venal merchant when you charge to your credit card rather than write a check?

Think that when you finally dispute a questionable charge you'll prevail against the gods of mercantile?

Think your credit card company is your ally in a conflict with a vendor?

How naively foolish of you.

About the only concession that will be made is your right to very temporarily withhold payment on a particular debit, while your creditor "investigates" the debatable line item. This investigation consists, mostly, of asking the vendor if you indeed made the purchase and were the goods delivered.

You already know the seller's reply.

The Creditor is the Friend of the Merchant -- not the customer.

Rare is the buyer who actually wins one of these disputes, since the burden of proof is on you.

Caveat emptor.


The rant appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

"[S]ell[s] eternity to get a toy?" -- Shakespeare

Our attention spans must be getting perilously short, since we need one toy after another for diversion and entertainment. Frequently these trifles are transient and superficial.

And noticed by the world's alienated, like the Arab fundamentalists, often lacking even the necessities of daily life.

Most of our playthings -- cars, weapons, boats, spouses -- are so easily disposable they are discarded at first opportunity.

We know people who devote maybe a year to one project or "hobby" -- say building a complex model railroad layout -- only to abandon it with impunity once the challenge and newness erode.

These affairs are just extended toyism.

Few focus.

Perhaps this explains why there are relatively a small number of truly gifted artists. The rest of us -- the unfocused -- care only for our temporary enthusiasms.

We feel privileged (and the Third World understands this all too well) to live in a rich society that allows us to cavort in such an vast playpen.

But the Islamists may soon unfortunately change our crib's square footage, and there's damn little we can do about it.


(c) Tom Milner 2002

Email: theoldbuzzard@sunnyplaceforshadypeople.com

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