Civilization And Its Incontinence

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“O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t.”

The Tempest


William Shakespeare

“Strange,” mused the Director, as they turned away, “strange to think that even in Our Ford’s day most games were played without more apparatus than a ball or two and a few sticks and perhaps a bit of netting. Imagine the folly of allowing people to play elaborate games which do nothing whatever to increase consumption. It’s madness. Nowadays, the Controllers won’t approve of any new game unless it can be shown that it requires at least as much apparatus as the most complicated of existing games.”

Brave New World

Aldous Huxley, 1932






From Wikipedia: Brave New World Synopsis


“To maintain the World State’s Command Economy for the indefinite future, all citizens are conditioned from birth to value consumption with such platitudes as “ending is better than mending,” “more stitches less riches”, i.e., buy a new item instead of fixing the old one, because constant consumption and near-universal employment to meet society’s material demands, is the bedrock of economic and social stability for the World State. Beyond providing social engagement and distraction in the material realm of work or play, the need for transcendence, solitude and spiritual communion is addressed with the ubiquitous availability and universally endorsed consumption of the drug soma. Soma is an allusion to a ritualistic drink of the same name consumed by ancient Indo-Aryans. In the book, soma is a hallucinogen that takes users on enjoyable, hangover-free “holidays”. It was developed by the World State to provide these inner-directed personal experiences within a socially managed context of State-run “religious” organisations; social clubs. The hypnopaedically inculcated affinity for the State-produced drug, as a self-medicating comfort mechanism in the face of stress or discomfort, thereby eliminates the need for religion or other personal allegiances outside or beyond the World State; the book describes it as having ‘all the advantages of Christianity and alcohol, none of their defects.’ “



Soma:  From ancient Greek, for “body”.

Yes, there is a medication called Soma – a muscle relaxer (generic: carisoprodol).





Nature & Wilderness: The Last, Greatest, Vanishing Commodity

“Kilimanjaro is a snow-covered mountain 19,710 feet high, and is said to be the highest mountain in Africa. Its western summit is called the Masai ‘Ngaje Ngai’, the House of God. Close to the western summit there is a dried and frozen carcas of a leopard. No one has explained what the leopard was seeking at that altitude.”

― Ernest Hemingway, The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories

“Tom’s most well now, and got his bullet around his neck on a watch-guard for a watch, and is always seeing what time it is, and so there ain’t nothing more to write about, and I am rotten glad of it, because if I’d a knowed what a trouble it was to make a book I wouldn’t a tackled it, and ain’t a-going to no more. But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can’t stand it. I been there before.”

-Huck Finn

Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn


Mark Twain

Loving Yuck

Warning: There may be animal ‘products’ in your ‘vegan’ food after all – at least at Loving Hut, Tampa.

I first visited the Loving Hut vegan restaurant in Tampa in June. I’m not a big TV news watcher. I’m not a big TV watcher at all – especially not lately.

Wish I’d seen this, however. This is disgusting for any restaurant but especially one that claims to serve healthy food free of meat, milk and etc.

I went back today (as I said, I had not seen the report). I thought my first visit went well  – although staff was slow to refill items that ran low (a buffet). Today was the same – much of the food had been in the warmers for awhile – judging from appearance, texture, etc. Four or five trays that had food remained empty or almost so – for an hour. Even after I asked if more food would come out soon – still, more than 30 minutes before anything other than rice emerged from the kitchen.

Unfortunately for the Loving Hut, they offer free Wi-Fi. And this buffet down time allowed me to look up the restaurant (again) on the Internet. Which is when I found the news referenced above. It aired two days before my first visit – and I’m sure my initial Internet searches took place before that report.

There was this report from July 2013 – perhaps even more alarming.

Honestly – I had researched the restaurant before visiting in June. Not sure how I missed the health warnings. Except sites such as Yelp seem to push positive reviews to the top of the list – almost no matter what.

As penance and because I could not make the gym in time, I walked almost 2 miles to my local Starbucks – to sweat out whatever venom I might have acquired at the LH. Two miles is not a long way. But toting a large backpack in the warm Florida twilight – wearing the world’s most uncomfortable shoes, PF Flyer black high tops, which everyone mistakenly call “Chucks”  –  helped clear my head and realize all writers should walk. (Not on a treadmill – as a means of transit.) Helps clear the mind and, perhaps, a stomach full of insects.

U.S. Pat. NO. 1,938,127 Dec. 5, 1933

Run for your life.


Another Brick In The Mall



I shot this photo of the Battersea Power Station in early 1978 – shortly after it appeared on the cover of Pink Floyd’s Animals album.


Pink Floyd, Animals


Now, the landmark/iconic/historic (add your own adjective) Battersea Power Station along the Thames is going condo. Or so I read. And I cannot improve on Newsweek’s recent report. The highlights:

“Nothing will be spared from gentrification, it seems. Battersea Power Station, the iconic building on the River Thames featured on Pink Floyd’s 1977Animals album cover, will be reconstructed later this year and transformed into luxury villas with a roof garden. Malaysian developers are selling retail and office space at the former power plant at roughly $3,300 per square foot.”

“The building’s classic smokestack chimneys, now structurally damaged and decayed by decades of coal fumes, will be torn down and “painstakingly reconstructed” down to the original paint hue by Wilkinson Eyre, the architecture firm that will be reconstructing Battersea.”

“Battersea is a public landmark, but critics say the space will transform the former power station into its own microcosm of posh up there with the luxurious apartments one might find in London’s most opulent neighborhoods, such as Chelsea or Kensington. This is ironic since Battersea became symbolic of Pink Floyd’s battle against the socioeconomic problems that plagued Britain in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s.”


La Playa de Sitges


The Beach At Sitges, Spain

November, 1997

A Fading Photograph (transparency)

Partially Restored With Adobe Photoshop Elements 11

Sand In Your Shoes

Al Stewart, Year Of  The Cat


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One Saturday my friend Andy (the over-dressed) and I took two German friends to see a junk yard. This is what they wanted. You can see the Pacific Ocean in the background – being Southern California and all. Rainer, the blonde, is now an executive at a major German tire manufacturer. Mateus, his friend – not sure what became of him.

[Click any photo to see enlargement in a new window.]


Southern California, 1982

Monkey Wash, Donkey Rinse




January 24, 1947 – September 7, 2003

“Requiescat in pace

That’s all she wrote”

From Life’ll Kill Ya



Monkey Wash, Donkey Rinse


Hell is only half full
Room for you and me
Looking for a new fool
Who’s it gonna be?
It’s the Dance of Shiva
It’s the Debutantes ball
And everyone will be there
Who’s anyone at all

Monkey wash donkey rinse
Going to a party in the center of the earth
Monkey wash donkey rinse
Honey, don’t you want to go?

From Monkey Wash Donkey Rinse By Warren Zevon



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Monkey Wash, Donkey Rinse