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Words and Phrases Page
                            (the Dadio Dictionary)

 - some made-up words and phrases plus some old standbys -
 
 Words and phases list - (Scroll down for commentary or click on word/phrase below)
 
 168 - The Rule of 

 24-365

 Absolutism

 Ad nauseam

 Adolescence - Moving out the age

 Affect

 Applicant Tracking 

 Attractive Nuisance Doctrine

 Baby-Boom Divide

 Banality of Evil

 Bodacious

 Bystander Effect

 Can't-Do Society

 Collective Undergraduate Classroom Silence (CUCS - pronounced "kooks")

 Convenient Inefficiency

 Convergence

 Cutthroat Networking

 Day Care Generation - abor

 Diversion

 Double Entendre

 Drive-by Reading

 Enforcers-Enablers-Apologists-Contrarians

 Epizootous

 Farmer on a Lawn Mower Affect

 Fate Fairies

 Fire Ant head leaders; boiled frog citizens

 Fistula

 Fortress Entertainment 

 Fuckeration

 Future Retrospect

 Garage Door Theory

 God...as a temperamental prick

 Godzilla extras walk'n amongst us

 Good-Patient Syndrome

 Got-to-go Girl

 Great Recession

 Human Resource Nazis

 Inanimates, Battle of the

 Inversion

 Jobless Recovery

 Kitty Duty

 Male De-construction 

 Mangina (Man-gina) 

 Man Palace

 Margininality

 Marketed Ritualism

 McDonaldization of Society

 McJob

 McNamarian-esque 

 Meadow/Orchard Affect

 Misery Recession

 Moore's Law

 'Nam, if this were 'Nam we'd all be dead!

 Nanny-fication of America

 Nefarious

 New Norm 

 Obfuscation 

 Outposts of Paradise 

 Paper Tiger Elitists

 Paradigm Pimps 

 Perennial-job-listers

 Perpetual Optimism

 Peter Principle

 Play House

 Prevailing Authority Paradigm Disregard

 Priapism

 Ritualism

 Return to college as an old guy canard 

 Rule of 168

 Second World Orwellian America with Nukes

 Selective Adulthood

 Seventh Grade Syndrome

 Shitty-work-schedule-culture 

 Silent Flight

 Story Killer

 Strategic Procrastination 

 Suicide Chair

 Symbolic Interactionism

 Talk Radio Participation Futility

 Third-World Logic

 Third-World Optimism

 Threshold Syndrome

 Time Bandits

 Traffic Calming

 Twerp

 Two-Party Paradigm

 Two Person-type Paradigm

 Unnecessary Collective Misery 

 Vagal-Down Dudes

 Wars on adjectives and nouns

 Weenigrief

 "Whaa?"...neo-conversation starter syndrome

 Wisconsin Logic

 (Scroll down for commentary or click on word/phrase above)
 
 
 168 - The Rule of
    "The Rule of 168." There are 168 hours in a week and "new norm" jobs ruin every one of them. These jobs offer no pay increases in the foreseeable future (assuming you are lucky enough to even have a job any more). They boast less hours; no-benefits; minimum wage; and, seven-days-a-week work at four hours per day wrecking the whole week for 28 hours of pay. 
    To add insult to injury, they
bring you in to work different days each week; and, schedule you for different times each day. These kind of work places have you working such odd and disorganized hours it is hard to look for another job. Their erratic hours make it hard to work a second job if you need one and are lucky enough to find one.  And most likely, they will post the upcoming work schedule late in the day just before the new week's regimen starts. 
    There are 168 hours in a week and these type of places make sure every minute of every one of those is hours is fucked up.  

 - by Bob Keith, April 25, 2011 -

 
 24-365
   
Gone are the days of nine-to-five work days. That of course used to include no-weekend work. In the last 25 years there has been a shift to the 24-hour a day, 365 day a year work schedule.  I remember back in the 1970s wishing I could find a restaurant open in the middle of the night.  Be careful what you wish for.  The new shitty-work-schedule-culture has transcended almost every industry in America.  There is an entire generation of younger workers that have been conditioned from their first job to find nothing odd about working every weekend of their lives.  
    This shitty-work-schedule-culture has of course had far leaching nuanced effects on our live styles.  Happy hours for the most part have become only the subject of urban legends.  Weekend jaunts were something your grandparents did. Outings are micromanaged to the point of ad nauseam because the players and actors in your clique all have to get back to work tonight. 
    Add in the culture of instant information via satellite TV, cell phones, and Internet.  The days of real leisure are gone. I am sorry I ever wished for a society "more efficient."

 - by Bob Keith, June 28, 2008 -
 
 Absolutism
    In regards to current politics in America - the notion that one's side is the only correct path regardless of damage done if and when absolute policies are implemented and come to fruition.  Extreme Rightists and extreme Leftists are apparently willing to live in a cardboard box before ever admitting their side's actions have destroyed the economy. 
 - by Bob Keith, November 10, 2008 -
 
 Affect
    Not the cause (affect) and result (effect) we all know and love. This "affect" is of the medical terminology genre - meaning an inappropriate response as compared to what a "reasonable person" may say.
    For example: You come upon a man in a wrecked car.  The car is crushed and it is steaming and smoking.  In the small "cocoon of life" left in the driver's front seat sits a man with both arms torn off.  You ask, "Sir, can you talk to me to let me know you are alive?" 
    The man looks at you and says as he smiles, "We are going to eat chocolate cake now!" - Affect.
 
 Ad nauseam
   
Talking about or doing something to the point it makes the listener or observer sick.
 
 Adolescence - Moving out the age 
   
Ever get the feeling the age of "coming of age" is no longer 18ish?  With all the soccer-hockey-helicopter-hovering-over scheduling guardians of today's young citizens, one might come to the conclusion that soon the drinking age will be pushed out to 25 or even God forbid, 30 years old.  The median age of college students is no longer 19 years old.  Today's kids go to college in their late 20s and even into their 30s. I went back to college in my 40s and 50s.  Yet, colleges, high schools, and communities seem to think they need to legislate behavior well beyond 18 years old.  God help our societal skirt-clinging asses. 
 
- by Bob Keith, October 20, 2008 -  
 
 Applicant Tracking
   Ninety percent of American human resource departments have embraced "applicant tracking" software.  They celebrate this little Orwellian gem.  The software searches your resume for "key words."  So, essentially, you need not be a good employee candidate, but rather you need only be a clever obfuscation writer. Find out what words they are looking for and spoon feed them back into your resume.  You could be an ax murderer for all "applicant tracking" cares.  
   "Applicant tracking" is no more sophisticated than the tricks some of the early-Internet porn sights used to lasso in surfers. They simply flooded their porn sight home pages with sex related words so surf engines would take the bait. 
   Human resource: retreaded porn wizards.  

  
 
Attractive Nuisance Doctrine
   No, it is not an old significant other.  An Attractive Nuisance is a term in law referring to an object you might have in your yard like a fire truck or Harley or farm tractor, or even, a swimming pool.  It is a thing that might attract a person to it.  They then have a lesser responsibility for trespassing on your property.  Also, you actually take some ownership of their safety.  You after all are drawing them to your property like a moth to a flame.  Caveat: Be careful what you park in your yard, and hope no one gets hurt if they fall in it or crawl on it.  The law's not fair; it is however..."the law."  

 
 Baby-Boom Divide
   It is generally accepted that the Baby-Boom generation was born between 1946 to 1964. In short, they are the kids born after World War II when the soldiers and society got back to the business of just living some semblance of normalcy again after the war. However, when ever the older Boomers (who generally are of the age to run things, i.e. Bill Clinton and George Bush number two) need some political favor, they like to bunch us all together and claim we all have a stake in some issue or other.  The truth of the matter is the last half of the 'Boom have little in common with the first half.  
   Those born from 1956 to 1964 did not have to worry about the military draft; and, only a handful of this group served in the Vietnam War theater in the bitter end of the war. This later groups' music was much different.  Their outlook was generally distrustful and cynical, as they came of age during Watergate and the Nixon resignation. My high school class has never had a reunion in thirty years. And, the younger groups' drug and alcohol use made the peacenik-hippies and flower-love-children's supposed famous drug culture from the early part of the 'Boom look like Sunday school.
   For years society has put its minions up to discuss dismantling Social Security, because they claim, the Boomers will suck the Treasury coffers dry.  No doubt though, the first half of the 'Boom will make sure they get their share before they con the rest of us younger fools into giving up our portion.
 - by Bob Keith, July 19, 2006 -                                
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 Banality of Evil
    
The observation that much of the elaborate evils in the world are facilitated by foot soldiers, a civil service structure, and an efficient bureaucracy [just doing their jobs] rather than by despots and dictators as conventional wisdom suggests. The phrase apparently entered the language when used by Hannah Arendt in her 1963 book, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report of the Banality of Evil.  That particular work in part explored how the Nazis so mundanely and matter-of-factly killed so many people and seemingly so easily wreaked so much misery on the world. 
                                                       
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 Bodacious
   A bold and audacious person, always unapologetic for their world view. The term is rarely used as a derogatory to describe said person. They appear focused on their goals, not the least bothered by what others my think of them.  The bodacious person plows their way through life making crass observations about the world around them, and is keenly aware of the environment they work and play in.  This person is instinctively in touch with their immediate stage as well as the world at large, and how the two often conflicting realities ultimately will and have affected their life. And, the bodacious person is usually never at a loss to point out the ironies, paradoxes, and foibles of of this world and its actors. 
 - by Bob Keith, March 1, 2011 -                                      
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Bystander Effect   

                                                                          
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 Can't-Do Society (often confused with the no-fun society)
   A society relentless in removing any remnant of excitement, fun, and risk. Examples: Don't smoke; don't get caught not wearing a seat belt; don't get caught not wearing a helmet on a bicycle; don't get caught not wearing a helmet on a motor cycle; don't buy a motor cycle - don't ride one; don't ride a skate board; when in a pool do not splash, run, or shout; don't drink alcohol; don't eat fast food; don't have sex; don't play video games; don't watch TV; don't let your lawn get too high; don't; don't; don't.......
 
- by Bob Keith, July 12, 2006 -                                                                     Back to top
 
 Collective Undergraduate Classroom Silence
 (CUCS - pronounced "kooks")
   Something us "oldie" college students have noticed for about 15 years is the phenomena of the 20ish year old college age students never, or seeming unable to participate in class discussions.  They simply will not talk.  I would hear the mantra over and over by old students - "Damn, I am getting tired of being the only one answering the professor's questions in class discussion."
   Students entering college now days seem unfamiliar with the ability to form a question or answer.  They are collectively unaware of the art of rhetoric.  It makes the current undergraduate classroom climate mundane and banal at best. 

 - by Bob Keith, June 28, 2008 -                                                                    Back to top
 
 Convenient Inefficiency
   Similar to Strategic Procrastination however, Convenient Inefficiency often has a malicious intent.  Examples: If you muck up someone's medical benefit requests enough and long enough perhaps the person will just die before they can get the benefit; another example is a boss of mine once delayed the interview process so the best candidate was hired by some other outfit - the boss did not want the inevitable competition from the highly qualified person.  
 
- by Bob Keith, July 17, 2006-                 Back to top
  
 Convergence

   
 Cutthroat Networking
   Dignity and empathy in the work place for all practical purposes, has become a social crime. If the worker is lucky enough to...work...he/she is to behave like a prostitute who sells their body for time worked. Working hard in hopes of a merit pay increase is futile. Working hard and fair is an altruism now reserved for dreamy-eyed, "perpetual optimist," foot soldiers that hope their good deeds will be remembered if the economy ever gets better - save your story for the Chinese, suckers. We now live in a "new norm" culture where if you are lucky enough to have a job, it is probably non-benefit; with no pay increases in the foreseeable future; less hours; minimum wage; seven-day a week work-weeks at four hours a day wrecking the whole week for 28 hours of pay; and, fraught with nepotism and "cutthroat networking."  
   Cutthroat networking pushes human resource departments to the limit by the hiring of friends and relatives or working for the same. Human Resources departments have just become a validation for behavior they once were set up to try to correct long before the "new normal" and its "cutthroat networking" has wafted onto the scene. Cutthroat networking is the favoring of relatives and friends – with human resource’s blessings. And what of it? Human Resource departments have been decimated by the economy too. They go along to get along - just like the rest of us. 
    A few years ago a trend started in some companies where as they would commission Human Resources to actually concoct various schemes to reward current employees for referring friends and relatives to job openings. It smacks of the roots to a creepy inbreed work culture. The phrase, "conflict of interest" means nothing in this new norm work hell.  
   We work in a cutthroat networking culture of, "every man for himself." Hire your drinking and smoking buddies, and relatives, and what the hell, fuck the rest of 'em. It is going to get worse for the rabble - us rabble. You know, the rabble that actually has to work in the looted society managed by the elite manipulators and apologists - perennial politicians, two-party paradigm hacks, economic ponzi goons, and thugs. 
   Cutthroat network yourself a job, unemployed/underemployed, disillusioned, "new norm" Joe-blow. Cutthroat network a job, or perish. 

 - by Bob Keith, December 18, 2009 -                      Back to top
  
 Day Care Generation

  
 
Diversion
    This version of the word "diversion" has Orwellian overtones.  It first dawned on me in the Viet Nam era when my lieutenant or sergeant could not deal with a fact in reality.  For example, our trucks were falling apart for what ever mismanagement reason du jour.  
    "Move this goddamned truck, Keith," Sarge bellows.  
    "Can't Sarge, the drive shaft is broke. Besides, there is no diesel in the tank and the fuel depot is out," Private Bob says.
    Moment of silence.
    "Shine your goddamn shoes Private Keith."
    In current reference, my wife frequently uses the tactic when confronted with similar reality disappointments.
    "Apply yourself to find a better job," Wife says.
    "It was just reported unemployment is up to 23 percent in actuality counting people who are underemployed and those that have gave up," Bob says.
    Moment of silence.
    "Cut the goddamn lawn, loser," Wife says.
  - by Bob Keith, February 9, 2010 -                                        Back to top

 
 Drive-by Reading


  - by Bob Keith, June 23, 2011 -                                   Back to top
  
 Double Entendre

 
 Enforcers-Enablers-Apologists-Contrarians
    
You are chatting with some people and pointing out a particular hypocrisy you have noticed in society; someone jumps in your observation and declares you are mistaken. And besides, to find hypocrisy in society implies you the observer are unable to adapt; in affect, if there is a societal defect, it is after all most likely your fault anyway. These actors that permeate through society like flatus in a narrow hallway are the gatekeepers of the banal.  They are foot soldiers in an army known to some as "Equilibrium Theory."  Their job is to defend the mundane and banal. See also: "Paradigm Pimps."
    If an individual societal player can no longer be herded to the mores of the norm, said player is dismissed as an artist and/or an eccentric. Most have their spirits broken however, long before they reach artist level. 
 - by Bob Keith, July 26, 2008 -                          
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 Epizootous
   Long before Internet, Google, and my years working in health care, a former blue-collar co-worker of mine named Jesse used to say she had the "epizootous" when she got really sick with flu, cold, et cetera.  There was always a bit of a smile and laugh by all parties in the conversation.  I was always seduced by her command and manipulation of the colloquial language.
   Another co-worker now years later and a lifetime away asked me about my frequent use of the word.  So, just the other day when doing a "Google" on the word "Epizootous" I was stunned to find out it was actually based on a real medical word. 
   "Epizootic" basically means the outbreak of an illness to a large number of any particular animal group.  Go figure, I had worked in health care for ten years after I had long left my colorful co-worker's world.  I never made the connections.  Perhaps epizootic is another outdated word in our techno society. And, a reason I and everyone else has never heard of it. It sounds like a word ol' "Doc Adams" from the old radio and then tv show "Gunsmoke" might have used. 
   None-the-less, I still use my Jesse-esque version, "I got the fuck'n epizootous, and damn sure ain't com'n to no god damn work today."
 - by Bob Keith, March 20, 2010 -                                                Back to top
 
Farmer on a Lawn Mower Affect

                                                               Back to top           
 - by Bob Keith, June 17, 2011 -


 
 Fate Fairies
   
Those often bungling mythical creatures that are minions of which ever god you follow. God is too busy creating mayhem like hurling earthquakes down to earth killing 200,000 humans at a pop. God leaves the small shit like lost wallets, keys locked in cars, and pissed off girlfriends to the likes of his fate fairies. They meddle in your business and when they try to help your fate they usually screw it up.  If you are lucky your fate fairies are drunks and smoke pot and are otherwise preoccupied with other nonsense besides messing up your day. 
 - by Bob Keith, July 14, 2006                                                                       Back to top
 
 
Fire Ant head leaders; boiled frog citizens
  
I surf the radio while I drive, I surf the news on television at home. The same talking head apologist pundits squawk from the radio speaker and carp on the TV screen. The mantra is pretty much the same day after day: "The economic recovery is just around the corner; we know'd it, 'cause us smart pundit fellers says so."
   They remind me of Fire Ants. When I lived in Texas, I became quickly familiar with the killer critters. An old pet or a small child can be literally eaten alive if they sit on a Fire Ant mound. The mounds are usually hidden in grass. The creatures wait until the intruder is set and then they boil up the leg or body. They wait to bit until they have covered half the intruder - then they strike in chorus like a chain saw. A small child can be bitten thousands of times before they are rescued. Some often die.
   A rascal friend of mine - a cynical chap - used to like to take a razor blade and tweezers and lop off the head of a Fire Ant. The bodiless little beast heads will continue to chomp their fierce little jaws for some time. The little heads are left rolling around still trying to reek havoc in a lost cause.
   The beleaguered working masses boil like live frogs, while their detractor overlords chomp away with useless false rhetoric like the bodiless Fire Ants, killing air. In the end we all economically die.
  
I pause for a moment to think about all the thousands of people working about their many jobs throughout the days and weeks. We go about our lives and do the best we can. Do they, do we, really have time to dwell on the economic hell that rages around us all? We are like the animals in the neighboring forest to a fire. We sense impending doom, but what do you do? Run? Leave your home, leave what dignity you have left? How much longer can we take the economic beating? Like the boiling of a live frog, apparently until we die.
   Every day something else is taken away from us economically; and, every day we adapt. We go from a good paying job to a poor paying job; the poor paying job cuts benefits; we go from a poor paying job to a part-time job; the part-time job cuts hours; we get laid off; we live on unemployment; our unemployment runs out; we loose our car; we loose our house; we move in with relatives and friends like in a Third World country; we are put in jail because we can not pay child support; we get out of jail and live in a shelter; we.....What the hell is this, a Frank Capra movie?
   We loose a bit of the game a little at a time. But like the frog, at some point we will die, either spiritually, socially, or...physically. Don't the apologists for this mess realize when our lives are wreaked, their play house is also in jeopardy of collapse? We after all, prop it up with our overwhelming fees and taxes. I published a posting, "
We are coming to get you... " It is a caveat about how the impoverished threaten the last safe economic oases.
   I suppose by next year, the the Fire Ant leaders and pundits will be screaming that, "That damn rabble is dragging us pundit fellars down with them."
   I hope that if the economy does not change in the next few months, which seems most likely it will only get worse, that I am around to say, "Told you idiots so."
 - by Bob Keith, December 16, 2009 -                                        Back to top
  
 Fistula
   In my 10-year foray into the health care world, I ran across some intriguing dilemmas people and patients had to contend with. The conditions all have med-language names. Some of these gems I have been posting on this Words/Phrases Page.
   When I worked in the Alzheimer's center, there was an old fellow that always took a piss in his trash can. He was an old farmer and when confronted, he claimed he was peeing in the corn field. That scenario was not unusual in an Alzheimer's setting. What was interesting is that he had a "fistula" on the end of his penis. A fistula is a new hole that appears in some area of the body. It can happen for many reasons, for example if a person has a permanent intravenous portal. Another fissure can develop by the line-in. For whatever reason, farmer dude had a fistula on his little soldier so he had a double stream when he peed. But, remember he frequently peed in his trash can. Protocol forbade the trash can from being moved. However, house protocols did not forbid me from placing a second can in the room. Farmer dude generally then hit both cans.
   Home run.                                                 
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 - by Bob Keith, February 23, 2010 -
 
 Fortress Entertainment
   Some time in the 1970s I began to notice that concerts where being held in gated, fenced-in facilities - often with barbed wire on top of the fences.  I remember 'Nam era military compounds that were more user friendly. About that time I quit going to these fortress entertainment events.  The straw that broke the camel's back was a Doobie Brothers' concert that I tried to bring a submarine sandwich and a can of beer into.  A ball-headed, sleeveless beast with biceps that looked like bowling balls explained to me in sign language, grunts and in incomplete sentences that I could bring my lunch in through the gate and die at his hands; or, I could take my lunch back to the car and live another day. 
 - by Bob Keith, July 12, 2006 -                                                        
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Fuckeration
   What the fuck do you think a fuck'n word like fuckeration means? It means that what ever you fuck'n got your fuck'n self into, it is one holy fucked up, fuckeration of a fuck'n mess.  You fuck-head. Good fuck'n luck un-fucking your fuckeration of a mess! 
 - by Bob Keith, February 20, 2010 -                          Back to top
 
 Future Retrospect
   How people in the future may look back on our culture of today; or, when reading a story having the narrator describe how the character will think some day in the future about the present situation.  Example: "Pete could smell the hot shrapnel burning into his pants and leg. Years later he is reminded of the near death experience when some drunk burned some hair on his arm with a cigarette."  It tells us Pete survived, yet even though his future fate is revealed by the omniscient narrator, now we want to read on to find out how he survived. 
   - by Bob Keith, July 10, 2006 -                   
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 Garage Door Theory
    I was thinking of my mom the other day as I was writing about her tenacity for sending cookies to me and my platoon members while overseas in the Amy.  Years later, after Dad died and she lived in the modest house they had chosen together to retire in, she made an observation I have never forgotten.  But, let me set up her vantage point in life. 
    Both Dad and Mom had grown up in the country during the Great Depression.  Dad only left the farm where he was born to spend time in the Army during World War II.  Mom moved to town as a teenager to follow her dad as he sought work.  Years later, both my parents then lived the lion's share of their lives together on my Dad's farm.  
    In the country, one relies a great deal on community.  You help your neighbors without being asked.  Doors were rarely locked.  You endeavored to get along with people.  You might need them one day. Back in the days when my mom lived in the town where her dad found work, they too reached out to be good neighbors.  Houses were built with huge front porches and patios...people sat out front and knew their neighbors.  
    After they both moved off the farm, and because my dad had soon after died, I made an effort to peek in on my mom more often than I used to.  She lived in a ranch style house built in the early 1970s behind the mall in her town.  It was the consummate suburban construct - no sidewalks, no porches; they boasted attached garages with automatic doors.  It is easy to forget which house is which considering they all look the same. 
    Once I asked her who lived in the house across the street just catty-corner to her house.  
    She looked across the street with a rather sad look and said, "Who knows?  The car comes home, the car windows are tinted, the garage door opens, the car is sucked into the garage, the house window shades are pulled, some kid stops in now and then to cut the grass in the summer and shovel the snow in the winter."  
    And it was so, all up and down the street and neighborhood at large - and the theory still stands.

    "Garage Door Theory!"                                       
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 - by Bob Keith, July 12, 2006 -
 
 Godzilla extras walk'n amongst us
    Ever wonder how the people around you might fare if Godzilla stuck his giant and mighty foot through the roof of your world? I am thinking they would get on, "Not so well."  I fear most people go through life unaware of the dangers around them.  There are people amongst us as of January 8, 2009 that still think the economy is, "Just fine."  They live in their own little economic Green Zones (Baghdad) in their minds, and they do so at their imminent peril. See also: Two Person-type Paradigm.
 
- by Bob Keith, January 8, 2009 -                                  Back to top
  
 God...as a temperamental prick
    Ever considered that the higher power's temperamental benevolence is a paradox. As George Carlin suggests, God will punish you beyond your wildest imagination in his hell...but remember, God still loves you. 

    I watched both my mom and dad die horrible deaths from cancer. Especially, I saw Mom's struggle as my wife and I took care of her until she died. As far as I could tell, no one hated either of them. They both were taken before their time. They spent most of their lives serving others. They lived their lives like tee totallers by and large - and they lived within their means.

    Dad served in World War II where he almost died in Africa, then took care of his older bother for decades, and ran a farm that contributed to society's being fed. Mom cared for her own mom for decades. Neither Mom and Dad drank alcohol or smoked. They lived a humble life - they were not fanatically religious, yet they were decent people. And when they died, they were "good patients" - rarely complaining to anyone, and if there were complaints on their fate, they did it grudgingly. Mom insisted on a little emblem of a bible to be put on her grave marker, Dad a symbol of his Army unit.

    There was no reason for them to die such awful deaths other than God is a temperamental and bodacious oath. A banal bull, shitting on a patch of flowers in the meadow not even realizing what he has done. 

    Preachers, pastors, clerics, priests, rabbis, and shamans will spoon you a bunch of religious double-speak about God's will, nature's way, and the luck of the draw. When they do that they sound Soviet-esque. 

    They may even suggest there is a reason, perhaps even expel flatus that your loved ones somehow earned their fate by some reason unknown to us all, that we can't begin to comprehend. "So just except it my son." Some may even be so arrogant as to proclaim God gave humans free will, so, it is humans fault they did not duck when God threw an earthquake at them.

"Oh, fuck off, egg suckers," I return.

    I suggest they are too scared...too afraid to explore that the higher power they carry water for is much like its environment - enormous, dangerous, and banally cruel. When pushed into a corner, there may be a suggestion that it's God's emissaries that are the trouble makers. Then I counter that God, and his emissaries, are schizophrenic pricks, and temperamental harbingers of death. 

    I believe, the good news is, there most likely is a higher power - a god if you will - the troubling reality is, he is a temperamental prick. 
  - by Bob Keith, January 26, 2010                                      Back to top
 
 Good-Patient Syndrome
    Normally refers to a medical patient that is in dire straights.  But, due to said patient's good behavior and attitude, they receive better care than the complaining patients.  Care givers fawn over the "good-patient." 
    I prefer to use the term for situations such as politicians and elected officials grinding workers into the dirt via poor governing and economic policies. Then the same cretins that caused the misery, goo-goo over how wonderful,
resilient, and optimistic the good citizens are holding up under stress.  They are good patients while they die of economic cancer. 
 
- by Bob Keith, April 15, 2008 -                      Back to top
 
 Got-to-go Girl
    The infamous "Got-to-go girl" term would normally defer to those pre-marriage days. The offending person tagged with the name, can affect either men or women who have spent an evening somewhere eating, drinking, dancing, even bowling etcetera. The aforementioned party goers have perhaps throughout the night forged connections with some potential significant other.  Toward the end of the evening, from no where comes the "Got-to-go girl."  She had apparently ridden to the event with the person you have been wooing all evening; or, worse yet, she is just there an is the consummate nuisance.  "Come on," the "Got-to-go girl" (often drunk, just plain oblivious, or both) says to the person you have spent so much emotional capital connecting with.  And then said offending girl delivers the fun-killing verbal punch, "We, got to go!"
 
- by Bob Keith, April 14, 2008 -                                  Back to top
  
 Great Recession
   As this posting is being written, the Great Recession is currently the national economic hell starting from 2006ish and '07ish until the forseeable future.  It is m
ore of the same economic shit as the 1970s and early '80s, but worse. - No pay increases in the foreseeable future (assuming you are lucky enough to even have a job any more); less hours; non-benefit; minimum wage; seven day a week work week at four hours a day wrecking the whole week for 28 hours of pay; and finally, relentlessly buying Chinese junk products probably for the rest of our lives.
   The difference between now and the "misery recession" of the '70s and '80s is that in those days there were pockets of the country one could flee to find work.  Today that escape variable is conspicuously absent. No where to hide now.
 - by Bob Keith, March 25, 2010 -                                              
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 Human Resource Nazis
   I remember 30 years ago being hired into a big city Park and Recreation Department. They called quite soon after I handed in a resume and application.  Their human resources folks screened me, said a few friendly words of encouragement, and sent me to the job sight for an interview.  
   Long gone are those days.  If you are lucky enough to find a job nowadays, it is probably through a relative or labor force service.  Try to get a job through your current company lately (if you still have a job)?  Human resources seems to be the facilitators of a new cutthroat work environment.  It is cutthroat networking. Every man and women for themselves. 

    "You have too much experience," the perky-breasted 22-year-old human resources woman said. 

    That's an obfuscated way to say, [you are too old you old bastard].  

    I thought about saying to her but didn't, [Tell me Perky, I can take it.  Really, I have worked for 45 years at one job or another. Never been on unemployment. Have not missed a day in ten years. Been in three war zones, a couple of them twice.  I can handle the truth, Ms. Perky].

    "Too much experience?...Great," I said.  "I will just live in a cardboard box until something high-ended comes my way." 

    Another time, I was told, "You have too much education," 

    That is also code for, [you will be too much competition for the suck asses that run this place]. 

    "Ahh, shucks," I said at that interview unable to sit silent anymore. "I guess all that bull shit about bettering your self by going back to college was a fuck'n canard." 

    And then there is the human resources coup de grace.  Ninety percent of American human resource departments have embraced "applicant tracking" software.  They celebrate this little Orwellian gem.  The software searches your resume for "key words."  So, essentially, you need not be a good employee candidate, but rather you need only be a clever obfuscation writer. Find out what words they are looking for and spoon feed them back into your resume.  You could be an ax murderer for all "applicant tracking" cares.  
   "Applicant tracking" is no more sophisticated than the tricks some of the early-Internet porn sights used to lasso in surfers. They simply flooded their porn sight home pages with sex related words so surf engines would take the bait. Human resource: retreaded porn wizards.  
   There is the general impression by loyal employees that Wisconsin Huber Law workers (prisoners let out during the day to work), parolees, as well as displaced workers from favored collapsed companies, get preferential treatment over general applicants for a job. There is the assumption that former convicts and special displaced workers afford the hiring company perks from the state and the county.  This favoritism aura hanging over the work place makes law abiding and loyal employees feel like there is no point in applying for a particular job. I would love for someone to correct this assumption by the working banal at-large that they are wrong - but the pundit gallery is silent.     
   Now, human resource departments are so depleted due to the economy, they surrender to floor managers' whims and hire drinking buddies, and relatives. So they have even abandoned their beloved "applicant tracking" schemes. 
Human resources, in this age of the "new norm," are facilitators for a culture of prejudice and nepotism they were originally designed to prevent.  
   The only saving grace is that when owners look around to cut the last of their companies to the bare bone, guess who does not work on the line or build the product?  The Ol' Dadio just can't pinch out a single tear at all when a human resource person gets the "pink slip."  
   Small pleasures in a "new-norm," work world from hell.

 - by Bob Keith, December 18, 2009 -                                   Back to top
  
 Inanimates, Battle of the

  
 Inversion

 
 Jobless Recovery
    "Jobless Recovery." What a marvelous Orwellian gem. Ranking right up there with consummate double-speak terms like collateral damage, and friendly fire, the notion of recovering economically without gainfully employed citizenry is an absolute masterpiece in the art of obfuscation. 
    I hear the term surfaced during the Great Depression as a derogatory reference to the plight of the nation. But behold, the "new norm" architects of, and apologists for, our current Second World Wisconsin economic rubric are not to be denied. 
    The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has gleefully announced the "jobless recovery" is right on schedule, noting unemployment is up for December of 2009. 
    I hear the band of merry Republican and Democrat Wisconsin legislators has a scheme to save us all. More retraining on the way for future jobs that will never exist, et cetera. Funny...why rustle up a cavalry to save the economy now? Us working schleps out here were getting quite used to having our lives ruined over the last three years. I am not sure I am up to actually having anything but a part-time, seven-day-per-week, non-benefit, minimum-wage, third-shift, meritless...f....ing job. I am kind of fond of living in my 20-year-old Chevy with my cat. 
    The once cynical, now heralded as economic science, term of "jobless recovery" is a feel-good euphemism for the architects of this economy, the cretins and their policies that caused it, their media, and the fools that continue to groom it and perpetuate it. 
    Perhaps in the spirit of the "jobless recovery," the Assembly Speaker, the Governor, and all their lackeys can totally take my pathetic job away from me once and for all - finally end the misery - like shooting your dying dog - anything I can do to take one for the team...and contribute to...the "jobless recovery."                  
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 Kitty Duty
    What the house cat must do when you are depressed after a long day of bullshit in the work place after dealing with self righteous sanctimonious condescending pricks.  Mr. Kitty must sit on your lap and pretend he loves you.  He must purr with unconditional love and attend to your wounded ego ad nauseam. When you wake up on the sofa late after midnight, he must still be clinging to your side. All this he must do in repayment for a tidbit of tuna which he finds in his food bowl every morning. 
 - by Bob Keith, October 15, 2008 -                               Back to top
  
 Male De-construction

   The process that starts immediately after a female gets a foot-in-the-door of a man's life. Slowly and methodically, any remnant of the man's original construct is altered or even purged completely.  Some times it happens while the two are just becoming friends. Some times is does not start until after the relationship is consummated with sex.  Some times it starts after some kind of a mutual agreement such as an engagement.  
   If the process is not too subtle, often the cunning male will escape. Some times, he will stay but try to resist having his very being de-constructed and then put back together again by the female.  One warning sign is that most of the males cloths and furniture from before the female time begin to disappear. The male will often find himself in clothing styles he might have worn in 5th grade.  
   Some females are not as stealth in de-construction techniques as others. Once, an old girl friend of mine insisted I must not have, ride someone else's, or even think about motorcycles.  She operated on the template of keeping the male in a perennial state of 7th grade (don't do, don't want, don't even think about getting in trouble).  She was summarily dismissed from my life.  I eventually owned three motor cycles at once.  But I digress. 
   Men sometimes rebel in their later life (seems like the 50s are often a suspect age time) and buy man-toys (cars, boats, motor cycles, airplanes, etc.) that they feel they have been deprived of after realizing their de-constructed state. By and large, if the relationship is able to survive the male's second childhood phase, the male sometimes digresses back to a pacified state of de-construction for the remainder of his life with the female.  
 - by Bob Keith, July 11, 2006 -               
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 Mangina (Man-gina)
 
  I can't take credit for this one. I first heard this nifty little gem of a word used by John "Sly" Sylvester on his morning show on WTDY 1670 AM radio some years ago. I believe at the time he was referring to the mayor of Madison, Wisconsin.  
  The crass term could define the type of man that cooks at night for his wife and then rides his bicycle to his job in Spandex shorts.  Said wife will tell her girl friends at work about man-gina dude's cooking. Then girl friends will go home and berate their husbands for not being sensitive like man-gina dude.  
   Man-ginas basically are the antithesis of everything manly. They are anti-gun; anti-automobile; anti-motorcycle; anti-smoking; anti-strip club; anti-hunting; anti-football; anti-beer; and, anti-fun.
   Man-ginas are on a life-long vigil to make every other man in America just as miserable as they are.  They are hyper-regulation; hyper-criminalization of everything; and; hyper-smug. 
   Man-ginas check in their penises at the door when ever they go anywhere and for sure when they go home.  They often drive hybrid cars if they drive at all. 
   They generally hate anything blue-collar unless those dirty-hands worker bees are tending to some "Green" pet project to benefit some man-gina organization. 
   Mingle with these man-gina creatures at your own peril.
 
- by Bob Keith, February 23, 2010                                                        Back to top     
 
 Man-Palace
         
   A sacred place (room, basement, garage, barn, boathouse, etc.) where men keep their junk. They often sit amongst their junk with other men. Some of these man-palaces are simple (a sofa and a mini-fridge), while some are extraordinary and cavern-esque (taxidermy animals, full bar, big screen television, gun collection, etc.). Women, generally wives and girlfriends, detest these demilitarized zones.  When men die, are kicked out, or go missing in action from the relationship, the aforementioned women quickly de-construct the man-palace and all its inventory.  No hint of its existence is usually left after this de-construction process as the female is rather thorough in nature.           
 - by Bob Keith, July 11, 2006 -                           
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Margininality
  Georg (spelled without an "e" at the end) Simmel as far as we know is still dead.  He was a German sociologist and wrote his findings on society from 1890 to 1920.  Simmel seemed to be always on the outside looking in to society and academia.  He seemed to both live and study marginality with society. 
   Being both a former blue-collar guy and now an old recently educated guy I am beginning to see what Simmel meant.  Simmel said that in some ways marginality with the society around a person can be liberating.  I guess in other words, if they don't let you in to play, to hell with them and just go off and start your own gig. I am guessing he used loftier, semiotics (words) far more acceptable in academia to describe my dilemma. 
    Now educated under the re-tool, live-forever, you-better-go-back-to-college, current mantra, I am now close to sixty years old with several degrees.  However, even before this "Great Recession," I was not hired to loftier employ due to my age. After working 40 years in blue-collar, that world wishes me to seek flight to the white-collar world.  The white-collar world wants nothing to do with a newly educated 60 year old white male.  
    "Marginality ad nauseam."
  - by Bob Keith, April 4, 2010 -                                                 Back to top

 
Marketed Ritualism

 
McDonaldization of Society    
   
Around 1993 sociologist George Ritzer coined one of my favorite phrases. He came up with the phrase, "the McDonaldization of Society." I wish I had thought of it. Basically, it uses the McDonald's template of having all the prices on the keys, giving the workers set steps to wait on customers and make the food, and even lighting up the pie keys on the cash register to remind the counter-person to ask if the customer wants dessert.  The workers are to always be polite and quick but only polite enough so as not to take too long for each customer.  Around 1991, Robin Leidner did a field study of McDonald's and actually worked the job and then wrote about it.  She found much of the same rituals that Ritzer found. 
   The movie Falling Down took a shot at the ritualism trend.  Michael Douglas played a troubled character that had a bit of a dangerous tantrum when he could not get his hamburger the way he wanted it.    
   Now all this is interesting and well and good except what if this robot type ritualized service spills over into the greater society?  Wall-Mart stores all basically look the same.  Cruise ships herd you about on the ship to their events and activities - one often does not even know they are on water.  Suburban lawns are all cut the same and the houses only differ in design slightly, often for blocks or even miles.  The car companies convince us to be "individuals" and find our manhood but only if we drive one of their monstrous Hummers - regardless that the gas prices are outrageous. 
   Old dead sociologist Max Weber called this "rationalization."  That's a $50 academic word meaning we all muck about like robots.  O'l Max also coined the term the "Iron Cage" of ritual.  Believe it or not he came up with that over a hundred years ago.  I believe the cynical term is best used when bureaucracy is so ritualized in its inept rules that it is to the detriment of an individual or even a whole group. 
   Hey, I say hop on a f---'n plane and see a third-world country. You will learn rather quickly we don't need to do half the nonsense we do on any given day here in this country.  Although I have noticed some third-world country tourism now likes to herd you to their "special sites."  And, they are becoming enthralled with fast food joints.  The "Colonel" and his chicken are global man - the Bird Flu be damned.  It is best to get out on your own in the third-world - dangers not-with-standing.  But it is best to get out on your own here too and just free-lance your travels out from under the ubiquitous ritualism of society. 
   Yet, when it is all said and done, it is still a relatively free country here in the United States.  I will defend to my death your right to drive a Hummer until you go bankrupt and cut your lawn four times a week until it cries in pain. 
 
- by Bob Keith, July 23, 2006 -                         Back to top  
 
 McJob 
   I first ran into this nifty and handy little condescending term in the book, Generation X by Douglas Coupland.  It has a publication date of 1991.  Here is the definition used in the book: 
   "A low-pay, low-prestige, low-dignity, low-benefit, no-future job in the service sector.  Frequently considered a satisfying career choice by people who have never held one." 
   There is just something pleasantly cathartic about this book and all its quirky little made-up terms.     

 - by Bob Keith, July 23, 2006 -                          Back to top
 
 McNamarian-esque 
   Fighting a war in the construct that resembles the strategy that former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara crafted. McNamara left the Ford Motor Company to work in government.  With him he brought a business construct to the war fighting philosophy.  Basically, in the case of Vietnam, this meant fighting the war as if it were a business. McNamara measured success by body counts. People were moved from productive communities to fortress strategic hamlets with micro-managed economies. These hamlets proved to be a mess as entrepreneurial peoples enjoy more self determination than a fortress business compound in the jungle can offer.  Behemoth fortress military compounds were constructed to house war management.  Those unlucky enough to have to venture out in the field beyond the compounds ("outside-the-wire") saw a different war.   
   The greater war was managed by a business and governmental class of people removed from the lower classes. Even in the height of the war in 1968 with half a million U.S. soldiers in the county of Vietnam and surrounding countries, people back in the United States went about their business relatively unaware of the war. People got a half hour of world news at supper time. College campuses frequently embraced awareness of the war process and protested or not, periodically. The average guy on the street could live the whole war out none-the-worse basically removed from it if he desired. 
   This is a marked difference to a total war such as World War II where citizens rationed goods and services, collected recyclables for the war effort, and often worked in some job that emerged for a re-tooled war economy. 
   The McNamarian model embraces the notion a war can be won by a fighting class, managed by a business class, all removed from the economy and society at large - basically a part-time war. The problem with this model is if the war goes too long more and more average people are touched by it through deaths of family members or some other acquaintances. Prices of goods and services eventually are effected. People then get disenchanted that their personal worlds are upset. This after they had been reassured the war could be fought just fine with out their direct involvement.
 - by Bob Keith, July 14, 2006 -                        Back to top
 
 Meadow/Orchard Affect (Wisconsin yards)
    
If you have just the right amount of trees for shade; if you do not pour buckets of fertilizer on your yard weekly; if you do not water the grass; if you have not seeded your yard with foreign turf grass; and, you cut your crass a couple of times early in the growing season, the native grass will dominate your yard presentation.  By June the native grass will stop growing and it will take on a meadow-orchard affect at a reasonable height.  It will look uneven at about three to four inches high but you should not need to mow it the rest of the summer and fall.
    Remember, people did not really phase into the landscape culture and mow their lawns until after World War II - the post war economic boom and suburban construct lifestyle.  Try to imagine what vast acreage looked like before that time - meadow/orchard. Good night every one!
 
- by Bob Keith, October 15, 2008 -                     Back to top
 
 Misery Recession
   That wonderful economic time in the late '70s and early '80s that was forbidden to talk about until recently when the current Great Recession overwhelmed the nation.  The "Misery Recession" saw some differences as opposed to this latest economic masterpiece.  Interest rates were through the roof then. They have stayed low throughout this current mess.  Companies slowed to a snail's pace in the misery recession.  Now they close altogether and leave for China.  There were pockets of normal economy in the old misery recession.  Now there is no where to hide or run to for a job.  
    Gas prices were high in the misery recession as they are now in the Great Recession. Unemployment went though the roof then as now.  Then we were in the Cold War.  Now we are in the War on Terror.  Either way, money is going into the military.  As well, people who would never consider military service went in then and are going in now. 
   The band played on as is does now.  Then there were no pay increases for the foreseeable future (assuming you were lucky enough to even have a job); less hours; no-benefits; minimum wage; seven day a week work week at four hours a day wrecking the whole week for 28 hours of pay; and finally, the  difference back then was we bought Japanese junk relentlessly. Now we buy Chinese junk.
 - by Bob Keith, March 25, 2010 -                                                     Back to top
 
 Moore's Law
    I am not a tech wizzard so cut me a break on my humble attempt to explain Moore's Law.  I ran into the concept while re-tooling my college skills in tech school in my 40s; I have always remembered the thoughtful concept.  In general, in 1965 Intel co-founder Gorden E. Moore came up with the observation that the number of transistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit can be doubed every two years - for minimum cost.  Another guy actually coined the term, Moore's Law
    The concept has been hijacked by other sorts of technology, most notably hard drive capacity, network capacity, and digital camera power...to name only a few. To an old blue-collar guy now with a couple of degrees, the concept expains to us local guys why our new computer is basically obsolete before it even comes out of the box.

 
 'Nam, if this were in 'Nam, we'd all be dead!

 - by Bob Keith, July 28, 2011


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 Nanny-fication of America
   The methodical, longitudinal, attempt at the removal of everything potentially risky from American society.  Closely related to the "criminalization of everything," because once an activity has been upgraded from a suggested safety practice, to a mandated practice, there then must be punitive consequences for a violation.  It involves a society enamored with the protection of itself, from itself.  It is one thing to manufacture safety equipment for a society's benefit, such as car seats, motorcycle helmets, bicycle helmets, seat belts, safety seals, etc., etc., (build your own list); it is another thing to create a whole class of citizens who have police records for not using this equipment. 
   As far as I can tell, American is one of the few places on earth obsessed with carding people who walk into a place that serves alcohol or sells cigarettes.  We ban toys and cloths we deem dangerous.  American is fraught with preemptive warnings to avoid litigious attacks, i.e. a warning an a plastic bag to let you know if you put it over your head you will not be able to breath.  
   The best therapy for having succumbed to this insanity of nanny-fication is to climb on board a cheap airliner and go the third-world county of your choice.  Throw a dart at a map - oh yeah real metal darts are dangerous.  Anyway, go to a place that has never heard of smoking bans, and if they have rules, those rules are only mere suggestions. If you are lucky, you may twist your ankle in a sewer hole in the sidewalk because someone has stolen the iron sewer hole lid for scrap.  Perhaps you will bang your knee on a metal pipe that just sticks up for no apparent good reason, out of the crumbling sidewalk.  
 
- by Bob Keith, August 24, 2006 -                         Back to top
 
 Nefarious
   A wicked, wicked soul. 
     
 New Norm 
   We have new obfuscations coming from the collective noise of media and culture during this "Great Recession" of 2007-08-09-10. We are on the precipice of a "new norm." This is a new-speak offering apparently meant to sound economically reassuring. The "collective noise" prattles, "Good news is'a com'n," while us rabble lives an entirely different reality of economic hell.  I interpret the "new norm" however, as more of the same economic shit, but worse. - No pay increases in the foreseeable future (assuming you are lucky enough to even have a job any more); less hours; non-benefit; minimum wage; seven day a week work week at four hours a day wrecking the whole week for 28 hours of pay; and finally, relentlessly buying Chinese junk products probably for the rest of our lives. Until America and Wisconsin come up with new products to manufacture like has happened in so many other decades of change, this "new normal" of bottom feeding is here for a long, long time. And, even if we reinvent ourselves with a new miracle product for the world, the Chinese will most likely steal it. 
 -by Bob Keith, December 18, 2009 -                   Back to top
  
 Obfuscation
   The basic definition is to confuse.  It gets good mileage when it is used in the technique of confusing of language.  Examples: Collateral damage = dead civilians; going forward = our plan was really messed up in the past so don't bring it up; and, ethnic cleansing = killing groups en masse you don't like.  
   Obfuscation is similar but not the same as an oxymoron.  An oxymoron is opposites that end up together.  Examples: jumbo shrimp; military intelligencehead butt; and catfish
   A phrase that bridges the two worlds of oxymoron and obfuscation is, "killed by friendly fire," which means you just shot one of your comrades. And, rarely is the firing of a weapon a friendly gesture.  
   
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 Outposts of Paradise
   Places we send our soldiers that the greater society rarely knows about or even cares about. Yet, these places are the front lines of the American interest - the frontiers of paradise as it were. While people go about their business and go to the mall back in America, there are soldiers somewhere in the world in a duty station from hell. The general idea of this strategy of placing soldiers so far from America is that a threat to America will be caught or influenced before it gets to our own borders. We had thousands of soldiers in Europe and Asia for decades in the Cold War to let potential enemies know that if they encroached on those territories they would run into Americans at that point and that would no-doubt activate a greater United States defense mechanism. 
 - by Bob Keith, July 14, 2006 -                     Back to top
  
Paper Tiger Elitists

    Basically those multi-millionaire media pundits, radio talk hosts, politicians, and business elites who lord over us rabble.  Few of them have served in the military.  They are part of the two-party political false alternative paradigm that suggests you can only be “right” or “left.”  I don't really have to name them do I? You should have a dozen popping into your head already. Liberals or Conservatives – Republicans or Democrats - they feed off each other; it is a virtual "play house," for them both as the United States slumps into Second World status ever closer to collapse like the old Soviet Union. Soldiers die in the outposts of their play-house paradise while they comfortably bicker. And, if you do not buy into their lectures, you are "surely" with the imaginary enemy of the week.  
    
We would be a better society without both sides.  Right wingers tell me, "Bob, your journalistic observations from when you were in Iraq are interesting, but let me tell you what you 'probably' saw." Left wingers tell me, "Bob, your journalistic observations from when you where in Iraq are interesting, but let me tell you what you 'really' saw." 
    
After I researched Vietnam and our long war there from in-country ‘Nam, I noticed Conservatives get mad at me because my observations validated that we did indeed, lose the war. Liberals get mad at me about my Vietnam research in the midst of the Iraq War because they had promised a new generation there would be no more Vietnams. But the two-party paradigm does this in almost every facet of life. 
    
I wrote a blog posting that got published on www.wisopinion.com a couple years ago called “Calling out the Paper Tiger Elitists.” 
    Check it out; or not.
 - by Bob Keith, June 25, 2010 -                                  Back to top

 
 Paradigm Pimps 
   People who emphatically defend the established inept parts of norms, mores, and status quo. They often defend the established ritualism of society to society's detriment. People were actually beheaded back in the day for bringing up the possibility when the notion first surfaced, that the world might not be flat after all. They are the "enforcers" of inept policy and repeated failings. They are the "apologists" for the same. They are the "enablers" of inefficient norms and nit-wit customs. They take ownership for an inept societal custom or ritual and are vehemently offended when it is questioned. 
   A simple urban example: Southern Wisconsin lawns do not need to be mowed three times a week, cut so low the grass cries in pain, watered daily, and fertilized and chemicalized weekly. The best lawn is thick native grass that is left to grow a bit longer than the urban norm. If you don't water it every day it reverts to its native defense mechanisms to survive - it stops growing. Timed just right in this state of growth, it can be mowed every three weeks. You save gas for your lawn mower and wear and tear on your body (it is a myth that yard work is healthy exercise as it is some of the worst activity the body must endure - I was a landscaper for 12 years). Trees and shrubs enjoy being left alone and not clipped daily as if in the salon. People are often surprised that their little clipped-to-death shrubs will grow to be 30 feet tall if left alone. These shrubs in their natural state create shade and collect moisture for your immediate living area. 
   I am also quite familiar with the culture of landscape marketing and its insistence that yards be manicured and over cared for, of course at your expense. Urban landscaping we endure today really never existed until after World War II and the suburban construct emerged. People that practice modern marketed yard care waste countless hours, spend tons of money, and ruin their bodies - all for the modern paradigm of "manicured lawns." 
   Caveat: However, you practice this method of lawn care rebellion at your own urban peril. You will most likely be scorned and hated in your modest middle-class ranch style neighborhood - possibly even beheaded by the neighborhood association.     
 - by Bob Keith, July 13, 2006 -                                 Back to top
 
 Perpetual Optimism
   As well as new Orwellian obfuscations like "new normal," we are embarking on a new, "perpetual optimism." This Soviet-esque gem I take, has been contrived to counter observations from those of us that actually know the "Great Recession of 2007-08-09-10 really sucks and is grinding the average guy into the dirt. If you do not espouse to this "perpetual optimism" you are a dissident and your failure dealing with the "new norm" is your own fault. Economic recovery is just around the corner don't you know; the many pundits say so.  Those would be the same pundits that have never worked a blue-collar day in their miserable lives. If you do not buy into their crap, you have departed from the expected obfuscated social discourse and you are to be ignored. You are socially ill if you reject the "new norm" and its "perpetual optimism."
   This perpetual optimism scheme is akin to the "good patient" syndrome in medicine. Medical people love upbeat patients as said patients die a miserable death. Complainers are frowned upon or worse; they may be medicated until they shut the fuck up. I take "perpetual optimism" to mean you need to join the ranks of cutthroat networkers that push human resource departments to the limit by the hiring of friends and relatives or working for the same. Human Resources has just become a validation for behavior it once was set up to try to correct long before the "new norm" and its "perpetual optimism" has wafted onto the scene. Power network a job you lazy bastards and celebrate the perpetual optimism of the new normal your face is being shoved into!
 - by Bob Keith, December 18, 2009 -              Back to top

  
 Perennial-job-listers
   Have you ever noticed there are companies that continually list job openings?  In this neck-of-the-woods, there seems to be five or six redundant suspects.  I have foolishly applied at them all at one time or another.  They post job offerings every weekend in the local regional paper as well as the regional bi-weekly advertising paper.  Their postings are always larger than the other job listings.  In fact, sometimes they take out a whole page ad.  The timbre of the ad is urgent as they plea in desperation for help.
   However, I recently went to one of these company's job fairs at a local hotel conference room (they pleaded for candidates in a flier put in the Sunday paper).  The on-site interviewer told me how impressed he was with my education and experience and they would surely call me within the week.  Of course they never did.  A month or so later I was taken aback when just down from my street was a large highway billboard by the same company again pleading for help.
   Here's the deal.  When average blue-collar guys like me from humble roots only get a piece of the picture, we fill in the missing information on our own.  I can only conclude then that perhaps these companies get some government tax breaks for each person they interview; perhaps they steel and then use interviewees' ideas that are discussed in the interview process; and, if you don't want people with an education and lots of experience then I can only conclude you want people that will not be competition to the current management.  Until someone corrects me I will assume my blue-collar guessing is correct.  
   The outing of these companies is as follows: Actually, I really don't want, that after they finally call me for the first time, for it to be a call from from one of their attorneys.  
 
- by Bob Keith, July 22, 2006 -            Back to top
  
 Peter Principle
    The long forgotten principle devised by Dr. Laurence J. Peter.  In a nut shell: "In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his [or her] level of incompetence." In other words, being promoted [or elected] beyond your ability.  It might be rather relevant to relook at this now obscure idea now that our economy has collapsed, lending some of us to ponder whether it can be fixed in even a decade's time, if at all. See:
Peter J. Dr. and Hull R. (1969). The Peter Principle: Why things always go wrong. New York: William Morrow & Company, Inc.            Back to top
 
 Play House
    Closely related to "Two-Party Paradigm." The two miserable political parties in America must have a play-ground and play-house to facilitate their nonsense in. The problem emerges when these two pathetic political cults destroy the country.  The "play house" is then ruined for everyone. It is akin to a dog shitting in its own den. 
    It is not a subtle coincidence that the term "playhouse" usually refers to a child's toy and play area. Children sometimes also shit in their own playhouse.  
  - Bob Keith, February 20, 2010 - 

 
 Prevailing Authority Paradigm Disregard
    Old Army survival rule:  The best time to escape an attacker is in the first minute of capture. However, prevailing authority usually says, "Do what the attacker says; and then, do what we the authority says, we will save you."  Point in case: Many of the people who listened to authority on September 11, 2001 died.  They were told to wait for help - they died waiting. 
    Economic point in case: Many of the people who listened to all the economic experts in government, finance, and media throughout the years from 2001 to 2008 have lost everything.  
 - Bob Keith, November 29, 2008 -    Back to top
  
  Priapism
    A permanent penile erection.  In my medical and ambulance work, one could find male patients of violent traffic crashs, head or spinal injury, stroke, or medication reactions, in an unconscious state with an erection.  It was a creepy sign the person was in dire trouble. 
    On a lighter note, it is frequently mentioned on hack-medication, penile enhancement advertisements that if you get an erection for more than four hours from the medication, you should call a doctor.  From what I have been told about the painfull condition, if the patient is awake, they won't last longer than a few minutes with the pain.

 
 Return to college as an old guy canard 
    
Returning to college in my forties was sold and touted as a retooling and potential life-changing endeavor.  Giving my best effort, unlike my young classmates, I never drank alcohol during my ten years of attaining two associate's degrees, a bachelor's degree, and 45 graduate credits.  I worked at shitty jobs the whole time.  I never missed a class.  I took extra classes to enhance my knowledge of a subject. I maintained a 3.65 grade average throughout.  
    
Yet, I began to worry when for a second time, a second professor pulled me aside and shut the office door and said, "You just won't get hired as an older male when you get out."  This I thought and knew from experience is surely true in the blue-collar world - that is why I went back to college.  My father never had a chance to and by 50, his blue-collar body was broken.  He had no educational prowess to fall back on.  I did not want that to happen to me as well. I did not heed the sagely professors' caveats.  I still bought into the marketing of "retool."  It turns out the "retool" is a joke on the "old-fool."
    
For the sake of time-line on the World Wide Web, in case this posting survives into the future, it is now 2008 and one of the worst economies since the 1970s and early 1980s.  But before this current economy fell apart, companies still would not even interview me.  If interviewed I even resorted to pleading that I had not called in sick in ten years. 
    My experience has resulted in my reluctantly coining the phrase, "Return to college canard." And I have written about it before but to deaf ears, of course - "Over 50 years old and need a job, then screw you!"
 - by Bob Keith, July 26, 2008 -      Back to top
 
Ritualism

 
Rule of 168
    "The Rule of 168." There are 168 hours in a week and "new norm" jobs ruin every one of them. These jobs offer no pay increases in the foreseeable future (assuming you are lucky enough to even have a job any more). They boast less hours; no-benefits; minimum wage; and, seven-days-a-week work at four hours per day wrecking the whole week for 28 hours of pay. 
    To add insult to injury, they
bring you in to work different days each week; and, schedule you for different times each day. These kind of work places have you working such odd and disorganized hours it is hard to look for another job. Their erratic hours make it hard to work a second job if you need one and are lucky enough to find one.  And most likely, they will post the upcoming work schedule late in the day just before the new week's regimen starts. 
    There are 168 hours in a week and these type of places make sure every minute of every one of those is hours is fucked up.  

 - by Bob Keith, April 25, 2011 -

 
 Second World Orwellian America with Nukes
    Ingredient Number One.  All the millionaire media pundits seemed surprised the fall 2008 "urgent" 700 billion dollar bailout is not working out so good.  Mega corp after mega corp asks for government bail outs.  The three U.S. auto makers claim they need government cash or they will go bankrupt. The pundits argue about the pros and cons of slinging out tax money to save the financial ruling class.  But not once have any pundits suggested the notion that people actually need real jobs to buy the junk that the mega corps ooze into the retail economy - but of course why would millionaires know anything about real meaningful jobs performed by the rabble.  End game of Ingredient One - the country is collapsing.
    Ingredient Number Two.  Since "Nine-Eleven," the paranoia permeating the country due to government promises of public surveillance, is matched in my life time only by the Vietnam-Watergate era. And, segued further by the evolution of ubiquitous private sector surveillance and privacy invasion, the country is slipping into a Soviet-esque demeanor. End game of Ingredient Two - we are becoming a Soviet-like nation we so abhorred during the Cold War.
    Mix Ingredient One and Two.  Realize a once powerful democracy now imploding into a bleak Second World, Orwellian, Soviet-esque monstrosity with nukes. 
 - by Bob Keith, November 18, 2008 -                                        Back to top
  

 Selective Adulthood
  
 Society using its young citizens per their age to some convenient advantage for society.
Example one: Restricting people under 21 years old from drinking alcohol; thereby, creating a culture of underage alcohol offenses by people who are otherwise able to vote at 18 and serve in the military at 17.

Example two: Forbidding people from smoking cigarettes until they are 18 years old, implying they are too immature to decide about the perils of smoking; but, waving a 12 year old into adult court for some type of offense against society claiming they should have known better.   
 - by Bob Keith, April 29, 2008 -                                    Back to top
  
 Seventh Grade Syndrome
    
If you had life to do over again, would you lock yourself in Seventh Grade forever? Remember that time in your life? Puberty rages, you can't drive yet, other kids are cruel, your parents or guardians rule your life, you have no means of acquiring money...it is basically an era of "can't" and "don't." Don't do that. You can't do this. Don't even think about crossing social norms barriers. If you do violate arbitrary adult social norm rules, you can expect punitive actions from said adults. 

    So then I ask, why in the fuck would you get married? It is basically an exercise in returning to Seventh Grade as an adult - and that's just creepy in and to itself. And, apparently, the unintended consequences of this marriage-as-a-cult phenomena, people either by instinct or general knowledge, do not get married any more. They just muddle through life with four or five partners and have kids with most of them. This is the new norm. The new norm of the "hook-up," and, "friends with benefits" culture. It is a paradox. The new norm relationship template is a burden to us all as the kids in these undocumented relationships fall under the management of the many state governments and their child support / welfare rubrics. 

    The institution of marriage shot itself in the foot. Twenty-first Century marriage ran off a whole generation, only to create a society of hell-relationships perhaps worse than what they replaced. The human being has adapted, of course as it always does. Perhaps it speaks to humans being able to continually survive over the many millennia. Or, in current context, perhaps humans are just...fucked up.
 
- by Bob Keith, January 26, 2010                                                      Back to top

 
 Shitty-work-schedule-culture 
   See 24-356
 - by Bob Keith, June 28, 2008 -     Back to top
  
 Silent Flight
 
- by Bob Keith, June 17, 2011 -
      Back to top

 
 Story Killer

                                                          Back to top           
 - by Bob Keith, June 17, 2011 -
  
 Suicide Chair

 
 Strategic Procrastination
   Have you ever noticed people that try to do things too quick?  For example, like someone at work starting a project (say moving equipment to another area) that is suspected of getting the nod from the boss, only to get nearly done and then having the boss nix the project.  Now the work must be undone - causing more work for more people that never needed to be done in the first place.  The colloquial phrase, "let the dust settle" did not get invented for no good reason.  Consider letting things sit for a bit.  Half the time someone else will come along and change the original plans anyway - at best, some unassuming chap will do the task not realizing he has just saved you a bunch of effort. 
   Not to be confused with "productive procrastination" which is usually understood to mean busy-work someone does while putting off something more critical - organizing the closet instead of starting the college term paper.                      
 - by Bob Keith, July 13, 2006 -            Back to top
  
 Symbolic Interactionism
   One of the first classes I took at UW-Whitewater after transferring in from tech school was Social Psychology. The professor of the class was Dr. Neider. He was the head of the Sociology Department - one of the perks of a small college is professors actually teach the classes (as opposed to teaching assistants) and as I found out the department heads do as well. He was salty, well traveled in academic politics, insisted on knowing why things ticked, insisted on knowing how real life applied to the "crap" (his words) we were studying, and he probably should be described as old school. 
   Dr. Neider's attack of the subject of social psychology came from the perspective of Symbolic Interactionism. Basically in a nutshell - it is the assignment of meaning, either written, verbal, or with non-verbal symbols. The theory was crafted by a guy teaching in Chicago in the first half of the Twentieth Century named George Herbert Mead. I am mindful of a communication theory class I took in grad school that also discussed Symbolic Interactionism. It is poetic that both the fields of sociology and communication use the same dead theorists as their base. So sociology as an undergraduate pursuit and communication as a graduate endeavor was not all that big of a leap of faith after all. But I digress. 
    My realization of the subject came during a trip to Little Saigon. It is a Vietnamese district not far from Disney Land in Los Angles. 
   Immediately I was struck by all the old South Vietnamese flags lining the streets of the Vietnamese community. It was like seeing all the waving flags on the light poles during the Fourth of July only these flags were symbolic of a country that no longer existed. It was essentially, old South Vietnam in the middle of 2005 Los Angles - a hell of a symbolic message.
   To even hammer the theory home further, on my trips to Iraq I noticed that the Kurdistan State in Iraq did not fly the Iraqi National flag but flew their own Kurdish flag ad nauseam. That would be like one of our own states snubbing the American flag. 
    Dr Neider, your class and Symbolic Interactionism actually had revevance for me. 
   I told Dr. Neider as he was teaching his last class before retirement from the university that it was as shame a guy like him was leaving. He almost seemed to have a perturbed look on his face at the notion someone might think he should stay. "Look," he said. "I've been in college for 35 years, I'm headed up north to try some blue-collar stuff."
   I hope you made it Dr. Neider.

 - by Bob Keith, April 4, 2010 -                                                     Back to top
  
 Talk Radio Participation Futility
    Since the advent of ubiquitous talk radio stations and shows in the 1980s, an entire culture of talk hosts and listeners has evolved.  Both national and local talk shows have developed a detectable construct.  Although national shows are more notorious for manipulating participants, local shows practice the manipulation template as well, albeit to lesser extent.
    The hosts control the topics. If lucky, a caller will be allowed 30 seconds to make a point - next to impossible.  If the host does not like the warning message the call screener puts on the caller monitor, said host may simply leave the caller on hold for an hour.  Some hosts rant on about their own points for most of the subject hour and maybe let in two callers.  Some local shows allow more callers but the hosts often ridicule the caller after they have hung up on said caller.  
    A trend in the talk radio culture is that the hosts are mostly men, often with no or little college back ground.  The egos of these said hosts are often enormous.  They will risk job termination in lieu of admitting they are making a mistake.  The themes of the shows often reflect already posted stories on Internet sites or newspapers.  Often even then, the hosts are poorly prepared in subject matter.  If the caller gets too nuanced or tries to expand the topic, the hosts often seem befuddled and dismiss the caller as eccentric or out of the main stream in some manner.  
    Talk radio often reflects an anti-intellectual and anti-college-educated timbre.  Talk radio has been said to be the new town hall meeting place for a modern, 24-hour, fast-paced, over-stressed, and electronic dominated society.  If this is indeed true, community communication has slunk perhaps, to a level of new quirkiness and eccentricity - a sad commentary on a society and its communication culture that at the very least might beg one's pity rather than awe.    
    - by Bob Keith, November 10, 2008 -      Back to top
  
 Third-World Logic
   Oddly enough it is logic clung to by people many of whom seem to have never been in a Third-World country, yet claim to speak for them. The general mantra is that all poor Third-World people hate Americans and America is the source of all evil in the universe. The average guys in the Third-World countries I have been in don't even seem to know where America is let alone hate it. 
   Another tenet of this philosophy claims Europe can do no wrong and America should change itself to be just like Sweden. The problem with that is Sweden has a small mostly white population. American is one of the most ethnically diverse places on earth. We have to work rather hard to all get along. It is no doubt easier to have utopia if you all look the same and there ain't so many of you. I have been to Scandinavia and have no desire to rush back - a place where everyone looks the same is boring. 
   A third version of Third-World logic seems to emanate from apologists and enablers for the waves of people coming from south of the United States boarder and besieging the country and entering it illegally. The apologists and enablers are generally more affluent than the poor beleaguered people trying to find a better life. They will never call the border crossers illegal. They often hint that parts of American should be part of Mexico. They refuse to discuss the phenomena that the border crossers do not always seek or even desire to be American citizens. I worked for years with Mexican immigrants and they all vehemently refused to seek United States citizenship. And finally, the apologists and enablers claim all this border mess is of course America's fault - ignoring Mexico's inept attempt to manage its own lousy economy invariably causing the flow of people trying to escape.
   Closely related to the idea in the above paragraph is the strange phenomenon where virtually no Arab peoples or Islamic peoples step forward to criticize, with any gusto anyway, the people who facilitated the bringing down of the World Trade Center towers.  Nor, will one hear much anxiety from the Muslim world about the constant death wreaked on the people of Baghdad, Iraq and also the constant killing of American soldiers by Islamic guerrilla fighters.  Perhaps I am using the wrong news sources.  But, like other things in a blue-collar guy's life, if I don't get the full story I fill in the blanks myself until otherwise corrected.  Back to top
 
- by Bob Keith, July 14, 2006 - 
  
 Third-World Optimism
   When traveling in Third-World countries beware of service people (travel agencies especially) that offer up travel times that seem a bit too efficient for what they have to work with.  If they say the bus to some place will take one hour, figure it will take two.  If they say it is the "new" bus, figure you will only ride with a couple of chickens.  If it is the "local" bus, you should anticipate many chickens, a pig, a ton of bananas on the roof, and gallons of contraband whiskey under your seat and feet.  In Vietnam for example, they have a tendency to have the bus stop for a break at uncle Pham's café (cousin to the tour guide) and do not count the time spent there. If they say it will leave at 6:00 a.m., figure 6:45 a.m.  Also, beware of promises to the "biggest," "newest," "oldest," "first," "original," and, "best" attractions.  In Vietnam, there seems to be a lot of Buddhist shrines that are all of the above. 
 - by Bob Keith, August 21, 2006 -      Back to top
 
 Threshold Syndrome
    
Ever try to make your way through a doorway only to find some fool standing in it talking or pausing? Ever find yourself hurrying down a hallway only to be delayed by some moron waddling down the center of the common-way taking up just enough space so you can't get by on either side?  Every wait behind some lunatic that is turning their car so slowly around a corner that you are then stuck at the next red light?  All these people are oblivious to their surroundings and not the least bit aware of any possible affect they might have on other members of their species.  These members of a disturbing subculture of dummies are engaging in a condition known as "Threshold Syndrome" - perpetually in someone else's way.  Back to top              
 - by Bob Keith, April 1, 2008 -
  
 Time Bandits 
   These are companies and jobs that have an all too common theme and mantra these days: they pay you poorly; give you no benefits; bring you in different days each week; schedule you for different times each day; if they give work evaluations at all they give you poor ones; they write you up if you are one minute late; fire you if you are one minute late twice; they are fraught with relatives as supervisors and crew leaders; their equipment is poor which effects your performance which causes them to claim you are too slow; and, they most likely give you a poor reference so they can keep you prisoner at their miserable jobs.  
   These kind of work places have you working such odd and disorganized hours it is hard to look for another job. Their erratic hours make it hard to work a second job if you need one and are lucky enough to find one.  There are 168 hours in a week and these type of places make sure every one of those is hours is fucked up for you.  
   The work they have you do wrecks your body. The poor hours and often night shifts ruin your off time hours with fatigue and illness. You must usually go in to work sick otherwise you will not get paid. When you are finally beaten down to the point of no return they let you go, claiming, "well, he just didn't take care of himself." 
 
- Bob Keith, July 17, 2006 -           Back to top
  
 Traffic Calming
    
Ever suspect that a series of stop and go lights on a straight boulevard are unreasonably out of sync? It takes you a half hour to get just three miles through a dozen lights.  It seems to you like the boulevard should get the benefit of a synchronized light system to let the flow of traffic proceed smoothly?  Too bad for you.  Municipalities sometimes set the lights out of sync to slow the traffic flow down.  Defer to "
Convenient Inefficiency."                Back to top
 
- Bob Keith, April 1, 2008 -
 
 Twerp
   Recent events in Wisconsin some how jogged my memory back to some of my Irish Mom's colloquialisms. One of her consummate derogatories was the simple word "Twerp."  She usually used it in the context of a person, probably of smaller physical stature, often with a weakling demeanor, and a pesky personality.  If I had never met the person she was talking about, I would always envision someone who might be a good candidate to have their books knocked out of their arms in junior high school.  
   But, there is another key trait.  A twerp was a person who was more often than not, a nuisance, with a whiny voice, a jerk who could be counted on to be a "buzz kill;" and, perhaps most important, someone who could be counted on to usually start a fight between two parties and then...vanish when the fists start to fly. 

   I met Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker once in the summer of 2010 as he ran for the job of Gov.  I went to the Republican tent at the county fair where he would be available to hear the public.  There was a line of mostly unemployed people waiting and shifting from foot to foot.  When my moment to meet him came, I remember he listened intently, but it seemed like he just looked through me. I noticed he was beady-eyed (another favorite term of my Mom).  
   He was a small-framed man, and I suspected he had spindly girly arms and legs. I seem to remember him in shorts and a collared golf shirt. He looked like his mom had dressed him that morning.  Here was a poster child for the term, "Mangina." 
   After he heard my concerns for the state in general, he claimed he had a plan to create 250,000 jobs - no matter the Dems and Repubs stood by for years and let jobs go to China.  He did not seem to know where these jobs would come from.  
   Then he did something that I loath.  I had mentioned I had been in the Army at the end of the Vietnam War era.  He did that, "Thank you for your service," comment that is so common nowadays.  I've always found it disingenuous, especially by people who never served in the military.  Here was another beady-eyed sissy - a college drop out to-boot - telling me he appreciated my service.  He might as well have said, "How you doing, nice weather today, see you later."

   I took my leave of Walker.  But, something struck me as lacking in my impression of the then future Gov.  It bothered me - there was something about the guy I could not put my finger on.  A couple days ago it came to my like an epiphany - perhaps it is because Walker has his pie-hole on television all the time these days.   

   Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is a..."Twerp."

 - Bob Keith, February 23, 2011 -                                                                 Back to top
        
 Two-Party Paradigm
   The two political parties in the United States seem to have no differences. The tendency really reared its ugly head during the Vietnam War as both parties took turns running the war over the 15 years that Americans had soldiers on the ground there.  The complications in prosecuting a war that long and so far away and the eventual domestic consequences back home made it hard after a while to tell the difference between Republicans and Democrats - they were all eventually written off as crooks. 
   It seems that now in this new era of perennial war, the trend of the two parties to convergence is back.  Both parties solicit your money and vote ad nauseam.  The nightly talking-head millionaire pundits are recycled over and over on each others' shows and argue their parties' right and left politics. After a while they all sound contrived and ratings-driven.  
   It seems to happen from time to time that the highest representatives of their parties cloud any party differences and drag the loyal to the end of their ropes: Lyndon Johnson gave up on Vietnam and gave up on politics; Richard Nixon carried on the war for five more years and then fell apart politically and resigned; Gerald Ford the only unelected President inherited Nixon's legacy of lame politics and economy and then had to oversee the humiliating defeat of South Vietnam; Jimmy Carter seemed impotent to bring our hostages home from Iran as his economy nearly collapsed (misery index); the first George Bush won a war and lost the election because his economy faltered; Clinton cheated on his wife which lead to his impeachment; and finally, the second George Bush does not seem to be able to win the current war and has trouble convincing people he is sensitive to civil liberties and the domestic economy (high gas prices).
   The two parties pass power back and forth every few years or so accomplishing little except managing to give themselves pay raises in their government positions. Neither party while in power seems too quick to undo tax increases or encroachments on freedoms that the other enacts while in power. Most of the time they lobby for the erosion of our freedoms in the name of saving us from ourselves. 
   The caveat might be that if you do sell your soul to one of these parties you may be left with your brains sucked out. When the parties via their leaders crash hard from time to time they seem to leave their loyal followers bitter and disenchanted.       Back to top
 
- Bob Keith, July 17, 2006 - 
  
 Two Person-type Paradigm
    There are really only two person-types in the world:  Those people that you like to see coming, and those that you hate to see coming; or, at its worst, those people that will get you killed in a war zone, and those that you can count on to watch your back.    Back to top 
 - by Bob Keith, January 8, 2009 - 
  
 Unnecessary Collective Misery
   
Never have so many, worked so hard, to make what should be an easy-going, fun society, into such an unnecessary, miserable experience.   Back to top 
 - Bob Keith, July 23, 2006 -
 
 Vagal-Down Dudes
   
 Without going on a medical jargon journey I am not qualified to lead, suffice it to say there is a cool nerve that wanders around our head and upper body called the vagus nerve. Many things can agitate the ol' vagus, but one utilitarian reality is that when you bear down (as if having a bowel movement) the vagus nerve can reduce the heart rate and blood pressure. Having worked on an ambulance for 10 years, it is not uncommon to find a great deal of older patients unconscious in the bathroom - usually pinned between toilet and wall, etcetera. This is urban legend to ambulance crews. 
   If you have an intolerable heart arrhythmia (odd, fast, and inefficient heart beat - ventricular tachycardia; and or atrial fibrillation), a working suggestion sometimes given by responding emergency crews before they dive into their medicine bag, is to "vagal-down." It is called the vagal maneuver, or also the valsalva maneuver. Bearing down as if holding the breath....or taking a crap....might temporarily simmer down the fast, irregular heart beat - or, maybe not. Do not try this on your own for it has been known to kill people too. Often those old folks in the bathrooms are....well....dead....trying to take that crap.  
   Hey, didn't Elvis die in the bathroom? Las Vegas, Elvis, Vagal-down, Elvis, Vegus nerve, Elvis, Hmmmm? August 16, 2007 is the thirtieth anniversary of the "King's" fateful end. Was it a case of, "vagal-down?" 
   "The King" notwithstanding, I however see the vagal maneuver as a missed opportunistic, potential pop-culture term to hurl at annal co-workers, workaholics, and hyper-overactive nuisance jerks. 
    Vagal-down dudes!
 - Bob Keith, August 15, 2007 -            Back to top 
  
 Wars on adjectives and nouns 
   Closely related to obfuscation.  Somewhere in the last century we decided to declare war on adjectives and nouns rather than the dicey task of declaring war on nations. Rather than declare war on a nation that allows dangerous drugs to spill from its boarders we declare war on the drugs.  Rather than declare war on a cult-like communist nation that fires missiles recklessly near its peaceful neighbors we declare war on the politics.  Rather than declare war on countries that train and harbor renegade political groups and their leaders who want us dead, we declare war on their terrorist tactics (exception Afghanistan and possibly Iraq).  Some examples: the war on communism; the war on poverty; the war on drugs; and, the war on terrorism. 
   Playing with language and semiotics is fun in academia, colloquial speech, and local politics; however, it is most annoying when it is related to serious geo-political strategy to keep us safe and healthy.   
 - Bob Keith, July 17, 2006 -                             Back to top 
  
 Weenigrief
    My Irish mother and grandmother used the word "weenigrief" all the time. It denotes a sourpuss of a person - a whiner, a perennial grump.  I suspect my spelling is only phonetic in nature.  It know doubt has Irish roots.  Perhaps even regional Irish pertaining to a certain county in Ireland.  
    We have a cat who is a weenigrief. She is a dwarf-cat born to a winter litter.  The mother cat was starving.  Heide says that if "weenigrief" were in the dictionary, Beanie the cat's picture would be under the entry.  Beanie cries when she is picked up, she cries when Sam the cat goes out on his harness and leash, she cries when she eats.  What is odd is we used to pick her up to see if she was OK.  She would always purr.  "You can't cry and purr at the same time Beanie," Heide will say.  
    I had a bachelor uncle my Mom called a weenigrief.  He lived alone in a sad little trailer and never talked to anyone.  He had no friends. When he did talk, he complained about bygone subjects. He would only go to family events after prodding from my Mom and Dad and then only after he had sulked for a week or so. When he died, only two people came to his funeral. Perhaps he could have gotten on swimmingly with Beanie - two weenigriefs in a pod.     Back to top 
 
"Whaa?"...neo-conversation starter syndrome
    With the advent of the ubiquitous computer/wireless/cell-phone/cyber world besieging every crevasse of our lives, a new language has developed.  "Laugh out loud" (LOL); "Wait" (W8); and, "What the fuck" (WTF); and on and on.  Yes, talk shows explore this world now and then, and I have no doubt it has the attention now of the dictionary mafia who have to update the meaning of words now and then.  And, people text each other now as they walk down the street …as they walk side by side.  But people seem to be missing the basic insanity – the very crux of the annoying new communication matrix.  
    
Just as you begin to actually speak, people have to pull music ear phones out of every orifice, and look away from their two cell phones.  Every conversation in American now starts with one word.

    Whaaa?”

 - by Bob Keith, May 10, 2010 -                                                            Back to top
  
 Wisconsin Logic
    "Wisconsin Logic" is like trying to define pornography; like the U.S. Supreme Court says, "I can't pin it down, I know it when I see it."  You may hear someone make what strikes you at first impression as an idiotic statement regarding something Wisconsin oriented. Ask them if they are from Wisconsin and if so, just let it go.  Growing up in Wisconsin and moving away has afforded me a special relationship with my beloved state.  For years I have noticed momentary snippets of "Wisconsin Logic."  The next time I hear a doozy, I will post it here....
 - Bob Keith, July 26, 2008 -
    Example One
    In the November 2008 election, the Republicans put no challenger up against incumbent Democrat Mike Sheridan in the 44th State Assembly District.  As well, the Democrats put up an extremely weak challenger (basically no contest) against incumbent Republican Paul Ryan in Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District for the United States House of Representatives.  Both State and federal districts essentially cover Janesville, Wisconsin.  The area has been ravaged by unemployment and the closing of one of the last General Motors factory plants in the country as well as several companies that facilitate products and services for such a plant.  The area has been stagnant in other economic categories for years.   
    Only in Wisconsin would a region so devastated by mismanagement and economic misery re-elect two politicians who sat in office while the long deconstruction of the community's financial solvency took place.  But then there is - "Wisconsin Logic." 
 - Bob Keith, November 10, 2008 -
    Example Two - 
    Wisconsin has been tinkering with schemes to get students (high school, college, medical) to stay in the state after they graduate.  The various facilitators of the desperate and seemingly pitiful pleas, seem to be oblivious to the reality that there must be jobs in place for said graduates to have if they decide to stay in the state.  But then there is - "Wisconsin Logic." 
 - Bob Keith, November 10, 2008 -
    Example Three - 
   Lately the United States Auto industry has admitted it is on the ropes (boxing term for a fighter barely hanging on).  Albeit they seemed to have lived in a fantasy world for decades.  The rest of us working schleps could see it coming for years.  None-the-less, with said auto industry now obviously near total collapse, Wisconsin still holds tight to an old blue-law which forbids auto sales on Sunday.  
    Is it just me, or would it not be a grand idea to open all possible means to sell cars if indeed the industry is near economic death? What could it hurt now?  Adopt a new Sunday allowance with a sunset clause if needed.  But oh yes, never mind, there is - "Wisconsin Logic."
 
- Bob Keith, November 29, 2008 - 
    
Example Four - 
   It has recently come to all our attentions here in the great snowy north, that our Wisconsin state legislators will be getting a 5.3 percent pay increase ($2,500).  This in the midst of the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression.  Our lame, two-party-paradigm nitwit rulers suggest, "This is not our fault.  The pay raise was decided by committee two years ago. And besides, the economy was just fine two years ago. And anyway, we can not change our own pay while we serve, either up, or down."  
    I suggest, "Bull shit. How fuck'n convenient that there is a committee to blame. And, some of us blue-collar folks were languishing in this shitty economy as long as four years ago." 
    The economy is imploding as we speak. Surely the legislators will see the irony of the bad timing.  Oh hell, I forgot, there is, "Wisconsin Logic."  
 - by Bob Keith, January 8, 2009 - 
 
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