Bad Mood

Jan 8, 2018

I’m in a bad mood today and don’t feel responsible for much of anything.

I have gout. It’s very painful. Especially when I’m trying to go to sleep. Someone once said, (I think it was Will Shakespeare), “There never was a philosopher who could patiently endure a toothache.” That goes double for gout.

And to increase my bad mood, I want to reserve a special place in hell for the Microsoft programmers of Word!

With every update they have made it so complicated I totally can’t cope anymore. For instance I spent most of the day last Sunday trying to find my Miss Otis Regrets blog, that I was certain I did save, only to find after hours of frustration that I had to convert it to Print version first!

And then whenever I try to type anything at all (I realize I often goof in my hunt and click typing) the program shifts my blog into a weird format that totally baffles me! I realize the programmers are trying hard to improve Word for sophisticated users but they don’t think of us poor slobs who just want to write simple blogs. If readers know of a much simpler word processing (horrible phrase) program, let me know soon before I kill myself trying to cope with the complex and absurdly ultra-sophisticated details of Word.

It reminds me of two other pet complaints. Number One is the drift that a good restaurant shows when it changes location or upgrades its menu. It never seems to fail. The new location or new menu, in my experience, never is quite as good as the old one. A good example: a dear friend called me the month before she died. She wanted to take Jane and me out to dinner in the “best restaurant in Madison.” We chose “Le’Toile,” based mainly on its chef’s national reputation for gourmet dishes. It is expensive. Jane and I had eaten there a few times before the founding chef, a woman, sold it to a former chef she trained in her kitchen. The new chef promptly moved the restaurant to a classier location. The long and short of the changes were a disaster. Our four main dishes, which we all sampled (a fourth guest later joined our party), were all disappointing, to say the least.,
Perhaps needless to say at this point, all this gripping goes double for improvements and upgrades in computer software.

The second of my complaints is not nearly as clear-cut. In fact, I hesitate to mention it for fear that I will be called a racist. I do sympathize with black people who in the deep dark past have been pretty much left out of the TV advertising and movie world. But no more! If I notice one more national car or whatever ad or movie or TV sitcom that doesn’t feature black professional doctors, lawyers,  and ordinary middle-class happy, friendly, non-violent citizens—I haven’t watched much TV or seen many movies—give me a break! It’s all so phony and blatantly dishonest I worry it might backfire at any moment.

I recognize the writers of the ads and movies are trying their best to make up for past neglect but I worry that the sudden abundance may be necessary but not sufficient. The average black person is not a doctor, lawyer, professional, or even an ordinary middle-class citizen. If you doubt this harsh judgment check your local newspaper for crime and poverty n statistics.

For my money, expansion of Social Security and Medicare into a guaranteed minimum national income (Stimmig or GNI—see Bill’s Blogs, pp. 131, 135) the only welfare system with a chance to work and not lead to more dependency and inefficiency. With GNI (guaranteed national minimum income), and the abandonment of most traditional charity welfare, every family in the US would be economically middle-class. Whether that would translate into middle-class behavior and values I admit is problematic but in my judgment possible.

My third gripe is the problem the left clergy has with profits–an absolute necessity for any and all progress. For instance, a college friend from Antioch recently wrote me, ”I feel little to be ‘happy’ about. We have costly climate events in the form of several damaging hurricanes, and dreadful fires here in CA.  Yet the USA is still bowing to the fossil fuels propaganda barrage to assure their profits with less regulation and fewer environmental concerns.”
I am tempted to reply, “Maybe you should take up residence in Cuba or Venezuela or better yet bring back the massacres, prison camps, and famines of Mao’s China or Pol Pot’s Cambodia where they don’t have to worry about profits.
Incidentally, what do you think about the current deep freeze? Personally, I am waiting for global warming to rescue us.”
Bill Stonebarger, Owner/President, Hawkhill
P.S. For the curious looking for a gift for people have everything but who do care about ideas and want to know more about a life-long journey through the idea swamp, from devout Catholic to left-liberal clergy to conservative libertarian. I suggest you buy, give, and read yourself one of my recent books (cheap and, in my opinion, good reads)–Twilight or Dawn? a Traveler’s Guide to Free-Market Liberal Democracy, East Gilman Street, or Bill’s Blogs. Or view some good ideas on science and society streamed free on YouTube.

Leave a Reply