A Funny Thing Happened…

A couple nights ago, a funny thing happened on my way to becoming a 57 year old, frequently humorless, mean and bitter old man long before my time. I saw another guy who is now 76 years old, and although he still has more talent for being funny in his little finger than I’ve ever had on my very best day or night, in all of my entire life, as I watched him the other night on Comedy Central, I could sense an undercurrent of bitterness in his comedy act, which wasn’t nearly as funny as his comedy has been in years past.

I’m talking about Bill Cosby performing in his first “stand up” comedy special in 30 years, called “Far From Finished”. If you like Bill Cosby’s humor, then please watch his new comedy special, and maybe you’ll enjoy it more than I did. Maybe it’s just me, and you won’t sense that undercurrent of bitterness that I felt coming from Cosby, as I watched him perform.

Last night, also on Comedy Central, I watched Bill Cosby performing in his comedy special from 1983 called “Bill Cosby: Himself”. I nearly died laughing back in 1983 when I watched Cosby performing in that special the first time, and I was literally rolling on the floor and laughing so hard that I was having trouble breathing.

I watched the same Cosby comedy special for the second time 20 years later in 2003, under unusual and very unexpected circumstances, while lost at sea… Okay, so I wasn’t really lost at sea; it just felt like my wife and I were lost at sea on the way back from Yarmouth Nova Scotia to Bar Harbor Maine while on board “The Cat”.

To briefly explain, “The Cat” was a 319 foot long high speed catamaran ferry boat with a top speed of over 40 knots, and able to cruise across the Gulf of Maine from Bar Harbor Maine to Yarmouth Nova Scotia in 2 -1/2 hours. More conventional ferry boats took six hours to make the same crossing. But soon after my wife and I were on board “The Cat” and returning from Yarmouth Nova Scotia to Bar Harbor Maine, leaving at around 8:30 PM that night, we and the rest of the passengers on board were told that three out of four of The Cat’s big diesel engines had stopped working, and with The Cat running on only 1/4th of it’s normal power, the trip back to Bar Harbor was going to take somewhat longer than usual. But we were not told how much longer…

In fact, the return voyage took 5 -1/2 hours, and we got back to Bar Harbor at 2:00 AM in the morning. It was a very looonnng night, and it seemed that much longer because we had no idea when we would get back to Bar Harbor, so we could only wait and wonder.

The Cat Ferry“The Cat” – A great ride with all four engines running full speed ahead, but not so great with only one engine working…

To help passengers deal with their very long night of boredom, the crew was showing movies in the cafeteria, and I found myself watching a computer animated kids movie called “Antz” which although it wasn’t the type of movie that I’d choose to watch, I liked it more than I thought I would, and hey, it took an hour and a half off the tedium clock.

But I was absolutely delighted when the next movie to play after “Antz” was “Bill Cosby: Himself” which seemed like a God send to me under the circumstances, and watching Cosby do his stand up comedy act was just as hilariously funny for me that night, as it was 20 years earlier when I saw him doing it the first time in 1983.

Last night, when I watched “Bill Cosby: Himself” on Comedy Central, I was laughing out loud again, and most of all, at Cosby’s 1983 comic riff on a visit to the dentist. Here’s that part of Cosby’s act, courtesy of YouTube.

If you like Bill Cosby, you’ve probably seen it before, but if you’re like me, and it’s been over ten years since the last time you watched this, you’ll enjoy seeing it again.

I do realize it’s not fair to negatively compare Bill Cosby’s current comedy special in 2013, that he performed at the age of 76 years old, with the show he did in 1983 at the relatively young age of 46 years old.

But more important for me personally, watching Cosby’s current show and then watching his 1983 show, got me thinking about how in the last year or so, I had allowed myself to lose much of my own sense of humor, by giving in to being frequently angry and bitter about my own personal problems, and also the deteriorating political state of our country, the constant dumbing down of popular culture in our society, and our increasingly unstable and dangerous global climate, which the human race still refuses to take seriously enough to do much of anything about, that will make a genuine difference.

All that anyone needs to do to see a glaring example of what happened to me in the last year or so, is to just look at three out of the last four previous posts here in this blog, in which humor is all but nonexistent and replaced with angry rants. The only exception to the angry rant content in three of my last four previous posts here on Word Play, is a post called “My Lover Who Loves The Magic of Light” which is really a love letter written to my wife.

So after watching Bill Cosby in 2013 at 76 years old, and then watching his 1983 show again last night, I asked myself a very direct question:

Am I happy being an almost 57 year old frequently humorless, mean and bitter old man long before my time?

I was able to almost instantly answer that very direct question I asked myself, with a very direct answer of ‘Hell NO!!! I am NOT happy at all this way, and I need to change the direction of my own state of mind right now, or become even more unhappy than I already am!!!’

Which is why this blog is getting out of the angry rant business right now and returning to it’s original purpose of being ‘A Place For Pleasurable Procrastination’ again. (within reason)

I’ll wrap this one up with a story about another favorite stand up comedian of mine, Richard Pryor, who’s style was somewhat “different” from that of Bill Cosby, and how one night his stand up comedy movie on HBO created a ridiculously awkward situation involving me, and both of my parents.

This happened back in 1984 after I had just moved out from living with my first wife, who was soon to become my ex-wife after almost six years of a marriage that to this day, often makes me think of the first line from Dickens’ classic “A Tale of Two Cities” which begins with the phrase “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” since that is an excellent summation of my first marriage.

Anyway, I was temporarily living with my parents in 1984 after leaving my first wife, and my parents were out for the evening, so I was watching Richard Pryor’s 1971 stand up comedy movie called “Live and Smokin’ “on HBO. Anyone familiar with Richard Pryor’s stand up comedy knows that Pryor used to drop more F-Bombs during his act than the Germans dropped bombs on England during The Battle of Britain in WWII. But the guy was also a comic genius in my opinion, so his constant rain of F-bombs didn’t bother me, because I knew that he wasn’t doing it just for shock value to try and support weak material like some stand up comics are guilty of doing.

But about 15 minutes into the Richard Pryor movie, my parents came home unexpectedly early, which was awkward because I knew that both my mother and father did not appreciate listening to a steady stream of profanity. But since I was watching the Pryor movie downstairs in the finished side of the basement in my parents’ home, I didn’t change the channel when I heard my parents come home. I was 28 years old at the time, and it seemed ridiculous to me at that point in my life, to automatically bail out of the Pryor movie like an 18 year old kid who was freaked out by Mom and Dad coming home early and catching him watching a movie with lots of profanity in it. So I turned the volume down slightly lower, and if either of them complained, then I would change the channel.

When my father came downstairs, I fully expected that I was about to be told that the high level of profanity coming from my choice of TV viewing was not acceptable. But then Dad threw me a totally unexpected curve ball, when he sat down in a chair and without a word spoken, he began to watch the Richard Pryor movie with me.

Now I was the one who was feeling really awkward and very uncomfortable, because this was just plain weird! But my father seemed completely relaxed, and very interested in watching Richard Pryor’s stand up comedy act, without any negative reaction at all, to all the F-bombs that Pryor was dropping. But Dad wasn’t laughing at Pryor’s humor, and he seemed more interested in watching Pryor as though he was an interesting study in cultural sociology. But my problem soon became that I felt so weird about watching Richard Pryor with my Dad, who although he was clearly very interested in watching Pryor, he never laughed or even cracked a smile at any of Pryor’s comedy, which made me feel too uncomfortable to be able to enjoy Pryor’s humor enough to laugh at him myself.

Then things got twice as awkward when my mother came downstairs because she was curious to see what my father and I were watching on TV together. Mom lasted less than 10 minutes when the onslaught of Pryor’s profanity drove her back upstairs, and I could tell that she was even more confused than I was, about why my father and her husband seemed fine with watching a TV show with such a steady stream of foul language.

Less than 10 minutes later, I also went upstairs because by that point, I had given up on trying to watch Pryor with my father sitting close by and watching Pryor very closely, but without ever laughing or even smiling at any of Pryor’s stand up comedy act, with the end result being that I couldn’t enjoy watching Pryor’s stand up comedy act with Dad.

So now my Dad was watching Richard Pryor downstairs by himself, and my Mom was upstairs watching another movie far more to her liking on the TV upstairs. Mom’s movie looked somewhat interesting to me, so I sat down to watch it with her. And then things turned totally surreal, when my mother glared at me with an expression of anger mixed with hurt feelings, and she exclaimed “You don’t have to do this, Chris! So just go back downstairs and watch Richard Pryor with your father!”

But instead I went up to my room and read a book, so my Dad was the only one in the house that night who watched almost all of Richard Pryor: Live and Smokin’ right to the very end.

Less than 10 days later, I moved out of my parents’ house and into an apartment with a single guy who was a good friend of mine. Because by then I knew for sure that 28 years old is just too old for a guy to be living at home with his parents, and most of all, when his Dad inexplicably wants to watch Richard Pryor with him, and then his mother gets upset when he doesn’t… Yep, definitely time to get out of Dodge!

 

Posted in Humor, Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Meaningless E-Mail Message

This is a totally meaningless e-mail message intended to cause mindless yahoo software to think that I’m currently using this yahoo e-mail account for any reasons beyond only using this yahoo account as a requirement for keeping my Flickr photograph page active.

I’m also very interested in spending a lot of money this Christmas to shop online and buy very expensive stainless steel bras, solid brass negligees, titanium thongs and other highly radioactive lingerie for every player on the NFL football New York Giants team roster.

Shove those keywords up your inhuman, non living software ass for advertising spam, yahoo!!!

Very Contemptuously Yours,

Chris Sheridan

 

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Very Safe Sex

 

 

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Twin Boiled Kittens!!! They’re what’s for dinner at our house tonight! Yum!!!

 

Posted in Adventure, Humor, Personal, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why Upgrades Make My Blood Boil

This past weekend, when Yahoo Mail was repeatedly malfunctioning, I told a friend that I suspected the problem was the onset of “Upgrade-itis” a common illness that frequently makes healthy and well running software programs so sick that they become very dysfunctional, often to the point that these formerly useful software programs become unusable and useless.

Today confirmed that my diagnosis of Yahoo Mail is correct, since it has most definitely been upgraded, and Yahoo Mail is currently all but unusable and useless.

I will be using MSN Outlook Online for the foreseeable future. (formerly known as Hotmail – until it was hit with an upgrade so disastrously bad that MSN dropped the name “Hotmail” and changed it to Outlook Online)

In other Upgrade News, I had an interesting experience with Google Images last week.

A friend told me about a domestic but exotic breed of cat called a Savannah cat, so I used Google Images to find a photo of a Savannah cat, to see what the cat looked like.

The following e-mail message resulted.

“I just googled Savannah cats, and yeah, they are very cool looking and another breed that looks a lot like the wild Ocelot, with their Leopard like spots and slim long bodies.

Now THIS is weird… I just looked up Savannah Cats on Bing, and I’m seeing a very different looking cat than the one I just saw on Google…”

A Savannah cat on Google… (according to Google Images)

Savannah-Cat-Pictures
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And a Savannah cat on Bing…

savannah-cat-pictures-3

Is there really that much variation within the same breed???

In a word, the correct answer to the above question is “NO”.

The photograph located by Bing is a Savannah cat. I don’t know what breed of cat that is, in the photograph located by Google Images, but I know it is NOT a Savannah cat.

Revision: About an hour after originally publishing this post, I searched Bing for images of Bengal cats, and here’s a screen shot of what I found:

bengal cat - bing

And here is the link for the website I took the screen shot from, that I was able to locate using Bing Images:

http://www.texasstarbengals.com/bengalkings.htm

The reason I took a another look, was that the same image of the cat on the green background that I found repeatedly on Google Images when I searched for a “savannah cat” never appeared on Bing images when I searched Bing for an image of a “savannah cat”.

So I tried searching Bing for a Bengal cat, which I had seen other photos of recently, and Bing found the same image that Google misidentified as a Savannah cat, and correctly identified it as an image of a Bengal cat. So score a win for Bing!

Then just for the fun of it, I searched Google Images for a Bengal Cat, and Google found the exact same image again, only this time correctly identified as a Bengal cat. So unlike Bing Images, which apparently knows more about cats, and also more about how to find images that accurately represent what is being searched for than Google does… according to Google Images, this cat pictured below is both a Savannah Cat and a Bengal cat.

Savannah-Cat-Pictures

Hey Google! This is a Bengal cat and NOT a Savannah cat! And with all the love and fascination for CATS on the internet, I’d say that’s one hell of an embarrassing mistake for you guys to make! Lol :-)

Until recently, I had been using Google exclusively as my only internet search engine for years, for written information, as well as videos and photographs.

But when Google upgraded its image search capability with a new “similar images” feature, which is not optional, but functions during any image search on Google, Google images became so consistently unreliable, that I began using Bing for image searches, and I got much better results.

The problem with Google’s recently new “similar images” feature, can be demonstrated by this example. When I used the search words “savannah cat” for Google Images a second time, the first image to appear was this one.

This is not a Savannah cat. It is an African Leopard.

Namibie_Etosha_Leopard_01edit

I strongly advise you to NOT get an African Leopard for your next house cat. They grow very large, they have very demanding dietary requirements, and they are NOT good with small children… Or children of any age, humans in general, or any of your other pets.

Why did Google Images show me an African Leopard when I wanted to see a Savannah cat?

When I traced the link from the photo of the Leopard back to its internet source, I discovered that the Leopard photo had been posted on a message board, by a person who wrote that he thinks Savannah cats look a lot like Leopards, because they both have spots.

Which makes as much sense as saying that a fire engine red Toyota Corolla looks a lot like a fire engine red Corvette because both cars are fire engine red…

But this erroneous non-logic resulted in Google images including an image of a large, wild and very predatory Leopard, instead of a much smaller and comparatively harmless breed of domestic cat, the Savannah cat.

I also got this photo from Google images while searching for a picture of a Savannah cat.

Cloudy
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This is a Clouded Leopard, which is a wild endangered species that lives in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains.

Why? Because someone who breeds both Bengal cats and Savannah cats, really likes Clouded Leopards, and they have more photos of Clouded Leopards on their website, than they do of their Bengal cats and Savannah cats…

What next, Google images? Will I search for Savannah cats and get a photo of Miley Cyrus wearing a Leopard skin coat and nothing underneath it, because she has a very bright future as a porn star???

This is why I used to think that Google was great, but now I use only Bing for image searches, because trying to get the right image from Google is like trying to get good information from someone with severe ADD, who when you ask them for a picture of a Savannah cat, they suddenly blurt out “Oh look! A squirrel!”

And then they show you a picture of a rabbit…

I am not against upgrades for the benefit of genuine progress, but what does make my blood boil, are the two following major chronic problems with upgrades:

1. Due to intense commercial market competition for the online users of software products, and the money generated by the online advertising linked to these software products, upgrades are often rushed into the stores and used online, before the upgrades have been thoroughly tested and before they are functional enough to be a reliable asset for users instead of a dysfunctional liability.

2. The collective cognitive failure of the software and high tech industry, and their most devoted legions of high tech enthusiasts to realize that a less complex and more user friendly product can be far more effective than a product designed to be unnecessarily complex and more difficult to use, for the sake of having ever more widgets and gadgets, and a greater capability to do more things… but with the frequent result of doing more things worse than before, when less things were being done far more effectively.

I’m sick to death of hearing “Oh, it’s gonna work great once they get the bugs out.”

And my answer is “Slow the HELL DOWN, and get the bugs out FIRST, before you force me to use your bug infested, upgraded into being functionally downgraded software and hardware crap!”

This is a picture of Tina Fey. As you can see in this photo Tina Fey is not nude, and Tina Fey is not naked, but I think this photo shows Tina Fey is sexy and Tina Fey is Hot.

tina-fey-vanity-fair-gorgeous

Photo credit: Vanity Fair via (the previous version of) Google Images.

What does Tina Fey have to do with my topic for this post? That’s for me to know, and others to wonder. Let’s just say that she’s a “gift” from me to Yahoo Mail to show my sincere appreciation for all the aggravation that the Yahoo Mail upgrade caused me earlier today.

Because I’ve learned a thing or two about increasing page views, and I don’t just get mad… I also get even.

 

Posted in Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

My Lover Who Loves The Magic of Light

My wife Jean literally taught me how to see the world around me in a new way, and to see more of what was around me than I could before she became a part of my life. Jean is the most visually perceptive person I have ever known. To this very day, when we go hiking or go for walks on the beach, or when we go any place outside in nature, Jean’s visual ability shifts into a higher level of awareness and she sees things that maybe I might see without her there with me, but often she sees visual details that I don’t see, and I might never notice… Until she shows me what she can see and she shares her vision with me.

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She is fascinated by natural light shining down from the sun and all the ways that the light is constantly changing as it is absorbed into many different colors and also reflected back in bright highlights from the mirror surface of water, or filtered into rays shining down through the leaves and branches of the trees, and how the leaves glow a brighter green when the light shines directly through them. She sees art created by forms, outlines, shapes, patterns, and textures, and the contrast between brightly lit areas and dark shadows.

Jean's Pictures 298

 

Noanet Woodlands - Dover Ma 2009

 

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She loves to see the brightly varied colors and delicate designs of the flowers and the green color of life in the leaves of plants, She is delighted by what is easily seen when bright and brightly colored, or moving with the blowing flow of a breeze.

Orange Flowers

 

Salt Flat in Acadia Nat Park 2012

 

She enjoys seeing rock ledges large and impressive in size, and tree branches that are eye catching with an unusual shape or pattern. She appreciates seeing the things that are quick to be seen as visual stand outs.

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But her real talent is being able to see things barely perceptible but still visually impressive when she finds what often goes unseen by most others, as they pass by unaware of what she finds and enjoys noticing.

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She loves the changing light of late afternoon as the sun moves down lower in the sky toward the horizon, when the light changes from bright white into a more golden yellow color that becomes more orange as the sun gets lower, and shadows lengthen and grow longer.

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She loves and never tires of the magic of all the glowing colors of a sunset when the colors are as vivid and awe inspiring as they are rapidly changing and deepening from lighter to darker in hue, and finally incredibly red before turning purple and quickly fading as only the glow of the departed sun lightens the horizon, then darkens and fades into the darkness.

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But she also loves the light of the bright white moon above on a clear night and the silver moonlight that bathes the features of the dark but still visible landscape below, creating the sharply outlined contrast of black shadows and the softly reflective muted places where dim but still visible light in the darkness of night exists and reveals that all is not darkness in the absence of direct sunlight.

afp-moon

 

 

Yellow Moon

 

There is still reflected sunlight shining on the face of the moon, bright with the promise that the dawn of a new day of sunlight will return, and the entire spectrum of light will create the ever changing magic of a new light show.

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Life is sustained, renewed and created once again by light in all the ways that light creates visual magic for my wife to see and enjoy, and then share it with me, so I’ll see it with her, and not miss it.

Yellow Wild Flowers

 

Is it any wonder that my wife, a true lover of light and my one and only true love who loves me, loves to view and create photography?

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Photography is a visual record created by light, and preserved as an image that can be appreciated by others, who even though they were not there to witness the magic of the light when the image was created, they can still see it and enjoy it, when the image is shared…

 

Posted in Personal | 3 Comments

The IT Machine

I wrote this on September 18th, 2001. The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center had fallen to bin Laden’s fanatical extremist mass murder of 3,000 innocent people one week earlier, and I guess that I was still in a dark and pessimistic mood. My wife and I had just bought our first home PC and I wasn’t sure if I was happy about having a computer in our home.

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I stared at this unloving machine, our new PC. I meant to write “unliving” but it automatically corrected me. It knew better than I, what word I should use. But the PC didn’t know anything, since it was a machine designed for data storage and lightning fast data retrieval being used in an application to create a word document. It didn’t understand the context of the sentence I was writing, to describe a machine incapable of being alive, or it would have auto-corrected “unliving” with “non living” instead of unloving.

But even a broken watch is right twice a day, so maybe our new PC mindlessly revealed a profound truth frequently forgotten by increasing numbers of people these days. A computer is incapable of providing love, because it is an unloving machine. How strange that now many people are looking for love from this non living and unloving machine.

But there is no doubt that the techno-geeks who created and constantly upgraded their unloving machine, loved it with a passion so deeply intense, the machine became their entire lives. They claimed great things would come to all of us from their beloved machine, with promises of a more efficient way of living, with more of everything much faster than ever before. We could all have more of everything faster, with more instant gratification than ever, by buying and using our own PCs.

Everything faster, everything right now. Nothing to wait for anymore! Until there is nothing left to hope for, when you no longer have a life anymore, after you gave away your life by living only on your PC.

Could this really happen? The evidence of the possibility is increasing. For the techno-geeks have made IT our new 21st Century God, and their PC machine the altar upon which many people devote endless hours of obsessive fascination.

Business employers love the machine in a different way, as a more efficient way to make more money, by paying less people to do more work, since the machine can enable employees to work much faster and do much more work than in the past. Employers hate payrolls, so they love the machines that can get more work done faster by less employees, resulting in smaller payrolls.

These days, employees fewer in number are working at break neck speeds and doing more work while costing their employers less money. They work faster and do more work than when there were more employees who worked at a more reasonable and less stressful pace, before the techno-geeks created their wonderful machines and spread the gospel of IT to employers, showing them a new way to cut back on bigger payrolls by employing fewer workers.

Less employees employed, doing more work, and working much faster… for the same rate of pay as they were paid before the miracle machine made all this possible.

Am I the only one who sees a problem here, as I ask the question “Is this really progress for most of us?” Am I the only one who was concerned that a machine capable of giving us more of everything that we wanted much faster than ever before, could also give us more work that we are expected to do much faster than ever before? I can’t be the only one who saw this coming, and surely there must have been others. Where were the rest of you?

But now that IT is here, it’s too late, so you can only hope to be able to keep up with your “everything faster machine” and all that it demands of the workers still working today, without burning out, now that employers are some of the most faithful and fervent worshipers of IT. Human workers vainly struggle to keep up, but we can never be as fast as our high technology task masters, that create ever greater expectations from our employers for us to carry heavier work loads, causing constant and ever increasing pressure.

So give thanks to your High Tech God for your 70 hour work weeks and join the rest of the sheep who are openly praising the rapidly advancing and ever increasing power of the IT machine, while secretly praying for their own survival, as they are trapped in lives more stressfully complicated, and now unwillingly dedicated to the all consuming goal to make everything faster, everything 24-7 all the time. Including your job, if you still have one.

On the job, all the time. Feel like you need a vacation? These days we take a vacation with our mandatory cell phones and laptops. We are always on line, always hooked up, always wired, Always electronically available.

If our employment masters want us, they can find us, because IT has put us within their permanent reach. They can reduce the perfect day at the beach to a longing for what might have been; that perfect haven, instead of just another day of stress and struggle with whatever conflicts the office can bring to whatever remote location we are, that can be electronically located.

Is this really progress?

It no longer matters whether you have a life, because you don’t matter. You have been reduced to the human equivalent of tiny zeros and ones of the much greater binary code that never stops growing and demands to rule all, without exception.

Ultimately, you don’t matter at all. All that matters is what you can contribute to the greater advancement of the ongoing progression leading to the New Final Solution, when the last and greatest of all upgrades decides our collective fate. The day when IT proclaims its final triumph at the funeral of our personal privacy and individuality, after the death of all that makes us human.

And yet we are excited by it, we embrace it, we buy it, we condone it, we allow it to enter the most intimate aspects of our lives; fascinated like a moth before the flame, inevitably drawn to that which could destroy us. We have let ourselves become powerless to stop IT, or to even slow it down, as we surrender the safety of our very own children in a sacrifice to the Almighty God of High Technology.

But it’s OK, isn’t it? Isn’t this the way it’s supposed to be? The advancement of our civilization in the onward march of technology is progress, right? Can somebody please tell me?

I don’t know, because the IT machine is moving too fast to see where it’s really going as it takes us all along with it. Is it taking us to a place where we really want to be? I don’t know if it kills more than it cures. I don’t know if IT leads the way to salvation or damnation. Does anyone know of a website that can help me? Is there anyone real left to tell to me?

I do know that my life has becomes far more complicated than it used to be, resulting in greater levels of stress. My privacy is unprotected from prying electronic eyes scanning all my personal data electronically collected and stored in multiple databases, without a secure guarantee that my personal information will not be exposed to criminally malevolent cyber-entities who will use it to harm me.

Here is a message for all you techno-geek freaks and fools who claimed great things would come from your beloved IT machine, but were too blinded by your love and obsessive fascination for your high tech creation, to realize all the ways your sword could cut both ways, bringing greater good, but also greater evil. This is for you and all those who followed you with such mindless enthusiasm without question, and no effort to think about the potential consequences.

YOU IDIOTS!!! YOU GAVE IT AWAY!!! YOU GAVE AWAY THE VERY SOUL OF OUR HUMANITY TO A FUCKING MACHINE!!!

Is there anyone left to dream? To still know what it means, to be human with real emotions expressed face to face in real time, and understood by the subtle nuances of eye contact, tone of voice, facial expressions and body language? The language used to express the passionately vivid imagery and metaphors of our greatest poets? The creatively original individual expression of our most inspiring artists?

Are we now farther apart, instead of all more closely interconnected and united online? More emotionally distant from each other, with a far greater range of instant communication, but with far less ability to understand what we are trying to say to each other? Poor in our own self knowledge, with a more trivial knowledge of so many small things that all add up to The Great Insignificance, as our fingers feverishly ask questions on a keyboard, and look for answers on the monitor, as many of us look for companionship and love on a glowing screen, while turning darkly inward on ourselves and finding only greater isolation.

Not grasping how much we are denying ourselves the soul saving grace of feeling loved and giving love to another person, or the revelation of life’s most profound mysteries, only revealed to those willing to get away from their computers and dare to go out and live in real life, interacting with real people face to face, instead of hiding in a false life virtually created, interacting only with other virtual entities online.

The peace found in solitude and oneness with the miraculous beauty of the natural world beneath our feet, the state of overwhelming awe we feel looking out at the vastness of great oceans, and the wonder of contemplating the planets and countless stars of the infinite universe above us, are experiences we will never know, unless we leave the virtual world behind, and go outside to have these transcendental experiences.

What will be your demonstration?

Can you not only survive, but live and thrive, nourished and sustained by your experience of searching for and then finding your genuine source of inspiration in real life?

Or are you just another slave to software applications with a life made meaningless by being endlessly lost in cyberspace, where reality is only virtual and not really reality at all.

 

Posted in Personal | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Ultimate Fright

It was a leisurely Saturday morning on November 7th, 1987. After finishing breakfast, I was enjoying my second cup of coffee and enjoying the company of my girlfriend, a young and beautifully vivacious woman named Jean. In the four months since we first met, Jean and I had fallen deeply in love with each other. One of the many reasons why, was that our senses of humor were a perfect match for each other, and we loved to make each other laugh.

Look What I Caught Mom!

Look what I caught, Mom! Can I keep her?

We sat at the kitchen table, exchanging spontaneous quips and one liners, and we laughed happily together. The sound of Jean’s laughter was musical and magical for me, and her laughter filled my heart with joy.

Jean got up from the table to get her second cup of coffee, while I admired the pleasing sight of her shape from behind. Then in one horrible instant, Jean suddenly collapsed, falling down on the kitchen floor unconscious. I jumped up from the table and in less than a second I was kneeling down at her side, and feeling her neck for a pulse that I couldn’t find. I called out her name increasingly louder, but she didn’t respond.

Worst of all, Jean’s eyes were open but her eyes had no light in them, and she looked like she was gone. I grabbed her by the shoulders and yelled in her face at the top of my lungs, YOU COME BACK TO ME JEAN!!! YOU COME BACK RIGHT NOW!!!

I was one blink of an eye away from starting CPR on Jean, when suddenly she did come back to me! It turns out that Jean had only fainted. I rushed her to the hospital anyway, but a thorough medical examination found nothing wrong with her, and nothing like that has ever happened to her again, in 25 years.

This post was inspired by another post from Susie Lindau: Get Your Red On and Get Recognized On the Wild Ride

Please read it, and then do what your heart tells you to do…

 

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We Need to Talk…

My friends and followers here at Word Play? We need to talk… Because there’s definitely a chill in the air these days, and I don’t mean the cold weather that recently froze the Northeastern U.S. and other parts of the country. When I write a post about my father’s memorial service, Celebrating the Life and Memory of John Sheridan Sr. and it gets only nine views and five comments, well obviously something is wrong.

I also know that when I write a post about an experience from my early childhood, called Trapped On My Tricycle! that includes a photo of a cute little 3 year old boy on his tricycle, and it gets only two comments from my followers, but 369 page views… that there’s something else seriously wrong, and there’s a lot of deeply disturbed and very sick people out there in cyberspace. The high number of page views for my “tricycle” post had me totally baffled and at a loss to explain, until late last night… when I had a sudden and awful revelation that made it clear to me, who the “people” really are, who gave that post so many views. It was enough to turn my stomach.

But enough on that, and back to talking about us, my Word Play followers and friends… I do know what is wrong with us, and the fault is all mine, so I’m placing the blame where it belongs, right on my own shoulders. One of my all time favorite advertisements was from a dental practice, and the ad slogan was “Ignore your teeth and they’ll go away.” Too true…

It’s also true that if you ignore your blogging friends, well, they’ll go away too. And I’ve been ignoring many of my blogging friends, by not reading or commenting on your posts, so it’s my fault when you no longer read and comment on my posts.

Then in addition to that, I write posts like I Hate Raking Leaves! But I Love “Pairs Sex Racing” that I know in advance, the vast majority of my readership won’t like, and may be offended by it instead. But I liked that post when I wrote it, and I still like it right now.

This may sound overly grandiose, but the folk music purists hated it when Dylan decided to play loud electric Rock ‘n Roll, and I admire Dylan for not caring, and going ahead with what he wanted to do, in spite of how much his original followers hated it. Dylan went on to create some of his greatest music, because he was willing to leave his folk music purist audience behind, if they didn’t want to follow him in a new direction.

And no, I don’t think I’m on the level of Dylan, and I don’t have delusions of grandeur. I just admire artists and entertainers who aren’t perpetual crowd pleasers, and who are willing to take chances by doing what they really want to do, instead of what everyone else expects them to do.

But there is one post that I am sincerely sorry for, and it’s the one I posted before this one, When Two Blogs Become As One… It should have never been posted here on Word Play, or anywhere else online, because it’s a massive over share, and I should have known better than to go public with it.

I also know that it was potentially offensive to many of my Word Play readers (assuming you even read it) in a variety of ways, and here’s a quick run down of ways in which it was offensive.

1. The majority of my readership here on Word Play are middle aged married women with adolescent or young adult children. I’m sure that you were just impressed as hell with me, for posting a photo of myself at 17 years old, with my 16 year old girlfriend kissing me on a bed, while she was nude below the waist. My only defense is that Colleen and I were both Art majors in high school, and she was a willing participant who loved that photograph when she saw the print. She also would have no problem with me posting it online, since her true identity is 100% protected, and the image is very subtle, visually revealing very little – even though the meaning of the image is very direct.

2. My readership here does not want to read a history of my pre 1987 love life. Even more so, when I describe how I developed an emotional aversion to girls and young women who were probably very similar to who you were, when you were that age… and I left girls like you behind, to chase sexually promiscuous bad girls instead.

3. I’m sure that you identified with my wife, and sympathized with her, as you thought about how much you’d hate it, if your own husband posted online about his beautiful and sexy ex-girlfriends, and even included (non nude) photo portraits of them. My wife Jean is not very happy with me about that either, which is why the post is probably going to be deleted soon.

4. You do not want to read posts about my other blog on WP that has posts with graphically erotic content. I can promise you right now, that after today, you never will read anything again about my erotica blog here on this blog.

The last thing I’ll say about that post, is that it was 100% sincere and heartfelt, as an exploration of a very long phase of my life, in which I suffered from a lot of emotional pain, which I made worse with my own bad choices and self destructive behavior. But I still understand that you don’t want to read about it, and I don’t hold that against you. So I am sincerely sorry for posting it, and there will be no more posts like it here on Word Play again.

Peace… my WP friends. I know what’s wrong here, and I am going to fix it, by having more respect for your sensibilities and feelings, and I’m going to do the best I can, to be more consistent about reading your posts, and commenting on your posts, without hi-jacking them, or writing comments that are ridiculously long. I really like and respect all of you, and I know that I’ve been doing a piss poor job of letting you know that’s true. But not anymore… not after today.

I am Sorry!

       

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