Sunday, June 26, 2016

THE “4 WAYS TO WRITE LIKE ‘BUZZFEED’” WEBINAR KICKED MY BLOG’S BUTT

DISCLAIMER: This article makes no factual claims about BuzzFeed. As a matter of fact, I find it difficult to read BuzzFeed. But, I use the name “BUZZFEED” in quotation marks to symbolize “hip“, “trendy”, “social media” blogs who promote webinars on how to write in their cool style.

WHO AM I?
Apparently everyone under the age of 45 reads these, “hip”, “trendy” “with it” blogs. Okay, I am someone older than age 45, that’s about 20 years ago in my rear-view mirror. But, I blog. My blog has been pretty successful, I think – 1,000 readers from around the world a week. Okay, that’s not actually successful at all, even as Boomer blogs are judged. I’ve tried to promote it - I use social media advertising, not effectively, but I do use it. That’s probably why I’m “hot” in Pakistan. Also, China lifted its ban on my blog for using the name: Tien**man Square. My readership in China plummeted from 13 to 0.
To get more readers, other than Pakistan and the 13 regulars in China (I think it’s an ESL class), my blog needs some youthful-ness like “BuzzFeed”, "Bang Pop", "Shenanigans" or other popular blogs. Why not? I can do this. Like they say: “pump the ride”. (They? Like I say! And, why did I write pump the ride in quotes?) Let’s roll. Let’s do this.
“BuzzFeed” has a style, a less than age 45 style. The webinar was “all over” changing my style. I’m a man 65 years old +. I’m in my Mystic Phase, okay?  Insight happens. It’s hard to forget all your mistakes and get stupid again. Okay, that’s a lie.
I can’t actually become younger. Should I try? Does that mean I have to get into the lifestyle of someone 20 years younger? Wear a Red Sox cap backwards? Only wear my Bernie hoodie with the hood hiding my face? Pull my cargo-shorts below my tidy-whities? Drink power drinks and eat pizza? (Uh, this may not work. I’ve got just a lit-tle belly-fat and there’s always the hypoglycemia. And, all the salt may fire off the blood pressure and nullify my cardio-meds. I’ll call my Doc tomorrow.)
Okay, safer to try to write younger. Change my style. Think like a 40-something. Phase shift backwards in my mind. Change the topics I write about: Cookie Math, Hilariously real Tweets, Kanye West celebrity orgy, or Cat Memes. Use the word “whatever” a lot. Whatever.
Since I don’t have a consistent style, it couldn’t be too hard to change, right? After all, it’s not like I’m Ernest Hemingway or Hunter S. Thompson (remember them? Anybody?). My subject matter is not highly focused like Hemingway’s. At least I’m not consistently writing about bullfights or marlin fishing and then have to try to change into a successful “BuzzFeed” format. I definitely will not wind up with a headline like “27 Ways To Set The Hook!” or “9 Snarky Things To Say To Sharks.”
The webinar suggested I start by re-writing the hedlines of my last three blog posts in “BuzzFeed” style. What were my last three posts? “The Invisibles”, “We Pretend We Don’t Pretend” and “I Wrote This Post With Dahlias”. Oh, boy... this is gonna be brutal! Let’s “BuzzFeed”, ‘em, shall we, let’s kick butt!

WHAT DO I WANT?
I want what young readers want. My blog has been too introspective, too personal, too old guy. Topics are reflections on aging. My aging. Greying. Slowly, creeping decrepitude. Good god, nobody cares about this! I even wrote one whole post about arthritis and my total knee replacement. Geez, Jean! Stop that! Young! Write young! Think “BuzzFeed” style! Young, bright, Kanye in bed with whatever! Okay. I got it.
Statistics. The webinar said young people – meaning people alive - love statistics. Statistics make things relevant. Earthly. Useful. People want to know the science behind the story. One side of my soul says embrace the hard, the concrete, the practical, the day-to-day. That’s not you! It’s what’s  most relevant to 99.999% of the people living on earth. The other side of my soul says I am tired of material life and want the spiritual. <sigh> Change is hard. But, “27 research studies say using statistics in headlines captures attention.”
     Okay, Bzzzzzzzz!
     “The Invisibles” was about the life force called by Freud, “EROS” and about the invisible force of Death, THANATOS. How about this “BuzzFeed”-style re-writes: “3 Ways Hormones Go Wild! Thank You, Eros!”
Blew your hair back on your shaved head, didn’t it? Not your daddy’s kinda headline.
     “We Pretend We Don’t Pretend” was about how society does not reflect our personal values. The play on words was confusing. Get concrete, Jean! How about: “2 Reasons Your Neighbor Owns So Many Glocks”.
Got the attention of you gun toters, didn’t that?
     Next - “I Wrote This Post In Dahlias” and then I posted photos of dahlias which I will re-photograph during the season. Oooh, boy. This is a toughie! The webinar gave us very explicit instructions about using sexual language (do it!). Flowers, after all, are all about sex. Not to mention the honey bees! I’ll revise this one in a minute.
Pump the ride.

WHY AM I HERE?
So, here’s how I will henceforth use “BuzzFeed”-style to pump this blog:

Step 1 – everything has to have steps.
First, like I said, statistics. Where does “BuzzFeed” get statistics? I started combing the daily paper and I started lurking and listening to people at the brewpub. It’s easy! You just pay attention to life! Here’s what I got:
     “8 WAYS TO SAY FAGETABOUTIT!”
     “14 WAYS TO BECOME VISIBLE TO SOMEONE UNDER 30!”
     “4 POWER PHRASES TO STOP TWEENAGERS IN THEIR TRACKS!”
Oh, yeah, and don’t forget the exclamation point!

Step 2 – Use Power Words like “carnage” and “brutal”. These are magnetic and draw readers. Also, “doubt” is a great attractor. This generation feels put down. They read anybody who tells them why they are failing.
“10 REASONS WHY YOUR “5 REASONS WHY YOU DIDN’T DO WHATEVER” ISN’T ENOUGH!”
“THE NAUGHTY REASONS THE 3 BILLY GOATS GOT GRUFF!”
“RAINBOW CARNAGE – THE PRISM BRUTALLY SHREDS WHITE LIGHT!”
Bet-ter? Is this Better?

Step 3 – Sexual Innuendo.
It’s a game of manipulation, isn’t it?
“Buzz” and “Feed” create the buzz and feed it with small facts. Innuendo is carefully constructed words. Not real sexual descriptions.
Now, I need to dial up sexual references in my blog. Lust, sex, passion, that’s what people are looking for, by “people” the webinar said that the 20-30 year olds are actually “sexting” one another.
Sex-ting? Really? You 40-somethings do that? O-kay.
I really don’t think any readers of any age want a 67-year-old man sex-ting in a blog – especially my readers in Pakistan or China.  Besides, I think I can remember what I think “sexting” would have been if, and it’s a big if, we had the technology for selfies which we thankfully didn’t.  
Writing the sexy headlines are tough enough. How will it read when I write “hot sex passionate deep wise ‘seasoned’ sexting headlines?” Here we go!
     “CANDY MAKER’S FUDGE GETS HARD”
“FLOWERS “DEFLOWERED” BY LICKING HONEY BEES – “It’s just TOO good!” The Big Red Dahlia Said.”

Okay, that’s enough, Jean, stand down. (At my age, I probably shouldn't have written that.) Roll Viagra commercial.

Thank you “Write LikeBuzzFeed’ Webinar”, I can already imagine the six new reasons six new readers will soon be flocking in to read my blog.

© Copyright 2016, Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved

Friday, June 24, 2016

THE INVISIBLES

WHO AM I?
The invisibles are back and they have made our garden verdant.
The Forget Me Nots are done and into seed. The Roses have just passed their prime. The Day Lilies are soaring toward the Sun. Tomatoes are fruiting. The Raspberries have not begun. The Elderberry flowers are in white unopened pods.
     Even this far north in Vermont at summer Solstice, the life force is driving us all.  Inwardly, with the days longer than the night, we can’t but feel stimulated, feel so alive. And, our communities are alive, too. People walking in bright shorts. On porches. Sun bathing in swimming pools. At night I smell skunks.
     The single-mom next door took her 7th and 8th grade son and daughter to national sporting competitions. They are nice tweenagers. They are excellent athletes. But, she is a single mom, and really doesn’t have the money to put out for gas, hotel rooms and meals. But, she said must go because they are fully alive, and to say “no” might be at risk for that energy getting misdirected. Their dream deferred. She worries about what would happen if she didn’t sacrifice. They will share a room with another single mom and kids. Take a toaster to eat bagels and cream cheese.  Hot dogs in a crockpot.
     The one invisible force of life was called by Freud, “Eros”, a name picked up from the ancient Roman God. “Eros”, the life force, is an invisible force which enwraps us all - teenagers, mothers, watchers like me, trees, the entire earth. It can’t be denied. It can’t be stopped. It must be served. All plants serve the life forces. Tweenagers try to cope with “Eros”. Hormones go wild. There is risk. There is danger as to where plants will grow, teenagers will meet or experiment with drugs.

WHY AM I HERE?
“Eros” is stronger than we imagine.
     Army Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a military psychologist and researcher into warfare, in his book On Killing, lays the fundamental resistance humans have to killing one another to the invisible force of “Eros”. He says: “In each of us, at some gut level, we know we are somehow interconnected with each other, with life.”
     But, the military, in order to get humans to kill one another work with another force Freud identified: “Thanatos” – the death instinct. The military, and militarism, glorifies death over life. This is not without cost to us all. The resulting conflict between these two invisible forces within us which struggle and result in all sorts of psychological anxieties, fears, stress disorders, depression, addiction, conflict, trauma between couples, and so on leading to social and individual insanity – “Thanatos”, the death impulse. Coming soon to a corner near you. If not there, then how about a matinee?.
     These struggles are Grossman’s area of expertise. His career was built on attempting to help soldiers, and citizens, to heal after mass shootings or war, and attempt to resume a “normal” life. And, a “normal” life is a life devoted to “Eros” – to life. Life devoted to life and living, why does that sound odd?
     It sounds strange to say or write because we may know in our gut that killing goes against our in-built orientation for “Eros”, for living or life in all manifestations, but we also have another cultural invisible which is our need to say what is socially acceptable. Integrity, truth is weaker than social forces.
     Our culture, our society cannot face the difficult task of introspection. Soldiers, police officers, threatening spouses, “high” or drunk neighbors, accidental shooters who kill a family member, suffer. Our communities suffer. We know this. We know the results. Yet, we give the answers we think people want to hear. The conflict between these two invisible forces results in the answers that fit the image of violence which is offered by a third invisible - television and film. An empire of forces of illusion invisibly enwrap us.
     Why are we given these powerful invisible forces and a militaristic culture which promotes them?  To resist. According to Grossman’s research there is an even stronger force asleep within our nature waiting to be released.

WHAT DO I WANT?
One part is a social alogrhythm scientists have identified in flocks of flying birds. To keep from flying into one another, they triangulate off one another. When one moves, a group of six or seven adjust themselves to the movement. Family therapy based on Systems Theory says something is similar within families as well. Or, neighborhoods. Or churches. Or shops. Businesses. Work teams. We adjust to one another, invisibly. You change. I adjust.,
     A second part is the force of courage. Now, the media or pop culture glorify violence by feeding us a steady diet of fear. We may cause us to live in fear. All sorts of fear, big and small, live in us. Fear of being embarrassed to help a single mom. But, courage can overcome that fear – any fear. Courage to ask: “How about I feed your cat?”
Dave Grossman’s research says kindness is a far stronger force. And, he offers us a poem written perhaps 100 years ago:

“They Take Not Their Courage From Anger”
In a vision of the night I saw them
  In  the battles of the night.
‘Mid the roar and the reeling shadows of blood
  They were moving like light...

With scrutiny calm and with fingers
  Patient as swift
They bind up the hurts  and pain-writhen
  Bodies uplift...

But they take not their courage from anger
  That blinds the hot being;
They take not their pity from weakness;
  Tender yet seeing...

They endure to have eyes of the watcher
  In hell not to swerve
For an hour from the faith that they follow,
  The light that they serve.

Man true to man, to his kindness
  That overflows all,
To his spirit erect in the thunder
  When all his forts fall, --

This light, in the tiger-mad welter,
  They serve and they save.
What song shall be worthy to sing them –
  Braver than the brave?

The Healers by Laurence Binyon, World War I veteran“

ON KILLING, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Little Brown and Company, 1965

© Copyright 2016, Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved


==========================


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THE INVISIBLES

WHO AM I?
The invisibles are back and they have made our garden verdant.
The Forget Me Nots are done and into seed. The Roses have just passed their prime. The Day Lilies are soaring toward the Sun. Tomatoes are fruiting. The Raspberries have not begun. The Elderberry flowers are in white unopened pods.
     Even this far north in Vermont at summer Solstice, the life force is driving us all.  Inwardly, with the days longer than the night, we can’t but feel stimulated, feel so alive. And, our communities are alive, too. People walking in bright shorts. On porches. Sun bathing in swimming pools. At night I smell skunks.
     The single-mom next door took her 7th and 8th grade son and daughter to national sporting competitions. They are nice tweenagers. They are excellent athletes. But, she is a single mom, and really doesn’t have the money to put out for gas, hotel rooms and meals. But, she said must go because they are fully alive, and to say “no” might be at risk for that energy getting misdirected. Their dream deferred. She worries about what would happen if she didn’t sacrifice. They will share a room with another single mom and kids. Take a toaster to eat bagels and cream cheese.  Hot dogs in a crockpot.
     The one invisible force of life was called by Freud, “Eros”, a name picked up from the ancient Roman God. “Eros”, the life force, is an invisible force which enwraps us all - teenagers, mothers, watchers like me, trees, the entire earth. It can’t be denied. It can’t be stopped. It must be served. All plants serve the life forces. Tweenagers try to cope with “Eros”. Hormones go wild. There is risk. There is danger as to where plants will grow, teenagers will meet or experiment with drugs.

WHY AM I HERE?
“Eros” is stronger than we imagine.
     Army Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a military psychologist and researcher into warfare, in his book On Killing, lays the fundamental resistance humans have to killing one another to the invisible force of “Eros”. He says: “In each of us, at some gut level, we know we are somehow interconnected with each other, with life.”
     But, the military, in order to get humans to kill one another work with another force Freud identified: “Thanatos” – the death instinct. The military, and militarism, glorifies death over life. This is not without cost to us all. The resulting conflict between these two invisible forces within us which struggle and result in all sorts of psychological anxieties, fears, stress disorders, depression, addiction, conflict, trauma between couples, and so on leading to social and individual insanity – “Thanatos”, the death impulse. Coming soon to a corner near you. If not there, then how about a matinee?.
     These struggles are Grossman’s area of expertise. His career was built on attempting to help soldiers, and citizens, to heal after mass shootings or war, and attempt to resume a “normal” life. And, a “normal” life is a life devoted to “Eros” – to life. Life devoted to life and living, why does that sound odd?
     It sounds strange to say or write because we may know in our gut that killing goes against our in-built orientation for “Eros”, for living or life in all manifestations, but we also have another cultural invisible which is our need to say what is socially acceptable. Integrity, truth is weaker than social forces.
     Our culture, our society cannot face the difficult task of introspection. Soldiers, police officers, threatening spouses, “high” or drunk neighbors, accidental shooters who kill a family member, suffer. Our communities suffer. We know this. We know the results. Yet, we give the answers we think people want to hear. The conflict between these two invisible forces results in the answers that fit the image of violence which is offered by a third invisible - television and film. An empire of forces of illusion invisibly enwrap us.
     Why are we given these powerful invisible forces and a militaristic culture which promotes them?  To resist. According to Grossman’s research there is an even stronger force asleep within our nature waiting to be released.

WHAT DO I WANT?
One part is a social alogrhythm scientists have identified in flocks of flying birds. To keep from flying into one another, they triangulate off one another. When one moves, a group of six or seven adjust themselves to the movement. Family therapy based on Systems Theory says something is similar within families as well. Or, neighborhoods. Or churches. Or shops. Businesses. Work teams. We adjust to one another, invisibly. You change. I adjust.,
     A second part is the force of courage. Now, the media or pop culture glorify violence by feeding us a steady diet of fear. We may cause us to live in fear. All sorts of fear, big and small, live in us. Fear of being embarrassed to help a single mom. But, courage can overcome that fear – any fear. Courage to ask: “How about I feed your cat?”
Dave Grossman’s research says kindness is a far stronger force. And, he offers us a poem written perhaps 100 years ago:

“They Take Not Their Courage From Anger”
In a vision of the night I saw them
  In  the battles of the night.
‘Mid the roar and the reeling shadows of blood
  They were moving like light...

With scrutiny calm and with fingers
  Patient as swift
They bind up the hurts  and pain-writhen
  Bodies uplift...

But they take not their courage from anger
  That blinds the hot being;
They take not their pity from weakness;
  Tender yet seeing...

They endure to have eyes of the watcher
  In hell not to swerve
For an hour from the faith that they follow,
  The light that they serve.

Man true to man, to his kindness
  That overflows all,
To his spirit erect in the thunder
  When all his forts fall, --

This light, in the tiger-mad welter,
  They serve and they save.
What song shall be worthy to sing them –
  Braver than the brave?

The Healers by Laurence Binyon, World War I veteran“

ON KILLING, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Little Brown and Company, 1965

© Copyright 2016, Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved


==========================


Sample 20% At Smashwords
TH3 SIMPLE QUESTIONS: Slice Open Everyday Life
The first six months of posts for this blog. 

CLICK TO VISIT THE SMASHWORDS.COM WEB SITE:


READ SAMPLE CHAPTERS AT BUBLISH:


------------------------------------------------------------ 
The first six months of the The Three Simple Questions bLog is available in book form!


REVIEWS:
JACK MAGNUS / Readers Favorite Review:  http://ow.ly/Xrogz
     5-Stars
BRENDA HAMMOND / GoodReads Review - http://ow.ly/Xrp2Z
    "You should buy this."
MARK KRAUSMAN  / GoodReads Review - http://ow.ly/Xrp0G
     5Stars


READ SAMPLE CHAPTERS AT BUBLISH:


WHERE TO BUY:\ TH3 SIMPLE QUESTIONS: Slice Open Everyday Life
AMAZON AUTHOR SITE: http://tinyurl.com/jk9a6e7
BARNES & NOBLE: http://tinyurl.com/hzsyxun








THE INVISIBLES

WHO AM I?
The invisibles are back and they have made our garden verdant.
The Forget Me Nots are done and into seed. The Roses have just passed their prime. The Day Lilies are soaring toward the Sun. Tomatoes are fruiting. The Raspberries have not begun. The Elderberry flowers are in white unopened pods.
     Even this far north in Vermont at summer Solstice, the life force is driving us all.  Inwardly, with the days longer than the night, we can’t but feel stimulated, feel so alive. And, our communities are alive, too. People walking in bright shorts. On porches. Sun bathing in swimming pools. At night I smell skunks.
     The single-mom next door took her 7th and 8th grade son and daughter to national sporting competitions. They are nice tweenagers. They are excellent athletes. But, she is a single mom, and really doesn’t have the money to put out for gas, hotel rooms and meals. But, she said must go because they are fully alive, and to say “no” might be at risk for that energy getting misdirected. Their dream deferred. She worries about what would happen if she didn’t sacrifice. They will share a room with another single mom and kids. Take a toaster to eat bagels and cream cheese.  Hot dogs in a crockpot.
     The one invisible force of life was called by Freud, “Eros”, a name picked up from the ancient Roman God. “Eros”, the life force, is an invisible force which enwraps us all - teenagers, mothers, watchers like me, trees, the entire earth. It can’t be denied. It can’t be stopped. It must be served. All plants serve the life forces. Tweenagers try to cope with “Eros”. Hormones go wild. There is risk. There is danger as to where plants will grow, teenagers will meet or experiment with drugs.

WHY AM I HERE?
“Eros” is stronger than we imagine.
     Army Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a military psychologist and researcher into warfare, in his book On Killing, lays the fundamental resistance humans have to killing one another to the invisible force of “Eros”. He says: “In each of us, at some gut level, we know we are somehow interconnected with each other, with life.”
     But, the military, in order to get humans to kill one another work with another force Freud identified: “Thanatos” – the death instinct. The military, and militarism, glorifies death over life. This is not without cost to us all. The resulting conflict between these two invisible forces within us which struggle and result in all sorts of psychological anxieties, fears, stress disorders, depression, addiction, conflict, trauma between couples, and so on leading to social and individual insanity – “Thanatos”, the death impulse. Coming soon to a corner near you. If not there, then how about a matinee?.
     These struggles are Grossman’s area of expertise. His career was built on attempting to help soldiers, and citizens, to heal after mass shootings or war, and attempt to resume a “normal” life. And, a “normal” life is a life devoted to “Eros” – to life. Life devoted to life and living, why does that sound odd?
     It sounds strange to say or write because we may know in our gut that killing goes against our in-built orientation for “Eros”, for living or life in all manifestations, but we also have another cultural invisible which is our need to say what is socially acceptable. Integrity, truth is weaker than social forces.
     Our culture, our society cannot face the difficult task of introspection. Soldiers, police officers, threatening spouses, “high” or drunk neighbors, accidental shooters who kill a family member, suffer. Our communities suffer. We know this. We know the results. Yet, we give the answers we think people want to hear. The conflict between these two invisible forces results in the answers that fit the image of violence which is offered by a third invisible - television and film. An empire of forces of illusion invisibly enwrap us.
     Why are we given these powerful invisible forces and a militaristic culture which promotes them?  To resist. According to Grossman’s research there is an even stronger force asleep within our nature waiting to be released.

WHAT DO I WANT?
One part is a social alogrhythm scientists have identified in flocks of flying birds. To keep from flying into one another, they triangulate off one another. When one moves, a group of six or seven adjust themselves to the movement. Family therapy based on Systems Theory says something is similar within families as well. Or, neighborhoods. Or churches. Or shops. Businesses. Work teams. We adjust to one another, invisibly. You change. I adjust.,
     A second part is the force of courage. Now, the media or pop culture glorify violence by feeding us a steady diet of fear. We may cause us to live in fear. All sorts of fear, big and small, live in us. Fear of being embarrassed to help a single mom. But, courage can overcome that fear – any fear. Courage to ask: “How about I feed your cat?”
Dave Grossman’s research says kindness is a far stronger force. And, he offers us a poem written perhaps 100 years ago:

“They Take Not Their Courage From Anger”
In a vision of the night I saw them
  In  the battles of the night.
‘Mid the roar and the reeling shadows of blood
  They were moving like light...

With scrutiny calm and with fingers
  Patient as swift
They bind up the hurts  and pain-writhen
  Bodies uplift...

But they take not their courage from anger
  That blinds the hot being;
They take not their pity from weakness;
  Tender yet seeing...

They endure to have eyes of the watcher
  In hell not to swerve
For an hour from the faith that they follow,
  The light that they serve.

Man true to man, to his kindness
  That overflows all,
To his spirit erect in the thunder
  When all his forts fall, --

This light, in the tiger-mad welter,
  They serve and they save.
What song shall be worthy to sing them –
  Braver than the brave?

The Healers by Laurence Binyon, World War I veteran“

ON KILLING, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Little Brown and Company, 1965

© Copyright 2016, Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved


==========================

Sample 20% At Smashwords
TH3 SIMPLE QUESTIONS: Slice Open Everyday Life
The first six months of posts for this blog. 

CLICK TO VISIT THE SMASHWORDS.COM WEB SITE:


READ SAMPLE CHAPTERS AT BUBLISH:


------------------------------------------------------------ 
The first six months of the The Three Simple Questions bLog is available in book form!


REVIEWS:
JACK MAGNUS / Readers Favorite Review:  http://ow.ly/Xrogz
     5-Stars
BRENDA HAMMOND / GoodReads Review - http://ow.ly/Xrp2Z
    "You should buy this."
MARK KRAUSMAN  / GoodReads Review - http://ow.ly/Xrp0G
     5Stars


READ SAMPLE CHAPTERS AT BUBLISH:


WHERE TO BUY:\ TH3 SIMPLE QUESTIONS: Slice Open Everyday Life
AMAZON AUTHOR SITE: http://tinyurl.com/jk9a6e7
BARNES & NOBLE: http://tinyurl.com/hzsyxun








Friday, June 3, 2016

WE PRETEND WE DON’T PRETEND

WHO AM I?
We pretend our lives are richer because we are wrapped in technology. We pretend our day-to-day-ness is not carried out in a system that requires we buy things. We pretend we are free when we buy the “best” brands. We pretend that we do not define ourselves by the status which these brands bestow upon us. I mean, I feel good when someone notices the shoes I wear. I feel less at the gym, when my gear is not top of the line, but I pretend this is not so.
     Police pretend that wielding arbitrary power is observing the legal code. Social media pretends that reducing human interaction to a process of “likes” and machines is more human than, say conversation, right? I can contact lots of FB friends rather than walking down the block. More is better, right? Which one is real? Society pretends that the disintegration of home-made-ness through shopping at dollar store chains is actually the ultimate liberation of the individual – that what is freed is the time spent creating a birthday card. We pretend it is “no big deal” spending less time with each other. I actually like the cheap design rather than my own crude, hand lettered card.
     We pretend our freedom of thought does not change when we face a college-ruled pad or a Samsung Note 4 screen. If only we had this or that app, then we could do that! The software manufacturers pretend that their products make better thinking possible, and not just following commands. That word processing is not, well, processing but really more thinking. They pretend that their products are liberating for human beings even though what we do requires their products. We pretend we will probably think better if we put our naturally free thinking capacities into the thought architectures of software, but we never compare that with the alternative. Why compare? Software thinking is easier. It’s all thought out for us. It’s easier.
     Consumptive economic society pretends to respect human rights and human freedoms. We pretend our society does not strips all natural community cultures, local retailers, local values, and replace them with a “capitalistic consumer culture” and calls this progress, estimates employment opportunities, measures the potential as the gross national product and focuses childhood, education and family life to keeping this culture in place. We pretend that’s the way it ought to be. Why else are we here?

WHY AM I HERE?
We are told when we join the consumer culture we will become free. That are told, and we pretend we are liberated. From what are we liberated? What do we give up? What do we give up in our quest for freedom? Values which don’t “fit” in the corporate culture. We pretend this is good.
Corporate culture is organized around exclusiveness, exclusion, brand-specific behavior, but we pretend otherwise. It does not value groups which are organized around non-exclusive values – friends, family, music, church, locally grown food, shade-tree mechanics, garage bands, dancing in the street, baby-sitting co-ops, co-op groceries, individual freedom, human rights. We pretend these things are value-less because they come from the non-economic world.
We pretend corporations do not persecute us. We pretend that what they do is not a conscious choice. We pretend they are not like “active shooters.” We pretend that our government does not choose to value corporations over people. Our government pretends that the expansion of corporate influence is the support of the oppressed... that corporate culture is “better than” amateur, “do-it-yourself” culture.
We pretend we are not demoralized. We pretend we are not living within the corporatism lie. We pretend we have no crisis of human identity. We pretend this is not a reverse, mirror image of totalitarianism, formerly-Soviet life which then crushed human freedom. We pretend the voters in this election are not responding to this angst.

WHAT DO I WANT?
Where is the free human being? The human being not enslaved by technology? The human being living off the grid, and out of consumer culture? Living with the home-made? Living with knitting, not knitted? Living with hand-lettered? Stepping into humanity? Into the community which loves each member? Which does not need chain stores?
We exist, we “alternative” community members, in what is called a parallel polis – a parallel world. We seek out lives and training that values the human. We are creative. Inventive. Unafraid. Curious. We create browsers. We change what is built-in. We hop-up our cars. We do-it-ourselves.
You see us in co-ops, farmers markets and neighborhood child care centers. We are little retail shops. We are women who raise chickens and have egg customers. We are a society that is parallel to the outward, large, consumer society. We dare for one another, and care for one another.
The world pretends we don’t exist.
But, when the corporate / political polis collapses, you will be glad to find the egg lady. She does exist. Koo-koo-ka-chew!

© Copyright 2016, Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved
http://goo.gl/veiR16

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Thursday, June 2, 2016

I WROTE THIS BLOG POST IN DAHLIAS

WHO ARE THEY?
This is just an introduction to the characters. They are the ones who will write the real "story" here  over the months before the snow flies. They will grow. Be tween-agers. Get mature. Age and get ready for winter. These Dahlias grow to be different sizes. If you see a cage around them now, when you come back another time, they will be larger. Eventually huge.

My wife is the designer of the story. And, for a real-life drama, she sprained her wrist trying to dig Bishops Weed out of our garden. We were under some time pressure to get these into the ground. She was so anxious, she actually took me up on my offer to help her plant - a risky thing to do at best. So, she was the "overseer" as we planted  these on June 1, 2016. 

Come back and visit the "plot" as it develops.

YELLOW
I am the compost maker, turner, grass trimmer and mulch bag toter lest you think she does all the work. But, she is the Garden Maker.  I am the Wine Maker. These beauties adorn our current bushes, strawberry patch, raspberry bushes and elderberry trees.

PINK PEARL
This Dahlia is one which I bought for my wife many years ago when we lived in Michigan. Most of the Dahlias are gifts from friends and are taken in before winter here in Vermont.

J.P.
Will be a "big 'un"!  My wife carefully plans where she will site each plant so that the extremely tall ones get planted near smaller plantings.

GLEN'S RED
BLUSHY PEACH
Orange. REALLY Orange.

BIG PUMPKIN
We over-winter the Dahlias in my wine cellar. They sit quietly in the dark atop my home made wine which sits in bottles and boxes on the floor. The yeasts in the wine and the Dahlias have a pleasant winter conversation, I am sure.

BABYLON


(c) Copyright 2016, Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved

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