A Note To A Bank

To:  The’Let’s Think Of How Many Ways We Can Screw Over Our Customers During A Pandemic’, Department.

Re: The changes you’re implementing to your credit card ‘Terms of Service’, wherein you are going to add the unpaid interest charge to the account balance, resulting in charging ‘interest on unpaid interest’. (which began in March 2020, just when the global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic were being felt – wot a coincidence, eh?)

Also, your intention to raise interest rates if the cardholder misses their minimum payment twice within 12 consecutive months, rather than the current practice of 2 missed payments in a row. (beginning in June 2020, just when the financial impacts of the ‘shutdowns’ around the world are heavily impacting the personal finances of … well, just about everyone – wot another coincidence, eh?)

What this means is that if anyone who is unable to make the appropriate payments to their credit card (and remember folks we’re in the midst of a pandemic where literally millions of people have lost their jobs/reduced income/etc) then those nasty defaulters will be suitably penalized, because hey, even multi-billion dollar corporations are hurting just as much as the little fella, amirite?

And just to round out this trilogy of ‘business as usual’ horror-fest, is the wonderful news that you are now offering Extended insurance to under your ‘Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Protection’ … which I’m sure will only cost the cardholder a small monthly fee to add to the many already supporting the spectacular, and I’m sure, ‘value-added’ services you offer.

Here’s the thing, Dear Bank, it’s not your money … let me say that again slowly … It’s … not … your … money. All you are, if all the bullshit is stripped away, is a replacement for the sock full of money stuffed under the mattress. Everything you’ve built for yourself out of that basic premise is has been founded on the principle of greed and venality.

Yours sincerely, The Person The Money Really Belongs To.

-oOo-

Funny how the bigger a company/corporation/service provider/business/institution is, the less willing they are to remember, and remain true to, where they came from.

So to each and every one them who has made the choice to put profits before people, (and I’m not talking about the idiocy of shooting yourself in the foot so you can give your shoes to someone else who’s walking barefoot – metaphorically speaking. ie people who are barely getting by anyway) let me ask you this, do you think you are immortal?

Our world is a closed system after all, and limits will be reached. Do you believe that ‘things’ will ‘return to normal’? Do you think we will not remember each and every one of you in the years and decades to come?

This time is a defining moment in the social evolution of our species.

Choose you way forward wisely.

Self-Entitlement

‘Of all the nasty human traits we’ve acquired over the centuries that Covid-19 has uncovered, self-entitlement is at the top of the rancid pile.’ … written by me, as a comment on a post by Luther Siler, wherein he has a wonderful rant about self-entitlement.

Each and every one of us, as we try and negotiate our way forward in a world which has changed forever, has a story about encountering arrogant idiots like the one in Luther’s post, who refuse to acknowledge that they are not the center of everyone else’s universe. (not that they ever were, except in their own delusions, but that’s another story)

Funny thing is, and what probably freaks them right out is that for every one of them, there are hundreds, thousands, of others who are holding the line.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got better things to do with my time and energy, (apart from a few swear-words and dirty looks, and occasional pointed comments in the direction of afore-mentioned idiots) like listening to the perfect song for these times we live within …

Bon Voyage, Little Richard – wherever you are, keep on rockin’ …

May the 4th Be With you

Last year the 9-movie Star Wars saga ended with Rise of Skywalker. (for better or worse, depending on your point of view. Not counting ‘solo’ and ‘Rogue One’) Which, with the hindsight that we now have in 2020 and the tectonic shifts the coronavirus and Covid-19 have brought about (and will continue to do so for the rest of the decade as country after country with little or no health-care resources, stable economic bases and governance, and less-than robust food security, add one more burden to their already breaking shoulders), created a certain grim symmetrical bookend to the last 43 years, that otherwise might’ve been missed.

There was (eg, The Mandalorian) and will be (eg, Taika Waititi – he, of the fabulously successful ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ – has just been tapped to co-write and direct a new Star Wars feature film) more Star Wars-ian stuff, but it is essentially the end of an era.

Just as there was a (mythically proportioned) ‘Golden Years of Hollywood’ so now the last 50 years of western cinema can claim a similar appellation. Perhaps we can call it ‘The Birth of Special Effects and CGI Era’. (a bit long and it doesn’t acronym-ise very well either – TBSECE)

The force, (or as it’s known for just one single day every year, a bit like Brigadoon  really, ‘the 4th’) as Yoda describes it, is another name for the energy that so many of us have seen come into its own of late. What ‘life on Earth’ might just be like if everyone strove for balance rather than the accumulation of ‘wealth’. Or perhaps it’s a desire to experience that balance for more than a few fleeting moments, as we realise on deeper and deeper levels just how far out of balance we truly did fall.

‘May the force be with you.’

 

‘Do, or do not. There is no try.’

Luke – ‘I don’t believe it.’ … Yoda – ‘That, is why you fail.’

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

In her post titled ‘Time out of time’, HecateDemeter opens with this line, ‘…There are only three days now – yesterday, today, and tomorrow…’ and there my attention stayed as I thunked thoughts of my own.

Yesterday – hmm … well, gone for good, I’d say. We, (humans) for the most part, weren’t listening anyway, so hence this bigger, much bigger, wake-up call.

Today – a waiting game, that we get through the best we can at any given moment.

Tomorrow – a three-fer:
T
omorrow, as in the day after today, isn’t going to be all that different from today.
The tomorrow after that will be a bit different in that ‘lockdown measures’ will start to ease, and those desperate to ‘return’ to ‘normal’ will feel their stress levels rise as the truth of what that ‘normal’ really means sinks in.
The final tomorrow – the one that is somewhere waaaay over there and months away, no-one knows anything about. ‘Talking heads’ will (and already are) positing what ‘things’ will be like then, as though nations bankrupting themselves, the failure of globalisation, and wealth continuing to ‘trickle’ upwards, will be ‘business as usual’.

I certainly don’t know … I have a bit of a list of things that I hope for, another list a bit longer, sadly, of things that I fear will happen, (which I put no energy into, ‘cos that path leads to the Dark Side) … but no, I don’t know … all there is in this moment in time, is yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

-oOo-

In the meantime, Bob the Bluebird of Bitterness has hunted and gathered these treats for you …

Margaritaville

Margaritaville

Cast A Giant Shadow

Some shadows, like pandemics, cover the world. Others, like this one, are bigger. (with thanks to Bob, the Bluebird of Bitterness, who is more about Silliness and Strangeness)

The Numbers Game

I’ve settled into a place, adjacent to where my Spirit finds equilibrium. Hardly any news-chasing, once a day really. Daily needs are met, and I’m feeling the stirrings of creativity. They don’t last, not yet, but I feel the day coming when they will.

I have one little quirk going on though. Each evening at around 11pm I open the Johns Hopkins Corona virus/Covid-19 site and log the confirmed cases numbers and compare them to the previous evening’s tally. Just the confirmed cases. I know if I did the same thing with the deaths, my still fragile and vulnerable ability to see my way clearly through this would not survive the immersion.

What solace I find in this, I’m not sure of. Perhaps it connects me to the stark reality of what our entire species on this planet is going through, especially because of how physically isolated I am here on our little island in the middle of a lake.

Oh, and one other quirk. I catch myself wrapping the fingers of my left hand around my thumb, most of the time without realising it. Not quite a fist, more of a protective gesture, because there are times when all I want to do is curl up in a ball and stay there.

Why am I telling you these things? I want you to know that no amount of peppy/supportive/uplifting videos, or tweets or facebook posts or ‘lifestyle’ articles is going to keep the grief and fear every one of us is feeling, (to greater and lesser amounts at any given time, it ebbs and flows) at bay for ever.

There IS a monster stalking us, and to deny our minds and bodies the ability to express those feelings is to give the monster another way to threaten us.

I’m not saying go dig potholes in your front yard, (well, maybe I am, a little bit, so long as you don’t have any close neighbours) but allow your body, your mind, your spirit, to tell you what it needs from you, your conscious mind.

Embrace the quirk … go crochet yourself some toilet paper.

Re-usable as well!

Re-usable as well!

 

Also … because I’m also feeling hopeful and sentimental…

Guns N’ Rosaries

Just heard on CBC news that the US government considers churches and gun shops to be ‘essential services’ …

… words … fail …

And the Typhoid Mary Award for What-The-Fuckery in 2020 goes to …

… Naomi Davis… and Clea Shearer…, a couple of plucky gals who aren’t going to let a little thing like a GLOBAL PANDEMIC stop them from doing something BREATHTAKINGLY FUCKING STUPID, (yes, I’m SWEARING and SHOUTING) like getting into their big rigs and heading out on the open road in search of … well, in search of more communities to infect.

Clea, accompanied by hubs, his mum, and their two kids are going from California to Nashville.

Naomi accompanied by hubs and five children, all shining bright with that true frontier spirit, are already on their way from New York to somewhere west.

Here’s the article that inspired me to make this award, and after reading, I’m sure you’ll all agree they are truly worthy recipients of this particular award. (there are, of course, many other types of ‘what-the-fuckery’ awards and recipients to be had during this time)

The article has live links and screen shots of their social media posts in case you think I’ve finally been taken over by the Twilight Zone.

Apart from the incredibly valid concerns mentioned in the article, there are a few more than haven’t been considered.

Emptying out the grey and black-water tanks. (that’s waste water, from the sink and shower – grey, and toilet – black) The corona virus has been demonstrably proven to exist in feces, (poop) so I don’t care how big your tanks are, with that many people pooping and showering and washing dishes, you’re going to need to empty them with alarming regularity.

Believe me, no matter how clean the facilities are, no matter how careful you are, you are guaranteed at least one splash. Even if you aren’t carrying the virus in your innards, you have no idea who was emptying their tanks, and had their singular ‘splash’ before you, or what they were carrying in their innards.

The corona virus has been demonstrably proven to remain airborne for up to 3 hours. (because the virus itself if really, really, really tiny) It has been demonstrably proven to remain on surfaces for hours to days, depending on the surface.

(Dr John Campbell has all the proofs to back up the ‘demonstrably-s’ I’ve mentioned, scattered throughout the last few weeks of his videos, usually from various global CDC’s and medical journals, scientific papers, etc)

Plus, the nomad community, although gaining more and more acceptability is still seen by many to be the lifestyle of those ‘unfortunates’ who can’t or won’t get a mortgage and live in a ‘real’ house, and can’t or won’t get a ‘real’ job … so when this finally blows up in these idiots faces, and it will, the fallout won’t be just on them.

But they’re not considering the true impact of the consequences of their actions on others, are they?

Funnily enough, when you think about it, that’s how this whole mess started in the first place.

-oOo-

It’s not that there aren’t other people out there doing reprehensible things like this, it’s just that out of an abundance of common sense, Mrs Widds and I have cancelled our ‘Wunder-Lusters’ plans for this year, and these reprehensibly arrogant fuckwits really got up my nose.

‘Common sense’ because until an antibody test becomes readily available, neither of us will know (unless we actually get sick) if we’ve even be exposed to the virus. (we’re both in the ‘vulnerable’ category. Mrs Widds is a disgustingly healthy 70, and I’m 61 with a compromised immune system) On top of that a viable vaccine won’t be readily available, probably until the end of the year.

About ‘Typhoid Mary’

Noticing Strange Things …

… like WordPress still not letting me ‘like’ comments on other people’s blogs, or my own for that matter … my solution: I’m going to reply with ‘liked!’ instead. The really weird thing is that every now and then, if someone has already ‘liked’ a comment, mine will stick too … very strange.

… like not being able to watch or listen to the news anymore without bursting into tears. Not huge tears, usually, just the leaky throat-catching, heart-squeezing kind … reading it is fine, (‘fine’ being relative these days) my exception being Dr John Campbell’s daily video updates. He’s the voice of grown-up, clarity without the sugar-coating or sensationalistic sound-byte-chasing that exists in mainstream reporting, and he’s usually onto things days before them too. This is his YouTube channel.

… like losing time, as though the gap between one moment and the next expands and I come back to myself still looking out the window five minutes later.

… like people having an ‘oops’ moment and stepping back a bit when they come together and realise they’re inside the two-meter ‘exclusion zone’ – fun fact, which may not be a fun fact per se, but after a bit of observation and subtle inquiries, most people tend to judge that distance to be the height of the person in front of them.

Give it a try and see what happens. (BUT only with someone in your HOUSEHOLD) … Without thinking about it too much, stand facing each other at what you think is 2 meters, then measure what the distance really is and compare that to how tall you both are. Let me know how it goes.

Here’s a little mnemonic device that I learned when I was a wee lass in the 70’s and Australia was in the throes of converting from the old Imperial system of measurements, to Metric … ‘a meter measures three foot three. It’s longer than a yard, you see’. So, 2 meters is 6’6″ … ooh, here’s another one … ‘a liter of water’s a pint and three-quarters’ … Heavens to Murgatriod! The things I find tucked away in the dusty corners of my mind!

The Running Of The Ducks

Just another workday at a winery in South Africa.

The winery? …Vergenoegd Lȍw Wine Estate.

The Workforce? … Pest Control and Fertilization at the same time …

 

They are well treated and when their ready to retire they are moved to an island on the property where they live their lives out in peace.

A bit more info from the Atlas Obscura article that arrived in my email in-box this morning… and the winery website.

… and another video … because we all need more Indian Runner Ducks in our lives today…

 

-oOo-

May these times pass us by unscathed, but if by chance we are scathed, may we live to tell the tale, because such tales as these need to be told.