Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

I am reading two great books about pan- and epidemics that prove we are idiots.

New Pandemics, Old Politics by Alex De Waal clearly shows us that history repeats and repeats and repeats and we never ever learn a damn thing. We follow an old script that never worked in the first place, and that is, we are in a war against pathogens, and ignore science. We don’t see the forest for the trees. We ignore or downplay evidence that is so in our faces, that it could be on our faces.

Modern Epidemics by Salvador Macip agrees, ‘We don’t learn from our errors.’

Neither do we learn from the facts.

Instead we whoosh around like the morons we are, motivated by emotions. Emotions are never logical and can be deadly.

I am fed up with the entire Covid pandemic, not because of the isolation or masks, but because of the astounding and abounding stupidity of the masses. They talk trash, throw trash and make an unpleasant situation a thousand times more unpleasant. I have lost patience with it all.

I could state all the facts and evidence that vaccines work until the cows come home, but people get high on emotions, even to their last denying, dying breath.

The solution to our problem is so simple and easy. Get vaccinated. Wear masks. Social distance. If you do this, our problem will be temporary. But as long as you scream and yell, make this a political issue and refuse the above, the longer this will go on, Covid will be a pandemic forever, and your life will be very short.

Headphones

This is an old pet peeve, right up there with telephones, rockets and cars.

I live in a thin walled apartment. Noise is a common complaint of most multi dwelling tenants.

My neighbours are young. Fresh tenants. Their bed rubs against the wall letting me know they have a good time at least once a week. I am glad they are not tantric lovers, it is over in a few minutes.

But I guess the short love making had to be offset by something more lasting, so they installed a keyboard. In their bedroom. Next to the bed. Against my bedroom wall.

Who plays piano in their bedroom?

I had come home from getting the jab (covid vaccine) and wanted to lie down for a nap, when, my goodness, Nick Rhodes was in my bedroom pounding out a good tune. Fortunately, the person could play the piano. That is the only good thing.

So I solved that problem, easy enough, a nice little note. Turn off the sound, listen with your headphones please! Okay.

But these neighbors went on to install the nemesis of all my bad dreams, the horror of every tenant every where. Video games. Video games have bass, a lot of bass, buzzing, vibrating your ornaments off your shelves bass. Repetitive, throbbing mind numbing, hours and hours and hours of bass.

In their bedroom.

WHY?

Okay, I don’t want to know. Just please. Everyone out there who wants to make noise. Delights in noise. Can’t live without noise. Turn the sound off and wear F’in headphones!

Cocker Spaniel

During the war, my Mother lived near Camp Barriefield (now McNaughton Barracks) and that is where she met a handsome Sergeant Major, my Dad.

My grandfather gave Mom a cocker spaniel to keep her company as she was often alone on the farm. That dog was under the bed at the least sign of trouble, except when the sound of an old two seater motorcycle, the kind with a side carriage came rumbling up the road. That was my Dad coming to visit. He loved my Dad. Not because my Dad was so nice. It was the motorcycle.

Mom and Willie

After Dad’s visit, as soon as he fired up the old cycle and was on his way, that devil may care cocker spaniel could squirm free of any constraint and was in hot pursuit, tongue hanging out, ears flying, all the way back to Barriefield.

And with tongue hanging out, ears flying, that clever dog would get a joyous ride in the side cab all the way back home.

Prayer Psalm 121

My Mom’s birthday was last week. I have some good memories.

During the depression, my Mother and her Dad lived on a farm near Kingston, that the 401 highway now ungraciously divides in half.

Fortunately, my Mother had interesting stories to tell of such a miserable time. She managed to make the humourless a bit entertaining.

Like when she told me they ate turnips for an entire year. I couldn’t eat turnips until I was a junior senior.

Perhaps the story I like best is Psalm 121.

Many hobos would come to their farm and my Mother and Grandfather would feed them and help them out for a short spell. She never thought much of it. One of them gifted her a metal tin with roses on it, which I still have.

When the person was about to leave, my Mom would recite Psalm 121 to them.

I just think that is so neat.

Mad Max World

The highway in front of my apartment building has become a drag strip for motorcycles. Their high pitched whines like nails on chalkboard.

Every weekend there are over a hundred stunt driving arrests.

I’ve seen vehicles drive over the lawn instead of going a few feet more to the entrance of the shopping mall.

Cars speed up when they see pedestrians crossing the road, or refuse to apply brakes to at least slow their trajectory.

Bicyclists ignore traffic lights, I’ve almost been hit twice now, and they swear at me and give me the finger.

In Providence they have a colossal problem with ATV drivers who go through red lights and gang up on car drivers and beat them up.

The Greek Church next door blatantly disregarded the law (both lockdown and noise regulations) and had a huge outdoor party in August and kept the entire neighbourhood up, blasting music and shouting until 2 a.m. They still adamantly have their festival and lure hundreds to eat and drink and dance and shout past midnight for 14 days running (though they think they are clever and for covid reasons have reduced it to two-3 day weekends in a row instead, for now.) My opinion is this: If you are stupid enough to be in a crowd of hundreds of people and whoop it up for hours during a pandemic, well…)

In our stores we have anti maskers who scream in your face and can’t mind their own business, and anti-vaxxers who storm buildings (even the wrong ones) in protest.

Our pandemic world looks a lot like Mad Max’s world, post apocalypse.

I am hoping it is just backlash to being confined so long, albeit a very immature and selfish backlash. Go out and expend your energies cleaning up the trash instead of being trash. Instead of wild parties that destroy everything in their wake, including lives, use that energy to help someone fix up their house, go shopping for them, do something useful. Like, I need even say this?

Royals

I like the British Royal family.

Oh, yes, I know, they are humans and have their fair share of scandals. Not pretty.

I just like the look of them. I like beautiful things. They have so much class. They way they walk, talk, dress. The veneer may be thin, but I don’t care. I like all that pomp and circumstance. It is a fairly tale.

I don’t expect anything from them. They are celebrities. But unlike some actors, billionaires and certainly most musicians, they have class.

It is good they don’t currently have much power or say in the political realm or we would have dictators. It seems to be a common human flaw. A little bit of power and zoom! We are going to oppress the masses. Off with their heads!

Disenfranchised royals however, that whine and complain about how difficult life is, is another matter entirely. It is like a bad smell to go on Oprah and whine when you live a privileged life for no reason other than it was gifted you by default of your birth and genetics. Where is the dignity and class in that? And we all have problems. Get over it. Grow up. Live with your choices. No one gives a shit about my choices. Friends would slap me in the head, and rightly so, or desert me completely, if I became a snivelling rat over my problems. I know because I have done it (cringe, cringe). Now I have one person pity parties. I don’t invite the whole world to feel sorry for me.

I do not envy royals at all. It would be like living under a microscope. Must be very hard work and tiring to maintain that outward perfection. But for me, I get to enjoy the end product. They look so good!

Organized Religion

The pandemic has soured me to all forms of organized religion.

They are all cults.

Now, mind you, many churches have done commendable things. They have helped people in need. I have seen a church I once belonged to buy a car for a family, help with rent payments, buy food, get people jobs. These are the things I expect a loving community to do. I would expect people of God to do. Leaders to do. These are not above and beyond board duties, this comes with being a Christian. It is not exemplary. In fact, if you are doing good in order to indoctrinate someone to your church, you are in a cult. If you do good irrespective of religion, you are a good human being.

Out of the pandemic surfaced dictators. Cult leaders that do not care for their flock. Tyrants who use the name of God for their own ego and agenda, who defied science and the law and brought people together and exposed them to covid. And people died. DIED. Needlessly.

How many times have I read about congregations with smug, outrageous ministers who thumbed their almighty nose at common sense, science and the law, insisted on mass gatherings without social distancing and masks, oh, because God will protect them, we demand our freedom! Then two weeks later, they all moan and cry and set up go fund me pages because entire families contracted and died from covid they got at these rallies. Self serving trump like rallies. SHAME. SHAME. SHAME.

And evangelicals who worship a man, a politician, who has probably violated every good thing mentioned in the Bible. Who fly around in million dollar airplanes, party on yachts, have ‘pool boys’. Bleed people for money to support their debauchery. Bible thumpers who never cracked open a Bible in their life. Yes, I am plenty mad about it. Sick too.

PEEVED.

I will never go back to Church. Never.

Perpetual Outrage

I can’t stand unfinished business, but admittedly, some of life is just that. Unresolved mysteries and befuddlements. Some things are better left alone.

What gnaws at my bones is failure of accountability and injustice. An endless stream of unpunished crimes makes me crazy. Heinous politicians and wealthy oligarchs stoop to such levels of depravity that even the worst kind of fiction novel could not emulate. Meanwhile, petty crimes and misdemeanors from the lowly average person, result in decades of imprisonment.

This constant inundation of lawlessness does not numb, it causes perpetual outrage. I feel like I am screaming inside all the time.

However, this is Hollywood.

We are ravenous for scandal. Yes, that is all it is. Entertainment. For whatever reason, the masses are to be kept stirred up and hollering. Unrest. Imagine if justice was served. Good Lord! There’d be peace! Things would get done!

The Navigator

When galleons ruled the seas, new lands were being discovered and fortunes were made and lost in trade and piracy. John Scott, a retired English sea captain, is seduced by tales of treasure in uncharted waters of the North Pacific. As a true seaman, he is enticed by adventure and forsakes his wife and home to hunt for a phantom island and it’s bounty.

CHAPTER ONE THE INVITATION
Amongst his morning mail, Captain John Scott spied an invitation from Admiral and Lord (by marriage) Huxtable. He tossed it aside and groaned at the pile of paperwork the porter had delivered. The consigned stack of Port Authority receipts sagged on his desk, quill and ink pot awaited his charge.
John’s face, weathered from five years of calculations, ledger entries and bureaucracy, bore a mortician’s countenance. Attractive chestnut eyes and hair lackluster, his six foot frame atrophied. Ink-stained fingertips and shirt cuffs attested to the long hours of his employ.
Mutinous, he screwed up his face at the paperwork. The invitation, sealed with a pithy red wax, wooed him. He lifted the seal, and inside a formal invite penned in handsome calligraphy. A dinner. John folded the paper and slid it into his pocket.
A saffron sunbeam warmed his back, peeked over his shoulder, and mellowed on shelves of his maritime collection. A thin pensive smile softened his face. Thirty-five years of keepsakes, dated to 1690, when John left home, a precocious 10 year old, and sailed with England’s fleet. Dust dulled the colourful cockles, welks and winkles, sponges and coral, and whitened the chalcedony, pumice and granite. Bits of rope, metal and wood interlaced and rivalled the gallery.
The stairs creaked, and a swoosh of petticoats swept up to John’s study. A lilac aura wafted up the stairs and burst into the room, embodied in a petite woman, springy blonde ringlets tickled her blue eyes.
“Hew says there’s an invitation in today’s mail.” She chirped. John hunted in his pocket and she snatched the letter.
“Captain John Scott and wife?” She shoved the invitation at John. “Why the cad!”
“I am sure it is for you, Anne.” The invitation light in his hands. “I met the gentleman only once, years ago. You regularly visited his ailing wife until she died recently.”
“Hmmm.” Anne reflected. “Poor dear, she was so frail. But she knew all the goings on of the aristocracy!” She touched her cheek, eyes wide. “And the Admiral was a friend of my fathers.” She tapped her lips and spotted a cobweb on the ceiling.

“Huxtable has been alone for almost two years now.” John stared at the paper in his hands. “He’s in need of some company and conversation.”
“He did speak highly of you.” Anne sang. “He said it was the Navy’s great loss when you retired. Ha! My gain, however!” She giggled. “I hadn’t considered him after his wife’s death.” She lowered her eyes, then wrinkled her nose. “He’ll want to tell tall tales and drink too much.”
“Well, that’s what old retired sea men do.” John snickered. “Perhaps we should attend.”
She narrowed her eyes. “You never attend any social event.”
“I can make an exception this time.” John forced a listless smile and fanned his face with the invitation, her lilac perfume overpowering.

“I shall accept the invitation then.” She whisked it from his fingertips and bustled downstairs, scattering John’s papers in her wake.

This is an excerpt from my latest novel, The Navigator. You may purchase this book on Amazon at The Navigator: Evans, Pat K: 9798572356656: Books – Amazon.ca or in the US at Amazon.com: The Navigator (9798572356656): Evans, Pat K: Books

Basic Income

My theories about most things have to do with money.

Money is what makes the world go round. When you don’t have it, you suffer. When you can’t put food on your table, clothe your kids or buy your medication, you are neglected. If you can’t take a vacation or buy yourself a treat, you are deprived. You suffer.

Life is meant to be enjoyed, because there is nothing else. Nothing. When you die it is over. And to me, some things in life are non-negotiable basic rights. Life is not just bare bones survival, inches away from drowning. Life is a celebration, a gift. You are meant to thrive.

I believe that 99% of the worlds ills are caused by the unequal distribution of wealth. I leave 1% open for doubts just in case you wish to argue my point.

It is a fact, we have more than enough money, food, medication, and housing for everyone on this entire planet. Look at how much we produce, build and waste.

There is no doubt in my mind, that if everyone, and I mean everyone, had enough money to live on we could solve major problems. Wealth inequality is the reason there is a rise is right wing politics. People feel powerless. Poverty makes you defenseless.

I am a proponent of basic income for so many reasons. It would end poverty. Reduce crime. Increase health and well being. I can see nothing but positive outcomes. Education. Freedom. Peace. Innovation.

Ah, but it is exactly those things that the wealthy and powerful cannot let the peons have. It would end slavery.

Imagine if everyone’s most basic needs were taken care of. Needs that are, in my mind, rights. Do you know how good it is to be assured you will have x number of dollars in your bank account every month? You can count on it? The rent will be paid, you won’t be homeless. You can feed your family. You can buy your medication. You can have a quality life. Go to school. You might even be able to save some money for retirement! Or even have some fun!

I ask you. WHO would not want this?

The rich and powerful. That is who. Because they can’t control happy people. They can influence happy people. They can’t do nefarious deeds, or worse, coerce happy people to do that for them. They can’t hoard wealth and wield it over others. They can’t blackmail and make unreasonable and dangerous demands on employees. The list goes on an on.

I am not against wealth. I am against poverty and needless suffering. I still believe in and promote seeking fortune, living well, buying things, and being rewarded for your education, experience, skills, talents and knowledge, or even your good looks! But not at the expense of others and the planet because you are an greedy asshole.