Share, Engage & Explore with Kudos 365

Post your ideas, opinions, events and expertise. Browse your favorite topics. Become a Member.

Posted by Kudos Community

So the World Health Organization just declared a new psychopathology, Gaming Disorder, the addictive propensity to sit for hour after hour with an X-box, disdaining sleep and food and exercise. Good diagnosis, guyz! But you forgot to include Facebook, You-Tube, computer addictions, porn and cellphone. Maybe, just maybe, they’re really all one disease. Ya think?

I guess the Facebook zombies actually stop to eat. And it could even be argued that this social media is really social. A new social, I guess, no face to face necessary, just tweets and instagrams, nothing too up-close and personal. Tim Cook, the new warden at Apple, recently declared sitting at a computer terminal to be the new cancer. Thanks, Tim, for asking the troops to stand up. How about asking them to go outdoors and exercise? Or quit their carcinogenic jobs? Or get a life?

We’re rewiring our brains, no doubt about it. B.F. Skinner and the Pavlovian dogs, peck a button and the bait, I mean the reward, comes tumbling out, time after time, predictable as an IV of opiods. Try this experiment if you’re a doubter: put away your cellphone, turn off your computer, unplug the TV and peripherals and devices, see how long you can last before the shakes and the fevers start. I bet about an hour. We might be missing important stuff. You know, Trump, Beyonce, Oprah, the photo from a friend you rarely see, Trump, the latest movie star scandal, did I mention Trump? If I did, let me add Trump again anyway.

This is our reality now. We even made a reality show huckster our Leader. We get what we deserve, the old adage goes in regard to a country and its rulers. Times certainly change and now they’re changing in hyper-drive. If anyone thinks, myself included, that there will be a cure for this disorder, we got another think coming. In about two tweets.


Continue Reading...

In Finland this week the fjord-folks are lining up to obtain the tax records of their friends and co-workers. The government makes these documents available to any and all, apparently in an attempt to keep the income disparities we have here in the Yew Ess Aye from growing too large in their wintry environment, I guess by letting everyone know that the guy in the next cubicle makes more than they do for the same or similar work. Might be a good idea. Might shame employers who pay men more than women or whites more than people of color. Probably won’t shame hedge fund managers or CEO’s. Shame is not part of their lexicon.

But then … maybe it just makes us South Enders crazy with envy for those who worked for Boeing or Weyerhauser, Microsoft or Google, made quick fortunes and retired with golden parachutes. I seriously doubt we need financial disclosure statements of those neighbors behind gated fences. What is worrisome, at least for me, is the potential for just saying to hell with the whole system, why work for measley wages when the millionaire across the ravine is traveling full time in Asia, New Zealand, Costa Rica and Paris? A few years back my UPS driver, who had a shack up in the foothills, told me, when I mentioned my brother worked for Big Brown too and made pretty good money, that he only worked for ‘wages’. I asked what he meant, ‘only work for wages’?

“I deliver to all these dot.com retirees who made a fortune,” he said. “I just make wages.” I said I think I’d look at it a little bit different. You got a nice place up in the hills, got a decent job at a decent wage, why not be happy with that? He shook his head sadly and muttered that it was hard when half his deliveries went to folks who retired at 45, got a whopping pension and stock options, and now they sit back with the life of Riley while he has to work his ass off to make ends meet.

I told him again I’d rethink that if I were him. I said I don’t make squat but I don’t have fantasies of being rich either. Poverty won’t buy you happiness, but it won’t deprive you of it either. He didn’t think that was funny or cute and he left shaking his head, no doubt driving off to the next mansion past my shack, maybe stopping at Tyee Store to buy a lottery ticket before delivering a gold plated mailbox to my neighbor.

I don’t care what folks make. I don’t care if my own mailbox is bent and the flag isn’t gold. I do think we have too low a minimum wage and we have too many rich people taking more than their fair share. But this is America. Money talks and the poor can take a backseat or hitchhike. But some of us aren’t poor, not really, and maybe we should enjoy what riches we have. Instead of envying the wealthy.

http://www.skeeterdaddle.net/

Continue Reading...

The slab showed up unannounced, a 4 foot by 4 foot concrete square sitting at the edge of the little park I caretake, a mystery to me. Maybe the county had decided to bring in artwork, who knows, maybe a commemorative sculpture of me, Ranger Daddle. I know, not too likely given the fact the county may not know the park even exists or if they do, who is doing the maintenance. But a mystery, like winning the Lottery, is mostly about firing our greedy imaginations.

A week went by … then two. A month. No bronze Skeeter appeared one morning. No plaque. Nothing. Just that square of concrete poured apparently by hand in the dark of night either by aliens or South End tricksters. I mowed around it and pondered its meaning the way astronauts in 2001: A Space Odyssey pondered the Black Obelisk, knowing only that some intelligence had brought it, who knows whether for good or ill. All I knew was I wouldn’t be moving it, not a half ton of concrete.

After a few weeks I stopped paying attention to my mystery square, stopped guessing what its Maker intended, stopped seeing it at all … until a few days ago when the phone booth showed up, one of those rectangular booths from a time just before the cellphone made public telephones obsolete. Clark Kent would have to change in a McDonalds bathroom hereafter and every citizen, no matter how impoverished, would need to purchase a personal phone and a plan.

And yet … here was the Last Phone Booth on the South End, possibly in America, maybe even the world!! In my park. Under my care. Which, considering I do not own a cellphone, is Totally Apropos, as if the Gods of Wire Transmission or the Ghost of Alexander Graham Bell had anointed me Keeper of the Dial Tone.

Of course it arrived without a working phone, just a payphone with no incoming line off the street. Most gifts, if you think about it, come with strings attached. Mine did, but not the useful ones. Nevertheless, I’m the Ranger, an American Dr. Who with his very own nonfunctioning Tardis. I would find a Way, count on it, because that’s my job. The concrete square was, it turns out, my new purpose, better, I suspect, than winning the Lottery where the end of my days would be filled with South Enders begging for loans.

Continue Reading...

Posted in rantings and ravings on August 26th, 2016 by skeeter

It’s easy to come back to the place of your youth and fall into a nostalgic reverie, long flashbacks to the good old days. You know, if they were actually good, not mostly memories of hard struggles and forlorn winter glooms. But looking back from these years future, though bittersweet, reveals a winding road you might not care to travel again, still, you wouldn’t want to have missed that detour.

Old age, so they say, brings wisdom. Youth, I say from experience, was a frenzied search for some kind of meaning, maybe any kind. The monks, and the zen masters, they removed themselves from the distractions of the world to contemplate, to synchronize with the OM, to hear the one hand clapping. When they had reached satori, when their breathing was one with the cosmos, when the koan of a tree falling in the forest without them there to hear was solved, they emerged back into the world, exemplars of purity of thought.

I wonder if they wished they had stayed. I wonder if what they learned in solitude and meditation was that they were one with what they had left, that the sound of the one hand was the same sound as the tree falling as the same sound as the OM as the same sound of their breathing which is the same exact sound of everyone’s breathing and that the journey we take is the journey they took without our distractions but the distractions are actually the one hand clapping after all.

Maybe they know the answer to that and I don’t. But … what I think, looking back from the road I started on, is the answer to that is that the road is never the same. We are never the same. The sound of the one hand clapping, don’t kid yourself, it sounds different the next time. Be glad to be IN the world, don’t try to BE your own hermetically sealed world. And that one hand clap, by the way, it won’t be the sound of applause, more like a sigh of relief.

Continue Reading...

Get Involved with Your Community

Stay connected by sharing what's happening. Showcase your events, expertise, and art.

Feedback