Book Review #19

The Psychology Of Time Travel

The Book – The Psychology of Time Travel

The Author– Kate Mascarhenas (?)

The Review – Let’s start with the author’s name. It’s really Kate Flynn, but the name on the cover is Mascarhenas. That comes from the same base as ‘mask’, and ‘mascara.’ It’s a Portuguese-language nom de plume, which means “nom de plume.”

In the book, she includes the words ‘quango’ and ‘lanugo,’ neither common, even in Britain. They are valid English words, but seem as if they should be peeking out of a Romance language, like Spanish, or Italian. I’ll properly introduce you to them later.

This is a book – by a woman – for women – about women. It includes the description of an 8-year-old girl’s birthday party, where, “Her blonde ringlets hung down to the tops of her puffed sleeves, and her lacy skirt stood out straight to the side whenever she twirled around, which she did, a lot.”

The story is inhabited almost entirely by females. The only men who show up, are a male police detective and a journalist, who provide information and clues to the young woman investigating a locked-door murder.

The British authoress works in a commentary on racist attitudes in England. Our hardy, mixed-race investigator came to England as a child, from the Seychelles Islands, where she viewed herself as white. Having recently graduated University as an Engineer, she is working for the time-travel Conclave as a volunteer, but the female police constable who interviews her, regards her as colored, and assumes that she is the cleaning woman.

As usual, I was hoping for some temporal paradoxes to be solved, or some Back To The Future III suspense and manoeuvring, to prevent them. Didn’t happen! I was not surprised to not be given, even a vague hint, at how the time-travel process was accomplished, but it was invented by four women.

As a linguist, I was pleased to read that the process was powered by a newly-discovered, transuranic element called Atroposium, aptly-named after Atropos, the Greek Goddess who cut the thread of fate of mortals’ lives. Apparently the stuff was so safe and stable that it could be carried around in charcoal briquette-sized lumps, wrapped in lead foil.

While not described or explained, the time-travel process is so simple that it is used to produce a child’s toy, a Rubik’s-cube-sized box with a hole in the top. Children put candy in, and it disappears, only to return a minute later. What would happen if they stuck their finger in?

The “psychology” of the title is really just the mental stress felt by (female) time-travellers, caused by experiencing history in a non-linear way. Travelling to the past, they meet people that they know are dead. Travelling to the future, the see death certificates and gravestones for people they know are alive.

The detective/heroine goes back several times, to visit her father, who died when she was young. To her, the visits are weeks, or months, apart. I see, from his perspective, that she shows up twice the same afternoon, or on successive days. This grown woman is not his 8-year-old daughter. ‘Go away lady, you’re bothering me.’

I was expecting nothing when I ordered this book, and that’s what I got. No real time travel. No real psychology. It’s a good thing that I got it for free from the library. It had all the panache of a ‘Nurse Jane’ romance novel, full of ‘feelings.’ I feel disappointed and let down. I feel that I’ll need to read and review something with a little more OOMPH. Stay tuned; I’ll see you later.  🙂

Flash Fiction #194

Jose

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

José, Can You See?

He got here legally three years ago, from Ecuador, to the United States – the land of milk and honey, and gold-paved streets.

No gold, but lots of opportunities for people willing to work. He was now the manager of this little convenience store, saving every penny to bring the rest of his family.

He felt sympathy for the ‘refugee caravan’ marching toward Trump’s wall, but they shouldn’t be allowed in. The infrastructure just wouldn’t support the sudden influx of thousands more. Ignoring redneck racism, they weren’t obeying the laws of HIS new country. Wait in line, the way he had.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Friday Fictioneers

Happy Independence Day to all Americans

’18 A To Z Challenge – S

 

Challenge '18letter-s-super

 

 

 

 

 

Somebody else also got a vasectomy, but he was an asshole about it.  Read all about his

SURGERY

Hedge Clippers

In Valium Veritas

I got the inspiration for my recent Recovery post, by reading one from a woman who accompanied her husband to the hospital for his vasectomy.  He got so worked up about it, (as many men do) that they gave him a Valium to calm him down.

It affected him strangely.  She felt that it hit him like a non-prescription drug, or alcohol.  He started saying, what she felt were amusing things, so she recorded them and built a blog-post from them.

While she may have found his actions and utterances in the hospital amusing, like the little kid who fell into a mud puddle (and profanity) in my That’s Not Funny post, I think it acts more like a truth serum, and reveals a lot about his basic character and attitudes.  Here’s his sit-down comedy routine and some of my comments. Feel free to add yours below.

That man looks way too happy to be doing his job.

Just another Urologist, who may not even have been performing vasectomies.  A little homophobia anyone?

That’s way too many white people. 

She left it unclear whether he was referring to patients/visitors, hospital staff, or both.  He’s white, but who does he think he is, the Equal Opportunity Employment Manager?

Look, it’s the man who’s going to cut open my penis.  I hope you don’t take too much.

He didn’t really read the preparation literature, did he?  They don’t cut the penis.  He’s got a real worry about size.  His ego is as big as his imagination.

You think that woman is going to have a vasectomy??  Tee-hee, ask her.

He’s not really that stupid, is he? (See ‘cut open my penis’, above)  And he wants to embroil his wife in this embarrassing behavior.

I could go through life like this.  And I wouldn’t be useless either.

I can believe that he would go through life like that, if someone else would support him.  The added degree of useless would scarcely be noticed.

About a nurse who arrived for work ONLY 5 minutes early.
That woman’s late for work.  That’s unacceptable.

Now he thinks that he is the hospital’s Employment Practices Manager.  If the nurse she’s replacing, or the department supervisor, doesn’t say anything – Render unto Caesar, or keep your mouth shut.

I’m not going to say what I want to say, all these bitches walking around. 

I think he’s said quite enough thank you.  Enough to reveal that he is a real misogynist, with no respect for women.

The next day, after the Valium had worn off, to his wife with two children, but who really wanted more babies.
I got the snip-snip-sniparoo.  No more babies for you.

According to her post, she thought that this was funny.  I think that they should have performed an Optrectomy on him while they had him.  That’s the operation that severs the nerve connecting the eyes to the asshole, getting rid of that shitty attitude about everything.

I pity the poor woman.  Sadly, there are so many more with loud-mouth, opinionated husbands like this.  If he were mine, a large frying pan might accidently go off while I was cleaning it, striking him in the head – 4 or 5 times.  What about you?  Is comparing him to a worm in an apple too good for him?

Ego And Insecurity – Episode 1

Brigham Young is quoted as saying, “He who takes offence when none is offered, is a fool!”  He then added that, “He who takes offence when offence is offered, is also a fool.”  Too many fools wed ego and insecurity to teleology, and not only get upset when it’s not their ox that’s being gored, but blame the wrong thing, or a non-existent thing for the goring.

Negros can refer to each other as niggers, and it’s all in good fun.  Women can refer to each other as bitches, and they’re just joking.  Let a white man refer to a black man as a nigger, even in the same joking manner, and there’s Hell to pay.  If a mere man calls a woman a bitch, a Government Agency will quickly be involved.  Should a white man call a black woman a nigger bitch, he’d better not do it in Utah.  They still have firing squads.

A nephew used to refer to his Negro, high school, best friend as “Nigger.”  I cautioned him against it one day.  “That’s okay.  He knows I’m joking.”  Maybe, but others may not.  My son’s Grade 2 teacher had a bad habit of smacking students in the back of the head with a pen if they didn’t measure up.  It’s not the kind of action that should have been acceptable against anyone.

She’d smacked almost every kid in the room, with no retribution, till the day she smacked the only black kid in class.  The next day, she and the principal were visited by six high-level Black Panthers, including a high-voltage lawyer.  Cease and desist was the least of the threats.

A politician in New York, with a broad vocabulary, bemoaned a low grant for his pet project by calling it a niggardly amount.  It’s not even spelled the same, and it has no connection to Negros, but he was forced to issue an apology.  “I’m sorry you black folks are so busy learning Ebonics, that you don’t speak English.”

An Ontario bureaucrat, referring to some of the Aboriginal problems I mentioned in my Attawapiskat post, said that many of them were caused by do-gooder Whites, and was called a racist by both Indians and other whites.  The comment is not racist.  It’s an acknowledgement of a social/cultural situation.

Oprah Winfrey went into a boutique store in Switzerland and wanted to buy a $38,000 purse.  The clerk shooed her out, saying she couldn’t afford it, not knowing that Oprah could buy the entire country.  Immediately the accusations of racism rang out.  Bullshit!  Classism maybe.

Used to the more sophisticated, urbane European upper-crust, to the clerk, Oprah must have seemed like the typical sweatshirt-and-flip-flops-wearing, ugly-American, “looker.”  She could have been white, black or green.

In Montreal, a young couple who were culturally, but not religiously, Jewish, did not wish to sign a religious document and be married by a rabbi.  Instead, they went to City Hall for a secular ceremony.  The clerk who served them was a headscarf-wearing female.  Not only had they been married by a “religious” person, but one from a religion which debases females, and discriminates against Jews.

The Quebec Premier tried to have an act passed which would prevent anyone serving the public from overtly displaying any religious symbol – and the camel-shit hit the fan.  The loudest howls are from Muslims, claiming that this is racism, ignoring the fact that Muslims come from around the world, and from many different races.  It might be claimed that it is religious discrimination, except that it applies uniformly, to Sikhs, Jews and Christians, as well.

One apparent Muslim, (Abdullah Ahmad – you decide) sent a letter to the Toronto Sun, bitching about, “the ban on religious clothing or gear.”  Again, no such animal!  There is no ban on what you wear, only on what you may or may not do, while being paid by the Province, serving the secular public, when you wear it.

On a discussion page I recently read, a 25-year-old female said that she gets moody and short-tempered from time to time, and takes it out on her live-in boyfriend.  She got in a bad mood, and he sat and tried to talk it out with her for a half an hour, but she snapped at him again.  He rose, pointed a finger at her, told her she was a high-maintenance, drama queen, said he’d had enough, and slammed the door on the way out.  What should she do about it??!

I was amazed that, not only did every commenter, female and male, take her side, but nine out of ten females urged her to dump him for being abusive.  This is not abusive!  There is a legal axiom which states that the truth is the perfect defense.

She may be upset to hear that she is a high-maintenance drama-queen.  If you don’t want to hear it, don’t be it.  The problem may solve itself if he finds somewhere else to live, and only comes back for his stuff.  She wanted, “The right to her own feelings.”  She may get it – alone.

One of the young fellows at the auto plant had a succession of short-term girlfriends.  After five or six months, they each, “Just went crazy.”  I told him one day, after the seventh or eighth time I’d heard this sad song, that the common factor wasn’t the gals going crazy, it was him, but he was too busy bumping into trees, to see the forest.

I’d try handing out some of those Free Thinkers cards, but it wouldn’t work.  People like these always “believe” that it’s somebody else’s fault.

Seinfeld Re-Run

Being another collection of unrelated thoughts which carom and rattle around inside my vacant skull.  Think of this as mental spring-cleaning, which it would be, if this were spring.  This is fall.  By the time I post this, I will have overnight become 68 years old, and that fact should be obvious.

I recently, righteously, slagged four female Canadian singers.  I ran out of space and energy before I could include a fifth.  I give you the, famous in her own mind, even when she’s out of it, Nelly Furtado.  Like the others, Nelly is a decent singer and performer.  Unlike Shania Twain, she doesn’t have a long history of verbal malaprops.  She managed to do it all in one TV interview.

This one occurred just as she was breaking out.  She was booked on a meet-the-artist show on MuchMusic, Canada’s we-don’t-need-no-stinkin’-American MTV, alternative.  For a half an hour she unwittingly proved herself to be an up-and-coming Canadian racist.  Everything she bragged about herself, was because she was Portuguese, not Portuguese-Canadian, just Portuguese.

She was born in British Columbia.  Her first big song, I’m Like a Bird, contains the line, “I’m like a bird.  I don’t know where my home is.”  I think it fitting that, the only bird which doesn’t know where its home is, is a cuckoo.  The same pair of robins flew back from Florida, and nested in my porch for five or six years. Apparently, she also doesn’t know where the National Geographic Channel is.

She claimed to be a great song-writer because she was Portuguese.  I don’t know what that says about Leonard Cohen, Gordon Lightfoot or Buffy Saint-Marie, who have Jewish, English and Cree heritage, respectively.  She lauded herself about her high morals because she was Portuguese, and I almost choked.  I’ve watched Portuguese girls coming home from Catholic school on the bus.  The only thing sluttier, might be some Romanian girls.  The only thing they don’t show is restraint.

I’d even forgive the Portuguese references if her parents had been born there, but they weren’t.  They come from the Azores Islands, which are to Portugal, what Newfoundland is to Canada, only more so.  Further out in the ocean, more isolated, more ignored, poorer, less literate, if it weren’t for the fact that several airlines use the big island for trans-Atlantic fuelling, they’d be eating jelly-fish and smoking seaweed.

There was another blogger, whose site was also called Archons Den.  He was a Filipino who posted on BlogSpot.  He was big into electronics, posting about Smartphones, iPods, expensive car stereos and big-screen TVs.  He may have gone bankrupt.  I haven’t seen a new post in almost a year.  Archon is also the name given to a yearly science-fiction conference in Kansas City.  I believe this year is number 37.

Booksellers like Chapters have a current book for sale, titled “Archon.”  It’s sort of an H E Ellis’, Reapers With Issues, crossed with 50 Shades of Grey.  A book titled, “The Archon”, is a children’s story about a trek to seek peace with the Rain Queen.  I’m honored, in a vague way, but I think I’ll skip them both.

The niece who ate Ex-Lax, but only drank Javex once, went with her parents and siblings for a weekend visit with her other grandparents on their farm.  Out of her clothes and into a nightgown, the six-year-old wanted to know what was in the coffee-pot protruding over the edge of the stove.  She pulled it down on her left shoulder, and the boiling coffee was held like a sponge by the flannelette nightie.  By the time the adults pulled it off the screaming child, she had been burned so badly that she developed a quarter-inch thick mass of scar tissue from the base of her neck to her vaccination mark.

Mr. Automotive Q&A published another duh-mb letter this week.  The writer wanted him to help, because he had bought a used car from a dealer.  He gave the salesman a cheque, which had been cashed.  The day he bought the car, he needed to do some running around, so he got them to let him take the car out.  He was to return it, and they were to do a safety on it.  When he brought it back, the dealership refused to safety his car, and he wanted the columnist to pressure them into it.  That’s his story, and it sounds straightforward.

Mr. Q&A did some phoning, and quickly found out that:  He left the dealer’s lot at about noon on a Friday.  He was supposed to return the car before end of workday.  Closing time came, no car.  Monday came and went, no car!  Tuesday came and went, no car!!  On Wednesday, the dealer plate and its holder were hanging on the dealer’s front door when they opened for business.  That was early in April!  Now, early in September, he wants them to do all the work necessary to pass a government test, and of course, they demurred.

In Q&A’s response, he told the guy that the dealer was willing to do the rear brakes, which should have been fixed five months ago, along with several other minor repairs.  They would not replace the windshield which was not cracked when he took possession, nor the right headlight, which was working when he left.  Since he drove 3800 kilometers after he left, they would also not replace the alternator or the windshield wipers.  They would do the emission testing, but he would have to pay for any parts needed to get the car to pass.

The dealer admitted that they should never have let him off the lot, and should have notified the Ontario Transport Ministry when the car did not return.  Mr Q&A, and the rest of us, assume he was driving for five months with illegal licence plates, not registered to the car.  Also, since the vehicle was not in his name, he drove for the five months without the legally required insurance.  Q&A gave him one week from the date of the column printing to get all this stuff done, because, as a licensed mechanic, he is legally bound to inform the ministry, if he has knowledge of non-compliance.

This all happened in Southwestern Ontario, but I’ll bet you drove past a car today, driven by a yahoo like this.  Scary as hell, isn’t it?

Horace

Once upon a time, there was a horse named Horace.  Even when he was a young colt, he had a beautiful, long, flowing mane.  As he grew, he became prouder and prouder of his mane, and let it grow and grow, until it reached almost to the ground.

He combed it and washed it and brushed it, until it just shone in the sun, but one day, a terrible thing happened.  A homeless family of birds flew up and saw his wonderful long mane and decided that it would be the perfect place to make a home.

Horace tried to tell them to leave, but they didn’t pay any attention to him; in fact, they even went and told their relatives about the magnificent place they had found to live.  Soon, Horace’s mane was full of cheeping, tweeting birds.

Horace finally could stand it no longer, and went to a veterinarian to see if there was any way that he could rid himself of all these noisy birds.  The veterinarian told him that the only way that he could think of to get the bird out of Horace’s mane would be to take a large amount of dry yeast and rub it all through his mane.

The smell of the yeast would be a bit objectionable for a while, but the birds would not be able to stand it, and would move out and stay out.  In a week or so, Horace would be able to comb out the yeast, and things would be as they were before.  Horace did this.  He got the yeast.  He rubbed it in.  The birds left, and stayed away.

The moral of this story (if there is one) is: Yeast is yeast and nest is nest, but never the mane shall tweet….

As Monty Python used to say;

And Now, For Something Completely Different

-*-*-

Michael Richards better known as Kramer from TVs Seinfeld does make a good point. This was his defense speech in court after making racial comments in his comedy act. He makes some very interesting points…

Someone finally said it. How many are actually paying attention to this?
There are African-Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, etc.
And then there are just Americans.. You pass me on the street and sneer in my direction.
You call me ‘White boy,’ ‘Cracker,’ ‘Honkey,’ ‘Whitey,’ ‘Caveman’… And that’s OK…
But if I call you, Nigger, Kike, Towel head, Sand-nigger, Camel Jockey, Beaner, Gook, or Chink … You call me a racist.
You say that whites commit a lot of violence against you….
So why are the ghettos the most dangerous places to live?
You have the United Negro College Fund. You have Martin Luther King Day.
You have Black History Month.
You have Cesar Chavez Day.
You have Yom Hashoah.
You have Ma’uled Al-Nabi.
You have the NAACP.
You have BET….
If we had WET (White Entertainment Television), we’d be racists.
If we had a White Pride Day, you would call us racists.
If we had White History Month, we’d be racists.
If we had any organization for only whites to ‘advance’ OUR lives, we’d be racists.
We have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a Black Chamber of Commerce, and then we just have the plain Chamber of Commerce.
Wonder who pays for that??
A white woman could not be in the Miss Black American pageant, but any color can be in the Miss America pageant.
If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships… You know we’d be racists.
There are over 60 openly proclaimed Black Colleges in the US ..
Yet if there were ‘White colleges’, that would be a racist college.
In the Million Man March, you believed that you were marching for your race and rights.
If we marched for our race and rights, you would call us racists.
You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange, and you’re not afraid to announce it.
But when we announce our white pride, you call us racists.
You rob us, car jack us, and shoot at us.
But, when a white police officer shoots a black gang member or beats up a black drug dealer running from the law and posing a threat to society, you call him a racist.
I am proud…… But you call me a racist.
Why is it that only whites can be racists??
There is nothing improper about this e-mail..
Let’s see which of you are proud enough to send it on.
I sadly don’t think many will.
That’s why we have LOST most of OUR RIGHTS in this country.
We won’t stand up for ourselves!
BE PROUD TO BE WHITE!
It’s not a crime YET…. But getting very close!
It is estimated that ONLY 5% of those reaching this point in this e-mail, will pass it on.
I DID!!