Tag Archives: Internet

So, I’ve been Thinking


[thoughts from   ~burning woman~    by Sha’Tara]

What was I thinking about?  First, the joke (it’s on Youtube if you want the “live” version).  An English fishing vessel is caught in a violent Channel storm.  The captain sends out an SOS:  Mayday, mayday, we’re sinking, we’re sinking!  He gets this very hesitant response:  “Zis is ze cherman coast gardt… vat are you sinkink about?”

Well, maybe I’m  thinking about sinking, or at least about that sinking feeling.  Are we sinking, I mean, as a society, and as a global civilization?  Is it game over for us?  Some will say we are, some will have noticed nothing unusual and some will admit to a rough patch and some hiccuping, and that leaves me exactly where I should be: to decide for myself what the “state of this world” is.

It’s bad, OK?  No point denying the obvious, it is a seriously bad patch we’re going through.

Are we sinking, going to the bottom, then?  I’d vote no.  I cannot imagine, or image, an end to mankind – not in the cards, you might say.  The casino will come crashing down and many a gambler will be crushed, or lose everything, but there are those left who didn’t play the game and never entered the casino.  Few they may be, but they still exist, however much the pimps and slavers of the Matrix, Status quo or “the System” have scoured the earth to round these few up.  Further to this, there are the gamblers who looked up in time and saw the cracks.  They collected their earnings, swallowed their losses, cashed in their chips and got the hell out of Dodge.

The thing is, it’s hard to separate a terrible die-back and the collapse of civilization from a total apocalypse.  To imagine, say, the extinction of some five and a half billion people over a period of a couple of hundred years.  Horrible?  Disastrous?  Scary?  Indeed, and certainly enough to believe it isn’t going to stop until all are dead and the earth lies a desert waste, it’s waters a dead stinking miasma of spreading diseases.  Those who remain alive will feel the strangling effect of the “great terror” and live in dread.  Some will invoke God and some will imagine alien rescues and some will just go through the motions of staying alive and if they still can bear children and have them will try to keep them alive, no matter what shape they are in.

That’s the nature of Earthian people.  Those who survive are the survivors and what they will then have programmed into their immune system, and what will be on their mind, that will be what they will rebuild with.  They will be your progeny.  When it thinks about you it will always be as a curse.  In their minds they will cast this generation to the deepest pits of the deepest hell.

There are many ways to look at man’s future: endless possibilities, endless directions it can go.  I like to work on the logic of it.  I look at population charts and the effects such populations have on the natural environment.  I look at the accelerating demise of non-human species, whether avian, mammalian, insect, aquatic, flora, and for each extinct species I deduct from human recovery.  I look at the spread of technology world-wide and attendant eco-damage, including climate change.  I don’t engage the smaller effects of, say, Tesla technology and “organic” or “vertical” farming.  I try to stay with the bigger picture.  I don’t see these “changes” having much of any effect in a timely manner to prevent a major catastrophe.  The main problem with “positive” technology is it puts people to sleep; makes them believe they can continue to increase population and consumption with decreasing environmental consequences.  Deadly assumption in a finite environment.

I also look at greater social developments such as resource wars leading to destabilization of ethnic communities and destruction of older ways of life.  I look at the destruction of cities and histories: the “dummying down process” and of course, the increase in dispossession and in refugees.  Then I look at how wars, civil wars, revolutions and genocides are funded, by whom, and why.  I watch the blood flow and those who once had hands covered in the blood of innocents now have their entire bodies awash in the stuff.  Then I listen to comments by those who remain essentially affluent and recipients of those “good things” which their leaders and rulers extort from dispossession, slave labour, oppression and bloodshed.

The comments, for the most part, aren’t in the least understanding, or compassionate.  There is little enough effort expended in reaching deep into the pain and suffering one lifestyle inflicts on another – and how could there be?  Earth people know little or nothing of compassionate interaction since such would require living in the nightmare of empathy.  If you are one of those rare ones living in it, you know what I mean by nightmare.  If you are not, you can’t understand what I mean, even if you try.

As a people, as a species, Earthians will not choose to become compassionate beings.  To do so would mean changing everything they believe about themselves, their species, and its interaction with the rest of their world.  I said everything, and I mean everything.  Nothing of the old would remain.  That will not happen, not on any scale needed to prevent catastrophe.

So we’ve finally reached our physical and mental evolutionary crossroads.  Yet a vast majority refuses to recognize the landmarks; others will believe they’ve never been here before and no one can know what it means.  Of course.  If there is one thing Earthians can be known for it’s their amazing ability to live in denial and defend the indefensible.

What we should be asking:  what did we use to get here?  Was it virtue, or vice?  The truth now.  What was the number one motivator of civilization that has brought it to this crossroad from which there is no turning back and from which any choice (but one unthinkable) can only lead to disaster?

Be certain that whatever “force” we used to get here will be the very same “force” we will rely on to push us down the path of our next choice.  This means we will use more of same and experience more of same though knowing it is unsustainable.  Any choice we make won’t really be a choice but a continuation of our tried and failed methods of propulsion into the future.  It’s what we are and we will continue to do what we have always done, with little sparks of resistance here and there, and some lofty rhetoric over the Internet to blind us to the real facts.

We will hear of organic, sustainable cooperative communities… and there will be some, of course.   We will hear of rich people donating food and housing to certain groups of victims of climate change and we will say, wow, they can do it, and not ask how these people got rich in the first place – because that would spoil the “feel good” moment.  More and more people will turn vegan, and even if we still insist on eating meat or using animal products, we will still take some credit and feel good about this “movement” and absolve ourselves because our doctor said our body needs the meat.  Not our fault, you see.  Plus, we recycle, we do our bit.  What the hell, “Not Our Fault” for any of the negative stuff.  Plenty of others to blame for the really bad stuff.

The “Not Our Fault” slogan will continue to rule, past the crossroads, past the turning point.  We will ride that toboggan to the bottom of the hill and then discover that those who maintained that once we got to the bottom there’d be no way back up were right.  There is no way back up.  What we left up there is forever gone and now we must walk away with whatever we have… into the future, into whatever it has left to offer.  For most, for billions, that will be death: by disease; by famine; by war; by genocide; by drowning and by burning.

As we lay dying, we’ll remember our stand-by mantra: it wasn’t our fault.  It wasn’t me.  It was them.  They did it.  Indeed, why should one individual take responsibility for what the collective did?  Yes, but isn’t a collective made up of individuals?  And am I one of such individuals?  If I am, how can I not be equally responsible?  How can I blame “others” and absolve myself?

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Oh, History! My Life and my Bane!

         [a short story from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]
    Leo thought himself well read and educated.  He’d mastered history, myths and legends of Earth and at twenty three he was pondering his future.  After so many years at the University however, becoming a professor didn’t have the appeal it once had.  Travel he could afford but everything went too fast.  Here today, there tomorrow and nothing in-between.
His doorbell rang.  He ignored it and it continued until he was forced to answer.
“Yes?  Who is it?” he called through the speaker phone.
“An old friend passing through.  Have time for me?”
“Hm, and who would be this old friend, if I may ask?  I don’t open my door to strangers, especially those who claim old acquaintance.”
“I am Thero.  You know me from your lucid dreams, and visions, yes?”
Leo rubbed his forehead, then tapped his left hand on the door to ensure he was awake.
“This isn’t possible.  Thero is a figment of my imagination…”
“More than that, Leo, much more.  Will you let me in?”
Leo waited a few seconds and opened the door.  What he saw shocked him to put it mildly: it was Thero, the very same character he’d come to know in some dreams and vision, the one he credited for giving him direction on his historical research.
“Come in… um, Thero; please come in.  I apologize for my reluctance but I still can’t believe it can possibly be you.  You… you’re a dream character!”
“Yes well, you got the “character” part right anyhow.  Shake?”  He proffered his hand and Leo shook it.
“OK, fine.  I’ll allow for the moment that you look and sound like the Thero I imagined.  Do you drink?  I mean, alcohol?”
“Oh yes!  I could use a glass of Chardonnay.”
“You also knew that’s my favourite wine and I always have some in the house, right?”
“But of course.” answered Thero while Leo got the wine from the fridge and dusted two tall glasses never used since he’d moved to the tiny house which his uncle Doug rented him after Doug’s wife took him to the cleaners and left to marry her masseur.  Leo poured and filled both glasses, handing one to Thero.
“Now some serious talk.  First, how did you know about my imaginary “teacher” Thero, and what he looked like?”
“Because I am he,” said Thero matter-of-factly, and smiled broadly.
“Oh cut the crap, and cut to the chase.  I know you’re an impostor, so what do you want with me?”
“Look Leo, if you’re absolutely certain I’m an impostor, shouldn’t you be doing something like calling the police, or at the very least, throwing me out?”
“Granted, I’m ambivalent about it.  Since I see no harm in playing this game, what is it you want?”
“As Thero you accept me as a Teacher, so let’s just say I’m here to further your education on the history of your people and your planet.  Can you spare me some time to do that?”
“You know I could never resist a challenge when it comes to history…”
“Stop.  You said, and I quote: ‘You know’ implying that you believe and accept I am your ‘imaginary’ Teacher Thero, is that not so?”
Leo stopped to ponder the question for a stretched moment then shrugged.  “I’ll concede that you are Thero so we can carry on with this conversation.  Is the wine to your satisfaction, Teacher?”
“That it is.  A very good light wine.  Now then, since this isn’t being done in a dream, may I suggest you equip yourself with some sort of recording device?  Can your cell phone record our conversation?”
“I’ve got it on now.  I’m ready.”
“Good.  If you allow me leeway and don’t interrupt too much this should not take more than a few hours.  I would prefer the dream method but I wanted this on the record, so to speak.  Now then, let’s start with some remarks about the general social condition of your people.
There are things you do, as a species, that belie your claim to humanity; further, that put in question your claim to be an intelligent species.  Some, like your exploitation and wars are obvious.  Others, like your insistence on wearing clothes when they are not needed, expensive, cumbersome, ridiculous, sweaty and stinky, harbouring diseases, among other things, say much about you as a society.  Already from these few comments you should detect distrust, greed, fear, judgment and a massive dose of control over others.
“The need to control is a form of psychopathy that leads to misogyny and racism, which in turn leads to violence of the absolute worse kind.  Bottom line, despite all your glowing mission statements which you dub constitutions, you remain pathetically fearful and hate-filled and prone to commit mass murder over any imagined slight.  You exploit from raw greed and oppress in order to gain power over others.  You want to be rulers.  You want to be gods in your own right and if you cannot do it as individuals then you come together in, or form, groups which you use to force your ways upon others.  These power collectives are as old as your particular species.  They began as families, then tribes, then collections of tribes which became nations and collections of nations which became empires.
“The goal of any empire is simple enough: to have absolute control over its sphere of influence, usually the known world.  If your species was to be allowed space travel it would continue this pattern, spreading out to establish even more expansive, oppressive, war-mongering empires.  Woe to any other sentient species that found itself in the way of expanding Earthian hegemony.  Forced conquest would be endless.  Entire worlds would be destroyed.  All life encountered would automatically be deemed less than human and subject to exploitation, enslavement and/or destruction to make way for new Earthian civilizations.  Only an already established, violent and war-mongering civilization on par or militarily superior to Earthian conquerors could hope to stop the onslaught.  This would result in bringing the conflict to the Earthians’ home planet, resulting in its enslavement or complete destruction through the inevitable use of nuclear arms.
“That is how it is.  We of the galactic races know this pattern having encountered it many times and having had to either destroy them in their advances, subdue them, or civilize them and make them a part of the greater galactic family of sentients.  This is history for another time.  I don’t want to wander too far from the point of this teaching.
“My dear Leo, despite your many degrees in historical and associated knowledge, much of which is due to our subtle input, you remain abysmally ignorant about what makes your particular species act the way it does.  When you know more about us you will be able to compare and see how much of what you call your civilization is comparable to an insane asylum crammed with billions of crazies desperately feeding upon whatever the asylum is made of and on each other.  You will see that the more sociopathic of your species are those generally entrusted to rule the asylum.  Better to have a crazy ruler than none at all is how you put it and since you’re all more or less certifiable, why would you think otherwise?  You fear and hate because you distrust one-another.  You can never have true peace and safety for the same reasons.  Earth, Leo, is hell.  Now to explain.
“It isn’t just you, as a species, that makes this world a hell.  It is the forces that inhabit and control it.  One of your most “cherished” beliefs, apart from believing in your fairy-tale gods, is that your world keeps itself in balance due to an “evolved” concept called predation, or natural selection: the survival of the fittest.  You can’t even begin to imagine a world where such an insane psychopathic system could not exist.  You accept the horror and terror you observe in your “nature” to justify your own sick need to express violence against your world and the physically, militarily or financially weaker members of your own society.  You “hunt” and “fish” for pleasure; for something to brag about when it’s nothing but abysmal shame on your claim to being human and humane beings.  You go to war, commit genocide, enslave your own children, rape your own women, while comparing yourselves to the ruling members of a pride or pack of predators.  Do you not, in your killing games and violent sports extol and emulate the qualities of your greatest predators?
“Have I made a point, so far, Leo?”
“Yes Teacher, you have.  When you put it that way, it makes me feel pretty small and hopeless.”
“That was my intent.  The first thing is to crush the ego; the pride.  Now to continue.  ‘Must we’ I hear you thinking.  Yes we must.  You need to understand the why of things or you can never, ever, hope to change any of it, including and especially, yourself.
“Mythical fact: your world is a “re-manufactured” entity.  It has changed hands many times and gone through several transformations.  The biblical book of Genesis points to at least two of those transformations.  I’ll let you figure those out for yourself.  Earth’s owners, the ones you’ve called “gods,” “divinities,” “God” or “alien visitors,” have come and gone from here over the eons, most of that barely suspected even by your most astute observers.  They knew that “something happened here” but they could never know what because they lacked the broader perspective of time and space.   Currently some of your observers and more spiritual people sense that nothing is as advertised; that “something is going on here” and speculations on what that is run wild on your Internet; in your books, magazines, movies or news and entertainment media.  It’s always been that way: some always suspect but no one ever knows for a fact.  Your religious leaders and many of your scientists hate being without facts so they’ve been manufacturing their own “facts” to suit their various theories, or to establish themselves within the status quo.  This also is suspected and talked about, but again: no facts.
“How does one maintain absolute power?  By dissembling.  This is the basis for all successful political movements.  Think of this: “As below, so above.”  We use it this way to explain how to understand the political aspects of the universe.  If you observe “it” on earth, it is safe to project “it” throughout the entire universe.  It could not work “here” if it wasn’t the modus operandi every known universal “where” you can imagine.  Earth may be a hell hole but it isn’t the only one.  There are even worse ones “out there” if you can imagine.  By the same token, the good you can observe on earth, percentage-wise, is the good you could observe in the whole universe… percentage-wise.  This to force you to think universally now.  Project your mind to the ends of the universe, Leo.  Time for some serious lateral thinking.
“What I’ve been trying to point out to you is that the concept of “facts” was invented to force reasoning creatures into strict vertical thinking patterns so they would increasingly squeeze their minds into tighter and tighter areas to the point where they could no longer go out on a limb in their thinking.  They would always need data, or facts, to justify their line of inquiry.  They would learn to never trust their intuition or imagination.
“Nothing could be more deadly to the historian.  History is not based on facts but on imagination and speculation.  Ultimately what constitutes your current history is what the consensus has declared to be the truth. That consensual agreement is then taught to children trapped in “universal” education.  Call it what it is: brainwash.  The whole point is to have an entire reasoning species conditioned to accept “things as they are” and not feel the need to question it.
“Earth is one of trillions of worlds under the domination of certain forces in control of the universe.  These forces came here long before this solar system existed.  They systematically conquered and established control over most of the universe.  Wars of conquest, wins and losses, go on to this day.  Every part of the universe, every conquered galaxy exists in endless conflict.  Not all of it is military, in fact very little is.  The wars are fought in what we call the spirit realm, which extends down into the minds of sentients and their sentient worlds.  If “evil” wins then the world, or galaxy (or parts thereof) become subject to the rules of such evil.  The conquering, ruling forces are pathocratic and their subject servants (basically all of your rulers, whether you like to hear it or not) are sociopathic by conditioning.
“Now do you understand what you are up against when you study your history?  You’re up against millennia of lies and fabrications.  You’re up against endless “false flag” operations that have lead to horrors uncounted; to wars, enslavement and genocide.  The whole point isn’t to gain control of this or that part of a world: of a nation or a people.  The point is to foment violence.  Any method is good but the one that creates the most pain and horror is always the best.  I can assert that in your pre-historical (or pre-hysterical) past your world knew nothing of predation.  In those times it was ruled by a benevolent, subsequently demonized, female entity called “Lucifer” – she who rebelled against the evil of those “Lords” who conquered her worlds and enslaved her and her people.  The one who was “cast to the earth” along with a third of the contingent of “angels” or servants of the “Lords” who had learned from her and fallen in love with her people.  Of course the story of Lucifer had to be recast to make the “god” look good and her the demonic rebel.  So it was, so it is, so it will be, Leo, until some greater force can destroy the hegemony of those who call themselves the “Time Lords.”
“I’ve heard you speak of these “Time Lords” before but my mind refuses to accept that such a system exists; that such evil entities conquered and control most of the universe.  It makes no sense to me.  Why, if they are so powerful, do they hide themselves in the so-called spirit realm?  Why can’t they be seen?”
“You’ve studied the myths, yet you ask such childish questions, Leo?  Really!  Think laterally, I tell you.  Free your mind, Leo.  Imagine encountering an actual Time Lord or a close minion while you are in the flesh.  Imagine looking one in the eyes.  Do you see what would happen?”
“Thinking freely here… I would go blind.  My flesh would burn up and my body shrivel and become ash.”
“Exactly.  ‘No one can see God and live’ remember that?  The Bible is more than myth.  It isn’t fact but it is history.”
“What must I do now then?  Go teach lies to make a living?  Quit all of it and… what?”
“It’s all lies Leo.  You can only teach lies.  You can only know lies.  There are good lies and bad lies.  Go teach the good ones and continue to search for “the truth” and eventually it will begin to reveal itself to you like a lover unveiling and disrobing herself for you.  When that happens though, you will no longer be able to teach but you won’t care, you’ll have a treasure of greater value than anything the earth or its history can give you.”
“Is “the truth” then that greater power that can defeat the Time Lords, Teacher?”
Thero smiled and replied:  “I sense that I haven’t wasted my time with you Leo.  Keep thinking.  Keep imagining.  Keep living.”  Thero got up and turned towards the exit.  Leo, seeing his time was up, got up from his chair also and escorted the Teacher to the door.
“See you again, Thero?”
The Teacher turned,  smiled broadly and replied enigmayically: “Perhaps.”  Then he was gone.
Leo woke up with a start when the door bell rang.  As he got up to answer he noticed his phone was set to “Record.”


“For our struggle isn’t against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  (Ephesians 6:12, the Bible, New Testament)

 

I Discovered Kurt Vonnegut

[thoughts from  ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

Quote: “Most writers waste people’s time with too many words. I’m trying to reduce everything down to the minimum. My last work will be a blank piece of paper.” — Samuel Beckett

{did you say “typos”?  Ok, let me fix that, for the grouches and grammar Nazis…}

That’s right, that’s what the title says, I discovered Kurt Vonnegut.  I don’t mean by that that I never heard of him before, I’ve heard of Kurt Vonnegut since, well basically puberty, when politics, politics and politics became so important to me I started reading fiction in Earnest (a diner that used to belch barbecue exhaust on the eastern end of town), and then in my spare time as well.  (Yes, that is, indeed, a misplaced modifier – I just thought it looked better here than there.)

Having discovered Kurt Vonnegut, I thought I’d finally, finally, get to read Cat’s Cradle, which the entire world has heard of but few have read.  So I got that, but a few other books decided to tag along and now I’m reading “Breakfast of Champions.”  Ultimately, in this life (or the next, life’s funny that way) I will get to read Cat’s Cradle, honest, I will.

But this isn’t about Kurt Vonnegut, or Cat’s Cradle, or even Breakfast of Champions.  This is about writing… and reading.  So then, allow me (and how could you not? – got you there) to re-preface this with, “So many Writers, so Little Time (to Read them All!)”

In the worlds of writers and readers, I’m primarily a reader.  When I write it’s for the pleasure of reading the stuff for my own entertainment or edification.  Oh yes, forgot to mention that when I write I haven’t got a clue what I’m going to write about, or what I’m writing about, or where it’s all supposed to go, therefore there can be but one reason why I should write and that’s as already stated.

Having said that, I have a massive complaint, as a professional reader that is.  When I decided to become a reader, I naturally set upon the task of reading all that was ever written.  I mean, how to choose, right?  So grab something, anything, written, and read it.  I would eventually have read all that had ever been written still extant.  I was after all quasi-literate in 2.36 languages, already a huge head start.  I could multi-task, even reading while driving (that came later and it takes some getting used to by other drivers on the same road, but that’s their problem, right?  Just get with the program and all will be well) or doing other menial tasks for which AI’s hadn’t been invented yet.

But then came a heart-stopping, bone-jarring, mind-numbing realization: Writers!  Contrary to what my English and French teachers insisted upon, these critters weren’t all dead smart guys.  Some still lived and they still wrote!  Not only that but a whole swamp of wanna-bees hummed and buzzed in the undergrowth.  Books, books and more books were piling up and bookstores were graduating into high-rises.

Then came the computer age and… ahhh, a bit of respite as bookstores went broke and closed.  Newspapers thinned out.  Magazines became things you whispered about if you didn’t want people to guess how old you were.  For a few brief moments it looked like a recognized author could get by with writing a couple of novels in a lifetime and retire comfortably somewhere in Greece, preferably near a nude beach and a decent telescope – don’t assume I’m talking only of male writers.  After all, writers who become authors have imagination.

Anyway, I was getting nicely settled back down to my classical reading of Frank Herbert, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Canterbury Tales (just kiddin!) Isaac Asimov (Yawn!) and Alice in Greenland (well, why not?  Do YOU know where that rabbit hole goes?) as well as Little Women when there was a loud ‘bang!’ and just like that, there was an Amazonian Internet explosion and from it began to… you guessed it… ooze out more and more books, not from authors, but from writers!  Not only that, but as time went on, this Infernal Internet decided it could TRANSLATE books written in languages that sourced somewhere in the back of the Horsehead nebula, so that any and all books could be read by anyone with only a rudimentary grasp of her own maternal language.

So, I read (make that past tense) and read (still past tense) and read (now in the present) and it’s the punishment of Sisyphus all over again. It’s the 13th Labour of Hercules.  I will drop dead one day soon, and my face will fall and be absorbed inside the FBReader library.

Imagine this: A couple of days ago I innocently took on a landscape job in Yarrow (that being a little town S-W of here, and yes it is named after that weed).  There was a nastily overgrown backyard in a corner of which was a cute little cabin.  Mystified, I looked through the one window and there, at a desk, facing a computer, was a person, a people of the Earth variety, engrossed and staring at the screen, and the fingers tapping out a dance on a keyboard.  OK, thought I, must be an accountant or some such person working from home.

Imagine my crest fallen chagrin when the people person stepped out of the cabin with a frown, but also a hopeful and winning smile, and asked me if I’d seen her kale plant.  ???Say what?  I looked over the gargantuan infestation of weeds… “It’s around here somewhere” says the person, and by pulling at the weeds with a hoe, sure enough, I uncovered a starved, skeletal pale kale thing which beheld the sunshine for the very first time in its short and now totally traumatized life.  “Could you place it out of harm’s way while you clean out the weeds?” added the person.

By then I was getting very suspicious about the person’s computer activity, meaning, who asks to have a 97.2% dead kale thingy transplanted – in the middle of September?  (Keep in mind I’m writing from the Northern hemisphere here and even if Climate Changed temperatures insist on hovering in the 80’s F – and who knows what Celsius would make of that, silly Roman, it’s practically winter here.) 

I said to myself, I know what sort of people person this is… I just know.  So I slyly asked, “How did your garden end up like this?”  If only I had just shut up and stayed with my first assumption!  Stupid me: the mental grenade exploded:  “Oh, I’m a writer, an author actually, and I’m behind on a deadline so no time for gardening this summer.”

Aaaaarghhhh!  #@%#!!! Another writer!!!  It’s like they’re literally coming up out of the weeds and woodwork.  And I had her within reach of my various implements of destruction too!  Good ground a-plenty for a decent burial, and all the necessary tools at my disposal.  Yes, although it’s pure cowardice on my part that that writer is still alive and clacking away to her deadline, I am proud to say that I did not attack her, or otherwise attempt to do her in. 

With total self-control I turned around, slowly, counted to 13 in both directions, and turned back with the fakest smile ever produced and said, “Ah!”  Needless to say, but I’ll write it anyway, just in case, she assumed I was expressing appreciation at the thought of another book on the ether-shelves and smiled broadly and boldly.  Don’t people ever realize when they’re this close to death?

But the books… well, they keep piling up, and up.  As the Preacher observes wryly in Ecclesiastes,  (that would be from the Judaic-Christian bible for those of you who forgot and remain disconnected) and I quote: “Of the making of many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.”  Even then, thousands of years ago in what was practically prehistory, when they hadn’t even invented paper, someone was already in my predicament.  Faced with such impossible odds, it’s really no wonder people turn to God in despair.