Mild Frustration

May 24, 2017

I have been changing all of my email addresses from Gmail to Outlook because Gmail kept rearranging my email pages and I really do not have the patience to keep changing my habits every month. At any rate, I found myself locked out of WordPress and my blog and, after trying their recovery and waited, I found a back door into my blog and managed to change both my email address and password. So I am back again minus Gmail. All of this while I dropped my USB mouse and now it double clicks at random when I pass over an icon. I had to have it stay on the icon at first click then drag the pointer off to the desk top and use Shift/arrow keys to select for cut and paste. I will replace it as soon as I have a chance to stop by a store.So far,  I now have successfully dumped both Yahoo and Gmail for the dumber Outlook. I am still looking for a email provider that will not try to think for me but do nothing more than fetch and display my emails with no extra spam or gewgaws. I will keep trying. Sigh.


“The times they are a’changing”

May 4, 2017

I used to be a political animal – deeply involved in the Southern California political scene – and even served as special field rep for a Democratic Congressman. However, after a brief stint in the Nation’s Capitol, I became thoroughly jaded and changed my party affiliation to Republican because even though the party bumbles along, most of its members in Washington D.C. actually try to get something constructive (from their point of view) done. I say most, meaning at least sixty percent. The Democrats are hung up on personal ideological trips – mostly far left – and have their agendas chiseled in stone. At least,the Republican majority tries to compromise, which to the far left Democrats mean “I win”.  Anyway, I gave up on politics until just recently (when I turned sixty) and took up minimal involvement in the rat race. I worked for a while for a local Congressman and harassed a local city council for a month to change the General Plan with a modicum of success. It was fun playing “bush league” politics after the “big time” in the Los Angeles Basin. Now, I just sit back, watch and shake my head at the turn of events. The Republicans are advocating free speech and the Democrats are acting like far-right Nazis physically attacking those who espouse a different point of view. Like the song says, “the times they are a’changing”. Sigh.


A Matter of Trust

April 30, 2017

A friend of mine was on a rant the other day about you can no longer trust people and, after we parted company, I started mulling over what he said. Can we or do we trust people? I believe we do! We have a lot of faith in our fellow humans. Every time we go shopping, we’re exercising trust. We’re placing our lives in the hands of a multitude of unseen people – people we’ve never met but trust that the food we’re purchasing is safe to consume. There is a big risk in consuming edibles that have been prepared by a dozen or more unseen hands and, only accidentally or through careless, are we served up a toxic feed. Indeed, we do trust our fellow human beings. Actually, it is refreshing. Maybe we should extend that trust to other areas of our lives. It’s nice to know that as a whole, people are trustworthy. Only the rare scoundrel will try to take advantage of our trusting nature and those should be severely punished.


New Generation Idiots

April 22, 2017

In the 1960s, Berkeley and the University of California branch there was the center of the Free Speech Movement. The students there and there supporters from afar were sworn to the premise that EVERYONE had the right to speak their mind without being harassed or intimidate and, the powers to be forbid, attacked for having an unpopular point of view. These were the liberal “saints” of the era. My how things have changed! The new so-called liberals are violently trying to silence views they disagree with in the worst traditions of the dictators of the world past and present. These are the new “Nazis” of the twenty-first century try to silence everyone who disagrees with their warped point of view. They are as violent as the bastards in Germany on kristallnacht who opposed every one who would not support their warped philosophy. Place every vile, obscene, derogatory word in your vocabulary here: ____________________ and your have expressed my contempt for the idiots opposing freedom of speech at Berkeley. Unfortunately, common sense and rational dialogue it beyond the ken of these throw-backs to the Dark Ages. If I was a violent person, I would suggest arguing with a baseball bat in one hand and the United States Constitution in the other. Maybe then you might get through their thick skulls.


Pas De Quoi

April 12, 2017

I have been asked by several people why my website, email addresses and other items of correspondence all end in PDQ. No it does not stand for the traditional “pretty damn quick”. It is French, a language I became acquainted with in Laos which used to be a French Province and its inhabitants acquired French as a second language. PDQ stands for “Pas de Quoi” which has many translations but we used it as “as you like” in a slightly bawdy sense or “no problem” as in “pas de quoi, mon ami”. The veteran of the Korean War with whom I served in the mid-fifties and I formed a drinking club of two and spent a bit of time flying partially intoxicated, professing did so because we were both afraid of heights. He preferred a native version of 151 rum and I the closest equivalent of Smirnoff vodka, a habit I acquired while learning Mandarin Chinese at Yale University courtesy of an intelligence agency. (Don’t ask, won’t tell.) You will have to wait until I publish my memoirs.


“Inspired” by Jehovah’s Witness Doorknockers

March 22, 2017

I wish the “born agains” would get their facts right. Jesus Christ as a named person did not exist. It’s a handle later generations hung on Yeshua of Nazareth or Joshua in English. Christ is just a clipped version of the Greek “Christos” or “anointed one”, the equivalent of Messiah in Hebrew. So you should venerate either Joshua the Anointed one or Yeshua the Messiah and get off the sanctimonious Jesus Christ kick. My father was named Jesus at birth but went by the English version of Joshua. If you cannot get the name right that makes me doubt the validity of the rest of your doctrine. You best actually study the historical facts of your religious beliefs before you call yourselves Christians. Another thing, quit misquoting your Bible. As one who has not only read several versions of your Bible from cover to cover I might add and studied them in depth, it pains me to hear you and your ministers spouting half sentences to justify your actions and views. Example, “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth…” to justify seeking vengeance. The balance of the quote is “but vengeance is mine saith the lord”. The same goes for your other favorite platitudes. Get it right or shut up and get out of my face. You are the reason I have no faith in organized religion. You are little more than parrots repeating the same worn out words your ministers trained you to repeat. For sanity’s sake, have a novel thought of your own. Once in college, I wrote an absolutes inane term paper for a world religions class. Written at the last minute while I was more than a bit inebriated, it was little more than rambling double talk. The following semester my professor wanted me to autograph the paper because I had acquired a following of twenty seven souls after he posted the paper on the bulletin board. That explained the rise of cults. Needless to say, I hid from the idiots and did not start a new religion. Go figure.


The Do Nothing Club Revisited

March 20, 2017

It was the Los Angeles Harbor College Interclub Council’s recruitment day and all of the available tables in the college cafeteria’s dining room had been removed and aligned, outdoors, around the periphery of the campus quad. Each table had been ornamented with various hand drawn advertisements, and was inhabited by enthusiastic recruiters hawking the benefits of joining their respective club. However, a single unoccupied table and two chairs stood in the center of quad, away from the peripheral crowds; and, as I worked my way through the serving line and out of the barren dining room, needing a comfortable place to set my lunch tray, I opted for the unoccupied table which everyone else seemed to shun.
Setting my clipboard of blank notebook paper beside my tray, I had seated myself at the table and had begun to consume my lunch when a woman approached the table. She stared at the clipboard for a moment then asked, “Is this a club table?”
Absorbed with my meal, I simply shook my head and straightforwardly replied, “No, this is a non-club table.”
The woman furrowed her brow and, nudging my shoulder, asked, “What is a non-club?”
Restraining a smile at the obviously absurd question, I cordially replied, “It’s a nonexistent organization which has no members or bylaws and holds no meetings. That is why there is no posters or literature on this table.”
The furrow on the woman’s brow deepened. “That doesn’t seem very organized. I don’t think I’d want to join.”
Deciding to press the illogical conversation a bit further, I slid my clipboard toward her and said, “Well, if you don’t want to join, you’ll have to sign this roster.”
“Why?” she asked.
Pausing only momentarily, I replied, “Because everyone who does not wish to join is automatically a non-member, not required to attend the meetings which are not held. Therefore, you’ll have to sign the roster to insure that your name will not appear on the non-existent membership list. I’ll personally see to it that your name is immediately deleted.”
Still appearing confused, the woman nodded and wrote her name on the first line of the top sheet of paper on my clipboard as several other students wandered over to the table.
“We’ll have to have your address in order to be certain we won’t mail you any of the literature which we do not publish,” I persisted.
Again, she nodded and added her address to the line.
“And,” I continued, “because our non-meetings are never held and no one is ever notified of their non-occurrence, we’ll have to have your phone number, in order to insure that you will never be so advised. That is, provided you do not wish to have your name not appear in our non-existent directory of non-club members.”
The totally befuddled woman complied and added her telephone number to the line and wandered off, retaining her puzzled frown.
A young man, who had been standing behind her, took her place next to the table and picked up her forgotten pen, his forehead creased with the same confused frown. “I don’t want to join either,” he muttered.
With a feigned sigh of regret, I plaintively smiled, “Then, sign up and resign your non-club status and I’ll be sure your name will immediately be deleted from this list.” Whereupon, he complied, providing the complete non-required information, before handing the purloined pen to another member of the gathering throng.
Fascinated by the absurdity of the proceedings, I abandoned my intent to study and spent the remainder of my lunch hour non-recruiting and evolving an extensive non-sales pitch of utter nonsense which, to my dismay, began to sound strangely convincing even to me after the twentieth or so repetition. However, my dissolved view of the proceedings must have been shared by an unhealthy segment of the college’s student body for, I am sad to report, I secured thirty seven names, addresses and telephone numbers before I finally had to return to class — a record for club (or non-club) recruitment for the single day event! And, incredible as it may seem, only one individual signed the roster merely to play along with the gag. However, a second Individual signed as a protest against the “organized college establishment” and pursued me for several days, requesting the date, time and place of our first non-meeting. In desperation, I ultimately informed the misguided rebel to “go to the meeting rooms in the cafeteria at noon tomorrow and pick out an empty one and, if nobody shows up, that’s where the non-meeting will be”. He departed, quite content, and I never again heard from the man.
One week later, I decided to consummate the nonsense and submitted the traditional application for on-campus club status to the college’s Interclub Council’s sanctioning body. 1. Inserting, under ADDITIONAL COMMENTS, a request that the application be denied in order to designate our “non-existent organization” as an “official unauthorized non-club” on campus; and, 2. Notifying the Council that we did not require a room for our non-meetings as “everyone who was a member had resigned as required by our non-existent bylaws” and, therefore, would not be in attendance “at the non-meetings which, logically, are never held”. To my dismay, the application was APPROVED! Thus, I believe, establishing the first officially sanctioned unauthorized non-existent campus non-organization in the state, possibly the country and perhaps the world.

Los Angeles Harbor College, Wilmington, California, Spring Semester, 1968, as reported in my editorial, “The Do Nothing Club”, in the campus newspaper, The Harbor Hawk

Copyright 2009 Anthony Dias Souza