Just another Monday

For spring, the weather at the moment is exceptional.

While yesterday it was boiling hot nearly all day, and we’re supposedly getting more sunshine today, it’s hard to see when Spring is going to arrive.

The sun is out and the temperature is about 33 or 34 degrees centigrade.

For those southern states, the weather isn’t as good, which is why at this time of the year, the southerners head north.

This year its different. The borders are open but in the back of your mind there’s always the threat the border will slam shut overnight. It’s odd to say the borders are closed because in this country the borders have never been closed, at least not before COVID.

Thus we still have a problem, or so everyone says. People are just not taking the risk to travel, and with no tourist income and without income there are no jobs, and, well, you get the drift.

Here’s the thing. We don’t have the Covid 19 bug here, and we don’t want it. It comes from overseas, and a quarantine system that mostly works, so there are the odd scares.

But we have vaccines now, and people can get it in a particular order, the front line people, then the elderly and frail, followed by those with underlying conditions.

We only have 28 million people so it shouldn’t take long to cover everyone, but we will still have a problem. The vaccine slows the spread, but it doesn’t stop it. We have not made the vaccine mandatory, so the anti vaccers will ensure the bug will stay around for a long time to come, so normal? Probably never.

Good thing I got in all my travel before the bug. But it will be a shame for the younger people who may not want to take the risk. Particularly if the bug mutates.

Meanwhile, the plans to build an underground bunker are proceeding. Like in a dystopian thriller, the only way to escape this bug is to hide away for a few years, and let the fools kill themselves off, and emerge into a whole new world.

Or, well if that isn’t an opening for a story…

This is beginning to sound a lot like…

It’s odd how art sometimes imitates life, but it’s much, much worse when life imitates art.

I mean, in a sense, it’s good that life imitates Star Trek because we need lasers to ward off unfriendly aliens when they finally arrive, as well as having intergalactic warp speed vessels.

But it’s very, very bad when a contagion like COVID 19 pops up, and the scenario that follows is right out of the script for the movie Contagion.

Or Outbreak, not that any President would ever nuke a US City, which was the premise in that film.

Or follow along the lines of The Omega Man, where a virus turns everyone into a zombie-like creature, with the last surviving human finally running out of luck.

There’s been quite a few doomsday scenario films, the most interesting one involving walking plants (The Day of the Triffids) but scary as they might be, what’s happening now is equally scary.

And it had been predicted.

But, that’s not the worst of it.  Half the population wants to believe its no worse than a cold, that despite the ease in which it is transmitted, they will get it, and then it will magically disappear.

You know the drill, you get the disease once, you beat it, and you don’t get it again.

Maybe.  There are factual accounts of people getting it again, but they don’t know they have it, and of course, those people happily transmit it to a new group of people.  It doesn’t go away, you don’t beat it, it just lurks in cold dark corners, waiting to pounce.

It’s an insidious virus.

And if you recover, you might think you’ve recovered, but…

Lung scarring, loss of smell, migraines, memory loss, blood clots are just a few of the side effects.  Doctors are only just discovering this because someone is finally getting down to charting the course of the disease, and what happens after recovery.

Up till now, there hasn’t been time, everyone is too busy fighting it.

Perhaps, when I apply my thriller writing mind to all that I have read over the last few months, the real aim of the virus hasn’t materialized yet, that the aim of whoever invented it, if indeed it was invented, was not to seriously affect the 15 to 40-year-olds in this iteration, but the devil is in the future, say 30 years from now when a whole generation that had been consistently bombarded with conflicting information about the virus not being dangerous and that young people had no worries about getting it, suddenly find themselves dying of lung-related respiratory problems, blood clot induced heart attacks and aneurysms, or just forgotten who they are.

A whole generation!

It’s why you can speak to one person and they’ll tell you that you need masks, you need to isolate.  Of course, this is true, if that person is over 60, overweight and suffering from diabetes, or another debilitating disease.  These people make up a large percentage of the population.

It’s why if you speak to another person, under 50, they’ll tell you it’s nothing to worry about, and they will believe the misleading information that masks are un-necessary, if you get it, it’ll go away, some quack medicine with defeat it, even if the scientific tests say otherwise.  They’ve got better things to do than to worry about a silly invisible virus, like going to COVID 19 parties to see who the first person who contracts it is.

Can you see how good a novel this would make?

You would read it, and then put it down and think it could never happen here.

Like Contagion.

Like the Outbreak.

Like The Omega Man.

It couldn’t.

Could it?

 

So where is hell?

When we are taught about religion, we are inevitably introduced to heaven and hell.

Heaven is the place we all aspire to go up to, though I’ve never really understood why it is up. Of course, all the pictures of heaven are in the clouds, with a set of pearly gates (just why are they called the pearly gates anyway?) and St Peter waiting to ask us the 20 questions that decides whether we pass through, or get the elevator down.

Yes, hell is down. Why? And, for that matter why is it always depicted a dark and full of fire and hot embers?

Now, just taking a step back and thinking about hell, there is a saying, “it is hell on earth’.

Was this saying coined by someone who had actually been to hell and been sent back? Imagine being a reject from hell … that would take some doing.

For those who saw ‘The Good Place’ which ended recently, the notion of hell takes on something of a different meaning.

But, we often say, when at the very bottom of despair that we are in hell. I gather this means that life couldn’t get any worse, which is quite possible on of the universal definitions of what it might be like in the ‘real’ hell.

Or was hell invented by some clergy a long time ago to frighten the parishioners into being good, because the ‘prize’ if you didn’t was a one way trip to, you guessed it, hell.

Come to think of it, a lot of the religious ‘stuff’ is to keep us penitent parishioners on the straight and narrow, though we are allowed to stray every now and then so we have a reason to go to the confessional, where, after straying, we a forgiven for the price of a few hail Mary’s.

And perhaps the unforgiving stare of the parish priest.

So, when we tell someone to ‘go to hell’, what is it we are really wishing upon that person. A fiery end? A meeting with the devil?

Let’s hope that ‘hell’ is just an invention, and that when were finally make it to the afterlife (which is a whole other question that I take issue with) our lives have been such that we know the answers to the 20 questions St Peter puts to us, and we get the magic ticket into heaven.

And hopefully there will be a Red Lobster up there.

In a word: Idle

It can relate to an object such as an engine in a car when sitting at traffic lights. Then the engine is not in gear or under any load, therefore it is idle.

That he is idle might mean he is currently not working or refuses to work. Then it could be said he is bone idle which is to say he is any or all of lazy, or shiftless, even indolent

It could refer to the time when nothing is happening.

It could also refer to money in accounts not earning any interest

How many of us indulge in idle chatter, which is meaningless?

And how many of us have made an idle threat, especially to a child who refuses to go to bed, or sleep.

 

This is not to be confused with idol

An idol is generally thought of as a representation of a god, one used as an object of worship.

An idol can also be a person who is greatly admired, like a celebrity or superstar or a hero.

It could also be a figment of the imagination.

 

Then there is idyll which could be an extremely happy place, or a picturesque period or situation, one that is unsustainable

It could also be a short verse about rustic life.

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 97

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20161008_135142

This is Chester

Still hiding away.

Like any wise, old, skeptical cat, he’s not believing the good news.

We do not have a COVID 19 case in our house. Of course, we had to wait an agonizing 24 hours before we got the good news by phone.

It shows that our testing labs are getting through the tests, of which I heard in the news there were about 4,000, with only 10 or so new cases countrywide.

Queensland had none overnight, so if our case had been positive, we would have been in the news for al; the wrong reasons.

So, after broadcasting the news, that is, walking up and down the passage saying it was safe to come out, there’s still no sign of him.

But…

I have a cunning plan.

I bought a can of his absolute favorite food.

Come dinner time I’m putting it out.

 

Of course, food trumps fear every time.

He walks past me on his way to the tasty treats, the tail movements indicating he is not a happy cat.

The things I have to suffer at the hands of you humans, he mutters.

So, I say casually, we have guests for dinner.

He stops, turns his head in that dismissive manner of his.
What else can you do to me?

COVID 19, Grandchildren, I suppose you’re going to let me outside.

Do you want to go outside?

With COVID 19 lurking on every corner?

It’s under control.

Right. I’ve been watching TV. You do realize there’s good news and fake news, and there’s more of the latter than the former.

So, he’s going with the confuse the poor human with blather.

It’s working. I say, Go back into hiding. I was quite enjoying the silence.

After dinner, he says, ending the conversation with the angry tail swish. Yes, we are not amused.

Grasping at straws or a pie in the sky?

This is to be willing to do, say, or believe anything that offers even the slightest hope in a desperate situation, even though there is almost no chance for success.

Sound familiar?

We all have a preferred position in any debate, sometimes a pre-conceived notion that we are right and the rest of the world is wrong.

And, just to prove it we will grasp at any straw, no matter how wrong it might be, how big a lie it might be, simply because it fits our narrative.

Politicians are good at it.

Salespeople are too, and they will tell you anything to make a sale.

Seems politicians are little more than salespeople.  Especially when you hold up a foot-thick pile of paper and call it a policy.  Of course, it is.  Look at all this paper!  And you can find it on the internet.

I’ve found incontrovertible truth that aliens have landed on earth many times, and walk amongst us, on the internet too.

Add to the straws the notion that if you throw enough mud some it will stick.

Likewise, if you say the same thing over and over, no matter how wrong it is, people will begin to believe it.

You read it, and see it, and read it again, ten, twenty times a day, over and over until you have been brainwashed.

Nobody repeats the truth, have you noticed that?

The truth usually appears at the bottom of page 17 of a newspaper, buried by the Ford, Ram Truck, and Coca Cola advertisements.

But the lies, the narrative that you are supposed to hear, it comes at you from every angle, papers, magazines, all over the internet, cable channels, everywhere.  It will be on roadside billboards soon.

The CIA and the KGB came up with that little idea.  It’s called brainwashing.

It’s made to sound authentic, that it’s come from ‘experts’, people allegedly with degrees in everything but UFO technology, and because it sounds authoritative, we believe it.

Especially after we’ve been told hundreds of times.

A case in point, I can tell you almost word for word some of the most obnoxious advertisements on television going back 50 years, yes, 50 years, because we were inundated with them, day and night, all the time, for years.

Of course, with fake news and political lies continually being spoken, printed, and hurled at us ad infinitum, no one really knows what the truth is anymore.  I tried looking at the bottom of page 17 for it, but it’s not there.

Like I said, no one is willing to tell the truth more than once.

So, whilst being told by one side that I’m in a vulnerable group and COVID 19 will kill me if I get it, the other side is telling me there’s no such thing as COVID 19 and it’s just an elaborate hoax.

Whoever created this elaborate hoax has done a good job, though, managing to enlist 218 countries worldwide, all their medical authorities, and all of the governments.  That’s some incredible effort.

So, my two cents worth, if every country in the world can partake in a hoax, why can’t they band together in world peace, free trade, and no wars.

Is it a pie in the sky moment?

Or just a little bit idealistic?

 

In a word: Idle

It can relate to an object such as an engine in a car when sitting at traffic lights. Then the engine is not in gear or under any load, therefore it is idle.

That he is idle might mean he is currently not working or refuses to work. Then it could be said he is bone idle which is to say he is any or all of lazy, or shiftless, even indolent

It could refer to the time when nothing is happening.

It could also refer to money in accounts not earning any interest

How many of us indulge in idle chatter, which is meaningless?

And how many of us have made an idle threat, especially to a child who refuses to go to bed, or sleep.

 

This is not to be confused with idol

An idol is generally thought of as a representation of a god, one used as an object of worship.

An idol can also be a person who is greatly admired, like a celebrity or superstar or a hero.

It could also be a figment of the imagination.

 

Then there is idyll which could be an extremely happy place, or a picturesque period or situation, one that is unsustainable

It could also be a short verse about rustic life.

Past conversations with my cat – 97

20161008_135142

This is Chester

Still hiding away.

Like any wise, old, skeptical cat, he’s not believing the good news.

We do not have a COVID 19 case in our house. Of course, we had to wait an agonizing 24 hours before we got the good news by phone.

It shows that our testing labs are getting through the tests, of which I heard in the news there were about 4,000, with only 10 or so new cases countrywide.

Queensland had none overnight, so if our case had been positive, we would have been in the news for al; the wrong reasons.

So, after broadcasting the news, that is, walking up and down the passage saying it was safe to come out, there’s still no sign of him.

But…

I have a cunning plan.

I bought a can of his absolute favorite food.

Come dinner time I’m putting it out.

 

Of course, food trumps fear every time.

He walks past me on his way to the tasty treats, the tail movements indicating he is not a happy cat.

The things I have to suffer at the hands of you humans, he mutters.

So, I say casually, we have guests for dinner.

He stops, turns his head in that dismissive manner of his.
What else can you do to me?

COVID 19, Grandchildren, I suppose you’re going to let me outside.

Do you want to go outside?

With COVID 19 lurking on every corner?

It’s under control.

Right. I’ve been watching TV. You do realize there’s good news and fake news, and there’s more of the latter than the former.

So, he’s going with the confuse the poor human with blather.

It’s working. I say, Go back into hiding. I was quite enjoying the silence.

After dinner, he says, ending the conversation with the angry tail swish. Yes, we are not amused.

So near and yet so far…

As in

At least, it seems that way.

It’s really just a short walk to that door, and to leave the room.

But that what you’re meant to think.

So, here’s the thing, there’s something between you and that door.

Is it a man or woman with a gun. Can you tell of they have a gun? They could just be sitting at one of the tables having a cup of coffee?

Is it a few people standing in a group that can and will block that exit, and if so, who would make them do so? And why?

Or, are you injured, and every inch between you and that door is like a mile through an alligator infested swamp?

The possibilities are endless.

Stay tuned for one possible reason, and led up to it.

So where is hell?

When we are taught about religion, we are inevitably introduced to heaven and hell.

Heaven is the place we all aspire to go up to, though I’ve never really understood why it is up. Of course, all the pictures of heaven are in the clouds, with a set of pearly gates (just why are they called the pearly gates anyway?) and St Peter waiting to ask us the 20 questions that decides whether we pass through, or get the elevator down.

Yes, hell is down. Why? And, for that matter why is it always depicted a dark and full of fire and hot embers?

Now, just taking a step back and thinking about hell, there is a saying, “it is hell on earth’.

Was this saying coined by someone who had actually been to hell and been sent back? Imagine being a reject from hell … that would take some doing.

For those who saw ‘The Good Place’ which ended recently, the notion of hell takes on something of a different meaning.

But, we often say, when at the very bottom of despair that we are in hell. I gather this means that life couldn’t get any worse, which is quite possible on of the universal definitions of what it might be like in the ‘real’ hell.

Or was hell invented by some clergy a long time ago to frighten the parishioners into being good, because the ‘prize’ if you didn’t was a one way trip to, you guessed it, hell.

Come to think of it, a lot of the religious ‘stuff’ is to keep us penitent parishioners on the straight and narrow, though we are allowed to stray every now and then so we have a reason to go to the confessional, where, after straying, we a forgiven for the price of a few hail Mary’s.

And perhaps the unforgiving stare of the parish priest.

So, when we tell someone to ‘go to hell’, what is it we are really wishing upon that person. A fiery end? A meeting with the devil?

Let’s hope that ‘hell’ is just an invention, and that when were finally make it to the afterlife (which is a whole other question that I take issue with) our lives have been such that we know the answers to the 20 questions St Peter puts to us, and we get the magic ticket into heaven.

And hopefully there will be a Red Lobster up there.