Saturday, September 20, 2003

We now speak of supernatural things. Creepy, other-worldly beings that do exist, if only in our imaginations. What are we to make of the many, many weird perceptions that people have claimed throughout the history of human dictation? Ghosts, aliens, possessions, demons, spaceships in the skies, and myriad other incidents that compiled together create a thick brief of unnatural events and experiences.

The man who sees his demise in a fiery plane crash and, therefore, avoids the event by taking another flight. What can we say when his vision comes true; when his scheduled flight does go down in flames?

And how do we explain the thousands of sightings by reliable sources of aircraft that perform far beyond the laws of physics as we know them? Mass hysteria? I don't think so.

And what of the programs run by both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War years that used so-called psychics to 'spy' on on another through mental telepathy? These are historical facts recorded and documented and, in many cases, inexplicable in their exactitude. A man, sitting in a room below ground, thousands of miles from the 'target' site, draws an accurate picture of a missle silo or a building that houses electronic eavesdropping devices and his renderings are filled with remarkable details, details that only personal viewing could produce. And yet, this same man never traveled to those sites, never saw pictures of them or read intelligence reports about the layouts of those places? How do we explain these documented events?

Remember reading "The Exorcist?" William Peter Blatty began that project after hearing about a case of possession – though I don't recall the actual details of the case. But I do recall it was baffling to all who witnessed the unfolding horror that a little girl somewhere in the U.S. experienced. Blatty has said that after doing research on possession cases he began to believe that something real was happening, though what he couldn't say. Could it be psychological aberration that gave a 12-year-old the ability to speak several languages she had never been exposed to? Is it mental illness that created a cacaphony of inhuman, monstrous voices, seemingly babbling all at once through the little girl's mouth? Strange indeed! And, in this particular case, was it mental powers that moved heavy objects without visible contact through the air and across floors in the little girl's room?

All these events were documented by no less than several priests and half a dozen psychologists and psychiatrists.

So what is going on in the netherworld of our material existence? Is there, for example, another dimension thinly veiled by our own brains' perceptual reach; another dimension that's inhabited by beings as real as ourselves?

Bullshit? Ravings? A need to believe in something outside the realm of we know as reality? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

There are things under heaven and earth that go far beyond our understanding of the universe and its workings.

So, it's Saturday night and I'm hanging out here, waiting to hear from D so I can go eat dinner with her and, perhaps, watch a film on DVD. Maybe it's the fact that I went to see "Underworld" today that put me onto this track of wandering and wondering about the supernatural. I don't know. But I do know that "Underworld" sucks, so don't waste your money. Oh, it's got some eye-popping special effects per the genre, but nothing we haven't seen before. And certainly the protaganist is a babe who has a flair for landing on her feet after jumping from great heights, a stylish strut that's fun to watch, especially since she's wearing skin-tight, black leather pants and a duster-style leather coat that flaps hypnotically in the wind.

Do yourself a favor and skip it. I only went to see it because I haven't been to a flick in weeks, I was bored and D may want to see one while I have time off and I am sure it's not one she would pick.

I have four whole days away from work, away from the grinding, mind-numbing routine that I barely tolerate these days.

Heaven, that's what it's supposed to be, right?

But why does one feel a sensation of hope or relief at the prospect of not having to get up and be somewhere at a specific time – to be at work? I wonder, because it seems so illusory, that feeling, so unrealistic. And, in point of fact, it usually is. I mean my short-lived joy at the prospect of days off is usually just that – short-lived. Like the Cancun vacation that turns into a nightmare because your bags are lost or the hotel misplaces your reservation, or your wallet is stolen by an exceptional pick-pocket.

C'est la vie, right?

Like many people, I'm susceptible to grandiose notions.

Well, that's that. I'm over and out, for now.

Wish I could offer something a bit more stimulating or interesting but this is all I have tonight. Farewell and fly high.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Sorry about the old folks. But the wheels of the insurance industry must be greased with the few brittle bones to keep it running smoothly Of course I refer to the Republican plan to gut Medicare and chop Medicaid into tiny bits too small to be of use.

But wait. They're not done!

Look out for Sen. Charles Grassley's (R-Iowa) proposal to rewrite the nation's pension-fund liabilities regulations. Of course, Bush-o-rama is behind this nifty piece of political maneuvering, but it's Grassley who's playing the trailblazer here.

As I understand it, Grassley's proposal would do away with the relatively risk-free, government issued bonds traditionally used as investments for pension funds by large corporations. Instead, Grassley wants workers' employers to have the freedom to play high-stakes poker, so to speak, and invest in high-risk, corporate bonds (the idea is that SOMETIMES those investments make a killing, thereby relieving the employers of some of the 'burden' inherent to pension funds.

According to the Pension Rights Center, a D.C.-based watchdog organization, the switch could bankrupt some companies by raising pension liabilities sky-high.

Hooboy! Another GOP bite off the federal apple.

And then there's this tidbit on the wire tonight.

Francis Giberson, former Department of Human Services deputy commissioner for Minnesota, was arrested in Las Vegas and charged with failure to pay child support. This bum owes more than $106,000 in back-payments to his ex for his childrens' care and nurture. And despite the fact that he's a lawyer and rolling in cash, he hasn't paid a dime in years.

Now how do we get these sterling examples of human dignity, these moral giants predictably ensconced in our political-bureaucratic system, I wonder. I mean, hell, I know nobody's perfect but really, this flotsam shouldn't have been allowed to gain from a government job, which, as we all know, is as cushy as it gets for working stiffs.

And lest we neglect the high moral (morbid) fiber of America's middle-class, kudos go to ABC for landing the FIRST interview with Jessica Lynch - you know, the soldier wounded in Iraq and, subsequently, rescued from a hospital behind enemy lines. Well, sort of.

Never mind that there were no enemy soldiers in the hospital at the time of the rescue, and never mind that Ms. Lynch, bless her capitalistic little heart, was barely coherent. And if the predominance of reports are to be believed, she remembers very little about her rescue.

But leave it to the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) to treat her like a commodity, trying to outbid one another for the privilege to gush softball questions at her.

Diane Sawyer must be crowing loud and proud! After all, she beat out "The Today" show's pixie, Katie Couric, by one whole day!

Hmmm. I wonder if it's a coincidence that the interview is scheduled in mid-November during the networks' 'sweeps' week? Or if the fact that Lynch's autobiography will be ready for publication at about the same time influenced her manager's decision?

Here's to marketing and its uplifting force. Our lives are sooo much better for having slick commercial conmen and women crafting crafty slogans and catch-phrases we can all remember, eh?

Well, that's my rant for the moment. Didn't mean to take up so much of your time. So it goes.

Since I'm at work at the moment it's a bit weird because I have to look as though I'm busy doing company bidness, ya know.

So here's to Iraq, the 52nd state; here's to Schwarzenegger, the hulking conservative with the funny accent; and here's to world peace, which I haven't a hope in hell of seeing in my lifetime.

Adios for now.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

What if Bush has a plan? Yea, what if Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz and Ashcroft and the crew actually intend to suck the terrorists into Iraq so they can round them up in one place and kill them (or capture them, maybe)? I suppose it's possible and it would be a likely scenario given the idiocy of the CIA and the international community's so-called intelligence appartus.

Nah! But still. It is something to think about, ya know.