Betty Windsor’s 2015 Christmas address: non sequiturs, platitudes, & white lies

Betty Windsor Christmas 2015 address

In her annual Christmas address broadcast from Buckingham Palace, Betty Windsor covered a wide range of subjects in just 5 minutes. She discussed Christmas tree decorations, her honeymoon in Malta, her upcoming 90th birthday, World War II, death & grief, her new grandchild, new Commonwealth leaders, the story of Mary & Joseph’s flight from persecution & the birth of Jesus in a stable.

It’s unusual to see an older woman held in such esteem but without that tiara Betty’s oratorical talents would take quite a drubbing from critics. With that inimitable animation of hers where only her lips move, it isn’t always certain that she isn’t a ventriloquist dummy though we put incredulity aside in the interest of holiday cheer. Her speech was a string of non sequiturs, platitudes, & white lies. Let’s face it: what does WWII have to do with Jesus’ birth? And does she really expect us to believe her kids decorated the Christmas tree behind her when they need valets to wipe their own butts & brush their teeth?

The story of Jesus’ birth in a stable must resonate strongly with Betty & strengthen her affinity with Camilla since they spend most of their time at the race tracks. The only drawback is there are no trifectas on the Christmas story.

We’re told Betty wrote her own speech so it’s a damn good thing she doesn’t really run the country–& not just because of the non sequiturs. Next year Parliament might want to have someone censor what she says because her platitudes & Biblical citations could lead to political unrest. When she spoke about the flight of Joseph & Mary from persecution & the Biblical call for us to ‘love one another’, some wild-eyed human rights activists might think she’s calling for the UK to open the borders & pull back riot police from beating off refugees coming from the Calais port.

2016 will be her 90th birthday & there’s talk that at long last she’ll hand over the moochocracy to Charlie. In a pig’s eye! Betty may be platitudinous & with regrettable taste in consorts, but she’s no reckless fool when it comes to feudalism. She’s assiduously grooming Willie for the schtick.

Our Christmas address back to Betty is: “Down with feudalism.” Your kids will receive remedial job training & finally have lives worth living instead of mooching off the body politic.

Happy new year, Betty!

(Photo is screen grab from video of Betty’s speech.)

Happifying: the antidote to dejectifying or depressifying

This is reposted from November 2014–just cause I get a kick out of it:

Facebook prompted me to like the Facebook wall “Happify” which would teach me the science-based way to stop negative thoughts & feel happier every day. Apparently the system comes recommended by the NY Times & Katie Couric. Well there is just nothing worse than a negative thought so I rushed to the page to get happified hoping that a stupor or induced coma weren’t required.

I had some questions: Does social criticism mean you’re not happified? Does justified outrage mean you’re resisting happification & being controlled by the dark forces of the universe? Or does it just mean you read the newspapers? Just how far does the happifying thing go?

Well after some moments on that wall I felt giddy with glee, purged of all negative thoughts but when I came back to my own wall a friend had posted about the high court ruling in Delhi, India which let a man go scot-free after the 2010 rape & murder of a 65-year-old woman because she was post-menopausal & thus the crime cannot be considered rape. The judges ruled “even if the sexual intercourse was forceful it was not forcible & contrary to the wishes & consent of the deceased.” They can’t ask her if it was contrary to her consent because he murdered her. The esteemed judges found she might have died from natural causes. And here we thought the US Supreme Court took the cake for judicial dereliction & pompous idiocy.

This happifying thing isn’t working for me. There aint no science that can cut across reality without inducing a coma–which may be a lot easier than changing reality but somebody’s got to kick ass. My mother always chided me with the Bible: “Revenge is mine; I will repay saith the Lord.” My answer remains the same: “Why should God have all the fun?” Think of how happified we’ll all feel when these judges are put behind bars after being declared insane?

The fatal flaw of misanthropy: it’s a bore

It is an axiom of evolutionary psychology, more honestly termed evo psycho thought (or what is loosely called thought but is actually a misanthropic ideology), that there is no such thing as altruism in human beings; everything is motivated by our “selfish genes.”

Evo psycho is just the latest rendition of corrupt human nature & original sin theory with a veneer of science. Media & universities peddle this tripe as gospel truth because it justifies economic, social, & political inequality. They use misanthropy & an anti-scientific fetish of genes to justify racism, misogyny, & social hatreds of all kind. Richard Dawkins is the epitome of that intellectual genre. With him, I rest my brief against evo psychoism. His writings are a cornucopia of flatulent prejudice & stupidity.

In 1902, Peter Kropotkin wrote one of most powerful answers to misanthropy called “Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution.” It’s perhaps a more powerful piece than even the extensive rebuttals of evo psycho by Harvard scientists Stephen J. Gould & Richard Lewontin.

What makes me bring this up is that yesterday I took my six unkempt, ill-mannered mutts to the pet store to get food. They love to stand in the cart & bark & snarl at all the other dogs in the store. As I was leaving, an older woman with a tiny teacup Chihuahua came up to me with $27 & asked me not to be offended but she wanted to contribute treats for them. She told me her own little dog was rescued from abuse & showed me scarring on the dog’s back. She also told me she’s caring for her husband who has leukemia. I don’t know why she selected me; perhaps I looked as unkempt as my mutts. But I was simply overwhelmed with her kindness.

When I was sick over the past few weeks, I received phone calls & a package of soups & herbs from a FB friend I consider my sister; a dear friend/sister here came over two or three times with all kinds of foods & medicine; & I received many lovely get well messages & blessings from FB friends. Evo psycho would have me dismiss all that kindness as expressions of selfish genes–though what your selfish genes derive beats me.

Evo psycho cannot explain anything but only justify inequality. Kropotkin, Gould, Lewontin, & so many other writers & activists are not romantics or sentimental fools. The science of altruism is based solidly in human history. It’s the very nature of solidarity with the oppressed. It’s the very heart of human kindness which I have been more than blessed with. What it is to its core is not noblesse oblige or pity but a recognition of our common humanity.

Perhaps I wrote this whole thing to express my immense gratitude with the kindness I receive. I’m truly overwhelmed. heart emoticon

New Years Resolution: build the economic, cultural, & academic boycott of Israel (BDS)

Hassan M Shoaap  Children in Palestinian refugee camp 2015

Today we start listing all out goals for 2016, most of which those with good sense will abandon by February 1st. Those ‘of a certain age’ don’t bother with that ritual anymore. It only creates guilt which is a counterproductive emotion. Save guilt for a real transgression–like getting into a wrangle on FB. Who cares if we don’t lose weight or get rid of flab? Who wants to look like Twiggy anyway?

There is one resolution we should be steadfast with however because it draws on the highest aspirations of human beings: rebuild the international antiwar movement in solidarity with the peoples of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria & build the solidarity movements against occupation & ethnic cleansing in Palestine, Kashmir, Myanmar, & against indigenous peoples on every continent being dispossessed by multinational mining & agribusiness operations. The future they are forging is ours. What’s a little extra flesh compared to that?

These little ones are living in a Palestinian refugee camp. Their need is our New Year priority: honor & build the economic, cultural, & academic boycott of apartheid Israel (BDS). Buy no products made in Israel (barcode beginning 729). Couldn’t be an easier resolution to keep. Couldn’t be more important.

(Photo is from album on wall of Hassan M Shoaap)

Happy New Year 2016 to my readers

2015 has been a hell of a year for millions of people. When they look back on it, it won’t be fondly. But we live on a planet filled with extraordinary life & beauty & we can again make the new year a time to work for peace & social transformation. One of these years, we’ll make it work.

Happy New Year to all my FB friends. May it be blessed with every good fortune. heart emoticon

Refugees at Calais: “We have a dream”

Refugees at Calais (REUTERS:Pascal Rossignol)  Dec 31 2015

This fellow is a refugee stranded for now in a squalid encampment in Calais whilst waiting to find a way to the UK against an obstacle course of dangers & violations of international laws governing treatment of refugees. The refugees are in a hell of a spot. Couldn’t be worse. In common parlance, it would be said their condition is akin to being up to their asses in a swamp filled with alligators.

But on that embankment topped by a razor wire fence they’ve posted the message, “We Have A Dream.” And there you have it! There you see what it is about the human race that is so remarkable & why so tenacious against adversity.

The transformation will come when human beings no longer endure adversity but rise up en masse to overcome it. Suffering is not our due. It isn’t hedonism to say all human beings have a right to health & happiness. It is justice. But ‘Aye, there’s the rub!’ Social transformation is the hardest thing of all. Not impossible, but requiring the commitment of all against such massive & entrenched inequality.

Changing the world isn’t just one act but the steady drum beat of resistance to tyranny around the world. For now it requires opposition to war & occupation, support for refugee & immigrant rights, standing with all those oppressed in any way for any reason. Those who fight back with tenacity–like the Palestinians–lead the way forward for all.

Our respect to the refugees at Calais for making a banner that all of us can fly: “We Have A Dream” that someday the human race will create a world suitable for children to come of age in, to live & love in

(Photo by Pascal Rossignol/Reuters)