MCMLXIX #GiveThanks

It’s a time for words of thanks.  The last few days the news has been saying that the anticipated vaccine will begin rolling out soon, to be in place next year.  It is such welcome news.

As well, the holidays are here, when people don’t act as paranoid with each other given the holiday season.  It’s an unusual holiday season, of course, owing to the impact of the pandemic.

Here on WordPress, occasionally I find specific bloggers to be interesting for me, even if they aren’t well-known, at least not yet, anyway.  One guy like that is Jim Adams, who has a blog and who has planned blog prompts through to 2021.

https://jimadamsauthordotcom.wordpress.com/2020/11/28/domesticated-animals/

Jim has a keen interest in music and a lot of knowledge to share.  Jim’s blog prompts are great.

I remember last winter when my dad pointed out to me that the link-sharing I was doing on social media didn’t seem to be too relevant, as far as he could tell.  I help out my dad with his business.

https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited/

http://www.maplelawncemetery.org/24701.html

While I enjoy Facebook and Twitter, the day he offered that criticism about my content, I was a little miffed.  I know that my dad clowns, but I tried to look past that, to see if I could think of a better approach.

I decided a few weeks ago to take a direction that could feel more relevant, I hope, whatever the issue.  I’m chancing to utilize the focus right now that Jim provides.

I’ve been blogging since MySpace, kind of a wow.  On WordPress, I have done some posting with a bit of humour to it, and in the months since my dad said that to me about how I seem on social, I eventually decided I still wasn’t too far off the mark.

There aren’t too many “rules” for running a social presence.  When I started to read Jim, I thought it was great because I could see that, with his idea, I could collect my thoughts about the music I like.

For November 29, 2020, Jim’s prompts include, “bird.”  I know that the late Leonard Cohen made the song Bird on the Wire.

Cohen is a Canadian singer who became well-known for making music.  By the mid-1960s, Cohen started to form rock and pop melodies.  He had already written an expansive amount of writing, both poetry, and novels.

He studied at McGill in Montreal and made quite a name for himself through the sixties.  Cohen kind of burned out about that stuff in the early nineteen seventies, but his music came to him his whole career.  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame enlisted Cohen in 2008, and Leonard Cohen got a Grammy Award in 2010.

Bird on the Wire is on the record Songs from a Room, released April 1969, and is like a poem set to the sound of Cohen’s guitar.   The title Songs from a Room is very simple, understating the mastery of the music.

Songs from a Room LP

Being able to enjoy something from the years before I was born is lucky, as hearing Bird on the Wire is an experience that has power to it, sentimental.  Strange song title, eh?  A listener feels like the hardships of life have been met by others just the same, whether more talented, or more fortunate.

Photo by Burst from StockSnap

Not to sound presumptuous, but Bird on the Wire is great that way.  Leonard Cohen got into music as a popular singer when he was losing interest in writing.  Wikipedia says that Bird on the Wire is a country song, a detail which surprises me, and reading that, I thought additionally that the song just has a simplicity that sets it apart from other country songs.

The country genre of music isn’t something I understand, and maybe neither is the language of love, but when I was in college, I got to study, one semester, Canadian music.  Country music in the Canadian Prairies is a favourite choice of many resident Canadians.

I can infer that Bird on the Wire could be a favourite of many who can remember 1969.  It was years before I was born.

There is something about cowboy music, that we’ve adopted in Canada, that reflects how life in the Prairies shaped up.  The first herders calling themselves “cowboys” got to the Canadian prairies in the 1870s, riding up from the US territories of Idaho and Montana.

The romantic image of the cowboy emerged around this American subculture.  British Columbia “buckaroos” likewise sooner or later adopted the cowboy appearance.

I doubt that Cohen identified with being a cowboy; he was a novelist, poet and musician.  He identifies, I think, with the archetype of a cowboy’s passion.  I think of the scene in the Hollywood movie City Slickers, where Billy Crystal’s Mitch Robbins character plays the harmonica at the campfire.

Curly, Jack Palance’s character, interrupts the music.

Mitch Robbins:  [Playing harmonica]

Curly:  Put that away.

Mitch Robbins:  [Stops, then resumes playing harmonica]

Curly:  I said, put that away!

Mitch Robbins:  Hey you know, the first time I tried to talk to you, you embarrassed me.  So I teased you a little bit which maybe I shouldn’t have done, so I’m sorry.

And now you’re sitting over there playing with your knife, trying to frighten me – which you’re doing a good job.  But if you’re gonna kill me, get on with it; if not, shut the hell up – I’m on vacation.

City
Slickers

Wikipedia explains that before writing Bird on the Wire, Cohen carefully structured the song, before committing it to tape.  To tell the truth, before I read Wikipedia’s description, I hadn’t thought that the song would be identified as a country song.

Cohen’s music is usually in the genres of folk, and soft rock.  Romantic country music doesn’t meld with the other interests in music I have thought of.  If Bird on the Wire is a country song, it breaks, I think, with the tradition of country music that country music fans enjoy.

It’s unique that way.  I wonder if a country song should be simple, but distinctive.  The answer isn’t straightforward.

Sometimes answers to questions like that turn up unexpectedly, even if it isn’t initially clear where to begin, to get an answer to the question.  A post like this one, doing the research and writing the content, helps me understand better something that already interests me, the music.  Also, maybe somebody else interested in this blog challenge thought to say something about this specific song.

I first heard Bird on the Wire when I was in high school, the twelfth grade or so, on a simply dubbed audio cassette.  Leonard Cohen passed on November 7, 2016 (aged 82).

I saw him once in concert.  It was terrific.

Here are the lyrics to the song, followed by the song itself, in a video.

My links

https://www.facebook.com/findingenvirons

https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Coholan

https://about.me/patrickcoholan

Bird on the Wire

Like a bird on the wire

Like a drunk in a midnight choir

I have tried in my way to be free

Like a worm on a hook

Like a knight from some old-fashioned book

I have saved all my ribbons for thee

If I, if I have been unkind

I hope that you can just let it go by

If I, if I have been untrue

I hope you know it was never to you

For like a baby, stillborn

Like a beast with his horn

I have torn everyone who reached out for me

But I swear by this song

And by all that I have done wrong

I will make it all up to thee

I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch

He said to me, “you must not ask for so much”

And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door

She cried to me, “hey, why not ask for more?”

Oh, like a bird on the wire

Like a drunk in a midnight choir

I have tried in my way to be free

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Leonard Cohen

Bird on the Wire lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

https://youtu.be/BmPUu-rMpWA

MCMXC

This blog gets me crossing paths with individuals who have something to add about the world as they understand it.  Like the Discover feature on TikTok, imagination is an alluring quality.  

Jim Adams is a writer with a fascination for music, who concocts prompts for a blog.  He thinks of words for participants to find in song titles, or lyrics, in a blog format.

Participants discuss the songs with a common element, the writing prompt, as it appears in the lyrics, or in the song title.

Photo by Matt Jones from StockSnap

I have read some of his participants’ blog discussions and I have followed along some of what is new with Jim.  He publishes the prompts carefully, only a few at a time, to let his followers know what is coming.

For November 8, Jim prompted “days of the week,” and the song I thought of is Monday Morning, by the band The Church.  It has taken me a good deal longer than I anticipated to get this post ready and finished, but I thought the finished post might be good enough that I should go ahead and post it.

The Church is a rock band with a dark flavour for their music, rarely undemanding, weird at times, and atmospheric.  It’s not from my part of the world, but I like it.

The Church

The Church in the year 1990 wrote Monday Morning, singer Steve Kilbey, drummer Richard Ploog, guitarist Marty Wilson-Piper, and, guitarist Peter Koppes, for the record Gold Afternoon Fix.

At the time, The Church excused the completed collection as an innovative disappointment.   The percussion on the melodies didn’t turn out.

One of the songs for Gold Afternoon Fix is entitled Disappointment.  “Late for an appointment, clothes everywhere/I cannot find my memory anywhere/Ah disappointment just doesn’t care,” Kilbey sings.

I think Monday Morning is a song that initially appeared only on the CD release of the album, not the LP.  For me, The Church is a charming band, and I believe founding songwriter Steve Kilbey has since allowed that his original opinion about the album needn’t have been so critical.

The Church began in 1980 as a new wave band, a music genre emerging after the punk rock scene.  The Church was pretty noisy, good, though.  By 1983 they were making more experimental music.

By creative failure, I only mean music that lacks integrity, bad music.  That’s not The Church.  They are a band I quite like.

The chief problem with Gold Afternoon Fix is really that the personnel couldn’t come to an agreement about the percussion.  The melodies are very acceptable at any rate.  For example, I like the tune Monday Morning.

Perhaps the song is about a weekend fling, the freedom of time spent away, as from office life, when a free heart gets heavy again, when Monday morning arrives, and the weekend has dispersed.

The Church was in L.A. and the culture of the day must have touched on the lyrics Kilbey wrote for the record.  The air was full of energy.

As far as the discography by The Church, Gold Afternoon Fix followed their record Starfish, their 1988 album, which was a major achievement for them, and which contains the exemplary melody Under the Milky Way.  The record Priest = Aura followed two years after the fact, in 1992.  Steve Kilbey recalls fondly the 1990s in Sydney, Australia, he’s said on Twitter.

1988 The Church LP

Gold Afternoon Fix is an album I like.  The band did have trouble getting the percussion for Gold Afternoon Fix correct, and drummer Richard Ploog only plays drums on four of the songs on the album.  The other songs have the beat of a drum machine.

Other than Steve Kilbey writing occasional new material with a drum machine, the band had never considered using that kind of percussion on an album.  They’d become known for being a great beat.  Richard Ploog, the drummer, couldn’t finish recording the drums for Gold Afternoon Fix, however.

Mr. Ploog’s interest in music had stopped meeting the vision the other members of the band had, for the songs.  Ploog’s energy was turning into contention, with the interest in music the other three artists had.

Ironically, one of the first songs The Church did, in their early years as a band, is called Too Fast for You.  “Oh, and I hope I’m not going too fast for you/And don’t believe it when they say it’s over,” Kilbey sings.

Wikipedia says drummer Nick Ward played on their first collection; through the 1980s the band’s steady drummer, for a very long time, 1982-1990, was Richard, who left the band after Gold Afternoon Fix.  Mr. Ploog withdrew from The Church around 1990, to invest more energy with his better half.

In Marty Wilson-Piper’s blog, Wilson-Piper wrote in October 2011 that Monday Morning is one of the four songs that Mr. Ploog is playing on.  Marty Wilson-Piper is one of the founding members of the band, along with Kilbey and Koppes.  He calls attention to Peter Koppes’ mandolin, on the melody, and that is enough to appreciate the tune.

Mandolin

Monday Morning is one of the last songs Mr. Ploog played on while The Church was a big commercial act.  They continued to make records for years, but after 1990 they weren’t the same band, however good Priest = Aura turned out to be (a good album, too).

Artificial Photography

In my first year of school, 1996, I read a gathering about The Church.  There were some jokes about The Church’s concert film for Gold Afternoon Fix turning up in retail discount bins.  It was a joke about Gold Afternoon Fix not being their best album.

All things considered, fans’ excitement for The Church was unmistakable, and Richard Ploog got a ton of regard from audience members.  Gold Afternoon Fix also sold very well, commercially successful.  Ironically, the commercial rock was hard to combine with artistic integrity, Wilson-Piper’s comments reflect in his blog.

The difference between Gold Afternoon Fix and some of the earlier music by The Church, like Remote Luxury and Persia may be that the band’s vision for their music came across loud and clear on releases like the aforementioned, and was more subdued, so to speak, by 1990.  To tell the truth, I don’t know that the meaning of a song like Shadow Cabinet is clear to me; however, Shadow Cabinet was the name of one fan webpage.  Though years ago, I am sure it would have seemed to be quite a simple page compared to how it might have been today; pictures and blocks of text.

I sat in one of the rooms of the home of one of my uncles looking for The Church on AOL.  The Church was one of my very first Internet searches ever, and certainly the first band that I researched on the Internet.

The meaning of the lyrics for Monday Morning are clearer for me than words like “Queueing in the ruins in the wake of the gale it’s/Harmony I say” in Shadow Cabinet.

These days both Koppes and Wilson-Piper have moved on from The Church.  Koppes continues to write and record music; both Kilbey and Koppes had new albums in the autumn on 2020.

Fans of The Church are sometimes referred to as their Army.

Thank you to Jim for his prompt, “days of the week.”

https://jimadamsauthordotcom.wordpress.com/2020/11/07/a-week-is-a-unit-of-time/

As well, you’re welcome to like, follow and/or comment here.

https://www.facebook.com/findingenvirons

https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Coholan

https://about.me/patrickcoholan

Monday Morning

Beyond the city, and evening dust

Dreams and thunder rattle the rust

You had an idea that you won’t have again

She’s forgotten your name and hopes you’ll do the same

Start of the ash, and the end of the flames

Burning you turning you

There was a lifetime spent in the sun

Hundreds of chances, blew every one

Dice rolled, double six, double six, double six

Owner of trouble, flesh blood and bricks

You had an idea that you won’t have again

She’s forgotten your name and hopes you’ll do the same

The start of the ash and the end of the flames

Turning you burning you

Oh Monday morning, the cracks become quite clear

Oh Monday morning, take me back, leave me hare

Beyond the city, and evening dust

Dreams and thunder rattle the rust

You had an idea that you won’t have again

She’s forgotten your name and hopes you’ll do the same

Start of the ash, and the end of the flames

Burning you turning you around

//genius.com/songs/1178162/embed.js

Monday Morning

MCMLXXXVIII

May I begin by saying that, in 2017, USA Today said that a Realtor.com study had about a third of respondents state that they would think about an opportunity to live in a spooky house.  Numerous film and writing have investigated the possibility, and I know a particular case of music investigating the hereafter.  That’s what this post is about, a song about living with a ghost.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/10/25/how-many-people-believe-ghosts-dead-spirits/794215001/

By the way, from time to time, I work for a cemetery, called Maple Lawn Cemetery  http://www.maplelawncemetery.org/24701.html  I’ve been doing it since 2011, ten years.  We care for the grounds of the cemetery, handled inquiries, and maintain a Facebook page for the business.

Maple Lawn Cemetery

It’s not in isolation–on WordPress, author Jim Adams has come up with good blogging prompts, for October.  His style is daily blogging that’s in good fun and shows a good aptitude for writing and a healthy interest in music.

https://jimadamsauthordotcom.wordpress.com/2020/10/24/dress-up-day/#respond

For October 25, 2020, Jim’s prompts include the word, “ghost.”

I’m discussing today, “There’s a Ghost in My House,” a Fall song, a hit for the underground Manchester band.  The Fall recorded a version of a 1967 northern soul song, which is a style of UK dance music.  The northern soul was a variation on the style of the day, in U.S. clubs.

Northern soul

With “There’s a Ghost in my House,” The Fall’s songwriter, Mark E. Smith, took the notoriety of The Fall’s noisy stage act far and wide.  The Fall received some critical acclaim, despite their strange sound, and despite a large number of personnel who were members of the band over the years.

The member who was a constant was singer Mark E. Smith.  “There’s a Ghost in My House” got a second life when The Fall did it for their album called Domesday Pay-Off.

I’m not sure Mark E. Smith took the northern soul scene all that seriously because he didn’t take rock music real serious, but he did work on the band a great deal, putting out a lot of records over the years, with many different directions evident.  Smith drew the name The Fall from an existential novel, by Albert Camus, nothing to do with autumn time, in case that’s a point of confusion.

I assume “There’s a Ghost in My House” was The Fall’s choice to more readily relate to American music.

Brix Smith

“There’s a Ghost in My House” is not characteristic of The Fall’s music, nor did the band, with any line-up, want to play it much.  I bet that The Fall wanted radio and club play by DJs of the day.  The decision created a popularity for The Fall and took them in the direction of pop.

Their earlier record albums, however, showcased few pop elements.

Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland, of the famed Motown Records label, wrote, “There’s a Ghost in My House,” together with R. Dean Taylor.  Motown Records had originated in Detroit and moved to NYC.

Without any commercial success, a music single, however ingenious, remains a failure.  However, it speaks to the artist’s intentions, and there are dozens of Fall albums, going back to the beginning of the nineteen-eighties.  Smith’s singing has the odd characteristic of extra syllables he added at the end of words he sang, no joke.

Mark E. Smith’s lyrics could be described as semi-nonsensical.  As an artist, Smith had a lot of power because he had so many ideas by which to explore a unique approach to rock music, and by an apparent willingness to change about.  By that I mean Mark E. Smith and his band always remained The Fall, but tackled different experiments, of noise-making, for their music.

I’ve read Camus, the writer whose novel The Fall inspired the name of Smith’s band, but I don’t know that Camus was an influence on Mark E. Smith’s music.  H. P. Lovecraft, according to Wikipedia, is one such influence, Lovecraft the sci-fi author who died in 1937, leaving a pantheon of stories behind about monster gods ruling Earth.  The difference between Camus and Lovecraft is night and day, Camus thinking very much about man’s solitude in this lifetime, Lovecraft exploring what came before and themes of despair in the face of utter monstrosity.

Despite the decline of The Fall in the late nineties, Smith found a resurgence for The Fall in the last decade of his life.  Smith died when he was sixty, in 2018.

Mark E. Smith

He had remained interested in experimenting with rock music and had a great career throughout his time in The Fall.  Some of his remarks about other rock musicians were harsh in tone, despite his contemporaries’ respect for his music.  A 2011 article in the New Yorker recalled that, despite Sonic Youth having played covers of Fall songs on BBC radio, Smith only returned the favor by declaring that the BBC should revoke Sonic Youth’s “rock license.”

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/11/14/plug-and-play

I hope the trying circumstances of the year to date have not been overwhelming for you.

You’re welcome to like this post, to follow the blog, or to leave a comment.

There’s a Ghost in My House

There’s a ghost in my house

The ghost of your memory

The ghost of the love that was took from me

Our love used to be

Only shadows in the past I see

Times can’t seem to’ve erased

The vision of your smiling face

Dead flowers I sent thee

I can’t get over ye

There’s a ghost in my house

I can’t hide (ghost in my house)

For the ghost of your love is inside (ghost in my house)

Keeps on haunting me (ghost in my house)

Just keeps on becalling me (ghost in my house)

Down in my tea cup

I see your face looking up

Sitting in my easy chair

I feel your fingers running through my hair

Though we’re far apart

Your spectre’s in my heart

There’s a ghost in my house

I can’t hide (ghost in my house)

For the ghost of your love is inside (ghost in my house)

Keeps on haunting me (ghost in my house)

Still just a part of me (ghost in my house)

By the way I hang my head

You can see I’m afraid

Thought my heart knows you’re gone

My mind keeps rolling on

There’s a ghost in my house

I can’t hide

In my house I am helpless

practice superstitious

I hear footsteps on the stairs

I know there’s no-one there

Keeps on haunting me

Keeps on haunting me

There’s a ghost in my house

A ghost of your memory

A ghost of the love that was took from me

Ghost in my house…

My Most Graceful and Honest Intentions with the findingenvirons Blog

A TikTokker followed me, this weekend, with the offer of a shoutout if I were to follow her account, and to tag three friends and to share her video to get an upswing started https://vm.tiktok.com/JN4odUw/

“Are blogs still popular in 2020?”

“Yes, blogging in 2020 is still popular and is serving even more purpose than ever before.  …68% of marketers now see blogging as a useful marketing tool.”

https://techjury.net/blog/blogging-statistics/

Just so we’re on the same page.  🙂  It’s a decent rivalry.

It is now summer.  Even though the winter doesn’t usually get too severe here in Southern Ontario, we have summer which feels pretty scorching, and that is surreal.  That aspect is well-intensified by strange circumstances.  Writing this, in July 2020, I am beginning year no. 9 of writing my blog.

time and tide wait for no man

Photo by donterase from StockSnap

A blog, as you know, is long-form writing.  It’s the opposite of microblogging, like how blogging is on Twitter.  A Personal Plan on WordPress, an option on the blogging platform, lets you design a blog by choosing from among a variety of special themes, that shape how your blog looks.

On WordPress, as mine is, a regular domain doesn’t look bad, but a more ambitious blogger might start with a Personal Plan if you want a more professional-looking blog.  In fact, in WordPress, the Block Editor is the design page that helps you put together blocks of paragraphs, to make writing a post easy.

I use a lot of white space, to keep my blog readable, and to keep it feeling like typewriter text transported to a computer screen, which is what early word processing programs were like.  If you know about adventure games in the nineteen-seventies and -eighties, like, for example, the game company Infocom’s game Zork, or a different, earlier, hit game called Adventure, you know they consist of a paragraph of descriptive text followed by a blinking parser, at which you would enter a two-word command to play.  I have that period of gaming as a primary concern, one wellspring of motivation.

My intention presently is to reach several dozen people or so with each post, possibly a hundred visitors per post, which is the typical reach I have at present.  I appreciate that the odd post I’ve composed gets a couple of guests, to boot.  With WordPress, the stats dashboard gives you an idea of how many visitors have turned up for your blog posts, and what they are saying their country of origin is.

I have had this blog for eight years.  That’s the level of expertise I have with it, Level Nine, you might put it.

In the first edition of the former game company TSR’s classic game Dungeons & Dragons, Level Nine was known as Name Level.  That is the famous tabletop game.  It features in the plot of the Netflix hit Stranger Things.

Photo by Freestocks.org from StockSnap

Name Level means that your Dungeons & Dragons character has made a name for himself, as in “Merlin” becoming “Merlin the Wizard,” to take from Arthurian mythology an example.  In Arthurian mythology, Merlin is the wizard who helps King Arthur rule at Camelot.  Like Merlin and King Arthur, here on WordPress, I am leet.

Likewise, with different parts of life, you have goals with your blog, and blogging makes unobtrusive notoriety for yourself (as it is the Name Level guidelines in Dungeons & Dragons sway interaction.)

On occasion, I draw extra thoughts from patterns I see via web-based media, stages like Twitter and YouTube, and TikTok.  On WordPress, I get to blog as much as I make time for it, which is a luxury I know many aspiring writers would enjoy themselves if they had it.  With that sort of extravagance, I am happy with the opportunity to continue without too many time limitations.  I am not too hard on myself.

My intentions, also, are to keep posting in a way that other people might relate to.  When WordPress offered a fourteen-day prologue to composing verse, quite a long while back, I composed through that fourteen-day arrangement.  Actually, at the time, I was kind of pleased with a few of the ideas I came up with, as I think my approach is a touch singular.

I in some cases loan support to other little bloggers.  I have seen that quite a few bloggers do that.  Those are probably the kind of people that I am trying to reach.

Another source of inspiration, outside WordPress, is the real world Nashville Tennessee writer Jeff Goins, an inspiring voice in blogging circles.  I think Jeff Goins worked in marketing when he decided he wanted to begin writing.  In fact, for his first book, he presented the title You Are A Writer.  

The Art of Work is a book that explores all kinds of inspired case studies, of people who bring a special touch to the work they do.  It became a bestseller. I think Goins wrote that unless your heart is in your work, it isn’t right.

As well, my father’s sister’s husband, Rick, and his wife Sue, both residing in Nashville, have written some books.  They are my godparents.

To the reader, if you have ever read my blog and are returning, by all means, thank you.  Such a great hobby.  You’re welcome to comment or to follow.

Have a wonderful day and a terrific summer.  I wish you well!

I’m on Twitter, https://twitter.com/findingenvirons …but you won’t find that verified.

How I Forgot About My Table of Contents for a Whole Five Weeks

Hi!  I don’t think there’s any reason to be shy.

People let go pretty easy, especially among businesses like websites and billboards for visitors on WordPress.  I remember when the fantastic Beauty Beyond Bones blog was discussing the ill-fated Fyre festival that was documented in a couple of different movies, including one on Netflix.

https://beautybeyondbones.com/2019/02/18/dumpster-fyre-festival/

Beauty Beyond Bones is the greatest.

Photo by thr3 eyes from StockSnap

The summer this year has been made more than a little difficult, as you know.  I didn’t have an opportunity to make any kind of heroic effort of going anywhere, myself, last month, but what was exorbitantly cool was John Boyega in Hyde Park, in London in the UK.  The TV news reporting what he said moved many writers–John Boyega has an impressive film credit, Imperial Dreams, that is about having been apprehended by police and about wanting to write.

(Of course, he’s an actor in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy.  John Boyega’s the Rebel hero, Finn.)

Maybe the world in 2020 doesn’t know where it wants to stop.  A few days into June I lucked out, with the fun chance to “read” a film challenge written by three Twitters, and a week in, I began the challenge, intending to start watching a film each day, for the rest of the month, a little fun.  I will try not to make any of the days a Star Wars movie if it can be helped.

I am including the challenge in this post, and if you don’t want to start now two weeks into June, you can wait until July if you like.

I saw that Ms. Satta Sarmah Hightower wrote How to Write More: 5 Techniques to Boost Your Output.  Just write, Ms. Hightower asserts   https://wordpress.com/go/content-blogging/how-to-write-more-5-techniques-to-boost-your-output/  This next section is where a new table of contents starts.

Surely, it does not usually work that way, but I will dive in a bit and Botox wherever the five-year plan has got inefficient.

Photo by Wilfred Iven from StockSnap

New Wrinkles:  ten years older than you were

The Name’s The Thing:  findingenvirons

Verbal Confirmation:  Assigning a Speech Label

These posts began with WordPress prompts.  Actually, that same Ms. Hightower has in her essay similar advice.

Narrowing My Blog’s Focus  I wanted then to go from just starting out, to having something a bit meaningful.  I took part in writing exercises to make a strategy, but I don’t want to get into that.

I am presenting here quite a few old posts that may draw a few visitors.  I think I am presenting over thirty-five posts below.  They were all intended to be free.

Lofty Ambitions are Nothing But Daunting, At the Start https://findingenvirons1.blog/2016/11/13/lofty-ambitions-are-nothing-but-daunting-at-the-start/

It’s the beginning of the New and the Time is Noted

Photo Challenge Entry, Ambience at Our Quiet Church

The Heritage of Louth United Church in St. Catharines and Maple Lawn Cemetery

I thought I would make notes about my work.  After ten years, I have considered whether I should withdraw, although the time I would be abandoning is a tough thing to turn my back on.  My mother has also asked me not to quit.

What Might Have Been Adventure Can Show the Rust

Thinking I Have Been Misguided [?mis’gid?d]

What Will Trends Be Like in 100 Years?

Content is cheap, no doubt, and while possibly only possibly mass-produced reading/viewing material, media companies inundate their readers with it.   It’s a lot of work if that’s your hustle, but I would think nice work if you can get it.  “We are really excited to announce a ton more Content coming your way this fall!”  

Photo by Serpstat from StockSnap

#content

I did learn about content avenues available, but I have nothing doing.  

#information

#version  These next posts are more of what I’ve enjoyed putting up here.

Devising Content that Stands Out from the Crowd

Whether Sincere or Can We Challenge Ourselves

Attack of the Video Content

But Not to Automate Ad Nauseum

Twitter Refreshing How the Platform Looks and Making it Easier  https://www.adweek.com/digital/twitter-is-refreshing-how-the-platform-looks-and-making-it-easier-for-people-to-use/

Best to Sell Your Elevator Pitch

Be That You Would Rather Risk Temporary Shelf Life

May 30 Weekly Photo Challenge: All-Time Favourites https://findingenvirons1.blog/2018/06/02/may-30-weekly-photo-challenge-all-time-favorites/

A New Challenge:  Blogging Photos and Miscellanea

10 Guidelines for Charitable Giving Facilitated by the Government

Showing Photos Past the End of the Challenges

Pausing to read The 4-Hour Work Week

Secret Tip  My favourite advice that Tim Ferriss provides in his book The Four Hour Work Week is the guideline to check your email twice a day, once at noon, and once at four in the afternoon.  The reason is, if you are operating in the EST zone, at noon the west coast is just at nine o’clock, the United Kingdom is calling it quits at five and Australia has folded its last call.  At four the same principle of time is true:  the afternoon’s work is beginning on the west coast, the United Kingdom has comfortably already had dinner and Australia is looking forward to the start of the next day.

Join In The Fun! Join In The August 2018 Tea Party!  https://thelittlemermaid09.wordpress.com/

I was perchance one day in 2018 reading the Beauty Beyond Bones blog and a second blogger saw that I had a decent comment going, who was The Little Mermaid, getting bloggers going on writing in a tea party.

Mermaid’s August 2018 WordPress Tea Party

Mermaid’s October 2018 WordPress Tea Party

Mermaid’s November 2018 WordPress Tea Party

Amusing!

Photo by Shopify from StockSnap

The Sunshine Blogger Award  –I received the friendly notice of a nice Sunshine Blogger Award.  It is just something passed around, to establish some friendly interaction.

Resolution for 2019 https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2018/12/30/resolutions/

Star Wars Celebration on YouTube: Where’d You Go? Chicago  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPIyVPlwBL4

A reference to this post became my pinned tweet on Twitter.  I was thinking then more frankly how and what I meant, and about a question that Robert Persig put forth in his 1973 novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:  What is quality?

The late but certainly talented musician Lou Reed put it another way:  What’s good?

I wasn’t sure I knew.  Okay, I published all kinds of compositions.  🙂

A Rock Musician’s Death

Drifting Down the Inclination to Abnormal  https://findingenvirons1.blog/2019/08/29/drifting-down-the-inclination-to-abnormal/

Why Our World Would End If A Daft Misconception Disappeared

Take Steps to Infuse Life With The Ingredient of Maturity

Impressions of Edits on TikTok, the Force Notwithstanding  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM1Vi-JZAFQ

The Less Flummoxed Companionship of the Child’s Imagination, Echoed in Dreams

Secret Tip #2  #lifelesson A Monkey on Your Back  

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=monkey%20on%20your%20back

My father took an uncharacteristic interest, in a story that I think he meant to assist me by.  I wrote a post given what the story was, but it did certainly weigh on me.  What had he meant?

It’s about bearing a monkey on your back.

A Difficult St. Patrick’s Day

By now, with the lockdown, no matter what, these days would be difficult.  That didn’t mean I wouldn’t want you to think I had broken communications with you.  I have a little left to say today.

Why Holden Caulfield Thinks Social Media Jobs are Phony  https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/post/why-holden-caulfield-would-probably-think-the-internets-full-of-phonies-too/2013/01/22/5304c13e-63d9-11e2-889b-f23c246aa446_blog.html

The 19 Best Resources for Feeling Less Like Facebook is an Empty Hq

I am beginning to wrap up the better ideas I put together, and this, I think, is good.  I saw that WordPress, in April, reopened its Discover challenges.

A few WordPress bloggers wrote for every day of April in an atmosphere of daily sweat and tears.  I don’t want to be trouble for those individuals, but I came up with a culmination the start of June that was a fresh page:  

For Critical Thinking and an Equivalent, Creativity

I appreciate the freedom to do all this.  It hasn’t been efficient at generating leads for my dad’s business or anything like that.

When someone does follow the dots, and takes an interest in the last ten years, first, I buy a lottery ticket (j/k), and then I start to wonder if they got on our site here:

http://www.maplelawncemetery.org/24701.html

That’s the website for my parents’ business, which we’ve been operating with the help of my Uncle Dave.  That about wraps up everything I wanted to say, after five weeks now, but it’s the meat and potatoes.  Oh, and what was I saying?

Here are some additional contact links if you require me for any reason.

https://twitter.com/findingenvirons?lang=en

https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Coholan

https://findingenvirons1.blog/category/uncategorized/

I think that’s alright.  That’s the blog, then, in fourteen hundred words.My dad’s business is on Facebook here:  https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

For Critical Thinking and an Equivalent, Creativity

Starting, for April, I participated in many of the new Discover challenges that WordPress organized, to help bloggers write posts during the crisis.  Each morning, 6 AM in most cases in my time zone, a new word with additional suggestions became available for WordPress bloggers.

Each word theme was accompanied by suggestions about what to post.  I found the exercises helped me feel better about blogging because some things I enjoy discussing became the subject of new posts at the same time other bloggers addressed the same themes.  With each post, I had several visitors, and if you are among those and returning, please accept my thanks.

Now, today is May the 4th, Star Wars Day.  Star Wars The Clone Wars concludes its season 7 run today, a season devoted to the Seige of Mandalore.  I think the entire animated series lives on Disney+.

Today is also the day that all nine films of the Skywalker Saga are available with a Disney+ subscription.  “This will be a day long-remembered,” to quote Peter Cushing in Star Wars Episode IV.

Star Wars Celebration last spring in Chicago meant a week of hours and hours of daily streaming on YouTube.  I said something about it:  https://findingenvirons1.blog/2019/04/19/star-wars-celebration-on-youtube-whered-you-go-chicago/

I have a new strategy, I am starting by trying a serious-in-tone critical thinking post.  I was already writing the odd observation about techniques that might contribute to someone’s existing take on the science of being a blogger, tempered with humour, I suppose.  I reckoned that I was enjoying myself, that’s mostly what counted.

Photo by Lukáš Rychvalský from StockSnap

A definition of a hobby is this:

hob·by

n. pl. hob·bies

An activity or interest pursued outside one’s regular occupation and engaged in primarily for pleasure.

The pleasure of blogging comes from the interaction on the world wide web with people who also blog.  I believe that social interaction is important at any age.  Why is social interaction important for psychological health, I asked Yahoo!.

“Social engagement is associated with a stronger immune system, especially for older adults,” Yahoo! answered.  “This means that you are better able to fight off colds, the flu, and even some types of cancer.  You will enjoy better mental health.

“Interacting with others boosts feelings of well-being and decreases feelings of depression.”

There are so many avenues that if you have access to the web, there are so many ways to reach people, and fulfill that desire, I know you know this.  It is always about more than the dollar, as it should be.  I’m not out to make a buck at all, I’m just experimenting with being an optimist.  

Recently I found a website page that takes a gander at the satisfaction that goes with the joy of a decent diversion.  Human resources psychologist Jessica Beltran addresses it in The Value of Hobbies  https://blogs.psychcentral.com/thrive/2014/05/the-value-of-hobbies/  “We are at our best when we are relaxed and in tune with ourselves.”

Photo by Snufkin from StockSnap

While we are capitalists, the playing field becomes more narrow if you consider that you can address people with the confidence of having many of the skills that they have.  There is any number of stations in the lives we lead, but lots of motivation speakers give the advice to get started with your creations, however possible.  “Do hobbies help with their careers?” I asked Yahoo!.

“While it may seem counterintuitive to make time for something outside of work to get ahead at work, career coaches have confirmed that having a hobby can help make you better at your job. Having a hobby helps you learn how to handle work-life stress and think creatively,” answered the search engine.

“What skills are needed to be a critical thinker?” I went on to ask.

In response Yahoo! informed me of several qualities, ten in fact, that you need to be a capable critical thinker:

1 Accuracy.

2 Adept.

3 Analytical.

4 Creativity.

5 Critical thinking.

6 Detail-oriented.

7 Efficiency.

8 Industriousness.

9 Innovative.

10 Logical thinking.

I have additional input.

Accuracy, for starters, I learned about in high school science.  Accuracy in that environment is measurably collecting data.  To determine accuracy, you might perform the same process several times, with only minor variants, to learn if your method is accurate.

It’s important.  Troubleshooting a computer station, for example, requires accuracy.

You need to determine what changes have gone on before and after a problem has happened at your terminal.  There is a joke about hapless computer users calling the Windows system crash the Blue Screen of Death, dire-sounding, but which means that you are losing your unsaved work, a bummer.  By the way, I enjoyed computer science in high school a lot more than I enjoyed chemistry and physics.

If what you were doing meant nine out of ten times you got a system crash, and then one out of ten times it worked out, hypothetically speaking, you could, if the measurements were accurate, you’re determining that those nine times of system crashes mean that you can’t proceed in that manner.  If five out of ten times, your computer works, and five times it doesn’t, you don’t have an accurate idea of what of your commands are leading to the system crash.  The results aren’t too useful in that case.

You need to check variables that contribute to your procedure’s success or failure and come up with a more accurate idea of what’s going to work.  Once you establish the variables that work out okay, by trial and error, you can figure out which instruction is awakening the Blue Screen of Death.

The second term in Yahoo!’s list is the word adept.  Adept means are adroit.  Critically, you have to be adept at forming interpretations.

Those I think of as the external–the external is the object or scenario you’re critically thinking about.  You need to know what you’re examining, to form a critical judgement.  I have two ways for you to do this, and you can read about them a little further in.

Like for me, to decide whether, say, a popular film is “good,” in the sense that the motion picture proves that everybody involved did a good job, you have to understand enough about what makes a good film to be adept at reviewing it.  It would help if you’d contributed to the completion of a motion picture, to be properly critical, but it probably suffices to understand the structure of a film, the symbolism in the film visually, and previous attempts to make similar films.

The next term, the word analytical, this is a word like adept, but analytical is more about looking at a critiqued thing that calculates whether you should take it seriously or not.  You know what the thing is and what it’s for, but being analytical towards it means judging it in a way that you can comprehend additional specifics about it, forming your external.  What does it mean? is an analytical question that you might have about your object or scenario.

You would be analytical concluding that your problem works at all levels.

Photo by donterase from StockSnap

Next is creativity, a lovely word, for I feel I am creative, as would many bloggers regard themselves.  Creativity is reworking an established idea and making it yours.  It goes on constantly.

Like, back to film, when a successful film franchise follows up with a sequel, or a reboot, that’s an instance of creativity that is often quite impressive.  As with, say, the 1978 horror film Halloween, directed by John Carpenter, when two years later in 1980 the sequel Halloween II came out, again starring famed actress Jamie Lee Curtis, the film continued the story of the first movie by showing a lot more of what happened later that Halloween night, when the mad masked murderer had returned, (ghastly!).  However, John Carpenter was no longer directing the film.

Do you like horror films?

Halloween II has the same characters and the same locale and a continuation of the plot of the first film, all interesting for fans of the first movie, just with the point that somebody else is now directing.  That’s the creative part, in this example.

Next, Yahoo! repeats the phrase critical thinking.  I mean that Yahoo! includes critical thinking among the terms for critical thinking, which begs the question, Yahoo!.  I interpreted that as meaning that critical thinking refers here to the overall level of ability the interpreter brings to the noun being thought through critically.  It is having the skill to return to thinking critically, in a manner that applies other additional criteria.

In this case, we’re using the handy number ten.  The words, I derive, make an agenda for surveying an item or a situation.  It is redundant to include the phrase “critical thinking” in a list that explains critical thinking, pointing to a rabbit hole, a burrow that goes on and on when it opens.

You have to be firm with yourself what decisions you will make in the process of critical thinking or you will never conclude.  I have a little more to say about that in the conclusion.

Close up white cup of Coffee, latte on the wooden table

Detail-oriented refers to the organizer’s ability to put together a mental assessment of the details that have gone into the subject being thought about critically.  A job interview often includes a question along these lines, as in, “If you were taking this job, would you consider yourself a detail-oriented person?”  It means getting everything right.

Efficiency is the ability to get things done promptly.  You don’t lose time by making redundant decisions; everything works.  If you value efficiency, you want your scenario or your object to function smoothly, a swift external.

It means saving time.  A lot of people who need to complete many tasks highly value efficiency.

Industriousness refers to having the initiative to take bold steps.  Being industrious is good in that a person shows, say, leadership.  If what you are critical of is a tool for industriousness, it lends itself to a nature that assists people who have a success rate at reaching goals.

Innovative means thinking outside of the box.  Someone innovative has solutions that circumvent traditional stop signs that cause headaches.  Being innovative is positive.  You should recognize when innovation is happening and that it can have positive results.

Photo by Matthew Henry from StockSnap

Logical thinking is great for being “right.”  I first read a little about logical thinking in a high school English class.  I was daunted at the time because I’d never known that logical thinking existed like that, and I doubted I could learn enough about it to become competent, bizarrely, I suppose.

I was a diffident youth.  I wish I’d got that information earlier in life.  My teacher, Ms. M., outlined twelve specific styles of logical thinking and in fact, I wonder if I as yet have that same document.

I should have read it again and again.  At times I’ve been proud that I’m not completely obligated to be logical, but I don’t disregard logic.  I value things like the structure of an external, and that, for example, requires logic.

Logical thinking when it comes to being critical of a specific external is very useful, for if you can make a logical argument about the nature of your object or situation, you’re external, you are on your way to answering a riddle about it.  It is a regret I have that I didn’t take the introduction to logical thinking I got in high school more gravely and go to work at understanding it.

The ten criteria words stop at the letter L.  This is all about setting your sights on critically interpreting an external and taking it apart in a way that you can better understand what it means.  The terms are building blocks for evaluating your external.

There are some points where the process isn’t going to be scientific.  Starting with accurate, you need to look at more than one external and compare them to see how accurate your method is.  This word accurate is exciting because you can find parallels that aren’t necessarily immediately self-evident.

You are being analytical because you are trying to make a process occur that is accurate.  Those two a-letter words work together to open a method of diagramming your external to better understand what it is.

The next word, adept, is applicable because you need to run your process with adept skill.  What I’m doing here is being creative with Yahoo!’s list of critical thinking terms.  I’m making the argument that they are useful.

The search engine believes it.  So, too, should you.  Together the terms have an impact that you can draw upon for inspiration.

It does bother my sensibilities that critical thinking could itself be a term for critical thinking, but as there is a connection between all three a-letter words, so too I noticed a connection between the two c-letter words.  Critical thinking and creativity are two different sides of the same coin.

I’ve had to stir my reserve of critical thinking to identify what that means, but it is so.  Creativity is letting reason fly in the wind, whereas critical thinking is unearthing the truth about your external that wouldn’t be evident if you didn’t possess some definitions that assist in critical thinking.

For d, we have detail-oriented, taking your analysis and better developing it.

For e, we have efficiency, reducing creativity in favour of a strategy that is more pure critical thinking and not as open-minded as the word creative would imply.

Next, we have i-letter words, industrious and innovative, words that strengthen the process of analyzing the external by accelerating the process.  Those words apply to the analyst as much as they apply to the object or scenario being looked at.  Being industrious is keeping at it and being innovative is keeping open-minded.

Both these reflect the analyst as much or more than the external being explored.  Logical thinking is a phrase that means much the same as analysis.  If you took these ten terms, you could assemble them this way:   You have the creativity and you have critical thinking (the c-words).

If you want creativity to rule the process of investigating the external, what you have is industriousness and innovation for the matter at hand.

To proceed down the avenue of critical thinking that is more logical and detail-oriented, you can reduce your creative input and begin letting a process unfold without the benefit of a creative assignment.  In either case, you need to be adept at thinking, and further, to return to the a-letter words, you are being more purely analytical and accurate if you pursue critical thinking without the requirement of innovation ruling your process.  So, your basic process either follows one c-path or the other c-path, critical thinking or creativity and then to round out outreaching your external you have the accuracy, the analytics, the detail-oriented questions, the efficiency and the logical thinking; and down the other c-path, you have industriousness and innovation.

These are subcategories from the ten we started with.

Photographer:
Tim Gouw

The terms favour an analysis-heavy approach to critical thinking, meaning there are more components of more purely critical thinking than terms that include creativity.  Where that leaves us is what I started with, the word hobby.  A creative design is better for a hobby; analysis is better suited for more profound comprehension.

All the same, creativity can be as hard to comprehend as analysis.  If you reach an external by analysis, it is beginning to fall outside the field of the hobbyist and more closely approach the realm of the expert.

A more complicated external lends itself to critical thinking; a simpler external is suitable for creativity.  This isn’t always true, but that’s a guideline that you could start with if you are deciding whether you want to approach an external with a lens of more complicated and comprehensive critical thinking or with a simpler but also effective creative paintbrush, so to speak.

That’s the rabbit hole, that if you don’t have a handle on your creativity, flights of fancy can take you far afield of a suitable stopping place.  That’s why creativity isn’t a super useful strategy for analyzing an external that’s become complex.  That’s when your critical thinking approach needs to take over.

I’ve enjoyed writing about this, my first post since the April Discover challenges ended.  Do you like the idea that a simpler object might benefit from creative analysis and a more complicated object require a more detailed critical analysis?  You’re welcome to follow and/or to comment.

Read more about me here:  about.me/patrickcoholan

Happy Star Wars Day

Photographer:
Thomas Kelley

WordPress Discover: Instrument

For April 2020, the WordPress Discover prompts have returned, which are thoughts that have as their starting point a solitary word, the brief.  This week Krista Stevens is organizing them.

Krista’s prompt today is “instrument.”  When I think through what would be the challenges of learning to play an instrument, I think of the 2000s, and what the English pop band McFly did to celebrate breaking up. I think McFly did a few albums that were successful and, oddly I’d say, for young successful musicians, they finished with an album of self-parody, renaming themselves Son of Dork, what I think is a reference to the 1985 Robert Zemeckis motion picture Back to the Future, where Michael J. Fox and Crispin Glover both play characters with the name McFly.

SAMSUNG

One of the songs on the Son of Dork album is the ditty “Boy Band,” a woefully self-deprecating song that addresses the interest of a young man who day-dreams of being in a band.  That said, “Boy Band” does have a nice beat.

Anytime I feel like satirizing day-dreaming of being in a band, one listen “Boy Band” helps cool my heels.  I like the tune, as well.

Self-parody isn’t something I explore to get satisfaction with, it is just something neurotic that certain people play with.  Sometimes people who are both creative and successful resolve their neuroses with acts of self-parody, but I suspect too wide a foray into that avenue of thought is self-sabotage.

I try to keep an attitude to music that The Four Hour Work Week author Tim Ferriss describes.  Music is in, he writes.

When the Son of Dork CD was on my shelves, I’d arrived at the finish of the time in my life that I was finding myself and what my identity was, and I had unexpected interests in comparison to when I was more youthful and when I’d been bound to wander off in fantasy land, of playing an instrument.

WordPress Discover: Open

Great news, I saw this evening, the WordPress Discover challenges are back.  Every day of April 2020, there will be a Discover prompt to help people keep blogging when there is so much consternation about them, and throughout the world.

The Discover prompts invites bloggers to give their handle on the idea of “open,” when something you wish open is in fact closed.  I guess that sounds obvious.

I have a persistent interest in what’s happening behind the scenes at Disney.  I was there once as a kid, in 1991, with my mom and dad and my brother and sister.  As you probably suspect, both Disneyland and Walt Disney World are closed.

I hear Disney talked about on YouTube, and actually, the channel Clownfish TV talks about Disney quite a bit.  I take it the two Clownfish TV hosts are into movies and that kind of thing.

Photographer:
Brandon Mowinkel

Actually, the other day, they reminded their audience that they have taken no interest in watching The Rise of Skywalker.  To me, that’s strange because a general interest in Disney would usually include an interest in Star Wars, but they are just so discouraged at Clownfish TV with the sequel trilogy that they have zero anticipation for at last seeing Episode IX.  They said it didn’t get the greatest reviews, but for me, it’s hard to relate to the idea that they could just never see it and live happily after.

I just like to think about how nice it must be spending a day at one of the Disney parks and that kind of thing.  I don’t believe much that I’ll ever return to Disney World, and perhaps to them at Clownfish that reality might not be a reality, that they could possibly relate to.

I was really surprised by some people afoul of the Star Wars backlash, which I presume will never end.  I thought the worst of the incalcitrant attitude to what happened with the sequel trilogy might fade away, but maybe that won’t be the case.  To be more honest, I imagined that the backlash would rear its head occasionally when new Star Wars stories were put to film and video, but it really is a pervasive phenomenon, I think now.

I am glad for the Discover challenges to have reopened, and I just wanted to say that the businesses I would have most liked to overcome the difficulties posed by the crisis are the Disney theme parks.  It just wasn’t possible, it is clear.  I hope to get in on the Discover challenges some more, while we continue this quarantine.

Why Holden Caulfield Thinks Social Media Jobs are Phony

Portent is a content generation tool that helps creators come up with unique ideas. While it is not a good idea for a writer to plagiarize the work of others, as the writer’s reputation can easily become sullied by that kind of dishonesty, using the Portent Generator site can occasionally light a brilliant idea. This specific title was devised with the help of Portent.

The story I’m telling is is true, that the girl I befriended handwrote a Salinger quotation in her second or third letter to me. I thought I was lucky to get such a nice letter, because in the Y2K era, the 2000s, snail mail was already rare.

I’m the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It’s awful. If I’m on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I’m going, I’m liable to say I’m going to the opera. It’s terrible.

J. D. Salinger The Catcher in the Rye

Perhaps Holden Caulfield in Chapter 3, in the wake of deceiving, might have a little like me.

    When I was in my early twenties, I paid a return visit to Kingston, Ontario, where I noticed one cold winter evening a girl dressed like a punk rocker, sitting on the sidewalk, asking pedestrians coming near to spare their change.  She was pretty, if I do say so myself, her hair dyed bright blue the way a girl raving might wear her way, the colour that matching the fishnets tights not doing a whole lot to keep her legs warm in the winter night, a petite little thing, and completely on her own.

    I thought I would say hi to her.  Kingston is a college town, and there are bright young girls everywhere.  I think this particular girl was a singer in a band, or would be soon.

    We began to chat, we watched the street, we had some laughs.  I would have liked to get off the street, but where were we going to go?  I’d just met her and I didn’t know her style.

    It took every ounce of confidence I had to keep passing off charm, given the circumstances, but not too demanding on my part.  It became a sort of a nice time.

    By morning I got from her an address, for her mom, in Scarborough, from where she had run away from, and I think it was probably the second one from her to me where she inked the above quotation from The Catcher in the Rye.  Almost everybody lies.

    Since The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger’s character Holden Caulfield has become a symbol for insubordination, and tension, and now has become identified among the most significant characters of twentieth-century American writing, The Catcher in the Rye a powerhouse of a book.  The excellent TV character Jughead, in the Archie comics’ adaptation Riverdale, gives the line in Season 4, Episode 8 The Catcher in the Rye, to Mrs. Burble.  Jughead hasn’t applied to any schools, and when he stops by Riverdale High to get his transcript, he gets a meeting with Mrs. Burble, regardless of what he tell her is his “Holden Caulfield stance on phony small talk.”

The CW Network

    I wonder how Holden would feel about Facebook if The Catcher in the Rye were set in the year 2020.  Well, actually, I guess I know–he would hate it.

    Millennials are an astute lot, and they’ve been on the internet since right back when they were youngsters.  Would Holden hate the specific act of asking a girl about the suffering that young girls go through when they run away, for an economic system necessitating young girls to go on the run, for the fact of a college town such as Kingston even existing… given that the tools of education are extensively available?

     It didn’t appear to get her down.  She had good karma.

    I believe being a runaway was what she needed to be.  I finally cried when I returned home the following day.  Nothing was wrong, though.

    I’d had a comforter in my backpack.  When I noticed the cold, I let her wrap it around her shoulders.

    We went into a Burger King fast food joint.  There were muddy tracks on it from the slush on the floor when we left.  Those mud stains came out in the wash.

    In the nineteen-nineties, we didn’t have Facebook.  However, I wish I’d learned more when I got around to signing in my last time in a study hall.  It took me years beyond the nineties to cross that finish line, by the way.

    Years later, while it was appalling that the confidence everybody had, to flex on Facebook and evaluate business page metrics, kind of ended with what happened between the White House and Cambridge Analytica, I think the popularity of Facebook will remain a victor. The David Fincher film The Social Network is one of my favourite films.  The Wall Street Journal ran an idiosyncratic feature for its tech segment the third week of March, 2020.

Joanna Stern

    Here an American journalist is trying to rekindle the enjoyment we had getting on Facebook before the Trump administration in the White House made it seem so senseless.  Personally, I am a modest Canadian.

One Christmas Eve during the Trump administration

The family business where I’ve been working has a Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

A Difficult St. Patrick’s Day

It’s the end of March and two weeks ago was St. Patrick’s Day for 2020. The weather in Southern Ontario was reasonable in light of expectations. I found myself spending less time on Facebook. My sister telephoned me a couple of times.

A cousin of my mother, Cathie, along other lovely people, with a hobby of genealogy, ending with a nice account of the Irish my mother’s side of the family has. It looks like this St. Patrick’s Day, 2020, I’ll be a little less Irish.  It looks grim.

Photographer:
Tiago Almeida

change

the act or instance of making or becoming different.

I wish a lot of things were different, but I never would have chalked up the possibility of experiencing our pandemic catastrophe in my own life.  I read of environmental warnings, like that there could be, say, eight years until the damage to the planet caused by humans becomes irreversible, or that global warming will cause sea levels to rise, however active God is on the picture at large. I don’t know how human beings will fare.

To consider attacks between warring groups the world over, hellbent on decreasing each other to iotas, to very small pieces, I think also police and military unfairly treat peaceable citizens, because the police loathe the skin colour or addiction, behaviour that doesn’t toe the line for the safety of the public.  I think about these now and again, yet I hadn’t thought of what really descended three months ago. It is hard to contextualize that.

I always do my best to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, as so many do with aplomb and style.  I welcome the end of winter. We are all called on to be, not so much Godfearing, as instead socially distant from one another.

Good on us all the same, that we can find solidarity in separating from one another, in a fashion that, like the lot of the unlucky addict, is no fault of our own.

Photographer:
Peter Hershey

We will have to come up with new measures to survive, and we have to do it at a time when I am sure many of us would be happier celebrating St. Patty’s in the usual fashion, wearing the colour green, and staying out late.  We’re told to stay out of bars and restaurants and nightclubs and still young people want to go to those kinds of haunts. I want to be young myself, but not to the extent I want to risk sacrificing growing old.

I wanted to think about a superb St. Patrick’s Day, and although I recall it every year, I don’t know I could say that any specific March festivity was better than some other.  A number of them were beautiful and left me feeling blessed. I am grateful to The Lord.

1998 occurs to me, becoming 21 years of age.  However, against how this spring is going, I don’t think the excitement of taking a visit back in time is going to especially cause me to feel better. I like to enjoy speaking a kind word at certain times, because a little kindness sprinkled in the mix, while not reversing the uncertainty that we’re facing, does help temper the darkness.

I would like to wish you a happy St. Patrick’s Day, dreadful or not.

St. Patrick’s Day isn’t to be overlooked, obviously.  Go with the luck of the Irish! Let’s have a safe spring!

You’re of course welcome to comment and to follow.  All the best to you, and to your loved ones.

Find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

We’re also on Twitter https://twitter.com/findingenvirons

I enjoy social media.