Category Archives: the dark side

Are we the last generation of Americans…

Who are proud of their country? Who feel safer than any other people in the world? Who can trust in law and justice?

While we are waiting (for the answers, for the inevitable, for????)… Let’s talk about other stuff.

We are having a beautiful fall. And even in the realm of the political, it feels like the Trump brouhaha has awakened a sleeping populace (ours), which is a good thing. More and varied opinions are being expressed in public.

My understanding of things is that his (DJT) insecurities make it quite difficult for him to make an unpopular decision. He wants to please. Unfortunately, he often wants to please white nationalists or neo-Nazis, or Vladimir. Things trip lightly and mindlessly off his tongue and I think of John McCain’s famous little ditty: “Bomb, bomb, bomb; bomb, bomb Iran.” We all took that as a bit of humor. Not so much humor to be taken from Trump’s words.

He is truly a wild card. His ego can’t handle any sleights or any (perceived) failure of respect, so he becomes wildly agitated. It hasn’t helped, of course, that his Secretary of State called him a fucking moron. But someone had to say what so many have been thinking. And, strangely, Trump has not yet fired Tillerson. Instead, he has challenged him to an IQ test. The absurd just gets absurder (and, yes, I know I was just docked two IQ points for not saying “more absurd.” Just a little moronic solidarity with dear leader.)

Trump’s tenure

Let’s start a pool…step right up and place your bets. We’ll call it “The Prez is right.”

Put $10 in the kitty and claim your prognostication: By when will Trump be gone? I say by Christmas, what do you say? I say he can’t last; the mountain of awfulness and criminality keeps growing. Won’t the populace reach a point where they/we can no longer just swallow? I’m betting on the dormant but still extant honor of the American people. Care to wager with me?

If I’m wrong, and our capacity for stupidity and amorality is greater than I believe, I will be truly shocked and sad…I will also be joining the fleeing horde in Canada or Costa Rica.

I’m guessing el Trumpo will walk away before he’s impeached. I don’t see him having the stomach for that degree of humiliation; I don’t actually think he is a fighter – just a quick brawler, who will capitalize on a size advantage, but who can neither strategize nor go the distance.

And, while we wait for the end, there is a possibility that he will succeed in doing a great deal of damage to our political foundations. Sort of like jack-hammering the crap out it. In the slightly paraphrased, but immortal words of Gloria Gaynor: “We will survive.” Sure, it’s disturbing and even disgusting (like being infested with both silverfish and cockroaches simultaneously), but we’re the folks who withstood the decimation of our population in several wars (Civil and uncivil). We rose up from the ashes of Watergate, and we’ll rid ourselves of the current Donald-slime.

We can count on the fact that Trump will not change his tactics, even if they result in his demise. He’s a stubborn and grandiose narcissist who cannot reflect objectively.

Dasvidaniya, Donald. And, to sort of quote yet another cultural icon, “Don’t let those swinging doors hit you in the ass on the way out.”

 

THE RANDOM NATURE OF PERSONAL ASSAULT.

For many decades it has been a common experience to enter a bank or such and have the door held wide for you by a scrofulous man, of indeterminate age, who is undeniably homeless. The intention of this act is not just to provide a helpful service but, rather, to induce a sense of obligation – dare I say guilt – in the person entering or leaving the establishment; the desired result to be a financial contribution to the door holder.

Personally, I seldom dole out money to panhandlers. Usually, I am a silent player in this little kabuki. Yesterday, as I walked through the door held open for me by a dirty-faced man in threadbare clothes, I said, “Thank-you.” He was pleased by the acknowledgement and gave me a rather loud, “Your welcome!” All good, right?

Wrong.

A few minutes later, when I exited through the doorway, the self-appointed doorman murmured a “good day, ma’am.” I knew that to continue to play my role, I would have to reach into my pocket and come up with some cash for his “trouble.” As the millisecond for that “correct” response came and went, the gentleman turned on me. I know, I know, all you compassionate upper westsiders, this is his gig. This is how he earns. I wasn’t exactly into playing the game, however, and – as I took my final step without coming up with a “tip” – he called after me…in a voice that hit me in the solar plexus: “HEY, OLD LADY.”

I’m turning 70 in a couple of weeks and it hadn’t bothered me at all. The number was just that. I feel good, not old. Nevertheless, the doorkeep’s assault on my dignity worked. The sound of the words made something real; they told the story of how others may see me now. A bit of a shocker.

The encounter recedes, and I will probably stop thinking about it in a day or two (or ten). But something has changed. With the help of my pissed off friend outside the bank, I have now crossed over into a new stage of age – not exactly “old” but more aware than ever that I’m not exactly young.

Look for my new non-fiction book, FEAR OF LANDING, The stories we tell about commitment and their meanings. It’s available on amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Fear-Landing-stories-commitment-meanings/dp/1539179095/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1476027342&sr=8-3&keywords=karen+krett

Also available on amazon.com is my science fiction novel, RAYMÒN AND SUNSHINE, It’s about the relationship between an autistic man and a female android three hundred years in the future, when what was once seen as a disability is merely a difference. http://www.amazon.com/Raym%C3%B2n-Sunshine-Karen-Krett/dp/0692660887/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461866431&sr=8-1&keywords=krett+sunshine

You can find more information about me and my books at www.karenkrettauthor.com/

 

HAS AMERICA JUMPED THE SHARK?

Ah, yes – that old term. Haven’t heard it in a while. “Jumping the shark” is an idiom used to describe the moment a television show begins a decline in quality, signaled by a particular scene, or episode, in which the writers use some type of gimmick in an attempt to keep viewers’ interest. The origin of this phrase comes from a Happy Days episode where The Fonz jumped over a shark on water skis.

So, we have a little mitigation by nostalgia. But the heart of the question is concerning. I am closing in on seventy – so I’ve been on the scene for a while; I’ve watched our country deal painfully with many issues: civil rights, women’s rights, ultra-rights. And more. Something feels quite different these days.

For me, since I can remember, it was a given that the U.S of A. was the best, strongest, most honorable, most effective place on Earth. There was nothing we couldn’t do, and anyone who messed with us did so at their peril. I ask: Is that all still true? I very much want the answer to be “yes.” I fear, however, that we are more willing to take a back seat in the world or, at least, second chair.

I would love to hear any thoughts you all might have on this score (I’m hoping to be reassured, but I’ll buck up and take what comes).

If we are not the ass-kickers we once were, then who or what will fill the vacuum? That is the locus of my dread. I can’t imagine a good answer to that question. The habit that was acquired during the last administration, of leading from behind which – let’s be honest, is not leading at all – may have sapped some of our moxie. Is our moxie just packed away in the attic waiting for us to reclaim it? Or did it accidentally get thrown out when we were cleaning house? Can new moxie be regenerated or is moxie – of necessity – something that has to be groomed and fed over many years?

I don’t think we’re in danger of devolving into a third-world country, but I’m not quite sure about that second-world category. Sort of great, sort of not; sort of vanilla, sort of looking the other way. Are we going to wake up in a couple of years and issue a national “HUH, WHAT HAPPENED?” Let’s not. Let’s pay a little more attention now; let’s reassert our place at the head of the table. We’re the good guys and the world needs us. There are too many of the other sort.

(With reference to the definition of “jumping the shark,” I leave you to decide what the “gimmick” is that is signaling our national decline.  Perhaps it has something to do with reality TV?)

 

Look for my new non-fiction book, FEAR OF LANDING, The stories we tell about commitment and their meanings. It’s available on amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Fear-Landing-stories-commitment-meanings/dp/1539179095/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1476027342&sr=8-3&keywords=karen+krett

Also available on amazon.com is my science fiction novel, RAYMÒN AND SUNSHINE, It’s about the relationship between an autistic man and a female android three hundred years in the future, when what was once seen as a disability is merely a difference. http://www.amazon.com/Raym%C3%B2n-Sunshine-Karen-Krett/dp/0692660887/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461866431&sr=8-1&keywords=krett+sunshine

You can find more information about me and my books at www.karenkrettauthor.com/

The new world disorder

With minor deference to (well – more like awareness of) those who retain some affinity for DJT (henceforth, initials will suffice) – I pose (and attempt to answer) the question:

How do you survive in the Trumpian alt-universe (see how cleverly I included the new modifier “alt”)?

  1. Watch your back.
  2. Watch your front.
  3. Watch you sides.
  4. As in the salad days of Nazi Germany, be aware that anyone – friends, spouses, children, the postman – might be an informer and turn you in to the narcissism-police.
  5. Don’t do what I’m doing; don’t put anything anti-DJT in writing.
  6. Implore (covertly – but insistently) congress to begin impeachment proceedings.
  7. Transfer all assets into gold.
  8. Sew the gold into the lining of your coat.
  9. Pack up only the necessaries.
  10. Move – well, not to Mexico, but maybe Costa Rica.
  11. Set up a Dalai Lama-like government in exile.
  12. Learn some guerilla-warfare tactics.

I would welcome any additions to my list.

Look for my new non-fiction book, FEAR OF LANDING, The stories we tell about commitment and their meanings. It’s available on amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Fear-Landing-stories-commitment-meanings/dp/1539179095/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1476027342&sr=8-3&keywords=karen+krett

Also available on amazon.com is my science fiction novel, RAYMÒN AND SUNSHINE, It’s about the relationship between an autistic man and a female android three hundred years in the future, when what was once seen as a disability is merely a difference. http://www.amazon.com/Raym%C3%B2n-Sunshine-Karen-Krett/dp/0692660887/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461866431&sr=8-1&keywords=krett+sunshine

You can find more information about me and my books at www.karenkrettauthor.com/

AN AGGRESSIVE DAY IN THE UNIVERSE

On a side-street around the corner from my house, I witnessed a woman call a man a “dick” because he angrily told her to move her big old dog out of the way. Said dog (very sweet and calm aged pooch) was planted comfortably across the width of the sidewalk, blocking the egress of the 30-something guy who was carrying his 3- or 4-year-old daughter on his shoulders.

There was no space between the man’s awareness that his path was blocked and his ire; nor was there any intervening pause between his irritated “Get your dog out of the way!” and the dog’s also 30-something female owner’s retort.

I knew it was some bad juju (aka vibes) in the air, and I gave the two anger mongers a wide berth. Then I thought, “What’s going on here?”

“Trump,” I replied to myself. Trumpian energy.

Am I over-interpreting? Am I looking for a reason to blame The Donald?

Who can say?

I say it’s a new – and not very nice – world, one in which one’s aggressive impulses are not to be resisted.

Hold on, folks. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride!

Look for my new non-fiction book, FEAR OF LANDING, The stories we tell about commitment and their meanings. It’s available on amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Fear-Landing-stories-commitment-meanings/dp/1539179095/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1476027342&sr=8-3&keywords=karen+krett

Also available on amazon.com is my science fiction novel, RAYMÒN AND SUNSHINE, It’s about the relationship between an autistic man and a female android three hundred years in the future, when what was once seen as a disability is merely a difference. http://www.amazon.com/Raym%C3%B2n-Sunshine-Karen-Krett/dp/0692660887/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461866431&sr=8-1&keywords=krett+sunshine

You can find more information about me and my books at www.karenkrettauthor.com/

WAKE UP AND SMELL THE BULLSHIT OR…THE GOLEMS WE HAVE CREATED

First, a definition is in order, i.e.: what’s a “golem?” (Or, if you’d rather, we could ask, “What’s Aleppo?”) http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/Golem.html

Now that we have created these not quite human entities, aka Donald J. Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton, what are we to do? The time is getting short (well matched is the shortness of breath I experience when I think about the next four years…don’t you dare tell me “eight.”)

Out of our consummate mindlessness, our disinterest in anything that doesn’t affect our narrow sense of self, our attraction to the reality-show qualities of embarrassing acting out, the hit of apparent danger, and the nasty below-the-belt attacks, we have munched on tacos and popcorn while we watched the supposed values we grew up believing in unwind and come to a screeching stall. We looked on as if we were watching the “shows,” with our favorite mixture of dread and fascination, as these two sociopaths rose through the ranks to become the next best hope for mankind as we know it.

Well, my friends, buckle up. You – I’m certain – are not ready for what comes next.

Will a little piece of all of us die on November 7th? We will see, won’t we?

Look for my new non-fiction book, FEAR OF LANDING, The stories we tell about commitment and their meanings. It’s available on amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Fear-Landing-stories-commitment-meanings/dp/1539179095/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1476027342&sr=8-3&keywords=karen+krett

Also available on amazon.com is my science fiction novel, RAYMÒN AND SUNSHINE. It’s about the relationship between an autistic man and a female android three hundred years in the future, when what was once seen as a disability is merely a difference. http://www.amazon.com/Raym%C3%B2n-Sunshine-Karen-Krett/dp/0692660887/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461866431&sr=8-1&keywords=krett+sunshine

You can find more information about me and my books at www.karenkrettauthor.com/

IT WAS A LOVELY WARM SPRING-LIKE AUTUMN DAY…

 My PIC and I couldn’t wait to get outside and go for a walk. The sun was bright, there was just the touch of a cool breeze, but the air was still warm enough to go jacket-less. We meandered happily uptown – there were errands to run, stops to make. But first we were going to swing by the bank and make a deposit in the ATM.

As I waited, I glanced at the double glass doors leading into the bank. A very disreputable and unmistakably homeless person, in full raggy regalia – pushing his cartful of foul crap, was about to enter.

Something came over me and I, who assert (see above: THERE ARE A LOT OF CRAZIES WALKING THE STREETS) the importance of avoiding encounters with the psychologically unfit, was filled with outrage and a call to action. I briskly walked to the doors and held up my hand. NO, I said, YOU CAN’T COME IN HERE. THIS ISN’T YOUR HOUSE… I would have continued, but the now clearly wild-eyed and agitated citizen began to yell and curse me. He was lucid enough to be clearly understood, as he insulted every aspect of my being: from my race to my age to my height, to my…well you get the picture. He was, simultaneously, now moving with some effort (his cart was way full) inside the bank’s ATM room, toward me.

Like the smart coward I am, I ran fleetly up the escalator and approached a bank employee. I quickly told the story (from my vantage point) and asked that they remove the now really scary man who was – in fact – already coming up the escalator, too. I was, thankfully, spirited away down an elevator, while the sounds of “excuse me, sir” and “I can damn well be in MY bank” echoed – now mercifully in the distance.

Back out in the street, my PIC and I commiserated and continued on. I understand there was a full moon last night – which may explain the fact that, although we weren’t pulled into any other frightening engagements, there was a massive shitshow going on on each block. Four cars at unnatural angles were blocking a major intersection; several men were trying to disentangle that mess. There were two couples coming close to fisticuffs in front of a large market; the issue at hand seemed to be about who cut in front of whom on line. We quickly crossed the street to avoid. There were also strange smells – gas-like, making me feel that frisson of fear of imminent doom that I am olfactorily (I’m sure there should be an “i” between the “l” and the “f” – you’re wrong, Mr. Google) prey to.

And so, I double-timed the rest of the route until I was safely inside my apartment, door double locked. I think I’ll stay in. Maybe for a while…

 

 

NOT EXACTLY THE MELTING POT

As I completed my morning errands, which entailed walking a two-block radius of my home, I was struck by how little anyone attended to anyone else. New York (that’s “city” and – even more particularly – Manhattan) has a noteworthy reputation as being a melting pot. You know: where everyone from everywhere, those who look vastly different and have profound cultural variability, become one – within the beauty of the fully integrated and assimilated energy that is our town.

Well, not exactly. My observation suggests that we, in New York, are masters of avoidance, ignoring and simply making believe that what we don’t want to see or engage with isn’t there. Each in our titanium cocoon, each with our inner thoughts blocking out most of the outer stimuli (such as the endless, noisy dig-we-must of Con Ed et al, and the random barking or heated telephone conversations spilling into the street, or the crash of splintering metal on metal that we ignore unless it’s right under our nose). Explosions merely raise an eyebrow; detours are met with the minimum of grumbling. Expectations are low for anything that might be considered smooth sailing, so we just muscle through, most of us keeping our profile as close to invisible as possible.

It’s the alternative – which is played out frequently enough – that keeps us in line. If you hear a loud dispute at a certain tone and decibel, make a wide berth before you can even see the drama being played out. Don’t get involved – that’s the mantra we almost all learn. Yes, there are the diehards, the humanists, the people who stop and ask, “Are you okay?” rather than step over the comatose or bleeding citizen in their path. But that’s atypical. It’s much more common for us to rush past, head averted, phone buds in the ears, and achieve the ultimate goal: I didn’t see anything.

This is what allows us to coexist. It isn’t pretty, but pretty wouldn’t get very far in the big, juicy MacIntosh.

On the other hand, if you do take a moment to look around, you will see at least one of everything that exists in nature. The blindingly handsome and the homely or misshapen; the youthful healthfuls, and the ancient or the disabled. Except for the occasional beggar (and that’s mostly on the subways), everyone is managing to stay in the game. It’s a fragile game, as we all know – deep in our psyches, but we are going to keep playing as long as possible.

My new science fiction novel, RAYMÒN AND SUNSHINE, is available on amazon.com. It’s about the relationship between an autistic man and a female android three hundred years in the future, when what was once seen as a disability is merely a difference. Here’s the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Raym%C3%B2n-Sunshine-Karen-Krett/dp/0692660887/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461866431&sr=8-1&keywords=krett+sunshine

You can find more information about me and my books at www.karenkrettauthor.com/

A FEW RISKY POLITICAL REMARKS…

Can anyone tell me how we got here? Either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump: our choices for president.

I haven’t been too political – just a snide or sidelong remark here and there. I feel it now behooves me to make some additional remarks – probably longer and more likely to express more of what I think. So here goes:

We the people have done a crazy, bad, stupid job of finding or permitting certain people to rise to positions of ultimate power in this country. The two current candidates for our highest office are flawed to a degree that makes each of them highly unsuitable for the job . If this were a standard job application, their paperwork would be in the nearest circular file. But, alas, when it comes to electing our head of state, we barely even have standards. Well – that’s not entirely true: we do have standards…they’re just low.

Hillary is dishonest. That’s a really big thing. Dealing with a leader who doesn’t tell the truth, doesn’t respect the truth…imagine that! Donald is not mentally sound. He has a personality disorder and he is impulse driven: both make him someone who has no solid core self. He also lies, but not as flagrantly as Hillary. Donald’s emotional constellation, however, produces a man who can’t be trusted. He, too, doesn’t have any respect for the truth. He says what he feels like saying even if he knows it’s fiction (as with Hillary). Any person giving it a minute of thought would know how out of control Trump is. It just doesn’t matter to him that he is making things up, misrepresenting, maintaining a level of abysmal ignorance, and working to create a roused rabble. It is worth noting that violence, emanating from both camps, seems to be a rabidly growing force in our country and our world,

Trump seems to have no moral center. Even though he gets het up about things, there is no staying power. Everything changes with the wind of other people’s opinions and reactions. We wouldn’t want someone who has no larger sense of anything outside his own self-serving world as our president. Would we?

How has it come to this choice? Two absolutely wrong options. I would welcome any insight, because I really don’t have a sense of what is going on – at the level of full psychological inquiry.

I don’t think our country has really gotten any stupider; we’re just unprepared. We stopped paying attention in class and now we have a test that we can only fail. The story that we are smoothly sailing is just a wish. A comforting wish instead of the anxiety producing truth. Smooth…That’s not quite how it is for most of us.

I’d like to hear someone speak to the demise of American common sense. When we weren’t looking (or were busily plugged in to our “devices”) common sense became uncommon.

Back to Hillary and Donald: Neither is emotionally and morally prepared for the job of President. We are going to wind up with someone who is either wildly ineffective or is inclined toward becoming an authoritarian despot. Or both.

As I have been thinking and saying for a while now: it’s quite a shit-show. In my professional estimation. (It’s a technical term.)

Sometimes you just have to call it what it is.

My new science fiction novel, RAYMÒN AND SUNSHINE, is available on amazon.com. It’s about the relationship between an autistic man and a female android three hundred years in the future, when what was once seen as a disability is merely a difference. Here’s the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Raym%C3%B2n-Sunshine-Karen-Krett/dp/0692660887/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461866431&sr=8-1&keywords=krett+sunshine

You can find more information about me and my books at www.karenkrettauthor.com/