Still working on the rumored blog post “In Praise of Men.” I actually began putting words on pixels today, then decided I needed to consult with an actual male person. (Not on how I should write it, but about things going on in his head.) Might be a few days on that, as he currently has a LOT going on in his head. And his time. And every other part of his life.
Meanwhile I thought I’d pop in and bitch.
Or better yet, give you, my stalwart (and oh-so-patient) readers a chance to bitch.
My question is this: Do you sometimes feel you’re living in a high-tech version of a third-world country?
One hallmark of a third-world country (I mean, aside from really gross plagues, dubious drinking water, political corruption, trash in the streets, highly creative and cheap solutions to thorny problems, etc.) is Things Not Getting Done.
You know. You want to get your hovel hooked up to electricity, but instead of one call and one service appointment, it requires months of waiting, several levels of bribery, 50 eloquent excuses, and finally paying some kid on a motorbike with a coil of wire over his shoulder to tap you into the precarious tangles of wire overhead that work passably well until they catch your entire neighborhood on fire.
That sort of thing.
Today has been one of those days. This summer has been actually been a whole string of those days. All petty stuff, as it so often is. But SO much of it. People who don’t show up. Deliveries that don’t get made. Callbacks that never actually call back. People who say — who promise, who downright pinkie-swear — that they’re going to do something — then don’t. Things broke that nobody can fix. And oh man, the excuses!
COVID, of course. This year, every little thing that doesn’t get done is “BECAUSE COVID!”
And I’m sure that’s part of it, Politicians have seen to that. Heck, in that regard, we’re lucky anything’s functioning at all. Give this lockdown much more time and we can really, truly go third world and the current petty aggravations will look like … petty aggravations.
But for me, today was the day I not only had to go
Full At Least Semi-Karen on a vendor who took my $400 deposit on a toolshed/workshop nearly three months ago and has delivered nothing but repeated run-arounds ever since. THEN I had to spend 2.5 hours on the phone, moving up from brain-dead tech-bots to one … two … then three friendly service reps, each of whom tried diligently and increasingly desperately to solve what initially seemed a small problem.
They were sweet. I was sweet. And I was grateful for their time and effort. No Karens here. But in the end I was simply too tired to try any more. We all thanked each other super sweetly, apologized for each other’s trouble, and gave it up as a bad job. I think the final rep may have escalated the problem to a higher-level tech human offline. But I don’t really know, as I couldn’t understand her accent.
No biggie. We all have those days.
But does it seem as if we — you, people you deal with — are having more and more of these third-world problems?
Things definitely seem to be falling apart more and more. I’m not yet ready to say it is like Jordan, where I lived for three years, but heading that direction for sure. One of the first things I was told when I moved there was “everyone here will lie to you.” Talk about setting low (and VERY realistic) expectations! It helped immensely, actually. Of all the Americans there, I was one of the few who didn’t suffer from repeated “Jordan rage” because of all the delays, unfulfilled promises, shoddy workmanship, etc. Having those low expectations up front was immensely helpful. Sad if we are coming to that.
I’ll agree fully that we have reached third world status when we can get hepatitis A from eating an unwashed cucumber here. (Speaking from sad personal experience…)
The best way to understand the U.S. today is to look at the Ottoman Empire in 1915.
It was still considered a world power, but that was a joke, and the powers that be were already planning on carving it up.
FTR TPTB ended the Ottoman Empire after WW1, they then created to modern middle east, for a “peace that would end all peace”
(In case anyone thought they knew what they were doing)
I just went though the run around from officialdom when I tried to schedule a necessary inspection on a heating installation. I remained semi-polite, I think, but had flames coming out of my ears and a throbbing headache. Then there was the joy of getting a new prescription for something that the doctor had already approved and that was supposedly called in to the pharmacy. My consolation for troubles was the young pharmacist who worried about hurting me when he gave me a flu shot. There still nice people.
Every single brand from Home Depot is complete SHITE. All Chinese Crap-Glacier bay etc., etc. Not all of the brands they carry but their house brands. I can’t get a tile guy to finish our front room/kitchen/living room and even the insurance job on broken drains is taking forever-(not that this is entirely bad-getting used to living on concrete floors and taking outdoor off-grid showers allowed us to test our designs). But, this is a big but-We are trying to extricate ourselves from the real third world country within our borders-Kommieforniastan. We are looking to move to the NW(i am from there) and want property to buy and live off grid-I know, i know late to the party. We had a five year plan started in 2015 and wouldn’t ya know it-the ‘Vid happens and all plans get moved back a year. Def not moving to Wa. or Ore. now. that Leaves Id. and Mt. and only a so many monthes window each year. Anyway, it has allowed us to get more work done in other areas of our life-but still. I’m not Complaining, Just whining!!! Take Care all you folk in Off-Grid Land-We hope to join you someday. Until then, Take solace in knowing you Are the Future, when and if the Shitehouse goes up in flames-which it eventually will-Just taking too long-That was a Joke. FWIW YMMV
When I read “Atlas Shrugged” the only part that seemed unbelieveable to me was the responses of government to their continuing fails with the economy. It didn’t seem possible that even government selectees could be so dense.
I now understand that Rand was an optimist.
That said, what is happening now is a plan being executed. There are several conspiratorial goals out there to consider, and I don’t have aclue as to which may be correct.
I am hoping for a sun event, asteroid, or alien invasion to disrupt the plans of the ‘elite’
Stay safe, stay free…
I deliberately moved to a part of the country I assumed would be third-worldish almost 15 years ago and it hasn’t let me down so I have no complaints nor am I personally aware of any changes. But I do have a regular city visitor who confirms all complaints posted here – seems as though once contractors and vendors had a standard accepted “Because of Coronavirus” excuse, all progress stopped on all fronts. Dagny Taggart will start phoning around looking for functioning steam locomotives any time now.
I lived in a near-third-world country for three years – Italy, and visited another with that classification for a while – Spain – and some unambiguously third-world including Mexico and Antigua.
To this day – 35+ years later, I automatically back-up my computer stuff because of the horrific electricity there. ( one time, there was 400 volts coming out of the wall sockets – fried just about everything, including the surge protectors ).
In Naples, it seemed like ALL of the houses were under continuous construction the entire time. Nothing ever seemed to get finished with a final paint job. The explanation everybody was told was that the government wouldn’t start taxing properties until construction was finished. So – if you never finished construction, your house would never be taxed. This “rule” didn’t seem to apply to commercial buildings, though. You’d drive for kilometers and kilometers, and EVERYTHING was unfinished, lacking paint here, scaffolding there, perimeter fence missing a section here, cement mixer with four bags there. Seriously, two houses over from my place, was a large villa that had exactly four bags of cement next to a mixer, a wheelbarrow, and a hoe. It was like a still-life. Didn’t move for 3 years.
While I was in Italy, there were a half-dozen times the government “fell” and they re-shuffled.
When I got there, a dollar bought 750 Lira – when I left 3 years later, a dollar would by 1600 Lira.
None of us had phones, there were few street signs. The first thing you did when you moved was DRAW A MAP to your house so they could find you in an emergency.
This was in 1981-84.
I call it beach time, but now it is EVERYWHERE!
At least with the old beach time you had a beach where since nothing else is happening you could hang out there.
I went to a paving contractor to do some road work 6 months ago or was it a year ago, can’t remember and don’t really care anymore.
Today it’s an overdue package whose tracking number reports that it’s been sitting idly in a carrier facility in Sacramento for a week — but whose carrier claims they never received the shipment from the vendor.
And can I get an actual human being? Can I? Ha! Don’t make me laugh.
Well, actually, I eventually did get a human at the vendor. He even spoke American English. But when he put me on hold to find out what’s going on, I got disconnected.
ETA: Well, that might explain something. Turns out the vendor delivered the item to a SECOND shipper not listed in the tracking info. Both the vendor and the listed shipper were aware that this second unknown-to-me shipper had the item and had been sitting on it for a week without passing it on to the final shipper, but neither bothered to tell me. It was all just “we don’t have it” and “but we shipped it and the tracking says so.”
I cancelled the &^%$#ing order — and I bloody hope that’s the last I hear of the mess.
We may not be living in a third-world country yet, but if there’s a slippery slope in that direction, we’re definitely on it.
MP, oy vay. You know, I’ve heard so many times about third-world countries where “everybody will lie to you.” And I’ve heard various explanations for that. “It’s their idea of being polite.” “Their culture doesn’t consider it a lie.” “They know their promise isn’t going to come true, but they figure you’ll yell at somebody else later, not at them.”
No explanation I’ve ever heard makes the slightest bit of sense.
How about a letter sent “Certified/Return Receipt” back in August. No return receipt as of this writing. Checked with the P.O. “Lost in the mail.”
I’m with Joel. I “dropped out” a decade or so ago and my living standards have remained pretty much unchanged. I get my water from a well that my G Grandfather dug and the rope and bucket I use has held up quite well. I use a Berkey to filter it and the filters have lasted a long time, even though I have backups.
My landline for a phone and internet keeps working. I have firewood for my stove, although I would like to get a “backup” crosscut saw. I did try and order a new pair of jeans but UPS refused to deliver them, so WalMart is my standby.
Life is good but I don’t have any high expectations, so that helps. No debt and a small social security check helps a lot. If the monthly checks stop, I would have to scramble some but then, that’s what I did for years.
Living simple and debt free is the best. The real luxuries are food, health, family and friends!
“People who say — who promise, who downright pinkie-swear — that they’re going to do something — then don’t.”
That’s Unfortunate Truth #2: “People rarely do what they assure you they will do. The more insistently they assure you, the less likely it is that it will occur.”
Surprisingly, I haven’t experienced much of that. Either it’s because of where I live, and that people hereabouts really aren’t as worked up over the panicdemic as politician’s and their useful fools would like… or it might be that I just haven’t had the opportunity to want much from anyone.
It is actually an astute observation. My application would be the sense that outwardly everything is a high tech wonder, but it feels like only a veneer if you look just a bit under the surface. Put the least amount of pressure on things and watch it crack.
When we moved 5 years ago we went from an extremely affluent neighborhood (Trump’s golf course was just down the block, DeBeers, Mercks and Johnsons were our other neighbors) to a severely economically depressed one. So considering socioeconomics alone it was a move to the third world from what we were used to. (Side observation, when folks stop worrying so much about their monetary wealth and “keeping up with the Joneses” they embrace the wealth found in freedom a whole lot more)
The lack of services here long predates the 2020 crises. Our county has a Yellow Page, not a whole book, so as you can imagine, tradesmen are in high demand and tough to come by. They can pretty much pick the work they want and ignore the rest. And charge whatever they want. Getting work actually done and at a reasonable price becomes a function of who you know, nothing more.
Looking at electric reliability as my gauge, tech has greatly improved. 40 miles from NYC my power went out every time the wind blew. We were dark for over 2 weeks after Sandy. But out here, 200 miles from the closest Costco, other than for daylight savings I’ve only had to reset my clocks twice in 5 years. The only transmission line into town failed last year, and even though they put out a message that it could take 2-3 days to restore power, it was an hour and a half until the electric co-op had it fixed.
We learned early on here that having high expectations is the gateway to disappointment. Once we adjusted downward (sadly, it is a continual lowering process), life became much happier.
ps. Claire, don’t know if I can help with the Men post, but I went from a Nascar/NHRA 0-300 MPH in 4 second job to luxury retail, where I quickly recognized I was the only breeder in the bunch of males in the office. Being the only hetero and watching the dynamics of the gay world was an experience for sure.
Toidhealbheach Beucail writes: My application would be the sense that outwardly everything is a high tech wonder, but it feels like only a veneer if you look just a bit under the surface. Put the least amount of pressure on things and watch it crack.
Meanwhile, the cheapness and wide availability and raw performance of electronic/robot hobbyist tech is breathtaking. For instance, https://www.openbot.org has a kit to use a smart phone for a head with eyes and a brain, which knows how to follow a pair of walking legs. What else could it be programmed to do? I’m sure there aren’t any military applications for a small, cheap robot which could be dropped off to drive under cars in a parking lot to punch a big hole into the bottom of gas tanks. “Release the flying monkeys” was once a fiction line from a fantasy movie. No longer.
Wrote an eloquent 😉 post earlier that WordPress ate, but the gist is I toured Romania back in the 1970s, when the Iron Curtain was still a thing. We aren’t near there. Yet.
One thing I noticed was that the Romanians of that time were grim. About the only laughter was fueled by alcohol.
I recently saw a blog post questioning whether Trump rallies being upbeat and fun was a voting criteria. I think it is. People who are self-confident, productive, and take responsibility for themselves tend to be happy. People who see themselves as victims, and blame others for their misfortunes, tend to be miserable.
I recently re-watched an old movie, “Tomorrowland.” Cheesy, it was. But the riddle of it was:
November 4 we’ll find out which wolf U.S. voters will feed.
Meanwhile, the cheapness and wide availability and raw performance of electronic/robot hobbyist tech is breathtaking.
My daughter just completed the F.A.A. process to become a licensed drone pilot, so she can fly a two-foot drone around inside the arena she manages, spraying disinfectant.
Regarding “In Praise of Men,” you might want to read (or skim) my The Sexes in Scripture. It is out with first readers now but they are pretty slow. So am I, since the heart attack.
I can email you a manuscript if you’re interested. Let me know what format you would like. I plan to (self) publish by the end of the year.
RickB (aka DeLaune)
Lived the first 18 years of my life in a “third world” country, only one a bit nearer the top of the curve to first status. Even so, a phone hookup took 2 or 3 months. Getting anything repaired that was the responsibility of the city was well nigh impossible, we usually hired a mason, electrician or tree trimmer and paid to get it done. Most neighbors did this as to wait for service was futile. We went through periodic brownouts in summer or with droughts (no A/C mind you) and there were also periodic induced scarcity when some bright ponce decided to impose price controls to “help the poor” etc.
In light of my experience, I can unequivocally state that the “latinization” of the USA is well advanced and the COVID hoax simply made things readily apparent. Supply chains are not running smoothly, out stores for the past 8 months have looked just like what I remember from my youth, bare shelves for those critical items everyone needs. Vendors are trying to patch the holes with off brand products, imported from Mexico even (now there is a laugh) in order to keep some flow of customers. Here we sit in October 2020 and things are not yet back to normal pre-COVID functioning.
I surely pray that this will correct itself over time as this whole event passes into history, but I am not as confident in the U.S., economy as I was say, 20 years ago. The mindset has to return to Made in USA for pretty much all we consume, this provides the jobs that drive the consumer economy. People without work don’t consume and being on the dole is a downward spiral for all of us. We as a nation also have to return to founding principles and do away with all the distortions imposed by the governing class, which has benefited them enormously to the detriment of the nation and it’s people.
God forbid the rabid socialists ever get full control of this country. I saw first hand what Allende did to Chile and what the Peronistas have done to Argentina (twice) and Lula to Brazil, in all cases what each was before tenure and what it took to right the economies where possible.
Chile was a smallish economy that took a soft dictatorship to right and set on a straight path. We are not cut out for dictatorships in this country, though some blue cities (nearby Chicago comes to mind) are doing a pretty close shot at ersatz monoparty rule (as is California), with all the resulting destruction and flight of those who can leave.
Pray for conservative and constitutional advancement over that of socialism and vote accordingly. The alternative is not one any of us wishes upon our fellow countrymen.
The sooner the U.S. central government collapses, the better.
Funny, I’ve been slowly working on a “secrets of men” essay for several years. It’s not exactly a “praise” piece.
Rather, it focuses on the bad behavior I’ve seen men engage in over the years. Usually this happens when they think no one is listening. Of the three main secrets of men, the worst is that they are all sex offenders, if not full-on pedophiles.
As a former news photographer, the things I heard uttered on high school football sidelines and elsewhere were perverse, sickening, and vile.
I’ve heard dozens and dozens of grown men over the years advocate sex with teenage cheerleaders, or heard coaches tell their 16-year-old players to “not get caught” when they drink and drive and have underage sex at the victory party hosted later which will be supplied with prostitutes, booze and powders to snort by the coach and supporting families.
I’ve heard men at barbecues, gathered off to the side in a circle, talking about raping Asian schoolgirls, even going so far as to offer detailed descriptions of the physical damage they would to such a rape victim.
I’ve heard adult males admitting that they became aroused due to a young girl, prepubescent, innocently sitting on their lap, even daddy’s lap. Yes, I’ve heard fathers admit sexual thoughts about their own underage daughters!
I’ve seen adult males become visibly erect in their pants while looking at or even just talking about, scantily clad underage girls.
These weren’t rare or occasional happenings. No, this was literally every time I encountered these people. Every football game. Every get-together, barbecue, even kids’ birthday parties. From the top politicians to the lowest rung of society, it’s everywhere.
I was shocked, horrified, and disgusted. I thought, stupidly, that turning to female companionship would negate this but no, women are just as bad. They just hide it better.
But I’ve heard no shortage of adult women talking about having underage sex with a high schooler. I’ve heard them say despicable sexual things about underage boys. I’ve seen gropes, grabs, and other acts from women that in my opinion crossed into sexual fondling. Men did it too. No one was innocent.
Where does this leave me? Misanthropy. How could I ever look at any male or female again, without hearing those sickening words, or seeing again those leering gazes, to see the hands in the pockets obviously groping themselves to the sight or thought of an underage person?
You want to praise men, that’s fine. but you’ll have to edit out a huge part of who and what men (and women) are to do it.
And you’re correct on that point. Believe me, I’ve seen close to the worst that men can do, as well as simple, everyday, generally acceptable badness from both men and women. I have no intention of looking only at the good and pretending the nastiness doesn’t exist. In fact, one reason it’s taking me so long to write this piece is that I need to acknowledge the bad while also praising the good — and noting that the good and bad can sometimes be divergent manifestations of the same basic traits.
The unfortunate thing is that you have also “edit[ed] out a huge part of who and what men (and women) are” to develop your jaundiced and heartsick view. Your words may be true — but they’re only part of a larger truth that you’re choosing sadly to ignore.
I wonder how it is that Oregondissenter has found so many distasteful conversations to listen in on. I also tend toward a jaundiced view of my fellow man (and woman, let us be inclusive) in general, and I’ve earned that view the hard way – but it is not my observation that “they are all sex offenders, if not full-on pedophiles.” We do tend to be sexual creatures – that’s how little men and women happen – but offense is usually in the eye of the beholder.
As for “victory part[ies] … supplied with prostitutes, booze and powders to snort by the coach and supporting families,” I clearly went to all the wrong parties when I was young because I never encountered anything remotely like this and neither did my daughter after me. Meaning no disrespect whatsoever, I’m a little skeptical. This sounds like one of ‘those’ stories – I have neighbors who still honestly believe Trump paid Russian hookers to pee on Obama’s bed, because they heard that on the television.
Oregondissenter, in your post you don’t make a distinction between fantasy, and reality, all people have impulses, it’s not having a “pure mind” that makes people moral, it’s do they act on their impulses.
Who hasn’t seen a large stack of cash and been tempted?
Who hasn’t thought about a bank robbery?
In the end, most people never act on these thoughts, resisting temptation is what makes a person good.
As far as sexual attraction to young females, of course men are, the roots of sexual desire is the biological desire to reproduce, a younger woman is far more likely to be fertile a than an older one, (sorry older ladies, but this is true) now of course humans have evolved past mere reproduction, and most people find sex pleasurable, and the human mind, and society has created a view of of sexual attractiveness that skews young, so yes adult men will frequently find younger women attractive, this doesn’t mean they will act on this, only that we are all human and subject to biological impulses.
**If you’re xian, or even just easily offended stop reading here**
As fr getting a hard on with someone in a man’s lap, good god man, almost anything warm and moving that puts pressure on a man’s penis will produce a hard on, kids puppies, kittens, oil hoses…
Good god man, when a guy is 13, a slight breeze can have him pitching a tent.
So what? That’s just a physical response from the reptile brain, not different than your mouth watering if you smell a steak being grilled, but in the later case, that doesn’t mean you’re vaulting over the fence to swipe your neighbors BBQ, and in the former, this doesn’t mean you’re going to molest a child.
I tend to agree with Joel and Myself.
Also, as a libertarian, I do not believe that any government has the right to set
“age of consent” laws. That is the right of the individual and maybe their parents.
If you think the state should be in charge, I would remind you that in America, in the 1880’s, many states had that mandated between ages 10 and 12, with the exception of Delaware, where it was age 7.
It’s NOT a political decision, it is a personal one. You own your body and no one else does.
Also Orgeondissenter, you might want to hang around fewer “ball heads” (sports fans). Just a thought. (No insult to those sports fans who do not stand on the sideline thinking of sex with cheerleaders, although when I was in high school, that was certainly fairly standard protocol and maybe even, probably, might have actually happened. If you were lucky.
I agree with Joel, Myself, and Tahn. I’ve had my share of sexual harrassment, and seen and heard a lot more. As an “old lady” these days, I’m more apt to be pushed to the ground and my handbag stolen than I am considered for sexual pleasure.
The history of the human male/female relationship is still largely unknown and misunderstood, but it will not change overnight because some nation decrees it by law. Nor should it.
There are many people of both sexes who “talk the talk” but never “walk the walk”, and there are natural/hormonal reasons for talking the talk, just as there are social/civilized reasons for not walking the walk. Give the devil his due when you see him walking by!
oregondissenter seems to have significant distaste for humanity? What a jaundiced take on life, product of skewed and strange company and associations? Humanity has short history, and most of it until now lived at base subsistence.
Perhaps recent success has lead to a complacency with respect to how near we really are to our fragile “civilization” coming apart. A pompous arrogance and folly that we have “replaced” the gods and nature with ourselves. So many now seem think they are saints and better than other.
When integrity, responsibility, honor, and conscientiousness are disrespected, we can become as Eloi, and then become extinct.
Whine about male banter and bravado, but while it persist, men still manifest motive, passion and will to engage the eternal battle with nature and survival. Lose it and risk the rest.
I must have led a very long and very sheltered life – or Oregondissenter is full of crap.
I was in the Navy for six years. Stationed at an army base for over a year, and in constant contact with Marines as well. Three of those years was in Naples freaking Italy.
I spent nine years in New freaking Orleans, including two living in the French Quarter.
I was on several football teams, first string defensive tackle or nose-guard.
You’d think, at least as a Sailor, that I’d see mountains of evidence to support OD’s claims. But, while I was definitely considered a “paladin” by Navy standards, I only saw what she referred-to RARELY.
Yeah, sailors get drunk and screw – but in The Philippines, who is the more, erm, “base” – sailors, or the women that are looking to get out of their poverty in any way they can?
And, it might be noted, these women traded what little they had and I know of VERY few sailors who were unhappily married to their filipino wives – including my lifetime best friend ( and his four children ).
Yes, there are people like OD mentions, but in the US they are certainly NOT ubiquitous.
Oregondissenter sounds like a really really unhappy person, and I hope that it doesn’t rub-off on others.
I, as a man, have never participated in any of those actions. I’m NOT attracted to pre-pubscent anything. I’d rather have a mature brain attached.
IMHO anyone who says that due to the action of a few all are a certain way for example;
Due to action of some blacks they all are…..
Due to the action of some whites they all are………
Due to the actions of some Jews or Muslims they all are……..
Due to the action of some men or women they all are………
Due to the action of some liberals or conservative they all are……..
This can go on and on however, WHOEVER says these things and even believes such things is again IMHO bias, deals in prejudice and is a complete bigot.
And to me are lower than the lowest that they criticize.
I would not be surprised that high school coaches condone or supply their players with booze, drugs, etc. I worked with a recent graduate of a local high school. He had been on the football team. He said the coach encouraged the players to use steroids.
There is a jargon word from biology that refers to an animal which has matured enough to reproduce; that word is “adult”. Female humans who could carry a baby to term are adults. It wasn’t so long ago that mainstream society announced their daughters eligible for starting a family in a ceremony around age 15. Prior to that age the not-yet-adults learned adult relationship skills by imitation and modeling. That’s why the American colonies had the bundling board.
You’re disgusted at adult humans finding other adult humans sexually attractive. In particular you despise the situation with the best chance of reproductive success, where an older father has more material success to support a more fertile younger mother.
This means you’re a pervert, as you think about a vital biological function in a bizarre way. You desire to block satisfaction of the instinctual drive for sexual companionship and pair bonding and reproduction, only letting it out in a way that ultimately pays you taxes. Go sit on the bench with the weirdos who find it disgusting for a woman to feed her baby using her breast in public.
It seems that way to me, yes. Example – without warning, FedEx has suddenly started dropping my Chewy boxes further and further down the driveway as opposed to bringing them to the actual house. The last was under my mailbox 180 feet from my door. Why? I dunno. Maybe third world worker laziness? Maybe because they’re ‘too big to fail’, er, ‘to care’.