Fascinatingly Horrible, a Painful and Awe-Inspiring Truth, and a Silent Witness

old car

I’ve often wondered when it comes to abandoned cars- why this particular dying place?

I find entropy fascinatingly horrible. Part of me doesn’t want to watch the process of death, decomposition and/or decay, but at times I am almost compelled to do so, because there’s also a strange and captivating beauty in it.

Perhaps my fascination with old and decomposing things lies in the knowledge that somewhere, in a better time, those things were once new and whole.

old attic

I could get lost in a place like this. Intentionally.

I don’t like what this world has turned into, at least culturally, and the turning began years-decades, actually- before I was born.  Not all change is bad of course, but the moral and cultural disintegration of society is definitely a negative change as far as I’m concerned. I’ve said it before: Orwell’s 1984 was meant to serve as a warning, not an instruction manual.  I think Orwell would be spinning in his grave if he could see just how eerily true his observations have become.

bbwatch

All the freaking time.  Just look up at all the traffic cameras.

I do appreciate many technological advancements- in fact I would probably been long dead without a fair number of mid-20th century medical advances.  Most likely I’d never lived beyond infancy, for good or for ill.  And being the third (unwanted female to boot) of three, they’d probably never even bothered spending the scratch on the post mortem pic.

dead baby

Once you’ve had three kids, don’t they all sort of look alike?

Anyone old enough to have ever had to mess with a broken cassette tape or who has been stranded miles away from a phone gets what I’m saying about technology.  If we could have the technology without the dumb shit, and without the social and moral atrophy that seems to come along with it, perhaps utopia could be achieved!

I am not nearly that naïve. (Back to Orwell and Animal Farm and the time honored truth that some pigs are more equal than others.)

Of course, we all know that there is no such thing as a perfect world. In fact, I honestly believe in the devolution of humanity.

old VW thing

If only people knew… the VW “Thing” was a thinly disguised Kübelwagen.

And the whole Volkswagen concept was brewed up by Adolf Hitler.

I’ve commented many times on the strange beauty of abandoned machinery, and also of the concept that there might really be literal deus ex machina or real “gods in the machines.”

I can only imagine the silent witness written in cold, dead steel, and what does it have to say?

old bus

Sort of like a post mortem for an old, old VW Transporter.

The reality of the Transporters was (and is) that these are pretty much only meant to be owned and operated by technicians capable of repairing them.

Orwell Was Right, (1984 Was Not Supposed to Be an Instruction Manual) and Adventures of the Inane

bigbrother

Every day, all the time.

When I got rear-ended in my 2008 Yaris, back in 2010, I had every single ambulance-chasing lawyer in Franklin County sending me all sorts of crap- in the postal mail, via e-mail and yes, even by calling and leaving obnoxious messages on my cell phone about how I need to contact their particular legal emporiums to get compensation for my non-existent “injuries.”  All I wanted was to get my car fixed.  Had I actually been injured, that would have been one thing, but I think had I been injured I’d been wise enough to seek out appropriate legal counsel without relying on ambulance chasers who solicit business by trolling the police reports.

lqtr1

That really sucked, but the car did what it was designed to do.  I was unscathed.

Of course it never seems like the Entities that Be know anything important about you if they really need to, as evidenced by the “How’s Your Diarrhea, Mildred” Incident of 2012.  I won’t claim that even at that time I looked “well preserved” for 43, but to be mistaken for a ninety-something named Mildred, well, that was both disarming and morbidly funny at the same time.  I guess it was a good thing I was lucid and verbal.  But if the health care industry (and business is what it’s all about, folks, it’s all about the MONEY,) really gave two farts in a high wind about something other than dollar signs, they might actually be more concerned with caring for people rather than being sure to collect beaucoup on every warm (or cold, for that matter) carcass that darkens their doors.

Health_Fraud-2

I have a great deal of cynicism toward the health care industry.  In large part the government is behind the incredibly inefficient and expensive health care fiasco in the United States.  It was bad before Obamacare, but with Obamacare it has become even more outrageously expensive, while the quality of care grows abysmally worse.  The problem is that the government butted into health care to begin with- and that there are way too many special interests who have wormed their way into the government so they can line their own pockets- at the taxpayers’ expense.  Nobody dares to address tort reform, which would lower health care costs by drastically restricting payouts to ambulance-chasing lawyers and their clients.  Nobody dares to embrace the free market and encourage competition in health care- instead- it is a governmentally driven oligarchy hell bent on feeding itself while providing lackluster, substandard care at grossly inflated prices.

If any other industry treated their clients as piss-poorly as the health care industry does, they would be out of business- but since health care providers are pretty much equally over priced and equally abysmal in their standards of care, where else can one go, because they will all suck equally bad?  You just have to put up with it, and keep writing those grossly inflated checks.

You would also think with all those bloody forms one has to fill out every freaking time one encounters a health care provider, that they might actually keep some of that crap on file.  If you can access my social security number and birthdate and location of my first-born to be sure to avail every possible opportunity to bill me and/or the insurance company, then why can’t you find my history with the same information?

vomiting-cartoon

Better yet, with all the technology out there, why has no one figured out a way to keep people from having to sit in a crowded, hot hole crammed in next to Typhoid Mary, Bad Body Odor Larry, and Gonorrhea Shaniqua- a crowded, hot hole with nothing to read besides last year’s Hemorrhoid Monthlys and Urology Digests, where there’s nothing on TV but the “who’s my baby daddy” tabloid type shows, while waiting for hours to get maybe three minutes of face time with some guy who (if you’re lucky) is simply going to write you a script and send you home?  If that’s all there is to the medical biz, and you’re going to rape me financially anyway, as long as nothing’s bleeding or broken, why can’t we just do it online and save my time?

camera

I am not a big fan of surveillance cameras.  Their indiscriminate use seems to violate the 4th Amendment as far as I’m concerned.

To the state of Ohio’s credit, they have ruled the red-light cameras unconstitutional, but any form of random surveillance (without probable cause) in the public sphere violates the 4th Amendment whether they’re trying to entrap criminals or not.

Since very few people bother to actually read the Constitution, here’s the 4th Amendment:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

I do consider constant surveillance to be a violation because who really has the right (or should have the right) to watch your comings and goings?  There are “traffic flow” cameras all over the intersection not even a block from my house.  Where is there probable cause for anyone other than me to know where my particular black Corolla is at any particular time?  Maybe I could see it if the cops knew I was out committing crimes, or if I had a history of crime, but what makes random surveillance any better?  Just because they’re watching everyone it makes watching one person OK?  Is random search a condition of using public roadways paid for in part by my taxes?  That doesn’t seem quite right.

Better yet, I must say to the various and sundry government entities with the cameras: “Why are you randomly searching me?”

warrant

I bet this bumper sticker would arouse the attention of law enforcement.

Travel Envy, It’s Summer- So I’m Busy, and 20 Years of Steve-o

Yeah, I did get to go to Niagara Falls back in ’04 which was extremely cool.  If we decided to go now either I would have to get a passport, which I am loathe to do in these days of 1984 meets Logan’s Run, or we would have to stay on the New York side which is both expensive and dismal.  I don’t want my car stolen.   I am not arrogant enough to think that someone would specifically want to spy on me or steal my identity, but I do believe in Murphy’s Law.  Give Mr. Murphy and company time to screw about in one’s past records, and Lord only knows what might get added, deleted or screwed up.   I really don’t need to go to Canada that bad.  Besides, the food all tastes like Clorox up there for some reason.  I’m sure there must be some good cuisine in Canada, but it’s sure as hell not at Niagara Falls.

I thought taking Mom and Dad to North Carolina would be a disaster, but it was actually a pleasant long weekend.  The drive wasn’t as traumatic as usual – not a lot of traffic, and no rain.  The only thing that sort of sucked is that Dad didn’t want the stereo turned on.  It wasn’t incredibly hot either like it was last year, and we did get an afternoon out on the lake in the boat which was almost worth the trip.  How anyone can get sunburn in spite of marinating in Factor 50 is beyond me, but my back still itches.  I would hate to think how fried it would have been without sunscreen.

The only sort of drawback to summer is that’s when I’m the busiest- busy at work, busy at home and I don’t get enough time to do relaxing things like float about in the Cougar Pool (which is most delightful by the way) or read interesting books.  I’ve not even been able to be online enough to catch the whole Wiener scandal, which I really shouldn’t find funny, but of course I do.  Of course I adore travel, but I highly doubt I will get much more than a couple of day trips to the campground, up to Marion, or down to Cincinnati.  What I would really enjoy would be a Cougar Cruise, but I don’t see that happening any time soon. 

Steve-o’s 20th birthday is next week.  He wants to spend it down in Kentucky 4-wheeling through the hollers with his buddies.  He wasn’t born a southerner- but should have been one- as much as he is into redneck culture and activities. 

Maybe I shouldn’t have bothered to fix his teeth?