39

Doom’s Monotony

Sylvia Shawcross

Some days I convince myself that nothing is actually happening and all we have is a whole bunch of people convincing us that things are happening. I mean I’m sitting here on the 13th of March wondering who has won the battle of Bakhmut in the Ukraine because there are two narratives both claiming victory and that is the way it is.

By the time this is published maybe we will know. The proof will be in the pudding and it all comes out in the wash. Unless it is chocolate pudding because that stain is a difficult one to get out of particularly woolen long johns. So unless there is long john evidence involved in Bakhmut, we’ll never really know. We aren’t sitting in a bunker in the Ukraine. Thankfully.

But it makes you wonder doesn’t it? What we will ever really know about anything. The best that we can do is try and predict at least for our own safety and that of our loved ones but beyond that it is mostly ego with opinions. None of us want to have the woolen long johns pulled over our eyes so we spend a lot of time hoping to be proven right about whatever it is we’re going on about. Sometimes if only to explain why we have fourteen cans of green beans in the front closet. No one wants to look the fool after all.

They are only there to provide a forum for your eventual sanctimonious smile in front of an admiring crowd where you get to feed hungry people green beans and blackberry chutney on tin plates with homegrown elderberry cider to wash it all down with. Because you were right and that is the important thing.

If the truth be known, we all want to smile sanctimoniously—it’s a terribly ugly but impelling human need. Being right is right up there with food and water and a roof over our heads. I’m absolutely certain that Maslov, when developing his “pyramid of needs” scratched that truth in there in red ink at the bottom and it got lost in the editing. I mean, what is the whole point of living if you’re not right about most everything? What is the point of living if you can’t give your wild opinion and upset at least half the people in the room? Fading into the wallpaper of common opinion is a stance that ages you before your time.

Who wants that?!

The danger of course in understanding this is that one can sometimes be tempted to create an opinion so far from normal that it is sure to upset everyone. Just for the reaction. It’s a writer’s favourite thing when they’re bored. So I’ve spent the day looking for an opinion to upset everybody. To break the monotony of doom and misery. This is a very difficult task because in this world nothing shocks anymore. When they’re doing drag queen bondage shows for babies what is there left? When celebrities are contemplating making designer meat from themselves for public consumption? When even Nato couldn’t join Nato by its own criteria?

In the days before these days it was always good advice to never discuss politics, religion or sex. This always kept you out of trouble. Now of course, these are the ONLY things to discuss. So perhaps it is the discussion of the mundane that is the real shock. Could it be? No. Maybe. Well if men can be women and war can be peace and love can be hate there is no reason why mundane can’t be shocking.

The weather used to be the go to humdrum conversation but no more. Now it is full of drama and red banners and warnings and watches and climate change frenzied flagellation. What now then are we left with for the mundane? Let me tell you—not a lot.

It has taken me hours of dull contemplation to finally find the mundane topic for us all to keep life exciting in conversations: Musca domestica. The common housefly. There.

Now, when caught at the local lineup in the market and forced into acknowledging another human being and possibly having to interact with them, you have a topic of conversation to keep you out of trouble. You can always open up with “Quite the common fly season we’re having this year!” Or “Have you ever noticed that the common fly has red eyes?” Or “The common house fly is the most widely distributed insect around the world.” And they will agree being absolutely shocked at such a boring thing and so after their feeble “yes” and strange look in return, the interaction will come to an end and nobody got hurt in the process. It was indeed a very unexpected thing to greet someone with after all. In this respect it was a wildly exciting opinion.

Just a small warning not to do this too often or you yourself might end up as the topic of conversation for everyone else and that would just end up with you being interesting and we wouldn’t want that.

I’ve now done my bit for the improvement of humanity. You’re welcome.

Earworm for the week:

“Birds are the eyes of heaven, and flies are the spies of hell.”
Suzy Kassem

Syl Shawcross lives somewhere and writes things now and then. Please note this piece is somewhat sarcastic and I honestly do not believe that being right is a reason for living. In fact, the need to be right is probably the problem with the whole wide world right now…. And also, if you are actually able to feed starving people anything it is probably more an act of love than sanctimony. For most. Consider subscribing to if so inclined.
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DavidW
DavidW
Apr 11, 2023 11:04 PM

“The trouble with the world is not that people know too little; it’s that they know so many things that just aren’t so.”
~ Mark Twain
Then add to the mix confirmation bias, dunning-Kruger effect and unchecked EGO|PRIDE and we can at least partially explain some of the mass behavior of Event Covid.
Another amusing little article with a serious edge. Thanks.

Rolf Brandt
Rolf Brandt
Apr 9, 2023 11:50 AM

Short and very amusing, Syl.  I was pondering earnestly your statement about Ukraine where there were  “two narratives both claiming victory”. I extended it to how in the end probably “both will claim to have won”.  You cut all that short with your pudding-stained long johns – which caused me to laugh out loud. That is what I like about your way of writing.

el Gallinazo
el Gallinazo
Apr 8, 2023 3:49 PM

Brilliant idea, Sylvia. I will keep the front door to our house open more frequently in order to give my WOKE wife and me something neutral to discuss.

Freecus
Freecus
Apr 8, 2023 1:50 PM

You can always open up with “Quite the common fly season we’re having this year!”

Good one Sylvia, from the mundane ice-breaker above you could then move in with a gentle “So, where do you think we are?” so as not to upset any sacred cows.

Owen
Owen
Apr 8, 2023 1:10 PM

Well if men can be women and war can be peace and love can be hate there is no reason why mundane can’t be shocking.”
Brava Syl!

Mucho
Mucho
Apr 8, 2023 12:27 PM

This is a sign that progress is being made, although don’t expect to see anything like this happen in the vermin holding pen called Westminster. When ultimate scumbag Zelensky was beamed into the Austrian Parliament via livefeed, they all stood up and walked out. Good on them.

“What Austrian Parliament think of the clown Zelensky. People are waking up to the scam that is the Ukraine war, as well as the horrendous suffering of the Ukraine and Russian peoples. This murderous conflict needs to end, turn your back to it and its supporters.https://t.co/YYuQuo68VL…” / Twitter

solemn
solemn
Apr 8, 2023 1:41 PM
Reply to  Mucho

Looks orchestrated / staged to fool people like you, to think that there is politicians that care.
surely covid 101% confirmed that they was in all in this together..
Do you even remember that far back?
The die hard believers cant help being ‘cult worshipers’ of ‘parliament’ and ‘politicians’.

Mucho
Mucho
Apr 9, 2023 1:49 AM
Reply to  solemn

I think it’s more to do with their party’s allegiance to Russia/Putin. Zelensky’s address was announced, they (Austrian Freedom Party) said they would stage a protest, and they walked out. Whatever, but thanks for your input and for exposing your poor analytical skills.

Paul Vonharnish
Paul Vonharnish
Apr 8, 2023 4:49 PM
Reply to  Mucho

Heh, heh… President Zelensky nervously adjusts his tie. “Ooooo. Tough crowd. Tough crowd.”

thinking-turtle
thinking-turtle
Apr 8, 2023 11:53 AM

The picture for the song made me laugh! MAN WALK ON THE MOON. Like the R.E.M. song Man on the Moon. “See you in heaven if you make the list. Yeah yeah yeah yeah.” It’s only now that I see the meaning of these lyrics. Thank you for the enlightenment at the start of my Easter weekend!

Straight Talk
Straight Talk
Apr 8, 2023 9:47 AM

The Death of Culture: How Lies Killed Books
“The bizarre thing about this moment in culture, is that the really important journalism, and the really important nonfiction books about the history, the racial and gender injustice, the economics, the public policy, of the “pandemic” years — are being written by — non-writers; by people who are trained as doctors, medical researchers, lawyers, politicians, and activists.

This is because the public intellectuals are by necessity, for the most part, AWOL to the truth-telling demands of this time.

Journalism in a tyranny, that is written by state-approved scribes, is always going to be a mess of cliches and obsequiousness that no one wants to read, and that cannot stand the test of time. It vanishes like snow into the cauldron of the future — even as works by the hated, forbidden dissidents who can and do tell the truth — the Solzhenitzyns of the time, the Anne Franks — are like diamonds, that cannot be crushed or lost to time.

A formerly great city of public intellectuals is unable to address current reality and is taking walks. 

They are not talking about the enslavement of humanity. They are not talking about young adults dropping dead. 

They are talking about fermentation. They are talking about pets. They are talking, endlessly, like stalkers who cannot let it go, about how bad Donald Trump is, down to what he has for dinner in Mar a Lago.

It is as if New York City and all its thought leaders are enchanted, ensorcelled, staring at one another, mouths open, unspeaking, inside of a conceptual snow globe, while all the rest of us ostracized dissidents are carrying on around this frozen spectacle, fighting a hand-to-hand-combat revolution.

I sighed, as I left the bookstore, and made my way through the freely moving hipster crowds. 

We don’t fight for freedom so that we can get credit.

We don’t fight for truth because we want a byline.

We do both just because we can’t help it.

We do both because our Founders fought to the death so that we ourselves would be free one day.

And we fight so that little children whom we will never live to see, will grow up free.

But it is painful to witness the beating heart of what had been a great culture, stunned and muted in denial, and unable to function intellectually. 

I guess we just need to leave the sadly rotting carcass of the establishment culture of lies and denial behind.”

… as the flies hover above.

Howard
Howard
Apr 8, 2023 4:02 PM
Reply to  Straight Talk

You do give a backhand credit to Naomi Wolf via your link. And yes, your use of quotation marks suggests someone else wrote what you’re presenting – but, you really should let readers know who you’re quoting.

Ms. Wolf seems to be one of the last remaining public American intellectuals with any credibility. (It’s sad that somebody downvoted your quote.)

boxofcrayons
boxofcrayons
Apr 8, 2023 4:21 AM

Living for longer, the decline would be much more obvious, as with greater years full toothed, resistance would form a more memorable mark, save being organised enough to pass on the awareness, lest it so easily smoothed away.

Malcolm Muggeridge, journalist, satirist, and editor of Punch magazine during the 1950’s, wrote:

The melancholia to which clowns, radio comedians, gag writers, editors of punch, and all who are in any way concerned in the humour industry, are notoriously susceptible, is due, I am confident, to being constantly confronted with this tragic dilemma, of how to ridicule a world who’s reality so often outdoes their wildest and most daring inventions.
How often in Punch, we tried to embellish their vast daily outpouring of fatuity only to find our own efforts so much more sober, cogent, and literate than the originals,that we blushed for them.
comment image

acd
acd
Apr 8, 2023 3:28 AM

Syl, Pass over the Comments on this one—- yakety yak, yakety yak

Howard
Howard
Apr 8, 2023 3:15 AM

You want mundane, do you? Well, here it is, in spades:

How I Spent My Summer.

Many a school kid came close to passing out before even half the class got their stories told.

Thomas L Frey
Thomas L Frey
Apr 8, 2023 2:29 AM

Personally, I could give two shitz about who I upset.
It is natural to have the emotion of fear when learning what TPTB are doing and planning.
What sets us apart from animals, and the weak minded, is how we deal with that fear.
Fear is a mind killer, if you allow it to be.
The first hurdle to handling fear, is accepting that you will die.
When you can accept that inevitable conclusion, you can use the fear to focus on how you will die.
Everyone will have to make a decision.
I choose to live on my feet, and risk death, fighting tyranny, rather than living on my knees, sucking on government peter.
Choose wisely.

solemn
solemn
Apr 8, 2023 9:13 AM
Reply to  Thomas L Frey

Your comment hurt my feelings.
You should be banned.

Howard
Howard
Apr 8, 2023 4:37 PM
Reply to  Thomas L Frey

I’m committed to stamping out ALL tyranny. Now if I manage to stay alive 50 million more years, I just might succeed.

Kevin Craig
Kevin Craig
Apr 8, 2023 1:32 AM

The opening sentence is tremendous. And it just keeps on, from there.

My personal interest in what they call the politics (everything’s politics really, is it not?) was very hot and cold until three points in a very short time commanded the attention of the world. Indyref, then Brexit, and finally, Trump. Three events in which the rabidly nihilistic suddenly acted like they valued my/your/our opinion- and on each occasion, they lost. I wanted to see how far they’d go.

It began from there, for me, with the emergence of the alt-right. They were the only ones with a coherent message, whether or not i agreed with it. They presented well; they spoke viciously and with purpose. Milo Yiannopolous has been proven 100% correct in every assessment he made; Gavin McInnes likewise. Alex Jones, Matt Walsh, and even the Ickes identifying as classic liberals merely commented on those assessments but agreed on their projection and the warning encased within them. And so did i!

I don’t know if i agree with Milo, Gavin, Alex, Charlie Kirk, Crowder, Walsh, Knowles, Klavan etc any longer- i don’t need to watch them to see what’s going on around me- it’s obvious. I’m glad i DID pick up their hints on how to look and where, but if i tuned in to EVERY podcast, read EVERY article, i’d barely muster the energy to go out the front door. It’s depressing as fuck as it is, living it, without including it in leisure time.

I work in retail/supermarket distribution, and unless you’re in a cave then you’d be aware of the bloke in tbe LBD and his promotion with the creators of Budweiser and Bud Light. It may be a small token, and indeed may come with a heavy personal price, but i have stated to my employer that i will NOT shift a single item or case, carrying those images- under any circumstances whatsoever. They’ll find a mug who doesn’t care, of course. Who probably doesn’t see the danger, yet. Until he/she (the colleague, not Mulvaney!) is faced with any sort of similar epiphany which i received.

No more. No fucking more.

Vagabard
Vagabard
Apr 7, 2023 11:54 PM

Reminded me of this blog, which was quite amusing (especially in the early days of blogging):
https://dullestblog.com/

The key to beating doom’s monotony though, is to leave it be for a while. 

It won’t be going anywhere. Dystopia’ll still be around in 20 years time, moping in some dark corner, nursing its wounds and replaying all the injustices of mankind from year dot to the present day. Meticulously cataloguing all the world’s crimes until the Day of Judgment …

Meanwhile, maybe there’s a party going on somewhere. A post-Covid celebration of life in all its fullness. Or a ray of sunshine, breaking through the dark clouds to brighten a portion of nature below.

A couple of useful fly facts to help display one’s knowledge to all and sundry:

Q. What is smaller than the mouth of a fly?
A. What goes into it

Q. What has four legs and flies?
A. Two pairs of trousers

niko
niko
Apr 7, 2023 11:33 PM

I get a strong sense of doom from the paralysis of analysis, our own words turned against us in denial of how we simply need to live differently, in revolutionary ways.

Matt
Matt
Apr 7, 2023 10:23 PM

You are on to something illuminating, Syl, but often difficult to immediately interpret, even when, in retrospect, the overlooked message seems obvious to even the most adept and discerning.
If you really want to know what’s truly going on, you need reliable sources.
Look to the natural world for the latest news–such as the prophetic fly that landed on Pence’s head–that’s where you’ll find not only the news, but wild and fascinating reporters, like cicadas and dragonflies.
Why else are we encouraged to follow stars and heed the advice of dreams?
To learn our lessons, of course, lessons like, Wise Men Disobey, and don’t carry cell phones.

Stop The Prison Mentality
Stop The Prison Mentality
Apr 7, 2023 10:18 PM

Ah, the old common house fly. They really should be called the common outside fly, since that’s where they live, mostly.

Also, they’re pretty handy when there is a gas leak about somewhere. So if you ever come across heaps of common outside flies buzzing around a gas bottle, for example, you now know it’s most likely leaking as they, they common outside flies, have been drawn to the smell of methane.

Levi Tate
Levi Tate
Apr 7, 2023 8:39 PM

“Support the Ukrainian People!”

An argument starter if I ever saw one.
Means different things to different people.

In no particular order (I said that so you wouldn’t argue about my order)
And you most likely have additions to the list (ditto)

1) Acquiesce to the agenda of the politicians that started this mess
2) Do not hold any politicians accountable
3) Funds are fungible. If you donate to a food, clothing, medicine fund,
the Nazis have more funds available for bullets.
4) Ukraine has ever been at or near the top of the list of corrupt countries in the world.
Your donations will make their way to FTX (probably not as that launderer of dirty money is available any longer, but plenty more channels where that came from)
5) Virtue signal for the “latest thing”. Be “in” with your crowd. Wear appropriate T-shirts.
6) Support Ukraine until the last Ukrainian is standing
7) Support them by not interfering in peace deals like the Brits and US have done repeatedly
8) Stop conducting coups, State Department
9) Educate Brits and Americans how this conflict is 110% the fault of their leaders
10) Replace your bumper stickers often

Yep
Yep
Apr 7, 2023 7:57 PM

The Ukraine war will continue as long as its profitable

el Gallinazo
el Gallinazo
Apr 8, 2023 3:59 PM
Reply to  Yep

Indeed. Can anyone here indicate on which stock exchange shares in the Wagner Group can be purchased? Is there an options market for it? Over the counter derivatives? Brilliant idea on the part of Putin and very economical. After all, Britain chose to ship its “undesirables” half way around the planet while Russia can ship them less than a lorry day trip from their border. A tremendous advance in corporate murder.

Howard
Howard
Apr 8, 2023 4:45 PM
Reply to  Yep

Or until Chernobyl breaks free of its cement prison.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Apr 7, 2023 7:56 PM

You can usually tell how the war/SMO is going by the reports in the press. Whenever you see articles like those in today’s Guardian website — “A city like a book” or “Rebuilding Ukraine” — you know that things aren’t going too well militarily. This indicator has worked for other areas (e.g. Mauripol) so I figure that the Russians are involved in a protracted mopping up operation in Bakhmut.

We’re used to reality being shaped by media but there comes a time when you — and everyone else — just looks past the noise. Life has to carry on somehow. I’ve just spent a couple of weeks in Argentina and found the experience ‘interesting’ — I think I know what the Apocalypse will look like with people trying to carry on in the face of enormous odds. Some manage, many do not (the level of poverty in that country is so high that you don’t really notice it, there’s nothing to contrast it with). They all deserve better. We can learn from them — this is our (US) future should we be unable to convince — or force — the rest of the world to believe in our currency and our financial house of cards.

Insects are not really a topic of casual conversation. Despite our best efforts — and gallons of repellent — we got bitten to death by the things. Since Dengue Fever has been detected in some areas of Buenos Aires……well, you might get the banner headlines over weather but they’ve got it over mosquitos. (….plus the odd bit of unrest but I couldn’t figure that one out — same graphics, of course, but different logo)(and there’s a Really Big Deal about some footballer or someone who’s been accused of abuse).

paul
paul
Apr 8, 2023 12:41 AM
Reply to  Martin Usher

Argentina used to be one of the most prosperous countries on the planet on a par with any in Europe.
Grain, cattle, oil, minerals.
Never underestimate the power of politicians to screw things up.

Paul Watson
Paul Watson
Apr 8, 2023 5:39 AM
Reply to  paul

And Peru..

Victor G.
Victor G.
Apr 8, 2023 12:48 PM
Reply to  paul

US of As politicians, right?

Howard
Howard
Apr 8, 2023 4:42 PM
Reply to  paul

Doesn’t the World Bank, which managed to put Argentina in hock to the tune of multiple billions, deserve a mention?

paul
paul
Apr 8, 2023 9:37 PM
Reply to  Howard

Along with the Wall Street vulture funds looting the country.
The bought and paid for political stooges made it possible.
There was widespread hunger in a country that produced 10 x as much food as it needed.

rubberheid
rubberheid
Apr 7, 2023 7:18 PM

started well, the headline was a puller…

Stewart
Stewart
Apr 7, 2023 7:48 PM
Reply to  rubberheid

yes, the monotony of doom sums up this site pretty succinctly

rubberheid
rubberheid
Apr 7, 2023 7:57 PM
Reply to  Stewart

haha, aye maybe. I read it as how boring things have become, same shite eternally. Unless we ignore it.
but dropping Linnaeus-esque shtuff doesn’t cut that either.

La police linguistique
La police linguistique
Apr 7, 2023 7:17 PM

Sylvie, tabarnak de calice, Ukraine est un nom propre. On dit pas “the” fucking Ukraine, on dit fucking Ukraine, pas de “the”.

Juggler3
Juggler3
Apr 7, 2023 10:47 PM

A cup of tea also works with Ukraine

syl shawcross
syl shawcross
Apr 8, 2023 7:45 PM

je m’excuse?