Always on the balcony

Leftovers & links
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♦ I’ve been at it for 60+ years but I’m still unsure how to go about being human, so please tell me whether I’m kooky about this.

My room is on the first floor of a two-story apartment complex. There’s a tiny balcony over the building’s side door, big enough to hold two men. Among the dozen or so tenants who live on the second floor, there are two men who live in two different apartments, but they’re buddies. And they’re almost always on that balcony.

When I leave for the diner on Friday morning, one or both of them will be up there. When I come back, one or both of them will be up there.

When I go to the library, the store, the post office, or just to take a walk around the block, one or both of them will be up there. When I come back, one or both of them will be up there.

If it's daylight, one or both of them is up there. Sometimes they're up there even when I go shopping at four in the morning.

They’ll say hi to me, and I’ll say hi to them. There’s no overt hostility, but I am beginning to hate them. 

I’d like to exit and enter my apartment without an overseer, but one or both of them is always up there, smoking a cigarette or just standing, looking at our boring residential street. They're creeping me out.

Yeah, please tell me whether I’m kooky about this. 

A letter to a discouraged young writer, from Cory Doctorow.

♦ Dora Hall, queen of the vanity records.

♦ Steven Spielberg has remade West Side Story, and it doesn’t look bad. It might even be an improvement. The original had a glaring problem — Natalie Wood played a Hispanic girl, in a film ostensibly about racial unrest and injustice, but Wood was just plain white, not Hispanic. It didn't quite defeat the purpose of the story, but it stuck out like an ear on your forehead. Spielberg has cast an actress who's half-Hispanic, to play Maria.

♦ Remembering Norm MacDonald.

♦ From the expense and unavailability of health care, to the lackadaisical response to climate change, lies everywhere on corporate-controlled social media, pick any outrage — whatever’s against us is backed by the wealthy.

American politics is not a battle of Democrats vs Republicans, Good vs Evil, or Compassion vs the Uncaring. As the right-wing grows more and more untethered from reality, it’s tempting to see it as Thinking vs Stupidity, but that’s not it, either.

It’s the rich against the rest of us, same as it’s always been. 

♦ Does everyone have a magic poop button? After pooping all I can poop, I bidet and wipe, but the action of wiping, gently nudging my anus, is like pushing a button for more poop. Suddenly I need to sit down again.

Here’s an interesting documentary on the making of Ridley Scott's Alien, and here’s a longer and less interesting documentary on the making of its militarized sequel, Aliens.

The first doc reminded me that I'd like to see Alien again. The second doc reminded me that James Cameron makes good movies but seems like an ass.

The Intercept has been around for several years now. I hear they do good work, but I wouldn’t know. Never yet read an article there, and probably never will. Every time a link takes me to The Intercept, there’s a pop-up instantly begging for money. My rule, quite firmly followed, is that a pop-up before seeing any content means I’m gone.

Journalism needs funding, obviously, but I’d need to read an article or two, to see what I’m buying, before buying it, and The Intercept won’t let me.

Also, Wikipedia tells me that “The Intercept is an online publication of First Look Media, an American non-profit company founded by the billionaire eBay co-founder Pierre Omidyar.”

Started by a damned billionaire? Then he can sign up to send twenty bucks a month. I won't.

♦  Mystery links  — like life itself, there’s no knowing where you’re going:


Sincere tip 'o the hat to:
    • Becky Jo
        • Dave S.
                Captain Hampockets
                    • and One of the Butt Sisters but definitely not the other.

🧁 ☕ 🍩
You’re always invited
to add anything below,
about anything at all.

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  1. >Yeah, please tell me whether I’m kooky about this.

    Nah, it's weird. When I was there, it was just weird. I couldn't move the car, or go to the store, without smelling their stinking cigarettes. That said, I just ignored them, no greeting.


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