Pandemic pandemics

It’s nice to see Joe Biden tackling so many urgent issues right out of the starting gate, for one thing issuing executive orders that veer away from the previous administration’s willful abdication of any responsibility, past, present or future, for climate change.

It’s also encouraging to see him elevate his top science advisor to cabinet rank.

True or false? Respect for the authority of those with specialized training and experience is declining in inverse proportion to increasing respect for authoritarian … Read more

Phobia or reasonable fear?

Thirteen days, one likes to think, till Trump vacates the White House.

Do we need a word to describe the irrational fear of Trump policy initiatives (otherwise described as ‘tweets’)? Maybe not. Many will argue that such a fear is in no way irrational, and hence may not be properly described as a phobia.

Whatever. I hereby present three phobias I’ve mentioned before on this blogsite. All three, I’ll suggest, will serve while we search for a more Trump-specific expression.… Read more

Dopamine addiction: The haikus

Enough with the novels, already. Time to spin some haikus, eh?

I admit it: the internet is eating my mind. And here are some related haikus, straight from the poet, by God.

Self-portrait: Tenuously me

Spring day darkening:

the locust digital swarm

eats my absent mind.

Read on for the essential lowdown on dopamine addiction.

Dipping for Dopamine

Delivery vehicles,

Every damn Like

A dopamine fix. 

Proto-cyborg Lament

The battery defunct,

My 5G iPhone is dead.

I am diminished. 

OxymoronRead more

Rocks and hard places

In an earlier post I promised to expand on a recent incident where I pulled the pin on a conversational grenade. Yeah, and then I dropped that word ‘niggardly’ right into the middle of a chat.

I’ll begin by saying that to label a certain world leader a corrupt and ignorant buffoon is merely to call a spade a spade. Or so some might claim. 

But am I indeed allowed to do that these days? Can I call a spade … Read more

Despatch from beneath my bed

The signs are everywhere. West-Coast fires, climate change, habitat and wildlife destruction. The pandemic and threat of others to come. Trump’s reign, the global rise of right-wing nationalism and fascism together with widespread human displacement and migration. Social media, AI and their effects on individuals, societies and cultures. A local social and political volcano on the bubble. The price of durian. Justin Bieber outbreaks in coffee shops everywhere …  

Are we indeed living in the End Times, or is it just too early in the morning and I didn’t … Read more

“The great contemporary terror is anonymity”

The current Leader of the Free World probably fears anonymity more than most.  So he expresses his ‘look at me, I’m a spoiled brat having a tantrum’ shtick in a manner perhaps proportionate to that terror. 

Tom Brenner for The New York Times

Chris Hedges, in his book Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009), quotes the critic William Deresiewitz:

The camera has created a culture of celebrity; the computer is creating a culture of Read more

Me: A Rabble

In this time of lockdown, cabin fever is my Muse

Yo. Who’s in the mood for something confessional from a writer locked down with plenty of time on his hands but too much distraction? And too little self-discipline to shoot his friggin’ internet router. 

Cri de coeur

Is my own life following a plot, or has it always been merely notes toward a motley assortment of lives I no longer have time to live? 

Hamstrung by distraction

There. That’s me, … Read more

Space invaders (2057): Windows on our future

The great escape (failed). As you drive south on the Rama II expressway out of Bangkok, you approach wooded patches and scenic hills in the distance. Not that you can see them. Rows of gigantic billboards line the road to demand your attention, blocking out the natural attractions, what might have been visual relief from life in the big city.

Who erected these billboards, and why? Who did they consult before doing this; who didn’t they consult? And why?

 … Read more

Space invaders

Space invaders (2019)

Soft drinks giant PepsiCo has consulted with a Russian space startup offering brands the chance to project their logos into the night skies via low-orbit satellites.

                              “Pepsi considers space billboards to project logo across night sky using satellites

                                          (The Independent)

No problem, eh? Just part of a global campaign to erode our private spaces and our private choices to vanishing point. More and more, without so much as a by-your-leave, commercial interests invade … Read more

One born every minute: Wherein Melrose rips Bangkok right off

Bangkok currently lies enshrouded in a great cloud of fine particulate matter. Hey, but listen to what an Andromedan named Melrose had to say about pollution back in the 1990s, back in the days of leaded gas and black-belching city buses. Chacun à son gout, eh? The following originally appeared in the Bangkok Post Sunday section, and was later collected in Bangkok Old Hand (Bangkok: Post Books, 1993).

One born every minute

As most of you already know, the … Read more