Category Archives: The Daily Drivel

A Dream …

… ripped from the pages of The Daily Drivel!

Another one of those dreams. We’re living in some urban place, like our old home in Arcadia, but not that specific. Some sort of disaster has happened or is about to happen, maybe economic, maybe nuclear … not clear … but society is breaking down and the people in our vicinity are leaving their homes for points unknown because it’s generally perceived that it’s dangerous to continue living here.

Dystopian. Maybe this is what the Syrian refugees feel, but worse. In the dream I plan us to leave home in two days, but a woman that we know tells us she and her family are leaving tomorrow, and I ponder whether we should leave with them or wait another day. There are  dangers to balance against actions.

Here’s another one of those incidents in a dream which makes me wonder: A man walks toward me, and I expect him to continue walking by, but instead he surprises me and stops and engages me in a conversation that I can’t anticipate. Did I—the objective I experiencing the dream—put this in it? If so, I totally surprised myself. How did I do that? How can you possibly surprise yourself?

This makes me wonder if maybe there are personalities—characters—walking around in my head (probably everybody’s head) independent of the objective I. That’s as hard to grasp as the notion of me surprising myself. But I wonder if it’s true—that the subconscious is walled off into partitions in most of us, and the characters inside only come out to play at night in dreams. Except for the schizophrenic or multiple personality folks (or those prolific authors who arouse my jealousy) whose characters come out in broad daylight to take over.

That’s my idle speculation for the day, my daily drivel, but on the dystopian thing, the dream? With the world threatening to come apart at the seams over the last few years, and a narcissistic mad man poised to take over the reins of the Republican party and maybe the country, I wonder if we should be collecting more canned goods and stocking a “getaway container” in our storage room.


The Play — A Dream

Lifted and edited from the pages of The Daily Drivel, 2013/11/10

The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the consciousness of the king.
– Intentional misquote of you-know-who

“All the parts are filled,” the young man told her. Odd, that she should think of him that way, the young man, because she was young herself.

He was in the play. She had been in the play, but left. He was new and didn’t recognize her. Now she’d returned, skirting the periphery, recalling her role, remembering the lines which were more than lines, which were more like part of her, which were more like who she was, or had become, or had been always.

The dream story skirts the periphery of the play, and we learn the details only gradually. It turns out the play is life itself, and the actors, outside the play, are incomplete, are like their own dreams, and they wake again, coming alive when they act out their roles.

We don’t know the name of the play for a long time, until it comes to us in an epiphany. The play is play for them, but also serious, involving, making them live more intensely than life itself. It’s about love and danger and betrayal, perhaps murder. And the actors’ outside lives are only shadows slinking in a shadow-box outside the reality the play has become for them.

She was a dancer in the shadow-box, become a dancer in the play. It was one of her talents, one of the reasons she was a chosen one. She’d danced better than ever before. Or since.

She’d not been an original cast member; she’d joined long after the play became a hit and began it’s long run. She’d come to own her role, receiving praise from the critics and adulation from the fans. She’d come to own the role, and the role, her.

They ran it four times a week: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sunday matinees, with pickup rehearsals Wednesday afternoons, into evening when necessary.

She’d played the lead female role. The leading man, her lover, became her lover outside the play as well. As in the play, they fought incessantly and made up on occasion. As in the play, she became pregnant, and as in the play, had an abortion.

The play was her life; her life, the play.

Addendum from 2014/10/25

Just a thought running through my head in the wee hours this morning while drifting around and about sleep: What if characters in a play or movie talked about the actors who play them?

Pillow talk after wild sex:

“What do you think, Susan, about Wilma Smith, the actress who plays you?”

“Not at all like me, John; she’s pretty much a jerk. How about the guy who plays you?”

“I have no idea. We’ve never had a conversation.”

“You ought to get to know him. It might improve your performance in this movie.”



From the pages of The Daily Drivel, 2014/07/22

Maybe writing a book is the easy part. Maybe getting folks to read it is an order of magnitude harder.

Those are some of the thoughts running through my head lately. I finished most of the writing back in March. Then came the publishing trauma culminating early this month. Finally comes the promotion and there’s so much to learn, so much to do, and so many ways to go about doing it that getting started is drinking a river, or, to mix metaphors, sinking in quicksand. You struggle to reach out for something substantial, something to grasp that is obviously the way, the righteous path of promotion, but there is none.

To blog or not to blog? That’s the question, but only one. Whether to face the seething hordes on Facebook, twitter with the tweeters, press the words on WordPress, schmooze on GoodReads, start a website, or do a hundred other things . . . well those were the choices you avoided all that time because you were having too much fun writing, as if the writing was an excuse to avoid the real work, which is pitching. When the excuses are done, what do you do to cure pitcher’s block?

And so far, that’s only talking about the internet and avoiding all the other things that must, should, have to get done to keep your book from lying there motionless like an invisible lead fart, unseen, uncared, unloved by any but its mother, when you really want it to walk around on its own two sturdy legs, admired and respected by all.


Is The Donald a Neo-Fascist?

From the pages of The Daily Drivel

Is The Donald a neo-Fascist as Carl Bernstein claimed on CNN today, or is he merely an opportunist? It didn’t help that The Donald didn’t immediately disavow David Duke, former leader of the KKK, in an interview this morning claiming that he didn’t know who Duke was (although he’s spoken of him in the past). His refusal sounds like Political Correctness to me. It didn’t help that he quoted Mussolini. And it certainly didn’t help that he recently stated his intention to go after the media in general and news people in particular when he becomes president. So yes, I think The Donald is a Fascist (never mind the neo- part), and an opportunist as well.

I’ll speculate here on the outcome of a perhaps unlikely but frighteningly possible event; what happens if The Donald becomes The President, either by winning outright, or by default because two opposing candidates (e.g., Clinton and Bloomberg) dilute the vote. This probably goes against an unwritten rule of blogging, and I may come to regret it, but I feel I have to get this out; it’s one of those itches writers occasionally and desperately need to scratch—otherwise it festers and leads to fevers, chills, and bad dreams.

If The Donald wins the presidency, here is the way it will play out: He’s made a lot of promises—simplistic, unrealistic promises such as building a wall and making Mexico pay for it—that he won’t be able to keep. Because he would never be able to admit failure, being the narcissist that he is, he will blame those failures on scapegoats. The scapegoats will be whomever is convenient. One of them is the mainstream media (which he’s already bashing). Another may be aliens, gays, Muslims, and possibly even blacks, Hispanics, and Jews—or perhaps all of these—anyone who his followers now perceive, or can be made to perceive, as the roots of their problems.

He will continue to demonize the mainstream media and mold it into his own self-serving propaganda media much as Vladimir Putin—a man that The Donald apparently admires—has done, a little at a time. He’ll begin to systematically exclude those reporters who irritate him from press conferences, and he’ll deny interviews to outlets that question him too much. Eventually, he’ll develop a body of sycophant reporters and outlets that will only reflect his views. Essentially he’ll develop a state-controlled media very much like Putin has done, gradually, until finally there will be no public voice to dispute him.

Perhaps simultaneously with this, or perhaps only after he’s crafted his state-controlled media, he will begin demonizing populations. It’s harder to see who this will be, or how it will play out, but it will look at least something like what strong-men of the past—Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin—did, and what Putin is doing now. It will lead to even more polarization and intimidation.

That’s about as far as my prognostication takes me at the moment. The Donald’s success at becoming a dictator will depend on how many dedicated followers he can eventually control. Note that he doesn’t need a majority, he only needs to get enough of a radicalized, pumped-up, gun-toting portion of our population to strike fear into the rest of us. Intimidation is part of his character. Whether he can do that or not is the main uncertainty as to whether our country abandons its rule of law, as Russia has done, and becomes a cult-following dictatorship, or remains, at diminished level, a democracy.

Or, perhaps the path leads to civil war. Not the relatively “civil” civil war that we all know and love, but the really nasty kind like Spain had, not partitioned so much by geography, North versus South, as by ideology, right versus left, neighbor versus neighbor, tribe versus ideological tribe. That would be the really bad kind, much to be avoided, but our currently increasing polarization and incivility seem to point in that direction.

I feel like a messenger. I feel like a navigator, plumbing the question “Where are we and where are we going?” So far I’m not liking the answer. We need a mid-course correction.

A New Life Form

From the pages of The Daily Drivel

The internet tribalizes us.

There were hopes at the beginning that it would educate us, connect us, and make us more harmonious. Instead, it dumbs us down, fragments us, and raises walls between factions—conservative versus liberal, rich against poor, religion versus religion versus non-belief, the educated elite versus the low information masses, black versus white, flat earth versus round. Up versus down!

Nobody has to read or listen to anybody they disagree with, they can talk to only those with the same world view. Compromise becomes a dirty word and flame-wars ensue. What we’d hoped would be a bridge instead becomes a barrier, counterpart of a Trumpian wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

The internet takes us where it wants, developing its own agenda, and nobody knows where or what that is yet. You have to wonder, with such a vast network of nodes and interconnections, daily getting vaster, if it’s not developing a crude consciousness of its own, a consciousness we’re not aware of in the same way that a neuron in our own brains is totally unaware of who we are or what we think.

Or maybe it’s the next primordial sea, cyberspace for a new Cambrian explosion of virtual life forms—cell engulf cell, fish gobble fish, dog eat dog. Maybe it’s the next stage of evolution, the technological one, the one that outstrips and supersedes biological evolution and eventually makes us obsolete.

We thought we’d be able to control the internet, but instead, it controls us. Whatever it is or ultimately becomes, the best we can do, ever, is attempt to imbue in it the best of our own views and values, and hope that it acquires a soul—a collective soul—that somehow looks back on us as beloved ancestors. A soul that somehow embodies good rather than evil … if it doesn’t first, intentionally or otherwise, help us destroy ourselves.