Monday, April 6, 2020

Notes From A Peninsula

     No, Long Island isn’t a peninsula. Not really. Though we do have a couple of kinda-sorta peninsulas along the north shore of this chunk of rock. I’m merely exercising a bit of “poetic license” here. The import will occur to you quite soon. Meanwhile, “enjoy” the following, if possible:

     “No man is an island....He’s a peninsula.” – Spencer Dryden

     Have you been feeling like a peninsula lately, Gentle Reader? It’s getting to be a common condition in these days of the Wuhan Virus Panic. If you currently have personal contact with any other humans, it’s likely that they’re few in number. They’re probably related to you by blood or marriage. And if your experiences have been at all like mine, you oscillate between wanting to kill them with a claw hammer and holding them dearer to you than life itself.

     Just as a peninsula is connected to a larger land mass by a slender bridge of land, the loss of which would convert it into an island, most humans are connected to the rest of our race by a small group of intimates: relatives, friends, and in more conventional circumstances a few coworkers. The nearly complete foreclosure of human contact these past couple of weeks has thrown a brilliant light on our bridges to the rest of Mankind. What would you do if you were to lose yours? I shudder to think what such a loss would do to me – and I’m one of the most absolute isolates you’ll ever meet.

     Yes, just now you’re more or less confined to your home. Never mind whether it’s a necessary restriction; opinions vary, and if you’re a regular reader of this dump you already know mine. But if you’re not completely alone in your house, apartment, motorhome, trailer, or survival tent, it could be worse. Assuming that you don’t really intend to use that claw hammer. (You don’t, do you?)

     Apart from the stay-at-home guideline, we haven’t seen much impact from the Chi-Com Crud out where I am. The district is quieter than usual – that goes along with the reduction in traffic, one of the few blessings we’ve received from the Kung Flu – but people still mow their lawns, wash their cars, walk their dogs, go to the supermarket for their necessities, go to the liquor store for their real necessities, and so forth. If there have been any Lung Pao Sicken infections detected among my neighbors, I haven’t heard about them.

     There is, however, a strong sense that patience is wearing thin. We want normality back. (NB: “Normalcy” is not a word. Would you say “cordialcy,” “legalcy,” or “frugalcy?” The answer had better be “Hell, no!”) Most Long Islanders have the sort of job that requires personal travel to and from a workplace. As with the rest of the country, nearly all such enterprise is in a state of suspended animation. At this point we must hope it can eventually be revived...and the longer we must wait, the slimmer that hope will become.

     If there are effective preventatives and treatments for the WuFlu, we’d better get them into circulation P.D.Q., before we have a nationwide case of unrestrained cabin fever. That malady often has effects much less pleasant than an infectious disease.

     Yes, I’ve been writing. Of course! I’m a writer. But producing tirades for Liberty’s Torch is growing difficult. All the news is about the pandemic, and plenty of capable writers with better, prompter, and more complete information are writing about it. My Esteemed Co-Conspirators might be having less difficulty than I, though the decreased frequency of posts here suggests otherwise.

     On that subject, several of those Co-Conspirators have gone a really long time since their last contributions here. I’m thinking of “purging the rolls.” I would prefer not to do that, but every name on the contributors’ list is a potential point of ingress for a hacker. So, fellow Co-Conspirators past and present: you know who you are. Let me know if you want to remain an active contributor to this site, fairly soon. Pretty please?

     Approximately 1600 people have purchased The Warm Lands or have downloaded a free copy. Yet the book has a paltry six reviews at Amazon. That makes it difficult to imagine that there’s much interest in the planned second and third volumes in this newborn series...and that makes it difficult for me to work up any enthusiasm about writing them.

     An extremely low review count also afflicts Experiences and The Wise and the Mad, the second and third volumes of the Futanari series. Yet readers have praised those books privately, directly to me through email. As much as I appreciate the compliments, such “private reviews” don’t help to sell books. Need I say more?

     There’s been a proliferation of “social media” sites recently. At least, I’ve been receiving email solicitations for them. From their appearance, they’re built on a common technology, probably the Mastodon code base. A few names:

     These join the earlier sites MeWe and Minds as alternatives to Facebook. I have accounts on all of them, but I use them only to promote my activity here. If any Gentle Reader regards any of them as worth a greater degree of participation, I hope you’ll let me know.

     Gab appears to be the sole worthwhile alternative to Twitter, which has become an open sewer of left-wing venom.

     That’s it for the morning, I think. It’s time to arrange all the condiments by height and popularity. After that I think I’ll count the hairs on my dogs. Whatever your stay-at-home diversion, I hope it’s as fulfilling as mine. Finally, for your real listening pleasure, from one of the San Francisco Explosion’s seminal albums:

     Stay well and safe.


Brian E. said...

Not senile, at least - not yet, and I spent most of my 40+ year career in IT programming in COBOL. While most of the younger generation would think that something to be ashamed of, I put together and maintained systems that handled many hundreds of millions in payrolls and G/L transactions, and literally billions in merchandise.

And yet, the skill and discipline necessary to do this is no longer considered relevant.

At least that leaves me free to do the ‘remote learning’ (aka - homeschooling) of the grandkids that we have custody of. In that respect (and many others), I consider myself blessed.

Manu said...

I owe you a review! I haven't forgotten...

Francis W. Porretto said...
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