It is a whirlwind in here


August 2016

Could Kafka Resist A Bikini-Clad Lady On A Cockroach?

Kafka most certainly appreciated young ladies – his last young lover attempted to leap into his grave.

And he did have an affinity for cockroaches though, to be accurate, he did not describe his “giant vermin” as a cockroach.

And he enjoyed swimming.

So, perhaps he would not mind making a splash.




Finding a bug floating around in the swimming pool is bad enough, but finding a six-foot cockroach bobbing about in the water is something else entirely. Take a look at this inflatable cockroach to see what we mean.

It’s called the Kangaroo’s Gigantic Cockroach Raft (obviously), and it’s perfect for people who like to swim alone. After all, chances are that most people will scatter like, well, roaches, as soon as you and your inflatable insect arrive in the pool. It’s available to buy on Amazon (although it looks like it belongs IN the Amazon) for only $29.99, and it’s sure to provide some wholesome entertainment. “My mother in law is afraid of roaches lol we got this to scare her and it worked so well!!!” reads one review. “My son loved riding on it and attacking her. Great family fun!!” Need we say more?

Terrifying Cockroach Inflatable To Make Swimming In The Pool Fun Again

Kafka Enters The US Election – Thank You Donald Trump

Not that it is any surprise that Kafka’s name might arise in discussions about Trump. But, when it is the NPR that does the connection, the revelation does take on more gravitas.

Not to imply that Trump is a character straight out of Kafka, of course. Kafka’s bizarre imagination was a bit more ethereal. Trump is too much with us.

‘Kafka Is Present In U.S. Elections’: Mexican Reaction To Trump’s Visit


August 31, 201612:52 PM ET

Eyder Peralta

Alicia Lopez Fernandez paints a piñata depicting Donald Trump at her family’s store, Piñatas Mena Banbolinos, in Mexico City in 2015.
Marco Ugarte/AP

At some point today, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

It was a hastily arranged visit by a presidential candidate who has spent much of his campaign insulting Mexico and its people.

“I love the Mexican people, but Mexico is not our friend,” Trump tweeted last year. “They’re killing us at the border and they’re killing us on jobs and trade.” Earlier this summer, Trump joked about a Mexican attack on U.S. soil.

So, how’s his visit going over down there? Here are some reactions:

— Raúl Benitez Manaut, a professor at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, told the website Animal Politico that the author Franz Kafka must be playing some role in the U.S. presidential election.

“I’m not even going to think about wasting neurons to rationalize Trump’s visit,” he said. “The only thing we need is that they announce that gas prices will go up because the wall is going to cost too much and we all have to pitch in.”

— Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico, was more direct. He told Lopez Doriga Digital: “Trump has nothing to do; these are desperate moves. What I don’t understand is why we fell for this trap, why we let him fool us.”

On Twitter, Fox said that Mexico did not want Trump and would never trust him.

“I told you, Trump,” he tweeted, “that ‘a fish dies by his own mouth.’ Now you should quit out of dignity for yourself, get back to your ‘business.’ ”

— Margarita Zavala, a potential presidential candidate in Mexico, tweeted: “Mr. Donald Trump, even though you have been invited, know that you are not welcome. Mexicans have dignity and we repudiate your hateful discourse.”

— Roberto Gil Zuarth, the president of the Mexican Senate, tweeted: “Inviting Donald Trump legitimizes his demagogy and hate. He threatens us with war and walls, but we open up the National Palace.”

— Enrique Ortiz Garcia, a historian, dug into colonial history to explain Trump’s visit:

The caption reads, “And then the foreigner arrived who at first we thought was Quetzalcóatl.”

It’s in reference to Hernando Cortés’ arrival in Tenochtitlán. According to some Spanish texts, the Aztecs at first confused Cortés with an important deity.

Montezuma, the Aztec emperor, welcomed the Spanish conquistador and tried to buy him off. But that backfired; Montezuma lost his empire and the Spanish began their colonial rule.

— At Mexico City’s Angel of the Independence, protesters gathered. One of them called on his president to cancel his invitation. Trump, he said, is an affront to all Mexicans.

— Enrique Peña Nieto explained his thinking with his own tweet. “I believe in dialogue in order to promote Mexican interests across the world and especially to protect Mexicans wherever they may be,” he tweeted.

And my original post:

All governments hate Franz Kafka


Alison Alexandra Knocks Hell Out Of Her High School Reunion


So, Alison Alexandra is invited to go to her 20th high school reunion. Because of a few years as a fashion model, she is deemed the “most famous” of her class.

The author wonders who she is going to meet. And what is going to happen. Alison Alexandra demands more than ordinary. Through sundry meetings and back story (told in the present), these folk end up at her table.

Big Stakes Gamble – at the time of her high school tenure, he was a Motor Mechanics teacher. He is retired and now runs the only B&B in town. Alison Alexandra takes accommodation in his establishment. They decide to go to the reunion together. When they arrive, there is a name tag for her, but not for him. Alison Alexandra makes him wear her name tag. There are comedic results. {Also, in all this, the author found out name tag is two words}.

Betty Dragger – a fellow graduate of Alison Alexandra’s who was once married, but has pointedly reverted to her birth name. She carries her own bottle of olives to adorn her drinks of gin.

Ed Keen – he attended the high school only one year. But that happened to be the year his father was imported into the town to shut down the major employer. He has even fewer pleasant memories than does Alison Alexandra, who was (to quote her) “Bored shitless.”

Lee (short for Louise) Keen – wife of Ed, who has never been in the town before. She can ask questions and fill back story. She has no trouble holding her own with four people who share something she hasn’t.

The author did not know who was going to be sitting at this table.

Ya know – he had a hell of a good time.


Noam Chomsky: The Death of the American University

At those times I perceive I have made a brilliant observation, I often quote: “Thank God I got a degree when it meant something.” This usually annoys those who hear me but, I confess, I don’t really care. And I have yet to be smeared with the accusation that my education comes from the largess of Wal-Mart.

On hiring faculty off the tenure track That’s part of the business model. It’s the same as hiring temps in industry or what they call “associates” at Walmart, employees that aren’t owed benefits. I…

Source: Noam Chomsky: The Death of the American University

A Grave Beast Crosses My Path




One sweltering day, which August sometimes keeps in reserve, I still desired a walk. However, there was no mad walk in the noonday sun for me. I waited until a semblance of evening appeared before I went outside.

It was to be a brief walk, twenty minutes or so. Through a graveyard, along city streets, crossing a pedestrian bridge over four lanes of traffic, then to ponder the broad river. After which, as slow a return.

As I walked through a historic graveyard (more than two centuries of the dead) I saw an animal deep among the grave stones. Larger than a cat, smaller than a dog. I went to investigate.

I was reasonably close when I realized it was a badger. Not a beast to toy with. They can be vicious, so I was careful to keep my distance. Feet and toes in sandals might be too inviting. The badger kept a close eye on me as we approached each other.

I reached the point where I had decided to go no further. When I stopped, the animal made a quick run and disappeared under a gravestone. It was a long stone, flat to the ground, covering the length of the grave. On closer inspection I noted burrow holes at either end of the stone. Entrance, and escape when necessary.

I had the desire to investigate further, but good sense – and the heat of the day – dissuaded me. I listened a moment for any rustle underground. To ascertain if there was any gnawing on bones. However, I wanted my own fingers and toes intact.

I left, pondering what its burrow might consist of.


Horror Movie In Berlin – Ravens Against Tourists

5-01(image)                                                                                                                                                            8.



The Young Man turns toward the bus. He starts filming.




The Tour Guide attempts to get up. The Raven has its beak in his





The Ravens fly along the aisle, amid screaming passengers.




The Man With The Eye Patch grabs the two children. He shoves them

onto the floor between the seats.



Stay down!




The Tour Guide has managed to stand. The Raven is fluttering in

front of his face. It has the Tour Guide’s tongue in its beak.




The Young Man continues taking pictures.




Panicked, screaming faces are in the windows. Many passengers are

beating their hands against the glass.




The Ravens keep a steady course, but get side -by- side.




The Man With the Eye Patch is taking off his suit coat.



Not fucking again.




The Ravens skim the roof of the bus. They both look down.




The Man With the Eye Patch glances at the Two Children.





The Two Children huddle on the floor. The Boy lies on the Girl.

stretching over her. He turns his head toward the Man With the Eye Patch.




The Man With the Eye Patch yells at the Boy.



Hide your face!




The Two Ravens dive simultaneously.




The Man With the Eye Patch holds up his suit coat in front of him.

The two Ravens fly right into the suit coat, pulling it from the Man’s hands. The Birds, entangled in the suit coat, hurtle against the window. One Bird gets free, while the other, still encased in the suit coat, falls on the Children.




The Boy shoves the Girl under the seat in front of them.




The freed Raven flies up toward the Man With the Eye Patch.The Man

crouches into the stance of a boxer, and punches the bird directly

on the side of its head. The stunned Raven tumbles over the

seat back.




The Boy scurries under the seat where he had been sitting.




The Man With the Eye Patch grabs his suit coat with the trapped

Raven, and throws it to the far side of the bus.




All of you – get down!




The Raven is half out of the suit coat when it hits the window.


Beaver Love – Not Only in The Air, But In The Water



Some summers ago, I was walking along a river, and heard the strangest noise. It was one of those noises which, when I found out what It was, sounded exactly as it should.

A beaver was chewing at a branch on the bank of the river. First there were small rolling noises as the branch went through its hands, and then the ‘gnaw gnaw gnaw’, and then the turning noise and the cycles were repeated.

This went on fifteen minutes or so, then the beaver and I both heard noises in the water. We both saw another beaver approaching. 

The beaver-at-gnaw quickly went in her direction (though I can only guess which sex was which).

They swam toward each other, then rubbed faces. The approaching beaver made small bawling noises like a young calf. They rubbed bodies and seemed to sniff each other, then they swam in different directions.

This performance – the swimming away, the languid circling, the approaches – went on for twenty minutes. A couple of times the ‘gnawing’ beaver clambered over the over beaver’s back, but this lasted just a few seconds. The beaver which had approached rubbed noses once again, and made the bawling sounds one more time.

I never appreciated how large beavers are until one of them came up on the bank. The water was clear enough to see their feet and tail move underwater (I wonder if the portion out of the water might have the 1/10 proportion of an iceberg).

The sun was setting and they became difficult to see. However they decided to part anyway. One began to go down river toward the harbour, and one headed to the other shore.

For me it was an experience of a lifetime.


Fame And Suicide – A One Way Voyage



Fame And Suicide/Suicide and fame. The two flirt and then consummate often enough to make one take note.

If someone gets everything they hoped for … or wanted … or expected  … then there is not much left to live for.  Boredom aims the gun or ties the rope.

There are other factors, of course. We can never know another person well enough to tell how they think or feel. The majority of famous people do not remove themselves from this earth. A number of them indeed relish the attention.

More than mere success sent Virginia Woolf walking into the River Ouse.  Ernest Hemingway had personal demons aplenty when he reached for the shotgun.

However, these days Fame stalks those who are famous. Although a famous author does not attract the attention of a famous entertainer, or sports figure, or politician, an author’s fame spreads beyond the usual world of books and readings and tours.

Fame guarantees that attention must be paid. The media makes Fame supersede the reason for the fame. Fame is the elephant in the room, always poised to turn rogue.

Creating is difficult enough.

Creating is time-consuming enough.

Creating is isolating enough.

Fame magnifies all these things and sometimes ignites an unrelenting blaze.


It’s A Dog’s Life … And Eventual Death



I have spent some portions of my life house-and-pet sitting. Always enjoyed it. And there are certainly tails to tell.

One such dog-sit was with Tibbit, a great, friendly dog. She just passed on to a more comfortable afterlife this week, leaving nothing but fond memories on my part. We shared this following episode a few years ago. I’ll share again in her memory.



This past weekend I looked after a dog whilst her owners went out of town.

Tibbit is a big, friendly dawg who likes inspecting piles of leaves. She has a long lead which her benevolent human allows to go as far as possible. She knows (better than her accompanying human) that there are treats at the end of each walk.

On Saturday I didn’t get Tibbit out until after dark. We skirted the university (where her masters work) and went up a street bordering the campus. We both liked the Christmas lights. Near the top of the street we met an inebriated gentleman warning us of a bear in the surrounding woods.

“Flush him out,” said he, “And I’ll get my 3 aught 3.”

“Get the rifle first,” I replied, and we went our respective ways.

Now Tibbit and I doubted the veracity of the gentleman, so when we came to a trail through the woods, we took it. I will admit I did peer more intently into the gloom than usual, but one trail led to a larger trail which led back to the university. We advanced without incident.

On Sunday I again walked Tibbit toward the university, though from a different direction. It was a crisp, clear day and she gamboled (as much as the leash allowed ) through the new fallen snow. Sunshine gleamed. This time we were on the other side of the campus, but our walk eventually led to a position about half a mile away from where we were the previous evening.

We followed another trail into the woods and admired the sun through the fir trees. The path was wide and sloped. It came to turn some distance away which would lead us even closer to where we were the day before.

At the top of the slope Tibbit stopped dead in her tracks. She stared and stared. She glanced briefly into the woods but mainly kept staring along the trail. I saw nothing nor heard anything (and I was intent upon both).

Tibbit did not move and made not a sound. She just kept staring.

After a solid two minutes of this I started to backtrack and she made no complaint.

You betcha she got her dog treats.


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