Sunday, January 11, 2015

Frozen assets

As I sit, freezing my ass off, I wonder what the world has become when you can't make fun of something or someone. There would be no comedians and there would be no Mad magazine just to name a couple of things. Since when is satire punishable by death?

Emily Litella would have said something like, " What's all this I hear about making fun of profit?"

Is an insult or social faux pas murder worthy?
"Sir, I take exception to your farting before my wife!"
"Sorry, I didn't know it was her turn."

People have made fun of me and my beliefs all my life and I hope I have done the same to them. Worst case was a little embarrassment or an occasional, "Oh yeah?!" or even, "I'm sorry."

I had an extensive rant that pretty much goes along with much of what has already been said by so many who can say it better.

I could go on and on and I did, but so many others have done so already and I am not adding anything new, so I want to show you something.

There is some beauty on the drive to work, but I usually can't stop because I don't want to be late. So on a Saturday morning (yesterday, in fact) with the temperature hovering around zero (-17C) I decided to figuratively stop and smell the flowers. Of course the flowers have frozen to death, but there is the stark beauty of the lake shore and the moodiness of the big lake. Click on the pics for a larger version.

The morning light and clouds change constantly.

Here is another "ghost ship" from the previous week. Shipping season ends on the 15th of January and starts up again in about 8 to 10 weeks so if I see any ships in that time they really ARE ghost ships. The lake will have either some or a lot of ice on it by then and the icebreakers will be out to help open things up, especially near the harbors.

Meanwhile I'll just try and stay thawed.


  1. The ghost ship takes the breath away....
    Stay warm

  2. I love the ghost ship pic! I worked as a Railroad Bridge operator at the mouth of the Maumee River for almost 4 years and was stranded on the bridge for days at a time during blizzards.
    The Crumb cartoon will be published tomorrow in the Liberation Paper along with another he did with his wife Aline. I think he did an interview in the Guardian about it. He has been living in the little village of Sauve in the Gard for the last 20 or so years. Here, Crumb is regarded as one of the old masters. We got to meet him when he was doing a portrait of my friend Georges, who was one of the great musette accordionists and lived near by. They had become friends and Crumb was playing with a group of French musicians...they did make a cd called Primitive Jazz. He was one of my influences as well! You mentioned Gilbert Shelton, who moved here as well and lived in France until his death a few years ago. He kept doing great comix and was published in the French Comic Journal, Psychopat. He was doing a strip called Not Dead Yet. A sort of Punk Rock Freak Brothers kind of thing about a punk rock was pretty good!
    I was at the Charlie demonstration in Perigueux today...20,000 people, which was incredible for a not so big city! Almost 4 million people in the streets of France today. Charlie Hebdo will be back on the stands on Wednesday. The Show Must Go On!!!!!!!!!

  3. Sorry, I had to go check the name on the CD in my stacks....the band is Les Primatifs du Futur....he did the album art as well.

  4. JG, Thanks! They look eerie going by and when they get to where they are going they are often covered in ice.

    microdot, Way back in the 70's R. Crumb and the Cheap Suiters had a pretty good and fairly funny album that we would listen to. From memory it was like bluegrass/jazz/comix kind of tunes. Strange, but fun. Who could forget Mr. Natural and Fritz the Cat. I am glad the demonstrations were large.

  5. That ghost ship is amazing. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures.

    Satire is powerful because it pokes fun at things people take too seriously, takes away the fear factor and keeps hubris in check.

  6. Sadly, there are times when I shut my mouth because my sarcastic sense of humor gets me in trouble.

    I wish we ALL could have a sense of humor and take things a little lighter. If I was a stand-up, I'd be making self-denigrating jokes--hoping everyone would laugh WITH me.

    The photos are breathtaking. And if I was there, the cold would probably take my breath away as well...

  7. Those pictures are eerie and beautiful. I know I could dig around your past posts and find out what the name of your lake is, but would you mind telling me instead? It reminds me of our ocean nearby.

    I wish people could take a joke as well, but I also wish there was a bit more respect in the world for other people's feelings. Not the extremists, but for good people everywhere. Yeah, I'm a people pleaser. And a pacificist. And a parent-soon-to-be-grandparent who worries about the state of the world for the babies being born every minute.

  8. Jono, your photos of Superior are....superior. Original comment, huh?
    I have had Charlie on my mind for days now, and finally did decide to write a bit about it. It helps to write it down. I don't understand how anyone could think that way. It is a sign of our luck to have been born in a place and time where religion is not a matter of life or death, as it has been for centuries. I only hope that some day the rest of the world will be as lucky as we are. Not sure when that will be, but I only hope they don't blow up the world before it can happen, and I worry about my kids and grandchildren and the world they will be in long after I am gone. Meanwhile I will join you in looking at the beauty of the world. Thanks.

  9. Your photographs are stunningly beautiful (and make me feel VERY cold). What is meant by a ghost ship? Is it lost and abandoned, just drifting?

    Whether jokes and cartoons are considered "funny" depends on your position on the power pyramid. Cartoons about Jews in lare 1930s Germany may have been funny to "Aryan" Germans but not to Jews, I expect. Jokes about crossing an N with an M and getting a product too lazy to steal or an I with a C and getting a car thief who cannot drive may be funny to white folks but not to the targeted minorities.

    In France, Muslims are at the bottom of the feeding chain. There is no excuse for murder but there is a reason for respect of all underdogs

  10. you know the book Great Lakes Shipwrecks and Survivals by William Ratigan? Some chilling and thrilling stories. I bought the book in the 70's and still re read it from time to time. I had a very good friend who was supposed to be on the Edmund Fitzgerald, on it's fatal last voyage, but missed the boat do to illness...

  11. Donna, Some of the best satire I have read in the last few years is from ex-Mormons!

    Sioux, poking fun at oneself is some of the funniest material I have heard. I think most people can relate to it.

    jenny-o, It is Lake Superior. I grew up on the Atlantic and it took years to get over not having it nearby.

    aitbr, I had written a lot more about "je suis Charlie", but decided not to print it as I didn't feel it was adequate. I know yours will be thoughtful.

    Blog Fodder,I refer to them as "ghost ships" as if they were the Flying Dutchman because of the sea smoke on the lake this time of year. It is caused by very cold air above the not-quite-freezing water. They are in fact operating and carrying grain, iron ore, or other bulk commodities. The war torn Middle East has caused a flood of refugees to leave their homeland in search of new lives and relative safety. They are having some difficulty nearly everywhere. This has happened before, but not often with such great numbers. As a child of immigrants I do have at least a little understanding.

    microdot, yes, I know that book and some others. There are over 350 shipwrecks on Superior and they still keep finding them.
    Your friend was lucky.
    "In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
    In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral
    The church bell chimed 'til it rang twenty-nine times
    For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald
    The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
    Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
    Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
    When the gales of November come early"

  12. Fantastic photos of the ice!

    And, all has been said already. Why can't people live together in peace and tolerance?

  13. this is the way it has always been.
    we are the human race.

    That is why as individuals we should stop and smell the snow.
    the Ol'Buzzard

  14. Those photos are stunning! Thank you for sharing.

    I still don't have words for what happened at Charlie Hebdo. There is so much division in this world and so many feel isolated and disempowered. And political and religious rhetoric contributes to and even sometimes causes the marginalization and dehumanization of those who don't agree or comply.

    It's horrific what happened at Charlie Hebdo. But I just read today that our own government has incarcerated and tortured several children at Guantanamo. And then there is that whole torture thing … and don't know the half of it. Muslim extremists certainly have no corner on the market when it comes to inhumanity and terrorizing people.

    We need more satire and to laugh at ourselves. We also need more compassion and kindness. My thoughts are all over the place … And I think I'm officially rambling now. : )

  15. "Sorry, I didn't know it was her turn." - Bahahaha!! Thanks for that - I needed a laugh after all the bad news lately.

    Love your photos, too - they're spectacular!

  16. PP,Thanks! If people would get to know each other better I think getting along would come a lot easier.

    Ol'Buzzard, I try to stay optimistic, but continue to be disappointed. It's sometimes hard to smell the snow through snotcicles.

    Agi T, Thanks! My thoughts were all over the place, too, which is why I opted out of posting them. All of yours and a lot more occurred to me. I know what is wrong, but don't know how to fix it.

    Diane, the funny things are what keeps my sanity, such as it is, somewhat intact.

  17. You know, I have no words. I'm too overwhelmed at the thought that what I do all the time (making fun of people on the internet and sometimes in-person) is what so many have been murdered for, throughout history. And/or for shopping in a Jewish market, which I've luxuriated in many times.

    And so your spectacular pictures are a wonderful pick-me-up to end this post week.

    Hugs to you.

  18. PS I meant to end this post "with." I don't know how I got a full "week" out of that one. It's only Wednesday. =)

  19. Those pictures of ice are really amazing.

  20. robyn, So many mixed emotions and reflections after something like that. Even some what-ifs. Weeks, days, etc. used to flow like a river. Now when I look back it is just like a bucket of water. Time frames are much more obscure.

    SLM,Thanks! The uniformed cat magnet is in a prominent position on the fridge. Thanks!