Let’s talk American politics. Party D: Everything is the fault of rich people. We’ll take away their money to buy your votes. Party R: Don’t be poor. After you get your first million, we’ll talk. The “I” (Bernie) senator knows how businesses should spend their money despite not having any business experience. D&R: they do agree on a bloated military, catastrophic wars, and how to run huge deficits.

More language. I unpack suitcases, not ideas. Flexing and pivoting are exercises not changing my ideas. Not hearing “allegedly” and “reportedly” the rest of my life would be wonderful. My house is a “where,” but “baseball,” “dancing” are not “wheres” and they aren’t “whens.” I read something by a person who has been educated who writes something like “Theft is where you take something that doesn’t belong to you” too frequently.

Fran Lebowitz, the author of the bright and honest Social Studies, wrote something like, “The only real ‘ize’ is fertilize.” When I see medicalize, weaponize, or infantilize, I know that it is time to pick up something else to read. My use of “gifted” is a compliment, not a bastard use of “given.” I have an image of a sheep thinking “All the cool sheep have replace measure with metric; I’d better do that too.”

Apparently the election was fraudulent. Apparent to whom? Is it you, me or the guy behind the tree? If it is you, why not “it is apparent to me that the election was stolen.” Weak words and weak claims proliferate. Writing is too often meant to confuse rather than clarify. When words pick up bad connotations, we find alternatives that temporarily sound better though they mean the same thing. “Retarded” becomes “slow” or any number of other better sounding things. Have you noticed that bums have disappeared? Now we have a plethora of better-sounding words and phrases. People aren’t manic-depressive; they are bipolar now. My local newspaper played with houseless for a while before returning to homeless. Why?

Words can be used solely for politics reasons. “Freedom of choice” can mean no restrictions on abortions or don’t make me send my white kid to a school with black kids, depending on who is saying it.

Problematic is problematic and cancel should be cancelled.

Acronyms have gone bad. The short version is LGBTQ, but letters keep being added on. NH or NS for not het or not straight would be easier, but that would be guilty of saying what one is not. I gave up before all the letters are used up. The Myers-Briggs test for personality types has been taken by a lot of people, but I doubt that is of any use or that very many people care what your personality acronym is. I could be wrong, but I know that I don’t care. All the other acronyms in people’s bios do nothing for me either.

I’ve never seen a journal that wanted a straight white male writer, but a lot want LGBTQ, BIPOC, or neurodiverse. B and C may overlap. “POC” bothers me and I would never use it. Justification for this stand?

“Of colo(u)r” is just the woke version of colo(u)red people. How is the former preferred and the latter offensive?

Some Black people have objected to being included in BIPOC. As with LGBTQ attempting to list everyone who is not heterosexual, BIPOC is an attempt to list everyone who is not white.

It is more a political term for those deemed oppressed or mistreated than a ‘racial’ description.

It encourages tribalism and a zero sum game.

I doubt that anyone knows what it means, including those that use it. Are Chinese or Japanese people of color? Iranians? Arabs? Historically, it covered black people in the USA and mixed races in South Africa. Portuguese were at one time considered colored people. Is this term in common usage outside the USA or only by our political class? Is someone in Nigeria a BIPOC or just Nigerian?

White is a combination of all colors, so calling palefaces POC makes sense.

Am I BIPOC because I have an indigenous great grandmother? Racists for years have claimed a drop of blood does the trick.

A natural segue: adding community to any group has become a writing twitch beyond control. In what way is LGBTQ a community? What does a rough trade G picking up people at a bus in Seattle have in common with an A or ace (asexual) professor of literature in Topeka, Kansas? I’ll wait. Grouped by what you are not does not make a community. How does scientific community, African-American community, or writer community differ from scientists, African-Americans or writers respectively? I don’t think they do, so why add “community?”

Now to jump into the fire. “X” pride where x is any large group, lesbian, Irish, Black, Cherokee, white, plumber makes no sense to me. Your group may have geniuses, great athletes, and politicians, but that gives you no claim to their status.

Now to jump into a related fire. There is definitely racism in the USA. Whether it is historical or biological (natural fear / hate of “the other”), it remains in the USA and probably most places around the world. I could quote the disparate prison sentences for whites and Blacks, and other facts, but you may not care, and I’m too lazy to look them up. This does not mean that every dark-skinned person is innocent or in any way good (OJ, Bill Cosby), the same as any other group. Writer’s note: I’ve mostly lived in largely white neighborhoods (Portland, Oregon has a vicious racist past despite its “woke” reputation, but I did teach at Morehouse College for four years and lived in mixed neighborhoods in Denver and LA).

Teaching at Morehouse was my major awakening to being in the minority as a white guy at a majority Black college and city. I was a little uncomfortable and sensed a little hostility, but I will not claim victimhood. I inferred from that experience that there is a lot more than race that separates us. I was more in tune with students from cites, particularly on the West Coast, than I was rural students and I would never want to be in a group of white nationalist Trump supporters.

If invited to a victim card game, I’ll pass. No way can I match the three or four kinds of victimhood so many people claim. Best I can do is “unattractive little old man with bad knees and shoulder, bad hearing and eyesight.” Neurodiverse is a stretch. I have had amnesia. Is that enough to be neurodiverse?

Why do I need a password for everything? I’m sick of “try again,” “text for a temporary password,” “not complicated enough,” “can’t use old password,” and worst of all “can’t get a password someone already has that email,” which is of course me. Why do I need a password to submit a story or comment on a story? A few sites are kind enough to give me a “Show Password” option so I can see what I wrote.

I took an online course on writing. I learned what a backstory was; the rest was worthless. There are seven (or eight or six) stages in a professionally-written story, I’m told. Don’t care; I never have written a story conforming to that structure and never will. There must be a protagonist and antagonist. Tell that to Patricia Highsmith and Jim Thompson. Totally wasted on me, so I guess everything I’ve written is worthless (don’t everybody jump in here).

Environmental devastation is a sin of capitalism and boomers. That might be true if environmental devastation didn’t predate capitalism and boomers by thousands of years. Check out Mayan decline, deforestation by the Harappan on the Indus River, the decline of Mesopotamia, Soviet, European, and Chinese history before boomers and in some cases without capitalism.

Objectifying women. [Editor’s note: I’m deleting this macho dreck.]

This seems to have gone on forever. If you have come this far, reality shows suck. “Reality show” is an oxy or some other kind of moron. Not bored yet? See my website or blog for more.

Now get off my lawn, you dang hippie.