A Taste of Beckett

Tasting Beckett

My first student read at an 8th grade level, just low enough to squeak into the literacy program. He was a successful, traveling chemical salesman. He wrote sales proposals and reports and most of them were passable, though he struggled with some of the more complex concepts. No one suspected he had reading problems, especially in a country where an 8th grade level was actually pretty good.

John’s real problem was comprehension. Aside from his familiar work material he couldn’t understand much else. The words came easily, he could pronounce them all right. He could even understand them…a little, but they meant almost nothing past the utility of his career. He dreamed of reading classics to keep him company on long, lonely road trips. He wanted to read Arthur Miller or William Faulkner. Television didn’t hack it anymore. He wanted, as they say, to take things to the next level.

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Truth is the First Casualty of Politics

Truth is the First Casualty of Politics

Truth is the first casualty of politics. Politicians warp it, distort it, and spin it like Whirling Dervishes. When all else fails, they simply lie their way around it, all the while claiming a fantasy moral high ground where it is perpetually Orwell’s 1984truth is fiction and fiction is truth.

A sentient person should expect a certain amount of this. After all, it is a candidate’s job to present themselves in the best possible light. But, there is a huge difference between good lighting and whispering lies from the shadows.

Sometimes facts are both truthful and verifiable. You can argue 1+1=9422, but that doesn’t make it true or a fact. When the fact is so immutable as to render it above challenge, some simply lie. “But it does equal 9422! Most leading mathematicians say so.” No they didn’t.

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Fly Jolly Joker Airlines

Opening windows on an airplane, ROFLMFAO! Mitt sure is a moran or a jolly joker, depending on your point of view. Assuming others are as clueless –a safe assumption in an underfunded-education, science-challenged country – Yahoo ran a story explaining it all. That is more worrying than Mitt’s suggestion. He was admirably trying to show concern for Ann’s harrowing, though relatively common, experience with smoke in the cabin of her airplane. That’s about as close to human as Mitt gets.

It was probably a joke from a man who is about as funny as a bowling ball, but you never know. There are some weakly plausible reasons why he might say something so bizarre. Mitt isn’t the world’s best off-the-cuff speaker as his 47% speech shows. Sometimes he speaks first and thinks later. After 2+ years of stumping 18-hours a day, perhaps he was just tired. This may be one of those rare occurrences when the “I misspoke” explanation might be true. On the other hand, maybe he is as stupid as he sounds. It wouldn’t be the first time. But there is a very remote possibility he holds common misconceptions about aircraft like many others – misconceptions that are a combination of possibilities and impossibilities.

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