Sunday, September 24, 2006

Up is Down

At a recent gathering of the INWBA, I was tagged as 'appearing to be no-growth'. This probably occurred because I am in charge of my own muzzle. :) Strangely enough, a recent poll provided numbers to show that 80% of the local populace agree with me. Why then does unmitigated growth continue?

I am not pro no-growth. What I decry is growth for growth's sake. Growth for greed. Growth for the in-your-face 'see me' noveau riche. Growth without virtue.

Many towns are being destroyed by make-a-quick-buck mentality. Frenetic developers in their haste to make hay while the sun shines decimate the hay fields, overload the rivers and lakes with waste, and suck aquifers to marginal quantity.

Lack of foresight is evident in rampant stripping of green. A green zone controlled by fertilizer, pesticides and massive amounts of water is not the same as natural green.

Starter castles advertised as 'waterfront' are oftentimes located on mosquito factories of wetlands, sloughs or swamps.

Hillsides scraped to insert king of the mountain high-ceilinged glass fronts frequently give way to dump those ugliosities in the drink. The developer moved on and owners scream for FEMA (taxpayers) to replace their first, second or third home.

Flood plains overloaded with speculative construction ask for trouble. It may not happen this year, but it WILL happen.

I'm not pro no-risk. What I decry is risk for risk's sake. What I decry are frantic attempts to carve a bigger scar than the neighbors'.

Chill. Take a walk. Read a book. Find a tree. Breathe. Hug something. Laugh. Leave a smaller footprint, please.

Up is Down Watercolor by Sue Turner 2006

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Elective School

2000 Mythsteries & Other Pithy Shorts #17

It came to pass that subjects wanted more say in reignment, especially those that didn't like the king who stayed for years and years. So they decided to try another way. They called it democracy. Each person would have a say in ruling otherbodies. And this worked well until there came so many people that the voices ran confused, almost like a towering babble.

Alas, someone started a school in which the votes could be distilled down to a very few so they would be less to count. It would keep errors away and besides the kingdom was growing crowded with otherworldly people and numbers became well more than a box could hold.

The wizards argued it would be easier to count fewer votes even with all the newly arriving fingers and toes. So they spun some numbers off to this school and partied them out. If you said you were one species, your vote counted only for that species and so on. However if you wanted to vote for a third specie it was unavailable.

Two kings, at different times, didn't get a throne because of the voting school but the real people did much want them. Not overly much, but it was more.

And mostly things moved along in that fashion until one day a bird flipped from the bush claimed to whisper in someone's ear that a particular bunch of people who lived on the other farm would toss their eyes into his cocked hat at school. And that would mean a biggish win for him even if the regular joes didn't want it.

But it came to pass that the bull did gore the other guy who although the most people liked him, didn't make the cut because his scholarship was nay'd in some sort of confusion during recess.

Lo! History would note that this all came from a bunch of newcomers to the area who paddled past much water to arrive. It would also note there was a thinning of honor.

And that's how it was in the days when a new king could hug the throne when majorly somebodies didn't set him there.

BigI, Fractal by Sue

Friday, September 08, 2006

Tall Little Lord Throttlebottom the Twoth

2000 Mythsteries and Other Pithy Shorts #26

Once not so very long ago, Tall Little Lord Throttlebottom the Twoth, aided and betted by nepotisms, became cock of the barnyard.

Soon after, methane hit the fan and the fox was loosed. Tall L. L. Throttlebottom the Twoth stumbled from the throne, shook his fist at the darkened sky and threatened eye-for-an-eye revenge even though he called it different.

Unluckily for the coop who had assembled heaps of gold and bonds in preparation for a gigantic croning coming, T. Little L. Throttlebottom the Twoth claimed the funds for his own and declared a private killing on distant methane makers and pressed huge monetary plums on his cronies.

Lo! Big owners from a state the size of another country panhandled kickingbacks from the nepotism and before the general inhabitants know they'd been plucked, all the gala riches were whisked into the ether and it was surely found that the fox still roamed inside the barnyard.

Forsooth, Tall L. L. Throttlebottom the Twoth kept floating red herrings in the stock pot as he plucked even though the populace was oft heard to shout that the fox was in the henhouse and that bullying otherbodies was a farce.

And it came to pass that the barnyard became the stalking ground for multi-tribes with axes to grind and the very co-op was fully fleeced from within by T. L. L. Throttlebottom the Twoth who none too soon left the henhouse to join the fox in search of otherbiddies.

That's how it was when one whole flock let wool be pulled by a corybantic insider barnyard cock.

Friday, September 01, 2006


2000 Mythsteries and Other Pithy Shorts #10 or #15

Once upon a time, when there were no wires draped from the sky and no crystal screens, it was necessary to leave your hut to find out what other humans were doing. Mostly, they were hunting and gathering, but occasionally, if you looked long enough you could enter into a barn raising or a rain dance depending upon which century you wandered in.

Kings reigned supreme but mostly in a small area because they couldn’t cover large areas on foot or horseback and still be home in time for dinner or whatever.

Then one day it was brought to the attention of those kings that with a few cans and some string made from sheep hair they could virtually call on neighbors and find out what was going on without leaving hearth and throne.

Alas, this worked so well that it became unnecessary to ever leave home and people began to develop hunched backs and feeble eyesight from staying indoors bent over the can. Many of them became quite irritable from lack of outdooring and failing to move bodily about. When, for some reason, they did go out they were quite rude and rage-ous.

And it was no wonder, they had forgotten how to interact with their faces so they kept using their fingers and squinty mouths. And being accustomed to having a can to themselves they were not inclined to share anything with others.

And, it was particularly hard on women who were just learning how to can and didn’t know so much about hunting and gathering. It was hard for them to find partners clad in mail. The can escalated into a new type of messenger and when it was first announced that ‘they got mail’, it turned into a real disappointment due to a lack of good knights.

Before long, there were hundreds of people racing about, trying to find bigger cans and the whole thing came to a screaming halt and collapsed when strangers pulled each other’s strings.

And that’s how it was in the first days of canned life.