100WW — The Celebration

img_1730The three women sat by a tree in front of their office complex. The Space Needle was visible, so they could spend the evening snacking, chatting, and waiting for the fireworks display to start.

“It’s so nice finally living in a country where we can celebrate the nation’s Declaration of Independence as well as the freedom living in this country allows us,” one of the women said.

“Yes,” said another. “We have a great job, a great life, a great country.”

Then a car pulled up, a man walked up to them, and asked, “Ladies, can I see your papers?”

(100 words)


Written for Bikurgurl’s 100 Word Wednesday prompt and for Teresa’s Three Things Challenge, where the things are Declaration, freedom, and fireworks.

#FOWC — Mellow Out

img_1729I hate the Fourth of July. No, it’s not because I’m not patriotic. And it’s not because I dislike fireworks. I love fireworks. It’s because fireworks scare the shit out of our dog.

At the sound of the first hint of fireworks going off somewhere, the first pop, no matter how faint, she starts shaking like a leaf. I swear, I think she’s going to have a heart attack or something.

It’s gotten to the point where my wife and I can’t go out at night on the Fourth of July to enjoy the fireworks without worrying that our poor, scared dog with die of fright if left alone.

We usually try to settle her down by taking her into an interior bathroom — one with no windows — closing the door, and turning up the volume on my phone’s iTunes app. But she somehow still hears (or senses?) the fireworks.

This year we decided to call our vet to see if he, in order to help us cope with tonight’s fireworks, would prescribe a sedative for us. Ha! No, just kidding — for our dog. He was kind enough to sell us a mild sedative that he said to give her about an hour before the fireworks are scheduled to start.

So at around 8 pm, we are going to give our dog the sedative, take her on her last walk of the day, and hope that by the time we return from the walk, she’ll be all mellowed-out and ready for a nice, restful sleep.

And, oh yes, my wife and I will probably eat a marijuana-infused gummy so that, by the time we get back from the walk, we, too, will be all mellowed-out. I’m looking forward to a relaxing Independence Day night.

Of course, our cat is fine with fireworks. Nothing fazes our cat. He couldn’t care less about fireworks as long as he’s getting fed.


Written for today’s FOWC with Fandango One-Word Challenge, “fireworks.” And for the Word of the Day Challenge, “independence.”

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear…

…or everything you see, either!

Did you hear about this?

New technology makes it alarmingly easy to make realistic videos of people saying and doing things they’ve never done.”

This is not fake news! It’s apparently true. There is new technology, a sophisticated type of software, that makes it possible to superimpose one person’s face onto another’s body and manipulate voice recordings, creating fake videos that look and sound real.

While Hollywood studios have long used computer-generated imagery (CGI) to create, for example, fleeting appearances of dead actors, the process was prohibitively expensive and laborious. Today, the technology, known as “deepfakes,” has improved so much so that highly realistic visual and audio fakery can be produced by anyone with a powerful home computer.

Apparently deepfakes technology has already sparked an explosion of fake pornography online, with Michelle Obama, Ivanka Trump, and Emma Watson among those most frequently victimized. (I can’t personally corroborate this, but I’m sure if you wish to, you can probably do a Google search for “deepfakes porn” and see for yourself.)

Fears are growing, however, over how else “deepfakes” videos could be used — from smearing politicians in elections to inciting major international conflict.

Earlier this year, BuzzFeed created a “public service announcement” warning of the technology’s dangers, with a deepfakes of former President Barack Obama voiced by the comedian and director Jordan Peele.

In that deepfakes, the fake Obama said, “We’re entering an era in which our enemies can make it look like anyone is saying anything.” To illustrate the point, the fake Obama goes on to call President Trump “a total and complete dipshit.”

This technology uses facial mapping and artificial intelligence to produce videos that appear so genuine it’s hard to spot the phonies. Lawmakers and intelligence officials worry that these deepfakes could be used to threaten national security or interfere in elections. Politicians of both parties are concerned that this high-tech way of putting words into someone’s mouth will become the latest weapon in disinformation wars against the United States and other Western democracies.

It kinda makes you question whether technology is a good thing or a bad thing, doesn’t it?

One-Liner Wednesday — Truthiness

“May you only hear from others what you’ve already been telling yourself.”

President Donald J. Trump

Okay, I lied. As much as that sounds like something Donald Trump would say, he didn’t say it. The quote came from Jordan Klepper, comedian and host of The Opposition with Jordan Klepper, a show on Comedy Central, which, sadly, was just canceled.39BC413A-F482-495E-B48B-8703064A11C8But doesn’t wanting to hear only what he already believes sound like Trump’s modus operandi? He labels anything he doesn’t like as “fake news” and calls those journalists who don’t write positive things about him “enemies of the American people.”

Unfortunately, only wanting to hear from others what you’ve already been telling yourself is not unique to Donald Trump and Jordan Klepper. And it doesn’t make much of a difference if you’re on the left or the right. We are such a divided nation right now that most of us tend to read, watch, or listen to whatever it is that reinforces our own partisan positions.

I refuse to watch Fox News. I only rarely watch CNN. I get most of my news from MSNBC. Why? Because they tell me what I am more receptive to hearing and more likely to accept.

About a dozen or so years ago, Stephen Colbert coined the word “truthiness.” Truthiness is the quality of seeming to be true based upon one’s intuition, opinion, or perception without regard to logic or factual evidence. It’s when someone feels, believes, or wishes that something is true even when it is not supported by the facts.

Truthiness is very similar to a concept espoused by comedian Bill Maher when he says, “I don’t know it for a fact…I just know it’s true.”

So fess up, people. How many of you really only want to hear from others what you’ve already been telling yourself?

Come on. It’s America’s birthday. Stand and be counted!


Written for today’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt from Linda G. Hill.

FOWC with Fandango — Fireworks

FOWCWelcome to July 4, 2018 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). It’s designed to fill the void after WordPress bailed on its daily one-word prompt.

I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (US).

In honor of Independence Day in the U.S., today’s word is “fireworks.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.