Swiped Right

8faae92c-696d-45ec-a856-946070bb6707“My dream,” Allison said, “has always been to live in a beautiful Italian estate with marble floors, thick plaster walls, stained glass windows, and with stunning baroque ceiling frescoes derivative of Michelangelo’s at the Sistine Chapel.”

“I see,” Justin responded. He was sitting across from her at a Starbucks, where they had agreed to meet. He tried to conceal his eye-roll from his date.

“What about you, Justin?” Allison asked. “If you could live anywhere, what kind of place would you choose?”

“My tastes are, I believe, a little more modest than yours apparently are,” Justin said. “I would prefer a rustic log cabin in the mountains, one next to an idyllic babbling brook. It would have a large great room with an enormous stone fireplace, in front of which would be a real bear-skin rug. I would be the only resident on that part of the mountain.”

Allison looked at Justin with total disbelief. “Have I fallen into madness or something?” she said. “Based upon your profile on the dating site, we’re supposed to be totally compatible. But a log cabin on a mountain? Seriously?”

In your profile, Allison,” Justin said, “you said you were ‘down to earth.’ What you described as your dream abode is anything but down to earth. I’m now convince that I should have swiped left.” Justin stood up and walked out of the Starbucks shaking his head.

Written for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (dream), Ragtag Daily Prompt (marble), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (plaster), Your Daily Word Prompt (derivative), Daily Addictions (resident), and Michael’s Writing Prompts (into madness).

The Notorious DJT

aa5f9270-5155-46b4-a1f9-4692d2ecaa06He was a showman and a con artist, notorious for his bombast. So full of himself, he decided to seek the highest office in the land.

Most pundits thought it was a narcissistic whim, a buffoonish lark, a fluke, something he did as a self-promotion tool.

But he entered the race, building his campaign around frustration, anxieties, fear, and nationalism.

He said he was going to make America great again. He would build a wall to keep out bad hombres who are rapists, drug dealers, and criminals, all part of his nationalist agenda.

He said he was going to drain the swamp in the nation’s capital of corruption.

He said he was going to protect us from fanatic Islamist terrorists.

He said it was a good idea to get along with, kowtow to, and have negotiations with dictators and adversaries.

But all along, the needs and interests of the American people were secondary to his own unenlighted self-interests.

With his scare-filled rhetoric, his lies, and his bullshit, he won primary after primary. And he secured the nomination.

And with the help of, and collusion with, the Russians, he amazingly won the election, something even he didn’t expect.

And for the past two years, he has slowly been destroying the American democracy, devalued America’s standing on the world stage, diminished the long-held alliances with our western allies, and given Putin a free pass.

And worst of all, instead of making America great again, all he’s accomplished is to make America hate again.

Written for Nova’s Daily Random Word Prompts: #41-42 (primary and secondary) and #43-47 (notorious, negotiation, nationalism, nationalist, and nomination). Caricature by Mitchell Cowell.

JusJoJan — Echo Chamber

16e85f52-2fd1-4b7b-8aa4-f88945d26bedToday’s topic for Linda G. Hill’s Just Jot It January Prompt, was suggested by Lee, at LadyLeeManila. It’s the word “echo.”

I was thinking about writing a post about Alexa, the voice inside of my Amazon Echo. But I banished her from my home about six months ago because I thought she was eavesdropping on my wife and me. So I unplugged my Echo and put in on a shelf inside a storage cabinet in my garage. Besides, I still have Siri, the voice inside my iPhone, to eavesdrop. I did ask Siri what she thinks of Alexa. Siri’s magnanimous response was, “I offer no resistance to helpful assistance.”

So instead of writing about my Amazon Echo for this JusJoJan post, I’m writing about the echo chamber we all seem to inhabit these days.

People love the idea of having their feelings affirmed and are drawn to others, whether in the media, on the internet, or in their close interpersonal circles, who have those same feelings.

An echo chamber creates an environment in which individuals or groups encounter only those beliefs, perspectives, or opinions that coincide with their own, so that their existing views are reinforced and alternative ideas are not considered or are dismissed.

I admit that I reside in an echo chamber of my own making. I prefer to get my TV news from MSNBC rather than Fox News. My online news comes from sources like the Washington Post and the New York Times rather than from Breitbart.com or The Drudge Report. From the Daily Beast rather than from the Daily Caller.

I believe as being truthful and reliable the things I read, see, and hear from the sources I prefer, and I dismiss as propaganda and fake news that which I read, see, and hear from the other sources.

I get really aggravated by anyone who gives Trump a pass, so I generally avoid discussing politics or current events with such people, whether in real life or online. And yes, that includes some members of my extended family.

Things have become so fractured when it comes to socio-political ideologies, that life seems to be a zero-sum game these days. If you win, I lose. You’re either with me or you’re against me. And if you’re not with me, I don’t want to deal with you, because I’m right and you’re wrong.

I used to think of myself as someone who was willing to consider different perspectives and who would fairly evaluate all of the information available with an open mind. But I’m not. At least not anymore.

It’s really dysfunctional, isn’t it?

Image credit: Christofe Vorlet.

FOWC with Fandango — Plaster

FOWCWelcome to January 21, 2019 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).

Today’s word is “plaster.”

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.