THE CHAPTER FOUR BLOG

Questions? You can ask me anything ... just not anonymously.  

"I'm not even an atheist so much as I am an anti-theist; I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches, and the effect of religious belief, is positively harmful." - Christopher Hitchens in Letters to a Young Contrarian.

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." - Sinclair Lewis

“Religion has ever been anti-human, anti-women, anti-life, anti-peace, anti-reason, and anti- science. The god idea has been detrimental not only to humankind, but to the earth. It is time now for reason, education, and science to take over.” - Madalyn Murray O'Hair


...................................................

Painter, writer, photographer, dog wrangler, dog rescuer, devourer of books and film and knowledge, gardener, hesitant and mediocre self-taught chef, and avid traveler. People say I should have been a librarian or archivist of some sort. I think I should have been a paleontologist.

Recently divorced after thirteen years. Figuring out the life that follows. Looking for peace. After five years in New York City and twenty more years in other cities, I relocated to rural New England. I like the quiet. I like the forest. I like snow in the winter. I like buying fresh, local goat's milk cheese at the general store.

I have always had rescue dogs and you can see two of them throughout these pages. I eat Indian food every chance I get, but never say no to Chinese. Two of my favorite living musicians are Tom Waits and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy. Some of my favorite authors are Samuel Beckett, Gene Wolfe, and William Heinesen. Some of my favorite films are Henry Fool, Hannah and Her Sisters, My Dinner with André, Stalker, Trust, and Through a Glass Darkly.

This is chapter four.

SHARP.

I.

Sharp knives are safe knives.

II.

Sharp knives and fresh ginger. Enough said.

— 14 hours ago with 6 notes
#sharp knives  #kitchen  #cooking with Eòin  #ginger 
For the military. Jury duty is done, primarily, from driver’s license and voter registration. I’ve only been called for jury duty twice. I selected once and excused once.
I did not want to serve, but I’m very glad I did. The accused had a terrible public defender, but the prosecuting attorney was worse and never came close to presenting a case against him. But because of the nature of the charges, much of the jury let their emotions be the deciding factor.
There were four charges and we found him not-guilty on three of them. Then, one woman said, “If there is even a one percent chance that he is guilty, we have to put him in jail.” She was very passionate and convinced most of the other jurors. Not only was that statement a gross violation of the process and the law, I truly believed him to be innocent.
So, I did what I had to do: I called for the judge and told the woman to repeat what she had just said. When she refused, one of the other jurors repeated it to the judge. He then asked, “I want a show of hands from everyone who will confirm this.” The hands slowly went up around the room. The judge immediately declared a mistrial and the woman was taken somewhere by the bailiff.
After the verdict was read and we were released, the public defender and the defendant were out in the foyer and the guy was just sobbing. We learned a lot of information that had not been made known in the courtroom:
This was the second trial and the first had also been declared a mistrial.
Both accusers had recanted their accusations, one of them while on the stand in the first trial.
The mother of the accusers had admitted to the district attorney after the first mistrial that the alleged crimes were made up by her to get the accused away from her husband because they were doing drugs together - which was why she was not allowed to testify in the second trial.
Even though all three had recanted, the district attorney’s office went after him a second time.
There had been something in the trial that really bothered me, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then it clicked. The prosecutor never once asked the accusers, “What happened?” Each question was phrased, “What did you tell your mother at the time?” “What did you tell the police at the time?” The whole thing was a charade and despicable.
But I honestly believe he would have been convicted, despite there being no evidence, had I not been there. The rest of his life would have been ruined at age 25. So, as I said, I’m glad I served.

For the military. Jury duty is done, primarily, from driver’s license and voter registration. I’ve only been called for jury duty twice. I selected once and excused once.

I did not want to serve, but I’m very glad I did. The accused had a terrible public defender, but the prosecuting attorney was worse and never came close to presenting a case against him. But because of the nature of the charges, much of the jury let their emotions be the deciding factor.

There were four charges and we found him not-guilty on three of them. Then, one woman said, “If there is even a one percent chance that he is guilty, we have to put him in jail.” She was very passionate and convinced most of the other jurors. Not only was that statement a gross violation of the process and the law, I truly believed him to be innocent.

So, I did what I had to do: I called for the judge and told the woman to repeat what she had just said. When she refused, one of the other jurors repeated it to the judge. He then asked, “I want a show of hands from everyone who will confirm this.” The hands slowly went up around the room. The judge immediately declared a mistrial and the woman was taken somewhere by the bailiff.

After the verdict was read and we were released, the public defender and the defendant were out in the foyer and the guy was just sobbing. We learned a lot of information that had not been made known in the courtroom:

  • This was the second trial and the first had also been declared a mistrial.
  • Both accusers had recanted their accusations, one of them while on the stand in the first trial.
  • The mother of the accusers had admitted to the district attorney after the first mistrial that the alleged crimes were made up by her to get the accused away from her husband because they were doing drugs together - which was why she was not allowed to testify in the second trial.
  • Even though all three had recanted, the district attorney’s office went after him a second time.

There had been something in the trial that really bothered me, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then it clicked. The prosecutor never once asked the accusers, “What happened?” Each question was phrased, “What did you tell your mother at the time?” “What did you tell the police at the time?” The whole thing was a charade and despicable.

But I honestly believe he would have been convicted, despite there being no evidence, had I not been there. The rest of his life would have been ruined at age 25. So, as I said, I’m glad I served.

— 21 hours ago with 5 notes
#jury duty  #falsely accused 
NOT SELECTED.

I learned in all my job hunting that if you are male and applying for United States federal government jobs you have to provide your number from registering for selective service. That required going to multiple websites to track it down as the link I was provided was incorrect.

I remember going to the post office to register on my 18th birthday back in 1985. The last time it even crossed my mind was the next day. I would have never served, but the registration was required.

(Is that still the case? Do you still have to register?)

I don’t know why I’m bothering to write about this other that it was just an odd moment in 2014. Something that, as I said, has never once returned to my memory in 29 years.

— 22 hours ago with 8 notes
#selective service  #federal jobs  #job hunting  #employment  #1985 
"You may say it is all in my head, and indeed sometimes it seems to me I am in a head and that these eight, no, six, these six planes that enclose me are of solid bone. But thence to conclude the head is mine, no, never. A kind of air circulates, I must have said so, and when all goes still I hear it beating against the walls and being beaten back by them. And then somewhere in midspace other waves, other onslaughts, gather and break, whence I suppose the faint sound of aerial surf that is my silence. Or else it is the sudden storm, analogous to those outside, rising and drowning the cries of the children, the dying, the lovers, so that in my innocence I say they cease, whereas in reality they never cease."

Samuel Beckett, Malone Dies

Posted by and reblogged from robcam-wfu.

— 22 hours ago with 7 notes
#Samuel Beckett  #Malone Dies  #quotes  #all in my head  #I hear it beating against the walls 
"At the core I’m a secular humanist, but it’s probably easier to just say I’m three blocks east of socialist, and then two blocks north - next to the library that burned down back in ‘72."
My new official answer to being asked if I’m a democrat, if am I a registered democrat, if I am a socialist, if I am a communist, or anything else regarding my politics.
— 1 day ago with 7 notes
#politics  #secular humanism  #anti-theism  #not a democrat  #socialist  #socialism  #communist  #communism 
"My sexual orientation is girls who look like they could beat me up and boys who look like they wouldn’t stand a chance."
— 1 day ago with 7 notes
#cyanine  #sexual orientation 

The Dietrichs - Venus as a Boy

A fourth (!) video out today from The Dietrichs (Heiðrik á Heygum and Simon Ask Ulsnes).

Reblogged from heidrik:

facebook.com/thedietrichsmusic

The song “Venus as a Boy” was written and recorded by Björk for her first solo album Debut released in 1993.

— 1 day ago with 8 notes
#The Dietrichs  #Heiðrik  #Simon Ask Ulsnes  #Venus As A Boy  #Björk  #music 
How could I have forgotten to post this yesterday in celebration of the co-opted pagan celebration we call Easter?

Reblogged from hippiebeard: literallysame.

And some people are afraid of clowns …

How could I have forgotten to post this yesterday in celebration of the co-opted pagan celebration we call Easter?

Reblogged from hippiebeardliterallysame.

And some people are afraid of clowns …

(Source: mrmortymortician)

— 2 days ago with 64756 notes
#Easter  #Easter Bunny  #or Bugs Bunny  #creepy  #rabbits 

The Dietrichs - Like Somone in Love

A third video out today from The Dietrichs (Heiðrik á Heygum and Simon Ask Ulsnes).

Yay!

Reblogged from heidrik:

facebook.com/thedietrichsmusic

The song “Like Someone in Love” was written in 1944 by Jimmy van Heusen and Johnny Burke for the 1944 film Belle of the Yukon and performed by Dinah Shore. It was a hit for Bing Crosby in early 1945, and has since become a favorite jazz standard recorded by artists like Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Art Blakely, Dave Brubeck, and Björk.

— 2 days ago with 11 notes
#Heiðrik  #Heiðrik á Heygum  #Simon Ask Ulsnes  #The Dietrichs  #Like Someone In Love 
rumorcontrol:
I can assure you: There was no vogue-ing going on. Not now, not ever.
But I do remember all those silly boys vogue-ing along with the video in the bars back around 1990-91. Didn’t it come out around Christmas time?
Sometimes I had to leave the room.
Speaking of winter and gay bars: This reminds me of how living in the Southwest meant that the first Friday the overnight low would be below 50 degrees all the sweater fags would break out their hideous late-80s atrocities that had been packed with moth balls for the last ten months.
For one weekend, the bars wouldn’t smell solely of Drakkar Noir and Marlboro Lights 100s. In fact, you could barely breathe.

rumorcontrol:

I can assure you: There was no vogue-ing going on. Not now, not ever.

But I do remember all those silly boys vogue-ing along with the video in the bars back around 1990-91. Didn’t it come out around Christmas time?

Sometimes I had to leave the room.

Speaking of winter and gay bars: This reminds me of how living in the Southwest meant that the first Friday the overnight low would be below 50 degrees all the sweater fags would break out their hideous late-80s atrocities that had been packed with moth balls for the last ten months.

For one weekend, the bars wouldn’t smell solely of Drakkar Noir and Marlboro Lights 100s. In fact, you could barely breathe.

— 2 days ago with 6 notes
#Madonna  #Vogue  #vouge-ing  #1990  #sweater fags  #moth balls  #Marloboro Lights 100s 
FINAL INSULT.

The warehouse supervisor job I lost out on about ten days ago was reposted this morning.

The 20-year old pretend (white) gangsta rapper from Bernardston, MA - a tiny farm town on the Vermont border - who repeatedly bragged about dropping out of high school, who showed up to the second interview in jeans hanging down to his knees and a sideways baseball cap, and who tried to force me to drive him home because he doesn’t have a car, the boy who was chosen over me, lasted a week or less.

— 2 days ago with 13 notes
#job hunting  #employment 
FROM THE ONGOING SAGA OF THE UNPLAYED PLAYLIST - MAD DOG EDITION.

Madonna came on this morning. It was the Dick Tracy soundtrack, which is silly, faux-1930s showtunes about spanking. Three or four of the songs are even Sondheim originals.

But the album ends with an add-on - “Vogue.”

After about 30 seconds I realized that all my windows are open and if a neighbor stopped by or walked by they would hear me playing Madonna.

Next artist please.

— 2 days ago with 6 notes
#Unplayed Playlist  #Madonna  #Vogue  #neighbors  #Stephen Sondheim  #spanking 
"

India was just declared polio-free THIS WEEK. How the hell do you think that happened, unicorn farts and Whole Foods? No, the goddamn polio vaccine.

Do us all a favor — if you choose not to vaccinate your children, keep them inside forever because they, and you, are a goddamn danger to those who can’t get vaccinated for health reasons or age.

Your opinions are not based in science or reality, and therefore are not valid. They are fucking dangerous and causing outbreaks of potentially deadly diseases. If there were some way to criminally charge anti-vaxxers with reckless endangerment or manslaughter, I would support that completely.

"
— 2 days ago with 6 notes
#anti-vaxxers  #vaccination  #immunization  #polio 
"My father had taught me to be nice first, because you can always be mean later, but once you’ve been mean to someone, they won’t believe the nice anymore. So be nice, be nice, until it’s time to stop being nice, then destroy them."

Laurell K. Hamilton

Posted by makelovetothemoon, reblogged from instamatthew.

(Source: makelovetothemoon, via instamatthew)

— 2 days ago with 436288 notes
#Laurell K. Hamilton  #quotes  #be nice first