Friday, January 13, 2017

Metaphors - Spice for Wordmeat in the Face of Impending Doom

As Asteroid Donald Trump careens toward America, threatening to destroy all that is good and right in our country, I'm taking a break from my constant nagging sorrow and trepidation about the future, to talk about metaphor and simile. "Asteroid Donald Trump" is a metaphor. It will crash into our country destroying the lives of millions of Americans, polluting the air and water for decades, hastening the warming of the planet causing sea levels to rise and crops to fail, installing an authoritarian government of billionaires for billionaires. Okay, okay, that's the metaphor. Metaphor is a figure of speech which makes an implicit, implied or hidden comparison between two things that are unrelated but share some common characteristics. In other words, a resemblance of two contradictory or different objects is made based on a single or some common characteristics. A simile makes a comparison using the words like or as. So if I say Donald Trump is a lump of cow manure - that's a metaphor. If I say Donald Trump is like a lump of cow manure -- that's a simile. Or turd blossom which has more flowery aspects. Both make comparisons between Donald Trump and a lump of manure. * * * * * * * * * * * But enough about Trump.......there'll be plenty of time to revisit the asteroid metaphor and lump of manure metaphor in the weeks and months ahead, assuming, of course, that he doesn't quit or is convicted of the many crimes I'm fairly certain he has committed. So for now, let's focus on metaphor and simile. "Her eyes were deep green pools of mystery" is a metaphor for all that is hidden behind those eyes you love to gaze into that you can never fully see and that is only revealed carefully and gradually as trust develops between two lovers. On the other hand, Raymond Chandler wrote this in The Man Who Liked Dogs: "His smile was as stiff as a frozen fish." There's something about that smile - not sincere, not warm, not even human. * * * * * * * * * * * I recently tried to write bad metaphors and similes: metaphors are spice for word meat. You've got to admit that ranks right down there with the worst. Pun intended, btw. She had eyes like big round hub caps from an old Buick. Her lips were like pieces of cow liver stacked one on the other. Romance is like two magnets that can attract and repel depending upon which pole is which. Without you I am a dog barking in the back yard at the neighbor's cat. The sliver of the moon was like a sliver of a piece of moon shaped silver paper pasted upon the sky if the sky were something you could paste a moon shaped sliver of silver paper upon. The words flowed from my head like urine flows in the middle of the night from an old guy with prostate issues. Bad writing is like sweat drops on paper. Images swirled in left side of my head in the same way that water goes down a toilet when you flush it in the northern hemisphere -- clockwise. Bad metaphors are the irritating screech of chalk on a blackboard and then you have to get the chalk dust off your fingers. I think I have discovered that I am a pretty good bad writer and hope to work on that.......see my Ch. 1 thru Ch. 5 Has Anybody Seen My Picasso, in several earlier blogs. Here's the first paragraph of Ch. 1: "It was 10 am and I’d just gotten to my office. I was on the third floor of a five story. I walked up the stairs because the elevator still didn’t work even though the super had promised me he’d have it fixed by now. He’d promised me he’d have the cracked window pane in my office window fixed by now as well, but that was still cracked. The crack meandered across the lower left corner of the window like the drunk on the sidewalk below outside the bar with the red neon sign in the window that said “bar.” The crack had no real destination like many of those people I could see on the street below. I hadn’t really laid into the super because he rented me this dump cheap and I had been doing some private dick work for him in exchange for the last several months’ rent." The "crack meandered" is a metaphor and "like the drunk on the sidewalk below outside the bar with the red neon sign in the window that said 'bar'" is a simile. Later I wrote a character "wore lipstick like a Ritz cracker wears cheez whiz." I think that is pretty good bad writing. I was aiming for a blend of Dashiel Hammett and Bulwar Lytton. A friend of mine said is was like a combination of Joe Friday and Garrison Keillor. * * * * * * * * ** * Zane Grey used this wonderful description in riders of the Purple Sage: “The glorious sunlight filled the valley with purple fire. Before him, to left, to right, waving, rolling, sinking, rising, like low swells of a purple sea, stretched the sage.” Nebraska poet Ted Kooser said this of trees: "the trees like gnarled magicians/produce handkerchiefs/of leaves out of empty branches." Roy Batty, android nemisis of Bladerunner Harrison Ford, said this at the end of his four year life span atop the drizzled, bleak, Ray Bradbury Hotel, "All these moments are lost in time, like tears in the rain." Such wonderful metaphors and similes capturing scenery, and the magic of trees, and the transience of life. Robert Ludlum in one of his spy/action thrillers described a hilly, craggy landscape as "the fingerprints of God." Wow. Raymond Chandler wrote: "She smelled the way the Taj Mahal looks by moonlight" – Little Sister. A bit of a synaesthetic metaphor, mixing the senses, but nicely done. And lastly, my friend Greg Kosmicki wrote one of my favorites of all time: "After supper, washed the dishes/saw rain push down a leaf/here and there/ as if typing out a message. I'm sure it was./It's a language we can't live long enough to learn." from - "Message" in It's as Good Here as it Gets Anywhere. I hope that some of us live long enough and wisely enough to learn a word or two of that language.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Fourteen Days

NASA reports Asteroid Trump will impact directly upon North America on Jan. 20, 2017. "This asteroid is approaching fast and will be a life-ending event for many. Advise staying indoors, in a basement if you can. Prayer is recommended. This could be a bad one folks. We're talking extinction of the dinosaurs serious. You can expect widespread devastation, especially in heavily populated areas," a NASA spokesperson said.

Sunday, January 01, 2017


Fake News Alert – The following is half truthy and half wit, as am I. It may or may not be mildly amusing. ........Donald Trump pummeled his Mar-a-Lago caddie with a hybrid fairway metal after the caddie, Jose Fuentes, gave him an incorrect yardage yesterday on Hole 12 at Trump's Florida golf resort Saturday. The caddie, 43, and the father of five, is in critical condition at a local hospital with a skull fracture and severe lacerations about the head. Kellyanne Conway, Trump's spokesperson and trusted advisor said, "Donald is a passionate man, and after he ejected a critical biographer of Trump who was in a foursome with one of the Koch brothers from the course, he was having a terrific round until the mistaken yardage was given," Conway said. "I mean, who wouldn't be angry?" she said. The Koch brother, a member of Trump's country club, and his guest were escorted from the course by Trump's private security force and were seen driving away with the rest of that group's foursome, including the writer of the critical biography. "He's a lousy golfer, anyway," Trump was heard to say about the biographer. "Can't write either." Trump was also heard to say, "You're fired," to Mr. Fuentes as he beat him about the head. "I'd have hit my hybrid 7 metal if you'd given me the right yardage. And you can forget about that green card." Trump was later seen with boxing promoter Don King, who stepped in as Trump's caddie, holding a Russian flag stick for Trump on the 17th green as Donald lined up a putt. "It's like Mr. Trump said about the UN the other day," Conway concluded. "Things will be different starting Jan. 20. And by the way, in regard to Mr. Fuentes, it's not a crime if the President does it." * * * * * * * * * * * I spent New Year's Eve with a nasty cold, tissue stuffed up both nostrils, watching "12 Monkeys," a favorite Bruce Willis movie of mine. I'm hoping 2017 improves. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Noting that Australia celebrated the New Year before America did, Donald Trump has vowed to move the international dateline and make America first in 2018. "It'll be tremendous," he said. "And why does China get its own new year? America should be first because we are great again." * * * * * * * * *I think there's a 50% chance Trump will get us into a war accidentally --- and a 50% chance he will get us into a war on purpose. * * * * * * * * On another subject, I saw a fb post that said the etymology of the word "dog" was uncertain, and lo and behold, I checked the Oxford English Dictionary and several words for animals ending in the voiced velar plosive "g" have uncertain etymologies: dog, stag, frog, pig. Who knew? * * * * * * * * * * * And seriously, to all who lost loved ones in 2016, my condolences. To all who found a loved one or ones in 2016, congratulations! Personally, I am hoping for fewer of the former and one or more of the latter in 2017. Happy New Year.

Friday, December 23, 2016

On the Eve of Christmas Eve

For this Eve of Christmas Eve I painted this nativity scene. Christmas is about the possibilities of the future, hope for the future, the promise of the future. And even in these darkest days of the year, there is always hope. * * * * * * * * * * * * We, as a nation,however, are replacing class with crass, measured with impulsive, thinking with reacting, kindness with mean-spirited, intellect with libido, confidence with arrogance, vision with revenge, wisdom with ignorance and bluster, grace with boorish, hope with fear, caution with recklessness, humility with vanity, science with ideology, and care for others and our planet with greed. And for God's sake, will somebody please hide the nukes from Trump. * * * * * * * * * For the upcoming Presidential inauguration celebrations, it's my understanding that Trump has now secured a local high school kid to do card tricks, an Elvis impersonator, and a baton twirler from Boise. "It'll be tremendous," Trump said. "We are close to signing an awesome ventriloquist who can ride a unicycle." * * * * * * * * * My birthday was the other day and I got a happy birthday message from creditkarma on my facebook page. There's just something about that. And thank you all for the 211 facebook reminders of the inexorable march of time on my personal journey to eternity. * * * * * * * * * * There is good news though: Donald Trump wants to initiate a new arms race. That will be really good for nuke manufacturers. And Donald Trump tweeted that on Jan. 21, 2017 he would lift the ban on importing Russian made automobiles
.......Donald Trump announced that vodka will become the official National Alcoholic Beverage on the day he is sworn in. "За здоровье!" he said. And remember that ad about the phone call to the White House at 3 am. Well, at least we know Donald Trump will be awake tweet-storming about something or someone. Trump accused China of an "unpresidented" act in an early morning tweet recently. By the time he tweeted about the Chinese seizure of a US Navy underwater research drone, China had already agreed to return it. But on his use of "unpresidented" I had gotten so used to a President who could spell. I'm thinking "unpresidented" will pretty much describe everything he does and says. Among his other promises are to fast track global warming, get rid of clean air and water and safe food. Eliminate all ethics rules in government. Sell the national parks to oil companies. Declare war on Iran. And make Russia great again. Remember when we thought the Mayan Dec. 21, 2012 end-of-the-world apocalypse was what we had to worry about? Ahhhh, the good old days. * * * * * * * * * * And just when I think things can't get any worse in 2016, an explosion at a nitrous oxide holding tank facility in Florida is causing a shortage of this propellant used in canned whipped cream - the perfect way to end the year. Just great. Just f****** great.* * * * * * * * * ** ps. To all of you who have an Art by Cassiday 2016 wall calendar, I am obligated to inform you that your one year guaranteed accuracy warranty is about to expire. However, lucky for you, I have a few extra 2017 Art by Cassiday wall calendars which would extend your warranty to the end of 2017. Contact me here for a replacement. You are running out of time.............

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Weirder and Weirder

Trump has caused an ongoing constitutional crisis just being elected. Just wait until he is in ain't seen nothing yet. * * * * * * * * * * After decades of Cold War paranoia and imagining Russians infiltrating the US government, it finally happened and Republicans in Congress shrugged their shoulders and ordered Borscht soup and boiled cabbage for lunch. A Kremlin spokesperson has congratulated Comrade Trump on his election. * * * * * * * * * * And to add some perspective on one issue, an internet meme noted "Jimmy Carter sold his fucking peanut farm" just to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. Donald Trump canceled his press conference to discuss conflict of interest issues to meet with Kanye West and have a photo op. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Btw - we are now in the 2,353rd day of waiting for the Republican replacement plan for Obamacare. "We don't know what it will be, but it will be terrific," said Comrade Trump. * * * * * * * * * * * You ever notice that if you ask someone how far away something is they will sometimes say, "It's about 3 hours," or "twenty-five minutes." It seems to me that would depend upon how fast one was going, no? If I had asked how long does it take to get to Grand Island going 60 miles an hour, they might say about 2 1/2 hours, and that would make sense. Otherwise, the answer presumes too many intangibles: road conditiion, traffic flow, accident occurance, the possiblity of a flat tire, restroom breaks for people with bladder issues, the overturning of a cattle truck leaving cow carcasses on the roadway........okay, I'm done, except that I'm having an open house on Sunday, Dec. 18th, from 4 pm to 6 pm at my new digs in Papillion. 203 Shillaelagh Blvd. #13. Take 84th to Papillion just south of Giles. Turn west on Cary and follow the curve to my apts. "Go past Shillaelagh Blvd. and I'm in the last one. It's clearly labeled 203 and I'm on the ground floor in the southernmost breezeway. Park in the lot south of the building or in the post office lot. Hope to see you!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Two Resolutions I Kept This Year

Every so often I'll be driving somewhere or sitting at my desk at school or watching tv and I will remember that Donald Trump will be sworn in as President in a few weeks. I usually utter a spontaneous "Fuuuuuuuuuuuucckkkkkkkkk" and descend into utter despair. For all the talk of an Electoral College rebellion or voter recount efforts, I doubt any of that will change anything. Occasionally I think the Russian connection will catch up to Trump, but even that seems farfetched. Impeachment after the inauguration seems the likeliest outcome but even then Mike Pence would become President. Not much better. I think we will be stuck with Trump for a while. "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuucccccccccccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkkk." I'm wondering if any of you out there are experiencing something similar. * * * * * * * * * * * * * With all the Russian connections in the Trump administration, I'm wondering if we will wake up one morning like the Ukrainians did and discovered Crimea occupied by Russians ---- a massive Russian-orchestrated flash mob takeover of the US government. ...........Or maybe I'm just being paranoid. I mean, would Trump appoint people opposed to health insurance for people to head the Dept. of Health and Human Services, would he appoint people opposed to public education to lead the Dept. of Education, would he appoint someone opposed to minimum wages to the Dept. of Labor, would he appoint oil barons to the Dept. of Environmental Protection? Would he appoint the head of a multi-national oil company to be Secretary of State? Ummmmmmm, wait a second............................. * * * * * * * * * * * * Ben Carson said this on hearing of his nomination as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development - "Hey, it's not brain surgery." * * * * * * * * * * * * A religious question - Did you ever stop to think there were no fish on Noah's ark? * * * * * * * * * * * *And here are a few other thoughts for now: “When all else fails, I always say, paint a flower." It's not easy living in a universe devoid of meaning." I've spent most of my life golfing. The rest I've just wasted." Author Unknown. "You want to carry an M-16? Join the army." * * * * * * * * * * * * You know how some people get a head start on their Christmas shopping? I'm getting an early start on my annual Christmas depression. I usually have to deal with some mild depression at Christmas and I'm thinking this year will be even worse. The only saving grace is that I have been able to keep the only real New Year's Resolution I made in January of this year, and that was to drink more whiskey and take more naps. On that, I have succeeded. Cheers. Merry Christmas and all those other applicable holidays.

Friday, December 02, 2016

It's the Don of a New Era

The economy created 178,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate dropped to 4.6%. Outraged Republicans, soon to be in charge, vow to turn this around. * * * * * * * * * * And regarding the Carrier Corporation's intention to transfer its manufacturing plants to Mexico, Donald Trump has claimed a great victory in a visit to Indiana where he sent a clear message to corporate America with his tough talk: "If you try to move jobs out of America, we will give you very large tax breaks to keep some of them here." ** * * * * * * * * The only government agency I can see Sarah Palin as the head is The Federal Department of Stupid. * * * * * * * * * Regarding Donald Trump's statements that flag burning should result in a year in jail or loss of citizenship, I remember Molly Ivin's quip: "I prefer someone who burns a flag and wraps themselves up in the constitution over someone who burns the constitution and wraps themselves up in the flag." * * * * * * * * * * Watching Mitt Romney grovel in front of Donald Trump is really sad for Mitt. I suspect Donald Trump wants to hire him for something so he can fire him. * * * * * * * * I do a lot of political postings on Facebook and had an interesting day this week. I told some guy I didn't know to fuck off after he called me "princess." I find ad hominem arguments unconvincing. And I almost violated one of my basic rules: never argue about the Constitution with someone who can't spell it. Jeez. Relax, dude. Breathe. Read a goddamn book. * * * * * * * * * * It's amazing to me that after 7 years of trying repeal Obamacare, Republicans still don't have a clue about what to replace it with. "Repeal and Delay" is the latest description being floated by the Repubs. The biggest trouble facing Republicans' big "repeal and replace" or "repeal and delay" Obamacare talk is that health insurance mandates and marketplace competition with subsidies was arguably the best idea they ever came up with in the first place. Incidentally, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan's big plan to replace Medicare is just that: marketplace competition with premium subsidies in which seniors would pay more and more for less and less. And insurance companies would reap more windfall profits. * * * * * * * * * * * After attacking Hillary for months and months and months about the possible mishandling of classified documents, Donald Trump is considering appointing a new Secretary of State who was convicted of passing along classified information to his mistress. Donald Patraeus, if approved, would have to notify his probation officer of his new job. (some things you just can't make up). * * * * * * * * * * Donald Trump is simultaneously claiming there was massive voter fraud while actively opposing any recounts. * * * * * * * * * I've still got a handful of my Art by Cassiday 2017 wall calendars left -- a new picture every month, plus a bonus on the cover! about a nickel a day! all new dates! holidays free! No presidential election in 2017...although impeachment of the new one is not out of the picture.....$20. contact me here.