Pic of the day, part i: Skiffs on the Yerres, by Gustave Caillebotte
In almost every act of our lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons […] who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.
Edward Bernays, Propaganda
I woke up relatively late for me, at about 8:30 in the morning, fists clenched, left hand extended. My heart was uncharacteristically racing so before I opened my eyes I did some breathing exercises that slowed down my heart rate pretty quickly. The dream I was having just before I got up was quickly leaving my head, but I did remember I was fighting something with my fists, something big, with black wings. Must’ve been a helluva fight, but with consciousness the dream was leaving. I said goodbye as my heart rate slowed.
When my heart rate felt more normal I decided to open my eyes. I blinked once or twice and looked around. I saw my wife next to me, sleeping fitfully, face up, the purple covers neatly wrapped around her. Next to her and between us was a cat. We have two but it’s always the same one that sleeps with us. He looked at me and said “MEW” as means of introduction to the morning. I looked at him quizzically and said nothing, not having a proper response at hand.
To my right there was a hint of sunshine coming through the curtains. The sun was blazing with no clouds, but the thick, dark curtains blocked nearly all the light, save that which got through the small opening that lets the air conditioner that is also behind the curtain cool the room off.
Even with only that small opening, the room was chilly, and it felt very much like a February morning in mid July.
As I went to get up and immediately found I could not. My legs were wrapped in the small covers, and my left shoulder decided that 8:30 am is a great time to cause unbearable pain. After getting my legs disentangled, which was no small feat seeing how some of the covers were actually under them, I got to moving my upper body slowly out of bed. I did my best to not use the hurt shoulder, but I couldn’t do it and let out a small yelp as I tried to get out of bed.
How do you throw out your shoulder fighting someone when you are dreaming? Only me, I think to myself, only I could manage that. I smile through the pain as I pull myself up and out of bed. A sudden blast of cool air hit me as soon as I got to my feet, as the opening that was letting in the small amount of light was letting the very cold air out to room hit me when I stood in front of it.
The chill was not welcome. I moved quickly to get out of the chill. As I reached the door I could feel the temperature rise ever so slightly.
The living room and the hall that preceded it were several degrees warmer. For all that it is July and the weather has been hotter than hell, the warmth is appreciated. As the warmth of July seeps into my cold skin, I go over to the coffee table and reach for the remote control for the television.
Turn on the TV. News network: Crap. Turn the channel. Sports network: More crap. Turn the channel. Business channel: Still more crap. Commercials everywhere. I hate commercials. Trying to sell me things when I can barely walk and hit a button at the same time. Bastards. I look at the TV angrily, saying “Keep yer bullshit to yerselves, unless yer gonna make me coffee. Assholes.”
I dropped the remote on the couch and walk over to make a pot of coffee. But not before tripping over a cat. I only take two careening steps before recovering my balance. One more and my face would have been part of the glass table top. Looking at the cat, I ask “Are you OK, dude?”
Like I’m somehow going to get an intelligible spoken response from the cat. After realizing what I’d just done, I walked away from the cat, after giving him a skritch, and made coffee.
I said “Talking to the cat. I NEED that coffee! How the hell does that happen?” Then a few seconds later I realize I just said that to no one and just hoped I would shut the hell up before someone with working brain cells walked in the room and started to ask intelligent questions regarding my sanity, or lack thereof.
I thought to myself “Maybe I should turn that TV on after all. Might be stupid evil shit on there, but it’s more sane than what the hell I just had happen.” And I walked back to the living room and looked for the remote that I had just put down
To be continued, perhaps …
Pic of the day, part ii: Paris Street in Rainy Weather, by Gustave Caillebotte
If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without them knowing it.
Edward Bernays, Propaganda
That’s it from here, America. G’night.