Saturday, March 23, 2013

Murder, Grammar, and Dead Ducks ,,,,,,!!!!!????

I'd like to start today off with a grammar rant.  I'd like to talk about ",,,,,," and "???????" and maybe some "!!!!!!" for good measure.

Let's start with the obvious one--the multiple commas.  Like that MEANS anything.  What does that mean?  Is it like stage direction, indicating a particularly long and meaningful pause?  Like a POWER pause?   Because we already have ellipses and commas and semi-colons that do the job super-nice without making you look like you've gone twitchy on the comma button.  Perhaps this is "text speak," but it's creeping into more formal written communications, and it's making people look like . . . well, like texting children.  Who haven't quite mastered the written language.

Now, let's talk about "?????" and "!!!!!!!" for a second.  We all know what "?" and "!" mean.  So are the multi-packs indicative of MORE?  How can you be MORE inquisitive than inquisitive?  What, it's not just a question, it's a SUPER-question?  If you're trying to communicate interrogative disgust, "Are you KIDDING me?" is usually pretty effective.  On the "!!!!!!" front?  Okay, you're excited.  You're REALLY excited!  You're MEGA-excited!  Fine, use two.  But dang, please stop with the 10+ exclamation points, wouldja?  Nobody's that excited without dancing on the edge of cardiac arrest.

This came across my Facebook feed yesterday.  Would be funny if it weren't so close to the truth these days.


I've been following the news about the toddler shot in his stroller by muggers near Atlanta.  Checked out the Facebook page of one of the accused.  His "about" blurb? "ME IN MY NI**A"S A TURN UR BLO5K IN TO MURDER SCENE"  (the ** are mine, to keep from getting grief from Blogspot).  The photos?  All baggy pants down past his ass and gang signs and obscene gestures.  All "thuggin" and "thug4life fo sho."  Class act, typical.  STEREO-typical.  Living DOWN to that awful stereotype.  Exactly who you would expect to do what was done.

We have a problem.  We have areas in this country that are absolutely disconnected from humanity.  So bogged down in poverty, in substandard education, in violence, drugs, and stupidity. We have one generation of people lost to this rearing the next generation, which will rear the next.  It's self-perpetuating, and this sort of festering gob is what it produces.  We can't just build a fence or a wall--one, that's crap, and two, no such thing as a "forever" fence.  We need to stop futzing around and sort this disaster out before it's too late.  You should SEE the writing of this kid, of his friends and family--barely literate, barely even comprehensible.  It's like a swamp with utterly turned around ideals and goals and ideas of what is and isn't intelligent or right.  Posts hailing a small child dressed as a gang member, calling her "lil thug girl" and proclaiming "SHE A STR8 THUGGG ! ... LOL!" and "lil cuzz killin idth !!"  Some of the posts demanding, in the most broken excuse for English, that the accused be released because "he din do nuthin, crackrs!!"  Seriously.  We need to fix it--it's hurting ALL of us.  Not just the poor little boy who is dead, not just his devastated mother.  We are ALL diminished by this, and allowing poverty and horror and prideful stupidity to take hold in our streets and separate us is what's brought it into being.

We need to fix this.

I'd post a horrific rap video one of the accused killer's friends posted to his wall--all about killing these folks and killing those folks and mutha this and mutha that, but I do actually try to keep things somewhat "clean" here.  Kid's not hard to find, though.  Look him up if you're curious.  As an example of what I'm talking about, here's a snippet from his page, going back to the dressing little girls up as gang bangers:

"Omg ! Ni Av'yianna .... U kno better she look ah hot mess today my granny hve her lookin me kinda way and idk whe she get this fang banging Frm I love her doe she look so throwed away today! Ugh"

 English?  Mmmm, I don't know.  What I DO know is that THIS is what our poorer-area schools are turning out.  What good does that do us?  Seriously, even if we're not going to look at the lives and the prospects of these poor, barely literate, barely understandable kids, let's look at what good it does SOCIETY to have schools acting as holding pens and pumping out illiterates, many of whom are caught on the "high school to prison" assembly line.  What good do we get from this?

NONE.  NO good.  So let's fix it.


Hubby and son are off to play paintball today.  Breathtakingly expensive, but it's the BIG b'day present for our boy.  Was supposed to be last weekend, but it was rainy, windy, and in the low 40s.  Today?  Sunny and fifties.  That's better.  I want it to be a good time for him.  It's something he's wanted to do for a couple of years, and it's not something we'll be able to afford again until around Christmas, most likely.  I hope it's everything he wanted it to be.

The Paintball Layout

Do you like duck?  You know, like eating duck?  I ask because I had a hellish ducksperience when I was a kid.  My dad came home from hunting with two dead ducks and made me pluck them in the kitchen sink.  I was maybe eight?  It took hours, it was horrifying.  See, I liked duck--I liked seeing them fly, I liked feeding them at the pond, I loved finding the stray feather here and there; stuck them in my hatband, called it "lucky."  This?

This was a nightmare.  And my dad kept coming in, checking my progress, and telling me I needed to do better.  I was missing things.  I was messing it up.  I was breaking off feathers instead of cleanly plucking them.  For hours, this went on.  Finally, my dad took over.  Angrily.

I've never liked duck, meal-wise.  But I hadn't had it since my first husband totally screwed one up by COOKING IT IN THE MICROWAVE.  Understand, this was winter of 1983.  Yeah, not quite the defining era of microwave cooking technology.

So, when hubby ordered duck with our Chinese meal a while back, I decided to give it a shot.  I mean, it had been almost 30 years since the microwave disaster, and it had been almost 40 years since the plucking nightmare.  I figured it'd be palatable, at least--after all, it was drenched in orange sauce, right?


I never even got past the smell.  I don't know what other people smell when they get a whiff of cooked duck in orange sauce, but I smell blood and metal and dead and feathers.  I didn't even perceive the orange or other things--just the gore.  It was intense, it was immediate, and it was gut-wrenching.

No way that's just an emotional thing--not when I haven't smelled it in decades.  No, this somehow indelibly marked my neurons, changed my brain in some way.  It was horrifying, and I felt bad because it was my husband's dinner and I literally recoiled, gasped, and clapped my hands over my face.  I said terrible things.  And he had to eat it!

I was going to post a pic of a duck being plucked,
but turns out I don't have the stomach for it.


Watched a documentary the other night, name of "Kumaré."  In a nutshell, it's about a guy who's had it with religion and had it with the gullibility of people, and so, as an experiment, he starts his own religion.  Or, rather, he borrows heavily from eastern/Indian traditions and adds in his own completely nonsensical gobbledygook.  I won't tell you how it goes or where it ends up.  I will tell you that some of it is painful to watch because there are people who are so pathetically, desperately dependent on being told what is, what to do, what to think, and how to see the world.  People who cannot exist without believing in some supernatural this or that--like they can't just trust themselves, they have to be led.  It was sometimes funny in a not-nice way, and sometimes heartbreaking in a very human way.  I enjoyed it.  Here's the poster--it's a link, too:


Still no red paneling.  I suck.

Do not reprint without permission. © KAQ


  1. I have accidentally used ,,,,,, when I meant ...., but it was just a typo that I didn't notice because the screen was too small, or because I didn't proofread. I know the difference though, and I have been seeing it happen often enough that I think that some people don't know that it's wrong. Kind of like people that write "ect" when they mean "etc." for example.
    I remember back when the idea of "Ebonics" was being floated around, I think they were talking about teaching it in schools? Or that teachers needed to speak it so that they could communicate with their students? Well, I disagreed with the idea. My black, educated, English-speaking coworker thought it was a good idea. She made me feel racist for not going along with it. My stance is that it's slang, it's a dialect, and while it is okay to talk to your friends and family in your cultural dialect, it's not what school is for. It does us all a disservice, as you say, to not teach English in school. We all deserve to graduate knowing how to speak and write and be understood. I know that I'm not racist, either. My first experience with dialect that was hard for me to understand came from small town Oklahoma, in the form of a child with stunted growth and stained teeth from the chewing tobaccy his father gave him. Their family had chickens and ducks that shared their home. They were as white as it gets. I'm sure their teachers were teaching proper English, but at the same time, they could get away with not speaking properly because everyone in the community could understand them, even if they didn't all talk that way themselves.
    On the Kumare topic, I haven't seen it, but isn't that how Scientology was started? L. Ron Hubbard purposely made it up to prove that it can be done, and it just took off, because he was right. I don't know if you remember the Genesis Project in Ogden? It's a non-denominational church that meets in the old Gold's Gym building on 12th street. Everyone I know that goes to that church are unstable, psychologically damaged individuals. I don't think the church did it to them, because they've all talked about mental problems they had and how the church has helped them, but I believe their mental and emotional disabilities are what predisposed them to the religious mentality. People that need to be shown how to live, need to be led. It is sad, but maybe in some ways we're safer when folks that stupid have some kind of instructions rather than being left on their own?

    1. I think the danger comes when the almost inevitable manipulation comes. People who assume they can't lead themselves, that they have to make things all mystical and magical, are wide open to be fooled, to be played. I know the church, Tommy has a Facebook friend who's a member, and yeah, folks of that variety tend to gravitate. I find it depressing, feel they'd be better served by a mental health system that was affordable and effective rather than using fairy tales to seduce and mollify.

  2. Just an answer to your question. Yes, my son finally got his passport. He leaves on April 12th., but he applied for the renewal last November.

    1. I'm glad it came through! Wishing him all the good fortune--I hope he has a wonderful time and it pans out into everything he hopes for!