Bruce Garrett Cartoon
The Cartoon Gallery

A Coming Out Story
A Coming Out Story

My Photo Galleries
New and Improved!

Past Web Logs
The Story So Far archives

My Amazon.Com Wish List

My Myspace Profile

Bruce Garrett's Profile
Bruce Garrett's Facebook profile


Blogs I Read!
Alicublog

Wayne Besen

Box Turtle Bulletin

Daily Kos

Mike Daisy's Blog

The Disney Blog

Disney Gossip

Brad DeLong

Dispatches From The Culture Wars

Epcot Explorer's Encyclopedia

Envisioning The American Dream

Eschaton

Ex-Gay Watch

Hullabaloo

Joe. My. God

Made In Brazil

Peterson Toscano

Progress City USA

Slacktivist

Slacktiverse

SLOG

Fear the wrath of Sparky!

Truth Wins Out Blog

Wil Wheaton



Gone But Not Forgotten

The Rittenhouse Review

Steve Gilliard's News Blog

Steve Gilliard's Blogspot Site



Great Cartoon Sites!

Howard Cruse Central

Tripping Over You
Tripping Over You

XKCD

Commando Cody Monthly

Scandinavia And The World

Dope Rider

The World Of Kirk Anderson

Ann Telnaes' Cartoon Site

Bors Blog

John K

Penny Arcade




Other News & Commentary

Amtrak In The Heartland

Corridor Capital

Railway Age

Maryland Weather Blog

Foot's Forecast

All Facts & Opinions

Baltimore Crime

Cursor

HinesSight

Page One Q
(GLBT News)


Michelangelo Signorile

The Smirking Chimp

Talking Points Memo

Truth Wins Out

The Raw Story

Slashdot




International News & Views

BBC

NIS News Bulletin (Dutch)

Mexico Daily

The Local (Sweden)




News & Views from Germany

Spiegel Online

The Local

Deutsche Welle

Young Germany




Fun Stuff

It's not news. It's FARK

Plan 59

Pleasant Family Shopping

Discount Stores of the 60s

Retrospace

Photos of the Forgotten

Boom-Pop!

Comics With Problems

HMK Mystery Streams




Mercedes Love!

Mercedes-Benz USA

Mercedes-Benz TV

Mercedes-Benz Owners Club of America

MBCA - Greater Washington Section

BenzInsider

Mercedes-Benz Blog

BenzWorld Forum

November 12th, 2019

But It’s Pronounced Throatwobbler Mangrove. . .

by Bruce | Link | React!

November 4th, 2019

I Am Being Polite You Mentally Ill Abomination…

Le Dance Pathetique…as choreographed by Virginia Human Rights Commissioner Kenick El

Un…

This is why we need to stop giving men in dresses passes.

Deux…

I have daughters and I won’t accept them sharing a restroom with a grown man suffering from this mental illness

Trois…

Men trying to be women and women trying to be men is really confusing our children…

Quatre…

…and I’m tired of seeing this nonsense promoted to our children.

Cinq…

Homosexuality is a mental illness and should be treated as such.

Six…

Homosexuality is an abomination to the Human Race and it corrupts the hermetic principle of gender by interfering with the laws of nature just to gratify the lower self.

Sept…

I felt like it was very important for me just to express my views on my page in a very sincere, polite manner.

 

Le Curtain…Applaus a vous…

by Bruce | Link | React!

June 9th, 2019

Responsibility: Yours Whether You Want It Or Not

So I’m told, once upon a time in the old west, some good folks decided executing criminals was an act they could not morally put upon another human. To make someone into an executioner, even if the sentence was arrived at in a completely legal and prudent way, was morally wrong. So they devised a system, whereby the condemned would be made to stand on a trap door, the noose around their neck, and their weight would cause a valve to open and water would drain out of a bucket until a lever dropped far enough the trap door would open and the sentence was carried out. There…no human hand pulled the lever, so nobody had that death on their hands. It was the condemned’s own weight that did it. Our hands are clean. We are not responsible.

One of my first jobs as a contract software developer was at my local utility company’s household appliances division, which sold and serviced everything from washing machines to central heating and air conditioning systems. A couple years into the work I was tasked with developing a work measurement reporting system for the field technicians, to work in conjunction with the new mobile data terminals they were installing in the field technician’s trucks. The idea, as it was told to me, was to treat each field technician as a “virtual business”. Track what the expenses were in terms of parts and labor, track the revenue in terms of billing and whether it was a warranty job.

The techs who were, luckily for them, unionized, forced considerations as to the difficulty of the work, and the skills of the technician. If you only did a few jobs that week, but they were among the most demanding, that was factored into the system. It took them 18 months to reach an agreement as to how the system should measure the profitability of the field technicians. I gave them a system that crunched the numbers from their mobile data terminals, the warranty system and the payroll system, just the way they spec’ed it out. But by then it was starting to make me a bit nervous. I was still pretty new at this trade, but I’d started at it by building my own computers from parts and teaching myself how to write programs, and I knew intuitively that there was nothing really all that special about them. They were machines, just with transistors instead of gears and motors. Bazillions of transistors that could do bazillions of calculations in a fraction of a second…but still machines. Tools, in other words. Helpful when used right, dangerous when used carelessly. 

Under all this was the utility company trying to prove that it wasn’t subsidising their household appliances division from the utility side of the company which was a protected monopoly. The appliance division technicians could also do utility side work when needed, or when they didn’t have any appliance work to do that week. All the independent contractors hated the big utility company for this because it gave the utility company a massive competitive advantage over them. Which of course, it denied.

Until they saw the first run of my reporting system. So I was told later, jaws dropped in the boardroom when they saw how much the utility side was actually subsidising the household appliances division. So plans were made to spin it off, before state regulators stepped in.

And then the layoffs came. And they used my reporting system to tell them who were the most costly and least productive field technicians to lay off. And I kept telling anyone who would listen that you can’t just blindly let a blind, deterministic, computer algorithm substitute for managerial judgement. But who listens to a little computer geek? So I saw a lot of good people get laid off, and a few not so good ones stay on board. One really nice guy, who always had a smile for me whenever we crossed paths in the hallways, died so I was told, when he had a heart attack just a couple days after being laid off. He was at the dinner table with the rest of his family and suddenly keeled over. I think about this. Lots.

This is Silicon Valley’s biggest blind spot. Well…this and libertarianism, which is so closely related they might as well be one and the same. Just get the algorithm right and everything magically takes care of itself.  It was my own hallucination back in my Ayn Rand days. We can reduce it all to just a few simple rules and presto…civilization just happens! But no. Computers can crunch the data, but then again garbage in garbage out. In my trade we say beware the hidden assumptions in a system. What do you know, and how do you know it? There are no substitutes for human judgement.

Or to put it another way: you can’t escape responsibility by off loading it onto a computer. Or a bucket of water.

Link to article Here.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Responsibility: Yours Whether You Want It Or Not

May 24th, 2019

Yeah…that…

Aaannd… She’s back. And I’m feeding her again. And I put out a freshly washed blanket for her. Because I’m a sucker.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Yeah…that…

March 10th, 2019

He’ll Be Selling Them In His Hotel Any Day Now

Via Facebook friend John Becker…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on He’ll Be Selling Them In His Hotel Any Day Now

April 11th, 2018

Time To Bring Bert The Turtle Out Of Retirement…

Seeing this in my newsfeed gives me all the warm fuzzies…

Trump Has Told Syria And Russia To “Get Ready” For A Missile Strike

All those Duck and Cover drills I did in grade school might just come in handy after all…

 

All you people who mocked the rest of us with those the lesser of two evils is still evil memes…I’ll be thinking of you when the missiles start flying…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Time To Bring Bert The Turtle Out Of Retirement…


Free Advice From Someone Who Hates You

At the top of my Google US News Section this morning…

Oh my…the National Review is worried about democratic messaging and just wants to help. This my friends, is a textbook example of what they call Concern Trolling.

 

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Free Advice From Someone Who Hates You

December 20th, 2017

“A Generation Of Sociopaths”…And Other Lazy Ignorant Stereotypes…

I was raised, as I’ve said often, by a single divorced mother. I’m not relating this to wear it like a badge, but offering it as explanation. The attitudes, mindsets, and behaviors we express in our everyday lives may well have their biological roots…as in for example the fact that I’m gay…but they’re almost certainly flavored by our life experiences. Different metals behave differently in the fire, but still the fire changes us.

It makes throwing labels around at people problematic. I understand the human need to identify, categorize, sort, put a name on things the better to understand them. But what you must always keep in mind, what Jacob Bronowski clarified for me in his Science and Human Values essays, is the concepts by which we understand nature are always imprecise and imperfect. You have to treat them with humility. What is a planet?

By this stage of my life I suppose I should be used to having labels slapped on me, and all the baggage that comes with them. In grade school I got the problem child label simply for being raised in a “broken home”. Among various family members I was granted the label of being my father’s son, and dad having died robbing a bank that label came with its own lovely baggage set. My maternal grandmother’s favorite name for me (when mom couldn’t hear it) was Stinking Rotten Good For Nothing Garrett Just Like Your Pap…not exactly something that’ll fit on checks or credit cards.

For being a slight somewhat girlish kid in grade school I received a variety of labels. Mom and I lived a very low budget life…another set of labels. In my senior year I came out to myself and earned the gay label, and all the ancillary labels that came with it that Facebook would probably censor if I posted them here. Ever since I can remember I’ve had the urge, the need, to express myself in various forms of art and Artist is the only label I’d willingly apply to myself except it feels so damn pretentious. But there are others: Cartoonist, Painter, Photographer. Sometimes I wear one of those. I took up building my own computers and programming them…another set of labels. I read a lot. I pay attention to political events. I like to travel. I like to explore. Nerd. Geek. Tourist. Wonk. I’m in my 60s. There’s geezer. Old man. Computers have allowed me to suddenly, late in my life, earn a good income. There’s Yuppy. I drive a Mercedes-Benz. There’s Bourgeois. It’s a diesel. There’s nerd again. I should be used to it by now. But it’s not the labels, it’s the baggage that comes with them. You want me to stick the Ignorant label on you, apply a label to me and then expect me to wear the baggage that comes with it. Especially this one: Boomer.

I used to wear it without too much discomfort. That nerd label…I saw it as merely a statistical description. I was born in 1953, so I am part of the post war baby boom, so I am a boomer. My generation was the reason so many new schools had to be built. So far, so good. But where once I was a trailing edge boomer, benefiting from the struggles of the older kids ahead of me that allowed me to wear blue jeans and long hair in school, suddenly one day I realized I was being lumped in with kids born in the 60s as though we all had the same culture, the same life experiences. Boomer. Never mind the political baggage. Anyone with half a brain who walks through life with their eyes wide open and their mind still curious cannot help but see how generational labels are as superficial and misleading as any other. There’s a history here that separates us Kennedy era boomers from the Reagan era ones, and I can sum it up with the name of a country: Vietnam.

Some years ago I’m quietly standing at the balcony rail of the outdoor smoker’s lounge of one of D.C.’s gay bars, puffing on a mini-cigar. A cute young guy walks over to me and gives me a look…

Me: Hi.

He: Are you a throwback?

Me: Sorry?

He: You lived through the sixties?  You know…the hippies and that stuff…?

Me: Yeah…but I wasn’t a Hippy.  There were a lot of different things going on back then.  Most of us were just along for the ride.

He: I know…I’ve read all the books.

Me: Throwback?

He: You know…from back then…

Me: I don’t understand your use of the term.

He: You’re about my mother’s age…

Well I hope “all the books” weren’t published by the same people who make biology textbooks for Liberty University.

Perhaps Ezra Klein and Sean Illing read the same ones. Klein this morning retweeted gleefully this Vox article: “How the baby boomers — not millennials — screwed America” Subtitled: “The boomers inherited a rich, dynamic country and have gradually bankrupted it.”

So I go to look and right there at the top of the page is…Oh Goodness There They Are…


Screen cap of Klein’s tweet…this is the photo that leads the article

…The Dirty F*cking Hippies “…dancing during an anti-war demonstration staged by the Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam at Golden Gate Park’s Kezar Stadium on April 15, 1967.” I’ll just bet they’re all smoking acid too. You two have read all the books…right? I haven’t seen such lazy cheapshit stereotyping since the last time I read an article on The Federalist about Teh Gay.

Illing’s article promotes A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America by Bruce Gibney. “The boomers, according to Gibney, have committed “generational plunder,” pillaging the nation’s economy, repeatedly cutting their own taxes, financing two wars with deficits, ignoring climate change, presiding over the death of America’s manufacturing core, and leaving future generations to clean up the mess they created.”

The boomers. The boomers. The boomers. I was raised by a divorced single working mother. My dad died trying to rob a bank. I grew up in a series of small apartments, wearing mostly second-hand clothes and going to public school, where in the 1960s, because I was the product of a “broken home” I was treated like a problem child even though I was pretty well behaved. That didn’t change until high school. I was the first male in dad’s side of the family to finish grade school and get a diploma. I did three semesters of community college and then had to go to work to support mom and me. For most of my life I had no idea how I was going to earn a living and resigned myself to a low income life lived in rooms rented in other people’s houses. Before I started earning a good living as a software developer I had no car, and no prospects. Seen from within, the life I am living now seems an absolute miracle to me. And I look at what the republicans and their billionaire money teats are doing to All Of Us let alone the next generation with a dull horror, Because I Led That Life, I can imagine perfectly well what it could easily have become had I not had the lucky break that allowed me to escape it, and I don’t want it happening to Anyone Else.

But no…I’m a boomer. And a Dirty F*cking Hippy. Who was doing Manpower temp jobs and living with mom when I was the age Klein and Illing are now, and I am a sociopath who doesn’t care who he’s screwing out of a future.

Whatever. If playing Wall Street’s game of Blame The Other Guy We’re Screwing Too works for Vox, Klein, Illing et. al. then fine. Enjoy the cheap thrills of the blame game while I watch people who wish to bury the past, and people who’ve read all the books, keep on grimly repeating it. And…pay attention now…I don’t particularly care if people who don’t know me from Adam hate me for being something I can’t help being. I was fine with that even before I knew that I am gay. I learned how not to give a flying f*ck about that even before my grade school teachers told me I was a problem child because my mother was divorced. I learned how not to care long before all that, while being hated, or at best patronized, by members of my own family for being my father’s son. And I will not wear your goddamned labels, and I will not carry your goddamned baggage. Go to hell.

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on “A Generation Of Sociopaths”…And Other Lazy Ignorant Stereotypes…

May 31st, 2017

The Internet Highway This Morning

covfefe south of the boarder

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Internet Highway This Morning

April 29th, 2017

Onions Onions La La La…

I feel sorry for this guy. Really.

Middle-Age-Waiter-Going-Nowhere

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Onions Onions La La La…

April 4th, 2017

Great Folks, For A Bunch Of Cocksuckers…

Le Dance Pathetique…as choreographed by Alex Jones…

Un…

“In fact, let me say this right now. Let me tell — I’m not against gay people. OK. I love them, they’re great folks…”

Deux…

“But Schiff looks like the archetypal c**ksucker with those little deer-in-the-headlight eyes and all his stuff.”

Trois…

“And there’s something about this fairy, hopping around, bossing everybody around, trying to intimidate people like me and you…”

Quatre…

“He’s sucking globalist dick.”

 

Le Curtian…Applaus a vous…

 

(More on Le Dance Pathetique here.)

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Great Folks, For A Bunch Of Cocksuckers…

March 11th, 2017

Question Death

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Question Death

September 21st, 2016

Pawn to Drama Queen Seven

If Facebook is good for nothing else, it keeps your memories from being gaslighted pretty damn well…

drama_queen

 

Funny how so many of my gay male rites of passage revolve around a certain someone. I didn’t say at the time who it was that called me that, but it didn’t  occur to me at the time to wonder why he would occasionally lapse  into gay guy talk so easily around me.  

#aufwiedersomething…

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Pawn to Drama Queen Seven

July 25th, 2016

I, Tool

In 1980, little Libertarian dweeb me voted for Ed Clark. Embarrassment keeps me from naming his running mate. I seriously believed I was helping a new movement which would transform America. We didn’t get Libertarian government (thank goodness), but we did get Ronald Reagan, who kicked off his presidency by breaking the air traffic controller’s union with the help of military air traffic controllers. I was shocked. Nonetheless,I did it again in 1984, voting for Bergland and Lewis. I was dedicated to the cause. I was a useful tool.

My awakening from my Libertarian slumber began in 1986 when Hardwick v. Bowers came down, and nearly all my fellow freedom fighters gave it their hosannas. Freedom it seemed, ended at the state line. That was June. In July of that year came the moment, though I didn’t know it at the time, which  I will always regard the climax of Reagan’s presidency: the moment he laughed at Bob Hope’s AIDS joke during the re-dedication of the Statue of Liberty. In a nutshell, that was everything about the Reagan years. I was a useful tool.

Maybe there simply weren’t enough votes for Carter back in 1980, or Mondale in ’84, for those of us who voted third party to have made a difference anyway. But Reagan taught me a lesson about politics, one which the Sage of Baltimore neatly summed up when he said an idealist is someone who, upon noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes it will make a better soup.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on I, Tool

June 10th, 2016

Ah…Memories…Now Where’s That Eternal Sunshine When You Need It??

Facebook sends me little daily invitations to see my “Facebook Memories” for that particular day. And I usually dive in to see what I was up to one, two, three, as many years back as I have posts for that day. Some go back as far as the year I joined. This morning, this post from exactly one year ago came up…

1_year_later

I remember this. It was one of those times I didn’t actually say to him I was coming down. Whenever I just appeared and it hadn’t been previously discussed in email, he would be delighted to see me and we’d chat for over an hour after the restaurant closed. But when I said I was coming I always got the cold shoulder. It wasn’t hard to figure out why. And I began to feel suffocated. When you have to self censor everything you say just to hold a superficial conversation for the privilege of being held at arm’s length except when it was safe to actually treat me as a friend and classmate, it’s time to move on. So I pressed the nuclear button. Because sometimes nuclear war can be a beautiful thing.  Just ask General Sherman…

 

sherman_goes_nuclear

And it was. Fuckinn’ Beautiful. However my target wasn’t Dallas. I have no beef with Dallas, other than it takes forever to drive past it.

Thank you for the memory Facebook. Now I can remember all of it and not wonder if I was just imagining things. He said I was creeping him out. And I fired back with nearly ten years of letters, emails and the memories of all those hours long phone conversations we had back when phone conversations were allowed, and every time that I stood at his threshold and he smiled into my eyes, and all the times we spent together, back in high school, and then thirty three years later, and it seemed like only yesterday, to throw back into the fireball, laughing, laughing breathlessly.

I said things we’d spoken of Many Times before, back when our conversations were private. But now they weren’t and that was a line I was told not to cross. So I did. Almost ten years we would chat by email, and for a brief while by letter and phone, and I would come visit now and then, and he could have sent me away at any time if it was creeping him out and he didn’t. He was the one who insisted I come down there. We were chatting on the phone and I said I was taking a road trip and he asked me why I wasn’t visiting that part of America because it was my heritage and all that. So I did. And we met in person for the first time in thirty three years and that was after we’d been chatting by letter and phone and then email about everything he said creeped him out. And all the times he asked me to stay a little while longer.

And then it’s I creep him out is it?

bender_laugh

Always laugh when you press the nuclear button. Total annihilation of a relationship can be Fuckinn’ Beautiful if you do it right.

Sherman Goes Nuclear
Everything burns…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Ah…Memories…Now Where’s That Eternal Sunshine When You Need It??

Visit The Woodward Class of '72 Reunion Website For Fun And Memories, WoodwardClassOf72.com


What I'm Currently Reading...




What I'm Currently Watching...




What I'm Currently Listening To...




Comic Book I've Read Recently...



web
stats

This page and all original content copyright © 2015 by Bruce Garrett. All rights reserved. Send questions, comments and hysterical outbursts to: bruce@brucegarrett.com

This blog is powered by WordPress and is hosted at MomoWeb. Some custom design was done by Winters Web Works. Some embedded content was created with the help of Adobe Photoshop for MacOS and/or The Gimp. I proof with Firefox on either Windows, Linux or MacOS depending on which machine I happen to be running at the time.