Chasin’ Rabbits & Poetry

The internet: both blessing and curse.  You can find almost anything on it, given time and imagination, but it sucks your time into a black hole and it’s gone forever.

I’m okay with that.  I feel a calling to make order out of chaos and bring balance to the universe (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it), and the internet is my tool.  And it helps divert me from filling giant holes in the front lawn with tons of topsoil and spreading seed and mulching and watering and cleaning up broken branches and mowing and trimming and…oh…sorry…got carried away.

So anyway, back to making order out of chaos and wasting time.  I blame my brother for this recent one, because I can get away with it.  You see, he posted a thing on Facebook about ways to help you survive falls from great heights.  Because he was wasting time on the internet.  Well, part of that article mentioned James Bond jumping out of an airplane and taking another guy’s parachute away from him which, indeed, helped him survive a fall from a great height.  Not so much for the other guy.  Then there was conjecture about what might have happened to the other guy.

The movie sprang instantly to my mind: “Moonraker.”  I remembered that Jaws survived when his ripcord malfunctioned, and we got into a discussion about how.  Actually, he wasn’t the one who lost his ‘chute to Bond, but we were off and running, chasin’ rabbits, and that became unimportant.  I mistakenly recalled that Jaws landed in a haystack.  My brother mistakenly recalled that he went through the thatched roof of a cottage.  Then he cheated (just before I got around to cheating), got on the internet, and found a reference that said Jaws fell through the top of a circus tent and landed in the trapeze net.

Okay, fine.  Order from chaos achieved.  Universe back in balance.  Wasting time, check.  But now James Bond is in my brain when the Staples commercial comes on TV.  “What’s that tune??” my brain asked at the intro.  “That sounds like one of the Bond theme songs!   YOU MUST FIND IT!!”  And off I went.

This went in fits and spurts over a few days, at least.  The time-wasting was, therefore, at least not all in one chunk.  My first guess was that since this was a melodic and pretty intro tune, perhaps it was from Rita Coolidge singing “All Time High” from “Octopussy.”  Went and found it.  Nope, not the one.  But then the search went on hiatus as necessary chores intruded on my mission.

And being diverted by that gave me time to run across a goofy haiku to post on Facebook, since my main theme there is language and wordplay and humor, and a goofy haiku is hard to beat.

Haikus are easy
But sometimes they don’t make sense

And now haiku is in my brain.  And the compartment walls are weak, and James Bond leaked into haiku, and haiku is what’s behind the title of “You Only Live Twice,” and I scrambled for Google and the opening credit video of Nancy Sinatra singing the title song.  YES!!!  SUCCESS!!!

In the perfect blending of multiple accidental convergences of synaptic vertices, and dumb luck, order was formed out of chaos and all stood explained — my mission was complete.  There was balance in the universe again.

But wait…does this mean Staples stole music from James Bond?  I remember George Harrison losing a copyright infringement case because “My Sweet Lord” sounded like “He’s So Fine” by…who was that?  The Chiffons?  Better go check that out.  But wait…maybe Staples used it by permission…or maybe it’s a case of subconscious plagiarism…maybe I can get on The Google and find out…

NO!!  STOP!!


(Somebody help me….)

But I’m not the only one who’s OCD enough to notice the background music on a Staples commercial and spend days in search of answers, right?



A Good, Hard Look

I try to stay away from political posts because they usually just cause a lot of uproar and seldom convince anybody of anything, and I’m not strongly partisan anyway.  But I wrote this post on Facebook a year ago and it’s something that bears repeating because I haven’t seen a lot of change.  Maybe a little more exposure might help.  What do you think?

We really, really need to take a good, hard look at what we’re doing to ourselves. We’re poisoning our own air…fouling our own nest…pick a cliché, but we’re doing it to ourselves with all the hate we’re spewing at one another just because we have different political philosophies. And it doesn’t make any sense. What’s happening right now is that the pendulum is swinging, just like it always does. If you look back at the political landscape, you just might notice that ever since WWII, with one small exception, we switch the party in charge every 4 to 8 years. Why? Because half the country is conservative, to varying extents, and half is liberal, to varying extents, and a whole bunch in the middle are willing to be swayed a little if somebody has a good argument. The problem is that we’re not hearing as much argument as angry invective. It seems like people are losing sight of the fact that we all have to live together. We need each other. Conservatives need liberals and liberals need conservatives. What would art, theater, literature, and music be without a liberal side? Who would build our roads and skyscrapers, grow our food, put out our fires, and protect our country without the conservative side? Some folks’ heads probably just exploded because I used some generalities, but you know exactly what I’m talking about. How can we be the greatest nation on earth without social justice balanced with safety and security? We’re all paddling along in the same canoe, folks, and if you paddle too long on the left or too long on the right, you drift off your course and there are more and more people getting unhappy about the direction you’re taking. They start paddling on the other side and before you know it, somebody else is in charge of where you’re going. That’s how we do course corrections as a country…switching the parties in control. It keeps us centered and balanced. Sure, it would be a lot easier to just compromise in the first place, but we don’t seem to want to elect people who will do that, so here we are doing the pendulum thing. And everybody already knows all this, right? So why are we treating one another like enemies?? I know about half the people in the country right now are thinking that Donald Trump didn’t deserve to win the election and this could be the end of civilization as we know it…but half the country thought the same thing about Barack Obama 4 years ago, and 8 years ago, and would have thought the same thing about Hillary Clinton if it turned out a little bit different last November. So when you think about it, whatever your political opinion is, half the country usually disagrees with you. And they can’t all be total morons. No, they can’t, and you know it, so think about that if your focus starts to narrow and you start thinking your opinion is the only one that has any worth. What we’re supposed to do when we don’t agree with the people in charge of the country is debate and argue and compromise and try to maintain our sanity and humanity until the next election rolls around and see if we can’t do better next time. But too many people seem to think the “other side” is some lower form of life, and instead of having discussions on pros and cons of political philosophies, they attack others on a personal level. Arguing is fine, but when your arguments are full of anger and hate and you mock, disparage, and belittle others to make your point, you’re being small-minded and mean-spirited…and besides losing my respect and your own credibility, you’re just pumping more poison into the air we all have to breathe. I’m seeing this too much, from both sides of the aisle, from politicians and pundits and actors and so-called “comedians” and “journalists”…and even from my own friends. The violent rhetoric is bad enough, but some people think that justifies violent action and the whole thing is spiraling farther out of control all the time. Maybe we should think a little harder about that while we still can. Maybe instead of acting like third-graders without adult supervision, we can somehow manage a little maturity and refuse to make that sarcastic comeback. Refuse to “like” hateful Facebook posts. Refuse to re-tweet comments full of contempt and scorn. Maybe if we refuse to feed the hate, it’ll die. At least a little. It’s worth a try, isn’t it?

This Could Be The Start Of Something Weird

Hi!  Welcome!  Good to see ya!  My name is J.J. Probasco and I write stuff.  I’ve sorta figgered that part out — how well is up to y’all, but isn’t really the point right now.  What I’m doing now is something entirely alien to me, one of the Great Mysteries of Life: setting up a web site.  I hear it’s enough to make me appear all sophisticated & refined, and make oodles of agents pay attention to me, and good things like that.  So I’m a-goin’ for it, though it’s apparently a task that requires learning new stuff and paying attention, and ain’t no tellin’ where that will lead.  So this is gonna be pretty interesting and most likely time-consuming, and I appreciate you being patient and holding back a few of the catcalls while I learn these tangled ropes and make this thing happen.

I confess. . .I’m only halfway out of the cave and have tons to learn about widgets and sidebars and links and tags and all those mysterious things, but I suspect I’ll have it figured out before Christmas how to post my stories and commentaries and miscellaneous spewings, and link them to Facebook, and link posts from other people who know what they’re doing, and all kinds of stuff.  Don’t hold your breath, but surely it has to happen sooner or later.  Some of it might even be worthy of note. . .you never know.  But it looks like I’m gonna start flailing around and making a mess anyway, so beware but laugh all you want.

In the meantime, a primary goal was to make it possible, and hopefully easy, to buy my recently-published novel in paperback form with my not-yet-legendary signature, if a purchaser would be so inclined, with a credit card.  Some have actually asked, and I’m here to serve.  To my great fascination, I may have actually made that materialize somehow over on my “Books” page.  So if you happen to visit that page and notice that I did manage to make anything. . .anything at all. . .work yet, please pause in wonder and delight for just a few moments, ’cause you just gotta cherish those successes when you find ’em.

And while you’re there, I’d be okay with you trying out that “Buy Now” button if you do get the urge.

Thanks, and see ya in the spin!