My FaceBook Banishment

This was written sometime in early December, 2019. I posted it on my page, so as to not lose it, and then sent it to every one on my “friend” list I could remember. The list itself of course was lost, as recounted below. The list wasn’t more than seventy or so people. I think I remembered about forty. I think twenty-five or so have responded by now. As I think of people, I continue to request friendship of them. My blog, though, is about to change. Stay tuned.

This is not a scam.
Facebook banned me around the end of November 2019, accusing me of abuse and other forms of moral torpitude. Maybe I was hacked. Maybe I was the victim of an interstellar conspiracy, but I couldn’t contact Facebook to find out anything about it so we’ll never know. To me, this is nothing but crazy bullshit. Doubtless, something went down and there was some purpose behind it, but that’s all I’ll ever know. After trying five or six approaches I gave up and started over as Paul Hugh Freedman. When I tried to open my old “Paul Freedman” thingy, it opened. But my entire”friend” roster has been wiped out. I sent everyone I could remember a new request. As time passes and I remember the others, I’ll send requests to them, too. I had of course posted this on my FB page, but it’s been deleted. I think FB now deletes stuff after some time – deletes it from public access. They keep it somewhere, though. They can always retrieve it. Just you can’t.
I’m going to get a beer.


Food stamps

I am destitute. Don’t have a dime, living on my Social Security check, crawling from day to day and making it I don’t know how.

My daughter, a good, loving offspring works successfully in The System. Unlike me, she has become enured to its spiritual violence. (If you don’t know what I mean, then you are, too. At a certain level I envy you.) She has taken on The System on my behalf.

An hour ago I got a phone call from the NJ Board of Social Services. They conducted an interview of me, which constituted my application for food stamps. At its conclusion the interviewer asked what had become of my existing food-stamp card, issued in 2014. As I had never had a food-stamp card in my posession, I couldn’t tell her. She told me I had to inform the Food Stamp Card Replacement Hotline that this card was lost, so that they could cancel it prior to issuing me a new one. I had to ask her for a phone number for them. She gave it to me without looking it up.

I called the FSCR Hotline, selected the proper option and was asked for my case number. Since my case had been created by my daughter and no one had mentioned it, I had no idea what this number could be. The nice lady accepted my Social Security number and went off to retrieve the case.

When she returned, she told me to call the NJ Board of Social Services and inform them that I had reported the FSCR card for cancellation, so that they could issue me a replacement.

The NJ Board etc. received my statement. The nice lady who received it acknowledged that I had delivered it and told me I would receive mail from them telling me what their decision would be concerning my application.

At first, I was dumbfounded at the back-and-forth phone calls. It seemed so archaic. In fact, it did hearken back to an era of paper files, of taking a form from one office to the next, having it initialed and eventually carrying it back to the original office for final excecution and filing. But it wasn’t that at all. My spavined legs were not abused by marble-floored halls and standing in line. I got to sit in my own rooms, progressing on my own tasks while still attending to the business of bureaucracy. I was informed of every step in the process and was able to confirm each step as it was taken with no loss of time or efficiency on any part. In the end, it was the finest evolution of process I have ever seen. I hope one day to meet the devisors of this procedure, shake their hands, and publicly thank them for their effort.

One last reflection:
When my interviewer had first mentioned my posessiing a food-stamp card, I told her the only time I could recall applying for food stamps was in 2017. I had been told then that my Social Security monthly payment exceeded their guidelines for food stamp disbursal by something like $15/month and I was therefore ineligible for their program. In that visit to the NJ Board etc, no mention was made of any previous contact of me with the NJ Board.


Freedmania: A Statement of Substance

Happy New Year.

Some years ago, a friend of mine was directing a commercial shooting in Florida. The Director of Photography was local of Puerto Rican extraction.

My friend had just met the DP that morning. The shot involved camera moves, and the talent ws also moving. Still, it was taking a little longer than usual to get it right. My friend asked the DP if there was anything he could do to help. No, he was assured. The shot would be in the can momentarily. And so it was.

While the next shot was being set, the DP approached my friend.

“You know, I never wander far from the basic truths,” he said. “If you focu’ before you shoot, everything’s beautiful. But: if you shoot and then you focu’, ugh. No good. And nothing will fix it.”

I’m told, in order to have success blogging, my blog must have a focus.

  1. Perfect eyesight. The numbers imply focus, that I can distinguish the appropriate number of adjascent black lines on a white background twenty feet distant.

Once I’ve written this line I’ll google “2020” and see what it says. I do that a lot. Guess, then verify. If I’m not doing that, then lots of time I’m playing solitaire. My concessionn to socialization is to re-learn to play chess. The concession actually comes later. Once I’ve won a couple of games against the computer I plan to play a human or so.

Ye sweet jesus. Even Google.

A digression:
Here’s a handy hint to you programmers out there. When/If you turn to making very large market apps, (browsers, business software, design applications), do not program them to do people favors. I am writing from a case-in-point.

Like many people who use computers a lot, I am easily distracted. Like I said I would do, after I wrote “or so” above, I googled “2020”. I was offered subchoices of “new year”, “impeachment”, I don’t know what else, but in five or seven choices none related to vision. Fortunately, Google recognizes that they are not omniscient and do not lock users into choosing only from their array. I could immediately punch in my own choice.

Also Google’s mechanism is not patronizing. What they listed undoubtedly reflected a hundred or five hundred thousand most recent searches. I should expect by now fewer people to favor my references than many others. My apologies. I will dilate on “processors doing favors” at another time. For now, back to what was on my mind.

Surprise. It’s ME.

I don’t think I’ve ever had myself in focus before this. That assessment’s endorsed by the fact that I’ve never had that thought before, never felt this clear, more competent or confident.

Now, everything is conected. So I have no hesitation – rather, I’m positive – that the upcoming non-sequitur is utterly relevant, and I’m willing to make the connection clear to you even over your objections (which I do not expect.) Let’s see if I do.

Recently, I’ve been reciting a quote of Peter O’Toole’s.

“When did I decide I was God? I was praying, and I suddenly realized I was talking to myself.”

As far as I know, all current recognized religions are monotheistic. I’ve looked everywhere. All buildings that resemble Egyptian temples are Shriner’s halls, of that I’m sure. Possibly one or two Hopi kivas are acceptable to devotees but New York’s schools’ve never been closed for Hopi religious festivals, so who knows?



Chapter XVI

Andrew Jackson has travelled forward in time. Landing in 2019, he attends a Presidential press conference with his host, Matt Loveless.

host : Please, sir. Comport yourself with dignity while the President is speaking.
AJ : Son, why do you persist in calling that one ‘President’?
host : Because he is.
AJ : Of the US?
host : Yes.
AJ : Well, if that don’t beat all … Come on. That can’t be the President. He doesn’t know what he’s doing.
host : Nevertheless …
AJ : What’s the matter with him? Was he wounded on a battlefield?
host : Not him, no.
AJ : Dropped on his head? His whatzis get whacked off by a baling machine?
host : Not to my knowledge, no …
AJ : He’s obviously not all there. I get the impressiom he’s been injured, … that some part of his body has been deleted forcibly and without his consent and he won’t admit it, even to himself.
host : Could be. I don’t know of it, though.
AJ : I knew a gentleman just like that when I was a farmer in Tennessee.
host : Oh?
AJ : He was impossible to deal with. Had mean things to say about absolutely everyone. Unfortunate, but there you are.
host : What did he do?
AJ : That was the oddest part about him. You see, he was a horse trader.
Host : But you said …
AJ : That no one would deal with him. Exactly. He was the world’s worst horse trader.
And to listen to him, he was the greatest horse trader there e’er was. No one was as successful as him. No one could craft a deal as cunningly, as, as … artfully as it could be done. Because no one had the insight, the sensitivity, to recognize what would satisfy both parties, or the wisdom to actually accomplish such an agreement but him!
The truth was, he was completely incompetent to make any such settlement, and for the very reasons he stated, but in reverse. If he had had the insight and sensitivity and wisdom, he was in the perfect position to make some earth-shaking deals for some prime horseflesh.
host : So what really happened then?
AJ : His father made all the deals. Or I did. See, this fellow didn’t own any horses. They all belonged to me or to his father. His father had some of the finest horses I’ve seen anywhere, trotters and pacers and thoroughbreds, and a unique strain of walkers, I never saw the like. Ever.
We owned the horses, and another fellow, Warren Saddrap, trained them. Grub – the fellow I was telling about, whose name was Gregory but we called Grub – he was just a glorified stableboy, who mucked out the stalls and groomed the horses.
I must say, though, he had one skill in which he surpassed everyone else. That was gelding. He could snip the ballocks off a stallion and have him prancing around the meadow in fifteen minutes like nothing happened. Same with steers. He neutered all my steers as long as he was on my place.
host : How long was that?
AJ : Around seven years. No … maybe less. Six. Maybe six years.
host : Sure it was more than two though?
AJ : Yeah.


He’s No Caligula …

So here we are again. Democracy is in the wringer, so some asshole sweeps in with
The Solution. Declare an Emergency, Save The Nation!
The Roman Republic, the Weimar Republic, the Czech Republic.
Now, the American Democracy, done by the Leader of the Republican Party. He’s a fascist. “Republican” is a brand name,

Democracy is inefficient. It takes time talk to everybody and hear what they have to say.
Democracy is undramatic. Compromise happens behind doors.
Democracy, being political, isn’t loving. Politics is polite warfare.
– A word, here, about compromise. This is a political practice, not a moral one. The democratic process is political and is meant to create decisions among people of different moralities. The object is to moderate among populations where everyone is free to have their own principles and no one has the license to impose their principles on anyone else. If you want a life of love, become a Buddhist monk.