Black Mirror

Just this morning, I read a post.

Not Earth-shattering, by any means.  I read a good number of other bloggers out here on the ‘net – sometimes for the laughs, sometimes for the inspiration, sometimes because I genuinely click with the other writer, sometimes because I WANT to know more of the other blogger’s viewpoint.

And sometimes, to be perfectly honest here, it’s for the reciprocal views.  Kind of an unspoken yet understood ‘pact’ between bloggers.  I read yours, you read mine.

It’s all about the numbers.

This particular blogger had mentioned that people who post holiday pictures every five minutes aren’t on a very good vacation…and it got me to thinking of the episode titled:  Nosedive from Netflix’s series ‘The Black Mirror.’


For those of you unfamiliar with this series, it’s a British, Twilight Zone-esque series.  Each episode is a stand-alone, centered around modern society and the unanticipated effects modern technology has wrought/will wreak upon society.

From the show’s Wiki page:

“each episode has a different cast, a different setting, even a different reality. But they’re all about the way we live now – and the way we might be living in 10 minutes’ time if we’re clumsy.”

Believe me when I say the writers, directors and cast haven’t pulled any punches on how things could go if we stay on our current path.

The episode that sticks in my head, if only because I can see society GALLOPING headstrong and arrogantly down the path which leads to the portrayed future, is Nosedive.

Imagine…if you will…

A world in which every action and interaction you partake in is tabulated in a single, master social-internet platform which society has initiated compulsory attendance.  Anyone not high on the popularity scale is deemed fair play for discriminatory practices by the popular ones.

Imagine your entire life centered around your rating.  Those with low ratings have predatory rental rates, refused services, employment difficulties.

It’s as if the A list from high school (yaknow…the ‘popular’ kids) was put in charge of everything in society, and now wields enough power to actively suborn those they look down upon from their pillars on high.

The episode continues to draw me in – it’s one I’ve watched easily a dozen times already.  Each time I view (or listen, with my nose buried in a chainmaille piece) I seem to catch some new nuance or bit of buried irony I’d missed before.


In this bleakly-painted yet oddly happy-pastel colored dystopian future – I know where I’d rate…right there in the same driver’s seat as the old lady in the truck.

If you’ve access to Netflix – I suggest you look up this single episode.  It’s Episode #1, Season 3.






First…I’d like to personally thank each and every unique visitor to the T&T – these poor scribblings from this humble scribe are a sloppy attempt at a clumsy gift for such lofty and Auguste Personages.


I couldn’t resist borrowing (and MASSIVELY paraphrasing) those words from Taita, slave to the Lady Lostris, from the book River God by Wilbur Smith.  If you want a tale of Ancient Egypt, SET in Ancient Egypt, that really comes alive in your head – go dig this one out.

And the sentiment is genuine – if I didn’t have regular readers on this, my tiny slice of the blogosphere – I’d probably have abandoned it by now…

I’d like to think my personal blend of sarcastic whit & photography, wrapped up with a chainmaille bow & served with a slice of keto-cake is at least a “smidge” entertaining…

And…because you guys come and read and like my stuff, I get to return the favor – checking out your blogs and your words and your brand of entertainment…so thanks for writing, as well as reading…your work is appreciated!

Reading & writing – like 2 peas in a pod…


Unintentional Funnies attracted some unusual attention, in the form of several very Christian Bloggers.  As I visited their sites, I was flooded with a deluge of scripture and pondering of the faith.  I’ve no reason why this particular post drew in those who find comfort writing about God, as there wasn’t anything even remotely faith-like in it…

NOT that I’m complaining – everyone is welcome here at the T&T to read, share, comment, or even condemn if I’m WAAAAAAAAAAAY off base.  I try to avoid subjects that have measures of conflict built in rather like the way certain subjects were forbidden at the dinner table when I was a child.

Typed my Mom’s voice:  ‘Two things never discussed in polite company:  Religion & Politics.’

So you’ll never see the T&T fall into the political or theological pathways.  There are other, more hardened writers out there, to handle both these spectrums.

I’ll just keep observing my little bit of world, and share those with you…

You’re welcome!





On Unintentional Funnies




We humans are communicative creatures… we LOVE to share words and concepts.  In our ancient past, these words and concepts were shared verbally, through stories and music, by tribal elders or mystical-persons, or, in the case of music, through the musicians and performers.  And everyone learned by having these traditions passed down verbally.

A little later, and the first writings appeared – pictorial at first, then cuneiform, hieroglyphic, hierarchic and other forms blending easy to reproduce abstract line-forms and pictorial representations,  and finally arriving at standardized alphabetical characters through a series of subtle metamorphosis.

I find it amazing that our languages are just as alive as us humans who created them.  They evolve right alongside us…  And, even if we’ve not added a single new letter to our alphabet for generations, we’ve added a multitude of new words, shortcuts, and pictograms as we continually explore communications.

Look at what the electronic revolution has done for us.  Instead of writing out “You made me chuckle at that one…” now, a simple LOL or picture of a laughing ball crystallize the message in a minimum number of characters.

I see this as both good, and bad.  As a writer – I see it as a dreadful shame that our beautiful language is being pared away bit by bit.  That new minds aren’t being afforded the opportunity to explore the diversity of adverbs and adjectives, piecing together old words in new ways to bring another’s imagination to full-color life from black & white print.

But I also see the efficiency of shortcuts and pictorial representations coming back to our communication attempts…and I love the artistic creativeness of some of our emojis..


Sometimes, our shortening of words or imposed limits on characters within an electronic ‘field’ have unintended, and hilarious, consequences.

This morning, as I checked my email – I received a notification that Maggie at The Zombies Ate My Brains had posted a new blog entry.  Here’s what I saw:




Hope they used the underwires to clean their teeth…














Browsing the Spam Filters

One of the blogs I regularly I follow is Notes from the U.K. 

Ellen has a wonderful sense of humor I find brightens my spirits, even as her irrelevant photos make me want to nip out and go wander about with my camera.  Being a US-born person now a landed immigrant in the UK gives her observations of life, the universe, and everything a take I find energizing.

The other day – she took a lively trip through the search terms that people use to find her blog.  I’ve seen others get a good laugh over some really bizarre search terms in the past, and spent considerable hours pawing through the back-end of WordPress trying to find where in the T&T this information is located.  I’ve come to the conclusion (accompanied by a bit of cussing and swearing) that Google is my reader’s browser of choice.

Google doesn’t publicize their search terms for privacy, or good-press, or just to piss me off, so most of my view-able search terms come up as ‘unavailable content.’


But – because I dug around in the back-end of WordPress, I did find a comparable nugget for inspiration:     The Spam Filters.

Let’s stop for just a moment to consider the evolution of Spam…

Before the little cans appeared with their bright blue labels, there were six-pound blocks of canned pork luncheon meat sold to deli-counters.  The shrewd business-people who owned the deli counters bought the huge steel-encased bricks and sold their customers paper-thin slices of the stuff.  These slices were then properly wedged in-between chunks of bread, garnished with assorted vegetables and condiments, and happily consumed by everyone from John Q. Public and his family to the guy who John shared his sandwich with at work.

See – John’s friend’s wife was a lush, and couldn’t be arsed to rise in the morning to pack the poor fella a lunch…But John was just the kind of good hearted guy to not like to see a coworker go hungry.

I guess enough people liked the deli meat to encourage Hormel to make single-family servings of the stuff, thus cutting out the deli counter and selling direct to the consumer.

The meat business is cutthroat…


Wives did what wives will do when offered up a new, cheap, and not-needing-refrigeration protein source (other than John’s friend’s lush wife – who spent her evenings in an alcoholic haze) – they came up with recipes and served up their concoctions to their families, who ate it with relish (and potatoes).  Cans of spam were officially a thing in the US.

Then some upstart German started lobbing bombs around, and spam followed the warring men of WWII to infect the globe.


Meat that could travel like an average pair of boots or clip of ammunition was huge in the eyes of those paying for mobile army units.  They bought the stuff by the ton and shipped it to the brave men fighting for Life!  Liberty! and the Pursuit of Happiness!  across the pond.   The profit margins of Spam and other canned meat products exploded – followed soon thereafter by the bowels of those selfsame brave fellas overseas who were forced to choke down the stuff at every meal.

You eat anything 3x/day, 7 day/week, 365/year – you’re going to end up loathing it – even if you remember it fondly from the family’s dinner table.

You’re going to resent every spam-filled plate of rations served.  Detest the stuff in every Spam-scented burp.  Hate it as you breathe in the noxious emissions of a barrack full of men full of Spam-gas.  Despise it as you strain your Spam-clogged bowels in the latrine.

War is Hell…

So once the fighting was all done, and our fine men returned to a life that didn’t involve blood, boots and bullets…spam sales plummeted.  The stuff was shoved from the middle of the plate to the side of the plate and further – into the garbage cans of suburbs everywhere.

It’s had a bad rap in the US since.  I remember hearing all through my childhood that SPAM stood for either “Scientifically Produced Animal Matter” or “Squirrel, Possum And Mouse.”

So is it any surprise when the interwebz came along with the barrage of cheap advertising flooding email inboxes everywhere, that the word SPAM would come to symbolize detestable crap shoved on you unwillingly and un-asked-for?

loathing a foodstuff spans generations…

I can attest to the general feeling of disgust when faced with the little cans of potted meat in the grocery.  I had spam…once.


Granted, it was a generic brand (I believe ‘TREAT’ was on the label), and it was roughly cut by a cheap pocket knife into ragged, uneven slabs that were then shoved between day-old white bread.  There might have been some cheap American cheese tossed in there, as well.

Must resist the urge to gripe about American ‘Cheese…’

The thing was consumed in haste, mostly because we only had time for a very quick eat before we had to rush off to something or other, and I discovered if I swallowed the chunks more or less whole the taste was largely concealed by the bread.

What I remember most vividly about the meal was the way the stuff squished in my mouth before slithering down my esophagus, coating my teeth and tongue in a glistening slug-trail of jellied fat and grease with every movement of my jaw.

I just made myself queasy…

If they consider this stuff a luxury item in Korea – they can have mine…

Buuuuut – to get back on track:  Looking at the spam filter today – I find 7 responses that have yet to be deleted from the system.  Most of them are blatant porn sites.

I’ve got a couple of gushing (pun intended) responses from youjizz, one from xvideo, and one glowing reply from porn.  At least their user names all dead-nutz honest about what they’re peddling.  I have to say:  I appreciate that bit of honesty.

Sadly, the honesty curls up into a little fetal ball and rolls under a conveniently-placed rock once we get to the actual content of the messages.

youjizz is by far the most affluent:  he (it’s easier to assume…) has incorporated me into his own blogroll, has been motivated by my postings to get his own website, and would LOVE to donate to the continued fine writings of the T&T (if only he could find that elusive ‘donate’ button!)

xvideo visits the T&T every weekend, because he likes the enjoyment (yea…I’m a bit afraid of that one…)

and porn?  Ah…such high praise and worship!  He will digg my blog and recommend to all of his friends!

But I can’t forget Zulma – who is at work surfing around on my blog on the new iPhone.  I’ll bet he’s got a sweet deal for me 😀

aIMG_3563 center frame

I’ll let the spam filters handle these guys, and go out drinking with John’s friend’s wife.