Cats, Needles, and Countries

This image was released by the National Cancer Institute, an agency part of the National Institutes of Health

“Needle in a Haystack,” artist unknown. The image of this painting was released by the National Cancer Institute and is in the public domain.

I am writing while snuggling with a cat’s bottom. The choice of snuggling ends is the cat’s preference, not mine. Sadly, this is a rather excellent metaphor for the state of things. I am told some people come to the blog to feel cheery. If I disappoint, blame the cat. Her feline fanny does not allow my head to sit at any kind of normal angle. Soon, I fear, my chin will be forced into permanent fusion with my neck.

I don’t know for what purpose, but spam comments like the following sometimes knock at the blog door.

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I imagine moments when the spam enemies materialize into something I could fight with. I meet a spam creator in a dark alley and tie them to a wall. I set up three record players. Three genres to play simultaneously: Bluegrass, Opera, Techno something or other. Every hour or so I turn down the volume and approach the captive, kindly holding out the means of release. When the captive believes me enough to hunger for release, I walk back to the records and turn up the volume.

Saturday the Pope said that a momentary outburst is forgivable but that rancour is really bad news. In my head the sun burst forward from the clouds. I wanted a sweatshirt. Momentary outburst equals forgivable offense, it could say on the front. I support a liberal use of the momentary outburst, would read the back. Rancour is not something I think of myself as struggling with. I like to imagine my offenses (by “my,” I mean the other guy’s) named, numbered, noted and then magnanimously forgiven.

My very first response to the rancour quote was not actually about sweatshirts. First thoughts were about how much I wanted to show it to a friend who struggles with rancour and finds outbursting people distasteful. After merrily working through slogan ideas for my sweatshirt, by way of small reproof I advised myself to find a bit of rancour (however small) within my own walls. Visions of rancour regarding entrenched institutions, technology abuses, and materialistic culture pressed quickly forward followed by faces of persons. The needle I thought I’d be looking for in the haystack turned out to be a densely populated country. Which kind of ruined the quote for me. I felt like I’d finally made it up to the front of the line after a lot of standing around waiting for deliverance only to find out it’s the wrong stupid line. A sweatshirt with, I’m bitter about irritating people not changing, does not have the same victorious appeal. I’m not sure if it’s a sign, but the aforementioned cat bottom continues to bow my head for me. So maybe not on the whole quote sharing with friend thing.