Observations and Thinkings, Vol. pqrstuv, The Frustrated Playwright, Note on Immigration, Halloween and Wildlife, Film: Lunana and Bhutan, Callipygian Determination in Antebellum America, Bike Lanes, Something Not about Those Beatles

Welcome to this week’s “zine.”

by Mark M

From Observations and Thinkings, Vol. pqrstuv, 2008:

Let your yes mean yes, your no mean no, and your maybe mean maybe. Maybe.


He was a b(u)y-the-book kind of guy.

The Great Gatsby

The Greater Gatsby

The Greatest Gatsby

The Not-So-Hot Gatsby


Hansel and Gretl broke up. Now it’s Hansel and Gretchen.

Romiet and Julio

Que pasta?

Transylvania 6-5000

thy will he done

Just how new is New York by now?

Johnson & Johnson & Johnson & Johnson & Johnson & Johnson & Johnson & Johnson & Johnson & Johnson…

What does the dog do?


One can lead a horse to water but one cannot make it put 2 and 2 together.

Just what makes him tock?

It’s a pain in the ask.

Abundantly slender

If I hadn’t volunteered, they would have made me do it.

Meanwhile, at the back of the ranch.


Down buoy

She marked the document up by marking it down.

Florence of Arabia

W stands for “worst.”

Lake Inferior

In- vs. outsane

Home is where the fart is.

Nursery grime

Gave up

Took down

Fake stone, sham rock.

Cold wave heat snap

Karate chomp

Hard right, soft left?

fitness vs. fatness

Cardinal Syn

Slice of rife

Your wish is my demand.


Owl movement

Always leave room for disagreement.

Don’t go fuck yourself.



Faith is the Satan of science.

Clothes your eyes


The Frustrated Playwright

The problem with his first play was the plot thickened so much, it became a solid.

The characters couldn’t even move.

You could say that it all ground to a halt.

Not wishing to make that same mistake, for his second play, it turned out he overcompensated, and the plot of that thinned so much, it became all runny and made a big mess.

He gave up on writing plays and returned to the widget factory where he was a star on the assembly line.


Some immigration pressure is blowback from U.S. foreign dealings. For instance, when the U.S. foments a coup, such as in Honduras, it owes it to the resulting, fleeing Hondurans to take them in and not take Hillary’s attitude (this was from when she was Secretary of State, dated June 9, 2016):

‘Hillary has supported the deportations of immigrants, opposed the refugees — women and children coming from Honduras, whose refugee crisis she was very much responsible for by giving a thumbs-up to this corporate coup in Honduras that has created the violence from which those refugees are fleeing. She basically said, “No, bar the gates, send them back.” You know, so we see these draconian things that Donald Trump is talking about, we actually see Hillary Clinton doing.’


Wildlife, such as birds, can get tangled and injured in spider-web Halloween decorations.

Since with Halloween most anything goes, why not depart from “spider webs,” what the human body looks like without any flesh, wasting pumpkins, and so forth? Why not put on your lawn, say, a replica of the Venus de Milo? Or a bust of some cardinal on your porch? Or a picture of an armadillo on your door? After all, a lot of trick-or-treater costumes aren’t scary either.


Film: Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (2019), 1h 50m.

This film, which I haven’t seen, is going to be screened as part of this year’s UW-Parkside’s foreign film series, Oct 20-23, 2022. It’s about a young teacher in modern Bhutan, Ugyen, who shirks his duties while planning to go to Australia to become a singer. As a reprimand, his superiors send him to the most remote school in the world, a glacial Himalayan village called Lunana, to complete his service.

From IMDB trivia:

“All the actors in Lunana are highlanders, many of whom had never seen the outside world. They had never seen a movie, and had never seen cameras before. It was the also the first time they were using toothpaste.

“The director and crew loaded 65 mules with cameras, solar panels, batteries, lights, and sound equipment for the eight-day trek up the mountains to isolated Lunana to undertake filming.

“The crew members of Lunana didn’t take baths while they were up there filming for three months because of extreme weather and lack of facilities. They came back from Lunana looking and smelling like yaks.”

In spending a little time with Wikipedia’s entry on Bhutan, I learned of a religion I had never previously heard of: Bon. They revere ravens.

From the Wik’ entry:

‘”All living things are sacred,” a monk explained, “but especially the ravens. They spend their days repeating one of our holy syllables, ‘Ah! Ah! Ah!'” Killing a raven, he informed me, would be as great a sin as slaughtering a thousand monks…’

Most Bhutanese, 84.3%, are Buddhists. Only 3.2% are Bon.

Dig this:

Gross National Happiness (GNH), sometimes called Gross Domestic Happiness (GDH), is a philosophy that guides the government of Bhutan. It includes an index which is used to measure the collective happiness and well-being of a population. Gross National Happiness Index is instituted as the goal of the government of Bhutan in the Constitution of Bhutan, enacted on 18 July 2008.

Bhutan is only about half the size of South Carolina and has about 777 000 people.

Bhutan was the first nation in the world to ban tobacco.


When Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, which is Kenosha’s 2023 NEA Big Read selection, was fairly new in 2016, I read it along with others then participating in an evening discussion group which read and discussed books concerning issues of race and which met at the Racine Public Library.

Certainly, a compelling story, but I here wish to cavil about the part of the book, set ca. 1800, where the author, a woman, is describing this guy lusting after a woman (I think they later marry if I recall; both were enslaved) based on the motion of her ass as she walks, but, given the characteristics of women’s lower-body attire back then, rather like this, one would not get a very good look at a woman’s ass, cos those simple long skirts didn’t hug the ass, they draped it! — certainly not like today’s tight jeans or yoga pants or even how some contemporary skirts and dresses do rather hug the ass, rather like this — or tighter still.

In short, any guy then hoping to determine whether a woman was callipygian would have to see her disrobed, not like how things are today! (Something for me to note in my gratitude journal.)

I tried to make this point to the two other women discussing the book that particular evening, but they weren’t getting it, one even trying to rope in the idea of belly-dancing in defense of the author on this point.



 + A 13-year study of a dozen cities published in the Journal of Health and Transport found that protected bike-lanes led to a drastic decline in fatalities for all road users, while painted bike-lanes yielded no safety improvements at all.


The tracks on Led Zeppelin’s first album were mixed by Jimmy Page’s childhood friend Glyn Johns who engineered or produced recordings by a rock Who’s Who, including the Who.

From the film Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll (1987):

Keith Richards: “[Chuck]’s given me more headaches than Mick Jagger, you know. But, I still can’t dislike him. You know, I can’t. I mean, I love him.”

In a recent Guitar Player interview, guitarist Robert Cray, who also performs in the film said here Keith is trying to pay homage to Chuck and Chuck is treating him like a bad child. Cray also said that, last minute, Chuck listed out more songs of what were to be performed at the filmed gig than were rehearsed, messing with the band.

It seems like Keith’s love for Chuck was unrequited. Chuck once gave Keith a black eye. Keith later joked that he’d have to give Chuck a white eye sometime and recalled: “Chuck Berry once gave me a black eye, which I later called his greatest hit.”

The End.

Next week (subject to change): The Action of the Force of Gravity Upon a Small Body of Water, Men’s and Women’s Liberation!, Good Wars?, Message to DT, Forbidden Investing

Boilerplate: As part of my community project as Racine Writer in Residence, I hereby invite Racine-area people to send me prose or poems of 250 words or less for me to consider for inclusion in my posts as a “guest appearance.” Former Racine Writers in Residence, I want to explicitly include you in this invitation. If you want, also send a photo and a very short “bio.” You will retain the copyright for the material you submit. Send to m.mk at att.net with “Racine WiR” in the subject line. Thank you.

Don’t hide your light under a bushel-sized basket; it is recommended that you let it be bright.

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