Welcome to the Dystopian States of America, the land formerly referred to as the USA. Here in the DSA, people are pissed off beyond measure as post-election maneuvering by the Trump campaign either validates suspicions of election fraud long suspected by the Right, or it enrages those on the Left who want to see The Donald strapped into an ejector seat and jettisoned from the White House in short order. Recently, a massive pro-Trump "Stop the Steal" really turned ugly as demonstrators protesting the allegedly stolen election came into conflict with members of anti-Trump groups ANTIFA and Black Lives Matter. That eruption of tempers is possibly a foreshadowing event as the three groups represent significant portions of the shredded patchwork quilt that was once the American fabric.
I realize this blog is normally focused on social issues past and present, but when actor Sean Connery recently passed away, I felt compelled to write an article about the iconic actor's greatest character, James Bond. Connery is credited with over 90 acting roles, but of the dozens of characters he portrayed, he is best remembered for becoming the first actor to bring James Bond to life as a British secret agent. Connery's take on the bed-hopping Agent 007 rapidly made both the actor and the character enduring symbols of the 1960s and of the spy genre as a whole, but he was not the only man to play Bond. As of this writing, six other actors played 007, but of them all, only one stands as the best-ever to step into the role. Here, from worst to best, is my ranking of the portrayals of James Bond on television and in cinema. Please note that mine is a ranking of the performances per actor to play Bond in purportedly serious efforts—stand-ins, stunt doubles, and David Niven's comedic version excluded—and not the scripts the actors were made to perform.
I'm in New York City, and the talk here is not of Thanksgiving or Christmas. Instead, the topic of discussion concerns the threat of partisan violence. Many shopkeepers here boarded their windows, police are prepared to don their riot gear, and everyone is awaiting the inevitable drop of a lit match into the national powder keg. I'm well above 55 years of age, yet I've never before seen anything like this on a national scale, and it's horrible.
Here we are, months after American health officials announced the presence of the first COVID-19 patient in the United States, and there is little improvement. With the nation's general election on the horizon, America remains a land troubled by ongoing social upheaval, a raging virus, and the likely prospect of widespread violence on Election Day. Now, adding to the above comes the news that medical experts predict that the virus will surge as fall and winter progress, and I am increasingly worried.
Let’s wax philosophical and discuss the meaning and usage of the word indisputable. According to online dictionaries, it means to be beyond dispute, beyond doubt, beyond questions of truth and validity, and so on. Therefore, if something is indisputable, then it or assertions about it are factually correct and cannot be debated. However, as a person who rejects absolutes and thrives on healthy debate, I disagree with the concept that a state of unassailable truth is inherently within all statements of indisputability.
My fellow content creators,
Life is strange. I began my first blog about 14 years ago, and I continue to maintain an online presence. After years of creating and maintaining blogs, creating two YouTube channels, actively participating in online forums, and shamelessly promoting myself, I began to wonder if my efforts would ever gain a true audience or if they would ever gain any appreciable notice. I considered quitting many times, but then came 2020.
This year put wind into my sails again, and it did so in a big way. Thus far, I am seeing lots of positive feedback to my work, and I am the humble recipient of two blogging awards. Folks, to paraphrase Den's human self in Heavy Metal: The Movie: "Wow, fourteen years of nothin', then twice in one year!"
On my mind today is a unique piece of lost New York City history. Presenting the Singer Building, a 47-story office building and tower designed in the Beaux-Arts architectural style and completed in 1908. Formerly located at 149 Broadway in Lower Manhattan, it stood at a height of 674 feet (205.4 meters) from its base to the top of its flagpole, making the Singer Building the tallest building in the world at the time. The structure's exterior was made of brick, stone, terracotta, and glass (for windows), and its squat lower portion sat below its ornate and comparatively thin tower.
As its name might imply, the Singer Building was the headquarters of the world-famous Singer Corporation, then known as the Singer Manufacturing Company. Despite functioning as a mere office space for the sewing machine giant, the building's height and striking design quickly made it an iconic part of the New York City skyline. It remained one of the city's crown jewels despite the construction of successively taller buildings, and it was treasured by members of the New York's architectural and photographic communities. However, although the building was a valued part of New York City, officials never granted landmark status to it. That oversight opened the door to the building's destruction.
The issues of fake news and fact-checking are on my mind today. We are plagued by memes, articles, and other information sources that are laden with false messages, slanted news, and biased opinions on a daily basis. Instead of leveraging our high intelligence, we surrender to our need for affirmation and our desire to group with others under the umbrella of common belief even if the unifying belief is incorrect. Actual statements and events are increasingly presented in ways designed to appease or incense citizens from one end of the political spectrum to the other, yet beneath it all, buried under mountains of partisan manure, is truth.
The above is my justification for this article. This is a test, a dare, a challenge. It is truth wrapped in lies and twisted by slanted opinion. Your task, dear reader, is to tell me what is true, what is slant, and what is false within the following text. Use this to further refine your skills in separating truth from fiction and divining fact from opinion. In a nod to the classic Star Trek episode “I, Mudd,” I now declare that all you will read in this article from this point forward will be a lie, and that’s the truth.
I love to write! I'm a Technical Writer by day and a blogger by night. On My Mind Today is my creation, and for me it is a true labor of love. Whether the subject is a current issue or a historical matter, I'll try to address it here. I look forward to writing quality content, and I'm open to topic suggestions. I value your feedback!