Random Thoughts for March (i.e. Madness!)

Every once in a while, I write a Random Thoughts post (copyright, patent pending). As advertised, it is random. The equivalent of blathering, often with the intent of being humorous. Think funny raft floating on a stream of serious, then don’t take it too seriously. Streams of Consciousness are on the protected conservation lands list, after all.

Or were, before some powers-that-unfortunately-be started “unprotecting” everything in the name of plutocracy, autocracy, oligarchy, et al. You know, as Lincoln never put it: “Government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations….”

  • Here in the Estados-Disunitos, we have this thing called “March Madness,” denoting a time of year when a billionaire organization (read: The National Collegiate Athletic Association) reaps fistfuls of advertising dollars while “student-athletes” play for no pay.
  • It’s called “Madness” because every American worker, student, and self-anointed “expert” jumps into a pool (despite the chilly time of year, the water’s fine!) and speaks mysteriously (e.g. “Hey, Bud. All three of my upset picks won last night,” and “Oh, man, is my West bracket busted, or what?”).
  • Nothing galls the office pool dudes more than some “mere woman” winning everything because she picked teams by color, mascot, or dartboard. Thus, the beauty of it all.
  • What? The Mueller Report is out this weekend? I lied. March Madness means the same as every other month’s madness we’ve been experiencing since January 2017 when the White House turned into the House of Orange.
  • Given the increasing time it takes to hear back from poetry markets, I’d say, as is true with the casino industry in the northeast, that the market is saturated.
  • Quick-response poetry journals, when they reject you within a week, are the poetry-journal equivalent of euthanasia. A bittersweet form of mercy, that!
  • Speaking of bittersweet, it’s always odd to enjoy a personal note from an editor (vs. a boilerplate rejection). You know the one I mean: “We particularly enjoyed your poem ‘Dover Beach’ but decided the tide wasn’t quite right for us just now. Please consult your tide charts and try us again six months from now.”
  • Such notes are found in the dictionary under paradox (n.) — “a compliment that isn’t; an endorsement that confirms and denies; a pair of mallards.”
  • Goodreads continues to skew bad. Since Amazon dot glom took over, they’ve slowly been trending more and more toward being an advertisement site, one where members get “used” for free (kind of like basketball stars in the NCAA!).
  • Exhibit A: Huge ads framing 40% of the screen when you click on a book title to learn more about that book (hint: the ad is for a completely different book). The moral of the story? Pay no attention to those blinking GIFs and videos no longer behind the curtain!
  • Exhibit B: the second entry on your activity feed, which is now an ad pretending to be an actual activity feed, saying something like (Goodreads Friend Z loves “Book Title Whose Publisher Has Paid for This Ad”).
  • Of course, Goodreads Friend Z has no clue that her innocent “like” of a book has been appropriated by the Amazons-That-Be for free advertising. It’s all in the fine print written by lawyers (a.k.a. “Terms and Conditions”).
  • Speaking of Goodreads “likes” and other fluff clicks, can you imagine if the “Wants to Read” button was a “one-click” purchase of said book? All of you writers under small, independent presses would be feeling the love (vs. the cruel tease) right now! Right in the royalties!
  • What if there were brackets for the Top 68 poets? Who would make your Sweet Sixteen? Your Elite Eight? Your Final Four?
  • Would it change, year to year?
  • I hope so. But then, I hope a lot of things. Kind of like Pandora, just before she shut the box as someone quipped, “Too late, sister. But good luck to you.”