Fri. Nov 22nd, 2019

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Pay Attention to the Signs

4 min read

For this week’s Twittering Tale, I was reminded of ivory tower academics divorced from reality who for whatever reason tend to overthink every possible facet of a problem so that in the end there can be no practical solution acceptable to those charged with implementing a solution. The person who comes to mind is National Security Advisor John Bolton. I always thought of him as a scary person, someone too rash to be trusted next to the good china (nuclear weapons). His condemnation of North Korea was in line with what I thought of the Hermit Heretic. But his views were expressed too harshly in a binary way that I considered dangerous (We win, You Lose, Accept it). I never considered him an ivory tower academic. These days, he is trying to disguise himself as one. Just as he was a danger when he rattled sabers, he is now a danger as he defends the loving sentiments of a Commander in Chief who finally was persuaded to go to Vietnam. Democracy Don would visit the Hermit Hero to deliver a belated Valentine. They would have lunch. They would make nice.

But lunch didn’t happen. Each of the possible candidates for a Nobel Peace Prize raced to demonstrate through unsubtle body language that he (no females need to apply) could be the first to leave town. Once each completed a retreat to their respective man cave, the cleanup could begin. No Western mind can truly fathom the mind of Dearest Leader Kim. We can know his motivation. In the West, we know Kim is guided by a pure self-interest in defending and glorifying himself. His people wholeheartedly support him. Or else.

The same is not true of the West. We have transparency that is difficult to see clearly due to gas lighting. We have many, and maybe all, facts but they exist in a field of alternative facts. We have the freedom to choose our “facts.” Cherry picking by gas light requires skill to create the obfuscation necessary to quell the fear of the sheep. Back to the former saber-rattling Bolton.

These days he appears on national news outlets to defend Individual One’s compassionate outreach to a fellow Great Leader, a man who knows more than any of his government experts. One leader has ultimate power and kills those with opposing views. The other simply ignores those with opposing views, usurps power, and forges forward unrestrained by sycophants seeking only to bask in the glow of shared narcissism. We know that Individual One reads and speaks at a fourth-grade level. Perhaps the comparatively better-educated advisor Bolton helps pen love letters to the North.

Another day. Another rant. Another occupant of Swamp Tower.

But I digress. My submission for this week’s Twittering Tale is about waking up those too enamored of and by their own thought processes.

About the challenge: Each Tuesday I will provide a photo prompt. Your mission, if you choose to accept the challenge, is to tell a story in 280 characters or less. When you write your tale, be sure to let me know in the comments with a link to your tale. If you would prefer to post your tale in the comments (some people have very specific blog themes but still want to participate), I am happy to post a link to your site when I post your tale in the Round Up.

I will do a roundup each Tuesday, along with providing a new prompt. And if for some reason I missed your entry in the Roundup, as I have occasionally done, please let me know. I want to be sure to include your tale.

Finally, have fun!

Twittering Tales #26 – This Is It – 5 March 2019

Photo by Johnathan Basquez at

The Sign

“There’s your sign Donna.”

“No it’s not, Jon. I meant stars aligning. You know, magic.”

“Looks like a sign to me. Go on, have a look.”

Donna stepped inside. The scent of roses filled the candlelit room. She turned to find Jon on one knee.

“Well? Whadya think?”

“Best sign ever.”


275 Characters

My story:

Grasshopper, this is it. Give the inscrutable blank look a bit of a rest. Wake up and read the Burma Shave wisdom. We were afraid you were going to miss your final end-of-the-world survival shelter. Maybe the neon-lit arrow would break through your mental fog. Are you in there?

278 characters




1 thought on “Pay Attention to the Signs

  1. I kind of doubt he’s in there. I picture him and others wandering around aimlessly, their noses glued to their mobile devices, soothed into submission by fake news. “The sky is not falling, you were given a wonderful tax break…how are you spending those extra pennies…my wall will protect you.” Meanwhile a jilted Kim is ramping up his nuclear launch site, places like Denver have been mentioned as in range of his sights. But no one is noticing. Our great leader told us it’s all good. What is it?!

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