Let’s put him in the rear-view mirror and move on.

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Image by thiemen from Pixabay

Ten things I’m looking forward to in 2021:


No friends, no benefits.

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Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

Billy Crystal once observed, “Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place.”

If he were on this platform now, he’d issue a retraction for that quip. It seems we are approaching equity, with many modern women feeling just as randy, just as free as men to scratch their itches.

Part of me says, good for them. It’s high time we laid to rest the double standards that shame women and applaud men for the very same behavior.

As long as it’s consensual, sex is good for every body. We are social animals — we need touching, we need pleasuring. Any moral or religious system that attaches guilt to sex, probably is sick in lots of other ways as well.


A scene from my unpublished novel, Brother Man.

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Image from Pixabay

Amy looked up when the shrink walked in. Dr. Willikins was far from young, but her eyes held what appeared to be compassion as she looked down at poor stupid Amy.

“I’m Dr. Willikins,” she said, extending a hand. “I’m a psychiatrist.”

“Hello, Dr. Willikins. I’m Amy Bain. I’m a nut job.”

The TV was already muted, but Amy touched a button on her console to turn it off. Dr. Willikins brought a visitors’ chair up to the bed so they could see each other easily. The doctor looked like she was over seventy, but her small frame was apparently not frail, as she lifted the substantial chair rather than sliding it. …


The evolutionary roots of self-deception

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Photo by Nick Bondarev on Pexels

Poor Man. Poor genus Homo.

When survival tools and tricks were being handed out to la familia mammalia, “Hom” must have been last in line. Tusks, teeth, armor, claws, hi-res senses, blinding speed, size and strength and even camo coloration — all those bins were empty by the time he got his turn.

And the ones who got those nifty options all were out there waiting for him, bibs tied, ketchup out.

The Accessorizer had but two things left to offer, and unfortunately, neither one was plug-and-play.

One was thumbs. Opposable. Handy for such tasks as making tools, though it would take old Hom about a million years of practice, trial-and-error, before he started making anything more hi-tech than a stone axe or a sharpened stick. …


You know I'm leery of rhyming stuff--don't even like most of my earlier efforts because the rhymes were too predictable--but nothing here feels forced, and the concept and the sentiment are well expressed. Love the final strophe. I might substitute "with" for "using" in line 9, but that's getting pretty picayune. Good beginning, nice cadence, and a great sustaining metaphor.


There’s a reason you keep getting stuck there.

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Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash

My number one objection to the Tinder culture is the way it turns us all into commodities, boxes on the Good-Time aisle in the worldwide Wally Web.

Like my brand? Swipe right, say hey. I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t interested.

Friends first? Ok boomer lol ttfn.

Fair enough. I am a boomer. That’s why you won’t find me on that shelf, or even shopping at that market. I’d really rather make a friend before exploring whether dating might become a good idea.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not judging anybody just because they’d rather hit and run. Sex is healthy sweaty cardio and way more fun than Peloton, so if that’s what you’re scrolling for, then go for it. Long as you’re both honest with each other as to what you want, no feelings will be harmed in the making of this memory. …


Our so-called leader’s skin is just as thin as it is orange.

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Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

It is a well-known principle in all negotiations that the one who cares the most is in the weak position. The one who’s ready to walk away dictates the terms.

Mitch McConnell knows that principle. He prides himself on saying no to everything until he gets exactly what he wants. One might think, as Majority Leader of the US Senate, he would want to save Americans from death, starvation, homelessness, and other consequences of COVID-45. …


I couldn’t bear to lose her . . .

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Photo by Arun Kuchibhotla on Unsplash

In my youth, I knew her better than I wanted to.
I wished I could despise her
for the way she had no time
for anyone with empty pockets,
at least until the tourists went to bed. …


And am I the only one who wonders?

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Photo by Library of Congress on Unsplash

From Wikipedia:

The Turing test, originally called the imitation game by Alan Turing in 1950, is a test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human.

When the idea of artificial intelligence was new and humanoid robots were a popular trope in science fiction, people started speculating about whether a computer could ever pass as human. Isaac Asimov developed this concept in several of the stories in his classic collection I, Robot.

Since that time, numerous programs have been written by which computers do “converse” with humans, even to the point of providing text-based mental health counseling. In simple applications, programmers write scripts that anticipate possible questions or statements from the human participant and provide human-sounding responses to each. In more advanced forms, the programs use linguistic analysis to extract the meaning from the human input, then generate logical replies. …


Why I won’t ride that bandwagon

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Photo by Dan Counsell on Unsplash

I grew up reading science fiction. Old science fiction. Wells. Verne. Asimov. Heinlein. Clark.

Were those guys great writers? Not on your life. Not a one of them could hold a candle to David Brin, C.D. Cherryh, Dan Simmons, or Octavia Butler.

But in those days, we didn’t ask great craft of science fiction writers. What we asked of them — and got — was great ideas. They gave us visions of the future.

Rocket ships, computers, robots, flying cars, time travel, immortality. Humanity no longer plagued by poverty, disease, and war, populating outer space. …

About

Edward Robson, PhD

Retired psychologist, wordsmith, teacher, MFA candidate. Buy me coffee: ko-fi.com/edrobson. ecrobson@gmail.com

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