Monday, November 27, 2017

Doughton Park

Doughton Park is a recreation area on the Blue Ridge Parkway and is a good example of what is wrong with the way the US government has been run for decades. The Parkway itself, and the specific recreation areas, visitors centers, campgrounds, lodges, and trail system were all created by, for, and with money from the common citizens of the USA. As such, these places belong to the working class who mainly use them.

Unfortunately, for some decades now the National Park Service has been continuously underfunded and our Parks have been allowed to deteriorate. Doughton Park and the structures which were once used as recreation, information, and lodging is a prime example of everything that is wrong with our National Parks system.

This center is still good for picnicking, hiking, and camping (outside of winter). But all of the buildings at Doughton Park are now closed, and have been since 2010. The Bluffs Lodge, the store, and the coffee shop have all been shuttered due--we are told--to the presence of mold and the need for reconstruction. I will take them at their word on this. However, the problem is that while the people who cannot enjoy these places are left waiting, the nation has more than enough money to squander on any number of corporate projects and weapons systems that are not needed.

This is the kind of thing that I see when I go out to use our Parks and Recreation Areas that makes my blood boil. Whose ass should I kick? Whose skull needs to be caved in?

For now Doughton Park and the buildings that we can no longer use and enjoy sit vacant and waiting, receiving just enough attention to keep from falling in. There is a pathetic attempt to raise less than one million dollars via private donations to get the coffee shop and the camp store reopened. (You can donate to that effort here.) Corporate welfare and military expenditures consume this much cash in seconds, but citizens cannot enjoy what we built and own because of the greed and stupidity of the way government tax revenues are disbursed. This is insane.

For now I can (and do) still visit Doughton Park to picnic, hike, and camp (in season). However, the rest of the recreation area sits largely ignored and abandoned. This is wrong. Our Parks and Recreation Areas are not meant to make a profit. The profit within them lies in the recreational activities and the pleasure of how our citizens are able to enjoy their leisure time. If it costs tax money to operate these areas, then that is money well spent. Doling out the working class taxes on corporate welfare and for insane weapons systems and the production costs that go into the pockets of the billionaires is a stinking way to piss our money down the 1% rathole.

The Bluffs Lodge. 24 rustic rooms that provide peace and quiet, and a wonderful environment in which to experience that peace.

The Park Service may very well level this lodge that should remain open and in public hands.

Central pavilion between the two buildings.

The view from the paved pavilion.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Real Alpine versus False Alpine.

I have written a few times about the false alpine environments that exist in a few high altitude places here in the southeastern USA. False in that the ecosystems were produced by rampant clear-cutting, and subsequent forest fires followed by erosion-causing rainstorms.

So I just thought I'd show a photo of a true alpine setting from a long backpacking trip I took at very high altitude in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. The peaks around me here were well over 12,000 feet, and I think the one in the background was well over 13,000 feet. The table lands on which I was hiking is classic alpine meadow.

The second photo is of the slowly healing southern high country (roughly 6200 feet above sea level) in the North Carolina mountains in the Shining Rock Wilderness. It closely resembles the classic, true alpine setting. Eventually the Shining Rock area will once again be forested with red spruce and balsam trees. Until then, it will be similar to the open, high country we call "alpine".

Monday, November 13, 2017


The television show "The Black Mirror" sucks ass. Friends and acquaintances need to stop recommending that lame, obvious, bloated bullshit show to me.

Once again, "The Black Mirror" sucks ass.

It needed to be said. You can go now.

To Hell with this stupid, damned show.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

HP Lovecraft

I was both horrified and amused in recent years as a cadre of sick, twisted, authoritarian no-talent shitheads did their damndest to remove the image of HP Lovecraft from a mildly well known (but largely insignificant) literary award. Every few days the Internet would bring me the news of what these almost brainless louts would have to say about how the little bust of Lovecraft enraged them, or made them angry, or--and this was the best--offended their odious, worthless sensitivities. (This is their code word and their mantra. Things offend them.)

Alas, these punks succeeded in their stinking efforts to remove Lovecraft's name and image from their tiny circle-jerk awards ceremony. Well, I suppose they enjoy lathering the Vaseline upon one another's nether regions every twelve months. Let them have their moment of disgust.

After this went down I kept seeing one after another of these talentless shitheads droning on and on about what they term Lovecraft's worthlessness as a person and a writer or, if they were feeling magnanimous that day, the overrating of his body of work.

Yes, even Lovecraft's most ardent fans will readily admit that his purple prose is an acquired taste and that his fiction is sometimes riven with racist imagery. It was, as they say, a product of its time, and HPL was a result of his era and social station. That does not remove the importance of what he did any more than what any flawed human being did in their life both within and outside of their art. I don't see any of these morons trying to burn down Allen Ginsberg or Will Eisner, both of whom have awards created in their names, both of whom are guilty of offensive actions in their professional and personal lives.

At any rate, this all got me dwelling on what it was about HP Lovecraft that made him and his fiction so important and so influential. The following is why his stories became such seminal works. In addition the fiction of the anti-Lovecraft louts will be totally and utterly forgotten the second they are dead or otherwise unable to engage in their magical circle-jerk. And the stories of Howard Phillips Lovecraft will still be published, will still be read, and will still be imitated, will continue to influence many writers who will come.

And this is why Lovecraft and his works are deserving of respect.

Here's the thing about Lovecraft: He was an atheist. An adamant atheist. He believed in not one speck of the supernatural. Nothing. They also called themselves at that time, "realists". If it could not be detected or proven, then it was likely false.

So...a truly guilty pleasure of Lovecraft's was supernatural fiction. He loved the stuff. He reveled in it. Combined with his ironically Puritan ethics, such guilt must have driven him close to bats struggling with the incongruity of it all.

Thus, to assuage his guilt and put the matter to bed, he was struck with the spark of brilliance to create fiction in which the supernatural was given a SCIENTIFIC origin and principle.

This is the genius of Lovecraftian fiction. It puts the shade of supernatural within the realm of what is real. There is no magic, only science. There are no gods, only alien beings. Evil has no place; but cosmic indifference to squalid, tiny, insignificant Man rules the universe.

Therein lies the art of what Lovecraft did with horror/supernatural fiction. Nothing was the same after he created his literary work. It has dominated horror fiction and fantasy since the day he began to publish these works.

The whiny cadre of modern literary worms care not one whit for art. They only bother about themselves, all of whom will soon be forgotten and extinct. I have no doubt that they would dearly love to burn Lovecraft's books, but that would be too obvious.

The busts--created by artist Gahan Wilson--which so offended the worms.

Howard Phillips Lovecraft, the writer whose works offended the worms.

And yet, somehow, some way, for some reason, the man who created this image fails to upset any of the worms. They are not, for some inexplicable reason, offended by his name and reputation being touted and announced and celebrated every year for another award largely among a similar and connected genre literary ghetto.

Hideous, offensive, racist image created to demean and dehumanize, from the pencil and pen and mind of Will Eisner. Somehow I don't hear any voices raised over this offensive image of a widely published character that influenced millions of people in its day. Why is that?