Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Gandhi in Reverse

Dave and I saw this window from the bus in Kilburn on the way to Notting Hill on Saturday. I went back yesterday to get a photo. It took me a while to figure out what it said. To save you the trouble...'s the same picture, flipped around.

I wonder if they wrote this message on purpose so that it would be seen backwards from the street, to make people think about it while deciphering it, or if they just didn't consider how it would look through the glass?

I spent all day yesterday at my computer, deleting old library customers from the last school year. I think I'm pretty much caught up with most of our opening tasks now. We're ready for the kids to arrive on Tuesday. (Monday is a holiday.)

I have consulted with doctors about my recent abnormal medical screening test. It's called a FIT test, and it looks for tiny amounts of blood in the stool as a sign of colon cancer. My test came back positive for blood, but not much -- there's certainly nothing visible. The gastroenterologist I spoke to Monday didn't seem unduly concerned, but I have to be super careful given my family history -- my paternal grandfather died at 59 from undiagnosed colon cancer. So yes, I am to be scheduled for a colonoscopy, and I should hear today when that will be -- some time within the next two weeks. Ugh.

I was anxious about it at first, but weirdly, a lot of my anxiety has dissipated. I think the doctors' mild reactions helped. I suppose getting all worked up about it doesn't help anything.

Dave and I watched "The Great Hack" on Netflix last night, about the role of Cambridge Analytica in parsing Facebook data about voters and feeding them targeted information to skew elections. It was an interesting movie, but I felt it focused too much on the "how" of the data collection and use -- but not enough on the "who" or the "why." Who are the people who owned and funded Cambridge Analytica, like the Mercers? What's their objective? Why does Steve Bannon advocate for Brexit or right-wing politics in Europe? Why does Nigel Farage care about the success of Donald Trump? This deeper, international manipulation of voters for right-wing causes is the story, it seems to me -- not the fact that my browsing data is out there for the taking. I know that already.


  1. Colonoscopies and the evil machinations of dark money are definitely not topics to dwell on late at night. I'm sending you lots of love, Steve, and hopes that all will be well.

  2. I wish someone would give Bannon, Farage, Trump, Johnson and the The Mercers colonscopies every night and every morning.

  3. I have this saying in my book of quotes, how true.

  4. I like YP's thinking. Don't like to idea of causing anyone real pain but keeping them thinking about other things than politics sounds perfect.

    Good luck with your test.

  5. Thank you for flipping that photo around. I like that quote. Good luck with colonoscopy. It's always good to get that over with.

  6. I think most people can't tell need from greed.

    perhaps it's nothing just a small polyp or two that they will snip off during this next colonoscopy.

  7. The prep for a colonoscopy is awful. However , these tests are necessary. I hope that everything will be found to be OK.

  8. Sorry to hear you'll need to have the colonoscopy. I'm hoping it turns out to be what ellen abbot said above, a small polyp or two. Best wishes.

  9. Lots of good wishes and thinking of you.

    Thank you for turning the picture around so we can read it.

  10. Yes, thanks for the picture flip. Good luck with your own "pictures".

  11. my father always mis-spelled "wet paint" signs so that people noticed them...

    Pirate has had others said, the prep is not nice..however he did enjoy watching the camera show with the medics.....

  12. I'm glad the doctors eased your concerns a bit. You are so wise to stay on top of your health in spite of how unpleasant the tests are. You have a lot of people sending positive vibes your way.
    I love that photo and the words expressed. It is so very true.
    Interesting take on the movie. I wonder those same things. People always want to see an easy solution to the world's problems not realizing how interconnected everything is. There are no easy solutions. Propping up one situation only leaves another one unbalanced.
    I'm reading Valerie Jarrett's book called "Finding My Voice". It has been a fascinating read from how her family thrived even under Jim Crow rules to how the Obama administration tackled some of the toughest issues out there. It is so interesting and just seals my great admiration for our former president.

  13. Arrgghhh. So sorry that there is a colonoscopy in your future. However, it's better to know than not. Thanks for the picture in reverse. I wonder how Gandhi would feel about what Modi is doing to the Muslims in India and Kashmir.

  14. I like your review of the Great Hack. Yes, I want to know those things, too. As for your upcoming procedure, if you have them regularly you will never have to succumb to colon cancer, it is very easy to stay ahead of that with regular screening. So I'm told.

  15. Bannon has always had a scorch the earth thing going on, and if you watch the DOC on netflix, The FAMILY, you might realize how big this thing really is and from where it stems. - festering since Eisenhower! It is almost too much information, GAHHHHH!
    Glad to hear that your inerds are OK. Glad you made it through that one!
    LOVE the window idea.

  16. I get pretty anxious about any kind of medical test, and my two go to methods to get out of my head for a bit are (1) the thought that time marches on whether I'm doing something fun or something terrible, so this too WILL pass, and (2) I try to remember how wonderful it is that such procedures exist. A hundred years ago people were still using mustard plasters for everything, for Pete's sake!

    I'm sure you have your own methods, though :)

    Maybe the writer of the window message didn't know how to write backwards. Growing up in the country with just one significantly older brother, I had to occupy myself a lot of the time, so I got fairly good at both writing and reading type backwards and upside down, as I think solitary kids often do, but as an adult I've been surprised by the number of people who don't have that in their skill set - lol

  17. I'm pleased to hear your anxiety levels have dropped regarding your health situation. As for the Great Hack - which I have not seen - the main players in this game are power seekers and manipulators and their payoff is seeing how easily people can be persuaded to take up their cause.

  18. Elizabeth: The stuff of nightmares, for sure! Thanks for the good wishes.

    YP: Me too! Justice!

    Briony: It is a brilliant quote, isn't it? Of course there were a lot fewer people in the world in Gandhi's day.

    Linda: Ha! Colonoscopy as distraction! I like it!

    Robin: I agree. I'll just be glad when it's all over.

    Ellen: Given that it's such a small amount of blood I think that's what they're thinking -- if anything it's a small polyp. Fingers crossed!

    Red: Thanks. Even the prep is better these days -- I mean, you can't avoid it but it's not as uncomfortable as I remember it being years ago.

    Colette: Thanks! Fingers crossed!

    Sabine: You're welcome! Definitely easier to make out the right way around.

    Catalyst: Ha! Thanks, but I promise I won't blog them!

    GZ: That's pretty smart! So that lends credence to the possibility that they deliberately wrote this message in a way that would make it read backwards from the street.

    Sharon: Jarrett's book sounds interesting! God, I long to have the Obamas back. If only.

    Allison: I'm sure he'd be appalled. Yes, it's better to stay on top of these things, healthwise. It's not fun but ignoring things is much, much worse!

    37P: That's my hope. The doctors say that statistically, I'm not at greater risk because of my grandfather -- the likelihood only rises when a first-degree relative (parent or sibling) has also had cancer. But I look a lot like my grandfather and I have his body type, so I consider that an extra degree of risk.

    Linda Sue: We did watch "The Family." I swear, I don't know where all these extremists come from.

    Jenny-O: It's true -- back in the day, people just dropped dead or withered away and no one really knew why.

    Alphie: But it's more than just seeing how easily they can persuade people. There's some kind of end game -- some kind of vision of the society they want to build. Right? I want to know what that is. What is Steve Bannon's vision for the future? What is his ideal world? And who's holding the purse strings to help him get there? I think it's probably fairly scary but that's what I want to know.

  19. Thanks for turning the pic around; a very moving quote.

    Hope the colonoscopy goes well. They're kind of a pain in the ass:)