Wednesday, September 21, 2016
  Where do the Delrays go?

Had an intense dream about status a few days ago. It was set in the '70s, post-hippie times. I was renting a large house and allowing several other people to stay while they were broke. I was doing their laundry and cooking for them. These other people, like all other people, were above me in status.

As I was trying to read, they were standing around me making harsh criticisms of my cooking. Realistic. Other people enjoy discussing my faults in my presence, knowing that the bottom-status item will not fight. One of them realized I was listening. He gave me the standard imperceptible headshake with hooded eyes and pursed lips, meaning "You are shit". Feeling the need to explain things to the retard, he spoke carefully and slowly in my direction: "We are reproaking your food."

At that point I rebelled and said "Hey! Reproach, not reproak! At least you could get your own words right if you're going to discuss what's wrong about me!"

He hooded his eyes again and made a slight pushdown gesture with his hand. Down, boy. Hush.

That was it. I shot him.

End of dream. Highly satisfying.

= = = = =

Just now figured it out. Status stack. Push down, POP up.

Computer science courses always use an unrealistic physical metaphor for stacks: the spring-loaded dish dispenser in cafeterias. Put numbers on top, the existing items push down; take numbers off, the spring pushes the existing items up.

This applies to an idealized stack, but all REAL stacks, even in finite computer memory, have a limit. After some pushes, the bottom item goes away.

Natural pre-civilized hierarchies work this way. The runt of the litter dies. There is no spring.

GM followed the pre-civilized hierarchy when it stacked its models. Impala pushes in at the top, Delray dies, Biscayne moves to bottom. Caprice pushes in at top, Biscayne dies.

Civilization, whether by Sharia Law or by the Soviet system, tries to put a floor or spring under the bottom. Everyone has an assigned role, and everyone stays above the zero line. The only way to fall through the floor and die is by turning criminal or refusing to perform your assigned role.

We are past civilization now. There is no spring. Delray drops through the zero line by alcohol or opiates or jumping.

Is there a way to regain civilization without a whole lot of literal POPs from the Basket Of Delrays? Dunno. I don't see it.

= = = = =

Language sidenote: Where did that word reproach come from? I've never written it here and I never use it. Not part of my active vocabulary.

Found it. Unsurprisingly, it was in the context of status and automobiles!

Article in an old Collectible Auto mag, currently on the bookholder at my eating table. Subject is the Chrysler Cordoba, a Personal Luxury Opera Coupé, upholstered in Fine Corinthian Leather and advertised by high-status Ricardo Montalban. In other words, a status prosthesis.

"In the same vein was Fuel Pacer, an optional warning light in the left fender-tip turn-signal indicator that glowed REPROVINGLY if you tread too heavily on the accelerator."

I had stopped to think about that sentence, because actual drivers used the warning light oppositely. When it glowed, it meant you were stomping hard enough. You wanted to keep it glowing. Low-status cheapskates like me aim for economy, but nobody sells to low-status cheapskates. For once Chrysler knew what it was doing, despite advertising the opposite.

Reprove and reproach aren't the same word, but close enough for dream work.

= = = = =

Followup Oct 4: The dream led to positive results. I had to deal with a medical bureaucracy that has become wildly incompetent. Went in for scheduled appointment, third try this year to get my fucking BP pills released from captivity. They didn't have the appointment on record; turns out the assigned physician went on vacation and they didn't tell me about the change.

Last PUSH. Stack overflow.

I waited for the next available barber and finally POPPED the status stack. For the first time in 66 years of miserable low-status life, I calmly and relentlessly reproached the high-status item, face-to-face, and forced the high-status item to FOCUS on the task at hand for a few minutes. It worked. Finally got my fucking BP pills. Paid for pills. Went home. It shouldn't have to be so goddamn hard, but obviously it is. Next time I'll bring a lawyer along.

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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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