By Dan Bodine
The world is just one big conspiracy against you, isn’t it? When you can’t get a handle on your own self-discipline? Better to bide your time (i.e., fill it with chores), than confronting weakness in yourself, right?
Yeah, me, too! I’ve been guilty of thinking “Somebody’s out to get me” so many times in my wrong-headedness, the words ought to be placed on my tombstone.
With a footnote added below it, “Lord, I hope you win!” Hee, hee! One last prayer of the dearly departed!
This most recent conspiracy incident — for the longest time now — has involved websites I play around on some: Desert Mountain Times, this one; and one I do more philosophizing on, Center on Social Minimalism. (Linked, in case you haven’t check it out yet.)
“For the longest time,” yes, every time I post on either one, a “phishing warning” is sent out to website subscribers (Yes, that’s one posted above as example), which instinctively I think advises them of a warning.
Something akin to “We don’t know how well you know this ol’ boy sending this, but we have reason to believe he ain’t totally on the up-and-up; and thus a little caution in opening his link might be well advised.”
Which, every time I see it, blood boils. Hear yee?!
“What the hell’s going on?!” I mutter. Again. Again. And again. “Someone accusing me of phishing?!” (I swear, one of these days I’m gonna look that word up and see what it means. When I have time!)
Now those of you who know me well, probably aren’t surprised by this, right? I mean, normally when one realizes something is amiss, follows up with some kind of corrective action, right?
Because it Don’t look good! And all that stuff.
BUT…Knowing me, you know not to hold your breath waiting on me to clear it up, or confront a self-weakness (whatever it may be)! And have kept right on opening my links and reading my chit-chatters, right? Mas o meno?
And the sky ain’t fallen on ‘ya for it, right?! Had a hunch it wouldn’t!
But…Well, no, there’s something else bothering me, too!
What’s been getting under my skin — slowly, yes — is that still (after all these years!) I don’t have anywhere even close to 100,000 subscribers yet!
Ain’t that a kick!??
(Hee, hee! I swore my first few years out of high school [I was reared as a Baptist fundamentalist, yes], I was going to chase ghosts of fundamentalism out of my life, forever. And, indeed, spent a few decades with whiskey working at it. Then learned, “Nah! Can’t do it! Not totally! Just recognize when one hits!”)
Well, maturity helps. But these things are embedded in you; and will sure sneak up on you when least suspecting. (Quick, someone send a memo about “conspiracy thinking” to ISIS over in the Mideast! Before they kill another thousand or so!)
The final two blows, for me, was when the story, first, on Tigger, and then, most recently, my Catholic wedding, didn’t ping the readership meters in the dashboards of my two websites.
The meters give you an idea of how many people are reading your work. In both of these cases, there wasn’t much of a lift. There shudda been! GOOD topics!!!
Gee, why???! a self-doubt crept in with.
And there it was, again. On cue! That skewed, Baptist fundamentalist, alter-ego voice, Jethro Bodeen:
Because there’s a conspiracy against you! it said.
Well, Bluehost, the organization that hosts my sites and thus (you’d think, anyway) distributes when I hit that magic “Publish” button, is a well-used hosting service. Blame them?!
Come on, now! Gimme a break, what else could it have been?! Jethro replied. “You refused to purchase that Website Security button Bluehost offered to sell you, right?! Making you more bono-fied? That’s it, Bozo!! Ya gotta pay to play!! This is what you git!!!
Ah… times aren’t easy when you’re retired. And old. Your body feeling not so good. And you’ve lost your hearing; can’t hear anything but some voice in your head, i.e. Which mostly is fear of uncertainty fueled by fundamentalism’s ignorance! That small child in you you’ve never been able to put to bed right!
But these sites, I love to play on ’em! They keep my blood flowing! I countered.
So it was a disturbance of sorts. Knotted.
Tuesday or Wednesday night, I finally got around to sending Bluehost a message about my problem. Jethro leaned on me! More or less accused them of blackmail. (Gotta be hot, right!? Isn’t that the fundamentalist’s script?)
Within an hour or so, from one of the company’s kind service technicians, I received the following communique:
“…We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you. I have checked your websites. The problem you faced was due to a setting error in default sender address, which was set to server. Now, I have corrected it.” (my emphasis)
Whatever that means, Bluehost, I apologize, I sent back. And thanks.
Then I realized it!
The original default address I’d registered — firstname.lastname@example.org — I later dropped. Running into too many problems with switching local internet suppliers.
But, like a dummy — Who doesn’t know a fraction of what it thinks it knows (especially about this new electronic publishing) — I never bothered to advise the website host of the change.
So what happened?
It’s a conspiracy, dammit! A conspiracy!!
Can it, Jethro! Go back to sleep!
Hee, hee. Ridin’ herd on yourself, that’s called. Otherwise known as confronting weaknesses, or your feeble fears.
Sometimes you just gotta do it!
Especially faced with a conspiracy theorist like Jethro Bodeen!
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