Sunday, September 27, 2009

I perceive, therefore . . .

I stood outside on our porch one morning, just the other day. I often come out early, as the sun is rising, just to look. As I stood there, I began thinking; someday this will all be gone. I will no longer stand here looking out at the sky and the trees, and the houses with their residents just beginning to awaken. It will all be gone.
Then I corrected myself.
No, one day, it will remain, and only the image in my brain will be gone. But if there is no image in my brain, does it actually exist, this thing I now see? It’s the old, “if a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it, does the tree actually fall? Perhaps, if I am no longer here, then nothing exists.
So then, what are we all doing here? Are we all simply sitting around, waiting for Godot?
I think of the expression about people who, “are simply taking up space.” That is, they aren’t doing anything useful, but what is useful anyway? Is useful getting up in the morning, strapping on a vest filled with dynamite, driving to some crowded marketplace, and then detonating the vest?
Is useful deciding to feed a hungry child?
Is useful, then, a relative term, meaning, in the final analysis, exactly nothing?
In a million years, would being useful matter?
We fuss about such terminally stupid things, like whether two people of the same gender should be allowed to marry, while ignoring the fact that half of the “correctly married” will eventually divorce one another, some after great stress, and even violence. But of what consequence are such things anyway? Will the earth cease to rotate if we do one thing and not another?
Did it matter that Adolph Hitler decided to kill six million people simply because they were Jews, or Gypsies, or some other condition he deemed un-Germanic?
Well, it turns out that it did matter, but only briefly, and only to the people he killed, and the people who loved the people he killed. In a million years, Hitler will be as though he never existed. He’s the tree that fell in the forest while no one was around to see it or hear it fall. And the people he killed will also be as though they never existed.
What matters then is the moment . . . now. And the only moment that matters is that which I perceive. And if I act, always act, so as to create beauty, then for those brief moments that I exist, I may fulfill the only possible purpose for which I exist. And if I understand that beauty exists in many forms—a work of art surely, but also the smile of a child, the caress of a loved one, the rising of the sun, or its setting, the low whirring of a hummingbird’s wings as it caresses your path. These matter, even if only for the briefest moments. For those moments, I truly exist.. .

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rupert & His Right Wing Whores

I guess the world has changed. It used to be that we thought yelling "FIRE" in a crowded theatre was a No-No. But in today’s weird world, we have the whole of the Fox network yelling “FIRE” daily, even hourly. Why, I wonder?.
What could this far right wing agenda really be all about?
I am tempted to consider Beck, Limbaugh, O'Reilly and Hannity as mere right wing entertainers, the way I once looked upon Dennis Miller. But, whereas Miller simply told jokes about Bill Clinton, years after he had Bush as a potential target, these other guys really do seem to fit Hillary's definition of a "vast, right wing conspiracy." That they are well paid entertainers goes without saying. But who is pushing their buttons? And Why?
I keep coming up with Rupert Murdoch. He owns them, lock, stock and barrel--in that regard, I guess they're all just lively whores. Presumably, he could stop them, or urge them on. He chooses the latter. But, again, Why?
The "why" thing bothers me a lot. What is it Rupert wants, and why is nobody asking that question? I know, I know, we have this freedom of speech thing in this country.
But is this really just all about money? Does Rupert simply make a lot more money with his gang of right wing media thugs, than he would with responsible programming? Does anyone know? More to the point, I guess, is, does anyone in the country care?
I actually envision the possibility of a hard-right, fascistic takeover, or at the least, serious right wing violence triggered by this gang (I think of the Fox network as an anti-American, organized crime ring). They will deny any responsibility should that occur, because they lie for a living.
But do the rest of us have to simply sit back and allow them to destroy what is good about this country?
The only thing I can imagine is to boycott all of the advertisers who support both Fox and anything Rupert Murdoch owns.
Just a thought.

Friday, September 11, 2009

To Muse or not to Muse on 9/11

It’s 9/11 again, only without President Doofus and his gang of thugs. 9/11 always makes me wonder about a lot of things. For example, I still don’t know whether George W. Bush caused the attacks to occur, by doing nothing in response to an obvious threat, or whether the attacks were just one of those numerous awful global events that occur, like hurricanes and earthquakes. I remain convinced that the CIA was complicit, simply by being so inept. And that the FBI compounded the problem by their unwillingness to collaborate. But I still weep internally for the victims and their families. Assigning blame doesn't seem to help those people.
I continue to be amazed at all the continued killing around this poor benighted globe of ours. For a brief moment after 9/11, I hoped that perhaps mankind would declare all this killing crap off and sit down and actually talk to one another. How silly of me.
Now, I just wonder how long the world’s population needs to remain both this ignorant and this brutal, in the name of (take your pick) God, or Greed. I alternate myself. Isn’t this phenomenon, all by itself, proof that there is no Godly intervention in the affairs of mankind, and there never was? Note, it is not the case that global killing is proof that there is no God. On that we have no evidence. But, for me it is compelling evidence that God does not ever intervene.
But on another line of inquiry, I also have begun to wonder why such a large percentage of the world’s population needs to remain stuck mentally in the 12th century. Part of it, I know, is caused by religion, i.e., the conscious desire of the world’s religious leaders, regardless of their belief system, to keep their respective populations ignorant. But it seems to me that the people happily cooperate in this crazy endeavor. Some do escape, generally by a personal decision to actually use the brain with which they were born. But so many seem unwilling to rely on their own brain, and instead rely on someone else for their life directions (often crazy people like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, the Ayatollah, or the Pope). How else can you explain the personal decisions of people to hijack airplanes and fly them into buildings full of people who have never harmed them? Or to strap on an explosive belt, walk into a crowded marketplace and explode themselves and dozens of innocents? Even given the inane promises made to them by charlatans who promise them a discrete supply of virgins after death (I wonder, do the virgins come supplied with wine and cheese--but I digress.), it seems a stretch that someone would actually buy into those crazy tales. Of course, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck sold people on the notion that Obama was creating death panels that would send grandma on her way to her own nirvana. And most of these people were actually “educated” in this country. So, I guess we should not be surprised that people living a 12th century life in an isolated village in the middle of Afghanistan, would buy into such crap.
But how long does this go on, I wonder, before someone makes a huge goof, and commits some act that triggers all the crazy people to push the buttons of global destruction? Do we all really need this kind of crazy lifestyle? I mean, waiting for Godot is one thing, but this seems totally whacko.
I did hope, for a while, that someone both intelligent and with a social conscience, President Obama for example, could talk us down from our nutso desire to blow up everything. But since the election, republicans have been doing their best to destroy my hopes. And I can’t even figure out what they really want? Should we all just march back into the 12th century, and allow republicans to dictate from on high? Give them all the money, and everyone else jump off a high building. Is that what they want?
But then I keep thinking of that old saw, “Suppose they gave a war . . . and nobody came?” Where’s Jon Lennon when we need him?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Republican Crankiness

Well, for heaven’s sake, I guess they were right after all, those cranky republicans. They didn’t want their kids exposed to President Obama’s socialist political message. I mean, if the school system isn’t a safe place, protected from all those nasty politicians from the wrong side of the tracks, where is?
And the President delivered just as they expected. What was his message?
Stay in school
Work hard
Listen to your teachers and your parents
Man, how unAmerican is that? This guy, our pseudo-president (see he’s not a real president, cuz he wasn’t born in Amurrica. He was born in Hawaii, and we all know what than means.) is appealing to kids to be rational and to pay attention to their academic studies.
Is he kidding? Doesn’t that sound like Commie propaganda? It’s obviously lifted directly from Mein Kampf, or some other Fascist, or socialist booklet.
These clever republicans have certainly acted in the best interests of their kids by keeping them home, or better yet taking them out to Pizza Hut. Wouldn’t want them exposed to a successful Black man, now would we?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Thinking Out Loud

Suppose, just suppose that George W. Bush was not an imbecile. I know, I know; it stretches the mind to imagine such a thing. But, just for laughs, suppose. And suppose, as a result, he actually understood what happened on 9/11—that is, that airplanes hijacked by mostly Saudi Arabians who had been trained in Afghanistan, were responsible for destroying the World Trade Center, et al.
Now what would a smart person have done?
Attack Iraq? Hmmm, I think not.
I’m imagining that a truly smart person might have convened the world’s powerhouse nations, together with the world’s Muslim nations (wealth and power often don’t seem to go together) to decide that we had all had enough of this Jihad crap. That maybe it was time for the world to end the jihadi nonsense before it led to Armageddon.
Now the Taliban in Afghanistan, protecting Osama & Co., might have objected to such a meeting and such a decision, especially since they reside mentally somewhere in the 12th century. But screw them. Surely the world powers, with the help of the World’s Muslim Nations, could figure out a way to isolate the Taliban. Note, there isn’t any sensible way to quickly bring democracy to a country such as Afghanistan, with or without the Taliban. Democracy is a 20th century concept and the Afghans are a 12th century people. Never the twain shall meet.
But I’m thinking that the Europeans, the Arab sheiks/kings, even the Pakistanis, might have been convinced to cooperate in a global jihadi-pacification campaign, one that wouldn’t lead to destroying the world. Who knows, if we (the powers that be) actually managed to succeed in talking down the Irish from their decades-long campaign to terminate (with extreme prejudice) one another of their several religions, perhaps the Arabs and the Jews might have been convinced finally to end the 60-year war in Palestine.
Think of what the world would have thought of George then.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. But then Sadaam Hussein would still be in power. So what? So would the latest leader of North Korea. And so would the latest leader of Burma/Myanmar or whatever the hell it’s now called. And so would the crazies who now lead Iran.
And some of you are thinking, “yeah, but the world’s powers would never have agreed to any such thing.” Again, so what? How could we possibly have been worse off than we are right now?
Would our national debt now be in the range of $12 trillion?
Would Osama Bin Laden still be at large?
Would there still have been between four and five thousand American soldiers dead?
Would there still have been between 100,000 and one million Iraqi’s dead, not counting the several million refugees created by our war in Iraq?
Instead, because George W. Bush was an imbecile, and his cabal of neo-con-men and women pursued war policies only the stupid could love, we now have a president whose every option seems constrained by the idiocies that were put into place before him.
Makes the mind reel.