420.To Blog or not to Blog.

 

Why do I blog?  There is no fame or fortune, no status or glory in the blog business. I have refused all pay that has not yet been offered. So why do it?  Uh, why speak to the new barrista at the coffee shop?  Let’s see– because you want to connect, maybe share some of your presence with someone else. Tenderize a brain or two. Learn something in return maybe. Though I don’t know all three of my blog followers, I’m sure they are nice folks with great tolerance and compassion. Why? Because I write some odd things in this blog, mostly for my own entertainment. My devoted followers have not cut me off yet. Maybe this will do it. However, if I’m laughing while typing, that’s usually a good sign. Furthermore, if I find just the right picture on my Google search, that’s even better.

Blogging beats billing or getting my accounts in order. You see, I write on my office computer 90% of the time. Like right now as Leon Russell sings through his nose, “There’s a slow train comin’.” It’s an enjoyable distraction after a few intense therapy sessions. Some days clients don’t show so I click on Pandora and zoom along with Van Morrison, Lou Reed, Dylan, Neil Young, or any of the 100 artists on my shuffle. Music is a big deal for me; it seems to free up ideas and help my stream of consciousness flow. Good therapy needs good therapy, I think. Otherwise the therapist blows. Blogging is one of my coping strategies that ease my blood pressure and stress. I’m not a fan of stress though I willingly engage it daily. Therefore, I need an outlet after ferrying anxious folks across troubled waters.

It used to be running a few miles back when I was young enough to absorb all that pounding. Nowadays my back and hips cry out in protest to jogging. I still hunt groundhogs for fun in the warmer months. Cold-blooded murder of vermin, so it is. And I enjoy it. Every so often I will draw or paint something, usually in watercolors. Chess, too, is a beloved activity when I can find a willing and capable partner. These are all healthy distractions and stress relievers. We can all use more distractions these days, don’t you agree?

The new administration is whirling forward in a dizzying blur. Not sure how things are going to play out. I do find it fascinating and terrifying how the media have been demonized. Sure, some are prima donnas, but the biggest prima donna of all is the Prima Donald.  And sure, he is being demonized as well. There has never been another Prima Donald to my recollection. His panties are in a wad over the silliest and vainest items. Don, buddy, you won. It’s true. Why the conspiracy theory to suggest that not dozens, or scores, hundreds or thousands voted illegally for someone else. No, for a man of your stature, the fraud must be millions. And those millions must be illegal, brown, unwashed criminals loaded down with diseases, eager to rape white women.

If you have ever talked to someone who is delusional, you will find that the delusions are never mundane, garden variety issues. If someone is stalking them or tapping their phone, it can’t be a local marketer or traffic cop or a disgruntled neighbor. Nope. That’s just not good enough. Delusions of persecution need to be big– the Mafia, the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, Interpol,  or the KGB. It doesn’t sound fierce enough if the delusionoid says, “The PTA are after me.” Or NASA. Or AARP. Or the SPCA.  These latter acronyms lack the dramatic serrated edge of the former referents. Go big, my schizophrenic friends, or don’t go at all.

So, why would a sane man want to entertain a conspiracy that undercuts the system that just elected him president? I can only speculate. The Donald has been a magician over the past two years. He has managed to toss firebombs  left, right and center that distract the public and media from his last firebombs. He’s good at this sleight of mouth. But even the Donald has to step back in awe of the verbal tornado woodpecker that is Kellyanne Conway. She is masterful at deflection and redirecting any narrative. She spews more cooked noodles than any Chinese restaurant ever could while breathing through her ears.  Please, folks, you were legally elected by the system . Believe it. No need to gild the outcome into something of an intergalactic victory of our species over the Death Star of the Leftist/ Media/ Demoproglibs.  Act like you believe in the outcome. It is impressive and historic. Stop talking like the prom king is a drag queen who needs an alibi. The new truth in our post factual world is that she looks fabulous, and that’s all that matters.

Oh, oh, oh. But controlling the truth is not the same thing as seeking and speaking truth. Whether that truth is your promised tax returns or climate change; emoluments or fraudulent universities; seeing jihadi Muslims dancing in Jersey City or millions of worshipful audience members on the national mall; there are ways of determining the truth via an abundance of proof. We do this in court and in science labs. But in the big stage of what was once known as news, our anchors, experts, and talking heads allow greasy soundbites to pose as truths. What results is a  paranoid environment of mythical beliefs and alternative facts. Hocus pocus hoaxes.

Instead of seeking and speaking truth, our society seems to have become allergic to truth. We break out in partisan rages rather than calmly putting forth the known relevant facts. So many tricks are used to move the tone over the substance. Today’s soundbite is that 3 million illegals voted not for Trump. Unidentified polling places all over this country were fooled three million times. And the evidence is… missing.

What will next week bring, I wonder? A new Sharknado that Kellyanne will explain away.

*** Please take a moment to rate this post. Thanks for reading.

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290. The Messiness of History

Image result for st patrick's cathedral ny picturesReligion      and     Politics need to be very far removed from each other.  We need both to balance each other, but that never seems to happen. When one gets the upper hand, look out people!  Bad juju follows every time. Even in little Dorothy’s world of Depression Era Kansas, there had to be violence and death to reset the scales of justice.

Here is the five second outline of religion.

Impotent and scared, self -centered humans needed an explanation for the forces of nature.

They created unseen gods to explain what couldn’t other wise be explained.

(Motley Crue, 1982)

Eventually a priest came forward to run the show at a price that escalated over time.

“Trust me, people, I got this. The answer to our problems are the people next door. Seize their land, grain, cattle and women.”

Image result for images of moses in the desert(Charlton Heston before he joined the NRA.)

At first it was really cool to have priests running the show. It was new and sexy and liberating to rampage with the moral upper hand.

A new coercive order came out of the earlier chaos.

But the priest’s family inherited the job’s benefits and a priestly aristocratic class developed.

The priests concocted really cool ceremonies and rituals with costumes and props that amazed and scared and entertained the common folk, the 99.9% who labored on behalf of the cool priesthood, their shrines and temples.

Image result for aztec ceremonial pictures'(Where the Wild things Are.)

The 99.9%, ironically, felt more secure while being controlled because they knew the gods were on their side. Yippee! Because the priests told them so and executed anyone who disagreed.

Unfortunately, being essentially selfish human beings, priests built up riches at the expense of the rest of their people by taxing them somehow or enslaving them. Nice work if you can get it.

However, by that time they had become the lawmakers for all because they stood between the gods and the rest of mankind. Whoopy ding ding. They called the shots  and reminded everyone that they called the shots.

(Hammurabi talks with a chumpy subject. “Get my dry cleaning.”)

The priests interpreted what the gods did or didn’t do in such a way that it kept the priests in power. “Oh that?  That’s a holy enigma chupa cabra enchilada.”

“Holy Moly! Posiedon is really ticked off! We need sacrifices right now… but not from my family. Slaughter a 99.9% er.”

They usually had to kill somebody for some orthodox reason, but really they were just keeping their own power.

Image result for aztec ceremonial pictures' (Aztec holy heart extrication. Hmmm, looks like a 40 regular.)

Pretty soon the priests needed body guards since violence became necessary with the control of others.

( Singh warrior with sword. A really big sword.)

 

Inevitably the whole thing collapsed because of drought or natural disaster or the invasion by another bunch of lunatics with a different cast of gods. Or even better, when one of the priests accused the others of lying to the 99.9%.

So a new god would be born from the disaster, who must be appeased by the next selfish group of priests who arose from the ashes like an old burnt chicken.

Repeat. “It’s all good. Trust me. I got this.”

Politics is very similar to religion.

Secular government, religion in a different uniform, comes in between the people and some material enemy.

Image result for george washington victory pictures(Washington crosses the Delaware before the Coast Guard issued him a citation for overcrowding and standing up in a moving non-motorized craft.)

At first the secular governors are good revolutionaries and well armed… and then they get greedy and better armed.

Secular government attaches to myths of strength and greatness of the subject people.

 (George Washington shirtless, godlike. Putinesque.)

Secular government develops symbols and raises an army to defend itself. Funny how only a few years ago it had to raise a rag tag army to fight the evil empire of tyranny and injustice which inevitably it has become.

Image result for u.s. revolutionary army pictures

Secular government develops a nifty tax code to pay their own salary.  The new priests tax the 99.9% sufficiently to finance the expansion of the new empire. It sounds different, but it’s not. Some unfortunate soul is gonna have his heart ripped out to preserve the state.

Secular government’s primary job is to make it absolutely necessary that everyone submit to secular government, i.e., maintain its preeminence in perpetuity.

(A retired secretary of state looks at his legacy sinking.)

Secular government does not like or allow competition as it develops an aristocratic ruling class that mutates into lobbyists, which are congressmen without constraints.

(Napoleon stuffing money in his jacket.)

Secular government will eventually butt heads with religion, trying to suck out the vital marrow of religious truths and values while breaking the bones of any real religious power that might challenge the secular center’s grip on temporal power.

Secular government eventually overrules all competition until the government becomes bloated and unsustainable, and yet demands to be worshiped and respected.

Secular government eventually collapses under its own weight… a fatted pig that cannot walk, and so dies from morbid obesity a few feet away from the public tax trough.

Image result for extremely fat pig pictures (A former congressman turned lobbyist in Arlington, Va.)

Mixing religion with politics is toxic and brings out the worst in both. When the religious right got in bed with right leaning politicians, things got very hostile and stupid. Somehow God was sort of on the ballot. I’m sure there is a matching leftist rendezvous somewhere also, where secular leftists plot the neutering of religious institutions, opening a perfect secular world for loony leftists. I suppose the secular media and progressive politicians go to the same parties in Washington and make fun of religious folks, who are at barbeques with preachers and politicians doing the same thing only using different buzz words. That’s an opposite and equal mistake. Again, we need both but not together and not with one subordinate to the other. There needs to be a strong tension between religious folks and secular government, power balancing power, with guaranteed destruction of civilization hanging in the balance.

 Oh, my. Lions and tigers and bears are everywhere on the Road to OZ, which never did exist. But it’s good to know in our binary world that God is on our side and, therefore, not on anyone else’s.

 

 

 

 

 

251. Man Your Manure Spreaders

So the elections rolled across America yesterday and a new red map resulted. Not that it matters much. New liars will posture and promise and lie to us. Instead of blue-eyed liars we will endure redheaded liars for the next two to six years. Pundits and political planners are in a tizzy now for the meaning of it all, how it will all play out in the presidential election of 2016. Well, it will be what it will be. In a post Obama world we will be no better off than in the post Bush world, anymore than we were better off in a post Clinton world or a post Reagan world. Thank God for term limits. They guarantee a new herd of swine at the public trough with new, meaningless toots of verbal flatulence. Like pigs, politicians can eat and talk simultaneously because they use different ends of their anatomy for each function.

So on the way into town this morning I noticed that the left lane was slowing down behind a green and brown blinking vehicle up ahead. I pulled into the right lane and accelerated. As I got closer I recognized the back of the machine as a manure spreader heading into our fair town. The sulfurous stench of liquefied cow poop enveloped me and my car. I had pulled in behind it where two lanes merge into one; passing was not an option now. I had noticed the other cars were giving it a wide berth. Once I fell in line behind it I realized why. Gaggingly gross, sort of like politics, I thought. It crossed my mind that politics always stinks and brings you to tears. It doesn’t matter who is driving; politics is a nasty business.

I wondered if the driver of this stink wagon was Republican or Democrat. It was clearly an expensive rig pulled along by a high tech tractor with a closed cab, heated seats, satellite radio, and a deodorizer/ air purification system. Besides, the politician driving was upwind from his load of manure. He was clean and fresh and seemingly immune from it all on his comfy John Deere throne. He turned right onto Fifth Avenue, proving to me that he was indeed a Republican. You see if it had been a Democrat, he would have gotten stuck under the railroad overpass like many a truck driver does, bringing traffic to a halt until air could be let out of the tires to lower the vehicle an inch or two.  Then he would have turned the wrong way at the square into oncoming traffic. That’s the only way I can keep the two parties straight in my mind is by the mistaken policies they each cling to.

Republicans roll their poop  wagons into town promising tax cuts, jobs for all, and prosperity for few. They decry large government, foreigners, welfare programs for the less fortunate, gun control, and they promise to shrink government after they deregulate and weaken it for their cronies’ benefit. They question all critics’ patriotism and suggest that anyone who disagrees with them is a socialist, drug addicted, progressive, anti-Christian hater of the Motherland. When they leave office, they write books and go to work for exorbitant pay at private industries they used to regulate.

Now Democrats roll their poop wagons into town promising fairness and equality for you and me and the foreigner behind the tree. They pick different winners and losers. They promise tax fairness and raise taxes somewhere to pay for the expansion of government everywhere. They question all critics’ humanity and suggest that anyone who disagrees with them is a heartless fascist, elite, repressive right wing Christian hater of the Motherland. When they leave office, they write books and go to work for exorbitant pay at private industries they used to regulate.

One thing is certain: agreement is never possible or they’d be out of a job, snap, just like that. Contention is the thing that keeps job security going on till death. Inflated rhetoric and drama are the fuel.  Why problem solve when you can blame? Problem solving takes time and patience and thinking and determination and cooperation. Blame requires none of that. Blame is a low cost start up. See it’s as easy as pointing. A two year old can point at the family dog when cookies go missing. It’s that simple.

Agreement and cooperation, negotiation, and compromise shrink the gap between the two party finger pointing. Like the argument between guns or butter for homeland security, prisons or education for crime, treatment or incarceration for drugs, etc. As long as we stand on the wings and scream into the void, the void wins, growing wider with each election cycle. If we don’t fill in the void and find common ground, then we are left to sharpening partisan scalpels for two years while funding hate ads. How you frame the question also predetermines the possible answers you get.  If the question is always framed as either A or B, then the only answers possible are A or B. What if the correct answer is Both? Or Neither? Well, within that framework, you/we are out of luck. See, it’s either more prisons or more education. It’s either tax cuts or maintaining social programs. How about a little of both?

If you think you can just retire to Costa Rica or New Zealand, let me share one last encounter with manure. I was out jogging around the farms behind my house a few years ago. I saw a manure spreader rolling across a harvested cornfield. I identified the splash zone and figured that I’d just stay far enough away from that spewing poop fountain to stay dry. Well, I miscalculated. As I jogged around that field, the atomized liquid manure caught me downwind and settled like droplets of horrible dew on my hair and face and clothes. Disgust filled me and I felt biologically violated. I stopped in mid stride as the vaporized excrement actually caught in the back of my throat, activating my gag reflex. Yeah, inescapable as taxes and death… Politics.