Whiskey for breakfast, misery for lunch….

Ffolkes,
Hoy, yo soy una tabula raza. Y cuando you escribo, es muy dificil. Pero, tambien soy un brujo, y la realidad es mi amigo. Andalé! Vamanos!……. Pop! Okay, whew! Thought I’d be stuck in Spanish all day; it’s all because last night I had a dream about my first real trip to Mexico, many years ago, when my partner in crime and I rode the train from Mexicali to Mazatlan, a brutal 30 hour ride. We found out an important piece of information on that trip.

Mexican beer won’t get you drunk, no matter how fast you consume it. It’s a decent way to stay hydrated, but that’s all. If not kept cool, it starts to taste somewhat like badger piss, though I’m only familiar with that on a hearsay level. Sure won’t give a buzz, though; it’s only about 1% alcohol. We forgot, it’s a Catholic country, and still rooted in the last century, minus one, in a cultural sense. Ah well, ’twas alright; we just spent the entire week with whiskey instead of beer. Jack is Jack, no matter where he travels……. Oh, I was wrong yesterday…..I didn’t lose my mind; it’s here somewhere. It’s just that due to intense mind fog all thoughts have been grounded.

Okay, I’m ready…..let’s rock…..
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“The common folk have many sayings, all about it being darkest before the dawn and clouds with silver linings and suchlike. We in the magical trade like to express our opinions of these matters somewhat differently. A lifetime of experience will have taught the average sorcerer that no matter how hopeless the situation seems, no matter how painful and fraught with danger his options may be, no matter how close he may be to an indescribably hideous death and perhaps even eternal damnation, still, the good wizard knows, it can always get worse.” — The Teachings of Ebenezum, Vol. XLVI (General Introduction)

Yesterday, one of the outstanding readers who have stumbled upon this blog sent me a comment. It was somewhat long and involved, but perhaps the best part was when he oh-so-gently chastised me for lacking faith in the goodness of human nature, and rightly so. My recent rantings have been somewhat critical of our beloved ruling class, and others, and he noted that it is entirely possible that they are merely living up to the expectations placed on them by virtue of being in the public eye, rather than exhibiting any malice aforethought.

I am compelled to agree with him, at least to an extent. It is easy to become TOO negative, and I probably stepped a couple paces over that line lately. But I also have to point out that, regardless of how tongue-in-cheek the above statements may be, they are accurate as to the basic message given in the final line. It can always get worse, and if Murphy is anywhere about, you can count on it…..I suppose all we can do is what we’ve always done, throughout history, and that is to keep your clothes, spell books, and weapons where you can find them in the dark…..
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You could say I’d lost my faith in our politicians.

But it was a small loss, considering there wasn’t much there to begin with…..I’d be willing to have a bit more faith in them, if even one of them would stop consistently lying to me. Note I said consistently; I’m adult enough to realize that, being what they are, they have to lie. If they could just learn to not lie EVERY time they open their mouths, we could reach some kind of compromise agreement. But they don’t seem to want, or seem not to be able, to do that, so I’ll just have to go on wallowing in my disbelief. That way, I’m not disappointed so often……. My mind ain’t so open that just anything can crawl right in.

“Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.” — Paulo Freire
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‘You can’t go home again if home is a place you’ve never been.”– Ursula K Leguin

Sad it is that too many people in our society, of all ages, know exactly what this means, from cruel experience. Society has always had its poor and homeless, and repeated explorations into the reasons for it have all been inconclusive, for they all get to the same point and lose coherent credibility. When the vagaries and complexities of human nature are brought into the equation, the sheer number of variables makes the equation unsolvable.

In other words, nobody knows for sure why society arranges itself as it does. We just don’t know enough for certain to be able to say with any high degree of confidence, “THIS is why this is so”. Thus, any and all attempts at solution to the problem have been ineffective at best. We live in a nation with more natural resources than all but a handful of countries around the world, but we still have a small but significant percentage of our population who don’t know whether they will eat today, or whether they will sleep indoors tonight. I can’t say I’m any smarter than anyone else who has looked at this issue; I don’t claim to have any magic bullets. But I can feel compassion, and I can wish……..
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“I once wanted to save the world. Now I just want to leave the room with dignity.” — Lotus Weinstock

Boy if this ain’t the truth! I can’t really add anything to this; it’s a relatively perfect observation of how our attitudes change over time. I’m just glad that dignity is still the goal. I should probably be glad that my self-expectations haven’t devolved any further, to where all I want is for it all to end. It will take a lot more pain and anguish before I even look in that direction, much less consider going there…….I’m glad to be obstinate, in this instance at least…… besides, if I aim any lower, I risk being hit myself, by a ricochet…..
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“If you have a particular faith or religion, that is good. But you can survive without it if you have love, compassion, and tolerance. The clear truth of a person’s love of God is if that person genuinely shows love to fellow human beings.” — Dalai Lama

Here we have some plain common sense, in the guise of eternal wisdom. I like to think that even the most dogmatic religious devotee, of any religion, would agree with this concept. It’s difficult to object when it matches so closely the most basic beliefs of almost every sect. Though proponents of each world-view may differ greatly on the shape and nature of what they worship, none would deny that love, compassion, and tolerance are lessons taught by all of them in their study and contemplation of human nature and its niche in the scheme of things. In every face with which God is seen by Man, one may see these three attributes written clearly on their visage. If we have any redeeming feature written on the slate of our souls, love for one’s fellow man would be that characteristic…..

“[…] For all our conceits about being the center of the universe, we live in a routine planet of a humdrum star stuck away in an obscure corner […] on an unexceptional galaxy which is one of about 100 billion galaxies. […] That is the fundamental fact of the universe we inhabit, and it is very good for us to understand that.” — Carl Sagan
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The only thing that makes a democracy work is the force of morality. If all that is in place is the force of law, you have a police state. The force of morality always comes from a deep belief that you are accountable for all your own choices — even those that aren’t discovered or punished by law. It is the force of morality that lets us focus on what we share working together to make a better society.” — Callan Williams

I don’t think I need to add anything to this statement either. It pretty well matches my own take on the subject, which is rooted in the concept of taking personal responsibility for one’s actions. Too many people in today’s society have never even been exposed to this concept, and to expect them to be able to live up to it is unrealistic at best. Moral action requires more than simply having an impulse toward right action; it requires that one find the courage to then act upon those impulses. Not everyone has that moral courage, as it is hard work to get to the point of understanding it and making it a part of one’s set of behavioral guidelines. Very hard work, and most folks honestly don’t have it in them to make the effort. That is a shame, to be sure; modern life would be a lot different if this morality was more common, and I can’t help but think those kinds of changes would be a good thing…..
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Well, I’d better stop here. I’ve already said more than I intended when I sat down; I guess that’s par for this course. Time now to go out and see what the day holds……y’all take care out there…..


Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

4 thoughts on “Whiskey for breakfast, misery for lunch….

  1. I can’t see you ever being a ‘blank slate’; or a witch for that matter, but hey; let’s go….

    Once again you pull at my thoughts and cause me to agree with you; against my better judgement! 😉 In my opinion; your vision is very clear, precise and born from experience.

    The chap who you mentioned today in your writings made a great comment in regard to individuals reacting to our preconceived expectations of them. I believe, in part, that this is true. However, many are just not capable of understanding or even able to conceive that this is reality. Many are so devoid of appreciation of the finer subtleties of human interaction that it is an issue of no comprenda.

    I too wish that this was not the case; ‘twould be a happier place, this dwelling of ours. However, I am not that down hearted that I don’t see a glimpse of a more peaceful, trustworthy existence in some very far distant future. Until then I will recognise the beauty that does present; enjoy the beauty within and allow those of lesser sight to live in their reality betwixt night and day.

    Thanks again for a ‘compelling’ read.

  2. Carolyn….thanks. I’m happy you enjoy my drivel; drivel it may be but I put a lot of myself into it, and it’s nice to hear someone likes it. For the first ten minutes or so every day, pre-coffee, I am indeed a tabula raza; if coffee is delayed overlong, trying to write on the slate gives me the feeling of fingernails scraping over one. Though I hold many beliefs in common with Wicca, I am indeed not a witch; at best one could accurately call me a practical wizard, and at worst a meddling old fool. You’re right to note that many folks aren’t capable of acting even so far as low expectations, but I’ll note that these people are the ones who most need our compassion, if not our respect.

    As for the future, in the current state of affairs in society at large, I find it best to try not to speculate very far ahead, as the mounting evidence of the imminence of trouble is reaching a very menacing height, and the view to the future is obscured by uncertainty. I’m an optimist by nature, but a realist by choice, and my realistic side keeps telling me to keep an emergency pack ready, because I may need to move quickly.

    Once again, thanks for coming by to read, and to share your thoughts. I’m a big fan of dialogue….until I see you next time, take care…..

    • Compassion and Respect….. Without these two companions I don’t believe that we could see reality and remain sane. Not that I’m suggesting I am 😉 However, it is these two attributes that, I believe, allow us to appreciate reality, and be neither dismayed nor exhilarated by the evidence that it produces. Not saying that ‘reality’ does not distress, at times. However, compassion and respect allow one to ‘accept’ the prevailing condition; whatever that may be; even if it is to bring about destruction and decline. Without respect we would be demanding that others ‘change’ to suit ourselves. With respect we allow (not necessarily agree with) others the right to be and do as their conscience dictates. This was certainly a very difficult thing for me to do as a young person. I dare say it remains an integral aspect of youth today.

      I enjoy your writing because I know that it stems from the foundation of compassion and respect. In fact, I believe that they are very high on your list of good qualities to pursue. If it means anything; I see these qualities right throughout your musings.

      Oh, and by the way; where would we run?

      • When the time comes to jump and run, the destination matters less than the journey to safety. It could be New Zealand (calculated to be the best place to survive if nuclear weapons are used), it could be another planet (I believe the nearest possible habitable planets are at least 11 light years away, so this one is problematic acting alone). To be honest, I won’t know which way to run, until I know what might follow me; it may be best to make a stand where I am. I won’t know if I’ll need to do a slow sneak, or a fast blitzkrieg to get free. I won’t know the answer to any of these in a definite sense until the time draws nigh; it all depends on what is going on that would make me decide to skedaddle.

        I’m glad my work stimulates your thoughts; it’s always good to be able to run one’s perceptions and ideas up against the sounding board of another mind. I’m getting tired; I’ve been up & writing since 0700, so I’m going to switch off the old brain and watch a movie. You have a good evening; I look forward to your next comments…..take care….

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