On those mornings when it all seems clear, I can jump right into the water, and start typing away (the water is figurative, naturally…), heedless of the rules set forth many years ago to keep writers confined to a narrow little strip of possibility. In the Great Shrug that took place in the 90’s, all those rules were examined and verified to be pertinent to the writer’s art. But you know how I am about rules; they only apply when I say they apply, and not a moment before. So let’s take a moment to heave those rules out the window, and get on with the program for today, eh what?….
“In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all – security, comfort and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.” — Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter 29
Sound familiar? It should; it’s a perfect description of modern society. Americans no longer deserve the freedoms they were given, for they are all too willing to give them up in exchange for a false sense of security. The beloved ruling class goaded the unstable fanatics so prevalent in the middle east until they, out of their fear and loathing of Western ideals (and bombs), struck out in acts of senseless violence against civilian populations. Once they had done so, then those self-same manipulators then trumpeted the tune of “homeland security” and “have to break a few eggs to make an omelet” so long and loud that the public’s fears were whipped into a frenzy of hatred toward those who attacked out of their own fear, and allowed certain freedoms to be abridged in the name of defense.
I could go on; in fact I often do. But, I’m tired of trying to arouse people and alert them to the danger to our liberties, because nobody seems to be listening. It has been obvious for some time that the people who are running this country are pursuing their own agenda, and that agenda is in no way meant to benefit you or me. It is designed specifically to preserve the status quo, to keep the public ignorant and confused, and easily manipulated. And everyone just sits there and takes it. Oh, there are minor disturbances, such as the Occupy protests that continue, but even those are losing momentum, as the Machine just ignores them until they go away. Nothing has changed, and nothing will change, as long as the American people continue to allow their freedoms to be taken away, by the very people they elected to protect them…. I am disgusted, and I’m gonna buy a gun…. because I’ll be damned if they are going to take my freedom away. The price for that will be steep….
“The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.” — Gore Vidal
“Strange, because they are so frankly and hysterically insane — like all dreams: a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice and invented hell — mouths mercy and invented hell — mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man’s acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!” — Mark Twain, _The Mysterious Stranger_
I guess I’m feeling antagonistic this morning. I feel that antagonism on a daily basis, and I do so because, damn it, somebody has to! Somebody has to buck the tide, to refuse to buy into the fear-mongering and manipulation, to boldly shout, “the emperor is naked!” when necessary. I’m sick to death of a society that claims to be Christian, but has no tolerance whatsoever for other people, especially if they don’t worship the same idol. And there’s one more thing I’ve never understood, nor could any of the clergy I asked about it tell me anything that would explain how putting Jesus’ figure on a cross and hanging it over the altar is any different than a Buddhist shrine, or the Mormon ‘tablets of gold’ given to Brigham Young by the Angel Moroni. It’s all worshiping an idol; as far as I can see, one has no inherent advantage of believability over another. But I’m supposed to shut my mouth and eyes to this nonsense, and go along quietly with having the legacy of the Founding Fathers eaten away by the nibbling of fearful little mice…..
“Now I’ll give YOU something to believe. I’m just one hundred and one, five months and a day.” “I can’t believe THAT!” said Alice. “Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.” Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one CAN’T believe in impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” — Lewis Carroll, “Through the Looking-Glass”
So, what did you do before breakfast? If you’re like me, well, by breakfast time you’ve already created the Universe twice; it always takes two tries, it’s a complicated incantation, and you have to get the orbits just right, or it all crashes together and makes this Big Bang….. I think it’s a good thing to trot out a bit of nonsense now and again; especially when recent activities have included ranting and/or complaining in the guise of sharing the wealth. Besides, I couldn’t think of anything to put here that would be sillier than the Queen…. more’s the pity…..
“Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life; they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.” — Anne Lamott
I can’t claim that what I’m doing here always lives up to this, but I would say that this is an accurate statement of what I am shooting for when I write. There are brief moments when I feel as if I’ve gotten close, and on rare occasions, I write something that meets even my stringent standards of excellence. Not often enough, but the journey is the lesson, and mine has a long way to go before the last lines are written…. I just hope I’m still alive when I get there…. and can still appreciate it…. 🙂
“Life is not the way it is supposed to be. It is the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.” — Virginia Satir
Tactile; Commensurate; Xanthian; & Saarinen (Thanks to Carolyn of http://abcofspiritalk.wordpress.com for supplying the words….)
In a recent post, I made the tactical error of issuing a challenge to my readers, to wit: give me four words, and as long as I can find a meaning listed somewhere for each word, I can make a sentence with all of them used in it. Here is today’s solution….
The tactile properties of the Saarinen furniture grouping is commensurate with that of the Xanthian chairs; though neither set displays any obvious or hidden puns, they both feel the same.
I warned y’all that it could be a little strange, and it certainly is. But all four words are there, and their meanings are implied in the context of the sentence. Et voilá……
It’s been a long strange trip this morning, so I’m gonna go now, and deal with the real world for a bit. It’s going to be a strange day, I have a feeling…. y’all take care out there…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.