The winds of fate are blowing, stirring our nascent memories of future pasts, pregnant with the possibility only the future can know. But mostly, we ignore it, in the face of what most concerns us at the time; car payments, taxes, doctor bills, all take precedence over what might be, or what could be. Funny, isn’t it? All our lives we make the same choices, never realizing that choosing to defy fate, or even enthusiastically embracing it, are both better options for us than ignoring it can ever be. Only embracing our fate, or standing up to it, no matter how frightening, can show us the path leading out of the mundane existence to which our misguided choices have led us, and back into a world filled with possibilities, and promise.
With that little nugget out instead of in, we may proceed to the next order of business on the agenda. Fortunately, I make the agenda, so let’s see what’s there for us today….. oh, look! Here is a nice list; I must have written it down last night while I was dreaming….
1) Answer knock on door; accept $25 million check for lottery win…
2) Take call from magazine editor who wants to pay me for Pearling; verify bank deposit of $5 million signing bonus….
3) Attend White House ceremony awarding me Citizen’s Medal of Honor, for my solution to the problem of world peace (which was signed into law at the world court day before yesterday. The necks of all the world leaders have all been fitted with their explosive collars, and the controls given to children all over the globe; peace now reigns, a bit nervously on the part of the leaders, I’d say….), and
4) Take a nap…..
hmmm, sounds like a solid plan to me….. until the knock on the door interrupts us, let us Pearl….
“We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain.” — Alan Watts
Hence, ye profane! I hate ye all,
Both the great vulgar and the small.
— Abraham Cowley (1618-1667) — Horace, Book iii, Ode 1
A plague is loose upon our houses, an unseen and unwanted scourge of pandemic disease, and nothing is being done about it, at all, at all, except by its victims……
In today’s society, there exist many difficult issues and problems that affect all the diverse segments of our culture, not all of which are acknowledged. One of the most perniciously insidious of these hidden and/or ignored issues is that of the deeply offensive existence of the illegal, and in some places, legal sex trade, possibly the worst plague that has ever afflicted our race, one which has, sadly, been present for untold centuries, sucking away at the health, morality, and vitality of society with impunity.
The abduction and slavery of women, girls, and even boys in some cases, condemning them to a life of sexual bondage, is being perpetrated on a daily basis, in every culture in the world, organized by, operated by, and in the process, making rich, the evil, sociopathic, misogynistic so-called men whose self-hatred and ignorance is acted out upon unsuspecting, vulnerable women and children, robbing them of their very humanity, and leaving all of them severely damaged, emotionally, physically, and behaviorally (I confess to some hesitation in naming these creatures men. I see a man as something completely unrelated to any of these wastes of sperm). It is, I believe, as pervasive, and equally as damaging in its hold on society, as the issue of racism currently flooding the news after the egregious, obviously racially motivated murder of Trayvon Williams. But, I guarantee, the utter disregard for human life, and the craven cowardice of the men involved, the same as is so obvious in that sad event, is no less ubiquitous in the sex trade…. but no one is talking about prostitution on a national, regional, or local stage.
Back before human society became so complex, men who murdered, or men who were cowardly enough to abuse women & children, were dealt with, quickly and finally, and without appeal, by the other men of the tribe, by common consent and custom, and there was no doubt among the other members of the tribe as to the honor of such actions. This is the principle historic basis for honor among men, to my mind, and has been lost, or at least misplaced, as society has become more complex, blurring the once-clear limits drawn to proscribe such destructive anti-social behaviors.
Now that my own awareness has been awakened, my eyes opened fully at last, I am of the opinion that it is time for the real men in this society to take up the mantle of responsibility that they have long ignored or rejected, and begin the process of removing this stain from our collective honor. We, as a group, have failed to meet our Duty as humans, as men who are part of a society, to protect and defend the vulnerable and the weak in that society against the men, and even women, who would take advantage of that vulnerability for their own diseased purposes. To regain our honor will require us to act, with purpose and dispatch, to defend the subjects of our Duty, to the death if necessary. It is the only way we can regain the honor we have lost through our unwillingness to see, and our failure to act.
In order to encourage the acceptance in today’s society of the need for action against the perpetrators of this atrocity, to hasten the release of those still held in thrall, and to promote the cause of those women whose strength and spirit have enabled them to save themselves from their enslaved state, I pledge to re-blog to this site every post I can possibly find written by one of these survivors who has found the strength and courage to tell their story, for as long as it takes, until my death intervenes to stop me, or the scourge, and those responsible for it, are eliminated from this plane of existence.
I’m happy to note that there are a significant number of these once enslaved, and now empowered women, who have found each other, and found strength in the unity of feeling and purpose that being supported has given them. As more links to their work come to my attention, I will be passing those on to my followers, who will hopefully do the same, until the necessary message has reached enough people who care to see that the needed changes in society are encompassed, not ignored or forgotten, as has been true for centuries now. It can only benefit all of us, and I’m not going to stop making noise about it, period, as long as it continues to exist. You can count on it…..
He took his vorpal sword in hand
Long time the manxom foe he sought
Till rested he by the tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought
— _Jabberwocky_, by Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson)
However many holy words you read,
However many you speak,
What good will they do you
If you do not act on upon them?
So much depends
A red wheel
Glazed with rain
Beside the white chickens
— William Carlos Williams, _The Red Wheelbarrow_
In poetry, creating and displaying contrasting images can create their own strong responses in the brain, responses that can affect our every act in hidden ways. When you read the above poem, what do YOU see? There are a series of sharp contrasts in the poem, created in part by the words themselves, but also enhanced by the position of those words in the structure of the poem. This will create a different response in every brain, I believe, and points out what I believe is true of all poetry, for all the people who read it.
In short, I believe that there is a special and significant part of the human brain that is solely responsible for our reaction to the poems we read, a part separate and distinct from that part of us that learns by reading prose. This part of us is connected directly to our sense of beauty, our sense of proportion, our sense of wonder, and our sense of justice. Each of those senses is one that is powerful in its hold on our behavior, and each plays an essential role in aligning our actions with our principles.
The direct effect this has on us is to immediately assign a high priority to whatever reaction in us the poem stimulates, a higher priority than might have been assigned from reading the same concepts in prose form. Thus, it frees our reaction, aiding it in achieving swift implementation, adding power and purpose to the ensuing actions. Essentially, our brains are able to make faster decisions, and develop faster responses to whatever the universe may dole out for its amusement, and in many, many instances, all documented in history, swift, decisive actions have a much higher success rate than do those less swiftly found and applied. And, as we all know, timing is everything……
“Literature. . . is the union of suffering with the instinct for form.” — Thomas Mann
And for the few that only lend their ear,
That few is all the world.
— Samuel Daniel (1562-1619) — Musophilus, Stanza 97
“Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer: there is nobility in preserving it coolly and proudly through long youth, until at last, in the ripeness of instinct and discretion, it can be safely exchanged for fidelity and happiness.” — George Santayana
This is a lovely and useful viewpoint to take as one’s own, but the message could have been presented with a bit more flair, I think. Perhaps it is an occupational hazard for philosophers to become pedantic, or just plain boring, when faced, as so often happens, with the task of trying to convey a subject of subtle depth and complexity to an audience not constitutionally prepared to receive it. I think the point could be made more attractive to, and more easily digested by, that subset of humanity if it were presented thus:
Being positive in life is all well and good,
and optimism will give you a half-full glass.
But in the end, to find the way out of the wood,
Doubt is a far better way to cover your ass!
gigoid wrote that….. for what it’s worth…..
“It has come to my attention that nothing I never said has caused me any harm. When I am gone, you will be sorry you never heard me say what I don’t usually. But if you had, it would have been memorable, which now it isn’t because you didn’t. I have enjoyed these occasional flashes of silence so much, since they enhance my conversation so delightfully. It is a pleasure for those who do not listen, so they don’t have to hear what I do not say, which is one of the major reasons why I don’t say what I do not do. I hope this clears up all the confusion.”
“It is probably not love that makes the world go around, but rather those mutually supportive alliances through which partners recognize their dependence on each other for the achievement of shared and private goals.” — Fred Allen
When I first came upon this, I started chuckling about half-way through, and it wasn’t until finishing that the reason why occurred to me. At the final word, my mind said to me “Hilarious! What a ridiculously superfluous train of thought, expressed with far too many words, and completely losing the clarity, relevance, and simple grandeur of the initial phrase.” (Well, it was a little pithier than that; my internal editor re-phrased it for me on the way to the page….) This man obviously had far too much time on his hands, and should have found something more useful to occupy his mind for that period of time when this was produced. He, and the rest of the world, would have been far better served had he turned his oh-so-mundane powers of perception on say, bathroom etiquette, or mushroom farming, or something he was more qualified to comment upon; it is clear that if he himself was ever in love, it was with an accountant……. ah well, it takes all kinds, I suppose…..
“If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.” — Thumper (1942)
I used to believe this to be the single best thing a Disney character ever said. And, all things considered, it is still a good policy for maintaining good everyday relations between people; what you don’t say can never be held against you. But, I can no longer hold it as my standard for all avenues of expression; if so, I’d have to give up writing altogether, as saying stuff that isn’t very nice comprises a significant percentage of my output. I do try to maintain a certain level of dignity, but with some of the issues I’ve come to be passionate about, I’m not going to limit myself to merely the nice stuff. Positivity is fine, in its place, but I’ll be frank; it’s not universally applicable in certain situations, and I won’t accept it as a limit to my choice of potentially useful actions. In short, it is not always the right path to success, an idea long expressed in our success-oriented culture as “nice guys finish last.”
Over time, I’ve come to realize that there are instances when the civilized man must put aside his civility, and connect with a baser side of his spirit. If, for example, I were ever to find myself alone in a room with a man I know to be involved in trafficking of human flesh, of prostituting and abusing women, for whatever reason he may have in his sick, tiny little brain, I will not be speaking to him nicely, or make any misguided attempts to appeal to his better nature. Most likely I wouldn’t speak with, or to, him at all; I’d probably just kill him in silence, quickly, without hesitation or mercy, like the vermin he is; with my bare hands if possible, for my sense of satisfaction, but with a bullet between his eyes if not. And then I would walk out the door, leaving his useless carcass there to rot. But that’s another story, for another day….. Besides, hearing that might scare Thumper, and that’s just wrong….
As we approach the end of another morning of self-indulgent self-expression, I find myself unusually tired. Of course, that may be a direct result of only four hours sleep, followed by two hours of unfettered, energy consuming thought, and the creation of today’s offering. Probably doesn’t indicate any superiority of the results of that effort, but it does speak to the perseverance I’ve shown on little sustenance of a physical nature….
Long story short, I think I’m gonna eat some breakfast, and go back to bed for a couple hours. I know, I know, terrible for my overall health, exercise-wise, but much more attractive in my current state than the concept of me outside, running, or even walking faster than a stroll; a terrifying prospect at best. No matter in the long run…. it’s my karma, and I’ll ignore it if I want to….so there….. 🙂 Y’all take care out there…..and watch out for stobor! They’re vicious this time of the year…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.