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Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all. ~~Hypatia

Is I Crazy? You Decide.

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1c4f70b Oh, boy have I unleashed the dogs of war. Offering up such a juicy steak to those incredibly warped individuals who don’t think that I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread. Handing them an eviscerating tool of great power–is I crazy? Twice?

Trust me, letting them think they have me at their mercy is just my way of inviting them into my lab-bore-a-tory said the spider to the fly.

Is I?

As a child, I laid upon my bed and wondered was anyone in the world like me? I feared not, and in the era of peer-pressured sameness that we all strove to reach, I quivered. Was I normal?

Now, at the threshold of agedness ( I shall never be a “senior” or and old person I swear), I lay upon my bed and wonder if there is anyone in the world like me. I fear so, and in an era of eccentricism, I quiver. I don’t wanna be normal.

I think my prayers are answered. Were answered, or were ignored but I was just lucky that my prayers were actually the way things are? One of the above.

I’m a nut. I believe in all sorts of things that you no doubt think foolish.

For instance.

I wrote about this before so bear with me. In college I took a logic course and was asked to write a response to this statement: Would you be willing to pay for the support of an individual whose only requirement was to read? In other words can I fathom a world in which not everyone must work for a living?

Buckminster Fuller suggested an answer:

“We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”

See,  I went to college. But not to think. I went to earn a living. And I did very well, thank you very much. I set myself up for a gentle life, not working too hard, in a reasonably decent setting. I had tons of friends and colleagues. I made good money and enjoyed the perks of professional work. I needed to make a living and by all standards, I succeeded rather well.

But that’s not what should be or could be. Too many good minds are wasted in menial work of all sorts, professional and otherwise. These minds might be better used if we just let them think.

I think it would all sort itself out over time. I mean if you aren’t a good thinker, then thinking would become both boring and well, mindless at some point. One would ache to get one’s hand on a piece of wood or a pie crust. And one would move to that. We would do what pleases us and revs up our juices. It would be sane.

Trouble is, most of us aren’t willing to pay for others to do what seems pointless to many. But thinkers think about things and thinking about things leads to ideas and ideas lead to schematics and drawings and experiments and prototypes, and, well you see where this goes.

New stuff is discovered and people who work with their hands for pleasure make this new stuff. And thinkers and paper pushers and bus drivers enjoy this new thing, which makes their lives a wisp easier or more pleasant. What’s not to like here?

Still, tight asses will complain. They will suspiciously stare at the thinker and want proof that their money is being well spent. No lobster sir, be satisfied with bean soup you grifter! Yes, they will not trust the process, because they are all about making sure they ain’t bein’ ripped off.

Hey nothing is perfect. Somebody is always scammin’ the system. Hell people go to great lengths to set themselves up as pillars of the community when they are stealin’ ya blind. Humans are very human no matter the system.

But if you are of the mind that humans are in a process of evolving, then shouldn’t we pursue avenues that point to evolution in our THINKING as well as in our technology? Shouldn’t we be nobler and kinder in our systems of governing, pushing us mere mortals to be better than we think we can be?

Didn’t Jefferson and Adams and Madison and all the rest focus on the horizon and see a future better than any before them? Didn’t they offer us the messiness of democracy because we would screw it up surely as humans, but we would have something worth struggling for rather than languishing in the monarch-subject model?

Why do we keep beating up on the defenseless? Look, a cursory examination of physical types of human being proves rather clearly that genetics is a tricky and sometimes comical thing. I’ve seen people put together in what looked to be no more than random cutting and pasting of various limbs. Head too small, body growing outward as one descended, legs like stumps without the merest reference to ankles?

If some physical jokes pass as the range of genetic drift allowed within the species,why is it so hard to realize that not everyone has inside their cranium the makings of even a good basic biologist? Some people are dumb. Some are thoughtless. Some are unable to walk and chew gum, or see beyond their own nose.  Why must they be conformed to some job to which they are ill-suited in almost all respects?

Let them find their way, and then make up the slack. Don’t they have enough to contend with? What must it be like to realize that one got shortchanged in the brain functioning department? To think but not to reason well? Ah, that’s the rub.

Out of common decency let these people be! A decent home, nutritious food, medical care, education based on interests. Do this to our less fortunate and embrace them as providing a meaningful richness to the fabric of humanity and move on.

Stop the whine. Yes, uber conservative with your compartmentalized brain and your rigid sense of right and wrong, I’m talking to you. You have worked all your life. Nobody gave you a thing (I know you believe this although it’s far from true). You can’t retire because you don’t have enough of whatever it is you think essential.

But that is not the only model of living available. There is nothing to be ashamed of if for any reason you can’t hoe the row established by the not so bright but physically strong average human. There is a place for us all, and if we do it right, we will be doubly enriched by the offerings of all these oddball humans who contribute to the human family diversity.

Sometimes people just make damn bad decisions. Should they pay forever? Or can you cut them some slack and help them exist in what’s left of their lives? Can ya?

That damn Protestant work ethic and those bootstraps will be small comfort in the grave. It did not serve you especially well quite honestly. There are other ways.

It’s a little bit socialistic I guess. And a bit psychosis.

That is. . . .

making-a-living

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Knee Deep in Hair Tufts

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Boehner.Crying-290x238 It’s fairly easy to pick out uber conservatives (aka nut jobs) today. They are the bald ones, having pulled out every last hair upon their holy heads at the vile in-your-face rebuke offered them by “those five unelected lawyers” who have seemingly taken to poking a stick at family values and the American way all in one fell swoop.

I arrived home yesterday to find my Better Half (aka the Contrarian) all dressed up and meeting me at the door. After the usual, “how was the pool?” dialogue, I was unable to contain my query any longer. “Why are you all dressed up in your big-boy clothes at 9:30 in the morning?” i asked.

“Guess you didn’t hear the news,” he grinned. “Gay marriage is now the law of the land, and according to WorldnetDaily, the next step is mandatory marriage. I don’t even have a boyfriend yet, but I’m ready if anyone shows up at the door as my designated gay-marriage mate.”

“I won’t make the cake you know,” I reminded him, “since it’s  my constitutional right based on religious freedom not to be forced to sanction your unholy alliance. Besides, since I’m gonna wear white, I don’t wanna take a chance on getting ganache all over me.”

I have no doubt that similar scenarios were played out all over America.

It’s now a day later, and well, we are being patient. I do hope the Committee to Assign picks a suitable dude for my dude. We are still negotiating whether I’ll get my own room or just get a King-size bed.

Oh, in case you have any “in” with that committee, we just want to say, we are open to most anything but we both dislike back hair if you don’t mind not sending that type. Otherwise we’re pretty open-minded.

On the other side of the ducat you will find your pass to health care still intact. Much as the uber right was praying to see millions of weeping ex-insurance holders collapsing in cancerous piles, all to the tune from The Life of Brian–bring out your dead!

Justice Roberts is being hung in effigy throughout the south and other hidey-hole enclaves throughout the lower forty-eight. “Traitor” is being bandied about and serious inquiry is afoot to determine whether the Chief has middle initials of B.A. and no I ain’t talkin’ about Bachelor of Arts.

It’s been a thoroughly bad week for the side that hides its hatred and bigotry behind phrases like “religious freedom” and “work ethic”. As usual they betray themselves in ‘splainin’ that all they want to do is punish the sin and give charity as they see fit without being taxed. Cuz we are so wilfully caring of our fellow-man and woman ya know.

Meanwhile, another  very right-wing piece of refuse, killed a bunch of surely very nice folks at a Black church in Charleston S.C. The Foxy Fools immediately decried this “attack on Christianity” furiously trying to pretend it had nothing to do with race hatred, since we live in a post-racial loving America.

Inevitably, somebody mentioned that once again, mass murder by guns in the hands of a loon. And just as surely,  the Foxy Fools  recalling their Murdock learnin’ responded, “the libs are trying to politicize this tragedy once again! Shame on them!” This while, Wayne La PeePee, stuttered in a whisper, “tell ’em to buy all the guns they can, cuz that Nazi-Arab-lovin’ usurper in the GOD-DAMN IT, CAN’T YOU SEE IT’S A WHITE HOUSE, is surely gonna take them away from you, declare martial law and declare himself Emperor for life.” Wayne’s phone went off, to the tune of cha-ching.

Meanwhile, I engage in yet another fruitless discussion with idiots. “If the crime rate has gone down in the last 25 years, as you say, well it must be because our gun laws are perfectly strict now,” said the lady who is too lazy to even determine whether crime is down as “I say”, let alone offer a rational explanation. Actually, the drop in crime is so significant that it has spawned several major studies done by illustrious public institutions like the U of Chicago, and the Brennan Center for Justice.

Guess what? It has to do with abortion (meaning unwanted children are not raised in poverty and do not fall victim to crime as a means to get out), and the passing of clean air/water act which cleaned up the lead in our old housing units and the neurological damage is does. Or better policing. Open carry and conceal carry? Zero impact on falling crime rates. Strict gun laws? Huh?

Now that’s gotta twist some knickers don’t it? Things the GOP and the so-conservative-it-hurts group have opposed. Abortion and regulation are ugly words to a Rightie.

So how about that Confederate flag thing? Yep, as soon as the GOP gave up any hope that the Foxy Fools could work their magic and turn the issue of a mass shooting to serve their own purpose, well the GOP turned on a dime and became “outraged” and all agreed that Nickki Haley was “courageous” in doing the “right thing”. Course the Nickster saw the flag as no problem just a few months earlier when running for her re-election.

“Why the CEO’s I’ve talked to haven’t ever mentioned that Confederate flag,” she assured us, so what’s the problem? Black folk, you see, did not figure into her determination. Why should they care?

Meanwhile, Governor Abbott in Texas proves what was deemed unbelievable only a few months ago. Somebody can do a worse job than Rickie “glasses” Perry. Abbott, appointed some woman to head up the state’s Board of Education. Which is of course not remarkable, except the woman appointed home schools her kids.

Did you read that? She home schools her kids because she doesn’t believe in the public school system. How rich is that? Seriously?

I’m keeping a close tab on all points of egress from the US. There are scores of drooling half-wits who claim that if either Obamacare or gay marriage came to fruition they would be movin’ elsewhere. I want to be sure to be there to wave them goodbye. And then burn the damn ramp to the boat once they are aboard. Good riddance!

Oh and California is facing a water shortage. Actually they are facing NO FUCKING WATER. This lead one lady to blame it on gays. God surely hates the wrong people screwing each other she bellowed and will punish US. And the rest of the thirsty bunch is suing to make sure they get their fair share of dry sand.

I gotta say, it’s been a good week for sanity. If you sort out the bullshit.

wildcat

On the Road Again

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On_The_road_again “Are you Catholic?” Alex asked. “Yeah,” I mumbled. “You know,” he added, “I grew up at St. Genevieve’s, went to school there too. But. . . .” So went another of the ever-occurring reasons for “why I don’t go to church anymore”. I can relate.

Substitute, writing for Catholic, and you have my last few weeks in a nutshell.

Confused?

Welcome to my world.

So am I.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had returned to the Church once again, seeking. . .something? Hell if I know what.

I didn’t find it. Nothing bad happened. The priest was okay as priests go. I don’t expect much.

If you don’t know what you are seeking, it’s pretty likely you won’t find it. How would you know?

Writing is just about as confusing. I’ve written a lot over the years. All sorts of writing. Big bold essays of a hundred pages, footnoted to Hades and back. Short, “reflections”. Legal arguments chock full of citation to other learned writings. Notes of books I’ve read. And then all this blogging. Years of it. thousands of posts, millions of words, ideas formed, bent, twisted, reconfigured, spit out. Arrogance, pomposity, mendacity, with a rare humble crumb offered here and about. My guts displayed for any who bothered to note it.

Do I have nothing left to say?

Perish that thought. I’d shrivel up and croke. My enemies (having enemies is a true joy if you think about it seriously) wish I would just “shut the fuck up”. That alone should spur me forward.

I start, I stop, I flounder. As good as I came, I saw, I conquered (veni, vidi, vici) doncha think?

Why are we so three oriented? Tragedies come in three, examples are most often offered in threes. Trinity? Trifecta? Triple creme? Triple crown. Banana split which has little to do with the split banana and everything to do with three scoops.

I’m reading a very intriguing book. What is God? Not Who, but What. It all stems from that flip. Turn a globe upside down and leave it like that. It will make you rethink a few things.

I’m processing faith versus religion. I’m pretty down on religion right now. Composed of fallible humans what would you expect? Is it necessary? Church votes yes. I’m pretty much votin’ no at this point.

I choose to express my faith through some rituals of this faith system. I call it Catholicism. You can call it the Whore of Babylon if you are not well educated. I don’t care. There is too much wrong to defend it. There is more right than I often admit.

I’m pretty sure that God is not what we think. But I am not at all sure. I don’t think I’m supposed to be sure. Augustine said we can only say what God isn’t. That is hardly a recipe for success.

Church is like stopping off at a rest stop. It is good to get out and stretch your legs, relieve your bladder, and munch a snack. But it’s not home. You got to get back at the grueling drive that never ends. Thinking, watching, staying awake. Driving requires concentration  if you plan to do it successfully over time. So is God-seeking.

One premise is that there is always something not quite real about reality. We sense there is more, but we can’t see it. We recognize the unreality. We have become desensitized to unreality. It passes by us with nary a nod.

A man says, “I am going to kill you because you are raping our women and taking over our country.” Another man says, “that’s hate against Christians,” (since the dead are Christians). Whose reality are we talking about?

I don’t reject the Catholic Church because of its theology. There is a Catholic Church here that is “not aligned with Rome”. They love my politics. But I don’t go and sit in the pews there. There is one of those Universalist Unitarians, or something here. There is Bahai here. I am not interested.

I plant my butt in a pew and I sit, and I wonder why I’m there. I count off the various “parts” until we get to communion and then the closing prayer, and then the closing hymn and then. I’m free again.

Why do I go?

I stopped going.

I feel something missing. Vicious and jealous mistress you faith!

Faith and religion. Two separate but unequal things. Faith matters, religion is some bonus at least once upon a time. Ever? Never? I did good once. It does good sometimes, somewhere.

The problem as always is the people. Fallible humans muck up the mud. Turn it ugly and personally motivated.  I hate welfare not because I don’t want to help the poor but because I want to decide who to give my charity to. So they say. What they mean is I can then avoid giving welfare to lazy queens and princes who lay in bed half the day before they saunter down to the welfare store and pick up their checks. As I JUDGE them anyway.

I don’t want the government to tell me how much to give. I bet ya a million bucks you couldn’t come begin to tell me how much the “government is taking out of you in taxes” to support medicaid, unemployment insurance, food stamps, and so forth. You couldn’t even give me a ball park figure of what they take. But somehow, you assure me, you would give more if it were voluntary. Yeah, sure ya would.

Religion starts off with laudable goals. Seek God. Take care of God’s people. But your old fallibility rose like the skunky smell it is, and you changed that to “God’s chosen people” however YOU JUDGMENTALLY DECIDED THAT.

I’m for Israel because they are God’s chosen, you utter with perfect surety. Bullshit.

If you believe God has favorites then you believe in an awfully wicked and strange being. One who creates so poorly that He finds one poor slob called Abram and tells him, he will “create a nation” of him. Hope he does it better than the first couple of times. Dont’ forget the whole fiasco of Noah and that damned ark that couldn’t be built large enough to begin to house “all God’s creation”.

Yet you got a passel of morons whose brains are so gucky with sludge that they gotta cling to that stuff as literal and then make it their life’s work to make you take it literally too.

And God is not in that damned Book you fool. PEOPLE wrote the book. They wrote it about the God they were seeking. Since you can’t tell me much about God on your own, why do you think they were any better at it? They’re just trying, same as you and me. Yet you kneel before the freakin’ book.

So here I sit. I read that the Pope has offered up an encyclical on the environment. As sure as it’s June and it’s hot, right wing Catholics are finally letting out what they really think. They really really don’t like this pope at all. Unlike their precious JPII and Benedict however, Francis doesn’t inherit the “God’s chosen” appellation. We don’t have to pay attention to Francis when we don’t like what he says.

“He’s not a scientist. He’s just giving his opinion on a subject that he has no expertise in.” So the upshot is to ignore what he says. He’s a dupe of some libtards in the Vatican who haven’t explained to this poor illiterate fool that words matter. “He’s a marxist, anyway.”  If you tried to continue the conversation say about women priests, they would tell you. “Pope John Paul has spoken on that issue and we will not allow further conversation because he says it is a closed issue.” Some personal opinions count. Oh yeah, the one’s you agree with.

Whose reality are we talking about?

Everywhere I go, I see the same thing. Distinctly different takes on reality. Both can’t be right. Or perhaps they can.

God is in the mysteries of life.

Oh, seeking Him there is not as easy as sittin’ in the pew. Reading and thinking and meditating, and working out the details. Only to realize that each and every insight provides fresh mystery, new questions, and potential conflicting yearnings.

Open your eyes, and your ears. But mostly open your heart. Take little if anything for granted. Seek serendipity, and sweet harmony. Enjoy the sugary taste until the bitterness creeps in. Seek further, and never stop. Ever.

That is human becoming.

Whistling Through the Clover of My Mind

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images (4) I’m not sure when it happened exactly. I don’t recall anything especial about the day.

What day?

Oh, the day I realized that I had the answer to most everything. When I got it all figured out, and knew that the remaining puzzle pieces were all gonna fit. In my picture of the world.

It should be a national holiday, shouldn’t it? And I know, now you are grabbing a blanket, some snacks and sitting down to listen carefully as I explain the answers  to all your hearts questions.

Sarah Palin continues to bring down the IQ level of the planet simply by breathing. She interjected herself and her simpleton daughter into the Duggar fray. She uses big words of which she knows not. Pedophilia comes to mind. Sarah, coming to a supermarket opening near you.

I ponder how profoundly the world changes. I mean, one doesn’t have to be a genius when it comes to history to understand that Jews and Arabs were natural allies for a good many HUNDREDS of years before they weren’t. Jews found some safety in Arab controlled lands at least when it came to the Christians who often slaughtered entire towns of them during the Crusading years. Muslims allowed them safe haven and allowed them to practice their faith largely unhampered.

And let us not forget that Jews fled places like Spain, often ending in Muslim held lands, to avoid  Torquemada and his forced “conversions” of Jews to Christianity. Muslims fared no better.

Yet today, we have a Middle East Muslim population determined (rationally or otherwise) to eradicate “Israel from the map”. Actually I think that refers more to the physicality of the state rather than all people Jewish, but still, a hell of a turn of events wouldn’t you say?

Is it in the water? No. It is the result of trying to pretend you’re holier than thou, when you are not. That’s why the GOP continues to find itself mired in the cesspool of sexuality wrongdoing virtually ALL the time. Hastert and the Duggars are simply the latest examples. We ain’t talkin’ your garden variety adultery ya know.

Like wrap your brain around the fact, that while wringing his holy hands in shock and dismay at Clinton’s adultery with Monica, the Speaker (Newty) was busy on his third serial adultery himself (and treating his ex in the despicable manner only a man who thinks of women as disposable arm candy can).

Newt stepped down in favor of Bob Livingston, who stepped down even before he formally took the gavel, having played around with as many as four women not his wives.

And then they settled on Dennis Hastert.

Well you know how that turned out. And then there was that guy who was pantin’ after pages. And the prostitutes, and the gay liaisons. And plenty of regular old adultery. It’s not that the Dems don’t engage in bad behavior, but it seldom flies in the face of their public hypocritical stances on gay rights, and the sanctity of marriage and all that other rot.

images (6) This sign should have been posted back in the fifties and sixties to most of the mothers giving birth to people like Santorum, Carson, Trump, Cruz, Walker, and so forth and so on and so on.

If I hear one more Republican strategist talk about the “wonderful field of candidates” we have this season, I’m gonna vomit.

Seriously do you paint crazy glue on your face so as to not crack up when saying that shit?

I read this and it seems accurate. The song says, “only the good die young.” That might well be true. I’m living proof. I ain’t good by design that’s for sure. My heart leads me to places that seem to rail at inequality, injustice, and all manner of dickish wrongitude, but it’s from no desire to be good. Just how it turned out. Education is a powerful teacher.

Speaking of which, living well is the best revenge I’m quite sure. And once I learned that, I spent my time trying to live well, which made living well much easier I gotta say. And knowin’ that the people who dislike me the most live these narrow mean little lives, well that’s my frosting.

My husband and I chatted the other night about how in our darker days (before we met or otherwise) when one sits and daydreams about the “perfect life”, well, reality caught up with us both. We are living it now. Both of us, rather blissful, sober in our assessment, very very aware of how lucky and blessed we are.

We love where we live (it ain’t called land of Enchantment for nothin” folks). We love our home and fitting it to our needs and desires as perfectly as possible. We love our companion pets whom we are privileged to care for. Most of all we love each other. After nearly sixteen years we still are never bored, and seldom disappointed. We laugh, and almost cry occasionally at how lucky we are.

I recall my father saying very sarcastically as he sat in his chair, his life fading away before his eyes, “And they call these my golden years.”

Well, they are truly golden for me, and I wake with such anticipation and such eagerness each day, fulfilling all my dreams and hopes for how I would live and do in these years after the working was finished.

But I’d still like a spare million should you have it. I can do more.

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I Never Wanted to Be Nice

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Good vs evil Gothic Girl I mean I seriously thought about being nice, and I rejected it. It’s a lousy gig, one to be avoided unless you are a masochist or something like that. Being nice means not being authentic, unless you decide that it’s worth all that work. Cuz being nice is hard work. Not for the faint hearted. Not for the lazy.

I know a lot of nice people. Past and present. They are always smiling. It’s part of the persona. At least while in public.

It’s always saying the right thing, and worse yet, it’s actually believing it. It’s liking to be liked, and being liked by so many people that when you die, well, there really won’t be a dry eye in the house. Your funeral will be well attended.

Why is it so sad when a funeral is not well attended? It shouldn’t be. I figure it’s as good of evidence as one gets that one has lived a life of profligate self-interest. I figure Donald Trump’s funeral will be well-attended. But it’s not because he ain’t all about self-interest. It will be because people want to be seen there, nothing else. There won’t be many wet eyes at that one.

Nice means submerging one’s true feelings because it’s not polite to be cruel or dismissive of the normal but boring detris of other people’s lives. First on the scene with a box of cookies. First to offer babysitting services. First to offer to plan a wedding shower. Yech, I gots way better stuff to do than that.

But it’s not all disrespect and narcissism. I mean being un-nice is not being deliberately mean or something. It has nothing to do with being good or bad. You can be good and un-nice. Or you can be good in spite of being un-nice.

Good is striving at all times (well most of the time maybe) to do the right thing, insofar as it leads to correct factual determinations and ultimately the use of such criterion in making decisions that matter. Or something like that.

It means caring about shit deeply. And it means speaking truth to anyone who will listen and shouting at those that won’t because you are damned sure that you probably know more than most about whatever you choose to pontificate upon.

It’s self-centered but benign. Or maybe not so benign, but that’s a word that doesn’t get used nearly often enough. I try to encourage the use of more words.

Being nice requires a lot of time. And to a lazy person, that means it starts with so many negatives that it surely can’t be resurrected except for the most important of situations.  It requires a whole lot of time and effort. Too much.

You know the nice people. They are uniformly nice. And secretly you admire them sorta, but not really because you figure they are more patsy than role model. They are sorta soft people, who settled on the safe “being nice” as their claim on the universe.

Wasn’t she just nice? The nicest person I ever knew. She was so nice. Everyone liked her.

Now that is the kiss of death ain’t it? What wants to be liked by everybody? What sort of bland is required to reach that pinnacle of mediocrity?

Seriously, nice is the easy way out in life. It’s bending to everyone’s whim because it’s far easier than sorting through all the demons that whisper in the background for you to come out and have some real fun.

Being the teacher I shall always remember as my favorite is not a claim to fame. Better to make someone sit up in shocked attention, and make it their life long goal to prove you wrong. That’s an impact. That’s worthy for the reference books, or at least an entry in Bartlett’s.

I don’t mean to make light. But I do.

For I am defending me.

Because, not being nice, no one else will.

Well, maybe not nobody. But not a lot of some bodies.

Few.

One other.

I’m a good person. I don’t pull the wings off flies. I don’t taunt little children, not pinch dogs to make them squeal. I think of global things that matter to lives in deep corners of the world and I tell people to think about them too.

I don’t steal or lie or commit adultery. I don’t commit treason, nor do I harbor hateful beliefs about fellow humans without strong evidence. If I do have the evidence, I’m surely not too polite to tell you. I figure you should know. It’s important to know who’s who.

Good is different from nice. Way different. And if you don’t know the difference, well, I ain’t got the time to explain it. And you might just be too stupid to get it anyhow. I have few illusions.

Illusions?

Figments of facts, floating by. Snatch one or two and make a statement. Let them all float by and you are living in suburbia serving the Merikan dream and largely brain-dead.

Who speaks of all this stuff?

It’s so much easier to play in your own puddle  but so much more fun to comment on the dirty water in your neighbor’s.

I don’t smile at clerks in stores all the time. Nice people do that. How can nice people be defined properly if I don’t help to anchor the alternative? So I don’t smile. And if they say one of those stupid things, like “did you find everything?” I’m likely to respond with a “now that is some sort of stupid question isn’t it? Either I gave up looking for “everything” or I did find everything, or I’m too lazy to care.

I point out stupid well. It’s a gift.

It’s lonely here in the gut section of humanity. Being the speaker of the obvious truth rather than pointing out how lovely your crappy dress looks with those shoes when they look hideous. Don’t get me wrong.

I’m not nice enough to not bother telling you that that crappy dress looks hideous with those shoes, because  why is it my job to care how you look? I enjoy a joke too ya know.

Mostly not being nice allows me to enjoy all the stuff I want to, without bothering to note the inconsistency in my commonly held positions on just about anything. Oh I bother now and then, and strike the old cognitive dissonance bell a time or two. But being good means never having to say you’re sorry. (Surely I did not lift that from Love Story?)

I’m almost sure I said everything. It’s hard to know, when you’re fighting writer’s block and feeling all Hemingwayish. No I did not mean that I’m fondling a shotgun or anything. Death wishes bore the shit out of me, and I find such people tedious.

I’m almost through grieving for Robin Williams. Almost.

Can you almost hear the sarcasm?

Can you almost wish this were over? No, my ego says no.

Almost.

We participate, (with a certain shamefacedness) in SoCS.

woman1

 

 

I Likey, You More Better, Capisce?

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3357a8890fe5cfb46c37219ea36f9f4c When all else fails, I can always talk about myself. It’s my favorite subject after all. Okay, like three dozen people just ran off to call in this story to their editors. . . .hot off the presses, Sherry is gonna talk about herself. Cheeky? Arrogant? Full of self? Oh yeah, all that.

Who does she think she is?

I said it before. Like her, or not, there are few other alternatives. She ain’t tepid oolong or Earl Grey.

She is me, and I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest that you probably got that.

I’m like a cat on a hot tin roof.

Or not. Mostly not.

If I were an animal which one would I be?

Polar bear mama?

Ponder that with your swayt tea. Yeah, we get that down here in New Mexico. I frankly hate that stuff. Sugar in tea? Are you mad?

People make me wonder. I mean take Bobby Jiggles Jindal. That man has no more chance of winning the GOP nomination than I do of winning a best in show at Madison Square Garden. Yet he twattles on.

Twattle, is a word conceived in sexual confusion. A cross between cunt and flapping lips of the face. See? Now you get it.

It’s a hell of a thing when your spiritual guru is a gang banger.

Well, not really, but sorta.

Yesterday I was a sittin’ in the pew when I noticed a young man with the usual accoutrements of style. . .ear-ring, sleeves cut out of the t-shirt. jeans, sneakers. He was sittin’ a few pews to the front of me.

Which made it convenient to watch.

So instead of concentrating on my own sinful self, I was bemused by this young man’s spiritual methodology. A very long time on the kneeler. No singing of entrance hymns. No murmuring of the “profession of faith” which is such a convoluted rattling of various Council pronunciations as to be indecipherable to all but the most religiously stringent of the faithful.

When that Gloria came along, oh good grief. It’s so badly written as to leave a normal believer astounded that given the whole of the Roman Catholic Church, no better rendition can be rendered but this? A squawky, akin to the Star Spangled Banner inability to keep the tune, sort of music that is painful to the ears and the senses.

My gangbanger, stands stoicly.

Mostly he sits with his head down, as if he’s there to beg atonement for a laundry list of crimes too numerous to mention. “Sorry God, but I shot somebody in a drive-by, and then celebrated with some blow, while threatening the mama of my baby for not having my dinner ready.” In the next breath, more sinful conduct is extruded.

Is any of this real? Oh probably not at all. The dude is probably a pediatrician, just out in his hoodie regalia which helps him calm down from the high intensity life of savior of children.

I jest?

Mostly.

It provided a handy excuse for not paying attention as Father explained all about the Holy Spirit and how we neglect it in our prayers.

Is that true for you too?

Do you pray to Jesus or the Father or the Holy Spirit? All the same yet different as they say.

Is it reasonable that Christian theology must be so convoluted? I suspect it works for theologians who like to think of themselves as pretty smart folks. And they are for the most part. Least they sound that way.

So, I’m sittin’ in the pew, figurin’ this guy is really doin’ it right. Most people don’t if you noticed. They are rushin’ around front to back, always with the obligatory bow to acknowledge that Jesus is layin’ on the altar, while we are talkin’ to our neighbor in the pew about a meat sale at the Carniceria.

So, I’m not talkin’, just praying me some Rosary until the bells ring and they remind everyone to shut the phones off. And I’m watching my mentor. I watch him with his own style of reverence, again on that kneeler when most everybody else is standing, because  the whole consecration thing is something to be knelt about.

And I wonder what the hell am I doing here?

Trying to recapture what once I had, yet which has so thoroughly departed. The devotion, the intensity, the It fuckin’ matters syndrome, it seems ephemeral after all this. Yet, I turn attention back. Jesus, I am not worthy to have you “under my roof” which is another of those John Paul/Benedict changes that is just change for change’s sake.

And he goes up for communion, but he is ahead of me, and I don’t realize until I get back to my seat, conveniently marked by my purse (what do men do to find their seat again?), that he has gone.

Guru man, you are of that ilk, (which I have never been) of those who in the confusion of people traipsing from pew to communion and back again, against the backdrop of a couple of hundred faces, working out their salvation with a wafer and sip, chooses to keep walking to the back and out the doors. Done! Got what I came for. Jesus is digesting in my belly and I’m roaring off in my Mazda to new Saturday night adventures.

I’m a bit chagrined by this turn of events. I wanted him to remain pious to the last second. Maybe be one of those stalwart types who continues laboriously to sing the closing hymn while people jostle  to get by and into the aisle, seeking the fastest route of escape past the priest who is taking a stand outside hoping to catch every last hand as it passes.

Alas, he has escaped and I’m chagrined, yet I’ve spent exactly three minutes of the sixty actually contemplating my own salvation. I don’t account all that bunk for much actually. I am, as they say, more of a Matthew 25 person. Get on with feeding the hungry and tending to the sick.

My spiritual guru seems made of common clay after all.

I sigh.

Whatever I’m here for, I seem to find. Not sure what exactly that is. But I feel better about everything somehow.

I don’t find it makes me kinder to stupid drivers though. I still yell at them from the safety of my car seat, taking satisfaction in the fact that I’m not stellar driver, but I am damn well better than that!

And I put it all aside, as I do every Saturday evening. Done! Mass obligation met. No need to think about that until next Saturday.

Which reminds me of the old guy at the pool, who apologized so deeply and long for not being able to sign my petition to open the pool at 8 because as he said, he could never come early, since he’s at Mass every morning. Alex, who recites the Rosary while he walks the water channel, did sign. No morning mass for him.

Too much piety for me. Except when I was in formation to be a nun.

Oh that’s news to you?

Fancy that. I prolly should yak about that sometime.

But not today. I don’t like to brag, unless I have a captive audience. God I know, I’m such a bitch. Which makes you even madder doesn’t it?

Remember this: happiness is the best revenge.

We participate occasionally and poorly in SoCS.

 

 

It’s as Good A Time as Any

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l_aec3aec0-6aaf-11e1-a36d-1d8174700002 Well here we are again. I’m inclined to talk (ask my husband), so there is little point in trying to silence me. You have no doubt made your decision already about me.

I’m not one of those persons who people are casual about. You either like me or you hate me, seldom anything down the middle.

So I don’t give a rip’s roaring ass which one you adhere to frankly. I can come down on that both sides of that issue too, depending, so welcome if you are reading, screw you in absentia if you aren’t.

I don’t figure myself to be that much different than the rest of ya, a bit smarter than the average, a tad wiser given my age than a thirty-year-old. I know myself better than most people  bother to inspect their innards, and I’m comfortable with what I find. Not always happy with it, mind you, but comfortable.

I grew up privileged. Not in super rich mind you, but privileged nonetheless. Most average kids from working class families don’t believe that, but it’s true. It was a hell of a lot easier than growing up African-American or Hispanic. It would have been better to be male given the times. But I never went to bed hungry or didn’t have a pair of shoes. I had the opportunity of a pretty decent education back when it was still affordable for the working class kid.

It’s a small but constant wonder to me that I ended up being a bleeding-heart liberal. I shouldn’t have, at least as I measure it from examining the lives of those I went to high school with. Some of them are loons. Some of them are just immersed in their own lives of grandkids and whatever one is interested in if it ain’t the state of the world and all who inhabit it. A few are liberal, a few pointedly conservative, but I repeat myself–the loons.

But I pride myself most about being a rational thinking individual who manages to blend a sophisticated metaphysical belief system along with a logic based political view of the world at the same time. They conflict, my angelic side and my devil as you would expect, and when the conflict comes, I wrestle with it, I seek to escape from it, but I rarely can ignore it.

Back in 2008, I supported Hillary Clinton, until it was obvious she was losing to Obama. Then I switched allegiance, since John McCain and his Alaskan albatross proved  to be unacceptable as leaders of the free world.

So we are now 2015, and Hillary is running again. And I am supporting her again. And. . . .

I’m conflicted.

Bernie Sanders and I disagree on very little. I was frankly surprised that he gathered so much money so quickly.

I am sensitive to the notion that if all of us smart people read the tea leaves accurately and accord him no real chance, we in fact insure he will have no real chance. Yet Hillary is more than competent and it’s so time for a woman to take the leadership.

Yet Hillary and I don’t agree on a number of things, and I am more than aware that she is more conservative (by nature) and certainly by design than I am. She is more comfortable with Wall Street than I would prefer. She is more hawkish that I would prefer.

In some ways Bernie has made this easier. At least his has the good sense to run under the Democratic banner, which means he is no threat to siphon off votes in the election as a third party candidate.

So I’ve been quiet about Hillary for the most part, hoping to let Bernie’s run peter out as it is expected to, and let the conflict within my head die a quiet death. And yet, I’m mindful that if he has no chance, it can surely be in part because people like me, his natural allies, won’t switch.

I am more than aware of my conflict of interests, which devolve down to a moral choice or a loyalty choice. Both are important I suppose, but one is compelling.

I am, as I say, pretty much clear on what motivates me.

An example.

The other evening, my husband admitted, “I have no opinion on the President’s trade agreement. I simply haven’t read hardly anything about it, so I don’t know who has the better argument.”

“Same here,” I replied, “but my reasons are quite different. I have deliberately avoided reading about it. I know at the end, I’ll either have to diss Elizabeth Warren or the President, and he needs all the support he can get against the crazies, so I’ve avoided the cognitive dissonance becoming informed would cause.”

See? I can and do act to avoid issues I don’t want to deal with.

And as I scrolled through my Facebook feed, I basically stayed fairly quiet when the discussions turned to Hillary or Bernie.

Yet the nagging continued.

This is not a time to merely support the candidate who can win. At least not until we get to the crossroads. Until the primaries are completed and one has withdrawn, I figure I am required by my moral compass at least to support the candidate whose dedicated to doing the most for the average person.

So I find myself feeling all sorts of traitor in leaving Hillary’s side and offering my small donation to Bernie. I still figure he doesn’t have a chance, but if that happens, at least I can sleep well knowing I did the right thing. I followed my conscious and not my cynical political savvy self.

Nothing will change in this country before it is too late to matter unless we as citizens, victims of the government machine, stand up and stop this madness. I’ve truly had enough of those who promise a better future while continuing to “play the game”.  The game at this point is simply rigged, and so clogged with illegality and personal greed as to make even Satan blanche at the sheer chutzpah.

Perhaps it’s always been this way, with a small but vocal group warning of “the end” but with climate change and income inequality, I don’t see planet earth surviving much longer with humanoids being at the top of the ladder. Unless that is, we make drastic changes.

They say that the uber wealthy in the world now routinely have bunkers build beneath their luxury homes, guarding against what they know must surely come, the uprising of people who have nothing left to lose.

I fully expect Hillary Clinton will be the next president. I hope however that she is not. Not because she wouldn’t be okay as president’s go. But because following Bernie, would be a fine time for Elizabeth Warren. And at least with Bernie, we have an honest chance to turn the page to a new way of doing democracy.

But enough of fantasy politics.

Back to reality.

Where’s my checkbook?

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