Archive for July, 2013

Managed liberty

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

I’m confused by the daily news. It used to feel so much more interesting. Yet, when I read the headlines, the very same things I was passionate about then are still being trumpeted today. War here and there. Celebrity pregnancies. Economic prophesying. All types of traffic crashes and the occasional firearm slaughter. I guess my life has just been busy lately. Maybe I have less interest in the news because I have less time to feel its excitement.

The other day a mega millionaire published a refreshingly candid guide on how his dramatically underpaid staff should structure their budgets to live on less than enough. I paused to reflect, because for a long time I’ve noticed our financial press is essentially the same thing: pundits enthusiastically telling people how to manage money – as if we have it.

Somehow, this cultural schizophrenia endures. Our brains are occupied with voices and images that excite us when we’re not preoccupied trying to pay for dinner. There’s no time for anything else. There’s no seeing our way forward. I was chastised for chuckling at the ambitions of the so-called ‘Occupy’ movement, but apparently those movers are once again sated with their eco-proletarian news clips and their numberless rock and roll bands.

My personal view is the mass of humanity does just fine if it’s given bread and water, and tossed a few icons to devote energy to when it isn’t simply hungry. Our current re-characterization of this is hidden in our discussions of ‘liberty’ versus ‘security.’ A secret organization with broad military power and juridical immunity has been formally handed control over the communications apparatus of the entire nation. Excluding topics deemed unacceptable by the organization, the public conversation is animated and interesting.

Already, our children have learned there are things you ‘don’t say’ on Facebook. Everyone using email in this country knows not to string certain threatening words together, even in intentional parody, or face scrutiny by the unelected police.

The pompous buffoonery on congressional display in speeches about being ‘at war’ are deathly serious. We have been occupied, by a secret organization of professionals dedicated to controlling us against our will. They’re not part of any constitutional process, and their loyalty is not to the people who vote. Whatever the NSA is, it is not the United States.

Boy

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

My boys ask friends to spend the night with us, and sometimes it’s embarrassing. A kid will come over and he’ll be polite, respectful, courteous, obedient. I wonder where I went wrong. I remember hoping my two guys would turn out that way. I guess I still hope they did, when they’re staying over with someone else.

Somebody’s father said to me the other day, ‘you know, there’s this: when we were kids if you paid your respects and worked hard, you could get to be better off than your parents – I don’t think our kids have that any more.’

Ignoring the fact hard work never offered hope for most of us anyway, I suspect my generation is deploring our kids’ dilemma somewhat after the fact – we haven’t exceeded our parents, ourselves.

Still, that anticipation is the way we lived, and I feel the culture shivering from the change. It’s difficult to know what we offer, if we can’t offer a better future. We have a lot of Internet programming, and plenty of fast food. One way or another, we all manage to get by.

Which reminds me of those wonderful kids my boys bring home sometimes. Often, they’re active in organized sports. I think this might be a key to how disciplined they are. They learn to compete together. They learn loyalty, cooperation, initiative, and drive. They learn to be a helpful part of whatever is going on. The only problem is, in the games they play – they never really win anything.

 

 

Women’s lib (happy Fourth of July!)

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

I’m old enough to have been inspired by the televised ‘women’s lib’ movement of the ‘seventies. Like, I was there. I was thrilled with the whole obnoxious, hairy, femme thing. And, like with so much else back then, I thought real changes were happening in real people and life was going to be different from now on.

We make a mistake, a lot of us, when we gain new liberties. We’re so thrilled by them we want to share. We promote them for everyone else. When we run into opposition, we conclude it’s a matter of mis-education. We start pushing our points of view. I’ve lived a while now. I’ve discovered a woman is a complex creature: she doesn’t know how to be ‘independent’ or ‘submissive.’ Like me, she doesn’t know who she is. She isn’t thinking objectively about it. So I’m preaching to nobody.

But still, it makes my heart ache. The women in this country are in fact doing the bulk of the work and bearing most of the weight of our thriving economic tyranny. For every man proud of his accomplishments, there’s a woman who’s accomplished same – plus raised the kids. And yet, they want to be treated like children. They want to be looked at and praised. They want to be pleasing to assholes.

Women in this country commonly coat their vaginas with hot wax melted into a cloth, wait until the wax hardens, then jerk on the cloth and yank out whole swaths of pubic hair at one pull. This hurts. They do it because they want to be sexually attractive to men who want to have sex with little girls. As more men feel emasculated by the successes of women around them, and seek comfort in fantasies of screwing immature females – this cosmetic attention apparently works.

I like to remind myself of what I call the ‘Night of the Living Dead’ effect: when  people around me embrace and succumb to what I think is evil, in fact the warmth and truth of our core humanity always emerges, and they continue to be the strong, wonderful beings we all are, with a different set of habits. It’s just hard for me to imagine how a healthy identity can rely so much on someone else’s opinion.