‘Saying This About That’ is prominent enough to jump to the top of certain Internet search pages, so this site has attracted ‘criminals’ who are posting poorly worded references to something or other under my search results. I wonder how these ‘criminals’ really differ from legal ‘advertisers’ – everybody uses the machine as best they know how.

I saw in the news the public is getting upset about government ‘spying’ on cellphone conversations and email. I think this is great, but not because anything can be done about it. Nothing can be done about it because ‘spying’ isn’t a separate activity on a cellphone; the phone is a machine which records your picture and your voice and your text and transmits it. It can’t exist without ‘spying.’ If your phone takes pictures, you’re holding a camera someone else is operating. It’s wonderful you’re worried. You can’t change it.

But it might bring us closer to a public self-perception. I pride myself on my insights and awareness. Perhaps there are entire little communities of people who intellectually comprehend what’s going on and talk about it – but if we don’t look at ourselves collectively, it’s all dumb self-congratulation. It doesn’t help a crowd to be the only know-it-all in it.

My son described for me his ‘health education’ class, and I recalled recently signing a form permitting him to participate in a classroom program designed to ’emphasize abstinence.’ Somehow I feel a group of thirteen-year-old boys and girls shouting “penis! penis! penis! vagina! vagina! vagina!” together doesn’t ’emphasize’ anything of the kind.

I was married, and wholly in love with another woman, who, when we met, looked me straight in the eye and started talking earnestly about God. I spoke with a Christian counselor who advised me to repudiate her; to make absolutely sure I had no possibility of contact with her, ever again.

I went to the bank (no, I didn’t, I just phoned the bank) and borrowed a hundred thousand dollars at three percent (well, forget the two percent transaction fee). I think this is a low rate. Like, lower than any time in the last, oh, one hundred years. Current thinking is: the banks are going to keep printing money because the economy is so bad. The more they print the cheaper it will get. Of course, this is permitted because bank regulators, including the president of the United States, think bankers are the only ones who can make things work. So they have declared bankers above the law to make sure they keep doing it.

My wife said: “After all these years of claiming you have no self, now you’re reaching for one.”

Indeed, and I see the troubles you’ve been having. You’re trying to realize outwardly the thing, inwardly, you feel yourself truly to be. You can’t. I can’t!

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