Wednesday, October 26, 2005
colors: blue, yellow, orange
mood: getting by
thoughts: while finally unpacking books after the move, i found that book "the game of life" by timothy leary, so will now relate the part(from page 285) i was referring to quite some time back:
Come now, little aliens, cuddle closer to the central computer and you shall hear the final truth. It's about time for you to learn the tracks of life.
There are some human beings who have attained singularities. They know (and others uneasily suspect) that they are unique. They are somehow beyond the laws of passive human reaction, not dependent upon the rewards and supports of the local environment. They know that they create their environment. They inhabit their own worlds. You inhabit their worlds.
Now if you are not such a ONE; then you can't, you simply can't understand this message. All you can do is realize that there are persons whom you can't understand. You are like the reader of the Reader's Digest who reads an article by an astronomer describing powerful celestial objects who can be identified but whose nature cannot be comprehended.
It is a paradox of nuclear physics that we cannot "see" the particles we study. They move too fast for us. All we can detect is their vapor trails - their spin-prints in the sand of the cyclotron. So we cannot "see" a Human Singularity. We can only track them by the excited states they leave behind them.
Each gene-pool centers around a singularity. The function of each gene-pool is to produce a Singularity. The Singularity (at the slow level of DNA) is the special which makes the species.
Every hive member is fiercely ambivalent about the presence of a Singularity. The Special-One re-presents-creates a new species. SHe thus out-dates the old gene-pool-hive.
Here are some of the identifying characteristcs of a Singularity:
Much of the rest of the book goes on and on about all sorts of creative, yet all out zany, stuff he dreamed up (e.g. "the black whole - the mouth of the ulti-mate intelligence", "stage 18 reality fabricators," and "Webster's Galactic Dictionary, 23rd Edition," but the pictures, drawings, and notes in the margins are the crowning elements, 2nd only to the material on page 285).
- Relaxed, laid-back self-love, total self-confidence
- Magnetic attractiveness; usually surrounded by orbiting satellites
- Aloof independence of hive limits; i.e. cheerfully irresponsible (you will never, repeat, never find a Singularity acting in a responsible, bureaucratic structure)
- Humorous, tender disdain for current hive pomposity
- Indestructible sense of uniqueness; of being a separate species
- A cheerful readiness for the future, a delight in being surprised, in being proved wrong
- An all-out openness and electron-hunger for fusion, for synergistic link-up
- An irresistible optimism based on the certainty that the universe does have meaning, that the evolutionary trip has direction, that the cosmic mysteries can be solved - by experiential science
- A common-sense, "Broadway" sophisticated wisdom that the trip from the protozoan unicellular state to the center of the galaxy is to be taken step-by-step - each moment offering the option of moving towards or away from the Violet Whole.
Props to Z, from the Great Dane Pub and Brewery(my favorite: the Scotch Ale), for "lending" me that book eleven years ago.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
thoughts: Just found some pretty images on PostSecret to share:
The thing I like most about the one above is not so much that this person goes au naturel at church, but that they may be puritan enough to get their kicks from it.
WRT the two above, being born into life is a crapshoot. Too bad we can't all just choose. Can't wait for the metaverse....
I didn't send the above pic in, but... "Do I sound like a musical robot?" (Harry is pretty much my twin, 20 years younger...)
may the stars line up in your sky.
Monday, October 24, 2005
thoughts: Here's a couple pieces from an excellent book of women's prose and poetry:
I'm including them here today for myself, because I like them and I need to return the book to the public library this afternoon. :)
The Spiral Dance (excerpt), by Starhawk
The importance of the Goddess symbol for women cannot be overstressed. The image of the Goddess inspires women to see ourselves as divine, our bodies as sacred, the changing phases of our lives as holy, our aggression as healthy, our anger as purifying, and our power to nurture and create, but also to limit and destroy when necessary, as the very force that sustains all life. Through the Goddess, we can discover our strenngth, enlighten our minds, own our bodies, and celebrate our emotions. We can move beyond narrow, constricting roles and become whole.
The Goddess is also important for men. The oppression of men in Father God-ruled patriarchy is perhaps less obvious but no less tragic than that of women. Men are encouraged to identify with a model no human being can successfully emulate: to be minirulers of narrow universes. They are internally split, into a "spiritual" self that is supposed to conquer their baser animal and emotional natures. They are at war with themselves: in the West, to "conquer" sin; in the East, to "conquer" desire or ego. Few escape from these wars undamaged.
Use of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power (excerpt), by Audre Lorde
The erotic functions for me in several ways, and the first is in the power which comes from sharing deeply any pursuit with another person. The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.
Another important way in which the erotic connection functions is the open and fearless underlining of my capacity for joy. In the way my body stretches to music and opens into response, hearkening to its deepest rhythms, so every level upon which I sense also opens to the erotically satisfying experience, whether it is dancing, building a bookcase, writing a poem, examining an idea.
That self-connection shared is a measure of the joy which I know myself to be capable of feeling, a reminder of my capacity for feeling. And that deep and irreplaceable knowledge of my capacity for joy comes to demand from all of my life that it be lived within the knowledge that such satisfaction is possible, and does not have to be called marriage, nor god, nor an afterlife.
This is one reason why the erotic is so feared, and so often relegated to the bedroom alone, when it is recognized at all. For once we begin to feel deeply in all aspects of our lives, we begin to demand from ourselves and from our lives pursuits that they feel in accordance with that joy which we know ourselves to be capable of. Our erotic knowledge empowers us, becomes a lens through which we scrutinize all aspects of our existence, forcing ourselves to evaluate those aspects honestly in terms of their relative meaning within our lives. And this is a ggrave responsibbility, projected from within each of us, not to settle for the convenient, the shoddy, the conventionally expectted, nor the merely safe.
Kali, by Lucile Clifton (included here for K)
Kali queen of fatality, she
determines the destiny
of things. nemesis.
the permanent guest
woman of warfare,
of the chase, bitch
of blood sacrifice and death.
dread mother. the mystery
ever present in us and
outside us. the
terrible hindu woman God
who is black.
still right here giving blood keeping faith
words, words, words,
Friday, October 14, 2005
regarding lemon-lime soda
colors: yellow orange
thoughts: i'll keep this short. the other day as i was walking to the bus drinking some safeway brand lemon-lime soda (generic 7-up/sprite), a man in his sixties walking the other way looked at me and at my can. didn't say anything, and the whole exchange lasted less than a second.
in my head i was thinking that he could've been thinking that i was somehow of lesser class or out of touch with current culture because i was drinking the wrong beverage. that kind of made me chuckle, but at the same time, every high school student knows that's true wrt clothes, what brand, how they fit, etc. some people really identify with pepsi, or coke, and think of royal crown (or heaven forbid, shasta) drinkers as somehow less worthy. just another excuse to look down the nose at someone.
"i'm straight, you're not."
"i'm white, you're not."
"i'm male, you're not."
"i'm pepsi, you're not."
really, each of the above scenarios has the same amount of irony. another way to understand how much the oppressions have been oh-so-subtly drummed into our heads is to draw parallels between the advertising wars for pepsi-coke and the advertising for straight, for white, for male, for upper-middle class. you're thinking about pepsi even if you don't want to (and i'm sorry for making you think about it once again).
you may think having pepsi in your corner makes you better. really, having water, perhaps tea, on your side is more likely to make you better. yeah, tea, that's the ticket.
branding, baby, branding
"Every year we gotta brand these baby calves when they're about two or three months old, for identification and ownership." [italics added by me]
...the hardest part of the branding process is getting five hundred pounds of feisty calf to stay put.
it'd be a lot easier to just show that calf 500 pepsi ads.
choose your scars wisely,
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
The internet is recommending that I buy a larger vehicle for my own protection
CONSIDER BUYING A MID- TO LARGE-SIZE MOTOR VEHICLE WHEN YOU MAKE YOUR NEXT PURCHASE.
The small size of your motor vehicle makes your RealAge older. A large motor vehicle provides more protection in a serious accident than does a small motor vehicle.
Consider buying a mid- to large-size motor vehicle when you make your next purchase. Check Consumer Reports to determine how the motor vehicles that you are interested in perform in crash tests. Although driving a mid- to large-size motor vehicle would make your RealAge younger, the size is not as important as the routine use of seat belts and air bag protection.
They asked if my primary vehicle was a small, mid-sized, or large car. Um, if I'm a cyclist, should I buy a larger bike?
go get a big car right now,
What is life worth anyway?
colors: the colors of pizza
thoughts: well, today i was driving home from the grocery store -- in addition to getting lots of juice, lemon-lime soda, and soy milk (the safeway in our nbhd is frequently out of rice milk) i picked up some breakfast of champions ingredients, which we'd gotten rid of prior to the move.
my grocery list is irrelevant though. sorry to throw a curveball on that one. actually, where i was heading with my story was to notice that while i was driving home with my groceries, there was a school letting out with lots of kids on the sidewalk and some crossing, with a crossing guard. they were crossing in the same direction as i was going, but still i was trying to be careful so was driving a bit more slowly. not one, but two vehicles, a blue car and a white van accelerated around me, even though i wasn't exactly puttering.
in that case, people in a hurry felt that getting to their destination sooner outweighed the risk of mowing down schoolchildren.
in the case of war, there are likely statistical analyses done to figure out how much soldiers' lives are worth, and how much civilians' lives are worth as well. certainly, through the use of actuarial science, insurance companies and large manufacturing companies have a very good idea of the value of a human life.
Military: "How much shall we spend toward soldier pay, compared to cost of weapons, compared to paying for reparations to the country we're bombing? How much shall we pay on healthcare for wounded soldiers when they return?"
Insurance companies: "At this person's current age, how much do we need to charge them for insurance to make sure we make a profit, compared to what we'd have to pay out if they die?"
Large car company: "How safe do we need to make this car before the cost of making it safer outweighs the cost of paying the lawsuits of people injured due to defects in design?"
I'd like to put forth a different way of looking at life.
There is only one life.
We join into it when we are born into this world.
There is only one death.
We are a part of it before we are born, and after we depart from this world, but that's not really the important part as far as I'm concerned -- did I mention yet that the concept of going to a separate eternal extreme afterlife, based upon one's beliefs and actions in this world, is one of the most powerful "gifts" the devil ever tricked us into receiving? For now, let's just say we die and are "no longer endowed with this current sentience* in this current location" when death happens.
OK, on to the only one life aspect: we are all a part of life. How valuable is it? How valuable is life in general? For those drivers who went zooming past the kids, or past bicyclists, or for leaders who allocate resources to that which destroys life, rather than sustains, improves, or preserves it (obvious example in the US: iraq war vs. emergency preparedness back home), or for soldiers whose jobs require them to destroy life, from their individual perspective, they may say "Well, if it were my life, that would suck, but i'm glad it's not my life." In other words, being self-interested we care more about our own lives than the lives of others. Driving in the car, we'd get in trouble if we hit kids, but not killed. Living in our part of the world, we're not individually suffering from Katrina, starvation, earthquakes, so it's not as big of a deal to us. Yet, that IS life. There is life there, and it is suffering. The amount of effort we make, the amount of resources sent toward alleviating or preventing suffering, is in direct correlation to how much we value life. Perhaps one may value life more in their own community, family, or self than in other places. That's just another indicator of how much self-interest one has, and how far we still have to go until we each see ourselves as part of the universal spirit -- that which is in charge of caretaking for the universal soul, I suppose....
Another, more callous, way of finding the value of life is monetarily. For example, in US dollars, say the average person in the world earns $4000/year (just a very rough guesstimate for purposes of this example), and there are 6.6 billion people on the planet. The value of life in a year would be about $27 trillion.** If we blew up the planet, or went extinct somehow, we'd be missing out on that much life every year. But of course one can't truly measure life according to money. On the other hand, if you're lucky enough to rent yourself out to some corporation from age 25 to age 65 for $50,000/year, your life-energy (and peak production potential) will have been sold for $2 million dollars. Talk about selling your soul. I wonder how the planet would feel about all this if it could talk. I'm just saying bro...
*Actually if one considers Piaget, and Alzheimers and other incapacitating diseases (including standard forgetfulness) we have to look forward to as we age, we are in a steady state of change wrt the amount of life and awareness we possess throughout our existence.
**In case you're innumerate (the mathematical equivalent of being illiterate), to envision one billion people, consider one thousand people standing in a line (a pretty long line, but easy enough to imagine), now imagine one thousand lines next to that one line (quite a mass of people, but they'd all be able to stand a meter apart and only take up one square kilometer (about a half-mile by a half-mile, give or take a little fudge factor). So far, it's at a million. To get to a billion, imagine one of the two following scenarios: you make a 1,000 story building (a little over a mile high), and have 1,000 lines per story, each with 1,000 people per line. That's quite a lot, but can likely be grasped with a little concentration.
together in life, together in death...
A bogus googlewhack.
here's to a great big bus hug,
I'm depressed (and Prozac, Zoloft, and Welbutrin are not appropriate treatment)
colors: Green, Grey
mood: not really depressed, but just considering it.
thoughts: um, don't mean to bring anyone down, but the world has a bit of bad stuff going on right now. i try to be cheery, but i have too much awareness of the world to disregard that. i'm feeling a little under the weather today, which doesn't help matters.
let's take a look at a few things that make me depressed:
- global warming and the denial of it
- poverty and the blind eye turned toward it
- avarice of violence in western culture
- mass media that bears false witness to audiences of millions (especially in the sense of telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth)
- the dehumanizing capitalist system, and the "it's not perfect, but it works" attitude of those who are among the "haves", and the "have-mores" while the "have-nots" are marginalized, or at best, exploited for profit.
- the rape of the earth, and its animals and plants, as a result of the capitalist system, and a human race that is unchecked in its consumption, production, and reproduction
- a general sense of distrust and hostility among neighbors, nations and communities, at least toward strangers (or the other(search on "allergy"))
- a constant sense of impending doom, with any of the following peering over our shoulder waiting for a moment to make an entrance, while those who have control over our nations' economic power do very little (relative to the amount they spend toward war) to prevent: unsecured nuclear fissile materials around the globe; known killer diseases such as AIDS, cancer, etc; currently unknown but threatening potential plagues such as the avian flu; poorly-governed genetic experiments; a killer asteroid crashing into us
i mean, why bother to go buy duct tape? what's the point in getting a new shirt, or eating my spinach/broccoli/kale? in any case, my point is with the world this depressing, why are we treating the symptoms of individual people's depression with mood-altering drugs, instead of going after the causes of the problem? oh yeah, the people who control economic power in a state of denial, because as Malcolm X so eloquently said several times in his autobiography (and I paraphrase): The man telling us to believe and to work so hard so we can have paradise when we die, while he gets to have his paradise right here on earth. (i realize that living in the u.s. middle class, i am a member of the "haves" group, but still, i don't consider myself living in heaven on earth, right now, unless i really stretch my logic for it. wish it were though.)
sometimes it feels like my core purpose in life is the only thing that keeps me going.
For the real solutions to arrive, and to thrive.
if it was the last day of your life, you'd still have to live it.
warm hugs anyway,
Monday, October 10, 2005
Real evidence of the White House Strong-arming the Press
colors: orange, silver
thoughts: This interview between Carole Coleman and George W Bush speaks volumes.
1. The White House (and GWB) want to be in control of the interview. Do not ask questions until spoken to. What is that about? Um, is this pre-suffragette women here, or children at an authoritarian dinner table, or an open exchange of information?
2. They want to continue to direct the conversation back to questions from what now seems like antiquity. For them, and GWB especially, any question asked can go through six degrees of Kevin Bacon back to Saddam Hussein possibly having nukes, and being a brutal dictator. Except the amazing thing about it is that they leave it like a math professor's proof, where they start with one thing, skip several steps of logic, and get to their conclusion, leaving the rest of the proof as an exercise for the students.
"Why are we having beef tonight for dinner at the White House?"
"Because there was a potential for Saddam Hussein to acquire..."
"How is this related to Saddam Hussein?"
"Doesn't matter. Someone could figure out a connection, so I'll be talking about the thing I'm most familiar with saying."
3. Do not interrupt when an important person is talking, even when they are blathering on about nothing. "Let me finish. Will you let me finish, if you don't mind..." I'm surprised she didn't just say, "Oh, I do mind. I'm interrupting you because you are not giving answers to my questions, but to questions you'd prefer to answer." Or she could've said "OK, we're finished," and then walked out on him.
4. He tries to make the reporters uncomfortable if they appear challenging. Either by constantly gazing at them, by saying remarks about their demeanor "we've got a spunky one here", or by demanding that they play by the rules of the interview.
5. Ask the important and challenging questions, and not be lobbing softballs, and you will not be invited back. "I learnt that I might find it difficult to secure further co-operation from the White House." Friendlies only. It would perhaps be a beautiful thing if only a small handful of Fox reporters were still allowed to ask questions. That would expose more than they're hiding, even.
There is a love containing all.
Thursday, October 6, 2005
The Wheat and the Rice have Started Talking
The following is for an exercise in class.
“There is a light grain seed inside.
You fill it with yourself, or it dies.”
Light, in many spiritual groups, symbolizes “right” communication. Grain is a daily requirement for all people, lest they should go hungry. A seed represents the inactive part of something that has the potential to be that thing. By “inside,” I believe Rumi means, “You have it. It is yours to control.”
To fill this seed with yourself, you must apply your spirit into that communication. That communication will feed, or give energy to, the people within your life who are hearing or listening to you – essentially accepting your seed. The communication is from the inside, or from the physical being you own, and is toward the outside, the world to which you are connected, but do not exert the same kind of control. In essence, when you communicate truly, you are shining your light from within upon others.
However, as this text refers to a seed (and storing potential for later planting), it is not necessary that this light must be always shining upon others. As long as the seed is planted before it becomes “no good”, or dead, the seed you own will grow and bear fruit.
The seed dies when you do not have (or acknowledge, or know) what yourself is that you will fill it with. The seed can also die if you do not fill it with light, but feed it false (or inappropriate) communication. The third way it can die is if it remains unplanted during the season for planting.
Once the seed is planted, we can stop by and take out weeds that would steal from it, but the mystery is that we do not control the weather, the rabbits, the insects, or the sun. In that way, we are responsible for planting the seed, and Allah willing, the seed will grow into the plant which people can then eat.
Prismatic Mobius Strip Tattoo
colors: black, white and silver
mood: tired, up late, then up early...
thoughts: here's a picture of my first tattoo when it was at its second stage of development. The picture was taken by a roommate at the time, when I was living in downtown Madison. You may note that I was wearing a Helmet T-shirt, where the little alien is shaking hands with the business man. I lost that shirt shortly thereafter, and don't know where it got to. If I recall correctly, the first three birds were an albatross, a falcon, and a golden eagle. The prismatic mobius strip was from a vision. The explanation involves the rainbow that Moses saw. Also, it involves a non-orientable surface to represent the inappropriateness of dualist "us v. them" thinking, though one could also (perhaps incorrectly) choose to perceive it as a symbol of moral relativism (e.g. - what you think is good is evil in another's eyes, so judgement should best be reserved).
The swiss cheese effect isn't gratuitous either.
go get your life on,
O stranger from the highest heaven?
Are you better?
Without awareness of head or feet
drunk with spiritual ecstacy.
Hell ate a mouthful, and consumed an entire world, with its stomach shouting, “No! Are there any more?”
A dragon which doesn't become
decreased and diminished of its fire
No place for patience, no way of escape,
no hope for repentance, and nowhere to fight.
O head lacking understanding!
O chest lacking light!
Satan is terrifying you through the threat of severe poverty.
Truly, no one despairs
of the Comforting Mercy of God
except the rejectors.
Sadness and anguish – separation from spiritual kings is never less than that.
O weak ant, what strength do you have for enduring
such a tall mountain which He might place upon you?
A heart is needed which is full
of love and pain and sadness.
Become the friend of penetrating vision,
not the child of reasoning and supposition.
Keep imagining that the treasure
may be in every person.
The scent of commonality is for
winning the heart.
Making the claim of love is easy,
but there must be proof of it.
Give a loan to God.
I'm dragging and pulling
a people by force
from the blazing furnace
and chimney, filled with
the black smoke of Hell --
the Angel who Guards the Heavenly Gates,
and the Everlasting Garden.
So laughter takes hold of me.
How is the one with disturbed sleep
when the light of the sun
arrives to his mouth?
Scattering his own soul
as a reward to the messenger.
Keep the sun of your intelligence burning
and keep your eyes shining
with tears like the clouds.
I am day,
since I am shining into the world.
The real skinny on Intelligent Falling
Wednesday, October 5, 2005
Second Half of Faithful Fools Street Retreat Report
thoughts: just taking a moment to collect my thoughts on where i left off...
OK, after I got done seeing Gregory (the gentleman with the one good eye who sees better than most people with two eyes, who told me the stories), I went down to perhaps the "best" food line (search for "Glide" on this page) in the neighborhood and stood in line. There were a lot of men standing in that line (almost two blocks long), and a scant few women. About 3/4ths of the people in the line were of color, and the rest were people of whiteness. I don't believe I saw any white women in the line.
The people in that line didn't talk much. Most were sober and didn't talk much, and nobody in line was smiling. A few people would argue every few minutes. I had to wait in line between 45-60 minutes. When I asked someone if the line was always that long, he explained to me that it was longer because it was near the end of the month and everybody's subsistence assistance money (a meager sum) had run out. I don't think anybody wanted to be in that line. I hadn't eaten since 7:00 that morning and it was by then 1:00, and I realized the reality of waiting in that line because it was the only source for food. I could've stepped out of that line and gone to a local restaurant and bought myself a sandwich, but for pretty much everybody else in the line, except for other Faithful Fools participants), Glide Memorial (or another food line) was the only source for lunch. Standing in that line, watching the San Fran traffic whizzing by -- people in some very fancy cars and SUVs glancing over -- I really had a sense of what it felt like to have my pride/ego stepped on. For me it was only this one day. I hate to think of the trauma of going through that experience several times a month. One man reached down into the gutter and kicked half of an apple out into traffic; it was a small, silent statement, but I saw it.
After waiting in line, the food was adequate. While waiting in line, the people who had walked out from lunch kept telling everyone to get jazzed up because it was catfish. They didn't mention that it was actually four small/medium breaded catfish nuggets. When I went to dig into what I thought was mashed potatoes with gravy, I was pretty surprised at the taste of overcooked rice with gravy instead. The rest of the tray I ate clean. I spoke with a man next to me at the table (which seemed almost taboo, talking in that lunchroom was rare, except among the volunteers, who were listening to some latin pop music, which helped the atmosphere a bit). First he'd asked me where the salt and pepper were, since there weren't any shakers on the table. I told him they were underneath the bun in little packets, then I asked him how his day was going, and he just said "Shitty." After a minute or two, I said I was sorry to hear that, and that was the end of the conversation. I didn't know what else to say and he didn't say anything else. He only ate about half of his lunch. I couldn't keep my mind from thinking in relative terms, comparing his condition with Gregory, but dared not say it aloud -- "at least you're not recently displaced from New Orleans, missing an eye, with a totally messed up leg and recently beaten with a baseball bat."
I don't know if I mentioned, but there were a few streets I was pretty nervous on as I started walking down them. One of the blocks in the vicinity of Turk and Eddy, the entire sidewalk was lined with people laying against the fence, some smoking from glass pipes, and there were people covered in blankets and wailing. Every single one of those people needed help, and it was so sad for them, and humiliating for me/us, that we couldn't just roll help up to this block so they could help their way out. To all the people who are in a state of denial saying "they could've completed high school, and gone out and gotten a job and they wouldn't be in this shape," wake up. If it weren't these 100 people laying on this block, it'd be a different 100.
The economic power in this country, in this world, even, is controlled by far too few people, who are far too swayed by the lure of more economic power. "Economic power" is another word for "money." If you've got it, you can store it up like in a big battery for reserve later (or you can offer out that power to somebody else in exchange for a usurious ratio of power return in the future). If you don't have it, you need to sputter by with personal brown-outs (or community-wide economic brown-outs in cases like the Tenderloin district). The biggest crime against all humanity is that all of this economic power has been siphoned off from the workers into those who control their destinies private power stores, where it's sitting useless, or more likely going to support corporations through stocks/investments. (A smart investor may invest where they're going to get the best financial returns, but a wise investor will invest in what they want to succeed, whether that's businesses, or specific people, or people in general (so they can go "vroooom", and not "sput, sput". Your good education helps you go "vrooom", your health, your socioeconomic status, your condition of having a home address, your heterosexual or male or white privilege (if you're lucky enough to have any of those)-- all make you go "vroom.")
Oh yes, many people who have lots of money donate much of that money to charities, but note that they have control over where it goes. Our government requires our economic power, and in cases where they are taxing us without representing the people (does your senator speak the same "language" as you? or do they represent those who are adding economic power to their campaign coffers?), they are coercing our economic power out from us to put toward whatever they want. In this decade so far, that economic power has been routed away from the people and toward business interests.
People-->Sput, sput, sputter.
Military support firms-->Vroooom!
Voice of the common man-->Sput, sput, sput...
People put in prison with poor legal counsel--> You guessed it, sput, sput.
As part of our experience, we were to look for pennies/coins around on the sidewalks and note any experiences that had happened in the temporal vicinity (see Confessions of a Penny Planter). (grrrr.... whoops, as a result of adding that anchor on the July Archive page, now it's inherited the template from September/October -- please imagine that page with the old-style "scribe" template.)
Anyway, being an expert at planting/finding pennies all around, I was shocked that in the entire experience, even while diligently looking, I was only able to find one penny, a fairly worn one from 1980. Pennies in that neighborhood don't last long on the ground.
I believe in my first post about this, I may have neglected to mention running into Chosen One, a superstoner who just by his very nature blew my mind (he looked like a train engineer or chimney sweep with relatively short hair, and low-slung blue jeans, and perhaps an army green jacket). He was pretty argumentative, and wanted me to vote for him for president next year. I asked "2008?", and he said no, next year. I had initiated my conversation with him because he was looking down at the UN Charter Preamble(http://www.un.org/aboutun/charter/) on the sidewalk of the UN Plaza, so I said it's too bad that the US was betraying these values in its concrete so brazenly. He chewed me out bigtime for saying the US wasn't holding up its end of the bargain.
I also found two different spots to sit down (which was pretty rare, since most of the stairways had gates right at the bottom step. One of them, I found a place to sit on a swivelling seat in a bus shelter. There were a couple men, about 50 years old, sitting in there, talking -- one a large white (perhaps Irish Catholic) cab driver, and the other a black man who had played guitar in gigs back in the 70s, right in the neighborhood. They noticed that there were helicopters flying above the peace parade, which was going up Van Ness, and one of them said "they're probably looking for terrorists. it's so difficult for them these days. i heard on the radio that the terrorists in al-qaeda already have 10 nuclear bombs inside the United States right now, they're planning on blowing them off during Ramadan, and one of them is slated for San Francisco..." whoa, i thought, Ramadan is coming up really soon (actually started October 4th). he seemed to not be all that phased by it, but to me, i was devastated even more than by what i'd seen on the street retreat, just at the idea of it. here i am planning on being a minister, and walking these streets, to ascertain a way to make a real difference, and the idea that me and a million other people could be just blown right up because of someone's hate made me think how potentially worthless all this effort on my part is. then i started to get really mad at our federal government for doing what i (quite likely correctly) suspect is a piss-poor job of preparing FEMA and Homeland Security(tm) for this, and doing an incredibly poor job of securing and dismantling the nuclear fissile materials around the world. I heard somewhere that it would cost somewhere in the range of $100 billion or less to secure almost ALL of the world's nuclear fissile materials (here is some related info, but I can't find the article I originally read). And our government has tried to obtain our security by spending at least three times that to conquer/liberate Iraq. That is extremely sad that they apply our country's economic power in such an ill-conceived and destructive way when they could be tapping into our vast economic power toward ends that benefit both American and World citizens.
In any case, if my city gets blown up, I am hereby demanding that somebody else of similar ilk take the baton and finish my work for me....
But I digress. I looked up the cab driver's sources on the internet later, and found out that the show where he'd heard the story of the nukes in the US was a radio talk show by Michael Savage. While that certainly mitigates my fear, as that news could very well just be fear-mongering, I still hate the prospect that it could ever happen, and that our country's cowboys would then get their righteous indignation all up in their craw and retaliate. Stupid. As if they've never heard of Mutual Assured Destruction???
Well, after telling the cab driver and the guitar player that Ramadan was actually a peaceful holiday among Islam, and telling them that I sincerely wish and pray that their story about the nukes isn't true, I walked on. Then I ended up sitting on one of the few stairs with the gate a few steps up, with a man named Ira. He had eaten at Glide Memorial earlier in the day, and we spent about half an hour discussing politics and I told him I was looking to be a minister. A friend of his stopped by, and one of them asked the other if they had 50 cents, and they didn't. She did have a horrible lunch with her, consisting of something to the tune of soda, sweet tarts, and a twinkie. Ira and I saw eye to eye on so many things.
In general, much of the experience can be summed up that most of the districthad the feel of a domestic disturbance (one of which we actually did hear in our neighborhood later that night, where a woman was yelling for someone to call the police because she was bleeding), and many places smelled of urine (I did notice a man taking a whiz right behind a parked car in daylight on a busy one-way street). There were lots of destitutde prostitutes there, and lots of people selling drugs -- I don't know if I mentioned in the earlier post that about 5 people asked me if I wanted stuff, most of which I didn't even understand what they were talking about. I suppose they figured that I didn't look like a cop, and what else would a clean-looking long-haired white boy be doing in this neighborhood?
How I wish we could just fix all this. It may sound entirely naive, but I feel if somebody put that kind of economic power in my hands, I'd make sure all these troubles get solved, one by one, or in parallel. But then I don't see anybody planning to hand over the steering wheel until the bus is heading right for that steep embankment. At least one can ask -- I don't have faith in much, but I know that when the time comes, and they're ready, they'll hand it over. :|
what holds us separate?
what keeps us separated?
as we walk the streets
what still connects us?
let's make this world work,
monkey getting psyched about the economy!
thoughts: Here's a picture of an orangutan, that doesn't know he or she is celebrating the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting coming up. I found it in a newspaper from Athens, Ohio, I believe.
giving armageddon a little hip-check
colors: pink, pink, pink, a little beige
mood: ho hum
thoughts: during conversation in class today, we got on the topic of how some of the more
fundamentalist christians believe they are doing the right thing by pushing the "pestilence, famine, war, and rumors of war, and 33.3% despoiled earth, sky, and sea" movement into high gear.
comprehending the magnitude of (and balls behind) that is elusive, though putting a pretty face on it might be easier than comprehending it. basically, by pushing the earth to this brink, they are actively
working to bring armageddon, and therefore the return of christ. since blogger doesn't do emoticons, i had to draw up my own and upload for embedding the hard way (shudder).
how happy would christ be to find out that his "followers" were getting that impatient, that they were willing to destroy the world he was willing to give his life for, in order to make him return? kinda
demanding, IMHO. but then,
regarding the "pretty face" side, perhaps its their way of saying to christ that they are so desperate to have him/her in their presence that they would go to this extreme measure. i suppose only a fully-realized and infinitely patient christ would actually see it that way, to any realistic degree.
kinda reminds me of a friend who was a waiter at a restaurant, and decided to swear off ever waiting tables again when an overly-demanding customer had finally broken the camel's back by asking for
something, followed by "chop-chop, boy!" really, why would christ want to return upon the demands of people when they act like that? i just checked out the promise-keepers bible from the public library yesterday -- perhaps the notes in the margins will offer some revelation (no pun intended).
ashahadu en la ilaha illa-llah
ashahadu en la ilaha illa-llah
Link of the day: http://www.answers.com/topic/resplendent
hugs to all,
Saturday, October 1, 2005
What genre of music are the Easybeats?
colors: still brown-tones, with a twinge of plum
thoughts: This band came out with one big hit and a few albums in the mid-late sixties: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Easybeats. What kind of genre are they? It's not really early psychedlia. Turtles, Animals, Paul Revere and the Raiders, etc? Anybody got any ideas?
washing me down, washing me down
today is a big day,