Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Takers

As the recent election jarred the reactionaries into the awareness that their pontifications about the voting public were mired in fantasy, a frantic search for an acceptable rationalization began immediately.  Somehow, there had to be an reason that the unwashed masses had rejected the saintly and benevolent master Mitt.  Since it was obvious that no moral person could possibly resist the draw of the godly one, the answer must lie in the depravity embraced by those minions of the socialist order.  Thus, the meme of "takers" arose; the idea those who voted for Obama were simply parasites lusting for the sustenance of the "job creators" and therefore willing to vote for anyone promising to leech the lifeblood of the capitalist captains of industry.This "takers" designation is particularly odious to those who have suffered at the hands of the majority; to witness the elevation of exploitation to a virtue is both absurd and disgusting.

Yes, we have "taken"; taken the abuse and degradation from narrow minded and intolerant bigots.  We have taken the exploitation and discrimination of a greedy and short sighted business community that places material accumulation above all other considerations.  We have taken the humiliation and dehumanization meted out by religious groups in their fanatical devotion to moral superiority over interpersonal charity.  We have taken the neglect and marginalization from a populace that equates conformity with virtue; and individuality with contempt.  All this and more we have taken; doled out by those who take advantage of us while claiming to be acting in our best interests.

Thus, when we refuse to allow ourselves to be exploited; when we take a stand for honor, integrity and self determination; when we try to take back the lives of which we were wrongly robbed; the hue and cry rises that we are thieves, clamoring for that we have not earned.  Those who feel they have the right to rule condemn  the call for freedom, and insist they have earned the misappropriations with which they have absconded.  It is a wail consistent with their lack awareness and virtue, and its ever increasing desperation only underlines their want for candor and principle.

It is not to be taken lightly, but must be taken with more than a grain of salt.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Want of love, a want for power

There is no "I" in team, it is said, neither is there one in "blame".   Upon inspection, however, more than one can be found in "responsibility".  

Whenever a tragedy occurs, many people seek an explaination they can accept; some sort of reason to  mitigate the unease caused by the realization that death and devastation surround the lives of supposed order that we want to believe we have created.  Sometimes the most egregious incidents involve human activity; whereas the forces of nature are seen as often indiscriminate destroyers of life and limb, it is the devastation caused by the hands of people that are perceived as deliberate, and thus all the more horrific.

Therefore, the need to find an explanation for a brutal mass murder spree becomes even more urgent than for a hurricane or flood. We seek to somehow reassure ourselves  human carnage comes from an easily identifiable and separate evil, a sickening but distant malevolence of which we have no part.  Madness, a lack of faith, a lust for weaponry; when any single cause can be blamed for such a rampage, we allow ourselves release from responsibility and avoid the need to change our behavior. Deep down we may suspect that it takes any number of elements to combine into tragedy and horror; but complexity and multiple interacting factors make analysis difficult, and potentially fraught with hazards: such as the realization that one is passively complicit in the crime.

If our own needs becomes paramount, irrespective of all others, we run the risk of rending the fabric of community that binds our lives together.   We seek power for our own protection, and risk compromising the security of others; we design to promote our faith, and endanger the spirituality of our fellows; we rigidly define our sanity, and engender the alienation of those around us; our selfish preoccupations rob us of what we seek.

Any time we commit acts of immorality for our own benefit, we run the risk of spreading ruin about us;  our inability to empathize with others leads us to a lack of humanity.  When we treat our fellows like creatures, should it be any surprise if they fulfill our expectations by acting inhumanely?
Without the stabilizing influence of love and acceptance, what is there to prevent any person from destructive deeds except fear?

Finally, there may come a time when pain and despair override constraints of conscience and caution;  the power of control becomes paramount.  The need for mastery, however brief and horrific, overwhelms all other considerations and leads to depravity and carnage.  The lack of love creates a lust for power that denies humanity, and shreds society.   Uncaring selfishness leads us to a  ditch where the light of insight is too dim to comprehend the tragedy we have helped to spawn; and we are left stupefied by our own blindness.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hating sin/sinner

Hate the sin, not the sinner; this is a  phrase common among groups that seek to disassociate themselves from the onus of prejudice and bigotry while retaining the right to discriminate against a selected enemy.  On the surface, is seems to be extending acceptance to an individual while keeping the right to oppose a particular behavior they deem troublesome; a way of expressing reservations concerning about a person's actions while affirming their worth as human.

There is, however, a problem with such expressions; despite the seemingly benign wording, this phrasing easily lends itself to a much more ominous emotional state of unmitigated malice.  For hatred is a complex emotional relationship; a configuration of fear, cowardice, and wrath that involves much more than a simple antipathy towards an unpleasant aspect of a person's demeanor.

Although common usage leads us to forget this fact, both love and hate are relational mode of behavior we experience with other beings, primarily humans.  No one would deny the special bond between we share with the other animals that populate our lives, but the range and depth of emotion that humans share is unique unto itself.

We talk about the foods we "love" or the shows we "hate"; but in reality, these things are merely pleasing or displeasing; true love and true hate are emotions that require a level of interaction and intertwining that surpasses any other, and carry with them an emotional responsibility that surpasses all other states of being.  Thus, when we commit ourselves to love or hate, we impose obligations and consequences that extend far past ourselves, and resonate through society as a whole.

Therefore, when one pontificates about their "love" for a person, while simultaneously abhorring the  individual's proclivities, the real message comes through clearly; hatred, poorly cloaked by moral cowardice, defines the true relationship.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Can't live with myself

I don't pretend to know the gentleman in question, nor posess any great insight about the workings of the porn industry (gay or otherwise); but reading the story and the comments put me in mind of a couple of quotes I find appropriate.

The first is from Dune Messiah:

"A creature who has spent his life creating one particular representation of his selfdom will die rather than become the antithesis of that representation." Scytale said.

The second is from Randy Newman:

Guilty, baby I'm guilty
And I'll be guilty the rest of my life
How come I never do what I'm supposed to do
How come nothin' that I try to do ever turns out right?

You know, you know how it is with me baby
You know, I just can't stand myself
And it takes a whole lot of medicine
For me to pretend that I'm somebody else

Trying to justify our existence by adherence to an unrealistic self image is a sisyphean labor; fit for the hall of hades perhaps, but not for the earth we know.

Combine this with a tendancy to turn people into products with a limited lifespan, and this narrative seems bound for a tragic ending.  

Thursday, May 31, 2012

In tox vacation

For most of my the life, the burdens of conscience and consciousness have proven heavy and
difficult to bear.  The experience  of unrelenting thoughts spinning through the pathways of my
mind becomes uncomfortable after a short period of time; prompting me to distraction and the
dulling of my senses.  Whether sleep, reading, television or various forms of chemical intoxication;
I have sought a release from what seemed painful and pointless- obsessing over the minuscule
movements of my thoughts.  Like most other purges, however, I now find the results worse than
the condition I hoped to cure.

The inability to organize my thoughts with clarity and concision; a task I once found easy enough,
has become increasing difficult and vexing.  My line of work rarely asks for complex verbal or
written logical formations, instead demanding my attention be fixed on small and seeming trivial
tasks; but that could prove cause for dismissal if incorrectly executed.  Plenty of stress; little deep
thought or intense reflection- this has proven a formula for mental degradation, and dullness.

When my chief form of recreation has become inebriation; I know this pattern of life can't be sustained, and I find myself increasing agitated at the prospect of an empty skulled existence;
battered about by my bouts of poison consumption.  Physical habits become entrenched, the slow downward slope of decay stretches before me; the future looks to be a dim and dank path I blindly
follow without destination or hope of rescue.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Culture of Contempt

"I wouldn't give a damn if you ever displayed the slightest sign of gratitude. The only thanks is to have you sneer at me for a dirty miser, sneer at my profession, sneer at every damned thing in the world--except yourself."

"That's not true, Papa. You can't hear me talking to myself, that's all."

Long Day's Journey Into Night- Eugene O'Neill
Training begins early. With the incessant hawk and hounding of advertising, even the youngest child learns the bitter taste of unrelenting want. The purported lack of goods, feelings, and acceptable facades leads to an inescapable conclusion: inadequacy. Without the mandatory perfection required to lead an acceptable existence; the individual assimilates failure as a fixed point of daily reference, and becomes tainted with the first dregs of self contempt. Forced to view the inability to conform to some unobtainable standards as a moral degeneracy; the loathing of one's essence is inextricably bound to the perception of the human condition.

Thus, rather than face the crushing burden of such degradation alone, there arises an insatiable longing to view others under the same ghastly illumination of debasement and despair. It remains far easier to drag others down into the mire than to try and raise one's self up; far less of an effort to inflict pain than to sow joy or inspire hope. Thus arises the vicious circle of mutally assured destruction; a round robin of spirt rending where no one wins anything but loss.

"He who despises himself nevertheless esteems himself as a self-despiser."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

gay, straight or what

As to the question at hand, gender roles should be made to serve an individual's needs, rather than diminish what one feels and thinks. The main use of categories seems to be convenience; a mental classification that limits understanding and empathy. Once a person can be reduced to a label(or thing), the cognitive resources allotted for comprehension are much reduced. People are not so much gay or straight as they are desiginated as such; thus the squabbling over definitions produces much heat, if not much light.

Who we desire, and love depends the person, not the preconceived notions we try to impose.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Selective Morality

The current political season entertains as well as informs; and few aspects amuse me more than the selective morality displayed by the Republican presidential hopefuls. Many have donned the mantel of Christian values as their treasured wardrobe; a garment cut from the cloth of American heritage and aspirations. Somehow this cloak affords protection from the admonishment of others, while simultaneously obscuring the vision of those thus draped.

Newt Gingrich may therefore speak about valuing conservative principles, while ignoring his own serial adultery. Rick Santorum rails against the immorality of secular society while neglecting to mention his wife unmarried sexual relationship with an abortion doctor. Mitt Romeny pontificates about individual initiative, while hiding millions abroad earned by inheritance and vulture capitalism.

The accusations about the immorality of others prompt derision when uttered by those unable to claim the high ground; their capacity for self deception denigrates their aspirations to the Presidency. If you want to preach morality to others, first look to your own house.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Time to be drunken
An article speaks about the binge drinking Americans; the prevalence on a massive alcohol inebriation wave sloshing through these United States surprises me not, in as much as it mirrors my own floundering. There are, of course, many types of intoxication and in this pernicious time and place the question has become one of naming your poison.

With fear seeping into the pores of our overabundant flesh, noxious fluids seem to have become the order of the day; whether a single glass of bourbon, a double shot of contempt or a six pack of bigotry. The liquid courage provides a coping mechanism for the dealing with dread marketed so deftly by the peddlers of apprehension; numbing our search for lasting solutions with the solace of short term incomprehension. From the whine of economic insecurities of an unstable and shrinking labor market, to the drone of international conflict and scrabbling for resources; the search for something to drown out the din has become ever more desperate.

Short of climbing on the wagon of fortitude, I see no other method of detox; switching spirits simply changes the nature of the buzz. Without a hand up of charity and understanding, the prospects of sobriety seem dim; but that may just be due to my own crapulence.