Saturday, March 13, 2010

Haiku 3

A transformation:

Bacon, eggs, and toast became

my friends' new baby.

Food Lion chicken lunch.

Where to eat privately? Ah!

Where one returns carts.

Everything we buy

we don't buy with money, but

we buy with our time.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Quick and Dirties...

1) It appears we went into Iraq A) to secure the 2nd-largest oil reserves in the world for American companies to control, and B) to continue petroleum being denominated in dollars. In this light, I don't think the invasion was such a bad idea. However, I don't sleep all that well when I think about how many Iraqi civilians this is costing.

2) Daily, I grow more convinced that perpetuation of belief in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, et al, isn't just silly, but culturally destructive. I understand wanting to keep children innocent, but I don't agree with it.

3) There is no forbidden knowledge. There is evil in the world, and parents have 2 choices: 1) sacrifice your child's innocence and impart the truth of evil to your children, or 2) let them find out by suffering reality. Note: this isn't aimed at specific readers I know who are parents; this is a culture-level thought.

4) Politicians portray themselves (increasingly) as moral and upright, of late touting their faith. The electorate eats it up. There are two problems with this: 1) It appears that faith doesn't offer protection of any kind against fallibility and immorality in the political population. 2) If one thinks about the job of politician and the nature of the decisions involved, especially if weighted against the interests of non-Americans, it's actually ludicrous to insist on the most moral candidate. What we really want is the most ruthless candidate to protect American interests, someone who will do the evil we would find difficult. I think that's actually what we get, but I no longer see the point in playing the image game. It wastes time and is dishonest.

5) Incidentally, I couldn't care less how any public figure wets their privates, or with whom if it's consenting. I fail to see how someone's sexual appetites impact economic or military decisions, neither of which require the kind of morality the nation at large elects people because of.

6) Far too many Americans believe that because they were born in the United States, their shit doesn't stink: that they are inherently superior to other nationalities and human beings. This attitude disgusts me beyond conveyance. There is some slight understandability to the attitude of racial superiority, or of a bias due to heredity, even if they are bogus. An accident of birth, however, in which someone is born into a particular political construct, boggles the mind how folk blunder into justification for radical nationalism.

7) Few Americans have any knowledge of American history beyond our mythology. Pointing out the following is considered revisionist: we committed genocide on the indigenous Americans; held slaves, then oppressed an entire population solely on the base of race; were intolerant to the point of violence to even white people who weren't born speaking English; have involved ourselves in more than one war for purely economic reasons, yet lied about it (to this day). Etc., etc. To this day, as a nation, we make bad decisions that future generations will regret. I'm a huge fan of the United States, but I'm not kidding myself that we aren't as well off as we are because of some bloody, sinister history. The take-home is that we don't do these things, and we're creating a civilization in which it's easier to be a good person. With that, I wish people would listen a little bit harder to people who currently have grievances with society: we've been on the wrong side of history before, so upholding the status quo may not be the best idea ever. We aren't where we are because Americans are a more moral people than anyone else. History proves that nauseatingly arrogant assertion a bald-faced lie. If we stop resting on the laurels of winning World War 2, we'd discover that the best our nation has done has been when we embraced compassion. I'm just saying we should do more of that.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Some Haiku

Twenty-year old car.
Rust fore to aft. Chemistry
is the enemy.

Push. Pull. Grunt and groan.
Physics versus chemistry.
Force wins over time.

An ocean of voice,
We drown in Internet, yet
Screens full of empty.

Grocery store carts
are only full when children
are in the baskets.

Empty bank account:
Financial amusement park
without any rides.

The world is pieces.
I don't know geography.
Where depends on there.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Maybe we should all get therapy...

I have a friend (no, really, it's not me) who is seeing a therapist. S/he has only been a couple of times, but is already looking forward to her/his next session. While s/he and I debated the merits of dream interpretation (we both agree it's little better than astrology. S/he and I were able to list a few truly universal archtypes for humans, but even so, culture diversifies how we relate to those archetypes far to radically for anyone to be able to compile a book with universal symbols and their meanings in dreams.
For example, everyone has a mother, a father, everyone is born, and everyone dies. Now, it might seem obvious, but think about how you view those universals, then start thinking about how other people you know relate to those, if indeed you know. I am close to my mother, not very close to my father, but don't have a deep, overt emotinal relationship with either. None of us talk about fears, hopes, etc: emotional stuff. I'm pretty hip on humans, so I'm pretty wild about birth, but I neither have a vagina, nor see one as a sexual object, so my views on birth are fairly clinical. I don't for an instant believe in a soul, so I think death is oblivion, the same as before I was born. Thus, I don't worry about reward or punishment, but nor do I really have a terror of death, as I really can't do anything about it, yet I've no idea when, so why worry about it. Compare my views on those archetypes and contrast them with yours. There will be differences which would make any universal symbolism problematic to explain and justify. S/he and I both agree that those who advocate dream interpretation as something beyond a personal, subjective interpretation, as a science even, are not only jumping the gun, but may be running in a race that doesn't even exist), we both agreed that psycho therapy is...theraputic.
I asked if it is because when explaining one's situation to a stranger, one has to rethink the issue at hand in order to get the relevant points across. This has the effect of forcing the teller to KNOW what the issues at hand are, which is invaluable in self-reflection. I also wondered if having an objective stranger made her/him more likely to tell the therapist things s/he hasn't and/or wouldn't tell her/his friends. The answer to both was yes.
Interestingly, my friend told me those deep, dark secrets. After testing them outloud, s/he found that they really weren't all that earth-shattering, and it was easy to put them into context and perspective. Additionally, it appears that therapy such as this is all about the afflicted discovering the answer for themselves, via some savvy questioning to be sure. It's an exercise in assigning meaning to the events and feelings in one's life, without all the baggage (which is often, but not always desirable) that comes with friends and lovers.
It all sounded pretty healthy, and it made me wonder if everyone wouldn't benefit from, at the least, having the option of therapy. I thought about this because of the monstrous health care debate in Washington. There is a bit of merit to the idea of "increasing access" to healthcare, but what's really meant, I think, is advanced testing, and prophylactic medical care. In truth, anyone in the country can get emergency care, so access to immediate medical care isn't an issue. What I wonder is if a little mental health access wouldn't do worlds of good more for everyone than complicated, expensive (we'll pay the same for our health care one way or the other: either up front or in taxes) insurance plans for physical care.