Death by blogging…

For my avid readers (all three of you?), no I am not hinting of anything related to my mortality.  But, “One never knows, do one?” (Fats Waller).

After the attack on the WTC (9-11), my ability to write creatively just suddenly stopped.  I found myself, voluntarily, caught up in the anti-war movement, and creative writing just seemed to take a distant place in my ranking of importance.  For years I felt this way, and in spite of attempts over those years to break out of that quagmire, writing attempts that went nowhere, dampened by the continuing sickening news of death, mutilation, PTSD, civilian casualties and displacement, war, mayhem and terrorism (let’s remember one man’s terrorism is another man’s overt strike, e.g., a drone with Hellfire missiles on a wedding)…..well, I just could not bring myself to begin to write about something that was not serious, and yet I was just sick of “serious.”  Do you feel me?

Then, not too long ago I began to feel like I must force myself to sit down once again, and write.  Life is short – I finally had to admit to myself.  So, I started this blog, and just in the last six months I have self-published a few small non-fiction books (available on Amazon).  But once again I am finding it so hard to push away the thoughts and images of the slings and arrows of our political, and generally societal at large, landscape.  There seems to be no news outlet that is not engaged in debating the daily shifts in this terrain…because it is so important….but god don’t we all need some fresh air?

I was born about four score years after the American Civil War, and until 2016 I could never have dreamed the foundation of what it means to be “America” would begin to fracture again. I thought for the longest we might be finally escaping our past divisions and angst, coming together to address common threats like global warming or exploring space, feeding the starving and “all that.”  How wrong I was.  Now we are literally in a “civil” civil war once again…there is no way to deny that, and anyone who scoffs at that I say, “you better look deeper.”  (Note that when I say “civil,” I am not over looking the bloody violence committed by domestic terrorists.)

Our country is being consumed by the “perfect storm.”  A consummate ego-maniac was elected due to the amplification of factors that individually would not have resulted in such as travesty:  egotism of the Democratic party machine, an outdated electoral college system built on gerrymandered districting, neglect of our heartland and our once burgeoning industrial cities and the thousands of small towns and rural folk, the failure of our education system to teach citizens how to critically analyze information, xenophobia inflamed by poverty of large swaths of America, outright racism, the selfishness of the major social media corps, the degenerate state of politicians within in D.C., and the failure of government to protect against cyber attacks by malevolent actors (e.g., Trump’s best buddy, Vladimir Putin).  Had any one of these factors been neutralized, we would not be in a civil war today.

Now we are faced with a highly divided nation, so divided it has wrecked marriages and families, just like the bloody Civil War did, and I fear it could easily get much worse.  We have a man occupying the presidency who knows no limits, recognizes no restraints of law or norm, will do absolutely anything to remain in power and have All the power, who has infected Washington with a fast growing carcinoma.  It is obvious he will use every trick in the book, supported by those who are too blinded by hate, or too greedy to care about the principles of our very nation.  He will not be impeached, and even if he loses the 2020 election (which certainly is not a foregone conclusion) he will not vacate the White House peacefully, for he knows prison and the collapse of his finances await him.  Inauguration day, January 20, 2021 may turn into another day of infamy for this country.

Notwithstanding all this bullshit, I will continue to blog – till death do us part – and give free reign to my mind, allowing it to roam as freely as I can given day to day matters, and moreover, abide in the firm belief that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” (Theodore Parker).

Concluding, I know this nation will get through this.  We have met and beat all other fiends, and we will beat this, even though a large part of the fiend’s protoplasm is within our collective self.

 

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Happy Earth Day?

While home on leave in 1971, my future wife and I attended the second Earth Day celebration in Austin, Texas.  I don’t remember much about it, except it was a beautiful day, and I was with the beautiful woman that I would spend 25 years with on this beautiful Earth.

Today I am not sure it is appropriate to wish someone “happy Earth day.” Is it?  As a Buddhist I strive to keep a happy mind, which I do believe allows clear insight and comes by negating ignorance, anger and confusion about the things we all deal with on a daily basis.  However, a happy mind requires equanimity, a challenging matter given what we observe humanity doing to – committing against – our Mother Earth.

AI, artificial intelligence, is one of my favorite topics, which I have written about previously.  Being a positive soul, coupled with faith in what I observe in the young generation – their concern about climate change, to the point of global walk-outs by school children –  I do feel somewhat better that AI will be shaped by our progeny toward arresting the slow decay of our space-ship/biosphere.  On the other hand, there is the very real threat of high-tech gurus attitude of never looking back, and only concerning themselves with accomplishing technological steps that really remove humanity even further from our Mother.  Without heavy ethical push-back, there is extreme risk of technology being grasped by near fascist political regimes that will push the curve downward, continuing the decrement of the life-force that sustains all life.

In democratic nations, people can push back by voting for those who do cherish the Earth, who do work in evidence-based policy formation and who do what must be done.  Democracies that follow an environmental friendly state policy-making can also greatly influence the  non-democratic and developing nations.

So, let me end on a positive note, and do wish everyone, all my fellow humans, orangutans, and all Mother’s “creatures”, Happy Earth Day!

 

Is It Temporal Distortion, or What?!

CLIMATE CHANGE.  Is it because so many people cannot grasp the fact that our world WILL die as we know it, and is already in the throes of death due to what we are allowing to be done to Mother?  Is it because it seems far in the future, and like our own corporeal deaths we just cannot attend to grasping it? So many other things to worry over, mostly pure nonsense and invented by those who wish to control our minds? I could go on and on, and like me, I pray you reading this are sick and tired of politicians and greedy industrialists and Wall Street hedge fund managers setting the course of our planet’s impending destruction.  As this brilliant young mind, Greta Thunberg of Sweden,  tells us, the solutions are at hand, and there is no need for discussion, just ACTION!