Walking the dogs in the winter sunshine we pass roofers working on a nearby house, several rugged guys, one of them stout and bearded, with a radio on the roof with them, constantly playing a country music station as they bend and call for more roofing. They’re up there listening to country music, and humming, whistling along, as they power-staple roofing in place, and there’s something comforting about it. I am not a fan of most country music, but the combination seems to speak of a cheery acceptance of the working life, of their own culture. Yes it’s a bit like a beer commercial. But they smile and wave to everyone in the neighborhood who passes; saw one of them chatting amiably with a dark Sikh fellow in a turban…A little further down the street someone has parked a small Hyundai sedan which is very much a mild mannered mom and pop car, *except* it has those new flattish tires that look like dragster slicks, and where the hubcap used to be they have one of the faddish spiky chrome wheels, this one looking like a circle of steely fangs all inward pointing like the mouth of a lamprey, four identical such wheels, too large for this modest family car, very sharkish and spikey, and the effect is startling, as if you saw a bland soccer mom who suddenly grins wolfishly at you to show filed teeth and fangs…Then I pass a yard with a decorative little red-barked tree overflowing with plum blossoms. And on one of the barer lower fork of branches is a bird’s nest, quite close to me, a somewhat oversized nest for small birds–it’s chaotic around the edges but almost ostentatiously constructed and like all bird’s nests seems to advertise the enormous, focused work that went into it. That very small bird with its tiny brain like a slightly sentient chip in a timepiece fitting one twig after another into this almost spontaneous architecture. It makes me think of a crown of thorns, from some angles, in the red blossoms–it’s like something you’d seen in a rather too florid Japanese painting. If it was a painting by an American artist it’d probably be kitsch. But I can’t stop looking at it till the dogs insist we go on…
The universe plays itself out. What seems relatively evil to us must play out. We must strive in another direction, because that’s our orientation. Everything must play out. Why bother to strive in the other direction, if it all must play out? Because that’s our part in the play. And who knows? Perhaps what we know as good will not play out if we don’t play our part. So we mustn’t despair. We must play our part and push for what we know is good. It’s our element of the mandala.
The President’s logic, leading to many of his decisions–including a few I think are a mistake in the long run–may be as follows: 1) the economy is the issue nearest and dearest to the heart of the American people, because it is about survival; 2) While supply-side trickledown et al is mostly a false premise, the economy as it’s set up now is reliant on players at the top, like banks and oil companies, for hiring and stimulating hiring, and generally stimulating a growing economy; 3) Nearly anything that encourages the economy in a time of emerging from The Great Recession is politically good for the Democratic Party and necessary for America; 4) Without the election of a sufficient number of Democrats to congress the *other* goals Democrats have, like cutting Pentagon spending, cutting carbon emissions, helping the middle class, increasing regulations on banks etc, will not be doable; 5) In order to get people to re-elect these Democrats (and Independents like Sanders) and elect MORE Democrats, so Congress can move ahead with a more progressive agenda, compromises must be made to keep the economy’s “head” above water.
Anyway, that’s my theory.
Yet another “sexy vampire movie for teenage girls” coming out. The trailer shows pretty teen girls baring their fangs and hissing, like a cat about to bite. What’s the deal with this? Is it just teen girls dealing with their sexuality? Penetration, intimacy–blood equals menstrual blood equals womanhood? Or do they literally think male vampires attacking them parasitically is romantic, cute, attractive?
They also seem to enjoy fantasizing about being parasitical beasts themselves. Are they aware that blood contains, besides water and lots of red blood cells, mucous cells, viruses, bacteria, oxidizing toxins, pollutants in general, genetic material, and more sheer GOO? Is the attraction about becoming immortal and overcoming the fear of death? Is it just because the vampire boys are “cute”? I mean, putting FANGS, bared teeth in snarling mouths, lying in dirt filled coffins –this makes guys MORE attractive? What’s the deal?
Today was thinking of an asteroid belt in an orbit around the sun. What’s more chaotic than whirling asteroids? Or the ice particles in Saturn’s rings. Same principle: kept in a stable circular orbit by gravitational pull of the sun, or the gas giant saturn, the overall shape of their orbit is well defined, if seen from a fair distance; look at smaller groups of them, or individually, they’re jagged random pieces a-whirling…The orbital ordering of the ice or rock jags as a group is itself part of a “chaotic” system in that it’s the result of the random interplay of the laws of physics in the cosmos–that random interplay of laws results in an orderliness that isn’t random. I don’t mean a “creator” made it orderly, I mean its innate nature made it so.
Chaotic and orderly, random and inevitable, all at once. The universe as Jimi Hendrix guitar solo.
So this is how my day is going: First, when I took the dogs on a walk, I was admiring the scenery and then my gaze fell on a really large dead rat with its head in a classic, right-out-of-cartoons rodent trap, lying near a trash can in the street, its neck snapped but its remains fairly fresh. My dogs immediately tried to investigate it, eager to smell it, roll in it, and pick up plague-bearing fleas from its corpse. I held them back but the picture of it keeps reasserting in my mind.
Then I got home and the only mail was a letter from “Smart Cremation” telling me to prepare my “final wishes”, as they put it, in advance, through their cremation service, some data-sharing firm apparently having informed them that I’m over 60 now. It’s like, “You’re on your way out, being over sixty, why not plan for your DEATH right now?”…
Then on facebook I find myself arguing with libertarians again, which is like riding a merry go round run by a psychotic who makes it go faster and faster…on its way to nowhere. He shouts at me jeeringly when I finally jump off…
I’m going to go get some work down now, and work on my novel outline–that’s the only thing that makes me feel better at such a time.
Tired of shoes. But can’t go barefoot, not much. Tired of slippers, flip flops, shoes, boots. So here’s my plan. I’m going to get some of that genetic retro-engineering stuff. Where you get your genes tweaked. And I’m gonna grow hooves. Shaped like my feet. But hooves. Don’t need shoes then. And maybe they’ll wear down and then I’ll put some horseshoes them–get them specially made for the shape of my feet. Hammer them things in. And then maybe I’ll genetically engineer some heavy fur from my waist to my ankles so I don’t need to wear pants. And I’ll get some little horns put on too. And I’ll learn to play the goddamn flute.
Why not? I could do that. That’s all I wanted to say.
Thinking about Being, the kind of Being that is interchangeable with consciousness, as a thing in itself; perhaps, as some have suggested, a weigh-able thing. There’s an idea in the more sophisticated forms of spirituality that one survives death as much as one truly exists in life; which spurs the question: what does it mean to really exist? Making a big impact on the world through building skyscrapers, or commanding armies–that’s not it. A man who does nothing but sell tea, work in his garden, care for orphans, likely exists far more than a man who supposes his commanding aggressive armies makes him a big shot. The man with the army has the kind of impact that does not add to his Being. Is Being a *stuff* that can accumulate in a person? Perhaps unweighable in the frequencies we work in but it may be that there’s a realm where Being has its own weight, its own mass; perhaps it has attraction, something equivalent to gravity.
Maybe enough Being can become a black hole…Being doesn’t have to be benevolent. It’s just Being. But it does seem to have some kind of nourishing orientation, with respect to beings…the term Center of Gravity comes to mind…the term gravitas…
I will probably never write the story, as it’s too much like the image in A Christmas Carol, of Scrooge having a great weight of chains and lockboxes holding him down which he cannot see. “Mine were invisible until…” But I am troubled by the vision of seeing millions of people walking around in traps, some of them aware of it, some not, and thought of writing a story in which a man get the ability to see them–and they all correspond to real life problems, one is the fear trap, another the hate trap, others the addiction trap, each looking different…like they’re dragging bear traps around on their ankles but we can’t normally see them…It’s just that, when i want to judge a tweaker, say, a meth addict, or an unrepentant destructive alcoholic, I am starting more and more to see them as people with their legs in traps. And they really did not know they were stepping into that trap, back when…Of course this may remind a few people of the Akishra soulworms in my novel Wetbones, who are astral parasites feeding on addictions…
In my life it seems as if I’ve worked my way out of one trap and find myself in another…as if I’m stumbling about in a room full of them…
What? Yes I do have criticisms for Democrats, even Obama. Let’s take Pres Clinton first: Clinton swallowed the poison of the “free market” antiregulatory cult, and signed the bill to overturn Glass-Stegall. That was catastrophic. It allowed many wolves of wall street to run amuck. I suspect Clinton regrets it; I doubt he’d admit it. . .
Obama said his main mission was to take the country out of recession. He was told…and became convinced…that banks had to be rescued (to be fair most of that bail out money has been repaid with interest), that he had to have Wall Street Insiders in his administration (he’s an admirer of Lincoln who would do something like that)…and same goes for why he hasn’t *vigorously* pursued prosecuting Wall Street Scumbags. I think it was a mistake–too short term in his thinking. This doesn’t make him a bad President–it makes him a human being. I think that despite his ordering that drone strikes be scaled back…YES he ordered that…and that new protocols for choosing targets be picked, he has still allowed too many. The admin is now investigating the recent blasting of a wedding party by a drone. I believe heads will roll over that and he’ll reign in the drones even more. But even so, he should have been far more exacting about approving drone strikes. The idea with them was to avoid BOMBINGS which are even sloppier, and to avoid American casualties. But they’re risky…He seems to think that as risky as fracking is, and as risky as much of Monsanto’s activity is, it’s more important to cut back emissions through use of natural gas, and to provide more food to the world through (so he’s been told) GMOs and related biotech. I think he’s making a mistake.
I think that fracking is just a flat out bad idea, we had natural gas before fracking, and Monsanto is irresponsible and many of its innovations are dangerous. Not all GMOs are a bad thing, but many are risky and problematic. I think that Obama, who said he would march with union people, should have done it, when union people were up against it in, as I recall, Michigan. I think it was a moral error not to be more supportive of unions. Some of his international trade plans are too Clintonesque, and he needs to remove corporate slime from the FDA, for example.
But there is a long, long list of *good* progressive things he’s done, he is a good man, he *trends* in the right direction, and he’s America’s first black President. So I support him.