By: Esther M. Powell
Posted on: Tue, September 25 2007 - 2:32 pm
October 19, 2007
For lovers of seeing things in black and white: look at nature. How much do you see that is truly black or truly white? There is some stuff, sure, but not much.
Even winter (which is only loved by children and the cold of soul (oh, all right all right, just kidding!) has only so much black and white!
What is usually the predominant color in nature where most humans live? Green - all shades of green! Where did I read that green is the color of compassion - it arouses compassion. And compassion is a form of love, is it not!
So throw away the black and white! Clothe your mind in shades of green!
October 18, 2007
Is it a universal tendency of religions to speak of their own followers as the "chosen" ones? Or is it only those whose people have to work hard and suffer just to survive that have to compensate for their difficult lives with that appellation?
Right now, facing the winter, I think God's chosen people are the ones who get to live in the tropics! No time changes, no snow-shoveling, no quilted bedding and overcoats... I wish I were a chosen person!
If individuals say they are the "chosen one" we are tempted to strait-jacket them and put them in a looney bin for their arrogance.
Why don't we have the same response to the religions that do that? (And several major ones seem to, so don't point any fingers at me for saying that!) If a whole bunch of people believe something, does that make it sane?
Are all religions comprised of chosen people?
Oh well, we all want to feel special!
Me, I have been "chosen" to write in this website - by me!
Thank you for reading my choice words! I feel so special!
October 17, 2007
Well, I seem to be doing a rondo, because today I am back on the subject of pace. School seems to work well only for the majority of students and how much of that is a matter of pace?
Of those who cannot tolerate the pace, who are we to say who is smart and who is dumb? If someone is not in step, he/she is not in step. The birds in the air aren't taking lots of steps, but that doesn't mean they aren't getting somewhere fast! Can we follow?
I had a co-worker at the nursery (as in "garden center") who talked about being able to tolerate that environment. He would much rather be in the wilderness! He considered working in an office to be intolerable.
Maybe pace is like space. Maybe school pace is so slow that some people are bored, becoming distracted and appearing "slow" to everybody whose pace is more average.
This kind of goes along with my idea of interest (and come to think of it maybe docility!) not intelligence, being the motive and enabler for learning.
Maybe TV has revved up the pace of students with ADHD and maybe the problem is the schools and the teachers, not the students! The more people "with" ADHD, the more it becomes normal reality, not some kind of disorder.
The only trouble is, one person's problem is everybody's problem - especially if everyone has it! Haha!
I'll pace around the room, or around town, or around the woods (I wish) and ponder the pace problem for a while! Maybe we can develop a pace program!
Can we get in step? Or can we fly in formation?
October 16, 2007
I was reading a little more about ethics vs. morality in a website that calls this question "cliche" (Oops, sorry, I didn't mean to deal with such a trite, stomped-on issue!) but then proceeds to quote what he/she thinks is the clearest answer, one by Dipankar Gupta: Morality is about the SELF, and about attaining high levels of spiritual or other kinds of perfection [huh?]; ethics is a quality that marks social interactions.
Well, that's kind of clear, but what "other kinds of perfection" is he referring to? Perfection at making pie crust? Something that depends so much on imagination is not so clear.
But hey, take that phrase out, and it's clear?
But if it is such a cliche question, how come so many people don't seem to care about ethics or morality, or, if they care, don't seem to let it affect their behavior? (See, no matter what I say, I just have to assume freedom of choice!)
Or is my perception of average behavior and concerns just distorted by watching the news and observing the behavior of our athletes, actresses and politicians?
Oh yeah, I was going to write about acting as an occupation oh well, tomorrow is another day...
October 15, 2007
I realized a few years back that I was really interested in ethics. Not morality - ethics.
Why is that, I wonder? Morality is about behaving well. So are ethics. So what is the difference?
I had a nebulous feeling that morality has something to do with a social code, often related to religion. To me the idea of "morality" is all tied up with the idea of virtue as a character trait, almost.
I felt that ethics, on the other hand, is more about the rights of others - what kind of behavior we owe to others.
So just now I googled it and looked at a few definitions, and my impressions seem more or less correct. The word "morality" is more associated with a societal code of conduct and a higher power, whereas ethics is more about duty.
When I think of the word "moral" I get uncomfortable. It makes me think of an overweight woman with a tight permanented hairdo and a disapproving expression. I guess I identify it with irrational expectations and heavy judgment.
When I think of ethics I think of a slender, slightly graying dispassionate man involved somehow with the law.
Are these the people who first used the words in my presence?
I don't know. Maybe my interest arises from a desire to defend myself against "morality" as defined by the "moral majority" or a particular religion or sect.
It is also, however, the experience over the years of seeing "moral" people trample all over the rights of others without seeing that their behavior is patently unethical if not illegal.
And that's not even bringing the golden rule into it! I love the golden rule, but I don't apply it without taking a look at other standards. It is way too subjective!
October 14, 2007
The Indiana Historical Society - hmmmm. Yesterday I saw an "historical interpretation" by a fast-talking man impersonating a former Quaker who had joined the Union as an adult man with a wife and three children.
It was very entertaining (I almost sat there and believed the Civil War was going on right now! To my embarrassment, literally! (Not the bare ass part! I'm digging myself in deeper and deeper, here) It did not seem too much like propaganda, and yet....
Maybe I'm getting too psychologically sophisticated but the man talked softly and fast. What did those little kids in the audience (lots of them) hear and see but a pretty good looking graying dude in a uniform calling himself a Quaker with a big long rifle? I wouldn't be surprised if they now think Quakers are a kind of soldier!
For adults, no problem, except having a Quaker background (and being an adult!) myself, I had trouble believing he was mostly stirred by the band and the excitement of the rally to join. Quakers are serious people of conscience! I remember the words "weighty Quaker" from my meeting days.
On second thought, however, Quakers, many of whom in those days eschewed music and the theatre in addition to all the fundamentalist "vices" probably led pretty dull lives in Indiana!
The boxcar exhibits themselves also disturbed me some. Yes, I learned for the first time how many soldiers came from Indiana to fight but I worry that we are glorifying war too much. Setting up our children to think that it is something they want to do. Giving it too much attention, perhaps.
Or conversely, do the "soldier's" talk (which included statements about the horrors of war in a style which unfortunately belied them) and the exhibit about the young soldier who dies two months after he leaves home to join the infantry put a child "off" fighting?
Well, I am obviously too anti-war anti-fighting (except verbally!) biased to fairly answer these questions.
But heads up, any parents along the Indiana Historical Society box-car track! You might want to check it out before you take your younger children!
And heads up, all of us! No, we don't want to treat our veterans the way we treated them after Vietnam (I guess - I was mostly oblivious.)
I gave no hate stares, I did no spitting, but I'm not unbiased. But make no mistake, the government does not care that much about the individual soldier. After all, it is putting them in death's way. Are people really surprised that the government doesn't take good care of them when they come home? WE PUT THEM IN DEATH'S WAY!
But do we really want to glorify them? Is that a reason to glorify them?
October 13, 2007
Well, after my little spree of random color, I'll have to think for a while about using it. For someone used to a lifetime (except, maybe in the seventies) of basic black-and-white, the color is a little distracting, if not to say nauseating! (What do you think?)
In the past I have sometimes been obsessed with time and with space.
Today I think it is pace. I went through the Indiana history three-boxcar train yesterday. The "show" (after a wait of a few minutes outside) began with a three-minute video that essentially kept us in "groups" of about twenty-five to look at the rest of the exhibit.
The content of the show is not my concern today. (I'm going again today to see the stuff happening in the tents and I'll talk about the exhibit tomorrow. Oh, will I talk about the exhibit tomorrow!)
No, the phenomenon I observed yesterday was more internal than external. And come to think of it, it might have had to do as much with space as with pace!
I found myself behind a mother with at least a child or two, part of a larger group. Their pace was faster than mine would have been. I, left to myself, would probably have read every word and played every "game."
The exhibit seemed partly set up for children, who either did everything a lot faster than I, or didn't respond to it. I felt rushed by their pace, especially since I also felt pressed from behind.
Not literally. I wasn't even looking at the people behind me for the most part, except a friend was quite a few people back. As far as I can remember, I did not see or hear anything except sheer physical proximity that would make me feel I had to hurry.
But I felt rushed, and this kind of thing has happened before. Twenty-five years ago my family and I were at the zoo with some friends. My husband and I had two children at that time, my friend and her husband one.
The whole time I was distracted, trying to keep track of everyone. My family and I wanted to spend a longer time at each place, our friends were quickly "leafing" through the place as if it were a picture book!
I felt I had to keep everyone in sight, figuratively speaking. I wanted to occupy a middle ground.
Is this part of our psyches? Were my friends governed by the pace of others around them, that they went so fast? Or was it more internally-governed? They were a few years younger than we. Were they that much quicker because they were of a generation more exposed to TV? (Which would have been slooow compared to TV today!)
How many of us feel a need to be equidistant from others? I tend to feel that way in groups, not wanting big uneven spaces between me and others if we are all doing a common activity. Is this a universal tendency, which explains what we learn and what we value?
Or is it just the curse of the middle child?
October 12, 2007
Now that I am learning to use my color options, I'm wondering whether I should highlight different subjects for those not interested in my random stuff.
What do you think? Would you find this helpful?
Should I write in green for garden subjects? Should I highlight in green? Write and highlight in green?
I write about alot of different subjects. Will I get too confused if I try to color code? Will I be so much of a splitter that I give up and become a lumper?
In my fileroom days I was an avid color coder. It is so much easier to find files if you have them color-coded!
Does anyone even have real physical files anymore? (Don't answer that, I know they do!)
My friend William just told me that people can just go to "file" and "find on this page" to find what they are looking for in a website!
I didn't know that worked on the internet! I'm so abysmally ignorant! Boy, won't searching be easier! I've been doing an awful lot of scanning!
Oh well, gotta look at the bright side! Look how much I learned today!
At the very least, this gloomy fall day is a little illuminated!
October 11, 2007
On an episode of "House" the other night, a character (supposedly a Mormon) comments that atheists don't have the write to quote scripture.
Waaa...? Since when? What is that all about? as Jay Leno would say. Just because you don't accept the whole religion, means you can't appreciate and quote words of wisdom they may contain? "House" writers are great - are they just trying to draw controversy?
Just for the record, I reserve the right to quote anyone I want to, at least verbally. If I can read it, I can talk about it! Freedom of speech, Yay! Watch out, George Bush, my telephone lines are just burning up with sex, controversy, and forbidden political criticism!
Also just for the record, I think I would officially be called an agnostic, because I don't presume to know the nature of God. But, oh yes, I will presume to talk!
I'm reading a book of Rumi poetry right now in which he holds speech in low esteem. For someone of that opinion, he sure produced a lot of words! Maybe he had some of those, "Oops I've said too much" moments. Maybe it is poetry (therefore opinion) falsely attributed to him....
Of course, not being Islam, I have no business quoting Rumi at all....
October 10, 2007
I was going to write about the difference between gods. Or should I say people's perceptions of God? One common source of argument is about whether God cares about individuals. Whether Jesus loves you, basically.
I believe that the answer is no. At least, not that way. I was going to write about that and how that is why we have to care, but a cold wave is coming, the days are getting shorter, and I, for one, need some comfort.
What is the literary equivalent of that wonderful comfort food - pie?
I'll have to think about that.
But right now, lacking a literary pie-pan, I'll just write about pie!
Yesterday a friend of mine made pie. It was good - made with Jonathon apples that we bought at Williams farm. But the crust, although tender, did not have quite that flaky quality that is part of the traditional great pie.
My mother taught me how to make great pie crust. It takes lard. Married to a vegetarian man and being health-oriented myself, I tried throughout my marriage to make a good pie with no lard.
Well, I made some pretty good pies. I made some very tough-crusted pies. I made some interesting pies, including a chocolate chiffon pie with agar-agar instead of gelatin. (It was yummy!) But I never made a really great flaky-crusted pie.
Oil, butter, shortening and whole wheat flour are just not conducive to a great pie crust.
When I was in graduate school at UNM, my roommate told me she thought she made good pie crust until she had mine, and asked me how to make it. (This was a young woman whose mom made home-made noodles! The best I have ever had.)
Around the same time, a friend invited me to dinner with some out-of-town visitors. I made an apple pie with, as I recall, a lattice crust. I realized too late I forgot the salt!
Well, I took my otherwise fabulous pie to dinner. I was twenty-two and had long blond hair. I wore jeans, a lacy blouse I had bought at the salvation army, and an olive-green woolen army jacket. Dinner was fine, as I recall. I liked my friend's friends.
Later she told me that they were impressed with me, she didn't know quite why.
I thought, "Try the pie!"
October 9, 2007
It is common knowledge that paranoid people are often the most dangerous. Assuming this is true, (often not a safe assumption with common knowledge!) I think I can draw a parallel with emotional states.
I've noticed (I made this astute observation in my sixties ( ! probably the kind of observation my children could have made in their teens!)) that often when I am at my most shrill is when I'm feeling under attack. Judgment makes me noisy in self-defense and counter-attack.
Observation of people like me probably gave rise to the expression, "The best defense is a good offense," although come to think of it I have seen that tactic used by way cooler heads than mine.
Anyway, just as I have learned that the best way to keep myself from being too angry is to try to keep myself as happy as possible (throw that martyr complex right out the window - it is not for anyone except those facing the stake!) I have learned that the best way to avoid defensive ranting is to not subject myself to too much judgment.
I have gotten pretty good at not judging myself. Now I am working on not letting the judgment of others get to me.
That is not so easy! But there is no reason I should not be able to take that mental step back and say, "whoa, there." (That is, if I have personal freedom. Big if!)
When I was shrill with my children, sometimes it was when I feared that society would judge me or them if they did not behave a certain way.
Mothers, relax. Children, relax. Society will judge you anyway, no matter what you do.
And the messy hair, sloppy rooms, and keeping your place in a book by turning it upside-down and open on the bed (or with a strip of bacon (in-joke - read Updike's Couples?)) is not going to land you in Court, which is really the only judgment the avoidance of which is essential to your physical freedom!
I had a friend who said her mother only had one rule: don't wear shoes without socks! She said her mother knew that of course they would break that rule, so of course they would be satisfied with that and never dream of doing drugs or smoking....
Well, what a nice household! And their feet must not have been very sweaty!
My eldest says I made no rules at all (funny, I thought I had lots of them!) and I think my kids are wonderful! (Of course, who am I to judge!)
An acquaintance of mine (when I was forty-something and still a mother of minors) said I was a volcano waiting to explode. (To me she said if I were Italian nobody would think a thing about my temper!) Well, I'm emotionally volatile, I admit.
But the last time I saw her her car was drifting over into my driving lane a couple of feet in front of mine and as far as I could tell, she never even noticed!
So I get the last word (so far!):
I may be a volcano waiting to explode, but at least I'm not asleep at the wheel!
(Defense, defense! I have heard that most speech is self-defense! How do those religious orders who forbid speech deal with all the hostility that must be repressed when you cannot object or rant? Do they really think that there will still not be a pecking order of snubs, sneers, and cold shoulders if people are so inclined? Are nuns and priests really that much better than the rest of us?)
Good lord, I could natter on forever about this kind of stuff! Is it really only a form of fencing?
October 8, 2007
It is hard to believe that the record-breaking heat (for October in our area) we are going to experience today is unrelated to global warming.
But whether it is related or not, the world is warming up to an alarming degree. I read in a book today that some scientists were already warning us about it a century ago. No one, of course, heeded them.
Remember Tiny Tim's song, "The ice-caps are melting...."? I still don't know if it was meant to be taken seriously, religiously or scientifically!
I think many people in the states don't believe in The Warming (sounds like a Stephen King movie, huh? It has become that sinister!) because they don't want to believe it (many on the coasts fit this category). Others, in the heartland perhaps, don't believe that global warming will affect them, even if it happens.
Imagine the millions of people from all three coasts coming inland to survive. That may be a wonderful thing for everyone - a real brou-ha and mix-up of cultures and values! (I have met at least one New Orleans refugee and have been enriched by the encounters, but it seems he is moving on to Austin, Texas!)
There might be more competition for work, and more hunger also.
But for good andor ill, the rising of the oceans and consequent weather changes will affect us all!
Meanwhile, maybe it will grow warm enough here for me to grow camellias!
October 7, 2007
Is this October? This is October! It is a little warm for my taste (supposed to go up above 80 degrees here in northern Indiana) but I am giddy with delight.
Some people respond to this kind of good fortune with dire predictions for the future. "It makes you wonder what February will be like" - Mom. Not me! It helps give me the strength to face the winter (yeah, I'm not three! Winter is no longer my favorite season!) that I know is coming.
I have read somewhere that the thing that makes prophets prophetic is that no matter what kind of times we are in, they can see that the opposite will come about.
Well, hell, that is inevitable, isn't it?
Suppose there are two children. One is orphaned, is poor, and feels unloved. Later in life he is dreaming the original American dream, which is a home of his own, a wife and children, and plenty of food.
The other is the much-blessed child of wealthy parents. He has both his father and mother's love, ponies, trips to the city, and a wonderful estate to range around in. Later in life, because of financial losses, he is reduced to an average home. He has a wife and children, and plenty of food.
Which life would you choose?
It all depends on attitude, doesn't it?
I know which I would choose, given what I hope is my attitude! Can you guess?
October 6, 2007
"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself," Walt Whitman said, "for I contain multitudes...."
I just have to quote him when I catch myself in self-contradiction. According to Jung, that is an inferior thing to do - to quote other people. But I always think of Whitman and his bold I don't care attitude.
I really believe in complete determinism, I guess. It is a good way to foster tolerance of others.
On the other hand, I really have to believe in my own freedom to choose one behavior over the other.
Perhaps that is also determined. I've talked about this issue before. We as a society have to act as if we have freedom of choice. Is there a more basic existential question than this one?
Even the God/no God question seems more or less theoretical to me by comparison.
The "what is the nature of reality" question that would question whether my food is real keeps me from lunch for not one second.
Can anybody come up with another of those basic questions that is more important to us than free will? What other one do we even imagine we have any control over?
It is late at night for me to be writing. Is my feeling that I can control whether or not I delay sleep for another hour an illusion?
Ha! Maybe I'm already dreaming! Good night!
October 5, 2007
I'm having trouble reading murder mysteries these days. Either they are too cosy and boring, or they are too cruel and gicky, or they are too sad.
Even my little murderlets, as I used to call them, are now more like maybemurderlets.
Am I going soft?
Are my supremely deterministic worldviews of the nature of the human individual interfering with my ability to work up a good head of self-righteousness?
What's wrong with me? Why don't I even want to fictionally kill someone?
Maybe I'm just not mad enough right now.
Isn't that wonderful?!
October 4, 2007
Yesterday a friend and I drove to an apple farm (the Williams Farm) and bought apples. The drive there and back was beautiful. They had the best price for fabulous crispy Jonathon (and other varieties) that were small.
Suits me just fine! I am intimidated by too big an apple. It takes too long to gnaw through it, and my teeth might start hurting. A lot of apples are gorilla-sized! Or elephant-sized!
My friend bought MacIntosh apples (for, they maintain, the perfect apple pie) to take to his father at Thanksgiving.
The farm also had half a dozen kinds of honey on sale, blueberry and buckwheat among them, for a very reasonable price. I want to eat them all! Everything made with real honey (as opposed to bland store-bought clover honey) tastes better!
They only take cash and checks though, so if you want to carry away the store, take lots of cash! (I'm sure this is true still of many you-go-to-them operations!)
They also have pumpkins, and as we were coming in an elderly man was leaving with small rocking steps, cradling a perfectly shaped orange-glowing pumpkin in his arms.
His face was pink, immaculate and beatific.
For him, the day could not have been more beautiful!
October 3, 2007
I was thinking about the opposing bird (armies? teams?) that really were the feature show of my friend's bizarre Sunday morning (See Rumilluminations around Sept. 11-12.)
In my memory, I see pigeons as being really communal, hanging out together in packs.
Mourning doves, on the other hand, are lodged in my memory more as being spotted singly or in pairs.
Are the two species really in competition for the same space?
I wonder if my friend has seen or heard a mourning dove since.
Where did all those mourning doves go? Anybody in Albuquerque see a mass landing of them about three weeks ago?
October 2, 2007
When I was in college there was a young man in my freshman Analysis class who was in a discussion with a group of us. He was arguing for some I guess Platonic absolute (at least out in the ether somewhere) as the class ended.
We sat around a table, and as I passed by him, I said with a perhaps rueful smile, "There are no absolutes!"
I repented saying that immediately, because I thought he was going to have a heart attack on the spot. If he made it through that year, he certainly was not back the next.
I felt kind of bad, but that school was no place for someone who couldn't handle a free-for-all discussion!
But I'm here now to say that I was wrong.
Evidently the speed of light is absolute, and I should have known it then, but I did not reflect upon physics at all in those days. When the teacher gave the speed of light, it didn't occur to me that very little else has an unchanging speed.
Evidently my fellow student didn't either. He could have saved himself a fit!
When it came to myself, I believed in absolutes much more in those days than I do now!
So my apologies to all those I have judged and my forgiveness to those who have judged me! (After I have stopped jumping up and down and yelling, that is!)
Including that guy who didn't catch his own door a few weeks ago! Having sneezed twice, he maybe didn't have a clean hand!
Is it possible that all of us, occupying our unique point in space/time have an absolutely reasonable point of view, and that any one of us human megaphotons randomly slotted in that time/place would be exactly in every respect the way that person is? The one who is there now?
That would make me not very me at all! Freaky, and frankly, something of a relief!
October 1, 2007
I guess one thing that always bothered me about the idea of time as a fourth dimension is that space had three and time only (seemingly) had one. As Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam, if I spelled his first name right) said long ago, "We're locked toward the future."
But I have decided now that probably, considering the symmetry and the repetition of patterns in the universe (don't you think string theory itself is a fractile kind of idea?) that time does have more dimensions.
In a sense, internally perhaps, we perceive ourselves as stationary with respect to time. We are in the "eternal now" and Einstein himself gave an example of the relativity of that: Imagine yourself kissing a pretty girl for one second. Now imagine sitting bare-assed on a hot stove for one second. That's relativity! (Okay, okay, I might have added the bare-ass part!)
What might the other dimension/s of time be? Memory? Imaginary projection into the future? Reverse time? (Or should I say, not to be timest, time going in the opposite direction ala King Arthur's Merlin? What else?
September 30, 2007
Well, I have tried twice now to write about a friend's idea of an alternate universe and twice I have been bumped, without having saved the idea. I could swear my thumb didn't bump anything, but put to the test, I can't swear to it.
So, let's see. My friend suggested that there might be another universe simultaneous to ours, but moving way...more...slowly...kind...of...like the internet right now, evidently. Reminds me of a poem I read once about the long slow "life" of rocks, which our lives cross kind of like a short-lived insect crosses ours.
Maybe a rock isn't a rock at all but a tough dermis of something else.
"How silly!" you may say. I say, "Yeah, silly like a roller coaster!" Maybe useless, but it can be fun to be shaken up occasionally.
Well, the roller-coaster shake-up isn't fun for me. I find roller-coasters terrifying and nauseating.
Maybe mental shake-ups (shakes-up?) affect others the same way!
September 29, 2007
So, how many worlds do we recognize?
I am blissfully unaware of much about string theory - I recently started The Elegant Universe but have reached about page 28, so there is nothing scientific about this list. Just kind of groping around about worlds that might be.
1. Normal, waking, reality. The one we (usually, well, more or less, kind of, depends-upon-your-culture) agree exists. The fact that "reality" is different for each individual - well, let's not go there!
2. Night dream world. (Collective?)
3. Daydream world.
4. Internal World (Conscious - mine, plus Unconscious - Collective?) (and are dreams just a subset of that? Gee - this could get complicated!)
5. Virtual reality (it could be argued that the world via the internet is more complete (therefore more real) than the world outside my window!)
6. Coma State. (Are all people in a coma in the same world?)
7. Afterlife. All different views of that one, or is it more than one? Heaven, the Underworld, Hell, Purgatory, Limbo, and I'm sure a bunch of afterlives I've never even heard of.
You might argue we can't control when we come enter and leave these states. Well, we can't control when we enter this "normal" reality either. And can only exit at will by violence. Got any ideas? Do you think I am just looney? I'd love to get your ideas on this!
Maybe the worlds are even more contiguous than the ones of listed. Maybe you just have to change your outlook, move sideways a little, and voila! You are in a different reality, and the death/birth interface was not traumatic! Nor even noticeable, actually!
September 28, 2007
Today I was going to write about all our possible universes, but that is going to have to wait until tomorrow. (If you have any, email them to me and maybe I can include them!)
I just must write today about the President of Iran's visit to Columbia University. I have been waiting patiently for someone to express my opinion about it and nobody has (admittedly, I did not see the whole lecture/interchange and I haven't been sitting in front of the TV and making a project of it!) So I will express my opinion.
You don't invite someone to your house in order to insult him.
You do not interrogate your guest as some bullying lawyer treats a hostile witness, demanding a "yes" or "no" answer to any question, let alone a complex one.
You do not make an enemy soften his stance against you and open his mind to your ideas by belittling him in front of the whole world.
If you are dealing with a lunatic who is out of touch with reality, good manners will not hurt. If you are dealing with a bad person trying to deny historical facts to further his own agenda, bad manners may create an enemy even more fanatically against you.
If you treat a guest badly, you worsten, not better, your reputation in the world.
Considering how he was treated, I think that the President of Iran acquitted himself rather well.
Better than the Americans did.
September 27, 2007
Well, my last night's dreams were not calculated to revive my funny bone! (Although they say in dreams, what is funny is stuff that causes us real pain in our waking lives. And that content, of course is disguised so that upon waking with laughter on our lips, we may not consciously recognize the message our subconscious is trying to impart. (Not that I am really convinced the subconscious is trying any such thing. Is there really such a battle between conscious and unconscious as so much psychology seems to suggest? (Although come to think of it, I am probably WAY behind the times when it comes to psychology! They probably even call it something different now!))
Anyway, last night I dreamt some weird dream about guilt - at first I thought my father's guilt, then I thought mine. I had, at any rate, something in my hand that pointed directly to my own guilt (something with beads and keys, maybe?) I was on the verge of getting caught by a benevolent but determined plainclothesman when I woke, scared to death! Caught!
It was the kind of dream that shakes you up so much that you wonder if you have spent your whole life repressing something since you were three! But it is gone, gone, even the first part of the dream has gone back under and I think, in that, my conscious and unconscious are accomplices.
But in what? Ah, alas and thank heavens, the message has gone, swept back in its well-corked bottle into that vast internal ocean!
(And anyway, it was just a dream!)
September 26, 2007
It seems like a long time since I have written something very funny. What's happened to my funny-bone?
Has it gotten serious because in the past this was back-to-school time?
Do short days atrophy it?
Is it arthritic from approaching rain, cold and snow?
How do comics do funny in fall and winter?
Do they tend to congregate in warm climates?
My mom complained the other day that she dreaded winter. But when I suggested the possibility that she would not have to hang around for it, she poo-pooed the idea. (Oops, sorry, I should have said pooh-poohed it!)
That was kind of funny! Sorry, Mom!
September 25, 2007
The other day I said our society cares above all else for life. I meant that, because I was thinking about old people and sick people. We strain the limits of medicine and our insurance viability trying to preserve the lives of those in medical peril.
But I would like to qualify that statement today, because it doesn't seem to hold true for our young, healthy people. We have many uninsured children and we send our young adults off to war to be killed - unnecessarily.
Now, I realize there is a large portion of United States citizens who would disagree with that statement. They say that our troops are protecting our freedom (to drive SUVs? Pull-eeze!) I say once you have decided to go fight, once you have sent troops to war to die, you have a vested interest in believing that this is the right thing to do.
I am not saying that the political messes in the Middle East are easy to sort out. What I am saying is that it is ironic that so many of our young people are dying in Iraq because of a mistake that we made trying to support our economic interests.
In this case we didn't put life before all else. Oh, I wish we had!
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