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Rumilluminations XIV
By: Esther M. Powell
Posted on: Thu, May 01 2008 - 1:58 pm

May 19, 2008                                         Valparaiso, IN

Also read in The Week this week about a book against books.  I'll try to get hold of it and read it!  It evidently mentions that reading used to be a suspect activity!

Absolutely!  Still is!  It is no accident that the vast majority of works put out by the Gutenburg Press were Bibles!  (I say that as if I were sure!  But am I wrong?)  The only way a technology can succeed is to make it useful to The Powers That Be!

For those who would control the Universe as we know it, only the stuff that will promote the ideas, facts and fictions that they want promoted can be seen as good!

Put little worlds into people's heads?  What a Satanic notion!  How awful, to let people come to the realization that they can visualize, promote, and actualize something other than what The Powers That Be want!

In the old days, many people did not have TVs.  Such a new-fangled thing!  So vulgar and indecent!  That's how the Amish view TV today!  (I know, I know, they are not alone!)  But in the century or two before the founding of the Amish sect, their forefathers probably looked askance at the horse-drawn carriage!

Cool quote:  "If at first an idea does not sound absurd, then there is no hope for it."  Albert Einstein  

 

May 18, 2008                                            Valparaiso, IN

Rhetorical questions:

How come Leno appears in so many crossword puzzles?  How come not the more appropriately named Letterman?

How come I see words in crosswords that are never seen or heard in everyday American (see Rumilluminations below about ghostwriting if you challenge my word for our language!)

How come crosswords contain so many nice words like adore and elated, Eden and dote?

How come oreos are one of the most famous cookies?  Oreos are mediocre cookies!  Is it because they are so often mentioned in crosswords?

But if that is true, how come so many people confuse oboes with bassoons?

How come crosswords prefer oleo to butter, and what is the big obsession with Erie and "eerie"?

If you work crosswords, you will have heard of Leo and Aries.  All the rest of the sighns (typo - I'll leave it) - they're sighing from neglect!

I think that I shall ne'er see, that adverb in normal-ity!

Down with crosswords!  They discriminate against long words!  They promote inequality among members of the same category or class!  They promote the notion that they are good for the mind!  That they educate!

They can be fun, but only if they are at that perfect (different for every player) level between too easy and impossible!

My chronic fear is that they will be constructed via computer and therefore more and more standardized, random, and unfunny!

Why do I play them?  They seem to be the one activity that my mother consistently wants to do of a morning.

Am I complaining?  No!  These are rhetorical questions!  I just wonder sometimes....

Are crosswords a waste of time?  Cross words are supposed to be!

What if one leads to the other?  Then what?  Crossed swords?

You can find a sword in crosswords, but you're much more likely to see the "no-right-of-way-rules" epee!

Egad! 

May  16 and 17, 2008  Really two rants!           Valparaiso, IN

1.  I don't read magazines too often.  Usually I read one when I am in the waiting room of a doctor's or dentist's office.  An article I read in The National Geographic was the inspiration for one of my Piglet stories, but in my experience if you start reading magazines, that's all you end up reading!

Except a friend of mine gave me a subscription to a magazine called The Week:  The Best of the U.S. and International Media and I have been reading it.  The articles are short, so I can look at it over meals and during ads when I'm watching TV.

This latest issue has me shaking my head, though.  It contains an article called "Married to a Mob" under a heading "Briefing", with, as far as I can tell, no author's name attached.  In it the writer tries to use King David's eighteen wives and Kink (hah! typo!  I'm leaving it in!) Solomon's 700 wives as examples of people in the history of Christianity who practiced polygamy.

Hello!  Hell-looow!  Don't expect the Old Testament to be Christian!  King David and King Solomon, wise though they may/may not have been, were certainly not Christian!  Remember?  They lived generations before the coming of Christ!  The law changed with the coming of Christ!  Remember? 

Polygamy is a practice that is rife with abuses, the least of which is hurt feelings!  It's a good thing it is gone!  (Or it would be a good thing if it were!)  Same for polyandry!  Better serial monogamy than the push-me-pull-you of multiple spouses!  Look at any polygamist family photo!  The wife whose hand the husband is holding is always the one he most recently wed!  Yuck!  (Yes, I am aware that every one of those sentences ends with an exclamation point!  Multiple exclamation points are not illegal!  Oh, but are they multiple if there is only one per sentence?  Ha, ha!)

2.  Oh, and while I'm on the subject of times changing, I wonder how our increased life span is going to affect our national politics?  The issue of gay marriage is a good example of what I am wondering about.

In California, the State Supreme Court has (rightly) declared discriminating against gays vis-a-vis marriage unconstitutional.  Some citizens of California are going to try to have a public referendum to amend the state constitution to make gay marriages unconstitutional at the same time everybody is out to vote for President of the U.S.  They argue that ten years ago the citizens of California voted against the legality of gay marriage.  (Whatever happened to California?  When I was a little kid living there, it felt so free!)

It is noteworthy that Governor Schwarzenegger does not support such a vote, which would attempt to overturn a ruling of the highest court of the state.

I guess you can't expect a generation of people who never even heard about homosexuality during their formative years to be objective or fair about an individual's right to be attracted to a member of the same sex.  But does that mean that they have the right to dictate to those fifty years younger than they how they are going to live their lives?

So what if ten years ago people would not have agreed with the Supreme Court's present ruling?  A lot can change in ten years!  All I have to say is, I hope that most of those bigoted people were old fogies who have died off and won't be around to vote this time around!  Who do they think they are to say that consenting adults don't have the right to define their own relationship and be the way that God (if you must!) made them?

Shame on them!  Do they forget how compelling love and sexual desire can be?

"That which kinde, and harmlesse is, None can denie us." -- Thomas Campian, c. 1613.

"Us" being all adults.  Not just the ordinary, usual, run-of-the-mill, normal, boring, no-challenge-to-anyone,........

 

May 15, 2008                         Valparaiso, IN

I had a curious thought this morning.  Remember the saying, "God helps those who help themselves"?

I always thought of that as being an admonition to virtue and hard work.  If you put energy into something and work really hard at it, it will pay off.  Your own efforts will be aided by God.

But maybe that is kind of a cynical joke.  Maybe it was originally meant as a joke.  "God helps those who help themselves," as in "Help yourself - take whatever you want!"

Just a thought!

May 14, 2008                          Valparaiso, IN

Well, duh.  In yesterday's comments about the U.S. and peace I forgot the minor detail of THE CIVIL WAR!  How quickly we forget!  Even in this country we are lucky we have had widespread peace for so long!

But I googled religion and peace and read some comments that made me wake up a little and realize that, rhetoric notwithstanding, maybe they don't have much to do with each other.

Peace and prosperity, which we hear combined all the time, are probably the ones most related to each other.  As long as there is an abundance of wealth that is being relatively equally distributed, there is more likely to be peace.  Get a shortage (or a perceived shortage due to unfair endowment of whatever it is - food, goods, love) and you lose your peace, religion notwithstanding.  I don't know about you, but a hungry Esther is a gritchy if not bitchy Esther!

After all, even the Queen of Introspection is dependent on digestion!

May 13, 2008                           Valparaiso, IN

Was it in a parable, and was it Jesus, who said, "By their fruits ye shall know them?"

Well, maybe it is time to look at Gods (or their religions) to assess their worthiness.

One thing that every society says it wants is peace.  Not individuals, necessarily.  I have had men tell me they love a good fight, or "love misery."  But societies, at least, pay lip service to the idea that part of the function of a good society is to maintain the peace.

So what religions have done the best at promoting peace in their own societies?  This is not a rhetorical question on my part.  I really want to know.

Christianity in North America has done really well at promoting peace - here -for us!  But what about the European Crusades against the Holy Land back in the Middle Ages?  What of our armament of various factions (and therefore, ultimately, war) in the oil countries?

Even our founding fathers were motivated more by economics than by any abstract desire for "freedom!"  God knows how they got so many of the citizenry to go along with them!  Or maybe you know.  Let me know if you do!

As for religions in general and in history, I bet it would take an enormous amount of study to really find the most peaceful.  (One that wasn't too small and insular and powerless - they, of course might not have had the corrupting modicum of power!)

Let me know if you have studied at length and have a good answer!  Maybe I'll join that religion!  (Evangelicals of any stripe, ignore that.  I'm probably not serious!  I just would like to know....)

May 12, 2008                            Valparaiso, IN

I think people in countries that don't have freedom overestimate the freedom we have in places like the U.S.  People in repressive societies may have the idea that everybody in the U.S. does what he wants to whenever he wants to.

Hardly.  We also live in the real world, and our society has rules both written and unwritten.  We ignore them to our physical and social peril!

Sure, we have freedom of speech.  Kind of.  I speak more freely than most, and believe me, I pay for it!  I haven't had government action taken against me, but sometimes freedom of speech in action does not make friends for me.

And we still, every citizen of every free country of the world, are subject to the world itself and the society we live in.  We have bodies that require feeding, clothing, and other care.  We are not free to ignore our bodies' demands without consequences.

We have social needs and are subject to our societies' rules.  Sometimes they are more difficult to divine because they are not so overtly stringent, but they are still there.

So lighten up with the judgment, already!  We aren't having nearly as much wild, besotted fun as you think we are! 

May 11, 2008                                Valparaiso, IN

My mother and I had an interesting conversation the other day.  She was orphaned at an early age; her mother died when she was an infant.  I don't think my mom has any memories of her mother.  She was talking about having to imagine the love that her mother would have given her had she stayed alive.

While her father was still living, before my mother went to live with Aunt Mamie at the age of (six? nine? the story differs depending on the teller) my mother was left in the care of at least one stepmother and a couple of landladies, one of whom horsewhipped her and her sister.

I have the good fortune to have had both my parents until I was in my late fifties, and that has always been a source of security and comfort to me.  They were depression babies, and when I went to college and moved far away, there might not be contact between us for months.  They never really believed a telephone call should last more than five minutes.  (When I was a teenager, that was the allowable time for one phone call!)  But just knowing that my parents were alive in the world was a good feeling to have.

While my mother and I were talking, though, I realized that she was able to idealize her parents.  Her dad was always kindly and her mother would have loved her and been nurturing if she had been alive.  The unloving stepmother and the cruel landladies disappeared from her life early on.  Mom could relegate their bad selves to the trash heap of people of no ultimate importance.

We with living parents cannot do this.  We have the good and the bad deeds and influences all admixed and bundled up into one human package we are expected (and usually want to) love.

This is the challenge - not orphanhood - that most of my generation has had the luck and privilege to face.  (My mother's generation also, as recipients of this mixed bag of emotions.)  What we feel for our parents is not the kind of adoration you can bestow upon a movie star or God or any other absent-in-one-way-or-another being, but love for one who is physically present in your life.

Love. Luv. Famb.  Give it all you've got!

(And thanks, kids, for trying to forgive me!  I love you!)

 

May 10, 2008                                  Valparaiso, IN

Shame on:

Myanmar government.  I knew it!  I knew when those with the power of life over death over their citizens confiscated that food and stuff intended for victims that they were going to hand it out as if it were from them.  They even plastered their names on it!  But no.  I must be honest.  I wasn't sure.  I thought they might just store it up for themselves or give it to their favored few.  (And maybe, come to think of it, they did just that.  Those people in the ceremony of charity looked more like wedding reception guests (a very dull, boring wedding reception!) than refugees to me!)

Hillary Clinton.  Damn it!  Why did you do that?  Why did you place a direct appeal to "white" voters?  You were even uncomfortable while you were doing it!  All those "um"s and "er"s!  Yet you still did it!  You used to be too high-minded, lady!  You didn't watch enough crime shows!  You went against your own conscience this time and all of us (er, well, I at least!) could tell!

Voters who vote in primaries not of their own party solely to sabotage the other side.  I admit, when my husband and I were first married, he registered as a Republican and I registered as a Democrat so that we would have more say in the outcome no matter which way the wind blew.  But he would go to the Republican primary and vote for the Republican candidate that we (or he - I wasn't there, so who knows!) would find the easiest to bear if he got elected.  (You know, the lesser of two evils.)

It never crossed my innocent little mind to go in and vote for the person I thought had less chance of winning in the general election just to sabotage the stronger opponent!  That is not exercising power, that is being spiteful!  Oh, yeah, and it is, in a way, cheating!  Shame on all dirty-fighting, rights-perverting, lying, dishonest, misleading tactics! 

Me.  What happened to all the philosophical "if that were me on the space time continuum I would be exactly the same!"?  Still applies!  Shame on me, too!  But what can I do?  Here I am!  Ha, ha!  (Or should I say, "Nyah, nyah-Nyah, nyah, nyah!)

 

May 9, 2008                                   Valparaiso, IN

Yesterday I dug out a stump.  Over the winter a burning bush (taller than my reach) that was jammed between parallel walkway and driveway died.  (I would think it was 'cause my mom, walking past it a week or so ago, said she should take it out, but on observation, I realized that the burning bush next door is already quite leafy.  So I guess it wasn't the Power of Mom that made it kick the bucket!)

I have mixed feelings about its demise myself.  It was too big for the space available to it, and was a visual obstacle when I tried to back out of the garage.  But to see something that seemed perfectly healthy last year just fail to bud out this spring is sad.

Anyway, it was truly all-brown brittle dead.  I sawed off the branches, which I was pretty proud of.  The only trouble was, that left a stump.

Now, I think I'm pretty good at ignoring stumps.  The only trouble is, this property has too many stumps.  It is getting hard for me to see them as anything other than eyesores to be camouflaged with vines, which proceed to try to dress the whole property - lawns, shrubs and flowerbeds - in similar uniform!  We already have at least five kinds of vines, probably originally planted to cover up eyesores!

I decided that I wanted that stump OUT.

I told my mom I wasn't sure I could do it, but I was going to try.

So I literally dug in.

It took me over an hour, probably.  I got dirtier than I've been in years.  While I did it I cursed all the worthless males in my life who wouldn't dirty their hands doing such a chore - at least, not for me!  I fantasized what I would do if some new male approached me offering his services, (ha!  fat chance!  I'm sixty!) wondering how I would handle it if he hoped to receive "services" (or at least "attentions") in return.

I considered quitting and returning to the chore next day, but I didn't want to get this dirty again!

So I persisted.

That's all it took.  Oh, time, and energy, sure.  Maybe a few brains.  ("Oh, and now I'll start putting my foot on that side of the hole so that if my cheap garden fork slips or breaks I won't smash my face against that knobbly woody passive deadly weapon!")

Persistence, that's all!

Those offers of aid we commonly receive from men are wonderful, but ultimately debilitating.  They weaken us by allowing us to fail to test our own abilities and limits.

All it took for me to get that stump out was persistence in the face of failure of offers to help.  Well, hell, I've experienced that kind of situation all my life.  Haven't we all? 

Give me a bigger stump, though, and I will probably hire a stump remover - whatever they are called!  Oh, yeah, now I remember! 

MEN!

May 8, 2008                                    Valparaiso, IN

As everyone who cares knows, Hillary Clinton barely won the Indiana Primary.  Now, since I voted for Obama, I need feel no guilt about the outcome.

It's a funny thing.  I don't know if you remember, but sometime soon after Clinton and Obama declared their candidacies, I said here on my website that of the two, Clinton is the underdog.  Black men got the vote (only 1/4 of a vote, but still a vote!) before women in this country.  Now a 1/2 or so black man might beat out a woman for a chance at the Presidency.  Not a black man!  A 1/2 black man!  White men, you still have a representative in Obama!  He may only be 1/2 white (I bet he's more than that!) but he's all man!

Let's face it.  In little isolated communities all over the world, there may not always have been minorities to oppress, but there were always women!  You could always count on being able to bully the weaker sex, even if there wasn't another race to try to exert your "superiority" over!

I just thought it would be funny if we had a 1/2 black man President before we get a woman, because it goes right along with what I said several months ago when I found out that black men got the vote before women.

I was telling my daughter about that, and she said, "That's what you always said when I was growing up, mom.  You always said that a black man would be elected President before a white woman."

What do you know!  Well, now maybe we'll see!

Hillary Clinton should have listened to me.  She should have made an "O, Hillary, O!" slogan.  But she still has hopes of obtaining the Democratic candidacy after all.

If she doesn't, maybe it will be time for a woman's "I have seen the Promised Land!" speech.  Only forty-five years after Martin Luther King's! 

May 7, 2008                                     Valparaiso, IN

It wasn't until I answered my mom's how-are-you-today question with the answer, "Sleepy, sluggish and slow," that I realized how slimey so many "sl" words are!

Slothful, sloughs and slurries and slush (they are all thick and heavy) slurping, slut, slump, slouch, slats (not in themselves, but sinister people peer through them!)  Slight (not slimy but certainly insignificant in one way or another!  Ditto slim although that can be a compliment when applied to a human!)  Slap - not pleasant! Slug - even less so - either kind of slug!)  Slip - okay as a wearable thing, I guess (although I virtually never wear them!), often dismissive (a mere slip of a girl) and as a verb something that we really can all do without!

Sleds are okay, though.  But slander isn't!  No, that is definitely slimey!  Slosh is something okay as long as we do it intentionally, and other people probably never like it when we do!  (I myself intentionally slosh about as often as I wear a slip!)

Slash - definitely violent association for any slashee!  Slit, likewise.  Slay - well.  Slave (that's where the name Slav came from, and it wasn't complimentary.)

Slattern - don't call your mother-in-law that and expect her to take it as high praise!  (In fact, it is so negative that it tempts me to take another look at the word "slat" for pejorative connotations!)

Slide has some good associations - but probably not as many as bad ones.  Slick also - even not about potentially falling situations, it kind of implies too much of what might otherwise be a good thing!

A sloop is some kind of floating boat - I don't know if it is a lesser sort of ship!  Have to plead to being a slacker when it comes to this word!

Slalom seems to have no negative connotations - unless it goes out of control and ends in disaster - not an unheard of event!

Slumber - but ah, that can lead to dreams!  There's the rub!

Slate is okay - except to lots of students!

That's all the "sl" words I can think of offhand.  You must admit it is an impressive list of negative words.  Let's slam the door on it!

May 6, 2008                                 Valparaiso, IN

Well, I voted today.  Lest people think I am completely parochial in my voting, I would also like to say I am also superstitious and ignorant!

I not only voted for the Presidential candidate, but also candidates I know little to nothing about.  Usually I don't do that, but what the hell, it is only a primary.  I didn't do it unless there was only one unopposed nominee that I kind of had a good feeling about, or I got to choose three out of four.  My vote isn't likely to break number 4, I figure!

Okay, I didn't do my homework.  If I don't do it next time I won't vote for the city councilpeople.  I promise!

But I wasn't totally parochial in voting for Obama.   It is not only that I am a writer who is using Clinton's book-publishing experience against her.  I am also not impressed AT ALL by the offer of not paying gas taxes.

If Americans are using so much gas that gasoline taxes have a major impact on their budgets, they should slow down a little, like the airplanes are.  I believe Obama when he says the gas companies will just raise the prices to compensate for their losses.  I believe him when he says they tried to do the same thing in Illinois and it didn't work.  I also believe the experts that agree with him.

The way to sock it to the gas companies is not to make them pay taxes.  It is to stop being so damn addicted to their products!  (Sure, l drive a car now (paid for by my elderly mom and (mostly) for her convenience!)  But I have the right to talk about life without car ownership.  I have done it (joyfully) for decades of my adulthood.

And I'm not even trying to talk anybody out of owning a car!  I'm only saying, that if you need to save money on gas, the amount you save by CUTTING BACK ON THE GALLONS OF GAS YOU USE will add up way faster than not paying the sales tax on what you do use.

And oh, spare me.  I've talked to lots of people and I have observed what they do.  They rarely even think about combining errands or walking or riding their bikes to perform any errand at all, even one a half mile away.

Americans are just addicted to speed, and they are, for the most part, leg-lazy.

Don't get mad at me for saying so!  Prove me wrong!

(Using less is a great way to save on food, too!  Eat less!  Waste less!  Oh, yeah, and that will help you save on medical bills!  I look at what people eat in restaurants and I am living proof that you could probably live on half that!  Think of the money you'd save!  Lots and lots of money!  (Or like me, spend it on traveling and the movies and...)

Oh, and the superstitious part of my bad, irresponsible vote today?  The potential councilman I didn't vote for was named John.  I read in a name book that men named John do whatever they want.  I was married to a guy named John, and it sure seemed true to me!  Also, do you think it is an accident that whores call their customers "Johns?"  I don't think so!

Ha, ha!  You can think I was just kidding in that last paragraph - if you want to!

May 5, 2008                                 Valparaiso, IN

Do you believe in ghosts?  I guess you better, because by all reports they are doing a lot of writing!

I did not realize what a big industry ghostwriting is.  At the same time I began to be aware of the magnitude of the practice (day before yesterday) I found out that ghostwriting is being outsourced to other countries!  You can get someone in - you guessed it - India! - to write something for you for a fraction of the amount you would pay in the U.S.

That kind of irritates me.  It seems to me that if you are well-known and famous enough to need a ghostwriter, maybe you are not so poor that you have to hire one on the cheap! 

In the Wikipedia article I read a statement about the proliferation of ghostwriting activity in Kolkata:

"Kolkata city has turned out to be a hub of ghostwriting organizations;  and the trend is growing.  More and more ghostwriting organizations are flocking in the city than ever before."

Ha, ha!  Now I know why I see so much odd English around!  I thought it was written by idiomatically illiterate Americans!  Now I realize it is written by very literate foreigners!  Ha, ha!

Well, from now on I won't call my language, spoken or written, "English!"

From now on, I talk and write "American!"

After all, years ago Henry Higgins "said" Americans hadn't spoken English for years!

Who am I to contradict him?  From now on I'm gonna talk American, and write it too!  Even to ghostwriters flocking in my city!

May 4, 2008                               Valparaiso, IN

News, news.  I was leaning toward voting for Clinton in Tuesday's primary, but I have changed my mind.

Why?  Ghostwriting, that's why.

I know famous people do it - have books written for them largely by someone else.  The "other" writer's name is often found on the cover of these books along with the name of the prominent person whose experiences or expertise form the basis of the text.

And upon doing some Internet research, I know that Clinton hired a ghostwriter to write It Takes a Village.  That fact seems to be undisputed.

Evidently there was some fuss about what kind of a job the ghostwriter did.  Her work didn't live up to expectations or something, so she receives no acknowledgment in the book - certainly none on the title page!

There is room for all three of Hillary Rodham Clinton's name there, however.

I looked up Obama.  Meant to read at least one of his books (cramming before the primary!) but all copies are checked out.  According to his publishers, he is really a good writer.

Now, I'm a writer.  (Unpaid, but one can always hope!)  I value the act and process of writing.  I appreciate that an editor must suggest changes and help make the work more readable and saleable.  All that.  But as a writer, I want people to know it is my work.

When I pick up someone else's book, I want to know it is that person's work.  Call me naive.  In the last twenty-four hours or so I have learned that in this respect, I really am!  But from what I read on the Internet (comments by his editors and publishers), in Obama's case he really is the author of his books.

The fact that Hillary hired a ghostwriter startled me a little.  Why would she need to?  She's well-educated and literate.  Okay, she's busy.

What bothers me more was (it would seem) the lack of a good resolution to the dispute, and the hard feelings that resulted from the whole episode.  If this possible future President could not publish a book without incurring enemies, how will she manage with foreign heads of state?

Oh, are you telling me she would treat them with more respect?

'Nuff said.

I'm voting for Obama.  What we need is a President who is really diplomatic and who is creative enough to find amicable (not just legal, but hopefully amicable) solutions to difficult situations.

(But I swear, if I have to see him on TV calling himself the underdog one more time, I won't be responsible for my actions!  (In the polling booth, I mean!))

May 3, 2008                                         Valparaiso, IN

Yesterday was bunny day.  In the morning I saw a little one right before he scurried under the front porch.  Looks like he's been dining on gourmet crocus leaves (fancy ones with a white stripe down the middle!)  So far they have been left pretty long so I have hopes the plants will survive.

He better finds another place to dodge to avoid me, though.  Pretty soon he'll be too big to fit through those decorative (and now that I realize it, raccoon and possum-excluding) lattice-holes!

On my way to and from the new movie theatre in town I saw a couple of giganto cottontails.  (Consequence of living in the shadow of fast food eateries?)

Walking home I was treated to the full force of sirens that seemed to scream interminably (for a tornado warning, I was told) and I saw one young bunny standing like a statue on his hind legs.  Do rabbits have the same response to weird loud unfamiliar noises that they do to headlights?

I managed to get home before the tornado didn't hit!

May 2, 2008                                  Valparaiso, IN

It seems that competition inspires many - to cheat!

The obvious cases we all think of are the people who illegally take steroids to beef up their performances or who take short-cuts in races.  We contemplate those who cheat on exams and have other people write their term papers.  (Or have books ghost-written by people whose names do not appear on the title page?  Is that cheating?  I think so!)

But what about people who set up a whole social community, based on supposed religious principles and teach children to accept as normal and moral practices that are illegal, unconstitutional and abusive?

How about that for eliminating and/or besting the competition?

Keeping people physically or psychologically captive to work for slave wages (or for nothing!  Out of "love!")  Now there is monumental cheating for you!

Can't take the idea of a woman in your life choosing one of your male competitors for a lover or a husband?  Lock her up!  Hide her!  Turn her into a slave in your home!  (Your home - it sure isn't a home for her!)  This is a situation prone to abuses in any culture.  In our culture the practice is despicable and inexcusable.

Too many young males hanging around offering competition for you older males who already have wives and offspring?  Kick them out!  Exile them (after bringing them up in a way that will decidedly reduce their fitness for contemporary society outside of your enclave!) All so you can possess (literally!) more women!  Rape and "marry" their potential teen-age girlfriends!

And then act all moral and noble!  You make me puke!  I hope Jay Leno and his writers brainstorm some ripping good jokes to put you bastards in your places, because I sure can't think of anything funny about it!

Well, this is my last rant about competition for now.  I have come full circle back to the chilling treatment of women that originally inspired it.

Sure, everything in nature has to compete to some extent in some way or other to have a good life.  But the way some humans do it, well, it's enough to turn you to religion...

(Oh right, wait, often it is religious men (and organizations run by them) that are perpetrating the crappy treatment and squash-downs of women!)

It's enough to turn you to Goddess!

May 1, 2008                                 Valparaiso, IN

So, competition... what does the word evoke in you?  Does it fire you up, make you ambitious?  Or does it make you feel weak and inadequate and discouraged?

What do you think of when you hear the word?  Do you think of athletic prowress?  Do you think of moral ascendancy?

Does the existence of a contest make you at least toy with the idea of entering, even if you know you don't stand much chance of actually winning?

What are society's motives for introducing competitions?  More people trying their hands at more different things looks like a good thing to me!  (Except maybe eating competitions!  Disgusting!  But then, who has the right to decide some competitions are unworth of our efforts?  (Obviously, not me!))

A competition puts you in touch with like-minded individuals.  It increases the number of social interactions.

We tend to think of competition and cooperation as opposing things.  But are they?  Can you really have one without the other?

P.S.  Happy Flower Day!  Should we have a competition - who saw the largest variety of blossoms today?

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