not a quote It is because of the body that we can speak of morality. The material body is what we share most significantly. Of course it is true that our needs and sufferings are cultural. But our material bodies are such that they are. It is on this that fellow-feeling is founded and on this dependency on each other. Angels would not be moral beings like we.
Archive for August 2010
Oh the ‘bizarreries’ of modern America!
The man gets out of jail and arrives on a stump:
For decades, I have been a militant anti-declinist in terms of America’s place in the world. – Conrad Black
I can see it now. Black & Palin 2012. Fuse penitent wealth with folksy anxiety. Something too classical to ignore. Commiserating with the persecuted. Another frame is Mormon & Pentecost. Or is it Baptist & Taliban? White Fright is so hard to follow. I swear I’ve lost track.
Well maybe that’s a bumper sticker I could use.
The trouble, maybe the premier trouble with the American Dream, is we fail to see it’s not.
Workers are barely scraping by on wages. A single person needs about $400/week pretax to pay bills, to eat. Tens of millions of American workers fall short.
Every day is a rainy day.
You’ll find many of them in food prep, where more than 11 million Americans command a median hourly wage of $8.24. There are another 4.5 million workers doing maintenance-related tasks for $10.18 an hour, 3.3 million in “personal care” at $9.50, and 14.5 million in retail jobs that pay $11.41.
The Bush Years: Meager wages pushed 6.2 million more Americans into poverty between 2000 and 2007. And that was before the banking industry imploded. More than 28 million people are on food stamps, up from 17 million in 2000. Republicans. Phooey.
I would like to take this opportunity to say a word about the American spirit in this time of trial.
In the most critical periods of our nation’s history, there have always been those fringes of our society who have sought to escape their own responsibility by finding a simple solution, an appealing slogan, or a convenient scapegoat.
Financial crises could be explained by the presence of too many immigrants or too few greenbacks.
War could be attributed to munitions makers or international bankers.
Peace conferences failed because we were duped by the British or tricked by the French or deceived by the Russians.
It was not the presence of Soviet troops in Eastern Europe that drove it to communism, it was the sell-out at Yalta. It was not a civil war that removed China from the free world, it was treason in high places. At times these fanatics have achieved a temporary success among those who lack the will or the vision to face unpleasant tasks or unsolved problems.
But in time the basic good sense and stability of the great American consensus has always prevailed.
When you get a chance, here’s 3 minutes to fundamentally shift your brain, an excellent rendition of what’s following us down our drain to the Sun.
30 years in NASA’s audit of asteroids
Before you travel off to YouTube, these are not new asteroids. It’s an animation of the asteroids we’ve discovered. See? All that ‘stuff’ has been there all along, we just didn’t know it.
They call it the Dreamwalker.
It even has pockets.
“Plants take up drugs, antibacterials from sludge used as fertilizers… on the basis of this research, we should now consider changing biosolids policy to discourage the use of Class A biosolids by home gardeners on their food crops.” I’ve been following sloppy sludge management for years. Status quo wastewater treatment just cannot continue.
An audit of the regrets of the dying:
Number 5: ‘I wish that I had let myself be happier’.
Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice.
…depressing American roadside detritus: tire stores, auto dealers, fast food restaurants and wholesale outlets all surrounded by asphalt and thousands of parked cars.
Steve from Virginia, Residue Is Our Economy:
It’s interesting to look at the world the way it is designed to be looked at in America, through a windshield. It is hard to escape the conclusion that we have ruined our country completely for the almighty dollar.
The highways themselves are the ‘Big Empty’ crammed with automobiles and semis, all going as fast as possible, all trying to live the ‘possibilities’ that are suggested by advertising. That is, racing down the ‘open road’ to experience the ‘thrill’ of driving for its own sake. The highways are therefore empty of everything other than what is required to focus concentration and reflexes … in order to keep oneself alive.
We are indeed rats in a (linear) maze. Why?
Integral to the highway ‘experience’ is the endless and futile highway repair process. The repairs are needed to keep up with ‘projected’ demand: the need for endless ‘growth’ suggests that the exponential doubling phase is here and now. In order to maintain the level of growth that carried forward up to the middle- aughts a duplication of the current Interstate highway system needs to be built and populated with a number of rolling metal boxes equal to what exists already. This on top of a system that is too large and complex to be properly maintained now.
For what, exactly? Do we exist to ‘serve’ growth or is it something that should serve us?
All that is needed is the escape from the thrall of the advertisers and their government lackeys.
“The printed book is about to vanish at extraordinary speed.”
“Books are about to vanish; reading is about to expand.”
[who] think with the whole of their bodies?
Ducks flying overhead.
Nuance passing back and forth.
Rhythm and volume testing the wind.
Each voice alters its feel when the speaker is blown off course by gusts, each duck using its quacks to inform the others about the state of the blast just in front, while also apprising, each replying and reassuring the others.
You never see what I see seeing you. Beauty will not fit twice.
If I could a walk a longer mile,
If I could talk a wider smile,
If I could bring a heavy weight to gravity,
If I could gild a deeper gold,
If I could find a finer bold,
There you’ll be aside of me.
Were I to have your eyes, eyes that swoon the stars to shine,
I’d love me with those eyes, I’d wash me with those eyes,
and bring our gentle manner to its etiquette and grace,
conjure our deepest passions to their potent restraint.
I’d lose my willfulness. I’d lose it in love.
Were I sculpt of your beauty, drawn in liquid color,
I’d pour my dance into my skin, move the world to melody.
I’d lose my fear. I’d lose it in love.
Were I to have your nature, spilled in heart and caved in sugar,
I’d wash you in delight and ravish your footsteps on this earth.
I’d lose my agony. I’d lose it in love.
I first saw this pic and thought, “What does His Wallpaper Lordship wish to say?” His answer in His own words, “When you have billionaires, what are they expected to do?” I suddenly fictioned a million years into the future seeing all of us rich with no better problems. I quickly clicked to MIT’s interview with Bill Gates. A rare piece worthy of clicks.
I think I’m pleased to report other billionaires should do as well. What will you do with yours?
Frank Rich at NYTimes:
Vive la révolution!
There’s just one element missing from these snapshots of America’s ostensibly spontaneous and leaderless populist uprising: the sugar daddies who are bankrolling it, and have been doing so since well before the ‘death panel’ warm-up acts of last summer.
Yasha Levine, “The tea parties are AstroTurf — fake grassroots.”
I believe that living is not always easy and can be quite painful, yet there is a tremendous capability inside of us to create our human potential.
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Life long iconoclast seeks engagement.
VP in Charge of Rebellion. Excellent opportunity to stimulate growth. Formal l’agent du change. Facing abyss with capable mystic graciousness. Poet industrialist. Altruistic capitalist. Molecular minuteman. Quantum quarterback. And much, much more. Leap reluctance in a single bound. Mentors, counterparts, swashbucklers, dancing girls included.
My Economy Rant
When the rich steal from the rich, it’s Good Business.
When the rich steal from the rich for the poor, it’s Noblesse Oblige.
When the middle steal from the middle, it’s Corruption.
When the rich and the middle steal from the poor, it’s Fiscal Responsibility.
When the poor steal from the rich and the middle, it’s Crime.
When the poor steal from the poor, it’s Tough Luck.
We must be careful not to overstate the case. Let us not forget that in this situation it must be noted: nothing could be further from the truth. Because, as they say, it is the exception that proves the rule. Of course, rules are made to be broken and so, in this case, we must make allowances. For the time being, all we can state with certainty is that, given this set of assumptions, all things will be equal. Context is everything. Thus, this is not the final word on the subject. And yet, because of the foregoing doubts, we must be doubly sure. So, in light of current developments and taking stock of all our cultural preconceptions, the conclusion is neither obvious nor buried.