“Going too fast for myself I missed
more than I think I can remember
almost everything it seems sometimes
and yet there are chances that come back
that I did not notice when they stood
where I could have reached out and touched them
this morning the black shepherd dog
still young looking up and saying
Are you ready this time”
Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.
Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.
Blest, who can unconcernedly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,
Sound sleep by night; study and ease,
Together mixed; sweet recreation;
And innocence, which most does please,
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.
– Alexander Pope, “Ode on Solitude”
There are plenty of schemes that could federate or safely encrypt our data, plenty of ways we could regain privacy and make our computers work better by default. It isn’t happening now because we haven’t demanded that it should, not because no one is clever enough to make that happen.
“I sometimes think US politicians don’t know which way is up.”
you’ve known this since you were a kid
looming change is your blood
struggling in a shit pile to fix it
and now you’re tired
call it reverence if you must
it’s real exhaustion
relief and more relief
powerful youth could fix it
wouldn’t it be nice to do it over?
what happens isn’t the whole story
you’ve been waiting more than a heart can bear
nonsense month after month after month
hooked into a parade of chains
breathing isn’t what it used to be
you’re stuck with that
stop and you cripple yourself
wound with no weapon but freedom and weary
Ladies & Gentlemen, what are we allowing History to do to us?
Princeton study reports the majority, that’s you and me lost at sea, have a
“minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”
Perspectives on Politics! We are minuscule!
Lord Almighty, I am sad to my core.
…her flat just to the right of the lobby. Stoessinger arranged for a neighbor to accompany me. It was decided that I might make a better impression if I were introduced as a musician rather than a journalist, because Herz-Sommer can find journalists tiring. The tactic misfired somewhat. When I was introduced, she commanded, “Play something,” in her richly accented, Central European voice. I sat reluctantly at the upright and stumbled through the first theme of Schubert’s great B-Flat-Major Sonata. She stopped me and said, “Now tell me your real profession.” I confessed that I was a writer, whereupon she looked a bit sad. Nonetheless, we had a lively chat. I had the impression that she was no longer greatly interested in the past, but she was alert to the present, to comings and goings in her building, to news of recent performances. She spoke fondly of her son, the cellist Raphael Sommer, who died in 2001. But she does not spend her time grieving. In her conversations with Stoessinger, she paraphrased Spinoza: “Don’t stand there and cry. Understand.”
the precious human being so bombarded, it’s just the times and that’s all, awhile ago it was stooking wheat to nag you, now it’s penetrating broadcasters all over the place, well so what, it’s not so much of a big deal to get a grip, sourpuss isn’t based on much, anybody can be a sourpuss and say anything they want, following along with Universal NaySay, it’s harmful to the precious human being, honest care is required, pull away, don’t eat the garnish…
there’s true danger and crisis out there sometimes, we can be deeply grateful we live in pretty good regions, but there’s baloney danger out there which is vast sails of caustic opinions flying by, 99% nonsense and mood that’s so unnecessary to ingest, the precious human being, poor thing, we want to select away, walk away, see and think without abrasion, endless carney, points-of-view, phooey, 1000s of products per day built on flame and intrigue…
everything our poor human brain is wired to pay attention to, we are wary creatures, and in these modern times broadcasters fill us with high alert, breaking breaking, latest latest, it’s the old Extra Extra Read All About It…
frenzy of sales merchandizing all the way to kitchen table rabbles on the NaySay Channel, it’s about views, let’s count ‘em on our domain report, phooey, these bits don’t say a word in a broadband of noise, they charge fees for the pipe, the TV pipe, the Phone pipe the Internet pipe, it’s a lot of money these days, per person, out of our pockets, well holy cow, it rains down, rains through the spectrum we own but we rent every month, explosion of our spectrum is fantastic, we’re blind to it, the flickering going by to suit our mood, our point of view, well, there we are again buying ourselves to please ourselves, precious human being, gripped in all that pipe dump, hits of anybody and their business plan,
on wonder awe curiosity learning, protect ourselves with civility and proof
[too many words, too sleepy to fix]
reticent tissue, that is the issue,
as time goes by, scratching vast mirrors,
the knitwork network
network to matrix and matrix to node, to coin a modern ode
the synthesis of reliable organisms from unreliable components
the relationship resource in the curiosity of breathing
ol’ english chorus, the metal of anarchy in the monolith of despots,
the analysts of share, incessant wet of relative deprivation,
competitive hostilities pummeling fulfillment
along the way from plankton to pulsar,
the executive HQ of the milieux
“We share our lives with the people we have failed to be.”
Adam Phillips: Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life
There is always what will turn out to be the life we led, and the life that accompanied it, the parallel life that never actually happened, that we lived in our minds, the wished-for life (or lives):the risks untaken and the opportunities avoided or unprovided. We refer to them as our unlived lives because somewhere we believe that they were open to us; but for some reason–and we might spend a great deal of our lived lives trying to find the reason–they were not possible. And what was not possible all too easily becomes the story of our lives. Indeed, our lived lives might become a mourning, a tantrum, the lives we were unable to live. But what we missed and suffer, whether forced or chosen, make us who we are. As we know more now than ever before about the kinds of lives it is possible to live–and affluence has allowed more people than ever before to think of their lives in terms of choices and options–we are haunted by the myth of our potential, of what we might have it in ourselves to be or do. Often in “The ways we miss our lives,” we are grieving or regretting or resenting our failure to be ourselves as we imagine we could be.
…the roads untraveled, what we missed, our human identity as a constant looking back upon the lives we have chosen not to live–or the lives that we have failed to live–or the lives that, much to our frustration, have always eluded us.
We are as much a measure of the selves we aren’t as the self we happen to be facing in the mirror today. What about the one we used to love, or the one we picture ourselves loving someday? What about the job we longed for and never got? Or the job we got, but it could be in ten years?
As photographer Jimmy Nelson reports, “The purity of humanity exists. It is there in the mountains, the ice fields, the jungle, along the rivers and in the valleys… the world must never forget the way things were.”
These are the lives we are.
“Robert Altemeyer, a psychology professor, outlined a series of dysfunctions linked to his extensive study of Right Wing Authoritarians, including being
more likely to make incorrect inferences,
more hostile towards feminists,
more fearful of a dangerous world;
more likely to inflame intergroup conflict,
avoid learning about their personal feelings;
less supportive of liberty and
“Scholars argue that these are the individuals who support oppressive dictatorships. In fact, dictators need such individuals to help them remove the rights of people seen as deviant. Individuals high in RWA are conceptualized as aggressive individuals submitting to tyrannical leaders as long as those leaders support conventional norms and punish society’s deviants.
Research on those with RWA generally asserts that religious and political conservatives have this vice. In fact, Altermeyer claimed that he searched for ‘left-wing authoritarians’ but was unable to find a single one.
Our rare and robust claim to make a treasure of ourselves.
Even my poverty.
To fly among the future with our heart intact.
…an instance of horror can become a trauma, such a tough issue, releasing/erasing, agony revolving day and night, needles inside a skull, ay, it comes to society to be responsible for trauma, it is so often a third-party matter, justice is too rare, all of us are managing the squirm whirling inside the brain… “simple psychological techniques” may reduce hospital claims and jail terms, oy vey, there are so few tools except teaching to watch our mind, to slap our brain around a wee bit, to pay attention to milliseconds, to bugger our triggers, to insert new messaging, to learn mindfulness, breathing, posture, to make a treasure of ourselves, our rare and robust claim for sovereign health… a child here, an adult there, and too seldom put the cause on the community.
these folks should develop a ‘trauma app’
perhaps help the brain tease away rotten imprint 200 milliseconds at a time
that’s about how long it takes to wound a mind
and may also be how a mind is healed
It might make the strident assertion that the most important thing that matters in regulating our thoughts, feelings, and actions is their first 100-200 msec in the brain, which is when the levers and pulleys are actually doing their thing.
It would be a nuts and bolts approach to altering – or at least inhibiting – self limiting behaviors.
It would suggest that a central trick is to avoid taking on on the ‘enormity of it all,’ and instead use a variety of techniques to get our awareness down to the normally invisible 100-200 msec time interval in which our actions are being programmed.
The suggestion is that you can short circuit some of this process if you bring awareness to the level of observing the moments during which a reaction or behavior is becoming resident, and can sometimes say “I don’t think so, I think I’ll do something else instead.”
we are mistakes generations see
patience, dear ones, we are teaching foolishness to each other
tho’ I’m inclined to look for peaks and valleys in human striving,
let’s just say our ol’ earth stumps us every time so I tend to stick with ‘nuts’
MTV Reality Star responded to my craigslist ad to sell my ’54 5-Window GMC
came to the house, affable mid 30s, eager to complete restoration, deciding to drive or tow or trailer to his LA home
wife came by later, mid 30s Latina, smiling, warm, envelope of cash, they both drove by the house 2 or 3 days later with a cake and gratitude, they called a few weeks later asking if I was traveling south, to visit, said no
a few weeks later I was driving into Pasadena, phone them, c’mon over
we went out to dinner, talking collector car markets, restoration costs,
he went on and on about MTV and LA TV, so Los Angelees
he went on about gold treks into Baja, the next TV series,
she was integrity, warmth, courtesy, water for my dog Lucky
slept on a wide mattress, family blankeys and Lucky at my feet
awoke about 5AM, some noise, some wall thunder, hitting, strikes
I slammed my bedroom door and attacked down the hallway
I chased him to his fleeing car, ran back to the house
punk sociopath didn’t return,
I stayed to protect a few days
coffee, coffee, some reality therapy, some brutality counsel, steps to divorce,
she went on and on and on about the money in yucca tea imports, gold in Baja,
much relentless income, her data mining, striving is worth a punch or two
years of ambush won’t be solved, punk sociopath pays her bills,
my dog and I went to the beach, drove to the mountains, calming the miles
we are mistakes generations see,
patience, dear ones, we are teaching foolishness to each other