I have returned. You may find my new blog, The Hawk’s Tail,” at:
Hope to see you there!
It is hard for me to imagine when I think about it, but this is the 400th time I have sat down at the computer and produced a blog entry.
Sure, there were a few that I recycled, that I had written some time in the past but, for the most part they were all original little essays. This one, number 400, will stand as my last entry on this blog.
That sounds a bit cryptic, so let me assure you that I am not going off to kill myself or something, nor is my death imminent, (as far as anyone can assume such a thing). And, sadly, I’m not moving to old town Key West to wile away my days sipping exquisite Margaritas . . . not yet, anyway No, I’m just done.
The blog won’t go anywhere. It will still be floating around in cyberspace like a piece of space debris hurtling through orbit, awaiting its inevitable, fiery re-entry. Every now and then, some wandering cyber cowboy may stumble upon it on a Web search and will be free to read to his/her heart’s content.
I am glad that some of what is written here helped some people, and grateful to every soul that took a moment of their precious time to stop by and read what I wrote. I am honored.
For those of you who read this particular post, and want to have a way to get in touch with me in the future, I will do the unthinkable and leave you an e-mail on a public post – firstname.lastname@example.org.
I might pop-up again with a new blog sometime . . . who knows? Until then, well . . . be kind to one another. That’s about it.
Adios, my friends! That’s a wrap!
Many Blessings To All…
Michael Wood. Do you know his name?
He is a British historian, the man behind such magnificent documentaries as “Legacy,” and “Myths and Heroes.” You can find them both on Netflix. He is amazing. Just like me, he has a childlike exuberance for history. I cannot imagine that it would be possible to watch his documentaries and not feel his passion.
I would love to have his job. Problem is . . . if I am being honest . . . I lack the drive to get the education necessary to do it. There is no shame in that – but it shines a light on something that we need to be aware of, and that is this: you can accomplish anything in life – but ONLY if you have the drive and commitment.
There is no magic bullet that will do it – you have to physically commit to going all the way.
For me – well, I live vicariously through the amazing commentary of Michael Wood. Yes, it could be me, IF I possessed the ambition.
Remember “The Secret?” It was such a big deal, such a watershed – but it failed in one respect [it did not take into account the intense PHYSICAL drive that is necessary to combine with the belief]. There IS a way, but don’t think that it is an easy way . . . .that you can just imagine it and that it will fall in your lap. Belief MUST be combined with action. Without action, you are just playing with “magical thinking,” which, on its own, will get you nowhere.
You CAN do it – whatever IT is – BUT you must ACT in conjunction with your faith. Don’t be a fool and think that if you just imagine it that it will arrive. Set your intention, which is critical, but then ACT. THIS will ensure your success.
Many Blessings To All…
That’s what I saw in a documentary tonight, filmed this year, about the country of Myanmar, (formerly known as Burma).
This country has been under incredibly harsh military rule since the early 1960′s, shortly after obtaining their “freedom” from Colonial Britain.
In the last 20 years, there has been wholesale slaughter of Buddhist monks who peacefully marched against injustice, (and a lot of non-monks were killed, too). So much of the country is destitute – destitute in a way that even the poor of Appalachia would shun.
Children as young as nine or less go to work for one dollar a day, which is what it costs to get enough white rice to eat a meal. Electricity is unpredictable and irregular. Clean water; a rarity. Good medical care? Practically impossible to find nearby, even if one could afford it. In spite of all of this, do you know what I saw? Absolutely beautiful faces with radiant smiles.
The primary religion of the country is Buddhism, which teaches, among other things, to accept your life with peace, and to work for a better “next life.” Perhaps this is the source of the peaceful and easy smiles.
Here in the U.S., where, comparatively, we wallow in luxury, we constantly bitch and moan. We’ve got this upcoming “fiscal cliff,” a situation that if not resolved could cause our taxes to go up. So that’s our bitch? Or maybe we can’t buy enough gifts at Christmas to satisfy all of the conditioned, over-the-top expectations that come along with the season.
The people of Myanmar are ruled by a ruthless military regime, and a lot of the population is lucky to eat one meal a day. We are ruled by arrogant jackasses who are so ego-driven that they will train wreck everything to be “right.” I’m not sure who is worse off; I saw more beautiful faces and smiles among the people who are shit upon every day than I see here, where we have so much.
Sadly, in my estimation, we are not far from the “dictatorial” style leadership that they are saddled with . . . and just as sadly, we seem to lack the peaceful energy to smile and live simply, with little.
This country needs to grow up. “Might” does NOT make right, and we cannot spend enough money to be at peace. Time to start selling things – time to downsize – time to be content because that is what we ARE, not some state to look for outside of ourselves.
I see the lovely smiles of the people of Myanmar, and I see the furrowed brows and tense and anxious faces here in the U.S. It makes me wonder . . . who is the REAL superpower?
Many Blessings To All…
The title of this blog comes from a snippet contained in one of 17,000+ pages of dossier held on one John Trudell – an American Indian activist, poet, and visionary. The words were:
“He is extremely eloquent . . . Therefore extremely dangerous.” – FBI memo
That’s what it takes to be “extremely dangerous;” being “extremely eloquent.”
If you want to know HOW eloquent, you can have a listen to this, (though I wouldn’t recommend listening to it if you are not paying attention – it’s deep):
“Eloquence” is about speaking, primarily, and writing as well. History has proven that extremely eloquent people CAN, indeed, be extremely dangerous. Why? Because they can INFLUENCE the actions of large numbers of people by the passion that infuses their words. Eloquent people can bring a large group into a specific vibration that agrees with their thoughts . . . and then they have control. If said person has an intent that is malicious, the Hitlers and the Jim Jones’ of the world, that is a problem.
That’s all pretty obvious, but here is my point – John Trudell was NOT, and IS NOT, malicious – he wanted justice for all people . . . equality . . . and for the U.S. government to honor its treaties with the indigenous people of this country. Our government did not honor those treaties, and likely never will, which is a sickening blemish on all of the BS rhetoric that we espouse about how much we want to save the world and help the downtrodden.
You see, John Trudell is a very intelligent man, who understands the manipulation, and that scares the shit out of old Uncle Sam. Worse yet, he is “extremely eloquent,” and most Americans AGREE, at the very least in principle, that our treatment of the Native Americans has been unjust. That makes him “extremely dangerous” – not to you and me, but to very wealthy parties within, or aligned with, our government.
Why is any of this important today? Simple . There is a revolution coming in this country, and those who eloquently speak the truth against the injustices perpetrated by our own government . . . well, you’re going on a “list.” In fact, some of us may already be on one. The question is – do you have the courage to stand your ground for what is right? Are you willing to be labeled as “extremely dangerous” for speaking for equality and justice for all?
Many people who read my blog are very eloquent – I know them and the power of their words. It is time that we stood up and spoke with that power. It is time that we stop being “told” by self-serving dimwits how it is going to be, and instead, WE do the telling. It is OUR country – it doesn’t belong to the congress or to the President.
I am not suggesting violence in any way, I am encouraging all of us to use our greatest power – our eloquence – to set things right around here, because it is a mess. Anybody else willing to be labeled as “extremely dangerous” because they refuse to be mute in the face of injustice? I hope so.
Many Blessings To All…
I don’t say that “it has begun” because of all of the Christmas commercials, (which I think started back in September or something), but because I just completed my first official act of the Christmas season – the Dickens Village.
Now, that may not sound like much, but it took me most of the day to do it. This year, it was an entirely different layout, with two new buildings, and a few more people on the streets.
Being some sort of OCD about these things, I am a stickler about the appearance being as realistic as possible – you know, hiding the cords perfectly, symmetry, etc. It’s like going from 0-60 as a City Planner in the course of a day.
Just like being a writer or painter, you have this blank canvas, all this stuff, and have to create your masterpiece. It’s gratifying when it’s done, but truly mentally and physically taxing when you are doing it.
It IS my favorite part of all of the decorations, though. I wish I could say that we were through, but we still have three trees, three rails worth of garland, the mantle, a halfwall, table centerpieces, and the outside – all to be done before Thanksgiving morn, and I have to be gone most of the day tomorrow. And, we haven’t gotten the poinsettia yet, either. Yeah, we do a lot of Christmas.
Why so much? Well, Christmas for me as a kid generally sucked, and I went most of my adult life in the “humbug” state about the holiday business. Then, one day in the last ten years or so, I made the decision to take Christmas back from my past that stole it and I have.
And why does it all have to be done by Thanksgiving? Because we have two sets of grandchildren, and one bunch might make Thanksgiving and not Christmas, and the other might make Christmas but not Thanksgiving. So, the only way to ensure that they ALL get to see the decorations is to have it done by Thanksgiving.
I suppose this is part of the self-created stress of the holidays. But, one thing is for sure – it is going to look really beautiful and festive around here for about 6 weeks, and that’s pretty cool.
Many Blessings To All…
That is how many wars that there have been since the beginning of RECORDED history – 14,500.
Wow, thank goodness we are “civilized,” and the supreme intellect of all the species on this much-maligned and blood-soaked orb that we sail around upon. Just imagine how much worse it would have been if we weren’t such a reasonable species!
Getting killed on the battlefield is the easiest thing in a war. How can I say that? Because I see the human wreckage of the survivors, and it isn’t just them. Their struggles can destroy families for generations – alcoholism, serious and often untreated mental conditions like PTSD, abuse and rage that scars children, or total dissociation – which the families of survivors then carry to another generation, and so on.
We’re too quick to shoot, as a nation. Americans are an arrogant people in general, with large egos to feed – after all, even our poor have everything compared to the poor of most countries, and we will show you a thing or two if you piss us off. Perhaps you take issue with my generalized characterization of the American people – and that is your right. Nevertheless, if you examine our history objectively, I think that you will see a pattern that sort of makes it hard to deny my assertion.
How many wars, (or conflicts), have we, me included, supported that, in the end result, cost us WAY more than we ever hoped to gain? The answer is: most of them in the modern era. Even when we fancy that we are “victorious,” when we depart the foreign soil, there is animosity.
One side got our help – in truth an “unfair advantage” given our abilities – and the opposition took a beating. Do you think that they will forget? No, they won’t . . . and sooner or later there will be war again.
Yes, we can deliver a serious beat-down to pretty much any country on the planet – but that doesn’t mean it is a wise choice.
I met a young man today – he won’t get on a plane, or a train, or a bus. Why? Because he was hit with 9 IED’s while in Iraq. His body is intact, but his mind – totally undone. He came home alive, yet a large part of him is dead. He is one of thousands with similar stories.
My point is this: I believe that we need to think a LOT harder before we commit ourselves to ANY conflict. The costs are invariably FAR greater than the death toll.
Many Blessings To All…
Arizona and Hawaii, and a few American territories, don’t play the game. What game? Daylight Savings Time.
Nope. They don’t “spring forward” or “fall back.” I think they decided not to do it because it was a pain-in-the-ass. If that is so . . . well, good for them! For me, it serves as a shining example for the recognition that the total nonsense of “time” has no validity whatsoever.
I have written about this before, in more detail, in other posts, like here”
That one is pretty deep. This one will be much simpler – I think.
So let me get this straight. Tomorrow, 8:00am will be 7:00am, unless you are in Hawaii or Arizona. What? Are you kidding me? Fine. My clock indicates that it 11:26pm right now – but screw that. I’m calling it 3:20pm and, while I am at it, what the heck, it’s Wednesday, not Saturday. That ought to show you just what a contrivance “time” really is; it is a convenience that we developed to organize our experience – but it doesn’t really exist – as evidenced by the fact that we can change our mind about it anytime we wish.
How about the past? Is it somewhere back in time? Nope – it is in your head, CURRENTLY, when you think or read about it. That makes it NOW – it can’t exist anywhere else. And what about your projections of the future – your plans and expectations. Are they “to come” in time? Nope. The future doesn’t exist except in your head; it cannot be anything but a thought . . . NOW.
So, we can change this imaginary thing that we invented, “time,” by simply changing the placement of the hands of a clock, (which we also invented to keep track of our manufactured and arbitrary dividing of light and dark). Wow, that’s impressive.
To make it more confusing, it’s just YOUR time, as it is a different time and day in other parts of the world – and we made that up, too. Hmmm . . . maybe I’ll wake up early and refreshed in the morning! The again, I’ll be pissed off and tired come that fateful day in the Spring. Thanks a bunch, Ben Franklin.
I’ll tell you, no entity on earth can make a mess out of stuff better than us “highly Intelligent” humans. I must sign off now . . . apparently I’m late . . . or early . . . ahhh, forget it.
Strange ain’t it?
Many Blessings To All…
You already knew that, of course – one of the more obvious comments that one could make. But, it used to be uglier.
I’m not referring to ten years ago, or even fifty – I’m referring to hundreds of years ago, in the medieval era. How was it uglier? Distance.
In the Medieval period, (with the exception of the trebuchet, or launching arrows from a distance), when armies met it was hand-to-hand. The soldier wasn’t shooting people from hundreds of yards away – he was hacking them with a sword or battle-axe as he looked at him. And it didn’t stop . . . for hours. Can you imagine? Swinging a heavy sword for hours, slipping and being splattered with unimaginable gore at every side, seeing the face of every one you struck down? It was glorious.
Yes, glorious – at least that’s what the writings of the period indicate. That’s just a reminder of how people can become completely oblivious to atrocity, to murder, to sights that no man or woman should ever have to witness, and to acts of such barbarity that . . . well, in hindsight, we can only cringe at the unspeakable horrors that people of those days would gather to watch, and to not only watch, but to be participants.
“For God and King.” For King, yes . . for God, not hardly. “God,” He/She/It, has nothing to gain from such a thing. But it can feel good to us, nonetheless. The ego has found no better playground than the field of war. The elixir of power that comes with “winning” is strong, and delicious. Problem is, not much of that sweet nectar makes it down to the field, where exhausted combatants are slipping in the blood of their friends. No, the honey gets poured in the King’s chamber. The person on the field gets paid, and maybe some trinkets to display on his/her sleeve, and that is about it. Better than nothing, I suppose.
George McGovern, who passed away in the last day or so, was once quoted as saying:
“I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.”
Back when he was running for President, when I was much younger and a lot dumber, I detested George McGovern – probably because my parents did; I didn’t know squat about war or politics. Now, having been to war myself, I can say with certainty that “I’m fed up to the ears,” too.
No amount of killing will ever bring an end to killing. All it will do it what is has always done – wreck lives while enriching a few. Can’t we evolve? Isn’t it time?
Many Blessings To All…
This might be a silly post – but silly is OK. It is something that just came to me, just this moment. A hat.
Not just any hat, but one of those Charles Dickens’ era top hats. You know, the black, stove-pipe style hats; popular with vampires and other folks of some standing.
In their heyday – I’m guessing the 18th-19th century – they were power. Wearing one made a statement, but it is when one REMOVED it from one’s head that the real impact was made. When a well dressed man removed his stove-pipe hat, shit was about to get real . . . bad or somber news was sure to follow, or a statement of contrition, or it was a gesture of great deference made before entering another’s home. Truth be told, the act of removing just about any style hat carries with it a certain amount of gravity. I wonder why?
I think I know why; it is an act that demonstrates submission, in a way. You “uncover,” you reveal yourself to another soul. I find that I do this with my own sunglasses. Whether I am going through a drive-thru, or meeting some one, the sunglasses come off before I speak. To me, it is rude not to reveal yourself when interacting with another, to hide under a hat or behind shades. AFTER I have had my first exposure to the other person, I may put the glasses back on or, if I wore a hat, put it back on my head. It’s a funny thing, really, just how important it is to be open – to reveal yourself. A simple gesture, and yet it carries so much weight.
This mirrors so many aspects of our lives . . . it is the simple gestures that make the biggest difference to our fellow-man.
Many Blessings To All…