Thought for the Day

We exist on three levels.  Each of these levels has its own rules and characteristics, but each affects the other two in different, and significant ways.   They all exist in  the same time, and two of them share, often uncomfortably, the same space.
The first level is the real, physical world, the water we drink and the air we breathe, the environment in which  we evolved.  The trees, the plants, the animals, the food we eat.  It is the first because it came first chronologically  and, without it, the other two would not exist.

The second is the world of human beings, society, civilization.  It is houses and cities and cars and TV and mobile phones.  Most people spend most of their time at this level and that’s understandable.  We are human and the most important thing to us is to interact with, and be approved of by, other human beings.
People who spend most of their time at level one, like Bear Grills or Cody Lundeen, are entertaining to watch on TV and, if you know somebody  like that, they’d be the first person you’d invite on a camping trip.  In the unfortunate event of the Earth getting hit by an asteroid, you’d definitely want to  have them close by.  However, they really are a tiny minority.
Level three is what Russian scientist Vladimir Vernadsky and French philosopher Pierre Teihard de Cardin called the noosphere.  It is the world of words, the world of ideas.  Like level one, there are few people who spend most of their time there.  Some artists and dreamers are quite familiar with the place but anyone who spends too much time there finds it difficult to return to level two, and you need to pop back in  now and again for  a sandwich, at least.

Level three is the least essential, but the most interesting.  It contains the blueprints for the future of existences  1 and 2 just as certainly as the fruit contains the  seeds of its next iteration.  Without it, we are nothing more than animals who wear clothes and live in houses.

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Witch Hunt

When Woody Allen made his comment the other day re: the Harvey Weinstein case, saying ‘we shouldn’t let this turn into a witch hunt,’ he was widely and instantly mocked, because that is the nature of  social media, the witch-hunty nature of social  media.  Of course, Woody Allen.  First, he played a borderline pervert in most of his films, at any rate a weird, older guy who inexplicably was romantically linked with smoking hot younger women.  (I, too, am a weird, older guy who is inexplicably married to a hotter, much younger woman.)  Also, he was accused of molesting his step-daughter when she was 7, but it was never proven in court, and might well  have  been  a trumped up charge by Mia Farrow, who was pissed off because he  was having an affair with her adult step-daughter, which everyone found really skeezy at the time but that was 1997 and Allen and Soon-Yi Previn are still married.

A witch hunt, he said.  Well, seeing all of the ‘me,too’ comments on Facebook today, it’s hard to deny there is a serious problem.  Men are often cruder than  we should  be, and some are, no doubt about it, creeps.

BUT.  One of my female friends added an extension to her ‘me, too’ comment saying that men should post and apologize for all  the times we’ve made crude, sexist jokes or stared at a woman’s breasts instead of looking her in the eye.  Partly, I  thought, that might  have been a humble brag on her part, because she is, indeed, a lady with quite ample breasts, but mostly I just felt it was witch-hunty.
Sure, guys need to be a bit classier, not just shouting lewd comments at women they don’t even know, and refrain from touching women who don’t want to be touched, but we’re not going to stop being aware of women’s bodies, or the attractiveness thereof, and the difference between a sex joke and a sexist joke is a fine line, that not everybody draws in the exact same place.

In short:  women are perfectly justified in objecting to male behavior.  They are unreasonable if they actually expect some kind of a change in our biology.

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One Day in Babileto

It was an extended family Sunday, which started with a half  written poem and ended with heavy metal.  It was a beautiful day of Babileto, that 5th season in a year that only has four of  them, so that in Babileto, you want to get  outside and do  something physical because, in the words of the Starks, ‘winter  is coming.’  Babileto means ‘grandmother’s summer’, which we would call in America Indian Summer.

It’s true that the day started off with a half written poem, because in my last dream before awakening, I had just taken a turn, and was walking along a hard, dirt path.  I was also wearing a bowler hat, for some silly reason.  Either side of the path, there was a low hedge and a lawn of bright, bright green.  And the single line, which I am certain will eventually be part of a poem, was ‘open your eyes, and see the  hidden green.’

My nephew Dylan was coming to town, he’s the drummer in a heavy metal band, and Helena and I managed to hook up with him about 4, went out for a drink with him and 3 friends, then walked around and showed him a bit of the center.  Then, around 10 p.m., Sam and I went to hear him play.  Good band.  They know how to wail. But, not really  our style.

Meanwhile, Helena went to pick up Isabel, who is back from Scotland.  Then she looped back and pick  us up.  And now, we four are under one roof again and all is right with the world.

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Festival of Mediocre Installation Art

It’s a good thing I’m at retirement age, because I just saw an article today titled “10 Things You Can Do  to Boost Your Resumé, and not only am I so entirely lacking in expertise that  I didn’t understand any of the 10, 8 of them  were things I had no idea what  they meant.  All computer stuff.  So, I’m really glad I’m not  20 years old and trying to get into  the job market.

Bernie’s going to  speak at a Women’s Conference, and a lot of the attendees are angry.  Of course, they are angry with Bernie because they feel he caused Hillary’s loss, and they might be right.  When he stood against her on the debate stage, a lot of people saw what a Democrat should sound like, and it  wasn’t her.  Anyway, I’m glad it’s going to happen.  He’s a persuasive speaker – not dramatic, not flashy – and maybe he’ll bring some of them around.

Went out to see  a bit of the Signal Festival  this evening and, just as in year’s past, it  was kind of a yawn.  Putting Christmas lights on some scaffolding, covering the whole thing with a heavy plastic tarp, and playing some weird music, does not  make a work of  art.  Well, maybe it  does, if you’re using one of those definitions of  art like “anything the artist says is art is  art” or “art is anything that has never been seen before,” or something vague like that.  But, it’s bad art.
We only saw four or five of the installations, so it’s quite possible, out of the large numbers of them spread out  all  over the city, that there are some good  ones.  It’s also possible that  there aren’t.

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Weekend List

I very often make to-do lists but I never do all the stuff on  them so it’s kind of a pointless exercise, and even more pointless no doubt is to announce it here.  However, it’s late, I’m high as a kite (yes, that’s a tired old metaphor, but whatever) and I’m falling asleep  in front  of the computer screen, so that’s going to be my blog for tonight.

But the proof is  in  the  doing and not in the  list making, so this weekend I’m keeping it simple and I’ve only got one thing on the list.  This weekend I’m  going to work on putting together my next book.  Taking the stuff I’ve got, titling it and spacing it so I’ve got as many  of the poems as possible on  one page, not  that I mean I want lots of  poems on one page, but I  mean I  want each poem to  start and end on its own page, which will not  always be possible, because two  or three of them are long.  Then,  I’ll look through the random lists of uncollected poetry, checking against my published books  to make sure they actually haven’t been  used yet and if not, and if they’re not embarrassingly bad, which a few are, they’ll go in the next book, too.  Maybe I’ll  get the introduction written.

So,it’s one item, but  broken  down into a few separate units  to make things easier.

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Politics: You Can’t Not Have a Side

When we talk  about politics, we run  up against the roadblocks right away.

Even religion is not as rigid.  Outside of the fanatics, which is a minority faction in all major religions, most people are quit willing  to make friends with people from other religions.  They will discuss and compare the details of their religions and people will even, sometimes convert from on to the other.  People can eat a seemingly infinite variety of foods  and  very few (except  for the vegans and food fanatics like that) every  argue about it.  Sports fans tend to be adamant supporters of one team or another, but most, if they meet one of their opponents in a pub, will have a drink.  Same with music.  There’s  no actual reason  why a punk  girl and a country boy can’t date.  Morning people and evening people  generally, outside of an occasional complaint about  noise,  manage to stay out of each other’s way.  Dog lovers and cat lovers disagree very vehemently, but they generally don’t try to kill each other over it.

With politics, though,  it gets  serious.   I guess  because then you’re talking about things that really matter, you’re talking about different versions of what being human is all about, what civilization is FOR, and which way we want to go in the future.  So, yeah, politics is  different.  It  counts.

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The Slowly Unfolding Catastrophe

The wildfires continue in California, and the word that  keeps springing to  mind is  ‘freakish.’  From the tone of voice I’m hearing in print (you know  what  I mean) from my Facebook friends in the affected area, this fire is extreme, fast spreading and out of control.  It seems like  it is to fires what  Maria was to hurricanes, what Harvey was to hurricanes before Maria, what  Sandy was to hurricanes before Harvey, and  what Katrina was to hurricanes before Sandy.
Speaking of Maria, people have begun to die from disease in Puerto Rico.  Disease caused by lack of clean drinking water, deaths  that can  be attributed directly to the criminally negligent emergency response.

The fires, and the hurricanes, are both results of global warming, and it will get worse.  Not because it has to get worse.  Because people are making money by making it worse, and politicians take money from those people, and keep us from implementing the programs needed to reverse it.

We need solar  power, and  wind power, and all  sorts of clean power.  We’ve got the technology. We’ve got the room.  We need high  speed electric (or magnetic) trains, we need electric, driverless cars.  We need a water distribution and desalination and purification system that can move the water away  from the floods and  bring  it to the forest fires, and  drought stricken areas.  We need trees, billions, maybe trillions of trees.  We have places to put them, that’s seriously not the problem.  We need all of these things, and  we need them right now.
But instead we’ve got fires, hurricanes, and entirely preventable diseases.

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