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Just sayin’

Gotta give Will Smith some credit. Not everyone would defend someone else’s girl like that.

A common trait?

With so many people asserting “we need to take the fight to Russia,” allow me to share what I see as a common trait among many of them.

As someone noted, “everyone wants to be a warrior until it’s time to do warrior s***.’

I forgot

If your one of the people I forgot to get anything for today, you don’t need to feel left out. No one got me anything, either.

Color me unimpressed

I suppose it’s inevitable that when military conflict arises somewhere in the world, people suddenly appear to call for the US to get involved. Sometimes, it’s a relatively well-known jackass of a writer who, having previously expressed his disdain for military personnel, now tweets something like this gem.

Other times, it might be someone local who argues on fecesbook that “We all need to go over there an (sic) fight”. My experience has been that such people are more than willing to send others to fight and die, at least when the risk of their having to do the same thing is virtually nonexistent. They are, generally speaking, not the first to line up at a recruiting station to volunteer. Actually, they seem to never do so.

The best line from the movie The Patriot? This one, from Gibson’s character, Benjamin Martin, comes toward the end of the clip: “I will not fight. And because I will not fight, I will not cast a vote that will send others to fight in my stead.”

Finally, there are those like the person who, when I expressed the above, asked me “So it doesn’t bother you that innocent Ukrainian lives are being taken unprovoked? We should do nothing?” though I had neither said nor intimated anything of the sort. Of course, it bothers me and of course, something should be done. I am not willing for that something to be spending our blood and treasure (especially our blood) in the Ukraine.

In which I vent and offer a mea culpa

I have come, once again, to the realization that the vast and overwhelming majority of people on social media have no real interest in a discourse in which each seeks to understand the other. They are, rather, very interested in “winning” arguments. In the interest of fairness, I should point out that I tend to ask a lot of questions that deal with other people’s motivations. It might be that those sorts of question make people pretty uncomfortable.* One of the hazards of years spent as a psych nurse, preacher and life coach, perhaps.

The point of the above observation is this: First, unless the disputants in a discussion can agree on, and commit to, some basic ground rules for that discussion, it is far too easy for it to fall apart. Second, it’s important to recognize that all of us tend to have so much of ourselves invested in our opinions that it’s very difficult to no consider an attack on our opinions as an attack on ourselves. Subconsciously, what is being called into question is not the validity of our opinions, but rather our value as people. That’s a pretty serious psychological threat. No big surprise, then, that we respond with fear-based aggression.

*Okay. There’s no “might be” to it. It’s just so difficult to approach those questions more appropriately once I smell blood in the water. I should probably work on that.

How soon we forget

The news about inflation isn’t good. The jobs report is likely to be dismal, too. Somehow, people are surprised. I’m truly curious. Does no one remember how these things were predicted at the start of the Covid/Wu Flu madness? Covid didn’t cause what we’re currently experiencing. That responsibility needs to be laid at the feet of those who implemented so many government mandated, over-the-top restrictions on activity.

Well, s***

Meat Loaf has died. He was 74. As one person said, “I don’t always listen to Meat Loaf, but when I do, so do my neighbors.” My neighbors and I will be listening, today. Requiescat in pace.

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Happy Birthday, Professor

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Merry Christmas

Kipling, once again

It seems part of the human condition that we must routinely and repeatedly abandon what history teaches, only to be astonished when our stupid actions, based upon our equally stupid distortion of reality, turn around and bite us in the a**. It is, of course, popular and convenient to suggest that the only ones who suffer from this condition are “those people over there,” whoever they might be. The reality, I submit, is that it is a widespread condition, common to us all. Rudyard Kipling put it far better than I:

The Gods of the Copybook Headings

As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!