Tag Archives: social mores

BB #59: Who Among Us

BrainFireIt doesn’t matter, because this isn’t about that, but it was a blog page I was reading — about baseball, as it happens — where the writer used the phrase, “who among us is perfect?” I hear variations of that sentiment often. It’s meant to embrace the flawed humanity in all of us, but to my ear it sometimes excuses the egregious.

In this particular case (again, not the point), the writer was excusing the putative racism of a ballplayer during the 1940s, and that’s when a Brain Bubble floated up to my consciousness: Does it seem we use the phrase “no one is perfect” a little too broadly, a little too generously?

Have our standards of acceptable gotten lower in the modern era?

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A Side of Feelings

face-palm-polar-bear

SMH…

When it comes to feelings (nothing more than feelings), there are two strongly reactive — yet very separate — feelings clubs on my mind these days. The one that surprises me is personal and seems to have only myself as a member. The unsurprising one, the angry, depressed, shocked one, contains nearly all the liberals these days.

A more on-the-nose term might be ‘city folk.’ (Or my personal favorite: “polis people.”) Some see this — I fully agree — as a divide between rural and city sensibilities, between local old-fashioned and global modern tech, between yesterday and tomorrow.

One side is stunned the other won, while the winners are holding their breath wondering what they’ve won…

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Cast Your Vote!

ballotAs I was downloading my sample ballot and poking around the web for information about local issues and candidates (because that’s what good citizens do), I was struck by the profound sense of pain, fear, and sorrow I felt.

The feelings were so overwhelming I found myself, once again this election cycle, silently weeping. And praying that God would touch people’s hearts and minds with a measure of grace and decency.

How have we come to this? How have we gotten so far from our ideals and founding beliefs? How have we gotten so evil?

In a few days the ballots will be counted, and we’ll know if we’ve embraced that evil or rejected it. In a few days the future direction of our country will be set.

At this point, I can only repeat the brilliant words of Leon Wieseltier from his appearance on The Colbert Report:

“A democratic society, an open society, places an extraordinary intellectual responsibility on ordinary men and women, because we are governed by what we think, we are governed by our opinions. So the content of our opinions, and the quality of our opinions, and the quality of the formation of our opinions, basically determines the character of our society.”

He went on to say:

“And that means that in a democratic society, in an open society, a thoughtless citizen of a democracy is a delinquent citizen of a democracy.”

And, truly, that says it all. I can’t say it better or add to that.

So I won’t.

This November 8th, be sure to vote.

And, please… vote for decency. On just that count, the choice is clear.


The National Disgrace

vote-1

Do it in the name of sanity and decency.

Please.


The Penis Election

pumpkin-vomitWhat a sad and pathetic group of ape-descendants we turned out to be. After the Dark Ages, the human race had high and lofty aspirations. We saw ourselves so vastly evolved from our animal origins. We had the power of nuanced communicative language, of higher thought and rationality, of powerful evocative art, music, and literature.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the human experiment is a fail. The answer to the Fermi Paradox is that “intelligent” species actually aren’t intelligent enough. All our technical toys turn out to be exactly like giving an ape dynamite and a lighter.

And after several thousand years thinking we’re better than animals, we prove we’re not by making this election cycle about penises.

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Sick At Heart

franciscoWhat do you do when you realize that society is an insane asylum and the inmates are the keepers? If reasonable people were running the place, maybe there would be some hope, but as it is we seem to be gleefully accelerating straight towards a cliff. One maniac in particular seems to be stomping on the gas pedal and no one seems able to grab the wheel.

How do we navigate a world so out of touch with the rational (let alone the truthful)? Our collective heads are so far up the collective asses of our brand loyalties that all conversation is muffled by all the shit in our mouths. There is no real dialog, let alone a dialectic.

And I can’t stop running that line from Hamlet in my head.

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Good vs. Evil

good-evilWhen it comes to doctors (or nurses), lawyers, airplane pilots, the people who prepare and serve us food, the people who design and build our houses, the people who design and build our TV, cars, or cell phones, we naturally expect them to be well-trained and very good at what they do.

Of course we do. We avail ourselves to these things because we trust the experience and ability of those workers to do their job reliably, accurately, and correctly.

So why is it that, when it comes to politics, so many are so unwilling to listen to those who clearly know what they’re talking about?

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Stupidity Is Winning

face palm - gecko

And whiplash from SMH!

I’m having a tough year; damn near everything pisses me off these days. I’ve never been angrier at the human race than I am lately. My disdain for people is at an all-time high, and that’s a sick way to be; it’s not at all natural for me.

In fact, retirement brought me a long-time-coming epiphany of sorts. I’ve long been known as one of those angry, critical types. A high school friend once named me “the angry young man” (so this has been going on a while). I’ve always accepted it as true. What I finally realized is that it isn’t me…

It’s you.

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It Was Ever Thus

The ByrdsI’ve written about this before, the idea that there’s nothing new under the sun — that it was ever thus. The claim is usually made in the face of complaints about how “things are going to hell these days, and how much better it was back then.”

Some cite the ancient Greek[1] who said something about how things never really change (except he was just commenting about kids not respecting their elders). Others cite the famous passage in Ecclesiastes[2] (which also gave us a favorite tune by The Byrds[3]).

So what do I think is new under the sun?

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POTUS SOTUS

POTUS SOTUSMy impulse was to here write, “It’s been an interesting week,” but in reality it’s just been a week much like those that came before it. The social weather forecast: continuing craziness with scattered outbursts of outright insanity.

President Obama gave his final State of The Union (SOTU) speech on Tuesday, and so I find myself writing about how proud I was of my president for the second time in as many weeks (and, very possibly, the only two times since he was elected).

Watching that speech, I kept thinking, “Where has this guy been for the last seven years?”

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