Tag Archives: culture

Birds of a feather

I wonder if the parrot, so high browed and elite, understands what the finch sees from lower heights. The larger effort required to build small nests hidden from an abundance of predatory natures largely goes unnoticed by their illustrious sounding brethren who sit high atop the canopy looking down, but seeing nothing.

With a splash of color they take to the wind with the sound of music and grace to show the beauty of nature while the dull gray existence of the finch continues his labors with flittering glances. Nervous, but industrious, and annoyed at the attention those colors bring to their station.

It’s meticulous and time consuming building these temporary futures. Year after year picking up the remnants of generations gone by and weaving those memories into this years hopes while the privileged beauty of nature sits high above the canopy unaware of the dangers the common bird flees, but oh one day!

Trees fall, as do characters. Chaos ensues and soon the beauty is a liability when the forest is bare, no heights to travel and the nets have no conscious. Soon fates tangle and colorful wings intertwined with perfectly formed squares hold time still and the tree tops are memories that break the spirit or forge the will.

In the market the finch flitters in its cage looking for a way out while the parrot sits still mocking “Hello’s” for a laugh and a meal. Not content, but accepted of his new position. Not quite a pet, but not a prisoner, willing to eat from the hand of his captor for his meager existence in his lower stature.

Oh, but the finch scoffs at such weakness and flits and screeches till it’s wings molt and his captor is tired of cleaning cages and noisy occupants. Evicted, he happily flits and flies through alleys and streets high above the caged beauty of his domesticated brother. One last glance and their eyes meet, sympathy meets jealousy, and off they go, one to glory and the other a prisoner of his own stature.

Eternally he sits atop a wooden perch inside tightly knit metal squares wondering of the beauty of freedom. While the brethren returns to the brush to start anew the time tested heritage of hard work and subtle songs as background noise to those that unknowingly sacrifice theirselves through vain efforts and gaudy displays of character.

Time does tell lies and truths, and space gives a false sense of security, but thought gives will wings.

Advertisements

Semantically Sane

I’m writing this more for myself than anyone else. I’m not refuting or supporting any point of view. I will say that in order for me to sift through the garbage or pearls of contemporary “pop philosophy” I have to spend way too much time and effort. The “truth” is I may enjoy both a little too much.

The “truth wars” were fascinating to me at first. Reading about the battles between realities often times reminded me of a trip to a psyche ward. Listening to presumably intelligent folks dissect philosophy to the point it lay lifeless in pieces on coffee stained copy paper was amusing. The nagging sense that someone would develop any theory or treatise just to be the one to prove truth was or wasn’t true just became nauseous.

Semantics may be the three card molly of amateur philosophers, and I don’t consider myself a philosopher, but I do look for truth. I read and listen as these crafty thinkers shuffle the deck of semantics between formal, lexical, and conceptual semantics to prove they know the truth about truth being objective or subjective; and that’s as far as I’ll go down that rabbit hole.

My point is that truths are found on many levels. It is a truth that catholicism is evil when using lexical semantics. One look at the history of any institution will quickly reveal a violence often touted for the good. It is easy to fall into this trap.

For example: It made sense to the Catholic Church to work in cohesion with the Red Cross to assist Nazi war criminals along the “rat line” to Rome where they could receive their new identities using Red Cross refugee documents. During this time communism was a real threat. Hitler wouldn’t have destroyed the church as communism would, so the Catholic Church chose the lesser of two very real evils.

Using a formal semantic approach those conditions create a frame of mind where the church was only looking out for humanity. Communism’s disdain for the church was a threat to the world and doing anything to prevent communism from spreading further West was a noble pursuit.

Using conceptual semantics I could argue about the innate fact that the world was under real threat during this time. Folks were destroyed by the millions. This was the one real Armageddon times of our history where evil and good faced each other and it created a frame of mind we can no longer grasp, except through stories or movies. Understanding the threat to the world gave every institution a sense of survival, and we think and act different in this state of mind.

It seems the truth is that the Catholic Church compromised its values by helping Nazi war criminals based on their fear of communism. Wether that’s evil or not hinges on individual semantics. I personally don’t believe the Catholic Church is evil, but understand how folks could craft this opinion.

So I could justify or malign religion using these approaches to support the statement that Catholicism is evil as a truth. This rubric seems to be popular among many of the folks out there debating truth. It is not always an intentional deceit by the person espousing their opinion, but it seems plausible that it is intentional on another level by folks trying to popularize their ideas as philosophical. Either way we should acknowledge and highlight how dangerous it is to follow or perpetrate ideas that give us pause.

The truth is never simple. It will always find an exception in the minds of someone trying to justify a position. Language is more complicated than the average person gives credit. Linguistics have been a constant companion of philosophy and can be used as a weapon, crutch, or light depending on intention. All of these variables combined with the complexity of the human condition and it’s response to society and culture make for an elusive target.

It may always be akin to that movement we see out of the corner of our eye that never manifests itself more than an illusion, but haunts our thoughts with something to grasp; it’s there non the less.

Circles of Crazy

They say I’m poor, downtrodden and lazy
Because I sit and watch these circles of crazy

My worth doesn’t count on dollars and cents
Like others who live and lie behind a star spangled fence

My clothes are worn, not tattered, and my hands are soiled
But my mind is callouses from the hours toiled

No suit or tie except Sunday’s, weddings, and funerals
Only slaves wear things around their necks like animals

My back is hard with pain and glory, no time to tell, just living my story.

So don’t count on me for dollars or votes
I’ll be workin real hard on next weeks notes

I ain’t got time for drama or fiction,
Just the truth I see about you and conviction.

Legacy of fools

I’ve been listening to this translucent legacy of fools for my entire life. It’s akin to listening to your kids out front whining long enough you finally get up from your favorite sports team on TV and go outside to solve the problem for them. My confidence is inherent because the situational possibilities are predictable and timeless, even though the kids can’t understand that, I do. That’s all I want to say, “I see through the drama and understand the ignorance behind the whining.

First and foremost, I’m smart enough to understand the difference between race and culture. Race is a scientific classification based on biological characteristics that largely manifest themselves in physical appearances for the average person. Skin color, hair texture and color, and body composition. This is an automatic response as a human being. Our DNA has probably passed down the primitive need to evaluate a stranger for a fight or to breed. We don’t want to acknowledge that, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

Culture, on the other hand, are the social characteristics that we share in order to establish bonds with our group. It’s influenced by geography, climate, heritage. So, fish don’t end up on the tables of desert southwest Native American ceremonial meals. Nor does African ceremonial dress usually include boots made from animal fur. These are obvious observations. There are many subtle characteristics today we may or may not acknowledge.

So, “back in the day” you may react differently to a stranger who shows up with an animal bladder full of water strapped around their neck wearing a breech cloth than you would a stranger with a bow in their hand and a body full of piercings and tattoos. The need for stereotyping is obvious here, each one is projecting something starkly different.

Fast forward today and you have the same primitive instinct subtly used to warn or alert us to the need to consider our safety or our desires. A stiff looking dude in a leather jacket with sunglasses and boots send a different message than a thin girl with “bootie shorts” and a “bikini top” wearing perfect make up and manicured hair.

So even though we may be the nicest guy or gal in town, how we present ourselves is important. We are learning to acknowledge these observations and ignore them for the possibility the guy in the leather jacket is a saint, but that goes against our primitive knowledge.

Music is s message. You get a completely different vibe from one tribe sitting around a fire playing a flute under the moonlight than you do from a tribe beating drums while stomping and yelling around a fire. If you’re traveling at night alone the choice to bypass one and take a chance with the other is obvious. Doesn’t mean it’s the correct choice, but the feeling is there for a reason.

So if I transcend my primitive comfort zone and arrive at the party dressed in jeans and a T-shirt only to see everyone dressed in highly ornate outfits with manicured hair and faces made up I’m going to be out of place and searching for someone dressed like me, or someone I know.

If I look on the serving table and see rats over a fire and lizard kabobs sitting on fresh beds of Bahia grass around an ornate chalice of what appears to be blood; I’m going to have a few thoughts highlighted with feelings.

All of these examples, and there are many more, may seem exaggerated or hyperbolic. I would just remind you they are accurate and true. We can teach ourselves to overcome these stereotypes, but they won’t go away because they serve to benefit our safety and desires.

So how does this fit in my “legacy of fools” idea. Today we have most folks running their mouth, (see how I did that) about race not understanding they’re talking about culture. If you’re “saggin” or “posin” you don’t represent European or African Americans. You represent a culture within America that is perceived, and perceives theirselves to hold certain cultural values.

I use these two examples because let’s face it, the real noise about race (culture) in America is between European and African Americans within certain cultures. By and large most folks go to work together, school together, and have relationships between each other that function at a level above what is portrayed.

I’ve been listening to those tired ass leftover civil rights vultures run their mouth about shit they no absolutely nothing about so they can keep a status since I was young. They failed. In the 50’s and 60’s the movement chose a direction that was segregation on our terms, not desegregation. So now you have one culture within our country that segregated theirselves to unite us. I know right, don’t make sense.

Then we had a level of “house Slave” that guarded access to the votes, programs, and dollars associated with a particular culture within the African Americans that was a cash cow for both of these groups. They, (meaning European and African American civil rights and political figures) created this group consciously. This is why Martin Luther King JR was a threat to both groups, he was a leader and bowed only to his God. If you think otherwise you’re very naive. Look at the assassinations in the 60’s and read those men’s views on culture and race. These pariahs left over today are complicit most likely, because they wouldn’t have been able to do much more than march behind these folks.

The northeast and southeast largely drive this narrative. Up north access is political through ethnic Burroughs and unions. In the south it’s through money and family lineage. In both instances there are groups of folks outside the main power structure that benefit from the divisions created. We call them civil rights activists. They’re mouthpieces for the power structure in exchange for access and privilege.

This pipeline of dysfunction is popular and it drives food, clothing, shelter and music. Every aspect of this has been marketed, politicized, and developed intentionally. It’s largely a lie, but every facet of America benefits from the lie, so it’s a necessity.

The poor Mexicans weren’t slaves in the modern era. The poor Irish only had a famine. The Italians said to hell with it and made crime a career. The only heritage the lower socio economic African American had is slavery, because no one will admit that segregation gave access to power to some African Americans through influence, why would they want to desegregate, their power would be threatened. So eliminate that voice, create a ghetto class, and show up shouting about slavery and segregation every time an election comes around. Which is all to often. This is the “community organizer” hustle!

Now we have leveled out to the point there are African American, European, Mexican, even Asian ghettos across the country using the same model. Access to the poor and their drama is lucrative.

The poor I’m referring to are not the working poor who don’t have time for this shit. They live close enough to it they know the hustle and don’t want to be part of it. The problem is it’s popular to group folks. So everyone gets lumped into these dysfunctional groups based in the latest incident that involves their ethnic group or race. It doesn’t represent their particular culture, but they get lumped into it for political or financial reasons. Who wouldn’t get angry at that, hopefully they’re anger is directed at the right folks.

I realize I’m criticizing a legacy. I do believe it started out with good intentions. I also know some great stories of folks working together throughout Americans history regardless of their race, culture, or ethnic group. These civil rights vultures don’t want you to know these truths. It threatens their privilege.

I hope in 2018 folks take a little more interest in exposing the lies that separate us. They’re out there and obvious if you care to look. You can just ignore it, but trust me, it’s not going away, and it’s coming to a nerve near you. So let’s review the real history and motives, put the hero’s in the museum, and the vultures out to feed on the scraps of intelligent thought.

Leaders of the Free World

Is America still a free country? There are many answers to this complex question. The fact that we’re asking this question reveals much about the barrage of attempts over the centuries to define America, which in many cases is separate from the American.

The origin of America was built by independent individuals seeking liberty from a dysfunctional system of hierarchal tyranny. The men and woman who founded America were here before the “patriots” came together to politicize freedom. They obviously didn’t want to be bothered with a country and the political dysfunction that comes with those folks. Managing a farm with rudimentary tools and limited knowledge of the land would be enough to keep many folks busy.

Today we have a hard time remembering that in the not so distant past politics and America did not inundate our day. We weren’t saturated with the guile that comes from a life of compromising everything from morals to men. It was even more so for the folks who founded the concepts with which America was formed. Politics were a necessary evil that good men took time out to resolve before moving back to the real work of living.

The same was true of the real patriots who served as soldiers in the revolutionary war. They left their homes to fight for the liberty to live a life without politics and governing. Inadvertently this was a fight for America, but liberty and freedom for all was the real goal. These folks would probably shake their head at the American and the America of today, both would be unrecognizable.

You have twits out there spending literally a lifetime in public office sending dollars and sense out the window like confetti on the 4th of July. These folks are dysfunctional by the nature of their endeavors. We know that truth, integrity, and other moral concepts that keep folks standing upright looking others in the eye are foreign to them. However; we tune in to the drama constantly on some form of media. We tune in for the entertainment value.

These characters put America in peril. The American can survive, but the country can unravel like the chemical queens and pasty patsies who pretend they’re running something. Presidents don’t win wars, warriors win wars. Politicians don’t create jobs, business men create jobs. The government doesn’t provide services, the workin mans taxes take care of the less fortunate. Yet time after time we hear about bills with names attached to them, acts attributed to presidents, or resolutions by congress that have roots in some Americans pasture. Politicians talk about what Americans are doing and use those efforts to further their ambitions to stay in office, rather than in the field where hands get dirty and shirts soiled.

The closest we get to an American in our political theater today is either a manicured menace who had a grandfather who climbed a ladder, or a third generation immigrant who thinks because their grandparents crossed an ocean or a river they have swimming in their veins. The reality is the original American politician stood tall on his own efforts using his hands to create a nation.

Today these type of folks are rare. I’m not sure I’ve even seen one outside of my military service, and those men wouldn’t put up with the drama. We’re in a leadership crisis and it’s gonna take a generation or so for the necessary callouses to harden the hands that today have crooked fingers from playing make believe with a controller and a fantasy.

Freedom has eroded alongside leadership. We now have a couple generations of folks that cry out for regulation, laws, and conditions upon all facets of our life. They can’t solve their own problems or rise above their own inefficiency. This is the pool we’re swimming, or drowning in, depending on your point of view.

We need strength to be free. There will be folks pushing back against the strength necessary to pull us out of this hole because today’s citizens believe they need to be governed.

Any leader understands if you start hard, when you ease up those following you will be more receptive. Our problem is we’ve been weak and now to get hard on the folks who’ve gained in this environment will only produce a gaggle of grown folks acting out like kids who lost the controller to their favorite game. Don’t believe me, just look around.

I Hope!

Hope is a double edge sword tempered by fear and sharpened by faith. It matters not what we know, or learn, or experience. It only matters that we feel we deserve the possibility of brighter days and calmer nights.
Tempered emotions see through feelings of doubt. It’s the trepidation that guide each step silently through the crowds of reality. Desolate figures strewn throughout rubbles streets boil grease slicked water for a blessing.
Looking for a sign through hundred yard stares, hoping, not sure whether the sun is beating down on your back or shine down on your life. Then rain washes away the doubt leaving you shivering with the reality that hope is lonely.
Lonely in a sea of faces and exhaust that pollute the air revealing your soul in grey shadows on graffiti drawn walls. Your thoughts dwell behind the fragmented words that leap off the wall with anger. How can you lose hope to the point anger is soothing.
In this twisted state of emotion you sit in the filth of one hundred souls shedding their spirit for noodles and a God who gives that one chance to cleanse your soul and stand tall in the face of poverty.
It’s not the grime or the hunger that hides hope. It’s not the clothes or the state that sees hope is possible. It’s the mind that says “one more step is a step closer to something, and something id better than nothing”!
I hope!

College Football Participation Award

So, the whole SEC, Big Ten playoff dilemma says says a lot about the denigration of our morality. The real problem for me is it makes sense to most people. The playoff system in college football is not a playoff system is what I hear and see.

Take the NFL for instance. How many championships would each team have if we followed the obscure method the that college football follows. More importantly what does it say about the “comeback kid”!

The privileged class in America is in control of our country, our sports, our entertainment, etc… There is something being said when someone can look back at a body of work (Ohio State) and portray their efforts as less because they lost a couple games early. Folks believe that should eliminate them from competition. Never mind that they came back and overcame the problems they had and continued to strive for excellence winning their championship game.

I’ve told my kids for years that if you get an “A” on your class work you didn’t learn anything. Getting an “A” means you already knew the information. The belief that getting something wrong and going back to try harder is no longer a part of our emotional beliefs in America.

This is true in academics, sports, employment. It extends into healthcare, justice, and military situations as well. Stay with me a minute cause it all ties together, trust me.

Now I’m not an Ohio State fan, I’m a Georgia and Alabama fan. In fact, I’d go as far as to say Auburn should have been placed above Ohio State using the current method of reasoning. It only makes sense that a team who beat 2 of the top 4 teams should be one of the top 4 teams, and I’m no Auburn fan.

My belief is if you win the games to get you to the top, then lose the top game to get the championship, your out. You didn’t win. Any team can be beaten on any day given the right circumstances. This is not the college football logic.

Because Alabama “participated” and has a history of getting “A”’s on the field they were advanced past a team that won their championship. I won’t mention the PAC 12 because then it really gets confusing.

The real obvious point for me is not football, that’s a game. However, nationally there are at least half of the nation that believe this makes sense. To say you don’t win your out seems to harsh. This may or may not be true in America today. That’s scary.

Even scarier is that “the come back” is no longer admirable or valuable to half of us. Participating and talking the loudest about when you did perform is more valid evidence of a champion.

If athletes and citizens start to believe “the comeback” has no value, and that some folks deserve opportunities more than others based on criteria other than effort we’re in trouble.

For me it’s simple. Win your division, go to the championship. Lose your division, try harder next year. The fact this seems harsh is beyond me. The term “deserving” is emotional. We don’t always get what we deserve and that’s life.

I’m still an “underdog” kinda guy. I don’t follow sports religiously, but enjoy football, basketball, and the fights. The individuals and teams that almost made it are my champions. They we’re up, then down in their efforts and made no excuse for their losses other than taking responsibility.

To make exceptions to make a champion doesn’t even make sense when you say it out loud. It could be true that the slowest child in a race put more effort in a race than the fastest child. It is also true that given the right motivation, training, and attitude the slowest child can train and become the champion through effort. Equally true is the child could train hard, eat right, and focus hard, only to lose again. There no shame in this, not everyone can be the best everyday.

The true champion battles adversity and overcomes deficits to be the best any given day. Making exceptions for what you’ve accomplished in the past just says you were the best once. It doesn’t mean you’re the best forever. It doesn’t mean you have more heart than others. It doesn’t mean you get a pass when you fail. It means you competed, and that’s the point we’re dulling.

We have to battle this “participation award” mentality. These folks have grown up, (questionably) and are not running business, buying tickets and jerseys, even running the country. If this attitude spills over into our governmental or business models we’re in trouble. We’ll have a privileged class that buries anyone with an exception into the bowels of an underclass. “Oh, Waite a minute, damn I’m too late!”