Tag Archives: culture

Reflections of Us

Reflection across this linear existence. Beyond the cracks and scars there is an image, the man you carry into hope. Or maybe a monster you hide in the mist or fog of fear. Who is me?

This reflection protects us from ourselves, because one day the mirror won’t be enough. The distortion will fade, the illusion will dissipate into you. Only then will we understand that I is not a singular expression.

I is a prism. A tense refraction of hopes, dreams, or fears. Not now, or yesterday, nor tomorrow can define us. We are many inside broken hulls and silk threads, the world is too destructive for the illusion of freedom, too ravenous for one man.

It’s the moments hidden outside time or space that random acts of bravery hide. Legends that span the horizon never revealing their depth, looming across time for those willing to shed the cloak of humanity and shine.

Mirrors, horizons, fear; man was meant to be more than a reflection of another’s reality. Never confined to roles or robes that capture his spirit like a mirror in a dark room. That moment when the light, the mirror, and the reflection blind us with light is who we are.

It’s the hope that when all the colors and moments come together we’ll be blinded into that singular person that is the origin of us, human. Matter, memories, and moments recreating perfection, if only for a glimpse.

I hold that light as a moment in time. It reminds me that I’m you and you’re me. It reminds me that I is a luxury reserved for the silence. I is a reflection with the world looming behind me, waiting to define our moments.

Advertisements

Jorge Louis Borges

Jorge Borges. “I have read many books about aesthetics and felt that I was reading books by astronomers who never looked at the stars”!

This guy! I was amazed by Borges from the moment I read a collection of his essays. It’s hard to focus or remember the content of his writing. His style and structures are flawless, in more than one language. It struck me as strange that he could write in English so perfectly and fluently not being a native English speaker, I believe he learnt from a grandmother.

Recently I listened to some of his lectures in America. He was older at this time, and had become blind. One lecture was almost an hour long in English. Now he’s visiting from his native country, Argentina. He can’t read a script or note cards and he consistently makes coherent points to support his objectives. He even throws humor in there with the ease of a comedian.

I admire Jorge Louis Borges for his dedication to words. His mastery of a number of languages, and his perseverance through troubled times. What he was made of was good. It was a discipline of the need to communicate past physical and psychological boundaries to demonstrate the value of communicating.

We need folks like Jose Louis Borges in the world today. The rigors of his work can’t be duplicated today. He worked by hand on paper and in libraries for decades and still found time to experience life. His passion however, can become contagious and inspire others to discipline theirselves to the dedication of words and speech. This is a noble gesture and the foundation of understanding.

Me-llenials

The 70’s dude! A decade of confusion. A transition to dysfunction on a societal level that speaks to so much confusion today. The origin of the “me-llenial”! We just can’t seem to slow the train down long enough to see clearly, life is a blur.

I ain’t blaming women, You can’t really ever blame one group for a societies developmental dysfunctions, it takes a village. Woman however, changed the American family to a degree that no other facet of American life could. They went to work and had careers.

Woman in the 70’s responded to divorce rates, family structure, and economic autonomy by leaving the home and going to work. Prior to this time women as a whole stayed at home and maintained o home (which is not the same as a house) and raised children. Kindergarten was not yet a norm so children were at home until 6 years old learning in their homes and communities.

“Play dates” were an everyday thing. Cars with fathers pulled out of the driveway at 7am and the streets were filled with kids playing and Mothers talking. Naps were a necessity and at 4 or 5pm cars with fathers returned for dinner. This was the norm for most families.

I want to be clear that I’m not blaming woman. The economy was such that it became a necessity. Fathers either couldn’t make enough to maintain the middle class stature or just opted out and left for a loaf of bread never to return. Either way women had to step up and step out of the house for additional income.

There was no such thing as daycare, preschool, or head start. Most women relied on friends who used the babysitting money to supplement their own families income. A few daycares sprang up, but all you needed to be certified were a toy box, fire extinguisher, and a emergency services sticker next to your phone. This was not a great time for many children. In America.

These kids grew up to birth the “90 Babies” just around the technology boom. This generation of parents never were handed down the traditional parenting skills their parents experienced. Preschool, head start, and kindergarten became a norm and the main source of information for parenting.

These early childhood educators blurred the lines between children and students, even in some cases the authority over the child. Then the school starts to share the role of educator with raising children. So then we had parents educating their children while schools focused on their well being. Hell, everyone was confused.

So now we have the “me-llenials” and these babies are all confused. They can’t decipher whose role is what. The television and computer fill in the gaps with vulgarity and innuendo to the point sarcasm is viewed as a positive trait. Entertaining yourself through other folks pain is humorous, and drama within families is expected.

These babies are having babies and seem to be responding by wanting to do better than their parents or grandparents did. They track pregnancy from conception. They communicate at a level that’s painful for many older folks. They seem to see through the bullshit in a “this has been going on long enough” manner. On the front side of family life though, they are way out there.

These folks create genders, races, and cultures like apps on a smart phone. They experiment with all facets of life to an uncomfortable degree for many. This is what makes social media so entertaining and dangerous. Socially, politically, and culturally there are no safeguards to protect us from the degradation we see. Truth becomes subjective, reality is what you make it, and authority is viewed as a negative facet of life.

We can’t fix this overnight. This is gonna take a minute. There are many uncomfortable moments ahead. Now is the time for candor, not to be confused with being blunt. It’s a time for a leader, but they’re rare. It’s a time for honesty. Most importantly it’s a time for families to retreat to the dinner table and say “hold up”, we need to take a step back and evaluate what we’re doing. We need to reaffirm our roles as parents, children, and siblings. Before we go out that door again and step out into this dysfunction. We need to tighten up and reestablish and reaffirm what we stand for. No more co dependent relationships built on cultural fantasies.

It’s not over, but that rolls both ways. Americans are families. We are independent and proud. We are philanthropic at the lowest socio economic strata. We believe life is bigger than us. We need to start acting like that or the America that our grandparents rocked will be rolled right into a ditch.

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.

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.