Friday, July 27, 2012

Tame Me

I am reading ‘The Little Prince’ and came across the statement in the book, “that which is essential is invisible to the eye.” Upon reading this I immediately flashed back to reading Leo Buscaglia in my early twenties. Now 41, I felt a twinge of nostalgia, connection, and regret…or something like regret.
                Nostalgia is a familiar feeling; the longing for the past but a past when the future was more open. Despite having learned Heidegger and the idea that each choice can render an infinite number of new choices, I can’t help but feel that the number of choices is limted…very limited. And so the pull of nostalgia is strong; it is almost as if freedom resides in nostalgia. This particular nostalgia was my early twenties…when I knew everything and nothing, when I was studying philosophy and psychology with a keen interest in the idea of self-actualization and connectedness.
                Spinoza was a pantheist. The words literally mean back to god, figuratively it refers to god as everything. (Note: the god in this case is nothing like the christian god but rather, Being with a capital `B’, the greater existence in which all existences (lower case being(s)) reside.) I was never a Spinozist as Dr. Hart termed it, but I feel like I did understand pantheism. The idea that resonated with me in Spinoza was the idea that everything is connected but what I did was morph his idea of connectedness, which I felt was a very material understanding, and apply it to self-actualization within an emotional/aesthetic arena. Don’t overthink it…if you’ve ever been moved by a piece of music or experienced the joy of loving another, then you understand this connectedness and where you are it/him/her fit in the world. When I came across those words last night I felt that connection…I could see myself reading Leo Buscaglia, feeling like a sponge soaking up everything that was coming my way, growing intellectually, and here I was more than twenty years later reading what is considered a children’s book and feeling quite ignorant of the ways of the world and more importantly, who I am and what I am supposed to be. A strange connection, your present ignorant self to your younger know-it-all (na├»ve) self, but a connection nonetheless.
                Alas, in bed, my wife next to me and my 8 month old son asleep in his crib, I felt like I should be more…I felt un-self-actualized…disconnected…from myself, full of doubt, waiting, passively waiting for that thing, to happen to me and not from me…waiting for fate instead of creating fate…for a fate to sate me to fulfill me…and consequently them? Does it work that way?
                If Woody Allen taught us anything with `Match Point’ it is that luck matters.

If I learned anything from evolutionary psychology and sociobiology, it is that man survives in groups and not alone. But can we be alone from luck? Is luck necessary for self-actualization? Can the masses, a la the satirical newspaper `The Onion’, trudge through another day while the few, the lucky few, thrive with a self-actualizing wind at their backs? For all the books out there, and all the Leo Buscaglias,  and the sages with pithy one-liners just waiting to pass it on, are they wrong? What if it can’t be taught? What if those who have it can’t tame it and throw a connection to me? Or you?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Aurora Colorado Haikus

Assault rifle bang            
Semi-automatic bang
Help me understand

Well armed militia…       
Conscription. guns provided
Help me understand

The right to bear arms
Amendments, they have been made
Help me understand

Originalist…
Amendments, they have been made
Help me understand

The mind opens…bloom
Could fail…it could be better!
Help me understand

Friday, July 20, 2012

Canadians are now richer than Americans

Just when you thought the economic downturn could not get any worse. Canadians are now richer than we are! Where is a maple leaf? I need to wipe. Frustrating. But who's to blame? The housing crisis and Wall Street? I think not. I think it's obvious that the movie 'Strange Brew' is culpable. Canada wasn't even on the map till this movie...then next thing you know SNL is mostly Canadian with hockey overtones. Well, before this die hard american starts singin' O'Canada you can bet your maple syrup that this country will rebound (yeah canada, how's your hoops squad going to fare in the olypmics? That's what I thought!) and we will, we will own our cars and houses and dominate mtv cribs, we will sail on yachts and dine on fois gras in our home theaters lambasting your 80's cult classic 'Strange Brew'. Eh!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bag of Hammers

So, along with the Red Sox’ incredible tank last year being part of god’s plan (per 1st baseman Adrian Gonzalez), now the shooting death of Travon Martin is now part of god’s plan per accused gunman George Zimmerman.
I think it was George Carlin who once lamented that pro athletes never say that “jesus tripped me up at the goal line.” Well now thanks to Gonzalez and Zimmerman, we have to god to thank for some immeasurable suffering. Well, in comparison to Cleveland sports teams that is.
And now George Zimmerman is pawning off the death of Trayvon Martin as providence.
Now we all know that a good god and human suffering create quite the philosophical conundrum. Perfect, good god… bad things – doesn’t add up. So to square this circle a philosopher named Leibnitz said that “if you could see things from the eyes of god, there is no evil…all things are good because evil can’t happen from a perfect, good god. You name it, it’s good. Abortion, slavery, the holocaust, Jerry Sandusky, even the ice capades…good things.
Doesn’t sit too well does it? It didn’t sit well with Voltaire either.











And that brings us to George Zimmerman. Good Christian, non racist, gun loving, “we don’t need you to do that” George Zimmerman. George wants to place the death of Trayvon Martin in god’s hands. Nice try. Theologically, you just might be ok Georgie, let us inquire about some catholic priests who get through the pearly gates... but you see George, a la O’ Brother Where Art Thou, the law is a little more hard-nosed.
Ahh George…dumber than a bag of hammers…with a bifurcated tail????

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

ESPN Hypocrisy

ESPN has let fly the rants for Joe Paterno and Penn State. They hired Bobby Knight.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Grown-Ups

In this review of 'Margaret', David Edelstein writes that "...teenagers feel the world more deeply than grown-ups..." Perhaps you disagree. Remember this?

Do you agree? Do teenagers feel more deeply? What happens with age that our heart dies?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Went to the Circus Bit


I went to the circus the other day with my wife and child. And while most people were there with their kids or grandkids, there were some other, shall we say, very identifiable, very obvious, uber-conspicuous…fuh-reeks!
One…family I guess…behind us, had no problem sharing their life story at a volume that could be heard, oh I don’t know, above circus volume…so that gives you a little tipoff right there. And the child in this 3 person family…let’s call him junior, junior that is bearing down on 20 years old, about to go 250 lbs is at the circus with mom and dad! When you are 20 and enjoying the circus with mom and dad, some people, some very astute people, might fear that you want to skin them and wear them as a hat. But junior at the circus isn’t the least of your problems because then you notice the pedophiles…that showed you to your seat. I kid, I kid the circus staff. I’m sure ushering at the circus in Podunk Rhode Island is just part of paying your dues to usher at the next Black Sabbath reunion concert at the outdoor pavilion in sleepy hollow Iowa. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe you work up selling t-shirts for Mary J Blige, I don’t know.
And since when is the Big Top a nesting ground for beetles? How can I enjoy the contortionist when I’m picking the beetles from my popcorn while hearing junior explain to his parents his favorite part is coming up next, when she…and I’m quoting junior here: “gets her hooch behind her ears.?”
And my wife, god bless her, wanted to get their early, to, you know, “get good seats.” Yeah, the mezzanine at this big top is 20 feet away from the center of the ring. Whew! Glad we showed up an hour and a half early. Otherwise we may not have had a good view of the porcupine walk across the bridge.
And since when do people attend the same circus so much that they know what is going to happen? I can quote breakfast club because I had nothing better to do when I was 15 but when you are 40, you should have something better to do than memorize the phony legs under the stairs bit. When do you have time to make rice-a-roni and do your taxes when you are at the circus so much? I knew they were phony all along by the way.
But my son enjoyed the show and we tried not to touch a whole lot of things so all things considered, minus the lock jaw and the tetanus shot, it was quite a circus.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Swap

Would you trade your brain for money? No. (Despite theoretically that your brain could be in a vat, neither you nor Daniel Dennett would do so)
Would you trade your heart for someone else’s? No, the original is always worth more on Ebay.
So why are you overweight? What are you trading your health for?