The Bookkeeper: Set & Vacuum

April 30, 2007

A book isn’t any good unless it’s read.  Populate your shelves as much as you want.  Hope visitors look at them and infer you’re intelligent.  Pray no one asks what any of them are about.  Pretend you’re well read.  Believe your imagination.  Act accordingly.  Pomposity built on the unbroken spines of a thousand books.  Lie because no one else knows the truth.  The truth is not custom tailored to your sensibilities or emotions.  Lies are easier to believe.  After all, one’s truth and one’s lie are only one’s opinion based on an already faulty sense of reality.  So have fun, lie and be grand.

This is prestige.


Am I?

April 30, 2007

So small and insignificant, am I.

Terrifyingly free, am I.

Sheathed in mystery, am I.


Non-sensical forensic analysis of sin and the shelf upon which it rests.

April 30, 2007

The moon is beautiful tonight, nearly full and very bright.  I am itchy all over.  Not feeling very comfortable.  I should take an antihistamine.

I could have a glass of ice cold water sitting in front of me and still go thirsty for hours.  I don’t know why I don’t drink when I’m thirsty, maybe I forget.  Or, maybe I’m storing the potential for satisfaction and thereby increasing the pleasure of the sip.  Patience is the greatest ingredient in any recipe.

I’m afraid the shelf on the wall is going to fall, but I won’t fix it until it does.

The roof could cave in on the den of sin and I would not be free from it at all.

I look at my sin and think it akin to that damnable shelf on the wall.


Common Ground

April 30, 2007

Typically I read history books.  Every once in a while I venture away from history into some of the other disciplines.  Suffice it to say, I do not read fiction anymore.  Fiction is a by-product of non-fiction.  If you spend your time on non-fiction, than fiction becomes a sorry disappointment. 

For instance, if you read the second half of ‘The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail’ (Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln), then you read as much as Dan Brown needed for ‘The Da Vinci Code’.  The first edition of Holy Blood was published in 1982.  A second (revised) edition was published in 1996 (the version I read).  Whereas The Da Vinci Code was first published in 2003 – twenty-one years later.

Confession – I did not read The Da Vinci code.  I listened to an unabridged version from audible.com.  I need to fill time with information of one type or another and there is more opportunity for listening than reading.  Sometimes I listen to fiction.  Lately I’ve been hooked on classic radio.  R U Sitting Comfortably (rusc.com) is the best repository of old time radio on the Internet.

Rambling on.

Last week marked a switch from history to other non-fiction books.  I read ‘Freakonomics’ (Levitt & Dubner).  Interesting material.  Their premise is, ‘Morality describes how the world should be.  Economics describes how it actually is.’  There is a chapter on the nature of conventional racism based on a the statistics from an on-line dating service.  I don’t want to get into the details, but the basic premise is that people ‘speak’ or ‘portray’ ourselves as racially open minded, but ‘act’ or ‘behave’ less so.  Essentially, racism has slipped beneath the discernible surface of things, but it still exists.

This leads quite smoothly into ‘Blink’ (Gladwell), which I am currently reading.  Blink is about ‘split-second decisions or determinations’.  These are manifest from the adaptive unconscious, which is effectively the super-computer we all have in our minds.  The adaptive unconscious is a very powerful tool, but it can be deceptive and, more dangerously, it can be manipulated.

An example cited in the book is a colour change in the packaging of a soda pop – 30% more yellow was added to the otherwise dominantly green packaging.  There were not any changes made to the soda pop recipe.  Regardless, the company received complaints from loyal consumers regarding what was perceived as the addition of lemon/lime flavouring to the pop.  The packaging determined (transferred) the flavour change.  Clearly not a good move for a company who does not want to offend their consumers, so the yellow was promptly removed from the packaging and the flavour returned to normal.  This is a conditioned unconscious response to the colour yellow in relation to soda pop (I guess!!).

Well, turns out there’s a lot of this conditioning in our minds.  Race, for instance.  Perception of races other than one’s own is subject to extensive conditioning.  Action as much as inaction determines a condition for a future response.  We may all be born in an equal state of innocence (naivete), but it’s not long before the fences are erected.  One could have the most enlightened parents in history, yet still would be unconsciously hard-wired to racial distinction (discrimination).  Racial distinction exists in the fabric of our reality.  Differentiating one from another is a method of determining meaning (understanding).  The greatest fear is the fear of the unknown (hence the continued prevalence of religion in an otherwise scientific age).  Fear causes some to lash out with hate.  Hatred undermines understanding and is an ill-conceived method of self-preservation (survival).

Forget about love.  Love isn’t the cure for anything.  Love carries with it a sense of freedom.  If there is one thing I understand, it is that most people do not function well (if at all) when the restraints are loosed.   Understanding is the key.  The concepts of right and wrong are metaphysical (moral) singularities.  The rules of logic & anti-logic are disassembled into a jabbering pile of babelous bullshit as one approaches the kernel of truth.  Truth is the fiction one writes for their reality.  A truth for every aspect of every reality.  So much meaning as to become meaningless.  Truth is lost in a white-wash.  By extension, falsehood (the distinction by which truth is defined and understood) is also meaningless to the point of non-existence.  No single truth, no single falsity, no right or wrong.

All that remains is pleasure and pain.  Pleasure is good.  Pain is bad.  Pretty simple.   Sometimes the wires are crossed, but to each their own!  Uh oh…more than one pleasure and more than one pain equates to a less definitive meaning.  Pleasure for one is pain for another.  There is nothing we can rely on to bring us together, no common ground upon which all of humanity could stand.  Hmm, common ground.  We all stand on the Earth.  But at what point does the concept of self-preservation switch from the single-self to the greater-self?  I don’t know that it ever will.  Someone stands to profit for every measure to protect Earth.  Someone must lose in equal measure.  There is a finite amount of wealth on this planet.  To be equal participants in a game, one must win and one must lose.


On the inappropriate nature of nomenclature.

April 17, 2007

A mother and father teach their two-and-a-half year old daughter that the word for a male chicken is ‘rooster’.  At school, the little girl is taught that the word for a male chicken is ‘cock’.  The little girl has more exposure to the male chicken whilst at school and so, by virtue of repetition, she learns the school version.

Easter was a short while ago.  Amongst many of the decorations and accessories sold for the holiday are chickens.  They are everywhere, some more ornate than others, but they come in all forms.

Imagine the following.  The little girl and her mother are shopping.  The little girl spots a rooster (I think it was bronze or something) which she really likes.  She says, in her two-and-a-half year old style, “Mommy, I want cock.”

Mom reminds her daughter that it is called a ‘rooster’.  And, she couldn’t have it.

Louder, “Mommy, I want cock.”  Then she started repeating the word over and over again, as children are wont to do.  People started paying attention.  So, mom picks up the bronze rooster and puts it in the cart.  Not good enough, “I want to hold my cock!”

“It’s a rooster dear.”

Well, without beating the cock to death, suffice it to say that the little girl refused to refer to her new toy as a rooster and that she was very proud of it.  She talked about it all day.  Showed it to as many people as she could, including strangers.

This is a true story.


Average

April 17, 2007

No one likes average, but I’ve got some bad news for most people.  Average is the sum of us all divided by the number of us all and, dammit wouldn’t you know, it turns out that most of us are average.  Otherwise, it wouldn’t be average.  Understand and accept.  Average people have average ideas about how to be less average and their average application of these average ideas only serves to make them appear average, but more unfortunately so.


Some fire engines drove by.

April 17, 2007

Fires roasting tonight.  Someone is homeless tonight.  It’s the same old story.  One man’s glory is another man’s plight.  I don’t want to bore you, but I must implore you, don’t be so uptight.  Tomorrow isn’t so bright.  Everything’s not going to be all right.  Stand up and fight or take flight.  You can’t stop nature, even if you hate your gene-strung might.  Only the strong survive, the rest are filled with fright.


Pink Floyd (clips)

April 12, 2007

I started tonight wanting to find some neat astonomy videos…started with that as my search engine.  One of the first links I found was ‘Astonomy Domine’ performace by Pink Floyd from 1967. 

Some complaint…’terribly loud isn’t it?’  Great Syd Barrett footage.

So now I’m on a kick.  Here’s ‘Careful with that axe Eugene’.

‘Grantchester Meadows’ (live).

Goodnight.


The Bomb of Bombs

April 12, 2007

No matter what you might read in the history books, the real reason the US dropped Fat Man & Little Boy has become apparent to me.  On August 6, 1945, Little Boy (uranium bomb) was dropped on Hiroshima killing roughly 140 000 people.  Three days later, Fat Man (plutonium bomb) was loosed upon Nagasaki with 65 000 casualties.  The survivors were left homeless and hungry to await the onset of radiation sickness.

At this point in the war, US war planes occupied Japanese airspace without opposition.  They were carpet bombing the Japanese economy into powder.  They were unleashing incendiary bombs which created horrid firestorms, levelled cities and killed nearly a million civilians.  Japan was on the verge of collapse.  The only thing keeping the Japanese war effort alive was a fear of national shame & the potential dethroning of Hirohito.

So why the sudden need to drop not one, but two atomic bombs?

Well, the official line is that the Japanese were going to fight to the last man, woman and child.  This would cause many Allied casualties, more than were thought necessary.  After all, the Battle of Okinawa resulted in nearly 100 000 Allied casualties (12 513 dead or missing).  Anything to shorten the war and prevent further bloody battles was a good solution.

Not quite so simple.

The US had broken Japanese diplomatic and military code (PURPLE) and were deciphering all of their communications.  President Truman was advised of a possible political overture which would provide the Japanese with the one condition required to illicit a surrender.  It was recommended he announce that the Emperor of Japan would remain in power if & when Japan surrendered.  Despite the Emperor’s influence over his people, he did not have any real power over the government, so it would only be a superficial gesture.

Truman would have none of it.  The diplomatic route would take too long.  What was the rush?  Well, the Soviets were creating problems in Eastern Europe.  The real sore spot was Poland and the form of government that would be established there after the war.  These were the first chills of the Cold War.  At the same time, the Soviets vouched to join the Allies in the Pacific conflict three months after Germany’s surrender (May 8, 1945).  The US (or Britain for that matter) did not want the Soviets meddling in  Pacific (Chinese, Japanese, etc.) affairs because this would only increase Soviet bargaining power, political influence and all those other wonderful qualities the US wanted to keep for themselves.

Count it out…three months from May 8.  The Americans needed Japan to surrender before August 8, 1945.  End of story.  Otherwise there would be more problems with Comrade Stalin.

August 6 – the first bomb.  Japan does not surrender.

August 8 – the Soviets invade Manchuria (Chinese territory occupied by Japan).  Don’t forget Stalin is also trying to get Chairman Mao into power at the same time.  He needs to get the Soviet army into China under whatever pretense possible.  The Japanese threat in Manchuria was the most viable excuse to invade China.

August 9 – the second bomb.  Japan surrenders.

The crime of all crimes is that in spite of dropping two atomic bombs, the US did not avoid the one event which feared them most.  The Soviets still moved into China and irrevocably altered the political, economic and social history of civilization.  Even more problematic, if Truman had made overtures to Japan regarding the sovereignty of Hirohito and allowed the Japanese an honourable means of extricating themselves from the war at the time he had been advised (late May / early June 1945), then the war would probably have been concluded before August 8.

The bomb was dropped more to deter (instill fear into) the Soviet Union than it was an effort to save Allied lives.


Hey Sugar, get into my belly!

April 10, 2007

Yeah, we’re all nuts in our own strange ways.  I’ve nearly eaten 48 Snickers bars in half as many days.  I wonder why my pants are getting tight.  I am obsessive and compulsive, but not in a disorderly fashion.  Snickers are full of nuts.  I am also a huge fan of nougat.  Not 100% sure what nougat is, but I love it.  Fudge too.  Does anyone remember Bonkers?  Those were crazy!  Hostess Cupcakes, mmmm.  I could eat four of those in less than five minutes.  I don’t anymore, though.  Sweetarts…don’t know how to spell it, packaging never stays on long enough, but I love those.  O Hungry?  Yes sir.  King of chocolate bars (only an opinion!) is the Big Turk.  Turtles would be heir to the throne.  Sourballs, Sour Keys, Sour Patch Kids, Sugar Lollies and chewable Rolaids….cherry flavour….to settle the revolution in my belly.


Coffee, Smoke & A Jay Bird (it might be ugly today)

April 10, 2007

I wake up every morning and drink at least three mugs of coffee.  I don’t sleep in.  I like to wake up early.  Quietest time of the day.  The city still wipes the sleep from its eyes.

Desire is so confused with need.  Somewhere, sometime, there was some psycho-scientific cross-breeding experimental advertising and we muddled it all up.  I have a hard time differentiating my desires and my needs.  Buddha tells me desire is the seed of suffering.  Some say suffering is the root of dissatisfaction.  A salesman would say dissatisfaction is the trunk of consumerism.  All branches of the consumer process spring from and are supported by manufactured dissatisfaction.

If I am unhappy, then I need to change something about my self, not my wardrobe, lodgings or transport, etc.

If everyone’s an idiot, then there’s something wrong with my perspective.

If the world is ugly, then I am ugly.

There is an external reality, but I don’t experience it.  I only get to nibble on the drabs which manage to squeeze through all of my filters.

Cancelled my television subscription.  The world is inside and outside of me, but never on TV.

Time to focus on the filters.


Soothing & Settling

April 10, 2007

I don’t know anything.  Let me be clear.  I don’t know anything other than that I know I don’t know anything.  I am not unintelligent, but I don’t know anything.  It’s not that I can’t understand.  I just don’t know.  I put question marks because I wonder.  I put exclamation points because I fool around.  I don’t expect to be taken seriously.  I don’t expect people to interpret and understand my sense of humour, or lack thereof.  Meh.  It’s all genuine, but I don’t know what genuine is.


The Messiah (part one)

April 8, 2007

What if Judaism holds true and Jesus was a True Prophet of God?  Words of men and history can change many things.  What if the Messiah was alive today and not two thousand years ago?  It makes sense, in my demented mind, that the Messiah would be of more practical use in times of global catastrophe, when all of humanity needs to be motivated into action.  It would make sense for the Creator to protect the creation when it is threatened, as a parent to a child.  It would make sense that a critical mass of people could want something so badly, they could make it happen.

[Devil’s Advocate: Why does Earth, a grain of sand in the Milky Way which in turn is a grain of sand in the Universe, warrant such special attention?]

So, the Messiah is today alive and well.  Where in the world would the Messiah be?  This is of critical strategic importance.  Where would God manifest the Messiah?  Would the Messiah be American?  I am inclined to think that many Americans wouldn’t believe in a Messiah who wasn’t one of their own.  Would the Messiah be born in or around Jerusalem, the Holy Grounds for all three Abrahamic faiths?  What about China or India?  Each country represents one-fifth of the world’s population, not to mention two of it’s dominant religious concepts (Hindu & Buddha).  Would the Messiah be African, born amongst the poorest and most exploited of the planet’s peoples?  Would the Messiah live in the midst of constant danger, where death lurks behind every moment?  Would the Messiah live in abject poverty, never learning to read or write?  Or would the Messiah live in relative comfort, receiving a well-rounded education to become a person of the world?

The only thing I can think of is the Messiah would come from a part of the world which represents peace and good will.  But where is that?  Canada?

The word ‘canada’ originates from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian language, meaning ‘village’ or ‘settlement’.  The concept of ‘the Global Village’ can be sourced back to a Canadian, mainly Marshall McLuhan (or P. Wyndham Lewis).  Canada is the place where people are free to be where they came from.  Canada is all cultures represented in a mosaic of diversity.  A person can learn all about the vast and varied cultures of the world without leaving town.  Canada brings most of the world’s historic superpowers together.  It is both a French and British colony, with a unique & integral relationship with the United States.  I don’t think it would be too difficult for modern civilization to accept a Canadian Messiah.  It might be the only internationally acceptable option, in terms of geo-politics!

Would the Messiah be a man or a woman?  It is an unfortunate truth, but most cultures are still very paternalistic in nature.  The Messiah would be clear on the importance, necessity and equality of all life.  In the simplest sense, male and female can not exist without each other (in complex life forms!).  We are so interdependent as to be one.  All the world must hear & listen to the words of the ideas that will change their minds.  The Messiah’s voice would be that of a man, otherwise there are some who wouldn’t lend an ear.  Sad, but sooth.

What would the Messiah be like, personality wise?


Egospective

April 5, 2007

I don’t stay in touch with people.  I am kind of peculiar in this regard.  I don’t know any of my friends from high school any more.  I stay in touch with two friends from university, but they are very unique people.  Our futures are bound together in a strange way.  Everyone else I encountered in the four years of university is long gone.  Some linger in my memory, a couple in my imagination and the rest aren’t even blank faces.  I am friendly, but I don’t really connect with people.  I don’t become attached to anything.  I am not always present in this reality.  I have a tendency to manufacture others and explore.  I am aware of my separation.  It’s a gainful sacrifice.  I don’t have a lot of friends, but it gives me more time to think.  If I have been given a gift which is meant to be shared, is it not my responsibility to ensure that it is shared with all the zeal I can muster?  So I’m different, neither here nor there.  I am uncertain, randomly unpredictable, frequently manic and always intense.  I am not easy to be around.  I continue to be more of an enigma than a friend.  This is what I am.

For those few connections I make are deep and long-lasting.  They are made precious by their scarcity.  They are as sacred to me as I am to myself.

I took a test about seven years ago and the outcome was both positive and negative.  I wasn’t in the best frame of mind at the time, which is why I volunteered for the test in the first place.  A bad reason to take a test of this type.  I mean, I already knew what the result would be, but I was taking the test as a measure of reassurance, as a means to bolster my waning self-esteem.  The score was positive, but my reaction to one of the comments was not.   I have ‘a responsibility to contribute’ to society.  I had never thought about things in terms like this before.  I didn’t suspect the concept would be introduced to my consciousness through something such as this test.  I did not understand the ramifications of this idea.  At first I was depressed.  What have I done?  What am I supposed to do?  I don’t have a purpose.  Contribute what?  I’m still struggling with these questions.  However, the dark depressive force, which used to pull me down, is being converted into the energy required to overcome the struggle.

I don’t know if I will be triumphant in the long run.  I don’t know for sure that I will fulfill this responsibility and contribute to the welfare of humanity.  I am and will continue to work on the solution.  Maybe the effort is the triumph.

I am no different than anyone else in this regard.  We all have some contribution to offer, whether we are successful or not is a matter of mindfulness.