Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Now that we have done a more-or-less decent job listing all the reasons why we might be feeling down-in-the-dumps lately, outside of that election debacle, let’s talk about optimism.
Facebook friend held in somewhat high regard, former work colleague, and opinionated amateur-pundit curmudgeon who does not identify with any established party (but does seem to fall for just about every line of b.s. the liberals put out) plies me with the Occupy wisdom one more time…character by character copy-paste follows…
i know its a neat dream to think that you might some day be one of those romneys up there making money with vulture capitalism, but the reality is that you wont be.
Yeah, I last heard that many years ago from Tom Leykis back in the mid nineties sometime. He demanded the caller tell him how much money he made per year, as I recall, to which the guy said something like thirty-two? And Leykis followed it up with this bit of “reality”: You will never make more than forty to forty-five, in your LIFE. Ever. Guaranteed.
It struck me as odd, since by the mid-nineties I had already succeeded in doubling my income simply by being promoted to more and more senior and responsible positions. Since then I’ve doubled it again.
I think these people are projecting, really. It’s “a neat dream to think” you can make more money…well…I think “it’s a neat dream” that you’re snagging your hooks into something called “reality” when what you’re really doing is letting go of hope. People who resign themselves from hope, feel this great feverish push to “inspire” others to let go of hope too, and it isn’t hard to see why. They’re like antimatter-cheerleaders or something.
I have got to get this properly blogged, sometime, somehow, somewhere…right here is as good a place as any.
If the culture of entitlement is illustrated by 47% of the population believing they have a right to live off the country’s teat, then what could be termed a “culture of pseudo-idealism” is the mindset that gets its self-worth from assisting them to do that.
Pseudo-idealism is a term coined by the Australian biologist Jeremy Griffith to describe apparently charitable behavior that on scrutiny is revealed as selfish, because the giver is engaging in it only so that he or she can feel good about him- or herself. It is a characteristic commonly found among the left, and it constitutes what the author Geoffrey Wheatcroft recognized as the left’s inherent dishonesty.
Mmmm, hmmmmm…we’ve noticed this ourselves, and we have called it GoodPerson Fever. But that isn’t all there is to the malady, there is much, much more:
Those suffering from this particular psychosis, then, naturally enough, become preoccupied with seeking relief, in particular through pseudo-idealism or “celebrating” victimhood. Rossiter says, “What the liberal mind is passionate about is a world filled with pity, sorrow, neediness, misfortune, poverty, suspicion, mistrust, anger, exploitation, discrimination, victimization, alienation and injustice.”
Griffith, while presenting an explanation for the human condition which he claims reconciles the differences between left- and right-wing politics at a fundamental biological level, is even more explicit in drawing the connection between dysfunction (what he terms “upset”) and this culture of pseudo-idealism. He says, “With the levels of upset in the world becoming extreme, relief-hunting became a huge industry, to the extent that we became, as sociologist Frank Furedi recognized, ‘a society that celebrates victimhood rather than heroism.'”
Answering the idea that pseudo-idealists are just trying to make a better world, Griffith says bluntly, “What rubbish — it’s a selfish attempt to gain relief from the agony of the human condition!”
The challenge is to understand this impulse well enough to resist it; otherwise, its carriers will lead us down a path from which we won’t recover — all the while, in sickly sweet tones, claiming the moral high ground.
Since childhood I’ve lived in fear of having to claim for my biographical outline, something like the following: Born, against the odds, on a planet capable of sustaining life; in the United States; around books; at a time when computers were just starting to be miniaturized and made viable for casual home use; essentially, given a handsome livelihood on a silver platter by a whole menagerie of happy coincidences, and then arbitrarily limited myself to some number of thousands of dollars per year, no more than that, dying in relative squalor. What a pathetic little wasted life that would be. A living, real-life fable of artificially self-imposed, entirely unnecessary limits.
And so, for my own part, I don’t accept it. I refuse. I reject it utterly, absolutely, and all the time, that’s what I think you should do. I’m still, to this day, dreaming of the massive seven-building mansion with the split-level swimming pool and the clear windows that turn opaque on a hot summer day when you clap your hands twice, and the Bugatti Veyron parked underneath in a concealed garage. It’s still on my list of projects.
But maybe I won’t ever get there? Well, I’ll admit that’s a possibility. But I don’t dwell on that much because, after all, who freakin’ cares. I’m going to work toward it nevertheless, and while I do, my energy is focused on: Let’s just see, for shits & grins, how close I get. I like this approach, it has served me pretty well. When approaches serve me well, I stick with ‘em.
Some people might find that silly. Those same people, if I were to take the Tom Leykis approach and say, “my highest income plus twenty percent, I’ll never make that in my life and I better get used to it” — they wouldn’t find that silly. Okay, so if that is the exchange then I have to ask: What sort of pussy goes for that? Give up my seven-building dream house on eighty acres, to earn the adoration of a bunch of…let’s call them what they are…losers?? Why would I do that? Other people with less talent, have lived in bigger houses. And it’s a cool house. The Veyron has a turntable under it.
Mark Steyn is still right: Reality doesn’t need to win the Electoral College.
Now, that last part is not quite so optimistic. But…it’s real. And it shows the folly of trying to embrace that other kind of reality, that Leykis reality that says you’ll never make more than X. The question that emerges is: What is the point? You’re going to be “real” by admitting you can’t manage things for yourself, in spite of all the advantages you have been given by way of these happy cosmic accidents. And once you achieve this “reality” it’s going to amount to…you require and deserve all sorts of entitlements that are supposed to grow and grow and grow, while the real reality says, eh not so fast bub. The gravy train is coming to an end. What happens then? Who’s embracing reality then?
All this comes to a common focal point: Chasing pessimism for sake of clinging to reality, there’s something to be said for that. I’m a big fan of that, actually. But only if you’re going after a “real” reality. And there is the real sticking point. If you’re just letting go of your aspirations and making a point of living with your drudgery, to look sophisticated and cool and fashionably sullen and trench-coaty, I’m afraid you have to go down that road all by yourself, or at least without me to keep you company. I’m a fan of pessimism-for-sake-of-reality when it involves bringing things. Packing some jumper cables or a flashlight. Testing the ropes and carabiner clips. Extra batteries. More spare inner tubes. Such precautions are grounded in a vision for things going wrong; they are grounded in pessimism. But I am good with that. It all fits into that “don’t die” thing.
When people invest their emotions in such a thing simply to limit their options, it loses its luster with me. Prepare for the worst, but keep hoping for the best. That’s what successful people do, and really, what’s the price to be paid for that? That’s the real question, and from all I’ve seen, I don’t believe there’s an adequate answer. Just potential friendships with people who don’t make very good friends, that’s about it, am I right?
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