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...
Saw a graphic that made the case of a third-party, based on the prevailing sentiment, which is in a state of ascension and is probably correct, that Hillary Clinton is going to be the democrat candidate in 2016 and Chris Christie will represent the Republicans. That, so goes the litany, is not much of a choice.
I find this to be the most persuasive argument I’ve heard lately. Of course it has become a quad-annual ritual for the nation to heave an exasperated sigh of “are these two really the best we can do??” And to mean it. But there is something else going on here. Conquest Rule: “Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.” Christie and Clinton, each, achieved their rise to the top by going left. It’s difficult to knowledgeably state what exactly are Christie’s principles, his “hill I wanna die on” positions. The second amendment certainly isn’t one of them. As for Hillary, she hasn’t been doing any compromising with the other side whatsoever, just like she hasn’t done anything else. I’m still lost on why anyone has any faith in her at all. I wouldn’t hire the woman to sweep my sidewalk. Her entire list of qualifications seems to abruptly stop right after “I’m such an unpleasant bitch that my husband wants to fuck women not much older than our daughter.” That’s vulgar, but is it inaccurate, or incomplete? Something else there that I’m missing? She’s had two decades to bring it to my attention.
There are other commonalities between Clinton and Christie, that strongly suggest neither one of the individuals is the real problem. Each has a fan base, but not a single soul within the fan base can say: “I support [name] because s/he is exceptionally successful and skilled at [blank].” That is not saying, I hasten to add, that they’re actually unskilled. I’m sure they can both do things I can’t do. But you can’t make a logical case that our faith should be placed in either one of them. Hillary Clinton won’t save the country from its downslide. Neither will Chris Christie. Nobody thinks so. No one has any reason to. So how come they’re the likely champions?
It’s not right to take the old us-versus-them dodge, and opine in conspiratorial tones about power brokers huddling in smoky cloakrooms, elevating their candidates we despise to some lofty precipice from which they can be foisted off on us against our will. The hoi polloi are participating in this. Clinton and Christie can claim to have achieved something resembling genuine popularity, and they’d both be right to do so. Therein lies the paradox. Supposedly, we despise career politicians, especially right now. So how come the champions of our age are exactly that? Someone, somewhere is not following through in deed what they’re bitching about in word. And these two are not the source of the problem.
For the longest time I have noticed that when I form opinions that get me alienated, the opinions are built around values and those values, far from being unpopular, are actually things everybody claims to want — it seems I start marching down my own little bunny-trail merely by following through and sticking to my knitting. I’ve also noticed, over the years, it isn’t just me. It seems we all appreciate certain values, roughly half of us follow through on those values in establishing our opinions about real-world issues, the other half of us play games with paradoxes. Like: Women should have choices; they should not be allowed to work at Hooters. Or: Men should not have opinions about abortions, but men having opinions about men who have opinions about abortion, that’s fine. Or: We need this economy to get stronger and better, so we’ve got to make it expensive and impractical for businesses to hire people, and for that matter, for anyone to buy anything. Or: We’ve got to think about the world our children will inherit, so let’s saddle them with trillions of dollars of debt.
The prevailing notion has shown a bad habit of siding with the self-contradictory nonsense. The reasons for this are bound to be numerous and complicated, but the single reason that draws my attention now is simple. The prevailing notion has a way of following auditory volume. And it is in the nature of people who spew paradoxical nonsense to talk louder because, well, I suppose they need to. They talk loudly, they talk often, they insist on getting the last word all of the time, and they refuse to concede any point, no matter how insignificant it may be, no matter how undeniable, even for the sake of hypothetical argument. Well, those are the ingredients, it turns out. Spew the nonsense but make it consistent nonsense, all hours of the day, from many directions, concede nothing. The ethereal “everywhere” mindless mindset will follow along, like some hungry lost duckling chasing a trail of crackers or something.
So that solves part of the mystery. But there is another. If we have simply stopped caring about positive things, like: faith; strength; power; productivity; ability; discipline; sense of commitment; good judgment; life — should our actions not be elevating those things, by accident if not by intent, roughly half the time? It takes more than apathy to bring harm more often than that fifty percent. Once we’re past sixty or seventy percent, we’re in “fight territory”; someone must be sabotaging, which means, someone must care. The very best that can be presumed is that whoever it is, has lost conscious understanding of their own motives. But the motives are there, you can take that to the bank, there’s definitely a fight going on somewhere.
Now, I’m not entirely sure what the percentage would be, if I were to do a detailed analysis and meticulously measure: How often, lately, does a national, regional or local politician’s proposed fix for some vexing problem, have to do with some kind of constraint against freedom? But it’s sure to be more than ninety percent. I damn sure haven’t heard much of our so-called leaders offer much by way of, “this good thing we want more people to do, let’s make it EASIER.” Oh, except maybe ObamaCare, I suppose there’s that. Lots of rhetoric about making it easier to get covered. But, 1) that doesn’t really count, since “get covered” has to do with fleecing money out of somebody else, who would part with the lucre only involuntarily, and 2) …I don’t really need to state it. Something to do with promises vs. deliveries.
This is not a democrat-party thing. It’s the times in which we live. For some reason, every problem that comes along, our solution always begins with the words “make a new rule requiring/banning…” We seem to have collectively forgotten that it doesn’t have to be this way.
Problem: Bob doesn’t make enough money. Common sense solution: Bob volunteers for more overtime, or ups his skills — preferably the latter. Our solution: A busy patchwork of new “social safety nets,” and laws, and regulations, and anti-discrimination restrictions, making it so sad sack Bob can gain “access” to whatever perks are enjoyed by anyone who has more money.
Problem: Alice is a fatass. Common sense solution: Alice puts the fork down, and gets more exercise. Our solution: Re-program the culture, challenging these retrograde, patriarchal “notions of a woman’s ideal body style.” In other words, fat worship. Leave the actual problem entirely unsolved, since that would require self-sacrifice and good, old-fashioned work. Let’s go ahead and shave a decade off Alice’s projected life span. Think locally, act globally. Change the opinions of millions of strangers, so Alice can stay fat.
Everything’s like this, lately. The individual with the bad habits should be able to keep his or her bad habits. It’s the rest of society that has to be re-tooled, re-aligned, re-programmed. If there’s a smudge on the wall that sticks out, solve the problem by flinging dirt and shit at the whole wall so it doesn’t stick out.
I’m not sure of the original motivation behind this. Just plain old laziness? Or the thrill of making new rules? The “When do we get to the fun part, where I tell everyone what to do and then they do it” thing.
Probably a combination of both…
But this is an indoctrination that has been in the making, for the better part of a century if not more than a century. There is now an ingrained revulsion against things we know, inwardly, make us good. Better. Stronger. Faster. Bigger. More confident. That revulsion is not natural. There is also an appeal involved in things that diminish us. Drive smaller cars. Use less fuel. Take more holidays. Do less work. Have fewer children. Stop reading this, stop reading that. Take in less information. Know fewer things. That appeal is also not natural.
Between the unnatural revulsion against growing and becoming stronger, and the unnatural appeal toward self-injury and self-weakening, I think it is the appeal toward weakness that is more dangerous. It is more sultry and seductive. We rationalize it as a reduced consumption against some finite resource: By working less I can spend more time with my family, by buying less gas I can drive more miles, I can’t read that because life is too short. But then a funny thing happens, or rather, doesn’t happen: We don’t do the “more.” The guy who wants to spend more time with the family burns it all away on Candy Crush or Angry Birds. The more-miles are never driven, productively or otherwise.
We have come to see it as a prized asset: The coveted “reduced footprint.” The living of less life.
To be sure, there are the glimmerings of a certain sensible and sound logic about it. But then, when it’s time for a presidential election we want to bitch about our uninspiring leaders & leadership candidates. We speak of their selection in passive-voice tones, carefully avoiding any acknowledgement of who did the picking. That is to be expected. Deep down, I think everybody realizes the obvious: That living less life leads to less life. It leads to death, and decidedly mediocre leaders all too ready to pull us in that direction. Non-leaders for non-people living non-life. Weakness worshipers.
Our problem is not that someone else is doing the picking. Our problem is a failure to comprehend the true ramifications of the picking, which we’re doing ourselves, until long after the picking has been done.
But you know what? We can turn around. There’s always time to reverse course. It all starts with envisioning ourselves as being worthy. Can’t progress past that beginning milestone, until we, as a society, reach it.
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