The Victors


Images of a sailor kissing, well, “whoever” in the streets of York City shortly after announcing WWII had been won (or in modern terms, “ended”) spring up in my mind. The Greatest Generation, to use Tom Brokaw’s term, had forcibly escorted Adolph Hitler, The Nazis, and essentially every Bad Guy we still see in high budget Hollywood films today to the turnstiles of Hell. If you’re a Catholic, to Spiritual Sensitivity Training. And The United States, in pop culture and in public schools; in private schools, and in the textbooks of required history for students in the Ivy League’s best universities, has written a detailed account of how that came to be. According to…well, the victors. Us. (It should be noted, a physicist recently proved, according to the press, that this photo was taken two hours before any victory had been declared).
History is written by people who write history books, and more so, by the people who tell the upcoming generation what exactly has happened in the past–whether it is by books, by speech, or pre-natal conditioning.
I read and watch accounts of any story with WWII as the setting with great interest, and I doubt that will ever change. It’s been forged on the soul of our nation as the Civil War had formerly been, and probably exceeded the gross value if you are only counting exchanged dollars. It’s an unavoidable triumph every school-purple penguin should know.
Why are you looking at me like that?
As I said, history is written by the victors.
If media coverage like editorials, movies, plays, popular literature (if the press overwhelmingly backs a book by advertising because that a book is on it’s already overwhelmingly popular bestseller list, it’s media i.e., journalists) counts for history, I still agree, and even more so.
Comparing that postwar press coverage to post-anything of significance press coverage we see today, I’d call it recent; nay, extremely to-the-nanosecond history. In fewer words, I’d call it propaganda. In the case of WWII, I believe it was honest, deserved propaganda. Ordinate. That example has been siezed upon, twisted, plucked out, and swollen to a micro-economy.
Recently, I read about two paragraphs of a story involving the remains of a Confederate soldier’s remains being exumed and reburied on the grounds that soldier was a racist. He might have been. He might have been sexist, too, since there were no women fighting for the confederacy. Th e only certainty is that anyone who digs up a total stranger because they might have been racist and also completely concurrent with their time has no life of their own.
In actual fact, I don’t care much about the confederacy, because I’m in 2015. I still care about good stories, though.
Something I care even more about is that everyone I share citizenship with stop “making me look like a friggin’ idiot” and to also avoid being “bodagit[s]”.
If you reflect on the things over which our nation has been so enraptured, so…words fail me. We have dug up a man who died in battle over 150 years ago based on our presumptions concerning his views on what we call “race”. Back in those days, it was pretty common for people to have established terms for a demographic so that they could understand one another without starting a riot. That’s not the case anymore.
The Confederate flag means Bo and Luke Duke, but mostly Daisy to me. Maybe some MOPAR. If you are a Catholic, that should be read “POPAR”. But it doesn’t mean slavery. It means we are being riled up by nothing except contrived conflicts which allow us to ignore our conflicts.
If “A” is a victim of white oppression, can I “B” also apply for victimhood based on the genetic makeup of people I have never met and are now dead? Some may call it “white privelege”, but in either case, this is determined by dead people we have never met.
Consider the things this nation is divided over. Marriage, Money, people who are here illegally and how we ought to be polite to them as members of their community murder or rape members of our community…these are things the previous generations of the human race would have considered a no-brainer prior to…well, it has been somewhat imperceptible, hasn’t it?
What I’m getting at is that we should all examine whatever it is we feel most strongly about and make sure we know everything about it there is to know, if “it” is so much of our identity. Sometimes, that means finding out the facts, and the facts include using your brain on things written a long time ago.


Facts Submitted to a Candid World

Thomas Jefferson authored the final draft of of the Declaration of Independence from Britain, and this document can be viewed in full via a link at the end of my editorial.  I’m focusing on the list of accusations brought to bear on King George, and the reasons given to justify the colonies in their decision to part ways with him.

I will not insert much of my own impression into this post, but I do want to suggest that after reading these accusations and giving careful consideration to how they might be applied to our present situation as a governed people, the conclusions form themselves more than they have to be “looked for”.

While reading this, it is prudent to make good use of associations over 250 years through analogies.  Analogies can never be exactly identical, otherwise they would be the same thing and not a comparison.  The differences separating two objects of comparison in an analogy are more important than their common aspects. If I thought I’d found something remarkable in an analogy, in this list,  I stopped to make a note of it.  Then I went back and thought critically, without prejudice, whether or not my assumption was too liberal.  Sometimes I had been too eager to connect King George with something or someone in the present, but most of the time, I couldn’t get away from believing my comparisons were accurate.  That’s because for the most part, the only words needing to be altered were names of people.         But if you are into this sort of thing, give it a think, and wonder how we could use the past to take hold of the present.  – Bobby

“He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”

via Declaration of Independence – Text Transcript.

The Sum of Human Suffering

You can’t manufacture feelings.

Most people who have been in a few romantic relationships know this.  At least, I have discovered it. Perhaps I have borderline personality disorder.  But hear me out for a couple of paragraphs.

More than once, I’ve come across some gal who shows a genuine interest in having a serious relationship with me, and even though I saw every reason to feel optimistic I’d feel the same way…I couldn’t.  Not because they were unloveable, or suddenly became unattractive to me (a fatal mistake by the way: never, ever date someone who doesn’t arouse your animal nature.  There is no getting away from it, and it’s not shameful.  You just have to remember there is more to it than that.)- it just somehow never developed into a full attraction for me.  But I’ve been on both sides of the fence, so I’m pretty sure I don’t have borderline personality disorder.  I’m hopeful it’s far less serious.

Using the Personal Vietnam we call “dating” as a springboard to my topic, I’m finally aware that I haven’t been irritated with myself for not really caring about the tragedies going on in the world.  What I mean by caring is “feeling a genuine, acute sense of grief or outrage”.  I’ve acknowledged, when I have the time to distract myself from the awful things that do affect me, that indeed, the world is corrupted and it is horrible that all this chaos is happening.  But I actually am irritated by something else.

When you engage in discussion boards on media sites, you are entering a world of toddlers who know how to use google, can parrot ideas, and sometimes mimic the framework of an argument they have watched on television.   But there is no dialogue; no debate.  If you’re lucky, people will be polite. But that is rare—as in tar-tar rare.  Many people develop something even worse than “rush hour mentality”.  It’d be less time-consuming if there was an emoticon for a rude gesture, and that’s all people like that needed to be content, and thus quit contributing incoherent strings of thought.

I guess I am being “a trifle naïve” to expect any different.  But what really stands out as odd is how vigorous and enthusiastic most commentators are in these forums are concerning events they have no grasp of whatsoever, or if they do, can’t formulate the words without calling someone an obscene name.  I wanted to enjoy it; I like hearing both or all sides, concerning news of the world.  It’s interesting.  This “discussion” forum, I am resigned to admit, is not a place for that.  Still, why is all the anger and the personal ridicule, the cut-and-paste-intellect belittlement so rampant?  It’s as if people claim the natural right to have a opinion that everyone will agree on, and in addition to that, have a need to show that their compassion for the human race knows no bounds and goes deeper than the abyss.

Pain and suffering is bad.  It hurts.  But I do think that no one has an obligation to “feel” anything about tragedies in the news.  It is sad, but I have a very hard time believing someone halfway across the world would be able to manufacture any grief whatsoever over any personal hardship in my life, nor would I want them to. It’d be disingenuous.   I wouldn’t expect it.  And I have those times.  Deaths in the family, for example, within a matter of a couple of months.  Crippling illnesses.  If you live on Earth, you know because every single person experiences unavoidable terror and usually has to deal with anticipation of the next round of mourning in the spaces between.  It’s not cold detachment from humanity that frees us from needing to attempt some kind of emotional alchemy every time a plane crashes in Malaysia, much less is the need for anyone to give it a moment’s notice.  The people around you; the ones you love, those are the ones who merit the gut-wrenching lamentations of your soul when things go wrong.

We as humans do not have the capacity to feel any more than the worst amount of pain one individual can ever possibly feel.  I hope no one ever actually does, but if that happened, we will have reached the limit.

Here’s a sort of example.  In a nursery, there are usually a lot of babies, and babies poop their diapers at a fairly regular, sometimes industrious pace.  Depending on events of the day, the events that cause babies to digest things at warp speed and howl each time they complete the process, one day might include a disproportionate amount of…matter to dispose of. You can measure that, and from what I understand there is some kind of suffering experienced by the workers in that nursery.  But feelings of sadness or outrage or of any emotion that cuts into your heart like a dagger can’t be conjured, and it shouldn’t be attempted.  You can rest assured,plenty of people who have a stake in the matter have that under control.  They are devastated.  Twenty people in one room feeling the “sum of suffering” can never equal twenty times the amount of pain a person can feel, unlike the aforementioned diaper situation.

This is an extreme, and I wonder how much the things we pay attention to that are in the middle somewhere, the “important” or “concerning” current events a lot of us fret over really merit any attention at all, if the least of your actual acquaintances need some minor support in any way.

I know that lately, I have been focusing on making a world without media coverage as much of a reality as I can so I can focus on the things I can affect.  It’s turned out to be a comfort; not because I don’t have to hear it, but because I suddenly see many things I can touch, smell and hear that demand my full attention and resources.  In no way am I an escapist.  For now, though, hearing about the “global outcry” is something that has to wait until I have taken care of any faint weeping or favors asked within hearing distance.  That’s usually at the end of the day.  This link is an example of what I mean.  It’s what our leaders are for, our national representatives, this global consoling and empathy. We have enough to keep us busy for now at home.

The Abolition Of Agency

Just a few quick thoughts.  I recently deleted my facebook account, which I hear puts me in a category of people (namely, those who make a proactive move to rip themselves apart from social media) more likely than others to be a sinister individual.  I really did it because I found it was distracting spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and probably the most alienating utility I used.

All that aside, it has given me the chance to do things I wouldn’t have.  I read the New Testament gospels four times and am now into Acts.  Of course, I’d always “read” the Bible, but now I find that I’ve only been surgically extracting pre-existing suppositions, which is lazy and flippant, intellectually.  Just as flippant humor is not funny, when people assume a joke has been made and without knowing why, laugh weakly to show they are “getting it”.  I’ve found that in groups during studies, when talking about the scriptures, we talk about things people have talked about, written into an outline, and make pre-determined, vague commentary without divulging a speck of our thoughts.  Sometimes without even being able to apply the subject at hand to any immediate circumstance; in the worst case, we all talk about different, unrelated miseries and get nowhere.  So I have come to think wiping the board clean of “Study Guides” and for myself, everything about Christianity down to the word itself.  And subjecting that word to the same scrutiny as I would in choosing a woman to date seriously is vital; for finding a mate is less important than being spiritually mature.  If I’d used,in the past, any analytic skills I’ve developed or energy to read for comprehension on this instead of on cinema, fiction, people I know—I’d be better off.

The second thing I’ve had time for is realizing the world around me in a way I haven’t for years.  I mean, the “State of Affairs”, how people think in this country in groups, and how we view our morality.  It’s really been a shock to notice how civil conversation is almost the 100% norm, and yet, it is mostly about things that aren’t even worth talking about.  This seems to indicate that people are just aching to speak their minds, and somehow, can’t.  So when they do, it’s via facebook, and the need to express their urgent, undeniable needs or desires comes out in bursts of incoherent, out of context  hit and run paragraphs. But not always.  Sometimes, it’s very well thought out, and raises the suspicion whatever the assertion being made has been rehearsed.  But it is rare that a conversation, the kind where three or more people project sound waves at one another with their mouths takes place.  More on “using words so that we can understand what we’re talking about” later.

Sabbaticals and The Art of Not Falling Down

Opportunities to lie on my back, sweating from pain-induced fever are few and far between, so when those golden windows of a potential creative deluge (okay….hail-sized sleet) roll around, all I can do is ride the wave and possibly take a painkiller.

It affords me the chance to not merely write, but to think about what I can write about.

Isolation is a good thing sometimes, if you know when you cross the line into agoraphobia.  The hard part: my best isolation is when the difference between hermitus temporalis and agoraphobia become almost indistinguishable.  I think I know the difference as of tonight, so this is a time to share an idea I’m plotting.

****The author has taken leave of the keyboard for a few moments to sanitize his hands, several doorknobs, the pizza delivery-agent, and to change his socks three times in a row*******

   I’m back.  The one thing I most credit my parents doing for me, in my early childhood, is their willingness to let me explore, and be aware enough of my reactions to whatever I was exploring to see what sort of water I could be a duck in.  Or on.  Piano lessons at 5 years old gave me a narrow window to climb through. If I had tried at 10, I would not have had the patience to understand how to push myself physically to reach my technical (personal) limits, which turn out to be, in summary, mutability.  As Vladymir Horowitz put it when asked why he pushed himself, “to prove [myself] I [could] do this.”  Patience and capacity to absorb language peaks around that age.  Having never been one to dive into “boring, difficult things” as an adult, I’m glad it was forced upon me.

The piano I have has 88 keys and it is the first one I’ve had which can allow real, worthwhile practice and a re-learning of how to play piano.  It’s been so enjoyable!  Not quite like remembering how to ride a bicycle, but the learning curve is not from square one.  It’s more like getting back in shape after a long bout of depression and eating doritos on the couch for ten years.  A pain in the rear, but never a risk of success provided the will to do it is present.

Maybe in a way, gimpization of the knee is good fortune.  I can’t go far, and where I can go…I look silly and it is only a few hundred feet.

It’s also been time for realizing a full-blown, page-one to page end realization of a “The Following is based on actual events” book.  With chapters.  If I had a typewriter, a second story, wood-floored bedroom devoid of furniture, spare a simple unfinished desk and typewriter facing an open window with a view to an oak tree, that’s what setting I’d write from.  A writer has to take the computer, RV, livestock, and farmland along with the twofold identity of the ego’s residual self image of bohemian artist/dirt farmer hybrid, so I will.  Despite my tendency to embrace sentimental nostalgia, I’m not living in the era of romantic, primitive, mechanically typed literature.

Just the same, it’s honest routine to play (or try to play) a nocturne before typing a few notes or paragraphs of a book before bedtime–the music is digital and so are the characters in the sentences, but there is no real difference.  Maybe someday I’ll be nostalgia.

The book is a chronicle of innocent ignorance of love’s potential to wreck a person. My inner adviser correctly dissuaded me from calling it “Chicken Soup For Self-Pity Enthusiasts”, and once again from titling it “Men Are From Earth;Women…(full stop)”.  So I don’t have a title.

Even though three years of love gone bad is a short span of time by most standards, the intensity of the desire to keep it, and the sincerity of my belief in it’s validity is all I have to use as a true reference.

Complete honesty is attainable, since “Bobby”,”Denise”, “John”, “Kim”, “Amy”, and other names are so common, I don’t have to change any of them.  I know more than one person with each name to this day, and none of them are the actual characters.  The events can’t be proven, but it’s not a body of evidence.  It’s likely not even something anyone will enjoy reading, but I am very much enjoying writing it.

Phonetical for Eugenics

Astounded! I was taken aback at the grasp my Grandpa has on Urbonics, or so I was briefly. I answered a call from him earlier this evening, as I was preparing to be fixin’ to be about to wind down. He wanted to know if I wanted to go look at “The Cow” with him. Knowing that this was not really a question, I re-dressed over my bed-clothing and waited.

Now, a cow is not “The Cow” unless it has a medical issue of some kind; in this case, ready to give birth. Otherwise, “a cow” is a temporary title, and will quickly revert to a part of “the cows”.

Grandpa told me The Cow was “ballin'” with the calfs. (you don’t say calves). I pictured a bovine baby-shower of some kind whilst wondering when he had started listening to hip-hop, and who had told him to.
I had flawed reasoning. He had said “bawlin'”, which is entirely different; but admittedly, a relief. This Cow had gone in seclusion; a sign she was ready to pop out another calf. However, her return to the herd indicated she had changed her mind about it. His concern was that she *had* given birth, and the young whippersnapper had perished on the spot, causing her great emotional distress. Thus, her bawlin’ was a coping mechanism, a plea for some calf to meet her maternal anticipation which had been been cruelly halted by fate.
It was a great comfort to witness that she was merely yearning for motherhood, and knew that the time was technically overdue. But so it is with humans, and you don’t see women fretting about yet-to-be-birthed babies, do you? The wit-less behemoth was merely anxious, and venting her frustrations by attempting a brief adoption. Bawlin’ is a sign of nervous unrest with these animals. As wide as a garage door, with her udder robust and plump as a zeppelin, her physique indicates she is probably propelling the newborn wellington into the world as I type.
Anyway, I was glad to go search, because how many guys my age have a grandpa with the mental fortitude and baffling physical resilience to search for a pregnant animal after the dinner-bell has long stopped ringing and the coyotes are thinking about waking up? It’s almost embarrassing.

A Produkt of Publik Education

%d bloggers like this: