dunniteowl's post-modern philosophical musings

The More Familiar I Become, the Stranger I Get

dunniteowl

dunniteowl
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Supreme Commander of the Universe
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Bio
Matriculated from: School of Hard Knocks and Diablo Valley College (AA in Communications Tech.) Done all kinds of things for work. Painted sidewalk curb address numbers, sold shoes, USAF Radio Electronics Tech, Semiconductor Tech for AMD, Intel & SEEQ Technologies, worked at Stanford Linear Accelerator upgrading motherboards for Beam Current Magnet Control, IBM building "Industrial Strength" Voice Activated Dialing networks, server systems and intranets, sold greeting cards, nuts, grapes, newspapers and found pets, janitored, worked in fast foods, pizza and data entry. I even clerked at a 7-11 and also ran a big searchlight for those events at night. Also worked at a zoo, where I pretty much did everything you can do at a zoo other than be eaten. Some of those critters do bite. I write and have been since 1972. I have written poetry, fantasy, science fiction and horror stories. I also have come to enjoy essays relating to human experience, the future and being good stewards of this planet. I believe I'm funny sometimes, so chuckle occasionally at my weird jokes and allusions. Very into science and technology, love logic and reason. For some reason, though, I am also a certified Shaman. I can cast horoscopes and read Tarot cards as well (from the expressions on people's faces and their responses, I am apparently quite accurate most of the time.) Love photography: You can find me here: http://s52.photobucket.com/albums/g31/dunniteowl/ and here: http://www.viewbug.com/my-account/photos (if those don't work properly, just go to the main pages and do a search for 'dunniteowl' I am the only one on the internet as far as I know.) I also love game design, starting with board wargames, card games and RPGs. Please comment if you feel like it. I don't care about being "tipped" and don't even really understand it as a function. I signed up on Open Salon so I could have a wider outlet for my writing and hope that you find it of interest at all. This bio is a reflection of things to come, so be prepared.

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JANUARY 19, 2012 10:27PM

The Keep It Simple Society

Rate: 17 Flag

You know, we hear lots of ideas and advice about how things should be done, how finances, laws, ethics and whatever else you want to toss in there really ought to be done – instead of the way it is now.  Right behind these ideas and opinions, or right before them, when they are uttered, you hear, “It’s just common sense…”

 

Now aside from my cynical view that there ain’t no such thang as common sense, here’re some ideas about what Engineers call the K.I.S.S. method.  KISS stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid.  Now just, because my overall experiences, indicate there’s no such thing as common sense, that doesn’t mean we can’t bring to the table some sensical notions of what ought to be the way things are done .

 

With that in mind, here are some suggestions of things I think we could do that might make things better, without being too complicated for everyone to follow:

 

1)      Laws shouldn’t require you to be a lawyer to understand the law.  In other words, can’t we have them in plain English and without all these codicils, parts A and B and subsections 4A part C?  How much verbiage is necessary to make a law so complex that we’re bound to break it?

 

2)      When a Bill or Law is being proposed into Congress, let’s say: You can’t keep adding stuff to it so that someone else will vote on it.  In plain language, we need Congress to vote on ONE THING at a time in their bills.  No addendums, earmarks, riders, subsections (see number 1 above) or additions.  The bill is a single subject concept, not a catchall basket for whatever can be slipped in without the public noticing.

 

3)      Let’s put our mouths where our money is when it comes to the Constitution.  If someone claims they are for straight up conservative Constitutional values, then let’s call them on it.  The Constitution is in plain language for the most part, even though the framers of it were all erudite and learned men of standing. 

 

       They established a reasonable set of relatively vague standards that were broadly written so that they covered a lot of ground in each area.  Don’t take my word for it, read the damn thing once in a while.  You don’t think it’s worth your time to read up and get jiggy with the document upon which your country is founded?  Read it.

 

4)      Hey you Christians out there (and you Mormons, Jews and Muslims, too.)  Let me break it down for you.  Jesus was a sandal wearing, longhaired, bearded radical who preached against the establishment, the status quo and while he also admonished us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, he had simple things to say about taxation.  Render unto Ceasar that which belongs to Ceasar, in answer to whether or not the Jews should pay the Empire’s tax.  And don’t forget you capitalist mongers of greed, he tossed out the moneychangers from the temple and he wasn’t some doe-eyed wimp – he was a carpenter without power tools.  Dude had muscles, okay?

 

5)      When you’re driving.  Get off the damn phone, quit reading maps, stop putting on your makeup, quit texting and Googling shit while you’re doing it.  For that matter, don’t be like those idiots in the movies, looking at their passenger while having a conversation.  It’s just stupid behavior that endangers you and everyone around you.

 

        My dad, he didn’t have a lot of education, but he had this part right: “Son, you have to remember that a car at 70 mph is a guided missile on wheels and you’re the guidance system.”  Keep your damn eyes on the road – if you think you’re representative of the other drivers out there, then if you text, you should expect some other idiot out there who thinks they’re a better driver than the other idiots out there to run right into you with his or her guided missile while texting.  Consider that an anti-missile warning system.

 

6)      Respect is earned and it must be given to be received.  In other words, take that extra half second of your Oh-so-precious time and say please, thank you, you’re welcome, and look behind you as you open or close a door to be sure you’re not going to shut it in someone else’s face.  Treat others with the respect you expect and guess what, as likely as not, you’ll find it returned in good measure.

 

7)      Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.  You’ll find, as expected, they don’t fit so good.  It’s not the shoe size, it’s the situation. 

 

        You think friends are worth having?  Then when they are going through tough times, don’t be Thomas Paine’s “summer soldier” who only fights and is loyal when the weather is clement.  You keep your distance with the friends who are having a tough go of it, then when it’s your turn, you may find that those friends may be more than happy to give as good as they got. 

 

        In such a situation, you may find that nothing is as horrible to feel as getting nothing from those friends you had abandoned when they needed your help.  Nicolo Machiavelli's "The Prince" has some wise information in this regard.

 

8)      Money is not the reason to live.  Money is an end to a means, not the end in and of itself.  It’s great to have savings and it’s great to have enough to spend on all the things that make your life more pleasurable.  I think we all would like to have a bit more of the finer things in life.  The difference is that many of us would rather not compromise our ethics and principles for a nicer couch or a new car.

 

If money were to stop existing at midnight tonight, things would still get done, people would still eat, work, play and love.  When it comes right down to it, money is not a thing – it’s an idea.  Paper money, based on a gold standard, a silver standard or if we’re just equating them with beads, shells, arrowheads or shiny pieces of metal found in a placer bed is just an instrument to allow us to trade one thing for another based on some agreed upon rate of exhange.

 

So let’s stop thinking of how important money is and start thinking about how important the things we do are.  The flint knapper with four thousand arrowheads in his cave is not rich.  He’s wasting his potential.  The flint knapper only benefits when his items of value are being used by others and being traded by him for things he doesn’t have.  In this world today, in this global economy, the same thing holds true.  Sitting on piles of money, whether digital, paper, bullion, real estate or Political Campaign Button collections is wasted potential.  It’s not what you got, it’s what you do with it.

 

9)      A nation that cannot produce what it needs is always going to be a “beggar” nation.  Let’s put it in practical terms.  Manufacturing and production are not supposed to be farmed out to other, cheaper countries.  You must have a manufacturing base to produce your own items.  In times of trouble, be they economic, natural disaster or war, having your own ability to produce and manufacture what you need allows you to stand up and take care of yourself.

 

Imagine our current situation with the wars we fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Without entering into political reasoning, ethical posturing or any other aspect of it, let’s just consider the act of going to war.  If we fought a war with equipment made in other countries, how would we continue to wage war against our manufacturers? 

 

In warfare, one of the first military objectives is to destroy the enemy’s ability to continue to wage war.  This means targeting manufacturing and production, as well as the infrastructure to support it.  If we had to fight a war with electronics parts in our equipment from other countries, like China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, for example, what kind of battle could we wage if we end up destroying the manufactories that supply us with those parts?  It’s insane.

 

This means that, for reasons best left unpoliticized, we need to have a strong manufacturing and production base in our own country; using our own workers, our own people and our own designs.  It’s the prudent thing to do.  Ignore that whole Manifest Destiny as applied to Empire and pay attention to the other more important aspect of it.  Part of the concept of Manifest Destiny is that you, your country, your people are self sufficient and not dependant upon other nations for your wellbeing.

 

Oddly, having a strong manufacturing base and productive capacity in your own country tends to keep your economy rolling along.  People who work and are employed in well paying jobs spend that money for a better quality of life.  Don’t believe me?  Ask any Korean, Chinese, Indian, Pakistani or Malaysian if doubling their meager incomes had an overall positive effect on their quality of life?  Of course, those doublings and triplings of income came at the expense of other workers who earned, respectively, much more for a slightly higher overall standard of living, now gone.

  

So these things, all pretty simple things, really, are things I think we, as a people or a nation should be doing.  You may also consider some of them in no particular order, because they came to me in the order presented and were not a product of prioritizing.  Depending on your situation, any one of these KISS items may be a higher priority for you than others. 

 

Life is complicated enough without some lawyer trying to make it more complicated by writing convoluted laws, or through underhanded additions to bills and legislation.  Life is dangerous enough without people not paying attention to the task of driving their vehicles responsibly, knowing that death is only a fraction of a second away.  Life is hard enough without our Captains of Industry sending out our Industrial Strength to other countries, costing us jobs here and lost economic prosperity for the majority while a few profit from making nothing themselves, other than money -- and that only for themselves.

 

There is enough trouble in the world and in our lives and with religions calling the faithful to prayer, admonishing them to be more intolerant, more judgmental and more exclusive than their Good Books have written in them.  We need to become a more compassionate, more inclusive and more understanding people on the whole. 

 

To keep it simple: family values means loving our children, our parents, our spouses and to have a firm, but gentle grasp on our relationships.  None of us are perfect, so forgiveness and encouragement to change are part of the basic necessities of living as a society.

 

Maybe, the simplest thing we could do is to look into these matters ourselves.  Maybe just stop hearing the talking heads on TV, at the lectern, on the stage, or in the books sold as best sellers from our political pundits, politicians and learned men of industry and taking them as gospel.  Maybe it would do us all a world of good take a few moments of our time to examine the issues from a point of wondering if what we have been told is actually true?  I think so.  I hope you do, too.

 

If we did that, would things actually be more complex or simpler?  I think the simple things sometimes take a bit more time to examine and look into.  That said, this extra time taken may prevent us from being so greatly surprised when the lies come home to roost, or when the piper has to be paid, or what it means when everyone keeps talking about ‘kicking the can’ to the next generation. 

 

Simple things are not always easy things to do.  Just like it’s simple to know what’s right and what’s wrong.  Doing what’s right, though, that can be pretty hard, no matter how simple it is to understand.

 

I don’t come to you speaking The Truth.  No one has a lock on that single all encompassing thing: The Truth.  I hope that, in speaking honestly and truthfully with you that you will be inclined to take things more simply.  Thanks for reading this.  It is my hope that you will find some value in it.

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Congratulations!

Now you too have reached that time in your life where all your experience has let to enlightenment! You'll find many here who are also in that space.

It happens to pretty much all of us at one time or another although few of us can write it up so prettily as you did.
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♥╔═══╦╗╔╗╔╦═══╦═══╦════╗♥
♥║╔═╗║║║║║║╔══╣╔══╣╔╗╔╗║♥
♥║╚══╣║║║║║╚══╣╚══╬╝║║╚╝♥
♥╚══╗║╚╝╚╝║╔══╣╔══╝─║║
♥║╚═╝╠╗╔╗╔╣╚══╣╚══╗─║║
♥╚═══╝╚╝╚╝╚═══╩═══╝─╚For giving us all the points that matter clearly and precisely.
excellent ~ you should be more widely read. I especially liked #1, 2, 4 (not #5 b/c that's me w/ the maps and stuff, aweful, I know!)

#7 is a primary focus of my work, and hell, the whole thing I connected with , great observations ~
excellent ~ you should be more widely read. I especially liked #1, 2, 4 (not #5 b/c that's me w/ the maps and stuff, aweful, I know!)

#7 is a primary focus of my work, and hell, the whole thing I connected with , great observations ~
man, is this spot on! r.
Clapping and cheering here for a voice of sanity.
Yes to all of this.
IDK, Owl, this sounded like the truth to me!
A banquet for thought. Thanks, Niteowl!
skypixieo, have I? I don't know if anyone reaches it without reaching for it. Truth, even self evident truth, must have an examiner, a questioner for it to be evident in the first place. It's not like gravity will just drop a compliant apple on one's head to make a point -- or perhaps that's the only reason it happens -- to make a point.

Thanks for the complimentary review!

Algis -- how DO you do that? Was that a product of some fever induced desire to play with the CTRL and ALT keys and find out what they did and voila? Or did you search it out purposely to amaze us all? Dude! (Hope you know that reference.) Thanks also to you.

Heidi Herron: So well recieved you had to tell me twice. I don't mind saying, sometimes a good thing is worth repeating.

Jonathan, Mission and Pensive Person, thanks for the concise accolades. I can do brevity and concise, though, in the words of Melville's character (from the book of the same title,) "I prefer not to."

Miguela: Well, truth is truth is truth, I suppose. I just don't know if any one bit of it is The Truth, with a capital T -- except at the start of a sentence. We all have our moments and each moment is true, even if we lie to ourselves and others about what we think of it. Or if we even see it's truth in that moment or later.

Glad you thought it rang true.

Thanks one and all. One last true thing here. I find I have become an Open Salon Addict. I can't help wondering how well recieved my efforts are. I mitigate this addiction with shutting off my internet and playing Civilization, or Panzer General (I'm also a gaming addict and have been happily managing that condition since before video games existed) to take me away from constantly checking back here every five minutes to see if I have any comments or views. I'd say I was ashamed of my blatant attachment like some needy person sticking a needle in my arm, but I've never done that and will not now. Stick a needle in my arm, that is. Well, that's not entirely true, either. When I was 16 I gave my self a tattoo with India Ink and I had to stick a needle in my arm repeatedly to do that, so...

While it's true I have stuck a needle in my arm, I didn't do it for getting high. Still not one of my prouder moments in retrospect.

Thanks again everyone for reading and commenting!
Chicken Maaan slips under the radar and through the fence to offer compliments. Thanks, Maaan! If I only knew the proper key combos, I'd properly spell your name.
D'Owl,

I took my time to digest this, because I like it very much. Common sense is often found in simplicity and it's clear. You make a great point. Here's one thing I didn't understand.

#3. 'If someone claims they are for straight up conservative Constitutional values, then let’s call them on it.'

Could you give me a simple example of this please?

#4. Jesus may have the strong muscles of a carpenter, but don't forget: Moses parted the Red Sea. ;o)

I am with you on the remaining points. In fact this point you make:

[#9 " You must have a manufacturing base to produce your own items. In times of trouble, be they economic, natural disaster or war, having your own ability to produce and manufacture what you need allows you to stand up and take care of yourself."]

Your words have been proven by recent history. I'm sure this link would interest you very much. Thank you for another pearl of wisdom.

http://www.invest.gov.tr/en-US/turkey/factsandfigures/Pages/Economy.aspx

R♥
FusunA, following are some examples of not being straight up with the Constitution in terms of interpretive manipulations:

Citizens United: Ruled that corporations have the rights as any person does to free speech, and ruled that, the amount of money they spend to buy air time to express those views are protected under the First Amendment, which grants the right to free speech and to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for redress of grievances without fear of reprisal.

This is not a corporate right. It is an individual right. Corporations, against Mitt Romney's stated views, are not People, my friends. Wasn't Romney supposedly one of those Republicans who stood up and said they are for stricter interpretations of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? Hypocrisy.

SOPA and PIPA (Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual Property Act) both allow for the government to close down websites without following due process of law, based on unconfirmed accusations and without having to have a warrant sworn out.

Yet, the largest percentage of copyright violations online come from:
China, both Koreas, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Syria, Serbia, Croatia, Russia, Georgia (the one next to Russia,) Montenegro, Lithuania, Latvia, Pakistan and India. What's SOPA or PIPA going to do there that hasn't already been completely and largely ignored? Hypocrisy to place greater limits on our own people as a scapegoat for the actions of outside influences.

Marijuana as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance. A Schedule One Controlled Substance must exhibit these conditions:
1) Known to cause health problems
2) Be physically addictive
3) Potentially fatal if misused

Not just one of them, but all three (and there are other considerations.)

Marijuana exhibits none of these conditions, yet is listed as a Schedule One Controlled Substance.

Alcohol and Tobacco both exhibit these three conditions and yet, are sold across the nation as long as you're legally old enough to purchase them. Hypocrisy.

I think those should do. I can provide more if you like.

The traditional conservative party line in regard to the Constitution is that government should not be so intrusive into our everyday lives and that means smaller, less controlling laws, reduced government beauracracy and paperwork in response to this lessening of intrusive government behaviors.

What is really being done, however, especially by Republican politicians is: Increase the size of our government when it comes to intrusive invasion of the people. Homeland Security, Patriot Act, Transportation Security Agency, Border Patrol, Rendition, Aggressive Interrogation and other things like the above mentioned intrusions into our personal time and privacy, while at the same time gutting oversight, regulatory bodies, and vital public services that make a country healthier, cleaner and safer on the whole -- all for the "People" known as corporations.

This is not strict interpretation of the Constitution for conservative values.

Hope that explains that well enough.

Thanks FusunA and thanks for asking for clarification.
Owl,
I'm not at all certain that "reaching for it" isn't innate in humankind. We all, at some point, seem to think over these things. At some point in most people's lives all their experience seems to come together and form a comprehensive understanding of these things. Once that happens many people stop with that. A few (may you be one) use that as a base to develop more understanding as they continue to gain knowledge and experience. Those few could, perhaps, be said to be deliberately "reaching for it."

I cannot tell you how many times I've "reached an enlightenment" of understanding only to have another one years down the road that changed a lot of it. Then another. And another. They get spaced out further apart too. Maybe if we lived for a million years or so, we'd get to really understand most of everything.
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Maybe so, skypixieo, maybe so.

I think I have met people who do not quest in that manner. I know my brother next up from me is such a person. My sister behind me as well, as far as I have been able to tell. My oldest brother? I have no idea, but he speaks so little that he could be for all I know.

In my family (and I deductively infer that my family, as a microcosm of individuals, linked by a common set of events, genetics, circumstance and experiences -- to a point -- matches a general consensus reality view of the population, roughly) I could take a stab at it and say that 3 out of 7 (inclusive of my parents) definitely asked these questions, reflected and searched. One gave up.

I have met many people in my life. I moved around a lot and went to 18 different schools before graduating High Shcool a year early. I moved all over the place and in my work, which is storied as well (see my bio sidebar) I have had occasion to speak with and meet people from all classes, ethnicities, social and financial strata, as well as political and ideological points of view.

Not that many people search too hard for answers -- at least, if they do they don't talk about it. It seems to me that those who ask these sorts of questions -- those who strive and reach for enlightenment, that is -- are sort of vocal about it. I'll grant that there is a great liklihood that many do and keep it to themselves. Pity, that.

Be that as it may, it's certainly not for me to say how one arrives at the point of enlightenment or how many times we searchers get the pleasure of opportunity to have our little views blown away, tearing the walls down to reveal a much wider view than that little window in our boxes of reality.

To that end, I have no way to truly know how many have this happen and simply accept it as a private thing and never speak on it. I wonder, though, do we get less enlightenment moments as we age, or do they simply come so often that we end up living in that state of grace we call Living in Wonder?

I think, at least for me, that I tend to live in Wonder. I look around me and am amazed continually -- even by the things that no longer surprise, shock or illuminate my being, I am still rapt with wonder at how things come to be the way they are.

Of all the people I have ever met, I am perhaps the most convolute, obtuse and complex wondering wanderer I know. Fortunately, I happen to like myself and am never bored with my own company. That said, as complicated as I can make things, as interconnected as I see things, I long for simpler things, more elegant and concise answers to things.

Is there a single Unified Theory of the Universe? Are we really here, or is this some Cosmic Computation of a Simulated Reality as Permutation of All Possible Outcomes, running on some Cosmic Super Computer, which we call the Universe? I wonder what God would be if we could actually define what God is supposed to be? How does that match up with all our religious dogma throughout history? I wonder if turtles wonder? If they do, what do they wonder about?

If all men are dogs, do the dogs take offense for our usurpation? What does my cat really think of me? Sure, she purrs in my presence, but does she scribble all sorts of mean things about me in the dirt outside? Why would anyone play Koi?

IN amongst all that totally impractical wondering, though, I consider my fellow man and wonder -- how like Him am I? How like I is He? And the same goes for all the She's out there, too. Would living in a simulated reality cover all the odd aspects of our reality as regards, ghosts, demons, angels, UFOs, psychic powers, time travel and revisions of history?

And, most importantly of all, does coffee really taste better right now than thirty minutes post brewing?

Meanwhile, I'd like us to agree to make things easier to understand in this world where we all seem to congregate and commiserate in what appears to be a consensual reality that no-one completely agress on as to it's true nature.

All this sounds like it might be great grist for another post-modernistic philosophical ramble in its own right. I wonder...
Love it, love it, love it!
You've had much the same life as I (so far). I hit 21 different schools by Grade 8. Went to work for 5 years. Enrolled in the first ever adult school in my area, for an 8 month/2 grades course of studies. Got in a month late (had to wait for some to drop out), had two fantastic teachers grab me by the ass and push me to complete all 4 grades of high school.
Right next to our classrooms was a typing class full of nubile young members of the VERY opposite sex. Needless to say, I enrolled for typing as soon as they had a vacancy. As the only male in a class of 29 women......... I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

Since I still had one period free every day, I did all homework then and never took home a book. It was a joyful time for a young man of 21.

Yes. I think most people do have times when they think about things like these you discuss here. No, I don't think any but a few talk about their thoughts. Most are afraid of being thought "weird" if they do so. I've always had a close personal familiarity with "weird" so I talked about it anyway. I still do.

As to people not necessarily agreeing on just "how things are", this is no surprise. We each build our mental model of the universe and our place in it from our own experiences and thoughts. It would be amazing if we did agree to any great degree. Oh sure, we all agree that ice is cold and boys are smarter than girls, but otherwise there's lots of room to accommodate a great many "enlightened" understandings.

Heck, some people still manage to believe in gods and creationism! Some go really off the deep end and believe in ESP and fortune telling and stuff like that. Imagine that! But, for them, it's part of their "universe" as they understand it. As long as they don't try to force their stuff on others, I'm OK with them having their own understandings.

Of course, if anyone asks me - sometimes I just volunteer and help them out a bit - I can tell them how things REALLY are......

Good post. I enjoyed this!!
ᴼᴥƪ
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D'Owl, thank you for your response. You've given meso much clarity with so many examples. I understand now.

I also love the comment exchange between you and SkypixieO right after. I think kindred spirits may have met. :o)
dunniteowl, you are a gentleman, a scholar and a philosopher. These laws are on equal standing with the 10 commandments. Perhaps in my utopian society you would run for office. Rated for intellect, thoroughness and humanity.
FusunA, thanks and I'm glad my examples are clear. Kindred spirits? Wait till you read what made me laugh when skypixieo responded: But first a message to Erica K.

Thanks Erica. I'm blushing with unconcealed personal joy at your compliments. Imagine, all that brainpower, humility, compassion -- and I also do the dishes. I know, it's astonishing.

skypixieo I was laughing when you mentioned the typing class. In the 9th grade I moved again to a different school in San Diego (that was my second of three there) and got slapped into Metal Shop as that was the only "elective" opening for me at that time. I would have killed for a Drama or Art class. Sigh.

Anyway, the kids in the class were really just -- horrible -- is probably the best way to describe them. I sat in the class area and stayed out of the shop after one of the guys pushed me as a joke, while I was operating the drill press. He almost shoved my hand under the bit. I got a D in that class.

The next semester, without so much as a, "Are there any other elective classes you'd be interested Mr. "D" in Metal Shop?" they put me in the same class room for -- wait for it -- power mechanics, where we would disassemble lawnmower engines and rebuild them.

I went straight to the Dean and said, "You gotta get me into some other class. How about Drama?" Nope, full. "Art? You know, ceramics, drawing, film?" Nope, full.

All we have available is Home Economics and Cooking.

I'll take the cooking class, thanks.

The Dean looked at me, over the top of his Clark Kents and said, "Are you sure? There's only girls in that class." I nearly wet my pants. Hopefully my face betrayed nothing.

"Yeah, I'll take the cooking class, I like to cook." He looked like he was pretty sure I was one of those "girly boys" but said nothing, signed the forms and BAM, I was the only 15 year old boy in a class with 24 other girls. Best. Class. Ever.

I was the only A student, because I could pass all the tests with my eyes closed and cooked harder things than spaghetti, tacos, or macaroni and cheese.

You may be right about the whole "more people think about it and don't say anything, because they are worried people will think they're weird." I never worried about that. My whole life I have been described in one of three ways (with the exception of being called a gentleman, scholar and philosopher) :
Dude, you're weird.
Hey, you're a real trip, man.
You talk too much.

None of those compliments has ever slowed me down one bit.

It's what caused me to come up with my catch phrase below the title of my blog page:
The more familiar I become, the stranger I get.

Thanks all for reading and commenting!
They don't want people to understand the legislative system or the legal system. They maintain power by keeping the vast majority of the population ignorant.
I like #4.

I like #4 a lot.

Yeah.
Yes, that's true, Stuart. They purposely make it hard to comprehend, because it helps them to stay in power. It's one more proof that there's no such thing as common sense, because if we had it, we'd put a quick stop to that and demand they make it simple or FIRED.

Crane-Station, I like that one a lot, also. I have opined before that the current Evangelical perception of Jesus would make him:
Have cropped close blond hair, blue eyes, clean shaven wearing an Armani Suit and Gucci Shoes, with a silk tie and a fat wallet, out there yelling anti-semitic and anti-gay epithets at a Tea Party rally, maybe toting a gun, too.

Me? I'm thinking he'd probably be more likely to be spotted at an OWS rally, feeding homeless people and he'd still have long hair, a beard, sandals, preaching out against the establishment, demanding a progressive taxation schedule and wanting to oust the bankers and financiers from their Temples of Money. Worse yet, as a Jew from pre-Christian times, it's as likely as not he'd look more like a Rastafarian than a European. He'd certainly have at least olive dark skin, dark, wavy hair and a beard.

Quelle Horreur!
I loved this piece. Number 4 is my favorite.
Thanks, owl. I agree with everything.
I liked your simple yet profound advice when I read it yesterday; after reading your comment on my blog, I not only like it even more but am astounded at your depth and wisdom. I think if I could boil down what you're saying to one concept, it would be "do the right thing." And do it simply of course. I liked them all but if most of us worked harder on #7, the rest might fall into place.

And your point about looking into these matters ourselves, without all the external noise coloring our perception - if we did that more often matters might not always be simpler, but complex things would be easier to grasp. Great post.
Paul and Wren, thanks! Read it, live it. Change happens. I don't always succeed, but I always fel that was the whole thing about forgiveness. If we cannot forgive our selves, how can we forgive our enemies? Am I right?

Margaret, thank you so very much. My head is so full of the things I see, read, hear and experience. I don't forget very much that happens to me or around me. I also do my best to be as fair and objective as I can. Again, I don't always succeed at that.

I do my best to live it, though. And yes, I could have just said, "Do the right thing." I would have meant it, too. We have to sometimes take a longer road in order to get a perspective on the scenery. How often do we really look around us as we drive to and fro to our jobs, home, our friends' homes, the store?

Those things most familiar to us become habituated in our minds. Once in a while, we see a new sign, or an accident either occurs or comes really close and it perks up our awareness and things seem a bit different -- even though we "see" them day in and day out.

Maybe that's what wisdom ends up being: the ability to look at what happens around us, the mundane, the everyday, the ordianary -- and recognize it as really quite extraordinary always?

Philosophy means Love of Truth. If one admits to being a philosopher, then one must also come to see the places where we blind even ourselves, to the rest of reality. Internal reality is just as important as the external reality.

Oh boy, I better shut up now, or I'll have to wear that T-Shirt that says, "Help, I started talking and I can't shut up!"

Thanks again for reading and commenting!