Honoring Our Laborers

Laboring

As we make final preparations for the most solemn American holiday, Labor Day, our mind turns to ways that we, and perhaps all of us, can make Monday’s national celebration of workers into a perfect expression of how we all really feel about laborers.

Vegas, baby!

Disneyland?

Another less exalted way of honoring those of us who actually work is to take a small slice of time out of our vacation – thirty minutes maybe? – to ask ourselves a simple question: Why do I believe what I believe?

It’s a useful line of inquiry. Had the millions of Americans . . . → Read More: Honoring Our Laborers

Is the Tall Man Happy?

is_the_man_who_is_tall_happy_an_animated_conversation_with_noam_chomsky

Driector Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) is currently flummoxing viewers with his persistently inventive “Mood Indigo.” But of all his blazingly original creations, the 2013 documentary “Is the Tall Man Happy: An Animated Conversation with Noam Chomsky” might be his most densely wonderful work. Gondry and the indispensable linguist and social critic Chomsky have a wide-ranging chat. But instead of filming the discussion, Gondry animates it (beautifully and strangely). The result is simultaneously light and trippy, heavy and profound – and consistently mesmerizing.

Encouraging Suicide Note

noose for death

I’m hoping something good will come of my early exit. So it won’t have been a big waste.

I’m optimistic, but I’m also realistic. Jesus Christ died for all our sins yet we find increasingly perverse ways to thank him and his Father. He just wanted us to love each other. That’s the challenging part for us, right?

You could say “some things never change.”

Or do they?

Will they?

That’s up to you. If you’re reading this, you’re one of the people who can change the world.

You won’t let my death be in vain.

If you think I’ve done a good thing for our world, if I’ve left the home nest a little better than I found it, a little more secure for everyone else, then I shall depart this planet with a humble request.

Honor my memory by loving each other.

Honor my “sacrifice” by taking care . . . → Read More: Encouraging Suicide Note

Additional Golden Rules

golden rule

The original Golden Rule — “treat others as you wish to be treated” — sounds fantastic in theory, but isn’t really possible to apply practically, as evidenced by the lives each of us lead. Or maybe it is being applied and is difficult to recognize. Maybe how people wish to be treated is “horribly,” which explains all the reciprocal cruelty and malice that comprises standard treatment.

Perhaps the Golden Rule is just too darned complicated, too nuanced, an ongoing invitation to misinterpretation. We need something simpler. More concrete. Less subjective.

Like these.

 

1) Be an encourager, not a discourager.

2) Make love — with everyone.

3) Be generous — with everything.

 

Maybe we should stop trying to treat others as we wish to be treated. Maybe it’s more important simply to be an encouraging, loving, generous person.

. . . → Read More: Additional Golden Rules

I Am

i-am-02

For anyone who suspects (or has figured out) that much of what is commonly understood to be The Truth About Life is actually a series of mistakes, lies, and fantasies, the film “I Am” is a powerful affirmation that we’re onto something. Director Tom Shadyac used to be Director: Tom Shadyac, the auteur of big-budget Hollywood comedies starring Jim Carrey and Eddie Murphy. Addicted to more of everything, Shadyac acquired and consumed and wondered why the hole he was trying to fill never seemed complete. After a serious illness, he switched paths. “I Am,” made with the craftsmanship of an old pro, chronicles Shadyac’s exhilarating journey toward enlightenment. Desmond Tutu, Howard Zinn, and Noam Chomsky are some of the thought leaders interviewed, along with a menagerie of brilliant authors and scientists speaking plainly and clearly. What they — and the New Tom . . . → Read More: I Am

Poem: A Brief Autobiography

clitboys_1

I was a punk rocker. A real one. Original Midwestern Hardcore Punk Thrash

loud and fast and angry enough to convey the depths of agony

residing in our adolescent breasts, the unspeakable (only screamable) pain

of being trapped like a bear in a sharp leg clamp,

tortured by the knowledge that we were ensnared in a system

we wouldn’t choose except under the threat of torture, and maybe not even then.

Not having a choice: “I want to have high ideals, I want to love mankind,

trust my fellow man, be loving true and kind – but everyone tells me ‘No!’ Everyone tells me

‘No such thing!’” That’s what upset us so in those naïve days before

we figured out how it’s all arranged.

 

For a minute or some decades of my life I learned

to play the game, the same one I . . . → Read More: Poem: A Brief Autobiography

Poem: If One Could Add the Entirety

Godhead of the light

If one could add the entirety

of what we can see

and what we can’t –

the supplicant on a rant,

the matter dark, unknowable,

a bitterness that’s stowable –

what we would have to examine

are children wrenched by famine,

a panoply of catastrophes,

like man-made war, and disease.

 

We would also deign to look

at an ancient antiquated book

imparting wisdom, dispensing lessons,

doling out her meager blessings

to those who care to think

that knowing God demands a link

to better angels, vibes much higher,

illuminated by your fire,

the one that burns within

where there’s no hell and there’s no sin.

When you glow the healing starts

proving science doth love the arts.

 

We know the good resides all ‘round,

that humble plots are sacred ground,

that if you focus on the light

you’ll develop . . . → Read More: Poem: If One Could Add the Entirety

Poem: The Difference

malnourished children

The difference ‘tween him and he

appears at first randomly

in mutations rare

results unfair

blessing him with ignorance

cursing he with intelligence.

 

 

If a plan there be

we fail to see

what force of kindness

manufactured blindess

to that which pulses like the breast

of pigeondoves and marmosets.

The one who looks not like you

the blackdykewopniggajew

heshehim your sisterbrother

emerging from a wombless mother

the difference ‘tween us and it

disappears when tightly knit.

Poem: Minor Miracles

it's all miraculous

Looking at the sun and hearing the yellowrumped warblers

I realized conclusively today that all of this

Everything is a miracle

All this Life

Please begin enumerating counting to 300 billion and perhaps

When you reach the end of your Time here

On yes this miracle of the galaxy

You will know the truth like birds know the tops of trees

And all the fighting and hurting over nothing made to seem like everything

Will cease and then disappear

When all of us minor miracles that comprise the larger miracle

Realize conclusively that we are One and

What we are is miraculous

Poem: How Can it Be?

a perplexed thinker

How can it be

You might wonder in a quiet moment set aside willfully to focus on will,

on what you will do and what you won’t and how it always is what you will it to be – yes,

during one of those appointments with your soul you might wonder

How can it be?

How can it be that I am simultaneously the most irrelevant and most important

creature in the entire galaxy, if not the universe and beyond?

How can it be that the assemblage of energy and chemicals and vibrations that I call Me

is of supreme importance when matters of personal convenience or comfort are at hand, yet

strangely invisible and uncounted when issues of piquantly more comprehensive concern are decided upon?

 

The universe is curved. Time has ended for some of the stars in our telescopes. We go on.

And . . . → Read More: Poem: How Can it Be?