Category: Life

Stress

Certain amorphous concepts exist only in the theoretical realm: truth, justice, beauty. Time. Yet we “know” (or think we know) they’re there. Indeed, we’re the ones who manifest them. By observing, say, a ravishing Southern California sunset, or the blossoms of a cherry tree, or our lover’s face, we feel quite sure that Beauty is...

A New Definition of Family

If you wish to align yourself with a mindset that no one will dispute and most will acclaim, proclaim yourself a paragon of “family values.” Earn a reputation as a “family man.” Put “family” before self. Found a right-wing Christian political bribery machine and call it “Focus on the Family.” Do whatever it is you want to...

Bad Endings

I helped an old man load his groceries into the trunk of his car, which was parked curbside near the entrance to a 99-Cent store. He walked with a cane and seemed to have trouble handling his bags. A watermelon had fallen to the sidewalk, somehow escaping unblemished. But things didn’t look as though they...

An Open Letter to God

Dear God, Having witnessed recently the horrible ramifications of causing offense, we’re hyper-aware of not offending anyone, You especially. So if “God” is an inappropriate form of address, we humbly ask forgiveness of You and Your agents here on Earth, the ones who steadfastly protect Your name and reputation. We settled on “God,” because that...

Doing Something vs. Doing Nothing

Pick your favorite platitude: You can only do so much. You’re not going to change the way everybody else behaves (or thinks). You’re only one person. Comforting, aren’t they? You are hereby excused from culpability in the grand disaster that is human civilization. May your acquittal be an abiding relief from that weird sense of...

Legitimate Rape, Legitimate Abortion

The phrase “legitimate rape” is now a part of the American lexicon thanks to William Todd Akin, a U.S. Representative from Missouri. Todd, as he prefers to be called, has served in Congress since 2001, and this year he won the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat in a crowded field of similarly qualified...

Looking Back on 2012: An Oral History of American Values

I was young like you once. Don’t laugh. It seems impossible, I know. An old codger like me of 77! You probably can’t picture when I was only 47 and healthy, with all my own teeth and a libido that didn’t yet require boner pills. Sure, that was three decades ago, and I look a...

The Grand Illusion

The purpose of life is to work. The purpose of life is to play. Or, there is no purpose to life. These are schools of thought that you may or may not subscribe to. You might have been in one camp and moved to another. You may change your mind every time something good happens...

Poem: Comfort

Does having a certain system, an order of things when I shower, give me comfort? I suppose it does. The sequence is the sacrament. Starting with the shaving cream (the soap in a can that comes out foamy, not creamy in any way except linguistically), left to soak in the bristly beard while other duties are...