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Mowing the Lawn In Gaza


“When thy intelligence shall cross beyond the whirl of delusion, then shalt thou become indifferent to Scripture heard or that which thou hast yet to hear.”  – Bhagavadgita

I keep this passage from the Book of Doctrines close to my heart since I first came across it in the winter of 1991, for I thought it a dangerous passage.  Two centuries prior to our beloved Christian movement and some seven to twelve hundred years after Moses first freed the Jews from slavery in Egypt, the Gita was making doctrines obsolete faster than scribes could record them.  Or the rich people of those days could typeset, print and distribute them.  The ebb of life on the planet was slow and uneven in the third century BCE or we might all be walking about with dots on our foreheads.

By the year 1948 (CE), those laying claim to being the people of Moses had had enough talk of messiahs coming or going, enough discussion of Judaic Ethics and decided, some would say with wide-ranging consensus, that “The Jews” had waited long enough.  The persecutions and the pogroms, usually sponsored by Christians, were a tiresome affair to observe and, all too often, a heartbreaking routine to experience.  “The Jews” would return to Israel and David Ben Gurion was as good a messiah as any in his time.  Maybe putting pen to paper would shut the Jews up.  In any case, the narrative of six million dead Jews at the hands of a lapsed Catholic expedited matters considerably.  The Jews would, “come home,” from their perspective, but for the Palestinians who had had a very amicable relationship with Palestinian Jewry up until the early twentieth century, the sudden shift toward Jewish hegemony in what had been “their homeland” must have felt like a betrayal among good neighbors.

I happened along on the planet a year before a fellow from my hometown won a Nobel Peace Prize for recording and codifying the epic journey of the Joads from Oklahoma to California, a journey that many read in sadness and shame but a journey that only told a smattering of details regarding the indignities humans serve up to other humans.  As the Grapes of Wrath went to print in 1939, the woman who was pushing me out into this theatre of the absurd in 1961 had been just 12 years old and had actually been a part of that original journey to California in 1929.  Needless to say, John Steinbeck had skipped a few significant details in the interest of brevity and creative license, but let it not be said it was because his creativity was waning; he had been drinking rather heavily in the hills above Los Gatos at the time and generally making an ass of himself between his residence and the post office where he delivered his manuscripts for editing to his publisher.  The politics of publishing any account of human-imposed human suffering within US borders that was not Civil War-related, would still need to follow that mould of, “all things come together for the good of the country and God Bless America,” or it would not be typeset.  Being a practicing drunk of some literary and journalistic promise, it is virtually certain Steinbeck was nearing the end of his publisher’s largesse when he and his wife made the editing decisions that could have meant the end of an endless river of booze and cigarettes, neither of which Our Dear John could have lived without.  Details be damned, even if it was my entire family’s story that was left out.

The reason why the Steinbeck (really, “GrossSteinbeck,”) story is relevant to a story about landscaping an area of Palestine who some feel has fallen into disrepair is because Steinbeck’s paternal grandfather, Johann, formed, with Clorinda Minor, the Mount Hope colony/pre-kibbutz in Jaffa.  Steinbeck’s grandfather’s brother, Frederick, was murdered and his brother’s wife and mother-in-law beaten and raped by Arab farmers in an all night affair of murder and mayhem that came to be known as, “the Outrages at Jaffa.”  To be certain the Steinbeck’s and their family had suffered from Arab and Bedouin harassment before this night in 1858, but this was the first noteworthy incident of Arab on Jew violence in Ottoman Palestine and it had more to do with zealous Christian Dominionist end-times theology in collision with Muslim hegemony, than with the inability of Palestinian Jews to live peacefully amidst their Muslim majority neighbors.  The murder of men and the raping of women, while practiced as an act of profound disrespect towards the “unclean” in Muslim countries, is not an act sanctioned by Islam.  It just so happens that where there are Muslims and “infidels,” there tends to be a lot of violence towards women and xenophobia towards men.  Sort of reminds me of South Texas, after a fashion.  Sniff.

The other reason why landscaping stories interest me is because of a side-business I use to support my greater aspirations.  Being an actor and being the owner of a small lawn maintenance concern between Killeen and Austin, Texas, basically means I mow lawns for a living.  As part of a lawn deal with a dentist in Austin, I managed to get my teeth bleached whiter than most politicians, which really helps me get past the first knock on neighborhood doors looking for additional clients, but has done nothing to enhance my capacity for finding dramatic work in a sea of blond-haired, blue-eyed twenty-something’s.  It is not that I am a bad actor or poorly skilled in delivering my lines, it’s that I am a young forty-something at the age of fifty-two.  People in Killeen look at me and think, “he’s a smart, handsome-enough man, why can’t he find any real work,” as I discuss the finer points of putting a clean edge on their lawn, while people in Austin, usually my friends, generally say, “there he goes, livin’ the dream and undeterred by the naysayers.  I can support that!”  Whatever it takes to get the bills paid.  If I have to tan to look Hispanic enough to be in this business, I am willing to do that, but I have to keep the blond hair and blue eyes ceded to me by my parents in hopes of greater commercial exposure.  Landscaping is just part of my larger plan to take Hollywood by storm.  Yay, me.

How I made it here to Texas I couldn’t begin to tell you beyond a tragic tale of unguided love.  Clichés may not be interesting to the general public, but they do tend to move people across country when the getting is good and the timing seems right.  Moving from California to Texas might seem to some folks like a backward move economically, spiritually, morally and culturally.  But I see where Manifest Destiny pegged a journey that began at Plymouth Rock and moved westward like a huge conveyor belt, carrying social pariahs of all kinds who got as close to the ocean as they could before they faced the fact that they would be living in close quarters with people they didn’t like any better than did the rest of the country.  Moving to Texas was a huge cultural shock to my system, but it appears now that my system needed the shocking.  Apparently the world is chalk-full of people who hate what they do for a living, are hanging on to their life story by their fingernails and are doing so while living in a poaching humidity that leaves molds, bacteria’s and fungi floating in midair, waiting for a receptive pair of lungs to come along and sustain them a while longer.  Prior to moving to Texas, I thought everyone lived in a place like Salinas and had a cleansing fog to look forward to rolling in every evening, only to watch it roll back out to sea by noon the following day.  Sixty-eight degrees, year-round. This was certainly the case in San Luis Obispo where I once went to college, and is true all up and down the central coast of California.  But not so in any part of Texas.  Nor is it true in Philadelphia, my father’s hometown which he no longer claims.

If landscaping and the mowing of lawns has been something of a meditation for me while I await the next chapter of my life to unfold, learning to speak with, tolerate, understand and make a living selling lawn services to a typical Texas homeowner has been an exercise in linguistic gymnastics, religious tolerance and humility.

“Do what,” the grey-haired man in the bolo tie said to me after I asked him what time it was.  He then took a step back and looked at the time piece in his front pocket and let me know that I was perilously close to noon-time in mid-August.  No one in their right mind mows their lawn after noon in the midst of a Texas summer, but that wouldn’t stop my client from asking for extras designed to watch me sweat and drip, becoming half-crazy from dehydration and completely incapable of carrying on an adult conversation.

“I really wanted to get back inside by noon, Mr. Deutsche.”

“The Lord works in mysterious ways, Ed.  Mysterious ways.  A hard day’s work cleanses the soul and brings us closer to the Almighty.”

Now it used to be that I could ignore an asinine comment like this from a client.  My Mexican counterparts do all the time, amazing me with their comprehension of American idioms and context, only to become deaf, mute or illiterate at the prospect of being asked to work past noon in the summer.  They often smile politely, say, “jess,” and pack up and leave the job site just as they had planned to from the beginning of the day.  But my way past competing with the rock-bottom pricing capacity of your typical Mexican landscaper was to ape the German-Protestant work ethic that demands a willingness to work for slave wages under third-world conditions, all the while maintaining a bright smile and pleasant demeanor that would make them proud to call me, “son.”  “Arbeit macht frei .” They know what they are asking for is unreasonable, they know they are challenging me to survive a huge and unnecessary obstacle between doing my job and ending up in an emergency room with heat exhaustion or worse; but they also know that if I am a true-blue Texan down to my bone marrow, I will go out of my way to prove it at the drop of any hat.  If a Texan challenges you to a throw-down, you better show up or plan on being part of a parade in your honor that sends you marching out of town.  Texans pride themselves on not being lazy, on working hard and on honoring authority; but once you prove to them that you are among friends who see eye to eye, you begin to notice how much harder the Mexicans you are competing against are actually working than the Texans who are paying their wages.  Southern hospitality meets southern hypocrisy every day in Texas, but don’t ever be caught dead saying so or you’re back out in the heat proving yourself one more time.  God-fearing German Protestants raised in this State get the smartass smacked off their faces at a very young age.  So I smile the brightest, toothiest Austin-bleached smile I can muster and say, “yes sir, Mr. Deutsche,” and I get busy not resisting authority since authority is helping to pay my rent this month.

“Thank you, son.  I sure do appreciate it.”

“Anytime, Mr. Deutsche.  You can count on me.”

“Do what?”

“I said, ‘you can count on me, sir,’” with yet another smile as genuine as any smile seen from the pulpit of any mega church in this State.  The “do what” was perfunctory and used as a double-check to ensure I wasn’t full of shit the first time I said what I said.  If you pass the second, “do what,” test, you’re in.  You’ve sold ‘em.  And if you think it gets any harder than that, just remember the long-con the Bush Family has been able to pull off in this State and the people here still hold their Family in high regard.  They were able to drop the entire economic, political and legal infrastructure of the goddamn United States to its knees in a fortnight using the same tricks Hitler used to come to power in Germany, yet Texans still want to get their pictures taken with these lizards, still want to be seen around them.  Frankly, I’d rather mow Mr. Deutsche’s lawn.  He’s a big fan of “Dubya,” swears to God Almighty that “Lib’ruls” are the death of this country, watches FoxNews and Reverend Hagee, but his heart is pure gold.  He would no more take a switch to a man beaten down by circumstance than he would stab his wife in the heart.  He’s actually quite liberal in ways not understood by those he supports with his money and his vote.  But he’s a Texan, so that means he has to win.  Texans pick a winner and stick with them to the bitter end.  So as long as I’m putting a perfect edge to Mr. Deutsche’s lawn and making it the pride of his block, I can count on plenty of business in this neighborhood.  My Californian ancestry is excused for as long as I am willing to adopt Texas values as my own and respect those whose trust I have earned.

Jews wouldn’t be terribly comfortable with the accommodations here in Texas because, first and foremost, Texans don’t like hearing people complain.  And complaining is something bred into the genetic code of every modern Jew I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  They might talk a good game, might be able to get you to relax and laugh with them, but make no mistake: this whole fucking world is beneath them, they know it for a fact and they believe that you do not.  Your willingness to accept the unacceptable is what makes you, “goyim,” and a sally, and this permits them to think of you as no better than a pack animal.  Heaven help you if you tell them this truth to their face, even if you heard them tell it to each other in your presence.  Now not every single Jew is this touchy any more than every single Texan is a naïve fool, but generally Jews and Texans share something in common that makes them mutually repulsed by one another: they stick together when times get rough and they share the spoils when times swing in the other direction.  The reason so many Americans find Texans so obnoxious is for the same reasons that the people of the world have always had it out for the Jews: they know their own, they cling to their own, they protect their own and they damn sure aren’t going to tolerate being invaded  by someone not, “their own.”  And, “fuck you,” for noticing it, you anti-Semitic/anti-Texas parent-hating Californian with a thirst for the ungodly and the unseemly.

I don’t often launch into a thesis while I’m mowing someone’s lawn, but my thoughts make it possible for me to do what has become second nature to me while I make use of the time discussing more important matters with you.  Matters of gravest urgency.  Matters that you might have overlooked while you were busy trying to live your daily life without feeling like a complete and utter failure to your employer, your spouse and/or your children.  I’d like to think we can sit down in this sacred space I am creating in my mind and recognize our thoughts in each other and identify the common mentality that binds us to one another on a global basis.  You look at me and think, “Loser,” because I am choosing to work at a menial job I am good at while I nurture a dream I have to connect with a whole roomful of people using a script or the written word as a vehicle.  I must seem silly to you to harbor such fantastic delusions of grandeur while I scrape the wet grass from the underside of my mower because you watered before I arrived and let your grass get too high before calling me to come shred the tops off your lawn and make it look brown and sick.  I am unworthy of your time because I appear to you to be less than what you would expect from someone who can speak and write English as if I were a college graduate, as if the graduates from your institutions of higher learning will ever be able to write or spell like I can.  I was born with this freakishly precocious diction and suffered many ass-whippings in the old neighborhoods I grew up in because of it.  Yes, it might be going to waste while I tell you about the finer points of lawn care and maintenance, but at least I am not using my gifts to decimate and devalue the lives crowded into a pseudo-city and made into clichés with fleschette bombs and white phosphorus, as your more promising college graduates do.  At least I know better than to see the heads of Palestinian children in every blade of grass I sever from its root, or regard every crawling insect or worm that inhabits one of my lawns as a signal that I need to spray insecticide over an entire yard.  At least I have the sense to realize that the same causes and effects that require me to intervene in a lawn gone wrong are identical to the causes and effects that make my own yard problematic.  At least I know what the word, “conservative,” means, and when a “radical” intervention is indicated.  I know lawn care, I’ve done yard work my entire life, and I know better than to treat every brown spot in a yard as a case of lawn moths requiring insecticide, rather than as a neighbor’s dog who got out over the weekend and had his way with the neighborhood.  A lawn is a system and systems always reflect the thinking and the behavior of those responsible for bringing them into being.  If I can’t make reasonable sense out of what you expect from a lawn care professional in the first ten seconds of conversing with you, I am not going to be able to save your lawn from your own ignorance and stupidity.  I have walked away from business like that out of sheer reflex because I know I am tossing pearls down a privy.  Maybe that makes me xenophobic or maybe that makes me a Jew, but I haven’t missed a rent payment in a long time and I haven’t had the police called on me because my client felt cheated by my work ethic or felt I was being, “unfair.”

So what does lawn care have to do with Gaza, especially now that we all know there isn’t a blade of grass left in Gaza worth sacrificing potable water for?

Point one.  Only people with money are going to be able to afford to sustain and maintain a lawn in the heat of Central Texas.  I am not going to find much business for myself in a poor neighborhood.  Likewise, people treat their religions like they treat their lawns.  People who don’t give a shit about their lawns generally do not go to church, mosque or synagogue, nor do they give a damn about what anyone else thinks about their status as the neighborhood iconoclast.  If I want to find the “sweet spot” for a lawn care business, I need to find people with the right mixture of devotion and money to make my talents profitable for my efforts.  If having a shitty lawn happens to be your religion, good luck getting your holy scriptures published and available to a wider audience.  While your devotion might be admirable, it is not a good fit with mine.  Vaya con dios.

Point one-aye.  The Holy Scriptures everyone seems willing to lose their minds and their lives over could only have been written, printed and sustained by a system of wealth and power that crosses many multiples of human generations.  That means that what is written in those scriptures was deemed as “not offensive” to their publishers and when it might be seen as such, was rapidly edited and a new edition published.  In the case of multiple editions deemed to be offensive, the errant editions were categorized and subsequently burned from public memory.  People have always heard what rich people wanted them to hear.  Loudly.  So while you might be fixated with using your chemical fertilizers and insecticides, there is a pretty good chance you are doing so because some rich guy told you to do so, or he told someone you trust to do so, and, voila, you’re doing it based on authority.  I’ve had to rescue plenty of lawns burned with chemical fertilizers, so I know that authority is about making a “prophet” into a profit, not necessarily doing the right thing.

Point one-bee.  Not everyone has a god, but everyone has a story that they treat like their god.  If you want people to believe your story, you better find a way of understanding your story, their story and a story with a happy ending that you can all blend together in that satisfies everyone’s need to have a good story to tell and one worth living for.  If you cannot master this very fundamental art of community building, plan on spending a great deal of time, energy and resources keeping everyone else from erasing your story from the slate of acceptable storylines.  A storyline that informs me that you want to have a lawn that is the envy of your neighborhood but requires no devotion or commitment from you is not an acceptable storyline, from my perspective as a lawn care professional.  That won’t stop you from trying to tell everyone about your storyline, especially if you have a lot of disposable income to spare.  While doing the impossible with nothing sounds appealing to the ears of sleepwalkers, in practice it is a waste of time and energy.  Everything is already Nothing, so expecting something for nothing is nothing new but it is a request for a static separateness that will be satisfied, if the desire in your heart is to be empty and alone.  The purpose of anything in Nothing is to communicate to you how very fucking alone you really are as you delusionally whirl on a speck of dust, flying safely away from anywhere you might cause greater harm.  Once you get the depth and scope of the abyss, the appearance of a helping hand on the horizon is accorded its proper value.  Communication received.  So if I ask you to do a few minimal chores in between my appearances to mow your yard, I am not suggesting that you should light it on fire, blow it up, mine it with explosives, or tear it up and put in Astroturf.  You can do any of these things, if you wish, because Everything is Nothing.  But you can also expect to feel the value of Nothing in great depth within yourself for all your trouble.  You have been warned countless times and in many ways about the meanings you assign to particular things at particular times.  Accept responsibility for your own crappy choices and make your problem solvable; blame me and repeat the same error with a less forgiving lawn maintenance professional.

Point two.   Christian Dominionists and Jews were strange bedfellows from the beginning.  But there was a beginning and that beginning came from a particular interpretation of an ending – an ending and an interpretation that began and ended with the rich folks mentioned in Point one.  If I were to go corporate and start swallowing up all the lawn care business in Killeen, at some point, I would need to ensure that everyone was always going to have a lawn, that they were always going to be able to keep their lawn alive and that there were always going to be plenty of bad examples of lawn care around town from which I could contrast my service results against.  Likewise, if I know my authority is based in a happy ending to a story we all fit into, I need to make sure that we all have the means to survive our stories and our shared happy ending, but I will still need to provide for plenty of bad examples to keep everyone focused on moving in the same general direction.  That is what war is for.  War is nothing more than a bad example of humans failing to get along with other humans.  With enough war, we drive people to peace.  But if I try to turn a profit from your bad example, I lose control of my ability to release either you, or myself, from my need for bad examples.  In so doing, I become a bad example.  Fixation with bad examples is illness and this illness results in death.  There is no exception.  So I let others better suited to the task try to corporatize what they do not, and cannot, own until they learn that they did not create life, nor can they wish for anything more without automatically asking for an end to their own existence.  I love lawn care.  I despise paperwork.

Point two-aye.  The entire state of Israel began as an apostasy that no practicing Jew would want or would have tolerated during the 19th century CE.  This did not stop Christian Dominionists from wanting the ending foretold in their scriptures, nor did it stop a certain type of educated Jew from wanting to beat certain types of Christians to death with their own ignorance.  Enter World Wars I and II.  World War I decimated the Ottoman Empire, making possible the transformation of all those 19th century Jewish colonies, and later, kibbutzim, in Palestine into a Jewish homeland while also gaining control of the oilfields of Basra.  World War II was about killing off all internal Jewish opposition to the establishment of a Jewish homeland followed by the restoration of the British Empire to its former glory.  In a very real sense, World Wars I and II were about mowing the lawn in Europe and Palestine, at the expense of the mostly Muslim Turks.  The Crusades might have ended with Saladin running a victory lap all over Eastern Europe and North Africa, but no blue-eyed Caucasian is going to allow a dark-skinned mud-person living in a tent have the final word in any argument.  Being crazy is an important survival skill bred into the genetic makeup of the Caucasian race.  Ask any black African from which all of us once came and they will make plain that white people are crazy and they aren’t kidding.  It appears that albinism took more than melanin from our skin: it took away a piece of our ability to be humane.

Point two-bee.  While the rich publishers of our fine scriptures are busily trying to assure us that, in the end, the Jews will agree with everyone and all will be well, the Israelis are also busily trying to arrange for Muslims and Christians to kill each other over false pretenses while defending their ability to maintain their status in Palestine.  That means the order of the day is convincing the rest of the world that they need to “globalize” their economies while Israel busily arms itself in preparation for the inevitable resource wars that will come when there are too many Muslims and too many Christians left to maintain a healthy biosphere, at which time the Israelis will, as they have done in Gaza, mow the fucking lawn and leave us all bereft of a place to live in or a window to throw it out of.

Zionism – whether it is Judaic, Christian, Muslim, Confucian, Shinto or agnostic – is the endless search for perfection in a place where perfection has no utility.  There are no Edens, there are no utopias, there is only a choice between the deepest, darkest emptiness our heart’s can stand, and the hand of a brother in arms.  We might feel abandoned by our churches, synagogues, mosques, families or neighbors, but we have not been abandoned by that which created us.  Life knows itself.

It is high-time we got to know ourselves.

FleaInfestation

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Deer Jesus Epistle: Papal Conclave Edition

the-dude-tom-roderickProphecies of Saint Malachi, the final Pope being Benedict’s successor — apparently the Mayans were onto something with their “end of time” calendar that signaled a call to “judgment” for all humanity.
For too long, human beings have been walking this Earth under the mistaken notion that whatever pops into their conscious mind as being, “real,” must, in fact, be the way things are.  For those who see something different than a hastily gathered quorum, too bad, we find you to be, “insane.”
Don’t get me wrong here.  I’m not suggesting that there are no conditions for which bed rest, medication and professional supervision are warranted.  There are such conditions, it just so happens that the majority of those for whom adequate professional supervision, bed rest and medication might be applied are in charge of some of our oldest and most powerful social institutions.
Like, say, the Catholic Church.
Don’t get me wrong: I am no Protestant and I am not a Jew, outside of a couple Jewish women I gave serious consideration to converting for in order to woo.  I was raised a Catholic, but I implore you not to hold that against me.  I was educated by American Jesuits which qualifies me as a card-carrying agnostic.  I don’t know enough about God to portend its existence, and neither do you, skooter.
I can tell you, emphatically, that there are many powers greater than myself in existence in my universe today, starting with my wife and a mistress I am contemplating going insane and slashing off my ear over.  But that does not imply the existence of a supreme being, or even a heralding of a comeback of the Supremes, with or without Diana Ross.
So simply because the “integrity” of your faith demanded that you turn your back on the hypocrisy of the Roman Catholic Church does not ennoble your church in my eyes, it only makes your church a festering ward of the terminally insane because you are spreading the disease and not the cure.  Look at your snake-handling, tongue-talking, moralizing nonsensical Bible-thumping ignoramuses: is this a step above the decency and nobility of a single Roman Catholic Church or Jewish Synagogue?
Not in my judgment.
I save special ire for the community of Islam because your whole denomination is crazier than a gathering of Baptists at a Texas dancehall.  Yes, women have power; covering it up or trying to contain it does not change the fact that this same deity you piously proclaim your allegiance to created man and woman as separate and coequal lunatics in chief.  This same deity also guaranteed that you would never be able to impact any other form of life in the galaxy until you learned to stop killing and hurting each other.  The intent of Creation has been written all over our circumstance from the beginning: if there is a supreme being, it most certainly is not among any one of you, or us.  Mohammed was a certifiable and megalomaniacal lunatic and not someone to found any pursuit of truth in honor of. Nor was Moses, Abraham, Jesus, Martin Luther or Joseph Smith.  Nor am I.
The Day of Last Judgment is upon us.
Behold: are you a bigger dumbass than the Catholic Church that has for centuries used the exploitation of children to guarantee the hegemony of certain pontifical doctrines?  If you are not, then why am I the first one to inform you that every national government, including the UN, has come to use the convenient blackmail of placing the politically powerful on tape having sex with children as a means of guaranteeing their loyalty to certain vested interests?  Are you so retarded as to not see how potent a weapon in the arsenal of statecraft this Catholic tradition of “commercial” pedophilia has become?  Did this tradition of expediency arise out of sheer stupidity or the time-tested experience of dealing with the fevered human egos of the great unwashed masses?
Dorothy, wake up, we aren’t in Kansas anymore.  We aren’t even at the concert.  We are dealing with human evil of the most vile and horrific kind, the kind that would exploit and traffic in child orphans as a means of obtaining loyalty to a specific class of individuals with a very specific political and sociological agenda.  The agenda is the global enslavement of the human species through any means necessary and the politics varies depending on the expediency of meeting this objective.
Where we are, in this moment in human history, comes as a direct result of human judgment applied to the need to keep ourselves safe only from each other; we have not even begun to contemplate what might be required of us in order to guarantee our safety from the enormous challenge of cosmological calamity.
Does anyone remember taking a vote in favor, or in opposition, to imposing global slavery over the human species in order to guarantee our survival?  I do not.  I simply recall agreeing to buy certain products in the belief that if my breath were minty fresh, I might be able to attract a mate, a job and/or an adequate education.  I do not recall agreeing to join a federal reserve banking system where I agreed to pay a small cartel of families for the privilege of printing my paper currency on an annual basis, and, yet, it is so.  This is the best our human facility for judgment would allow. And now we sustain and support these unwritten, undemocratically imposed dictums by exploiting the sexual innocence of children and the depravity of adults who may well have been exploited themselves as children?
Enough.
Life is difficult enough without also having to shoulder the burden of rampant mental and emotional illness unleashed on the body politic.  We need to take at least ONE DAY set aside, globally, to decide whether we are going to continue allowing ourselves to be lead by human sickness or by human wellness.
In the days and weeks to come, I will observe examples of human sickness in full display and offer up how human wellness might set this situation aright and bring healing and light to all in the process.

Deer Jesus Epistle: Thanksgiving Day

I thought it might be nice to write something for this week, and I tried – I really did – but Facebook locked up on me before I could finish it, trashing the whole bloody clipboard and all of my material just disappeared.  So unless you are Michael Nesmith and have some special deal worked out with Zuckerberg, I would compose any weighty tomes offline and then upload.  Kind of a, “no red wine with fish,” rule for frequent Facebookers.

Speaking of which, there will be no “loaves and fishes” type miracles between now and December 21.  I and the Staff went over this detail fairly early on in the planning process and we decided, based on what happened the first time, there would be no point to it.  So, yes, there was a loaf of bread and three fishes and we fed a crowd of about 2,000.  That part was true.  The problem was that there was a crowd of 6,000 starving Palestinians who had given up the previous night’s meal because they heard what we were going to do and got all excited and fasted.  That’s what people do in the Middle East when they get excited – they fast.  So, contrary to Catholic reports of this being a “successful” miracle, it actually pissed off about two-thirds of everybody who showed up.  Fasting makes people so cranky.

So my Staff said, “never again.”  And with all the kids and baby carriages nowadays, people are going to steal – and you know they will – so it doesn’t matter if you prepare a proper miracle, it’s just never going to be enough.  People are hungry.  Starving.  They think it’s for booze, or food, or sex, or drugs, but none of that is true.  Anyone who’s ever come off a long bender, lost a lot of weight, ended a polyamorous relationship with two or more bisexual nymphomaniacs, or fried on mushrooms in a crowded college dorm at night after rolling in a field of sticky weeds — they will tell you, “life is very hard to adjust to without adding challenges.”  As a person who knows a lot of people who at one time drank, drugged, ate and screwed their way into what they thought was heaven, I can tell you to save your money, keep your empty baby carriages at home, the whole event will be seen on cable.  Yes, we’re talking to HBO.  Unless Roy Jones, Jr. tries to make another comeback the night of the 21st, the End of the World, Part One, is coming.  The people at HBO warned me that the Jones fight could happen, so my Staff is working with Roy’s publicists to make sure it doesn’t – probably going to cost me a couple weddings or a half dozen annulments, but don’t worry.  We are going to make December 21st, 2012, happen for a lot of people.  Not everybody wants to leave home in December anyway – it’s too damn cold.

We’ll do our best to have a nice lineup, maybe some Dylan, Joan Baez for sure – if they’re still getting along – Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young – whoever’s left over by then – we’ll have them over for some coffee, maybe some nice Baklava, talk about what really happened in the 1960’s and where we screwed it up.  So, yeah, Judy Collins has already turned us down.

That’s always a nice way to start a confessional program – talking about the mistakes we’ve made.  Jerry Springer doesn’t do that, notice?  Some of my Staff talked to Jerry’s people so, unlike some HBO programs, this one won’t have any midgets, dwarves, little people, swords, naked women or fancy dresses.  Maybe we can give a little on the naked women, but it has to be tasteful – maybe the waist-up, or something – because HBO wants to make money.  I just worry that it will end up like backstage of a Jimi Hendrix concert.  I asked the man upstairs if we could raise the dead before the End of the World, Part One, because I wanted Jimi to play the Star Spangled Banner or Purple Haze or All Along the Watchtower, but He said, “no.”

When the man upstairs says, “no,” you really don’t have a lot of wiggle room to negotiate.  I tried once.  I still have the scars.  Take it from me.  Don’t improvise.  Do what makes you happy and don’t start talking about what’s wrong with other people’s neighborhoods or you could end up nailed to a tree or something.  I thought the white jackass was a nice touch, kind of cutesy, kind of a slam – and He warned me – but then, before you know it, some fasting Palestinians got a hold of me and they let a camel thief go rather than the first Jewish rabbi-comedian to ever mix religion, magic tricks and some juggling into the same act.   A lot of people don’t know that about me, but I juggled on the side at bar mitzvahs to make ends meet when the carpentry stuff got slow, usually in the Spring.  It’s come in handy on Sundays when all those prayers start backing up and we get short-handed.

All of this to say, be grateful for your family and friends today.  The End of the World, Part One is coming, it is real – we’ve put down a deposit – so it’s just a matter of getting the people who want to be a part of it in the flow and usually – somewhere near the first or second run-through – a theme starts to come up like popcorn.  Someone in the group, or one of my Staff catches it, and before you know it, we have a show that everybody likes and wants to be a part of.  We can start with the Winter solstice, but that’s really kind of lame and this should be extra-ordinary.  With Andy Williams gone and Tony’s voice not what it used to be, it’s just not the same.  Somebody remembered Claudine Longet, but, with all that snow and skiing – the Penn State thing – I just didn’t want to go there.  But I’ve seen some of the storyboards and met with some of the lighting guys, I’ve got to say we’re in for a real treat this holiday season.  All the drama, all the excitement, all the butterflies, all the anticipation – and then, a pearl left with the crowd to ponder just in time for Christmas Eve.

I’ll try to come back online as time permits and the planning for a theme starts to reveal itself, but I’ve been kind of busy with ObamaCare and all the disappointment – and the tears…there have been a lot of tears.  On both sides.  It’s what happens when you let your criminals retire to live in Preston instead of Corcoran,  but I’ll leave you with that as a cliffhanger and get back to tie it off before we get too close to the final go-live date.

Happy Thanksgiving, God Bless you and your’s – have a lovely day.  If you’re reading this, you’ve earned it!

Amy Jade

Mitch Winehouse Posing With Wax Figurine of Daughter

“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you.  You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.”    —  Bob Marley

As a child who grew up in one of the many flavors of household, “dysfunction,” I can report emphatically that children always believe their parents are worth suffering for, over, about and instead of.  And, sadly, Amy Jade Winehouse was, probably unbeknownst to her, a victim of this particular scourge of western civilization, the cliché of the “dysfunctional family.”

We can see plainly that the tabloid monsters have wasted no time with their, “no-shit” anthems regarding the life of someone who publically displayed a death wish, rubbing our faces (and her parents’)  in the fact that no amount of talent can overcome low self esteem.  No shit.

Addicts who refuse recovery will die from their disease.  Again, no shit.

Troubled people lead troubled lives.  Where have I heard that one before?

People who come from troubled homes grow up troubled.  Thank you, Time Magazine.

True leadership is a matter of good breeding.  Screw you, Nathan Rothschild, JP Morgan and John D. Rockefeller.

My contribution, withheld until the last possible moment and kept relatively unheard from, has more to do with Amy Jade Winehouse atypical child warped by the typical damage caused by parents suffering in silence from their own painful mental illnesses and the toxic byproducts of their choosing to couple in order to heal.  Or find respite.  Or deal with their shit.

In defense of Mitch and Janis (nee Seaton) Winehouse, and parents everywhere, I can assure everyone that no parent ever passes on the full weight of the dysfunction under which they were born and reared through.  Every generation takes a bite out of their personal pain and moves heaven and earth to make certain that things turn out better for their children than they were for themselves.  I have no doubt that this is precisely what took place in the Winehouse Family and they can rest in a peace that our media will not be granting them for some time to come.

But mental illness is not about a single person facing a single challenge.  People with similar diagnoses are attracted to those who either share the same diagnosis, or who trumpet a solution the sufferer has been conditioned through shame to believe is where they must go. These kinds of personal problems, often hidden in shame from public view, must be vetted and viewed compassionately, if critically, if we are ever to afford meaning to the tragic death of Amy Jade and the hundreds of thousands, globally, who will share her story every year.

Mitch Winehouse believed, probably sincerely, that the solution to his mental and emotional difficulties would be found in the recessed world of polyamory.  He is not alone in harboring this delusion.  Janis no doubt believed that turning a problem over to “goddess Shiva” could only generate more chaotic consequences.  I sympathize with Mitch: sexual and emotional intrigue can lead to a euphoric state where depression is nowhere to be found.  I empathize with Janis: making a problem more complex cannot possibly result in an end state where a problem finds resolution.  Our various religious and moral traditions do nothing to help us attack our marital issues with open minds.  But to seriously entertain the thought that two adult women, willing or unwilling, would or could solve the problems of one charismatic, but gravely warped, male, was, and is, completely insane.

Into the fire and crossfire of sexual tension and emotional pain came the head of Amy Jade.  Filled with the shrapnel caused by years of abandonment, betrayal, stubborn foolishness and simple human cruelty, Amy grew up to honor her parents with the solution she believed she had found.

To their f*ing problem, not Amy’s.

This is what I, and many children raised in dysfunctional homes do: we take on the problems of our parents and, since they are not able to solve what to us seems like a simple problem, we will solve the problem for them.  The problem with our approach, however, is that we do not possess the full complement of an adult nervous system and a life of adult experiences where our judgment might be tempered with common sense.  And, in cases like the Winehouse’s and mine, we are compelled to allow adult reality to overwhelm us and drive us slowly, constantly mad with grief.

So whereas Mitch was driven by his delusional thinking to seek multiple life partners to soothe the ravages of what some might unfairly label, “ennui,”  he was also driven by guilt to seek a mother figure who would shame him into conforming to a standard of sexual conduct that had only left him in more pain on numerous occasions.  The impacts of chronic depression are quite well known, but my experience has been that it twists judgment and behavior into “pretzels” of logic where we can be compelled to do just about anything, including suicide, in order to soothe the pain that no one but us can see or even feel.  But the problem is simple: pain seeks pain relief.  Distraction turns out to be a fairly effective reliever of pain, if only temporarily.  Janis Winehouse, or any spouse with a whit of personal sanity left, would have none of this.  This left Amy, her daughter, wide open to the manipulations, rationalizations and justifications of an adult male driven completely mad by his own delusional thinking.

At the very least, Mitch Winehouse confided far too much in his growing daughter regarding his difficulties with her mother.  Such information to the immature brain and nervous system of a child could only trigger a stronger-than-steel resolve and commitment to ensure that her mother paid for her “crimes” against her father and that she, Amy Jade, became many times the woman she was raised to believe her mother was.  Where her mother had failed to keep the family together, Amy would demonstrate, once and for all, that her mother was some sort of emotionally crippled maladroit.

Janis Winehouse may have been emotionally crippled, but none of her difficulties were because she was uniquely and supremely guilty of crimes against her family or against anyone, for that matter.  And never could it be written that a mother deserves to sit powerlessly by to watch her lovely child suffer and die because of the twisted relationship she shared with her father.  Janis, like hundreds of millions of women every year, falsely believe they can provide a home so warm and inviting that no amount of male dysfunction stands a chance of survival.

Mitch Winehouse will spend the rest of his life tortured by his guilt and shame much as he was before he ever met and married Amy’s mother.  This guilt and shame will serve no useful purpose to anyone and is not an epitaph worthy of his heartsick daughter’s legacy.  I hope he rises to the occasion and walks through the fire of a stern look in the mirror and then returns to us with useful information that prevents this kind of tragedy from ending this way ever again.  He, too, is suffering mightily from the death of his beloved daughter, but it is his own mental illness that warped his judgment into believing that turning a child against her own mother was ever a justifiable act when dealing with a contentious adult relationship between two parents.

I hope both Mitch and Janis prove worthy of the self-forgiveness required to “repent” for the crime of bringing such an enormous talent into the world and then smiting it with their conjoined weaknesses.  This sin is not their’s individually but is a weakness of relationship chemistry that no one can reliably predict until after a relationship has been engaged.  When I saw a similar dynamic emerge in my relationship decades ago, I opted to avoid parenthood at about the same time Amy Jade Winehouse would have been conceived.  I did not regret my decision as regrettable as the circumstances under which it was made were.  I knew then, and I know now, that a selfish decision on my part could have far more tragic impacts on far more people than just myself and the woman I was involved with at the time.

A world bereft of children is a sad place, indeed, but a world bereft of meaningless tragedy is a more worthwhile goal by any measure.

Return to Nazareth

“Such was the crucifixion of the Son of God. His faithlessness did this to him.”

A Course In Miracles, p. 421

Imagine a world where this might be true.

In the first place, being a country-born ideologue riding into the “Big City” on a white jackass to “learn them city boys some righteousness,” would always be contraindicated regardless of their obvious need for remediation. Mocking the power structure must always result in your untimely death at the hands of that power structure.

In the second place, lying to an entire civilization as to the nature and consequences of one of its pivotal, if manufactured, moments in time could have massively deleterious consequences.

My early tutelage in Catholicism taught me to not question authority, to always regard the Church as the “one truth” I could always count on to provide me the guidance any worthy human life could possibly require. If the solutions provided by church dogma did not provide me with the solutions, or relief, that a solution should, the problem was due to my as yet unreconciled defects of character. The Church was to be the pearl of great price in my life and conducting myself as if I believed otherwise must always result in being posthumously tormented for all eternity. Simple. Like all great solutions.

So, in addition to having a number of unresolved challenges waiting for me outside the doors and walls of various churches scattered across the country of my birth, I had the problem of hiding the fact, growing more obvious with each passing decade, that I was the Antichrist spoken of by John of Patmos in his Apocalypse. My blood boiled with unresolved rage, my life became awash in failed relationships and the world around me grew darker the more worldly “truth” I let come into my mind. Much was wrong within me and the more I tried to apply the solutions provided to me as a child, the worse things seemed to become. One would expect that the wicked should suffer so.

Quite naturally, a nice refreshing box of wine became one of my favorite escapes. Smoking some of the “sacred ganja” in combination became a daily lifestyle choice that lasted some ten years. But like most love affairs that burn hot enough to produce smoke, an inability in both acumen and desire to be a responsible motorist, or both, things ended rather poorly. Alcohol and ganja continue to work for others which is fine for them; I, however, have had my dance card unceremoniously punched out of existence. Time to go home, time for salvation, time to get down to causes and conditions wherever they might take me.

I am happy to report that my inflated opinion of myself regarding my ultimate identity was not true. Not entirely. It appears everyone around me is both christ and antichrist and how we choose to deal with this most confusing set of circumstances determines whether we live happily and usefully whole, or die according to some miserable bodily or mentally vanquishing upheaval. I believe I am on the mend, certainly in much better spiritual and physical condition than a person who began life on an unstable trajectory might deserve, but I am by no means completely free and clear of a formerly incessant desire to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Particularly in those circumstances where, like Jesus of Nazareth, I return to the Big City to mock the rich and well-heeled for the crime of maiming a large portion of my family tree, mostly before I was ever born. The Great Depression hit my mother’s side of the family tree especially hard.

The Catholics and Protestants of my youth, in many cases, would like to make the story of Jesus of Nazareth a tale about those who loved the spoken word of God made flesh, and those, “dirty Jews,” of the Sanhedrin, the Scribes and Pharisees. No doubt Jesus may have felt that way and may have “cleared the temple” for this very reason, but, according to A Course in Miracles, the problem that resulted in the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth was his own inability to believe that every human being is equipped with a divine spark that makes salvation and “seeing the Light” possible in the first place. Jesus lost faith in the ultimate humanity of his fellows and took to insulting and mocking them at just the wrong moment in history. The story of the end of Jesus of Nazareth had nothing to do with “Jews v. Christians” at all, but rather rich versus poor. When one considers that for the majority of Christian history the only humans wealthy enough to own and operate a printing press might have had a vested interest in distorting the story of Jesus’ life and death, the scapegoating of more modern Jewry begins to take on a completely different hue. Especially if those Jews were also quite wealthy themselves as often becomes the case when slaves overthrow their masters and learn how to hold their former masters at bey.

And you thought being black, African, Egyptian or possessing more than a slight amount of melanin in your skin was cause for horror or concern. Yet genetically, it is not possible for two white humans to produce a dark-skinned child, yet it is quite possible for two dark-skinned humans to produce one that is very Caucasian in appearance. Click, click and click. Obviously a huge amount of human history has been lost to us over the centuries, which is sad, but one side benefit of getting one’s own story straight becomes an uncanny ability to sniff out bullshit from the collections of stories other humans tell about themselves and to start identifying and resolving similar patterns of denial, delusion and dishonesty.

My problem with the phenomenally wealthy is not so much that they are not human but that, like any human ceded that much authority over other humans, the slightest character flaw in them produces an enormous amount of suffering in those occupying the lower rungs of the social strata beneath them. The problem is not that human beings possess flaws so much as we are utilizing a system of social organization that magnifies the impact of human flaws on the lives of others. In time this condition will need to be adjusted so that compassion and mercy can be more evenly distributed throughout the human family. Merit may well strike in one person for a particular of time, but that good fortune seldom passes on to one’s progeny. Certainly the times where one is called to demonstrate their merit change such that what is required at one time may be more or less than what is required in another. A genetically oriented social hierarchy is not fluid enough to allow solutions to flow to the problems where they exist.

I continue to distrust, as do many, the religion that water-boarded a fear of drowning into my consciousness at the age of six months – the only memory I possess from that period in time. I continue to distrust any collection of humans hierarchically organized to manage the thinking, beliefs, money, property and/or prestige of any social collective – I do not believe that such trust is merited given both history and the known unknowns we can deduce from the lack of it in key areas of import. But most importantly, I am coming to realize that not every phenomenally wealthy human is a psychopath, nor is it entirely ill-conceived that merit be considered when deciding who deserves their station in society and who does not. My great sin in life has been that I did not possess the merit required, at the proper time, to bring down the psychopathic conspiracies of wealth under whose heel we all now suffer. I only hope that I can be of some service to those who hope to make our present conditions survivable, tenable and known to others for all time. We dare not repeat these same mistakes ever again.

A Theism

Atheism:  (n) à-thē-i-zəm, godlessness (the doctrine or belief that there is no God).

Our religious friends will be gratified to know that this word is at the bottom 50% of word lookups in the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, while our atheist friends will be disturbed to recognize that the mechanics of human perception render their basic doctrine mute in cases where the god under review is omnipresent.

Be all of this as it may be, I can no longer offer a heartfelt defense of any religious, or irreligious, dogma or doctrine; all of them carry the seeds of self destruction within themselves.  Each major dogmatic tradition denies that it affirms the necessity of a defense against the very omnipresence on which each relies on for legitimacy.  Both theism and atheism suffer from the “trap” that is dogma.

Questioning of any legitimate sort requires, at some point, that the querent establish the level of authority of both themselves and the entity they wish to interrogate or engage.  While authority of this sort does not establish ethical, moral or procedural legitimacy, this process – usually conducted in the blink of an eye – establishes a basis for reasonable expectations from the proposed dialogue.

For example, I can ask my dog if the value of Pi is approximately 3.14159, which is a simple true or false question requiring very little effort for my dog to respond.  Many an intoxicated college student has put forward such a question of their furry pets on many occasions.  But is this an appropriate question to ask of a creature that has no earthy idea what Pi is, what approximate might mean or the notion of abstract value?  And is it reasonable for me to base a whole system of thought upon the answer to a single question that has an equal chance of being either true or false?

Likewise, problems of authority arise when questioning the existence or non-existence of an imagined life force or form capable of embodying omnipresence.  In the first place, omnipresence is not a quality that can be verified through human perception, and one could deduce that its omniscience could not be calculated mathematically, either.  We’d be equally likely of proving that everything in the universe is six inches and five years older from where it was when we went to sleep the prior evening.  Or, solving the problem of the following sentence being completely true.  However, the preceding sentence is absolutely false.  Insert your favorite irreconcilable conundrum here.

Either atheism or theism offers us a 50% probability of correctness.  Adding a postmodern spin to this line of thinking, both propositions could be either true or false in tandem – god is both is and is not, or god neither is nor is not.   To anyone of an agnostic temperament, the false dichotomy of “god is” or “god is not” can be readily seen.

The latter of the postmodern assertions, that god neither is nor is not, is the same as suggesting that the question of the existence of god is irrelevant.  The former is highly suggestive of an issue of definition: a poor or deficient definition of a supreme being would allow for a kind of overlap between “isness” and “non-isness”, so the postmodern spin on the classic debate between theists and atheists does bear some illuminating fruit.  In summary, then, either god is, god is not, we have a poor definition of god, or the whole matter is completely irrelevant and we need to steer clear of this line of inquiry entirely.

Notice that while over the millennia philosophers have managed to develop some very precise qualities for a supreme being that must either be or not be, nowhere has anyone bothered to suggest the possibility that god’s existence or absence is irrelevant to us.  All of us would like to believe that the question of universe versus multiverse is critical to our understanding of ourselves, however no one has bothered to provide us with a really good argument in favor of resolving the matter without also damning us to some imaginary, eternal hell of fire and brimstone.  In point of fact, the atheist camp has some very astute observations in the direction of shutting the whole line of inquiry down post haste.

I am of the opinion that the mere fact that we are cognitively present and carrying on some manner of interaction suggests that there are some uni or multiversally important truths to be known that could well maintain the qualities of a notional omnipresent god.  So the atheists, for me, lose the argument up to the point where the theists fail to consider the complete irrelevance, in fact harmfulness, of drilling into the ancient details of what makes or breaks a notion of god that could be relevant to humanity.

For example, the United States has a long and proud tradition of celebrating its affinity with a trustworthy god.  It is printed on our currency and declared from mountaintop to sleepy hamlet, to a nauseating degree, that the US and all that it represents comes by its relative prosperity honestly, and has in fact been ordained by an omnipresent god that this be so.

Meanwhile the corporations and governments manifested and operating under the auspices of the United States have manufactured a nuclear nightmare on the same island of Honshu where they first dubiously dropped two nuclear bombs not quite sixty-six years ago.   But this time, make no mistake, the arrogance and stupidity reaches beyond the level of breathtaking since the Cesium 137 that is now spewing all over the planet mimics, at a molecular level, the presence of potassium.  So, yes, ladies and gentlemen, whatever the media reports as being the current “exposure level” of Cesium 137 in your local environment, they are at least understating the exposure, by a factor of 1,000, what will soon be present in our global food supply.  This is due to the fact that potassium is an essential element in the creation and maintenance of all life on planet Earth.  This means that every living organism will store and hoard radioactive Cesium-137 as if its very life depends upon it, courtesy of General Electric, and the molecular similarity of radioactive Cesium 137 and the relatively harmless mineral potassium.

Other than the questionable ethics and morality of ever bringing such a nightmare, “to light,” what makes this issue a matter of theistic consideration is the fact that most, if not all, of these “captains of industry” who operate these destructive economic leviathans do so because they believe their ultimate reward, and their ultimate justification to act, rests with their favorite flavor of deity whom they visit, religiously, on a weekly basis.  So while they may bomb Hiroshima or pollute the water table of Tokyo via Fukushima, they are forgiven for their misdeeds by a loving god who sees no harm and no foul in them because somehow, someway, an ethical justification for the good of what they do might possibly exist.

To the churches who dispense the dispensation and excuse the dubious morality of the individuals involved in propagating and perpetuating these environmental holocausts I say that you are at least irrelevant and probably a harmful affront to matters which should always be relevant and kept so for all time.  There is no reasonable justification for the worship of a god that asks for the destruction of one’s own ability to care for one’s self, now or ever.  Worship of such a deity is plainly evident in the behavior and the moral justifications of behavior of persons who are psychologically indistinguishable from serial murderers, psychopaths and sociopaths, yet who are presently occupying positions of trust throughout our society in the United States and abroad.  This is what theistic elitism has wrought and one very powerful justification for keeping the less dubious philosophical arguments for atheism front and center – a great many dishonest, murderous things are going on in our troubled world and theistic institutions provide at least “covering fire” for their perpetration, if not their metastasis.

In the end what is and always will be relevant is that any god worthy of anyone’s consideration would not ask, nor demand, that life be divided against itself resulting in its eventual extermination.  God, to be omnipresent, must be capable of providing both the seeds of all Life and must be the ultimate survivor of any observable, or unobservable, conflict arising as a result of its activity within itself.

Still, these god requirements do not represent anything of more relative importance than our treatment of the Japanese people, of any people or of ourselves.  Nor would a god capable of self interest, or obliged by a default survival requirement, ever ask or demand that we destroy our own wholeness in order to sustain our survival.  Survival and death are mutually excludable propositions, so nothing capable of bringing forth life “for all eternity” should be capable of countenancing its opposite in anything like an equal measure.

In the theism of the survivors of this century must rest a rock-solid commitment to the survival of the human species above and beyond the survival of any of its component races or creeds.  It has been our divided loyalty between church and our fellows that has lead to many painful lessons in self defeating behavior for many centuries of human history.

In future musings, I will offer up my thoughts on where the science, religion and postmodern/post-structuralist paradigm clashes seem to be leading us and the attitudes we might gainfully adopt out of enlightened self interest.