Donald Trump and his new Republican Party proved something: That a Constitution written when indoor plumbing was actually cutting-edge technology, is not itself strong enough to withstand a manipulative assault on it by a modern day organized crime mindset that literally came of age in the dark gaps found between its words.
what can we do when
off the glaciers sheer
and dams burst outward
to peasants in valley
so far away from you
hunched over a teak desk
looking tight for the line
of the feeders on bottom
As the Dome burns its effigy
in Democracy’s last waltz
Words themselves have no real meaning, not on their own anyway. They are really just jumbles of recognizable sounds that we put together. It’s once we collectively agree on a meaning for that group of sounds that, Boom!, you’ve got a word.
When we begin to be mindful of the associations we carry for most words and names we begin to see that our thoughts, feeling, and maybe even many of our reactions, are largely built upon our own unique memories and experiences. Simply put, the word ‘Mom’ doesn’t evoke the same feelings and images to me as it does to you.
As we grow and start to interact with our world, we encounter things and we are told their names by the people around us. “That thing over there is called a bee, Johnny.”. Being curious little kid, Johnny wants to learn more about things so he reaches out grab a hold of the bee and…
Okay, stop a minute…
Now I am going to ask the reader to take a second and pause – Imagine what your initial reaction would be if someone that had never seen a bee before, reached out to grab one right in front of you. What would your knee-jerk reaction be?
If there is any truth to the assertion that we humans actually create our worlds, it is evidenced by the way we attach significance to many of the words that we hear every day, binding them with the bricks and mortar of our own individual experiences, emotions, and attitudes. ‘Mom’ is not just ‘mom’, she is ‘MOM’.
But it is also in this way that we create our own blindnesses, when we allow our distractions, resentments, desires, and prejudices tell us how to feel and react to a single word or phrase.
…And now back to our little bee!
And if you had never experienced a stinging insect before, bees sure do look fuzzy and cute. And if Johnny is curious about his world, he is likely to reach out and pick up the bee. It’s at this point that we experience that initial reaction to a kid trying to pick up a bee right in front of us. And if you have ever been stung before, or you are allergic to bee venom, you’re probably going to have a different reaction when Johnny goes to pick up the bee than someone like, say Steve Irwin would have.
The whole point to this is to talk about the fact that older slang words for cannabis like pot, weed, and even marijuana, by their very nature are slowing the cause of replacing the public perception of cannabis as a real medicine. Let alone as a safer alternative to some of the legal intoxicants people already use.
There is also the added fact that ‘cannabis’ is actually the plants real name. Add to that the fact that there are literally millions of people out there who still believe the antiquated disinformation campaign that pushed the ‘marijuana leads to harder stuff’ idea.
This one single action of carefully choosing our words when it comes to talking about cannabis, will help us more rapidly bring about these reforms because we won’t have deal with accidentally be conjuring up images of Cheech and Chong sitting in a parked and smoke-filled car, as one of them asks how his driving is.
It’s just not as funny when you just say you use a vaporizer with cannabis to treat the pain from your spinal cord damage.
As funny as that is, it has never gotten us closer to the image of seeing a doctor prescribe cannabis for spinal cord pain because of how effective it is. But also because they were concerned about the addiction potential to many of the other pain medicines they used to use.
I’m just going to put these thoughts down for my own purposes. Predictions for posterity, I guess.
When I run this stuff around in my head, I time-trip and visit each scenario as it plays out, including each possibility in the multiverse of choices that branch off from it. It’s exhausting. Anyway, when I run this stuff through in my head here is what I keep coming up with. (Yes, I keep… Meaning I have done this a few times. I’m in quarantine like everyone else, so I might as well time-travel.)
Pundits and talking heads keep saying Donald Trump is going to fade away once he is out of office. I don’t see it, I really don’t.
Here’s the problem -— Some of his followers think he is the great and powerful Q, and then a bunch of other ones that think that he was sent by God as wrecking ball to help clear out the unworthy. And, as we now know, Trump will do anything to stay out of jail.
When those things get tossed around together, they add up to “He’s not going to just slink off into obscurity”. I just don’t see it. Not him, maybe someone normal, but not him.
One of the exercises that I found particularly helpful when discussing the concept of ’emptiness’ in Buddhism, was trying to figure out at what point a car is a car.
For example: We have a car in front of us…
If I remove the engine, and the leave the rest of the body, frame, etc., is that still a car?
What if I then take off all of the doors, is it still a car now?
Or how about if I took out all the wiring and stuff, is that still a car then?
You can see how the exercise goes. At some point the realization began to set in that all things are all composite. We ourselves, are not singular. And we really are not separate from other beings. We are all made of of countless other components, and those things themselves are made up of even smaller elements. You can follow this logic as far down as you like, ultimately splashing around in the quantum foam like are in a 50’s surf movie.
But what if applied this logic to other things? Like what happened yesterday at the capital.
At what point does a protest become a riot?
At what point does riot become sedition?
At what point does a sedition become an insurrection?
At what point does insurrection become civil war?
What I have discovered is that rarely are there clear lines showing separation in nature. We tend only to be able to identify things after a new form has become apparent to us. In Buddhism, I have found this very humbling. When it comes to public safety, things get very messy and dangerous very quickly.
The molecule that makes people camp out for days just to get a new iPhone a few weeks before their neighbor, is the very same one that drives people to rapidly refuse to wear a mask the more we ask them to. We need to de-escalate the stigma of it somehow.
The ego is the non-Newtonian fluid of our spirit. The more we force this issues, the harder they’re going to push back on it. More PSAs, less confrontations folks.
So, the only organization that has called winners and losers in a U.S. Presidential elections on election night have been news organizations. They make predictions based on the percentage of counted votes that the States themselves make public. But suddenly this president is demanding that “we accept the call that’s made on TV the night of the election.”
Okay, so ignoring the fact that anyone who voted 20 years ago knows that’s not true. And ignoring the idea that most people prior to the mid-20th century must have just stared at the blank spot on the wall where their future TV would go, and waited for some answers from it. And ignoring the fact that the only reason he is president right now is because of the electoral college, which does not vote for at least a few more weeks (you’d think he’d want to wait around for that one, right? [*cough* *cough* 3 million votes *cough* *cough*])…
Putting all of that aside, you’ve got to wonder why the guy who has been doing his best to delegitimize “the fake news media”, suddenly wants to hang all of his hopes on what they have to say tomorrow night.
Editorial comment: Somehow a very important few words disappeared from the first sentence when I first published this. The first sentence has been changed to reflect that I meant ‘on election night’.
It seems that I tend to post this once in a while, and there’s usually good reason each time. Aside from the fact that this is one of my all-time favorite poems, for me it also calls up a reality check. I’m not alone in that fact, either. And, I have always loved the version that Joni Mitchell arranged, so today I am posting that with the text of the poem. Read deep.
We humans have enough of a history that shows how clearly we are capable of existential damage to each other, as well as our environment. I don’t believe there is anything particularly prophetic in this poem/song, but there are some huge reminders.
The Second Coming
by William Butler Yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Today I saw two fairly typical rural New Hampshirey kind of guys (white males, beards and baseball caps, obligatory work boots, and a variety of apparel from famed designers such as Mossie Oake and Coco Flanell) slogging hip deep through the roadside tick-grass dragging a massive sign that proclaimed: “Asians for Trump”. These guys were in the process of hammering it into the ground directly between myself and a bunch of very beautiful fall leaves. I absolutely hate political signs.
I suspect if I had actually pulled over and pointed out to these guys just how dense their political irony was, it would be as welcome from me as breaking the news about where fortune cookies actually come from.
The problem is that publicly voicing any sort of political speech these days is just as likely to get you shot, as get you are to get run over by a muscle car or big-ass truck with giant tires and a Punisher sticker on the back window. All while sustaining a barrage of colorful potty words, and various observations about your appearance and pedigree.
I am afraid that no matter who wins this presidential election, there will be violent reactions across the country, leading to far more deaths than there should ever be in a country with free and fair elections. And if you’re wondering just how many deaths should happen as a result of free and fair elections, the answer is zero.