Agape, Authoritarianism, Becky, Belief, Brett, Christianity, Citizenship, Class War, Coffee Shop Folks, Coffee Shop Stories, Conservative, Democracy, Fantasy Based Community, God(s), Guilt, Judeo-Christian Tradition, Late Night Thoughts, Liberal, Love, News and Current Events, People, Philos, Play, Politicians and Scoundrels, Politics, Progressive, Reality Based Community, Regret, Religion, Romantic Love, Self, Self Identity, Self Image, Society, Work

Late Night Thoughts (Reposted from February 20, 2011)

There are few noises at this hour.   A car passes in the distance.  The house creaks.  The furnace starts.  I have not heard a dog bark in hours.

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…”It is really annoying when people, particularly those in positions of power, can’t even be bothered to take the trouble to lie well.” — Yves Smith.

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…To oppress a mother is to oppress a democracy, for it is mothers who teach the value of democracy to their children.

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…It seems what’s happening in Wisconsin is part of the class war in America that’s been going on for sometime now.  As Warren Buffett pointed out, the war was begun by members of his class, and his class is winning it.

Unfortunately, if rich billionaires like the Koch brothers win the Wisconsin round in the class war, that means they will have managed to break the Wisconsin public service unions.  And if they manage to do that, then the Democratic party will be left as nothing more than a paper man in that state.

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…The other day, I noticed an advertisement that claimed the Bible was, of all the world’s wisdom literature, the most profound.  Now, I’ve heard that claim made before in various ways and places.  But, I confess, I have never understood why anyone would make that claim.

As wisdom literature, the Bible seems to have been often surpassed. And not just by many of the ancient Greek, Roman, Indian, or Chinese authors.  But also by more modern authors.

To give some of the Biblical authors credit, though, their concern for social, political, and economic justice was remarkable for their time, and — thankfully — very influential on the West.

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…There seems to be a sense in which almost all complex, hierarchical societies — even going as far back as to the origin of complex, hierarchical societies some 5,500 years ago — have been scams.   Moreover, it’s been the same scam perpetrated again and again.  And, in essence, that scam has been to fool the masses into believing the society’s elites have the backing of a supernatural order.

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…There are many people in this god-drunk town who cast their blurry vision on science and declare that it, too, is a religion.  The last drunk to tell me that declared, as his reasoning, “Religions are based on beliefs. Science is based on beliefs. Therefore, science is a religion.”

By precisely the same “logic”, “Cats are furry.  Dogs are furry.  Therefore, dogs are cats.”

But, even if his reasoning was logically valid — which it is not, unless dogs are cats — what would not then become a religion?  Indeed, even one’s overwhelming desire to take a shower after hearing him espouse his drunken  “logic” would, according to his drunken  “logic”,  become a religious act.

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Just now, a motorcycle started up, then sped off.  In the day, it would be just another cycle.  But in the night, it seems a story in itself.

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…Humans are natural born cartographers.  We make maps of the world, which we call “beliefs”.   It’s what our species does.

Sometimes, our maps are more or less accurate.  And sometimes, they are fantasy maps, like the ones we made as children to show where a pirate’s treasure lay buried in our backyard.

The accuracy of our maps often matters less to us than the fact they are ours.  Because, for most of us, our maps are something we think of as us.

Now, when we fall in love, she sooner or later challenges our maps…

And, if our love survives those challenges, there’s a chance that our love is true.

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…Tonight, I came across in a faded notebook a line from a poem I once wrote to a woman: “No one has made me wish / To face with grace the challenge / of her morning breath like you, Joelle.”   And consequently, reading that line, I had a sudden and abrupt realization of precisely how it is that I have managed all these years to remain celibate despite the occasional woman who’s now and then been interested enough in me to even read my poems.

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…Once I saw a Seven-Eleven that was closed.  Locked up and abandoned.

Since everything inside the impossibly dark store windows was in place and intact, I eventually concluded it must be a clerk who didn’t show up for work.  But I at first thought: “Not even a president’s death can close a Seven-Eleven. It must be something.  It must be big.”

Perhaps there is inside all of us a thing — a strange, hard thing — that now and then longs for an event so big it will close even the world’s Seven-Elevens.

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…When I met Becky she was in her 30s and would now and then do something completely spontaneous: Always some little thing, but it was an attractive quality.   Even in a city, birds from a branch put to air like her.  So, though they live like the rest of us amongst the concrete and noise, you can see how those birds are beyond the artificial world we have created for them — how they are still native to the earth and sky.  Some people are like that.

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…So far, I have found only three things with power to redeem the human condition: Love, work, and play.  And of those three, love is the greatest.

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…Brett called to invite me to lunch the other day  (Brett was 15 the year we first met at the coffee shop.  I was perhaps 40 or 42).   So, we met at a tavern where the beer is watery, but the food is good, and I enjoyed talking with him so much the time slipped past on rabbit’s feet.

At some point in the afternoon, after we had exhausted half a dozen topics, Brett said he suspected the reason quite a few kids had hung out with me years ago at the coffee shop was because I was for the most part nonjudgmental.   So I told him that was the dumbest thing I’d ever heard from a fellow human, if indeed he was actually human. So, I thanked him for confirming a suspicion I’d had.  Then, being an insufferable old fart, I told him a story he’d already heard at least twice from me, and one he probably didn’t want to hear again.

After we had parted for the evening, I reflected on the fact that Brett had certainly been one of the most intelligent people at the coffee shop, and very likely one of the wisest.  Yet, it had never been any one thing that led me to those conclusions.  Like a stream of gold dust, Brett is someone who stands out from the crowd not for any one big thing, but for the cumulative impression made on you by a thousand glittering details.

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…My second wife had a taste for dresses by Ungaro.  Is Ungaro still around?  That Italian knew how to make a woman wearing silk look like a nude.

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…This night, for the first time in ages, I recall once a woman and I spent nearly two years laughing together.  No, she was not my wife, but a co-worker.  We worked together in the evenings, and we’d spend every moment we could with each other.  Then, when I moved on to a day job, I still dropped by her workplace in the evenings to laugh with her.

One day, I invited her out to a movie.  But by the time she got to my place, it was too late to catch a show.  At a loss for much else to do, I tried nibbling on her ear.  Consequently, two years of laughing together led to her having three explosive orgasms: The best in her life, she told me.  After that, you might think she’d be happy.

Yet, somehow, by the next day, she had translated everything — all of it — into guilt and regret.  “You must think I’m a slut”, she said, “because I slept with you on our first date.”

“No, I feel as if I’ve been courting you for two years”, I said, “Besides I’m in love.”

“Even if you don’t think I’m a slut”, she said, “When I saw you this evening, it made me think of myself as a slut, and then my heart sank to the floor.  I can’t see you again.”  And she meant it.

It was much later I realized that, despite our rapport, only one of us had been in love.

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It is almost dawn.

Abuse, Abusive Relationships, Alienation, Bad Ideas, Judgementalism, Law, Love, Power, Relationships, Truth, Verbal Abuse, Village Idiots

A Flock of Sparrows for Majel: You Lawyered-Up

A Flock of Sparrows for Majel

(About a 1 minute read)

I profoundly regret I am unable to accept
Your apology, your olive branch,
Your redress, your atonement
for the insult
You hurled at me today.

Alas! I find myself unable to accept your apology
On a mere legal technicality,
No more than a mere legal technicality.

The mere legal technicality
That you did not offer one.

Continue reading “A Flock of Sparrows for Majel: You Lawyered-Up”

Abstinence Only Sex Ed, Adolescent Sexuality, Bad Ideas, Cultural Traits, Culture, Denialism, Ethics, Human Nature, Life, Living, Memes, Morality, Morals, Sex, Sexuality, Society, Values, Village Idiots

Sex Education in the World Today

(About a 2 minute read)

I am of the alarming opinion that American and United Kingdom sex education is rather on the deficient side, crazy as my opinion might sound to this blog’s typically well-informed readers.

Nevertheless, even if that is so, there is fair and just cause for joint UK – USA pride.

We both beat India.

Continue reading “Sex Education in the World Today”

Adolescent Sexuality, Bad Ideas, Cultural Traits, Culture, Erotic Love, Ethics, Free Spirit, From Around the Net, Fun, Horniness, Human Nature, Jane Paterson Basil, Judgementalism, Learning, Life, Living, Love, Morality, Morals, New Love, Play, Seduction, Self, Self Identity, Self Image, Self-determination, Self-Flourishing, Self-Knowledge, Sex, Sexuality, Sexualization, Society, Stolen From The Blogosphere, Village Idiots

The Feral Sexuality of Teenage Girls

(About a 6 minute read)

It is easy to fall for the cliché that ours is the most sexually liberated age in history.  It might be actually closer to the truth if we were to think of ourselves as among the most sexually complicated ages in history.

Continue reading “The Feral Sexuality of Teenage Girls”

Communication, Conversation, Human Nature, Ideas, Life, Living, Marysa, Neuroscience, Psychology, Relationships, Science, Society, Terese, Teresums

Understanding Each Other

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  Paul offers some thoughts on the foundation and basis for mutual human understanding in shared experiences.

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THE CRITICS GO NOVA! “Paul Sunstone has a ravenous appetite for stupidity.  There!  I said it!  I said his name.  My therapist tells me if I say his name often enough, I will accustom myself to it, I will numb myself, and I will no longer burst into uncontrollable giggle-snorting whenever…please excuse me. I am become disconcerted…”  — Arun Ghani, India’s Blogs and Beyond, “The Herald and News”, Hyderabad, India.

Continue reading “Understanding Each Other”

Abuse, Abusive Relationships, Authenticity, Bad Ideas, Being True To Yourself, Ethics, Eudaimonia, Fairness, Free Spirit, Friends, Happiness, Honesty, Human Nature, Humanism, Liars Lies and Lying, Life, Living, Lovers, Morality, Morals, Obligations to Society, Passion, Quality of Life, Relationships, Self, Self-Flourishing, Sex, Sexuality, Society, The Art of Living Well, Values, Well Being

The Morality of Putting People to Narrow Uses

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Paul offers his take on the morality of putting people to narrow uses, such as only being interesting in someone for sex, or only for their entertainment value.

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THE CRITICS GO NUCLEAR!  “Once again, Paul Sunstone has taken it upon himself to discuss morality.  Hence, once again he has taken it upon himself to load a high calibre rifle with a shotgun shell.  Typical Sunstone, he is oblivious to the fact the shell didn’t fit, and he is just as oblivious to the fact his notion of morality does not fit the moral requirements nor standards of human nature.  Sunstone is proposing a moral code for bacteria.” — Gus “Gunning Gus” Johnson, The Blog Critic’s Column, “Leper’s Gulch Gazette”, Leper’s Gulch, Colorado, USA.

Continue reading “The Morality of Putting People to Narrow Uses”

Absolutist Thinking, Advice, Alienation From Self, Attachment, Authenticity, Bad Ideas, Being True To Yourself, Belief, Clinging, Courage, Creative Thinking, Delusion, Free Spirit, Freedom, Honesty, Human Nature, Impermance, Intellectual Honesty, Life, Living, Obligations to Society, Oppression, Passion, Play, Resilience, Self, Skeptical Thinking, Society, Spiritual Alienation, Spirituality, The Art of Living Well, Thinking, Truth, Whining, Wisdom

The Wisdom of Uncertainty

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Paul zealously offers his opinion that to embrace uncertainty is necessary and key to living a passionate, spirited, and authentic life.

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THE CRITICS ENTHUSE!  Zut! The Grand Fraud American of Blogging once more crucifies our world’s conscience and decency by attempting to undermine all that is holy and sacred about life.  He urges us to reject the certainty of every principle that is certain, reject the certainty of every truth that is a rock. I will not lie about the pig.  He is an outlaw, a criminal, a villain.  It is up to our world to deal justice to Paul Sunstone.  At last, he must be guillotined.  The guillotine must be returned to the public service of our world!”  — Aloyse Leblanc, Le Critique Passionné de Blog, “La Tribune Linville”, Linville, France.

Continue reading “The Wisdom of Uncertainty”

Allies, Bad Ideas, Community, Cultural Change, Cultural Traits, Culture, Friends, Human Nature, Humanism, Life, Living, Lovers, Loyalty, Politics, Quality of Life, Relationships, Society, Values

How Most of Us Say, “Our Lives Have Broken”

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  Paul offers his opinion that people today have all too often come to treat each other as interchangeable, faceless grains of polished rice.

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THE CRITICS EMOTE!  “De hunne of blogging, Paul Sunstone has excreted yet another one of his innumerable atrocities upon the world.  The immediate effect that ‘Our Lives Have Broken’ has upon the honest and orderly reader is to provoke him or her to yearn for the nearest body of water deep enough to drown in.  Sunstone is the refutation of the thesis that history is progressive.  He is the refutation of the dialectics of both Hegel and Marx.  A Spengler would see in Sunstone the decline of the West, and he would be correct.”    — Johanna Meyer, Der Blogkritiker, “Die Fussen-Welt”, Fussen, Germany.

Continue reading “How Most of Us Say, “Our Lives Have Broken””

Bad Ideas, Belief, Biases, Communication, Conversation, Creative Thinking, Delusion, Education, Fantasy Based Community, Honesty, Human Nature, Intellectual Honesty, Judgementalism, Learning, Liars Lies and Lying, Life, Living, Magical Thinking, Obligations to Society, Quality of Life, Reason, Self-Flourishing, Skeptical Thinking, Society, Thinking

Willful Stupidity and the Good Reader

(About a 4 minute read)

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”  — George Bernard Shaw

I suspect future historians will now and then speak of us as an “Age of Wonders”.  The wonder of our electronics.  The wonder of our communication technologies.  The wonder of our medical advancements —  especially in the field of mental health.   And so forth.

But sadly, I suspect future historians will also speak of us as an “Age of Willful Stupidity”.

If so, they will doubtlessly say our age began over 100 years ago with the Stupid Bolshevik Revolution in Russia that was soon enough followed by the Rise of Stupid Fascism in Italy.   And the historians are bound to point out that the willful stupidity has continued largely unabated straight through to today’s many Stupid Denial Movements.

I suspect future historians will write whole libraries on that one theme alone — willful stupidity.  And I expect — I actually expect — that somewhere in those libraries there will be a book or article with an insightful footnote saying, “The first casualty of willful stupidity is the art of listening.”

Continue reading “Willful Stupidity and the Good Reader”

Aesthetics, Bad Ideas, Celibacy, Complaining, Cultural Change, Cultural Traits, Culture, Education, Erotic Love, Eudaimonia, Health, Horniness, Human Nature, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, Mental and Emotional Health, Pleasure, Quality of Life, Relationships, Self-Flourishing, Self-Pity, Sex, Sexuality, Shame, Society, Spirituality, The Art of Living Well, Values, Well Being, Whining

A Indelicate Post on the Most Delicate Topic of Simpatico Sex

(About a 5 minute read)

It has long been my personal, tender opinion that the pure Japanese genius for first seeing nearly everything as an aesthetic experience, and for then optimizing the aesthetics of those experiences — that the Japanese genius for that has only been defeated once — and once only — in the entire cultural history of that remarkable people.

The Japanese genius for aesthetics was overthrown when it took on sex.

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Class War, Freedom and Liberty, Idealism, Ideas, Internet, News and Current Events, Oppression, Political Issues, Politicians and Scoundrels, Politics, Progressive, Quality of Life, Society

Does the World Need a Joint Declaration of Progressive Bloggers?

Frankly, political talk these days strikes me as too incestuous to be of much interest.  Too incestuous and too much a matter of gratuitous outrage.  Altogether these days,  it almost always leaves me feeling in need of a shower.

Sometimes, though, it’s necessary.

Continue reading “Does the World Need a Joint Declaration of Progressive Bloggers?”