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.

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”

Abusive Relationships, Alienation, Anger, Attached Love, Attachment, Bad Ideas, Cultural Traits, Culture, Emotional Dependency, Free Spirit, Friends, Happiness, Human Nature, Judgementalism, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, Memes, New Love, Possessiveness, Quality of Life, Relationships, Romantic Love, Self, Self Identity, Self Image, The Art of Living Well, Unconditional Love

The Lightness of Love. The Heaviness of Possession.

(About a 4 minute read)

This is how I explain it to myself.  Suppose you meet someone who soon delights you, but who you do not in any way think of as “yours”.  She’s not (at least not yet) your friend, or your lover, or your colleague, or your boss, or your employee, or your client, or your teacher, or your neighbor,  or your — anything.  She delights you, but — as we sometimes say — she means nothing to you.

Let’s say you met her because she sat down at the table next to you in a coffee shop.  Glancing over you see her take a novel out of her purse.  “What a striking cover! I’ve never seen another like it. Is it a good read?”  A conversation starts.  A few minutes later, you are thinking she’s an easy-going, down to earth, and rather delightful person.

Continue reading “The Lightness of Love. The Heaviness of Possession.”

Adolescent Sexuality, Agape, Anger, Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Education, Erotic Love, Fear, Friends, Gratitude, Horniness, Human Nature, Infatuation, Learning, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, New Love, Passion, People, Possessiveness, Relationships, Romantic Love, Self, Self Identity, Self Image, Self-Flourishing, Self-Knowledge, Sexuality, Sharon, Talents and Skills, Teacher, Unconditional Love

Sharon’s Love for the Horny Misfit Boy

(About a 20 minute read)

Many a beautiful friendship has sprouted from awkward soil.  In fact, most of my deepest friendships in life have begun clumsily.

I know of no inviolate law of nature that dictates the conservative beige panties of a young school librarian cannot possibly be the start of a profound bond between her and an insufferably horny 14 year old boy misfit.  I know of no law that states such a thing cannot happen.

Yet the very last thing on my mind when Sharon’s angry voice shook me awake that Spring morning was, “This is the start of a beautiful friendship”.

Continue reading “Sharon’s Love for the Horny Misfit Boy”

Arrogance, Competition, Friends, Human Nature, Intelligence, Judgementalism, Life, Loyalty, Self, Self Identity, Self Image, Self-Knowledge

The Death of an Arrogant King

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Paul describes the strategy he used to beat a far brighter and more favored boy in order to become his high school’s chess champion.

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THE CRITICS IGNITE! “In ‘Death of an Arrogant King’ de Hunne of blogging, Paul Sunstone professes himself to be a grandmaster of chess.  Shame! Shame!  In sincerity, he is ein Hun who has pushed boredom to new and astonishing levels.  He has made boredom a form of  barbarism. He has weaponized it.  An orderly society would crucify Sunstone.  Crucify de Hunne just as he himself shamelessly crucifies human decency in the process of excreting his innumerable boring posts upon the world.” — Johanna Meyer, Der Blogkritiker, “Die Fussen-Welt”, Fussen, Germany.

Continue reading “The Death of an Arrogant King”

Consciousness, Cultural Change, Cultural Traits, Culture, Education, Hope, Human Nature, Humanism, Learning, Life, Living, Memes, Nature, Quality of Life, Self, Self Image, Society, Spirituality

Humans are Myth-Makers. Always Have Been, Always Will be.

Young people learn so much so fast,  so furiously fast, you’re always surprised how fast they learn not to learn.

They move so fast at first you think they are about to escape the gravity of human nature.  You might even think you see in them the fabled generation.  The generation that is about to show that human nature bends upward, advances, progresses — at least now and then.

Continue reading “Humans are Myth-Makers. Always Have Been, Always Will be.”

Abusive Relationships, Advice, Free Spirit, Human Nature, Living, Self, Self Identity, Self Image, Self-Knowledge, Spirituality, Verbal Abuse

Dealing With Malicious People

(About a 4 minute read)

As everyone knows, the world has its malicious people.  One of the challenges malicious people pose for nearly everyone — even other malicious people — is their dagger words can wound us.

Quite a lot has been written about how to blunt, turn, or even turn back those daggers.

One of my favorite turn-backs was Churchill’s rebuke of Lady Nancy Astor, who according to the story, was Churchill’s harshest society critic.  One evening at a party she is reputed to have told him:

“Winston, if you were my husband, I’d poison your tea.”

To which he retorted:

“Nancy, if I were your husband, I’d drink it.”

Continue reading “Dealing With Malicious People”

Alienation, Cultural Change, Culture, Internet, Memes, Miscellaneous, Nudes, Quality of Life, Self, Self Identity, Self Image, Sex, Sexualization, Society, Values

You Can Tell a Lot About Someone from the Nudes They Email You

(About a 4 minute read)

I can still recall how surprised most of us were back in 1974 when someone pinned a semi-nude Polaroid photograph of Vicki on the high school announcements board in the hallway by the principal’s office.

Of course, it was only up for a few minutes before one of the teachers noticed it. Up just long enough for me to pass by, glance at it, and — this may surprise you — fail to realize it was a photo of a semi-nude girl!

Continue reading “You Can Tell a Lot About Someone from the Nudes They Email You”

Abuse, Abusive Relationships, Bad Ideas, Baffy, Emotional Abuse, Fairness, From Around the Net, Honesty, Human Nature, Humanism, Liars Lies and Lying, Oppression, Outstanding Bloggers, Physical Abuse, Psychological Abuse, Racism, Relationships, Self Identity, Self Image, Sexual Abuse, Society, Stolen From The Blogosphere, Values, Verbal Abuse, Village Idiots

I Shamelessly Stole From Baffled Mum Today

Baffled Mum’s post today, “Who Will Miss You?” is an outstanding illustration of why I like to steal things.

That’s my polite way of saying the idea for this post is stolen from a post of hers.

[Back story] Baffy — as she kindly allows me to call her — Baffy overheard some jerk rhetorically asking someone, “Who will miss you!”  Being foolishly in possession of a heart just as big as her mind (Which seems at least big enough to embrace most anything she wants it to embrace), Baffy posted a concise, surgically accurate response on her blog. Nailed him, she did!  Didn’t call him out by name, but nailed him right properly and good. [/back story]

Here’s my favorite Baffy quote of them all, “Who are we to judge the worth of people anyway?”

Yay!  You go, Baffy! Stick it to that dragon!  That dragon of unnecessary and unwarranted ranking of ourselves and others.

All I want to know is just which god slammed a ten-foot high judge’s bench under the exalted butts of possibly three-quarters or more of humanity?

Call me crazy if you must, but somehow, I doubt anything divine had a hand in placing those benches under those butts.  Somehow, I smell the profane stench of self-righteous self-appointment.  Just ain’t nothing sacred about them benches at all, so far as I can see.

I agree with everything Baffy said today.  Just I want to add this.  Each and every act of abuse the world sees moment to moment of each minute of the day is to me evidence of our co-equality when it comes to our most fundamental human worth.

Every act of abuse from the father’s too sharp criticism of his child to the dictator’s bloody genocide, is evidence of why we must treat each other as equals in basic human worth.

Abuse — it all adds up to a price, a cost, humanity simply hasn’t got it to pay off.

Alienation, Alienation From Self, Authenticity, Bad Ideas, Being True To Yourself, Citizenship, Class War, Consumerism, Cultural Change, Cultural Traits, Culture, Democracy, Economy, Equality of Opportunity, Eudaimonia, Free Spirit, Freedom, Freedom and Liberty, Goals, Happiness, Human Nature, Ideas, Ideologies, Liars Lies and Lying, Living, Meaning, Oppression, Passion, Plutocracy, Political and Social Alienation, Political Ideologies, Politics, Purpose, Quality of Life, Self, Self Identity, Self Image, Self-determination, Self-Flourishing, Self-Realization, Society, Values, Well Being

A Most Curious Journey: The 100 Year Long Transmutation of Americans from Good Citizens into Good Consumers

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Paul offers his view’s of how and why Americans have been socially engineered over the past 100 years to become good consumers rather than good citizens.

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THE CRITICS EXPLODE! “Sunstone needs to get laid.  Politics to him is what sex is to the most naive nun on earth — whoever she may be.  It is no more than a world of sins, venial sins, and deadly sins.  It is a world that his delusional mind fearfully attempts to grasp with all the misconceptions of a pure virgin.  But what fool would lay Paul Sunstone?  Not I!  And not you either!  Sunstone merely needs to get laid, but he absolutely must be guillotined.”  — Aloyse Leblanc, Le Critique Passionné de Blog, “La Tribune Linville”, Linville, France.

Continue reading “A Most Curious Journey: The 100 Year Long Transmutation of Americans from Good Citizens into Good Consumers”

Authenticity, Bad Ideas, Being True To Yourself, Cultural Traits, Culture, Human Nature, Liars Lies and Lying, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, Memes, Poetry, Quality of Life, Relationships, Self, Self Identity, Self Image, Spirituality

A Flock of Sparrows for Majel: The Whole, Cold World is Starving

A Flock of Sparrows for Majel

(About a 2 minute read)

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you….” — Neil Gaiman

Have you noticed how some people who say
The whole, cold world starves them of love
Only want safely and security?

In a way they have it right,
The cold world has starved them.
Starved them by lying they can have both
Safety and security,
And love.

The world tells people what makes people
Feel good.
The world wants to sell things.

Continue reading “A Flock of Sparrows for Majel: The Whole, Cold World is Starving”

Alienation From Self, Aristotle, Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Christianity, Cultural Traits, Culture, Ethics, Eudaimonia, Happiness, Human Nature, Ideas, Judaism, Life, Living, Memes, Morality, Morals, Pride, Purpose, Quality of Life, Religion, Religious Ideologies, Self Image, Self-Flourishing, Values, Well Being

Pride in Aristotle and Christianity

“The description of the proud or magnanimous man [in Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics] is very interesting as showing the difference between pagan and Christian ethics…”.  — Bertrand Russell.

SUMMARY:  Pride to Aristotle was a virtue, and a means to happiness, but to Christians, it is a sin, and a means to unhappiness.

(About a 7 minute read)

In Judaism, pride is called the root of all evil, a valuation that seems in part to have been carried over into Christianity, for Christians regard pride as the first and foremost of the Seven Deadly Sins.

In Catholicism, the Seven Deadly Sins are not to be confused with “Mortal Sins” — they do not automatically damn you to hell if you fail to repent of them before death, but they are pretty much bad enough anyway.

In contrast to the Jewish and Christian views, pride was an actual virtue to Aristotle.  Which of course, raises the question, “Why did Aristotle think pride was a virtue?”

Continue reading “Pride in Aristotle and Christianity”