Related or Unrelated April Musings. Why? Just Because

green-grass-blade2

1.  Bitter tea calls me honey
So I let the honey flow
It’s funny — I call her sweetie

 

 

2. You wear your passion like a suit
Little cardinal
You never give it a rest

My little phoenix outside my window
Challenging winter
Defying its grey, dirty stranglehold

You rebuke me for my morosity
By just being
In and out of color, not defined by relativity

3. Attracted by motion
Held by color, stayed by time
I swallow oceans

4. Ragged edges of pain
Reflections attract and warn
Red flows in the future

5. Spring chortles at
The chalky sheetrock
Hiding poorly in the grass

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Snow and the Past: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

snow pile2I was walking with a friend down by the river last Friday.  The weather was pleasant for an April evening. We joked that you wouldn’t know there was a foot of snow here last week. It was like it had never been there. Like it’s just been this nice. What winter?

See how are minds can quickly forget something that was so recently so irritating. I’ve just moved on. No looking back. No dwelling on that awful winter. What snow?

It’s strange how our minds can move us past a seasonal annoyance so easily and yet it can’t move us past other annoyances in our lives. The rude person in line at the grocery store. The guy who cut you off in traffic. The friend who said something mindlessly mean. We can’t let go of those. We stew and fret and worry and obsess and even remain angry.

What happened to that annoying snow again? Oh yeah, it’s gone. In the past. Not even thinking about it.

Have we somehow trained our minds to not let go of these things? Have we created habits of not letting go? It appears we have. Yet to what end?

This fretting and worrying and anger aren’t good for you, mentally, emotionally or physically. They serve no purpose. They chew up precious time and energy.

Do you want to spend time on energy on things beyond your control? That’s a lot of things. Are you sure you’re up to it? I’m not.

That’s not to say you can’t call someone out for being rude or mean. You can. Throw a little ice melter on them and then move on.

When the snow’s gone, let it go. Sure it might snow again. It will melt again. Let it snow, let it go, let it go.

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Representation without Representation: Return of the Landed Gentry

Representation without Representation: Return of the Landed Gentry

gentry1Money, or as it is referred to nowadays, wealth. Wealth rules the world. Yes, thanks, Captain Obvious. Everyone knows this.

Sure, we go about pretending it isn’t true. We have to stop pretending though. Believing it to be wrong and it not being true are not the same thing.

The idea that wealth doesn’t rule our country should have been destroyed when the Supreme Court recently ruled on McCutcheon vs. FEC and of course the infamous Citizens United case from a few years ago. It’s basically a legalization of the oligarchy we pretend doesn’t exist.

Thanks Supreme Court. You’re awesome. This is what happens when lawyers rule the world. The absolute inability to distinguish between whether something is technically legal and whether it is right. Just because you are allowed to do it doesn’t mean you should.

Hiding behind technicalities. That’s what we need from out leaders. Thanks.

Maybe it’s time to start voting with your wallet. Or better yet vote by not opening your wallet. And there are a genuine few minimalists out there who don’t let it rule them. I’m all for more minimalists. The rise of the minimalist class would be awesome.

After all, all they really want is your money. They are relying on your addiction to consumerism. Become a minimalist. Kick the addiction and kick the Landed Gentry at the same time. If you need to spend money, spend on those you believe in or at least those who you distrust the least.

The Boston Tea Party ignited the No Taxation without Representation movement.

Perhaps it’s time for the Minimalist Tea Party. Our slogan will be No Representation without Representation. Say no to the Landed Gentry.

Join the Minimalist Party today. Change the world one choice at a time.

More on the recent Supreme Court Ruling and other such things:

In the Wake of McCutcheon, Can Democracy Tame Capital?

Capital in the Twenty-First Century

 

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Things I Forget but then Sometimes Remember

Short and Sweet.

darkside3a

  • Sometimes I feel bad because of biology. Not because of anything I or anyone else has done.
  • I hate being told to smile. But I like to smile at people.
  • Sometimes it’s worth it.
  • Pain is telling me something
  • Not everyone thinks like me. Except when sometimes they do.
  • Not everyone loves chocolate. I shouldn’t think less of them for this.
  • Being right is not important as we think it is.
  • Aten (aye-ten) is not a proper conjugation of ate.
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Of Utensils and Rules

silverware2bHave you ever noticed just how many utensils there are in the world? Hundreds of billions of forks and spoons and table knives.

I have enough utensils for five families. People just kept giving it to me. I certainly don’t want it all. It sucks that I’m too lazy to sort it out and find new homes for it.

But who would take it? Everyone has too many utensils. Ever been to a thrift store? One thrift store has enough forks for every household within a ten block radius. And what about flea markets and estate sales and retail stores. They’re like zucchini. I’m surprised people haven’t started placing bags of spoons outside my door when I’m not home.

And people keep buying more. And companies keep making more. It’s not like they bloody wear out. Sure sometimes they break and Johnny sometimes ruins one in the sandbox. But seriously.

Just stop. Stop buying more utensils. The world does not need more utensils. If you need utensils, ask your neighbor, go to the thrift store. Do not buy any more table knives.

In fact, you should just cut down on using utensils altogether. If it’s too messy to eat with your fingers you probably shouldn’t eat it any way. What about soup? Just drink the shit. Eating a steak. Pick it up and take a bite. Why do you think we have incisors?

What about table manners? Screw table manners. Table manners were invented by people to distinguish themselves from others. To allow them to look down upon those who don’t know the “rules.” Who decided we need rules to eat? I don’t need any damn rules to eat. If I don’t need rules, I don’t need utensils either.

And neither do you. Save the planet. Use your fingers.

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Madder than a Hatter at March Madness

mad-hatter

Mad Hatter

March Madness. That’s what they call the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Madness is used here as positive reference to the frenzied attention paid to the tournament.

A tournament where young men going to college try to put a ball through a hoop for our enjoyment.

I don’t think people realize how mad they have gone. Let’s review some ballpark figure here about the amount of time spent just watching these games.

As you might guess, as the tournament progresses more and more people watch each game. The championship game will probably have around 24 million viewers. The first rounds have a couple million people watch each game. The viewing time of a game is about 2.5 hours. There are 6 full rounds starting out with 32 games and ending up with 1.

The rough math tells you that viewing hours stack up to just under a billion. A billion hours spent in America watching a college basketball tournament. And that doesn’t even include the millions of hours reading about it, talking about it, watching others talk about it.

The NCAA and sports fans will tell you this is obviously a resounding success.

I am not one of those people. I’m appalled. What is wrong with you, America? Religion wasn’t a good enough opiate so now you’ve turned to sports?

You’ve been effectively distracted from your lives for a billion hours. You’re living vicariously through college basketball players. Congratulations. You’re just observing life, not living it.

A billion hours of not spending quality time with your children, not reading a book, not being active, not volunteering, not just being you. What’s wrong with you?

Take your life back. Turn off the Madness. You’ll thank yourself.

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Breaking the Rules without Breaking Bad

brokenBreak the rules. That’s the advice I give people who are feeling constrained or stifled by the endless rules that abound in life or art or anything for that matter.

Sometimes they are arbitrary. Sometimes they are illogical. Sometimes they are archaic. Sometimes they are passed off as defining right and wrong.  They all have something in common though: rules are conceived to control your behavior. Some people like to be controlled and even using my best intuitive and empathetic powers I can’t fathom or comprehend such a thing. I don’t like to be controlled.

I have to admit that my advice on rules needs to get better because when I say you should break the rules what I really mean is that you should most often ignore them. Why the subtle shift in wording? Because in consciously choosing to break a rule your behavior has been just as influenced as if you followed the rule. And breaking the rules just to break the rules is thoughtless. Don’t be thoughtless.  Whereas if you act with as much indifference to the rules as possible your behavior is much more your own.

Choose your own path. Maybe it will be within the rules, maybe it won’t. The goal is not to break the rules. The goal is to be you. Let someone else decide if you are breaking the rules. They will most assuredly let you know. Which is of course when you tell them to piss off.

You see being yourself is hard. Not being battered and bruised and cowed into submission by the rule followers is the even harder. Or face being ostracized. While following your own rules has great benefits so does following the rules. And the rule followers are very willing to withhold those benefits. It’s what they do. It’s how they exert influence.

Whether those benefits are worth giving up is a personal issue. Sometimes they are sometimes they’re not. It’s not a judgment, it’s a choice.

Now before I go I must pass on the Golden Rule of Breaking Rules. Breaking rules should not knowingly be at the expense of someone else. You know, like cutting ahead in line or much worse. It’s bad form. Most of us inherently know when it’s bad form. Listen to that voice in your heart that tells you that. It usually knows its stuff. Break the rules but don’t break them bad.

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