The sun is shining and I am in a great mood despite so much that surrounds we who inhabit this planet. I feel like calling out to the ghost of Art Hoppe. We need your columns now. Keep Gabriel from blowing the trumpet on we vulnerable, stumbling, goofy, sad, fearful, kind, joyful human beings.
My immediate family all does well though and I just checked out my son's bio on his company website. I am impressed. He graduated from UCSD with a major in film and has made some good ones, short, of course, and now, he is "Director of Field Engineering" and fifth on the list of "people who do" at Solar City. I am trying to be humble in my pride. It has nothing to do with me, and yet, I know how conscientious he is, how sensitive and it gives me hope for the world. We WILL counteract this environmental mess, and I know solar power may not be the ultimate answer but it is a step.
Here is Jon Carroll on the nuttiness of politics, and now I wonder if nuttiness is the right word. Do these people so want to be president that they shoot themselves and the rest of us in the foot? Let's have some sanity and let go of greed. What matters? What ultimately matters? Is it really that difficult to figure out?
Enjoy this day. If you live where I live, it could be spring.
There has been such a churning of chain saw these days since the storm, I am surprised there are any trees left, and yet I look out on trees, wonderfully friendly ones, and one house with a chimney sending up smoke. It could be a train of the past, chugging and chanting like a horse. The world is so dear.
I give thanks for life and generosity in all its myriad and enchanting forms.
2,400 years ago, Plato wrote,
“The children now love luxury. “They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”
There is an article in the New Yorker by Lauren Collins on Megan Meier and her suicide at the age of thirteen because of a "hoax" on MySpace.
We don't say guns are "bad," because some people choose to kill other people with them. A gun is a tool. MySpace is also a tool, and one that can also be cruelly and fatally used. The problem is with the user and I'm not sure where we begin to in addressing that. One might say schools, yet their job of teaching ethics seems to be slipping down in place. The church might once have held an ethical hand, and yet, one must ask if it now returns enough benefit to society to explain its non-taxable base, and some do. Parents should be the teachers, the guides, but in the case of Megan, a parent of another child was involved. There was no leadership there.
There is also an article, a book review on a book on the Civil War. Marketing mourning clothes and objects became a business. The widow needed fashion even in her grief, or so she was told. People die in the most bizarre ways in any war and time, and yet, in the Civil War sometimes they just stood on opposite sides and shot at each other. It is impossible to imagine what leads to that. Peer pressure, I suppose. A desire to be part of the group, the tribe, the clan. We are willing to die for ideals, for family, friends, for way of life. That is part of our empathy, imagination, our programming to evolve the group, even at the expense of the individual.
How do we feel and honor this connectedness now that there is less need for such a physical fight, at least in this country, in this moment. The words of the Dalai Lama come to me. "My religion is kindness." Perhaps, stamping those words on the insides of our foreheads might lead to the change we want to see in the world. It is to consider each moment what it is to live a religion of kindness, to others and ourselves, to team up for support.
One wonders what is up with the New York Times.
Eyal Press reports this in The Nation:
The war in Iraq may have cost 3,900 US soldiers their lives, destroyed America's reputation abroad and turned George W. Bush into one of the most unpopular presidents in history, but it has proved curiously beneficial to one group of people: the pundits who promoted it.
Nobody has been rewarded more generously than William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, neocon extraordinaire and, now, weekly columnist for the New York Times. Some might imagine that slavishly endorsing the lies of the Bush administration might tarnish the credibility of a commentator on foreign affairs. But Kristol, who before this had been a columnist at Time magazine (which declined to renew his contract) and who is a regular feature on the TV pundit circuit, is the latest proof to the contrary. What might have inspired the Times to sign him up? The paper's owners apparently felt that having one neoconservative op-ed columnist who supported the war, David Brooks, was not enough. And they apparently felt a more forgiving mood than the man they decided to hire. In 2006 Kristol suggested that the Justice Department should prosecute the Times for reporting on a secret Bush Administration program to monitor international banking. In 2003 he dismissed the paper of record as "irredeemable," something his own reputation, clearly, is not.