Wednesday, April 25, 2007
...from the man,
Robert A. Heinlein,
...from To Sail Beyond The Sunset
The exploitation of space flourished unbelievably. Mr. Harriman's decision to keep it out of government hands, let private enterprise go at it for profit, was vindicated. While Pikes Peak Spaceport was still new, Spaceways, Ltd., was building bigger, longer, and more efficient catapults at Quito and on the island of Hawaii. Manned expeditions were sent to Mars and to Venus and the first asteroid miners were headed out.
Meanwhile the United States went to pieces.
This decay went on not just on time line two but on all investigated time lines. During my fifty years in Boondock I read several scholarly studies of the comparative histories of the explored times lines concerning what was called "The Twentieth Century Devolution."
I'm not sure of my opinions. I saw it on only one time line, and that only to the middle of 1982 and in my own country. I have opinions but you need not take them seriously as some leading scholars have other opinions.
Here are some of the things I saw as wrong:
The United States had over six hundred thousand practicing lawyers. That must be at least five hundred thousand more than were actually needed. I am not counting lawyers such as myself; I never practiced. I studied law simply to protect myself from lawyers, and there were many like me.
Family decay: I think it came mainly from both parents working outside the home. It was said again and again that, from midcentury on, both parents had to have jobs just to pay the bills. If this were true, why was it not necessary in the first half of the century? How did laborsaving machinery and enormously increased productivity impoverish the family?
Some said the cause was high taxes. This sounds more reasonable; I recall my shock the year the government collected a trillion dollars. (Fortunately most of it was wasted.)
But there seems to have an actual decline in rational thinking. The United States had become a place where entertainers and professional athletes were mistaken for people of importance. They were idolized and treated as leaders; their opinions were sought on everything and they took themselves just as seriously--after all, if an athlete is paid a million or more a year, he knows is important . . . so his opinions of foreign affairs and domestic policies must be important, too, even though he proves himself to be both ignorant and subliterate every time he opens his mouth. (Most of his fans were just as ignorant and unlettered; the disease was spreading.)
1) "Bread and Circuses";
2) The abolition of the pauper's oath in Franklin Roosevelt's first term;
3) "Peer group" promotion in public school.
These three conditions heterodyne each other. The abolition of the pauper's oath as a condition for public charity insured that habitual failures, incompetents of every sort, people who can't support themselves and people who won't, each of these would have the same voice in ruling the country, in assessing taxes and spending them, as (for example) Thomas Edison or Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Carnegie or Andrew Jackson. Peer group promotion insured that the franchise would be exercised by ignorant incompetents. And "Bread and Circuses" is what invariably happens to a democracy that goes that route: unlimited spending on "social" programs ends in national bankruptcy, which historically is always followed by dictatorship.
It seemed to me that these three things were the key mistakes that destroyed the best culture up to that time in all known histories. Oh, there were other things--strikes by public servants, for example. My father was still alive when this became a problem. Father said grimly,
"There is a ready solution for anyone on the public payroll who feels that he is not paid enough: He can resign and work for a living. This applies with equal force to Congressmen, Welfare 'clients,' school teachers, generals, garbage collectors, and judges."
And of course the entire twentieth century from 1917 on was clouded over by the malevolent silliness of Marxism.
But the Marxists would not and could not have had much influence if the American people had not started losing the hard common sense that had won them a continent. By the sixties everyone talked about his "rights" and no spoke of his duties--and patriotism was a subject for jokes.
I do not believe that either Marx or that cracker revivalist who became the "First Prophet" could have damaged the country if the people had not become soft in the head.
"But every man is entitled to his own opinion!"
Perhaps. Certainly every man had his own opinion on everything, no matter how silly.
On two subjects the overwhelming majority of people regarded their own opinions as Absolute Truth, and sincerely believed that anyone who disagreed with them was immoral, outrageous, sinful, sacrilegious, offensive, intolerable, stupid, illogical, treasonable, actionable, against the public interest, ridiculous, and obscene.
The two subjects were (of course) sex and religion.
On sex and religion each American citizen knew the One Right Answer, by direct Revelation from God.
In view of the wide diversity of opinion, most of them must necessarily have been mistaken. But on these two subjects they were not accessible to reason.
"But you must respect another man's religious beliefs!"
For Heaven's sake, why? Stupid is stupid--faith doesn't make it smart.
I recall one candidate's promise that I head during the presidential campaign of 1976, a campaign promise that seems to me to illustrate how far American rationality had skidded.
"We shall drive ever forward along this line until all our citizens have above-average incomes!"
(if you are unfamiliar with Heinlein,
don't let the material above shy you away from
the graciously gratuitous sex, polite wit, and emotional lucidity
that fills the rest of the pages...)
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Alright, ... as a nod to lovely Valyna, I'll play some reindeer games...
and answer this week's TMI Tuesday questions.
1. What one piece of sage relationship advice would you give your child (or niece/nephew or friend).
Learn everything you can.
Remember everything you read.
Learn to associate emotions with things you want to remember.
Encourage anyone willing to teach you how to do something.
Practice "Everything in Moderation." (Including Moderation).
The harder something is to do, the more time and energy it takes, the more worthy the outcome.
Know the difference between 'Hot' and 'Cold' technology.
Pay attention to your dreams, and when anyone you love tells you about theirs.
Empty what's full, fill what's empty, scratch where it itches.
Understand what is communicated by body language.
Give equal respect to both your genes and your memes.
The older souls have a better sense of humor (they're the ones always chuckling to themselves).
Do not stop expanding, trying again, growing, and enjoying every moment of senseless passion that comes your way.
(oooh right. "one piece"... oops.)
2. When was the last time you left a passion mark Or had one left on you? (A passion mark is an unintentional physical manifestation of an act of passion: a hickey left in the heat of the moment; fingernail or teeth marks that last for more than an hour, a bump on your head from slamming into the headboard could even count).
*Blush... what she said. (Though i was the one who looked like he ran into a wolverine.)
3. When was the last time you had sex in a car?
The drive-in, ... say, five years ago.
4. Have you ever had an orgasm in a public conveyance?
Yes. (No more information allowed.)
5. Have you ever had an orgasm with someone other than your partner (or partners) present?
Nope. Not yet.
(Hmmm, I think I suck at all this "revealing of self" game here.) :-P
...let me try harder...
Bonus (as in optional): You are strolling along in the mall with your S.O. (hypothetical if necessary) A young same sex as your S.O. is approaching from the opposite direction and will pass within feet of you. (S)he is attractive and has magnificent body. Describe your reaction.
Ahhh, my significant other. Hoooo, is she ever!
Ok, my reaction: I either, catch my SO's eye, nod in the direction of the approaching bombshell, and smirk devilishly; or trust that my SO has already spotted the bombshell, and all I need do is extend my touch to a private part of my SO's body to help her enjoy the show...
there ya go! TOO MUCH INFO!
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
And if I asked you,
If you do remember do,
If you’ve seen tomorrow,
If you’ve heard notes before dawn
And smelled breakfast in the kitchen,
One month hence.
Would you know what I mean,
Would you know just what minute
Of which dream.
With too many filler words,
Too round sounds for the tongue,
When mouths are better for
Other things than talking.
Darling dear, my
Black sun stir,
my star blur,
Of raven’s soaking wing.
My favorite unformed memory,
My lake bonded lady,
My better word for blue.
What questions I have,
I hold for you,
I know the bed I sleep in,
I know where to begin,
And, so westerly
“I can’t help humming along
to this life…this moment’s already gone.”
-Damn this terrible text usurping
my drawing touch along your neck-
-Do bring the dusk,
My hands in your hair,
My sweet subtle world cracking relief,
My covetor of thieves girl-
Gorgeous cookies from ginger fingers green,
My fairytale princess,
Middle west and torn in black dress,
In the moon lightly
That finds your far window.
Come play with me
this year's noon.
Come play with this
knife, my spoon.
Monday, April 16, 2007
secret thoughts of a bomb
ticking in anticipation,
dealing self death in self indulgent fantasies
speaking breakfast of darkness and delusion
not every poem sparks sprites for a warm fire,
some states of the brain, beget only destruction
yearn to give only pain,
dangerous invitations from dark alleys
a body feeding upon its own flesh,
starvation strung tight to hard vibration,
strumming tunes of lost road marauders
beating hoofs and kicking dusty threats
of rape, theft, murder and viking acts
ticking what dark hearts want,
clicking in cold lonely brain satisfactions
of malevolence, singular malice, insatiable blood lusts
no good night’s dream may cleanse
a war machine designed, crafted and waged
without one irritating mote of compassion
to dissuade the hell bent heat of this dark coast,
or the gnashing ivory grinding puncture
of twitching jaw
enslavement, coercion, confusion, fear,
butter the bread and slam it to the dirty floor,
soothe, hearts' are sore,
break breath, fog tears in insect spray,
give death’s shiver, quiver, quiet,
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Hey folks, I have returned.
Above is the Wahoo I labored over 15 minutes to bring in.
That's Captain Reid on the left. Best damn captain on the banks.
Below is my Uncle and the fat ass tuna he brought in.
Ooof! look at the gaping maw on that sucker!
Next, here we are with our whole catch of the day...
quite the "variety pack," said Captain Reid.
Below, middle, is Reid's boat... Devereux II
The stories of this trip are many and crude and highly entertaining....
but you'll have to buy this pirate a drink to hear them.