Saturday, June 30, 2012


We Don’t Matter
Civilizations Come and Go
Empires Boom then Go Bust
Governments Rise and Fall
Currencies Come and Go 
Fashions are Ever Changing 

Yet, Through It All The People Persist

The other day one of our more querulous colleagues asked plaintively: 
"Do you think we COULD ever recover from this fiscal mess, even through tightening belts? And what DO we do with the very poor if we tighten?"

All I could think to say at the time was “For heaven's sake! Have a little faith. Cultivate more trust in Almighty God.”

If we've been able to prevail in the Revolution of 1776, the War of 1812, explore, chart, and settle the western wilderness, get through the atrocity of Lincoln's War, adjust to massive waves of notably anomalous foreign immigration, the various elements of which neither liked, trusted, or had much inclination to cooperate with one another, survive WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, LBJ, the Sex Drugs & Rock 'n Roll of the Sick-sties, Vietnam, Watergate, Jimmy Carter, an assassination attempt on President Reagan, the spineless, colorless, passionless out-of-touch presidency of George Herbert Walker Bush, Monica Lewinsky giving blow jobs to The Bent One under the desk in the Oral Office, the presidency of Dubya, the intellectually-challenged, closet quasi-liberal, we can certainly survive our current woes, which are –– if we look at it with any sense of perspective at all –– a mere walk in the park compared to most things just listed.

The only thing wrong with us Americans is that we indulge in far too much whining and wringing of hands.

We're all too fat, and too overindulged anyway. A period of serious austerity is probably just what we need in order to get revitalized.

Less WHINING and far less DINING would have undoubtedly have a tonic effect.

As for the poor, the women would then have to get up off their dead asses, stop producing fatherless babies, stop watching crap on those gigantic 54" color TV's in their Section 8 housing, and start cleaning windows, sweeping floors, polishing brass, copper and silver, washing and ironing clothes, and cooking meals at competitive wages for those who can afford to hire them.

The men would have to dig ditches, weed, hoe, trim, and mow lawns and gardens, clean streets, pick up trash, lay bricks, hammer shingles, harvest crops, transport products from here to there, and do maintenance work in large public buildings for low pay –– just like they used to have to do in the days before Eleanor Roosevelt & Co. chained them up, castrated them, and put them on Welfare –– and before Illegal Immigrants started filling the void in droves eager to perform the necessary tasks pre-Union, pre-Welfare-State Americans used to do gladly for modest wages.

Believe me, if left once again to their own devices,  “THE POOR” would survive.

It's only the Welfare State Mentality that has weakened huge numbers to the point where we're turning into a nation of slobbering, snivelling, babbling, blubbering JELLYFISH. 
Civilizations come and go. Empires boom and go bust. Governments rise and fall. Currencies come and go. Fashions are ever changing and rarely for the better. Yet, through it all 
The People go on and on and on. Life persists and persists no matter what we do to try to alter, curtail or abolish it. 
LIFE is stronger than governments, stronger than people. LIFE is GOD, and you may be sure that He isn't going anywhere.
When we emerged from the ooze and slime, as evolutionists insist we did –– though no one's proved it yet beyond a reasonable doubt –– there were no governments, no nations, no boundaries, no rules, other than The Law of the Jungle –– Survival of the Fittest and Most Ruthless –– Dog Eat Dog and all that. And life was, as has oft been said, “Nasty, Brutish and Short.”
Yet, somehow, despite our species' extreme frailty in comparison to so many others,  we not only survived –– we grew, –– developed Language, Art, Poetry, Literature, discovered the laws of Mathematics, Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, developed Architecture, Philosophy, Religion and Politics -- in short we went from a feral state –– mere animal existence –– to the mixed blessing of highly complex, stratified forms of Civilization.
With each successive failure after every period of decline, degeneracy and eventual extinction "someone" “somewhere" has always managed to preserve what was best from the ruined past, and used it to enhance the future.
To our eyes right now the whole world appears to be falling apart. We naturally feel confused, frightened, threatened, but it is just possible we are going through a necessary shifting of the moral, religious, ideological, cultural "tectonic plates" that may eventually settle into a firmer foundation than ever before and bring us to great heights as yet undreamed of.
Is it likely that you and I will be here to see it? No, but it doesn’t matter. Harsh and absurd as it may sound WE DON’T MATTER. Our only legitimate purposes here is to serve Life (God) as lovingly and gratefully as possible as long as it pleases God to allow us to do it.
So, don’t worry. Weeping, wailing, hand-wringing, bitter denunciation, blaming the villains, etc. won’t improve our prospects one iota. All it is sure to do is spoil whatever time we may have left.
The opening lines of J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio put it magnificently:
“Christians be joyful 
and praise your Salvation, 
haste with Thanksgiving 
to greet this glad morn.
Like the mythical Phoenix Bird, our species seems to have an infinite capacity for rising from the ashes of our funeral pyres to begin life all over again.
Bank on that. Don’t invest energy in fear of disaster, and above all don’t fear death.
The mind of the dreamer 
_____ is a secret storehouse 
__________ wherein may dwell 
__________ all youthful fond illusion ––
 The embryo of each utterance of hope ––
_____ each word of comfort ––
__________ and each song of joy.
The mind of the cynic 
_____ is a well-known asylum 
__________ wherein lies disenchantment –– 
_______________ destruction and despair ––
The insidious, lisping voice of the serpent. 
O, foolish Man! Why choose strife, 
_____ when only what you choose to know 
_____ has life?
~ FreeThinke

42 comments:

  1. I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
    And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    `My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
    Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
    The lone and level sands stretch far away".

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ah yes, Shelley’s best known sonnet –– a sobering reflection on the works of Man, and highly appropriate to the article.

    Thank you, Ducky

    I guess you knew that Horace Smith, a friend of Shelley’s, had written a sonnet of the same name earlier? Shelley’s better known work was a friendly attempt to improve on Smith’s treatment of the theme.

    I’m not sure Shelley succeeded in outdoing Smith whose evocative work appears here:

    OZYMANDIAS

    by Horace Smith

    In Egypt’s sandy silence, all alone,
    Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
    The only shadow that the Desert knows: ––
    “I am great Ozymandias,” saith the stone,
    “The King of Kings, this mighty city shows
    The wonders of my hand –– the City’s gone ––
    Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose
    The site of his forgotten Babylon.

    We wonder, and some Hunter may express
    Winder like ours, when through the Wilderness
    Where London stood holding the Wolf in chace,
    He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
    What powerful and unrecorded race
    Once dwelt in that annihlated place.



    [NOTE: Horace (nee Horatio) Smith (31 December 1779 – 12 July 1849) an English poet and novelist, perhaps best known for his participation in a sonnet-wriitng competition with Percy Bysshe Shelley.]


    It was of Smith that Shelley said: "Is it not odd that the only truly generous person I ever knew who had money enough to be generous with should be a stockbroker? He writes poetry and pastoral dramas and yet knows how to make money, and does make it, and is still generous."

    Smith’s graciousness was such that he later changed the name of his sonnet when it was published in deference to Shelley, despite having gotten there first.


    Horace Smith and his brother James were a most interesting pair of characters. If you’d like, you may read more about them at:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horace_Smith_(poet)


    ~ FreeThinke

    ReplyDelete
  3. I did not particularly intend this to be a thread featuring poetry, but as long as we're at it we might as well add to the mix. This too attempts to see Human Endeavor in the context of Eternity:


    PETRIFIED

    Kaleidoscopic bits of vanished days ––
    Ancient forests petrified –– not demolished ––
    Trees –– fallen witnesses –– still gaze
    Humorless at cultures so long vanished.

    Yielding jittery rings when sliced then polished
    Showing clearly in each long-dead tree ––
    A chart laid bare –– unedited –– unpublished ––
    Now reveals a climate’s history.

    Does the beauty of these records’ punditry
    Enable us in any way to cope
    Rationally with surrounding bigotry ––
    Still burdened, as we are, by unquenched hope?

    Oh, we’ve learned much, but can’t stop shedding tears ––
    No wood –– however petrified –– has fears.



    ~ FreeThinke

    ReplyDelete
  4. FT: "This too attempts to see Human Endeavor in the context of Eternity "

    And the best commentary of all:

    To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
    To the last syllable of recorded time;
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Viburnum!

    Surely of Shakespeare's many memorable utterances that one qualifies as the starkest, sternest, most despairing and pessimistic of all.

    I had hoped in the body of today's article to offer solace in the attempt to see our personal lives in the context of the enormous, unfathomable sweep and drive of Eternal Existence.

    We do not "die," we merely undergo an endless series of radical transformations. In Truth –– as I understand it anyway –– we are always in the process of becoming, but we never quite "arrive," before circumstances beyond our control push, nudge, propel, kick or catapult us into yet another phase or facet.

    Like it or not, in one form or another -- probably billions of variant facts of our One True Identity –– we are ETERNAL.

    Nothing to fear -- only something to wonder at, savor, and contemplate with growing curiosity and endless fascination.

    THERE IS NO END.

    ~ FreeThinke

    PS: Glad to see you here. I've been very busy developing a new real estate project -- just a small, rather dear, old house in much need of TLC. It's absorbing work –– something I truly love to do –– but it takes time away from visiting many other blogs. ~ FT

    ReplyDelete
  6. NOTICE

    Be sure to read Z's article called Star Parker Roc Star at geeeeeZ:

    Here is the beginning section. I hope it will tempt you to read more:

    STAR PARKER IS A ROCK STAR

    by Z

    "I went to luncheon where Star Parker spoke yesterday. I got to talk with her for a while and then hear her speech which was riveting. I took a lot of notes for you while she spoke ...

    "She talked a lot about what's happening to Americans today as they accept, more and more, the slow creep of socialism via redistribution, which she feels is inconsistent with our founding ...

    "'Uncle Sam's Plantation didn't work for Blacks and it won't work for Whites,' she said today. Amen to that...."

    It's a very worthwhile article, because Ms. Parker, who gas really pad her dues, has grown into an enormous POSITIVE influence, a great ROLE MODEL for those who are foolishly tempted to embrace nihilism and succumb to despair.

    Star Parker more than anyone I can think of would understand what today's article here is driving at when it says, "WE DON'T MATTER."

    Christ Jesus put it yet another way, "If you would have your life, first you must [be willing to] lose it."

    The more we dwell on Self the farther we move away from Self-Fulfillment. Yet ANOTHER paradox for us to wrangle with!

    ` FreeThinke

    ReplyDelete
  7. FT: "Surely of Shakespeare's many memorable utterances that one qualifies as the starkest, sternest, most despairing and pessimistic of all."

    I've never found it so. Just sort of keeps things in their proper perspective. Goes well with Walpole's “Life is a tragedy for those who feel, but a comedy to those who think."

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  8. In too many places we are a weak nation. In too many others a too corrupt nation.

    I don't see anything getting fixed until it hits rock bottom.

    I don't think I'll see that in my lifetime. I expect the next 40-50 years to drift back and forth between evil and useless.

    In the end though, if you're waiting for the outside world to solve your problems, your already on the wrong track.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It is the ABLE BODIED poor that need to "get their act together."

    One would think that here, after the terrible storm we had on the night of June 29-30, that some people would be going door to door and offering to work, particularly in some of the well-to-do neighborhoods. I know that many here on my street would have paid CASH to such workers.

    Hell, people could have been going door to door here with trucks loaded with cold water to sell.

    Nobody whatsoever showed up! In fact, in my scouting missions yesterday, I saw nobody doing what I described above. Instead, one could call the gubmint and ask for help.

    Now, one could drive to the local convenient mart and fetch immigrants to do the work. The immigrants were there in DROVES yesterday morning, starting at 6:00 A.M.

    For decades, I've lived through several major disasters here in Northern Virginia. I well recall Americans of all sorts going around and helping during those disasters of yore -- sometimes for free (as my father did with his tractor) and sometimes for cash. In fact, when I was old enough, my parents sent ME out to help other folks, particularly our neighbors and the elderly. And the churches organized rescue missions too -- back then.

    As for pessimism, well, I do despair. But as a determined German, I always pick myself up and soldier on. Inertia and self-pity accomplish NOTHING!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Viburnum,

    That pithy saying by Walpole has been one of my favorite "personal proverbs" for over forty years, only I'd been wrongly attributing it to Anatole France until finally someone set me straight just within the last year.

    Live and learn! ;-)

    ~ FT

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  11. " ... if you're waiting for the outside world to solve your problems, you're already on the wrong track."

    And a hearty AMEN! to that, Kid!

    You got right to the heart of what the post was trying to say in that one sentence.

    The title "WE DON'T MATTER" isn't meant to be sarcastic, or bitter, self-pitying, or depressing. It means what? That the world –– really the Cosmos –– is not going to throw itself out of balance in order to focus with sympathetic attention on the plight of anyone in particular.

    Life presents us with a magnificent OPPORTUNITY to discover ways within ourselves as individuals not only to survive, but to develop character, acquire skills and knowledge, possibly-though-not-necessarily prosper, –– but above all to make some sort of contribution that encourages, cheers, improves, eases, or in rare, wonderful cases, reveals greater understanding of Truth and Love.

    I often refer to paradoxes -- those things that seem self-contradictory, even absurd, but exist nonetheless.

    If there is a "secret" to living well, I believe it lies in the complete acceptance of our inability to function as omnipotent, omniscient beings, while wholeheartedly embracing whatever form of constructive endeavor may be possible for us to do.

    We best serve ourselves by cheerfully, unreservedly giving ourselves in service others.

    ~ FreeThinke

    PS: Lest you mistake my meaning, we need to understand there is a world of difference between SERVICE and SERVITUDE. The former is ennobling, the latter degrading, because the latter implies COERCION, the former a VOLUNTARY act motivated by LOVE. - FT

    ReplyDelete
  12. On the plus side here, I just returned from a scouting mission. People are driving sanely despite the fact that so many traffic lights aren't working.

    Also, despite the downed power grid and lack of security systems, no robberies and no looting.

    ReplyDelete
  13. AOW,

    I couldn't agree more with everything you just said.

    The tragedy of modern life in these United States is grounded in notion that we are all helpless, hapless creatures in desperate need of assistance.

    What might-be-called The Ethos of Our Time appears to be doing everything possible to foster belief in an inherent need to remain DEPENDENT –– i.e. INFANTILE –– throughout out our lives.

    This is very like the kind of situation brought about by what-might -be-called The Overprotective Mother Syndrome where certain women neurotically fulfill their OWN needs for Personal Power, Affirmation, and Adulation by preventing their children from growing up. This can take many forms, but usually it amounts to encouraging the child to see Mommy as "The Supreme Fount of Wisdom," "The Giver of All Good Things," and "The Only TRUE Friend You'll Ever Have" –– 'The Only Person You Can Ever Trust."

    In a very real sense government has assumed the role of an overprotective, forever self-aggrandizing, self-congratulating, ever-more-restrictive, stifling, stultifying "Mommy."

    Maybe this started out as well-meaning, but in truth such policies turn "Mommy" into a non-nurturing MONSTER of gargantuan proportions –– a fearsome, revolting SUCCUBUS –– who turns her children into pathetic victims instead of responsible adults.

    The only hope is to get wise to what's happening and CUT the CORD of DEPENDENCY, even if it means living from hand-to-mouth.

    Better to be a humble, itinerant ditch-digger with a string back than a forty-year old bottle-fed blob still in diapers, even though your "crib" be fitted with silken sheets.

    ~ FreeThinke

    ReplyDelete
  14. AHA!

    AOW, you just articulated a vitally important principle.

    When people are placed in jeopardy and are not being "controlled" by the machinery an overly-safety-conscious, feminized society has put in place, they do NOT revert to brute savagery. Being suddenly FREE -- even though they may be in grave danger –– tends to bring out the BEST in people.

    If you remember the plane that lost power soon after takeoff, and was "miraculously" guided to safety in the middle of the Hudson River by that wonderful man, "Captain Sully," who did NOT panic, did NOT think only of HIMSELF, but instead coolly used his head and managed to save the lives of everyone on board, you'll see a great case in point.

    Remember too that the PASSENGERS on that flight, instead of becoming hysterical and disorderly all found the courage to do what was necessary to ensure the best possible outcome for all.

    What I get from that is that we are not anywhere NEAR as bad as we've been led to believe.

    It's a shame, however, that too often it takes a dramatic crisis to snap the Steel Cables of Convention that normally prevent us from reaching out to one another with the appreciation, understanding and affection most of us long for, but have been perversely conditioned to fear showing.

    ~ FT

    ReplyDelete
  15. A successful scouting mission, BTW: some bottled water (Cats need it too!), bread, cheese, bananas, peanuts (for the squirrels and chipmunks), and salad fixings. No milk or cottage cheese available. C'est la vie!

    Only one grocery store is open for miles around, but the nearest convenience market ("my" 7-11) is. I grabbed the bottled water there as so many are on the boiled-or-bottle-water advisory.

    Mr. AOW and I already may have consumed a bit of possible tainted water this morning before the news alert came on. I hope that we don't come down with some intestinal misery!

    ReplyDelete
  16. AOW,

    My father told me it was a good idea to drink three or four tablespoons full of APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, if you think you may have ingested something tainted.

    Apparently, there something powerful enough in that particular kind of acid to neutralize some forms of bacteria –– IF you get to them before they start to multiply.

    For all I know, this may be an Old Wives Tale, but it appears to have worked for me on more than one occasion.

    Just a thought.

    ~ FT

    ReplyDelete
  17. Safe in their alabaster chambers ––
    Untouched by morning and untouched by noon
    Lie the meek members of the Resurrection ––
    Rafter of satin and roof of stone.

    Light laughs the breeze
    In her castle of sunshine ––
    Babbles the bee in a stolid ear
    Pipe the sweet birds in ignorant cadence.
    Ah! What Sagacity perished here!

    Grand go the years in the crescent above them ––
    Worlds scoop their arcs, and firmaments row ––
    Diadems drop, and Doges surrender ––
    Soundless –– as dots on a disc of snow.


    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

    That never fails to give me goose bumps. The lady had a grasp of the concept of Eternity that remains unsurpassed.

    ~ FreeThinke

    ReplyDelete
  18. This thread would not be complete without the following reminder of the impermanence and evanescent nature of even the greatest of human achievements:


    RECESSIONAL

    God of our fathers, known of old—

    Lord of our far-flung battle line—

    Beneath whose awful hand we hold

    Dominion over palm and pine—

    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,

    Lest we forget—lest we forget!




    The tumult and the shouting dies—

    The Captains and the Kings depart—

    Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,

    An humble and a contrite heart.

    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,

    Lest we forget—lest we forget!




    Far-called our navies melt away—

    On dune and headland sinks the fire—

    Lo, all our pomp of yesterday

    Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!

    Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,

    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    


    If, drunk with sight of power, we loose

    Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe—

    Such boastings as the Gentiles use,

    Or lesser breeds without the Law—

    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,

    Lest we forget—lest we forget!




    For heathen heart that puts her trust

    In reeking tube and iron shard—

    All valiant dust that builds on dust,

    And guarding calls not Thee to guard.

    For frantic boast and foolish word,

    Thy Mercy on Thy People, Lord!

    Amen.



    ~ Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936

    
And that too should bring tears to our eyes as it gives us goose bumps. 

What is this solemn piece, but a prayerful plea that we acquire sufficient wisdom to break out of the vicious cycle that keeps humanity repeating the same ruinous errors from generation to generation?

    

~ FreeThinke

    ReplyDelete
  19. And a hearty AMEN! to that, Kid!

    You got right to the heart of what the post was trying to say in that one sentence.


    Thanks FT, and I agree with what you said following that.

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  20. An interesting thread!

    Many thanks to all who participated.

    ~ FT

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