Thursday, November 26, 2020

Respect Begins with Yourself

It's impossible to overvalue the worth of genuine self-respect and integrity, particularly in a hostile and blindly unaware society that undermines them at every turn.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

More of This. Less of That

“We are constantly murmuring, muttering, scheming or wondering to ourselves under our breath,” wrote the Buddhist and Harvard-trained psychiatrist Mark Epstein. “I like this. I don’t like that. She hurt me. How can I get that? More of this, no more of that. Much of our inner dialogue is this constant reaction to experience by a selfish, childish protagonist. None of us has moved very far from the 7-year-old who vigilantly watches to see who got more.”

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Republicans

Why keep the stiletto of ridicule always handy up your sleeve? Because, as Euripides observed, “The laughter of one’s enemies is unendurable.”

Dan Harris: An Insight at Midnight

Lying in bed one night, reading a book by Eckhart Tolle for work, ABC reporter Dan Harris was shocked to find the self-help guru reading his mind.

Tolle’s insights about living in the present were startlingly relevant to Harris’ life.

“The ego is never satisfied,” Harris wrote in his book 10 Percent Happier. “No matter how much stuff we buy, no matter how many arguments we win or delicious meals we consume, the ego never feels complete. Did this not describe my bottomless appetite for airtime — or drugs? Is this what my friend Simon meant when he said I had the ‘soul of a junkie?’

“The ego is constantly comparing itself to others. It has us measuring our worth against the looks, wealth and social status of everyone else. Did this not explain some of my worrying at work?

“Perhaps the most powerful Tollean insight into the ego was that it is obsessed with the past and the future, at the expense of the present. We ‘live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation,’ he wrote…”

“Some of the only times I could recall being fully present were when I was in a war zone or on drugs. No wonder one begat the other.

“It finally hit me that I’d been sleepwalking through much of my life — swept along on a tide of automatic, habitual behavior. All of the things I was most ashamed of in recent years could be explained through the ego: chasing the thrill of war without contemplating the consequences, replacing the combat high with coke and ecstasy, reflexively and unfairly judging people of faith, getting carried away with anxiety about work, neglecting Bianca to tryst with my Blackberry, obsessing about my stupid hair.

“It was a little embarrassing to be reading a self-help writer and thinking, ‘This guy gets me.’ But it was in this moment, lying in bed late at night, that I first realized that the voice in my head — the running commentary that had dominated my field of consciousness since I could remember — was kind of an asshole.”

Friday, November 20, 2020

The Consumer Consumed

One of the most difficult lessons to learn in life, because it is counterintuitive, is that if some is good, more may well be worse, even much worse. The whole of the American consumer advertising industry is dedicated to helping us forget that lesson, if we were ever smart enough to learn it.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Behold the Boredom of the Gods

We have these godlike powers now — to instantly tap the sum total of human knowledge, to talk to anyone anywhere — and yet we’re bored. We use them for trivia.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Riding Across the River

“I have taken thousands of people across, and to all of them my river has been nothing but a hindrance to their journey. They have traveled for money and business, to weddings and on pilgrimages; the river has been in their way and the ferryman was there to take them quickly across the obstacle. However, amongst the thousands there have been a few, four or five, to whom the river was not an obstacle. They have heard its voice and listened to it, and the river has become holy to them, as it is to me.”

— The Ferryman and Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha

Monday, November 16, 2020

That Zeppelin Trump

As the Trump balloon continues to defate, the thing that will hurt him most would be being ignored.

Let's twist that knife.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Hannah Arendt: The Banality of Bad

Hannah Arendt: “I changed my mind and do no longer speak of ‘radical evil.’ … It is indeed my opinion now that evil is never ‘radical,’ that it is only extreme, and that it possesses neither depth nor any demonic dimension. It can overgrow and lay waste the whole world precisely because it spreads like a fungus on the surface. It is ‘thought-defying,’ as I said, because thought tries to reach some depth, to go to the roots, and the moment it concerns itself with evil, it is frustrated because there is nothing. That is its ‘banality.’ Only the good has depth that can be radical.”

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The GOP Doubles Toil and Trouble

The Republican Party is completely corrupt, but the cowardly, dithering “both sides” corporate media can’t face that glaringly obvious fact.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Let's Shake Hands With Claws and Fangs!

When one side WILL NEVER compromise, and the other side will DO NOTHING BUT compromise, care to guess which side always wins? 

Monday, November 9, 2020

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Sound the Trumpets! No More Trump!!

Donald Trump, the Pied Piper of vicious, knuckle-dragging vermin, has led them all into the river. 

Plish! Plish! Plish!

Now let’s hang Trump around the neck of the Republican Party and let him dangle there, rotting and stinking, for decades.

How to Measure Success


“The measure of success is happiness and peace of mind.”

— Bobby Davro

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The Faith That Should be Feared

“Fascists despised the small truths of daily existence, loved slogans that resonated like a new religion and preferred creative myths to history or journalism,” wrote historian Timothy Snyder in his book On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century. 

“They used new media, which at the time was radio, to create a drumbeat of propaganda that aroused feelings before people had time to ascertain facts. And now, as then, many people confused faith in a largely flawed leader with the truth about the world we all share.

“Post-truth is pre-fascism.”

“Accepting untruth of this radical kind requires a blatant abandonment of reason,” Snyder wrote. “(Victor) Klemperer’s descriptions of losing friends in Germany in 1933 over the issue of magical thinking ring true today. 

“One of his former students implored him to ‘abandon yourself to your feelings, and you must always focus on the Führer’s greatness, rather than on the discomfort you are feeling at present.’ 

“Twelve years later, after all the atrocities, and at the end of a war that Germany had clearly lost, an amputated soldier told Klemperer that Hitler ‘has never lied yet. I believe in Hitler.’”

Donald Trump’s supporters share just that kind of feverish “faith."

Sunday, November 1, 2020

A Sin Away

It happens first just once or twice

On any given day

We always think that paradise

Is just a sin away.

— Marcus Bales

The Consumers Are the Consumed


When they were called “citizens,” Americans were reminded of their responsibilities as stewards of a democratic republic. But for some time, they’ve been called “consumers,” and that describes what Americans are now: mere disposable economic resources for corporations.