Beginning Again

From another posting (mine):

I was really disheartened when Multiply shut down. I’d been on it a couple of years and it was a great discipline for me. I wrote at least one entry a week of no less than 400 words and some of the entries were really quite good. Now I’m doing one hundred words a day, which is more in terms of word count, but less in terms of focus on a topic.

“Generally, my whole writing focus has gone to hell after Multiply’s demise. As all of you who have been here a while know, I’ve not been doing much of anything- too scattered in thought and deed-. I used to be a regular, here, but even that has not been true for a long time now.”

Multiply’s demise is some time, now.  When I get disheartened, I get disheartened. 

I will speak a truth, I have no faith this spot will be here for any longer than it takes for someone to make a huge amount of money by selling it.  And the search for a spot will start again.

This time, I’m going to cheat a little and save backups on every important entry.

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Just To Be Clear- Travels with an atheist.

December 8. 2018

 

When I describe myself as an atheist, I do not mean that I definitely know there is no god. I only mean to say that I believe there is no god, not having seen credible evidence for its existence. If I were to tell the truth, I am a reluctant atheist. There is a part of me that wishes there is a god; it would make things so much easier to have something on which to blame everything .

I was raised Roman Catholic, and until high school, attended Catholic school, with the B.V.M Sisters of Charity. I have nothing but fond memories of them, despite the number of “I will not” lines I had to write in those eight years; I was a loquacious child. I was also a questioning child. In fourth grade Catechism, when told that we would live in heaven singing God’s praises for ever and ever, I asked Sister Mary Carmina a variation of “Why would anyone think I’d want to do that.” She was not pleased. I learned to keep my dissents quiet, but the fat was already in the fire.

Youthful heresies aside, I loved the sacred rituals. Solemn High funeral masses, particularly, impressed me. The vestments, the chanting and music in a foreign language, candles and billowing incense was, I think, the beginning of my love of theatre. You were convinced that the casket rolling out of the church was on its immediate way to heaven. About the only ritual I did not like, was the ritual of no meat on Fridays. That rule changed around 1984, I think.

After graduating from grammar school, I kept going to Mass, on Sundays and Holy Days, out of habit, but by the time I graduated from high school, I’d kicked the habit. I did not attend Mass regularly. again, until sometime in the eighties. In between, I tried a few years of Nicheren Shoshu Buddhism until I decided it was a cult and left unceremoniously. I only went back to the local Catholic Church to meet people and make friends, not out of conviction. Through the parish, I got connected to the parish charismatic group. I will speak more of my experience with them in a later entry.

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Dream Morning of 11-20-18

Dream Morning of 11-20-18

I come by bicycle to work. I am coming down the alley, because of construction I have to go by way of front of the building. It’s dark. I had just looked at my watch to see how long it had taken me to get to work, (I work at a hardware store), It reads 12:07 am; I had started at 11.47 pm

Three men, 18 to 25, (One, a blonde, looks like an older version kid from ‘Tool time) are standing outside . They say they want to come inside and leave leaflets, I say no, but give them to me an I’ll see they get distributed. They grab the dog.

They are grabbing at my keys, but I manage to fend them off, I get the door open. It’s an outer door, I’m in the vestibule trying to hold the door against them. They keep coming at me pushing the door, I’m punching and kicking at them while I can. I get it partially closed Some how holding door with one hand as the three of them try to batter it in, I make a call to the police on my cell phone and am reporting the incident while they continue to attack. The attack continues during my call.

Finally, they manage to batter the door off the hinges, but I’m still fighting with them. I pick up the door and am using it as a weapon against them. I’ve been fighting them for a long time, seems like twenty minutes. My dog suddenly reappears, but she’s not biting them, she’s licking them.

I manage to phone the police again, and when they hear me on the phone, the men take off, one on a motor cycle and one on a bicycle. I report them moving South. While I’m on the phone, a young woman exits the building and i tell her the place has been attacked. She pays no attention to me. The assumption is I know her; she’s been working in the building keeping books?

I sink down against the building. A police car, looking like a station wagon arrives, but turns round the corner, pauses a moment, then U-turns and goes right by me. I call the police again and tell them a police car showed up, but then drove way. They tell me the police didn’t see me, I should sit on the curb so they can. When the police come, they pass me by, and enter the store as people are coming in to work through the back door. Maier (one of the administrators of the nursing home in which I now live) is among them, he is the manager of the store. I’m crying out to the police, ‘I’m the one who called, I’m the one who called”, but they are busy questioning the people who just got in. I wake up and type this so as not to forget it. It’s 2:36 am.

Possible dream seed: Before I went to bed, I had watched a news report of a killing at a local hospital, and had read a chapter of ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It is the chapter in which Hermione and Ron are encouraging Harry to teach Defense of the Dark Arts

This article has been minimally edited for spelling errors.

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A Self-examination

A Self-examination
November 11, 2018

“The overarching tone in your posts and comments is a combination of overbearing and strident, with a tinge of shrillness. A difficult perspective to get beyond. Some days, your bombardments are almost as proselytizing as the Jehovah’s Witnesses roaming our world. Observation and opinion are not my attack, I have (of a specific few days) sometimes considered unfollowing you but refrained because of an unknown draw to your near fanaticism on the subjects you rant on about.”

Above is a criticism I have received about some of my shared postings. I have kept this copy to refer to, now and again; I’m not sure why.

Like most of us, I don’t LIKE criticism, but I KNOW that none of us are so perfect as to be free of it. Most criticism arises out of the critic’s perception, and those perceptions, wrong or right are valuable to growth. For this reason, I value criticism. That doesn’t mean I always agree with it, one hundred percent. It takes discernment to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Am I a proselytizer? In two areas, religion and politics, I most probably am. I see both as levers of powers designed to suppress the common man and keep him serving an elite few. More often than not, they are in tandem, two arms on the same body. If I am a fanatic about these two things, it is because I see the danger of them out of control. When I see the smoke rising, I try to sound the shrill and annoying, but attention getting alarm. The circumstances in which we find ourselves today, regarding religion and politics, ony encourage me in the belief that I am not sounding an alarm recklessly.

I’m not saying my conclusions are always right, that road ends in a narcissistic dementia

I am not satisfied with this entry, but I will let it stand, as it is, as an outline from which I will continue. In the meantime, those with whom I share this, are welcome to whatever comments they may choose to make.

Discernment is key.
No one LIKES criticism,
but the Wise, LISTEN!

 

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After the Thousand Oaks Shootings

Nov. 8, 2018

“Mass Shooting leaves …” Once upon a long ago time, tragedies like this were uncommon. The first I remember was the 1966 torture, rape, and murder of eight student nurses in Chicago. The perpetrator, Richard Speck, was originally sentenced for execution, but ended up, dying in prison after twenty-five years in prison. The event was a sensation all across the country. I don’t remember another one till Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, 1999. It doesn’t mean others hadn’t taken place, it means only that they didn’t leave a lasting memory in me, at least. Both blood baths seemed one of a kind incidents, improbable to be repeated.

Now, the perception seems like we are hearing of mass shootings once at least every other week. Since October 27, according to an organization named Gun Violence Archive, there have been a total of 307 incidents of mass shootings. In 2017, mass shootings numbered 346. These shootings happen at schools, playgrounds, churches and synagogues. restaurants and bars. The one reported this morning, happened at a bar and grill in Southern California.

The archive raises the interesting question about the lack of coverage of mass shootings, unless they think they might be terrorist related. (“Many conservatives don’t want the press to constantly connect the dots between American gun rampages, or to chronically mention that roughly 100,000 people are shot in America each year. Or that each week, approximately 1,565 patients are treated in emergency rooms for firearm-related injuries.”   (www.mediamatters.org.)

Why do we have this problem in America? The Second Amendment is the excuse, the money spent in local, State, and Federal legislatures, against gun control laws, by The National Rifle Association (NRA) is the reason. Coherent constraints on what kinds of weapons can be sold, and who can buy them, would bite into their profit margins. They think 300 deaths a year small price to pay. The fact “that among the world’s 23 wealthiest countries, 87 percent of all children killed by guns are American children.” (Media Matters) is a non-essential item.

Another cause of the problem, I think, is in the American psyche. We are removed from our “Wild West” days by only a little plus 100 years. My generation was raised on Western films and television series. What is presented as entertainment today, is only yesteryear’s violence dressed up in modern clothes. Many computer games are designed with a ‘find and kill’ motif.

We’ve not lost the romance of violence we associate with our growth as a country. Perhaps we never will. Perhaps we have become so seasoned to violence against the innocent, drinking it in with our morning coffee, only momentarily diverted by the sour taste it leaves in our mouth.

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Attention:

via “Fuck you, I like guns.”

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LaLa Land: Not Your Grandmother’s musical.

Referencing my title, pity!

 

I had heard only rumors of this film when a friend gave me a chance to watch it by lending me his DVD.  I’m glad I didn’t spend any money on it; it was so boring an experience, I turned it off three quarters of the way through it, at first sitting, and came back to watch the rest, one or two days later.

 

The first thing I need to comment upon is the chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone ( I learned, later, that Emma Stone won an Oscar for the role; I haven’t checked, but 2016 must have been a dearth of female performances),  there’s more Chemistry  going on in a glass of standing water, than I evidenced between these two.  Add to that, the fact they aren’t singers!  It’s not that they have bad voices, but they have around the piano , not performer voices.  Maybe that’s not such a bad thing, considering what they were given to sing.  There wasn’t a grab your attention song in the whole score!

 

The choreography was sparse, and excepting for the opening number, there wasn’t a production number worth mentioning.

 

Film musicals, even the darkest, have an oil paint color, depth, to them; this film was a water-color, and a pastel one, at that.

 

What I did like about the film, was the story line, I just wish it had been better realized.   The ending was particularly unexpected and appreciated.

 

Before I sat down to write this, I checked out Roger Ebert’s review.  He’s a critic I have come to especially value over the years.  I was astonished to find he LIKED the film, praising it as a worthy experiment in film musicals.  I guess one place we differ is his considering the film a musical, whereas I consider the film a failure of a film with music.

 

 

 

 

 

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Students, Alumni Rally Round Fired Gay Teacher

Source: Students, Alumni Rally Round Fired Gay Teacher

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