Category Archives: Philosophy

Sex.Food.Rush.Chill

Sex.Food.Rush.Chill.

What else is there? Really?

Epicurus — that devil-dog from 300BCE — would have stepped back from such a statement. He would have shaken his head like a dog, olive oil and bits of sardine flying, his wang hanging out of his toga and said with authority — let’s party!

Sex: If you’re not driven by your hormones to procreate — then why are you even here? (Even it no progeny could ever come of your libidinous acts.)

Food: There are so many flavors, textures, and culinary sensations that obesity should be a badge of honor, not a shroud of shame. Oh, and Al-Ko-Hall – straight up!

Rush: The need for speed, death defying feats, an adrenaline high and risk — it’s all about the risk baby.

Chill: You need time, we all need time to pontificate. Sit back, puff a doobie, gaze at the sunset, the stars, or each other and just contemplate all of it — or none of it.

Sex.Food.Rush.Chill

 

 


How was your day?

In as few words possible describe your day. Don’t mistreat it. Don’t embellish. Extract its essence and stream it into our minds.

~~~

Go.

~~~

Our world spun its circular return. I blinked and woke up here, barely moved. Is this today or tomorrow? The rain would know. Soon drops will drown the dry tracks of my children’s tears. Or are they my own?

Food and drink slurped as sustenance, its colorful countenance belying its eventual fate, ooze of an odiferous sort — like the stink of diesel, or the burning of tires along the highway.

I went, I wavered beneath florescent lights. I found the keys and tapped them murderously. To no avail — they remarked en masse that my words together failed to shift the opinions on all office topics lovingly pinned to the break-room wall.

The sun arced without my permission. When I dared look at its progress, glares from cubemates bent my neck back to my flickering screen. A screen that aches for silken sheets and glistening bodies but must suffice with sheets of tables and dull characters spelling out quarterlies and bottom lines.

My day is done. The dollar slotted, the handle pulled, the rollers flashed cherries and jokers and spades, it twirled and slowed, the last wheel clicked empty. I jangle my change, a few dollars more it seems.


Emailing the dead

Dear Janice,

Why haven’t you returned my emails? You don’t text me, nor twitter. What’s up?

Hello? Janice?

Google will never delete your account. It will continue to accumulate email long after you die. Consider all the accounts you will leave gathering correspondence years after your fingers have ceased to digitally transmit. The Archive of the Dead. Talk about a Dead Letter Queue.

Think of all the millions of accounts that, right now, continue to collect their penis enlargement, their Nigerian prince, their Russian wife emails. And consider all the languishing friends and ancient lovers seeking to reconnect. The forgotten business associates, the friends of friends who read your book, saw your paintings, wondered about your clever children — their communiques swallowed by the pit of an abandoned account.

Dear Mole,

I’m slumbering here, terra-incognita, considering your inquires as I softly chuckle at the thought of sharing your subterranean abode. Why the urgency? Do you sense the closing of doors? The drawing of curtains? Will our letters find each other in the Ether-space once you surrender your daily toils? Or will the silicon memory that embodies our digital personas petrify, become crystal quartz again as the eons enfold us?


Point System: keeping score

We all live by and adhere to a bevy of social contracts.

One of those contracts is the equity of gift exchange. If I take you for lunch, you must, eventually, take me for lunch — or breakfast, or drinks or… Whatever it is, it must roughly equal the value offered in the original transaction. If you spring for a fancy dinner, the onus of return has now shifted back to my shoulders. And so we live, social debt flowing to and fro.

Until one side takes, the other side gives and an unbalanced ledger results. I borrowed your lawnmower, your shovel, your chainsaw and never repaid you in kind.

Without effort from my side, this slight will grow and fester. An unspoken feud may molder and spawn, like some fetid mushroom pushed up through rotting soil.

There is however, one system which lives for an unspoken unbalance: The Mormons.

The Mormons have a charity point system; they must do good deeds, in excess of those good deeds done back onto them. When we lived in Utah, we confounded them and their points-for-heaven tally sheet. We would be our neighborly, good-natured and giving selves; going out of our way to help and assist and donate whatever we could — simply because that’s how we were wired. They, in turn, would try and surpass normal social mores and attempt to double up in pious points.

Now, to be fair, I’m sure this equanimity generally stemmed from the aforementioned social contract. But, on occasion, we were well aware that we’d flummoxed a number of our neighbors with excessive kindness, a gift that tipped the scales in a way that no doubt confounded them no end. We were, after all, the infidels of the neighborhood. The score could not be left teetered so.

Eventually, the weight would shift and we would accept that to remain amicable, we must be a smidgen in arrears; they were headed to heaven, we realized, and the score must tip in their favor.

 


Creation vs Discovery

Over there on The Memoir of a Writer, Zarah and I got into a discussion on the concept of creating anything “new.”

She had her points and I had mine and in the end I believe the conversation boiled down to: are we just discovering “new” or are we creating “new?”

During our exchange I gave her a a few examples of new, one being Calculus. I originally held that Newton and Leibniz “created” Calculus but now realize that they really only discovered it. So the concept of discovering any scientific fact, math, physics, chemistry, etc, is just that… discovery. There’s been a boatload of discovery that historically might have been called creation, but it is really just the revealing of what exists in the world.

So what is creation? I would posit that only an elevated intellect can create. From nothing, something.

Ideas often come from example. A log floats down a river. With sharp tools, that log hollowed out becomes a boat. Was that boat discovered or created? What of the tools? What of the mast and sail and paddle and rudder? No doubt there is creation in there somewhere. And the “new” part is that at some point in the past the very first woven sail had to have been attached to a stick that became the mast of a sailboat. Someone made something new. Even if the entire Universe is taken into account, some being somewhere was the first to create that new something.

Nothing new under the sun was the theme of Zarah’s original post. Can we really create some new story line, plot, or theme? Don’t all stories, today, leverage what already exists? Can we really create or write something new?

My position is that: all that we take for granted, at some time in the past, each thing or idea was created anew. And that today, even though we have billions of minds constantly trying to dream up some novel invention or concept, someone, somewhere will no doubt create some as-yet-unknown newness.

 


We all wear masks

In the United States, Thanksgiving is over and most of us can store away the masks we wear for family occasions. We unlock the chest, rummage to the bottom, and tuck them beneath the yearbooks and faded photo albums. We’ll unearth them again at the Winter Solstice holiday (Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and the New Year).

Meanwhile, we’ll only have to tote around the two or three we use daily to get through our work-a-day lives. Flip-slip-snap! On goes the work-mask. Zip-clip-pip! Here we swap one out to talk to our children (or elders). Peal-squeal-kneel, we don the one we wear for our spouse.

These masks we wear, do we even consider them? Do we ever resent them? Or, embrace them — gathering them in droves as flavors of personalities we expose?

And then, at night, we sleep and our masks melt away while we dream; our true selves bubble up through the falsity of cultural-behavioral control. In our dreams we are who we are, our masks flitting over our faces like tissue — there and gone, torn away by our unconscious desires to be both ourselves and our un-selves.

How many masks do you wear? Are there those you find uncomfortable? Alluring? Disturbing?

 


Suicide: the selfish solution

Nearly 45,000 Americans killed themselves in 2016, twice the number who died by homicide.

OK, you can curtail your churlish condemnation of the Anonymole pointing out that suicide might be a drastic, selfish solution to a (potentially) soluble problem.

I think of death daily. (Yes, I really do. The tape measure is out and I’m down on my knees measuring my anguish vs the benefits of existence — nanometer by nanometer.)

But, what existence has in its corner is this: the pain I would cause is always more than the pain I endure.

Bottom line. Bottom measure. Bottom of the barrel looking up — those looking down would suffer and suffer and suffer — no doubt about it.

Now, if I had no one, nobody around who depended on me, or felt deeply attached to me, and who, I know, would not steep in a decade long malaise of loss, then I’d take the first train to never where. CLICK CLICK, TICKETS PLEASE.

Alas, that is not my kettle of fish. My fish swim and feed and breath and look to me for presence, support and, potentially, guidance in the coming years and decades. And so, I scope with a narrow lens the trauma my absence would cause to my fish and know, in my heart of hearts, that to take my life, at this time, would induce far more spiritual agony than it would alleviate.

And the strange source of this examination is a quote from a “Blacklist” episode where Raymond Reddington says, “How could one do that to the people they love?”

Well? How could you?