If there is one thing I have always resented about the culture I live in, it is the indignity of being forced to tell lies. But wait, no one forces you to lie…no, but try telling everyone the truth for a few days and see how far it gets you. We lie about who we … Continue reading “The Indignity of Being Forced to Tell Lies”
If there is one thing I have always resented about the culture I live in, it is the indignity of being forced to tell lies. But wait, no one forces you to lie…no, but try telling everyone the truth for a few days and see how far it gets you. We lie about who we are, what we like, how we feel about our jobs, how we feel about our neighbors or relatives or coworkers and more. It’s no wonder that we’ve put the biggest liar in charge.
Sometimes it feels damn good to tell someone “I just don’t like you” – and it’s good for that person too because then they know and they have to deal with the fact you don’t like them. But most of us can’t do that for one reason or another. Mostly though, we lie for money. To make the sale, get the job, keep the job, build the relationship, or get the job done.
The truth will set you free…is what they say. But the truth really leaves you unemployed, friendless, alone, and probably injured or dead. And if it is an inconvenient truth you might end up worse than that.
So swallow that dignity and keep on lying America.
At the moment – this moment – as I look at my daughter, I feel a moment of fear and hesitation about all that I am planning for us. an older man said to me recently something like “When you have children, especially small children, it’s your job to stay in one place and provide a stable and safe environment for them.” He’s right. I know he is right – except I also know that it is just not that simple. Safety is not something we can be sure of – especially in the United States right now at this very strange point in 2017. I don’t know when or where the next school shooting will be, but the odds are very much stacked towards it happening in the United States and a bunch of innocent children being killed. As I think about that my eyes tear up as I remember Newtown and all the other tragedies and my guts wrench as I think about the American society of hatred where guns are more populous than people. So if I want to provide safety for my daughter than it makes sense to not live in the United States or North America for that matter. Stability is another thing – is there stability in a society that doesn’t know whether there is a government to care for us, one that we can trust – or one that is chipping away at our freedoms and turning us into slaves – and that can turn on us at any moment and lock us up, arrest us, or change the rules without notice. Yes, children need stability, but the only stability they really need is the stability of love, caring, respect, and the constancy of parents and other adults around them who love them, nurture them, and help them to grow into the best possible version of themselves. It’s hard to provide that when both parents are slogging away at stressful jobs 40+ hours a week and then tuning into the television and internet (at best) or drugs and alcohol (at worst). That is what I see when I look at the radioactive American Nuclear Family…and all it leads to is despair and instability in the personality of the child. As for staying in one place – I suppose that would be a good idea if you were in a place where you could provide stability and safety to your child – but I am not. I’d like to find that place, but what I can provide is being a person that is in one place – psychologically. My child is precious – as every child should be to her or his parents. I make no decisions without considering the effect on her. My moment of fear and hesitation has passed, but there will be more.
The Oregon Coast is filled with decaying structures and ever-present mold. There isn’t much you can do about it. Hang a picture on the wall for a while, pretty soon there is mold between the wall and the picture. Same goes for furniture, rugs, and if you have metal things like tools or bicycles – the surface rust is almost instant and if you leave it for a season, it becomes a rusty old thing. The garage in the house we rent is a mold/rust/decay swamp – everything I’ve ever put in the garage has been ruined. The first year it was water damage, the next year I covered everything with tarps and the mold got in, the third year here it was rust and mold combined with water damage, last year I realized that anything in the garage was going to be ruined so left nothing but things that can’t be ruined like crab traps and rusty tools.
I brought nice carpets with me when we moved here. My favorite one was ruined by rain dripping from the center of my office (which is downstairs on the first floor) and yet, somehow the rain dripped from the ceiling fan right onto a beautiful Persian rug. A new leak sprung from an interior wall the other day and started dripping on my 150 year old mahogany secretary desk, but it was caught by a Chinese porcelain vase I had on top of it.
Things just get ruined here. My new enclosed trailer started leaking the other day – when it rains constantly and the wind blows constantly and the mold grows constantly and the leaks find their way in constantly – things just get destroyed. On the Oregon Coast, all it takes is a season of weather to turn new to old, another season of weather to turn old to worn, another season turns worn to broken, and it takes just one more to turn broken to ruin. I’m feeling the four winters we’ve been here – I started new but am on my way to ruin if I stay here any longer.
We mustn’t let that happen.
We’ve all heard the sounds of the 1960s…and we know what they wore, and we know what the news was like, and what was on TV, and what cars, refrigerators, and soda pop ads looked like. It’s safe to say, that the 60s never went away. To a lessor extent the 1950s are still with us – mostly how they were imagined in the 1960s and 1970s and the 1940s, 30s,and 20s – and to a greater extent, the 1970s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, and 20-Teens are ever present…. we are all going to party like it’s 1999 forever more…we are trapped in the last fifty years.
Yes, there is innovation. Yes, there are new styles and trends. But they are constrained within the confines of the lifetime of the baby boomers. And, that stuff isn’t going away…not anytime soon. Not unless our technology crashes…
And it may be too late to hope that the boomers themselves will ever go away…
Before you answer – let me point out that in a universal blink of an eye you will be dead and most likely forgotten by all of the living (because while we all remember Isaac Newton, can you name his neighbors, classmates, or neighbors? Or even the actors in a 1920s movie beside the headline star? The majority of us will be forgotten completely within a generation of our death meaning that not a living soul will know our name or that we existed)….
So, given that…what are your criteria for success in this life? Think carefully, because death and obscurity are coming – no matter what you do or who you are. What is your life about?
Regardless of what God you believe or don’t believe in or your beliefs (opinions) about an afterlife – one thing is certain – you will not be taking any form of wealth, your body, or most likely the things you identify as ‘self’ with you – but then, you might bring your actions, your deeds, your ‘balance sheet’ with you. Maybe there are a heaven and or hell, maybe reincarnation does happen, maybe karma and nirvana do ride on your choices…but no one knows for sure or can prove any of that. So, what gives your life, this moment, right now, importance.
It’s worth thinking about. It’s worth deciding. It’s worth it.
It doesn’t really do anyone any good, so I’d like to stop my speculative thinking. All it really does is take me out of the present for an imagined future that may or may not happen when the present is actually happening. So, if I can, I’m for the present. Right now, not in the future.