Meet Charbon

Posted: May 26, 2017 in death, Pets, Sadness
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“Charbon” is French for coal. He came into my life last August when I moved into my rented room in August of last year.

He was the cuddliest cat I’ve ever known. Many is the afternoon when I lay down for a nap, only to fall asleep with his purring in my ears. He was a lover, and I don’t think there was anyone who didn’t like him.

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Charbon died Wednesday night. I will miss him.

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The Statue of Liberty

Posted: May 5, 2017 in Depression

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Unpacking the face of the Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde) is a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess. It was a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States.

When I look at Liberty’s face, the first thing I see is compassion. That’s what first struck me as a child, and that impression has stayed with me ever since.

Losing Liberties in the Name of Freedom

But over the past decade or so, our liberties have been curtailed in the names of “freedom” and “safety.” The so-called “War on Terror” has whittled away at our personal freedoms, and to what avail? One idiot tries to blow up a plane with a bomb in his shoe, and now we all have to take our shoes off to fly. How many more school shootings have to happen before we institute meaningful gun control?

“But it’s in the Constitution!” Yes it is. But so is freedom of speech and public assembly, both of which have been restricted. My right to vote was never before predicated on whether I had a driver’s license. And what kind of country allows its elected representatives of the people to exempt themselves from the laws they pass to control the people who elected them in the first place? Am I the only one who thinks about these things, and thinks they’re wrong? Am I crazy?

"What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms." – Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787.

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Jefferson is also reputed to have said that every generation needs its own revolution. Is it time, do you think, for our revolution against the lawmakers who no longer represent the interests of the voters but instead are nothing more than whores for the rich and the multinational corporations?

I say let the people decide.

Look at this man:

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If Jesus truly heals the sick, why does Pat Robertson always look as if he has a terminal case of constipation? Might it have something to do with all the bullshit he peddles on TV?

Here’s another:

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For a guy who supposedly preaches the Gospel of Christ, he sure spreads a lot of hate and intolerance. But he’s not the only one.

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Am I the only one who has a problem with people getting rich off the teachings of Christ?

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I was raised in a Christian household. My father was a Lutheran pastor. I seem to remember reading something about a camel and the eye of a needle. Or was I only imagining it?

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Nope, I didn’t imagine it.

Hypocrisy, intolerance, hatred, and the love of material wealth

That’s what all these “preachers” have in common: that’s what they spout as the gospel of Christ in order to become rich and famous. The very thing Christ warned against. How do they justify it? And why do millions of ignorant people continue to support them? All you have to do is read your fucking Bible:

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This, Then, is Why I No Longer Believe

If a just God as depicted in the Bible, or a loving Christ, all of these false prophets—these liars, hucksters, and con-men—would have been swept away long ago. And please—don’t tell me they’ll receive their punishment in the next world. A truly loving god wouldn’t allow these thieves to prey on the innocent in this world.

Hello, friends. Yes, it’s been a while. Between health issues, the collapse of my marriage, and Internet problems, I haven’t been up to writing.

But I’ve had a lot of time to think. And a lot of that thinking had a lot to do with life, death, and what really matters to me. February marked the first year since my father died, and it struck me, now that both of my parents are dead, that no one here gets out alive.

I first heard that phrase on a Doors album. The album was Waiting for the Sun, and the song was “Five to One.” Little did I understand at the time just how profound that statement is. No one here gets out alive. Or, as Paul Simon put it,

We’re working our jobs, collect our pay
Believe we’re gliding down the highway
When in fact we’re slip slidin’ away.

Maybe it’s the times we’re living in, or maybe it’s just my age, but I don’t think we’re focusing on the things that matter. We have our computers, and they’re connected to the Internet. We have instant access to more information than can be found in all of the libraries in the world, and what do we do with it? We post pictures of kittens on Facebook, or take pictures of our breakfast and beam them all around the world.

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Really? We have the ability to end world hunger, end all wars, eliminate poverty, and all we seem to be interested in is fluff. Bread and circuses, man. That’s what the Roman Empire offered its citizens to distract them from the fact that the Empire was crumbling from within.

And that’s what’s happening to the America Empire. It’s crumbling from within. Well, when you elect a clown, you’ve got to expect a circus.

Leonard Cohen sang, “Democracy is coming to the USA.” He was fortunate to die before the reality set in: Fascism is coming to the USA.

I woke up this morning with the intention of shutting down this blog. I’ve been in a deep, black depression for months, and I’ve felt for some time that I simply don’t have the energy to keep writing.

But then I realized that if I quit, the black dogs, the Dementors, will have won. And so I’m continuing.

Think of it as a reboot. Whenever my computer gets bogged down because of memory management problems inherent in the operating system, I shut it down and restart.

So that’s what I’m doing today. I’m rebooting my brain. Steve Wozniak, after a near-fatal crash in a small plane, said he had to rewire his brain from 0 to 1. That’s a pretty good description for what I’ve been going through for the past few months.

I’ve rebooted, and am ready to go on with my life and with my writing.