Posts Tagged ‘Banks and Lies’

sands of time

To do, or not to do?  That really is the question.  So much has happened and it seems that unlike Ren and Stimpy we ARE affected by the journey.  Our heads did appear to explode.

Everyone I speak to  is exhausted, barely had the energy to crawl out of the pajamas they’d been in for days when it was time to Go Back To Work, Now.  Planning?  Not so much.  Control? An old idea that popped like a soap bubble.

It takes a fair amount of fortitude to keep riding the wave, Gentle Reader.  It is true that we’re here to learn.  Understanding that means we don’t take things as personally as we used to: either you pass the course or you retake it, no harm no foul in the INCREDIBLY LONG RUN.  In the RIGHT NOW SHORT RUN? Well, St. Augustine, who I’ve never much cared for, said the reward of patience is patience, and that is where we find ourselves in the short run.  Being patient.

At times like these all you can do is keep breathing and paying attention.  Unlearning a lifetime’s dictates takes a minute and when one of those dictates was keep moving! all the time! something IS gaining on you! it can be quite the endeavor to sit still.  Still, the Partner always says that if everyone would just stop for a while, things could change.  I think he’s right but the stopping bit is not as easy as you might think.  The constant endeavor to make things “better”, to “fix” what’s askew, to keep dust and clutter at bay, to remain above water…..it becomes habitual to the point where one may not see that in fact, progress is not occurring but the hole one is in is definitely getting bigger and filling with an uncongenial substance.  The cognitive uproar creeps in (they’re saying it’s white but really? it’s black) and you just might start to realize that since you aren’t asleep or anywhere close to it, it is time to stop believing in the..er…American Dream.

We saw Three Days of the Condor yesterday and I found it rather deeply disturbing.  Not only did I wonder just what has actually happened to Robert Redford’s skin, but?  For a movie made in 1975- a long time ago no matter how you slice it- it was about as up to the minute as it could be politically.  In short- it’s been the same old shit FOREVER.  It’s about oil and power and even in that hoary old chestnut of a movie the US was invading Venezuela and middle eastern nations.  JUST LIKE TODAY.  Not about cooperative world progress or even, heaven forfend, proper THINKING ABOUT THINGS, you know? Thinking? Problem solving? Who said the entirety of everything has to be about making the world safe for petroleum?  The people who have been making the decisions for the world turn out to be not much smarter- if any at all- than you and me.  They just had a higher spot on the legacy totem pole.

Notwithstanding the personal stuff of our lives which for many is larger and more challenging than ever, there’s this other gargantuan thing taking up all the air in the room.  Namely, what appears to be an epic, titanic looming struggle to the death, between those who operate on the sole basis of capitalist self interest and those who do not.  I have to wonder how such an aggregation of seeming morons as we have at the top of the world could have done what they have, in fact, done.  No regard for truth or compassion.  Lying and hypocrisy are the order of the day.  When you hear the talk about unemployment and job creation?  What do most people think?  There’s no way on earth enough jobs could be “created” in this country to meet the needs of its people.  An aging population gets shoved on the conveyor belt to poverty as the upcoming younger group realizes there is no future for them, either.  Free trade? means free for the interests at the top and prohibited for the small person at the bottom.  It leads to the expansion of “black” markets and segregated communities.  The health care situation in the US is completely ridiculous and the new “affordable Health Care” act is just another way to make the world safe for insurance companies even above and beyond how it was before.

So, yeah.  It’s January and I’m depressed.  But hope springs eternal, and I have an excellent stash of duck fat now. Hope it lasts.

We’re not there yet, are we?

Oh, Gentle Reader.  My nerves and temper are both frayed, and I would like to suggest the following.  The Narcissist’s Convention, otherwise known as the Congress of the United States, needs to stop.  Now.  As in, right now.  No reconvening as currently constituted, either. Really.  People on food stamps in this country should “work harder” so they won’t need the pittance the Tea Party seems to think you can eat on?  After you, Congressman, give up your free meals- not to mention start doing the work you’re being paid to do and not doing.  Those lobbyists throw cash around, undoubtedly.  But what induced the memory lapse that makes Representatives think they actually work for those lobbyists instead of the citizens of this country?  Mr. Cruz, who is an insult to a perfectly good Spanish surname, needs to go to some sort of Ultimate Reptile Brain Rehab.  Neither he nor any of the other  Republican cohort have a frigging clue what “the American people want”, no matter how often they mouth the words.  I’m sure about this, too, because why?  I am one of those people. However embarrassing that may be, which it is.   What I know is I don’t want THEM running anything that has anything to do with anything.  They are incapable.  Poor Boehner, too.  His shoulders are inching up to his ears- definitely not a good thing.  Of course, Congress still gets paid no matter whether the Government is funded or not, right?  AFTER ALL, THEY’RE ESSENTIAL.   But everyone else?  Damn all.

Not to mention that we have, probably, about five years before the climate change that even the UN is absolutely sure was caused by humans becomes an irreversible disaster of pretty unimaginable proportions.  Ocean front property, anyone?  But since the world seems to be run on the basis of keeping everything safe for Big Oil, Big Pharma, and Big Chem (hello, Monsanto! goodbye, bees!) and however many rich people are dancing on the pinhead where they live,  on days like today I find despair hard to keep at bay.

Yet and still.  One must carry on.  The bluebirds came back yesterday and seemed to be happy with the new fence and porch arrangement: more places for them to land.  The lizards are liking it too.  They seem to have arranged a game where one will rush up on the ground below the porch and another will rush to the edge and become airborne for a few seconds, landing past the waiting groundling.  I think they keep track of the landing spots.

It all feels so overwhelming at times, one feels so powerless against all this…evil, let’s call it shall we?  It seems as though the legacy group will not be happy until every beautiful thing on earth is destroyed.  I just wonder where they think they’ll go after that.  I mean, really? No land? No water? No air?  Radioactive oceans? No fish or animals or trees or…..but wait! WE’LL HAVE FOSSIL FUEL.  And GPS!  And smart phones! Woo hoo.

My friend, who firmly believes in the long predicted millenial shift, feels that all this is simply the energetics of things separating and moving toward change and dynamism.  The eternal standoff between good and evil, minus the labels of good and evil.  Sometimes I can take that view and keep going, knowing that if I do the best I can it will be enough.  Other times, no dice.  It really is at the point where it hurts so much I can’t even cry any more.  But I do know I don’t want these people whose only value or concern is money destroying this world, this earth that I love so much.  And I don’t know what to do about it anymore.  Not about that, and also, not about my very own little life.  It is to be hoped that tomorrow is a day with more serotonin in it.  Now, in search of chocolate.  Any port in a storm, after all.

Now what?

I don’t mind telling you, Gentle Reader, today one is a bit discouraged.  Perhaps more than a bit, actually.

I realize that attitude is everything.  Especially when the World at Large seems to be bent on not just thwarting every effort one makes but further, when one is thus in a situation of dealing with Authority Types, making it crystal clear that they, and not you little person, have the power and make all the rules, on the fly if needed.  And you? Just did not pass go, did not collect $200, and that get out of jail free card doesn’t exist.  And here’s a ticket for you, too, for extra fun.

It appears, in short, that the final episode of my growing up has just come.  All the things I thought were solid in some way- like, say, my country? my family? my ability to earn a living? OH OKAY.  Clean water and air and safe food to eat?  All morphed into something I am coming to regard with horror.   It took a long time, but it’s here now.  When I hear President Obama say that the FISA Court is a transparent part of how citizens of this country can contend with surveillance, let’s just call it what it is: intrusive spying without a warrant or even probable cause; when I hear a man in northern Europe say they’ll have to “wait for the research” to determine whether all the earthquakes there that started exactly when they started fracking are related to each other.  Wait for research (done no doubt by the flat earth society)? FISA transparent?  The Keystone Pipeline will be evaluated and of course it will be completely safe, right? We won’t do it if there’s environmental danger.  For God’s sake.  A blind and deaf and paralyzed person could see there is environmental danger in them thar hills.

We’re defoliating the world and poisoning the oceans.  Apparently the U.S. has soldiers in many places, doing things we don’t really want to know they’re doing even as we don’t know where they are.  We need to militarize our southern border this instant to counter the Alien Hordes.  What about all the businesses and employers who are capitalizing on cheap, illegal labor?  Is that militarized border going to change them?  Are all those people working in those hideous conditions going to find those jobs at last that pay decently? (Perhaps they are all buried under golf courses,you think?  I certainly haven’t seen them lately.)  And their employers will pay unemployment insurance and provide benefits for them?   People in this country go hungry, but by god we really need to abolish food stamps and programs that help people eat.  And if they manage to be in strung out desperate enough circumstances to qualify for the Munificent Things of the Safety Net, pretty soon they’ll get to be drug tested.  Just to make sure it’s ok for them to eat.  Oh, and if such a person has committed a crime- one that you’d go to jail for, not like banking fraud or securities fraud or anything like that- then they really don’t deserve to eat, anyway.

So it is easy to feel despair, and a key component of  all this “Progress” we have is a diminishment of individual dignity.  To hold on to your dignity, I think, is also to hold on to your connection with what it means to be a living being, and to nature.  To what you eat and to how others are feeling, to caring for the spaces you inhabit and for the larger ones we all share.  We have lost this consciousness it seems to me, in this country anyway, and to a huge extent.  What we have, here where I live? seems to be a bunch of people who profess to believe in God but never stop to think how they are really treating His Creations.   Today it is making me a bit sick.

But! as usual in moments of direness, I cook.  We made ricotta this morning and are going to use it in a lasagne featuring squash and onions from our garden.   Lead me, as it says in the Upanishads, from the unreal to the real.

Chihuahuas, Redux

It’s just not getting any easier, Gentle Reader.  I voted already but it hasn’t taken the sore spot away from my chest.  The (we use the word loosely) “leadership” of this country has really led us into the tarpits, in my estimation.  We have institutionalized discrimination and inequity, and it is really hard, from where I sit, to see how things can turn out any way but badly.  Why and how the idolization of money and the supposed superiority of those who have it came to be the Main Event can be traced, we even really do know how this all happened.  But.  What is anyone going to DO?  Time is short and we really cannot keep going on in the same DUMB direction.  People can’t even quit fighting about who or what God is, for crying out loud.  Which to me is the stupidest thing to argue about:  Something that IS but we cannot intellectually KNOW.   And this, cannot sensibly dictate to another.

There are so many things, so many things.  Living in this area has proven to be a LOT more mentally challenging than I expected, for one thing.  I’ve lived in very rural areas, and in cities.  Used to an extremely diverse setting, what we have here is verging on monoculture and I had to admit this morning, after a small drama inserted itself, that I am having a really hard time with the whole thing.   I often find myself driving home behind a pickup whose owner is undoubtedly growing marijuana (about the only way anybody makes any money around here if they haven’t inherited it), has actually shot at us one evening even though we’ve never met, and who has the following legend pasted on his back window:  “LIBERALS ARE MENTALLY ILL.”  To me there is just a tee tiny bit of disconnect there but then what do I know.   Without going into an entire historical exegesis, let’s just say that generally speaking  the skin tone is practically universally the same here, with the same life experiences, the same slightly flat world horizon. I have to admit that I am very lonely.  So, there.  I’ve admitted it. Living here makes me feel like the talking dog in MASON & DIXON. So we’re having another spot of tough sledding as we wonder just what we’re going to do, and where.   As long as I can view this as an unfolding adventure, with the hope that enlightenment may occur, I can handle it.  But there are days when I can’t keep that in my sights, like today, and that old adage location, location, location, rings through my little head like a mantra.  Being, however, one of the multitudinous 99%? Houston, we have a problem. But, hope springs eternal.  We’ll land this space ship somehow, somewhere.

What to do, what to do….

Things continue excitingly out here in the sticks.  We have another Planned Power Outage coming up, and the heat is not abating to all appearances. We do have a new crop of baby lizards and frogs- in fact, the other night when I picked up a cup to have a last drink of water before bed, there was a frog attached to the inside top, looking up at me. ( One thing I have learned here is:  LOOK FIRST.  WHATEVER IT IS.)  We had, essentially, two flat tires in one day.  Just things like that, Gentle Reader.  Things like that.

But what perturbs me today is that ever lingering question, what is to be done?  You hear how much money the REAL evil empire donates to political candidates, obscenely huge amounts with no oversight or provenance except that some of it is probably OUR money when you think of it, carrying on its life cycle without us after the kidnap of it all by the banks…closely followed by a story about the fact that 25% of the children in the U.S. live in poverty.  And go hungry.    Then, global hunger.  Then…well.  I’m finding balance beyond elusive on the whole.

As a human being I would, really, like to be of service to others and make a difference for the better for all of us.  My work is directed in  that way.   People say things to me like, wow, you’re great at this…but the world isn’t ready for you.  So it’s interesting.  So much need, so many things to be done, and so many obstacles.  I have spent years working on being the change I wish to see in the world and in this moment, I’m not seeing that it made any impression or impact or effect on anything.  Whatsoever.  In fact it is almost as though the total opposite is true, and EVEN THOUGH living simply and consciously is clearly indicated at this point, the levels of addiction to- well, bread and circuses, seem unbeatable.  So I tell myself that the world may THINK it isn’t ready for me and others like me, organic food producers and non-fossil fuel long term planners, people who teach others to maintain their health instead of simply handing them expensive prescriptions which mask the original problem and often create new ones, but it has to be pretty soon.  People are suffering and dying for the benefit of a capitalist system, in which benefit is reserved for the few and the many? Well, uh….let them eat cake?  What, exactly, is it going to take for people to get their heads out of their rear ends and think at ALL, much less responsibly?  Climate degradation, the truly sinister progress of Monsanto, agribusiness, privatization of natural resources like land and water…..I don’t know.  Some days I have great hope.  Others, like today- is it even possible that we earth dwellers will stand up, reach out to each other, and do the right thing instead of the habitual, constricted reactive acting out we see everyplace?  I really do hope so.

Embracing the Suck

As we do, around here.  So far we seem to be making progress on some level, as long as one doesn’t dwell too long on the state of the world, all the execrable people who are in positions of power in banks and corporations and….OH NEVER MIND.  I’m sure you, Gentle Reader, are familiar with all the perfidy going around.  I got a hilarious little note from my bank today, telling me they were going to start charging me $10 a month service fees.  For, perhaps, the privilege of having them hold onto my money when I deposit it, use it and make money on it and give me zilch, and drive me crazy with their little buttons on the bill pay screen that lead nowhere one wants to go.  Of course, I could have a sizeable sum on hand at all times, or have a relatively sizeable sum automatically deposited every month (that would mean, let’s see, that I’d either a) have a job, or b) be getting government assistance.  Interesting.)  Or I could make automatic mortgage payments.  Uh huh.  Well, none of the above around here.  But really, we do need to help the banks don’t we?  Poor guys.

And here we are in another day having not finished this post after all, hotter than the hinges and I’m putting off washing the mountain of dishes from last night’s birthday celebration for The Partner. (Which went well, thank you).  While engaging in that procrastinatory behavior, I read  George Packer’s article in the September 12 issue of THE NEW YORKER.  A brilliant piece about the truth of where we are now.   I hardly know what to say except that this is an article everyone should read.   And think about.  To me, the corruption in America  is over the top at this point and it goes through every level of society.  People are disengaged, disenfranchised, and the discourse that is promoted is corrosive and prevents any real meeting of the minds and hearts of our fellow country-people.  Those who have the money keep it by any means necessary, and the paradigm that supports this includes poverty, lack of education, lack of access to health care for all the people on the bottom who, since they don’t have money, are disposable.  There are, of course, those who would disagree with this characterization but I suspect they are in the lucky group closer to the top of the heap. But consider this fact, which I learned in Mr. Packer’s article.  Even knowing, beyond any shadow of doubt,  that the vehicles our service people were using in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan were unsafe, our government refused to put out and move forward with a proposal for upgrade and  bids from small companies with competitive ideas for improvement to the vehicles.  This was because why?  Because the original contractor had a strong,  well funded lobbying mission in place.  So.  Right now, where we are, it looks to me, is here.  We pay our “legislators” (sorry, but my respect level for the profession is low) to do what WE want in terms of our governance, policies, and lives.  It’s an adequate compensation, not as though they are expected to take a vow of poverty to be in service.  Meanwhile, the “legislators” arrive in whatever capitol they’re working in, where they receive large amounts of money from corporate and idealogical  lobbyists to NOT do what we want, but to do what THEY want.    Guess who wins?  It is not, I suspect, you, Gentle Reader, given who reads our humble blog.  I know it isn’t me.  Personally, I think what needs to happen at this point is every politician and banker in this country needs to be..shall we say downsized?….along with the corporate heads and lobbyists and let’s see, Big Pharma and Monsanto….and then, graciously, be allowed to live without jobs, without health insurance, without real options.  Their assets, of course, would be frozen immediately.  Then, perhaps they should all be sent directly to Afghanistan without passing Go, have their shoes removed, and get to walk home on their own.  No cell phones, either, people.  Maybe via Darfur, then through Compton.  With a stop, perhaps, in Georgia to remind themselves of the sanctity of life in these here United States.  They could even finish up with a swimming re-entry through the Gulf of Mexico.

I don’t want to be thinking these things, or feeling them either.  I’d rather be a gardener, and run my business.  But this is all so distressing at times it is hard to get one’s bearings.  I want to believe in the arc of good, and in love, and in peace and cooperation and community.   I do believe in these things and act upon those beliefs.  It’s just kind of a question of what to do next, how to help those who need it and work to build a better future.  And keep us in house and home at the same time.  Quite the endeavor.

NYPD Rocks

Well, it’s been interesting, hasn’t it? Gentle Reader?  Pummelled by chaos the size of watermelons and many behaving badly.  Some natural disasters thrown in to top off the mix, and there we go.  At least the world didn’t end.  Or? Maybe it did, and we all went You Know Where after all.  At times I just can’t tell.

I have to admit that I got the best laugh this past week from the news, though.   A glimmer of hope in a way.  Now it is clear, no matter how you examine it, that the head of the International Monetary fund- an entity that affects huge swaths of the world and wields enormous power – is a bona fide rapist.  At least he was consistent, you have to give him that.  Why just do it figuratively?

The implications are scary, but it looks to me like the world is being run by a passel of actual lunatics, people straight out of the Diagnostic Manual.  In short: THEY’RE CRAZY.  This should give us some tools to take our world back, I’m hoping.  A little sanity could go a long way, don’t you think?

This, Really, IS IT.

How much longer, Gentle Readers, are we going to keep playing along like everything is Just Fine?  I would propose the following:

EVERYBODY NOT PAY THEIR CREDIT CARD BILLS FOR ONE MONTH.  EVERYBODY.  

Of course, since the financial institutions all got bailed out with OUR money, it probably won’t matter.  They’re already just fine on the money end.  I think it would be very worthwhile to turn the tables, just for a moment all at once.  Just to see.  I talked to a friend today who isn’t going to pay his mortgage this month because the lender won’t correct the interest rate which is not only wrong and not what he applied for and not what he can pay, but they won’t talk to him about it unless he’s delinquent.  Does that make sense?  These lenders would rather people go into default.  You gotta ask yourself why that is.   The news tells us that the recession is over.  Indeed, it is.  Now we’re in a Depression.  Time to perhaps face facts?