Archive for ‘Essays’

December 23, 2013

I met God

cropped-my_mom3.jpg I met God: He’s a little African American boy living in the Philadelphia area. The morning after General Tsao tofu food poisoning I was in line to get hot tea at the Holiday Inn Express on Columbus Boulevard on Penn’s Landing where I first saw him. Nothing was going to stay down that morning except some hot black tea with sugar, so I waited in line at the breakfast bar. As I filled my cup with hot water from the urn a small voice said, “I think that’s coffee,” and I looked over into the face of God.

He was seven, or six or five or I don’t know, he was a light brown color, with brown hair and eyes. I said to God, “No that’s hot water for tea.” “Lava is hot,” he replied. And I said, “Yes, lava can severely injure you, but this is only going to burn you.” “Lava can kill you,” he said authoritatively, and I realized, he was right, Lava can kill. The second time we spoke, I was feeling better and wanted a bagel. While I was picking up my bagel he happened to be sitting at the end of the bar where I stood. I looked at him and said “Hi!”, like we were old friends. Then I apologized to his mom for speaking to him, because who befriends children at a motel breakfast bar? But there he was again, it would be rude to simply ignore God, there are somethings we all implicitly understand.

After seeing God again, I went back to my room, got ready and checked out to go by the airport and back home. Then two days later he came to me in my dream, expounding on the truths of existence with his upturned face and pleasant but piercing visage. The depth of the universe was in his small face.

These events seemed important but why? I asked myself, why is God here, how? How can after all I have studied, digested, and rejected can God be real? Nothing had prepared me for the destruction of my certainty. Yes, most recently I had lost faith, in any higher being, any God. At one time I believed, I expected a coming Nirvana or Kingdom of Heaven on earth. All would be taken care of, we were moving toward global unity, the eradication of poverty and disease seemed possible until 2008. Life as we knew was irrevocably changed, and loss became prevalent as people saw so much of what they had disappear or be forcibly taken from them. The many regular folk who simply wished to live in in relative prosperity, relative peace were given a new harsh reality. My old God was obsolete in the face of this massive plunder, and I felt betrayed for myself and my fellow citizen. But there was a secret about this apparent prosperity and peace that I did not know when I first believed in my old God.

There was a secret when I sat in the church, while the Priest said mass or I read some holy book. That secret was my own safety, my ability to sit in a church on Sunday morning and to go to my white Granny’s house every Sunday afternoon and eat fried chicken in Kansas was at someone’s expense. God could hear me because someone else had paid, everything has a price and some other soul was paying the price. That God was this protector of my safety, the answerer of my prayers- the one who could magically make all new and maybe take all away too was only there because another unwillingly gave their life. And most of those people were brown or black.

Then God showed up at the swimming pool. It was hot and I went for a swim. I picked a chair, sat my stuff down and got in the water, got out and he walked by. He was with his parents, a young white woman and a young African American man. He seemed younger than the last time I had seen him, but he was looking at me again, right at me. We exchanged glances and he smiled sheepishly, only a little shy. I smiled back and watched him as he played and taught his parents to be grave and respectful – while he commanded himself with great certainty and buoyancy. He was himself, contained infinite consciousness, a piece of all that is in the form of a boy.

If you think you can avoid God, think again. He showed up in line behind me at the 7-11 on Greenhill Road. He was older now, maybe nine and he had a gallon of milk and a can of something in his hands waiting his turn. He looked right at me, and I tried not to stare. I saw his Dad waiting in the car outside in the parking lot, I hope the parents don’t think I’m some white lady pervert stalking their children or something. Its just that he has taken me by surprise so many times in just the first week since we met. He is showing up at the strangest times, and maybe its me who is strange.

And God is still around, I saw him driving home from work yesterday. He was near some urban housing where he was playing with his friends. Two of his friends ran across the street and I looked over and there he was again. He was sitting on a short wall, one leg extended, looking happy and confident. I wondered how he knew I was going to be there, but I’m starting to understand now. You see every picture I ever saw of God he was this white man, flowing beard, you know the one. So I had no choice but to see him that way. But when I lost my faith, when my belief was shattered, I deconstructed every piece of my religious experience and threw it away for uncertainty, for the void.

Who was it that decided God is a white man with a flowing beard? And why is God a white man in a flowing beard in all of western religious teaching? Who decided that when I think of God, a God, any God that if I see a woman or an animal or a child that it can’t be God? My belief in God was very strong, it made me who I was, and it still defines me today, though I no longer see him clad in cumulus clouds. And this God was offered to me singularly, there were no options for a Kansas born girl to see any God but the white male God until I went to an art gallery or museum. Only over time did it become clear to me then that each person thought of God differently. But I never saw a black God, an African American God a brown God no I never saw one.

So tell me how you know God. Is it the popular, mainstream God, the images and language of white men, our lord, our savior our omniscient guide and creator? You may think, hey God is not really a person or anything, but people need something to think about when they are on their knees begging for forgiveness or a new car. But it was decided a long time ago, that people did need to think of a western male, and most religious and sacred art we see points to that. The Bible doesn’t speak to color in the way that most Christians assume, only a few understand that the people of the time of Christ were middle eastern, Jewish, African, and likely brown and black. They weren’t white – so any Christian god should be brown or black and everyone should know that by now. This is the truth, white people have imagined this white God for us, the fact that less than 10% of the inhabitants of our earth are white means they wanted everyone to see God that way.

This is the reason why God came to me thusly. God is saying to us all, see me, I am here, see me in the people of the world, the people you ignore, the people you deplore, the people you fear, the worlds you dismiss. I see you do you see me? I see you God, and I know I am on your side.

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April 23, 2013

Mental Health – is America successful?

We Americans like to think of ourselves as successful. That sounds good and means we do well as defined by some pretty specific modern information age standards. So that makes us all subject to these standards of success in our society now, and for many its simply being able to get into the military, going to college, having children or getting a decent job? What if you are a young person who is over 21 and looking for a job today? And what if you also have a mental illness and need medication or treatment? How can you ever become a success.

That is what Jared Loughner faces and that is what many families are dealing with in their own homes. A child that has some problems becomes seriously debilitated because college, the workplace or the military don’t give the support they have had keeping them in balance. Some of our children have committed suicide or become serious addicts and many more simply live on the fringes with fewer and fewer friends and contacts. Often the diagnosis of the more serious mental health condition is not timely so treatment is delayed by years leaving the individual at risk of further harm. The young adult often falls into despair and their condition deteriorates leaving them unable to participate in day to day life.

Do many or more young people suffering this way buy a dangerous weapon and commit mass murder? No, this is rare and tragic.  But many of the young people are lost either because they become permanently psychotic or can not function unless extremely medicated.  So we need must start helping  people before they seriously harm themselves or others.  Psychiatry and mental health professionals must help us advocate for multiple therapeutic measures for the best mental health outcomes.

Please don’t blame Jared’s parents. There is a huge amount of pressure to keep the family members at home and take care of them so they don’t get abused by the state or go homeless. That makes home life difficult and unpleasant and family members need support and respite from these duties.  Jared is also legally and adult and his parents may have been afraid of him or completely in denial about his disease.  Either way – having a mentally ill adult child living at home is difficult if near impossible. I’m sure they are heart-broken for the victims.

We have to stop being such a superficial society and start making adequate provisions for our mental health care system. As a culture we must invest in the best medical, mental and food systems for the entire population. Allowing the current system of mental health care to continue is clearly is irresponsible – because it does not meet the needs of America.  Our children deserve better, if we can prevent a major psychotic break leading to murder or suicide it would be worth any cost.

December 28, 2011

The Golden Era of the US or Social Darwinists siren song?

Take me back to a time when people were responsible for themselves, they didn’t need a nanny government to take care of them now did they?

OK lets do go back in time. Oh you don’t remember how Slavery was made illegal because Christians deemed it sinful and immoral even though it was highly profitable. It was legal to buy and sell people against their will until all slaves were freed by the Emancipation proclamation in January 1863. You slave owners did such a great job of – being slave owners you sadistic creeps.

Let’s use another example from that period and how good those times were for Americans. Yes women can own property now – precious, precious, precious (Gollum) property. But it wasn’t until  1870 and the married women property act that we acquired the right to property we worked for.  Boy I bet some of you would love to go back to that now.

But more good times were still ahead. The anti-child slavery and labor movement started as early as the 1830s, but sanctions against purchasing child made goods did not pass in the US until under FDR in the 1930s. Good times for children indeed.  Closing schools and letting kids go hungry now will force many into poverty and forced work.

Hey working people, yes you had it really good back in the Golden Era of workers. Workers did not get a 40 hour work week until 1915, and eventually deferred compensation and health care. But Black people were still treated like slaves, and not allowed to vote.

Speaking of voting – yes we have a great republic here where all of us can vote for the candidate of our choosing, well sort of. Women got to vote in 1920 two years after women in Azerbaijan, and African Americans not freely until 1965 – incidentally the same year as Medicare and other Great Society programs became law. But hey, lets go back to when people just didn’t need the Government, when was that again?

But really my favorite part is the part where capitalists believe, yes believe that they by their own effort and without the help of any other being amassed their wealth. Because you know the individual is the source of all prosperity and any cooperative or community efforts are well, communism. Yes scary woooo, communism. Like when we joined together in colonial America, forming townships. Hey its easier if we all throw in right? Or should each of us have our own individual fire department, police department, and bank. Because really the individual doesn’t need the government right?

Speaking of banks, they claim that they are private? Not so, if they were why did the US bail them out? Because that’s our fucking money in there, that’s why. And we pay dearly to let people keep our money.  So don’t let them tell you they are making money because they “We are just that good”, its a lie. Read something like this to get a grip on reality – “Every financial institution is at heart a hybrid public-private partnership, which becomes obvious when a crisis hits and the banks come crying to the government to fulfill a lender of last resort role.  It’s even more obvious when you look at a dollar bill, and you realize it is a liability owed to the taxpayer.  What that means is that either the public controls banks or banks control the public.”

I’m still looking for that Golden era, was it when women and people of color were chattel, or African Americans could not vote, or when we had child labor or when Nixon effectively ended national drug rehabilitation? Boy was that helpful, and since I’ve two brothers who are crack addicts I can tell you how helpful it has been. Or was it when family farms got repossessed in the 1980s effectively killing rural life for many? I’m looking, I’m looking but I’m not finding….

July 28, 2011

Debt Ceiling Debacle

Well you know these bizness types really want to put the screws to the American public now. All of the interest rates increases, the credit denials and 401 k losses will go to us regular folks. You have no house because of a foreclosure, no job or a lower paying job and soon you will find yourself at the mercy of some jackass who has decided the US needs a comeuppance.

Talk about conflicted. The message is be rich the reality is be poor. The talk is USA were #1, the reality is wake up and smell the coffee we’re done. Profits are higher than ever, wages are lower than ever. Whites are climbing and minorities are falling. Educated jobless 20 somethings, uneducated jobless hordes.

Well its not a pretty picture now is it?

April 6, 2011

Facebook post Taxation=Justice

Tax is also the nexus between state and citizen, and tax revenues are the lifeblood of the social contract: the very act of taxation has profoundly beneficial effects in fostering better and more accountable government.

 

www.taxjustice.net

Tax is the most important, the most beneficial, and the most sustainable source of finance for development. Tax revenue in Africa, for example, is worth ten times the value of foreign aid. The long-term goal of poor countries must be to replace foreign aid dependency with tax self-reliance. As th
5 hours ago · Friends of Friends · · · Share
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      Shireman Futurefivehundred Taxation is considered by many smart and thoughtful people to be theft. I’m not saying that is what I think. I think smart taxation and a resonable tax code makes sense especially when it comes to carbon. But I have heard the argument made-fairly well that taxation is just a form of “tribute” to the powerful. Just a thought. But an interesting one. 

      4 hours ago ·
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      Jennifer A Hill 

      There is a long debate about taxation. Yes it goes back to our earliest organized govts. The US elite and some fundamentalist has an obsession with personal property as the most important expression of human worth. This is very distorted an…d not rational. But the domination of others is not rational and those who are not white male and christian have had to fight for even the most basic rights in our country. (Votes, right to own property, right to freedom, right to birth control) So its expected that the elite will continue to rationalize their position to keep their wealth at all costs. How else can they convince us that their perversion is a truth?See More
      2 hours ago ·
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      Jennifer A Hill 

      These are all my opinions. Its just these are also themes running through the entire recorded history of our species. So I feel that our current circumstances are only a repetition of the past, nothing particularly extraordinary about our a…ge. That is not to say we are unable to change but it seems that man has great difficulty w/ controlling his propensity for domination. Because of that we get civilizations that rationalize their oppression and it sounds good because they are appealing to the most base nature of humans. Its easy to go from hypothalamus demands to the urge to dominate as part of the survival mechanism. We need more than well spoken clean business people. At least some of us do.See More
      8 minutes ago ·
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March 12, 2011

Manifesto for A Better Day: All people deserve to have their happiness served by the system

Can I make you happy? Well I guess I might be better to ask if I can be happy. But those questions are really the same – true happiness, belonging and love depend upon more than the effort or desire of one person.  True happiness requires a relationship, a deep connection.  So how does our consumer society tell us to be happy? They have a worldview: the ability to consume makes you happy.

True Happiness

The elite of our times have defined happiness as freedom to consume. But that feels hollow, because we know that the unlimited or unencumbered ability to consume is just gluttony. When we see an elitist person who is able to consume what they want and it is presented to us in the context of a happy life do we really believe they are happy?  Really why do we believe, think and feel that happiness, comes from stuff? From unabated, unconstrained consumption?

Let’s take the consumption = happiness assumption. First of all what is consumption? Is it inherently bad, or an innocuous verb that means to take in to eat, or drink?

Is consumption inherently bad or an innocuous verb?

Here’s how consumption is defined in the context of our economic system and how important you are the continuation of that system. Consumption is what a consumer does, and a consumer is a person or business that purchases goods and services in a market based commercial system. So when the market or commercial system looks at you, they see consumer. They see you only as a potential purchaser of their goods or services. And there are different consumers grouped by demographic but all are targets of the system. But ultimately the consumer is regarded as a path to profits. You need to consume so the producer can sell their goods and make that profit. Most products are carefully designed and marketed to get your attention, serve some stated purpose and keep you coming back to purchase and consume more stuff. Regardless of  what the product  or the goods may be; valuable, well made, cheap or shoddily constructed YOU are still the most important cog in their machine. To make money they must make you a consumer. How do you become a consumer above all else? You must learn to think about purchasing, think about acquiring, and feel compelled to consume when given the appropriate signal.

In order for you to act as a good consumer, you must be trained to recognize your purpose, your role in life. The system teaches us from when we are very young that there are things you want and that making a purchase and consuming the thing is how you achieve happiness. Everyone has been a child and most of us experienced growing up in the consumer culture. The system taught us to want toys we didn’t need – because someone told us to want it – had it never been introduced into your world, you could have remained blissfully ignorant of that toy and kept playing with your old toy. You would not have a particular want for a particular toy. Yes, you played pretend and all the kinds of play children gravitate toward. But did playing with the toy bring you greater joy or happiness than the make believe games and sitting in the grass observing insects did? Think about it for a minute.

You are told what toy to want.

Marketing directly to children is a huge business with significant resources and research committed to its development. The researchers have even determined how many times a modern child has to whine before mom gives in. I must admit my mom was super tough and rarely or ever caved.  Children are targeted to become consumers before they have the decision making powers to say no. The system makes some pretty worthless claims that their thing will make a child happy, but we all have witnessed how the child has more fun playing with the box than the toys they get at Christmas. Are they happy? Do you really believe our children are at their happiest and most secure in their role as consumer? Or do you believe as most rational people do that children are happiest in their parents or caregivers loving arms with their basic needs met? How could we let this happen to our children? Because we are consumers being told by billions of dollars in advertising and other television, print and internet images  to consume, images that show us smiling pretty seemingly happy people consuming everything from mass produced foods to high fructose corn syrup. We believe we will be like them as we act as they act.

We are encouraged to consume many times a day, not to meet a need, not because our lives will be improved, but because consuming will fulfill us, make us happy.  The claims are clear, McDonalds has their consumer state “I’m loving it” and Coke is the “Real Thing” and of course Disney can “Where dreams come true”.  These are just a very few things that we consume, we also consume sports, image and live vicariously through the lives of celebrities and reality TV stars, assuming they are happy (but secretly hoping they are as miserable as we are). This sales pitch keeps hope alive, that if we become free to consume without obstruction, we will free our happiness. When was the last time you felt really happy? Did it involve consuming a corporately produced product, thing? Did you feel love and the connection to all life after eating a McRib? Or were your dreams fulfilled at the plastic contrived place called Disney World?  Now think carefully, when was the last time you were truly happy?  Were you in your lovers arms, was your baby smiling at you, were you with someone? Probably, because our truest happiness comes at those moments when we fell connected to someone, to life, to an intangible God.  An intangible holy force is far more comforting than a Coach purse or titanium golf clubs . When we are in true need of healing or inspiration we turn to each other and our faith, our beliefs, our philosophy, our love.  At those moments we know who we truly are.

We know who we are in these moments

So why do we over consume even though it is not bringing us happiness, is probably harming us or at least causing us unnecessary difficulty navigating the economic system set up to make us its indentured servants. My hypothesis for why we act so poorly in the face of fact is that their system has invaded our brains like the zombie ant fungus, or they have implanted some kind of chip and we are cyborgs,  or by using the mind bending techniques of subliminal messages, NLP and post hypnotic suggestion we have become their slaves.  The system intentionally softens our will and subtly appeals to our desires. The TV and advertising industry have created an alternate reality reflecting virtually none of the daily of life for most of the planets 6 billion people. More than half of the planets people live on less than $2 a day.  In the face of that fact American television is truly a fantasy world, an illusion to distract us from facing our enslavement to the system.  Accepting this illusion causes us to become disconnected from our lives and one another, we are seeking happiness but the system is a lie, we have yet to escape the bondage of consumerism.

True happiness and oneness really can’t even be compared to consumer happiness. True happiness requires the ability to be vulnerable and open to more than you can see physically – not just a desire to transcend the world, but also the practice of mindfulness, sweetness and compassion. And from this practice we begin to achieve deep and meaningful connections with others and our God, and we stand in trust and love even when our experience tells us the consumer world is a lie thriving on sadism.

We know our happiness despite the world

There is no proof, no way to empirically prove that happiness of love or faith is better for us. But should we demand proof of our hearts tells us is good and wholesome? Or should we believe that a transactional society that reduces us each to consumer, a society which sells everything, children and women into sexual slavery is good, happy or even ok? Or why is it acceptable for a few powerful individuals make all of the rules of engagement weigh heavily in their favor, to crash the world’s economy and ask us all to pay their bill, when desperate poverty and death is the reality for billions as a consequence of their actions?  How can we be consciously happy when the west is largely responsible for the oppression of billions so that we can cheaply consume natural resources to make stuff that we consume? When the citizens of Saudi Arabia are executed as a matter of course, when the Chinese government practices forced sterilization, when the US incarcerates millions of our own citizens effectively disenfranchising them our silence is truly acquiescence.  Yes this is enough evidence that the current system is inherently inhumane as it depends on an increasing pool of expendable labor to maintain profit levels. But seeking and achieving happiness is not a system, it is a state that is preferable to consumption as a purpose.

To move in the direction of happiness we should be focusing on the kind of activities within systems that honor each human and allow autonomy and freedom of self expression in organization. There is more potential for happiness in a values driven life, community and economy. This kind of values driven economy will automatically reduce consumption for its health and maintenance. Focusing on the well being of one another and the health of our planet will force us to change our commercial and organizational structures.  And it is more likely that true stability can be achieved when we adopt practices that are complimentary to ecological and evolutionary growth. Happiness is also a choice, a choice to be happy denies much of the post modern apocalyptic narrative repeated by the elite as they play upon the literal mind of the working and poor classes. But that assumes that the poor and working people can not be rational players well situated and ready to lead their own destiny. Inherently we are all capable of making happy healthy decisions but the elite oppose transparency and rationality for the masses. They want to hold all the cards as it were, they have rigged the game. So we must catalyze a  spiritual and personal revolution deny their system of participants – in favor of awakened consciousness seeking happiness working together for the common good.  Potential for our evolution is always perched but we must act upon that potential to unleash our power – Love is our capital, Peace is our wealth, Happiness is our legacy.

Together we will be happy

January 23, 2011

Competitiveness – prove you are no slacker now boys

Ok, President Obama has really gone over the edge. He has named the king of outsourcing to be the head of the US Council of Economic Advisers and also given a policy directed economic speech titled, “We can out compete any other nation.” Really? Is that what we think our stagnant job, manufacturing and innovation sectors need to recover? But to be fair, lets actually look at what he says, you know I’m a fan of the Pres, he’s a brilliant thinker and politician. He talks about how we are going to create 235,000 US jobs with China for $185 Billion. That is a drop in any bucket of investment and job creation, but we can expect another 72 thousand jobs from deals with Korea and India. Still these are not even approaching the millions of jobs needed to get people back to work. So really what is the point? That the US is the face of global capitalism and our competitors will end us and we’ll loose it all unless we get in the game now. That is all he’s really saying.

His speech is kind of a pep talk and an infomercial for GE. Pardon me, but I thought that the government was not supposed to favor any particular corporation or business. Oh right,  that’s a myth because from the DuPonts,to Haliburton and many others including JP Morgan Chase, the US govt is the best corporate customer ever. We buy their services, their goods and their line about how what is good for corporate America is good for Americans. Thanks Madison Ave and other corporate marketing leaders who have spent the past 100 or so years getting their message out so most Americans never even consider that life could be good or better without our corporate giants. They lead, they create, they crush and they collapse. Even the mightiest companies have come and gone – we should not let them drag the rest of us along anymore.

Well where many of us come from in the US big corporations and the financial elite are the minority. We don’t know them and folks like the good Pres seem the same, all rich, all educated all far, far away. But what regular people are mad about is that decision making by the elite seems to have nothing to do with the getting by day to day and taking care of folks that need care life we live here at home, you have all heard about Main Street right?   According to the Pres countries around the world are upping their game, and we can win the competition and outcompete other countries. Opening new markets to US products, that’s funny since we outsourced all our good jobs over past 30 years that will now be brought back to the states as poor broken down jobs and folks are desperate enough to take them. Cleverer and cleverer.

Much of this framing the imperialist position as some kind of game is an attempt to trivialize the unhealthy and inorganic nature of control by the elites. The elites believe what is best for them and their class and their ability to achieve such a vaulted status is a reflection of their intrinsic worth and goodness. What  a delusion, that life is a game – there are certainly game like aspects to life, but for the majority of souls on this planet life is a drudgery, a burden, filled with poverty and loss. And for many Americans who lived and expected to continue their middle class lives that is gone for them, a nice memory of a time when the many shared a piece of the vast wealth created by those who could.  In the 2011 age of who can – the race to create fortresses of wealth and power are driving the elite to capture more of our income and control the debate about that through the crappy world of sports metaphor. That is how the liberal elite attempt to make their own elitism more egalitarian, yes they can talk about sports. Regular people and their betters can discuss football stats and baseball trades and college hoops. That makes it better right, we are all in the game of capitalism together and our empire depends on your desire and ability to get out there and compete for what? For Democracy? For Freedom? For Human Rights? For Food?

But don’t think me just an outsider, a poor done well type naysayer, I”ve been in this debate most of my life. Well at least I came to the sports metaphor as life very young because my Dad was a jock and school coach. So I spent time in and around sports from birth. Yes I like to say that growing up in my home was kind of like a gym locker room. Naked people walking around, I saw more dick growing up than most girls. There was no sexual issue – that’s just how guys are and you guys know what I”m talking about.

Wow but now we are living in a great big man cave of a world. Not only do we have another man to tell us how best to run our economy, we also are being forced to listen to the sports metaphors ad nauseum. Great job guys – we went from Hope and Change to Afghanistan and Corporate Authority wrapped up in the language of games. I suppose one thing we can say for the new international financial elite, they haven’t yet invoked the right of kings again, but I’ll be expecting a version of that to appear soon.

January 11, 2011

Mental Health – is America successful?

We Americans like to think of ourselves as successful. That sounds good and means we do well as defined by some pretty specific modern information age standards. So that makes us all subject to these standards of success in our society now, and for many its simply being able to get into the military, going to college, having children or getting a decent job? What if you are a young person who is over 21 and looking for a job today? And what if you also have a mental illness and need medication or treatment? How can you ever become a success.

That is what Jared Loughner faces and that is what many families are dealing with in their own homes. A child that has some problems becomes seriously debilitated because college, the workplace or the military don’t give the support they have had keeping them in balance. Some of our children have committed suicide or become serious addicts and many more simply live on the fringes with fewer and fewer friends and contacts. Often the diagnosis of the more serious mental health condition is not timely so treatment is delayed by years leaving the individual at risk of further harm. The young adult often falls into despair and their condition deteriorates leaving them unable to participate in day to day life.

Do many or more young people suffering this way buy a dangerous weapon and commit mass murder? No, this is rare and tragic.  But many of the young people are lost either because they become permanently psychotic or can not function unless extremely medicated.  So we need must start helping  people before they seriously harm themselves or others.  Psychiatry and mental health professionals must help us advocate for multiple therapeutic measures for the best mental health outcomes.

Please don’t blame Jared’s parents. There is a huge amount of pressure to keep the family members at home and take care of them so they don’t get abused by the state or go homeless. That makes home life difficult and unpleasant and family members need support and respite from these duties.  Jared is also legally and adult and his parents may have been afraid of him or completely in denial about his disease.  Either way – having a mentally ill adult child living at home is difficult if near impossible. I’m sure they are heart-broken for the victims.

We have to stop being such a superficial society and start making adequate provisions for our mental health care system. As a culture we must invest in the best medical, mental and food systems for the entire population. Allowing the current system of mental health care to continue is clearly is irresponsible – because it does not meet the needs of America.  Our children deserve better, if we can prevent a major psychotic break leading to murder or suicide it would be worth any cost.

October 14, 2010

Do I support Porn?

Since I’m basically a nice person like most of you lets talk about trolls. Well I generally don’t pay them much mind but most of them are vitriolic and steadfast in the irrationality of their extremism.

For example – I was on Huffington Post reading about how the Porn Industry in So Cal shut down recently due to an actor testing positive for HIV.   I was thinking of my friends who have HIV and have died from AIDS.  Of course I felt compassion for these actors who already work in unpleasant and demeaning professions. These are not great jobs that have a career ladder – these are jobs that you have a few good years and pay of your bills if you are smart. But for many others the trajectory is pretty low and the older you get the less you are admired.

So I’m not a fan of Porn – I don’t buy it and rarely look at it. I’m not against Porn per se but really would rather think of the Dalai Lama or Robert Lanza. I did decide to post a comment that there must be a way to digitize some of the images that are considered money shots for the industry. That would eliminate the need for actors to be engaging in unprotected acts that put them in danger of getting STDs and AIDS.  Seems fairly straightforward to me – I saw it as a working condition issue and also figured there was a way to protect these workers. With the capacity of digital images today it is likely that it could be done and no porn consumers would be any the wiser.Besides all of our fantasies are illusion – so what is the difference anyhow?

Here is my comment,

“They should spend the money to digitize certain images so that prophylactics can be used. Please demand they do better by these actors. No one should have to face HIV or AIDS because the boss doesn’t want to comply with safety regulations. It is the same all over for regular working people – they are forced to work in dangerous conditions because they are not considered worth protecting. We all deserve to work in a safe workplace.”

Am I dangerous, subversive and Porn addicted? No just concerned about all my fellow travelers on this planet.

Well here is the response from Futbol4fun ( a lovely lady poster on Huffington Post)

“Perhaps you should start at home. If your children want to become porn stars, don’t tell them that it is wrong to begin with, don’t tell them that they have the choice to decide whether they can engage in protected vs. unprotected sex. If they make the decision to become a porn star and then get AIDS, the disease they catch isn’t THEIR fault, it is someone elses.

Let’s make sure that we create a country in which NO ONE is responsible for their actions. I will say it right here, porn stars are nothing more than prostitutes, and like a person texting behind the wheel, if an accident happens, then they need to deal with the consequences of THEIR actions.

If you don’t agree with my statement, then tell me why we should continue to support an industry that is notorious for using underage, drug addicted children who engage in acts that have been PROVEN to guarantee the spread of disease? You support this kind of industry?”

Talk about going from zero to 60 in 10 seconds. Can you sense a shred of rationality in this reply to my comment? What does it have to do with basic human rights, safety and concern for others? It does not so of course I had to reply and I must say was getting a little irritated –

“I don’t agree with you and what makes you think I support Porn? Because I care about what happens to the actors? That is foolish talk lady. Everyone deserves to be protected regardless of what you think of them personally. But bosses and corporate leaders allow laborers everywhere to die – the farm workers are proof of that. Our culture is one of exploitation and I oppose that in all forms. I don’t hear many of us screaming about child labor in China or other countries, what about sweatshops where folks are chained to the machines or work 7 days a week. So you need to get your values in a horizontal position – picking and choosing who is valuable and who is not valuable is hypocrisy at its height.
My children? none of your business the comment did not extend to members of my family.”

But Futbol4fun was not finished with me yet – she followed up with some choice words,

“Of course it extends. You seem to think that because a person knowingly and voluntarily engages in an obviously dangerous act, they should be pitied because they suffered a harm, even though the harm was a very real possibility.

Why in the hell are you trying to compare farmers, people who put in hard work that helps others, in an effort to feed their families with sleazy people who feed their basest instincts all in the pursuit of self-centered interests. You are the very cancer that is eating away the Democratic party.

If someone hangs themselves, do you get upset with your politician because they did not act sooner on trying to enhance stricter rope regulation? If some drunk fool shoots themselves playing Russian Roulette, do you feel sorry for this one person on the planet who didn’t seem to get the memo that a bullet in the head means death?

Stupidity and weakness breed stupidity and weakness. This story has nothing to do with sweat shops in foreign countries anymore than it has anything to do with the miners in Chile.

IF YOU HAVE UNPROTECTED SEX WITH PROMISCUOUS STRANGERS, YOU WILL MOST LIKELY GET A DISEASE. It is a particular brand of stupid that doesn’t know this and quite frankly a healthy society doesn’t need those genes in circulation.”

So there you have it the troll theory on human behavior and why people deserve to die. Yes its a lovely combination of social Darwinism and genetic engineering. But I’m still amazed at the deep hatred of others that I find on the Internets. Why do we hate so freely and with such self righteous bravado?

I see a couple of things at play – being anonymous and chewing out some other anonymous person out is a catharsis. The other dynamic is the hate of self. You can only hate another as much as you hate yourself. My guess is that there is something left undone, something unattainable that Futbol4fun is holding in her heart. Some deep wound or feeling of inadequacy that leads her to think of others as defective, deplorable, disposable. This is the pathology of our current state. We expect too much of ourselves, and measure others by our standards. We are constantly bombarded with images of an unrealistic life, an unattainable image, and we are entranced.  Since the illusion will never be fulfilled it becomes a vicious cycle of disappointment. We are trying to grab a virtual brass ring that keeps disappearing just when we think its within our grasp.

So I don’t blame her for being an insolent troll – its what we are leaving folks to – and there they will stay, until things change. And boy are they ever changing now so I hope we are ready for the long slow road to the bottom. I wonder what we will find once we’re there?

September 22, 2010

Sick of sick

another day in the trance of materialism, the dominance of capitalism, the abuse of power the disenfranchisement of our selves from our selves, from each other from the planet triteyess

no i’m irritable and hopeful, kinda hateful and a little agitated between the OM peace and visual hallucinations auditory stimulations and rude awakening lack of REM again

pardon the president be there you faggot and nevermind the rest over the purposeful into the manipulator and out of the best, the democratic, the self determination the abyss of soliloquy

Monologue and monotheism and monotone but don’t be an idiot and conform to teaparty patriots on the cover of SPLC reports, my country where are you, where where where

A stroke of unconciousness and loss of function then hobble hobble slur slur deovoid absent and empty refill the cup of gladness

My never never Peter kept up at night constant constitution and shipwrecks treasure and ever pertinent facts to enlighten, and facts and facts and facts and facts and facts and facts……

After then we parted and wholed but always dancing and glancing stepping and circling and ever ever ever ever ever your leg behind mine

So long then and now we know is there yes we made is and we take was and we live we live we live we live we live in notes and strokes and clicks and then and then and then and then and then

And then.