Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Track-back Tuesday ~ "some day, mother f......s"

I've been shuffling the January archives again....here's one from January 2010:

In the Right Direction

Reading around various websites and forums recently, I got the feeling that people, in some perverse way, seem to be at best concentrating on negativity, and at worst almost willing on catastrophe and World War III. Heading towards yet more war, especially of the World War variety is not the direction in which the world is supposed to be moving. Later, I read an article by Stephen Gyllenhaal: Peace On Earth, the last paragraph struck a chord, then led me back to something else.

The last para:
I'll take it all and keep right on moving -- one little ant doing his little bit among six billion other ants, because one day, you sons of bitches who talk peace and deliver war, who talk health and deliver illness, who talk good and do bad -- some day, mother f--ckers there will be peace on this planet -- real peace -- because time, real time, is on the side of evolution.
That thought of evolution catapulted me back to a 2007 article which I have mentioned before on this blog, but do not apologise for re-airing: "A History of Violence" by Steven Pinker is interesting and a little uplifiting, though not without its own warning. As a prelude it states:
"In the decade of Darfur and Iraq, and shortly after the century of Stalin, Hitler, and Mao, the claim that violence has been diminishing may seem somewhere between hallucinatory and obscene. Yet recent studies that seek to quantify the historical ebb and flow of violence point to exactly that conclusion."
Steven Pinker goes on to present his theory that, in spite of current world events, in his opinion man has become less violent over the millennia, centuries and decades. The article is well worth reading in full. He finishes with this paragraph:
"But the phenomenon does force us to rethink our understanding of violence. Man's inhumanity to man has long been a subject for moralization. With the knowledge that something has driven it dramatically down, we can also treat it as a matter of cause and effect. Instead of asking, "Why is there war?" we might ask, "Why is there peace?" From the likelihood that states will commit genocide to the way that people treat cats, we must have been doing something right. And it would be nice to know what, exactly, it is."
I want to shout out "Astrological Ages, sir?"

Age of Taurus, Age of Aries - two previous Ages when, in spite of progress in many other areas, violence and inhumanity to man flourished. The Bull and The Ram - neither signifies peace and fellowship, and the history of those Ages broadly matches the symbolism. It wasn't until The Age of Pisces dawned, that there was any sign of a very, very slow movement away from violence - but SO very slow that unless someone like Steven Pinker outlines the stages, and spells it all out, it's impossible to see. If we could have a magical video of the history of man on Earth, fast-forwarded at lightning speed, then it might become clear that we are indeed heading in the right direction, strange as it seems.

Astrologers cannot agree whether we are still in the Age of Pisces or on the cusp of the Age of Aquarius, or have entered it already. Whichever way one prefers to think, neither Pisces nor Aquarius symbolises violence. We must still be working through the dregs of what was left of the Age of Aries, I guess. Perhaps we are nowhere near as far along the astrological age trail as some suspect. But we are moving in a good direction.

Steven Pinker adds
"It is not a license for complacency: We enjoy the peace we find today because people in past generations were appalled by the violence in their time and worked to end it, and so we should work to end the appalling violence in our time. Nor is it necessarily grounds for optimism about the immediate future, since the world has never before had national leaders who combine pre-modern sensibilities with modern weapons."
We do have to accept that we live in risky times, of course. To continually focus on that fact, as so many tend to do these days, is not going to make things any less risky. All it does is to spread doom and gloom and take the joy from the life we have.


mike said...

Your last paragraph states, "To continually focus on that fact... All it does is to spread doom and gloom and take the joy from the life we have." I feel quite the opposite regarding war. The method of war in the USA has become an abstract process not affecting too many...if it came closer to home in each individual's life, maybe MORE thought would be contemplated toward aggression and conflict. We have a volunteer military here, so the youth can pass on the opportunity to participate, should s/he elect...out of sight, out of mind. It's much easier for a parent to defer from an activist, anti-war role, if their child is not in harm's way...out of sight, out of mind. Technology allows for dropping bombs and launching missiles at the touch of a button thousands of miles away in the comfort of an air-conditioned quonset hut, while sipping on the morning cup of coffee, while checking Facebook and text messages.

Most of the Earth's population in involved in some form of conflict every day, if not multiple times a day. Some of the aggression is of the utmost severity, while those in industrialized nations tend to have the milder family, neighbor, friend, associate, co-worker, and-or customer-company types of conflict that arise. Some of us are walking-talking-typing egos waiting for a good head-butt to work-out displaced anger. Just read the comment sections of articles posted online...wow! Tension, conflict, anger, malfeasance, and piss-offs abound.

The bigger wars that you are implicating in today's post originate with each individual's inability to sublimate and transcend their ego and go beyond our self-centered interests and indifference. The more each of us can go beyond our ego, share resources equally, and place as much value on our fellow beings as we do on ourselves, the more we will all find joy and satisfaction. It seems to be the impossible dream at this point and we seem to be more adrift than ever.

mike (again) said...

P.S. - Regarding the astrological ages, war is inherent in humans and the astrological ages signify what categories of war humans have historically engaged. The Age of Pisces delivered the holy wars. I suspect The Age of Aquarius is showing its edge right now, as humans are transitioning with high-tech, digital-oriented weaponry, as we are at the end-phase of the religious-political Pisces' era. More so that we are perceiving the "war" to not be against each other now, but as a result of our previous ideological pursuits, resulting in global warming; depletion and extinction of species; toxic land, air and water; impure food products; unsustainable growth. The Age of Aquarius is presenting a war of past transgressions of humans against nature, with our very own collective future at stake. We have an urgent global war at hand that will only be won by very selective intellectual and scientific means. It will require the coming-together of humans as a whole. Resources, the very natural items that sustain all life, will become the new currency.

Twilight said...

mike (and again) ~ First, don't forget that this is a "back-track" post from 2010 - I didn't write it recently. Second, the snag with your point of view is that if people concentrate too much, too long on the dark side (which I agree is with us always) and are encouraged to do so, they become so depressed that any hope of change disappears, and apathy descends. The highlighted paragraph in the post was highlighted by me after copying my 2010 post, because that's how I feel now.

Re the last para. of your first comment - it sounds good, but it's too "fluffy" and New Agey for my taste (transcending ego etc.) We need a strong communal ego, so we need our individual ego too - otherwise we might as well wave a communal white flag and allow thosesons of bitches who talk peace and deliver war, who talk health and deliver illness, who talk good and do bad to win. We must not become depressed and apathetic.

Re (again) ~ Agreed, in general. This morning - until now, I've been reading stuff about Dr Steven Greer, trying to decide whether he's a nut-case, a deliberate fake or a sincere researcher. He believes that there is a secret layer of government which is in possession of energy source information that would make oil, coal etc power out of date. this energy is supposedly from info. gained via extra-terrestrial....sigh - ya know! Have you come across his videos? I started on a 3 hour one but have yet to finish it. I stopped because my BS-dar started buzzing.

This is the link to the 3 hour video

There are numerous shorter ones, a couple of which I sampled. Then I looked to see whether others had researched as to Dr Greer's integrity, sincerity. Some believe he's a fake, some think he just embroiders and exaggerates. I'm not convinced either way yet.

mike (again) said...

Yes, I've come across Dr Greer and many others that have some special conspiracy insight. I'm doubtful like you, but not much surprises me anymore...LOL.

Re - The depressed among us by virtue of the dark side (from 2011):
"-23% of women in their 40s and 50s take antidepressants, a higher percentage than any other group (by age or sex)
-Women are 2½ times more likely to be taking an antidepressant than men
-14% of non-Hispanic white people take antidepressants compared with just 4% of non-Hispanic blacks and 3% of Mexican Americans
-Less than a third of Americans who are taking a single antidepressants (as opposed to two or more) have seen a mental health professional in the past year
-Antidepressant use does not vary by income status."

And this from 2013:
"'Often when people talk about health conditions they’re talking about chronic conditions such as heart disease or diabetes,” St. Sauver said. 'However, the second most common prescription was for antidepressants — that suggests mental health is a huge issue and is something we should focus on. And the third most common drugs were opioids, which is a bit concerning considering their addicting nature.' ... of those studied...13 percent were taking antidepressants and 13 percent were on opioids.”

To be depressed by the dark side, as discussed and defined in your post and my comment, would require one to actually monitor local, national, and global events, which not many do. I think that many Americans suffer depression from internal conflicts relating to their mundane affairs. It may be THEIR personal dark side, the monster within, perhaps assisted by Facebook and Twitter, lacklusters wanting to be a star in the world of youtube.com. The wannabe followers of The Donald glorify him because of Trump's personal, dark-sided power, as exhibited with his flagrant disregard of respectful language and perturbing insults and lies. Ditto for the followers of the Kardashian family. Ditto for the ruthless gun-banger rap stars. Most people feel powerless in a world of seemingly successful role models that are degenerates or, minimally, an illusion. Succumbing to fear-mongering probably ups the anti-depressant dosage (or alcohol consumption), but in a world where the difference between the truth and a lie is simply who said it, little can be accomplished, if one is not willing to take their eyes off their iPhone's latest Jay-Z & Beyonce endeavor.

mike (again) said...

Here's what's trending right now according to AOL:

Oscar Boycott
Stephen Curry
Ritz Paris
Rafael Nadal
Glenn Frey
Tin Can Day
Donald Trump
Time Warner Cable

This is what the internet users consider important right this minute...hmmmm...LOL. The Ritz Hotel fire is probably the most intellectual and global pursuit.

Twilight said...

mike ~ I guess you've got a point - but I still think that, even though a good proportion of people don't read/monitor political and serious global events and commentary, the atmospheres built by these do tend to seep through into other aspects of life. Throw-away comments, links, photos, cartoons etc seep through, and can be quickly picked up by people who might otherwise not have been interested or aware.

Among the groups who DO monitor global and national events with some seriousness, let's say those groups cover maybe between a third and a half of populations, continual harping on the negative side of everything, just in those circuits/groups can do a lot of harm. It could manipulate the minds of those who ARE taking notice.

I'm not advocating a Pollyanna-ish outlook, just an acceptance that if there's a dark side, there has to be a bright side too. For instance - we both live in majority Republican states - but there's a proportion of liberal/Democrat people in our states too - the population isn't 100% right wing. In both cases, in the past, the Democrats used to be much stronger - and could be again, but not if everyone says not and becomes apathetic! (Just an example).

mike (again) said...

I suspect we are both fairly equal on this one, Twilight. I advocate a balanced life, with time to smell the roses, but ignorance isn't necessarily bliss...it leaves the door open for others to do the bidding on one's behalf. The global warming "issue" (emergency!) is a perfect example. Koch, et al, have funded fake science and concerned-citizen groups that, alas, find there is no global warming...it's a hoax from the alarmist lefties to impose more regulations and prevent corporate expansion...we liberals are taking jobs away from poor folk and imposing our views. You and I know what the agenda truly is and I didn't read about it on Facebook from someone that "likes" me.

Here's another example of a dedicated group uncovering the manure of the TTIP by exposing the money funding the "think tanks" and the role they play in public opinion and policy:

And Debbie Wasserman is another bizarre example. She's steering her extremely biased agenda into the presidential election. Here's an essay from Glenn Greenwald, "Meet Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s First-Ever Primary Challenger: Tim Canova":
I doubt the average person has any idea who Glenn or Debbie are. I didn't know Tim Canova's name until reading this. I knew of Debbie's rotten-to-the-core DNC shenanigans, but I didn't know how deep her pathology until reading this...LOL.

Knowledge is power...sometimes it's simply entertaining...and, yes, sometimes it provides a vast view of the bleak deviations of the human condition. I've never been one to feel comfortable wearing blinders.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Thanks for the links - will read them tomorrow. Glen Greenwald has flown the coop, I think - to live in Brazil - how wise! DWS - "Wicked Witch of the West."

Agreed, blinders are not recommended, but neither is a totally bleak outlook. ;-)