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  • mistermuse 12:02 am on February 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , bully, , , Don't Explain, , , , , , pity, religion, , suffering   

    DON’T EXPLAIN 

    It does not matter much what a man hates provided he hates something. –Samuel Butler

    Some time ago, after I’d written a number of posts lampooning America’s vainglorious leader, I was asked by a reader why I “hate” Donald Trump. I replied that I didn’t hate him, I pitied him — pitied him for being the kind of human being he is. In hindsight, I should have asked the reader, Does Trump hate those he insults? — i.e. “Pocahontas” Elizabeth Warren, “Little Marco” Rubio, “Lightweight” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (I suppose the Senator should be grateful Trump didn’t call her heavyweight), etc., etc., etc. My answer (and, I assume, that reader’s) is no — hate is something deeply felt, not a juvenile slur. Trump’s mocking is strictly gratuitous, like a bully who must put down anyone who, in his world, is a “loser” — someone in his way; an inconvenient object to be diminished or pushed aside. It’s not even personal (a “loser” is but an abstraction).

    So, in deference to Samuel Butler, should I apologize for not hating Trump — or anyone, for that matter? Truth be known, the closest I come to hating anyone is God….that is, if I believed in God — the biblical God, the invented God of wrath, innocent suffering and mystifying absence. But I am a ‘default’ deist, left with a creator God, an impersonal God, a God with nothing to explain — at least, not until the next life (if there is one). The creator God never said a word or promised us anything — not on earth or after. Perhaps I should be jealous, for, unlike the creator God, there are times (like now) when this only-human creator feels the need to explain what I create. And yet, I get not deigning to explain — explaining ain’t easy. If I were God or Trump, I might not explain myself either.

     

     

     

     

     
    • Lisa R. Palmer 9:22 am on February 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Yes!! I get this. And I feel this. And I am sincerely moved by the “truth” of it. I have spent much of my adult life attempting to define and explain the “God” of my understanding, and how it works, and here you put the matter so simply and so rationally, it blows my mind. Lol! Thank you for the glimpse behind the curtain, both universally and personally, for this is yet another side of you showing through…

      On another note, hatred seems like such a huge investment to make in someone; it’s very much like love in that regard. Most of these hate-able people, like insecure bullies, are not worth such investment from me. But perhaps my willingness to dismiss them so eagerly is part of the “problem,” in that my experience teaches that the more you ignore the ego-driven, the more they cry out to be acknowledged…

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 11:13 am on February 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I very much appreciate your comment, Lisa. It’s rewarding to have dialogues with fellow ‘searchers’ (as opposed to ‘dialogues’ with ideologues).

      I think your second paragraph is right on the money, especially “the more you ignore the ego-driven, the more they cry out to be acknowledged.” That describes Trump to a T, and is the reason he is more to be pitied than hated. In a certain sense, one can’t help but pity a man who seemingly can’t help being what he is and is incapable of even reflecting on the matter. Multiply him by millions like him, and you see the world through the eyes of an objective visitor from another planet.

      P.S. I’ll return to my space ship shortly and get back to my usual blogging routine of disgustingly humorous posts.

      Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 1:55 pm on February 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      According to conventional theology, Sr. Muse, it’s God’s will that we have Trump, which bolsters one of my theological observations–this God character does some shady shit.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 2:44 pm on February 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Ricardo, that’s only the will of the religious/biblical God — not of the creator/deistic God, who has left man to his own devices since emerging from the primordial soup (which apparently wasn’t that long ago for some of us, if The Donald and his crackers are any indication).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Carmen 9:37 pm on February 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Your reply to Ricardo reminds me of the question, “What’s the difference between an invisible god and a non-existent one?” 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:30 pm on February 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        No difference whatsoever in this life, Carmen….except that with a non-existent one, there’s absolutely no possibility of a next life, and with an invisible one, who knows? Of course, we can hope for the invisible one and an afterlife, but even if both of those things turn out, one has to wonder (assuming we’ll ‘see’ our invisible maker, ourselves and each other as we really are) how in the hell we’ll be able to live with ourselves, each other, and an oblivious God. 😦

        Liked by 2 people

        • Carmen 6:57 am on February 19, 2018 Permalink

          The only thing we DO know for certainty is we get this life. Thankfully, there are those people who try to brighten someone else’s day by being pleasant, doing whatever they can to make others’ lives better, and filling the airwaves with wonderful music and sharp wit. 🙂

          Liked by 3 people

    • Don Frankel 8:15 am on February 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Assuming I’m that reader since I asked you that let me explain. It seems a waste of time and energy to get all bent out of shape over something or someone, you will have nothing to do with and can do nothing about. Doesn’t matter who it is, they can’t hear you and they don’t much care. You’re the one who is upset.

      There was this guy in the local Diner and it’s Jan 10, 2017 and he explains to me that President Obama was born in Kenya and isn’t an American citizen. Now the reason I remember the date is because President Obama was not going to be President in 10 days, so what was the guy on the stool’s point? He hates President Obama like really bad. So he spent 8 years of his life hating some guy who didn’t even know he was alive. And, it doesn’t seem to have effected or affected President Obama too much either. Maybe it did something for the guy sitting on that stool but I don’t get it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:44 am on February 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Don, if I were the only one who is upset, I’d agree with you. But this goes beyond politics. I’m just one of millions who see the unfettered narcissism and uncivil tone (to put it generously) set by Trump inexorably becoming the ‘new normal’ in this country unless enough of us stand up to him. If you think this doesn’t matter, what more is there to say?.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Don Frankel 10:01 am on February 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Okay I get it and good luck.

      Now you might imagine by living in New York I run into this with some of my very close friends so my new routine is to sing a little ditty from the movie The Producers. The original one and it’s the scene where Dick Shawn comes out on stage as Hitler for the first time and he is sitting at the piano and singing. “I’m gonna crush Poland and then take France. Then I’ll cross the English Channel and kick that guy in the pants.” Only I sing “that gal” because Theresa May is the current Prime Minister. There is no clip of this on youtube so consider it sung and imagine we’re both laughing.

      Like

    • mistermuse 11:57 am on February 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Well, at least with Theresa May, we may laugh. Even Hitler, that personification of evil, begged to be caricatured. But there’s no longer anything remotely funny to be found about Trump….though God knows I’ve tried.

      As local standup comedian Mark Chalifoux put it in Jan. 2017, “There’s too much to focus on. Our attention span rarely allows us to move past his tweets to anything of substance. His presidency….is going to be exhausting. Trump is simply too easy to make fun of, [what with] years of hearing the same jokes about hair, orange skin, small hands and where you can grab women. Anyone with a keyboard will be beating a dead horse until long after it becomes a bag of bones.”

      As I said before, we’ve reached a point where this goes beyond politics. This is about how we treat others and that old-fashioned notion of role model. I hope such values haven’t become associated with ‘losers.’ I think, or at least hope, these things still matter in New York; they still matter where I come from.

      Liked by 2 people

    • The Coastal Crone 9:30 pm on February 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I pity our vainglorious leader also. He has thrown the presidency away with both hands.

      Liked by 1 person

    • markscheel1 9:37 pm on February 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      mistermuse,

      Well, I read an article awhile ago that pointed out the Democrats said similar things of ridicule about Reagan, sonny Bush and now Trump. Also I heard a radio commentator assert recently that Trump is stupid—-“like a fox.” And went on to enumerate ways he’s outplayed the opposition and the media. Remember, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got. And concede this–Trump is in no way an ordinary politician! And we’re certainly getting something different! Ha.
      Speaking of religion and “God concepts,” have you tried “panentheism”? (Not pantheism.) From that point of view, Trump might actually be divine! The thought! But no, not the Second Coming. Let’s not get carried away. LOL
      I’d never heard Lady sing “Don’t Explain.” Thanks for that treat!

      Mark

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carmen 9:44 pm on February 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        The ‘something different’ that your country is getting is in no way funny. 😦

        Liked by 2 people

        • markscheel1 2:21 am on February 20, 2018 Permalink

          Hi Carmen,

          The “laugh” wasn’t meant to refer to what the country is getting, but rather the irony of the whole situation and the differing opinions regarding it. A booming economy, stock market up, red-tape regs cut so business can produce, vital SCOTUS appointment, real tax relief–those are things I’m not “laughing” about.

          Mark

          Like

    • mistermuse 10:59 pm on February 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Mark, when it comes to religion, I haven’t “tried” any of them in the sense of shopping around for one. I was born into Catholicism, but after years — decades, really — of growing increasingly unable to believe what the church believed, fell into deism (which is why I called myself a “default deist” in my post). I wasn’t looking for another religion, it was simply that I found that ‘where I was now at’ aligned with what deists like Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, and (some say) Thomas Jefferson believed….at least, in meeting-of-the-minds terms (deism isn’t even a religion in the doctrinal sense).

      You referred to Trump, but I’ve had my fill for now, so I’ll pass. As for the Lady Day (Billie Holiday) clip, she was well past her prime in 1958. There are recordings of her singing the song when she was much younger, but I opted for the clip I showed. Why? I defer to the title of this post.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 10:13 am on February 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        But at what cost, Mark? (re your reply to Carmen.) At what cost?

        Liked by 1 person

        • markscheel1 4:38 pm on February 20, 2018 Permalink

          Well, muse, with the currency I employ, I’d say it’s a bargain. Hmmmmm. Now, figure that one out. 😉

          Mark

          Like

    • mistermuse 12:20 am on February 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Mark, I’m guessing that you deferred to the title of this post too.

      Like

      • markscheel1 3:39 pm on February 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        muse,

        That would be an appropriate assumption! 🙂 I’ve resolved to do memoir, not politics, as you know. Now, as an aside, Dee and I are back from the hospital. The heart procedure yesterday went well. (Ablation.) Great doctor. Wonderful nurses. Just wanted to let you know–“the beat goes on,” now normally! And I feel nothing but gratitude.

        Mark

        Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:14 pm on February 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Glad to hear it, Mark. Great doctors aren’t always easy to come by. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • barkinginthedark 4:13 pm on August 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Never apologize for hating Donald J. Trump. he is only worthy of hate – and nothing else. continue…

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:01 am on April 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Brigham Young, , , , , men, , , , religion, , Solomon, , ,   

    HUSBAND APPRECIATION DAY 

    The third Saturday in April, which happens to be today, is HUSBAND APPRECIATION DAY. Unfortunately (or fortunately, as the case may be), I have but one wife to appreciate me. Not that I’m greedy, you understand, but I can’t help wondering what it would be like having many wives appreciate me — like in such open-minded countries as Afghanistan, where polygamy is a common practice. Speaking of practice, practice may make perfect, but prudence dictates that such things should be checked out before one plunges into it.

    Luckily, one has only to turn to Googlepedia to find pertinent reports. For example, a well-educated Imam of Islam, Mohammed Bello Abubakar, was quoted in The Christian Science Monitor and the BBC as saying, “I married 86 women and there is peace in the house — if there is peace, how can this be wrong? A man with ten wives would collapse and die, but my own power is given by Allah. That is why I have been able to control 86 of them.” By the time of his death on January 28 at 92 (years, not wives), he actually had not 86, not 92, but 120 wives, and had fathered 203 children. And I thought I was busy.

    But Bello Abubakar was a piker at polygamy compared to that wisest of Old Testament wife hoarders, King Solomon, who is said to have had up to 1,000 wives….not to mention 300 concubines on the side. Apparently, it helps to get religion if one hopes to honey-up and handle hives of wives. Bee that as it may, the problem is that one can’t grab unto just any religion in order to have one’s fill of mates. For example, I was raised Catholic, which is not the most reasonable religion in the world when it comes to conjugal largesse. On top of that — though I am now free of such doctrinaire prohibition — the secular powers-that-be in America maintain equally unenlightened views in marital matters. So you can see what we poor, monogamous men are up against in so-called liberal democracies.

    Of course, we could resort to bigamy, but at what cost? It’s a sad state of affairs when you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. But never let it be said that I’m not a broad-minded guy — thus, I call on the following sexpert testimony, which unfortunately (or fortunately, as the case may be) includes no female witnesses:

    Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same. –Oscar Wilde

    The best argument against bigamy is that it leaves a man no place to hang his clothes. –Evan Esar

    Bigamy is the only crime where two rites make a wrong. –Bob Hope

    Why a man would want a wife is a mystery to bachelors; why a man would want two wives is a bigamystery. –Evan Esar

    Polygamy, n. A house of atonement, fitted with several stools of repentance, as distinguished from monogamy, which has but one.–Ambrose Bierce (The Devil’s Dictionary)

    Brigham Young originated mass production [in America], but Henry Ford was the one who improved on it. –Will Rogers

    Polygamy: an endeavor to get more out of life than there is in it. –Elbert Hubbard

    Every man should have four wives: a Persian, with whom he can converse; a woman from Khorasan, for the housework; a Hindu woman to raise the children; and one from Transoxiana, whom he can beat as a warning to the others. –Mirza Aziz Koka

    That last quote seems a bit over the top, I must admit. How could the average person be expected to know where the hell Khorasan and Transoxiana are?

     

     
    • linnetmoss 7:13 am on April 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Groucho: “Well whadaya say girls? Are we all gonna get married?” Woman: “All of us? But that’s bigamy!” Groucho: “Yes, and it’s big-a-me too.”

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:47 am on April 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I remember that joke, but I’m not sure if Groucho was the first to say it. No matter — no one ever said it better!

        P.S. For the benefit of those not up on their Marx (Brothers), Groucho said it in ANIMAL CRACKERS (1930).

        Liked by 2 people

    • Carmen 10:20 am on April 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve never heard any women saying they’d like to have multiple husbands. . Hmmm. . . Wonder why? 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 10:47 am on April 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Carmen, I can only speak for myself: when a wife has me for a husband, she thinks….

        Liked by 1 person

        • Carmen 11:14 am on April 15, 2017 Permalink

          I’m laughing.

          But since it’s Hubby Appreciation day, I will save my deprecatory comments. 🙂
          (and don’t tell me, you think that song is about you)

          Liked by 2 people

        • mistermuse 11:36 am on April 15, 2017 Permalink

          Carmen, I trust that you are giving your hubby the appreciation he is due today! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • Carmen 11:44 am on April 15, 2017 Permalink

          Always! (in fact, he really is quite spoiled – just ask our daughters!)

          Liked by 2 people

    • arekhill1 10:42 am on April 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Transoxiana was easy for Google to find, Sr. Muse, and it turns out to be modern Uzbekistan, approximately. Apparently its natives have always preferred to live in a nearly unpronounceable land.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 11:33 am on April 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I clicked “Like” but I meant “Don’t like.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 6:24 pm on April 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      This brings up images of monogamy and or memories of Mr & Mrs Bundy but then there is nothing to suggest that Cahn and Van Heusen were talking about only one marriage. Just that you need love.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 7:39 pm on April 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Don, as it happens, one of the books I bought at that library book sale several months ago was Sammy Cahn’s autobiography titled I SHOULD CARE….and one of the chapters is titled LOVE AND MARRIAGE. I haven’t gotten around to reading the book yet, but I can tell you that he was married more than once (but not at the same time, because that would’ve been bigamy — or rather, biga-him).

        Liked by 2 people

    • Carmen 7:09 pm on April 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I thought you made this up. Just took a ‘stroll’ through Noseybook and indeed, it’s true! (I mean, it HAS to be if it’s on FB!)

      I should know better than to doubt you, mister muse. . .

      Liked by 2 people

    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 12:14 am on April 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      SO sorry I missed Husband Appreciation Day, but since I am no longer so encumbered, I hope I may be forgiven. I hope you enjoyed your day.
      xx,
      mgh
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
      ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 10:23 am on April 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Madelyn. I got a big kick out of Husband Appreciation Day because my wife waited on me hand and foot (a hand grabbing unto my ear and a foot launched at my rear end). It’s good to know she still loves me after all these years.

      Liked by 2 people

    • D. Wallace Peach 5:14 pm on April 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Ha ha ha. Great post. I love the Wilde and Esar quotes. I hope Koka was a bachelor.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lavinia Ross 7:42 pm on April 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Have you seen the 2009 Woody Allen movie “Whatever Works”? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • heidi ruckriegel 12:26 am on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      That whole thing of one guy having 100 wives always seemed a bit selfish to me. Wouldn’t there be 99 guys who have to stay single?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:40 am on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Possibly….but 50 of them might WANT to stay single (just kidding — I’d make a quip of almost every single reply if I could!). 🙂

        Like

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on September 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , religion,   

    SET IN STONE 

    I think, therefore I am. –René Descartes

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    You will (hopefully) recall that my last post, STONE COLD DEAD, featured some of my favorite epitaphs published 4 years ago on SWI (a blog due to bite the dust in November). Ah, but the best laid plans….  The SWI editor announced on 9/1 that he would now need to pull the plug first thing on Sept. 6; thus today becomes SWI’s last full day on this earth.

    This sudden passing prompts me to salvage another of my previously published posts from that body of work: a poem which poses a question I believe naturally arises out of STONE COLD DEAD. Unlike that post, it ain’t funny, but perhaps the poem’s saving grace is that what it lacks in humor, it makes up in brevity. It’s the least I can do on Labor Day.

    LUCKY STIFFS

    Are the faithful
    dead better positioned
    to be saved
    than those who
    lived with doubt?
    Even a God
    can’t help being
    what He thinks.

     

     

     
    • painkills2 12:13 am on September 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Saved from what? After you’re dead, no one can save you. But if this is about hell, then I don’t want to be saved — that’s where all the fun people go. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 6:44 am on September 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Think of this poem as if it were written by an agnostic. Then the question becomes: If there is a God and an afterlife, is He any more morally fit to judge you than you are to judge Him? If there is no afterlife, it’s irrelevant whether or not there is a God, because we will never know either way.

      I might add that the God(s) of religions and myth only muddy the waters of how to think about this whole business of a possible Creator. The word “God” itself seems to me to be an impediment to rational thinking about life and all that it may imply.

      Liked by 2 people

      • painkills2 1:09 pm on September 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I suppose those who believe in a god also believe that this god is always right and shouldn’t be questioned. As for anyone — supernatural or not — who thinks they have the right to judge me, well, they’re wrong. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • scifihammy 7:12 am on September 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Nice one 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:26 am on September 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      They say it takes one to know one, so you’re a “nice one” too. 🙂

      Like

    • Cynthia Jobin 9:41 am on September 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      “God is dead.” —Nietzsche, 1883

      “Nietzsche is dead.” —God, 1900

      Liked by 3 people

    • mistermuse 9:51 am on September 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      “We’re all dead.” –Kismet, sooner or later 😦

      Liked by 3 people

    • arekhill1 11:42 am on September 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, death is the ultimate way of fitting in.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 1:32 pm on September 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I’d call it forced integration God’s way….except for Christians, who make Book on to a different afterlife divide: heaven or hell.

      Like

    • Don Frankel 5:02 pm on September 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      All things come to an end but nothing really dies on the internet. It just spins somewhere throughout the universe. And, since we’re doing some oldies I can’t help but recall once again my favorite Epitaph on a Tombstone in Tombstone.

      Here Lies Lester Moore
      4 slugs from a .44
      No Les
      No More

      Liked by 1 person

    • carmen 6:18 pm on September 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I can never think about this topic (death) without this song running through my mind. I heard it for the first time when I was a teenager and it has stuck in my head ever since. Like this post, it’s remarkable for its brevity.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:14 pm on September 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the song clip. When it comes to war and brevity, it took William Tecumseh Sherman only three words to tell it like it is: “War is hell.”

        Like

    • BroadBlogs 7:28 pm on September 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t know why God would punish our authenticity. Job is an interesting book to read on this topic.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:01 pm on September 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Well, this subject would take an entire post to address in depth, including (for starters) whether or not one accepts the story of Job as having a basis in reality. For atheists and agnostics, it’s a non-starter to begin with, because if you disbelieve or doubt that God exists, Job is meaningless. Personally, as a deist who believes in a Creator but not the so-called “revealed God” of most religions, it is not my job to take Job seriously (pun intended).

      Like

      • Carmen 5:18 am on September 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Besides which, if you do read about poor old Job – and take the ‘lesson’ seriously-, you end up wondering why anyone would think Yahweh had any redeeming qualities.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Superduque777 7:49 am on September 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply


      CARPET DIEM

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 10:09 am on September 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      You would never guess from that photo what the girl is actually saying to the pope: “Ubi possum potiri petasi similis isti?” (“Where can I get a hat like that?”)

      Liked by 1 person

    • carmen 10:12 am on September 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      . . .and he’s probably saying, “Go now and spin no more”. . 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 10:39 am on September 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      No doubt Jim Beam had something to say about it too, but it looks like the pope is keeping it close to his vest-ments.

      Liked by 2 people

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on June 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Darwin, evangelism, , , human rights, , rationalism, religion   

    DO IT…BUY THE BOOK 

    Among the books I’ve owned for some time and not found time (until now) to read is one which convincingly illuminates how America has evolved (some might say retrogressed, in the case of our politicians) over the years.

    When I say “evolved,” most people (at least, those who don’t regard it as a dirty word) think of it in the Darwinian sense as gradual development from primitive to more adaptive or advanced stages….as, to take a human example, from very brutish to veddy British — or, from restive barbarians to festive Bavarians. But one would have to be blind not to see that human evolution isn’t a straight forward, rising-tide-lifts-all-boats proposition. In other words, what you sea is what you get (even my puns have their ups and downs).

    Then there’s the history of rights withheld, an early example being what American colonists determined to address. The British, loathe to let go, weren’t there yet…and neither are many of us there yet when it comes to the rights of others — speaking of which (for illustrative purposes), here’s a clip with reference to California’s 2008 ballot Proposition 8 denying same-sex couples the right to marry (an issue of no concern to me whatsoever except as it pertains to ‘affairs’ which some people — especially religious conservatives — can’t bear the thought of, even though it’s no skin off their nose):

    http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/c0cf508ff8/prop-8-the-musical-starring-jack-black-john-c-reilly-and-many-more-from-fod-team-jack-black-craig-robinson-john-c-reilly-and-rashida-jones?_cc=__d___&_ccid=dcac2697-3ae0-4cc9-b7fc-b87fad7ada17

    Coincidentally, 2008 is the same year the book I referred to at the start (THE AGE OF AMERICAN UNREASON by Susan Jacoby) was published. Here is a review of that book:

    http://www.dialoginternational.com/dialog_international/2008/05/i-admired-susan.html

    Though I’m in tune with that review for the most part, I take issue with the reviewer’s belief that “Jacoby is overestimating the role of religion in America in the decline of Enlightenment rationalism.” Furthermore, the reviewer states that “the number of true fundamentalists is probably not that significant: she [Jacoby] conflates fundamentalism with evangelism” — a contention which leads me to question whether the reviewer did more than skim through Chapter 8 (THE NEW OLD-TIME RELIGION), which takes pains to differentiate between the two — including such distinctions as The main difference between fundamentalists and evangelicals….is that not all evangelicals regard the Bible as literally true but all fundamentalists do. That chapter, detailing the role of evangelism and fundamentalism in America past and present, is alone worth the price of erudition….eminently readable erudition, I might add.

    If you want to add to your understanding of the forces and factors that have created THE AGE OF AMERICAN UNREASON, do it….buy the book.

     

     

     
    • painkills2 2:28 am on June 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Gay marriage cannot save the economy. But, it might save the institution of marriage. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:20 am on June 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      That reminds me of the old joke “Marriage is a wonderful institution….but who wants to live in an institution?”

      Liked by 2 people

    • linnetmoss 6:38 am on June 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I agree about the fundamentalist/evangelical distinction. Too many in the media have no idea what they’re talking about and use “evangelical” as a euphemism for “fundamentalist.” That said, there seem to be far fewer socially liberal evangelicals than in the past. Either that or they are far less vocal.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:57 am on June 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Good point about the media, which comes in for its fair share of criticism in Jacoby’s book; e.g. “the simplistic slogans of junk thought are perfectly suited to modern mass media, which must fixate on novelty in order to catch the eyes and ears of a public with an increasingly short attention span.” And that was written 8 years before Trump’s campaign for the GOP nomination!

        Liked by 1 person

        • linnetmoss 4:09 pm on June 10, 2016 Permalink

          I think this problem dates to the advent of television (or was made worse by it). Even today, I notice that radio news is much more nuanced and detailed. But ‘click bait’ has also been around for the long time, in the form of sensationalist tabloids.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 5:49 pm on June 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      You know how much I love polls. I wouldn’t say they make these things up as they go because that would sound like a conspiracy theory but they make these things up as they go. Besides people have been writing about the decline of America since well the place started. You can look it up.

      But accepting the fact that it’s all over, well what can I do but once again quote Riddick from the Chronicles of Riddick. “It’s gotta end sometime.”

      Like

    • mistermuse 8:01 pm on June 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Not to worry, Don. If America meets its end when and if The Donald becomes President, “IT’LL BE GREAT” (he has promised everything else he does will be great, so why should that be an exception).

      Like

    • Don Frankel 5:18 pm on June 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Muse maybe it won’t be so great but it will be YUUUUGGGEEEE and spectacular.

      Liked by 1 person

    • D. Wallace Peach 12:36 pm on June 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting post. I agree that fundamentalist and evangelist have become almost synonymous in the media, though politically they don’t seem to be that far apart when it comes to social reforms and politics is where the “news” focuses today. Prop 8 – The Musical was great. Now they need to make one for the Great Bathroom Debate.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 2:24 pm on June 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Now that (the Great Bathroom Debate) is a royal flush of a great idea, Diana. I hope it comes to pass, because I would buy a front row stool to see that one….not to mention #2 (the sequel).
        I could go on, but I’ve got to get back to work on the post I’m working on for tomorrow. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:01 am on April 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , religion, , , Wicked Witch of the West, Wizad of Oz   

    THE WICKED WHICH OF BEGETS* 

    Which is more naïve (naïver?) —
    to believe poetry that rings true
    ….or….
    to be a true believer?

    Which takes more courageous thinking —
    to whistle in the dark of faith
    ….or….
    to face reality without blinking?

    Which lays more cards on the table —
    the persuasion  of the power of babble
    ….or….
    the allegory of The Tower of Babel?

    Which is the bigger cancer —
    the answer that brooks no questions
    ….or….
    the questions that beget no answer?

    *with apologies to The Wicked Witch of the West (played by the late Margaret Hamilton in THE WIZARD OF OZ). In addition to her film career, it seems that Hamilton was also (according to Wikipedia) a Sunday School teacher in the 1950s, which carries my apologies beyond my title-play-on-words to the poem itself. May her Maker be as real as the great and powerful Wizard was a humbug, and more wonderful than the “whiz of a wiz” who Dorothy and her friends were told they’d see at the end of the yellow brick road:

     

     

     
    • arekhill1 9:51 am on April 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I Have always believed the Wicked Witch of the West to be deeply misunderstood. Her sister was murdered and that sibling’s shoes were stolen while colorfully dressed little people danced on her grave, yet we attribute the Green One’s desire for vengeance solely to wickedness? Another example of history being written by the winners. What a world, what a world.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 10:36 am on April 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Every plot needs a bad guy (or gal), or there would be no story. Where would religion be without a Devil to blame for everything that has gone wrong with creation? No Wicked Witch, no wonderful Wizard of Oz; no Devil, no good God; no good God, no religion.

      Like

    • Cynthia Jobin 11:46 am on April 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      It’s a treat to encounter more unusual rhymes: naïver/believer and cancer/answer…because, because, because, because beCAUSE!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 3:45 pm on April 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thank God (or others equally unknown) for my flair for rhyming light verse, otherwise I’d be the poet-equivalent of a bad wizard (in the manner of the Wizard of Oz’s response when Dorothy called him a very bad man: “Oh, no, my dear. I’m not a very bad man. I’m just a very bad wizard.”)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 7:57 am on April 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      You know I’m watching this clip and like everyone else I’ve seen it countless times but I just realized something. That dog there Toto, never gets enough credit. I mean she hits her mark all the time. She dances along with everyone else and unlike the rest of the characters she doesn’t need anything. She’s not complaining and she never pees on anyone’s leg either. She looks well almost Presidential.

      Like

    • mistermuse 9:12 am on April 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent point, Don….and to think Toto did all that and only got $125 a week in dog food, which probably wasn’t much more than chicken feed compared to Lassie’s pay. I think Toto definitely deserves to be rated higher than 13th on the following list of film dogs:
      http://boingydog.com/the-25-most-famous-dogs-in-tv-and-movie-history/

      Like

  • mistermuse 6:50 am on March 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , blasphemy, Chosen People, Christianity, , , Good Friday, peace, , religion, ,   

    A GOOD DAY TO WONDER 

    I was going to title this awkward post GOOD FRIDAY FARE, but thought better of it (a little too light to fill the bill). Or I could have titled it REALLY?. Really? I may be an ex-Catholic, but I still respect the meaning of Good Friday for the hundreds of millions who take the premise of this day at faith value. My breach of faith is not with the faithful, but with the premise of their faith — as explained in the poem which follows this paragraph of Christian apologia:

    What’s So Good about Good Friday? asks Episcopal priest Justin Holcomb in a recent article. The origin of the term, he says, is debatable, but “Regardless of the origin, the name Good Friday is entirely appropriate because the suffering and death of Jesus, as terrible as it was, marked the dramatic culmination of God’s plan to save his people from their sins….all in accordance with what God had promised all along in the Scriptures.” We can all agree, can we not, with the gross understatement that people have been sinning since time immemorial? But….

    DIDN’T THE ANCIENTS EVER WONDER?

    One of the earliest questions which presented itself to my youthful mind was that of election: Why had God chosen the Jewish people as the sole recipients of  His divine revelation and of the messianic promise? By what creative caprice had he excluded all others? –Morris West, Catholic novelist & playwright (1916-99)

    After the Lord God said Let there be light, there was no one
    to share the scene. God looked down and beheld a creation
    too wondrous to keep to Himself. Flesh forward.
    Adam, meet Eve.
    But, inevitably, Adam and Eve stray.
    They have a bad day.
    ‘Twas the serpent, they say.

    Boys and girls, welcome to hard times
    where life becomes a chance bet
    begetters scatter and beget
    until they forget
    without regret
    where they came from and divine not
    what they’re about

    until at last there emerges a Chosen People on
    whom it never dawns that revelation comes with
    implications: were untold others not equally in need
    of deliverance from their benighted nature? If
    what you don’t know can’t hurt you, why now the
    Voice in the wilderness….and if it can hurt you,
    how was silence justified? You see we still live
    in the shadows of tribal primitives, still die in
    the wake of unasked questions….save for He who
    would die to save us from our sins, without asking
    if the creator was in need of saving from His own?

    Did my poem blaspheme, or did it pose a serious question (or did it blaspheme in posing a serious question)? Does your answer depend on whether you believe in an ALL-PERFECT, ALL-LOVING GOD, a MIGHT-MAKES-RIGHT GOD, or NO GOD at all? How far would you go to try to convince or force (as if belief can be forced) others to believe as you do? Isn’t it sad enough when members of one family can’t agree to disagree, much less the human family writ large? How much longer would you and your god have the world pay the price of religion’s aggressive side?

    Peace, however awkward, be with you on this Good Friday.

     

     

     

     
    • carmen 7:13 am on March 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Of course, the answer to your question, “Did my poem blaspheme, or did it pose a serious question (or did it blaspheme in posing a serious question)?” would be a resounding “YES!” to many people . . . those who believe in the myth will be insulted that you would even ask such a thing.
      But for me (having decided a few years ago that the whole thing is nothing more than a comforting ‘tale’ to many) it is a very insightful suggestion to all who read – please do consider the negativity associated with people’s religious beliefs.

      Let’s hope we all don’t get sucked into the great fight over whose invisible (and – I think – imaginary) god is the mightiest. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michaeline 8:07 am on March 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Carmen makes a good point in saying our God may be is an invisible God. The ancient Jews rolled up their tents and gathered their other things, put it all on donkeys and headed out for the next oasis. No temples and no statues for them. Just 10 rules to live by and that was it in the beginning. God the Creator is more to my liking as he will not interfere in my life decisions. If I do wrong, there is Yom Kipper to make it right once a year. I live with the knowledge that I have a creative, intelligent mind and I let common sense be my guide .I was a serious Catholic like mistermuse and it was a fairly good experience until my ex divorced me.

        I did not know how vicious gossip among the church going ladies could make my Mother feel so bad. Then I researched many religions and found I liked Reform Judaism the best. It is a fact many millions of people fought and died in religious wars..Maybe that is why my husband and his three brothers are all atheists after being raised as Conservative Jews.

        Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:26 am on March 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for your thoughts, Carmen. It seems we both have no problem with religious beliefs per se – but when believing is held to be the same as knowing, each differing belief becomes an absolute, and when absolutes are pitted against each other – well, human nature being what it is, bad things happen, and agreeing to disagree is out of the question (because questioning is anathema to absolutes).

        Like

    • Michaeline 8:18 am on March 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I like being a Reform Judaic Jewess. Became one after my studies with the rabbi. No one has all the answers about whether there is a God or not. My husband and his brothers were brought up as sons of a Conservative Jew. Once they grew up, attended college and worked diligently for a living, they became atheists. I like a religion where I can exercise my creative intelligence. I do not think mistermuse is guilty of blasphemy. He is sharing his thoughts and a very well written poem with us, Thank you, mistermuse

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:32 am on March 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for your thoughts as well, Michaeline. What I said about respecting the Catholic faithful goes for the Jewish falthful as well, despite my profound differences with their faiths.

        Like

    • Don Frankel 8:35 am on March 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Following up on what I was saying about screaming or praying, add writing.

      People are constantly manipulating people. For the greater good, of course. They use religion, politics, pills, potions and whatever they have because of course they are orchestrating the greater good. What is the greater good? That depends on each manipulator’s perception of it.

      As to what is truth? Your guess is as good as mine and anybody else’s. The brain like all the other organs in the body has it’s limitations. It can only do what it does. I don’t think its omniscient although some people think their’s is.

      Like I mentioned to you in the past I was brought up in an atheist household. My wife was a Catholic and because of that I read the Gospels and more than once. If you listen to the things Jesus says, actually says and not the centuries of other people’s interpretations of them, you can’t really go wrong in this life. Which is kind of amazing if you stop to think about it as it’s been a little shy of two thousand years.

      Liked by 1 person

      • carmen 8:42 am on March 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I agree to that last bit, Don (and who knows whether Jesus was divine or an apocalyptic preacher of his time?). Unfortunately, the imposter Paul got hold of the ‘gospel’.

        Like

    • Cynthia Jobin 10:33 am on March 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      When you know, you do not have to believe. Because you know. You believe things that you do not actually know….you believe the authority, the expert, your own wish for how you want the world to be. In Belief are the seeds of violence. You find yourself needing to defend your belief against the unbelief of others. Other beliefs are an affront to the validity of your belief. You want others to lend greater credence to your belief by believing it along with you. Others may not want to share your belief, they may feel imposed- upon by your belief….this is the rising of conflict. Actuality is all that we know….the rest is silence. And belief.

      I remember–having been raised a Catholic—how we used to keep silent between noon and 3 o’clock on Good Friday. I don’t practice that religion anymore, but I put no label on myself in terms of belief or disbelief. As I accept the impossibility of absolute abstract answers, the same old questions seem to grow dimmer and dimmer and fade into the silence.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 11:05 am on March 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Well put, as always, Cynthia. The problem seems to be that, for too many people, there is no difference between believing and knowing….which, ironically, I believe qualifies as ignorance.

        It’s interesting to me that, as I get to know more of my readers better, I’m finding that more of them were once practicing Catholics. I guess, depending on the eye of the beholder, that makes us serious thinkers, or heretics, or feckless, or confused, or lost souls (whatever connotation the beholder puts on “lost soul”). I prefer to think that we’re multi-dimensional. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 10:38 am on March 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Perceptive words, Don. I would only add, “Amen.”

      Like

    • arekhill1 11:15 am on March 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Anything that ever happened to anybody else can happen to you. That’s the only thing that’s certain here, God, Jesus and Jews notwithstanding. Have a Good Friday every Friday is my motto, and my wishes for you, Sr. Muse and friends.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 1:35 pm on March 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Since I retired from gainful employment, Friday is just like every other day — the same with Good Friday since I retired from Catholicism. So I thank you and wish you a good everyday today and every day, Ricardo.

      Like

    • arekhill1 1:37 pm on March 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Saw on SWI that your sister passed, Sr. Muse. My sympathies.

      Like

    • carmen 3:09 pm on March 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, Mister Muse – I am sorry to hear of her passing. 😦

      Like

    • mistermuse 7:41 pm on March 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you both. She was 7+ years younger than I, and my only sibling. In this life, it seems that, sooner or later, time makes visitors of us all.

      Like

    • restlessjo 1:27 am on April 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      It’s good to think and question. I don’t do enough of either, being more of a head in the sand lady, but you raise some good points. 🙂 Hope Easter was peaceful for you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:55 am on April 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you. Perhaps it is just as well not to think and question too much, as we can tie ourselves into knots trying to find answers which are beyond our capacity to find. On the other hand, a guy or gal has to go where a guy or gal has to go, even if we end up back where we started! 🙂

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on February 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , dogmatism, fanatics, , holy wars, human history, Middle East, Quakers, religion, secular humanists, tribalism, tribes, ,   

    TRIBES AND TRIBULATIONS 

    tribal, adj. Of the nature of, or relating to, a tribe.
    tribe, n. 1. A unit of sociopolitical organization. 2. A political, ethnic, or ancestral division of ancient states and cultures [such as] a. the three divisions of the ancient Romans. b. the 12 divisions of ancient Israel.
    –Webster’s New College Dictionary

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    If anything seems clear from the seemingly endless wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, it is that tribalism and religion are at the heart of the madness. This is not to suggest that tribalism is confined to the Middle East (far from it), or that other forces haven’t played a part. But buried beneath the overlay of foreign intervention in the region (or meddling, if you prefer) are roots with a “history as old or nearly so as that of humanity itself” –Edward O. Wilson, biologist, naturalist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner.

    In his book THE MEANING OF HUMAN EXISTENCE, Wilson posits that tribalism and religion are inextricably bound together by what he calls “the instinctual force of tribalism in the genesis of religiosity. People deeply need membership in a group, whether religious or secular.” In a chapter titled simply “RELIGION,” Wilson states:

    The great religions are inspired by belief in an incorruptible deity–or multiple deities. Their priests bring solemnity to rites of passage through the cycle of life and death. They sacralize basic tenets of civil and moral law, comfort the afflicted, and take care of the desperately poor. Followers strive to be righteous in the sight of man and God. The churches are centers of community life [and] ultimate refuges against the inequities and tragedies of secular life. They and their ministers make more bearable tyranny, war, starvation, and the worst of natural catastrophes.
    The great religions are also, and tragically, sources of ceaseless and unnecessary suffering. They are impediments to the grasp of reality needed to solve most social problems in the real world. Their exquisitely human flaw is tribalism. It is tribalism, not the moral tenets and humanitarian thought of pure religion, that makes good people do bad things.
    Unfortunately, a religious group defines itself foremost by its creation myths, the supernatural narrative that explains how humans came into existence. This story is also the heart of tribalism. No matter how subtly explained, the core belief assures its members that God favors them above all others. It teaches that members of other religions worship the wrong gods, use wrong rituals, follow false prophets….

    Food for thought — but thought that leaves questions to chew on: if “love makes fools of us all” (to quote Thackeray), does it follow that tribalism makes blind fools of us all? Are we unwitting tribalists to the siren song of political/religious saviors, some of us to the extent of becoming tribal or religious fanatics? Are tribal/religious fanatics born or made (nature vs. nurture)? And, given that all religions are invented by man, does that entitle Wilson to tar them all with the same brush?

    For example, Wilson regards it as a mistake to fold believers of particular religious and dogmatic ideologies into two piles (moderate versus extremist), because “The true cause of hatred and violence is faith versus faith, an outward expression of the ancient instinct of tribalism.”  While that may be true, I question the notion that all religions/tribes wash out equally. For example, in pre-colonial times in North America, there were both peaceful and warlike Native American tribes. And so it is elsewhere. Aren’t secular humanists equally guilty of bad faith who don’t recognize/won’t separate the wheat from the chaff/laissez-faire from doctrinaire? Who and what have incited and fed religious wars and persecutions throughout history? It’s not the likes of the Quakers, nor is it directives from the heavens.

    The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.

     

     

     

     

     
    • Midwestern Plant Girl 8:33 am on February 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      This was a great read!
      I play my drum to a different beat and prefer to not be part of a group or religious. I like to read about these topics tho, as I want to understand it. I don’t feel left out, but sometimes don’t understand why people do things. Maybe it’s my O- blood? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:09 am on February 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you. I concur, but though I don’t seek to be part of a group, there is one group I can’t help belonging to: the human race. In that sense, we’re all in this together, which is why all the ongoing political and religious extreme dogmatism is a plague on all our houses.

        Liked by 2 people

    • arekhill1 1:49 pm on February 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Well put, Sr. Muse, and undoubtedly true. I’m an agnostic myself, thank God.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 2:45 pm on February 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Growing up Catholic put the fear of the Lord in me, Ricardo, so I’m still too chicken to be an agnostic. Some people may think I’m an egghead, so perhaps I’m now an egg-nostic. At least that would solve an age-old question: the chicken came before the egg-nostic.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Todd Duffey Writes on Things 10:06 am on February 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      This is the first blog of yours I’ve read, Mistermuse. I feel like there is a LOT more I will be learning from you! Bravo – you have opened this reader’s eyes to a much broader playing field!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:35 pm on February 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks. I usually write in a more creative, humorous vein, but my art-ery takes a serious turn every once in a while. I only post every fifth day, so your eyes shouldn’t get bloodshot from over-learning! 🙂

        Thanks again.

        Like

    • Don Frankel 10:50 am on February 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Good stuff Muse. A little heavy but sometimes we have to do heavy. I haven’t read Wilson so I wouldn’t want to characterize his stuff but if his basic premise is to blame it on Tribalism well it sort of a non-starter for me. It doesn’t matter what the Tribe says or the Government says or even and this may be heresy but even what the Supreme Court says. You make your decisions in this life and then you have to live with them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:46 pm on February 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        You make a good point, Don. We tend to think of tribalism as something uncivilized, something they do “over there” — but all you have to do is look at our own politics to see mindless tribal followings (albeit with a modern veneer).

        Liked by 1 person

    • John Looker 2:12 pm on February 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I have a great deal of sympathy with your analysis. Tribalism does appear deep rooted in the human condition — perhaps it is inescapable until societies can find ways of evolving appropriate forms of government. I found myself writing a group of poems on tribal loyalties a year ago. They might not interest you but, just in case, they can be found on my own (poetry) blog at: https://johnstevensjs.wordpress.com/category/looking-at-life-through-work-series/tribal-loyalties/ They also had a place in a book of mine published a year ago, but that’s another story. Congratulations on raising this in a thoughtful way.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:01 pm on February 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I appreciate your comment and like your tribal poems, especially THE DAWN RAID. I tend to think that the perversion of tribalism (mindless, dogmatic allegiance to its worst forms), more than tribalism itself, is the main problem….and one (skeptic that I am) that I believe will probably always be with us.

      Like

    • John Looker 5:53 pm on February 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Yes. In any society there is going to be a reassuring sense of belonging to a familiar homogeneous group, but it is dangerous (or perverted as you put it) when there is no imagination about or empathy towards others. Such a pressing issue for our times! Glad you’ve raised it in the manner you do.

      Liked by 1 person

    • linnetmoss 6:29 am on February 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Religion is like science–not evil or good in itself, but depending on the use we make of it. (Although Christopher Hitchens made a pretty comprehensive case against it in “God is not Great.”) IMO science has relieved much more suffering than religion ever did. (And of course has caused its share.) As to tribalism, I don’t see much benefit in it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:11 am on February 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for more “food for thought.”

      I suppose, given that “People deeply need membership in a group, whether religious or secular” (as Edward O. Wilson wrote), one could say the same of tribalism–“not good or evil in itself,” but depending on the ends pursued (and the means used to pursue them). Another thought: how widely or loosely to define, or think of, tribalism. In a sense, fraternities, sororities, sports teams — such as the Cleveland Indians 🙂 — any group banded together for common cause, could be considered tribes.

      I own Hitchens’ GOD IS NOT GREAT, but haven’t read it in a long time — though I’m familiar with his arguments in general. It’s too complex to get into here, but I’ve written a few posts on these things before and will probably do so again.

      Like

    • literaryeyes 1:39 pm on February 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      H.L. Mencken ripped apart the basic foundations of religion in his book, Twilight of the Gods (I think that’s the title, or maybe that’s a movie-I plead senior memory). Religion started early when tribes were the social construct, so it’s plausible they are inextricably and at this time, irrevocably, intermixed. But to put a little humor in, here’s a quote purportedly from Mencken: “For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the-not-worth-knowing.” In other words, the improbable, in his opinion. I’m not as pragmatic as Mencken, by far, and believe we have an inherent spiritual nature that’s connected to our physical selves, and possibly to something outside ourselves.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:30 pm on February 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Well said. Neither the god(s) of religion, nor the concept of creation without a creator, is convincing to me. To quote from WHY DOES THE WORLD EXIST (by Jim Holt):
      “A scientific explanation must involve some sort of physical cause. But any physical cause is by definition part of the universe to be explained. Thus any purely scientific explanation of the existence of the universe is doomed to be circular. Even if it starts with something very minimal–a cosmic egg, a tiny bit of quantum vacuum, a singularity-it still starts with something, not nothing.”

      Like

    • restlessjo 3:05 am on February 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Sadly, I don’t have an argument. I simply wish it were otherwise, but wishing will never make it so.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:03 am on February 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      The good news is that with a creator, there remains the possibility of life after death for us. The bad news is that with a creator so above all the suffering it has deliberately made the lot of its creatures, what would that bode for our next-life relationship with such a creator? Sadly (to say the least), it’s enough to make thinking people careful what they wish for.
      But, for now, I wish for the best for you and everyone reading this.

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , lawyers, , November 30, , , punning, , religion, ,   

    30 NOVEMBER — TO THE SWIFT 

    As 3o days hath the month of November,
    Today marks the end of a month to remember.
    Swift doth the day pass into December,
    Ere the twain shall meet….in a glowing ember.

    The above is my Lilliputian ode to two literary giants who were born on this day: Jonathan Swift  in 1667, Mark Twain in 1835. This post celebrates the former, the latter having been extolled in a post one year ago today (THE UNIVERSAL MARK TWAIN).

    Jonathan Swift’s pièce de résistance, of course, was GULLIVER’S TRAVELS, a book I gobbled up when about 12 years old (in an abridged version for children), and still own. However, at that age I didn’t fully appreciate that it was much more than a grand adventure tale — it’s also a masterpiece of parody and social/political satire, as exemplified by the enmity between the empires of Lilliput and Blefuscu over which end of an egg should be broken first before being eaten — a conflict which put Gulliver in the middle between the Big Endians and the Small Endians. Well, I suppose that makes just as much sense as real people fighting over whose god is the Big Enchilada.

    Let us turn now to three quotations from the unabridged GULLIVER’S TRAVELS:

    Here commences a new dominion acquired with a title by divine right. Ships are sent with the first opportunity; the natives driven out or destroyed; their princes tortured to discover their gold; a free license give to all acts of inhumanity and lust, the earth reeking with the blood of its inhabitants: and this execrable crew of butchers, employed in so pious an expedition, is a modern colony, sent to convert an idolatrous and barbarous people.

    The tiny Lilliputians surmise that Gulliver’s watch may be his god, because it is that which, he admits, he seldom does anything without consulting.

    It is a maxim among these lawyers, that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again: and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind. These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions; and the judges never fail of decreeing accordingly.

    I close with three more Swift quotes, the last of which I intend to inscribe on a club to beat anyone who would disparage my stunning cunning punning:

    When the world has once begun to use us ill, it afterwards continues the same treatment with less scruple or ceremony, as men do to a whore.

    Words are the clothing of our thoughts.

    Punning is a talent which no man affects to despise except he that is without it.

     

    –30–

     

     
    • linnetmoss 7:26 am on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      If only there were more authors with the wit of these two! Love the quote about punning 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:34 pm on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Both seem to have had much in common as to how they viewed their fellow man, though I gather Swift was regarded as even more of a misanthrope than Twain. In any case, is there really much difference between a realist and a misanthrope, other than a matter of degree? 😦 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 7:59 am on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      People are ambitious. They come up with rationales as they go or afterwards.

      Like

      • mistermuse 1:47 pm on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Right you are, Don — though I wouldn’t confine coming up with rationales just to the ambitious. For example, I have no problem coming up with rationales for being a couch potato on Sundays, because, as I tell my wife, watching football keeps me out of trouble.

        Like

    • arekhill1 10:23 am on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Substitute “women” for “eggs” and the passions of the Small Endians regarding the Big Endians become more understandable. Is this what Swift really meant?

      Like

      • mistermuse 2:13 pm on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Well, given the Swift quote about how men treat a whore, it appears he was able to put himself in a woman’s place and see things from her viewpoint. He was, after all, a priest in the Church of Ireland (a branch of the Anglican Church), which afforded him somewhat more latitude (in theory) than if he’d been a Catholic priest.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 8:24 pm on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You’re not a Psychopath Muse, who sees people as objects that just need to be swept out of the way on your way to wherever and whatever. Perhaps on the way to the greater good.

      Like

    • mistermuse 12:14 am on December 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, I’m probably more of a muse-anthrope — but whatever I am….

      Like

    • Jane 12:54 am on December 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I also loved Gulliver’s Travels as a child (the abridged version). It was only much later in life I understood that there was more to it than a children’s story. I must admit I have never read the unabridged version so thank you for sharing some of it along with your thoughts. Just a comment on abridged versions. I read so many as a child and they were a great way to introduce me gently and enjoyably to many great authors and playwrights. Reading Shakespeare’s plays as a book of stories with pictures as a child was great preparation for being able to understand his works later.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:57 am on December 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I appreciate your comment. I didn’t appreciate Shakespeare until later because I wasn’t “properly” introduced to him as a child. But, as they say, all good things come to those who wait (if you live long enough, which, fortunately, I have).

      Like

    • Outlier Babe 10:50 am on February 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I have read the unabridged version but see I must go back and not only do so again, but again annually or so. Will buy a copy. Hadn’t read “Travels” since college. Decades later, I’m slower–less swift 😉 –but more patient. That makes me smart enough now to read Swift properly.

      (Aspie ego-saving non-sequiter: I was always smart enough to read Twain properly.)

      I like your posts so far, Muse-Man. Maybe I’ll read some more some time. If I’ve got nothin’ better to do.

      –O. Babe

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:15 pm on February 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      That makes two of us, O. Babe, but I hope to read more of your posts sooner rather than….well, as soon as possible after researching, writing and editing my next post on Feb. 10 (I’m cursed with being something of a perfectionist, so it takes me a few days put it all together & get it – hopefully – right).

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:03 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , creativity, depression, , , , , mental health, original sin, , , religion   

    A QUESTION OF DEPRESSION 

    Countless studies have shown that people who suffer from depression have more accurate world views than nondepressed people. Depressed people do not nurture the cheering illusion that they can control the course of their lives. And they understand, all too acutely, the basic conditions of existence: that their lifespan is just a brief blip in the cold sweep of history, that suffering is real and ongoing, that they and all the people they love are going to die. That outlook is known as depressive realism. Depressed people might be unhappy, but–when it comes to these big-picture, existential matters–they are generally more right than the rest of us. –Kathryn Schulz, author of BEING WRONG

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    The National Institute of Mental Health lists six forms of depressive disorder/depression: major depression, persistent depressive disorder, psychotic depression, postpartum depression, seasonal affective disorder, and bipolar disorder (aka manic-depressive illness). NOT listed is Depressive realism.

    I have never given much thought to depression (in the listed sense), probably because no one I’ve known (that I’m aware of) suffered from depression. However, the Schulz quotation strikes a chord because I’ve “suffered” from realism for years (since I’ve been free of inherited Catholicism), but without becoming depressed as a result….though heaven knows I have good reason to be (and perhaps should be), given that I “understand, all too acutely,” the reality Schulz cites. Why am I not (by N.I.M.H. standards) depressed? Why isn’t everyone depressed?

    There are palliatives available before depression might come into play — for some, there is no shortage of such catholicons as drugs, alcoholism, power addiction, and yes, religion, to hold the wolf of reality at bay or serve as “the cheering illusion” that all’s well that ends well. Who knows, maybe all does end well, after all….but, given the mean time in the meantime, you could’ve fooled me. Life seems to imitate a product designed and built (sooner or later) to fail, but am I depressed? No….and, I take it, neither are you. Why not?

    Well, it’s not as if life were an unmitigated disaster, that’s why — at least, not for most of us. The half-full part of the glass, I wouldn’t miss for the world. Even if our futures get short shrift, if our talents go under-appreciated, if we see ignorance, arrogance and greed thrive — even if love goes south — was it not “better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?” No matter what is terribly wrong with the world (thanks to both the Creator, if any, and the created), we see in small children not original sin, but original innocence (perhaps our original innocence), the sheer joy of being alive, the promise of hope….and we hope to God or Fate that their promise doesn’t go up in smoke.

    After due consideration, my take-away from all of this is that if we really want to get it right, do not go gentle into that good night*; there is a more challenging way: depressive realism. Think about it. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.*

    *from the poem by Dylan Thomas

     

     

     
    • Mél@nie 5:22 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Depression is a real illness(disease), unfortunately… completely different from sad(down) “seasons” like blues or spleen that we all experience now and then… what we call in French “le mal de vivre” = the difficulty of living…

      • * *

      I love Dylan Thomas poems… 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 6:33 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the translation of that four-word expression – somehow it sounds much better in French than in English. 🙂 Sometimes I wish I hadn’t let my high school French fall by the wayside – such a beautiful language!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Mél@nie 4:25 am on November 2, 2015 Permalink

          avec plaisir! 🙂 btw, we’re proud of our American son-in-law who is fluent in French after almost 18 months over here… he’s considered kinda “an intellectual”(LOL!) by his American folks… 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

    • Don Frankel 5:50 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Dr. Don says Kathryn Schulz suffered from Depression. Most Depression goes untreated as most people who suffer from it have no awareness of it. The only time people seek treatment is when they can’t function. If you’re able to get up, do your ADLs and got to work well most people figure they’re okay. But they’re not. Dr. Don is convinced that all Alcoholism and Drug use is caused by people self medicating their mental illness. Just remember that Dr. Don is unlicensed in all 50 States and anywhere else for that matter. And, he only takes cash so most people don’t listen to him. What can we say other than quel dommage.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 7:08 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        After having read Kathryn Schulz’s book, I have to say that I’m on the same page in almost every respect….so much so that if she suffered from depression, I highly recommend it (or at least what grew out of it) for the rest of us. As for the rest of what Dr. Don says, I defer to his greater knowledge of the subject (of actual depression); his analysis seems on the money (cash only).

        Quel dommage, indeed.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Midwestern Plant Girl 6:00 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not only a member of the depressive reality group, I’m the president! 😉
      Great post! I am trying to cancel my membership to this club, I’ve deleted my TV, stopped listening to radio, but reality keeps creeping in. On the outside, no one knows about my secret club status. I guess I popped the cork on that now. 😃

      Liked by 2 people

      • Joseph Nebus 10:23 pm on November 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I suppose they just keep losing your cancellation notice at the depressive reality club. Figures that would keep going wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:11 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’ll drink to that! But your secret is safe with me – I won’t tell a soul. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jane 5:36 am on October 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I can certainly relate to the quote and your own thoughts on this. I am prone to depressive realism. I also tend to be someone who soaks up the feelings of those around me. It is difficult for me not to see the pain of others and want to relieve it. My therapy for depressive realism is spending time in nature and also being proactive when I can. So if I can see a way I can help to improve something or give relief to someone, I give it my best shot. Nature is a soothing drug for me though. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 1:12 pm on October 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        And I, in turn, can relate to your comment, Jane (in fact, I’m starting to think we might be related). Seriously, though, spending time in nature has done wonders for me as well, and giving relief to someone can be encapsulated in one word: empathy (politicians, take note!).

        Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 10:36 am on October 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Whenever I feel the drab side of life pressing in, I take comfort in the thought that anything that ever happened to anyone else could happen to me, but most of it won’t. Then I have a beer.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 1:26 pm on October 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        An admirable philosophy, indeed. Some people might say it would be better to pray, but beer does just as much good and contributes more to the economy. Besides, you can’t drink prayer while watching football.

        Like

    • Don Frankel 10:51 am on November 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Depression can definitely give people great insights. I’m thinking Hemingway here.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arkenaten 3:33 am on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Except that he shot himself … one ‘insight’ he may have gotten wrong?

        Like

      • Mél@nie 4:28 am on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Don, I love Hemingway’s works and he loved… France! 🙂 btw, Ernest’s medical record was publicly released in 1991 and it did confirm his diagnosis: hemochromatosis – an incurable genetic disease that causes physical damage, severe psychiatric and neurological disorders, which might explain suicides in the Hemingway family: his father, his brother, his sister…

        https://myvirtualplayground.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/ernesto-mi-amor/

        Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 7:23 am on November 2, 2015 Permalink

          I can highly recommend taking time to click on & read Mel@nie’s post (above) to anyone with even a moderate interest in Hemingway. I read it when first posted, and found it fascinating!

          Like

    • mistermuse 7:15 pm on November 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, your mention of Hemingway led me to check for other notables who are “presumed to have had depression” (according to Wikipedia). Among those on the list are Woody Allen, Hans Christian Andersen, Julian Assange (of WikiLeaks fame), Barbara Bush, Truman Capote, Ray Charles, Winston Churchill, Joseph Conrad, Rodney Dangerfield, Larry David, Charles Dickens, Bob Dylan, Wm. Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Audrey Hepburn, Franz Kafka, Stephen King, David Letterman, Meriwether Lewis, Abraham Lincoln, Herman Melville, Michelangelo, Marilyn Monroe, Bill Murray….and that’s just the first half of the alphabet, which for some reason doesn’t include Don Frankel and mistermuse. Maybe if we tell Wikipedia how depressed we are that we’re not on the list, they’ll include us.

      Liked by 1 person

    • literaryeyes 1:03 pm on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Depressive realism isn’t a mental illness. It may be a sign of health, and so is Positive realism, which you write about. They’ve got to be balanced. Depression is a serious, sometimes fatal disease, and very painful to experience. As someone who’s been through Major Depression, I say, count me out of the fan club!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 1:42 pm on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      In hindsight, the last sentence of the first paragraph (after the opening quote) of my post probably should have included the words (“, and properly so,”) after “NOT listed” to make it clear that Depressive realism not only isn’t on the list, but doesn’t belong on the list. However, since you agree that Depressive realism is a sign of health, I don’t quite get why you (or Midwestern Plant Girl, for that matter) would want out of the club! 🙂 In any case, as someone who’s been through Major Depression, perhaps if would be helpful to others to relate here (or on your own blog) HOW you got through it, unless it’s too painful to re-visit. Be that as it may, may I extend sincere congratulations (if that’s the right word) for having done so.

      Like

    • linnetmoss 6:30 am on November 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m reminded of the Oxford don who when asked whether his atheism wasn’t terribly depressing, observed that he was looking forward to a good lunch 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:29 am on November 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      ….not unlike arekhill1 (eleven comments ago) having a beer.

      Like

    • RMW 12:10 pm on November 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don’t wish to make light of anybody else’s debilitating illness but I’ve been diagnosed with clinical depression (whatever that is) on at least three occasions… I refuse to take medication as artificial happiness doesn’t appeal to me. I’ve learned that dragging myself out the door and walking as far as my legs will take me is a great antidote. But other times I sit with it and let it do its thing… you can learn a lot about yourself. A glass of wine doesn’t hurt either, but over-indulging can definitely make it worse. For me it’s a matter of balancing the good with the bad… I know that wheel will be turning and the sun will come out at some point… and you can’t have the day without the night!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:52 pm on November 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I appreciate your comment. I feel as if I have a better understanding of depression since writing this post, thanks to yours and previous responses. I sometimes wonder why I don’t fall into depression (knock wood), given that I have a pretty fatalistic attitude toward life, but maybe that itself is the reason. When you don’t look at the world through rose-colored glasses, what you see is the reality you’re not surprised to see, as opposed to being overwhelmed by it. I suppose that makes me a cynic, but at least I’m a cynic with a sense of humor. 😦 🙂

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:04 pm on August 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: doctrine, dog days, dogma, , , , Isaac Asimov, karma, , religion, , time flies when you're having fun,   

    DOGMA DAY AFTERNOON 

    Here it is, the afternoon of August five, and my spirits have taken a dive. In my last post, I let it be known that frequent publication was becoming an over-extended labor of love, and I’d need to pare down my postings to one every five days, starting today.

    Little did I realize at the time that August 5 is WORK LIKE A DOG DAY. So much for taking it easy just as I try to ease into a more liberating schedule. The bright spot, however, is that August 5 looks to be a temporary glitch, offset, as fate would have it, by August 10 (LAZY DAY) and August 15 (RELAXATION DAY)….or,  MAKE-UP FOR AUGUST 5 DAY and PHONE-IT-IN DAY, as I call it. That’s a pun, in case you weren’t paying attention.

    Meanwhile, if I must work like a dog today, the post that suggests itself is about dogs. Problem is, I haven’t had a dog since I was a boy, and frankly, I don’t have much interest in writing about some other man’s best friend, or even dogs in general. So, if it’s OK with you (and even if it isn’t), I’m going to write instead about a pet peeve of mine which, in its own way, is even more of a dog: dogma.

    My dog-eared dictionary defines dogma doubly as a declamation of doctrines deemed true by a religious sect, and/or as an assertion of beliefs or unproven principles proclaimed to be absolute truth. Well, I suppose every dogma must have its day, but unfortunately, no dogma is satisfied with so limited a lifespan. Come to think of it, neither is this post — it needs to live five days, or I’m barking up the wrong tree with my new schedule. It therefore behooves me to call upon some dead wags and wits whose quotes on the subject survive them, and will hopefully survive being posted here:

    Sorry, but my karma just ran over your dogma. –George Carlin

    On the dogmas of religion as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and all others, , and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind. Were I to enter on that arena, I should only add to the number of Bedlamites. –Thomas Jefferson

    Dogma does not mean the absence of thought, but the end of thought. –G.K. Chesterton

    Until every soul is freely permitted to investigate every book and creed and dogma, the world cannot be free. It is amazing to me that a difference of opinion upon subjects we know nothing with certainty about, should make us hate, persecute and despise each other. –Robert Ingersoll

    So the universe is not quite as you thought it was. You’d better rearrange your beliefs, then, because you certainly can’t rearrange the universe. –Issac Asimov

    Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance, it was done by dogma, it was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods. –Jacob Bronowski

    Believe those who are seeking truth. Doubt those who find it. –Andre Gide

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Enough. That does it until August 10 (LAZY DAY), when, I dare say, the effort that goes into my post will be considerably less dogged. If five days away seems far off, remember this:

    Time’s fun when you’re having flies. –Kermit the Frog

     

     

     
    • arekhill1 12:11 pm on August 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      As the wise man once said, “Everybody has to believe in something, and I believe I’ll have another beer.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:37 pm on August 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        That is true wisdom indeed, Ricardo. In fact, I believe I’ll drink to that.

        Like

    • DoesItEvenMatterWhoIAm? 1:46 pm on August 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      What an excellent post with perfect quotes! Carlin was such an intelligent and observant soul. Take it easy my friend, rest up, and I’ll “see you” again in 5 days! Xoxo Melanie

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:45 pm on August 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Did you notice that even his name – CARlin – went perfectly with his quote? Now that’s what I call karma! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • DoesItEvenMatterWhoIAm? 4:06 pm on August 5, 2015 Permalink

          Yes! It’s awesome!

          Like

    • Don Frankel 3:31 pm on August 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      This is apropos as these are the Dog Days of Summer. Now I’m working on another theory, a rather involved and of course all encompassing theory of everything a la Stephan Hawking type thingy and it’s Everyone Got Paid. But it’s too complex to explain in this space or even in my mind, so it may never see the light of day.

      Like

    • mistermuse 3:55 pm on August 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Personally, I like Kermit the Frog’s theory: just take it as it comes.

      Like

    • mistermuse 7:42 pm on August 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Well, perhaps if a dog ate something that didn’t agree with him (like maybe a frog), he might turn green. And if he ate it for lunch, it could be a Dog Day Afternoon. And if it’s a Dog Day Afternoon, I think we’ve seen that movie before.

      Like

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