Archive for the ‘Sunday School Truancy and other moments of Epiphany’ Category

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just a thought…..

September 28, 2014

If I am free to define the nature of what I consider to be the “Creator,” which I believe I am under provisions within the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution,  and as those documents direct that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are “unalienable rights”….”endowed by their Creator”…(note the reference to THEIR Creator rather than THE Creator)…does it not follow that it is I who define those rights deemed “unalienable” rather than some complex edict by government?

 

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My own planet…..

August 25, 2013

so, I get to make the rules….

Alright, I’m sick of this shit. I’m going to start my own planet and I get to make the rules this time. I mean, I give credit where credit is due to the Holy Charlatans of tradition, but without exception none of them got it right. My turn. Get the $@#% out of my way.

Rule Number One

  • No deities allowed. As mentioned, every other PooBah that ever tried this shtick mucked it up, so let’s clear the board of that crap once and for all. That includes me. Once I light the fuse on this thing, I’m outta here and they’re on their own. It’s not that the others didn’t have some great ideas. They did, but they were a little short on checks and balances.

Rule Number Two

  • Residents will not be compelled to do anything. While there will be a handful of somewhat emphatic “don’ts”, it will otherwise be a self-service operation. This may seem a tad Liberal, but, I assure you, it is not. For example, a man doesn’t have to work, but by the same token nobody else is compelled to feed, clothe, educate, house, chauffeur him around or kiss his golden ass either.

Rule Number Three

  • Everything from the theocratic dictatorship approach to the “if it feels good, do it” fiasco has been tried at one time or another, and inevitably each became entangled in its own principles and, like serpents chewing on their own tails, eventually ate themselves. Now, I don’t have any brilliant NEW ideas that haven’t been tried every which way already, and I’m not particularly hot about reinventing the wheel, so I think I’ll just pick from the “been there, done that” models that showed the most potential and whittle ‘em down a bit.

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Take the Ten Commandments, for example. They nailed some pretty universal thoughts about preferred human behavior regardless of who was humming the tune. Other cultures that had never come within a thousand miles of the folks that floated that one, and never heard of them either, managed to put together their own little “student handbooks” that basically hawked the same rules.

I decided to whittle the Big Ten down to a couple, however, to eliminate some of the pitfalls that developed, and to get rid of a couple of things that annoyed me. After all, it’s going to be my planet.

First of all, I believe that a good framework needs to be simple enough to cover the critical basics, yet still have the potential to enjoy an infinite tenure. The devil is in the details, as they say, and that’s exactly what tripped the others up and ignited their shortsighted nine foot leaps over the old ten foot manure pile of life. Micromanagement is bad management. The truly ingenious innovator sits on his ass on some tropical isle while everybody else does all of the work and keeps things running smoothly.

The absolute FIRST thing to go has to be the Mandated Groveling. With all due respect, that “You shall have no other gods before me” line was a bit over the top if you ask me. These are people were talking about here, not good little girls and boys out of some Santa Claus skit. Authority doesn’t work. They’re oppositional by nature, and egocentric to galactic extremes to boot. All deities have tried in one way or another to get that kite in the air, each with disappointing results. If you tell a human being to have “no other gods before me”, he’ll say “Sure….except for myself, of course.” I mean, even fish don’t line up to starb’d and jump in the boat just because some Maine Guide Wannabe snaps his fingers and says “Git yer asses in here! ” Success requires finesse, and guile, and human beings, for all of their shortcomings, are a lot smarter than fish.

So, anyway, I did away with that First one, and the Second one, too. They were just self-serving anyway and I don’t think either one had a whole lot to do with function or sustainability. I have a hunch that if everything rolls out smoothly and I stay the heck out of the way, they’ll figure it out on their own eventually anyway, and I’ll get the credit and just enough groveling to wet my whistle but not enough to make me kiss my own ass out of some sort of misguided sense of infatuation. I also saw fit to dump the Third as well. I mean, really, do I give a northbound rat’s south end if some poor sap drives his thumb into the bench top with a hammer and launches a string of F-bombs while blaming the entire instance of his lousy aim on me? Pffft. I’ve got more ego strength than that.

Similarly, I’m sure the whole “Sabbath” thing works for some folks, but history shows that, even when people were killed in unimaginably cruel and creative ways for noncompliance, the idea never achieved independent perpetual momentum. In fact, every time some earthbound self-anointed Honcho got too big for his britches, some of his flock said “%$#& this!” and split off to organize their own little franchise. It didn’t take too many hundreds of years for this mechanism to render the entire game both irrelevant and ridiculous, not to mention over crowded with “My god can kick the crud out of your god” carnie barkers. Like a snake eating itself, tail first.

That whittles it down to Six remaining “edicts”, if you will, but quite frankly I can only justify leaving two of them in that format while the other four are more like good suggestions or a heads-up to common sense. Let’s take the four being demoted to “suggestions” first.

[a] Honor your father and your mother

  • Well, now that just makes sense in most cases. While not all parents have a whole lot of sand on their beaches, if you know what I mean, most are well intentioned and really do love their kids. If a kid lives through the first half dozen years, the folks did a decent job. A little gratitude and respect is warranted. There are exceptions, because this respect thing swings both ways. Mean, incompetent people who couldn’t manage a goldfish, let alone a real live kid deserve, at best, a little pity, but certainly not “love” or respect. Just because, through an accident of nature, two people facilitate the initiation of a unique chemical process that results in an eight pound chunk of totally dependent potential at their feet nine months later. Whatever the contributing factors might have been, Potential doesn’t owe them squat at that point. In fact, they owe him/her, and will for the next fifteen or twenty years. What they get in return, besides common courtesy and respect, should generally be a reflection of what kind of environment they provide for little Master or little Miss Potential. Simply put, if the parents make an honest effort to do the best they can with what they have to offer, and expose their offspring to positive behaviors and experiences, they most likely will receive courtesy, respect, and even some love in return without the need for any “mandate”. And if the kid turns out to be a jerk anyway, that’s unfortunate but at least the parents have clear consciences. After a certain point people have to start cleaning up after themselves and stop expecting the “P’s” to keep acting like they’re broom-wielders in curling match lubricating the ice for the stone in play.

[b] You shall not commit adultery

  • It kind of makes sense for various groups of like-minded people to organize into communities of some sort. Biologically speaking, it enhances the chances for each to survive, and thus to hook up with an appropriate mate and reproduce, which in turn enhances the likelihood that the species itself will survive. This is what human beings tend to do. The communities develop “social mores”, or rules, that reflect the general behavioral and interpersonal interactions of the people involved. I happen to dance to the tune that says a man with a mate stays close to home and on his own side of the fence, and likewise his mate should do the same. However, on this planet, all sorts of variations of that theme have been tried, and if what enjoys consensus acceptance in one group would be considered a bizarre lifestyle in some other group, then that group should mind its own business lest their “whips” backlash and pop them between their self-righteous eyes. Societies that have practiced limited relationships, as opposed to the “free-for-all” model, seem historically to have been the more successful, but I think that is for the societies themselves to discover and establish as their group expectation (“mores”, values). Busy-body micromanagers, pushing their own particular agendas on the masses has simply led to hundreds of differing groups killing each other in the name of “good” down through the ages.

    Each has to decide his or her path and act accordingly. If it flies, there won’t be backlash. Life is good. If the behavior misses the mark or really pisses everybody else off, the smart money is on those who clean up their acts.

    I have bigger fish to fry than worrying about morals.

[c] You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor

  • So, basically, the suggestion is don’t lie about someone else, you know, like don’t blame your shit on him, or try to “steal” credit for something cool he might have done. More about thievery later. Bullshit artists happen, and I’ve got a tropical beach to warm my ass on, so let them handle it, I say. Most humans can catch a lie just by paying attention to a sense they tend to feel in the “gut”, so they are quite capable of self management. From my observations, however, the problem has been that just about everybody on this planet has been so busy trying to keep track of their own lies that there’s been little time or energy left over to develop that skill. Well, they’d better learn, because I’m no pinch hitter.

[d] You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

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  • Again, this is more of a suggestion or a reference to common sense than a viable “rule”. For one thing, what goes through a person’s mind doesn’t have to go through his or her life. If trying to keep tabs on what several billion human beings are doing sounds like a tall order, trying to keep tabs on what they are thinking would be ridiculous. Besides, once a human has packed his bags and headed off into the sunset to seek his fortune and have a few beers with friends, some old fart constantly nagging him is considered annoying and rude. Send me a note at “Tropical Isle” and let me know how it works out. On second thought, don’t bother…If some guy wants to do his neighbor’s wife and she lets him, they probably deserve each other. If the neighbor gets ugly about it, hey, “as ye sow… ”, and all of that. If he starts going after the dude’s livestock, too, though, well, he’s got issues.

That leaves just TWO items that I’m going to leave intact, but with a few revisions. As I’ve pointed out, simplicity and non-micromanagement are favorite goals of mine. So, let’s talk about the First Iron Clad Rule :

[I] YOU SHALL NOT MURDER!

That’s pretty damned clear. Unlike previous and existing planets, however, MY planet will have NO exceptions, NO special circumstances, NO trumped up procedures like trials and the like whereby committees can dress up in good clothes and exude piety while cooking up ceremonies and rites whereby they can consider themselves innocent of murder in the “official” taking of another life in retribution for the unauthorized taking of another life. Bull funky. If a person is set upon by another person who is intent upon murder or mayhem, and the victim of the attack puts out the perpetrator’s lights in the process of trying to defend himself, well, that’s too bad. No foul.

The same thing goes for wars and things like that as well, and this ties in with the Second Iron Clad Rule . There are only two reasons large groups of people go to war with each other. One reason is that a group has no choice because the other group attacked them and they have to defend themselves. The other reason is to attack another group in order to steal their stuff, steal their lands, mess with their women, or, Me forbid, as mentioned earlier, ugh, to mess with their livestock.

Violators of this Rule Number One won’t be “murdered”…. hey ….I want to practice what I preach, ya know? But, they will be evicted. They will be summarily removed from My Planet and deposited elsewhere, probably alone, so they can’t harm others again.

[II] YOU SHALL NOT STEAL!

It’s not complicated. A person pretty much knows what’s his and what isn’t. Communities can come up with ways to resolve disputes. For practical considerations, communities can “own” stuff collectively on behalf of the members; things like roads, schools, and so forth. The bottom line is, people glomming onto stuff that isn’t theirs won’t be tolerated. Those that make a habit of doing so will cause me to take time off from my tropical beach, and that will annoy me. A lot. Like violators of Rule Number One, they will be summarily escorted to alternate living quarters. If they happen to have any stuff not pilfered from others, it will go with them. If not, oh well.

It needs to be pointed out here that theft can be committed against more than just tangible stuff like lawnmowers, golf balls, cars, horses, and money. This will be the most challenging to deal with because the topic of “thievery” is historically a hotbed of hair splitting. I will encourage the people to practice honesty and to teach that as a value, but the onus will be on them to split the hairs, as long as they don’t go too far. This is a self-policing kind of rule, actually. A good rule of thumb might be, if a person gains at the involuntary expense of another, some sort of theft has probably been committed. One can, in this sense, steal truth, time, freedom, honor, and so on.

So, there it is….. the general plan for My Planet. I don’t much give a toot what they call it as long as they don’t try to name it after me. It is what it is, and if it works, good for them and they get the credit; if not, c’est la vie. Not my problem.

It will be a nice place, at least according to my standards; plenty of clean water, a variety of flora and fauna, healthy soil, and all of that stuff. I realize that there’s a fifty-fifty chance they’ll make a sewer out of it, but that means there’s also a fifty-fifty chance they’ll keep it in pristine condition. You can give some men gold and they’ll make lemon juice. Go figure. I hate to imagine what such an idiot could do with a lemon……

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