Updates from November, 2015 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • hardie karges 11:05 am on November 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: carpe diem, , , , turkey   

    Holiday Dilemma: Giving Thanks, Fielding Tanks, Gorging on Techno and Turkey 

    I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it harder and harder to get all smiley for the Holidays when people are being slaughtered in the street, sometimes by the very people we pay to protect us. And the fact that I’m white makes me feel no better about it, that theoretically I can legally ‘stand my ground’ to protect myself from the raging mobs, each one with a knife ready to stab me, a gun ready to shoot me, BUT… I don’t buy it, and I don’t want it. I’d rather walk down the street naked with a bulls-eye on my buttocks than crouch in the shadows with an Uzi and a pocket full of tissues…

    We Americans have lost our way badly, what with our hatreds and our fears and our once good manners now long gone and our bad habits apparently here to stay. There was a time not so long ago when you didn’t even have to lock your doors. I wouldn’t advise trying that now. Anger is the new normal. Fear is the order of the day, and anxiety is the glue that holds it all together…

    We Americans talk about ‘freedom’ as if it were a commodity for sale on the supermarket shelf, but is it really something so simple to define and distribute, for sale to the highest bidder? Freedom is a feeling, a good one, and without it life is wretched. Freedom is that patch of blue in the upper corner of your prison-cell wall, the hole that will never be big enough to crawl out of, but it doesn’t really matter as long as it lets light in… (More …)

  • hardie karges 4:53 pm on November 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , shares   

    Welcome to Social Media; Welcome to Ego-Enhancement… 


    Like Me, Baby…

    Social media is the hippest coolest thing since hot bread, of course, leading many of us to wish and hope that this is the signal and symbol of our entry into a new economy of sharing and creativity. This is our generation, right? Nothing could be more welcome, right? There’s only one problem: it’s all b*llsh*t. This round of capitalism may be even worse than what came before, if that’s possible, the postures of Amazon, Air BnB and others well-known at this point.

    What isn’t so often discussed is the individual’s role in all of this. Anybody who’s ever played the game called ‘FaceBook’, of course, should be familiar with the grade-school level of bullying and boasting that goes on there, under the guise of social media, but it’s even worse elsewhere. On FB, at least, you can always ‘unfriend’ someone or at least ‘block’ them from cluttering up your time-line and news-feed with their incessant insipid nonsense. (More …)

  • hardie karges 8:54 am on November 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Vive La France: Liberte', Fraternite', Hypocrisie…. 

    It’s almost funny—almost—watching everybody get all excited and up in arms about the crimes of Paris, as if 129 dead were the World Trade Towers all over again, when it’s just another slow day in the Mideast where the real war is a typical day in the life. I mean: this is nothing compared to the carnage in Gaza, Palestine, last year, when Israel “mowed the lawn” (Netanyahu’s words) with more than 2000 Palestinian bodies, stacked like cord wood or kindling, take your pick, it’s ‘ashes to ashes dust to dust’ every day of the week for the average Palestinian who’s committed no other crime than being born… (More …)

  • hardie karges 8:32 am on November 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Paris   

    In Memoriam: We Are All One, Like it or Not… 



    Spires In Thailand

    “If you love your lifeyou will lose itIf you give it up in this worldyou will be given eternal life.”

    –John 12:25

    For some reason, that sentiment resonates with me, and many others, I think, that the rewards of this earthly existence are transient and ephemeral, and that there are bigger and better things to do here than getting and spending and counting our money. This is but a brief interlude, by any measure, and it’s a real shame to waste it in mindless murder—or even mindless multiplication. But we’re only human; that’s what we do. We possess. We accumulate. We go forth and multiply… all of which is fine, as long as we don’t get too attached to it, or even worse: ‘fall in love’ with it.

    The events of Paris last week are a good example. Now that the dust has settled and some scores have been settled over the ownership of the land that was settled by our progenitors, it’s not hard to see the vicious circuitry to it all, the battle for one-up-man-ship that pervades all human interactions from the seminal act of sex to the terminal act of death, the jockeying for position and the positioning of jockeys for maximum exposure and maximum penetration. Pounds of flesh have been demanded as retribution and paid in kind over centuries, but nothing has really changed, has it? (More …)

  • hardie karges 7:41 pm on November 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , shorthand, text   

    Heads-up ASAP: LGBTQA's Need Linguistic Boots on the Ground 24/7, LOL… 

    Remember back when newscasters used to say “soldiers in combat,” way back B4 ‘boots on the ground’ became the comfort-food slang for such an activity—and you knew exactly what they meant, not some thinly-veiled bait-click ad for Nikes or Adidas? Aaaahhh, those were the good old days of comprehension and intelligence. And a notice was a notice, not a ‘heads-up’, whatever that means. And all the time was ‘all the time’, not 24/7, certainly not 24/7/365. Homosexuals were gay, if they wanted to be informal, certainly not something like a greasy BLT sandwich with ever-increasing ingredients. (More …)

  • hardie karges 12:47 pm on November 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Sci-Fi Future 

    Remember when science fiction authors used to write about all the little gadgets and inventions we’d have at some point in the future, e.g. high-technology and space travel? Seems quaint now, doesn’t it? Now that we have those things, of course, they envision a dystopian future of bleakness and degradation, blackness and deprivation.

    Sci-fi authors are some pretty smart mofos, like Arthur C. Clarke, after all, who first theorized the geosynchronous orbits that allow our telecom satellites to follow us around in virtual orbit keeping us connected with one another in time if not in space.

    So are you still convinced that somehow we’ll magically dodge a bullet? Your time might be better spent learning some gardening skills, learning some languages, or polishing your hammer and sharpening your axe.

    Fortunately there are still people alive who know how to do sh*t, renaissance-style people whose main career goal was, “no office.” Hi. Enjoy your iPhones, enjoy your AirCon, enjoy the fruits of your official labors while they last, because they probably won’t…

  • hardie karges 12:20 pm on November 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Building the Perfect Religion: Why? 

    The last thing the world needs, really, is a new religion—been there, done that. What we really need is a synthesis of all the old ones. After all, for all the grief they’ve caused us, they’ve also brought goodness many times over that, a fact which atheists tend to overlook, because it fits their narrative. Atheists seem to assume everything was rosy way back when, before religion, but that’s a ridiculous assumption. In all fairness it’s hard to see into the past, but it’s there if you want it. It’s pretty simple, really: “nasty, mean, brutish and short,” as one famous philosopher once put it, Calvin or Hobbes, can’t remember which.

    The only problem with most traditional religions is that the truth, beauty and goodness that they provide, promote and accomplish usually stops at the membership line. If you fall outside that line, then all benefits stop, or in some cases, the wrath of that same loving God will fall upon you—ouch. That’s the problem right there of course, that religions have boundaries and membership requirements that must be respected and adhered to. Ever wonder why that is? (More …)

  • hardie karges 1:54 pm on November 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: communes, hippiedom, intentional communities,   

    In Defense of Millennials, Flashback to Communes… 

    Beyond the super-superficial affectations and customary disses of the ‘Millennial’ brand of bloke—vain, spoiled, shallow, self-centered, self-obsessed—and otherwise obsessed only with their smart-phones and their smart-asses, there is something else happening in this generation that is quite the opposite, quite the story, and long overdue—sustainability.

    After all, what happened to our 60’s-era ideals of slow growth, environmental regulation, and political responsibility? In short: what happened to communes? They’re alive and well, apparently, judging by the number of ‘intentional communities’ springing up around my adopted home of Tucson, Arizona, and elsewhere, too… (More …)

    • davekingsbury 8:07 pm on November 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Yeah, no-growth doesn’t mean no re-investment in production, more no dividend rake-off to financial speculators.

    • hardie karges 8:17 pm on November 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      No more rapacious growth, no more growth for growth’s sake, growth in quality of life…

    • vellissima 8:35 am on February 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      My grandsons are millennials, and I don’t recognize them in the description. One is way more aware than I was at his age, the other is trying to find meaning in his education. What the younger one seems to be focused on is how to make a living and survive while paying attention to the general decline of everything. It is the privileged of his generation that maybe fit the description.
      In a world where we consume 1.5 times our share of the world’s resources, how can we contemplate “growth” with a straight face. Growth in an adult being is either fat or cancer, neither of which is advisable.

  • hardie karges 8:03 am on November 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: alcohol, , , ,   

    Building the Perfect Religion: Humility, Moderation and Sobriety? Ouch… 

    Well, I guess sex is no big deal, after all, in my perfect hypothetical religion, basically just: cover your genitals, please. And don’t do it in public. And hide it from the kids. Dress moderately. Homosexuality is okay, as long as you don’t demand the right to march down Market Street in only your jockstrap. Abortion is a horrible thing, but ultimately a woman’s right to choose, for lack of better options. I would only say to women who see this issue as only an issue of women’s health: we’re talking about a human life here, okay? At some point it becomes murder, which is not okay… what else?

    Like sex, most religions don’t deal with issues of sobriety directly, but many do, being prohibited outright in some. Once again I see no clear path either way, but it has certainly been an object of contention over the years. To this day, many counties and cities in the USA are ‘dry’, not allowing any sales of alcohol; and many others are so restrictive that they accomplish much the same purpose, allowing mixed drinks only in eating establishments, for instance, the only stand-alone bars limited to beer.

    But mention Christianity or the West to much of the world, and the first image that comes to many foreigners’ minds is alcohol—and drunkenness. It’s pretty accurate, really. Historical scuttlebutt is that the Celts invaded the Roman Empire looking for wine, long after they themselves had had a reputation for beer, from which the Spanish word for it—cerveza—comes, apparently. They likely invented wheels and pivoting axles, too, so the buzz is not necessarily bad, just disgusting for a lot of people, it seems. I concur. It’s messy. There are cleaner highs, if you just gotta… (More …)

  • hardie karges 1:07 pm on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    The Decline of Western Civilization: RIP Amerika, Christianity, Capitalism, Democracy, etc… 

    Well, we had a good run, we did, Western Civilization, that is, as first articulated by Greece and Rome, before taken up again by London and Paris some 1000 years later, then New York, Toronto and Sydney for the final roll-out. Democracy was our method, Christianity was our mantra and capitalism was our madness. It worked spectacularly, until now, until we’ve run out of resources and ideas. Now we’re put to the test: what’s next?

    Well, it doesn’t look good for the home team; seems capitalism is something of a pyramid scheme—works fine when you’re on top, with lots of resources and free time. Now other non-Westerners can play the game as well or better than us: first Japan, now China, with India, Brazil, and Russia hot on the horizon. Where does that leave us? Well, it should leave us defining the next era, beyond capitalism, beyond consumption, beyond die-hard democracy. But it’s not.

    We’re totally unequipped for what comes next, all of us Westerners, Amerika the least, screwing up the Mideast, sowing our dreams of democracy, and leaving nothing but chaos in the wake—enough, already. We Amerikans have nothing to teach the world about politics, least of all democracy. We can barely get a budget bill through Congress to pay our debts. Now we’re destroying the environment, while still pushing the political and economic agenda of growth growth growth. We’re sick. (More …)

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