Updates from June, 2016 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • hardie karges 6:18 pm on June 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Brexit, , Lexit, , UK   

    Brexit Through the Gift Shop, Lexit thru the Green Lane (‘Nothing to Declare’)… 

    The Union Flag: a red cross over combined red and white saltires, all with white borders, over a dark blue background.“Bernie Sanders on Brexit: The World Economy is not Working for Everybody” (minor HuffPo headline from the day after the Brexit vote). Get it? Got it. Bernie is a ‘Leaver’, albeit for different reasons than Boris and Nigel; or at least he’s not a clear-cut ‘Remainer’, not even as much as Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, who held his nose and shut his samosa-slot, and meekly supported the ‘Remain’ bloc, only after forty years of protesting the EU and only after his own rise to power. Damn by feint (!) praise, perhaps?

    Yes, there was also a leftist ‘Lexit’ (‘Left Leave’) vote, with the same goal as Brexit, just another reason and another season for getting there. This is the difference between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, and ultimately the reason I couldn’t support Bernie, even though his ideals are closer to mine than Hillary’s. (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:44 am on June 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Religion and Identity; Sex and Spirituality; Penises and Breasts… 

    036

    Christian church in Ethiopia

    Now I have no problem with the LGBTQ community in general and would like to think I could even qualify as the ‘A’ in ‘ally’, not ‘alley’, that sometimes puts the pickle on that little alphabetic sandwich, attached by wooden toothpick and a little smile to last a little while, even though I don’t deliberately seek gays out, though seem to usually have one or two as friends, BUT…

    …that doesn’t mean that I buy the entire narrative, especially the ‘born this way’ rap which was once de rigueur back in the days of last-line don’t-attack-the-victim defense, very quaint and old-fashioned charming now that ‘gender fluidity’ is all the rage, and there is increasingly little to be ashamed of in the first place, so no reason to claim DNA as a defense, if there is no offense, and given the lack of any proof of a ‘gay gene’ any more than a ‘basketball gene’ or even a ‘black gene’, really…

    …given that pigment genes tend to mix, somehow, much less a ‘backpacker gene’, but what concerns me is the identity with sexuality—any sexuality—in the first place. Is this all we’ve accomplished in the last ten thousand years, to come to blows (no pun) over who gets access to whose genitals, and by what means and for what purpose? I guess so. Strike one for civilization, i.e. city-fication.

    We were better off in the wild, where queer was queer, and that was that, no big deal and nothing to fear. Now we’re forced to draw the lines of decency, circling the wagons, dotting ‘I’s and crossing ‘T’s, consulting the prophets and taking a loss.  What a waste of time, and what a loss of dignity, that we’re so busy greasing the wheels (pun) of our lower chakras, that we have no time for the larger questions with the trickier answers, enigmas all wrapped up in riddles and garnished with mysteries left to lightly ferment… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:22 am on June 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Hegel, , , Marx,   

    The Dark Side Dialectic of Religion, Culture and Politics… 

    isis

    ISIL wages war in the Mideast

    We cringe with horror at the antics of ISIL, but they’re very similar to those employed by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR aka ‘Russia’) before them, that previous political entity with objectives almost exactly the opposite. The fact that the USSR crashed almost simultaneously with the rise of fundamentalist Islam is almost too coincidental to be ignored—almost.

    It’s almost like there IS indeed a dialectic of history—thesis, antithesis, synthesis—as theorized by Hegel, regardless of whether it ultimately has anything to do with the means of production, as theorized by Marx. In this scenario, something at least has to be offered up as an alternative to the dominant capitalist-consumerist system, or whatever system happens to be on top at any given time.

    In this view, therefore, there is no one specific dialectic going on at any one given time, but more of a random one—something anything. Sounds a lot like evolution, doesn’t it? Yes, it does, but more like a cultural evolution, a dialectic of ideas, as theorized by Hegel, in which we seem to be subconsciously struggling toward something else–always. Or is it a function of language itself? (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 9:35 am on June 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Now,   

    Religion 232: Eckhart Tolle, Now-ness, Spirituality, and Identity… 

    As you probably already know, thanks to the patronage of Oprah Winfrey and others, Eckhart Tolle has been called “the most spiritually influential person in the world.”  So I was all ready to diss and dismiss him as a charlatan and pop-schlock marketeer, just because he had the temerity to title his obra maestra “The Power of Now”, such now-ness easily classified as ‘cliché’ even, or especially, within high Buddhist circles, if not just by the wannabes, academics and literary hacks like myself…

    Then I decided to actually read his stuff, albeit en espanol, El Poder de Ahora, the work in translation, though he apparently speaks Spanish himself (the English-language e-version is back-ordered for streaming at my library).  Now I haven’t thoroughly absorbed the book yet, but Eckhart Tolle just may be on to something here, something very important, the basis of our identity—or lack thereof…

    Cut to the chase, if you haven’t already: Tolle sees our identifying with our own thought processes as the source of all of our problems.  Wow!  Now I’m not exactly sure yet what he would have us identify with instead, but the effect is palpable, nonetheless. Apparently Tolle would have us identify with ‘consciousness’, albeit one without thought…  (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 6:23 pm on June 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Religion, Linguistics and Politics: the Muslim Problem is an Aryan Problem… 

    IMG_1122

    The ugliest church in the world: Kabul, Afghanistan

    When you think of Islam, you generally think of the Mideast, and all things Arab.  Yet more than half of the total Muslim population lies to the east of the Shatt al-Arab, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and that line that separates Iraq from Iran, Arab from Aryan, them from us.  Huh?  Aryan?  Us? What gives?

    Yes it’s probably no accident that the most problematic of Muslims are our own not-so-distant relatives.  You’ve heard of the Beverly Hillbillies, right?  But what about the Kandahar Killbillies?  Yes, it’s true: one of the peskiest terrorist problems in the world comes from our own relatives from the same original ‘hood out back on the steppes, on a different stairway to a different Heaven, even if exactly the same Semitic god… (More …)

     
    • Dave Kingsbury 9:20 am on June 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      The opposite to labelling and stereotyping … pro-evolutionary, you might say, showing how language is a wordhoard that art can use to reconstruct old ways of looking.

      • hardie karges 9:25 am on June 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        According to prominent micro-biologist, language and DNA function almost exactly the same, in terms of evolution: “no reason why they should, but they do…”

  • hardie karges 11:12 am on June 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Religion 201: Lessons in Humility, Messages for Humanity… 

    Christian God

    Christian God

    “Man is the measure of all things.”  Protagoras (c.490-420 BCE) is the author of that statement, and—with all due respect—I’d say that’s the beginning of the end of us humans as spiritual animals, and the mark of our ascension to the status of corrupt malignant city-dwellers, masters of our own private little domains and little else.  On the one hand, it is a statement of the relativity of all perceptions—okay.  On the other hand, it is a statement of our ignorance and arrogance—ouch!

    We imagine that we are masters of the universe, creators of the cosmos, and lords of the lower two hundred—countries in the world, that is. This is nothing but human hubris, of course, and nothing could be further from the truth.  We live at the mercy of our machines, possessed by our possessions, in the thrall of our inventions and our inventiveness, in love with ourselves and our selfishness, enraptured by our images and our imaginations.  We wallow in our memories and our comforts and our conveniences.

    We Westerners admire ourselves, our successes, our ambitions, our madness, without even questioning the whys and wherefores of it.  We climb naked rock faces, while smiling all the time, oblivious to the danger, addicted to the climb, always looking for a faster computer and a more easily programmable car, pushing envelopes and shuffling papers, rejecting our traditions and annoying our neighbors.  Ego rules! Nobody wants to be the follower, everybody wants to be the Alpha male, while ending up the Alpha a$$hole. (More …)

     
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