Visits

Friday, January 30, 2015

character

One finds, as one lives and grows older, that he has all along been developing a life philosophy – by trial and error, through experience, through education and knowledge, through hardship, through heartache, through interpreted memory and through every other ingredient of life – all having been submitted to the influence of one’s innate, unnamable proclivity of character – so that, finally, what has been instinct or error, intution or inspiration, begins to coalesce into conscious choice, a natural measure of action, as if one were reading an instruction book or a ‘how to’ manual that has been imprinted on his heart and mind. Life has trained us at last to be ourselves, not subject to the winds of opinion or to tyranny or to threat or to contentiousness, but guided by the sure lights of what we we have become, what we know. We apply, in older years, not experiment but experience, not emotion but distinction.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

caught in the act

I have taken lately to closing the front gate when I leave the house, not for fear of robbery but for fear that the big fat brown dog who regularly patrols the neighborhood will show up to raid my garbage bin. She has been successful in this pursuit several times now and has caused me no small amount of trouble in cleaning up after her. I would not mind so much if she were judicious or selective in her methods, but no, she must topple the bin altogether and scatter its entrails throughout the carport and driveway. Nor does she make any effort to clean up after herself before leaving. Therefore, she will find an iron gate today separating her from her spoils and may, one hopes, take pause to consider the finer points of civilized behavior. ��

The culprit in action.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

More Adventures

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Walking to the nearby store always comes with an adventure of some sort, whether that involves chatting with a new friend, seeing some unusual sight or event, or, indeed, encountering an incident like tonight's. I had bought a few small items in the store, and then ordered a chocolate crepe for my wife at the stand outside. I talked to an old fellow while I waited for my crepe, then started on my way home. There was a motorbike parke...d at the side of the street and, as I passed by, the fellow on the bike stopped me with some words I could not recognize. Being always curious, I stopped to try to understand what he was saying. I couldn't make heads nor tails of it. It may as well have been Swahili. He then started to squeeze the roll of toilet paper in one of my bags. What could this mean? He then reached down and squeezed well, my penis! Ah ok, I see. But nah, no thanks, man. Homey don't swing that way. Lol. I'm curious yeah, but not THAT curious

Monday, January 26, 2015

Propaganda

More and more often, we see common people expressing uncommonly vicious opinions, inspired by what they see, very much in passing, on the social networks. By “common”, I mean to indicate people who have no particular knowledge of the issues addressed. Rather, they have read one prejudicial article and swallowed hook, line and sinker that which is truly no more than propaganda. This sort of dumb naivety happens with alarmingly increasing frequency and often involves a single ...minded inclination to embrace the counter-intuitive as a matter of popular habit. This makes them both smart and safe, and saves them the trouble of having actually to investigate a matter. Examples of such sheepish behavior are countless and run the gamut from politics to race, social issues to religion. I’m thinking just now of the fashionable backlash against a movie and a book called “American Sniper”, the story of a Navy Seal who served 3 tours of duty in Iraq. This man, they say, was not a hero, but a liar, a racist, and a murderer. Personally, to begin with, I don’t know that the story makes him a hero at all. It describes him as a soldier doing his duty, the mission for which he was trained. Every soldier is a killer. That’s the job. A reviewer in Russia Today states that this Seal hated Iraqis, therefore was a racist and therefore killed as many as he could – becoming the most successful sniper in American history. Leaving aside the difference between an innocent Iraqi citizen and the terrorist with an AK-47 or a pipe bomb, the writer goes on to claim that this sniper injudiciously killed women and children. For the fun of it, I guess. What the biography describes, on the other hand, is a soldier having to face a choice between shooting a woman, for instance, who is running toward fellow American soldiers with an anti-personnel bomb or allowing her to complete her mission because she’s a woman. Of course the writer understands both the dilemma and the obvious choice. He knows, in that part of his mind where honestly is being hidden, that he would do the same thing. But it is not honesty or a comprehensive view that is being presented here. It is merely propaganda, which serves its own blind gods and tells its own lies. Most despicably of all, the writer concludes his piece by insulting the memory of this soldier, who was killed after the war in his efforts to help other traumatized veterans, and tramples on the suffering of his family members by stating, essentially, that the soldier deserved to die for his sins, which, I guess, are best described as his actions as a soldier in the service of his country. It was karma, the Facebook dupes cry. He got what was coming to him, and so did his family members and loved ones. Well, be careful with the notion of karma, for by this measure, so did the Iraqis, and the women and the children, and so, indeed, will this disingenuous writer for Russia Today.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Reset

It seems that for years I have constantly had to press the reset button, return to what is really only history, restore the original, unalterable visage of ruin. One falls again and again to the arms of hope, a dream, imagining a victory beyond all reason, forever forgiving the adamant, unchanging harshness of life; believing that we will surely fall this time to an enduring embrace that never, in point of fact, possessed arms. The tattered flag of abject surrender flies of whole cloth once again at the fore of the proud host of love on its march to the center of cemetery ridge; a remembered face, impossibly beautiful, pretends, with tireless deception, to be something, anything other than a ghost.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Men at Work

They're always building things here in south Bali. Erecting, improving, modernizing - joining the 21st century. I appreciate that. But the thing is, all these projects, wherever you go, wherever you stop, make a lot of noise. There is hammering, drilling, grinding, pounding, and I'm just afraid that, by the time all these advancements are perfected and there is a return to the realm of peace and quiet, I will be long in the grave.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Ill

Well, truly, I had intended to post more here during the holiday season, but, as I turned out, I was sick or the holiday season, and I'm still sick. Coughing, sore throat, ever, tiredness, and so on. Been to the doctor twice to this point and have gotten two antibiotic types, but still not well. A real bummer. Have to wonder how much MS is kicking into this as well, at least in the sense that the immune system is not working properly in general, and so not combating illness with proper precision.

Also, the "eph" key on my keyboard doesn't work, as you will note in scanning the above or any 'ephs'. There are none. Also the shipht key on the right side doesn't work. Sad situation phor a writer to be without his 'ephs' and his 'shiphts'.