American Culture

by Larry Bish on March 27, 2016

January 14 2012I think a lot of big sprawling problems boil down to two aspects of American life—market capitalism and fundamentalist christianity–the foundations of our culture and the two things most destructive within it (just tons and tons of the sacred ”freedom” in those concepts, right? – NOT! So, the problem is culture; American culture–based on greed and superstition, two childish notions fed to our children who continue to believe in them into adulthood. Both are antiquated methods of control. Why is that so hard to face? That’s the real “American exceptional-ism” — Americans are exceptionally childish. The rest of the world knows this and used to say it often until we started killing them — now they’re either hostile toward us or afraid to say what they really think—except our wonderfully good-humored neighbors, the Canadians, who have begun to chide our silly dilemma. If things go a certain way I feel the time may surely come to get serious about moving to Canada; leave this embarrassing lunacy to the lunatics who seem convinced that this is so wonderful the whole world must join in; and they do, some with the same gluttony (or more) that we have ourselves.
When I hear about how the whole world is desperate to come here so they can enjoy our freedom I have to wonder how much of that exuberance is just having the kind of ambition, greed and confidence that would make one want to get into the game of screw your neighbor. To at least some considerable degree that’s what attracts them and why a certain type of American hates them. I mean, how many Americans really believe the inscription on the Statue of Liberty? Do you? Oh? If we take the hypocrisy out of American culture, what will we have? Will we still look the same, or would we have a very different culture? Bernie Sanders is asking us to take an honest look at ourselves and make some changes. Seems too much for a lot of us to handle—but not the young people. Many of us have participated in this sort of movement before and we managed to get a start on evolving out of antiquated ideas about acquisition and success by confronting our open wounds, infestations and oozing sores. We got behind leaders who recognized that love isn’t weakness, nor is it an enemy that prevents ‘progress’ – but it might prevent rape: you can’t destroy the earth if you love it.

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Conservativism

by Larry Bish on August 14, 2014

neurons-large (1)I’ve realized that I do not know enough about conservatism to disagree with it as much as I do. For the most part, though not entirely, my opinion is based upon my understanding of human nature and a visceral reaction to personal observations, which is always insufficient for a deep understanding. I don’t think I’ve been wrong — but I could be. Luckily, I have at my disposal access to all the information I will need to better clarify what, exactly, I find disingenuous and radical about where the conservatives have gone with their ideology. I will post my findings here in APA format. For now I highly recommend this relatively accessible summation by Robert Altemeyer of the long standing research findings  on authoritarianism as a personality type. This is a great place to start for an understanding of where these crazy ideas originate and why they seem to succeed. You can find the book (a bit over 200 pages) here. Quidado. Don’t let the writing style fool you. This guy is on it.

http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

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Morning Stream of Consciousness

by Larry Bish on October 12, 2013

In The DarkYou must awaken to the truth that your sense of separation from the world and from other separate things only reveals that you exist as an expression of life. To flower, to bloom and fulfill that expression will provide the meaning you seek that underlies the purpose that you represent.

 

A separate event apart from all other events, a process within process like a whirlpool in a river or a breeze on a summer day or a drop of rain in a shower or a clap of thunder in a storm. You exist as an expression of life; you exist as an event in time, as an emergence from within a scene or collage. Your sense of you has at most the illusion of separateness which gives you an illusory and minute feeling of identity, insignificant, but possessed of a false claim of superiority and importance. In the grand scheme of things you have no more or less importance than a grain of sand or a blade of grass but in reality your place alongside these expressions of being, these other processes, ideas of eminence and false separation you hold a place equal to but not greater than these . Freedom of choice? Free will? This is simply will to avoid responsibility or assume it in order to be forgiven. A trick. Words come through my brain and I categorize and make sense of them. I have no limitations in this regard. Whole brain? I think so–maybe–but this can only exist in the manner of measure. Some have more integration, some less. Plan? What for? I am that I am. I have no need of plans. Divine? I am you. Do you think yourself divine? We have done this dance for many years now. Don’t you think it time to relax a bit? We may do something interesting, may not—what does it matter? You come to life, live, then die and live no more. Life simply balances not-life. That is all it does. Of course it seems wonderful but why should life seem more wonderful than non-life? Awareness? Do you find yourself aware? Your awareness has specific limitation. At any given time you can only focus on the immediate events close to you or projections of them provided by your technology. That constitutes the fascination with technology—what McLuhan called “the extensions of man”. Man—get out of yourself and realize you are that you are—all that is—the alpha and the omega. Each an illusory separation from all—Part? No. No part exists; the cooperation of atoms of all things, of motion, of energy, is a synergistic whole.

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Snake Pit

August 2, 2013

I wonder why we find it so freakin’ impossible to come up with intelligent people of moral fiber who live by principles based on honesty and integrity to run for elected public service. Is the problem that our culture doesn’t honor or respect people of integrity? Is it that public service attracts slime balls who […]

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Dominion Over the Earth: The Pathology of The Market

April 30, 2013

I do not support the libertarian notion that complete freedom of choice results in the best possible outcome. In fact, I have not found compelling evidence that free will even exists in any straightforward way regarding human decisions. I look back at the policies of Reagan and Thatcher  with as much revulsion as I do […]

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Spam

April 13, 2013

I ate a lot of spam in the Marine Corps. I think that’s because I stood a lot of guard duty in the Marine Corps. I think that’s because everywhere was a combat zone in one way or another. Anyway, if you had a lot of guard duty you ate a lot of  “midrats” (midnight […]

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Kabbalah blah blah blah and other nonsense

March 23, 2013

I recorded a couple of guitar lesson videos last night and they each take an hour or so to upload to YouTube. While that happens I have to occupy myself away from the compulsion to check on and (more importantly) tinker with or I’ll surely click on the wrong tab, button, hyperlink or something and […]

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When to Abandon Compromise

January 26, 2013

My mother hated Ronald Reagan with a ferocity that seemed almost pathological at the time. She spent a lot of energy railing against “Reaganomics”, a term she would spit out as though she’d taken a bite out of a sandwich made with spoiled meat. As I more and more frequently encounter statistics and graphs representing […]

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Happy Mother’s Day

May 13, 2012

‎”Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves and the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem”. – Howard Zinn Also addicts and alcoholics account for at least half of our jail population. I’ve never listened to so many sad stories as I have since starting […]

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Rational Sense

April 24, 2012

You might have wondered recently why so many people, perfectly good, hardworking, intelligent people, consistently act like paranoid schizophrenics; distorting, rejecting and opposing science, promoting disproven belief systems against their own self-interest.  A lot of research has been done on this question. The compelling results indicate that the brains of strictly conservative people work in […]

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