Expert Nudity

Posted on January 19, 2016. Filed under: Religion, Science | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Your phrases for today:

  • lowest common denominator = that to which everything can be reduced
  • naked and clueless = that to which everyone can be reduced

It’s not my fault / It’s just bad luck / Everybody has an off day / Maybe next time / It’s just not my day  / Oh, well!  There’s always tomorrow / It’s only a game. 

More than once in our lives each of us feels that everything has conspired to prevent our achieving even a few basic goals.  If you think you’ve heard more of “Close, but no cigar” than your fair share, you are not alone.  Most of us feel the same at least part of the time.

We enter into life at a big disadvantage, having not even a shirt on our backs or knowledge of anything beyond a few basic urges.  Short version:  all are born naked and clueless, and it’s gonna be quite a while before we even figure out r-e-s-t–r-o-o-m.  This assessment includes all of those revered experts who manage to exude an air of  obnoxious omniscience when revealing their “findings.”  Just for fun, imagine the expounding expert naked in front of everyone while trying to figure out the mechanic’s of commode flushing.

In the process of becoming an adult, I learned too much.  In spite of all the self-help manuals and seminars and transcendent gurus revealing how to live long, live happy, and live in wealth, I now suspect that LIFE starts out each living entity with nothing but a single piece of advice…   DON’T DIE.      Whether good, bad, ugly, efficient, tall, short, filthy rich, dirt poor, animal, vegetable or mineral, there is only one rating point under this system called EXISTENCE…   how long did the thing live?

Personally, I was hoping for a little data to work with.

To that end, I have depended heavily on others to fill in the abysmal depths of my ignorance:  parents, whose primary concern was feeding me and my sibs and keeping us safe and healthy; teachers, preachers, priesters, other spirit guiders, Norman Vincent Peale, Mr. Rogers, Abu Bin Adhem (may his tribe increase), Republicans, Democrats, and 18-year old motivational speakers who — from their vast stores of life-experiences — teach the secrets of becoming millionaires in only 1 year or less (a little longer if you are a slow learner)  They all showed and offered their versions of the world to me.  I may be a little slow, but, I finally realized life’s lowest common denominator has  universal application:

  • at birth, EACH and EVERY one of those “experts” was no different from me.
  • One and all, they were born naked and clueless into a dog-eat-dog world where only the lucky and strong win the right to claim another day in the struggle to exist.
  • To survive, each of them adopted a schtick (motivational types might say “career choice”) that brought them the means to survive.

In other words, all of my information providers (with the exceptions of parents, family and friends) were doing a paying job impelled by their own personal agendas.  I have simply been a means to THEIR ends.

Confronted daily with the expert assessments of my social worth, my moral worth, my economic worth, my political worth, I have finally found my happy place:

  • whenever any expert (politician, cosmologist, religionists, journalist, et cetera ad infinitum) condescendingly tries to re-program me, I mentally strip them naked in public view, tape that nice fitting disposable diaper around their loins, convert their babblings to goo-goo, ma-ma, da-da, no no, waaaaaah waaaaaaah, waaaaaaaaaaa…

and suddenly, all is right with my world.

Accepting expert crap without question just hasn’t done it for me, so, I am forced into Plan B which, generally, follows my daddy’s admonition when I was a kid:  believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see.  I now question just about everything from just about everyone.

I have received no navigational instructions in this endeavor, but, then, neither did the so-called experts in everything.  In spite of their airs of omniscience, there is no instruction manual for this EXISTENCE thing…   every living entity has to figure it out for itself.  In the River of Existence, it’s sink or swim, do or die, and hope that that shadowy thing floating toward you is something more substantial to hang onto than a raft of hippo dung…   or the equivalent in expert-speak.

Even so, as the waters of EXISTENCE unerringly flow past, we find that just about everything in it can be defined as varying degrees of dung.  That sort of lends validity to that old saw “up shit creek without a paddle.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Naked and Clueless

Posted on January 18, 2016. Filed under: Journalism, Religion, Science | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

What follows are my opinions.  Since they are free (except for the all-inclusive price of admission), let’s call this an exercise in free speech.

None of this stuff is sanctioned by the AMA, ADA, AKC, ROTC, DOD, BSA, GSA, NRA, NSA, WB A, WWE nor any other organization relying on a bowl of alphabet soup to describe its purpose.

Source material for this lamentation is directly attributable to decades of indoctrination by”experts” who describe how things in this existence really work and how far off the mark my life has been.   In spite of that derived sense of personal inadequacy resulting in an intense need for psychological self-flagellation, I finally figured out they use an expert mixture of no more than 1 part actual observation and no less than 4 parts personal bias (more if the subject is convoluted) all of which is tinged by their self-interests and the need to mark intellectual turf.  It’s that self-serving stuff that has finally inflamed my gullibility node.

Here are just a few flakes from the snow-job “experts” have given me:

  • Cosomoligists.  “We can’t explain why our math is so far off, so we will call it Dark Stuff that no one can see, feel, or prove; fabricate more universes that no one can see, feel, or prove; install a power pack to pull our truckload of WAGs and call it Dark Energy which no one can see, feel, or prove; and add more dimensions to our universe that no one can see, feel, or prove.  With luck, we can cash those government and private grants (a.k.a., pay checks) before anyone can see, feel, or prove what we are up to, thereby showing that we are totally larcenous…   ignorant!” Honest, I meant “totally ignorant.”

 

  • Medical Researcher.  “We can’t explain it so we will say it was a gene what done it, and develop new drugs to correct things…   at least until the litigation attorneys get into the act.  With any luck, we can bank those government and private grants (a.k.a., pay checks) before anyone proves us totally ignorant.
  • General Practitioner.  “I don’t know what you got, but, just for giggles, let’s call it a virus.  Take this stuff I am writing on this prescription pad.  If it don’t work in a couple of days, come back in and we’ll try something else.  Of course, there will be another office visit fee, and, if complications result from this random mix of drugs before we run out of guesses, we’ll send you to a specialist.  He will use bigger words than “virus” and add a surcharge for the larger vocabulary use.
  • The Religionist.  “Vote in the next election the way I have told you.  If you contribute enough, I will see about your reservation in Heaven and send you a prayer mat (or something such) personally autographed by God.  And, for Pete’s sake, would you quit squirming while I feel up your thigh?”
  • Journalists/Media.  Those organizations controlled by government parrot whatever party-line they have been fed.  Those controlled by special interests tell you whatever they think you want to hear.  Those operating under the “freedom of the press” provision of free governments do very little objective reporting…   yellow press, paparazzi-ism, on-line “reporting” with salacious lead-ins to trick you into clicking on ads, surreptitious insertion of secret programs into your computer’s operating systems for scamming purposes…  Yeah, I’m pretty sure the world we perceive is the product of power-moguls and the money grubbers.

This culture of expert opinion has taken on the mantle of Accepted Authority and aspires to the status once held by Religionists in the days of Galileo — that of supreme Authority; hey, when THOSE boys told you to go to hell, they were poker-faced serious.

EVERY expert-for-a-fee-or-fame who ever lived started life just like everyone else:  naked, clueless, and in bad need of schmucks (i.e., gulliable marks) to feed its chosen schtick…   uh, career choice…   for their personal survival.

We, the general public (a.k.a., the Great Unwashed) wear virtual t-shirts that read:

“SCHMUCKS ARE US”

This schmuck is kicking up a fuss ‘cawz the damn t-shirt is the wrong size…   and it chaffs.  Obviously, it was not hawked under the banner of Duluth Trading…   who will be totally surprised by this unrequested mention.

 

 

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Sunday the 4th: North Star

Posted on November 2, 2014. Filed under: Religion, sociology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

North Star

Lindale in Houston

This is not a class in astronomy; rather, it is a highlight to the fact that humans are communal creatures and that their basic characters are shaped, not by a single individual, but, the cumulative effect of numerous associations throughout those pre-adult years.

From cradle to rocking chair, the human psyche transitions through many phases.  The basics of our future selves are laid down, layer upon layer, within our memories in our developing years.  While this is an essential process in the maturation of SELF, it has a serious downside —

…this construction of an individual’s foundation is being overseen by a clueless kid who takes everything as fact — even the “wisdom” espoused by other clueless kids — and incorporates it, without modification, into the structure destined to become ADULT SELF.

Everyone is raised in some kind of culture, and the newbie human absorbs the tenets, practices, rituals, et cetera, of that culture at face value, never questioning the wisdom of the kids, adults, and authorities dispensing it all.  (My mother raised me in a religious environment where many adults of kindred mind instructed me for 18 years on the way I should go.  Between the secular education of public schools and the teachings of the Church, I had a full rucksack of certainties with which to set out on Life’s long road of UN-certainty.)

The young adult following the kid’s improv act will spend the first ten years of adulthood trying to appease the conflicts within as it struggles to reconcile all that old childhood stuff with all the new adult stuff being dealt with in real-time.  Somewhere around the age of 30, the ADULT SELF finally gets to take a lot of childhood stuff out of the attic and label it irrelevant; thusly, childhood gets chalked up to what it really is — a learning experience.

Still, like a hoarder, we hang on to some unresolved issues just because they feel good and, therefore, MUST be relevant.  That reasoning points a finger at the kid’s primary retention technique:  remember the impressions made by persons, events, and concepts rather than the circumstances or reasoning by which they came.  That lack of footnotes becomes the source of all that YOUNG ADULT angst.

In my case, I held on to a recurring impression for several decades.  The names, faces, and time frame of acquisition constituted the totality of those flashbacks.  Accompanying that was a conviction that the persons remembered were of special importance and that, by not remembering, I had lost something that I couldn’t even define.

Through what I consider a special blessing, I have recently had the opportunity to speak to one of those dim memories.

They were an adult couple who taught church youth, a duty they shared with many of the church adults.  One of the  youths they taught was exceedingly shy and shunned attention in any non-family gathering; that remained a social impediment until he was into his thirties.  This couple had been part of the kid’s church background for years, but he did not become aware of them until the later teen years.

The Memory with whom I spoke did not tell me any of that.  I pieced that together after our conversation.  Actually, she did not really remember me at first.  During our conversation, she asked me two unrelated questions which, later, explained one thing to me and caused me to realize another.  The questions and my answers were of no real importance to my enlightenment; what mattered was the seamless manner in which she navigated from my first answer to the second and unrelated question.

As with any adult, the years can take one far from the place and conditions of upbringing.  When encountering someone from “back then,” there is a brief exchange of catch-up questions.  One of them, often, is “Where do you go to church?”  I came to resent the question because my answer does not always please them, and I get the condescending “tut-tut” expressions or verbal disapproval as though they have been appointed my personal judges.

She asked THAT question, and I felt no offense in the slightest.

I answered truthfully, even though I knew she would disapprove of my answer.

Then, without comment or pause or a change in her tone, she changed the subject by asking that second, unrelated question.

  • She did not criticize…   yet I felt criticized;
  • she did not scold…   yet I felt scolded;
  • she did not judge…   yet I felt judged.

It seems that my unexplained Memory was, and continues to be, a superb counselor with the gift of teaching without teaching.

With that demonstration of conversational elan it is easy for me to see why that clueless kid labeled his impression of THIS couple “important.”  Shy and easily embarrassed, he favorably responded to the ease of their interactions:  they accepted him as is and he did not feel awkward in their presence.  To him, they were the same as family.  Exactly why, the kid didn’t know since his  MO was to simply accept things.

JUST HOW DOES ALL OF THIS RELATE TO A STAR?  The North Star is actually not a single star, but an association of several stars closely situated along an observer’s line of sight.  Though Polaris, the brightest one, gets all the press, it is their collective brilliance that has guided humans across this globe for untold centuries.

Likewise, an individual’s inner moral beacon, emanating from the past to illuminate today, does not have a single source; it is the cumulative result of many caring and attentive persons who have lent their efforts to teach us how to walk.  Though we will remember those who especially appeal to our specific needs, it is the combined influence of those mentors that powers a light strong enough to span the length of our lives.

My former — and, it seems, current — Counselor has coaxed the realization of that debt from a very recalcitrant memory.  It is knowledge that serves to deepen the magnitude of the losses that Time has imposed on mortals and is the impetus for these 4 “Sunday” articles concerning Naomi, Ruth, and the Prodigal, each of whom yielded to an inner beacon emanating from their pasts.

Thank you, Counselor, for being a prominent star in my personal sky of uncertainty.  I did not recognize your influence way back there, but, I am well aware of your illumination today.  I am also aware that you were not trying to instruct me, a stranger, in any way; you were simply being yourself, thereby benefitting this stranger just as you benefitted a shy kid long ago.

By the way, that kid never gave the slightest hint about your very charming regional accent.

 

 

 

 

 

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