11.22.2003

"Your descendants shall gather your fruits."
-Virgil

How much happiness you have seems to directly correlate with how much you will allow yourself.

I've moved and lived in so many different places in my life that it would take me 15 minutes to count up all the different places I've called home.

Stability was never destined for me. My father has been moving his entire life as well. Every couple years, less as he gets older I suppose.

The tendencies of the father always visit the children.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. In reality, you can predict the downward trajectory of the apple based upon weather conditions, weight of the apple, gravity. You can predict the bounce and roll based on ground characteristics, whether or not it's frozen, etc. The apple doesn't really fall, as if it's something out of control. It follows a predictable chain of events. The final outcome, the apple's resting point on the ground, is predetermined.

So it really shouldn't be surprising that I'm a fuckin' vagabond. I'm just replicating the conditions with which I was raised and are most natural to my genetic composition.

Nor should it be surprising that I harbor unfulfilled artistic pretensions--my father graduated art school, then promptly found employment managing a factory.

You are the composite of your parents genes. There's some elbow room, but your ability to take advantage of it, or even to realize the opportunity (if one even exists) is dependent on mostly-inherited genetic traits (being a go-getter for instance), and therefore basically outside the realm of direct control.

11.21.2003

It's well known that most people aren't good at what they don't do. It's not known. however, that most people are not particularly good at what they do do.

For instance, anyone who fashions themselves a writer would never fashion a sentence such as this or the one above.

Essentially humans aren't really good at anything, except maybe thinking. But very few of us admit to an occupation of professional thinker.

The national turkey as presented to the President.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/holiday/thanksgiving/index.html

Some gaudy big breasted tick of a creature gets honored by the fat-ass four-by-four-butt infested nation. This is like the national Christmas tree which is the size of a skyscraper, requires a forest to create and has enough lights to illuminate a blackhole. Garish American excess gala. Our strategy is to inundate, our art is to overwhelm and overawe and our people can't put enough donut material into their stomach. America has never embraced sly, cunning, less-is-more, and adding by taking away. That requires knowing the limits of consumption and possibility, denying them, negating your own hubris and practicing quality instead of quantity. In a land of infinite-seeming resource, the most infinite is our own arrogance.

11.20.2003

As mentioned earlier, we are judged only by what we do.

while intent underlies all activity, it is assessed after the deed when trying to assign moral or ethical value. For example, I buy someone a drink at a bar. Afterwards they can decide either that I wanted to see them enjoy a drink, or I wanted to get them drunk or loosen them up for pernicious reasons. But neither judgement can occur until the event, buying a drink, happens. Other people can't judge you as generous or crafty based upon your intention to buy them a drink, which you never acted on. Intent, while internal to you, is fabricated by others through your external deeds.

Only you can judge yourself based on your intent.

It makes sense to not act upon your intentions only when you are certain they are bad. I.E. I'm not going to strangle that motorist who cut me off. I know the intent which would lead to strangling is bad. However, it's perhaps man's greatest waste to not act upon good intent. When you know you should do something, feel the impulse to do it, and yet don't. Shyness or timidity cannot justify this.

It has been my intent to travel to X location and teach indiginous peoples pottery in order to provide them an eco-friendly outlet for creative expression. But the closest I've been to the place is in my head and I haven't even learned pottery myself. Some people would be impressed and say, "Wow, it's so great that you want to help those poor, misshapen, off-white people of X." You can build a pretty impressive list of admirers with these intentions. Eventually they'll figure you out, that you are all-talk and the sheen of the impression will lose luster.

--

No matter how successful you are, there will (or can) always be someone or some group of people who disbelieve your success. I'll never forget the documentary of Steven Tyler (Aerosmith), where he visited his elderly father conveniently for the cameras. His father did not give two pennies for his rock-god of a son. In fact, the interview (or visit) consisted of his father "teaching" him some hokey tune on the piano as if Dad was Mozart and son was snot-nosed schoolboy. The father was more interested in playing greensleaves than any cameras or interview about his son's success or their relationship. Aside from telling us where Mr. Tyler got his rock-star ego, we know that even wild success can be undermined and made non-existent simply by refusing to recognize it. Perhaps this is where the much hyped (in this particular documentary) rift between father and son finds its sources.

Shakespeare's contemporaries (i.e. Johnson) had little respect for his work. He was a relative unknown even fifty years after his death. Success comes in many forms. The most important is the one you recognize.

--

The compound preposition off of is generally regarded as informal and is best avoided in formal speech and writing: He stepped off (not off of) the platform. --dictionary.com

11.19.2003

Woe to the covetous
to covet and to hate
to hate that which is within
to covet that which is without

Most of the time when someone remarks at your unwillingness to admit you're wrong, they're mirroring their own stubbornness.

Whenever this happens to me, I always know I'm speaking to a fellow-minded stubborn person.

11.17.2003

Wake up child, the grim reaper comes for you
Fate provides you no reprieve.
the ineluctable march waits for no one.
forced into the herd,
as it approaches the cliff.