- Mel Brooks.........
This site offers pages that reflect the beauty of profound insights, creative dreaming - and equally profound insights to be gleaned from absurdities - occasionally dire warnings and yes, even atrocities. It also includes those thoughts and opinions that we want to gloss over or ignore as we travel along the ways of our lives. We - each of us - need to learn to think "out of the box" as real planetary leaders - which is why our dear Dalai Lama and the sad little boy (below) both appear here.
Are we becoming more and more like the pre-World War II Japanese? Their sense of propriety and respectability was so extreme that American army scientists, looking for secret weapons to use against them in combat, once proposed that we gas them with hydrogen sulfide gas, which smells sulphurous, like boiled cabbage or farts! They proposed to call it "hoomee gas," and predicted it would work like a charm - or a curse! "Who, me?" each soldier would think, and become totally discombobulated, too embarrassed even to find out who made the hideous social blunder! Well, the top brass ruled it out - but I still think it was a great idea!
In the long run might the contest come down to one between the people who find life not only tragic and hopeless but splendidly absurd and funny and the ones whose beliefs are written in concrete? No, not cynicism - humor as a balancer and connector of meaning. Our American hyper-sensibilities may not have quite reached a pitch of absurdity equal to that of the Japanese, but we sometimes come close, as, for example, with our preoccupations with obscenity - or with our "religious" belief that a single-cell zygote is legally and morally superior in relevance to an adult woman!
The Monty Python song reminds us,
"That's it, fella, you're evil, down you go!" Whew. What ever happened to common sense and its close ally, a sense of humor?
No, it's not all funny, by any means. People get hurt; people die. We call the huge civilian death toll in modern war "collateral damage." Whoa! But that's way down the chain of choices and their consequences. We need to start at the source. Those who take life dead seriously - who insist that we all play it straight and by the book! - still live in a world of good and evil, in which God divides people into good sheep and evil goats, sends the sheep to a blue and gold heaven to wear white robes and play harps and the goats to a hell ruled over by a Satan who looks like the deviled ham image, and who condemns them to sit forever in a lake of burning oil. Hey, we need all the oil we can get hold of! Let's start draining that lake!
BUT - in the meantime, horrific folly, greed, gullibility, superstition, ignorance, perversity and tragic WRONGNESS of us human beings are pretty clearly in the saddle, and we are probably much too far along in the course of doing ourselves in on this planet to make the changes that might help us modify the course of our downfall.
Click here for an excerpt from The Power of Now, A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle; and here for an article called "Tricksters Anonymous."
ITEM : Response to the Virginia Tech tragedy
ITEM: Katrina as an apocalypse of race and poverty? - as the dawning of our belated awareness of the spreading of American Fascism?
ITEM: Katrina in New Orleans.
-- Jacques Cousteau:
ITEM: Jesus Christ, What's Going on Here? A necessary corrective to the "Christian" politicoes? That WOULD be nice!
ITEM: Breakup of The North Polar Ice Cap, From Dirk Dunning. It's beginning - for real! The end of oil in sight, global warming now well underway, and 35 years to turn it around, because the effect is way up there - so we have this stuff all at once and no amelioration for three decades. Wonder how many of us ostriches will survive.
ITEM: Calendar: loaded with lovely images and information about Bush's No Child Left Behind program. I hope they sent him one. We sell it in our Ashfield hardware store.
ITEM: Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi tells us what we need - collectively and individually - to be in a position to help in the healing of our planet, our world.
ITEM: Le Capitaine - mon cher Jacques-Yves Cousteau - warned us in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit about what was happening to our planet. His words carry even more urgency now than they did then. He is the only one I know about who is (or was) mentioning the unmentionable factor we all want desperately to ignore - OVER-POPULATION!
ITEM: Michael Moore on Bush, via Tikkun's online magazine. Also a followup chiding Democrats for hand-wringing.
ITEM: Why do we drive our children crazy? You might find my essay, "Mainlining Sesame Street" worth looking at.
ITEM: Biggest Bush whopper from the Council for a Livable World - result of a contest.
ITEM: The Gulf between home and public education: wise, kind comment on the relevance for us of this gulf by Helen Hegener, publisher of Home Education magazine, from the May/June 04 issue.
ITEM: Cold Turkey: an essay by Kurt Vonnegut at 81, a commentary on and prayer for the world we inhabit today - funny, ironic, irreverent, often scathing, but also profoundly reverential of those prophets, teachers and philosophers whose teachings he espouses, whose sayings he reveres.
ITEM: Review by Mark Kingwell, professor of philosophy at the U. of Toronto, of a book by Peter Singer (a bioethics professor at Princeton University) entitled The President of Good and Evil, The Morality of George W. Bush, which appears in the May/June 04 issue of Education magazine.
ITEM: Autistic Cow Lady Temple Grandin - an account, from the last chapter of her book Thinking in Pictures, of her own way of working out who God is and what life is all about - brilliant, profound.
ITEM: The Sleeping Giant Stirs, by Ernest Partridge. This is a stirring essay offering hope of a change for the better in our wounded democracy.