Some things that experience has taught me


I accept that I am ultimately alone.

People can still hurt me, but with the exception of Peggy, I never let them close enough that I can’t let them go.
 

I used to think that women’s bodies were holy ground; now I regard them as more akin to fruit that will rot tomorrow, and I’m not much interested in fruit—except for watermelon, of course (“The true Southern watermelon is…chief of this world’s luxuries… When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat. It was not a Southern watermelon that Eve took: we know it because she repented.” —Mark Twain).

I can say what I think most of the time, and when I can’t, it’s because I don’t know what I think or how to best say it, it being foolish to blurt things out.
 

I keep most of myself to myself, there being no reward in sharing it.

I accept that no one can be there for me in exactly the way I want, and that this is probably for the best.

I mediate upon what I will look like and smell like when I’m dead, and it helps me come to terms with being dead—probably in around nineteen years.

I’m not cowed by anyone who isn’t holding a gun in my face, and I don’t know how I would feel about them.

I am impressed by some people—the Lancaster bomber crews of World War II for instance. Still, I wonder if it wouldn't have taken even more courage for some those guys to say, “No, I'm not going,” at the cost of being officially designated as “Lacking in Moral Fibre”?*


I accept my limitations, and if I err, it is in that I accept them too easily.

I’m having rum and coffee for breakfast today, and it strikes me as a pretty good breakfast, although I know I will feel differently when the high goes away. I’m also listening over and over and over to East—West. It’s the only thing I love by Paul Butterfield, but how I love it! It’s possible to justify one’s entire life with a 13-minute piece of music.

I adore computers, and I adore the Internet. How did I ever exist without them, and how long before the goddamn Republicans figure out how to charge for them and censor them?

The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that there are Democrats who care about things other than rich people and religion. If Satan exists, he’s a Republican.


I’ve strayed from the original intent of this post, but so be it.

I just got a call from someone whom I was seriously considering suing. We worked things out and even had a delightful conversation. Maybe I should have rum for breakfast everyday. I understand that it was quite the thing in 18th century America and England. 

*Of every 100 who flew, 55 were killed, 3 were injured, 12 were shot down and taken prisoner (many of them were injured), 2 were shot down and escaped, and 27 finished their tour of duty. Those who refused to fly or became emotionally incapable of flying were put to work at menial tasks and treated with eternal contempt by their former comrades and, perhaps, their friends and families.

49 comments:

Stephen Hayes said...

Yesterday I ventured into downtown Portland to see an El Greco painting on temporary loan to the Portland Art Museum, borrowed from the Cleveland Art Museum. As I studied this sixteenth century painting of the Holy Family, I actually thought of you, and how far my own spiritual education has evolved over the years. El Greco was so positive in his religious beliefs; his paintings are visual manifestations of faith. I envy him that. It would be so much easier to simply believe....

Joe Pereira said...

Rum and coffee...yum. Thanks for the idea Snow, I will give that a try. As for rotting fruit, well, it usually turns into alcohol, doesn't it? If god (?) invented anything better than alcohol he kept it all to himself :)

Elephant's Child said...

Being alone is fine. I don't always like the person I am alone with, much less anyone else.
And I would leave the watermelon to you in favour of mangoes. Every time.
Pretty certain it WOULD have taken more courage to say no. Saying no to most things is harder than yes.

lotta joy said...

I am always alone, as are most people, but unlike most people - I KNOW I'm alone. Especially when with others, so I choose not to put myself through it. But the urge to mingle sometimes gets the best of me and I give it a shot. Out of two hours with them, I can boil my enjoyment down to about two minutes. For a pessimist, I'm pretty optimistic.

If I could, I'd choose alcohol. The fact I hate the taste precludes me from ever being an alcoholic.

When people are in a group, the mindset is to go with the flow and never disagree. Such is war, and religion. Sheep move in one direction.

As for dying, I'm gaining more peace as I realize the wonder we are here at all, and that when we die, the spark dies.

I still don't want to go, especially due to someone's whim, rage, or bad driving.

I think I jumped around enough to cover all your subject matter in this post. lol

kylie said...

"if satan exists, he is a republican"

funny how today is voting day here in New south wales! i will be voting for the lesser of two evils

Fram Actual said...

I had not thought about it before -- whether or not Satan would be a Republican or a Democrat -- but I think he most likely would be an Independent, which is to say, someone who cannot make up his mind what he is or is not.

In the matter of your question about Lancaster crews, I believe it would take absolute zero amount of courage to say no. There are a number of reasons to say yes and to go; there is only one reason to say no and not go, and that reason overrides any and all other consequences.

I have not listened to Paul Butterfield yet, but I will.

I never have thought of myself or visualized myself dead, but I am preparing a list of what I wish to have with me in the coffin in case I awaken and find myself in Fólkvangr or if, by chance, an archaeologist comes upon me in five thousand years or so.

It puzzles me that you expect reward for sharing most of yourself. Why not do it simply to discover how people react or, possibly, with the thought it might be helpful to others?

I never have thought of women's bodies as holy ground, but, sometimes, the entire package is a genuine treasure.

I have enjoyed your post, Snowbrush, and hope to read more written in the same manner.

PhilipH said...

We are ALL alone of course.

At times we are more alone than ever and life can seem like a black hole sucking out one's life.

Maybe that's how some of the Lancaster lads felt at times. And the battle some of them had to get back in the bomber or be branded 'LMF' - cowards.

My son, Graham, had a great friend, from school until my son got married. This lad was Best Man at the wedding. A short while afterwards he gassed himself because his one and only girl-friend cheated on him. His name was Graham too. He was a superb musician, composer and gentle lad. I've written about him in an old blog.

He was a true loner with many friends.

You are still a top writer Snowy.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've come to many of the same realizations. I still think it would be nice if humans would be more...human. But I know that's just too much to ask.

Snowbrush said...

“El Greco was so positive in his religious beliefs…I envy him that. It would be so much easier to simply believe….”

I don’t know believers do it, though. When I think of Father Brent, and my religious readers, notably Rhymes and Kylie, I’m lost in terms of understanding, not just how they manage to believe in a conscious deity, but how they manage to believe that that deity is good. I sometimes wish I could, but then I ask myself whether my integrity is such that I really would will myself to believe that which I am almost certain is a lie. But then I think that, well, if it made me happier and if it caused me to treat other people better, what if it were a lie? Of course, these are idle pondering because I have no choice in the matter.

“As for rotting fruit, well, it usually turns into alcohol, doesn't it?”

To continue your analogy, you (I think) and I have shown a tendency toward alcoholism in regard to women. I’ve never known a greater freedom than to look at a pretty woman and simply not care. I wish I had always been like this or at least close to it.

“Pretty certain it WOULD have taken more courage to say no. Saying no to most things is harder than yes.”

I think those guys got into those planes time after time after time because they were more afraid of cowardice and/or the contempt of their peers than of death. Your last point is interesting, and I really hadn’t thought about it, although it had occurred to me that nearly all of our yeses are the product of mindless mimicry.

“the urge to mingle sometimes gets the best of me and I give it a shot. Out of two hours with them, I can boil my enjoyment down to about two minutes.”

Likewise. Thoreau wrote something about his self-respect dropping in value after social intercourse. I think it’s partly the introvert’s curse. Extroverts are energized by social interactions, introverts drained. After awhile, I develop a desperation to get away.

Snowbrush said...

“If I could, I'd choose alcohol. The fact I hate the taste precludes me from ever being an alcoholic.”

Fortunately, I’m not too keen on it. I can enjoy it, but the enjoyment is brief and not usually all that good anyway. The fact is that my pain level has been through the roof at times lately (I”m waiting to see yet another specialist), and I had taken all my narcotics.

“funny how today is voting day here in New south wales! i will be voting for the lesser of two evils”

That’s what I do.

“I think he most likely would be an Independent, which is to say, someone who cannot make up his mind what he is or is not.”

Ah, my beautiful wolfie friend, I’m an independent, and it has nothing to do with being unable to make up my mind (I know exactly what I think on most issues). Rather it’s that we have a two party system, and I don’t support either of those parties, so there’s always the need to weigh what I believe against what I consider possible. For instance, I would vote Green most of the time, but I know Green won’t win, so if I’m pretty sure the Democrat is going to win, I vote Green; if not, I vote Democrat because my primary priority is to keep a Republican from winning. That aside, I don’t see indecisiveness as a greater evil than certainty. Think Hitler, think bin Laden, think George W. Bush, think fundamentalist religion.

“It puzzles me that you expect reward for sharing most of yourself. Why not do it simply to discover how people react or, possibly, with the thought it might be helpful to others?”

I share what comes natural to me to share combined with a consideration for what other people are interested in. On my blog, I often share things that I wouldn’t share with anyone in person because no one I know in person would be interested. This absence of interest is the biggest limiter for me. Sharing simply to see how someone might react sounds to me like a perverse psychological experiment. As for sharing to help others, they can read my blog because what I have in the way of depth is to be found here, my face-to-face conversation almost always lacking both depth and interest. If you took a movie of people talking at almost any kind of gathering and showed it to others, they would almost always find it excruciatingly boring. Those who are at the gathering can only bear it because they have a part to play in it, and because they hope to make a favorable impression on others.

Snowbrush said...

“In the matter of your question about Lancaster crews, I believe it would take absolute zero amount of courage to say no. There are a number of reasons to say yes and to go; there is only one reason to say no…”

I think most people fear infamy more than death, and this makes their courage in facing death, however laudable, somewhat questionable. It’s also true that some of those guys got to the point that they truly couldn’t function, and that others had second thoughts about the war in general and their role in it in particular. When America got into the air war, they were horrified by the actions of the British (the goals of whom were clearly revenge as well as victory), but as time went along, they too started dropping bombs with the intent to kill and terrorize people as well as to knock out munitions plants, U-Boat bases, and so forth. I also recall from two first-person books that they were told not to come home with any leftover bombs, so if for some reason it didn’t work out to hit the main target or the secondary target, or they simply had some bombs leftover, they would drop them on whatever they could find, which was often a town that had no military value. In any event, they were determined to kill Germans rather than cows no matter who those Germans were.

“And the battle some of them had to get back in the bomber or be branded 'LMF' - cowards.”

I was astounded when I first heard that they were officially designated as having a “Lack of Moral Fiber,” because it came so close to pronouncing them as complete failures as human beings, this without regard to how many missions they flew before they couldn’t do it anymore. I think that if an American had said “no more” he might have been put in prison for a time if he wasn’t obviously having a breakdown, and that he might have received a dishonorable discharge, but I don’t think he would have been branded as the British did and publicly humiliated by being forced to perform menial tasks in the presence of his former comrades. Of course, it wasn't America's cities that the Germans had bombed in Hitler's war of conqest. If it had been, they would surely have been as hardline as the British.

“I still think it would be nice if humans would be more...human. But I know that's just too much to ask.”

If we survive for another few million years, maybe we’ll evolve.

Elephant's Child said...

'I think those guys got into those planes time after time after time because they were more afraid of cowardice and/or the contempt of their peers than of death.' Sadly, if the reason they got into the planes (and I don't doubt you) was the contempt of their peers then in my eyes they were suffering from LMF. Peer pressure is a woeful reason to bomb the shit out of people.

Snowbrush said...

“Sadly, if the reason they got into the planes (and I don't doubt you) was the contempt of their peers then in my eyes they were suffering from LMF. Peer pressure is a woeful reason to bomb the shit out of people.”

Let’s not forget the German soldiers who fought for Hitler, the American Confederate soldiers who fought in defense of slavery, the American soldiers who fought so that their government could violate the treaties it made with the Native Americans, and every soldier who ever fought in support of every war based upon their government’s arrogance and greed, which takes in approximately half of the soldiers in all wars. I’m sure it is in Australia as it is is here in that it’s considered every citizen’s patriotic duty to support our military without questioning too closely the reasonableness of the actions of that military. We’re also expected to believe that every war we fight in is a noble enterprise heroically undertaken in defense of freedom. I regard the military as being little more moral than a gun in that, when it comes right down to it, the military will kill whoever they’re told to kill and take no responsibility for doing so.

Elephant's Child said...

It is true here too, though I think to a lesser extent than it is in your country. And 'security measures' are one of the few things that both sides of politics will jump through hoops to be seen to be in agreement.

Fram Actual said...

I have to admit I was being facetious with my comment that if Satan is, I think he would be an Independent. I was annoyed with your statement that if Satan is, he is a Republican. I think you frequently paint with too broad a brush in a political sense, and it is destructive and demonstrates why Republicans and Democrats spend most of their time fighting with each other.

I would argue until the end of time a contrary view to your statement, "I think most people fear infamy more than death." I think you would be inclined to change your mind and agree with me if you found yourself in the following situation, to borrow from another of your statements: "I'm not cowed by anyone who isn't holding a gun in my face, and I don't know how I would feel about them."

For sure, it would be a learning experience, if "them" even gave you the time to learn. Anyway ....

kj said...

I'm liking what fram has to say.

Tonight I'm guilty of reading your comments and not your post so I'm due a return visit.

Snowbrush said...

“I think you frequently paint with too broad a brush…”

You portray with a such broad brush that I don’t know what you’re talking about aside from the Satan comment and, since you’re a recently-arrived reader, I’ll assume religion. In regard to the Satan comment, a major problem with the Republican Party is that the middle has been excluded, which means that its public face is that of a party of bigotry, fanaticism, and lock-step ideology. While there are surely moderate Republicans on the face of the earth, they don’t vote in sufficient numbers to put moderates in office, and what their visible elected officials stand for, I oppose right down the line.

For example, 20 Republican-dominated states now have so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Acts” a name which, like most of what the government does means the opposite of what it sounds like. You would think from the name that religious people have been subjected to horrible discrimination, and now it’s time to give the poor bastards a little freedom, but what it really means is that businesses can use religion as a justification to refuse services to gays, atheists, Moslems, and other “not nice” people, deny adequate insurance coverage to employees, fire those who doesn’t pass muster in regard to religious beliefs or lifestyles, have Christian-specific prayers at government meetings, push Christianity shamelessly in schools, and otherwise use religion as an excuse to coerce and discriminate (except against blacks, god forbid, because if the Republicans started doing that, the shit would sure enough hit the fan). I left Mississippi to get the hell away from a part of the country that is dominated by Republicans, and their leadership has only become more fanatical since I left. I would point out that by every measure of failure that I can think of, the Republican-led South is in the forefront. I refer to things like health, prosperity, education, happiness, and so on down the line, and to say that these things are not partly (I think largely) the result of Republican leadership is simply fanciful.

Snowbrush said...

“‘I think most people fear infamy more than death.’ I think you would be inclined to change your mind and agree with me if you found yourself in the following situation, to borrow from another of your statements: ‘I'm not cowed by anyone who isn't holding a gun in my face, and I don't know how I would feel about them.’"

I’ve had guns pointed at me on two occasions, and I had a man (a stranger who picked me up hitch-hiking) get a gun and lay it in his lap while talking to me on another occasion. I can but say that my reactions were not uniform in the past, and that I doubt whether they would be uniform in the future.

Sparkling Red said...

It was even worse in WWI. If a solder got "shell shock" and couldn't carry on fighting, they called him a traitor and shot him dead. :-(

I also keep myself to myself much of the time. It's easier to just take care of myself than to try to explain things to other people.

Fram Actual said...

My brush is not at all broad, and saying it is does not make it so. It is narrow. It does not paint entire groups of people, such as Republicans, as evil or to blame for every ill wind that crosses America. How in the world do you expect anything to improve when you condemn everyone and everything you disagree with, Snowbrush? Or, maybe, you are a "my way or the highway" man, too.

I am curious. I would be interested in knowing the circumstances under which you had guns pointed at you twice and, especially, your actions and reactions .... the where, when, what, why and how of the matter, in a journalistic sense. It would make a fascinating post if you would write it. I never have had a gun pointed at me, to my knowledge, and would like to read about your experiences.

From what you have written in comments at my blog, you have described members of the military, which includes me as a once-upon-a-time Marine, to be nothing more than an extension of a rifle. Some sort of killer, I suppose. (If you like, I can go back and get your exact wording. You wrote it in two comments, I seem to recall.) You evidently are not a fan of the military, many of whom have died so that each of us is free to think and to write what we please.

I also am curious about your education and work experience so I can understand where your opinions and beliefs stem from, if you would care to elaborate or to refer me to past posts on your blog. I am serious. You wrote the following words at one of my posts: "You are much like I in some ways. For one thing, your depth. For another, your capacity to feel. For a third, your openness." So, let us do it. Calmly, without haste, compare openness and notes and concepts and see where it might go.

Snowbrush said...

“I would be interested in knowing the circumstances under which you had guns pointed at you twice and, especially, your actions and reactions ….”

I was also showered by shotgun pellets from the gun of a hunter, but no harm was done. As for the other two, of the three, times, I tried to break up a fight between two strangers one night, not knowing, until I rounded the car, that one of them had the other on the pavement beating him in the face with a gun. When I yelled at him to stop, he pointed the gun at me with the wildest eyes I’ve ever seen, and I ran. The other time was when a friend threatened suicide with a shotgun, and when I tried to get near enough to take the gun away, he pointed it at me, and told me to go back into the trailer, which I did. He then fired the gun, scaring the hell out of Peggy, his wife, and me (everyone but Peggy was drunk and stoned). I went back out thinking he was dead, but there he stood. I finally got the gun and threw it as far as I could into the darkness. The night then got even wilder, and at one point it seemed as if he was going to attack me, but nothing came of it.

“My brush is not at all broad, and saying it is does not make it so. It is narrow. It does not paint entire groups of people, such as Republicans, as evil or to blame for every ill wind that crosses America.”

It’s pointless to say that I “often” overgeneralize, but not to say how or to show that my generalizations are misplaced. In this instance, you’re overgeneralizing because I never said that Republicans were responsible for “every” evil, just that they’re responsible for a great deal of evil. People’s actions have consequences, and the actions of groups of people also have consequences, and the Republican Party, as I see it, is a party with disastrous and inhumane policies that it makes no secret of. While I’m far from saying that every single person who votes Republican is evil, I do believe they’re grievously misguided. The idea that it’s somehow wrong to criticize the behaviors of groups seems to me to be simply a way to defer criticism. I hear it a lot in regard to my criticisms of religion. I’m probably more aware than my critics that not all religions are the same, and so it is never my intent to criticize every person in every religion on earth equally, yet I’m told that it’s not fair for me to talk about religion at all unless I take into consideration every possible viewpoint. Obviously, I can’t do that, so I write about religion from two viewpoints. One is its dominant face in America, and the other is supernatural theism itself without regard to specific dogmas. The same with criticizing the Republican Party, I’m quite sure there are millions of individual Republicans who are well-meaning and intelligent, and I never meant to suggest otherwise. Still, I see them as seriously misguided and the candidates that they elect as being downright scary, and I’ve no doubt whatsoever that if these kinds of candidates gain sufficient power, this country is, for one thing, going to have laws that forbid the criticism of religion (much of the world already does, and the UN backs them—this from Wikipedia: “Several non-binding resolutions have been voted on and accepted by the UN condemning ‘defamation of religion.’"), and that will be the day when I’m in deep shit.

Snowbrush said...

Continued…It (the Republican Party) will also make abortion illegal, oppress homosexuals (probably making homosexuality illegal), “drill, baby, drill,” take all or nearly all regulations away from big business and the stock market, make Christianity our national religion, further separate the country into economic extremes, get rid of Obamacare (as bad as it is) and leave people to die for a lack of money to pay for adequate healthcare, etc. These things I believe the Republican Party will do if it garners sufficient support, so to say that I shouldn’t criticize the Republican Party, given that these are the things I believe it will do, strikes me as extremely odd. This, for me, isn’t a matter of what Jeb Bush or Rick Santorum says, but what the Party as a whole stands for. If I were an elected official, it would behoove me to avoid references to Satan (as being unnecessarily decisive), but I’m not an elected official, and, to put it frankly, hardly anyone cares what I believe, and a great many of those live in Europe or Australia. This gives me the liberty to speak freely. This isn’t a politically correct blog. I offend people regularly, and they sometimes go away mad. Yet, I never intentionally exaggerate. As an atheist, I don’t believe, so I was speaking metaphorically, but I fully see the current direction of the Republican Party as being of extreme concern. Now…

I like you. I enjoy you. I want you here. I appreciate your questions and comments. The truth is that we each shock one another, but that isn’t a problem for me, and I hope it’s not for you.

Snowbrush said...

Continued…It (the Republican Party) will also make abortion illegal, oppress homosexuals (probably making homosexuality illegal), “drill, baby, drill,” take all or nearly all regulations away from big business and the stock market, make Christianity our national religion, further separate the country into economic extremes, get rid of Obamacare (as bad as it is) and leave people to die for a lack of money to pay for adequate healthcare, etc. These things I believe the Republican Party will do if it garners sufficient support, so to say that I shouldn’t criticize the Republican Party, given that these are the things I believe it will do, strikes me as extremely odd. This, for me, isn’t a matter of what Jeb Bush or Rick Santorum says, but what the Party as a whole stands for. If I were an elected official, it would behoove me to avoid references to Satan (as being unnecessarily decisive), but I’m not an elected official, and, to put it frankly, hardly anyone cares what I believe, and a great many of those live in Europe or Australia. This gives me the liberty to speak freely. This isn’t a politically correct blog. I offend people regularly, and they sometimes go away mad. Yet, I never intentionally exaggerate. As an atheist, I don’t believe, so I was speaking metaphorically, but I fully see the current direction of the Republican Party as being of extreme concern. Now…

I like you. I enjoy you. I want you here. I appreciate your questions and comments. The truth is that we each shock one another, but that isn’t a problem for me, and I hope it’s not for you.

Snowbrush said...

"As an atheist, I don’t believe..."

I meant to say that I don't believe in Satan.

Fram Actual said...

I will strive to be brief:

Interesting about the incidents involving firearms. My guess would have been that both centered around parties featuring an excess of liquor and/or drugs. So, I am batting .500 there. Your mention of shotgun pellets made me chuckle. I would not have thought you to be a hunter, and it does not seem you are in one sense. If the event you describe took place anywhere waterfowl hunting is popular, you would learn it is not uncommon for this to happen. Around small bodies of water, the effect sometimes is several hunters in more-or-less a circle shooting skyward.

No one said you should not criticize the Republican Party. From my viewpoint, you go far beyond criticism; you complain to the point of condemnation and denigration not only of the party, but of anyone who is a Republican. In short, even though you deny it, I think you have a tendency for over-exaggeration to an extreme when trying to make your point. Your list of Republican "sins" or potential sins taken as a whole in your response here, for instance, is ludicrous on the face of it. My initial comment came from reading not only this post, but comments you have made at my blog. And, my initial "broad brush" remark was, as stated at the time, specific only to politics.

By the way, the proper role of a legitimate critic is to point out both the positive and the negative of a book, a film or whatever -- including political parties and religions. To do anything else is to lose credibility as a critic and to have turned oneself into an advocate.

By the way, I do believe in Satan: For sure, in a historical context and a mythological context and an abstract psychological context; maybe even in a supernatural context .... I think the jury is still out on that possibility.

I am happy .... and, since I do not think of myself as a Republican, it does not affect me in a personal sense. It simply annoys me seeing such one-sided, imperfect, narrow vision.

Snowbrush said...

“the proper role of a legitimate critic is to point out both the positive and the negative... To do anything else is to lose credibility"

I don’t think it’ll make you feel better, but I'll say the most positive thing that I can think of about the Republican Party and about the dominant face of religion in America, i.e. both could be worse. It’s simply my fear that, as bad as they already are, they will become worse, not that the Democrats are vastly better. The fact is that if rich people and Big Business don’t back a would-be candidate, he or she won’t have the millions necessary to carry on a campaign, and this means that whoever gets into office is beholden to the wealthy. It’s also true that politicians aren’t rewarded for thinking long term, which is why we go from one dire situation to another, and it’s going to bring us to a bad end someday.

“Interesting about the incidents involving firearms. My guess would have been that both centered around parties featuring an excess of liquor and/or drugs. So, I am batting .500 there.”

The guy who pulled the gun while I was hitchhiking wasn’t drinking or on drugs that I was aware of (not many people WERE on drugs back then except for truckers, mostly, who used speed), and the man who beat the other man with a gun did so because the man who was being beaten was trying to help his assailant’s wife escape an abusive relationship. She had come to him in fear for her life, and he was trying to get her to the police station.

"From my viewpoint, you go far beyond criticism; you complain to the point of condemnation and denigration not only of the party, but of anyone who is a Republican."

It's the strangest thing to me that people can support evil without being evil. For example, among the slaveholders of the Old South, I’m sure there were many delightful people who would have made wonderful neighbors, but the fact that such people aren’t foaming-at-the-mouth loonies has the unfortunate result of providing their views with camouflage. When I hear these Republican politicians express their views, I think that, well, they wouldn’t have the funds to do it if Big Business didn’t think they had a pretty fair chance of being elected, but even with Big Business behind them, it takes a heck of lot of voters who approve of their message, and in the case of the Republicans in particular, that message is one of oppression. Maybe I’ll write about the evils of liberalism someday because I easily could.

Snowbrush said...

I should clarify that I didn't mean to compare Republicans to slaveholders; I instead chose an extreme example of evil in order to make my point obvious.

I tried to make it clear earlier today that I don't see every Republican as wicked. I instead regard the average voter as simply misguided, but due to my impression that your following comment was hostile and even snide in places, I don't think you took that to heart, although I would have every expectation that you would feel the same, at best, about liberals.

Fram Actual said...

I did not count the driver with a pistol in his lap as putting a gun in your face, but, if it makes you feel better, I will reduce my number to .333. Although, come to think of it, the abusive husband probably was loaded up on liquor or drugs, so I could claim a perfect batting average with just a bit of conjecture. I probably also should warn you that I frequently have a pistol in my back pocket. Minnesota is a concealed carry state, and many of us do it.

You mentioned you or your blog or whatever as not being politically correct. Me, neither. I frequently tell a story about how I was complaining to my boss about two or three staff members .... he told me I should be more assertive .... I laughed and replied that I usually was accused of being overly aggressive, and he suggests I should be more assertive. Anyway, I am a smart ass at times and arrogant at times and frequently growl. Some people are frightened by it, some people laugh at me, some people ignore it, some people .... well .... so what ?? .... such is life.

Too many blogs, I think, are mutual admiration operations. I prefer honest discussion, and I would like to hear you point out a few "evils of liberalism." You might want to start with the burning and looting done in places like Ferguson, Missouri, or the actions of the Occupy Wall Street nut cases a couple of years ago. Yes, that was a snide remark, but, like they say, if it walks, talks, etc.

And, as I bid you good night, I will add that I distinguish between liberals and left wing zealots, as well as between conservatives and right wing fanatics. I am not so sure yet you make a distinction.

If you want to discover some areas of agreement, see if you can find a smile on my face.

Snowbrush said...

Fram, I’m surprised you’re still here, but am glad for it.

“Too many blogs, I think, are mutual admiration operations.”

Absolutely, and it allows bloggers to think that if only the people they know in person were like the ones they know in blogland, their lives would be wonderful. If they were to write controversially, they would see things otherwise. It’s hard for me to lose so many followers, but I don’t know what to do about it. Everyone says that it’s your blog, so you should write what you want, and I do, but then when I write about something that they don’t like, they’re gone. I think KJ is a long-time follower who might be holding on by her teeth. It’s bad enough to lose new followers.

“You might want to start with the burning and looting done in places like Ferguson, Missouri, or the actions of the Occupy Wall Street nut cases a couple of years ago.”

I defended the cops in the Ferguson case, which greatly offended KJ, the woman who said she liked your comments (given that she’s a liberal Massachusetts lesbian, I figured that she wouldn’t like you nearly so well if she got to know you better). I also agree with you about the Occupy crowd, at least the one in Eugene that camped illegally in a downtown public park for months leaving the city to pay many thousands of dollars to clean up their mess. Prior to that, I was sympathetic to the Occupy movement.

“I am a smart ass at times and arrogant at times and frequently growl.”

I wondered if you were aware of these things. They don’t become you. I try to avoid them in myself because I alienate enough people simply by expressing my views. Blogging has actually helped me tone down my sarcasm because I have a chance to erase it before I put it out there—as with my comment to you last night. I sometimes fail, but I make the effort to treat my blog visitors respectfully.

“I probably also should warn you that I frequently have a pistol in my back pocket.”

You wouldn’t be the first person to threaten to come to Oregon and shoot me—that would be Lotta Joy, who I call my sister although we’re not related. I was very surprised when she said it and she wasn’t being playful. Oregon is also a concealed-carry state, so I got a permit and carried a .357 around in a fanny-pack until I got tired of the size and weight. I then went to a hammerless, snub-nosed .38 special, but I soon got tired of it too, so I bought some pepper spray, but I rarely carry it (I bought it largely to protect my heeler and schnauzer following a pitiful attack on my schnauzer, and they’re both dead). Doesn’t the imprint of your gun show, isn’t it uncomfortable to sit on; and what caliber is it?

Snowbrush said...

“I will add that I distinguish between liberals and left wing zealots, as well as between conservatives and right wing fanatics.”

I do too, and I’m well aware of the difference having lived in the most conservative state in the country and one of the most liberal. I don’t fit in any political camp. I pay dues to the ACLU but don’t attend meetings because I would either have to keep my mouth or be hated. The problem with the Republican Party is that has become dominated by hard-liners. I guess there are still moderates in office, but they aren’t in evidence, and the presidential candidates don’t sound moderate to me. I even wonder why Republicans don’t seem embarrassed by some of them, most notably Sarah Palin. The fact that she was taken seriously (adored even) by so many Republicans really bothered me because she was so ignorant, low-brow, and stupid. You wrote about the narcissism of Obama, but he’s nothing compared to Palin.

“I did not count the driver with a pistol in his lap as putting a gun in your face, but, if it makes you feel better, I will reduce my number to .333.”

It did make me feel better (thank you), because the difference between a gun being pointed directly at me and one being pointed a few inches away from being directly at me doesn’t strike me as significant.

You had speculated that I was a hunter and was pelleted in waterfowl country. Since we’re getting out differences out of the way, I’ll mention that I’m very anti-hunting, and that the pellets fell on me in squirrel country, having been fired without my permission on my land. My father overacted as always and found the fellow and cursed him out, leaving me to try to make things right, the young man being a neighbor.

Fram Actual said...

I cannot leave yet. Not until you start going to church at least on Christmas Day and Easter Day and join the Republican Party.

I heard on the news today that about fifty of the looters in Ferguson are currently in the court system: Two have gotten prison time and three or four probation. There potentially are a few hundred left who still are being investigated. That made me feel good. I am old fashioned in regard to looters. I would have sent the police out there with tear gas and billy clubs; the business operators of Ferguson were let down by everyone, including by the police.

I have been an excellent negotiator at times in my life, Snowbrush. I am sure you can understand what that cost me in terms of biting my tongue. It now is time for me to be a smart ass and arrogant and to frequently growl when the mood strikes me, and not give a damn who likes it and who does not.

If it helps, I will try only to insult you on occasion, and not your other visitors.

Actually, the arrogance stems from the Marine Corps. Only today I heard Robert O'Neill, the member of SEAL Team Six who killed Osama bin Laden, say on television that he thought the entire U.S. military system should be trained the way Marines are trained. Imagine what that does for the ego. (No wise cracks, please.)

Well, I was not threatening you. I sort of had the opinion that if the sight of a pistol in someone's lap bothered you, it meant you sort of panicked at the sight of firearms .... period .... and I did not want you to faint should we ever meet.

What I carry depends upon where I am going and, therefore, what I am wearing. When conditions permit, I usually have a Colt 1911 Officer's Model in .45 acp or a Colt 1911 Combat Commander in .38 Super. These are back pocket or waist band pistols without holsters for my taste. I also use a Colt Mustang .380 when a smaller size requires it, and a Baby Browning .25 caliber when tiny size is needed. It fits inside an empty pack of cigarettes or simply in a shirt pocket. Concealment is primary for me, not quick access.

To keep the metaphors revolving around firearms, John McCain was/is/always will be regularly shooting himself in his own foot with his "one, two, three, four, we wanna go to war" cadence, but when he added Sarah Palin to the ticket way back when, he shot himself in his other foot, as well. The woman is a doorknob in most respects. Frankly, I do not think she is intelligent enough to be a narcissist. Pardon the religious expression, but I think the nation is "blest" in that she and Barack Obama did not meet and get married and have children. That could have led (pardon again, for the cliché) to the end of civilization as we know it.

Fram Actual said...

P.S. That concludes my appearances on this particular post, Snowbrush. As you are host and proprietor, I will yield the last word to you.

Snowbrush said...

“That concludes my appearances on this particular post, Snowbrush.”

Suit yourself. I’m willing to ignore Google’s complaints about running out of server space.

“I cannot leave yet. Not until you start going to church at least on Christmas Day and Easter Day…”

So, if I don’t agree, you won’t leave? It’s not me who doesn’t like church, it’s church that doesn’t like me. When you’re an atheist, you’re not well accepted by church people (just the fact that you’re there seems to weird them out). As for going on holidays, I’m never a part of a crowd if I can help it.

“I sort of had the opinion that if the sight of a pistol in someone's lap bothered you, it meant you sort of panicked at the sight of firearms ….”

Whatever gave you that idea? Lap guns just make me horny, which is a problem for me when they’re in men’s laps because I’m a heterosexual.

You carry a 1911 Colt .45 in your back pocket! Doesn’t it tend to fall out and clatter across the sidewalk? I guess I’ll never know unless you tell me after some other post.

“the entire U.S. military system should be trained the way Marines are trained.”

I cry when yelled at, so as long as the DI doesn’t yell at me, things will be groovy. Then again, no DI could scare me as much as Peggy.

“It now is time for me to be a smart ass and arrogant and to frequently growl when the mood strikes me, and not give a damn who likes it and who does not.”

I used to have a classy, respectable blog, and then you came along. Now, I’m starting to wonder what it would look like to spank a wolf. First, I suppose, it would be necessary to restrain the wolf. Drugs might help, but then what would be the point of spanking a wolf that was too loaded to know that he was being spanked? It might therefore be preferable to tie the wolf with red knitting yarn. Come to think of it, wolves have bony asses, so that—along with the sharp teeth and bone-crushing jaws—might preclude wolf-spanking. The nearest I came to wolf-spanking was with my blue heeler, who also had pretty impressive jaw-strength, and who, at around age nine months, took my fish burger off my TV tray just as I sat down to eat it. When she did that, she looked at me, and her eyes got big as if to say, “Oops, I might have gone too far this time,” and I looked at her as if to say, “Yeah, you are SO right.” She had already been nipping at me for no good reason, and when she took my food before my very eyes, I yelled mightily and chased her through the house, finally cornering her in the laundry room and shutting the door. I then put her on her back, shook her (not too hard), and yelled in her face for quite some time, causing her to pee on herself. I wasn’t out of control in the least; I was just doing what I felt I had to do, the only thing I knew to do. I still feel badly about scaring her so, but she had the attitude that it was her job to run the household, and as far as I could see, she had no qualifications for it.

I’ve had dogs all my life, but I loved none more than she, yet she was the only one that tried to be the alpha in our relationship. She’s been dead two years this month, and I still sing to her daily. The funny thing about that night was that it was the last time I yelled at her because she was such a sensitive dog underneath her aggression that, after that night, any scolding seemed to break her heart. If I raised my voice even a little, I would almost immediately cuddle her and speak lovingly so that she wouldn’t take it too hard. Now, I just have a tabby cat, but he hasn’t tried to dominate me, although he considered Peggy fair game until I finally stepped in. He’s my first cat to get really close to, and it has been interesting.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

I only wish my lawsuit would work out so well. Maybe I should try rum!

lotta joy said...

Beloved brothers are rare. I lost mine in a most unexpected, and horrendously painful 8 hours of sheer hell. I would never shoot you for several reasons: a warning shot would be sufficient. I'm phobic regarding traveling. I consider you my brother.....

But if I'd known about the yelling of your pet - to the point of paralytic fear, none of the above would have stopped me...But you realized the damage, which few ever do.

Your sister, truly.

Snowbrush said...

“I only wish my lawsuit would work out so well. Maybe I should try rum!”

Mine would have been small claims court. With my help, Peggy’s help, and our friend Shirley’s help, the woman picked the biggest crop of pears I ever had. She had done this a couple of times, and the agreement was that she would give us a share of the pear butter. She picked the pears last summer, and I still haven’t gotten the pear butter. Most people would just let it go, I suppose, but more often than not, I’m a fighter. I don’t fight every battle that comes my way because there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day, but I fight a great many of them.

“if I'd known about the yelling of your pet - to the point of paralytic fear, none of the above would have stopped me...But you realized the damage, which few ever do.”

When I said I feel badly that she was so scared, I didn’t mean that I would do things differently if I had it to do over. Heelers are bred to herd cows by biting their heels and then ducking before the cow can brain them, so you might say that they like to are courageous dogs who like to be in charge. I had no idea what we were getting into when we got Bonnie, and not all heelers are as aggressive as she, but when she started challenging Peggy and me for dominance every time we turned around, I started upping the pressure on her to cut that shit out, and that night was the culmination of my efforts. I completely believe that I did what needed to be done. Maybe someone else could have handled her better, but what I did worked. After that night, she and I had a very different relationship, although she wasn’t afraid of me but rather of my disapproval. I know she wasn’t afraid of me because she sought me out for affection, never cowered before me, and enjoyed roughhousing with me. She would still nip me when she got mad, but she stopped challenging me. I blew out both shoulders throwing balls to her, and I still suffer everyday from it. As much as I loved her, I think it’s wrong for people to have heelers as pets unless they can give them the extreme amount of exercise they crave. I wanted so much to do this that I’ll suffer for the rest of my life with bad shoulders.

Prior to Bonnie, I had had two schnauzers and as non-aggressive as they were, they were actually harder to control than she because they were so damned stubborn. I could scold my last one, Baxter, and he would look at me as if to say, “Oh, my god, I am SO sorry. You can rest assured that I will NEVER do that again,” and within two minutes he would be doing it again (whatever “it” was). Like Frank Sinatra, he did things “his way.”

“I would never shoot you for several reasons: a warning shot would be sufficient. I'm phobic regarding traveling. I consider you my brother…..”

Now, that you and Fram have both assured me that you won’t shoot me, I’ll check out of this motel and go back home. As for me being your brother, I’m not related to my granddaughter, but her blood grandparents disowned her parents when her parents left the Jehovah’s Witnesses, so they picked out four friends to be her grandparents, and, when it comes to Peggy and me, they couldn’t have done better, particularly with Peggy practically lives to see that kid and would unhesitatingly jump in front of a bus for her. Same with you. We’re not blood related, but we both suffer from a lack of family, and it’s good that we’ve found one another.

lotta joy said...

Thank you Snow. I appreciate the equal reciprocation.

BBC said...

"I mediate upon what I will look like and smell like when I’m dead,"

It has never occurred to me to give a fuck about that. Get over yourself.

All Consuming said...

The comments on this one are as interesting as the post, which is often the case because you don't engage only with those who agree and pat you on the back. I happen to agree with almost all your views, and I think you write them far more eloquently than I could ever do.

"probably in around nineteen years" - you are so much more positive than I am!

"It has never occurred to me to give a fuck about that. Get over yourself." - This, by BBC is plain rude and obnoxious behaviour in my opinion. But then I have a thing about good manners. I employ them.

Snowbrush said...

“This, by BBC is plain rude and obnoxious behaviour in my opinion.”

BBC puts me in a dilemma because I hate to disallow comments, and until that preacher-guy came along a month or two ago and started blogging in my comment section, I couldn’t even remember the last comment I disallowed (the only ones I’ve ever disallowed were from Christians). However, I look to see who left a comment before I read it, and I when I see one from BBC, I’m sure a frown crosses my face because he’s insulting, and that’s pretty much all he is. When I warned him about his excessive profanity, he said something about it being the workings of Spirit. When he, for no apparent reason, told a woman he wasn’t interested in having sex with her, I warned him about his vulgarity. Peggy was disappointed that I allowed his comment to that woman, and in retrospect, I agree, but since I try to err on the side of openness, I sometimes make such mistakes.

All Consuming said...

It's very much your call on your blog. I may think he's unpleasant, but he hasn't openly attacked or offended me, he was being rude to you, which annoyed me a great deal as it is so unnecessary. If you need someone to be rude to you you can email me *laughs*. I suppose with the comments to the woman about sex, I'd have allowed the comment so she could see what was said, then taken it down and told him to sod off. But I think people know there own blog and ways best and there are a couple of people you've been glad to get rid of, so you do know when the time is right methinks. No demands nor commands on my part there.

Snowbrush said...

“It's very much your call on your blog.”

What!!! You won’t take responsibility for my blog?

“he hasn't openly attacked or offended me, he was being rude to you, which annoyed me a great deal as it is so unnecessary.”

I hate having my time wasted, and I hate wasting other people’s times. So, it doesn’t only matter who he was rude to, but whether his comment had any redeeming virtue. Sure, I write comments as long as “War and Peace,” but I actually do TRY to make them worthwhile, and there’s just nothing worthwhile about insults, especially when they represent a person’s approach to other people’s blogs, and especially when I’ve complained to a person a time or two.

“you do know when the time is right methinks.”

At a certain point, the writing is on the wall, but I’ve gone all these years and only told one person—the preacher of late—that I wouldn't allow his comments, and even then I only said I would block them when they involved religion, my thought being that if he behaved well regarding other subjects, I would allow him to comment on religious topics again. It’s hard for me to say to someone that he or she is hopeless as far as I am concerned, so, although I get pissy at times, in the final analysis, I try to be patient with people and to also apologize when I believe I was in the wrong. I piss enough people on the basis of what I think without also being more personally disagreeable than I can avoid.

BBC said...

I'll do you a favor and not visit or comment anymore.

Snowbrush said...

"I'll do you a favor and not visit or comment anymore."

I should have spoken to you directly instead of talking about you with you listening, and I apologize for that. My reasoning was that I have tried to talk to you directly a couple of times, and it's my impression that you're either unable or unwilling to take other people's feelings into account. It's also true that I've become less and less patient with readers whom I perceive, rightly or wrongly, as not giving anything back in return for what I try to give them.

rhymeswithplague said...

"(the only [comments] I’ve ever disallowed were from Christians)"

So I should scrap my plans to paste in three or four psalms then....

Snowbrush said...

“‘(the only [comments] I’ve ever disallowed were from Christians)’"

Sad to say, but it’s true. Religion has a way of bringing out the worst in people, and, I suppose, the best, although the latter seems to be in the minority. Jesus said “broad is the way and wide is the gate that leadeth to destruction,” but I don’t think it occurs to many Christians that he might have meant them due to the fact that they embrace the very legalism and tribalism that he condemned. Of course, it seems to me that even your own “salvation by faith” is simply a more onerous form of legalism. Feel free to comment…

“So I should scrap my plans to paste in three or four psalms then….”

That’s up to you. The problem with Bible verses is that they prove nothing to anyone who doesn’t already believe them, but I so welcome your visits that I’ll leave it to you to comment as you please.

rhymeswithplague said...

I was attempting to be funny, Snow, but apparently you thought I was being serious. I have no plans to paste in three or four psalms in your comments section! Maybe in a post on my own blog, but never on yours. I thought you knew me better than that.

rhymeswithplague said...

Afterthought: Perhaps the dropping in of Bible verses is not meant so much to prove something as to introduce an idea not considered previously. I'm just sayin'....

Snowbrush said...

“I was attempting to be funny…I have no plans to paste in three or four psalms in your comments section! …I thought you knew me better than that.”

I do know you better than that. It’s simply that I often worry that you will regard my blog as hostile territory, so I wrote as I did in an attempt to appear warm-and-fuzzy. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but that was my intention. The thought behind it was that, “You’re welcome here, and if you want to paste Bible verses, then you paste Bible verses,” this without any thought that you were actually compiling a list of Psalms.

“Perhaps the dropping in of Bible verses is not meant so much to prove something as to introduce an idea not considered previously.”

Yes, I can see that. This does raise a question for me, though, namely, does the Bible, beyond the beliefs of Judaism and Christianity that are peculiar to those religions and Islam, contain any original practical or philosophical ideas. “Monotheism, I suppose, although it has been a curse to humankind rather a blessing. “Love your neighbor as yourself,” perhaps, although no justification is given for it and no description of what it would look like in practice. Maybe others. I just know that I started thinking when I was a kid that, if God wrote this book, couldn’t he have done better. I think of the Bible as like other “Holy Scriptures” in that those who believe it are impressed by it, and those who don’t believe it really don’t think it’s all that good.