Assholes, and what to do about them

badgeLike many people I’ve been deeply disillusioned by the recent election of Trump, as well as  the concurrent rise of far right parties in Europe. I might need to read and learn more about populism and demagoguery, but until I do, I’m left with the knowledge and understanding I have, and it leaves me struggling.

You see, I’m a lefty. I believe in secular humanism and an ethos of making the world a better place for all, of redistribution and justice. Core to this belief is the inherent value of all human beings and that in a world awash in riches as ours is, that anyone living in want is unacceptable.

I think I’ve fallen into an intellectual trap wherein I’ve come to see the world like many other lefties, as a simplistic duality with wealthy exploitive overloads at the top and an oppressed majority at the bottom. While in very broad strokes aspects of this is true, there are degrees of oppression, based not just on economics but race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion and others. It’s a hierarchy with different people located at various levels depending o these differences, the one commonality being that the top is more or less universally populated by wealthy older white men.

But this vision is crumbling. I’ve read many analyses of the US election and think I have a general idea of why this is happening there and elsewhere. The greatest crisis for me comes from the fact that those I’ve championed in my life –those majority manipulated abused and controlled by the old white guys at the top, are showing damn good reasons why one should not advocate for them.

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Why write?

20160910_141320A reader recently responded to a previous post, noting that my writing has lapsed. I’m glad someone noticed. I get a great deal of traffic to my blog, but pretty much no interaction, which is a strange thing; the stats show lots of people are reading it, but with few comments or other interaction, I sometimes think I might as well be howling at the moon.

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The ebb of time

14022231_1118882444845148_260001204574651907_nI’ve been off cruising aboard Peanut for the last few weeks and It’s given me a lot of time to decompress and think and be. There nothing quite like warm sea breezes and a moonlit night to start wondering about your place in the cosmos. It’s been a good time.

It occurs to me that It’s funny to find oneself in a place without dreams, and I wonder if this is the universal way of things as we reach the denouement of our lives? I’m glad for the dreams, and that I’ve had the luck and privilege of having pretty much achieved what I set out to do. But dreams turned out to be funny things: we have this idea of what we want, where our paths should lead, but once we arrive we discover its not at all what we had imagined. This isn’t a bad thing as dreams work really well at motivating us to walk down unknown roads, but don’t expect to find your destination to be what you thought it would be, because, after all, you’ve never been there.

Dreams take us to all kinds of strange and wondrous places, just not the ones we expected, and in the end, that’s half the fun. But after striving and arriving so much, you eventually realize that there’s no more pursuing to be done.

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