Click HERE to view the Premium Art Deadlines List.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The end of the world? - June 17, 2005

What would I do if the world were to end tomorrow, or next week, or after the playoffs?

The same thing I did on learning that the world was going to, was scheduled to, end yesterday. You can find somebody, somewhere, who says the world is going to end on any given day. But obviously, in spite of thousands of years of predictions with exact dates and circumstances... it, just as obviously, hasn't happened. And my bet is that it won't happen. On any given day the world just as obviously ends for lots of people via death in accidents, from old age, war, disease, etc. But the end of the world as in everybody going, uh-uh, ain't gonna happen. Its just wishful thinking on the part of depressed people without the energy to change their own personal circumstances, who then have fantasies about a catastrophic change that will force them, and everybody else, to change. There is often a religious tint to these desires, where the predictor imagines that evil is about to overwhelm the world and it is time for dog (sorry--I'm lisgexic), god, to change the whole kit and kaboodle. So I'm not going to do anything the next time somebody says the world is going to end. Chances are, just like every prediction in the past, they will be wrong.

Does the Bible Predict the End of the World?
How Jehova's Witnesses have been predicting the "end of the world" for over 100 years.
Apocalipse now? 30 days when the world didn't end.

when your scanner goes KABLOOEY! - October 20, 2004

when you are scanning leaves and your scanner goes...


More screwy scans can be found here:

Here's samples of scanned leaves (click a leaf to see a life-sized version)...

More scanned leaves can be found here:

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Phone rang a bit before 1am - June 20, 2003

Take a look out your front window, she said. And outside, directly in front of the building, her silver car, looking pregnant (the car), compared to the previous model. But not her. She is all hot flesh, tight fitting clothes and enticing breasts covered by more restraining, but at the same time, uplifting and enhancing materials. OH! Yet another miracle of modern science and technology!

Anyway, there she sat, but me in my bare feet, and the dog, behind me on the sidewalk. The parking permit is in my hands, but she doesn't go for it. Her desire is to be elsewhere on this warm summer evening after an earlier evening of experiencing the results of having men exposed to the estrogen cloud the wafts around her oh-so-very-fine figure and electric, vibrating, hunting-for-something figure.

But I digress. She wants something. The plan is to stop by this place, ring the bell, and see if entrance, so to speak, is possible. Will another woman be there, if not, will he be receptive? That's the question for all of us and the ages. Will the person we want have us? Will they embrace us completely, totally, without reservation? She wants that too--but, as she knows, she holds back, waiting for the object of desire to be vulnerable and accepting and wanting--while she avoids those things until she knows the other will give her those things. Then she will, maybe, become vulnerable, accepting, wanting, towards him. But really, not until he demonstrates himself capable of doing those things. And so it goes. The wait for the other to step forward with an offer of unconditional love, forever, always, in every way. Who in their right might would want to take that first step? But we all ask it of others.

Myself, being much too old for her, and over the hill besides, throw my usual caution to the wind and make numerous offers of myself that mostly get some good laughs from her. Well, being able to make a woman laugh is always a good sign, from my experience. For some unknown reason it seems I am this lovely woman's sweetie pie. Perhaps some day, in the far future, when all our DNA is online, and cross correlated, and calculated, it will be obvious what keeps this odd couple together. In the meantime there is no hesitation on my part to say any and every naughty thing that comes to mind and nether parts of the corpse. And, odd as it may seem, she gets a perverse, and even disgusting pleasure from words poured over her from this desirous mouth.

But enough of that. Her plan, with my guidance, is to show up at Clint's house, ring the bell, and see if she can get him to get in, so to speak. If another woman is there, then she will be cool and exit. If he sends her away, she will be cool and go. If he lets her up then she will eviscerate her pent up longings.

She goes. Upstairs with the two us. The phone rings a few minutes later. A call from Harvard Square. She can't bring herself to it. Turns around and heads home. Too late. Traffic. Other excuses. But she knows all that.

She now knows what good sex is. But she had to go to men with no soul that she could fall into. There was no well of life into which she could willingly, freely, fall, give herself, melt, disintegrate, evaporate, have the feeling that you have become... us, we. Only with these men could she give herself up. She knew there was no real chance, on her part, to have that feeling of merging. They didn't let her in and she didn't let them in.

Well, at least the sex was fun. It was good. But then it isn't everything. Not with me, of course. But then the imagination is such a wonderful pleasure.

And me? There's been a hankerin fer this gal for a long time. But what's and old guy, old enough to be her father, and actually older, not much money to speak of--certainly not enough to compensate for the age, who knows her tears and the storm clouds of trying to make a life with somebody who has a chance at economic success, a smidgen of a conscience when it comes close to trying something, and... there you have it. But she is very nice to look at, in any case. So I will keep looking and revealing all the lewd thoughts in my mind. Which she seems to like, by the way.

To be continued, most likely...


He even brought a present. Then the alarm clock rang and you all know what happens after that. Some of us turn it off and go back to sleep. Some of us turn it off and get up. Next thing you know the person writing this has clothes on and is putting cold coffee in the microwave (left by the MSSO). Others came to the party. A number of women who this writer imagines are sexually interested in him. Wishful thinking. That's a thought this writer has about many women. But that's only because sex is often on his mind. You are welcome to offer yourself, should you be a woman, in this manner.

Anyway, a call from my dad's stepson via his (my dad's) third wife. Doesn't that sound suspect already?

So they cut his dilantin back from 400 units to 300 units per day. That improved his state of... mind. How can you call a pharmeceutical company prop a state of mind? Ok, so he's still alive and in a state that appears to be a human being.

A woman is interested in becoming his fourth wife. She has been married four times already. A Southern Baptist--the kind who doesn't believe in divorce. She's not interested in sex. He is. She wants to live in her trailer in a small Tennessee town. He doesn't. She has a continuing ficuciary relationship with her fourth husband. His last wife is dead. The current woman of interest was a caretaker in his assisted living home. There's the money he has in the bank. There's his VERY good pension. So what does a person do? Ideas considered.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rush Limbaugh - May 19, 2003

Rush Limbaugh says Democrats are the party of racism. That implies that Republicans are the party of diversity and against racism. Imagine me sitting here pondering on his view of the world (assuming it has been accurately described for the moment).

A signal, an image hits my eye. It shows an average group of Democracts. More of them are minorities and women than a similar view of an average group of Republicans. That signal goes to MY brain and hits the Democract spot. In Rush's brain that same image seems to turn on the Republican switch. Not being a moralist about wiring, it would seem that the two of us are wired differently. In this case, exactly the opposite. There appears to be a lot of people wired like both of us. We look at the same scene and see very different things.

As someone who thinks himself to be a bit of an engineer and scientist, my AHA! light goes off and wonders if this way of seeing the world isn't genetic. Rush and I simply can't help but see the same scene in two different ways--because we are wired in two different ways. And if it is genetic, just how easy is it going to be to change any person's ideas about what they see right in front of their noses...

The political arena seems to be filled with scenes that are somehow seen as... something and the opposite of something. And how can I be sure of my own vision and explanation of what's going on if my own wiring inverts something right in front of my nose?

Anyway, what might change Rush's opinion, assuming for a moment, that he's the one who sees reality the opposite of my seeing? For this argument let's assume he makes $10,000,000 a year. If his audience disappeared there would be no advertising money to pay him. That money would disappear if his listeners could not buy those products. It would take a depression to do that. That is, the economic environment would have to nearly fail to put Rush out of business--or get him to reconsider his views. It took the Great Depression for voters to switch from Republicans to the Democrats. So let's get out there and cause a great depression! Just kidding.

Now, you are probably wondering, what would happen to me if I suddenly started making Rush's kind of money every year. Would I become a Republican? Sure, that could hapen. Wasn't it Cindy Lauper would said that money changes everything?

Its left as an exercise for the reader to perform the same neurological thought experiment on Rush's Democrats-are-the-crony-party view/wiring.


C: i had a party last night (weird because nine women showed up and no men--what do you make of that?!)

R: You have somehow managed to break the lucky charm holding the universe together--expect a complete reversal of fortune any second and for the rest of your life.

C: and two of the women are from Lithuania. most of the others were Japanese. all in the 20's the Japanese love it here and appreciate the flexibility of our society. they are all artists and can make work here and find acceptance much more easily. japan, though its young people seem to be bursting with creative, still seems to be a much more conservative and stifling (aesthetically,socially and economically) place. the two Lithuanian women on the other hand do not like it here much. they think Americans on the whole lack depth.

R: What complex, sophisticated country of depth of talent and ability in every area imagineable bested them and their Red allies in the cold war?

C: They have contempt for our freedom because they think it results in laziness

R: Yes. But that often leads to comtemplation about what one really wants to do in life--and a consequent edge for the people who WANT to do what they are doing. This is just one way of interpreting that "laziness".

C: and lack of training and people doing whatever they want--badly.

R: Right. Going to the moon... badly. Unravelling the mystery of how life works... badly. Need I go on? Except maybe to suggest that their entire view of America may be no more than watching a couple of MTV episodes of Jackass. Meanwhile, seeming to completely ignore the reality surrounding them in the city of New York.

C: i tried to explain that perspective that flexibility in education, in choosing jobs, etc. was a strength and that while it might produce some artists/people who are neither here nor there, on the whole it produces a much richer and greater variety of people and ideas. coming from a place where they lived under communism as children, i thought they would appreciate America even more, but no i think they appreciate only culture defined by a narrow imposition of rigor and structure, and like-minded thinking.

R: That is what they grew up with.

C: they are somewhat racist as well. probably these ideas are related.

R: They are also likely to be some of the elite from their country.

C: they believe for example that the Chinese and Latin American immigrants are now destroying the American economy and that America will collapse in 20-30 years because of them!

R: Have them see THE GANGS OF NEW YORK and ask them again what they imagine the timeline to be.

I find that notion to be particularly ridiculous,

We do have one big problem on the near horizon, in my view, that could cause a meltdown of the sort they imagine. But not a meltdown caused by the "vermin" they think are overrunning the country. Its the religious fanatics here, and, to borrow a phrase recently read, the religious fanatics in our midst who: appreciate only culture defined by a narrow imposition of rigor and structure, and like-minded thinking...

C: especially given how low our unemployment rate is compared to the rest of the world. the recent increase in unemployment is mostly due to layoffs of low-end white collar workers. it's certainly not Americans resentful of losing low-end manual labor/service jobs to immigrants.

R: And there is every reason to think that those new people will work and work and improve the lot of their children to the point where some of them become rich and famous.

C: these two Lithuanian artists produce art that has technical merit and a clear intellectual/philosophical framework, revealing awareness of the artist's place in the history of her art form. however, their art is bitter, desolate,not without humor, but i do not think it raises the consciousness of the viewer,

R: They come from a tiny country that no doubt saw itself as elite and far outclassing the inept, but much larget Soviet people who ruled them for 70 years.

C: except perhaps in some political sense. my japanese friends on the other hand make dances that are so full of heart and sensitivity and playfulness.

for all that i do like the Lithuanians. they are refreshingly blunt and quite bright, if somewhat brainwashed. i enjoy being exposed to their very different perspective--in small doses.

R: Fortunately New York has lots of alternatives.

C: are eastern europeans often like them in your experience?

R: Yes. DP, in particular, with the race thing. On the other hand she greatly appreciates my quite large thinking range.


C: I noted that with great interest. but i'm not sure what to make of it yet.

R: One could see it as a kind of joke.

C: does it mean that now-or soon--we will have secured enough oil from iraq that we can begin to put much more pressure on Saudi Arabia to do what we want?

R: We won't ever have enough oil from Iraq--until we've used it all. Then it will be time to move on.

The problem with Saudi Arabia is Mecca and Medina. Its a tad harder to rationalize a war with SA as anything but a religious war--and that would mean a LOT more trouble for the US. Just look at Israel/Jerusalem/Palestine. The Dome of the Rock, just above the Wailing Wall, isn't the most important site in Islam. But enough to be plenty of trouble.

C: but then wouldn't having troops already in saudi arabia make it easier to pressure saudi arabia?

R: There's going to be pressure in Saudi Arabia when the US leaves, but it will be the fundamentalists pressuring the rest of SA to shape up and go extremely religious.

That will be easier to do with the US gone. There may even be an overt revolt against the SA military--or, like in Egypt with the assassination of Sadat, members of the military take out the civilian leadership.

C: i guess there were never enough there to accomplish that?

R: That was probably never the objective because of the religious
situation. Iraq has plenty of oil. So does Canada. Let SA go to hell. Let them kill each other like Iraq and Iran. Do you remember ******? He's now doing an internship at Harvard Med. His parents smuggled him out of Iran as a teenager because they figured the government wanted him for human wave cannon-fodder attacks on the Iraqi front lines. He missed that and became a short-term junkie in the Harvard Square punk pit.

Anyway, where was I... Perhaps the US does intend to take SA. But it wouldn't be like Iraq. Its a bigger place. They have lots of American weapons. They have American training. It would not be a pushover like Iraq. But surrounded by American forces in Iraq, Syria, Israel on the other side...

C: or are you suggesting that we are somehow covertly trying to purchase some stability in the region

R: Covertly? The states around Iraq are likely to be very quiet for some time. The fundamentalists are another story. Osama and his minions haven't given up. A lot of been killed and a smaller number captured. But they ain't giving up. You don't do that when god is on your side.

C: vis a vis our occupation of iraq by making a bargain with al quaeda and/or the other fundamentalist anti-american islamic factions?

R: 911 was the results of a failure to make a pipeline bargain with al quaeda and the taliban--probably more like the straw that broke the camel's back. And not unlike the situation with Japan just before they attacked Pearl Harbor. The US was doing deals that were squeezing their access to oil in the Pacific region. They had to have oil from these places--still true today, because they don't have any of their own. More recently, the Taliban ended opium growing and lost themselves huge amounts of money by getting out of the drug trade. They don't have any oil to speak of--but are a good transit country for oil from the Stans. And so it goes. Pearl Harbor and 911 could probably have both been called off iF things had gone some amount the other way between the countries involved. And al quaeda, like the Japanese, made a similar mistake about the US by thinking it a soft country that couldn't stand the death of its soldiers. But then they didn't realize waht a difference having a Republican President would make with the far-rights ideas about casualties. They were an excuse to do nothing during Clinton's eight years. Once he was gone it no longer mattered--and that thousands of Americans had died. They, like the Japanese, equated a life of leisure, lust, and a seeming lack of standards and self control to mean weakness. They missed seeing NEARLY EVERY OTHER QUALITY of life in this country. We have all the things they see as a sign of weakness--but we have all the strengths and stability that their societies/religion/countries completely lack. In a society based on extreme and narrow religious ideas you do not look at many things--they don't matter. A short book typically answers any and all questions. There are no other explanations or solutions. This country, since it produces so many solutions, is bound to find paths and ways of doing things that they can't comprehend or answer. Their 911 trick will be very hard to do again. So will many other things. On the other hand, when the US attacked Iraq there was only one possible solution or way to fight back and win--nukes. Which would have been answered with even bigger nukes. Iraq can't build a tank. They bought from the Soviet Union. So they were old. Same with everything else in their arsenal. Its a society limited and restrained by fear. Thousands of prancing fancy dressed soldiers, with no body armor or all the other accoutrements of modern warfare, is nothing more than an army designed to control unruly crowds of women and children.

That's some of my take on it. And I better quit before the sun comes up.

DID YOU NOTICE THIS? April 12, 2003

The US has quietly met one of Osama bin Laden's main demands: the withdrawl of US troops from Saudi Arabia...

File this under "isn't that interesting." The US media isn't really saying much about this, and there's not much hoopla from DC about it either, but the US has quietly met one of Osama bin Laden's primary demands and is withdrawing the troops from Saudi Arabia, where they've been stationed since the first Persian Gulf war.

Now it could be that troops just aren't needed in Saudi Arabia anymore now that Iraq is no longer a "threat". Or it could be that's just the excuse that's being used. There are lots of possibile reasons for the withdrawl at present and I don't want to speculate too far about it...

...other than to say, "isn't that interesting?"

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mother's Day call to my mother. (May 11, 2003)

Do you remember it, my birth?

Yes, she says.

Dropped out into a bucket, a top was placed on it, and it was necessary for me to kick my way out of it?

Why, yes, she assures me.

A normal, fairly easy delivery. My sister, 2+ years later, was not expected by the doctors. Mom says she's coming out. Doctor says no. Baby said yes. An older sister was there to keep the baby from falling off the birthing bed.

Its the bad son, is my first remark when she gets on the line. Immediately, she says, oh, its Richard. Of course. The baddest of the bad. That would be me.

Her being my mother is not a part of my memory. Too long ago. They slap you on exiting and tell you its not something you want to remember. That's right, she agrees. She assures me, yet again, of being my mother.

How can a person understand that? How can a person understand that your existing, your being, came from the body of your mother? How can anyone ever understand that? How can anyone understand the long chain, the long line of mothers, that produced you/me? You can see it happen when you get older. But you can't understand, you can't realize what that means for yourself. You only know that, like everyone else, you came from someone. That woman you call your mother. There will never be, in the history of the world another person like that. That will never happen again. There can never be another person who is that person. She will be the only one who ever exists as that person. Your mother.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Its the women, stupid. (April 26, 2003)

What is the biggest problem in the Middle East? Its the women, stupid. Its not the oil, dictatorships, lack of democracy, Jews, Christians, Muslims, history or any other number of seemingly important elements in those countries. More than a decade after the first Gulf War women in Kuwait still can't vote. And in many countries nobody can vote. Or, like in Iraq, your vote is a joke. Did Saddam really win 99.9% of the last vote for President of Iraq? Probably not.

In many Middle East and Asian countries women must completely hide themselves from the view of all but family. Millions of women are not only invisible socially, but female infanticide is believed to have done away with millions. Males in this area of the world are considered more valuable than females. A hard pressed family will feed the males and let the females starve. Consequently, men, besides being more numerous, have less contact with females in a society. Polygamy simply makes the problem worse by making an even smaller number of women available for marrying. Then there are the stories about the ruler of Kuwait and his harem. He divorces one of his four wives each week and marries a new teen bride. Making one woman a week unmarriable or turns her out to prostitution. All this from a man who is good friends with many powerful, but good family values Christians, in Washington.

The Taliban, during their rule, were said to place white flags above the houses with young unmarried women. This was so that the warriors would know there were women who needed special protection. In reality it was said that the most successful soldiers were allowed to take the women as brides.

So millions of men deprived of a normal relationship with women, and no sex with any but prostitutes. But not if they were faithful Muslims. So how might this lack of the softening influence of women play itself out? Would they become more aggressive or inclined to go to war to capture women from other tribes or countries? There is certainly historical information about this phenomenon. Alexander the Great's men certainly took slaves/women from this and other areas they conquered. And any number of others before and after.

But we are here today. As are those millions of men unfluenced by women and many with no hope of ever marrying. Then there's the virgin solution. Kill heathens and do yourself in and go straight to heaven and have your very own private harem of 36 (or 64 or 72 or whatever--just like with Christianity, where sects are divided, and have killed each other, on the basis of how many angels can stand on the head of a pin) virgins. Or go to war against the tribe next door and steal their women. Or become successful at killing infidels and win an extra large share of the women in your tribe. All of these factors mean that women will be even more important as little more than property as larger numbers of men fight over a diminishing number of women. Similar phenomenon can be seen in first world countries and the smallest tribes in the remotest parts of the world.

This writer does not know how women will get the right to vote, own property, decide who they want to marry, etc. It seems very likely nothing much will change unless those qualities of life become available to every woman, half the people on this planet. On the other hand this only took 150 years to accomplish in the United States.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Okey, dokey, honey, she said, just before hanging up... (April 23, 200)

Ending with, I need to know what's written about me on the Internet, on my reminding her about my writing on this blog. We will have lunch tomorrow in Central Square. Those readers living near Cambridge are invited to stop by and overhear our conversations, laden with the sexual tension of years of denial, loaded with them non-French double entendres. Or maybe its just my imagination.

Her parents will be visiting next week. There's my suggestion of meeting them for the first time. There's always been the problem of introducing them to a friend who is older than they are. And last Saturday's party for the boyfriend was another opportunity for me to show up and sow some psychic discord. But that won't happen. My pressing her to invite me was no more than entertainment for the both of us. My being there would, on the one hand, lead to the possibility of things being out of her control. On the other hand its easy for me to make the meeting of new people an entertaining event--which she likes.

A recent dream has me back in high school where there is nothing but a mountain of late and overdue work in front of me. But then real life on a daily basis is much like that. Not much has changed for me since high school, even after decades removed from the event. And Mrs Kuiper, an English teacher, even made an appearance.

What does one do with their body after death? Of course, being dead, the person asking the question about their own body won't likely be able to do anything. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, is about a cadaver farm where corpses are investigated as they age and decay under a variety of conditions. So the idea came to me to join that select group of individuals to participate in a long-range project to aid forensic science. The thought left me with some uncomfortable feelings with an inexplicable origin. Those feelings would be gone with the onset of death. Not a lot happens from that point on that one can do anything about. You can only sit and imagine the idea of not being able to think of be aware of existing anymore. It seems unlikely that one would be able to do that after death--me being one not believing in any form of life after death. Should it come about that this writer ends up on the cadaver farm, readers are invited to stop by for a visit and look-see. There will be autographed photos for those of you who do show up.

How many visitors should one plan for? Perhaps a trust fund to keep the site constantly supplied with photos. After all, writing on the Internet could be around for years, centuries even. There's no reason for it to ever go away. There will be backup copies. The first versions stored at various locations on the Earth. Then at least one or so in orbit around the planet. Some copies on the Moon. For the long term, the Asteroids. Really long-term on Pluto so escape the consequences of the Sun exploding in a billion or more years. Finally, sending copies out of the Solar System and on the way to other stars--with a note asking the finder to please make a copy of this before reading. And will aliens pay royalties?

RELIGION - an overview and theoretical investigation (April 15, 2003)

Ron Paige, Bush's secretary of education, gave a speech in Boston last night. He's better known for his remarks about the value of an investigation.

This post is an attempt to present some of the author's views about religion.

To start with, revivals, and the best movie ever made about them, Elmer Gantry, with Burt Lancaster. This is a phenomenon that reappears frequently in American history. But the question is why does it reappear, as though the previous events never happened, as though they failed in their goals. For one these revivals always call upon many of society's lost and failed. They enter the religious institution--along with all their problems, placing enormous stress on the institution they have joined. Then there is the inevitable, or so it seems, corruption and failure of some or all the revival leaders. And the faithful drift away, some forever, others remain at a greater distance and reduce their financial support. This can be seen with the Catholic church today because of the child sex scandal--which is not just a phenomenon in that church, but others as well.

So the lost and failed become part of the church. Another component, group of people in any religion is the fakers. This is not meant in any perjorative sense, but some people join who don't believe and have to pretend in order to gain the benefits of the groups resources. They tend to drain a revival movement. Then there are those who want to believe but there is no seeing or feeling for the "truth" evident to the true believers. Another drain. So after some time the initial energy rewards of the revival have sapped the institution, causing the leadership to believe it is time for a new revival. Or a subset of the group thinks the leadership no longer sees the true light and goes off to start their own sect, making the need for a revival imperative.

England has been wrestling with the church/state separation issue for 700+ years--since the Magna Carta. This struggle is nearly 400 years old here in America. How peculiar our experiment, where the Pilgrims come here to escape England's religious persecution then turn, themselves to persecuting un-believers. The Salem Witch Trials and the Scopes Monkey Trial come to mind.

So Americans, like much of the history of the world, have been attempting to create a theocracy. One could say that the current administration has gone a considerable way in that direction. But, like any "revival", it contains its own internal contradictions and hypocrites.

If we divide the country into blue (democrat) and red (republica) states, we find some evidence of this. Divorce, on average, is higher in the red states, as are STD rates, murder and some other negative social indexes. But then tax rates of certain types tend to also be lower in these red states--leading to a consequent lower total social services provided by those states, and, perhaps, higher rates of various social problems. But then one can also say that perhaps the need for religion as a way to solve these social problems is greater, as opposed to having higher taxes and more social services. But these trends have been in place for some decades, indicating that neither religion or social services will make much difference.

Higher tax rates indicate greater prosperity. Leading this writer to think that perhaps prosperity and religion are inversely correlated. That is, religion is less prevalent in a more prosperous society. One can see, worldwide, that none of the prosperous first world countries could be considered a theocracy--but this does not mean that some people in that country agree with that. America being one where many people think there should be no separation between church and state. One could say that Italy is a first world country that has a strong church state relationship. It is also not a first-world barnburner.

In the second world, Russia, for example, the newly revived church is in a struggle with the forces of modernization and criminal elements. Then there is Iran, theoretically a democracy, but with an authoritarian religous element that doesn't allow the democracy to go where it wants. Religious states are, universally, authoritarian. They can't maintain their hold without repression. This is, in general, true of religions, which must constantly press the "faithful" to remain in line. This is true of religions in first world and other countries. In a first world religion you can be excommunicated. In a third world country you can be executed for heresy or endangering the rule of the faithful.

Democracy does not seem to be a good model for a poor uneducated country. Religion has no reservations about stepping in and doing whatever is necessary to bring the population into line and working for the good of the society. In a democracy religions compete with each other for souls. In a religious state one religion attempts to force everyone into a single set of ideas about how the world is, how the world came to be, your role in it and what will happen to you on leaving the world.

A religious state is inefficient compared to what seems to be the chaos of a democratic state. You have your position in a religious state based on your family and religous connections. In Iran or Iraq, for example, you get to be a fighter pilot on the basis of these unrelated values. In a democracy you become a fighter pilot on the basis of merit. The average Middle East army is designed to control unruly crowds of women and children. Most of the soldiers in those armies don't want to be there. They have little to no choice. The war in Iraq easily makes clear this connection. American soldiers come from a prosperous democratic society where the soldiers have a choice. They can do something else. All there are then selected for a variety of jobs on the basis of merit. Front line combat troops do not need an elite force of regime members behind them to move forward.

So my best estimate of the future of religion is that prosperous states will become less religious, with less prosperous to poor states going the religious/authoritarian route as a way of maintaining unity and national progress. And while there is a resurgence of religious influcence on government in the US, it will likely exhaust itself from previously mentioned internal inefficiences and contradictions.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

a dream...

A dream last night brings an ex back to life.

And like many of my dreams, lots of things from the past get all mixed together. But the ex was the biggest thing. Every tiny element of the relationship could be turned into an event that might mean it was over for good or would last forever--and obviously the latter didn't happen. In any case, that small matter would become a thing with a complete life of its own. It would suddenly consume everything else. It seemed like there were times when not even a local nuclear war would be insufficient to move that issue off the top of the list of things to be handled immediately and constantly--no matter the cost, no matter what else was second on the list of things to be handled right now or you will be dead if you don't! Just in time a state of being awake arrived.

Friday, October 16, 2009

My Blogging Network History/Statistics

Interpreting the numbers/codes below:

The left-most 8 digit number is the date.
To the right of that is the time of day.
Next is the number of posts as indicated on the main BN page:

And you can probably guess the number following that with
the comma and decimal point: money earned by BN posters!

The three letter codes indicate the rank of my various blogs
at the time and date indicated:

ACL = Art Contests List
EAG = Erotic Art Gallery
SCI = Sex, Cats & the Internet

The last dollar signed number is the amount of money my blogs
have earned:

20030413 16:48 12453 4,579.48 ACL=72 EAG=80 SCI=109 $4.97
20030412 20:50 12342 4,557.54 ACL=58 EAG=75 SCI=103 $4.58
20030412 04:31 12248 4,500.47 ACL=58 EAG=75 SCI=103 $4.13
20030411 19:31 12209 4,492.89 ACL=40 EAG=72 SCI=98 $4.13
20030410 02:22 11969 4,404.37
20030409 04:58 11818 4,386.61 ACL=30 EAG=93 SCI=100 $3.32
20030408 20:17 11777 4,334.51 ACL=22 EAG=195 SCI=105 $2.91
20030408 04:47 11645 4,321.72 ACL=27 EAG=162 SCI=93 $2.91
20030407 18:11 11597 4,275.60 ACL=21 EAG=175 SCI=98 $2.50
20030406 01:39 11519 4,229.42 ACL=13 EAG=245 SCI=92 $2.08
20030405 18:28 11374 4,184.58 ACL=11 EAG=481 SCI=91 $1.67
20030405 02:34 11284 4,120.23 ACL=12
20030405 00:42 11270 4,118.72
20030404 20:25 11252 4,115.30
20030404 14:52 11222 4,110.89 ACL=12 EAG=522 SCI=96 $1.26

20030403 14:04 195 $0.85 EAG
20030403 01:39 645 $0.44 EAG

20030404 01:15 11153 4,088.21 ACL
20030403 19:26 11119 4,083.58 ACL
20030403 14:03 11049 4,079.34 ACL=18
20030403 01:38 10987 4,035.40 ACL
20030402 13:52 10915 4,026.14 ACL=19
20030401 22:10 10835 3,953.52 ACL
20030401 17:50 10813 3,950.14 ACL
20030401 15:26 10794 3,948.33 ACL=14
20030401 00:36 10732 3,911.10 ACL
20030331 14:20 10659 3,892.13 ACL=18
20030331 02:23 10571 3,877.28 ACL
20030330 23:41 10555 3,875.23 ACL
20030330 14:11 10497 3,867.91 ACL=13
20030330 03:06 10446 3,848.96 ACL
20030329 13:45 10379 3,838.78 ACL=25
20030329 15:00 10333 3,758.55 ACL=31
20030328 13:15 10260 3,748.28 ACL
20030328 01:53 10212 3,723.36 ACL
20030327 16:10 10164 3,716.13 ACL
20030327 01:14 10108 3,639.14 ACL
20030326 16:14 10056 3,632.55 ACL
20030226 13:16 10036 3,630.36 ACL=8
20030326 12:39 10034 3,629.90 ACL
20030326 03:12 9994 3,616.32 ACL=9
20030225 17:23 9937 3,609.13 ACL
20030325 14:10 9913 3,606.79 ACL
20030325 01:56 9866 3,531.59 ACL
20030324 20:29 9850 3,527.65 ACL
20030324 13:54 9784 3,522.92 ACL
20030324 01:00 9716 3,502.19 ACL

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck picked up Don when he was hitchhiking in Cambridge one day late last December, 2008. You look like a famous movie star, Don remarked to him as Ben took him all the way to his destination.

Now he's gone and bought a house in the Boston area with his true love.

Ben and I met on May 10, 1990. It was at the front door of my house. He'd helped my mother carry her bags from his car to the front door. This is Ben, my mom said. Tall, dark, handsome, polite, he shook my hand. And was gone.

Later I would learn that his girlfriend at the time, my daughter, stayed in the car, declining to come in and meet me after 15+ years of no contact. But that's another story...

Update: about a month ago Ben and the Mrs were shopping at Whole Foods at the Fresh Pond Mall in Cambridge.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

promises, promises

Four days since the last post to this blog?

What about that promise to write every day? Clearly, something has gone wrong. The US military has nearly finished fighting a war and this blog couldn't manage to get updated in that time.

Something has to be done--even if its trivial, less than nothing, or not really much at all. You have to write to become/be a writer. That means to write something--no matter what, every day. But maybe that's too demanding. There could be extentuating circumstances. Laziness, for example. Or going off an having a baby. That would be suspect as an excuse for a man.

Perhaps next time the writing will be about getting my name in the credits of a major documentary film--a possible Oscar contender next year.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

blogosphere and spoons

Meanwhile, in another blog, far far away from here...

You paid money to read this?

That's what it looks like. This blog is now #195 in popularity and has earned 85 cents! Whodda thunk it? Writing and responding has also influenced the state of mind. Its gone from equanimity to being ablaze with... who knows what. The forehead is hot and sweating, there's the feeling that something has to be done. Something has to be said--and a couple of things were said (that is, written to comments). But that don't help the state of mind. A good nights sleep has done that. Now its back to the war in the blogosphere.

In other news, the peanutbutter spoon is doing strange things. The writer and dog really enjoy a large tablespoon of peanutbutter at some point in the day. The SO wonders what goes on between the dog, the spoon and the writer--but then decides not to want to hear the details. Who knows where that spoon will end up. Some days its here, then over there. Today it ended up in a specific, intended place--wedged between the front door and lock on said door. Then it was removed and placed amongst the banannas. Stay tuned for tomorrow's spoon story...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Do dreams mean anything?

You may want to reconsider watching Virtual Corpse on HBO. It could lead to some strange dreams: there are three people, at a gas station. They have the foot and lower calf of the body that was used to produce the above mentioned Virtual Corpse. They are washing the body part with gasoline to remove germs. One of them tries to eat part of the flesh. It tastes like very dry chicken--white meat. They try to spit it out. It has disintegrated into very fine, dry, dust-like particles. Its nearly impossible to get all of it out of the mouth.

You've been warned.

Click HERE to view the Premium Art Deadlines List.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]