Writer’s Note: I wrote a blog last week but never sent it. Thought it was just one more voice. Rethought my plan and “Ungrateful Bastards” is at the end of “Defining Space” if you dare. Take two,drink heavily and call me in the morning. TTG
It is intriguing that we all go to enormous lengths to protect our own space but as a civilization we want to go to Mars and Jupiter as if it is ours to take. Before going lunar I have to cogitate on how we have become so rabid about space and turf and walls. Be careful who you let in, either physically or emotionally.
These barriers are quite fascinating. Animals have them. One would only have to happen upon a bee hive or bear’s den to understand the concept very quickly. Some might say it harkens back to our survival instinct. Get’em before they get you. No crossbreeding lest the species be vulnerable to a fatal mutant something. In so doing, we say we are doing just what comes naturally.
Are we beings that are just meant to merely coexist or is interaction really the ultimate goal of a good life? I got to thinking about this on the Fourth. It is good to note that the forefathers were perfectly happy to be independent as long as you were white,male,heterosexual, Protestant and of means. Not trying to be unpatriotic just stating the facts maa’m.
Evolution is the growth and adaptation to one’s environment. Times change and so do we. In the early years we made blacks 2/3 of a person and then a whole human being, eventually gave women suffrage, accepted Mediterraneans and even made it okay to be Asian after World War II. Some might consider that flexibility over time and others may think we are control freaks. We give in but only under duress.
As a whole we crave constancy. Unpredictability or ambiguity are really disconcerting. They make us feel uncomfortable and cranky. I like my eggs done a certain way every day at the appointed hour. Routines and my type of people make the world a comfortable warm and fuzzy place. Inherent in this is you better see things my way. Diversity? Not in my world. One side says Kumbaya and the other says f__k ‘em. Tough finding middle ground there.
Our sentiment seems to be towards the abrasive. Not everyone is a Trumper but think about it. We protect our homes with fences and locks. We don’t want our schools test scores to be brought down by admitting dumb kids because you will then find only dumb teachers that want to be employed there. We want to gentrify poor neighborhoods because that’s where there is money to be made but please don’t ruin our neighborhood by moving here. Why should I pay for screwups like floods, hurricanes and forest fires? Do what you want but leave me alone.
We want state’s rights and for the most part abhor the federal government but when it comes to the USA,we are of course #1. China wants to build Battery Park Cities in the South China Sea and Putin thinks Europe should have SSR after every nation. We have Brexit, Fraxit, and Italexit. I think we should make public urination lawful because after all that is how all animals stake out their territory.
Maybe competition is the real villain? We embrace the soccer match, bull fight or Daytona 400. There has to be winners and losers. I understand. The CAV’s have reincarnated a whole city and made Cleveland worthy again.Was that tantamount to their existence? Aah, the fighting spirit. It’s beyond “mine is bigger than yours”. People can seek improvement for a variety of reasons. But when we take it to the extremes with makeovers and facelifts and we are defined by what we have and not who we are have we really lost it?
In 71years I have seen arms races and space races. The US was in a state of depression when the Russian Sputnik was the first thing in space in 1957. That spurred us to hit the gas and we surpassed the Hammer and Sickle over time. That created incredible breakthroughs in technology. Unfortunately it also gave us rocket capability to launch ICBMs with doomsday results. There were offsetting balances then but not now the North Koreans and whom knows who has the keys to the kingdom. Competition can be great if it is healthy but we don’t always have the luxury of sanity.
Getting back to that unease thing if we are constantly keeping score there is always going to be someone with more or less. Why does it matter? If we are comfortable in our own skin we don’t have to prove anything to anybody. That goes for the rich as well as the poor. I want to get better but I also have a pretty good idea of what my limitations are. Hubris and egotism sour the broth.
I think it comes down to not your or my space but OUR space. If we are so wrought up in our own designs we will never find a way out. Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Brits, Africans, Asians, Whites, Blacks Hispanics, North and South. We all feel that we are not respected unless we shake a fist or cut each other off in cultural and global road rage. Think about the incidents that go on every day? I am not sure if people want clout or just an equal seat at the table. I guess we perceive that one must precede the other and therein lies the rub. Might is right.
We can say this whole space thing comes back to survival. Maybe it does in more ways than one. Let’s try this. We should do what’s necessary for us and our own. Ownership not stewardship will be our creed. It is a lot simpler if I don’t have to reach out to you. We will never understand each other. Good luck with whatever happens to you. I can see your pain but I don’t have to feel it. Sorry. It’s just the way the ball bounces. That’s fine but it doesn’t sound like a plan for survival but rather one for extinction.
Ted The Great
Multiculturalism definition. The view that the various cultures in a society merit equal respect and scholarly interest. It became a significant force in American society in the 1970s and 1980s as African-Americans, Latinos, and other ethnic groups explored their own history.
Nationalism definition is the belief that your own country is better than all others. Sometimes nationalism makes people not want to work with other countries to solve shared problems.Patriotism is a healthy love of country
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The unpredictable cobra of democracy has recoiled its ugly head. The Brits left their future up to their fellow countrymen last week and it was not a pretty sight. Amazing what happens when you have an “either or” referendum. There is no such thing as a win win situation. The victor in this case takes all. In the aftermath invective is hurled and everyone has a reason why it happened and why they missed all the warning signs.
Our world is chock a block with theories and their attendant “experts.”
We crave predicability and prognosticating. It seems no matter the analyst or chartist whatever is happening in our world has been seen dozens if not hundreds of times before and we know just how to make it work. Being a practitioner of off the wall thinking I take offense to two things. The mere possibility of someone exercising their free will which may run counter to mine is exciting in a purely intellectual way. The second is the concept of elitism.
With reference to the latter I am not talking the 1% financially but rather a cadre of the cognoscenti that says just shut up and let me do the thinking. I was watching an interview with writer/psychologist Andrew Solomon and he said in a most arrogant way he liked talking to articulate people. Bully for you but the implication was that he had no use whatsoever for the unwashed masses. Here is a man who admits his bouts with depression. I think I can give him some causality.
Economics is a wonderful field of study. Sooner or later the practitioners turn out to be right. It may be a matter of years or decades but they are quick to point out we don’t look enough at the broader term and bigger picture.
My former classmate Roger Altman took them to task in the WSJ this week. At this point all the sages said we would be at an interest rate of 3-4% Oil would have a range of somewhere between $150 as a high and the absolute floor would be $85-90 per barrel. The IMF predicted a 3% growth rate worldwide. Brazil and Russia would be the leading economies in this decade. Never have so many been so wrong. He ascribed the complexity to money looking for a home. There is currently $75 trillion under management looking for the next latest and greatest investment. They love’em and leave’em. And for the most part you and I are left holding the bag for money on the move.
Now you will say this is capitalism at its best and you may be right. Reenter the 1%. We have to look for efficiencies and profit margins. The obligation to give our investors ROI can heal a multitude of guilt for laying waste to burghs and nations that are no longer profitable. Find the cheapest place to get things done and tell the governments they better pony up the incentives to keep you there…until the next political group opens the kimono a little further. Nice knowing you.
Jilted lovers feel the burn…no play on words. The town of Boston, England is one of the most vivid examples. This seaside center of shipping has existed for centuries, both physically and culturally. It also has become home to Poles, Latvians and Lithuanians who have immigrated to GB. There was a promise to the locals that they would see increased commerce and prosperity by opening their arms.
They came in droves but rather than assimilating they kept to themselves. They opened food stores that were ethnic in nature and entire neighborhoods were taken over. The foreign population is at about 15%. I am not saying that immigration is not healthy for a rapidly aging demographic. They will provide the taxes to support the pensioners and welfare states but that logic does not always get through. How do you think they voted?
It is actually one of the real paradoxes of Britain but it can be applicable in our own U S of A. The city of London has for centuries been a melting pot as those in the far flung British Empire have come to work there from India, South Africa and the like. They never ventured forth to the countryside because there was no real work there. Today overcrowding and overpricing in the urban core has caused the newcomers to seek their fortunes in the rural regions. Ergo, the rub.
Jump across the pond and the same drama is being played out on Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut in the New York metropolitan area. Go to Miami, Phoenix and even Alabama and Tennessee. They are carpetbaggers and interlopers to the locals. Economics be damned. They sense they have not gained ground but lost it. And they are probably right.
Last week a good friend chastised me for presenting problems but not solutions. Guilty as charged. Simply put, we don’t have the ability to find solutions. Those would require us not dealing in our own self interest but in the common good from our politicians to the titans of industry to the common man. Sound too lofty? Think about it.
In DC the politicians know we need tax reform, heavy lifting on our infrastructure and deep cuts to our entitlement programs. Tough decisions aren’t going to sit well with the electorate and it would probably cost them their jobs. They look at politics as a growth industry not a time of service.
On the corporate side the pay for the top is obscene. I am not opting for a redistribution of wealth or socialism but a little discretion. What I am saying is a common sense approach to compensation at higher levels and a “sharing of the wealth.” Do you see this happening?
On the worker bee side there has to be dose of reality. Much of the economic woe is a result of downsizing and relocation. But also a great part of it is in what one considers a decent life. Housing, transportation and over all cost of living can be looked at as a necessity or as a symbol of success that one has made it.
All of the above require realism and a dedication to our fellow man and woman. Think not me, but us. To my friend I say therein lies the solution. For now we are all Ungrateful Bastards and that is our Achilles Heel and ultimate downfall. Too bad.
Ted The Great
There are no facts just theory.
Good morning my friend…. I sensed your frustration and sadness in this blog. I can relate!! Will be a good breakfast discussion at some point! But a quick comment. I think we become territorial when we are afraid….as a nation, as a race, as a faith, and as an individual. When we are afraid, we lash out at anyone and anything that gets too close. This is NO way to live in my opinion…..and as you noted, will lead to a very limited existence. Related to our recent discussions on aging, this is the type of lesson the elders in our community can convey to those willing to listen. It is NOT about me…….it is about US! And let me tell you a story as to why……
Oh if we only had ears to hear and eyes to see, right??? Seems as if everyone has gone deaf, dumb, and blind of late.
Take care my friend and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Blessings your way…………jane
Jane W. Barton, MTS, MASM, CSA Author of Caregiving for the GENIUS Cardinal, LLC 303-489-3903 CardinaLife@msn.com http://www.CardinaLife.com Caregiving Ambassador for AARP Colorado http://states.aarp.org/janes-caregiving-cairn/ amazon.com/author/janebarton janebartonblog.wordpress.com
Astute mon amie. Had lunch with a buddy yesterday and as we went through the challenges we face we both reiterated that it wasn’t about us but our grandkids. As he stated somehow we will slip out the door unnoticed and unharmed.
I can’t buy a socialist state but I can’t buy an elitist one either. This middle ground that is so elusive takes communication. I know that seems overly obvious but it is true. The Harvard Business Journal many years ago said that if a company was having problems they should get every one in the room and put a bottle of their favorite alcoholic beverage in front of them…and then lock the door. I heard a similar solution to take all our congressional leaders and put them in a camp out in Big Sky Country. They couldn’t come out until they had a deal on every piece of major legislation to be voted on .
My sadness or by my definition frustration is how do you break through and get people to listen. In the same conversation yesterday we discussed the absolute power of TV and how we don’t use it to teach. People say my blog makes them think and that is more than gratifying but how can we get people off their asses and try to do something about it? Think about Trump and Bernie. Forget about politics these people have found a nerve and are exploiting it. Millions of people on both sides have spoken out. That should be fascinating in a democratic sense(small d). People want to be heard but we aren’t putting out any semblance of a message. How do we change that? Understand seeds but we have an enormous field to sow and make grow Hmmm!
All the best