Category Archives: Humourous Essay

Maybe life isn’t meant to be taken seriously?

              [thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

I’ll start with a few chosen quotes…which I may use later to illustrate some points.

“Propagandists are experts at convincing clueless dolts it’s raining when their government is actually pissing down their backs.” (1EarthUnited-WordPress)

“It is not good for man to cherish a solitary ambition. Unless there be those around him, by whose example he may regulate himself, his thoughts, desires, and hopes will become extravagant, and he the semblance, perhaps the reality, of a madman.” ― Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Modern anxiety is expressed in the longing for what most people fear, even as modern grief is expressed in the unconsummated mourning for what they never really had.” ― Joseph Roach

There are connections between those quotes.  Who, for example, listens to propagandists?  Well, people who feel a terrible need to take everything seriously, like me, for example.  Only I go a step further: I go to all the trouble of rejecting their propaganda, which means that I had to first, listen to them, then make the effort to realize they are liars, then tell myself I was filling my mind with lies and I needed to exert extra energy to cleanse my mind of their lies.  Stupid.

Who but someone who takes things too seriously, particularly herself, would cherish a solitary ambition?  What’s the point of practicing the art of abnegation; of extreme unselfishness; of giving and giving until nothing remains but a husk when you know at the beginning of the exercise the more you give, the more you go along, the more you clean after, the more will be expected and demanded until a plantation field hand slave is richer and better cared for than you?

Let me paraphrase something I read in the Bible a long time ago.  In the King James version it said, “be anxious for nothing… your father in heaven knows your needs and as he takes care of the birds of the air, so he’ll take care of you when you serve him.”  I said, paraphrase, remember?  But that’s the gist of what I was taught.  I believed it too – I wanted to believe it, and as I was raised in relative poverty, often in a kind of hand-to-mouth existence, I needed to believe it because even as a child I saw many people much worse off than I, or my family, ever were.  Being raised very religious I thought I needed to understand God.  I never did – for the record. 

So I thought, well, maybe I’m supposed to be “god” – not in the fabulous (blasphemous) sense taught by all false religions, but in the giving, caring, understanding, helping and also the warning sense.  I should have written, to be “like” God – and that didn’t pan out either because the more serious I got, and the more ways I sought to maximize my personal efforts on behalf of the less fortunate, the less like God I became because the more I actually cared about justice and the less I cared about what people believed.

That brings me to writing about the greatest loss of my life: when I lost “God.”  As I quoted above, Joseph Roach said, “modern grief is expressed in the unconsummated mourning for what they never really had.”  That’s how it was: I grieved for the loss of something I never had, I just imagined (powerfully so) that I’d had it.  The mourning I experienced lasted years, and it returns time and again and I have to make a huge and deliberate effort to shake it off, send it away.  

You see, this loss I experienced was that of a comfort that gave no comfort, just the idea of it.  I had faith in an idea; my love was for an idea; an idea I idealized to the point where I expected “it” to empower me to live a good, righteous, selfless, basically “sinless” life and this ideal would make this life short enough that I could see it to the end without ever having time to doubt.  

That’s taking life seriously. 

In all likelihood I will continue to take life seriously… but not today.  Not right now.  I’ve been following the antics of “the world” as they spin off from Washington, the Pentagon, Wall Street and the very same “trinity of bull shit” in every other nation on the planet, trying desperately to make sense of something, and well, it would take even greater faith than I poured into “God” in the first half of my life to believe that in all this “information” pouring into my brain, any of it matters.

As of right now, until whenever, I’m saying yes, I’ve been taking life way too seriously.  Humanity is a joke.  A very bad joke, but a joke nevertheless.  It’s an orgy of dysfunction that is in love with itself and seeks to expand itself exponentially – and does. 

But listen, it isn’t just man that’s gone off the reservation.  All of life on earth is nuts – certifiable.  It’s not immediately obvious to most people because they don’t look at the tapestry from a certain distance, they look at it piecemeal.  They don’t see the dysfunction of a predatory system that rules everything here.  Were it not for the massive and on-going killing, everything would have been overrun long ago and earth would be massive dead swamps and deserts.  That’s the legacy of this world if its modus operandi doesn’t change.

Did it start as a massive joke from some long-gone “creators” for their entertainment, or did some programming go wrong?  Either way, it’s now laugh or cry, and today, I’m laughing!  A dysfunction of such massive proportions dwarfs the shenanigans of the Greek, Roman and Nordic gods.  Man doesn’t need gods, man is the gods.  Everyone is a participant in the final playoffs.  Whether it’s the Hunger Games or The Price is Right… enjoy the game.  Give yourself a great, loud belly laugh, today.  As Robert DeNiro so famously said, “Let’s worry about next time, next time.”

 A couple more quotes, to close.

“My experience of life is that it is not divided up into genres; it’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography if you’re lucky.” ― Alan Moore

  “We are not idealized wild things.  We are imperfect mortal beings, aware of that mortality even as we push it away, failed by our very complication, so wired that when we mourn our losses we also mourn, for better or for worse, ourselves. As we were. As we are no longer. As we will one day not be at all.” ― Joan Didion

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I Need to Define “Democracy” for Myself

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~  by Sha’Tara]

I don’t remember ever hearing the word “democracy” bandied about more than in the last couple of months. Ever notice that the more you hear a word, the less meaning it has?  So let’s start from basic: a dictionary definition, so we’re all on the same playing field.

Democracy | Definition of Democracy by Merriam-Webster  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/democracy

democracies. 1 a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.

I would imagine that most people would accept that definition, and most people would promptly go back to watching TV after checking the fridge for a beer or a half bottle of wine (which I’m sorely tempted to do right now!).  And in the case of my southern neighbours, most of them would rather not be reminded that their particular belief in democracy made them vote in, and elect, probably the least presidential character imaginable.  I’m not saying it’s going to be all bad… well it probably will so let’s not fool ourselves, but what I’m saying is, something’s seriously awry with a system that allows such a thing to happen, especially when it didn’t just happen, it was “pending” for months.

Yes, for several months, the people of the democracy saw a humanoid caricature, essentially a cartoon character, strut upon a stage ostensibly reserved for real people (in fact so reserved it is that a couple of real people wanting to seriously represent the people weren’t even allowed on that stage) clowning about and saying things that are usually only seen in cheap, crass and gross low budget comedies and tawdry TV sitcoms.  I’m saying months of non-stop public appearances that should have convinced any Earthian with even two brain cells to rub together that here was something to avoid as you would a cave-in on the freeway.  I mean, hello?  You just don’t go there.  You laugh a few times with the cartoon, then you go watch the Simpsons (I don’t watch TV so assuming that’s still running?).

But that’s not what happened.  With a *three-foot long nose still growing and sprouting leaves, this Pinocchio got enough popular votes to get itself elected president of the nation.  And already, typical of such soul-less and heartless characters it’s already plunging itself deep into the political establishment and getting ready to feather its own nest.  I wonder if any will notice that this emperor has no clothes?  I wonder if anyone will remember you can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear?  I wonder if anyone will realize that putting a gold crown on the head of a pig and sticking a scepter between it’s front feet doesn’t make it a king?

Well, these are the obvious questions, but they do not answer my question which is, what exactly is a democracy?  According to president Lincoln, the US democracy was to be a government of the people, by the people, for the people… in perpetuity – Gettysburg address.  So there you have it, and I think I’m getting closer to what I’m looking for: the difference between a real democracy, and one in name only.  Lincoln gives us this difference: government OF the people, BY the people, FOR the people.  Don’t they teach that in American schools?  I’m not American and I’ve known this Gettysburg address line since grade school… and I didn’t even have to salute a flag or sing God Bless America, and still I remembered it.

I don’t vote.  I haven’t done so since 1980, deliberately and with purpose aforethought.  I’m a conscientious objector.  If they made me vote, I’d spoil the ballot.  Call it a form of satyagraha.  Non-violent non cooperation.  And now that I’ve defined the concept of living in a democracy, I can explain why I don’t vote; why I cannot vote.  Before someone jumps up with, “voting is your sacred duty” or some such brain dead claim, let me say that for voting to be a sacred duty, that duty must be to a sacred concept.  Otherwise it cannot be sacred, can it.  Is the concept I’d be voting in, sacred?  After following the presidential “race” can that question even be raised?  A “democratic” foreign policy explained in six words by Hillary Clinton: “We came, we saw, he died!” (followed by loud laughter) and endless racist and misogynist comments by Trump the pussy groper, sacred?

Two things then I can say that would make a democracy legitimate for me.  One has to do with who gets elected.  Let’s see, government BY the people.  OK, that’s clear enough.  You don’t need a campaign and millions of dollars wasted while children go hungry, on election day every legitimate citizen of the state goes to the polls and votes for only one person: herself or himself or theirself (if you’re a trans like myself!) and predictably, the result is that everyone becomes president.  Everyone is the government.  And also predictably, that government is going to be of the people and for the people.  Well maybe it wouldn’t be a democracy any longer, it would become a peopleocracy.  In such a “system” I would have no problem voting as I couldn’t pick a candidate who is smarter, richer, whiter or blacker, older or younger, sicker or healthier,  maler or femaler than myself.  If I voted for a slimeball, guess who that would be?  I’m not saying the Earthian human race is ready or able to operate such a simple system, but it’s the only way to have a democracy that is so in more than words and emotionally sentimental outbursts.

Second thing, bringing it much closer to home.  In a more real democracy, and in a situation such as the US is experiencing after electing to shoot itself squarely in its collective foot, in their two-party system, when one of the candidates win, the other automatically becomes vice-president.  There is no logic in the winner picking some ninny yes-man from his own side.  He didn’t get all the votes, did he?  In fact in this case he got less votes than the other candidate but through rigged elections (which of course he’s now not about to contest) he got spot number one.  OK, I don’t like Candidette #2 either, certainly no more than Candidate #1, but by virtue of received popular votes, she gets the vice presidency.  That way the votes aren’t wasted, everybody wins and all the representatives have to do is decide on how their proposed policies, agendas and changes get implemented, by popular referendum if necessary.  Of course I’m aware that at the level of willingness to cooperate that we’re dealing with here, they may go for the jugular and kill each other.  I don’t see that as any great loss, do you?

(*Reference is to the story of the wooden puppet, Pinocchio.  When he lied his nose grew so everyone would know he was lying.)