Drive Me To The Occupation

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’
– Bob Dylan (The Times They Are A-Changin’)

 

Back when I was a teenager, I remember being eager to reach the legal age at which I could take the examination for a learner’s driving license. It wasn’t that I really thought I’d be driving, but I wanted the license just the same. It signified some rite of passage to me, I guess. License to go and be free.

A friend was kind enough to give me his copy of the ‘Driver Handbook’ published by the ‘Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ (read: road hogs) to help me study for the required exam. One of the first things I remember reading were the words “In the state of Florida, driving is a PRIVILEGE.” The words sort of jumped right off the page and blind-sided me (almost as unnerving as the way in which Florida Highway Troopers (read: stormtroopers) would suddenly appear, riding your rear bumper, their blue lights a blazing). Before even delineating how one attains this privilege, the handbook launched into a list of how said privileges could be taken away. Words like ‘suspended’, ‘revoked’ & ‘incarceration’ seemed menacing … purposely so.

I’m sure you will agree that teenagers quickly catch on to what the word privilege means, especially because they are always being threatened with having theirs taken away. It does seem fairly sadistic to teach children the value of ‘liberty’ by robbing it of them every now and then. It’s even more perverse when the exercise has less to do with education and more to do simply with authoritarian ‘control’.

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Wool And Water: Who’s Fleecing Whom?

“Can you do addition?” the White Queen asked.
“What’s one and one and one and one and one
and one and one and one and one and one?”
“I don’t know,” said Alice. “I lost count.”
– Lewis Carrol (Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There)

 

I ask you … is inconsistency the only thing consistent in your life? Is ambling through life with no real purpose seem to be the norm for you? Does getting through the day seem to be both a tall order and the order of the day?

Turbulent times, indeed! I’m reminded of the old Chinese toast that chimes, “May you live in interesting times”. Of course, the saying actually reflects a curse … but then I guess it’s all how you interpret it. Still, a devil’s advocate might suggest that going all ‘Pollyanna’ would most likely mean that something has gotten lost in the translation! Yes, it’s often hard to know what to believe and more importantly what to think.

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Dialing For Rejection: Just Say No

It ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
It don’t matter, anyhow
An’ it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
If you don’t know by now
– Bob Dylan (Don’t think twice, it’s all right)

Do you find it hard to say ‘no‘? By the same token, how easy is it for you to accept rejection? In reality, these are two sides of the same coin in respect to how developed your ’emotional intelligence’ is … and perhaps how stable you are as an individual. Now to be honest, if you are already questioning your stability, then you might as well question that of society’s, as well … as I often do on this blog.

Back when I was in kindergarten, I distinctly remember being told “when you grow up you can be anything you want, even the President of the United States!” In retrospect, I wonder what the point of this ‘pie in the sky’ pep talk was? On the surface, it was surely to motivate us kids to succeed in life. Certainly it was to inspire us to set goals and to be all that we were born to be. Yes yes, we all know teachers are liars but …

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Our Saving Disgrace: Economic Sheep Dip

I’ve walked and I’ve crawled
on six crooked highways
I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests
I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans
I’ve been ten thousand miles
in the mouth of a graveyard
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard,
it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.
– Bob Dylan (A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall)

 

This morning I awoke to the sound of a hard rain washing away yesterday’s fog. I’m an American; I live in Greece.

In the ‘States’, yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday, in some respects a day that has become less about NFL football and more about big business and advertising. In Greece it was just a ‘lack of business’ as usual. While pre-game tail parties and the commercial brainwashing of Americans were in full swing, political theatrics were being played out by Greek technocrats and bureaucrats that have turned a blind eye and deaf ear to the will of the people.

And, all the while bankers and ‘big business’ continue to turn the screws on ‘we’ the sheep.

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