Ask A Stupid Question

DunceSarcasm: the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky
 
A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.
– Bruce Lee

 

The bewildered always have questions ‘after the fact’. Such questions usually offer profound testimony to these folks’ ignorance and lack of forethought, as well as to their inattention to ‘time’. Regret is expressed for the consequences, but responsibility is rarely taken for the circumstances leading up to an event. Blame may be apportioned in some cases … but lessons are rarely learned. Life goes on … and so does denial.

Does anyone really know what time it is? Many speak of the ‘investments in time’ they make or of their skills of time management … as if time were a commodity. To these aims, clocks were invented to keep track of time. Time keeping instruments are even worn on wrists … analogous to dog collars. Clinically speaking, regardless of the number of nanoseconds there are in a moment, each minute is seen as either being “too early” or “too late”.

Our movements are synchronized to our own creations. Yes, we are slaves to time. We relinquished our ‘freedom’ to our perception of time long ago. What’s worse is that for all our attention to time, we still have no clue about it.

“What time is it?”, you ask. “You’re asking the wrong question”, I say.

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Down To Clown: Dadaism Meets Occupy Wall Street

'Dada Manisfestation' by Jay Schwartz“Every word that is spoken and sung here (the Cabaret Voltaire) represents at least this one thing: that this humiliating age has not succeeded in winning our respect.”
– Hugo Ball
 
“Apparently nothing will ever teach these people that the other 99 percent of the population exist.”
– George Orwell

 

It’s just another day on planet Earth. The warmongers are rattling their sabers. The power-mongers are scheming. Political pundits, regardless of their place in the political void, are preaching to their own choirs, and pseudo-intellectuals everywhere are mentally masturbating over whether or not the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement has faded away, even as its 2-year anniversary approaches.

Meanwhile, the rich (1%) are getting richer, the poor (99%) are getting poorer … and the ‘dadas’ are still creatively angst-ridden, at least this one is. Oh, and while we’re on the subject of existential angst, please note that I ‘might’ be facing deportation at sometime in the near future. Despite what my lawyer says, I reserve the right to be paranoid.

After all, having traded ‘standard of living’ for ‘quality of life’ about 18 years ago, I remain an American living in Greece, or so my pedigree and permanent resident papers claim, despite my personal non-conformity to either countries’ national norms.

Speaking of norms, I can’t help but draw a parallel between OWS and Dadaism, especially in regard to both movements’ anti-establishment stance on ‘the system’. In the faces of both personal and societal upheaval, both movements delight in rejecting the logic and reason of a fallacious zeitgeist that slavishly adheres to a system of personal slavery that’s been irrevocably broken for quite some time.

Of course, some people just don’t get it, claiming that it is human nature to bring order to what is perceived as chaos. Regardless of the fact that chaos may very well have its own brand of symmetry, hair-loss becomes rampant for some when presented with a square peg and a round hole.

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Wake Up! Stay In Bed.

SeussNotGettingUp“You are a slow learner, Winston.”

“How can I help it? How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.”

“Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”

– George Orwell, 1984

 

There is a profound children’s book written by Dr. Seuss titled “I Am Not Going To Get Up Today!”. It chronicles a society in shock fuming over a young boy who, upon waking, decides on a whim to stay in bed. He declares, “The alarm can ring. The birds can peep. My bed is warm. My pillow’s deep. Today’s the day I’m going to sleep!”.

The world balks. Incredulously, all manner of creatures, tall and small, come to call. They stare and parrot each other in disbelief. Concerned citizens in the form of friends, family, the authorities and the mainstream media, all flock together to voice their disapproval. Judeo-Christian cum Protestant work ethic laced moral outrage is expressed in response to the boy’s ‘Bohemic’ claims of free-will, “I don’t choose to be up walking. I don’t choose to be up talking. The only thing I’m choosing is to lie here woozy-snoozing.”

The horror of it all! The entire balance of modern of civilization apparently rests on the vagaries of this young boy who on an impulse defies the expectations of society by taking charge of his own destiny.

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Walking On Eggshells, Sticks And Stones

Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads.
– George Bernard Shaw
If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.
– George Orwell

Let’s pretend it’s kindergarten again and time for ‘show and tell’. Today, I’ve brought ‘my opinion’ to share.

Now, if that makes you nervous, so be it. However, know that I say that because only you can decide for yourself what offends you or incites you to violence. Hopefully, this post will do neither, but obviously it’s really up to you. Trust me, I understand.

These days, there is a rash of global protests, some violent, over a pretty lame anti-Islam film titled ‘Innocence of Muslims‘ produced in the United States. The zealous condemnation of the film by Muslims have triggered a rioting frenzy, including attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions and consulates, and resulting in at least 14 deaths and the murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Libya. This morning I awoke to a steady stream of ‘Twitter tweets’ suggesting that the protests were spreading like wildfire … and so was discussion of another form of righteous indignation: censorship.

Oh, how some have forgotten their kindergarten lessons: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

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Dangling Angles: Rules, Lines And Floaters

WORK-TO-KEEP-FREE-NARA-516190Enlightened people seldom or never possess a sense of responsibility.
– George Orwell
 
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
– Albert Camus
 
It’s important to know thy keepers … because they certainly know you. Yes, they are watching, planning and plotting as you go about picking up the pieces of your daily dander. They are watching to make sure you remain occupied and don’t venture too close to the unmarked boundaries they have drawn. Go on and scoff all you want. Go ahead and laugh, too. It’s ok because that’s exactly what you’ve been programmed to do; when in doubt, keep on doubting.
You see, our lives are marked by rules to follow and lines not to cross. A friendly tip might suggest for you to be mindful of where you step. Step on the wrong toes or tread on the wrong flag and you will be crushed, most certainly. ‘Step on a crack, break your mother’s back’, remember? Yes, that’s how the life goes; ‘them’ is the rules. And, there are quite a few angles, as well.