Friday, October 03, 2014

SPEAKING IN FORKED TONGUES

Lies
All lies
Pretty little liars
We are all
Pretty little liars
Well, maybe some prettier than others.

I have pondered long and hard for most of my life on the nature of lying. I have had a protracted and painful war with myself over lying.

We all lie. People who love us lie. People who hate us lie. Our teachers lie. Saying that politicians lie is just redundant. We most especially lie to ourselves.

When I put makeup on in the morning, I am preparing to lie to the world about my face, which is already a giant fib because of plastic surgery. When I squeeeeeeeeze myself into a corset, I am going to lie to you about the size of my middle.

Take ten pounds off your weight. Lie.
Take ten years off your age. Lie.
Take 2 of your 4 ex husbands off a first date's conversation. Lie.

These are called "white lies." I'm not sure who originally picked the color. Probably to signify "innocence." But in a literal sense, a lie really is a lie really is a neon red Vegas sign lie.

Visiting my parents when my son was two, there was a plate of delicious cookies on the table. I told Ben that he could have two and that was all. I turned back to him and noticed an odd expression on his face. I said "Ben, did you take more cookies?" "Noooooooo," he answered with wide eyes and a slow shake of his head. Then he said "Just don't look under the table." I got up and looked under the table and saw he was holding two more cookies.  Ben got angry and said "I TOLD you not to look under the table!!!" Then he tossed the cookies back onto the plate and huffed away. A humorous demonstration of a strange phenomena that adults still practice: getting angry at someone we've lied to because they've discovered the lie.

While in a relationship with a morally compromised person, I caught him in several lies. He would finally admit to them, but never ever apologize or make amends. Time would pass, and when I would bring it up, he would say "Haven't we moved past that now?" As in "time heals all wounds and all lies are forgotten." Then there would be new lies he would be angry with me for discovering.

For a long time I viewed lies in terms of degree of injury. The degree of injury would often be how much energy I would expend based on the belief of the lie. For example, if you tell me you love me when you don't even really like me, and I believe you, I will take great care with your birthday and Christmas gifts and when you're in a pickle, I'll go out of my way to help you, you lying scumbag. This lie has cost me money and time, and the embarrassment of you laughing behind your hand at my expense while others watch. And other various such like scenarios. This view has been far more hurtful to me than it was for the self centered narcissists who told the lies. It also renders the dynamic of the interpersonal relationship a commercial transaction. In these cases, the lies become counterfeit currency to purchase my valuable time, affection and efforts. It's far easier nowadays for me to go out of business with someone who's looking to steal from my stores. Because it really is a HUGE waste of time.

One of the worst of lies I've seen involved a relative of mine. He had grown up believing that his mother's sixth husband was his biological father. The same father as his younger brother. When it came time for him to get his driver's license, his mother refused to give him his birth certificate, which he had never before seen. When he finally got one, ordered from the county, he saw "bastard" entered in the "name of father" box. This was a most injurious lie, to be sure. Considering that this was yet another pothole in the road to this young man's suicide. Not that his mother didn't love him. She did. This was a lie that sprang from shame and cowardice.

In my lifetime of trying to climb the mountain of lies in search of "truth," I spent time regarding the question of "truth." What the sam hill is it?

What I found is that "truth" is a squirrelly thing. I am fascinated by Derren Brown. He is a masterful illusionist, hypnotist and trickster. Watch his shows on YouTube. He "bought" a very expensive watch using blank paper as "cash." He made a fortune at the race track with losing tickets. In his work, he shows how very easy we humans are to lie to and fool. He is not at all obnoxious about this. He explains what he has done and is always respectful of the people who participate with him. He will even tell them straight up what he is about to do, and they are still hoodwinked. Amazing.

What Derren Brown has illustrated more pointedly to me is that lying is a participatory event. For me, being angry with myself for believing the packs of lies as told to me by cowards and scum of the past is what was the most crippling. And the biggest waste of time. And, after all, I do have to include myself in the coward and scum category for each time I've "lied" to myself. To be fair.

Recently I "busted" someone for changing the salient details in the retelling of a past event. His reply sent me on another inner thought voyage when he laughed and said, "well, it makes a better story." The so-called fact was that the event, as told, did happen, but the surrounding elements did or did not happen.  I intellectual-ified this into it becoming a "Relative Alternate Perception."

My mother loves to re-write our family history. For her, it tells a better story. As long as I am thinner in those versions, I don't mind.

When you think about it, nothing around us in our various stories at any given moment is as it seems. We think we're solid. We're not. We're defined as solid because we have a definite shape and volume. Glass is liquid that is moving verrrrrry slowly. Matter around us is made up of atoms with enormous quantum space between the elemental particles. We just perceive these things as solid.

Eye witness reports can be completely incorrect. Optical illusions fool us every time.

But how is a person to navigate through life when every single thing and person and event around us is all or part lie? What is a truth seeker to do to avoid self loathing breakdowns of frustration????



One could explode in a volcanic eruption of vitriolic venom without some kind of coping relief.

For me it comes down to decisions. I have to decide how I am going to perceive my environs on a daily basis. I have to dispassionately review and regard people and events around me based on new information, the need to discard old and irrelevant information and which underpants are clean. Sometimes the seemingly arbitrary has significance. And this process must be done as even handedly as possible without tendency to over-react, become paranoid or under-react and end up in landfill. I have had to become surgical in some cases where people around me fundamentally meant me harm, even if unintentionally.

Life is about fluid, relative alternate perceptions. It's the only thing I have to go on. Lying is going to rain down on me every single solitary day. I will be participating in this to some degree or another. That's just who we are as humans. I will tell you the truth. At least today's truth. Unless our day is going to be a whole lot happier if I tell you that butt ugly dress you're wearing is pretty.

It all comes down to the most profound song of all time. The one song that ultimately defines and positively instructs the healthiest, happiest, truest path we can take in our lives:

"Row, row, row your boat
gently, down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream."




Friday, September 12, 2014

THROWED OFF

I had my life planned and scheduled and budgeted. Yes I did. Ben would graduate high school, go off to college. I would devote my time to finding more work and get my mom situated in a nice place. Take up sewing again. Join a writing group and a book club. Exercise seventeen times a day. OK, maybe ten. Fine, three. Probably one. Every other day.

Then I got throwed off this track by my son. Coming up on two years ago, he said to me "Go get a life, mom. I'm going to be going off soon." He said this at fourteen. Because he is really forty-six and a half. 

The upshot was then again being throwed off by meeting the love of my life, who inspires me and inspired me to write this poem for him this morning:

If I could predict and then have as I say,
I would, of course, always have my way.
But life presents quite differently,
and the best of times come untethered and free.
While this fact of things can daunt and tease,
this fact of things is how life will please
and bring to fore loves finest and best
to fully enjoy till night's sweet rest.

Now that a new, improved, much happier path is laid here in front of me, I find myself still throwed off. Daily. By daily demands. Unexpected bills. Shoulder impingement. House fixings. More unexpected bills. More to do. More to do. More to do. The "To Dos" throw me off.

I'm not sure if it's a product of getting older, this fracturing of attention.  It surely is influenced by this. But now, after a flurry of disconcertment, I tend to settle down a bit faster because I know that being throwed off can and should be turned into a plus plus plus! and a nap.

Thus and therefore, I shall not fear horses, buses, islands, tracks or scents. I shall endeavor to forthrightly, heretofore and henceforth, redundantly seek to find the soft spot to land in any enclosure or experience where being thrown off is a distinct possibility.  Which is, in point of real time fact, everywhere. 

Because being throwed off is a gift, if you look at it correctly. 

What the living hell is this coming my way?
....Bring it!!





Tuesday, September 02, 2014

JOY


Extremely difficult to get to....





Spectacular and, at the same time, easy to be in. 
Also, best shared with others.

My life, so far,  has regularly alternated between the two.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

INTERTWINED

Everything is intertwined.
We're all made of the same goo.
So's earth.
Identifiable chemical compounds.
That common need for organic continuance,
intertwines us.
Ideally, being a common goal, should unite us
to find those things for organic continuance
together.
But no.
We fight, argue, compete, tax, withhold, and BOOM! over them.
Even though
we are intertwined.

The universe and all the bits of it are intertwined.
Orbiting, spinning, gassing, black holing
All made of the same goo,
with a common need for physical continuance.
Ideally, being a common goal, should unite them.
But no.
They crash into each other, absorb each other, and BOOM! over each other
Even though
they are intertwined.

Intertwined is a state of being.
What we do with it is the difference.
BOOM.

Monday, July 14, 2014

DEAR MR. MODERATOR

I tried sending this letter to Mr. Heath Rada, Moderator of the PCUSA, today. The regular e-mail for him didn't work, so I posted it as a comment on his website.  Just in case, I'll add it here as well,

Dear Mr. Rada,

I used to be a Presbyterian. I was a member of the PCUSA for several years.  My son and I left the PCUSA church because of, among other reasons, the placing of priority on raising millions of dollars for fancy buildings while cutting mission to almost nothing, plus attitudes of social superiority that indicated we were not as important as other members because we had less money and "status" in the local community. 

While I do miss regularly seeing my friends there, who are indeed good folks, my son and I do not miss the hypocrisy of listening to sermons with tears on cue asking for more building campaign money from pastors earning six figure salaries. 

The PCUSA's recent vote to divest money from companies whose products are sold to the Israeli government cements our conviction that our "divestment" of the PCUSA and organized religion in general was correct. (It seems the Methodists will soon be joining the PCUSA in the support of Hamas)

I write to you today because I do know that there are still good people associated with the PCUSA. And I would hope that, as moderator, you have to be concerned about losing more members and, what has to have been stated by more than me, the perceived movement of the church away from resembling anything Jesus taught. Fortunately we've discovered, out here among the heathens, that there are more righteous people who are "unchurched."

Dennis Prager created a simple to understand video of the Israeli-Middle East conflict in terms of history and their position today. The link is: http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/the-most-important-video-about-israel-ever-made

This explains clearly Israel's current position. They are surrounded by countries that want them dead and Israel gone. No peace. No compromise. These are terrorist organizations that will not negotiate and will not stop under any circumstances other than the extermination of all Jews. Hitler's goal as well in WWII. http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4298/hamas-abbas-jihad


Israel has had no choice but to defend itself. This has always been the case. Today is no different than when the PCUSA originally poured the 20 plus million dollars from its money changing table to HP, Motorola and Caterpillar. 

Israel has stated it wants to live peacefully with and is willing to cooperate with and support a Palestinian state. Palestine claims that nothing less than a one state solution is acceptable. And that Israel must be destroyed. How do you suggest they deal with this, while the suicide bombers and rockets keep coming and keep coming?

Hamas has taken to hiding rockets and weapons inside Mosques and schools in Gaza. There is talk in the news this week that Hamas is doing this with the specific intent of increasing the deaths of Palestinians in Gaza as an effort to garner more sympathy in the press from Western and European countries. Still, having to defend itself, the Israeli military have repeatedly warned Gaza residents ahead of time when they will strike. http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/israel-drops-leaflets-warning-northern-gaza-airstrikes-n154571

PCUSA commissioners were offered a meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss its concerns and point of view. That they rejected this clearly shows that the PCUSA has no faith in itself as a relevant religious entity and, further, has a closed heart to Israel and its point of view. 

For the PCUSA to withdraw support from Israel by way of divestment (and, please, claims of it not being that much money is disingenuous and a demonstration of moral weakness), is tantamount to supporting Hamas and it's stated intention of jihad and obliteration of Jews and Israel. 

To claim that you still love and support your Jewish brothers and sisters is hogwash. Unless you come forward and finally once and for all admit that the PCUSA no longer subscribes to the tenets of the gospels, and has entered into the political arena by tacitly taking the other side, while practicing a religion of judgmental self interest.

"Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever doesn't gather with me, scatters." Matthew 12:30 is very clear. The PCUSA, in an era of exponential population growth, has lost over 20% of members since 2000, while claiming that it's all right since giving is way up. Yay for money! This indicates that the scattering of sheep bodies is A-OK with the the PCUSA. Apparently Luke 15 no longer applies as well. 

I left a church for whom political correctness was more important than helping people for fear of being "sued." And you claim to follow a savior for whom crucifixion's penalty never once trumped the soul of any one of us. 

I don't think so.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

CHANGE THE MASCOT

Earlier this year, the Oneida Indian Nation and the National Congress of the American Indian, began a campaign to remove the use of the term "redskins" from the public discourse. Specifically from the culturally pervasive arena of sports.

In June the movement Change the Mascot was begun to persuade the Washington Redskins to change their mascot and logo from the racist and destructive use of the word "Redskins."

This is not a new struggle for native Americans. Over recent years they have been gathering a substantial "war council", if you will, of human rights organizations and political figures. Read the articles on the website. They've been working hard to help enlighten we conquering hordes.

I have become more aware of the plight of native Americans after the creation of "Proud To Be", a commercial produced and paid for by the Yocha Dehe Nation that was aired in seven major markets during the NBA Championship game this summer.




I am honored to know Marshall McKay, the Executive Chairman of the Yocha Dehe. When I congratulated him on this commercial, I was surprised to learn that I had no idea what the term "Redskins" really signified. I've since googled the many interpretations of the history of the word and it's usage. After hearing Marshall's explanation and reading the various google versions of the word and it's etiology, I am persuaded that there is really just one definition of this horrific term and that is:

The bloodied scalp or mutilated corpse of a native American brought in by bounty hunters to a government office for money.

And a multi-million dollar earning sports franchise is touting this as their logo and mascot.

Now that I am aware of this, I find it disgusting. And hateful.

Marshall is correct. We need to move away from hate speech.

It will help if we can remember the true history of this country and the reasons our native American neighbors have come to us with this request for respect and decency.

The Manataka American Indian Council has written a concise history of the arrival of the Pilgrims to what is now our United States. This history tells a far different story than the folkloric mythology of Thanksgiving as taught to our children in school. It wasn't at all the idyllic feast of turkey, corn bread and apple pie, with singing and dancing and the native Americans and Pilgrims being ever so happy together. It involved, among other devious and murderous things, a soccer game using decapitated Indian heads as the balls.

When my own son was six, I purchased the book "Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong" and read the true history of Thanksgiving to him. When I did this, I also told him that what he was learning in school is also fine, because it is the ideal we need to work toward now and in the future. I told him that school was teaching him the hope for us to be better. But he should never forget the truth of what happened.

I believe that right now is the time we should live up to this.

The founders of this country were refugees. They were illegal immigrants. They climbed onto this land carrying diseases that the native Americans had no immunity to. After being decimated by the smallpox and influenza, many were then herded and shipped back to England as slaves. The rest were murdered and hunted. Women and children were trapped in their homes and burned to death. Bounties were set for the collection of bloody scalps and mutilated bodies (redskins).

Of course they fought back as best they could. They were marked for extinction by a conquering invader who stole their crops, claimed ownership of their home and decided they were godless heathens who were of lesser entitlement to existence than their holy Pilgrim selves. But, as history has it correctly, the native Americans lost. Though we were kind enough to give what was left of the tribes the worst real estate we could find for their reservations and allowed them sovereignty to fend for themselves. Then we wiped our hands, turned our backs and left them alone.

Until...

Some of the tribes have managed, over the years, to create great wealth. Some through their art and farm products. But mostly through the creation of casinos where wealthy descendants of the conquering invaders can come and spend money. Some tribes have been so successful that there is now a conflict over the issue of collecting state taxes on the gaming revenues. Because how dare they do well, when we finally managed to put them under thumb with such satisfying finality? They do pay federal taxes, because the United States government has an obligation to protect them and provide certain federal benefits. Though they have no representation in our congress or senate. Now we want to tax them on a state basis, even though we provide no services to them whatsoever at that level.

Once a conquering invader, always a conquering invader.

This is the time that we must finally look at the history as it really happened. It's time to move past that and respect our indigenous neighbors and give them the respect they deserve as human beings and fellow citizens of our larger world. At the very least.

It's time to stop the hate speech for starters.

It starts with you and me.

Change the Mascot.