Monday, December 30, 2013 1:44 AM
On Bill Moyers tonight a guy said, ‘There’s really only two sides: kindness and cruelty.’ And I agree. When all detail is scraped away, a kind person will do what they can, and a cruel person will do what they can get away with. The main obstacle to that clarity is human history. We start focusing on debts, borderlines, dogmas, politics, and whose dad could beat the other guy’s dad. The cruel side uses all this ‘white-noise’ to tap-dance endlessly around the simple issue of ensuring that no one starves to death.
My South African friend became quite exercised about we Americans always bringing up Apartheid. (On Bill Moyers they also talked about Mandela’s turning away from revenge or bitterness towards his oppressors—and how that was as rare a thing as a thing can be.) I think South Africans have a false sense of how easy it is to end bigotry—their miraculous, overnight switch from apartheid to equality, as an entire nation, could have gone in many different, less peaceful, directions after Mandela’s release from prison.
But the funniest thing on TV today was mentioned on both Bill Moyers and Religion & Ethics Newsweekly—The new Pope, Francis, is throwing a huge monkey-wrench into the neo-con evangelists’ secularizing of Christianity. He reminds the world that ending poverty and hunger must be a Christian’s highest priority, Catholic or otherwise—this flies in the face of pious Republicans whose decidedly selfish narrative ‘explains’ cutting food stamps for poor families and refusing to raise taxes on the wealthy.
The Roman Catholic Church, prior to Francis, was a major banking institution and the single biggest holder of real estate around the globe—an institution soaked in power and property—and was thus reliably on the side of big business and high finance. Pope Francis’s new thrust seems to be a sharp break with expectations. He wants Christians to live their faith: mercy, charity, and love—and he’s not inclined to spiral off into some distraction that allows the status to stay quo. Recently, the Pope even mentioned the existence of atheists like myself—and not as damned souls doomed to perdition, either!
This pleases me more than I can say. I was happy enough to hear that the Catholic Church had finally seen the light, vis-à-vis pederasty and general corruption amongst the priesthood, and would no longer consider buggery an ‘old tradition’, but rather as the crime it was always (quietly) known to be. But now—O, to have a Pope stand up and tell the world that we don’t know what Christianity is. If Christians want to be worthy of their faith they have to act like Christians. They have to believe in mercy towards, charity for, and love of our fellow men and women.
You know, people talk about the Jews having to avoid the flesh of scavengers, like pigs and shellfish; or the Muslims having to pray four times a day (or is i
t 5?). But Christians get a pass. To believe in Christ is to want to follow his teachings—which say plenty about the poor and the outcast, but nothing at all about mortgage derivatives or early foreclosures. There was a story about J. K. Rowling in the news this week—she was a billionaire, but now she’s given away so much to charities that she’s become a mere multi-millionaire. I was shaking my head at the thought that this was news—it was news because no one else had ever f*#king done the same.
But between her, Bill and Melinda Gates, billions of US $s in foreign aid, and the Catholic Church, we still have starving kids and homeless victims of a global system that says, ‘not my problem.’ Just within the USA alone, we have erosion in our beautiful Capitalist sand-castle—Detroit declared bankruptcy a while ago—the whole city. Of course, rich people can move. But what does civil bankruptcy mean to the Detroit denizens that were already broke before the crisis? It means that what little support the poor were getting there will become no support at all. A major city in the USA!—O how the mighty have f*#ked up.
And often we hear about the churches of all denominations being the major source of soup kitchens, charities and volunteer work. There’s only one problem with that—nobody goes to church much anymore. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger—but there are definitely a lot of people besides just me, all staying home from church—some just lazy, yeah, but a lot that just don’t have religion in their lives now. A lot of Catholics are staying away because of the betrayal of sexual misconduct committed by their once most-trusted and respected civic leaders, their local priests. And don’t even ask about the number of young men deciding to enter the priesthood–who in their right mind would jump into that abyss?
I don’t want to go into that cesspool of a subject, but my point is—the church is no longer the core of a town or a neighborhood. And without the collections funds, the charities have no cash to operate. It is time we stopped looking to church charities and began implementing something more secular. We could call it “The Centers For People We’ve Finally Stopped Pretending Weren’t Suffering” (“…and stuff”, as Derek Zoolander might say).
Well, I Googled, so now I know the guy on “Bill Moyers” was Thomas Cahill—and he was right: ‘There’s really only two sides: kindness and cruelty.’
Happy New Year!
Okay, I have a long one here, 20 minutes or so of xmas carol songs–I neglected to sing along, so it’s just the piano part.
Then I did two improvs in that same recording session that I’m calling ‘xmas stuff’ & ‘more xmas stuff’.
And the final upload, a left-over from a few days back, totally non-holiday-related.
Thursday, December 19, 2013 4:54 PM
James S S
18 hours ago via mobile · Like
Janine S C
What type of group is this ?
13 hours ago via mobile · Like
Randy W D
I have the same question, what’s this group about?
5 hours ago · Like
I think it’s about love, freedom, idealism, sharing, music, light, and the good stuff—like all groups, n’est-ce pas?
2 hours ago · Like
Freedom? Love? Sharing? LOL. America is slowly losing freedom because everyone takes their freedom for granted and try to use it against the law. No one knows what love is, having over 50% of divorce rate just in America. No one pays any attention to anyone else unless they’re dating, close friends or family. Other than that, they are wasting their life away on their phone playing Candy Crush or tweeting like a fucking stupid ass bird.
28 minutes ago · Like
Freedom is the willingness to die for what you care about—it can’t be given or taken. Who said marriage?—we just met, man! Besides, love and marriage are two diff things. What have you to say about idealism?
25 minutes ago · Like
That is why I only said those 3 topics. But, marriage comes with love. And family is unconditional love, you grow up to naturally love your guardian. Freedom is the ability to do what you want, but America has regulations. Technically every other country has more freedoms than America. (aside from freedom of religion and cultural beliefs/practices). In other countries, we would be allowed to just walk outside our house and go and kill someone if we wanted to. (Not saying this in all countries, but it’s partially true. People join the army to sacrifice their life in order to have the people they love to live in freedom and safety. Just saying.
20 minutes ago · Like
And when I say marriage, I mean the traditional marriage where the two mates actually love each other and want to make their relationship official forever. Not when military people get married to make more money or other meanings other than love. Which is the reason that most marriages end in divorce.
18 minutes ago · Like
America has a constitution that says what we can’t do, and we are legally permitted to do anything else. It isn’t against the law to do anything unless there’s a law against it. In other countries, the constitution sets out what is allowed, and reserves the right to arrest you for doing anything that isn’t on the list. That is why America has more freedom than anywhere else.
12 minutes ago · Edited · Like
Most marriages end in divorce because mostly young people get married—Claire and I have been married for 34 years, but we had to learn to live with each other—lust is easy, living together is hard.
14 minutes ago · Like
Ehhh, understandable. Just people take their freedoms for granted. There are quite a lot of people that know how to settle down and be with a person they love. Others just don’t, and most guys now treat girls like shit to the point of girls just treating guys like shit. (I.E. My parents. Mom was treated bad, almost didn’t marry my Dad.)
12 minutes ago · Like
People don’t treat each other very well. I don’t know how to fix that except for not joining in. And people take EVerything for granted—I was only a day or two away from dying of liver cancer, then all of a sudden I got a liver transplant—and I haven’t taken much of anything for granted in the ten years since.
8 minutes ago · Like
It’s just annoyingly pathetic, hearing all these people that complain for not getting a black iphone but got a white one, or getting 400 dollars instead of an Iphone. Or when someone is trying to help a friend that is being suicidal and the suicidal person just treats that friend like shit (been there done that so many times) Please do take into account that I’m only 18 and talking like this.
5 minutes ago · Like
The duality is funny, don’t you think? No one is as giddy and thrilled with life as someone who has just narrowly avoided a fatal car crash. Most successful people grew up in tough conditions and that makes them tough and strong and ambitious to get something better—children of successful people grow up with the best of everything—and end up being weaker and less able to compete. It’s crazy
5 minutes ago · Like
You can’t help people that don’t want your help—sad, but the simple truth. 18 is a good year in only one way—no subsequent year will be nearly as hard to live through. Also, don’t go looking for bad stuff—look for good stuff, or just enjoy what you have…
5 minutes ago · Like
I don’t complain about much of anything. Literally the only thing I ask from my parents is some money for soda or gas, that’s literally it. I’m happy with everything I have. Computer, Xbox 360, some games, netflix, a house, food and my parents. They are paying for my college so I try hard to not ask for much. But other than that, I’m quite happy. I’d love to have more, but I’m not a brat about it. it’s just the fact that when you try and help a person, they shoot you down, but later come to you crying for help.
2 minutes ago · Like
Your peers are eighteen too, which means that they will all be kinda selfish and manipulative–you may even catch yourself at it once in a while.