Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Have A Good Wife

There’s a difference between being a good woman, and being a good wife. I have known many good women over the years who would not necessarily be very good wives. But, to be a good wife one has to first be a good woman, the two are very inter-related.

I’m not an expert on wives, or women, for that matter. But I am an expert on what applies to, and relates to, me. My wife certainly fits well within those parameters. And she is a good wife. Some women consider being described as ‘a good wife’ to be an insult. I suppose that’s because they, myopically, choose to relate to the description as the totality of what they are seen to be. But I don’t think anyone ever meant to describe their own wife as ‘only’ a good wife, and nothing else, at least not anybody you’d really care to know. I think being a good wife is one of the highest callings a woman can aspire to, not necessarily the highest calling, but surely one of the highest. I would say the same about a good husband, but I don’t have one of those. I try to be one of those, but I’ve never had one of those, so I can’t really speak to that.

I’m not really sure I can even define ‘a good wife’, let alone describe, what makes a good wife. I think a man just knows it when he has one. My wife and I don’t agree on everything all of the time, we don’t see eye to eye on everything, and we don’t even necessarily like all of the same things. We are frequently in good moods at different times, in bad moods at different times, in unpredictable moods even, and, consequently, we don’t always find ourselves to be in sync with one another. But I guess not being in sync is the byproduct of two individuals with different physical, emotional, and psychic chemistries. Sometimes we are in sync. Being in sync with one’s husband, however, is not really the primary criteria for being a good wife. That much I do know. I think being a good wife has more to do with wanting to be a good wife, than in knowing how to be one. I think it has to do with the intent of the heart.

I am fortunate enough to be married to a woman whose intentions are born in, and of, a very good heart.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Avatar, The Movie

This is not a movie review. It is an impression of a creative endeavor.

I can see why ‘Avatar’ was nominated for nine Academy Awards. It’s a visually stunning masterpiece. Yes, it’s a masterpiece visually, but the movie itself is really nothing more than an expensive propaganda poster intended to insult and demean America, and the American military. And had it not been visually stunning it probably would have still been nominated for its politics. Hollywood loves this self-loathing, America-hating political pablum, but claims that the awards are given on merit alone, that there are no social politics involved whatsoever.
And the sun doesn’t set in the West.

I saw ‘Avatar’ yesterday. If I’m not mistaken, it took eight years to make, and cost about 250 million dollars, and sometime before I even get this blog posted, it will break the all-time record for dollars earned, breaking the record set by ‘Titanic’, which was also made by James Cameron. It’s been reported that many people leave the movie feeling dizzy, disoriented, and depressed. Although I understand why so many leave depressed, I just left angry. The movie’s feelings-based politics, and social ideology, were insulting to anybody with the courage to subjugate their feelings to the reality, and truth, of historical context.

Let’s see, according to the film, the American military has invaded, plundered, and permanently occupied almost every other under-developed country and territory on the face of the earth; and now they have begun to plunder the wealth of indigenous populations on other planets as well. Of course, every other civilization on earth, and in the universe, is comprised of sensitive, loving, kind and compassionate people; enlightened people who just want to live in peace. It is only America that is ignorant. It is only America who oppresses, enslaves, and slaughters the innocent. It is only America who intends to dominate every living creature, and to subjugate them to its own will. It is only America that is too stupid to learn anything of value about itself.

Well, I remember thinking the same thing . . . . . . . . . when I was about fourteen or fifteen years old. I’d lapped up all the anti-America/anti-military propaganda that was floating around the fringes of my world at that time. I was anxious to believe it. After all, I had an oppressive father also, so it suited me well to extrapolate that oppression, that re-pression, and place it squarely on the shoulders of my country (Big Daddy), and embed it in the brutal fist that he, supposedly, so indiscriminately wielded (The Military).

But you know what? I grew up over the years, something James Cameron , obviously has, as of yet, failed to do; and his adolescent ideology is perpetually reinforced by the Hollywood community. In fact, they probably consider him to be heroic for having had the ‘courage’ to make such a ‘bold’, political statement. Courage? Bold? Please! It’s bold, and it’s courageous, in today’s world, to actually tell the truth. See how long he’d be a Hollywood darling if he were ever to do that.
Hollywood is dishonest, but no less dishonest than anybody else who clings to, and propagates, ideology over logic, reason, experience, and historical accountability.

Yes, I grew up, I read history, I listened (and listen) to the wisdom and perspective of my elders, and I research what I don’t know until I’m satisfied that I’m no longer as stupid as Mr. Cameron still seems to be today.

America is, quite simply, the greatest defender of the oppressed, and the greatest contributor to the welfare of mankind, in the history of recorded civilization. If you don’t believe me, take your own walk back through history. And should anybody tell you different, it is your moral imperative to insist that they do their own honest research, rather than simply continuing to parrot the shallow bias of the ignorant, and the misinformed.

Mr. Cameron thinks nothing of indoctrinating a whole new generation of impressionable young people to his own myopic, and dishonest perspective. This, from a man who has become filthy rich plundering the wallets, but now the minds, of Americans with his movies. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you? Talk about self-loathing? Talk about a guilt complex driving an ideology? I feel sorry for the man.

Yes, Mr. Cameron probably should win an Academy Award for Avatar’s visual brilliance, and for other creative aspects of the movie, but the script should be acknowledged for what it is. It could have been written by a thirteen-year-old girl who was mad at her daddy for hurting her precious feelings.
Creative thinking? Or shameless Propaganda?

You say, "C’mon, it’s just a movie."
And I say, “Oh really?"

Friday, February 19, 2010

I Wish Him All The Best

I just finished watching the Tiger apology on TV.
I’m sure many of you saw it as well.

I have been critical of Tiger Woods. He has been a man that I have never respected because of his Diva, arrogant, egocentric behavior on the golf course. I have respected his dedication, and the hard work he devoted to his craft, but I never respected him as a person, or as a man.

Until Now.

I have always felt that people of privilege should hold themselves to a higher standard of behavior, even, than the rest of us, if for no other reason than as an acknowledgment of gratitude for the elevated, and comfortable, position they have been fortunate enough to inhabit. Humility, rather than arrogance, ought to be the coat they choose to wear every day of their lives. It seems that Tiger Woods has finally begun the process of dressing himself in such a coat.

I listened carefully to the things he said this morning, and I watched his body language.
He rang true for me. Not that that matters to anybody, but it matters to me. I would rather see one man find redemption, than see a thousand men find riches and fame. There is no wealth that compares to living honestly with one’s self. I believe that Tiger Woods finally understands that.

I was wrong about him not needing to apologize. We didn't need it, but he did.
I understand that now.

I wish him all the best.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mental Chronicles 4

* If you haven’t heard the new version of “We Are The World”, or seen the video, I would encourage you to check it out. I’m not real big on these ‘gathering of superstars’ benefits because I think many of the artists would just like to advance their own careers, and be seen as heroes. And there is also the issue of where the money actually goes. But there is a soft spot in my heart for all the contributors who were in it for the actual benefit of the Haitian people, rather than for their own self-aggrandizement. Since it’s impossible for anyone to know exactly who is in it for what reason, I’m choosing to give them all the benefit of the doubt, and honor their participation with a great big acknowledgement of thanks, and appreciation.

But, let’s hope the money raised through this song, and video, will be managed responsibly so that it affects the lives of those most in need, rather than just lining the pockets of Haitian government hacks and phony relief agencies.

And, by the way, the song is, again, a remarkable blending of old and new artists, with a myriad of styles represented, enhancing the power of the song, without getting in the way of its message.

Having said that, I must say I do miss Springsteen, and Dylan, from the original version.

* As some of you know, I like to watch the auditions of American Idol. I stop watching when the competition gets to Hollywood and everybody starts pretending that they totally support their competition.
But I remember one young American Idol wannabe’s audition, who, before her song, stated that she thinks she ‘deserves to be’ the next American Idol because if she were chosen she thinks she’d make ‘a good role model’. She went on to say, “You know, I’d recycle, and I’d care about the people in Africa, and stuff like that.”
Huh! I was under the impression that I was watching American Idol,
not the Miss America pageant.

* Tiger in the Woods. Yeah, Tiger’s still in the woods, but maybe not quite as lost in them now as he has been. It’s all over the news that he’s going to read a ‘statement of apology’ at a press conference on Friday. A ‘statement of apology’? Tiger never did anything to me. What does he have to apologize to me for? Has he ever done anything to you? Who the hell is he actually intending to apologize to, anyway? Far as I can tell, he owes an apology to his wife, which he’s probably already done, and will continue to do for about the next thirty-five years. I’d sure like to see him just keep his mouth shut about his personal life, but I’m also sure there are a lot of people who’d love to see him cry in a public apology. I think there’s something wrong with those people.
If Tiger wants to apologize to anybody other than his wife, maybe he should apologize to all those other golfers he’s been competing against while all puffed up on HGH, and other illegal performance enhancing drugs.
Yeah, that would be an apology that means something.

* And speaking of sports, I am not one who supports the idea of women competing against men in, what have traditionally been, ‘male’ sports. Not because I am opposed to women in sports, but because I think women have an unfair advantage competing against men. Take NASCAR, and Danica Patrick, for example. It is quite common for drivers to bump each other out of position in a race, to aggressively jockey for position, and to exploit the weaknesses of the other drivers. All fine and good, that’s the nature of the sport. But it is embedded in a man’s DNA to treat women differently in competition than they would treat each other. The NASCAR drivers must be more ‘gentlemanly’ in their approach to Ms. Patrick. To use the same tactics on her that they use on each other would cause them to be seen as bullies. They know it. She knows it. Everybody knows it. The men are competing with one hand tied behind their back when she’s in the race.
Do you think Danica Patrick is going to be ‘gentlemanly’ in her approach to the other male drivers? I don’t think so.
Unfair competition.
Oh, and by the way, I noticed that at the NASCAR race last week at Daytona, she was handing out semi-naked posters of herself in suggestive poses to the other drivers just before the start of the race.
Brilliant strategy, don’tcha think?

* Just wondering who you think is the better person?
The person who sets a fairly high degree of moral and ethical standards for themselves, tries their best to live up to them, but because of their own weakness and fallibility, sometimes falls short, resulting in being labeled as a hypocrite?
The person who sets minimally low standards to live by, never failing to measure up to them, assuring that they will not be labeled as a hypocrite?

* My eyes can reflect what another’s eyes seek to project, or they can reflect what’s actually in there. These days I always choose the latter. It does no one any good to just reinforce an illusion.

* The Climate Mafia?
Criminals, all of them. Global Warming, the biggest secular-religious/economic fraud ever perpetrated on the American people, the world, really!
I warned you that it was really just about your money, and, of course,
your allegiance to the ‘cause’.
Again, I say, “Vote them all out of office. Every one of them.”
I’m still waiting for Al Gore to return that Academy award.
Oh yeah, and that Nobel ‘Peace’ prize.

When do you think that’s gonna happen?

* Common sense is not very common.
It used to be, but not so much any more.

*The Olympics.
How bout broadcasting them live so that a viewer can actually care about the outcome of a particular event? In lieu of that, they ought to make them the naked Olympics. At least people would stay up for that.

* AVATAR, The Movie.
The avaTar and Feathering of America, and the American military.
(More on this shameful, and exploitive, fiasco later).


New Segment of "Wilderness", the Novel posted 2/17/10.
Access it by clicking on "Wilderness"
on the Home page of The Old Coyote website.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thought Casserole

I’ve probably never had an original thought.
But, most likely, I think of different things than you do.
And that makes my thoughts worth expressing. The same is true of yours.
You think of different things than me.

I know a lot of smart people, but I’m not sure I know anybody who’s ever expressed an original thought. Those kinds of thoughts are hard to come by. Every once in a while, what I think is one, will emerge, and I’ll pause to consider it, thinking it actually might be mine, but really, inside, I know it’s not. I know it must have escaped from the ‘Vault of Original Thought’ somewhere along the way, and I picked up on it, or it picked up on me. I’m not sure which.

Thinking is like one’s relationship to color. In determining what color somebody might like to paint something, that person will scan his memory for the colors he has seen before, the colors he is already aware of, and then he’ll choose one that expresses his intent. We paint with the colors already on our mental pallet. Occasionally we’ll ‘create’ a new color, but it is always the result of mixing two or more colors that are already in existence for us.

Our thoughts are most always built the same way. They are created from what we already know. We pick up thoughts from many people, and from many different places. We recycle them in our daily mental process. We mix many of them together as well, but the resultant thinking is always a product of those pre-existing thoughts. Some could argue that the ‘thought casserole’ is, in itself, now, original thought.
But I don’t think so.

Maybe the one original thought I HAVE had is that ‘I’ve probably never had an original thought’.

Not that any of this matters.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Internal Congestion

Writing takes me out of myself. Out of my internal congestion, you might say.
Now, those of you who know me would probably agree that it’s a good thing for me to get out of myself. I wouldn’t say that I’m ‘into’ myself, per-se, it’s just that I do live ‘within’ myself. That would be a very comfortable place for some people to live, but not necessarily for me. Kind of scary in there sometimes, kind of confusing at other times. I might even say ‘exasperating’. But, nevertheless, writing takes me out of myself.
And that’s all I’m going to say about me.

Reminds me of an old joke, or it might have been a scene from Seinfeld, I can’t remember. But, a man and a woman are sitting together having a ‘conversation’. The man is talking about himself incessantly, while the woman is just listening. After going on and on about himself, oblivious to the feelings of the woman, for what seemed, to her, like an eternity, he finally looks at the woman and says, “Well that’s enough about me. What do YOU think about me?”

It’s good to have something that takes us out of ourselves. Some people have a particular hobby, avocation, interest, or practice that gets them away from the, otherwise, pressing concerns of the day, or of their lives. Some people have several, and that’s great, but others have none, and seem to be confined by their own lack of interest in anything but, maybe, television. Television seems to take us out of ourselves, to be sure, but studies show that too much TV actually causes stress and anxiety, rather than providing the much-needed escape, or relief, we so often seek. The illusion is that it makes us think of it as escape, when it’s really not. Of course, it also depends on the kind of programming we choose to participate in.
So how much TV is too much TV? I don’t know. I can only answer that for myself, and I’ve already said that I’m not going to say anything more about myself. I don’t want to end up being in that ‘conversation’ joke.

Getting out of ourselves is increasingly important in these trying, and uncertain, times. Different people have different options, but getting outdoors is an option most of us have, and it is, perhaps, the most renewing of all the choices we might have available to us. Almost doesn’t matter what the outdoor activity is, even just a walk, feeling the sunshine, the wind, or the rain. Seeing the sky, the blue sky of daylight, the deep sky, the boundless expanse of space, the clouds crawling quietly across eternity like foam adrift on an open sea. Or the night sky, the dark sky, pierced by a trillion stars, the Milky Way, the Moon, maybe a Comet streaking solo through the Celestial congestion way out there. Just to sit, and look, and see, and imagine, to reach outside ourselves. To touch a place beyond our own routine. It’s always good.
And it always helps.

So, let me just say one thing about myself.
I got out of myself with these few minutes of writing.
Now I’m going outside to take just a little bit of my own advice.