Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tao Te Todd

I've been thinking lately of writing a small book of wisdom. You know the kind: a wafer-thin assemblage of mind farts designed to "impart some of the lessons I've accrued here..." (The quote, Grasshopper, is from Rushmore. When you can watch this film without leaving a trace on the DVD player, then you will be ready to leave the Temple.)

Where was I? Ah, yes. I want to do my part, however humble, to improve humanity by advising it, as best I can in my capacity as a mortal with an average I(and E)Q, on how to make the earth a better place for all of us. A modest ambition, really. Not unlike Lao Tsu, who wrote the Tao Te Ching on his way out of China sometime around the 5th Century B.C.E.

You see, the Empire in which he lived (plus ca change!) was also full of shit, and he, like me (like you, dear reader?), could not take it anymore. So he moved to Canada. I mean Mongolia. Well, it may not have been called that then. I didn't major in Pre-Modern East Asian History. The point is he couldn't take it anymore, and since starting a progressive blog was not an option at that time, he up and left. of the border guards was tipped off. Did he arrest Lao Tsu and put his skinny ass in Abu Ghraibuson? No. He knew Lao Tsu was a wise man, so he simply asked him if, on the way out, he wouldn't mind annotating a few pearls of you know what, something for the beleaguered guard to hang onto amid all the madness. And Lao Tsu, sweet fellow that he was, composed 81 brief chapters for that guardian of Empire. Next to the Sermon on the Mount, it may be the greatest explosion of humane common and uncommon sense in history. What's it all about? For the uninitiated, the Tao is a bit like Confucius minus the authoritarianism.

Anyhoos. I want to write something equally valuable, equally concise. Because let's face it, we live in times when so-called wise men, so-called statesmen are capable of bloviating for days without saying anything at all, at least not anything worth a damn. Maybe it's a liability issue - perhaps speaking the truth can get you sued, not for malpractice, but for practice. I don't know. I do know the Turks say, "Whoever tells the truth is chased out of nine villages," and nobody needs that. Still, the truth is begging for our help. For my help. And I want to help. I want to help myself. I want to help you.

That's as far as I've gotten. The desire to help. I sit down to write, but it isn't easy knowing where to start. The baseness of contemporary politics and how we remedy that? No. Maybe greed, and how if we can overcome our avarice, we can finally create a world economic system that allows us to be good to one another and still keep our digital cable and (hydrogen powered) SUVs. No. It's got to be about religion, right? About how the left doesn't hate Jesus (although, let's face it, if this poor, oppressed, Mediterranean Jewish peasant, this hardworking carpenter and part-time rabbi, had any idea that based on a few of his speeches we'd get hillbillies shaking poisonous snakes at each other up in the hollers of West Virginny, he'd probably have kept his mouth shut and gone home) no, what we hate is the idea that because you believe in Jesus - and a peculiar version of him at that - you somehow have the right to tell the other 75% of the country how to live. Hmm...

You see how hard this is? Especially because I've been pretty busy lately what with helping plan my upcoming wedding and I haven't been getting a whole lot of sleep. I mean, let me spell it out for you folks, I'M TIRED. And that's when it hit me. EUREKA! HOOVER! DYSON! We're all so tired, maybe that is affecting the state of the world. When I really asked myself, "What would I do right now if I could do anything to get the world off on the right foot for the next thousand years?" I realized that hiring a Samurai to take out Ann Coulter wouldn't cut it, because she's just a hateful blowhard, and hateful winds blow, and hateful winds die, without any help from me. So here's what I came up with. Feel free to comment. I look forward to hearing your thoughts (just remember, I was tired when I began this post, and I'm even tireder now):

1. I would force the entire population of the world to participate in a general strike that would last one week. For a week, nobody could do a lick of work. Not the CEOs of the Fortune 500, not the janitor at your daughter's school, not the President, not Kos, not the good guys, and not the evil doers. Everybody, you're on vacation! During that same week, I would disable every electrical appliance known to man, and all the power plants generating power for them. That means for one week no lights but the sun moon and stars, no TV, no Playstation, no internets, no mobile phones, nothing. For this week, you get up with the sunrise, and go to bed with the sunset. Yep, folks, for one week you reset your clock to the old Circadian rhythms of life. In short, for one whole week, you get enough sleep. (GOD, THAT SOUNDS SO GOOD RIGHT NOW!)

That's it. After a week of the whole world finally getting enough sleep, our eyelids no longer twitching, our bodies no longer fatigued, our minds refreshed, sharp, attentive, we sit down and decide about


An Honest Question

This has been bugging me. I have a gay friend, a very old friend in fact, from high school. And he met this guy at a dance club our sophomore year in college, and by some miracle they are still together 18 years later. Among all of us in that clique of 18 year old Reagan-haters, poetry scrawlers, new wave music tasters, play makers, and academic decatheletes, they have had the longest lasting and most successful union, but they can't get married because they live in Houston. So what if they started a successful business, purchased two homes, continue to pay taxes out the yin yang like any successful couple? Because a group of angry, frightened old men (aka the Republican Congress) decided there is nothing more dangerous than homos in love, their union goes unrecognized by the state, and all that they hold in common remains in jeopardy. Gay marriage, say the angry, frightened (possibly closeted) old men, is a threat to the other kind of marriage - the kind Brittany Spears enjoyed for 48 hours one weekend when what happened in Vegas most certainly did not stay in Vegas; the kind Newt Gingrich had, so wholesome, secure and chock full of family values that he went to see his wife who was DYING OF CANCER and asked her to sign their divorce papers from her hospital bed, like the marriage of representative Henry Hyde (R - Hypocrisy) kept in fighting trim by his mistress of 17 years.

But it's OK because those folks all played it straight. Fucked up, but straight. And now here I am getting married in two weeks, and it isn't fair. It just isn't.

But my question, now I've digressed, is how the hell can these Republicans be so afraid of gay people when they've spent the last six years greedily and gleefully sucking George Bush's cock?