A Sunny Place for Shady PeoplePithy, contrarian, politically incorrect and curmudgeonly rants on sex, money, power and politics and religion and philosophy. In short: Nothing matters, everything changes and there are no guarantees. The rest is rationalization and bribery. (c) Tom Milner 2002-2003. DIRECTORY of offensive POSTS at Archives: 07/09/03. RECOMMENDED BLOGS: Archives: 07/29/03. email: theoldbuzzard AT sunnyplaceforshadypeople DOT com.
Saturday, December 21, 2002
Monday, December 23, 2002
No idiom revolts us, nauseates us more than "Mother" Nature.
This locution is loaded with sentimentality, condescension and downright unctuousness.
We flinch at its utterance. (And there are very few words that elicit this reaction, the so called N word among them.)
We're admittedly more comfortable in the urbane than the bucolic, lovers more of steel and concrete than shrubs and trees, hills and dales and honey and bees.
Nature isn't a benign maternal nurturing quasi-deitess lounging patheistically about, awaiting the reverent sucking of her teats.
Rather, in Tennyson's words, it's "red in tooth and claw," violent, indifferently hostile and constantly at work selecting and evolving the species.
It wants respect. Not worship. (We are cautious about worship of any kind.)
We enjoy an active, raging and tumultuous universe: rough North Atlantic crossings, drenching thunderstorms, harmless earthquakes, harmless tornadoes, and harmless hurricanes. We wish they were all innocuous, while still enjoyable. Most diminish both people and property.
We don't just squat at the foot of and look at the mountain: we want that mountain to move, shake and teem.
We favor the alive.
Nature is seemingly cruel and exacts great losses. But you may as well, for relief, pray to a god as to pray to nature.
And to suck those natural teats often produces the sourest milk.
Just don't call it "Mother."
Thursday, December 19, 2002
Friday, December 20, 2002
"When the prospect is ready, the green flash will come." -- corruption of the Tao
Seen the green flash at sea at sunset?
It's a faint band of light sometimes appearing in the western sky just after sunset, extending up from the horizon at the point where the sun has just set. It's caused by reflection of sunlight from tiny dust particles concentrated on the plane of the ecliptic and thus appears in the region of the Zodiac. (Excerpted from the Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.)
Many doubt the existence of this phenomenon.
But does not the very term "Zodical light" playfully engage your mouth and amply roll round your tongue?
Anyway, after peering obsessively evening after evening in Hawaii, doubtless impaired by strong rum and stronger Maui Wowie, we saw It: one of nature's more charming winks, a very brief glimpse into Mystery.
A magical petite infusion.
We're tempted to append an imaginary associative fable or to invoke some sun gods, like the Egyptian Ra, the Greek Helios or even the Eskimo's Malina.
But let it stand alone and as is: an elusive salute from nature.
Or the less grand interpretation might simply be that the green flash will so illuminate the Taoist way that the panthers will thereafter avoid you.
The rant appears on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Tuesday, December 17, 2002
Wednesday, December 18, 2002
We always preferred a keen choice between the demography of the sleepy rural and the savvy urban -- but never the sprawl suburban.
Suburbia gives truth to all those cliches about homogeneity, tastelessness, banality and boredom.
(We'd prefer woodsy boredom).
We're exurbanites anguishing in this miasma of SUV's, blanketed shopping centres and trivial "culture."
We once were men of substance -- concrete and steel -- buguiled by the city: empyrean buildings, clotted masses and the swarming diversity of it all.
We miss it terribly.
We would almost rather talk to trees in pasture than to negotiate urgent fast food outlets, tacky boutiques, the sacred precincts of the malls, and the general mercantile brigandage.
Here no sense of community or customer service.
Social and business tranactions: frigid.
We'd trade a tony ZIP code for the Village or the Fifth Arrondissement any time.
We're really just old boulevardiers.
The rant appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.