Politix, Gender, Nationality, Identity, & the I Ching –

Friday, June 27, 2014.-( 10C / 50˚F @7:00 am )-

(If I put anything in “quotes” it could be a judgment call, made by someone else, that I haven’t yet verified. ((Or it could be a quote…)) )

I’ve got ‘notifications’ in my inbox. Twitter thinks I should be logging in and following several streams of comments.

One of those streams involves all kinds of mixed opinions on Canadian “Justice Minister” Peter MacKay’s “chauvinistic” attitudes as revealed by his Fathers’ Day and Mothers’ Day Messages, sent out this spring. Those who don’t like Mr MacKay’s attitudes or politics say that his comments reveal deep down character flaws. He basically says (in the ears of his detractors) Mothers are good for making lunches and nurturing children, Fathers are responsible for molding children’s minds, shaping them into good and decent/responsible citizens. He also recently responded, in answer to a question; “Why aren’t there more women judges?” : Something very close to, “Women don’t want a position that makes it difficult for them to take time off to take care of their children.” A lot of people, many of whom are women, are upset over what they see is Peter MacKay’s apparent belief in antiquated visions of sexual divisions and who should be allowed to do what, according to which sex they were born into.

I should probably take this time to explain that I grew up in the United States, mostly in the state of Connecticut, 50 miles or so from New York City, where I was exposed to rather progressive philosophies of gender identities and abilities. I was also exposed to a lot of anything-but-progressive attitudes and anxieties, surrounded by the enforced homophobic atmosphere that prevailed in the public school system. High school teachers and students were more that ready to accuse any young men whose hair was longer than their own of being deviant perverts who would probably want to commit horrific/atrocious crimes against children. Having a mean alcoholic for a father, I didn’t have a friendly attitude toward authority figures. { One evening my father stumbled home drunk from the local V.F.W. bar and demanded, “Why do you do everything that some asshole faggot in England tells you to do when you won’t listen to your own father?” (( V.F.W. = Veterans of Foreign Wars, in theory: an organization to support Veterans and give them a place to feel safe and reminisce about the comradeship of fighting to defend American style freedoms against the evil fascist minions who wanted to take those freedoms from the angelic free democratic peoples of the western world. In practice, the VFW bars that I was exposed to were places where half broken men (women were not allowed to sit at the bars in those days) drank to self medicate against their fears and anxieties that they were powerless/impotent in the face of living their lives in accordance with values and expectations that they had grown up with. So if one half baked philosopher blurts out that ‘kids these days take their marching orders from British faggots and won’t listen to their own parents’, half a dozen half drunk comrades were liable to nod their heads and mutter grunts and monosyllabic agreement, and one or two might go home and terrorize their own children with bullshit observations which they believed just might be the gospel truth. )) Luckily for me, my uncle, my father’s youngest brother, a university graduate and high school teacher, was visiting us when my father accused me of being the dupe of British perverts who wouldn’t listen to his own father. My uncle burst into cackles of laughter and said, “I have never known anyone who makes up his own mind about everything- as much as your son.” My father was stunned and flabbergasted, lost the wind in the sails of his tirade and went looking for another drink, forgot I was there and talked to my uncle until he stumbled into bed and passed out. }

A year or two after that scene, which reinforced my self esteem, and reinforced my quest to make up my own mind about anything and everything, a friend of mine came out of the closet. He wanted to tell his parents that he was gay and wanted to practice this by first admitting this to someone he was pretty sure would not go ballistic and either beat him up physically or verbally. I was stunned. He didn’t know it, but I spent two or three days confused, anxious, worried, wondering how the hell I would ever be able to relate to this guy again. How could I ever be in the same room and feel comfortable after learning this deep dark secret of his. But then I realized that his sexuality was not a contagious disease. He was not going to knock me out and rape me and turn me into some kind homosexual zombie who would then dedicate his life to spreading toxic sexual aberrations around to everyone I came near. I was actually able to enjoy this guy’s sense of humour and intellectual insights. He still had valid things to say. He could read something I’d written and tell me that something I had put down in words could have a positive or negative effect, that I hadn’t considered, on another human being -or groups of people. He was still a valuable human being, a valuable friend. He valued me, considered me talented and liked being around me. He never attacked or made a pass on anybody while I was around- what’s the problem? He was a decent human being. He wasn’t the last person who came out of the closet to me before taking the chance of admitting to their sexuality to other friends or family members.

I first came to Canada to meet someone who had been a friend I’d met online in a writer’s workshop and then learned we shared a bunch of similar interests and tastes and actually made each other feel good about life and all that goes with it in this wild and crazy day and age. When we had shared Astrological information, I learned that she was an Aries, a member of a group that I could very easily be friends with and enjoy wild and stimulating conversations with, bounce ideas off of, might find physically attractive, possibly flirt with, but probably not decide to have a ‘meaningful relationship’ with. When we became better and better friends, she’d admitted that her marriage had failed, she was determined not to fall into the trap of seeking or jumping into another relationship that would probably fail just as miserably. I was involved with somebody, she was thinking about becoming involved with somebody else. My somebody discovered that another guy she had really really wanted to be involved with felt the same about her. My Canadian friend had second, third and fourth thoughts about the somebody else she thought might be a possibility, and then the somebody else found a woman who was ready for him and he was no longer on the market. My Canadian friend said, “You know, if one of my friends told me about a couple like you and me who got on so well over the phone and in email and all that, and said they’d never actually met in person, I’d ask them, “Why the hell not?”- So we arranged a meeting, I had actually told her that I would drive 500 miles, give her a hug and then go home if we took one look at each other and went…. “uh, no thanks-“. The meeting was arranged close to her home turf so she she wouldn’t be stuck too far from home if it didn’t work out. It took me eleven hours or more to drive there, and when I caught a glimpse of her through a crack in a door I thought, “Oh no- she’s way too good looking-” She opened the door, we hugged, we ate, we talked, we jumped into a hot tub together. We fell asleep in each others’ arms and I woke up in love. We spent the next day wandering around Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada and I followed her home the next day, met her kids and heard her say, “We have to find some way to make this work-” Boom, I began to believe there just might be a ‘we’ in my future.

When an attraction is purely sexual, one ‘romp in the hay’ might satisfy the desire. When an attraction is intellectual, that attraction might evaporate if one of the attractees changes an opinion or an idea about anything. If an attraction is emotional, a couple has a ‘fifty-fifty’ chance of achieving a stable relationship. If an attraction is Spiritual, any and all obstacles will disappear to bring that couple together  (I saw this happen. I’m here to prove it, still in love with my Canadian friend ((Now ‘spouse’)) twelve years later.)

I moved to Canada, came in as a visitor, jumped through hoops and paid landing fees to qualify and then become a permanent resident. The only job I could find as soon as I was legally able to work was cleaning a bank for a cleaning service. I accepted a couple more assignments from the cleaning service. The love of my life had a decent job with the government of Canada. We were not exactly rolling in money, but we never starved. I hung in there (she was much more than ‘worth it’) and jumped through a couple more hoops and became a Citizen of Canada, a dual citizen of the US and Canada.

Soon after I got here it became painfully obvious that many Canadians had attitudes that I never anticipated. The love of my life has a son with an Autism Spectrum condition. A psychiatrist she sought help from blamed her. He said, in so many words, that she should have been a stay at home mom, then the boy would never have developed that problem. (If she had stayed at home he might have died of malnutrition or exposure as her ex, the boy’s father, wasn’t quite all there when it came to paying rent and other bills and putting food on the table.) That attitude shocked me. The psychiatrist wanted the boy’s father to come into his office with her and the boy or he wouldn’t see them again. The father was too busy with things that mattered more to himself and, besides, didn’t believe there was anything to worry about. I went with my love and her boy to their next appointment. The psychiatrist talked to me like she wasn’t there. He gave me advice on how to be the man in the boy’s life and signed a paper that started a ball rolling that got the boy the help he needed. This psychiatrist wasn’t the only ‘professional’ with attitudes that shocked me up here. Part of her son’s condition included a great deal of difficulty getting to sleep at nights. We took him to a sleep clinic in the same hospital with the above described psychiatrist. There was a senior nurse in charge at the sleep clinic. When this nurse learned that I was not the boy’s father she glared at me and demanded that I leave the room. And when I began working for a local cable television provider in a one person satellite studio, I learned that the “two nations divided by a common language” description applied to Canadians and USAtians (wink) when communicating with my area supervisor. In the U.S. (or at least Southern New England) I was expected to let a supervisor know that I was still on the telephone and paying attention every so often by saying ‘yes’, ‘okay’, ‘uh-huh-‘ or something in that monosyllabic area whenever it sounded like the supervisor paused for my input or somehow indicated to my understanding that he (usually ‘he’) wanted to know that I hadn’t fallen asleep or put the phone down and wandered off. When I interjected one of my ‘uh-huh-‘ indications to my Canadian Supervisor he became irritated, “Don’t do that-” “Don’t do what?” “Don’t say, ‘uh-huh’ like you’re mocking me.” “Mocking you??” “You sound like, ‘uh-huh- riiiight-‘ like you think I’m a jerk.” “I didn’t mean that at all.” (Luckily, I’d already learned that one or two expressions did not mean the same thing in Canada that they meant in the US. After re-filling my cup from a pot of fresh coffee, I’d asked someone if they wanted a refill, and thought she’d said “Okay,” and begun to pour. I was shocked when she frowned and snapped, “I said I’m okay!” and yanked her cup away as soon as I stopped pouring. When you’re pissed in Connecticut you’re angry or upset with someone. When you’re pissed in Canada, you’re drunk. I had a really good area supervisor at that job. He accepted my explanation about the slight differences in culture and appreciated the idea that I was aware of such things.)

What does the I Ching have to do with anything? When I was in the Navy (part of the US Armed “Services”) there was a guy wandering around the ship I was stationed on with a tortured intellectual expression on his face and a copy of I Ching in his hand. I asked him what the book was all about and he probably half expected me to accuse him of subscribing to some deviant sexual persuasion and/or being less than worthy of calling himself human. He looked more painful than usual and said he’d just read that when a society’s artists take sides in political battles that civilization is in trouble. Sounded good to me, but I think I told him I’d have to think about that for a while. I think he smiled. (Maybe out of relief that I hadn’t attacked his self esteem?) I got a copy of the I Ching a couple months later, read the introduction, chose some British coins that I’d gotten in Malta, shook them up in cupped hands and dropped them, counted their heads or tails -ness and made I think five more tosses and counts to get the hexagrams they represented and looked up those hexagrams which the coin tosses had indicated, read the description of the first hexagram, paid attention to the lines whose totals had ‘told’ me they were changing lines from broken to solid or solid to broken, and read what the changing lines in the first hexagram meant and finally read the second hexagram. It’s complicated and might have been designed to discourage half baked individuals from asking stupid questions and expecting the I Ching to answer them in easily understood language. { The book (or oracle?) will tell you it doesn’t feel like answering a stupid question or even tell you that it already answered that question, don’t bother me again. }

I asked several questions based on the state of the world in the 1970’s, asked about politics, and justice, and social controls, and various philosophies and doctrines. An answer I received quite often included the phrase, “This is not the age of the superior man” or something like “The superior man knows this is not his time to speak or seek to acquire political power”. At the time I wondered why the book/oracle was so concerned about any hypothetical “Superior Man”. A couple years later I was diving deeply into the philosophy behind Yoga (especially Raja Yoga, & Spiritual Practices) A book entitled “The Divine Science”, by Swami Sri Yukteswar, had a fairly easy to understand explanation of cycles this planet (and everybody on it) goes through: at rock bottom, in a very dense area of the universe, almost everybody alive on this earth can only understand the purely physical. (This happened most recently between the year Zero A.D. and 1,000 A.D. We hit the bottom at around 500 A.D.) As our solar system moves in its orbit around the centre of our galaxy, which moves in an orbit around the centre of the physical universe- the spiritual atmosphere becomes less and less dense and people on the planet become more and more intelligent and understand a lot more on many levels. Since the year 1,000 A.D. we have been in an area where most people on this planet can grasp the understanding that electricity can pass through wires, that water can seep through sponges and submerged logs, that air can flow through cloth, and so on. This age, whatever we end up calling it lasts more than one thousand years. During the next step up, the average intelligent life form on this planet will understand that magnetism can control electricity which can flow through the material world. This will sort of be the silver age. The golden age happens when most intelligent beings on this planet understand what Spirit is, that Spirit can control magnetism which can control electricity, and so on. Golden Age Citizens will supposedly understand what life is all about, what our purpose is, why we’re here and where we’re going when we leave this plane of existence. One entire cycle up through the ages and down again (Or down from the peak, through all the descending levels and back up again) takes around 26,000 earth years (give or take several centuries).

Okay! So now the proverbial light bulb goes on in my mind. The I Ching’s ‘Superior Man’ would be someone who is fully enlightened, and can understand the meaning of life, and be fully emersed in Spirit and enjoy all the gifts that come with that. Being on that level in a golden age you could be aware of anything happening on the other side of the universe (quantum entanglement). No one could lie to you, you’d know the truth before they spoke. You would be able to heal yourself and anybody else by manipulating healing energies. You could go into a trance (which would be second nature to you) and regenerate a lost body part. You could teleport yourself to anywhere on the planet, or to any other planet where you knew you could live, breath, have water to drink and all that. The ancient Yogis had a whole list of things that legitimately Spiritually enlightened individuals could accomplish.

Believe me, none of our current ‘Leaders’ exhibit any of those qualities or abilities. Anybody who tries to tell you that ‘we’ are good and ‘they’ are bad… Anybody who tries to convince you that there is an ‘obvious’ division between good and bad people. Anyone who tries to divide and conquer the group of people he or she wants to rule over- anybody who wants to be a ruler, anybody who wants to hold power over anybody else: is not a ‘Superior’ person.

If you elect morons, don’t be surprised when the phrases they utter sound moronic.

If you believe you need to delegate power to someone who will most likely use that power to rule over you, you’re in trouble.

Of course your government is lying to you. If they told you the truth, you’d have them arrested.

How do we fix this? “Every generation needs to wrestle their freedom from the jaws of control.”

Let the morons know you aren’t going to take their doo doo any longer.

(((( as a first step to try to learn how they’re manipulating your economy, go to “http://cafr1.com/”  ))))

~~~~~Jim

Deer – Wearing Summer Fur –

Friday, June 20, 2014.

Deer grazing - photographed through a window.

First hungry visitor we’ve seen in a while, wearing his or her summer colours. This is slightly blurred by reflections on the window I took the photo through.

After not seeing any deer in our back yard at all for at least a month. We had one visitor who acted like he or she had been here before, recognized the silly little sounds I make to let them know I have a pail of oats and it’s for them. There’s a little bit of reflection in the window I shot this through.

—————Jim

The Debate Over Resource Jobs –

Sunday, June 8, 2014. -( 27˚C / 81˚F @ 5:41 pm )-

— Tonight, I heard a radio interview with a former NDP (New Democratic Party of Canada) Premier (I believe) of a western province who is now hyping the idea that we have to exploit shale gas, oil sands, and other ‘fossil fuels’ and natural resources in order to improve the economy, even if a bunch of “tree hugging hippies” and First Nations people are trying to warn everybody that the destructive mining, butchering forests for oil sands and poisoning ground water*  hurts everybody, destroys a whole lot more that it’s worth, and is just plain a bad idea. ( Implied by this idiot =  We need to Frak the bleep out of our water supply, poison anybody who gets in the way of progress and to hell with First Nations’ Rights or we’re all going to be unemployed, starving, wretched fools.) (Let me tell you, the top 1% of the money grubbing ‘rich’ already plan to see you starving, unemployed, a slave to their slightest whims, ready to lick their boots and/or private parts- to feed your children or even yourself.)

Jobs per million bux invested in various kinds of jobs.

This sign was posted at the counter of a grilled cheese kiosk in the northside market.

I’m thinking the only economy that might be helped by wrecking the planet (poisoning the water supply, grabbing all the oil, natural gas and other resources, while engineering b.s. belt tightening propaganda) would be the economy of the richest asshole oil and gas tycoons.

(* poisoning ground water : You’ve probably seen the video of tap water bursting into flames. You probably have not heard the scientific evidence that after an area has been “Frakked” it’s only a matter of time before the so called ‘safeguards’ against poisoned, flammable gasses getting into your drinking water rust and fail.)

((( passing the soap box to anybody else who wants to stand up and rant. )))