Nature is everything that is around us, from the atoms to the galaxies to the tools we use to see such things. All that exists is nature. Every thing man has invented is part of nature, and everything that will be invented. All the parts of everything that will be made already exist basic or raw way.
Man is nature as well. Man’s body is made of same things as makes all nature, nature sustains him while he lives, and when he dies, his body goes back to the earth, in one form or another. In nature, man differentiates between what is not alive (forces of nature, laws of physics and science) and that which lives: plants, animals, and himself. These things are organized by order of freedom.
Forces of nature have no choice. They act without mercy or malice, and they wind down, slowly disordering and dissipating. Life, however, is anti-entropic. It does not slowly dissipate, it grows. It does not wind down, but up. It reproduces itself and passes on to each generation abilities. Thus ability pass on useful traits from generation to generation makes life inherently valuable. Even the life of a bacterium has value. It is bulwark against the sterile chaos that exists where no life is present.
Plants grow. They “learn” resistance to other forms of life and thrive, but they have no thoughts and little or no choices. Animals, however, chose. The brain of even the simplest animal is differential engine, weigh options and making selections. As the brain of the animal grows in complexity, so does its ability to differentiate between things. At the peak of the pinnacle is man.
Man has greater ability to differentiate and categorized than any other species. This difference of ability is orders of magnitude greater than the same difference between any other species. Human beings truly are amazing, but it not this mundane ability to chose that gives man his value. Only man has the ability to chose between good and evil. It is for this reason than man is intrinsically sacred.
All animals are capable of behavior which merely destructive, to themselves, their species, their, young, and their environment. Many animals can and do kill for play rather than purpose, but man is alone, not only in his ability to cause purposeful harm, but his ability to revel in the suffering such harm causes others. Similarly, while many animal parents will die to protect their young, and few will suffer harm to protect the lives of distant relatives, man alone will undertake a lifetime of hardship for the cause of other men a world away. Thus, every man is capable of acts of unspeakable evil or angel humbling acts of love and kindness. This capability is limited only by his ability.
The great problem of Good and Evil is not its existence, but its subjectivity. When good and evil are general issues, all of mankind agree on what is good and what is evil and have for thousands of years. It is when the moral question is specific that men can no longer agree. The question of morality is further complicated by the varied nature of man. Perhaps 10% of mankind will always be moral under all circumstances. Perhaps 10% will do evil under all circumstances. This leaves around 80% in a state of constant flux. Their actions are subject to the constant demands of expedience.
Some men are evil, and some good. These men, saints or devils live without choice. The vast o portion of men must chose whether they will be good or evil with everyday. The ability to chose is called freedom. Without freedom there is no morality. Doing the good thing, because you are coerced isn’t necessarily good. Doing the evil thing because you are coerced isn’t necessarily evil.
All men must have freedom. Though he may use it for good or evil, without it, man becomes simply the cleverest of the animals. Because all men must be free, sometimes man must some of his freedoms limited so that his practicing his freedom does not rob another man of his. The robbery of freedom is called exploitation, and it is the beginning of a great more many evils.
Some men are devils, and some saints. Most are just men and fall somewhere between. To prevent exploitation, good men must take away the freedom of evil men. This is called government. Government must have rules, and these rules are called law. The great challenge of law and government is that, as mentioned, most men agree on what is good and evil when the issues are large and conceptual. When the issues are localized to single person, place, and environment, the consensus, grows shaky.
Its funny, I’m a lot more balanced of a person than I used to be. Life goes up and down. My ups aren’t as frantic as they used to be. My lows aren’t nearly as low as they used to be. Its nice to not feel a press of emptiness and misery coil around your chest when you see others happy. Its nice to not feel as if every day of your life was penance for the sins you committed in some previous unremembered life.
I miss something very strange about those days of night. I miss the moments of bitter of clarity. When the darkness seemed seemed as lonely as me and we were for a moment were friends against a world that loved neither of us. Sometimes I would here the call in the whistle of freight, in the bay of coyote, crying of a child. Often I would feel it as I cleared the snow from my car to go to a job I hated to make a pathetic amount of money to support a ragged life. And as I was doing this task or hearing this song, I would suddenly feel peace with the meaninglessness and hopelessness of my life. I would see myself dieing an old man, having never succeeded at anything. And this surety and purity of nothingness was so much better than the constant disappointment of never quite measuring up.
I’m glad that the purity of emptiness isn’t the best feeling I have anymore. But maybe its like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer, it hurts like hell, oh but it feels so lovely when you stop. I’ve known several cutters over the years. They spoke of one kind of relief when the blade went in, and another when it stopped hurting.
I’m glad I’m not broken anymore, but I miss that clarity of purpose. I think thats why I miss working in the restaurants, and living a crappy apartments, and driving a rusty crap-box. I don’t really miss any of those things, but I miss the purity of total failure versus the constant struggle of partial success.
I guess normal people don’t feel these things. I don’t think normal people feel at all. They think pleasantly numb is happiness and unpleasantly numb is sorrow. I guess thats why they all seem so stupid. If you don’t feel anything, what motive do you have to think about anything? I don’t trust numb people. The Air Force screens out the really interesting people. The cutters, addicts, religious nuts, etc. All that remains is well rounded, good natured people. I am so sick of well rounded good natured people. I want to talk to someone so lost and broken that no emotion I am felt or memory I have will shock them. But I can’t. *sigh*
I’ve come to the most startling conclusion of all:
Most people love security and comfort more than freedom. Laws don’t make men, men make laws. Changing the laws to be more libertarian would not make a people who love freedom. Men are meat, history tends towards a meat grinder, and Constitutions are gravel. Freedom stills the crank, and fear turns it. We could make all the laws we want, the best slow down the destruction, the worst speed it up.
Freedom is what really matters. Good laws make men who are in their hearts slaves and masters relate as free men, but it doesn’t touch the heart. Men either love freedom or hate it. Most hate it because freedom truly means “being totally responsible”. Most people really prefer to blame their failure on someone besides themselves.
So, I just spent the last, oh 4 hrs, fixing my computer. So I had to jump through various hoops to get it to work again. See the computer is an information processor. To fix the computer you must correct its information.
Does anyone else see a problem? Its like yelling at a deaf guy to turn up his hearing aid. He doesn’t know to turn it up, because HE CAN’T HEAR YOU. In engineering we call that system limitations.
And American cars suck.
Hey! How come if Mexicans are stealing our social services aren’t they represented on Medicare/Medicaid stats? See, Hispanics make up about 32% of the population or states like New Mexico, California, and Arizona. But consistently are only 16% of the Medicare/Medicaid users. Well thats odd? How do you abuse a system that you don’t even use?
Well they’re taking the good jobs right? In 2004, the median earnings of working-age Hispanics who worked full-time, year-round were about $25,000 compared to $35,000 for all working-age people. So, I guess they’re not taking the good jobs either.
So, what about social security? Ok, yeah they are totally screwing us on SSI. They make up 6% of all people over 65 but collect over 25% of the benefits. Um, thats overrepresented by 400%. Yes, because of their lower incomes they make about 20% less than whites collecting SSIR, but that still leaves an additional 380%.
I hate it when I set out to make a point and in the research find out that the commonly held point of view is right this time. But upon further reflection, I guess it makes me dislike social security even more. Nobody will let anyone touch it because I-payed-into-it-my-whole-life-and-I’m-getting-my-fair-share-now. I can see that point of view, our birth rate is dropping. That means more and more of our population will arrive here with prior work experience all the time. Unless we start only letting people immigrate if they are less then 16 then EVERY immigrant would come in upside on payments. And that would be if we paid in what we got out, but we don’t. Its not a savings plan, its an insurance plan. The payers pay in for the payees. Even if there wasn’t a baby boomer problem, the whole thing is doomed anyway because it is based off of people working from the time they are 18 to the time they are 65, and the vast portion of immigrants don’t come in before they turn 18.
Further, there is an enormous incentive (added the all the others ) for an aging person who is getting to old to work to come here, leave nothing behind since they had nothing anyway, and collect from an insurance policy they never paid into.
You read it here first: the up coming problem of immigration is going to be wealth elderly people moving here by choice to supplement foreign income. It might start with Mexico, it won’t end there.
So, if we don’t believe in subsidizing the economy of Mexico, why Iraq?
Maybe because Iraq has more oil?
I don’t know whats wrong with me, but I miss working in restaurants a lot.
You wake up at 4:30 pm. Its winter and the sun is setting. The cold dead orange winter light fills the room without putting in any heat. You roll off the mattress on the floor in the corner. You put your hand down on the carpet. Its the color of lung disease, and the land lord didn’t rinse it correctly after the state required change of tenet shampooing. You debate crawling to the bathroom but use the dining room chair to climb up off the floor instead. Walking to the bathroom you think about the grungy floor and how it never feels quite right under you bare feet.
The bathroom linoleum is stained rather than dirty. The floor is so cold that it aches. You run the water from the lime encrusted tap down the rust stained tub. When the water is hot you step in and the cold floor to hot water burns your feet. The steam billows out the top of the molding shower curtain as you struggle to keep both sides of your naked body warm in the damp coldness of the drafty room.
You wash everything carefully because you know you will be toweling off with the same towel tomorrow, towels won’t dry in one load and its a buck seventy-five a load. You dry off and shave. You brush your teeth carefully to make them white, hang the towel and walk out of the bathroom buck naked. The coldness that was so painful a few moments ago is now invigorating and you glory in being in YOUR apartment. Its yours and you can strut around naked if you want. You are preparing yourself for the night. Preparing your body, mind, and soul for the assault that will follow. You make yourself some breakfast, maybe eat some left overs, or that expensive name brand cereal that you really can’t afford. You get dressed. You look at your various choices of clean underwear and you chose the ones that you think will make you the most confident. You put on the dockers that you have to wear and the $60 dress shirt that you bought because it makes you look like a whip. The sleeves are stained vaguely with a little of everything here and there. It doesn’t matter, as soon as the day shift manager goes home you’re going to role them half up your forearm, and the waitresses are all going to unbutton their blouses down as low as the night manager will let us get away with. You put on the comfortable black shoes that tell the day manager are slip proof, but they aren’t.
You put on the coat that you wear when you want people to think you are cool and go out to the car. You lock the door carefully. Maybe when you were a kid you lived somewhere where you could start your car an then go inside, but you don’t anymore, and you’re never going back. Saying it like that makes it chic to drive a rusty death trap in this hell hole. It doesn’t want to start but you make it. You wish as you sit wait that you wore the warm coat that doesn’t look as cool. And you drive to the restaurant.
The parking lot is cold and you have to park in the back because the good spots are for paying customers. You go in the back door, and you’re hit by a thousand scents. If you wear glasses they fog up from the steam of the dishwashers (which is always near the back door). You smell the hot grease, the suet, the stale cigarettes, the bleach, and old mops. You clock in and start helping out. The day shift leaves, and the day manager smokes as she counts the money, ashing without thought as faces the bills. After what seems like an eternity (she waits for the respectable customers to leave) she leaves. The people coming in now are very different. We role up our sleeves, and loosen our stupid ties. The girls unbutton their top buttons. Its truckers and drunks, cops and drivers now. “Good” pimps bring in their girls. Couples trolling for young singles slide in. Potheads order impossible large orders of waffles, which they giggle and can’t eat most of. The lesbians and gays come in, and we make waivers about who is the man and who is the women each relationship.
The restaurant is after midnight now, and the restaurant is popping. We’ve caught the rhythm, we nearly dance between the tables, carrying heavy trays, gliding around each other. Sweat runs down between the girls’ breasts. Their faces shine as the sweat away the make up, and the mascara runs. Sweat soaks your shirt, starting at the armpits and the small of your back, but soon you’re soaked. You smile and laugh and flirt. You do whatever it takes to get that cash. You’re riding high on a wave smiles, winks, and dollar bills. And the restaurant winds down. You clean the place and count your money. We sit around and talk about who we met and what it all means. We help the dishwasher and the cooks. The sun peaks over the horizon. For the second time in your day, its 6 o’clock. The day manager returns, looking fresh and dead at the same time, like fish on ice. You go out to your car. Its colder than before. Painfully so, but the jingling money in your apron keeps you warm as drive your piece of crap car back to the apartment. You stumble up or down the stairs to the door that has the number that you call ‘home’. The rush of the night is over, you feel not as if you see blurry but that you have been blurred. You want to sleep, but you’re bed is so cold. You try to watch TV, but its stupid, and fall asleep feeling lonely and strong staring a whole into the water stains of the bedroom ceiling.
Why do I miss that so? Why does not having it make me wish I could hop a freight to anywhere but here?
I try to find the itchy spot in my soul that only writing can scratch, but I can’t.