The Collective of Think A-likes

 


“Hajime ni” © 2017 Robert Redus

“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”

In the movie, Full Metal Jacket, when private Pyle has finally lost the last drop of sanity and is confronted by private Joker in the head. the end result is expected, and not a surprise.  Private joker says to private Pyle, “If Hartman comes in here and catches us, we will both be in a world of shit.”, Private Pyle replies, “I am in a world of shit”….then Pyle’s greatest moment is not far away…nevertheless,…a seemingly cohesive collective  is seconds from taking on enough water to capsize the entire vessel….

I really used to believe that the power of a collective was an unstoppable power that when directed and adjusted could accomplish incredible things…yet now…I don’t believe that so much, why? you ask…well because every collective has at least one private Pyle, 1 person who is in a world of shit, for what ever reason creating a compromise in the integrity of the collective…I mean think about, we all are in a world of shit…who knows, could be a few days a month…once a quarter…maybe twice a year…

The word collective means: “a cooperative enterprise”.  Herds,( my favorite is a quiver of cobras)… flocks, packs, gangs, parties, anything with people sharing a common idea/goal is considered a collective, creating something called, “Collectivism” which is defined as:

“Collectivism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the group and its interests. Collectivism is the opposite of individualism. 

or better put…”the practice or principle of giving a group priority over each individual in it.”…

And that to me is where the notion of the collective fails completely, and not because of the group priority…but because of the diametric opposition of those within the group on the really small micro scale….in other words, everybody in the group is on a different part of the group’s bell curve…let’s simplify…remember this part, OK?….in a collective, individuality is in the back seat, while the collective itself drives….right? yet if everybody in the back seat has a different way of driving, directional skills, methods of getting from point A to point X….and exactly what they define point A and X to be, somebody or some group of bodies is going to decide the driving habits of the collective….now a box within a box within a box….yabitty…yabitty…yabitty… So, the collective now is no longer about the collective, rather about the individuals guiding and directing the collective…sort of individualism directing collectivism….sound vaguely familiar…

Here’s my solution and I’ll start with a 2 questions first…here they are…

If tomorrow you woke and you were doing exactly what you wanted to be doing, you know that ikegai, that passion that we all have for something and long to live, (here it is) what would you be doing?…..and what are you currently doing to get there?….if you can’t answer the first question….you can’t answer the 2nd question either….So before you join a collective, you think you kind of believe in most of the time, answer these 2 questions….then start the process of living that life….

Here are 10 readily accepted scenarios in the world we live in…we should think hard about changing these….. 

  • WE PRIORITIZE MONEY AND THE ECONOMY OVER BASICS LIKE AIR, WATER, FOOD QUALITY, OUR ENVIRONMENT, AND OUR COMMUNITIES.
  • WE UTILIZE AN ECONOMIC TRADING SYSTEM THAT FACILITATES THE DEATH OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE EACH YEAR.
  • WE DIVIDE THE WORLD’S LAND INTO SECTIONS AND THEN FIGHT OVER WHO OWNS THESE SECTIONS.
  • WE CALL SOME PEOPLE “SOLDIERS” WHICH MAKES IT OK FOR THEM TO KILL OTHER PEOPLE.
  • WE TORTURE AND KILL MILLIONS OF ANIMALS EVERY DAY NEEDLESSLY FOR FOOD, CLOTHING, AND EXPERIMENTS.
  • WE SEND CHILDREN TO SCHOOL FOR THEIR ENTIRE CHILDHOOD TO MEMORIZE FACTS AND SKILLS THAT THEY WILL RARELY USE. 
  • WE IMPOSE FINANCIAL PRESSURES ON PARENTS, FORCING THEM TO MISS OUT ON VITAL STAGES OF THEIR CHILD’S DEVELOPMENT.
  • WE HAVE THOUSANDS OF RELIGIONS, EACH ONE BELIEVING THAT THEIR GOD OR GOD-STORY IS THE ONLY TRUE AND UNIQUE VERSION.
  • LOVE AND COMPASSION, WHICH PROMOTE LIFE, ARE MOCKED AS FACILE. WHEREAS WAR, WHICH HARMS LIFE, IS SEEN AS HONORABLE.
  • ANYONE WITH A REALLY USEFUL INVENTION CAN FORCEFULLY PREVENT OTHERS FROM USING OR MODIFYING IT.

I think we each have to work on changing ourselves first…plant tomatoes, raise some bees…take longer walks…have less stuff…write more…talk less…read more…teach more….learn more…maybe your neighbor might see that and do the same…and their neighbors might see them doing than and their neighbors, neighbors might see….and then that world of shit just might not be that bad….if its compost….

here’s some great music…and some great mescal

“You are only as strong as the liquor you drink, the tables you dance on and the of friends that hold you together”

 

 

 

 

I just gotta be me….no matter who it bothers…even if it’s Colonel Sanders

“A lot of learned men think people really are the food they’ve eaten.” – Colonel Sanders

fixing.the.sidewalk

“Fixing the Sidewalk” ©2013, Robert Redus

I really do love religion….and not because I believe in it…but because of how it has convinced so many people that “Doing Right” is just a part of being religious and since we opted in at the top of the food chain and morality chain…by definition it gives us a right over just about anything we want to be in charge of….not to mention in the midst of a war…God is on “Our” side…not theirs…even though they think God is on “their” side… what are they thinking…

though if God is on both sides….doesn’t that seem like overusing the word “Check”….

for as “smart” as we are and for as much that has been used and implemented in the name of religion…regardless of the religion…we are not very forgiving…nor are we accepting…understanding…empathetic…compassionate…loving…caring…or anything that even remotely resembles the concept of…LOVE…which call me crazy…but I think religion is brewed in that ideology…sort of…

Some people believe that the earth and all of it’s creatures were given to us by God for our use…to do with what we want and to exploit it to the point of no return…which is where we sit today…this is one of the bumper stickers on my truck:

bumper

I mean really…what if Jesus really does show up and is just nothing here but a smoldering heap of what used to be the planet….there’s nobody to save…this is surely a WTF moment….

Global warming…no global warming…GMO’s no GMO’s…God…Allah….A bucket of Original KFC….all of these are just the distractions…Bob Dylan said….not necessarily with regard to the actual weather….”You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows”…and in this case he’s correct..eat a tomato from Walmart….looks like a tomato….red…crunchy…tasteless…and less of a tomato than a tomato should really be….the food we eat is not what it really is described as….the west coast has been polluted by the Fukashima disaster…and it ain’t going away…Cattle are the new canary in the mine….so to speak….take a gander …..if it looks scary….it’s because it is….and Point of No Return…. means just that…adios…hasta la vista….bien camino….

really….take a deep breath of the air around where you live…have a few glasses of water direct from the tap….maybe some fast food…get a blood panel….cheat on your spouse a little more….squeeze as much money as you can from everything you touch…buy more shit…lie more about who you are not what you do to prove who you really are….pretend help is a few cans in a bag at Thanksgiving….keep thinking…”Get a job” to the guy on the corner asking for money….and realize you…me…all of us have played a huge part in making the landscape….look like this….really…just take a look at which way the wind blows…the smoke from the tower….should tell you something…

Our blue recycled container arrived today….I’m quivering with anticipation….and loathing that I am going to fill it up with useless packaging that was designed so I’d buy the product…via visual appeal…and it doesn’t really have to be that way…so my goal is not to fill it…which means I have to continually buy products that don’t rely on how they want me to see it….

We are in a bit of a fix….I like the bumper sticker I’ve seen on a few cars… “Jesus Saves”….well now more than ever is the time for a little bit more than a little bit of saving to happen…

Clearly if people will just open their eyes…get rid of the need to be right bullshit… the sanctimonious attitude….and the idea that someday things are going to be fine….because it said so somewhere….here is the truth…..Colonel Sanders just might be one of the living dead…

so pray hard my little pretties…and hope you are here for the show down…and if not…have coke and a smile….

“I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up – they have no holidays.” Henny Youngman

590. January 25, 2012….The real problem with…

"High Wires" ©Robert Redus,2012

“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” – Oscar Wilde

Charles Osgood said, “There is no exception to the rule, that everyone wants to be an exception to the rule“…he is as right as it gets…each of us comes to the table with these great ideas…at some point or another…and really  more often than we realize…these great ideas…if we’d just think about them for a few days  before we burp them out like a thanksgiving belch…we’d hide ourselves in shame thinking that…”That” idea had any merit…and was doable…unless of course it’s doable… because we are who we are and we’re doing it….or not…

we either know everything or nothing…we have either done everything or done nothing…we are certain we’re going to do it but do it when the time is right….we either speak a bunch of languages or can’t talk to the drive up window microphone in complete sentences…we often profess when we should confess…our fragile delicate ego does not allow us to be anything but mostly right….and mostly all of the time….we can open businesses because we like what the business is about…and somehow think that the connection to liking the business somehow opens the portal to understanding P&L statements…financial forecasting…taxes and developing a good sound…workable business plan…oh and we have $63.00 in savings…when we still struggle with “Does business have a, ‘z’ in it somewhere?

we try to fill the soft spots with softer stuff…thinking it will work…

it all boils down to a simple question…to ask yourself

“AM I EXCITED EVERYDAY ABOUT WHAT I DO?”

if the answer was hesitant…or had a question mark at the end of it…was “Most of the time“…or “I have to think about this“…reread chapter 1 of your life…and  Hell Yeah

I have always believed that once I had all of the tools…both literally and figuartivly…and I knew clearly…WHAT I WANTED …(not to be confused with what I don’t want…as knowing what I don’t want does not mean I know what I want)…then I could accomplish anything…anywhere…anytime…

Here are the lists I made to get here today:

  1. “THINGS I REALLY WANT AND REALLY WANT TO BE  DOING”
  2. Decide what’s real…and unreal…My unreal… was going back to the university for an MFA to be a teacher at a university at 55 years old…I crossed that right off of the list….
  3. The Real Tools, (tangible)  I need…ex. laptop, video camera, Westfalia Camper Van…etc….
  4. The Real Tools I have…
  5. The Ether Tools, (smarts and skills) I need…ex. education,  business skills  , etc….
  6. The Ether Tools I have…
  7. Build the tool box..start the project(s)….and make sure  I start the projects long before I have the tools so I can keep adding the “Right” tools

there is something about working hard on an idea or project even if you have only part of the tools…as what we need usually arrives when we need it… “The harder/smarter we work…the luckier we become

Most of us…who are trying hard to be right or fill in the soft spots with softer stuff…are also probably working in the… “THE WHAT YOU ARE WILLING DO”… position rather than from the  “I CAN DO ANYTHING…ANYWHERE….ANYTIME”… place….

and spending far to much time on making certain every “i” is dotted and “t” crossed…might indicate an enormous suggestion….but bottom line… if it’s not “HELL YEAH“….well…..nothing else really matters….

“I’m not wise, but the beginning of wisdom is there; it’s like relaxing into – and an acceptance of – things.” – Tina Turner

588. January 22, 2012…Visibility… a few miles…maybe a few feet…

"When I Thought I was Lou Reed" ©2012, Robert Redus

“Everyone smiles with that invisible gun to their head.” – Chuck Palahniuk

I’ve not been reading that much lately…really not at all to speak of and I think it is because my magic carpet has been temporarily grounded…in for a few minor repairs…and small adjustments…and very soon..I will again be airborne….

the obvious is often not there in the lens…not because it is not…really there…it’s just not visible…you know sort of returning to dot…i’s and cross t’s…as what really is important is the penmanship…the grammatical construction and the punctuation…rather than the true gristle and meat of the sentence…paragraph…words…it becomes filling a void…only because a void is there…and because it’s a void…it clearly needs filling…

I knew a kid that had a scar across his left eyebrow from his brother’s inaccurate golf club swing…or rather….he was standing to close to the recoil…but either way it was a clear path of eybrowless…rippled patch…bisecting his eyebrow…it was brilliant…a real ice breaker and conversation piece…something he would have for a lifetime…I always talked to the white hairless patch of skin…which I’m sure most everybody did…there were a few dots from the stitches themselves…a raised rather larvae looking scar…with small little rib like discolored skin going across that…I’m certain under a magnifying glass it was a completely other world down there…the impact of the wood…fattened his brow a bit so it appeared his eye was considerably smaller than the other eye…many years later it looked like the golf swing event had happened just a few days before…I never could figure out why years later it looked just as bad as the day the stitches were removed…he seemed to have held on to the scar…was all I could think…

I awakened the other morning to these words… “wash your face“…where they came from…what they meant or what I was supposed to do with them was a mystery to me…at first I thought someone was in my room…talking to me…I then thought maybe it was divine intervention…a message from the afterworld…..or perhaps the cat coughing up a hair ball…I’ve washed my face  a few times since then…nothing miraculous occurred each time…then I got it….

I lived in a small beach community in Northern California…the entry to my house was a  glass sliding door covered by a wooden carport….each morning I would fill a large bowl with water…set it on the porch rail…I’d walk past the entrance to the carport look to my left and there was the Pacific ocean a few hundred yards away….straight in front of me was a long abandoned military installation…just the concrete foundations remained…they were over grown with a myriad of colored flowers…I’d pick a few flowers and return to the carport….where I would set the flowers down…and wash my face in the cold water from the bowl…I’d then float the flowers in the water…sit for a few moments and take every bit of it in….it always worked….

as a child….I always wanted stitches….

“Hold me in your arms, lava lamp! Let me seek magma comfort and peace in the warmth of your kryptonite embrace.” – Isabel Yosito

580. December 4th…The Passion makes the Exceptionals…well…exceptional…

"Another Kind of X-Mas" ©2011 Robert Redus

“I am convinced that, except in a few extraordinary cases, one form or another of an unhappy childhood is essential to the formation of exceptional gifts.” – Thornton Wilder

What you do is exactly that… “what you do”…the secret is asking why you do it…most of us at the core will say it’s to survive…pay the bills…the car payment…the house…etc…really it is to afford the necessary luxuries to maintain a particular look and position…I don’t think most of us would say that…but would agree with it…if tomorrow…the cell phone and laptop were missing…the dominoes will fall a great deal faster than before…to keep all of the look requires one of 2 things…work to make it happen and do anything that keeps the ship afloat…or do what you are passionate about and drive that the direction of producing income…

Income is more than money and bank balances…income is time…what the time you have is worth and more so…what are you going to do with that time…

most people will live their lives working to meet an end… and often the unspoken is… “When I get there…I can do what I really want”…and maybe the time spent getting there has clarified the “What I want” …yet chances are the “What I want” is kind of like a high school sweetheart…that never worked out…the fantasy far out weighs the reality…the passion stayed there while you moved on….

Exceptional people have and are finding ways to make their passion a real…producing entity that gives them the ability to create what it is they want in all aspects of their lives…many of the people we admire are also the people who have followed their passion and made what they love doing…simply…work…granted… “Simply” does not mean easy nor without work but they took what they love and made it into something they get to do everyday of their life…

What is your passion…how does it translate from the Ideal to the Real…is it something you do everyday…or are you waiting for something else to end so you can begin…what are you doing about what you are passionate about….do you have a plan…a place to go with it…an adventure…waiting to happen…

“Be careful going in search of adventure – it’s ridiculously easy to find.” – William Least Heat-Moon

473. January 15th…It’s not who you really are…it’s who you think you are that matters…just keep practicing your…Handwriting….

“Boxed In” 2011

“The handwriting on the wall may be a forgery.” – Ralph Hodgson

“The Handwriting on the Wall”…comes from a biblical event in the Book of Daniel…King Belshazzart …fundamentally uses stolen religious items for the wrong reason…a hand appears…and writes…”minaminashekelhalf-mina”…on the wall…it is interpreted as Belshazzart’s kingdom is divided…his days are numbered…and God is pretty mad…later that night Belsharzzart dies…or is killed…his kingdom split…and people start believing in the…”Handwriting on the wall

persona…”a person’s perceived or evident personality“…one we all have…make…display…at certain times while developing a few new ones…to ensure we  fit in while standing in a crowd of head hunters…or intellectuals…or politicians…or crackheads…

burdened with persona issues…overwhelmed with handwriting on walls…how in the world can we be ourselves…or is being ourself…part of being somebody else…or a bunch of somebody elses….we are not…and as far as handwriting…is there a need to pay attention to it…sort of like the billboards along the highway…the “New”…handwriting on the wall…

when I was growing up…advertising…was much more of a lie than it is today…companies could literally peddle snake oil…and say it cured anything and everything… I purchased every item from the back page of comic books…thinking one would have to be worthwhile…indeed they were not…

the two most alarming purchases were…sea monkeys and x-ray glasses…I recall pouring the sea monkeys in the jar…along with them came a guide to raising them and a magnifying glass…the advertisement showed…a mother sea monkey pushing a baby carriage with two baby sea monkeys in it…crossing a bridge…in the distance were a group of sea monkeys…farming in a well manicured field…and slightly to the right was a town…with a church…and buildings…I couldn’t believe for a dollar or so and shipping and handling ..I was going to be in charge of this microcosm..everyday…I hurried home hoping to see construction…farming…families and all that goes with a community…my brother after a week or so…gave me the magnifying glass and pointed out the tiny blobs floating in the water…and identified them as …”Sea Monkeys”…I was crushed…there were going to be no farmers…builders…nothing…

I received the “X-ray glasses” in the middle of the week…a pubescent boy of 10…with great curiosity…and glasses that could see through anything were probably not a good mix…I waited at the bus stop…parochial uniform…tan briefcase…wearing the glasses that looked like some antiquated torture  device…protruding from my face…I entered the city bus thinking…today is going to be a great day…nothing…absolutely nothing… perhaps it was a focusing issue…I worked on the problem for the entire ride to the parish….first stop…the  black women at the car wash I stopped at each morning and got a Mars candy bar with almonds and one particular woman in mind who had nicknamed me “Honey Boy” whose smile revealed beautiful gold teeth ….and finally the parish school…where I had “The advantage”…I could see through anything….they never worked….not once…not even close…and the ridicule from the car wash attendants and my fellow students was almost more than I could take….

now the handwriting has changed…but not a great deal…you can be anybody you want if you carry the right dog…dress in the right clothes and have the correct bag…there are actually places that lease expensive handbags these days…so you “Look” the part…you can drive a Mercedes have all of the ecutraments…and live in a place right out of Architectural Digest…that appears to be right next to Mariah Cary…if you have the right mix…

so I guess the writing on the wall is probably a lie…and the persona…has become so shallow that the bottom is very visible….and obvious…but it still works…I mean the other day I actually saw a well waxed moustache and an “artist” …wearing a beret….

“You have to have a certain persona to be a star, you know, and I don’t have that. I’m a banana.” – Harvey Korman

472. January 14th…Carolyn Davidson was paid $35.00 for the Nike Logo….and who was the other guy in the Eurythmics….

“Not a bad View” 2011

“Humanity is the rich effluvium, it is the waste and the manure and the soil, and from it grows the tree of the arts.” – Ezra Pound

Tao Te Ching…Chapter 56  the first lines of the passage are:

Those who know do not talk.
Those who talk do not know.

it continues on and ends with:

He who has achieved this state
Is unconcerned with friends and enemies,
With good and harm, with honor and disgrace.
This therefore is the highest state of man.

I woke….this morning wondering about…announcement…and those who feel it  necessary to broadcast their intentions…for me it leaves but a small bit of unraveled string as the end result…

I’ve rarely if ever have heard an announcement…that doesn’t have a head on both ends…one that announces the deed…while the other announces that the person doing the deed…is becoming a  bit more elevated by the announcement…sort of them giving themselves a medal for being a great person…before they deserve the medal for being a great person…yet deserve it by intention and desire…those people who struggle for what they want to be…fill in the blanks with…”I’m going to”…and I guess it tells the world…”I’m still on track”…when the world really doesn’t care….much…nor do most people…

something about letting your mouth overload your ass…a few times…until you get it makes it much easier to do the deed…then make the announcement…pray for rain so any ceremony that might have taken place gets canceled…rescheduled or misplaced….

maybe…announcements should follow actions that are aligned with the announcement…kind of like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz….when every single Munchkin said…”follow the yellow brick road“…she literally followed the yellow brick road…when she could have taken the short cut…instead she walked from the point of the spiral…repeating the intention….yellow brick road step by step…right on out of Munchkin land to parts unknown…her intention was clear from the beginning…made some cool friends…got a pair of ruby slippers…a chance to meet OZ and see he was the epitome of “announcement”…with a great deal of smoke and mirrors…and not a lot of gas….

does announcing to the world…that you are going to…feed the poor…help the homeless…garden an hour each day…pay it forward….create every day…knock on doors save the world…recycle more….drive less each week…take the bus…leave a smaller carbon footprint…convert to solar…be more present….empathetic…compassionate…and loving…really matter…it only matters if what you say you are going to do…you do…and chances are…it may never be noticed except by those who are the beneficiaries….

“There is nothing in the world more shameful than establishing one’s self on lies and fables.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe