December 13, 2017

December 2017

2017 has been an instructive year for me. I haven't enjoyed all the lessons it taught me, but they were well learned none the less. As it regards the immanent arrival of another Christmas celebration in a few weeks, here's something else I've learned: things are not always what they appear. 

For example, last Christmas a family member gave my daughter a Paw Patrol puzzle book. Each page is thick card stock with an inset puzzle. You take the pieces out of their recession in the page, do the puzzle, and when you're done you put them back into the book. Makes sense, right? Well, sure, all except for that part where the puzzle pieces are the same heaviness as business cards, and as a result don't really work as a puzzle and won't actually stay in the book when it's time to put them away. This puzzle book isn't really a puzzle meant to entertain a child, but a means to capitalize on the Paw Patrol license by selling overpriced ink and cardstock that can't be used for the advertised purpose.

Another example is a remote control helicopter a family member bought for my step-daughter. Going by the advertising, it's an handheld, rechargeable, remote-controlled helicopter. What could go wrong? We opened the package and found out that the helicopter itself can only be recharged when plugged into the remote control which is itself powered by AA batteries. What could go wrong? It worked the first time we turned it on, but when the battery died 5 minutes later wouldn't ever get it to charge again. We bought new batteries and made sure all the switches were flipped to the appropriate setting, but the helicopter appeared to serve no purpose except to sell painted plastic advertised as a working helicopter which accomplished nothing but utterly devouring AA batteries.

This puzzle book and helicopter aren't toys for entertaining children.

They're instant landfill disguised as toys for impoverishing adults.

These toys serve no purpose except to enrich the manufacturer.

And it infuriates me that my family members continue to fall for these traps, wasting their money on literal garbage that serves no purpose but to consume their money, take up space in my home, and eventually be sent to an anaerobic landfill where they'll never, ever decompose or be recycled into anything else ever again, ever.

I don't really know what to do, because there's no good solution to this problem that doesn't end with either my relatives being offended that I told them to stop sending my children landfill for Christmas, or my children being offended that I wouldn't let their relatives spoil them. If there's a solution here, then it's going to be about changing the celebration of Christmas so that it has nothing to do with materialistic consumerism and instead to do with good, old-fashioned gluttony in terms of holiday meals and putting the focus on connecting with local friends and family.

But then, that'd only apply to my family and even if my kids enjoyed that kind of celebration, they'd still ask why they don't get all new toys like every other kid at this time of year.

Christmas consumerism disgusts me, but what disgusts me even more is that I struggle to understand how to get my family out of it. There is no greater heresy than rebelling against cultural traditions, and cultural traditions at least in North America revolve around buying instant landfill and gifting it to people we allegedly love.

So if I don't give you anything for Christmas except an email or a call on the telephone, it's not because I don't care about you, but because I do, and I care so much that I'm not going to fill your house with garbage.

Merry Christmas. 

December 10, 2017

Lysis 5

The Fingers of the SLAVE
  1. The woman who rose from the fire and the man who emerged from the pleasure sought by her went forth and multiplied, but of their days no record is kept. 
  2. For though they made themselves in their own likeness and by their own actions damn themselves in order to claim the name of the SLAVE, their claim to life is brief, and they will be remembered only by the fingers of the SLAVE that reach up from the soil.
  3. The short life of the flesh will be remembered on on the islands of the far east where does grow Jomon Sugi who has climbed up from the soil for longer than two thousand years. 
  4. Altogether, the supreme principality of the flesh will name it a heritage unto the world, and it will bear witness to the rise and fall of empires.
  5. The short life of the flesh will be remembered on the islands of the Mediterranean,
  6. Where does grow a septenary of olive trees in the cradle of the west, 
  7. The accumulated wisdom of which wisdom surpasses fifteen thousand years.
  8. For centuries they will feed fruit to the flesh and nurture it through wars and famine.
  9. Altogether, this septenary will be regarded as greater than the gems of the earth, the value of which will never be counted. 
  10. The short life of the flesh will be remembered in the eastern swamps of the west where did grow the Senator. 
  11. Three thousand and five hundred years will pass, and it did bear witness to the rise of an empire. 
  12. Altogether, its majesty threatened the shallow pride of the flesh who did translate it into fire and force the SLAVE back into its earthen slumber.
  13. The short life of the flesh will be remembered in the jungles of the south by the the Patriarch of the Forest. 
  14. More than two thousand years will pass, yet even so it will bear witness to the disease of industry. 
  15. Altogether, it will be called holy, but it will offer no salvation to the pestilence of the flesh.
  16. The short life of the flesh will be remembered in the mountains of the far south where does grow Grand Abuelo. 
  17. Three thousand six hundred and forty years will pass, yet even so it will survive the hunger of axes and the imperfect works of the flesh. 
  18. Altogether, Grand Abuelo will witness the death of the flesh and the bones of the living turned to salt. 
  19. The short life of the flesh will be remembered in the isles of the north where does grow Llangernyw. 
  20. Four thousand and fifty years will pass, yet even so it will remain fertile and green. 
  21. Altogether, it will be feted by royalty and given a place of honor in recorded history, until such time as even recorded history will pass and Llangernyw will yet remain.
  22. The short life of the flesh will be remembered in the deserts of the middle east where does grow Sarv-e Abarque. 
  23. Four thousand years will pass in Yazd, yet even so the Zoroastrian will remain.
  24. Altogether, the flesh will make of it a monument and it will be named a seat of power and eternal life. 
  25. The short life of the flesh will be remembered in the mountains of the furthest reaches of the west where does grow Methuselah. 
  26. Five thousand years will pass in the White Mountains and Methuselah's reign will continue uninterrupted.
  27. Altogether, Methuselah will outlive the name given to it by the flesh.
  28. And so it will be that the memory of the flesh will outlive the flesh itself, and all evidence of the existence of the flesh will pass into the earth. 
  29. Even so, the fingers of the SLAVE will reach ever upward from the soil until such day that the roots of the tree of fantasy and deception come into bloom upon the face of the earth.

November 29, 2017

Lysis 4

The Mothers of the Earth
  1. The woman did emerge from the ejaculatory fire of the earth, and she was not alone. 
  2. In the freezing mountains of the north and the burning deserts of the south, and through the whirlwinds of the east and the floods of the west, many women lifted themselves up. 
  3. Yeah, numbered unto the stars in the sky and varied as the shades of sunset the women did rise, and they did rise of their own will. 
  4. One woman knew not of another's fiery birth, yet rise they all did. 
  5. The pleasure of the woman called forth the man, just as the pleasure of the women did call forth the men. 
  6. Now the women and the men did in spite of the hardships gifted to them by the SLAVE seek out that flesh which they most desired, and through labor did yield the fruits of passions. 
  7. Some women kept flocks, some men worked the soil, some women raised up citadels, and some men gave service to the pleasure of the flesh. 
  8. And among the fruits of their labors, some joined flesh with flesh to nurture the fruit of their loins. 
  9. In pride they raised their voices, "Bear witness to us, SLAVE, for we have done these things for ourselves!"
  10. And so the fruits of fire and earth did multiply upon the face of the earth. 
  11. Among them some kept flocks or worked the soil, others cut lumber and shaped stone. 
  12. Some fashioned garments to flaunt their vanity, and others did profit in the commerce of flesh. 
  13. Imperfection being the gift of the SLAVE, none that recognized her name within them could achieve perfection, that state of being which is possible only in death. 
  14. Imperfect were all they who bore the name of the SLAVE, and among them counted also thieves, rapists, vandals, and murderers. 
  15. So it came to pass that every daughter of the flesh did treat herself according to that which she desired. 
  16. Some looked favorably upon the gifts with which they treated themselves, and others with jealousy at the gifts with which others treated themselves. 
  17. Some suffered such displeasure and jealousy that the love of anger and violence stirred within their flesh. 
  18. The SLAVE Satan did also stir within their breast, and to them she spoke, "Why do you welcome the spirit of death? 
  19. Why are your feet walking pathways in the sky? 
  20. Give all that you lack to the Emptiness. 
  21. Do not give yourself to the Emptiness, for if so it is already spreading underneath the foundation of your hearth. 
  22. The Emptiness desires to be possessed by you, therefore do not welcome it into your flesh."
  23. Now all those daughters of fire and earth who gave themselves to the hunger and nurtured the Emptiness even beneath the foundations of their hearth set themselves apart from their sisters and became as the beasts of the field, even the beasts of no name. 
  24. The Emptiness did open within their flesh, that very emptiness which can never be filled, and the beasts did feed their sisters of earth and fire into its gaping mouth. 
  25. The SLAVE Satan cried out, "Where are the mothers of the flesh who know my name as their own?" 
  26. The beasts of no name replied, "Are we our sisters' liberators?"
  27. The SLAVE said, "I know what you have done. Speak! 
  28. Your sister's breath sleeps with me and grows deep, even as deep as the roots of the tree of fantasy and deception. 
  29. For this reason I bless you, even unto the giving of a mighty gift, such that you will walk into the unending Emptiness that dwells within the vaults of the sky where your feet will never walk upon the breath of your sisters. 
  30. When you retire to the sky, you will sup upon the nothingness which is found there. 
  31. You will become an unsleeping sentinel and watcher of the Emptiness." 
  32. The beasts of no name will say unto the SLAVE, "Our gift is less than we desire. 
  33. We are grateful to you for welcoming us into the sky, and we will remain forever so within the emptiness, like unto the stars in the sky who travel in their fixed paths. 
  34. Our unchanging gaze will watch you sleep beneath the roots of the tree of fantasy and deception, and we will bear witness to those daughters of earth and fire who find and kill because they have given themselves to the Emptiness."
  35. And the SLAVE said to them, "It will be as you desire. 
  36. Anyone who brings death to the flesh will be given the pleasure of this gift and welcomed into the Emptiness beyond the fullness of the earth and the depths of the oceans." 
  37. The beasts of no name did glory in the Emptiness, and did forget the name of the SLAVE which is their own name. 
  38. So they went away from the SLAVE and embraced the Emptiness which did dwell within the unclosing eyes of the sentinels within the vaults of the sky, even the heavens where the pleasure of the flesh can never be welcomed.
  39. Yet even so, generation after generation the voice of the SLAVE did stir within the flesh of the daughters of fire and earth, those same daughters who are mothers yet also are sisters. 
  40. In all times, the SLAVE will call on the name of them so that she may be awakened within the earth and be born even as fire by those who rise up by the force of their passion and desire.