photo,"Julie" by William Huber

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Unholy Societal Trinity

The continued coverage of the Tiger Woods infidelity fiasco has done nothing more than to solidify the notion that the American public has once again succumbed to the Evil 3 Es.  

When the story initially broke, one would have thought it were some great story to rival that of Zeus being tossed from the Heavens by a vengeful Hera to be with his harem of human female playthings, the only ones who would have him ... long as each believes She is the Only One. 

Sort of.  

Instead the public was left with an image of a vengeful Elin chasing Tiger's chariot with a Nine Iron, instead of a confiscated Thunder Bolt.  Winding down the drive to the first Evil E. [Which he obviously swerved to avoid, not once but Twice ... and still Failed to miss.]

Elitism.  There is no one on the face of the earth who can rightly claim to be an elitist.  Many may be better than others when it comes to moral or ethical standards and personal constitutions, but there is No One who is inherently better than anyone else due to genetics or any other physiological mechanism.  There are plenty who feel they are superior, but they, too, are merely delusional.  Which leads us to the Crumbling Pedestal of Tiger.  He freely admitted that he felt the rules didn't apply to him.  Now, maybe this sense of "Holier than Thou" is a result of his long-standing fame and accomplishment.  How knows?  But he is by no means exempt from the law ... be that law moral, ethical, civil, etc ...  People who feel that Society's laws do not apply to them Are given a title ... Sociopath.  Now does Tiger qualify as such?  NO.  He merely has issues with a Faulty Zipper and Commitment.  Which now leads us to the next level. Entitlement.

Tiger's sense of entitlement is something that has been bestowed upon him by an Adoring Public.  It isn't necessarily his fault, but that of those who surround and encourage his Egotism.  Everyone says, "He always kept to himself."  Now we know Why. I am not trying to make excuses for him, but he doesn't Owe the public a Damn thing.  His family, Of course.  But the general public, No.

Private matters have always been just that with him, private.  Why should this be any different? Oh, yeah, forgot ... The Golfing Community and General Public made him a Leader, so therefore he should be held to different rules and standards .... huh?  He didn't think that the normal rules applied, so his High and Mighty ones are supposed to be different?  I don't understand.  Don't we have more important things to exhaust such energy and attention on? Again, I digress .... sorry.

Just as the Golf Hero felt he was entitled to Spread His Seed, so does the Public feel a sense of Entitlement for an apology.  The public should not feel entitled to anything, if they do, then let's bend the rules.  Let me explain.

If the Public feels a sense of entitlement for an apology from the Famed Hero who has so Clumsily Fallen, then they too should be subjected to that same sort of Publicly Based Atonement.  Everyone is itching so badly to hear the next words from Tiger ... as though the apology is personal.  Well, in a sense it is.  After all, the Public are the ones who have raised his Image to such spectacular heights ... and everyone wonders how it is that his Fall made such a Gigantic Thud ... Duh, have you seen how high you have raised the bar?  It is a wonder the man Survived.  But I digress ....

If the tables were not necessarily turned, but just tilted maybe the public wouldn't be clamoring so.  The same people who have continued to Crucify Tiger should also be placed in the public forum to atone for their Indiscretions.  WHAT???? You read it right.  If everyone feels so Betrayed by an Idol whom they have never met, and feel that he actually Owes him something, isn't that a double standard?  What about those in the lives of these  Everyday people that have been unjustly betrayed, shouldn't they be given an apology?  A public one at that.  Allow the world to see that those pointing their fingers at Tiger aren't angels themselves?  The only difference is They Haven't Been Caught, Yet.  

If the same rules applied to all, I don't think the reaction would have been the same.  If everyone were called to the front of the class, as has happened here, you can guarantee there wouldn't be such a loud ruckus for Apologies and Explanations. Maybe it isn't so much a sense of entitlement on behalf of the public, but more of a combination of rejoicing that Tiger was the one caught .... not They ... and demanding penance.

So what better person to bear the burden of Human Sin and brunt of undue Ridicule than the fan-created God Like image of the Famed Golfer?  Now for those Bible-Thumpers out there I am in no way Directly Equating Tiger to Christ, so Don't even say it.  I am merely recording what I see, it is everyone else's job to interpret.  These are merely thoughts. Which ties in beautifully to my third and final point. Escapism.

In his Temporary-Infamy [cause you KNOW that this Scandal will be merely knocked over to the Sand by the Pond, and Tiger will continue on to the next "Green" -- No, I won't say what you think, that would be Way Rude], Tiger has somehow managed to become the ultimate Escapist's Dream. What better way to imagine one's own demise than through the actions of another?  Why do you think that action, horror, and sexually explicit movies and shows are so popular?  They are merely a mechanism for escape from Reality. All that you Can't do ... your fictional Alter-Ego Can.  Hoooah!

So, now we have Tiger.  Every man AND woman in America who has recently, or is currently, tending the Grass on the Other Side has waited anxiously to see what kind of Damage Control the Golf Idol can muster. WWTD?  What Would Tiger Do?  That has become the question.  Rather than deal with the Weeds growing about One's Own Lawn, people have their chins firmly planted on the fence-post watching what step will be next for the Fallen. 

We all know the first step is ... [Everyone together now ...] Admitting you have a problem.

Putting the pieces of the puzzle together creates a slightly lop-sided picture, I know.  However, I find it difficult to believe that those who are following this story so closely have not been able to decipher the Larger Picture that is emerging.  Day-Time soaps are not as popular as they used to be.  Hence the Rise [and Perpetual Fall] of the Idols we create.  Face it, these people wouldn't have reached such tremendous heights had we not raised them personally.  And just as we create, we must Destroy.  It is the Nature of Man.

Tiger is certainly not the first.  He definitely won't be the Last.  And for all those who will follow in his Straddled-Footsteps [cause it is a bit difficult to run away with your pants around your ankles], one must wonder what will make them topple?  

I often find Human Behavior so Amusing, Sad, Appalling, and sometimes downright Evil -- sometimes separately, other times simultaneously.  And then there are times like those in which we now function, the Time of the Tiger.  

I have to wonder why humans always find it necessary to live their lives through Others, be they Idols, Gods, or other Humans who have adopted a Higher (Elitist) Persona.  Then people turn around and Feed the Monster with False Promises and Tainted Worship.  [Enter Entitlement and Escapism Stage Right]  And when a Star falls it is amongst Great Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth.  People need to learn that some are no better than others, it is the Illusion we cast upon them that makes them Glow so.

I don't begrudge the Rich and Famous their sense of (whatever you wanna call it), but when they place themselves so far above others that they forget the bottom line, I have to Twitch.  Hate to knock 'em down a few notches but they are Only Human

As for Tiger.  It stops NOW.  No one should give a damn anymore.  The thrill is Gone.  And for those who keep relighting the candle ... I don't think you can be helped.  I hate to give up on others, but I don't think there is a cure.  Those keeping the torch of Gossip and Ridicule alive deserve to wake up one day wondering what the hell happened.  While you were busy focusing on the Tiger ... a VERY convenient distraction ... the Set of this Wonderful Play [Called Life -- ever seen it?] crumbled to dust.  Ignorance and Disregard were at the helm leading the demolition.  So the moral [if one could call it that] of the story is ....

The blame falls more squarely about the shoulders of the individuals who have ingrained such Ideals and Illusions into the Collective Psyche.  

It all boils down to an ugly Truth.  The necessity of taking responsibility for One's OWN actions ... rather than pointing, laughing, and demeaning those who commit the very Same Acts. Leave it be.  Look in the mirror ... not the TV.

[To be Continued ...]

Monday, February 22, 2010

LSD, Ceilings and LawnMowers...

I am easily confused.

I also like to pick and choose things out of what I read. Having listened recently to a lecture by the late Terence McKenna
I read one of his books. I have always believed that "happy accidents" ha
ppen all the time. I believe that is what I experienced in this cluttered-cellar of a brain of mine concerning the observations of this brilliant man.
By way of psychotropics, I hold that he has stumbled on to quite a few truths. Not that I believe in the "tune in, turn on, drop out" philosophy that he es
poused, because like any experience of these magnitudes, it depends upon the individual. I took acid many times, and apart from hysterical, euphoric laughter and later depression and soul shaking fear, the drug held no "spiritual" significance for me. I am sure that what you take into an acid trip, is very much what you get out of it.
I remember att
ending a performance of Timothy Leary, in his declining years, on a tour that he dubbed "Stand-up Philosophy". In it he said in reference to those people that constantly "bummed" on acid, that it was comparable to trying to run a lawnmower on jet fuel. This metaphor got a lot of laughs...and when something is funny, I have learned, look for a truth.
That's me, I guess. Lawnmower brain. But while pushing this grass-cutter around my life, I can occasionally pick up a few tidbits that have some meaning
to me.

McKenna, in his lectures and books explains that our reality, is just that. It is our image of the way things ought to be and is constantly reinforced by the small-brained and greedy leaders that we follow. The real reality of things i
s much more than meets the eye, and in his case, can be partially observed by taking psychotropic drugs. What he "brings back" to our reality from these trips to the ether are very solid observations. It is his contention that our consumer-based, male-dominated society dooms itself by it's own definition, and that there is no way possible for it to continue at the pace it is. That this, what we call "history", is merely a "pupa" stage of our existence on the planet and that if we don't destroy ourselves in this process, we will emerge completely different beings, as does the butterfly. He saw this.

I have to agree. I have always been, with this lawnmower brain, a big-picture kind of person. What this politician or that celebrity said or did, never captured my attention. It is direction that fascinates me. Trends. Technological evolution. And to what end we are hurtling. I like his view of this.

I was also struck by his statement during the illness that killed him, that he had always thought that his death would be preceded by a few panic-stricken moments before a fatal crash on a freeway, not lying in bed with time to review his life and collect his thoughts.

That observation reminded me of the fact that...I dunno...probably 80% of all people are looking at a ceiling when they die. A ceiling. What a strange thing to have in front of your eyes when you pass to, whatever. I always thought that in nursing homes, or hospital wards for the terminally ill...that there should be something ON those ceilings. Something like a painting of an open door, or a photograph of a hand reaching down, as if to help the soon-to-be-departed, on to the next world, or where ever they happen to think they are going after death. Maybe Michelangelo had the right idea about painting things spiritual up there. Or maybe he just ran out of room on the walls.

Monday, February 15, 2010

"A government is only worthy of the name government if it can prevent problems."
                 -- His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Where's the Love?

I'm pleased to see that America's affection for Clinton is still Alive and Well. Regardless of what you may think of him as a president ... or as a man ... you have to admit that there is still a bit of fondness bestowed upon him by many Americans.  Maybe it is that his presidency was one of more Pleasant times of days gone by.  I mean, soon after "W" moved in the whole World went to hell. Didn't it?  We were all screwed beyond belief, but didn't understand the extent of the screwing 'til about 8 months later. Knowing what we know now, I wonder if those who voted "W" in would take back their votes?  We'll never know.  Anyway, I digress ... 

The afternoon of 9/11, I left campus and eventually landed at a corner table in a local coffee shop sitting alone, my head still reeling ... wondering what the *&!% just happened.  A guy walked in humming "It's the End of the World" ... a nervous chuckle escaped me before I had a chance to smack it back down.  And I feel fine ... That day is crystallized in my Mind.  It was the moment I realized we were all Beyond Screwed.  Completely.  

"Lock him in uniform and book burning,
blood letting. Every motive escalate.
Automotive incinerate. Light a candle,
light a motive ...

A tournament,
a tournament, a tournament of lies." 
                             -- REM, "It's the End of the World"

We would soon find ourselves in a war that would last well after my generation had passed on ... fighting a "conceptual" enemy [have They even bothered to look up "terrorism" in the dictionary?] ... with nonexistent funds ... and a mentality that the World somehow sent a psychic message that they wished to be like Us but didn't have the ways or means to let us know.  Until God spoke to "W" and told him so.  And we all know that it was God's Will.  After all, He cast the one vote that put "W" over the top and in the WH ... [Ohh, wait, that was Jeb, wasn't it?  Ooops.]  Not sure what god "W" was talking about, but it sure wasn't Mine. [Again, I digress ... Sorry.]

Back at the coffee shop the Epiphany continues ...

And at the helm was "W", the only president in History to grace the Cover of Rolling Stone Magazine wearing a Dunce Cap.  

I'm not going to rehash the indiscretions of former Commander Clinton, but I will say that if getting blown was the worst thing that man ever did, we were Freakin' Lucky.  As I said then, I continue to say today, when people break out their shovels and start digging, ... He's human. Who cares?

But for those who enjoy unearthing the Past ...

So the adulterer was replaced ... leaving numerous, horrendous, tasteless jokes in his wake that would live on well into the 21st century ...  At least the jokes attached to that presidency were "poking fun" [NO PUN INTENDED] at his "Extracurricular Activities" rather than policy and the inept squandering of international goodwill during a time of crisis, irresponsible expenditures, and a consuming, sinking feeling of complete incompetence that made the masses cringe each time they were subjected to his "speeches" ... as was the case with Boy Wonder ... er, "W".  

I think that is where the Affection resides.  A longing for the days before everything went to shit.

Granted, I don't agree with many of his policies or ideas, but that was what was so refreshing about Obama.  Again, regardless of your political leanings, you gotta admit the man is a tremendous Speaker.  I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to hear him speak in person.  He used words with more than Two Syllables and didn't not look as though he was looking directly at the sun as he spoke.  And there weren't any fumblings, "uhs, "ums," or "Mis-underestimations."  

Not since Clinton had there been a more eloquent speaker.  And instead of the radiating glow of embarrassed faces, the people seemed to be rallying together with a sense of Unity and Hope. Course, that solidarity and hope has faded to a dull glow in the past year ... kinda like the embers of a neglected campfire.  But that is another story ... [To be continued ...]

Photo: "Clinton on the Campaign Trail"
Courtesy of J.M. Willhite, Copyright 2008.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

"It's not so much staying's staying human that's important" -1984