The Fine Art Of Bullshitting

imagesNow if you think bullshitting is not an art form just take a look at past presidential races and you can see openly just how important this art form is to the politician who must, through long hours of intense study, become master of his trade. The canvas he paints openly before his admiring throng is truly amazing as his glib tongue, deftly laying stroke upon stroke, forms the contrast and conflict of his opponents deep shadows juxtaposed his very own brightest of lights . . . while the laymen prostate themselves before him and pay homage to his canvas of dreams.

It seems the only time you get the truth, or even an honest opinion from this breed is to listen to these people AFTER they leave office. Generals, Senators, all the way down to the local member of the school board are so steeped in spinning bullshit during their career you just can’t trust a word they say.

Obama knows this art form and used it well. He is a Master at his trade. Obama’s emotionally charged campaign centered on hope. His first opponent, John McCain, a Master in his own right, chose a different emotional theme for his canvas. McCain centered on fear. More people responded to hope than fear so Obama won the bullshit (tell them what they want to hear) election in spite of the fact most people who voted for Obama probably instinctively knew he couldn’t keep most of the promises he had painted for them. His promises were, in the light of current events, wishful thinking at best.

I personally believe he was far to busy just keeping the ship of state afloat after the disastrous eight years of George Bush to do much else. Hell man, we were lucky to have a monetary system at all by the end of Bush, let alone enough cash to do anything much to help the poor and needy middle class in this country. So how does this all pertain to our personal survival?

Ask Romney about telling the truth . . . He tried . He died . . . on the field of public opinion while Obama kept his presidency alive even after he had proven himself without a doubt to be an insane bullshitter. America is just too gullible to glibness to make a difference in how they vote. . . . and now we have Hillary in the wings. YIKES!

Truth is that a man who understands the nuances of bullshitting can and will survive longest among his fellows. He knows it is far easier to convince an enemy than to kill him, especially if he is out gunned and outnumbered. He knows instinctively if he practices faithfully and becomes an adept, the sky is the limit. He knows a good line of bullshit and a glib tongue can get him shelter, water and food even when outnumbered and living amongst his enemies. Even when facing certain death the true and fearless artist can sway his captors into his camp by merely corralling them with his tongue.

A great bullshitter has to be in charge of his own mind. He must be intelligent and wise to the ways of man and of the world. He must not just control the room, he must own it. People must love him. They must look up to him. Want him to lead them. He must be a chameleon shape shifter able to capture the essence of a rainbow for them. He must be like the apostle Paul “all things to all men.”

The greatest, the most satisfying, the loveliest words that the truly masterful bullshitter can ever hear is for his following to say with heart felt conviction. “Our leader speaks the truth.”

Follow Your Bliss

follow your bliss3Joseph Campbell was being interviewed by Bill Moyers on the PBS “Power of Myth“ series when I first heard his phrase “follow your bliss”. In his viewpoint this undertaking must happen if a man were to experience fulfillment in his lifetime.

Joseph Campbell was a very wise man, but just what does it mean to follow one’s bliss? Well, in my opinion it means merely to be balanced enough to know your gift and be willing enough to work towards bringing it to fruition.

An artist creating a work.

A business man creating a new business.

A teacher creating wonder and hope in young minds.

A philanthropist in the creative stage of giving.

On an on it goes, different for each individual yet having the same affect on all of them by bringing purpose into their lives. Did you catch the major theme through all this dream following?

Creativity. Being a creative human being is what it’s all about. After all what are we if not creators? Followers.

Now, following is not bad nor necessarily wrong. Without leadership we would be living extremely chaotic lives on this planet, and in all reality would probably have gone extinct some time ago. But there is a balance that must be maintained while following or else you may just deny your gift and ultimately lose yourself in another’s cause.

What’s your dream? (it is normally tied into your gift) Everybody who has not been beaten down or brainwashed by the society he lives in has one. What do you need to do in order to fulfill it?

I would say also that in order to follow your dream you must be realistic in your goals. Otherwise a man will spend his valuable youth chasing after someone else’s dream, be he/she a scholar, a movie star, a musician or a magician, it doesn’t matter.

He will merely be living as a copy cat who will never be as good as what he copies. Why? It’s not his. He is just fantasizing it is. Has anybody ever made Mozart’s music as good as Mozart himself? No, of course not. He may be good enough to copy and be almost equal to Mozart, but never will he surpass him. It’s impossible.

My gift is not in the music field and I know it, yet I still enjoy playing an instrument. Nor am I a painter, yet I enjoy painting a picture. We can do a lot of really cool stuff without activating our gift. Those who excel, the gifted ones who seemingly are heads above the rest of us, these guys are the ones I’m talking about.

I know my gift and when it’s working I am in another place. A place where nothing can touch me, nor harm me, spiritually speaking anyways. When I am in my gift, I am at one with the earth. That’s the best I can explain it. I’m sure Joseph could do better.

I fundamentally believe that each person born into this world has a gift of some sort programmed into his DNA and his goal, in order to be happy, is to find that gift and use it to the betterment of himself as well as his fellows.

The problem I see, at least in this country, is that in order to create anything of value you first must follow a learning curve of dedication, commitment, discipline and practice. All the things that seem to be out of vogue in this “hurry up I want it now!” society we live in.

As a practical matter we need to have a place of quiet solitude where we can meditate upon these questions and resolve them in our own minds before we even begin. Then we need to move forward to practice them.

Thich Nhat Hanh (a Vietnamese Buddhist monk) is a great example of a man following his bliss.

In the midst of the Vietnam War while the Americans were bombing the hell out of his country, he and his organization were busily rebuilding bombed villages, setting up schools and medical clinics, and helping through non violent means all he could to alleviate the plight of the citizens of his country.

For doing that he was ultimately forced out of his country and banned from ever returning. Nothing stopped him however and he remains practicing peace to this day in Plum Village somewhere in France.

Hopefully as/if things get worse for you in this country nothing will stop you either because what takes place on the outside is nothing to be compared to the power within once you find and follow your bliss. . . . Go for it! You’ll be glad that you did.

The Tao Of Coffee

shackTwo scholars had spent the better part of the morning in a local Portland Starbucks arguing over Evolution versus Creationism. Getting nowhere, they decided to drive to Cannon Beach where an old sage named Chung Lee, who reputedly had the answers, lived.

After a pleasant one hour trip the two arrived at the old man’s shack. Spotting a lone figure sitting atop a nearby hill, they exited the car and climbed up to where the old sage sat facing out to sea. Upon their arrival the old man turned, directed his eyes upon them and asked, “Where’s the coffee?”

The two became puzzled. “Sir, One said. We were told you could help us with the greatest philosophical dilemma of our age . . . perhaps even give us some insight into the theories of which we are about to speak.”

“Yes, of course.” Chung Lee answered. “But go now, next time you come, bring me a cup of Starbucks coffee, then we will speak of your theories.”

The following morning the two checked out of their motel at the crack of dawn and returned to the hill. This time one carried a large cup of Starbucks coffee. After greetings, he handed the old sage the cardboard tray. Both sat in the sand and opened their portfolios, each anticipating a quick and decisive victory.

Chung Lee, while sipping his coffee quickly went over each theory, handed the papers back, looked out to sea and finished the coffee before beginning to speak.

“The two theories are mere disciplines, and although seemingly opposing views, upon deeper reflection are one and the same. The difference lies in your interpretation and in your desire to understand the mystery. But alas, the mystery cannot be contained within a theory, so you are both beating your learned heads against a brick wall.”

Going on he said. “Each theory is merely a doorway, and being so can never explain the goings on within the room. You need theory to find the doorway, but once opened this very same discipline becomes your stumbling block. Theory will never reveal truth, only the pathway to it.

The two looked at each other, excused themselves and walked back to the car.

“This is a wise man?” One asked the other. “”He sends us for coffee, then he comes up with this gibberish?”

“Yes, it is strange,” answered Two. “Yet his reputation is such that there has to be something we are missing. Let’s give him a chance to prove himself.”

The two went back to where the old man was sitting. “Sir, excuse us, but neither one of us understands. What are we missing?”

The old man held up the empty cup. “This cup will always contain a mystery, but as you smell of it, sip of it, and enjoy the taste of it, you one day realize you don’t really care HOW Starbucks made such a good cup of coffee, you are just glad they did. And thanks be to the mystery, as long as there are people like you seeking to understand it, I will never have to worry about getting my morning cup of coffee.”

The old man dismissed them with a smile and returned his gaze to the sea.

The Joy Of Playing Music

guitar playerI first fell in love with music back in 69 or so when I was living in Portland trying to be a hippie. The affair started one day while I was getting stoned in some girls apartment and I heard an angels voice on the stereo. It was Joan Baez. At that moment I fell in love with her and as a result of her voice I fell in love with music also.

Up until then music was a good backdrop for whatever inanities I found myself doing, but I never really got into it much cause (maybe) in the 50’s projects you got your ass kicked for even thinking of being a musician. Well, I’m much older now, it’s winter and I’m starting to think about playing music again. This is something I’ve done off and on for the last forty years or so ever since I fell in love with Joan.

I have a music area in my library where the two (electric/acoustic) guitars live . . . and the cello . . . and the piano . . . alongside, let’s see, my rebuilt mandolin, two hand made American Indian flutes, a hammered dulcimer, a regular dulcimer, two sets of African bongo drums, a (no shit) digereedoo, a tin whistle, various little things like a kazoo, a jaw harp (the real harp I made I gave away . . . as well as my old fiddle)

Anyways you get the picture, I have lots of instruments on which to play music plus piles of books, sheet music etc. to compliment them. If you were to walk into my library and look around you’d swear I was a damn virtuoso, or a one man band.

Well, I’m a one man band house building machine, but as a musician I suck. I have little natural talent, a voice like a fog horn and I hate to practice. “Forget about Mary Had a Little Lamb. I’ll start out with the Jimi Hendrix version of the Star Spangled banner thank you.”

So, forty years later, I still grab and beat up my guitar the same old way running everybody out of the house with the same old worn out bad-to-begin-with melody following an equally bad out-of-sync base line. Then one day, not long ago . . . I fell in love once again.

It all started at the flea market where I used to peddle my access wood. I walked over to the table of a guy who was setting up late. He was not a regular, had just cleaned out his garage and was gonna sell the stuff he didn’t want. Leaning up against his pickup was an old guitar case. Knowing by the looks of it that it wasn’t one of those Chinese cheapies I asked, “Can I see the guitar”?

“Sure” said he.

He lay the case on the table and opened it up to reveal a lovely little folk guitar that had been made by Fender sometime in the early sixties. He was the original owner. After a bit of small talk I bargained him down to about 100.00 U.S. The remainder of the day I pedaled wood while anticipating the time I could take off to lick and tickle my new love in the privacy of our own home.

Last year I listened to a guy on Utube named Pierre Bensusan teaching and playing his guitar in an alternate tuning called DADGAD. Wow! I grabbed the old folk guitar messed around a bit trying to re tune it till I finally got out my tuner (cause I’m tone deaf) and did it right.

One brush over the strings and I was hooked. It was like playing a dulcimer, kinda mountainy and mysterious. The first (base string) played open can be a drone to a treble melody. . . and it’s all easy as hell, an absolute necessity for me cause I get bored real quick. Later you can improvise to your hearts content using chords, melody lines etc. . . . anything you can do in EADGBE you can do in DADGAD if you play alone like I do.

If you have a guitar and your intercourse is getting boring, give her a different tone and she may just perk up and play you a lively Irish jig . . . or go all soft and mysterious like a deep forest rain. . . all dank, wet, and dripping.

If your heart is strong give DADGAD a try.

I would advise everybody to pick up an instrument, learn to play it . . . and RELAX. This following short video proves my point . . .

Chris Hedges: ‘Pornography Is What the End of the World Looks Like’ – Chris Hedges – Truthdig

fifty shades of greyI am not a prude. I am not a Christian. I am a man who has used women for sexual gratification most of my life, but . . . it was when I raised my viewpoint from T@A to the female mind that I began to see womanhood in all her glory.

Hedges say’s it better than I can so . . . read it and weep . . . our mothers/daughters/friends and co workers deserve much better.
Chris Hedges: ‘Pornography Is What the End of the World Looks Like’ – Chris Hedges – Truthdig.

Moving slow is the way to go . . . in a land consumed by speed.

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