Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Year of the Dragon

In Chinese mythology the dragon is the most auspicious of all astrological signs.  It brings with it the manifestation of masculine energy, the embodiment of the yang.  The five toed dragon rules all as the representative of the Mandate of Heaven, the imperial symbol.  Its curled form bringing a natural power, dynamic changes and a purposeful ferocity; it alters the world, submitting it to the order of the Universe, a higher order than that imposed by any man.

The dragon speaks to our most ancient fears.  It crawls through the most primitive parts of our brain, where the simple hairless ape tries to make sense of a reptilian predator.  It was a vicious, cold-blooded bringer of death, a scaled killer of innocents and an arbiter of final dispositions.  It has haunted our nightmares, and also invaded our dreams.  It inspires our imaginations, giving wings and flight to our fantasies.

In this year, we will see change.  Change is the essence of all things.  In a universe that does not acknowledge our presence, it merely signals the next phase of our existence.  We move from order to chaos, to a new order.  Entropy expands and we are along for the ride.  Politics, the Economy, the world at large is coming apart, or so it seems.  But what if there is a higher order in our chaos?  What if we lack the perspective to see the good, when all around us are manifestations of evil?

What if, as the Doomsday Clock moves towards midnight, we have our finest hour?  What happens when we achieve our highest aspirations, our greatest clarity, in the midst of societal self immolation?  When faced with such destruction, can we be the people that we have always aspired to be?

As the dragon makes its inevitable way across the night’s sky, do we rise to the occasion, inspired by its strength, steeled with the knowledge that by standing in the face of the fire, we will overcome all obstacles.   Or do we bow to the inevitable, that bad men motivated by lust and greed will enforce the tyranny of the strong over the will of the just.  The hour is not too late, but the clock is ticking.  The dragon, the world and our fellow humans await our answer.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Journeyman Chronicles: Part 2

With No Way as Way

                There is a brief moment when you realize that the universe and everything else that you take for granted, isn’t exactly what you thought it was.  You are instantly overcome by circumstances so out of your control that you question the very nature of reality itself.  Up is in fact down, left is now right, black is white, and things that made sense just a few moments ago, now seem all too “Lewis Carol”.  You have fallen down the rabbit hole, and reality is not that comfy cozy thing that you have become accustomed to.
                That brief span of time is known as an “oh-no” second, as in “Oh no! I just sent that personal email to all!”  Chaos is more than a collapse toward entropy; it is a twisting, yawing mindbender of an event that smashes our ordered, mundane world like a giddy toddler knocking down building block towers.  With all the subtly of a gloriously demented game of Jenga, our lives can suddenly collapse from order into a frightening freefall of epic fail.  In the blink of an eye, we are spun about on the wheel of fate, only to find ourselves succumbing to the vagaries of chance.
                In the past I would cry and bemoan my circumstances. Now, I am beginning to find acceptance of the uncontrollable nature of life in the 21st century.  I am learning that there is no way, there is no path.  The route ahead is unexplored and hazardous, full of dreadful missteps and wondrous adventures.  Yes, there be dragons and dangerous shoals ahead, but they are not showstoppers, just merely obstacles to be avoided, worked around.
                I only know that my time is finite and my destination lies far to the west, beyond the setting sun.  With the clock ticking, I set out once more. My course is uncertain; will it lead me to the solution, or another dead end?  Who can say; I only know that my path is built one stone at a time.  I carve it out between sunrise and sunset, step by step, fighting chaos, clinging to order, hoping, dreaming, laughing, loving, one day…one moment at a time.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It’s All Political Theater; or Why I Don’t Care about Election 2012

Last night, the people of Iowa spoke.  They spoke about a nation whose leaders are not in touch with its citizens.  They spoke about people who are out of work, or underemployed.  They spoke about their religious convictions, and how their faith influences their conduct.  They spoke about a freer nation, a “shinning city on the hill”, a beacon for the entire world to see.  They spoke about a place where a man can rise from the most humble beginnings and achieve whatever levels of greatness and wealth that he can apply himself to obtain through the sweat of his own brow.  They talked about family values and tradition.  They talked about making the right types of change, not just slogans, but finding the true and descent America that we all know exists.  Unfortunately, no one listened.

Our political process has descended to the point where our elections have become just another act on the grand stage of American Politics, where we get a lot of sizzle, but very little steak.  We have gone from the indispensable man, to the interchangeable one.  Left or Right, it no longer matters who is residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, because that person is no longer running the show. If they ever were, they definitely aren’t now.  I suppose that I could make the usual screed against the special interests, but the fact is that the people who really run this country aren’t even visible to the average person.  Our country has been surrendered to the professional politicians, career bureaucrats, mass media manipulators and plutocrats who feed our addictions with 24/7/365 drivel carelessly spread across 500 channels.

The people who should run this country aren’t the political class; they certainly shouldn’t be the media. They should be the people that we see in the mirror every day.  Without us, the government can’t govern.  The government cannot run without the consent of the governed.  When enough people decide that they “aim to misbehave”, then governments get scared.  Ask Muhamar Quaddafi if he was afraid of his people.  You might find the conversation a trifle one sided, as he was pulled out of a drainage ditch and shot in the head by angry partisans, who mere months before had been fearful of his wrath.

The sad fact is that going from hard left to hard right, only results in a tank slapping nightmare, where the corrections get more and more fierce until finally we lose control and slam into the inevitable pavement of history.  Our nation is facing the greatest challenge in its history.  Whether the people will surrender their freedom for what basically amounts to government cheese, or do we finally throw off the shackles of societal engineering, and learn how to go our own way.

The government does not belong in our schools, homes, houses of worship, and not our businesses.  It should not determine who marries whom, nor what happens in a woman’s body.  As my favorite brown coated starship captain is fond of saying, “I just want to go my own way.” I want to be able to walk my path, to create a place in the world for me and mine, and not to be bothered with those who insist upon foisting their “agenda” upon a simple man.

In the end, this election is not about winners and losers, neither left nor right. It will really be about the perpetuation of a system by which the common man is disenfranchised, marginalized and finally, reduced to little more than a pawn, a pathetic piece moved at the whim of faceless masters, whose mediocre machinations belie their limited intellect and dearth of vision.  Our loyalty and freedom sold for the simplistic comforts of social justice, and the pale, impotent light of compact fluorescent bulbs.