Thoughts that occur 30 days before my daughter is due in this world.
I get a lot wrong. I suppose that’s normal. Even about politics, and I’ve got a degree in the science thereof, hah.
500 days of a stupid war. I didn’t see that happening. I thought the outcomes would be too obviously terrible for Russia. Goes to show, strongmen go rancid after too long in power.
China deletes Covid-19 death data. I honestly thought China had performed reasonably well, when the pandemic first struck (and I found the “kung flu” and “china virus” stuff a bit … mmm … what’s the word … prejudiced?). But then they fumbled the vaccine roll out and then the chairman of everything needed to move on and they just let it rip. Goes to show, strongmen go weird with too much power.
After the Westerosi bungling of international diplomacy post the Al-Qaeda attacks, the abominable invasion of Iraq, the Afghanistan debacle, and the whole Orange Barking Carnival Trumpet Show, I was willing to be very critical of western democracies.
Turns out I’ve got to hand it to Churchill.
…the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time…
I suspect I’ll get plenty wrong with parenting, too. I’ll be happy if the daughter grows up to tell me how wrong I was. And happier if later she goes on to tell that it’s normal and ok.
I make a living putting words together to mean things that make pictures appear in peoples’ heads. I suppose I’m relatively competent at that, since it pays my rent.
I try to write what I like to read.
Or rather, I try to not write what I don’t like to read.
- I don’t like people telling me what to think. It’s rude.
- I don’t like to read poetry when I want to read prose. It’s tasteless.
- I don’t like to read the same story twice. Or twenty times. It’s boring.
I can’t think of other categories of writing I don’t like. They probably exist, but since I can’t think of them, they’re clearly not as important to me.
Fantazije Na Tekočem
“Na tekočem” in Slovenian means, roughly, au courant in English. Growing up, I learned that this is what a proper man should be, with nose stuck in a newspaper for an hour a day and then eyes squinted at the evening news for half an hour, later one hour when they stretched them out to make more room for ad breaks.
With the arrival of the cable news hamster wheel, then the electronic newspaper, and finally the microblog hose of Twitter, the concept of the homme au courant finally extended ad absurdum.
One day, I realized that être au courant, that being aware, was a status entertainment.
By spending my precious, limited time on this Earth absorbing, memorizing, filing, and—when cross-examined [by whom?]—regurgitating the knowledge and opinions required of one who is aware, I could prove my status as a knowledgable, conversant man.
And, my taking part in the comment section skirmishes, I could get a bit of virtuous entertainment. Striking rhetorical jabs against those who had absorbed the wrong knowledge and opinions.
The Commenter’s Psychology
I’ve started to wonder: what is the psychology behind why one conversant choses to comment on one topic or another. Why do so many feel compelled to comment with fossil fuel industry talking points when they see an article about the current dreadful heatwaves? Why do anti-capitalists feel so compelled to comment every time they read an article about the current hollywood strikes?
I could go on, but not for too long. There are perhaps only 20 or 30 extant hobby horses these days that exercise great crowds of the au courant commentariat.
I’ve been wrong so often, and my individual comment on a news article or a tweet [shudder] is so irrelevant in the grander scheme of not life, but even a single coffee, that I should really stop with any kind of news commentary entirely.
And yes, behind my curiosity about the psychology of those who comment, is a personal interest. Why did I do it? Sure. But more Marvel cinematic universe: why did my Dad spend so much time on staying au courant when he could have spent time maybe getting to know me instead?
Anyway. I don’t know. Don’t have an answer.
Thoughts Like Air
There are some people who think it is very important what other people think.
They think that some people have the correct thoughts in their head, and that some people have the wrong thoughts in their head.
And they probably also think that some people have no thoughts in their head.
From there it is a small step to the thought that people who have the correct thoughts in their head are good, and that people who have the wrong thoughts or no thoughts in their head are bad.
I think it is very unimportant what people think. Thoughts come and go like waves on a shore. Some leave a mark, most don’t.
There are some people who think that what a person says proves what they think.
I think this connection is very tenuous. I know I don’t speak every thought I have and that my thoughts change.
There are some people who think that what a person does proves what they think.
I doubt it. I know I take action on even fewer thoughts than I speak.
Frankly, I think thoughts are light, free, and hard to see.
It’s deeds that count. The consistent ones, day in day out. And the extraordinary ones, both good and bad.
Everything Is This
The more everything is one thing, one this, the less that one thing weighs on anything here and now.
Right here, this coffee, might be this, but when I see it, smell it, taste it, swallow it, the less the one thing that is everything matters and the more I am an embodied coffee-drinker.
There is an eternal depth in the particular, an infinite shallowness in the general.
Peace and health.
And consider helping Ukraine against the Russian child-stealers who have been ravaging that country for over 500 days.