Sunday, December 16, 2007

WAR IS OVER if you want it

John Lennon was brilliant.

I was born in 1964, landing 2 months after the Beatles landed in the United States. As a young child I loved them, riding my tricycle in circles in the living room around my mother's Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band LP stood upright so I could talk to their pictures while listening to their music. Magical Mystery Tour was my first album. I must have been all of four or five. I remember studying the lyrics on the back of the album, trying to connect the letters with what I heard - learning to read. "All you need is love... la la la la la!"

1964 was also the year the Vietnam war began. It ended when I was ten years old. As the Beatles music was a part of the fabric of my formative years, so were the images of the war in Vietnam on the news. I am sure my parents were in the room with me when I saw these images, but my memories of it are visual and visceral only. I don't remember any adult commentary, but I do remember this feeling somewhere between despair and agony - immense suffering. The kind that sits like a brick in your gut. I experienced this many times over those first ten years when the nightly news was on. I connected this feeling with the visuals of the military - camouflage patterns, crew cuts, tall black boots. I still do.*

My half brother served in Vietnam in some capacity. I could ask him more about that capacity if he were still alive. The mysterious neurological illness that eventually claimed him is thought to have been caused by exposure to agent orange. I remember when he came home in a spiffy Navy uniform and took me for a walk down the street, down by the elementary school. I was three. I didn't remember him from before he left so much, but I was happy to be holding his hand anyway.

Fast forward to 2004. I love the internet, I must say. I was reading a friend's post on a forum, and she was writing of a conversation she had with a woman in her community in a small town in Ohio who was a Sudanese refugee and had lived in a camp with her children for many years, recently being allowed to immigrate to the United States. She said that as horrible as war is, it is a necessary evil. WHOA, PONY! I had trouble wrapping my head around this. How could a woman who knew first hand the horrors and destruction of war believe it was a necessary evil? If she believes it's necessary, then maybe her children believe it's necessary, too. How can it end? What will prevent her sons from picking up weapons? It occurred to me that to believe it was an unnecessary evil was unbearable. And then it occurred to me that our president must believe that war is necessary and violence is acceptable. (This was before I understood the nature of the conspiracy. My understanding of why these things happen is much more sophisticated now.) Also, every single member of the military must believe that war is necessary and violence is acceptable, or they would be unable to function. What if our leaders believed peace is necessary and violence is unacceptable? What if every human believed that peace is necessary? And violence is unacceptable?**

There is a verse from Peter Paul & Mary's The Great Mandela where a draft dodger in prison is visited by his father, and he says to him, "I will never kill another", and the father replies, "He thinks he's better than his brother that died. What the hell does he think he's doing to his father who brought him up right?" The draft dodger then goes on a hunger strike until the killing stops, and he starves to death. Society then proclaims him crazy, they're not responsible for his death, he can't stop the killing. Hmmm. Who's crazy here?

I don't know what impact John Lennon's Imagine has on people born after Vietnam. I was in elementary school when it was released. This talk of imagining no heaven or hell, no countries or religion - nothing to divide or kill or die for, and living gently as one was/is juxtaposed with the dispair brick in my gut. It's a haunting effect. I share his sentiment.

I watched a documentary last night - The US Vs John Lennon. I resonate like never before with his song, Happy Christmas/War Is Over. It's that simple. War is over if you want it. The fact that it continues reflects that enough of us don't want it to end. We aren't willing to risk our personal security and our neat and tidy belief system to stop the terror. This morning I was sitting in bed. My cell phone was on the table next to me. I starting singing "War is over if you want it. War is over, A-a-a-a!" The light on the front of my phone turned on. For no reason. I didn't touch it, and the light remains off when it's not being used. John heard me.


* There are many honorable men and women who have devoted and/or given their lives in the name of serving our country, and I appreciate their intent. The War Machine is dishonorable, and that they have deceived these honorable, dedicated people who give their lives and souls to this institution in faith that the institution is honorable, is a form of rape. The fields of white crosses that I see make me doubly sad. I am sad for their deaths and I am sad for the betrayal of intentions that these crosses illustrate.

** I love arguing with my sister, D. Part of it is that she invests much in mainstream higher education and mainstream paradigm, and I am the freaky opposite in those areas. In a discussion we had, I stated that violence is accepted in our society. D protested that it is not accepted and used an example of her husband cutting off contact with a violent friend to support her assertion, and the fact that assault is illegal. I explained that its presence everywhere is proof that it is accepted. Eating one's dog is not acceptable in our society. There are no movies that glorify eating your dog, that illustrate eating the family dog throughout history. Eating the family dog is not incorporated in video games. There is no family dog-eating subculture. People do not "fight their innate urge" to eat the family dog. Even desperately poor families do not eat their pet. (Never one that I knew.) If someone or a group of people were in some horrible situation where they had to eat their dog to survive, social response would be very very different. People would extend great sympathy to their having to resort to such a painful thing. No one would build a monument celebrating this event. Kids don't play with toy dog barbecue sets. They don't even joke about it. I am not even aware of a law that prohibits eating your dog. This is what it looks like when something is not acceptable. By this comparison, violence is incorporated as part of the fabric of our culture. Violent video games do not make our kids violent, but reflect and reinforce violence's normalization.

She still disagrees.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

On Choosing Beliefs

Most people have no idea how powerful their beliefs are. None at all. And they have no idea they've been programmed. Yes, "programmed" is a strong word, but at the end of the day, I have to call a duck a duck. And our society is full of rigid beliefs that serve the purpose of keeping our ideas small and create broken horses of us so that we keep our sights low.

On Thanksgiving I was having dinner with my family, which includes my mother, sister, their partners, two of my three children, and my nieces and nephews. Sometimes I toss my two cents around freely, and other times I just watch. This time I watched. The subject of homeopathy came up, which is A's (my brother-in-law) soapbox subject currently. He gave his talk and related what he read "debunking" homeopathy and how a person might be harmed by using homeopathy instead of western medicine. Really? And who says that western medicine is the one true way, and who says that belief in a treatment is not the main ingredient in any treatment? Now I understand A's argument that some dilutions are so dilute that the solution cannot even have a molecule of whatever it's a solution of, but why not take the criticism of homeopathy and see if allopathic medicine can withstand the same scrutiny. We as a society give it credibility beyond what's it's earned because we are taught that it's the real thing, and that the action of the medicine is biochemical, therefore scientific and credible. Studies prove. (Never mind that my statistician friend was fired for refusing to alter statistics that the city of Los Angeles didn't approve of.)

The conversation expanded to include other "shams", like a psychic communicating with your relatives on the other side. I do believe this can be faked, and I also believe that it can be genuine. A summed up the critique with "some people don't want to believe that when they die, they're gone." So this made me think. Really. Well, some people don't want to believe that we don't know what happens when we die, and that it is quite plausible that we as spirits do continue to exist. And then I wondered why people find safety in the idea that we're gone when we die. Our beliefs serve purposes.

Later my mother, my son Pa and I were talking about racism. I explained to my 18 year old white male straight able-bodied child that he was at the top of the privilege ladder, and therefore racism, sexism, and able-ism were invisible to him. He'd have to trust those who experience these things to teach him their impact. My mother agreed. She then went on to insist that racism was a part of our nature. Hating others is human nature. It's a fact. She insists, my son nods. Whoooooa, pony!!!!!! What is this "human nature" crap? Who is telling us hate and violence are human nature, and what is their agenda with that? But it happens all over the world they say. The history books describe this throughout recorded history. Double whooooa!! Where did they get the idea that "history" is an accurate record of what has happened? And that science is unbiased? Egyptologists have been terrible about sweeping under the rug any information or ideas that threatened the already chosen story. (See Graham Hancock's Fingerprints of the Gods for multiple examples.)

I believe it is human nature to love one another. I believe kindness is our nature. When I look inside myself I cannot find hate. I don't struggle with my violent human nature. I haven't "overcome" my hate and violence, either, as it was never there. I can't prove this any more than my mother can prove that hate and violence are our nature. At this point, it becomes a matter of choosing a belief. I prefer believing that peace and love are our nature because it is in alignment with my vision of what life on earth can be. If we choose it. It is beyond me, really, why some choose to believe that human nature is to be violent and hateful. That belief excuses violence. It excuses hate. And it excuses the violence continuing. Why would any person want that? Who wants to maintain status quo? Now, the international elite benefit from this belief. They who ultimately decide what is science and what is fact, and want the masses to be afraid and fight and hate each other. Those who engage us in war for their profit. Oh, what a shame, but it's human nature. We are taught this is human nature. Text books will support this idea. (My sister has her degree in psychology, and the emphasis in her studies was evolutionary sociology. It's science, ma'am. Just the facts. No, it's programming.) The elite don't want us to dream of peaceful egalitarianism, for what we can dream, we can create. They want us to believe that the way it is now is as good as it gets. They provide science, facts, experiences, statistics, and history to support that belief. And most of us buy it.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Metamucil or Citracel?

No, I'm not posting about my bowels. Not yet.

I had my eyes examined a few days ago for the first time in nearly 15 years. My progressive bifocals will be ready in a week or so. Me. Ms. 20/20 for years. "Oh, shut up" you say. The receipt they gave me says "myopia" and "presbyopia". Myopia I understand. I was wondering what I had signed up for, like, why bring religion into it? I just want to see better. So I looked it up.

Presbyopia (Greek word "presbys" (--??--ß??), meaning "old person") is the eye's diminished ability to focus that occurs with aging.


I was just born a little while ago, and now I'm old. Do I have to trade my jeans in for polyester? Hiking boots for Keds? Do you think my hair would look better with a blue tint?

Yeah, it's a matter of time before I'm blogging about my bowels.

Finally here

I'm Taurus.
That's not an excuse, just my reality. Stubborn, for better or for worse. Sometimes I wait to check something out because it's all the rage, and this was the case with blogs. Now I have one, too!

I like the story of the blind men who explore an elephant, and when they share their observations, they appear in conflict, yet all are accurate. The world is like that. Thoughts and beliefs often appear contradictory, but are true at the same time. In our society, we are taught that linear thinking, linear cause and effect thinking is the one true way to understand the world. I have also learned that pretty much everything I have ever been taught is wrong. This includes the accuracy of linear thinking.

It is my intent in this blog to explore our realities armed with a wide open mind, wild imagination, and faith in the human spirit to be more than we're taught we could ever be.