War

“The Age of Anxiety is the result of trying to do today’s job with yesterday’s tools—with
yesterday’s concepts.”–Marshall McLuhan

I sense that you are trying, Michael, to find a “third”. It is easy to get polorized in such a violent situation as Ukraine and the ongoing invasion. And then there is the war on dissent. Glenn Greenwald, a reporter who leaked Edward Snowden’s material about the government spying on US citizens offers an alternate media source. He has been in many war zones. I trust him even as I am aware that he has a partial truth. No one has the whole truth. Crack downs need to be monitored carefully as they tend to create the conditions for what they are claiming they want to prevent. Holding these tensions lightly just long enough so that a “third” can emerge is a meta-skill. The US wants to crack down on Putin by freezing his assets the way Trudea did to the truckers. The suffering that these sanctions bring to the people will be felt by all of us as the world economy is on the verge of collapse. We are not in the one way communications loop of the big networks propoganda machines of the Cold War Era. We are Digital. This adds lot of intensity to our public discourse events which never existed before.

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John your Attention to ;

is a good response to the Inner experience of this Human Being. To give some background in this regard,I share this as a influence upon me…

courage-is-resistance-to-fear-mastery-of-fear-not-absence-of-fear-mark-twain

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F-e-a-r. Forever evading another reality. I like Cynthia’s appeal to courage but she failed to mention that mono-causal theories end up in limbo eventually after doing much harm. We tend to live gazing into the rearview mirror. Scapegoating others who take another route to the Real is a dead end. We need dissent. And we are still among you even if you have taken a hundred and one booster shots. Humanity has been over medicalized. The medical model when applied to mental health is a disaster. Just pop another pill and get back to work. The vaccinated are on their way to becoming another GMO. And the CDC is hiding data from you because they don’t want to admit there are unknowable long term risks, and whistle blowers who expose this disinformation in the medical world are punished by parody and other punitive measures. The center will not hold. The war against the microbial world will be lost as our organic lives depend upon our co- existence with them. Attributing evil intents to a virus comes out of a medieval mind. We have collectively created conditions for poor health by bad diets, the overuse of antibiotics, medically created diseases, misdiagnosis, and now mandates that disrupt civil liberties all in effort to kill a virus rather than to eliminate toxic waste, fertilizers that destroy the top soil, and continue the fight over the fossil fuels that poison the atmosphere. Natural immunity is ignored in Cynthia’s justification for the way things are now. I do agree the egregore that the CDC has spawned has been around for a long time. I remember the AIDS epidemic. The same mono-causal logic applied then promoted by the same players. The problem, in my view, is that we rely on statistical averages to protect insurance companies and promote big pharma production. But a human being is not a statistical average. An average human being does not exist. And so we create the conditions for the next epidemic, ignoring our path dependencies, as we accept being barcoded in exchange for a psuedo security brought to you by the Military Industrial Infotainment Complex. When we offload our ethical commitments to State actors who are puppets for Big Tech we are in big trouble. I remain a hopeful pessimist.

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In doing my best to embrace Free Listening & Receive your possible
Felt Sense all I can express is the Images that arose with so doing(Hard Pivot)

Hard Pivot

Hard Pivot #2

and from Stone Age Brain & the War Metaphor;

In Al-Ways I am Grateful for our Call /Response John even if we have some
Shades of Difference. I Feel & agree with You certain Powers our not helping…in Fact they our using their Influence/Power for their own Interest…with that said my Come From is To Do my Best to Listen to
the Voice of Dissent even as it is surrounded by “Many,Many of similar
Tone” and I Have to Regulate the Lived Experience of NOT KNOWING!,
if I am Hearing the Content of the Message Clearly & not being Distracted
by the Tone ( the Tone is Important,just not all of the message…One thing when I was married that I needed to take responsibility for is how I received my Wife’s Tone when we disagreed,it could make for “A War of Roses”).

I am not sure I move with being a Pessimist or Optimist, it’s more ;

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War on terror
War on drugs
Cold War
Civil war
Cyber war
War for your soul
War on dissent
War in Ukraine
War in Yemen
War in Somalia
War in Syria
War in Taiwan
War in Palestine
World War 3
War on disease
War on germs
War on the microbial kingdom
Fog of war
Blood of war
False glory of war
Pointless destruction of war
Spoils of war
War machine
War reparations
War metaphors
War novels
War stories
War correspondents
War movies & TV shows
War epics
War in heaven
War wounded
War weary
War refugees
War casualties
The war of the worlds
The war to end all wars
Narrative warfare
Asymmetrical warfare
Autonomous war
Drone wars
Spiritual warefare
War for hearts and minds
Poet warrior
A war of words
A war of art
A sword of compassion
War for a woman
War for oil
War for land
War for resources
War for revenge
War on humanity—
Fix your mind on the Lord and fight!
Holy war
Dogs of war
War to defend the fatherland
War for the future
War for the children
War drums
War games
Rumors of war
Declaring war
Going to war
Marching off to war
Making war
Nuclear war
In God/Allah we trust—
Economic warfare
Financing war
Banking on war
Betting on war
Selling war
Profiting from war
Buying war bonds
Paying war taxes
Prepping for war
On a war footing
At war with your neighbor
War between good an evil
War on poverty
War of the sexes
Social justice warrior
Race war
Info wars
Future of warfare
War simulations
War images
War souvenirs
War monuments
War battlefields
War history
War heroes & villains
War statistics
War crimes
War tribunals
In times of war
In love and war…
The art of war
Peace and war
Star Wars
Wartime president
War draft
War volunteers
War soldiers
War civilians
War protests
Wartime broadcast
Make love not war
At war with war
War is over if you want it
War is the mother of everything
War is a force that gives us meaning
War on war

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In the context of the Pandemic, I am pessimistic. The medicalization process has tipped the system and what I feared the most would happen has happened. The next pandemic is probably on it’s way and more of the same seems unlikely to make a dent in the infrastructure of the planet which can be found in the wet sand along the beach,teeming with tiny microbial forms. I’m quite pessimistic that a turn around can occur, now, acidification of the oceans , rising temps, die offs, etc. That doesn’t stop me from making efforts to articulate alternatives even if I don’t expect a turn around. Small networks of committed persons can make a difference but trying to prop up our current failing status quo seems delusional. I do like Cynthia and consider her a wise person. We can still differ with those we deem wise.

The tone of the vaccinated towards the unvaccinated has not been gentle. We are not allowed to dine in public or enter a theater. Signs are everywhere telling us to stay out. Mandates have led to the termination of employment and now Trudeau declared emergency powers and freezes bank accounts. The tone is harsh. A polarized population will not be kind to what it fears as an opposite. I live in New York City, once a beacon of light to the oppressed. It is not that any longer. Other governments have changed strategy and these osscillations will probably continue for awhile. But much damage has been done to institutions.

“Holding the tension between opposites is not easy. Sometimes it can feel like you are going mad. To be in the uncertainy of both/and feels particularly uncomfortable.” Lisa Maroski

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YES I AGREE John And I Do MY Best to Work with that Harshness with Family,Friends & Myself…I have Spoken against that Harshness ( I have gotten the Vaccine & Booster,that’s my personal wager & I don’t expect
others to agree or to argue for It), It seems we are getting a VERY RAW
Experience of Just how we are not as Separate from each other Or the Meta(Beyond). With the ones who choose differently I ask that they practice Safety Protocols ( I have to Trust my Judgement when it comes to
them saying they Do).

Holding the Tension is Learned Skill…From my Lived Experience I am at different degrees of Skillfulness on any given day…add to my own skillfulness the different degrees of Others going Through This… The
Intensity is Doing It’s Work on All of Us!
All this is To Say I Feel-See the Mess & I in some small Way will do my Best not to Support the Kind of FEARFUL STUPIDITY U so Well Express!

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I am noting the overwhelming sentiment of unity being portrayed, particularly among European and mainstream American positions (along with Canada, Japan, and many other countries), against Putin’s brazen act of aggression in Ukraine:

It is as if the specter of WW2 (and possibly WW3) has awakened a massive, global immune reaction to Putin’s invasion. Suddenly, we (the people of the modern mental/rational nation-states with a concept of democracy) are all united again. It is similar to the feeling I remember being created in the media after 9/11, which “reversed into” the Iraq War. Moreover, Ukrainian president Zelenskyy and his team are setting a good example for the rest of us of how integral leaders might behave when at their best, and the suffering of the people fleeing their homes, hiding out in subway shelters, lining up at border crossings, is there for all the world to see.

Satellites in low orbit tracking convoys and troop movements. Google maps showing destroyed bridges, smoking ruins of civilian infrastructure which cost countless human hours and precious natural resources to build. Everything Russian is now cancelled. Business, sports, travel, diplomacy—switched off like that. The ruble plummeting in value, runs on banks, protest and repression, chaos and confusion. The Russian people dragged into ruin again by a psychopathic czar.

Where are we going with all this? I am a recalling a discussion some members of this forum had with Davor Löffler, which introduced me to the theory of Maximal Stress Cooperation, of which we we seem to be living through a perfect example. I have long felt that digital media in general is a militarized zone—how does this effect how we communicate, who we seem to be, and how we make ourselves known to each other in a time of war?

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“World War III is a guerrilla information war with no division between military and civilian participation.”-Mcluhan

I feel small groups of creative researchers can do much to enhance, retrieve, modify and obselesce the media that they have access to and can influence. As Putin is now in a war of all against all he appears to have drunk the kool aid he served up to others. At this point he has no choice but to charge into chaos, much like Macbeth, into the jaws of death, basing his delusion upon the three witches mischief making and that is a great danger. He will take down a lot of innocents. The West has temporarily united against an existential threat but what are they for? Peaceful co-existence is the rhetoric they use but they act like selfish bullies, too, when they get a chance. Putin holds the mirror up to our own collusive nature. Oh what a web we weave. If only when the wall fell that Bush, Clinton and the neo-libs had offered a helping hand to a fallen opponent then we would not have this problem now. They made a stupid mistake for we had a rare chance to turn a foe into an ally as we did with Germany and Japan. But we acted like pigs in shit and that I fear will not be reversing anytime soon.

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How do we use history in the Digital Age when there is so much fakery? I remember Cohen’s unheard pleas to pay attention to Putin. We didn’t listen then and it appears that none or few are listening now . We may have to twist in the wind for awhile in an uncontained no fly zone in the windmills of Putin’s wierd symbolic landscape. Number # I rule of diplomacy. Know the mind of your adversary. President Clinton was too busy making mudpies with Monica Lewnski and hanging out with sex slave traffickers to pay attention to our collective future(s). The Bush Presidents were obsessed with irational exuberance at the Collapse of the Soviets. Proffessor Cohen appears now as if he understood McLuhan’s tetradic communication theory quite well. Oh the webs we weave when acting out of extremes that are reversed into what we have ignored and denied. Nothing fails like success.

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Both Can Be True,& Americans have Difficulty with That & Why Do We Have Be Nice,When America Have Not Always BEEN NICE? Like Other Powers in the World, Dirty Laundry Time!.. WOW :thinking: :face_with_spiral_eyes:

image

Isn’t interesting who does the laundry or the clean-up, the ordinary
folk who are just doing their best to live a “Good Life” in Peace?

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I have found this to be an informative piece of background on the current situation:

Of course, the biggest winner in all this is the weapons industry (and the political elite).

And here’s Chomsky—looking very, very old, like a true wizened sage—bringing his unparalleled critical/historical perspective to bear on the conflict, just a few weeks before the war started:

“It goes deep,” he says…

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I have become a pessimist in recent years for different reasons but I too like to entertain hope and keep a little spark of it on the back-burner to avoid bemoaning the tragedy of human civilization to excess. Innocence in our culture has been drowned out by experiences, perhaps many unwanted.

I have my own reasons for saying the mental health system is a disaster but I think those who say it is broken are mistaken. I don’t think it was ever a functional system and I hope for the system to be dismantled for all the harms and injustices it has forced upon the people they treated and had contact with. These days I find myself moving away from support of western medicine but I don’t know much about the alternatives. John, you might like to read “Anatomy of an Epidemic” by Robert Whitaker, about the mental health disaster, which is now on my list of books to read.

I was resisting getting the vaccine but eventually conceded when they started saying the unvaccinated couldn’t attend public events and so on and so forth. I studied science at university level and I was against getting the vaccine because of possibly long-term side effects which they clearly did not test for when testing their vaccine. The vaccines have not existed long enough to do any long-term testing on. And I have also read an article about the virus hiding from antibodies because the receptors on the virus will literally bend away from antibody and vaccine receptors so that they can’t bind. I think humanity is in a terrible situation with corona virus and people should be praying it doesn’t mutate into something worse. I know people are tired of mandates and restrictions but the alternative where people simply accept that others will be killed by the virus like the flu is scary. (covid is not like the flu because clearly the mortality rate is higher.) When a virus is killing people in the moment, I would say restrictions take precedence over toxic waste and top soil and fossil fuels. The world has been in a bad state for a long time and people are too hyped up on technology to notice or care. Humanity isn’t exactly a bright species. I picture us a little more like lemmings being led to the cliff by a variety of pied pipers. I have read about natural immunity being too difficult to come by and not enough immunity developing after infection and the infection supposedly being worse in those who aren’t vaccinated.

If you want to change people’s ignorance you probably have to educate them instead of just sitting by the wayside as they are misled and misinformed by the news agencies and other information outlets. Information that spells out the risks of human behavior and inaction might prove to have some effect because small numbers of information consumers tends to snowball into larger readership and lasting-power of information assuming the information is legitimate and credible.

Again, I’m a pessimist too but I think that people’s ignorance is managable on some level and can be dealt with by information. The problem is creating content and curating content and getting that content out there. Maybe it could be possible where credibility isn’t based solely on people possessing university degree’s. I think you have to admit, the information taught by universities is much more concise and focused than self-learning materials. University level courses tend to be fairly dense and heavy compared to anything of a “self-taught” variety.

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I don’t consider myself a pessimist. I have a wide range of response, from joy to despair, and often I am optimistic because it is simply more interesting. I osscilate quite a bit. I am pessimstic about our medical system as practiced in USA. It seems Canadians and the UK are smarter than we are and yet I worry that the Canadian Trudeau and the Dictator Putin have much in common with Donald Trump. There are degrees of difference and similarity which changes my views from day to day. Dr. Fauchi, who heads the NIH, I declare is a total fraud. He was in control of the AIDS epidemic and he is in control of the response to the current Covid crisis. He is a master of deception. In the 80’s I heard a doctor tell a group of gay men to take the experimental drugs for they should be willing to sacrifice their lives to science. I rejected this science. In those days, gay men had no civil rights, and much to lose by coming out. I never got tested for the virus, I never took a drug, and I made up my own mind about who I related to and how. The State is not a partner in such negotiations. But for others, who took the experimental drugs, there were agonizing mistakes. Many of those deaths I believe were produced by Big Pharma and blatant homophobia. I also knew of a friend, Bobby, who had been mis-diagnosed with AIDS but luckily refused the Medical Protocol. Ten years ago, it was recognized that the symptoms he had, Karposi Sarcoma, was clearly not caused by the HIV virus but is a form of herpes. This discovery came twenty years after the fact but informed me of how epicemics and pandemics are socially constructed, and are not following a schedule based on solid facts or evidence. A syndrome is a collection of symptoms, statistics, metaphors, and false assumptions. But do the syndromes change? No, they are frozen through the massive delusion of professionals who do what they are told for fear of losing thier license . We ,who resisted treatments, and took personal responsibility for our health, rather than defending against viruses with risky drugs, are still alive. I have great respect for my immune system. It is much smarter than I am. And certainly much smarter than anyone with a medical degree, who know nothing about nuturition, ecology, or mind. These are not taught in medical school. There are smart doctors who are very critical of medicine as practiced and they are treated with contempt and punitive measures. We need a mix of short term and long term but we have thrown away all caution and this rides upon rigid heirarchies of vast assymetries of power. I’m not hopeful in the short term but I am optimistic in the long term. We can learn from mistakes. As the current culture wars around Covid are minimized by the rising threat of nuclear war we can sense many resonances between these tragic melodramas. I think these two debacles have much in common. They are world events, complex and unstable, that are being treated as if there was a quick fix that can preserve an unjust status quo.

I agree. Pessimism turns into self fullflling prophecies and covers up a deep nihislism. We all go through this, if we are lucky. On the other side of that ocean of nihilsm is an awakening process that I expect will be unmet by most persons. It is true that we live for convenience. Unearned wealth is dangerous and even more dangerous is unearned pleasures. We want that dopomine hit right now. Deep pleasure comes out of work and effort. We want instant gratification and we suffer enormously from the pursuit of shallow pleasures. I don’t miss, because of mandates, the opportunity to socialize with vaccinated people in thier cafes and theatres. I find many of them are very shallow people who look down on those with a different view of things. With a good internet connection I can commune with strangers ( as I do now) and if the internet crashes I have a house full of good books I have yet to read. I will use candle light. Solitude and a large book collection is the antidote to great suffering.

I have very little confidence that I can change anyone’s ignorance except for my own.

Again, I register a distinct difference. I am a college drop out. I am not, however, self-taught, exactly. I got my higher education through weekend workshops and life experience. I have worked with many persons with PHDs who were in low-level mangagement positions like myself. I had a similar postion within society but without their debts. I am referencing USA educational system which is different from other places. Education and Medicine are in a mess. Joining forcees with small groups who share concerns seems to me an alternate way of education, an Invisible College emerges, as more vibrant networks happen. Knowledge is obsolesced so quickly, now, that going for an advanced degree is not ecological for everyone. There are some curriculums that you can make up on your own. I come from a tradition of do it your self.

That is true of some of humanity but Helen Keller, Shakespeare, and Maria Callas were humans, too. And there are the nobodys like Emily Dickinson, who wrote her great poems in secret, and died unknown. I am drawn to these folks as they are the outsiders who created a world of their own.

And when lemmings…and entertain hope…and a little spark… what do you want to have happen, now?

I urge all of us to contemplate health rather than disease control as a new way of orienting to the future of nature. I seek and I find ways of tuning into Nature/Self. These ways are very available now to those who are searching. Seek and ye shall find. I commune with the interiors of a future humanity who have have succeeded where we have failed. Even our failure is a learning experience that we should celebrate.

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I am also a pessimist about the medical system, but I am pessimistic about the medical system in Canada. There are aspects of the medical system that I am finding unjust. Problems in the American system also exist but there are at least 50% of states where such injustice isn’t an issue because people’s rights and freedoms are never taken from them or infringed upon. I was an optimist and I naively thought the systems and powers that be were fair and ethical and then I was rudely and violently awakened to the fact they are not. There is much injustice when you are poor. There is much injustice when you are falsely accused of things. There is much injustice when you do not have higher credentials than the people in positions of authority. There is abuse of authority and power in Canadian systems and after reading a little about Eugenics and Women’s rights I’m convinced that the world hasn’t really changed all that much since the 60’s and 70’s in many ways. Like racism, people learn how to overtly suppress socially unacceptable behavior but that doesn’t change a person’s mind or heart or bias. I just borrowed a copy of ‘Anatomy of an Epidemic’ to read and I am looking forward to the writer’s perspective and research. I think there are places in Europe that are quite a bit smarter than North America. If there are some aspects of Canada that are better than the USA, they aren’t to be found in BC. BC has showed up several times as committing extreme injustices against people and even now there are some procedures and policies that leave BC as the only province barbaric enough to take away people’s rights and freedoms if someone become tangled up in their abusive system.

Trudeau is not like Trump at all. And I definitely don’t think Trudeau is like Putin. Trudeau was criticized originally for being too young when he became Prime Minister but he was raised with politics in his family and I think the political system in Canada is still vastly different than the political system in the USA. I genuinely think he wants to better the country and while I know he was onboard with mandates and restrictions I think he was doing so for the interest of the greater good. I don’t think Trudeau is a bad guy but I haven’t been following any smear campaigns against him. I don’t know too much about Fauci but he can’t be held responsible for the actions of some doctor telling people they should be willing to sacrifice themselves for science. That’s ridiculous. Even in Canada, the drug research facilities they have pay people for testing drugs including HIV and AIDS drugs. I was a guinea pig for awhile but I would never test anything as strong as HIV or AIDS drugs. I tested generic pain killers and various relatively innocuous drugs. You were paid for your participation as a research subject. It was a choice and none of them would dare say people should be willing to sacrifice their life for science. Being a pharmaceutical guinea pig can be quite lucrative financially sometimes apparently but I would never test something invasive or dangerous on myself.

Women had no civil rights. The mentally ill, disabled, Natives, and minitorities and mentally challenged were considered undesirables and had little to no civil rights. There’s still major issues with the mental health system in terms of voluntary and involuntary status.

And yes, the human body is an amazing piece of ‘machinery’. The bodily systems are set up to self-regulate and typically do so quite well without human interference or neglect. I would say nutrition can be taught as I learned a little about this in some biochemistry course or other… maybe human biochemistry, I can’t recall which course. And the mind they attempt to teach about in psychology, which I also took a few courses on. Although I have not studied ecology but I’m taking a guess that they have courses in ecology as well but none of the courses I listed are likely required as breadth requirements for a pre-medical/undergraduate degree.

I think we should not have to learn from mistakes. I think people have minds and the faculties of reasoning and should be able to avoid the disastrous mistakes that leads to injustice and abuses occurring in healthcare and political systems. If our minds and bodies are not for forseeing and predicting problems and difficulties and dangers then what on earth do we have minds and logic for?

Why do you think unearned wealth is dangerous?

As for the things restricted by mandates, I tend to be a social loner a lot these days. Introversion and such. They are just convenient meeting places that are indoors when you can’t or don’t want to impose on someone by going to their home to talk or be entertained. There are shallow people but then there are also people who aren’t shallow and vaccinated (and I tend to count myself among those with depth in spite of being vaccinated). Just like there are crowds of uncritical and complacent individuals and then there are critical minds that want to do good and want to speak out against injustices but may lack the means or groups to do so. I’ve read that books can be of great comfort to the lonely but the only difficulty is sometimes you find yourself talking more to dead people than to the living. Eventually you find yourself conversing with more dead than living as time plods on. People used to be quite bright at young ages. Doctors and scientists finding success and being hailed as young geniuses and successes. These days it doesn’t seem to be that way so much. There are so many people and so much more obscurity to get lost in.

Luckily you likely don’t need confidence to change ignorance. Although technically it’s up to audiences whether they want to expand their minds or not. But you can create reservoirs of knowledge and information that could be used to reduce ignorance. I think they are sometimes called books or blogs.

I was a drop out for awhile but I went back for another degree and I finished since I was already 3 years in by the time I was considering dropping out again. Lucky you to be without the debts. It has been more than 10 years since I graduated and I haven’t made much of a dent on the debts. I never knew what I wanted to be… I joked about my 5 and 10 year plans involving book writing and curing cancer and making children but I never really knew what I wanted to be then and I still don’t. I wasn’t born knowing the path I wanted to take. This worries me some but at least I know I am not alone on this. I was never pushed or prodded to succeed and there weren’t any lofty expectations placed on me. Where I got, I got based on sheer interest and self-motivation. I am working beneath my education level currently. I am haunting a small town and finding that the work opportunities are less than fulfilling but the option of trying to make a living in a city is fraught with challenges due to the “housing crisis”, safety and violence, drug and homeless issues, cities being epicentres of covid outbreaks, and the problems with not being able to keep up with the standard of living in a city. I think the world is a disaster on many fronts. I have liked do-it-yourself also and have some books on various subjects but time is the thing I cannot make out of nothing.

As to what I want to have happen, I don’t know. There’s so much going on and and I remember when I used to see philanthropy in action where organizations like world vision would make a plea for donations for starving children in africa and I was in classes that brought up the fact people were donating to help these invisible and distant needy instead of solving the problems in their own communities and countries. I don’t know that all the problems can be solved because new problems are created and sometimes the problems or solutions merely create new problems and injustices or the world is just so steeped in abusive or unjust dynamics that they will not be able to fix those systems no matter how hard they try. There’s too much confusion. There’s too many problems on so many different levels. A to-do list of issues prioritized on level of urgency or need might be helpful. A list of time-frames of futures issues caused by issues that need to be addressed could be helpful. But then injustices shouldn’t be pushed to the backburner just because they aren’t urgent. Every injustice is in urgent need of addressing. Something that connected problems with timeframes and consequences if those issues are not addressed in a timely manner.

And war, a distant war in a country so distant and unconnected to the day to day reality of most north americans that I don’t know what to say about it and my feelings about the war are rather muted. I don’t always watch the news and if I don’t watch the news then I don’t see of or know about the war. I am not a part of the war conversation to a great extent. I do not have an interest in war and far be it from me to think I could sway world leaders on how to deal with the possibility of war on another countries soil.

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The ban on the unvaccinated has been lifted in New York. For the first time in two years I was allowed into a public theatre. I bought my ticket, wandered through the maze of the multiplex, and found the auditorium. The auditorium was empty. Where to sit? I found myself a place near the center and waited for the show to start. The film was The Tragedy of Macbeth.

I know the play by heart, have seen dozens of productions. This is a fine performance by some of the finest actors, and a brilliant re-visioning of this awesome script, surely one of the wierdest expressions of the human mind ever conceived. The direction is masterful. The descent into hell is complete and yet the freshness of the black and white imagery, the tradition of the art house cinema is retrieved in this ensemble. I can only remember Bergman weaving together cinema and theater so seemlessly. Coen goes to a new level. I no longer thought of the miseries of the pandemic but of the horror of Ukraine, the weave of Art and Life.

And after such an immersive experience, I walked out of the theatre, onto the streets, in the gloaming, the witching hour, trees, sky, faces, swirling, my perception acute. The power of art has turbo-charged my perception of the world, a world near chaos, a civilization in collapse. The trees, the sky, the persons, seemed transparent and glowing. The world was pregnant with an unsolved mystery, which I will never fully comprehend. Yet, not all is lost. Even in the nihilst ocean the play re-represents there is the stark beauty of the language. I am not alone.

I come home and watch an interview of a young gay man reporting upon what is happening on the ground in Moscow. His boyfriend has been arrested for protesting the War in Ukraine. This brave young man exposes himself to possible arrest by the tyrant Putin. And yet, he speaks, with great clarity about history, collusion, the mistakes we have all made. He accepts that this war will be bloody, a great disaster, and preventable. He is already looking past this disaster towards the neo-human that must evolve out of the ashes. The resonance, I felt, with this wise, young man, and with the splendour of Shakespeare’s depiction of human delusion, was palpable. I sipped wine and made supper, lit a candle. I grieve for all of the broken relational circuits and prepare for the next wave liberation.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

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All I’ve been really thinking of is the old slogan: Keep Calm and Carry On.

This is funny. I googled ‘reasons to reduce screentime’ and it said: Reducing screen time frees up more time to connect with family and friends . Feeling connections with others can help ward off symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety.

Maybe if people learned to interact with their friends and family in a healthier manner they would be warding off symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety instead of saying the restrictions and all this time they were forced to spend with family is causing them mental health issues.
What do you think is wrong with the way people interact that is causing them to complain about their mental health so much? Something must be wrong with the interactions if everyone is complaining about their mental health.

Did people complain as much about these types of things during the vietnam war? What was the world like during the vietnam war? I wasn’t around yet so I’m hoping you could shed some light.

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Lots of black and white still shots imprinted in my sensorium. Evening news, only three major outlets, offered scripted propogana but the photos and footage, told another story. We knew we were being lied to. I watched a lot of PBS, saw my first production of Macbeth, on a black and white portable television, in my bedroom. Listened to lots of music on my record player. I studied theater, opera, classical music, painting. And there was Elvis Pressley and the Beatles. All of these memories are somehow in the back of my mind. I was a weird child, and even weirder teenager, into books, reading Dostoyevski , Jean Genet, James Baldwin, reading without supervision, ( thank God!)subversive stuff. Found out about gay movement, and had a good peer group, a small circle of creative friends and learned how to hide my identity, from a psychotic , violent, Southern family, operating within a psychotic, violent, Southern, society. After reading my diary, my father split open my mouth with his fist. He was an Army sargent, who venerated the KKK, thought MLK was an uppity nigger, and demanded that I be willing to die for my country. I called friends, and they picked me up and helped me hide out. Eventually I was able to escape. I came to New York , as a refugee, a young adult, to find my real family, after traveling in Europe.We had a lot of fun! And I am still here, in New York, most of my real family are gone, most of them wiped out by the AIDS pandemic, which was, in comparison, much more traumatic than this current Medical snafu. The same people, Dr. F, and his fraudulent friends, are still in charge of the NIH. Somethings never change. We learned little from AIDS, we learned little from Covid Crisis, as the Ukraine shifts fractured attentions to new threats, the narrative gathers momentum, the Cold War is retrieved. Books, by the way, never make me feel lonely. Idle socializing makes me very depressed. I’d rather stay home with a good book. Thanks for the question.

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It sounds like you are quite the fan of theatre or perhaps of Shakespeare in particular.
It also sounds like you value real connection and resonance and shallow connection is worse than no connection at all.

How will you be using your newly regained freedoms in New York? Will your life significantly change now that the restrictions on the unvaccinated are lifted?

I’m sorry you had to endure such violence and lack of acceptance as a youth. That doesn’t sound pleasant at all and I feel for the isolation you must’ve felt from your own kin. Thankfully you had some good friends close-by or the story you are telling would be much different wouldn’t it? I think young people are all a bit weird in their own ways. And ideally they gravitate towards groups where their weirdness fits in or is accepted and appreciated. The world can be a very lonely place without friends and allies. More so these days with all the things we have to be afraid of flooding the airwaves.

Maybe the world we live in has gone insane. People seem to have more freedoms now than they did in the past but I see inklings or ways of controlling and tracking society surfacing in many domains in ways we had never known before and I worry about what is to come. People already give away their anonymity and privacy so easily for convenience… our data is probably being mined even as we type…

I understand your lack of love for socializing for the sake of socializing but I’m being force accustomed to small talk and chatter even though I’m more likely to simply remain silent and enjoy the silence sometimes.

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I went to a movie this week and went to the gym today for the first time in two years. I’m thinking about taking classes and workshops. I sat in the library, without a mask, and read the NYT and Wall Street Journal. These are not earth shattering events but are moving towards a new direction. I plan to make some live contact with old friends in the near future. Today, there was more activity on the street, more options. I hope to focus on some writing projects.

I did lots of that, too, and that is very important. I had heart to heart talks when I was young with a wide range of people but as I got older and had to work in a hostile system it became more difficult to find time for depth dimensions. And disasters come and knock you off center and it takes years sometimes to re-organize. I have great sympathy for the young adults who appear in my neighborhood, in large groups, at the park, making contact. I sense they are having to re-evaluate a lot of thier own use of social media, alert to the dangers of giving away power to nefarious forces. I have heard some young folks who are very aware of these traps. There are losses and gains. For example, gay men of my age, shared a real culture because we were outlaws. I see younger gay men drift into online dating and consumerism as more social tolerance has been won. Yet there are lots more pressure for younger people to deal with the uneven playing field, which you, Cynthia, articulate so well. It is my ongoing hope that intergenerational dialogue will stimulate our collective imaginations. I have had younger friends introduce me to many new influences!

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