Wednesday, December 22, 2004

I'm Dreaming of a Christ-like Christmas

Who was Jesus but an extremely thoughtful, honest, concerned and loving man? He suffered in the face of sanctimonious hypocrisy, spoke out against it, FOR human values, and invited martyrdom at the hands of the powerful to make his even more powerful point: that life is too lovely to be lived in enslavement to vested interests and to the ephemeral passions of pleasure and property. That life of the mind and the "heart" builds a far more enduring and rewarding "capital" of the spirit.

Jesus was a Buddhist before the Buddha. He was a militant revolutionary before Mohammed. And he was a prophet for us all in warning of the dangers of superstition and hide-bound, exclusionary prejudice. He died because of, and to expose, this sin.

Love of human potential, the potential of humanity to become more than it is, better than it is, is the lesson of Christmas - the lesson of a newborn child. May we learn from and live up to it.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Shroud the Halls - (but keep the lamps of peace and justice burning in the streets)

A very great many of us up here in the frozen North are having trouble settling in cozily for our annual December postcard pageant of twinkling lights, eggnog and peaceful (read complacent) faith that the greatest good inevitably descends at the moment of greatest darkness. That the world (in the words of Gordon Bok) is "always turning towards the morning."

This year, for millions of Americans, there are two solstices occurring simultaneously: one physical and therefore transitory because subject to physical law; and the other spiritual, thus more threateningly obdurate and less certain of enlightenment - because human laws are often non-binding in this surreal year 2004. We up here, with our eight-hour days and our sixteen-hour nights, are hit with a particularly gloomy double-whammy.

Who can decorate, warbling cheerily to himself of "Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men" while soldiers going to Iraq are telling us that, if they had their way, they would "kill them all?" Who can "shop," when our "President" tells us to buy American while selling (mortgaging) OUR country overseas? Who can nestle snug in his bed, dreaming of sugarplums, while the greatest crime against democracy and human equality since slavery and indentured servitude is being perpetrated "on the roof" (with a little collusion in the basement) by our own leaders?

Happy (PC) Holidays, everyone.

P.S. One thing about cultivating fury: it's hot, despite the season, so hold on to it. Remember when Bush said his tiny tax cuts for the poor would help them buy firewood so they could stay warm in spite of his "energy policy" (forget the urban poor, who don't have wood stoves, let alone firewood suppliers)? Fury too keeps you warm. And it just might help keep your lamps lit with ohms of stubborn resistance.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The Comfort Zone: It's "Just" a Theory

Q: What's scarier than a conspiracy theory?
A. No conspiracy theory. Because it means the end of democracy as we thought we knew it.

The thing about theories is that they are generally based upon evidence. As the evidence mounts, the theory becomes more and more plausible/credible/irrefutable. As the evidence comes to be seen as incontrovertible, the closer the theory gets to becoming accepted fact.
Look at the "theory" of evolution or the "theory" of gravity. Both hypotheses have proven out consistently over the years and both have been accepted, with refinements, as proven fact by the "enlightened"...that is to say, the curious, open-minded, educated and thoughtful. And yet...
NOW we have a "theory" of systematic election fraud and disenfranchisement, testified to by tens of thousands of individuals, investigated by some of the bravest people in this country and confirmed by the OVERT illegal actions of election officials. But the media remains mute about it all. It allows the aftermath of a California murder trial to preempt all coverage of an immensely important news day: a day when thousands of protesters demonstrated for truth in elections at their state capitals; when hearings and testimony in Ohio cracked the thin GOP veneer of plausibility; and when every honest democrat (lower case) hoped and prayed for openness and "transparency."
This media blackout is terrifying. It evokes recollections of the Soviet Union under Stalin. It insists that we speculate as to the pressure being brought to bear behind the scenes of the anchor desks...and by whom it is being exerted.
Conspiracy theory, anyone?