Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Historical / Genealogical’ Category

Please find the following words of truth…moreover, a few words on the meaning of life.  Presented without euphemisms or pulling punches, I seek meaning and speak plainly about life…all life.  Accordingly, the reality of life needs an update once in a while.  Yes…life’s meaning really changes with the times, and yes, it changes often, but usually holds some basic tenets at its root.  This is a small dose of reality that exposes the lies and spin doctoring that currently pass for journalism, political insight, or select words from the sponsor that is exploiting you.  Sadly, truth can only be taken in small doses; to counter this, we have fiction, which sometimes becomes so interchangeable, people don’t know the difference.  An important distinction to make, so it behooves us to take care and pay attention.These truths were realized in the past, yet are blatantly ignored today.  Wednesday morning at five o’clock as the day begins…an important line that could alter the history we think we know, and change the structure of reality we think of when listening to music.  Number nine.

I’ll avoid war, terrorism, or gratuitous violence; they are indeed serious symptoms of an improper and destructive world view, yet solving these problems is an endless debate over solution, cause, and effect.  No one will accept the hard choices that must be made, so why bother hashing them around.  Our world must change; ultimately, that is all anyone can agree on.  Implode or change…simple.  Anyway, I’ll leave war to an advanced society and more enlightened majority to solve.  Perhaps aliens really will show up and demand that we become peaceful…who knows?  Unless the power of money is removed from society, that civilization will slowly erode from this monetary power that creates corruption, greed, selfishness, conspiracy, and a host of other ills.  When the love of money exceeds the love of life, a fatal rot will continue to thrive in elite groups that lie and cheat to be falsely empowered by a duped public.  Elect the poor, for they know the value of a dollar, the importance of a meal, and the need for equity in all business transactions.

Hey…this is your life…the decisions are yours…so try and use your time wisely – help others, or at least become sincere. This is universal, although your situation at birth affects your lot in life, as well as your hopes and dreams.  It takes a lot of fighting to break out of such situations.

People can tell you what to do, but when alone, only you can make yourself busy, and find something to do.That concept leaves people frustrated with life, and often falling back on past traditions.

This is why so many people follow social patterns that have worked for centuries: get married, raise a family, and struggle to support that family. It hopefully provides love, life, and meaning to your existence…at least you’re a mother or father, and you have children to raise.  Notable and necessary, some embrace this as their reason to live, and never look beyond for different things to do. Some jump into careers that demand total devotion, and often require extensive education or specific talents. We also have free thinkers and bohemian attitudes that push more into creative careers, music, art, or writing.

In today’s world, our society has evolved into a foreseen consequence of population growth: too many creative people face not enough patrons to support their output, removing their ability to make a decent living from their labors. Pre-warned by anthropologists and basic demographics, we’ve reached the finite need for archeologists, scientists, and artists, along with countless other specialties. We have amateur astrologists with enough training to be scanning the heavens and producing discoveries, and even physicists or other graduates that end up driving a cab because there are no jobs.

Another factor at play is the inability of those with august careers to step aside for younger talent, and throughout our complex society, there is now a tendency for people to work until they die. Longer life spans contribute to this phenomenon, but the bottom line is still simply explained by acknowledging there are not enough top jobs to accommodate the scores of graduates our universities are producing.

This fact of life has had its own affect on career planning; specialists are becoming even more specialized, creating areas of expertise that were once covered by one all-encompassing title. As our technological society advances in equipment and training, there are new areas of expertise opening that were not there before. The key to a thriving economy of labor in Marxian terms is successful only when the instruments of production and overall advancement maintain pace with the number of people ready to enter that field. A consequence of this reality is that education becomes more central to success, and without a long and carefully planned period of preparation, many intelligent and skilled people fall through the cracks and become over-educated for the job they end up with…just to pay the bills.

In our technological society, money is needed more than ever, and the only areas to live without money are far from the centers of industry or large urbanized dwelling places.   The last few centuries have drastically changed humanity’s way of life, but the greatest change has taken place within the last 60 years. Population increases have urbanized all land around a city, and living in isolated areas now requires a lot of money and an independent trade to maintain this life, or the ability to devise some method to make money from the land itself. Gold mining is again popular, as the price of gold makes a few ounces valuable.

These are our realities: they influence our lives, limit our choices, and dictate our responses.   Becoming a lone wolf or independent operator that scorns society is not possible in our modern world. Living off the land requires that you buy the land…with large acres of wilderness, our governments limit access, and squatting is now punishable by jail. Yesterday, we had sojourners and travelers: today, we have homelessness and abject poverty. Lack of money is a major part of our modern lifestyle; poverty now produces widespread depression, alcoholism, and drug abuse. Proverbs from long ago, the wisdom of the Bible, stated that we should humanely give strong drink to those who suffer, and wine to those in despair.   They didn’t have drugs back then, but what they had was legal. Modern attitudes have stiffened outlooks, and our evolved society has made the only cure for depression only legal by a doctor’s prescription. Everywhere you look, bureaucratic laws and statues exist for every conceivable situation, and we live in a society of rule, law, and paperwork. The pursuit of freedom in such a society is impossible. People need proper identification to exist, social insurance numbers so they can pay tax, and an economic powerhouse that controls all forms of wealth, and charge you for the privilege.

Our modern society does not represent all the people, but since the system includes the majority, the minorities that once had options in life are now subject to approval by politicians, police, and a court system without mercy and rules without exception. An absolute conclusion from all this is that yesterday’s decisions make today’s quality of life.  Advice can be helpful, but personal insight helps traverse life’s bumpy road.

This is our brave new world,  Orwell’s 1984 nightmare, our technological revolution. We are either in the painful early stages of a miraculous new order of life, or suffocating in an explosion of elitist expansionism and secular growth. The meek are trampled underfoot, the weak are exploited by the strong, and the poor indentured slaves of the rich.  Not much has changed, and as Solomon said, there is nothing new under the sun, except the gap between the rich and poor is now a chasm of galactic proportions.

Read Full Post »

I must warn you, this is another do-good point of view on a problem, a sociology 101 textbook phenomenon. Word food for the starving reader. Something for those that care about others, or stuff I shouldn’t bother writing about…the same old lollipop, even coated in fruit-loops, still tastes the same. Whatever, however. But, if you don’t write about these things, they fall by the wayside…like cigarette butts flicked into oblivion by careless smokers…people who think if it’s out of their hands, it’s not their problem anymore…until the nightly news shows a massive forest fire, thousands of loving and friendly trees burnt to death…thanks to the careless butt of some unknown and nameless smoker. Regardless, the eternal question always raises its beaten face…who are you to tell me what to think. Hey, words are harmless, unless they hit home and reveal something you don’t like.

Without pointing fingers, naming names, or tossing blame around, it’s hard to explain or justify Vancouver’s homelessness problem. It’s warmer here…maybe that attracts more street people…but it’s an embarrassment that should be cleaned up. The Main and Hastings intersection is like junction of hopelessness and despair…the epicenter of a blatant drug problem that radiates out into a circle of destitution, misery, and endless torment. Hard done and done hard. A hard life is life that’s hard. Be nice and open your doors. Smile. Let someone camp in your backyard…if you have room. That’s what they did in the old days, but modern life is about property…and my property is private. No entry. Violators will be shot. How humane. One in the head would end a life of misery. Thank you. That sure solved things.

On the street, there is no responsibility, and no one has an easy answer to change this sort of attitude. Police walk by crack smokers and people shooting drugs…they’re like giant cockroaches…infesting every alley in the neighborhood, an infestation beyond extermination. When writing about this problem, caution is in order…you must not offend certain governing or socially interested parties, or they will have your balls for breakfast, and make sure your writing is boycotted, censored and stifled. Not too attractive to a writer…but, w.t.f., I’d like to put the pricks of the world on notice…I really don’t have your best interests at heart…if greed and human nature are to blame, I’m all for roasting the dickheads that perpetuate or profit from this problem…and yes, certain establishments fight over monthly welfare handouts…steady cash, and it adds up…the more bodies you cram in your hovel of a hotel, the richer you are…every month, like clockwork.

Every problem has a cause, then a symptom, and usually has several solutions. Seriously, are all the solutions just crap that backroom municipal mouth movers come up with? Just a lot of endless talk and no real action? Like any social creature, the homeless exist for many reasons…some enjoy kissing responsibility goodbye, thumbing their noses at collectors and banks…some are temporarily caught in unfortunate circumstances, some are medical patients who had the hospital stripped away and are still wondering what happened, some are textbook apathetic gentlemen that tilt at windmills, sell drugs and curse the damn wheel of fortune, while some actually want real homes. The major problem these poor people face are the well off, homesteaded families, groups that put their own interests first, and say to hell with all the lazy, no-good poor people that can’t afford a house. They have stories about hard work, scrimping and saving, doing without, hardship and personal sacrifice…according to them, that’s how they got their million dollar home in Point Gray or North Vancouver. Balderdash, they got help from rich friends or relatives. Uncle Joe’s 3 million estate? Got a loan from a rich family member? Gloating over high paying jobs to cover a high mortgage? Overpaid jobs they got from cronyism, pork-barreling, tutelage, patronage…never from personal merit. Or, get rich the old fashioned way, inherit.

The recent Vancouver blowup over a small, temporary winter shelter demonstrates a significant problem homeless people face…hubris and selfishness…the snobbish “not in my backyard” group. Homeless are considered pariahs, while smarmy, self-righteous, and greedy people only care about themselves. If it’s good for homeowners, they’re all for it…yet, as soon as there’s a tiny problem, some unknown situation they only heard about on the news…they instantly call foul…yelling and screaming about their expensive real estate…how less fortunate people are driving down the price of their property, infringing on their privacy, and disturbing their peace and quiet. Heartless and cruel would be a kind way to describe these people…I’d start wondering what God is going to say when asked about love, charity, and being the good Samaritan? Even ET’s believe in a God, according to reports.

Sorry, no one owns the world, we’re only temporary tenants, and the world is already way over-stocked with crazy people, some that actually run entire countries. Basically, we all have the same dignity and free rights we are told exist – somewhere.

These rights might only be philosophies of the mind, tasty brain food…concepts that exist on intellectual levels, problems that are debated from leather chairs over 18-year old scotch, and are buried in thick, College-only books. In reality, that’s where philosophy is, and they can philosophize about the existential nature of that truth until the cows come home. There’s many voices in the world, and there’s a lot of hoarse throats in Vancouver. Voices that backbite and whine…voices that cry, sob, or beg…pleas and reasons that fall on deaf ears…utterances that are merely whispers…untold realities of life that successful people ignore…these are the voices that matter. Hope slowly disappears through neglect, and the croaking for support eventually fades away, until there’s nothing but a D.O.A. to deal with at the local morgue.

This is when I often wonder…why do people still argue about this, or bother writing about it…political hot potatoes, hey, it’s big at election time…but normally, no one cares or wants to read about it…no one does anything, and people get bored hearing the same old, same-old re-purposed, re-packed social problems over and over. E-gads. Screw it. Live and let live. Vancouver has a large share of the homeless, poor, and addicted…all broken lives that implode nightly on the six o’clock news…yet no one listens, no one wants to interfere with their comfortable lives by feeling remorse…the same story heard everywhere…while these true unfortunates really need our help…genuine assistance that treats the source, not the symptom…help by people that actually care and have the power to help.

No one wants to get involved…watching T.V. is always a more pleasant family-oriented activity. Go downtown with the family and hand out hot soup. Teach the kids the reality of life. Only action groups throw it in society’s face, so when it hits home, people start to feel guilty about the poor, especially around Christmas…this makes them throw some coins in a relief can…or dig around cupboards for expired canned goods…donating this wealth of unwanted over-ripe edible crap to food banks, then feel like they have done their bit to pitch in.

Vancouver…the condo-capital of Canada. People here spend more on parking meters than shelters for the homeless – parking downtown is six bucks an hour, and shelters are merely one-night stopgap fixes that ignore the long term solution of permanent housing. Everyone likes a roof over their head…food in the fridge…money in the bank…high paying, secure jobs…all the stuff so-called normal people take for granted. As long as it’s not in their backyard, they don’t care…and if it is, they just build bigger fences.

Politics aside, action groups only come forward on their own behalf, picking a cause to champion, and something for them to get paid to do…they get the same treatment…asking for government handouts…getting results like unwanted cousins begging for money, and just enough is done to give elected officials something to say when asked what they are doing to solve this blight upon society. These grants are usually eaten up by staff salaries, office space and expenses, and when it comes time to put money in needy hands, there’s barely enough to order a super-sized meal at a burger joint. Their overall attitude was blatantly apparent throughout the 2010 Olympic games…authorities warned our multinational visitors to stay within certain boundaries, and never venture near the social blight at Main and Hastings… Vancouver’s dirty little secret.

Unlike a broken record, I’d like to offer a few observation on Vancouver’s homeless condition. Omitting labels like unfortunate, problematic, or other wordy presentations crammed with fanciful facts that end with a period, it’s time someone looked into the situation and gave an honest report. A truthful analysis that showcases what is really happening, discarding the previous useless and endless government reports full of euphemisms and incredibly self-serving studies. The crap that always makes the Government shine like a white knight…the metaphor that tells of a crazy man…the great Don Quixote tilting at windmills of the mind. Well, go big or stay home…if you have one.

Read Full Post »

In 1880, the philosopher Thomas Malthus made a prediction that is now affecting our society in ways he couldn’t foresee, but are eeirily similar to his general theory on population control.  When you remove war, plague and other problems, population growth will skyrocket, unless a natural disaster occurs.  Taken alone, this is an excellent argument for space colonization and exploration.  We need to re-examine what is important in life, and put the world’s fabulous wealth to work on it.

Malthus theorized that population growth would soon overwhelm the planet’s resources, then overused and depleted resources would be insufficient to supply the world; therefore, people would die off.  He calculated that technology and resources expand arithmetically, but people grow geometrically.  Geometric growth is the old double a dollar trick: if you take a dollar, then double it, double it again, and keep doubling it everyday, you would have over a million dollars within a month.  It’s a straightforward mathematical progression, and when applied to our population, it’s easy to see that there will be too many humans for this Earth to sustain if we keep increasing our population the at the current rate.  Longer life through better medicine adds to the problem.  Here’s how it applies to literature and writers. 

In the Victorian age, there were a great many readers, and every writer, if they were able to create something worth reading, would stand a good chance of being published.  Today, there are thousands of writers out of work, just because publishers are inundated with manuscripts and have the luxury of selecting only the very best.  It could be argued that some of the so called “great” writers of the past wouldn’t stand up to the numerous rejection slips every author receives before someone decides to take a chance and publish their book.  There are many other reasons the Victorian age produced so many new ideas and so many new authors, but the main reason was an empty playing field, and an audience thirsting for new and bizarre ideas.  Now the playing field is packed, the benches and stadium  crowded, along with the dressing room and the parking lot.  It’s hard to find an original idea that is truly unique, because with so many minds thinking of every permutation and every twist and turn, it is hard to come up with something fresh and original.  Some say that’s why
Hollywood does so many re-makes of old ideas.  With so many people writing free blogs, or publishing their stories for free on certain websites, it’s hard to get a publisher to pay good money for a story.  That is, if they actually get a frustrated talented author to withstand the long wait lists and offer a story that is fresh and interesting.  It really begs the question, why do we read what we read.  Will anyone ever read this?  Chances are, with the countless, unknown and possibly excellent blogs clogging the internet, no one ever will.  People read less books today.  TV and the internet changed the dynamics in ways we are still studying.

Another factor is society’s overall success and increasing level of education.  To get a half decent job, you need education.  Today, it is quite common for someone to possess B.A., Master’s Degree or PhD.  That means a greater proportion of our society can write, and write well.  With a hulking pile of unread and well written manuscripts clogging an Editor’s “in basket”, it’s quite possible that some of the well known writers of the past would not be published today.  Perhaps their story lacks sparkle, their writing style is trite and outdated, or the author couldn’t deal with the countless rejection slips that are now part of the job.  Based on this, what was published in the past might not be published today.  A loss to literature?  Not quite.  We have literature coming out our ying-yang, and a book about talking animals discussing their political situation, although clever and satirical, doesn’t sound like a real page turner.  Sorry George Orwell, but Animal Farm might not pass muster and end up in some rejected file.  Possibly.  Television, radio and the Internet are changing our society in ways that will not be fully understood until some future date.  Perhaps when sociologists have had the time to read everything and make an original conclusion.  

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: