Monday, April 11, 2016

I Can Expect or Demand, but that is only my right

So, I should be more, do more, and generally be better than I am.  I have the right to that sort of self-assessment.  I would not think I had the right, or at least not if I wanted to maintain good form, to tell you that I am disappointed because you are not living up to your potential, and that you are just blowing it all around.

You may already feel that way. You may be battling some unknown inner thing that makes you wary of ever holding a pistol in your hand, for fear of your impulses and sadness.  Who knows.  Ain't my business. People have, and need, boundaries.  That is within that personal realm.  An individual's most vulnerable psychological triggers are not the play things of others, in polite society.

I guess you'd never know it, considering how the culture is evolving, or devolving.  Or both; which is what I think.

But through it all, there is a gem which may be of great value.  Maybe the mantra needed right now is, "Demand, and expect, more of yourself".   I will know when I actually have no more, and I've done the very best I can.  It has been so rare that I ever did that, I remember the very brief spans of time when I looked back on the day saying, "I did my best.  Even when I felt like stopping for a break, or doing the wrong thing out of habit.  I did not give in."

So few times I have allowed that.  And I loved those days.  Absolutely loved it.  But things tended to go so fast, and it was almost like magic.  Things advanced so well in those brief periods that it scared me.  And I settled back into being the misfit, letting the cruelty of the world and the stupidity and shallowness of others be my excuses for being invisible.  For basically being on strike most of my life.

Wow.  Is that dumb or what?  So, would it be dumb now to think I can change and maybe revive those rare occasions when I tried, and did my best?  The bar is set low enough, I need no big miracles.  Plus, during those few times, it was a love of life that made it work, not guilt or anger, or resentment, or any of that kind of thing.

Maybe I can demand more from myself.  But certainly no one else has the right, by my code, to slam me for my ridiculous battles with my own demons, and to point out how big a loser I am in that way.
But they have.  And, much as I hate it, they are right.  I do need to demand more of myself and be as resourceful in figuring out what I can do constructively, as I am at figuring out what ails me.

Life should not be so hard.  It makes sense that in developing civilization and cultures, people would have a lot of mental wildness go on.  Our brains and minds have to evolve, too.  So, we are at the phase in evolution where our minds are still confused between the new civility and fight or flight.  It is hard to get it right.  Our consciences work over time or under time, depending.   And it makes people turn on themselves--depression.

Smart people, like my brother, figured this stuff out at a young age.  A heightened sense of reality, and maybe decency as well.  He learned not to destroy himself in protest of that which he despised or did not understand.  Many of us go the self-defeating route.  Oh well.  Let's just ask a little more of my own self.  I have made minuscule progress since adopting this idea, but progress, nonetheless. and I feel less awful and riddled with free floating, macabre dread.
Played the Tin Roof, downtown last night with Enter the Blue Sky.  Sound guy remembered me from playing with Valor a Lace there a few weeks ago.  That was cool.  The Tin Roof gets 4 stars--all I give at this time.   Good stage.  Good sound, even if sometimes hard to hear one's self--name of the game--great treatment from staff, good sound tech.

How Do You Know?; waterboarding

Perhaps that should have been, pound sign rather than semi-colon, or "hashtag"--where did that term come from when related to the symbol for pound or number? #1.  Hashtag.  I see no resemblance to hash, in any sense of the word.

So, now we have the latest round of Trumpism attack and volley regarding water-boarding.  First, let me say that I find the no-holds-barred attacks on anything Trump to be rather transparent and oddly unfair.  But, for reasons I have yet to fathom, Trump plays right along and banters at whatever level the attack sets.

Seriously, someone attacks his hands, and before you know it, he's actually addressing their thinly veiled assault on the formidability of his genitalia.  Come on.  Crazy.  I still find the status quo scarier than, or as scary as, Trump.  But that is just me.  I like the Libertarian candidate, who has probably received at least 20 seconds of back page press.  Somewhere.

Anyhow, there is much discussion about water-boarding, and torture, in general.  Having been under slight interrogation by police in years past, as a kid, and otherwise, I am opposed to allowing anyone with a badge much power when it comes to the decision to take sadistic action against a citizen.

Ah, the word citizen.  Maybe I should broaden that.  All I know is that I sensed a real zeal for inflicting hardship upon others in several law enforcement people who have crossed my path.  Even ones that seemed cool and on my side, and that people think are splendid "thank you for your service" dedicated public servants.  Just look a little harder, and imagine being on the wrong side of your officer friend.  How would that unit behave?

Sometimes you can see that your selfless servant friend could be a little brutal or demeaning if you were perceived as not compliant enough or possibly guilty.

But in the media, I am wondering how many people have any first hand clue regarding how this waterboarding has done any good or not.  You know that clandestine and black ops have used "enhanced" interrogation techniques from before they arrested Jesus.

The CIA guy is not going to break with the party line during election season.  And all he said was that waterboarding was out.  Blackmailing, threatening your kids,  or attaching electrodes to private parts was never mentioned.  He may know something first hand about it.  He's head spook.  Besides, no sane nation is going to claim state sponsored torture.  And trying to split hairs on where the line is between intense questioning and torture works poorly for soundbites and PR.

But it is just talk and purposeful press, as Trump jumps right in.  Why do that?  Slippery slope.  And I am one who doesn't care how terrorists are treated.  But better be sure you got the right perp.

Trump is right that we are not dealing with a swell culture when it comes to mid east terrorists and islamic fanatics.  I think he should condemn water boarding and suggest the artful use of blow torch instead.  That would be unsurprising at this point.

Why?  Because it looks to me that Trump plans to lose.  He didn't always plan that.  I think powers he can't fight put the squeeze, the threats to family, I don't know.  But he clearly dropped the ball when it comes to getting delegates.  His experts know the game so why let it get away from him before taking action?  No idea.  Another mystery in this odd race.  I find this highly suspect.  I feel everyone is being duped and it is right in our faces.

But how can Trump or most of these people talk intelligently about water boarding and interrogation of aberrant muslim zealots and lunatics?  They have no real experience or first hand knowledge of that game.  I would think simple drugging and interrogation without the mess of pulling fingernails or simulated drowning would be quicker and just as effective.  But I don't really know either.

Seems like another thing to cause misdirection and controversy while, for reasons unknown to me, I watch Trump double down on alienating and scaring much of the electorate while seeming to give away the nomination at the last minute.  I remember Bush 1 giving away the general election to Clinton.  Or so it appeared.  If Cruz gets nominated, he will solidify the evangelical base, to a point, while scaring away other voters.  He'll lose.

All that is so much smoke.  I don't know what really goes on, but I do know that neither Trump nor most of the others discussing it have any idea how interrogating enemy combatants works or should work; what is effective, necessary, and borderline humane.

But if they are truly mass murdering terrorists, then whatever they get is hard to condemn.  Water boarding using clorox would be rather quick, and would satisfy those who think it helps to inflict pain to those who inflict pain.  I'm more of the quick extermination of the hopelessly aberrant, while minimizing pain creation whenever feasible.

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