Friday, November 12, 2004

The Code of Joy

I received a mail from someone who found my song "Sam (for Liz)" at the site. That song, given away to the web, gets me the most consistently positive response of any work I've done. I attribute that to the incredible love people have for Elizabeth Montgomery and the character of Samantha, but also the deep need people have to believe in the power of good, the strength of courage in the face of darkness, and the resolute faith that darkness will always be defeated by the light. Yet the strength, courage and faith come from the struggle of the individual. In this struggle, one can give in to fear and abandon the struggle to make a more positive world for self and other, or one can learn to recognize and amplify joy in the myriad forms people find it.

Much is being made about the codewords used to sell the agenda of the far right. Much is made about the issues of morality. Would anyone dispute that joy is a shared codeword for anyone who struggles? The best way to go forward is not to contribute to the despair or the anger, but to discover the code for joy. This is what we should be about practicing in our lives and the lives of those we share with. Letters like the one I quote below is how I know that in that one piece of work, I discovered a means to share joy and that this work resonates in the hearts of some whose needs for joy and determination to share their joyful gifts are so great, it is a thirst for life itself. When I offer up songs or poems on the web, I do wonder if it is the right thing to do. It is. Regardless of the topic, if the code is the code of joy, it always is.

With a little pride, but mostly the humbling feeling that some works are made of the power of the universe to seek the highest achievement of humans, joy, I share the following. Thanks Kris. You pulled me back from a dark chasm today. That is how joy works when it is shared.


I just heard your recording of your song "Sam". Thank you. I had tears in my eyes as I listened to it, and I am a 44 year old man. You have written a gentle love song with yearning. The music will stay in my mind as I hum/whistle it tomorrow. The words are so,...special, they say what I feel. For that too, I thank you. You are gifted in many areas, I do pray that your talent may be more widely recognised, as you well deserve it. Do you have any C.D.'s available?

As a child I grew up watching Bewitched when it first came out; I even remember when it was in black and white. Thursdays were my favorite day of all because that was the night Bewitched was on T.V. . No matter what was going on in my life, Bewitched could make it better. You see, Bewitched was also about being different and trying to fit in. Well, we moved a lot as I was growing up, plus I was a bit smarter than many other children my age and a bit of a loner. Later I finally accepted and came out as being gay, so being different and trying to fit in really hit home with me. In addition, my whole life I have always been very psychic, which I was afraid to share with others, as well as a few other "abilities" as well. Your song came at a perfect time for me, and an important time in my life as well.You see, at this point in my life I am being pushed forward in my psychic work to be doing very serious work as my abilities have been recognised, an! d because of my high level of abilities many people are urgeing me to go professional. I have been very hesitant in moveing forward with this, as it is "different" and others do not understand. Hearing your song "Sam" tonight has resolved my hesitation. From it, I now feel the strenghth to move forward with my abilities no matter how different. Sam would have done so. Your song meant a great deal to me tonight, and I wanted to write and let you know why your song was so important to me, and to thank you.

Kris Tondee"

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Thank you, John Kerry

Thank you, John Kerry. Thank you for serving, thank you for leading, thank you for keeping alive the dream of the ultimate goodness of the American way. Of those duties that a leader may obligate to, the first duty of the American leader is to keep this dream alive. As this dream is passed on, it has always grown more powerful in its inspiration to make the real world more like that dream, a dream of justice for all, liberty denied none, and the rights of the common man honored as highly as the rights of the extraordinary.

That you did not win does not mean you are not the better leader, a strong and wise man, and that somehow this makes those who voted for you less satisfied and pleased to have done so. You make me remember that when the time came to tell this country that it had made a mistake, you saved the lives of men and women like myself, then draft age and unwilling to become conscientious objectors. We the very young who watched our older brothers and sisters go, and for those of us blessed by God to see them come home, there is the knowledge that the stories you told to Congress were truth. We knew the war had become something unwinnable because no matter how many battles we won, no matter how many Vietnamese and Americans died, there is no way to deny a country to the people who live in it without genocide. By understanding that the deepest oath of the officer is to protect the lives and liberty of the American people, you showed the true measure of the best of the American people, and the American soldier.

Understanding that you have obligations to your wife and family, to your friends, and to yourself, I nonetheless ask that you not do as other defeated Presidential candidates have done and step away from the platform. There are few times such as this when Americans so desperately need the leadership that only the very best of us can provide, and you are such an American. I and I think many others will be proud to work with you and with your wife to continue to keep the American dream alive. For this is the great treasure that we must pass to our children and this is the awesome promise we must keep to those who passed it to us.

Thank you, John Kerry. It is good to know you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The Wizard of Oz

The key to the character of the Wizard is that he is a humbug in a world where all other creatures have their unique magic. A carnival veteran, he must organize his world using his talents of illusion and character to survive. The Wizard is the Professor, the Doorman, The Cabby and The Guard. To protect his illusion, he must adapt his character so that all approaches to the truth about him can be foreseen and directed. His magical skills are his illusions and his acting. Skilled in timing, pattern and the technical arts, he is able to portray convincingly, the Great and Powerful Oz.

Yet the face of the Professor when at last found out is the face of a man worn with the worries of his promises to fulfill dreams when all of his illusions only served to open the paths of those whom the Guard favored to enter his presence.Oz is mighty. The professor is careworn. The Guard is sympathetic. The Cabby is carefree. The Doorman is bothered.

Not a man of great personal courage, he was nonetheless a man of great wit and penetrating insight. The quests he sent his visitors on redressed the evils of great magic used to enslave the playful productive citizens of Oz. Though the Witches were all powerful, they had no power over each other. This kept the light and dark powers of Oz in balance. Yet balance is not peace. The evil witches were free to enslave, and the good witches could only rule justly in their own realms. Changing the balance of power between the Good Witches of the North and South, the East and West, by that part of himself that was great and good, by example that was one part fraud, and one part believer in his own tales, this good man brought peace to the land of Oz, such were the tales of Oz.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Karma and the Laws of Scaling

"Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man, that he didn't already have." - America

SIDENOTE: I did get the role of the Wizard of Oz in the local production. I now need a balloon in case I need to make a fast escape. Oh my. I am a confirmed humbug and typecast.

Technologies that scale do so because they are not meaningful. The more you have to control a technology, the less likely it is to scale because power is the hardest item to scale effectively. At least, directly. It is a good idea to understand the difference between alternating and direct current. Do you want to send one amp at a million volts or one volt at a million amps? It depends on how far you want to transmit and just how thick a wire you can afford. What you gain in direct effect, you lose in heat. By metaphor, if you want to fix a person, it may be better to use a lot of little jolts to change their mind because one big one could burn them and you and likely will destroy the connection. After that, you are powerless.

I was reading a post by someone tempted to use their blog in attack mode. I don't know any specifics, but it seems to be a way of saying, "You've been bad. I'm popular, my blog is popular, people will agree with me and if I badBlog your reputation, your value will decrease." It reminded me of the conversation I was having with my ten year old daughter last weekend. It seems she and some of her friends are having a problem because they all gossip about each other. She asked what she could do to fix it.

I told her to apologize if she had said anything bad or false, but otherwise to withdraw. I told her that what she was after was power over others, but that my experience is that if one tries for that, one creates a lot of karma and that karma IS power, but it alternates acts or it destroys in a single act. The more one does to others, the more karma one accrues, and because the act done can't be undone, the more karma one has, the less power one has. Do as done unto, but be sure the game has a reward one values. The act is the surest expression of a value, but so is the choice to act or not act. The recurions make her crazy but she got the point.

After many mistakes and much karma, the one thing I've discovered is the futility of attempting to fix others. One can alter their behavior of course, but that fixes little in the cognitive realm. If as the old humbug tells the tin man that "a heart is not judged by how well it loves but by how well it is loved by others", one has to ask if the act of fixing others ever gains one a scintilla of admiration, or just fear? Fear has its place, but again in my experience, fear is an irritant one seeks to do without. One might frighten another once, but can one keep it up?

In the long run, I find fear to be the least powerful motivation. I find excitement and anticipation of pleasure to be far more powerful. Even then, karma is neutral. I've seen drug dealers with very pleasant personalities control entire universities the way a teacher controls an entire classroom of preschoolers with candy. It is the means that do matter for control is the same however it is obtained. But fear will make the mammal retributive and when the authority is relaxed, when the back is turned, or when through age or lack of practice that authority relaxes that fear making habit, the results are always the same and retributive. I blogged this concept under "The Value of Values".

Life and death, these are reasons for the destructive act, and even then, such acts exact a very high price. Wars are never right even when necessary and as my Father taught me, if you must use the weapon, use it, don't show it, and then with speed and precision because the one against whom it is used may be capable of taking it away from you and then will most certainly use it on you. Fast feet are a better means unless the weapon is in your face. Even then, it is better to take it from them and use it as you will.

Otherwise, as I taught my daughter, as my Father taught me: a dog that will bring a bone will take a bone. If you don't want to feast on bones or be feasted on, go home and do something you enjoy in the privacy of your own backyard. Those that love you will seek you out; those that don't have no lasting value. Karma is like XML: it doesn't care. So you have to.


See. It just doesn't work. Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man.

Do A John Galt

This article says it. Read down to the "What To Do" topic.

My phrase is, Do a John Galt. For those who have read "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand, you understand. Don't contribute to the madness and persuade every person of intelligent bearing that you know to also defer.

It's hard to run a country or a company without good ideas. What the right has shown is that they are masters of fear and divisive tactics, but have yet to offer a single good idea for improving the lot of the global society in which we live, or even the American society in which we work. They manage but they do not create. They harvest but they do not plant. They share everything but the profits and the power.

Better a small farm than a collective.

Pull the plugs and do whatever you can to make your life and the lives of those you truly care about better. Organize around your self-interests and come to understand what Rand called "the virtue of selfishness", that is, don't accept the guilt trap offered so often to recruit you to do work for those who do not have any interests beyond their own at heart. If they have a real interest in you, work with them. Do as you wish to be done unto on the first move, then as done unto for every move after that. It is the classic tit for tat strategy proven time and again to be the most effective way to survive and prosper.

They made the mess. Let them clean it up.

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