Post #829   SQUATTERS: Redux

A few years ago, as was revealed in an earlier essay, we experienced an exasperating loss, but one which, on reflection, later usefully raised our consciousness and enlarged our previous reductive perception, as to a common assumption. The nature of such enlightenment is the theme of this writing.

As related in the prior essay, two, rather precarious, “bare root,” pear tree saplings, generously, but, by inexperience, given to us in October, were miraculously, kept alive until the spring planting season, by their continuous maintenance and nurturance in a second bathroom kept cold by an open window.

Subsequently, good fortune, tantalizingly, shined its capricious light on us. In spring, the pear saplings, which had, by some secular, miracle, survived the entire bare root winter in our cold second bathroom, were very gently scraped at the roots, and, optimistically, planted by us in such a fashion that the wind might enable their cross-pollination and, hopefully, consequent fruit production. After the passage of many anxious weeks and dutiful watering sessions, verdant leaves did appear and we joyfully celebrated the hoped-for, woodland miracle of the trees’ survival.

Sadly, our short-lived, arboreal good fortune seemed to wane. To condense several years into a modest paragraph, we would indicate that rather than, predictably flowering in the coming year or, perhaps, two, it took a full ten years before the two young, leafy trees flowered, and thereafter, two more years to bear noticeable fruit. We purchased a long fruit picker and arrived at our (then) weekend home with high expectations of being, rewarded, finally, with an indisputably, well-deserved bumper crop of pears.

Did we mention that our summer residential property, at the time, was near a pond? Perhaps not, in this retrospective redux, of the event. In any case, when, as previously, stated, we arrived, at our then country residence, with excited anticipation and the intention to harvest a long-awaited (12 yrs.), bumper crop of pears, we discovered to our great dismay, that both young pear trees had been chewed down to pointy stumps, evidently, by the pond’s local beavers. Our initial reaction of shock and disappointment, as stated, did, in time, however, lead to a truly revelatory, enlightenment; one, which we feel, would be useful to again articulate, most especially, to other” landowners.”   

Our shocked discovery of the arboreal tragedy, was, as stated, responded to, with major angst, disappointment, and annoyance, even anger, directed towards the beavers, as the unquestioned, perpetrators of the tragic event. A few days passed, and such anger morphed, in stages, to peaceful resignation, and thereafter, to a more comforting perception and realistic understanding of the normalcy of the incident, and finally, to a more valuable, metaphysical and enlightened understanding.

In common with the  “homeowner,” who expresses righteous anger at the deer who ate “her” planted flowers or the rabbits that ate “her” veggies, our salient error was the unshakeable assumption that such natural acts constituted a theft of (our) private property, “our” flowers, “our” pear trees. It is, rationally, certain that the hungry critters have no knowledge or instructive instincts, regarding Man’s, ethnocentric, conception of property ownership and property lines; they live in nature, and are simply, and existentially, hungry, respecting which, they do, in fact, have existentially instructive instincts.

In the rarified dimension of Planet Earth’s human society, exclusive ownership or transfer, of designated, real property, can be changed by legally approved purchase or sale. However, this writing’s spotlight is not focused upon the acquittal of animal guilt, by their defense of lack of proprietary perceptions; it is instead, focused upon what may be the human singular (ethnocentric or hubristic), arrogated, assumptions of presumptive “ownership” of selective, portions of the Planet.

Among the developed folkways of the human inhabitants of the Planet, is the legal capability to purchase “exclusive ownership” of identified pieces, or, “parcels” of property, from other “owners,”  desirous of selling the same by contract, culminating in an event of actual transfer of ownership (the Closing”). The signature, event, is attended by the seller and purchaser, their respective, attorneys, a representative from a “Title” company (to insure the accuracy of the recited boundaries of the transacted property, etc.), and, possibly, a representative of a Mortgage Company. The event concludes with the “delivery” of a new deed signifying transferred ownership to the purchaser, which is referentially, filed in the local Land Office (County Clerk).

It is a matter of irrefutable fact, that neither, beavers, deer, rabbits, or any other forest critters are customarily, afforded formal notice or invitation, to participate in the ceremony of real estate conveyance. One cogent reason may conceivably, be that the legal and practical effect of this civil dance, as a practical matter, is of interest to, and binding, only on other interested or affected members of the species, Homo sapiens. Thereafter, any unauthorized attempt to exert rights, upon the subject land, by non-owning, Homo sapiens, without permission, such as trespass or harvesting fruit, is a legal wrong, and legally, addressable. 

It may confidently, be said, that the existence of the local fauna and their naturally based, franchise to freely, partake of the local eatables, is millennia’s older than the advent of Man’s recognition of real estate ownership. The latter concept is singular to modern man, who, we gradually came to realize, conveniently, arrogates to himself, self-serving rules of exclusive ownership rights, respecting personally desired, portions of the Planet. “Critters” have existed long prior to evolution’s radical revelation, of a so-called, “sentient” being.

In empirically candid fact, the beavers gnawed down two young pear trees, not “our” two pear trees, the local deer prefer to survive on eating sweet flora, such as flower petals, irrespective of “the legal owner’s” aesthetic arrangements, and rabbits, as ever was their wont, munch away on available lettuce.

In the realistic and rational context applicable to Mother Nature, no money or real estate ceremony can elevate humankind’s essential Planetary, status above recently-arrived, “Squatters.”

-p.   

Post # 828 THE WHISTLESTOP

In common with other mainstream members of society we, continue to lament, the widespread continuance, of reprehensible, selfish human behavior totally, devoid of considerations of empathy and charity.  Should such observation, require contemporary, illustration, we might easily, cite,  Russia’s cruel incursion into Ukraine, the warlike, the saber-rattling actions of North Korea, in its bellicose display of rocket barrages into the Ocean, and on the domestic scene, the egregious, ignorance and racial mindset of Trump and his large swath of cultish devotees.

For some time, we resignedly attributed the regrettable panoply of Man’s inappropriate behavior to the possible, innate, protective persona of Man. Those of us, imbued with the more traditional, positive, perceptions of mainstream America, conceivably, have been devastated, at what appeared to be an existential defect in the extant persona, or ultimate essence, of Homo sapiens, which conceivably, might, portend its ultimate, self-destruction.

We are pleased to declare, to the reader, that we have arrived at an alternate, more promising, and empirically, plausible, theory, which we present to the reader for his thoughtful consideration.

We will posit that every enlightened thinker is in accord with the scientifically confirmed “Darwinian Theory of Evolution.” The entire universe of renowned scholars in the disciplines of, anthropology, sociology, biology, chemistry, geology and medicine, have ratified the empirically, demonstrated, eons-long, steady development of improved and complex function, from simple-cell organisms and primitive flora, to the contemporary stage of capabilities of the sentient human being and the present, aesthetic wonder, of a magnificent chrysanthemum.

Empirical evidence has reliably, acknowledged, that it was evolution’s slow, plodding, journey from ape-like, brachiating biped, to today’s, functional and mental iteration of a sentient, Homo sapiens. In this essay, we have chosen to confess to established academic heresy, by positing that Man’s contemporary iteration might indeed, not be the ultimate one, biologically intended, by a still ongoing process of human evolution. We will elucidate our radical and optimistic theme, in the paragraphs that follow.

Fundamentally, we would dare to pose our thematic question, as to what reductionist or egotistic, basis exists, for man’s fixed and declared assumption that evolution has (already) run its course? On what guiding principle can we not look forward to its future dynamic developments? Evolutionary dynamics, has to date, wondrously, produced a superior functioning, sentient human being; nevertheless, why assume that the present state of his evolution, viz., the nascent capacity for enlightenment and psychic growth (for example, empathy, judgment) has attained its potential zenith? Is it not conceivable, that, at present, that Mankind may only be at a brief “whistle stop,” in a biologically, determined journey, to its ultimate and potential, evolutionary destination?  To be clear, we suggest that humankind’s evolutionary advances to Man’s present physical configuration, do not, necessarily, comprehend its full, potential development, as to the refinement of his inner persona and the sanctity of his moral compass.

As a contextual, illustration, one might imagine, a prehistoric scene, in which, two, growling Neanderthal men, are, hungrily, fighting over a carcass of a killed small animal, as compared to that of two, non-growling contemporary, husky, workman, hungrily, and sociably, eating their lunch at noon break, or perhaps, an elderly, senior citizen being assisted across a busy street, by a younger person, contrasted with the ancient practice, of the Norse culture, to abandon the elderly, on the glacial ice, to die. Picture the well-attended, spectator-blood sport of gladiators, fighting to the death, as compared with today’s non-contact rule in basketball. Consider the recent rise of charitable programs, soup kitchens and public health programs, in historic contrast, to the mandatory incarceration of paupers and debtors, in the days of Victorian England. Think of the speed at which modern medical science, dedicatedly, produced an effective vaccine against covid, contrasted with the hapless chanting of medicine men of the first Americans. These illustrations are emblematic of an inarguable, developing evolution of man’s spiritual recognition of a humanistic, moral responsibility, to help others.

The Dark Ages practices, of cruel and barbaric religious persuasion, have, over time, morphed to that of more peaceable, evangelical propaganda; today, mentally unwell individuals are properly perceived, as “ill,” rather than possessed by demons. These are empirical examples of an improving, humanistic, persona, reflective of a developing, empathic awareness of others, which we maintain, thematically, is properly, ascribed to the dynamics of a still ongoing (psychic) evolution, of humankind.

Notwithstanding contemporary reports of humankind’s acts of cruelty, unrestrained ambition, and absence of moral compass, it is our newly attained, belief, that the present point of evolutionary improvement may be characterized or perceived as reduced speed at an evolutionary, whistle-stop; yet, is eternally, pursuing its way towards its natural destination. The relevant proviso, however, is that pending arrival, at that destination, those thoughtless humanoids who are heedlessly, engaged in their irresponsible and atavistic tendencies, do not, prior thereto, effect the destruction of the Planet, and its naturally, evolving, dynamic processes.

-p.      

Post # 827    REMEMBERING THE WHITMAN SAMPLER

Readers doubtless will recall the classic Whitman Sampler, an item, somewhat in vogue. in the era in which it was still “cool,” for an invited dinner guest to bring one as a gift. The item was, and, it still appears to be, a handsome, boxed assortment of chocolate-covered candies containing, raisin, nut, crème, nougat, coconut and others. The salient feature, unique to of this box of treats was the element of personal choice; our personal favorites, as recalled, were the nut and the coconut.

Manifestly, in direct contrast to the freely selective, Whitman Sampler, many concepts, foundational to the existence and proper functioning of human society, are not subject to nuanced preference, but are mandated, by empirical necessity, and thus, are fixed and immutable. The most fundamental of the latter is the recognition and perpetuation of factual truth. The maintenance of acceptable interpersonal relationships, safety, health, the feasibility of communal enterprise, conduct of commerce, integrity of family and social integrity, learning and advancement, in essence, the dynamics of society itself, is existentially, reliant on the universal assumption of unaltered, truth.

 As a consequence, it is alarming, to note that said ageless and universally, accepted, supporting pillar of organized society, became degraded, and, tactically, forced into a tenuous back seat to personal expediency, under the dystopic term of Donald Trump. The former President, known for his unabashed, serial mendacity, was the irresponsible and bizarre creator of the. “Alice in Wonderland,” artifice of “alternate facts,” (intended to shield his incapacity and ignorance) to subjectively, and tactically, distort reality. In aid of the same, he vociferously impugned the veracity of authentic, reports of the Nation’s institutional and legitimate media. Man’s empirically, existential reliance on the assumption of factual truth, with his atavistic assistance, descended into a new venal franchise, analogous, in its casual and arbitrary significance to the nuanced selection of a bonbon from a Whitman Sampler.

In the present writing, we seek to express our, deliberated, attribution of the etiology of the bizarre phenomenon, in which, Trump’s acolytes choose to disbelieve confirmed facts, yet, accept Trump’s, arbitrary version of “alternate facts” and fabricated distortions of reality, and bizarrely, find a facile credulity in paranoiac, conspiratorial ideations.

It is with great concern and dismay, that we have noted the perverse influence and cult-like reverence, afforded to Donald Trump, evident in the Nation’s under-educated, and atavistically bigoted, population. It is our best estimate that the etiology of this phenomenon is revealed in their perceived, personal identification with Trump’s purported stance against the (non-existent), influential, “intellectual-elite,” and roadblocks to programs seeking the amelioration of inequality and social needs. The foregoing, supplemented, by the presumed, discontent with their limited, personal lives, Trump’s tactical, snake oil, demagoguery, and, most effectively, a perceived and personally redeeming, identification with Trump’s societal irreverence and brash, barroom quality pronouncements. Such large, horde of “underbelly” Americans, in their elective choice of their orange-haired, social avatar, as President, had been financially supported by industrial polluters, who, sociopathically, afford to profits, a higher priority over governmental health regulations; the latter, famously, opposed by Trump.

We, at first, found it, extremely, challenging to comprehend, or at minimum, to derive a conceivable rationale, for the preferred choice of bizarre beliefs and denials of belief, on the part of these devotees of Donald Trump, in contrast to their uniformly persistent denial of verified fact. In their own, irrational and undemocratic, (analogous) iteration of boxed candy samplers,” not one of their presented choices might emulate any reasonable standard of acceptability of the traditional American options, here analogously, represented by those of the venerable, Whitman Sampler.

We would choose to state our deliberated, understanding of the dynamics of the seemingly unfathomable choices by the Trump devotees, with a cursory analysis and attained conclusion.

In aid of understanding, we start with the subject of Evolution, the rejection of man’s rational, acceptance of which, cannot be objectively, based. The World’s acknowledged scientists have determined the age of our Planet, at more than three million years ( not six days before an “omnipotent,” Deity needed to rest), blood studies, anthropological and fossil proofs of fauna and flora, the instructive order, level and contextual setting in which fossils are discovered, decades of geological research and the persistence of archaic, vestigial organs in man, constitute demonstrable proof, of the universal scientific and mainstream accepted, Darwinian theory of evolution.

The irresponsible denial, by Donald Trump, of the existence and danger of Global Warming and its visibly, disastrous effects over the past decades, as well, remains, loyally and persistently, denied, by his followers; this despite the ratification of its potential for planetary destruction, by the World’s great scientists, including oceanographers, meteorologists and relevant scientists. The perturbing off-season weather, unprecedented typhoons, storms, forest fires and, even national boundary erasing, tsunamis, do not seem to attract their acceptability to the factually accurate, impending danger.

At the advent of the covid pandemic, our former, ignorant and irresponsible President, by his public disparaging remarks, was responsible for the cynical disbelief of many of his cult, of the warning of the Nation’s top medical scientists, to the effect that we were in substantial jeopardy from the spread of the potentially, mortal virus. Trump’s false downplaying of the seriousness of the contagious viral infection, led many of his followers to refrain from the prophylactic measures, universally recommended by medical profession to wear facemasks, distance oneself from others, and be vaccinated. The non-wearing of masks and avoidance of vaccination, as a defined partisan show of support for Trump, resulted, in hundreds of thousands of misled citizens, who, predictably, were infected and died.  “Dr.” Trump had initially, “prescribed” bathroom solvent and thereafter, horse warmer, as his, Whitman Sampler, style of preferences.

In singular contrast, to the loyal, unified, non – acceptance of objectively certified, fact, the Trump loyalists, regularly, maintain and defend a wide array of irrational conspiratorial ideations, all of which, we submit, might, appropriately, be pathologically, diagnosed, as paranoid. These include, bizarre ideations, such as:  the U.S. Government was responsible for the 9/11 event, as a false flag operation; that there are conspiracies to take over the country, by, the (non-existent) “intellectual elite”, or, alternatively, the “ bi- coastal liberals;” that the State of Israel launches rockets to the Earth from outer space that horse worm medicine is effective prevention against the covid virus; that an international cabal of Jewish bankers has been secretly, conspiring to take over and dominate the World; that the vaccine against covid contains intrusive, microscopic transmitters, that the communities of color, aspire to replace their fellow white Americans; that abortion, albeit, performed at the earliest stage, is an act of homicide, (since “birth commences at conception”), that same sex marriage is an unnatural abomination; that the previous, (certified as accurate and fair) Presidential election was stolen, despite its multiple certifications as fair and accurate, and with absolutely,  no evidence to the contrary, that America was intended by its founders, to be a white and Christian nation, and, most charmingly, that liberals are child abusers and sex  traffickers.

We have concluded that the bifurcation of mainstream citizens, who accept empirically certified facts, and those who immoderately reject them, yet, give credence to irrational and bizarre ideations, has a tenable rationale.  In our view, the dilemma had its origin in the many citizens who (for various reasons) chose to accept Trump’s all-out war on truth, his exaltation of the concept of “alternate facts” and his pathological approval of a tailored, reality subjectively, deemed more satisfactory.

Such obdurate denial of empirical reality, amounts to, no less than an unforgivable, and ungrateful heresy, against evolution’s sentient (anthropological) accomplishment, and predictably, destructive of any conceivable form of functioning society. The maintenance of “truth,” is the essential epoxy that binds individuals and their society.

No analogous iteration of the dynamics of the Whitman Sampler’s arbitrary, franchise, can exist in the existential human choices, between fact and selective reality, one, completely, unrelated to personal taste or circumstance.

-p.

Post # 826  THE REMAINS OF THE DAY*

The classic and enlightening, declaration of the Greek moral philosopher, Socrates that, the “unexamined life” results in a lifetime of no value, was so heretically revolutionary, in the context of the tyrannically ignorant, times in which he lived, that it led to his punishment and execution (for the alleged crime of “corruption of the youth.”) Nevertheless, Socrates, would later, justly and appropriately, be anointed the singular tribute, of being the “First Western Philosopher.”

As the readers of this blogspace are doubtlessly, aware, our ever-present, conceit, viz., “one’s lifelong, inner conversation with himself,” is an analogous, rivulet, flowing pertinently, and cogently, through the contextual stream of all our 826 essays.  Its proper flow and direction during one’s lifetime can serve as comforting reassurance that his personal conception of “self,” is consonant, with his empirical one. An inner audit of one’s personal acts and statements, objectively, reviewed in their factual context, is spiritually, analogous, to having available, the critical supervision of a candid, silent partner.

After a requisite number of years have elapsed in the lifetime of the thoughtful and introspective person, he, empirically, becomes enabled, to make privately held and useful, evaluative conclusions about himself; based upon his perceptive consideration of the nature of his past responses to analogous stimuli. Such enduring, inner, “selfie,” might indeed, serve a purpose, in addition to the crucial rendering of the enlightening, revelation of his particular persona; it also has the virtue of providing needed, guidance respecting, esoterically troubling, future choices. The universal contemplative, issue, if it were capable of intimate, expression, would translate to “Am I being really true to myself” One’s candid, retrospective review of his actions and statements, (“the remains of the day”) on a regular and idiomatic event- induced basis, is the key to realistic, self-understanding and essential to personal growth.

With regard to the vital subject of teaching young children the concept and moral value of honesty, we have thoroughly, castigated the usual, thoughtless and atavistic system of “rewards and punishments,” as constituting an irrational, morally, repugnant and ineffective, “tactical” devise for encouragement of secular and religious, morality. We have strongly, emphasized, that the only, rationally, moral and effective encouragement of proper principle and empathic behavior, is the individual’s lifelong awareness of, and desire for compliance with, his established, principled self-image, with which, the performance of an immoral act would be abhorrent and reflexively, rejected.

The development of a stable, sense of inner, privately ratified, self-image, in general, is vitally, essential, to living a contemplative and meaningful, life. It functions as a stable, point of reference, for mature perception and provides the opportunity for the rational attainment of happiness (ultimate, self-fulfillment). It is private, privileged, personally meaningful and essential, in the alignment of a lifetime of, personally examined and objectively appropriate, rational behavior, and therefore, the operational key to successful self-efficacy, security and happiness. The criteria for objective attainment may indeed, be universal, nevertheless, the salutary assurance, of their appropriate application, should be private.

The relevant criteria, despite the possible appearance of exotic, or nuanced, differences in cultural circumstance, and environment, inarguably, are universally and eternally, identical. The measure of honesty, relevant to fair business practices in Denmark, is unmistakably, evaluated by the same principled standards as in Cairo, Belgium or Cancun. The universally, acknowledged, basis of societally, accepted canons of moral human behavior, (which underlie business practices and life in general) are of existential importance, to the ultimate, success of society and to the goals of felt worth, stability, and well-being, of its members. Those who choose to eschew a lifetime of self- reflective, examination, are less likely to evidence the human, aspirational qualities of fairness and plain justice, of good fellowship, empathy and personal growth.

A well-spent, lifetime of internally reviewed and considered, familiarity with the “self,” achieved in dutiful contemplation of the remains of the day, enables stable identification, self-confidence, mature perception, and the wise use, of humankind’s brief franchise of life.

-p.      

* Apologies for the borrowed title, to the English, Nobel Prize novelist, Kazuo Ishiguro.                                                                        

Post # 825 ELECTIVE HEATHENISM

Recently, we were assigned the title, “heathen,” by a Facebook “friend.” Such attribution was undoubtedly, intended as a charge or a negative epithet, responsive to one of our published statements. The responsive effect, instead, was one of stimulation of thought on the ubiquity of “faith,” as a chosen substitute, for empirical truth, with especial, relevance to the issues of life, death and creation, itself.

We would fundamentally, raise the salient question as to whether it is useful, or responsible, to dispose of empirically, unanswerable questions, by their comfortable and facile assignment, to the existence or actions of an alleged, and non-provable, Supernatural, or Supreme Being? The universal subscription, to such useless, and delusionary, solutions have been evident, since early Homo sapiens, worshipped and anthromorphisized their existential “Sun God.”

 It is contemporaneously, enlightening to learn, that, as objective “proof” of the ultimate faith in the conceit of death and resurrection, worshippers of the Sun God, were able to reprise their Deity, from his winter death each spring, by seasonal, “saturnalia ceremonies,” giving especial homage to the evergreen tree; which miraculously lived on, in the season of winter death. The undeniable, proof of the Sun God’s death and perennial resurrection, were annually seen in the consistent appearance of the verdant spring season, with bunnies, birds’ eggs and mild weather. The foregoing, factual, observation, may predictably, be resisted by the Hallmark Card Company, and by concerned proprietors of evergreen tree farms, but does reveal the (Neolithic) precursor of the religious holidays of Christmas and Easter.  

The foundational need of society to ascribe societally acceptable answers to the unknown, ultimate questions, consistent with the cultural perception of themselves and their environment, resulted in nuanced, mythological answers (religious belief), the latter, successively, passed along in oral history, and thereafter, expressed by culturally nuanced, symbolic art and later, writing.

A quick dip into any standard encyclopedic reference will reveal the existence of upwards of four thousand divergent, religions, each asserting authenticity and numerous, adhering believers, and possessing its own “Good Book,” or some other authoritative inscription, analogous to the Bible and the Koran, of the Abrahamic religions. Every divergent belief is, invariably, possessed with its own, nuanced, holy “truth,” notably including, dogma on creation, life and mortality. It has unfortunately, appeared to be the case, that many such organizations of believers, imperiously, declared that any denial or reconsideration, of the culture’s religious tenets, is immoral and criminally, culpable.  In the Christian and occasionally in the Hebrew, contextual vocabulary, a doubter, or denier, of the traditionally accepted belief, historically, mandated by, his culture, is critically,  denominated, a “heathen;” as we have, been, as stated in our opening paragraph.

As a predictable, matter, belief in the respective, non-empirical or supernatural, versions of reality, based solely on societally, resolved, faith, would vary, for that reason, founded in differences in persona, individual experience and (especially) secular education. History has revealed the varied and inhumane innovations on the style of death, cruelty, torture and misery, which was “justly” imposed on those, capable of concluding that his society’s mythological faith was suspect. Non-believers and enlightened thinkers, who historically varied, albeit, in any minor way, thought or action, from the accepted, religious dogma, requisite to perpetuate the myths of his assigned faith, (“heretics”) were tortured, flayed alive, burnt at the stake, or excommunicated and banished from his country. The uncountable numbers of enlightened, non-believers, punished, by illustration, include such martyrs to human enlightenment as Socrates (for the enlightened teaching of the youth) on the grounds of “corrupting the young,” or Galileo, for the heretical belief that the Earth travels about the Sun (the heliocentric theory), later proposed by Copernicus. Religious belief, empirically, was not simply, a consensus of cultural, explanation of the World, to fill the gaps in human understanding, caused by the inability of Man, but a mandatory, life and death decree. Despite the understanding that religious belief is totally beholden to faith, any, albeit, minor, notion of disbelief or disparate practice was, deadly, lethal heresy.

The respective faith, concurred in, by each culture, eternally, seems to become, transmogrified, into the mandatorily, accepted and universal truth. Religious wars, seeking to impose one culture’s “true belief” on another, have constituted a shameful, but regular, part of man’s consistent history. In the European, 30 Years War, dedicated and vicious religious contenders learned the contact sport of “defenestration”, i.e., punitively, throwing” dissidents out of the windows of tall buildings in Prague, and elsewhere. Another remarkable example of ”heresy,” arising from contentious belief, to any degree, with accepted religious dogma is starkly, proven by the eternally, ongoing bloody war, between the Shiite, and Sunni Muslims. The war, which has, terrifyingly, and incredulously, continued since the 7th Century, is solely founded upon the contentious issue as to whether the Prophet Muhammad is to be succeeded by a blood relative (as in England) or democratically elected.

It is empirically undeniable, that religious zealots have, historically, sought to forcibly impose their culturally and electively, chosen, faith on others, whose beliefs are different, or on those relatively, few, who rationally, choose to accept the reality, that Mankind does not know everything, and refuse to, facilely, ascribe to supernatural explanations.

As time and scientific advancements in objective knowledge, steadily continue, many phenomena,  in the past, ignorantly ascribed to Devine causes, we trust,  will become revealed, as naturally or empirically based (like fire, thunder and lightning). We have patiently waited to see the rational explanation for phenomena, whose causation was previously unknown (and perhaps, therefore, assigned to an irrational or superstitious causation.) At the same time that we have modestly accepted the principle, that many of the answers to ultimate questions are presently unknown, but do not flatter our status as Homo sapiens by the unrealistic aspiration to ascribe explanations to every earthly phenomenon. Moreover, all, facile, Alice in Wonderland explanations, are completely, useless, and as history, unfailingly, demonstrates, dangerous, as well as, degrading to the developing human intellect.

-p.     

Post # 824 OBDURATE HAPPINESS

In the preceding ,two essays, (#822, “THE COARSENING OF AMERICA” and (#823, “EXHAUSTION”)  we dealt, respectively first,, with the observable decline in the nature of social interaction of our citizens, from one of traditional, “bonhomie,” to one of insular diffidence and vulnerability, and,  second, the feelings of frustration, in the minds of mainstream America, resulting from the recently, observed failure, of the Nation’s leaders and representatives to consistently, maintain the obligatory, acceptable, standards of civic responsibility and moral compass, which until recently, had characterized, our Republic.

The nature and extent of angst and disappointment of the mainstream American citizen, responsive to such negative changes and demonstrated failures of moral compass, would presumably, vary with the persona of the individual. Nevertheless, we have taken the liberty to express our own personal reactions, which we assume, generally, to be in accord with other like- minded, citizens, as well as  our ultimate, mind-set, which, conceivably, may not.

The title of #823, “EXHAUSTION,” was selected, with the intention to express, in a cogent and expressive manner, the universal reaction of frustration, of the traditional, American citizen,( raised up to believe in the avowed American ideals of justice, rectitude and fair play), to the plethora of undemocratic and unjust developments, of late, in the Nation. Too many American citizens have chosen to ignore the foundational mantras of equality, civic morality, and the confident, expectation of empirical legitimacy of our democratically responsive polity. The desire for wealth and continued retention of governmental position, have, in too many cases, triumphed, over civic morality and justice. The latter abomination, incredibly, has been devastatingly, accommodated, by the Nation’s highest Court, which has recently, succumbed to the historically and legal anathema of “partisan,” and “political,” and has, among its other juridical, monstrosities, strained both logic and foundational, democratic principles, in permitting large corporations to donate unlimited funds to political campaigns.

Mainstream believers in  America’s foundational principles, have been virtually, traumatized, by the partisan injustice, demonstrated by Congress, in, among other behaviors,  sucking up to” Trumpian,” autocratic, behaviors, including, “the Big Lie,” and the tactical disrespect for factual reality. They have been stunned, as well, by the SCOTUS surprise attack, on Constitutional protections (such as the “Establishment Clause”), in banning the half-century old, precedential, right of women to seek an abortion, and, yet again, in the latter’s consequential and partisan, confirmation of the ( highly profitable, self-serving)   inaccurate, NRA misreading, of the Second Amendment; permitting any, unidentified and unregistered, Yahoo on North Main Street, U.S.A., to arm himself, “to the teeth.” The horrific lethal toll for such shameful, anti-societal, misfeasance is regularly attested to in the daily press.

Our personal response to such disheartening developments, is adequately described in  #824 “EXHAUSTION” which assumedly, is common to a great many other, traditionally, oriented American citizen, viz., one of frustration and a desire to return to democratic normalcy. Our acquired perception of the nature of the classically, recurring, negative developments, however, may differ somewhat from the reaction of some others.

Initially, we would like to express our unlimited gratitude and homage to authors and poets such as, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, James Joyce, George Eliot, William Faulkner, Joseph Conrad, Walt Whitman, Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison, Philip Roth, and so many more, talented and insightful authors and poets. These and other, brilliant writers have provided much needed, insight and perspective, on life, and on the universal nature, and  shifting persona of man. We have been, thus, fortunately, enabled, to understand that man’s foibles are classic; as are his, predictably, better times.

For the accomplished degree of our enlightened and rational thought, we would award the highest kudos to John Locke, and the other great thinkers of the Empirical School of Philosophy. Locke’s essential teaching, viz., that man is born with a clean slate, and that his knowledge is acquired solely by experience, has safely, protected us from irrational belief in non-reality, and, like a philosophical GPI, has eternally pointed us in the direction of healthy enlightenment, as opposed to atavistic, darkness. In sum, it is our developed confidence and natural optimism, derived from the life-long study of the classic, universal character of humankind, which constitutes our firm armament, a peaceful sanctuary for optimism in bad times, and contextually, a staunch basis for our “obdurate happiness.”

-p.  

Post # 823             EXHAUSTION

The contextual theme of this writing is supplemental, to the immediately preceding essay, (# 822 “THE COARSENING OF AMERICA”). The latter dealt with the demise of the traditional American quality of interactive, “bonhomie,” and the recent development, by contrast, of a sense of isolation and defensive, vulnerability. This essay is written on the subject of our observed, mainstream America’s desperation with contemporary government, aggravated by the distressing, facility of the covid virus, to perpetuate itself, notably, the latter’s, continuing, intrusive effect on normal, interpersonal interaction.

We are dismayed to observe, that the sitting President has been chastised and unjustly, blamed for inflation, most especially, concerning the internationally, caused, (exorbitant) price of gasoline, phenomena entirely, outside of his control.  In contrast, our former President, a publically, witnessed perpetrator of serious felonies, viewed on public television, with the support of a large, populist cult   (see: # 822), has publicly announced his delusional, intention for another run for the American Presidency. The Alice in Wonderland, factual disparity is exhaustingly, maddening.

The mainstream American citizen, finds himself, in a state of thorough exhaustion with, the hapless, inability of our government to regulate firearms, despite the tragedy and horror, caused by the multitude of instances of public homicide, in schools, parks, houses of worship, and on America’s traditional, “Main Street.” In addition, he continues to be shocked and horrified, by bigoted, police abuse and frequent shootings of unarmed members of our black and brown communities.

The upright, responsible, American citizen is exhausted to the point of angry frustration, at the inadequate response of the public and, particularly, big business, to the existential problem of global warming. He is exasperated, by the observation that our democratic government, has permitted the democratically, articulated will of our citizenry, to be distorted, by the perverse influence of “big money;” a problem, exacerbated, by today’s partisan, SCOTUS, in its irrational, holding, that (“fictional”) corporations have the same rights as human (real) citizens, to donate unlimited monies to political elections. (Citizen’s United Case). The influence of “big money,” has facilitated the continuance of air and atmospheric pollution by big industry, which, sociopathically, values profits above health, to continue their irresponsible and lucrative, practices.

The same exasperating, and recently, turned, “political,” U.S. Supreme Court, in an unconstitutional, unprecedented heartless fashion, and in improper, partisan deference, to the religious lobby, tragically, and heartlessly, overturned its own precedent, by withdrawing the legally confirmed, natural right of women, to have an abortion; a right, settled and assured to them by that High Court, one-half century ago. Our protectors of the Constitution have, in such partisan deference, elected to intentionally, ignore the Founder’s emphatically, included, “Establishment Clause,” of its “Bill of Rights.”

The citizen is fatigued with politicians who, tactically and erroneously, adhere to the Trump created, fabrication, that the previous Presidential election was tampered with; yet, shamelessly, in non-fiction manner, are responsible for many State Legislatures’ tactical promulgation of Statutes, designed to handicap the  vote of our black and brown citizens (due to their substantial Democratic party support, in the last election.) The latter, shameful and undemocratic acts, have been committed, cynically, by the same, identified, accusers of past, oppositional, election tampering. The relentless hypocrisy of the modern Republican Party is frustrating to the point of utter, emotional exhaustion.

It is emotionally, as well as rationally, disconcerting, to observe, the dedicated, right-wing opposition to immigration, including, untold numbers of anxious fugitives, fleeing imprisonment and death by corrupt, autocratic governments. How is it, sanely, possible for such selfish bigots, not to realize that our Nation is, and has, eternally, been, entirely composed of immigrants and their progeny, (including, such right-wing, bigoted underbelly). Incidentally, it may accurately, be observed, that our Nation, at present, has an inarguable, shortage of labor. The inescapable conclusion is that such resolute opponents of life-saving, immigration, are pathologically, diagnosable, as selfish and ignorant bigots.

It has been empirically, proven, that the species of exhaustion, resulting from frustration concerning the abrogation of traditionally, held norms of behavior, the perpetuation of unprincipled and immoral acts, and those resulting from incompetent, or biased, governance, differ substantially, from mundane, physical exhaustion. The latter exhaustion, is easily, ameliorated by rest and relaxation; the determination of the empirical, panacea for the former, we reserve for the pleasant dreams of happy philosophers.  

-p,

Post # 822   THE COARSENING OF AMERICA

We are quite confident, in our assumption that the thoughtful reader has already taken note of the alteration, of late, in the Nation’s general persona and the latter’s, discernable, impact on societal interactive behavior. We presume that we are not singular, in our feeling an increasing chill of growing impersonality and alienation, resulting in a measure of diffidence, or cautious suspicion, as to a possible presence of undeclared, motives and ultimate purpose. The foregoing statements are not the product of some negatively, skewed perception; rather, they are the objective result of our observation and thoughtful consideration. We affirmatively, plead, “Innocent” to any conceivable charge, of maintaining, either, Pollyannaish expectations, or alternatively, nostalgic inclinations.

Notwithstanding such denials, we would earnestly inquire as to, why, and when, did the tradition of neighborly, bonhomie, cease, among fellow American citizens.  What happened to the casual, chats at supermarkets, barbershops and beauty parlors. What, in truth, was the impetus for the onset  for many Americans’ evident feelings of underlying insecurity, and felt absence of personal agency  

What was the causation for the disappearance of the familiar and friendly, neighborhood, cop? What occurred, to lower the avowed respect for parents and teachers? What caused the widespread distrust and animosity regarding government and politicians?  Why are there such an apparent, divisiveness and animosity in the extant population? Why does atavistic racial, religious and ethnic, bias, still rear its ugly head? Why has it become a mandatory prerequisite, for many citizens to carry a gun, (an item intended exclusively, to kill or maim) in order for them to feel secure?  Further, why do so many shortsighted citizens ignore the vulnerable status of the environment and, principally, the existential danger of global warming to our planet, and its entire inventory of flora and fauna, inclusive of humanity?

Why and when, did the American citizen’s trust and reliance for current news, upon reputable, newspapers and other media change? When and why, did the traditional, assumptions about familial relations, inappropriately, decline, to those of marginal disrespect, and at times, to complete irresponsibility? Why does the ugly serpent of angry and resentful opposition, to empathic, assistance to the needy citizen and to the traumatized refugee, still rear itself? When did the natural, human desire for sexual fulfillment, become an abusive perversion? Why do the institutions of religion, continue to piously, arrogate to themselves, the improper franchise to influence civic government?

We are able, candidly, and unhappily, to continue to add, additional toxic phenomena, to this inventory of negative developments, but wished to reserve space, for thoughtful, discussion. Accordingly, as promised, we will offer, our attribution of fundamental cause, for the reader’s consideration.   

However, prior to such revelation of our, proposed, fundamental,( but, not simplistic or “reductionist”), declaration of cause, for the above, plethora of negative developments, we would like to make the clarifying reservation and disclaimer, that we reject “reductionism,” as well as “reductionists”, who, by reason of inadequate education and lack of mature perception, are inclined to find, facile, and erroneous, over-simplified and broad-based causation, for complex, dynamic phenomena, and ignorantly, offer worthless solutions, grounded upon such personal limitations.

 It would appear, that each presenting, distinct issue, has its own, relevantly, nuanced dynamics and solution. There are, to be sure, problems, which can be resolved, simply, for example, purchasing larger  sized shoes to solve the problem of tight- fitting ones. By bright contrast, the causative factors, relevant to the problem of criminal behavior, has a great many facets, including, poverty, race, economics, mental and physical heath, parental abuse, the influence of the residential neighborhood, and the like. Thus, initiating a rational search for solutions, unquestionably, involves the determination of the relevant causative factors as multi-faceted or, otherwise, attributable to a unified, causative, factor.

Having (hopefully), dispelled the possible charge of reductionism, we can comfortably, relate our observational, determination of the etiology of the all-pervasive change, to the Nation’s present  coarsening, or decline in intimate, interpersonal relationships; and the resultant loneliness, insecurity and sense of vulnerability which are fundamental, to such change. Our simplistic-sounding, analysis is derived from multiple, and diverse, sources, the articulation and understanding of which, may, suggest a socially effective, “vaccine,” for this pathological, but, hopefully, curable, National pandemic.

We would attribute, the  referenced, enormous sea change to a felt weakening, in the individual citizen’s own, personally developed and supportably, referable, self-image, and the consequential, absence of confidence, in perception and independent judgment; leading to a vulnerability to the influence of third persons, perceived as having, or convincingly maintaining, competence and superior judgment.  Thus, proffered false and tactically construed, alternative facts, or skewed, reality, have the potential to appear, erroneously, valid. 

The ignorant, incapable and autocratically, undemocratic, Donald J. Trump, was successful as a demagogue, preaching convenient falsity and delusional reality. His success was inarguably, due to this failure and inability, on the part of his cultish supporters, to develop a personal mature and confident self-image, taxed with providing the requisite agency to confidently, think for themselves. This failing was undoubtedly, responsible for their vulnerability to the misleadingly successful tactics, which enabled Trump’s Presidential victory, and continued influence, as well as the viability of a plethora of bizarre conspiratorial conceits.

While the contextual social change in the Nation, in our judgment, is attributable to a single cause, the etiology of such causation (the loss of individual and confidence from a sustainable, self-image) has, to our mind, four empirical possibilities:

  • In many of our past writings, we have stressed the life-enhancing, practice of engaging in desired activities, totally unrelated the nature of one’s employment. This practice of solo engagement in an elective, pleasant activity, promotes initiative, self- reliance and, especially in the case of reading good literature, personal advancement and mature perception. The decline in the reading of good books, and the personal, engagement in self-sustaining activities and matters of individual interest, has taken its toll on self-esteem and personal feelings of agency.
  • The pandemic, significantly, catalyzed a preexisting, divisive atmosphere, the latter, resulting from hotly contested, issues such as guns and abortion. The pandemic, made obligatory, the refraining from personal contact and the universal and dystopic, requirement to wear protective masks. This inarguably interfered with natural personal contact, and its concomitant, self-affirming, element of identity and recognition. The latter, regrettably, added to feelings of lonely autonomy and the related, personal problems brought about thereby; as well as the factual  

disconcerting, dystopic reality of isolation, social detachment and self-conscious, vulnerability.

  • The willing substitution of natural interaction, for the more facile and technically, efficient, app “smartphone” may well have been the most relevant and cogent reason for the subject decline of the Nation.  By reason of its dynamics, this universal medium offers, merely, a cold and impersonal, mechanically, recorded message, resulting in a vital loss of comforting and sustaining, societal interaction. The solo transmission of digital symbols, onto the interlocutor’s small, handheld, lighted screen, for the notice at some unpredictable time, makes response untimely and eliminates expressive intention, and the comfort of a familiar voice. The result makes, humanistic and emotionally, vital interaction, impossible; and increases the sense of loneliness, and injuriously, decreasing the assurance of individualized persona and personal assurance of acceptability and worth.
  • The “surprise” and ultimately, tragic, election of Donald Trump, effectively served as an active catalyst for the described, negative, metamorphosis of the Nation, as stated, from one, denoted as a Nation with “Bonhomie,” generally between citizens, to one plagued by insecurity, distrust and felt vulnerability. Had it been realized, that the character and inclinations of so many of our citizens were, as here candidly, described, we have had little doubt that the election of this demagogic, seller of the proverbial, “snake oil,” this ignorant, immoral and incapable, bigot, was, indeed, a “surprise.”

The bad reputation and despicably brash, pseudo-confident persona of Donald was an effective catalyst for the themed, downturn of the Nation’s, historically traditional, proud and independent thinking American citizen, to one, (with his tactical assistance) characterized with a feeling of dependent vulnerability, and confusion as to its historical, democratically oriented, character and aspirations. A great many, rudderless and insecure Americans, found needed, solace in his autocratic pretentions and chose to overlook his criminal and un-American, behaviors. Facts were substituted for “alternate reality, newspapers were trashed, White Christian militias approved, incapability overrode talent, if it favored Trump, The Constitution and the Law, took second place to the wish of the autocratic-egotist, even SCOTUS was aided in its decline to its present, shameful status as a partisan club, and so much more, to the perverse satisfaction of the Nation’s, discontented, ill-informed, vulnerable underbelly; all to the sway of the arbitrary,  baton of the orange producer and director of this low class, theatrical farce.

The preventative, prophylactic, for the currently, repugnant and distasteful,  character of the Nation, is easy, enough, at least to state: (a) the bolstering up of the diffident and  insecure, to independent citizens, by their pursuit of an ego-enforcing, elective, solitary accomplishments, especially the reading of good books, (b) the full compliance with valid, medical recommendations, concerning Covid, (c)  less dependence on cell phones, for interactive personal conversation, and, increase in the performance of normal, satisfying conversation, in person or  by telephone, and, (d)  voting in accord with one’s own, determined, rational interest.

Good people may be best- advised, to live in hope.

-p.                                                            

Post # 821 MIND POLICE

Book censorship, is a wrongful attempt to control human thought by the pernicious regulation of free speech and is no less than an arrogant abomination and an existential impediment to human enlightenment. The toxicity of this, chronic, undemocratic pathology, eternally, oppresses man’s universal aspirations toward advancement, mature perception and the ultimate goal of enlightenment.

As we are presently able to recall, approximately fifty years ago, most censorship challenges, focused primarily, on the subject of obscenity and sexuality. Controversies roiled over great works of literature, no less than,” Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” James Joyce’s “Ulysses,” “Sons and Lovers.” by D.H. Lawrence, and even, (possibly, for other reasons) Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn.”

In the 1990s, the Thomas Jefferson Center For Free Expression, publicly, declared, that the foundational guarantees of freedom of speech were in grave danger from certain parents and School Boards, that arrogating to themselves, the delusional and neurotically, self-serving, conceit, “the moral majority.” Their atavistic and reductive rationalization, with especial regard to children, appeared to be that (to their mind) the child is “not ready” for the subject matter, or the behavior depicted in the book. It is our view that their fundamental motivation is motivated by, an irrational, unachievable and neurotic desire to control thoughts, defensively perceived, as inimical to their own, personal, moral or religious mindset.

In the 1950s and ’60s, the clouds of censorship seemed to cast a dark, and dangerous, pall upon the community by the paranoid fantasy, of a pervasive and dedicated Communist fifth column, secretly, embedded and operating in America. This delusional false and completely erroneous schema, portrayed to a gullible and fearful, Nation by the delusional, paranoiac, human rights abuser, Senator Joseph McCarthy, led to a harmful era of book and movie censorship, the Rosenberg travesty, and the unjust destruction of many innocent and highly talented careers, notably, in Hollywood.

Apparently, the pernicious practice of censorship seems, contemporaneously, to aspire to a radical attempt to spread its invasive, un-American, tentacles into a myriad of contexts, some of which may be attributed to, the Nation’s political divisiveness, but as well as the “usual suspects,” religious or faux sense of personal morality. Thus, themes including sexual abuse (as well as sex, in general), racism, slavery, the Federal Government’s early treatment of First Americans, rational science (evolution, etc.) are among the chosen and reductive, targets for book (and movie) censorship.

The salient point, for consideration in this context, is that the restriction of the freedom of thought undermines the primary function of childhood and adult education, to learn mature wisdom and experience, to enable the individual, to think for himself. The policing of thought, through book censorship or otherwise, universally and eternally, endangers human tolerance, creativity, free expression and democracy, itself. It may, additionally, be relevantly, observed that books on the library shelf are available by free and unrestricted choice.

Finally, we would choose to avail ourselves of the irresistible opportunity, to express our view of the self-appointed, dedicated and smug thought constabulary (“thought police”). There are few flaws in character, equivalent in arrogance, hubris, audacity and just plain chutzpah, to that of the self-anointed, often, reductively ignorant, or ethnocentric persona, that arrogates to itself sufficient, objective discernment and authority, to evaluate or tailor, the thoughts of other people. It seems to us, that such bizarre, and delusional undertaken supervisory duty, is best exchanged for modest and circumspect tolerance, and a mature understanding of others.

–p.

Post # 820   AN AMERICAN SHORT STORY

It was ten minutes after noon and Adam had just sat down for lunch, at the white Formica lunch table, out back, provided for the employees of Spencer’s Supermarket, Inc. He was just in the process of unwrapping his purchased, tuna sandwich on rye, mayonnaise and tomato, when Georgie came in, through the back door, opening on to Main Street. Georgie slowly raised his right hand and softly said, “Hi Adam.” Adam continuing to unwrap his sandwich, replied, “Hi Georgie-boy.”

Let us, for a moment, just stop the action, in order to introduce the reader to the parties. Adam was approximately, nineteen years old and was previously unknown to the small town of Arcadia (Pop.2134) in Falmouth Massachusetts. No resident of the Town actually knew him, or his family, when Adam descended from the Short Line Bus, in May of last year. He had accepted, for a modest rent, the empty bedroom at the Morrison’s, recently vacated by their college-bound, son. He was a quiet young man and generally kept to himself, so no one actually knew much about him, or about his earlier period of life and family. He was a steady worker and went straight back to his rented room after work, usually, after regularly, stopping at the Athens Diner, in town for dinner. In appearance, he was chubby with a poor complexion and considered himself unattractive, which may explain his selective reclusiveness.

Adam, nevertheless, developed a close friend, in the person of George Mundane, (“Georgie”), fourteen years of age with a discernably, obvious case of “Down’s Syndrome.” Adam liked having Georgie as his sole, close and quiet companion and Georgie was delighted to have the acceptance, and warm friendship of Adam. The townspeople would regularly see the two friends walking together towards “Betty’s Sweet Shop,” or the Town Park, rapt in intimate conversation, whispering or loudly, laughing. Despite Georgie’s medically known, basic limitations in intelligence, and mobility, as well as and his the characteristically, nuanced appearance of Down’s syndrome, Adam developed a close friendship with his only known, township acquaintance. For his part, Georgie was very pleased to have another person who he could actually, call a “friend,” and with whom he could associate. The two dissimilar souls would look forward to their regular meetings and interaction and Adam slowly developed a measure of familial affection and sense of responsibility for his cherished and hapless friend.

On one occasion, there was a loud smoke alarm, which had, accidentally gone off, in the Athens Diner, due to the inadequate operation of the kitchen exhaust system. Georgie was observed by neighbors and patrons of the diner, rushing in a panic, lightly frothing, and blurting out sounds which, excitedly resembled, “Adam, Adam.” When, in relief, he finally, discovered Adam outside the diner and uninjured, he uncontrollably, cried in emotional, relief, and clumsily kissed a side of Adam’s work apron.

Almost two years had now passed. Adam was now a regular tenant in a small residential apartment building, fifteen minutes from his job at Spencer’s supermarket, where he was currently, employed, as the day manager of the fruit and vegetable department. Georgie had been, enrolled, by his parents in a special program, for the handicapped and challenged at, the local school. Adam, on many days off, would have lunch with Georgie, at the latter’s school lunchroom. A group of young diners, viewing the odd sight of Adam eating and socializing, with the handicapped, Georgie, at a distant table, would make unkind remarks and insulting sounds. On one occasion, when Adam had arrived late, and Georgie having waited alone, at their usual table, Adam was physically assaulted by, none other than the infamous,” Big Jimmy,” the loudest and biggest, of the jeering students. Fortunately, just then, Adam showed up, and, shouting angrily, soundly punched, the despicable assailant, in his right shoulder, convincing him to immediately, beat a quick retreat, back to his supportive cohort of miscreant, disability-bigoted, friends.

 Adam would thereafter, visit Georgie, at most available moments, keeping his eye on the ever-present king of the abusers, the pernicious Jimmy, to assure himself that Georgie would not be molested. Truthfully, Adam, being a “loner,” had ample spare time, when not working, to show up at Georgie’s lunchtime, and sit with his handicapped friend and glare, threateningly at Jimmy, whenever he saw him. Jimmy, himself, the stereotype of all hateful bullies, was, in truth, gutless and cowardly. Adam in his protective zeal for Georgie grew to dislike Jimmy, in the same intense degree that Georgie feared him.

On a pleasant, sunny Spring afternoon, at approximately 1:P.M. a young male, hooded stranger, suddenly appeared, with an automatic rifle, and horrifically, commenced shooting, rapidly and aimlessly, into the fearfully screaming, crowd of students, including Georgie then having lunch with Adam. Georgie’s usual, tormentors, by happenstance, on this occasion, were seated, only a few tables to the side of him and Adam, at the edge of the outdoor area, where students gathered, socially, or ate lunch. Several students had the misfortune to be fatally, shot, before Adam found himself, by mere chance, close enough, to, bravely, grab hold of the weapon, while Georgie, solidly smacked the shooter, on his head with his heavy porcelain plate. The shooter had been steadily proceeding in the direction of the two protagonists and had just reached Jimmy’s table, where he had to pause to quickly, reload. The police then came and apprehended the unconscious, crazed shooter, but not before Jimmy and his errant cronies, frighteningly, realized, that they were the shooter’s next, intended, targets and that their lives had undeniably, been saved by their disabled, fellow- student and his weird, older friend, the past, unhappy recipients, of their, now realized, shameful record of abuse.

After a brief period at the local hospital, following their mutual recovery, from mild cases of shock, Adam and Georgie were peaceably, approached, by Jimmy and his acolytes, with brief, grudging, expressions of thanks; such, gestures of gratitude, constituted the final interaction, with our two heroes.

-p.