Post #594 THE NEW MUSEUM PANORAMA

For the limited purpose of highlighting the subject matter of this writing, let us engage for the moment, in a fictional stroll through that huge, well-attended, hall of THE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, which features many life-like “panoramas” of re-created ( by taxidermy) animals, portrayed in their recreated, respective natural habitats. In our fantasy stroll, we unexpectedly come upon a newly installed exhibit, (strangely, of a small group of humans) apparently, labeled by the Curators of the Museum Anthropology Department: “CHRISTIAN WHITE SUPREMACIST,” [Modern Era, sub-Species Domestic]. For further edification, there is an information placard hung to the left of the lighted exhibit, reciting:” homo sapiens; species: “beserka,” worldwide breeding range, multiple varieties, bi-pedal, omnivorous, selectively predatory, unpredictably volatile, Neolithic intelligence. The museum exhibit had effect of raising questions as to the bizarre exhibit itself, and to a restorative recollection of past experiences on its subject.

We would candidly make the express disclaimer that, unlike sociologists and other professionally qualified experts, on the subject of Christian White Supremacism, we rely, solely and entirely, upon our deductions derived from anecdotal experience and the literature.

It is our perception that Christian White Supremacists are fundamentally, loners, emotionally insular and apart from others, inclusive of those, jointly included in that pernicious population; they do appear to be capable of having situational brothers-in-arms or “buddies,” but as perceived by us, are utterly incapable of true and intimate “friendship.” The latter relationship requires personal qualities such as empathy, unselfishness, confidence, shared sense of humor and disinterested affection, none of which is on the list of ingredients of the insular, eternally angry, gun-toting Supremacist.

Despite a mandatory façade of “cool,” it has been our observation, that internally, they are hot boiling cauldrons of anger, conceivably, founded upon some past experiences of disappointment and frustration, the etiology of which might possibly have its roots in familial, (i.e., lack of required early nurturance, abusive or alcoholic father), romantic or sexual experience or recognized general incompetence. The disturbing results are productive of frustration, anger, insecurity and self-hate, which reactions seem to be dealt with by the creative projection of calumny onto others,  “rich Jews make us poor,” white skin is an indication of superiority over dark, especially black skin,” “liberals are Communists and Socialists” (as if the combination were ever possible), homosexuality is an anathema, America is controlled by Jews, or the coastal elites, immigration of Mexicans and Central Americans and the colored races are “mongrelizing” our (white) country. Profound personal insecurity, appears additionally,  to render the individual vulnerable to defensively supportive, albeit irrational, tropes and to the shared confirmation of ignorant and reductionist views of others with dominant and ostensibly confident persona.

This is our understood genesis of “tribal” mutuality, which offers neurotically needed acceptance and comfort, through  “group think.” It is our view that such origins of fear and lonely feelings of insecurity also provide the psychological basis for the ardent desire to own firearms; the more destructive, the better. The coexistence of a conglomerate group with low personal esteem in common, and the insecure need for reliance upon groupthink, are fertile fields for the snake-oil demagogue and the enhancement of bigotry and hatred. Given some manufactured cause, and the call to some irrationally perceived and shared, faux patriotic duty, to address the cause, and the ingredients are present, to create the flammable tinderbox. Add a perniciously tactical, sociopathic, and demagogic leader, such as Donald Trump, to actually strike the match, and the result will be, as recently seen, in the criminal insurrection at the Washington Capital Building. The foregoing is not intended to imply that such troubled persons need always act in concert, viz., Timothy McVey, the Uni Bomber, et al.

Complicating, but in no degree, mitigating, the aberrant criminal behavior of such “domestic terrorists,” acting under the banner of Christian White Nationalists, is the regrettably large number of Christian Evangelical Churches that continue to oppose Civil Rights. Apparently, hundreds, if not  thousands, of Churches, favor segregation and tactically employ, not- so- subtle messages and  dog-whistle euphemistic tropes, in their  sermons such as:  “Protecting our community,” “Saving Western Civilization,” or, “We are losing our country.” Such Churches view slavery as authorized by the King James Bible, and so, toxically influence millions of Church-affiliated Christians. We would also note that The King James Bible, which is universally considered by Christians as the ultimate reference to authoritative, ultimate (God’s inspired) answers to moral problems, by virtue of its flexibility of interpretation, is as well, cited by people in opposition to the moral monstrosity of owning other human beings. If racism is to be rationally comprehended and eliminated, the significant, popular interaction between religion and racism needs to be universally acknowledged.  

With reference to Christian Evangelicals who consider that the ownership of other human beings (who happen to be born with more melanin coloring in their epidermal tissues than they) as moral and righteously within the preachments of Jesus, we can, optimistically, suggest some ameliorative and consciousness-raising solutions. These would include interracial participation in holiday celebrations, dinners, picnics and events, membership in interracial organizations (including right-thinking churches) and social clubs; getting to know and identify with each other, is a predictable route to the dispelling of dark ages mythology. We also especially recommend the pursuit of relevant education.

We would now return to the above referenced recent museum panoramic exhibition, viz., the militant variety of the North American species of Christian White Supremacists. Based upon our perceptive understanding of their psychologically systemic need for the extreme and violent assertion of irrational and biased tropes, we would assume that any proposed solution, short of psychiatric therapy and if indicated, relevant medication, would be ineffective. To the extent that we can perceive, the underlying problems are, undoubtedly, deep, and of long duration.

Those that cannot be helped should be kept under surveillance and incarcerated, when clearly called for, in the interest of the protection of the public. As future deterrence to repeat offenders, licenses should be revoked, including drivers’ licenses and, notably, gun ownership.

In addition, as stated in previous writings, the mandatory vetting of all candidates for high political office, would prevent the appearance of another Trump-like, shameful inciter to insurrection, and, importantly, be of general benefit the Nation.

We would look forward to a time, when this panoramic exhibit, will, at long last, be transferred to the Museum’s Hall of Extinct Mammals.

-p.               

Post # 593 BLACK CAROUSEL (“WUKA-WUKA”)

Suffer no fear of* tropical storms,
They do relent, rebalance, reset.
Have no fear in the long, black night,
Its only day without the day.
But do fear the awful sound of wuka-wuka!

Do not fear the mighty blow,
All wind dies down before too long.
There is no fear for heat and cold,
It all just moderates in time.
But beware the wuka-wuka sound!

You mustn’t fear black smoke too much,
Firemen are surely on the way.
Nor panic from excessive speed,
Reduce will follow shortly on.
But so much fear in wuka-wuka! wuka-wuka!

Never fear a try at love,
Yet another may do the trick.
Do not fear to fail at goals,
New starts will show before too long.
Only wuka-wuka sounds are dire!

Do not fear the surgeon’s knife,
The goal’s to free you from disease.
Never fear the longest road,
The end’s in sight before too long.
But you must escape the wuka sound!

You must avoid the Black Carousel,
Grim wheel that just* gyres and turns
No music here, all wooden gears,
That speak in fearsome wuka sounds.
Do fear those clacking wuka sounds.

Foul beasts are seen to stand and glare
From on the platform of that wheel
With vicious smiles and carnal teeth
I could stretch and* see but few,
Of this wuka-wuka menagerie.

Better hope it will pass by
The wuka-wuka at your face,
All would be lost, all good be gone,
Your fate-to see the beasts up close
Wuka-wuka, wuka

The first beast is called, “The Trail of Tears”
One,” Armenian Death March”
The white one bears the name, “Jim Crow”
“Dresden,” is the German beast
“Appomattox”, another horse
Next to a black one, called “Babi Yar”
A Yak who answers to “My Lai”
Behind an ancient hound, “Pogrom”
“Nagasaki” is the reddish beast, before
Twin ogres, “Isabela” and “Ferdinand”
“Hutu-Tutsi” both on the side
And* to the right of one, “Nanking”
Wuka-wuka, and then wuka-wuka, ever on* it clacks.

To the smiling skull, atop the pole,
Above the center of the wheel
I screamed: “Please answer me!”
“When will it finally* stop?”
The faint reply was wuka-wuka, wuka-wuka

Leonard N. Shapiro, N.Y., (11/16/16)

Post #593 AUTUMNAL EXODUS

Moist, ethereal breezes intimately whisper
Cooling balm to sunbaked foliage.
Trees, now attired in military raiment,
In styles bespeaking revolutionary riot,
Proclaiming in eye-sparkling manifesto,
The swift advent of seasonal overthrow.
— There’s no time to lose!

Boughs strain heavy with seasonal fruitage.
The bounty, tho’ forsaken by large mammals,
In search of* safer havens
Alas, no time for juicy gorging,
Time’s to be spent on*seasonal survival.
Smaller ones, storing food, burrowing deep.
Instinct warns, dalliance spells disaster!
—We must not tarry!

Winged creatures depart aloft
Huge flocks with little hesitation
Escaping to safer geography.
Could one but hear deep in* the forest floor,
The excited chatter of woodland critters,
Anxiously nose-wrinkling reconnaissance
—Is there yet time?

Darkening clouds bespeak woodland calamity
Soon, winter gales, storms, sheets of ice,
Snow, that covers safe niches and hide-aways*
Cold, that delights in shivering death.
All must forsake the Fall magic.
–And once more,* we will be ready!

Leonard N. Shapiro, N.Y., (Sept. 2018)

*(edits)

-p,

Post # 591 THE JUDICIAL SOIL

Floated in on foamy tide,
Or wafted here by ocean breezes
Life comes to our coastline
Keen to take root and abide.

No farmer can create new life,
He can but husband well the soil,
And nurture roots and emerging stems,
So that nascent life will wax and thrive.

The soil’s the arbiter of new life,
Its not man’s place to decide,
The valid judge, only Mother Earth,
As to which shall sprout and then abide.

Her dad’s print* T-shirt said “Peru”
And, feeding his three-year old, her
Jet black hair and shining eyes; they then
Rubbed noses, softly, when all through.

Leonard N. Shapiro N.Y. 3/11/18

-p.

Post # 590 NAMASTE (redux)

Attend it close, excluding all
So *to sense and mindfully hear
The cardiac beat of planet Earth
Those pulses soft in depths profound
Life’s vital tattoo, its organic sound
In synchrony to man’s own heart
In star set, Universal time.

If you would hear, go out of mind
Attend the Earth, embrace its sound
Enfin,—do you mark the base tattoo?
That all may hear and apprehend—
It ticks the steady tones* of life
With its eternal* measured strikes
That beat, indeed, from babe to crone
And then, from crone to dust so soft.

My sight is only for your “self”
And not your lovely eyes and limbs
It is perforce your heart I seek
That beats along with that of mine
Both timed unto that earthly drum.

What I would see and do salute
My planetary heart and earthly “self”—
The pure, ethereal love of you.

*(edit)

(Leonard N. Shapiro, NYC, 7/2017)

-p,

Post # 589 BENEATH THE BLUE AGERATUM

The soil curates small slips of man
His life, his work, his resume
Some petit detritus of his life
A library of tales again retold.

No need to search with system code
Items are best secured by chance
With lucky use of spade and rake
Close searched where man did live and die

A rusty nail, a piece of tool
Both witnesses to man’s resolve
To raise a shelter for repose.
A fragment of a printed page,
Reveals a ken that there’s yet more.
Old cans and jars and rusty spoons,
Betoken victory over want,
And man’s resolve to live out life.

The grassy fields perforce* are doors,
Enclosing bits of lives past lived—
Far better than some* research “App,”
With cold results in digit code!

Leonard N. Shapiro, N.Y. 9/1/16

*(edits)

-p.

Post # 588 WHEN WORDS FAIL

Can one describe a chocolate’s taste
Or find soft words for baby’s smile
Can words tell honey’s sweet bouquet
Or express relief to rest awhile

Can one recount a rainbow’s arch–
With words to bring to view its sight
Or portray the shadows of the Moon
And thus reveal its pale, cold light

Are there apt words to sob relief
When the lost toddler’s tearfully found
To describe the lilac’s inebriate scent
Or the Ocean wave’s full basso pound

Is there a word for the brush of lips
On newborn’s cool and silken brow
Or the splatting sound of dripping rain
That strikes the verdant leaves and boughs

Can one describe a rose’s red
The weathered hue of an old windmill
Tell me please, where those words go ?
With so many heartfelt thoughts to fill

One need not fret, nor search in vain
When it seems words do not ensue
The sentiment is so well conveyed—
Most times, a subtle tear will do.

-p. (Leonard N. Shapiro N.Y., 1/2018)

Post# 587 THE REVELATORY KISS

The press of lips reveals it all—
The touch o’er shadows merely words,
Prolonged, unsure, secure, polite?
A kiss can oft-time s speak in verse,
No form, no rhyme, soft tactual beats.
Non-painted lips do say it best—
They speak full bore and spill the beans.

To forehead kiss the newborn babe, says…
Be safe, I love, will I be there when–?
Kisses touched to elder kin, say…
I’m here! It’s me. And just how long?
Kisses to young children pray…,
Will we be close? Shall I now fret?

First date kisses do inquire…
Shall I try tears and joy, again?
Wedding kisses always say…
Let us both hope, the two of us.
Married folk, at times will ask…
Are you still you? Is that you, my love?

-p. (Leonard N. Shapiro N.Y., 2016)

Post # 586 NATIONAL STABILITY by THE EUCLIDEAN METHOD

The reader may by now be aware that we are long-time admirers of the rational method of reasoning best encapsulated in Euclidean Geometry. Pursuant to its (logically deductive) procedure, a problem is clearly stated, (the “given”); in our case, the current instability of the Nation, fueled by acute divisiveness. The problem (or, “theorem”) having been clearly and succinctly identified, next expressed in progressive, logical order, are the relevant, accepted principles (“axioms”).  The  “solution” is derived as the result of the logical progress of progressive deduction from the relevantly chosen axioms. Traditional practitioners of geometric mathematics might well add the letters, ”QE.D.,” (quo erat demonstratum), meaning, which has been proven, or shown) following each problem’s attained solution.

It is the express proposition of this writing, that the method of solution regarding the restoration of National Stability (the problem) can be obtained by the logical application of empirical principles (axioms), leading to a deductive solution to the subject problem,( viz., inspired populist divisiveness, threatening our Republican Democracy), by Euclidean reasoning as employed in Geometry.

THE GIVEN (Statement of the problem)

We begin the process with the known facts representing the causation of the presenting problem, viz., the contemporaneous National instability and divisiveness, exacerbated and weaponized by the incapable, neurotic and demagogic, President, Donald J. Trump. The flawed Chief Executive was first successfully elected, in large part, due to the unprecedentedly large vote of individuals, thereafter, termed his “base,” consisting of the insufficiently educated, uninformed, chronically discontented, citizens (“the “underbelly”) of our Nation, responsive to his tactical and insincere “snake oil,” demagoguery. In his memorable first term, President, Donald Trump, was directly responsible for, among other negative consequences, the exacerbation and worsening of the lethal viral pandemic, the decline in support and respect for education and scientific advancement, the despoilation of the planetary atmosphere and the natural environment, an autocratic assault upon the validity of the Press and on the existential institution of “truth,” the implicit support of bigotry, the straining of international ties with our historic allies and the befriending of our traditional enemies, and such other acts, of malpractice and immorality, a more inclusive list of which, would take us yet further, from the theme of this writing, viz., the logical (geometric) route to the future avoidance of National instability, such as was evidenced at the recent Capitol Building insurrection.

AXIOM 1: [Divisiveness and discontent is avoided by an educated citizenry with mature perception]

We have eternally stated that the aspiration for ultimate feelings of satisfaction and fulfillment in life, is obtained by the cerebral benefits of reading good literature and/or the cultivation of an outside interest in a chosen field or occupation. The empirical result is the advancement or growth of a mature perception, the capacity to deal in complex matters, and the ability not to feel threatened by diversity of opinion. The cultivation of the awareness of others and other modes of thought and belief tends to avoid divisive conflict and toleration of others.

AXIOM 2: [ Our challenge consists of the numerous existence of the insufficiently educated and uninformed voters]

The absence of desire to advance or to attain mature perception,  unfortunately, characterized by so many of our fellow citizens, has the predictable, result of empty and disappointed lives. The ultimate result is the absence of a personal sense of the shared universality of human problems, and the perception that life is insular, lonely, and insecure. We have stated, in the previous essay that, “ignorance is the quiet death of the human evolutionary potential and is fertile ground for the fear of differences; it is the promoter-in-chief of pernicious bigotry, divisiveness and hatred.” There eternally exists, the potential of a felt need for such disappointed and frustrated citizens to vent their pent-up, angry, feelings of frustration. Given some perceived common cause, and sufficient incitement, such as the not-so-subtle invitation to riot, delivered by the miscreant, defeated presidential incumbent.

AXIOM THREE: [ Insurrection requires a perceived “common” cause and an adequate incitement]

The successive generations of lives of millions of our poorly educated, inadequately informed population, are often potential fertile fields for snake-oil demagogues, in the style of Donald J. Trump, to tactically attract their votes, albeit harmful to the Nation and often also against the interest of the targeted, credulous voter. Yet, few Americans would favor limitations imposed upon universal American suffrage.

Such was the underlying basis for the famous, 18th Century caution, expressed by Thomas Jefferson that, for a representative democracy to succeed, it is required to have an educated and informed citizenry. Recent events unfortunately indicate that we do not sufficiently satisfy even such elementary criteria.

AXIOM FOUR: [The assurance of acceptable Presidential candidates would avert divisive incitement]

We have strenuously urged that there be a mandatory prerequisite for potential nominees for the Presidency to be sufficiently vetted and carefully screened, as to character and capability, by a competent bi-partisan, Board of Examiners. Presenting to our entire, (and heterogeneous) voting population, an elective choice of two candidates, both of whom have been objectively adjudged to be suitable, albeit with diverse platforms, rather than fielding an imprudently, unknown aspirant for America’s highest office, would assure the prevention of another (Trump style) inciter of insurrection.

SOLUTION:

A mandatory prerequisite consisting of the positive demonstration of acceptability viz., sufficient educational,  and emotional qualification, by aspiring nominees for President, would, unquestionably, be of major benefit to the Nation and as an incident, would prevent future insurrection by the avoidance of a potential source of incitement in the person of an unprincipled and defeated Presidential Candidate.

QED.

-p.

Post # 585 MALIGNANT DISCONTENT

We include ourselves in the vast number of law- abiding American citizens who were shocked and deeply disturbed by the recent obscene and egregious insurrection, which took place on the premises of Washington’s august and historic Capitol Building. The motivation of the riotous and threatening participants, it seems, has been popularly ascribed to a forced overturn of the democratic result of the recent Presidential election, at the  behest and invitation of its miscreant loser. It is our considered opinion, however, that the expressed anger and motivation of the unruly, flag waving, gun toting and highly destructive mob, was, to the contrary, brought about by a perceived singular opportunity for a mob, composed a virtual conglomerate of individually nuanced malcontents, to release their long term, pent-up emotional panic, based on a felt recognition of their malignant discontent with their life.

Presidential choices aside, our regular followers are cognizant of the foundational raison d’etre of this blog space, (“plinyblog”) and observably, the various themes, evinced in our more than one half thousand published essays. We have eternally believed that one’s aspiration for the ultimate feeling of satisfaction and self-fulfillment with his relatively short span of life, is attained by the cerebral benefits of reading good books and/or cultivating an enduring personal interest in an elective field or activity. The advancement in any educational or liberal field of education develops mature perception,  the capacity to deal in complex matters and, additionally, the ability to not be threatened by diversity of opinion. A cultivation of the awareness of other modes of thought tends to avoid conflict and encourages empathy and the toleration of others.

It has always been our perception, that contrariwise, the lack of desire to advance one’s understanding and maturity of perception, has the predictable reward of a repetitive, insular, and disappointing life. In such instances, there is a total absence of perception as to the shared universality of man’s issues, his commonality. Thus, life is shallow, lonely, overly insecure, and often threatening. Ignorance, we would bravely declare, is the quiet death of human evolutionary potential, and a fertile breeding ground for fearful insecurity and resultant fear of difference; it is the promoter-in-chief of pernicious bigotry.

It is our considered opinion that participation in the unprecedented and violent insurrection was based largely on the perception of unlawful license, irresponsibly given by President Trump, [for his own pathological reasons]; a license to vent their respective idiomatic frustrations and angry disappointment with their nuanced personal lives, under a faux but more rationally stated, common banner, viz., the improper computation of votes in the past election.

-p.