Monday, January 09, 2017

Not certain of the reasoning involved, but blogging either is no longer serving its original purpose as a way of leaving a record of my life for my children, or, the fact that I've become a public figure over time with a public following is effecting the way I use the medium ... .

Either way, things have changed considerably, and a self-consciousness has crept into the process over time, and I'm aware of viewers in ways that makes my random thoughts on life begin to seem unworthy of the attention they're attracting.  

That is until today.

Something in the news shouted out over the usual noise and I find myself moved to my MAC -- as happens over time -- as a way to work through something that puts me at odds with conventional wisdom; an uncomfortable stance to take:

It is the image on CNN a few moments ago when the boyish image of Dylann Roof, the brutal assassin of those 9 good folks at Mother Immanuel Church in South Carolina, appeared on camera. Such a deceptive appearance with that innocent Buster Brown hairstyle -- as if straight out of the pages of Dick and Jane -- standing before the court, dead-pan,  and without any sign of contrition for the pain he wrought on so many -- a nightmare we've seen repeated so often of late.

There was something nauseatingly familiar about that scene.

When was the last time I'd seen this scenario?  Ah yes!  It was Timothy McVeigh at his sentencing for the Oklahoma federal building bombing with multiple human lives lost.  He, too, expressed no regret for the horrendous act he'd committed, nor show fear of the death penalty.  I'm certain there were admirers, those from his warped world of white supremacy who surely viewed him as macho, brave, facing with courage his fate for his unspeakably violent criminal act. 

I recall at the time that this may have been the greatest argument against the death penalty, when fully understood.  Was this not State-sanctioned suicide?  Would not those who seek vengeance through the Justice system have the State apply greater punishment by demanding life sentences without the possibility of parole?  To have to live the rest of one's life with the painful realization of the cost in innocent lives destroyed in spasms of what can only be classified as madness.  And, of course the madness includes the State's being tricked into killing to teach that it is wrong to kill!

Something here might be closely related to the radical extremist's suicide bombings so common in the Middle Eastern battle zones, and the marauding armies of young men on rampages of genocide on the African continent.  What is this pathology now victimizing the world's young, and why? It is increasingly obvious that it knows no boundaries.  And, are there signs hidden in plain sight but masked by out-of-control political posturings and changing territorial ambitions?  Can it be that the causes lie in the fact that my great-grandmother (woman I knew) was born into a world population of less than two billion -- and that in only four generations, we are living in a world population of seven-and-a-half billion?  And, in a world facing not only the threat of nuclear annihilation, but global warming, climate change, and rising sea levels?

Are we beginning to see the unraveling of the world as we know it?

Is this tragic life drama not being played out yet another time with Dylann Roof who is refusing any kind of defense, but forcing the hand of the State -- manipulating the courts to gain his "right to die?"  

Have we lost the capacity to think analytically by a failing system of public education? 

Can we justify maintaining a legal system that includes the death penalty in such cases while denying the "right to die" to those terminally ill and existing in excruciating endless pain and suffering because of some distorted sense of who-knows-what?  With medical science misusing the Hippocratic Oath in a form of denial similar to those who believe climate change to be a hoax, it is difficult to find rhyme or reason ... .

There remains questions that I will never live long enough to find answers for, and many involve questions around life and death.  Maybe my age and the advancing of the End Times is pushing this, but I was asked in a radio interview last week what my position was on abortion.  Without much thought I heard myself saying that I was against it, and that I am also completely supportive of a woman's right to choose; and that I realized that those positions are diametrically opposed but that this was nonetheless my position.  Am  I one of a few who know that the debate is simply badly framed, and that nuance goes missing?

I find that those who oppose abortion tend to be the same people who foolishly oppose  contraception and birth control of any kind.  It is that position that I see as wildly irrational.  I see no reason for a woman to ever need an abortion, and, if all else fails (which sometimes happens), and though one would surely not wish to ever have to consider such an option -- that decision clearly lies with the woman.  Fortunately I've never had to make that choice, and feel empathy for those for whom it was necessary.  I know no one who is for abortion.

Why has all this become confused today and demand time and space in my consciousness?  

Could this be because as our gracious First Lady recently stated, "... I think we're now learning how it feels to live without hope," and I realized that this is the state that I'm finding myself in over past days.

A temporary state of affairs?  Maybe.  But I'm not looking for any white-hatted tall stranger to gallop on his horse up from over the horizon to save us all, at least not in the immediate future.  

Think I'll just keep to the foreground and get back to taking care of those "...500 feet" around me that I can manage.  Maybe it's time to leave the saving of the world to those better equipped to discover fresh answers to overwhelming problems by virtue of youth and an increasingly deepening collective wisdom.

I can no longer see a way forward; at least over the next few hours ... .

Besides, I think I've got tickets to Hamilton which opens in San Francisco on March 10th.  I know that his world was threatened by unspeakable disasters; of yellow fever, tuberculosis, cholera, war, all limiting life spans, "Acts of God" against which there were few good answers in his century -- yet here we are in a brand new year of 2017, still leading the world, albeit precariously.  Surely the new generation of geniuses now in kindergarten will grow into their brave new world (as did we), and don their white hats and hop into their self-driving SUVs and ride from across the horizon to save us from ourselves ... .

"... As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be world without end; Amen."