Friday, April 23, 2010

Morning has Broken

No frost! Those stupid weather men. Can't trust anybody these days. Er, well, I know the weather now all comes from the same place, like a machine so there's no-one to blame. It's all random.

Is Cat Stevens a terrorist because he trusts a different God? How can people talk about "my God?" Oh! I look out now that the sun is up and there are sparkles on my car's roof. Even though the Internet temperometer told me it had never frosted, my car now tells me differently. Are the flowers lost? Must I apologize to the weatherman? Does any of this make me happy?

I walk a lot because I hardly need my car in the city, and I like to make eye contact and smile, but the pretty girls are always looking away. Is every man a predator now? I guess you'd have to think so, but then why are they so easy about their sex these days? Do all the frat boys just apply this "trust in a bottle" stuff, which is spinning off that NPR story, and lots like it. I wish I were making this stuff up, but I'm not.

It seems that we need trust to run our economy, but with people rushing out to capitalize on the latest bit of science news almost before it's out of the lab, how are we to trust anybody at all, ever? Or, on the other hand, most of our doctors still hold on to whatever the frames were when they graduated from school, and some hold onto them with a death grip, so how are we to trust that?

Maybe it's like my Dad, whose body still remembers how to drive, and whose narrative still insists that to drive is to be free, but who can't, cognitively, take any direction and so he must be gotten off the road. Which isn't as easy as you might think.

You know, hormones do travel across the Internet, which is easy enough to prove if you've ever been misinterpreted in an email. Whatever hormonal reaction the person on the other end felt, you feel it too as soon as you find out that you've been taken the "wrong" way. It's very much like the bottom dropping out or the earth moving. Trust is a tricky business.

Skepticism is a posture of perpetual mistrust toward the cosmos. Goddism purports to be its opposite. But it seems all mixed up anymore. Sometimes the people that betray you have their own good reasons that you know nothing about. Sometimes if they were to tell you the actual truth, that's when you'd start to mistrust them. What if I were to tell all those pretty girls how hot they look? It wouldn't mean I wanted to have sex with them, but isn't that what they want me to think?

Lots of people seem to think that exchanging Bible texts is a way to establish trust. But there's plenty of evidence that that is a really really bad idea. Right on up to the priests. The whole Catholic church now is having a really hard time with trust, and even the Pope seems pretty clueless about what to do.

I do think that the match between context and text, figure and ground, environment and consciousness, is where trust, ultimately, is at. You can trade your Bible quotes, and ascertain that you both follow the same belief system, but that doesn't mean the person is trustworthy. He might still be interested only to get into your pants.

Or maybe he has some addiction, or was twisted at birth, or maybe you can blame it on the devil? All of this is some pretty weird stuff, but in the end (!!!) it's clear enough that if we don't solve this trust stuff, the world is toast. Well, not the earth, which will do alright, but humanity living on it is toast. Toasted.

Under pressure of a "bad economy," people gotta do what they gotta do, which sometimes just undermines trust. Stress undermines trust, apparently also hormonally, dys-regulating oxytosin levels. Mothers' milk contains this stuff, right? And just like the Chinese did this massive social experiment with their one child per family little emperor policy, we did one with the bottle feeding.

And what about the corn sweeteners now? Are they really worse than sugar? What about Toyota, even though their overall safety record is better than the rest? What about flying on small commuter airlines, even though it's still that much safer than to drive? What about interring the ashes of lost soldiers, with honor, even though their family never cared all that much for the meaningless remains? Who's playing on your emotions now? What about volcanic ash in jet engines? Is that just Earth's revenge for all the air transit spewings? Is everything some scam of get mine now, even up to the level of the Earth? Is God angry and jealous or is God Love?

At night, when my brain is too tired to do much more, I watch a lot of rented movies. I could save lots of money to sign up for Internet delivery, but I don't exactly have a fixed address, nor do I want to sign up for anything, contractually, so I let them rip me off for that much more than I should be paying. Hell, someone's gotta power this failing economy.

But they tell me I can cancel anytime!! What am I, nuts? I wanted a little bluetooth dongle for my new spiffy mini laptop which I almost didn't buy because it didn't have "built-in" bluetooth. But I find that I can get it for only $17 bucks at Target. But then I buy one for $3 bucks, shipping included, from Amazon! How can anyone trust anything under these conditions???

I claim that driving my car longer beats the low emissions of a Prius every time, given the cost to manufacture a new one, but I'm only protecting my personal economic integrity in the same way that I mock food purists about worshipping themselves when they should care about their environment. The really pure reason not to eat red meat is that it's better for the environment not to. So, I shouldn't want the stuff, right? Does it matter why it is that I don't; indulging some fantasy of longer life without it.

Remember when the billboards told us to spend a buck, stimulate the economy, render war redundant? Was that the same time that they were urging us to stock up on plastic and duct tape against possible anthrax? Was it? Yesteday all the "we are the world" voices were urging clean energy in honor of Earth Day, but isn't wanting energy the real problem? What if I just love my old car more than I want a new one? Am I thereby dropping out of normal commerce and strangling our auto industry? Does it really matter to buy local? What's local mean? Brands are all national now, and we're supposed to believe that the origin of the idea is what counts, and that's what we want to keep at home. The innovation.

So here's a trio of films: "Whatever Works," Woody Allen's swan song to justify sleeping with your stepdaughter maybe.
It's a good film, and Larry David channels Allen well. The girl, I suddenly now realize, is a depiction of that overtrusting disease from too much oxytosin (or too little?), the Williams syndrome. She just loves everyone, which makes her a grand cheater in the end. Untrustworthy herself, since she can't seem to stay out of bed with handsome guys.

Then there's "the Emperor and the Assassin," yet another Chinese rehearsal of is their original unifying Emperor a tyrant or a hero? Did he even know himself? Does it matter? The film rehearses lots of tribal/national loyalties and how these lead to massive genocide, but all in the interest of making just one nation, under heaven (under God?) where there can be peace eternally. Wasn't that Hitler's idea?

And now I'm in the middle of Tristan and Isolde, where post-Roman dark-ages England is trying to unite the tribes against the Irish who were spared the Roman unifying forces. I guess this one is just pure fiction. I'll have to see if I can get the original text free on my kindle. No, there would have to be some copyright for the translation, right? Since, unlike Chinese, the phonetically written languages are not isomorphic over time.

Well, neither is your wife, but you can fantasize about strange pussy if you like, right? Or is that sinning in your mind, which gets me back to why won't everyone smile at me?? I'm not a sinner, honest, although I sure could feel my hormones raging when that nice blond cop followed me when I pulled over to let the siren by like a good and proper driver. She told me I sure did go through the red light. I was sure I hadn't and might have wished for a stoplight camera of the sort that people get all paranoid about these days.

But, you know, they're only going to round up the ragheads, and if you haven't done anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about. Like with the health insurance, the trouble is you don't get to know ahead of time what "something wrong" might mean. And the light changes too fast for me, even when I'm going well within the speed limit. No, I didn't think she was hitting on me. I didn't even know she was pretty until after I'd gone through the outrage anger cycle. I told her I was sure that she was right, since I've learned that one should say that to people in authority. She let me off, and thank God for that, since I swore to myself that if I got a ticket, that would be the end of me driving. Yeah, like I could trust myself on that one!

Anyhow, it's interesting, at least to me, how the old English tales and the old Chinese tales both rehearse the same thing. Uniting tribally divided mankind until there's no-one on the outside. Well, except now China and the West are gearing up to misunderstand each other big time. And we're about to deploy really smart really fast really accurate pinpoint bombs, which are that much better than nuclear devices. Like a Goggle search that actually works instead of handing you back a haystack with what they think is your needle on a cushion right on top. When what you wanted was the pea down under that pile of stuffing. Yeah, let's trust those smart bombs, and the video game jockeys they ride in on.

Or how about let's try trusting no-one and nothing and see where that gets us?

Remember when bicycles were fun and kids rode them all over the city? Now, I ride my bike and it scares me to death amongst the people in cars in a hurry. Imagine thinking about your kid doing that? And you can't exactly go shopping with one since none of the stores welcome them inside, and they'll just get ripped off outside. And the only other people riding bikes are these really bizarrely clothed aficionados who've figured out how to turn a really really pleasant and fun and relaxing (and inexpensive!) invention into some kind of torture device, judging from their labors and grimaces. Or are they just pumping different drugs into their veins, and are they smiling beneath their dark wraparounds and Buck Rogers helmets which look like some kind of raygun on their heads? And they pay real money for these torture devices?

You can buy a really spiffy electric tricycle if you want to pay more than a car for your virtue. What's wrong with this picture? Sorry, I can't find the company today, even though it popped up first thing the other day during my Internet searching out of curiosity to see what regenerative braking electric power conversion for my bike would cost (either more or less than you think, depending on what you think!). And then I came across this very convincing post about why regenerative braking is stupid for a bike in the first place, since there's so little weight and most of the friction is aerodynamic, and the ratio of time to charge over time to discharge is so high that you're better off just going wheeeeee down the hills and coast back up, which conforms with my own experience riding around this pretty flat city.

Sheesh, how is one to know anything for certain? Well, who said you were supposed to in the first place, huh? I mean, I think I know more than enough about heating and cooling systems to know what's up with mine, but apparently the dealer can't figure it out, and I sure can't, although I know it's not fundamentally some big mystery. Although it might be like some computer network issues, just simply enough complexity to mimic mystery.

Man, I am just Heisenberg uncertain about everything today. I might as well become a Jehovah's Witness, because ain't it aweful? There's nothing to be done about any of it, so, hey, I've got a tract for you. Of course it has that necessary clause of all magical tracts that if you doubt it you ruin its spell. Something to tweak your superstition hormone. Ain't change aweful now? If only we could keep things the way they were when we were feeling really good. Suckling.

Well, one thing of which I'm certain. Morning ain't broken. It's a beautiful day, and I'm going to check it out.

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