Recent events have made it clear that we are suffering from a broken moral compass. People today could use some general guidance.
Since the original ten commandments seem somewhat narrow and obsolete (too much focus on livestock, servants, and jealous god issues), here is a modest first draft of a fresh set.
You shall treat all people with respect regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, or national origin.
You shall not kill, assault, nor intimidate with threats of physical violence.
You shall not rape, sexually coerce, nor intimidate with threats of sexual violence.
You shall cultivate intellectual curiosity, be open to new ideas, and respect the scientific method.
You shall not cheat, nor cheat others out of what is rightfully theirs.
You shall not lie, deceive, nor spread lies about others.
You shall not steal, that is to say take or use what rightfully belongs to another person in a manner that causes harm. (Stealing is a trickier concept than it once was. How do you say yes to Fair Use and no to software patents?)
You shall keep your promises.
You shall not waste natural resources nor pollute the shared environment.
You shall take responsibility for your actions and their consequences.
This is from Communicatrix’s (?) aunt. Very well said – I am an atheist but I can totally get behind every one of these commandments.
Here’s something very true from FB; I think I saw it first on one of DF’s posts.
I’m at a weird time in my life when I’m playing it very safe. This is unusual for me (in the long view anyway). But it seems like everything scares me right now, and everything is very hard. I’ve been depressed, and that colors things – makes me want to try and stay in a safe little spot. I hope I get past this and start enjoying things a little more. I know I should count my blessings, and I do. But no place is ever really safe. Things change, and we just have to roll with it.
My long-time hair dresser friend has cancer again, and I think it’s all over but the shouting for her. Doctors didn’t listen to her for way too long. I imagine that happens a lot in our current health care environment unless you have a *lot* of money.
For you people with eating problems – celiac, vegan etc.:
I ate the greatest cookie today. It was a Ginger Snapdragon. Big, soft and dense. (I like my cookies like that, but NOT my men.) Ginger and molasses, totally spiced out is how they are billed. Dairy free, egg free, certified organic. From Lizlovely.com. Utterly delicious if you’re a ginger fan. And self limiting by dint of being so freaking expensive that you won’t buy them more than once a year. It wouldn’t be so bad if one weren’t paying shipping ….
Last night I dreamed I looked out the kitchen window and there was a Carolina Parakeet on the bird feeder. I was awestruck and so happy. These beautiful little birds have been extinct in the wild since 1904.
There were not any Carolina Parakeets at the feeders when I got up, but there were various kinds of finches (mostly gold), some hummingbirds, a couple of jays, a black capped chickadee and a bunch of sparrows. And my favorite, a spooky little gray something, possibly titmouse with a good crown. And some doves walking around below. Man, those doves just REEK of dumb.
I didn’t ever report back on the baby shower. Well, here it is. My friend Corey helped [more or less told me what to do when I started going in circles which was most of the time] so it came out fine. The most people in the house at one time was 28 but mostly around 20, so that wasn’t as bad as it could have been. It did rain, so we just moved the furniture into other rooms and put tables in the center. It was fine. There were cupcakes!
I made them, Corey frosted them. I was going to buy them from some bakery but they were too damned expensive. Like $2.50 EACH. Gawd. These turned out fine and I ate way too many of them. Quel Surprise! Corey told me to put buttermilk in them which I did, and they were pretty good coming from a box. Corey made the buttercream frosting. Mmmmm. Butter and sugar, what’s not to love?
During the gift opening we had the Make a Baby game. The bubblegum was hard so Corey brought pink clay. [Did I mention Corey did just about everything? I owe her BIG TIME.] Here are some of the astonishing results – click for bigger pictures if you’re interested in detail – worth it on some of them:
The second entry (above) was “when the baby is two.” The third baby won the prize.
Nick said, “You didn’t specify HUMAN baby!” Guess which one he made?
The baby momma and her friend, pre-festivity
The young man on the left observed that this was his first baby shower and “it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be!” High praise, indeed.
Decorating the onesies and hanging out. Nice shot of the trash bin there front and center.
Andrew and I both had a birthday this month. Good gawd, I am 55 years old. Sounds so old but as Kathy said, “There’s not much you can do about it.” Dammit!
Andrew is still my baby at 26.
Here he is (above), giving us a fake baby shower shell-shock look, with Jess the baby momma.
Andrew and a stuffed cat at the Natural History Museum in Pacifica
As a little devil. He was around two in this. Standing on top of the elephant slide. This was in Yorba Linda, one of the 14 + or – places we lived early on. Retail management. Feh.
I have more Vancouver pictures, but I’m too lazy to get them off the computer quite yet.
In Other News
I bought a home-made potting bench off of Craigslist today. Been looking at it for a month, and the seller dropped the price way down so I swooped in. He lives in a different outskirt city and said he’d meet me halfway. This is a big area. Sac metro is around a million people, I think and there are another million people in the surrounding areas.
Anyway, this guy with the potting table said he’d meet me in the OSH parking lot not too far from my house. I neglected to mention that it was probably 5 minutes for me, and 25 for him, but, whatever.
We met up and the bench was too wide to get in my dinky old pickup without banging up the fresh paint job. So he offered to deliver it the rest of the way. I was a little weirded out about letting him know where I lived because something about him was setting off my radar but I had his phone number and email and he had his daughter in the truck so I decided to suspend my paranoia for a time. I tried to give him directions but I am terrible with directions so I finally just said, “Follow me, it will be much easier.”
He did, and we got there, and he got out of his truck and looked at my house and looked at my neighbor’s house and said, “If you would have said you lived next door to Derrick I would have known right where it was.”
What are the odds? He’s good friends with my next door neighbor.
Um, we now have 37 RSVP’s in the affirmative. Did I mention I’m not that great with crowds?
Looks more and more like it’s going to rain buckets. If that happens we’ll have to ditch the tables and just plop everyone into rows of folding chairs crammed around the furniture. What should I do with all the balloons? Do people mind being crammed together like sardines at a party where they don’t all know each other and the age ranges are from 16 to 70+? With no booze? Oh yeah. This is hilarious. Frankly, I think there WILL be a little booze, if only in the hostess and the hostess’ helper. Thank jeebus for Corey, she is an industrial-strength organizer. But she can’t make the house any bigger or control the weather. Hey, internet, you want to come, too? Why not? The more the merrier. :) HAHAHAHAHAHA.
Saw this on FB – One of the funniest, saddest guys I knew -
From Chris White: I was saddened to learn that cartoonist John Callahan died last summer. An alcoholic quadriplegic (or maybe quadriplegic alcoholic), John was known for completely ignoring political correctness and established “bounds of decency.” His voicemail message said: “John is feeling pretty depressed today, so please leave a message at the sound of the gunshot.” RIP, John.
[the caption is a little bit hard to read - it says, "Don't worry, he won't get far on foot!" ]
I had the flatulent nun on my very first website, which was about a hundred years ago.
They made me a little nostalgic. I used to date musicians. Was even married to one briefly! I schlepped drums and a Peavy amp (not by myself) and all things musical for about 6 months on the road at the tender age of 18. It was an experience, for sure. XMRadio would have been a godsend for those long drives in between gigs from Bumfuck, Texas, to Butt, Montana. I heard Bennie and the Jets about a thousand times. B-B-B-B-Bennie!
I don’t need to be recognized with presents. I just wanna go onstage and sing my song.
- Celine Dion
You can cage the singer but not the song.
- Harry Belafonte
Songs are funny things. They can slip across borders. Proliferate in prisons. Penetrate hard shells. I always believed that the right song at the right moment could change history.
- Pete Seeger
I just wrote one song at a time. Kinda like an alcoholic. One day at a time.
- Neil Young
The songs worked as a different kind of rhetoric, one that could reach the fence-sitters.
- Peter Yarrow
Song writing is about getting the demon out of me. It’s like being possessed. You try to go to sleep, but the song won’t let you. So you have to get up and make it into something, and then you’re allowed to sleep.
- John Lennon, 1940 – 1980
Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
A writer’s problem does not change. It is always how to write
truly and having found out what is true to project it in such
a way that it becomes part of the experience of the person who reads it.
I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?
Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how
justified, is not a crime.
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
About morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel
good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.
This made me think of my friend Azahar of Casa Az and Azahar’s Sevilla fame. She took and blogged about that little quiz “I Write Like” that’s so popular right now. Apparently she writes like Stephen King. I’ve always loved the way SK puts words together and the tone he achieves even if I don’t like the subject matter – and with Az I feel the same way except I generally like her subject matter. I’m all about food and cats. And technology.
Anyway, she’s good and always interesting to read. So much so that she was invited to do a guest piece about tapas for Travel Intelligence which I quite enjoyed. People who are going to Spain should read it and then call Azahar as soon as they step out of the plane. Or sooner. I’m plugging this because she is an undiscovered foreign food guide GEM whom I would look up and use the entire time I was in Seville if we ever go. Her services are EXACTLY what I would want to use when absorbing a foreign culture via my taste buds. I hope she builds a network of people who do what she does, and then I will travel around the world with the best food guides and experiences available.
Now that I’ve posted that, I hope she gives me a discount when we’re in Spain.