Saturday, January 19, 2019

Promiscuity and Fidelity


Given that so many millions of Americans (both heterosexual and same sexual individuals and the Supreme Court), worked diligently for and came together in a vast movement to finally bring the good legalization of marriage for gay individuals, it is puzzling, disturbing, disheartening, and contradictory that now
so many Americans are rejecting monogamy and fidelity,
rejecting marriage,
and, instead promoting,
defending,
and living in promiscuity.


Edna St. Vincent Millay, (a wondrous poet who could write about ideals powerfully
but who's private life was tragic, superficial and uncommitted like Earnest Hemingway, Diego Rivera,
and many other famous humans. The great Mexican muralist Rivera stated that sex is like pissing.)


True, billions of humans for many thousands of years have engaged in promiscuous behavior of various sorts, BUT in recent times, many humans have seen fidelity and monogamy as the ideal, what all people ought to seek.

Polygamy, one-night-stands, serial divorce, mistresses, pornography, prostitution, recreational sex, etc. have been rejected as immoral, unequal, unjust, and destructive.

Committed monogamy for many people replaced those unequal, unjust ways of history.

That is until the last 40-50 years.

Now many are celebrating promiscuity as a way of life, having multiple partners, talking about sex workers' "rights," even justifying one form of polygamy.

The Modern Un-Covenant

Bad rituals
Lost affection
Of disengaged couples
Uncoupling on
Rail lines that never join
The banal and travail
Not personal union
Instead venal
Scabbed and only
Repeating ing ing
Copping a plea
And blame
The feeling of deeply
Gone
Not populating
Only copulating
Waste
Both pissed
Urinal leavings
Not ultimate giving and receiving
Not the spurt and burst of life
Precious in the growing
But
Unwanted
Leaving
Not passion
Of the inner room
But passive ‘lost’
Coveted
Over and over
Skinned rituals on
Destructive routes
Repeating ing ing
Through the ‘mine’ field
Worn to the ‘marrow’
Rigor mortis
Climaxes


First pub. in The Cerebral Catalyst,
then repub. in Dead Snakes


This is a tragic reversal back to the unethical historic past when most humans rejected fidelity, and only a few humans actually lived in equal romantic monogamous relationships.

Which brings to mind the famous poem on romantic sexual love by Edna St. Vincent Millay:


Recuerdo

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable—
But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
We lay on a hill-top underneath the moon;
And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon.

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere;
And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold,
And the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold.

We were very tired, we were very merry,
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
We hailed, “Good morrow, mother!” to a shawl-covered head,
And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read;
And she wept, “God bless you!” for the apples and pears,
And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.

--

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!


Edna St. Vincent Millay, "Recuerdo" from Collected Poems. Copyright 1931, 8 1958 by Edna St. Vincent Millay and Norma Millay Ellis. Reprinted with the permission of Elizabeth Barnett, Literary Executor. All rights reserved.
Source: A Few Figs From Thistles (1922)

Tragically, Millay seldom lived those idealistic lines, but instead, (like so many American writers and artists of the early 20th century), engaged in rampant promiscuity.

To Millay (too late), and to all of the individuals and thinkers I've dialogged with, here's my own poetic response to the contradiction between some of Millay's romantic lines versus her rampant sexual infidelity:

On Losing Recuerdo

Remembrance
dissipated by rampant

Back and forth
Back and forth
Who said the sad truth
Our allusions are truer than true
Illusions, yes?

Back and forth, ritual rote lust

Millay so trothed to us
In Recuerdo love’s truth
Only to show and live in her life
Lust’s crusty lie, lying with every
Tom, harry, and dick
And not so merry’s too.

She burned her lifeline at both ends
A taper betwixt noxious flames
She lay, lay, lay New York,
Lay down on a steeple-top
Under neath her generation’s
Gin-jazzy, faithless moon.

How slow-slug tiring her girlish
Fetish for a boy poet Dillon
Not Thomas nor Bob,
But oh so tight drunk
And so loose
Wide her marriage
Eugenic barrenness aborted;

All so fair-less—her life’s subway,
Money given for less,
No lesson in her dissipation

And that sky dripped, slime
A thicket-full of yellow
And an apple vomit ate
In this garden gone to rot

Who gives a fig for these
Her thistle, Pulitzering
Gemmed Lines
Caught in the snout of a swine'd life


CHOOSE the romantic love of Recuerdo, not its opposite, Losing.

For in the midst of many seeking to marry, to find one other person to commit to in romantic love and caring and fidelity,
there are so many millions of others who brag about,
promote, and live in
infidelity.


CHOOSE FIDELITY INSTEAD.

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox



Thursday, January 17, 2019

Are Those Opposing Us Corrupt, Vicious, even Vile?


Intensely Popular at present in American politics (as unwell as elsewhere) is the demeaning and name-calling of individuals on the other side. Each side makes extremely negative statements against the character and worth of persons of the opposition, those blanketyblanks----fill in the blanks from the daily news.

For instance, President Trump gives negative names to his opponents, "Crooked Hilary," Wacky and Deranged,” “a crazed, crying lowlife” and comparing another to a “dog.”

And individuals on the other side return the disfavor: Trump is "dumb, "an idiot surrounded by clowns," and so forth. Just read the daily news accounts.

Hmm...I doubt that most leaders on either side of the current huge chasm in American politics between Republicans versus Democrats (or Christians versus Atheists, or of whatever other stripes) are themselves bad individuals, nefarious, destructive, etc.

But here's a few snippets from the media:
Against Trump: "...corrupt politicians deserve no love. They inflict greater harm, death and destruction than any one person calling them a ________[twisted obscenity] will do to them.
Civility is for those who live in a fairy tale dream that somehow you can hope the tyrannical evil will suddenly grow some empathy. It won’t work.
Call him a _________. He deserves worse but will likely get less.
Jesus can love him all he wants. The rest of us can energize righteous anger and use it to oust him and any other mad tyrants who think they can trample on the constitution and the people it’s written to protect."

Against Democrats:
"You don't hand matches to an arsonist, and you don't give power to an angry left-wing mob. Democrats have become too EXTREME and TOO DANGEROUS to govern," Trump tweeted, "Republicans believe in the rule of law - not the rule of the mob. VOTE REPUBLICAN!"

BUT, what we need to do instead is condemn actions, NOT attack the worth or intent of humans in opposition to what we think is true, good, and right.

Most humans of the historic past--creedal Christians including the ones who slaughtered millions in the Great War (First W.I) the U.S. and British Civil Wars, the 30 Years War, French and German Religious Wars, etc., most orthodox Muslim jihadists in the past and now, many doctrinaire communists, most Napoleonic soldiers, etc. weren't corrupt, vicious, or vile.

On the contrary, most true believers of whatever religion or ideology tend to be almost exactly like all of us! As I recall that was one of the central points of Eric Hoffer's famous book on the true believer.

When I stayed with a Muslim family in Nablus, Palestine, they were very generous, kind, and considerate.
Ditto for the Jewish people on the kibbutz where I worked,
and ditto for the Christian Baptist leader from Jerusalem with whom I spoke,
YET they all were involved in the intentional slaughter of each other because of their religion.

Even some Jewish secularists and Palestinian secularists were in favor of intentionally killing civilians.

Most humans aren't vile. It's their dedication to nation and ideology or religion that is.

Yes, there are sociopaths. When I worked in a mental hospital, I worked with at least one.

But generally most of the evil in history and now comes about because normal, somewhat civilized, humans go to war for their evil beliefs, and abuse, oppress, and slaughter millions in the process.

The most evil in American history (and German, and British, and Russian, etc.), for instance, came from conscientious, dutiful, honorable humans doing their best to serve their nation.:-(

Look at the horror in Syria, where all sorts of ideologies are battling each other--secular Arabs, orthodox Muslims, Shia, Sunni, Russian, American, Turkish, Kurdish, Iranian, Saudi, Gulf States, Israeli (secular Jews and orthodox Jews), etc.
have caused the death of 1/2 million people, the wounding of millions more, and the displacement/refugee status of many millions.

As wrong and destructive as Calvinism, Roman Catholicism, Islam, Marxism, Hinduism, Atheism, etc. are I doubt that the actual individuals who grow up in those horrific religions and ideologies are they themselves vile, evil in intent. Many of them really believe they are doing what is good and right.

One of the most fanatical creedal Christians I ever met was a very mild, courteous, kind individual who was an airplane steward. If he hadn't happily consigned billions of us other humans to eternal torture--without any sense of guilt or sadness--
I would have never guessed that he would hurt a mosquito.

Vile ideas, not usually vile people.

At least that is my experience and my view.

Remember the essential words of Martin Luther King:
"Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Thich Nhat Hanh (the Vietnamese Buddhist nominated for the Nobel Prize), Bayard Rustin, and many other moral leaders point out what leads to harm, division, and destruction among humans is the claim of each side to be the good, dutiful, patriotic, honorable side.

But when one side claims to their enemies that they are are the only ones who are tyrannical, corrupt, and they deserve no compassion, no civility, then they have become like those enemies that they condemn.

I saw this when I lived in Palestine-Israel (where both sides demean, harm, and attack the others). And one can read of this lack of civility in American history and world history.

There are many tragic examples from American and world history where both sides held to be righteous and treated the opposite side as not deserving civility, kindness, hope because they were so bad.

However as the Russian great writer wrote, good and evil aren't on opposite sides, but both run through every human heart.

It appears that President Donald Trump bullies, constantly lies, intentionally harms millions, defends a murderous regime, the Saudis, etc.

But it is probably that Trump honestly thinks he is doing what is best, what is good. At least about 80% of Evangelical Christians think he is God's man for this troubled hour!!

Attacking the President personally, calling him bad names, etc. isn't the answer to this time of crisis.

Instead, our moral answer needs to be a very detailed documentation of all immoral and unjust actions. We need to work to bring good change based in human rights, not curse others.

One of the first rules of debate is that no matter how unfair, unjust, even evil the other side's views are, speakers should never attack the opposing speakers' inherent human worth. To do so is a denial of human rights.

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

Thursday, January 10, 2019

AGAINST the 400-Year Anniversary of the Canons of Dort


AGAINST the 400-year-old Anniversary of the Canons of Dort
OR
my gramma’s beheading like the results of dort


my gramma grabbed that hatchet
and the white pullet
then wack,
that bloody spurt or naught

that chicken head lay dead edged
in my 5-year eyes while that
silent squawking chicken’s body
(not elected for that select coop on the upper ledge
behind their barn)

ran circling 5 points round and round, by golly,
in its danced death-exit
ever present in my memory's
brained thought
round the years--
400 including its 30 Years War--

of distress and despair caused by those Christian ‘apopletics,’
against the remonstrants
by those calvinist 5 sin’ods of dort,
heartless
those canons who beheaded van oldenbarnevelt

--
For those who don’t like analogies and word-play poetry, in plain prose here’s the ethical points:
THEOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY AND IDEOLOGY
have
CONSEQUENCES,
often HORRIFIC,
causing
INJUSTICE,
INEQUALITY,
DESTRUCTION
and
DEATH.


Choose instead the Enlightenment of Reason, Justice and Compassion,

Daniel Wilcox

If NOT putting itself First, What Is One of the Central Purposes of a Nation?


One of the central purposes of a nation is
BE A BLESSING TO OTHERS, ESPECIALLY THOSE IMPOVERISHED,
PERSECUTED,
OPPRESSED,
MISTREATED...
A nation exists NOT to put itself FIRST contrary to what President Trump claims.

A nation can protect its citizens without building huge walls,
without demonizing refugees,
without
being
self-centered.



In the Light of compassion, generosity, hope, and help,

Daniel Wilcox

Friday, January 4, 2019