Boom…

As you share and comment and play your role in the viral game, remember…

“Much of our media now are so image-rich and content-poor that they just serve to capture the eye, manipulate our emotions, and short-circuit our impulses. The propaganda and advertising industries therefore function increasingly like adult obedience industries. They instruct their audiences in how to feel and what to think, and increasing numbers of people seem to accept and follow the cues without question.”

Nancy Snow – Information War: American Propaganda, Free Speech and Opinion Control Since 9-11

“Our capacity as human beings for imagination and storytelling makes us exquisitely vulnerable to exploitation by those who understand the properties of ideological power.”

David Smail – Power, Interest and Psychology: Elements of a Social Materialist Understanding of Distress

“It is the same in all wars; the soldiers do the fighting, the journalists do the shouting, and no true patriot ever gets near a front-line trench, except on the briefest of propaganda-tours.”

George Orwell – Homage to Catalonia

“They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country. But in modern war, there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason.”

Ernest Hemingway

“Like generations before us, we’re going to keep it up. Because with confidence in our cause and faith in each other, we still believe that there is hardly anything we cannot do.”

Barack Obama and David Cameron – Washington Post

“We prefer to celebrate ourselves and our nation by imbibing the myths of glory, honour, patriotism, and heroism, words that in combat become empty and meaningless.”

Chris Hedges – Death of the Liberal Class

“You’ll never have a quiet world until you knock the patriotism out of the human race.”

George Bernard Shaw – Heartbreak House

“People who enjoy waving flags don’t deserve to have one.”

Banksy 

“The monarchy is finished. It was finished a while ago, but they’re still making the corpses dance.”

Sue Townsend

According to convention…

“According to convention, I am not simply what I am doing now. I am also what I have done, and my conventionally edited version of my past is made to seem almost more the real “me” than what I am at this moment. For what I am seems so fleeting and intangible, but what I was is fixed and final. It is the firm basis for predictions of what I will be in the future, and so it comes about that I am more closely identified with what no longer exists than with what actually is!”

Alan Watts

I recommend breathing…

I meditate. Not as much as I feel that I should. Some of my friends mock me for ‘breathing’ and tell me that I’ve changed (the latter is a good thing. I am, they tell me, much calmer and less sarcastic and outspoken these days. Calmer being, I think in my friends’ use, a synonym for boring. I’ll take that).  Dan Harmon, the writer of Community and a hero of mine, declares that he takes “four deep four second breaths four times a day and it makes me better than you so eat it.” I wouldn’t go as far as declaring that my attempts at meditation make me better than anyone, but it has certainly made me feel better and, more importantly, aware of the following…

“We could say that meditation doesn’t have a reason or doesn’t have a purpose. In this respect it’s unlike almost all other things we do except perhaps making music and dancing. When we make music we don’t do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.”

Alan Watts

Unusual experiment…

I haven’t been drinking, haven’t been in a bar, haven’t been at the Dingo, Dome nor Select. Haven’t seen anybody. Not going to see anybody. Trying unusual experiment of a writer writing. That will also probably turn out to be vanity.

Ernest Hemingway, letter to F Scott Fitzgerald

Plastic, asshole…

“We’re so self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. “Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.” And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. I’m tired of this shit. I’m tired of f-ing Earth Day. I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is that there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.

The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles … hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages … And we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet isn’t going anywhere. WE are!

We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Maybe a little Styrofoam … The planet’ll be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas.

The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed. And if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn’t share our prejudice toward plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, “Why are we here?”

Plastic… asshole.”

George Carlin

Orange peel…

“But sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, ‘Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.’ So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there.”

Ernest Hemingway – A Moveable Feast

Don’t be afraid…

“If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”

Joseph Campbell