Monday, October 31, 2016

Falling in love

Eric Fromm reminds us that when we're falling in love, we're falling. Slip, splat. Or maybe a clumsy butt landing. Or maybe tumbling down endless stairs. Or maybe just a scraped knee. Or maybe right on our face. Or maybe we grab something and catch ourselves. There are lots of ways to fall in love.

The real test is what happens once we get up.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Saturday, October 29, 2016

A tiny speck

Face it. You are a tiny speck of sentient matter that is nothing more than a blip in the cosmic story.

So what makes you believe you have meaning, that you matter. Mark all items below that are relevant.

_____ My brain tells me that

_____ God's love

_____ Nothing

_____ A newborn child

_____ A good orgasm

_____ My creative life

_____ My spiritual yearnings

_____ I'm made up of the same things as the universe

_____My concern for all living things

_____I'm a narcissist

_____ I channel the life energy of the universe

_____My significant other told me they love me

_____I'm very very wealthy

_____I'm mentally ill

_____I read it online somewhere


Friday, October 28, 2016

Tired of...?

Tired of Kim Kardashian?  Look up Malala.

Tired of Michael Phelps? Look up Thor Heyerdahl

Tired of George Clooney? Look up Albert Schweitzer.

Tired of Commander McGarrett? Look up James Hathaway.

Tired of John Williams? Look up Dmitri Shostakovitch.

Tired of Thomas Kinkade? Look up Alexis Rockman.

Tired of Taylor Swift? Look up Nina Simone.

Tired of the cult of personality? Try the cult of achievement.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Art is not...

Art is not a hiding place.

Art is not a comfy couch.

Art is not a pasttime.

Art is not an adornment.

Art is not a fist bump.

Art is not a simple answer.

Art is not a pricey item.

Art is not a status symbol.

Art is not necessarily art.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


You go through your life stumbling and falling. But if you are attentive, you realize you've actually gained some wisdom. Now that you've got, you have to look around for people to inflict it on. The young don't want it. They want to stumble their way to their own wisdom. The old don't want it because they have their own already.

There's the dilemma. So what do you do? Blog!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sex talk

The mechanics of sex is evolutionary and hormone driven and can be mastered to any desired degree with study, practice and soft porn tutorials. The real issue is whether a healthy personal and cultural approach can be found to human sexuality and sexual behavior.

In our human history we have built into our world social constructs such as matriarchy/patriarchy, god and goddess symbols, women as slaves and property, mother/father roles, gender and power, gender equality, gender bending, homosexual lifestyle, marriage equality and other social readjustments that all have manifestations in sexual behavior.

But what if we look at human sexuality as driven by procreation, pleasure, power and love. What if we think of healthy human sexuality as achieving a balance of these four elements, which is personal for each individual yet viable as each individual acts as a sexual being in the community of others?

Every human being is unique in gender, genetics, biology and sexual orientation and in the way these elements are expressed in life behavior. Each human being will  function sexually based on a balance of love, power, procreation and pleasure, a balance that changes over a developing life.

What if these four aspects could be discussed in tandem as a means of developing healthy sexual behavior, and certainly in the context of person appropriate value systems? Approaching human sexuality this way puts the onus where it belongs—on the individual—to find a personal and responsible sexual life based on these four aspects and guided by whatever social, cultural and/or religious values that are helpful.

This approach removes the kind of hierarchy of sexual behavior that presents heterosexual behavior as normal and other behaviors as perverse. All sexual behavior then springs out of the balance of love, procreation, power and pleasure put into practice in the world.

Monday, October 24, 2016

My brain's muscles

You can’t see it, but my brain’s muscles are strong, ripped and agile. Many times a day I lift heavy thoughts and hold them up for long periods of time. My brain’s muscles are hard enough to punch through walls of ignorance and supple enough to glide their way through misleading arguments.

Sometimes my brain’s muscles flex and primp and show off, but mostly they are hidden beneath modest garb. They are working muscles, not muscles to be admired. They are not competing for anything. Just going about the business of staying active and staying healthy.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The easy solution

The easiest solution to most problems is self-delusion.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Thank you ART

Thank you ART for giving my imagination a place to play.

Thank you ART for helping me find awe in the world.

Thank you ART for helping me journey deep into myself.

Thank you ART for showing me glimmers of the sublime.

Thank you ART for bringing forth artists.

Thank you ART for letting me see the world as always new.

Thank you ART for teaching me about humanity through space and time.

Thank you ART for revealing the nature of nature.

Thank you ART for affirming beauty.

Thank you ART for teaching us to see.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Go shopping

Go shopping at the supermarket. When you do, pay attention to how many linear feet of display space are allotted to fresh fruits and vegetables compared to how many liner feet are allotted to snack food or soft drinks or alcohol.

Got to the drug store. When you do, pay attention to how many liner feet of display space are allotted to hair and makeup products compared to medicines.

Do this simple exercise whenever and wherever you shop.

When we shop, how much do we need compared to how much we are taught to desire?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Why would anyone want a real education anyway?

Think about it. Why would anyone want a real education anyway?

1.   You'd have to keep growing in an ever changing world.

2.   You'd have to have a curiosity that would constantly take you out of your comfort zone.

3.   Your major college sports teams would not consume most of your time.

4.   You'd have to approach the world as a critical thinker.

5.   You'd have to think about what it means to be human.

6.   You'd have to care about the world.

7.   You'd have to love learning.

8.   You'd have to search out and value wisdom.

9.   You'd have to be generous with what you learn.

10.  You'd have to respect the dignity of others.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

I want to live in TV world

I want to live in TV world because...

Everybody has sparkling white perfect teeth.

Every policewoman I encounter has ample breasts and visible cleavage.

I can always spot the good people because they are beautiful.

The men have a 2-day growth of beard and never ever have to shave again.

The good guys can kill with justification and without remorse.

Everything can be can be made okay with a good glass of scotch.

Having big muscles solves most problems.

Love is just a fairy tale experience.

Anything is possible in tight pants and high heel boots.

Only the children get older.

The law is always served by breaking the law.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What could be more important than Beyonce?

Your grandmother's faithful dog is more important than Beyonce.

The trash collectors are more important than Beyonce.The birds singing in the yard are more important than Beyonce.

The man who collects metal scrap is more important than Beyonce.

A healthy meal in a homeless shelter is more important than Beyonce.

Greeting a stranger is more important than Beyonce.

The beat cop is more important than Beyonce.

The soldier who won a Purple Heart is more important than Beyonce.

Child with a rash is more important than Beyonce.

Calling your mother is more important than Beyonce.

The drawing on the refrigerator is more important than Beyonce.

Your own daydreams are more important than Beyonce.

A box of Girl Scout cookies is more important than Beyonce.

A hug is more important than Beyonce.

Going out to vote is more important than Beyonce.

Singing your own song is more important than Beyonce.

Monday, October 17, 2016


Baptism is a sacramental and ritual washing away of original sin and entrance into the life of the Church.

But, to me, we need a new ritual of baptism, a baptism into the human race. We need a baptism which ritually confers on each child the dignity and integrity of being human and which requires from each parent the commitment of respect and defend this dignity and integrity.

Sunday, October 16, 2016


Joseph Campbell observed that women in their own nature are mythological. Men must take on symbolic garb—the chief, the warrior, the king—to achieve mythological status. The first period, the birth of a child, are powerful signs of womanhood, powerful enough for men to suppress and control women.  The newborn child is the birth of commitment and responsibility, a ritual in itself.

For the man, there is no such equivalent. This is why indigenous people create puberty rituals. The men of the tribe are taken apart, taught what manhood means in the culture and taught their responsibilities.

In contemporary American culture, we have no such rituals. How does a young man know he’s a man.  A first car, a first sexual encounter, a drunken binge, a football uniform, locker room talk? In the media, young men consume excessive image of the stud, the rebel, the sexual predator, the macho man, the rock star, the playboy, the heroes of easy sex.

But where is the dialogue of authentic manhood. The moral or ethical dimension? The responsible actions? The commitment to personal values?

We must begin to mean something different when we say, “Be a man”

Saturday, October 15, 2016


We are not born with capacity to love, but with the capacity to be loved.

If love were innate, the world would be a very different place.

Our life task is to learn to give out the love we were given.

Those who found love withheld face harder work, but likely sweeter rewards.

A Christian

Obviously it's much easier to say you're a Christian than to actually act like one. At the top of the shining mountain is union with Christ.

Sitting at the foot of the mountain, you're comfortable. You don't even have to look up.

But some are challenged by the climb. The rocks slip under their feet. The progress is slow. Looking back and looking up is confounding.

The reward at the top is crucifixion.

Still, even small mountains and small crucifixions are worth the effort.

Friday, October 14, 2016

What's the connection...

What's the connection between a pair of leopard skin stiletto heels and a bloodied child in Aleppo?

What's the connection between an in-ground swimming pool and 10 people living in a bombed out apartment building in Gaza?

What's the connection between a college frat party and a refugee camp?

What's the connection between a Starbuck's latte and a cup of water from a polluted river in Africa?

What's the connection between the corporate penthouse and the sweat shop in Bangladesh?

What's the connection between the third family car and the child bloated with malnutrition?

What's the connection between the pricy private school and the hostages of Boko Haram?

What's the connection between us and the word as it should be?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The pedestals are ready

The pedestals are ready. The marble and granite are polished. The base is strewn with flowers. The only question is who we should put on them.

Culture and media do that for us of course. Lift up the overpaid athletes and entertainers who model excess and triviality. We'll hear about their latest album or concert or injury or transgression and marvel at the significance of it. Put them up there so we can live out our daydreams and fantasies.

I looked on the pedestals for serious poets, artists, Nobel Prize winners, great humanitarians and I didn't find many. Of course, no fantasies there. Only hard work and serious engagement. Just dogged effort to make sense of the world and make it better.

So the Medal of Honor winners, the Teacher of the Year, the winner of the Pritzker Prize will all have to settle for their media minute. They are probably too busy to stand still on a pedestal anyway.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Some books you skim. That's enough. You get the idea, you enjoy the experience. You move on to the next book.

Other books you linger sometimes over certain passages. You slow down for a bit. The writing has an impact. There's pleasure in the reading. You move on.

Some books demand attention, with challenging passage after challenging passage.  The writing flings out ideas and images that stick. You don't want the book to end, and it won't. It'll stay with you.

Art can be read also. Some art is a passing experience. You move on to the next piece.

Some art slows you down and grabs you for a bit. Tries to plant itself with tepid auathority.

Great art takes ahold of you and won't let go. it's there for the ride. It's embedded.

A millenial gives the commencement address

First let me say that when I wrote my speech I did't use any commas. Talkin at ya Mr. James. I did use emoticons and I will use my own face during my talk for that.

Bro's, dudes, BBF's, dawgs and distinguished guests. Thank you for askin me here for this awesome occasion. I am super grateful and like honored to be here.

Our damned parents and other adult elders gave us the fucked up world. It's fucked up everywhere man. In fact it's like super fucked up.

But we a mind-blowing generation. We equipped with ipads and crazy ass technology. We invented flash mobs and stuff like that and we can fix the world so it's like really good for everybody.

So when you're at Starbucks with your super cinnamon ginger latte, ask yourself, once you get your 4 bedroom house, your SUV, your his and hers kayaks and your mind blowing 1.5 children thru private school what you can do to make the world awesome or even super awesome.

Gotta go dudes

Monday, October 10, 2016

Who invented love?

Nature invented sex, but who invented love?

Could love exist without a language to name it?

Which came first, God or love?

Did love evolve with the brain?

Did love evolve with sex?

Sunday, October 9, 2016

New Trump yard signs

As the end of the campaign draws near, here are some Trump yard signs you are likely to see soon.






Saturday, October 8, 2016

The mundane world

Is it possible to live an entire life in the mundane world? Eating, sleeping, gossiping, whining, being entertained, shopping, having sex, snacking, more shopping, working, worrying, vacationing, looking at screens, more shopping.

The mundane world is reality and its tasks are necessary. But there's a world of mystery right here that we don't see. The ancients knew it and acknowledged it. And it was not because they were more primitive than us. We've lost some of their wisdom, given it up.

When is the last time you stood deeply in awe of something? The densely speckled night sky? The potential of a newborn? An idea that exploded your reality?

How do you get there? Great art points you there? The edges of science are always mystery.

Once we find this mystery, we realize that it and its companion, the sacred, were always everywhere. We don't have to pray to God to come down to us. We find that God was always there, within reach, beyond dogma. We just had to open our eyes.

Friday, October 7, 2016


The human body has shown amazing capacities: heart transplants, organ transplants, genetic modifications, extreme endurance, resistance to diseases, deprivation, replacement limbs and faces and more. These are revealed as a result of both scientific research and human physical feats.

Once the body becomes the person, why is it so hard to acquire the capacities of love, generosity, tolerance, charity and kindness. What happens in that leap from body to personhood, from potential to actual?

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Cosmos of Love

The universe has no center
Nor does the cosmos of love
You can imagine yourself as center
Of the Big Bang’s legacy
Embraced by galaxies
And showered by starlight
A speck of giant significance

The cosmos of love is not so forgiving
You must create it around yourself
You must be the radiating sun
Spreading warmth equitably
You must believe your light
Is eternal, in waves of fire.