Monthly Archives: March 2008

Oh please don't let my kids read this

As if they needed any more excuses for the state of their living quarters…

The neat room is a dangerous illusion, as history is de facto continuously pointing out to society at large via various financial, political, religious and activist groups of righteous room cleaners and organizers of the human race in general, but we in the developed world never seem to learn, because we insist on trying to get all our kids to clean all their rooms, thereby instilling in them the erroneous belief (as with most beliefs) not only that it should be done, but that it can be done. “A place for everything and everything in its place” is the most inimical and least natural thing I’ve ever heard, it is the seed of tyranny. Il Duce had that embroidered on his underwear. This is where it gets insidious, or is it invidious… My dictionary is around here somewhere… In this corner I think, at the bottom of that stack under the lantern… Used to be with my thesaurus, which because of this pile of hats I just moved to– hey this is interesting, I don’t think I’ve ever read this, didn’t know I had it, it’s in the neopile– discovery is a wonderful thing.

Shelves, for example, and drawers and their desks or whatever, impart the chronic and tragic misapprehension that our own thoughts, hence our creativity, are organized in such a way, when creativity clearly indicates otherwise (as evidenced by its loss through education). This has led for example to all the terrible poetry etc. we’ve had to endure down the ages, in amounts far exceeding the sublime bits that survive less and less each year, that came straight out of one wild room or another, created by the diminishing defenders of domestic wilderness.

Neatness interferes, whereas wilderness prevents senility, ever honing the mind to new sharpness. You think Einstein had a neat mind? DaVinci’s was a mess; Beethoven, forget it. Creativity is anarchic, unpredictable and cannot be summoned, as can the devil of neatness. No discovery in the room, no discovery in the resident. That’s a paraphrase of a Frost quote I’ve got in a book right about there, under the beeswax candles in one of those boxes in the corner, under the sweaters. Being one with the wilderness, like Tarzan or Geronimo, I know where all the vines, hideouts and escape routes are (there’s a river in that direction, there’s a butte over there, a canyon beyond etc.), which is quite enough to be getting on with. One only needs so much knowledge of where key things are; the rest is clutter.

My room has been purposely kept wild because at least some places on earth should be kept free of human interference, maintained as reverential venues where the primordial can still be experienced (such places are disappearing by the day). What greater insight can be gained in this modern world than by daily reminders of our primal origins, leading to fundamental understanding of what is truly possible? A room in its essence is our one clear chance at letting the world run free, insofar as this can be done in an enclosed space for which you’re paying rent, mortgage, maintenance, depreciation or whatever, paid for via time spent in a painfully neat office, so why waste what may be one’s only opportunity to experience the primordial on a regular basis?

Crossing boundaries

“Trickster is a boundary-crosser. Every group has its edge, its sense of in and out, and trickster is always there, at the gates of the city and the gates of life, making sure there is commerce. He also attends the internal boundaries by which groups articulate their social life. We constantly distinguish — right and wrong, sacred and profane, clean and dirty, male and female, young and old, living and dead — and in every case trickster will cross the line and confuse the distinction. Trickster is the creative idiot, therefore, the wise fool, the grey-haired baby, the crossdresser, the speaker of sacred profanities. Where someone’s sense of honorable behavior has left him unable to act, trickster will appear to suggest an amoral action, something right/wrong that will get life going again. ztrickster is the mythic embodiment of ambiguity and ambivalence, doubleness and duplicity, contradiction and paradox.

That trickster is a boundary-crosser is the standard line… there are also cases in which trickster creates a boundary, or brings to the surface a distinction previously hidden from sight. In several mythologies, for example, the gods lived on earth until something trickster did caused them to rise into heaven. Trickster is thus the author of the great distance between heaven and earth; when he becomes the messenger of the gods it’s as if he has been enlisted to solve a problem he himself created. In a case like that, boundary creation and boundary crossing are related to one another, and the best way to describe trickster is to say simply that the boundary is where he will be found — sometimes drawing the line, sometimes crossing it, sometimes erasing or moving it, but always there, the god of the threshold in all its forms.” — Lewis Hyde, Trickster Makes This World

I wonder how many of the boundaries we face are really the creation of Trickster. I find myself looking at the times I have crossed known boundaries and found myself entangled in a mess, but gained from it so profoundly. Perhaps Trickster does create our world, our thoughts, our illusions of separation from others. I’ve learned to respect the boundaries others create and observe them, but I am always questioning my own, wondering if they are something I still need or is it time to erase them, change the lines, move them around a little or get rid of them completely.

I guess I’ve absorbed enough of the Trickster to keep my personal growth constantly moving, and now find myself pressing once again on the boundaries around me. And I wonder where Trickster will next show up in my own life….

My home is functionally obsolete, too!

Dear City of Poway,

Since I’ve customized my home to my own personal needs and added many features other people might not enjoy, I think my home is just as functionally obsolete as Larry Ellison’s. Please reduce my property taxes immediately!



Good grief, what a tard this man is.

$3 million tax cut on Larry Ellison’s estate

Larry Ellison, ranked 12th on the Forbes 500 list with a net worth of $25 billion, has bagged a $3 million tax break after arguing that his flamboyant Japanese-style estate in Woodside is functionally obsolete.
The chief executive officer of software giant Oracle Corp. will be paid from San Mateo County property taxes collected this year, which otherwise would have gone to schools, the county general fund and cities, among other things, Deputy Controller Kanchan Charan said. The hit to schools alone will be nearly $1.4 million.
Ellison’s Octopus Holdings LP acquired the 23-acre site in May 1995 for $12 million and spent nine years constructing the lavish property, modeled on a Japanese emperor’s 16th century country residence, according to the San Mateo assessment appeals board.
It consists of a nearly 8,000-square-foot main house with two wings, a guest home, three cottages and a gymnasium as well as a 5-acre man-made lake, two waterfalls and two bridges. Hundreds of mature cherry, maple and other trees were planted among nearly 1,000 redwoods, pines and oaks.

It's a good day for llamas!

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Cracking Up

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Antarctic shelf ‘hangs by thread’

A chunk of ice the size of the Isle of Man has started to break away from Antarctica in what scientists say is further evidence of a warming climate.

Satellite images suggest that part of the ice shelf is disintegrating, and will soon crumble away.

The Wilkins Ice Shelf has been stable for most of the last century, but began retreating in the 1990s.

Six ice shelves in the same part of the continent have already been lost, says the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

Professor David Vaughan of BAS said: “Wilkins is the largest ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula yet to be threatened.

“I didn’t expect to see things happen this quickly. The ice shelf is hanging by a thread – we’ll know in the next few days or weeks what its fate will be.”

Perception (repost)

Jue. To perceive, to feel. Tao has to be known with the entire self, not through words.

What does one do in the face of the most fundamental flux in existence that is Tao? Well, you could either stand in one place and let it go all through you, or you could take advantage of your volition and try to act within the flux.

Some spiritual systems hold that a deity comes first. Therefore, they encourage obedience over perception – you have to know what the laws are, but you don’t have to know why. The ancients taught a different perception of reality. They felt that the cosmos was great, but impersonal. There was no chance to influence the workings of time and nature according to the wishful thinking of humans. Thus, the methods of Tao are not ones in which one tries to conform with what a Big Mother or a Big Father tells people to do. Instead, it studies ways to act wisely within a constantly shifting dynamic.

This makes perception paramount. One needs to become sensitive and experienced in operating within an always developing set of surroundings. What counts then is neither dogma nor obedience to some divine ruler. What counts is perceptive action within the all-encompassing flux of Tao.

Deng Ming-Dao, Everyday Tao


Perception is what causes so many problems between people in their lives. We all have our own perception of the world. I think what I gain most from studying Tao is an understanding that my perception of the world, of Tao, is limited. I can never know everything. I can do my best to understand, to see the world from as many viewpoints as I can, to try and study nature and learn how things work, and perhaps how I might work within them better, but my perception will always be limited. When I hear people trying to argue that they know best, that they have all the answers, who try to discredit the other side as “Unamerican” or “misguided” or whatever the buzzword of the day is, I smile a little.

But then I realize that others are being taken in by their words, and I wonder how we can reach out to those who are believing what they are told based on a party belief or a religious belief or whatever. Tao gives us tools, it gives us ways to reach out to others.

The shifting sands of time will move and change and this time of turmoil and strife will pass with it. But for now, we have to deal with where we are. Tao lets us stay calm and centered without letting the chaos of these times enter and affect our perception.

Find that quiet place within, and look for it in others. For those who lack it, try to gently guide them to it. Then, you can have a conversation. Without the anger, without the buzzwords, just talk gently about those things you find in common. That is where you can reach out to people.

Who do you need to talk with today? How can you reach out to them? Are you really trying to talk, or merely trying to force your viewpoint on them? And don’t forget to really listen.

Note to the kids

I have never in my entire life noticed what kind of jeans someone is wearing, and anyone whose opinion is worth caring about doesn’t notice or care what kind of jeans you’re wearing, either. If they fit you well and look good, that’s all that really matters. Anything else is just getting you to pay too much for something that isn’t worth it.

Note that this applies to handbags and shoes as well. I really don’t even notice them most of the time. I know as a woman I am supposed to somehow care about this stuff, but — I don’t. I’ve carried the same handbag for three years now and nobody has ever commented on the fact that it’s always the same bag, not even once.

Really — people don’t care about that stuff, unless they are fashion victims. Don’t be one. Your life will instantly become easier, simpler, and much, much less expensive.