November 4th, 2004

abstract butterfly

a few words on expanding

"Every dogma, every philosophic or theological creed, was at its inception a statement in terms of the intellect of a certain inner experience"--Felix Adler

I think that weblogs teach me that people are far more emotional than I ever imagined. I knew that they were more emotional than my own tepid, rather pedestrian bundle of emotions. But the more I read, the more I see just how complex and intriguing most folks really prove to be.

I've said my two or four or ha'penny about this current election cycle, but I almost regret saying anything at all. It's not that my views are not heart-felt. It's not that there's anything wrong with writing in a weblog one's politics, or living as if one's politics matter.

It's just that in the long run, I'd like to figure out how to expand my thinking to find ways for people to come together, and not be so divisive. I am not much for politicians' speeches, of either party, about "bridging" and "healing". I am in favor of actual bridging and healing.

I don't find anything wrong with strong emotions, expressed in cyberspace. I find something reaffirming in the self-publishing process. Without really changing my politics, though, I want to find an inner place I work to put forward the idea that we all should work for a place where people just get along better.

I think that lack of compassion is the real issue facing us all today. I do not think that's a left wing or right wing thing. I think it's an agenda without politics and without borders. I will still vote and take political positions, donate a nickel here, and write about politics once in a while here. But the real party I want to join is the party of compassion, which has no organized precincts, and will be running no candidates next November.
abstract butterfly

cyber effort, or the absurd made flesh, dwelling among folks

Today I went to the Dallas version of Craig's List to post an advertisement that I want to purchase used aquarium equipment. I wanted to take a small step to make a daydream come true. My semi-satirical yahoo message board, the Feeder Guppy Rescue League, is devoted to the notion that kids and adults benefit from
hobbies based not on consumerism and elitism, but instead based on simple effort leading to sophisticated thinking.

In order to make this idea begin to be "real", I am embarking on a talked-to-death project to locate rock-bottom-priced fish tanks, filters, stands and air pumps. I am going to assemble a few complete sets. Then I am going to donate the results to rural schools, ordinary kids or other worthy places.
I want to do this as a one-person show--no hassle, no worries, no trouble. My first ad, describing what I am up to, but also that I want to buy not beg for free things, has thus far gotten one response offering some peripherals. I'm optimistic. I want to keep this simple, effective, and make it happen. I am tired of talk.

I also intend to make it my mission to learn more about the grassroots things in my state and county. I want to learn how to argue for textbooks that give full education and not merely abstinence training to high schoolers. I want to learn how to insist that history and science be accurate. I want to be a gadfly for truth, if that's the best contribution I can make.

A childhood friend e mailed me today. I have not seen him in literally 30 years. He lives in Dallas now, has for 23 years. I had no idea. What a fun thing to hear from him again. I'll have to see if I can see him again, after all these years.