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Friday, January 17, 2014



Frequently, almost daily, on facebook I see people and organizations with agendas telling me to get angry because the ocean has become a sewer, because the bees are dying, because the trees that make oxygen are being mowed like grass, because we have been hoodwinked into accepting police state in place of democracy. As you know, it's an infinite list. I choose not to get angry. It's the same as cussing at the sky because I didn't get my way. A month or more ago, I resolved to pay less attention to the news and commentary, not as a New Year's resolution, but because I mean it. I hear the news now, but give it no more response than, "Of course." Stupid results from stupid decisions? Of course. I saw "eco warrior" a little bit ago pressing for action to stop polluting the oceans. Like I can stop international corporations from doing anything, or I can stop Japan from shooting whales, or I can stop Florida from legalizing murder, or I can stop China from invading Tibet sixty-some years ago, or I can stop racism in Russia, or I can get democracy back in America. It's not even a matter of powerlessness. That's only perceived. That mind only takes my power when I give it my power. My power is my attention. I withdraw my mind from the false. First thing I do when I want to clear my life of false influences, the news is the most obvious first deletion. I'm not talking about not hearing the news. I mean hearing it with such dispassion I don't even laugh. I hear about another law made by our corporate supreme court, another nail in the lid of democracy's coffin, I receive it the same as hearing Silvio Berlusconi was caught in Italy partaking of the privileges of power.  
I mentally embrace Obama because the racists hate him so much. I can tolerate looking at a picture of him about as long as I can tolerate a picture of Dick Cheney, a nanosecond. It's not the news stories themselves or the individuals involved as much as it is the entire belief system they advertise and embody. I'm not of that mind, so why pay attention to it? Why get angry about it? There is never anything in the realm of "the media" that is from happy instead of sorrow. When they do happy, it's false, like Duck Dynasty. I've been questioning myself over the last months for giving attention to the world of mass manipulation by way of media, even just watching it from afar. I can't realistically want anything for the world at large. I can be one of many praying for peace, which I believe works. It's just that the train is so long it takes a very long time for a habit of mind that goes all the way back to pre-civilization to slow its momentum toward stopping some time in the unforeseeable future. The world that the world of media focuses on is not my world. It is a members-only mind that I don't want to be a part of. It's about money, greed, power and the rest of the "seven deadly sins." By which I mean it is simply false, all of it. I don't care to have people like that in my own immediate world of people I know and interact with. So why should I pay attention to them because they have a spot in national news? It's only the false people media pays attention to. I am not attracted to people I think of as climbers, always wanting more money, groveling for it, kissing ass up the ladder. I stay away from those people in my everyday life, so why give the ones on the news my attention? Their world is not my world.
An image I saw a week or so ago stays with me symbolic of the false that is the whole media circus. American television pop star basketball egomaniac, Dennis Rodman, drunk, sings Happy Birthday to Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who watches with contempt in his eyes. Nothing but fakery going on. What can I do? What's the point of even having an opinion? Opinions are as nothing as a dream of sugarplum fairies. The best I know to do when I see something like Rodman and Un is laugh and let it go. Beavis and Butthead. A cartoon in everyday life. Dysfunctional people famous for their dysfunction. What do I care? I know someone who puts up links on facebook, several a day, to every sorrowful cause in the world. I think she must google something like sorrowful causes. I knew plenty of sorrow was going around the earth, but nothing like the catalog she's found. Girls and circumcision in Africa, Walmart sweatshops in Asia, are only the most obvious ones to come to mind. How righteous it has become to be for gay marriage; now, for raising the minimum wage; next, for marijuana legalization. It's like the Fifties beatnik slang, Be there or be square, forefingers of both hands indicating a square. If you're not into legalizing this month's pop cause, you're nowhere, definitely uncool. Where did that come from? This pop zeal for getting everybody to think alike. It's new in American conformity. Now evil is being attributed to racists. Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty cannot hold my attention for a minute on his tv show or on the news. What do I care what he said? What do I care what's the latest you-gotta-or-you're-square belief? That's for the people who voluntarily want to pay attention. Whatever it's form of media, it comes with an on/off switch. I have a choice. I don't have to turn it on. My car has an excellent motor I would rather listen to than anything available on the radio, unless Diane Rehm is interviewing Ralph Stanley again.  I listen to the monitor kerosene heater's fan at home. It sounds like crickets in the distance. Or maybe it's the field of crickets between my ears.
None of that is my world. My world is the people I know, the people I interact with, people I see in passing, Whitehead, the grocery store, coffee shop, drugstore, highways and the county line for the outside boundary. That line defines my world. My part of that world is Waterfall Road. In my world, I was driving a tenth of a mile from the house and saw a red-tail hawk cross the road in front of me, sailing like an arrow, as they do. This particular red-tail is Justin's hunting friend. It visits him when he is in his deer stand. It will glide to a branch unnaturally close to him, and sit. He said within a few minutes a deer would walk into his arena. The hawk sat on the branch and watched him shoot the deer. It did not fly away. This has happened so many times with Justin that he has come to see the hawk his hunting companion. The hawk sits on the telephone wire that spans the donkey meadow, scanning for mice. The donkeys and the calf graze the hay, their shadows on the ground beside them. A family of red squirrels live in a white pine behind the house, away from the birdfeeders. The red squirrels use one feeder and a family of gray squirrels from the woods across the road go to the other. They evidently have an agreement worked out. The squirrels crawl around the squirrel guards. The guards only stop the chipmunks. If they could get into the bird feeders, that would be it. The squirrels don't monopolize the feeders. They allow the birds some too. I throw a good bit on the ground to occupy the squirrels so they don't need the feeders. This is my peaceable kingdom. This is my world. I'm at peace with everyone I know inside myself. I don't need that world of mass manipulation to bring me down. The world that is my home has a lot of happy in it.   

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