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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

MEN AND OPINIONS

ellsworth Kelly

I woke this morning entertaining the question of how many centuries it will take for men to heal from several millennia of the male role being about war, killing and being killed. I've always disliked the song Onward Christian Soldiers. Marching as to war does not define the spiritual path for me. Yesterday I saw in some brief video an image of soldiers marching in a parade. Such images disturb me deeply. It tells a belief system I don't believe, can't believe, won't believe, and really don't like being subject to. I especially don't like our time now when our corporate government attacks poverty stricken, defenseless countries for the profits of oil corporations, jet fuel, ship fuel, automobile fuel, keeping the stock market going, then loses the war against people with no allies, using weapons taken from dead American soldiers. It's shameless, but it's how police state functions. The prophesy for our time has been fulfilled like a checklist up to the big war that will make survivors round the globe set the determination to be done with war. That's the day I have waited for all my life. I dread the war that gets us there, but like it's said, All's well that ends well. Maybe. I'm not so sure about that, but it sounds good. Its like saying the end justifies the means. Not necessarily. I take them both for self-serving self-justification. All these old bullshit beliefs about the glory of killing and the glory of being killed will fade into history with nationalism and patriarchy. I celebrate it because it's not far away. It doesn't mean the solution to all problems, but it's a solution to a major problem that creates millions of other problems in its wake.
 
 
alex katz
 
I project that men will heal from a culture of obedience training for men. I ask myself what is the problem with men up in years. It seems like their brains atrophy and they go nuts. But I don't think that's it. From childhood, a boy's mind is atrophied. Little man gotta grow up and be a big man, carry a gun, shoot people, get drunk on power over women and children, define any sensitivity to others feminine, thus unworthy of consideration. In the masculine mind as it has evolved unto today, the feminine is outside consideration, not a concern, stupid because women don't know nothin. Art comes under the feminine. It means paying attention to something besides the crosshairs. Shutting off the feminine ultimately shuts down feeling in oneself. In the soul, we have both, or neither, depending on how you want to look at it. To shut down the validity of half of one's self is ignorant to start with, dumb as hell to carry on and just plain stupid to live with. A man gets up toward 70 and a lifetime of believing in obedience over conscience makes an ideologue of the negative mind; hence, Faux News. I've had to tell a few of my friends over time, Rush Limbaugh is not information. Growing up in a world of boys becoming men, I learned at a certain point, late teens, that it is important to have opinions. I tried it. I've finally come to see that opinions are the same as nothing. Someone who used to be a friend made me so tired of his own opinions being fact and everyone else's opinions nonsense, that I called him one day on his superior attitude, which I'd learned many years before was a defensive mask. He turned, walked away and has had nothing to do with me since. I mentally pumped a fist in the air and said, Yes! It's been over two years and I've not missed him a minute of that time.
 
robert indiana
 
We were both of anti-war mind. I went to the 1968 march on Washington over Viet Nam, like it mattered. The next day I learned it did not matter. That event was the beginning and end of my involvement in anything political. He went to U of Tennessee and was involved in demonstrations there, his moment of glory placing a flower in a National Guardman's rifle barrel. I remembered seeing on the front page of the newspaper in that time a photo of a guy at U Tenn with the same color hair putting a flower in a rifle barrel during a demonstration. I've often wondered if that had been him ten years before I knew him. My figuring is it was the hip, cool thing to do and hundreds of flowers were put in rifle barrels. Hippies thought flowers were so cool. They are, but not used politically. His self definition is, "I'm a revolutionary." It was another moment in life of controlling my face so laughing my ass off inside doesn't show. Our "friendship" was much like the friendship between van Gogh and Gauguin. Watching the film, Lust For Life, with Kirk Douglas and Anthony Quinn, directed by Vincent Minnelli, 1956, I found van Gogh's issues with Gauguin's arrogance very much the same as mine with friend. His two songs are: Anything you can do I can do better, and Whatever it is I'm against it. I laughed seeing the relationship between van Gogh and Gauguin so familiar it was like a reenactment our story. His opinions of himself are quite out of line with what the people around him observe. As one who never learned to trust opinions, my experience knowing him so many years has trained me to give no value to any opinion. It doesn't mean I don't have opinions aplenty. It means I don't value them. I write opinions here, and I speak opinions talking with friends, but I don't believe them, don't hold them dear as Mine.
 
rufino tamayo
 
Isn't it curious: Mine as possessive, ownership, connected to self, and mine, a deep dark shaft with tunnels under the ground. I'm wondering if the cold dark mine makes an image to define the possessive mine. Among the first things we teach babies is "mine" and the next thing is "share." Does this mean I need a miner's lantern to go into what I mean when I say mine. I see a cd case for Santana I call mine, because I paid for it and I possess it. Is it that the idea of ownership mine could be a root system into my own psychic interior made of dark tunnels? I'm thinking that since they are the same word, there must be some connection. It's awfully easy to make a connection, which makes me suspect I'm bullshitting myself. However, I look at possessive mine the way a baby uses it, holding the blanket close to her heart, "Mine." Those roots go straight to the heart, encase it like a net. Then we grow up into the world of everybody having opinions, and the opinions I hold dear to my heart I call mine. A network of root-like shafts around my heart like a net around a glass ball. Much of our language comes from pre-logical times. whoever called a deep hole in the ground a mine might have seen inside self a deep dark place where memories of experience lurk. Yet, in other languages the words are not the same. For me, that settles it. I'll take it for two different approaches to the word as two separate words for reasons to be found in the evolution of language. Somebody can answer that question easily, like somebody can answer where the lightning comes from. Just a passing curiosity around the nature of the ego, which looks awfully much like a net around the heart.  
 
 
tony smith
 
 
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