Collusion

Collusion: (n) secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy

It is quite astounding–the number of corporations, politicians and even religionists in this world, who look on the entire scope of humanity as their own personal lab rats. I don’t know what causes someone to become so callous to the emotions and pain of another human being, to view them purely as a means to an end.

But when it happens–when that broach is made–evil appears. I know we like to put evil in a devil’s costume and attribute it to forces beyond our control, but evil always arrives when human beings think themselves superior and collude to hurt other fellow Earthlings.

Sometimes the cause may seem noble, or at least patriotic. Usually it involves the potential of an influx of cash.

But the underlying reason for the collusion is always some sort of great desire to feel more powerful and worthy by denigrating perceived lessers.

Although collusion is very much in the news, we must not tie the word to one investigation or scandal. We must check our own hearts.

Who are we trying to cheat, lie to, leave out, cut off and reject, simply because we want to be able to go into a room with our friends and celebrate our triumph?

 

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Chopper

Chopper: (n) a helicopter.

Knowing that my brain, like most human brains, has selective memory, and that triggers installed for certain sounds, words, or even smells, I can tell you of a truth that the word “chopper”–and the vision of one–for me conjures memories of Vietnam.

I don’t know why.

Maybe it’s because I came of age during the height of the conflict, came upon my eighteenth birthday and was eligible for the draft. Helicopters were prevalent in the nightly news, and made me think about that horrible war.

Today I call it horrible. When I was a teenager, I lived in a community that actually had its own chapter of the John Birch Society, and the violence in Southeast Asia was extolled as patriotic–our best avenue for stopping the spread of Communism.

So for me, it’s a chain of mental commands:

Chopper makes me think about Vietnam.

Vietnam makes me think about the protests.

The protests make me think about rock and roll.

Rock and roll conjures images of Woodstock.

Woodstock reminds me that I was living in a provincial village and was too frightened to go to the festival.

And being too frightened to go–as a young man, I was also always arguing with my family over a half-inch of hair over my ears, trying to rebel by listening to The Monkees.

I was no hero.

But as history moves forward, we realize that unfortunately there were no heroes during that era.

The government was corrupt, the hippies were imbalanced, the Vietnamese were crazed, violent and suicidal, the draft dodgers were relegated to the status of cowards as they drove their Volkswagen vans to Canada, and the soldiers who did go to war bled in a jungle that no one even cares one bamboo shoot about today.

So I guess when I see the word “chopper,” I think of lost causes, and I am alerted to spy them–and call them out before they generate guilt, graft … and graves.

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Bunting

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Bunting: (n) patriotic and festive decorations made from cloth or paper, usually in the form of draperies,

I was only eighteen years old, and I drove to Columbus, Ohio, to see President Nixon. He was passing through town.

I wasn’t a particularly political teen, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity–to see a President of the United States. It also gave me a chance to get off school so I decided to go.

The atmosphere was festive. They had a band from some high school, a female singer to do the national anthem, and hundreds and hundreds of feet of bunting–red, white and blue as far as the eye could see, draped over everything in sight.

From a distance it was very impressive. But being the curious type, I inched my way forward.

As I got closer, I realized that since it was a hot day, the band members had unlatched the top buttons of their uniforms and unfastened their hats, losing some of the magnificence of the visual.

So I moved a little closer.

In no time at all, I wiggled my way within twenty-five feet of the girl in the prom dress and the tiara, who was about to sing the national anthem. She was dripping with sweat–I assume from a combination of heat and nerves. She didn’t look nearly as lovely.

Somehow or another, perhaps because of my honest-looking face, they let me get all the way up to the stage, standing two feet away from the colorful bunting. I inspected it carefully and saw that it was held on by staples, scotch tape and was wrinkled in many places due to being put up in haste. It was not very attractive.

The backstage area, where the President was to come through to give his speech, smelled like sweat with a hint of alcohol. And because there were two or three dogs wagging their tails nearby, there was a whiff of the woof.

I thought to myself, the closer I got to the experience, the less impressive it was. I registered that deep in my soul.

For perhaps the whole secret to our journey on Earth is realizing that the closer people get to us, the more real and genuine it should be.

The bunting was put up in minutes to last for a few hours, to be ripped down and thrown away.

It is frighteningly symbolistic of our political system, and the way we sometimes regard the important values of our culture.

 

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Bowie Knife

Bowie knife: (n) a long knife with a blade double-edged at the point.

His name was Jim Bowie.Dictionary B

If he lived in your town, you would look at him as the guy who doesn’t have a job–always working a scheme, and you certainly wouldn’t want him dating your sister.

He probably wouldn’t even have made the pages of history had he not ended up in a little mission in San Antonio, Texas, called the Alamo. He arrived there defeated, rejected, running from the law and sick as a dog.

He was known for the big intimidating knife he carried–gaining a reputation by some lethal use.

Jim was with a bunch of other misfits who decided to make a stand in a poorly defended and somewhat meaningless piece of property. History has deemed this to be brave, but if you take a close look, it was just a bunch of macho stupidity. They could easily have fallen back, joined Sam Houston and been part of the victory instead of finding themselves burned up on a mass grave.

Sometimes I don’t know why Americans think that doing “bold maneuvers” is the definition of patriotic manliness. Discretion is not only the better part of valor, but it also enables you to do more things in life … so you’re known for something other than dying and carrying a big, bad-ass knife.

 

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Bayonet

Bayonet: (n) a swordlike stabbing blade that may be fixed to the muzzle of a rifleDictionary B

The healthiest gift to the human race is to constantly portray war in the most hellish terms possible.

When we forget that war is hell, we start looking for noble purposes for slaying our brothers and sisters. Sometimes it takes as much as twenty years of passing the peace for us to get thirsty once again for blood-soaked uniforms.

To me, this is the message of the bayonet.

When you talk about bombs, drone strikes or even bullets, you can literally distance yourself from the atrocity of tearing into the flesh of a human being like you’re a wild beast, dislodging entrails.

After all, that is the visual on a battlefield.

People don’t die easily–they must be killed. They must be torn from their vital organs. They are disemboweled.

When I imagine war and I see bombs dropping from airplanes, I have no awareness of such macabre dismemberment.

And when I see bullets flying from the air with bugles blaring the charge of the light infantry, I’m not imagining the decapitation and destruction of human flesh.

But a bayonet is a personal murdering weapon for the soldier who thinks he has found his fortune by being considered patriotic through massacre.

A bayonet must be inserted–twisted–until the blood flows freely, seeping life from the soul you have deemed your enemy.

So in a truly bizarre way, let me salute the bayonet.

It reminds us that war is killing.

It concludes that war is hell.

 

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Awash

Awash: (adj) containing large numbers or amounts of someone or something.dictionary with letter A

The debate about good and evil is both good and bad:

  • Good in the sense that we might actually begin to differentiate between things that work and things that don’t.
  • And certainly bad in the context that we bring out the more picky parts of our human character which make us belligerent instead of benevolent.

But I think it’s impossible to understand good until you realize that evil is simply stupidity that demands respect.

If we actually had the intelligence to declare our failures stupid, then we could walk away from them and allow them to be memories instead of little pieces of defensive tantrums which we sprout whenever it is suggested that we have failed to be excellent.

Right now our country is awash in stupidity. It is turning into evil because insightful human beings are not able to make fun of the ridiculous nature of the situation without coming across as mean or intolerant.

I guess I should provide you with a definition of stupidity: stupidity is any action or any philosophy that is anti-human.

So even things that we consider to be religious, righteous or patriotic are often just blatantly stupid because they’re contrary to the betterment of mankind.

You will find yourself awash with pressure from the society around you if you try to follow the mob. Since human beings are slightly bent toward self-destruction, they will occasionally come up with ways to snuff themselves while insisting that it’s just an issue of “freedom of choice.”

Be aware. Do not allow yourself to be overwhelmed.

If it seems to be anti-human and it does not increase the generosity of the human spirit but instead makes us self-centered or mean, you might just want to walk away from it.

And if you can’t tell the difference, just make sure you don’t sign too many petitions … that you will have to later explain to your grandchildren.

 

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Appropriate

dictionary with letter A

Appropriate (adj): suitable or proper in the circumstances

Yes, it is similar to those orange cones they set up around construction areas.

You find yourself driving along and you look up ahead, and suddenly traffic is backed up, and as you inch your way closer, you discover that someone has put up these orange cones to cordon off an area which is under repair–although it is not always obvious that such care is actually being given.

That’s the way I feel about our society.

Having lived for a while now, I have seen the social “orange cones” put up around certain issues to slow down the traffic of human progress and establish the fact that this subject or issue is “not appropriate” for either consideration or discussion.

When I was a kid it was divorce. “Good people” just didn’t get divorced. Matter of fact, if you were writing a play in that era, you could connote that a woman had loose character simply by stating that she was a divorcee. But eventually the orange cones were removed from the issue simply because so many people were participating in the practice.

In my teens, we were taught that the Vietnam War was patriotic. Orange cones were placed around the appropriate response, which was to show support for the endeavor. Anyone who considered it a worthless adventure was alienated.

Then, almost overnight, the orange cones were removed and it became appropriate to stand against the war and criticize U.S. involvement in Indochina.

It goes on and on.

I suppose there are those who consider the removal of all orange cones, offering a freeway in policy and thinking, to be the ideal way for human evolution to travel.

But it’s tricky business.

We do need some orange cones placed around a few issues–otherwise we will ignore the appropriate response necessary to grant each individual dignity.

I can think of two right off the bat:

  • Orange cones should be put around free will.

The minute we think we are victims of destiny, unable to change our circumstances, we lose the power of what it really means to be human.

  • And I think orange cones need to be placed around the sanctity of life in all its forms.

Otherwise we will make arbitrary decisions that certain members of the family of humankind are worthy of death and others should be lifted up on the shoulders of life.

What is appropriate?  Give people free will. And don’t kill.

How cool. It rhymes.

Free will and don’t kill.

Great orange cones for protecting something that is totally appropriate.

 

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