Being Reasonable vs. Being Imaginative, Carelessness vs. Simplicity, Lincecum No-Hitter, and Justice for Trayvon?


Ya get over one irritant only to have to deal with another…

I had just ended a nasty bout of Poison Oak infection when a friend, in all innocence and ill, gave me a ‘hello’ kiss last weekend; by bed-time, the Plague was having its way with me!

Oh, alright, not exactly the Plague thankfully but man, summer colds are no damn fun! There’s just something offensive to good taste to be ill when it’s 100 degrees outside and you’re huddled under the covers freezing and welcoming Death.

…Enough whining, the week was a good one despite feeling like crap, and not only for the radio interview I did on Wednesday, but generally because I love being alive and know that all things, yes, all things pass eventually, friends, and our role is to bear whatever takes place with dignity, tolerance and grace.

Yes, on Wednesday I had the good fortune to spend an hour on VoiceAmercia’s The Dating Revolution Radio Show with Heather Jones. We had a lovely time and Heather and I explored a great many themes in and about my book, How High Should I Jump. Sick, tired and pumped on caffeine, and though after reviewing the interview I saw where my sick and clouded mind missed a few opportunities to tie things together in those ‘ah ha!’ moments, still, I’m proud of myself for muscling through and at least giving my best effort.

Take a listen to the archived show at your leisure and see how I did:

Wow, some very strong emails this week, demanding I address their points at the expense of, as Marilyn D writes, “…the rest of the gossip in your blog.”

Uh, not sure if it’s ALL gossip, Marilyn, but as to your question, let’s see if I’m up to the task:

“… but the one comment you made and I just can’t let it go was your ripping on people being reasonable. Um, hello! Isn’t that what we’re Taught, Mister Genius? Isn’t being “unreasonable” a mark of defiance, stubbornness and even stupidity? And since when is poetry something purely emotional? It takes me days to craft a poem, something I work over until every word, no, every letter is exactly perfect. MY work has been published in numerous small press anthologies and reviews, so you’re telling me these experts are wrong and should be looking for just emotional poems or whatever? I go to your blog to find thoughts and ideas you never find elsewhere, but this reason versus emotion stuff, uh, you’re losing readers.”

Hmm, lots there to chew on, Marilyn, and you might find me in a more lofty, even softer mood on a better day but I don’t feel so soaring -or patient for that matter- so here goes:

You are mind-fucked by Dualistic Thinking, Marilyn, meaning you’re trapped in your either/or mental paradigm. You’re not alone, either, hell, so many people today want everything to conform to one way or the other, but that’s mental laziness, as there are so many ‘shades of grey’ which modify, by adding the concept of possibility, and change the black/white, right/wrong dynamic.

You talk poetry? Don’t listen to me, then, take Plato as a decent source: “A man sound in mind knocks in vain at the Doors of Poetry.” Indeed, some things are denied the Reasonable Man, or the person who takes their emotional and creative cues from others. Really, and as Seneca tells us, “Only a mind that is deeply stirred can utter something noble and beyond the power of others.”

In other words, you can’t just produce lasting art, say, by being reasonable and sensible. Can’t happen, the doors won’t open. You gotta go beyond the Status Quo of Received Mass Ideas and fly away, Marilyn, on your own, with the firm foundation of Classical Western Principles to return to, in my view. Oh yeah, you develop a Classical understanding as your foundation and you can enter any field at any time, but more, when those rare and precious Creative Moments are upon you, you’ll actually have something to say, rather than just poorly parroting the words and thoughts of other Adrift and Isolated Modern Poets.

Fuck being reasonable! Reason is a set of chains on your Imagination, that precious gift to you from Creator. Stop trying to plot out, to think out your life, and let go! Free yourself from the tyranny of Having To Make Sense, especially in your poetry, cuz, sometimes, Marilyn, it’s fucking sweet to be mad!

Got a relative acting like a fool lately, which really is nobody’s business, right? unless and in her case, she drags the whole family into the sordid affair. I’ll spare you the details but let’s just say one of my people is convinced that she doesn’t want a traditional lifestyle of work, home, family saving for a future and all that mundacity, and has taken what she feels is the ‘opposite course’: to be negligent about everything, and lately, I mean everything!

This developing trait reached a boiling point when she recently decided to throw a house party and open the doors to the world, benignly inviting one and all to come party ‘without limits or rules’. OK, sounds good on paper, as a theory, and it sounded good to the many who responded to her mis-guided generosity, but when she finally came to her senses the following day, the house -one essentially given to her- had been almost destroyed: doors were taken off the hinges and tossed into the spontaneous backyard bonfire/barbecue of various household items and, along with the flood of people and vehicles raging dangerously up and down the quiet street, eventually the police shut it down. The thugs had come and taken nearly everything of value, her ‘friends’ had mysteriously deserted her (why, how odd!), her house and property looted and/or destroyed, and yet, she was in a defiant, unrepentant and even righteous mood, feeling she had done nothing wrong and only ‘followed her feelings.’

(I know, I had just said ‘it’s sweet to be mad’ and all my anti-reason harangue, but the idea, as I’ve said before, is not either/or, one or the other, reasonableness vs. being out of control, but a healthy balance between these extremes…)

This is a woman who looks up to me –imagine that– so after I got word, I called and we spoke; hey, I was a rebellious ignoramus myself not too long ago, so believe me, I felt I understood where she was coming from. Still, she needed to be called on the carpet, and after I’d listened to her litany of excuses and blame-gaming without ever accepting responsibility for what she had done, I finally cut her off, disgusted.

“You just stood there and let those punks destroy everything?”

“I don’t care about stupid things and property, I want to live free of material things and live a simple life!”

My opening, a theme I am quite familiar with. “Now, wait a minute, being simple does not mean being careless. Being simple, living simply means you don’t adorn yourself with useless or extravagant items, and yes, it means not being attached to material things BUT it also means being respectful of and to the things you do have and those that have been given to you, out of the love, kindness and effort of others, who you clearly didn’t consider when you allowed everything to happen. Look, I get it, you’re trying to live a certain alternative lifestyle and show everybody how cool and elevated you are by not getting upset that these thugs took and destroyed your possessions, but now, all your electronics are gone, you have almost no doors left on your house, and you think that’s being simple? That is being a fool!”

Took awhile but I think she finally accepted what I was saying; we’ll see how much good this did for her, but in many ways I empathize. In this society ruled by ‘how much you got’, I, too, once shared a Disdain of Things and Those Intent Upon Them, but, and as I said to her, you need to balance (see above) this desire to be free with the healthy respect for the value and necessity of Things, cuz now, Sister, you lost your shit and you suddenly find you need it, so being careless is not the better road to being free, but being careful and attentive to what you do have while not lusting and desiring after the things of others will make you free…er!

Whew! After flat suffering the last couple weeks with one Giant‘s loss after another, not only have we righted the ship lately but last night, Tim Lincecum recorded his first No Hit ballgame. For those who understand its significance, not much I can say will add to the picture, but for those not so interested, a no-hitter represents not only a pitcher’s but an entire team’s best effort: the pitcher has to do his part, the defense has to make sure nothing gets through them and there are no errors, and the offense has to come through and score a couple runs, a balanced trifecta my Giants have been unable to perform this season.

But not last night, no, last night was magic and I couldn’t be happier for Lincecum. A great talent early in his career, a 2-time Cy Young winner and 2-time World Series Champ, Lincecum has been figured out by and large in the last couple years and teams have consistently hit him hard. It was looking as if he had become, by all accounts, a mere shadow of himself, so it was heart-warming to see his resurgence, especially on a night when the whole world was poised and anxious over the George Zimmerman non-guilty verdict and what it might portend in our urban ghettos.

By the way, I see no winners and plenty of guilt to go around in this weird and sad case:

Zimmerman was a wannabe cop clearly agitated over the rise in crime in his little sphere of influence and clearly going far beyond his authority; Martin was a seasoned thug in excellent shape with a penchant for MMA-styled ‘rolling’ and not the innocent little boy portrayed by many; our federal government and the media, with CNN leading the charge, shamelessly conspired to whip the public into a froth, where no froth existed; Martin defenders who absolutely would not let facts get in the way of their prejudices; Zimmerman defenders who saw him as a Buford Pusser-type Everyman Hero who clearly wasn’t; and the bevy of race-baiters and vigilantes sitting on the sidelines hoping for the worst and plotting wide-spread chaos, which as yet has not erupted as they’d hoped, though it is still early in the process.

No, no winners here, only assholes with agendas and a heart-broken mother and father left to pick up the pieces after the media storm dies down, as it soon will. No, I care not a shit for anyone but the parents of the kid who died; their grief and rage is both felt and understood, and I can’t think of any words which may soothe, but for those itching to make hay from this verdict, from whatever side of the fence you’re on, violence always backfires and violence is ALWAYS wrong.

Zimmerman will be watching his back the remainder of his life -however long that may be- the race-baiters/vigilantes will soon find another ‘project victim’ to get outraged over, and meanwhile, everyone wonders if our Justice System is broken irreparably. I, for one, have no such concerns, for it occurs to me that, as Thracymachus so eloquently stated in his reply to the Old Man, “Justice, dear Socrates, is the interest of the strongest.”

Was Justice then served in this case? Like it or not, it appears it has…

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