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sharpiefan
08-29-2017, 05:44 PM
Political Vampires (LINK) (https://almatcboykin.wordpress.com/2017/08/26/political-vampires/)


One of the hallmarks of Great Causes™ is that they leave no room for delight and wonder. Everything in life is about The Cause, and The Cause comes before anything else. Thus a scientist overseeing a project that successfully lands a space probe on a comet and takes samples and sends data back to Earth is not someone to be complimented or someone to celebrate with. Oh no, no, he must be excoriated because he’s wearing a shirt with a pattern of attractive young women and rockets on it, a bit like the old pulp sci-fi covers. Feminism and “not objectifying women” and “it must be harassment!!!” completely overrode what the man and his team actually accomplished, and he was forced to recant of the heinous sin of . . . wearing a shirt that a female friend and colleague had given him several years before. Because The Cause was more important than the accomplishment. It sucks the life out of everything not related to it.

I can all-too-easily imagine a group of frowning faces around a conference table looking at pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope or other telescopes and demanding to know, “How does this advance the Cause of [whatever]? Are there enough [whatevers] on the team? Could this image traumatize [whatevers]? Why is money being spent on star pictures when it could be spent on Advancing the Great Cause™?” and so on.

To which I say blargh. Killjoys. Sometimes a star is only a star. I write stories and love stories with a sense of wonder, with an intake of breath for the beauty of a moment, with amazement at something so neat as a full eclipse, with awe at the Milky Way stretching across the dark sky in midwinter, starlight blue on the snow.

Don’t let your cause kill that. Don’t ever let go of wonder, and laughter, for the sake of a cause. The world’s too serious to lose joy.

skuthorp
08-29-2017, 07:22 PM
Every one is looking for an angle. We are trashing our own potential every day.

CWSmith
08-29-2017, 07:41 PM
Second to our "conservative" shift in American society, I am most disappointed by the number of utterly trivial, small people making no measurable contribution to our world. Their actions are no more than a knee-jerk response to pre-programmed, simplistic banality.

I find I want to turn to the left and the right and shout "Grow up!"

skuthorp
08-29-2017, 09:08 PM
We are a small minded, petty, nasty, inconsequential tribe with some notable exceptions.
But evolution, climate change and our own stupidity will take care of that . Think like a rock.

sharpiefan
08-29-2017, 10:44 PM
We are a small minded, petty, nasty, inconsequential tribe with some notable exceptions.
But evolution, climate change and our own stupidity will take care of that . Think like a rock.

The Stone Cutter

There was once a stone cutter who was dissatisfied with himself and with his position in life.

One day he passed a wealthy merchant's house. Through the open gateway, he saw many fine possessions and important visitors. "How powerful that merchant must be!" thought the stone cutter. He became very envious and wished that he could be like the merchant.

To his great surprise, he suddenly became the merchant, enjoying more luxuries and power than he had ever imagined, but envied and detested by those less wealthy than himself. Soon a high official passed by, carried in a sedan chair, accompanied by attendants and escorted by soldiers beating gongs. Everyone, no matter how wealthy, had to bow low before the procession. "How powerful that official is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be a high official!"

Then he became the high official, carried everywhere in his embroidered sedan chair, feared and hated by the people all around. It was a hot summer day, so the official felt very uncomfortable in the sticky sedan chair. He looked up at the sun. It shone proudly in the sky, unaffected by his presence. "How powerful the sun is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be the sun!"

Then he became the sun, shining fiercely down on everyone, scorching the fields, cursed by the farmers and laborers. But a huge black cloud moved between him and the earth, so that his light could no longer shine on everything below. "How powerful that storm cloud is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be a cloud!"

Then he became the cloud, flooding the fields and villages, shouted at by everyone. But soon he found that he was being pushed away by some great force, and realized that it was the wind. "How powerful it is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be the wind!"

Then he became the wind, blowing tiles off the roofs of houses, uprooting trees, feared and hated by all below him. But after a while, he ran up against something that would not move, no matter how forcefully he blew against it - a huge, towering rock. "How powerful that rock is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be a rock!"

Then he became the rock, more powerful than anything else on earth. But as he stood there, he heard the sound of a hammer pounding a chisel into the hard surface, and felt himself being changed. "What could be more powerful than I, the rock?" he thought.

He looked down and saw far below him the figure of a stone cutter.

L.W. Baxter
08-29-2017, 10:50 PM
Enjoyed that tale.Y>