Tuesday, December 16

The Bizarre World of Gitmo.

When I read this article I thought it was from the satrical magazine The Onion but no, apprently it's um, for real-though I use the term loosely. Both sides in this surreal passion play are certifiable paranoid nut cases.

There has been much discussion since the Senate report on the CIA and their use of torture. There's been a lot of semantic dickering whether it's torture  or "enhanced interragationn techniques" but let's be honest-it's torture.

Interrgtion done correctly yields results, the experts know this. Under torture people will say anything, we all know this. But since this isn't about gaining intel why argue the point?
 
According to a recent poll Americans approve of it 2 to 1. Now let this sink in... a predominantly Christian Democrary approves of torturing people for what ever reasons, whether they are innocent or not. Why? Because those people killed some of our people so it's ok.We' re fucking furious and will make someone pay for it. Except that's exactly what those people think about us. Call it for what it is: revenge.

I'm going to go out on a moral limb here and suggest that torturing people for any reason is bad. I don't care how much you hate someone the karma on this one is major. In all the religious, philosophical and metaphysical writing I've read a cardinal rule shines through: Do unto others as you would have done to you. Coerceing your will on others is a big fat no-no. Humanity will never progress until we get this through our thick, fearful heads.

Don't give me that, "you're a softy on terrorism" bullshit. Retribution can come in many forms but this kind of sadistic evil yields nothing but more of it. If its ok for us to do it, why should it not be ok for them to do it? If it's depraved for the other guy to do it, why should we sink to their level? But remember what goes around comes around and we're next.

Sunday, December 14

The Art of Mindfulness


I just watched an story about Mindfulness on 60 Minutes. The reporter Anderson Cooper affected a kind of 'gee whiz, can this really work' attitude that reminded me that to Americans, the idea of quietly being in the moment is far out. There is nothing new age or nebulas about this concept. It is an ancient practice simply forgotten in the clutter of modern life and technology.

The story pushed the idea that mindfulness can transform our society and it can, but only if it is embraced as a way to get in touch with the present and not some health gimmick to increase your productivity.
Mindfulness can reduce stress, hospitals and doctors now regularly prescribe meditation for high blood pressure and heart patients. It can help those with mental illness, anger issues and addictions. It can benefit everyone.  
In the modern world we think we have to fill up every available moment using communication devices to constantly take in more information. For what reason? We end up communicating less with people around us as we busily check e-mail and cruise the internet.
What is mindfulness and how is it practiced? It is done thru meditation, by doing nothing. Doing nothing is an active practice where one focuses on being in the present moment, not zoning out and wasting time.
I challenge you to stop rolling your eyes to give mindfulness a try.It costs nothing and takes little time.
Put away your phone, etc. and go to a quiet place where you won't be disturbed. Start by sitting up comfortably with your back straight but not tensed. Sit cross legged, seiza (sitting on your legs Japanese style) or in a straight back chair with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands in your lap and close your eyes. Focus on your breathing or feeling your body at rest. Relax and breath in through your nose and out of your mouth. When thoughts start to distract you (and they will) just gently let them go by like a passing cloud and refocus on your breathe. Don't worry if you get distracted, it will lessen as you continue. Don't be judgmental about your success or failure, just keep at it. 

 practice this before you go to sleep or when you wake up  and you will see a change.

Sunday, November 2

Tough Enough to Grow Old?


I'm in my mid fifties and feeling the effects of aging more than ever. I see the little fatigues creep in as my body disintegrates at a glacial--pre climate change--pace. I feel the toll of sitting in a chair too long while writing, with stiff joints and lack of muscle tone. I can no longer do aikido like I used to and it makes me wistful.

At least I'm exercising my mind you might say, but that's going too. My memory is like waiting at an airport  luggage carousel as I search to remember the name of an actor or who the hell I was talking to last week on some subject.

Gone  as well  is eating whatever I wanted in wild abandon. Now I read food labels and decide which forbidden ingredient I can gamble on without too much damage to the digestive track.

The worst part is gaining the courage to age gracefully and give up the youthful myth of invincibility. Now I know why so many old folks are bitchy, they're not surrendering easily and neither am I.

Tuesday, September 30

How it Feels

I suffer from depression as a result of a life time of being undiagnosed with ASD. I manage it most of the time and except for the corn kernal breakthrough this describes it pretty well.

It's time we recognize depression for what it is and it's not  a mood or blue funk, something you get over like a break up or a hang over. It's a neurological condition. It's not a sickness or a character flaw. Most who suffer from it hate how it ruins life enjoyment.

If you know or suspect someone is depressed don't try to cheer them up with pithy adages. Engage them in physical activity or lively conversatio. Theodore Roosvelt, a man with with his own demons, said " Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." for some of us the pace can be exhausting.

Friday, September 5

Why Can't We Be Friends Too?


Recently I reconnected with an old boyfriend. He had married and returned to town. We had a friendly lunch together to update our lives. It was fun and relaxing being with a smart, funny, sensitive guy and I enjoyed his company. 

Then he admitted that he missed the sex we had and was hoping-- I had to politely inform him I disapprove of infidelity. Well I won't be seeing him again, I thought. Not because of the confession--which was oddly flattering--but because he reminded me that deep down men only look at women for one thing: fucking.

Oh sure men can work with women if they are attractive and not too ambitious.They can enjoy our company as long as they think they have a chance to get laid --otherwise, you might as well be gay and ignored.

I'm really, really, really, tired of men viewing women as a pair of breasts and a vagina. I understand it's the natural instinct to procreate the species, which is good and sex will always be enjoyable, but why can't we be intellectual equals, companions, and friends too. Can we relate to each other without all the sexual politics interfering? Apparently not.
Which is a shame, because together, we can evolve humanity. Women excel at problem solving, consensus, and recognize the role of emotions. Men don't stand around forever debating what to do, they understand the need for assertive action. What a team we would make. Instead, despite all the trappings of modern civilization, men apparently are only interested in sex. When the genders come in contact with each other women need to be on guard against male aggression and male can only think about their sexual desires and it ruins everything.

Again.