Responsibility & Forgiveness
A classic English mystical legend is explained once and for all.
People who root for the Sheriff of Nottingham are missing the fuckin’ point, not just of Robin Hood, but of pretty much everything.
When you know you’ve fucked-up something awful and are seeking a way forward...
I need forgiveness, a second, and third and thirty-third chance, as much as the next guy… Probably more than him but, often when someone starts a conversation with a line about feeding the fam, they are about to provide, or even worse, they feel that they just HAVE provided, all the rationale/justification they need for whatever crime, misconduct, misdemeanor/felonious, illegal and/or immoral actions in which they’ve been recently engaged and for which they’ve been recently busted. After all, everybody’s trying to feed families, so telling us that this is the reason for your fraud, theft, whoring yer ass out, lying, kidnapping, killing, etc etc is utterly meaningless; a bunch of word shit. It’s a verbal/conceptual first cousin or maybe even full sibling of claiming “I made a mistake.”
“You mean like taking a bigger serving than you can actually eat at the potluck?”
“No, I mean like banging my wife’s nymphomaniac sister for 63 months, making XXX videos of it and posting them online; you know, a mistake.”
And then standing up there behind the podium, your totally $$ dependent wifey-poo, dazed and confused-looking at your side as you state, in bold baritone and magnanimous and elegant elocution,, “I accept full responsibility for my actions.”
Interrupting, “Oh yeah, whata ya mean?”
Blink, blink, “Whata you mean, what do I mean?”
“I mean, you say you accept full responsibility, but how? What’re you planning to actually DO?”
“I just did it, I said it, I accept ful…”
“...Sorry to interrupt, again, but that’s just words. Are you going to resign your job? Or admit yourself to a loony bin? Or poke your own eyes out like Oedipus did when he realized he’d been bangin’ his Mom?”
“I’m just tryin’ to feed my family.”
Oh, my bad, it’s cool then, of course. We forgive you.
Ethics Made Simple...Sorta
I and Thou and Right and Wrong*
Two thoughts competing for my attention. Right and Wrong (or maybe good and bad) versus Me and You (or I and thou): We walk through the world assuming certain realities that make our decisions from one moment to the next easier, or even possible. You can’t question everything. But the older you get the more things fall into the category of being uncertain.
For instance (and this is just one example): Old, longtime friends head down what at first feels like only slightly different paths, until one day you look up and you can’t even see one another; That tiny divergence, unnoticed at the start, becomes a great, insurmountable distance. Concepts once understood, or that you at least thought you understood , get murky because, in truth, you never questioned them before. You simply assumed you understood: Love, hate, clarity, confusion — All kinds of shit. Right vs. Wrong. Good vs. Bad. All become much less clear and certain.
You realize that over the years you’ve been speaking, thinking, feeling in platitudes and clichés of every hue. Things once considered inviolable facts/laws are questionable somehow. Things once “for sure” are not that any longer. That was before. That was back then. Uncertainty begins, reality starts turning to absurdities you hear coming out of your mouth. And one day you realize that everything you say and everything you hear is at least partially untrue. This is partly because the person to whom you’re saying it impacts the way you choose to say it. And if this is true for you, (and you know/feel/sense it IS!) it must be true for that other, that you or thou when he speaks/chooses how to say shit to you; he must be applying that same tiny hedge. So every story is partly false because it’s tinted to a certain shade even if only a tiny bit, and remember even the smallest divergence over time becomes a chasm. Finally you realize that you can’t trust or believe in the shit you’re saying or the shit you’re hearing from others and that there’s not really any sure way to know what to believe, about right and wrong, good and bad, who you are, who the other is, not really. If I haven’t lost you yet, we’ve both got a problem because I’m lost in all this myself… But then again, that much at least must have become clear to you by now.
Two Not Particularly Hilarious Poems About My Ego and, Maybe, Yerz
Hopefully wit and honesty can sometimes substitute for being funny, or maybe not...
…of ignorance is information and facts and the willingness to entertain new or different ideas. The enemy of happiness is deeply held passionate rage based on nonsense and avoidance of facts and reason. Some people are angry all the time and look for justification to explain their unhappiness. The enemy is out there and in here. The poet’s job is to say the thing that must be said, unafraid of bullets or bayonets and confident beyond the meaning of the words. In the darkness of early morning, long before the sun rises, the world asleep, we awaken, blink our eyes and know truth as we hear it, know, without doubt, when truth is somehow real. History nods to us from a thousand years ahead, and from today and from a thousand years ago. The enemy is always here always close, watching and waiting: ignorance or wisdom? We have to choose.
Or it will be chosen for us and laid upon us, like angry hands and cold eyes.
In my dream I was somehow very wise and experienced and confident in my notions about how to counsel a young guy looking for wisdom. He spoke to me saying how compassionate and positive I was. I smiled and answered, “No, I have plenty of skepticism at times.” At which point a young woman walking by us interrupted with a comment about how negative I could be, but then she quickly realized that I’d already owned that and apologized and retreated. I started to scold her but then realized she had, after all, apologized, so I quickly forgave her. I sat back, as the young man, who probably was my younger self, moved on. And I realized, I’m an old guy now and kind of a guru and mentor to these younger writers and seekers. I woke up and thought, “What the hell was that all about?” I fell back asleep and was inundated by nightmares of an apocalyptic end of all life. Awakening from that I realized, “Well now, that feels a bit more like it.”
Some guys you just don’t wanna mess with!
The list of people I’d prefer NOT to have pissed-off at me (or that I’d give a shit if they were,) is short, indeed. But well towards the top of that tiny list would be Steve Schmidt.
In the movie Game Change, Schmidt is played brilliantly by Woody Harrelson, a GREAT screen actor.
The only better Steve Schmidt imaginable than the one Harrelson plays would be Steve himself and yet the difference between the real man and a talented actor “playing,” him and Steve bringing his real self into your face,
rabid, hungry, junkyard dog on ‘Meth & riods
purple purse-puppy nibbling kibbles from Mommy’s white-gloved fingertips.