Coming to terms with being human.


Dusting Off the Planet Earth

Everyone has an idea for a book, movie, or television show. Only a few of us (and the entire population of Los Angeles) actually write a screenplay, novel, comic, or such. I also have an impulse for fevered procrastination but have decided to not let a good idea go to waste. Here is this week’s thought on a good sci-fi plot. It’s free. The more talented can use it.

Earth is a museum.

That’s it. Earth is a museum. Look around you. Everything is getting older. It’s suddenly a travesty to destroy some old building and replace it with something useful. Look at the pyramids. Nobody is going to pull those down and build condos. Sure, the pyramids are somewhat unique but everything is eventually. First it’s the pyramids. Next it’s the building where the old British archeologists that studied the pyramids wrote their papers. Now it’s the first McDonalds, soon the first Starbucks. How long will it take before everything is of historical significance?
In the future, earth will be a historical preservation site. No one will be allowed to change anything. The whole planet will be the galactic center of nostalgia, every acre consisting of a senseless patchwork of mismatched history. Humanity will make certain these remains stand forever to avoid the realization that someday they too will be forgotten.


A Bubbling Thought

It has been pointed out that my plan to break the corporate chains that bind me looks strangely similar to saving money. Extremely similar, as in, “I’m changing my economic paradigm and will no longer support the oppressive system of corporate branding”, “Oh…so you’re just not going to buy that?”

My friends, I need you to understand, I live in my head. Some people are action figures and others are thought bubbles. I am a thought bubble. As such, the motivation behind an action is more important to me than the action itself.
Have you ever read Understanding Comics? In it, Scott McCloud explains the artistic process.
All works begin with purpose, however arbitrary; all take some form; all belong to an idiom (even if it’s an idiom of one); all possess a structure; all require some craft; all present a surface.

The fully developed work of art, philosophy, etc begins with an idea, a purpose, and grows outward. Those outside of the philosopher, however, see only the surface, the actions. Some people perform the same actions but for different core purposes, others copy actions with no understanding of the initial purpose.
I have a friend who swore that if you are sick and decide to drink orange juice it is necessary to add sugar to it, or it won’t be as healthy. I felt that this idea needed explanation so I asked about it. “My mother always added sugar and her mother always added sugar.” Can you guess why Grandma added sugar to Mom’s orange juice? When you are ill, things often taste bitter. The sugar helped the child drink the orange juice.

Actions matter. They change the world. If I didn’t care about actions I wouldn’t ditch so much of the corporate world. Still, core motivations matter more. We need shoes, we don’t need Nike. Core ideas effect more than just one action. Adbusters has begun making shoes too. Yes, the Adbusters that has harassed Nike for years. If we view only the making of shoes, then it would seem that Adbusters has sold out. But the same action can be preformed for different reasons and be enveloped within strikingly different environments. The factory that makes the Ad shoes pays its workers well, it gives them breaks and vacations and dignity. Also, Adbusters makes very little profit. Compare this to Nike. You see my point.

I am not just saving money. I am seeking out a new economic environment. I am looking for economic animals that may create materials similar to the corporate behemoths, but do so in a manner that is sustainable. It’s not about saving money, it’s about healing my soul.


The State Should Never Have Let Me Marry

The government needs to get out of the marriage game. I keep reading articles about gay marriage. There’'s the it'’s about rights side and the it’'s going to destroy civilization angle. Meanwhile, the State is caught in the middle. So here comes my crazy solution. The government should throw everyone a curve ball and stop handing out marriage licenses to anyone.
I am not talking about shoving the problem down a level to state governments. I mean drop the whole concept. The State doesn’t need marriage. The term is a historical accident. Back when the State and the Church were buddies they tended to share terminology. But as any good semanticist knows, just because you use the same word it doesn'’t follow that you mean the same thing.
When the Church says marriage, it'’s speaking of the sacred. It'’s a God thing. In Christianity, particularly, marriage symbolizes Jesus’ union with the Church. Potent symbolism to be sure!
The State, however, just needs a legal category that makes division of rights and property clear. Marriage fit that bill and was culturally acceptable; so marriage became the term of shared property rights. Over time, non-marriage property issues sprouted up. Two brothers living together wanted to be sure they could make legal decisions for each other. What to do? Civil-union contracts uncomplicated this potential mess. All the precedents that come with the marriage contract are also bound into the civil-union.

The State could give a damn about its citizen’s social beliefs about marriage. It just requires clear cut laws for property, medical decisions, child custody, and the like. The gay rights crowd mainly wants just that, equal rights. The wish for marriage licenses over civil-union contracts rests in the social perception of the term. The pro-family people don'’t care at all about rights. Their position is purely about society. By ditching the power to decide who is married, the government will solve the legal concerns of citizenship and leave the social stuff to cultural institutions.
It could work like this. Any two individuals that want to join their lives legally would apply for a civil-union contract. Maybe it’'s a one size fits all contract. Or the State could provide various types. One covers property rights only. Another solves child custody issues, etc… Check all boxes that apply. Meanwhile, marriages are held by churches, mosques, temples, the P.T.A., whoever wants too. These marriages would mean nothing legally. They would only have the social value given them by the married couple and the people they care about. Do societal disagreements suddenly dissolve? No. They do move into the cultural arena, leaving the government out of it.
The United States government is self-defined as separate from religion. Unfortunately, key religious terms came along for the ride. It is past time to divest church terms from the church-free zone that is the State.
Feel free to pass this idea along. Usually I argue just to feel the adrenaline. I think this idea is a workable solution to a problem that isn't going away.


A Recommendation

A Lesson is Learned But the Damage is Irreversable, is a website and a life lesson all in one. Read the comic and then read the write up. It's all good.


A Strange Reversal

I have a few Gmail accounts to give away. The first three people to post a comment, with a valid email address, will receive a Gmail invite from me. I’ll even keep an extra one in reserve for a certain individual.
So yes, I am helping a newly born corporation hook into you during the very time period of my corporation shedding experiment. That’s life.