Monthly Archives: July 2016

Can I Tell You Something About Audience? Then What Will You Tell Me?

Skipping my history with writing about this topic,
skipping my relation, and the relation of this topic, to the topic Filters of Information,

scarecrow 1

An audience is a group; the sole principle for selecting the members of a human group is propriety; propriety being determined by goals, an audience is then a group of people selected to assist one in meeting a particular goal.

For some goals it is rather more efficient to let the audience to select itself; this option further recommending itself at times by being the only option.

Audience is a relatively long-enduing state of listening, without speech; of receiving without giving; and passivity; an interruption, as it were, or the normal two-way flow of communication.

Hence we reserve situations where audience is used for communications which themselves go beyond everyday speech; communications of a higher quality, which perhaps carry some particular import, the benefit of which we feel outweighs the negative impact of sitting passively, without the option of response. Such as a play. Or the Daily Show.

And so audience is an artificial construct, an aberration of pride, justified or not; something mostly then to be avoided. The more natural flow of information is bi-directional; bi-directional information flow being more productive, and what is more productive being more appealing, on an emotional level. Thus our natural state, in an information topology is conversation, which is better than sex.

Chemistry and physics, mathematics and biology, being governed by two-way streets, human interaction, governed by them, must be as well. As in chemistry any unequal state can only be maintained for so long, and with so much energy. Therefore those who must listen crave to speak, and those who must speak, to listen.

Easy enough to observe this by interacting with someone after they’re been to a play, when he/she will have so much to tell you that you don’t need to hear, as communication attempts to balance itself, and to correct the unnatural hour or two that has hopefully not been wasted.

But what is it that an audience is for?


Perhaps it is time now to say out loud what we all already know: that often when we meet another person, we become suddenly aware of things about ourselves — within a few minutes–that before meeting that person were outside our notice. I have walked into rooms full of people and felt tall, when it would have made sense to feel that other people were short, or to feel nothing at all about height. But we don’t–we feel tall. We go home to our parents and we feel young. A stranger enters our homes and our homes feel shabby, but not until.

This is audience, from the other direction: our suppositions about the opinions of others; suppositions we don’t bother to formulate until those people are with us, and passively watching and listening. Suppositions that bear information that we might–or maybe don’t–need.* This is one of the two things that an audience is for. Giving us a chance to pretend that we know what other people think about us.

The thing an audience is for, that we can feel so much better about. You watch, and learn.**

I just need this picture

One cannot choose the members of the audience that observes one’s everyday conduct easily. Easily, though can one choose the audiences which one is a member of. Not listening being a skill that improves with practice, but doesn’t require much.

All this is boring.

But how then should we speak, when we know so little about to whom we are speaking? Someone told me the more people you can reach with any communication the better; therefore tailoring every communication to the lowest possible common denominator is best. Always.

But shouldn’t an inspiration be reflected just as it came, and communicated just as it occurs to one? Perhaps you might say my task as a thinker is to translate it, but all I can do is dance around it anyway, and hope you’ll dance the same. Should I pick instead some lesser idea to approximate?

And too, the way a thought it communicated is no accident. Many things are hard to understand on purpose: that’s to keep you from understanding them.

Filtering information this way seems unfair, but it’s hard to say whether landing the message or missing it is more important; without missing many, none of us would be able to walk.

And it’s even worse than that. When we do dumb down, our assumption about out audience actually impacts their intelligence, at least temporarily. This works in both directions, like magic, giving one the ability to ratchet up the intellect of just about anyone, instantly, without sayso or instruction, just by ceasing to address them like an idiot.

This is the same assumption, applied twice, connects our suppositions about anyone observing us (above) to their actual opinions.  What we think of others, as long as they agree to listen to us, they must become, at least a little.

And so I am led to conclude that to speak at the highest level is best; preventing as it does misinformation in one way, and maximizing the intelligence of one’s audience in another. Except that then what do you do when someone doesn’t understand?


You know what I usually do with something like this? I usually throw it out and rewrite it as a short joke that captures the concepts for myself and leaves others in the dark. Oh well.

Hey, look what I found! If you want. If you want to optimize, that is:

When speaking to anyone, the majority of our speech should be asking and answering questions, allowing us best to tailor the information we receive and provide to our conversation partners, or audience. That information we will thus obtain being not simply facts to help us solve our problems better, but information about the others understanding of the facts discussed, and of our communication style in general. Some teaching styles insist that at least 70% of the teacher’s utterances be questions. It’s worth spending some time thinking about how such a thing can be done: how can you, when you know more, share what you know, only by asking?

Questions, then, are the answer. Right?


*supposition uncertain

**i.e. an audience is for increasing the impact of our learning. It is worth mentioning that these two purposes balance in the sense that together they establish two-way transmission of information. Although, because the audience is silent, half of the information transmitted is Grade B stuff, and only supposition. Regrettable.


Hope this blog bores you: that’s a lesson in itself.

I guess it is nuance

guard your treasure



God bless the children.









I guess it is nuance, the difference between not liking sex and not liking sex with people you don’t know well.

Dating (2016-07-20T03:56:45Z)

How do you fix a date? Well, you make the date go well.


Dates almost always mean extra work though, because there are so many different formats, no one seems to care for any of any more than they care for any of the others, yet we all just use all several hundred of them. Some people like formal dinner + interview, some people like boat rides; some people have to stare in each others’ eyes, others want to act like brother and sister until just the last minute. It’s a pain trying to get them all to line up.

It doesn’t make sense anyway: dates can’t be real but they shouldn’t be fake. Interview isn’t the best way to get to know someone; neither is testing.


Actually the perfect date is watching the television together while snacking, and not just because this is what you will be doing together for the rest of your lives anyway, if it works out. It just is the perfect one. You can repeat it any number of times.No one has to feel uncomfortable or pressured in any way, and the couch is right there. It requires no demonstrations of spending ability, and removes the pressure to constantly speak.

I’d advocate this be the universal and only date: spending time in each other’s houses watching the television and snacking.



But of course we can’t have this, because there are people who won’t behave. So the entire human population suffers all the awkwardness, pain, and expense of the current ‘set up,’ because of some rapists (whom you shouldn’t let in your house).

Could  we do it thought, maybe with a public awareness campaign, restaurants and the like might go out of business, at least in their current form. The idea of beginning in the stranger’s home has some especially nice side effects as well**, making the whole business less hysterical, removing any reason to even try to lie about some particularly salient things, and just getting people in one another’s houses more–a good goal in itself.

This is of course not to say that indoor rock climbing, out to the movies, wheelbarrow races, and all-day missions to taste every kind of baklava available in the city of Boston are to be avoided. But those are things one does with friends. One might certainly include people that one has dated or is dating, but on such an outing, everyone comports themselves as if dating did not exist, and therefore enjoys themselves much more. A date is going to another person’s house, watching television, and snacking. End of story.

It’s a good bet for the younger crowd as well.


(Though one wonders if sufficient information could be obtained this way: it is quite easy to fall in love with a person you watch television and snack with, the situation being an intimate one, where it is it almost impossible to do wrong. Neither of these attributes could be said to detract from any situation to which they apply… One’s unemployed household members, however, could be a far different story. Should dating become serious, other mechanisms, like spying, or whatever it takes to observe the dated in a variety of situations, could be employed to obtain the information necessary. These, however, are of course not dates.)



photo credits

(I like the part where Every single leftover piece is devoured .)

Bacon’s List

scarecrow 1

Other top hits from poor people about how to conserve resources.

1. When things are dirty that you want to be clean, make a solution of 2 parts bleach to 1 part water. Spray that solution on the dirty thing, and leave.

Come back the next day and either hose it off or wipe it down. That is as clean as it it should ever get.

(As a neat side effect, if you do this to your shower, your house will smell like there’s a swimming pool nearby for the next two days, and you can pretend you are staying in a hotel.) (As another neat side effect, you spent no time in a grocery store aisle considering which flavor of solvent to use.) (As a third neat side effect, everyone knows what is in bleach: that’s why they put in our drinking water on purpose.)

2. Whenever you need to buy anything inedible, try making it out of junk mail first. I can guarantee this works better than you think it will. I need a notepad, a dog bowl. I need something to do. I need  dental floss, something to read, and several placemats that match. I need to upholster this chair, clean up this mess, and figure out something to wear that’s really going to make me stand out. Can junk mail fill that need? Thank you, mass mailer: I needed new underwear! Thank you junk mail!

(No need to get fancy. Junk mail works best when you just leave it the shape it came in and throw it out soon after use.)

3. Stop cooking. Go to the grocery store, select X frozen meals, take them home, and when you’re hungry, heat one up and eat it.

(There, I’ve just given you back somewhere between 4 – 8% of your life.) (If you choose to eat locally sourced or extra wholesome fresh food you’ve just prepared, or worse/better, grown yourself, there are a lot of reasons to do so, but do you think it will add 8%–that’s about 5.7 years on average–to your life? That’s just to break even.) (Personally, I would rather you have that time now.)

4. When you are bored and there’s nothing to do: do nothing. Don’t go out. Don’t get a movie. Just do nothing. It’s free, and very good for the planet.


I guess sometimes it does make sense to do tedious, incredibly time-consuming tasks that aren’t your job.

Grand total: at least 28.2% of your life.** Yours for free! Go do something great! Let your subversively impactful imagination run wild! I’m going to the pool.

(You learn these things from being raised by people so desperate for money that they work so much that time to cook is a luxury.)

PS: That motorcycle sculpture is 5 inches tall.

Rasher Choices for Sustainable Living


This ongoing effort to save the planet requires from us a strange combination of behaviors, this effort, requires, as it is currently espoused: cycling and recycling, reusing and reclusing, not buying, especially buying, salvaging. etc.

Strange indeed that many of these world-saving maneuvers are nothing new to an impoverished person. They weren’t even new in the Eighties.

Peculiar, also that none of them require any intelligence, but rather demand menial work: pedaling, sorting trash, sanding an old chair, stitching clothes poorly, or gardening.

Have you ever wondered: where did they come from, these items on this list of things we must all do to be responsible? Why these items, and not others?

And why (I ran out of numbers: oh wait, no I didn’t. I never started counting) did the study of environmental regulation not make this list? I suppose it is much more utilitarian for everyone to sort their trash, and that is where our global responsibility lies. Likewise knowing the details of available technologies for low-energy anything-and-everything (transportation, maybe) turned out to be far less important than growing own own food.

It also seems rather unimportant to teach anyone to drive in a way that maximizes the efficiency of their gas usage, when one can instead teach them to build a rain barrel. Or at least to feel that they should own one. Maybe because then they will just stay home.




And so we see that around a strong kernel of good intention, layers of greed have accumulated to seal out new ideas, and reduced those who care about the earth to menial laborers.

If I hated the planet, I cannot think of a better way to nullify the energies of so motivated a group than to set them diligently growing their own cucumbers and canning their own pickles.

As an outside observer, one is also alarmed: as the circumstances this wholesome, well-motivated culture accumulates around itself reproduce exactly those of a post-apocalyptic world where no one went to college, where there is no government, and all the institutions that we’ve worked on for hundreds of years might not even exist.


I don’t want to live in that world. I believes we’re smarter than that. Not my idea of a fun game.

I don’t want to say that we would almost certainly be further along in all the efforts to moderate and preserve our natural environment if all the time we spent matching the definition of eco-friendly had instead been spent on thinking and complaining and learning, rather than playing with trash. Maybe I should just say that we certainly would be. Yes, that sounds right.

I suppose not one of us wants to trust any other one to think, though, and so our actions and guidance should remain at the level of “kill a pig and make your own bacon.”

Which anyone can do.

Although when you do it, it is one of the least friendly things you can do to the world.

Only because you don’t know how to kill a pig.

And you don’t know how to make bacon.


You don’t even need bacon. And you threw most of that pig away.



So the next time you want to spend 10 hours on a Saturday doing something that might or might not work out, hop on the internet. Try to find out what those few people with the ability to make decisions and actions that actually impact something the size of a planet are up to.

You might have to make a second trip, to figure out how to figure out if any of it is what they should be up to.

But once you have that, it’s easy. Just light something up, slice into the tenderest parts, and smoke those suckers until they turn tasty. (Just to be clear, that means “figure out how the decisions and actions of these people can be changed.”)

Reminder: This is what we have these institutions for. They can do what we can’t.


Now can I finally say how glad I am that we all have to do everything ourselves. I’ll build my own electric range, soon, probably. I can build my own bicycle already! I’ll grow my own food, I’ll be my own media network, I’ll clean up my own block, I’ll be the neighborhood watch; and of course I’ll take care of my own trash, and everybody else’s, and my goat. Each and every one of us can and should, don’t you think, reproduce the learning processes that our great-great-great grandfathers were bored to tears with. What else would we do with our time?


Being a lumberjack is nothing new. Being bad at being a lumberjack is.

I’ve never been able to get anyone to tell me the details of the end of the world they’re preparing for. It’s most salient features seem to be the unavailability of retail food, the unavailability of gasoline, and everyone on the planet suddenly turning against everyone else, perhaps by necessity of implementing a policy of “shoot first ask questions later,” since, should we share our canned goods with strangers happening by, we might starve.

I feel ready. I can handle it. Whatever it is.

I’m going to need my one-acre farmette, and my bacon-making skills. It’s all on me. And definitely not you. Unless you are my friend. And then we can make bacon together. And pretend we’re in a commune. But just on Saturday. And just in our house. Very important that we stay in our house, on our own property. Or in our own little apartment. Somewhere within. Inside. We have to be inside: we’re busy, and that’s where the kitchen is. And the toolshed. Something happened Saturday? Yeah, I remember. That was the day I was making my own pillowcases. I’ll tell you what out of later.

No, not that Saturday, the Saturday before, when I was writing my own Facebook? I insist on keeping my code local. I don’t know how other people stand it, shipping their HTML and PHP all the way across the country every time they log on; and along with everybody else, I mean, everybody’s else’s, in some kind of big trunk. Yuck! It’s so much better to have your own, you know? I’m sure mine’s cleane; even if it doesn’t look like much I know where it came from and what’s in it. There’s no no God-knows-what that they put in the pre-packaged Facebook. I can’t even say the names of most of those things. I just read them in the activity monitor* and wince. What is that? Shouldn’t we know what’s in our software? And no cookies. No cookies in this house. No way. They’re not good for my kids.


Should work fine.


If it was a Sunday, then I was probably working on building my own cellphone. (No, it’s not that hard. You just follow the youtube videos. I’m on step #702.)

(You did that already? Huh. Do you need any pillowcases? )

Hold on, something’s happening on my phone. I sort all my own packets. Anything that comes in, I just read it, figure out what it is, and send it to the right app. It’s single-stream, so I just cut, then point. Like they say, Read, Recon, Remit. You don’t? No, it doesn’t take take much time out of my day. Just a few more, hold on. I’ll just fold this one up so it fits.

(I know that’s not packet switching, but I like the phrase packet switching, because of the ka tch sounds: ka, tch; ka, tch; ka tch … hey! How did you know that’s not packet switching? Do you roll your own too?)

Matchstick world trade center - Pat Acton

Matchstick world trade center – Pat Acton – Don’t try this at home: he does it, and so well, only to make you wonder. That’s his job.

Definitely a Saturday? Oh, I bet it was three weeks ago, when I was making my own roads. Wherever I go, I just put down a road.  Made of straw. And shepherds. That was it then, right? What happened that Saturday?

What? No, I didn’t hear about that. Oh, that’s crazy. No, I’m not doing that! What a weirdo. Can you even do that? How would it work? Some people are way out there. Can you imagine, without a medical degree? What for? No, doctors do that! No, you have to be a doctor! You can’t do that yourself. What a whackjob. What, he just got one at the store and did it? Crazy.

Ok maybe, I mean, the more you knew about that, probably the better you could kill a cow or goat. I’m not doing it though. Reading a book about physiology and medicine. Why? Who does that? The whole thing too? That’s just too far. I do enough. What will anyone think of next?


Pat Acton – Matchstick US Capitol – Don’t worry, we can rebuild whatever we’ve decided to ignore exists! (Again, don’t try this at home. He’s a professional.)

Next Saturday? Oh, I was going to write poetry. And go hiking.


PPS: They built machines that sort trash into trash, compost, biofuel, and various kinds of recyclable, oh, 15 or so years ago. I think they kept them off the market just because it’s fun to watch you do it. Keeps you busy.


Some photo credits:


*That’s the task manager, friend.

** Less if you are am American male, much more if you live outside of the US and Britain.




When you only have one pineapple, it’s really something special.

Pineapples, everyone loves them but they’re hard to get into.

What do you do, if you have a lot of pineapples? You give them to the people you love. You don’t give pineapples to strangers. You might sell them. I wonder if the difficulty I’m having here has anything to do with the length of time that this has been bothering me.

Pineapples are also the international sign for Caribbeans are welcome here.

If you had a lot of pineapples, though, would you give them to people? They have a lot of vitamin C. And the acid that fights arthritis. You don’t want to pass on a problem per se. But it’s a terrible thing, a rotten pineapple.


What do people do in countries where there’s pineapples everywhere? They must know what to do with them. They probably send a truck down the road or something, to sweep them all up. We only like them because they come from so far away. Okay, maybe we’re not so into that idea anymore, but that was the original appeal of everything that we found so appealing.


See, I’m going around on this again. I’ve talked to myself the whole way through and I haven’t gotten anywhere. I guess the question is what people really want to eat.

I wonder if you could get a pineapple on your tombstone.

And I’ve landed where I always land again. Darn it. Nothing like eight good options to keep you from doing anything. Alright. Alright. Alright. I can figure this out.

See, my blog is down. And I’m upset. About that. That’s why I can’t figure this out about these pineapples. I like those blog people.

Oh. Duh. I had some good advice about this, but it was… partial. Darn it.

Stop it. Just stop it, everybody. Quit it, you know, quit being a jerk. Maybe you could give it up for the summer. Tell yourself, this summer I will not be a miserable jerk. See how it works for you.

See, greed, greed, so many problems are caused by greed, it’s one of the nastiest forms of fear…

It’s artificial. Preservatives?

This is the circle I always go around. You could say well, I went around it, so that doesn’t do much, but I did go around it, so that might…

See, but then, there are thieves. This also needs to be considered.


I should get up early more often.



One-Billion-rising_Soumen-Nath_69 158793282

Indians light candles as they mourn the death of a gang rape victim in New Delhi, India , Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012. Indian police charged six men with murder on Saturday, adding to accusations that they beat and gang-raped the woman on a New Delhi bus nearly two weeks ago in a case that shocked the country. The murder charges were laid after the woman died earlier Saturday in a Singapore hospital where she has been flown for treatment. (AP Photo/ Saurabh Das) ORG XMIT: DEL147sub30DELHIimage1-jumbo



Photo credits include:

A woman prays as she lights a candle in a church in St.Petersburg during a day of national mourning for the plane crash victims in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. A Russian passenger plane has crashed in the Sinai peninsula Saturday with 217 passengers, mostly Russians, and seven Russian crew members killed. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky) ORG XMIT: XAZ105


Written June 21, 2016. As for the pics, what should I say, I just got lucky?

Top Ten Most Interesting Refusals I’ve Had The Chance To Give In Life

everyone has a list like this

10. I’m sorry, you’re going to have to ask someone else to make that Protect the Flag speech.

9. Sorry, I have to stop playing Ninja now and go back to Harvard.

8. No, I don’t want to meet the astronaut right now.

7. No, you can’t wear my wimple. I only have the one.

6. No, I really don’t think LSD is going to help me. Thanks anyway.

5. No, I can’t use the other vise, because I also broke that one in half with my bare hands, like I just did this one.

4. No, I really can’t drink any of that until you drink a whole glass of it first.

3. Nope, I’m not going to think that, at all.


2. Sorry, but no, I’m not done hugging you yet. I’ll let you know.

But number one is

1. I just don’t mediate. Alright? I don’t. It doesn’t work for me.

And then there’s a long pause, where I wish I was explaining what I’m thinking, but I’m not.

I just don’t meditate. It doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried asking for advice, but none of it helped.

It Turns Green

aka How to Easily Always Give Perfect Advice and Achieve Inner Peace

I wonder if I could get through life without knowing anything about the world.

Suppose I only knew that there were people. Hi, people!



I don’t know how things work; I don’t know good from bad; I don’t know right from wrong; I don’t know progress from backsliding; I just know that there are people. I bet those people themselves would give me everything I need to know to give them 100% perfect advice at all times.

I could be a completely ignorant perfect advice giving machine.

So someone drives by and says, “Well. I — took — it away. From them.”

Ok. Don’t panic, perfect advice giving machine. You’re ready for a situation like this. Just sit back and look at the messenger’s face, and you will see an amazing baklava of self-analysis; already complete; the top few layers of which are likely to fall away and maybe be left on the plate; the bottom of which is difficult to cut, and not really what baklava is all about, in that it’s not what anyone would call puff pastry, not what anyone would understand baklava to mean–but those layers in between should contain everything you need to know to say WELL DONE MA’AM and mean it, and I THINK YOU TOOK IT JUST AT THE RIGHT TIME, TOO. A DAY SOONER WOULD HAVE BEEN TOO SOON and NOW LET’S THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU WILL DO NEXT.

Because what do you see in there? I’m not telling, because I don’t know.

It’s not important anyway: I don’t need to guess what you know; I only need to guess what you feel about what you know, because I know what you feel is accurate.

Just sometimes hidden, and just sometimes not what you really want. (Then I ask the crust, but you’re not going to like the answer.)

This kind of interacting with your fellow human beings I call the middle level of guru-hood. It’s not the beginning, which is accepting some fundamental truths about the world. And it’s not the end, which is Nirvana. But its the middle state, of selflessness. Being the space between the layers. Where you don’t know, because you don’t really exist, so you can’t. But where it’s alright, because you don’t need to. I should hang out there more.

I feel I was born to bounce; to intercept; I think I was born to reflect. I can see what you do not. Will you see for me? I am so blind. Will you see for me?


Where do we stand, in the vast baklava of the self? At what layer is our perspective? It’s like asking the world where in the world it is.

Worrld? Whera are you? World? I’m looking! World..?

I’m not good at this. I’m not finding anything. World.? This isn’t even fun. Stupid world. It should be easy. Whose idea was this anyway? Who says I have to do this? Why am I looking for this? I don’t need the world–I was fine. Before I started looking. I was fine. Go looking for something nobody can find.

It’s unfindable, that’s what it is. It can’t be done. That’s the lesson, right? I learned it just now. I’m saying that’s the lesson. Stupid game, waste of my time, go look for the world. Other people can do it, but that doesn’t mean it’s — darn it.


Wait, I think, was that it? Was that it right there? Wait a minute. There was like nothing, but then like something, for like a second, I think that was maybe–was that it?

How am I supposed to know, if you can’t tell me if that was it or not? Was that the world?

Well, I’ll just make something up. Oh yeah, I found it. You bet I did. No, I’m not telling you. It’s a secret. But I’m found it for sure. You haven’t found it yet?

I wish I hadn’t said that last part. World?

Maybe that was it, just now, again. That was like the other thing. They were similar, so if the first one was it, then that second one might have been.

How’s anybody supposed to do this.


It’s about meditation, right? That’s what it’s about?

Well, if you’re anything like me, which you have to be, because I too can read, you do not much enjoy being told that the way to find something is to stop looking.

I was Buddha.

I was breathing.

I was under a tree.

I was Buddha, and under a tree. And breathing.

And then.

I was Buddha, and I was under a tree, and I was breathing.

Ok, if that doesn’t move you, then we’re pretty different, because I’m moved. But it could be only because I REALLY like trees and breathing. It was supposed to be mildly annoying, but who can predict these things.

(Somehow centered it’s much more annoying.)

I was Buddha.

I was breathing.

I was under a tree.

I was Buddha, and under a tree. And breathing.

And then.

I was Buddha, and I was under a tree, and I was breathing.

Regardless, is there a more frustrating pursuit than attempting to do nothing, and failing?

guru: Well, really what you have to do is just let it all go, and completely stop trying.

Ok, here goes. Let it go, and now I…I’m screwed.

No, hold on. Let me …. screw that up again.

How about if i… screw that up once more?

And now I’ll just … fail.

Don’t I feel better already! Thank you for your advice, brother.

If I were to say I knew of only one method that works, that I don’t recommend iand I’m not going to tell you, that would be better advice than to tell you not to try.

But don’t try though. Just listen in on the guru:

guru: … so basically, I was thinking about all this not-trying, and one day I realized, ‘Hey, I’m a pompous jerk!’ So therefore I already know anything that I’d be trying to figure out, and … I win.

That’s as close as I can get to describing how iactually is done, achieving this state of mental consciousness that people try to describe.

guru: … and then so I was like yup, I must be there. Because I’m great. I don’t know why my guru didn’t tell me that. I’m not trying any more, that’s for sure. It’s not like he was *wrong*;he just left an important part out.

guru: The reason why Buddha is smiling, when you see him in the sculptures, is because he’s proud of himself. *He* figured it out.

buddha: Yeaaaahhh. Got it. Got it gooood.

guru: I’m not lying. I suppose people might say I can’t just make this up, but to them I say, hey, I’m Enlightened, because I just decided that I am.

people: You can’t just make that up! That takes years of yoga! And practice, and tattoos and things!

guru: Nope. Just made it up. And I’m Enlightened, so I’m right and you’re wrong.

buddha: Done with that now. Just sitting here.

guru: In fact, you might say the fact that enlightened me the most was the one about how I can just make stuff up. About Enlightenment especially.

buddha: Oooooooooooh. Nice.

guru: It’s my head. What are you going to do about it?

people: Well, what kind of discipline is that?

guru: Umm.. the one where you get to be my disciple? That one.

guru: You make up a name for it. I can’t think of anything right now.

people: I don’t think this is right.

guru: Leave then. Go home and try something.


Seriously, seriously, if you read texts on meditation, striving is the enemy of peace.

And feelings of inadequacy are the gnat in your coffee of understanding.

And fear of failure is the precipice that you’re not worried about.


The disciple returns…

disciple 1: I felt like I was about to maybe actually start to worry for a second, and it almost almost-worried me. Man, I don’t know why I keep doing this. But I felt like I was maybe going to think about worrying about something, and I had a little bit of a reaction to that feeling. Man.

guru:  It’s ok. It happens sometimes. To you. Hahahaha.

And then he walks away.

And what should the disciple do with his advice? Forget it all. Forget the whole conversation, just let it go. This is why gurus are so brief: there’s actually no point in them telling anyone anything, because they know you’re supposed to forget it.

disciple 2: Wow, you know, the guru have me some really good advice yesterday, but part of it included forgetting everything, so I have no idea what the rest of it was.

guru: Huh.


disciple 2: guru radiation, do I have to feed them?

guru: No? Do you want to?

disciple 2: Kindof?

guru: Then kindof feed them?

disciple 2: How’s that done exactly?

guru: Just pick one up and put it near the refrigerator, and see what it does. Or don’t.

disciple 2: Wow, that was fun.

guru: You’re darn right it was. Feeling proud of yourself suddenly, aren’t you.

disciple 2: I am!

guru radiation: That’s right. Now you can take a nap if you want.


disciple 2: Oh LOOK! What do they call this? It’s like soft.. and warm.. and large! It’s like really warm.. and REALLY soft, and I fit on it!

disciple 2: Oh my God! Whoever came up with this thing was a genius! I’m still a human being and alive but I’m completely horizontal. Oh wow. Wow wow wow.

disciple 2: Have other people heard of this? I want to share it with the world.

guru radiation: That’s called a bed. I like them too.


child 1: What’s going on with Mom?

child 2: I don’t know, she handed me a TV dinner and she’s outside playing with dandelions.

child 1: I think that means I don’t have to do my homework.*

child 2: Do you want to go play with dandelions with her?

child 1: Heck no. Let’s go burn something.

child 2: Awesome.

child 1: Watch this. (shouts)  Mom? We’re going to see what happens when you light a TV on fire?

disciple 2 (henceforth, Mom): (long pause) Does this concern me?*

[Neat things happen, btw.]

Meanwhile Mom’s out there rolling down the hill…

Mom: It seemed like he thought it was a bad thing to do, but at the same time it seemed like he wanted to do it, but it seemed like he thought it was a bad thing to do, but at the same time, he wanted to do it…

She gets to the bottom.

Mom: Oh well! What next? LOOK, pigeons!

Mom: Pigeons…? What are you talking about, pigeons? What’s on your little pigeon minds?


Mom: It must be neat to fly.

(Explosions, coming from the house.)

Mom: That hasn’t happened before. I wonder if I’m needed. (shouts) Hello, children! Am I needed?

Child 1: Nope!

Mom: Alright!

Mom: Can I get a second nope? From the other child?

Child 2: No..?

Mom: Does that mean no I can’t, or is that the second nope?


Mom: Children, let’s consider making our own clothes. Perhaps from linen.

Mom: Ok, that was fun. Now let’s consider something else.


*Just in case you were curious this blog is pretending to be written in the month of November.**

**Possibly late October.

How does a farmer grow his crop?


How does the farmer grow his crop?

We think there’s only one way.

He does it from the bottom up

And never works on Sundays.

How does the farmer till his field?

He does it with other’s oxen!

That he takes to the barn at night

And very carefully locks in.

How does the farmer clear his crop

When growing time is done?

He loves the weeds more than the flowers

And lets them have their fun?

No, how does the farmer clear his crop

When growing time is done?

He teaches the grass to light a match

And then just gives it one?

No, how does the farmer clear his crop

When growing time is done?

He starves the goats until they cry

And then just lets them roam?

Doesn’t he rent a big machine

And shave it like a sheep?

But that doesn’t clear the crop;

The roots have grown too deep.

Still there he sits in Sunday best,

The field’s all freshly mown.

His mouth full of fresh-baked bread says

“I never should have sown!”

Warning: if I get on to a meter, I have a hard time getting off. Uuuaaaghghgheewwww.  Good meter, but get off! Euaeuawhhaaaaaah. It’ll be children’s poetry for two straight weeks. Huaewahaaahah. Go away. No meter! No! Help! You’re so … cute … and pithy.

like a tangerine?

I can’t help it. All I want to do is write about God. There’s enough people writing about enough other things, aren’t there?

You have to be careful, when making these kinds of arguments…


Oh, that’s fraught! Oh, that’s perilous! Slippery slope! Oo-oh, no–sliding–



glad I didn’t say it.