Saturday, July 03, 2010

Scenes from Independence Day eve

These should be further along, but we wouldn't have even these except that a neighbor gave us her extras.

My wife swears that this is not the color that these lilies were last year. Odd that.

The Thirst For Justice is Nigh Universal

In so many areas we see an underlying truth revealed: We like it when justice is carried-out. In television, movies or literature we see the good-hearted person living "happily-ever-after" and the evil whatever getting punished--or at least learning their lesson. The examples are too many to mention but a couple of famous ones are, Cinderella and The Count Of Monte Cristo.

Real life is not like fiction though. Bad, evil people who have caused untold suffering die in their sleep, while heroes find their names dragged through the mud, or die in prison. Injustice is Spain, which was led by Franco until his death by natural causes, prosecuting Pinochet who had relinquished power and returned his country back to democracy. I chose this controversial example on purpose. We may disagree on what is just, but we all agree that there is injustice.

I think this is the root behind seeing justice prevail in much of the arts. To the devout, the concepts of Heaven and Hell go hand-in-hand with a just and good God. If there is a God, surely he will ensure that justice prevails: If not in this life, then in the next.

All of this musing was stimulated by part of a comment section regarding the downfall of Journolist. A commenter seemed to be totally unfamiliar with the above concepts:

Daniel said... There's a difference between delighting in the misery of others and actually causing it. Of course there is, but maybe in the opposite way you think. Causing the misery of others (who deserve it) is better than just delighting in it. It is similar to how having wealth by earning it is more enjoyable than having it just fall into your lap.


Daniel said... dbp, your words, even in jest, are absent any redeeming quality. I'm going to take the high ground by hoping that no one ever thinks that you deserve misery, and takes it upon themselves to make it happen.

I think the problem here is what was mentioned above. Daniel clearly thinks that the Journolisters are innocent and therefore punishment is unjust. I obviously feel the opposite way. I (for the record) appreciate that he wishes no harm to me, thanks! If I ever truly deserve to be punished, I hope that I retain the moral clarity to appreciate it. Further, in a cosmic sense (nothing spiritual here Crack, just mean life taken as a whole)I almost certainly do not deserve to live a life as happy as the one I have.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tempo really makes all the difference in the world

The original up-tempo with electronica by Tears For Fears.

The version from Donnie Darko sung by Gary Jules with arrangement and instrumentation by Michael Andrews.

Scenes of this morning

This is the first year in several that this Hydrangea has produced any flowers. I think I was pruning it incorrectly or something...

I planted blueberry bushes about 5 years ago with high hopes. The little bushes had lots of berries the very first year. The next year deer ate the bushes down to stubs--especially this one, but it has made a real come-back. This is the first year with any appreciable fruit. The birds, squirrels or whatever is eating the berries are appreciative I'm sure.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Here is to France's Nicolas Mahut

John Isner has been getting all the attention and it makes sense in a way,-he did win the match and the coverage I see is, as is Mr. Isner, American.

It took two amazing players for the match to have come out this way. They both exemplified the highest traditions of the sport. They brought honor to themselves and to their sport.


It Is A Relief, But I'm Not Sure Why I Care

Here is the back story:

Via Facebook I reconnected with a grade school classmate. We didn't interact much in school, but being in the same class of less than 20 kids for 3rd through 5th grades lets you observe enough to feel like you know the person. I actually knew her older brother better: He and I often sat on the school bus together and would chat. He introduced me to The Lord Of The Rings among other things and I would tell him what I know about the military. My dad was an Air Force pilot and the brother seemed fascinated by all things military. He is serving in the US Army (reserves I believe) even now. Anyway, there were two other siblings, both sisters. One was older and was in my older brother's class, the other was much younger and I think was in a grade below my younger sister's.

The three younger siblings had an active repartee between each other on FB, but there had never been any mention, comment from or entry on friend lists for their eldest sister. I was tempted to ask, across these nearly 40 years, whatever became of "B". I never did, of course--what if something tragic or scandalous had "become" of her?

So, it was a big relief a few days back when she posted a reply to a post her brother made. She is alive, well and employed in a reputable profession. The question is, why did I care in the first place? [Note: I obviously care about any human being, what I mean here is the extra concern conveyed to people you have an emotional connection to.] I don't think we ever exchanged a word with each other. I was too young to be moved by music back in grade school, but certainly had enough of an ear to admire the skill with which she played the piano at recitals. That is a pretty tenuous connection to hang emotional content on.

On further reflection, I think I know why I care: I care about the girl from my class and her older brother because I know them. I care about their sister because they must care, in a really vital way, about her and so by extension I care. She has a big effect on them and I care about things that have a big effect on people I know. Further, it goes beyond this: That other people care deeply makes my empathy reach out to this lady and to wish her well.

ADDED: I have an aunt who is into new-age nonsense and I know how she would view all of this. She would think that my good will directed toward "B" will somehow reach her and make her feel happy. In reality, if she knew that the little brother of one of her class mates from grade school was thinking about her at all, it would probably give her the creeps.

Today's Route

1. I originally posted the route without any text and it kind of messed-up the whole blog format, so perhaps this will help.

3. Maybe if I remove the map...

2. It is still messing things up, but in a different way now. It is showing posts below out of order.

4. Of course the fix required the complete removal of the original post, so I am back to square one.