This blog may seem a little unfocused, but then so am I - I'm a writer, photographer, trombonist, online gamer, grandfather, and promoter of graffiti as both an art form and a community change agent. You can subscribe to my posts, over on the right-hand panel, via RSS feed or emails, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
Happy Inauguration Day to my American friends.
As CNN shows Donald flying off on Airforce 1, to the tune of "My Way", I wonder - many wonder - what now? Is this the end of MAGA and bumper-sticker policies? Is it time to think beyond the limits of catchy slogans and 140 character Tweets? "Great" was taken by many sides of the spectrum to mean like the olden days when "people" were better off. In reality, there never was a time that applied to everyone. Even aiming now for a MANA, Make America Normal Again, would be difficult. I think the inequalities, the divisiveness, the polarization. the selfishness, have all been increasing in our societies, especially the US, for decades. Probably as a side effect of , or maybe a condition for, an addiction to huge economic growth. Trump just took advantage of it all and pushed things to the extreme, to the breaking point.
I'll start this off with a repost of a New Year's message I did -
Follow your dreams, challenge yourself a bit, and enjoy the journey. Go easy on others, and yourself, and aim to leave the world a better place for having you in it.
It's still apt this year, as we reflect on the past, and ponder the future.
First a warning - I am an atheist so this might clash with some of your views.
Religion is a human construct and a vital part of a society. And as long as its impacts are positive, as long as it causes no harm, I'm certainly fine with it. For many, it provides a common cultural identity, helps define and enforce their values and ethics, and provides an explanation and purpose both to life, and death. There can be a god, or many, some immortal, some all-knowing, some good, some evil, watchers or meddlers, human-like or not. It is an institution based on belief, and can be accepted by its followers without the necessity of logical factual proof of any of its tenents. With the added benefit of then being able to appeal to their imagination by adding elements beyond the realm of science.
Speaking 0f mythology, the concept of Santa promotes the values of kindness, of gift-giving, of celebration of family and friends, of consequences when rules are followed (or not). Because he is always watching. Or those elves. Flying in a sleigh, squeezing down a chimney, all can be accepted on the basis of just believing.
So what do we say when our children ask about Santa? Do we say he is just a belief, with a positive impact on our lives, and leave it at that? What do we say when they ask about Jesus, or other gods?