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August 15th, 2005


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10:45 am - A little bit of everything
"I find support in the sky and the earth; I find support in expiation and inspiration; I find support in day and night; I find support in food and drink; in the holy power; in the lordly power; in these worlds I find support."
        -Rg Veda

Poll #552315 poll 7: Meetings!

Are you going to Summerland?

Yes!
15(32.6%)
No!
7(15.2%)
Still thinking.
3(6.5%)
Tending toward yes
3(6.5%)
Tending toward no
1(2.2%)
I really, really want to but can't.
16(34.8%)
I could go if I really wanted to, but don't.
1(2.2%)


I'm awake, alive, and moving. I'm working on the backlog of work that's been stuck in my in box since I spent a couple of days at home, taking care of *me*. It's amazing to me how important everyone thinks their request for my work is.

The weekend involved some good relaxation, but it ended with a sour note to me.

My world, recently, has been one of magic and deep study. I have had time to do things that I never had time for before. I don't remember when I last read a book cover to cover. The last thing I read was probably Drawing Down the Moon for my Dedicant Program, over two years ago. Even school books were not read: I had more important things to do.

But on Thursday of last week, while home sick from work, I read Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle, which everyone really ought to read, I think, especially if you're interested in totalitarianism and alternative reality.

There are so many things I'm interested in trying and experimenting with. Just this past weekend, I created a variant on the Gnostic Thunderbolt, a rite I've used with effect before but found far too full of annoying trappings.

I've also been reading The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage and Postmodern Magic. The former is full of nifty things and is an endless source of quaint amusement that I may use to create a working, while the latter is full of fluff and is consistently reminding me that it's a Llewellyn book by citing other Llewellyn books as good sources. Sometimes the book makes sense, but damn, it's sometimes just really annoying in his outright rejection of science and the scientific method. He seems to believe that magic is an art that is totally outside the domain of science.

The Grove has gotten together a maximum of three times per month (one liturgy meeting, one business meeting, and one ritual) ever since we started (except for a two-month period when we met each Sunday morning). I've been thinking about that recently, and the more involved we get, the more we're going to need to increase the number of meetings we have.

Talk has come up again of doing weekly rituals. Yes, we could do them, if there is enough interest. Maybe each Sunday morning, or every Sunday night. I would very much like to increase the number of rituals, and pass around the responsibility of leading them to some of our newer members. We could try things out, work them harder, and get better at flow.

But it's work, and probably money that we don't have right now.

My final thought of the day is that I found out today that I understand why "conservatives" think "liberals" whine so much: they do. I don't remember the last positive liberal argument I read. Talk about pessimism, geez! It's all jump-off-a-cliff depression. Anyone got anything good to say about the state of the world? Anyone?
Current Mood: accomplished
Current Music: "She's Got You", -JB

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[User Picture]
From:tlachtga
Date:August 15th, 2005 03:13 pm (UTC)
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Anyone got anything good to say about the state of the world? Anyone?

Well, um... Frankly, the bad outweighs the good. It's easy to see the world as a great place when you're a middle class first-world citizen. But that's not the experience of the majority of the world, where people live under horrible conditions, either by manipulations of corrupt governments, or simply by the unhappy accident of existence.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:August 15th, 2005 07:45 pm (UTC)
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Hm. That's not happy. *sighs*
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From:mayden_dor
Date:August 15th, 2005 03:31 pm (UTC)
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I LOVE YOU WORLD
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From:chronarchy
Date:August 15th, 2005 07:45 pm (UTC)
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excellent :) Thanks :) Care to join me?
[User Picture]
From:dmartin
Date:August 15th, 2005 04:16 pm (UTC)
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"The Man In The High Castle" is very good indeed.

As for something good to say, the resistance to the Israeli withdrawal in Gaza has been non-violent so far.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:August 15th, 2005 07:46 pm (UTC)
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Bravo. That is good news!
[User Picture]
From:autumnfey
Date:August 15th, 2005 04:22 pm (UTC)
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I think the world has a lot going for it. Don't get me wrong, I understand where tlachtga is coming from. As a middle class person living in a nice rural area in the US, my life is pretty damn good. And there are billions of people whose lives are not good. But when looking at the state of the world, one needs to consider the big picture. There has always been war, killing, famine, political strife, today is no different. But, in developed countries we have come a long way in minimizing those things and making daily life better. In terms of developing countries, people are doing something, governments and organizations are reaching out and helping. No, they have not stopped the killing or dying, but they are making differences in the lives of individuals, differences that weren't made 100 years ago, or maybe even 10 years ago. We will never live in a world without suffering and death, but I think that now and into the future, that suffering and death is not going unnoticed and people do what they can. Of course we can do more, and that is what middle class people like me in developed nations should strive to do. For all the liberal whining I hear, I really think the state of the world is good and better than it was ten years ago. So there's my $0.05 (can't find the cents sign, do they even make those anymore?). Oh, and if anyone whines about deforestation I can tell you that Ohio has more than 30% more trees than it did 100-150 years ago - so we are making environmental progress as well!
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:August 15th, 2005 07:47 pm (UTC)
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Good call, and good to hear about the trees. I noticed today that the acorns were dropping. That made me happy.
[User Picture]
From:prophet_maid
Date:August 15th, 2005 04:24 pm (UTC)

Good things

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There's always chocolate :)
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:August 15th, 2005 07:47 pm (UTC)

Re: Good things

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Haha. Good, for those who like chocolate. I hear those of us who don't are in the minority, so it's certainly a good thing!
[User Picture]
From:kstanley
Date:August 15th, 2005 05:21 pm (UTC)
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Well as far as those in power go, I don't think things are very positive. Our leaders seem to be at best impotent and at worst greedy fucks so deep in bed with corporate America that they shit branding slogans.

But I continue to see a lot of hope in grassroots politics--particularly of the Internet variety. I'm sure you have seen my posts equating the Internet and blogging to the Reformation and I continue to have those high hopes.

It also makes me happy to see more and more people aware of how PR and consumerism has gotten out of hand in our country. It's an issue that conservatives and liberals can see eye to eye on.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:August 15th, 2005 07:48 pm (UTC)
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Grassroots movements are generally pretty good. I like to see them moving.

I have seen those posts, and I agree with them, to some extent. Thanks!
From:tanrinia
Date:August 15th, 2005 06:02 pm (UTC)
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no, i don't have anything positive to say about the state of the world, and if anyone were paying attention and looking *beyond* the price of gasoline, they wouldn't have anything positive to say either. if that's whining, then that's whining, but i hear plenty of it from the other side of the aisle, too.
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From:chronarchy
Date:August 15th, 2005 07:54 pm (UTC)
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Of course you hear it from the other side of the aisle: that's what people who care about politics do: whine. But the point is, you're focusing on negativity, you'll never see the positives. I recently saw a conservative talk about the power of churches: it was positive, these people with a mind and a head of steam wanting to get something done. That's great. I recently saw the "every person can make it if they just try hard enough" argument, also a very positive one that glorifies the individual.

I don't get that from the liberal side. I was, this morning struggling to think of their positives, and I see a few here, which is nice.

But "they do it too" isn't positive, it's more depressive rhetoric to me.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
[User Picture]
From:valkyrvolva
Date:August 15th, 2005 06:17 pm (UTC)
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"Anyone got anything good to say about the state of the world? Anyone?"

There's a really pretty butterfly on my windowsill right now. I asked him if he had anything good to say about the state of the world. He said there was a really nice breeze.

This morning I enjoyed a cup of coffee brewed from beans picked outside the town where I used to live. I know the hands that picked and roasted them got paid fairly.

You know as well as anyone that the world has very many states (some of them are orgasmically great)and it exists in all of them all at once.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:August 15th, 2005 07:55 pm (UTC)
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Those are some great positives. And free of the politics. Thanks!
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From:unnamed525
Date:August 15th, 2005 06:58 pm (UTC)
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What would constitute a positive liberal argument? When was the last time you heard a positive conservative argument? What's a "positive" argument as distinguished from a "negative" one?
What's the point, politically, of talking about the things that don't need fixing, like, say, the fact that corporations who publically support the neo-con agenda are the ones building the ridiculously insecure, opaque, in-auditable "voting" machines ... oh ... and counting the votes? At least Ohio now requires a papertrail, but it better be easy for me to read the little print out I get from the voting machine and make sure it records how I actually voted.
Self-proclaimed conservatives whine all the damn time: "liberal" "activist" judges (which means a judge doing his job, namely, interpreting the law, not in accordance with how the neo-cons want it interpreted, which means there's a chance that it was interpreted rationally); "liberal" media (which might as well be non-existent); how evangelical fundamentalists (I categorically refuse to call them "Christians") are "oppressed" (what they fail to tell you is that they're oppressed because they're not allowed to force their semi-literate, overly literal interpretation of an expressly allegorical text) ... it's probable that the list could be expanded, but those are the ones that leap to my mind most readily.
[User Picture]
From:lillassea
Date:August 15th, 2005 07:13 pm (UTC)
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Damn. Well said, sir.
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From:chirael
Date:August 15th, 2005 06:58 pm (UTC)
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Talk about pessimism, geez! It's all jump-off-a-cliff depression.

It always amazes me how different people can look at the same situation and see very different things.

I've had to conclude that the vast majority of one's experience is first determined in one's mind, and then things in the environment are selectively focused on or ignored, in order to support what is already in the head.

Anyone got anything good to say about the state of the world? Anyone?

While the rising price of oil and gas does suck ass, and things like Iran's thumbing its nose at the world are crappy, these things, and the strangehold that OPEC has, are probably going to finally motivate us to develop alternative energy sources.

It's disappointing that the general concept of providing a clean world for future generations wasn't enough to really do it, but I think the silver lining in the above difficulties is that we're finally realizing how much of a vice grip our collective balls are in vis-a-vis those countries, and it might actually force us to do something about alternative and renewable energy.
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From:chronarchy
Date:August 15th, 2005 07:59 pm (UTC)
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Excellent notes, there. I wonder, though, if we will indeed start looking for oil alternatives, or if we'll simply start getting stingier with the oil we have. I wonder if we'll start seeing used Hummer lots in the near future? No matter how it goes, I can see this being a good, positive change.
(Deleted comment)
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From:chronarchy
Date:August 15th, 2005 08:02 pm (UTC)
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Well, the general impression of whininess came from LJ. There was the crazy "letter from blue states to red ones" floating around, and a few other things. Fear about this war, fear about oil price, fear about this and that.

I have a very disproportionate number of liberals to conservatives on my f-list, and I'm interested to see some move right in and give me some positives, and some to move right in and give me more negatives. This is very curious, in terms of reaction.

I wanted someone to just say, "Look, we've done something good!" And lo, my friends have provided. It's nice to see.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:tlachtga
Date:August 15th, 2005 07:31 pm (UTC)
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Because, you know, it's not like conservatives don't whine about taxes, or gays, or liberals.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:August 15th, 2005 08:07 pm (UTC)
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It's not a matter of who whines. It's a matter of when I can last remember a positive argument, something that glorifies something. . . Anything. Something that brings out the best in something. An argument that reminds us that we're not cattle.

I can see how the "any person can make it in this world" argument is positive because it says, "Yes, even Sally Shoppingcart can make it in this world if she tries!" Whether people manage or not, well, there's proof enough that they don't. But I can't imagine anything more positive than, "Yes, you CAN make it! I believe in you!" I can't really see how, "This war in Iraq is costing too much," can really be positive.

As I think more on it, though, the constant insistance on women being able to make choices with their bodies is a good example of a positive liberal argument. It elevates the woman, makes her a being with choices. So that would count as one.
[User Picture]
From:edelweiss68
Date:August 15th, 2005 07:41 pm (UTC)
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Soemthing good to say about the world? Ummmmmm......... errr.....

SEX!

There ya go. ;)
[User Picture]
From:edelweiss68
Date:August 15th, 2005 08:00 pm (UTC)
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Although, in MY world... I played with a few grasshoppers and a praying mantis while gardening yesterday, found a baby bird, and got a great tan. It made me forget about the rest of the world for a while, and if that's a bad thing, then sue me. :)
(Deleted comment)
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From:chronarchy
Date:August 15th, 2005 10:15 pm (UTC)
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I've never really been able to decide if Heifer International was as great an idea as it seems. I'm really torn on that one.

I'm curious, what's the point of them, and how does it miss? *very curious*
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:creature_tamer
Date:August 15th, 2005 09:46 pm (UTC)
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Wow, opening a can of worms early in the week I see. The organized Liberal leadership constantly espouses its tirades of pessism and dour outlook simply in a bid to accrue political power. Conservatism is growing more rapidly than ever and is the mainstream of America today, which increasingly pushes Liberalism toward the fringe of power and popularity.

In order for organized Liberalism to make a comeback, the mainstream Conservatism has to take a humiliating fall. Since Conversatives are in power, that means the current people and policies in power have to be seen to fail as early and often as possible. In short, the U.S. government itself has to be perceived as being in a quagmire from which only Liberal principles (and politicians) can save it. It doesn't matter if that's actually true - "perception is reality" in this case.

Everything good that happens to this country right now is bad for the Liberals. A victory for the country is a victory for the Conservatives currently in power. On the other hand, horrible tragedies and impending doom for the country (and the world at large) are bad for the people in power and thus very good for the people who want to seize power. This is why you have such theatrical displays of pessimism as we saw in the non-stop parade of attacks during the recent Presidential election.

Honestly the state of the world right now is better than it's ever been, and getting even better all the time. We have medicines and technologies that can both prolong life and improve the quality of it. We have gathered our enemies into a single remote desert, so we can fight them there instead of in the streets of our cities. When people were left suffering and struggling in the wake of tsunami, Americans willingly poured out their hearts and dollars to such an extent that the Red Cross eventually asked people to stop sending donations. Honestly, this is a great time to be alive.

I have great sympathy for those who think our best years are behind us, and the horrible burden it must be for them to try to live their daily lives in such a dark state of mind.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:August 15th, 2005 10:13 pm (UTC)
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Wow, opening a can of worms early in the week I see.

Actually, it's just a request for optimism among my friends, really. Perhaps it came off as "liberals just disappoint me", but anyone who's been reading my journal will know that a) I'm optimistic and hate pessimism, and b) I like to rile my friends up. It's great fun to point this out, and damn if I haven't gotten some really positive arguments out of it.

I'm always surprised at what sets off my friends list. It's fun to watch, mostly because they're so damn smart.

Hehe. I see you've already found that my LJ is just full of those crazy liberals. . . This should prove amusing. But really, you make some good points: things bad for the country are always bad for the people in power, good for the people looking for it. Your point on "gathering our enemies" is less well taken, though, especially with two terror attacks in London just last month, but I admit to liking the positive idea behind it: that we're winning and can win.

On a side note, the Bush administration initially promised 30 million dollars of aid to the Tsunami victims. They increased this almost immediately due to public outcry, but they did fall short there for a minute or two. Fact remains, though, that they didn't stand firm on that, but increased it *immediately* when they realized they'd screwed up (that's my way of saying, "yeah, people make mistakes, and that's okay").

And yeah, if we believe that our best years are behind us, they surely will be.

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