Our image.

I think the meaning of life is meaninglessness. If I can’t understand it, is it not meaningless? Does a dog comprehend a vacuum cleaner? And does his lack of understanding somehow affect the outcome of his life. Possibly. But not ultimately. Not to be hyperbolic, but many people stumble through life supported only by the weak structures of luck. How do you explain that? How do you explain a drunk having a better chance of surviving in a crash than his victim? God has a plan right? Maybe there is a God but he doesn’t “play” the dice. They are fundamentally out of his control. God might sympathize with you, but he’s not going, and he is not able to interfere with the outcome. 300 years ago, they believed witches were real. 300 years ago, the Negro was born to be a slave. Nietzsche was right, but let me edit him for my ego, you know o can never agree with you. I’ll just state your opinion back to you and we will agree to disagree..

God isn’t dead, he is powerless. The mechanic nature of the universe might have created him, but it left him as helpless as the queen in a constitutional monarchy. Trust me, he has the nicest houses, but he can’t do shit. Although, Pope Benedict is actually trying to do something in his name. But you know what, Benedict believes in humans more than he believes in God. And so do I.

The lack of God is not the lack of control. The lack of god is full control. If only we realized the power we have. If only we didn’t fear each other. If only as Malala Yousafzai wished, we dropped books instead of bombs. But how do I put my image at the right hand of god, through the paintings I commission if not through power and control. If death is my final end, do I value Ozymandias? Or am I ultimately a slave to human nature and the ego that carries with it?

We hold self-recognition as one our crowning achievements. The realization of man. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t a woman whom first recognized her image floating among the weeds. Some women might be offended by that. But they shouldn’t. It is a compliment. When are more self-aware than men. I hate that I have to justify this statement

Is it not our image, that magical image that transforms in the mirror each day, that determines many of our actions? Of course this image is partly based on others and our own perceptions, the extreme of either one being a whole host of personality and emotional issues. Hence, inherently, our identity is a self-limiting projection. We are limited to our sins by our perception of ourselves. Do you want to know who God really is? God is our collective conscience that exists without our personal perceptions. That’s what makes communicating with it powerful. We ask us to forgive us. We ask us to judge us. We ask for the truth that we know we can’t access with our deceptions before our eyes and in our minds.

Trump card

“For riches and reputation and power, if devoid of wisdom and of moderation of conduct and in the exercise of authority, are characterized by shameless and insufferable arrogance. There is, indeed, no uglier kind of state than one in which the richest men are thought to be the best.”

– Cicero, On the Commonwealth

Historical context: before the fall of the Roman Republic when Caesar claimed power. Cicero writes around 50 BC. Ceaser and two other leaders had already effectively divided Rome. 30 years later, in 27 BC, historians mark the end of the Republic. Cicero writes out of concern for the future of Rome. His fears were vindicated.

The Corner Stone – A story about Bob Marley

Maybe you have heard it through Sublime or maybe Bob Marley, but the story of the “corner stone,” goes all the way back to the Bible and the old testament. The corner stone refers to an idea or person that is rejected whom then goes on to become the foundation of the future. And we can still see this character and idea playing out in modern times with things such as, “he was ahead his time.”

In fact, the use of corner stone in Sublime’s music is purely a reference to Bob Marley. According to a documentary about Bob Marley,  a disappointed Bob wrote the song Corner Stone in reflecting on his rejection by the white side of his family. You see, Bob, was a mulatto. His father was a 40ish white man and his mother a poor black woman.

Light skin to this day carries a slightly derogatory connotation in the black community here in America and all over the New World. It almost seems to reference back to the Diaspora’s reinforced sense of inferiority. The negative value of lighter skin is almost everywhere else contradicted with whitening cream being one of the world’s top selling beauty supplies. At the heart of it, is a search for identity, an identity that this author would argue Bob Marley attempted to build. The destruction and manipulation of his message is left for a different discussion.

Bob was, according to those whom knew him, sensitive about his lineage. When living in Trenchtown and trying to make it as an artist he decided to head to the Marley family headquarters in downtown Kingston. He entered the establishment and let the clerk know that he too was a Marley. Bob was hoping to receive some money to produce his first album. Predicatively, the whites scuffed at this ragga muffin’ and told him to take a hike. The rejection hurt him deeply and is reflected in some of the mournful lyrics Bob ever recorded: “Don’t you pick and refuse me, for the things people refuse are the things they should choose. Do you hear me? Hear what I say. The stone that the builder refuse shall always be the head corner stone.

And with the beautiful irony of life, he was right! That white side of the Marley heritage will always *cough* pale in comparison to Bob.

Credit: Marley the Movie

The Counting of The Universe

I had to stop to get gas. I mean my car wasn’t empty, but the price of gas was the cheapest at that section of 81 south of Roanoke. The total came to 19 dollars and I was feeling a bit off about the overcast day. You know. The feeling of leaving something behind. The feeling of being a little lost even though you know exactly where you are. That was me.

I had just taken a piss behind a propane tank about thirty feet behind the tiny Marathon gas station. And when I walked back in and jumped in line, I noticed that the bathroom was in the only corner of the four corner room I hadn’t checked.

I bought a scratch off ticket. I picket thirteen. That infamous unlucky number. Maybe unlucky for when it is received as a factor in grade school, the pupil feels lost. Or perhaps, there has always got to be a fall guy. Thirteen just takes the brunt in our culture. But like all human precepts, it is easily contradicted by driving outside the confines of your cultural history. It is easy to discover how short sighted these demonizing of numbers and other such things are.

In fact, you are just as likely to find the opposite popular wisdom in a different culture as you are the same, given that you travel outside your own cultural tree, or at least far enough back. For example, in America, we say, the squeaky wheel gets the oil, typically symbolizing that fact that those whom complain get accommodated. In China, they say, the nail that sticks out gets the hammer. Seemingly contradictory popular wisdom from whence it sprang from some wise human’s observations of the dao or way.

So, why did I pick thirteen if was not just to be a contrarian? Let me ask a question in return: what do you remember about prime numbers? I alluded to it earlier; they have no factors other than what mathematicians like to call the identity principle (damn middle school algebra) n*1=n. In other words, no other numbers except itself and one can be multiplied to result in a prime number. Who cares right? What if I told you five is a prime number? How many fingers do you have again? And how about this! 2 is the only even prime number! How many eyes do you have? What am I getting at is that prime numbers are the true counting set of the universe. All other numbers are some combination of them! They don’t exist as a separate thing. They are only results of the primes. Take for example 10. Two hands with five fingers each.

So, as I said I was feeling peculiar. I bought prime and you know what! I won. I won exactly the same amount that I spent. I had already beaten the odds. But, hell, I was trying to lose one dollar. So I headed back into the store and gazed at my selection of tickets. That next prime cost $2 dollars, so I dropped another dollar on the counter and the lady handed me number eleven. I headed back out to the car and scratched the coating away with a quarter. “Reveal 3 of the same number and win that amount,” the directions said. A scratched off a $5, and then another, and then another! I won again! I returned to the store and bought a $5 ticket. This game was complicated. I read the directions several times before I understood the rules. I scratched and thought I had won $5 again. So I took the ticket it in and she rang it up from the bar code at the bottom and to my and her surprise I won $20. I spent $5 on another ticket and lost and drove away.

I guess the universe appreciated me attempting to count with it that day. I appreciated it too.