Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Ghost Of All Things Past ....


.... the beauty of drinking yourself silly on Christmas eve (An unnamed fruit-punch concoction) is that one wakes up particularly ornery, impatient at most things and just wondering why it is that you do the things you do in the first place. So please allow me to indulge in my annual year-end venting. It is in no particular priority or logic.... just T-P being , well.... a roll of paper...

As I get older, I find myself amused in that I am attracted to things that as I child I would have never looked twice. Gardening? Poetry? ... Bird watching? Book classics? Those I call my friends here in California (... and Alabama?) say I am maturing and appreciating the simplicities of life. Knowing my cousins in New Jersey and Puerto Rico, they will rip me a new one and think I am for certain turning metro-sexual, or worse. My mind tells me its something more apparent. I have been watching a ton of documentaries on American History and Biographies. That John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, two figures I have grown fonder by the minute, were lovers of nature and read everything they got their hands on has certainly been influential. As an example, I recently looked up who the hell Cincinnatus was, based simply on a reference from one of Jefferson's letters.

Why is it that age takes away physical strength, yet gives us better clarity to understand the poignancy and relevance of history? Its easy to put it all on the maturing of the mind, but could it be that age awakens a level of beauty in the eye of the beholder that can only be uncovered by unidentified colors of pain, our unplanned catastrophic reference points and the drip-drying of tear ducts?...

In thinking of history and appreciation of the proverbial days of yore; the writings of Americans from the past has me physically spell-bound. Last night, while nursing said drunkenness in bed, I watched the Ken Burns' documentary of Lewis and Clark's westward expedition under President Thomas Jefferson. The letters from Meriwether Lewis to Jefferson, while simple, elegant, non-contrived, and devoid of angst, are as powerful and emotive as a punch to the solar plexus. The letters from Lincoln to his Generals during the Civil War?,... nothing I've read in my life has made me as embarrassed of my own ability. Has there ever been a love story with a natural grace as told by the letters between Abigail and John Adams? How is it that these times had such great writers? How did these people, without a public education system of note acquire such expression-dexterity? Such eloquence of syntax and penmanship? It would be so easy for me to drop in an example of how Washington (the General) would have texted his concerns to John Hancock were he to have had a Blackberry, .... but I won't.......Ok, this is too temping not to, so I will.... "Yo JH, pls snd $ for guns. We R chillin' in V-Forge. Benedict A. keepn us warm with jokes LMAO. Say Hi 2 Gen. Howe if U C him. Peace out" .... It just doesn't quite have the same regal gait and aplomb, does it...

In a related topic, and as I have been spending time at my newest Blogging collaborative effort, (www.conservativeconvictions.blogspot.com) I've been scratching my dome about many things. The founding Fathers and Mothers were for the most part Statesmen yes; but they were not foreign to dropping the F-bomb here and there and using the saltiest of words to make their case. Good language and conduct was considered of good manners and social-form; not something to be done due to the pressures of a politically correct atmosphere, as is the case in today's discourse. So I ask myself, why should I have to be a "kinder and gentler" T-P? Why?.... I know, I have spewed many times on not letting the messenger derail the message. I am an ardent believer that -for the most part-, when one delivers a message on a bed of flowers it is going to get more of a look-see that if it were on a bed of thorns...... still, why Do we have to be so nice? Why DO we have to be the bigger persons of ideology when the other side is message-vile and holds no quarter in putting our philosophy down? Is there not a virtue to let your unbridled passion of expression give your message the gravitas it needs? ... (Screw Rodney King, I say..., we DON'T have to get along....)

And speaking of "Gravitas" (as I have a fast-forward philosophical turret moment)... , in 2000, the media had an orgasmic time with the word. G.W. Bush was said to have no "gravitas" so he needed Cheney to buttress his lack of foreign policy yada-yada. Hmmm. Fast forward to 2008. PEBO (Pres Elect Barry O.), had zero foreign policy, executive or economic "gravitas", ... nothing. Heck, he had to get Biden just to get a few pounds of it. Yet,... did anybody hear the Media utter the "G" word once? I'm not saying anything new of course, and truthfully I don't put too much weight on experience anyway,.... but it just makes me laugh at how much of an attention span we have. The media thinks we are suckers,... and for the most part, I heartily agree with their assumptions.

Ok, back to my time capsule musings. Thomas Jefferson really screwed up, in my opinion. He should have never bought the Louisiana Territory from Napoleon no matter how good the bargain. Think of it, then the United States had the Atlantic as the eastern wall, the Gulf as the southern wall, the Mississippi in the west, and the British Territory to the north. Nice little nation without worrying about the Spanish/Mexican territory or the Oregon/North West passage. How much more manageable could we be right now? ... Did we really think expansion (The Southwest? The Oregon territory? Guam? Alaska? Hawaii? ...) was that important? I may have to do one of those "What if.." postings just to make myself feel better. We are too big, too varied, too multi-cultured and too .... whatever it is. Xenophobic? call it whatever comes in handy, but we are a 50-state Jabba-the-Hut nation whose eaten way too many cultural donuts and we can barely get out of our beds and do the dirty work we need to survive.

All this rummaging through history has my hangover feeling worse.... not better. But I do have one idea that has as good a chance to get national traction as Barrack Obama getting a breast-lift. It wont fix my headache, but it will amuse me to no end to share it. It goes like this:

Let's split the country 50/50. Why not do an experiment that calls for 25 states (for the next 25 years) to be ruled by me, by Fiat, without a democracy, a Republic, a Contitution or even the nuisance of voters to get in my way. Make me Benevolent Dictatus for 25 years, then decapitate my head at the end of my "term" for all to see no matter the final outcome. The other 25 states can continue on this 2-party system of Government that is as obsolete as the treadmill looking at me from the corner right now. You guys do it your way, I will have my little 25 States do it my way. I will bet you my country and my subjects would be the envy of the planet. And just to make it fair? I will let the traditionalists get to pick their 25 States first .... JUST as long as mine are contiguous, .... Just sayin'...

..... Finally, as of today's count, I have a Blog of my own, a Blog or two to which I contribute, 8 different email addresses to stay in touch with friends and family, a home phone, cell phone and smart phone, texting capabilities, a Facebook and MySpace social networking page, a web page for my band, two computer programs to make sure I stay "organized" and in control of my life, and God knows how many other ways to communicate with everybody in the Planet. Still, I wish I lived in a world that had but the pen.... the simple quill to write and express...., nothing more. Because in spite of the many windows of communication available to me today, I am far more isolated -and probably much lonelier-, than Meriwether Lewis and William Clark ever were..... even in their darkest of days humping over the Rockies, and paddling upstream,... always upstream ....

..... Uh oh... , my Blackberry is humming.... gotta' go and see what important matters await me. Be well America, feel free to make yourself a sandwich of both hope and despair, and down it with a swig of thoughtful introspection.

..... Only 991 more years until the new Millennium ....


14 comments:

Patrick M said...

Speaking of eloquence, despite the myriad pages and electronic devices, you managed to produce something cogent.

The difference between the likes of Jefferson and Adams, and the humbleness of yourself and the ultra-humble manicifence of I myself is merely the tools by which we record our thoughts and observations. We possess minds, free will, and a firm belief in the greatness of America. In that, many of us are the modern brothers and sisters of the Founding Fathers.

Of course, I text in full sentences sometimes....

Robert said...

My good friend, I too mourn the loss of the paper and pen, and as we have discussed, I only recently used the ancient method to communicate with someone. I also have a longing for a simpler age when communication was more personal and more intimate.

That being said, I cannot help but have a greater appreciation for the ability to reach out and communicate at greater distances and to greater audiences than ever before. Case in point: were it not for the internet, computers, and our Blackberries on which you and I communicate daily, this friendship, among others, would have never occurred. I think, perhaps, that it is not the medium of which we desire a different method, but of the users of said medium who allow it to be the only method by which we communicate.

There is so much in this post that is poignant, and in my case, of particular interest and timing. I think age factors in that we view things differently at certain points in time. I don't think you are "elderly" by any means, but sometimes the natural process of maturation brings about enlightenment in due course. Other times a certain event may bring about revelation as to the completion of our own person. I am learning that there is credence to being a "renaissance man"; a completion by combining science softened with the humanities, warrior tempered with the pacifist. Find no shame in new perspectives...

Lewis and Clark were bold. I think that we long for men of their stature to admire. Those are the adventures that most of us dream about...rugged, without boundaries, surging forward with no guarantee of success, yet with strength of character assuring such...

An incredibly well turned piece. More to metally digest, and we shall discuss more through the night.

And I also text in complete sentences. It takes to much mental effort to figure out the shorthand....

WomanHonorThyself said...

what a revealing, stunning post. Blessings for the upcoming year TP...alot less pain and tons of joy comin your way!..Big NYC hugs to ya my friend!! :)

Renegade Eye said...

Holiday Greetings

I fall into a nostalgia for the old days. I miss black and white westerns as Sugarfoot. I'm always reading classics.

Except for politics, I'm conservative.

QuakerDave said...

This past year, I read the David McCullough biography of John Adams, and then watched the HBO series based on the book. Right now, I'm reading the latest biography of Quaker abolitionist John Woolman. It never ceases to amaze me that people like these, who lived so long ago, and whose only education came from reading books and listening to lectures and TALKING to other people can be so much more brilliant and talented than just about ANYBODY our society seems to be able to produce today.

And the letters and diaries of Adams and his wife? This was CASUAL, everyday writing, and it is astoundingly beautiful.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by my place. You'll always be my favorite "conserva-troll". ;)

Peace.

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Patrick M-
I've never considered that notion,... that the writers and movers of the new media etc, are the new "Founders" of whatever it is the nation will turn into... Fascinating (as my Uncle Spock would say...)

Robert-
All your points, as usual, take me to a few tangents right off the bat. True enough; this technology has enabled me to confer with people near and far that otherwise I could never have meet, much less known at depth.
I should say that my yearning is far less for the Quill/Paper end of things than the art of the written word. To this day I love getting a hand-written note from my dad. His orthography, stylistic flourishes of the fountain pen and overall ability to make words coalesce into a thought is still a gift not of this earth.
I look forward to good and deeper events at the House of CC.

Woman ...-
Many thanks for your years of banter back and forth. I appreciate the kind words and return the same kind wishes to you in your endeavors :)

Ren,
Good to see you, and by the way, our common friend Craig Bardo is now a co-contributor at "Conservative Convictions". He speaks with high respect and esteem of you.

QD -
Welcome back old friend.
I myself read McCullough's "John Adams" and was just transported to a time from which I did not wish to return. I have his "Truman" next in line, having already polished off "1776", another great yarn.
Reading of books,... is there a better education? I love telling the story of my dad laying a big box under the tree in Christmas eve of 1970. I was sure it was the big hunkin' yellow Tonka truck with the moving rig...., nope. It was a big red 16-volume Brittanica Jr. Encyclopaedia. To this day is has been my happiest of disappointments.
Thanks for stopping by, ... hope to get to into some good educated arguments with you in the future.

Brooke said...

I always love reading your posts... They make me laugh, think, and always leave me feeling peppy.

Keep checking that crackberry. ;)

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Well Brooke,
I can see that there has never been a dull moment, or lack of high-density chuckle when I have landed my talons on your branches either...
Thanks for the drop-by,... you made my day with your kind words Girlfriend... :)

David#999 said...

you sound like a good man.. Bless you and have a great Christmas and a very happy new year.

TRUTH-PAIN said...

David999,
Welcome to the House of Pain... Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year yourself :)
Your sentiments are appreciated and returned in kind.

WomanHonorThyself said...

p.s. email me n e time:)

Ms.Green said...

T. P.

One thing sorely lacking in today's culture is the ability to communicate intelligently and productively. Communication has often been reduced to "c u soon" or "ROFLMAO".

It's nice to read words that make sense, have a message to them, and that put a few new wrinkles in the ol' grey matter. I can always count on that from you.

May your new year be blessed in multiple areas of your life. May God speak to you in new ways this year.(even if you don't think He's there) :)

AI said...

Speaking of gravitas, I know why I come around occasionally; a fascinating read. It is 0320hrs, 2009-01-01 so Happy New Year TP … What am I doing up at this insane time you ask? I just put the finishing touches to my New year post … Oh, and I will come around and read this post again ... but for now it's bedtime ...

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Ms. Green,

Many thanks for your generous words. I am proud and happy to count on a few of you to escape their individual realities and come read my humble musings on life and politics.
The best to you and yours, the best to your Blog in 09, and I hope to see you on the other side.

AI,

HAPPY NEW YEAR COMRADE!
As always, your stopping by is greeted with smiles and appreciation. I was commenting with Robert over and Conservative Convictions about your Blog and we hope to use some of your magnificent material to buttress some of our own in 2009.
Enjoy the day my friend, and thank you for your kindness...