Short End of the Ugly Stick II: Enough about Wal-Mart Already!!

Camel Toes

“God is a wild man.  Doesn’t give a damn about camel toes.”

[Originally published on MySpace on July 16, 2010.]

I’ve worked as an editor.  You cannot shock me with mere typos, bad grammar, creative spelling, or even malapropisms (in fact, I’m actually rather fond of same).  As an editor, it’s my job to help with those things.  In terms of metaphysics, it’s all grist for the mill.  I like high falutin’, high brow language, but then I also like to solve Sudoku puzzles–mainly because I’m attracted to intricacy.

Nonetheless, the folks at Wal-Mart–who are a joke in danger of becoming a cultural phenomenon in this country–manage to get their points across, double negatives and all (which by the way only works in math), and the way they express emotion and experience of life is just as valid an expression of humanity as any other, and serves to forward, however backwardly, the human condition.  Being insufferably self-absorbed, I often find myself asking “What has this person just taught me about myself?”

I recall seeing a young woman at Wal-Mart who did manage to shock me.  She was dressed in the wispiest of negligees stretched over a body so perfectly rotund as to be nearly preternatural, and there was nothing at all left to one’s imagination (think “camel toes”).  My first hysterical thought was, “I’d shoot myself in the head before going out in public like that.”  This despite the fact that she was completely fascinating and I couldn’t keep my eyes off her.  Then I thought about it.  The problem was not that she was dressed inappropriately.  The problem was that she might as well have gone naked and painted a big target on her back with a sign that said, “Take your best shot” because MOST of the REST of the properly dressed patrons in the store were not adult enough to handle her state of deshabille, because ALL of them, including me, would immediately take it personally.  It’s a kind of “there but for the grace of God” thing, only we leave out the “grace” part, eh?  I watched her for a minute or two.  At one point she turned, threw back her head, and laughed at something her companion said.  Completely abandoned, unmitigated hilarity.  I found myself smiling involuntarily in response.  I was enchanted.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I went to the ER several times recently.  The first two visits nearly cost me my life.  Why?  Stringy haired, no shower, no make-up, skin greasy and pallid with sweat and breath sour from unmitigated pain, dressed in my “jammies” (sweats and a T-shirt, creased and stained with hard use), and in such debilitating active pain that I was not able to keep silent about it—like I’d been shot in the head, imagine that.  In short, I was a perfect vision of pathetic white trash who had no doubt brought her debilitation down upon herself.  My sister, who had brought me to the hospital, was in little better condition, because it was the middle of the night, no sleep, and she was worried sick about me.  The repugnance on the faces of the staff in the ER was nearly as palpable as the pain in my head.  One of them even remarked to my sister, “you know, just because she moans about being in pain doesn’t mean we’re going to get to her any faster.” 

To make a long story short, they rationalized their fear and disgust and disenfranchised me by deciding I wasn’t worth their effort, being stupid white trash, and shuffled me back out the door as quickly as possible with a diagnosis of “sinus infection.”  By the time I finally was admitted to the ICU at another hospital–with a raging case of bacterial meningitis!–I was within just a few hours of reaching the point of no return.

Hours.  Toast.  Dead.  And for what?  Because I wasn’t a fashion plate?  Because I failed to adhere to the dress code?  Because I wasn’t like you??  What are you afraid of?

You see my point?  God is a wild man.  Doesn’t give a damn about camel toes.  None of us has to live there, and no one’s asking us to. If they are, they have no right to ask.  On the other hand, if I ever see that little round woman in the negligee again, I’m going to throw my arms around her and give her a big smack on the forehead with both my lips.  Almost learned my lesson the hard way, you dig?

“…I find a beauty in all who deign to expose it…”

Pay attention to the first two words in this quote especially.  How you think and what you do has an effect.  Where does our responsibility lie?  Is it black and white?  Is it always the same?

Go ahead and laugh.  But don’t forget compassion.  Not a one of us has the right to deprive others of their humanity, regardless of the provocation.

And whereas I grant you that there is no categorical imperative to refrain from doing so, there are nonetheless consequences, which these days have the potential to be threatening on a scale of beyond nightmare.  Be careful what you ask for.

Smooch.

~Thea

6:00 PM  30 Comments  5 Kudos

Update December 3, 2012

This blog may be a little naive in scope, but I think it still makes a really excellent point that can be extrapolated into a wider context, which is that how you feel about others, and how you subsequently treat them, can have serious consequences for them and for you–in particular as we’re not ever only just “dealing locally,” we’re also always dealing with “normative narratives.”  Cultural assumptions–which can have wide and even unpredictable (or at least harder to predict) consequences for people at further removes which will then eventually swing back around to you.

A friend recently brought the following article to my attention.  I began thinking about it, of course (I also began wishing I could get blind stinking drunk).  Following the link are a few additional remarks on this general subject.

Read the article, folks.  Seriously.

Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us

…my remarks…

“This is the first moment in the history of our planet when any species, by its own voluntary actions, has become a danger to itself – as well as to vast numbers of others.

It might be a familiar progression, transpiring on many worlds – a planet, newly formed, placidly revolves around its star; life slowly forms; a kaleidoscopic procession of creatures evolves; intelligence emerges which, at least up to a point, confers enormous survival value; and then technology is invented. It dawns on them that there are such things as laws of Nature, that these laws can be revealed by experiment, and that knowledge of these laws can be made both to save and to take lives, both on unprecedented scales. Science, they recognize, grants immense powers. In a flash, they create world-altering contrivances. Some planetary civilizations see their way through, place limits on what may and what must not be done, and safely pass through the time of perils. Others, not so lucky or so prudent, perish.”

I think that last bit might be a bit optimistic, begging the question of whether anything like human sentience (and there isn’t any other kind of sentience) can exist anywhere, or by any means other than human.

The problem with no longer having God running the show (as it were) is precisely that there are no longer any external–i.e., natural–limits that keep us safe from ourselves (at least in terms of continuing to exist as a species, if not in terms of certain portions of various populations or individuals). Instead, it is required that we ourselves figure out how to make our destiny manifest, and in what regard. This is somewhat problematic (*stifles hysterical laughter*), because that “we” I just mentioned has tremendous difficulty actually coming to and then sustaining any sort of agreement as to what constitutes an appropriate limit. Sentience and its expression is a temporal dynamic process–any agreement is all but intrinsically transient. In order to curb this (assuming that doing so is desirable), it becomes conceivable that a way must be found to establish a static limit (a “hard” limit) within this dynamic–a limit that we create, as opposed to relying on nature to curb our impertinence or, rather, our boundless enthusiasm for failing to also fear to tread where angels already do. And this all by itself has potential for disastrous consequences equal to those that plague us if we DON’T manage to come up with some sort of limit.

Need a static limit that doesn’t act like one. Feel free to imagine that.

Meticulous self-respect. I dunno if that can happen fast enough on a broad enough scale to save our bacon (assuming, again, that we need to be saved). But then this is where I came in to the discussion/endeavor, and where the idea of “curative virus” entered into the picture: you can make rules, but if you can’t enforce them, then they’re not worth much. On the other hand, it seems to me that TRULY rational self-interest recognizes that we can’t live without each other, and that assigning a negative value to warts is actually suicide.

“…it seems to me aesthetics and ethics are intertwined, but that there is a dynamic in place, such that while there may be a temporary or an overall stability, nonetheless there is always also change and creation of meaning. Iteration, reiteration, and that fine, often not readily and more often overlooked nudge of the creation of new meaning as a result of the recursive operation of any process, in particular as no process ever runs quite the same way each time. Gestalt is also a factor, wherein you have more and different than you started with. Aesthetics, as I painfully understand it from a popular western view, typically has to do with a narrow definition, and anything outside that field of possibility is not regarded in terms of what it is in itself, rather in terms of how it fails to be what it isn’t. Hence, the degradation of anything outside that narrow field of possibility. For me, ethics has to do with a deliberate aesthetics which seeks to avoid that degradation.”

It’s not just a matter of superficial courtesy. It’s life and death.

People do shit because of how they feel, and most of the time they have no idea how they feel because they don’t realize that being aware of it is important–so, it’s not on their consideration checklist–that unspoken means by which each of us keeps track of what’s going on and makes adjustments accordingly–which means it doesn’t get checked, and thus it doesn’t get taken into account.

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35 Responses to Short End of the Ugly Stick II: Enough about Wal-Mart Already!!

  1. Thea says:

    Deborah ~ ♥ “Erekamka Na Adonai” ♥:

    “God is a wild man. “
     
    I love this quote, greatly!!! Of course, I wouldn’t know it if not for J.

    And yes, God is a wild man…I’m thankful He is.

    “It’s a kind of “there but for the grace of God” thing, only we leave out the “grace” part, eh? I watched her for a minute or two. At one point she turned, threw back her head, and laughed at something her companion said. Completely abandoned, unmitigated hilarity. I found myself smiling involuntarily in response. I was enchanted.”

    I’m certain I’d have been as well. I’ve found myself fascinated by persons who are so “out there” I could barely divert my attention away. I find many times I’m fascinated because I’d love to have that level of “not caring” and just being. Oh to enjoy life with abandon. I’m better than I once was but not near where I could and should be.

    My son has a group of friends who’ve always been on the fringe, they are a bit unique. But I adore them…they all have a sense of self not intimidated or daunted by societal norms. My son has Asperger’s Syndrome. This group of young persons have been his friends since he was in kindergarten, he fits right in due to his “oddities”, which are of course, not considered oddities to the group, merely who he is. I’ve rarely come across a group of people who display such a sense of sharing and caring for one another.

    It’s a beautiful thing. I’ve stood back and watched reaction to my son and his friends, my daughter as well…I‘m often disappointed but…we are so conditioned to what we consider acceptable and appropriate for respectable members of society.

    The loss is most definitely with those who fail to view others with compassion and disregard humanity based on bias, misconception and failure to appreciate the beauty in diversity.

    “Go ahead and laugh. But don’t forget compassion. Not a one of us has the right to deprive others of their humanity, regardless of the provocation.”

    Wonderful. Wonderful…love it. Love the post!

    Oh…and I’m thankful you received the medical attention you required to recover from your illness. Many in the medical field would do well to read this post and take it to heart!

    Posted by Deborah ~ ♥ “Erekamka Na Adonai” ♥ on July 16, 2010 – Friday – 8:36 PM

    • Thea says:

      jcmmanuel:

      @Deborah: “I wouldn’t know it if not for J.” – Lol, I remember I sent that vid to a number of people, but only you and Thea responded with excitement. The vid is still on Thea’s profile by the way.

      I think you (Deb) were arousing this with one of your own blogs when you said or quoted something about Christians often being inclined to deliver truth “in a contentious way”, as opposed to accepting without conditions – which brought to mind this video.

      Great example you’re adding here about your son. Hint: Thea would now give him “a big smack on the forehead with both my lips”! PS, just between us: I have no idea how someone could give a big smack like that with just one lip – but I presume that would be the ‘mild’ way to handle it, as opposed to ‘wild’.

      Posted by jcmmanuelon July 17, 2010 – Saturday – 5:41 AM

  2. Thea says:

    Kris:

    Well, lovebug, I can’t help think that there is so much to be learned from being in “the other person’s shoes”. Which is obviously just another way to say, “there but by the grace of God, go I”. Empathy must be taught and then, by that same grace of God, can become our new “nature”.
    That said, I think it’s important not to wax too judgmental for those who don’t understand. That can become its own brand of reverse-condescension. We see a lot of that in the southwest, where I now reside. There’s a disdain for intellectuals and a love of gun racks and Wal-Mart. If you don’t believe me, you’re welcome to pay a visit. Albeit, much of the country is boycotting this state. That’s… another topic.
    Anyway, from the time I was tiny and wanted to point out the ladies in church, with the “blue hair”, my mother would repeat to me, “Just think how you would feel, if it was you.” This applied to all things that got my attention. Not attention the would lead toward derision. Just fascination with variety, novelty, and that which was different from me and what I knew. Forcing me as a wee girl to imagine the world from the viewpoint of the person in the wheelchair, or the person whose speech I could barely decipher, was the birthplace of empathy. And how can we “do unto others as we would have them do to us”, if we don’t first consider what we would like them to do? Or what it would be like to be them?
    Fast forward to my 15 years-long tenure in the medical field. I can tell you: there is indeed a fine line between genius and madness. Here’s something you may not know. When a family, general, or internal medicine practice agrees to start seeing patients from the mental health facility, down the road… trust me. They flood the schedule books and the overall patient load converts to mental patients. It is utterly heartbreaking. These people are so poorly cared for, that almost no one is willing to see them.
    Interestingly, what may seem like a troubling case of bronchitis to the trained observer, will appear to the mental patient as an opportunity for a pap smear. At least it’s a chance for them, in their minds, to take off their clothes for no reason. Yaaay! Taking a patient history is also interesting, because a scheduled chief complaint of hypertension, may reveal itself, through the paranoid mumblings of the patient, to actually be about… a conspiracy. Yes, the intelligentsia… is listening in… to every word we say. It is at once tragic and fascinating.
    I mention this, because when I was contemplating a career in healthcare, I asked God what he thought about it. Believe it or not, it was one of the times I got an immediate answer back. He said to me, “If you do this, I will reveal myself to you.” I thought, “Wow, cool! I guess that’s a ‘green light’ and a go-ahead for me.”
    Folks, it’s fun to hold babies and to meet with kindly senior citizens. I enjoy being the voice of calm or the lady who gives the shots that don’t hurt… much. Those were the perks of it, for me. Yet, it was never more clear than at times such as those–working with mental patients, or the unwashed, unkempt, unpleasant, malodorous, uncooperative, belligerent, and even barf in the eyelashes, mainstream patients–that that promise was revealed.
    I still can’t stand Wal-Mart. No, I’m not judging the people. I just don’t like the store. ~:)
    p.s. Sorry in advance for any typos. I blame MySpace. 😛

    Posted by Kris on July 17, 2010 – Saturday – 5:41 AM

    • Thea says:

      Yep, when I said “Not a one of us,” I meant the Wal-Mart folks, too–and those folks have some skill when it comes to detracting “the enemy.” Arresting, but hardly surprising, eh?

      And that compassion I mentioned? The problem with the staff in the ER was that they had no compassion for themselves, never mind me or other unwashed wrecks. And likely they often feel overwhelmed by the parade of need marching through their space every moment they’re at work. Many are reduced to finding ways to pick and choose who to care about, just in an effort to conserve a limited pool of energy for which there is no guarantee of a return. The main reason I for one do not disallow laughter: it’s a marvelous tool for survival, and serves as a source of energy where there is none else to be had–observe that laughter is not always an expression of joy, but of suffering, and it has a very particular and peculiar dynamic which I think is largely overlooked by most, and certainly misunderstood.

      As for that parade of need itself–this is a very bad thing, and completely unnecessary. But so long as folks keep money in the pole position, this is what we’ll have. But that’s a topic for an entire cause…imagine that…

      Posted by Thea on July 17, 2010 – Saturday – 6:29 AM

      • Thea says:

        Kris:

        Well, my dear Miss T.,
        Hopefully I didn’t inadverently drag your interesting, humorous, and poignantly observant conversation piece in an unintended direction. My apologies if I managed to steer things way off track.
        Then again, this may be one of a number occasions, where I have overestimated my own impact in a situation. Not necessarily in a good way, mind you. What can I say? Despite our best efforts, we all live our lives subjectively. Not necessarily in a bad way, mind you.
        You see, I somehow suspected that is dialog of yours–on life at Wal-Mart, or the fashion-challenged at Wal-Mart, or the apathetic and disengaged ER personnel, and so on, was in some way a jab at my sarcastic remarks, lauding pompous, arrogant, pseudo-intellectuals and their self-impressed blogs. Which, as a whole and for the record, I detest.
        Moreover, I assumed, (despite what they say about THAT), that your astute panel of friends and readers would be able to surmise the nature of my comments. Delivered fresh to you, with tongue planted firmly in cheek. Ahem.

        Posted by Kris on July 18, 2010 – Sunday – 4:38 AM

        • Thea says:

          You do not overestimate your impact, my dear. Indeed, this blog was sparked by something you said earlier; however, existing as I do on the short end of this stick, it’s an issue that has been…ah…brought to my attention whether I liked it or not, my entire life. It even nearly cost me my life. I finally said something about it. Or I’ve started to (“reconfiguring love”), and this blog actually represents my second direct stab at the subject. It is nonetheless clear to me, and should be clear to anyone else who reads your comments, that you are not a member of the guilty party. Or that if you are, you’re already engaged in cleaning up your act, same as the rest of us, including me.

          None of us is entirely innocent, eh? It’s that subjective thing you mentioned. Yet we’re all worthy of love. Just gotta keep workin’ it. I can live with that.

          And don’t worry. J and Deborah are gonna get it next. LOL!!

          Posted by Thea on July 18, 2010 – Sunday – 5:17 AM

          • Thea says:

            Too, regarding an apparent disparity in target concepts between intellectual competence and personal appearance–the two tend to go hand in hand in terms of stereotypes. Hence, you find them both mentioned in this blog.

            Posted by Thea on July 18, 2010 – Sunday – 9:59 AM

      • Thea says:

        Deborah ~ ♥ “Erekamka Na Adonai” ♥

        “As for that parade of need itself–this is a very bad thing, and completely unnecessary. But so long as folks keep money in the pole position, this is what we’ll have. But that’s a topic for an entire cause…imagine that…”

        Oh…I don’t need to get started on this topic…I’m already on fire due to budget cuts that adversely effect services provided to our most vulnerable. Three years in a row, the ax to funding for the elderly, disabled and mentally impaired. I could scream…and I have!

        Posted by Deborah ~ ♥ “Erekamka Na Adonai” ♥ on July 17, 2010 – Saturday – 8:46 AM

  3. Thea says:

    M. TERESA CLAYTON:

    Well, What a beautiful sentiment to wake up to this morning. If you could see me now…..

    Posted by M. TERESA CLAYTON on July 17, 2010 – Saturday – 5:41 AM

  4. Thea says:

    jcmmanuel:

    It’s a pleasure to read your blogs – and interesting to realize how they fit in the category ‘Life’ rather than Religion/Philosophy, even while they strongly resonate in those domains, when you think of it.

    Wild or savage man is a mythological figure. C.S. Lewis introduced it right into the heart of Narnia in the shape of fauns (lat. fauna, which to us still denotes animal life). It seems sort of risky to apply that to God – yet that’s what Lewis did with Aslan, metaphorically at least. The concept is a very Hebrew grassroots kind of thing: God connects with us, yet God is NOT human. God is dangerous, too – from our tenuous human perspective. To deny Him seems easier to some of us – but we’re still exposed to the creation then, or nature, dangerous to a high degree even if you don’t see God in it. The only difference then is: you don’t have to care about God-frustration. Which is not by accident reason number one for labeling your life as ‘atheist’, according to the stats.

    When we do realize the love under the hood of all this however, the precondition seems to be, to realize that “there is no fear in love” (1John 4). Which may be another way to say “there is acceptance of suffering in love” (right? Your thoughts please?). That was written by John, who knew about a Loving creator, or a Love-creator if you want – which to him – as to the other 3 ‘evangelists’ – was discovered in Christ as the ultimate expression of God’s love. Now if we leave aside ‘theology’ (“was Jesus son of God *since eternity*?” – that kind), one could still effortlessly deduce from the gospel accounts how God could express his love only through a human being. A human being, by the way, with brown skin and curly hair – beautiful like that (and not like the occidental-ish and Russian-orthodox-ish Caucasian Jesus with golden hair). Jesus was a ‘wild man’ too – How dare he to “smack” every outcast with both lips? This is unheard of. Gandhi however was – much inspired by Jesus as he was – not a Christian. Gandhi was inspired by a wildness that dares what no one else does. He put his life at risk almost every day – in the name of this kind of love. But oh, goodness, of course: “the love of God toward man” means to all of mankind (Tit 3:4 has the Greek word PHILANTROPIA, fondness-of-humanity).

    So yes to this lip-smacking faith 😉 Requires no orchestration (not at this level) – only preparation. Love is the mandate for mission.

    Posted by jcmmanuel on July 17, 2010 – Saturday – 3:10 PM

  5. Thea says:

    Winter

    First the disclaimer… This is my first My Space comment, hope it comes out in English, pfft.

    I don’t think I am quite far enough away from this yet Thea. When I read, “Hours. Toast. Dead” I still want to drive over to the admitting room and smack people around. Although after this blog I consider doing it in my underwear. Which frankly really isn’t fair, as there is no reason to punish EVERYONE in the ER. Embarrassed to say I really am an all or nothin kind of gal, and I have successfully avoided my baser, (read violent) urges for many years now. Awwww, I mean yeah me!! I know we have discussed my prefered handling of the situation several times now, and you may be getting frustrated with my obtuseness. I’ve heard you.. but, it’s 2:30am, I’m cranky about that, and a field trip to the ER is sounding kinda good to me.

    With that said..

    I was thinking along the same lines all evening. After reading the CM.. I was thinking how one of the strongest tenants for me has always been, BE who you wanna be. Certainly it is not that simple, but it is the bigget most important step. If you don’t believe it, no one else will.

    Oh crack!! No spell check in this thing? Hi everyone!! I’m an idiot, but I have a friend who is an editor, LOL.

    Posted by Winter on July 18, 2010 – Sunday – 4:38 AM

    • Thea says:

      I absolutely agree that smacking folks around (and not with the lips) is an exciting idea. However, I keep sabotaging myself with the notion that usually that endeavor only addresses part of the problem, and typically then creates new ones (for instance, where does one then shop for boo boo strips for one’s knuckles?). So there’s your practical ethics. The other part of it is my emotional understanding that harm usually stems from hurt. Through a combination of temperament and circumstance, I am trained on this path…which probably means I actually do need a body guard, so welcome aboard! LMAO!!

      Posted by Thea on July 18, 2010 – Sunday – 8:02 AM

    • Thea says:

      As for “BE who you want to be,” yes, simple, but not simplistic. As I kinda hinted at above, I think quite often the discomfort any of us might feel toward or about another who is, ah…a tad different…is directly related to our own insecurities. Like I said above, none of us has to live there (where that person is) and no one’s asking us to, or if they are, they have no right to ask. Negative social pressure to fit in is definitely real, and a big factor in all of this, but we don’t need to cave into it. Not willy nilly, certainly.

      Posted by Thea on July 18, 2010 – Sunday – 4:56 PM

  6. Thea says:

    jcmmanuel:

    On a different tack. This blog is addressing – if I may speak in terms of network (network of love in this case) – the outgoing direction, outgoing love. We may all love this ‘preternatural’ but beautiful young women – if we just discover her inner beauty – or her intrinsic value as offered to her by the Creator. The incoming direction however is not being addressed here, and IMHO that is a different subject because it relates to our upbringing, for one thing. This women may herself be a fully enabled giver (outgoing love) because she did already receive a full pack (incoming love) to begin with. The most classic case of the ‘pack’ being: having beautiful loving parents – the parents we all would like to have, and actually also deserve. This topic is only indirectly related to your blog, but nevertheless: I’m positing this as a presumption about ‘Miss Cameltoe’ (hopefully being entitled to do so, as I am, after all, ‘Mr. Poetatoe’;)).

    In IT networks we may technically speak of FIFO or FI/FO (first in, first out) communication, which, I think, applies quite well to the human network of love – not, however, offering full coverage of course. But it is hard to deny that we are all supposed to receive before we even start to become givers (notwithstanding the fact that parents may experience their babies as ‘giving’ them a lot of love – but that’s not the conscious, ontological kind of giving that I’m addressing here). The principle is: “we love, because He first loved us”. This is not just a biblical statement – we know it represents a reality of life just the same. Parents are our first ‘givers’, usually.

    Now I must admit: I am not in the right position to address the invaluable, good sides of the incoming love part – I’m better positioned to share my 2p about lacking that part. I have little notions of what ‘loving parents’ means – but I know what it is through observation. I also don’t know what it means to have a loving bro or sister – but I know what it is through observation, I know it can be beutiful to be raised like that. This ‘knowing through observation’ is not unimportant, quite the contrary – but it is insufficient, defective. I am not a ‘complete’ FI/FO person so to speak. I am, however, not a nothing either – I’m sitting somewhere on the FI/FO scale, but in a not well-balanced way. If we would replace FI/FO by numerical values or percentages representing the throughput, I could be something like a 30/80 kinda person. 30 per cent incoming makes me thrive well enough to find some place in this world and feel like I do matter (=what you would call optimism). 80 percent outgoing may be an gross exaggeration, it’s just my experience that there’s more outgoing than incoming. I don’t easily let people “within my walls” (even while I may still share some secrets with them). But I easily enter “within the walls” of other people, especially if I sense loneliness. I tend to give to loners. This is not me being ‘good’, it is just empathizing with something I experience as unbearable, something that should not happen. I may be overcompensating my defective “incoming” channel at this point.

    What I think that happens though, in terms of our “FI/FO rate of love” so to speak, is something comparable to brain damage, whereby other parts of the brain may take over functions from damaged regions. This is even true if we think of it in God-terms – because we imagine God in human terms: God is a Father – but only so because we know what a human father is. The Father-face, Mother-face, Sister-face, Brother-face and Lover-face of God is not developed very well in my conception of God. All of these are compensated by ‘observed faces’ that I’ve seen from some distance – not the faces of my own parents, bro/sister etc. The Lover-face is derived – in my case – from some Christian singer I’ve never talked to, but in whim I discovered deep Christian authenticity, she’s friendliness and mercy in person, so to speak. Just 6 or so years ago I sort of discovered Gods Lover-face this way – by observing her way of life, her love. This is sufficient for me – defective, very imperfect (emotionally not always convincing), but sufficient to ‘make sense’ of love. It may perhaps enable me to give this 80 per cent outgoing (if not overestimated). Friendships are, in an overall way, also feeding the “incoming” tube. At one point, a soulmate adds a bright shining sunbeam too, for a while (God knows what it was good for).

    What this defective system is missing is stability. And there’s a vulnerability factor at the IN-side which is critical, easily disturbed, easily shut down for a while. Prayer sort of ‘brings back’ (reminds me of) the love I believe to be reality. Wouldn’t this work in similar ways for others too? Of course it does. People in a vulnerable position are all over the place. If I am still a healthy guy, having a job, gifted with at least some level of rationality (maybe just a pseudo-* thing, yeah, you or right) and prolly some other good or not-so-good human propensities, – what does it mean for the real outcasts out there, people with a broken spirit, loners who hardly find a job, and so on? My heart breaks when I think of it (yes I know: to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders might be hubris, I don’t imagine being capable of sensing even a fraction of it – yet, there is a heavy weight at least about the people I encounter, and it doesn’t go away).

    Don’t take all this as criticizing your blog: the ‘outpouring of love’ aspect IS, obviously, very important, because if ‘Miss Cameltoe’ would not be a real giver, what would become of her children or her neighborhood, her friends? I just think that the reason why she could offer ‘unmitigated hilarity’, thereby ‘enchanting’ you, was because she has been given the opportunity to become a strong woman like that.

    But at this point, I believe, you already offered some clues in your former blogs (especially the Epistemology I – IV blogs), where you addressed subjects like faith, hope, perseverance, dynamics and so on. The fact remains though, that the network is itself replete with defects – I mean, the ‘canvas of love is there’, but there is no equal spread of love, there is too little awareness of how to deal with the defects. Defective FI/FO people may cause hurt – and then make cheap excuses, maybe. Perfect FI/FO people too may cause damage, e.g. by moving in and out in other people’s lives, not realizing how they generate hope and then a fallback. They may have their own wonderwall network in place, they are safe. We can, in a way, understand all of that. Being defective must be understood but not lead to excuses; being quasi perfect is nice but means nothing if it becomes your sacred thing and mistakes are being minimized. And in all these cases, not taking responsibility won’t make us happy. Defective or perfect, that’s the dry ‘facts’ – you have warts or you don’t have them – it is our ‘fate’ if you want – but ‘faith’ is what makes the difference. And the will to throw mercy in our FI/FO channels.

    Posted by jcmmanuel on July 18, 2010 – Sunday – 1:41 PM

    • Thea says:

      If this IS a criticism (and it doesn’t feel like one), I had it coming. I don’t have a problem with that–after all, it takes a village, eh?

      Thank you very much, J. Really.

      Posted by Thea on July 18, 2010 – Sunday – 2:01 PM

  7. Thea says:

    ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs!:

    DO YOU KNOW; HOW GOD DAMNED GORGEOUS YOU ARE? AND, HOW YOU ARE DRESSED, “MADE UP”, AND SO ON…? NOT A WHIT, TO DO w IT, EXCEPT, I DIG WOMEN, WHO DO, AND LET OTHERS LOOK AND REACT, wo MALICE TOWARD ANYONE, OR PAIN TO THEMSELVES, AND ROLL ON THRU THE BULLSHEET!
    IF, YOU AIN’T THERE, YET, YOU’RE SO DAMN CLOSE, IT DON’T MATTER, TO ME, GORGEOUS! AS FOR THE HOSP GOOFS? I’VE, AS YOU KNOW, HAD FAR TOO MANY, RECENT, OCCASIONS, TO BE IN AN E.R.! WHAT MEDICAL PERSON IS SO CALLOUS; THEY THINK; ONE NEEDS TO TAKE TIME, TO “PREP”, b4 AMBULANCING OR GETTING DRIVEN/DRIVING THERE? LORDY, THEA!

    Posted by ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs! on July 20, 2010 – Tuesday – 2:49 PM

    • Thea says:

      Apparently I have no idea how gorgeous I am. Feel free to instruct me at length.

      LMAO!!

      Yes, on the surface, it is extremely surprising, and doesn’t make immediate sense, to find not just one or two people, but an entire staff of people who are so lacking in ostensive compassion–particularly in a hospital ER. Nonetheless, it was there. From my standpoint, or from the single standpoint of any patient who walks in the door, it appears ridiculous and perhaps even malevolent. It is both of these things, of course, just this isn’t the whole story. This group of people (the staff at this particular ER) exists within a specific context. This hospital is in a particular geographic and socio-economic location, which adds to this context. The problem spans out into the community at large, and the solution is probably one that must address a number of different locations within it. I’ll spare you an in-depth analysis (sorry, really tired right now), and simply reiterate: how you think and what you do has an effect. On everything. Too, what others think and do has an effect on everything, including you. Team effort. Sometimes to solve a problem requires a specific focus which must pan back to look at the bigger picture (adding dimensionality), and then follow various threads back down again into manageable–or at least discretely comprehensible–bits (granularity). This along with what I’ve been trying to induce (i.e., narrative for the individual, hence the last full paragraph in the blog above, combined with encouragement to do a little basic mental math along WITH me) are just a few of a number of things that can be done to begin to solve problems we ALL face and ALL participate in, to one degree or another.

      All this shit happens because we human beings make it happen. This can be a bit embarrassing at times, but it’s also cause for strength and hope–because we can choose. Granted a single choice for a single individual may be a drop in the bucket–but what is a bucket full of but drops? Insofar as each of us is capable by temperament, inclination, capacity, etc., we can take on more or less in whatever we choose to do–and I don’t think give till it hurts is necessarily a great idea. Give till it feels good, eh? Do what you can, not the impossible.

      Love ya, Tommy. Long as you keep coming back, I’m good. *grin*

      Posted by Thea on July 20, 2010 – Tuesday – 4:14 PM

      • Thea says:

        ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs!

        YOU ARE EXQUISITE, FOR OPENERS! AS FOR THE IMPLIED “CULTURAL INFLUENCES”, THO SAD, THE PERVASIVE NATURE, OF SUCH IMPEDIMENTS IS, EVEN, MORE SO? LET ME NOODLE THIS, A BIT MORE? I WON’T LET THIS ONE GO w NO FURTHER REPLY, BUT I NEED TO FOCUS ON WHAT WILL CAUSE POSITIVE CHANGE, AND IF, A “FIX” CAN BE, IT IS MULTI-FACETED AND, PERHAPS, REQUIRES, MORE NUMBERS, ON YOUR SIDE? SINGLE DROPS, OFTEN, EVAPORATE, UNNOTICED AND UNHAPPY?

        Posted by ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs! on July 20, 2010 – Tuesday – 7:20 PM

        • Thea says:

          Yes. A big part of solving problems involves collaboration. And that, among other things, involves the development of systems. Again:

          “I believe the world HAS plenty of love, what the world needs is systems (faith structures, governance, education, economic infrastructure, interpersonal relationship norms, etc.) that do not punish us for sharing it.”

          In addition, it involves a degree, or perhaps even a species, of faith (as mentioned above) which recognizes “the proper priority of beauty, passion, and reasoned emotion.”

          Love, of course. Check this out, while you’re noodling: “Love could be considered an ontology that encompasses the rational and the irrational (as in unquantifiable and/or ineffable) aspects of human being, and serves as the engine of creativity (including transformation) driving human endeavor and human experience, and is the origin/font of our essential endeavor, which is that we create meaning.” And of course, creating meaning is, too, a team effort, although I’m still working on this….

          *nuther grin*

          Posted by Thea on July 20, 2010 – Tuesday – 7:47 PM

          • Thea says:

            ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs!:

            GOD, I HOPE -NOTHING- IS BLACK OR WHITE, IN THE “YEA OR NAY” SENSE! I, ALSO, DOUBT; IT’S POSSIBLE? NOTHING SHOULD BE RELEGATED TO IMMUTABLE BOREDOM! NOTHING, AS WELL, CAN ALWAYS BE “THE SAME”, IN THE AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY? THERE ARE LIMITLESS (MANY; UNNOTICED, BY THEMSELVES) FACTORS, VARIABLES, AND CONDITIONS, THAT EVERY SITUATION AND ONE’S RESPONSIBILITIES, IN EACH, DIFFERENT.
            TO NEGOTIATE THIS RAMBLING LIFE, WE, IN OUR CULTURE CLUBS, HAVE GENERALIZED AND CATEGORIZED, (SIMILARITIES BEING THE KEY “TOOL”) OUR WORLD; SUCH THAT WE CAN DISCUSS AND EXPLORE IT, w SOME DEGREE OF EXACTITUDE OR AGREEMENT? IT ISN’T OUR INTELLIGENCE! TO -NOT- DO THIS WOULD RESULT IN NEAR-INSTANT INSANITY? w THE ADVANCE OF SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGIES, THIS PRACTICE BECOMES LESS DISLODGED, FROM THE HAPPY TREE?
            BUT, I MUST ASK: WHEN I WAS IN WALMART (AND YOU OR ANYONE), WAS I “WHITE OR WHATEVER HUED TRASH”? “YOU FOUND” THIS TO BE THE CASE? EXAMPLE IS TRIVIAL, BUT THE POINT IS ESSENTIAL? AN INFINITY OF POSSIBILITIES; COMBINED w AN INFINITY OF THINGS; SUBJECT, TO THEM, LEAVES/CREATES AN INFINITY OF REASONS, TO WONDER: “WILL WE, EVER, NAIL IT, SO WE CAN ALL KNOW, EXACTLY, WHAT WE ARE TALKIN OF?” AND, DO WE WANT TO?
            I’M LEANING TO SOME DISTANT TIME, WHEN WE HAVE ENOUGH; COMMONLY SHARED, THAT ARGUMENTS AND WORSE ARE RARE, IF NOT “NEVER-BE’S”? IT’S AMAZING TO LOVE A FRIEND (AND LOVER, BUT FOR THIS, FRIEND IS MORE APPLICABLE)! BUT, TO GET PISSED @ A FRIEND, AND WALK AWAY; KNOWING, SOON, IT WILL BE A FUNNY MEMORY! HOW MUCH BETTER, CAN FRIENDSHIP BE EXPRESSED?
            WANNA FIGHT? HAAA
            OH! GOD IS A SHEEP! WE TEACH HIM, TO BE A WHACKO, AND HE DIGS IT AND US! WE ARE THE REAL GODS! HE IS A REFLECTION, OF US…

            Posted by ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs! on July 26, 2010 – Monday – 8:41 PM

  8. Thea says:

    ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs!

    BTW! I AM -NOT- IN THE SAME GALAXY AS “PISSED”, NOW! BUT, IF I WERE? HOW IT WOULD DISSOLVE! SMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOCH!

    Posted by ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs! on July 26, 2010 – Monday – 9:51 PM

  9. Thea says:

    Denese:

    This is so perfect. The first time I read it, I regret I was still in too much of a fog to have realized the extent of its perfection. So, belated appreciation, hopefully, better than none?

    Posted by Denese on August 1, 2010 – Sunday – 2:11 AM

    • Thea says:

      Hey, sweet thing, how ya doin’?

      Yep, plenty of gristle hanging off the edges with this one. Sometimes everything I don’t say rises like a cloud of bats all flitting every which way in a confusion of knowing. It’s really nice to have folks help me keep track…I’ve read some of your stuff. I’m able to guess at what you didn’t say…Thank you, Denese.

      Posted by
      Thea on August 1, 2010 – Sunday – 2:33 AM

  10. When were you so sick?

    I think you should do black leather, bandannas, and …total biker chick outfits……cuz white trash wif gunz …gets triage firstest.

  11. Thea says:

    Reblogged this on Four Letter Word and commented:

    …updated…

  12. Jcm Manuel says:

    “But don’t forget compassion. Not a one of us has the right to deprive others of their humanity, regardless of the provocation.”

    I was just looking for those words above and I found them. (I forgot that they belong to one of the most hurting blogs I know of – not your blog but rather facing K’s words again – I feel the holes in my heart again, always).

    Anyway.

    The compassion thing. Sigh. I’m chasing for it almost every day but I’m also failing, falling. I’m a man of mistakes. Maybe that’s why I believe in compassion. Or just holding on to it, in extremis even faking it. Trying to believe the hope we feel inside. Misfits may often be like this: they hold on to hope because there is only hope to hold on to, Like grabbing the last thread, defeating the abyss underneath.

    Compassion (and forgiveness) may be what keeps mankind weak in a certain way – but this weakness may be the only strength we have – our true humanism. Strength, because love does not exist without weakness.

    Doesn’t human weakness require the ability to forgive where it’s needed, and to see beauty in imperfection?

  13. Pingback: Epistemology V: Unconditional Love | Four Letter Word

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