Grandfather Tree

Now having come to understand that we are all spiritual beings who have chosen to temporarily live a physical existence on this planet, certain musings are inevitable, and shared here.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Guard Against All Evil?

From Bush' State of the Union speech:
Each of us is guided by our own convictions, and to these we must stay faithful. Yet we’re all held to the same standards, and called to serve the same good purposes: to extend this nation’s prosperity; to spend the people’s money wisely; to solve problems, not leave them to future generations; to guard America against all evil; and to keep faith with those we have sent forth to defend us.

Government's job is to guard America against all evil?

I must confess that for a long time I have disliked the "Lord's Prayer." I have prayed it much in my youth. I have studied it much in my adulthood. I honestly don't find it to be a very helpful prayer. The part that puzzles me most about it is the part where we ask our heavenly faher to please not lead us into temptation but instead to deliver us from evil. Does this mean that we generally expect our god to purposely lead us into temptation? And we have to pray to him to please don't do that? And instead, to deliver us from evil?

I feel much better now that I have discovered that my government will guard me against all evil. The same government that thinks perhaps torture ought to be permitted under certain circumstances. What a relief. [2609]

Friday, January 19, 2007

New Cold War?

The Chinese destroyed one of its aging satellites with an anti-ballistic missile early January 12th. Conceivably, they could now destroy all our military satellites. The White House stated that the “development and testing of such weapons is inconsistent with the spirit of cooperation that both countries aspire to in the civil space area.” The Russians and Chinese have been trying for years to get the US to agree to a ban of space weapons, but we have refused to even consider such a treaty because we wanted to be free to secretly develop a powerful laser to do the same thing. I guess, again, cooperation means let the US do whatever it wants, but the other countries must show restraint.

I guess fighting terrorism isn’t sufficient for keeping us afraid and compliant. Maybe we can fight terrorism and also have a new cold war. Wouldn’t that be fun? [2551]

Friday, January 12, 2007

Pursuit of Happyness

I just saw "Pursuit of Happyness” with Will Smith and apparently his son starring as well. I must say that I was totally enthralled. It seems to be a new kind of role for Smith but one which he embraced with his total being. I don’t think he ever straightened his glasses, but it was “as if” he was frequently straightening his glasses. At the same time he was a powerful warrior. So maybe the role isn’t really that different, just a different kind of warrior. His committed loving intense relationship with his son was powerfully portrayed.

It was only after seeing the film that I realized that it was in a way a stereotype of the “rugged individualist.” He was going to go it alone without any support and without any sharing or collaboration with any other adult. It was about the survival and the thriving of the fittest.

As far as the film played, it could have been a universe where race was not an issue. Perhaps some alternate Earth universe where humans saw each other as human beings that just happened to have different skin color tones. Smith’s character could have been White or Hispanic or Asian or Indigenous in that there was no indication that his race was a factor in his relationships. Of course, he didn’t really have relationships except for his son and his quickly estranged wife. So I do not know what this means.

This is the universe that white people like myself often imagine that we live in. In a movie like "I, Robot" it is wonderful to create such a universe, and it plays well because it is a future time. We can feel good about having changed enough to where there is no prejudice due to race. But this certainly wasn't the world of the early 1980's, which is the time frame for this movie.

Going back to the "rugged individualist, survivalist" theme: He was alone in the world and fighting for his life, his happiness and that of his son. Period. That was it. There were only decisions and work, more decisions and more work. Pay the piper and eventually get your reward. When confronted with the impossible, find a way to do it, or make the best of the mistake. Keep going. Never give up. The reward will be yours if you deserve it. And I cried when he got his reward. It moved me. But what is the ultimate message of the movie for those who don’t make it? Are they flawed? Undeserving? [2504]