Category Archives: Media

The New Age is a lot of hooey

(Originally published 09/06/13 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reblogged 12/16/13.)

I keep telling them not to let guys sit on the bench in the shower buck naked.

They don’t listen.

So again, Friday night 08/30/13, when I went to put my stuff on the bench, here was this heavy brown smudge.  I carefully avoided it, but I told the peacekeeper, Philip, since he has access to gloves, rags and bleach, and I don’t.  He was texting.

When I came out of the shower to dry off and dress, the smudge was still there.  Philip was still texting.

This is a perfect example of why I think the New Age is just so much hooey. There is work to do here and now.  That it may not all be pleasant doesn’t change the fact: there is work to do here and now.

HOW IT HAPPENS

The ecliptic is a great circle in the sky along which the Sun, moon and planets all move.  All eclipses occur along this line; thus the name.  The constellations of the Zodiac are lined up along this circle as well.

Although the Sun is on the ecliptic at all times, every day it moves a bit westward along the ecliptic, almost but not quite completing a full circle once every year.  The degree as a unit of measure for angles, came to be as ancient astronomers sought to plot this motion — 360 degrees makes a full circle, just as 365¼ days make a full year.  The Sun moves about one degree westward along the ecliptic each day.

The Sun’s position on the first day of spring is called the “equinoctial point.”  Because the Sun does not quite complete a full circle along the ecliptic in a year, the equinoctial point moves very gradually eastward along the ecliptic, completing a full circle every 25,800 years.  The equinoctial point passes through each constellation of the Zodiac in an average of 2,150 years.

Right now, the equinoctial point, where the Sun is on the first day of spring, is in Aquarius. Thus we are said to currently be in “the Age of Aquarius.”  Since this began only a few years ago, it is being called the “New Age.”  Immediately previous to this was the Age of Pisces (the Fishes), which began circa 30 CE; previous to that was the Age of Aries (the Ram), which began circa 1400 BCE.  It is notable that at the dawn of the Age of Pisces, the New Testament focused on twelve fishermen (Matthew 14:19); and that at the dawn of the Age of Aries, the Bible focused on twelve shepherds (Genesis 46:32).

WEATHER FORECAST

The most familiar expression of the promises that have been made concerning this “New Age,” is in the lyrics of the opening song of the 1967 musical Hair:

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius …

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind’s true liberation

I have what I feel are good reasons to believe in something like astrology. But as to all this “New Age” stuff, I have my doubts.

SKEPTICISM

On the one hand, I see no evidence that it’s going to happen.

The Age of Aquarius so far seems to me no different from the Age of Pisces before it, nor from the Age of Aries before that.  Human behavior hasn’t changed in the last 10 years, or 50, or 100, or 500, nor 1000.

From the Bible: ca. 1000 BCE, David “defeated the Moabites and, making them lie down on the ground, measured them off with a cord; he measured two lengths of cord for those who were to be put to death, and one length for those who were to be spared. *** [H]e killed eighteen thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt.” (2 Samuel 8:2,13)

Was that age more brutal than our own?

Pol Pot’s “killing fields,” the genocide in Rwanda, “ethnic cleansing” of Darfur, activities of Charles Taylor, massacre at Srebrenica, and 9/11 were all New Age events.

On the other hand, to lose oneself in dreams of an inevitable wonderful future is the antithesis of presence.  It does not empower one to do the work that must be done here and now; not to deal with an abusive boss, a cold spouse, a rebellious child, a terminal illness.  It will not lift me out of homelessness or joblessness.

The task I face most consistently right now is to see God’s image in my neighbor, who in my current context is disproportionately likely to be ugly, filthy, addicted, deranged, dependent or criminal.  I cannot wait for a time when my neighbors will all be beautiful; I must do it now.  This is my task, without any reference to any New Age.

Don’t get me wrong.  The future has my permission to be just as glorious as it may choose.  Right now, however, someone needs to clean the shower bench.

on air talent, talk show host, talk radio, the homeless blogger

The Rich and the Rest of Us

(Originally posted 04/18/12 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reposted 12/11/13.)

From a flyer announcing a presentation tonight at 7:00 p.m. at Enoch Pratt Free Library:

Record unemployment and rampant corporate greed, empty houses but homeless families, dwindling opportunitites in a paralyzed nation — these are the realities of America, land of the free and home of the new middle-class poor.

In The Rich and the Rest of Us, award-winning broadcaster Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West, one of the nation’s leading public intellectuals, take on the “p” word — poverty. They challenge all Americans to re-examine their assumptions about poverty in America — what it is and how to eradicate it.

I cannot attend that presentation, even if I wanted to, since as of 3:00 p.m. I must head back to the shelter to stay in for the night.

I know little about Cornel West and nothing about Tavis Smiley, but I do know something about poverty. I do not believe it can be eradicated. Thus any analysis that supposes that it can, is mistaken at its core.

talk show host, on air talent, talk radio, the homeless blogger

Three-post series on panhandling

(Originally published 12/07/13.)

Concerning Baltimore City’s recent ordinance about panhandling, Dan Rodricks complained that the ordinance didn’t address “the underlying issues;” but then, he didn’t, either. So I thought I would, here. These posts pertain:

(1) I stay at the best shelter on the East Coast;
(2) Obstacles to my prosperity;
(3) Baby steps.

talk show host, on air talent, talk radio, the homeless blogger

R.I.P. Joe Stocks

Monday, May 8, 2017

Church member Joe Stocks died suddenly Saturday. Natural causes.

Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” That’s the kind of man Joe was. All kinds of men and women glorify God because of Joe’s good works.

All kinds.

Continue reading R.I.P. Joe Stocks

Job creation: Mitt Romney’s other 30%

(Originally published 10/17/2012 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reblogged 10/24/13.)

During the 2012 Presidential race, a Democratic party operative secretly recorded Mitt Romney’s remarks to potential donors at a private fund-raiser.  Those remarks included that 47% of voters pay no taxes and thus have no interest in the Republican message.  The release of that recording caused quite a stir.  See “* We are the 47%.”  There are other features of who Romney is and what he does with his money, that got far less media attention.  Like, this one.

Democrats: Political slant marks Romney tax return

Continue reading Job creation: Mitt Romney’s other 30%

Will the real Malala please stand up?

Malala, survivor of Taliban, resented in Pakistan hometown

Malala Yousafzai’s friends wounded in Taliban attack continue education

Malala Yousafzai: Why the global hero is scorned in Pakistan

The media have been bringing us contradictory reports of how Malala is viewed in her homeland.

Conspiracies do occur. In my previous work as a legal secretary, I was privy to secret campaigns to manipulate public opinion in various ways. That often comes to mind when I see a flurry of media coverage on any given subject. In recent years, for example, there was an explosion of coverage of the creation of vaccines for new, terrifying strains of the flu — that may not have proved so terrifying after all, but for the media hype itself — that impressed me as very likely a campaign to raise public esteem for pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Here we have two competing constituencies that, for whatever reason, are competing for U.S. public opinion concerning this woman.

(Originally posted 10/14/13.)
on air talent, radio talk show, talk show host, the homeless blogger

Trayvon Martin

But for the racial aspect, the Trayvon Martin case would not be noticed.

I admit being less concerned about him than about the dozens of other teens who are gunned down every month across the country for no better reason and by people of their own race. Someone will object that a black perpetrator would have been arrested. I answer that an arrest and prison term won’t bring back the dead.

(Originally posted 04/16/12 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reposted 11/27/13.)

talk show host, on air talent, talk radio, the homeless blogger

Tehran rally shakes fist at America and outreach

(Originally posted 11/11/13.)

Tehran rally shakes fist at America and outreach

Something struck me in the TV footage of this 11/04/13 demonstration, perhaps given the fact that it’s a challenge for me to buy coffee at McDonald’s.

This was not spontaneous. There was some big money behind it. Someone paid for the big effigies/pictures of Obama; for the American flags that got burned; for the signs, including a mural that read “Down with America” in English. Someone organized the presence of the tens of thousands; someone called them out, saying be at this place at this time.

Who?

What does this say about demonstrations we see in this country?

Previous pertinent post: Will the real Malala please stand up?

talk show host, on air talent, talk radio, the homeless blogger

“Every thought is a prayer.”

The seductiveness of turmoil.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

My foremost task for today is to keep myself focused on the practical things I need to do to improve my lot in life.

They can be seen as boring, mundane, dreary, tedious, and so on — if I fail to love myself enough to actually want to do them.

Accordingly, this morning I was reading through various news articles, and on one page, at the end, the links to “related” articles included this:

I didn’t read the article, but boy, just that headline really got my engines going.  I can’t remember the last time I was in a setting where someone might have been told, “Check your privilege.”  Normally this is addressed to a white person, and, as I’ve noted before, in my world there aren’t enough white people to matter.

Continue reading “Every thought is a prayer.”