Tag Archives: Radio talk show

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 most outrageous feature of the Secret Service scandal …

In 2012, during a trip by President Obama to a conference in Columbia, a number of Secret Service agents hooked up with some — hookers — in a hotel room.  One service provider wound up having a dispute with one client over how much she should be paid.  She evaluated the services she’d rendered at ~$750.  He did not.  The dispute spilled over onto the street and drew the attention of the police.  Thus we had a bit of a scandal.

In my view, however, the most outrageous feature of the event …

… is that he only offered her $30.

Any woman I’d engage gets more than that merely to bat her eyelashes and giggle.

In context, this detail only epitomizes the overwhelming hubris of the entire situation, and is well worth costing the gentleman his job.

(Originally posted 04/17/12 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reposted 12/04/13.)

talk show host, on air talent, talk radio, 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

The healing powers of a drug store cashier

(Originally published 11/16/13.)

(From an April 2010 e-mail to my family:)

Dad was still in good health back in ’83-85, when I became so deeply interested in spiritual healing. He maintained a pragmatic skepticism about it throughout; in essence, “What’s the use? We’re all going to die anyway.”

I recalled that Monday night 12/07/09 on my way home from Rite Aid, where I’d had to go buy a few things. I was having pretty severe pain in lower left abdomen, after having had several “difficult” eliminations earlier in the day. I took the pain for infection-inflamed ureter; later concluded I was passing a stone. Long time since I’d passed a stone. Long time by my standards, that is.

The state I was in at that hour, I was inclined to cancel all appointments and errands for the next day, and plan to spend all day Tuesday flat on my back in bed. With pain like this, you can’t do much more than just stare into space and feel miserable.

I would recall one author’s answer to Dad’s argument; Lawrence Althouse is the guy’s name. He said the sheer alleviation of pain — without opiates — is justification enough for the practice of spiritual healing. Pain occasions loss of productivity, as just described. It also stresses relationships; with any less self-control as to these things than I’ve learned in the past few years, had anyone crossed my path the wrong way on that trip home, I might well have snapped at the person.

That’s not something you want to do in the ghetto. Especially at night.

There are other was to effect spiritual healing, besides prayer.

Just being nice to people, as opposed to choosing, say, to inject needless pain (“static”) into their world — that’s one.

Crystal happened to wait on me at the Rite Aid; she’s my favorite clerk, and I’d not seen her in months. Damn if she didn’t smile at me and give me a cheery greeting as soon as I came in the door.

Damn if my pain didn’t go away — completely — for some time, later after I got home, as I recalled that encounter. “Spiritual” — healing — indeed.

Every word can work good or ill. My choice; your choice.
on air talent, radio talk show, talk show host, the homeless blogger

I really have nothing better to do

(Originally posted 10/12/13.)

(Transcribed from a letter to my mother dated 25 September 2007.)

This conversation yesterday with a co-worker astonished me.

“Peaches” is a 42-year old, very short woman, certainly a grandmother and very likely great-grandmother, who has about half her teeth.  She works principally as a cashier, and is a really good worker and co-worker.  She constantly teases me by pretending to flirt with me.

I was stocking the trash bags shelves, and became aware that she was in quite a pickle.  Her shift was over, and she had appointments she had to keep at a certain time across town; but she also had assembled this bag full of items she needed to buy at once and before leaving the store.  And the line at the cash register was quite long.  (Long lines at cash register are a constant, intractable problem at this store.)

I told her facetiously, “Just go down there and push ’em all out.”  She said, “No, that would be unmannerly, and that’s not like me.”  (Conduct that can be called “unmannerly” is a big, big issue in this community, and a big issue for me personally since I see so much of it and find it offensive.)  She went on: “Now, I like your manners.  You speak to the customers …”
Continue reading I really have nothing better to do

Jesus’ outrageous parables

(Originally posted 10/11/13.  Transcribed from an e-mail I sent my mother 24 August 2010.)

Jesus said any number of things in large part, at least, for shock value.

Their outrageousness is easily lost on 21st Century students, for two reasons.  First, we have heard or read these things so many times that any shock value they might have at first had for us — when we first heard them, say, perhaps at age 4 or age 5 — has long since worn off.  We’re not likely to remember it, and also not likely to give the opinions of our 4- or 5-year-old selves, the credit they, in this case, deserve.

Second, by virtue of “respect for authority,” for centuries students of Chrstianity have trained themselves to ignore, deny or suppress any outrage they might feel at anything The Teacher says.  Instead, one expects oneself and all one’s fellow students, approvingly, to “tip my hat … take a bow … smile and grin …”[*]

[*]The Who, “We Won’t Get Fooled Again.”


“BLESSÈD ARE YOU POOR.”
Continue reading Jesus’ outrageous parables

This guy is a career criminal, and other news

(Originally published 06/15/13 at Trojan Horse Productions.)

3 Years Is Just Desserts for Man Who Refused to Pay Dinner Bill

No comment. Read the story.

Fatherhood programs teach men to be dads

This is a good thing. Many young men are eager to step up to the plate and, in these circumstances, overcome the disadvantages of their own background.

Give ’em a chance.

With exposure to babies, rodent dads’ brains, like moms’, become wired for nurture

We mammals aren’t reptiles.

I’m so jealous!

(Originally published 06/11/13 at Trojan Horse Productions.)

Delilah: Radio Host Talks About Why Her Show Is so Successful

I’ve never heard of this woman before. She and I appear to be on the same wavelength.

If only that were more than a pun!

Update, 2014-06-13:

A follower has advised that the link seems to point to an interview with Michelle Kwan.

The restrictions on videos on web pages here at the library are such I normally ignore them, and count on people just reading the text.  For the video interview with Delilah one wants to click on this image:

“Don’t blame college kids for intolerance. Blame us.”

Don’t blame college kids for intolerance. Blame us.

One gets the impression from Matt Bai’s article that closed-mindedness is something new.

I think first of a quotation from Jeff Snyder, from 1993:

“‘Dignity’ used to refer to the self-mastery and fortitude with which a person conducted himself in the face of life’s vicissitudes and the boorish behavior of others. Now, judging by campus speech codes, dignity requires that we never encounter a discouraging word and that others be coerced into acting respectfully, evidently on the assumption that we are powerless to prevent our degradation if exposed to the demeaning behavior of others. These are signposts proclaiming the insubstantiality of our character, the hollowness of our souls.”

I think next of Stuart Chase’s “Guides to Straight Thinking,” which I still mean when I can to post as an e-book on my blog.  Published in 1956, it includes many, many examples of exactly the sort of problems Matt Bai complains about here; and is corrective of them.

Chase’s book pretty much presumes a college education, so I wrote “Free Speech Handbook” (Google: “Free Speech Handbook William Tell”) to make the same principles  accessible to folk who don’t necessarily have that; and as a textbook of critical thinking skills for use on “The William Tell Show.”  (The above Google results will take you to my blog, where you can easily enough find “My Resume.”)

Circa 2000, I became alarmed at the Balkanization of the airwaves being carried out at that time by much the same folk and in much the same way as is occurring now; and conceived “The William Tell Show” in response.  The ageless conundrum is that listening, really listening, to one’s opponent is less a task of the mind than of the heart, and not too many people have the heart to do it.

Postscript, 13:59:

Wrote just now in my diary:  “It is distressing that so many conservative respondents, like this one, seem to think the very idea of listening to other points of view is a liberal scheme to violate the First Amendment and to force conscience.”

Such is the sturm und drang that first moved me to conceive William Tell the talk show host.  It underscores the need for a William Tell Show.

Post-postscript, 2014-05-30:

Bloomberg bashes liberal McCarthyism at Harvard commencement

I think he’s right on the money.

Job search status: Pep talk

(Originally posted 12/26/12 at Trojan Horse Productions.)

A week ago today I had a highly successful interview at a dollar store. There may be one obstacle that, if it’s there, cannot be overcome; but if it’s not there, I’ll have to take a drug test and go for a second interview at which the actual job offer will be made. In the days since, there have been some communications glitches. Meanwhile, time goes on.

This morning in my last five minutes at Lenny’s, I prayed about this, reflecting on (1) my disappointment to have had no word so far and (2) the path by which I got here.

I just completed a two-month “job readiness” program … not as if I needed any program to make me “ready” for a job, but this one is unique in that while one is taking classes, they have scouts hunting down specific job opportunities that well match each candidate. That is the big factor I see missing for most people in the big picture.

Was the class a waste of time? Continue reading Job search status: Pep talk