To Be or Not to Be a Liberal
I read a comment to a recent Daily Growler post. In the post--I'm vague about this since I didn't write it--one of the staff led off his piece about the British uncovering an "Al Queda" plane blowing-up plot by asking the question why Americans were being submitted to intensive harassments at airports overhere now, since it was British citizens who were the plotters so it was a British security problem and anyway, why didn't they just tag all Muslims (and fly 'em together on their own airlines--I added that last part--sorry, I'm a wolf not a human)--what this guy was really asking was why weren't the airlines responsible for the safety of their passengers? He wasn't really suggesting we tag all Muslims (profiling, which these birds do anyway, don't worry about it; unless they have CIA clearance, like the Bin Ladin family). He was solidly asking, why was it We the People, we who according to them are under attack, who are held responsible for our own safety when we're flying on a commercial airline, paying them big bucks to fly with them--a lot of flyers with tickets paid for by huge corporations who carry insurance on your ass when you fly doing business for them...but that's what he was driving at. The commenter said that we weren't allowed to "tag" Muslims because of Liberals (Liberal Amuricans, I assume; maybe this commenter doesn't know Tony Blair is a Liberal--and Britain is the home of Liberalism, the ism in this).
Whoa, that got me. I stopped dead in my wolf tracks on the word "Liberals." How did the word "liberal" get twisted into meaning something unholy and dirty and heretical to the rightwingers and Mad Hatter Conservatives or even fair-minded Conservatives like the commenter says he is? I mean to these guys liberals are commies; socialists; kneegrow lovers; messkin lovers; unpatriotic; certainly antireligious; traitors; Hanoi Jane admirers; Hippies; Yippies; Black Panthers; Caesar Chavez supporters; perverts; Gay; Lesbian; for stem cell research; for giving away all THEIR tax dollars (you see, Liberals don't pay their fair share of taxes) to help the poor, feeble, disabled, maimed, wounded (by war or the police); for giving an accused person a good legal defense in a court of law; for giving people a right of appeal when they feel they are wrongly sentenced...it goes on and on and on. But why Liberals? Who the hell in this government today is a Liberal? Uncle Teddy Kennedy? Slick Hillary Clinton? Old Robert Byrd? Who the hell is a real Liberal in our government? Who the hell is a real Liberal in Britain? Like I said, isn't Tony Blair supposedly a Liberal?
A Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary definition:
liberal n (1820) : a person who is liberal as a : one who is open-minded or not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional, or established forms or ways.
OK, that's all the definition I need. I see what bugs the Conservatives about really real liberals, not capital "L" ones--the openly admitted liberal (follower of liberalism). It's that open-mindedness and not being strict that is the bug up their asses. Open-mindedness means progress; not being strict is allowing for debate, for analysis, for discussion, for peace. To have peace, you can have no restrictions. Lines to follow, yes, but not restrictive lines; not lines you can't venture out of if you see a better way of doing something over in another line.
Whites are restrictive people (basically they are legalistic in everything they do); yet, some whites become great liberals--I suppose it's because they are so full of guilt about the way they settled this "not" their country and turned it into a nation of white people who think they know better because they are white and are afraid of darkness. That's why they worshipped the sun back in Egypt--it was the source of light and light was the source of life. Fire is light. Therefore the ancient fire altars. White being a noncolor reflects the light. That's why the white concept of Jesus has a halo--his reflection is so sunny bright, he glows in the dark--Jesus is called "the light of the world" in his added-on section of the Christian Holy Book.
Well, in the case of that dictionary definition of a liberal as being open-minded and not strict in terms of the same-old-same-old bullshit that is leading us to constant wars and killing offs and strangling the atmosphere--Conservatives want totally controlling strictness; strictness to the point they intend on turning all of us into slaves, as solyent green energy for their huge profit-making canabalistic machineries. "Cheap Labor," that is the motto of the Conservative--leisure to the rich; pressure on the poor to serve the leisurely.
I've never thought of myself as a Liberal. I've certainly never thought of myself as a Conservative. The only time I paid a poll tax (in Texas up until the Civil Rights Bill did away with it in '64) I paid it as a Dumbocrat, but then, Texas was still mostly a Dumbocrat state in those days, though the Dixiecrat mentality is what gave George Herbert W. Bush the chance to be one of the first Repugnicans (he and John Tower, I believe) to be elected to Congress from Texas--unless during Reconstruction black Republicans got elected to the Texas legislature--isn't it ironic that the Grand Old Party was once the party of Civil Rights and making a slave a full human being with full human rights under this originally racist Constitution of the Great White Father's.
But I'm not a Dumbocrat. I'm not a Republican either. I'm basically a really really Amurican kid now grown into a really really Amurican male who luckily happened to inherit a reasoning mind, a questioning type mind, one not encumbered by restrictions, "Don't Fence Me In," Roy Rogers sang it in the forties, and I loved it as my theme song when I was a kid and even now as an adult that's how I feel: "Don't fence me in, dammit." I grew up around artists, painters, poets, writers, journalists, so I've never felt limited in terms of my imagination. I am a liberal only in the sense I believe in liberty--my liberty, which mostly means to me my right to a personal privacy, my right to believe whatever I believe in terms of philosophy and psychology and however I believe in a search for peace in the world and therefore peace of human mind. Satisfaction. That's all any human being wants no matter what the experience. So, I'm a satisfactionist. There ya go. If that makes me a liberal then I'm a liberal. I do look in a monkey's eyes and see myself. I do read Darwin and Mendel and understand what the hell they're talking about. I read Dobshansky and know there is no scientific basis for race and racism. I know satisfaction comes in many colors, some of them strange, some of them clashing, some of them just plain tacky. I end up with a Chinese yin/yang attitude--hey, there are two sides to every coin, both sides with 50-50 believability and both sides denoting a value. One must accept the whole, as the Gestaltists say, first and then the experiences within that work within that whole. It's tough to be aloof to the common world but that's how a wolfman must live--as an outlier maybe--that's the liberty I crave--freedom to just roam the hills of the achievements of my heroes, those who set up the satisfactions I have in life. Music rules me. The music of the spheres perhaps; the same music Charles E. Ives heard in the ears of his brains; the same music that Charles Parker hurled out of his alto saxophone, another new sound for the ears of my brains; I love reading Henry Miller's deepest writings, especially those surrealistic dreams he reports, those intellectual dreams that glorify the Coming of the Lord Chaos; I love the paintings of Matisse, John Marin, Arthur Dove, Arthur Ryder; my satisfactions come through the arts of the mind and not through the statistics of economics or sociology. I am not into measurements (they are restricting) but I am into evolving reasoning, constant thinking, just as Gertrude Stein thought in a continuous present. That is where I get my liberty and my satisfaction, in the continuous present of existence, an existence that can be surreal or just plain real, my satisfied mind able to grasp most concepts thrown at me, that is as long as they make sense to me. There is no greater satisfaction to me than making sense out of an interest.
I Just Thought I Give You a Tad About Sonny Boy Williamson
I just today got a 2 CD set of the music of John Lee Williamson, the original Sonny Boy Williamson, from Jackson, Tennessee, and man who started playing a harmonica when he was a little boy (same as Stevie Wonder, who to me is one of the most brilliant harmonica players I've ever heard--and I can play a pretty good harmonica myself--honestly, I was taught to play harmonica in a brief course in a frat house bathroom back in 1960 by the second Sonny Boy Williamson, Alex "Rice" Miller, but that's another story for another time), riding around on his bicycle to play gigs, then finally getting a break when Yank Rachel's harmonica player was murdered and John Lee started playing with Yank, a mandolinist, and he and Yank made records together all the way back starting in the late 30s.
John Lee Williamson was heavy into alcohol, so much so, he demanded a fifth of whisky be around him at all times. How tough was it in those days being a black blues musician?--shit, it was about as tough as you could get, but it gave these guys a freedom they couldn't get doing anything else and it gave them a tiny bit of fame and money, though most of them had to get day gigs in the Chicago factories so they could play the blues all night--every night drinking heavy, boogie-ing to the right time, picking up the "young things," and working on a high line 'til daylight, then having to work that damn day gig 'til the whistle blows and then it's back to juke joints and Maxwell Street and the Southside blues clubs. All the early blues dudes did that; escaped the South to Chicago; John Lee was one of the earliest blues guys to make it to Chicago. John Lee doin' "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" on his earliest recording of it give me shivers. In 1948, while heading up his home street after a gig, someone, they never found out who, murdered John Lee; it has been rumored his brain was pierced by an ice pick, a common weapon in the backstreets of those days--someone stabbed him through the cranium with an ice pick--but no one really knows. His wife found him laying against his front door dying; she had him rushed to the hospital but he was DOA. Sonny Boy Williamson #1 gone.
I'll Admit to Being a Contrarian
I started thinking of myself as a contrarian after I started dabbling in numismatics (coin collecting) and an old collector advised me to "Be a contrarian, son, if you want to be successful in this game. If the trend is going one way, you go the other way."
I have never been able since my age of reasoning to believe in any religion I've ever studied, and I was raised by Christian Protestants, and I've seriously studied what was then called Mohammedism, Egyptology, the Mycean Age, Greek mythology, the psychology of Carl Jung, Philip Wylie's great book An Essay on Morals, Jacques Maritain's Existence and the Existent, an Essay on Christian Existentialism--a brilliant though confused trained scientist who married a Jewish woman and made a pact with her to commit suicide together if they could not find a truth in life, and she got deathly ill but survived it by reading the works of good ole Saint Tommy Aquinas, which she then praised highly to Jacques, who then read Thom himself and agreed and became a Catholic and they lived happily ever after. Maritain found in Thomism the answers to the part of the existential science couldn't answer--a big problem with folks who decide to get into philosophy--just another form of human opinion. Doesn't mean a damn thing to a parrot.
I learned today how vain parrots are. How they demand constant attention--it's a part of their jungle natures. This person said the worst thing you can do with a parrot is come to his/her every beck and call--like when they start yowling and crackling out their growlish squawks, this guy said you should never give them attention then--like going over and saying, "Hush, you're being a bad girl (or boy)--hush, hush." Nope. This guy says when they're screaming the loudest you turn your back on them and ignore them. Then when they calm down you go back and reward them for quieting down. Made sense to me. And I've even seen parrots live in the Colombian jungle and by God they ruled that jungle through their cacophony.
So, NOTE, thegrowlingwolf is not a liberal; I'm worse than a liberal. First of all, I'm an atheist and right there I get nailed to most barndoors, even the liberal barndoors. Nothing is more hated than an atheist in the U.S.A. We are the Kurds of this country. We are hated and despised but we have our rights under the Constitution, same as the Kurds got their sovereign state rights after WWI. And we can marry each other, as long as we don't tell the judge we're Atheists.
Am I against the War in Iraq? Damn right. On simple grounds of common reasoning. I've been in the military; it's run by dumbass cowardly officers who rule by restrictions.
I'm even against the War in Afghanistan. I still don't understand our reasoning for that one. We didn't catch Bin Ladin. We didn't really abolish the Taliban. We didn't stop heroin production.
I'm certainly against Israel putting the rest of the world at a risk for a world war just to get payback for two of their goofy soldiers getting captured by the Hezbollah (or is it Hizbollah?) (L Hat, help me out).
I am absolutely sure there is no politician who is concerned about my welfare, either present or future variety. I am absolutely sure most politicians and corporate heads are mostly from sales forces or law offices, people trained in deceiving and lulling and hypnotizing the fools and branding the open-minded "liberals" and antiwar activists as terrorists and traitors.
Have you ever been to Liberal, Kansas? I was there as a young lad. It's just right there north across the Oklahoma border, practically in Oklahoma, except it's not, it's in Seward County, Kansas. It's home of the one of the world's largest meat processing plants that employs 3,000 people. It's also home to the fifth largest collection of civilian and military aircraft in the world. The Seward County Museum has a great Native American collection. Liberal is also the home of the world's largest helium plant. And, Liberal's also the site of the farm home of Dorothy and Toto (and also the farmhands who turn into the tin woodsman, the cowardly lion, and the scarecrow) from the Wizard of Oz. "Oh, to be back in Kansas."
for The Daily Growler