Museum of Your Life

They tell you they will make you live for billions of years — more or less immortal! But because your memory is finite you will not be able to remember the life of billions of years. So you are told to create a museum of your life so far and your new self on its journey of a billion years — practically immortal! — will wake up every day in this museum and learn who you are.

What will you put in this museum?

And…are you already living in such a museum?

And if you are, isn’t it time to throw some things away?

Or better yet — move out?


Why Was the Wanderoo So Furious?

You’d have to ask him, you’d have to study

When I took a trip across myself I packed a valise, halfway through

My arms were tired and I put it down. Now I lost it.

I want to go back to the terminal floor where I put down that valise and ask

“Is there a person who handles this sort of thing?”

I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep,

(I’m sure you’ve read about this sort of things in newspapers)

I realized I was “this sort of thing”.

(I bet you have never been in a reading room where the day’s newspapers are on wooden dowels and you can read them.

I lost my bet I hope. didn’t I?)

I opened up the valise and there was my father’s old coat and his father’s old coat

Why did he hate his father? Why was the Wanderoo so furious?

You would have to ask him, but he’s got a head start and is disappearing down the stairs

To a train that will take him beyond your memory, many stops past where your imagination ends


Books To Read

I just finished up — or reached a temporary resting space on — a writing project, and have gotten together the books that accumulated unread. With the national politics in a state of such grotesque unfeeling emergency it’s hard to know if its dilettantish or not to read them, but here they are:

Gate of Heaven by Herrera
Return of Muncchausen by Krzhiazhianovsky
The Debutante and Other Storis — Leonora CarringtonMoses Cordovero’s Introduction to Kabbalah
Bearheart:The Heirship Chronicles
The Fierce nad Beautiful World — Andrei Platonov
The Invisible Bridge – Rick Perlstein
The Nonexistent Knight/The Cloven Viscount – Calvino
Johnson-Orphan Master’s Son
Carson-Eros the Bittersweet
Worldly Wisdom: Confucian Teachings of hte Ming Dynasty
The Incoherence of the Philosophers
Al Ghazzali on the 99 Beautiful Names of God
Universal Science — Mahdi Ha Iri Yazi
Glass Irony and God
The Anti-Witch
The Affirmation of Life
Te-Nehisi Coates: Between the World and Me
From Eternity to Here
Ontogeny and Philogeny
The Executioner’s Song
This is our Youth
Saddam Hussein: Politics of REvenge
Total Orgasm
Travels with Epicurus
You and a Bike and a Road
Frabato the Magician
Between Dog and Wolf
Story of the Stone
8 Skillful Gentlemen
New Practical Primer of Literary Chinese
Readings in Later Chinese Philosophy
The Order of Time
Invertebrate Zoology
The Middle Ground
Reflections on Things at Hand
Charles Darwin Voyagin
The Illiad
House of Leaves
Mystical Languages of Unsaying
The book of Disquiet
The Golden Notebook
Soul of the Samurai
Book of Laughter and Forgetting
Skillful Coping
Wild Ivy: Autobiography of Hakuin
Eros and Magic in the Renaissance
Butterfly as Companion
When Children Grieve
Principles of Neuroscience
Nature of Generosity
Greg Bear: Stories
Alan Ackybourn: Plays
The Cave – Saramago
Yiddish Policeman’s Union
Barnes – The Ruling Class
Creation of Consciousness
Europe and the People w/o a History
Grief is the Thing with Feathers
Ludmilla Petrushvskaya- Stories
Dark Back of Time – Marias
S Shephard – 7 Plays
Distance of hte Moon
States of Mind
Time for Aristotle
Readings from Lu Wang School of Neo-Confcianism
Jabes — Book of Margins
Calvino – Baron in the Trees
Travels with Herodotus
Wisdom of the Throne — Mulla Sadra
Baldwin Collected Essays
The Bin Ladens
Early Islamic Mysticism
Al Ghazzali’s Path to Sufism
Invertebrate Zoology
The Super Organism
The Pleasure Shock
How Jews Became White Folks
The Spinning Magnet
Capella and the 7 Liberal Arts
Free Play
Company Man
Black Sea – Ascherson
Space is the Place
Psychic Life of Power
Martyrs Traitors and Patriots
Nietzsche’s New Darwinism
Dog of the South
Beryl Bainbridge- Visit to the Bottle Factory
Paschal Beverly Randolph
The Theosophical Enlightenment
Bengal Nights – Eliade
Kazin- A Walk in the City


Why Don’t We Help “Our Own”?

I’ve come across the argument — yeah it’s sad to take kids from their parents and put them in cages giving them life-long psychological trauma, but ultimately — so what? Our responsibility is to our own citizens.

I think about the following story. A man has a big mansion on a several-acre property. One day while he is patrolling the grounds with his son in a golf-cart he comes across a terrified teenage woman with a baby. He decides to give them a room for the night and feed them before figuring out what the situation is and how to help her. The son is puzzled. Why are we spending money on food for them? Why not put the baby in a cage and the mother in a separate cage, perhaps with a live video feed that says “This is what happens to trespassers?” Why don’t we take care of our own family? Why not save the money that you are spending on these two for my education?

The father answer: I am spending that money on your education.

And I am taking care of you.

Because my chief duty to you as a father is for you to grow up in a family that cares about love and compassion. I give you food and a roof over your head, but more importantly I teach you what is important about life. The most important thing I can teach you is that all human beings are part of one family. If I teach you anything different I am robbing you of something much more valuable than this fancy mansion, these grounds, and this golf cart.

If we raise our children in a country in which the government inflicts deliberate, irreversible psychological trauma on children who are not citizens we are stealing from them and impoverishing them.


Cling to a Good Heart

Rabbi Elazar says in Pirkei Avot that a person must cling to a good heart. It’s terrifying what’s happening, but we need to cling to care and love for people, especially people who are in distress, powerless, and need help. It’s tempting to cling to other stuff — being an American or a Christian or a Jew, having an education, or being smart or being “nice”, or having a family — but Rabbi Elazar is right. None of that is worth anything if we don’t cling to a good heart. We can be smart, educated, and have a beautiful family but if we don’t have that we get swept away by the rising river of evil.

How? How does that happen? Let’s take a look.

I am a smart boy and my mother loves me and my father is proud of me for being smart. I go to school where I work hard to make my parents proud and I learn to argue very well. I get a job based upon my academic accomplishments and I have a beautiful family.

I read that the US government is taking babies and putting them in concentration camps and I think “all the people who say this is wrong and horrible — they are a bit self-righteous. They think it is easy, but actually they are taking the easy way out. I will use my intelligence to show that they’re wrong.”

And behind that thought is another thought — “If those children sobbing in the desert are really an emergency — as much of an emergency as if my children were sobbing in the desert — then there is a big problem. I’m not safe. My family is not safe. So that can’t be right.”

And I write an article and share it with my friends saying that it’s not such a big deal that kids are sobbing in the desert — these things happen. And after all, the parents broke the law — what do they expect? I make it clear that there is a difference between criminals who get their kids torn away from them to scream, and good people like myself and my family, who things like that don’t happen to.

But what have I done? I now have an education that I have used to justify state terror against crying children, I have parents who sacrificed so their child can use his intelligence to make light of the pain of others, and my children have a parent who in order to protect them, said that caring about the suffering of children is an intellectual error.

What have I done?

I let go of my good heart and lost it all — kids, education, parents. All gone and turned to shit because I didn’t cling to a good heart.


We Need to Stop Teaching Clever Reasons Not to Care

We need to stop teaching clever reasons not to care.

We need to stop asking ourselves “I know it seems awful that children are sobbing in cages, but maybe there is another smart way to look at this.”

We need to stop trying to get points in intellectual games for not caring — for being funny, or having an interesting thing to say.

We need to stop separating who we are when we go to work and write things or say things from whom we really are. Because the things we write and say when we go to work are also who we really are.


Opioid Addiction and Pets and Math

PART ONE: How Much Does Opioid Treatment Cost?

Although the price for opioid treatment may vary based on a number of factors, recent preliminary cost estimates from the U.S. Department of Defense for treatment in a certified opioid treatment program (OTP) provide a reasonable basis for comparison:methadone treatment, including medication and integrated psychosocial and medical support services (assumes daily visits): $126.00 per week or $6,552.00 per year

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse

PART TWO: How much do Americans spend each year on pets?

The APPA found that in 2016 U.S. pet owners are expected to spend $62.75 billion on their furry (or scaly) friends.

Source: Aug 26, 2016 – Fortune Magazine

PART THREE: How many Americans died of opioid overdoses in 2016?

It calculated that 59,000 to 65,000 people died of overdoses last year, with a harder, but likely imprecise, number of 62,497.

Source: Vox magazine, New York Times

PART FOUR:What is 62.75 billion divided by 6,552?

(i.e. if we took the money we spent on pets and spent it on opioid addicts how many could we treat?)


Source: arithmetic.



1. Killed thousands of people to keep Vietnam from becoming communist — Vietnam became communist.

2.Killed thousands of people in Iraq because thought Iraq had WMD; didn’t.

3.Kids have sky-rocketing rates of anxiety and depression and commit mass murders; does nothing about this but spends billions yearly on pet dogs and cats.

4.Cancer, heart disease,diabetes and obesity from eating unhealthy food; continue to eat unhealthy food, spend billions on quack diets.

5.Love watching t.v. more than anything; elected clownish evil president only because he was on t.v.

6.Undistinguished record at literature and painting — only significant contribution to world culture is African-American music; persecute African Americans.


Toxic Male Nerd Culture

Male “nerd culture” is toxic at its heart because it encourages adult men to view themselves as boys.

What’s wrong with being a boy, staying in your room, playing with spaceships and robots?

What’s wrong is that a boy in his room is being taken care of by his mother but if an adult man tries to live the life of a young boy he needs to get a woman to provide the role of his mother and take care of his needs.

“Nerd culture” hides the importance a giving female plays in male fantasy life, and doesn’t teach men that they have a responsibility to care for women and provide space for women to feel safe and playful on their own terms.

The hidden cost to women of male nerd culture provides an interesting test case of how fantasy can lead to injustice unconsciously. The male nerd doesn’t think about the consequences for women. He just thinks he enjoyed it in his room as a boy playing with robot toys. When he was a child he wasn’t thinking about his mother’s needs — and shouldn’t have been. But as an adult living in that fantasy he is blinding himself willfully to the harm it causes adult women. Similarly the nostalgic southerner who longs for a life sipping porch juleps on the plantation doesn’t think about the harm that system did to African Americans — he or she just takes pleasure in the fantasy.

As a test case I think it’s best to view this story — the story of the hidden woman and the downtrodden girlfriend in the life of the male nerd — as a spur to the adventure of self-knowledge. The adult nerd collecting Star Wars toys doesn’t realize he is actually playing a part in a much more interesting story than Star Wars. All he has to do is pull the camera back to include the women in his life and look at the world as it seems to them, and he is now in the busy heart of a novel for grown-ups and not a juvenile escapist movie. And he was all along, he just didn’t know it.