My Multifarious Melange of Mind

Too many brain things going on. A bigger picture unifying theory awaits, as it always does, and for now remains within my reach but not my grasp. So, I resort to random quotes which land their barbs particularly deep in me, or shine their light particularly warmingly on me.

  • There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself. — Henry David Thoreau
  • I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth. — Umberto Eco
  • Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame. — Erica Jong
  • Pervading nationalism imposes its dominion on man today in many different forms and with an aggressiveness that spares no one. The challenge that is already with us is the temptation to accept as true freedom what in reality is only a new form of slavery. — Pope John Paul II
  • Ready comprehension is often a knee-jerk response and the most dangerous form of understanding. It blinks an opaque screen over your ablility to learn. The judgemental precedents of law function that way, littering your path with dead ends. Be warned. Understand nothing. All comprehension is temporary. — Frank Herbert
  • Life cannot find reasons to sustain it, cannot be a source of decent natural regard, unless each of us resolves to breathe such qualities into it. — Frank Herbert
  • The worst of times in San Francisco is still better than the best of times anywhere else. — Armistead Maupin
  • We find the most terrible form of atheism, not in the militant and passionate struggle against the idea of God himself, but in the practical atheism of everyday living, in indifference and torpor. We often encounter these forms of atheism among those who are formally Christians. — Nicolai A. Berdyaev
  • Forth from his dark and lonely hiding-place,<br/> (Portentous sight!) the owlet Atheism,<br/> Sailing on obscene wings athwart the noon,<br/> Drops his blue-fringed lids, and holds them close,<br/> And hooting at the glorious sun in Heaven,<br/> Cries out, “Where is it?” — Samuel Taylor Coleridge<br/>

  • A delusion that encourages belief where there is no evidence is asking for trouble. Disagreements between incompatible beliefs cannot be settled by reasoned argument because reasoned argument is drummed out of those trained in religion from the cradle. Instead, disagreements are settled by other means which, in extreme cases, inevitably become violent. Scientists disagree among themselves but they never fight over their disagreements. They argue about evidence or go out and seek new evidence. Much the same is true of philosophers, historians and literary critics […] But you don’t do that if you just know your holy book is the God-written truth and the other guy knows that his incompatible scripture is too. — Richard Dawkins
  • The best is yet to be. — Robert Browning

Girls vs. the Mostly Old White Men

So, the U.S. House of Representatives wants to bar females from direct ground combat. Why, you ask? Well, why not is the only reply you’re going to get. Never mind that some women are physically more qualified than men. Never mind that men get tortured, too, and sometimes at the hands of women. Sometimes men get raped too, when captured. Apparently, it really comes down to a vagina and a few bazillion extra X-chromosomes. In other words, no dicky no fighty.

And then there’s the paragon of modernity (not), the good old Roman Catholics. This time, in Alabama (who let the Catholics in in Alabama?). Specifically, an RC high school banned a student from attending her own graduation ceremony. Why? Because she’s pregnant. Guess what? Girlfriend attended anyway, and at the end of the ceremony, walked across the stage by herself, announcing her own name. She was cheered by other students; her aunt and mother, also in attendance, were escorted out by police.

My favorite part of the whole shebang:

Cosby was told in March that she could no longer attend school because of safety concerns, and her name was not listed in the graduation program.
The father of Cosby’s child, also a senior at the school, was allowed to participate in graduation.

Roman Catholics? Roamin’ Consciences, more like it.