If you say that money is the most important thing, you’ll spend your life completely wasting your time: You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is, in order to go on doing things you don’t like doing — which is stupid! -- Alan Watts
We are always saying things like this like we are having an original thought. It is a good question: "What if money was no object?" 

The truth is, however, that Watts, whom I enjoy, is a little off, as so are we, because he does not imagine community and mutual service in this. He imagines, however, "getting a good fee" eventually, for one's passion, and that does not happen for most of us. 

Certainly, that is what I wish for myself, at the least of what I wish. But I actually wish for something more than getting a good price for all of what I am because I know it will not happen for most of us, most of us will not get a good price, and we are not livestock either. 

We will also not get what we desire, not really, not with a one dimensional view of what it is that we desire -- usually to do a task, not for what reason do we do the task -- for what human reason? You like to bake? Why? Whom will you feed? And this applies to people, like me, passionate about Big Ideas, like justice and peace. Who is that for? 

Nor will the passionate be self-supporting, as a class, such as we are, in a one dimensional view of the economy in which we exist. Human beings are, in the end, only as good as we agree we can be. It is very hard to be significantly more wise, kind, productive and so on than our social agreements allow for, and not be suicidal, which is no good. And yet, the paradox is that we each must push that nearly suicidal boundary with steady will and talk and talk and talk our way to possibilities that honor life.

What if money was no object? That is a much bigger question than the one we usually answer when we ask it. 

 
 
This is not one of my usual blog entries, not that I make blog entries all that reliably anymore. I write on Facebook more often, and indeed, this is an extension of that. One of these days I am going to make a tumblr account. It may be the mix of features I like.

It's election day, 2012. Ob, age six, says he is voting for Mommy. I might let him write it in, in fact, when I take him to the polls this evening. For the record, as I like to say, if it were me, I would vote for Jill Stein, but my son's protest, a statement of his values in a culture that perverts all of our values in the pursuit of strategy, might be just as good as mine. A council of caretakers, maybe? Not just his Mommy? I'll talk to him about it while we stand in line for an hour.

I swear, I get grouchy sometimes. I keep calling it my stinky old man side. But you know, it's because I care, I am disappointed, I know we can do better than a choice between a sweaty psychopath and a charming, but also anti-life, candidate for our "leader."  Even our servant. And I keep asking myself why this is so hard, not what the institutions are made of to make it hard -- I see that just as well as many of us do -- but what in the world makes us keep them. 

I've been accused of being "no fun" and "intense" before, by people who, frankly, mainly say "oh well" and move on, unencumbered by memory or connection, the burden of words and ideas and feeling. Maybe I am. Oh well. I throw good parties too. I just get like this sometimes. Stinky old man Windy.

Well, then, here's my soundtrack for this cold election day:

First of all, God's Song. This song really strikes me as being about false faith, not a critique of true religious behavior: our focusing on the idea of God (or what we are comfortable treating as God), like a fetish, and not on our behavior, our responsibility to each other. Mac says that when he catches me listening to this, watch out. Election day, 2012, brings it on.

A Few Words in Defense of Our Country speaks for itself, I think. And it is wicked funny. Bitter laughter on election day 2012.

I Just Want You To Hurt Like I Do  No one steps up to the plate to provide a soundtrack for a mood quite like Randy Newman. For me this song captures a kind of short sightedness that I see in our culture, and so, in ourselves then. It, to me, captures just as much of the bashing of the poor as it captures some liberal pseudo-Buddhist tendencies, as well as the often felt permission of the victim, something all of us are, to be narrowly self-focused and cause others pain, perhaps usually out of sheer thoughtlessness as much as entitlement. 

And, in finality, My Life is Good. Yeah, narcissism. Oh well, right? "Rand, how would you like to be the boss for a while?" Ha!

Elections depress me. I get all grouchy in a melancholy sort of way. I think it is harder to block out the vapid public debate about human lives. It reminds me of Christmas. Like it's this special time that we set aside in an ocean of banality, when we focus on what matters, but, bad as that is, we don't really. There is an unreality to it. I feel outside of my body. I will be glad when this thing is over.

I like myself better when I am not always being asked to talk in terms of electoral politics, not the values of our everyday, real lives, to embrace the people at the playground, my family, and talk about what we are really thinking about on common ground, with respect.