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No te olvides del niño del árbol

The boy runs,
head back, glancing
arching back – like his chest is leading

and maybe it is, the heart.

Shouts and laughter
laughter and shouts
speedy directions
not fast enough to catch up
with the action
of the boy.

It’s as if he belongs in that tree,
and other kids,
like fruit
pop up and hang and swing

laughter and shouts

Little fingers, little toes
climbing on the world
loving, living, loving, living

shouts in laughter

More children come
little fingers and bark
branches and legs
skin and leaves

el árbol niño
the tree child

El chico de los árboles se fue
The tree child is gone

It can’t be
But it is.
Laughter and shouts
Skin and bark
little limbs on little limbs

oh such terribleness for what
we’ve forgotten.

We’ve forgotten the child of the tree,
Nos hemos olvidado del niño del árbol.

Do not forget the child of the tree.

Good Men Don’t Agree With Women

Ok, ok, don’t freak! (Ladies)

But really I find this to be true in general. It could mean that I’m not a good guy but if that’s true, well then, I guess I’m no worse off then I’ve ever been, so here goes…

Men and women are different, if you haven’t heard. I think the difference between the male and female is the ultimate difference, there’s nothing that’s more different than that difference.

You can interpret that difference in two ways. The first way is to feel hopeless and afraid that you’re not enough or that someone has something that you can’t or don’t have, to come at it as if you’re a beggar and need something from someone else to be ok. The second way is to see it as an opportunity to discover lands that are as unexplored to you as the universe, to become an explorer, an adventurer and realize that right here on this earth we are each guides for the others to become tourists and citizens of ourselves.

When you hear that the difference between male and female is the ultimate difference in existence, do you look at that from fear or love?

This is from love.

Good men do not agree with women, in general. This is a philosophical argument so if you want to argue with all the instances where that statement isn’t true you might be frustrated with this, but if you take it as a thought and emotional experiment it might have some value, I think it does.

The way it works, for me, is that it’s a struggle. Constant struggle of not understanding how women work, why the work, what they’re talking about, why they’re talking about and what the hell to do about any of that. I simply do not understand. But I love women. I love my my wife. I love my female friends, in spite of and in some ways because of my lack of understanding of them and their motivations. Somehow it still works and it’s taken me all of my life so far to get to the point where I have begun to accept that I have not the first idea about what really goes on in a females head beyond brilliant colors and explosions of chaos, thoughts and feelings a million times per minute.

Generally I do not agree with women. The men I talk to, do not generally agree with women. It’s not in our foundation to agree with women. Fundamentally it’s important that we don’t agree with women. What males have, typically called Masculinity, is sacred, precious and completely unique. What females have, Femininity, is sacred, precious and completely unique.

***This next part is for women and men who can look at things from love and not fear. If you read it from a fear based place you will feel defensive and miserable. If you read if from a love based place…well…try it***

The problem with the current dialogue, #Me Too, Toxic Masculinity and the current blame culture is that a lot of males are agreeing with women. What’s the problem with that? The problem is that by those males agreeing with women it obscures the responsibility of the males who are agreeing. Let me put this another way…

FEMALES, you are not wrong! Not at all. It’s always time to be more caring, gentle, strong, peaceful and compassionate. No humans, ideally, should be subject to might is right violence and abuse. If anyone is getting beat up, emotionally, physically or thought wise, they should speak up and try to fix it and dare I say, be supported. But that doesn’t mean that it’s right or even positive for men to agree with the way you’re going about trying to bring your experiences into the world.

A good man will disagree with a woman and NOT act like a heathen or a barbarian. A good man will hear a woman, judge for himself and adjust his behavior appropriately, if need be, and he will determine the need. A good man, if he succumbs to violence, as every human being, male and female has done at some point and most will continue to do despite their best efforts, until they die, will address the violence, make it right, if he can and work on himself to strengthen himself against it. But a good man does not agree with a woman.

So we arrive back at #Me Too and Toxic Masculinity, back to one side of the struggle which is justified and right and good; let’s raise awareness about violence against women so that we can better address it and work to stop it. Women are right to feel this way but they feel this way because they’re women, because they have a unique, sacred experience of the world.

The toxic message here is coming from Men. Let me be clear that men are not toxic and masculinity is not toxic and there is nothing real called toxic masculinity but the message…the message that there is something real called toxic masculinity and that “men” agree with that, that is what’s toxic.

This is how males are avoiding their responsibility for positively contributing to a solution that women are so clearly bringing up, do you see women? Do you see that by males agreeing with your process of blame and finger pointing (which may not be preferable or generally good but is, none-the-less true from your perspective) they don’t have to look inward at their own behavior. They’ve created a straw man on which to put all of their personal vulnerability, weakness, pride and violence. If there’s such a thing as toxic masculinity, well then, I can’t really help it.

Unfortunately (in this specific scenario) females have a generally forgiving and accepting nature and accept that from men. You females accept that men agreeing with your process means they’re on your team, on your side. I’m hear to tell you that they’re not. They’re not on your side at all. The men that agree with you on the process of #Me Too and Toxic Masculinity are not on your side, they are on their own side. They are opportunistic, just like Gillette is opportunistic. Is that what you want for your partner? Is that how you want your husband to act? Is that they type of behavior you want to teach your son or daughter? To be opportunistic, to seek the shallow, cowardly space of agreement rather than to seek the truth of disagreement and peace! That’s right…disagreement AND peace. It’s much harder but it’s what’s necessary if we want to really evolve as a species together.

We have different universes inside us, males and females. We can either be beggars or explorers. Right now the women are right, it’s time to stand up and out and be men. And that means not agreeing with the current bullshit trends AND working to address the issues that women, in their way, are putting out there in the world.

The Opportunistic Drumbeat of the Cowardly

Shit. And I really liked their razors.

Don’t tell me about being cowardly. I know it. Been there, done that! I’m just grateful that I have some good friends around me that value me enough to check me and challenge me if they see me behaving in a cowardly manner. I’m also grateful for having done enough work on myself that I’m aware, at least at times, that I behave like a coward, so that I can change. Good for me, good for everyone.

Oh, you don’t think this add is cowardly? Ooops, my bad.

Do the men in your life matter to you? Even if they’ve been so well trained that they don’t realize they matter and instead become parrots to the popular un-examined dialogue. Is that what you want? A Parrot? Because that’s what you’re creating and when I say “you’re” I mean the Royal “You’re”. The “You’re” that includes anyone who thinks that this add is a net positive rather than a net negative.

This Gillette add, this single example in a sea of sentiment about how Toxic Masculinity is the real problem, is a net negative, which means it’s actually the thing that is toxic. Yes. The message that Masculinity is toxic, is actually the real toxin. And if you’re supporting that message, you are spreading the toxicity.

You don’t have to believe me. But if you have a son or daughter who you care about, I challenge you to challenge yourself to find the real toxicity so that it can be addressed and so that healing and change can occur. Of course you have to want change and healing to occur, rather than primal punishment.

No, you say. It’s Toxic Masculinity that’s the problem! Not interested in examining what that means for your sons and daughters. Ok. It’s your life and your burden to pass to your kids. But to the strong women and solid men, to the courageous ones, to the ones who know there’s something deeply and fundamentally wrong with this message:

You’re Not Alone.

And to the boys and girls: You are not toxic and your brother does not have poison inside him. No matter what anyone says, your parents are confused and afraid and angry, do not believe them. There are pains in the world, there is injustice and unfairness and violence, sometimes things don’t make any sense. But always remember, children, that it’s only your behavior that can hurt and that you choose your behavior, you yourself are not poison. You are not poison. So behave in a kind way towards people and when you hurt them, apologize and learn. And forgive your parents.

Do The Women of #Me Too Want Positive Change?

Is it a matter of truth?

Does truth matter?

What the fuck is truth!

And how does truth relate to the relationship between men and women?

I’m going to make some assumptions in getting into this so please feel free to call out my assumptions as lacking or incorrect and, if you’d be so kind, fill in what is lacking or correct what needs correcting. Ok? Ok!

1-Assume I want to help create positive change
2-Assume that shaming, in general, isn’t a good way to make positive change. 
3-Assume you can have what you really want

My goal is to continue, deepen and engage more in trying to understand what positive change might actually look like to see if it’s something “you” want “me” to be involved with. Because at this point it’s not clear to me that women want men to be involved in any type of positive change or that women even want positive change to begin with.

What do you think?

What Extraordinary Writing Does

I don’t know much about Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the author of the Gulag Archipelago other than he was a revolutionary writer who ended up moving to Vermont after being expelled from Russia. He ended up living in Cavendish, Vermont for some time.

I am finding out more about him, however, and came across this quote from what seems to be his most famous work, The Gulag Archipelago:

Once we have taken up the word, it is thereafter impossible to turn away: A writer is no detached judge of his countrymen and contemporaries; he is an accomplice to all the evil committed in his country or by his people. And if the tanks of his fatherland have bloodied the pavement of a foreign capital, then rust-colored stains have forever bespattered the writer’s face. And if on some fateful night a trusting Friend is strangled in his sleep—then the palms of the writer bear the bruises from that rope. And if his youthful fellow citizens nonchalantly proclaim the advantages of debauchery over humble toil, if they abandon themselves to drugs, or seize hostages—then this stench too is mingled with the breath of the writer. Have we the insolence to declare that we do not answer for the evils of today’s world?…

The simple act of an ordinary brave man is not to participate in lies, not to support false actions! His rule: Let that come into the world, let it even reign supreme—only not through me. But it is within the power of writers and artists to do much more: to defeat the lie! For in the struggle with lies art has always triumphed and shall always triumph! Visibly, irrefutably for all! Lies can prevail against much in this world, but never against art…

One word of truth shall outweigh the whole world.

What an incredible, relevant, stylistically beautiful, ideologically focused piece of writing.

The “Free Range Parenting” Law is a JOKE!

Free range

What side are you on anyway!

We are living in brilliant times where the most is possible for the most. The world is waiting to be changed, waiting to be uplifted, waiting for freedom and peace to be upheld and like Marcus Mumford sings, we are “Forcing from the world a patient smile”.

What the hell do you mean?

I mean…it’s time to really look at what’s happening and what is being contributed to our world because there are things being contributed everyday, some with more weight than others, some privately, some publicly and with great force. Eventually it’s important to answer the question…what are you contributing, but for now I want to talk about Free Range Parenting and specifically the law that was passed in Utah to a bunch of celebration and fanfare.

The fanfare is a misplaced result, like a fish cheering for water. And the bigger thing is that most of us fall right into our appropriate lines of approval or disapproval and never question why an entity (The State) has the power over our families to declare that it is lawful to allow your own children to roam the earth.

Let me say that again:

Why are we celebrating an entity separate and removed from us (The State) having the power to declare it “legal” to allow our children to roam the earth?

Oh god I can already hear the “adults”…”Safety” they say, “protection” they say, “You silly person” they say, “it’s so obvious that we need the protection” they say. All the “Adults”. My goodness, we are celebrating our own chains and requesting that they be placed on our children as well. We are clamoring for chains, we are celebrating our chains.

The celebration of a law that allows you to leave your kids alone. What’s next? Maybe it’s a law that allows someone with a gun and a badge to come into your home and take you, or worse, your kids away without due process, oh, wait, that exists already. Oooohh I get fired up when I hear about these things…when I hear about “US”, you and me and other “reasonable” people so grateful to be granted a right, so comfortable with a mechanism that has the power to grant rights. DON’T SAY IT!  Don’t you go and justify…Don’t Do It!

A tomato used to be a tomato and then at some point it became an “organic” tomato. Do you ever think about what that means? At some point a parent could be a parent to their children until a law was made that it was now legal to be a parent to your children.

What the hell is going on?

Is this insanity? Yes. But is it also a joke? YES!!  It is a joke! It’s a joke that politicians actually believe that they should rule you and it is a joke that you actually believe that you should be ruled. But you know what, the damn joke is starting to infect my life and I’ve really had enough of it, enough with the jokes you funny and silly people, enough.


Tim Horton’s Hears a “Who the F#ck do you think you are”

I’m angry and it’s all about donuts and Canada and the US Constitution.

Which, funny enough, are all things I love (or at least really like).

So what’s the problem? The problem is one person forcing their beliefs on another. I don’t think that’s OK. In fact I think it’s about the least OK thing a person could do.

How does that relate to donuts, Canada and the US Constitution?

Currently I can’t see how, as a rule, it would ever be better to force your belief on someone. However I can imagine times where in order to secure or retain Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness you may need to do some forcing. Laws, after all, are a kind of forcing and no one is saying there isn’t a need for law, at least I’m not saying that.

What I am saying is that in general there are only two ways to move on the spectrum of Human Liberty…towards more or towards less and if you’re ever going to move towards less shouldn’t there be a definitive, clear, logical and caring reason why you would impose more force in order to attain more liberty? There’s nothing wrong with feeling disgusted, offended, angry, indignant and there’s plenty to make us all feel those things, but we should not be making decisions with our TOOL of government only because we feel that way.

Don’t we need to be able to have strong disagreements and still come up with the best course of action as a society. This would mean we must be willing to discuss, challenge, argue, engage and be engaged. We must be less afraid of ideas and  strong enough and connected enough to admit if we were wrong in our thinking or our assumptions. I both hate and love being wrong about my assumptions, my ego hates it and my soul loves it because my ego takes a hit and my soul grows.

And how do donuts and Canada fit in?

Tim Horton’s Donuterie (my word) and Coffee shop, a Canadian Company, has had some franchisee’s, including the founders children, roll back employee benefits because of the implementation of the minimum wage law by the government. Here’s a quick aside: What happens if an employee doesn’t like the job situation at Tim Horton’s? Yes, they can leave, protest and basically behave in any legal way they want. What happens if Tim Horton’s disobey’s a law from the government? They can get handcuffed and go to jail or lose their business.

I am on the side of not being handcuffed and going to jail. I am on the side of not being forced to act on something you don’t believe by threat of jail. I am on the side of being able to leave, protest or whatever if you don’t like something.

What I’ve found with this Tim Horton’s thing is so much noise on social media about how bad these owners are, how they’re greedy pigs, corporate soul suckers and on and on an on. All because they, #1 disagreed with being forced, by threat of jail or the forced closure of their business, to raise the minimum wage and #2 when they accepted the minimum wage hike they cut costs elsewhere to make up for it, which is what businesses do to survive.

From where I’m sitting the vitriol against Tim Horton’s looks like a bunch of angry people saying to business people that they don’t care about anyone but themselves and shouldn’t be in business at all. And most of this is coming from people who have never owned a business or made a payroll. This would be much less worse if it were only noise on social media, but it’s actually driving policy by force.

It is possible that some people don’t actually understand how business works and they think there are no effects to to increased costs? Sure, but in that case isn’t it better to chose the soul over the ego and learn about basic business fundamentals before raging that owners don’t care about anyone but themselves when they cut a cost to cover an increased cost. The other, more disturbing reason I hear for wanting to force something on someone occurs when people realize the owners of a company have achieved millionaire or billionaire status, and by that reason alone they aught to be forced to do something they don’t believe in.

What kind of world is it where the judgement to force someone else to do something they don’t want to do is justified only by someone else’s anger over that persons wealth. Take a moment and think about where that leads. If a small group or even a single person can force another to do something just because they don’t like how much money they are making or worse because another person is feeling a certain way about the person making money that is not a nice future. Feelings change.

Remember it’s our TOOL of government that has the monopoly on force by threat of jail or worse. Everyone else has the legal right to be pissed and offended and to leave and protest and do whatever they want. So in the case of Tim Horton’s, might it suck for employees to have benefits cut (it’s debatable but for my purposes let’s say it does suck and it’s actually important that it sucks)? Yes it sucks. But what’s the answer to this sucking? And what’s the context of this sucking? Don’t a lot of things suck? Doesn’t life sometimes suck? Doesn’t life sometimes suck with a million government regulations? Doesn’t life sometimes suck with 0 government regulations (well we actually don’t know about that)?

Life can and does suck at times no matter what we do.

So the question is do we force someone else to do something they don’t want to do to make it suck less, or do we figure out how to make it suck less without using force. This is a huge question and when I look at the example of Tim Horton’s and minimum wage imposition this is how it relates. It’s not about specifics of how Tim Horton’s decides to operate it’s business or about how much money someone has or doesn’t have. Or how angry you may feel or how unjust you may think things are or how people need help or don’t need help. It’s about using force of jail or worse to achieve a result and about being smart and empathetic enough to understand the only possible result of a doctrine that holds force as it’s primary motivating factor.

Again, I am not advocating for no law, no regulations, no government. I am advocating for a more difficult, uncomfortable, ego killing, soul enriching course of action that recognizes as a founding principle that forcing people to do things they don’t want to do, by threat of jail or worse is NOT a good way to achieve less sucking in the world.

And I guess in the end, the reason I got so pissed about this was because I felt resource less in the face of what seemed like such intense hypocrisy by people slamming business owners for trying to do business. These same people showed no recognition of their own  responsibility in contributing to the very wealth that they deride. What was worse was to witness first hand how intellectually shallow these same people behaved when asked to engage in or even consider debate, to see how they held themselves, to themselves, to such a high moral standard, it was as if they were self-anointed and their ideas were beyond debate and therefor anyone challenging them is a lesser person. What else is the justification for turning debate personal?

What I realized was that these people aren’t different from me in the sense that they also feel resource-less and afraid in the face of such big questions and big sucking in the world. And that might be what’s both hopeful and hopeless, that maybe we actually all want less sucking in the world.

The problem is that real force is being applied and real people are being hurt and it’s not the people they think, it’s not the owners and CEO’s and millionaires and billionaires being hurt by minimum wage law and by government sanctioned force. It’s the “little people” the vulnerable people, the people that they say are in need of the most help, the people that they say they are helping by encouraging force.

This trait of the ego, of being right, of feeling morally superior is a very bad trait to have. Very bad. I speak from experience but if I can wade through it, anyone can and I’m thankful to have experienced the moral vitriol because it helped me get more clear about where the real solutions lie. So thank you to that crowd and I invite any and all who are interested in challenging their belief system and their ego, myself included to engage. Anger is OK as long as it’s recognized and not the only motivating factor in making decisions that affect the whole of our society.

Thank you for reading.


Mutilating Kids is Not a Contest, It’s Bad

Mutilating Kids is Not A Contest, It’s Bad This is a link to the 2 1/2 minute video above. It’s deeply disturbing.

What might be more disturbing is the trend that I am waking up to that treats males as if they are not human. I’m going to be writing on this for a while, maybe my entire life, because I want more peace in the world and the only way to achieve it is to get to the truth of things. Everything we hide from, everything we hide, will make it harder and less effective to do good in the world.

So if you want to do good in the world and not just feel good in the world, it might be time to wake up.

Watch the video, look at this child’s face. Do some searching of your own. I haven’t done a lot but I’ve done more than most and here’s some sad facts.

When you search Male Genital Mutilation you get 66,000 results

When you search Female Genital Mutilation you get 190,000 results

In brief searches for “how many males are circumcised in the world” it seems like the general consensus is that around 30% of males in the WORLD are circumcised. There are 7.5 (or so) billion people in the world and it’s split 50/50 (for arguments sake) so there are about 3.75 billion males and 3.75 billion females. That means that 1,125,000,000 PEOPLE (men) have been genitally mutilated.

and when you search “how many females are circumcised in the world” an interesting thing happens, the search returns results for “genital mutilation”, this doesn’t happen when you do the search for boys. The results again are not something I’ve delved deeply into because that’s not my point but at quick glances from the WHO, for example, it looks as if 200,000,000 PEOPLE have been genitally mutilated. A truly horrific number.

But look at me!  Even with my intent in writing this, even with my awakening in process around the depth of the lies that have built our structure and our beliefs, I feel much more emotional (at least on the surface) about 200 million females being mutilated than I do about more than 5 times that many boys being mutilated. That’s me. Fuck…

One more glom of points here is that most of the numbers of people, CHILDREN, that are mutilated are not in the United States. Generally the highest prevalence is in Africa and the Middle East, where rates for both can push high 90%. So what does it say about the adults of the United States?  When I searched “genital mutilation in the us” the first page returned results ONLY about Female Genital Mutilation and as far as I could tell there were no HARD numbers, the numbers that were given were categorized as “women who have undergone or are at risk” and the number that I found was about 500,000.

So because there was no mention of men or boys on the generic search I did above, I searched “male genital mutilation in the us”. The second article returned was a CNN article entitled “The Alarming Rise of Female Genital Mutilation in the US” and two of the top 10 articles returned included Femal Genital Mutilation. Probably most impactful was that there is no lack of hard numbers with this search.  Again, a quick glance at a few different sources showed me that there are around 55% of ALL MALE PEOPLE in the United States have had parts of their penis cut off. There are about 152 million males in the U.S. so that number equates to about 76 million people having parts of their bodies cut off.

76 Million of one kind of person having parts of their body cut off

500,000 of another kind of a person having parts of their body cut off

And the thing that disturbed me the most had nothing to do with comparing these injuries, these violations of children and adults. It is terrible to consider, boy or girl. But what really struck me deeply was what people who have been through this talk about as the destruction of the fundamental trust between a child and their parent, often times their mother when an infant (or anyone for that matter, not of their own volition) are forced to have parts of their bodies cut, destroyed, mutilated. What does that do to our fundamental humanity?

This is not a contest, so who and why is it being turned into a contest? And if it were a contest and we broke down the numbers above into a more manageable though object we would have this:

For every 1 girl who has pieces of her body cut off, damaged or mutilated, more than 100 boys have a part of their body cut off, damaged or mutilated.

So who is protecting our boys? Your boys?


The Candace Owen’s Story cont.: Angela Landsbury

Screen Shot 2017-12-19 at 9.49.53 AMI can’t get enough of Candace Owens and her story. I’m intrigued, inspired, hopeful and scared to death of and for her.

To the right is a story she wrote recently for The Federalist on Angela Landsbury’s comments about women and how she says they need to take responsibility when it comes to contributing to “bad sex situations”.

If you want to get a feel for where Candace stands read the article. Meanwhile I’m going to be thinking about why I’m putting so much time into this. For now I think it’s simply because, so far, I agree with her philosophy of responsibility as the foundation for human goodness and growth. Maybe it’s because I wish I had the courage to be so publicly clear about my views. Not sure.

But I don’t think I’m going to put this down any time soon, so if you’re curious about Candace, check her out and if you have opposing views I’d love to hear them.

Bad Is The New Good

Watch The Watchers

So I’ve had some bumps with my pics from my Zuccotti Park visit two weeks ago.  I am just getting to pics tonight and I’m going to present a perspective of who’s there, who’s on the ground as well as give you a feel for what it’s like…

One of the interesting things I’ve heard (from NYT writer David Brooks) is to “watch the people who are watching the Occupy movement if you want to know what’s going to happen”.  That statement is going to become even more poignant as we go on.

There are a lot of people watching.  I was watching when I went with my son.  I wanted to see and feel what was happening, and I got my little piece and that’s what it is, I think, for people…it represents a piece of something, something you want more of.  It also represents pieces of me that I don’t want anything to do with.  That’s what’s happening with the movement.  And the watchers are joining, and continuing to watch.  It’s not who you think it is, or maybe it is…

So Pics will come later tonight, if you want to see who is wearing the “Bad is the new Good” shirt check back.  I am going out for a walk in the pitch black of this pre-storm night.  Also heading to Albany tomorrow, there’s an OCCUPY event planned and I want to “Watch”.

Watch The Watchers

By Vincent Paul, Oct 11, 2011, Zuccotti Park, NY

Elan Mudrow


Bitter Gertrude

Blogging about Theatre and Culture since 2013


Critical Dharma for Thinking Minds

Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

Musings and books from a grunty overthinker

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