There’s always something to howl about

Archive for August, 2007

Mucho con gusto: Celebrating human independence in open defiance of Labor Day

I have more than too much work to do, including attending to all the controversy I’ve stirred up, but I pride myself on knowing when I need to stop, if only for a few hours. We’re kidless for the weekend, but we’re on the cusp of being infested by way too much family, so I’m going to grab for all the gusto I can, while I can.

Here’s Mark Knopfler, just blistering on what looks like a Paul Reed Smith FatStratClone (that is to say, a really kick-ass custom-made guitar):

For Teri Lussier’s daughter, Rian, here is an excruciating catharsis:

The examined life is having the courage to purge your own character of mediocrity, not punishing other people for having indulged their fears of greatness.

This is me, a memo from forever:

The time of your life is your sole capital. If you trade that time in such a way that you get in exchange less than you really want, less than you might actually have achieved, you have deliberately cheated yourself. You have acted to your own destruction by failing to use your time to construct of your life what you want most and need most and deserve most. You have let your obsession or anger — over what amounts to a trivial evil in a world where people are shredded alive — deprive you of all of the rest of your values. This is anegoic, acting contrary to the true needs of the self.

One of my favorite memories is of a Labor Day years ago. My son and I were out riding our bikes and we rode to a CompUSA to see all the latest software. The store was packed. Middle managers poring over the PERT packages, programmers pawing through hefty manuals, yuppie couples testing eduware with their little yuppiekinder. Labor Day is a holiday established by people who hate human productivity, who hate the human mind. It is a day set aside on the calendar to celebrate and sanctify indolence — and violence. And there in the CompUSA were the men and women of values. The people who know that to be more and have more, you must learn more and do more.

Those are my people. I love them better than any other people I meet. I work with them, laugh with them on the phone, transact business with them. I love to write about them. There are no villains, none more significant than bugs. But there are heroes. For the most part, they can’t defend their beliefs the way I can. But they live those beliefs, every day.

I think it is hypocrisy to say, “I will cooperate with the state when I shower, when I drive, when I don’t want a landfill behind my house, but I will pretend to rebel with respect to this one of the hundreds of taxes, all the rest of which I will pay without batting any eye.” But that notwithstanding, to deliberately frustrate your own self-adoration, to deliberately circumscribe your own self-actualization, to deliberately forbid yourself to live to the fullest of your capacity — that is a tax that could only be self-inflicted. No tyrant could be that diabolical. Behaving this way is anegoic, acting contrary to the true needs of the self.

The time from the birth of human awareness, age four or so, to its death, closely correspondent to your corporeal demise, is all the life you have as a human being. To deny yourself all you can have, because it is not all you otherwise might have had, is anegoic, acting contrary to the true needs of the self. The people in the West who are most free of the bonds of other people are not the tax scofflaws or the libertarians or the imaginary prudent predators. They’re the people crowding every cultural equivalent of CompUSA, working assiduously to figure out how to achieve the most and the best of all of their values, from first to last.

I think this is where true human freedom starts.

There’s a new Large Band album this week and my father is coming to town. This is my daddy’s favorite Lyle:

Mucho con gusto. The world can wait. I have a date with my wife…

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