Yesterday I burbled purple paisley prose all over the page and, in trying to answer the question “Why do I Blog?”, only managed to come up with a lame sort of “I don’t know.” but I also referenced Douglas Adams’ answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything which turned out to be 42. You see, in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy we learn that the Earth is nothing but an alien-designed supercomputer run by highly intelligent mice to find the actual question that goes with that ultimate answer. Unfortunately, after the planet Earth is destroyed by Vogons to make way for an interstellar bypass, the question is put on hold. That’s really what I did yesterday. I put the question on hold.
But today, feeling ill and a little blue, I decided to percolate the old teapot of wisdom one more time to see if I could find…
Yes, it happens a lot when you are an aging diabetic. I have moved into that time of life when my six incurable diseases are much harder to bear, and can potentially be the last act in my personal play. So, what do I do when these things move in close to take a bite of me? I appreciate my life harder.
I have lived for over six decades now. I was a child when Walt Disney was still alive, and when men first landed on the moon. I experienced a few of the things that make the story of human life on earth a corking good story, well worth the read.
In some ways the study of human history is one of the most insight-inducing things you can do with your life. There are all kinds of things that were done by stupid kings, and suffering and the buffering of suffering done by heroes, and things that were explored, and knowledge uncovered, and people who have lived and loved and laughed. There was once a Joan of Arc, a Groucho and Harpo Marx, a wizard named Isaac Newton, and a Great Clown who may have been Emmett Kelly, or may have been Red Skelton, or even, possibly, Marcel Marceau.
And, what if mankind has already chosen a course of suicide on a planetary scale? The decision was made back in the 1970’s by the fossil fuel industry that short-term profits were more important than preserving our atmosphere and environment. We are now beginning to reap the whirlwind that they sowed back then, threatening to turn this planet into a Venus-like hell of heat and acid rain. Are we all gonna die?
Human beings are highly adaptable, inventive, and fully capable of finding ways to survive. That will probably be tested, but until it is all completely over, we still have a chance.
But everybody dies… eventually. All people have an expiration date. All civilizations, people, creatures, and even planets themselves have a beginning, middle, and end. And just because something is ended, it doesn’t follow that all its existence, meaning, and importance are gone. My Grandma Beyer has been gone for nearly 20 years. And yet, she is still real. I and my children could not exist without her. And that will still be true when all of us are dead.
So, I have to say, all in all, it is worth it. No matter what happens next.
I have never been a better writer, artist, or story-teller than I am right now. This is the culmination of my life, even if it ends tomorrow. I will keep living day-by-day… living… loving… and laughing. Appreciating the opportunity to exist at all. And therein lies the value of my life
I am not one who can stand to watch Republican debates. I know the clown car is full to busting, but I can’s stand the idea that one of those narrow-minded, fact-free, duplicitous Bozos could end up being the next president. (Or fascist dictator, when you consider what “fascist” actually means, and what former President Carter has said about the U.S. not being a democracy any more.) If one of those clowns wins it, the true power will once again reside with the unseen ring master, like it was with the rodeo-clown George W. Bush and his secret puppet-master, Dick Cheney. And I pay enough attention to know that Donald Trump was so insulting to women during the debate, that Democrats can pick Beelzebub to run as their candidate and women still won’t vote Republican.
I watched the final Jon Stewart Daily Show instead. Stewart is more liberal than I…
This will be used for several things. Most importantly it will become a part of the cover I make for my Work In Progress, The Boy… Forever.
The villain of this story claims to be an undead Chinese wizard. It is a claim that may be totally bogus, but it is a part of the idea of his villainy that needs to be illustrated to help me get to the roots of my theme; “No man lives forever. But if they accidentally do, it helps to be secretly a dragon in human form.”
When you are small, there is something intimidating about a man in strange clothes and a garish pattern of white and red and blue all over his face. What is he hiding? What does he want? Why does he squeeze off a blast from that ridiculous little horn with the big red squeeze bulb right in your little-boy face? His big floppy shoes suggest monstrous feet. Why does he have such a big mouth with red paint all around it? “The better to eat you with, my dear!”
But clowns have a purpose for those of us who are no longer frightened little boys. They parody our actions and exaggerate everything. They look like us, sound like us, and behave like us if only we are able to look at ourselves times twelve or thirteen. They are essential to our lives and our happiness. Why, you ask? Because, my friend…
This is my latest clown picture, inspired by my newest fascination with Puddles’ Pity Party on YouTube. Like all my clown pictures, I am fairly sure that my number one son will tell me it’s a creepy clown. He has never liked clowns. When he was still small we took him to the pre-show at Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus which at that time was Meet the Clowns. We met the men… and women… and dwarves… in the face paint with the loud personalities and huge red smiles. I was charmed, as always, but number one son spent most of the time behind my pantleg, peering around for sneak peaks at the clowns. He was actually shivering most of the time.
But me, I love clowns. Always have. Especially the sad clowns. The hobo clowns. Red Skelton playing Freddy the Freeloader, Charlie Chaplin as the Little…
One really weird thing that teachers do is think about thinking. I mean, how can a person actually teach someone else how to think and how to learn if they don’t themselves understand the underlying processes? Now that I have retired from teaching and spend all my time feeling sorry for myself, I thought I would try thinking about thinking one more time at least. Hey, just because I am retired, it doesn’t mean I can’t still do some of the weird things I used to do as a teacher, right?
This time I made a map to aid me in my quest to follow the twists and turns of how Mickey thinks and how Mickey learns. Don’t worry, though. I didn’t actually cut Mickey’s head in half to be able to make this map. I used the magical tool of imagination. Some folks might call it story-telling… or bald-face…