Art Brings Us Close to the Eternal

Just when humanity brings you down once again and you are at the edge of a cliff staring at the abyss; The storm has overtaken you and there seems to be no way out; Your most beloved has departed suddenly and for no rational reason; A work of art may pierce your soul. Art redeems the purpose of your existence. Art resuscitates you. The breath of inspiration fills you once again.

Art is what differentiates us from the animals. Its’ very existence is unique to the human experience. Art makes us laugh and dream. Art has the power to make us cry and then inspire us to create. It can transport us and give us hope. When the world has gone mad we can find solace in it. We can escape into a painting perhaps. Lose our breath at the sight of a sculpture. Close our eyes and hear the sounds of heaven with songs that seem to come from the angels themselves. We might very well read ourselves into a fantastic saga of trial and redemption.

Art lifts our spirits bringing us close to the eternal. It is no small wonder that many of the worlds religions have directly inspired our most wondrous and precious art. In these days of great confusion and delusion let us remember the artists. Let each one honor the artist in themselves to lift us out of our darkness or if more tribulations are necessary to turn them into an appreciation of our shared humanity and wondrous diversity.

“The greatest crimes in the world are not committed by people breaking the rules but by people following the rules. It’s people who follow orders that drop bombs and massacre villages”— Banksy

“I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.”— Banksy

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Art Brings Us Close to the Eternal

Just when humanity brings you down again and you are at the edge of a cliff staring at an abyss. The storm has overtaken you and there seems to be no way out. Your most beloved has departed suddenly and for no rational reason. A work of art may pierce your soul. Art redeems the purpose of your existence. Art resucitates you. The breath of inspiration fills you once again.

Art is what differentiates us from the animals. Its’ very existence is unique to the human experience. Art makes us laugh and dream. Art has the power to make us cry and then inspire us to create. It can transport us and give us hope. When the world has gone mad we can find solace in it. We can escape into a painting perhaps. Lose our breath at the sight of a sculpture. Close our eyes and hear the sounds of heaven with songs that seem to come from the angels themselves. We might very well read ourselves into a fantastic saga of trial and redemption.

Art lifts our spirits bringing us close to the eternal. It is no small wonder that many of the worlds religions have directly inspired our most wondrous and precious art. In these days of terrrible tragedy and devastation let us remember the artists. Let each one honor the artist in themselves to lift us out of our dilemna or if more grieving is necessary to turn it into a remembrance of our shared humanity.

“The highest art is always the most religious, and the greatest artist is always a devout person.” — Abraham Lincoln

“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.” — Freidrich Nietzsche

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Government, Insurance and Socialism

What do those three words conjure up for you? Visions of big government peering over your shoulder and raiding your still? Insurance payments due so you can go see a doctor without taking an ambulance from your apartment to the emergency room? A return to the horrific days of Mussolini, Hitler and fascist dictatorships that are perverse versions of socialist states? Sadly in many cases of modern Grand Old Party propaganda that is the exact image they want you to think of. They seek to use scare tactics to keep the oligarchy (read oil consortium) in place. Rule by the privileged few who can afford to buy the government representatives aka puppets they need to keep themselves in power.

In less than one week the people of the United States of America must make a crucially important decision. Will we follow a puppet who professes disdain for half of this country or will we embrace a straight shooting visionary with the courage to stand up to the military industrial complex? This past week gave us further reason to embrace the latter. Most people don’t want big government to interfere with their lives that is unless they are faced with a natural disaster that is so gigantic that they themselves nor their cities or states have the resources or the funding to pay for disaster relief. Think on it now. What constitutes that relief? Why it’s simply a bit of “Government Insurance” paid for by our collected taxes in what the naysayers would define as a system of Socialism!

What a concept that we would need help! But the cold hard fact is we do!. Every day we need help to survive Every day think of all the things you have learned from past generations, teachers and the like. Even if you spend days in isolation you still must depend on the knowledge you have acquired from others to survive. If you are faced with a natural disaster, a cataclysmic event that destroys everything you know and love, the need for a socialist structure of aid and recovery becomes a life giving necessity. Call it a form of Government Insurance. Think of it next time you pay your taxes. Think of it when you pull the lever or press on the screen to elect the President of the United States for the next four years!

“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.” — Winston Churchill

“We either need to redefine socialism and the negative connotations it importunes or replace it with a better ideal such as egalitarianism.” — Jake Shween

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Letter From God

Dear Humanity,

We use that term to be civil. “Dear” meaning in this case: precious. “Humanity” meaning in this case: the human race. The latter term has been disappointing of late as some of those who claim to be human choose to show the basest characteristics of this species which is ironic since many of you have the audacity to claim to be descended from our form or image. In any case, we digress,  back to the letter. Please refrain from bothering us any more as we simply can’t help any of you. It is up to all of you to come together and start taking care of the earth. We thought the instructions were simple enough but apparently not for all of you.

Please stop blaming us in any way shape or form for your shortcomings. These include your ever popular crimes of murder and rape. We have nothing to do with these wicked and heinous things that you do. You have free will. Please refer to your original contracts and note the disclaimer therein. Do not involve us in your political squabbles and stupid rivalries. Stop arguing as to which of our representatives you like, dislike, love or hate the most as these feelings and emotions will avail you nothing. If your team wins the game don’t even thank us because frankly we couldn’t care less either way. Stop screaming our names and perpetuating the myth that somehow we could have prevented or caused your misery.

The path for your mutual happiness lies in your ability to help each other. You must learn to share your gifts with each other. There is nothing to be gained from gathering the most to yourself. The earth, like your humanity, is fragile and easily damaged and destroyed. The sooner you learn how to cooperate on an international level the closer you will be to the heaven that you seem to crave and dream about.

Why, you might ask do we refer to ourselves as we? It is because we exist on all the different levels of time and space and the continuum. We possess the mindset of both the male and female principles. We wear the mask of eternity. Consciousness is simply one aspect of knowledge. To know all one must understand the reality of absolute nothing. That cannot, on this three dimensional plane, be shared …….

“Names can be named but not the Eternal Name.” —- Lao Tzu

“A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.” — Groucho Marx

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Elitism; the Snobbery of Riches; the Delusions of Faith

Don’t you just love those people who truly believe that they are better than every body else? Those chosen few who mark themselves above the masses. They look down on the poor folk who need help. Those pitiful masses tired and poor, yearning to breath free will find no quarter amongst the elite snobs. All they crave is a  hand out any way. Why should a country that is a haven for the rich provide for such miscreants? How can we care about such fools that won’t even take responsibility for their very own lives? Why none of them have even heard of our illustrious God who has so thoroughly blessed us.

What a country we have created. We have a daring and old book that proclaims that those we disagree with we should smite. Rule upon tenet is laid out and every sin imaginable is covered if you have the gift of discernment. Gather around and your sins will be forgiven. There is enough delusion here that we can rule the world and smash in the heads of any society that would disdain and doubt our ancient and bloodthirsty God. Let us scream his name every Sunday and rally our delusional masses to do our murderous bidding. Never mind! We are better than they! Our God tells us so! No need for the Necromancer! We have a rich prophet. He is rich and he is on television and he claims he cares for us and he claims he speaks the truth so isn’t that enough?

Oh no, wait a minute! You mean that rich bastard is a liar? He doesn’t really care for us at all? He has faith in a God, our God he claims as his own? Strange, cruel and ancient religion —show us that it isn’t so. It cannot be. Our God never lies and He is so damn pure! What’s that you say? He was married? That’s a lie! Our God was never married. He was too busy smiting our enemies. Now we’re confused. Better turn on Fox News. They’ll set us straight. They never lie to us. Look who owns them, Rupert Murdoch! Why as pure a man never walked the earth! Damn this reality, change the channel. Put on: Who Wants to be a Millionaire and restore our faith in the American Dream. There there now that’s better.

“Sandwiches were invented by the Earl of Sandwich, popcorn was invented by the Earl of Popcorn, and salad dressing by the Oil of Vinegar.” — Tom Robbins from Still Life With Woodpecker

“So nowadays hard-minded men with hard muscles and hard hats are relieved from their jobs on Sundays because of an archetypal psychological response to menstruation.” — Tom Robbins from Still Life With Woodpecker

New Colossus by Emma Lazarus from the Statue of Liberty:

“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Bullies Should Not Be Rewarded

If you have never had the experience of being chased or taunted by a bully consider yourself fortunate. The terror of walking down the hall in high school and being grabbed from behind and thrown into the boys room for a game of mum’s the word is something you will never forget. Maybe you spoke funny, perhaps your hair was long compared to the norm or your shoes were out of date, your glasses were as thick as coke bottles, who knows? Who knows what made the bully and his gang so hostile and what gave them such a superior air? Could it be the fact that they came from the wealthy side of town and you were from the other side? No matter because suddenly there you were, alone, surrounded by troglodytes led by a fiend landing numerous punches all over you and if you made so much as a peep they punched you even harder. Thus the name of the game: Mum is the word. No you will never forget such an experience.

Imagine now this same bully running a management company. Perhaps his management consulting company does very well and makes tons of money. He leads ruthlessly with his clever band of financial pirates and vacuums up smaller companies. He promises their upper management golden parachutes while he runs the regular employees into the ground. He creates impossible debt for these companies while promising them the world. Oh well, didn’t work? Credit run out? No problem just burn it to the ground. Best of all is everything is legal. Heck he can even hide his profits through tax loopholes and numerous incentives to keep his money offshore. Create wealth? No this bully just takes it.

Several more years down the road and this certain bully is now running for the most powerful job in the world. He is using the same tactics that he has used all his life. Remember now this is the guy who used to lie to the principals face without batting an eye. The guy who could cheat, lie and beat up innocent people without suffering any consequences. His idea of diplomacy is the mobs’ idea of negotiating. Punch first and ask questions later. There is no way the United States needs a guy like this sitting in the White House! Surely he would run this country into the ground and take the environment with him. He would also take care of all his wealthy friends by continuing to give them tax cuts while the middle class and poor bleed to death. Any credibility the United States has with the rest of the world would be destroyed by his simplistic and bullying tactics. Fellow Americans: Bullies Should Not Be Rewarded!

“The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool” — Stephen King

“The place where you made your stand never mattered. Only that you were there… and still on your feet.” — Stephen King

Get off your cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Rabble Rousing; The Media and You

We live in a time when news is used to generate viewership and profits. Often the wide spread horrors of the world, the stories that are haphazardly reported on, are shunned because they are not the stories that readily arouse our curiosity or anger. Much of this has to do with the way the media portrays these stories to us. Consider the case of the recent viral video “Kony 2012” which called the countries’ attention, however briefly, to the atrocities committed by Joseph Kony the head of a Ugandan guerrilla group, The Lord’s Resistance Army. These atrocities have been going on for years. It was not until film maker, Jason Russell, packaged the story into a viral video that we were made aware of the situation. There was an instant outpouring of support for the organization he was representing: Invisible Children Inc..

As an information society that is continuing to develop we have to be careful not to get caught up in group-think or mob mentality. It is now easier than ever to latch on to the story of the day and become disturbed by it. The information that we now receive almost instantly every day can be a curse as well as a blessing.  If we don’t take the time to make up our own minds we have lost our individuality altogether. We can be easily spoon-fed what the five major media conglomerates want us to hear and little else. Even with the advent of YouTube, the new kid on the block for spreading information, we need to be extremely wary of what we are seeing and hearing. It was only in the last century that film was first used as a propaganda tool. In 1925 the Soviet film director Sergei Eisenstein cleverly edited footage to show the Russian people why they needed to overthrow the Czar. It is now easier than ever to reach the masses with similarly clever editing to rouse their sentiments against injustice and social inequity or whatever other cause is the flavor of the day!

It is now more urgent than ever that we educate ourselves and are able to call to question what we see and hear every day. A population without a filter and the ability to distinguish what is right or wrong will quickly doom democracy as a viable form of government. We will become like lemmings ready to jump off the cliff when everyone else does with no way back to reason. So Dear Reader as you consider the everyday barrage of information that we call the news be wary, skeptical and thoughtful and make sure you get the whole story!

“A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding.” — Marshall McLuhan

“The media is too concentrated, too few people own too much. There’s really five companies that control 90 percent of what we read, see and hear. It’s not healthy.” — Ted Turner

“There is one other business where the customer is always wrong and that’s the media.” — Rush Limbaugh (He sure loves his Dittoheads!)
Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween
J.B.