Thursday, June 26, 2014

Politics and Coaching Baseball

Right before my son's baseball game got started my coaching partner told me that I needed counseling. Apparently he followed me and my family to the diamonds and got a good look at the bumper sticker on the back of our rusty 1999 Pontiac Montana mini-van. The bumper sticker reads "Wisconsin wants to be scott-free in 2014/ Remove Walker."

Here is how the exchange went in the dugout as our players were warming up on the field.

"So, you don't like Walker?"

"No, not at all." I said. "And you think I need counseling because of this?"

"No, no," he laughingly said trying to keep it light, "but do you vote for the other party automatically?"

"Ummm, no. I'd consider myself independent." I said. "But I'd say that I mostly lean left. You know, like on social issues; take care of the poor and quit giving so much money to the rich."

He nervously stood back and faced me straight on swinging a bat lightly as I sat on the bench in the dugout feeling like absolute shit from an allergy attack and lack of sleep. Psychically shrinking by the second and not wanting to have this conversation 10 minutes before game time, I said, "We probably should'nt get into this right now. This is a pretty deep subject for me."

"I know, I know." he said. Then in a faint fatherly tone he snuck this in there, "You can't enable them (I'm assuming he meant the poor). And the wealthy provide a lot of jobs." Then his mom (She keeps the books for us) looked over at me and said, "And he got our state out of debt."

I nodded. Thinking to myself how in the fuck am I going to coach this game with this bullshit out in the open. Things went well, though. We went on to win 15 to 5. Our bats finally got going late in the game and we played solid defense throughout.

Since I started coaching again that is what I have always loved about the game. For a couple of hours the political and philosophical tensions between the parents seem to lighten. Now that the game is over, though, the lightness is gone. It was gone as I soon as I got in the van to go home.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Nothing Worth Saying

This is one those mornings when I feel like I should say something but have nothing worth saying. So, I go looking through my piles of books looking for inspiration. I come across this statement by J.P Morgan stated back in 1901: "I owe the public nothing."

Robert Bly would call him an uninitiated man. A man stuck in adolesence. Donald Trump would simply bow.

Time for me to fire up the chainsaw and remove the tree lying over the top of our horse fence.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Two Neighbors Standing in a Clearcut

The other day, standing in the middle of a fresh 100 acre clear cut, a neighbor of mine told another neighbor of mine that people loved the creation more than the creator. Then the Pentecostal missionary/preacher went on to say that trees were put hear by God for us to use.

Religions, says the Buddhists and Robert Bly, are ruined by ignorant priests.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Soul and School

We don't send our kids to public school. There are times when I really struggle with this decision. Then someone smart and wise will throw me a lifeline:

"Politicians and educators consider more school days in a year, more science and math, the use of computers and other technology in the classroom, more exams and tests, more certifications for teachers, and less money for art. All of these responses come from the place where we want to make the child into the best adult possible, not in the ancient Greek sense of virtuous and wise, but in the sense of one who is an efficient part of the machinery of society. But on all these counts, soul is neglected. We want to prepare the ego for the struggle of survival, but we overlook the needs of the soul." (Thomas Moore, Pg. 52, Care of the Soul)

Perhaps this is what it comes down to for me: The state of Wisconsin wants to prepare our children's egos for the struggle to survive in industrial civilization. And as the child prepares for this struggle it kills his soul. No wonder the suicide rate among teenagers has skyrocketed over the past 50 years or so.

I'm off to mow lawn....

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

More Extreme Weather

It looks like I will be running a chainsaw for most of the day--thankfully I'm not delivering mail for the corporations today so I can help out friends and family. One of the biggest red pines on our place is now lying across our fence and driveway. Who knows what went down out in the forest. We've heard from a couple of neighbors that are facing similar types of situations. Why? Last evening more extreme weather descended down up on us. I just got off the phone with my dad and he said they recorded 85 mile an hour winds in our area. He said they were hurricane type winds.

Just another step in adapting to the extreme weather patterns of climate change

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Faith Looks for Understanding

"Fides quaerens intellectum." Faith looks for understanding.

I have been thinking about why I support one of the most radical environmental organizations on the planet: Deep Green Resistance. Part of it comes down to the idea that The State will determine how we will resist. DGR and what they stand for exist in reaction to The State's unwillingness to adequately address the environmental horrors that we face as a species. We're literally facing the possibility of going extinct within the next 100 years or so. That means my great-grandchildren could be wiped out. DGR has the best plan that I've seen so far in preventing this from happening