Saturday, November 27, 2004

ABC and the Alphabet

Rocky Mountain News: Columnists

Watch this:


Fill in the blanks.

The folks at ABC are obsessed with the alphabet. They make decisions by guaging it's alphabetic significance.

And now we find them playing this game:

K-vowel-consonant-same consonant-E-L

Yes, ABC is now talking about replacing...

You learn your ABCs in kindergarten. Then you move up.
Not down.

To trade Ted Koppel with Jimmy Kimmel is a move down.
Not to mention suicide.

Songs of Innocence and Experience

Ed Cone give a tender and moving portrayal of innocence and experience, over at his blog today. The DVD of his family trip to Jamiaca when Ed was only 9, and probably Eddie, or Edward, brought back memories of innocent joy. And yet for Ed's mother, who could see the wider view of experience, but who may have lost some of the magic of innocence, saw it as a horrible time, as her husband, Ed's dear father, would soon meet an untimely death.

We are reminded of Blake's "Songs of Innocence and Experience", where he talks of the same things, only at one time, from the eye of innocence, and another, from the eye of experience. Both have their validities, and both their blind spots.

I am also reminded, when thinking of Ed, and the tender moments he shares with his readers, of a chapter in a book by Chogyam Trungpa called "The Tender Heart of Sadness". Many people want to avoid sadness, some even "at all costs". But sadness is one of the most beautiful experiences one can have while alive. The tenderness, the immersion in Life.
And as Kundera, and others, have witnessed: No sadness, no joy. Sadness is form, Joy, content. Joy fills the empty space hollowed out by the depths of your sadness.

Dostoevsky is supposed to have said: "Suffering is the sole origin of consciousness." Is this why Gautama, Siddhartha changed so radically when first lighting upon an unclean and miserable "forgotten man"?

We, at Anonymoses, want to thank Ed for sharing the myriad colors and flavors of his life and experience. And invite those of you who may not know him or his work, to venture on over and introduce yourself.

Friday, November 26, 2004

On completing a novel in one month

by Anonymoses Hyperlincoln

Well, I actually did it. Finally. After decades of failed attempts. And if you didn't participate in this year's NaNoWriMo...mark your calendar for next November, and start preparing notes.
If you need to take some time it. As claimed, it really is the beauty of the deadline...a lesson I learned to hate while working at a local newspaper, but one which I look back on fondly, when I think about my first novel, and how I crapped it out.

Some people go to school for years in order to get out and work on a a book that may or may not ever get done. Save the years. Take one month and focus your mind. It may suck, but you will know better what to do next time. And the next, and the next. YOU know you can do one every month. 12 a year. After a while, you get good at it. And by the time you have hit your 50th will be, if not good, at least prolific. But probably pretty good as well.

And it doesn't have to be in the form of a novel. I am planning on some children's books, non-fiction books, political books, and maybe even poetry. But I think I'll stick to the 50k word/month standard, as it also allows time to live life.

I fancy myself as being not only a Renaissance Man, but also a Pre-Cambrian Man.
Yes, I remember some of the lessons I learned prior to shipping off to Cambridge.
I am also Post-Apocalypic Man. Sadly I forgot where I was going with this so maybe I will discuss pie recipes.

But sadly I have no such knowledge either. I could make one up:

Penal Pie
(a favorite of the inmates)

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 broke eggs
1 egg with a few bucks
3 strands of saffron
a thimble of cumin
fresh ginger root
1 cup MD 20-20
1 cup of raisins
3 saltine crackers
1 ice cream sandwich
a Big Buddy

Shake well.

So while that's cooking...

Where was I? Oh yes. I had just forgotten what I was going to say.
Well, the condition hasn't improved.

And writing a novel has wonderful effects on the mind, like, like, um, dammit it slipped away again!

I'll leave you with this instead:
Consider your blog posts to be novelfodder. Maybe your narrator is looking over your shoulder, or is your antagonist. You write anyway. Give it a second life.
Maybe it will reward you for your care and efforts.

Happy holidays friends!

A Thanksgiving Message from artist and friend, Tom Priest

Eat too much? Maybe next time you will consider THIS...

You can see more of Tom Priest at:

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Anonymoses debuts on The American Street

First column called: "Feng Shui & Falluja"

I am excited to share with my readers my excitement at being a part of the American Street team. The Street is consistently voted among the top forty progressive blogs, and for good reason. I am honored to be among such talented writers, bloggers, columnists and humorists. Some all wrapped into one!

My first offering is called "Feng Shui & Falluja".

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Wealth Through The Eyes Of Sages

A nice collection of quotes from the Philosophical Society


We have grown literally afraid to be poor. We despise any one [sic] who elects to be poor in order to simplify and save his inner life. If he does not join the general scramble and pant with the money-making street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition. We have lost the power even of imagining what the ancient idealization of poverty could have meant: the liberation from material attachments, the unbribed soul, the manlier indifference, the paying our way by what we are or do and not by what we have, the right to fling away our life at any moment irresponsibly, --- the more athletic trim, in short, the moral fighting shape. . . it is certain that the fear of poverty among the educated classes is the worst moral disease from which our civilization suffers.

-- William James (1842-1910), The Varieties of Religious Experience

I am absolutely convinced that no wealth in the world can help humanity forward, even in the hands of the most devoted worker in this cause. The example of great and pure individuals is the only thing that can lead us to noble thoughts and deeds. Money only appeals to selfishness and irresistibly invites abuse. Can anyone imagine Moses, Jesus, or Gandhi armed with the money-bags of Carnegie?

-- Albert Einstein (1879-1955), Mein Weltbild

Wealth is excessive when it reduces a man to a middleman and a jobber, when it prevents him, in his preoccupation with material things, from making his spirit the measure of them. There are Nibelungen who toil underground over a gold they will never use, and in their obsession with production begrudge themselves all holidays, all concessions to inclination, to merriment, to fancy.

-- George Santayana (1863-1952), Reason In Society

There is a wealth of humbug in this life, but the multitudinous little humbugs have been classified by Chinese Buddhists under two big humbugs: fame and wealth. There is a story that Emperor Ch'ienlung once went up a hill overlooking the sea during his trip to South China and saw a great number of sailing ships busily plying the China Sea to and fro. He asked his minister what the people in those hundreds of ships were doing, and his minister replied that he saw only two ships, and their names were "Fame" and "Wealth". Many cultured persons were able to escape the lure of wealth, but only the very greatest could escape the lure of fame. Once a monk was discoursing with his pupil on these two sources of worldly cares, and said: "It is easier to get rid of the desire for money than to get rid of the desire for fame. Even retired scholars and monks still want to be distinguished and well-known among their company. They want to give public discourses to a large audience, and not retire to a small monastery talking to one pupil, like you and me now." . . . many wise men know that the desires for success, fame and wealth are euphemistic names for the fears of failure, poverty and obscurity, and that these fears dominate our lives.

-- Lin Yutang, The Importance Of Living

Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind. With respect to luxuries and comforts, the wisest have ever lived a more simple and meagre life than the poor. The ancient philosophers, Chinese, Hindoo [sic], Persian, and Greek, were a class than which none has been poorer in outward riches, none so rich in inward. We know not much about them. It is remarkable that we know so much of them as we do. The same is true of the more modern reformers and benefactors of their race. None can be an impartial or wise observer of human life but from the vantage ground of what we should call voluntary poverty.

-- Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), Walden