14 August 2012

Brief Notes

1. I've been researching meaning-making, and while what I've learned has been interesting, it's also left me a little bummed. Frankl, for instance, says meaning is found through love, work or courage. I doubt that I'm capable of love, I've never been able to find a meaningful career, and the last time I had real courage was 20 years ago when I came out. I don't know whether there are any other sources of meaning-making. I'll keep looking, but I'm not optimistic. For the time being I'm just faking my way through this shit.

2. I want to get through this Frankl book as quickly as I can (I have a second book by him, but I'll hold it for later); I've got a mental list of books I'd like to read next. Two that I've already started are proving to be quite good. The Ball by John Fox is about why people play sports, and has chapters on basketball, soccer, lacrosse, and even the old Mayan ball games. It's actually very inspirational. The Worldly Philosophers by Robert Heilbroner is a classic survey of economics which I read over 25 years ago and desperately needed to re-read. I'm particularly interested in the chapter on Adam Smith, since I've come to believe today's "conservatives"* don't really understand him. After that I plan to read Smith himself; also Vennum's book on lacrosse.

3. Speaking of lacrosse, I've begun to collect the parts to make a long stick. I don't play, and never will (I'm too old and too poor), but I want to learn how to toss with both short and long sticks. I have a short stick, which I purchased whole; but I want to put together the long (defensive) stick, including stringing it, just for fun.

4. I also want to get back into hand-crafts more. I feel better when I engage in some kind of creative work.

5. I thought it was odd that last night five of my must-see television shows came on. I don't really have a whole lot of must-see shows. Even shows that used to be must-see for me have begun to feel old and less enjoyable. I would love to be able to cut my must-sees down to almost nothing. I hear of more and more people cutting the cable completely. That would be a very interesting experiment.

6. Speaking of cutting down on things, yesterday's entry highlighted how I've begun to feel about my use of substances, particularly alcohol and caffeine. I, too, am tired of feeling poisoned. I want to feel better. Cleaner on the inside.

*I put the term "conservatives" in quotes because the people today calling themselves conservative are not actually conservative. Our country as a whole has been dragged so far rightward, words have lost their original meanings. Today's "middle of the road" folks are actually very conservative, while the "conservatives" are actually reactionary radicals, bent on destroying the country as we know it in order to create some monstrous vision of "purity" from the ashes. There is no longer an effective left in this country, just moderates, conservatives and radicals. Also, we don't really have capitalism in the US any longer, as Smith, et al., understood it. Capitalism is investment in the production of goods and services, and exchanges based on that. We have "financialism": making money from money, all profits based on ethereal instruments, without true goods/services/entities underlying them. Thus, the seeds of our doom.

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