-- The other day, Donald Trump, a wealthy U.S. citizen, endorsed Mitt Romney to be the Republican presidential candidate and run against current president Barack Obama in November. What does the endorsement mean? Trump strikes me as the Kim Kardashian of the money merchants -- very rich, very obvious, very loud ... and utterly lacking in character or substance. And his lack of substance lies in the fact that his existence depends completely on what others think. Where is his character ... or Kim Kardashian's ... and who in their right mind would want an endorsement from a person like that? I know, I know -- that's the name of the game ... you pay attention to me because I pay attention to you and we both applaud ... but where is the substance, where is the sand, where is the reliability or peace in that? It all reminds me of an earlier day in which China's opium dens were referred to as places where patrons were "biting the clouds."
-- When I think of character or sand, two people stood out in my mind this morning. Both were or are just people, but they carry with them a wow factor in my mind... these are people worth knowing or, if not knowing, even just knowing about. Not Buddha, not Jesus, not Kim Kardashian or Donald Trump, but Charles Monroe, a post office worker sometimes referred to as the philosopher of New Marlborough, Mass. He was interviewed in 1939 as part of the Federal Writers Project. And although he and his wife kept no pictures on the white walls of their home, still, his words are the words of a thoughtful man who was willing to act ... not because you said so or I said so but because he said so. I wouldn't expect anyone else to share my wow, but simply say that Charles Monroe is capable of wowing me....
As is/was a guy I heard on the radio a number of years ago and could never locate thereafter -- a pig farmer in Alabama or Mississippi or someplace in the south. He and his wife raised pigs, knew about pigs, raised children who were not interested in pigs based on the income they made from pigs, and clearly had learned what the universe had to teach in a world of expertise that featherweights like Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian would flee like the plague. I can't even describe why this guy touched or convinced me ... but I know that in listening to the radio while driving on the Interstate, my world had been touched and become more joyful based on a pig farmer's gentle and informed ways. I tried to track down the program later -- tried pretty hard -- but it was not to be. And so, as always, I -- like the followers of Buddha and Jesus and Mohammad and even Donald Trump -- am stuck with being at peace with the aspect of myself that must know something of substance in order to recognize something of substance.
-- Spiritual exponents/leaders are supposed to be nice. That is, those who look up to them suppose they are or should be nice, kind, gentle, compassionate ... pick a nice word. Why? Literally, why should they be nice? Why not cranky, crotchety, mean, venal ... and whatever all else is not-nice? Why should they be burdened and tarred by the 'nice' brush? What a burden for anyone who actually is nice -- getting over the idea that they are somehow nice. People take up spiritual persuasions in order to revise their various versions of asshole-dom. Sometimes they work heart-breakingly hard at it. But what's to say, after all that work, that being an asshole is not the greatest epiphany and fact?
-- My shoot-spitballs-from-the-back-of-the-class bad boy grinned a little this morning to read that an Internet-hacking consortium, Anonymous, had hacked into and then posted a trans-oceanic police discussion of ... Internet hacking. I can do the pros and cons in my mind, but my bad boy got the better of me this morning.