A Theory About Life

I have a theory:

  • 1st 20 years of life: learning “what you’re supposed to do”
  • 2nd 20 years of life: trying to do “what you’re supposed to do”
  • 3rd 20 years of life: learning “what you’re supposed to do” is baloney and consciously seeking to undo your boneheaded decisions that occurred while trying to do “what you’re supposed to do”
  • 4th 20 years of life: coming to terms with both the doing and the undoing, and learning to exist is enough

Of course, mileage may vary.

The Crossdressing Room [gawker.com]

by David Torrey Peters

When I was six, my mother left a box of small garbage bags lying around. I found one, cut the bottom off, and used the cinch-tie at the top to make a small, crude dress. I put it on and looked at myself in the mirror. As my reflection stared back at me, a wave of well-being surged over me, sweeping away any real specifics of that moment. All that remained was a feeling of correctness, like finding just the right word to describe something: a reflection of myself as I knew myself to be, but had yet to see. I turned away from the mirror with a new sensation of beauty and lightness buoying my step. I descended the stairs to show my parents, who sat in the enclosed porch.

Passing through the kitchen, I spotted a coffee cake on the counter. Brimming with satisfaction, I felt a sudden inspiration, a desire to be generous. I pulled the coffee cake off the counter and held it in my arms before me. In my garbage bag dress, I walked into the porch and carefully placed the cake on the coffee table. Hands on my hips, I announced to my parents, who stared at me with their coffee cups in hand: “I’m a waitress!”

There was a moment’s pause, during which, but for the sparrows flitting past the windows, time appeared frozen. Then my mother shifted her glance to my father and the two of them burst out laughing. I held still, wearing only my underpants and the garbage bag, confused, because I felt beautiful, and why couldn’t they see that? The notion that I should be embarrassed crept up on me—and then with the force of a physical blow, I was. I fled the room, tripping and sliding on the makeshift hem as I went, the plastic clinging to my suddenly hot skin. “Oh, come on!” my father yelled back at me. “There’s nothing wrong with being a waiter.”

Click the link below to continue reading the article:

http://gawker.com/5933857/the-crossdressing-room?comment=51776316

 

Mathematician-Philosopher Bertrand Russell on the Two Most Important Things

“I should like to say two things, one intellectual and one moral.

The intellectual thing I should want to say is this: When you are studying any matter, or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only what are the facts and what is the truth that the facts bear out. Never let yourself be diverted either by what you wish to believe, or by what you think would have beneficent social effects if it were believed. But look only, and solely, at what are the facts. That is the intellectual thing that I should wish to say.

The moral thing I should wish to say…I should say love is wise, hatred is foolish. In this world which is getting more closely and closely interconnected we have to learn to tolerate each other, we have to learn to put up with the fact that some people say things that we don’t like. We can only live together in that way and if we are to live together and not die together we must learn a kind of charity and a kind of tolerance which is absolutely vital to the continuation of human life on this planet.”

The New Year: Culture, Assumptions and Equality

A quote from one of my favorite books…

What is “bad faith” when it comes to equality?  “…it is only necessary to act in the customary, ordinary, usual, even polite manner. Nonetheless, I doubt that any of us who does so is totally without the knowledge that something is wrong.

To slide into decisions without allowing oneself to realize that one is making any; to feel dimly that one is enjoying advantages without trying to become clearly aware of what those advantages are (and who hasn’t got them); to accept mystifications because they’re customary and comfortable; cooking one’s mental books to congratulate oneself on traditional behavior as if it were actively moral behavior; to know that one doesn’t know; to prefer not to know; to defend one’s status as already knowing with half-sincere, half-selfish passion as “objectivity” –

This great, fuzzy area of human ingenuity is what Jean Paul Sartre calls “bad faith.” When spelled out the techniques use to maintain bad faith look morally atrocious and appallingly silly. That is because they are morally atrocious and appallingly silly. But this only shows when one spells them out, i.e., becomes aware of them. Hence this one effort among many to do just that.”

Russ, J. (1984) How to Suppress Women’s Writing, London: The Women’s Press.

Let’s make 2010 a year where we make less assumptions, take more personal inventory, and create opportunities for equality for all of us!