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Showing posts with label Honor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Honor. Show all posts

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Stan Lee – Genius Creator and Mythologist

Let’s talk about Stan Lee; I cannot possibly state the significance of the debt I owe this man.

 

I never met him in life, but I hope to see him beyond, the Mists, past the Western Shore, on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, walking in the Green Fields.

 

Stan Lee colored my imagination, painting it in the ubiquitous three-color-process that was the standard format of comic books when I was a child, drawn on the cheapest—acid washed paper that money could buy.

 

He taught me and millions of other kids, that with great power comes great responsibility. He taught us that it is always okay to punch a Nazi, in fact, it is the duty of free people everywhere to fight against tyranny, but it is the responsibility of American’s in particular to stand up against the forces of Hate and divisive Nationalism, of Fascism whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head, and he taught us to look for it in our own backyard.

 

Stan Lee introduced everyone who read his comics to the classical world of Plato, Aristotle and Plotinus, as well as to Einstein and Heisenberg.

 

He showed us that the fight for civil rights included all people, and that we had better look around us, take stock of our friends, and make sure that we include in our group those people who are different from us, the marginalized and the meek.

 

Stan Lee schooled us that even mutants should be loved and respected and protected from the forces of a world fears them, from those who would seek to persecute them.

 

He told us in no uncertain terms that we should identify with them, the outcast and the disenfranchised, the alien in our midst. He insisted that we have an obligation to secure their rights, by any means necessary.

 

Stan Lee opened my eyes to the cosmos, through his imagination I took flight, I went surfing with the Alien, journeying through the heart of a black hole in an effort to understand the meaning of life, the nature of reality, and the purpose of existence. I

 

In the final analysis he told me that I had to be comfortable with the fact that there is no answer, that the galaxy and the universe itself is cold and indifferent, but that human beings don’t have to be. We do not have to follow our appetites, or be consumed by them. We are free and we have a choice. He taught us that the greatest thing we can aspire to, is to love and be loved in our turn, that friendship matters more than power, more than beauty, more than gold.

 

Stan Lee, was the bard of our day, overflowing with the gift to inspire; it was his super-power.

 

Excelsior!

 



Given First - 2020.11.12

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day – A Reflection


Memorial Day is a day set aside for reflection, a day meant for us to honor our fallen dead.

The meaning of Memorial Day has changed a great deal since it was founded. At its inception, the day was set aside to honor the African-American soldiers who fought and died in the Civil War, both our soldiers who were born-free, as well as those who were former slaves; men and women, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters who gave everything they had to keep the United States of America whole, and to make it a free nation.

Memorial Day was established to honor those who died for an America which they only dreamed could exist. They died for these United States, for a vision of it that they prayed for, but was not yet real; they got something different, they got this reality, an America that is still in a state of becoming, one that is more or less just, depending on where you are born, what color your skin is, what class you belong to.

Those men and women died for us, for good or ill, they died for us. They died for promises that went un-realized, they died for a dream deferred, as our poet Langston Hughes wrote of the African-American experience in his poem Harlem[i]:

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

We have yet to repay those good people, we have yet to fulfill their hopes for the America they dreamt of; America, daughter of liberty, America the true and good, America the arbiter of justice, an America that could be if we pursue the dream of her, and exercise the will to make it so.

Now, we honor our dead on this day; our soldiers and sailors and airmen, our police and firefighters; we honor them.

We are too frequently called upon to honor children, children who stand in the way of gunfire to protect their classmates, who had to pay for it with their lives.

We must honor them and their sacrifice, all of them who died upholding our most cherished values, we honor them in recognition of the fact that we are one people descended from many nationalities and ethnicities, and that we each come into the world with the absolute right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that all other rights are subordinate to these. 

This year we are called upon to honor all of our citizens who have spent their lives, giving it to public service. We honor our teachers and the good works of our ordinary citizens, of our friends and neighbors, we honor the sacrifice of everyone, known and unknown, and those yet to come.

We must honor the 100,000 Amricans and more who have perished from a deadly coronavirus we call COVID-19, and we must honor the doctors and nurses, the EMTs and paramedics, the orderlies and custodians who are charged to risk their lives and give their lives to care for them.

On this day of all days, do not make the mistake of thinking that it is our service women and men who keep us free.

It has been at least sixty years since America faced an “existential” threat from a foreign power.

We are not kept free through armed conflict.

We do not face such an existential threat from beyond our borders and shores right now; not from Iran, not from North Korea, not from Russia, not from China or anywhere.

The real threat we face is from ourselves, we face an existential threat of ignorance, short-sightedness and greed.

We stand in our own way; we, and we alone who can protect us from ourselves.

Our apathy and selfishness, our prejudice and hatred, our gluttony and cowardice, these are the most dangerous forces aligned against us, these are the forces that threaten our freedom. They are more deadly than any other worldly power, these are the forces which have gone unchecked by our elected representatives, even encouraged by our President and his criminal regime that are killing our fellow Americans in numbers greater than the last five decades of armed conflict.
It is shameful and terrifying.  

To honor our fallen dead, you must do your part to keep us free. You must participate in our democracy.

Vote, stay informed, organize, build alliances and collaborate.

Our collective failure as citizens of the Unites States has allowed a criminal, autocratic, demagogue to hold power in the White House, allowed the Supreme Court to state that corporations are to be treated as people, and money regarded as free speech, while those same justices have told ordinary American’s that their right to free speech does not include the right to be heard, and that our right to vote does not include the guarantee that our votes will be counted.

This rank cynicism is more dangerous to our lives and freedom than any rag tag group of militants half way around the world, more dangerous than immigrants looking for a better life on our side of the border we share, people who are only seeking the same thing as my own forebears did when they came here a little over a hundred years ago.

Honor our fallen dead. Not with cards and flowers and barbeques (but do those things because they are good), honor them by standing up to racism and bigotry, to religious zealotry and corporate greed, to scientific ignorance and xenophobia, to corruption in our public officials in our highest offices, and to the notion that the right to keep and bear arms does not include our responsibility to regulate them.

Honor them by participating in public discourse. Do not lose heart, and do not give up.

Honor them by wearing a face mask when you go out in public, by practicing social distancing, and by supporting your neighbors in the weeks and months and years ahead, as we rebuild our country in the hopes of achieving the dream that is still being deferred.

Stand up, and be counted!

We must rebuild America and reform our institutions; we must do this for the sake of all Americans and all future generations.

We must take responsibility for our live and freedom.

We will have nothing to protect if we let apathy and ignorance, selfishness ad gluttony provide a vector for a virus that cannot distinguish between borders and political parties.

Honor the fallen, in this way.

Participate!

Jay P. Botten, Veteran, U.S.N., Hospital Corps, 1990 – 1994



[i] Langston Hughes, "Harlem" from The Collected Works of Langston Hughes. Copyright © 2002 by Langston Hughes. Reprinted by permission of Harold Ober Associates, Inc.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Listen - Editorial, The Week in Review


Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
03.29.2020

Listen


My sensei always use to tell that we have to be rich enough to pay attention.

Pay attention to what is going on around us, look beyond the tip of your nose. Listen to the warning we are being given, comply with the safety measures that are being recommended.

The sooner we all get on the same page, acting in concert with one another the sooner we get through this mess.

Be mindful, the risks you take go far beyond yourself and your family, the COVID-19 virus, if you come in contact with it, will spread out from you, well beyond your sphere of influence.

Limit your exposure, practice social and physical distancing. Do it for your sake, and for the sake of your family, yes do it for those reasons, but do it for everyone else’s families as well, do it for the doctors and nurses and emergency workers who are risking their lives for our sake.

They are heroes, honor their sacrifice.

Listen, and don’t listen.

Don’t listen to the selfish voices around you, correct those , do it gently, but correct those who complain about their need to be with people, to run around the lake, to have a drink with a friend, because they do not want to stay secluded.

You are not being asked to risk your life, to take up arms and go to war, you are only being asked to spend a couple of weeks, or so with yourself.

You can do this, and the sooner we all do it together the sooner we get through this and the sooner life will return to something we recognize as normal.

Do not listen to the conspiracy theorists trying to distract you with their colorful ideas about who dunnit and why, those people are not trying to help you adjust to the circumstances or see our way through it.

Listen to the doctors, listen to the scientists, listen to the men and women in the hospitals, do not listen to the politicians, the media pundits, or the televangelists, trying to make a dollar off your suffering.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section Six, The Empire; Part Forty-two, Fear; Chapter Five, Honor


Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 306, Friday
November 2nd, 2018

Chapter Five: Honor

In the Imperial cult, the principle of selflessness was taught as the single most important aesthetic to live by.

The concept of personal honor was completely tied to the notion of giving.

Selflessness was imagined as the only possible way for a person to escape from the material conditions that oppressed the living, and that governed the circumstances and the daily lives of every person.

The goal of the living was freedom, a freedom that existed only beyond the veil of life.

People sought absolution of self for the sake of the greater good, believing that all evil and injustice originated in the appetites of the body.

They were taught to repeat universal mantra, the echoes of which resounded for them as a constant refrain, desire is the cause of all suffering.

The abnegation of desire, kenosis, the emptying of the self, this was at the core of every prayer, of every oblation.

Freedom from the illusory conditions of the living world could only come about by dissolving the self.

This was the bath of salvation, metanoia the conversion of personhood into self-identification with the whole.

There could be no peace without it.

It was a dichotomy.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay

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Sunday, November 5, 2017

Emergence, In Fifty-five Words - Section Six, The Empire; Part Forty-two, Fear, Collected Chapters



Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 302, October 29th, 2017

Chapter One: Loss

The prevailing view of life afflicting the masses, and preached fervently among the worlds was this: desire is the cause of all suffering.

The faithful were reminded of this daily.

Suffering was apportioned with surgical precision, and insidious delight.

Every moment of joy was merely temporary, and only to be experienced as respite from sorrow.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 303, October 30th, 2017

Chapter Two: Pain

The prevailing philosophy was this: pain was necessary and purgative, both as penance for sin and as a preparation for holiness.

This teaching was reinforced at every level of the human experience.

Suffering was life, moments of pleasure were structured to be brief, as teaching moments, with periods of joy coming randomly, intermittently, and spontaneously.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 304, October 31st, 2017

Chapter Three: Shame

Every person knew their rank, and everyone wanted to advance their position.

The social standing of a person, of a family, their village, their planet.

These were known figures.

They were broadcast.

No matter what your Imperial rank, the focus of society was always directed to what you lacked, rather than what you had achieved.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 305, November 1st, 2017

Chapter Four: Duty

There were trillions of citizens in the Empire, each and every one of them was conditioned to be joyful only in the fulfillment of their duties.

The Imperial schools were formed to fulfill that purpose, and that was the aim of the Imperial cult.

Keep the eyes of the citizen focused on the daily goals.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 306, November 2nd, 2017

Chapter Five: Honor

In the Imperial cult selflessness was taught as the only way for the individual to escape from the material conditions that oppressed every person.

People sought absolution of self for the sake of the greater good, the abnegation of desire; kenosis, the emptying of the self; metanoia, conversion of personhood into self-identification with the whole.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 307, November 3rd, 2017

Chapter Six: Perseverance

Everyone looked up to those in the higher classes, or a person of higher rank even in the same class.

An old man would defer to a child. Even to the point of laying down his life for him, or suffering forms of extreme abuse.

It was conditioning, and covetousness.

The system destroyed them all.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 308, November 4th, 2017

Chapter Seven: Annihilation

The teaching of the Imperial cult, its dogma, rituals, and spiritual practices all colluded to persuade the people into the submission of their will.

The spiritual goal as stated was this: for the individual to rise through every station, over the course of billions of lifetimes, and to ultimately be released, returning to the Continuum.

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Emergence 2.0:
Section Six, The Empire

Part Forty-two, Fear

Collected Chapters
01 Loss
02 Pain
03 Shame
04 Duty
05 Honor
06 Perseverance
07 Annihilation

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day set aside for reflection. It is meant for us to honor our fallen dead.
The meaning of this day has changed much since its founding. At its inception, it was meant to honor our African American soldiers, both the soldiers born-free and the former slaves who gave their lives, men and women, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters who gave everything they had, to keep the union whole.
They died for an America which they only dreamed could exist. They died for these United States, for this reality, an America that is still in a state of becoming.
They died for us, for good or ill, they died for us.
We have yet to repay them, to fulfill their hopes for the America they dreamt of; America, daughter of liberty, of truth, and justice.
We honor our dead on this day; our soldiers and sailors and airmen, our police and firefighters; we honor them. We honor all of our citizens who spent their lives, who give their days to public service; we honor our doctors and nurses and teachers, the good works of our ordinary citizens, of our friends and neighbors, we honor everyone’s sacrifices; known and unknown, and those yet to come.
This year we must honor two men who gave their lives, just days ago, on a train in Portland, Oregon. The stood up to man who was berating two Muslim women. The man turned and attacked them with a knife, killing them before he fled.
We must honor them, and their sacrifice, they died upholding our most cherished values, that recognition that we are one people come from many nations, and that we each come into the world with the absolute right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  
On this day of all days, do not make the mistake of thinking that it is our service women and men who keep us free. It has been at least sixty years since America faced an “existential” threat from a foreign power.
We do not face such a threat right now; not from ISIS, not from North Korea, not from Russia, not from anywhere.
The real threat we face is from ourselves, from our ignorance, and from our fear, the mind killer, the little death that brings total obliteration, we must face that fear and confront it.
It is we, and we alone, who can protect us from ourselves.
Our own apathy, our prejudice, and our hatred, these are more dangerous forces aligned against us, against our freedom. They are more deadly than any power in the world.
To honor our fallen dead, you must do your part to keep us free. You must participate in our democracy.
Vote, stay informed, organize, build alliances, and collaborate.
Our collective failure has placed a criminal, autocratic, demagogue in the White House, allowed the Supreme Court to state that corporations are to be treated as people, and money regarded as free speech, while those same justices have told ordinary American’s that the right to free speech does not include the right to be heard, and that the right to vote does not include the guarantee that your vote will be counted.
This rank cynicism is more dangerous to our freedom than any rag tag group of militants half way around the world, more dangerous than immigrants looking across our borders, looking to us for a better way of life, as my own forebears did when they came here.
Honor our fallen dead. Not with cards and flowers and barbeques (but do those things because they are good), honor them by standing up to racism and bigotry, to religious zealotry and corporate greed, to scientific ignorance and xenophobia, and corruption in our public officials, in our highest offices.
Honor them by participating in our public discourse. Do not lose heart, and do not give up.
We must rebuild America, reform our institutions, for the sake of Americans and our future generations. We must take responsibility for your own freedom.
Honor the fallen, in this way.
Jay P. Botten, Veteran, U.S.N., Hospital Corps, 1990 – 1994
Given 1st 2015.05.25, Revised 2016.05.31

Revised 2017.05.29

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Baptism and Emptiness

These feelings oppress
Even as they exalt me
Pride, humility

My dynamic will
An inclination to move
Bound and struggling

Duty and honor
They stretch me on the altar
Servant to ideals

The stone blade cuts deep
Frees me from my wounded heart
Cruel, unforgiving

Selfless diffusion
The holy ghost, washed in fire
The Shriven spirit

Overwhelmed and drained
A hunger for faith
Baptized and empty


Friday, November 4, 2016

Emergence: Section Six, The Empire; Part Forty-two, Fear, Collected Chapters



Fear; Part Forty-two,
Chapter One: Loss
Pt. 42, Ch. 01
It was preached among the worlds; desire was the cause of sufferings. The faithful were reminded of this; every day.
#Emergence

Fear; Part Forty-two,
Chapter Two: Pain
Pt. 42, Ch. 02
The people were taught that pain was necessary, and purgative; both as penance for sin and preparation for holiness.
#Emergence

Fear; Part Forty-two,
Chapter Three: Shame
Pt. 42, Ch. 03
No matter what your Imperial rank, society’s focus was always on what you lacked, rather than what you had achieved.
#Emergence

Fear; Part Forty-two,
Chapter Four: Duty  
Pt. 42, Ch. 04
There were trillions of citizens in the empire; all were conditioned to be joyful only in the fulfilling their duty.
#Emergence

Fear; Part Forty-two,
Chapter Five: Honor
Pt. 42, Ch. 05
In the imperial cults, selflessness was the way. People sought absolution of self, for the sake of the greater good.
#Emergence

Fear; Part Forty-two,
Chapter Six: Perseverance   
Pt. 42, Pt. 06
Everyone looked up to those in the higher classes, of higher rank; coveting them, but the system destroyed them all.
#Emergence

Fear; Part Forty-two,
Chapter Seven: Annihilation

Pt. 42, Ch. 07
The teaching of the imperial cult persuaded people into full submission. The spiritual goal was a return to nothing.
#Emergence

Emergence:
Section Six, The Empire
Fear; Part Forty-two
Collected Chapters
Section 06, The Empire
Part 42, Fear
Chapters
01 Loss
02 Pain
03 Shame
04 Duty
05 Honor
06 Perseverance
07 Annihilation
#Emergence
#SuperShortFiction
#365SciFi
@jaybotten

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day set aside; and meant for us to honor our fallen dead.
The meaning of this day has changed much since its inception. Originally, it was meant to honor our African American soldiers; both free and former slaves who gave their lives, both men and women, both mothers and fathers, sons and daughters both, to keep the union whole.
They died for an America they only dreamed existed. They died for these United States; for this reality, which is still in a state of becoming. They died for us; for good or ill, they died for us.
We honor our dead; our soldiers and sailors and airmen, our police and firefighters; we honor them. We honor all of our citizens who spent their lives, who spend their lives in public service; we honor our doctors and nurses and teachers, the good works of our ordinary citizens, of our friends and neighbors, we honor everyone’s sacrifices; known and unknown, and yet to come.
On this day of all days, do not make the mistake of thinking that it is our service women and men who keep us free. It has been at least sixty years since America faced an “existential” threat from a foreign power.
The real threat we face is from ourselves. It is only we; who can protect us from ourselves.
Our own apathy, our prejudice, and our ignorance; these are more dangerous to us, to our freedom, than any power in the world. To honor our fallen dead; you must do your part to keep us free. You must participate in our democracy.
Vote, stay informed, organize.
Our collective failure has allowed the Supreme Court to name corporations as people, and money as free speech, while those same justices have told ordinary American’s that the right to free speech does not include the right to be heard, and that the right to vote does not include the guarantee that your vote will be counted.
That rank cynicism is more dangerous to our freedom than any rag tag group of militants half way around the world, more dangerous than immigrants looking to us for a better way of life, as my forebears did when they came here.
Honor our fallen dead. Not with cards and flowers and barbeques (but do those things because they are good), honor them by standing up to racism, bigotry, religious zealotry, corporate greed, scientific ignorance, xenophobia, and corruption in public officials; honor them by participating.
Rebuild America, reform our institutions, for the sake of Americans and our future generations. Take responsibility for your own freedom. Honor the fallen.
Jay P. Botten, Veteran, U.S.N., Hospital Corps, 1990 – 1994
Given 1st 2015.05.25

Revised 2016.05.31