Archive for ‘Musings’

May 25, 2012

Time: the elephant in the room.

“Clocks slay time…time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.” –William Faulkner

“You can’t go back.”

“We must go forward.”

Yeah, ok…

…now take a moment, look away from the computer, and think of a pink elephant hovering over your head.

March 22, 2012

Authenticity, with Cowboys and Wolves.

“The accusation that we’ve lost our soul resonates with a very modern concern about authenticity.” –Patricia Hewitt

Alright, since I’m traveling down in the southwest at the moment…Colorado to be exact, I’d like to share with you one of my favorite old cowboy sayings. And ironically, it fits real well with most cowboy culture here in colorful Colorado.

The saying goes: “That cowboy is all hat and no cattle.”

March 15, 2012

The Science of Happiness.

“But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?” — Albert Camus

On a recent overnight flight between Los Angeles and Aukland, I beat back boredom by watching an in-flight Australian reality T.V. show on, of all things, the subject of happiness. The show took a group of eight chronically unhappy middle-class people from Sydney (seriously!) and put them together with a team of “happiness therapists”. At the beginning of the program, they took a psychological test in which each of them rated well below the national average “happiness score” for the typical Australian.

Then the team of therapists went to work, and at the end of the program these folks were tested again. All of them tested happier. What I thought was most interesting (from a primitivist perspective) were the interventions used.

September 21, 2011

An ancient escape from work.

“By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.” — Robert Frost

“Work sucks.”

For most of us, this cliche rings true. And in my experience, the exceptions tend to prove the rule. A tiny minority seem to get joy and fulfillment from their jobs, but such folks usually have jobs where most, if not all of society’s “dirty work” is left to others.  Like the primitivist writer Bob Black, I tend to define work as “forced labor”, so that makes perfect sense — after all, it’s the labor we don’t want to do ourselves that we’re tempted to force on others.

August 5, 2011

Why it might be scary if life is good.

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature…. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing!”  — Helen Keller

In an earlier post I wrote: “Life being good is maybe one of those deep dark profound and scary secrets that virtually nobody in America really believes anymore…”.

Now I’m sure some readers ran right over that without hardly a second look, but others might have stopped and thought: Really? What is this guy talking about?  How can it be “scary” for life to be good?  What is so “deep and dark” about that?

Well, think about it.

July 30, 2011

My eyeglasses are evil.

Yes, I said evil.  But I don’t mean eyeglasses, really, I mean the whole field of modern eye-care — kinda like an bad witch doctor.  Kinda.

But wait, isn’t modern eye-care one of those wonderful inventions that demonstrate why modern civilization is so much better than being a poor caveman?  How many times have I heard: “You say you’re a primitivist, but you wear glasses!  If you had to live in the stone age you’d be blind!”

Well, maybe there’s more to the story than that.

July 7, 2011

My #1 primitive survival tool: the rock in my pocket.

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.”  ~Meister Eckhart

“Gratitude is the best attitude.”  ~Author Unknown

A few years ago, I visited North America’s largest lake while attending the Lake Superior Traditional Ways Gathering on the Bad-River Indian Reservation.  Walking along the shore, I picked up a small smooth stone and put it in my pocket.

That stone has been with me ever since.  It is my number one survival tool — the most important tool I carry.  Even more important to me than the pocketknife that usually sits next to it.

June 29, 2011

How can “primitivism” be practical?

Because you and I are savages.

OK now, I understand you might not like being called a “savage”, but before you do something rash (like stop reading), let me explain.

June 22, 2011

The bias I share with Tyler Durden.

I’d like to start this journal off on the right foot, so I’d like to be honest about one of the fundamental biases I’ll be writing from.

That bias is: “Life is good.”

I know, I know, I read that on a baseball cap the other day…stereotypical pop-culture b.s.. How simplistic. How unimaginative. How dull. And I’ll respond with: “Yeah, that’s true.” It is simplistic and dull, for sure. But trust me, the baseball cap isn’t where I got the idea. And, as Daniel Quinn once said: “The real secrets in life are the ones you can publish on billboards and they still remain secret.”

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