Saturday, June 25, 2011

Perfection or Consequences

One mind game I've seen people play might be called "Perfection or Consequences." It goes like this. They claim that if you're trying to revive an old tradition, you must revive it perfectly or not at all. Or they say that if you're trying to live up to an ideal, you must live up to it perfectly or else you're an eeeevil hypocrite. Or they argue that if you're trying to act according to the ancient forms handed down, you must do it perfectly or else you'd better not even make the effort.

The game of "Perfection or Consequences" is a lie, and those who play this game are almost always motivated by a covert malice. They are hateful liars, not honest enough to come out and confess the hidden hate which burns within them-- they hate that old tradition, they hate that noble ideal, they hate that ancient form handed down.

They are liars filled with a hate that dare not speak its name, and so they presume to persuade you of the impossibility of what they ardently desire you not to do. They limn for you a dartboard with an infinitesimal bullseye, a bullseye the zero dimensions of a mathematical point, and they lyingly claim that you must hit that infinitesimal bullseye with absolute perfect precision, or else you lose. Off by a fraction of a millimeter and you lose.

Of course they are lying liars, and they secretly hope to dishearten you so you won't even make the effort. "Perfection or Consequences!" Whereas the truth is that in most practical matters, as in the game of horseshoes, "close" is close enough. Try to revive that old tradition, strive to act according to the ancient form handed down, and "close" ought to be close enough. "Close" ought to be good enough that many good things will follow in your train.

Of course that's exactly what the liars who play "Perfection or Consequences" are afraid of. They're afraid you'll come close enough to succeed, and so they lie through their goddam teeth in an effort to discourage you so you won't even try.

Absolute perfection may be required before the judgment throne of God. But in practical matters of everyday life, in efforts to revive or continue the ways that long held sway, "close" is close enough. Just as in horseshoes. Don't let a malicious lying liar tell you otherwise, under the guise of "Perfection or Consequences."

Friday, June 24, 2011

Upset Words and Triangle Pancakes

Here's an intriguing short story/ramble I ran across: Upset Words & Triangle Pancakes. It captures to a tee a certain rigid, angry, dysfunctional personality type which I've encountered online all too often.

Encountered, and avoided as best I can.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Once again I have made the long drive of several hours to the city. It was unplanned, it was unscheduled. My father died.

None of us expected this. He was getting up there in years, but he was in excellent health. He went peacefully in his sleep. My mother wasn't able to wake him in the morning, he was gone.

And so here I am, in the city, up in the middle of the night and unable to sleep. I feel stunned. We've been sorting through my father's things. The funeral will be on Monday.

We all just took it for granted that he'd be with us yet for years to come. I can't wrap my mind around it. And here I sit, in the middle of the night, unable to get to sleep, and feeling as if I've been hit over the head.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Requiem for a Modern Church Hymnal

"Our hymnal is Voices United (Disabled). It contains a diversity of inclusive hymns for all ages and all generations, persons of every race and ethnicity and gender and sexual orientation, persons who are differently abled and persons who are temporarily abled. But it does not contain any hymns of hate or Republicanism, and non-inclusive wording has been altered to reflect today's evolving attitudes. Some of the tunes are even singable. We think you will enjoy using Voices United (Disabled)."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dog Days Come Early

It's been incredibly hot the past several days. Up into the mid to upper 90s every day, and at night often no cooler than the mid 70s. Last night I was up at two in the morning, at which time it was still 82 degrees outside...

We've been getting August weather in early June. I'll be honest, when it doesn't get down to at least 70 overnight, I don't function very well the next day.

Down to at least 70 overnight: in this part of the country that's ordinarily a reasonable expectation, except for a few of the very hottest dog days of summer. I don't know how we got into the dog days at least six weeks early this year.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Pebble in My Sandal

We're coming once again to that time of year when I wear my Birkenstocks whenever I can get away with it. And I discover all over again one of the hazards of wearing sandals.

It is all too easy to get a pebble in a sandal. Doesn't have to be a big pebble, not much larger than a pinhead. It's agonizing. And all too easy living, as I do, on a gravel road out in the country.

Oh right, I should go walking on a bed of nails to toughen up the soles of my feet. Go get a life! Get real! Believe me, there's nothing like being halfway out to the mailbox, and discovering I've got a pebble in my sandal.