Monthly Archives: July 2012

Worth Thinking About

Hi everyone, Jeanne here. I’m going to be offline for a couple of weeks, so here are a few more nuggets to digest until I get back at the end of the month:

Old Jules, what is the healthiest philosophical perspective on our own individual importance in this world?

The healthiest perspective would probably be that we aren’t at all important in this world except to the people who know us personally and care about what happens to us, and to ourselves. We’ve got to earn our self-respect and if we don’t nobody else is going to respect us [which is unimportant except by implication].

Old Jules, what is the most important value you have for you to live your life by?

Courage and loyalty. I know what I respect in a human being and I intend to respect myself. Every value I have comes out of that faucet.

Old Jules, would you care whether or not humanity survives beyond your own lifetime?

Not in the least. For that matter I don’t care if we all die together before my lifetime ends.
Humans die. I don’t see an advantage to all those alive today dying over 100 years as opposed to all dying in a single day. They’ll have all lived and all died, same as every human before them. They all had their individual shots at living their lives.
Whether any human being walks the face of the planet at any given time being something of value seems to me to be a humanocentric concern, which I don’t share.

Evidence of Genocide?

Old Jules, what do you think are the responsibilities of the U.S. when faced with strong evidence of genocide?
Despite a lot of hand wringing and rhetoric to the contrary, the US traditionally doesn’t interest itself in genocides and does nothing to prevent them unless they happen to already be at war with the perpetrator. Tradition is the determinant since there’s no cause to believe otherwise.

As a practical matter it’s demonstrated with the Armenians, the Ukrainians, the Kurds, the Biafrans, the Cambodians, the French death camps in the Caribbean prior to WWII, anywhere besides Germany. The relatively recent Israeli participation in a mass killing in Lebanon is no exception.

If you can find an exception to this you’ll have yourself a unique piece of detective work.

Folk Music?

Old Jules, what happened to folk music?

My personal view is that it bulged in popularity among the young people who were the driving force in defining popularity with the Kingston Trio release of Tom Dooley, 1957 or ’58. It stayed fairly popular until the early ’70s and fell from grace in favor of the next wave of Stones and acid rock [after beatniks vanished in favor of hippies]. When Bob Dylan came out with “Everybody Must Get Stoned” and introduced “Folk Rock” it was the beginning of the end of the folk boom. I’ve heard it’s making a come-back on public radio stations.

I spent the day at the Kerrville Folk Festival a few years ago, which used to be attended by all the big names including just about anyone who was anyone. Sad to say it’s been replaced by something called ‘new folk’ which is the rough equivalent of what’s happened to country music. As we shuddered with revulsion on the way to the parking lot the volunteers asked if we wanted our tickets stamped so’s we could get back in.

“I’d pay $100 never to have come here at all,” was my response.

Roots of the Civil War?

Old Jules, would you agree that the roots of the American Civil War lay in the westward expansion of the nation from 1820-1860?

I wouldn’t agree. The roots of the Civil War lay in the fact the US Constitution made no mention that, once joined, states couldn’t withdraw. It did state that whatever powers weren’t given specifically to the federal government belonged to the states.

The southern states believed they had the implied Constitutional right to withdraw. It was a Constitutional crisis for Lincoln to deal with. Probably the southern states believed he’d deal with in a Constitutional way. They underestimated the degree to which he was insulated from his oath of office and influenced by northern industrialists sufficiently to ignore the Constitution.

Some stuff from the Facebook page:

At any given moment you’re the composite of all your experiences until now. If you hadn’t gone through them you’d be someone else.

If you like who and what you are you’ve no choice but to be grateful for each, good, bad, or ugly.

I don’t believe in fate. I believe life is a series of challenges, growth experiences we encounter, respond to, and grow from.

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Old Jules, who would you like to see and talk to right now?

Albert Einstein, hoping he could clear a few things up for me.

Jim Bridger, just to ask him a few questions that have troubled me.

A guy known as ‘Old Jules’, hardscrabble settler in the Nebraska panhandle in the 1860s through 1890s because I used to be him.

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Old Jules, would you consider a Muse a human spirit or angel or what?

I tend to think of it as a [far too seldom] direct communication with the higher-self.
But I take the view we’re mainly spiritual beings with a toe-hold in a physical reality, rather than otherwise [the ‘I’ we sense being the toe].

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Old Jules, who is the bigger coward, atheists or theists, to believe in GOD?

Atheists and theists who are preoccupied with prolonging their lives by worrying about second-hand smoke, air-bags, red dye, the Mayan calendar, and eternal life don’t appear to possess much courage, moral or spiritual. Some occasionally demonstrate physical courage.

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Old Jules, what is the meaning of life?

If you suspect your proposed answer to your own question isn’t complete, it probably isn’t. Bringing satisfaction or happiness to ones life cannot possibly be life’s meaning unless the lives of the miserable and the unfulfilled are meaningless.
The meaning of life is to facilitate change within each short lifespan.

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Old Jules, why does the unexpected happen in life so much?

Plotting mainly. Think of yourself as a product of characterization. It’s a necessary ingredient, but it’s worthless, even in a single frame cartoon, without dialogue, plot, and suspense. Characters come and go but plots rely on the unexpected for momentum and energy.