Jack Saturday

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Anti-Job Pro-Freedom Quote Of The Week 135

From the 1972 movie Bartleby The Scrivener:

Boss: I could take you to my doctor-- he'd straighten you out.

Bartleby: I would prefer not to be straightened out.

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Tell Me

Two poems by Mary Oliver

The Summer day
Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean--
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down--
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

js photo

Black Oaks
Mary Oliver

Okay, not one can write a symphony, or a dictionary,

or even a letter to an old friend, full of remembrance
and comfort.

Not one can manage a single sound though the blue jays
carp and whistle all day in the branches, without
the push of the wind.

But to tell the truth after a while I'm pale with longing
for their thick bodies ruckled with lichen

and you can't keep me from the woods, from the tonnage

of their shoulders, and their shining green hair.

Today is a day like any other: twenty-four hours, a
little sunshine, a little rain.

Listen, says ambition, nervously shifting her weight from
one boot to another -- why don't you get going?

For there I am, in the mossy shadows, under the trees.

And to tell the truth I don't want to let go of the wrists
of idleness, I don't want to sell my life for money,
I don't even want to come in out of the rain.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Anti-Job Pro-Freedom Quotes Of The Week 133, 134

Here's another, more common, acronym about life under a predatory corporate capitalism: TGIF -- Thank God It's Friday. It's a phrase that communicates a sad reality for many working in this economy -- the jobs we do are not rewarding, not enjoyable, and fundamentally not worth doing. We do them to survive. Then on Friday we go out and get drunk to forget about that reality, hoping we can find something during the weekend that makes it possible on Monday to, in the words of one songwriter, "get up and do it again."

Remember, an economic system doesn't just produce goods. It produces people as well. Our experience of work shapes us. Our experience of consuming those goods shapes us. Increasingly, we are a nation of unhappy people consuming miles of aisles of cheap consumer goods, hoping to dull the pain of unfulfilling work. Is this who we want to be?
Robert Jensen,
Last Sunday: Anti-capitalism in five minutes or less
ZNet Commentary
May 15, 2007

…this might be the most painless, distant, unfelt war in our short history, so removed and so disconnected from our everyday lives that it's almost as if it's not happening at all, just some minor political irritant as opposed to a horrid, gory embarrassment that's costing us $100,000 per minute, or $275 million per day -- enough money, by the end of it all, to rebuild every school and every park and every free clinic in America and then go on to house every homeless person and solve the oil crisis and cure a few diseases and perform a thousand other social improvements you can't even imagine right now lest you feel disgusted and sour and sad for the rest of the month.
Mark Morford
Notes and Errata
Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

What welfare mothers do need is "less red tape, more money," argues Funiciello. And we should respect the work that welfare mothers do in raising their children. Too much anti-poverty money goes to social workers and charitable institutions to try to "correct" the behavior of the poor. If, instead, all that money were simply given to the poor -- in cash -- they and society would be better off. Her proposal is deceptively simple. If the reason single mothers are poor is that they have no money, give them more -- $ 14,000 a year in the form of a "guaranteed income" -- and you'll wipe away poverty.
Welfare As We Don’t Know It
By Douglas J. Besharov

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Anti-Job Pro-Freedom Quotes Of The Week 130, 131, 132

…it helps to keep in mind the following about the daily horror that is life in Iraq: It did not exist before the US occupation.
The insurgency violence began as, and remains, a reaction to the occupation; like almost all insurgencies in occupied countries -- from the American Revolution to the Vietcong -- it's a fight directed toward getting foreign forces to leave.

The next phase was the violence of Iraqis against other Iraqis who worked for or sought employment with anything associated with the occupation regime.

Then came retaliatory attacks for these attacks.

Followed by retaliatory attacks for the retaliatory attacks.

Jihadists from many countries have flocked to Iraq because they see the war against the American Satan occupiers as a holy war.

Before the occupation, many Sunnis and Shiites married each other; since the occupation they have been caught up in a spiral of hating and killing each other.

And for these acts there of course has to be retaliation. The occupation's abolishment of most jobs in the military and in Saddam Hussein's government, and the chaos that is Iraqi society under the occupation, have left many destitute; kidnapings for ransom and other acts of criminal violence have become popular ways to make a living, or at least survive.
William Blum
Anti-empire Report, May 3, 2007

Zimbardo's message to the tribunal and to his readers is clear: Even you might behave tyrannically and violently if you were in a situation that encouraged such behavior. The experiment "has emerged as a powerful illustration of the potentially toxic impact of bad systems and bad situations in making good people behave in pathological ways that are alien to their nature."
Zimbardo does not believe that those bad situations reveal that we aren't such good people after all. For all his knowledge of the power of social context to determine who we are and what we do, he retains an even deeper faith that most people really are good and could prevent the distortion of personality by avoiding poisonous roles and institutions. He does not think he discovered that our innate sadism and love of tyranny are uncovered by situations that allow us to behave violently. His is the more comforting view that we can maintain our moral standards as true expressions of who we really are by creating more consistently moral or just institutions.
Zimbardo's video testimony (he did not want to go to the very bad situation of Iraq) did not have much effect on the Military court.
Michael Roth

Friends, I do not need to remind you of the importance and benefit of campaigns such as the Basic Income Movement that are designed to enhance the dignity, well-being, and inclusion of all people, and to move us closer to our vision of social equity.
Bishop Desmond Tutu