Monthly Archives: March 2015

Lightning

A poem by Lady in Red from her writer’s worskshop

Lightning burns up close, kills, maims, and dazzles from far away–like truth.

White light of lightning is all colors at once; only a prism can break into it pieces of color. The prism breaks truth into pieces palatable and digestible. The prism of truth is time.

We must learn truth in successive pieces to prevent shock to the system, to prevent sudden death.

If we had all truth, would we die? Can the human mind and heart know of all pain and joy without bursting?

No.

This is why life is a moment stretching decades–for truth to wend its way through our digestive tract. The poison pill in slow powder form.  This death is not obliteration–it is the opposite–the consumption of humanity or of human experience–allowed to one person.  If we are selfish by nature, then this is the ultimate and most noble gluttony.

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Burning Man

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Spark: A Burning Man Story is a 2013 documentary about the organization of the week-long art and music festival in the Nevada desert that has 60,000 attendees each year.  The Burning Man is a tall wooden effigy that serves as centerpiece for a symbolic bonfire one of the nights, when it is burned down in front of the crowd.

The Burning Man community’s principles include ideas like radical self-reliance, leaving no trace, participation, and immediacy.  Black Rock City, NV is entirely built and then torn down each year to allow for these experiences while leaving no trace.

Despite the hippy reputation of the event, the film confirmed that an outdoor affair of this size demands year-round preparation and meticulous organization.

Anarchy is not true freedom.  Creating an infrastructure that allows us to reach each other safely and without  hindrance–that is the ultimate freedom.

In my current job, I create processes and infrastructure out of chaos.  It’s a rarely-discussed secret of adulthood that responsibility, trust, and patterns make us free and allow us to accomplish what we want and need: helping others, and feeling secure and loved.

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Psycho

Frank Underwood, Dexter, Patrick Bateman, Norman Bates.

Americans have a pop culture obsession with male sociopaths, psychopaths, and devious leaders.  What is the difference?  Sociopathy marks antisocial, manipulative behavior.  Psychopathy is the same but with an awareness of others and their desires, and thus the ability to it cover up with the imitation of empathy, which is arguably even more frightening.

1 in 25 leaders, and 1 in 100 people overall, has psychopathy.  Our economy rewards it.

Yet there is a parallel trend, especially in America, of the “medicalization of society,” where the normal range of human behavior is getting labeled as a disorder, with mental illness being a prime field for such movement.

The below TED talk is perhaps LIR’s personal favorite, and it discusses the challenge of proving sanity over the challenge of proving insanity.

Jon Ronson’s point is that at the border of normality is the complexity in humanity.

I believe those on the clear ends of the spectrum hold less mystery, and thus less interest, to us for entertainment value as those who are questionable.  They also provide a measuring stick for ourselves, most of whom value the illusion of normalcy–if not the thing itself–and thus can feel the solace of personal virtue when confronted with a TV antihero.  The drive to study and categorize personalities is perhaps what makes us attracted to those we know are deviant but who do not appear so at first.