Category Archives: Autobiography

Trapped at Sea

The Brunswick News story about a couple from Saint Simons who took a cruise on March 7th around the tip of South America to Valparaiso and then the Holland American Liner, Zaandam, was not permitted to dock because of COVID-19 on board and four dead people in the shipboard morgue, reminds me.
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Empty Rhetoric

Perhaps being reared in a Catholic environment has made me more aware of empty or meaningless refrains.

Miserere nobis comes to mind. Also, dona nobis pachem. The first, of course, is entirely consistent with the culture of commiseration which salves the spirits of those subordinated by the culture of obedience. Ah, we are all in this together. Woe is us.

Peace is not something that is handed out. Only peace prizes. Though why we want the result of pacification is beyond me. I do not want to have peace handed to me on a platter or a paten or anywhere else.

R.I.P. gets it right. We are at peace when we are dead.

What was that stinky thing on a string we used to wear around our necks?
Scapular, an “object of popular piety.” A reminder of Christian behavior for those whose memories are bad.

Catholicism also clued me in to other stuff. When did I learn about hypocrisy? It must have been at the age of 13 when the nunny bunny on our floor, the strict enforcer of beds made before morning mass and windows left open even when snow dusted the floor in the morning, forgot to lock her door and a peek revealed that she had obviously not made her bed and the nose told us the window had not been opened in weeks. Being honest, we confessed. Our monitor said nothing but her door was never left unlocked again. I guess I’ve been challenging authority for a long time. LOL

Authoritarianism and the instinct-driven

Perhaps it is a fail-safe option. Guaranteed to fail or not. LOL

The last thing we need is another Catholic authoritarian on the Court. Not because Catholics are subservient to the Pope in Rome, but because confession and absolution frees them from the need to exercise self-restraint. Behavior can be hit or miss and, if it goes wrong, all can be forgiven by confessing. That is not a reliable basis for moral behavior but it is what makes authoritarianism attractive to the instinct-driven.

An admission. I left off being a Catholic because the church offended my moral sense.

Deconstructing language

Once a person has learned a couple or more languages, it becomes obvious that there is a differnce between reality and its symbolic representation. In my case there was the additional realization, eventually, that some symbols simply do not translate easily inside my brain. This accounted, I think, for why, no matter how much effort I expended, I never could relate the notations in a musical score to a particular musical sound or piano key. So, I never learned how to play the piano any better than a hunt and peck typist uses a typewriter. But I did learn that practice does not make perfect.
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