May 27, 2020

Good News And Bad News – Telling The Dissimilarity. . . By Bishop, Unusual Excentric Seer

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All that is human must retrograde if it does not advance… Edward Gibbon
Rumor has it that a Reinast toothbrush sells for $4200 versus a $2 dollar brush at any Walgreens. Which, gentle reader, points out the runaway conspicuous consumption disease sweeping across our land, faster even that glaciers are melting in the Yukon.

Weep not that due to the disappearance of first rate reportage, good news has essentially vanished from once legendary press and TV outlets, replaced with pretty visitors from somewhere far away where witlessness is celebrated and mediocrity quipped, Beerbohm can always be trusted to be at its best.

Weep not because controversial mélange of wisdom is coming to your rescue, gentle reader, as it has, again, again and again. This news is coming you angry readers, too, somewhere out there, as well as for aura feather dusters and other things that go bump in the night. To begin with, the proposed 12-story New Age Center in West Sedona will never get past the newly elected city mayor, nicknamed Two-gun Moriarity.

However, there is more. Even better news is that celebs from one coast to the other are using supposedly old-fashioned flip phones. This news is sending bolts of shock throughout the world of the latest battery powered device where everything new is so very chic.

Why the retrograde revolution? One advantage of this backward trend, inside sources tells this wretched penny-dreadful is that, as one insider leaked, “You can drop them on the ground, and they will not break”. What is next? VCRs? One legendary hot female ticket living in Cornville (where not everyone has telephones of any kind), hopes the flip phone will last until all the cows come home in her backyard. Says she “while my dates stare at their screens “I can concentrate on actually reading the menu, stuffing my face and flirting with handsome, blonde, Verde River boatmen.”

All the while citizens may be turning their backs against technology, others still search for an ideal society. Maybe it might be one absent of police and people of color, and lacking atrocities such as torturing by our government and the Sand Creek Massacre on November 29th, 1864, in Colorado when Union troops murdered 200 men, women and children of the Arapahoe and Cheyenne, including Black Kettle, whose commitments to peace were well known.

Dreams of a better world crowd the imagination. In 1516, Thomas Moore wrote of a kingdom named Utopia somewhere off the coast of the newly discovered Americas, thus bringing the concept of paradise out of the accounts of paradise and the Garden of Eden and the afterlife into the world of the living. More recently we have heard our presidents talk of a City on a Hill, a Great Society and Dr. King’s promised land. Instead, the great philosopher Chuck Bowden tells us that long ago religion separated us from Mother Nature, so that we now worship things most of the time; science became weapons and mindless technology and products that end up in landfills. “We have nothing left but this Ecology.

However, all around us people are committing heinous acts, and heresy, and turning a deaf ear to this new God—we listen to songs of humpbacked whales, park washed Volvos outside log A-frames, eat vegetables, we are the new people.” As Bowden shared it once in a conversation with this right-wing wing-nut, we all live in a time “when the imagination is dead and everything is memories. We call these memories the future.”

So what is the real news? Are we headed for extinction due to our addiction to fossil fuels or does climate change provide an opportunity for humans to transform the planet into a safer, healthier place in which growth does not always mean destruction, it could mean progress?
While people denying the climate changes now number into the millions (except those places already under water), Half of Americans, and 77 percent of evangelicals in one new survey said, they believe natural disasters are signs not of climate change but of the ‘end times.’

While the long, and the short and the tall experts and wing nuts in politics, in business and academe debate about whether we are doomed or not, a small group of locals have taken a different path by creating a Stoic Community.

What is that – some philosophy created by the Greeks? Yes, as a matter of fact, that is as true as the moon over the Mogollon Rim. Stoicism, virtually unknown by Arizona pols, is the study and the practice based upon reason and relationship, where members explore and express their best selves, aiming for personal excellence.

“We are gradually changing the way we look at life,” a member said over excellent red wine. “We aim for a time where our baseless worries are defeated, our paralyzing fears abolished. Our motto? Expectations are resentments waiting to be born.”

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