Let's face it, my friends, we are put into this world and this existence, against our will, or to put it more delicately, without our consent. To say that, as human beings, we had a free choice in this matter is to deny reason and common sense.
The thinking on this is simple. You couldn't have been asked if you wanted “to be” or “not to be” before you existed. You would have “to be,” before anyone could ask if you would like to choose “not to be.” And then once you “are” – the prejudice of your existence makes an objective choice impossible.
I see no way around this fact or argument and neither could Clarence Darrow, Bertrand Russell and a slew of other thinkers before me. Just as your human parents didn't ask you if you wanted to be born (Your mother and father making that choice for you) neither did your Creator. It was only reasonable for you, as a child, to presume that your parents had a reason for making that decision. But strangely enough, as most of us children grow older, we find that, in reality, our parents had no reason for bringing us into this world, other than the simple fact that they were in a state of frenzy and confusion at that particular time.
The most common reason for one's human existence (to be distinguished from our cosmic existence) for a good number of us was pure and simple accident.
Today human beings are brought into this world for a multitude of reasons but, on the international scale, human beings in heat is still probably number one. But there are other reasons and they are multiple and numerous:
Security – your parents may have brought you here in order to have someone to fight for their cause; to be a part of their army, church, society, tribe, family, and/or group; to help milk the cows, goats, or camels; to wash the dishes, sweep the floors, plow the fields, paint the barn, or take care of poor me when I'm too old to take care of myself.
Welfare Fraud – you could have been the product of a monetary transaction. In other words, you were brought here, basically, because your birth meant bucks to somebody, a new apartment, or a check from the government or a secure income for life for somebody.
Super Star – Your Mom and Dad might have brought you here in the hopes that one day you may have grown up to be another Magic Johnson, or a Big Bubba linebacker with a million dollar a year contract. Or just an anybody who might one day become rich, wealthy, or famous, and , in turn, rescue his Mom and Dad from all of their suffering.
Heir – You could be here to provide an heir to some egotistical rich bitch.
Proof of Adulthood – Then again, you could be the symbol of someone's maturity, "See Mommy, I'm big enough to have a baby, even if I still don't know how to make my own bed, or clean my room.
Ugly – You could be here because your mother and father, or both your parents, were so ugly that they had to provide living proof to the world that another human being would actually make love to them. Their word alone, not being acceptable proof.
Retribution – You could be here because your Mom and Dad were so low on the scale of social acceptability, that without you they would have no one whom they could legitimately beat, use, abuse, or brow beat; in general, to do to you, what they feel the world has been doing to them for all of their lives.
Family Heritage – You could be here as a projection of another’s ego – the intellectual notion of passing on one's superior genes to some fortunate progeny. Unfortunately this, in reality, only succeeds in creating another little ugly thing with the parents own prized set of personal defects.
Immortality – Then, of course, there is this immortality thing. Your Mom or Dad may have thought that by bringing you into existence, that they would be continuing their line or family name and thus projecting themselves one more step towards immortality. My guess is that even though you did not succeed in bringing them immortality you, more than likely (if we are to take probability into account), made their life here on this earth, actually seem like an eternity. So consider yourself a success on this account – even if Mom and Dad don't.
That’s my Boy – Then again, you could be here on behalf of your parents, to accomplish all of those wonderful things that they were either too stupid, too chicken, or too lacking in talent or ability to accomplish themselves. In other words, as existing nobodies, your folks had the hope, even with the knowledge that you would be inheriting all of their inadequate, deformed genes that you might grow up one day to be a somebody. And if you will take a look at all of the great somebody's existing in this world today, and in the past for that matter, you will see that such a ludicrous notion was and is actually possible.
Lonely – Then there are others who may have brought you here simply because they were lonely; or because they wanted to share all of the "wonder and beauty" that they saw around them with a creature of their own creation - one that didn't look somewhat like them, or their diseased, syphilitic great, great grandmother just wouldn't do.
You could have been brought here as a part of a breeding program, like the one initiated by good old Adolf in Nazi Germany or the program of “unnatural” selection that we had right here in the good old U.S. of A. back in our formative years i.e. slavery.
Extra Cash – You could be the product of a closed, private room, a few dirty movies, or magazines, and a cash payment of $29.95 at a local sperm bank just down the street from Harvard or Yale.
Pill Bill – You could be the not necessarily wanted result of a fertility pill gone bonkers.
Spare Parts – You might, or may, one day, actually be a clone.
You might be here as spare parts for somebody's very, very famous uncle.
Drunken Folly – You could be here as the result of one too many Seven and Seven's, or Zombies.
An extra Buck – You might actually be here as the result of a "babies for sale" program in Asia, Africa, or East L.A.
Prostitution – Your mother could have been a child prostitute trying to pay for her father's farm, or drug problem.
Rape – You could be the unwanted child of a rape victim.
Free Labor – You could actually have been bred as a slave to work in a chocolate factory on an island off the coast of Liberia in the twentieth century.
So there you have some of the reasons for your human existence. Your Cosmic, or Spiritual existence if you will, is still another question. I sometimes think that, in actuality, the concept of God was made up by parents as an answer to their children when the kids inevitably asked; "Mom … Dad, who made me? Where did I come from?" The Parents couldn't bring themselves to say, "Well you see kids, your Mother and I were in heat for a number of years and we just couldn't stop screwing. We were at this drive-in movie one night. We bought prophylactics, honest! Your mother was even wearing a diaphragm but – what can I say? Would it do any good to say that I'm sorry?" So instead, they quickly thought up the notion of God in order to cast off their guilt and irresponsibility. "Well Danny, you see, God made you. We don't really understand why He made you because you are without a doubt the biggest pain in the ass that we two have ever experienced, but we know that He must have had a reason. So, son, the next time that you see Him, you ask HIM. Oh and, by the way, while you are at it, ask about us too, will you? Your Mother and I have been asking that same question for quite a while also. But, when you ask God, don't be rude, or pushy, because God gets pissed off easily. He has been known to turn people at a glance into stone, or salt, or a toad. He flooded the whole world once and killed everybody but a guy named Boa or Scoa, or something. And, let me tell you, if he doesn't like you, and you don't bow down and kiss His butt, He may just set you on fire and forget to put you out! But don't you kids be afraid now. It doesn't hurt to ask why. How else are you ever going to learn? So now, run along."
As you can see there are any number of reasons why your parents may have brought you here into this world. BUT, why did God do it? Why did God devise this process? Why did God create the human sexual system? Just like with our earthly parents, the fact that we are here gives rise to the human notion, that if there is a cause to “being”, it must be a “reasonable” cause. Or the Cause-er must have had a reason. But, just as with your Mom and Dad, that reason may not exist, or might have very little resemblance to what anyone has thought it to be, or, there could very well be no reasonable cause at all. Why the ant, the rat, or the roach? Do they need a 'reason'? Or is it you that needs the reason? I personally think that there is a first cause and that First cause is none other than Santa Cause.
When I was young and going to school, the Great Thinkers of humankind were having a heated debate over whether or not there was such a thing as instinctual behavior in human beings.
First they put this definition on instinctual behavior that only a cat could conform to. And then they concluded that since no human has ever walked in circles in a dirt drive, dug a hole, shit in that hole and then buried it, without any directions from a mother or wife, there is obviously no instinctual behavior in Man.
How about War? How about domination? How about falling in love? How about huddling together in groups (societies)? How about killing things? How about sucking on a boob? How about screaming, and kicking and yelling when one does not get what one wants. In babies, we expect it. In young adults we call it a temper tantrum. In mature grownups, we call it politics.
I read about this interesting case study which was conducted by a couple of non-professionals (behavioral scientists, amateur status, of course).
This couple gave birth to a little girl. For reasons known to them alone, they took this child and locked her in a closet up in the attic. They shoved food to her, under the door, and avoided any human contact with the child for thirteen or fifteen years. [Talk about being sent to your room for being bad!] In any case, since the couple didn't leave us an abstract of their experiment, all that we have by way of data, is what the police supplied to the newspapers.
What do you think that this little unwanted child did in this closet, compulsively, day in – day out, for the greater part of her puberty? Give up? Let me give you some choices;
A) say the rosary?
B) watch soap operas?
C) contemplate the universe.
To find out if you have chosen the correct answer and win a possible free trip to the Bahamas (or some other place where the people who live there hate your guts because they think that you have too much money, no taste in clothes, are rude, and a poor tip giver; write your name, age, and vital statistics (please include nude photo) to: P.O. Box A B C D – Perverts, Sadomasochists, and Insane Sexual Deviates Anonymous; c/o The International Health Foundation Cleavage, Maryland.
Many years ago, Albert Einstein wrote a letter to his associate and contemporary, Sigmund Freud, and asked – Why war? I've now forgotten what Sigmund's response was, but I do know that Sigmund returned to Albert (via UPS overnight delivery) a one quart baggy filled with human nose pickings, and a photo of his wife, Siggarrette Freud, naked.
In any case, old Albert neglected to ask me, why war? That is probably one of the reasons that he ended up where he did ... Princeton.
Boy, just think, if he would have contacted me first, he could probably have gone to Harvard.
Oh well, and that brings us right back to our original premise and the nature of our cosmic and psychological being. To use Plato's Allegory; Man sees the shadows on the wall of his cave (actually symbolisms for forceps and womb) but then one day pokes his head out and sees the light, to which he responds; "What the hell am I doing here?"
A voice in the heavens responds; "Exactly!"
And then Man says; "What did he mean by that?"
And thus, began Man's search for eternal knowledge.
But, it should be obvious to everyone by the multitude of religious beliefs and the general confusion on this issue, that Man does not know the answer to that question. And if Man, the damn fool that he is, doesn't know why he is here in the first place, how the hell can he ever justify whatever the heck it is that he thinks he's doing? This lack of resolution, brings about mental conflict, which if left unresolved, leads to frustration – which if left unresolved (provided he has nothing to suck on) leaves little Ingert hitting little brother, Nutgard, on the top of the head. AND, if this behavior is left unchecked, WE HAVE WAR!
The truth of this matter is really not so difficult to understand. Man presumes, by his being that God must have had a reason for creating him.
He looks at the nature of the things about him.
He sees how the rat eats the roach, and the cat eats the rat, and the dog kills the cat, and the lion eats the dog, and how a man eats anything that doesn't eat him first. He then starts making assumptions, whether conscious or otherwise:
God must not only be a Prime Mover, he thinks, but a Prime Eater, also. Or a Prime Killer, because if we don't kill one another, all at once or in bunches, He figures out a way to kill us all one by one anyway with some sort of pestilence or disease, or just plain old . . . DEATH.
But, regardless, man's thoughts go on:
If all things in nature parasitically thrive on each others death, and/or flesh and blood, then couldn't it be that God is in fact the infinite Vampire who thrives off human death (i.e., mankind's history of human sacrifice and torture to appease the Gods) human suffering just being the frosting on the cake. And all of this leads man to ask himself; If God has created me so that one day He will have the pleasure of killing me, what the heck is His story, anyway?
Man does not like to face this fact of his own death. It irks him greatly to think that God (his Cosmic Parent) has made this terrible situation on purpose, or even worse yet, without purpose. In response to this frustrating dilemma, we have a multitude of different reactions on the part of man (and some women):
He becomes a psychotic, and makes up a Disney World up in the sky. He calls it heaven, and it is a place (unlike the earth) filled with sugar and spice and everything nice. The streets of heaven are paved with gold, and once you get there everything is peachy-keen, hunky-dory or just plain swell.
Or, he may conclude: if this is the example God sets for me, maybe I should be a good little person and follow his example, and destroy all the things and people about me, just as He does and act in His own image and likeness. Be Godly, as was Adolf Hitler conclusion.
Or maybe seeing death and torture, and pain as the alternatives of his life, he comes to the conclusion that somebody up there really hates me … and maybe justifiably so. Maybe, I am a hateful vicious creature that deserves nothing but pain and suffering. I will therefore abuse and punish myself and some of these other similar ugly creatures about me. And why the hell not? Right boys and girls?
BUT ... Why war? Albert asked Sigmund.
Come on guys! Don't you know?
Do you really have to ask; WHY WAR?
When you look at the nature of the human beings around you; when you, as learned men, have read the History of Humankind in all of its blood and gore; you ask, Why War?
My question would be the exact opposite.
Where and how did the concept that Man was anything more than a crude, self-destructive, ignorant beast ever evolve from? If Albert and Sigmund were alive today, I would write a letter to each of them and ask; Albert ... Sigmund ... WHY SYMPHONY?
I watch the Symphony on the educational television station whenever I can. When it's on, I can't seem to draw myself away from it. I am totally spellbound. I hate the music, but the spectacle of civilization enthralls me.
There we have before us on the screen, one hundred, maybe two hundred well groomed animals.
Just a short time ago, anthropologically speaking, the ancestors of these creatures were disemboweling one another and eating each others hearts.
Humans used to eat the hearts of other humans, not simply because they ran out of M&M's or Moon Pies, but for any number of good intelligent reasons.
One of which was the notion that if they ate the heart of a brave courageous human, they would thusly ingest his fortitude, fearlessness and strength.
BOY, lucky they didn't apply this same theory to sexual prowess, who knows what they would have been eating, huh?
Knowing this, one would think that a smart human of yesteryear, when faced with a situation requiring fortitude and courage (the above respected qualities of heart consumption) would cower down behind a bush or shrub, and say; "Don't hit me, don't hit me, please? I'm nothing but a cowardly snip and if you dirty my knickers, my Mom will kill me."
This, on the surface, would appear to have been a good strategy, but, not so!
This sniveling type of individual was captured. And as an example to similar minded cowards in their own army, cultural group, and/or society, these individuals would be brought before the citizens, on a Sunday afternoon, whereupon, they would be skinned alive, or a sharp instrument would be placed into his lower abdomen and a High Priest would reach into this unfortunate body and pull out his bowels and/or intestines.
The audience could tell that this was a very painful experience for the sorry Warrior. They were able to discern this from the pitch of his screams, and the intensity of his cries and the way his eyeballs just, kind of bugged out of his skull.
Once This High Priest had all of the bowels and intestines pulled out of the man through the small slit in his lower abdomen, he usually laid them on the man's stomach or chest, and then went over to the next altar and plunged a dagger into a heart of a virgin.
And this is the way the ancestors of the bassoon and oboe players used to spend their Sunday afternoons. And, now, here we have their descendants today, two hundred or so well groomed monkeys (or dolphins), basically, sitting in gowns or tuxedos, with all offensive holes or protuberances and body parts covered, strumming, drumming, or gumming a complicated series of sounds and noises … IN HARMONY!
And more amazing than even that, they have all gotten together, beforehand and agreed to play the SAME SONG! AND, in basically the same manner as played hundreds of times before, by other monkeys from other tribes, who live in parts of the world thousands of miles from one another AND DON'T EVEN SPEAK THE SAME LANGUAGE!
How is this possible?
No way man. Why Symphony? HOW Symphony?
On top of all of this, they play this series of sounds and noises that no teenager with pink hair, a ring in his nose, and a six dollar piece of artificial puke in his pocket, would ever spend two cents of his parents’ hard earned money to buy. And this music form lives on.
Is this not truly amazing?
To further complicate this situation, we have a second oboe player who hates the guts of the first oboe player because he knows in his heart that he could gum the sounds allocated to the first oboe player with considerably more style and grace.
We have a female cellist who has her seat in the Symphony solely because she has been playing exciting sounds on the conductor's favorite nephew.
We have four rather strange guys in the brass section who are having a problem with their concentration because they can't stop thinking about the enema party that they are all hoping to attend after the concert is over.
There is also a problem with the string section, who sit directly behind the cellist (who, as we remember, is making passionate love to the conductor's nephew) because she is wearing a dress that is cut down in the back to the creak of her ass.
And in the midst of all of this we have Mozart, Strauss, Shostakovich, Bach, and Beethoven.
We have SYMPHONY! UNBELIEVABLE! Is it not?
But yet, Albert asks Sigmund. Why war?
Albert, my good friend, you spent too much time riding your imaginary motorcycle through the universe at the speed of light. You missed the BIG questions, man!
The question is not why war? That's obvious.
The bigger questions are: Why love? Why beauty? Why kindness? And the most psychological and philosophical of all … why symphony?
I’ve read several books by Professor Chomsky. This is the best Chomsky book I’ve read so far.
Chomsky is always wordy and has a tendency to wander but this book has a theme that he follows fairly consistently.
The title of the book is “Deterring Democracy” and it is the Professor’s goal to show just how the “American, corporate government” has done just that all around the world.
It is the author’s contention that the U.S. is not and has never been in the business of helping foreign countries to establish democracy in their land. He is of the opinion that the U.S. is much more interested
in establishing Capitalism and rule by the wealthy than establishing any kind of democracy.
In a way the book reminds me of another book that impressed me, “One World Ready or Not” by William Greider.
In Greider’s book we take a trip with labor and working folks around the world. We see how poorly they live and are treated and exploited by their employers … who are agents or clients of international corporations.
In this book we take a similar trip championing the peasant and working class – the “non-people,” as Chomsky calls them.
Some say that Mr. Chomsky is a misanthrope. This is not true. He is the exact opposite. All his books are written in defense of the poor and unorganized and on behalf of the people. Mr. Chomsky is concerned about what the powerful people are doing to the not so powerful.
Mr. Chomsky is a corporate government hater. He is against the monopolization of the world by big business and imperialist governments. Actually he is against all and any government.
Consequently, he comes to the world with a much different perspective. Like Howard Zinn who shocked the world with his “A People’s History of America” Chomsky is equally shocking.
He puts his unusual magnifying glass and his endless information and details of U.S. foreign policy, contemporary and historical, on the various third world countries of the world and turns our conventional understanding of things upside down.
We go all over South America, Asia, Central America, the Caribbean, Japan, China, Africa and elsewhere. He gives special and detailed attention to Nicaragua and El Salvador. But he also covers Chile, Brazil, Columbia and most other South American nations.
He outlines for the reader a bloody and murderous path pursued all over the world by the U.S. in the name of freedom and democracy but really on behalf of big, corporate enterprises. General Smedley Butler told a similar but not so gruesome story in his book “War is a Racket.”
What is really shocking is the callous disregard of human life on the part of the U.S., reported by the author. Thousands and thousands of people murdered and slaughtered because of America’s financial support to groups like the Contras in Nicaragua.
But it isn’t just Nicaragua. This murderous intrigue supported financially and clandestinely by the CIA, NSA, and other American counterinsurgency groups was and is common policy of the U.S. all over the world.
We even have a training center for torture and barbaric tactics in Florida, “the School of the Americas.”
At this school, says the author, America trains counterinsurgency, murder, torture, assassination and methods of infiltrating and overthrowing any government in South America that exhibits liberal tendencies – like land redistribution, income equality, medical care for the poor, free education and the like.
This book is eye opening and thought provoking along with being a horror story. It shows the war that has been conducted by the U.S. on behalf of the control of the wealthy and the super wealthy over the peasant and the working class – a war and a pattern of behavior and elitist attitudes that goes back to the colonial period.
He is not favorable to Reagan and the Bush twins or any Republican but he does little cheering for any of the Democrats either. He hits Clinton, Carter and Truman also. He is not happy with American government and our half-assed democracy either. He points out how democracy is deterred here at home too. He is unrelenting.
He is a tough read but very difficult to challenge.
This book is over 450 pages and he has 100 more books of similar length behind it.
There is just no end to this guy.
Many Americans wonder why so many of the countries and people of South and Central America are so anti-American. Well, this book gives a pretty darn good answer.
This book is a group of interviews with professor and Dissident and Chief on or relating to the 9-11 attack on the twin towers and the policies and attitudes that have come about because of this event.
Anyone who has read anything by Chomsky knows that he recognizes two types of terrorism. The one we are all familiar with and another that most do not recognize.
Let’s call the one we are all familiar with Radical Terrorism.
Radical Terrorism can be sponsored by a single person, a small group, or an organized band or cell group bent on destruction for any number of different reasons.
Chomsky distinguishes this type of terrorism from a second type of terrorism. Let’s call it Elitist, State Sponsored Terrorism.
It is clear that the Professor considers State Sponsored Terrorism not only the worst and most serious but the root cause of all other types of terrorism.
For the most part he considers Radical Terrorism the response to State Sponsored Terrorism.
In other words, it is not governments reacting to the evil deeds of radical terrorists but radical terrorist responding to the evil deeds of governments.
He makes this case over and over and over in all of his books.
He makes a good case and can defend it with logic, and statistics.
The horrible event of 9-11 changed the governmental policies of the world.
He makes reference to “The Bush Doctrine.”
The Bush Doctrine is the governmental policy of preemptive attack. Preemptive attack is the policy whereby a government can strike militarily against another government on the assumption that this country and its government pose a possible threat to the national security of the attacking nation.
Chomsky says that Bush was not the originator of this policy. Reagan attacked Libya and Muammar Gaddafi on the same grounds.
He then points out the reciprocal moral principle based on the notion that if “Big Daddy” can do it, then “Baby Huey” can do it too. In other words, if the leader and moral standard bearer for the world (U.S.A.) says that it can attack a potential enemy on the grounds that it might present a future danger, then why can’t Iran attack Iraq or China attack Japan or North Korea attack the United States based on the same international moral standard established by the new Bush Doctrine.
It is very easy to see how the establishment of the Bush Doctrine has changed the world and made it a much more dangerous place.
This new policy of preemptive aggression and wars of choice established firmly since and in response to the attacks of 9-11 has also stimulated a worldwide nuclear arms race. Now every nation, even smaller nations, will want to have a few nuclear bombs as a deterrent to threats of preemptive strikes by larger nations.
The attack on 9-11 was bad enough but the U.S. response was worse.
Reading anything by Noam Chomsky is a new experience for most people. He is called an extremist and a radical but most of what he says is very logical and sensible. Everything he claims, he backs up with references, facts and figures. Every Chomsky book is a personal instruction in foreign affairs and history. He specializes in Elitist State Sponsored Terrorism of which war itself is a crucial part. The problem is that most of us have accepted the illogical arguments of our governments and therefore Professor Chomsky confuses our established, accepted prejudice.
This book is a small book. I finished it in two days. It is well worth reading.
The Hobo Philosopher, Richard Edward Noble, is a writer and the author of "Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One."
From my perspective, my hometown of Lawrence, MA was a genetic breeding ground for “the regular guy.”
I always considered myself a regular guy and felt all my friends to be regular guys.
Many, many years ago I was watching the Bill Cosby Show. As most of you probably remember, “The Bill Cosby” show was a situation comedy. Mr. Huckstable (Cosby) was a successful Doctor, a pediatrician, and his wife was a successful lawyer. This was a great show; one of the funniest shows ever and with a social message.
This show was clearly designed to influence and promote a positive black image in America, an upscale image. At the time “The Jeffersons” and their “movin’ on up and finally getting a piece of the pie” was the prevailing image. The Jefferson’s was a step or two above Amos and Andy and Cosby was, to most white Americans, a fantasy.
Today we see black lawyers and doctors everywhere. But back in those “good old days,” I would guess that most white Americans never saw a black lawyer or doctor in their entire life – never saw one in Lawrence.
Not only hadn’t they ever seen either, they probably believed that such a possibility was genetically impossible. Even as late as the 1950’s and 1960’s there were books being written about the genetic inequalities of Blacks. They were slightly more sophisticated than those written before the Civil War and the Reconstruction period but the message was the same, “they weren't created that way.”
But Cosby and his bright and attractive TV wife made it all very believable, except for a few guys who were still peeking out from under white, bed sheets and burning crosses out in the woods.
I loved the show and watched it every week. But of all the episodes there is only one that I remember to this day.
I have been mulling it over now in my mind for twenty or thirty years.
As a regular guy from a town of regular guys, it bothered the hell out of me.
The plot of the episode was about when his teenage boy decided that he was going to drop out of high school and not go to college. He explained to his dad that he just wanted to become a “regular guy.”
Cosby then proceeds to confront the young man with the perils of attempting to live a life in this modern day America as a “regular guy.”
He lays the whole thing out for junior in plain and simple economics. He proceeds to demonstrate that the young man could not even afford to live as he now lives in his parent’s home with the amenities provided there on the salary of a regular guy.
He could not have the tapes and the music; he couldn’t have the nice clothes; he couldn't live in a home of his own; he couldn't drive a late model car; he couldn't eat out in restaurants; he would never be able to have any of the things that he had already learned to enjoy and take for granted.
Even though I am one of those regular guys and have been a regular guy all my life, I supported the message that Mr. Huckstable was providing to his naive child.
I was not only a regular guy myself but I was the son of a regular guy who was also the son of another regular guy. We all lived in regular apartments in regular neighborhoods. We wore regular clothes (sometimes irregular clothes). We ate regular food and did regular things. I hung out with the regular children of other regular people. And for the rest of my life I worked at a regular job next to hundreds and thousands and millions of other regular working stiffs.
My own dad warned me about becoming a regular guy like himself. But that was different from Mr. Cosby, a non-regular guy, giving what appeared to be similar advice.
My father didn't want me to grow up to be a regular guy either. He wanted me to become somebody.
Somebody like the person he always wanted to become but didn't or couldn't.
Nevertheless I became a regular guy. I was never ashamed of it. I always wished that I could have done better but that’s how it goes. We all can’t become somebody.
My problem with that Cosby episode was that Mr. Huckstable did the job of putting down the regular guy a little too well. I felt that being a regular guy in Mr. Huckstable’s eyes was something not only disgraceful, foolish and silly but just plain stupid.
A regular guy was a laughable moron. He was more than stupid, he might even be considered disgraceful or shameful. It is the lot in life put aside for those who don’t care; who don’t try; who are lacking in intelligence and ambition. It is the American version of the old Indian “untouchable” class.
I felt like the regular guys were no longer the G I Joe’s or the Bill and Andys of the World War II era.
You remember, the guys who won the war.
They were no longer the tough rugged guys that Bill Maldon and Ernie Pyle wrote about and immortalized in their books and cartoon strips.
Can you imagine an army with no privates or enlisted men and only Pattons and MacArthurs? My god! The officers would be slapping each other in the face.
The regular guy to Mr. Huckstable seemed to me to be the new neutral colored Amos and Andy. We regular guys were all a sad and sorry joke.
We were no longer the Paul Bunyons who cleared the forests. We were no longer the Casey Joneses who drove the steam engines. We were no longer the John Henrys who were the steel drivin’ men who laid the railroad tracks across America. We were no longer those heroic but pitiable strong men that toted that barge and lifted that bail and got a little drunk, and yes, even landed in jail.
We weren't even the vagabond propagators like Johnny Appleseed and the Zippidy Dudahs who skipped and laughed our way through life with wise tales about common folks and common things.
And what about those romantic hoboes who rode the rails and fought for the rights of regular guys to earn a regular living? We weren't even Rosie the Riveter, the female version of a regular guy.
What about Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and Daniel Boone? Weren't they regular guys who just went off “wrastled” the “bars” and settled the West?
What happened to “the Waltons” and “I Remember Mama” with Papa and his industrial lunch pail? That wise old Papa, who spoke in broken English and was the hero of his regular children who lived in their little rented apartment.
But you know even in the new Global economic world 80% of the workers in our society are still regular non-college graduates doing regular jobs for regular wages. For every supervisor there are a hundred to be supervised. For every plant manager there are a thousand plant nobodies. For every oil company executive there are a million mom and pop gas station operators. For every gated community there are a thousand middle class neighborhoods and a hundred slum neighborhoods. Or maybe in today's world there are a hundred middle class neighborhoods and a thousand slum neighborhoods.
For most regular guys becoming a regular guy was not a preferred choice or even a matter of choice. It just happened. Not too many regular guys sat down with an advisor and chose regular guy out of a vocational handbook. For that matter nobody said that they would prefer to be born in a slum or to abusive parents or into poverty.
Despite all the Horatio Alger hype these days, the majority of regular people come from other regular people and will remain regular people all their lives.
Most poor and average regular guys work very hard all their lives just trying to maintain that status. There will never be a shortage of regular guys and regular people and even if you educate all the children of the world and make them all qualified to be physicists all that will do is upgrade the intellectual caliber of dishwashers, and truck drivers and garbage men.
As long as the world has a majority of regular jobs that must be done there will have to be a supply of regular guys to do them.
All the “wise men” and the “Best and Brightest” should be very thankful for all of us regular guys because if we were all as bright and wise as they are, most of those folks would all probably have to settle for being regular guys just like us.
Wouldn't that be a shame?
Howard Zinn has been around for a long, long time. But I was exposed to him just a few years back. I picked up a copy of his big seller "A People's History of the United States."
Despite rumors to the contrary every historian puts his own personal slant on his interpretations of historical events. Some add more personality than others. Howard Zinn puts his heart and soul into everything he writes. He makes very involved and intimate reading.
After reading his "A People's History," I wanted to know more about the man, Howard Zinn.
This Book, "The Howard Zinn Reader" was perfect.
Howard Zinn hails from the tenement slums and blue collar shipyards of Brooklyn as do many other famous radicals.
Howard, though serving as a bombardier during World War II, evolved into the quintessential war resister.
I am very surprised that more veterans do not turn into war resisters. I should think they all would. But that doesn't seem to be the case.
Howard, besides being an historian, is also a moral philosopher, I would say. Not everyone has a moral conscience but Howard has a big one. His guilt over what he did personally during World War II, as a bombardier, has been the curse of his life. He has given his all to compensate for those actions ever since.
The Zinn Reader approaches 700 pages and contains a variety of essays on most everything he has written throughout his career.
Howard denounces all wars past and future. He is what I would call a secular pacifist. In other words, he does not invoke religion or God in his analysis of why war should never, ever be engaged in.
He does not support the notion of a just war. All wars are atrocities. They are atrocities on the part of all the participating entities. In one essay, he uses World War II as his example and makes a case against both the allies and the axis.
The first 120 pages of the book outline his participation in the Civil Rights movement of the 50's and 60's. Reading it is an education. I thought that I was already overexposed to the Civil Rights Movement since I lived through it and have since read about it. But, after reading Howard Zinn's, close up and personal experiences in Alabama, Mississippi, Boston and elsewhere, I realize I have just scratched the surface. Unfortunately, it was even worse than I had been aware.
Howard brings the reader into the heart of it all. Into the kitchens and crowded floor spaces of the various participants. In this section the reader is exposed to the heroism of, not only the big names, but common folk not mentioned in other history books.
I thought I was beyond shock but the brutal actions of many of my white countrymen are frightening. I could only wish that I was reading about another country and not my own. On the other hand, all of this makes what is happening today, with president Obama and other domestic legislation much clearer. We may have come a long way but we have a long way to go. Unfortunately, we have many who are now attempting to turn the country around and drive us back into our past. This is sad but reading the essays of Professor Zinn in this area make it all too clear why we all should not want to return to that era. Our present, as bad as it may be, is a world ahead of what we once were.
A few of the essays get a little academic and intellectual but the greater portion are very simple and deal directly with the events as they happened. His explanations always deal with the moral rationale. My interest in philosophy is not wasted with Mr. Zinn.
He is an extremely well read man. I have even highlighted books in his suggested reading at the end of the book.
All through the book he quotes from and cites other books and authors.
When one considers all the books this man has read, he must also wonder how this man did anything but read. But his life has been jam packed with personal adventures and experiences all dealing with social justice and things and events of moral consequence. He is a true activist, agitator and radical. The world has too few of his kind and type.
Howard has very little faith in governments. All governments will eventually be corrupted by the rich and powerful no matter how well intentioned they may begin, he proclaims. But he does not look upon this as reason to despair. He puts his faith, as many radicals do, in the dominant spirit of the good in all of us - or, at least, the good among all of us.
He has seen and met many of those good, brave hearts and he introduces us to them all.
This is his goal. To show to us, those like us who have risen to the occasion and have been frightened but stood their ground.
If you are like me and you want to know who this Zinn guy was, what he stood for, the kind of man he was, what he believed and how he acted on those beliefs, this is your book.
The Hobo Philosopher - Richard Edward Noble - is a writer and author of "America On Strike." A survey of Labor strikes from the colonial period to the Traffic Controllers.
Books by Richard Edward Noble. Click on covers below for more info and purchasing instructions.
Classic Tragic Novel
Bloggin' Be My Life
"Bloggin' be My Life" contains a selection of some of my more popular Hobo Philosopher blogs.If you enjoy reading this blog, you should love Bloggin' Be My Life.
It's All About Love
It's All About Love is ... all about love. This is the 2nd book of poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford off Arlington. Every poem in this book comes with a prose introduction. If you enjoy poetry this is a simple choice. Have fun!
A Little Something
Traditional poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford Off Arlington with some poignant prose introductions. If you enjoy any type of poetry, you will enjoy this volume. Thanks.
Bits and Pieces
The Hobo Philosopher - My first book using the Hobo Philosopher brand. Featuring a variety of writing styles and ideas. Look for the Thoughtful Hobo on the cover.
A Baker's Dozen
The Hobo Philosopher: My Second book of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Short Stories. All varieties of short stories - lots of laughs!
Cat Point - and Them Dang Oyster People
Cat Point is the sequel to "The Eastpointer." Both books contain humorous tales about life in a fishing community on the Florida Panhandle. Lots of laughs.
Won 1st Place award for humor in 2007 from Florida Press Association. More wit, wisdom and humor from the yet to be world famous author, R.E. Noble
A Summer with Charlie - Lawrence
Fiction - Salisbury Beach, Lawrence, Mass. Featured in Merrimack Valley Magazine July /Aug. issue 2010
Travel, Humor, Commentary on migrant farm work and illegal immigration still very pertinent today.
"Just Hangin' Out Ma"
Thank God for the Street Corners of Lawrence, Mass. Anecdotes and humorous escapades about growing up in an industrial mill town in the 40s,50s and 60s.
This is the sequel to "Just Hangin' Out, Ma"
That Old Gang of Mine
This is # 3 in my Lawrence Hometown series. The series is about growing up in the 40's, 50's and 60's in an industrial mill town. Sorta like a Huck Finn goes to vist Uncle Ralph, the bus driver, who lives in a big, rundown city. Lots of fun.
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Classic tragic novel written from child's perspective. Deals with abuse, poverty, unemployment. Pulls no punches.
Noble Notes on Famous Folks
Humorous, satirical notes on everybody from Constantine to Bill Clinton. Inspiration: Willy Cuppy.
America on Strike
History - documented survey of labor strikes in America
Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One
Who are the American Nazis - the Liberals or the Conservatives?
MY NAME IS RICHARD EDWARD NOBLE. I AM A FREELANCE WRITER AND I HAVE PUBLISHED 12 BOOKS:"THE EASTPOINTER" - SELECTIONS FROM AWARD WINNING NEWSPAPER COLUMN - "A LITTLE SOMETHING" - POETRY WITH PROSE -"HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER" - A NOVEL ABOUT GROWING UP IN THE NEW ENGLAND MILL TOWN OF LAWRENCE, MASS, "HOBO-ING AMERICA" - A WORKINGMAN'S TOUR OF THE U.S.A. - "A SUMMER WITH CHARLIE" - THE STORY OF A YOUNG SAILOR'S LAST DAYS AT SALISBURY BEACH, "NOBLE NOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS" - HUMOROUS ANECDOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS IN HISTORY,
"AMERICA ON STRIKE" HISTORY BOOK - A SURVEY OF LABOR STRIKES IN AMERICA; "A BAKER'S DOZEN" A BOOK OF HUMOROUS SHORT STORIES; "JUST HANGIN' OUT, MA" - GROWING UP IN THE 40'S, 50'S AND 60'S IN LAWRENCE, MY HOMETOWN, "TENEMENT DWELLERS" - SEQUEL TO JUST HANGIN OUT, MA; MEIN KAMPF - ANALYSIS OF BOOK ONE - HISTORY. CAT POINT - AND THEM DANG OYSTER PEOPLE - SEQUEL TO THE EASTPOINTER
All 12 BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND OTHER INTERNET SOURCES OR FROM NOBLE PUBLISHING. ALL 12 OF MY BOOKS ARE NOW ON KINDLE AT BARGAIN PRICES TOO. IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DISCOUNTS AND SPECIAL OFFERS E-MAIL ME. MY EMAIL IS ON MY PROFILE PAGE.