Sunday, October 10, 2004

The Age of Corruption. We're in it, eh?

Church, state, business, even, for God's sake, sports! Always been here, of course, but I'd say we're in a particularly acute effloressence of it right now.

Ah, but maybe we might be able to get back to a certain kind of golden age of yore - even if it just means not being terrified all the time, and that corruption isn't quite SO BAD. Sorry - I don't think it works that way. Where we're going no one's been before. I'm talking about system breakdown. Even in the mundane sense of running out of money, which our social systems are certainly going to do, similarly to Argentina, most likely, even in that sense things will breakdown, and what are we going to do about it? What we will do if the breakdown is even worse?

Of course, this might be all wrong and nothing bad will happen. Bet on it? Hmm.

But what if it's right - might as well think about it, and what to do. Prudent, not alarmist.

I heard old Bucky Fuller give a talk once, he said that if the ERA didn't pass it would be a signal to Galactic Intelligence that Earth didn't deserve to survive, and probably wouldn't. Further on in a litany of corruption (and how innocent we were back in the eighties...) someone asked plaintively, "What can we do?"

Fuller's answer was short: "Live with integrity. That is all that 's necessary and sufficient."

There's also that Golden Rule thing. And that story about a king asking a crowd of religious types if they could explain their religion while standing on one foot. That smart ass Rabbi did so, and said, "Don't treat others the way you don't want to be treated. All else is commentary." I'm sure he said it with more grace than I just did, but he did it succinctly and fast, cause his balance wasn't that great. But in a way, if you live like that, it might almost guarantee integrity.

That might help, but it's important to find a reason to do something even if it's not going to help.

I heard on the radio a couple of days ago an author talking about his book. In it he recounts the story of a judge at the Hague who goes to the Vermeer museum after a hard day dealing with war crimes and psychopaths. The author then mentions that when Vermeer was painting, Europe was in the last part of the Thirty-Years War, a time when much of Europe was reduced to cannabilism, and was totally ravaged. I think the weather was bad, too. But even in a time like that, Vermeer was able to see and reproduce things of such beauty. And it was important to do so. So I guess for starters we could say Don't Do Bad to Others, and Appreciate the Beauty that's all Around.

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