Friday, August 18, 2017

 

Overbearing Ignorance

By Donovan Baldwin

In 72 years, I have made my way through college, and read my way through many books; technical, informational, philosophical, and fictional.

I have acquired, and forgotten, various job skills.

I have learned all kinds of terms for "stuff" from abstruse and confusing, to absolutely senseless.

One thing in common about ALL these terms is: If you say them to somebody who doesn't know what THAT term means, you might as well be speaking a foreign language.

THAT also means that, if you use one of those terms to someone who does not understand it, someone who may be ten times smarter than you OR ME, and they don't react properly...they are not necessarily dumb. If we understand their confusion and take the time to explain what we actually meant, THEN, neither are we.

“If you wish to converse with me,” said Voltaire, “define your terms.”

Two people cannot begin to understand each other, or even honestly agree or disagree, if they do NOT understand what the other is saying. Yet, so many times I have seen someone training, or arguing with, someone, gloat over their supposed superiority because they used terms the other did not understand, or was not familiar with.

Someone who intentionally uses unknown, specialized, or esoteric terms to make another seem ignorant, is an ideal example of ignorance.

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

 

Something for Nothing? Not Likely.

By Donovan Baldwin

Sometimes, people complain that they don't get nothing.

Double negative. I know. Writer's privilege.

Anyway, many people expect stuff to just happen...fall in their laps. They don't understand how "getting stuff" works.

To GET something, you usually have to DO something.

Even winning the lottery usually requires getting up out of the chair, going to the store, and buying a ticket...or talking someone else into doing it for you.

Step one: DO something.

Step two: do something that CAN GET you something.

I admit that includes robbing banks, or, selling drugs, but, even there, there's effort involved.

Step three; if you don't know how to do something that will get you something, learn how to do something that will.

Go to college?

Maybe.

Ever wonder how much a plumber or a good diesel mechanic gets paid? Better than some "college" jobs, that's for sure, and, there's nothing wrong with working with your hands, and taking money for it from people who can't or won't.

You can put a kid through college on a plumber's pay or drive a fine car or own a fine house.

Any idea how many fast food franchise owners started out flipping burgers?

Me neither, but, I've met a few, and, almost every fast food manager did...and, yes, I was a Taco Bell, and a Dairy Queen manager for a while.

Once you've completed step three, you're ready for step two.

That's how many millionaires became millionaires. Next one could be you.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

 

Oh! The Horror Of It All

By Donovan Baldwin

My father lost an eye when he was a boy. I grew up not thinking that there was anything was odd about seeing his empty eye socket.

He had a fake eye, a glass eye, of course, but, had to clean his eye socket with a special towel.

Ever see somebody clean their eye socket?

Once, when my aunt, my mother's sister, known for her "fainting spells" visited, my Dad dropped his eye, and yelled, as you do when you drop something.

My aunt ran into the room.

He turned to look at her, and, she fainted.

He also had a huge gash down his leg, a souvenir from another childhood injury. It opened up fro time to time. When this happened, it suppurated (leaked pus) and, occasionally, the bone was visible.

Oddly, I was not allowed to see horror movies, probably for fear they would mess up my head somehow.

The first "horror" movie I ever saw was "The Tingler" (Vincent Price 1959). I was a theater usher, at the Saenger Theater in Pensacola, and saw it dozens of times until I was sick of it. (I saw Liberty Valence get shot a lot too.)


I also saw the trick they used to scare theater audiences watching "The Tingler"...which you cannot duplicate watching it on TV...unless you sneak up behind them and pop a paper bag at an intense moment.

By the end of that experience, I had concluded that "horror" movies were: Silly. Stupid. Ridiculous. Funny. Dumb.

Maybe I missed something as a result, but, I've never really missed missing it.

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Monday, August 07, 2017

 

I Like A Simple Life

By Donovan Baldwin

I like a simple life.

I don't have a lot of rules in my life, at least not a lot of ones I actually try to live by. I do try to follow laws and customs of wherever I find myself.

Most of the rules I DO try to live by are pretty simple.

Don't hurt people.
Help people.
Keep your word.
Honor your promises.
Respect the beliefs of others.

Simple stuff, with, yes, room for modification if reality requires. I respect the beliefs of others, but, I kind of hope they respect mine.

One of these is, "My house, my rules."

I won't get angry if you don't like the way I do things in my house, but, I will if you give me a hard time about it...in my house. You're free to say whatever you want...in your house. We're both free to either try to work it out, or go home.

If I offend, and you're not sure if I intended to, then that's proof I did NOT intend to offend, mislead, or hurt. If I do intend to offend, you will know because, it will probably be private, unless you make it public, and I will make sure you understand.

"Mislead" or "hurt"?

Yeah, those are probably accidental.

I try to be honest about who and what I am, and, if something pops up that bothers you, it just wasn't covered yet. I would have told you if you had asked.

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Sunday, August 06, 2017

 

I Can Be Negative

By Donovan Baldwin

I can be pretty negative.

In fact, I'm positive I can be negative.

Two good things. I also am positive that I can be pretty positive, and, I don't think that being negative is always...well...a negative.

Positively!

We sometimes negative people are the ones who ask, "Why?", and "How?" and "Why not?"

Oh, sure constant negativity can be a downer, man, but, I just cannot feel that constant positivity can be constantly a positively uplifting thing either.

At least I'm pretty positive about that. Look at old Yin and Yang, the circle of life, my checking account. Things grow and prosper, but, sometimes because they are eating something else. If somebody wins, it's possible that somebody else lost...or, at least...didn't win...which is kind of like losing...if you're going to be negative about it.

Anyway, I guess what I'm positively trying to get at, is that we can't all have good stuff all the time....at least not in this segment of the space-time continuum we currently occupy.

That's a negative. Here's a positive: Maybe someday, if we keep working at it, we will get closer to that world, even if it's not in our lifetime.

Now, I'm not sure if that ended on a positive or negative note.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

 

Talking Big, Talking Down

By Donovan Baldwin

During my 72 years on this Earth, I have studied my way through college courses, and read my way through many books; technical, informational, philosophical, and fictional.

I have acquired, and forgotten, various, and sometimes esoteric, job skills.

I have learned all kinds of common and technical terms for "stuff" from abstruse and confusing, to absolutely senseless.

One thing in common about ALL these terms is: If you say any of these terms to somebody who doesn't know what THAT term means, you might as well be speaking a foreign language. THAT also means that, if you use one of those terms to someone who does not understand it, someone who may be ten times smarter than you OR ME, and they don't react properly...they are not dumb.

If we understand their confusion and take the time to explain what was actually meant, THEN, neither are we.

“If you wish to converse with me,” said Voltaire, “define your terms.”

Two people cannot understand each other, or even honestly agree or disagree, if they do NOT understand what the other is saying. Yet, so many times I have seen someone training, or arguing with, someone, gloat over their supposed superiority because they used terms the other did not understand, or was not familiar with.

Someone who intentionally uses unknown or esoteric terms to make another seem ignorant, is an ideal example of ignorance.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

 

To Change Our Lives

By Donovan Baldwin

We are often told, that to change our lives, we need to change something in it.

Well, I suppose I can agree with that in principle.

However, it may not be necessary to change yourself.

Question: What if you are everything you need to be, and someone or something shows up that changes the dynamic of your life?

We tend to suppose that, if things are not going "right" then we are "wrong" somehow. It might not be so. Maybe you just need the right person, or thing, or thought, or whatever, in your life.

There could be a huge turnaround without you having to "change" a thing about yourself, right?

I guess what I'm trying to say, is, if things are "wrong" in your life, maybe it's not your fault. Maybe "life" is wrong.

Maybe, somewhere, there's a something, or a someone, which will make your life "right".

Don't blame yourself. It might not be you.

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