noshing of Sacred Cows: a tirade, of sorts

I cannot for the life of me, even when i begin to have some thoughts of, and i cannot call it acceptance, but maybe respect or leniency (i guess) for the religious folks out there—those blind, well, maybe myopic is more respectful and giving of a word—devotees.

It’s difficult to be able to latch onto Christian, especially Catholic, folks and their clan’s beliefs. The cauldron’d and served gospel poison has fully decimated and truly usurped any power, has rendered any supposed good moot. The preached and proselytized edict soup is nothing more than snake oil. These sacred cows must be slaughtered.

Why, i would like to know, are the Dieties, the Divine monoliths of said people, only responsible for the good that occurs in someone’s life?—within someone’s family?—or, within their job, say a promotion?

Why, when their is a rape of their six-year-old sibling, or when a twenty-something year-old relative is stricken with cancer, or when someone stubs their toe, is their Higher Power not attributed with the affliction or mishap?

Or, more importantly still, such events or milestones are always spun off in such an incredulously tragic, downright humorous way that it is appalling: they’re in a better place or it happened for a reason—one that we, all human beings, believers and non-devotees, alike, are too unknowledgeable to understand. Or, that’s just the replied rationale.

Oh, yes, an eight-year-old boy who survives the desecration and pillaging of his innocence, is then forced to live tragically tarnished for decades hence—this is fair, i suppose. Switch him with an innocent civilian woman in a remote “warzone” maimed by a mine, or let’s barter with a female college student who is drugged and gang raped: the former is a casualty of war, one crafted by mankind; the latter, she is to blame for it, her attire or persona—not God—and, we are told they both should be thankful to be alive!? It is mind boggling, headshaking-inducing.

The only alternative to being thankful for such a gift is—you guessed it—to be ungrateful, to throw away such a gift, to commit suicide. But then, herein lies the rub: they will be condemned for eternity if they do such. Ah, such benevolence, such mercy practiced; such a warm, welcoming thing some of these religions are.

I cannot with that—cannot, will not, accept that these Dieties—which are all-knowing, all-powerful, and are touted as the most-benevolent of entities—could subject their subjects, their worshipers, their lambs (their creators, if i will allow my chutzpah to brandish its chest), to such atrocious acts of physical and mental means; to leave indelible, noxious marks on their bodies, in their minds, and on their souls.

It’s such a disheartening stream of events and consequences—one that, as a rational and history-minded person, i cannot fathom, will not accept as gospel (ha).

Through our long-standing human history, many thoughts have been had, untold stories of creation myths have been passed along amongst billions of humans throughout the various minor and major civilizations. The leading, primary religious bodies and sects that have ruled the past millennium or so, have been able to misconstrue, to skew, to inculcate, and then further ingratiate themselves into the less secular realms of the world as time progressed—with their ruling powers having deteriorated, they’ve utilized more wiles, learned to be more socially dextrous and maneuverable, becoming solely a more silent kingmaker rather than the duality of figurehead king and its maker.

A people that have first-hand experience with being hoodwinked as such are those of the African Diaspora, the peoples of infinite shades and tones, who have pollenated the world’s continents, islands and various lands, through various slave trades, missionary subterfuge, (in)voluntary emigration and immigration. To me, the situation has the stench of Stockholm syndrome: through the mental rape and hostage via religion, the original hostages passed on their assumed love for their captures to their children; the progeny continue to defend and herald the gospel, forgetting—really, glossing over—the soiled history of their predecessors, never truly open to accepting what really occurred. There’s been an adoption of stranger’s values, and a throwing-in-the-dumpster or leaving-on-the-church-steps of their own, a rejection. It’s unfortunate.

Everything is relative, of course, and this includes the truth, as well as history. The powerful’s side is always different from the subordinate’s; and this is a shining example.

entrepreneurs … must read this book: Rework

Rework by Jason Fried (37signals) & David Heinemeier Hansson

Counter-intuitivism has never been this appealing or enlightening.

Urging someone to listen to uncommon advice and tips would normally be considered crazy talk, but in Rework, the approach and delivered goods are well worth the look on the naysayers’ faces when you’re successful from heeding said advice.

Jason Fried, co-founder of 37Signals, the company that brought us online productivity and project management software, Basecamp and other business tools, along with David Heinmeier Hansson, have crafted a book filled with unorthodox advice with the sole purpose of increasing productivity, while derailing inactivity and wasted energy.

From burgeoning entrepreneurs and weathered corporate managers alike, to non-profit organizers and indy record label execs, this book works for all types of folks as a new approach to obtaining the same goal: success, and its myriad of definitions each individual and collective holds true.

The worst interruptions of all are meetings. Here’s why:

  • They’re usually about words and abstract concepts, not real things.
  • They usually convey an abysmally small amount
    of information per minute.
  • They drift off- subject easier than a Chicago cab
    in a snowstorm.
  • They require thorough preparation that most
    people don’t have time for.
  • They frequently have agendas so vague that nobody is really sure of the goal.
  • They often include at least one moron who inevitably gets his turn to waste everyone’s time with nonsense.
  • Meetings procreate. One meeting leads to another meeting leads to another . . .

Rework is about re-thought: seeing things in a new light. It may work totally for one person. Or somewhat for another. Regardless of which occurs for you, discussion will be had.

A quick, smooth read, mainly because of the illustrations strewn throughout and the straight-to-the point language, the ideas planted at lunchtime or before bed, will sprout buds before your next meeting.

And, if the authors’ goal is met, it will be your last.

Besides the above snippet, please check out the 19-page PDF of excerpts and illustrations below (it’s embedded into the page).

You can also right-click then save as, if it loads slowly.

Thanks for reading. I hope this book is beneficial to you as it was for me.

I’m out.

Peace.

[gview file=”http://mental-ephemera.com/Rework-by-Jason-Fried-and-David-Heinemeier-Hansson-Excerpts.pdf”]

darling Nikki (Giovanni): your transparency should be lauded

When encountering an artist’s work for the first time, especially one who’s lauded doubly for her writing ability and Civil Rights activism (and the coupling of both), it’s dismaying when the work is underwhelming.

With Sacred Cows…And Other Edibles, that surely is not the case. In fact, i don’t believe the work of Nikki Giovanni, or at least this collection of poetic and autobiographical prose, is given its deserved attention today.

Even in an age where privacy is becoming a rarity, replaced by involuntary openness, Giovanni’s candor is refreshing; she was frank and self-echoing decades before it was fashionable.

I want to commend and bring attention to her transparency. Being forthright and open to an audience, whether in business, government or personal relationships, is an appealing combination these days. It seems everyone desires candor, and that want serves as the perfect proverbial carrot.

Giovanni’s openness, however, exists not as motivation, but as sustenance and sweetness unknown. Once experienced, the reader will want to indulge, to continue as witness to unbridled truth of self—a rare innocence that exists not with malice, but with intentions of purity.

There is an ease in the way she illustrates life’s experiences: from the tiresome rearing of a teenager to the concession of battling a cancerous cigarette habit, her writing is direct yet eloquent. Switching styles from poetic historical and political polemic and didactic to fractional introspective prose, the transparency and eloquence of self-worth is tangible throughout each. The gamut is run; the gauntlet thrown down. Readers and writers alike will find something that speaks to them.

I encourage women and men, Blacks, Whites and all assorted ethnicities and (non-) religious folks to read Giovanni. There’s a collective human history spoken of and reviewed by a Black women’s mind and voice; one from which all can (and I believe, will) benefit.

(This post is also on my Lunch.com profile.)