We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Seize life! Eat bread with gusto, Drink wine with a robust heart. Oh yes—God takes pleasure in your pleasure! Dress festively every morning. Don't skimp on colors and scarves. Relish life with the spouse you love Each and every day of your precarious life. Each day is God's gift. It's all you get in exchange For the hard work of staying alive. Make the most of each one! Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily!
"It was easy to read the message in Snowden's entrails. Man was matter. That was Snowden's secret. Drop him out a window and he'll fall. Set fire to him and he'll burn. Bury him and he'll rot like other kinds of garbage. The spirit gone, man is garbage. Ripeness was all."
~Joseph Heller, Catch 22
"This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of men, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead."
The race is not always to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
Nor satisfaction to the wise,
Nor riches to the smart,
Nor grace to the learned.
Sooner or later bad luck hits us all.
The original says "at all times let your garments be white".
A riff too far - especially for those who have read the original.
The key phrase in this difficult book is "under the sun".
There is constant tension between an earthbound view - in which "coincidence and bad luck hits us all" - and a transcendent view.
Passages like the one quoted are ambiguous - in context, it's hard to tell if it's a sincere statement of life's simple, lyrical solace, or a more cynical/ironic take on attempts to find satisfaction by living "under the sun" - living small.
Here's the context:
... for a live dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know they will die - but the dead know nothing, they have no more merit, for the memory of them is forgotten. Their love, their hate, their envy are already lost, and they no longer have any portion in what is done under the sun.
Go and your bread with joy, and drink your wine with good heart - for G-d has already accepted your actions. At all times let your garments be white, let not oil be lacking from your head. See, live with your wife, whom you love, all the days of vanity that are given to you under the sun, all the days of vanity... for that is your portion of life, and of your labors under the sun. All that is in your power to do, do it, for there is no action or calculation or knowledge or wisdom in the grave to which you go.
I turned and saw, under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor grace to the knowledgeable - for time and coincidence happen to all.
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