Collateral Damage

I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.
— Jack Kerouac
Art is the proper task of life.
— Friedrich Nietzsche

The world, for a brief moment, bent its light and painted a motionless landscape of indecisive contrast. For a tantalizing second, I felt a definite maybe. That is the best it could do for me or I just lack the courage to judge.

When the artist awakes from the dream, that sleepless tremor in the night where sweat fills in the edges of fear, what do they feel? When they break bread in the silence of a misty morning, what do they see? It is that moment which one yearns for. That moment on the edge of ecstasy where only madmen and birds of prey can breathe for the air is thin and cold. Yes, art is the proper task in life if one can still find an opening.

Trumpy Nightmares

Life begins on the other side of despair.
— Jean-Paul Sartre

As I write this account of the hike, the world is about to move into the uncertainty of a Trump presidency.  To be honest, I am happy that Trump won.  America needs a wake up call if we hope to survive this century.  America needs to feel a fever so powerful that it thrashes about in a sweaty nightmare, which frightens us all to our core.  We cannot live upon childish dreams of flowers and rainbows.  We need to watch our horizons bleed from cuts induced by the repetitive lashes of a tyrannical narcissistic beast.  We need to have clouded dreams.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to philosophy.
— Denis Diderot

And what if all the steps are skeptical? What if the very definition of humanity is encased in cynicism? My mentor is Nietzsche, and he taught me to doubt everything, even philosophy. And, now, how can I believe in anything when a clown such as Trump is elevated to president of the USA? I continually ask myself: why? Why that’s why. The president of the USA is comparable to the habit of shitting every day. It is a nasty smelly affair that is, for reasons escaping me, important in life, but certainly not something you should define your life by. The only answer to why is to be even more skeptical.


Yes, the road is narrow and walled in by nasty bushes, but it has always been so. Tear the fuckers down so we can have room enough to build a greater road. Even if it is in our imagination, it is better than having one’s life defined by the foul need to shit out the remains of simple-minded clowns like The Donald and his minions. Just keep the mantra alive: Why Donald Trump? Don’t bother with why. Just tell him to go fuck himself. Really, it is the only person he loves anyway.

The Fear Of Freedom

Truth is on the side of the oppressed.
— Malcolm X

The problem is that the oppressed don't have the time or the money to promote the truth.  That is on the side of demagogues who are backed by the corporate elite.  The best that can be done is to stay out of the game.  Book out of madhouse central and take a long walk and don't come back.

If you’re not ready to die for it, put the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary.
— Malcolm X

This is why humanity is no longer free.

Who in their right mind would wake up at 6 - before the sunrise - in order to go to a job that they don't like just so that they can make enough money to put their child through the same madness? The overwhelming majority of humanity does exactly this because they are afraid of dying. I would have to count myself among them.

That is why we are no longer free.

The Elusive Child

All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.
— Albert Einstein

I love Albert.  It isn't due to his great ideas, though they are truly great.  No, it is because, at his core, he remained a child throughout his life.  Picasso felt you needed to keep the child alive in order to become an artist.  I believe that this is true for really great scientists.  They must keep that child inside them that is incessantly wondering why for them to have great vision.  Here is to those who still have the child within them.  Feed the monster for it is truly who you are.

Your illusions are a part of you like your bones and flesh and memory.
— William Faulkner

And how are we to separate our illusions from our bones, flesh and memory? Are illusions just reality emanating from the ephemeral world of matter and energy, or is reality an illusion? The deeper I look into the black hole of science, the weirder the world gets. Illusions move closer to the world of reality, and reality shuffles over to the border of illusion. Sometimes, it is just better to stare into the fire and have another drink after a good, long walk on the beach.

Misanthropes Dream Too

To hell with reality! I want to die in music, not in reason or in prose.
— Louis-Ferdinand Celine




a person who dislikes humankind and avoids human society.


I have spent the majority of my life as a misanthrope.  I am not sure how I got there, but reading people such as Celine and Nietzsche probably had something to do with it.  And, I am neither proud nor apologetic of this fact.  It is who I am.  However, once someone finds out this is how you are, it changes the relationship.  It's like when someone finds out that you are a Christian or a Muslim, they hide all the lucifer dolls and pork sandwiches in the house when you come over.  Being a Christian, Muslim or misanthrope doesn't define you.  It is merely a part of you unless you make a point of having it define your life.  I don't.  Actually, I like people.  Only, I prefer to meet them one on one and usually in quiet secluded places.  Then, you will find I am actually quite a happy sort.

We live at the edge of the miraculous.
— Henry Miller

Yet, I can't help feeling that we are walking around the edge and not moving toward its centre. Perhaps, we are not meant to do this. Perhaps, we are destined, like Tantalus, to forever see but not touch what could be. Perhaps, it is the long march which paints the final touches of a utopia.

Whatever it might be, take time to say hello to your friends and family and enjoy the magnificent views that the edge of miraculous offers us. It won't last forever.

Bread And Circuses

Give them bread and circuses and they will never revolt
— Juvenal

In Roman times, there wasn't much else to give them.  In today's world, the list is exhaustive and growing exponentially.  So, there is little fear in aristocratic circles regarding the unrest of the poor if, in fact, they even notice.  There was a time in my life when this aspect of society drove me to drink.  Now, I only admire it from afar and applaud the engineers of this wonderful little locomotive of perpetual social malaise.

Morality covers our conduct, not what goes on inside our heads.
— J. G. Ballard

If it is morality that covers our conduct, then it would be architecture that masks a city's conduct. Every city, from every country, is scrambling to build the highest tower, the most modern design or the most beautiful cultural artifact all in the hope that it will obfuscate the mass from the dirty truth.

 And if this doesn't work, then professional sports, high speed internet and high tech shopping areas will help mask the cancer spreading throughout the lands. The concept of giving the people "bread and circuses" to keep them occupied is quite an old practice for a reason: it works like a charm.

Wayward Paths

Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals.
— Oscar Wilde

Civilization is a strange pickle.  It is built upon lies that create an illusion of truth.  It provides security and quite often acts as a prison.  It is something that we love and love to hate.  It is our mirror until we see something we don't like and then we break it only to forge a new one that correctly answers the question: who is the fairest of them all?

If I were to disagree with Oscar Wilde regarding his quote, I would just flip it on its head:  "Individuals exist only as a mental concept;  in the real world there are only civilizations."


Let us be moral. Let us contemplate existence.
— Charles Dickens

This quote, from Dickens' book "Martin Chuzzlewit", is dangerous because it is taken out of context. I have not read the book, so I can't hazard to guess, within the context, what its full meaning is. Of course, there is no assurance that Dickens himself could answer this. We, far too often, believe the author is writing non-fiction. A good writer lives inside the story and can, therefore, feel it and describe it, but not necessarily know it.

However, I like this quote because it presupposes, like many of the educated elite do, that moral superiority is what leads to a greater understanding of existence. My question would be: Why do we need to be moral in order to comprehend existence? Perhaps, this is what blocks us from truly understanding our world for it is far from moral.


One And The Same

If you follow opposites to their extremes, you will find that they are the same thing
— Rupert Mckenna - Time Is Space

For some reason, everything in our lives is described in opposites.  Night and day, black and white, male and female, right and wrong...even our political parties represent the opposites of left and right.  I can't help but think that we frame the world this way, not because that is reality , but that is how we see reality.  I know it isn't that simple, but I still can't keep thinking that our incessant analyzation is fruitful for economic production but is killing the patient, our dear mother Earth.


There is nothing so stable as change.
— Bob Dylan

In fact, it is probably the only thing that is stable. Nothing remains the same except our persistent denial. This will never change and it is the thing that will ensure a great that we may not be quite so happy with.

As a remedy to life in society I would suggest the big city. Nowadays, it is the only desert within our means.
— Albert Camus

I have always found that cities have an eerie quality about them, especially late at night into the early morning. Cities, even during peak hours, have the peculiar ability to seem devoid of intelligent life. When the automatons are in their cement cubicles shut down and waiting for production time, the city is like a dreamy mirage. Here, at Shenzhen's Civic Center, this was only magnified as the area was still under construction and had no inhabitants. This is natural in China. Within a year or two, it will be filled with worker units and have the faint sense of being an important place to be.

Remember To Forget

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
— Confucius

These are photos from the third day of hiking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.  Eventually, they will be part of a photo travel poetry story - whatever the hell that is.  I don't know what value they serve to others, but to me, they help me plumb the depths of my soul.  My soul is fairly shallow, so the piece is quite short.

Shut your eyes and see.
— James Joyce

Written on the walls of our imagination are the instructions we forgot, a map outlining infinity. I must remember to forget.

Art In Life

I thought art was dead rabbits hanging by their feet on a wall.
— Irving Stone

It doesn't really matter except that it does.  Typical Haiku philosophy, but it is all I have. Besides, I have learned that it really doesn't matter how well you style an argument because the listener has already made up their mind before reading or listening.  And, because of a thing called schemas and motivated reasoning, what they hear will only resonate with what they already have decided is the right answer.  Everything else will find its way into the overpopulated ether of misunderstood nonsense.

I have always thought that works of art should hold a more intimate relationship with us. By this I mean, we shouldn't revere it so much and experience it more. It should be a part of everyday life. It should be integrated into life. It should be life.

Dead rabbits hanging up on the wall isn't so strange. I have seen it. Mind you, this was in the northern part of Canada, and the person who owned the house was a trapper. It wasn't art so much as it was life. But haven't I heard that before. Life imitates art and art imitates life. The lines should be more blurred. In fact, they should be one and the same.