Category Archives: History

Happy St. Valentine’s Day

love is hard to put into words, but I do my best

~

Doubt thou the stars are fire,

Doubt thou that the sun doth move,

Doubt truth to be a liar.

But never doubt I love thee.

 

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

she was the bloom of a rose

she destroyed my soul

three things cannot long be hidden; the sun, the moon, and the truth  ~  Buddha

~

under this bohdi tree

things are bad being me

as dire as could possibly be

look around and what do I see

that at least I knew and loved thee

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I see the moon

smiling down on me

The Hero’s Journey

we are already found; already truly, entirely, messily, marvelously who we were born to be  ~  Anne Lamont

Real bravery is not an absence of fear; real bravery is pressing on to do the right thing even though you may be very afraid.  Real heroism is putting others first, even at your own peril.  Real gallantry is showing courageous behaviour, and especially politely protecting and cherishing all women ~ no matter what.

Our modern word Hero derives from the classical Greek and Latin word Hērōs meaning “protector” or “defender” or “to safeguard”.  A classical Hero is a warrior who lives and dies in the pursuit of honour.  In ancient legend, How Horatius Held the Bridge as in the poem by Thomas Babington, and the 300 at the pass of Thermopylae.  In modern times the first responders who went into the burning Twin Towers are rightly thought of as Heroes.

The journey of an individual towards selfless heroism follows a pattern, oft-repeated in myths, legends, history, by Hollywood.  A relatively ordinary man, (heroes are almost always men), with more than his fair share of flaws and character defects, is thrust unexpectedly into an extraordinary situation.  More often than not a group of innocent individuals are threatened with serious injury and death by some very evil people, or a malevolent force of nature.

This ordinary man is forced by circumstances, and probably against his will, to step up and save the potential victims from harm.  Usually there is a woman, a romantic interest, somewhere in the background.

It will turn out that this reluctant hero has an unexpected and previously unrevealed skill, ability, and strength of character which will allow him to face down the bad guys, and thus save the day.

Our hero will probably suffer greatly, and be badly injured during his journey into heroism ~ sometimes he may die.  Usually there won’t be a romantic reconciliation with the woman he loves ~ instead he will metaphorically ride off into the sunset, nursing uncomplaining his physical, emotional, and spiritual pain.

Hollywood has innumerable examples of this hero’s journey; High Noon, Die Hard, North by Northwest, Alien, (Ripley was a heroine), Star Wars, Shane, Valdez is Coming….  More importantly, this story is played out many times over in real life.  And yet, these stories almost never have a happy ending.

Some say that true happiness is to have no ambition, and yet to work like a horse as if you had every ambition.  And that it is to live apart from the cares of another, not need her, and yet still to love her.  All I know is that true happiness is being wherever you are, and whomsoever you truly are, and not let that scare you.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

it’s not the age honey,

it’s the mileage

 

the cruel sea

a goddess rose from the sea, to tear male hearts asunder

~

cruel love’s eyes

a bleak winter mirror

seen through a glass, darkly

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

there is naught so cruel as the sea

cast as a mirror of man’s soul

 

Bad Weather

there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather

Snow in New Mexico

As far as I’m concerned the weather here is bad today ~ gale force winds and driving rain, courtesy of an Atlantic storm sweeping in from the south-south-west.  Some fool decided that severe storms here should have names, and this one is called Erik ~ pathetic.  Hurricanes should have names, minor storms over the British Isles shouldn’t.  (Actually it’s Met Éireann, the Irish Meteorological Office which names storms here ~pathetic.)

For all of history, today, and into the foreseeable future mankind’s activities have been /are / will be dependent upon the weather.  Agriculture relies on the right kind of weather at the right time, travel can be disrupted due to high winds rain, and snow, and power consumption rises if the weather is too hot or too cold.

Right now 70 million Americans across the Midwest are bracing themselves for dangerous storms bringing high winds, cold, rain, hail, and the possibility of a tornado or two.  Now that’s really bad weather.  But then America does have extremes of climate.

Weather refers to what’s going on in the atmosphere at a particular place, over a short period of time; temperature, humidity, wind, rain / snow, clouds, visibility…..  Climate is the long-term weather pattern over a large area over many, many years ~ long enough to generate meaningful statistical data ~ say a hundred years or more.

Which is why all this brouhaha over catastrophic anthropogenic climate change is just so much crap.  If global temperatures show a significant warming over the next 30 years or so, then maybe there may be something to it ~ or more likely it’s still just changes in long-term weather patterns driven by the usual suspects.

Our weather is created by the sun, and sometimes catastrophically modified by rare events such as a very major volcanic eruption, (Krakatoa), or a comet / meteorite hitting the surface of the earth, (whatever killed off the dinosaurs).  Occasionally local weather can be catastrophically changed by the actions of man; the Great London Smogs for example, but those events are rare and temporary.

Some say that man is killing the planet.  And that we need to stop using cars, aeroplanes, electricity, living in houses, and definitely stop eating meat.  All I know is that every now and again Chicken Little runs around screaming that the sky is falling.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

snow on the high plains isn’t so very rare

 

the map is not the territory

to change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions

A friend said; ‘I’ve learned that what I see isn’t always what I’m seeing…..’

Reality is an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.  ~  Einstein

Everything we experience is filtered through our own internal maps, rules, preconceptions, prejudices, mores, ethics, and past experiences.  Which is why we can’t always believe what we see, hear, read, and are told by others.  An Australian may see a naked black man and just think that he’s a blackfella gone walkabout.  Whereas an elderly American woman from Virginia may see a naked black man and be so mortally afraid that she’ll call the police.  (I could go on but it get’s rude so use your own imagination…..  See what I mean?)

Nothing has meaning until we interpret the experience through the entirety of our subconscious mind and all the shit that’s in there.  Every single thing you experience is meaningless in its own right.  Only after we have applied all the filters we have learned since before we were even born does a sensory experience actually have any meaning whatsoever.

This is useful, because it means that we don’t have to relearn everything every single time it happens.  If you didn’t know what the dawn meant and how it happens you’d get pretty shocked at daybreak.  And this is one reason we all live in our comfort zones and tend to avoid genuinely new experiences.  The new and unknown can be surprising and scary.

But, this filtering of experiences through the entirety of our unconscious, subconscious, and conscious minds is also bad.  It means that we are closed-minded, never open to seeing the other chap’s point of view, and if we do have an unexpected and new experience we tend to dismiss it out of hand.  For example, if you believe in catastrophic anthropogenic climate change, then you will never be open to the argument that there isn’t any such thing ~ no matter the evidence.

What this means that we should always question the evidence of our own eyes; what you see isn’t always what you get.

And maybe 1% of the people on this planet would ever be willing to do that because it requires brutal self-honesty.  Before you can truly see the world, you first have to truly see yourself.

Some say they won’t get fooled again.  And that their point of view is the only point of view worth having.  All I know is that she seems to have invisible touches.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

the wheels in your mind are in perpetual motion

we are not all crazy

Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.  ~  Theodore Roosevelt

Due to a bout of insomnia I found myself listening to President Trump’ State of the Union address.  What an uninspiring speaker that man is.   Having said that, I am in no doubt that Mr. Trump will be re-elected for a second term in office.

One of his controversial standpoints concerns the building of a security wall / fence along the southern border of the USA with Mexico ~ to prevent illegal immigration, people smuggling, drugs and gun smuggling.  The Democrats / Liberal Left are especially incensed by this policy, as are the liberal left in the United Kingdom incredibly angry about our referendum’s requirement that immigration into the UK from Europe and elsewhere be immediately curbed.

There is no doubt that one of the main reasons the British people voted decisively in 2016 to leave the European Union was to drastically cut immigration of all kinds, illegal and otherwise.  This is not xenophobia, it’s common sense.  Other than very skilled individuals, where there is an immediate job waiting, immigrants offer nothing whatsoever to their new country.  In fact they are a net drain on scarce resources.  There is also compelling evidence that immigrants are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime.

Things were different before this modern technological era, and now that population pressure is a very serious issue.  In the past immigrants filled valuable roles in society, but today even ditch diggers have to be able to drive a back-hoe.

Theodore Roosevelt’s words are still applicable today.  When I travel to the Southern United States it’s noticeable how many people have Spanish as their first / only language.  In parts of England many Asian female immigrants cannot speak English.  It’s sad, but one cannot be a true member of society if you don’t routinely speak the language.  In this modern technological world, one cannot be a valuable member of society if you don’t speak English.

Some say that we should welcome ethnic diversity.  And that opposing unfettered immigration is racist.  All I know is that you’d have to be crazy to allow all and sundry to live in your home.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

immigrants do fill lots of roles in the hospitality industry.

 

Brexit Chaos

Brexit was the first brick knocked out of the establishment wall.

Brexit is the invented word used to describe the exit of Great Britain from the European Union, and right now that process has descended into black farce and chaos.

The simple facts are these;

  • On the 23rd of June 2016 the people of the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to leave the European Union.
  • Since then the political establishment here did bugger all for a couple of years about organising Great Britain’s exit from the European Union.
  • The plain fact is that hardly anyone in the politic establishment wants Great Britain to leave the European Union ~ our Prime Minister Mrs. Theresa May included.
  • Over the past few months Mrs. May negotiated a very unsatisfactory ‘exit deal’ with the European Union.
  • This deal was put to Parliament yesterday, and Mrs. May suffered a crushing, humiliating defeat by 230 votes ~ by far the biggest defeat by a sitting government ever.
  • Today, Wednesday January 16th, Mrs. May faces a vote of no confidence in parliament, she is likely to win that because hardly any Member of Parliament wants to face a general election right now.
  • Any previous, honourable Prime Minister would have resigned yesterday after such a crushing defeat in parliament ~ Mrs. May has no real honour.
  • As things stand, Great Britain will leave the European Union on March 29th 2019, whether there is any kind of a deal in place or not.
  • The majority of the English people couldn’t give a fuck damn if there’s a deal in place or not, we just want out of the European Union.

The political establishment is hated by the majority of the people in the United Kingdom, and if politicians fudge, obfuscate, kick the can down the road again and delay Great Britain’s exit from the European Union, there will be a blood-letting at the next general election that will make the English Civil War look like a garden party.

Some say you can tell when a politician is lying because their lips will be moving.  And that the idea of an honest politician is just an urban legend.  All I know is the political class here is hated and mistrusted as never before.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Theresa May is no Churchill

 

Life is an Illusion

There is no such thing as ultimate truth, truth is what we make it.

Why do you think the world is so complicated?  Why are our lives so difficult?  Why do we become addicted, angry, depressed, ill, stressed?  Why do we fall in and out of love?  Why do we love those who don’t love us?

If Einstein and other deep thinkers are to be believed, none of it is real anyway.

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.  ~  Albert Einstein.

Einstein’s words reveal a deeper truth.  Everything we feel, see, hear, touch, and taste is within our own minds.  All of our innermost emotions and all of our truths exist only within our own minds.  Even the deepest emotions such as fear and love are created within us.  We actually have to learn to see and hear.  We have to learn to fear fire, snakes, lions, and abandonment.  We learn to love and we learn to hate somewhere before we are seven years of age, and then we spend the rest of our lives perfecting those emotions, up to the point that they can destroy us.

The deepest feelings we build within ourselves can destroy us, just as Dr. Frankenstein was destroyed by the monster he created.

There is a truism heard within 12-step meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous;

Most folks are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.  ~  Abraham Lincoln, (allegedly).

Thus it follows that most folks can be just as addicted, angry, depressed, ill, stressed….. as they make up their minds to be.  For sure most people can be just as in love, or not in love as they really want to be.

But, and as Shakespeare said; ‘therein lies the rub’.  Reality is a habit, it’s what we accept, it’s what we’re used to, it’s what works for us right now.  So, if you’re an alcoholic it really is just a habit, albeit one that’s killing you, and something about that habit works for you right now.

Changing a deep-set habit is fucking damn difficult.  In fact your whole life is a set of deep-rooted habits, and changing all those really is fucking difficult.

But I’ve done it.  I changed my whole life and all of my ways of thinking around by believing these few words I said to myself; ‘I am a really cool guy, living a great life.’

If you are prepared to do whatever it takes you can change your whole life, including what is true or false.

Your reality is what you make it

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the value of money is illusory

cash has no real intrinsic value other than that which we give it

 

Christmas Eve

NORAD Tracks Santa’s Sleigh Tonight

~

check out the official NORAD Santa Tracker

click on the link above

Despite the US Government shut-down, NORAD will still be tracking Santa’s Sleigh tonight ~ beginning at 07:00 GMT.

~

~

brought to you by jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Santa has an around-the-world fighter escort

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