We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in.
Some of us just go one god further.
Today, I was reminded of a benefit of having been forced to serve in the Army: I learned how to shine shoes. This is especially useful, when living in a country without shoe shine boys (men). For some reason, such creatures do not exist in Germany. I have been told that no one would work at such a menial task and, if anyone did, the cost would be prohibitive. Each worker would have to factor into the cost mandatory health insurance, social security, and value-added tax.
A headline caught my attention, as the occasional headline is wont to do. Some (insert derisive adjective of choice) politician has stated that atheists should be considered to be terrorists. Besides being an absurd statement, it raises a number of questions.
I have read that, despite professions of faith, outward impressions, and going-through-the motions, as much as half the population of the United States--if forced to be honest--would turn out to be non-believers, skeptics, or unsure. That would make the United States a terrorist nation, since “about half” is all one needs to win an election. I wonder what Fox “News” would say about that.
This raises another thought, which deals with the legal system. Each witness in a trial is compelled to take an oath on a bible. Is this oath nullified if one is an atheist? Swearing on something in which one does not believe can hardly be valid. And, what about non-Christians: how do they feel about swearing an oath on a worthless bit of dead trees?
During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
Fox "News", anyone?
While we're on the subject Asia...
I have never visited Burma, but I have been to its neighbor, Thailand, many times. That is where I bought the little fella seen in the photo below. This elephant is made of celadon (Thai version of ancient Chinese ceramic, which is found throughout Thailand in differing qualities and prices).
I like to fill the little guy with whatever fits in its small size. I often save remnants of dying bouquets and let them pass their dying days in a decorative display. Below is one example of scavenged blossoms...
I have just finished reading Burmese Days, George Orwell’s first novel.(For those uneducated, unread, or forgetful, he is best known for 1984 and Animal Farm.) In this book, he provides a good picture of life in a British colony prior to World War Two, based upon his experiences as a policeman in Burma. His descriptions--of people, daily life, Empire--are not flattering and some thoughts foreshadow attitudes made famous in his latter masterpieces.
I have selected a few excerpts to display his opinions about his employer and fellow countrymen/women. Fictional characters are displaying Orwell’s sentiments and truths, which have become so evident.
“...It’s so boring. Even those bloody fools might be better company if we weren’t all of us living a lie the whole time.”
“But, my dear friend, what lie are you living?”
“Why, of course, the lie that we’re here to uplift our poor black brothers instead of to rob them. I suppose it’s a natural enough lie. But it corrupts us, it corrupts us in ways you can’t imagine. There’s an everlasting sense of being a sneak and a liar that torments us and drives us to justify ourselves night and day. It’s at the bottom of half our beastliness to the natives. We could Anglos could be almost bearable if we’d only admit that we’re thieves and go on thieving without any humbug.”
“...the British Empire is simply a device for giving trade monopolies to the English--or rather to gangs of Jews and Scotsmen.”
...After all, natives were natives--interesting, no doubt, but finally only a ‘subject’ people, an inferior people with black faces.
...He had forgotten that most people can be at ease in a foreign country only when they are disparaging the inhabitants.
Much has changed in the world, since Orwell wrote this novel, but some aspects of life on this planet will always stay the same. The powerful will always increase their wealth at the expense of the weak, while considering themselves to be superior to and sneering at those they exploit.
Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.
Don’t know if this works, but it’s clever and entertaining...
The original article was funny, but this is fall-down, roll-around-on-the-floor-laughing hilarious.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.