On Our Post Truth World, Empathy and Decisional Responsibility

Almost without regard to political self-identification, it appears that the vast majority of the current population is certain that they are being deliberately deceived by groups with specific, self-serving agendas.  And they’re right, truth appears out of reach if one relies on traditional sources.  However, non-traditional sources are so varied (and sometimes deceptively controlled by traditional sources) that they are also all too often inaccurate.  That leaves us, as individuals, with the task of using our own investigative and cognitive powers to determine for ourselves, based on our own experience and our own common sense, what is more likely than not to be accurate and useful information.  A daunting task given our myriad quotidian responsibilities and limitations.

One of the major and most effective tools used by disseminators of disinformation is linguistic, the misuse of language, either deliberately or through ignorance. All too frequently, it utterly disrupts effective communication as efficiently as if we were trying to communicate in alien languages.  Take the issue of vaccines and vaccination for example.  The definition of vaccination has been expanded by purportedly authoritative state-sponsored sources to mean any form of injection designed to prevent the spread of a specific disease rather than the more specific and traditional definition involving use of infectious media in weakened form to develop antigen-specific antibodies that develop resistance to the invading diseases. 

With respect to Covid 19, many people have come to believe that most purported vaccines currently available introduce a reproductive RNAm variant into genes with the hope that the resulting mutation will generate resistance to the disease.  Many people who have carefully investigated the issue and who possess advanced and relevant education are highly suspicious of induced mutations based on their understanding from unpleasant experiences with the law of unintended consequences, that premature adoption of faddist trends and suggestions can prove disastrous.  Indeed, for many decades in the modern era, the idea of induced mutations has been anathema, although usually in conjunction with genetic experiments to improve the human race or to selectively pass on desirable traits such as those engaged in by the Nazis.  That ethical argument is complex and certainly not straightforward, and based as much on emotional reaction as it is on scientific grounds.  A great many of our customs, taboos, and social norms involve similar issues. 

More speculative opposition is based on a deep distrust of both governments and the capitalist economic model, suspecting them of diverse conspiracies designed to assure continuing control such as that prevalent in the 1948 Novel, Nineteen-eighty-four (1984) by George Orwell. One variant suspects that the mineral component of the current vaccines may, in the future, be used in combination with 5G (and beyond) communication technology to impact the way we think and act.  Conspiracy theories of one kind or another seem to impact most people today, in large part because labelling anything one opposes as a “conspiracy theory” does away with the need to seriously address the facts and hypotheses posited, and because it has become clear that many hypotheses labelled conspiracy theories in the past in fact may have been accurate, even things as purportedly far-out as unidentified flying objects.

Many thoughtful opponents of forced immediate vaccination take the issue much more seriously than its proponents, especially proponents who have been manipulated through propaganda-induced peer pressure by governments less interested in education and thoughtful discourse than in control and obedience and which operate in a decisional environment characterized by impunity when they are wrong, reinforced by manipulated narratives that blame others for their errors.  Many opponents merely want to wait until they have personally become more comfortable with what the current plethora of Covid vaccines involve and are suspicious of the frantic demand for action now that is so profitable for the pharmaceutical companies involved, all too many of which have, in the past as well as the present, manipulated health issues to pawn-off fraudulent products, or to make essential products available only at exorbitant prices.  Many proponents on the other hand are egocentrically risk averse unwilling to place themselves at risk through the inaction of others, and unwilling to try and understand the reasons for such inaction, attributing them only to ignorance or malice.  Empathy is in all too short supply and liberty and respect for opposing viewpoints are declining sharply in the Biden era where the use of censorship through denial of access to social media has become the norm.  That, of course, leads to more and more distrust for both government and the private institutions that make up our informational infrastructure.

Perhaps if there were real and serious consequences for errors in the area of governance and communication (as there were in ancient Greece and in the Roman Republic thousands of years ago) more people would have faith in the use of compulsive government power, power that always curtails liberty, purportedly in the interest of the “common good”.  But there are none.  Instead, we have the twin concepts of immunity for the consequences of governmental and judicial actions and impunity.  The same also applies to our corporate media.  No-cost errors, now, without even superficial apologies. 

Perhaps those that impose their will on others or provide distortive information should be indoctrinated into the Japanese practice of hara-kiri.  That would certainly cause the more prudent among them to think carefully before acting, and, of course, greatly reduce recidivism.  However, that turn of events is a virtual impossibility. 

Unfortunately, so is a mass information exchange system based on accuracy.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2021; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He is currently a strategic analyst employed by Qest Consulting Group, Inc.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at http://www.guillermocalvo.com.

On the Incoherent Magnocide in Haiti

An interesting article in RT News this morning may have resulted in a political epiphany (Haiti requested US troops & UN peacekeepers to secure ‘key infrastructure’ after president’s assassination – reports; July 10, 2021).  Whatever was “rotten in Denmark” has moved to Haiti.  Although truth is no longer relevant and hypocrisy is the rule in creative narration, the bastard child of corrupt pseudo-journalism, the current situation in Haiti takes the cake, and not in a good way, say, the suggestion of Marie Antoinette to the Parisian poor.

The President of Haiti, albeit not recently elected, Jovenel Moïse, who had just issued an order to replace Prime Minister Claude Joseph, was murdered by a group of Colombian mercenaries who were quickly captured.  The prime minister, who until that moment had been about to be replaced, immediately assumed presidential powers, while his would be replacement, Ariel Henry, impotently sought to call attention to the fact that political power should have devolved on him.  The United States quickly sided with Monsieur Joseph.

A question:  How often does a magnocide (a civil version of regicide) occur in the absence of a coup d’état and just how stupid were Colombian mercenaries to have participated in the absence of such a coup, or even of an unsuccessful putsch?  Follow the money, follow the power play, or follow the modus operendi.  Or follow all three.

Under the leadership of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and Israeli Mossad, veterans of Colombia’s decades’ old civil insurgency (or perhaps civil war) have been organized into mercenary units contracted to provide their “services” in diverse parts of the world, primarily the Middle East, at least until now.  They are, in essence, fodder to save money and avoid negative publicity in diverse illicit ventures orchestrated by their mentors.  Indeed, both the Central Intelligence Agency and Israeli Mossad have used surrogate mercenaries in Syria and Libya and Afghanistan and, well, all too many places, places where, if the clandestine activities were successful, we would hardly be in a position to identify.  Places perhaps like Bolivia and Ecuador and Brazil and Argentina and Chile and Peru, and, … Colombia.  There are many who believe that the infamous events of September 11, 2001 may have been among them as, not infrequently, the mercenaries used are not aware of who contracted them or who planned the missions they were charged with executing.  Money has not always been the motivating factor used by Machiavellian provocateurs.  While nothing is beyond the daring of the Central Intelligence Agency and its siblings and progeny in the United States intelligence community, the situation in Haiti seems a bit beyond their ken, a bit too artful, a bit too sophisticated, despite appearances; a bit too well orchestrated, not really blunt enough despite appearances.  Enter the masters, enter Mossad.

It would seem obvious that the mercenaries involved were not a suicide cult and thus, that they obviously thought they were the vanguard of a concurrent coup.  Instead, they were left holding the bag, the sacrificial scapegoats.  And the beneficiary, the hero of the day, soaked in crocodile tears, appealing to the world for justice and vindication for the heinous murder of the late United States backed Haitian dictator Jovenel Moïse (an illegitimate president embroiled in a nascent civil war, assuming civil war in Haiti is ever out of style)?   Hmm, why, lo and behold, the about to be sacked prime minister, Claude Joseph, now apparently firmly entrenched in power, backed by the United States, the United Nations, backed by the Colombian government and apparently by most if not all governments who have made pronouncements with respect to the odd situation.  And his would be replacement, Ariel Henry?  Bad luck or bad timing or both.  Nary a peep other than a formal claim to the post, largely ignored, and expressions of willingness to work things out.

Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli, patron saint of the Mossad, would be proud.

Of course, the foregoing is speculative, based only on a fairly decent knowledge of recent history and the use of deductive logic, but perhaps what gives it most credibility is the failure of the Western intelligence agencies-controlled media to be anything but baffled.

What do you suppose happened and why?  Do you really care?  Does it make a difference in your own life.  Was John Donne correct in supposing that “no man is an Island”?

Haiti is, or is at least part of an Island.

_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2021; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He is currently a strategic analyst employed by Qest Consulting Group, Inc.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at http://www.guillermocalvo.com.

A Superciliously Silly Soliloquy

Dedicated to Bezos and Gates and Zuckerman, et. al.

T’was a morning, dark and dreary, saturnine reflections amidst fetid ponds, or so it seemed. 

That he was walking on the sandy shore of a sunny beach instead might have been a statement as to his mood, and he couldn’t tell why.  There was no reason for it that he could think of.  Everything seemed well, but still, a morosely dark, almost tangibly thick sensation of imminent unpleasantness seemed to permeate the air he breathed, although, admittedly, …  with a salty savor.

Boredom, that’s all it was, seemingly worse than terror or danger, much worse than strain or overwork. 

What a strange reward for tasks successfully completed, for financial and even social security attained, for goals met.  No tang, …other than that the astronauts of old now peddled in cloying television commercials.  No zest, … other than the brand of soap he’d once used.  The ocean water wasn’t even cold, just pleasantly warm.  Who’d have thought, not long ago, that pleasant could be pejorative.

He recalled the opening line of a song from an ancient television show, “Hee Haw” it’d been called:

“Gloom despair and agony on me” but the rest of the song, giving substance and meaning to the refrain certainly did not apply to him, “…if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all”.  No such luck for him, only positive things had happened, albeit after a long and sometimes fierce struggle during which he’d not infrequently suffered from depression.  But this seemed worse.

Boredom was the pits, even for too young a billionaire!!! 

Of course, he could have given everything away and traded places with a desperately poor slob somewhere, but …

Naw!!!

_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2021; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution. Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He is currently a strategic analyst employed by Qest Consulting Group, Inc.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at http://www.guillermocalvo.com.

Introspection

He, who I’ve been, has some accomplishments to his credit balanced by some errors and a good deal of time for which there is, as of yet, no accounting, the latter either dull or full of as of yet unqualified mystery. 

How to explore the one I’ve somehow become but who I’ve rarely understood, how to get to know him. 

Does anyone? 

Do I really want to?

_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2021; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He is currently a strategic analyst employed by Qest Consulting Group, Inc.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at http://www.guillermocalvo.com.

Grumbles from the Grave and Cats that Walk through Walls

Robert Heinlein was one of the most famous artists in the genre we call science fiction, fading at times into the realm of fantasy, but also a somewhat avant guard social philosopher with a taboo busting Freudian perspective.  His principle characters tended to be cantankerous and overly affectionate but perpetually bickering libertarians.  One of his novels, “Stranger in a Strange Land” spawned a religion, albeit an extremely liberal religion.

I enjoyed him a great deal before I started to write myself and then, well I came to find his dialogue (my weak point I’ll admit), stifling and petty and suffocatingly cloying, like drowning in molasses.  Still, conceptually on a number of levels he was brilliant and from time to time, spewed out real gems.  Actually, not just from time to time but frequently.  He is gone but, as one expects of masters in their fields, if not always in their crafts, his legacy lives on.

In “The Cat Who Walks through Walls”, one of his final novels, he gathers together most of the more famous characters in his adult novels (as well as those of some of his most famous predecessors) and, on page 359 of its first (1985) edition, he defines an “intellectual” as “a highly educated man [I think today he would also stipulate woman, or transgender person, or non-gender person or optional gender person] who can’t do arithmetic with his shoes on, and is proud of his lack”.  Obviously not a flattering caricature but one that seems all too accurate in today’s world.

“Purported” intellectuals are not in high regard nowadays given the current irrelevancy of truth or facts, the inflation in academic titles and the disdain with which “purported” intellectuals treat others.  While many “purported” intellectuals are certainly superficially adept in their fields (and may well handle arithmetic adequately), the spirit of Heinlein’s description certainly seems apt.  Indeed, it applies not only to “purported” intellectuals but to the new purportedly savant class of internet educated “experts”, purported experts without any real experience in living, in real work or in struggling to raise a family on limited resources and with limited time.  Too often, people meeting that description stare back at us from our own mirrors as we, the easily manipulated and totally polarized modern men, women (and transitionally-gendered), ride the current whirlpool of social suicide into seas of apparent perdition.  Authors of dystopian novels certainly seem prescient and while Heinlein’s work are much too optimistic to fall into that literary genus, he seems prescient and depressingly wise as well.

The author of “Grumbles from the Grave” clearly saw where we were heading but was perhaps exaggeratedly positive concerning the ability of some among us to save our bacon.  Of course, that may have been the fantasy side of his vision speaking.  None of his heroes though would seem to derive from our current self-anointed “intelligentsia”.  And we are desperately in need of real heroes, real role models rather than the pretentious crop of cartoonish would be leaders with which we are cursed.

_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2021; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He is currently a strategic analyst employed by Qest Consulting Group, Inc.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at http://www.guillermocalvo.com.

Putrid Poetry

Worms and roaches
and rats and moles,
fungus and feces
 and slime.

Poems about them
just don’t seem an option
regardless of alliteration
or consonance or rhyme.

_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2021; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He is currently a strategic analyst employed by Qest Consulting Group, Inc.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at http://www.guillermocalvo.com.

Fathers’ Day Blues

Holidays.  Strange things. 

Generalizing, many are supposed to be festive occasions although all too many deal with profound tragedies.  Like Memorial Day and Veterans Day.  Or celebrate mass murders, like so many Hebrew feast days.  Or, bastardize religious events, like the Easter Bunny and candy and egg hunts.

Fathers’ Day is a strange holiday, like an onion in a sense, with layers of meaning.  For functional families it is a happy occasion with a touch of gratitude for sacrifices joyfully made, but functional families are becoming more and more rare.  Dysfunction, i.e., functioning in pain, and non-function, are becoming more and more the norm, or perhaps it just seems that way.  Perhaps that’s always been the case.  And for many, many, too many fathers and their progeny, Fathers’ Day is not joyous.  The same is of course true of Mothers’ Day under similar circumstances, but I write this on Fathers’ Day’s Eve, so I’ll be a bit more focused on “dads”.

Like the holidays at the end of the year, Fathers’ Day can be a deeply depressing day.  Not a day filled with gratitude but with recriminations and regrets, one where the worst in relationships is highlighted and criticism rather than praise prevails.  That is especially true in those all too frequent cases where families have been torn asunder by parental separation, separation where one parent wins custody and the other is cast aside (except with respect to noncustodial responsibilities like alimony and child support).  In many such cases, the custodial parent creates a false narrative, implanting false memories in order to justify their own serious shortcomings and, in many such cases, the parent scorned disappears and is castigated as uncaring and irresponsible.  And sometimes that’s true.  But at other times, the loss of a family, especially of one’s children, especially when distortion and calumny become prevalent, are just too much to bear, and the only apparent survival mechanism is destructive withdrawal.

That, of course, is a gender neutral tragedy impacting mothers as well as fathers. Still, our purportedly paternalistic society idolizes motherhood and to a large extent disdains the paternal role.  Fatherhood is characterized by responsibility, its sacrifices largely ignored.  In general (albeit certainly not always), mothers deserve the credit society showers on them but perhaps fathers deserve understanding rather than disdain, even when they’ve not fully succeeded in their assigned role.  There is of course a huge difference between fathers who refuse to acknowledge their role, who enjoy their sexual partners and then discard them and absconded.  But what about the millions of fathers who accept their role, try, to varying degrees, to meet their responsibilities, but who, for one reason or another, failed?  Or even sadder perhaps, those who succeeded in their role but were cast out and disenfranchised through our blatantly one sided judicial system?

What does Fathers’ Day mean to them?  What does it mean to their children?

Perhaps the saddest day of the year.

_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2021; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He is currently a strategic analyst employed by Qest Consulting Group, Inc.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at http://www.guillermocalvo.com.

A Writer’s Lament at Journey’s End

Shades of gray and white and bits of blue, forming fascinating patterns, slowly but consistently, perhaps prescient, perhaps not, sometimes vanishing altogether, but always, the blue eventually turning to diamond speckled indigo and then, back to cerulean, cradling a wandering golden orb.

Whispering winds sigh, their moods shifting from amused to angry to melancholy and then, back again in a syncopated cycle.  Myriad avian legions ride warm updrafts and then dive, perhaps pitying the earthbound.

Somewhere a vacuum seems to form, not a physical vacuum, rather, one based on illusions and fantasies, perhaps delusions as well.  Yes, most assuredly delusions, sometimes playful but at other times bitter and mean.  A black hole alternating with a white hole where all seems possible, especially the unlikely, an inescapable event horizon leading eventually, inevitably, to a renaissance several infinities away.

And a painting outlined and colored and shaded in words is miraculously born.  And then, without reason and certainly bereft of rhyme, it all seemingly ends but a story of sorts begins, perhaps an introspective poem:

Wither the writer, the bard, the poet?  Fading as winter approaches a land without winters or summers or falls, only varying degrees of spring, some wet and chilly, some dry and cool, others close to languorously warm, but always verdant as snow clad mountains kissed nearby equatorial skies.

He’s seemingly fled without a farewell, silently, swiftly, with nary a trace.  He’s apparently fled into some other element, some-when without time or somewhere without space, without dimensions, without aspirations or regrets, leaving his body and memories behind, perhaps even a semblance of who he’s been, or at least, of whom others have perceived him to be.

He hasn’t realize that he’s gone nor why nor when, nor where he might be.  Echoes remained, and shadows, and faded colors he may once have known.  Perhaps colors borrowed from errant rainbows and twilight sunsets playing amidst reflective, once argent, clouds or perhaps echoing late blooming flowers, the adjectives and adverbs and metaphors he’s so enjoyed.  His toys.

Perhaps even more sadly, no one knows he’s gone, everyone still sees and hears him, feels his warmth or his disdain; no one except his husk, no one except his embodied memories, no one except the golem he’s somehow become, neither sad nor glad, just existing, from day to day and night to night.  He knows not what … but he knows what not.

Not

The writer or the bard or the poet, the one who’s faded as winter approaches in a land without winters or summers or falls, only varying degrees of spring, some wet and chilly, some dry and cool, others close to languorously warm, but always verdant as snow clad mountains kissed nearby equatorial skies.

A painting outlined and colored and shaded in words lies torn; once a story of sorts, perhaps an introspective poem.  Somewhere a vacuum dies, not a physical vacuum, rather, one once based on illusions and fantasies, perhaps delusions as well.  Yes, most assuredly delusions, sometimes playful but at other times bitter and mean.  Once a black hole alternating with a white hole where all seemed possible, especially the unlikely, an inescapable event horizon leading eventually, inevitably, to a renaissance several infinities away; but now, just gone. Entropy finally having had its way.

Shades of gray and white and bits of blue, once formed fascinating patterns, slowly but consistently, perhaps prescient, perhaps not, sometimes vanishing altogether, but always, at least for a time, the blue eventually turning to diamond speckled indigo and then, back to cerulean, cradling a wandering golden orb.

Whispering winds sigh, their moods shifting from amused to angry to melancholy and then, back again in a syncopated cycle.  Myriad avian legions ride warm updrafts and then dive, perhaps pitying the earthbound.  And then, apparently and suddenly, they drop out of the sky and die.

_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2021; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He is currently a strategic analyst employed by Qest Consulting Group, Inc.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at http://www.guillermocalvo.com.

Entropy

He might have been bored, he’d nothing he had to do although perhaps there were things he might do. He had pretty much everything he needed although, perhaps, not everything he wanted. But it seemed there was something vacant, a hole to be filled, either temporally or materially, or perhaps emotionally. Who knew? He knew he didn’t, but still, he felt incomplete, or perhaps, more accurately, uncompleted. But not an uncomfortable lack of completion.

He’d had a full life, too full all too often, but perhaps, not full enough. More than his share of success and friends and lovers, but then, perhaps not the right ones. And more than his share of suffering and tragedy and disappointment, but then again, not enough to have impeded his progress, although progress towards what he knew not. He wasn’t always in stasis or limbo, that was the exception, but then again, the exception was seemingly the now.

Odd. He usually had an abundance of feelings, an enormous capacity to feel both the positive and the negative, perhaps an aspect of bipolarism. His life tended towards highs and lows with few plains of tranquility. But not now, now he seemed stuck in a comfortable sort of mire, too comfortable from which to seek escape although oases formed all around him, or perhaps they were just mirages and illusions, but in any case, lethargically out of reach.

Colors had faded, as had odors and flavors; as had sensations, both physical and mental, but his imagination was fine and filled the gaps. It was like a vortex leading to a black hole, or perhaps just a wormhole, but he was trapped in the event horizon, spinning around and around, faster and faster, but seemingly static. He felt a need to explore the other side, the white hole, or whatever the opposite of a wormhole might be, just … not yet.

He might have been bored, he’d nothing he had to do although perhaps there were things he might do. He had pretty much everything he needed although, perhaps, not everything he wanted. But it seemed there was something vacant, a hole to be filled, either temporally or materially, or perhaps emotionally. Who knew? He knew he didn’t, but still, he felt incomplete, or perhaps, more accurately, uncompleted. But not an uncomfortable lack of completion.

Entropy.


© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2021; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen). Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He is currently a strategic analyst employed by Qest Consulting Group, Inc. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at http://www.guillermocalvo.com.

Reformed, Recalled or Illusory Memories in the Post-Truth Era: A family affair

Continuing my rereading excursion, last week I started with Tom Robbins’ awesome “Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates” but Amazon, which I loathe and ought not to patronize (as I ought not to patronize Facebook), facilitated my recuperation of a bunch of Robert Heinlein philosophical novels (they really are more philosophical than science fiction) which had been lost to me many decades ago when a former friend’s now ex-wife decided they were demon inspired and confined them to the pit.  And so I’ve ordered duplicates, mostly used (for some reason I like them more when they’re used) and they’ve started arriving. 

I really wanted to delve back into Lazarus Long (as I approach the three quarter of a century mark) but somehow, I got confused and “I will Fear No Evil” came first.  I hope Heinlein`s writing style is not catching.  What was a delight in my youth frequently seems lacking polish and seems tedious now as I too have embarked in the writers’ art, but the themes remain challenging and fascinating and daring, and every once in a while, … a relevant pearl of wisdom drops.  In this case (excuse the long prelude; … I hate long preludes), in the middle of page 174 of an extremely well worn, possibly fifth hand paperback copy, Ace Edition, 1987, the phrase:

“Nobody knows how memory works

except that everyone is sure he knows

and thinks all others are fools.”

That seems so relevant today, perhaps more than ever. 

I know the memories my children and my ex-wife share keep getting more and more strange until they’ve become completely divorced from those I recall.  To some extent, I believe that is based on the deliberate falsification of memory (see “Purportedly Recovered Memories”), now a science engaged in by former spouses (male and female) with the assistance of purported therapists, and of course, on a societal level, by the corporate media.  Political differences translate from the civic into the personal and into irreconcilable pasts that break up families, something I’ve experienced. 

My kids blame me and Trump, I opposed but did not hate him, at least, not enough for their “awoke” tastes.  So now I too am (and apparently always have been) a horrible human being. 

I don’t blame them, or hold it against them, but the consequences are the same.  And since we no longer communicate, the consequences seem unlikely to change.  The truth is not something to be explored lest it not agree with what they or I recall, or what they’ve been told over and over and over and over again. 

Something to think about as everyone around us, including those once most dear to us, morphs into very different beings.

Or is it us?

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© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2021; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution. Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He is currently a strategic analyst employed by Qest Consulting Group, Inc.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at http://www.guillermocalvo.com.