Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Relationship Injustice Part 5

If 2006 was supposed to be the year of tragedy, failure, and sadness amongst myself and those around me, then 2007 is shaping up to be the year of unrequited love. HORDES of my close friends have, like me recently, been confronted with the realization that the love of his/her life is not going to be the person that he/she spends life with. These days, everyone around me has a strong, enduring passion and hope for that one person they want forever, but are either moving on or otherwise bound to someone else. I may have mentioned it before (I'm too lazy to do the research) but THESE are soul mates. People you never marry or whatever, but still you ache for, think of, and subsequently all their character to define your own spiritual nature. In a spiritual world, surely the bond with your "#1" is ideal and predestined. But unfortunately the defects of human nature, selfishness, and "sin" intercede and preclude such an idealistic bond in our pesticide-ridden planet. Fear not, as some ancient religious disciplines (those that correctly define "soul mate") do acknowledge that in the world beyond, you will be with your "#1".

Point taken, before you silently protest: there are classic cases of the dopey Nebraska boy marrying his high school sweetheart and with ignorance being bliss, they make lots of babies and live happily ever after. That's a great thing to hear of, know of, and be aware of. It, however, further illustrates the tendency of the complicated world, such as urban life, to taint honest relationships and create those divisions which separate such aforementioned sweethearts. The situation in which high school sweethearts marry and live together forever? Mostly happens in rural areas, less likely to be spoiled by the ills of modern society. Don't get upset, country boys, but those areas are a bit of a throwback to a simpler time. I recall an episode of MASH (set in Korea) asked the snobby Major Winchester what time it was in Iowa. He answered "1882". Fairly accurate, but not, in my mindset, in a demeaning way. Simple is best, and clearly the most accommodating environment for fostering natural relationships that are clearly meant to be.

What plainly stinks about ultimately being paired with that "#1" person is the fact that there is little one can do in the big city. Too many other people get in the way, other people intercede, yet others pose temptation for infidelity, and the natural bond that was once meant to exist and prove itself true and unblemished is suddenly tarnished, dented, bruised, tested, and contorted. That's why there are far fewer love stories of high school sweethearts seeing things through and marrying in the context of the big city. Out in farm country, the high school sweethearts always end up married and productive, as there is little to harm its progress. Ignorance is bliss, in a sense. Place a similar rural couple in an urban environment and I'd give their relationship two months at the most.

It's basically an anthropological fact that humans need connection with nature, and when in urban environments, humans lose their natural sense of, well, being human. Perhaps in the city, all couples are doomed to implosion with the various rigors therein. Such issues might account for the ridiculous divorce rate amongst national statistics.

I've seen countless relationships blossom into marriage from within the city. What did each couple do as a result? Moved away into the distant suburbs. As such, they're all fine. I'm elated for each couple that is smart enough to remove themselves from the fray of the city and relocate to distant regions. I am similarly saddened by the doom and overwhelmingly negative odds imposed upon a strong relationship that must endure the urban temptations and emotional dissatisfaction a complex, unnatural environment of a city may impose. In the end, nothing ever seems to have a happy ending within the context of the city. Just run away and find someone that is unaffected by the ills of the urban world.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Functuation Part One

We used to do this in high school, but it's so stupid and silly. Just some creatively inserted quote marks and the like, dry text becomes quite dirty sounding. With creative insertion of quotation punctuation, to indicate dirty nuances, anything is funny. I'll start with an example that seems so impossible to make "dirty", so to speak - the Gettysburg Address, after that, the Declaration of Independence. So here goes. This is way off the map, I know, but some will laugh, I think...

Four score and seven years ago our fathers "brought forth" on this continent, a new nation, "conceived" in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are "created equal".
Now we are "engaged" in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are "met" on a great battle-field of that war. We have "come" to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether "fitting" and proper that we should do this.
But, in a "larger" sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The "brave men", living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor "long" remember what we "say" here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the "unfinished work" which they who "fought" here have thus far so nobly "advanced". It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take "increased devotion" to that cause for which they gave the last "full measure of devotion" -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, "under" God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Now, watch how quote marks can spin dirty thoughts into the something so solemn as the Declaration of Independence:

When in the Course of "human events" it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have "connected" them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which "impel" them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are "endowed" by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the "pursuit of Happiness". — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, "laying" its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and "Happiness". Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of "abuses" and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to "throw off" such Government, and to "provide" new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be "obtained"; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the "accommodation" of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together "legislative bodies" at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into "compliance" with his "measures".
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with "manly firmness" his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People "at large" for their "exercise"; the State remaining in the mean time "exposed" to all the dangers of "invasion" from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the "Administration" of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has "erected" a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and "eat out" their "substance".
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has "combined with others" to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering "large bodies" of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from "punishment" for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our "Trade" with all parts of the world:
For imposing "Taxes" on us without our Consent:
For "depriving us" in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be "tried" for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and "enlarging its Boundaries" so as to render it at once an example and "fit instrument" for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our "seas", ravaged our "coasts", burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting "large" Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the "Head" of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken "Captive" on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to "bring on" the inhabitants of "our frontiers", the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every "act" which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to "extend" an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have "appealed" to their native justice and "magnanimity", and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred. to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our "connections" and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in "Peace Friends".
We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, "Assembled", "appealing" to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with "a firm" reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.