Dancing days are here again as the summer evenings grow
I got my flower, I got my power, I got a woman who knows.
I said it's alright. You know it's alright - I guess it's all in my heart
You'll be my only, my one and only. Is that the way it should start?
LED ZEPPELIN, Dancing Days
I begin my spring vacation today. Most people do a summer/winter vacation thing, but I choose a spring/fall routine to coincide with religious days of significance. In the fall, I aim for All Saints' Day/All Souls' Day while the spring is for Holy Week leading into Easter. My job does not afford me the kind of hours to participate in those things, so I have to burn vacation time to do what normal people are able to do. As for ski and surf, I don't do any of those activities.
The Dancing Days song is about nothing. Zep was never known for deep penetrating lyrics. They were more about the music than the poetry. I pick the song because it captures how I feel about being unshackled for a week from my wage slavery. I really hate my job. Ten years is a long time to hate something.
I've written a lot of these Led Zeppelin theme stream of consciousness essays. I've gone ahead and made a section for them on the "Select" page. It all started when I wanted a better title than "SOC" for these things and settled on "Ramble On" as a good title which was a Zep song. It made sense at the time because I knew I was going to ramble on about whatever. When I run out of Zep titles, I might do the Stones or Pink Floyd next. I don't know. Zep has a very extensive catalogue of songs.
When I rebooted the blog, I eschewed the sorts of things I did on the old blog like these rambling essays, Random Thoughts on Various Subjects, and reviews of books and videos. I was aiming for a more serious collection of essays, but I admit that some of my best writing is found in these things from the old blog.
I contemplate mining the files from the old blog for things I thought were pretty good. People write to me to ask to read those old hits again. The problem with the old blog was that I wrote the bulk of that stuff while being a foul mouthed atheist libertarian. The guy I most resembled back then was the magician Penn Jillette from Penn and Teller.
Penn became a vegan and lost a bunch of weight, but he still remains an atheist and a libertarian. But he is the most charitable atheist that I know. This comes from being libertarian. Libertarians are not pushy. In the atheist circles I used to run in, the pushy and rude atheists were all Democrats and progressives which was the overwhelming majority. The nice atheists were libertarians. To this day, I know I could call those people and tell them I'm Catholic, and they would still be cool with me. But not the progressive atheists.
I have hope for Penn because I think he might convert to Christianity in the future. He would laugh at this, but he would never say never. This is the thing I like about the libertarian atheists. They rest on a foundation of humility. Progressive atheists are know-it-alls.
That know-it-all quality is something I reflect upon a great deal. A more academic sounding name for it would be "epistemological hubris." Progressives have this in spades. Libertarians have what can be considered "epistemological humility." The hubris favors centralized control of every square inch of life in conformity to political correctness and ideology while the humility favors a laissez faire decentralized way of running things. This humility admits that it doesn't have all the answers but believes those answers may emerge in a zone of liberty. Between these poles of absolute control and absolute freedom lies conservatism. Some things belong to freedom to choose while other things belong to the area of moral law and faith. This is why conservatives can favor choice when it comes to schools but not favor choice on something like abortion.
I just had a convo with my wife about the issue of hair. I shave my head and face daily except for Saturday when I give my skin a break. The routine of shaving takes ten minutes each morning, so it adds up to one full hour weekly dedicated to the task of shaving. You can do many things in an hour, so it seems like a colossal waste of time dedicated to vanity. But I don't think I am vain. I had the good fortune to be born ugly, so I don't spend much time in front of the mirror. It's also why I prefer my "C." symbol to actual pictures of myself. If I ever need a shot of humility, a few minutes of my goofy face in the mirror does the trick. Shaving my head actually degrades my looks a bit making me look like a prison escapee. The upside is that my gray hair is invisible, so I maintain a youthful appearance into middle age.
I shave my entire melon mostly for hygienic reasons. It would be cool to grow out my hair and beard, but I remember when I had the hair thing going. I had dandruff. Even with a beard, there were dry patches of skin under the beard on my chin. There are products to combat this problem, but it amounts to more time and money than I currently spend on shaving. The bottom line is that the shaved head/face thing leaves me clean and feeling better. I have been shaving my head for so long now that I have forgotten the travails of hair care.
My days are filled with frustration. Most of this frustration is economic in nature. I think this is why Trump has become so popular among white working class voters. They feel the same frustration I feel. The problem is fairly obvious. The bulk of the population now lives in perpetual servitude to a moneyed powerful elite that control government and business. It doesn't matter if you are Democrat or Republican because both parties belong to those elites. The result is that we now have elitism versus populism. We are on the brink of mobs with pitchforks. One look at a Trump rally will confirm this.
I am definitely against the elitism that runs the show now. Now, as a conservative, I do believe that elites should govern because Trump and his minions look like the Jerry Springer Show. Trump is entirely on this debased level. I think governing should belong to people of a certain level of intelligence and morality. The problem with the elites is they have retained their intelligence but not their morals. They have become debased and corrupt. Trump is now their Judgment Day.
Populism is the misguided belief that corruption can be fixed with stupidity. I think many Trump supporters would admit that Trump probably won't make things better. But Trump will be revenge on the corrupted elites. At this stage of the game, Trump is going to get the nomination. The GOP establishment has dug its grave and must now lie in it. They made this and brought it on themselves.
I believe the way out is through conservatism such as that espoused by Ted Cruz. Of all the candidates, he is the most Reaganesque. The GOP establishment has done everything they could to thwart true conservatives. So, they end up with Donald Trump and the angry mob. Trump is fundamentally no different from them. The man has given to both Democrats and Republicans. He is publicly pro-life while secretly supporting Planned Parenthood. Trump even endorsed Mitt Romney and gave the guy money. But here's the deal with Trump. Trump is rich, but his riches have come mostly from real estate. This puts him at odds with the moneyed elite that made their fortunes from global financial capitalism. Trump opposes globalism in favor of nationalism and mercantilism, This is how he ends up with support from a guy like Alex Jones.
For me, I know my life is worse now than it was ten years ago. My life wasn't that great then either. My only dream in life now is a homestead and an escape from this economic nightmare and wage slavery. I study economics, but I can't honestly tell you what i think the solution is to these problems. I just know that the socialism of Bernie Sanders doesn't cut it, and the "free market" isn't cutting it either. Mercantilism is bad, too. I favor a gold standard, and that is about as much as I can say about economics these days. I listen to an Austrian guy like Peter Schiff and a Marxist like Richard Wolff and find much to like and dislike in both.
I don't believe you can have central of an economy. Socialism doesn't work. On the same token, companies left without regulations in a pure libertarian economy will pollute and poison their way to riches while cheating their workers out of what they have earned.
Our economic problem mirrors the problem in sports with doping. One side says we need more comprehensive and better testing. But as Lance Armstrong proved, you can beat this regime for a long time. You may or may not get caught in the end, but doping will certainly remain. The libertarian solution is to let them dope which means that athletes will become freaks of pharmacy and end up destroyed by abuse of PEDs. The only solution I see to the problem is to remove prize money and endorsements from sports in a return to amateurism. This is because the love of money is the root of this evil. Likewise, money in politics is what has corrupted politics. Trump has the luxury of having his own money, yet he was one of the people corrupting politics with his contributions.
I don't see a clean way out of this mess. I doubt any of my dreams of a better life will ever come to be. You are either living or merely waiting to die. I am waiting to die. It hurts to admit this, but there it is. I think the rest of my life will be just grinding it out until I expire. Things will not ever get better, but they will certainly get worse as my body breaks down and fails. I do not think I am alone in this. The 1% got theirs, but I suspect they will end up dragged into the streets and murdered by the angry mobs. That mob may be a bunch of losers in this rigged economy, but they will be sore losers. And that's why they like Trump. That guy is a sore loser.