The Poison and Wine of Laughter – Part 1 (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 199)

The difference between these two forms of laughter, better stated as amusement or willfully applied humor, might be the most tragically misunderstood and misinterpreted experience in the universe.

The Poison

Amusement has become the expected and the demanded law of the land by the herd. People declare their overt fondness and preference of friends and mates that keep them amused on a perpetual basis while they discount or minimize the need and importance of all of the person’s other qualities and character traits. Internet dating sites clearly display this knee jerk regurgitated “Isn’t it obvious, just like everyone else knows and says, duh?” proclamation; being amusing is the one trait cherished above all others and an absolute must have in any potential suitor interested in a possible relationship or even one simple encounter.

It is also a prime defining trait of psychopaths and the psychopathic manipulation of others. The uncanny ability of a psychopath to intoxicatingly bedazzle their “victims” into a giddy state of apathy and unconcern for reality, consequences, and ramifications, is well documented in the psychological and behavioral literature. Players seducing their prey for the night, slick willy businessmen sealing a deal, con-artists conning, heretical revival preachers enunciating and gesticulating their flock into hyper-emotional overload just prior to the passing of the collection plate, and corrupt politicians charming the masses into blind passionate obedience via the bombast and hyperbole of vitriol against a scapegoat, all exemplify amusement being implemented in its more malignant version.

A more benign form of amusement involves much less overt manipulation and a significantly lower conscious awareness of  intent by the implementer. This manifestation typically expresses itself via more basic, mundane, crude, unintelligent, and a lowest-common-denominator-bonding-experience that thrives and energizes itself on folly, ridicule, debasement, trash talking, or blubbering non-contemplative mesmerization. Fart jokes, burp songs, practical jokes emphasizing cruelty, engaging in trash talk with rival sports fans or about a previous romantic experience, and the subtle influence imposed on specific independent individuals by their larger group amusement state or more accurately, their larger group – pseudo, pretend, and feigned – amusement state, all exemplify this dynamic. Even the use of boring and uninteresting conversation, or numb and fake conversation, with only a subconscious intent to unconditionally ensnare another’s attention, is an example of this woeful benign amusement.

While the benign form of amusement may sometimes be harmless and/or a simple break from reality and contemplative awareness, typically both forms are dastardly and heinous. They both promote delusion via withdrawal and distraction from visceral perception and awareness; they negate reality, serving the same effect on people as that of an addict succumbing to a fix or a hit. But the drug of amusement is tragically and counterproductively swallowed under the satiating pretense of enlightenment and a desired interaction with the best aspects of life. Nothing could be further from the truth. Amusement is the doublespeak-doublethink bastardized child of, the Bizarro antivilian to, and the Dark Sided Sith, of aware and willfully applied  humor. Do not mistake this poison for wine, no matter the sparkle, spectacle, and charmful elegance of the decanter it resides within.

(continued and completed in Part 2)

Cribb          2017

Looking in the Light (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 192)

One night some of Nasruddin’s friends came upon him crawling around on his hands and knees searching for something beneath a lamppost. When they asked him what he was looking for, he told them that he had lost the key to his house. They all got down to help him look, but without any success. Finally, one of them asked Nasruddin where exactly he had lost the key. Nasruddin replied, “In the house.”

“Then why,” his friends asked, “are you looking under the lamppost?”

Nasruddin replied, “Because there’s more light here.”

Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation

Goldstein and Kornfield          1987

Anything for Diversion (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 181)

“There are quiet places also in the mind,” he said, meditatively. “But we build bandstands and factories on them. Deliberately—to put a stop to the quietness. We don’t like the quietness. All the thoughts, all the preoccupations in my head—round and round, continually.” He made a circular motion with his hand. “And the jazz bands, the music hall songs, the boys shouting the news. What’s it for, what’s it all for? To put an end to the quiet, to break it up and disperse it, to pretend at any cost it isn’t there. Ah, but it is, it is there, in spite of everything, at the back of everything. Lying awake at night, sometimes—not restlessly, but serenely, waiting for sleep—the quiet re-established itself, piece by piece; all broken bits, all the fragments of it we’ve been so busily dispersing all day long. It re-establishes itself, an inward quiet, like this outward quiet of grass and trees. It fills one, it grows—a crystal quiet, a growing expanding crystal. It grows, it becomes more perfect; it is beautiful and terrifying, yes, terrifying, as well as beautiful. For one’s alone in the crystal and there’s no support from outside, there’s nothing external and important, nothing external and trivial to pull oneself up by or to stand on, superiorly, contemptuously, so that one can look down. There’s nothing to laugh at or feel enthusiastic about. But the quiet grows and grows. Beautifully and unbearably. And at last you are conscious of something approaching; it is almost a faint sound of footsteps. Something inexpressibly lovely and wonderful advances through the crystal, nearer, nearer. And, oh, inexpressibly terrifying. For if it would touch you, if it were to seize and engulf you, you’d die; all the regular, habitual, daily part of you would die. There would be an end of bandstands and whizzing factories, and one would have to begin living arduously in the quiet, arduously in some strange unheard-of manner. Nearer, nearer come the steps; but one can’t face the advancing thing. One daren’t. It’s too terrifying, it’s too painful to die. Quickly, before it’s too late, start the factory wheels, bang the drum, blow the saxophone. Think of the women you’d like to sleep with, the schemes for making money, the gossip about your friends, the last outrage of the politicians. Anything for diversion. Break the silence, smash the crystal to pieces. There, it lies in bits; it is easily broken, hard to build up and easy to break. And the steps? Ah, those have taken themselves off, double quick. Double quick, they were gone at the first flawing of the crystal. And by this time the lovely and terrifying thing is three infinities away, at least. And you lie tranquily on your bed, thinking of what you’d do if you had ten thousand pounds and all of the fornifications you’ll ever commit.” He thought of Rosie’s pink underclothes.

“You make things very complicated,” she said, after a silence.

Antic Hay

Aldous Huxley          1923     

Bokonon’s Republic (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 159)

Bokonon had written a whole book about Utopias. The Seventh Book, which he called “Bokonon’s Republic.” In that book are these ghastly aphorisms:

The hand that stocks the drug stores rules the world.

Let us start our Republic with a chain of drug stores (prioritizing the protection of our own individual health, aches and pains, on our own demand via corporatism), a chain of grocery stores (our individual gluttony of the gullet supported by corporatism), a chain of gas chambers (prisons, a militarized and bullying police force, and any “indigenous” national scapegoat to take all the blame and be punished for being the enemies of public good and general welfare that they happen to be), and a national game (to obsess over and rewrite as our bullying team tries to destroy every other team in an over-dominating spectacle: the MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, etc, etc, etc.). After that, we can write our Constitution (any way we want because everyone is too egocentric to care about anyone or anything else other than their own selfish distractions, excuses, and entertainment).

***forgive the added Cribb explanations in parentheses for those who get the original untainted and glorious satire of Vonnegut as it stands in its own succinct purity.

Cat’s Cradle

Kurt Vonnegut          1963

A Simple and Profoundly Unacceptable Solution (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 141)

“Time and craving,” said Mr. Propter, “craving and time—two aspects of the same thing; and that thing is the raw material of evil. So you see Pete,” he added in another tone, “you see what a queer sort of present you’ll be making us, if you’re successful in your work.* Another century or so of time and craving. A couple of extra life-times of potential evil.”

And potential good,” the young man insisted with a note of protest in his voice.

And potential good,” Mr. Propter agreed. “But only at a far remove from that extra time you’re giving us.”

“Why do you say that?” Pete asked.

“Because potential evil is in time; potential good isn’t. The longer you live, the more evil you automatically come into contact with. Nobody comes automatically into contact with good. Men don’t find more good by merely existing longer. It’s curious,” he went on reflectively, “that people should always have concentrated on the problem of evil. Exclusively. As though the nature of good were something self-evident. But it isn’t self-evident. There’s a problem of good at least as difficult as the problem of evil.”

“And what’s the solution?” Pete asked.

“The solution is very simple and profoundly unacceptable. Actual good is outside time.”

*Pete’s work is focused upon life extension.

After Many a Summer Dies the Swan

Aldous Huxley          1939

 

Testing, Testing, and Testing Love (L vs S 230)

She had always secretly reproached him for not loving her enough. Her own love she considered above reproach, while his seemed condescension.

Now she saw that she had been unfair: If she had really loved Tomas with a great love, she would have stuck it out with him abroad! Tomas had been happy there; a new life was opening for him! And she had left him! True, at the time she had convinced herself she was being magnanimous, giving him his freedom. But hadn’t her magnanimity been merely an excuse? She knew all along that he would come home to her! She had summoned him farther and farther down after her like the nymphs who lured unsuspecting villagers to the marshes and left them there to drown. She had taken advantage of a night of stomach cramps to inveigle him into moving to the country! How cunning she could be! She had summoned him to follow her as if wishing to test him again and again, to test his love for her; She had summoned him persistently, and here he was, tired and gray, with stiffened fingers that would never again be capable of holding a scalpel.*

*Meaning that he had been with her for a prolonged time, a lifetime in fact, that continued to extend through his retirement and the years of his old age.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Milan Kundera          1984

 

 

Peasant Identity Association Escapism (WPMY 129)

Who do you think each of the following most often readily identify with; a white man, a black man, and a small business owner?

A lower class or middle class white person most often identifies with their buddy President George W Bush. They believe that they have almost everything in the world in common with him. He is on their side fighting for them and with them against those others that they have nothing in common with.

A lower class or middle class black person most often identifies with their man President Barack Obama. They believe that they have almost everything in the world in common with him. He is on their side fighting for them and with them against those others that they have nothing in common with.

A local small business owner most often identifies with some international CEO of multiple billion dollar company. They believe that they are cut from the same cloth and that such a CEO shares and cares about their own trials and tribulations because they can relate to them like no other non-business owner might. He is on their side fighting for them and with them against all the non-business owners in the world that they have nothing in common with.

It’s all a farce; it’s all delusion; each of these people is simply running from the reality of their own true identity. They are all “peasants” and are all a thousand times closer with one another in common interests , their struggles and successes of everyday life, and all of the socioeconomic factors affecting them and their families than they are with the “aristocracy” (phantasy modified authority figures) of their choosing.

Until this white man, this black man, and this small business owner can look at one another and accept that they are all from the same tribe and family, and that they should all work together and not against one another in the name of some illusional identity association escapism, they will all assure their own perpetual subjugation and parasitism to and from the aristocracy. Divided they (we) will fall.

Cribb          2016