the wings of heaven

Posted in politics, religion, social commentary on January 20, 2011 by frankluck

Historically, Biblically, the seat to the right hand of God is the most desirable and is reserved for Jesus.  I have thought about God and Jesus recently in terms of our own earthly divisions and have concluded that God should sit on the right, Jesus on the left, and perhaps the Holy Spirit inhabit center stage.  God, the rock of ages, the Old Testament God is not really evolved spiritually.  He is wrathful, mean-spirited, unreasonable and unforgiving.  His idea of justice is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, he is always smiting someone for some minor infraction while his favorites indulge in sodomy, incest, murder, bigamy and adultery (the list goes on).  The Old Testament God is a right-winger.  The “Christian” Right is always quoting scripture to support their less than moral views but just like Republicans quoting the Constitution, they are in most cases ignorant of the meaning of either and one would charitably say, selective in their quotations.  Jesus is a liberal, a left winger (if you ascribe to the right-wing definition of the word).  He turns the other cheek, he helps the poor, he treats others as he would treat himself,  and love and forgiveness is his message.  Why do so many Christians worship Jesus when they do not follow his teachings?  How can the right-wing pretend to be Christian when their views are the antithesis of those of Jesus?  Whether you believe there is a God or not, whether you think you must believe in Jesus to get into heaven or not, the moral choices are clear.  You cannot have your cake and eat it too.  If you choose to live by Old Testament values you cannot be a Christian.  If you choose Jesus you cannot behave like his Father.  The truth is, if there are Heavenly beings, they would probably prefer it if we didn’t use them to support every  cock eyed idea we try to foist on the world.  Forgive me Jesus but I would like to close with one of your better ideas, love thy neighbor.

qu’est que c’est

Posted in politics, social commentary on January 9, 2011 by frankluck

 Just another psycho killer – a mentally disturbed, disenfranchised, disenchanted, disgruntled player has leapt down upon the national stage.  Already you can hear the political media machine downplaying the obvious reasons for this tragedy and promoting the same old lone gunman theory we have heard since Judas served up Jesus on a platter.  It never changes.  The fact that this “cowboy” nation (in reality, a very brief interval in our history) has the most ridiculous gun laws in the “civilised” world, that we glorify and encourage those who spout hate and violence, that we, as a nation, are impotent when it comes to effecting real change, never enters the equation.  In a few days, this incident of violence against a duly elected Congresswoman of the United States, Gabrielle Giffords, and the death and injury perpetrated by this latest misguided, misunderstood loner, Jared Lee Loughner (always all 3 names for assassins), will be forgotten.  Politicians and talking heads will cry out for justice and change for a few minutes and then go back to the business of creating yet another monster.  Qu’est que c’est?

peter the great

Posted in friends, personal, politics on December 20, 2010 by frankluck

I loved Peter Eichenberger.  I never met the man and now that he is cycling across the sky, I never will.  I knew him only from brief cable access appearances on Todd Mormon’s Monkeytime show and from his acerbic, witty, pithy (and a thousand other adjectives I’ve left out), and of course truthful prose, first in the now defunct Spectator and then in the Independent.  For those of you in the universe beyond Raleigh, NC, Peter was an intellectual for the common man.  He refused to be dragged into the greed and corruption in which we are all drowning, and for that Peter paid a price.  It is said he smoked and drank too much but it seemed a perfectly natural response for one so afflicted by the horrors of our world.  He felt the pain of the homeless, the disenfranchised, the marginal beings on the edge of our society, he was one of them in many ways, but his voice was that of a lion, his pen mightier than any sword.  One friend said that Peter never met a conspiracy theory he didn’t like, but perhaps he saw things a little clearer than the rest of us.  In 2004 when Peter was hit by a car while cycling late at night down Bickett Boulevard, my first  thought was that the bastards had finally gotten him, another conspiracy theory come true.  After all, Peter made a lot of people in power uncomfortable.   Before the accident, Peter was John the Baptist, howling in the wilderness, afterwards he was beatific, like Jesus, preaching the gospel of love, not religion (let me make that clear), just love for his fellow man but he never lost his edge. He could still, with a surgeon’s skill, make a perfect incision in hypocrisy and peel back the layers of lies that concealed it.  If you are ever lucky enough to read any of Peter’s work, his tales of injustice, of government conspiracy, of the downtrodden among us then you will be among the blessed his words have touched.  In time the accident took its toll, the stress of coma, the seizures from brain damage and perhaps too many late nights at Sadlack’s and Peter was silenced forever. Peter should have died that dark night on Bickett but he wasn’t about to let someone else write his obituary yet ( http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/newsobserver/obituary.aspx?n=peter-eichenberger&pid=146838943 ).  He left us this Thanksgiving, while sipping tea and reading the newspaper (the printed word his Bible to the end).  I loved Peter Eichenberger and I will miss his heart and his mind, and of couse, his soul.

the ugly truth

Posted in politics, social commentary, songwriter on November 3, 2010 by frankluck

I woke up this day after the election and this is all I had to say.

The Ugly Truth

 

 My country tis of thee, but what have we become

The ugly truth rears its head

We settle every score with jackboots or a gun

Sweet reason’s dead

 

How easily we stray from cheerful hopefulness

Into a maelstrom of malaise

How do we think that we can make much more of less

By saying nay

 

Every day we wake up to another bout of blues

Every paper in the land has given up on news

Every time we hear the truth we only get confused

We’d rather hear a pretty lie than hear the ugly truth

 

The wise men tell us that we’ve been through this before

The politics of deja vu

Are we misguided to believe there must be more

Than the ugly truth

©November 2010 Frank Luck

This morning a friend of mine put it this way, “Change we can’t believe in”. 

platitude

Posted in literature, politics, social commentary on October 19, 2010 by frankluck

The awful truth is that the truth is often awful.  The human race, ever striving to avoid or at least soften reality, came up with the platitude, a spoonful of easily digested truth.  Shakespeare and Benjamin Franklin are two of our most adept in all thing platitudinous.  It could be argued that Shakespeare merely recorded the homilies of his day, but Ben Franklin we, with typical American arrogance, consider a true original.  For my money, I’ll stick with Mark Twain who, as one of his literary heirs, Biff Rose, would say,”He told the truth but with a wink.”   Twain, like his contemporary P.T. Barnum, knew there was a sucker born every minute and he rubbed it in.  “Familiarity breeds contempt, and children”, ” He laughs best who laughs least”, “We are always more anxious to be distinguished for a  talent which we do not possess, than to be praised for the fifteen we do possess”, “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything”.  Twain wrote hundreds of these all to human observations and  the reason they are still relevant is that we still avoid the truth like the plague.  Our society is mired in sound bites, half-truths, outright lies and as Twain says, ” The most outrageous lies that can be invented will find believers if a man only tells them with all his might”.  Twain would have loved the Tea Party.  You get my point – I cannot improve on the wisdom of the ages so I will end with one final quote from the  cinematic heir to the Clemensian throne, Groucho Marx. “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”  Mark Twain would be so proud.

Guernica

Posted in economy, politics, religion, social commentary, Uncategorized, war on September 22, 2010 by frankluck

Guernica is Pablo Picasso’s interpretation of war.  It was painted in response to the bombing of civilians during the Spanish Civil War.  It is black, white, and gray but perhaps it should be red like blood and green like money – these are the real colors of war.  All countries, but particularly America, glorify war.  In America it has become a video game where death is not real and winning is penultimate.  There are no good wars!  Sure you can justify some of them, like WWII but there was no nobility in our participation – we needed to boost the economy and pry ourselves loose from the Depression and it worked, and it only cost a few million lives.   Ask anyone who fought in that war if it was good.  George W. Bush, a life long failure at everything, even managed to wreck the economy while fighting 2 wars.  Perhaps his friends at Halliburton were a bit too greedy and the benefits of war didn’t trickle down to the rest of us. My God, even Viet Nam turned a profit.  I am a child of the Fifties, a boomer.  We were taught that the world was a wondrous place, that our superior technology and intelligence would free us from the horrors of war and the drudgery of work.  Where are the hover cars, the milk and honey, the world at peace?  Is it really just about greed?  Are we forever condemned to repeat the past?  America must change or it will die (Rome comes to mind) but this isn’t the 18th century, a few tea parties will not free us from oppression.  We are rapidly becoming too dumb to deserve democracy.  What will save America, if anything, is intelligence, education and dreams.  We the people have to be prepared to save ourselves despite the government, the corporations, the radical fringe.  How do we do this?  I haven’t a clue.  The tenets of Christianity, love thy neighbor, etc. (unless he’s brown) haven’t worked, the wisdom of the ages hasn’t worked, the good intentions of good men have not worked.  Perhaps we need a war, one that will obliterate all of mankind, so we can climb out of the primordial sludge and start all over again but  I fear Darwin’s theory (reality) of the survival of the fittest will again rear its ugly head and war will reemerge as the only thing all men have in common.  Unless…….

Conspiracy Theory

Posted in politics, religion, social commentary on September 12, 2010 by frankluck

Okay, maybe it’s just me but isn’t it even a little bit suspicious that  “Pastor” Terry Jones and Rush Limbaugh went to the same Missouri high  school together?  No one in the mainstream media has made or suggested a connection but I, for one, am beginning to miss the sophomoric prank level of Tricky Dick’s dirty tricks. The Republican base has reached a new low with this one, and interestingly Rush has been conspicuously absent from this controversy (have you seen any reporting on his opinion?), allowing the Cowardly Grizzly, the Sanctimonious Scarecrow, and the Tan Man to carry the message from Oz, conflating it with the  NY “mosque” (can you say Islamic Community Center?) madness.  Rush knows a nutjob when he sees one, after all one need only look at his millions of listeners for proof, and he probably called Reverend Jones (what is it with preachers named Jones) an offered him a little  Kool-Aid and suggested he could be as big as the Kardashians if he pulled off this stunt.  Of course he drank every drop.  When will this country ever get beyond jingoism, racism and all the other isms that keep America from truly being a beacon of hope and truth for all? When will we learn from the past?  When will we do what Jesus would do (or Mohammed, Buddha, etc.)? When will we learn to shut up (guilty as charged) and ignore these vermin?

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