Thursday, October 23, 2008


¡Hola! Everybody…
I’m running late and I’ll be gone for most of the day. I would like to point, however, why is McCain’t not giving props to “George the President”? Or what about “Maria the Community Organizer”? I mean, shite, even “Tito the Builder” got a nod.

I’m just sayin’ (the above was shamelessly stolen from Colbert)

Today I’m reposting an older blog… I think it’s relevant in light of the elections. I believe the biggest question we face today is: whose freedom? Freedom only for the powerful or freedom for the common folk?

* * *

-=[ Questions 101 ]=-

“You see things that are and say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were and say ‘Why not?’”

-- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Why? Good question! I have been plagued by questions since as far back as I can remember. Over the years, I’ve learned to ask other questions -- sometimes looking in the dark for newer questions, or questions not asked. I have come to learn that sometimes the questions are more important than the answers. I am a born skeptic, a doubter, a troublemaker by nature – “un mas que jodes, un travesio.” At various times in my life I have been deemed unfit to live among the free and a bit deranged, to boot.

But along the way I have learned that questions are the very substance of who we are and what we do. I have learned that almost everything we do, every decision we make, is a response to an inner question. It’s unfortunate, I often think, that “Questions 101” is not a regular feature in our classrooms. But then again, does the status quo really want to nurture questioning in our young? Sometimes we forget the core questions and live life on automatic pilot.

One of my favorite sci-fi books, Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, deals with this essential issue of questions. In it a massive supercomputer is designed to give the ultimate, the absolute answer, an answer that would explain “God, life, the universe, and everything.” But the computer takes seven and a half million years to do this, and by the time the computer delivers the answer, everybody has forgotten the question! (Yes this highly recommended book can be extremely funny at times). So, nobody remembers the ultimate question, but the ultimate answer is: 42. (what did you expect?)

This is amazing! Finally! THE ANSWER! So wonderful is the answer that immediately a contest is held to see if anyone can come up with “The Question.” Many profound questions are submitted, but the final winner is: “How many roads must a man walk down?”

Reflecting about “God, life, the universe, and everything” is pretty much what my life has been about -- the unexamined life, to paraphrase a friend, is an unworthy one. Of course, the answer may be not as clever as “42.” Perhaps the answers deal with matter, life, mind, and spirit, and the underlying evolutionary currents that seem to unite them all in a pattern that connects. The “Web with no Weaver,” as one of my favorite philosophers, Ken Wilber, likes to put it.

For some time now, I have tried to embody this spirit of questioning. I guess part of my personal mission is to prod others to question, to look for the unasked questions and to try to understand who decides what questions will be asked and why. I think that’s part of my motivation for posting my rants -- I want people to ask, to question, to investigate their lives. If I were to to die today, I would like to believe that I made some difference in the lives of the people I touch. I would want people to say, “He was a crazy motherfucker, but he cared, and he touched my life in a special way.” Or something like that.

In this crazy world all we can be sure of is the punch line to this grand Cosmic Joke we call life -- death. In the midst of all this uncertainty, we grope for meaning or something that gives us a foundation of sorts. Sometimes this clinging is the core of our pain, sometimes having no meaning in one’s life is a key component to pain. So then, this is my meaning -- my mission: to rattle the cage a wee bit, to ask the unasked question and to ask you, dear reader and friend:

Why not?

We all come here in the ether of “cyberspace” and unwittingly become part of a process that creates a sense of community where the curious, the apathetic, the wounded, the lonely and the happy can come together to create meaning together. Where we can all come together and tell our stories without censure and to ask the questions that need asking and then support each other somehow when the answers are harsh or painful.

I remember a time when that was called community...



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