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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sex and Money

Maybe I've said this before, but lately it has seemed to me that the most dangerous thing in the world is not terrorism, war, undying bigotry, religion blindly pursued, drug addiction, global warming, urges to murder, or even right-wing political thinking.   Instead it must be sex.   A person can get into trouble from that, in a thousand ways, quicker and easier than from any other actions.

This is shown by all the strictures that are put on sexual activities -- something that is found nowhere else in the animal kingdom except in the part of it occupied by humans.  And it is also shown by the extreme punishments meted out in the name of sex by legal systems, especially in the U.S., against all perceived infractions of those strictures -- punishments that usually are out of all proportion to the harm done by the "infraction."

Speaking of those dangers of the world,  I've also been thinking that money is second only to sex among them.

I must've known this all along, because, just as I have never been sex-obsessed, I have also stayed as far away as I could from all possibilities of becoming rich.  It has always seemed best to have just enough to live on modestly and no more.

I only have one close friend that could be called truly rich, though he would probably deny being in that situation, vigorously.   One manifestation of my attitude toward wealth was shown when, a few years ago, he offered to give me a top grade telescope that he had sitting in his living room and had seldom if ever used.   I, however,  refused the offer.   I had always wanted just such an item, but I saw that telescope as being way too fine and useful an object, for him to be simply giving it away, and I figured that if I had really wanted and needed such an implement, by that time I would have contrived to save up and buy one on my own.

And besides, now that my eyesight is slowly growing less acute, for me the night skies are gradually emptying of stars, and there was never any chance of me going to one of those incredibly distant places in outer space anyway, or even to a destination as close as the Moon, so that those longings, too, have lost all their previous interest.

For that matter,  I haven't even stirred myself to get on a plane or a boat and go to Spain to see "Las Meninas" ("Ladies in Waiting") by Velasquez, or that other huge painting of a Spanish royal family done by Goya that made them look like such a fantastic row of cretins to be in charge of one of Europe's most important countries at the time.   Nor have I made it to Egypt to see the big stone piles, much as I would like to see such wonders.  The most I did in that area was to go to Japan, and such is my twisted nature and therefore also the experiences that Fate provides for me, that I went to that country that is so distant in so many ways, to the exclusion of all others except Canada, not once but three times, the first time involuntarily, at the behest of the U.S. Air Force.   But now I no longer see those ventures as having been the highlights of my life that they once were.

Now, seeing how the desire to be rich and the actions of those who are already rich are responsibile for so many of the really intractable evils of the world, I wonder how I came to be so lucky that I can keep on existing while avoiding having wealth weighing  on my conscience.

It can't be native genius, so it must instead have surely come from being born and raised during the Great Depression, when most people didn't have much money, yet -- far from being as deplorable as it is thought to be now -- being in such a state was even considered by many to be a virtue, because it meant that a person wasn't screwing anybody or one's self, the same as is also done by the pursuit of sex too far out of need and too deeply into mere desire.


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