Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Train of Fiddlestick


As I found myself banging through my first entry, the thought came to my attention, here, in my second, before I had actually begun it, that I should not sling mud at intellectuals. At the close of the skirmish in my mind, I ended with a soft spot for the likes of Gregor Mendel and many others who could probably be labled as intellectuals or the precursors of such. Starting in my childhood, Gregor Mendel was a momentous role model. Biographies written for children, especially in my day, were often far from accurate depictions with their steadfast goal being the wrapping up of things into a well tied package. Add a bow and a song about banana boats and life was a bowl.

Almost anything communicated whether in written for or otherwise is still far from the truth of the matter, in reality. As an instance for comparison, almost anything written about me personally, someone someone I knew enough about, or something I personally knew anything much of anything about, is mostwise fairly or entirely inaccurate or misguided. I cannot think of a single occurrence of which I knew peasquadlings about of media unsullied. If you have ever watched a local purveyor of video journalism shape up the scene to be depicted  (if you could just pretend to be reading a newspaper over there and watch carefully) you would quickly get my gist (my account of which you cannot logically depend upon any more than his, truth be the master.) I leave you in this paragraph and sequence of thoughts with the term "fog of war," a phrase developed for when the mundane is in the extreme no longer mundane. [the door please... thank you. Oh, I SAID THANK YOU. Wasn't it ever thus?]
Mendel, as portrayed was mindfully determined in separating his peas, and was so fastidious, unlike me, and was posthumously rewarded for his work with words of great praise and respect, not uncoincidentaly proven by my own awareness of  Mendel as one of the good ones, in all likelyhood unlike me after I depart but I have the inclination to hope despite the cards that have already been dealt. Deity Above, perhaps you will smile upon your humble aging servant to allow him to become or remain considerable enough in the grand selection process for me to recollect me after my annihilation.

Mendel’s story acutely appeals to me in a similar manner in which the concept of hope appeals to a constituency of the optimistically determined. (In that light, I must reveal, at least to Deity Above, that I suddenly have a good feeling about my blog  becoming more meaningful, or easier to understand after trying to get control of the connective tissue. [Well, that throws the whole damnable thing off -- connective tissues and tissues in general are bits for later. SHUT THE BLINDS, will you? I am distracted by that damnable bluebird.] )
Ofttimes, my favorite de-animated artists are those not fully appreciated in their lifetimes-- my favorite bygone parents, the same, as final proof of the tarty pudding. Once an artist is truly appreciated, I feel, a struggle begins in that precious life to remain worthy of the new found praise. Modern artists, who are actually rewarded within their lifetimes, tend to be limited to the same carving that defined the contours of their initial success. If such an artist found success in painting spacious portraitures of comic book personalities. then the magnification of more comic book frames will quickly delineate future successful creative efforts, and almost naught else. If and when venturing out from what must needs become worn and stale ground--a type of adventurous journey that was their natural inclination, as artists, previous to hobbling down easy street -- artists will only find that their fame has scattered, leaving an inelegant tightrope to stride between what might be creative and what has been antecedently of prosperous result. 

If the initial strike made as genius made its outing is of large enough scale, perhaps there is no need to expend much effort to remain in the tots. This analogy applies to the common working man as well. If one is good at sewing buttons, one may be sewing buttons throughout life. If one makes a rich strike in an endeavor, through moral or immoral means, perhaps the amount of loot can purchase any lifestyle, any type work, ambassadorships, and fame. Otherwise, sew your buttons. You will find it hard to do otherwise.

I believe I do have a soft spot in my heart for thousands of other intellectuals who have provided a thoughtful framework, with misgivings, for my life. There are the misunderstood Adam Smiths and Charles Darwins, of whom I am not so sure was misunderstood but just well used and commercialized. He was put up wet, so to speak.  In point of fact a little hardening, or perhaps a mild form of chronic scleroderma, may be forming in my cardiovascular center for Darwinian logic in whatever it’s form. He is like a bad Christmas carolAll of these great practical intellectual thinkers were so bright, tis a shame, tis a shame, for all of them that success should narrow the world's boundaries and not just their own.
As I have long imagined, noted, and decided to blog about, the world would be so much better if the appreciation of Darwin as it advanced posthumously over time had remained more within the lines in which he was originally coloring. Scribbling messily outside his discipline has been decidedly detrimental to so many [but here I have slung mud around -- reader, please an entry or two more before you are set against me, I beg. The blog is in it's infancy. All may not be as it appears. Please, your pardon for the inconvenience and that dust upon your coat, let me wipe that off, sir.] If ever a time machine could be created, Charles Darwin would be in my top ten list of those to be brought into our time to view our society with disgust and chastise the wide range of application his simple well stated ideas have drunkenly meandered into, sickening alleyways that should never have been taken Only now, if only because now we are stuck now within the boundaries of his success in areas where a man of his time would not consciounably have taken us. I think I would be fairly certain he would indeed give us a bit of a what for.

[And if sometimes I sing to a cynical degree --- it's just the nonsense that it seems.]

For though one might respect intellectuals like Mendel, the great father of genetics, one cannot help but have distaste for the ultimate application of genetics to humans in World War II or even in today’s advances in modifying plants and, oh there is no end to the evil which knowledge can wander into. Despite the fear of the unknown, I will persist myself. Go ahead and taste the forbidden fruit I blog on about. Go on then, at least for a dozen more blog entries, because as you hopefully can see, I improve with age, and despite my advancing years and the limit of time left, the fact that the years appear to advance ever and ever faster should be of some advantage in advancing my improvements as well.
--Stop the train!— I see now at this particular point I have painted myself into a corner of analogies that may well be my undoing. I must ask the brakeman to stop our train in this place where we can hear ourselves think. Imagine that we are in an Alaskan mountain range and the drifts are high about us on either side. The path forward is clear, the path behind us is clear but to either side are banks of snow higher than our train by a multiple of 3. Now safely without distractions let us consider what Darwin did in his time, and what loads of excrement later sprouted out of his natural pea of knowledge. Darwin is probably one of the most influential men in world history. Eh, I could live without him. His subject was naturalism. His ideas did not really become completely and universally (narrowing the universe to the scientific method) accepted until long after his death. He was certainly not appreciated in his time for the many roads his theories would go down. Darwin's theory, as with most scientific theories, battled with Christianity. The battle rages on today about how old the earth is, whether it was created in 7 days, or whether all species have common ancestors instead of being created in all their variety in a heartbeat. While Christians may well consider this the evil of Darwinism, they themselves are sort of stuck on a train track, unable to see around them at the further influences of Darwinism upon, in my mind, mainly capitalism. Natural selection as a scientific theory? Why, oh my, that is a breeze. The moral implications are almost nonexistent. Yet, here the churches act like trained monkeys on fire.  A train, "A train of fiddlestick." Oh gees, brakeman, move on from this drift... 
Dear reader, my father saw things simply but he did not believe everything he was told. In fact a fair some of knowledge betrayed him. I became similarly distrustful of knowledge at age 20. Living life like this was hard. When I kept to the path I was safe but I explored when I could. Exploring is dangerous business. One can get lost. I no longer dare fate, I merely dabble in the unthoughtful. Despite being pilloried by those with less knowledge and pilloried by those with more, I remain unconvinced of the whole matter.
 Now, whether we observe it or no, continued my father, in every sound man's head, there is a regular succession of ideas of one sort or other, which follow each other in train just like—A train of artillery? said my uncle Toby—A train of a fiddle-stick!—quoth my father—which follow and succeed one another in our minds at certain distances, just like the images in the inside of a lanthorn turned round by the heat of a candle.—"   - Laurence Stern, Tristram Shandy

by Michael DeVore

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