It is a time of freedom and fear, of Gaia and of borders, of many paths and the widening of a universal toll road, emptying country and swelling cities, of the public bought into privacy and the privacy of the public sold into invisible data banks and knowing algorithms. It is the time of the warrior's peace and the miser's charity, when the planting of a seed is an act of conscientious objection.
These are the times when maps fade and direction is lost. Forwards is backwards now, so we glance sideways at the strange lands through which we are all passing, knowing for certain only that our destination has disappeared. We are unready to meet these times, but we proceed nonetheless, adapting as we wander, reshaping the Earth with every tread.
Behind us we have left the old times, the standard times, the high times. Welcome to the irregular times.
Saturday, July 06, 2002
Just about everywhere I go, I see bumperstickers that say "God Bless America."
I've been wondering just what this phrase means. I see a couple of possibilities:
1. Command: God, Bless America! This is the height of arrogance, telling the supposed supreme ruler of the universe what to do. Of course, people do that all the time, under the guise of humble prayer.
2. Description: God Blesses America. This is not only the height of arrogance but also the height of delusion, supposing to know just what is in the mind of the supposed supreme ruler of the universe. People all around the world seem to get regular jollies out of telling other people what God thinks.
3. Request: God, would you please Bless America? While some might take this to be a humbler version of #1, it still makes the bizarre assumption that the speaker actually has an inside line to the personal phone of the supposed supreme ruler of the universe - a universe made up of billions of stars in each of billions of galaxies with quadrillions of inhabited planets. Not only is this supposed supreme ruler going to hear you in the first place, he's going to pay some special attention to you, because you are so special.
The bottom line, no matter how you read the phrase, is that the speaker is so powerful, so holy, so special that the supreme ruler of the universe listens to what he or she has to say.
Goodness gracious, I had no idea there were so many holy demigods driving around New Jersey! I guess I'd better not cut them off in traffic.
If you think you can figure out what "God Bless America" means better than I have, then visit the Irregular Times message board dedicated to this very question. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Friday, July 05, 2002
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