Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Philosophies’ Category

If you have not read this book, I sincerely hope you will, as it is one of the first dystopian novels to be universally recognized as prophetic and at the same time dismissed as pure fantasy, something that could never happen.

A few quotations:

“If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.”

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”

“War is peace. Freedom is slavery.  Ignorance is strength.”

“Big Brother is Watching You.”

“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

“Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”

“The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.”

And a few others from another source that are even more frightening:

“Control healthcare and you control the people.”

“Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.”

“Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.”

“Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.”

“Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income).”

“Take control of what people read and listen to – take control of what children learn in school.”

“Remove the belief in God from the Government and schools.”

“Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.”

The first set of quotations are from the featured book: George Orwell’s 1984.

The second set of quotations are from the Community Organizer, Saul David Alinsky, who inspired the 44th President and the would-be 45th. The would-be 45th was so enamored of SDA that she wrote him a fan letter.

A+ if you see the connection between the Alinsky ‘rules’ and many policies that have dominated the educational and political environment over the past 50 or so years.

Another few quotations:

“…The Frankfurt School initially opposed the culture industry, which they thought ‘commodified’ culture. Then, they started to listen to Walter Benjamin, a close friend of Horkheimer and Adorno, who argued that cultural Marxism could make powerful use of tools like radio, film and later television to psychologically condition the public. Benjamin’s view prevailed, and Horkheimer and Adorno spent the World War II years in Hollywood. It is no accident that the entertainment industry is now cultural Marxism’s most powerful weapon….”

“…But hell had not forgotten the United States. Herbert Marcuse remained here, and he set about translating the very difficult academic writings of other members of the Frankfurt School into simpler terms Americans could easily grasp. His book, Eros and Civilization, used the Frankfurt School’s crossing of Marx with Freud to argue that if we would only ‘liberate non-procreative eros’ through ‘polymorphous perversity,’ we could create a new paradise where there would be only play and no work. Eros and Civilization became one of the main texts of the New Left in the 1960s.

“Marcuse also widened the Frankfurt School’s intellectual work. In the early 1930s, Horkheimer had left open the question of who would replace the working class as the agent of Marxist revolution. In the 1950s, Marcuse answered the question, saying it would be a coalition of students, blacks, feminist women and homosexuals – the core of the student rebellion of the 1960s, and the sacred ‘victims groups’ of political correctness today. Marcuse further took one of political correctness’s favorite words, ‘tolerance,’ and gave it a new meaning. He defined ‘liberating tolerance’ as tolerance for all ideas and movements coming from the left, and intolerance for all ideas and movements coming from the right. When you hear the cultural Marxists today call for ‘tolerance,’ they mean Marcuse’s ‘liberating tolerance’ (just as when they call for ‘diversity,’ they mean uniformity of belief in their ideology).”

Want to know more? For a full examination of how community organizers and their academic minions have shifted the balance, read William Lind’s Who Stole Our Culture?

Read Full Post »

In case this is news, we had a power outage in San Francisco today. The first I heard of it was a phone call to my office on the south side of Market Street. I heard the police and news helicopters most of the morning but that is not unusual in this city. Our building security kept an eye on the streets and from what I’ve since heard on the national news, fourteen neighborhoods—from the Financial District to the Marina—were affected.

I left my office shortly after noon, walking along Montgomery Street to Sutter, back along Kearny and up the north side of Market. All shops, building and restaurants were closed. All traffic lights were out.

Happily, I am able to report that San Franciscans behave well in a crisis. Drivers followed the basic rules of stopping at every intersection, moving forward when the box was clear. Pedestrians crossed in crosswalks without risk—pedestrians have the right of way in CA and today that law was actually followed.

I heard laughter, saw kindness and courtesy, patience was the operative word. BART engineers set up generators, the Municipal Transit Agency directed traffic and our wonderful Police Department kept everyone safe.

Even late in the afternoon, most of the business sections of the city were still shut down. And yet, civility reigned.

Thank you, San Franciscans, tourists, shoppers and commuters!

Read Full Post »

Montgomery Street between Post & Sutter

Montgomery Street between Post & Sutter

All the wonders of traversing the financial district streets on a weekday in San Francisco.

This particular encampment is outside a popular Asian restaurant, an iconic often-filmed bank building, and a fashionable health gym.

It spans at least four feet of an eight foot wide sidewalk. On both ends, there are piles of rubbish, garbage, containers with leftover food.

Market Street between Montgomery & Kearney

Market Street between Montgomery & Kearney

Along Market Street between New Montgomery and Third Street, outside the Ritz Carlton Residences, the brick-laid pavement is littered with wet newspapers and plastic wrappers.

Lotta's Fountain - 1906 landmark a favorite tourist site and now a litter bin.

Lotta’s Fountain – 1906 landmark a favorite tourist site and now a litter bin.

At the junction of Third, Market & Kearney, Lotta’s Fountain is a landmark tourist attraction which is featured in many films set in San Francisco, including several by Alfred Hitchcock and, of course, the Michael Douglas and Karl Malden classic series, The Streets of San Francisco.

Every day of the year, visitors are taken to this island on the busy streets to hear guides describing the fountain’s origin and function during the 1906 earthquake.

At the entrance to the Metro Station, on the same corner as the world famous Palace Hotel, across the street from the sunny plaza of the McKesson Building, a man begs for change every day, scoots along the street in his wheelchair, using his feet to propel his vehicle, to the nearest coffee chainstore to spend his

Market Street at New Montgomery Metro Entrance - once a planter, now a garbage bin.

Market Street at New Montgomery Metro Entrance – once a planter, now a garbage bin.

panhandling gains. Behind him, is what remains of a planter that the San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority has abandoned from its once beautifying effort to this:

Some San Franciscans claim that their city is doing very well, thank you. Those of us who battle the litter, the beggars, the needles, the homeless off their meds, the stench from the gutters and drains, the dog messes (at least we pretend it’s dog mess), the acres of garbage and the dangers of physical bodily harm from all of the above, have a different opinion.

Farewell to a city that is one of the most expensive for residents while offering “sanctuary” for criminals who are here illegally, giving $300 a month to each homeless person (estimated to be about 795 homeless people per 100,000 residents [approximately 7,200]) of taxpayers’ money, (about $2,146,500 every month), satisfying the agenda of supervisors who justify their tax-grab, appease their constituents, and defend their rising requirement for more money, while ignoring the rising property crime and the disappearance of the people whose work built this once naturally diverse, working class urban paradise.

The city of neighborhoods of my childhood has been transformed by so-called liberal policies into a decaying relic that pretends to be the flower of Utopian Urban Life.

 

 

Read Full Post »

My hometown is a village located in the southwest corner of Maine. For the first five years of my life, I spent my days wandering the woods and groves of lilac bushes around my house or with the kids down the road, an older girl and her younger brothers.

During the summer before I turned six, my father found work in San Francisco and my mother drove across the country with my older brother as a relief driver and the car loaded with luggage, my younger sister and me.  We arrived in the city and moved into a flat in the Haight-Ashbury. My parents enrolled me for the first grade—my first experience in school as Maine didn’t provide pre-school/Kindergarten education—and my father taught me to read before school started.

From rural Maine to cosmopolitan San Francisco might have been a shock, but not for me. We were close enough to Golden Gate Park for me to disappear in the groves of cyprus instead of the lilac bushes. My school was Dudley-Stone which drew its student population from the north and western Haight, rich in cultural and economic diversity. Later, we moved a little south to the Cole Valley and I started third grade at Grattan School.

The Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council held many community events—potluck dinners, talent contests, street fairs. We didn’t call it ‘diversity’ then. We called it community, neighborhood, friends. When I moved to live in Wales in the 1980s, I was so proud of my roots in San Francisco, that I wrote articles and gave talks about the spirit of community, neighborliness and friendships formed in my early school years with people of every race, religion and culture from around the world.

There was no strained, self-conscious effort to accept one another. We just did. The kids in my neighborhood ran around together, played and commiserated, disagreed and had water balloon fights without any distinction about the color of our skin, the origin of our culture or the denomination of our faith. Of course, we saw and sensed the differences but they were celebrated. We were all inhabitants of a sunny neighborhood and enjoyed the experiences of a wide world.

These are my experiences and I do not pretend to speak for those children I considered my friends in that long ago time, but the interference of adults in the innocence of childhood has never been more pervasive than it has been in this century.

This school year in San Francisco, the Board of Education is forcing children to learn about matters that only concern adults. Parents have a responsibility to protect their children from undue influence, including their own prejudice. As one of my childhood friends, now a renown clinical psychologist, once said, children do not need to know about what matters to you, only what matters to them.

My parents did not teach me prejudice and I have never looked at anyone to judge them for their color, religion or position, only for their character. And I have faith that most of us are good, honest, optimistic people who want only to be left alone to live our lives and raise our families. These are the people I write about.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Disappointments come at every juncture of our lives. As children we face rejection as players on teams, aren’t invited to a classmate’s birthday party, fail a test or don’t get the grade we wanted on a paper. These are all learning experiences and prepare us for the inevitable rough treatment we will face in the adult world. As one of the teachers in my children’s school replied to a request that party invitations not be distributed publicly to save the ‘feelings’ of the uninvited, “They have to learn they won’t always be invited. Better they learn it now.”

A hard lesson for a six or seven year old when they are one of only a few who are not going. As parents, we want to protect our children from such heartaches but preparing them for the real world also requires we make some tough choices ourselves. Who among us has not faced the disappointments we hope our children will not? If we remember how our own parents’ handled our disappointment, we may have some insight into establishing emotional resilience in our offspring.

If we are not as fortunate, we may find other sources of support and strength. Motivational speakers and writers provide inspiration and occasionally help us clear the emotional blocks that stop us from achieving the success we want.

Writers are told to thicken their skins. We will need armor for what the world of agents, publishers, reviewers and readers throw in our direction. Several years ago, I attended a writers’ day workshop during which the audience was given a catalogue of the percentages of success of all the millions of us who aspire to publish (and especially to be read).

One statistic was that only 3% of writers are ever published. An even smaller percentage at that time saw their names on the cover of a published book. Self- and indie publishing has made a significant dent in those numbers. What hasn’t changed is the need for armor.

However, no matter what we write or the genre we write in, the foundation of our stories is the conflict of the individual versus the group. Our heroes and heroines stand up to evil and injustice, even if they are borderline immoral (scoundrels, vamps, tarts, disgraced cops etc) in their own right. Most of our primary characters have faced disappointments that have given them a mark which distinguishes them from their antagonists. And how they respond to that disappointment is their defining moment.

8aa17-51jt0rtvrl-_sl500_aa300_In my novel, Wait a Lonely Lifetime, Eric Wasserman sacrifices his best interests to those of his closest friend. Eric has several reasons for this, one of which is his past experience of inferiority in comparison to Steven Langdon’s presumed success.  The truth comes to light when the now divorced Sylviana Langdon searches for the man she fell in love with fifteen years before, surmounting her own disappointment and risking her happiness on the slim hope she and Eric can have a future together.

Although my publisher praised this novel as a ‘terrific romance,’ my armor was dented a little by the occasional harsh review.

I went on to write three more novels and am working on a fifth.

Not getting chosen for the volley ball team or not receiving an invitation to a sleepover is good preparation for the knocks we all face when we begin our professional work. Being shielded from any negativity in our formative years makes us weaker and more vulnerable to the real hurts coming our way.

Either that or we seek safety in the group, subvert our thoughts, talents and futures to the will of others, too delicate to face opposition and too easily damaged to be of use to ourselves or our society.

* * *

All of my novels are available on AllRomance eBooks, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, iBookstore, Kobo and Smashwords, as well as many other related sites. Further information is also available on my website, Leigh Verrill-Rhys.
af595-salsanewebook200ThisCantBeLoveCoverFinal200_thumb.jpgNights-Before-Final200.jpg

Read Full Post »

Ye Old Tea Shoppe?

Ye Old Tea Shoppe?

My mother seemed always to have an answer for every state of the human condition. A turn of phrase, an adage, an idiom, a quotation that addressed a predicament in which I or my siblings found ourselves.

One of these is well-known and the photo here begins as my mother would have, but goes on to encourage hatefulness in the guise of ‘cool’ or ‘clever’. But not representative of an establishment that I feel comfortable entering.

I first saw this advertising board earlier this month. As I write, the sign is still there. In the shop today, there were two male members of staff. At the beginning of this month, the staff member was female.

This is not the first time this shop has ventured into the realm of nasty in hopes of catching the eyes of what, to my mind, must be equally nasty patrons. However, I pass this shop twice a day and very rarely do I see any patrons inside.

Although I am a tea-drinker, I give this place a miss. In any case, this seems like the kind of business that does not welcome people like me as customers.

My philosophy is straightforward and one I learned from my mother when I was a nasty fourteen year old: “You get more flies with honey.” How we treat one another matters. What we do and say to one another defines us more than what we accomplish or possess.

Perhaps, if the owners of this tea shop put out inspiring, educational or encouraging messages, the staff wouldn’t be wasting their time coming up with hurtful witticisms. They’d be too busy providing service to enthusiastic tea-drinkers.

Smile and say hello. It’s painless.

Read Full Post »

As with many Americans, because my family came here as immigrants—as did everyone else in the world to their respective countries however long ago that was—I have an interest in my roots. Over time, roots get buried so deep that digging one up disrupts everything you thought you knew about yourself and who you thought you were.

For a few generations, we may hold dear notions that help us identify certain character traits which seem out of whack with others in our community. Possibly, we have an affinity for a certain language or culinary dish. We may particularly like a certain attitude to life and the culture that attitude spawns. Someone in the family may make an assumption about a recent ancestor based on where that ancestor grew up. Someone else may embrace a particular story about a distant relation based on where that person was born.

The “I am this, therefore I am that” mindset.

Without doubt, we prefer to cherry pick according to our particular and peculiar preferences and needs. When our assumptions are vanquished by facts, our reaction is sometimes denial, a flat refusal to believe the truth, or, best case, a sense of relief that at last we know something about our past that is neither wishful thinking nor fanciful fabrication.

Occasionally, our negative reaction to these facts causes us to have adverse reactions to the truth-teller. After all, we were happy and comfortable in our personal mythology and the world-view upon which it was based. Although, in our heart of hearts, we know we can never again be sure of that world-view once we have been confronted with the truth, we will hold to what we thought we knew and shun those who have shattered our much-loved legends.

In essence, our personal mythology had become our belief-system and we are shaken from a place in which we felt we belonged when, all that time, we did not. And sometimes, that place was not the best place for us. Sometimes, the baggage of falsehoods prevents us from becoming all we were meant to be. snowdrops

Loosed from the security of long held, but erroneous information, we are at liberty to embrace a new, factual tale of our lives. Like snowdrops rising from the debris of winter, in the long run, the truth does indeed set us free.

Truth also opens many new and exciting possibilities, especially for those of us who are writers, painters, dancers, musicians, choreographers, photographers, quilters and all of the rest of the creative endeavors we undertake when we are inspired.

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »