Starbucks, Part Deux: Chasing the Red Dot

Watch the video.The cats are you and I. The guy holding the laser is the media. The red dot is the Starbucks coffee cup story.I'm going to call them Red Dot Stories from now on.They don't mean anything. They're not significant in any way. And yet we still leap excitedly to follow and talk about them. Just like cats, we allow ourselves to be jerked around by that irresistible fascination with the red dot. … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: Beyond Veterans Day

Salt Day copy

I confess to mixed feelings about November 11.I have a number of fairly conservative friends, and you can count on Veterans Day to kick off a massed booming v0lley of flag-wavery -- heartfelt prayers, cheers, and best wishes for the men and women in uniform, those gallant, selfless warriors willing to give their lives for our freedom.I can never join in with such fervent abandon. I mean, I GET Veterans Day. But still, considering some of the things the U.S. military has done ... mixed … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: The Poison of Stories

I'm having this idea. Haven't worked it out completely, but … here's the main part.First, let's go back to earlier in the year and look at this post: Beta Culture: Seeing the Brackets. (Its illo is just to the right here.)This is a sister post to that one, and to me clarifies and expands what I was really getting at back then. So:A great deal of what we humans do in day-to-day living is creating stories to live by.Some of them might be stories of personal identity – Faithful Bel … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: The Healthy Dog Registry

Pug dogs are an abomination. There, I said it. Someone had to.But seriously ...A few years back, I was taking pictures of people's dogs for the fun (and sometimes money) of it, and a lady called me asking if I would take pics of her little black pug. We met to discuss the project, exactly what she wanted and expected, and I got to meet her little dog.The entire time we talked, the dog in her arms made a growling noise. I baby-talked to him "Yes, you're scaring me! You're scaring me … [Read more...]

Power: The Source is the Limit, the Source is Us


Would you believe me if I told you "government" doesn't really exist? That when we talk about government, there's nothing really there? It's as fictional as religion?So where do I think all those government buildings come from? What's all that business you see in Washington DC -- Congress and the White House, the Supreme Court and all those museums and monuments and stuff? What's the deal with all the cop cars, and the uniformed people driving them? What do I think the IRS is, or the U.S. … [Read more...]

The Book of Good Living: Self-Contained Living

“The right to swing your fists ends where your neighbor's nose begins.” I first heard that saying something like 50 years ago, and it made immediate sense. Obviously, you have no “right” to be hitting other people in the nose, accidentally or deliberately. Besides the fact that Fist vs. Nose is a fight nose always loses – meaning you hurt this other person – it also sparks Other Fist into action, putting your own nose in danger. Other people can be drawn in, starting a melee. Property can be dam … [Read more...]