Friday, October 3, 2008

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.


-- Robert Frost



* * *


The painting is one Scott painted and it's called "Evensong". It was the view from a New Hampshire bed and breakfast where we stayed for several days in the fall of 2004. This poem always makes me think of the woods in New Hampshire and I suppose it's because that's where Robert Frost lived and it's a place I've returned to on and off all of my life. If I had to pick a favorite poem, this would be it. I cannot remember a time when I didn't know it.


What poem is like an old friend to you?


27 comments:

Günter said...

Thanks for posting that, really.

Here's one by Yeats that I've thought of a few times recently:

Politics

"In Our Time the destiny of man presents its meanings in political terms."
-Thomas Mann

How can I, that girl standing there,
My attention fix
On Roman or on Russian
Or on Spanish politics,
Yet here's a traveled man that knows
What he talks about,
And there's a politician
That has both read and thought,
And maybe what they say is true
Of war and war's alarms,
But O that I were young again
And held her in my arms.

Usman said...

That is such a beautiful poem and painting.
Thank you so much.
I'll answer some of the questions you posted on my blog the other day, in some detail soon.

moonrat said...

i love frost, but he gives me the chills. usually it's "stopping by woods..." but just now when i read "two roads" it happened again. brrrr.

kristenspina said...

Beautiful post, beautiful poem, beautiful painting. I needed a little beauty today. Thank you.

Charles Gramlich said...

That's a great poem. And I love the idea because it's in the back of my head every time I take a trail and there is another to the side that I don't get to go down. One poem I read over and over is "Recompense" by Robert E. Howard.

Larramie said...

You chose my favorite poem, Lisa, and Scott's painting is absolutely gorgeous. Hope it's one permanently displayed in your home.

Melissa Marsh said...

LOVE that painting! Absolutely gorgeous.

Carleen Brice said...

That is one beautiful picture!

Elizabeth said...

We actually memorized this poem in the seventh grade at my school in Atlanta. Our old, old English teacher was very big into recitation. I have to say that I'm grateful now that I can still recite it because it IS so beautiful. I couldn't possibly name my favorite poem or poet -- but if I were on a desert island I'd probably bring along the collected works of Yeats. Or maybe Wallace Stevens. Or...

steve said...

Scott's painting is reminiscent of, though not exactly like, George Inness's landscapes. I used to make regular visits to the Inness paintings in the Art Institute of Chicago. The title is straight out of Anglicanism--your influence?

I have a lot of poems that are old friends--Thomas the Rhymer, Kubla Khan, Sir Patrick Spens, Gregory Corso's Marriage, Ferlinghetti's Starting from San Francisco, Ginsberg's A Supermarket in California, just about anything by Keats, etc. But here is a special friend--On What Planet, by Kenneth Rexroth:

Uniformly over the whole countryside
The warm air flows imperceptibly seaward;
The autumn haze drifts in deep bands
Over the pale water;
White egrets stand in the blue marshes;
Tamalpais, Diablo, St. Helena
Float in the air.
Climbing on the cliffs of Hunter’s Hill
We look out over fifty miles of sinuous
Interpenetration of mountains and sea.

Leading up a twisted chimney,
Just as my eyes rise to the level
Of a small cave, two white owls
Fly out, silent, close to my face.
They hover, confused in the sunlight,
And disappear into the recesses of the cliff.

All day I have been watching a new climber,
A young girl with ash blond hair
And gentle confident eyes.
She climbs slowly, precisely,
With unwasted grace.
While I am coiling the ropes,
Watching the spectacular sunset,
She turns to me and says, quietly,
“It must be very beautiful, the sunset,
On Saturn, with the rings and all the moons.”

Julie Layne said...

Call me crazy, but ...

When you spit from the twenty-sixth floor
And if floats on the breeze to the ground
Does it fall upon hats
Or on white persian cats
Or on heads, with a pitty-pat sound?

Oh, I used to think life was a bore
But I don't feel that way any more
As count up the hits,
As I smile as I sit,
As I spit from the twenty-sixth floor.

~ Shel Silverstein/Where the Sidewalk Ends

Seriously, one of the greatest poets ever. :-D

(I do like some serious poets, too, I promise.)

Lisa said...

Gunter, Thanks for sharing that. It's beautiful.

Usman, I am so lucky to have a friend in Pakistan and so grateful that you're willing to talk about these things.

Moonrat, I don't know if Frost is like an embedded part of the grade school curriculum for kids who grow up in New England, but he feels like a part of my DNA.

Kristen, I think we could all use an infusion of some beauty lately. I can just about feel our collective national anxiety level thrumming.

Charles, I always think of it when I walk in the woods and come to a fork too.

Larramie, It's your favorite too? That painting is -- we think -- in a gallery in Vail right now. It was in the front hallway for a while.

Melissa, Scott thanks you :)

Carleen, And he thanks you too!

Elizabeth, The only poem I ever had to memorize was really kind of a strange one. My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Helmsdorff had us memorize "Abu Ben Adhem", by James Leigh Hunt and to this day, I can recite it from start to finish. I always have a knee-jerk reaction to poetry and think I don't know any, but over time I've been surprised at how much of it I seem to have internalized through osmosis.

Steve, Scott thanks you -- he loves George Inness. When we lived in NH, we met another painter, Dennis Sheehan who actually owns an Inness. I didn't have anything to do with the painting's title. I've always thought he had a special gift for naming his paintings. I'm sure he probably doesn't know where "Evensong" came from, but my guess is that, even though he's from a Jewish family, he's absorbed lots of Christian symbolism and terminology, just because I think it's almost impossible not to when you live in America. He often surprises me with the things he knows.

Julie, That's not crazy! This is the second Shel Silverstein post I've read in two days -- Gunter did a post on how disturbing it was to hear "The Giving Tree" in Montessori school. I love this poem!

Beautiful poem!

Melissa,

Steve Malley said...

Which poem is like an old friend?

Well, I'm a big fan of William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost and Rudyard Kipling. Little less so of TS Eliot (I have trouble with the anitsemitism thing) and the Romantics.

But my favorite? William Butler Yeats.

And that poem like an old friend?

I hate to admit it's 'Slouching Toward Bethlehem'.

Of course, I have just seen eight years where 'the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity'...

Need coffee.

Peter said...

One is certainly Wordsworth's "Intimations of Immortality." I count it an old friend because it meant as much to me in my college years (thirty years ago) as it does now, though my relationship to it has changed. Here's part of stanza five:

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Love Natasha Trethewey's:


Flounder


Here, she said, put this on your head.
She handed me a hat.
you 'bout as white as your dad,
and you gone stay like that.
Aunt Sugar rolled her nylons down
around each bony ankle,
and I rolled down my white knee socks
letting my thin legs dangle,
circling them just above water
and silver backs of minnows
flitting here then there between
the sun spots and the shadows.
This is how you hold the pole
to cast the line out straight.
Now put that worm on your hook,
throw it out and wait.
She sat spitting tobacco juice
into a coffee cup.
Hunkered down when she felt the bite,
jerked the pole straight up
reeling and tugging hard at the fish
that wriggled and tried to fight back.
A flounder, she said, and you can tell
'cause one of its sides is black.
The other is white, she said.
It landed with a thump.
I stood there watching that fish flip-flop,
switch sides with every jump.

debra said...

Blogger ate my comment (again) the first time I posted. Here goes:

ee cummings

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
wich is natural which is infinite which is yes

Stewart Sternberg said...

Great post. Great end question. "The Road Not Taken" is definitely one my old friends. So is "Jenny kissed Me." And of course, Poe's "ALONE". "From childhood's hour I could not see as others saw..."

Lana Gramlich said...

Beautiful poem, of course. My friends & I made a point to include taking the road less traveled in our personal philosophies. The painting is inspirational. Thank you!

Riss said...

I think this one is good for me...it's not old but it's a good friend

It rained during the night
And two puddles formed in the dark
And began chatting.
One said,

"It is so nice to at last be upon this earth
And to meet you as well,

But what will happen when
The brilliant Sun comes
And turns us back into spirit again?"

Dear ones,
Enjoy the night as much as you can.

Why ever trouble your heart with flight,
When you have just arrived
And your body is so full of warm desires.
And look:

So many meadows of soft hair are
Planted upon you.

Why ever trouble yourself with God
When He is so unjudging
And kind

Unless you are blessed and live
Near the circle of a
Perfect One?


- Hafiz

Denis said...

great post, great picture. Thanks, i needed something uplifting too!Scott should have painted that travelling gnome in the path.

Tim said...

Lisa and Scott -- Beautiful match of an exceptional poem with a perfectly gorgeous painting.

The poem that probably says most to me isn't truly a poem, although it's in blank verse. It's Prospero's (and Shakespeare's) farewell to the world of magic (theater) at the end of THE TEMPEST:

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

Shakespeare. What a guy.

Lisa said...

Steve M, "Slouching Toward Bethlehem" -- yes, that's a good one, and it kind of gives me the shivers because it seems so pertinent no matter what context you put it into.

Peter, Wordsworth is wonderful!

Angie, Wow! What a powerful poem. Thank you so much for introducing me to Natasha Trethewey. This is wonderful.

Debra, Oh, another great one!

Stewart, Great poems too.

Lana, Scott thanks you :)

Riss, Thank you for that. It's beautiful and I'd never read it before.

Denis, Oh man! I'll see if I can talk him into adding the traveling gnome to some of the landscapes we still have here. Great idea!

Tim, Perfect! I just recently bought the collected works of WS. Now I'll have to go look this up. I'm on a Shakespeare kick these days. I've got a DVD of Macbeth with Ian McKellan and Judi Dench and the Royal Shakespeare Company --- I think it was from sometime in the 70s and it's just amazing.

Anonymous said...

Amazing.

The first ever global depression will go down in history horribly misunderstood. What a pathetic bunch of ignorant fools we have become. Consumer junkie credit card morons. Perfect little victims. Say, that reminds me.

Don’t believe one optimistic word from any public figure about the economy or humanity in general. They are all part of the problem. Its like a game of Monopoly. In America, the richest 1% now hold ALMOST 1/2 OF ALL UNITED STATES WEALTH. Unlike ‘lesser’ estimates, this includes all stocks, bonds, cash, offshore accounts, and material assets held by America’s richest 1%. Even that filthy pig Oprah acknowledged that it was at about 50% in 2006. Naturally, she put her own ‘humanitarian’ spin on it. Calling attention to her own ‘good will’. WHAT A DISGUSTING HYPOCRITE SLOB. THE RICHEST ONE PERCENT HAVE LITERALLY MADE WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. Don’t fall for any of their ‘humanitarian’ CRAP. ITS A SHAM. THESE PEOPLE ARE CAUSING THE SAME PROBLEMS THEY PRETEND TO CARE ABOUT.

Ask any professor of economics. Money does not grow on trees. The government can’t just print up more on a whim. At any given time, there is a relative limit to the wealth within ANY economy of ANY size. So when too much wealth accumulates at the top, the middle class slip further into debt and the lower class further into poverty. A similar rule applies worldwide. The world’s richest 1% now own over 40% of ALL WORLD WEALTH. This is EVEN AFTER you account for all of this ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS from celebrities and executives.

ITS A SHAM. As they get richer and richer, less wealth is left circulating beneath them. This is the single greatest underlying cause for the current US recession. The middle class can no longer afford to sustain their share of the economy. Their wealth has been gradually transferred to the richest 1%. One way or another, we suffer because of their incredible greed. We are talking about TRILLIONS of dollars which have been transferred FROM US TO THEM. All over a period of about 27 years. That's Reaganomics for you. The wealth does not ‘trickle down’ as we were told it would. It just accumulates at the top. Shrinking the middle class and expanding the lower class. Causing a domino effect of socio-economic problems. But the rich will never stop. They just keep getting richer. Leaving even less of the pie for the other 99% of us to share. At the same time, they throw back a few tax deductible crumbs and call themselves ‘humanitarians’. Cashing in on the PR and getting even richer the following year.

IT CAN’T WORK THIS WAY. Their bogus efforts to make the world a better place can not possibly succeed. Any ‘humanitarian’ progress made in one area will be lost in another. EVERY SINGLE TIME. IT ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK THIS WAY. This is going to end just like a game of Monopoly. The current US recession will drag on for years and lead into the worst US depression of all time. The richest 1% will live like royalty while the rest of us fight over jobs, food, and gasoline. So don’t fall for any of this PR CRAP from Hollywood, Pro Sports, and Wall Street PIGS. ITS A SHAM.

Remember: They are filthy rich EVEN AFTER their tax deductible contributions. Greedy pigs. Now, we are headed for the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time. Crime, poverty, and suicide will skyrocket. SEND A “THANK YOU” NOTE TO YOUR FAVORITE MILLIONAIRE. ITS THEIR FAULT. I’m not discounting other factors like China, sub-prime, or gas prices. But all of those factors combined still pale in comparison to that HUGE transfer of wealth to the rich. Anyway, those other factors are all related and further aggravated because of GREED.

If it weren’t for the OBSCENE distribution of wealth within our country, there never would have been such a market for sub-prime to begin with. IF IT WEREN’T FOR THE OBSCENE, UNREASONABLE, AND UNJUST DISTRIBUTION OF UNITED STATES WEALTH, THERE NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN SUCH A MARKET FOR SUB-PRIME AND THERE NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN A COLLAPSE IN THE HOUSING MARKET. Sub-prime did not cause the problem. It only accelerated the outcome. Which by the way, was another trick whipped up by greedy bankers and executives. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. The credit industry has been ENDORSED by people like Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Dr Phil, and many other celebrities. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. In fact, they specifically endorsed Countrywide by name. The same Countrywide widely responsible for predatory adjustable rate sub-prime lending and the accelerated collapse of the housing market. ENDORSED BY OPRAH WINFREY, ELLEN DEGENERES, AND DR PHIL. Now, there are commercial ties between nearly every industry and every public figure. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. It also drives up the cost for nearly every product and service on the market. So don’t fall for their ‘good will’ BS. ITS A LIE. If you fall for it, then you’re a fool. If you see any real difference between the moral character of a celebrity, politician, attorney, or executive, then you’re a fool. No offense fellow citizens. But we have been mislead by nearly every public figure. We still are. Even now, they claim to be ‘hurting’ right along with the rest of us. As if gas prices actually effect the lifestyle of a millionaire.

ITS A LIE. IN 2007, THE RICHEST 1% INCREASED THEIR AVERAGE BOTTOM LINE WEALTH AGAIN. On average, they are now worth over $4,000,000 each. That's an all time high. As a group, they are now worth well over $17,000,000,000,000. THAT'S WELL OVER SEVENTEEN TRILLION DOLLARS. Another all time high. Which by the way, is much more than the entire middle and lower classes combined. Also more than enough to pay off our national debt, fund the Iraq war for a decade, repair our infrastructure, and bail out the US housing market.

Still think that our biggest problem is China? Think again. Its the 1% club. That means every big name celebrity, athlete, executive, entrepreneur, developer, banker, and lottery winner. Along with many attorneys, doctors, and politicians. If they are rich, then they are part of the problem. Their incredible wealth was not ‘created’, ‘generated’, grown in their back yard, or printed up on their command. It was transferred FROM US TO THEM. Directly and indirectly. Its become near impossible to spend a dollar without making some greedy pig even richer. Don’t be fooled by the occasional loss of a millionaire’s fortune. Overall, they just keep getting richer. They absolutely will not stop. Still, they have the nerve to pretend as if they care about ordinary people. ITS A LIE. NOTHING BUT CALCULATED PR CRAP. WAKE UP PEOPLE. THEIR GOAL IS TO WIN THE GAME.

The 1% club will always say or do whatever it takes to get as rich as possible. Without the slightest regard for anything or anyone but themselves. Reaganomics. Their idea. Loans from China. Their idea. NAFTA. Their idea. Outsourcing. Their idea. Sub-prime. Their idea. High energy prices. Their idea. Oil ‘futures’. Their idea. Obscene health care charges. Their idea. The commercial lobbyist. Their idea. The multi-million dollar lawsuit. Their idea. The multi-million dollar endorsement deal. Their idea. $200 cell phone bills. Their idea. $200 basketball shoes. Their idea. $30 late fees. Their idea. $30 NSF fees. Their idea. $20 DVDs. Their idea. Subliminal advertising. Their idea. Brainwash plots on TV. Their idea. Vioxx, and Celebrex. Their idea. Excessive medical testing. Their idea. The MASSIVE campaign to turn every American into a brainwashed, credit card, pharmaceutical, medical testing, love-sick, celebrity junkie. Their idea.

All of the above drive up the cost of living, shrink the middle class, concentrate the world’s wealth and resources, create a domino effect of socio-economic problems, and wreak havoc on society. All of which have been CREATED AND ENDORSED by celebrities, athletes, executives, entrepreneurs, attorneys, and politicians. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for any of their ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS. ITS A SHAM. NOTHING BUT TAX DEDUCTIBLE PR CRAP. In many cases, the ‘charitable’ contribution is almost entirely offset. Not to mention the opportunity to plug their name, image, product, and ‘good will’ all at once. Which is usually done just before or after the release of their latest commercial project. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. These filthy pigs even have the nerve to throw a fit and spin up a misleading defense with regard to ‘federal tax revenue’. ITS A SHAM. THEY SCREWED UP THE EQUATION TO BEGIN WITH.

If the middle and lower classes had a greater share of the pie, they could easily cover a greater share of the federal tax revenue. They are held down in many ways because of greed. Wages remain stagnant for millions because the executives, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, and entrepreneurs, are paid millions. They over-sell, over-charge, under-pay, outsource, cut jobs, and benefits to increase their bottom line. As their profits rise, so do the stock values. Which are owned primarily by the richest 5%. As more United States wealth rises to the top, the middle and lower classes inevitably suffer. This reduces the potential tax revenue drawn from those brackets. At the same time, it wreaks havoc on middle and lower class communities and increases the need for financial aid. Not to mention the spike in crime because of it. There is a domino effect to consider. IT CAN’T WORK THIS WAY. But our leaders refuse to acknowledge this. Instead they come up with one trick after another to milk the system and screw the majority. These decisions are heavily influenced by the 1% club.

Every year, billions of federal tax dollars are diverted behind the scenes back to the rich and their respective industries. Loans from China have been necessary to compensate in part, for the red ink and multi-trillion dollar transfer of wealth to the rich. At the same time, the feds have been pushing more financial burden onto the states who push them lower onto the cities. Again, the hardship is felt more by the majority and less by the 1% club. The rich prefer to live in exclusive areas or upper class communities. They get the best of everything. Reliable city services, new schools, freshly paved roads, upscale parks, etc. The middle and lower class communities get little or nothing without a local tax increase. Which, they usually can’t afford. So the red ink flows followed by service cuts and lay-offs. All because of the OBSCENE distribution of bottom line wealth in this country. Anyway, when you account for all federal, state, and local taxes, the middle class actually pay about the same rate as the rich. The devil is in the details. So when people forgive the rich for their incredible greed and then praise them for paying a greater share of the FEDERAL income taxes, its like nails on a chalk board. I can not accept any theory that our economy would suffer in any way with a more reasonable distribution of wealth. After all, it was more reasonable 30 years ago. Before Reaganomics came along. Before GREED became such an epidemic. Before we had an army of over-paid executives, bankers, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, doctors, investors, entrepreneurs, developers, and sold-out politicians to kiss their asses. As a nation, we were in much better shape. Strong middle class, free and clear assets, lower crime rate, more widespread prosperity, stable job market, lower deficit, etc. Our economy as a whole was much more stable and prosperous for the majority. WITHOUT LOANS FROM CHINA.

Now, we have a more obscene distribution of bottom line wealth than ever before. We have a sold-out government, crumbling infrastructure, energy crisis, home foreclosure epidemic, credit crunch, weak US dollar, 13 figure national deficit, and 12 figure annual shortfall. The cost of living is higher than ever before. Most people can’t even afford basic health care. ALL BECAUSE OF GREED.

I really don’t blame the 2nd -5th percentiles in general. No economy could ever function without some reasonable scale of personal wealth and income. But it can’t be allowed to run wild like a mad dog. ALBERT EINSTEIN TRIED TO MAKE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND. UNBRIDLED CAPITALISM ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK. TOP HEAVY ECONOMIES ALWAYS COLLAPSE. Bottom line: The richest 1% will soon tank the largest economy in the world. It will be like nothing we’ve ever seen before. The American dream will be shattered. and that's just the beginning. Greed will eventually tank every major economy in the world. Causing millions to suffer and die.

Oprah, Angelina, Brad, Bono, and Bill are not part of the solution. They are part of the problem. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE HUMANITARIAN. EXTREME WEALTH MAKES WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. WITHOUT WORLD PROSPERITY, THERE WILL NEVER BE WORLD PEACE OR ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

Of course, the rich will throw a fit and call me a madman. Of course, they will jump to small minded conclusions about ‘jealousy’, ‘envy’, or ’socialism’. Of course, their ignorant fans will do the same. You have to expect that. But I speak the truth. If you don’t believe me, then copy this entry and run it by any professor of economics or socio-economics. Then tell a friend. Call the local radio station. Re-post this entry or put it in your own words. Be one of the first to predict the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time and explain its cause. WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE.

So what can we do about it?

Well, not much. Unfortunately, we are stuck on a runaway train. The problem has gone unchecked for too many years. The US/global depression is coming thanks to the 1% club. It would take a massive effort by the vast majority to prevent it. Along with a voluntary sacrifice by the rich. THAT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

But if you believe in miracles, then spend your money as wisely as possible. Especially in middle and lower class communities. Check the Fortune 500 list and limit your support of high profit/low labor industries (Hollywood, pro sports, energy, credit, pharmaceutical, cable, satellite, internet advertising, cell phone, high fashion, jewelry, etc.). Cancel all but one credit card for emergencies only. If you need a cell phone, then do your homework and find the best deal on a local pre-pay. If you want home internet access, then use the least expensive provider, and share accounts whenever possible. If you need to search, then use the less popular search engines. They usually produce the same results anyway. Don’t click on any internet ad. If you need the product or service, then look up the phone number or address and contact that business directly. Don’t pay to see any blockbuster movie. Instead, wait a few months and rent the DVD from a local store or buy it USED. If you want to see a big name game or event, then watch it in a local bar, club, or at home on network TV. Don’t buy any high end official merchandise and don’t support the high end sponsors. If its endorsed by a big name celebrity, then don’t buy it. If you can afford a new car, then make an exception for GM, Ford, and Dodge. If they don’t increase their market share soon, then a lot more people are going to get screwed out of their pensions and/or benefits. Of course, you must know by now to avoid those big trucks and SUVs unless you truly need one for its intended purpose. Don’t be ashamed to buy a foreign car if you prefer it. After all, those with the most fuel efficient vehicles consume a lot less foreign oil. Which accounts for a pretty big chunk of our trade deficit. Anyway, the global economy is worth supporting to some extent. Its the obscene profit margins, trade deficits, and BS from OPEC that get us into trouble. Otherwise, the global economy would be a good thing for everyone. Just keep in mind that the big 3 are struggling and they do produce a few smaller reliable cars. Don’t frequent any high end department store or any business in a newly developed upper class community. By doing so, you make developers richer and draw support away from industrial areas and away from the middle class communities. Instead, support the local retailer and the less popular shopping centers. Especially in lower or middle class communities. If you can afford to buy a home, then do so. But go smaller and less expensive. Don’t get yourself in too deep and don’t buy into the newly developed condos or gated communities. Instead, find a modest home in a building or neighborhood at least 20 years old. If you live in one of the poorer states, then try to support its economy first and foremost. Be on the lookout for commercial brainwash plots on TV. They are written into nearly every scene of nearly every show. Most cater to network sponsors and parent companies. Especially commercial health care. Big business is fine on occasion depending on the profit margins and profit sharing. Do your homework. If you want to support any legitimate charity, then do so directly. Never support any celebrity foundation. They spend most of their funding on PR campaigns, travel, and high end accommodations for themselves. Instead, go to Charitywatch.org and look up a top rated charity to support your favorite cause. In general, support the little guy as much as possible and the big guy as little as possible. Do your part to reverse the transfer of wealth away from the rich and back to the middle and lower classes.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect answer. Jobs will be lost either way. Innocent children will starve and die either way. But we need to support the largest group of workers with the most reasonable profit margins. We also need to support LEGITIMATE charities (Check that list at Charitywatch.org). This is our only chance to limit the severity and/or duration of the coming US/global depression. In the meantime, don’t listen to Bernanke, Paulson, Bartiromo, Orman, Dobbs, Kramer, OReilly, or any other public figure with regard to the economy. They are all plenty smart but I swear to you that they will lie right through their rotten teeth. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. These people work for big business. The ‘experts’ they cite also work for big business. They are all motivated by their desire to accumulate more wealth. THEY WILL LIE RIGHT THROUGH THEIR ROTTEN TEETH. So don’t fall for their tricks. Instead, look at the big picture. The economic problems we face have been mounting for well over 20 years. All of them caused or aggravated by a constant transfer of wealth from poorer to richer. Soon, it will cause the first ever GLOBAL DEPRESSION. Its not brain surgery. Its simple math.

Like I said, you are welcome to run this by any professor of economics or soceo-economics. If thats not good enough, then look up what Einstein had to say about greed, extreme wealth, and its horrible consequences. I speak the truth. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

Its already underway. A massive campaign to divert our attention. Trump, Buffet, O'Reilly, Dobbs, Pickens, Norris, and several other well known filthy rich public figures have been running their mouths about the economy. Finally admitting a hint of severity after almost 2 years of denial. They even have the nerve to acknowledge the possibility of a US/global depression. Still, they refuse to acknowledge the single greatest underlying cause. Instead, they focus on policies, procedures, and circumstances that were born FROM the underlying cause. Dancing their way around the big picture. DON'T FALL FOR IT.

Remember: Our national debt was way up BEFORE sub-prime. Consumer debt was way up BEFORE sub-prime. The cost of living was up BEFORE sub-prime. Wall Street profits were obscene BEFORE sub-prime. The middle class were loosing free and clear assets BEFORE sub-prime. Our infrastructure was in bad shape BEFORE sub-prime. Loans from China were taken out BEFORE sub-prime. The dollar was loosing value BEFORE sub-prime. So don’t let these cowardly filthy rich public figures divert your attention or limit your range of thought.

THE CURRENT ECONOMIC CRISIS WAS NOT CAUSED BY A SINGLE POLICY OR PROCEDURE. IT WAS CAUSED PRIMARILY BY A MASSIVE TRANSFER OF WEALTH FROM POOR TO RICH. THIS ALSO REPRESENTS A MASSIVE CONCENTRATION OF CAPITAL WORLDWIDE. OTHERWISE, THERE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SUCH A MARKET FOR SUB-PRIME AND THERE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN A GLOBAL CREDIT CRUNCH. MONEY DOES NOT GROW ON TREES AND IT DOES NOT JUST FLOAT AWAY. IT ONLY TRANSFERS FROM ONE PARTY TO ANOTHER. ALBERT EINSTEIN TRIED TO MAKE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

A word for those who respond with the usual ‘I know more than you. Look how smart, knowledgeable, and articulate I am’ crap. Let me say this in advance. I don’t claim to be an expert in this field. But I did go on record with these predictions long before any public figure uttered the word ‘recession’. If you search long enough, you will find my early postings from ‘05′ and ‘06′. Including the first draft of this rant. Since then, I’ve gone on record against people like Greenspan, Bernanke, and Paulson. So far, my predictions have been accurate. Like I said. This is not brain surgery. For the most part, its simple math. When you concentrate the world’s wealth, you also concentrate its capital and shrink the middle class along with the potential market for every major industry. Homes go unsold. Bills go unpaid. Banks fail. More products go unsold. Jobs are lost. More banks fail. and so on. and so on. It happened 80 years ago. It will happen again. This time on a global scale. Throughout the cycle, the rich will tighten their grip. Concentrating the world’s wealth and resources even further and ensuring the collapse of every major economy worldwide. Think it can’t happen? Think again. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

Another thing. I don’t want credit for any of this. Otherwise, I would have given my full name a long time ago. As far as I’m concerned, you can put this rant in your own words and take credit for all of it. I don’t care. Just spread the word. Otherwise, the greatest injustice of all time will go down in history unchecked.

By the way. The bailout won’t work. IT WON’T WORK. The plan fails to address the fundamental problem. The middle class don’t need more credit. They need a reasonable share of the economic pie. They also need a lower cost of living and a chance to catch their breath. They need a break from all of the psychological marketing tricks and mass market BS. Most of all, they need to wake up and see the truth. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

To my surprise, two public figures have found the courage to acknowledge this problem to some degree.

On 11.07.07 former presidential candidate Ron Paul mentioned the massive transfer of wealth from poor to rich. He also hinted at the possibility of economic collapse. He did so on 'Face the Nation'. He was blacklisted almost immediately for doing so.

On 9.28.08 former secretary of labor Robert Reich referred to the obscene levels of income inequality as part of a "recipe for disaster". He mentioned the richest one percent in particular. He did so on 'Late Night With Conan O'Brien.

As far as I know, Albert Einstein was the first to explain the link between extreme wealth and economic instability. He did so in 1949. He explained how the first Great Depression was actually caused by a massive transfer of wealth from poor to rich. He predicted that it would happen again. We are about to witness the first ever GLOBAL DEPRESSION. Amazing. The prosperity of an entire world is about to be compromised. Almost entirely because of greed. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

The point about our government printing up more money was that it can't be done "on a whim" and that there are serious consequences for doing so (weak dollar, higher gas prices, inflation). I never said that it can't be or hasn't been done at all. After all, those loans from China weren't infused in the form of Chinese currency. They were infused in the form of our own. Not given to the middle class but instead to the banks in the form of credit. Its done nothing but perpetuate the problem. It never has been and never will be the answer.

Sorry if I wasn't explicit enough the first time. The original draft was written 2 years ago and intended to fit within 300 characters. Anyway, I'm no English major. So if any of you want to re-word this post, feel free to do so. Whatever it takes to make people understand.

Shauna Roberts said...

Please tell Scott that I love this painting of his too!

liz fenwick said...

The painting and the poem fit beautifully......it is the poem that often wonders through my head and the painting captures one of the things imiss most........

Mary Ann said...

That poem is my favorite. Like all great art, it changes depending on your viewpoint.

When I was a teenager, I thought the poem was about choosing a unique path through life. Now that I'm 50+, I believe it's about letting go of the path you didn't choose, letting go of the what ifs, the woulda, shoulda, coulda thinking.

Love the painting.

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Literary Quote

It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything.


Virginia Woolf