Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I'M MOVING ON----RELUCTANTLY---BECAUSE THE PREVIOUS POST WAS SO MUCH FUN. I'm delighted to be at the intersection of such interesting insights----delighted to attract the attention of bigger brains than mine. I hope I never forget Michael's succinct summary of an advanced mind: (one that can) EMBRACE NUANCED VARIABLES. (this phrase may be the social equivalent of E=MC2) I've pondered how to make it clear to myself----then realized I'd already done so in a poem from years ago entitled "The Religion Warehouse". Here's the relevant verses with the important phrase in caps.

------Gone was arrogance and dogmatism,
Their study of religion and history
embrace the human mystery.

In a few short years, religious wars ceased.
All nations made a truce.
Every civilized person now agrees:
Indoctrination is child abuse.

Freedom to choose your religion
is a universal human right.
Parents stopped "laying their trip" on kids,
and the world sleeps better at night. Now I really will move on. With a companion driving Uphill to escape the heat, we pause to read this sign: Billy the Kid killed someone here. And it set me thinking: Why so much hoop-te-do about this sociopathic snot?-----and then I remembered a line from a Walt Whitman poem: THERE IS EVEN GLORY IN GREAT EVIL.

We found the cool at 7000 feet and settled into this casino parking lot---walked along that cool man-made lake and stayed the night. I pondered the glory/evil question and will pick it up later.

Next day, we moved on to Ruidosa Downs ---a small town with a big racetrack----a perfect place for a museum about horses. I learned something astonishing about a breed of horses called MORGAN horses that is worth a separate blog.

And of course sidled up beside the Kid to share his glory.

Then some real evil befell Luke---can you guess what's happened here? He just got skunked. I will report his thoughts: "OH DEAR GOD this is awful---my lungs and eyes burn---I'VE BEEN SLIMED and I cant seem to get away from it. That striped creature looked like such an easy target---just waddling along---so tempting to grab it and have some fun----BUT OH DEAR GOD what hit me? Maybe I can rub the foul stuff off on the dirt."

"OOOOOOOOhh SWEET JESUS THIS IS AWFUL. I'll try rolling in this dirt. WHAT THE F--K WAS THAT THING. Nothing I do seems to be doing any good."

"Oh WAIT----I KNOW WHAT TO DO------FIND MAMMA. She's in there--- MAMMMMAHH---MAMMMAAA------This is sooooo awful----Come fix your little doggie. I know you can make me feel better. You get stickers out of my paw all the time. MAMMAAAH!!!"

"OOOOOOHHH YESSSS---OOOOOOHH YESSSS----it's working, its working----I feel better already. Go ahead and soap me up four times---do what you have to do."

"Water's cold---but I don't care----life is sweeter now----I KNEW YOU COULD DO IT! Yeah--things look better now---My tail might just rise again. Whew, Thought for awhile there You'd just have to bury me. Ok, Ok I'm clean now---ready to go play again---do safe stuff----like fetching a stick. And Mamma---I wanna tell you---from now on I'M GONNA BE A BETTER DOG---I LOVE YOU MOM!"

Yep---that's the story--just as Luke told it to me. Momma did lightening fast research on her computer and discovered that this little problem can be handled in minutes when you know what to do: 1. Wipe down JUST the affected area with paper towells. Skunk spray is an oil and you can get lots of it off this way. Try not to spread it.

2. Mix in an OPEN container: 1 qt of peroxide---1/4th cup of baking soda and one teaspoon of dish detergent.

3. Wash thoroughly till you've used up the mixture.

The dog will be immediately tolerable with just a faint whiff of skunk detectable and even that will vanish in 3-4 days.

We settled in for the night at Billy the Kid Casino parking lot. See that rail above our roof? That's the famous racetrack.

Now I'll turn my attention to the title question?

But I need to travel right now---I'll just post this and finish maybe later today---I've not yet thought this through---The glory of great evil will take some subtle thought---but I'm sure there's something of substance there. Maybe a perceptive reader can see what I'm feeling around for and help me out. By the time I reach a suitable campsite tonight--the answer may be there.

Now I'm settled by a beautiful lake on the far side of the state and have had a chance to discuss this issue with friends and am prepared to deal with it. Here goes:


Why would anyone celebrate Billy the Kid days---or Bonnie and Clyde days as they do in Louisiana---or Ned Kelly days as in Australia? I think there's a good reason and something valuable we can learn from the likes of these such as D.B. Cooper, Butch Cassidy, Robin Hood, Geronimo, Jesse James and even Hitler.

What they all did was BREAK THE RULES-----They--- ASTONISHED US with their BOLDNESS.

They dared to do what ordinary folks only fantasize about--sometimes. We all know in our hearts that we are captives of convention----and religion---and fear---and laziness. Most of us lead "lives of quiet desperation". We can envision a bolder life for ourselves --leaving an exhausted marriage, a crazy religion, debilitating friends, etc and trying something new--saying something audacious that we feel, risking embarassment in reaching for something we want.

Hearing outlaw stories fascinates us, I think, and proves that the grip of convention is not complete----that some have cut the barbed wire fences.

When we celebrate Billy the Kid days we pay homage to DARK HEROISM and the thrill of taboo.

Ghandi said: " We should be sincere enough to admit that we love evil too well to give it up."

EVIL IS DRAMATIC ----and we do love it---else why do we name so many thrilling places---"the devils this or that. The glory of evil is that it awakens us to the drama of life.


Andy said...

You're the best, Randy !!!

Your writing continues to entertain, delight, and inspire me.

Maybe I'll see you in a casino parking lot sometime....

Tesaje said...

The Authoritarians ( are a different breed and will always be fearful enuf to succumb to authority and evil. Sheeple sure do drag humanity down tho. Maybe the great evil enticement is because they are so fearful?

I think you captured Luke's thoughts pretty well. Poor dog.

Rob said...

Poor Luke! That's no fun but there may be a bright side, the event does create a memory that will surely last, for Luke and everyone involved. Many years from now you'll say, "Remember when Luke got skunked?" ;)

In the face of great evil aren't most folks found to be relatively "good"? I suppose there is some glory in that...

Red Meador said...

Enjoy Lincoln county, I did for 20 years or so.


We have had a couple of our guys 'skunked' over the years. Not nice!!!!

Ash said...

Great post!

~ The Tuckerbag ~

Boonie said...

Apparently all things really ARE possible in this old world of ours. The Kodger has discovered Thomas Hardy and Arthur Schopenhauer, and has come to appreciate the beauty of the Dark Side.

Michael said...

National Geographic, March 2011, has an interesting group of stories that seem to inform this situation further.

"Taming the Wild" on page 34, talks about the domestication of foxes and dogs but seems allude how humans have both domesticated and nomadic traits. The domestication trait in humans has been likely "selected for" over the centuries possibly because it fosters scenarios for humans to work together on large projects and systems. This is important because I believe we're here to evolve, and evolution is information building on information. Our genetics are information storage and we have now created further information storage systems such as books and computers.

But this same domestication trait leads to overpopulation and over-consumption. The nomadic, wild hunter-gatherer traits seem to lead to more innovation but has been "selected out" over recent centuries. We have plenty of evidence to show how smaller companies consistently provide more innovation than larger over-consuming organizations. We may need to understand how these two behavioral traits can work together in a positive way.

It requires a careful, dynamic balance of management for both traits if we are to successfully evolve with the resources we have. Now for all the fear-mongers out there, I am not suggesting Eugenics. I am suggesting we understand how these traits matter in the larger picture and we manage it somehow.

Michael said...

Thanks Randy for the mention regarding "Embracing Nuanced Variables". It's been clear to me that you live the concept. I think some of us are born understanding the concept and some aren't. That's where the fMRI findings are leading. But the brain is extremely plastic, so we are 50% nature, 50%nurture.