Sirwin
Sirwin
West coast of Puerto Rico at Sunset blog-small-854-480(3)jpg.

My last Post, maybe.

By Diomedes | Robert O'Reilly | 6 Jan 2022


 

I was directed to this platform by my son, a computer and crypto wiz. But I think I'm in the wrong place and addressing the wrong set of people.

The vast majority of articles here involve advice on how to prosper in cryptocurrency. The End.

They are not on how to spend it or whether it's good or bad, just how to make it.

Bully for you. I hope you succeed, as I like all teck, people who have an inkling of decency towards others.

If you're a cheat and only want to acquire riches through any means for selfish ends, I hope you fail.

I'm a pragmatist and as long as I have the simple comforts of life, I rate the acquirement of riches about the same in importance as playing solitaire.

I tried Medium and found myself buried in articles by women trying to get over their petty problems, self-help lies, get rich quick stuff, fluff, private problems, stories of how they got over a cheating husband, probably by being so dull they deserved it. Or articles describing a friends cancer and how to handle it, or recipes for pies, in the very same article. These are not my concerns. They are Twitter.

My mind is bent on higher matters, like the human race and its fate. If I catch myself thinking of some little problem in my house, I squash it as I would a bug on the floor, clean it up and flush it down the toilet, without further thought about bugs, houses or my next meal. I know there's something in the fridge. I go back to my study.

I'm a bachelor, so I have no spouse badgering me with petty concerns. I had one and, lucky for me and my quality of life, she left, thirty years ago.

Now no one can be high-minded all the time. One has to be stupid and do dull things, like wash the dishes. I have a small dog and play with her and mind her needs a few hours a day. play ball and talk to her like a five year old. For a really dumb rest from thinking I listen to the news, Al-Jazeera an hour each morning, playing solitaire while I drink my first cup of coffee and wake up. It's a good laugh. It's always about Somalia or Yemen or Lebanon or Libya, places that will never improve. I understand good-will and equality for all, but it’s wishful and wrong thinking. Most people are doomed to their own prejudiced idiocy. Before I go to bed I wind down by watching a movie. They too are most often stupid. They put me to sleep.

There are barren, wretched expanses on this Earth along with some luxuriant ones. The same goes for people and the possibilities they have from the prosperity or the poverty of the places they are born into. Nature is hideously unequal and unfair in distributing its bounty. Some places have it all, others nothing. It ranges from small, beautiful Caribbean islands to the Mongolian desert.

And it’s the same with people, some get all the advantages of wealth or beauty or talent. Others, (most people) none or some slim slice of a few, or maybe one of these. Some are born Eskimos, using their own piss as shampoo, chewing seal fat to survive, chewing hides all day to make crude clothes to stay half-warm. Toothless by thirty, dead by forty, no light all winter, only shivering in a dark igloo. Their only hope is to wake up to the next gray morning to eke out one more day, if they even have hopes or dreams at all, having no culture, no pastimes, barely a reason to go on. But they do.

That’s life. It was like that for every human being a hundred thousand years ago. Yet they persevered and here we are today, thanks to their amazing endurance through eons and countless generations of mostly grim, cold, miserable, starving lives. They deserve a thanks from us so great, it’s hard to fathom, it boggles the mind, and they can’t hear us or see what they created by their sacrifice. But they surely earned it, all that praise we can give. We owe them everything, civilization, our consciousness, our being. I melt to tears just thinking about such a debt we can never repay, as if some stranger saved your life from drowning and disappeared just as you woke up on the beach.

But where are we now for all that history of ancestors passed in agonizing, constant struggle?

Inequality is the hallmark of this world, its one outstanding feature. It could be a far more just and equal place for all, but it isn’t. Consider wealth and its distribution, unimaginably imbalanced and insane. The very rich are surfeit in decadence and guilt and live apart. The ever-shrinking middle classes work hard and enjoy the benefits of civilization. The poor work harder and get only the crumbs. But the largest number, the poorest, till barren deserts for survival diets or just wait and beg for aid in their rags in these nightmare landscapes, little above animals.

These same vast inequalities also apply to minds. The most wretched have minds as malnourished as their bodies, their dismal surroundings and daily sufferings their only awareness, which they only wish to forget. The poor have some education and ability to reason, some good memories but a preponderance of bad and not enough mental strength to escape that gray existence, only enough to see and feel their plight in almost wordless anger and pain.

The middle classes and the rich make up a strange lot as far as their minds go. They have every opportunity to improve their faculties, in logic and clarity, expression and knowledge and most important, the ability to comprehend, reflect, digest and manipulate the life they live and improve it.

But, as Samuel Johnson once said: “If it rained knowledge most people wouldn’t hold out their hand for it”. And so it is. He was and is right. Most people neglect their intellects, dislike or despise their school years, narrow all thought to their necessary jobs and dissipate the rest in idle entertainments or thoughtless passions, loves and hates in youth, devolving into petty peeves with age, and confused babble with senility.

I hate the uber-rich. I rejoiced when Martha Stewart went to jail for insider trading. It was, to me, one of the few pieces of good news that year, among a thousand pieces of bad news. I needed a new blank book the day I heard the news, rushed to Staples and grabbed the first one off the shelf. Imagine my surprise when I got home I found it had some printed pages in the front and back by no one else than Martha Stewart, on the niceties of elegant socializing.

I think all rich people should spend a year in solitary confinement. It would do them good, give them a pause for reflection and perhaps a new perspective on life. I doubt though that her jail is anything like that. Her meal menu is probably ten pages long.

The hugely unequal division of wealth is a giant stain and strain upon our humanity. That a few hundred have more of it than the combined assets of billions of others, many starving, displays an inequality worse than any dictatorship. The element of fear might be taken away but the abject misery, hopelessness and slavery is all there.

No one man or woman is a billion times better than another. If I were in charge, I would cap personal wealth at ten million a year. That's enough for yachts, fine dining, mansions and luxuries. The rest would be distributed to enlarge the middle class, raise millions out of poverty and build schools, as education is the only equalizer here, and my wealth in that department of consciousness and life more than matches the rich at their best. It was fairly cheap, money-wise, to acquire. It only took effort. And in that we can all partake, as it never runs out.

But I still feel like I'm preaching to a large room full of day-traders, on phones and screens all a-buzz. I get no comments, some likes and a few dislikes, so I assume I'm barely read and of no relevance to people watching coin gecko constantly.

So I'm going to take some time off and reconsider my relevance here. I have short sci-fi stories covering the next few years but I notice that posts over five minutes long don't do well, or make pennies in reads.

I'll just pay the right agent to publish them and my novels. Money can buy anything and I have a few bitcoins myself.

How do you rate this article?

5


Diomedes
Diomedes

B.A. in Latin and Greek from U.C. Berkley. Writer, Blogger and retired Electrician.


Robert O'Reilly
Robert O'Reilly

I am educated in the Western Classical Tradition, B.A. from U.C. Berkeley in Latin and Greek, English major, one year at U. of Toronto, studied under Alain Renoir and Northrop Frye, read most classics full time for many years after university in French, English, Latin and Greek to the modern day. I am interested in the near future of technology, what changes it imposes upon our heritage and character as humans. Short stories and Essays are my medium.

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