Montecristo Captain Quixote


The World Line of the Horizon Star

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world

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Shrek Captain Layers

Down and Up Tuesday Afternoon

So, when I checked out the web for news this morning, I found out that a college guy named Elliot Rodger murdered a bunch of people near Santa Barbara on Saturday. I don't have to ask what gets into people's heads. In the article about the incident, Christoper Cantwell sounds like he's onto something: we inculcate in our children a false sense of entitlement and we tell them that no problem of theirs is ever their fault. Of course, that only accounts for the direction of the murderous impulses. Supposedly, he murdered a bunch of people because he had no social skills and was a virgin at 22 years old who had never been kissed. Of course, had he just wanted sex, there are plenty of women who lacked self-esteem who would fall all over themselves to give it to him, if that's all he wanted. Apparently, he wanted values from people to whom he had nothing comparable to offer in return. He obviously believed himself entitled to material and spiritual values without having to earn them, if he could blame others for his lack. His father blames "guns" among other things. I suppose he considers that better than looking into the mirror. If not from his parents, where was this kid supposed to get the knowledge of how to obtain values and trade for what he wants?

Sometimes, I cannot read the news. There were people in the lunch room here bandying about the idea that if only "therapists" could check people out and determine if they were to be allowed to have guns, maybe that would solve the problem, as if creating some sort of psycho-therapeutic aristocracy with a monopoly on the allocation of permissible self-defense and weapons access could change people's minds. The ignorance, it burns. Sometimes, I wonder how long our civilization can survive without descent into unrestricted barbarism and savagery, given the prevalence of some of the awful premises loose among people these days. Anger, sadness, and worry merely feed the part of me that is given to misanthropy. It was nice to recover my equilibrium on my noon walk. These gloriously sunshiny California days near the ocean are good for inspiring a more uplifted frame of mind.

After I got back from my walk, I took a look at the same web site and was gratified to see something a bit more inspiring and uplifting. It was titled: 25 Things You Can Learn In 10 Minutes That You'll Use For The Rest Of Your Life. Amusing little life-hacks like these make me smile, although some of them are particularly dubious, such as the idea that "confidence is more important than knowledge." Well, no, not in almost any context of which I can think. Also, some of the advice seems particularly susceptible to being mis-applied by the wisdom-challenged or unscrupulous. Most of them, nevertheless, are rooted in interesting psychological insights. For what it's worth, the article gave me a reason to smile.


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