Karl (louderback) wrote,

Last of 2008

Loch Long, a bleak landscape.
Loch Long
A wooden suspension bridge.
Suspension Bridge
A sunrise in an oriental city.

         Today is the last day of 2008. It is a chance to sum up the year, to reflect as so many of us do, to make a few observations on ourselves and others. I intend to avoid resolutions as I usually do. Or to make just one resolution: to make no further resolutions. I like that one.

         As the pictures above symbolize, or at least as I hope they successfully imply, 2008 has been a year in which I transitioned from full blown depression to some other state. Things at the beginning of the year were bleak, looked bleak, felt bleak, and I was working hard (in retrospect) to keep them that way. Some time during the year that changed. I can't say what or when. I can say that I have read more philosophy in 2008 than in the preceding 20 years. That, by the way, is not saying a lot.

         I've become interested in "humanism as a lifestance". I must say that I detest the phrase lifestance it has an utterly artificial ring to it I don't like. Humanism can be summed up well by the Amsterdam Declaration of 2002. I like much of the descriptions of humanism I read and much of the philosophy encapsulated therein. I also renewed my readings of some of the classical German philosophers this year.

         None of my readings have led anywhere but, perhaps, just the fact that I'm wandering means I'm no longer standing still.

         My health has been erratic this year, bad much of the time though seldom debilitating. This is the year I began taking insulin. I am now poking into myself five holes a day and filling them with insulin. My blood sugar readings, however, approximate normal for the first time this year. This is progress of a sort.

         I have sworn off news after the hideous overload of a two-year-long presidential campaign. I am not as displeased with the result of the election as I thought I would be. I assumed Billary would win. Obama got the nomination I couldn't conceive that he would win. Now that he has won, I find myself just hoping that his presidency can be about more than being the first black president. Despite the fact that the campaign was "not about race" it was all about race. I do not want to spend the next four years hearing about "this is the first time a black man sat here or pulled this bell cord or ate a meal in this room" I don't want to hear about "firsts" that have the word "black" in them. It would have been a lot better, in my opinion, to have talked frankly about race and how it would affect the presidency - it absolutely will - than to try to ignore all the issues in the name of some soi distant race-free climate.

         In addition to being tired of the word black, I am tired of the word green. It needs to be banished from the vocabulary. If you can't say that an action is good for the ecology, then it isn't. If one more huge corporation declares itself "green" by adding the word "green" to its advertising, I feel screaming will become appropriate. By the way, "green" should not be used as a verb.

         While discussing the ecology, I stand steadfast in my opinion that the whole global warming thing is just a "thing" and not a fact. There is still no scientific consensus as to what is happening, how it is happening, and how fast it is happening. Some time back, however, a high-school science teacher on youtube convinced me that if any of the predictions are true, the consequences are pretty horrible. How bad can it be to be more environmentally responsible? There's no downside. As a consequence, I got interested in the No Impact Man Blog. I find he is my guiding star on the subject of environmental responsibility these days. He simply feels that you can live a better life by dispensing with a lot of extra, unneeded stuff, thereby benefiting yourself, the environment, and others. I like that.

         I've not made significant changes in my life along those lines yet, but maybe those should be my resolutions for next year? Naah, I'll stick to my original intention to make no more resolutions.

         I've spent more time than ever, and taken a long break, from Walkers in Darkness. Naturally once I returned, the place became virus-infested. Some hacker has settled on it as a target. I wonder what pleasure can be derived from denying depressed people their chat room? My break from walkers really involved no decision on my part, it just happened. My return was the same. I find that my depression comes and goes differently than in the past. It is more "level". That may be due to medication or simply through accommodation on my part. I find I now talk about "my depression" the way people talk about "my house plant" or "my herb garden". It is like it has become something I tend and prune and occasionally harvest. Ick.

         I'm done for now. See you next year. May it bring you what you want.


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