No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.
– John Donne, Meditation XVII
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
– Constitution of the United States of America
We’re all in this together.
– High School Musical
Rene Descartes really fucked things up. Here we had the Taoists and even the Christians – the ones who really “got it,” anyway – spreading the word that, really, there is nothing that separates us, that we are all, in fact, one, and that, by extension, our fates are inextricably bound up.
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me . . . Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
– Jesus Christ, Matthew 25
Leave it to buhdy to come up with a slick handle like that. It packs so much into it, I’ve got a karmic brain freeze: the logos and the ethos, the yin and the yang, the left brain and the right, the concrete and the cosmic.
Awesome. Tall order.
But, geez, the supporting cast here is definitely up to it. I feel like a Little Leaguer who’s snuck into the 1927 Yankees’ locker room. Holy crap – that’s Armando’s spot, over there. Ooooh – here’s where ek parks his cleats. And check this out – melvin and pinche used these towels!
So – what to write, what to write? Something “original” – ha!; as if that were possible, truly. Maybe we’re a few monkeys and typewriters short still, but c’mon – what hasn’t been said already? I mean, really?
Wellll . . .
I guess what occurs to me in this vaguely Eastern milieu, grounded in gritty Western-style “democratic politics,” is this:
All politics is cosmic.
I mean, think about it: Why do people even do politics, anyway? What’s the point? Couldn’t we all just live in caves, and come out whenever we needed to kill something to eat? Isn’t that why God invented TiVo? And indoor plumbing?
Ah, yes, but too many caves and too much indoor plumbing, and suddenly people start rubbing up against each other. And unless I like all that rubbing,
Maybe – but somewhere back during that Ascent of Man, some Phi Beta Kaveman figured out that, huh, maybe it’d be better if Gork went after the mammoth and I stayed closer to home to build in an outdoor barbecue. Then, when Gork got back after a hard day at the tundra, I could let Gork use the barbecue, and he could share some of his mammoth with me.
Next thing you know, Gork has decided he doesn’t want to share any of his mammoth with me, and he’s pissed because he says I don’t have any mammoth to eat only because I planned poorly. So now I can’t cook any mammoth meat, but