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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Memories



What is a memory?  My definition - something from your past that pops up in your conscious mind to be either savored or regretted.  The older you get, the more of each variety you have.  Naturally as a young man I had few memories but now being the old fart that I am, I have too many. However, I do not have one single memory of thinking or feeling that I was entitled to anything.  But moreover, we were inspired.  

Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.  Words spoken that drove people to reach for the stars and beyond.  And we did.  July 1969 we put men on the Moon and brought them safely back; something we did several times.  This and many more things (go on, google "it") were accomplished by people pulling themselves up by their boots.  And all of these things done without the thought of entitlement, just the satisfaction and pride in a job well done.  That does not seem to matter today.  

SO many people are clamoring for things that they have not earned/worked for; they think that it is their "right" to have these things - for free.  Like a "free" college education where they can live in protective bubbles safe from nasty words and thoughts.  Well, the USA has a "free" college program, since the end of WWII:  give four years of yourself to your country by serving in the military earns you "free college education."  But living in a bubble and screaming for free stuff seems to be more palatable.  What the fuck ever happened to sticks and stones may break my bones but words will NEVER hurt me.  

I will never forget Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.  I will not forget that statement and I will not forget the man who proudly said it.  He was not a communist or a socialist, nor was he a fascist.  He was a war hero and a President of the United States.  His name was John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who was assassinated 11/22/1963 in Dallas, Texas.  He believed in his words - JFK made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.   Go on, google it.  And do not dare tell me  that it's ancient history and has no relevance today.  You will want to run like hell for your bubble if you do.  

                                                        
                                                   Copyright @2016 Terry Unger

Monday, March 21, 2016

Passing Thoughts



Do not hate Mondays.  Without Mondays, you would not appreciate the weekends.  

Always remember those who helped you but never forget those who have tried to harm you.  

Beer is best when cold, wine is best when chilled, ale is best when frosty, but friendship is best when warm and ongoing.  

Many people rush through life like they are part of a race to determine a winner.  They focus so much on the trophy at the finish line that they miss the scenery along the way.  Life should not be a pursuit of trophies but a collection of pictures taken of the scenery along the journey.  

Life is best experienced when you are fully immersed in its' waters.  Sitting on the sidelines buys you a ticket to boredom and mediocrity.  Many people like that ticket; they let their life be determined by the thoughts and wishes of unseen others.  

Putting your faith and trust in something that cannot be proven true is called blind faith.  Sometimes pursuing blind faith can be a fool's errand.  Or, the death of many.  Religions that demand blind faith have no problem with fool's errands or the death of many.  

A man can enjoy the fruits of his fantasy only after his responsibility to others has ended.  If that man is a leader in any capacity, those responsibilities are never ending.  When a man accepts responsibility, it follows that man to his grave.  Therefore, only a fool mocks the pillar that he stands on.  

While it is true that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, so to is it true that the determined man always is ready to rise and will not set until his goal is accomplished.  

Adversity, it is true, has many left hands and right hands that can slap a man into submission and admit defeat.  But a man has two feet and two legs with which he can run from adversity to claim victory.  

When a responsible man dwells on his constant efforts, he is reminded of his responsible result.  

Never give up, never quit until you win.  Then, always be vigilant.   

                                                  Copyright @2016 Terry Unger

                                          
    






Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Magical Power of Beer



Most people I know enjoy a few frosty cold beers; those that do not I view with a careful eye and ask myself if they are in some way deficient.  When asking more questions of myself, I notice that many of the non-beer lovers do not have tattoos.  How then, I ask myself, as I enjoy yet another cold one on my deck, can I see their friendship as valid?  So many say and have said - I/we are your friend.  Is my measuring stick, my gauge for judging people wrong?    The thoughts of friendship and thieves run through my head, as the cold golden nectar of the Gods coats my throat.  These sobering thoughts I pass on to you.  

Be wary of the man who suddenly comes into your life spewing flattery and praise.  You may think it the beginning of a great friendship but his stroking of your ego is nothing more than the precursor to robbing you of your thoughts and ideas; later he will employ them as his own.  And good luck trying to recoup your thoughts; you cannot copyright or patent an idea.  Of course, this should be recognized as false friendship at its' best and, is ethically and morally criminal.  It stands to reason then, that you must be careful with whom you share your thoughts.  Taken a step further.....

Remember always that a criminal holds his profession more dear than your life and possessions.  Misplaced spoken words can become the criminal's gate key to your castle.  So, think well before you speak to someone that you truly do not know, and keep your inner circle small.  

Great title, don't you think?  

                                                     Copyright @2016 Terry Unger 

                                                   



   



   

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Tribe



When the word TRIBE is mentioned many people, at least in the USA, seem to automatically think of the Native American tribes.  Some make think of the African tribes while a few may think of the indigenous tribes along the Amazon River fighting to save their home and environment from industrial encroachment.  But how many folks think of ancient Rome and tribal issues at the same time?  

Yes, Rome was made up of tribes (Tribius).  In ancient Roman tradition, Romulus created the first three tribes.  Many years later, a fellow named Servius Tullius established thirty new tribes that became known as the Comita Tributa.  All citizens belonged to a tribe and membership had its benefits.  

A citizen (member of any one of the tribes) was entitled to vote for magistrates and religious officials.  During the period of the Republic, there were certain judicial questions, referendums, and resolutions given over to the Comita Tributa (every citizen member of every tribe had the right to vote) for a ballot decision.  Unfortunately, during the period of Empire, the Comita Tributa lost most of its functions.  However, tribal enrollment was still an important feature of Roman citizenship.  But Rome was not the only European civilization to be made up of tribes.  The Germanic peoples had many.  

In Northwestern Europe, there were the Marcomanni, the Alamanni, the Franks, the Angles, the Jutes, and the Saxons.  In the Northeast, there were the Vandals, Gepids, Ostrogoths, and Visigoths.  And in the south, there were the Lombards and Burgundians.  These were the major tribes of later years; there were many more.  Students of history should recall Arminius, and how he rallied several Germanic tribes to defeat the Romans at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest.  And readers of the Eddas should remember the trick Frigga played on Wodan concerning the Lombards.  If interested, the history of the Saxons and Franks makes for good reading, if for nothing more than to see how smaller tribes were absorbed into a larger "confederation."  So, how and what makes a tribe?

First and foremost, a tribe is a social group that has a family as its starting point.  The family grows by extension - marriage (probably not as we understand marriage today) between families was, many centuries ago, a good starting point.  These unions included extended family and close friends; kinship.  In short order, we have  clan.  And several clans bound together by common purpose makes a tribe.  Admittedly, this is very simplistic.  But what else is there concerning tribes?  Quite a bit.

Tribes are not just a gaggle of people.  They share the same customs, beliefs (religious and social), goals, interests, and language.  Tribal members are bound together by some form of kinship, common ancestry, oath, and gift exchange.  And it is not unusual for a person from the outside, who has, over a period of time, exhibited an affinity with a tribe to be adopted by said tribe as one of their own (this was as true yesterday as it is is today).  In our post modern world, tribalism could answer some questions.

Modern tribalism or neotribalism as the sociologists refer to it, theorizes that we humans have evolved to the point where tribal living makes more sense as a viable alternative than mass society.  Here are their reasons.

Collected data over the past forty plus years shows frequent economic disruptions on the personal level contribute to the general breakdown of the current mass social structure.  An example of this is wages not keeping up with the cost of everything else.  Another is the uncertainty of employment and constant retraining for work that is not just uninteresting but paying less for more effort.   In our modern world many people spend the same time unemployed as they do employed.  And then we have many working two part time jobs to make ends meet.  Once upon a time in America, the last thing a hard working person had to concern himself with was his/her employment - if the job would be there tomorrow.

Mass media, this includes social media and the 24 hour news cycle, pushes people away from human needs.  Humans need family, friends, and community, in a true physical sense - something you can reach out and touch; it is difficult to get a warm and fuzzy feeling when you try to hug your computer and/or smart phone.  Mass media  does its best to convince  people that everyone can be an island onto himself/herself.  And what to think, buy, read, eat, drink, etc.  Think plain vanilla, mono-culture.  This is patently false.  Humans need other humans and relate better when they hold similar views, period.  Tribal relationships can give people what they need.

Asatru, the reconstructed folkway/religion of Northern Europe, is best expressed in tribal settings, commonly known as Kindreds.  Asatruars, sometimes called Heathens, may be members of a national organization like the Asatru Folk Assembly or the Troth but many find greater satisfaction as members of Kindreds.  Because - all that a tribal setting can offer can be had in the more local, regional group.   They are united in shared beliefs, customs, and goals - they can reach out and physically touch and support each  other.  These folks give a warm and fuzzy feeling to each other, something an on-line group cannot.  And to believe that some kind of on-line cyber group can replace a real, flesh and blood physical group is not just silly but foolhardy.

Finding life empty and almost lifeless?  Maybe you need to find a Tribe.  Or at the very least, give Asatru, the native folkway/religion/worldview of Northern Europe a look.

                                                      Copyright @2016 Terry Unger

    






Our Visit to Sutton Hoo

When walking the grounds, you can feel the specialness of this place.  It is quiet, save the wind rustling through the trees.  The ages...