July 14th, 2004

Pingouin a Paris

Angel on Earth.

some things i saw in hamburg

i was wandering around and saw this big spire towering over the buildings



it looked old and interesting, so i went to see what it was.
it turned out to be the ruin of the church of st. nikolai that was destroyed in WWII and never rebuilt. it looks like some people are trying to rebuild it now. it has a war memorial on its grounds, with a statue called "Angel on Earth" that I can't find a pic of online (I didn't take any pictures because the stores were closed and it was rainy and gray anyway), that is an angel at the top of a pillar of hands. the inscription said,

TAKE MY HAND AND I WILL LEAD YOU BACK TO YOUR SELF

which i thought was a very nice thought.
yes, that is what angels do, remind you of what is real and true when everything seems very confused and dark.

also hamburg has jumped on the cow parade bandwagon with street-art statues of hans hummel



some more hans hummels are
here and here

they were quite interesting, but i think i prefer PandaMania.
john + yoko

Angel Invasion.

sorry for that angelic horde. LJ is being wonky and posted it like 50 times and then put my journal in read-only mode so I can't make them go away...arrrghhh...I'm getting rid of them as fast as the stupid server will let me.

stuff like this always seems to happen when I'm trying to be serious. it's a lost cause :)
no melodrama

Generalities.

In recent weeks, I've read posts by several people about how posts that purport to be general statements about the world and the patterns of humanity are usually thinly disguised attacks on specific individuals who have pissed a person off. This assumption annoys me immensely. I have always said my general statements refer to more than one person; they usually concern about three people: one in the recent past, or one from the distant past that I've been more recently reminded of, and then when I start to think about that, and why it bothers me, I think of more past incidents, and realize there has been a pattern of botheration in my life. And I start to struggle with that, and sometimes need to discuss it.

I am not looking for people to rush onto my journal and agree with me that so-and-so is a jerk. There are very few people I consider absolute, unmitigated jerks, and even those exist sometimes in the shades of grey in my mind. Most people, to me, are just people, they have foibles that some can handle and others can't or don't want to handle. Sometimes people do post comments on my LJ agreeing that such-and-such behavior is jerky because they've had similar experiences. Sometimes they offer different ways of seeing. I imagine there are even people who think I'm making too big of a deal out of something small, but refrain from saying so because they either can't be bothered to comment or are being polite and not wanting to tell me I'm all wet on my own journal. So be it.

I have never written posts about human relations with the goal of getting a Greek chorus of agreement. I'm not into having a bunch of people disagree and argue with me, either. What I am trying to do is understand how other people act, and how it affects me, and how I think. A values clarification exercise, as it were.

In doing this over the years, I have learned and relearned various things about myself. For example:
- Inconsistency or even slight unreliability in a supposed "friend" is not something I can tolerate on a regular basis, although many others can or will tolerate it to some degree for various reasons.

- I am deeply disturbed by people who consistently seem to lack confidence and need a build-up. I can understand if needing a cheering section is situational, such as some new experience or some big trauma. But needing a cheering section several times a week, or to do what you do, or to get up in the morning is not on. And crowing about yourself all the time is not on either.

- I am frustrated and annoyed by people who seem overly sexual or overly frugal, although neither of these qualities are horrible in and of themselves.

- I like people who can help me see new sides of a question without arguing with me.

All of this has been helpful to me in understanding myself and letting go of residual anger over things I could not control, usually the bizarre (to me) behavior of other people. I'm sure I seem equally bizarre to some, so the trick is understanding folks well enough to know where you fit in.

Having said all that, it irks me that LJ in general apparently ASSumes that every post starting out, "There are some people in the world who..." is actually someone trying to say, "My friend/acquaintance X is a dick shit but I don't want to tell them to their face so I'll just post this passive aggressive bullcrap here and let the whole community condemn them." Anything anyone needs to have said to their face, I say; that usually means that the person is important enough in my life for me to bother making a statement. Obviously if it's someone who left my life months or years ago, there's no point in tracking them down just to make a speech to them. Ditto if it's someone who wasn't a real friend, wasn't anyone important to me at all, and isn't interested in discussion. And in both of those cases, they probably don't read my LJ either. So it's not to spare their feelings that I write the general post. It's because observing a pattern in my life and learning from it is a LOT more constructive than posting, "My ex-friend Z is a complete, utter jackass from hell."

I've made Jackass from Hell posts too, but I don't try to disguise them as something they're not. I guess what I am trying to say is, generalities aren't for me to hide - it's pointless because people will see the truth through that if they're smart, and jump to whatever conclusions they want to jump to if they aren't smart. Generalities are my way of stretching my mind. If people are going to assume about generalities, that's just another reason for me to take even more of my personal thought process offline, as it is not constructive to be misunderstood.