Tag Archives: mankind

WEB OF LIFE

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Chief Seattle (an Anglicization of Si’ahl) c. 1780 – June 7, 1866) was a Dkhw’Duw’Absh (Duwamish) chief,also known as Sealth, Seathle, Seathl, or See-ahth. A prominent figure among his people, he pursued a path of accommodation to white settlers, forming a personal relationship with David Swinson “Doc” Maynard. The city of Seattle, in the U.S. state of Washington, was named after him. A widely publicized speech arguing in favor of ecological responsibility and respect of native Americans’ land rights has been attributed to him.

Si’ahl earned his reputation at a young age as a leader and a warrior, ambushing and defeating groups of enemy raiders coming up the Green River from the Cascade foothills, and attacking the Chimakum and the S’Klallam, tribes living on the Olympic Peninsula. Like many of his contemporaries, he owned slaves captured during his raids. He was tall and broad for a Puget Sound native at nearly six feet; Hudson’s Bay Company traders gave him the nickname Le Gros (The Big One). He was also known as an orator; and when he addressed an audience, his voice is said to have carried from his camp to the Stevens Hotel at First and Marion, a distance of 34 miles (1.2 km).

He took wives from the village of Tola’ltu just southeast of Duwamish Head on Elliott Bay (now part of West Seattle). His first wife La-Dalia died after bearing a daughter. He had three sons and four daughters with his second wife, Olahl.[3] The most famous of his children was his first, Kikisoblu or Princess Angeline.  For all his skill, Si’ahl was gradually losing ground to the more powerful Patkanim of the Snohomish when white settlers started showing up in force. When his people were driven from their traditional clamming grounds, Si’ahl met Maynard in Olympia; they formed a friendly relationship useful to both. Persuading the settlers at Duwamps to rename the town Seattle, Maynard established their support for Si’ahl’s people and negotiated relatively peaceful relations among the tribes. (Wikipedia.org)

THE NATURE OF MAN

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dove-hawkCandide: or, The Optimist (1762)  It begins with a young man, Candide, who is living a sheltered life in an Edenic paradise and being indoctrinated with Leibnizian optimism (or simply “optimism”) by his mentor, Professor Pangloss. The work describes the abrupt cessation of this lifestyle, followed by Candide’s slow, painful disillusionment as he witnesses and experiences great hardships in the world. Voltaire concludes with Candide, if not rejecting optimism outright, advocating a deeply practical precept, “we must cultivate our garden”, in lieu of the Leibnizian mantra of Pangloss, “all is for the best” in the “best of all possible worlds”.

Candide is characterised by its sarcastic tone as well as by its erratic, fantastical and fast-moving plot. A picaresque novel with a story similar to that of a more serious Bildungsroman, it parodies many adventure and romance clichés, the struggles of which are caricatured in a tone that is mordantly matter-of-fact. Still, the events discussed are often based on historical happenings, such as the Seven Years’ War and the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. As philosophers of Voltaire’s day contended with the problem of evil, so too does Candide in this short novel, albeit more directly and humorously. Voltaire ridicules religion, theologians, governments, armies, philosophies, and philosophers through allegory; most conspicuously, he assaults Leibniz and his optimism.

François-Marie Arouet (French: 21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), known by his nom de plume Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, MV 8159historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state. Voltaire was a versatile writer, producing works in almost every literary form, including plays, poems, novels, essays, and historical and scientific works. He wrote more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets. He was an outspoken advocate of several liberties, despite the risk this placed him in under the strict censorship laws of the time. As a satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize intolerance, religious dogma, and the French institutions of his day.

(reference: Wikipedia.org)

MISERY’S THE RIVER OF THE WORLD

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Video by Richard Borge

Lyrics and Music by Tom Waits:

Misery’s the River of the World.
Misery’s the River of the World.

The higher the monkey can climb the more he shows his tail.
Call no man happy ’til he dies.
There’s no milk at the bottom of the pail.

God builds a church.
The Devil builds a chapel like the thistles that are growing ’round the trunk of a tree.

All the good in the world you can put inside a thimble and still have room for you and me.

If there’s one thing you can say about Mankind: there’s nothing kind about Man.

You can drive out Nature with a pitch fork but it always comes roaring back again.

Misery’s the River of the World.
Misery’s the River of the World.
Misery’s the River of the World.

For want of a bird the sky was lost.
For want of a nail  a shoe was lost.
For want of a life the knife was lost.
For want of a toy a child was lost.

Misery’s the River of the World.
Misery’s the River of the World.
Everybody Row! Everybody Row!
Misery’s the River of the World.
Misery’s the River of the World.
Everybody Row! Everybody Row!