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View Full Version : Anti-Cynical Pill (no prescription needed!)



soylentgreen
2005-Dec-29, 09:54 PM
I was talking to an old friend and mentioned my suprise at spotting one of those "DUCK TOURS" motoring around Honolulu. These are the converted DUKWs, amphibious transport vehicles put into service during WWII for shuttling men and ammo ashore. Now they shuttle passengers around the cityscape and take a dip in the local harbor for while.
I've been on them numerous times in Philly, but was not expecting to spot them at Waikiki. Having lived in Boston for a while, my friend mentioned they had them there as well. Upon further investigation, I discovered they also paddle around Baltimore and more recently, Memphis.

The tour in Philidelphia is great. It usually includes a nice glimpse of the poor old forgotten liner S.S. United States and a barnacle-eye view of the battleship USS New Jersey(which, with Camden being awarded 'most dangerous city' status, the battleships mooring in its harbor seems eerily appropriate!).

Anyway, in talking with my friend, I had one of those moments where you suddenly realize the poetic depth of something you hadn't really thought deeply about. There was something re-affirming about those ducks! I knew their history. I knew their value to the local small business economies...

...but then I realized that they were one of the better examples of the concept "beating swords into plowshares" (Yes, I am mindful of the old army version of that which warns "Those that beat their swords into plowshares will end up plowing for those who still have swords!") Instead of aiding fighting and destruction, they're now aiding exploring and fostering a little learning, too. A bit romantic for a little sight-seeing bus, I know, but it felt like a little ray of light.

In a daily molasses flood(sorry Boston!)of downer news stories that tell of fat-cat backscratching, reveal science under the gun, list more historic sites paved flat for malls and remind us that there are still plenty of people out there who just hate(...and they're armed...well!), I needed that ray of light.

Just sharing. Does anyone else have a story about a re-affirming epiphany?


my last few posts, here and there, around the forum have had a rather bitter taste and for that I apologise. My mid-winter blues fell earlier than usual on this years calendar. :o

Gillianren
2005-Dec-29, 11:41 PM
Wouldn't this be an anti-cynicism pill?

soylentgreen
2005-Dec-29, 11:54 PM
The first response my post gets and it's semantics hair-splitting. ;)

Frankly I felt "anti-cynicism pill" didn't roll off the tongue (no pun intended) with the same cacaphonic oomph that the "...cal" gives ya'.

Swift
2005-Dec-29, 11:54 PM
My doctor prescribed an Anti-Cynical Pill, but I just have a lot of doubts it would work, I mean none of that kind of stuff ever does. ;)

Actually, that was a nice posting soylentgreen (and I understood the molasses reference), but I don't have anything handy.

Doodler
2005-Dec-30, 12:26 AM
Just my luck, it'll be a suppository...

Kristophe
2005-Dec-30, 01:41 AM
I don't like to take mood altering drugs without a perscription, or a cocktail olive.

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2005-Dec-30, 11:23 AM
I dunno......I'm kind a......what's that word????

HenrikOlsen
2005-Dec-30, 02:01 PM
Just sharing. Does anyone else have a story about a re-affirming epiphany?
Not my own, but I read about a guy who visited Trinity site and initially was disappointed that there was nothing to see.
After a bit of reflection he realised that that's a very good thing.

Swift
2005-Dec-30, 04:18 PM
I dunno......I'm kind a......what's that word????
uhhhh.....
Happy?
Sad?
Pointy?
Hungry?
Tired?
Busy?
Energetic?
Creative?
Wet?
Dry?
Confused?
Focused?
:confused:
I don't know BBP, you'll have to give us a clue. :D

Maksutov
2005-Dec-30, 04:22 PM
Personally, I'd be very skeptical concerning an anti-cynical pill.

:think:

Doodler
2005-Dec-30, 04:33 PM
Personally, I'd be very skeptical concerning an anti-cynical pill.

:think:

That's why I figure it'll really be a suppository. Getting right to the heart of the matter from the word "D'OH!"

Maksutov
2005-Dec-30, 04:53 PM
That's why I figure it'll really be a suppository. Getting right to the heart of the matter from the word "D'OH!"Right, considering the nature of HB/CT/etc. beliefs.

You should teach a course on this, in Latin perhaps, called the "Conspiritus Correctum".

Doodler
2005-Dec-30, 04:56 PM
Right, considering the nature of HB/CT/etc. beliefs.

You should teach a course on this, in Latin perhaps, called the "Conspiritus Correctum".

They don't pay teachers enough to put up with normal students...

soylentgreen
2005-Dec-30, 08:53 PM
Not my own, but I read about a guy who visited Trinity site and initially was disappointed that there was nothing to see.
After a bit of reflection he realised that that's a very good thing.
Someone I know said a very similar thing about Antietam.



Personally, I'd be very skeptical concerning an anti-cynical pill.

Jeez, if I'd known the thread title would get so much unwarranted attention I would have just labeled the sucker "Read This"! :rolleyes:

How many Poindexters does it take to miss the point of a post?
So far, four!

Doodler
2005-Dec-30, 09:06 PM
How many Poindexters does it take to miss the point of a post?
So far, four!

Me thinks we've found another in need of a prescription...

soylentgreen
2005-Dec-30, 09:35 PM
Me thinks we've found another in need of a prescription...
Nah...my jest was quite apropos. Get out your old FELIX THE CAT videos, it'll make sense.

Besides, with this, you continue to focus on everything but the point of my post....aww forget it. You just don't get it, do you.

...what's funnier(though, not really!) is that it comes from the you, the chap who was responsible for this bon mot on the mentally handicapped...

Mentally ill, eh? What can ya say about small calibre ammo, it cures what ails ya. I'm no believer in Eugenics, but if a 'tard's got enough brainpower to cause trouble, he's got enough brainpower to suffer the consequences.

Throw his body to the dogs.

My post was supposed to be an antidote to that cro-mag fascist garbage. You should take a little time off from windexing your diplomas, 'coz dem dar social skills 'a yours are rottin' away, bucko!

Gillianren
2005-Dec-30, 09:44 PM
I dunno......I'm kind a......what's that word????

Aphasic?

LurchGS
2005-Dec-30, 10:05 PM
amnesiac?

I don't think I've ever had an epiphany as you describe... but that may be owing to my basic nature. I'm what, for now, I'll call an optomistic cynic. In other words, I expect bad things of people, but in the long run, I think things will be better.

Except in the politcal field...

As for Doodles, at least he's not watching the world though rose tinted spectacles. From what I've seen of his posts, he seems to see the world as it is, rather than as he might want it to be. While his choice of word may be... impolitic, his assessment is usually without wishful thinking.

This is true in the post you quoted, and in the one he made in this thread. In this thread specifically, it seemed an appropriate response to what seemed a bit of a tantrum.

And I'll note he said nothing overtly antagonistic either to you or about you on this thread

Doodler
2005-Dec-30, 10:21 PM
I've got specific issues when it comes to "diminished capacity" which lead me to believe its complete bunk when it comes to the incapacity to know right from wrong. So when someone cries "mental illness", or "retardation", or some of the other psychobabble tripe out there, as a pardoning condition for culpability, I get real unapologetically furious.

I will be happy to explain in detail my personal anger on this matter, but not here. Its not exactly family friendly, even if I were to use delicate language.

Halcyon Dayz
2005-Dec-31, 01:07 AM
Lead to the Dark Side anger does.

LurchGS
2005-Dec-31, 01:11 AM
only if you cannot channel or control it

funny, I just never pictured you as small, green, and manipulated by Frank Oz ;)

Halcyon Dayz
2005-Dec-31, 01:27 AM
http://members.chello.nl/a.romer1/Pix/sch_180x75.gif (http://www.schlockmercenary.com)
More like fat, green and armed.

LurchGS
2005-Dec-31, 01:37 AM
armed is cool

Green is cool

ok, I'm not green, but I used to wish I was Kermit

Doodler
2005-Dec-31, 03:44 PM
As for Doodles, at least he's not watching the world though rose tinted spectacles. From what I've seen of his posts, he seems to see the world as it is, rather than as he might want it to be. While his choice of word may be... impolitic, his assessment is usually without wishful thinking.

That's probably one of the highest compliments I've ever been paid.

As far as my postings here, let it be understood from my first post, that if there ever were an anti-cynicism pill, I'd probably end up with one of the first prescriptions. Thats why I said it would be my luck it would end up as a suppository. That aside from the metaphorical best way to treat someone for being a..well, you madlib the end of that one, I like posting here too much. ;)

teri tait
2005-Dec-31, 04:02 PM
I had a rainbow flavored anti-schism pill...if I keep stroking it, will I go blind?

LurchGS
2006-Jan-01, 06:34 AM
no, but you'll get hairy legs limbs.

teri tait
2006-Jan-01, 07:27 AM
Here's something to ponder:

How can two such differently designed flags share the same amount of colors so precisely?

You may want to check, I'm not completely sure if British and American flags could be so fiendishly easy to decipher...

If I'm right, I'll tell you what I really think gopher would actually is...

SolusLupus
2006-Jan-01, 07:39 AM
Oo! Oo! Does Doodler get to ramble off his viewpoint without a recurring argument? I get to give an opposing viewpoint?

Wait, that would spawn some bannings. So I guess I can't have a dissenting viewpoint in the end.

by the way, Soylentgreen, this part here:



My post was supposed to be an antidote to that cro-mag fascist garbage. You should take a little time off from windexing your diplomas, 'coz dem dar social skills 'a yours are rottin' away, bucko!

as well as the rehashing of Doodler's post,

was over the top. He was warned for making an inciteful comment, though he was unrepentant for it (and later seemed to call those that disagreed with him the "Peanut gallery", though that's probably my paranoid self seeing insults that don't exist), but nonetheless, bringing it up here and launching forward with great vitriol will not go respected nor unseen for too long. Just warning you. I'm not a moderator, but you've already crossed the line.

Not that I necessarily disagree with you entirely. I just disagree with you breaking the rules.

LurchGS
2006-Jan-01, 07:49 AM
well, it's pretty well determined that Betsy Ross neither sewed nor designd the first star spangled banner... Representative Francis Hopkinson is commonly credited with the design..

but there does't appear to be much that goes to the why of the design, so let me offer a ought.

Even after the war, most Americans still tended to think of themselves as English - just without a king. The colors in the US Flag were familiar to the residents, being taken from the Union Jack of England. The flag, thus, provided an emotional tie back to England, in essence saying "we may no longer be ruled by you, but we're still English."

(I should point out that it's not until the 1900s that meanings are directly ascribed to the colors of the flag)

Extravoice
2006-Jan-01, 01:17 PM
A couple of years ago I was in Baltimore when my family talked me into taking them on the Duck tour. I was cynical about forking over more money on a tourist trap, but figured that at minimum I would get a good look at some vintage military technology.

It was money well spent, and we had a blast! Perhaps it was the tourguide's attitude, or maybe those duck-bill "whistles" we used to quack at the pedestrians and motorists. We had fun and learned a few things about the city.

I *was* less cynical after the ride, even if it wasn't for the reason Soylentgreen indicated in his first post.

Kristophe
2006-Jan-01, 03:35 PM
Since soylentgreen is so perturbed that not enough people "get" his point, allow me to share an epiphany of my own. It, too, revolves around ducks, oddly enough.

My grandparents (currently just my grandmother) have a pond in their back yard. Once upon a time it was a stream, but my grandfather took a backhoe to it, inviting ducks, herrings, beavers, and even a family of swans (for a short period of time) into the neighbourhood. So many fish chose to call this little aquatic rest stop their home that people, to this day, ask me if my family stocks it. We don't.

I often found great pleasure in feeding the ducks -- what self-respecting 10 year old doesn't? -- and the ducks would often find great pleasure in following me around, quacking at me until they had convinced me to dig out a loaf of bread from my grandparents bread box. This group of ducks was so unabashedly unafraid of people that it would even go door to door around the neighbourhood, walking down the quiet sub-suburban street that my grandparent(s) live(d) on. One day after school I came to the small cottage style house that my grandparents called home to find the ducks, curiously, on the front step. One even tried to follow me inside, so I figured they were hungry and got out an older half loaf of bread. As I threw the crowd pieces, they were downright violent toward each other. They'd rip the bread from each others bills, and outright shove smaller ducks out of the way. This was something shockingly new to me. I stopped for a minute. Time seemed to slow a bit, and the sounds of the ducks faded from my ears. I realized in that moment that this flock of birds was not so different from a group of people. Perhaps more importantly, I realized something that I've come to learn that a minority of people seem to understand -- people aren't so different from that flock of birds.

A few years later I had someone tell me of the evils of humanity, and how we're the only species on Earth that fights with its own kind; how we're the only species that knows greed, or that pulls food from another's mouth. I couldn't help but think back to those ducks, and how they taught me how wrong this person was.

What good are rose coloured glasses when they filter out the reality of the situation?

LurchGS
2006-Jan-01, 05:09 PM
[snip - even if it was cool]

Perhaps more importantly, I realized something that I've come to learn that a minority of people seem to understand -- people aren't so different from that flock of birds.

A few years later I had someone tell me of the evils of humanity, and how we're the only species on Earth that fights with its own kind; how we're the only species that knows greed, or that pulls food from another's mouth. I couldn't help but think back to those ducks, and how they taught me how wrong this person was.

What good are rose coloured glasses when they filter out the reality of the situation?

the only animal that fights with it's own kind? what kind of nutcase was that? They've never seen dogs... cats... horses....mountain sheep? Perhaps the person meant "group fights" (i.e. wars), in which case they've definately left out Chimpanzees and ants.

Ditto for Greed (ever tried to train three dogs to eat out of their OWN foodbowl?)

man is a pack beast - we form naturally into small groups. (different from flocks and herds which can be gihugic (pronounced Ji-huge-ik)). In any pack, there's usually a leader that the pack members follow

What's odd about man is that the individual can belong to multiple completely distinct packs at the same time.. the stylish clothes pack, the astronomy pack, the lucky cannukian pack, the hockey lover's pack,on top of the 'people who live in my home with me' pack. And so on. I think THAT is unique to man. (just my thought - any zoologist wandering by may feel free to correct me)

Doodler
2006-Jan-01, 07:50 PM
What good are rose coloured glasses when they filter out the reality of the situation?

No good at all, which is why I refuse to wear them, even if it makes me a callous person in some respects. The rose colored glasses can often become a mask that hides the worst problems, preventing them from being properly addressed and corrected. You cannot fix what's wrong when you refure to acknowledge there's no problem at hand.

I am no great believer in the "inherent good" of any form of life. Pure altruism is NOT a survival mechanism. The foundation of most principles that define "Good" behavior in humans stem from varying degrees of ability to repress our inherently survival oriented, selfish nature. Would an animal put itself at risk for the benefit of another? Maybe, in the case of mothers and offspring, but it would be absolutely wrong to say that an animal mother would never kill or abandon its young. Is defending the herd a matter of group survival or independent survival? I don't see many herd animals out for justice when one of them does fall to the predators. Nor do I see many coming to the aid of a stricken animal after the takedown is made, nor any kind of mourning behaviour afterwards. Most herd defensive behaviours I've seen don't seem to be more than one animal doing its best to blend in or run in the hopes that its not their number thats being pulled.

If anything, I find a number of altruistic behaviours in humans to be counterproductive to survival. One example that I've noted often is the widespread use of medical technology that has aided birthrates in developing countries, where religious or agrarian tradition still holds that large families are necessary to survival, to skyrocket and for some people to survive incredibly debilitating injury to survive, even though that survival is often attained at the cost of an incredibly expensive, medically supported, existance, often paid for by government disability programs at the expense of the taxpayers at large. Its one of the biggest animal fears we really have left, death, that fuels our pathological drive to ensure survival at all costs (See: Terry Schiavo). In the name of sympathy, we weigh ourselves down with an incredible burden.

I'm not saying we should leave people to die because of critical injury, nor that astronomically low birth survival rates are acceptable. I'm just defining the other edge of the sword that people looking through rose colored glasses don't often let themselves see. In some ways, its great we can do this, in other ways, its a major major drain on resources. Few people ask whether 100% survival rates for children born in the world is necessarily a good thing, given that we're already hideously overpopulated, or if people who are horrendously injured are really better off surviving (don't give me any flak here, triage is a VERY old medical practice). But these questions do need to be asked.