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Friday, January 20, 2012

Wordlist #12, Realty, Reality

[Hubble photo]

Lord Brabazon said, "If you cannot say what you are going to say in twenty minutes you ought to go away and write a book about it."

Our governor just gave a speech about California. It was only five minutes long, typical Jerry Brown speech-length. He said financial recession came from overleveraged construction and under-regulated mortgages and we must fix that. I think he has always admired Lord Brabazon, who may have confused reality with realty but never in speeches.

Veneration of real estate over principle results in crazy patriotism. In national government, this generates crazy foreign policy. Sometimes we have to speak to them about it. Someone simply walks up and says, "America should stop going around shooting people. They don't like it, you know." I remember some years back a guy said that to Dick Cheney. He and his little boy happened to see Dick Cheney in a shopping mall and thought they ought to say that. Cheney had them arrested.

Lord Brabazon would not have reacted that way. He knew about war. His title, Baron Of Tara (not to be confused with real estate of same name in "Gone With The Wind", which was fictional realty), was created in 1942 in recognition of his aviation merits. It granted him the privileged status of peer everywhere on British soil. We make Jerry go indoors.


One of my favorite theologians, Martin Buber, described reality --a sphere of interactives or "das Zwischenmenschliche"-- as being "very can get it out again and again". If, like me, you wake up groggy --only just beginning to feel your face at 9 a.m., I mean which side of my head it's on-- it is a true comfort to know reality still exists and not too far off either.

For forty years, I worked jobs that required my presence between 5:30 and 6:30 in the morning and I could do it but only managed a marginally convincing facade of alert silence. When questioned, I would politely promise to take the matter under review and have my answer by 10 (when I woke up). I was seldom caught out, except when the answer involved my name.

Hubble photograph above is how reality looks both in my morning head and deep space. We live in a lovely thing. The universe is sometimes easier to understand if we consider it composed of two continua: gravitational and electromagnetic. Colliding waves at this confluence spin wonders at us. But they aren't all safe wonders. You may notice the universe is exploding.

I learned this alarming fact from three sources. ESL (Explosion as Second Language) classes teach confluence and conflict equally to prepare one for social and metaphysical unrest. Home ownership taught me the dangers of real estate investment in explosions, no matter how gradual they are (reference: Jerry Brown vs. Jarvis-Gann 35 years ago). Finally, another favorite theologian, Tom Selleck, once said, "Movies aren't about stories any more, they're about explosions."

So I advise caution, even though I'm not quite qualified to do so. Confusing realty with reality can get you in hot water faster than you can say "das Zwischenmenschliche!"


  1. Delightful to see another put it so agreeably! At least it fits my tastes and experience. Reality is essentially subjective until it merges with the current consensual reality. Objective reality? A contradiction in terms.

  2. I concur, Will, and suspect realty was invented by some kids' sports coach proclaiming, "There is no 'I' in reality!"

  3. What an interesting and witty post! Objective reality, huh? Maybe not. Maybe there's only objectionable reality. If we accept "I think therefore, I am" as true, does it then follow that if I don't think, I cease to exist? I suppose that depends on one's definition of "exist." (Or was that "is" ...?)

  4. The story of man is a skirmish for realty. Were that it were a skirmish for reality! We'd all be better off.

  5. Thank you Susan and Austan. I remember the definition of "is" received congressional scrutiny 15 years ago, but results were divided. I believe the "i" was finally installed in "realty", making it and reality legally indistinguishable. The remaining "s"es were consigned to a political jackwagon with Descartes before the horse.

  6. oooooooo, that was a baaad one. ;)

  7. Hi, delicate location, i over here something correspond to to this give but i don't from anytime second, but seriously it's greatly gracious

  8. What is is and what isn't isn't and when is isn't isn't is. You see?

    I think therefore I am, I think. And there's no questiona about it, is there?

    And it was Alfred Hitchcock who turned movies from stories into exposions.

  9. Hi DB! You're on to something there, and this is a sensitive site (or, as Anonymous put it, a "delicate location"), so I will think about it on this very rainy day and therefore exist. What the heck, let's all exist!

  10. WOW. Once again, you've blown my mind. (And rats should definitely have fluffy tails, I agree.) Get me out of this realty!

  11. @carrieboo: Heehee! Squirrels and rats are very close relatives! See: Why is a Squirrel Cute and a Rat Ugly?


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