September 23rd, 2011

Escher kitten-to-birds

"To those who can hear me, I say 'Do not despair.'"

This is going around the net in a version called "Charlie Chaplin vs. Inception", but I think it's much stronger in the original version, without the addition of Hans Zimmer's music.

From The Great Dictator:

The text of the speech:
I'm sorry but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone.

I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black men, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each others' happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men's souls.
Has barricaded the world with hate.
Has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.

We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge as made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little.

More than machinery we need humanity.
More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.
Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in man; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all.

Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say "Do not despair."

The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder! Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men---machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have a love of humanity in your hearts! You don't hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.

Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it’s written “the kingdom of God is within man”, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power.

Let us all unite.
Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security.

By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill their promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfill that promise! Let us fight to free the world!

To do away with national barriers!
To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance!

Let us fight for a world of reason,
a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.

Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!

Via and via.

Aw, go climb a tree

No, really. It'll be good for you.

Apparently research indicates that spending time in nature makes us feel good, but we consistently underestimate just how good we'll feel.

Since I read that, I've been making an effort to push past the "eh, maybe I'll just ride straight home..." feeling that tends to settle on me towards the end of the workday and instead have been stopping by the lake to visit with my squirrel friends. The days are getting shorter (ARGH DO NOT WANT) and today is the first official day of autumn (DO NOT WANT), so I feel like I need to be taking advantage of every remaining still-light-after-I-get-out-of-work day.

I had to laugh at myself yesterday when I rolled up and found that there were two people in a hammock under OUR tree. Furthermore, they were feeding some of OUR squirrels. I hope you appreciate the time we've spent over the past few months socializing these little beasts! I thought. And then, I wonder how many Oaklanders — how many generations of Oaklanders — had been feeding the squirrels before we started? Um. Heh.

So it was nice to get there today and find the tree empty and inviting. Quite empty, actually, as were the other trees nearby and all the ground I could see. Oh, well, maybe they'll show up later. I've got coffee and snacks. And if they wait too long, well, I'll have eaten all the trail mix. Serve them right.

Elapsed time from when I propped my bike against the tree (and hit "start" on my watch's chronometer function) to when Nervy Nose appeared on the branch behind me: 3 minutes 51 seconds.

I wound up spending almost an hour and 45 minutes up there. Partly because just as I thought "well, I'll finish my coffee and head home" Honey Brown showed up. She is such a bold little creature — she's getting very comfortable with rummaging through the trail mix on my palm. And although I haven't even tried to stroke or pet her yet, at one point there were only raisins and cashews on my palm, but two almonds had fallen off my hand and were lying on the bark of the branch next to and slightly under fingers. Little Ms. Honey Brown seemed perfectly comfortable using her cheek and nose to nudge my hand aside so she could get to the almonds.