Stage of the World

NOTE: This is an archived site. EVERYTHING here is very dated. Articles — all — are written now and then for highly select readers, for particular purposes. Not knowing proper context can be puzzling or misleading, even off-putting. So… please not read anything here which has not been recommended to you. What’s below is TRULY UNEDITED. This is written for select members of my new community.

Stage of the World
Dedicated to ITOSCA, which can be an acronym for either Internationally Transformative Overhaul of the State of California or Internationally Transformative Occupation of the State of Californianeither of which, I can guarantee, is what the reader can possibly imagine without an intimate Q&A with me. And to my Uncle Max, of course.
by Ox (& M.D.J.)

Perhaps nothing defines the plight of the refugee more than the overwhelming sense that one’s life is no longer in one’s hands, that one is totally dependent on the goodwill of others, and yet utterly ignorant of what the future holds.

In that sense, we are all refugees… whether or not we recognize the deadlines which loom in the wings of this world, at this stage. [Keep in mind, if you will, that we are not talking about 'migrants' here who have hope for the future, but 'refugees', the displaced who are afflicted by loss of the past.]

1940 refugee Walter Benjamin, as per, took a deadly dose of morphine, after being turned away coldly by a guard at Spain’s eastern border with France. He was a great soul brother of sorts, and it’s poignant to remember that that one of his last published essays had been a commentary on Bertolt Brecht’s great poem Legend of the Origin of the Book of Tao Te Ching on Lao Tzu’s Way into Exile, in which he pointed out that an act of pure friendship between a customs officer and the seventy-one-year-old sage, going into exile on an ox, was the only reason that Lao Tzu’s inimitable work survived, to be passed down through the centuries to us. As my Uncle Max (who contributed money to Benjamin’s dangerous trek toward the majestic, promising Pyrennes) once said, “That’s a wonderful reminder that hope will survive, that in this world — even at this stage — compassion can triumph over indifference.”

All the world’s a stage, yes. But at this juncture we really need to have a little talk with the actors before the next performance. That’d be you, and everyone else too. I highly recommend — for starters — checking out Naomi Klein’s spot on It’s only one way of looking at our collective deadlines, but her 10,000 or so words are worthwhile, and will — I believe — wrench you away from whatever script you have in hand — “habit, the great deadener,” as Beckett said in Godot — saving you from what I like to call Ostrich Syndrome. [Pause.] We do, all of us, have our heads in the sand. All along the political spectrum. Including those who consider themselves penetratingly apolitical.



Granted, I don’t know jack, as they say, about the new county I’m going to be living in starting in January. I am ignorant of life on the ground there. No matter. I am a firm believer AND a firm believer in what having heart, head and soul in a healthy place can do. And on that note, I submit that even though someone is going to have to fill me in on the challenges which the county is facing at present, and all else that anyone would need under their belt in order to offer up truly intelligent recommendations… I ask the reader to bear with me vis-a-vis my suggestions here.

Ah, I’m bubbling over with ideas, but — on second thought — I’m going to force myself to be patient. I won’t scribble down my thoughts, but — rather — wait for some in person contact with the movers and shakers of the local stage (Which I hear is quite the rage!). Yes, I’ll calm myself for the moment, and look forward to some instructive back and forth rendezvous, wherein I hope to delineate how we can help the world — starting with the local community — to overcome apathy, cynicism, ignorance, resignation and atomization.

I have a vision of my new community being able to showcase The Stage of the World. For the whole world, for the world to be whole again, we will spotlight compassion and common sense. Yes, a singular stage for the world featuring great beauty… and belief.


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