Can You Decipher My Friend’s “Book of Changes”?

It’s time for another guest post.

Here’s a challenge for all you readers. One of my high school friends maintains a blog of thoughts he has that are so deep I can’t figure them out. So for this weeks guest post, I invite you to try and figure them out, where I have failed.

So I now present to you THE ANALYTIC I CHING: A NOVEL EXEGESIS IN THE AGE OF DATA SCIENCE.

Go on, try it out. I tried. I failed. Maybe you’re more brilliant than me.

Current Political Dialogues, Condensed

“If you follow me, Christianity will have power.”
“Wait a minute, that sounds a bit too much like the temptation of Christ in the wi—”
“I hate abortion, trust me.”
“All hail Caesar! He will deliver us!”

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have recruited a famous comedian to portray our opponent’s opponent in a series of skits every Saturday night.”
“So the comedian is very woke, right.”
“Indeed. He shares our views on everything.”
“Even vaccines?”
“No, he’s fully against them. Even more than our opponent.”
“Oh…”

“President Trump separated hundreds of children from their families at the border!”
“That’s horrible! So did Obama.”
“Yeah but Trump isn’t creepy on women.”
“[holds up several photos of Biden].”

“This is the most important election of our time!”
“Why?”
“Are you kidding me? Biden is a socialist! We’re four years away from the slide to communism!”
“If Biden is a socialist, why does he love corporations so much? You realize the DNC is so bought by corporations that it chose him over Bernie?”
“I saw a thing on Facebook that I liked and shared that said that he said we want an end to capitalism!”
“I thought you said Facebook is silencing your free speech. Clearly it let you like and share that meme.”
“And they took it down.”
“Did they?”
[Checks] “Well, no. But they might.”
“Well first of all, we don’t have capitalism. We have a mixed economy. Like we did under Obama, Bush, Clinton, even Reagan. But that meme you shared was a lie. What Biden said was he wants an end to ‘shareholder capitalism.’ He clarified it by saying he wants to end the idea that the only responsibility a corporation has is to its shareholders.”
“Sounds like socialism to me.”
“Does it? Socialism tolerates corporations and shareholders? If he were a Marxist, he would want to end corporations, period. No shareholders. You do realize that even a kid can recognize a bad guy in a movie when all he cares about is impressing his shareholders. Biden’s not exactly an exemplum against that but at least the idea is good.”
“Don’t get all fancy with me. Biden is a socialist who wants us all to get relief checks so we don’t work.”
“Like the one Trump made out to you last spring?”



“This is the most important election of our time! It feels like Handmaid’s Tale in here! Trump’s about to appoint a Supreme Court Justice who supports the patriarchy!”
“So we’re about to become a dystopia where women are only for breeding and no reading, because he wants a woman on the supreme court?”
“She wants to overturn Roe V. Wade.”
“Well, half of unborn humans are women, and they have rights. This is why people need to study and debate the Constitution, professionally.”

“Let’s defund the police!”
“Yeah!”
“We found our guy!”
“Tell us about him.”
“He…doesn’t want to end the police.”
“Well what about his VP pick?”
“She is the police.”
“Well, was.”
“And was really tough police.”

“Our opponent wants to end the police!”
“I knew it!”
“And I bet he picked a VP who hates the police too.”
“Not really. She made a lot of liberals upset by how tough she was an ally of the police.”
“Oh. Well, ignore that! She wants to end law and order!”

“The president just brokered a peace deal between Sudan and Israel! Of course the mainstream media won’t tell you that.”
“Are the New York Times, Washington Post, NBC, BBC, and The Guardian not mainstream media?”
“Oh, do they have stories about it? Because I haven’t seen it.”
“Do you get your news from them?”
“…No.”
“I’ve never been to Wisconsin. So I don’t know if there are Applebees restaurants in Wisconsin.”
“Oh, I get it. So that means I can’t say for sure that there are no Applebees in Wisconsin, just that I haven’t seen them where I haven’t looked.”
“Yes, and in both cases, you can Google it easily to find out.”
“But the peace deal is amazing, right?”
“That remains to be seen. It’s not completely unprecedented that they’ve agreed to try and normalize relations. Many Palestinians feel betrayed, as well as many Sudanese political parties. Israel is occupying Palestine, and normalizing political relations with Israel is seen by many as supporting colonization and legitimizing it. Trump is removing Sudan from a list of countries that the US recognizes as supporting terrorism. It doesn’t mean that it is no longer happening. The deal is complicated and has been done with great timing to look like a political victory. Why else would he brag about it and claim that Biden could not have done it?”
“Ok sure. But back in the 70’s Carter was negotiating between Israel and Egypt and it was all over the news.”
“And he was a Democrat. The peace between the countries he worked with largely remains to this day, but at the cost of not supporting the creation of an independent Palestinian state. The consequences of the U.S. both aiding the Mujahideen in fighting the Soviets, while at the same time not giving voice to occupied Palestinians, has had many consequences we are still dealing with today. We are learning these lessons, and Trump hasn’t. He lied when he said that Russia invaded Afghanistan to stop terrorists decades ago. Russia invaded to prop up a puppet regime. We aided rebels who would later become terrorists (actions taken under Carter, and then even stronger under Reagan). In their eyes, we’re the new Soviets. Let’s not let our political loyalties to parties lead us to assume what can and can’t succeed. Republicans and Democrats will both lie to us about the wars they support overseas and then justify it by blaming it on one another. Enough.”

Take Time To Address Your Abyss

In lieu of a blog post this week, I decided to take time to address the abyss. I hope you take time to do the same. The hole you have inside of you, that we all have. Don’t peer into it too deeply, and don’t run from it either. Address it head on for what it is, seeking to have it repaired. If it feels too large, ask yourself, “what is larger than my abyss?” You know what’s not, anything you toss inside. Think bigger.

13 Years Ago I Wrote the Following in a Journal

I found an old journal the other day. Thirteen years ago, in that journal, I wrote the following:

I have value.  I am worth something.  There are things I can contribute to society.  I have talents and skills, as well as morals and ideals.  I know that I am worth something.

I wanted to share that because I wanted you to know this.

You have value.

You are worth something.

There are things you can contribute to society.

You have talents, skills, as well as morals and ideals.

You need to known that you are worth something.

I don’t know what I was dealing with at that exact time, or what moved me to write those words. But maybe I needed to see them for myself. I hope they do something for you.