Citizens of the world past, present, and future:
This is an advertisement for Wandering Albatross Press’s newest product: A tiny little onepiece for very young children (babies, really) with the words “Objectively Cute” emblazoned on the front in what I can only suppose is a basically safe acrylic-type print.
$18 for a very small stretch of cotton welded into a shirt with leg holes and a button-up butt-wrap. Outrageous! But then write “Objectively Cute” on the garment. So! Now, we’ve got a novelty item; now we’ve got an idea that you can buy and so to some degree join, vote for, collaborate with, take credit for. Now we’ve got a conversation starter.
Now we’ve got something for Soren and Regine to exchange pleasantries over as they meet on cool cobblestones beneath the thin northern sun.
“Oh, yes! Clever! And there’s perhaps something to it: by the inward appropriation of the delightful fire your child lights in your heart, your subjective understanding grows in its relationship to the objective reality.”
“Yeah, I know–but it’s also kind of funny, right? How everyone says that of course they’re partial to their children and know that that colors their views and that really babies in general are delightful–but really, let the friends go on their way, leaving a mother and father to confer alone and quick as a wink its: ‘of course, our little one really is the most attractive of the bunch!’”
“Oh, yes, quite! And yet the tender glowing love that a parent has for a child, and the open-hearted love beaming out of infants even more so–these spiritual support-beams of the phenomenon of infantile cuteness are solemn and profound hints to the nature of divine love; and so this little onepiece circles the mind round and round the enchanting paradox that for mortal minds and hearts, the objective can be gained only through the subjective–we cannot mentally or emotionally grasp the nature of the one true objective reality–the divinity of God and how that divinity relates to Gods’ creation–, but through the inward process of experiencing, accepting, willing, and celebrating the love that radiates into and out of our souls, we inwardly appropriate a subjective knowledge of the divine and its ties to this world; that is to say: we grow in subjective knowledge of the objective reality.”
“Oh, yes, certainly–the T-shirt reminds us that though love is a subjective experience, it is also our only clear path to experiencing the one objective reality–the Love of God in, through, and as the world. We thought it was an interesting and a fun little garment–got it from Wandering Albatross Press, are you familiar with them?”
“No, no, I don’t believe. Do they publish many theological books? … But so wonderful to see you! Such a blessing to find you so well!”
“Yes, you too! It really is!”
What, people, do you really want? To halt capitalism and materialism and have everyone grow their own food and knit their own outfits?
Allow me to suggest: you want what you already have: a reality made entirely out of Pure Love, and a divine light working its way through all the forms, kindly and unstoppably shepherding us all home: that is to say into the path of wisdom, of a knowing goodness. And so, by all means: let’s get it together–admit we are all of one cloth and all in this together and that the direction towards better and better understanding and following love is the only path that offers any hope for any of us; by all means!, by all means, let’s quit pretending we are different from the people we think we disagree with and work together before it is too late (to keep from destroying this world and this particular adventure–not “too late” in an eternal sense; but if you like me think there are still neat things that could be done as humans, then you have a “too late” to worry about)!, certainly–by all means. But beyond that, what can we say except that this Wandering Albatross Press company is–given its setting–probably an OK thought: we’ll sell the same novelty type products you buy anyway, the ones that tickle your fancy and make a nice gift in a world where cute ideas are appreciated and gift-giving generally involves converting raw materials into finished products that are sold, admired, used for a while, and then discarded; but we’ll try to push further towards the art end of novelty gifts and wrap our gifts within more art and thought, letting publishing bleed more into novelty knick-knack capitalism, and vice-versa. Why not? Probably won’t make things worse, and might, by encouraging reflection in both us bold capitalist entrepreneurs and you poor sheep consumers (titles which of course easily switch places–at least in one’s imagination; which is to some degree a true and inspiring tale of equality and to some degree fool’s gold), do some good. So we throw our thoughts on your table.
Would you like to buy this product? Kind of charming. Might make a good gift.
This advertisement released May 25, 2015, a Monday, a Memorial Day. On Memorial Day we remember all the generally-20ish young people that have fought and often died because the leaders of the country rightly or wrongly (as the case may be; in some cases perhaps “rightly or wrongly” is an oversimplification–I don’t know) decided to involve them in a bloody conflict. Bloody conflicts are nothing new and patriotism has always had good and bad uses. Sometimes people talk about how so and so’s sacrifice shouldn’t be allowed to be in vain. What should those of us lucky enough to not find ourselves in the grind that makes humans into pulp do with our still-animated forms? Besides, I mean, have barbecues and release novelty ads for novelty products? We should at the very least avoid cynicism: our government isn’t perfect, but what that means is that we need to try to make it better, not sit around ego-tripping on the hopeless evil of politicians and/or “the other side”. How does a nation improve itself? Well, the first step is for the people living in that collective to admit that we are all human-beings. If you are alive in a place where the voice of the people has not been completely and irrevocably squelched, then you can help save your country by merely growing in wisdom and kindness–how much more pleasant that is than the sudden epiphany of the bullet!
We’ll close this ad with a poem from Herman Melville:
Shiloh: A Requiem (April 1862)
By Herman Melville
Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
The swallows fly low
Over the field in clouded days,
The forest-field of Shiloh—
Over the field where April rain
Solaced the parched ones stretched in pain
Through the pause of night
That followed the Sunday fight
Around the church of Shiloh—
The church so lone, the log-built one,
That echoed to many a parting groan
And natural prayer
Of dying foemen mingled there—
Foemen at morn, but friends at eve—
Fame or country least their care:
(What like a bullet can undeceive!)
But now they lie low,
While over them the swallows skim,
And all is hushed at Shiloh.