Tearing Wings Off Dragonflies 122


I came across this comment and was compelled to share:

A haiku poet wrote the following and submitted it for approval to his teacher:

A dragonfly

Remove the wings

Bright red pepperpod!

The teacher disapproved strongly and suggested this:

Bright red pepperpod,

Add wings

A Dragonfly!

The student, reading that, burst into tears and came to enlightenment. We have been taking dragonflies and tearing their wings off now for years with our political opposition.

Our discourse is destructive and profoundly dis-integrative. We need to reverse the direction of the wheel. We need to start putting the wings back on—-liberating all of our discourse back into the sky of enmity-free community.

Posted by Lux Umbra Dei

July 15, 2008 7:36 PM

I, for one, will be doing my best to put the wings back on the dragonflies I savaged over the previous months.  I can’t promise perfection, but I will guarantee continued effort.

Namaste.

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122 thoughts on “Tearing Wings Off Dragonflies

  • JasonEverettMiller

    Any formatting errors on the provided quote are mine. I look forward to your thoughts. (Don’t forget to recommend if you are so inclined.)

      • dijamo

        I think Obama’s VP candidates should be winnowed down by who else fits into haiku format. It’s the only thing that makes sense. I will send this recommendation to Caroline Kennedy stat!

        • BH

          It’s hard to argue with that logic.

          Let’s see who that leaves:
          Dennis Kucinich also has 5 syllables
          Senator Jim Webb has 5 syllables
          Kathleen Sibelius has 5 syllables (the way I pronounce it, at least)
          Senator Biden has 5 syllables
          Senator Edwards has 5 syllables
          William Richardson has 5 syllables

          😉

  • BH

    I found this as:

    Pull the wings off a dragonfly, and look – you get a red pepperpod!

    Which could be somewhat awkwardly be restructured as:
    Pull the wings off a
    dragonfly, and look – you get
    a red pepperpod!

    And:

    Add wings to a pepperpod, and look – you get a red dragonfly!

    Which is even more awkwardly restructured as:
    Add wings to a pep-
    perpod, and look – you get
    a red dragonfly!

    • Pangaea

      Speaking of what McCain says, I posted a blog about what I think may be a Bosnia-gate moment for the Republican nominee. His statements about Dr. King in his speech today do not match up with what he said on April 4, 2008.

      Two voices, one face.
      John McCain harmonizes
      In tone deaf discord.

  • JasonEverettMiller

    I somehow think an obvious conversational thread of this blog was missed, but haiku’s fun right up until the point it’s annoying. :O)

    • destor23

      Actually, I think all the poetizing is proof that we do get your point. If we can all have fun together than maybe the vitriol was never as bad as any of us thought.

      • JasonEverettMiller

        Good point.

        The goofiness and gentle ribbing the thread produced tells me that the vitriol is more melodramatic chest-beating from a bunch of wannabe revolutionaries than anything else.

        Our natural state is grace.

  • Lux Umbra Dei

    lets see twenty posts..
    Not a single snarky put-down
    My work here is done!

    How boring this path!
    No outlets for dazzling wit-
    Hellish–this “goodness”!!

    Lux
    AKA “Goody Two-Sandals”

    Namaste

  • Lux Umbra Dei

    “Love is but the song we sing,
    And fear’s the way we die
    You can make the mountains ring
    Or make the angels cry
    Know the dove is on the wing
    And you need not know why.”

    That dates me.

  • dimitry

    ==I, for one, will be doing my best to put the wings back on the dragonflies I savaged over the previous months. I can’t promise perfection, but I will guarantee continued effort.==

    Did this decision come before or after you savagely attacked me as being a Russian-American?

    For daring to voice my opposition to the passage of the current FISA legislation, of course.

    A beut of a post it was too – hit all the right points – “fresh of the boat”, “citizenship exam”, etc.

    • JasonEverettMiller

      I actually never “attacked” you for being Russian American. I asked if being new to this country was responsible for your ignorance of Constitutional precedence.

      Now, I recognize that was an attack to you, but it was hardly a standard definition of an attack nor did it explicitly state that being “new off the boat” was a bad thing, just that it could have been a contributing factor to your limited understanding of American History.

      I did apologize for said assumption, but apparently that got missed in your pique. In my defense, that happened in the past. This blog is looking forward to changing this paradigm for the future and will be something I am working on.

      So, yes, had we had a similar exchange today, I would hope I would be able to state my opinion in such a way that it doesn’t belittle yours, though that is usually not my intention.

      It is more of using hyperbole to poke holes in argument I find absurd, though I am freely admitting that is a tactic that leaves red pepperpods in my wake and not dragonflies and will be one I am seeking to change.

      • loki redux

        “Not for being right.”

        Heh…as I suspected, no change here…just a scorpion. Even with Dimitry you can’t simply say, “Yep, my bad. Sorry.” And move on. No…it is full of excuses and “you misunderstood.” This entire post then appears to be superficial and self congratulatory.

        Anyway, good luck.

        • JasonEverettMiller

          This is why it makes it hard to ever step away from the weapons. I try to use humor and you turn it into some sort of ego thing.

          Yes, humor has a touch of truth in it and if I didn’t think I was right, why would I bother to say anything? The notion that I will continue to think I am right, but try to do so in a way that doesn’t make me an asshole at the same time is somehow logically inconsistent to you?

          I don’t get it.

          Dimitry comes in with a tale of a minor scuffle from a couple days ago as some sort of way to counter the sentiment in this blog or my willingness to change. You call my reply “excuses” and an inability to take responsibility for my part in that little drama, when all I was doing was clearing up an misconceptions. I had already apologized for my behavior on the thread in question and will not continue to cry “Mea culpa!” until he feels better about the exchange.

          Your standards are unreachable because you don’t really strive to meet them yourself.

  • Evainne

    I wanted to simply say that Lux Umbra Dei’s posted comment is very powerful and moving. Thanks, Jason, for catching it and re-posting it for all of us to see.

    • JasonEverettMiller

      My pleasure. It struck me as something important to share. It will continue to help me reconcile the poet as a logical extension of the warrior.

  • exregis

    There once was a John name McCain

    Who had great plans for your pain.

    When asked the details

    He searched his entrails

    And came out with Remember the Maine!

  • dimitry

    ==Dimitry comes in with a tale of a minor scuffle from a couple days ago as some sort of way to counter the sentiment in this blog or my willingness to change. You call my reply “excuses” and an inability to take responsibility for my part in that little drama, when all I was doing was clearing up an misconceptions. I had already apologized for my behavior on the thread in question and will not continue to cry “Mea culpa!” until he feels better about the exchange.==

    The problem is, it wasn’t a minor scuffle to me. I generally stay away from forums where racist or anti-immigrant comments and responses are heard – I find these attitudes nauseating.

    So when after only about a week of active posts, the “arguments” against my position on FISA turned suddently to “you must be fresh of the boat to be this stupid and ignorant and don’t they require any knowledge of American history as part of your citizenship exam”, I strongly considered dropping any attempts at participation.

    Your “apology” is really not one. You said you are “sorry” for assuming I WAS “fresh off the boat”, i.e. I WAS stupid and ignorant, just NOT because I was a NEW immigrant. I never felt you actually regretted using someone’s ethnic heritage as a “weapon” against them. And it goes without saying that my knowledge of American history, while limited in absolute terms, is VASTLY more superior than exists on the average within the American population.

    Now, frankly, I don’t reaaly give a manure. I lost count how many times native-born Americans would eventually use the ethnic card in an argument – happens to me in a reasonably regular basis on the web. It ticks me off, but most of you people who do it simply don’t think this is offensive.

    However, if you apologize, it should be for the perceived offense, not for a “misunderstanding” or wrong “assumption”. It’s like one of those passive-aggressive “apologies” politicians issue after shooting off their mouth into a live mike – “If my comments offended anyone, I apologize, it was not my intention, as my real meaning was misunderstood”.

    • loki redux

      “you must be fresh of the boat to be this stupid and ignorant and don’t they require any knowledge of American history as part of your citizenship exam”..

      Yikes! Is that the actual quote? That’s obnoxious even by his pretty high standards! Good lord.

      • dimitry

        It wasn’t really all that bad on second reading.

        I am probably just being overly sensitive on this point.

        ————————————————-
        Are you a new immigrant? Because you seem to advocate a style of political action that has only led to one thing in this country – fires and bloodshed and revolution.

        Historical perspective is part of the citizenship test these right? If you grew up here, then I don’t understand your lack of context on these issues.
        ————————————————-

        I have seen a lot worse in the past. It’s fairly benign, by web standards, anyway.

        I probably should not have been giving “Jason” here a hard time.

      • JasonEverettMiller

        That is not an actual quote.

        Also, I apologized for implying immigrants were or are ignorant of American history as a matter of course. I think we are all interlopers on this continent.

        It was admittedly an error in judgment for sarcastic repartee in response to an over-the-top “Barack is Betrayed Us All” comment.

        I would say we both did an able job of making asses of ourselves.

    • Don Key

      di mitry, I’ve enjoyed reading your comments. They are always informed and insightful. I remember that post, which, ironically, had to do with Obamanauts attacking critics with name calling. I saw Jason’s ridiculous bigoted replies but skimmed right by it as I’ve become used to some commenters’ ad hominem insults (“You’re a f*cking a**hole” being a common reply, especially at TPMEC). I usually let that kind of reply speak for itself, but I should have said something at the time and I’m sorry I didn’t. We haven’t policed ourselves here very well, though some have tried. And you’re right; an apology requires an honest admission of the misbehavior.

  • markg8

    Putting put wings on a pepperpod does not result in a dragonfly or a flying pepperpod. It may get snapped up at a garage sale for $.50 though.

    • Lux Umbra Dei

      Singing happily this spring day,
      the pains of the sitting hall left behind;
      the Buddha on the altar has peeling paint,
      The west wind blows over the eastern mountains.

      Who would have guessed it comes to this,
      the scuffed shoe catches on a polished root;
      radiant light springs up in the well,
      the departing figure turns not her head.

      –Lux UD