New Permanent First Post on My Blog

July 6, 2009


Almost a year ago, David said:

I’m thinking that your aid campaign is what turned my life around. You’ve got a powerful tool there. Use it wisely.

I started what I called a “shareware” program where I sometimes send $5 to someone who is blogging and evincing some distress. David, Waxingstrange, and more recently a person on worldmagblog, the evangelical Christian web site, have all been recipients of my tiny postal mail donations.

In each case the recipient reported some benefit.

Here is my thinking.

1. All human beings are crazy. We are crazy because of our self-awareness of our mortality. (Becker) There is no cure for our condition. Religious belief is the most common method of alleviating it.

2. There are many sub categories to our craziness, such as the “I’m no good” syndrome (original sin).

3. Two common symptoms of the I’m no good syndrome are the “I am ugly,” and “Nobody loves me” feelings. David, for example, suffered severely from these symptoms, though he is not ugly and people do love him.

Here’s my theory. It is based on “cognitive dissonance” theory. This theory suggests that humans resist holding contradictory ideas in their minds. So if a person thinks, “I am ugly,” and a beautiful woman sleeps with him, he then thinks, “She is only doing this for my money.” This issue is complicated by the fact that in some cases the conjecture may be true. I don’t think like a woman, but the a woman may think, “He only loves me for my body.”

It may take a fairly strong and unexpected shock to break through this resistance. In Zen Buddhism, the master sometimes “slaps” the student to force him into a new awareness. Apparently, sometimes getting five dollars in the mail can sometimes have the same result. It’s only good for a few days, though.

23 Responses to “New Permanent First Post on My Blog”

  1. David Says:

    I’m thinking that your aid campaign is what turned my life around. You’ve got a powerful tool there. Use it wisely.

  2. modestypress Says:


    That’s encouraging. I remember science fiction stories about people who could kill with a wish or a thought. Indeed, even without magic powers, it is much easier to break, or harm, or kill than to build, or heal. If I helped a bit by something as silly as blog posts and an envelope with a five dollar bill now and then, it cheers me up a bit.

  3. modestypress Says:


    I have set up expectations that can not be met, even if I were as loaded with money as Bill Gates.

    At the moment, I am pledged to make a donation to the island food bank and to an organization called bad rap, for reasons to tedious to explain. I am a selfish person and I am making any more donations at the moment. Also, I don’t have a snail mail address for waxing; nor would she appreciate me sending her a snail or even the variety we have around here, which are mostly naked (and called slugs).

  4. modestypress Says:

    I am incoherent as well as selfish. “I am NOT making any more donations at the moment.

  5. vroni1208 Says:

    Well, okay. I guess I wouldn’t want a snail either. I’m not big on French food. 🙂

  6. spectrum2 Says:

    This reminds me of that song, “Along came Jones” by the Coasters

  7. modestypress Says:


    Perhaps the gift for the couple could be a coaster, though it would need to be an extraordinary one, so we can keep up with the Jones.

  8. I can’t even imagine what might be an appropriate gift for the David-Beth alliance. The mind reels.

  9. woo Says:

    I like snails. Escargots, yum.

  10. modestypress Says:

    If I start some snails crawling to Seattle next week with directions to David, they probably will arrive in six months. I will add this suggestion to the ones for gifts I am contemplating. Thank you.

  11. David Says:

    The official gift was inspired, I have to say, though I haven’t shown it to Beth because I’m not entirely sure how to explain it, and I’m quite sure I don’t want to explain that this is the ultimate evolution of a scheme to keep me alive for $5 per month.

    However, the book provided much food for thought, as well as a new appreciation for the fact that children like disgusting things. I found some of the illustrations slightly stomach-turning, but then, it doesn’t take much to do that.

  12. modestypress Says:

    As much as I have tried to be an evil grandfather and encourage Random Granddaughter to like disgusting things, she seems to have a strong element of prissy goody-goody in her makeup.

  13. modestypress Says:

    It’s perfectly OK not to show the gift to Beth. I defer to your judgment in all such matters. For that matter, if you turn out to be wrong you can blame me for the error.

  14. Excellent! I think I’ll just start blaming you for everything, generally speaking. You’re far enough away not to suffer any actual fallout.

  15. modestypress Says:

    In a way it probably makes sense because of my ethnic heritage. My ancestors were Jews. No people have been blamed for everything than the Jews: the greatests scapegoats in history. However, despite being forced to attend an orthodox synagogue for a while when I was ten (or perhaps because), I am not a believer in Judaism. So it’s only fair if get blamed for something I don’t believe in.

  16. It was a great, wonderful help. I was feeling distraught, and your note really, truly made me feel much better.

  17. modestypress Says:

    Excellent. I am a Santa Claus who delivers pennies down a wood stove flue.

  18. Kindness is invaluable. I appreciate it.

  19. modestypress Says:

    I’m sorry, waxing. I am not only unfaithful to David, I am unfaithful to you as well. Another envelope with $5 went in the mail today, next to a very peculiar Christmas present.

    My wife got her Christmas presents out to her sister. That’s it. Mostly we don’t do Christmas presents in this family.

  20. Christmas presents are a weird tradition anyway.

    • modestypress Says:

      Our daughter gave me a box of See’s candies for my present. My wife observed, “She didn’t just buy a standard set of candies; she carefully selected the candies you and I like.” My wife didn’t take this for granted, though, she sampled some of the candies in my gift.

      Our daughter gave my wife a sachet as a present.

      My wife’s best friend who lives in Portland, sent my wife a package of chocolates. The package of chocolates has carefully hidden itself before I could test it.

      I guess I will have to go sniff the sachet.

      Our daughter is a wonderful child.

  21. Guest Says:

    Wow, you are sooooo generous — joke!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: