Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Friday, 24 May 2019

Elsewhere: Splitting The Difference

I enjoy the various philosophers and their outlooks on life. Even at my advanced age, and old stubfart can learn a few things if he's not careful. My arch enemy, Aesop - I am going to bomb the chit out of him with my remote control crapcopters one day - has a pretty bleak but accurate take on life. Hmmmmm….. let me go over his list and apply it to my life adventure:

Stay in school---> Kinda sorta did that. Had to go back as a 'mature student'
Graduate------> After burning mountains of rotten wood and garbage in my cranium...Check!
Get married before you have kids----> A shot gun was involved, but...Check!
Stay married-----> We had some close scrapes but - thank God...Check!
Live within your means----> We are frugalists by nature, so Check!
Save for what's important---> Define 'important'? Check, kinda-sorta.
Make prudent preparations for tougher times ----> We are probably better prepped than most. Check
Don't play stupid games; don't win stupid prizes---> X To be fair I got dragged into some head games.

Much like my role model and hero over at the Treehouse (Uncle Bob) used to say: I am not a rich man... but by the grace of God Almighty... I am free. And I fully intend to stay that way for the rest of my days until I am called home. I remember my young daughter after she graduated from an arts college giving me the finger and telling me my life was a dreary write-off, and she had no intentions of making the mistakes I did. I think she and her creepy love partner had visions of galloping off and finding a job making six figures a year and thumbing their nose at me from the fast lane... Now she's in her early 30's, with adulthood and reality beating down the door...and nothing ahead in life except that of the gay artiste. She's still renting, has no car, and I don't see how she could have any savings but whadda I know? I think those two are in for a rocky road as they age … but again, whadda I know? Not my problem! As I get older I appreciate 'boring' more and more, HAR HAR HAR!!!

The Warrior Poet advocates something new and intriguing: Essentialism. Being a frugalist as I am is very different from being a disciplined and focused Essentialist like he is. Essentialism seems to rhyme with Stoicism or at least compliment it … and those are  philosophies  that I could really embrace... if I had some character, gumption and will power. I don't think I have ever met a true Stoic, myself. There are times when I can impersonate one for awhile... but eventually my guard goes down, or I lose my focus and chit starts to get under my skin when I shouldn't let it. Being a good Stoic is as hard as being a good Christian and no bones about it! And yannow… the worse things get, the more you need the resilience these philosophies promote.

This is not about eating chit and calling it ice cream.
This is about handling adversity.
There are times I can almost do it.

I will never be a true Stoic... but there are bits and pieces that are slowly falling into place. I will probably do like Uncle Bob did - by the time I get it all figured out I will keel over and croak before I can pass my scholarly thoughts on to the younger and more foolish generation! HAR HAR HAR! I wish Bob was around today. What would he make of the shenanigans going on these days?

It's not that simple, Marcus.
Or... is it?

Have a good Saturday.


  1. I pretty much just try to get through each day without having some kind of negative event. I can usually achieve this goal if I don't go off the mountain. If I do, not so much.

    1. I'm getting the same way Harry. I have no use for people. One of the Stoic screeds I read said to expect people to let you down, betray you and thwart you - and if you have any problem with it, YOU are the problem. If that is the case - why bugger around with them?

      The life of a hermit becomes more appealing every year.

  2. Eh. Not so much, I'm thinking.

    Stay in school---> I should have dropped out when I graduated the eighth grade, but I didn't - for all the good it did me, which is none.

    Graduate------> High School, mainly because the administration and most of the teachers didn't want to see me next year.

    Get married before you have kids----> Never married, no children that I'm aware of. I still get the shakes when I think about some kid running up to me and introducing himself as my grandson. Or son. Whatever.

    Stay married-----> Were I crazy enough to actually get married, rest assured I'd stay that way.

    Live within your means----> I've lived outside my means a few times and gotten away with it, but it's not a smart thing to do.

    Save for what's important---> This is relative. What's important to me is not important to most people, and that's no joke.

    Make prudent preparations for tougher times ----> I'm fairly prudent, but any preparedness freak will find a lot of things wrong with my list of things that are important.

    Don't play stupid games; don't win stupid prizes---> Where's the fun in that? Win a stupid game, and you have an excuse to celebrate with people like Glen Filthie down at the bar. Win a stupid prize, and you can use it for a Christmas present for someone you really don't want to buy anything for. Like, for instance, that combination snow shovel and back scratcher you won at the filling station lottery for being the 75th customer to complain about the free coffee this month. Hot puppies, I finally won something.

    1. Wait. What? You got a Swiss Army Shovel Jack??? I want it!!!

  3. Glen, I also find that parts of Stoicism are attractive - in fact, I gave each of my graduates copies of Meditations (the youngest has already borrowed my copy, so this is something of a "Help me help you" moment) - on the other hand, Marcus Aurelius was also a persecutor of the Christian church, so there is that.

    I have managed most of those things on the list. Living beyond our means is still a struggle frankly, but hopefully we are making progress.

    I am also going through an Essentialism exercise this very day by listing everything I am interested in. From there, I am going to try to assess if it still needs to be in my life.

    1. I always wondered about that TB. I don't get it: Christians are exhorted to render unto Ceasar, to respect their leaders and rulers... and by all accounts of the time they mostly did so. And yet the Romans persecuted them and fed them to the lions for sport.

      These philosophies started me thinking about the nature of conflict about ten years ago - and I started looking really hard at the people I was butting heads with and how I went about it … and it was a life game changer to say the least.

    2. Not to infinitely simplify a very difficult subject, but the Romans objected to the fact that the Christians would not worship Caesar as Lord. It made them seem to be traitors - as all good citizens of the Empire worshiped Caesar as deified.

    3. Yeah I guess so. I thought it was only the loons like Caligula that did that. Did Marcus insist on godhood too, I wonder...?