Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

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

Monday, 11 October 2021


We literally had that exact same fight in my family
light years ago.

A lot of kids followed their dreams, and found they were just dreams. 
The adults that urged them to do so are unavailable for comment.

We had that exact same fight in my large unconventional extended family. Back then the education scam was at its height. To my idiot in laws, “all education was good education!!!”. My daughter was going to party her way to a degree, and then get a six figure job making a career out of her hobby. My mother in law was the head of our family, her husband was to be the wise patriarch… and the times were changing. Our society’s morals and ethics started rolling slowly to port… and my family went with them. I held fast and watched them go. And the weight built up… When the ship capsized, over they went with all the other lost souls. They would have dragged us with them if they could. I chose to retain traditional morals and ethics, and told my in laws to give the devil my regards when they met him, because that is where their new ideologies were taking them. Our family was over.

It is so odd. Today my father in law eats through a tube in his stomach. He can walk, barely. His mind is mush. Back in the day he meddled in my family, undermined me as a father and even tried to break up my marriage. I hated him with the heat of 1000 suns. His granddaughter was perfect, though, and could do no wrong. She betrayed his love just like everyone else’s.

But today, with him… I feel nothing. He was mostly a man of good intentions but he would not think of what those intentions cost, or listen to those who would pay for them and be on the hook for them. The easiest way out of any predicament was always the best way. In fairness life was not exactly fair to him. He lost his youngest son who was born with heart problems. His mother died when he was a teen. His father was an abusive drunk. His wife was a stupid bitch, given to nagging and henpeckery.

Did karma put him in that chair? Did he put himself in it? What’s going to happen to me? What does karma hold for me? What fate am I making for myself? I have no animosity left for him… but not a lot of sympathy either. 

Yet it feels like there’s something to be learned from him and I’ll be damned if I know what it is.


  1. I only have your viewpoint, but an old saying popped into my mind.

    The road to HELL is paved with good intentions. A smart man will anticipate the results, monitor the results and adjust his plan... Tune it in so to speak. Some of our lefty brothers don't seem to have that gene.

    Some folks are tender, too. He may have had a tender heart, and all the grief and misery made him want a momma. And what he found wasn't a good one. But he didn't want to face not having a momma again.... Who knows. And some women don't question themselves like a man does. At least, I haven't met one that did to any depth like I do. I question my intent and decisions ruthlessly. And it's not self-confidence. It's something deeper than that.

    Life is messy. People are too.

  2. Told the kids: We pay for valuable degrees, you pay for worthless degrees. Worked out perfectly.

  3. There is no such thing as Karma for you, Glen Filthie. When you accepted the Lord as your Savior, you left all that behind. Whatever happens in the future, yours or mine, the Lord is in control.

    If I'm not mistaken it was Paul who landed in the sneezer and immediately started preaching the Word. The evil one chipped his teeth.

  4. Here's the secret about what to do with that Doctorate of Advanced Uselessness. Get it (or whatever training it is) as your second effort. Or third. You have your whole life to try stuff -- but you have to have the financial security to do it.

    I had an advisor that told me this early in my training, and it was the best advice I ever got. I worked hard to get into medical school, but once I was there, I found out that I hated it. I hated the arrogant pricks who ran the services, I hated the way they taught, I hated the environment, and I found out I didn't like most of the patients all that much. I did not do well, and I was getting ready to drop out and do something else.

    Then the Dean of Students called me into the office and said "You know, you did so well as an undergraduate and on your tests, we thought you'd really excel here. But you're not. What's the problem?"

    I told him that I hated it there. He asked "Well, what do you like?" I said "I kinda like these new computer things. They seem pretty cool. I think I want to do that."

    He said "OK, but here's the thing. Let's say you want to be an engineer. You can be an engineer and make, say $70,000 a year (this was some time ago). Or, you can be an engineer with an MD by your name, and make $120,000. That MD is worth 50 grand, kid. So, all you have to do is plow through the next two years and then go and do whatever the hell you want -- and you'll make fifty grand more a year for the rest of your life. That's worth sticking it out another couple of years, isn't it?"

    I thought about it and decided, yeah, he was right. So that's what I did. I stuck it out through med school, and then did a residency at a place that allowed me to *also* work in computer graphics and modeling. It turned a four year residency into an eight year program, but it was the best decision I ever made (other than marrying my wife). It allowed me to mix my medical specialty with the creative stuff I loved, and the Dean was right -- it put me in a very competitive place.

    My father did something similar. He was an engineer who then became a cabinetmaker. Many of my colleague have done something similar to me -- one is a knifemaker on the side, another is a portrait artist, another is a writer, another is an avid collector. All of them learned their trade (after all, medical school is just a glorified trade school), and that gave them the financial security to explore other things. Some of them were so successful they could make more money doing the second thing, and some not. But they they had the freedom to try.

    Sure, some people just take the plunge and succeed beyond their wildest dreams. But most people would do well to have a safety net of some useful skill.