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Blog O’ Evil

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As we approach that time of the year when spirits move to the forefront, and celebrations of “Halloween” (U.S.) and “All Souls’ Day” are just around the corner, it’s time for a hauntingly true tale.

thNo ghosts or spectre from beyond need appear here. There’s enough “evil” in our real world. We don’t need to invite the “evils” of fantasy or imagination. There’s more than enough “evil” in the real world to make our hair stand on end.

Tagalog Buddy

And the worst of these real “evils” gets part of its wickedness from our failure to recognize it for the “evil” it is. It’s so “evil” that it uses us – you and me – to perpetuate its existence and to continue plaguing mankind without our knowing.

This, then, is the story that I call ….

BLOG O’ EVIL

Just like “good,” its counterpart evil has been with us since the beginning of time. Both are co-dependent. You can’t have one without the other, and often, one is defined as an absence of the other. The level or amount of one is the inverse of that assigned to the other. In logic, then, one cannot exist if the other doesn’t.

thIt is widely accepted that “God is Good” – a premise that mutual agrees to the existence of both.  With its existence relying on that of The Almighty, good exists. Similarly, evil’s existence is mutually assured with that of good.

It is with this belief that I ventured out into this world of good and evil, seeking answers.

THE MODERN ERA 

The evil of today is the same evil of days past. It haunts contemporaries, and haunted ancestors, alike. Unlike its riding the winds of dark, moonless nights back then, however, evil’s kept up with the times. Our evil of focus, then, can be found riding the ether of the worldwide web.

thAmongst the noises of our electronic age, our evil resides comfortably, secure in its hidden abode. One must truly search for it with honest effort to discover its lair and recognize its presence. Without the effort, it remains cloaked in the invisibility of laissez-faire. And this gives it strength.

Thus my search for answers is hampered. The answers I seek may reside near, or within, evil’s den.

THE SEARCH 

So, it’s on to the “search engines” I go. With browser updated and adjusted, and key words properly entered, the engines “respond to the bells smartly” – the video screen becomes awash with visual data. It’s in this sea of data that the answer swims and must be tamed and captured.

thFoibles of the human condition play a role in the search. Unless one has adapted to “search speak,” endless entries of keyword permutations are required to get to where you want to be.

Toss in other factors, such as a “senior moment,” or a finger or two not properly responding to directions from the brain’s physical coordination center, and a search can turn into a minor adventure in the land of “what not to do.”

Practice, and numerous searches, enhance the finger skills and make for quick results. But then, evil strikes.

THE RESULTS

When I mentioned a video screen awash with visual data, I did not exaggerate. Yet, it is all data, not information – the latter being the select, processed bits of the former. In this sea of data, you find all sorts of intellectual flotsam and jetsam:  sourced documents, opinions, factoids, hearsay, claims, boasts, fact and fiction. An electronic search can go only so far. Then, it’s up to the rational mind to sort the wheat from the chaff.

thIt is within this sea of data, too, that evil has carefully distributed its seeds. And it is with that laissez-faire, mentioned earlier, that the seeds sprout and grow. Like many a weed, these shoots in their infancy appear the same as those of a prized plant or nutritious vegetable.

Now, there is only the need to “point and click” a hyperlink for transportation to one of the many gardens wherein the shoots – good and evil – grow side by side.  These gardens go by many names. The name I’ll focus on is “blogosphere.”

RECENT GARDENING

On a few occasions this past week, I’ve followed this prescription in search of answers, and found myself at harvest in the blogosphere. The topics of answers I sought are immaterial. The desired answers were more in the particulars – more a matter of “how” than one of “what.” It was here, in the blogosphere, the evil and I were to grapple.

thMy search for answer were occasioned by the inquiries of clients. I all too willingly obliged their desire for me to do their “web-related heavy lifting.” After all, an old accounting saw reflects, “If you keep clients happy, you keep clients.” As different as the topics of inquiry were, however, what transpired at each harvest was what is a now an all-to-common “crop.”

The answers to both inquiries required two important elements of value for acceptance by each inquiring client :

  1. The answer arrived at had to be true; and
  2. The answer’s truth had to be verified by a reliable source.

That may not seem like too much to ask for, but those instructions alone can easily thwart any Braveheart’s quest for answers.

GRAPPLING WITH EVIL

In both instances, the topics du jour were hardly well-known, and the sparse number of hyperlinks provided for each landed me in the same garden.  Too, in both instances, the facet of element #1 didn’t appear to be 100% complete.  That, then,  necessitated a much heavier  reliance on element #2.

thGetting to the truth of the matter by having to trace “claimed truth” from slight citation to slight citation (and, in most instances, to the “claimed truth’s” first appearance in the blogosphere) is like nailing Jell-O® to the wall:  maximum effort, minimal results.  This, and other observations, only started to make sense when I finally realized that evil and I had begun our dance.

Both dances mirrored each other, step for step, lunge for lunge, twirl for twirl. And at the orchestra’s last note, one truth was obvious: my dance partner was evil.  Throughout both performances – the steps, lunges, and twirls – I was led to the same final conclusion.

THE TELL-TALE PROCESS

First came the claim of truth from an unknown source that itself couldn’t be traced. The unknown source’s words, however, – in this medium called the worldwide web that possesses the half-life of a sun – could be traced.

Though often veiled, these quasi-citations were followed relentlessly, and those who parroted them (either in the articles or the comments) sounded more certain and more vehemently supportive of “their truth” the closer an inquisitor came to the original source.

thThat original source?  Always, a purposely made misquote, a desired citation taken out of context; or a willfully fabricated “manufactured truth,” developed to achieve some desired results expeditiously, without regard to consequence. In the world of human nature, where constant repetition of a factoid often turns it to fact, repetition throughout the worldwide web performs this task a thousand-fold.

Yes, with fact-finding research and its documentation becoming more of a nearly-forgotten art form, being replaced by the sleek and more crafty “Wiki-Fact,” it’s easy to understand how evil can avoid notice and prosper.

EPILOGUE

Stop to consider for a moment: When is the last time someone you know blindly accepted a “Wiki-Fact” (Wikipedia entry, etc.), without challenge. Sloganeering, too, is a tool of evil. “If you read it here, it must be true.” “All the news you need.” “Information selected with you in mind.”

thDoing battle with evil is best left to Saints – a human cannot truly endure all that may be required for hardened battle.  A human’s task is to avoid evil – keeping a watchful eye in search of it, recognizing it on sight, and avoiding it to the best of one’s ability.

One can, however, “own” evil.  “Urban dictionaries” of today say that you can “own” something or someone (excelling in some aspect over that something or someone). Traditional superstition sees it differently. It maintains that if you can name someone or something, then you own that someone or something.

Regardless, here is my offering: “Evil, I name you; and thy name be ‘Lie.'”

th

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PaulK

Paul is a CPA and a retired tax accountant, having served companies and corporations of all sizes, as well as individuals, in public accounting practices. Prior to what he refers to as his "real job," he served a 24-year career in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a Master Chief Petty Officer. It was during this career that he met and married his OFW spouse of 40+ years, Emy, while stationed in London, UK. (Though he pleaded for the assignment, Paul never received orders to the Philippines.) A "Phil-phile" from an early age, Paul remembers his first introduction to the Philippines in the primary grades of a parochial elementary school where, one week each year, children donated their pennies to purchase school supplies, food and other necessities for Filipino children in need. That love for Filipinos continues to this day. Calling Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte--in the far northwestern part of Luzon--home (just about as far away from Davao as one can be while still being on one of the major islands) Paul prefers a more relaxed provincial life style, and willingly shares a different view of the Philippines from "up north"!

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Steve Baker
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Steve Baker

Paul has done all but call a particular Evil by it’s name – the IRS. With the IRS, it doesn’t matter if what is said is true or a lie. It doesn’t matter what IRS guidance or regulations say. If they IRS wants your money, they will simply take it. Don’t agree with their reasoning? Have clear IRS regulations documenting that what you’ve done is perfectly appropriate? Then go to tax court, where the IRS will cause you to spend 10 times the disputed amount in fighting them, even if you win. ### end of rant. haha A very metaphysical… Read more »

Paul
Guest

Hi Steve – I name your rant, “LIE.” Now, I own it. Now I will resolve its content, and release its harmless shell once I’ve finished. RANT: “With the IRS, it doesn’t matter if what is said is true or a lie. It doesn’t matter what IRS guidance or regulations say. If they IRS wants your money, they will simply take it.” FACT: Trurh or lie, it does matter to the IRS. Just its existence alone – huge bureaucracy, libraries full of rules, regulations, laws, and codes, a court system complete with its own library of court case precedents –… Read more »

Rusty
Guest
Rusty

Be happy your paying taxes. That means you’ve made money and are still alive. Plus somebody has to pay for all the programs.

Rusty

Michael Boo
Guest

Love the PH culture at Halloween. Celebrate loved ones that have passed is way more meaningful than ghosts and candy in the US

Rusty Bowers
Guest
Rusty Bowers

That’s very true. Great post.

Rusty

Paul
Guest

Hi Michael – Now here is truth! Perpetually circling us, and thankfully alighting amongst us, when its timing is most opportune.

Jericho Gillette
Guest

Bibo kaayo magpanon ug Adto sa simenteryo ug managkot ug kandila,dala ug bulak ug pagkaon,limpyo sa pantyon ug mangaji sa patay nga kalag.,Bob Martin.

Rusty Bowers
Guest
Rusty Bowers

What? Or is this a private message?

Rusty

Violet VL
Guest

that’s right Michael.

david
Guest
david

this is inappropriate for a blog on the Philippines- I ready the blog posts everyday that come to my email, but if religious uninformed blog posts like this occur again I will be forced to remove myself from the mailng list

please can we remove religious comments from the site – unless they have some cultural aspect to the Philippines

ScottD
Guest
ScottD

David I do not see one thing in the article mentioning religion or religious views.

Paul
Guest

Hi Scott – David is entitled to his opinions.

There’s no penalty for voicing them, or for failing to realize before posting them that:

“Opinions are like “@$$#oles” – everybody has one and, generally, they stink.” — Anonymous

Rusty Bowers
Guest
Rusty Bowers

I think the poster (PaulK) was “right on” with his research/thoughts. I didn’t notice anything religious about Paul’s posts. I wish you were more specific.

Yes, Paul, it is sad that we can’t trust forwards or wiki. I can’t even trust a charity. Example: Some military ads/groups I see on the internet I’d like to give to but who can trust them.

Remember a time when we Could Trust people/groups. Were we dumb, too trusting, or was everything just that much better back then.

Rusty

Paul
Guest

Hi Rusty – Man’s abilities to connive have always been part of man’s being. As with enhancements to technology and other facets of daily life, those abilities to connive become enhanced as well. Please allow me another prescription: “Just as there have been men who were willing to advance the species through the development of what we (laughingly) call improvements to the human experience, there have been men who were willing to retard the species through nullifying those advances, employing some vain rationale of maintaining an equilibrium that generously allows those, who retard, to exist. “Had only the dinosaurs these… Read more »

Paul
Guest

Hi David – Hey, no time like the present. G’bye, and thanks for stopping in.

Rusty
Guest
Rusty

Paul,

Good One.

I guess David wants everything to be politically correct. Yet I couldn’t see anything wrong with your post.

Paul
Guest

Hi Scott – David is entitled to his opinions.

There’s no penalty for voicing them, or for failing to realize before posting them that:

“Opinions are like “@$$#oles” – everybody has one and, generally, they stink.” — Anonymous

Ed
Guest
Ed

“Recent Gardening”. funny you mention that. I have this week surrendered gardening in favour of a nice new house with a proper landlord at *half* the rent. A little bit of cement around, and no garden. I give up the “garden”. I’m too old to toil in the dirt for hope of a few veggies. Ok I threw some dead kamatis and sili outside last night and maybe I or my kids or my neighbours or whoever … might pick some results a few months from now. Otherwse, maybe a few hectares and some seeds will produce “gulay” up there… Read more »

Paul
Guest

Hi Ed – There’s always an opportunity for gardening, even when living in a concrete jungle (multiple-canopied rainforest, for those with daintier regard for nature ?).

Many “urban gardeners” maintain either potted or tray gardens, limiting the amount of dirt while maximizing produce.

That being my green comment of the day, I’ll agree with your sentiments and leave the green-thumbing to others. 😆

Rusty Bowers
Guest
Rusty Bowers

Ed,

What is a “way to expensive mega jeepney?”

Rusty

Ed
Guest
Ed

Good question Rusty, one I should have myself asked 4 years ago, but hey, I trusted my wife on purchase and all else thereafter on this and .. well, you don’t want to know all the rest.
Answer to your question: All told including all (well maybe not all but at least most) wife idiocities, a 2 million piso jeepney is too expensive even if it’s huge and the local preferential transportation to and from the boondocks. If you disagree I will be happy to arrange to sell you the one I paid for over and over again.

Rusty Bowers
Guest
Rusty Bowers

Ed,

Thanks for the reply. You can keep the too expensive jeepney. You’ve earned it. Or at least paid for it.

Rusty

Paul
Guest

Hey Ed – Might as well try making some lemonade with that lemon. Let your land boat be the start of your “fleet” of jeepneys used by your fledgling transportation and logistics company (a “fleet of 1” is perfectly acceptable). — Rent or lease it to a reputable driver who can ply the trails and roads for fare, asking for periodic rental or lease payments – and, possibly, a small cut of the daily take – in return; or — Rent it out to families in need of “family-sized” transportation to the beach, to town, to some amusement, to gather… Read more »

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