Mr. Grumpy

It's paradoxal that Mr. Grumpy should be found here, of all places. But as you know, WOW Zone is always open to thought provoking ideas. 

Mr. Grumpy will give your brain cells a workout! In real life he is very expressive and animated, a master storyteller who has his listeners mesmerized. Actually, Mr. Grumpy IS a misnomer, because he's really fun to be around, and he often has people laugh out loud. He is also very personable, interesting and intelligent. Oh yes, he's been around the block a few times...

Mr. Grumpy is a middle aged (sigh!) Caucasian male living in a very cosmopolitan North American city. He is a professional in the field of computers and the internet, is a husband and father of two, and his household consists of other lovely creatures as well, including three cats and a scorpion! Yes indeed, Mr. Grumpy is quite a you will discover through his eclectic opinions and views of life.

So without any further ado, meet....Mr. Grumpy!

Introduction: Reality and being grumpy.....

For men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in proportion to their readiness to doubt. I believe that no discovery of fact, however trivial, can be wholly useless to the race, and that no trumpeting of falsehood, however virtuous in intent, can be anything but vicious. I believe that the evidence for immortality is no better than the evidence of witches, and deserves no more respect. I believe in the capacity of man to conquer his world, and to find out what it is made of, and how it is run. I believe in the reality of progress. I— But the whole thing, after all, may put very simply. I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than to be ignorant.

- H.L. Menken (American editor, critic, lexicographer)
 Contribution, Living Philosophies, 1931

And so we arrive at the beginning. A place where reality lives and rational thought thrives.

Unlike the ponderous environment of believers in magic and ancient mysteries, this spot can be likened to a window on the true world. A world full of comprehendible wonders, violent and capricious, but imbued with the sense and truth of reality.

It is an uncaring piece of rock, this planet we live on. Since the origin of our species we have struggled to comprehend and manipulate it. To make sense of the bitter realities inherent in being alive. We have fabricated vast untruths about life, conjured up giant myths and fabrications that humanity has extended into a collective thought process, praying that such a posture will somehow render the uncaring nature of reality into a soft and safe and sensible existence.

I read the lines in my palms, I decipher the holy books, I cast my eyes to the heavens and seek knowledge through the alignment of stars. I associate with of others of like mind, and then bounce ever more fantastical lies back and forth with them.

I was abducted by aliens, my place and time of birth are responsible for my whole fate. Vast and evil conspiracies abound, conducted by forces so powerful that no one can ever hope to comprehend their motives. The list goes on and on, driven by the fierce fear and confusion inherent in simply being alive.

Yet it is in my nature to be generous to those with new ideas, if they can bear the burden of proof. The burden of proof that has carried mankind to places so incredible that the ancients would surely think we are magic. And yet, I see no proof in the madness of those who earnestly and, if the truth be known, arrogantly decimate lies and accumulated myths about everything from astrology and diet... to sex and weight loss.

So here’s the skinny on this reality, on this planet, in this time and space......

Science and technology rule....period. The world is not falling apart. Mysteries abound, approachable through the mind of man and solvable through applied reason and scientific process. It’s really no more complicated than that.

Mr. Grumpy comments on....Happy, Magical Thinking.....

Humanity: a ruthless predator species with a sense of humor.

At what point did we start to believe otherwise? Was it when we got some spare time after inventing agriculture? Was it when we conjured up the idea of a single omnipotent God? A God who belonged only to us? Or maybe it was when we first brewed up alcohol and detected through drunkenness the underlying fragility of reality?

Basically, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that we still indulge ourselves. We still persist in making leaps of faith regarding items that are inherently not suitable to such actions. It worked for awhile, this magical conjuring trick, this mumbo jumbo couched in esoteric and mysterious terms. Astrology, Numerology, Tarot, Ouija, Alchemy, Reincarnation, babble talk of all sorts. None of it reality based, all of it always promising something. A better life, a better job, security of existence through knowledge of the impossible.

Do we get anything out of it?...this magical thinking? Well, in the short term we do. A sense of our place in the cosmos, a certain feel for being alive, if you will. But, of course, magical thinking is primarily for the intellectually lazy. A way of attaining a degree of status amongst others, a way of saying, “I know secret stuff, and you don’t!”... without the intense effort that critical thought requires. Magical thinking is primarily emotional thought expressed in attempted logical terms. An individual, driven by loneliness and fear, will seek a quick, soothing answer to the pain. Something that makes wonderful promises, overt or otherwise. A way of life perhaps, that balances its position on the premise that the world is unknowable, except through application of its arcane methods. These methods usually have been developed over the ages, and thus have that certain cachet that ancient things have...truthful or otherwise. Only through a lifetime of supposed effort and study can they be understood fully. Therefore believers (being mostly lazy) are inclined to utilize the accomplished charlatans of those “arts”. I mean after all, who has the time to study the nefarious conjuring necessary to manipulate the heavens? So, the answers are presented in form and substance that even the stupid can understand. The daily horoscope...the fortune teller....the psychic who reads your “soul” and contacts the dead. They do it all for you...for a price.

Being happy is the product of a life well lived. A balanced and reasonable one includes the understanding that there is much to suffer in this existence. It is the simple courage of persistence that gets most of us through it all. To lay down and surrender to the bogus imaginings of those who profess to have the “secrets “ of life is to give over control of your life to a lie. Don’t do it. Seek the matter how unpleasant.

Mr. Grumpy
February 13, 1998

Author’s Note:

In a critical and clear fashion the WOW Zone represents an effort by Carmen to make the world a better place. With tenacity, intelligence, and sheer willpower, she has created a place on the Web that is expressive of a heartfelt desire to allow people to connect in a kind and loving way. She is to be applauded.

I have had many dynamic conversations with the founder of the WOW Zone. I can say in all honesty that we agree on little. Therefore, no one was more surprised than I when it was suggested that Mr. Grumpy take his place on the WOW Zone.

I look forward to a full and frank dialogue with all visitors to this “magical” place. Be assured that Carmen and I share one full article of faith....that humanity is precious and special, and that ultimately we must all take care of each other.


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