Introduction

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While at university in about 1970 I asked why conflict pervades our lives. The answer I later found is the question of meaning I call the "last why" since it will never be answered. Still, we have tried to "fill the void" behind "Why am I?" in ways that conflict, since it was first asked by 'Eve'. Thus we've created our open-ended history of conflict we will close if we don't instead choose the "ideal reaction to the void".

In 2005 I decided to see if I was a fool for beginning to question by seeking reaction to my analysis of the answer the only way an anonymous carpenter could, on this website. I first tried to attract traffic with prose posts but began writing
my poems because concentrated thought is memorable. I've had to advertise so I could be twice the fool but I remain undecided. Doug.E.Barr  

 

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Sunday
Jul122009

AGE of ASININITY

Although we still think life's a blast
The Age of Entertainment passed.
The Age of Asininity
Is where we find Humanity.

We've given 'Mother' such abuse
It seems we think she is no use.
She cries alone with no effect
To warn us all of our neglect.
Some tears no longer reach the ground;
Thus there's less water to be found.
We cut her trees which let us breathe;
And toxins in her soil we leave.
Pollution we dump in the sea
Creates huge zones where life can't be.
Where life could be not much is seen;
Without a thought we've stripped it clean.
Our poisons also fill the air
At rates that show we do not care.
Still offspring we give her to feed
Like she'll continue to succeed.
While risks of global warming rise
As CO2 clouds fill the skies
We put Economy ahead
Of forecasts that will leave us dead.

It's asinine for us to place
Life on this Economic base
So life success and failure rides
On what Economy decides.
One billion of us fail life's test,
Seventy million pad a nest,
The rest of us "fight tooth and nail"
To get ahead so we'll prevail
Despite the fact that at our end
The cash we save we cannot spend.

Consider all the ways we try
In vain to answer "Why am I?"
It matters not which ways we choose
They all oppose thus life we lose.
Some try on paths that are well trod
To fill the void with given 'God',
While others say, "I live to prove
Belief in God we should remove."
To keep minds occupied we trust
Philosophies of men now dust;
We spend on stuff without a pause ;
Seek information just because;
At jobs, careers we work to death;
We eat until we can't get breath;
For love and family we search;
Look for a peak on which to perch;
With drugs and booze we bend our mind;
Take all the sex that we can find;
And when we still find no relief
We fight, defending our belief.

This way creates so many fights
In our defense of "human rights"
That if I have to make the call,
Are the most asinine of all.
To think we actually believe
Demanding our own 'rights' won't leave
Humanity in such knots tied
Just leaves me very mystified.
Democracy gives us the choice
To use our "I'm right, you're wrong" voice.
Self-rightness is the only tool
By which the many parties rule.
All sides have armies to be sure
Their "rights" and "values" are secure.
But what is right in killing for
Philosophies that we adore?
We're nuts to think that we are right
To love all those who join our fight
And think as well that it's ok
To hate those who don't go our way.
While this corrupted thought remains
It will continue to cause stains
From bloody fights that will persist
Until we all cease to exist.

Indeed we're truly asinine
To think our way of life is fine;
That though there's lots to fight about,
If we sit tight life will work out.
We're in a race that time might win.
Who knows if losing is a sin?
There is no way that we can tell.
My guess is though it will be hell
Unless our thoughts we rearrange
To make this necessary change:
Each individual must thrive
To have Humanity survive.

Beliefs we have but just cause strife
We must take from the void in life,
For tries to fill this emptiness
Are making our life meaningless.
The empty void is the ideal.
Its drag we will no longer feel.
We'll soar as if on "eagle's wings".
"Reach out..." to where our spirit 'sings'.
"Ideal life" is most challenging;
But if we all the same 'song' sing
With our unique capacity,
This way of 'God' gives liberty!

I wonder, will we turn the page;
Or will this be our Final Age?

Economic Absurdity

 

Reader Comments (201)

Put down your pen forever.

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"Put down your pen forever" and pick up your tools again is a thought that enters my mind every day. However, I have always felt my analytical/writing skills far exceeded my carpentry skills so after 30 years as a carpenter I thought I should explore my feeling for a few years at least, by publicizing my analysis of life in "The Last Why: the poem", "The Last Why: the precis" and "The Last Why: the essay" and tying to draw attention to these postings with short poems and essays. Your advice though will be considered as I weigh my thoughts and feelings. Thanks.

If you are the "Reason" who flamed "Michael Jackson" I apologize for returning 'fire'. Doug.E.Barr

July 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterReason

thank you so much

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"Thank you so much"! Doug.E.Barr

July 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteroyunlar

A
A
B
B
C
C

Does it not tire you?

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I am pleased you recognize the pattern. I don't use rhyming couplets as often as I get comments from visitors who after reading my philosophical poetry say the rhyme sucks. That's tiring. Doug.E.Barr

July 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLuke

I didn't like it at all. I thought it was unoriginal, and vague on certain points such as God. I also think it was very inaccurate. Bland, Cynical with not enough proof behind the point, and overall just not enjoyable. Sorry

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You should not have apologized. It is I who should feel sorry for you. Doug.E.Barr

August 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMike

^ well at least it was constructive, however i disagree. Good poem

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We have differing definitions of "constructive" but I appreciate your "thumbs up". Doug.E.Barr

August 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNeil

Words such as these are crucial to any change which may occur in our world. If someone reads this and does not feel the truth within perhaps their thought process is not yet developed enough. Or maybe they are still involved in the empty achievments of mankind . Enslaved by the society we live in.
Your poem touched me. It encourages me to continue to seek the bigger picture of why we exist. I don't know if change will come in my lifetime. But it must come. What we have created will ultimately fail and a new reality will be born.

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I appreciate your comment however I question your final conclusion. Given the present and apparently deteriorating state of our existence, if "what we have created will ultimately fail" I am inclined to think no "new reality will be born." Doug.E.Barr

August 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie

terrible poems ,facile rhymes and word choice,not really poetry ,more like asinine pop music lyrics,has the author actually read some real poets ?,if so then he displays remarkable self delusion of the quality of his, ahem, "work" .

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I'm guessing that's a "thumb down". Doug.E Barr

August 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermak

Well I like it.
I think couplets are one of the best ways of writing a poem, it keeps it tighter; pulls it all together...

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Thanks. I knew there was someone in the www who likes rhyming couplets and who thus must also be aware there was a time poets weren't considered "real poets" unless their poems had precise rhymes, consistent rhythms and clear, concise thoughts. Now that I have one who likes the form of my poem I declare the irrelevant competition to decide the preferred 'shape' of the 'container' ended in a draw. Doug.E.Barr

August 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJen

"To keep minds occupied we trust
Philosophies of men now dust"
I thought this was a pretty cool line. Though it seems you want to get rid of old philosophies? I think I would have to disagree in the sense that to abandon old philosophies would be to abandon human endeavors and replace them with..well, nothing that you have led me to believe except asininity . Either you are intelligent and the virtues of Socrates bring you clarity and hope (which is a bit of a hypocritical situation) , or you are, again, intelligent, but rather the virtues of your own self bring you clarity and hope. Either or, the point of revolting against dead philosophers is merely a self gaining, while hopeful - though what kind of hope is it might we ask? -, means to accept life as it is, rather than acknowledging life as it were. Furthermore, is there really a difference between "is" and "were" -- "is" is simply "now" and "were" was simply "then". We should acquire and relish in the knowledge of "now" and "then"! Only then can we really know truth.

Keep writing dude,
Eric

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This is a comment that will require more time to consider than I now have; but I will. Doug.E.Barr

Because I appreciate you taking time to comment and encourage I have reread your comment many more times than I should have had to in order to formulate an answer and it still seems for the most part to be written in a foreign language. I understand "abandon old philosophies...human endeavors" and "truth" but honestly, what does this mean?

"Either you are intelligent and the virtues of Socrates bring you clarity and hope (which is a bit of a hypocritical situation) , or you are, again, intelligent, but rather the virtues of your own self bring you clarity and hope. Either or, the point of revolting against dead philosophers is merely a self gaining, while hopeful - though what kind of hope is it might we ask? -, means to accept life as it is, rather than acknowledging life as it were. Furthermore, is there really a difference between "is" and "were" -- "is" is simply "now" and "were" was simply "then". We should acquire and relish in the knowledge of "now" and "then"! Only then can we really know truth."

More specifically what am I to make of this? "Furthermore, is there really a difference between "is" and "were" -- "is" is simply "now" and "were" was simply "then". We should acquire and relish in the knowledge of "now" and "then"!" Please don't feel offended though. The history of philosophy is filled with statements similarly incomprehensible to me people have occupied their mind with their entire lives so they don't have to confront "the last why". Hence the "pretty cool line" which I hope you now understand has nothing to do with abandoning "old philosophies".

However, now that you mention them, we are living the consequences of old religions and philosophies. You may believe we are at the height of "human endeavor" but I tend to feel bringing our environment to the point of collapse is nothing to be proud of so we don't even need to mention the conflict that pervades and is destroying our existence. So yes I do advocate getting rid of the self-destructive aspects of our lives just in case it is not already too late. I offer the "hope" you inquire about in these lines:

"But think if we the same song sing
With our unique capacity,

If you want further explanation you will have to read "the last why: the poem". Thanks for your encouragement. Doug.E.Barr

August 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEric

Non curo. Si metrum non habet, non est poema

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Muchas gracias por tu coment. Doug.E.Barr

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Dear Doug E. Barr,

I'm not going to comment with some paragraph to show how smart I am or some highfalutin statement on why I agree or disagree with your poem because I know when I find an intellectual superior. I can only marvel at having a conversation with one such as yourself. I apologize for contradicting myself. I suppose I shall say something about your poem as well.

I can barely find the words to say how much I agree with this poem. It's a great "message" I guess, would be the most thorough explanation. If more people thought like this then perhaps this poem would not exist for there would be no content for which it stands on. As a fellow philosopher I'm baffled on how highly you think. I wish only that more people like you will come along in this world.

I can imagine you're having a field-day on this comment as you read it. I can't wait to see what kind of clever reply you'll come up with. All I know is I feel enlightened in my own thoughts from this poem and I thank you for that.

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More often than not, particularly when listening to the news of our self-destructive activities, I ask myself why I bother trying to shed light on them. Just barely often enough I receive my answer in a comment like yours. "I ...only... (hope there are many) more people like you ... in this world." If there are and we can find each other on the "web" perhaps we will be able to prevent our self-destruction. Thank you. Doug.E.Barr

August 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

It's not spanish (the post two above this one), it's latin. It means: (I dunno what the first two words 'Non curo' mean, then rest is:) 'If it doesn't have a meter, it's not a poem'.

Also, I thought the rhyming took from the seriousness of the message of the poem. Also, I would argue that in many, many ways things are getting better in the world, global poverty is going down, American hegemony is decreasing, there is widespread recognition and action on environmental issues. Obviously life isn't 'great' and many people all over the world live half-lives working and sleeping, but there's more focus on personal achievement and happiness now than ever before.

P.S. Don't take this personally, it's just my opinion, I respect that you do what you wanna do with your time.

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Thanks for you help. I studied Latin and its French offspring in high school about 45 years ago so I was able to guess "Si metrum non habet, non est poema" meant "if it doesn't have meter it isn't a poem." but I couldn't figure out "Non curo" either. The "non" and "non est" looked French to me so I checked "curo" in a French English translator but it didn't recognize the word. However, when I clicked Spanish English the bells and whistles sounded and the lights came on. It said "curo" was a form of the word meaning to cure so I figured the rest of the sentence was also Spanish another offspring of Latin. I then guessed "Non curo" was a colloquial way of saying there is no argument as in "there is no cure". The program warned that it wasn't foolproof so it looks like I was proof.

I did not take you comment "personally" in particular your opinion that "in many, many ways things are getting better in the world..." When defined I don't think the examples you cite would stand up to even superficial scrutiny. Doug.E.Barr

September 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjimbabble

Great writing!

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Great comment. Doug.E.Barr

September 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWedge of Allegiance

i really like your poem. it's beautiful and i hate it. it sucks.
thanks!

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We have created the Age of Asininity without being aware it is the consequences of our activity. To have someone make a conscious contribution to the evidence of asininity really "sucks". No thanks! Doug.E.Barr

September 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertimmy

<eom>

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This symbol is from a 'language' with which I am unfamiliar. D.E.Barr

September 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTLDR

I didn't read your whole poem. I couldn't stand the "asinine," elementary rhyme scheme for more than a few ridiculous couplets. Your responses to the comments of others make you seem overly sanctimonious and frankly, full of hot air. Please, at least pretend to have some semblance of humility about your "intellect," or, rather, the obvious lack thereof.

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I read your whole comment. Being aware of the extraordinary amount of time you spent at the limits of your mental capacity writing those four lines, I thought I should extend that courtesy to you before judging your intellect. D.E.Barr.

September 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

if these thoughts are on your mind enough to warrant expressing it as poetry, I would recommend you turn off the computer, go outside, help an old person, teach some little kids about writing, donate some time to the RSPCA or your local animal shelter....or at least begin a dialogue with causality that exists beyond a comments page on the web....... I mean dude, you sound ready to get your hands dirty...in the 'real' world...you know, the one you wrote about?

its called the web....and the net........ for a reason, turn off the computer and get real.


your poem reflects a desire for change....for the betterment of the earth and humanity and consciousness in general....but your poem isn't doing anything while it's being dissected on the web!! put your art on the streets! take a scalpel, cut out your words on a sheet of acetate stencil and use a can of spraypaint to spread the word.

and we all know that first there is the thought which creates the word...but it's up to you to fulfill the next step.


DO something.
Net Poetry Doesn't Count For Shit.


but you're right about the subject matter...... things are grim indeed...but I am still fighting against violence against nature.
because violence against nature is obscene. so...so should you.


from a kiwi in australia, peace!

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It appears you have a mind. I recommend you open it. Were it open you would have explored more of my site before giving me a lecture based on your preconceived notions. In my photo album you would have seen evidence I spend a considerable amount of time "outside" in my garden. There too or in my "Mother's" poems you would have also learned I spend every day helping "an old person", my mother, enjoy each day she adds to her 93 years. In my guest book there is a note from a woman who used my poetry to "teach" her grandchildren how to write a poem for their mother. That "counts for" something. If you like cats you can see pictures of the two I bought from my local animal shelter for $280. In addition to my expressions of concern for our "Mother Nature" you could have read elsewhere on my site, I recently gave another $275 to the "Western Canada Wilderness Committee" to help them organize 'street' protests. With that I think I "do something".

I agree with you we can become entrapped in the web but while you think it should be avoided, I embrace the web as a miraculous, extraordinarily useful means of communication. So while you spray paint your words on a building for a few people to read, I will continue to offer my words at my little spot on the "net" where they might ignite the urgent world wide "dialogue" I think we need to end our "violence against nature" and as a consequence, prevent our own self-destruction. You said I am "right about the subject matter." If you are sincere, push the share button instead of the paint button. You have potential son. Don't waste it. Peace and thanks for helping to create dialogue. Doug.E.Barr

September 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterben

A lot of people online seem to have plenty of negative comments to hand out, without contributing anything useful themselves. I like the rhyme, and love the message. Keep up the good work, and hopefully this comment will help you do so. :)

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I hope you will not object to me giving you an e-hug. Thanks. Doug.E.Barr

September 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterC.E.

I just would like to say, I am completely blown away. The meticulous and serious tone and perfectly crafted structures of your responses have left me (near) speechless. It seems everything you have to say radiates intelligence. I have never heard a call to arms on these issues expressed in a more beautiful or gripping way. I felt the simple rhyme meter really drove the sentences into your skull, forcing you to wrap yourself in the words as if the end of each line pounded the hammer of reality deeper into you.

A cynical and exhausted sigh, as if your are nearing your final breaths and have been crying out for anyone for such a long time. But perhaps... the sigh that just might be heard. Wait for an echo of your sigh to come back to you before losing hope. I can only hope it comes back louder and more resonate, coloured with the voices of many.

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After reading your comment my first thought was to remain gratefully speechless. However, I then thought I should admit I did not purposely design a rhyme that would create the impression of a hammer driving home points like nails into a coffin. The first ideas came in the form of a couplet and so I continued. The result was serendipitous. Thank you for making me aware of the impression the rhyme created for you. I like it.

Thanks too for your hope. Perhaps your voice will lead the echo of many. Doug.E.Barr

September 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAusX

Message : great - to be neglected at our own peril
Rhyme : much less important than the message - medicine is not always sweet. Though very nice rhyme i feel.
Conclusion : its time for action, words wont suffice anymore.

Thank you

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Message: Hope. Thank you. Doug.E.Barr

September 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersanil

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