Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Siddhartha Gautama, a.k.a. the Buddha

slow start morning and a memory

Its the beginning of my weekend and I like to take it easy getting going.   Have found if I start in a huff, things get expensive and with the way prices are, that doesn’t take much.

But I woke slow and was dwelling on a memory of my past.   There was a kid I grew up with that was the seed of my thoughts, though what those thought centered on was “Value” and perceptions; Personal perceptions specifically.   See, this kid was a die-hard comix collector.  He would buy two copies of every X-men comic and all of the various spinoffs.  One was for reading, the other would be bagged and tagged and stored in a footlocker.   After he had read the one ‘for reading’ IT would be bagged, tagged and stored in another footlocker (he had his “A” books and “B” books and each was labeled as such)   Now, that may not seem like a bad thing and it wasn’t: when he went to go to college, he used that second footlocker as collateral for the student loans.  The entire footlocker appraised at well over 20K, and that was his “B” books.

But it was a concept I could never understand.   I don’t know if its the way I was raised, or just that I don’t attach a monetary value to every single thing in my life.   I see value beyond a price tag.   Like with Books: yeah, they cost a certain amount of cash to get, and thats expected, but what do they HOLD inside.  I’ll use “The Hunger Games” for now.   Entertainment, 5 stars.   But there is far more in those books than just entertainment: there are mirrors held up to look at the world from different perspectives, allowing the reader to see things in new light.  They pull back the curtains hiding the ugly side of people, even the good ones.  She mentions frequently that at some point, the decision to kill an ally is going to be forced on Katniss.  That may be an extreme point, but there are actions that every one has to make that are not optimal, and that was one way of showing it.  

Even as entertainment, there are lessons to be learned.   I don’t recall many of the ones from those comix, but I am certain that they are hidden inside, even as I could bet that some of those lessons are closer to indoctrination of Marxist ways.   (said indoctrination is insidious and has been quite dominant for decades).  But the Value is far more than just some arbitrary monetary value assigned by some accountant.  And there are some that are absolutely valueless (IMO) for lack of anything other than escapism, which has some value all its own.    Me personally, I want to read about the thoughts in the heads of the protagonist, see how other people think when the shit’s hitting the fan, even if its fantastic and somewhat unbelievable, it may have kernel of truth that gives me options later down the road when I am in some fucked up situation.  

Even in books like “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” there are lessons.   The various races of aliens are mirrors to differnt mental states of people and how Arthur Dent bounces his way through the Galaxy like a pinball with no control of direction is analogy to how most people live their lives.  

Those books have much more value to me than the price tag, and I have copies of them all, and NONE are ‘bagged and tagged’ awaiting some assayer to attribute some monetary value to them.  They are all dog eared and torn covers (all but the hardbacks, and those may be missing the outer sleeve, but they tend to be better kept then the paperbacks.).  

And every time I move, my ‘friends’ go with me, and take up far more space than my personal effects. (and those boxes are HEAVY!!!).  Only one time did I not take all my friends with me, and that was when I split from my last GF and I have been slowly replacing those lost friends over the last fifteen years.   It wasn’t an easy decision to make either, let me tell you.   But the situation dictated I needed to ’empty my cup’.  (and I have picked up quite a few new ones along the way as well as old ones that were waylaid.)

And its not just books.  One of the reasons I would probably not make a good business owner is how I see the value of people.   I would have a hard time assigning a ‘wage’ to someone, and some people would be given next to nothing (because the bring next to nothing to the table) or so high that I would go bankrupt (because those are the people that actually build your business for you.).  And of course, there are all the regulations and Minimum Wage laws, and now, here. locally, demand that certain federal/state fees MUST be accounted for before you can work within city limits.   (Workmans Comp payments must be shown or you can’t work as a contractor.  EVEN IF, you have never had a workmans comp claim laid against you,,,  EVEN IF, you are solo contractor without employees,,,,   ).  

IMO,That last is an example of “Value perception”.   and just how skewed the value can become when Government gets its paws involved.

But I digress.    Maybe I have more than a little bit of poet in me, since I see value in things far deeper and richer than just ‘Money”.  I see experience as far more valuable and being able to get experience through the words of others, via book, spoken word, or in modern ways, in video, holds more value to me than just the price tag assigned.   (and look at how much experience Rittenhouse and the latest Defender gained through FPS vid-games.   Maybe it looks like a game, but that level of expertise in shooting, that has career operators applauding, is astounding.  Those games hold more value than I formerly suspected.)

So, what brought up this memory?   I heard that when my friends dad had died, he had his dads library ‘bagged and tagged’ and sold it piece-meal through EvilBay.   I recall that library and those books and just how large it was ( all four walls of the basement, ceiling to floor and several stacks of boxes full). I wouldn’t be surprised if he had multiple copies of every single early release of Heinlein (and I know he had them all the way to “Friday”, because that was my introduction to Heinlein, and I picked it up from his library.).  I can garan-danged-tee you that said friend NEVER read a single book in that library.   No pictures, so they held zero interest to him and were only worth, to him, what someone else was willing to pay for them.

I don’t get that.  I guess I never will.  

And I am okay with that.


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