Ask Old Jules: Being happy, why buy insurance, Mindless Behavior, Human lives vs. Ideals, Pledging allegiance

Harper, TX 2010 123

Old Jules, does being happy come very easy for you?

It does for me, but it’s a habit and acquired trait. Generally ranges from quietude to contentment and only gets over into ecstasy occasionally. But the contentment is the tough hurdle anyway, when you’re first learning to do it. After a couple of decades it becomes habit, second nature, and a person barely notices it.

Old Jules, what is the point of pretending that we can buy enough insurance to be okay no matter what?

A group of rich men want to make you a bet that your house won’t burn down, you betting it will. Or you’re not going to die or get sick, with you betting you will. I suppose they’ll bet almost anyone something lousy won’t happen to them if the person is willing to bet it will. In some ways it’s a bit like buying expensive monthly lottery tickets betting you’ll lose something valuable that a group of rich men figure won’t happen. It’s an amazing job of selling.

Old Jules, what happen to Mindless Behavior?

In the US they all joined the Republican Party, became Teabaggers and cranked themselves up on talk radio waiting for a chance at targets in the opposing political party.

Old Jules, which is more important to you? Human lives or your ideals?

Aside from a general determination to avoid taking human lives I don’t spend much energy concerning myself with them. But I tend to be suspicious and circumspect about ideals and abstractions. I don’t adopt them as absolutes and never allow them to become driving forces when I discover myself inclined toward one or another of them.

Old Jules, why did they make us pledge allegiance when we didn’t even know what it means?

After the US Civil War the bastions of authority on the winning side needed an oath from the losing side that they would re-acquire loyalty to the US as a single country. “One nation. Indivisible”. Afterward it probably seemed a worthy way of continuing, drilling it into the heads of youth by rote the way the Lord’s Prayer is drilled in until it becomes a mantra.

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