There is a grandeur in this view of life...while this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a begining endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved
Charles Darwin
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An Old Man’s Opinion

I like this story—even though, at the end I, with an interrogative crescendo, head tilting Scooby doo rendition, articulated to myself the Freudian slip of where is Waldo, quickly recovering with the proper Pronoun of Mark?  I suspect my tendentiousness toward this story line is attributed to the evolutionary psychology theory of Patternicity, where there is a proclivity to find meaningful patterns in meaningless noise: you see animals silhouettes in the clouds, beatified countenances in pizza toppings, and hear voices in electronic equipment. The suspected proximate cause is the priming effect, in which our brains and senses are prepared to interpret stimuli according to an expected model: life experiences and genetics dictate: the synergistic forces of nature and nurture!

The cognitive perceived commonality, or affinity thread of types of story lines, that you write, which I luxuriate in reading are set in the corridors of academic institutions: UVA, and now, Ralph Waldo…was the omission a projected subliminal… ”Emerson” Elementary. ???

 

I think you should have follow through and not supplanted the name sake with Elementary for two reasons: 1) alliteration effect, you know how I enjoy my alliterations, and, 2) Ralphie Emerson was the patriarch of the transcendentalism; an implicit supernaturalism spin (philosophical religious dogma bickering with the Calvinist about self) in literature—and, the eu-mazing Mark is enigmatically shrouded and foments the air of the ‘spiritual’ transcendental.  You will probably retort that it was too obvious and trite—maybe…

Afflicted with patternicity, I envision a conspiratorial alliance of the janitor that has Willard-like mesmerizing control of small mammals with the precocious maze crafter and expositor, the a-mazing boy, Mark.  The conspiratorial fraternal kinship seed was sowed between boy and janitor with your emphatic fleshing out of the toilet cleaner’s exaggerated behavioral tics: At the waning of saga, I was expecting that Mrs. Hewitt and his dad would find Mark in the company of the janitor.  Unfortunately, there is no absurd or wacky detection network in the brain to discern true and false patterns. We have no error detection governor to modulate the pattern-recognition engine; hence, the use of the filtrating empirical science; therefore, natural selection will favor strategies that make many incorrect causal associations in order to establish those that are essential for survival:

a father’s endearing, unconditional love for his son regardless of the reasons he publicly sports purple hair horns and draws freaky mazes…    

One does wonder if there was purposeful subliminal projection of the schools name to evoke the Turrets syndrome –like outburst of, “where’s Waldo?” I like this story line it has all the potential of a stem cell…

Past Is Prologue In A Letter To My Grandson

 

Dear Jackson:
You entered this natural world a touch earlier than expected; apparently, you had a pressing undisclosed agenda looming and the confinement of a uterus was impeding its initiation. Temporal prematurity aside, if by chance, you have some answers, LIFE strategic solutions to the troubles we, Homo “sapiens” (debatably wise) woe: a sagacious consult/guidance would be immensely appreciated. As you settle in and become acquainted with your parents; your assessment might very well accede to your “gobby’s”, that’s me, (you will get to know me soon enough), your mother is the spitting image of your nana, brown hair, chocolate brown eyes, an uranium isotope of energy who lights up a room when she enters, emanating scintillating venues of possibilities; your father, the complimentary harnessing nuclear plant facility to your mother’s raw energy is of a sound alloy character, who is of deliberate, resolute conversation and exudes in confidence: He has recently finished his graduate course work for a MBA. We are expecting big things from him.
Now, your gobby, me, I’m a very peculiar man; 57 YO, balding with pony-tail that sports “John Lennon glasses (a reference you will learn about latter), who revels in the perfunctory routine of a early morning visit to Starbucks for coffee, writing and reading. Euphemistically, I’m characterized as a Liberal Democrat, naturalistic[ism] (all phenomena can be explicated mechanically and devoid of purpose, human needs and desires) monist (demure the supernatural), but pejoratively as a Liberal Atheist; which defines me as what I am not, conversely to what I am: since the prefix “a” means not or without. Trust me when I admonish, that for the sake of initiating dialogue, “the conversation”, embracing Atheism as a perspective venue to sway a philosophical position is singularly anemic. A less offensive, but tolerable, sophisticated engaging tactic to challenge indoctrinated childhood convictions are an impartial study of nature and human societies, which, as I have found, would avail a vast continuum of innumerable considerations to liberate falsifiable observations that obviate the God of the gap ruse by the faithful in palatable terms, not acerbic atheistic jargon. As you will soon academically discern, the nano-cyber techno 21st century standard of living has and is ascending and advancing at light speed, its civilization enhancing successes are a putative portend pronouncement of the irrefutable testimony to the power of the scientific method as prima facie elucidator of gleaning truths from facts wrung from the natural world: no divine intervention! My political affiliation is of the New Deal-Great Society persuasion; where presidents F.D. Roosevelt and L.B. Johnson instituted policies that produced and protected a middle class; and, with my academic studies rooted in marine biology and my protracted amorous relationship with the Atlantic Ocean, have engendered a concomitant passion to embrace and politically support public policies that direct an environmentally responsible renewable energy harnessing stewardship.
I am who I am, as you will be, for the most part, because of parental protagonist tendentiousness: Your parents will have a predilection to readily share their opinions; make no mistake, this is not advice, but an edict; especially, if the counsel is coming from your mother. Refrain from your initial reflex to recoil and rebel; trust your gobby, for if you were to winnow their mentoring insight, you will be pleasantly commission with a kernel of erudition.
There has been three life junctures that have had a pronounced indelible stamping of my core “character signature”: Catholicism, Theory of Evolution, and military service. Your great grand parents have been integral in all three; your parents too, will have the same life tooling impact on you! Catholicism’s dogma of “you are your brother’s keeper” birthed fraternal twin life tactics of the humanist philosophy, where the ownership of responsibility for the welfare of children, elderly and the poor, is ultimately mitigated through community and self sacrifice; and, the Liberal Democrat politics of egalitarian pluralism, environmental sustainability of natural resources and safety, affordable schools and health care for all citizens, and a fair and equitable progressive tax system that maintains the infrastructure of this grand country. My military stint imbued empathetic leadership, integrity, comradeship, and loyalty; all sterling attributes every young man should have the good fortune and opportunity to experience, which was bequeathed to me through the regimental training of Officers in the Marine Corp. The Theory of Evolution liberated me from the shackles of sectarian doctrine that promulgated Divine creationism with the advent of the 1859 publication of the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace explicating by natural means how all species on earth could be the product of ancestor descendant relationship. To extol the Theory of Evolution as the regal scientific theory of all time would still fall short of its justly preeminence; for, it is more important than Copernicus’ heliocentric, Gamow’s big bang, and J.J. Thomson’s et.al. structure of the atom theories: it flings man back into the natural mix; where we are not supernaturally special and designed in God’s image. The recognition of biological evolution invalidated how humans think about themselves and their place in the universe————————-and yes, I have all these life experience baggages, three to be exact, because of your great grandparents. Your great grand nana was insistent that my spiritual core should be properly manicured, she sent me to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School. Your great grand pappy was concerned about my external shell and strongly advocated military service. Both great grand ps’ wanted to insure that the anatomical nexus of core and shell was properly wired, and jointly conspired to robustly promote higher education, the university life——————and there, amongst the books, there were so many books, I was taught to think critically, logically—and it was in this milieu laden with the “book” I supplanted faith with reason and was instructed on how to employ the scientific method, whereupon all life questions are addressed with a hypothesis, experiment and verification; and the solutions all reside within the natural realm.
So Jackson, I hereby bestow onto you our family doctrine of traditions [PAST], as muddled and mired in contradictory hypocrisy as it may boldly appear: Your parents love you unconditionally in spite of their judgmental admonishments and tone; you are your parents, your parents are you which is a direct reflection of genetics and parental rearing [there is a subliminal imbuing of their idiosyncrasies]; and unfortunately for you, this subliminal contagion transcends to the second generation readily [a little bit of me and nana], sorry dude; family gatherings are not optional, they are obligatory; we debate religion and politics while we imbibe coffee and beer; and the [PROLOGUE], your queue, is the Act of the Shakespearean play you are attending University and all that is you and us will be put to the test…
Good luck with that, I am sure you will do fine, lov’ Gobby

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