Just to be Human

Mariner and his wife moved to this small town when they retired about ten years ago. Culturally, they were dropped into a foreign country. Fortunately, mariner’s wife grew up in the town and had a sense of the culture. Mariner had been a consultant project manager who assisted corporations when they converted their management structures to take advantage of the new capabilities of multidimensional database technology.

His work took him all over the US and even to Taiwan for a computer upgrade so the Taiwanese could build modern jet fighter airplanes. Mariner and his wife owned a number of properties that kept them busy as well; and two children who took root far away. All this description is provided to give the reader some insight into the culture shock of moving to a small Iowa town of 900 folks in the middle of endless cornfields.

Let mariner say up front that the town folk are quite friendly and supportive. The town moves at a slow pace; the conversations and concerns do not march to a time schedule; a better term may be ‘timeless’. There are no complex responsibilities. Mariner had to learn how to live in his new town.

One interesting adaptation was to understand how residents referred to house and family locations. Large portions of the town can trace families back to the end of the 19th century. One is identified by their relatives and where they live or lived and whose house it was before that and before that when someone married someone else. Most older residents grew up in the town before it had street signs. Mariner, however, habitually mapped and organized the town by street names and sections so he could find his way around.

When mariner had conversations, the resident would say, “You know where Martha lives; she lives in Frank Merten’s house over a block from Aunt Dorothy’s house.”

“You have an Aunt Dorothy?” mariner inquires.

“No, everybody just calls her “Aunt.’

Mariner is further helped by the resident describing the color of the roof across the street. Haltingly mariner tries to convert the descriptions to a location with a street name, which block and intersection. It has taken some time for mariner to adapt to a new interpretation of both people and location. Even cemeteries are identified by who is buried in them rather than the official name of the cemetery.

To this day mariner is aware that he is not a ‘townie.’ But his independent view of the culture allows him to experience its charm and to understand what the national culture has sacrificed in the name of progress. Most notable is the importance of people as the primary definition of the town. One is not defined by terms like suburbanite or ‘west side’ or neighborhood class. The prime identifier is an individual and that individual’s role in the life of the town: “Remember when Frank worked at John Deere?” sets a timeline. There still is a residue of past generations when townie and farmer were discriminatory and whether one’s ancient town ancestors were movers and shakers but this is noticeable only among the town’s most elderly.

There is an advantage to growing up in this rural culture; it provides time just to be human. There’s an old tale about the plough horse, now retired and replaced by a young horse, who every morning still comes to the barn door to be harnessed. How one grows up is a life-setting experience. Do today’s young families have time just to be human?

Ancient Mariner



Let it Snow

Mariner must mention that he is the recipient of a pass it forward experience. His town received a foot of snow yesterday. This morning, two neighbors knocked on his front door asking if it was okay to clear his driveway. He blessed them and said, “Of course!” Otherwise mariner would have been snowed in; his two vehicles were in a garage whose doors were behind a snowdrift much deeper than a foot. Pass it forward works for everyone – passer and recipient.

– – – –

Snow seems to encourage folks to work together to regain lost functionality. Snow falls, stays still afterward and is a composition that can be moved, melted or even taken advantage of if one is a winter sports person. Flooding on the other hand wreaks terrible destruction and will not be deterred from racing through towns, cities and open countryside. Wind, too, is unstoppable; hurricanes, tornadoes and shear winds quickly vent their energy on buildings, infrastructure and even large animals – then, like flooding, escape the scene leaving havoc behind.

Certainly snow is inconvenient given how we drive on hard surfaces that accommodate ice and slush. Today, snow is notably troublesome unless one keeps sled dogs, four wheelers and motorized plows around just in case there is snow; comparatively, few people live within walking distance of grocery stores, gas stations, churches, and other destinations. Once arrived, one hopes the establishment is open for business.

Many years ago when mariner and his family moved to the farm, there was an immense snowstorm. Even the snow removal truck could not clear the road beyond the frontage. Across the road, the farm sloped down into a hollow. It was a huge pasture and had no trees; one could sled down a 30° slope for 150 yards or more, having time to really experience sledding. If one took a route to the right, the sled ride ended by rolling through a stand of cattails and sliding uncontrollably across a pond. His family, despite subzero temperatures and a brisk wind, could not resist this new adventure offered by the farm. Everyone was, of course, dressed to look like Charlie Brown and after a handful of trips down the hill, retreated to the house with its large fireplace in the living room.

But it was snow that provided that memorable experience. Pouring rain, flooding and tornadoes deny positive experiences. Perhaps snow’s benevolence is why it is a major symbol for the winter holiday season and why Santa stays jolly even at the North Pole. Snow brings out the passing forward in us.

Ancient Mariner


Humanism – a Threatened Awareness


The last post about not touching each other’s lives is symptomatic of our time. There was a time when a person needed another person to help with life, to generate a sense of wholeness. Granted and without question, a fulfilled life is still a universal experience but, for example, when one looks for a new friend recommended by Facebook, something subtle is missing. Increasingly, we tend to turn to frozen food solutions rather than bake from scratch.

Mariner certainly leverages the huge amount of free data available on the Internet. He can become, for practical purposes, knowledgeable in any subject. Does that define him as a valuable commodity? Does it reflect a life’s work through time commitment? Does it define him as a scholar with years of study, reading and human dialogue? No. The Internet and the cloud is a giant frozen food factory. The missing dimension is the three-dimensional experience as we move through time, space, commitment, people, and the finer edges of worthiness, sympathy, empathy and experiencing the ethos of humanness.

Anthony Bourdain had a television series called “Parts Unknown” wherein he traveled around the world visiting unique cultures and sampling the differences in cuisine. Mariner began watching the series in 2013. Tony freely admitted his difficulties with drugs and alcohol which set a framework for watching Tony as much as where he went. Over the years viewers watched as Tony mellowed, became less mechanical and eventually looked forward to the opportunity to share life with his series guests. Tony died on June 8, 2018. No matter how efficient a process is, it takes time for a human being to become valuable – not only to others but to one’s self.

The recognizable human creature has been around for about 200,000 years. The story of those years is one where very slowly humans mastered the environment and invented tools that expanded human capability. In recent times, say about the last 3,000 years, tools have become more sophisticated and have altered core behavior in humans. Just a few oversimplified examples reflect this: There was a time when electricity didn’t exist. Life was simple, time-consuming, and required dependence on others to survive. Then suddenly there were combustion engines; care and feeding of livestock and the time it took to maintain transportation for the family and the time it took to travel 25 miles to the nearest village to visit other humans suddenly required a few minutes at a gas station and a half-hour drive – no other human or animal interaction required.

Today, with the advances in telecommunication and labor-saving devices, humans live history on fast-forward. Humans don’t darn socks anymore; they don’t even take the time to go to a store to buy them, which requires human interaction, time spent and what today would be called inconvenience; just a click on a keypad – socks delivered. Soon, socks will have a tiny microprocessor that decides when the socks need to be replaced. Who needs a keypad? Further, who needs themselves? The socks run our lives, needing only to use our feet to sustain commerce.

Humanism is a belief that focuses on the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasizes common human needs, and seeks solely rational ways of solving human problems. As humans move through to another era with many confrontations (overcrowding, elitism, racism, economic failure, environmental degradation, and displacement of human behavior and activity by robots and AI), our conscious awareness of worthiness, sympathy, empathy and experiencing the ethos of humanness is left wanting. If sensitivity to other humans as an end product, and the most important one at that, is not practiced, human society will diminish. Humans will be reduced to interactions with their socks.

This is the commercial. For all of the 200,000 years humans have been around, they have a tool for sustaining humanism. Pass it forward. Readers may overlook this term because mariner pushes it so incessantly. It is a tool for the human spirit. Deliberately look for a way to make another person’s human experience better. As walking is to exercise, passing it forward is to human spirit. Further, seek ways to participate in group activities – everything from Tai Chi to bowling to square dancing to parties for no reason.

We will defy the power of the sock.

Ancient Mariner


Compassion, Damn It!

Well, well. Wasn’t the fur flying because young mariner had no traffic ticket for his accident. An entire article about compassion as the root of democracy was trashed because mariner did not get a ticket. So much for compassion over judgment.

Mariner understands that in these uncertain times citizens are chary and become judgmental about due process. Nevertheless, he stands by the principle that compassion without judgment is both restorative to personal happiness and productive as well. One thinks of the abused folks who constitute Donald’s base: The US economy has squeezed them for decades; there is little that comes easily to them. These folks are left only with defensive mechanisms similar to pride, judgmental attitudes, intense populist ethics that are destructive – in their minds as it should be – and intensely protective of what little they have.

Mariner assumes that most readers have read the parable about the Good Samaritan so he won’t repeat it here. Perhaps, though, you just might check out Luke 10:25. The context surrounding the Samaritan’s compassion is identical to the social conflicts present today. The US population has become increasingly conscious of class, even fragmented versions of class (identity politics). In the Samaritan’s situation, he was considered less than a proper Jew because Samaritans did not adhere to the racial requirements of proper Judaism; Samaritans allowed mixed marriages even though otherwise they practiced the Jewish faith.

Mariner’s wife read a book written by a homeless person, Lars Eighner, who walked across the country with his dog Lizbeth.[1] From the book she remembers a time when Lars, who had no source of income, would save the bit of change he came by to purchase dogfood for Lizbeth. Many times others in the stores would buy his dogfood for him. No one said “He ought to get a job” or “He should be picked up by the police.”

Often mariner has touted the practice of “Pass it forward.” It is a practice based on having a compassionate insight into another person’s need without judgment or prejudice. Use this simple gesture to practice compassion. What’s more important than ever is to look for ways to be compassionate toward someone from a different class – even a different political class.

Ancient Mariner



[1] Travels with Lizbeth, Lars Eighner, Ballantine Books, 1993

One for Many but Many for One, too

Mariner was a young lad, well, not really young, he had progressed a bit in his career and was working as a staff consultant assisting all state law enforcement agencies in complying with new Federal regulations about reporting law enforcement activities to a State database. Let’s just say he had a full head of hair with a flat top.

The work was both tedious and fraught with conflicts about changing behaviors that had long existed in local police agencies. After a hard Friday, we all stopped after work to enjoy a happy hour at a local pub. It was a good release from a difficult day and, after a couple of hours, mariner had had an uncounted number of half-priced gin and tonics. Needless to say, as he left for home, he had an accident on the interstate. One is supposed to slow a bit when taking a tight exit ramp, which mariner failed to do.

But the accident is only a set-up for a genuine insight that has stayed with mariner throughout his life and sets his belief in what democracy is all about.

Mariner rolled his jeep-like vehicle and totaled it. He crawled out the back window virtually unhurt. The first person to be there as he crawled out of the vehicle was a nurse who checked him for critical injuries, determined he would survive and left. The second person to greet mariner simultaneous to the nurse fed him two breath mints to help ward off law enforcement analysis of his inebriation and left. The third person redirected traffic. There was no judgment of mariner’s behavior; there was no judgment of inconvenience; there was no judgment of moral principles. Mariner was a fellow interstate traveler. Further, because he was in law enforcement and reported to the Secretary of Public Safety, police officers saw to it that there were no ticketing or other law enforcement transactions as a result of the accident.

This tale has nothing to do with regulatory justice, alcohol, or nuisance among interstate travelers. What mariner learned is that he belonged. He was a fellow interstate traveler; he was a fellow law enforcement employee; he was a fellow human being. He belonged. Not only that, he was accountable to other travelers for the same concern about wellbeing. He learned that judgment and prejudice are not the rules for living together. Just the opposite, it is compassion and understanding that hold us together.

At this time we are confronted in our nation with a despot president, an unjust economic system and many citizens suffering from innumerable injustices in daily life. Democracy is at risk. Our nation is not so far from the cliff not to be concerned about abject collapse into a so-so nation that will be left behind in the artificial intelligence age. Already our allies are drifting away.

The solution is to feel that we belong. We are one of many. Also, we are among the many that care for the one. Democracy requires unity and mutual participation without judgment.

Ignore the fake news concerned about prejudice and malfeasance. Go outside and look for someone who needs to belong. While you’re at it, let yourself belong to the nation as well – without judgment.

Ancient Mariner

When Men only were Men

Mariner is on a holiday break, that is, current news is not an item of interest. Rather, he has taken his own advice from his last post: take a break. Nevertheless, one has curiosity about things – perhaps more so because one is not stuck on the current events train.

Mariner has an ongoing interest in those eras of civilization when humans were on their own, ‘when men only were men’ so to speak. This means that Homo sapiens had no oil, no plastic, no corporations producing chemicals, no seed catalogs, no banks, no cash, only scant precursors of small band government, and languages of limited but pragmatic nature. Writing was simplistic and glyphic in nature. These times were the original good old days.

When one searches for these simplistic times, one is painfully aware of the abuse that destroys their existence as civilization moves from one era to another. The Native American is a clear example of a culture that still was balanced with its environment and its culture was based on what the environment provided day to day. Then a later ‘advanced’ civilization discovered this simple culture and, as always, trashed it.

There aren’t many places on the planet where we can observe that time when men only were men because their simple artifacts don’t last very long and easily are run over by later ‘civilized’ necessities. Perhaps the defining aspect of these primitive cultures is that the cultures were bound by an ethical relationship with the environment called net-zero: in the long run, nature was not permanently destroyed; nothing was taken from nature that could not be returned to nature.

One area of the planet which still reflects its ancient mores and practices is the region known as The Steppe. The Steppe is a belt of grassland that extends 5,000 miles from Hungary in the west through Ukraine and Central Asia to Manchuria in the east. Mountain ranges divide the Steppe into three regions and three different weather conditions. The one of most interest to mariner is the easternmost portion, running from the Altai Mountains in the west to the Greater Khingan Range adjacent to China. A small part of the region is Mongolia. Weather in eastern Steppe is among the severest on Earth encompassing desert-like summers, deep frozen winters and yearlong winds comparable to the Santa Ana winds in California. Among several geographically isolating features, weather is a major factor causing retardation of major industrial advancements found elsewhere.

The critical development that eventually distinguished life on the Steppe was the domestication of horses which occurred in prehistoric times and prevails today. In fact, the Silk Road traveled the southern areas of the Steppe through most of the ‘–stan’ nations. Using horses and later camels, the natives of the Steppe were the first trucking company – sans 18-wheelers.

Natives away from the few modern cities still are nomadic. The only improvement allowed by them is the portable yurt, an improvement over skins and poles. Despite this modern improvement, their culture remains very much as it has across the centuries. Even with the inundation of electronic communication, the eastern Steppe remains virtually unchanged. Wikipedia facts: The poor access to the Internet in the countryside has been a reason behind designating Mongolian countryside as a digital detox location for the tech-tired tourists. Internet users: 16.4% of the population, 152nd in the world (2012).

There are seven ‘-stan’ nations: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. Because of their location amid deserts and harsh weather, modern dissolution of the cultures is minimal. Two of them, Pakistan and Afghanistan, have not been so lucky.

If one wishes to learn something entirely new about the Earth’s cultures and is tired of Western Civ, ancient Greeks, Romans, tsars and dynasties, visit the Steppe.

Ancient Mariner


Give Thanks, It’s Thanksgiving

A bit of serenity can be felt in the weather. Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that embrace ‘the way we were’ to steal lyrics from Barbra. Since the 2016 campaign, which actually started early in 2015, it’s been a lot like driving a road with terrible potholes, constant construction signs, gridlock and detours. In other words, the last four years have not been an easy trip. Let’s stop at a truck stop with a good restaurant, have a good meal and gas up for the rest of the trip.

Mariner will have family visiting. Turkey week is a big buildup in his home. Family is a vital shelter from the storms of changing culture. Many of us must accommodate difficult relatives and diligently ignore politics and religion, but the security of one’s family, the shared history and reassuring familiarity are undeniable.

We should note that many, many more folks will not have a family shelter; many will be incapacitated in one way or another, denying the genuine participation one desires from family. If it is possible, invite a guest or two to share your shelter. It may be a single person far from home; a couple in a difficult situation or even someone who has no real home. Think about that as an act of thanksgiving. Sharing is part of Thanksgiving.

In Iowa, the weather has turned decidedly chilly. One thinks of Christmas just down the road. Stay in the mood by celebrating the spirit of the season. This doesn’t require expensive gifts or a lot of overhead – just tune your mood to the joy around you – ‘sleigh bells ring, are you listening?’ to steal lyrics from Andy’s annual Christmas show. Instead of watching the news, watch all the traditional Christmas shows and even a few new ones. Spend some time looking for real carol presentations at church, the mall, even the street corner.

The grim reality of our nation and its situation will not change until after the New Year. Take a break.

Ancient Mariner



Quick Look Ats

֎According to a Bloomberg report last week, China used tiny microchips, placed on server motherboards, to infiltrate nearly 30 American companies including Amazon and Apple. But Amazon and Apple challenged the report and the Department of Homeland Security said it “had no reason to doubt” the companies’ statements. Bloomberg, whose article is based on 17 anonymous sources, is standing by the story. [Reuters]

**** This may or not have happened but it occurs to mariner that wars among the fifty largest nations may not use gunpowder or TNT in this century. Should the United States, which spends three times as much on military as any other nation, consider a serious revamp of the military to face an age of cyber warfare? More ominous, could there be war between the military and large international data corporations? Perhaps we should abandon social media to avoid being in that crossfire.

֎Burning down the house: Jeff Bezos is donating money to fund schools and homelessness initiatives. Mark Zuckerberg is giving 99 percent of his Facebook shares to charity. The wealthy get high praise for donating money to social causes, but how much can we expect these efforts to change systemic societal issues, especially when some of those very same business interests are taking steps that negate this philanthropy through lobbying and their own workplace policies?

In a new book, Winners Take All, Anand Giridharadas argues that this system of philanthropy reinforces the inequities that put billionaires on top. [Citylab]

**** This is an old complaint about philanthropists who are so wealthy that no matter how large a donation to good causes, it doesn’t affect the oligarchic life style to which they are accustomed. Meanwhile, any pressure on their business model is addressed instantly and is concerned only with the bottom line. The real bottom line, life and happiness for all, goes unaddressed. Such is the conflict between capitalism and socialism. Can the two be homogenized?

֎McKINSEY HIRES BRACEWELL ON BANKRUPTCY ISSUES: McKinsey & Company has hired Bracewell in response to a lobbying effort from Jay Alix, a businessman and founder of Alix Partners. Earlier this year, Alix hired Cornerstone Government Affairs, Cogent Strategies and Lakeview Capital Holdings to lobby on “protecting the integrity of the bankruptcy system.” It’s not clear what exactly Alix is doing, but McKinsey is fighting back. In July, Alix filed a motion to reopen a bankruptcy case involving Alpha Natural Resources, which McKinsey advised during its bankruptcy proceedings. Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that McKinsey is fighting that request, “denying allegations that conflicts of interest and an undisclosed investment broke the law and tainted the outcome of the multibillion-dollar chapter 11 case.”

**** Mariner inserted this story to show the depth of lobbying and backdoor shenanigans that goes on behind the headlines. Thanks to Donald, we know bankruptcy proceedings can be a tool not only for salvaging something from a failed venture, but a way to hide super large profits and bank manipulations. Apparently Alix wants to strengthen the bankruptcy laws to eliminate abusive, big dollar gamesmanship. It reminds mariner of Donald’s experience with casinos: he pulled all the profits from the casinos not even leaving enough to pay bills. Then he filed bankruptcy obviously to dissuade regulators that there was any profit at all. He played this game three times: the Taj Mahal, Trump Castle Associates, and Trump Entertainment Resorts.

Mariner has the entertaining thought that global warming, which Donald denies, will soon put Mar a Lago under water. Oh well, he’ll game the situation somehow.

Speaking of Global warming, Tangier Island, a small, isolated island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay is going under. Forty percent of the island already has disappeared. This is no small event in DelMarVa. Tangier Island is 12 miles from the nearest shores of the Bay. Consequently, this culturally pure location has retained much of the dialect of its original founders from England in the eighteenth century; it has retained the strict Victorian Christian beliefs from that era as well. Every family on the island is a fishing family by trade: rockfish, crabs, oysters, clams – all from the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

More important to the Mid-Atlantic States is its place in the history of the Bay. It is a well-known location and is an endearment to the citizens of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. To watch the video shown by PBS Newshour, see:


Ancient Mariner


Do you know your epitaph?

True, tombstones are not so much the fashion today but one should not ignore one’s epitaph whether on a tombstone or not. In just a few words, certainly less than a dozen, a person’s life is encapsulated for all time. Who are you? What is it about you that contributed to reality?

Addressing the enormity of the epitaph with humor, mariner’s family and friends are well aware mariner considers the verb ‘get’ to be an evil destroyer of vocabulary. American usage, especially the simple past and past participle (got), displaces at least 17 additional words every day. What happened to “I received mail?” or “I understand it?” and a myriad more forgotten words that actually have a specific meaning. Even word partner ‘have’ is left out: “I gotta go.”

Mariner’s wife was quick to offer her choice for mariner’s epitaph: “Here lies mariner. He got dead.” Her own characteristics of never being able to leave the house just once without forgetting something and coming back – two or three times – provided her epitaph: “Here lies mariner’s wife. She’ll be back.” Identifying one another’s epitaphs should be entertainment for the family or even at a party.

Humor aside, although it is the fun part, identifying the most important influence one has had on reality is a personal value that carries serious import. The ego, too, is close to the surface. The caveat is that the opinion of others may not be as rosy or complimentary as one’s own opinion. In short, epitaph may become epithet. For example, “Here lies Sam. He never met a prejudice he didn’t like.” Perhaps, “Here lies Darlene. She made the most of eleven marriages.

The subjects of these two examples likely had more grandiose images of themselves, perhaps invoking thoughts of sacrifice to others in spite of the world the subjects lived in. Many are aware that they have committed their life to a cause. A very common example is caring for the quality of life in a spouse; another common raison d’être is raising one’s children.

It is true that epitaphs based on behavioral characteristics tend to be humorous but there is merit to identifying within one’s self what one did to improve the world in some way. One doesn’t need to discover this at a party. In fact, each of us needs to give time every once in a while to what value our life has been to reality.

Ancient Mariner


Joseph Campbell was Right

It was 2:30AM. Mariner sat down in the living room with his hydrating nightcap of 12 ounces of fake sugar lemonade. He decided to see what crumbs were available at the end of a long TV day. He caught the last half of an old comedy series from long ago when comedies seemed more fresh and creative than they do today. Mariner knew, though, that ‘Your Show of Shows’, the ‘Nelsons’ and ‘Roy Rogers’ wouldn’t make it today – just like properly enunciated lyrics have gone by the wayside in modern music.

After an endless assault by commercials, a movie started. It was a generic Jesus movie – the kind where Jesus clearly is a white Caucasian with coifed hair such that the Breck women would be jealous; his eyes had that odd color of blue that seems translucent. Jesus looked about six foot three. Jesus was no Jew. Mariner watched the movie for about five or six minutes and had to turn off the TV. He sat thinking “Joseph Campbell was right:” Religions, and for that matter all other assumptions about reality, are based on myths.

A myth is something that makes sense and further, it implies a truth that is unaffected by the vagaries of daily life. Each of us at one time or another depends on our belief in a profound principle. The belief can range from the ridiculous to the sublime but the purpose is to carry us through a moment when reality seems arbitrary.

In one of his famous interviews with Bill Moyers, Campbell said the Christian faith struggles with a myth that no longer applies to today’s reality. Without the myth, Campbell says the core truths are still viable but have no common reference to daily life. One can imagine that a scruffy Jewish guy associating with the unemployed who campaigns against the law of the land doesn’t fit the role an Evangelical Christian expects today; history, like the Nelsons, is no longer meaningful. Hence a well-kept, blue-eyed, law abiding Gentile.

But what about those core truths Campbell mentioned? Do we still need them or are they part and parcel of the myth – another time in history, another economy, another place?

Just to establish a generic definition of core truths, generally they are a value system that promotes the merit of being human and requires behavioral allegiance to the value system. Let’s apply this generic definition to something besides religious doctrine:

Among the labor class and well into the middle class the entity ‘job’ is the source of salvation. ‘Job’ is the source of holistic transformation. If an individual has a job, they are righteous; if that same individual does not have a job, they are sinners – the scum of the Earth. This reads more like a prejudice but ‘job’ is sanctification in and of itself.

Further into the middle class, financial equity takes the place of job. Whether one has a job or not is less important but one’s accoutrement speaks to the truth of financial value and a comfortable bank balance is virtuous. Beyond middle class into the very wealthy, wealth is a given; it is continuous success and reputation that become the key truth in the myth.

Mariner reminds the reader that these descriptions of myth are quite general. There is a myriad subset of beliefs that are tied to the larger myths. For example, racism, nationalism, neighborhood, profession, even to the detail of how one manages their children or how well their lawn is kept. Joseph Campbell considered myths as tools for establishing the core truth of a given culture. Mariner notices, with respect to Campbell, that myths also breed prejudice. Core truths, it turns out, are easily compromised.

Ancient Mariner