365 T-shirts - the reasoning

This blog should be sub-titled: a journal of my life in geek.

I get my geek on with things about which I am geeky: comic books, Baseball, Ultimate, science fiction, my favorite bands, books I have read and loved, and Jungian psychology to name some of the most frequently traversed subjects.

I began this project simply as a way to count my T-shirts. I own a lot of T-shirts. But how many do I have? Do I have 365? We shall find out.

When I started this blog, I thought about how each T-shirt means something to me. I bought it for a reason, after all. I set myself the task to post an entry about a new T-shirt every day as a way to simply write something every day, a warm up for writing fiction, which is my passion. Writing is like exercise. Warm ups are good for exercise. But after completing a month of blogging about T-shirts, I have learned that this blog serves as a journal; it documents my life in geek, sort of a tour of my interests in pop culture. The blog serves as a tool for self-inventory, for assessment and analysis of self and the origins of self, for stepping through the process of individuation in catalogues, lists, and ranks.

The blog also made me aware that I have some serious gaps in my T-shirt ownership, and I am in the process of collecting some new T-shirts for several of the great popular culture icons that I truly love. Stay tuned.

I was also a bit surprised that people checked out my blog and continue to check it, read it, and even comment on it. I am very appreciative of this readership. Please feel free to share your thoughts in my comments section. I will respond.

Also, please note that I have moved the original introductory text to the side bar. And now, I present to you the most recent entry of 365 T-shirts: a journal of my life in geek. Thank you for reading.
(Second Update - 1310.24. First Update - 1306.05 Originally Posted - 1304.25.)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

T-shirt #254 - Fight Censorship - Chester Brown

T-shirt #254 - Fight Censorship - Chester Brown

Another Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) shirt. This one by Chester Brown. I wrote about the CBLDF last in T-shirt #159: Save Smut!. I like the CBLDF shirts. I own several, and I am contemplating buying more (or asking for more as gifts).

Though I did not specifically mention the CBLDF in T-shirt #63: The Comics Code Authority, I added it to my CBLDF category because the learned that the shirt was produced by the CBLDF.

I also explored some of the issues related to banned comics in T-shirt #156: EC Comics.

I find it interesting that when I posed for a picture with my Save Smut shirt, I grabbed Chester Brown's most recent book Paying For It, which is a great graphic novel and treatise for legalization of sex work (namely prostitution).

I have always been a big fan of Chester Brown and have read everything he has produced, including collecting all the back issues of his comic book, Yummy Fur. Though many people point to Ed the Happy Clown as Brown's best work, I am most found of The Playboy, which I recommend highly. However, I do think that Paying For It, given the depth of his research and the exploration of the subject matter may be his best work now. I am going to reprint here what I wrote about Paying For It in the previous post and about the CBLDF in general. I am still sort of in holiday vacation mode. Though I do have some comic book round up and some comments on this week's comics to share. I promise more new content on CBLDF with the next CBLDF shirt (I currently have two more in the closet). But I do think there is value in presenting material I already wrote again. I know there are a few of you dear readers who have read everything (which blows my mind, thank you), but I know others are hit and miss. So maybe, you missed this other content. Here it is again.

Chester Brown's book Paying For It is an excellent graphic novel on Brown's experience as a "john," a customer of sex workers. It's a beautiful and compelling book with review quotes from Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Robert Crumb (who wrote the introduction), Sasha, and Tracy Quan. It has an extensive afterword and appendix filled with notes, essays, and various content on issues related to sex work and legality. I give this book one of my highest recommendations. It is surely a book that would (and has) come under fire and needs the CBLDF to defend it. More on Chester Brown in a future blog.

I already featured one CBLDF T-shirt without realizing it. T-shirt #63: Comics Code Authority was produced by the CBLDF.

I already explored some of these issues with banned comics and censorship, especially as related to EC Comics in T-shirt #156 as well as T-shirt #63: Comics Code Authority.

If I have not made my position clear yet, I am very opposed to censorship in any form. Censorship is a slippery slope. Though being unequivocally against it may put me in shark-infested waters when it comes to some materials involving children or small animals, in general, I would rather uphold a strong anti-censorship stance to uphold the rights of everyone because there are far more products that others find objectionable--and are happy to censor or burn-- that I do not.

Check out these stories on CBLDF

Obscenity Case Files: Is a book store owner responsible for all the content in her shop?

New Zealand Library refuses to carry Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie's Lost Girls.

On the recent ban in Japan of the mangaBarefoot Gen

And, another thing, I like smut.



(There are six parts in all and this is great reading!!)


Digital Commons Case Study on CBLDF


I have been reading a lot of comic books lately. Big surprise. One book that fell into back log was Wolverine. I had SEVEN issues of the comic piled up in my back log, which I finally plowed through a week ago. Marvel has been going a bit "berserk" with its Wolverine products with three books devoted to the most popular of the mutants. I had been picking up issues of The Savage Wolverine, when they featured Frank Cho art and swiftly dropped the book when Cho left the book. I bought issues of Wolverine and the X-Men during the Battle for the Atom story as I mentioned in T-shirt #218 and T-shirt #229, in which I reviewed the last issue of the massive crossover.

Since Wolverine did not crossover with the Battle for the Atom story, and since artist Alan Davis stepped away from the comic for three issues, I let the title stack up in my back log. When I read all the issues, I found renewed interest in the storyline, in which Wolverine is fighting a mind-controlling virus from the microverse that manages to take away his mutant healing power. Suddenly mortal, Wolvie is in a world of hurt, quite literally. Alan Davis has always been one of my favorite artists and Mark Farmer's inks make Davis' pencils more beautiful, if that's possible. Paul Cornell's writing is deft and smart. Suddenly, this book has jumped high on my radar and hit near the top of the list next time the book comes out.

The New 52! Teen Titans comic book has been a dreadful disgrace. As I have reported on many occasions, I am a huge Teen Titans fan from way back. But this book is awful. Though not quite as awful as recent issues of Superman (because no comic could be as bad as that one), the comic has been a confusing mess. I am not even sure I understand what is going on, and the relationships and subplots have been handled with all the writing skill of a sledge hammer being used for cracking an egg. UGH. Stay away. Though I will keep buying the damn book because it's the Titans, and I am an insane geek.

The All New X-Men #018: It's time for them to go home. At first, I liked the idea of bringing the original X-Men back to the current landscape from the past. But their story has outlived its usefulness. Now it seems like its hanging on to provide Marvel with one more X book in its glut of the industry and to be able to keep the original characters alive and well in the current landscape despite the jeopardy it is causing to the history of the characters and those comic book stories.

Granted, the comic is still well written by Bendis, who, as I have said, is in such a renaissance for his career that I think he is doing his best work ever, and lovingly drawn by Stuart Immomen, but the stories are losing their punch. Though having the originals confront Magneto, who when the originals last met him he was trying to kill them, is worth exploring, other stories like the Cukoos harassing Jean Grey seem rather pointless. And then, in the recent issue, #018, they give the originals new costumes, which sort of violates the whole idea of having the old costumes around as a means of keeping trademarked images alive and current.
I like Immomen (and Bendis) too much to stop buying it and reading it. But send them home already. Enough is enough. This is like the HOUSE GUESTS THAT WOULD NOT LEAVE.

Send these annoying teenagers packing.

'Nuff said.

I would not say I am a big fan of the Luna brothers. I like Ultra enough to teach it in my last semester as a Media and the Sexes instructor. But I had mixed feelings about Girls, which I may or may not explore sometime in the blog.

With the newest offering, Alex + Ada, one Luna brother is out and replaced, ostensibly, by Jonathan Luna's girlfriend, Sarah Vaughn. Okay, fine. The story involves a future world in which robots have become common place in servile and manual labor jobs but can also be purchased as companions as Alex's boozy old tart of a mother explains "Who knew an android might be the best lover I ever had."
My reaction: Eeeeewwwww. And: "Oh relax. He's kind and attentive and says all the right things."
At the end of the comic, Alex arrives home from his birthday party, alone and single, mourning the loss of his last girlfriend, to discover that his mother bought him an android, a beautiful woman named "Ada."

Again Jonathan Luna is playing with male fantasies in much the same way as he did in Ultra and especially with the beautiful, naked clone women of Girls, and though this is more sophisticated and less exploitative than Girls (most any story would be), it's still quite a bit the stuff of fan boy masturbation. Stay tuned. I will keep reading and keep reporting.


I like JMS also known as Joe Straczynski. I liked his Spider-Man, I liked his Thor, I liked his Superman stuff. I adored Babylon Five.

So far, I am not thrilled with his Joe's Comics line.

Granted, I have Ten Grand in my back log, which may be the best of the bunch. Sidekick has art by Tom Mandrake, which is a plus, but the story is a bit dodgy and has more Femme Fatale type manipulation, which will get most fan boy's rocks off. Tom Mandrake, who draws in Gene Colan vein (one of my favorites as I have made a category all his own) almost makes the experience worth it. Almost. I have seen JMS do better writing. Likewise Protectors Inc. is also ho-hum. I added this comic to my stack of comics to recap and just glancing at the cover, I cannot think of one thing I remember of it. Gordon Purcell art looks nice. Purcell is swiping Dan Jurgens, which he does well enough. I flip through the comic and I only have the vaguest sense of having read it. Not too engaged.

Lastly, Batman #25. I wrote about the previous issue in T-shirt #217.


I love the Zero Year thing. DC was very smart to start New 52 a few years in and fill in back story with zero issues and Zero Year tie-ins as well as books like Action Comics, which originally explored the early years of Superman's career. Batman #25 continues the early years of Batman's career, after the Joker's origin, detailing the first Riddler story, an early version of the Bat mobile (seen below), the inspiration for the Bat Signal (by Jim Gordon), and a great final twist, which I will not reveal here (though it deals with Lucius Fox). You have to read the comic.

Batman continues to be among the best DC titles.


Because The Walking Dead is coming out every two weeks, issue 117 lands the same week as Aquaman, and I have to make the tough choice. The Walking Dead continues to win the top spot in my stacks. Kick Ass drops from its previous spot because of the two aforementioned books (it was second back in T-shirt #225). Likewise, following from the previous posted link for 225, Superior Spider-Man stays highly ranked because the story is strong. I liked the end of Infinity well enough but it's hardly the best idea for a crossover in Marvel history. It was all right, but I am glad it's over. The whole thing left me a bit underwhelmed. Likewise, with New Avengers, I think Hickman is trying to do too much and not doing anything well enough.

And that's all I have read so far. More later. Tomorrow's a big reading day.

COMICS FOR 1311.27

The Walking Dead #117
Aquaman #25
Kick-Ass 3 #5
The Superior Spider-Man #022
Infinity part six of six
New Avengers #12
The Flash #25
Hawkeye #014
Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril #5 of 6
Saga #16
Black Science #1
Uncanny Avengers #014
FF #014
Nova #010 (supposedly #100)
All New X-Men #019
Heist #003
Avengers Arena #018
Cataclysm: Ultimate X-Men #001
Catwoman #25
Sidekick #4
Teen Titans #25
Superman #25


Uncanny X-Force #014
Sandman Overture Special Edition #1 
Buck Rogers #2
Buck Rogers #3
Indestructible Hulk #016
Codename Action #2


Atomic Robo and the Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne (volume one)

Nowhere Men volume one

Stark Industries R&D T-shirt (Preview of a future shirt!!)


- chris tower - 1311.30 - 13:49

Friday, November 29, 2013

T-shirt #253 - Strangers in Paradise

T-shirt #253 - Strangers in Paradise

Today is a day off for the t-shirt blogging writer. I am tired from a huge Thanksgiving dinner at the in-laws. Thus, I am posting something easy (and showing me napping). I will be back tomorrow with the Weekly Comics List and some comic book stuff, one day late, as I usually post the Weekly Comics List on Fridays.

Strangers in Paradise (SIP) is a great comic book.

Why it was so great is explained much better here at


I also found in a quick survey of the 'Net that Terry Moore is at work on an SIP novel. HUZZAH!


Terry Moore is wonderful. I always read his stuff, though I have been waiting for Rachel Rising to conclude to read in collected editions. His writing may be a bit sappy, though at times just right, but his art is always impeccable.

PS: Today is my best friend's birthday. If I planned ahead, I would have posted a shirt he gave me. But I didn't. So it's random, which is fitting.

I tried to control myself. I can go a bit nuts with the images and cover gallery stuff. So here is a controlled array.


COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE BLOG YEAR - 112 shirts remaining

- chris tower - 1311.29 - 13:00

Thursday, November 28, 2013

T-shirt #252 - Poultry Days - Thanksgiving

T-shirt #252 - Poultry Days - Thanksgiving

Is it wrong to be more interested in football than Thanksgiving dinner?

Okay, that's not totally true.

I love the time with family.

Family time is very special.

But damn, can the Detroit Lions get a win?

I had wanted to feature a shirt today from Cornwell's Turkeyville because of Thanksgiving and turkey and all that. But they were out of damn shirts when I was there two weeks ago to review the annual Christmas show.

Alas, I am stuck sharing another Ultimate shirt from my one appearance at the classic Poultry Days tournament. Fun tournament. Miserable night trying to camp. Never again.

But it's the only bird-themed shirt I have.


I have a whole category devoted to my fantasy Dinner Party. Recently, I wrote about the Dinner Party in T-shirt #247 - Wonder Woman and T-shirt #231 - CBGB Lou Reed RIP.

The other night I had a dream that I was talking with Laurie Anderson at the Dinner Party. She is the most recent addition to the party. And Bjork was there, talking to us and sharing strange art in the dream. Not sure why or how this came to me in my dream. But it seems prophetic. I have to add Bjork to the Dinner Party.

Here's the most recent text about the Dinner Party from T-shirt #247 - Wonder Woman.

I have written many times on the subject of women and subjects related to women. In fact, most of the people at my fantasy Dinner Party are women: Suzanne Vega, Margaret Atwood, Erykah Badu, Laurie Anderson, and Marisha Pessl. I have recently written about my adoration of Veronica Mars (T-shirt #240), who would be at The Dinner Party if she were a real person and BUFFY, of course, in T-shirt #170. Also, it seems that I kind of forgot about my "Women" category, as it only has one shirt, featuring Katie Holmes, T-shirt #93. I could go on and on. Many shirts have featured women in some way or content about or created by women, such as one of my favorites in T-shirt #161 with TED talk videos by Susan Cain and Jill Bolte Taylor. And I have not even featured the two feminist shirts I own yet. So stay tuned.


Someone (Sarah Hale? She wrote "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and is supposedly responsible for making Thanksgiving a national holiday.) started a tradition of listing the things each of us is thankful for at Thanksgiving.

Obviously, I am thankful for my family, my jobs, my home, and, of course, my health. I am prostate-less and cancer free with an infinitesimal chance of recurrence. I have a wife whom I love (and who loves me, which is even more incredible), amazing step-kids, wonderful pets, great parents, an amazing sister, a kind brother-in-law, a courageous and loving cousin, and so on. I have a good home, good work, school, friends, Ultimate, comic books, and gaming. I am fortunate enough to live in a world of ideas. I am healthy and have the full use of all my senses and body parts (except the one that's missing).

But I am also thankful for you readers and this blog. When I began, I did not really imagine I could meet the goal of daily posting and certainly did not imagine that I would be writing this message on day 252 of 365 days. The blog has been a wonderful journey, and I am looking forward to where the remaining days take me, take us.

But even more important than the blog itself, I am blessed with readers. I am so honored and deeply touched that all of you take some of your valuable time to check out what I am doing. I promise to make it worth your while in the remaining 113 days. I will strive to keep the content as varied as possible, though true to my particular oeuvre (lots of comic books!!). Thank you for reading my blog.

It seems that every 70 or so days (I am a bit behind on this third one) I am compelled to share what I originally wrote in T-shirt #78 - Suzanne Vega (when I also started the ongoing story the Dinner Party) about gratitude. I presented it again in T-shirt #157 - Gull Lake. Here it is again. And then, after, between pictures, a reminder of what I wrote the other day in T-shirt #250 - Winnie the Pooh: Love, love is the answer.

I am very grateful for Suzanne Vega and all that she has given me in my life, all that I have shared with her through music, what seems like deeply personal music, without knowing her at all, though feeling like I do know her, know her music.

So, each morning, I run the list of things for which I am grateful. I am not always listing musical artists, like Suzanne Vega, because I focus mostly on my family and community. Though from time to time, musical artists will drift into my consciousness, and I will thank the universe for them, infuse the positive energy of my love into the fabric of the cosmos, because, after all, we are all connected.

LAST WORD ON THE GRATITUDE THING: I got the idea for the gratitude prayer (meditation, list, incantation, catalogue, rumination, reflection, or whatever you want to call it) from a movie calledThe SecretI am not quite promoting the movie as a "true" exposure of an actual science. In fact, many of the stories in the film are a bit fatuous. However, I like watching it. I showed it to a class (my second viewing) about a month ago, and the idea of the daily gratitude thing struck me. In the movie, one of the interviewees (I forget which one and it's not important) explained how he had a rock in his pocket. At night, he would set it on his dresser with the other contents of his pockets. The next morning, he would retrieve it and remember to list the things for which he was grateful as a daily routine, like a prayer. He had a visitor from South Africa and told the man about his rock and gratitude practice. The man called it a "gratitude rock." After returning to South Africa, he wrote his American friend and asked for some gratitude rocks to be sent to him because one of his children was very sick, and he did not have the money to seek medical care for the child. The interviewee balked at sending "gratitude rocks" because, after all, "they are just rocks," he said. But he found three nice rocks and sent them to his South African friend. Months later, the South African wrote back. The rocks worked! His son was healed and recovered. They paid for his medical treatment by selling a hundred gratitude rocks. People believed in the power of the gratitude rocks.

I found this story inspirational. I do not use a rock, but every day, I make my gratitude list. I send energy into the universe. I focus on the positive and try to limit or dismiss the negative.

I think it's working.

Please check out T-shirt #166 - FAO Schwartz again if you have time and interest.

Love, love is the answer.


GO LIONS! COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE BLOG YEAR - 113 shirts remaining - chris tower - 1311.28 - 9:31

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

T-shirt #251 - Detroit Pistons Fire Logo & Pink Hat

T-shirt #251 - Detroit Pistons Fire Logo & Pink Hat

It's been almost a month since I last wrote about the Detroit Pistons.

My last entry on the Detroit Pistons graced these pages 23 days ago in

T-shirt #228: Detroit Pistons Blue w-Red Ball Logo.

In that entry on the Detroit Pistons, I was super excited for the start of the 2013-2014 basketball season and felt that my beloved Pistons were back on track to a winning season and the first appearance in the playoffs since 2009.

Since my post at the beginning of the month (November 4th), the Pistons have struggled to a 6-8 record. Although I was going to write last week, decrying their terrible play and playoff hopes that were already dwindling, we fans must remember that they were in the midst of a very tough four game road trip against Portland, Golden State, Sacramento, and the Lakers.

Though the Pistons only won one of those four games, fans should revel in how close the game against Portland was: a 109-103 loss. The Pistons hung with the Trailblazers--one of the toughest teams in the West--all the way, matching them score for score. The Pistons trailed 58-55 at half. All the stats were very close as the Pistons matched the Trailblazers in field goal percentage, rebounds, assists, and actually got to the line more times than Portland, thus showing that they can control the game better, drawing fouls more than they commit fouls.

Though they won the Sacramento game, it was hardly a blowout. In the other two games, the Pistons were blown out by Golden State and an LA Lakers team that has no business being as good as it is without Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. The Pistons have a rematch coming against the Lakers, at home, which will set that situation to right.

The Pistons are playing well enough, but they need to do a little better to close out games. Though they won the first home game against the Knicks after returning from the road trip, they dropped back-to-back home and away games against the Atlanta Hawks. They should have and could have won both of those games. Since then, the Pistons have won two in a row against the Brooklyn Nets (who are awful despite having many "name" players) and the Milwaukee Bucks, which are a mess.

The Eastern conference is shaky. Though Indiana and Miami dominate the top of the standings, the rest of the conference is up for grabs. Damn Miami has soared to an 11-3 record since I last wrote, when they were 2-2. Despite being the rivals of the Pistons, and despite that Brawl at the Palace (long a thing of the past now), I really like Indiana, and I am rooting for them to win it all, especially if the Pistons do not. I think the Pistons are playoff bound if they can continue to play halfway decently, but I hold no hopes that they can win the championship next year (for this 2013-2014 season). Then again, I said the same thing in 2004.

When I wrote my last post on the Pistons, T-shirt #228, I made predictions for the playoffs. I am revising those predictions. I picked New York and Brooklyn out of the East, but I am dubious that they can make it. If the playoffs started today, the East would be match ups of Indiana, Miami, Atlanta, Toronto, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, and Washington. But its a close group. Phillie, Boston, and Orlando would all be one game out of the playoffs if they happened today. Cleveland and Brooklyn would be two games out. Even New York and Milwaukee are not that far out.

I like Charlotte making the playoffs. I also think Washington has a good shot, but I did not have Atlanta in my original list, and I think they will be there. Chicago will struggle without D. Rose, but I think they have enough talent to make the playoffs; though given the way they have played in the last four, maybe not. After a month of the season, I just don't see Brooklyn and New York getting to the playoffs with the way they are playing now. Though of the two, Brooklyn has the better shot, I think, simply because of the talent level.

I had Toronto in my list. But I am going to stick with Brooklyn and replace New York with Atlanta, which is hardly surprising. I expect Charlotte to fade, but I would love to be wrong about that. Washington could be a dark horse, and if Chicago fades, look for the Wizards in the playoffs. So my OFFICIAL LIST of predictions (modified which is sort of cheating after a month of the season) is Indiana, Miami, Atlanta, Toronto, Phillie, Chicago, Detroit, and Brooklyn.

It's the Western conference where I voted with my heart and not my head. I want San Antonio to buckle and not make the playoffs. Given that they are the number one team in the West right now with a 13-1 record, tied with Indiana for best in the NBA, indicates that they will likely make the playoffs assuming there is no catastrophe. I would still like to see them fail. I cannot think of a team that I dislike more.

If the playoffs started today, the West would be filled with San Antonio, Portland, OK City, LA Clippers, Houston, Golden State, Dallas, and Denver. I had all these teams except I had the Lakers and the Timberwolves instead of the Spurs and the Nuggets. Obviously, the Spurs are going to make it assuming there is no rash of injuries or massive collapse. Popovich is just too good as a coach, and they have enough talent to succeed. Damn them. I see the Timberwolves beating out both the Lakers and the Nuggets for that last spot. Portland, Golden State, OK City, and the LA Clippers could be the Final Four, but the Spurs are a tough team to beat, obviously and could upset my predictions again.

As for the Detroit Pistons, I am rocking my favorite Pistons shirt in these pics with my favorite Pistons hat, the Breast Cancer Awareness fund raising hat produced by Detroit's WB Channel 20.

The Pistons meet the Chicago Bulls tonight at the Palace. The Bulls have basically the same record as the Pistons at 6-7 (Pistons are 6-8). Though the Bulls have lost Derrick Rose for the season and Jimmy Butler is injured, they still start Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, and Luol Deng, three of the best players in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls have not won since November 18th in a win over the Charlotte Bobcats. Though they managed to deal Indiana its only loss of the season on Nov. 16th, they have lost four straight to Denver, Portland, the LA Clippers, and the lowly Utah Jazz, who are only 2-14. Here's hoping that the Pistons can capitalize on a reeling Chicago Bulls team and get a third straight win!

in case you are too lazy to click the category to the right.

T-shirt #228: Detroit Pistons Blue w-Red Ball Logo

T-shirt 114 - Detroit Pistons Championship 2004

T-shirt #65: Dead T-shirt #2: Detroit Pistons

T-shirt #29: Detroit Pistons - the red logo shirt

GO PISTONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE BLOG YEAR - 114 shirts remaining

- chris tower - 1311.27 - 11:28

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

T-shirt #250 - Winnie the Pooh and Teaching

T-shirt #250 - Winnie the Pooh & Teaching

-  On Jungian Thought, Poohism, and Teaching

I started this entry back in July, and it's been sitting on my computer ever since. This is why I am in shorts in the pictures.

I love Winnie the Pooh. Disney Pooh. Milne Pooh. Doesn't matter.

I love POOH.

I did discuss this affection some in T-shirt #166.

I feel that Today is somewhat of a milestone as the number 250 has some significance.

So, today, I wish to share a few thoughts on intersections between Jungian thought, Tao te Ching, and Winnie the Pooh.

Somewhat coincidentally but also by design (teleology?), I am teaching the power point in my mythology class tonight that I am shown teaching in these photos.

If you have not read The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff, and you have any interest in either Tao te Ching, Winnie the Pooh, or both, then I recommend you read it immediately.

A free PDF version is available FROM THIS LINK.

Today, I wish to share thoughts punctuated by a series of photographs that comprise some of my favorite ideas in the whole world.

The best reaction to all situations is LOVE. But it is so hard to function this way.

It is so much easier to judge and to be angry, frustrated, annoyed, to give into one's stress.

But I keep trying.

If this statement about love as the right reaction to the universe makes you think of "Love is the Answer," then check the video I posted in T-shirt #166.

When I started this entry back in July, this woing toToday,he start text: Apparently, some of my students check this blog to see what I am doing. I really am working when I say I am working. Honest. For the last two days, I have worked on the blog throughout the day because I need to get to work and keep making progress with the work or I will not meet the deadline. The blog can be like a black hole. If I start working on it with the intention to finish it, I can easily get sucked into another universe, and once I emerge, I have not completed nearly enough work.

Things have not changed much since July. I work many hours. I work on the blog off and on throughout the day in an attempt to multi-task, though by nature I am not a multi-tasker.

The blog CAN be like a black hole.

I continue to experiment with how to better manage my time.

Jung came up with the idea of the Collective Unconscious to explain his idea of archetypes. He had no other explanation for the recurring predisposition toward images and image patterns by people with no communication with one another, with cultures that did not have interaction with one another.

George Lucas adapted Jung's Collective Unconscious as the Force in the Star Wars movies.

I like both versions of these ideas.

I believe firmly in the interconnectedness of people and things, of the universe.



Can we tap into another realm of consciousness with the Collective Unconscious? Through the interconnected fabric of consciousness, can we see the thoughts of others? Can we experience prophecies of the future? Or are the prophecies an overlap? The echoes of other consciousnesses?

ARCHETYPE: an archetype is not an image. It's a pre-disposition to an image. It's a projection of content into an imagined form. It's filled by our consciousness.

Archetypes are "universal, archaic patterns and images that derive from the collective unconscious and are the psychic counterpart of instinct. They are autonomous and hidden forms which are transformed once they enter consciousness and are given particular expression by individuals and their cultures. Being unconscious, the existence of archetypes can only be deduced indirectly by examining behavior, images, art, myths, religions, or dreams. They are inherited potentials which are actualized when they enter consciousness as images or manifest in behavior on interaction with the outside world.

"Strictly speaking, Jungian archetypes refer to nuclear underlying forms or the archetypes-as-such from which emerge images and motifs such as the mother, the child, the trickster and the flood amongst others. It is history, culture and personal context that shape these manifest representations giving them their specific content. These images and motifs are more precisely called archetypal images. However it is common for the term archetype to be used interchangeably to refer to both archetypes-as-such and archetypal images" (Jungian Archetypes, Wikipedia, 2013).

The image of Horus is purposeful in the power point as is my inclusion of the Eye of Horus here on the blog.

The Collective Unconscious and its archetypes must be taken on faith. There is no proving their existence through epistemology.

But we can see it working. We can set forth its workings, set forth the evidence and prove its existence like we would prove anything in a court of law. We can observe it to work and presume how it works and why it woeks, much like we feel we understand the migration of birds. Instinct drives us. Instinct drives birds. Instinct and the Collective Unconscious are one.

Study of Jung branches off from the standard story-type archetypes, such as child hero, wise old man, or trickster, and informs the archetypes of a man's feminine side (Anima), a woman's masculine side (Animus), and the dark side in us all (the Shadow).

But these "archetypes" do not exist independently of us. We fill them with content from consciousness. We project them onto actual people or actual images in the actual world. The archetype is the pattern, the similarity between different people's dark sides, different child heroes in different stories. But they are all different because we are all different, because different stories are different.

We must remember this.

We must make our own myths.

Everyone has the same questions. What is the meaning of life? What is after death? And everyone must find his or her own answers or live with the uncertainty. But people do not like uncertainty. People like certainty. People do not like long quests. People like short trips and then packing away what is over and done with. But the world, the process of individuation to become a self, is not a short trip.

It's a long trip.

What a long and strange trip it has been and will be.

But we must all make our own journey and find our own answers in what Jung called THE PROCESS OF INDIVIDUATION.


Jung considered individuation, a psychological process of integrating the opposites including the conscious with the unconscious while still maintaining their relative autonomy, necessary for a person to become whole.[4]
Individuation is a process of transformation whereby the personal and collective unconscious is brought into consciousness (by means of dreams, active imagination or free association to take some examples) to be assimilated into the whole personality. It is a completely natural process necessary for the integration of the psyche to take place.[38]
Besides achieving physical and mental health,[38] people who have advanced towards individuation tend to be harmonious, mature and responsible. They embody humane values such as freedom and justice and have a good understanding about the workings of human nature and theuniverse.[4]

Also see INDIVIDUATION just by itself.

Jungian school [edit]

Carl Jung wrote much of his work in German. Difficulties for translation arise because the German word Seele means both psyche and soul. Jung was careful to define what he meant by psyche and by soul.
I have been compelled, in my investigations into the structure of the unconscious, to make a conceptual distinction between soul and psyche. By psyche, I understand the totality of all psychic processes, conscious as well as unconscious. By soul, on the other hand, I understand a clearly demarcated functional complex that can best be described as a "personality". (Jung, 1971: Def. 48 par. 797)
[The translation of the German word Seele presents almost insuperable difficulties on account of the lack of a single English equivalent and because it combines the two words "psyche" and "soul" in a way not altogether familiar to the English reader. For this reason some comment by the Editors will not be out of place.]
[In previous translations, and in this one as well, psyche– for which Jung in the German original uses either Psyche or Seele– has been used with reference to the totality of all psychic processes (cf. Jung, Psychological Types, Def. 48); i.e., it is a comprehensive term. Soul, on the other hand, as used in the technical terminology of analytical psychology, is more restricted in meaning and refers to a "function complex" or partial personality and never to the whole psyche. It is often applied specifically to "anima" and "animus"; e.g., in this connection it is used in the composite word "soul-image" (Seelenbild). This conception of the soul is more primitive than the Christian one with which the reader is likely to be more familiar. In its Christian context it refers to "the transcendental energy in man" and "the spiritual part of man considered in its moral aspect or in relation to God." . . . –Editors.] (Jung, 1968: note 2 par. 9)


So the goal of Psyche, the word Jung used for "all the psychic processes," in other words, the person, the personality, the self under development, is to find wholeness, balance, to realize the self, the center wholeness in us all.

The self is the end product, the balanced, whole, transformed, transcendent being.

The Buddha.

The gestalt of ultimate apotheosis.

All spirit. One with God.

All of which brings my content sharing to the subject of Winnie the Pooh.

The Winnie the Pooh stories are consciousness at work, the Process of Individuation at work.

The One Hundred Acre woods is the unconscious. Christopher Robin is the psyche under development to become a self. All the characters and elements of his unconscious are the parts of his psyche that must be brought into balance to emerge as a whole and unified self.

Perhaps Pooh is the end result.

Pooh just is.

Pooh is totally a right-brained being.

We are all much too left brained in our society with its rules and prisons.

We all should be more like Pooh.


The Taoist idea of the Uncarved Block is called P'u. Much like "Pooh."

Coincidence or proof of the Collective Unconscious?

"Things in their original simplicity contain their own natural power, power that is easily spoiled and lost when simplicity is changed" (Hoff, pg. 10).

The secret of the Uncarved Block? LIFE IS FUN.

Pooh proves that the Pooh Way is the true way when lost in the woods with Rabbit. Rabbit is very left brained. Pooh is not. Pooh finds home when he stops looking for it. It's this counter-intuitive thinking that is endemic of the Uncarved Block.

Just be.

Let the natural forces of the universe guide you.

Be like water.


The Greatest Good is like water... Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

The greatest good is like water
which benefits all life without trying to
It resides in the purest mountain snows
and dwells in the lowest of places
Thus it is like the Tao.
-Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

from wikipedia;
Lao Tzu, aka Laozi and many others, was a philosopher of ancient China and is a central figure in Taoism or Daoism. Lao Tzu literally means "Old Master." He is revered simply as a wise man in philosophical forms of Taoism, but revered as a god in religious forms, much like The Buddha is regarded differently by the religious and philosophical schools of Buddhism. According to Chinese tradition, Lao Tzu lived in the 6th century BC and is traditionally regarded as the author of the Daodejing (Tao Te Ching), though its authorship has been debated throughout history.
The above is my own translation of his teaching on water being the greatest good. No, I don't speak any form of Chinese, but from going over many other different interpretations, I believe this is what Lao Tzu was saying;
that we all should strive to be ourselves, without ego getting in the way, to mix among all walks of life both rich and poor, both good and bad (whatever that means) and in between. And that by truly being ourselves, we'll actually be helping everyone around us without even trying (sort of like Forrest Gump.) Perhaps by losing the ego and letting go, we'll allow Spirit to work through us, thus being like the Tao or The Way.

I also believe if you read between the lines in the teachings of Jesus Christ, you'll find a lot of similar themes. Some scholars argue that Jesus appears to have studied Buddhism during his "missing years" between the ages of 20 and 30. Wouldn't surprise me one bit.
Jason Matthews - 2009

I am of the Pooh way.

The way is of Pooh.

That's a wrap.

Thank you for checking out my blog today. I am here every day, at least for another 115 days.

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- chris tower - 1311.26 - 13:52