I've officially entered my Earth's blogosphere. Hoorah.
I will fill these pages with nonsense, genuine thoughts, reflections, laments, jokes, non sequiturs, rants, words of wisdom from your mom, words of wisdom from my mom, a few bad poems, some angsty teenage-esque prose, links to other people's stuff, stuff from my stories, a couple of equations, notes from my dog, religious dogma from other planets, updates on my personal finances, articles about salmon, carbon emission analysis, updates on my team's efforts to continuously save the multiverse, documented proof of my genius, music that must be heard, art in all forms that seems important and cool, recipes for loafed meats, my obsession with chemical changes, and last but certainly not least, my conversations with Jesus.
Wait, you don't mean that Jesus, do you Truant?
I don't know brain, do I?
Everyday I ask myself, "How do we all just keep going about our business in a world this fucked up?" It is, of course, a rhetorical question. I know how. We've got lives to live. For some the simple act of survival. For others the dedicated carving out of their footprint on the history of humanity, whether large or small.
I'm on my own personal mission, just like everyone else. I've got things I want to accomplish in this life, for no other reason than self-gratification, a sense of self-worth, as I march towards death. Yet, I feel a pull towards greater activism, to do all that I can to try and better this world while I'm alive. This daily call to arms, especially heightened during the era of 45 - whose name shall not be spoke here - this daily call is balanced by an equally strong sense of futility.
Am I doing all I can?
Does it matter?
I suppose I'll just stay busy while I'm trying figure all this shit out.
Many months have passed since I added content to my personal internet time capsule. I’ve had plenty to say. Lots of conversation and ranting in the real world, but putting anything worthy down for record seemed fruitless. What was I going to say about a global pandemic and American civil unrest that wasn’t already being said? That I was scared for the future of our country and our world, like so many others? That living in a city where there were some actual riots (though 99% of the “so-called” riots were peaceful protests) over a young woman COMPLETELY UNDESERVEDLY having been killed by police in her own home, and hearing police helicopters over my house at night, was surreal? That dealing with any of the rest of humanity’s problems seems pointless when Mother Nature is gonna wipe us out anyway? That my general malaise was cranked up to eleven?
I wanted to put some thoughts down before the election, but couldn’t. I wanted to say something about race in this country, but anything sayable feels like shouting into an echo chamber. The people who understand hear and the people who refuse to believe refuse to believe. I wanted to tell everybody I finished writing a novel and was super excited about my effort during these desolate times. Talk about feeling inappropriate…
Then, last Saturday, it came together. After four years and four days, the path to victory for President-Elect Biden was clear. Please note, former VP Biden was not the progressive candidate I would have preferred, although I believe him to be a decent-hearted, well-meaning human being. I was not watching my candidate of choice nor my particularly preferred VP candidate speak, though I certainly have nothing against Kamala Harris. And I only mention this ticket not being my personal favorites for a specific reason, but I’m going to sidetrack this point and will circle back.
I’m a cis-gendered straight white male of a generation whose progressives spent our youth telling everyone NOT to label us. That’s a hint there, folks, that I’m at least middle-aged. The reason I admit to my age and Caucasian male devilry, is because I understand that at the end of the day, in this country, I am the least effected by all the tumult. I lost my job and have been fine. I also have no children, so I have no fear of their future. I’m also phenomenal at judicious self-medication, so I can flip the switch to “numb” on a daily basis and take my white ass to bed.
Yet, last Saturday night, watching two people who weren’t my preferred choices, I found myself on the verge of tears on multiple occasions. The first lump in my throat came during Kamala’s speech. It wasn’t her words, simply watching her speak and imagining not only being a person of color, but any woman in this country. Any young girl that can look up and realize that could be her someday, and that by the time said young girl has grown into an adult, she will be the head of the ticket.
Then Joe Biden spoke, and the lump in my throat returned several times throughout his speech. I wondered to myself, how can anyone listen to this man plead with everyone to stop being so goddamn mean to one another, and not appreciate this message? The answers are legion, of course, and I don’t need to list examples here. This writing is not about all the problems we face.
This writing is about four years and four days of wide-awake and sub-conscious disquiet. Anxiety. Sadness. Disillusion. Confusion. All these emotions, wildly intensified by empathy during a four year stretch like nothing I’ve experienced in my life. I believe myself to be an introspective person who remains in the present effectively, and therefore, connected to my present emotional state. I can honestly say, I could never have quantified the level of emotional exhaustion the last four years had cultivated in me, until last Saturday, when I saw a message of peace and a glimmer of renewed hope.
And remember, I’m a white dude. I wish it didn’t matter, but it does. I didn’t come from money or anything like that, but I still understand my privilege, and if I felt the way I did the other night, I can only imagine what it felt like to be someone from a marginalized community. To have suffered the true levels of disenfranchisement this country offers. I can only imagine, but I do. Empathy. Something this country needs right now more than ever, and something I believe the two humans I saw on stage last Saturday night both possess.
Of course, the fight isn’t over. It never is. But after four years and four days, at least for a moment, there was a deeply needed sigh of relief and renewed since of optimism.
Onward. Head down, feet forward.
Hulu’s Newest Original Superhero Drama: Truth to Power Mom and the Empty Axiom Five
In this current age of soundbites, social media virality, and pop-culture slang du jour, we need a new brand of hero. Yes, yes, thank God for the peacemakers and the post-makers, a new brand of modern warriors with blazing thumbs and a mastery of colloquial internet speak. Digital Marshals, fighting lawlessness in a dotcom Wild West. That’s why, this Fall, Hulu is slated to premiere a show about your new favorite superhero family: Truth to Power Mom and the Empty Axiom Five. Let's meet the team...
Truth to Power Mom – When Mom speaks her personal truth, sniveling trolls wilt from the power of her brutal honesty. Cross her and be turned to ash, gently floating to the scorched earth below. Know this, social media evil doers: Actions may speak louder than words, but not in a digital universe. Go ahead, bring that bullshit on-line. Truth to Power Mom gonna drink a glass of wine and side-eye your ass into oblivion. Oh, you don’t like that sarcastic gif of someone scoffing at you? Better stay away from the comments section then. You’ve been owned. On the internet.
Big D Energy Dad – Does the D stand for the confidence people assume a man with a large penis possesses, or does it simply stand for Dad? Big Dad Energy Dad. As in the Alpha Dad, proudly sporting skinnier jeans, a cool untucked 90’s band t-shirt and kitschy, designer brand sneakers. No one knows what fuels Big D Energy Dad’s super powers. Is it genuine, irrationally confident swag, a lack of intelligence capacity for self-doubt, or simply the ability to effectively mask crippling insecurities in public? We’ll never know! All that matters is we’ve chosen to perceive his BDE.
The It Is What It Is Twins – Hally and Haley Comet, the It Is What It Is Twins, fighting bullshit with more bullshit! When confronted by a conversational topic without a more eloquent point to make, don’t call a spade a spade, call a spade a self-evident pronoun! Be warned, you may think you’re winning, but when Hally says, “It is,” and Haley shouts, “What it is,” their combined powers of circular logic refute any and all valid and nuanced arguments. You may think you’re winning, but you aren’t. Because why? Because it is what it is.
Best Life Boy – Best Life Boy is every smiling two year old you’ve ever seen. Whatever the hell he’s doing, he’s living his best life and starring in videos that make you smile, laugh, and sometimes cry. Thank God for a child’s joy, and the social media posts Best Life Boy will always be able to look back on, seeing how happy he once was, because most of Best Life Boy’s best life is going to be living through the climate catastrophe induced Seventh Extinction. You’re welcome, you little fucker you. Smile on that.
And their faithful dog, Stan – Stan's the photogenic family doggie. For all you Stan stans, check out the Stan Stans Fan Page and post your favorite “the world is on fire and we’re all going to die” Tik Tok dance vids! The video with the most likes will receive a free I’m A Stan Stan tshirt. All Stan Stans Fan Page advertising proceeds go directly to a 501C3 public housing bunker project being built under the unlivable earth of the former Amazon rainforest.
I know, the headline sounds like a fantastic fake band name. And while you think DSDFFJ might be a jam band, it’s actually the euphoric light and drug show that is EDM. Yes, only electronic dance music, whether in a European warehouse club space or rural American pop-up rave, can be this wonderfully disorienting.
I remember as a child having fantastic conversations with my father at night about the state of the world and why people behaved the way they did. While other kids wanted a bedtime story, I wanted a dose of pseudo-psychology from my father, admittedly a very intelligent and patient man, though lacking in any behavioral science or sociology degrees. Still, I remember all the talks we had about mankind’s inherent, species wide lunacy. That’s right. I said species wide. Before you pucker up your defensive posture, please remember, almost every single one of us has purchased their ticket for the roller coaster, in some form or fashion. You may be rational in many, many ways, but most likely proudly flaunt your own special brand of crazy. Perfectly packaged, wrapped in a neat little bow and ever present in your daily life. It’s your Special.
Your Special is what tells you three sheets of toilet paper is just right, four is okay, but five is a misuse of commodities. Your Special is what tells you it’s okay to rail against all of the injustice in this world on a site like Facebook, which you refuse to log off of, despite your favorite platform being an active party to the world’s massive injustices. It’s your Special that thumbs it’s nose at all those Deep State Qanon weirdos but makes you think your personal belief in an invisible deity or abject certainty there’s no such thing as said deity is totally rational.
But Truant, what does my Special have to do with the Attorney General dropping the criminal case against a traitor who has admitted to the charges brought against him? To be frank, I’m not certain, and I’ve never been good at impersonating a guy named Frank for the sake of horrible punmenship. But, if I were to venture a guess as to what I’m getting at here, I believe it is the imminent dissolution of our collective reality, which is barely hanging on by a thread as a type, while said dissolution is somehow unfortunately perpetuated by each and every one of our Specials. Our inherent ability to believe there is something Special about me opens a giant can of psychological worms that encourages us to believe what we want to believe, science and reality be damned. One can only wonder what will happen to our species, to our planet, and to the very fabric of time once the tapestry of all that we agree upon as real is unraveled.
Personally, I like to think we’re living in a continuum where the human race has already destroyed itself on a dozen or so occasions, we’re bound to do it again, and every time we do we get to start all over until one day we finally get it right. Maybe each time we have an opportunity to level up our species' capacities for wisdom and love. Maybe last time was way worse than this time, and next time will be a little bit better. Why not? Is that harder to believe than our souls being immortal and living in a state of sublime peace and happiness or horrific pain filled misery for all eternity?
Anyway, whatever you believe in, an afterlife, soul recycling, becoming worm food, I think these times we’re living in should certainly prepare you for finding out that nothing you’ve ever believed in was ever true to begin with, despite the fact that some of it was still true, even though none of it was, because the truth is still out there but you’ll never find it when whomever is behind all of this has so cleverly hidden the truth, the doubt, and the proof in the same place. There all in a secret cave located on the underbelly of our flat Earth that no one knows about except those who know.
Until then, we must simply enjoy the show. Pull out your hair if you will, but you’re better off taking a pill and dancing to the good time grooves. It’s the Human Race’s Big Time Hullabaganza, starring you my friend, and me, and all the rest of us 8 billion crazy mofos, shaking our thighs and twerking our minds to the infectious sociological rhythms of the age of insanity. Collective reality was so 1988.
Warning: This one's a little explicit.
First of all, y’all don’t even have that many holes. Or genital appendages, for that matter. There are so many species throughout existence that have waaaaaaaaaaay better sex, and yet they are nowhere near as hung up about it as you are. “It’s a sin!” “I’m addicted!” “Somebody’s about to get raped up in here!”
I know, that last one is touchy, but while this article is intended to be humorous, it’s also intended to have a point, so please know the conceptual insertion of rape in the opening paragraph wasn’t simply buffoonery. Yet, I would argue the extent to which we often pine for, obsess over, and ultimately are willing to inflict pain (both emotional and physical) to see our carnal desires fulfilled is abject buffoonery and or cruelty.
To be frank, I’ve had plenty of sex while trapped in this human body. Both lusty, superhot sex and lame ass sex. At the end of the day, as numerous comedians and psychotherapists have explained, the end result is almost always the same, at least for a man. Pleasing chemical dump, sploot, pleasing chemical dump. Rinse. Repeat. Ladies, I understand the sploot and post-sploot pleasing chemical dump is a much more tenuous opportunity for you, based on your lovers’ abilities and your own. Yes, your own. I’ve known one woman in my life that openly took responsibility for a lack of ability to sploot. And she knew damn well if she couldn’t figure it out, she couldn’t expect a man to suddenly discover Valhalla for her.
Anyway, let’s not belabor the point any longer. I’m here to tell you that sex ain’t that big of a deal. It’s not one that churches should be condemning folks over, or that these poor incel people should be freaking out about, or that you should cheat on your spouse to obtain, or that anyone should get raped over. It’s just…not…that…big…of…a…deal. It feels nice and offers you weird sensations of validation and confidence but so does alcohol. So does MDMA. I’m not personally sure about heroin but I hear it’s the bee’s knees.
I don’t mean to negate the positive side of healthy, mutual, explorative, evolving, sexual coupling. It’s nice. Partnering up with someone you dig and juicing each other is fun, but again, at the end of the day, it’s just not that big of a fucking deal. You aren’t saving the world, or even raising money for a charity (okay, okay, maybe every once in a while you’re raising money for a charity). It’s not some blessed union of souls, I promise. No matter what those pleasing chemicals tell you.
What you’re dealing with is a base desire. Animal instinct. Period. Once you’ve had it and felt the sploot, that pull is more powerful, but in the end, it’s still just base desire. Animal instinct. And we’re better than that. I’m not advocating not having sex. That’s not my point. I’m advocating that the next time you’re considering doing something shitty to obtain sexual gratification, even something so small as dipping your toe in the cold waters of infidelity, think twice. It’s just sex. It’s fleeting, and those positive chemicals it dumps on you? They’re fleeting too, and they won’t solve your problems. Just smack your own dick or clit around for a while and be done with. It’s simpler, and doesn’t require another person’s emotions to be effected.
So there you have it, a resident alien’s guide to realizing sex isn’t that big of a fucking deal to help you stop being hung up about it. I close with one of my favorite new one-liners that I’m taking credit for until someone tells me that somebody else said it first. A buddy asked me the other day how I go without sex. I said, “Man, I know how good cocaine feels too, and I don’t do that anymore either.”
Warning: This is a long one. Personal therapy and so forth. If you've stumbled across this foul grain of internet sand, please forgive my self-indulgence.
In my lifetime the United States has changed extraordinarily. Not all positively, mind you, but positive change is the focus of this article. After all, I subscribe to a power of positive thinking credo, despite my lack of ability to behave as an above average practitioner.
It’s difficult for younger generations to conceptualize the country of my youth, just as it is difficult for me to understand the preconceived notions and abject realities of the United States that Baby Boomers grew up with. Thus, I’m writing this for the “youngens,” because I find myself continuing to associate with their frustrations and angst, despite my grey curlies. I will never deny my Peter Pan syndrome or devoutly not-Christian Jesus complex.
Anyway, dear young friends, your passion and yearning for change will only be rewarded through a lifetime pursuit, and within that lifetime the changes will often feel incremental. Not enough. But, when taking in the bigger picture, they can be viewed as extraordinary.
For instance, I remember when a female politician being on the ticket as a Vice-Presidential candidate was an unheard of first. A ticket that was crushed, unfortunately, but still groundbreaking. Unless I’m forgetting someone (wink), it took another 24 years for a female to be on a legitimate Presidential ballot. However, this time it was for the big seat, and she almost gained her party’s nomination. Eight years later she earned that primary nod, and she should have won the general, but that’s another fiasco for another day and the history books. That said, four years after that, another female, this one relatively unknown until the previous decade, ran a strong campaign to be the Democratic nominee. This is the snowball effect of change. It took Hillary Clinton 30-40 years of public life and advocacy to build a coalition and support base to almost be the first female POTUS. In less than a decade of pubic consumption, Elizabeth Warren was able to mount a serious effort towards a nomination, and numerous other women also mounted campaigns. Though unsuccessful in the end, I count being relevant in national conversation and media coverage a serious effort. Along the way, we’ve witnessed the first female Speaker of the House as well.
While this is genuinely a long time coming, and we wish things would move faster, we now live in a country where female power and rise in politics is commonplace. I know, election to the Big Cheese position is still elusive, but it is now within grasp. You may have already voted on a local, state, or national level for the woman who will crash this glass ceiling.
The truth, as you may be well-aware, is that most humans don’t like change. They don’t care for the unknown, and the results of change are always unknown. Even those that are comfortable with change prefer it to be at their own pace. For those of us more inclined to embrace change, this can be frustrating, especially to youthful enthusiasm. Consider, as many have noted in this election cycle, the pragmatic voting of our country’s older generation of African-Americans. The Baby-Boomer generation of African-Americans fought for their own civil rights and still most often choose Left of Center politicians they “know” over those who propose revolutionary ideas of hopes and dreams these same voters want for their own children and grandchildren. Pragmatism at its finest. Pragmatism for the eventual win. Make no mistake, I'm not criticizing these folks, and would be way out of my lane to do so. They witnessed people actually die for their cause, and over the course of time, their efforts affected great change. Pragmatism, and effort, for the eventual win...ahem...From winning the right to vote to seeing the First African-American President in a Boomer's lifetime.
We’ve seen the arc of the Aids epidemic crippling homosexual communities in the 1980’s, to the eventual legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015. Thirty-plus years, but the change came. Not fast enough for any of my loved ones in the LGBTQ community but it came, through consistent, persistent effort. We’ve seen professional athletes, a huge percentage of whom are minorities, unionize to protect their rights as workers, creating collective bargaining that moved a ton of money from owners to players, and in the long run, from owners to players to marginalized communities through the charities of said players (this may seem like an odd anecdote for this piece, but it’s not). We’ve seen mixed race love and marriage expand and become widely accepted in the past thirty years. These are no small things.
Granted, we’ve seen a bunch of horseshit, and some recent regression as well. It happens. Two steps forward, one step back. None of this shit is happening fast enough for me either, and I’m honestly not affected by most of it other than being a creature who cares.
Please don’t misunderstand. I hate this shit too. I think humanity is absurd. I want equality tomorrow. However, I have the histories of countless worlds and civilizations at my fingertips, not to mention our own recorded history. The tumult of true revolution is not for the stomachs of most. Cultural evolution is almost always a slow process with a long arc, except for a few species I know of that operate on extremely faster timelines than we do. Also there's one I know of that goes through its entire evolutionary process over and over again in the blink of your eye, but let's not get into the Blinkies again (not their real name, just what I refer to them as because, you know...).
In truth, I’ve written this selfishly, mostly with the intent of self-care. I needed to hear, write, and read this for my own piece of mind. To express my frustration as a positive, “keep your chin up,” note to self. Still, in case one of you angsty, fighting the good fight whippersnappers happens across this exercise in acceptance, know this: Change takes longer than you want, but the results are waiting for you, if you stay the course. Perhaps you will never see the gains you hope for in your lifetime, but the only thing that will stop them from happening over the long haul is if you quit trying. Or, if Mother Nature finally has enough of our nonsense and destroys us all.
The main thing I took away from the religious programming of my youth, besides all the highly effective “sexual hang-ups” data input and “sin” algorithms, was moderation.
Do all things in moderation. Including moderation? Uh oh. I’m going to have to say yes. After all, the command says, “all things.” Thus, sometimes you must let it rip too. Right? Absolutely, but let it rip in moderation. You can’t be letting it rip all the time, no more than you can do all things in moderation all the time without breaking the very rule you’re attempting to adhere to. Holy shit. The circles, the circles…
There is no philosophical credo or doctrine or axiom to explain away the nuance of our existence. Not when “do all things in moderation” implies doing all things in moderation, in moderation. Thus, our lives are a never-ending paradox. And that’s another circle, folks. For if something never ends, eventually it winds up in its own ass.
Fuck my brain I have no idea where I’m going with this, but I’m guessing it starts where it ends. Which means, wherever I was going with this, I’ve already been there and come back. Or gone back. Or no, wait. If it starts where it ends, did I ever leave? No, no, you’re not doing that. That’s some empty ass, Deepak nonsense right there. You can walk in circles dude, and when you do, you’ve definitely moved.
Oh well. Enough with the circles for the day. All things in moderation, after all.
Where are you guys? Awards season has arrived and I’ve already witnessed some amazing, super powerful, earnest (soooo earnest…) speeches from the podium, trophy in hand, but where the fuck are you guys? Our goddamn democracy is in the throes of dissolving into a fascist empire and us poor folk have no idea where our heroes are (when they aren't at the awards shows, of course).
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to pin this all on you. This mess is not all your fault and not solely your responsibility, but seriously, where the fuck are you? Why isn’t every independently wealthy (or rich enough they have the power to take off work at will) person in this country, who hates 45 and believes in protecting our democracy and Constitution, standing in D.C. protesting this insanity? I’m especially looking at you, Hollywood. Just like the robber-barons of the housing crisis and our overpaid congress men and women, you’ve built your fiefdoms off dollars from the poor, who’ve thrown their money into a cinematic black hole in exchange for brief respites from their normal lives. It’s a fair exchange, to be sure. Hard work makes those films. But, we’re in unusual times here. Times that call for the good guys to step up their efforts, and that doesn’t just mean us masses.
Now, I know. I know. There are many celebrities and other uber-wealthy who are in the fight, both publicly and privately. But these dire times are calling for a unified public effort. For leaders to rally the troops, and despite my disdain for wealth equaling leadership, it has become a greater reality in this day and age, an era where people whose only job skill and title is “influencer” are getting rich off their internet presence.
So I will ask you again, dear wealthy friends of the poor, where the fuck are you? We need your help. For the love of god, get your well-to-do asses to Washington and lead the protests. Lead the rallies. Stand out there and stomp your goddamn feet, and get the rest of this nation to pay attention to the fight we're currently in the middle of losing!
It’s Monday and we’re back in the saddle. Routine, you sweet, time traveling bitch, you. Twenty minutes to bring computer to life. Him’s old and a little cranky but still expected to put in his forty hours like the rest of us. I wonder what our future AI overlord will do with all the old machines? Our current AI overlord doesn’t seem to care much for them, but you know, we can always hope for progress down the line. More compassion and what not, for the little guy and girl.
Check the feed and see the news. The world’s on fire! The world’s on fire! Only, it really is. Ahhh…there’s that super comfy, warm blanket of, “thank the God I don’t believe in I don’t have children.” A noteworthy shift in thought from ten years ago, when the simple math of, “okay, if I don’t have kids until this age, statistically, I will have this much time with them before I die,” was a regular thought process.
Random thoughts random thoughts while the coffee does its business. Ooh, here’s one. Seen lots o talk lately from the middle. The middle is a safe place, especially for los blancos popularros, aka my fellow, desperately clinging to power, white folk. I see their opinions on how their voice matters, and it does. Just a shame they don’t have the empathy to realize the centrism they’ve lived so comfortably with their entire lives has been genuinely oppressive to other good people who weren’t born so lucky. I too, believe in compromise. These moderates need to compromise their comfort in exchange for real movement for those less fortunate, and for those against whom our culture has historically tilted the odds.
Anyway, my car is falling apart and my house needs repair and my parents are aging without much of a safety net and we’ve got a universe to save and I’ve got a novel to finish writing, and hope to cling to that my book might get picked up, and maybe I won’t have to live the rest of my life working for someone else, even though I’ve got a pretty great job, if you consider any job that isn’t what you really want to do with your life great, and my dog is getting older, so I’m already thinking about how I’m going to handle his demise even though he’s only seven, and I’m the last of my mother’s father’s clan to pass his family genes and history along to a new generation, but why in the hell is anybody who isn’t loaded with cash having kids right now, and honestly what good is all that cash gonna do when Mother Nature unleashes her anger in full force, and to that end what the fuck is the point in writing these stupid ass books so I can live on in perpetuity when there will be no perpetuity, when instead I could be devoting all of my free time to doing good deeds for others so my soul might live on for eternity if we somehow manage to not destroy eternity as well. Seriously, has anyone considered how fucked heaven might actually be when you get there, considering what humanity has done to the potential utopia we already have? You gonna tell me it’s beyond the scope of reason that angels might be completely self-absorbed, over consuming, environment killing jerks?
Oh well, thank Bob it’s Monday. Head down, feet forward…
It's been a while since I've posted anything here for the marketing bots and internet scavengers to discover. It happens. But here we are near the end of a year and I feel compelled. Compelled to leave some marker to myself, and any wandering soul who may stumble across this disheveled heap of recklessly tossed words.
2019 was a beast, the stuff of nightmares. A monster burst forth from the bedroom closet of my mind, born to wreak emotional havoc. There I said it. Moving on...
I've learned. A year of accepting sadness and finding the joke in it all. I've learned. A year of shedding tears willingly, allowing the tide and then smiling after the wave has crashed. I've learned. A year of letting go, of spending more time and exerting more effort practicing the age old creed: "Don't sweat the small stuff." A year of plugging away, head down, feet forward, and on and on towards another day. And somewhere in the midst of it all, there were countless sneaky moments of joy, refusing to be denied, begging to carry us through.
You motherfucker. Coming for my already fragile peace of mind, with your short days and cloudy skies. I will do all the drugs and sleep through your bullshit. I will take to the cave and hibernate in the light of my UV savior, the grow lamp of love. You will not defeat me, winter. You will pass, and in the Spring when you retreat, frostbitten tail between your legs, I emerge renewed.
And a little pudgy.
I planned, and started, a deep dive into this subject with intentions of giving the essay its own page on the website. After further thought, I thought, what a giant waste of my fucking time.
That said, my friends and I have had lengthy discussion of these modern times, and this new modern censorship. We grew up during an era of fierce opposition to censorship. Progressive culture used to be the force that fought not to be labeled and railed against censorship in art. Thus, many progressives of my age demographic are taken aback by this new modern progressiveness that insists we all fit neatly into some demographic box (cis, trans, abled, toe-headed, left footed, wall-eyed, etc. etc.), and refuses to accept the difference between actual hate speech and artistic exploration.
Okay, that was a little snarky. Perhaps unnecessarily, but the crux of this writing is my gut reaction to "Cancel Culture" and stand-up comedy. Dear young progressives, please know that I support your efforts for a better world. The issue is, we can have empathy, and loving hearts, and be a part of the movement, and still laugh at unsavory humor. We laugh at ourselves. We laugh at pain. Many people prefer to laugh at the things that hurt them, myself included. That's just our natural reaction. We can watch a comedian tell crass jokes and understand that they are just jokes, while the real world problems still exist and have to be dealt with.
I've lost people to cancer and still laugh at cancer jokes.
I've lost people to drugs. Still laugh at dope jokes.
Lost people to old age. Still make fun of old people.
Lost people to car accidents. Still make fun of trucks. Wait...
I have trans friends and still understand there are trans things that can be poked fun of. I've had homosexual people in my life my entire life. Helped raise me and I love them, and in general the community with all my heart, and I still jokingly say things are gay, etc. I've had friends from minority communities my entire life, and understand that all of us have unfortunate stereotypes associated with our communities that deserve to be poked fun of. White people can't dance. Black folk talk during movies. Etc. Etc. I sure as fuck make fun of myself and my fellow cockasians on a regular basis. Yes, that's a dick joke race joke combo, and I'm not exactly sure what it means either.
What's at issue here is intent. Is the person operating with a hateful heart? Is the person trying to make an honest point, or a disingenuous one? Is the person simply teasing, because everyone deserves a little teasing. Please remember that art is an outlet for emotions. Haven't you ever wanted to, and successfully yelled, at someone you love? Perhaps even in public?
One more thought before my grand finale, just in case someone reads this drivel. The progressive community in the United States needs to recognize there is a ton of amplification of discourse aimed at simply keeping the argument going. The forces of evil in this world are genuinely trying to keep America divided. We know this for a fact. Much of the "Cancel Culture" discourse is being amplified on the internet by trolls (and their bots) with no other desire than to see the world burn.
In summary, what I'm calling for here is a little more understanding. Try to understand how your fellow progressive doesn't agree with you when you want a comedian banished for eternity because they tell a joke you find hurtful. I promise, I will try to encourage others to act with patience and understanding for your argument as well, even if I disagree. We are living through an era of righteous indignation, rightfully brought on by the grand exposure of a nasty underbelly in our culture. It's understandable that people are so amped up. There are powerful forces at play intent on keeping us that way. We've got to keep a clearer eye on the very real battles worth fighting. Disenfranchised communities have discovered a new source of power to wield: social media. Please operate with discernment. Please know who your real enemy is, because I promise you, it's not Dave Chappelle.
For all my ponderings on life as a force all its own, and the fates to which we are all bound against our will, predetermined by the insistence of existence, in this sea of ever changing winds and turbulent waters, I still man the rudder, I still raise the sail.
I see children who want to change their world, to save their world. I see “adults” who’ve done the damage, created the calamity, attacking the problem solving youngsters. Cowards. Liars. Cretins and curs, all of them, desperate to believe anything but the truth of who they are and of that for which they are responsible, the impending destruction of this beautiful planet and their own goddamn species.
I hold myself accountable. Not for all this wrong, of course. I’m certainly no powerful deity. Not capable of some grand gesture to have caused or to solve this mess. I’m just a man, a cog in a wheel made of billions, who ignored the writing on the wall to chase my own petty desires. And here we are now, so I will apologize.
Dear fellow humans, dear children, I’m sorry for what I’ve done. For my selfish participation. I ignored the call, like most if not all, to be a better version of myself. To be a creature of unabashed giving and devotion to others. And now here I sit, much closer to death than birth, immature illusions shattered, praying to a power I cannot define, praying the children will win. I beg your forgiveness young humans, though undeserved, and offer my soul to the hope you survive this mess we’ve created. Amen.
To all the children, it only gets worse from here, but there is good news...
I was on the way to work this morning remembering a loved one. This is an open wound, fresh and tender, and will most likely remain a little taste of daily sadness for the rest of my time here. I can accept that, and try to find the beauty in it all. The sweet, miserable beauty of unrequested existence...
And in the midst of this remembrance, I found myself pondering the acquisition of emotional wounds throughout our days, from birth to the grave. It's the cumulative effect of thousands of paper cuts that never fully heal, with each additional cut adding another little twinge to a lifetime of pain. There will be laughter and joy, and those moments may make this whole deal worthwhile if we let them, but the cuts are always there. They may even prop up the joy, increase the sweet relief that comes with a laugh, but the cuts are always there.
Still, I have good news for the kids, and it is such a simple act of mercy from the Universe, I don't know how I haven't stumbled on this realization before. The question of what took me so long aside, as I was driving and wondering to myself how I was going to put up with all this nonsense for another 20, or 30, or 40 years (If I'm lucky, right? Right?), the following connection finally dawned on me: The longer we live, the more hardship we're exposed to, the more pain we acquire, the faster we pass through this life. Each day seems like it passes faster than the last, and so on and so on until the sweet relief of eternal peace. So, dear children, if you're ever feeling down and wondering how you're going to survive all this madness, just remember, the longer life goes on the faster it moves. This ever accelerating perception of our individual lifetime may actually serve as a tool that heightens your moments of joy and softens the burden of grief. You're welcome.
My friend and I were discussing the sudden uprise of white nationalism, fascism, and their umbrella category, racism. Of course, this current unleashing of the racist hounds was not sudden. It festered and boiled over. But to those of us who were caught off guard when the boil pot blew its top, it felt sudden. Anyway, he and I were discussing the hopefulness in the idea that this was racism's last desperate gasp before the bulk of the human race puts a collective foot down and says those times are gone. At least in our lifetime.
It's only more recently, during this bout of mainstream racism, that I've been exposed to this movement's direct correlation with climate change. Climate catastrophe will cause refugees, millions and millions of brown refugees. Ahhhhhhhhh! I mean, constant fear of evil gangs and corrupt third world governments already created a healthy stream of immigration, but when the Sea rises up and says, "this land is mine now," we're talking about entire populations needing a new, dry place to live.
I've posted about this before, but what struck me today and brought on this freshly crafted piece of excellence is this quasi-spiritual and metaphysical symbiosis between humankind and Mother Nature. We are genuinely living a disaster flick plot line. The only way the planet gets saved is if the good guys win and we take the world's major democracies back from the clutches of evil, racist stupidity. If the bad guys win, the planet is doomed and we all die. Of course, even if the good guys win, it may be too late. Thus, what we're really quite possibly witnessing, is the last desperate gasp of humanity.
Perhaps, and just indulge me here 'cause I am definitely trying to scare young parents, but perhaps all this current sociopolitical strife is the result of a species sensing its demise on a collective subconscious level. AKA, we know Mother Nature's coming for us and e'erbody's freakin the fuck out.
Conceptually, it seems natural the death of a species would be fraught with discord.
Traveling backwards through the future is an easy trick. The curse of the old, the fate of the young. A spell cast by Mother Nature that insists upon itself. You will stumble and fall and rise and succeed over and again as the circle completes, shuffling towards the grave, satisfied or aggrieved, and eventually bemoan the world as it is for a world that used to be. Life is a merciless port to shore for your soul. Death is freedom into the sea.
Then again, without life there would no fried chicken.
As my time sifts through the glass, moments of unadulterated joy come fewer and further between, and feel ever less-deserved. On the occasion when I do stumble across those brief, intoxicating moments of cosmic good will, my unfortunate mind quickly succumbs to the gloom, to the golem of hopeless reality haunting this world. The poor. The starving. The painfully dying. The never-had-a-chancers.
Where is their joy?
Maybe I'm being petty, but I'll tell you what sucks most about all these jerks using "God's Plan" to justify all their evil bullshit:
When we die and there's no afterlife, we won't be able to rub their noses in it.
We'll be dead. Which means, if you want them to get what they deserve, you kind of have to be rooting for hell. And of course, this means if hell exists, you're likely going to wind up there too for thinking all these nasty thoughts. Which I suppose means that you might get to torment those liars and hypocrites while in hell, but the whole deal still sucks because that means hell will basically just be what we already have right now on Earth. Accept, at least the bad guys will be suffering. I suppose there's that.
Today is Memorial Day. I’ve already done a successful tour of social media patriotism. I came back alive. Many were not so lucky. Luckily, we have today to remember our fallen. Please forgive me while I take offense to the entire charade.
We are in the middle of a worldwide uprising of bigoted nationalism, on the collision course for global climate catastrophe, and yet today will be filled with ostentatious pandering about freedom, sacrifice, more freedom, and of course, never-forgetism.
Let us never forget, our country has not fought a necessary war since World War II. That was about defeating a would-be global conqueror, who had already done some genuine conquering and was not going to stop. Every incursion since then has been politics or blatant imperialism. Many of our “fallen heroes” were simply out there protecting the freedom of economic exploitation in whatever region some rich dickhead decided there was more money to be made, and to that end, our “fallen” were definitely defending the freedom of rich dickheads to make even more money off of the United States Military’s multi-billion dollar budget.
To be clear, I certainly appreciate the freedoms we still have in this country in comparison to many other societies in this world. I genuinely appreciate the fact that many people have laid down their lives so that I may have my eight-hundred and fifty square foot castle, half an acre of land, Internet access, pickup truck, high mileage foreign car, multiple televisions, etc. etc. My great-great-great-great-great (or something like that...) grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War so that I might have this tiny slice of piece-of-mind pie. But on this Memorial Day, let us never forget all of the others who have died so that we might prosper.
All those foreign innocents killed by our weaponry, the citizens and their children who simply wanted the same things we want. A safe and happy place to live, love, grow old and die. All sacrificed in the name of our enduring freedom. Let us never forget the countless foreign workers, who’ve slaved in miserable conditions that have led to Bob knows how many deaths so that we might have all of the technology we deserve.
Let us never forget all of the animals and ecosystems we’ve sacrificed in the name of commerce and growth. Let us never forget those facilities that were built to replace nature so that we might have places to shop, as those facilities now sacrifice themselves to the future, an internet shopping jungle aptly named Amazon.
Let us never forget the Asian Americans, Native Americans, African Americans, and in general, poor people of all creeds and colors, whose lives were sacrificed in the building of this absurd capitalistic military industrial complex.
If I were to continue, and I certainly could, I’d be charging forth into beating the dead horse territory (Never forget the horse!). Thus, I will wrap this up with one last nod to my ever-enduring cynicism. Let us never forget the cynics, who forgo any opportunity to live happily in this country, nay this entire fucking world, in the name of truth, contempt, and Sisyphean wind-railing.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Three aborted fetuses walk into a bar. They would have been U.S. citizens with the opportunity for success, failure, paying taxes, and most importantly, consumerism. Instead, just as with their conception, their fate was determined outside of their own choosing. Lucky jerks.
While abortion rights have generally been the most divisive political tool of my lifetime, to my knowledge (and though I'm certain this is not original thought), I’ve never happened across the argument I’m about to lay out. Just recently, I saw information regarding the pro-life movement as a means of crowd control. The argument is logical, though I think it falls short of a grander motivation. It's true, forcing people to have babies they may not be able to afford, or simply should not have for any number of reasons, also helps keep millions upon millions of people subjugated by their financial overlords. And we know how our overlords get wet in their naughty parts whilst day dreaming about all of their delicious control, don’t we?
We sure do. But, I would argue the control factor is secondary to a greater lust. Yes, there is something that makes a capitalist monster's tits tingle even more than control: profit. In general, a Kingdom’s citizenry is its most valuable gross domestic product. That’s why the power players want those baby factories pumping the little shits down the conveyor. Money. So, while we continually point out the hypocrisy of the “right-to-lifers” who basically want to make sure every child is born, but don’t want to take care of humans that are already alive and need help, we need to stop being baffled by said hypocrisy. We need to recognize what a fantastic Trojan horse conservatism has built for itself.
Every baby born is an opportunity for those at the top of the financial food chain to make more money, including our government. First of all, child birth and rearing is big business. We all know this. Then those little shits grow up to be consumers and tax payers, just like you and me. Even if they grow up poor and stay poor, they still pay into the system in some form or fashion. The profit margins on the poor certainly aren’t as strong, but man, the poor sure are easy to bleed dry and dispose of.
Meanwhile, as we fight over abortion, the right hand if you will, no one will have time to watch what the GOP is doing with their left hand. It’s simple and brilliant. Even if Roe v. Wade is overturned, the GOP will just continue to convince their voting base the Dems are going to keep fighting for the right to kill those precious babies, which they will. And all the while, we the masses, whichever side of the fight we are on, remain this nation’s greatest gross domestic product. Rippin’ and runnin’, churnin’ and burnin’, spending, spending, spending, funneling that money all the way to the top, baby.
So, bring on those little consumer GDP babies. Each one is an opportunity for some douchenozzle like Jeffrey Preston Bezos or that robot Zuckerberg to take money from (let’s remember that the wealthy don’t have to be classically conservative to benefit from conservative rule…). Each new baby is a potential GOP voter and payer of taxes, and if they don’t turn out that way, just leave ‘em in the Pit of Despair.
Maybe there is some wicked Illuminati Billionaire Preppers Club getting ready for a climate apocalypse. I doubt 45 is in on the plans. Hims a tacky puppet him is. But, maybe a few of these ultra-wealthy global humanity board-game players realize the United States is about to shrink. If they want to comfortably survive climate catastrophe in their cushy Midwest bunkers, they don't want a bunch of poor foreigners banging on their doors.
Nope, nope. Best to keep them in their under-developed regions of the world where they will be easily wiped out by Mother Nature. The culling is the writing on the wall. Why try to prevent it? It's gonna happen anyway. Thus, fucktards scramble for enough wealth to make the I Will Survive team, while most of those that are already in the club appear to approach the oncoming madness with a, "Let's just make this shit worse and get the whole thing over with," attitude, like a coal-powered-yacht buying Slim Pickens riding a nuke.
Everywhere I go, I’m the problem. No less true today than the first time I had this realization over a decade ago. I’m the problem. Why? I’m not certain. Perhaps I simply take this entire situation too seriously.
I was raised in the Southern Baptist Church. Thus, I was indoctrinated at an early age that this is serious business. Life is serious business. We’re all in a battle for our very souls. Our very souls! An eternity in heaven or hell. Choose your weapon wisely. Maybe this is my problem. Apparently, I was highly susceptible to training. I was highly susceptible to feeling special. God chose me? Nice.
Now I’m middle aged and weary. Tired of hedging my spiritual bets. Tired of watching everything I was taught to believe in continue to crumble away. For the time being, to define the scope, let’s refer to the Golden Rule as the gist of everything I was taught to believe in.
With the Golden Rule, along with the rest of the loving teachings of Jesus downloaded into my fleshy brain goo, I walked away from religion years ago, probably around the same time I first thought to myself, “Everywhere I go, I’m the problem.” Of course, despite having walked away from the religion that helped train me into believing I was a spiritual being, I’m still formed by those teachings. The program files are still running in my brain goo cpu. My heart’s desire to be good, to do good, to protect my soul against an eternity of damnation, that desire still rules my existence. Again, I call it hedging my spiritual bets.
Back to point, perhaps I take this whole situation too seriously. I look around at a world that appears to have lost its collective mind. Even those screaming into the wind that none of this is as it should be have likely given into lunacy (at least on some level), in order to survive all this nonsense. I’m certain I have. Why Bob, why?
All content is provided with reckless abandon and subject to your scrutiny. That's the deal.