Tuesday, December 27, 2011

To Russia With Love...

I haven't looked at this blog in months. I don't even like it much. I felt a desire to write today though, so here I am.

I wanted to start an entirely new blog, but I couldn't decide on a title for it, so I figured I'd just throw my feelings out in to the world using this old rag. I refused to change coarse due to minor uncertainly regarding a new direction. A story as old as humanity itself.

I was a little surprised to find that a handful of people are still reading it from time to time. That's the Internet for ya'. Some Russian guy seems really interested. He hit every post several times. Hello, Russian guy. Hello to you.

I don't know who this person is. Could be anyone. I have no way to tell. Could be some crazy American ex-pat. Or a college student. Or some laboring fringe character. Or a North Korean slave who works in a lumber mill in Siberia. That last one is unlikely. I'll assume, however that the person is a Russian resident who has never visited the patch of dirt on which I live. Regardless, I would like to share a tale. The story of what life is like for an average man, on an average day, In America....

Once upon a time...

I live on the outskirts of an old, industrial type of city. It lies at the confluence of two of the largest rivers on the continent. Decades ago, before the Interstate highway system was built, my city was a major shipping hub due to those rivers. Once the highways opened, much of the economy here died. The heart of the town began to economically rot, and that continued for 50 years. All the people who could afford to do so abandoned the city and moved to the outskirts, which creates a micro-economy somewhat healthier than the average for this country.

It's expensive to live on this special little patch of dirt. I should leave, but I'm not sure exactly where I should go instead, so I'm stalling.... See the recurring theme?

I live in a condominium, less than 1,000 square feet. I have a wife and a cat. We procure the necessary money to live here through a variety of means. My wife works for the worlds largest health insurance provider (which profits from the sickness of others). I work at different places all the time, but chiefly, I work for corporate food providers (which profit from making people sick). You see, much of the food here is poisonous. As is the health care. As is everything. Poison leaks in to the ground-water, it falls from the sky, and it flows through our veins. Most of us survive by working in the poison industry.

The cat does nothing; it earns no wages. It sleeps a lot. Financially, it is a leech, but it helps us forget about our long days in the poison business when it frolics about and such, so we keep buying it's food so long as it doesn't bite excessively.

When I'm not hustling poison for a living, I also take care of my family. They are aging, so they need some help. I cook all of their food; nice, clean, healthy food, in an attempt to lessen their health burdens. Six decades of poison have hurt them greatly. This consumes many hours a week, and emotionally burdens me. Between the work hustle and the family responsibilities, I'm busy and tired. Really busy, and really tired.

Despite a history of hard-ships and an uncertain future, however, I am happy. The greatest thing about this place, and perhaps any place, is that there are many kind and wise people. Many of the people are educated. Many are progressively pursuing solutions in the ongoing struggle to increase the quality of daily life for everyone. Many have rejected the horrible beliefs and behaviors of our ancestors, and are moving forward with love and positive energy toward a far superior reality. The Internet is everywhere. In some senses, This is the greatest moment to exist in any location on Earth. Many of us feel that the potential for improvement is virtually unlimited at this moment, and that our lives do have meaning.

It isn't all sunshine and roses though.

The government here is a mafia. It behaves like any mafia does. Our civil liberties are rapidly eroding. This mafia is responsible for an uncountable number of deaths globally. I'm sure you're already aware of this though...

Many people are brainwashed by the government. They wrap themselves in the flag, and are willing to die for the principles they imagine it represents. It's scary.

The religions here are a mafia. They behave as other mafias do. They collect funds and lobby the government (although they don't pay taxes) in an attempt to erode civil liberty. Another recurring theme...

Many people are brainwashed by the churches. They point to The Bible as a rule book, and are willing to die for the principles they imagine it represents. It's fucking horrifying.

There are many fools. They are full of hatred. Foreigners, ethnic minorities, and homosexuals are the main targets of their anger. Many of them believe that their God agrees with them. Their primary motivation, however, is fear. They're merely looking for an easy target to point the finger at. They see the house of cards collapsing around them. The economy is failing globally. The state is becoming increasingly militaristic. The media preaches frightening propaganda in an attempt to convince us that we must be physically controlled, that we must depend on the mafia-type groups for survival and protection. It's an alarming reality, and frankly, many of our citizens are too soft, and weak, and ignorant to accept it. They cling to the flag and Bible out of desperation. We'd be much better off without them.

I hope we are evolving in the right direction. I'm just not sure though.

Maybe it's the same in Russia. Perhaps humanity is the same everywhere. I imagine that whoever the Russian reader is, they are someone who feels at least loosely the same as I do about the nature of this reality. I sure hope so.

From St. Louis to Vladivostok, I send my love to you...

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Line In the Sand. Well, Honestly, It's Actually Just Sand

Perhaps it's time to change the title of these scribblings. There is no more cooking. At least for awhile.

I took a new gig. These days, I supervise a group of minimum wage earning youths. I fiddle with spreadsheets. I answer phone calls from a millionaire business owners, while I'm very busy, to discuss increases of 0.2% in food cost percentages. I field complaints about excessive mayonnaise from 39 year old housewives who haven't had intercourse in four months. I whistle when I get that nervous feeling; that suspicion that perhaps the cage door is locked, and that even if I push on it, it may not open.

I stand outside in the alley for three minutes, staring down a storm drain, and try to slow my thoughts. These are the words I say to myself: "Don't freak out man. Society is fucked. This entire social reality is a sham. You're just another fish in this big poisoned pond. Don't overestimate your importance in the universe. Just get through the day, collect your paycheck, and try not to shoot everyone. This is life as you have always known it.".

I go back inside, and my bosses love me. They think I'm the cat's meow.

Maybe I'll tell them who I actually am someday. Maybe not.

I'm micro-managing up a revolution these days. It's sad. I feel like a prostitute. But Jesus, I have to retire someday, somehow, right? The government sure as hell isn't going to help me when I'm old. Or young. Or ever. I need to make some decent cash, sooner rather than later.

Maybe I should just buy a bunch of canned goods, bottled water, ammunition, and weed. I could start writing anti-statist leaflets and handing them out in the park. Maybe I should just sell everything I own and live in the park too.

Too many decisions to make. That's always been the trouble for guys like me.

I'm spending most of my free time trying to sit still and slow down my thoughts. I read, and nap, and try to figure shit out. It's hard to tell if I'm making any progress or not.

Here's what I've learned so far.

I've been trying to figure out the nature of this existence for 17 years now. Either I'm dull and idiotic, or the answers are totally above and removed from anything I am capable of fathoming.

There is some degree of wisdom in honestly recognizing that you aren't wise.

There is zero logical evidence that any supreme being gives a rat's ass about the welfare of the beings who reside on this magical rock. I'm not saying it's impossible, I'm saying the facts simply don't back up the theory.

The previous statement, once accepted and realized, is painful for some, frightening for some, and liberating for others. For me, it's painful. I really wish someone gave a fuck about this train wreck.

Virtual all of my training as a youth was wrong. It is sheer foolishness to care about most anything I was taught as relevant to life. Humanity, my trainers included, is largely confused in regard to everything.

Being loved holds real value. Loving others holds even more value. If authentic, love weakens the ego. Humans are incapable of growing while the ego is allowed to stand it's ground. Don't fear a fairy tale about the devil. Fear your ego.

I suppose that's about all I've learned. Progress as a human? Not sure. Do my thoughts even matter? Probably not.

But I'm here. And I'm saying the thoughts out loud as they pass through my mind. I'm absolutely honest about everything, with everyone.

Except my bosses.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A "Sunny D" Monday...

I was about 12 years old when I first knew that something was terribly wrong.

It was during the 5 o'clock news, on a weekday. I was alone in the house. It had been a bad day. I used to have a lot of trouble getting along with my peers. Sometimes I still have trouble getting along with my peers. So I was sitting there, feeling melancholy, watching the news.

What type of 12 year old, when left unsupervised, chooses to watch the news anyway? Something was already a little off I suppose.

Even now, 19 years later, I can remember each of the stories. A man was shot and killed in a robbery. Police later killed the perpetrator of the crime. He had stolen 150 dollars and some weed from another guy.

Two people were killed in a car accident on I-270. There they were, commuting to somewhere or another in their American made family sedan, and bang, one mistake and they were dead. Smashed like bugs and then burned in a raging fire.

A woman was missing. No one had seen her for four days. The news people gave me her description and license plate number, and advised me to keep an eye out for her.

A small shopping center was being named after a soldier who had died in a helicopter crash. His family was there at the ribbon cutting. They were honored by the gesture, and made some sweeping emotional statement about how their child had sacrificed everything for his beloved country. He died in Southern Illinois somewhere.

The weather man said that there would be thunderstorms tomorrow. He seemed very concerned about every ones safety, and suggested that I stick around until after the break for more information.

The commercials came then. The first one was for a real estate company. It showed a happy young couple closing the deal on a new house. The next commercial was for a beverage called "Sunny Delight". These kids, who were also around 12, had been playing baseball. Apparently, they were very thirsty. They were extremely excited about drinking some fake orange juice.

It was at this exact moment that something snapped in my mind. A powerful realization swept over me. This "Sunny D" commercial was bullshit. And real estate companies were bullshit. Strip malls, dead soldiers, police, criminals ,money, and flaming Ford Crown Victorias were all utter bullshit. The missing lady? Probably ran away. Or killed herself. Couldn't stand anymore of the bullshit.

Within moments, I would identify all sorts of additional bullshit. My parents, their jobs, their cars and house, my Bugle Boy jeans, dog food made by Purina, lawn mowers, gem stones, the grocery store, the church I occasionally visited; all bullshit.

Suddenly I could see what it was that had always been lying below the surface. That vague sense of dissatisfaction that I had felt for my entire life became understandable for the first time. I realized that my entire reality was a bunch of nonsense. The materialism, the patriotism, the entire modus operandi of everyone I knew; it was all a big waste of time and energy. The adults who guided my life were as clueless as I was. My parents were not really in control. Security was an illusion. A childhood fancy. The world around me was a big cluster-fuck, and all of the people in it were crazy. Something, a very long time ago, had gone terribly wrong.

As an adult, I've adjusted somewhat to the harsh realities I exist within. Furthermore, I've discovered some elements of life that are valuable. I'm pretty comfortable in my own skin.

Yet I still live in this horrible culture. I work for a corporation. I spend an absurd quantity of time earning money, spending money, and thinking about money. I own all sorts of shit that I don't need. I pay taxes, against my better judgement. It truly is an incredible waste of time and energy.

Today was the type of day when I really question whether the effort is really worth it. It seems a horrible tragedy that we must waste so much of our lives working like slaves just so we can have luxuries we could do without. In any decently run universe, we'd retire at age 45. By the time most people can retire, their best years are long gone. They are lucky if they can enjoy 15 years of non-slavery by the time they die.

I was doing some paperwork at work today, and I kept finding my self staring blankly at the wall, lost in a daydream.

I saw myself in the woods, 12 years old and barefooted, picking berries from a bush. My family was near by, digging roots from the rich soil with stone tools. My fingernails had blood underneath them and around the cuticles from butchering an animal an hour earlier. I was looking forward to walking home to the long and narrow house that we all slept in. I would laugh and eat and smell the odor of fire cooking flesh when I got there. As the sun went down, I would inch closer to the glowing cooking fire, in order to avoid the chill of the evening. The evenings are so cold, but I wouldn't mind, because the sun always returns in the morning.

When I snapped out of the daydream, I immediately wondered "Could this ever become my reality?" I closed my eyes and for a few seconds, saw only the black behind my eyelids. Suddenly though, I saw a small vibration within the darkness. A tiny, yet violent vibration. Quickly, the vibration ceased as the disturbance grew in size exponentially. Now it grew rapidly, so rapidly that it was moving toward me, moving away from me, moving in every direction toward everything, faster than the speed of sound. I momentarily sensed it's burning hot energy closing in, and then, bang, it hits me, nuclear heat tearing me apart, destroying my entire being, ripping my molecular constructs down to atoms, sending them flying in every direction at the speed of light.

When I opened my eyes, All I saw was an Excel spreadsheet on a twelve inch monitor, smelled bread burning, and heard a teenage girl shriek in panic.