Saturday, October 29, 2011

Monster Envy: The Halloween Post

Perhaps I'm in the minority but I like my heroes to be accessible. I don't want to look up to some unattainable image with jealousy and be content with simply admiring someone else's ability to be. No, I want my influences to inspire me to self actualize, to be all that I can be and all that jazz.

I think that it is safe to say that in life I have taken the road less traveled and FYI Robert Frost IT HAS made all the difference. Unfortunately, the "difference" is that my life is crap. Don't get worried dear reader, this isn't a cry for help I'm just trying to articulate a point.

I used to like horror movies. Correction, I used to like the idea/thrust behind the genre of horror.  A few of the more successful horror films had at their heart genuine characters with genuine yearning and intent. In many cases  the killers had justifiable reasons for embarking on their reign of terror. Jason Voorhees lived his entire life as a deformed teased kid. One day he went to camp at Crystal Lake and ended up drowning due to the negligence of the camp councilors. Sure, maybe his mother got a little over zealous with a knife in the first installment of the series but after the plucky kids knocked her off Jason had twice the reason to grow into a beefy, immortal, goalie mask wearing killing machine.  

What about Freddy Krueger? He was the bastard child of a mother who was raped and impregnated by the inmates of a sanitarium for the criminally insane. After that he was abused, tormented and bounced around to several foster homes. Even if Freddy didn't end up killing hundreds of people it's not like he was destined to be president. 

Finally, Nosferatu/Old school vampires. Vampires of yesteryear were clammy black eyed rodent looking animals who only came out at night. Sure, vamps can't go into direct sunlight because it causes death, but methinks the original vamps refused to be seen in daylight because they were too hideous to creep out of the shadows. Vampires have no reflection in the mirror because they have no soul and are technically dead but having no reflection is also an unstated commentary on their exterior appearance. Did vampires really not appear in mirrors or did mirrors just refuse to recognize them because they were ugly?

Personally, I don't endorse killing for recreation or revenge but I do identify with the underlying themes behind the characters I mentioned. These stories are about tormented people/creatures who were never given a chance at normalcy in their lives. After a long period of unwarranted hatred and rejection they used that suffering as fuel to develop superior strength, intellect and will. They then take vengeance on a world that refused to accept them, a world who beat them down and tried to destroy them.  Besides the virgin who beats the killer in the the old horror films the rest of the people slayed are abhorrent human beings. For this reason we tend to cheer the killer on his/her quest for some twisted form of justice.

But one day that all changed. The heroic, ugly, outcast monsters who sought to neutralize the gap between the haves and have nots were staked through the heart. In their place an army of teenage heart throbs and heart throbettes took over. Vampires were no longer hideous creatures of the dark rather they were youthful athletic models destined to remain young and beautiful forever. The hunger for blood was once seen as a monstrous practice performed by a demon who forfeited his soul in order to stave off the decay of his body and the permanency of death.  Now blood is merely used as a device to heighten sexual tension and immortality is merely used as a device to reinforce the importance of youth and vanity.

In current slasher movies (spoiler alert) all of the killers are the cool kids. Killing is no longer a last resort brought upon by mental illness and an inability to fit in with the world. No! these days killing is en vogue.  Cool Trevor doesn't kill because of years of abuse he kills just because he's bored.

Mental illness, sadness, despair were the last refuge that the fringes of society had. For a while there everyone ignored the darkness within our species for the uncomfortable, inconvenient blight that it was. That was until someone realized that you can turn suffering into mystery and mystery into sexuality. Now no dark corners remain. The anti hero has become an unattainable brooding male model who has 1000 years of life experience and the power of 10 men. We no longer shudder and quake for fear of creatures that lurk in the pale moonlight. There is no sympathy remaining  in our hearts for the aching loneliness of being passed over.  Today's monsters are not something we are afraid of but something we wish we could be. When we hear a bump in the night we don't get a knife, we grab our cameras and autograph pads instead.

Friday, October 28, 2011


I'm not a communist, I don't think that everything should be predetermined and rationed out. However, I'm starting to wonder if having absolute control over every minute detail of our lives is serving our best interests in the long run.

In another post I spoke of my strict grandmother who refused to let my brother and I leave the kitchen table until all of our vegetables and foul tasting fish were consumed. I'm certain that my father had it even worse with her when he was a kid. When he was young there wasn't a grocery store for miles so if he was hungry he was compelled to eat whatever gruel my grandma had made in bulk earlier that week. In his world growing up, in my early childhood the only alternative to starvation was eating that which could arguably called food AND eating all of it. 

With the commercialization of food, convenience was born but with the advantage of convenience there came a price. The hidden consequence of food sold for profit is that it is generally bad for you. Fast food is bad for us because it prey's on our susceptibility to getting hooked on things that are high in salts, fats and sugars. Further,  things that are low in nutritional value are generally easier/cheaper to produce The end result is that we become a nation of junk food junkies circling a late night Taco Bell parking lot like a bunch of overweight buzzards.

But, you know all of that already.  My problem is that I intellectually know that eating fast food is bad for me and for my life in the long run. Yet, if you put a bubbling hot pepperoni pizza and some lawn clippings drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette in front of me and ask me to pick one to eat, I will always pick the pizza. In addition, if you asked me to pick between a thin crust whole wheat pizza with feta cheese and arugula or the bubbling hot pepperoni with stuffed crust, I would pick the pepperoni. 

Perhaps you dear reader are superior to me. Perhaps your body is a temple and you have made the "connection." For you, I will extend the field of my argument in order to make my point.

If you ask people how many hours of television they watch per week they will typically downplay the number. Further, most people will also besmirch television programming as a cancer on their lives. Yet, in North America there is on average more than one television per household. For a nation of people who don't watch television and who hate the programming, we sure do buy some really expensive night lights. 

But I've already argued the hypocrisy of television watchers, today I want to talk about the programs themselves. About 15-20 years ago now a whole slew of new cable networks were introduced. The new wave of programming was intended to cater to more specified groups of television watchers. The idea was that not everyone wanted to watch the same type of programming at the same time. This model worked for a short while until everyone realized that you can make more money appealing to a general audience rather than a specific one. 

I'm not certain where the change began but we can certainly start from the present and work our way backward. MTV, a network created to show music videos and music related programming no longer shows music. The Discovery Channel a network dedicated to science, geography and understanding how things work has become the unofficial chopper and custom motorcycle building channel. The History Channel no longer talks about World War II and ancient Rome. Now the closest thing the Channel gets to telling tales of the past is when Chumlee tells Rick on Pawn Stars that he used to have a Teddy Ruxpin doll back in the 80's.

Whenever I lazily scroll through the channels I often come across a PBS special about intelligent underwater creatures or an incredibly interesting NOVA episode about the cosmos. As I get drawn in I think to myself "I sure am glad that these stations still exist because these programs are engrossing."  But then another thought permeates my mind and that thought is: "What was I watching? oh right, TMZ" I quickly change the show as it  murmurs something about the cuddle fishs' camouflaging technique and focus in on Harvey Levin murmuring something about Steven Bochco leaving STK. TMZ is an empty calories program but it doesn't expect anything of me intellectually. It entertains me with it's pop and zing. It tells me what opinion I should have and it over explains details that should be obvious by virtue of watching the clip. 

The very same thing would happen when I would go into a book store. I would think "Geez, this looks like it would be a nice place to sit down, read a book and be among my pseudo intellectual peers.  Yet, the only thing I can recall buying in a book store over the past five years is a coffee. I want so badly for these fixtures of my youth and these symbols of intelligent life to remain pure but I don't want to do any of the heavy lifting to support them.If given the choice between 2 intellectually stimulating channels or 200 channels of instant gratification, I will pick crap over content every time.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What's Your Sign?

The English language is in decline and I can only assume that other languages are following the same path all over Earf. As a yooth this conserned me becos I felt like peeple were getting stupider. I was like "Drone, your loosing you're mind and u don't even know it." But then I realized something, people weren't getting progressively stupider, our language was just evolving. 

As a species, we have had our artistic run. As I've previously mentioned, we were once amazed by the crafting of words and the emotions that they would elicit. However, somewhere along the way we lost interest in being patient and imagining things and instead focused on science and technology. It is difficult to teach someone the value of understanding a math problem when there are apps to solve them for us. In addition, what is the point of toiling away looking for an answer when the internet can provide it for us instantly?

Our lives used to have poetic tempo filled with grand journeys and deeps swells of emotion and longing. But, as I've also previously mentioned, there is little to be conquered and much of what we might have called living has already been lived. If there are no great things to achieve and no great things to discover without years of corporation backed research and development, just what the hell are we supposed to do with all our time? The answer, Do it faster. If we can't live one life well, perhaps we can live many lives all at once. 

Our lives are no longer measured in the quality of connections but rather by the quantity. As a blogger, I am superficially aware of how many people are following me and I desire to have more no matter how good the 1 or 2 or 3 comments are that I might get. 1 on 1 conversations are a liability. Anytime that I only talk to one person I am missing my opportunity to expose and market myself to a larger group. In addition the more specialized my blog posts are, the more people I alienate from wanting to follow my blog. The only solution then is to create generalized blog posts that don't interest anyone absolutely but kinda interest a large number of people.

If we take the above idea it can be applied to life and the way that we are all starting to communicate. I'm sure that many of you who are reading this have been out with a group of people and 1 or 2 people within the group continue to text with someone who is not there physically. As they text they will type in short form and use common/familiar sayings.  Rarely if ever does one of the texters use complex language unless one of them is trying to "out nerd" the other one. Most conversations that occur revolve around ones exterior appearance and the increasing/decreasing level of their attractiveness. People in groups will also talk about places they came from, places they are going or things that they did. Most of the things that these people do/think/talk about are common to the people of their geographical area. Occasionally,  "the funny one" of the group might find an opportunity to regurgitate a line from a favorite television show or movie at an opportune time. 

When we email each other it is the same LOLcat, Fail videos, Best pictures of the year, panda's after the earth quake pictures. Usually the cycle of receiving the same images is just long enough so that we spend the same 20-30 seconds re-familiarizing ourselves with the content every time before deleting the email. We don't really talk about anything interesting or unique anymore. As narcissistic beings we'd like to believe that it is a bad thing but I think streamlining our species into a homogeneous hump is progress. 

When cars were first invented they were considered luxuries and pieces of art. It didn't take long however for the necessity of vehicles to eclipse their artistic value. Now cars are pumped out by the millions in a factory. Recently we have tried to inject some of the passion back into the design but the best we can muster is a cheap callback to a past generation. Over the past couple of decades we have tried to experience the depth of human emotion and psychological problems but only long enough to develop a medication to combat the problem so that everyone keeps steadily marching in line.

Computers have created a generation of agoraphobic shoe gazer's who only venture out into the world to ascertain groceries. They/we/me don't want to expose ourselves to the light of day because the prospect of having a frightening and unpredictable conversation with a stranger is just too much to bear. We may not be self reliant creatures but we are increasingly becoming less reliant on each other and more reliant on our machines. Because of this, it would seem silly if we didn't expect our language to evolve in order to reflect our needs. 

We don't need to court people and win their love with poetry or song. If we travel to the other side of the earth we don't need to send a letter, we'll send a quick text and be back in 2 days. Relationships are less and less about two people growing and living together for the rest of their lives and more and more like a business contract. Both parties live in the same house and share the illusion that they live together, but they live two separate lives, together.

It is no big stretch then to assume that over the next ten years we will gradually talk/type less and less to each other. Like Stephen Hawking we will just scroll through a smaller catalog of phrases that will be updated every 2 months to coincide with the latest batch of popular culture phrases. We'll probably have some LED's installed in our clothing that light up to reveal attraction/rejection.If it can't be found in the LOLCats catalog it can't be said. We will speak in many images at first, then fewer, then perhaps none at all.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sometimes A Dream Is Just A Dream

The other night a show was on television in the background. I assume that it was Dancing with the Stars but I cannot be sure. During this particular segment there was a girl on who was a krump expert, I think that they are called crumpets. This crumpet weaved a familiar reality television tale about how dancing was her dream and the only thing that she knew how to do. At some point her mother was interviewed and it was revealed that she used the money allotted for the electricity bill in order to pay for her daughters dance classes.

As an observer we are supposed to take from this admission that her mother so deeply believed in her daughters talent and drive that her passion needed to be fostered over the families collective ability to see at night. For them, it worked out. The Krumper somehow managed a dancing career and she earned a feature spot on Dancing with the Stars. The message was clear: "Dream big, hold onto your dreams and never let go." It is the type of message and sentimentality that America can get behind. If you apply yourself, try really hard and want it bad enough, good things will happen. I don't want to diminish this message because being passionate and hard working is a great thing. However, I do feel that the other side of the coin must also be shown.

Every X-factor, American Idol, America's Got Talent show has the same premise. A hardworking, unrecognized nobody from somewhere in the middle of the country possesses a huge unrecognized talent. These people are burdened with children, bills, drugs, early childhood trauma. Their only way out of their horrific nightmare is for America to witness their inner awesome and catapult their fledgling career to the next level. For each cycle of the show about 4 out of 50,000 realize that dream. The rest of the people (the failures) are served with even more self doubt and tragic life circumstances.

All of their lives they were told that if they put their eggs in one basket and prayed to the god of money and success that their dreams would come true. The real reality is that most of our dreams do not come true. Further, investing your entire life into something without objectively assessing your own level of skill is reckless and irresponsible.

How about a reality show called "American Idol The Failures." The show would be shot documentary style like the little vignettes that are spliced into every program. we would visit the mobile home of Johnny failure in Mobile Alabama. Now thirty pounds heavier and rocking a strike beard he tearfully laments through sips of Budweiser how his wife and kids left him when HE left to pursue his American Idol dream. He quit his job at the cattle ranch/quarry/steel mill to pursue his passion and lost his medical insurance along the way. In a freak tractor accident he ran over his own foot, pulverizing it. Unfortunately due to having no insurance the wound festered. Johnny eventually had to get his friend Marcus to do some "doctoring" which involved pouring moonshine on his bloated leg and hacking it off with a chainsaw.

If the desire to be famous was promoted like a gambling addiction rather than a test of strength and willpower how many of us would still be obsessed with it? If fame was a sickness that needed to be cured how many of us would circumvent modest opportunity time and time again. Fame is a fickle lottery. Even talented people are passed over because they don't have the right "look". No one gets their 15 minutes of fame anymore and very few get 15 seconds. For every success story there is 100 suicides and 1000 broken homes. Dreams are great things to have just remember that many of them turn into nightmares that you cannot wake up from.

Monday, October 10, 2011

What Your Baldness Says About You

No one balds gracefully. Baldness is a microcosm of death. Your hairline is stripped away follicle by follicle and there's nothing you can do to stop it. Perhaps, if you are lucky you can throw a little Rogaine on it to temporary quell the beast of baldness but eventually the sparse reality will catch up with you.

You might be thinking "Baldness is more commonly accepted these days, it ain't so bad." and you would be correct. However, do you know what is even more commonly accepted these days? having hair. If you are a balding man the number of people who will date you is immediately cut in half. With hair, you have a choice to go bald and that choice is what makes all the difference in the world. This isn't to say that some men (or women) are unable to compensate or overcome their baldness it is just an assertion that going bald has never enhanced an individuals attractiveness potential.

While there might be people out there who find bald men or women attractive this rarely if ever gives a balding person a sense of security or satisfaction. Most baldies are ashamed, afraid or hateful of their baldness. To prove this I will now discuss the various types of bald/balding people and through their baldness extrapolate characteristics of their personalities.

Generally speaking their are two buckets that balding people fall into. One is where the baldie is aware and honest about their balding and after a period of regret takes the necessary steps toward accepting the change in their lives. The second group are people who try to cover up their baldness like a poorly planned murder. Since people who are more honest with their baldness are a little less abhorrent  I'll address them first.

The Statham:  This particular type of baldness is employed by a more attractive section of the bald race. The object of this style is to keep the remaining hair tightly cropped to the skull in a neat and aerodynamic cut. It is usually used by men who would look like cancer patients if they shaved off their hair completely  and as such must leave a little stubble to fill in the gaps, bumps and lumps. The intention of this hairstyle is to say: "Sure I'm bald but my athletic physique, ability to kick ass and drive Audi's more than makes up for my lazy hair genes. 

Biker Bald: Biker bald also known as the "Vincent Diesel" is a close cousin of the Statham. This style however is generally used by a girthier gentleman who doesn't care if it looks like a pack of hotdogs got glued to the back of his rolly bald head. This look says: "Yes, I had hair but one day it gave me too much lip so I murdered it." Often this bald style comes equipped with head tattoos of horns, wings or various other gang insignia to help cover up all the negative space. 

Beard Bald: Beard bald is a hilarious game that your genes play on you. Just as you begin to mature and grow facial hair you begin to lose the hair on your head. But not to worry! you've got a great way to recreate your youth. Instead of being bald on the face and hairy on the top, now you're hairy on the face and bald up top. This hairstyle says: "If I walked on my hands no one could tell the difference."

The Aristocrat: AKA the Mogul:  This hairstyle is generally used by men of great stature or wealth. This over 40 hairstyle is tantamount to a soul patch, it's a little bit of hair that is grown simply to annoy others around you. This hairstyle says: "If you say anything stupid about my hair you'll never work in this town again."

The Skullet: AKA the mad scientist. Popularized by homeless people and conspiracy theorists the skullet is chiefly a product of neglect.  More often than not addiction, "the voices" or a straight jacket get in between the skullet wearer and a pair of scissors. For added effect the skullet is enhanced if the bearer has curly afro like hair. This hairstyle says: "I am in no way connected to reality."

But enough about the self aware, let's move on to those who refuse to recognize the passing of their hair era.

Question: Who is the first person to recognize that you are bald? 
Answer: Everybody else.

The sad joke about going bald is that the 2 or 20 times that you look at yourself in the mirror each day pales in comparison to the amount of times that people in public are going to see you from a myriad of unflattering angels. The more deceptive you try to be in an attempt to salvage your hair loss the less trustworthy you appear as a person.

The Dead Animal: The most common solution to eradicate baldness is to staple what looks like a dead squirrel to the top of your head. Whether it is an ill fitting wig or the pelt of a recently deceased forest dwelling mammal, this hairstyle is a refusal to be bald at any cost. Well, I suppose not any cost because a more expensive hair piece might appear a little more convincing. The attachment toward vanity and youth is so strong to the hair piece wearer that they are content if only one out of every 100 people believe that "it's real." This hairstyle says: "I have a lot of secrets."

The Comb Over: The comb over is the most conventionally lampooned hairstyle by comedy sketch writers. On the positive side this hairstyle says that the bearer is willing to do whatever it cover his bald head.The comb over cannot stand the thought of his shiny chrome dome being exposed to the harsh light of day. He is content however with a few strands of unusually long hair being swept across the top of his forehead.  The comb over simply can't let go. As long as the premise of hair remains somewhere within the vicinity of his head he will grow it out and drag it across the valley.  The  comb over should be involved in balancing the budget because he is willing to stretch anything to make it work. His hairstyle says: "I am skeezy."

Guy Who Constantly Wears Sunglasses On The Top Of His Head To Disguise Receding Hairline: Self explanatory.

The Coliseum: The Coliseum is a perimeter of transparent thinning hair that surrounds the exterior of a bald persons head. It is often confused with the Yarmulke but the notable difference is the sheer size of the bald spot. Much like a coliseum, the walls on the outside are tall and supportive while the center is completely barren. The owner of the Coliseum hairstyle will never pick up change or low value items that he drops on the ground. He will also generally avoid conversations with people taller than he is an effort to avoid exposing his giant centralized baldness. This hairstyle is often employed by sleazy salesmen and it says: "Everything looks good at a quick glance if you can talk around the details."


The Never Nude: The Never nude is like Sasquatch, you cannot be sure of his existence. From sun up until sun down and everything in between he's got his head covered with a hat, bandanna, towel or various other items to keep his baldness under wraps. In some regions the Never Nude is known as the Country Singer. Never nudes generally grow out the remaining hair left on their head to create the illusion that underneath their ten gallon hat rests a billowy mold of healthy hair.  The only indication anyone might get that they are bald is when a strong wind blows and they put both hands on their head to hold their hat in place. No man who has a full head of hair is "two hands worried" about his hat blowing off and rolling ten feet away. This hairstyle says: "I can't afford a toupee."

As you can see there are many different personalities within the realm of baldness. If you my dedicated readers can think of any more simply post them in the comments below and if I think they are good I will add them to the list. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Why I'm Not Rich

Besides the fact that I have no discernible talent and that I was not born into money, there are still several reason why I am not rich and probably never will be. Ignoring the few exceptions and the wealthy philanthropists who get all touchy feely and givey-givey with their money after they crack 20 billion, most people are rich because they don't give their money away.

Every moment of a rich persons life is consumed by monitoring every transaction to ensure that they are always getting the better end of the deal and if they aren't, they make certain that they can write it off as a business expense. Every conversation is an acquisition or a form of networking. Every purchase is an investment first, above all else. I'm not certain if assholes are drawn to making money or if the process of making money turns you into an asshole but most people with money are most certainly assholes.

I suspect that the problem with money is that everyone at one time needs it. In order to associate with people who have less money than you and keep your money, you have to do three things: 1) At all costs do not give people money! No matter how much they struggle, giving them money will only enable them to ask you for more money. 2) Make empty promises and excuses about how you'd like to help just....never do. 3) Develop a healthy paranoia about your money. Lie to everyone about your financial status. If you have to, cash out all of your bank accounts and bury the money in a tomb constructed beneath your investment properties in Bora Bora.

Being rich is also about perspective. When I think of inventions that I'd like to see in the world I want them to chiefly serve a beneficial purpose. I don't mean that they have to be altruistic, I just mean that like a car, stove or guitar the invention should ideally enhance life. I don't think that rich people have this same thought, in fact I think that a lot of people have an entirely different view on the situation.

Why build something that works and lasts when there is more money to be made by creating things that break or don't ever really work correctly? When the permutations of that idea are exhausted just start making crap that doesn't really do anything all. If you don't know what I am talking about just think about 90% of the "inventions" that are sold on the home shopping network.

The two pronged question that any wannabe rich person always asks when presented with any situation or idea is this: 1) How can I make money on that? 2) How can I make more money on that? Often times there is no way to make money and as such the rich person must figure out a way to break or alter an idea in order to make it profitable. If they cannot do this then they will surely introduce a middle man.

A middle man for those of you who don't know is someone whose sole purpose it is to extract dollars from your wallet. A middle man is different from a trained professional who provides a service. Middle men create superfluous jobs and job titles and will scare you with advertising so that you'll come running to them for help. If you don't know who I am talking about anyone with the word "Agent" or "Life Coach" in their job title is a good start.

As as thinking member of the world I anticipate that some people will do a poor job sometimes and will need assistance, the only difference is that I wouldn't seek to make a profit out of it. Secondly, sometimes a helping hand can be a gift or a gesture of love and not fodder for a future manipulation or "business venture."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Unnatural

Many of us start life with misguided ambition. Our socialization from birth to early childhood generally establishes distinct gender roles. Because of this it is not uncommon to find boys who want to grow up to be fireman/athletes or astronauts and girls who want to be veterinarians or actresses. As children we do not possess the awareness that we will in all likelihood not become one of these things.  Whether it is because of a lack of coordination, height, weight, physical strength or mental ability we all end up doing different things regardless of our similar childhood dreams.

The good news despite our shortcomings is that many of us discover our true talents as a result of not measuring up in other fields.  Once a specific aptitude reveals itself we are able to cultivate it into a trained skill. Eventually the hope is that the skill will be profitable and that we can make a career out of what we are good at.  For my entire life I've been waiting for my great mysterious skill to present itself but I have as yet to find it.

I'm not particularly good at math. If I pay close attention and use a lot of effort I can generally figure out the problem. My hangup with school math was that I was never content with merely accepting that there were predetermined steps toward arriving at an answer. If no new ground was being covered I was easily distracted. Sure, if I ever understood the absolute meaning/function of an equation it was certainly inspiring, but not inspiring enough for me to work at understanding math to any complex degree.

In the field of science there was also a lot of math so already we got off on a bad foot. Next, there came important AND serious writing where you had to be responsible and conjure up hypotheses.  Even worse  these hypotheses had to be supported with facts derived from tests, tests which I had to design and monitor for inconsistencies. BORING! Don't get me wrong I love science and sciency things. However, I prefer to read about scientific discoveries retrospectively and then regurgitate that information to family and friends in order to appear intelligent.  

If I had any natural ability early on in my life it was sadly with the "sport" of five pin bowling. Yes, I really cleaned up the pins as a child bowling star, in Canada, in a sport that no one else plays or has any interest in. I was also an adequate all around sports player but nothing I could have eventually parlayed into a scholarship.

I suppose I am a fairly creative person but of all my creative pursuits: writing, drawing, music I do not feel that I possess a master skill in any of them. About 10 years ago I thought that if I just kept concentrating on areas that I am quasi talented in that eventually one ability would stand up and scream "I AM A SKILL!!!" Alas, that day never came.

My additional thought is this: Perhaps there are people who are far less skilled than I who have decided they have a skill because they are so skill-less in all other areas. I know for a fact that there are several people out in the world who are under qualified to do their jobs but I wonder, do they know that they are underqualified? Could it be that they realized early on that they had no real intelligence and/or ability and decided to diligently work hard until they were able to climb up the ranks of employability? Do experts really think that they are experts or are the merely hiding behind a facade of importance hoping and praying that you don't see the little kid playing dress up?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Apathy Will Save The World

It is rare for people to change. It is even rarer for people to change preemptively in order to avoid catastrophic danger. How many relationships have been saved by making a long lasting extreme personal change? Not that many. Moreover, how many cheating and/or abusive husbands have corrected their behavior without the threat of imminent divorce looming over their head? Even fewer. So it comes as no surprise then that people (as a whole) are not moved to change when multiple ambiguous problems threaten to drastically alter or end our lives.

From a Darwinian aspect, this is the way that human life has always been. Our ancestors assembled and mobilized both north and south. Many of them perished because of the harsh winters and scarcity of food while others dried out in burning barren deserts. Ultimately, their fate was decided by external forces. A strange coincidence associated with the mass death of our ancestors was that the remaining moderates who remained alive made great intellectual leaps while the human population was greatly decreased. If the people of the past were able to predict and record the weather perhaps millions of lives could be saved. It could however be argued that the millions who died would have still stubbornly persisted toward their imminent death. The reason they would have done this is the same reason a man refuses to read a map or ask for directions. Pride and selfishness often dictate our actions whether or not a more logical counter argument exists.

Unfortunately these days, too many do-gooders exist. The problem with do-gooders is that they are generally loud and proud and they want results. Even more problematic is that many of these do-gooders also have money so that they can publicize their cause. The biggest problem with them unfortunately is that they are small percentage of society and as such have no real impact.

You might be thinking "Perhaps they aren't revolutionizing the world but they are making an impression." Certainly they are however, the long lasting effects are like taking a garden hose to a forest fire. All of their attempts are realistically just prolonging the inevitable. I was under the impression that a do-gooders intention was to save the world not to plan an "I told you so" moment in the future. These worldly problems started long long ago, then it turned into a snowball which started gathering momentum and rolled downhill. Consequently that snowball melted due to global warming (ahem, climate change) and turned into a swampy, bug infested skin cancer party.

Another problem with that whole pride thing I mentioned earlier is that some people refuse to call it quits and pull the plug. It is a strange contradiction because if you and I as individuals had a little more forethought and persistence in the beginning we wouldn't have to fight so hard and for so long at the end. But let's face it, the masses don't enjoy exercising, the masses don't enjoy eating vegetables, the masses don't enjoy staying sober and refraining from recreational drugs. All of these things rob our strength and vitality and if we are not able to change ourselves for the better in our own lives what is the likelihood that we are going to change to benefit the lives and futures of the faceless masses?

But, there is a solution and the solution is just as simple as many people's position toward politics, apathy. In the immortal words of Paul McCartney "Let it be." Of course his intention was one of peace and harmony but it still applies to today. On the small scale think of a show like Jersey Shore. You may find the characters to be abhorrent and a pathetic excuse for television programming. Your first instinct might be to complain and tell everyone you hate it. Or, you might become super aggressive and lobby to get it yanked off the air. The problem with that big idea is that you would create controversy and ultimately shine the light of recognition onto a show that might have quickly faded into obscurity. By taking issue with it you end up prolonging its life and even worse you probably end up watching the show weekly in order to criticize it. All it takes is a few million people to gasp in disgust on a regular basis to keep it on the air. However, if you simply ignore it and allow it to reach its point of saturation eventually it will go away and leave no lasting impact on our culture.

I know the world is dying and I know that you, a free thinking bleeding heart are sad to see it being stripped away bit by bit. Whether it takes 2 days or 20 years our civilization has ended. Spare me the application of band-aids on gaping wounds and allow the world to succumb. Whether it manifests in floods, meteor showers, nuclear war or world wide zombie plague just let it happen. I'm not even pushing this from a selfish perspective. I don't own a gun so if I survive the apocalypse I will probably be herded into slave labor by a motorcycle gang. I don't think that we(self included) as a people respect the threat of our dying earth and as such, the only way out is through experiencing it.