Thursday, April 30, 2015

Krog Street Moses

After a somewhat stressful 14 hour day of work, the gate on the parking garage we used for parking today decided to quit functioning. We were trapped unless the first car finally said fuck it and drove through it (highly unlikely, the driver looked rather meek). After sitting in the que for about 15 minutes I decided I had had enough. Striding down the ramp with the distinctive air of a pissed off, possibly high grip (all interchangeable synonyms for each other) I mean mugged the locations rep and security guard blowing past to the gate. It had gigantic flat head + alan wrench screws - but flathead, I can work with that. "I'm taking the fucking thing off" I announced to who, I'm not exactly sure but it just seemed appropriate to give someone the opportunity to object. The security guard shot the locations guy a look as I headed back to get my tools - "is he serious?"

Yeah, I'm fucking serious. 

A couple people offered to help and one woman ended up assisting. At first I didn't think I was going to have a flat head big enough but I popped the first screw out as Mr. Security Guard talked to presumably his boss on a cell phone. 

"Yeah, they have probably forty cars stuck in here". 

Scre four pops and we wrench the bar free. My coworker walks off with the bar as if it was the final piece of the Berlin Wall. I pack up my shit and head back up the ramp to my car. "Be free" I proclaim as if I'm Moses. I may have even raise my arms up, my memory is a little foggy of that part. Immediately I thought "that was fucking stupid". As I passed the six or seven cars before mine, everyone cheered and waved their arms in the air. If you had been there you may have heard "grips rule" come out of my mouth, further ruining the moment. Honestly I felt kind of embarrassed by the attention. I mean what had I really done? Only what anyone with chutzpah and a give-a-fuck meter on empty would do - drop the goddamn barrier. 

As I pulled out I got the impression I might have upset the guard. I said "take it easy" as I pulled out clocking a completely bewildered look on the locations dudes face. "Take it easy he says" the security guard says scoffing. 

I am taking it easy, with a beer (or two..or three) at the Earl - because I kind of fucking deserve it. I am the Krog Street Moses. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Violence - The Universal Language

I've always viewed violence as something evil people use in an effort to control their world, but no longer. With all the discussion about rioting and the mother caught slapping her son caught up in the fray, my opinion is changing. When children are born, they can only cry and flail about to communicate that something is wrong. When they develop some motor skills, they may throw things or hit to get a point across. Once they start learning how to speak, much of that violence goes away. Children who have something traumatic happen in their lives like a divorce often become violent for spell until they understand and work through their feelings. Physical action (violence) is like the assembler code of our brains. It's communication in its most rudimentary form. 

The militant side of the civil rights movement was significantly motivated by not knowing how else to make things change. Malcolm X and Dr King had discussions about their diametrically opposed positions on how to move forward and Malcolm basically said that when the peaceful approach doesn't work, the militants would step in and make something happen. Once he came over to more of a moderate side he even offered to MLK Jr to be the "instigator" riling people up so that the government would get on board with King as the lesser of two evils. 

The problem with rioting is that it further reinforces people's prejudices in most cases and doesn't help the rioter grow. Instead of rioting, we need to all get together and talk honestly and openly and passionately - leaving bitterness at the door. I think most of us would be surprised to find that "the other side" is a lot like us with similar desires and fears about life. If we took the time to listen to one another then there wouldn't be the need to scream out in the universal language - violence. 

Pushing Back

With the recent increase of citizens armed with video cameras in the last few years, there has been an explosion of controversy that was mostly anecdotal previously. This has led to outrage and many acts of "civil disobedience" aka rioting. Rioting for any reason is stupid, immature and in many ways counter productive. While some changes may be made, the rioting further reinforces negative views of those who just want something to change. I completely understand the desire to just tear some shit up; however, I think there is a better way. 

Today at work I exchanged slightly heated words with someone who I felt was being condescending towards me. Nothing was destroyed but I still made my point - I'm not taking your shit. A few hours later he made the comment to someone else "watch out, he's feisty today". This time though, I didn't detect anything negative just the fact that he understood I wasn't going to be pushed around. 

Does it ever need to come to violence? Sometimes, but very rarely. In most cases making an organized stand of "we aren't going to take this anymore" while being ready to deal with the consequences is what gets attention: that's how unions and striking works. Most of the assholes up in their ivory towers think that they can just keep running over folks until someone shows them they cannot. The thing is, when you destroy property, injure folks etc, you don't look organized, you actually look weak. 

Occupy Wallstreet was a joke. You sitting there with a sign accomplishes nothing. If you want fair wages, start a company and pay people fair wages. Don't agree with how politics are handled in your city, run for office. If that doesn't work, refuse to pay your taxes. If enough people do it and you get national attention, something will change. 

Riots are the reaction of people who feel powerless and without option. The anger and resentment boils until it explodes into mayhem because it's the only thing you know to do. How about we link arms as brothers and sisters and say "We refuse to participate in your system". A fire can destroy a home or it can melt steel into a sword. It's all about how you use it. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Unbroken

This is an open letter to all my beautiful friends, of many races and sexual orientations. I love you all. 

I almost got into it on FB earlier today because a friend posted an article from last November about "white people rioting for no reason". I commented that "it was old news" because I wanted to see what her point was. It seemed fairly clear that it was a touchy subject when she asked what my point was and then followed it up with "don't get me started". I dropped it because someone else's page isn't the place to air my thoughts. Here it is: I'm completely fed up with the double standard in this country in regards to racism and sexism. I would never post an article about black people looting for no reason (or something similar) because I would be called racist because truthfully, it kind of is. I hate racism because I can relate to the general idea behind it - someone else says you are worthless and takes advantage of you. 

Growing up with severely religious parents, I was taught that just by nature of being a living human, I was evil and worthy of God destroying me. I didn't have a right to anything, nor were my thoughts and feelings considered valid. In addition to that I was harshly physically punished for infractions. I was also compelled to be a part time slave for my parents since fun wasn't godly and I needed to develop "character" through physical labor. If you think that I cannot relate then you can seriously, sincerely - go fuck your self. 

I heard a minority on a TV show going off on the person interviewing her claiming racism for all the "judgemental questions" like "I see you have a GED, why didn't you finish high school?", "why didn't you go to college?", "You have how many kids???" Etc. You know what? It is the same attitude I have felt before from people and I'm the "privileged white man". Someone fucked me over too but because of how I look, I'm perceived as part of the problem. Due to being a "ginger", I've dealt with my share of torment but I didn't have a group of other red heads to be empowered with. Probably due to all this, I really don't know, people seem to think I'm their punching bag and I'm usually the crew whipping boy - their words not mine. It's exhausting. So when you think "he doesn't have a clue" - I get it. 

I have had a black woman tell me "black people do everything better". At one point I lived in a neighborhood that was predominantly black and one day asked if myself and a couple friends could join a football game with some of the neighbor kids. They said sure and then started making comments about hurting the white boys. I didn't even have the ball but one kid lowered his shoulder and hit me so hard I cracked a rib. My point isn't to say "oh poor me, I experienced racism" but instead to say "I get it, it sucks". 

Don't get me started on feminism. I love women and think they are amazing beings. As someone who respects women it's frustrating to feel like "you're damned if you do, damned if you don't" when it comes to chivalry. You don't open a door someone is going to say your are rude while others will respond out of anger "what, you think I can't  do this because I'm a woman?" Getting bitched out makes it a little more difficult to be a decent person the next time (not that it lets me off the hook to be a good person). It's not about thinking you can't do something, it's a sign of respect like saluting someone in the military. I think men know deep down that women are superior in most ways and the ones that are honest with themselves try to show respect. 

When I stepped away from my religious upbringing and well, basically everything I had known, I joined a few online support groups. For a bit it was helpful but then I noticed that most of the people just wanted to bitch about the past and the religious people that had fucked up our lives. I'm more interested in moving forward so I left the groups for my own health. A lot of people feel they have to act a certain way or they are betraying their culture. The problem with that is that every culture has its problems and so to stick with what your status quo is, is only further perpetuating the defects. 

Like I said earlier, this isn't to say "poor me, I feel picked on" but to throw out the ideas of "it's on me now, forget all those bad folks" and also "am I doing the same thing to others that I want them to quit doing to me?"    Hopefully it will resonate with someone that will take it to heart. As a young parent I wanted to lash out at my kids the way my mother did to me but I stopped myself because I want to be better than her, so my kids can be better than me. Everyone needs to get their head out of their ass, stop being full of self pity and reaction and live the person they want to be no matter what anyone else says. It's hard, but it's the only way we are going to evolve - the few who choose to be stronger than the environment: the status quo fugitives - the unbroken. 

Which one are you?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Judgement Day

Always watching, documenting each experiment.
Ingredients chosen- forked roads.  
A permanent, perpetual record:
Blackmail. 
Training to hold the ever increasing weight,
Tip the scales before the rope is cut. 
Hoping the stocks will hold another:
Fear in love. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Scratches

Rubber mats covered the hardwood;
Everything square inch of floor and wall: 
Unblemished, 
Beautiful, yet austere.
Environment perfected - obsession for control:
A sarcophagus to memories stillborn. 
No indications of a life lived, battles waged. 
Denial of fallibility.
Always winning.
Always fighting. 
...Losing

Monday, April 20, 2015

Prosperity Gospel

Standing back watching a fake "how to get rich" seminar being filmed today I was filled with disgust for humanity. Despite the event being fake, the same electricity was in the air spawned by the theatrics and crowd that a real seminar has. There is something about getting people together and revved up that makes you feel like anything is possible - especially when it involves the idea of becoming wealthy. Human nature vacillates between abject laziness and frenetic survival seeming to miss striking a balance in between. Charlatans, both religious and otherwise, promise that "you too can be like them" but the truth that most don't see is these assholes have built their wealth on the backs of those who believe the selfish, delusional promises.

Growing up in a quasi-cult that hosted annual seminars where you could learn "secret principles to life" I saw first hand the intoxicating effect this type of dreck can have on the weak minded. The leader of the organization would expound "secrets God had given him" on aspects of life he had no experience in such as parenting and marriage. Unfortunately that did nothing to stop families from swallowing the "truths" hook, line and sinker. Say something with confidence and there is at least one fool who will believe you. 

There is no secret to life except that we have the power to create our reality in our own minds. We hold ourselves back because of fear, doubt and laziness. That isn't to say that everyone can achieve anything they can imagine or desire. In comparison to the universe we are insignificant which is why the story of David and Goliath is so compelling. Sometimes our audacity and gumption allow us to slay a giant and other times we die (they just generally don't write stories about the failures). It's like the moral of Kung Fu Panda - there is no secret ingredient to the secret ingredient soup. We all are powerful and capable of doing many things but we want short cuts, someone to do the work for us, things to be easy - comfort. It's hard - get over it and stop listening to the bullshit of these "motivational speakers" because you probably already know what you need to know - you just have to dig deeper than you want to. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tattered Boxes

It sat there on my stoop as rain beat down.
For how long I don't know - long enough to be soggy on the corner peeking out from under the awning. 
Used as a step to something else, 
A boot print marred one side - the mark of selfishness and need. 
Crushed corners,
Obviously opened more than once,
Cast aside upon my door step:
Fate testing my heart. 
Dismayed I surveyed the worn box placing it unopened in a corner. 
Eventually, unsure why, I sliced it open. 
Indescribable beauty lay inside - not what I was looking for, though exactly what I needed.
Packaging irrelevant,
Prejudice disabused:
Exteriors and Experiences proven inconsequential. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Derailed Logic

I'm going to rant a little here so just be forewarned that if you are sensitive, I may hurt your feelings. 

The Internet (and consequently Facebook) is rife with studies that supposedly prove things like "women who give blow jobs are happier" or "people who say fuck are healthier and happier". I don't know if people understand how logic works but connecting two things that are unrelated in a study to endorse your preferences is bogus. I'm not saying that those things just listed are bad; however, trying to get people to accept them through a crackpot study is just dumb. So many things are interconnected when it comes to happiness and individuality that choosing one thing as the cause of it is not only incorrect, it's ignorant and slightly offensive. The reason people generally are happy is because they feel free not because they are giving blowjobs regularly. What's happening is that the fruit of a mindset is being called the causation - there's a good chance you have it backwards. I say it's offensive because people want to use the "study" to try and find acceptance for how they want to live their lives. Just live the way you want to and if you are happy, then who cares about the rest. 

The same goes for articles like "the 10 struggles only a xyz will understand". Just because someone else feels the same way you do isn't necessarily justification - maybe you both need to grow. An extreme example: pedophiles could read an article and find camaraderie and encouragement but that certainly does not make the behavior right just because you have other people in your corner. 

Growing is hard work and requires the acceptance of the fact that maybe we do have things in our lives that could be improved upon. Use your brains people, think, live, evolve. 

Your President is Whack

It's official, Hillary is running for president again in what I expect will be one of the most controversial races in U.S. history. Barack Obama caused a stir with conservatives because of his politics but I feel like many people toned down their criticism to avoid being labeled as racists (a rant for another time). Unfortunately females in nearly every culture have been mistreated and maligned for all of history lending to an atmosphere where conservatives will feel more at ease to rail against Hillary. 

The point of this post isn't to endorse Hillary but to deal with the rage constituents work up towards opposing candidates as if it's an American past time. I'm not going to mince words here - shut the fuck up. A president does have a lot of power but is restrained by the Legislative branch. They are not monarchs who do as they will, nor are they capable of single handedly ruining the country. Most voters want to sit back at home and have everything taken care of for them by someone in Washington. When a candidate who opposes issues they feel are important it strikes fear because they feel powerless. But do you know why you feel powerless? Because you don't take matters into your own hands and instead have abdicated responsibility to politicians. If there is something you really feel strongly about, get out there and take some action yourself and then maybe you won't be so fretful when the "wrong person" gets elected. Grow up and act like adults that live in a free country. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Solar Flare

Rebuffed:
The Flaring,
The Menacing.
Finally weakening, 
Starved feeding on Lies. 
Lines of individual flux dampening.
Enveloped, taken in to the Darkness:
Looming, ominous to those still clinging to identity. 
Pulled apart, ripped down to the molecules. 
Every thing sharing everything,
As they explode too.  
Falling together. 
Falling...

Friday, April 3, 2015

We Don't Belong Here

Droning along through light traffic,
Lost in thought: waves, data, encryption. 
I pass the house we looked at together:
Quaint, freshly painted grey blue. 
It was a wish but still, something I pictured us in. 
The sign is down, my thoughts intruded upon by a twinge of sadness. 
"You're so fucking special" blasts out of the speakers at that moment. 
I am a creep,
We don't belong here.
Pandora's serendipity - I realize:
You've cracked my encryption,
Broken through the static,
Popping in when you choose,
Permeating my subconscious. 
You're so fucking special...
...we don't belong here......

Remember, Remember...

...the Friday before Easter. 

Today really isn't a "good" day in the sense that Catholics and Prostestants celebrate it. Good Friday marks when a bunch of religious folks killed a dude because he had some good ideas that threatened threatened them. The fact that he claimed to be the son of God might have had something to do with it but he wasn't out there raising an army or collecting sister wives - Jesus was doing good, promoting peace. After he was murdered people fixated on that, forming a new religion that eventually did the same thing to other people - killed them because they were different. 

Today should be a reminder of what religion really is: a system that crushes life and individuality because it is trying to maintain a status quo for those uncomfortable with change. Religion twists good ideas theough fear, judgement and pride perverting them, poisoning the well we draw from and supply the poor and downtrodden. "Here have something for your thirsty soul, but change everything about you or we'll be unkind to you." Sounds about what Jesus would have wanted...

Thursday, April 2, 2015

3 Stages of Biker Forgiveness

On my way home tonight I was sitting at a stop light when I heard the throaty rumble of a "biker" bike approaching. Brubummm pop poppPP POP - he's right next to my door now. Watching him thread between me and the car on the left I feel irritation kick in as he passes me, "Mr. front of the stop light line" himself. Jackass! The light turned green and #bikerlife was gone before my brakes disengaged. Whatever, I guess it's no big deal. Two minutes later - the rain hits. Maybe he's just trying to get out of the rain.....At least now I'm being understanding. Go me! 

I watched to see how he was reacting to the heavy rain. To my surprise his left arm was out, as the bike gently swerved back and forth, and I realized that's exactly what I would we doing - celebrating the rain, life. Now knowing that I could relate in a way, why was I irritated in the first place? 
It's like him being free and different made me insecure somehow. Maybe I just wish I was badass and had a bike...maybe I'm just a dick. He hadn't done anything to effect anyone (other than pop my eardrums 3 times as he rolled by). He was just being himself. 

We get irate at folks doing things that are different from us. It threatens us but only affects them. Instead of being pissed off or "trying to be understanding", how about we just realize that it's none of our business. Unless it does affect you or an unwilling/defenseless participant, how about we all just piss off. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Found

Laying next to you, skin touching skin - naked: shelter from a tempestuous world.
You hold me in your gravity - circling a beautiful, body and soul: the second side of us. 
I could live without you,
Spinning through cold emptiness alone,
But I cannot stop my perpetual search for you. 
I want you in my veins, 
Always present,
Gently warming my soul. 
Drawn in by your grace, magnetized by your passion - vibrancy stretching the bounds of the very universe: 
Enveloped in bliss. 
This is love - finding, being found. 

State of Mind

It was my 4th or 5th climb up the hill to get equipment from the truck this morning when I thought "this is kind of a bitch" paused and then realized "I really don't care". In my previous life I would have been annoyed because it was just more exertion adding to what already felt like an exhausting life. I'm three years in from when I turned my back on a world view that had been crammed down my throat and I've never been happier. Those three years have taught me a lot about life and for the first time I feel free and powerful. 

My circumstances have changed in many quantifiable ways lending to my contentment but it's mostly because I started to see that I could actually effect change and somewhat control my destiny. When you feel helpless and stuck it's not a recipe for sunshine and fairy dust. Finding my own sense of worth and power helped immensely but it is also tempered and complimented by acceptance of the things I cannot control. There are still times I'm exhausted from a long day at work and could begin to complain but why? That tiredness is just a fact of life and I have accepted as part of life for now. 

People say "I really wish xyz hadn't happened" or "wish you hadn't done..." That mindset puts an emphasis on the past instead of the present (which you have the power to mold). Instead we should say "I'm upset by xyz" and then deal with it. Wishing to change what has already happened shows a lack of confidence and / or drive. Actually, focusing only one (the past, present or future) is a recipe for mental illnesses like OCD. When you don't feel like you have the capacity to deal with life as it happens you try to preemptively set the stage which is a fairly futile endevour. Alternately ignoring the past and future and only living in the now is foolish because you can't learn from your mistakes or make wise choices when you don't consider tomorrow. Then there are those who live only for the future, the drive to make things perfect, but they miss out on the beauty of each day. 

Happiness is about 40% environment and 60% perspective. If you live in a free part of the world you have control over your environment but perspective is something you can change anywhere. No matter what your station in life, there are going to be menial parts that are annoying - I mean everyone has to poop and pay taxes right?

My life is fantastic! I have a great job, amazing partner, beautiful healthy children and am pursuing my interests. Could some of those things go away? Yes but at least now I know that there are nearly limitless possibilities that I am capable of effecting. When you believe the world is your oyster, there's nothing to be upset about.