Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I got the "Pre-presidential election-America is going nowhere' blues.

So it's been a long while since I have berated your eyeballs with more of my nonsensical rants about the direction of our lives, whether it be on a personal or social level.  I apologize for my absence, but life comes first.  I'm sure you are sitting there considering whether or not my apology is necessary.  Maybe you didn't ever value my opinion, or adhere to my perception of life as we know it.  That, of course, is great.  I don't perceive myself as a voice of reason or logic.  My personal values are just that; personal.  I don't expect that any of you three or four readers experience the same day to day happenings that I live through.  And that is the exact idea that we all must consider when we go to the polls in November.  Sure, our first impulse and response is almost always centered towards ourselves.  Why not? We'd be a bit foolish not to look after our immediate best interests first.  I have a family and I constantly strive to ensure that they are safe.  But beyond that, I feel an obligation to my friends and their needs.  They don't live the same life as myself and their needs are drastically different, but we are all rowing in the same boat.  We all need support.  We are all in this together.  That is a fact that is very easily forgotten.  I don't really give a shit about how much money you have, or earn.  If you haven't got anyone to hold your hand when you pass from this earth then you haven't anything to show for your entire existence.  Money makes little difference.  The majority of folks in this country live below the poverty line.  We find happiness where it truly lives.  In togetherness.

I think we have all been misguided by our government for a very long time.  We were coerced into assimilation to ideals that were geared more towards corporations than communities.  Money was the deciding factor in so many ongoing conversations that culminated in life changing decisions.  We chose to better the brand over the people that built it.  We shortchanged ourselves to propagate ideals that continued to devalue our very existence.  Now those very companies that we sacrificed ourselves to, continue to diminish the value of life.  We gave an inch, and they took everything.  Offerings of 401k and insurance, and paying into SSI were promising, but then the market crashed, because the majority of the money market was not based on promising values.  The market, for the most part, was based on deceit.  The market ultimately mirrored our societal value, and unfortunately the shallow value of the American dollar won out over the value of the human experience.  Now where are we?  In a debate over what value is more important.  Tonight two men fought a political war over what is arguably the most important position in the free country.  I think, unfortunately, that we are all losing.  This country's freedom is wavering.  The dollar holds precedence over the citizens.  We haggle over base ideals and entitlements, when none of that matters.  We, as a people, don't have the financial backing to influence our governments decision making.  Until we can grow poppies or build a pipeline that feeds our oil addiction, then we will fail to hold our governments interest.  I don't think that there is a man out there that could change the course of this nation.  We sold ourselves out for the almighty dollar far too long ago and there is nothing that can change that course of action.  We are swimming in a shark tank.  Good riddance.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Prepubescent Election Blues....

Well fuck.  It's that time again.  We gotta line up the crazies and size em up for 18 full months and figure out who is not even remotely qualified to "run" this country.  Let's dump a shitload of money into their campaign funds so they can all run smear ads on each other.  All of the potential candidates really don't give two shits about the American folks.  They are more concerned with the Popularity contest that they have entered, which, if elected, they get to be the poster boy or girl(c'mon Bachman/Palin, what a great ticket that could be. Get fucked.) for the Not-So-Free-Thinkers of American Society, which means the 68% of society that still believe that public elections have meaning.  I personally feel that our country would benefit greater if we took all of the corporate and private campaign contributions, coupled with the tax dollar campaign funding that just seems to happen on its own accord, and we built a big Bob Seger Laser Light Show, of course with supplementary pyrotechnics. 

Elections don't really matter.  I'm not saying, "Don't vote,"  I'm just saying to vote for whoever you want.  Write in Raymond Carver, or Whinnie the Pooh.  Make your vote count for you.  Elections don't matter because whoever is elected eventually will succumb or concede to the fact that the role of President is a role of patsy, no matter what.  Face man for the complete and total fuck over of a nation.  There are no jobs.  There is no money.  We are at a loss.  What now?

I know!  Let's seriously spend what little money we have producing television commercials for some of the biggest pricks in the nation.  Here are my proposed campaign slogans...

"I fucked my secretary on my wife's death bed.  Please vote for me."

"I fathered a child with another woman while my wife went through chemotherapy.  Trust me with all of your Union and Labor needs."

"I sent a picture of my penis to the Pope.  There's your fine line between separation of church and state."

Sorry about that last one.  It was weak, but what do you expect?  We pay these politicians to fuck us over all of the time.

I propose that all of the potential candidates must compete an obstacle course, much like Wipeout!, and then of course be subjected to a close quarter living situation, much like big brother, then maybe they could be subjected to a beauty and talent competition.  These are, unfortunately, the qualities our country has decided are important.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Uhhhh.... What's a debt ceiling?

I'm gonna be pretty honest here. I don't know what a debt ceiling is. I always thought of debt as more of a downward spiral. A ceiling doesn't make much sense. A cellar sounds better. But I don't make the rules. In fact, the people that make the rules aren't even giving a shit about making rules or decisions right now. Before I get too involved in this very ill-informed rant, let me assure you that I haven't a clue about what I am discussing. I work a lot. When I'm not working, I am trying to help raise my two daughters with my wife, while she puts herself through school. We stay on the go constantly, which makes it hard to keep up with current affairs and political issues. So my vague understanding of this current situation is that our country is in terrible debt, and mostly to itself. Sure, China owns 6% of the multi-trillion dollar debt that we have, but the majority is owed to the Social Security Administration and the National Treasury. Now forgive me if I'm wrong, but it more so seems like the American Government is like a wayward college student who owes his parents a shitload of money, and his dormitory drug dealer $60 for his last eighth of weed. What makes this situation even worse is that the folks that we cast votes for and trusted enough to elect to represent us in tough times such as these are acting like asshole eight year olds on a rundown park playground. Now this is where my uninformed assumptions really begin. Some dude named Boner thinks he can solve everything by cutting spending and amending the Constitution or whatever. I'm sure that's fine and whatnot, but not everyone he works with seems to think so, so that deal is out the window. I mean, really, his idea probably sucks, too, but there isn't really anyone with an agree-able plan. The biggest issue here is that we have believed the American Dream to have no ceiling since its conception, and now we are a Capitalist paradox. Anyone can fulfill their dreams, as long as the average dream is working two jobs to support their families and dying too young due to stress and cancer. So yeah. I don't really know what is going on right now, honestly. I do understand that the bullshit ideals that our country has sold us have gone belly up, and now we are expected to pay for it. I don't see congress taking a pay cut, and I don't really see any progress being made. I'm not really sure why we have publicly elected officials anymore. They should all be appointed by the corporations that own them. It would ease the pain of them continually fucking over the general public over and over and over again. As for the debt cellar, I sure am glad that the NFL lockout ended. It was the perfect good-news distraction to be made right before our country's economy completely collapsed at the hands of absolute idiots.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lesser For Better or Worser...

We are riding the line here. There is enough stress and strife building up that we don't know whether to get on board or throw ourselves in front of the train. Government is questionable now, and in some parts of the world, the people are winning. They are tied to the tracks and derailing dictatorships. I think it is amazing to see such efforts to better their lives, and I hope that the trend continues. I hope that the idea of revolution can continue to bleed over onto others.

America is in need of revolution. If we continue the current path then we will find ourselves disbanded to a point of incivility. Everything that this country was built on is steadily burning away into the ether. Our culture is comprised of ridiculous bullshit. Popular culture is obsessive to the point of law suits. We have no identity. There is no individuality. If you don't "like" it on facebook then you are a fool. We heave our money at companies to feel that we are a part of something. We write blogs and tweets and status updates but we don't really talk to each other. We have been branded. We are slaves to an ideal culture that doesn't really exist. Celebrities are iconic only because they are plastered everywhere we turn. We adopt their standards because they are shoved down our throats. All of a sudden, steroids and methadone are okay. They are performance enhancers. Rape only happens when gold diggers are involved. It is okay to hit your girlfriend if you have an album in the top ten or you are a starter for the Steelers. We laugh when Lindsay gets a prison sentence. Our eyes and ears are glued to the news when famous folks fuck up because it makes us feel better. Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Ben however-you-spell-his-last-name, they are the lighthouse. All we have to do is be better than that?

What's worse is that we have allowed ourselves to forget that the celebrities that we focus our interest and disdain upon are just as human as we are. They might have a bit more money and privilege than the lot of us, but what would you do? If you could do anything you wanted, what would it be? I'd love to think that I'd stop working for a bit, but I fall into unrest so easily.

I don't want to lose sight of my previous point. The epitome of the problem lies in our complacent acceptance of what "culture" is fed to us. Behind that "culture" are corporations looking to please demographics, based on generalized studies that apply to about 2% of the population. The government takes these numbers and plugs them into some equations built by a small group of people that have enormous brain power and they come up with a viable solution to all of our problems; the 98% that is left over. Now we see funding for potentially helpful government programs get cut. We see our parks get left behind come spring time when they could use just a bit of improvement. We see taxes get "fairly" homogenized to save face come campaign donation time. We continue to sell ourselves short because we are either too polite or too unwilling to stand up and say "FUCK OFF!"

We work hard, everyday. At least most of us do. And a large percentage that doesn't, wants to. Why should we suffer the lesser when we know we deserve better.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Saint and the Cynic

I have spent many years on the fence, teetering both ways. Call it fence surfing. I can say for sure that I spent the younger years of this decade in the red. I was an angry, seething cynic. I hated as much as I could. With a smile of course. I was happiest hating, making excuses for my lack of action. "What's the point? It's useless to fight it." The it being defined as the constant barrage of opposition that we face in our day to day lives. Yep, by that definition it's still pretty faceless. I'd drink myself into oblivion every night, waking up to shrug off another hangover.

I now constantly wonder why the fuck I didn't fight back. I mean, sure, I paid certain small contributions to the struggle, but only enough to feel less pathetic and meaningless. Now my life is marked and directed by fatherhood. I have two beautiful girls that help me choke back the cynicism and hatred that still bubbles beneath my skin. I would be in heaven if I didn't have to worry about them someday stepping foot on the soil of this earth without parental guidance.

The last four years have brought a whole lot to my attention. It wasn't enough that I wasn't ready to be a husband, much more a father. The universe brought Charleigh to us very early, so we were thrown into tumult very early on. My wife and I, barely married, faced the very unexpected. I watched Stephanie lay barely conscious for almost a week, on a literal deathbed, before they decided to take Charleigh by Cesarean. I spent the morning of my first daughter's birth wondering if either of them would survive. Stephanie spent a few days recovering physically. Charleigh spent her first four months in the hospital finishing out her development. My family was literally showered with support and love. There was no shortage of human kindness. We were embraced by an enormous community that we had no idea even existed. There is no way we would have survived without that embrace. I have never been able to find the proper words, nor the proper forum to thank the countless people involved in saving my family. I don't believe a book could contain the proper words to say what I would like to say. I owe my livelihood and my family's strength to the kind actions of others.

It is unfortunate to say that there are many people that I didn't thank. There are many that I lost touch with, some family. Everyday was crazy. I carried the guilt in my throat. I cherished every moment and was so grateful for every good deed that was extended to us. It was this strenuous time in my life that slowly began to stifle the cynic. I felt the strength of humans being right. I was on the receiving end of the unconditional love of strangers.

As a result of that experience, I feel that there is no other way to spend my life than to be in the service of strangers. Not just strangers, of course. I just want to help. In any way possible. My friends, family, whomever. I want everyone to be okay with their lot in life. I know in my heart that is not possible. The world doesn't work in accordance with making all things right with its inhabitants. The struggle makes everything else more worthwhile. The simple fact that we cannot forget is that we can alleviate some of the struggle just by listening and giving more to each other. It is easy to escape into cynicism. It's harder to stand next to someone and be there through the struggle.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Hollow Days

Yeah, it's a shitty phonetic trick in the title there, huh? It's not that funny. I know.

I love the holidays, I do. I enjoy every bit of it. When I could afford it, I even loved the over-commercialization of Christmas. Sure, I've spent years of my life struggling with the drama and bullshit that seems to erupt towards the end of the year, even pinching myself in the aisles of department stores hoping I make the right gift choice for whoever it is on my shopping list. It seems ridiculous because it is ridiculous. We've over thought this thing for so many years that we can't see that it is so fucked up. I mean, really.

When I was a kid it was all about Santa. Of course, my brother and I were slaves to Santa. Especially come November because that's when parents start hammering that shit home. We got older and morality gained prevalence and the Christ story became a larger part of our Christmas. Santa and Jesus had quite a feat before them, taming the wild heathen children of the early 1980's.

Christmas has always been crazy. It's gotten so crazy now that I feel insensitive just calling it Christmas. If I don't say "Happy Holidays" I'm probably stepping on someones' toes. Kids in grade school have it the worst. I feel sorry for the lot of them these days growing up in a politically sound world. When I was a kid and we had a Jehovah's Witness in the classroom it was their tough shit that they didn't celebrate. "Ahh... look at poor Brian... He doesn't get a cookie because his family adheres to ridiculous ideals." We didn't hiccup. They didn't get a cookie. Their parents had a lot of explaining to do.

Nowadays, everybody must be included, to the point that it is even more fucking ridiculous.

It just doesn't make sense. When I was a child, if I didn't enjoy something, it was my fault. Now we walk on eggshells, hoping that we did it right. Hoping we made everybody happy. Crossing our fingers that we weren't found at fault for someone's foul mood. None of it makes sense.

We are trying too hard to impress ourselves. Shut up. You can't do it. Don't buy me a french press, I already have one. My daughter doesn't need another tutu. I'm sorry, I didn't know you had three copies of 'The Catcher in the Rye.' Why can't we just hang out and have a good time? oh, yeah, 'cause there are socio-ploitico- religulious obligations called the fuckin holidays to be had. I think I just made up words. word.

love to your breasteses.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Hand Job

I'd like to take a break from the soapbox to share a story from prepubescence. The Fall's forthcoming has surely forced this one to the surface.

It was early October, and I was just about to turn thirteen. I had signed up to go on the church youth group hayride. I had never really been on a hayride before, and had convinced myself that it was NOT going to be a good time, but it would keep me out of the house for a few hours.

Since it has been nearly two decades, and several details are now too fuzzy to recall, I'll just cut to the meat of this thing. The group was twenty thick on the trailer of a one ton truck stuffed with tiny hay bales, and we were winding through a field peppered with pumpkins and squash and scarecrows. It was a chilly fall night, and as the sun went down I found myself sitting real close to a girl that I just happened to have a crush on. I honestly do not recall if this was a result of some strategic play on my part, but most likely I did everything I could to be right next to her. We had covered up under a blanket near the cab of the truck. The moment was flawless; the sun was setting, our jeans were touching. We were perfectly poised to fall into each other. As we got more and more comfortable, we started holding hands. Hard. It was the most intimate moment I had ever shared with a girl. We were softly exploring each others fingers, tracing the curves of our knuckles. It was getting pretty heavy. I had never been so excited in my life. The further the truck took us into that dark field, the more comfortable we became with each other.

This went on for awhile. I knew every millimeter of her fingers. We continued to trace each others life lines, our fingers intertwined. I could tell that the ride was soon coming to an end, and I didn't know how to approach the situation after we left the bed of this truck. I knew for certain that if I didn't play my cards right, we'd never ever hold hands again. Just as I was mentally navigating what I could say to her, she pulled both of her hands from underneath our blanket.

My heart sank. My fingers were still locked together in this amazing grasp, and yet I felt the magic drain out of the fingertips. All digits went limp, the heavy rubbing slowed. I looked at my girl, and she had no idea what was happening. I looked at the guy sitting next to her, and knew immediately. I had been hand in hand with an older man. We had both believed that we were holding hands with her. I gotta say... regardless of the truth of the matter, it was electric. There was a charge between our fingers, a magic. A horribly humiliating magic. We never spoke of it again.