Thursday, December 10, 2009

I Am So Sick and Tired of Being Lied To

After the Bush, I mean Obama, speech given today I've come to a huge realization. I am so utterly sick and tired of being lied to. What kind of man has the audacity to spend an acceptance speech he is making for a PEACE prize that he has won cowing to the murderous ideals of the lunatic Republican fringe? What kind of man can honestly think it's okay to stand before this audience and claim that war is a means to a just end?

He cites World War Two and how war stopped Hitler. Well yes it did. But it was still wrong. It was the wrong action taken at the right time. The right action would have been to intervene diplomatically when he threatened to invade Austria and Czechoslovakia and NOT wait until he invaded an ally of Great Britain and France (in Poland). The idea that it was noble is laughable. We got into the war for the same reason that Great Britain and France got into the war, to save our own asses. It wasn't about freeing an oppressed people. If we were so concerned about that sort of thing we would have intervened when Italy massacred the Ethiopians, when Japan massacred the Chinese, when Germany invaded Czechoslovakia and Austria. We wouldn't have waited more than SIX YEARS to intervene while the world crumbled around us.

If the United States was so concerned with democracy and freedom abroad as Bush and now Obama claim, it is clear that the United States would have gotten involved in even the most hallowed of feel-good wars well before they felt threatened by the Germans and well before Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. In the end, that's what it takes for us to care. It doesn't matter what this or any president claims. History has shown us that we don't give a damn about other nations. We don't give a shit who lives or who dies, just so long as we are safe. And to warp the ideas of peace from war to peace through war today was one of the most despicable things I've witnessed from this White House to date. 1984 was not a manual it was a warning!

It's clear to me now that nothing has changed from Bush to Obama. You can wrap shit in oil profits and military "strategery" and it's still shit. That is what this war and the war in Iraq are about, oil and military position. Nothing more. Nothing noble. Nothing peaceful. And certainly nothing just.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The History of The Human

At the beginning of the human species, that is where it diverted (in the ways that it diverted) from other species to develop what we see today as the understanding of existence, conscious thought, and so on, humans were not much different than the rest of the world's animal species.  But as time passed a mental (and also the more clearly documented physical) evolution took place starting somewhere between 4 and 6.5 million years ago give or take a few hundred millenniums.  At this point, human thought, like other mammalian thought still seen today, was primarily focused on survival, instruction of the young by example, and basic systems of communication which were mostly non-auditory -- relying mostly on gesture and emotional bursts. 

As the human species continues to evolve, it, as a select few species do (all mammalian or birds and mostly primate), begins to use simple tools to dig in the earth or a bit later use as weapons.  This is similar to the way chimpanzees today can use sticks to pull up roots and dig out termites or fashion spears by sharping sticks with their teeth.  Humans did the same as these animals, granted considerably earlier on than it is believed these other species alive today began.

As generations pass the necessity for communication becomes more and more important.  That is, members of the proto-human species who are more able to express themselves are more likely to survive to reproduce.  Speech evolves in this fashion as does with it a more complex ability to think and a larger brain size.  At this same point, the proto-human species becomes bipedal (primarily) and turns away from the more primate-esque forms of arm-based tree climbing.  There is more food on the ground than in the trees -- protein specifically which grows muscles creating stronger, larger, and smarter humans.  Those who can walk upright have a distinct advantage over those who cannot (today's chimpanzees for example).  The human species becomes omnivorous.  Protein sources are readily available and the proto-human who can speak can convey messages and hunt in packs to bring down even larger animals.  Human evolution continues thusly in this vein for a very long time. 

Expressions of art (cave drawings) appear more likely than not as a means of expression instead of for aesthetic purposes.  This marks a huge change in the proto-human species and again a breakaway.  To this point the human species is not solely one branched.  Contrarily there are several groups who have simultaneously evolved from tree-living primates.  Neanderthals, of course, are the most popularly known today.  And, in the case of Neanderthals, it is believed that they died out because of an inability to compete with the Cro-Magnon human species (our progenitors circa 60,000-20,000 years ago).  Both subgroups of primates had learned to use stone tools.  Both could light fires.  Both could build comparable shelters.  But, Neanderthals did not acquire quickly enough (perhaps they would have in time if they hadn't gone extinct) the ability to create complex tools which serve distinctive purpose -- to multiply the ability to complete a task.

The Cro-Magnon discovered this ability to multiply their ability to complete tasks.  That is, they created fishing nets to catch more fish with less effort.  They planted food so that they did not need to search for it.  They traded goods with each other even over long distance.  And they built rafts and later boats to navigate the seas.  None of these advantages could the Neanderthal claim to have.  Likewise the Cro-Magnon were omnivorous and when meat was short they were more likely to survive than the carnivore Neanderthals.  And additionally, humans learned to store food in preparation for shortage, which again Neanderthals did not.  Therefore as two subspecies compete on the same land for the same resources, it is clear why the Cro-Magnon win.  The evolution of those who were able to master task multiplicity, food storage, and agrarianism where obviously those who were going to survive and procreate.  They are those who we are descendant from.

Towards the end of the Cro-Magnon period, animal domestication began to offer humans a reliable and steady source of meat the same as farming advancements had stabilized the ability to grow crops and increase crop yield (weather permitting).  Music and art had appeared by no less than 20,000 years ago.  They were means of conveying information orally, as was the creation of complex oral language.  Those who can pass on information quickest are the most likely to pass on their genes as well as they are the most prepared and knowledgeable hunters, farmers, etc.

The next turn the human species would take would remove it from the animal world even farther.  Roughly 10,000 years ago the first cities began to form in the general area of Syria and Iraq and later Egypt.  Humans became so successful in farming that they no longer could be classified as a nomadic people as a whole.  (Granted nomadic tribes remained in areas where resources were scarce, as they continue to this day.)  They were able to garner enough food through task multiplicity that if grouped together in large groups they could support the entire proto-city population without every individual having to farm, hunt, or raise livestock.

This ability to have extra people not working on finding or else growing or raising food, leads to another advancement of the human species.  Those who have nothing to do will inherently find something to do to earn them the right to eat.  Trade and barter had existed since the Cro-Magnon times, but now instead of food specifically, these people needed to find new things to trade with so that they could eat.  And they did.  Those who don't need to worry about acquiring food have the time to begin to think about other things.  Specifically, they are able to think of the world around them.  Using these thoughts new tools were created and new ways to manipulate the world to our benefit arose.  By 7,000 years ago irrigation appears.  Those who farm, but for whom it doesn't take their entire effort can delve into such thought necessary to create this.  Pottery to store extra food and drink also appears at this same time.  5,300 years ago the ability to create bronze (fuzing copper and tin) arises.  Smiths are able to forge bronze tools and weapons which are much more durable than their stone counterparts.  Those who have these tools are those who will live to procreate.  These people are the progenitors of early Europeans and East Asians primarily, a notable exception is the Egyptians.  The power of bronze dots this period in history with competing factions fighting for the same resources and lands.

This trend continues as humans continue to use this new bronze technology to further free up time and amass goods so as to be able to further strengthen their ability of task multiplicity.  Large cities begin to grow along waterways where trade, herding, and agriculture can be most profitable.  These areas are most in demand and most wars are fought either defending them or conquering them.  Law is codified to organize increasingly large groups of people so as to lessen confusion and inhibit activity which decreases the ability for the human species to continue to innovate.  Likewise, as humans continue to look at the world they begin to come up with explanations for what they see occurring and how it came about.  Thus religion is created and it's varieties abound.  It was the first and second most successful belief system that evolved in the human mind.  And, it would serve them very very well for much of their history.  Religion not only supplied authority and law but that authority also supplied the ability to free up time to work on greater task multiplicity.  The emergence of religious law is an important one for us today as it dictates many of the vestiges of law that remain in non-theist governments such as the United States today.

The next great advancement occurred with the creation of iron and later the creation of steel.  Like bronze, these metals increase the effectiveness of tools (and weapons) and thus decrease the amount of time needed to focus on making more tools (and weapons) freeing up humans to give rise to further different advancements and further task multiplicity.

Language receives a counterpart around between 6,000 and 4,000 years ago.  The increase in trade caused by the increase in task multiplicity and the increasing numbers of people working in fields other than those producing food, require a system of documentation for this trading.  A person wants to get their fair share in trade.  To be tricked into or to mistakenly receive less than they give is massively detrimental in a competitive world.  Math arises in tandem to deal with trade as does the concept of coinage as a universal transfer unit. 

Trade for others' excess goods further increases the ability for people to spend less and less time trying to merely survive and more and more time working on other tasks.  It is worth noting that the evolution of early Europe and the Eastern Asia are largely secluded from one another, yet interact between the Middle East where all cultures seem to mesh.  Culture, yet apparent as early as cave drawings and oral tradition, also takes a step forward when it incorporates into written language in a complex manner roughly between 3,500 and 4,000 years ago.  The first novels begin to appear around 3,500 years ago with epics we still know today such as Gilgamesh and Homer's Odyssey and Iliad.  These tales seek to explain the world and in many ways to advise on the way one should live.  They, in short, teach lessons.  While in the past lessons were taught through song and dance as well as oral tradition, new found lengths of time for the human elite made a niche for more time consuming (to write and read) works.

Following with these epics began philosophy.  Socrates, Plato, Aristotle in the Greek world for example.  And Confucius and his counterparts in East Asian cultures.  All appeared at roughly the same time approximately 2,600 to 2,300 years ago.  Elite humans now had the time not only to think about complex processes in the world, but also to write and read about them.  It isn't a surprise then that the Aristotelian Method arose from this time period.  A precursor to many branches of scientific research today, it asking questions and seeking out results as a means to solve problems or mysteries.  (In his case, he attempted to find the most useful form of government by looking at dozens of governments across the ancient world and comparing their assets and flaws.)

Human philosophy, thought, invention, trade, and math continued to grow by leaps and bounds throughout the ages of the Greek and Roman Empires -  between roughly 2,600 and 1,524 years ago.  Western history dictates that the fall of the Roman Empire in 476CE marks the end of this period and the beginning of the "Dark Ages".  Indeed it was "dark" insofar as advancement in Europe during this time, but in the Middle East, advancement continued to thrive.  This specific period of time, "the Dark Ages", is important for one major reason.  With the fall of the Roman Empire (which was progressive over centuries, incidentally) the Western World lost much of their "elite", those who were vastly higher up than the average person and who could bring about advancement because they did not have to work at a subsistance level.  Much of Europe, for centuries centralized around Rome and later Constantinople.  With this centralization gone, all of the amassed ability to not have to work for subsistence by and large went with it.  Trade all but ceased with the Eastern World.  Cities focused inwards and localities retook control from the vestiges of Roman influence.  As with all things, this did not happen over night, yet had been happening since before the fall of Rome and well after it as well.

The only common thread for much of Europe during this time was the Christian Church.  It remained the only source of "elites" on a level such that Rome and Greece had seen.  It became for a time the only group which could profligate or sponsor advancement.  Such advancement was seen in theology and philosophy (St. Jerome for instance wrote the compendium "The City of God", a gigantic set of works codifying Christian belief while negating pagan ritual of Roman descent -- with the tone of the fall of Rome throughout).

It wasn't for another 1000 years or so before the leaders of the localities of Europe were able to stabilize and return to the "elite" status of Rome and Greece.  Nation-states gained power again and even began to rival the (now) Catholic Church (the Christian Church having split into two pieces some time earlier).  On occasions kings would even exert influence over the Pope, while at other times the reverse was also true.  Regardless, the "elite" vacuum created by the fall of Rome was repaired by approximately 700 years ago.  The reemergence of an elite made it possible again simultaneously for new advancements beyond those of Rome and Greece to begin to emerge.  And, emerge they did, in Italy first.  It spread slowly northward encompassing much of Western Europe within 200 years.  This is the period which we call the Renaissance.

Great advances in music, art, medicine, trade, philosophy, writing, and alternate forms of religious belief rose rapidly during this period.  The Protestant Reformation occurred, challenging the Catholic Church as never before.  New bodies of religious power arose:  Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc.  All were negations of previously held religious ideas about how the world was, should run, or came to exist.  All came about because people had the time now to think about the teachings of the Catholic Church which had remained mostly unchallenged during the "Dark Ages" and come up with new conclusions about their validity.

The Renaissance led to the creation of a "Middle Class".  That is, for the first time in the world, there was a large group of people who did not need to work towards subsistence.  They were not as well-off as the "elite", but they too would add an important contribution to the world only 300 to 200 years ago.  Middle class farmers, those who needed to farm, but had some free time began to create advancements in farming.  The Agricultural Revolution occurred and the yield of crops increased drastically with new farming techniques including specifically crop rotation and other types of soil management as well as better seed harvesting.  (The particularly fair weather during this period of history did help in a great deal to push this advancement along.)

The Agricultural Revolution spurred the even greater expansion of the Middle Class until it encompassed (today) some 3/4 of many countries.  These people in turn many times were able to move to cities and take non-labor jobs.  Manufacturing was stimulated and the advancement of manufacturing exploded with the First Industrial Revolution between 300 and 150 years ago.  Mass production of goods was now possible in factories in large cities such as London, Manchester, Paris, Hamburg, Philadelphia, and so on.  Western Europe thrived immensely and would see an even greater explosion of innovation with the Second Industrial Revolution between 160 and 85 years ago (ending with the beginning of World War I).  The gasoline engine was created, thus producing the largest growth in task multiplicity that the world had ever seen up until then. 

Populations in the Western World boomed to their greatest heights and at the greatest speed in history not leveling off well into the 20th Century.  As populations boomed, so did industry, and with it innovations arose across the board.  For the first time the Western World had the weapons, populations, and transportation that it needed to engage in massive assaults.  A powder keg was ready to explode.  The German nation exerted its desire to expand first.  A small issue (the assassination of Austrian Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand) led to the drawing into war of all of the major Western Powers.  Prior to this event, a series of alliances made around the start of the Second Industrial Revolution (a period when innovation caused demand on territory to slacken, but which increased again with the increase in population, the unification of nations like German and Italy, and the rise of "national pride" or nationalism.)  It is worth noting that nationalism is simply pride -- a means of motivating your allies to further strengthen yourself and the "elite" which had been seen throughout history, but that it had not yet been seen on an international stage as a war between true and powerful nations.

World War I came out of, in short, a series of alliances and the demand for resources to support a burgeoning population.  The period which ensued after it (the "Roaring 20's) showed the further gains of the post-Second Industrial Revolution world.  It is worth noting that during this time the world economy appears for the first time.  That is, that all economies of the world are so intertwined that that which effects one effects all economies, whether that effect is good or bad.  In the case of the next decade, bad would be in store.  The Great Depression swept across Europe and North America because of a mismanagement of World War I war debts primarily.  The dissent caused by the Great Depression caused the idea of Socialism to spring up in much of Europe and the United States.  Likewise, it brought to power Adolf Hitler in Germany who rallied the German people behind the idea that (essentially) certain groups of people (Jews, gays, etc.) were the reason for Germany's involvement in the Great Depression.  He convinced the German people that to become powerful again they must again take land.  In the same sense as World War I, Germany attacked and conquered most of Europe.  The United States, an up and coming world power, had the population necessary (because of the land and resources they had) to push back the Germans and end the war.

While all of this may seem like a history lesson, it also marks advancements of human evolution just the same as all in antiquity and pre-history that were previously mentioned.  The end of World War II creates two new world powers -- superpowers -- the United States and the Soviet Union.  These nations will now contain the "elitist" of the elite of the world.  And, therefore from here the greatest advancements of human evolution will be found.

A period marked from the end of World War II in 1945 until approximately 1991 with the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the competition between the U.S. and the Soviet Union (known as the Cold War) is interesting on several fronts regarding human evolution.  First and most important is that the United States and the Soviet Union differed in their usage of the Middle Class.  The United States had a much larger middle class than the Soviet Union, and when push came to shove, that became to tipping point of the Cold War.  Simply, the US bankrupted the Soviet Union in its attempt to out-advance the United States.

This period of time marks a key moment in history, similar to the creation of oral language, written language, the Renaissance, and the Industrial Revolution.  The Computer Age begins.  For the first time in history humans are able to export mental processes onto another being (in this case a non-sentient one-- the computer).  This frees up human thought greater than anything in its past.  Humankind can now design things to think for it.  The human ability of task multiplicity increases exponentially, nearly hyper-exponentially.  When research can be conducted without the use of human brains, numbers crunched without help, and accuracy of results nearly perfected, humans have been able to create again something that allows them to do something that they could not do before.  It is in league with the gas-powered engine and transportation or agriculture, with bronze and iron tools and their durability, etc. back and back to the beginning of humankind.

There is one final important jump in human evolution to date.  The biggest flaw of the Computer Age (1945-1991) was that information though attainable was neither easily storeable nor easily transmittable (nor early on even readable with the use of punch-cards).  Data could exist in London but one in New York could wait months to receive it or else have to do without.  The next major advancement deals with this problem and began very early on in the Computer Age, but did come to a head until after computers became mainstream and easy to use.  At this point, the effectiveness of the computer had increased so dramatically that the necessity of a means to store and transmit data became that much more pronounced.

Storage solved itself incrementally as the computer evolved.  The advent of the personal computer and more specifically the rise in the popularity of the PC in the late 1980's and early 1990's intensified the inherent demand for the ability to transfer information.  Thus the Internet Age was born less than twenty years ago.  The ability to transmit information worldwide in an instant was born.  The world became more interconnected and the excesses of each were more easily transmitted between partners.  Trade make the elitist of the elite even more elite.  The Internet Boom was rightly named, as the tech sector rose from nothingness, ostensibly, within a few years.  And, while the boom would bust a few years later, the Internet Age would continue.

Theoretically the Internet Bust gives rise to the Second Internet Age, the rise of fiber optic high speed data transmission its hallmark, yet as that period has only existed widespread for approximately 3-6 years and is still growing, it is as of now impossible to tell where the Second Internet Age (Web 2.0 if you will) will take human evolution.

In the end, human evolution has tended towards one thing, finding ways to advance oneself over the rest.  Groups, then tribes, then cities, then city-states, then kingdoms and empires, then nation-states, then nations, then international coalitions, have risen to help this process.  Humanity evolves out of a necessity to pass on ones' genes more successfully than the next.  It is animalistic from the core of our being and from the beginning of our species.  And, as one can see, based on the history of our species so far -- separating ourselves from the rest of the world's species by a written language, theories of existence, the creation of devices which will think for us, and the profligation of acquired information globally -- it's been very successful.

What will the future hold?

If the pattern holds true, we as a species will find ways to remove the human from food acquisition.  They will continue to grow as a population.  Thus war will continue on greater and greater a scale.  And we will outgrow this planet.  If none of these concepts (or vast numbers of others) do not spell the end of our species, it will be an interesting ride for sure.

Friday, October 23, 2009

One of the Most Amazing Things I've Ever Seen...

During a speech given at a anti-health care reform rally, the Billionaires for Wealthcare had something important to say.







I think I came a bit...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Boldness

Day by day we walk the streets of our lives
This world surrounds us,
Engulfs us, and
Passes us by.

There is not time in any single day
To do all the things
We may want.
Time flies away.

Yet from the darkness shrouding our desires,
From this damnable
Condition,
We can rise.

Heavenly rifts of emotion alight.
Our burdens disappear
And we live
Life right.

The clouds of our dreams, once so ominous
Are driven away
By but one
Thing -- boldness.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Just Bored... Enjoy...

"The Golden Boy" from La Nit Festival (1988)




"Too Much Love Will Kill You" from Pavarotti and Friends (2003)




"I Want to Break Free" from Live in Japan (1985)




"Queen Medley" from Dutch World AIDS Day Tribute (1991)
 

New Stuff...

I'm working on some new stuff, but it'll take a bit to iron out all the kinks... and to write it down, etc... Everything's great.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What Is, What Was, and What Is Again

I'm in a bad mood. So what's new? I'm always in a bad mood, well almost always. But, now I know why. And that makes all the difference. All I ever have are intentions. All I ever make are plans. And day after day and night after night I do nothing because something seems to be too much work. I have passion for nothing. I have drive for nothing. I don't want to do anything and yet want to do everything.

It's a battle between being sedentary and being active, doing something - anything - and doing nothing. It's, contrarily, not about some sort of fear of a particular or general something. I'm not afraid of doing something. In many ways I'm afraid of not doing something. The problem is that I don't know what I want to do, never mind what I and going to do. I just sit here and do nothing and the need to so something, ANYTHING grows greater and greater.

I know why I feel what I do. Most people I know and all of those whose opinions matter to me are moving on to new things. I am not. Not really at any rate. I know that such a feeling is foolish and that such a fact is some level of true and untrue. I know that I am too harsh on myself in such an assessment. But, nothing stops it from surfacing. In reality, I am moving on too, but the same old negatives of my life will remain and many of the positives which I am heretofore extremely grateful for, will disappear.

I don't really know what I'm doing with my life. I've set a proscribed course which seems on paper to make sense and seems in action to be acceptable. But I don't want to do anything. I don't want to put in the effort I will need to. I don't have any passion for what I will be doing next year at this point. At the same time, I both want to and don't want to do anything at all. I'm stuck in between the old and the new.

It seems like much of my life is set out before me now. Preplanned. Rigid. I finish grad school, get my masters degree. Get a job. Get a better job. And pay off my skyrocketing student loans. At the end of my undergraduate career I owed $27,000 but for each of the next two years I will be taking on an additional $20,000. $67,000 plus interest. I'd be lying if I said I didn't find that intimidating. Especially considering that starting salary is between 34-42K.

It's almost as if I'm tied to my current path simply by the debts that I have to pay. They overshadow all other reasons why I chose my current path and their repayment robs me of the next decade of my life. They rob me of my life.

But it's more than that too. There's a part of me that I don't like. It's a part that I put aside when I began dealing with being gay. But as I've become more and more comfortable with that, this older issue has begun to crop up again. It seems as if after I steady myself after Round 1 that Round 2 is just a bell's ring away. Round 2 is my father and ever little paranoid thought that he has buried in my head over the past 22 years. He is a cancer and he is eating away at me. It's gotten to the point where just the sound of his voice makes me feel like I've died a little.

How fucked up is that. He almost makes me physically sick. His influence on me as a child has made me sick to my stomach. He is an intensely paranoid man who sees only the negative in others or in situations. He is an immensely bigoted man who's vocalizations are nothing short of embarrassing to me. Many of the biggest regrets of my life tie directly into his own personality flaws, which over time have seeped into me to one extent or another.

When I was a little boy I lived two separate lives. One at school and one at home. Never did the two meet, at least for several years. In so many ways, even at that age, I was completely embarrassed of my father. If you did something wrong in my house you got beaten. Almost always, if not always, within the letter of the law... even if the law belongs to Alabama. Likewise, he was verbally abusive, which is never right regardless of the situation. He was not supportive. He was not encouraging. The only time I (or my brother or sister) would be directed at would be if I (they) did something wrong. He never did anything with me or for me. Never a kind word. Never praise. Never any emotional response that can be misconstrued as anything but anger.

When I was a young boy he didn't want anyone in "his house" that would do anything that could possibly irritate him. He didn't want to have anything to do with other people's kids. Likewise, it wouldn't seem unlikely that other people's kids wouldn't want to have anything to do with him. Well, at any rate, his own kids didn't want to have anything to do with him. Times when he was at work were much happier than times when he was at home, or worse on a long stretch of unemployment (at any job he worked, eventually he would screw up and get himself fired).

I remember one time as I had just entered Kindergarten or 1st Grade (I believe it the former instead of the latter). For what ever reason at the dinner table one night came up the topic of phone numbers. The conversation, or rather edict decried by my father, was that I was to under no circumstances give out our home phone number to any other person for any reason. He was talking about kids my age. Why you ask? Because he believed that some how his phone number would make it's way onto telemarketer calling lists. I'm not even coming close to kidding.

I knew that if I did give it out and someone then did call, like that would be a crime or anything, that I would be punished for it. And regardless of whether the premise was wrong or right (and it was wrong), at that age, I tried very hard to gain the attention of adults. Doing the right or "right" thing was one way to do so. To no success with him and to a lot of success with teachers. Yeah, through elementary school I was "that" kid. I knew all the answers and I didn't mind giving them. I could read very well and would do so instantly. I was polite and kind and never talked out of turn. So hey, at least to teachers, I was popular.

Of course, even by Kindergarten I lacked the social skills that the average 5 year old has. At least while at school. I did have friends who lived on my street. 5 or 6 in all. And I did talk on the phone with them, at least to set up what we were going to do that day. I did interact with them in a perfectly natural and fluid way. We were friends. Not great friends. Probably not even close friends. But at least people to do stuff with when there was nothing else to do. And never in my house if my father was home. Almost never in my house ever, as if our presence would some how attract my father's bad mood. My mother was not immune to it either, after all. In the end it occurs to me that I was likely friends with the people on my street because my mom was friends with their moms. They interacted from time to time, and I, of course, tagged along. It grew from there.

School of course was a different story. There was no one forcing me to do anything socially. I could be as sociable or as quiet as I wanted, in theory. Of course, lacking the aforementioned social skills, the latter was chosen for me. I now suppose that I did reach out for approval in the only way I knew how -- by being smart. I was incredibly intelligent after all (modesty aside). To this day I have a phenomenal memory, and elementary school is basically just memory-based learning. So, as I said I was popular to teachers.

Throughout elementary school I wasn't a popular kid to other students. But I wasn't picked on or secluded or anything else either. Granted I was consistently the tallest member of my class and was quite a bit burlier than I am now. Over the six years from Kindergarten to 5th grade I did have a variety of acquaintances and a few light friends at school. But they did not, but for two exceptions, break the school-home barrier, as I said first that my father embarrassed me, second that he discouraged it, and third that I didn't have the tools for it. I had gone to two birthday parties of two male students of whom I really didn't have that much contact anyways. Again it was because my mom knew their mom and grandmother. I didn't really even like their sons. I had nothing against them, but I rarely, if ever, talked to them either. Both were in my 1st Grade year.

During social times at school (i.e. recess) I would stick around one or two other people. At first a guy. Then he fades from the picture. A girl, and two other girls. With a few others flitting in and out. I'm "Facebook friends" with three of them today. The others I don't know anymore and couldn't find even if I wanted to. I was sort of close with one of the girls. But, at that age, and granted my later sexual revelation, we weren't truly close by any means. We didn't really do stuff or share secrets or any of those little kiddie things. We only hung out during recess and to be frank, I didn't really miss her as I moved on to middle school. It was sort of like having a book as a friend. Nice in theory, but not really missed in the end.

Even in those years I found I preferred solitude. Or at least that I enjoyed it too. I never played sports with the boys during recess. Ever. Partially because I didn't know how to play football (which was the sport of choice at our school recesses), still to this day can't throw one, and again lacked the social skills to approach them. I doubt I even realized that I lacked that ability.

Moving onto middle school brings about a whole new chance at life. And, by this point, I realized that I wasn't happy. Yet I did not know how to fix the problem. If I was honest with myself I may have realized that the problem lied within my social skills, even if I didn't know what to call it. Sexuality was interesting, but I'll continue with social skills and pick that up later.

I knew that a new school would mean a new opportunity to become "popular". I saw that other "popular" people always seemed happy. And I wanted to be happy; so I wanted to be popular as well. Over the summer there was an orientation which parents brought their kids to. It was held in the cafeteria and there was some sort of "ice breaker" exercise that we were supposed to do. It was a sheet of paper with a bunch of things on it that you had to find people for which it described. (Perhaps, for instance, "likes ice cream" or "plays baseball" or something like that.)

Students began milling around and parents did too. But I did nothing. I stood there because I didn't have a fucking clue what to do. As if by talking to someone else would imply a non-existent friendship and thus also set me up for a blow off or something. At the end of the day I didn't get one person to fill out one blank because there was no one there (a majority of which went to my elementary school) who I considered a friend. The friends I did have numbered only those who lived on my street, and which number was about to drop as three of them were about to move away.

I remember middle school for one defining moment in my life. Granted, other things happened as well. It was the point when I decided that I didn't care any more. I didn't care what people thought about me. I didn't care about being smart or answering questions or anything. I just didn't care anymore, because I made a conscious decision that not caring was better than being made fun of. There were no real build up of incidences or anything. I just remember one day standing outside a classroom, before being let into the room, and having someone who he himself was picked on for being rather nerdy make some sort of comment about the acne that was bringing to show on my face. (Oddly enough, another genetic marvel donated by my father's sperm.) It hurt because I didn't do anything to him and because his comment wasn't normal for him either. We had gotten along in the past. Not friends or even acquaintances. But certainly not enemies.

I headed into the classroom. I remember that my teacher was sick that day and we had been given busy work by the sub. I think it was math or maybe science. I forget. But I remember sitting in the front desk third row from the right and deciding consciously that I wasn't going to give a damn anymore. I shut up. I didn't answer questions as often, if at all outside of jeopardy games or team competitions where intelligence was lauded in victory. Hell, in my 8th grade Social Studies class I could almost own the entire class in Jeopardy by myself. It actually got to the point where I could answer questions before he even finished reading them... sometimes they were impossibly unfinished. I still remember the greatest one I had ever done. The category was Geography and the question was "This is called the island..." and I cut him off with the answer, which I did so by almost screaming "Right here!" signaling my hand in the air to make sure that no one would get it before me because the teacher hadn't looked up from the paper in time to see who was first. And I knew the answer. "The plateau of Tibet." The whole question having been "This is called the Island on Top of the World." I pretty much left everyone on the other team awestruck, including the Chinese kid who had his hand up second and couldn't believe he didn't get it up first. Hehe. For that brief period from the end of that game until the end of that class period, I was able to compensate for a lack of social skills because for that short period of time intelligence was as important to the rest of the students.

Otherwise, I kept to myself and a core group of three friends. They really were friends too. None of them were all that smart (though one of them was not dumb either). But they were all outcasts for one reason or another. One because he was gross looking. One because he acted gross. And one because he was a year younger than the rest of us and pretty small and came from a sheltered home. In the end, it would only be him who I am still in contact with, if only as "Facebook friends."

Around middle school my father comes up again for a new reason. Sports. He hates sports and he thinks it's entirely impossible for a person to be both good at academics and good at sports at the same time. Well, what he didn't realize is that until I reached AP Chemistry in my junior year of high school and then in college, NEVER did I study for anything and NEVER did I not get good grades with ABSOLUTELY no effort whatsoever. Of course, had he been in better touch with his own son, something might have been different.

Anways, sports. What I knew of sports came from my mother and one friend from my street. I could play baseball and was pretty good at it for my age. I had quick hands and in a backyard game I could easily rout even my sports-crazed street friend. I was offered the catcher's position on my middle school baseball team, for lack of someone applying for it. I quickly denied it however simply because I knew that my father would not allow it. I would be in for an incredible amount of verbal abuse if I had accepted. I knew that. And I'd long since been resigned to it. The same would ring true throughout high school too. My mom would constantly beg me to join a club or something as a "resume booster". But I couldn't draw. I didn't like chess. I hated foreign languages. I wasn't popular enough to be on student council (and I hated them anyways). So then too I would do nothing.

It's funny though, looking back at middle school. Of course, just about everyone goes through puberty during this time, and I was no different. It's funny because, now it's so obvious that I liked guys even back then. But, then I was completely clueless. It almost makes me laugh if it weren't so sad. There are a good half dozen guys in my middle school who I would stare at or even have some sort of crush on. Granted I didn't know what to do about it, or care at that point. Also, there wasn't a single girl for whom I felt the same way. Go figure. Hell, it was a Catholic school; I would have probably been thrown out for making a pass at a guy or something. Detention at least! They never did talk about homosexuality in sex-ed come to think of it. But they did talk about masturbation in religion class... go figure. Ha ha.

As high school rolled around, again I knew it was another chance to change myself. The high school in my city encompasses all of the middle school students who go public, so there would be a lot of new kids there. Most of the people I went to Catholic middle school with went to the private Catholic high school. So in reality, I would be making almost a clean break. Which I throughly needed. I realized that pushing everyone away who could hurt me wouldn't lead to happiness. Although, I maintained my classroom silence so that I wouldn't seem too intelligent. Although grades would prove otherwise, as would Honors and AP classes. But I didn't show off regardless.

The difference at this time involved learning social skills. Despite my father's stupidity, I had realized that this was what I needed to work on as well as how I would need to do that.

It's insane to me to realize that inside I am not the man he comes across as but that in many ways and in many instances I know that I come across in exactly the same way. So then what's to say that he hasn't tried to fight the same demons that I now do? Who's to say that he wasn't impacted by another in the same way that I was impacted by him? And that's fucking frightening, that I know with every ounce of my being that I am not the man that he seems to me to be and that maybe every ounce isn't enough.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Untitled

It's a funny thing when I get time to sit around and catch up on the thinking I've been putting off in lieu of more pressing matters. It's a funny thing that the three people I hold as idols are now dead. If you know me, you'd probably be able to infer two of the three. If you really know me you'd be able to figure out the third. But that's neither here nor there. The fact is that the three people who over the past 2 decades or so that have influenced my thinking, my actions, and my beliefs will now no longer continue to add to my life. It's sad and unfortunate, but it's also life.

When the third person had died, I assumed that I would write something in detail, something describing my personal feelings about this person's actions in life, something at all. But I didn't and haven't. In all likelihood, I won't either. I don't think it will matter. Those who matter already know what this person did for each of us. Those who don't matter, don't believe that this person did anything for us at all. It is these people I despise over all others. But the fact remains, love this person or hate them, their actions have impacted each of us. You can reject it or rejoice it. You can cheer their actions or chide them. It doesn't matter. In the end you feel their impact regardless. That, in itself, is the greatest legacy a person can leave behind.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Joke...

Don't Argue With The Gay Flight

Attendant


My flight was being served by an obviously gay flight attendant, who seemed to put everyone in a good mood as he served us food and drinks.



As the plane prepared to descend, he came swishing down the aisle and told us "Captain Marvey has asked me to announce that he'll be landing the big scary plane shortly, so lovely people, if you could just put your trays up, that would be super."


On his trip back up the aisle, he noticed an extremely well-dressed and exotic young woman hadn't moved a muscle. "Perhaps you didn't hear me over those big brute engines but I asked you to raise your trazy-poo, so the main man can pitty-pat us on the ground."


She calmly turned her head and said, "In my country, I am called a Princess and I take orders from no one."


To which the flight attendant replied, without missing a beat, "Well, sweet-cheeks, in my country I'm called a Queen, so I outrank you. Tray up, Bitch."



http://humour.200ok.com.au/gay-flight-attendant.html

Blinders

Sometimes not politicking is a form of politicking in itself. Usually speaking the very act of not doing something should predetermine that the outcome would be equal to the result of not doing something. Yet now and again suspending a political campaign to "race" back to Washington is in fact a political move. Likewise, the president of the United States not giving a political speech to students about the importance of education is also a political maneuver, whether you want to admit it or not.

Whether or not one argues with this political move, be it a campaign suspension or this educational speech is determinant on whether or not a person agrees with the political figure giving the speech or suspending the campaign in the first place. The content of the message and the reason for the suspension doesn't matter at all in the end. In politics, as in life, all people will bring predispositions and biases into play, without regard to intent, no matter the situation or the intended outcome. According to our biases, we all have blinders.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

When I was young I wanted to be a snow ball. But as I aged I became but a large flake. You see my child, global warming kills dreams too.

Your Mother

I don't even remember
why I'm glad.
I cannot fathom
why you're sad.
All I know is
mother's mad.
So my brother
you know that's bad.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Trendy? Hardly.

I don't care for convention. I'm not sold on the idea that there is a scale of beauty or a meter for rating the qualities of one's being. Life cannot be judged on a set of rules for happiness or joy. What is important to me and what has meaning for another need not match nor even overlap. For each person there is but one measure of their worth and it is by the strength of their own convictions alone that this must be realized.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

5000th Visit and 7000th Page View!

I began Suspension of Disbelief less than four years ago. It was then called One Nation Divided. While it has undergone some three or four major renovation over the years, it's purpose has remained the same as it was when I first began...

I set up this blog as a vent for a ranter and his like. Though I primarily created this page for my own reasons, feel free to comment or post something of your own. Talk about anything you want. Nothing is taboo here. Feel free to vent.

But I digress, the purpose of this blog was to create sanity in a sea of insanity. I don't judge; I don't discriminate; I don't hate. If you follow these principles you can write whatever you want. If you write hate I will delete it. But otherwise, have fun.


-November 13th, 2005.


And while actual participation of those other than me has flitted in and out over the years, my purposes remain and my invitation does as well. The most popular article lo these many years has been my rant on Reganism and Deregulation, which has reached some acclaim across the Internet in a variety of sources. I suppose I'm flattered, but as I don't promote myself or this site and I seek no monetary income from ad space, it is only icing on the cake of my sanity. Suffice to say, I would be a much more miserable a person without having this outlet and I'd like to think in having it I've done something useful and substantive over the past four years. If of course, that value remains onto to myself, I remain just as satisfied and just as set on continuing as I was when I began. So, together, let's see where the next few years take us.

As always,
FLYFREEFOREVER

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Under Reconstruction...

Count on it being a week or more before I'm finished. So don't mind the bits and pieces.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Evolution and Consciousness: The Scourge of Man

Evolution is simply change from one form to another. Generally, it must by definition tend towards an upward or forward motion. Those new ideas that don't work are weeded out, but those that do continue and prosper. In this way evolution is a good thing for the species, but as you'll see, not always good for the individual.

There are different kinds of evolution, insofar as we can group together its various forms into an undetermined number of subgroups based solely on one's perception of the change taking place. The evolution of love or friendship, for example, is perceptibly different than the evolution of the sizes of dinosaur species from the Jurassic Period to the Triassic Period. However, the same general concept of a pattern of change still exists.

Now let's take our dinosaur example. At a time there existed the large hulking masses of the sauropods. Food was plentiful, so they could individually support their sizes. They multiply and their species dominate. But many million years pass and the sauropod's environment changes. Whole climates change and what types of food (plants) which once thrived and fed the equally thriving sauropods are becoming more scarce. As, therefore, are the sauropods.

With a changing climate and less food dinosaurs that don't eat as much (i.e. that are smaller) prosper and the sauropods... go the way of the dinosaurs. For dinosaurs as a whole, this change to smaller sizes promises their continued prosperity while part of the group which was in a different climate very strong, the sauropods are now reaching extinction.

The same process occurs countless other times, even in man. But, unlike other species (to the best of our knowledge) mankind is the only species that can understand what is going on, if still unable to stop it at all.

Luckily, man doesn't take millions of years to evolve ideologically for instance. Each generation brings its perception of its own collective experiences and creates an ideology which individually and as a group is best suited, in their opinions, to their survival.

With each new generation looking to conquer the challenges of their world, older ideologies are replaced. It is safe to say that the average person will at one point in their lives be on the forefront, the middle, and part of a tired, ill-fitting ideology. Granted there will always be some who are only the 1st or 3rd.

The problem with our evolutions is that we are conscious of them and when we became outdated we tend to blame new ideologies. In this we are correctly naming the source of our ill-fate but incorrectly so in placing blame. Each generation has battles to win and ironically the price of success is to be destined to fight against further evolution. The hunter becomes the hunted. In this way it is hypercritical to blame evolution for our ill-fates. Blame our own individual consciousnesses if you must. After all, though losers in the end, large dinosaurs undoubtedly lived happier without knowing they were steadily becoming outdated.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fighting for Health Coverage in America

Spread this near and far to every person who will listen.


"The Cause of My Life"
by Senator Kennedy
July 18th 2009

In 1964, I was flying with several companions to the Massachusetts Democratic Convention when our small plane crashed and burned short of the runway. My friend and colleague in the Senate, Birch Bayh, risked his life to pull me from the wreckage. Our pilot, Edwin Zimny, and my administrative assistant, Ed Moss, didn't survive. With crushed vertebrae, broken ribs, and a collapsed lung, I spent months in New England Baptist Hospital in Boston. To prevent paralysis, I was strapped into a special bed that immobilizes a patient between two canvas slings. Nurses would regularly turn me over so my lungs didn't fill with fluid. I knew the care was expensive, but I didn't have to worry about that. I needed the care and I got it.

Now I face another medical challenge. Last year, I was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Surgeons at Duke University Medical Center removed part of the tumor, and I had proton-beam radiation at Massachusetts General Hospital. I've undergone many rounds of chemotherapy and continue to receive treatment. Again, I have enjoyed the best medical care money (and a good insurance policy) can buy.

But quality care shouldn't depend on your financial resources, or the type of job you have, or the medical condition you face. Every American should be able to get the same treatment that U.S. senators are entitled to.

This is the cause of my life. It is a key reason that I defied my illness last summer to speak at the Democratic convention in Denver—to support Barack Obama, but also to make sure, as I said, "that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American…will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not just a privilege." For four decades I have carried this cause—from the floor of the United States Senate to every part of this country. It has never been merely a question of policy; it goes to the heart of my belief in a just society. Now the issue has more meaning for me—and more urgency—than ever before. But it's always been deeply personal, because the importance of health care has been a recurrent lesson throughout most of my 77 years....

Read on at: http://www.newsweek.com/id/207406/page/1

Friday, July 17, 2009

Life Lessons...

1. Believe in yourself at least twice as much as you do now.

2. Sometimes it helps to pretend to be happy. You might forget why you're not for a bit and actually feel better.

3. Your successes are dependent largely on your outlook.

4. If you want something enough you can achieve it (short of resurrection of course).

5. If you aren't getting what you want, maybe you're looking in the wrong places. Maybe you don't really know what you want.

6. If you can't answer why you need something, then you don't really need it. You may need something else.

7. The biggest social handicap is worrying too much about others reactions to what you do. Just do it (legally of course) and worry less about possible negative outcomes.

8. Some relationships are fixable. But many times we misunderstand which are and which aren't.

9. Don't ever change who you are for another person.

10. You think you can do better than the person that you're with but you're afraid that you'll never find something better. Simply solution... LEAVE. You can and will do better.

11. If you're nervous talk things out to yourself. If you can't talk them out, they're not going to go right anyways.

12. Always, always be honest with yourself. Especially if you don't want to.

13. Don't take things personally. But learn to take constructive criticism.

14. Learn to work with those you don't like.

15. And finally, always ask for help. There are those who have dealt with the same things you do. But remember, they don't necessarily have the right answers any more than you. Get many opinions, but in the end make sure to trust yourself too.

Friday, July 10, 2009

My Review of Brüno!

First I am a gay 22 year old male from MA. So lets get that out of the way. Because, undoubtedly it matters to some people.

The movie was ridiculous in the most amazing ways. The antics of Bruno were completely out there and at points crazy (and very naked), but there was an underlying point to the film which, like Borat before it, tried to expose the bigotry of this nation, from formerly gay ministers to straight over-machismo to showing Ron Paul for the bigot he is.

There are a lot of people who are going to be very offended by this movie because they will say that it detriments the GLBTQ movement. That it is too over the top to be taken seriously. I disagree. I sat in a theater with people my own age, straight couples and gay alike, in a not openly gay town. And we laughed. For the right reasons. There were points during it where two to three hundred people fell silent and stared in awe at the virulent bigotry that our nation of freedoms and liberties hides just beneath its surface. In our senators, in our ministers, as I said, but also in our citizens. They sat dead silent.

This movie helps expose those who don't normally realize there are non-hetero people to them and to their challenges. (Towards the end, Bruno tries to marry a man in California after Prop 8 passed and the minister soberly refused and walked from the room. You could hear a pin drop in the theater.) In the end a bunch of GLBTQ people had their laughs and astonishments (I know I did -- stared agape at the Straight Ultimate Fighter scene) but we weren't the only ones staring and we weren't the only ones cheering Bruno on. More than 95% of the theater stayed for the whole movie, some kind of fidgeting, some really fidgeting, but I think they learned something.

We're not something to be afraid of. We have hopes and dreams too. I think the average viewer (at least in my theater- my location prefaced) and I think it both shows us how far we've come that it could be shown at all in a theater (more than just brief glimpses at penis and all) and how much we can still go.


------------------

Personal notes:

1. The only distraction I had during the movie was the guy behind me pestering his boyfriend (or whatever) for a blow job. Incessantly... for a good twenty minutes. And, well let's just say the movie had a happy ending and so did he. ...With the other people they went with, two straight couples, sitting right next to them. An interesting night in all. Also I'd never before wished I was deaf... for a while I almost considered it.

2. There was a couple in their mid 40's to early 50's sitting next to me who left after Bruno began a good 30 seconds of analingus. I laughed to my self because they stayed for the mechanical dildo scene.

3. I felt really bad for the guy that checked tickets at the gate. He was clearly gay and clearly not quite comfortable with the idea yet. Stumbling over his words and not making eye contact with any of the guys in front of me. Or me for that matter. I hope it wasn't intentional that he was there.

4. I never really realized the knowledge outside of the norm that being gay helps you acquire. You could tell exactly who was gay (or extraordinarily knowledgeable about it) and who wasn't in the theater based solely on who laughed at certain jokes. The same went for anyone who was Jewish oddly enough. (Or smart like that I suppose.)

5. It's so amazing that such a movie will get made and even more amazing it would be shown in a theater legally. And, that straight people actually WANT to see it. It gives me a lot of hope for this country.

Anywho... I give the movie... two big dicks waaaaay up! Hehe!


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Foxhole

I dreamed that night of a perfect place,
Sitting out beneath the crescent moon,
Shadows flickering across our faces,
Moonlight dazzling in our eyes as
Our hands begin a slow symphony.

With each heart beat the air grows warmer.
Over the horizon our destiny lurks.
And come what may -- but now, this night
We are the banquet, each other the main course
Tucked away are fears of what dawn will bring.
Here and now we are two souls as one.
For now, the rest of the world has fallen silent.

Please Shoot the Messenger

Some write of darkness,
of pain, suffering, and plight
whose agony knows no bounds or end.

Others pen tales of daffodils, birthdays,
and sunshine, freshly baked cookies,
devotion, friendship and love a plenty.

But my story is not so simple
as light or dark, happy or sad.
I cannot be put to float in a single boat.

I am nine hundred thousand extremes,
fighting for their place
at a table that seats only eight.

Ode to a Gaseous Rabbit: The Tale of Reginald Arthur Benjamin

There once was a rabbit
Spotted brown and gray.
He had a bad habit.
He ate beans all day!

His wife kicked him out.
Soon, his mother did too.
If you see him wanderin' about,
That's the least you could do.

Had I not met a hare so gaseous as him,
Who's so set about rooting and tooting,
(For never a moment does it dim!)
I'd not believe one could be so polluting
As my friend Reginald Arthur Benjamin!

Which is Fact?

Religious belief and religion are two different things. This must be said at the outset. Religious belief is internally coded. Religion is the external transmission of that internal religious belief. Religious belief is praying, keeping Kosher, treating others the way you want to be treated, etc., and how you feel about dogma. Dogma is religion. It is the Ten Commandments, the Baptism, the sacred rituals, the clothing, the physical expression of one's belief.

It is this physical expression that describes for each other one's religious beliefs. What you see of a religious person can tell you much of what they are believing internally. The same is true for the non-religious -- absence is a sign the same as appearance.

That said, the purpose of religion is to proliferate one's beliefs onto others and to fortify it amongst the "believers". Period. It serves as a standard by which all members of a faith or a sect of a faith will measure themselves by. ("Am I a good Christian?" "Am I a good Muslim?" Etc.) It keeps people enthused and keeps people in line with a central dogma. And, it's a form of control.

In the end, there are hundreds of types of religious belief and thousands of sects within those beliefs. And each believes that it is the true one or the right one even, if not especially, when they say they're not. I'm not just talking about evangelicals; I'm talking about Buddhists as well, Lutherans as well, Universalists as well -- all people who believe in religion. Just the same, those who don't believe in religions or have religious beliefs (such as yours truly) believe that their correct and that everyone else is wrong. Inherently there is no problem in this. People can have whatever beliefs they want.

Beliefs move forward however, they congregate as it were. Religious beliefs group together with like-minded people doing like minded things for like-minded reasons. Thus, religion is born. Churches are built, ceremonies are created, rules are instituted, and money is collected. Atheism has yet to do this. Perhaps it will. In the age of the Internet, why not? Atheists would certainly be attracted to groups in which they would have more influence and power. Or would they be more reminded of religious beliefs of their pasts? Perhaps it would take a few generations of atheists, but undoubtedly, eventually, they would congregate too.

As with all groups that congregate, by which I mean all religions, they will gain power in their locality. They will get things done their way and soon enough they will drive out those who don't agree with them. Such actions could be benign or they could be physical. It probably depends on how different the minority group's beliefs are and likewise how much of a threat they are seen to be. Palestinians are a bigger perceived threat than the Amish after all.

Regardless, at some point, generations will pass and people in religions will forget what it was like to be discriminated against. They will lose the ability to understand the plight which they could hold on their fellow neighboring minorities. And, impose themselves they will. Excuses will be made and discrimination will commence. The minorities will be hurt. It doesn't matter who they are or what they believe. It will be deemed evil and sought to be stamped out. Those that were formerly discriminated against will now be the prosecutor.

Of course, this evolution, which has been seen historically many times over (Puritans, Evangelicals, Muslims, etc.) and though not universally descriptive of all members of a religion or a sect, can be seen by those who adhere most ardently to the beliefs of any group. Any group at all. Religion is an easy target today, because of who I am and what I believe, but the same is for all groups. Political parties play this game. When one gains power they mock the other. When they lose power, they are mocked. There is no empathy. When the American Colonies became strong enough, they fought off the British. But then to countless other nations, generations later, perspective of discrimination forgotten, they enslaved Africans, massacred Philippians, and waged economic and military wars in countless nations for their own profit. They exploited others in the same fashion that Great Britain had once exploited them. There is no empathy at all for those who do not remember what it was like to be hurt.

This is the cycle that we as a world are stuck in today. It is a cycle of hate and it is self-defeating. One nation will rise off the pain it endured and overcome the nation which oppressed them. Or it could be religion or economy or company or special interest group or any type of group in which people with like beliefs congregate. The fact is that we are stuck in this cycle. It has occurred since the beginning of civilization, that one group would prefer to destroy another simply to ensure that it is most powerful and thereby most successful by default.

The problem with defeating this cycle lies within the beliefs that are held themselves. Simply, the belief itself is that all other societies should be subservient. That is the belief inherent in each person. Survival of the fittest. It's even called "the human race." That's what's going on. We are all racing to the top spot as if, like in a pyramid, there is only one top stone.

Each person holds beliefs which help their group overthrow other groups. Then each person holds beliefs that helps unseat people who are higher in their own group. All because they believe that there is only one top spot.

Right now I'm sure there are those who say, "No you're wrong. I don't believe that way!" But don't you? You think the conservatives are wrong. The neo-cons destroyed this nation. The pro-lifers are anti-woman. The pro-capital punishment crowd is killing innocent people. Private health care is economically biased. Proposition 8 supporters are bigots and hatemongers. Right?

Well that is your belief. The same as the opposite is their belief. We all believe our beliefs (whatever they may be) with the same strength and conviction. It's just that we cannot easily see that because each person's beliefs (and degrees of belief in those beliefs) are different.

So right and wrong are perspectives and nothing more. Even everything I say here is just my perspective. It is neither wrong nor right. It just is. How you see it determines how you perceive it. You decide the same as I do whether something is wrong or right. The only difference to the outcome is whether or not you are in the majority or the minority. (That is, whether you are successful or not is clearly dependent on which group is most powerful.)

We as humans, in my opinion, should give up this cycle which I believe we are in. But those who this proposed cycle has profited believe the opposite. Perhaps they believe that it doesn't exist at all. In the end, belief cannot be factually proven. Even many things we think can be proven cannot. The Earth is round. How is that more or less true than the Earth is flat? Certainly to the majority of us, the Earth might as well be flat. To some who cross the globe or see the Earth from space or have international trade in mind, sure they can believe something else. And, they might convince us of it. And they did. Fishermen, who used the sea for money, and later tradesmen like Columbus, proved it for us because it economically advantaged them to do so. As did kings and queens of Europe. It greatly advantaged them to "prove" to us that the world was round.

In the same right, it did the Christian Church well to prove to us that the Earth was flat. It instilled fear of the unknown, closed the world down, and made the Church the sole power at the top of the pyramid. It suited their desires and their beliefs -- that they knew best, that they were civilized, and that they should rule everyone using their beliefs. The fact that the Earth was flat was no more or less meaningful or useful than the Earth was round. And, in perspective of those who believe one thing, their belief is fact and the other is false. They are right and the other is wrong.

It doesn't matter which is which or whether the world is actually round, or whether genocide is actually justified, or whether pro-life is anti-woman, or if the neo-cons destroyed the nation. All fact is point of view in a world in which each and every person is convinced that they are holding of the one true belief.

In a world where no one is truly right or wrong, in which power is the only guarantee of success. Is it any wonder that we are so insistent that we are right? In a world where everyone believes that they themselves are right and everyone else is wrong in one way or another, how can we even wonder why there are wars fighting for power over oil fields, refugees of religious and social wars, in short that we are a violent society? When violent's moral direction is simply perception, what does it matter at all?


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer Blues

This summer's been interesting so far. Actually that should read: "This summer's NOT been interesting so far." Excuse the type-o. I know that this blog is seriously lacking some real content in the past month or so, but I haven't been thinking about anything big in that time. No new ideas or brilliant (if I do think so myself :P ) brain waves. I'm scattered. I can't concentrate on things for more than an hour or so at a time, if that. I tried reading a book this afternoon and ended up finishing one chapter and put it down because I needed to get off my ass.

Oh well, what the hell can I do that is free / extremely cheap / time consuming but not tedious or boring? That's what I need to figure out. Hell, I'd even get a job for the summer, that is IF there were any available where I live. Suffice to say, if you see me working in Wal-Mart, I've clearly hit rock bottom and begun to dig. Otherwise, I'm sure I'll find something or another to do.

I'll try to come up with something to talk about, but I won't force it. When I force it you get a farce post like this one which is only here because I need a placeholder and because I got tired of the headline entry being about American Idol.

Oh well, cheers!
-FFF


Thursday, June 18, 2009

So...

Unfortunately as this summer drags when Youtube beckons I answer. Know the feeling? Stumbling about the interwebs until in a moment of epiphany you realize the sun is rising. Well at any rate...

I am not and have never been a fan of American Idol. I think the show's tepid flavor demeans real music and destroys real musicians who try to cookie cutter themselves into fame and fortune. And, it's made Fox tons of money. I have not watched the series at any length and have probably not seen an entire episode in 6 years or so. But while stumbling around the tubes listening to old Queen concerts (of which there are hundreds incidentally) I came across what I'm told was from the last season finale, a cover of Queen's We Are the Champions by the two remaining contestants. So, as I'm bored allow me to rank it as the single best cover of this song that I have seen and seen many I have.

The Original: (Queen: Rock Montreal- 1981)



The Remake: (Queen + Paul Rodgers- Return of the Champions- 2005)



The Best Cover: (Adam Lambert and Kriss Allen- 2009)




With Queen songs, power is key, and this is clearly and easily so the most powerful version I have ever seen. With Paul Rodger's doing his own thing this summer, and a Queen North American tour indefinitely postponed, there's a lot of money to be made here. ..Just saying... ahem...

Damn, I can't believe I've spent an entire entry on American Idol. Certainly I've taken leave of myself. Excuse me while I track down my sanity.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Summertime Blues

As usual, with every school year that passes into summer, like clockwork I miss what I've left behind. More so this year of course as everyone basically has graduated (myself included). I will be going back to the same school next year for grad school, but that doesn't change the fact that most of the people I love and care about will be gone. Almost everything will be different this time. So, as a tribute of sorts and out of a desire which tags along with me between sleep and waking, to some how go back and do it over again, I leave you with this video. Enjoy and FlyFreeForever.

Friday, June 12, 2009

SmotE
UnbiddeN
NapolI
SmitH
HaplesS
IN
NassaU
EgresS

Under Bored Reconstruction

So this here blog is under what I like to call a bored reconstruction. That is, I got bored and am toying around with it. If something is missing or doesn't work, chances are I have fucked it up something royal. Rest assured that it will be fixed at my latest convenience.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The End of A Wonderful Era

I've kept this blog for the last four years, detailing my thoughts and wonders, challenges and struggles, triumphs and victories, and all that other bull shit in between. Four college years. I wish I could go back and absorb all that I wrote at once, to stand back and admire, wonder, and question. But, as anyone who reads this for any length will find: There always seems to be more. I can't believe that I wrote all of it, not contentwise, but lengthwise.

In November of 2005 I wanted this to be a history of my college career, and it has been so far. But I'm not finished. I'll be beginning my MEd in the fall and will through the spring of 2011. So, I guess the endeavor will continue. Thankfully too! It's been only a week since I've been home and already I'm getting claustrophobic. 14 more weeks or so. This year I'm not counting though. Summer will not be an interregnum between two good things that I have to indure. I'll try to find something that will make my summer fun. I'm throwing around a few ideas to begin writing again. We'll see how everything goes. Maybe I'll post some of it here.

Graduation was a blur and my roadtrip was amazing, granted if the car would work on autopilot it would have been all the better. But, I digress. It was great. Now it's just a matter of staying in touch with all of those who graduated with me. And fuck I'm lazy. This will be a challenge to be sure. But, it's one I think I need to do. At least for most people. I may be an asshole but at least I'm not that asshole.

Good night,

FFF

Intelligence and Authority

It's a wonder we ever get anything done right in a nation which values tenure over innovation. We, by and large, see something that is new and scrutinize it against the old. This is fine and well, but we forget that occasionally what was old was wrong and what was new is right.

When people publish scholarly work they cite others' past work. As such we justify new ideas with old ones.

I repeat, it's amazing that we progress at all!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Well...

Finally I finished and turned in my thesis! Hell yeah! Well, heck yeah, really. That finished, and most of my other responsibilities nearly done, I can't help but see the end of the year approaching. I'd be lying if I said I looked forward to it. I don't. I don't want to move back home. Fuck family. But I will. Unfortunately. I'll look to keep myself busy this summer though. I'll find something.

It's unfortunate though that it's all about to be over. Four years up and gone. Most of the people I know and like I probably won't get to see again, some I should hope I do. But lives change and people go their own ways. It's a fun thing when just about everyone you care about is about to disappear from your life.

I know that life goes on. And I know that I will too. After summer I have grad school right back here again, but it will be different. Just about everyone will be gone. Oh well. I know life will move on and so will I, but it will be kicking and screaming. I've gotten comfortable with the people around me and I'm not looking forward to having to re-network.

I've been very lucky in the past four years finding people who accept me for who I am and who I trust. Not everyone is that way. Case and point, most of my family members. Fuck family. I'm sure I'll find people, but will they be as good? Doubtful.

I'll always remember the good times though. But, now I've got to make the best of this situation.

Peace,

FFF

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This Summer...

I figured I'd title this one differently than the others which preceded it at the end of every school year. Usually it was something to the effect of "It's that Time of Year Again..." with a big ole moan on the end there. That's not to say that this summer might not be a big ole moan anyways. It could be. I haven't had it yet, so I don't know. But when I do, be certain that you'll know.

Anywho, I need to find something or someone to keep me busy this summer. I don't care what or who. Just something non-lethal to get my attention. As anyone who knows me for any length of time, you know that there are two things that I cannot stand in life and they are my parents and religious belief. Thankfully, I can avoid the latter most days of the week, and be hilariously sacrilegious otherwise. The holy grail of sacrilege to me would be gay sex on the altar. It just seems like the right place. Of course, to snap one off in the rectory comes in a close second. But, I digress.

My parents aren't easily removed of. I don't want to spend tons of money. I'm generally lacking in preparation for any large jaunt. And therefore, my jaunts seem to be shorter in nature. I'll be home sometime after dark. With any luck, I'd sleep through the morning. But, I'd still have to bother with them for the afternoon and evening. Conservative, anti-gay sheep. It's not like I can really feel comfortable in their house. I was in the closet for the better part of six years and I have no desire to get my ticket stamped for reentry. Fuck them and their outdated beliefs.

So that brings me again to my problem. I don't have anything to do this summer. A tutoring job apparently fell through. I don't need to go out into the workplace as I'll be back at school here next year for grad school. (I just hope there are people left in the area that I like.) Anything I would find would be of the summer variety, and those seem in short supply this year. Surprize!

I need something or someone to keep me busy. I could start writing seriously again, but that would mean more time at home. I do want to get to the beach again this year. It's been so long since I've been and I love it so much, 3/4ths naked men notwithstanding of course. I'd thought about staying in this area over break, but I don't have anywhere to stay. So that's a negatory. I'd thought about just driving and not coming back for a few weeks. But where to go, and what to do. It's not as much fun if you're alone and doing all the driving yourself. I've thought about sitting myself in the Foxwoods cardroom all summer and building my bankroll. But, as much as I like poker and competition, I can't sit on my ass that much and I'm not willing to risk that much start up cash. Granted I'm going to need a mother load of cash to pay off my loans. At least I have another 21 months in grad school before I need to start paying them back. I'd thought about setting up a massive number of teacher's lesson plans for when I actually hit the classroom after grad school, but intersting as that may be for a while, after a week or two of steady work, that's going to wear on me too.

I need to do something this summer, and it needs to be as far away from family as legitimately possible. Any ideas? I'm pretty much up for anything at this point. I hear Guam is nice this time of year.