shit ain`t perfect

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shit ain`t perfect
SHIT AIN’T PERFECT
--INSERT CAPTIVATING SUBTITLE OF YOUR CHOOSING HERE-(or use the one I already supplied)
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are
used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright 2012 Evan Bollinger
Catch the blog at: http://psychworld-eballz.blogspot.com
Other works by Evan Bollinger:
**Sex With Strangers
**Eugenics
(If at any time before, during or after reading this glass ball of celestial knowledge, you
decide to claim my ideas as your own, I will hunt you down. I will hunt you down like
Terminator on John Connor, like white on snow, shades on Bono, horns on a rhino, balls on a
bull, poop in a toilet, elders in Florida, dung on a beetle, smiles on a clown, thc in Bob Marley's
hair, bombs on a plane, rain in a gutter, smog over LA, rats in an eggroll, silicone in a Beverly
Hills tit, buckteeth at a Nascar race, fists in drunk throw down, Guidos at a Frat party, rice in an
Asian stomach, bimbos on a reality T.V. show, cannabis in my receptors...
A Shout Out:
To those with smiles.
To those who fart.
To those who struggle.
To my family, my friends, my haters and my supporters…
And to every kindred soul, who goes doggedly in the direction of dreams; despite demons
and detractors.
(Please note: The opinions represented in the following book do not reflect the author’s
opinions. So sue somebody else.)
Table of Contents
AN INTRODUCTION TO "SHIT AIN’T PERFECT" ..............................................................
DISSECTING THE HUMAN ORGANISM ................................................................................
DON'T STRESS, JUST SWAG .....................................................................................................
ROLLIN UP THE SLEEVES ........................................................................................................
RULING YOUR SCHOOLING ....................................................................................................
IN SHADOWS: THE DARK, THE SAD, THE UNSPOKEN ....................................................
RANT TIME....................................................................................................................................
SHINY DIAMONDS.......................................................................................................................
IT AIN'T MY FAULT, NOW PASS THE JOINT: DRUGS AND DISORDERS ....................
THE LAST WORD.........................................................................................................................
(I enjoy a good shower. The kind that is really warm. Where you can see the steam, and you
know it’s good. I like that.)(I like that a lot)
.
AN INTRODUCTION TO "SHIT AIN’T PE RFE CT "
(skip to next chapter if you have a weak stomach)
From one day to the next, you never know what you're gonna get. Sometimes it's soggy, or
muddled. Sometimes it's hard like a diamond, or a crack rock, or your favorite pair of garden
shears. And sometimes, it ain't in a distinct shape at all. Sometimes, it's like somebody let loose a
grenade in there.
As far as colors are concerned, it can run the spectrum. It can be a nice clay brown, an oak
color, a caramel hue--sometimes it's even black or tarry. Sometimes, it resembles red wine.
Sometimes, if you had a loooong night, it might BE red wine.
No matter the shit we're dealing with, we know it's never gonna be perfect. And if you think
it is, well then... you best just take a picture. Cuz that shit won't last!
Our time on this planet is a gift. And it's so easy to forget that. When we lose a loved one.
When we lose a job. When we lose a piece of ourselves. Whenever the floodgates seem to open,
and you feel like you're drowning--it's easy to give in. But there's always something to bring us
back. It might be a simple meal with family or friends. It could be a walk beneath sun-dappled
trees. It could even be the few chosen words of a cherished poet or author. Or a McDonalds
small fry.
Sometimes, beneath our make-up, and our cars with their heated seats, and our expensive
foods, and our lavish parties at our grand homes with our grand houseguests, and our Apps,
DVDS, DVRS and TVs with HD; beneath everything--we're still in need of something.
Sometimes, I think we can fill the outer world with everything, but it's the simplest thing, in
its simplest form, that fills our inner. (This moment brought to you by Hallmark.)
For most of us, the road of life is never without its share of potholes. Or broken signs. Or
one-way streets. We have to learn to accept that the path to golden enlightenment ain't gonna be
laid down nicely and clearly. And if it is, everybody's gonna hate you. So good goin on that,
Champ.
The way I see it, the best and the worst things in the world are what you make 'em. Living,
struggling, winning, failing, rising to the top like super-duper yeast--these are all things we
accept. Because if we don't accept, what's the point in living? Aside from a good banana split
sundae?
The world around us is filled with so much evil. But I choose to believe that most people
have the capacity for incredible good. No, no, I'm not gonna get all sappy and wholehearted on
ya--save that for the Disney movies. What I'm trying to say is... well, it's uh... kinda like; ehm...
Using the metaphor of the "shit":
I got my shit. You got your shit. Our shit is unique; it's ugly, funky, and oh-so too smelly.
Our shit will never be immaculate. It'll never be flawless. It'll reflect who we are, what we've
endured, and what we're becoming. But my shit is my shit. And your shit is your shit.
Our shit may mix, but never intentionally. Keep your shit to yourself. Don't dump on
another. It's immoral, not to mention unsanitary. Be gracious, be respectful, and have fun; but
don't fuck shit up. And remember, no matter how bad your life may reek, stay on your toes, keep
your head high and the plunger nearby.
Cuz as the saying goes:
Shit Happens
(I knew this kid in college who used to bake cannabis crackers. He made them in the dorm
oven. He was a cool kid.)
(I think he even graduated.)
DISSECTING THE HUMAN ORGANISM
(skip to next chapter if you can't laugh at race, gender or personality type)
Petri dishes and microscopes.
I never paid attention in science class. But I’m told that was the gist of it. Anyway, if you
can dissect a bug, you can dissect a person.
Figuratively of course.
I’m not a freakin coroner.
(I once dissected a hotdog. It was tough. The thing had like a half pound of ketchup and
peppers and stuff on it.
This is where you say, "no homo."
First, let's talk chicks, dicks, and races. Why in that order, you ask? No idea. Guess I like the
sound of it.
**warning: the following perspectives come from a heterosexual male
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FEMALES
Guys,
In case you've been stuck in a basement all your life, eating cold pizza and waging war on
dragons, do me a favor. Go to the most convenient search engine (yes, this involves halting your
orc army), type in the above capitalized word, and feast upon the visuals.
Now to the Ladies:
Ladies,
What's up?
How are you? You look good. You do. I mean that. I mean that in the way your mom means
it. Unconditionally. I know you constantly doubt yourselves. I know you oftentimes joke about
those 'perfect' models in the spreads and on T.V., but I also know, deep down, you compare
yourselves to those impossible standards. There are so many cosmetic products nowadays. So
many ways to enhance.
But you don't need to worry so much. A little make-up here, a little make-up there. Did you
girls know that the average guy takes 81 minutes to get ready? And the average girl, like 76 or
75? I heard this on the radio once. TRUST ME.
Just let your smile and your confidence and your mind do the talking. We're watching you.
And the reason we're watching is because you're looking ...
Good.
Mamacitas,
I like the way you do those things you do. Those subtle brushes of breast or shoulder as you
walk by. The showing of the neck. The toss of your hair. The way you 'stumble' into us and have
to reach out your hand to steady yourselves. You need to stop and realize that you're geniuses.
You can play guys like no other, but you can also catch our eyes and hearts like no other. Your
bodies, your curves, your smile, and God...YOUR EYES!
Nothing beats a good pair of eyes. Sure, you can throw on fake eyelashes and mascara, but
what really does it, is the eye itself. A window to the soul. The way you girls can shoot a quick
glance, downward, then up; an over-the-shoulder glance. The way you do it repeatedly when
you're interested, a subtle "come over here and talk to me already!" that most of us guys are too
scared to act on.
Do understand that most of us are wimps. We're as intimidated by you as you are by us. We
just wanna talk, we just wanna have fun, we just wanna lean in and whisper in your ear, say
something too corny, get you laughing. Few things compare to a girl's honest laughter. We just
want everybody to be happy. Damn, why are things so difficult?
Chicks,
You have longer hair (usually). You have rounder thighs. You've got curls and curves and
hit curbs when tryin to park. You have 'innies' not 'outies.' You put stuff on your face, your
eyelids, your eyebrows, your eyelashes, your lips, your hair—really everywhere. You put it on,
you rub it in, you layer it, you retrace, you doubt, you retrace, you reapply, re, re, re...
You pucker your lips. You purse them. Your voices get high, they get low. You pout. You
yell at us to take out the trash. You smell good. You like Starbucks. You like clothes. You like
shoes. You like things cuz they're "cute." Sometimes you like being one of the guys. You might
pride yourselves on it. You might love "not being girly." But you still are.
You paint your fingernails and toenails. You stab metal in your ears. You put beads in your
hair. You spend money on little bag thingies, you put things in these thingies, and whenever
anybody anywhere needs something, you open your overpriced, shiny bag thingie, pull it out like
a cat from a hat, and Voila, how DO you do it?
You also pop out bloody humans. Ewwww
You make good teachers but bad bodybuilders. You run on treadmills, you wear miniskirts;
you hit the clubs with those niiiice leggings and boots. You like being independent, but you like
getting guys to do things for you. You have that power. It's like Jedi mind control. We don't even
stand a chance. You're the Lady of the Manor, the Queen of the Castle, the Power behind Man.
And you can get us to do anything, ANYTHING, if you threaten to withhold sexy time.
(I’ve been told that hardest things in life are the things worth pursuing. That’s why I like
diamonds.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
MALES
Gents,
What's hangin?
Haha yea our balls, good one CHIEF. But seriously, what's up? Guys, you see, we're pretty
awesome beings. We've got... the uh, well....our, uh.... you know. And it's great, cuz, well, we
can do stuff with it. And we're also the physically stronger of the sexes.
But with that power comes responsibility.
If you're gonna go out there and do sexual things to those weaker than you when they don't
want it—you're not a man. If you do anything with children, you're not a man. We're cool cuz we
chug Natty Lite and we drive in big cars with loud engines and we go to sporting events and hoot
and holler and paint our bodies like Braveheart.
We're cool because one day we might be the provider for a family, and that's kinda a big
deal. We're cool cuz we can sell our swimmers for money. We're cool cuz we don't have to put
on make-up or give birth (I hear it's painful). We're pretty rad, ya know, come to think of it n
all... I mean, we rock cuz we can go lift weights and be meatheads and it’s totally socially
acceptable. And then we can have our college education paid for if we become a big enough
meathead. Did I mention we Cruuuuussh beers?
Bros,
We've got more muscles. More sinew. We're taller, bigger, and get paid more. We think
we're the shit, when often we're not. We really think we're the shit if we have a woman. It
validates us. And we like to use words of possession when talking of ladies. We're all about
attracting them. We spray Axe, we wear heavy cologne, we slick our hair, get our tats, do our
pull-ups, hit the gym, guzzle shakes, eat 20 oz burgers...
But we're also stupid. We can get whipped like no other by these desirable damsels. And
speaking of whipped, we whip each other with towels in the locker room (troubling). We're
cheap. We think we can fix anything with our hands. We all might as well be mechanics. We're
all genius road masters, so we don't ask for directions, we say we 'got it' when we don't, and at
the end of a long hard day, all we want is a hot meal and a cold beer.
When it comes to competition, we don't care. That is, we don't care who you are. An elder, a
5-year-old, a woman, a disabled kid—if you're against us, you're goin down. We'll scream at
little whippersnappers to "catch the damn football!" We'll throw furniture if our teams lose. We
mow our lawns with John Deere. We grill our steaks with Webber. We really like bikinis.
We act like we understand girls, but we don't. We act like we understand most things ("oh
yea, theory of relativity, Einstein, sure..."). We rip smelly farts. We take pride in the size of our
dogs, our hotdogs, our "hotdogs," and our shits. We love electronics. We'll blow thousands on
surround sound, 90'' eyegasms, but money on curtains? R U Freakin Kidding Me??
Come on guy.
(I wonder how many people don’t brush before they go to the dentist. Funny how my dentist
is always smiling. I guess if you’ve smelled garlic breath once, you’ve smelled it a million times.
I miss the nitrous oxide.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
THE BIRDS AND THE BEES
Men.
Women.
What do we want?
Well, that's pretty simple. Each other.
But then why ISN'T it simple? We've all heard of body language to one extent or the other.
Men's magazines will tell you that a hair toss, some smiles, and nice eye contact means "you're
gettin lucky." Similarly, women's reads will get you excited by a prospect, or drop you into
depressive pits with the trite, "he's just not that into you."
You see, if we all operated on body language alone, we'd probly all be humpin heavy in the
streets. But the problem is, society comes with its own set of codes, with this whole social script,
etiquette, blah, blah, blah—crapola. And as annoying as it can be, we gotta respect it. After all,
we're humans, and we hold ourselves to a higher calling. I guess that explains 'laws' and 'rights'
and all that jazz...
But seriously, let's think about it. And what better microcosm for intergender relations and
interactions than the bar scene? That's right, the bar scene. You know, where club-bangers bring
babes in droves, get morons fist-pumpin, and inevitably leave some 21-year-old hotshot spewing
McDonalds fries all over the bathroom floor?
Yea, that place.
I've spent many hours in bars. Usually with my brethren, usually not making many moves
on the women nearby. But that's okay. Because I'm a people-watcher (and I need to rationalize
my passivity somehow). Anywho, the occasions have served as opportunities for observation.
And I've taken full advantage. Typically, you'll see one or more of the following at bars, and by
noting them and understanding them, you will hopefully dramatically improve your chances.
Ladies, I will try not to be chauvinistic. Men, I will try to respect the ladies. So here goes, in no
particular order, many different types that can and do overlap in the Bar Scene Typology:
1) THE BLOODHOUNDS: That's right, we've all seen 'em. And they've all seen us. Well,
SMELLED us, more like it. THE BLOODHOUNDS are the guys that constantly have their
sexdars turned to overload. They've got the crosshairs on anything with female organs. You
might see them briefing from a distance, and then they swoop in, pack mentality on full display,
cornering the hapless target.
These are the guys who surround an attractive girl at the bar from all conceivable angles,
overworking her, throwing highly effective one-liners such as, "Your eyes are like moonlight,"
or, wasting no time, "Top or bottom, your pick." You see, because THE BLOODHOUNDS have
no conception of failure, they will continue to come on strong, ignoring all signals that the
female is disinterested, focused solely on her swath of flesh and scent of perfume.
They will only stop when the woman flees or a friend frees her from their clutches. In these
cases, THE BLOODHOUNDS will indiscriminately locate other targets.
Now, in rare cases there are female BLOODHOUNDS. But more often than not, their
desperation is even more unappealing than their male counterparts'. If they happen to be hot and
horny, consider yourself extremely lucky, gentlemen.
2) The LONE WOLF: The LONE WOLF is everywhere. And if this persona is executed
correctly, it can reap countless benefits. In males, the LONE WOLF typically occupies several
forms. It may be a guy sitting with his rum and coke at a table or at the bar, or simply standing,
leaning against something, his eyes scanning the scene for prospects. Now, in most cases the
LONE WOLF is not a pedophile. So that's good.
The male LONE WOLF is oftentimes younger but can be older too. When effective, the
LONE WOLF exudes a sort of dark mystery and graceful subtlety. He may catch countless
female eyes across the bar, and may be located strategically so as to have free space around him
where a female LONE WOLF or gaggle of girls can then move to for potential conversation.
The LONE WOLF will use tactics such as cellphone-checking and T.V. watching to feign
detachment, but really he is watching everything and everyone. The LONE WOLF may elicit
comments from girls such as "he's cute" or "I wonder if he's by himself." The beauty of the
LONE WOLF is, people wonder, why is this wolf alone? And if the cogs start moving, and the
hypotheticals conjured are positive, then the male LONE WOLF stands to gain.
Unfortunately, the ineffective LONE WOLF will not achieve any of these things. He will
want to SEEM uncaring and detached, and he will, to a fault. And as such, nobody will pay him
heed, aside from the bartender who exploits this lonely soul for his charitable tipping.
This ineffective LONE WOLF may be an older man who has been coming to the same spot
for years, searching for the love of his life. Or he may be a younger gent who just wants to fit in
but doesn't know how. He may tell people that he enjoys being an outsider, but somewhere, deep
down inside, he wants desperately to 'get it in.'
Now, the Female LONE WOLF is a special specimen as well. The successful female LONE
WOLF will often draw Bloodhounds from far and wide. If she's good, she will be one of the few
capable of dispelling unwanted Bloodhounds with silent treatment, vague responses, and blatant
interest in other areas of the bar.
If interested in a suitor, the female LONE WOLF will be coy, seductive, often possessing an
alluring control of her lips and eyes—a mesmerizing, understated confidence.
The ineffective female LONE WOLF may choose her isolation due to self-esteem issues or
may be having a bad day and wanting nothing more than to wash it away, dreaming of meeting
somebody, ANYBODY once heavy intoxication ensues.
An important distinction to make with LONE WOLVES is that all go with the intention of
getting with somebody. Those who sporadically go to bars simply to have drinks after a long day
or for reasons other than meeting other humans are not Lone Wolves. If these same people go to
the bar regularly after work, and always claim they just "want to have a drink in peace" then they
usually ARE Lone Wolves and are secretly looking for company.
3) THE OPRAH WINFREY: Everybody knows ORPAH WINFREY. She's revered round
the world; she essentially owns the world. In terms of power, her nearest competitor is God. And
she might as well be God...
Who else can buy cars for everybody in the audience?
In the bar, THE OPRAH WINFREY'S drinks are her cars. Oftentimes dressed to kill and
exhibit wealth, but not always, THE OPRAH WINFREY has no problems blowing inordinate
amounts of money in a single, binge-drinking night; night after night after night. THE OPRAH
WINFREY is the guy OR girl who somehow gets to the bar first, knows the bartender, gets
served before people who have been waiting forever, and slides a credit card across the counter
with the expected, "Keep it open" line.
THE OPRAH WINFREY is there to party and blow money, and she or he could not care
less. They buy the shots, they got the rounds, and if you dare offer to pay or remark that they're
spending haphazardly, they'll wave it off like it's nothing.
THE OPRAH WINFREY usually doesn't have a game plan for hooking up with somebody,
but more often than not, this person, what with their obvious wealth and uncaring attitude, will
end up with several opportunities for 'partnership.'
However, many times, they'll get so blasted, they won't even know their own name by the
end of the night, let alone that of the girl/guy they've been chatting it up with since Patron shot
#6.
4) The EYECANDY: Everybody likes candy. It tastes sweet. And boy oh boy, does it look
sweeter.
The EYECANDY is that girl or guy that sticks out like a rose in a briar bush. In female
form, the EYECANDY is gorgeous. Oftentimes Barbie-doll like but sometimes (and this may be
construed as 'disrespectful') they just look slutty. They wanna be noticed. They want guys to ogle
at their cleavage, to stare at their rump, to talk in hushed voices about their low-cut dress. They
know they've got a body and they want everybody else to know it too.
The Female EYECANDY can be very smart or very dumb and bimbo-y. They might just
like 'toying' with guys so that they can shoot them down in some form of twisted Neo-Feminism.
They might enjoy playing hard-to-get, or they might, quite honestly, just be looking to get
reamed.
The female EYECANDY will oftentimes surround herself with a group of lesser attractive
friends, just to make herself stick out even more. She will downplay her hotness, complement her
friends on their alleged attractiveness, and act oblivious to the fact that she specifically and
meticulously picked out her outfit to highlight her every prominent, jaw-dropping feature.
She has her friends to improve her self-esteem because ironically, due to her incredible
looks, she may be quite insecure. Not always, but it definitely occurs.
On the dance floor, everybody watches her. As she walks by, everybody watches her. She
has a syrupy sweet voice when she orders drinks, and, so it's no surprise, she always gets served
promptly. However, because she is so attractive, she often perpetuates her insecurity by scaring
off potential suitors who can't muster the courage to approach her, lest they be labeled as 'lustful
pigs.'
Then at the end of the night, as her lesser friends (friends she says she's happy for when they
get with guys) are suckin face with brosephs, she's left wondering why she, the 'pretty one,' is
going home alone.
The male EYECANDY is much the same. Sometimes metrosexual, sometimes Guido,
sometimes some variation, sometimes a Prettyboy, or maybe just ruggedly handsome, the male
EYECANDY knows girls want him. He's confident bordering on arrogant, and he sees women
more or less as means to an end. He may come with a pack of bros, all of whom glob to him for
his incredible powers of female seduction, all of whom secretly aspire to be him.
He might be genuine friends with them, but when they enter the bar scene, their days of
playing WarCraft 3 mean nothing, and he will abandon the pack in a split second for any hottie
he sets his eyes on.
He downplays his success, doesn't talk much about his 'game,' but deep within, he's
constantly reminding himself how much of 'The Man' he really is.
He loves to play girls off of one another. Guys who don’t know him (and many who do)
think he is manipulative and a douche, and wonder aloud what it is women see in him. The male
EYECANDY is so set in his ways that half the time he doesn't even realize what he is doing
could be construed as immoral or sleazy.
He believes that he is a superior creature, and that if he and a woman enjoy a night of lust,
then so be it—the only thing he fears is a relationship.
By and large, he can do what he wants, and with his suave ways and startlingly good looks,
he can talk his way out of almost any transgression.
He's always freshly showered, smelling of nice cologne, and always comes strapped for
war—a condom in his back pocket.
Or maybe two.
He's the kind of guy that cannot make a move on a single girl all night, then 20 minutes from
closing time, can approach a hottie, seal the deal, and sexile his roommate, all with the wave of a
wand—spellbinding.
5) THE SHOCKER: That's right. And no, I'm not talkin about some lewd gesture or finger
positioning. I'm talking about that guy or that girl who SHOCKS you. I can see your eyebrows
scrunching in curiosity... Let me explain.
Let's start with the female version. The female SHOCKER is usually soft-spoken. She is
cute and attractive and something about her seems to catch a lot of eyes. Though she is dressed
rather modestly, her gentle, suggestive ways leave you wanting so much more. She doesn't wear
much make-up, and she doesn't need to. And, despite her lack of revealing clothing, it's easy to
see that her body is something great.
After a few drinks, she loosens up, and physical contact occurs. After a few more, she may
depart and head to the dance floor. It is there, that she gradually works her way into rhythm. She
is graceful and flexible, and she can undulate in ways that leave you intimidated before you've
gravitated. Certain features that before were only partially discernible become alluringly
apparent.
She will not plead you to dance with her, but her eyes flicking to yours, call you in. And so,
chugging the last of your mixed drink, you join her.
If lucky, you take her home for the night. And that's when the real SHOCKER strikes.
Those same moves on the dance floor are amplified ten-fold beneath the sheets, and in
embarrassment you find yourself struggling to endure. The girl who seemed so innocent and
inexperienced at first glance, becomes the girl who's willing to try anything, in any position,
sensual as hell. She blows your mind, giggling and smiling, and she works your body like
nobody before. You're blissfully shocked.
When all is said and done, she says she's fine with it being a 'no-strings-attached' affair. You
find yourself wanting to date this girl. She's so sexy, so cute, so chill, so down for whatever. But
softly, and respectfully, she informs you that it was just a night of fun. And like that, that is that.
The male version of THE SHOCKER comes in several varieties.
He may appear shy at first, but beneath that quite exterior is a booming confidence. He may
even be dressed like a scrub or his clothes might not match, or it might appear that he has no
style whatsoever. He doesn't want to fit in and he doesn't care if people think he's odd. He is
attractive and he doesn't care to flaunt it.
When talking, he is adoringly awkward, and seems to have trouble establishing the first
move. He may make several attempts at initial contact before succeeding or he may take a
completely different approach, asking you straightforward, personal questions.
Normally, they would offend you or turn you off, but his odd, unexpected conversational
style leaves you laughing and strangely drawn. You find yourself liking his nerdiness, even
wondering if he knows anything about women.
Once lured onto the dance floor, his idiosyncrasies wash away. He's able to mirror your
body movements, and he gradually changes the pace, moving you this way and that, working his
hips and hands so that in time you two are practically sexing in clothes.
He squeezes your rump or rubs your inner thigh, but in the most non-threatening way, and
you suddenly find yourself trusting this guy that you barely know. His gentleness and sensitivity
turn you on, and you can't help but love the nuances of his movements. Inevitably you find
yourself wondering if that same sensuality carries over to the bedroom.
If you do go back to the bedroom, you find out that, yes, it does. The SHOCKER might be
that he is well-endowed. Or it might be that he can play your body like a flute. No matter what
his talents, he is a pleaser, and from giving you pleasure, he is able to turn himself on.
You find yourself having more of an emotional connection to him than you've had to any
other 'fling' before. It's because he doesn't mind spooning, and he can get his muscles contracting
and expanding like nobody's business. He's a man of rhythm and grace, and boy does that get
your toes curling.
6) THE STATEMENT: Look around you. Chances are, somebody's trying to make a
statement. It may be a transsexual, a transvestite, a chick or guy with way too many visible body
tattoos, a chick or guy blinged-out in medallions, or a wrinkly geezer 'doin the dougie' at a
college kid's hotspot.
Most chicks dress provocatively at clubs and bars these days, so that can't be considered
making a statement. Most dudes dress well to attract these well-dressed chicks, so that isn't really
making a statement either.
THE STATEMENT draws appreciators and haters from all over. THE STATEMENT is a
visual anomaly first and foremost, but, in rare cases, may deliver a multisensory overload.
Picture a wasted drinker protesting Medicare when he's not drumming on the bar counter to
the antiquated Renaissance music in his head. Or maybe just a dirty, scraggly-haired dude
straight from the dump yard, stinkin up an upscale DC bar with a cover charge of $50. If he
managed to get in (unlikely), his intention is to draw attention.
Given OCCUPY movements across the US, we might be seein a lot more STATEMENTS in
the coming days.
7) THE BRUH
I'm not referring to guys that show up after work in their dress shirts, ties and slacks, nor am
I talking about the 'bros' that rip shots of Jagermeister and scream "Whoooooo" all the way to
black-out. I'm talking about The Bruh. The Bruh is a guy that has no plans, no obvious
aspirations, no clear goal in attending the bar or club.
The Bruh is typically stoned upon arrival. He might be rockin sandals or loafers. He might
have hemp necklaces or bracelets, and his eyes are bleary, reddened slits. He doesn't go out of his
way to meet people, but they all seem to know him. He's easygoing and friendly, but only when
somebody else initiates. Otherwise, he is content to just... chill.
Girls may be turned away from the Bruh because of his lack of 'life trajectory' and
lackadaisical style. Or, girls could be attracted to him for these same reasons. Strange, but true.
These girls may be 'Bruhs' themselves. They might see in their male counterpart a certain
tortured struggling artist. For many Bruhs, the tortured artist is buried deep within, but may come
out in moments of guitar-strumming, bong-ripping, or conversations with small, trusted circles of
friends.
All in all, the Bruh's just tryin to chill. If you're not about it, that's cool. If you are about it,
holla atchya boy or girl.
8) THE FRET
The Fret, like the name suggests, is worried about everything. He/she is fretting about how
he/she's gonna get to the bar, where he/she's gonna sit, if he/she's been in one spot for too long,
what he/she should get once he/she's at the bar, if a recent deposit went thru yet on the debit card,
if he/she should try to talk to a girl/guy, if his or her collar is lookin sharp—you name it, The
Fret is fretting.
The Fret is that guy or chick that doesn't know what to do. This is the one that turns to a
group of friends and says, "You wanna hit another bar?" This is the one that is already
wondering how much a beer costs before taking a sip of the current drink.
The Fret might be a cokehead, but more often than not, The Fret is just an anxious,
hyperactive malcontent who's always looking ahead ahead ahead ahead. Even as intoxication
continues, The Fret is not satisfied. The Fret will simply become confused and confusing,
disappearing to bathrooms, hollering at people for cigs, giving pats to acquaintances
misinterpreted as 'friends.'
The Fret's hyperactivity may lead him or her into sticky situations. A trusted guardian
should watch the Fret to assure that the Fret doesn't run wildly into streets outside the club and
get hit by a car or arrested by police or mugged by ruffians.
9) The TURTLE
We've all seen the Turtle. Imagine The Turtle as initially a shell. Then, a couple gin and
tonics later, the Turtle emerges from its shell. And then it's something entirely different.
The TURTLE may manifest as a drunken floozy who normally spends her hours in the
library but due to the bipolar shifting powers of alcohol, is now straddling everything with a
schlong.
The TURTLE may be a guy who is usually calm and accepting, but suddenly morphs into a
cantankerous, red-faced bully who finds himself shouting obscenities at passing vehicles.
The TURTLE may be a stressed, TYPE-A stroke-waiting-to-happen that after consuming
his fair share, is goofy, giggly, and carefree.
The TURTLE may be a poor sob who after getting crunked, forgets his financial woes and
blows money like a leaf blower blows... leaves.
The TURTLE is found in AAA meetings all over the world. The TURTLE is often
encouraged by friends who find the drastic mood changes funny. For other friends, the mood
swings are not funny. People may recommend psychiatric help. Oftentimes the TURTLE's life
problems come spilling out at one point or the other when wasted.
However, it is important to realize that in some circumstances, the TURTLE may
completely fabricate things or 'admit' things that make no sense: "My father died in the
Revolutionary war! I never got to tell him I loved him!"
The TURTLE may get girls or guys simply through his or her emotional outpourings. But
usually, this requires the recipient of the outpourings to be equally intoxicated.
It does happen though.
10) The BAGGAGE
The BAGGAGE is the kid that nobody wanted to bring but he or she came along anyway.
They wanted to feel part of the group, but they clearly have no idea what to do.
They don't grasp the bar scene, they stand silently, oddly. They don't understand the
dynamic. They stick with their group, expecting a drink to be purchased for them.
They have no idea how much drinks cost and when they actually do offer money to pay for
their drink, they give way too little, and then, to make matters worse, they feign knowledge,
saying something along the lines of, "that should cover it."
The BAGGAGE is usually somebody who is more comfortable at home watching T.V. or
reading on a weekend night (which is fine). The only problem is, they become personally
offended when not asked to come out, even though 90% of the time in the past they declined
such offers.
The BAGGAGE will stand on the fringes of the dance floor when everybody else in his or
her group is dancing. Others will feel bad, and may feel an obligation to 'babysit' or encourage
the BAGGAGE to partake. Of course, the BAGGAGE will not assert him or herself one way or
the other, and despite everybody's efforts, will not loosen up from the alcohol.
This is probably due to the fact that the BAGGAGE stops drinking after 2 or 3 drinks.
People like the BAGGAGE. But in the bar or club setting, the BAGGAGE is an alien. The
BAGGAGE has an esoteric knowledge of low-budget films, banned literature, and obscure facts.
The BAGGAGE may share this oddball collection of goodies after drinking a few drinks. The
BAGGAGE may have trouble recognizing that others in his or her group do not particularly care
for such facts.
The BAGGAGE is not the best at social cues.
11) THE PET
The PET is more often seen at dinner parties or house parties, but is definitely present at
bars as well. The PET is that powerless man or woman who is dragged, on a leash, to the place
of drink and merriment. The PET is dragged by his or her girlfriend or boyfriend and does not
want to be there. The PET may try to escape the clutches of its partner when at the bar, but the
partner will maintain a firm hold.
The PET will be forced to get drinks and to meet all of its partner's friends and
acquaintances. As a guy, the PET is typically looks like a starved weasel. He will be taciturn and
will lower his head as he returns to the bartender at his larger girlfriend's bidding.
He will not stray from the girlfriend's hip until either drunk enough to have the courage, or
when given permission. He will talk only about things she likes, only when she's assured her
friends won't perceive him wrongly.
The female PET will be equally dominated. She'll huddle by her man, saying nothing and
doing nothing until her leash is extended. She will give scripted responses and introductions to
her partner's friends. These scripted words will be planned carefully during the car ride to the
bar.
She will not be allowed to divulge anything personal. The female PET's partner will want
her to fetch drinks for everybody. She will be expected to do so promptly and agreeably.
After leaving the bar, the PET, male or female, will not be allowed to 'be themselves' until
arriving home. Only then, may the PET's leash be removed, pending the partner's appraisal of the
PET's strengths and shortcomings of the night. If things go poorly, the PET may be punished and
forced to sleep on the couch or pull-out.
If things go right, the PET will be expected to engage in doggy-style.
12) THE DUSTY DUO
Alright, alright, so they aren't necessarily "dusty" but they're definitely old.
Well... older.
I refer to the couple, long-time married or at least 10+ years monogamous, that you see at
the bar. They might go out to wine and dine with friends, but they always stick around till the
owl hours. You'll spot them at college kid hotspots, kinda outta place, but also, quite frankly,
kinda refreshing. Maybe they feel hip or alive when around younger kids. Maybe it brings them
back to their days of folly and fornication.
Whatever. The point is, these smiling wrinkles are present, and not afraid to make that
presence known. They might get sauced and start slow dancing, in front of everybody. Or they
might strike up convos with the Youngers, start applauding the drunken escapades of the
Youngers, or even get all buddy-buddy with the bartender.
The DUSTY DUO has seen its share of trials and tribulations. They've lived through
Woodstock, probly conceived a few kids in the fields—and they definitely aren't afraid to dredge
up the ol' past. Once sauced, they'll tell cute girls "You look just like our daughter!" or exclaim
to the young gents, "You look just like our son!" or "Tell me you're single? I'd love to match you
up with my grandson!"
The DUSTY DUO may be looking to relive some old memories. They might reanimate at
their wedding songs, or, to the surprise (and chagrin) of all, start break-dancing to the hottest and
latest club-bangers. They might buy others shots just because they love to mix and mingle, and
reminisce—"brings me back to sophomore year college!"
This DUO might consist of a woman with frizzy grey hair and a guy with a 70s porn stache.
Or they might have updated their looks. Perhaps they both went under the knife. Or maybe they
just aged gracefully.
It's always curious, in situations where the husband or wife temporarily disappears. The one
partner may be off to the urinal, but the remaining partner at the barstool is suddenly bait:
You'll see young guns tryin to swoon the milf or gilf. You might see voluptuous Juliets
reaching for the silver hair of the distinguished man. And the best part is, there are no
consequences. The partner will return and the DUO will get a hearty laugh. The suitor, of course,
will be mortified, but nonetheless return to his or her friends to relate the odd turn of events.
13) THE TWO-FACE
A TWO-FACE is somebody with two faces.
DUH!!
But in this case, the TWO-FACE is really two different types of people. Each one having,
well, just one face. Let me explain:
In the bar scene, the TWO-FACE will be one of two people. Either, (A) the annoying skonz
that always yells about being "so waaasted! I've had like 20 shotssss!!" or (B) the person that
denies and hides intoxication at all costs, for reasons unknown.
This is the way it is.
The TWO-FACE may not drink anything. But will nonetheless feign drunkenness just to get
attention. This is the person that hasn't grown up since high school when 'crushing' a six pack
with buddies or killing wine coolers with 'the girlies' was so cool and so new. For whatever
reason, the TWO-FACE still boasts of drinking to the point of needing the stomach pumped.
Black-out episodes are recalled in excruciating detail (which is hard to do given, the uh,
supposed lack of consciousness at time of said episode).
The TWO-FACE will regale you with tales of every remembered day of drinking; stories of
the most boring, depressing, pointless one-beer binges that you've ever heard. They tell their
tales with so much gosh darn excitement, you'd think they won the freakin Lottery.
The TWO-FACE who gets fudruckered beyond belief but tries to disguise it, is equally
perplexing. This individual will be that guy or girl walking really slowly, with blank, vacant
eyes. He or she may have trouble responding and will take a long time before talking slowly.
This is because he or she is struggling to organize thoughts and prevent slurring of words.
This TWO-FACE may speak of drinking obscene amounts, but will not brag. Instead, the
achievements of gross consumption will be conveyed through nonchalant comments sprinkled
here and there: "Yea. I had like 14 beers, I was fine tho. Drove home n all." This TWO-FACE
will downplay intoxication and always volunteer to be the designated driver.
This TWO-FACE may be so used to denying intoxication that he or she will develop PILS
(pronounced "pills"). That's Pathological Intoxicated Lying Syndrome. This TWO-FACE will
talk to cops about being sober when in fact wasted. Unfortunately for the TWO-FACE, the drunk
lying will become so engrained, it will become the truth in the TWO-FACE's mind.
--You just blew a .4, sir. We're gonna need to take you to the precinct.
--Whaaat? I'm fine! I'm sober as a bird!
The TWO-FACE views any drinking scenario as a time in which to exhibit awesomeness.
Either awesomeness in terms of one's ability to guzzle and act unaffected, or in terms of one's
ability to guzzle and get incredibly rowdy and saucy. These are the only two reasons. This is the
dichotomy. That is all.
I guess it's fair to ask where I slot myself in this whole mess of "Types." I won't tell you.
Cuz honestly I couldn't tell you. But I will tell you, I've been all of them. And I'm sure you have
too. And if not, maybe you're just more well-adjusted.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SKIN COLORS AND SEX ORGANS
Disclaimer: You will be appalled by some of the things I say. But what you must
remember is that all the things I say, are actually things that many people would say. It's just that
everybody wants to appear to be good, so they only say these terrible things in the comfort of
close friends. But they almost always think these things.
And even if everybody would not say or think these things, these things have still been
represented in literature and T.V., spoken in real-life, and insinuated in a million different ways.
It's a shame people are so narrow-minded, but hey, it is what it is. Anyway, I'm gonna go by the
South Park rule: If you're gonna offend, you better offend everybody. That's the only way it flies.
I will admit that I might lump certain people together. So forgive me if I don't represent all
the 'voiceless.'
Anyway, I'll be talking about the generalizations, the attributes, the racist lines—straight
chicken noodle soup for the bigot’s soul. Some stereotypes are blatant at times and subtle at
others. But I have no control of this. I am merely a product of my people; one ingredient in the
steaming cauldron of race and race relations.
Let's do this:
WHITES
White people are weak. Physically weak, mentally weak, and will break into sob-stories
when the slightest thing goes astray. People die from famine in other countries, but the White
person will believe his or her life "in shambles" when suddenly, heaven forbid, "my Blackberry
isn't getting reception!" White people don't have a sense of style, look absolutely retarded when
attempting to dance, and wouldn't know what swag is if it wrapped around their necks.
It should be known that all white people are privileged. They all have trust funds, and pools,
and live in gated communities, and sip mojitos, and don't give a shit about anybody beneath
them. They consider most races 'animals,' and will expect the rest of the world to wait on them
hand-and-foot. White people love to show their status by driving BMWs and Mercedes. They
love to hang out with the other suits at bars post-work and talk about the 'plague of mankind' (ie;
everybody BUT white people).
White people don’t have accents. Unless of course, they’re from the South. But those people
don’t really count. They’re the inbred cousins. All other White people are flawless. And they all
have beautiful families and are wholesome Christians.
White women love black dick, white men have small dicks, and white people in general
overthink, overworry, and over prepare. White people try to be athletic, but almost always have
to rely on their fundamentals and hours of planning to contend. White people really can't jump,
they wear way too many collared shirts and formal clothes, and pride themselves on being
'people of substance.'
White people commit as many atrocities as any race, but they disguise their transgressions
behind their money, their fancy words, and their alleged acts of good will. White people are
considered the 'slave-masters' of the 21st century, and more than anything, they're snooty,
deceptive, and fiscally focused.
Oh, did I mention White People write the history books?
RUSSIANS
Man... these guys are sinister. Nefarious monsters. And most of them walk the streets with
AK-47s slung over their shoulders. And they always look so serious. That's probly cuz most of
them came from peasantry. Tough stock, people. Tough stock. I mean, they look so battle-worn
and grizzled. And they never belie their true beliefs. That's because their poker faces are always
drawn. They also live in shitty, cold climates. But that's okay.
That's why they invented Vodka. And boy-oh-boy, do they know how to handle a stiff drink.
Chilly? Swig some of this. And don't lose your panties in the process.
Whimp.
The RUSSIAN women are alluring. Their accents seal the deal. Whereas their male
counterparts are scary or annoyingly confident in such tones, the women take the voice, combine
it with their distinct skeletal structure, and PHEEEEEEEEEEW
Get some, Son!
The men are usually contract killers. They'll spend months in underground strip joints, rave
clubs, watching lights dance and women wiggle. They'll sip sternly from their flasks, until they
receive the call. Then, they'll venture out, into the world, locating their target, preparing their
AK-47, and earning their money. They kill without conscience.
The RUSSIANS are bad asses. Period.
Though their voices can get annoying from time to time. Learn how to talk, skonzoids.
AFRICAN AMERICANS
We all know the type. These are the ones that live in America but are dark-skinned. The
n*ggas, the 'thugs,' the 'homies,' the 'Gs,' the guys with the big coats, the hats, the shades, rockin
Jordan kicks, looking 'fly,' gettin high, and not givin a fuck. They despise those in authority, they
"fuck the police," they're always packin heat, they buy Magnum condoms, they've got tats, and
afros, and dreads, and a swagger that leaves the 'phat' bitches hungry.
They hold up liquor stores, they shoot each other in the streets, they'll blow money on
electronics and clothes like no other, but ask them to drop a few dollars on a textbook and they'll
stare you down like you've got two heads. They'll drop $180 on sneakers, and a buck 80 on child
support.
African Americans are athletic as hell, with all the raw talent in the world, and if you
interview them post-game, you'll find they all say the same thing: "We was just tryna be
aggressive."
As professional athletes, they get paid millions and blow the money on hookers, strippers,
partying—forever in the name of 'making it rain.' For those who aren't professional athletes, they
continually aspire, and if their athletic dreams don't come true, and if they don't make it in the
'white man's world,' they've always got a position 'workin the block.'
This type usually impregnates women just to leave, they're all about the money, and they'll
pop you if you're not one of them and you use the 'you-know-what' word. (Hint: starts with "n").
African Americans may run into trouble, they may do what they do cuz the system is holdin
them down, or they might just play along with the white man's game. Anyway, deep down
inside, they all hold a grudge cuz their ancestors were slaves. And no matter what happens, they
always wanna thank their "lord and savior, Jesus Christ."
ARABS
I consider these people to be the ones from the east where everybody wears Turbans, bows
to Allah, and chants something nonsensical. Pakistanis, Iraqis, Iranians, Syrians, etc, etc. I guess
I should call them the Middle Easterners. Or maybe, the Orientals (not to be confused with
Asians).
They're all devout and do this and that. They also watch the Aljazeera network, and are the
ones walking around the grocery store with beady eyes and dark expressions. Or you may hear
odd murmurs about "infidels."
In child form, they throw rocks at US tanks. If they're US citizens, they throw rocks at
school buses. In adult US citizen form, they read sketchy magazines and log on to websites that
explain how to build bombs in your mom's basement.
If you're ever at the airport and everybody's doin a double-take, it's because one of these
ARABs just waltzed in. If they're in their home country, they're either hiding from terrorist cells,
or they're operating missile launchers and assault weaponry.
They are the sultans of sand, the oil barons, the owners of all the corner gas stations. And
they also work in these gas stations. They're the ones you can't understand when you call for tech
support. They're the ones drawing Tom Cruise to Dubai, in hopes that his stuntman tendency will
leave him plummeting to his death from the tallest tower in the world.
The ARABS have a certain smell. They may sometimes appear to be very acquiescent. They
may appear to be completely peaceful and loving, and good examples for the children of
tomorrow. But don't be fooled. They're probably plotting something or another. They don't
believe in petty crimes. They go for the jugular.
And they're always recruiting. They're recruiting kids without guidance who want to do
"something radical." They're recruiting explosives experts. They're recruiting people who want
87 virgins, and who are not afraid to die.
Oh, did I mention they think that women should be covered from head-to-toe? In their
countries, cattle are above females. But then again, this is no surprise. Any psychologist worth
his or her salt will tell you that the ARABS' tendencies for violence stem from their great sexual
frustrations.
Come on, Muhammad! This is why the world offers prostitutes!
ASIANS
Asians. What more need I say? They're smart as nails, they love computers, their eyes are
slits, they have yellow skin, they eat tons of rice, and they make a mean chicken and broccoli.
The Asian kid is the kid on his TI-83. But don't make fun. They can use chopsticks as deadly
projectiles, and may possess the ability to levitate between rooftops.
The ASIAN will speak quickly and say things in funky native words that you can't
understand. For all we know, they might be planning take-over of our government's satellites.
Asians are typically bad drivers, and make the toughest of parents. If little Kung Pow comes
home with an A- on his report card.....
Yeeeeessshh...
They are also rumored to have tiny johnsons, but they make up for it with their ridiculous
analytic abilities and lightning fast reflexes. In other words, do not mistake their quiet
dispositions for those of weaklings—they know all your pressure points and will not hesitate to
Bruce Lee your ass if you rile them.
There is no confirmation, but the ASIAN might also keep a pet-dragon. He or she may hide
it in a far-away mountain keep somewhere. Or it might spend its time in a subterranean habitat.
We just don't know. So be wary.
I know it's the biggest stereotype, but the ASIAN really does dominate mathematics. They
can rotate 3-dimensional objects, multiply matrices, and recite Pi to the 146th integer—all done
mentally. Numbers seem to come easily to them, and they also demonstrate a propensity for
electronics, and biology, and chemistry, and every science known to man. They will destroy
people at almost any video game, and usually hold the high scores in any arcade game you
happen to stumble across.
Did I mention they all look the same? And have black hair? And they will become enraged
if you call them Japanese when they're Chinese, or Chinese when they're South Korean, or
Vietnamese when they're North Korean, or....
Well, you get the picture. Did I mention they all look the same?
MEXICANS
When I say "MEXICANS," I'm referring to all those people. You know, Guatemalans,
Spaniards, Puerto Ricans, Colombians, Brazilians, all that. I mean, they all speak some kind of
Spanishy, Romanticy Languagey thingy, so, I mean...
These people are everywhere. Some got darker skin, some brownish, some blackish, some
kinda yellow/tan-ish... They talk really fast in their native tongues and can rattle off phrases
quicker than the winds of an F5. Speaking of tongues, they do this weird tongue-roll thing, and
it's kinda alarming and frustrating for a couple reasons: Firstly, you're not supposed to be able to
move your tongue like that (though I imagine the women are AMAZING French kissers), and
Secondly; when anybody who's not MEXICAN tries to do that, they end up choking.
Speaking of the women. In their finest forms, they've got more curves than a camel's back.
And the men, well, women seem to think they're charming and suave and have sexy moles. They
can all salsa dance like nobody's business, they make amazing food (Gracias, Chipotle), and they
all hit like 50 homers in the MLB.
MEXICANS only drink Dos Equis and Corona when in America. They love to work
landscaping and construction, and if it's 100 degrees with 100 % humidity, they're lookin for a
winter jacket. MEXICANS are also really good at getting past the most daunting of fences,
which probably explains why they're so gnarly at constructing them.
MEXICANS are smarter than people give them credit for. I mean, think about it people!
They can stay in our country for years without green cards, know how to stuff 15 people into a
single rancher home, and are able to make enough money in the US so that they can then return
to their homelands and live like kings. Not to mention, they make amazing chefs in restaurants
that AREN'T cooking burritos, tacos, or enchiladas.
Dios Mio!
ESKIMOS
They wear big furry coats. They make fancy ice sculptures of penguins and seals, and killer
whales. They're excellent fishers. And they don't live in houses.
They live in homes of ice, ice, baby.
And that's all I know.
ITALIANS
Italians. Let me start by saying that some Italians are freakin awesome. Some make
awesome food. Some make awesome criminals. And some make awesome speeches about things
that aren't "personal, just business."
Who else can eat pasta with meatballs seconds after whacking a whole mob of goons? An
ITALIAN. What wife can yell and scream the head off a mob boss and not be punished? An
ITALIAN. Who else can smoke cigars, drink wine, and buy a business in cash, all beneath the
police chief's watch, without repercussion? An ITALIAN.
ITALIANS are tough-talking, tough-walkin tough guys. They pride the Family over
everything, but will not hesitate to kill a brother or sister if doing so gains to benefit the greater
good... of the Family. Italians drive sedans with tinted windows. They roll up to clubs and 5-star
restaurants and get the back room. They are always VIP; money is not a concern, except for
when they want to make more. They are very 'convincing' businessmen. They will go to any
means necessary to get their way. You better side with them, on any business venture.
Otherwise, you'll side with the dead.
On the party scene, the males are better known as Guidos. They will fist-pump, wear tight,
shiny clothing, yell for more shots, start fights, and constantly return to the bathroom to re-gel
their hair and/or spruce up their spray-on-tans.
They all claim to be related, and they all claim to have ancestors in Sicily. Once the party
ends, if they are not smashing some hot-to-trot, they're headin home with their brethren,
preparing a late-night snack of lasagna and insalada.
Speaking of ITALIAN women—they're very strong. They will claw and spit and hiss at
other women (or some men) when riled. And boy oh boy, are they easily riled. They do not take
no for an answer. They have no qualms about scolding their children, but most the time they turn
a blind eye to lawless activities, just as they ask no questions about their husband's mistresses, or
how everything they own was paid for in cash.
ITALIAN women can be cooking chicken marsala for the whole family one minute, then the
next minute they're throwing a pot of boiling water into the face of their cousin for 'disrespecting
the family!"
IRISH
The IRISH and the SCOTTISH are one in the same as far as I'm concerned, so we'll just call
all of them IRISH.
They love their drink. When times are rough, they go for a pint. When times are good, they
go for a pint. If they're bored, they go for a pint. And if they're waiting for a pint, they order a
pint. The IRISH enjoy rainy weather. They love headin to their local watering hole and seein
their chaps and patting them on the back and talking about sports teams and this and that.
The IRISH are content to do whatever job, because, after all, a job is just a job. It doesn't
define you. They might be found playing instruments down cobblestone roads, riding bikes along
the bluffs, or singin old folk songs with their drunken peeps. And if things get bad, there are no
worries.
Just buy a pint.
The IRISH don't consider themselves alcoholics, just merry drinkers who find their way to
intoxication every day. Their country might be in a recession, but you wouldn't know lookin at
'em. The IRISH believe in eating potatoes and leaving the worrying to the birds. They don't need
a fast-paced life; they don't want it. IRISH men and women can have freckles, fair skin, and red
hair. They can be carefree drifters; they may get by simply through bartering.
The IRISH don't give a shiite about social status or wealth. They don't care if they drive a
Mercedes, a smart car, a Ford Aspire, or ride a scooter. They'd rather move slower anyway; time
constraints and expectations aren't important.
The IRISH typically have stained teeth and bad breath. They may laugh at things that are
quite morbid; in fact, the more serious an issue, the more likely they are to have a crack at it.
They'll find humor in a funeral. Hell, they'll have a celebration at a funeral. They believe in
remembering the good times with more good times. They don't see the point in lamenting or
sadly reminiscing. In rare cases, life does become too oppressive to endure with a positive
attitude. In these times, the IRISH know exactly what to do:
Just have a pint.
The FRENCH
I'm gonna make this one quick since, as a US citizen, I'm kinda prohibited from talking
about them (it's "Freedom Fries," remember?). Alright so here we go:
Long noses. Snobbish. Drink Wine. Eat Crepes. Wear silly hats. Think they're fashionable.
Have an appreciation for high-brow humor. Look weird. Probably smell weird too. They say
"Zis" and "Ze." They can make women sexually 'erupt' simply by thinking (seen the Matrix 2?).
They're urbane, the women are hot, I think, and the guys are all metrosexual. They also like
bourgeoisie shit, and they all still might be living in the Renaissance era. I really don't know.
Though I hear they make mean pastries.
NATIVE AMERICANS
Humba Humba Humba Hoomp! I'm talking Indians, k? I'm talking red-skins, natives,
Iroquois, tomahawk, Big Bear, Apaches, living in the woods, commanding bald eagles, getting
reaaally spiritual, and making HUGE bonfires.
These are the guys that get mad cuz we stole their land. So we give them really nice
reservations, which apparently lead to alcoholism, suicide, and general discontent. These guys
are somethin. They have like these mystical powers. They're really chill and they kinda just
accept what life gives them. They don't need gas-guzzling SUVs or big homes or health
insurance.
But not all live simply. Some reap the awards of us addicts. That is, for anybody who has
ever been gambling, the NATIVE AMERICANS know what's up. They'll count our losses and
take our coins as they laugh all the way to the bank. The casinos are the NATIVE AMERICAN'S
way of getting back at everybody who stole their lands. Now Chief and Tomahawk are drivin
Mercedes and smokin Cubans. Go figure.
But back to the rest of the poor Indians:
They live by the guidance of the spirits. They smoke "peace pipes," and they do a lot of
crazy dances with feathers, tree limbs, and funny shoes. They also like tipis. They do a lot of
interesting things to live calmly and simply. They're pretty chill.
NATIVE AMERICAN men are virile, big, honorable chiefs. The women are equally stout
of will and physique. Their gentle natures belie these powers. They can make weapons out of
almost any organic object. The women can knit and stitch and sew and brew some wicked kettle
soup.
So don't fight the NATIVE AMERICANS. Unless you've got a bunch of Pilgrims with guns.
Then, go ahead. Otherwise, beware the Big Bear.
JEWS
They're a race, right? Anyway, let's keep it rollin.
JEWS have big noses—huuuge Schnozzzles—and are good with money. They also have
these voices. They wear black buns on their heads, and a lot of the chicks are pretty smokin. I
think JEWS just know how to get to success, probly cuz they generally have above-average IQs
and they're driven. If not intrinsically, extrinsically from family and friends.
The JEWS just rock out; I mean, they're totally in sync with the money. They're not
superficial with it to my knowledge, but they like to acquire it. Oh yeah, they're really futureoriented. Like... provident. They want a stability to chill on. Which makes sense with the money
thing. They're, like, totally in sync with the money.
Oh, and did I mention they trim your pee-pee when you're a baby? Total emasculation. No
wonder the boys whine so much.
Sometimes the women will get all bent out of shape and emotional. During these times of
duress, they'll revert to a dialect where every word sounds like "phlegm." They may come down
hard on their children, squawking, and generally ruining ears with their shrill ways.
The JEWS typically have high standards. If you plan to seduce a girl, better bring your Agame and some ruphies for the parents. You're gonna want them konked before you two sneak
upstairs.
The JEWS can be really devout. They worship a three-headed deity by the name of Chizab.
Wait, no that's...
I believe Jesus was a Jew.
(Don't get the impression that I'm anti-Semitic. I watch Seinfeld.)
(I think the government has prototype super soldiers that they’ve been holding out on us
with. I believe these bioengineered warriors to be capable of sustained heavy combat, requiring
smaller intervals for rest, and absorbing exponentially more damage.)
(I hope they have gills. )
(I do not believe in the right to vote. I believe in the right to veto. There are voters who pick
a candidate based on the color scheme of his tie.
I veto their right to vote.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PERSONALITY TYPES
First off, let me admit that it's not fair to simply throw people into slots like merchandise in a
storage room. The fact of the matter is, people are individuals, with nuances, and talents, and
really neat little attributes that distinguish them from any other person who lives, who once lived,
or who will live.
That being said, let me categorize people. Because I'm an asshole. And SOMEBODY has
got to do it. Let's start the list:
The ARROGANT ASSHOLE
Excluding myself, let's take these slick-dicks under the microscope. The ARROGANT
ASSHOLE is the guy who, well, thinks he's "the big cheese." He's got a certain roll to his
shoulders, always has an I'm-privy-to-supreme-knowledge smirk that you just wanna rip off, and
doesn't really listen to anybody (and why should he? he's the fuckin man).
The ARROGANT ASSHOLE is usually very successful at what he does, and can be found
in Wall Street, law firms, and big businesses everywhere. He's essentially a sociopath, and
chances are he's banging your wife on the side. I know, I know... this information is tough to
digest... but you've gotta accept it.
You ok?
OK. Good. Now let's continue...
See, the ARROGANT ASSHOLE is almost always a guy. In rare cases when the
ARROGANT ASSHOLE is a woman, she's usually a clever manipulator. She probably has a
dozen or so guys by the gonads, and can put on a most pleasant face during press conferences.
However, behind closed doors, she's biting the heads off her associates, screaming cuz her
"latte's not hot enough," and firing her poor servants left and right.
For the ARROGANT ASSHOLE, work is life. And he or she hates to lose. Of course, the
ARROGANT ASSHOLE loves a good round of golf, boozing, and other 'playtime' activities.
But, the ARROGANT ASSHOLE is always working. They love the blue tooth. They have it in
at the grocery store, they're joining in on the press conferences from the country clubs, they're
talking on it in their cars, at their houses, as they smoke cigs and screw their paramours at the
Grand Hotel.
They're always on the go, and they can go from your "buddy" one minute, to relegating you
to status of "insect" the next. They tend to become impatient with people they deem beneath
them such as cashiers, valet parkers, cable guys, construction workers, waiters, carpenters,
electricians, baristas, cops—everyone. The ARROGANT ASSHOLE takes pride in putting
others down, and is quite adept at duping those who give their trust (think Ponzi Scheme).
However, the ARROGANT ASSHOLES are usually "a nice guy" to people that don't know
them. When they need to, when they need to exercise damage control, or show up for kids'
charity events, they seem to be the nicest, most giving people in the world. It takes a discerning
eye to know that beneath that charitable veneer is the world's biggest douchebag. A douchebag
that couldn't care less about victims of a tragedy or those disadvantaged youth that he or she
purportedly puts money behind.
After all, behind the scenes, every 'public service' that the ARROGANT ASSHOLE makes
is only done in the interest of future finance.
For those ARROGANT ASSHOLES who don't get clipped or slip off a roof or meet their
due demises, it's tough to bring them down from their delusions of grandeur. What they need to
do, is this: Next time they hit the bathroom and drop a nice stinky one, before they have the
bathroom attendant lather their hands, even before they flush the toilet, they should do one thing.
They should go back to the toilet and check out what just came out of them.
That's right. That CAME OUT OF YOU. YOU!
Still think you're a superior human being? Still think you're god's gift to civilization? Still
think you shit gold bricks?
Get outta here.
The PEDANT
The PEDANT is one who is showy in his or her academic knowledge. And we all know
these kids. Many times they're four-eyed, nasally, shockingly weak, and unbelievably annoying.
Sometimes they're actually of normal stature, and may have elected to get contacts or laser eye
surgery. But, without fail, they're always annoying.
The PEDANT knows things just to know them. Said knowledge rarely has any practical
uses, other than to win trivia contests, leave laypersons flabbergasted, and, in the rarest of
circumstances, impress those who find such information cool.
The PEDANT waits for any opportunity to jump on you for a factual blunder. If you
misspeak, if you do not distinguish differences in the finest shade of meaning, if you are the
slightest bit vague, or if you open the door—just a crack—for a foray into academic smart-talk,
you have given the PEDANT what he or she desires most: the opportunity to unleash knowledge.
The PEDANT typically has a large vocabulary, and will employ this host of ornate language
and oversized words at any chance. He or she might take a simple idea and make it sound tentimes nerdier. He or she might correct your own statements by re-stating exactly what you said,
but instead replacing each word with SAT/GRE diction.
A normal person will tell you that "big words can be useful from time to time" But the
PEDANT will tell you that "highfalutin palaver is most apropos at perspicuous temporal
intervals." Sometimes the PEDANT will misuse these smarty-pants words, but most people will
not catch on (I admit, I've done this).
The PEDANT may remind you that your estimation of 8% is "a far cry from the actual
figure of 7.2%" or that "technically" this and "technically" that, or that, "studies actually
reveal...” Whatever it is, whatever the PEDANT is showing off, after a while, you really don't
care. Sure, it's great that certain people are so smart and knowledgeable and can point you in the
right direction when you're lost in some unheard of commune on a Red Sea island... but at what
cost?
Eventually, the PEDANT separates him or herself from everybody, and resigns to spend the
remaining days in isolation, reading dusty textbooks and searching for obscure facts on
Wikipedia.
One of the fallacies of the PEDANT's, that seems to sustain the PEDANT, is that he or she
is smarter than most people. The PEDANT seems to confuse an obsessive memorization of facts
with fluid intelligence. The PEDANT believes that one's tendency to read more and focus more
on esoteric knowledge directly correlates to a relatively higher intellectual capacity.
What the PEDANT fails to recognize is that some people, as intelligent or more intelligent,
are out in the world, applying their abilities in other ways, making money, channeling creativity,
and, well, actually getting laid.
The PEDANT will murder anybody at Trivial Pursuit. The PEDANT will point out every
inconsistency in every movie, much to the chagrin of those peers who exclaim, "It’s just a
movie!" The PEDANT will give equally cloistered teachers a hard-on, and will always be the
one raising his or her hand when the rest of the class doesn't care enough to answer or doesn't
know.
In the later years, the PEDANT will return to his or her home, alone, to spend the remaining
days learning facts that nobody else cares about. But the PEDANT will get the last laugh, as he
or she finds a career where memory and incredible love for details buys a big house and a nice
retirement plan.
The CLOWN
The CLOWN is one of the coolest kids around. The clown acts seriously 10% of the time,
and the other 90% of the time, he or she is a functioning goofball. The CLOWN might end up
being a stand-up comedian, motivational speaker, or big-time star. The CLOWN might also end
up teaching gym at your local elementary school, selling pot, or, in many cases, may be an
entrepreneur whose off-the-wall creativity is a catalyst to success.
In darker cases, The CLOWN may spiral into depression through drugs and alcohol and find
that life is, after all, not a big joke.
Regardless where the CLOWN ends up, the CLOWN is adored and loved. People may find
him or her crazy, but they will never think badly of the CLOWN. Usually they'll just shake their
heads, with jolly smiles, and say, "Ohhh James/Jaimie..."
The CLOWN is the guy mouthing farts in your high school class. The CLOWN is the one
kid who can get away with patting your professor on the shoulder every day with a "whassup Mr
Peters!" The CLOWN is the kid hiding week-old egg salad sandwiches in lockers, showing up to
family events Bombed and loving it, saying blatantly disrespectful things to girls who just laugh
or tease back, and starting groups around campus that nobody would join if run by anybody else.
The CLOWN befriends people of all shades, sizes and shapes. The CLOWN puts dumb
videos on Youtube, is loved by your parents, never seems to stress, and is enjoyed by the
teachers, despite being an unmotivated student. The CLOWN is generally a good person with a
good attitude. When the CLOWN does stop clowning, he or she will be surprisingly kind-hearted
and open. His or her unique perspective will enliven the downtrodden and humble the arrogant.
You will learn that the CLOWN does, in fact, see life as way more serious than many
believe. In due time, the CLOWN may find a partner. That partner will be drawn, of course, to
the CLOWN's quirkiness. Good chance that the CLOWN marries another CLOWN, or
somebody very serious.
And so the circus lives on.
The CYNIC
We've all been cynical from time to time. It's the only way to adequately cope with the turd
sandwich that life may sporadically toss our way. But let's be honest. There are people who are
ALWAYS cynical. These are the people who can't acknowledge the positive if it came up and
tickled their butts.
It's sometimes alright to realize that these people have dealt with a lot of tough experiences
that lead them to see the bad. But it's not about their experiences. It's about their mindsets.
They've permanently transformed to disgruntled bearers of bad news.
They hate things. And they'll take a perfectly merry conversation about your adorable new
puppy, and remind you that it will probably contract heart worms, suffer from fleas, and pee all
over your house before you know what hit ya. The CYNIC will not let you enjoy your life
because apparently his or her life is miserable. They want you to share their burden. It's
unfortunate, it's sad, and it's very difficult to change.
The CYNIC struggles with the problems of day-to-day by generally expecting bad things to
happen. When good things do occur, the CYNIC will be quick to point out the 'luckiness' of said
things, and will be waiting for the next great cataclysmic event.
In some ways, the CYNIC almost looks forward to bad tidings to confirm the accuracy in
having a negative perception of the world. They have trouble acknowledging those with worse
situations than themselves, or they will use knowledge of those who have it worse as proof that
life is a nasty motherfucka.
For the CYNIC, his or her viewpoint is a way to deal with innumerable difficulties and
hypotheticals. The CYNIC is a cry for help, a cry for help that is often ignored or challenged. We
can help the CYNIC by, again and again, pointing to evidence that contradicts the CYNIC'S
rationalizations, and hoping, in the end, that he or she will slowly learn to appreciate the little
things that make life just a tad 'rosy.'
Just don't mention going to a psychologist to the CYNIC. He or she will remind you that
Sigmund Freud was a cokehead.
THE GADFLY
The GADFLY is as bothersome as they come. The GADFLY will piss the hell outta
anybody. Mainly because the GADFLY is always buzzing its wings in somebody else's business.
The GADFLY will ask the stupid questions, the probing questions, the questions that are known
by everybody else to simply be "too soon."
The GADFLY is bored and because he or she is bored, he or she will seek stimulation
through the reactions of others. The GADFLY is the kid who constantly asks, "So what
happened? So what did he say? So then what? Cool, cool, cool, can I come? When are you guys
going? Can I come? Can I, can I, can I?? Pretty pleeeaaaase????"
The GADFLY is always a little kid, even when she or he has grown old. The GADFLY will
force-laugh at the wrong time, make comments out of left field, and become overly affectionate
or physical with people he or she estimates to be "my good friend."
Most people who don't pummel or evade the GADFLY, stick by the GADFLY for reasons
the GADFLY is unwilling to admit to him or herself.
Oftentimes the GADFLY might have a cool house, or a really sweet Pokemon card
collection, or a nice car that his or her so-called friends are always asking to borrow. The
GADFLY may try to swoop in on all kinds of social groups, and will get rejected.
However, instead of acknowledging said rejection, the GADFLY will hover on over to
another circle of 'friends' and instantly try to wedge him or herself in the conversation.
We have all experienced this. We're sitting with our buddies, and then the GADFLY
interrupts out of the blue with a laugh or some semi-relevant remark.
Friend 1: So I'm heading to the beach this weekend.
Friend 2: Hell yea, man! Can I roll on through?
Friend 1: Yea dude, def. We can drink cheap vodka and surf waves and hit the party scene.
GADFLY (swooping in): Cool duuuuude! I like to party!!
The GADFLY will misread social cues and try to adopt a given social group's diction,
syntax, and intonation. However, he or she will do so in a most exaggerated way. Or, the
GADFLY will simply fail at doing so, and misinterpret the social group's blank stares as,
inexplicably, looks of approval.
The ONE-UPPER
What is a "ONE-UPPER" you ask? Well, the answer is simple.
--My answer's simpler—
Wait... what? Did you say something?
--I said EVERYthing—
Hey! Who the hell are you? I'm the writer of this eBook here, not you.
--I'm the writer of three eBooks here—
Dude, what the... You're a dick, man.
--Ha, yea. A MAGNUM sized dick—
Hey! Stop one-upping everything I'm saying!
Blehh, bubblidee-bubblidee-Doooooo.... Pick a piper by its pits, pit a piker by it pips, pick a
pocket pitch for plums...
Sorry 'bout that. Weird things can happen out of the blue... Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah,
the "ONE-UPPER."
See, the "ONE-UPPER" is a pain in the ass. And we've all had our experiences with them.
The ONE-UPPER always has to have the last word. And their WORD always has to be bigger
and better. Kinda like a super-sized meal. Except it doesn't taste good. And it ain't enjoyable.
BUT, it can still get your blood pressure up.
The truth is, the ONE-UPPER doesn't give a shit about what you said. The only thing they
were maaaybe listening to was the quantity, the magnitude, the overall 'intensity' of the content
of your utterance.
If you went to Disney World and rode Space Mountain 3 times. The ONE-UPPER went
there and road it 5 times. While tripping on Peyote.
If you have an awesome anecdote of you fighting this buff dude in a bar. Your ONE-UPPER
fought Hulk Hogan. Or TWO buff dudes. Or the grand martial arts master of North America.
Or he owns the bar.
If you like Cola. The ONE-UPPER likes any soda. And once chugged a 2-liter of Surge.
No matter what it is you say, the ONE-UPPER feels compelled to fabricate or exaggerate
something to make your cool story seem oh so less impressive. The ONE-UPPER will become
anxious when they find you saying things that they cannot as easily one-up. These things might
be utterances such as "hey man," or "how are you?" or a complement such as "nice shoes."
In these cases, the ONE-UPPER will immediately revert to a stock of overused one-ups.
Like this:
You: Hey Man
ONE-UPPER: Dude I had sex with this girl for 12 hrs! That's half a day!!
You: How are you?
ONE-UPPER: Better than that one time I went three weeks without sleep!
You: Nice shoes.
ONE-UPPER: I once ran an ultra-marathon! And I wasn't WEARING shoes!
See, the ONE-UPPER does not care that his or her statements are too absurd to believe. His
or her brain is so hard-wired to respond with one-ups, that he or she can think of nothing else.
The source of the ONE-UPPER's one-ups is unknown, but the latest tests seem to indicate an
underlying psychological condition.
It might be some kind of insecurity. Perhaps they just want to fit in. Perhaps they feel weird
about stuff and don't know how to respond. They've been one-upping kids since the kindergarten
playground days. They simply know no other way. For whatever reason, as other children grew
out of the "your mom" and I'm-better-than-you phase, the ONE-UPPER could not let go.
The ONE-UPPER is crazy. And lost. And unfortunately, we have conditioned the ONEUPPER. By positively reinforcing his one-ups with incredulity or fake laughter or another story,
the ONE-UPPER experiences a rush of neurotransmitters, and we all suffer—except for the
ONE-UPPER. This operant conditioning is really bad.
We need to learn to not respond. Simply remain completely silent when they retort with a
one-up. After repeated silences, their behavior just might become extinct. But I wouldn't count
on it.
The worst part of the ONE-UPPER is the effect of classical conditioning. See, the ONEUPPER naturally responds to your statements with his or her one-ups. As you open your mouth,
this motion creates the expectation in the ONE-UPPER's mind of a coming statement. And he or
she, with the light bulb goin off, knows that this coming statement will offer the perfect
opportunity for a one-up (since the ONE-UPPER one-ups virtually anything).
So after continuous times of you opening your mouth and saying whatever, the ONEUPPER will learn to one-up prematurely, unconsciously.
In other words, it will get to the point where the ONE-UPPER doesn't even need to hear you
say anything before one-upping. As soon as you open your mouth, before a word escapes, you'll
be getting one-upped.
But how can one be one-upped if they haven't said anything? How can you one-up if there
ain't a one? These are good questions. I commend you for asking. But the answer is simple.
Remember what I said about the ONE-UPPER having stock one-ups? One-ups that are
essentially statements of absurdity that he or she always uses? Well... get used to them... because
you'll be hearing them more and more, even before your own thoughts.
What's that? You can't hear somebody else's WORDS before your own thoughts? Oh yeah?
Well I can hear somebody else's THOUGHTS before my own thoughts. Boooyah!
(+ 1 )
The DOER
The DOER is always, well... doing things.
The DOER is the guy or girl that barges into a room, when everybody is relaxed and silent,
and permeates the chill zone. Even when the DOER is on the move between places of Doing, the
DOER is doing something. The DOER is on the phone with somebody while walking to the
destination to meet that somebody.
The DOER is brushing his or her teeth in the shower, texting friends on the shitter, doing
homework while eating, eating while running, and running while studying. The DOER is the
world's biggest multi-tasker. And the DOER cannot NOT do something for more than 50
seconds.
The DOER has a quota of things to do. The DOER must wear him or herself out by
nighttime, or the DOER will never sleep. In times when the DOER does not sleep, the DOER
will crash for a period of hours, then return from slumber with even more energy. The DOER is
constantly anxious and seems to have trouble focusing on one thing.
When drinking coffee, energy drinks or ingesting amphetamine pills, the DOER will
practically move a million miles a second.
The DOER believes that sleep is unproductive, and is set on a schedule that does not allow
the DOER to wake up past 10 AM, regardless of what happened the night before. The DOER
will be unremitting in his or her doing, and will convince others to join in on the countless
activities that he or she has planned. The DOER often makes an amazing student-athlete. The
DOER oftentimes loves sports.
The DOER does not want to be left still or left alone. The DOER may suffer from
insecurities that force him or her to place him or herself in constant contact with other people.
The DOER does not want to be alone with the DOER's thoughts. The DOER'S thoughts may be
the DOER'S worst enemy. The DOER must always, always, exhaust mental and physical
faculties; otherwise the DOER feels the need to atone for not having Done.
The DOER is a person who can accomplish a lot. Unfortunately, some DOERS fill their
time doing things that, while time-draining, are not productive: i.e.; pointless texts, Facebooking,
Tweeting, doodling, watching porn, etc. The adept DOER will harness his or her energy into
something meaningful, like designing a treadmill with a television screen, XBOX, and vending
machine.
The HERMIT
The HERMIT is the antithesis of the DOER. The HERMIT is not on the go. The HERMIT
spends its time within the confines of the home environment. Though it is possible to accomplish
many things from one's home, the typical HERMIT is not one bent on "goal optimization."
Though most of us have periods where we stay at home for one reason or the other, for the
HERMIT, staying home is a lifestyle. The HERMIT may be perfectly content spending the
overwhelming majority of its life behind closed curtains and locked doors.
Or, the HERMIT may suffer from a debilitating fear of the outside world, perhaps
agoraphobia. Or maybe the HERMIT is a hoarder, literally unable to get out of the house.
Whatever the HERMIT's reasons for staying home, the HERMIT strikes most people as slightly
"off."
The HERMIT'S family and friends may try to stage an intervention. Sometimes, the
HERMIT'S family and friends perpetuate the HERMIT'S isolation, encouraging such behavior,
or thinking nothing wrong of it. Many academics become HERMITS later in life, but the true
HERMIT is a HERMIT from day one, and stays a HERMIT until the end of days.
The HERMIT may prefer to spend the many hours reading, writing, or doing highly
sophisticated computer things. Perhaps, the HERMIT loses itself in video games. Many times,
the HERMIT prefers its fantasy worlds to the world outside its front door. The HERMIT may
despise nature and may be inclined to sit in the shadows, surrounded by its gadgets and
appliances—anything that is not organic.
For many, the HERMIT is a mystery. People wonder how the HERMIT can enjoy its habits,
why it will not come out into the open, and what strange events may have happened in its past to
make it what it is. But for the HERMIT, it is these so-called "normal" people that are the
mysteries. We would ask the HERMIT more about its opinion concerning mainstream society...
But it could not be reached for comment.
The SKONZOID
That's right, sound it out. That's "SKONZ — OID." I know, I know, this one's not readily
apparent. I define it in another section of this eBook, but I do not go into much detail. So allow
me to give concrete examples here:
The SKONZOID is one, plainly and simply, who loves to SKONZ. This guy or girl will find
any excuse to get messed up, any time of day, for any occasion (real or imagined). This is the
guy you knew in college, who'd stumble in your dorm room 3 in the afternoon on a Tuesday,
already half-in-the-bag, wonderin, "Where's the keg at, guy?"
The SKONZOID is the guy or girl yelling at people from a passing car, and yelling
drunkenly at sober people at 4pm from across the street.
The SKONZOID is usually always skonzed, and usually always has a way of justifying what
is clearly an addiction to the vices:
Concerned Friend: Dude, it's not even breakfast time. And you're already drinkin a Rum and
Coke?
SKONZOID: Cool it, guy. First off, it's called happy hour. And second, it ain't no Rum and
Coke! All you had was Vodka.
Concerned Friend: .....
SKONZOID: Wanna stiffy?
The funny part about the SKONZOID is, despite his or her habits, the SKONZOID will
always bring close friends around to see the light. What begins as a solo venture into midday
hard-liquor time, turns into a group exercise of midday hard-liquor time. In due time, all friends
and peers of the SKONZOID end up joining the SKONZOID in said skonzing.
The SKONZOID will start arguments with strangers for mere enjoyment—because it
"tickles" them. The SKONZOID will debate intentionally on grounds that make no sense. The
SKONZOID will show little concern for authority, oftentimes cracking beers, popping pills, and
smoking pot in clear view. Or, stumbling drunkenly about a charity event for children with
cancer.
The SKONZOID will do the dumbest, wildest, funniest things when intoxicated, but
somehow, every morning after, without fail, the SKONZOID will waltz back into existence,
skonzed and ready to go.
The SKONZOID is typically a fairly intelligent individual, despite the absurdity of his or her
life. The SKONZOID might enjoy a good blunt and read of "Keynesian Economics,"
"Metaphysics," or "Occidentalism."
The SKONZOID keeps his or her personal space off-limits, even to those who know the
SKONZOID best. This may because, on some levels, the SKONZOID wishes not to reveal the
extent of his or her skonzing.
The YODA
The YODA is wise. A wisdom beyond the years. A sagacious Confucious-like character.
The resident psychologist. The YODA is the one we consult in times of great duress. When we
have a bunch of exams to study for. When we're getting audited. When a loved one dies, or we
suffer our own personal mishap.
The YODA is the one that can always be expected to deliver an astute and cogent appraisal
of the situation. He or she will not sugar-coat, will not underplay, will not exaggerate—The
YODA will come as close to an objective truth as anybody.
The YODA may find certain things funny. The YODA may find certain things difficult to
believe. But the YODA will express these feelings in ways almost imperceptible. Only to a very
select few, will the YODA's breaks in contemplative impassivity be apparent.
The YODA is one who has done so much thought, so much analysis, so much reflection,
that people find the YODA to be the most trusted of confidants. Though quiet and reflective by
nature, the YODA can display ferocious conviction when his or her ideals are challenged. The
YODA may choose to do things that others would be too self-conscious to do, due, in part, to the
YODA's ability to reject social expectations.
The YODA is supremely secure with him or herself. The YODA may go to all kinds of
public places alone, underdress in formal occasions, and break certain laws when adhering to a
"higher moral calling."
The YODA may not have the fastest processing speed, and may seem to mentally stagnate
despite having a high IQ. Following simple questions, the YODA may appear to be
unresponsive, but really the YODA is deep in thought, feeling through the countless resulting
ideas such a 'simple' question generates.
The YODA will not rush to any decision. The YODA will take his or her time to arrive to a
final conclusion. Sometimes, the YODA may say that there is no answer. This may strike some
people as hard to accept. Sometimes, the YODA may say that the question itself is the answer.
The YODA has been known to smoke pot.
The FRET
I used this type, "The FRET" in my explanation of Bar Scene Typology. And so I will not
belabor the point, but I will at least provide a description of The FRET outside the bars and the
clubs:
The FRET consumes too much caffeine. The FRET worries about bills, far-away jobs,
doctor appointments, seeing the in-laws, cleaning the room, picking up the kids, getting to
obligations on time, and not being perfect. The FRET will have little faith in his or her ability to
get things done in a timely matter.
The FRET may spend time bobbing his or her knees, biting fingernails, and pulling hair,
instead of actually dealing with the problem. The FRET will call, Facebook, tweet, and instant
message everybody he or she knows, all in order to express the magnitude of his or her
problems. The FRET will sometimes become paralyzed by insecurities and obligations, turning
to drug abuse, or experiencing mania and/or depression. The FRET is neurotic.
The FRET may be a helicopter parent. The FRET is definitely a pain-in-the-ass to some, as
the FRET'S stress ball ways bring the tightly-knotted individual to the breaking point.
The FRET dreams of being a DOER, but it's hard to get things done when you're busy
worrying about getting things done.
The FLOW
The FLOW is that guy or girl that just... flows. He or she doesn't worry about anything
beyond the next day. After all, you could be on Mars in a week. Why plan ahead?
The FLOW does homework, sometimes. The FLOW is just a chill guy, a chill chick, just
tryin to hang, shoot the shit, and just make it happen. Whatever "it" may be. The FLOW doesn't
have to dress like a hippie.
In Bar Scene Typology the FLOW will most likely manifest as the "Bruh." But the FLOW
doesn't have to look like a hobo. The FLOW can even wear preppy shirts or suits or leather
jackets. With the FLOW, it's all about the attitude.
The FLOW sees life as a stream of energies, positive and negative. The FLOW will
communicate his or her relation to the Life Stream at any given time through statements such as
"I'm ridin great vibes right now," or "All I want is to gain energy. Give and gain, give and gain."
The FLOW believes in respecting nature but has nothing against manmade things.
See, the FLOW will recognize the corruption of man and the futility of certain endeavors.
And the FlOW will recognize the power, destructive and constructive, of man's inventions.
However, all in all, the FLOW chooses to believe that man is inherently good.
The FLOW believes that by being nice, the Universe will return the favor. Reciprocity. And
the FLOW does not believe in chance or coincidence. The FLOW sees synchronicity as proof of
the Universal Connection and Collective Unconscious.
The FLOW will usually pursue creative outlets as he or she pays the bills through an hourly
wage job. The FLOW might abhor the hourly wage job, but will flow on thru, believing in a
destiny of greatness. The FLOW is a connoisseur of alcohol and hallucinogens, and will detail
the effects of drugs and expensive beers while under these effects, while driving, while leading
his or her friends on a hazy road trip across the Promised Land.
The FLOW maintains the flow throughout life. As adults, the FLOW might be an artiste or a
normal member of society. However, the FLOW will never subjugate his or her personal values
to those values of society. The FLOW might get older, trim the hair, lose the looks, stop the
Peyote, but the Flow will strive to maintain on the inside. They may become disillusioned, jaded,
hopeless, tired, despondent... but the FLOW will always hold on.
And so the Life Stream flows on...
The THEATRIC
When it comes to being true to oneself, the THEATRIC is shallower than a rain puddle. The
THEATRIC is all about affectation. It's all about pretense; they just wanna be liked. They want
to be accepted. So they constantly succumb to their insecurities and do things for others.
They become histrionic, blow things out of proportion, and act like everything's a movie, a
set, a scene in some cheesy soap opera. They may go from being melodramatic to stubbornly
steadfast to giddy with joy to suicidal to indifferent to....
They switch from emotion to emotion, putting on whichever act they believe will deliver the
attention and recognition they so desperately seek. They may find themselves acquiescing
constantly, obsequious, resorting to self-deprecation (anything to please others). Clearly, they
will take attention in any form, whether it is pity, anger, sympathy, disrespect—ANY form.
The THEATRIC may lose track of a true identity. He or she may become so detached from
vacillating between 'roles' that it becomes impossible to assert beliefs and convictions—nothing
is real and nothing is known. In these times, the THEATRIC berates him or herself for not
having more of a backbone, for not being confident, for 'living a lie.'
The THEATRIC does not want to be one person from one day to the next, from one group to
the next, but the THEATRIC has never known any other way. The THEATRIC may resort to
plastic surgery and body-augmenting accessories in order to change the outside to reflect the
amorphous inside. But these efforts are ultimately futile and leave the THEATRIC feeling even
more inadequate.
The THEATRIC'S issues may often rise from his or her inability to introspect. The
THEATRIC would rather create a fake identity than sift through the ugly truths of his or her real
identity. The THEATRIC'S many guises are but a defense mechanism against looking in the
mirror. It should be noted that the THEATRIC is not necessarily a shallow person. They are just
shallow in their ability to be honest about themselves WITH themselves, and with others.
That is to say, the THEATRIC is often multi-layered, with an ability to psychoanalyze the
many guises. The THEATRIC may strive for a high moral code, and may work excessively hard
to compensate for transgressions. They may tutor, engage in humanitarian activities, and do all
kinds of things to make others feel better.
Perhaps, in the end, THEATRICS seek to bring happiness to others, because they cannot
bring happiness to themselves...
(Cue the Melodramatic Music)
The CONVERTER
No, no, I'm not talking about a component of an electrical device. And NO, Nerd, I’m not
talking about some futuristic apparatus that metamorphoses your body into that of any creature
you choose. I'm talking about the CONVERTER. I'm talking about the incorrigible. I'm talking
about the religious freak:
See, the CONVERTER is that lovely individual who finds it his or her holy duty to
enlighten the unenlightened. To bring vision to the blind. To save the damned. To cleanse the
sinners. To...—INSERT RELIGIOUS LINE HERE—
The problem with the CONVERTER is the CONVERTER's dogged adherence to the cause.
In being so "righteous," the CONVERTER feels it necessary to alert everybody and anybody of
their failure to align with a deity's wishes. The CONVERTER will post on Facebook, scream
from the mountaintops, go to the media, call from the phones, and sound the foghorn. They will
point out the smallest of sacrilegious events.
In fact, the CONVERTER is known to call most things "blasphemous," and will saddle up
on the ol' moral high horse from sunrise to sunset. If you had one too many drinks, "god will
smite you," if you engaged in premarital sex, missed a prayer session, wore scandalous clothes,
applied too much make-up, used the "b" word, ate a particularly meaty burger—then... YOU
MUST REPENT!
The CONVERTER will express his or her superiority to the countless sinners of the world.
The CONVERTER will make it a personal crusade to tell others of their failings and religious
infractions, in order to make him or herself feel soooo awesome. The CONVERTER really
doesn't care about rescuing mankind from an afterlife of punishment.
What the CONVERTER really wants is to use a religious lens to forget his or her own
problems by drawing attention to everybody else's.
The CONVERTER will lure boys to a place of 'sanctimony.' But it is okay. After all, the
CONVERTER is a being of profound spiritual essence. Do not worry. All will be well.
They're probably just... seeing the ‘body’ of Christ.
(I might add that there are CONVERTERS who do not preach religion. They typically wear
glasses, impersonate Steve Jobs, and remind you at every 4th word how the Macintosh will
"revolutionize" the way you live your life. To them, famines in Africa would end if everybody
just bought a Mac.)
The DEBT
The DEBT is pretty self-explanatory. The DEBT owes somebody something, and that
somebody has been waiting for that something for some time.
The DEBT may appear to be an honest, hard-working citizen who has fallen on bad times.
The DEBT may vow to make amends, and may provide progressive evidence of the many ways
in which he or she is slowly working toward erasing the debt. The DEBT may even promise to
pay interest when all is said and done, simply as a token of gratitude.
The DEBT may very well have good intentions, and may just be inclined to forget, to spend
frivolously, and misplace important items. The DEBT might borrow from many people or just
close friends. The DEBT may constantly remind the lender of the item, in order to assess how
badly the lender wishes to have said item back.
Sometimes, the DEBT will already have the borrowed or owed item or money set away;
they may simply be waiting for the go-ahead to return it. Or, they may be hoping, just hoping,
that the person will forget or absolve the DEBT of said debt.
Sometimes, the DEBT is nothing more than a cheapskate. In these cases, the DEBT will
hide out, avoiding contact and spending money elsewhere that should be put toward repayment.
The DEBT may choose to blow cash on booze and women, living outside the means, denying
any and all financial issues. The DEBT will have bad credit, a rap sheet with the IRS, and a bad
reputation as dishonest or uncaring. The DEBTS will chalk said debts up to some inherent evil of
capitalism, and cite unjust ways in which the system has 'singled' them out.
In most cases, these explanations of unfairness are riddled with inconsistencies and
hypocrisies. However, the DEBT will relentlessly claim victimhood: The DEBT is but a hapless
bug beneath the sinister shadows of money and power.
In time, those wanting the debt resolved will seek out the DEBT through legal means, hire a
hit man, or forget about the DEBT entirely. In the worse cases, the debt may end up in the
obituaries over a small amount of money. In the best case, the DEBT invests his or her borrowed
money into some stocks, the stocks skyrocket, and the DEBT reaps millions.
But usually the DEBT lives on in mediocrity, always siphoning from one person or the
other, always promising, "I got you, I got you. I just need more time. Just a little more tiiime..."
The OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE
"No, I just... I just want things neat, 'is all, just neat. I'm not like you. You're so messy! How
can you be so messy??"
Ever heard anything like this? Yes, you say? Good. Then you've heard the words of the
OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE. Many people will admit from time to time, "Yea, it's my OCD."
But those who truly are the OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVES are the ones who would never admit
it. Even to a chipmunk.
See, the OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE will arrange DVDS and CDS alphabetically, but only
after they've first been separated by genre, and sorted according to Director, and marked with a
gold star depending upon their IMDB rating. The OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE will make sure
that shoes in the closet aren't touching, foods on a plate aren't mixing, house guests aren't
wearing socks, the door knob gets wiped after touching, and that the lovely 4th grade football
trophy is turned toward the lamp on the bureau...
NOT toward the one on the Freakin bedside desk!! GODDDD
But the OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE doesn't have a problem. No, no, they're A OKAY,
Jack. They're completely normal. Nothing wrong here. Everything's just dandy. Dandy candy,
life is randy, lying on my beach, feelin so sand--HEY!! What the HELL did you think you're doing? If you're gonna walk on the carpet with
those... Viiile sandals, you better be spraying Lysol!
The OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE will only eat after certain prerequisites are met. They'll
only watch T.V. if they've got their favorite Snuggie, if the lights are on, if the heat's at 76, if
they're drinking White tea from the mug with the fluffy bunnies on it. The OBSESSIVE
COMPULSIVE needs to count how many times they've heard a phrase or seen an image. They
need to have hot porridge BEFORE the orange juice.
And they DO NOT want to deal with your terrible filth. They're tired of dealing with other
people's filth. If you drop water on a super absorbent carpet, you better clean it up! Nope, don't
even bother trying to explain that it's "only water" and that it'll evaporate and won't make a mark.
You better get a stain remover!
Don't touch or rearrange anything without first consulting the OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE
or you'll risk seeing a complete meltdown. Ever seen a puppy half-caught in a bear-trap?
Whimpering, squirming, trying in vain to get loose? No? You haven't? Have Not?
Well good. You don't want to.
The JUNKIE
We all know this word. The JUNKIE is that guy or girl who has fallen helpless to the power
of addiction. The junkie does not care about appearance, reputation, family, friends, physical
wellbeing, a 401k—nothing. The junkie only cares about getting more of what the junkie seeks.
Now, we all have seen the classic junkie, portrayed in crime shows and movies, where some
dude or woman with no teeth, scraggly hair, and a bunch of bruises stumbles about, denies ever
seeing the needles, and then breaks down into a pathetic display of sadness over his or her
misplaced child.
But in this definition of the JUNKIE, the drug of choice does not have to be meth or crack or
heroin. In fact, it doesn't really have to be a drug at all.
Ever meet the kid who wears pajamas for three days, hasn't slept, and continues to down
Red Bull after Red Bull? Their lips are stained orange, their flesh is pale, and they're jittery as all
hell. If you ask them if they're OK, they nod in an almost convulsive manner, rattling off,
"Yea man, yea man totally totally I just ya know need to do this thing so I mean I haven't
slept much but I gotta beat this man, ya know? Ya Know? Level 56 man I gotta keep goin yea
Yea YEA!"
The JUNKIE may choose exercise as the drug of choice, in which case he or she is always
"plugged in" to an array of biometrics. There will be heart rate monitors, blood pressure readers;
they’ll probably even notice the smallest fluctuations in their lipids, white blood cells, and
neurotransmitter levels. They will typically rise with the sun, do cardio, drink a carrot-cucumber
blend, some more cardio, hit the weights, dynamic stretching, full-body grooming, more cardio,
a green pea/brown-colored concoction, light weights, core exercises, plyometrics, more cardio....
The JUNKIE could just as easily be addicted to eating. They might wolf down pizzas and
Cheetos and foot-long subs all in a single meal, only to resume their binge eating just hours later.
The JUNKIE may find him or herself drinking coffee excessively, or chowing down on Godiva
chocolates, candy canes, and Sour Patch Kids at ravenous rates.
The JUNKIE may be a sex addict, a la Tiger Woods. He or she may check into a clinic, or
keep the sex addiction private, electing to continue sexing anything with genitals. The JUNKIE
may manifest as a 'slut' or 'man whore.' The JUNKIE will do anything to get a fix. Porn, seedy
motels, sex clubs, prostitutes, crack dens—anything.
In the end, if the JUNKIE does not get help, the JUNKIE'S habits will consume the JUNKIE
entirely. The JUNKIE may disappear from the grid altogether, may turn up dead in a dumpster,
or may resurface years later, clean, as a Las Vegas pole dancer.
The BUBBLE
Life's better in a bubble, ain't it? You know, that area or location or state of mind, where
nothing seems to penetrate?
For The BUBBLE, life is but a sweet, filtered, cozy little microcosm. The ugly truths are
kept at bay. Worldly responsibilities and difficulties are disguised or removed from the
BUBBLE'S perception. Anything that can tarnish the BUBBLE's happy-go-lucky ways is
succinctly squashed.
The BUBBLE may manifest as a spoiled rich kid. He or she may have enjoyed a childhood
of privilege that continues all the way to death (thanks to inheritance, funds, and shoe-shining
personal servants). He or she has probably never worked a real job, doesn't understand what
people mean by "late on my rent," and has no real appreciation for anything—seeing as the
BUBBLE has always gotten EVERYTHING.
BUBBLES may be country bumpkins, who understand the meaning of hard work and
manual labor, but would lose control of their bowels if thrown into an urban environment.
BUBBLES may be people who came from a town of one race and one mindset, and when forced
outside the protective boundaries, don't know what to make of "the creatures of the dark flesh."
BUBBLES may be this or that, but BUBBLES are always myopic. Their minds are closed,
and they display an aggravating ignorance of the plights of others. They may develop a cold
indifference, a pretentious detachment, retreating even further into their bubbles. Only those with
a sharp tongue and an even sharper knife can puncture the BUBBLE.
But the BUBBLE will learn. As the world outside changes, as the atmosphere shifts, the
BUBBLE will eventually lose oxygen inside his or her comforting shell. At this point, the
BUBBLE will be forced to adapt in order to live, or the BUBBLE will suffocate in a cloud of
stinky stubbornness.
The PERV
Have you ever been sitting outside on a fair, sunny day? Or maybe, sprawled out on a
floating futon in your pool, just soaking in vibes of summer relaxation? Have you ever been so
content in the privacy of your own home or place of residence, only to look across the way...
AND SEE YOUR NEIGHBOR WITH BINOCULARS!?!?
Well, we've all been there. And if we haven't, we will at some point in our lives. Well...
maybe not that scenario exactly, but we'll all experience...
The PERV.
Ladies. Gentlemen. You must heed my words when I tell you, The PERV gonna find you.
We all hope to go through life with minor bumps in the road, but sometimes, your car breaks
down, and you're looking for help, and the only aid you can find is that man or woman with
buck-teeth, a nasty odor, and a hunger for the flesh.
The PERV may appear as a middle-aged man, softly encouraging the neighborhood boys to
clean his roof and gutters "reaaaal niiice." He might be a she; a lonely, bug-eyed Sasquatch of a
she. The kind of she that wants nothing more than to grab some humans and make a delectable
porridge.
The PERV may be that slick-haired swindler with or without a partner, who drops innuendos
like bombshells, and keeps his eyes peeled for anything that has hooters. He might approach at a
bar with lines such as "I hear you like wood. Wanna see my plank?" or "If you like the hair up
here... you should see it down here" or "I hope you eye-fuck as good as you fuck-fuck."
The PERV may slip his or her fingers all over your body when 'hugging.' The PERV may
grind on you hard during dance, and while doing so, smack the butt, fondle the front, and lick the
neck. The PERV may signal to other singles via lewd hand gestures, tongue flicks, and blatant
hip thrusting.
The PERV will say things that make little sense. One PERV might say, "Hey! You want a
parachute?"
Person says, "What, why?"
The PERV exclaims, "So you can hop off my dick?"
THE ELMERS
I like glue. It's good for sticking things to... other things. But once arts and crafts class ends,
so too should the gooey white stuff (sexual innuendo not intended).
Unfortunately for you and I, the sane people, the glue is just getting started. As soon as we
take the first step out of the classroom, here comes the ELMERS. We try to hide our faces, act
oblivious to this painful presence, but of course it fails. After all, the ELMERS knew about our
location since Minute 1 of the day. The ELMERS was keeping tabs on us, through Facebook, by
way of a thousand texts; probably even through thermal vision.
Some people may call them "Clingers," but because this label seems to be popularized
already, I figured I'd start my own term. The ELMERS is that guy or girl who doesn't seem to
understand the concept of 'personal space.' If the ELMERS could, he or she would share a
biosphere with you, so that the two of you could "breathe life as one."
The ELMERS is the adhesive of personalities. But not in the good way. Not in the sense that
he or she holds people together. More in the sense that, well, he or she globs onto something that
ain't broke and don't need fixin.
The ELMERS can emerge as that girl or guy you had a one-night stand with that one time,
one you believed to be harmless. Five days and 600 texts from 'em later, you realized you made
the biggest mistake of your life. Now they want you to meet the family, and they're already
planning out the future kids' bedroom colors. And needless to say, you're freakin out. Think
Fatal Attraction.
The ELMERS might be that individual who calls you "just to check in." They might ask you
what you're up to, then ask you what you're up to following what you're up to; then, when you
don't respond within, say, 5 minutes, they call you up just to "make sure everything's OK." The
ELMERS will typically text, call, Tweet, and Facebook you daily, if not several times a day.
Most of these will include seemingly random observations, commentary, or the ever-classic
"thought you'd like this."
The ELMERS will show up at your door with your favorite milkshake. The ELMERS will
swing by your place of work. The ELMERS call you at the most inopportune times: when taking
tests, when in a job interview, when getting intimate with your special somebody.
Once globed onto you, the ELMERS will be almost impossible to shake. You can try to be
blunt and simply tell them off, but chances are they'll take your words as dryly humorous and
glob even further. You can try to disappear, but to do so from the ELMERS would probably
require Witness Protection. You can always hire a hit man to do the dirty deed (but you didn't
hear this from me).
Your best bet for ridding yourself of the ELMERS' sticky white residue would be to turn the
tables. That's right; assume the behaviors of the ELMERS. If the ELMERS calls you 4 times a
day, you need to call 5. If the ELMERS stops by your tree house 9 AM every day, you need to
stop by the ELMERS' bedroom every day. Slam on the window. At sunrise!
It might seem that contacting the ELMERS frequently would only encourage the clinging
nature. But not so. See, what the ELMERS truly relishes, is the....
Mwhahahahahahaha
Did you actually believe me? Nothing can dissuade the ELMERS from being a barnacle and
sniffing your shorts. N O T H I N G.
Your true best line of defense is to do everything out of whack. Completely change your
personality. Your behaviors, thoughts, speech patterns. The ELMERS is drawn to you for who
you are. So cease being 'who-you-are,' and initiate the 'who-you-ain't.' This can be difficult to do,
so try to expedite the process by dropping on your head from long distances. This could scramble
your brain and cut out a lot of the hassle.
Hell, after a little cranial cracking, you might actually like the ELMERS!
The MARAUDER
The MARAUDER sees life as a series of events and challenges that must be "dominated."
The MARAUDER approaches everyday things, such as cleaning the dishes and taking a shower
as threats against his or her personhood. As such, the MARAUDER will tackle these tasks with
baffling excitement.
The thing about the MARAUDER is, the MARAUDER generally leads a life of loafing. He
or she may be sedentary, slow-moving, lackadaisical. For these reasons, the MARAUDER will
hype the "awesomeness" of even the most mundane affairs—simply to feel good about doing
something.
The MARAUDER will brag about "destroying" hoagies and pizzas and novels, "terrorizing"
the yard after raking and mowing, and "raping" job interviews and grocery store checkout lanes.
The MARAUDER loves to bestow domination upon anything. However, when the
MARAUDER does not perform well, he or she will express inadequacy through comments like,
that test "kicked my ass," or, this 2-lb bacon cheeseburger is "fuckin me up."
Speaking of bacon cheeseburgers, the MARAUDER loves to take on food challenges. He or
she will throw back atomic wings, guzzle beers in back-to-back power hours, try to eat every
item on the Dollar Menu—anything that tests the physical limits of the liver and the human
gastrointestinal system.
In these endeavors, the MARAUDER will likely never accept failure; Tums, Pepto Bismol,
meditation, and angry growls will serve to sustain the MARAUDER in the fight. Sometimes, it's
death or victory. And the MARAUDER is not afraid to acknowledge this truth.
The MARAUDER is one who enjoys off-the-wall good fun. The MARAUDER will go
plunging in arctic waters, will run beer half-marathons, will do anything that involves streaking,
will dodge cars; the crazier the activity, the more happy the MARAUDER is to engage.
But when the MARAUDER is not tackling the strangest, most daring challenges, the
MARAUDER leads a mind-numbingly boring life. Most of the time, the MARAUDER leads a
mind-numbingly boring life. If not currently working at the local sub shop, the MARAUDER
may spend countless hours "tearing through" HBO marathons and "running the train" on XBOX
games. He or she may not do anything physically active for years, until a friend invites the
MARAUDER to go skydiving or waterfall jumping or cattle prodding.
But most of the time, the MARAUDER is just hangin loose. Just makin ends meet. Just
"kickin ass" and "takin names."
The FAVORITE
The FAVORITE wants to be liked by everybody. But the FAVORITE only wants to like a
few. See, in the era of Facebook and other social networks, the FAVORITE is becoming more
and more transparent. Of course, if you went to high school, you already know who I'm talkin
about.
The FAVORITE could talk a good game with everybody. The FAVORITE wanted to be
popular, wanted to be accepted into all the clubs, wanted all eyes to be loving and
commending—but in receiving, the FAVORITE is unwilling to give.
The FAVORITE will pretend to be friends with most of the people who befriend him or her.
BUT, the FAVORITE's true intentions are revealed as the FAVORITE uses this popularity as a
springboard to greater successes, and then forgets those who got him or her there.
The FAVORITE might be manipulative from the get-go. Or, from the beginning, the
FAVORITE might have good intentions. The FAVORITE will work hard to win the adulation of
many because doing so boosts self-esteem, because the FAVORITE is unsure about him or
herself. Maybe the FAVORITE wasn't the high school's most popular. Maybe the FAVORITE
was a virtual ghost back then.
But now, as time has progressed, and more and more have endorsed the FAVORITE, the
FAVORITE has learned to employ his or her charms to nab people at strategic times.
The FAVORITE always has somebody to exploit, emotionally, mentally, spiritually or
physically.
The FAVORITE looks for good people. When in need of a shoulder to cry on, somebody to
help with work, somebody to lend money, a romantic partner, a business supporter, a ride, a
listener, a legal aid, a physician to do pro bono work. Whatever the need, the want, the whim—
the FAVORITE has already established a list of 'friends' who can satisfy.
The most cunning of the FAVORITES will be difficult to accuse. Mainly, because the
FAVORITE always appears to be honest. The FAVORITE will display a visage of innocence.
The FAVORITE will feign ignorance. The FAVORITE loves to draw the helpless card.
So bring your Ace.
The ARMCANDY
Like the ELMERS, the ARMCANDY loves to glob. However, the difference is, the
ARMCANDY is as desired as the one to whom it sticks. The classic ARMCANDY example is
that beautiful wife of a celebrity or sports star. Typically, the ARMCANDY gravitates to the
driven, fierce, powerful auras of the more successful bastions.
And the bastion or star finds the ARMCANDY to be equally rewarding. The bastion will
feel validated by the presence of the attractive trophy piece partner. When the tables are
reversed, a handsome husband might glob to a powerful actress or talk show host or Danica
Patrick.
The ARMCANDY can be a lesser star, or a completely unknown 'layman.' The
ARMCANDY may gain attention that he or she would never get anywhere else, and may bring
added attention to the star partner for having a relationship with 'a nobody.'
The ARMCANDY functions at all levels. It might be a floozy who sticks by her older, more
powerful man's arms at dinner parties. She's a sexy squeeze and makes him seem virile, and he's
a big-time district attorney who makes her matter. The ARMCANDY's relation with the bastion
is obviously symbiotic, but the bastion is always clearly denoted by the increased social esteem,
or clout.
Unlike the PET, the ARMCANDY does not take orders. He or she recognizes her lower
status in society's eyes, but will not acknowledge it when in private with the bastion. At social
events, the ARMCANDY will indulge the bastion's kind requests, but never is the ARMCANDY
belittled or disrespected. Never does the bastion assert his or her status disagreeably.
Somehow, tact lives on.
Of course, this is not to say that the ARMCANDY isn't tossed away like the trash when a
more promising Godiva Chocolate strolls through the bastion's field of vision. But how can we
blame the bastion? The human being is a creature of appetite.
And they say to have three meals a day.
The HYPOCHONDRIAC
So I've mentioned this before. The HYPOCHONDRIAC will come up to you in the streets,
at church, at Sunday's cookout, and will freak you out. He or she will typically be bug-eyed with
worry. A typical interaction will go like this:
You: "Oh hey Don! How are you, buddy?"
Don (shaking): "Uh, eh... n-not good, actually. Uhh... Not good at all... You see this bruise?"
You: "Oh yeah, looks like a little bump or somethin. So how's your family?"
Don (rubbing head): Ohh ehh... I dunno... I-I dun...dunnoo... I've never had one, like this
before, no no no.... You see how it's yellow? You see that? You see how it's turning yellow??"
You (frowning): Uhm.. Don, that's what bruises do. It's fine man. Really. So how's
everything else?
Don: I think I have an auto-immune disorder.
The HYPOCHONDRIAC will either become so overcome with worry about perceived
health woes to the point of 'giving up,' OR, the HYPOCHONDRIAC will take every measure
possible to combat potential problems. If they take the latter approach, they might devise a list.
This list will be comprised of all genetic and hereditary hypothetical health mishaps.
They will be organized in descending order of likelihood. Typically, the
HYPOCHONDRIAC will have spent countless hours consulting numerous medical opinions and
conducting research. They will know the percentages of every disease/malady, and the average
age of onset. The HYPOCHONDRIAC will also calculate risks and take the most extreme of
steps to reduce them.
You: Don, why are you walking like that?
Don: There's a 4% chance I might slip on these concrete cracks.
If the HYPOCHONDRIAC seems to eat strange foods or exercise atypically, you know
why. You may find this individual eating carrots 6 times a day because "My mother has
cataracts. So I've exponentially increased my Vitamin A intake for eyesight." Or they might
make a certain drink blend because "there's a history of premature balding in my family."
If the HYPOCHONDRIAC has gone the other route, he or she will be dejected. The
HYPOCHONDRIAC will isolate him or herself to the shady nooks of a cold den, wrapped in
blankets, enshrouded in depressive, self-destructive thoughts.
Every minor ache or itch will leave the HYPOCHONDRIAC expecting the worst; and even
hoping for it. By the end, the HYPOCHONDRIAC will want nothing more than to die. For the
terrible degenerative disease that he or she surely has, to take over.
The PROJECTOR
The PROJECTOR uses everybody else as a screen. And they 'project.' They take their
deepest insecurities, fears, faults, shortcomings—you name it. And they project them onto
others. They choose to see their own problems in others, even when they may not actually exist
in others.
This is the guy or girl who seems to find fault with everybody. The PROJECTOR will call
others superficial when it is the PROJECTOR who squanders material possessions, and pretends
to be a certain way, and like certain things, and have certain thoughts.
The PROJECTOR will call others lazy when it is the PROJECTOR who sits around doing
nothing, having no aspirations, and stuffing face. The PROJECTOR is narcissistic. The
PROJECTOR is afraid of being normal, of being a nobody. The PROJECTOR cannot fathom a
reality in which he or she is flawed.
By focusing on others' failings, the PROJECTOR sustains. But the PROJECTOR is weak.
Beneath the facade of superiority, the PROJECTOR is nothing. Sometimes, the PROJECTOR
will project so much onto others around him or her, that the PROJECTOR will lose all friends
and family. The PROJECTOR would rather hate others for superimposed traits than to realize
those traits are in fact his or her own.
The PROJECTOR may seek acts of violence against those who actually do remind the
PROJECTOR of his or her hypocritical ways. The PROJECTOR is cruel and unforgiving. The
PROJECTOR is easily hurt but will deny emotional damage; he or she will instead tell others
that they are the ones throwing the hissy fits.
The CONUNDRUM
The CONUNDRUMS loves to make us wonder...
why?
They'll cry for no reason. They'll stop texting you for no reason. They'll start fights and then
apologize and then tell on you for not following protocol and alerting the proper authorities.
Authorities will simply stare at them. Friends will simply stare at them. Everybody will appraise
them, wondering...
why?
The CONUNDRUM will rarely reveal its true feelings. It would rather play a game of catand-mouse in which others have to 'chase it' through hoops and over hurdles just to get the
slightest whiff of what's on its mind. For the CONUNDRUM, being mysterious is fun. The
CONUNDRUM'S one constant thrill in life is to be 'not like you.' CONUNDRUMS pride
themselves on not being so lowly so as to convey their "baser emotions."
Unfortunately, they fail to realize that after a while, nobody gives a hoot. After a while, we
give up the chase. If you wanna be mysterious, if you wanna keep people confused, if you wanna
hide who you are from the rest of the world—fine! Just don't expect us to come knocking on
your door, bent on uncovering the many layers of your being. Because in due time, nobody
cares!
The CONUNDRUM might be a JD Salinger-like recluse. But more often than not, it's
somebody who is not extremely successful, and not exactly 'well-received.' The CONUNDRUM
will overuse dry humor—humor so dry, it might as well be the arid Sahara. So dry, nobody's
gonna pick it up. And then, in situations where such humor might be merited, the
CONUNDRUM will be very serious—only to be misinterpreted as dryly humorous.
As the CONUNDRUM incites perplexity, he or she may eventually give up. The
CONUNDRUM may finally realize that it needs to open up. It will do so, but fail miserably.
Others will either ignore its attempts, or receive them as yet more vain efforts to elicit confusion.
In the end, the CONUNDRUM'S tendency to obfuscate will be its downfall.
This tendency will leave it alone, untrusted—a boy or girl who cried wolf. The
CONUNDRUM will have spent so much time sealing its emotional and mental innards, that it
won't know shit from spam. That is to say: when it starts opening up, it won't realize if what it's
unveiled is even it. Something will come out... but it'll be foreign... Alien.
And without Sigourney Weaver.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TYPES OF DRIVERS
On the road of life, we encounter skonzoids.
These are the people who don't give a shit about anybody else. But sometimes things are
good. Sometimes, drivers are friendly, and they might just slow down to let you butt in front
during the peak of rush hour.
Sometimes, they just wanna make sense of the world around them, and find the quickest
route to Wawa. Other times, they're just out for a slow-mo roll, drifting down this cul-de-sac, and
through this way-street, and across this curb over here...
No matter what you encounter, you gotta be ready. Ya gotta be saddled up. If you haven't
whipped your steering wheel sharply to the left or right before, don't worry.... you'll get your
chance. Cuz at some point, a piss-poor driver's gonna roll up on you and make your life into a
topsy-turvy tilt-a-whirl. Just give it time...
In the meantime, I'm gonna lend you a helping hand. Not because I care that much about
YOU, per se. I just care about myself. And if you're doin the right thing, and lookin for the right
things, I'm better protected.
I mean, I'm flawless... it's the other skorsks I'm worried about.
So here we go:
THE JET
Say it's a beautiful starry night and you're driving along and you're feeling great and you're
talking to your best friend about your new, cool, IPOD app, or cousin Rick's infidelity; maybe
you're discussing the future of the country, or your favorite ball-team, and how you're gonna pay
your darn bills, and that you could really go for some chicken parmesan... and then:
V r o o o o o o o o o m
A car roars by you.
It switches lanes, it snakes in and out, and like it appeared, it's gone. You stare at your
friend, startled, convinced that the damn thing must've been goin at least twice the speed limit.
Part of you wonders if what just passed you was even a car.
Was that a UFO?
No. Not exactly. It was the Jet. And you're lucky to have seen it.
See, the JET is that driver who doesn't give a hoot about the law or common road courtesy.
The JET typically comes from an upper middle class background (at the poorest) and will exhibit
such financial security through the car. The vehicle may be a BMW, a Mercedes, some sporty
upper-end model—maybe an Acura, Mustang, Porsche, Jaguar, Ferrari or Lamborghini.
The JET is ridiculous. The JET may be downing Monster or Redbulls, swigging from a
flask, blasting Kesha through the windows. Whatever may be happening in the interior, the JET
is focused on making a difference. A difference in the visual fields of all other commuters on the
road.
The JET's only goal is to show up everybody. By flying by at a ridiculous pace, by not
giving two toads about law enforcement, the JET is like, totally, like, "the coolest kid everrr!"
The JET wants others to be amazed at his or her fearlessness. The JET wants people to hear the
RRRRRRR of the revved engine. The JET wants to be noticed.
Many times the JET IS a good driver. That is to say, most people could not handle such
speeds and maneuvering, even in the JET's finely tuned machine. However, the JET DOES
screw up. The JET may get a huge ticket from a state-trooper. OR, the JET may end up on the
evening or morning news. That guy or girl who flew right into a tree, and left the car a torn hunk
'a junk.
The JET will run out of fuel and crash land. Unfortunately for the JET, there is no black box.
But in most cases, we don't need one. After all, the JET's actions speak clearly enough.
The JET is a prick.
THE CRUISESHIP
The CRUISESHIP is the Biggie Smallz of drivers (that's a reference to a fat and notorious
rapper who was shot and killed in the 90s—for all you clueless).
The CRUISESHIP is that guy or girl who does all kinds of nonchalant, 'I'mma-take-mytime' stuff. The CRUISESHIP usually comes in a bigger vehicle. It could be an old Cadillac with
tinted windows, a brand-new, shiny Escalade with tinted windows (and rims), a Hummer (with
tinted windows).
The important thing to note about the CRUISESHIP is that the CRUISESHIP usually
chooses big or long vehicles (this is why it's the "CRUISESHIP" and not the "canoe"). These
vehicles do not go fast, and though they may be big and powerful, the CRUISESHIP elects to
use that power in an understated way, floating confidently along the streets, and slowly cutting
people off. Nothing is abrupt, and nothing is forced; the CRUISESHIP is just.... cruisin
The CRUISESHIP does not always have to choose a vehicle that is new or tinted or
somehow augmented to seem "pimped out." In fact, the CRUISESHIP might elect to drive a very
old, dusty tin bucket. This might be a Dodge pick-up truck that doesn't use blinkers and just
kinda rolls through yellow lights as if there's all the time in the world. It might be a big ol'
minivan that has seen better years, but still packs the girth to nudge everybody else off the road.
Hell, the CRUISESHIP might even get around town in a Tractor Trailer Cab.
In most cases, the CRUISESHIP will be a guy or girl who likes to lounge. They might be
sippin on sizzurp, smokin heavy blunts, or listening to Kenny G. The CRUISESHIP prefers
navigation systems. They're reliable and keep the CRUISESHIP calm and collected as he/she
roams uncharted territories. The CRUISESHIP doesn't like to stress. And does not like to ask for
directions.
The CRUISESHIP is just like...
"Yea"
THE INTIMIDATOR
We've all seen this one. The INTIMIDATOR usually manifests as a driver behind the high
wheel and window of a big truck. Like the CRUISESHIP, the INTIMIDATOR prefers larger
vehicles. But unlike the Cruiseship, the Intimidator is not relaxed or slow. The Intimidator is not
out for a drift across the roadways.
The Intimidator has a place to be, and things to do. The Intimidator does not want anything
to slow progress. They'll rip 50 off the exit ramps, but then, instead of switching lanes to
continue unrestricted, the Intimidator chooses to roll up on the bumpers of slower moving
vehicles.
The Intimidator may be in a smaller vehicle, but will nonetheless approach any vehicle of
any size. They will get within feet of the vehicle. You will notice the Intimidator at night as the
brake lights flash sporadically; the Intimidator will ride the rump of old people, tired people,
novice drivers, cops, anybody. The Intimidator will run up on people in the slow-lanes of the
highway; they are the prime perpetrators in any fender bender.
In rare cases where the Intimidator's butt-humping tactic does not prevail, the Intimidator
will flash the brights. The Intimidator will rev the engine at stop lights and crosswalks, especially
when pedestrians pass by.
The Intimidator may go through all of life at a fast pace. Or the Intimidator may simply be a
restless jerk on the road. The Intimidator may simply be in a hurry on a given day. The
Intimidator believes his or her own priorities above everybody else's—no exceptions.
The Intimidator is a jackass.
THE SHITBUCKET
This is the guy or girl who drives the shitty vehicle, with the outdated plates, blown
headlights, and half-detached bumper. They'll milk flats until the tire practically explodes.
They'll signal with their hands out the windows. And they'll holler at corner-street floozies like
"Heeeeeeey Honeeeeeey."
But they're nice.
Just poor. Or maybe not poor. Maybe they just blew all their money on the Lotto, or lost it in
the divorce, or dropped all their spare dollars on marijuana, or made a bad investment, or...
Ok, so yea, they are poor.
They've got stacks of unpaid parking tickets in their compartments. And they also might
have a few DUIs on the ol' record, but they've always got smiles—and scraggly hair. They don't
always smell the greatest, but then again, body wash is for the masses. They're on that
'alternative' shit.
The SHITBUCKET knows cops on a first name basis. The SHITBUCKET gets the best deal
at the auto repair shop. After all, they've been there a half-million times. The car might be on
engine #3. Or it might be rollin on T-tires about 2 months past expiration.
The SHITBUCKET's like, "Sweet" when anything partially goes his or her way. The
SHITBUCKET's kinda ridiculous.
The SHITBUCKET usually goes under the speed limit. He or she usually doesn't make
much of an effort to get to places on time. After all, they don't really have anywhere to be. It's
not like they've got a job.
Or if they do, ruining the car's engine ain't worth it.
The SHITBUCKET does use toilets.
THE INDECISION
This is the person that uses blinkers one second and then the next second: staring across the
road and swerving to the wrong lane. This is the person who can't park or pull out. They'll do a
12-point turn, then second-guess, then back up, then forward, then second-guess... then have no
idea what the hell is going on.
The INDECISIONS are ruined by hesitance. They are not assertive and often cause
accidents due to an inability to merge. They will wait too long, or go too early, only to swerve
back into their lane when another vehicle comes flying by. The INDECISION is usually an older
man or woman, a younger female, or an Asian.
In older person form, the Indecision creeps along at a snail's pace. He or she will have
trouble seeing the road let alone navigating it. In younger female form, the Indecision may be a
teenager or young woman applying her makeup. She will be distracted and unpredictable. She
will drive in spurts, only to slam the brakes, then speed again, then slam the brakes.
She is not a good driver, though she will assure you time and time again, "I saw it, I saw it!"
She will get pulled over often. But she will never get a ticket. Credit her cute face and flirtatious
ways.
In Asian form, the Indecision will drive too cautiously. He or she will be too busy
calculating algorithms and road trigonometry to drive. Everything will be done in a robotic
fashion. However, it's like a robot that has malfunctioned.
The robot will not react in dynamic real-time to other humans; instead, the robot Asian will
revert to scripted responses that may be hazardous. At times when others are honking and
flashing for the Asian robot to go, the Asian robot will do so suddenly; this unexpected boldness
will put others at risk.
All in all, the Indecision is a danger. It is good to be assertive. It is important to make a
move when the window is there; to go without doubt. For the Indecision, the window just can't
be seen. It might be closed, it might be open, it might be cracked. For the Indecision, the curtains
are in the way.
THE TRUCKER
Now, I don't want to give the TRUCKER a bad name. After all, these are the guys and gals
that deliver our beloved products such as Pepsi and Cheetos and Doritos and all kinds of goodie
good. They do good things for the people of the world. They make our lives go round. The
TRUCKER makes a positive difference.
But at the same time, the TRUCKER pledges allegiance to a darker, higher force.
The TRUCKER despises hotshots who roar by due to their perpetual need to be somewhere.
The TRUCKER will join sides with those who also despise (i.e. other TRUCKERS). If you're
ever driving at late late night or early morning, you might notice the truck stops. And nothing's
creepier than a bunch of tractor trailer cabs without cargo. Sitting off to the side like ghost
vessels.
Let's break this down, in case it ain't obvious. The TRUCKER is on the road all the time.
The TRUCKER is the interstate junkie. They don't need navigation systems. They don't resort to
MapQuest directions. The TRUCKER has the entire world inside his or her head. As such, the
TRUCKER will not take kindly to those who disrespect the TRUCKER'S stomping grounds.
The world's infrastructure is the TRUCKER'S dominion. The TRUCKER reigns supreme. If
you've ever driven nearby more than one TRUCKER on the road, you've noticed it. They work
as a tag team.
Say it's a 2-lane highway. You're comin up in the fast lane, looking to pass the two
TRUCKERs on your right. But then, suddenly, one of the behemoths moves to the left. And it
slows. Now, you're stuck behind two impassable vehicles. And you know they're doing it just to
tick you off. What are gonna do, honk your horn? HA! Nice one, busta.
Or there's the other scenario. You've got 3 TRUCKERs. One ahead of you. And then, out of
right field, one seals you in from the side. And THEN, another one moves into position behind
you. So now, not only are you sweating it, feeling like a claustrophobic, but you're literally a
tractor trailer sandwich. Wedged between 3 individuals who have been on the road for the past
12 hours, are geeked up on speed, and want nothing more than to make you dampen your undies.
See, the TRUCKERs coordinate their attacks. They've got their walkies. They know what
they're doing. It ain't no coincidence when your puny sedan gets stuffed. It ain't no coincidence at
all
SO WHO THE HELL AM I?
You may be asking, "Who the hell ARE you? How are YOU qualified to give ME advice
about anything?" In fact, if you're anybody with a sensible mind, you were probably wondering
these questions from the beginning of the ebook. You're also probably wondering why I didn't
answer those questions then.
Well, that's a good question. And the answer is... I have no freakin idea. And I don't really
care. But I AM qualified to give you a run-down of my past and my myriad moments of
miscellaneous mastery (like that alliteration?) So let's get crackin. Here is my history as a human
being thus far (seeing as we've been talking about humans, thus far ;)
***
I'm in my early 20s. I went to a small liberal arts college and majored in English and
Psychology. I love to write and I love to psychoanalyze. Sometimes I drift, aloof, separated from
the external world as if by a veil. Other times, I am wholly connected. Most of the time, I
vacillate between these poles.
I currently live with a parent. I’ve been fired once. I applied for unemployment once, and
got shot down. Though it seemed kinda dumb to me. I had only been late during my half-decade
career like…. 100 times. Didn’t seem reason enough to fire me. My bosses were weird. But I
managed.
I grew up with a sibling with autism, so I know what it's like to deal with idiosyncrasies of
the human condition. My parents have always been loving and supporting, in all my endeavors
big and small, and utterly futile. I spent many years running. Cross country, track, once from a
Rottweiler (thank Edison for electric fences). I am good with numbers and bad with money.
I am an introvert. Officially an INFP. If you don't know what this means, Google it. And
take the personality test, if you wish. It's free of charge.
I like basketball, and I follow the NBA. People ask why. Why the NBA when College is so
much more "passionate" and not focused on money.
Have you ever seen Reggie Miller drain fade-away threes? Have you ever seen Vince Halfman Half-Amazing Carter perform a 360, under-the-legs dunk? Do you know how big Shaq is?
Any more questions?
You see, I might not be qualified to practice psychology in the clinical sense, but I've spent
way too much time thinking about things that are really just irrelevant. Oftentimes to the neglect
of my studies or matters deemed more pressing by the hegemony.
So who am I really? Where have I come from?
Well, I'll try to go back as far as I can, and my memory is looking through a foggy window.
Psychologists might call it "sluggish cognitive tempo" or "attention deficit predominantly
inattentive." See, I have always been a space cadet. I have always been the kid staring at fall
leaves, at the back of the classroom, my mind either a sieve or a cell in solitary confinement. The
teacher drones on and I am there but only physically. I remember not places or events, but
feelings.
I remember the feelings. I remember long, monotonous drives, songs of words that elude. I
remember seeing cars and trucks and buses flying by, thinking that every person has his or her
own life, and own concerns.
I remember being overwhelmed with such realizations, feeling nauseous, sad, pumped,
curious of others' troubles, of the hypotheticals. I remember hearing ambulances from a distance,
waning on a foreign wind, miles away, but part of me; inexplicably tied to me.
Maybe it was my family or my friend or somebody whose life would collide with mine in
the unforeseen future. I remember feeling for these people, people I didn't know, and wondering
how they must go, when they go home. How their dinner plates look, what kind of food they eat,
if their family room is carpeted, if they retire to their dens on cold winter nights, a single faint
lamp on, their minds struggling to release the stressors of the day.
If they look forward to breakfasts of chocolate chip pancakes with whip cream smiley faces.
I remember thinking what they thought of the things that fluttered before my mind; IF they
thought of the things that fluttered before my mind. I would spend time staring at photographs of
people I really knew and those I didn't. I tried to place myself, in that moment, at first sight of the
camera flash. What were they really thinking?
Were they happy, as their smiles suggested? Were they hiding something? Hell, were they
even sober? And how often did they smile like that? Were they strangers in their own skin? What
would happen hours or days or years following these photos? What had happened hours or days
or years prior to those snapshots?
I had no idea. But that didn't stop me from wondering.
I remember being asked time and time again, "What is on your mind? What are you
thinking?" And I would turn, and the words would evade me. And I struggled, and it was there
but it was not, and I felt like I was reaching through murky waters, plunging for a seashell—and
I couldn't find it. So I would concede, and I would reply with my usual, the monotone "nothing."
I remember times of taking shot after shot on the dilapidated basketball hoop in my front
yard. Practicing my spider dribbling, under-the-leg shots, slam dunking on kiddie heights.
Imagining what it would be like to be the next white-chocolate in the NBA. Hoping I could only
sprout another foot.
I spent my childhood medicated.
I had “allergy-induced asthma” they told me. Many days I got to sit for hours, just waiting,
leafing through photos of zebras in National Geographic in the polished waiting halls of
pulmonologist and allergist offices.
Though sometimes, they actually had video games in their waiting rooms. And I distinctly
recall the joy and frustration of playing Sonic the Hedgehog. Those darn doctors were always
ready to see me when I was firmly entrenched in a boss battle of incredible importance. Damn
them.
When I wasn’t enjoying a nice host of inhalers and corticosteroids, I got to do whatever I
wanted. I didn’t worry about not exercising. In fact, I was a pretty good athlete. If I struggled for
breath, I struggled for breath. And it did happen. But I couldn’t let it stop me. I did cross country.
I played basketball. And I was the fastest sprinter in my 5th grade class. (I rock)
Even as I began “immunotherapy,” a sexy little battery of allergy injections, I didn’t really
care. I still did my thing. On certain visits, medical students would stand behind the doctor,
observing me like a lab rat. They would nod as the doctor spoke of my condition, and they would
jot their notes on their clipboards; occasionally they would acknowledge me with inquisitive
stares, but most of the time I was invisible. And I really did think I was invisible; just a physician
and his interns, referring to a human specimen in the third person.
I remember eating bagel bites by the droves, locking myself in my pediatrician's office due
to fear of needles, running, running, running; days of giggling and bumping into furniture, and
falling, and getting a hernia, and wearing a brace for my scoliosis that was so tightly wound it
made my veins swell.
I remember a disconnect. Feeling like an automaton. Floating. I spent so much time just
floating. And I was stressed but I wasn't. And I was excited but I wasn't. And people would come
and go, and people would remember me, but I would not. People would remember me and I
would forget them, almost entirely.
Some photos would bring them back. Or a noise here or a word there; vague remembrances
of things and times and sounds they made, beneath grey skies, on opaque wintry days, down hills
behind barns. I recall moments of thought and reflection; my exact feelings, my surroundings as
crisp and fresh as they were the day I was there.
I remember things that were not worth remembering. And I forgot everything else.
Only years passed, but my retrospection was that of seeing an old, grainy movie. Like it had
all happened so far ago, so many millions of thoughts and convictions and truths and certainties,
ago. And you try to pluck through this, but it's like you're reaching for the details of another
world; the happenings of another's life. And in the end, nothing, nothing, but a cold indifference.
A cold foreignness that nobody knows, that nobody sees; that only few can detect...
Whoa Whoa Whoa! Hold on a sec. This is getting waaaay too depressing.
Let me start by saying, there has been a slew of good times. Of enjoyable, warm, fun times.
Running in the ocean, drinking and jiving, lying in the golden arms of sunbaked beaches.
Designing maps for Warcraft 3 (nerd alert), writing stories and poems and intimate journals,
fooling around, not giving a shit, brushing worries and responsibilities off my chest as if flicking
an ant.
I remember the awesomeness of Friday nights. Not having to get up for school at the break
of dawn. Eating delivery pizza and guzzling Coke Vanilla and playing Super Nintendo to the
wee hours of the morning. Hanging with friends and watching basketball and bouncing off the
walls, and only, finally, coming to a still when it was movie time. And of course, the movies
courtesy of Blockbuster.
Remember Blockbuster?
When not watching movies, before I was older, and before the weekend meant alcohol and
risky behavior, other occasions brought different expectations. But what I never expected, what I
never planned on, but always enjoyed, were those moments that seemed transplanted from
another dimension. I’m talking about times of invincibility; a feeling of total world domination.
Nah, scratch that. Not domination. Interconnection.
Feeling as if every fiber of my being, amassed, amounted to a tangle of cords, cables and
flash drives; all of them plugged into the supercomputer of the world. Sometimes I just thought I
“had it all figured out.” But what did I know? Maybe it was the 8 cans of A&W Root beer in my
system. Maybe it was the half-day of continuous video-gaming, or, perhaps, the greasy Papa
John’s pizza? Whatever the cause, I loved it.
But such feelings were only fleeting.
Fortunately, I learned to use writing as a way to get back there; back to my throne.
It helps to see your ideas, to see them as they flow untamed, unfiltered, through your mind’s
eye, and by some telepathic miracle of the computer and mental media, are finally represented
fully realized before the eyes. I think that thoughts lose their meaning when questioned. We must
let them go, as they come: freshly unearthed, singed fleetingly into our brains.
For me, allowing the ideas to flow down my spine, through my arms, through the flickering
of my fingers and onto the paper—this is amazing.
I feel like when I think, ideas move about the shroud like squirrels courting in a park. It’s a
funny sight, watching them as they chase round and around, pursuing vainly sometimes, others
not.
They dodge and dart in and out of bushes, beneath indefinite shadows wafting, through
thickets of grass, down bronze tree trunks, through the air even—an acrobatic aerial display that
I should send to Discovery Channel for some Benjamin stacks.
Oddly enough it seems the easier way to catch the doe, is to never pursue at all. That means
I simply don’t think, and my ideas come into focus, right there on the stage for a brief time, and
then I’ve got it, no white noise, no distraction—just the image. Except it’s more than the image.
If this quiet trust sustains further, then we’ve reached the throne. I’m immersed in the entire
thing and it’s like whooaaa. . .
This might be crazy but I like it.
Perhaps I do have undiagnosed ADD. Definitely without the H—I’m far from hyperactive.
Just the big A and some double Ds.
Now.
Let us plunge head-first, once more into the melancholy...
Wait wait wait!
Hold on! Not yet...
See, like I was saying, there have been many good times. There have been days of... well,
days of...
So I spent many years working at this grocery store, right?
And I learned a thing or three. One thing: that people are so much more than their jobs. A
paycheck is nothing. A paycheck is a means to an end. A paycheck sustains a person.
But really, a person sustains a person.
I saw people more than twice my age, with smiles and positive attitudes, despite their
subservience, despite the constant disrespect they met on a daily basis, despite having to forget
their pride and educational background and intelligence, and perform for a superior who cared
about them only so far as their productivity could be quantified.
I saw individuals corrupted by a sense of entitlement, by their wealth, whether inherited or
earned. I saw judgment in the eyes of many as they looked upon me, a 'lowly' cart-pusher, a
grunt, a peon whose sole purpose was to make their lives as comfortable as possible. My own
rights were not considered. I saw people who lost themselves in their own self-delusion, and I
was reminded that it did not matter what happened.
For I was happy, rain or shine. Because I knew, regardless of judgments cast upon me for
my job, that I answered to only one person: myself.
Even as others assumed I was lazy, or stupid, or troubled, I knew that the external world
could barely touch the internal realm; the realm where I, and only I, reigned supreme. Because in
the end, my imagination ran deeper, my thinking clearer, my conviction like steel; a vault sealing
my treasures and blocking my 'haters.'
Or so I told myself. Perhaps, I was the one self-deluded. Perhaps, we all are?
I learned the 'adult world.' I learned that it is one sometimes bleak, yet acceptable. It can be
great and uplifting as quickly as it can leave you mired in existential quandaries. I learned how to
interact with personalities much unlike my own; I learned to wear the mask and put on the
costume, to do what it was I was expected to do.
I learned that Hollywood actors get paid the big bucks, but we're all actors in the end; day by
day, time to time, we all join in on the masquerading.
I spent time volunteering for elderly men and women in a retirement home. I gave them
something to smile about. I reminded them, day after day after day, of my own life and how
theirs weren't much different. I listened to stories of when they were kids, kids content to jump
rope in the streets, play hopscotch and chase about the yard and sit under amber trees on hot
summer days.
I watched those with dementia and Alzheimer’s stare blankly at blank walls, as their
children and grandkids gathered around to greet them, day by day, week to week. I watched that
momentary sparkle, when all things inside seemed to fire, and they would relive, rejoice; only to
return, to fall silent again and again; always losing, always clinging to the vestiges of distant
memories.
A lady would tell me that her husband was coming home. That at any moment he would
stride into the family room, back from the Great War.
They would tell me that they needed to go, that they had left their stoves on, that they had to
go or the worst, the unthinkable, would happen—their houses would burn.
I watched nurses day by day bring these elders to a calm, assuaging their fears.
And again, again and again and again, the men and women of the Dementia and Alzheimer’s
wing would recline in their chairs, recede in their minds, and the sparkles in their eyes would die.
I listened to a 101-year-old Irish woman beg to be removed from the wing. To be freed of
the other 'crazies' with whom she lived. I listened to her demonstrate the most acute of minds, the
sharpest of memories, recollecting days of her youth, when she and her family would fish for
salmon in the stream in their backyard.
When I wasn't working or volunteering, I was away at college. I learned many things in
college, but few things in the classroom. I learned there is no right, no wrong. Just grey.
I learned the effects of drugs on the psyche. The way professors expected one thing and said
another, the way these same professors transformed to other people when not in their large
lecture halls. I learned how to let loose, how to go far and have fun; the simultaneous joy and
hassle of the female creature; the way those shitty dorm room beds would creak and moan with
weekend shenanigans—damn my roommates were loud!
I learned how smooth I really was. But not always. I learned to float through class and clubs
and meetings and sports, and await nothing but the weekend. I learned to live for the weekend.
To learn when I needed to, in quick bursts, to regurgitate what it was my instructors wanted—to
talk their language but never succumb to their ways. To be a charlatan; one of them, but never
one of them.
I learned how to talk calmly and confidently to school security officials and police officers.
How to say the right things, to be equivocal but not blatantly so. How to slide by, to hide my
paraphernalia, disguise my habits, and perpetuate the illusion that I was an exemplary member of
my college community.
Or, when I wanted, make it painfully obvious that I was not an ideal student. At times, I
wondered if I was destined to be a lawyer. But I felt such a thing was not the way to go. After all,
my work ethic was never a strong suit.
I learned what it was that made people tick. What it was people wanted. How people filled
their holes. Some, with athletics, clubs and artistic pursuits. With people, with drugs. With
alcohol. And others, most others, with the escapades of weekend parties at houses, dorms,
apartments, fraternities, and sororities.
Seeing guy and girl, stumbling back to his or her place, wanting nothing more than a night
of casual sex; only to return to their studious, sober forms the next day as the school week
resumed. I learned vice and folly and the script by which to partake.
In all my introspection, I learned that life really is good. I learned that in my greatest
moments of grief and self-pity, I had it good. Constant reminders on worldly news of
catastrophic events, of terrorist attacks and natural disasters, and epidemics, and tyranny, and
corruption of all levels—everything reminded me how lucky I was to be who I was and where I
was, with the opportunities I so oftentimes ignored.
I have been told that I am a "good person." Though what does that mean? Why am I good?
Because I do the right thing? And if so, what is the "right" thing?
I hate to do this. I hate to question the meaning of every word.
But how can I accept, without questioning, that I am a "good person"? I do not want to be
that person. I do not want to be somebody who takes the words of others at face value.
After all, I have spent my many days resisting others. I am an oppositional individual. Not
outright. Not loudly or violently. But I do oppose. I have always shut my mind off to ideas I
deemed irrelevant. I would nod, or I would say nothing, but was I 'buying' what others had to
say?
Usually not. Ironically, I usually shut my mind off to ideas because I considered myself
open-minded. I ignore opinions I deem narrow or misinformed in favor of a more global
perspective. Through all my thinking and dwelling, I learned that I know very little. We know
very little. It is hard to have a definitive stance on anything. I find it more truthful to not know.
Or maybe I simply find it more convenient to not know. I don't know.
I learned to strive not to judge. Though this is almost impossible. I learned to try to see in
everyone what I saw in myself. To establish that rapport, that human connection, and understand
the universality of the human condition. I learned that the fallibility of people was, more than
anything, a testament to their ability to learn and grow and change for the better.
I learned so many things that I couldn't explain; I couldn't detail any of them, or relate to any
of them—until later. Only after the water in the kettle had time to brew, did the steam pour out,
and my expressive outlets yielded the articulation I had been seeking.
I have seen death, I have been fired, I have seen those close to me lose their jobs and their
wives. I have seen family members spiral into depression and addiction, I have seen efforts to
recover, success and then relapse, inspiration and then condemnation. I have witnessed the
destruction of others and the ramifications these events have had on my own health and
wellbeing.
I have slipped and fallen, I have steadied and climbed, I have been in the trenches and I have
stood on the peaks, but never for long, and never without sacrifice. I have gone from taking
things too seriously to taking things too lightly. I have struggled with moderation, with balance. I
have struggled against power structures and mental structures, and impediments of night and
day.
I have believed myself superior to many in time, and at times, I have found myself looking
upwards to almost anyone. I consider myself riddled with insecurities and hypocrisies and
mistakes and miscalculations and white lies and bold lies and truth and love and undeniable
conviction. I consider myself constantly at war with myself. I consider myself a human being.
And I am proud of it.
All in all, I realize that I've been lucky in my short time on this planet. I've uncovered many
things, I've ignored many things, and I have so much more, if I choose to do so, to unravel.
And I hope I am afforded continued opportunities to do so.
I believe I am a good person. Really. I can be quite sarcastic, but I would think of it as
momentary lapses into a state of malcontent. I enjoy being facetious. But really, I'm a nice
person. And I want to share my incisive thoughts and epiphanies with you. If you find what I
have to offer stupid or wrong or ineffectual, great. You're entitled to your opinion. Even when it's
wrong.
Now, a warning:
In the coming pages I will say things. If you go through these many things with a fine comb,
you may find that some thoughts contradict or misalign with others. You may think I'm an
asshole, or a know-it-all, or a moron, or the greatest thing to grace mankind since the Quarter
Pounder with cheese.
You may then wonder if I'm a fractured psyche teetering on schizophrenic meltdown. The
answer might be yes. Or, the answer might be that I believe in identity instability. I will preach
remaining stable, but I believe that it is impossible to remain completely stable. We're humans,
not slabs of rock.
And even slabs of rock deteriorate in time.
See, any given day, you and I are different people. Our chemical composition is slightly
changed by what we put into our bodies, our minds, and what we evacuate from our bodies and
minds. Thus, we are never the same, in the most meticulous sense, from day to day. There is no
concrete "you" or "me". We are only amalgamations of experiences and thought processes and
the interconnectedness of the greater energy of the universe. Everything is in constant flux,
everything is changing. I'm not me, and you're not you.
We are social actors, role-players, social scripters. We compartmentalize, we fracture
ourselves, we stomach certain beliefs and ideas to appease something we believe beyond
ourselves.
Consider this eBook as an exercise in working thought. As an attempt to untangle the
plethora of interconnected meanings and form a makeshift necklace that we can wear around our
necks proudly and say, "We have explored the human condition. So now we're ready for
anything... well, almost."
This exercise in working thought may use phrases and make references that some people do
not get. Do understand that I am in my 20s and will allude to things that parents and
grandparents might be a tad old to know (unless you're like reaaaally hip). So, in these cases
where my ramblings are not fully understood due to some generational barrier, feel free to
consult your children or younger friends for clarification. Or, feel free to sit in silence,
wondering what the hell I meant by what I said. It's up to you.
I might also warn that at times my grammar, diction, syntax, intonation and all that stuff
might be off. It might be muddled or inaccurate or inconsistent. I might not always have nounverb agreement, I might not always have parallelism, and I might make stupid clerical errors. I
might misspell words; Hell, I might have no idea what the hell I'm talking, but what matters is,
I'm TRYING (not very hard), but I am TRYING.
You know what, correct what I just said. Where ever I said "might," replace with "will." Cuz
it's gonna happen, chief. And I don't care enough to blow money on an editor. So.... yea. Also, I
will be coming from an American perspective. Blame ethnocentrism, not me...
My final warning is this: don't expect to be spared. I have no intentions of sugar-coating,
respecting, or anything that the feeble-minded may endorse. You're gonna get offended, you're
gonna be moved to tears (not really), you're gonna jump with jubilation (definitely not), and
you're gonna partake on a journey of the soul. So spread your wings, valiant dove, and let my
words be your guidance.
All this being said, I do believe that the underlying messages behind the words I spew can
be understood by most. In the end, if we can both, together, believe that we have delved a little
deeper, thought a little harder, grown a little smarter, become slightly better humans... then we're
good. That's all we can ask.
So let's jump into the fire.
DON'T STRESS, JUST SWAG
(skip to next chapter if you're like, a stud. Or, like... can seduce anybody, ever)
Stress kills. And if it doesn’t, it makes you feel older. Nobody wants to feel older. That shit
blows.
So just turn on the swag.
Don’t know what I mean? Read on, I’ll explain.
(I was always alarmed by the idea of a blind date. Two people, blind, on a date? Who’s the
designated driver?)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
EXUDING CONFIDENCE
Confidence is important.
It tells people that we're ready to take a semi to the face and shrug it off like a bee sting.
Confidence is about not breaking down when somebody points out one of your negative
attributes. Confidence is about not sinking into years of depression because your self-concept is
low. Confidence is about walkin, talkin, and doing you as you wish to do.
Confidence is about swag.
So how do we improve our confidence? How does one go about the task of building an
impenetrable shield that deflects the harshest and most penetrating of criticisms like ping pong
balls off a wall? It ain't easy to figure out. And it's taken this here thinker many years of analysis
and trial and error. But in my experimentation, I've learned a thing or two about "doin you."
1) No need to turn on the swag, if you never turned it off:
This is simple enough. Keep the Swagometer full blast. It won't run up your gas and electric
bill, and It won't break unless it was poorly made (in which case you need to stop being
somebody you're not and start doin you.)
See, swag starts with that first look in the mirror every morning. The first glance of that
strange, baggy-eyed, unkempt sunnavabitch staring back at you. And it starts with that first
impression, that first trickle of thought.
You might say to yourself, "Tired? Check. Smelly, dirty, and in need of a shower? Check.
Ready to get spruced and rock this day? CHECK."
OR you could say something like, "Tired? Check. Smelly, dirty and in need of a shower?
Check. Ready to get spruced and rock this day? Hell no, not a lame like me..."
See, if we go forward with the impression that somebody like us can't go forward, then we
shouldn't bother going forward. We should go backward, back through our teen years, our
younger days of innocence, back to being a helpless child, a fetus, and eventually blink out from
existence altogether. Go ahead. Enjoy the trek, Benjamin Button.
OR, we can choose to make progress, accept our slightly stained teeth, our receding hairline,
our wrinkles, our excess fat, or our skin-and-bones lack of fat, and work with what we got.
We can take the cards we've been dealt or fold. And if you fold and wait for the next hand,
I'm assuming you believe in reincarnation or an afterlife. In which case, might as well end it now
buddy, cuz for all you know, you might live to be 100.
But if you choose to say, "hey, this is me and I'm gonna do the best I can or make it into the
best i can" then you're rockin and rollin. And who doesn't like rock and roll?
So from this point, you've showered, you've dressed, you've probably had a million thoughts
about yourself, about the coming day, about that cute guy or girl you dream of snogging...we've
all been here. You're in a hurry cuz you overslept from staying up way too late the night before,
so you have no choice but to stuff down a bagel and forgo the bacon and scrambled eggs you
really wanted.
Once in your car, you begin to berate yourself for having overslept. You think,
"damn now i'm gonna have less energy and be starving at work and then i'm gonna be
miserable and i already hate my job as is, so now it's just gonna be even worse, and my boss is
probably gonna ask me to do a bunch of bullshit busywork, cuz that's just my luck, and then i'll
have to pop Advil for my headaches, and then I'll have to ---Oh shit, RED LIGHT!"
Now STOP.
A person with swag would consider the same things, but in a different light. When you're
thinking, “man I should stop and take the red light (figuratively speaking) and not go forward
with hope or strength," the person with swag, with confidence, thinks:
"Green light. I'm more tired than usual, but it’s my fault, and that's cool. I had fun staying
up late playing Jenga with my friends, I'm gonna be a lil hungry, but I've been through worse, I'll
tough it out, get home, relax and watch my favorite sitcoms, have a few Guinness Stouts and
forget all about the shitty day."
The swag-less worker walks in with eyes diverted, head held low, shoulders slumped,
wanting nothing more than to avoid human interaction.
The swag worker (the "sworker," if you will) walks in with a pep in his step, unafraid to
make eye contact, undeterred by his stressed boss (because for Christ’s sake, the guy's
ALWAYS stressed anyway), and ready to be professional without conceding his individuality.
You can be a drone, sure, but you can be the 'you' drone. Everybody's a worker bee; be the bee
with the dank honey.
Stress kills.
And most of us have already accepted the drudgery of life. Most of us have already accepted
one simple fact: we will be working for most of it. Now this doesn't mean we can't be playing
too. But let's be honest, in capitalist society we're gonna be workin so we can live, and play, and
buy overpriced alcohol at our sporting events. Since so much of life is spent doing that thing we
need to do, to do those things we want to do, let's make the best of it.
Don't stress too much. Sure, a lot of things could kill you that are inherited or just plain
random. But a lot of stress will kill you too. And if you inherited a propensity for stress, you
might just want to avoid people altogether.
Most people wanna live long enough so that they don't have to work and they can play, play,
play. Granted, for the average person, this time of no work all play is reached when the body and
mind has withered, but hey--a few rounds on the golf course and a nice cigar do the mellow
geezer good.
I'm not endorsing getting bombed every day after work (or during) and eating truffles and
screwing everything that moves, but I do believe in a 'healthy' dose of fun. Fun is a state of mind.
People can make cleaning toilets fun. People can make the most coveted jobs horrible. So try to
make work and fun one in the same. Mindset, son, MINDSET!
If the Swagometer is never off, you'll dream of swag and future success. And you'll wake up
feelin Swagalicious. You'll be surfing in it. Your swag will have swag. You'll be drippin Swagu.
You get the point...
2) Update the Swag Software
If your swag is truly your swag, and you're truly 'doin you,' then you'll find that your swag is
unbreakable. However, this does not mean your SOS (Swag Operating System, pronounced
"sauce") couldn't benefit from an update. The software update to the Swag operating system is
sometimes necessary when going through adolescence, periods of great challenge, rites of
passage,
or when accidentally impregnating.
To update the SOS, you must first shut it down. Make sure to do this in the comfort of your
own home, room, or back alleyway. After all, you don't want people seeing you stripped of your
swag. The repercussions could be devastating.
Once you've completely shut down the swag, you may notice a fleeting period of cold,
tingly, horrifying insecurity. Your first instinct may be to fight it, but do not. Focus on clearing
your mind of all things. Focus on focusing on nothing. Let your five senses slowly retract from
the world around you. Let your thoughts fade like sirens in the distance. Become one, at peace;
become a vessel. Your insecurities will cease to exist.
Try to hover in this empty state for several seconds. You will likely lose track of time. When
your body and mind have achieved that Absolute Silence, you will know. You will know
because you will be. Be what, I cannot say for certain. But you will be; in the most Buddhist
existential sense... you will Be.
Now REBOOT.
Allow the world to come rushing back to you. Slowly and calmly accept that you are
something, anything--a thing among things. You are returning to this realization that you are
physically somewhere. Meaning and feelings and sounds and senses come back. Your vessel is
filled.
Let it fill with new swag. Allow positivity to swell back. Acknowledge pains and pleasures
of the past, future and present. And accept. And smile. Be happy, your swag is coming back; it
just caught its second wind.
When you feel you have returned, take a deep breath of those city fumes, or that country
dung, or whatever your location offers--and jump to life.
Now go. Go into the wide, weird world. And go to your nearest Target. You need some new
clothes and accessories, and what better place to look swag?
**Let it be explained that you have only updated your swag. Your swag still remembers its
old blueprint; there have just been some renovations. Now, if you're looking to completely
change your SOS, this will require a much more invasive procedure. For those looking to change
their SOS's, I recommend amnesia, full-body reconstructive surgery, booze, and a whole lot of
hallucinogens. Also, a belief in time-travel won't hurt.
Good luck. And may Allah have mercy on your soul.
----WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED----Let's rehash in case you, like me, have the short term memory of a paper towel:
Swag.
You've heard of it. You've listened to the rap songs, you've performed the Stanky Leg,
you've mastered the Two-Step, and you looove to double-fist, but now what? As much as you
think you're "swag-surfing," you still can't seem to get it down.
Whether a guy or a girl, swag is paramount. It makes you feel good around the opposite sex;
it gives you confidence when you're out in public and feelin your worst. It rushes our veins and
tells us that we're not unqualified, that we're not bad; that, despite our age and our saggy skin, we
can compete with the younger generations; we can fight for that ever dwindling number of
exciting new jobs, and win the job interview.
I want to give the disclaimer that I am by no means a gigolo, but I have observed and I have
taken notes, and I consider myself something of a Student of Swag. That being said, here's my
take on the whole thing, from a youngin's perspective:
You're at the club. It's a Friday night, the lights are gleaming off scantily-clad beauties, the
music is pounding, you've got a few Rum and Cokes in the system, but you're still standing there,
in your usual circle; you and your friends. Across the bar, a ridiculous-lookin dude with a Ren
and Stimpy beanie and the DUMBEST outfit you've ever seen is doing his thing. And it's
working.
Because he's grinding on the hottest chick in the building. And all you can think is... "What
does he have that I don't have?"
The answer?
Swag.
But what is this elusive swag, you ask.
And the answer is simple. Too simple. It's nothing. It's being YOU. As trite as it is to say,
sometimes, you just GOTTA DO YOU. But what does this mean? Well, for one, it means forget
about others. Confidence IS Swag. Not caring about superficial details (how slicked your hair is,
a small blemish on your shirt, the weakening of your Deodorant, your lack of bulging pectorals)
is where it starts.
It's about being older and mowing your lawn with the shirt off, with what wispy hair you've
got left blowin in the breeze. It's about entering a new country and not feeling like a phony when
you take a shot at speaking their language. Having swag is about not being afraid to repel some
in order to attract others. And it goes from there...
If you find things funny, be a goofball. Dance like a moron, undulate your hands like waves
on a beach, draw the eyes of others who will laugh and point. Think of it this way: Even negative
attention is better than no attention. And usually, other dudes will only point and make fun of
you because they're insecure. Why are they insecure? They're insecure because they lack the
courage to be themselves, to let loose, to "act a fool."
But having swag doesn't just mean busting onto the dance floor. If you completely hate to
dance, if that "just ain't you," go another route. Silence is Swag too. Some people like to chill.
And if you like to chill, by all means, bring on the Ice Age, Baby. Let the eyes rove. Body
Language is easier to read than we think.
The problem is, we pick up on signals most the time, signals that are undeniably strong. But
then, we screw ourselves over. Unfortunately, humans have incredible brains, and when we use
these brains, we overanalyze, overthink, and many times revert to self-doubting. Remember,
Swag don't think. Swag do. If you're getting a vibe, go for it. Swag don't foresee possible
rejections or failures. Swag is in the present. Swag is Now and Always. Swag is always ready to
seize the moment.
Men and women are attracted to each other. They are attracted to the natural physical,
emotional, and mental components of a given member of the other sex (or the same sex -- no
discrimination here). The point is: BE NATURAL. Don't FORCE. If somebody doesn't like you
for who you are, forget them. Call them a "hater," give them the cold shoulder, pop on the
shades, and "oh-I-can't-see-you" them. Whatever.
They're like 8 billion people on this planet, chief. If you think you ain't gonna have a few
enemies... you've got another thing comin.
Swag is about thinking you're awesome, thinking you're cool, thinking you're silly, odd,
goofy, fat, thin, emotional, [INSERT ADJECTIVE HERE]. It's about thinking you're something
AND being satisfied with that something. As those lotion commercials seem to say: Love the
Skin You're In. Capiche?
Good. Cuz I got a bottle of JD, an apple, and some bar-hopping to attend to.
Swagz Up
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
HOW TO BED A BODY
Ok, so we know that confidence is important. We know that it's good to understand people.
It's good to 'read' them. You need to know what's up. If you wanna pick up chicks, dudes, adults,
girls, tots, or septuagenarians... you gotta be on your game.
I break down "swag" in other sections of this book, so feel free to learn that there. In this
section I will be communicating what it is you've gotta do to get ladies and/or men. This is
simple. It doesn't take nanotechnology. It takes pep in your step and a willingness to fail.
How do I know these things? Well... let's just say I read a lot. Correction: used to read a lot.
And I watch others who are successful. I live vicariously because, frankly, my life would be
pretty boring if I didn't. But honestly, I like living vicariously. I'm a dreamer. That's how I am.
Get over it.
By no means, do I have a different girl for everyday of the week. I don't have illegitimate
children. I'm not a "Mac Daddy" or a "pimp" or a "gigolo." I don't "slay bitches." And I ain't a
"tall drink of water." I'm not a "snake in the grass." I won't be getting my own Bachelor reality
show anytime soon. I'm searching for Miss Right. But not through some shitty T.V. show.
(Wait, you're gonna pay me?)
Now that you've lost all faith in my abilities... let's go over a few steps to Bedding a Body.
1) TALK THE TALK
Whether you're a poor sob, a rich widow(er), a college kid, a Santa Claus look-a-like, a
suave Guatemalan, a struggling actor, a computer programmer who's never seen the light of day-whatever your make and model, it's worth remembering:
IT AIN'T WHAT YOU SAY, IT'S HOW YOU SAY IT.
A million people have said it, but it's true. If you're merely a substitute teacher, don't go
telling people "I'm a sub" with a shrug or a scowl. Tell them you "mold the minds of tomorrow."
Exclaim that you're "an educator," that you're the favorite--how all the little girls and boys tug at
your pant legs in love. And not in the Jerry Sandusky sense.
Don't talk through your nose. Don't sound like a whiny, driveling chicken bone. Nobody
wants to see how life gets your trousers in a tussle. People don't want to see you breaking down
or pitying yourself. Self-loathing is not attractive. Constant nervous laughter or fidgeting is not
good. Don't have a squeaky voice. And don't talk like Zeus either. You're trying to get somebody
in the sack, not send them running.
Tell people that you're 30 and you live at home. But remind them that you always keep the
mini-fridge stocked. And that the entire basement is your domain. Make 'em know how
comfortable the AC is. And in icy winters, the hearth is always glowing. And your parents won't
bother outsiders so long as they don't track mud in the door and keep their voices soft.
Some people can make the greatest, most successful jobs sound like drudgery. Others can
make pumping septic tanks sound grand. An individual with 'game' (confidence) will poke fun at
crappy jobs or make them seem important. Everything will sound novel and cool. Discussions of
the mundane will turn into something that makes you pee your pants in anticipation.
2) BODY LANGUAGE
Guys:
Stick your chest out
Stand tall
Hold eye contact
Show your wrists
Flex your arms
Sway your arms
Touch hands, waists, legs, knees of the partner
Jut your butt
Girls:
Wiggle da booty
Show dat cleavage
Strut dat butt
Dart eyes; dreamy gazes; firm holds
Boots or heels rock
Leggings rock
Exposed thighs rock harder
Bump into guys
Whip, stroke, play with hair
Flash smiles, purse lips, bite lips
**A lot of the above things happen unconsciously. And a lot of things not mentioned also
occur naturally. However, by consciously making an effort to send the right signs to those
individuals of interest, we expand the lines of unspoken communication. Body language matters
more than spoken language. Flirtation is engrained.
Get some.
3) FEARLESS
We're humans. We fear trying hard at something, only to learn we're not good enough. We
fear putting all our eggs in one basket and getting no return. This is normal. And healthy. After
all, there are many things we, as humans, cannot know until we've put in the time and research.
We're gonna fear the unknown until it's known, and then we still might fear it. Or, we'll never
think of the unknown--because we believe that doing so might produce fear.
But if you're trying to score with a chick, dude, woman, man, grandfather or granny, you
can't have fear. Having fear in approaching a stranger will get you nowhere. You'll run through
all your weaknesses, all the crummy hypotheticals--any way you could screw it up and come
across as a total spastic nutball goonkhead. And this ain't good.
After all, you're gonna fail. You're gonna approach somebody and he or she is not going to
want you (unless you're Johnny Depp or Angelina Jolie). Be prepared to get shot down. Don't
overthink. Just go up, introduce, or 'accidentally' bump into the person. The best opportunity is
when there is an opening and you can just slide in.
You talk to cashiers and waiters and people in passing that you've never met, right? You talk
to your pediatrician and your physician, your gynecologist and your gastroenterologist—even as
they get their fingers all up in your gunk. Right?
So just make small talk. Small talk is the gateway to big talk, which is the portal to body
talk, which is the wormhole to mattress thumping. “Oh I like your tie. Hey I like your diamonds.
Cool hair, nice face, delicious tits.” Whatever.
Just say what comes to mind.
Don't sell out and try to be the smooth operator that you ain't. Just do you. And if it's
somebody you already know, then fear not.
But if it's a complete stranger, get a read on it. And don't fear. Hell, why would you? There
are a million other singles out there. And if you're somebody who thinks there's only one person
for you, and if you miss them, you're done-- Wake Up!
How can you think you blew your chances with the 'soul mate'? How can you believe that
you've lost your only opportunity to go with your 'soul mate'? If the person you thought was your
lady love or knight in shining armor doesn't love you back... then clearly he or she ain't your soul
mate! If he or she married the wrong person, move on.
Give up the pills and 'fighting-suicide' books and move on! If you cling quixotically to the
idea of a fated partner, then fate shall provide you that Petrarchan doe in due time.
If the individual is truly your soul mate, you kindred souls will find each other like
magnets... and all will be a balmy happy-ever-after. But if you feel that fate has somehow
cheated you, give up the belief in fate. And start goin buck-wild like most people out there who
are just lookin for somebody to bang.
Get 'em, Jersey Shore!
4) BUY A BODY LANGUAGE BOOK
Or Google that stuff. I already mentioned some common signs of attraction. But read a body
language book. It'll give you more confidence, and when you see the author's name with the
fancy PHD, you'll think you're getting meaningful advice.
And thinking you're getting somewhere, even when you're not, is what bedding a body is all
about.
Dummies without analytical ability get lucky all the time. If these morons can bag a fish,
what does that tell you? They look like Brad Pitt or Marilyn Monroe, they act on body language
unconsciously without deep thought, they say whatever stupid lines of hyper-masculine/feminine
thought come to mind, they get lucky--or some combination of the like.
So buy a Body Language Book. And tell the author who referred you. I want a cut,
skeezeball.
(I prefer Lions over Tigers. They just look mean. Don’t even have time to shave their
facial hair.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WHAT IS YOU DOIN MORON? ACCEPT YOURSELF!
Accepting yourself. No, im not gonna stuff a self-help down your throat and preach you
digest it... And i'm not gonna part the clouds and rain sunshine down upon you, convincing you
that you're the most beautiful, unique, special, blah, blah, blah, list of positive attributes...
What I can offer is this, plain and simple: You're flawed. You're imperfect. No matter how
tightly you strive to control your inner environment and the one that envelopes you on a daily
basis, you're gonna fail... at some point. But failing...even frequently, does not make you a
'failure.' Failing is awesome.
When we fail, we learn. And when we learn, we adapt, and, hopefully, adapt in a way that is
not maladaptive. Adaptive adaptation. Redundant? Maybe, I dunno... I'm a freakin human here,
I'm not perfect.
Unfortunately some of our lives, the lives we have chosen, have a very small margin for
error. If you're an air traffic controller, telling your boss that you're human, and fell asleep at the
control board due to a week of shoddy sleep perpetuated by a dysfunctional partner and a slew of
rambunctious children--that just ain't gonna fly.
If you miscalculate a sales move, a business venture, and end up LOSING money or worse,
your job, business/livelihood, it ain't easy to tell yourself, "Don't worry, you're a human, bud.
You'll get there!" and then walk off with a pep in your step and an impregnable force field of
confidence.
But these are big cases of 'messing up.' Yes, they can and do result in dramatic life changes
and psychological duress. And they should be considered on a person-to-person, idiographic
basis. Trained professionals, psychologists ("tell me about your feelings, Mr. James") are then
called in to the fray to exercise their powers.
But before considering the dark, gloomy events that lead to sadomasochism, hookers, and
endless years spent alone at the Applebee's bar, let's take a glance at the lesser, smaller events
that, taken collectively, over weeks, months, and years, can have a similarly strong, if not more
subtle, effect.
Everyday things... Like, say, being late for obligations. Like losing your cellphone, like
getting too drunk and feeling like you went a round with Pacquiao, like stubbing your toe,
overdrawing your bank account (damn you overdraft fees), or encountering any one of many
other unexpected incidents (ie; car accident, falling, or conversational blunders such as speaking
before thinking: "Yea, Timothy Laidner is just a lesser intelligent student... oh... nice to meet you
Miss Laidner...")
So I've thrown enough examples at you. Now how to deal with them? Let's first remember
that any day can bring different events. We need to accept our mistakes. If you're reading this
book, I'm assuming you're old enough to have learned certain tendencies, desires, pitfalls, and
strengths. So you're good. You know them.
Now why do you still call yourself "dumb" or "stupid" or resign to simply saying "leave it to
me to do x, y, z"? If you've had a history long enough to identify your peculiarities, peculiarities
that bother you, that you wish to change, then how about doing it. Yes, that's right. Just do it.
NIKE.
Don't overanalyze (I'm talkin to you intellectual types, pedants, and aeronautical-biochemastro...uh...well, whatever...). Don't get into a pattern where you berate yourself or drop some
line to your friends meant to elicit their feedback (You: "I'm just terrible with remembering
appointments" Friend 1: "Haha, you just need to write them down." Friend 2: "Yea, you are."
Friend 3: "So, omg, i had, like, the craziest weekend ever.").
Instead, find the simplest explanation. Sometimes when we present our problems to friends
we are just reinforcing our making the statement. We get their response, we're happy that they
acknowledged what we said, and next time we're uncomfortable about something, we'll bring it
up to them so that they can once more offer their 'insights,' we can feign that we're content, and
everybody lives happily ever after.
Try this:
I forget appointments because I do not place them as a high priority. If I did, I'd write them
down.
I stub my toe a lot because I run quickly through the house. Instead of feeling like an idiot
and creating the self-fulfilling prophecy, "I always hurt myself" we could take obvious steps to
decrease this self-injury frequency. Don't run so much, be more mindful, yada, yada, yada.
I am late to class all the time because I only allow myself 5 minutes to get ready in the
morning.
I tend to say awkward things in conversations with people I don't know. I expect this
because it has happened in the past. But my solution is only perpetuating my self-image
problems. Because when in these situations, I continually revert to negative cognitions.
It would be better if our thoughts went like:
new person might not like me, now I have to closely examine all my thoughts, mannerisms,
and behaviors, increasing the likelihood that what I do do WILL be awkward because it is not
coming naturally as me, and instead is a controlled, highly censored, highly stifled Me. But wait,
that's NOT me. So let me just be me. Let me calm my beating heart, stop worrying about my
facial features, my posture, my voice, and allow my mind and body to flow synchronously.
Accepting oneself can be very hard. We all struggle with it on a daily basis, in one
magnitude or the other. But confidence is key. Rappers have one thing right, "just do you."
People are attracted to confidence because when exuded, it subconsciously tells others that, hey,
this guy/girl is evolutionarily a step-up. He/She possesses, or, at the very least, BELIEVES
he/she possesses the tools to sustain a successful life.
Confidence, swag, game, balls, whatever you call it, it's important not only for drawing the
opposite sex, but for actually sustaining healthy living. The mind informs the body. Not to get
into Buddhist mantras here, but we have to strive for a certain symbiosis of mind and body. That
starts by accepting oneself. By taking the steps to change those things we don't like for the better.
You are who you believe you are. You are your internal dialogue. You are the millions of
events and days and lessons that have shaped the course of your life. But really, you choose to be
the person you want to be. Despite a tough childhood or terrible losses or negative feedback. You
choose to be confident. Or you choose to be self-loathing and despairing.
Take your pick.
(You always see people farting into lighters or matches in the movies. This seems like a
funny thing to do. I wonder if it helps with flatulence…)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
THOU SHALL NOT STRESS THE STUPID
My fellow brethren, I'm talking to you. All of you.
The dude slinging trash bags stained with wasted customer coffee into a compactor--YOU.
The cashier who keeps her smile despite an endless line of impatient, high-blood-pressured
shoppers--I see you baby.
The contractor who has fallen on months of bad luck. Who has entered the eternal rainy
season.
The overworked, overstressed, undervalued, underpaid elementary school teacher. I get your
plight. And people think a few kids are tough to raise! HA! They should try 30!
The cop with the clean record, and the years of service. Who has to deal with boneheads and
insolence every day; who risks his life every day. Who is suddenly battered by baseless
accusations of "police brutality," because our world is way, way, waaaaay too PC.
The waiter who picks up every additional shift he can, even though he knows he'll be forced
to gobble heaps of hogwash from his sweaty mongrel of a manager-- YOU especially.
As we've all learned, it's never easy being the bottom of the barrel. It's boring and
monotonous and it smells, and oh yeah, it's not a barrel at all. It's a septic tank. I mean, sure, life
will throw you lemons from time to time, but who's to stop another hand from squeezing them
dry?
Fortunately, we can keep our heads up. For those of us squeezing by, living paycheck to
paycheck, wondering when that next 'big break' will occur, take solace in one fact: You're the
base. Without you, the tower topples.
Being a grunt ain't bad. In fact, being the bottom rung can be very rewarding as long as the
proper attitude is maintained. Now, this does not mean that I'm condoning getting slizzered
before your next shift (though it probably won't hurt), nor am I recommending you read a bubbly
self-help guide to "the Better, Happier You" (do people actually buy these?).
What I am saying is that there are simple ways to tolerate the stink of your present situation,
and, in the end, breathe in that heavy dung like rose petals in meadows. I can't help you find a
better job or career, that's on you Copernicus. But what I can do is make the road to that better
job or career a little less rocky. So bust out the velvet roadways. Here are four suggestions, in no
particular order, on how to better tolerate the workplace:
1) Daydream. Yup, that's right, daydreaming. You know, the stuff that got you in trouble at
school, got your bro prescribed and hooked on Adderall, and your best friend involved in a
notable career in 'people-watching'? You see, by strategically daydreaming, you can focus on
what really matters to you. On any downtime, allow your mind to float. Forget that your boss is
one man short and soiling his undies. Forget that you've got another 6 hours of greeting
buckteeth at the Walmart entrance.
Just float. Remember, stress leads to a shorter life! And seeing as you've been stuck on the
bottom rung for some time now, you're gonna need a lot of life to reach your goals (and this
realization is very stressful). Imagine conversations, scenarios, hell imagine you're chillin at the
Playboy Mansion. What matters is, you're indulging your mind, feeding its appetite, and Doing
You. Just ask Biggie Smalls: It was all a dream.
2) The Fade-Out. Like the Daydream, the Fade-Out can be employed strategically to
eliminate the pointless stressors of menial labor. Next time your boss and his bulging whiteheads
are biting into you, just Fade-Out. What this means is, detach yourself. See your boss or the
customer. See his or her looks of annoyance and discontent, the way their faces tense, their eyes
bulge and their jugulars pulse. Except, don't hear. Instead, allow yourself to invent the dialogue.
In your head, replace your boss's stern, gruff voice with, say, that of Mickey Mouse. Or,
perhaps, give him a French accent. Fade-Out and let your mind's voice replace the real dialogue.
Reply in your head as you really want to: "I know where you can stick that...," "Oh, certainly,
and your breath is ever so refreshing," "Oh you poor little customer, how EVER could you
survive without your favorite flavor of Triscuits?"
3) Pocket Candy: Yup, that's right, the good stuff. Straight sugar. Starbursts, skittles,
chocolates--whatever runs your motor. And if you don't like candy or you're diabetic, find
something else you can eat. But, as with the other two, the trick is to use this pocket booster
strategically. Every time you are able to downplay a stressful workplace event, go an hour or so
without checking the clock, get a large tip, or go out of your way to do something your position
doesn't entail-- Reward yourself.
Impose reasonable boundaries and change them every time so as to reward yourself for
increasingly bigger and better acts of 'service.' Feel good about yourself. After all, you're not just
any courtesy clerk. You're the best courtesy clerk your supermarket branch has to offer! (or your
register?)
4) The Stained Smile. This is a good one. It's a smile that never seems to truly disappear.
I'm not saying walk around like you've got a raging boner and you're happy to share it, but, at the
very least, show that sunny side up. Try to adapt to the facial feel of the smile. Adapt to the
muscle positions, and believe that with that small smile, comes happiness. Perhaps, use more of a
smirk, like you've got something up your sleeve that nobody, not even your hotshot Department
Manager, can comprehend.
This look will draw a more positive attitude from others, will make it more difficult for
managers to scold, and will (thinking ideally here) hopefully make others wonder why you're so
happy: "Hey, he changes trash bags all day, why's he so happy? Darn, well then I should be super
happy. Whoa, wait, I think I AM super happy. Sweet."
Above, I've outlined four basic strategies to feeling better in the crummy workplace that
pays your bills and keeps you afloat. However, these strategies can venture beyond the
workplace. In fact, I suppose they can even contribute to healthier living and, in the long run,
maximize your shot at getting a better job/career. So I guess... when I said I wasn't helping you
find a better career, I kinda lied. That being said, you owe me. Cash only, unmarked bills.
But first, I'll give you one more gem, the obvious #5. You see, coping with the stressors of
the workplace is never fun. And while it's good to have strategies for when you're actually at
work, what about when you're NOT at work? So take that extra money you're making because of
my heavenly advice, hit the bars, and GET FUDRUCKERED. Because, let's be honest, you can't
stress if you can't remember. And sometimes, the Fade-Out must call in its surly cousin:
The BLACK-OUT.
(The biggest geeks make the wildest freaks...)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOWARD MODERATION
Every day we're reminded how we need to lead lives of moderation. Know-it-alls and
experts alike yell at us from our T.V. sets, our magazines, our internets, and our consciences.
They shove it down our throats. We need to cut trans-fats, we need to cut back on sugars and
salts, on sedentary periods, on our vices of smoking and drinking, on everything great and fun
under the sun.
One year a food or product is recommended. The next year, a Special Report reveals that
this food or product contains carcinogens or leads to high blood pressure or is causing
permanent neurological damage. We think we have it down, the healthy way of living, and then
it gets turned on its head. We think we're doing it all right, then the latest research tells us
otherwise.
One minute we're told to eat more of A to reduce the risk of cancer. We say, OK, this is
good, I will follow. The next minute we're told that eating too much A increases the risk of heart
attack. So the question remains....
WHERE THE HELL DO WE DRAW THE LINE??
Well, of course, I can't answer that. Nobody can. Because nobody knows, with absolute
certainty, how your body's gonna react. After all, you wonder, how can somebody tell you to
stop drinking when you've been drinking in excess for 60 years and it was your friend, who
drank far less and far less frequently, that suffered cirrhosis of the liver?
In the world of convoluted beliefs and studies, in these times of health hyperawareness,
people are concerned, perhaps, TOO concerned?
Hypochondriasis is when one begins to worry extensively about everything and assumes that
something is wrong with one's body. They get to the point where they're monitoring their vital
signs every freakin minute of the day, convinced that they're physically deteriorating, that they
might die, that cancer might loom in their future, that they have a host of symptoms clearly
indicating some degenerative, life-sapping disease.
They fear that the slightest itch, the smallest hint of fatigue, a headache, a slightly raised
pulse--is evidence of something far more sinister.
I want to believe that thinking positively affects my body positively. Because, honestly, why
not? If it doesn't benefit me, it doesn't--OK. But why would I want to think negatively, anyway?
I could have some disease dormant in me right now that's going to progress to something
inoperable and incurable in 5, 10, 15, 30 years. Hell, my car could break down and I could fly off
the highway. I could go to rise from my couch one day, only to instantly fall over and pass out,
ending in sudden seizures. I could close my eyes tonight before I go to sleep, and wake up
tomorrow without the gift of sight. I could freakin spontaneously combust. Yes, this does
actually happen.
Many people who think about these things either worry about everything excessively, to the
detriment of their own health (ironically, increasing the likelihood of certain conditions) or they
decide Fuck It, and they seize life by the gonads and do whatever the hell they please. No Fear,
No Loss.
It is hard to remain moderate. What to worry about? What is a realistic fear? What should
we prioritize and what is simply a waste of our energies? It’s difficult to know this. Should we
just listen to our physician about medical concerns, and accept that anything could happen
outside of this realm?
Again, I go back to thinking positively. We all have defense mechanisms and ways of
dealing with stress. We can laugh, we can downplay, we can have serious convos with
confidants, we can devise logical, probability-based approaches, we can leave it to our intuitive
'gut' feelings; we can respond irrationally, rationally, or we can choose to draw away from it all,
and elect never to respond (though I suppose not responding is still technically a response).
I say we follow the flow and do as we do. Stay in the moment. Enjoy what we do in the
moment. Do as we do, in the moment. Thinking too much about ourselves and the future only
exacerbates anxiety and discontent. If you have an itch, do you scratch it? Some do. Because
they want it to go away now so they can feel good right away. They want to ziiip ahead to that
future state of relief.
So what happens when you scratch? You temporarily relieve it, and you think, "Damn, that
feels great." And then it comes back, even worse. So don't scratch it, let it run its course, and it
subsides. Aware but not overactive.
Don't give heed to negative thoughts, don't feed the frenzy. Do you feel better if you go to
take a dump and you're pushing with all your might to get it out because you're thinking about
the future and that jelly sandwich you wanna eat and the Xbox games you wanna dominate and
that damn homework and your physics test in 16.5 hrs?
NO.
If you're sane, you sit on the seat, and you let the turd run its way through and it comes out
of its own volition (granted you consume the appropriate amount of fiber).
Listen to your body. If certain beverages make you feel bloated or queasy, avoid them, limit,
or try to adjust a facet of yourself--tinker. If certain foods make you feel lethargic and muddled,
avoid them, limit, or try to adjust a facet of yourself--tinker.
If certain people make you feel angry and homicidal, avoid them, limit, or tinker. If certain
thought patterns or ideas make you feel uneasy or leave you sleepless, avoid, limit, or tinker the
fine facets of your lifestyle.
If you're losing sleep, make sure you give what bad thoughts you can't fight off their due
attention during the day, during the main rush of your day. Hell, record your to-dos if you're
worried about forgetting them. That way it will be much easier to compress at night when your
melatonin levels should naturally be at their highest. This will ease you into sleep.
Acknowledge that we all have difficulties. By acknowledging, we remind ourselves that we
have the courage to face them. But by thinking too much about them, we exhaust our brains
needlessly. Or we grow anxious and paranoid, and unable to enjoy anything happening in the
Now.
However, by not thinking about them at all, we then encounter other repercussions, of
suppressed stress--bad dreams, dissociation, somatic manifestations, to name a few.
It's easier said than done when trying to deal with stress. But the main thing to remember is
that scolding yourself for stress is not gonna work. The problem is, everybody does this. You're
rolling in bed, tossing and turning, and you keep checking your clock. 2:34. 3:05. 3:41. 4:05.
"Daaaamn it!" you think. "I gotta be up in 5 hours! Now, 4.5 hrs!... 4 hrs n counting... Omg,
why can't I just Go To Sleep! Argghhghg...."
Alright, so maybe your dialogue doesn't go exactly like that, but hey, I enjoy a good selftalking. Anywho, we've all been there. And of course, the more we try to force ourselves to
sleep, the worse it becomes. And for obvious reasons.
You can't yell yourself to sleep because yelling naturally requires a more heightened state;
even when it's taking place in your head. If you find yourself just becoming more anxious and
awake, Change it up.
Change something. Because whatever you're doing, ain't working. Get up; turn on a light for
a bit. Walk to the bathroom, swish some water, try to find something that will calm you and take
your mind off the fast approaching morning. Maybe read a book. Just try to stop the broken
record in your head.
Finally, do everything to make the bed your place of sanctity. Do not do things that
stimulate your mind in bed. Keep the lighting consistent and low. Keep the room at a
comfortable temperature. Adapt a regimen so that you are conditioned. Entering the room is the
last move you make. You close the door. You turn off the light. You lay your head on the pillow.
And...
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
(A woman once called me a “douchebag.” I didn’t know what to say.
So I continued staring at her jugs)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TIPS FOR CATCHIN Zs
Many have theorized as to the reasons and meanings for sleep. However, what isn't a
mystery is the importance of sleep. We shouldn’t have too little of it, and we shouldn't have too
much of it. But in the end, we always need it.
1. CONDITIONED SLEEP SPACE: Psychologists and sleep experts agree. Engaging in a
variety of activities from bed is detrimental to good sleep. When you're constantly surfing the
web, watching T.V., eating, and talking on the cell phone, all from your mattress of slumber,
your mind is conditioned to expect these activities. As such, when it finally comes time to
actually use that bed for sleep, your body and mind are confused, racing, and ill-prepared for
"powering down."
2. ROUTINE: This one's a no-brainer. It's like #1 but still requires reiteration. Try to keep
some sort of schedule. Make an effort to go to bed around the same time and awake around the
same time. Now of course, we all have different events from day to day that can mess this up, but
it's good to at least try; align your circadian rhythms.
3. AVOID PROCRASTINATION: Ok, ok, so I'm guilty of procrastinating like it's my job,
but then again, that's why I'm qualified to make this advice. I know how procrastination impacts
sleep. See, when you delay things during the day, bottle up feelings and thoughts, or avoid
stressors altogether, you're only hurting yourself. Then, when it comes time to hit the sack, your
mind is racing with all those remaining nuisances from earlier in the day.
Try to address things when they arise. Of course, if you're a person who naturally thinks
better at night, and can afford to sustain a schedule of going to bed late without negative
consequences, then go for it. However, for most of us 9-5ers, this ain't the case.
4. EXERCISE: Yup, you know the stuff. Your doctor tells you to get more of it, your
conscience prods you about it, and your relatives say you're looking "a little hefty." But they're
all right. Exercise, physical or mental, will wear you out, and make sleep more rewarding and
appetizing. Besides, you'll feel better about yourself and won't have guilt about oversleeping a
little, knowing that your mind and body actually deserve the rest.
5. SUNSHINE: Getting sun allows our bodies to wake up naturally and suppress melatonin
levels. Decreased melatonin levels are linked with positive affect and a feeling of wakefulness.
When melatonin is in excess, as is the case with those suffering from SAD, a feeling of lethargy
and sleepiness pervades. In other words, get out of the Darkness and into the Light!
6. SLEEP DEPRIVATION: Putting your body through strenuous, continuous activity
adversely affects your entire life. I'm not talking about healthy doses of exercise. I'm talking
about staying up late constantly and forcing yourself to get up early, abusing stimulants like
caffeine or amphetamines, and generally sleeping poorly. Sleep deprivation can literally kill you.
7. OVERSLEEPING: Oversleeping is as bad as sleep deprivation. It leaves you feeling
groggy and sluggish for most of the day. This is likely due to the fact that you have lulled your
body and mind into believing another sleep cycle is starting, but instead of completing that sleep
cycle, you cut it off early; and then, your body and mind are confused.
Think about it. If the average person needs 7-9 hrs, and you sleep for 12... Well, that's just
dandy. But you've gone 5-3 hrs into your next sleep cycle. You're messin with your miiiiind,
man!
8. SLUMBER SETTING: Learn to adjust the blinds accordingly if you sleep near a window.
Learn to find a good position, whether on your sides, back or stomach. Learn your preferred
room temperature. Learn what types of mattresses work for you--more firm or soft. Some people
claim bamboo sheets are optimal as they are known for their insulating ability.
It takes time, but learn how to optimize your sleep setting so that it relaxes you, and dispels
all things not sleep-related.
9. SELF ESTEEM: If you have confidence in your abilities, you will rise and fall each day
with reason and hope. This will lead to better sleep because you will worry less at night, will be
more willing to rise in the morning to tackle the day, and will generally engage in a greater
variety of activities. So be happy, have confidence. You're you. Let those other lames do them.
10. CONSULT A DOCTOR: Last but not least. If you want to do it, do it. If nothing else
works, see the Doc. It might put you at ease. Or it might get you worrying.
Good luck, kiddos.
(It’s always refreshing to meet people who are pleasant. Some people are just really nice.
Especially in nudist colonies.)
ROLLIN UP THE SLEEVES
(skip to next chapter if all you care about is Facebook-ing and Twitter-ing on Tweeter)
Ugh...
Sometimes I'm annoyed. Or maybe just constipated. Both states suck tho. Thank God for
fiber. And plumbers.
I wanna express myself but I wonder if it's even worth it. However, you are cool. I like you.
So I'll talk the talk to you.
You'll pay attention... won't you?
(I think guns are cool. Too cool.)
(And that’s why we should incinerate them. All of them. This will give us a lot more
practice working on our physical and mental fitness. Telepathy and telekinesis, here I come.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
CHEERS, SNEERS, FEARS, AND TEARS: SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS
Let me start by saying, some people love the holidays. These are the people that play all the
music, bake all the cookies, and giggle and laugh incessantly. So incessantly, it's to the point
where everybody near them becomes nauseous and begins to seizure. These are the kind of
people with such an upbeat, bubbly attitude, they're either messed up on pleasure-pills, or they're
seconds away from blowing their brains out.
Then, there are the people who approach the holidays with a mixture of grief, sarcasm, and
guarded optimism. They don't care for the whole 'spirit,' but hey, who doesn't like getting gifts
and candy? Of course, they are quick to remind you of the shittyness of the reciprocity rule, in
which their reception of an awesome PS3 means they've gotta return the favor (and that returning
requires money).
"Hey thanks for the 400$ system. Here's some licorice and a pair of slippers"
Now that I've acknowledged that there are two poles in personality when approaching the
holidays, let me do them both a favor. I will offer TWO analyses of the holidays. ONE, coming
from a guy or girl who trembles with giddy joy at the thought of the Holidays. TWO, coming
from a guy or girl who can't help but fall beneath the crushing blow of cynicism, exacerbated by
the commercial inculcation of 'holiday cheer.'
So here's TWO, first:
Holidays are a time of year when we get together with the ones we love, put our busy lives
on hold, and partake in a period of pure, intoxicating merriment! At least that's what the
commercials tell us. And the Hallmark greetings cards.
See, once a year, our calendars, and the puppet masters of major retailers, tell us what we
need to do. We rush to and from store to store, often violating the so-called holiday spirit in order
to fight other customers for the biggest, bestest gifts we can find. We buy Xbox, and Barbie
dolls, and Blue rays, and clothes, and plasma screens, and tickle-me-elmos.
We drop cash money and swipe our shiny cards. We venture out into the dark of late
night/early morning, thinking that we're getting a jump on others who may delay their purchases
till days before the big day. However, we're wrong.
It's kinda like when there's an accident on the highway. And you think, "Oh, I'll just get off
at this exit beforehand, while everybody is stuck in highway traffic." Well, guess what?
Everybody was thinking the same thing. Woulda been better off staying the course, Columbus.
The holidays are a time when gluttony is not only prevalent, but encouraged. When sitting
on a couch, half-zonked from triptofein, is considered the norm. When, as we shovel gravy and
butterballs and stuffing into our mouths, we feel the need to bark at the dudes on T.V., with the
5% body fat and flawless physiques, and tell THEM to run faster with the football.
But really, in the end, the holidays are all about family. Are they not? They're about meeting
those relatives you don't bother to acknowledge the other 360 some days of the year, and acting
as if your 'blood relation' still holds weight. You ask questions like, 'how have you been,' 'how
are the kids?' and 'what are you up to nowadays?'
You learn about Junior's graduation with honors, little Paulie's return to rehab, Sonya's
lavish and perfect life in suburbia, and cocky Connor's latest multi-million dollar business
transaction. You may find yourself trying to justify other's successes, or you may simply sink
into a deep unresponsive state, drowning your frustrations at your own failings in a heap of
mashed potatoes and cider.
You're surprised to find that your family has apparently multiplied like an air-born pathogen,
and little whippersnappers run amok at your knees, nearly knocking you over as you work your
way through glass # 5 of that vintage Chardonnay.
Then there's the random gift exchange. You know, where people just pass their gifts around
until everybody gets something, having no idea what newfangled dildos these freshly wrapped
boxes contain.
What the heck is this about? I don't want this South American Geography board game. I
appreciate the thought, but Jesus Chr-And then I have to think about something that I should get.
It's hard enough thinking of a gift for a specific individual. But now they want me to find a
gift that ANYBODY would like? No way, no how. No wonder I always hate what people get me.
I guess I can't fault them. I mean, getting a gift that anybody could use, means getting a weak
sauce, lame-ass gift that you can snag last second:
"Ohhh.... a gift certificate to Exxon... thanks."
And if I've gotta consider something that ANYBODY, including kids, would want. Forget it.
I give up.
After the little fun-fun of the exchanges, you guys might sit down and harvest some quality
food, listen to aunts and uncles bicker over their serving sizes, compare recipes, get sauced off
the spiked eggnog (not JUST for Christmas), and generally devolve into uncensored, uproarious
caricatures of yourselves.
See, if you're a kid, and a perceptive one, you're watching. You're wishing you could drink,
thinking maybe you can once they're drunk enough. You're watching and silently taking notes.
You learn that so-and-so's a 'pig,' so-and-so's a 'dummy,' so-and-so needs to watch her
cholesterol, and so-and-so just doesn't seem to 'have it figured out.'
As the years progress, you're actually able to partake in holiday drinkathons which makes
the whole ordeal a lot more tolerable. Apparently there's a religious element tied in with all this
holiday craziness, but I never really caught on to that...
If there is some good that comes from Holidays, it's the parties. As you get older, walking
hand-in-hand with your parents during trick-or-treating eventually turns into nights over friends'
houses as you OD on candy, and finally becomes hitting the bars and house parties, checking out
the rumps or chests on those naughty princesses or princes.
All in all, the holidays are times of escape. People try desperately to forget about the work
week and get lost in the vice and folly of celebrations ostensibly in the name of religious history.
I mean, what really happened on Christmas? Jesus, uh.... well, he, he uh walked... no, wait no, he
parted the red sea or.. Erh...
“Hey look, it's a fat dude in a red suit with a white beard! Yaaaaay!!! Oh, and look at those
'little helpers'! Aren't they cute?”
Nothing beats child slavery in the form of "elves." And you know what, if they ain't
children, it's still not cool. How dare we exploit the midgets of the world in such ways. You think
they like being dressed up and stuffed with drugs to make them smile?
But New Years is nice. Ya know, that time a year where there's yet another excuse to get
plastered. It would be great if this was all, but instead people gotta put on the stupid hats with the
numbers and blow noisy paper instruments. It's funny really, cuz though we're celebrating the
start of a New Year, sometimes our level of celebration is enough to make us not make it to the
New Year.
It's 2012! And so is my BAC!! Whoop Whoooop!
And of course everybody has to make a resolution. Now, for those of us who actually
remember drunkenly proclaiming our new health goals, we might as well give up. We're not
gonna make it. What really changed inside of us in the span of seconds? What great motivation
reared its hideous head inside our brains as that giant shiny ball reached the bottom of a pole?
And what's with the fascination with this giant shiny ball? We all stop what we're doing and
watch the spectacle that is this massive, glowing, shimmering, multi-colored ball. Why? What's
so special? Every year we watch this ball drop.
Why are we so obsessed with the ball? What is so alluring about the ball? Why, in God's
name, can't we take our freakin eyes off the ball!? WHY!??!??
Wait.
Is this the gay pride parade?
Here is Perspective ONE, from a giddy lover of Holidays:
The Holidays are crazy wild! I absolutely love all the deals and cool offers! I'm all about
getting up early. I like to fix myself a cup of Keurig, check my cash reserves, and of course make
sure I've got my credit cards in good balance (cuz you know I'm gonna be whippin those badboys
out!).
I luuuuv Halloween for all the cute outfits and creative costumes. OMG, the previous year I
saw this totally amazing Ninja turtle costume. It had the complete shell, and dagger, and this
really funny face. It was so cool!
Christmas time, I love to turn on Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer (of course lol!), listen to
jingle bells, and dance and jive! We always get this super-duper big tree and then we deck it out
from the top to the bottom with these adorable little snowmen and my aunt's glass balls. Oh these
glass balls! They've been passed down. They actually once belonged to my great, great
grandfather.... I know, it's totally wild!
SO like, he used to hang them up with his brothers and sisters as his mom made homemade
eggnog (yummy yum!) and then his dad would go out into the wintry yard and collect wood, and
they'd burn it in this big ol' hearth and they'd all sit around and unwrap the presents on Christmas
day, and sing carols, and make snow angels! OMG they were soooo cuuute! Like, they made this
outline that rep-ALRIGHT. That's it. I can't keep doing this. I'm done,
I'm gonna puke.
Ughhh...
(Cancer sucks. I wish I could go Pacman on those stupid cells. Talk about incentive for a
high score.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
BATTLEFIELDS OR HEADSHOPS?
I appreciate people who fight. They are well-trained and have way more guts than I will ever
have. Though I wonder how it works. Does violence ever make permanent change? Or just
temporary?
How does peace work? Does violence just breed more violence? Does peace breed more
peace?
I hate the thought of tearing people apart with gunfire (except in videogames). It's just too
real for me. I can't handle all that real. Proponents of war argue that it is the only option at times.
That it's the only way to prevent greater harm; we must lose lives to protect far more. Some
people protest certain wars. Some people support certain wars. Others protest or support all wars.
Those who defy war say that it will only perpetuate more violence. That it's a vicious cycle.
That it is futile. Others will laugh at this commentary. How else should we approach
uncompromising terrorists, they'll ask. By performing a sit-in and flashing peace signs?
People who preach peace and those who endorse war bump heads quite often. And it's sad,
really, because they both want the same thing. A resolution. They both want to end
complications and to make the world a better place. They just have different ways of getting
there.
The debate surrounding War is one rooted in deep ideological contentions. Considerations of
morality are often brought into the fray; people will argue vehemently. And I cannot get into this,
because I know so very little about it all.
I would never assume to know what government intelligence agencies know. I have never
been on the forefront. Nor have I ever been the leader of an anti-war protest or movement. I don't
even have a firm stance on interpretations of morality. I have not read nearly enough
philosophers' opinions to form an informed opinion. Hell, I can barely wipe my ass adequately.
Instead, I sit rather uneasily in the middle of all this shit. At one point I used to believe that
nobody deserved to die. I would think that people needed help. That even the worst, most
incorrigible individuals were in need of help, not punishment. But my viewpoint has changed;
though it still wavers.
Like weak candlelight, it flickers and sways this way and that with the slightest whiff of new
knowledge; a wind can bring change.
I tend to think that there is, at least, a common thread among us humans. An ethereal
something that makes every single being that is, was, or will be, the same. I want to believe that
I'm not deserving of death as punishment, no matter what I do; so nobody else should be
deserving of death as punishment either.
But if I kill a 1,000 people... How do I not deserve to die? Am I not broke beyond fixing? Is
trying to 'correct' me not a waste of time and resources? People can plead insanity and receive
help. But what if they're not 'insane' by societal standards? Are they not still fucked up? Are they
not still humans who aren't 'normal' and thus require attention? So which one is it? Who deserves
help, who warrants punishment? What are the grounds on which to operate?
But wait, wait, wait... Hold on, you say. Killing 1,000 people does not necessarily make me
a bad person worthy of death. After all, if this killing occurred in a time of war, then surely I am
OK. If I did it in the name of war, for my country, for my people, then it does not matter how
many I killed.
But wait, I am oversimplifying things. Surely there are war crimes. Surely, I must take
things on a case-by-case basis. So is there even a universal code that can apply to everybody? I
dunno.
Perhaps I choose to believe that killing one person in the death penalty is as bad as that
person killing 23 others. We condemn killing yet we use killing. Others will point to the
difference in the nature of the killings. Others will generalize to all violence; that no violence is
morally viable as punishment. Or maybe criminals should not be regarded on the same moral
grounds as us law-abiding John Doe's. They forsook that right long ago.
But wait... where was I?
WAR
So what is the deal with war? Is it even truly possible to 'support the troops' if we don't
support the war? The assumption is, at least some of the troops go off to war because they
support the war. Sure, some of them entered the armed services for a job or to serve their country
in another capacity. But some of them also entered the armed services so that when a war arose,
they would be proud and eager to protect their nation's liberties; that they would believe in the
cause of the war.
So if we truly 'support the troops,' then we would be backing their beliefs, their reasons for
risking their lives on our behalf. Maybe we should be more specific with these statements of
support. Maybe we should say, 'I support the troops who don't support the war' or 'I support
certain troops with certain motivations.'
Sure, sure, I get that a lot of people simply mean that they support the courage of the nation's
heroes in going off to fight. I get that. But if you don't believe in a war, and you argue with your
friends who do believe in the war, wouldn't you also be entitled to argue with servicemen and
women who believe in the war? Alright, so you'd probably bite your tongue, knowing that they
were on the frontline and saw things and did things that you couldn't fathom. But that doesn't
change the basic fact that you guys have ideological differences. Perhaps you think of it this
way:
"I support the troops for their bravery and service, but I do not support the government for
sending them out there. I support the troops for doing what they are told to do because such
discipline is invaluable in all walks of life and may come in handy when I do in fact believe in the
cause of a war or battle. BUT, I do not believe in the government for forcing them to go beyond
and possibly die. I have appreciation for individuals who can have such conviction for the things
they believe. But I do not share belief in those things."
But I'm getting beyond myself. I do not know of what I speak. Or do I? So many questions
are circulating, I can't keep track. Billions of people on this planet will have a billion slightly
different opinions on the issue. All these opinions were formed unconsciously and consciously
based on life experiences and genetics. There are plenty of ways in which one could come to
support a war or condemn it.
A kid in the streets of Baghdad. An American who graduated from Cambridge. A hippie
turned FBI agent.
This is why I leave these issues to the geniuses of our time. To the Einsteins and the
Voltaires and the Newtons and the Langans and all the other Giants of Grey Matter. These are
the guys who need to see things from every conceivable angle. They're the ones who would
pluck us semi-smart kids apart, thought by thought.
But hey, I've still got an opinion, right? So I guess I'll keep truckin.
(Do you think people would be less likely to speed if Coffee prices were a lot higher? Would
productivity go up or down? Might make for an interesting experiment…)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NO NEW NEWS
What's the point of local news? Honestly, is there ever anything good? Are people ever NOT
dying or being trampled or stuffed into the back of a van or being unjustly fired or smacked with
baseball bats or raped or discovering conspiracies or engaging in acts of infidelity or getting in
car accidents? Is the only thing newsworthy that thing that includes death and evil?
I guess if it ain't good news, it's bad news. If it ain't a good charity or a local team winning a
game or a heartfelt story of a puppy that saved its 90-year-old master during a house fire, then it's
bad news. But why so many murders? And who chooses which murders or beatings need to be
aired? If you're watching local news from a large metropolitan area, what's the point?
Just report all the bad shit. Just give us everything in a shit storm of crappy news. Just make
us remember that we're the only species stupid and evil enough to kill each other for reasons
other than survival.
I feel for the anchormen/women. They're so desensitized by all this crummy news they gotta
report, they just roll it off like it's nothing.
And then the transitions. Or what you wanna call 'transitions.' I'm not sure if they're meant to
be comedic, but...
Anchorman: "...the three bodies were discovered in makeshift coffins beneath the Brooklyn
Bridge. Decapitated and drained of blood. The names of the victims have not yet been
released...."
His eyebrows lift and he smiles.
Anchorman: "And in other news, Fedbrook Middle School's Fighting Terriers won their
fourth softball tournament championship this afternoon, a school record! Way to go Terriers!" .
Anchorwoman: "Well that's just great, I'm sure those little girls worked really hard! We're
all very proud of them.
Anchorman: "That we are, Denise. That we are..."
What is with this cutesy little banter?
There's always gotta be some last comment following a story and before a commercial
break, or if the news is ending, or if they have extra time.
And when it's painfully obvious that they're faking emotion, and they're tired, and they don't
want to be reporting the same combination of terrible murder news and nobody-gives-a-hoot,
'sposed-to-be-uplifting news, we, the viewer, feel their pain.
And what's with the weather? What's the point? Are you ever right? How can you predict 12
inches of snow and we get nothing? Don't stand there with your confident smile as you wave
your hand about a green screen like you know what you're talking about. Ya know what--start
giving us the percentage. Tell us the exact validity and reliability of your 'predictive instruments.'
I want to know what kinda odds I'm workin with here.
Cut out all the dew point and barometric pressure crap and just tell me if it's gonna be sunny,
cloudy or rainy. Tell me the likelihood. Every time. If you have no idea, tell us. Don't try to play
it off like you know absolutely what's gonna happen. And please. PEAAAAASE.... acknowledge
when you were wrong. Don't just glide over it like you made the right prediction all along. Have
some kind of honor.
It just gets annoying. Fortunately for us, God invented the remote controller. Netflix, here I
come.
(Why do beer commercials always show beautiful young people of every race having the
best time of their lives? Why couldn’t these commercials, and those like them, represent the true
consumers?
I guess a sweaty slob with a Coors Light and a Big Mac just ain’t that appealing.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE
Tell me you've given up...
That you're tired, day after day, week after week, month into years, of doing the "right
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(Please do not call. The above was my example of an infomercial. Actually, you know what,
call if you want. I wonder if this number exists... But my point is, people can bullshit you and get
you to believe anything. So believe me, the above number is fake, and if you call it, it will not
ask you for your credit card number and then deduct $4.95 without telling you. TRUST ME...)
Say this product actually existed. If you wanted, I'd probably ship it to you for some price
ending in 9.95. The exact shipping and handling price would not be given. And, if you called
during the commercial, you would get not 1, not 2, BUT 7 POWERPLUS UNLIMITEDs!!
Makes you really feel good about the product, huh? Really must be valuable.
(The best part about drinking is the release. And I’m not talking about the release of
emotions and thoughts as alcohol makes you uninhibited. I’m talking about the release of
urine… into the urinal.
Guys, you know what I’m talkin about.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ON LOVE
Love, you say?
Do you mean pheromones? Chemicals secreted so naturally and unconsciously that we
barely know they're there until it's too late? Yet so powerful that they influence the very
behaviors of those around us, fluttering hearts, drying mouths, pushing sweat through pores,
making us, in many ways, no different from our beloved friends in the Animal Kingdom?
Is Love even a choice? Or are we controlled by the master puppeteer? The human brain, the
central hub for all feelings, thoughts and actions? At the end of the day, are we just, "creatures of
the flesh"?
Or, perhaps, you seek something else. An anecdote?
Perhaps, just maybe... you're an idealist.
Maybe you awake to find yourself tired and nauseous, your body ravaged by the previous
night's activities. And the day has just begun, and there's much to do, things to say, stressors to
overcome. But it doesn't matter.
It doesn't matter because, right beside you, nestled against you, is, uh, that girl. The one
from your hazy short term memory. With eyes like sapphire, and a warm, carefree smile that
seems to tug the very muscles of your chest into a similar form.
You don't know why, and maybe you want to, maybe you do, but for now... why does it
matter? What you do know is quite enough. That you're happy, and that the uncombed,
unwashed blonde hair in your face will never smell bad, and those supple curves against your
pelvis will never feel wrong, and no matter what happens, no matter what the dark, insidious
gods of fate throw your way, you'll never be torn again, because, for this very moment, you've
found 'the one,' the only one you really want.
Is it love, or is it lust, or is it some hybrid of the two? God, who knows? And it doesn't
matter. Because for now, all is right.
Or is it?
Perhaps, you live in a world firmly planted in the Real.
Perhaps you're a college kid. And, as so, you carry a college kid's sensibilities. You text the
guy or girl you've been seeing. You flirt and tease and say, "OMG, LOL, LMAO," or whatever
emoticon you choose to convey emotion. You like seeing him or her, but what does that mean?
There are countless attractive people, there are countless people who are different, who have
eclectic tastes and goals.
You go through periods of wanting space. You go through periods of wanting connection.
Sometimes physical, sometimes emotional--maybe even just to know your hook-up has
something upstairs, and isn't just a brainless body. You "hook up" with other people, and you
carry a grab bag of, shall we say, "persons of interest."
There's a person for every mood, every whim, every desire. Should you feel bad? Are you a
manipulator, are you a 'slut,' a 'womanizer,' a 'prick'? Have you lost your morals? Or have morals
simply changed to reflect a rapidly changing sexscape? Do you know what you want? With
every changing "person of interest," do you even know who YOU are anymore?
Perhaps, you wake up. And it's been 11 years to this day, this morning. And the one you
married is still the one you want. And though you bicker and you clash, and you despise her
cooking, things couldn't be better. And though you've got little runts to drive to school, and a
full-time job, and badgering coworkers, and your wife wishes you'd do more around the house-life is as warm as it’s ever been.
Because you feel something for her, and for the 4-ft-tall creatures you produced with her.
You don't know why you find yourself smiling when she scolds you, and you don't know why
she still wants to cuddle. But day after day, week after week, you keep coming back. Week after
week, you keep eating her burnt, lopsided steak.
Or, maybe, you manufacture what you want. To you, Love is a label. A means by which to
cement social connection, to produce intimacy, and intertwine life paths. It is tossed around like
a ragdoll, to end phone conversations, before going to bed, when leaving for work, or just at
random times, when it seems fitting; when you need to hear it to know it exists.
For you, these four letters are the glue. Though issues may brew and feelings may stir, Love
is but a lid, a means to contain. Love is but the calm surface of deep, violent waters. "We're very
much in love," you tell your friends confidently over lunch.
Though when you arrive home, it's the partner you never took who's heavy on your mind.
"But it's fine," you tell yourself, "because I've moved on. I'm in love now."
Perhaps you get to thinking. People fall in love, you tell yourself. At a certain point, people
need to settle down, to find their mate, the one they love. This is society, and these are the rules.
And if the perfect one eludes your grasp, it's OK, you say, because you "can learn to love"
another.
Love takes time, you think. It doesn't have to happen right off the bat. You have to recognize
it. You have to learn to recognize it. And when you do, then you can say it: that four-letter word.
A million people will define love a million ways. Are there commonalities? Sure. But what
may be casual sex to one person is a physical love affair to another, and what is merely an
extended period of carnal and emotional pleasure to one, is a precursor to lifelong happiness for
another. Love is everything and anything and nothing all at once. It is defined, it is meaningless,
and it has driven humans to write prose and poetry for as long as we can remember.
So I propose we don't question its nature. Whether captured by a Hallmark card, embodied
by a tireless relationship of 40 years, sparked by a one-night stand, or produced through the
alignment of "compatible" people, Love is a delicate specimen.
And like all delicate specimens, the instant it is scrutinized, the very moment it is forced
under the microscope by minds of rationality, is the instant it becomes irrational. To press too
hard is to destroy. To subject to constraints is to remove its inherent freedom. So let's take a step
back, shall we? Let's appreciate this delicate specimen while it still lasts. Let's do our human
being thing, and maybe, just maybe, we will find it in due stride.
Now wouldn't that be lovely?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
HEY US ECONOMY! SACK UP!
The economy is a fun thing. Especially nowadays. People really seem to love it. I mean,
things are just going swimmingly. Corrupt politicians, corrupt Wall-Streeters, corrupt lobbyists,
corrupt you-name-it. People love to be corrupt.
And the country is freaking tired of it.
See, I could pretend to know something about the economy, but the fact is... I know nothing
about the economy. I don't really know what the hell I'm supposed to know. But I do know that
people that do know something, seem to know that NOBODY knows what to do. To. Fix. It.
Well, I guess I should say, nobody knows what to do to get people to AGREE on something
to fix it.
The problems are innumerable. But it really begins with this mindset of party lines. Party
divides. Party CANYONS, more like. There is no such thing as compromise apparently.
Democrats blame Republicans; Republicans stick by their guns and blame Democrats. Though, I
suppose when the strongest Repub battles the strongest Demo for the throne of our Superpower
Nation, it's kinda hard not to have these party schisms.
People in Washington, the people with power and privilege, want to preserve their positions.
And I can't say I blame them. But when the entire country is giving record low approval ratings,
and we have protesters growing in number all across the continental US, I find it difficult that the
most corrupt of the corrupt can't relinquish some of their power and, at least, BEGIN to care.
Listen, I like a good suit, tie, and pair of slacks like everybody else; you feel slick,
successful, like you mean something. But when you put on that suit, tie, and pair of slacks, you
need to actually mean something. Constituents put politicians in power. You are to represent us.
You are to meet our needs. Because if you piss us off, as you have clearly done across the board,
none of us will respect you.
See, we often hear crooked politicians found guilty saying the same things. Now, they might
be trying to cover their asses, but it's easy to believe what they say. And what do they say?
They say: "The system." That's right, "the system."
The system is DC. But really, the system is capitalism. The system is what cuts politicians
nice little perks, and juicy steak dinners, and cutbacks, and insider trading tips, and nice
pensions, big salaries, and all kinds of connections and ploys that do nothing for national
interests, and everything for self-interests. Is it power? Is it the nature of those drawn to power?
Politicians deny through clever wordplay and equivocal, carefully crafted responses.
Sometimes, they just outright lie. They can open their mouths all they want, but all we'll hear is
"Bullshit, Bullshit, Bullshit." And when they are finally brought to their knees, undeniably
guilty, their last line of defense is to claim that everybody is doing it. Everybody is doing it.
Everybody is doing it.
And for once, I'm inclined to believe them.
They don't live by the same rules as we do. And why should they? They are men and women
at the top, looking down at the lowly rest of us. They worked hard to get there; they might've
exploited people here and there, made 'friends' with the right thinkers and doers and moneygrubbers. They did what they had to do. They did some good things sure, so it's OK.
It's OK for them to reward themselves. It's OK for them to reap the benefits that the system-created by their own kind--affords them. It's just the way things work. It's the way of the world.
If it isn't explicitly forbidden, if there’s a loophole, why not partake? And if you're a politician
and you know you're doing the wrong thing entirely, you either feel bad...
...or you don't give a shit. Must be tough to be a good politician in a sea of sharks and
pufferfish.
So let's say we actually get a politician that isn't corrupt. Now, we have another problem:
making people happy.
See, it's impossible to make everybody happy, but by god, in a democracy, you better damn
well strive to make the majority of us happy. I realize that the issues this country faces on a day
to day basis are so vast and beyond my mere speculation that it's unfair to expect any kind of
progress without at first a period of struggle.
But what we should expect is for those in power to put aside trivial issues, personal
transgressions, past voting histories--anything that happened in the past--and use their resources
to set us on some kind of pathway. No bickering, no name-calling, no ad-hominem wasting of
time. These guys need to accept that they're gonna feel the dry winds of the economic wasteland
just like the rest of us. They need to be willing to lose something for the greater good of this
nation.
Instead, all we seem to hear is, "The Republicans won't agree to this, so of course the Super
Committee failed," or "If it weren't for the Democrats refusing to accept this plan...” And news
stations don't help. They are slanted, biased. The average person doesn't know what to believe.
Speaking of news, the more news one watches, the more it seems that globalization is only
hurting us. We are terribly intertwined with the successes and downfalls of our trading partners.
Europe is hurting. China is hurting. If we hurt, they hurt. If they bleed, we bleed. Seems it's time
to focus on ourselves. To do a cleaning of the house; to provide a foundation for future
generations.
Each country should make priority #1 righting the domestic problems. The US loves being
the big Superpower of the world, but how much longer will that last? Shouldn't we stop
babysitting everybody else, and be blatantly selfish for once? Despite the Anti-American
sentiments that infest our televisions and radios from afar, we’re still a beacon of hope to many
the world over. And this, by itself, should be reason enough to right the wrong. Better ourselves,
so we can continue to better others.
What does it say to those in power when people would rather live in tents in prohibited
areas, without power, holding signs and wearing old clothes, than actually returning to "society"
and living legally? But hey, I'm sure the bankers with their multi-million dollar bonuses, and the
CEOs who sit atop thrones of money after their companies received government bail-outs, are all
deserving.
It seems to be a problem when students and bright young minds have already lost their faith,
doesn't it? Look at Egypt. Look at almost any other country, cuz most have it worse. Does the
US want to devolve to that? Maybe we can just have a redo. That might work. All I know is, I
hope the world likes septic tanks.
Cuz we're flushing this bitch down the shitter.
AFTER THOUGHTS
Let me say, I'm freakin lucky. I can go to McDonald’s drive-thrus. I can go to school. My
president, even if I don't agree with him, actually stays in office. A recent stand-up by Carlos
Mencia reminded me how good I really do have it. Our worse days here are the best days in other
countries. We aren't getting killed by our government. We have so many opportunities, even
when we think there's nothing. Our pits are the peaks in most places across this planet.
I could live everyday with gunfire on the streets. Missiles could shriek overhead. I could be
oppressed. I could fight for revolution in the bloody, bomb-ridden roads. I could be waging war
against a dictatorship.
But I am not. I sit on a couch. I watch other people's lives torn to shreds through my
oversized television, in my heat, in my air conditioning. I see commercials about cable services
with over 100 channels. I catch glimpses of balmy coastlines and swaying palm trees in resort
advertisements. I am constantly reminded of the decadence and excess that floods our society. I
am lucky.
So many of us, are lucky.
(Everybody is underrated. Everybody is underappreciated. Everybody deserves more
money. So, uh… how ’bouts you buy another copy of this book?)
RULING YOUR SCHOOLING
(skip to next chapter if you have no desire to learn how to... well, learn)
School’s integral to the future of our planet. Without a strong educational backbone, we’re
doomed.
Or ‘least that’s what the balloon-heads say.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TO THE EDUCATORS
Hey there, Teacher-of-the-Month. Greetings, guy who sucks at his job and couldn't instruct a
bee to find pollen. Hello, yall. Now, I'm sure some of you really care about your kids. And I'm
sure some of you couldn't care less about the stupid lil rascals. The thing is, if you hate teaching
and just want the paycheck, OR, if you love molding the minds of manana... you still know the
struggle. Sometimes, it ain't your fault.
Unfortunately, not all schools receive the funding they need to update their technology and
make learning more interesting. What most kids need is a new delivery system for information.
We need multi-platform visual, auditory and tactile experiences.
Educators need to understand that when kids get home they can click a mouse a few times
and learn almost anything simply by typing it in a search engine. Why bother listening in class
from these dusty, heavy, antiquated... "books," when we can immerse ourselves in a
multisensory experience that actually stimulates our minds?
This isn't saying that books are dead. And I'm not saying we should go Fahrenheit 451 and
torch them all, but I am saying that technology needs to play a much larger role than it is. Kids
act out and get hyper and lose focus partly because they are under-stimulated. In order to satisfy
this lack of stimulation, they naturally seek something more stimulating. This may manifest in
several ways: they might talk a lot, throw paper, doodle or scribble, sing music, get out of their
seat and move around, and just generally seem rambunctious.
They may also simply become despondent and daydream. They might check their phones
non-stop, they might listen to music, play calculator games, or they might become the classclown, creating a more fun and stimulating environment by getting the students laughing and the
teacher fuming.
The ideal educator does not do things by the books. He or she will lower to the student's
level so as to gain an important perspective through receptivity. In order words, the ideal
educator will earn the students' trust by avoiding the dictator-like persona that some teachers,
afraid to lose control, employ. He or she will establish his or her authority, but do so in a nonthreatening manner.
He or she will address students on an individual basis when there are serious problems, and
not embarrass the student in front of his or her peers, which will only make the student resent.
The ideal educator will talk with the older students respectfully, welcoming their input and
commentary, but knowing when to drop the gavel. The ideal educator will mix things up, use
examples from the students' lives in order to make content more relatable. He or she will strive to
align student interests with school interests by shrewdly communicating that everybody is on the
same side: the 'we-want-you-to-succeed' side.
An ideal educator doesn't believe in stupid questions if the student is being honest. An ideal
educator rewards good behavior and explains the futility of bad behavior. An ideal educator
knows when students are not responding, when something is affecting them collectively, and
changes the game plan. An ideal educator uses all the technology at his or her disposal to vary
the curriculum; after all, an ideal educator recognizes the varied learning styles of the students.
An ideal educator pays the brightest and the dullest pupils equal attention. This way, certain
students do not internalize unspoken messages from the instructor. The teacher may deal with the
smart and dull students differently in private, but while in front of the class, it's important to
communicate to all skill-levels. If dealing with young children, the ideal educator may laud them
for 'being a hard worker' not for 'being really smart.' After all, we don't want the smart ones to
become complacent.
It's easy to come up with a list of ideal educator attributes. But it's difficult to stick to it.
There are so many things that can go wrong or less than desirable in a given school day. The
public schools are overcrowded, and oftentimes it's just too much to expect a single teacher to
get to know 170 students on a personal basis.
But the educator should make an effort to get to know his class as a whole; if he or she gets
to know the approaches that get the class most onboard, most happy, most stimulated, most open
to the curriculum, this is quite the victory as well.
Let's get one thing straight. It ain't always the educator, honey. Sometimes the educated are
the ones to blame. I will acknowledge that little kids are nearly impossible to handle at times.
Standing in front of a classroom of 30 5th graders is akin to standing before a horde of sharptoothed cannibalistic garden gnomes. They may be small, but they'll rip you apart. And each
other.
It's like stepping into the Lion's Den strapped with meat. And it's feeding time. Trust me,
I've never formally 'taught,' but I've done the substitute thing here and there. I'm sure formal
teacher training/certification would've made my crowd control abilities vastly improved, but I
can't imagine it's ever an easy task. Whether high school, preschool, or grad school--every level
comes with its unique challenges. Some kids just refuse to try. Every now and then, there's a
student who really, honestly, wholeheartedly, doesn't give a fuck.
(You probably wondered through all this, still, how I'm qualified to give recommendations
to educators. Well, I believe qualification is in the eye of the beholder. I believe I'm qualified to
spout all kinds of sewage in this eBook. A certified psychotherapist might think otherwise.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NOW TO THE PARENTS:
Hey there. I'm talkin to you, soccer mom. I'm talkin to you, stay-at-home Dad. I'm talkin to
you, divorced parents who keep it civil for their kids. I'm talkin to you, busy Miss Busy. Yea,
you. You, the one who has to take time out of your high-octane career in order to meet your kid's
principal YET AGAIN in order to discuss his 3rd and final behavioral infraction.
Hey, it's a shame your kid hacked into the teacher's computer and downloaded a few games,
but come on... That's impressive work! Your kid should be getting promoted to GT, not
reprimanded!
Kids nowadays are a little different than their parents. Generation gaps, people! We've got
so much more crap to do. We have all kinds of buttons and screens and funky controller
thingamabobs that we can toy around with. There's so much stimuli saturating the average kid's
life nowadays, it's no wonder he or she gets bored when Miss Monotone starts droning on about
"...and the 8th president of the United States was..."
But what to do when the kids are at home? Say your little one or your big one or your
collegian or your midget is home. School's up for the day or the break or the summer, and you're
tryin to figure out how to keep this spawn of Satan from killing your conscience.
Ok, Ok, so maybe you love your kid. It's cool and it came from your DNA, and maybe you
can see yourself in him or her. That's great.
But it still doesn't change the fact that this gunk of yours can really grind your gears from
time to time. So you've gotta figure out how to deal with it. If you're working, that helps. You
only have to deal with the little devil when you're off, and usually you're too beat to really care.
Or... you're too beat to put up with anything, and you yell grumpily at him or her to stop 'horsin
around.'
Or maybe you're a stay-at-homer, and boy-oh-boy does this little skonz really keep you on
your toes. But you don't want to be on your toes all the time. You want some 'you' time. And it's
hard to 'do you' when you've got Damien getting between you and the you you're tryin to do. So
here are 5 things you can do:
1)If the kid's home for a long period, put it in a camp.
Doesn't matter where. Doesn't matter for what. Doesn't matter why. It'll ask why it's being
forced to paint still-lifes of dandelions all day, but that doesn't matter. Just tell it you're the boss.
It might cry or throw a tantrum. Or if it's a little older, it might yell or refuse. Ignore. Think of all
the 'You' time! Be strong, stick to your guns, ship it off and Breaaaathe...
Just make sure its camp counselor ain't a registered sex offender.
2) Lock the kid in the bedroom.
I mean, the kid talks enough as it is. "Daddy this" and "Mommy that." Or "Mom, I need
money" and "Dad, mom won't give me money."
Goodness grief, can't the freakin thing fend for itself?
Tell the kid to go out on the streets and stop being a sissy. To play sports, or whore out, or
sell drugs, or SOMETHING... But for the love of god, get that runt out of the house! They'll
thank you later when they've gotten some dirt on their shoulders. Or they'll spray you with
gunfire. But hey, ain't life always a bitch?
3)"Lose" the kid.
If you take it to the airport or something, you might have a fairly easy time of losing it,
kinda like you lose your luggage. Just plop it somewhere, say you're going to the bathroom or to
get a pre-flight martini, and BOLT! Just go!
After a while it might catch on, and if it's smart it might go to authorities and they might
reunite it with you and your husband/partner/its father. But if you're lucky and it doesn't find its
way to you, don't feel terrible.
Kids, they're adaptive. They're strong little buggers. It'll probly find a nice guardian in due
time, join a band, befriend a toad, who knows? What matters is, it'll move on, you will move on,
and everything will be hunky-dory.
4)Ship it to a relative.
A nice Aunt. A strange Uncle. An accommodating stranger you met one time, at that place,
for this thing...
Whoever you ship it to, tell it that you'll see it soon. Let the kid know, that it won't be gone
forever. Once shipped off, make sure that you take some time to weigh your feelings. If the kid's
an absolute anal rupture waiting to happen, maybe it would be better off if it enjoyed the
remainder of its time where you shipped it.
Or maybe you should give it some time where ever and then bring it back, feeling recharged
and rarin to go.
5)The old tape-on-the-mouth trick.
Now, now; I'm not saying to strangle the damn thing. I'm merely suggesting a sort of 'timeout' tactic. Some people give the runts a tap on the behind, others send them to stew in silence
somewhere, some parents ground them, some parents remove something the kid likes--this is
right in line with all these forms of punishment.
Next time the kid says something that you don't like, grab the tape (masking tape preferred),
strap on a little adhesive and send it on its way. Play around with intervals of taping. Maybe 15
minutes, maybe an hour, maybe half a day. What's important is the kid does not remove the tape.
Make sure the kid is somewhere where you can see it (but not in public, cuz this could cause
problems with child services).
If the kid removes the tape before its punishment is up, move on to harsher measures.
Preferably one of the ones mentioned in this list.
I realize it's very tough raising kids these days. For those of you who are clueless or simply
got knocked up at prom and now gotta raise a whole litter (bummer), I offer you this, another
list:
1)Beat Indiscriminately
I mean it. Back in the old days, it was the belt and wooden paddle. Nowadays, we've got
better stuff. Use a keyboard or a laptop or a Kindle. Just make it pay. Kids these days are
annoying. They talk too much, move too much, expect too much. It's only fitting that they should
receive too much punishment. Corporal, military shit. Go get 'em, Tiger.
2)Remind of Failings
Everybody's preaching how you should cuddle and coddle. Bologna. Grab the wanker by the
hair and tell it what it really is. Teacher these days wanna tell you that every child is special.
Are you freakin serious? That kid over there's eating paint! Yea, sure--he's special alright.
But not in the I'm-gonna-be-an-astronaut-one-day sense.
So let those buggers have it. Remind them that they're not perfect, that they probably won't
be the next Taylor Swift or Lebron James or Bill Gates. Best to let 'em know now how much
they suck.
Would you rather the moron spend the next 40 years trying to be something it could never
possibly, in a million parallel dimensions, amount to?
Be a good parent. Give the little ones a much due reality check.
3)Don't overfeed.
Some parents show affection for their teddy bear tots by stuffing them full of homegrown
goodness. This is a huge mistake. Do you really love your kid? Oh you do? Really?
Then why the hell are you contributing to a lifetime of heart problems, diabetes, and cancer?
Don't overfeed. That's Burger King's job.
4)Enroll in Activities
Make sure to get the runt out of the house whenever possible. Let's be realistic. Kids use up
hot water, abuse electricity, track dirt onto the carpets, and generally make terrible loud noises.
Send them out.
Enroll in clubs like the Chess Club (that'll get him laid), Drama, or something that's against
drugs and alcohol (popularity, here I come). Make the monkey do sports. Just don't promise to
spectate. At first he or she will resent you for never showing up. Hell, the kid might even accuse
you of "not being involved."
But hey, that's what coaches are for. Most of them are plenty 'intimate' for the whole family.
5)Establish Boundaries
It's best to make the runt know from Day One. Be a dictator. Be a demigod. Dominate all in
the world with your magnificent ways.
First, pin a notice of rules on the fridge, the cellar door, the kid's bedroom door, above the
shower. Make sure every rule bulletin is bolded and fire-proof.
Don't be lenient. If you want the thing to sit erectly and not talk when in the living and
family rooms: then make it clear. If you want the kid to address you as "sir" or "sire" or
"matriarch" then make it clear.
And be sure to enforce punishment. Remember, dictators command their followers. No
yielding. And no kindness. Think Mussolini not Meryl Streep.
6)Dynamic Duo
If you're married with kids, set a good example. Yell, fight, bring utter mayhem. Show the
little ones how lovely a solid family bedrock can be. Maybe mix in some domestic abuse. Hell,
get the kids involved. Those bruises will make for great fodder with the psychotherapist!
If you're a "non-traditional couple" (ie; not married with kids, two men, two women, one
quasi-man, etc.) show those kids the awesomeness of your atypical family nucleus. Mix things
up. Role-play. Make one of you Mommy, one of you Daddy--then switch it up! Swap clothes;
bring in an unknown 'Uncle' Smith. Kids are restless, so make it happen. Keep 'em guessing.
Ever seen the movie, "American Beauty"? See how happy they are? Model your family after
theirs. Put on a fake smile, go about your miserable existence, and count down the days till the
dirt nap.
Isn't life splendid?
7)Do as the kids do
So you've scolded them a thousand times, you've tried the reverse bear trap, but they still
keep comin back for more. Time to start actin like they do. It's the only way to show them how
aggravating their stupidity can be.
They let their stinkers drift in the toilet bowl? Then stop flushing. And keep the lid up. Let
that shit saturate from the underground to kingdom come. They leave their videogames and toys
strewn all over the house? Fine. Start leaving your trousers and your sex toys and lighter fluid
and dumb bells all over the house. They bring dirt into your humble abode? Take a shit on their
Playstation 3. They won't be quiet once you've gone to bed? Wake 'em up in the morning before
the break of dawn. Just don't offer them coffee.
Cuz then they'll never shut up.
8)Lie to them
I'm serious. What do you think kids do at school? Solve math problems? Learn about
Christopher Columbus? Hell no. What kids do at school is this: they sit around, they talk about
their homes, their pets, their favorite videos and T.V. shows, and they tell their teachers and
lunch buddies about their parents.
So plant the seed.
Tell them that you're in the CIA and could have them shipped to Guantanamo or somethin.
Tell them that your mother used be a stage producer named Larry. This will make great
conversation with the school's guidance counselor.
Tell them that they were brought in from Germany and at the slightest misbehavior, you'll
ship them back. Kids are like sponges. Anything you drop in listening distance will be
incorporated into their fantasy worlds. They might misunderstand what you say, even if it isn't a
lie (kids are dumb like that), but this is okay. Things can only get more interesting!
After all, if you say that you're "a day trader," that's kinda boring. Doesn't make much for
bring-your-parent-to-school-day, now does it? However, if your little Sally hears differently, and
tells her teacher that her dad, the "slave trader" will be coming in....
Now that's something altogether unique!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TO THE STUDENTS
(Educators, Parents: Go away now)
EFFECTIVE SCHOLASTIC SLACKING
I've spent a lot of time thinking. During my many years of education, I've learned that the
best way to get through the excruciating, mind-numbing hours of education is to think.
But it's not thinking about the lessons that helps you to get by. It's thinking about how NOT
to think about the lessons that helps you get by. Many people may become involved in the
curriculum, but these students are by and large snooty little runts who brownnose or overachieve
or do way more work than is necessary.
You know, Little Miss Goodie-2-Shoes, with her hands always jolting in the air, squealing,
"Oh, me, me, me, me!" If we didn't know any better we’d think that the girl was gonna wet her
pants if not allowed to answer the damn question.
But I hate to harp on the Feminines only. So let me admit that there are also the male
brownnosers (aka "lames") who squirm in their chairs incessantly. They typically sound as if
their noses are congested. They look frail and are oddly misshapen. Some may resemble Mr.
Potato head. Others may resemble shapeless blobs, or scarecrows, or a bundle of broken sticks.
They also love using big words in front of the class, droning on and on about the
"ramifications of geopolitical points of contention," or expressing anecdotes that they think the
rest of the class will find fascinating. What they don't realize, is, though THEY may have a hardon from talking about loosely-related personal tales, the rest of the class is drowning in suicidal
frustration.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Getting through the bull crap of class by learning how
NOT to think, and how NOT to strain oneself. We need to make sense of the mind-numbing
experience that is most traditional college, high school, or middle school classrooms. The best
way is to learn tactics that can be reverted to on a continuous basis. This will help you keep from
nodding out, learning absolutely nothing, losing control of your bowels, throwing a tantrum, or
straight throwing a pencil at the students and/or teacher nearby.
We all want to get something done to the best of our ability. We all hope to make the most
out of our education, so that someday we can learn what it is we're good at, and make it happen.
We all deserve to derive the most from our communities of academia, and make the most of the
tools we have received, the opportunities we have been granted, the times we have been
BLAH BLAH BLAH REDUNDANT
Alright, so you really wanna know how to get through school, to 'coast,' to efficiently slack
and get more work done by doing less work than those overachieving piglets? Here are some
tips, in no particular order of course:
1) Wikipedia:
I repeat, "Wikipedia." Let me say it one more time, "Wikipedia."
You see, Wikipedia is the quickest way to compensate for not having done shit all year. If
your teacher hands you a homework assignment, a project, a paper, anything that you can do
while accessing the internet, just use Wikipedia. If you have no idea what unit you're in, or what
these mysterious words mean, they’re probably somewhere on Wikipedia.
Wikipedia will also provide a list of their references, so that you can then find and cite more
'reputable' sources. After all, teachers seem to despise Wikipedia, probably because it's so
convenient.
Wikipedia will explain almost anything and provide a million different links to relevant
terms/keywords. If you really wanted to, you could learn more from a day of browsing
Wikipedia than you probably could in most of your classes. Sorry educators and curriculummakers. It's Just The Truth!
2) Selective Hearing:
Now, a lot of times the teachers will talk about this and that, and may go off on their
tangents, and may try to enliven the class through silly jokes or hyperbolic tales. But most of this
is just fluff, and frankly, listening to it--a waste of eardrums. Me, I prefer listening to the wind or
the sound of my cellphone, or my own inner monologue--not some wispy-haired curmudgeon's
opinion on some other dude who died 200 years ago and wrote a book to hint at his repressed
homosexuality.
See, most teachers will be nice and go out of their way to preface important things with
"write this down" or "you'll want to remember this." Also, make sure to keep your ears
responsive to other words like "test" "quiz" "date" "coming up" and "due." If you sleep through
class, week after week, semester after semester, if you do nothing at all, at least return to
consciousness for these words.
Or, if you're really clever, you'll bring a recorder to class so you can take your naps without
having to worry. Of course, make sure it's a good recorder, and don't be surprised if you pick up
on some weird ambient noises or conversational tidbits. Hell, you might even pick up paranormal
activity/ghost chatter.
Selective Hearing means knowing when you have to give a hoot and when you can go all
space-cadet. If you hear your name, it's probably a good idea to respond. If you hear a curse
word, it's probably a good idea to jump from your catatonic state, just to see if a classroom
brawl's about to break out. When the selective hearing has been mastered, one can drift in and
out of varying levels of consciousness.
It's essentially a control of latent inhibition; Floating in haze of free-association for 40
minutes, snapping to an absorptive state on the teacher's mouth, pulling back into freeassociation. Being able to filter everything, or allowing everything to flood the cortex, and
saturate the brain; like flickering fingers of lightning in a desolate sky.
Random, hot, searing blasts of unpredictability. Some big, some small, some thin, some
thick, all imprinted; singed into the neural network of the unencumbered, unassuming, open
mind.
Master the Selective Hearing and you've mastered energy conservation. Spend a lot less time
thinking and listening for pertinent info, and a lot more time doing what the hell you want to do
(which I assume has nothing to do with school), and then snapping back to reality at the right
time. Selective Hearing will also carry into other parts of your life, so that you can respond to
your parents, peers, and superiors with the appropriate statements of career aspirations, life
goals, family foundations, and personal victories.
3) SELECTIVE ATTENDANCE
Most teachers give you a syllabus. The syllabus will show the class dates, the tentative
topics, the test dates, project due dates, etc. Ok, now STOP. Close your eyes.
Now tell me the test dates...
What's that, you don't remember? Then what the hell we're you looking at??
See, the test dates are the only thing that matters on the syllabus. Some might say that the
attendance policy is important, but if the attendance policy is under 30% of the overall grade,
you can fail, get an absolute 0, and still pass with a D (trust me, I took Geometry).
But the point here is, remember the test dates. If the teacher is kind enough to give a
syllabus, he or she will also be kind enough (hopefully) to email you about any syllabus changes.
The teacher might mention these changes in coming classes, but usually the teachers feel the
need to email as well, especially if it concerns the changing of a quiz/test/project due date.
If you don't get a syllabus, make sure to establish one 'friend' in the class. Let this 'friend' be
somebody who is extremely studious, who is never late, never absent; somebody who is studying
for the final exam three weeks into the school year. Make sure that this 'friend' knows your # and
you, his/her #. Tell them that you are extremely busy outside of the classroom, that you do a lot
of 'extracurriculars.' Get them to believe that you're a concerned and diligent human being. That
sometimes, you just don't have time to focus on school as much as you'd like.
Alert your 'friend' to have you on speed dial so that at a moment's notice, he or she can alert
you of an academic development. Now, go out into the world. Do as you please.
Nerdom will have your back.
4) QUICK STUDY
Alright, so you've mastered selective hearing and attendance, and you can work Wikipedia
like a mouse on a wheel. But you're still finding yourself hyperventilating at the thought of this
test. And worse yet, you've only get 20 minutes till you've gotta take it. So this is what you do:
Make sure you have the study guide. Search for bold phrases, headings, whatever. OR,
search for those terms explained in larger font. Also, skim for warnings such as "remember this"
or "important." Try to remember what it is your teacher always droned on and on about. This
will likely be on the test. Think about papers or projects or homework that seemed to drill in the
same concept more than others.
Now, some teachers love to throw on things that haven't really been covered just to see if
you actually studied. So make sure you hit these too. Scan and repeat to yourself those terms and
concepts that you never learned. All the other middle stuff, the fluff—worry about this at the
end. But for now, focus on getting down the vague never-mentioned crap, and the hammeredinto-my-head-too-much crap.
Also make sure you seek out somebody studious. Chances are, they've arrived early too, just
to refresh their minds, even though they've probably already memorized and mastered every last
letter that will be on the test. If they're nice, they'll tell you what they learned from their private
meeting with the teacher ("she said THIS will definitely be on it"). OR, they could be assholes
who pretend to not have studied, and enjoy harboring all the secrets.
I would tell you to devise mnemonic devices and other memorization tactics, but that time
has mostly passed. Either you spent some time on your own learning, you learned most of it
while in class, or your 'friend' taught you most of it, but at this point, with the clock ticking and
more students filtering into the classroom to take the test, all you can do is cram.
Remember, test anxiety is worsened by the belief that you're going to fail. Don't be a selffulfilling prophet. Try to clear your mind. Instead of focusing obsessively on one small part of
the exam in some attempt to keep it in your short term memory, think more globally. Try to see
how all the concepts connect. Form a network in your brain so you can move from one topic to
the other and then into the more specifics beneath each topic. Don't just memorize the
definitions, understand why they are.
When you finally get your test, take a breath. Tap into all the information swirling around...
AND REGURGITATE IT!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WRITING A GOOD HUMANITIES PAPER
At some point in your scholastic career, you're gonna be expected to write a humanities
paper for English, philosophy or some other 'deep-thought' class. It might be a small one, 1-3
pgs, 3-5, or 5-7. If you have trouble with papers of these lengths, go online. Buy one. Or ask a
friend. Get somebody you trust to write it. If none of this works, and you still can't handle it, I
dunno what to say...
Stop being a wuss?
Now, if you're NOT a pansy, and can actually handle real papers... well, I've got some
advice for you. See, at one point or another you might need to write a real page-turner. Whether
for your thesis, a final paper in a class, for a contest, whatever it may be--you're gonna wanna
have a plan.
Some people can bang out 20+ pgs the night before with some pills and a few beers. They'll
black out as they round on pg 18, black in for the conclusion, and then not remember handing it
in the next morning. People hate these kids, but hey, they're good at what they do. They're
writers, and they'll probly end up leading lives of poverty. So don't envy.
Now, if you already have a plan and have been working steadily on your paper like the
honor roll scholar you are, then good for you! Now get lost, cuz this section ain't for you.
The person I'm targeting with this section is the guy or girl who just realized something:
"Oh shit, I've gotta write that paper!"
This is the student who rummages through folders and binders, looking for the paper
prompt. They check the crowded floor, search all the academic buildings where they last were,
and scan the web for emails or links from the teacher hopefully telling them what the hell they're
supposed to write about and when the hell the darn thing's due.
Eventually this outstanding slacker will text a friend who knows. So at this point, it's a huge
victory. Oh, but wait...
Ya still gotta write it!
So here's the plan: I'm gonna give you the template for writing a long paper for one of your
classes. Now, remember, I'm referring to humanities papers. If you're looking to write a science
paper, chances are you've got a formula or strict guidelines already set up. Consult APA or
somethin. These kinds of papers are based on a crap load of research and don't tolerate flowery
language. They want the facts and the studies.
The beauty of humanities papers is that you can write about anything. I mean, it's all bullshit
anyway, so just go for it, guy! Argue that The Grinch Who Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss is really
an extended metaphor for the White Man who Stole African American Freedom. Do not go
quietly into the night! Write about how cellphones were actually designed to control minds, that
the Scrooge was actually a pathological liar and serial rapist, how Moby Dick was a phallic
symbol emboldened by "seamen"-- Whatever!
Just write something! As long as you've got evidence, you can make it happen! Thank your
open-minded, slightly tweaked professors. They love fresh perspectives, and if you're good, you
can make a preposterous position seem plausible. But you gotta be good. And you need the
template.
I'm talking about the template I've used for almost all the papers I didn't care about (so pretty
much ALL papers). It can be used for long ones and shorties (that's what she said), and it helps
organize your ideas. Trust me, I'm a boss. I've written my share of papers for my friends.
Seriously, if there's anything I rocked in college, aside from all the hot chicks (not true), then it's
looong papers. So take note, cuz I'm servin up knowledge, son!
TEMPLATE
OPENING PARAGRAPH:
Start with a general introduction to the topic. How 17th century poetry was considered
'awesome,' how space exploration is man's quest to find the unknown, how America has long
striven to be the superpower of the world. Make these first few sentences bold. Throw in some
big words that are unnecessary--teachers love fancy language. Now gradually get more specific.
How a specific piece of 17th century poetry is perceived, how a specific spaceship or nation's
mission to space is relevant, or the ways in which America has exhibited 'superpower-ness.'
Now, we're working into the "thesis statement," which is the last sentence of the first paragraph
that explains what your paper's about and why. The thesis statement is easily done if you come
up with three aspects of the book or topic that function together to deliver some awesome
realization or epiphany of oh-so-much importance. This is called the three-prong approach.
There are more creative ways to write the thesis statement, but this will suffice.
Here's a sample thesis statement: Through the use of prong 1 florid diction, prong 2
excessive enjambment , and prong 3 heavenly imagery, --Title of lyrical poem-- by --famous
author-- exemplifies the great emotive power of poetry, ultimately elevating the lyrical poem to
the highest order of timeless appeal.
Explanation:
Ok, so if you're doing anything right--make it the first paragraph. The stronger the thesis, the
better. When starting off the thesis statement, it's a good idea to use words like "Through" or
"By" or "In." These words show that the three pongs you'll focus on are eliciting a certain effect,
and that it is their interaction that makes this clear. After the three prongs (described with nice
adjectives) are said to have done something together, throw in a comma, and explain how this
doing is important. Oh, and make sure the three prongs are commonplace enough. You want to
really be able to get in-depth with 'em. The more, the merrier.
How do the three prongs 'transcend' to another meaning or level? This is where words like
"ultimately," "in the end," "resulting," "creating" or any other word that signifies an effect come
in handy. Remember, you can write about anything so long as you support it later on. And also,
remember not to use "I." This is not first-person (unless your teacher gives permission). State
how things are, not how you think they are... even though this is your opinion.
BODY PARAGRAPHS
You should have anywhere from a few to a decent amount, depending upon the length of
your paper. The importance of the body is this: this is where the explaining goes. The body is the
body of evidence. The body is where you show that you know what the hell you're talking about.
You cite critics, you do close-readings of the text, and you connect the dots. The body is the
bread and the butter. It's the salami in the sandwich. It's that good good. Ya heard?
I once had a professor tell me something interesting and useful. If you believe that one of
your Prongs is the weakest, that you'll have the hardest time supplying evidence and making it
believable, bury that one in the middle of the body paragraphs. When a professor reads a paper,
especially a long one, the most memorable stuff is that at the beginning and the end.
The opening body paragraphs establish the tone, and the last body paragraphs and the
conclusion paragraph leave the lingering taste in the professor's mouth. Now, this taste can be
shitty, or sweet like sugar plumbs and chocolate-coated strawberries. You decide. What's
important is to have the strongest points of your argument at the end and beginning of the paper.
OK? So if you've written it one way, and realize your weakest stuff's toward the end... best do
some cutting-and-pasting!
Now, every body paragraph must transition from the next. You must explain how what you
ended on in the previous body paragraph relates to what you're talking about in this one. There
should be a number of body paragraphs for each Prong in your thesis. Three of all your body
paragraphs will start with a reiteration of the thesis. Three others will end with reiterations of
your thesis.
The only difference being this: these 'reiterations' will only mention one prong, as opposed
to the thesis statement which mentioned all three. Just make sure the reiterations aren't word-forword copies of the thesis. This is what thesauruses are for, Mac. If this is getting a little
confusing, I apologize.
Now let me throw in a template for the bodies, for all you visual types. I will still be using
the example of lyrical poetry.
TEMPLATE
Thesis Reiteration: In --Poem Title-- by --Author Name-- prong 1 florid diction is rampant,
eliciting strong emotional responses that consequently elevate the whole genre of lyrical poetry
to a level of timeless appeal. Remember; use more words than is necessary. You gotta drag this
out. From this point on, go into specific textual examples, maybe starting with ones early on in
the poem. Explain how these examples are emotional. In doing so, make sure to cite the opinions
of 'expert critics' who agree or who speak to the emotional nature of lyrical poetry and the type
of words used.
This is another paragraph pertaining to prong 1 florid diction. Say how these new examples
of diction are similar or different to the specific ones you've already given. Just make sure to
explain how all of the examples given thus far, including these ones, are similar in their ability to
support your thesis. That is, all this diction is flowery and evokes strong emotions, is typical of
lyrical poetry, and has a timeless appeal due to their, oh I dunno, power to soothe the human
soul?
--Throw in some more prong 1 paragraphs here.
When you feel like you've examined prong 1 enough, end the paragraphs. The last
paragraph for prong 1 should be a summation of your argument thus far. Explain how the
countless different kinds of diction examples are all unique but flowery, florid. Make the Thesis
Reiteration your final sentence.
IMPORTANT
NOTES
*****Now, redo all the above steps for prong 2 and prong 3. Make sure to cite several
critics or sources. Depending heavily on one can become apparent to the teacher/professor and
weaken your argument. Remember transition sentences from paragraph to paragraph. Use words
like "moreover," "likewise," "similarly," "whereas," "furthermore," "just as," "relative,"
"consequently." And Remember: When citing, be sure to explain in at least two or three
sentences what a given quote or paraphrase means. Include quoted words in a sentence of your
own. Show that you can take the great genius words of the critics and make sense of them.
*****You should always strive to connect your evidence to your thesis statement. Always
keep the keywords of your thesis statement in the back of your mind. Drop these keywords here
and there to drum the argument into the reader's mind. When something's not that important,
hype it up. Say things like "This is important because" or "The ramifications are..." or "This
distinction is meaningful..." or "The significance of the..." or "Not simply..." or "More than
merely being..." or "This critical revelation..."
*****If at any point, a paragraph goes for more than 3/4 of a page, break it up. Throw in
some transitions and make it into two or three. Remember, this will increase the length of the
paper. Also, an aesthetically pleasing paper might take some focus off the content if you really
sucked at it.
*****If you wish, up the font by a half-size. Make periods a couple sizes bigger. Maybe
make the line spacing a tad bigger. Just be careful, some teachers will analyze your paper with a
magnifying glass.
*****Make sure to acknowledge the occasional opposing voice. I'm not saying to find every
angle through which somebody could dispute your argument and refute it. It's better to simply
acknowledge more general interpretations of your topic or the way somebody might argue
against you if your view is particularly odd or unexpected. Acknowledge and explain how your
interpretation is superior.
*****Write like you're the man; like you're a beast. Assume you're smarter than the balloonheaded experts with their dissertations and 4 PHDs. Assume your argument is a gift from the
gods. Write like an arrogant, know-it-all sunnavabitch. Pretend you just discovered life outside
our solar system.
*****Remember you should devote about one-third of the body of your paper to each
prong. The stronger your prong, the more obviously there will be to write about. For the prong
that’s the weakest and has the least info, bury it in the middle of the body.
CONCLUSION PARAGRAPH(S)
This is usually a paragraph in smaller papers, and several in bigger ones. Just make sure
you've got it on lock-down. By this point, you've gone through all the stupid braniac critics,
you've beaten the crap out of your argument, and you've included enough big, heavy, hard words
to sink the Titanic. Now what?
The Conclusion. That's what.
Just do it. You've gotta be ready to say something astounding. This is where you blow the
socks off your teachers. This is the point at which you tell them what you've learned, and why it
was worth their time reading through all your bullshit.
The Conclusion paragraph(s) begin(s) with a general sentence concerning your paper. Such
as a sentence pointing out that "throughout" so-and-so, the three prongs are clearly evident. I
would say something like, "Throughout --this poem by this guy-- floral diction, excessive
enjambment, and heavenly imagery abound."
Good, that's it for that sentence. Now gradually get more specific. Say how there are
examples of prong 1that do x and y, prong 2 that do x and y, and prong 3 that do x and y (and
even z if you’re ambitious!). Then start to explain how the prongs interrelate. Mention the
general consensus among the critics concerning your topic's prongs. And be sure to summarize
how your argument compares to the other critics'. Reiterate the thesis in one or two sentences.
And then, the final sentence. The one that goes a step beyond:
This final sentence has one purpose. To leave a good taste in the reader's mouth. You want
to say something memorable and thought-provoking. Just make sure you don't draw some bold
conclusion unsupported in the rest of your paper. Cuz if you do, your teacher will say you pulled
it out of thin air--and in this case, it's not good to be Houdini.
DO make a suggestion, an insinuation with tentative words like "perhaps" or "seemingly" or
"possibly." End with a question if you'd like. Or, make your insinuation leave a question in your
teacher's mind. See, for the rest of your paper you never want to use such words of uncertainty,
but they'll work in the conclusion.
Ooooh.... they love that shit. Make 'em gobble it like turkey.
TEMPLATE
Throughout Cool Poem by Cooler Author, florid diction, excessive enjambment, and
heavenly imagery abound. At times, the florid diction leaves us breathless, at others it is
employed to lull us into a false sense of security; to keep us pleasantly afloat until an abrupt
lapse into the blunt, stark truth. The excessive enjambment keeps the reader captivated, evoking
emotions of fear and awe and pity and desire, all the while moving us across the idealized
dreamscape. As our lips mouth the gentle words, our minds' eyes glow with imagery of celestial
proportions. The heavenly animals and angels prance before our vision, the diction soothes our
deepest romanticisms, and the enjambment keeps the whole thing rolling. The critics disagree as
to the exact intent behind these figurative tools, but the emotionally-charged effects are
indisputable. Cool Poem by Cooler Author utilizes florid diction, excessive enjambment, and
heavenly imagery to evoke strong emotional responses, ultimately situating the lyrical poem at
the throne of timeless appeal--a feat only few forms of poetry and prose can achieve. Perhaps, in
the end, the lyrical poem's universality exceeds time and space, not because of the contents of the
poem itself, but because of the contents of the human creature. It's us, in all our dreams and
realities, who recognize the inherent beauty of the lyrical poem; year after year, century after
century, the world round.
And that's that. A decent, albeit long, albeit kinda corny, paragraph.
Any questions?
AFTER THOUGHTS
Let's be real. We're lucky as shotttt. Stuff might suck. In fact, a lot of our schools suck. But
hey, we HAVE schools. And most of the time, we're not getting murdered in them. We also have
adults that care about us. A lot of teachers are kinda shoddy, but a lot are really passionate and
doin it well. We might hate books, but many children would consider it an absolute gift to be
reading page after page after page after page from a textbook.
So let's be happy with that.
IN SHADOWS: THE DARK, THE SAD, THE UNSPOKEN
(skip to next chapter if you've never been sad, mad or glad; i.e., you're not a human being)
I feel it necessary to probe the murky depths of things ignored. I'm gonna break down the
shit that your parents won't tell you, your kids have nightmares about, and 'experts' all over the
world delve into from time to time.
This is stuff that some might ignore simply to get away from "the tough issues."
Or maybe it's just stuff that most people never really considered.
Or perhaps, it's nothing that special.
I dunno man; I'm just trying to draw your interest.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
AFTER THE FACT
Have you ever wondered what people would say... after you die?
Never mind their thoughts about your untimely death, and the effects it'll have on your next
of kin. What would they say about your character? About your humanness? About what defined
you as a person? Who were you, to them?
What will they say? If you could sit behind a two-way mirror and watch all those you met
throughout your life. The cashier you came to know at your local grocer. Your best friends, your
classmates, your bosses, your grandparents, your partners, your cousins, your great Aunt Sue...?
Everybody you've met over the years... what would they say?
Personally, I'd expect to receive glowing reviews. I'm sure the words "marvelous" and
"heavenly" and "a man among boys" would be commonplace. But what about for you? What
laudatory comments would your pimply ass elicit?
See, in retrospect, we can imagine certain people not speaking behind our backs as they did
to our fronts. That guy you thought was your friend? Who always gave you the thumbs-up, and
laughed oh-so-hard at your cheesy jokes? Sorry bud, he hated you; thought you were a total
fraud. Oh, and that girl?? That girl you thought was your bffffff?? The one who was your
"girlfriend, girlfriend!" Yea, well she was sleeping with your boyfriend, girlfriend!
But what would people say? Would they be true to their words? Would they cry and moan,
would they hold their resolve? Would you finally learn that you WERE in fact a creature pitied?
That your worst insecurities were confirmed. That people DID think you were this or that, and it
was not just some maladaptive mindset of yours?
I'd like to think that all the douchebags who talk badly of our corpses are only overshadowed
by those who speak kindly--better yet, those who 'cherished' us. When I think about a legacy, I
don't hope to be remembered as a pioneer. I don't care if I "change the world"--leave that to the
big-talking, small-doing politicians. I don't care if I made millions and bequeathed my estate and
gilded toilet seat to my dearest niece.
What I want to do, of all things, is be remembered for my goodness, my memorability, my
sexy beard (hey ladies ;). I want people who I barely remember, to fully remember me. I want to
know that I touched somebody's life in ways I never thought. I want to know that the chick
behind the Wendy's register remembers me for always saying "Have a good one," and not for
snatching my chicken sandwich with a scowl and a grunt--like all the other goonturkeys.
Wouldn't that be cool?
I wanna be the guy who didn't honk and cut people off when in a hurry; after all, why is my
need to hurry more important than anybody else's need to hurry? And wait, why the hell am I
hurrying?
I hope people remember me for something solid. Not just for my wicked farts and my
nearsightedness. But you never know, really. Some guy might recall the time you subverted the
professor's question by citing the positive influences of Neo-Nazism. Another chick might recall
the time you ripped a huge bong at a party and then rocked "like 45 shots, maaan! Whoooooo!!"
A lot of people might remember a lot of things you deem entirely not-memory-worthy.
Someplace, somewhere, there's a creep who remembers the time you guys shared a covo beneath
the monkey parks at 4th grade recess. Yea...
I wonder which people I'd wanna punch. Who would be the assholes I'd wanna pummel
straight in the face for saying I was a twerp or not memorable? Worst of all: Which people, when
asked about me, would stall, rub their chins in thought, and ask, "Wait...who are we talking
about?"
Though, I suppose if I didn't like them, it's cool if they don't remember me. But not
remembering somebody, at all, is just wrong. If you met one time--OK. But if you guys spent the
formative years of your lives interacting with each other (whether forced or voluntary), it kinda
stings.
I mean, if you really liked somebody, you remember them. If you really disliked somebody,
you remember them. But if you don't remember somebody whatsoever, it's like... they just didn't
matter. They didn't factor, they didn't register; they were just background noise. Of course,
perhaps the person trying to remember you did a lot of "hard stuff" during the garbage years of
their coming-of-age. If they don't remember because they destroyed their memories--I'll accept.
But if they can't remember because... well, they can't remember...
Then I dunno. Maybe I'm oversimplifying things. Okay, okay, so of course I'm
oversimplifying things. But what do you expect?
I don't have a PHD; I'm not in a think tank. Go back to Mensa, Sir Isaac Newton. Think
you're some kinda hotshot with the goods? Think you've got the brawn and the brains? Oh yea?
Well then show me your private island and your revered dissertation!
How many scholarly articles have you published? How many times have your teachers put a
"10/10, smiley face Good Job!" on your papers? Huh? What's that?
Oh, so you're some kind of cerebral powerhouse? Oh, you went to an Ivy League? And you
work in real estate? And you're "wildly successful"? Oh yea? Oh is that right? Oh is it? Uhhuhhh...
Oh you have, have you? And how many errors is that? No, no, tell me! Tell me how many
grammatical errors I've made. No, no, you're the one counting--You tell me, busta!
Argghghhggh....
Forgive me. I need to decompress. I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. I'm nice. Really.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
MONSTERS OF FLESH AND BLOOD
Jeffrey Dahmer. Ted Bundy. The Boston Strangler.
Three men. Three psychopaths. Three prolific serial killers.
They kill humans because they don't care. They don't have empathy like you and I. They
know it’s against the law, but they don't care. And they don't care, because they don't feel.
We try to delve into the depths of their minds. But we don't understand. We try to explain
how a bad childhood might have led to it. Perhaps an abusive parent. Perhaps, neglected,
forgotten. Perhaps, they never knew their parents. Perhaps, they had difficult relationships which
set them off; lovers who left them, girls who rejected them. Or, in Dahmer's case, men who
ruined their lives.
Perhaps, upbringing has nothing to do with it. Their brains are just physically different.
Chemical imbalances. Inactive, hypoactive, hyperactive areas. They can put on the facade, but
they really have no desire for interpersonal relationships. Ted Bundy admitted that he didn't
understand. Why would somebody, anybody, ever want a friendship?
Maybe... their brains aren't really human at all.
And so they start killing. At first with animals. Neighborhood cats, squirrels, that dog that
never stops barking.
But they make it personal. They do it with their hands, their knuckles turning white as they
wring out the limp bodies. Maybe they drink the blood. Maybe they collect the bones like little
trophies. It turns them on. It makes them tick.
It lets them feel. They love it. They love the control. They love possessing others. The fear,
the draining of life. It seems... so... normal. Why doesn't everybody else love what they love?
They walk among us. And they pass with flying colors. The peaceful, friendly guy down the
street who waves "good morning." Handsome and tall. A warm woman who wouldn't bother a
fly. Beautiful and regal. The one who was always "so nice." The mailman. The courtesy clerk.
An insurance salesman. The cable consultant.
Serial killers are fascinating: the ability to move from state to state or to simply stay put in
one location, murdering victim after victim; luring them into the clutches of unbridled evil. It
might take a person with a twisted sense of appreciation (ie; me), but I can't help but put them on
a pedestal.
Not the way you put a humanitarian on a pedestal or a Victoria's Secret model on a pedestal.
Nah, I'm thinkin of a pedestal in the world of killers. Not a pedestal of 'good' but a pedestal of
'bad.' Serial Killers are the lions of the jungle. They preside over all other law-breakers with the
greatest degree of power. They are the worst of the worse.
Pedophiles are bad too, but because many serial killers rape, torture, and desecrate, I find
them a step above. Serial killers may target a certain type of victim, leading to a concrete
victimology. But, they also may target indiscriminately. Simply for being human.
Any human. The desire might simply manifest itself, randomly, here and there. Perhaps,
somebody walks by the serial killer, with a scowl. Perhaps, a woman looks at him the wrong
way. And so the serial killer decides it's time. The serial killer finds a way. The serial killer must
have control.
More often than not, there is deliberation, a plan. There is a process, one that the serial killer
relishes dearly. One that the serial killer uses to express a certain meaning. Perhaps, burning the
victims in acid and decorating a house with their bones. Perhaps, removing the eyes, arranging
the bodies in pose--something, anything to represent a warped, sickened preoccupation.
In the older days, without DNA evidence, serial killers could reign for long periods of time.
Even decades. And many of their victims were never located.
How many people, forgotten in the dusk of time, fell to the Serial Killer? How many
victims, never avenged, were buried in deep woods, disemboweled, eviscerated, tossed away like
dirty tissue paper?
Fortunately, DNA evidence means some cold case files run warm. And some boxes of dusty
secrets can finally be pried open. But for families and friends, who waited so long, angst-ridden
and helpless, has the damage already been dealt?
Closure, perhaps; or, perhaps, knowing the identities of their loved ones' killers has come
too late. If the monster died behind bars or from lethal injection...
Is there such thing as retribution?
(Gatorade is great. It really replenishes. But does it work for alligators?)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PLUMBING THE DEPTHS
Sometimes, we mistake the dark. Maybe that lingering blackness is hidden, stowed away
behind the cellar door. Or maybe it seeps through the cracks when we least expect it, slowly, but
inescapably. Years may pass, decades may grow old, but that insidious energy can infiltrate. And
like a black hole, eventually envelope everything.
With the complexity of emotion and intelligence found in humans, it's never possible to
know for certain. One can presume. One can prod and poke, but one can never know for certain.
Sometimes, people just meander. Sometimes, the brightest faces bear the darkest voids. The
Human mind may fall to disease; it may find itself decrepit; it may find itself unknowing unto
itself.
We are all social actors. Whether we choose to deny or accept, we are never exactly as we
are, on the outside, and the inside. There is incongruence, even in the slightest of forms, the most
innocuous of shadows. People may pass through days; through coffee shops, and schools, by
years and events, and birthdays and deaths, and the greatest of sorrows, and pinnacles of joy.
People may move about, unknowing. They may meet their friends and their peers. We may
share passing banter at grocery stores, wave to our neighbors, share drinks with new coworkers.
The ebb and flow of life may pull us this way and that, and though we convince ourselves of
some semblance of control, we can't help but wonder. We can't help but wander.
Is this it?
People will explore parameters, of time and space. But nothing can see beyond; nobody can
know, absolutely.
Those with everything. Those with things, things that 'matter,' things that indicate a 'good
life.' They are left wanting. They are left hoping, and searching, craving. Perhaps pensively.
Perhaps not. But are they happy? Are their smiles and their laughs and their times of this and
their times of that, and their place in the world, in family, in work, in society; in the moment...
Does it matter?
People can put on a facade. A costume. A lie. They can learn to adapt, to subsume, and to
amass the wisdoms and words and patterns of others. They function like chameleons. They might
be the bubbliest, the warmest, the kindest, but within, beneath the layers of false advertising...
they're nothing.
They might be adored, perhaps young and vibrant and posing in pictures, with their
sunglasses and their good looks and their broad smiles; but beneath these veneers, beneath these
illusions of sober happiness, there is a void. A void filled with Vicoden and alcohol and Xanax
and pills and pipes and needles of all kinds;
and behind glassy eyes, and false expressions of content, and an act that fools all who
watch...
There is Nothing.
An unseen, all-consuming... nothing.
But what brings somebody to the brink? What is the final push? Is it anything at all? Is it any
one event or thought that can be pinpointed? Is it possible to find one detail and know,
unequivocally, that that's what led them to the final decision? Or perhaps it was never intended.
Perhaps, this person went to bed one night, like any night; another night, brain and organs
riddled with toxins. Anything to fall asleep. Anything to continue on.
But this time, there is no To-Be-Continued.
The way I see it, suicide is not surprising. It's not inexplicable. It's not something that defies
the rational mind or leaves the human eternally baffled. It's not something that is impossible to
believe. Impossible to accept, perhaps. But not impossible to believe.
But what leads somebody to take his or her own life? How does one make this decision? Or
is it even a conscious decision? Do they simply slip, slide into it; a seamless, thoughtless act?
One minute alive, one minute dead? No indecision, no doubts, never a shred of hesitation--an
unmatched clarity?
Or perhaps they think too much. And you hear about "attempts," suicides gone wrong.
Euthanasia, stopped early, botched; a cry for help?
But to come to this point, to see nothing in the world around. Or do they see EVERYTHING
in the world around? And they just can't take it. They just can't take FEELING so much
anymore. A sensitivity to everything, that leads to numbness. Perhaps depression is with them
their whole lives. Perhaps they barely know its there, like a flea on a dog, or the smallest of
moles. And then, one day, it hits them.
Money issues, loss of a loved one, a perceived inescapable reality. Something that can't be
fixed. An end to it all is the only solution.
In the end, you don't want to believe that somebody could do it. But somebody can do it.
People can. And people will.
And it isn't fair.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
BEYOND THE BLUES
Many people get sad from time to time. Many people lose themselves in the events of their
daily lives, overcome by stress, hardship and loss. But for certain people, this struggle is endless.
For certain people, the imbalances of neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine persist
these debilitating symptoms of sadness and worthlessness. Aside from medication, there are
methods to improving one's mindset. And it all starts with positive thinking:
(1) Accept Stress: This is one of the most important things. We all use defense mechanisms
or coping mechanisms to deal with hardship. We will all displace anger, deny, suppress,
dissociate, minimize, use humor, be passive aggressive, whatever. And these are good, because
they help us deal with life's tough times. However, when ceaselessly used to avoid the reality of
our problems, we are only digging ourselves into a deeper hole.
We must come to grip with a realization. Gradually, fine. But, in the end, we must
eventually ACCEPT. Acknowledge that it IS difficult, that it IS affecting you, and that it IS
something that you cannot avoid forever.
(2) Do Not Over-Internalize: It is always healthy to look inside, to be introspective and take
inventory of our feelings and thoughts. However, when you turn completely away from those
around you, the external support network in your life, you are essentially sealing your own dark,
melancholy tomb. Do not become so incapacitated, that your own negative thoughts and
feedback are the ONLY voice you hear.
Remember, evolution intended for humans to connect on a physical level to procreate. And,
as we have evolved from the Neanderthals we once were, this physical connection spread to a
psychological one as well. We are MEANT to interact with others, to be social creatures that use
our intelligence in numbers to overcome the physical, emotional, and mental rigors that such
intelligence illuminates.
(3) Change the Recording: State in your own mind's voice, what you hope to achieve, what
you hope to feel, what you wish to believe. Tell yourself why you're sad, and tell yourself how
you plan to overcome these pains. Perhaps, inject a positive quote into your brain every day, so
that it sits there, like a flower that will blossom by day's end, despite the lack of sun and the
passing storms. Use active words like "can" and "will" and avoid contractions ("can't," "won't,"
"shouldn't").
(4) Enjoy Your Differences: Even if 'being you' isn't making you rich like you thought, isn't
bringing in the girl of your dreams, isn't removing you from the day-to-day, seemingly endless
dead-end job you've always had, continue to be hopeful. When you accept yourself as your own
person, you don't feel pressure to meet others' expectations at every turn. And when you don't
feel pressured to meet others' expectations at every turn, you don't judge yourself negatively
through the eyes of others.
Do what truly makes you happy. Do what you need to do to pay the bills and live, but when
the crud of the workday ends, do what truly makes you happy. It's really so simple. Life throws
turd at all of us. Some have it much easier than others. But we all see the turd. Some people give
up as soon as their shoes smell like it. Others take it and use it as fertilizer. Which one are you?
(5) You're Not Alone. This is sort of a reiteration of (2), but is important to remember. Think
of all the people living below the poverty line. Think of people dying in foreign countries from
diseases you've never heard of, think of people who are ecstatic to sit through hr-long lectures
because in their country, the only lesson learned is one through genocide. Think of the people on
tier with you, from similar backgrounds. Think of the people above you, who you assume have it
much easier than you.
Remember, all these people are still human beings, and though they may project a certain
image, you really have no idea of knowing what thoughts float through their heads day after day,
just as they have no idea what thoughts are floating through yours. Appreciate that they struggle
just as you do, with different issues, but similar emotions. Understand that you're not alone.
(6) Be Nice. Just be nice. Be friendly, say hello, and ask people how they're doing. This may
seem stupid and pointless, but harmless warm banter can actually bring the lost back from the
dead. If you see somebody who seems to be down, who is considered 'the outcast,' who seems to
have suppressed their hopelessness to the darkest inner recesses, be nice and say what's up. Do it
because (1) you'll feel good about yourself and (2) they'll feel good that you even made the
effort.
If you are so withdrawn and distant, mired by your own sadness that you cannot even
fathom greeting others or having so-called 'superficial' conversations, imagine a more interesting
conversation. Let it play out in your mind, rejoice in your ability to visualize and fantasize. Even
if these thoughts do not come to fruition in reality, accept that you have a skill. And you should
use it. Write, paint, sculpt, make movies--express these fantasies through a medium that exists in
reality.
And be happy.
I hope that my words carry some meaning for some of you. I enjoyed writing this, and
though I admit some of these bits of advice may be met with cynicism and pessimism, if you are
truly bent on feeling better, if you truly wish to take a step toward feeling happy, you'll take them
to heart. I'm always happy to help.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
DEATH PENALTY
Is it fair to kill somebody? Is it fair to murder a murderer? An eye for an eye? Though I
suppose the eye depends on the beholder...
Lethal injection. A syringe, a needle, a chemical. A life... and a death.
Is it fair?
Everybody has the right to an attorney, to due process. In this country, we are afforded this
luxury, because we have our rights in writing. Well... because we actually have rights, period.
When the judgment is passed, the punishment is meant to fit the crime. The crime is to be
determined, all facets analyzed, every angle explored.
But when does somebody deserve death? Many believe that the death penalty should be
reserved for the most heinous of crimes. Others believe that to kill one who has killed is on
shaky moral grounds. Is murder a punishment?
Sure, for family members of the victims it might be comforting to know that the killer will
never roam the streets again. But what does an injection or gassing accomplish? How does that
serve as a punishment?
Perhaps waiting on death row is a punishment in itself? Waiting to die? Or maybe it doesn't
bother the killers at all. After all, if they're monsters, they might not fear death. At this point,
maybe it's not about punishing. Perhaps the main concern is simply preventing more deaths. And
by killing the killer, this is the most sure-fire way to do so.
But wouldn't a lifetime behind bars, in solitary confinement, achieve the same thing? If there
was a way to ensure that while in prison, the killer did not kill or get killed or get out... wouldn't
that be ideal? Unless of course, the killer got a thrill from being alone.
As the victims are rattled off, as the charges are leveled, as the verdict's delivered, what to
think? The killer may sit there, impassive, unmoved, unaffected by a punishment that would
leave any normal person devastated. But then again, no normal person would be in a position to
receive such punishment.
So maybe nothing affects them. Perhaps, the only punishment that would truly mean
anything... the only punishment that would truly hit the worst of the worst where it hurts...
Is if their killings were negated. If they never had the chance to enjoy the deaths of others.
If, impossibly, the murders were erased, the victims resurrected, the clock turned back. Perhaps...
A time machine could assist?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
GOD
What is God? Why do some people seem to get everything? Why are some people rich,
good-looking, adored, talented, and juuuuust loving it? WHY??
Why are other people always running into roadblocks? Why do some bad people live longer
than good people? Why does life just seem to favor some while it shits on others?
Is there a Master Puppeteer? Is somebody running the show from on high? Is everything
predetermined? Is there fate? Is there divine intervention? Is there free will?
GOD and fairness seem to conflate on many occasions. If GOD exists, why isn't life fair?
One argument is that God allows us to do as we may. He put the pieces on the board, and left the
moves to us mortals. Others may contend that GOD has a plan, and that in even the most
harrowing cases, there is good that will come. There is a master scheme, that everything will
right itself--that faith will prevail.
But I can see why it is difficult to believe in God, especially when disparity in everyday life
is so glaring. When nothing seems to be fair.
There are children dying. Children that will never know what you and I know. Children
whose bodies are ravaged by destructive cancerous cells. Children who spend day and night, day
after night after day--dying. Hooked to machines, their bodies pumped with expensive
chemicals, torn by radiation; their hair falls out, they are withered and pale, and somehow,
someplace, these children can find reason to smile.
We complain when our steaks at our favorite five star restaurants are undercooked. We
moan and groan about colds and headaches, but there are people who will never get to know
these minor grievances. Children and siblings and moms and dads, who spend their hours
watching those they care for the most literally waste away. Children who are abandoned. Who
are shot in the streets. Who starve, bleed, and plead, seeking shelter in the hottest of summers
and the coldest of winters.
How is that fair?
We curse the gods when our internet connection fails, or our cable signal is inconsistent. We
bitch about rising gas prices. We shake our heads in disgust at the price of bottled water. We
groan when we have a 'mediocre' meal at a seafood restaurant. When our crabs and lobsters are
less than stellar.
Yet little do we know that our surf and turf, in our warm restaurant booths, is caught by men
and women thousands of miles away. Men and women who risk their lives, diving and snagging
our seafood. Workers for undeveloped countries who end up bedridden, paralyzed, their spinal
cords afflicted with nitrogen bubbles because of poor training, and insufficient gear, and a
desperate need to make as much money as possible catching lobsters and crabs by the pound.
They're dying to supply our food. Food that is cooked and buttered, and plopped on our
entree platters, in our restaurants; and we stuff our faces and complain that it wasn't 'up to snuff.'
But of course, most of us don't know about these divers. And if we do, it's not our problem.
They're far away. Their problems are distant. It's too much an inconvenience to worry about
them. We go on living lives of gluttony. They go on diving and dying, for meager salaries.
How is that fair?
But it’s not about what's fair, says the faithful follower of God. Your son or daughter, losing
the battle to Leukemia--she's going to be fine. She'll be welcomed into Heaven. You must have
faith. Lessons will be learned from this. In time, it will be for the better.
If I were a parent, I'd deck this religious nut in the face. If the same thing happened to a
believer in God, would the faithful one still find such meaning in such misfortune? If a patron of
the Church were to lose a husband or wife to a sudden heart attack or stroke, at the young age of
35, what reasoning would there be? Or would the same churchgoer who tried to console the
family of the cancer victim suddenly retract the longtime faith?
The worst, I think, is listening to people bicker about God. Then listening to them argue,
then listening to full-fledged polemics. People get really heated about the holier-than-thou thing.
I once sat silent for almost 4 hours one night, listening to two of my freshman dorm buddies
argue about religion. One was playing devil's advocate; the other one was a devout Christian.
The first kept trying to find holes in the other's 'evidence' of God.
Of course, these types of arguments go nowhere. It's absolutely pointless. The same thing
that is 'evidence' of no god, is 'evidence' of a god, to somebody else.
A lot of people like to say how God was punishing when unleashing the Hurricane on New
Orleans. Others will say that the Hurricane wiped out pestilence and corruption in the city and
brought people together. These people will say that God was 'cleansing' New Orleans. Other
people still, will say that the tragedy of New Orleans proves that there is no God. Because how
could God allow so many innocents to die? How could an omnipotent, omniscient being allow
such things?
People all across the world conceive of a supreme being in countless ways. There are many
deities in polytheistic belief systems, then of course the Christian monotheistic. We also have
pantheism. God is not always a being, per say, but an energy or matter that flows through
everything and connects everything. Waldo Emerson conceived of an 'Oversoul.' Certain
philosophers may see a universality that could be interpreted as the work of God or a god.
Nobody knows for certain if there's a God except for the big man/woman/thing
him/her/itself. A lot of people may not belong to an institutionalized religion, but they will claim
a special connection to a spiritual being. They may even say they do not believe in a god, but
simply maintain a spirituality, or call to a higher force.
(NOTE: From this point forward I will use "God" or "god” or "a god" to generally refer to
anything deemed higher than our mortal selves. Forgive me for my insensitivity to the finer
shades of meaning... I'm not an acolyte!)
For many, god is a way to combat the stressors of life. Praying to God, believing in some
wholesome guardian--it keeps us sane, hopeful. Believing in gods may give us purpose. It may
give us structure. For some, it keeps them living in fear. God 'scares' us into doing the right
thing.
But really, what scares these people the most is the alternative: that there might not be a god.
Perhaps, for these people, the absence of a god is unfathomable. After all, if there's no God,
then there's nothing to say when thousands of people are killed. There's nothing to say when
great fortunes befall us. If there's not a god, then everything that happens; whether great, bad, or
in the middle.... it's all just...
Random.
The problem is, some people will use the belief in God as a reason. God will fuel radical
measures, violence--terrible deeds will be done in the name of God. It will be God's will; it will
be God's desire for destruction and demise. God will call for the non-believers to fall and for the
followers to reap bounties of otherworldly proportions.
But hey, a god is a god is a god. Who am I to question a dude, chick, or thing that will exist
for eternity??
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PEWS AND PRIESTS
My parents were raised Catholics in the typical Catholic family of their time. A big family-a whole mess of siblings. Kids who were young, kids who were old. Kids who functioned as
parents to sisters and brothers 15 years their junior. Birth control was not an option. Those darn
kids just kept poppin out.
But my parents did not raise me to be religious. The only time we went to Church was when
relatives visited. Or somebody was married. Or we felt there was something to repent. And when
we did go to Church, it wasn't a church.
Growing up, the nearest place for Catholic Mass was in the basement of an office building.
Most the time I had no idea what I was doing. Fudge a few hymns here, put a piece of bread in
my mouth, kneel, stand, sit, stand, sit, stand; follow the lead of my fellow acolytes.
I noticed some interesting things throughout my years of the occasional church-going. First
off, women. I'm always looking at legs and faces. I can't help it. The Lord knows we're creatures
of the flesh. Women are just so attractive in Church. They really like to look good for our Lord.
And they should. The Big Man upstairs has done a lot for us. He deserves to marvel at his work.
But I'm a douchebag. Because I have a double standard. I don't think guys should have to
dress up. Well.... scratch that. I don't think I should have to dress up. Why do I need to look good
to pray? Why can't I just show up looking scrub-like? The Lord watches over all of us. Surely
he'd understand how I feel about him, even if I'm not wearing dress clothes and a blazer? Surely
he'd know that it's what's in our hearts and minds that matters, not material things.
I know it's His House, but if he's gonna have an open-door-policy, I wouldn't think he'd care
all too much.
But then again, I really don't know. I claim to have my "own personal connection," but this
might just be my excuse for knowing nothing of institutionalized religion. I couldn't recite the
smallest part of any scripture. I don't really even know the fundamentals of my faith. I'm not
even sure it is my faith. I always feel like such a phony at Church. A faker. And I'm intimidated
by the holy book. The Bible's just so big.
Don't they have an electronic version?
But Church is certainly an interesting experience. What's with the lighting? It's so dim in
there. I mean, half the time I'm nodding out. Sure, the sermons can get a little repetitive, and the
Father can talk a little too softly, but man do those rooms get dim. I thought stained glass
windows were 'sposed to liven the mood?
Communion's fun though. It's where some of us Christians celebrate the metaphorical body
and blood of Christ. I like that they serve wine at this point. I also like that so many people drink
from this goblet. I suppose we're all coming together as children of our Lord, but...
Some of those children might have gangrene. Or whooping cough. I don't trust the dude with
the hacking lungs or the woman with the funny eyes. You want me to sip where they've sipped?
Hell, leave that to the Priest. He'll be happy to finish off what's remaining. Besides, the poor guy
has to get up in front of all of us and talk. Something tells me he needs a little social lubricant.
Whenever I see the Father, I can't help but wonder. How did he get to where he is? Why did
he choose a life of preaching Catholicism? A life of celibacy, a life of unremitting kindness and
acceptance and disseminating the messages of the Man Upstairs?
And then I wonder something else. And I kinda feel bad about wondering this, but I can't
help myself. I wonder...
Why is he so friendly with the altar boys?
What's goin on behind the scenes?
Priests seem too good. Too wholesome. It seems too good to be true. And as we've found
out, many times it is. But I do like to believe in a higher voice. I mean, if there is something that
has some kind of power, I'd like to be on its good side. I don't wanna piss it off too much. But I
don't want to suck up to it either. It will know. It is omniscient, people.
Sometimes I wanna yell to the zealots in the pews around me. The lady behind who sings
every song, who glares at me when I don't sing along. The same lady who glares at me when I'm
a little slouched or don't seem to hang on the every word of the Priest.
"They rape little boys! They rape little boys!"
But I must stop. This is only true for a select few. And there are bad people in every walk of
life.
May God have mercy on their souls.
(I like watching figure skating. It’s the only sport where I’m hoping, at every instance, for
them to fail. Nothing beats a gruesome fall to the ice.)
(Aside from a blood-spurting cut from the skates.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
GETTIN IT IN': AN IMPORTANT HISTORY
The Greeks were known for their lewd activities. Orgies. There was bestiality. There were
horses gettin lucky with emperors. There were people practically shagging in the streets. Harems
and hedonism ruled. I just imagine the ancient times as a ceaseless, senseless sex epidemic.
People just swappin love, blood, and fluids like no other.
Looking back, is it really surprising? Have we really evolved that much since the olden days
of uncontrolled coitus?
I don't think so.
Sure, in present times, we're a little more private about our salacious undertakings. But that
doesn't mean what goes on behind bedroom doors, in seedy motels, or--if you're lucky--every
room in the house, is any less insane. Humans are humans. Some people get off on the standard
in n out. Others like roleplaying ("Hey there, Snow White"). Some may claim arousal from
strange poses or positions, consulting the Kama Sutra for otherworldly maneuvers.
But it doesn't end there. Oh No, sireeeee. See, some people have fetishes. Yes, that's right...
sadomasochism much? I'm talking about safety words, people. I'm talking about screaming
"Fettucine!" if your dominator slides the pins through your flesh too painfully while you're
chained to a single bed with masking tape on your torso and a gas mask on your face.
I'm talking about people who get off on being dressed up like horses, tethered through
leashes, and walked around a plot of land. I'm talking about people with normal families, happy
marriages, who enjoy consensual activities of arousing torture or dehumanization.
Thanks to our good friend the World Wide Web, we can now meet all kinds of interesting
folks with more interesting habits. We can meet up for orgies, hook up for casual back-breaking
humpathons, get into sexting marathons, have affairs, or indulge any of a quadrillion mindbending, gender-bending fantasies. We can dress up like the other gender; we can dress up with
attributes of both genders.
Hell, we can create an entirely new look. Or, we can have operations to become some part of
another sexual identity. People may call these atypical sexual practices paraphilia.
But let's change the game here for a sec.
Let's go down a different route. I wanna talk about a controversial issue. That's right; I'm
talking the Judeo-Christian violation:
Same-Sex Marriage.
Nowadays people are more accepting than ever when it comes to bisexuality and
homosexuality. Probably because these things are more out and out every day (they didn't just
come out of the closet. They built a walk-in and invited us for the house-warming).
Certain individuals may choose not to identify. Some, like Lady Gaga, try to keep it simple:
"I'm just sexual." Others like to make it confusing. They'll invent new labels. They might call
themselves trisexual, omnisexual, proponents of sexual plasticity, or perhaps they 'fuck' gender;
perhaps they pride themselves on their ability to twist, turn, and pervert stereotypes or sociallyconcocted identities.
Now, gays and bisexuals are fine. I have no problem with people being born a certain way.
I'm not one of those bible-hugging buffoons who claim it's all a choice. Those who are not
heterosexual probably have a biological basis for the way they are.
Sure, their upbringings and personal beliefs are factors as well, but I believe firmly that their
biology is simply different. Hormonal levels, certain chemical differences (I dunno... do the
research, four-eyes). If I'm wrong, I'm wrong.
But I stand by my belief that most people would not choose to be that way. They would not
choose to be persecuted and discriminated against.
That being said, let's talk about gay marriage. There are hypocrites everywhere, first off.
Okay? Do you buy that? Do you buy that some of the people who hang on the Bible for every
word, are the same people petting choir boys and taking them to back rooms to see the 'body of
Christ'? Cuz it's happening. It's sick, and it's happening.
Alright, good. You haven't said anything yet, so I'm assuming you accept this reality.
Okay, so back to gay marriage. In the Bible, marriage is union between a man and a woman.
And that's true. But the issue is so much more complicated. People will trace back to the
"principles of our forefathers," or that America is the land of opportunity, of all creeds and
beliefs. Some will talk about the country's Christian foundation, others will preach acceptance-others will be jingoistic and xenophobic.
People will cite the same passages but with different interpretations, people with cite
different evidence with similar interpretations. There will be talk of separation of Church and
State. There will be attacks on liberals and conservatives.
So what's the deal with gay marriage? Should I know? Should we care? Are there more
pressing issues? People in other countries have to literally fight to the death just for the freedom
of speech. But we're America, and as much as the world seems to hate us at times, many many
more come here to chase their dreams. So perhaps we should go all the way with it.
All I know is, the more prevalent something becomes, the more we see it, the more we tend
to accept it. Humans are funny like that. We adapt. The Societal mindset is as malleable as a
baby's brain. Sure, some people will stick staunchly to their principles, but these are the same
people that curse Emancipation in southern drawls, and drink Kentucky Bourbon on sweltering
summer nights, and spit tobacco, and condemn cities, and name the old tree in their backyard
"The Lynch Tree."
So gay marriage is one hotbed of contention. And I'm no religious nut, so I'm fine with them
getting married. Why should I care? They're probly gonna grow restless, unsatisfied, seek
companionship elsewhere, have torrid affairs, discover these infidelities, have fights, separate,
and end up miserable, and on their fourth marriage, like all us 'normal' heterosexuals.
Sure, go for it I say. Tie the knot. Maybe twice for good measure. Just be sure of one thing.
If you're gonna raise kids, do a good job. Most little kids are gonna get weird if they find little
Johnny has two mommies or two daddies, no matter how matter-of-factly he expresses it.
Just be careful. You don't want your youngster growing up scarred or confused, or
struggling with gender identity. Or... maybe you do--maybe that'll remind you of something in
yourself at that age.
But NO! This might be your kid, but the little rascal is its own person. Don't try to steer it
down the same pathway as you. If it chooses so, after receiving good guidance/parenting/love/all
that junk--then so be it. Otherwise, let the runt do what it wants (provided it acts within the
confines of the law).
We clear?
Good.
Another oft debated topic in the realm of sexuality is Sex Education.
Listen, I understand that some people want to advocate early 'intervention' and awareness.
But handing out a bunch of condoms to 6th graders just seems wrong. I dunno, maybe it would
prevent the rare middle school pregnancy, but the fact is, if people are engaging in risky sexual
behavior at that age, they're probably engaging in other silly behavior that ain't good.
I know it's harsh, but Damn, come on people. If you're sluttin out at that age and gettin
preggers, either you've got some serious self-esteem issues, you think you are (or wanna be)
mature, or you're plain dumb--probly a combo of these. Survival of the smartest; downfall of the
dumbest.
Now we've even got some fancy, innovative Plan B approved by the FDA for girls under 17.
Fortunately, the FDA'a decision was overruled and the Plan B kept behind counters. Besides, do
most these girls know how to even use it? Wouldn't their time be better spent learning how to
work the male genitals? Without rubbers of course (nobody wants the loss of sensitivity).
Besides, sex education scarred me for life. Did you see the STD slideshow?? Were those
really HUMAN genitals? Do we really want little kids to be destroyed by such visceral imagery?
I say, keep the sex-ed stuff for high school. 9th grade, sure. By that point, most kids will have
probly already boinked and free-based and all that jazz, so let 'em learn it when it's already too
late.
Listen, kids these days are Just Gonna Be Kids. Let 'em be kids and get all geesed up on
crank. Let 'em jerk those sweaty prepubescent bodies beneath the sheets. STDS are the new fad.
It's like passing out candy. Ya only live once.
With this established, now we move onto the next issue. ABORTION
DAH
DAH
DAH
That's right. That thing where you snip and cut and do all kinds of gross mutilating of the
fetus (I'm not a licensed medical practitioner, but this is my rough understanding). Anywho,
ABORTION is a hot button issue. So hot, you can't even say it in some circles. It's like Lord
Volde--uh.... I mean "He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named."
See, this procedure is a big deal to a lot of people because a lot of people thump the Bible. A
lot of people also consider it 'murdering.' Some people will say that if a woman is raped, she
must still have the baby because the baby doesn't deserve to be destroyed because of her
misfortune. Others may offer that the 'baby' is but an early fetus, and destroying it is akin to
stepping on a tadpole. Or a cockroach.
And who cares about cockroaches?
Listen, because I fear for my life, I will not offer a firm opinion on this issue. I don't want a
coalition of angry moms or Jesus Fish comin my way. What I will say is that it really depends on
one's definition of life, and the opinions of medical professionals. I leave it up to the individual.
So if they mess up, crucify them, NOT me.
I will say this: For those who say, "It’s like Playing God," stop and think. If you're a member
of an advanced civilization, you do realize what you're saying, right? We send unmanned objects
untold distances into the dark unknown, we research methods to beat the laws of life, to turn
back time, to find medicines that can make this breathing-doing affair almost interminable.
We try to exert our influence over the rest of the planet, governments keep surveillance on
everything, we manipulate nature in every way conceivable to meet our needs, and we think
money's just something you print more of when you're out.
But no, I'm assuming you don't support any of those things either. So go on. You were
saying...?
(Few things are more pleasantly surprising than a nice taxi driver. Their jobs aren’t that
great, and when they’re in good moods, it makes you feel that much better about your own job.
It’s even better when they can speak English.)
RANT TIME
(skip to next chapter if your idea of ranting is drinking wine and watching Sex and the City)
Grab a beer. Pop an oxy. Pour a bottle of your finest. Lick and light some sticky. It's about
to get serious. You're tired of losing money, of not being able to go out with friends like you
used to. You're tired of being pissed and annoyed and yelling at pundits on the T.V. You're done
with ranting about life's problems.
So let me do the ranting. You can listen if you'd like.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TACO BELL AND BEEF GRIME: WHO'S EATING AND WHO'S CARING?
Taco Bell has been serving its late-night, extra-Bun goodies for some time now. And people
have been chowing down, and loving every morsel. With the news that Taco Bell's beef is not
really, well not entirely, well, only partially, beef... some people are still up-in-arms. My
question:
What The Hell Did You Expect?
Ok, ok, so I didn't expect there to be silicon dioxide (the most common constituent of sand)
in that brown stuff within the food, but hey, I knew I wasn't getting quality. Come on people!
They mass-produce ground "beef," have it whenever you want it at countless locations across the
map, and can sell it to you on a dollar menu... and you're surprised to know that you're pretty
much shoveling garbage down your esophagus?? Go figure.
Of course, for most people, those who go to the Bell when they're inebriated or from time to
time when they're not, this comes as no surprise. They enjoy the taste and, frankly, they don't
care what's in it. And who honestly wants to know? Have you ever read the ingredients labels on
MOST products? Most people don't know what the heck half the stuff is. The compounds usually
seem a little dubious and are pretty much off-putting to anybody who takes the time to then do
the research.
Welcome to America, homeboys, this is a country of food that is carefully engineered to
taste great, while saving the producer money. Profit, Profit, Profit. If you want great food, drive
to a 5-Star Restaurant. If you want cheap food, then....
Well, you know the answer.
You see, people who were appalled by the beef fiasco apparently never got the memo. It's
called Fast-Food for a reason. Ever see the movie Supersize Me? Did you see how that guy ate a
ton of burgers and then his health plummeted and his liver almost failed? If you've given up on
Taco Bell, I'm sure the friendly folks over at McDonalds will take you back.
But, as is expected, Taco Bell ain't losing its fans without a fight. They've released a new ad
campaign in which they challenge eaters: If you wanna know what's in our food, check the
website, but if you wanna know how it TASTES, stop on by! Personally, I was never a big fan of
Taco Bell. But then again, Lewis Black and I are in agreement: An Australian guy running a
Mexican Restaurant and keeping his "secret" safe is just a little bit sketchy.
All in all, the Taco Bell Fiasco has left us with more questions than answers. What is beef?
It can come from any part of the bovine, so... even if a restaurant somehow got beef that was
100% certified, delicious meat, what does that mean? Well, I can tell you that it doesn't ensure
the beef wasn't taken from, say, the loins and butt of cattle. Or maybe they lopped off its member
and threw that in a grinder, cooked it, plopped it on a platter, threw in a side salad and some
potatoes and, voila, enjoy your meal, patron! Who knows? I don't.
Hell, maybe "100% Beef" is just the name of the company that sells the meat. So by saying
it's "100% Beef" they would technically be telling the truth. But who knows? We just don't.
Nobody does.
In fact, the only thing I do know is that Taco Bell has a "secret" not worth sharing....
And for that, I've got a serious beef to pick.
(I feel like the LGBT community needs to stop putting all its eggs in one basket.
Figure skating, we appreciate you. But come on… those shimmering outfits aren’t helping.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
CRIME SHOW MANIA
What the hell is with crime shows? Do viewers like death that much? I'll give them their
props; the people involved in these shows know what's good. They know how to find a formula,
sell it, and reproduce it. They know that David Caruso's shitty one-liners will always keep us
watching cuz, hey, it's Miami and there are bikinis and boobs and shirtless dudes and blood and
people saving lives! Whoot whoot!
But seriously, these shows are everywhere. So many spin-offs. So many lab analysis
sequences overlaid with catchy, hip music that makes crime-solving seem like a walk in the park.
Interview this guy, intimidate this one, a gruff voice here, a DNA sample there, and VOILA, the
good guys always catch 'em!
I'm not saying I haven't indulged in these shows or other guilty pleasures (which shall not be
named for possible legal reasons), but I still think it's crazy. If only murder and abduction were
as entertaining on the local news. Can you imagine if reports of murdered children and stabbed
women were replaced by brief, vivid flashes?
A gun shot
A sinister face
FBI SUVS
Blood spatter
Haunting crime scene
DNA testing
Questioning
Good cop, bad cop
Serial killer detainment
FBI agents laughing, a day's work done
Drinking lattes down the road.
Let's break down the formula for a second. And no, I ain't talkin Algebra. It's actually a lot
cooler.
See, there's always the location of the crime show. CSI NY (who doesn't like the Big
Apple?), CSI Miami (bienvenidos a Miami), NCIS (the navy just makes us all proud), Criminal
Minds (who knows, could be anywhere!), Hawaii 5 0 (surf's up bruh!). These are just some of
the shows.
Then we have the good guys. There's always one guy who's focused on his job. He's the
leader, the guy that rallies the troops, the guy that says "get me blah-blah on the line, do this, do
that, find me evidence!" There's also the braniac in the group. His or her astute analyses and
algorithms ultimately find the criminal. This good guy's ability to know so much so quickly is
usually explained by a ridiculous intellectual background: "well I have 5 PHDs and an IQ of 187,
so..."
Then there are auxiliary dudes, who ask questions like "whadda you think?" or finish other's
thoughts, "we've got a serial rapist on the loose." There's usually some levity in these shows, and
the humor is sprinkled here and there. Usually these guys (or girls, no sexism here!) deliver wry
comments, cynical one moment, stone-cold solemn the next, and then takin cheap shots at the
awkward sexual position of a corpse.
The agents or cops will often shoot jokes among themselves, even as they delve into a
disintegrated brain, and then they'll piece together the mystery like a jigsaw (leading to a nice
visceral replay of the crime for me and you, the viewers) and then the impending music, and da
Da DAAAAA, quick cut to some plot-twisting epiphany.
Now, we all know there's gotta be a sexy agent (you wear THAT to crime scenes?) She'll
roll up from time to time with her sexual innuendos, her quick wits, and her smokin looks. Then
there are the local law enforcement dudes who are always slightly slower in the noggin than the
good ol' feds. Sometimes they get offended by the 'intrusion' of the big dogs, but usually they
just follow like secretaries taking orders.
There's always the computer whiz. The computer whiz is very eccentric, more enjoyable if
female, and has a tendency for one-liners such as "on it sir," "coming right up," "you got it" or
"checking now." Then, of course, she/he conjures up some name or state or victim or prom dance
hall, and what with a 300 words-per-minute typing ability, the computer whiz has located
information in 3 seconds that should realistically take, oh i dunno, 5 minutes?
There's always the doc. The doc is usually the man too. People love 'em. He comes right in
and immediately has a hard-on for the cadaver: "Oh, this brain is especially unique!" He'll ask
the crime investigators to guess and then they'll either get it and the doctor will agree, or the doc
will decode the crazy medical jargon into laymen's terms: "his brain was melting."
In shows like Criminal Minds, where there’s a bunch of investigators, the dialogue usually
just works through all of them. In other words, a long thought about the killer or motives is
broken down, and each chunk pretty much assigned to each agent.
The first agent to talk mentions how the killer is looking for young girls with red hair, the
next agent continues the thought and might pose a question, which the 3rd agent succinctly
answers, and then the fourth agent comments on the consequences of this answer, as the fifth
agent then stresses the importance of following up on the information: information that the
agents were able to churn out round-robin style in a matter of moments.
The agents in Criminal Minds will also brief a large group of local cops and authorities in a
large room. This will be the show's opportunity to give the viewer a nice overview of the
stereotypical behaviors and motives of the killer. The agents will display a keen understanding of
the details, and the local 'dummies' will jot notes on their pads, nodding here and there, and
occasionally posing questions.
The agents read each other's minds and, like pieces of a puzzle, they put it together: "The
killer is going after young girls, but why? Because his mother was an abusive redhead... which
explains why he was put in a foster home. We need to check all homes within a 100 mile radius
with ginger girls around the age of 10."
They then go out into the field with their initial beliefs fueling the chase. Of course, there are
always repercussions, and sometimes our beloved crime-stoppers will battle with the demons
that inevitably come from hunting madmen and monsters. But without fail, they overcome the
nightmares of their most harrowing cases, and get back into the saddle. Giddyup!
Other shows like Cold Case use the extended flashback with the out-of-place music overlay
to propel the story forward. Usually the investigator will ask some simple question, and BAM:
SMASH CUT to Flashback:
More critical story unfolds, and then BAM:
SMASH CUT to Present Time.
Somehow, we're expected to believe that the investigator had such a visually powerful and
incisive thought. Or that the interviewee answered all the questions so as to elicit a nicely
cohesive series of images in the interviewer's mind--to which we are all privy. Somehow, the
investigator saw it all clearly and perfectly, like looking through a crystal ball. Ahhh... the clarity
of the investigative thought process. They must all be visual-spatial prodigies.
Or, the flashbacks may simply be for our (the viewers') benefit; and to look cool.
Criminal shows also love to run the dramatic interrogations. You'll get the dude who seems
completely innocent at the beginning of the show and then turns out to be the bad guy at the end.
A total sociopath.
Or the dude who's just a grunt for the bigger badder guy that the cops are chasin. Or there'll
be the dude that all the evidence mounts against, only to be cleared later as somebody else is
found guilty. Or there's the dude who is clearly the bad guy the whole time but continues to foil
the police until the end.
Or you'll get some big conspiracy of an organization or business, or the appalling realization
that the murders were done by...... several people. Or maybe he's the police chief's son. Or maybe
he's the guy that was so willing to help the cops from the very beginning, suggesting all the
'right' places to search for evidence.
But the interrogations are what make the shows funny. Suspects getting thrown against
walls, tables; yanked, cursed at, shoved--what are they, all ragdolls? And how many times do the
guys say, "I wanna talk to my lawyer"? How many times is an alleged murder "Impossible, I
wanna talk to my lawyer"?
And then the lawyers are these suave bustas who claim that everything's "irrelevant," that it's
all "hearsay," and even when their client is getting clearly implicated, they ask, "where are you
going with this?" Even if the client is a clear-cut, cold-hearted killer, the lawyer will vouch: "My
client is an upstanding member of society. These allegations are preposterous."
And of course there's always evidence that is in prime condition. An agent or cop will come
upon it right away, even if seeing the crime scene for the first time -- "This pendant, here... this is
Michelle's." And every piece of evidence will get analyzed or cross-referenced, leading the
investigators to cut into suspect's statements:
"No, I went to bed at 9:45, I wasn't even th-"You're lying. We located a fragment of your hotel keycard beneath the discolored
floorboard under the bed of the hotel room of the victim. That keycard was last used to exit your
room at 11:20."
Then, of course, the suspect takes a breath, and 'explains' the questionable situation:
"Well, I just wanted to say one last thing before going to sleep. So I left my room, and
knocked on his door. But he wouldn't open, so I... I broke in. Through the window.. I-I just
wanted to say one last thing. I had to get it off my chest. Anyway... I slipped, and fell, and I
landed alongside the bed, and my card ripped. I freaked, and didn't want my card lying there in
case somebody found it, so I noticed a loose floorboard, pulled it up, and stashed it in there... I
swear... I would never kill him! We had our issues, but I'm not a killer!"
Invariably, these suspects are actually telling the truth. Weird.
Following a bunch of like interviews, and evidence-gathering, and hi-tech, flashy crime labing, we get to the finish. The shows then conclude. The good guys will either discover the
location of the kidnapped and zoom over, red and blues flashing, to stop the baddie; Or, we'll get
that last critical bit of evidence and/or a timely epiphany that brings the whole thing full-circle.
Either way, the last 5 minutes is when the good shit finally happens:
--So then who is our suspect's target?
SMASH CUT to:
Suspect drawing gun on guy.
Amazing how the good guys always get there just in the nick of time. Days of investigating,
and they almost always arrive to thwart the killer seconds before claiming another victim.
But in the end we watch these shows because, though we may know the start point and the
destination, and even the shape of the trail, we still want the experience. You plan the hike and
then you embark; enjoying nooks, glens and hills--and there's nothin wrong with that. Life's a
little better when you get some dirt on your shoes.
Oh, and did I mention that the bad guys are almost always....
Guys?
(Please note: Reading this book for extended periods of time may increase one’s level of
anger. The author is not responsible for any illicit acts resulting from reader’s emotions.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
THE DIRTY BUSINESS
Disclaimer:
I should mention that I prefer to keep everything vague. If you're vague, people just kinda
nod and think, "Oh. Well that's..."
I mean, come on, who honestly wants people having enough information to extract
meaning? Meaning can be harmful. Why the hell should anybody know anything about me?
They shouldn't. That's why I pose as a 12 year-old Aussie girl on Facebook.
Wait... You actually thought I've been telling you the truth about myself throughout these
pages? Come on guy, what am I, an exhibitionist? Am I flashing myself to people on a dirty trail
somewhere? What's next, you wanna know my pant size? No.
Stay in school, Drugs ain't cool
Now Onto Matters More Important
Why does every business act like it's the Big Schtick? Like they're top on Fortune 500s List?
Maybe I'm just sour cuz I get turned down left and right by companies for which I believe I'm a
tad overqualified. And what the hell is this business of being overqualified? Or do you just not
have a position available?
"Sorry, Mr. David, you're just Too educated to run the cash register. Frankly, you might
bust it. Your sheer brain power, coupled with your big fancy college degree... it's just too much.
We're sorry. Walmart thanks you for applying."
In this economy, educated people need crummy jobs too! This is discrimination! I don't care
if you have a quota you gotta hit for certain demographics! We get it. You're moral angels!
Percentages of whites, yellows, blacks, single moms, poverty-liners, lesbians, recovering drug
addicts, bisexuals, trisexuals--you gotta hit those percentages, I get it!
It might be more convenient, it might make you look like a great employer so you can then
brag about it and say how you're improving the world with your caring ways when in reality half
your items are made across seas in dangerous conditions by children slaving for pennies a day.
Was that a run-on? Sorry. DON'T GIVE A SHIT!
What is with businesses having applications that ask you to completely agree, agree,
somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, disagree, or completely disagree? What the hell does any of
this mean? I'm not capable of making such a fine distinction without hours of contemplation and
moral compass-ing. Wait, what? You want me to rate my level of agreement with a given
statement on a scale of 1 to 5?
I mean, come on people! Corporate profile tests? Quasi-IQ tests for waiters? "Here at Wawa
we deliver the highest in customer service. Every day you g-SHUT THE HELL UP. Screw your dogma.
And then when they rephrase the question and ask me to rate the statement again, seeing if
my answer changes just based on the rewording. Do you want me to give the same rating? Or
what if my answer changed in that short span of in-between questions?
Do you want to see 'growth'? Could it possibly look good if I show that I've learned
something in the course of taking your application/examination? That you’re wise, probing
insights into the human heart have left me a better, more wholesome man?
Do I really need to exhibit such moral character just to stock shelves??
If I say "agree" when I should "completely agree," am I screwed? Don't "Somewhat agree"
and "somewhat disagree" both include a degree of agreeing? Isn't it good to always 'somewhat'?
Aren't there hypothetical scenarios where I should and shouldn't agree, that your corporate thinktank test-makers haven’t considered or simply ignored when designing a test/application to target
and draw the preferred employees? I scream test bias! Does "somewhat" mean sometimes?
Or does it mean, 'I really don't want to think this one through, so I'm gonna opt for the
slacker response'. It's the, "yea, maybe, sure whatever" response. Is it good to be ambivalent,
because maybe you're showing you've considered positive and negative attributes? Or should
you be completely one way or the other--even if you're 'wrong'? Maybe you just need a strong
opinion, either way. Maybe that's it. Maybe it shows 'conviction.'
Do you want me to bullshit the answers and give you what you want? Will you ever know
that I bullshitted? Or do you just turn a blind eye to that? Is that the kind of employee you want?
Somebody who talks the talk, walks the walk, but doesn't really buy into it? The person that
smiles and chats up customers and everybody loves him, and everybody lauds him for his
amazing customer service and productivity, even though, unbeknownst to them, he's high off his
kilter every second, every minute of every shift.
And what's with questions on applications that ask about drug tests? There are some
applications that will actually explain the company's policy; that it is a drug free workplace and
that piss tests are required upon hiring. Then, immediately following, a question will be posed.
Something along the lines of: "Are you willing to take a drug test?" And then following that,
something along the lines of: "Are you willing to abide by all company policies?"
Hmmmmm.....
Well... If I say NO to not submitting to a drug test after you already explained that they're
required, aren't I just saying, 'don't hire me'? Or are you gonna be like, ''oh, this kid's got balls;
let's see WHY he doesn't want to get drug-tested. Bring him in for an interview. Kid's gold, baby,
GOLD!"
What if I say YES to submitting to a drug test, but then I say that I'm not willing to abide by
all the company policies? So I've agreed to the drug test, but I'm not agreeing to abide by all
policies. Chances are, you didn't explain all your policies in the application--that would be
tedious for everyone. But if you did, inexplicably, go through every policy...and I don't agree to
abide by ALL, shouldn't there then be a follow-up question, asking WHICH policies by which I
don't want to abide?
If I say NO to the drug test but YES to the abiding by all policies, what does that mean? Am
I just an idiot because it's impossible to abide by all if I don't get tested? Or do you take into
account that I answered NO to the drug test, and so ALL POLICIES refers to all remaining
policies? Maybe companies should just go full-blown and have an adaptive, scaled
application/examination? Kinda like the SAT/GRE of job apps.
Maybe companies should ask both if I agree to abide by polices, AND if I agree with those
policies. That way, they'll know if I'm willing to squash my own beliefs in the name of
worshipping the corporate scripture. Or if my convictions are so strong that I'll only abide by
things I believe in. In which case, maybe they'll respect me and hire me on the basis that I have
strong character?
Doubtful.
Or maybe I won't even abide by the policies I believe in, showing that, like a lot of
employees, I'm contradictory (which I am). I mean, hypocrisy seems to elevate people high in
business these days.
Maybe I should go for it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
COFFEE AND BOOKSTORES
I know this has probably been explored in many standup routines before, but fuck it. There
ain't no such thing as an original idea.
So answer me this: Who decided that cafes and bookstores were a match made in heaven?
And don't respond sarcastically, asking me about a million other things that are paired together
and don't seem right. Cuz I ain't talkin 'bout them!
Wise ass.
Honestly, who thinks that coffee goes with books? What is this saying about our
appreciation for print-based reading? We've gotta get some giddy-up in the system just to get
rollin? I mean, for me, coffee isn't somethin to enjoy. I drink coffee when I need to GO. When
I'm trying to get reaaaal jonked. It's the means to an end. For me, drinking coffee and reading
would consist of two steps:
1) Chugging a liter of Joe.
2) Ripping through pages like the freakin Tasmanian Devil.
I don't fuck around.
I don't get how people can sit there with their hipster sweaters and their legs crossed, and sip
triple-shot Cappuccino Espressos in dainty fashion as they leaf through their Environment
Weekly's. Me, I'm either downing caffeine like crack cocaine and reading 3 pages
simultaneously--or I'm reading for the sheer enjoyment of it. I don't need to get all 'jazzed' up on
the gonk sauce just to surf the internet on my laptop or scan the depths of my Nook.
I'm not a freakin skorsk. I ain't no skattlehorn like you skombuckets. Though I imagine
baristas have it tough dealing with all those snooty mocha sippers. Requesting coffee beans from
freakin Peru and Colombia and Brazil, and the ass-crack of civilizations forgotten.
But nah, keep drinkin your coffees in front of book displays as you scrutinize the latest New
York Times in your turtle-neck sweaters.
Dipturds.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
BALL SO HARD
I'm talking the NBA, home to overpaid prima donnas, hard-workers, high-flyers, and the
like. And there's a new issue on the forefront... or is there?
You see, a new trend's in town and it's bringing all the superstars into a few lucky markets.
First it was Lebron James, "taking his talents to South Beach" in order to form the Trifecta with
Flash and Bosh. But it doesn't stop there. Now we've got Carmelo Anthony teamed up with
powerhouse Stoudemire in Madison Square Garden, and Blake Griffin and Chris Paul in LA.
The stars are colliding, and I don't know whether to drool over the prospect of these forthcoming
Supernovas, or shudder at the thought of their collective destruction.
Casual fans may love it. After all, who doesn't want to see the most amazing talents doing
their thing, night after night, in the same starting line-up? The Knicks could be resuscitated, as
we know the city has long awaited a boon that would surely get Spike Lee a little wet in the
trousers.
In theory, it's extremely exciting. We may very well get to see some of the most dynamic,
athletic, Sports Center-worthy razzle-dazzle since the Golden Era. Who will remember the
Dream Team when the NBA regular season will feature SEVERAL dreamboat teams worthy of
their own nicknames?
Basketball purists, however, may take a different stance. This new trend toward teaming-up
may very well spell the end for many smaller markets. Markets that once hoped to use savvy and
consistency to grow into playoff or championship contenders. Markets that dreamed of running
with the bigboys by weathering the test of time and capitalizing on laudable stratagems. Are their
chances dashed?
Does it even matter if the small-time markets die? Or is this merely pessimistic talk? Will
there be enough up-and-coming stars to counteract, and, dare I say, usurp these All-Star
powerhouses?
I stand ambivalent on this issue. Like any fan, I love to watch amazing plays and unbridled
athleticism. I love watching human beings doing things that 99% of human beings cannot. Who
doesn't?
However, like any TRUE fan of basketball and its heritage, I also have an appreciation for
the fundamentals, for cohesive teams where selflessness leads to championship success. Teams
where no one star shines bright, where the defensive screws are always tight, where coach and
player stand on even ground.
Don't get me wrong, Superstars should be afforded a good deal of power. After all, they
bring a lot of money into the sport. They command the fans. They SUPPORT the sport. They are
the bastions. But sometimes, even bastions can wear thin and crumble. And when high-powered
Superstars turn to petulant egomaniacs, the fun of the sport, the "love of the game," is sucked
dry.
But what do I know? I'm just a fan. And until I can tomahawk jam, drain three-pointers with
ease, and command a $20 million a year contract, I resign to wait. With bated breath, day by day,
anticipating the future of this league. All this, and I haven't even TOUCHED on the Collective
Bargaining fiasco.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FLESH GAMES
Nowadays, we have so many choices with anything. So many lollipop flavors, so many
shades of paint, so many DVDS, so many types of cars--we've just got it all. Some would say,
too much.
And the same applies to PORN.
With the booming success of the adult entertainment industry, producers of smut find an
ever varying fan base. If you ain't about the standard man-on-woman, you can opt for hombre y
hombre, lesbians, bisexuals, sadomasochistic sequences of whips and chains, group 'sessions,' a
minority here, a minority there, rough sex, sensual love, and if you're a hornball for cartoons,
don't you worry Jimbo--we've got Anime.
Now before I go forward, I see it my duty to defend the fleshy, breathy online videos that
men (and women) across the world have come to use. A lot of times, women appear to be
disgusted by the male inclination toward enjoying these rampant videos. Women consider them
vile and degrading, and a raw example of those things that are not only wrong with the male
animal, but wrong with society as a whole. (I think they're evidence to the contrary, but hey...)
Let me just plunge the dagger into the heart. Men WILL NOT change. Men WILL NOT
stop watching porn. Men WILL NOT stop being Men. It's really that simple. See, men have
certain biological needs. They require constant stimulation. They need to see at least one pair of
ta-tas a day. Women may find this disturbing, but damn, what the hell do you want? Have you
seen the equipment Nature gave us to work with? You think we like having to test-run that
equipment all the time?
Well... actually we do, but that ain't the point!
Men are creatures who are expected to provide. We are expected to be the physically
dominant, the aggressors, the go-getters, the defenders. This may be a role that is slightly
changing as we move into the coming generations and embrace a growing women's work force
(yea, great for you Feminists), but the fact of the matter is: it's hard to undo what many
generations, and biology, have engrained.
Women think that PORN is vile not only because of its sexually explicit nature, but because
MEN use it so disrespectfully. We watch naked people we don't know, in the act, we stimulate
ourselves, we get our good, and we forget. To women, this is exploitative and dirty.
But women need to understand that this is how men think EVERYWHERE. When men go
to the bars, they of course imagine all the women naked. When a man sees a particularly
attractive associate at a business meeting, he might be nodding to the pie charts and power point
slides, but really he's imagining her naked. Men can't help it. It's barely conscious. It's automatic,
like a carwash.
When men utilize PORN, they are performing the perfunctory maintenance needed to ensure
that their next female companion will enjoy the experience. We're doing it for you, ladies!
YOU!! Besides, if we're men with scruples, we elect to watch HPVs. No, that's not what you're
thinking. HPV = High Production Value. These are the videos with solid plotlines, character
development, side stories, and great scenery. We can learn of little Missy’s attempt to get from
the Zoo to grandfather's house, only to be sidetracked by the smooth-talking lion trainer.
Another thing PORN-watching Men may hear is how "poor and sad" the young female porn
stars must be. Well, in case you don't know a thing or four, most porn starlets nowadays don't
have it too shabby. They get STD-screening, they get paid decently, and they have very large fan
bases. Sure, there are girls who are drugged-up and insecure and have stumbled upon PORN as a
last resort.
But there are also people like this all over, male and female, who have fallen into dark pits
of all kinds. Besides, most male porn stars nowadays have to start out doing gay videos. Women
may have to as well, but it's a lot easier for straight women to be lesbians than it is for straight
men to be gay. I mean, I'm pretty sure most women secretly PREFER other women anyway.
Right? Right??
If so, feel free to record...
The problem with women is that they're, well, women. So they're compassionate, and
tolerant, and all that gushy goo. And that's the source of the whole PORN debate. When judging
us guys for slammin the ham to porn vids, women will demonstrate said traits through a
superiority complex.
Ladies, it's called down time! How else do you spend your leisure? Buying shoes??
I mean, it's not like women are entirely innocent. They think about seeing men naked when
they're in a club, bar, or somewhere and feeling randy. I know honey, I've seen your eyes ;).
Women read Cosmopolitan and other silly magazines where "101 sex secrets" inundate their
brains. Sure, sure, they might laugh and giggle about the "tips" with their friends, but don't tell
me they're not at least downloading some of that info and storing it on the mental hard drive.
Women might be more imaginative and not need the visual aid that is PORN, but that increased
imagination just means they're creating even more raunchy or lovey-dovey scenarios in their
heads.
And what's worse than a gruesome sex scene, but a soppy, romantic fairy-tale scenario?
I mean, Goodness! It's just smut! Besides, Ladies, maybe if you were doin your job a little
better, puttin out a lil more, us horndog men wouldn't have to be searching the interwebs for
"sexy sweethearts."
Think about it.
(Life ain’t fair. But it carries a fare. So beware.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PET PEEVES
We all hate something. Sometimes it's a kind of person. Sometimes, it's a saying.
Sometimes, it's a tick or habit that people have and don't seem to notice.
Sometimes, it's the way a dude walks in Timberlands, or the way somebody rolls a pencil,
back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth,
back and for-Annoyed yet?
Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and
forth, back and forth, back and for-1) Sniffling:
Ever been somewhere, and you're minding your own business, and you're feeling
comfortable with your thoughts, and then...
sniff
sniff
hphhh hphhh
And you turn to the sound, to see some poor, runny-nosed chap wipin down the ol' mucous
ducts. So you try your best to get back to the task at hand; the paper you're filling out, the exam
you're focusing on, your special string of thoughts and emotions.
sniff sniff
hphhh hphhhhhhhhh
This time, you jerk to the direction of the nasty utterance. The guy or girl's wipin down a
nice big, gooey one. Sexy globule. But why? God, is it annoying. You think, maybe it's not so
bad. You'll just focus, mind your own business, and keep the snorting and sniffling out of your
head. Besides, the guy is probly battlin a tough cold. He's probly all dosed up on cough
medicines and green tea. He's probly feelin miserable.
Yea, yea... it's probly worse for him. Totally.
But wait. What the hell is he doing here? This is a public place! What if it's SARS? What if
it's Anthrax? What if it's the next deadly pandemic? And even if ain't... why the hell do I have to
listen to it??
Take that shit to the infirmary!
2) Stupid Questions:
No, no, I'm not talking about when your psychologists asks you, "How are you feeling,
Wilson?" following the death of a loved one. Though that is a stupid question.
The type of question I have in mind is on a more frequent basis. Say you're at a dinner party
and some guy asks you what you do for a living. And, rather excitedly, you reply, "Well, I
actually just started this cool new job. I'm a—
And then Schmuck-Boy starts up about HIS job, and how HE'S the top-shelf biochemical
engineer, and Oh is the pay just "wonderful" and he "loves it," and his wife's happy, cuz they've
got this nice McMansion over there in "Gaylick Court," and the kids are happy, and so because
the kids are happy, the Mrs. is finally puttin out again, and so of course Schmuck-Boy's happy
again, cuz he no longer has to feel like a low life, wankin it to SeedyTube off his cellular in the
bathroom stall at work.
I mean, the whole thing is stuuupid. The only reason the guy asked you about your job was
so he could moan on about his. Given the statutes of social etiquette, he had to first at least
appear to be interested in you, so that he could then 'relate' his experiences and you could all say,
"Oh, very good for you, nice to meet you" and everybody could feign shiny smiles, and continue
sipping Sauvignon.
People love to ask questions just to open the door for their riveting anecdotes. People love to
ask questions because apparently that's what you do with strangers. So what if no further
conversation stems from said openings, and you all stand awkwardly silent, because hey, that's
what people do!
Many questions amount to nothing. Like asking, "how are you?" to which the asked
responds, "Good." Or like when a professor asks, "Would you like to do the problem on the
board?" I mean, of course the answer's "no," but what the egghead is really asking... well, stating,
is: "Do the problem on the board." Or like when you're in preschool, and the teacher asks you if
you can "hold it," and you're trembling and your face is flushed, and you're trying to squeeze
your sphincter and bladder tight but the badboys ain't goin away.
The stupidity of a question depends largely on the context, of course. If you ask somebody if
he or she is tired after just finishing a marathon and being unable to walk of his or her own
accord, it's stupid. But if you ask somebody who gets plenty of sleep, with good vital signs, but
seems extremely out of it, the question might not be so dumb. Or your parents may ask, "what,
you don't like it?" concerning a lumpy egg salad, as you seize your stomach in bouts of hacking.
Asking a guy that just got kicked in the balls if he's OK, is never a good idea either. It's stupid.
Come to think of it, most questions that bombard our delicate eardrums are a waste of time.
Me, I'd rather destroy my hearing through other means.
That's why God invented the IPOD.
3) Cow-Chewing:
We have the right to eat. Kinda because we have the right to live. But we don't have the right
to make everybody else disgusted when shoveling 'sustenance' into our pieholes. Nobody wants
to see bovine masticating. It's ugly, and troublesome.
People need to stop chewing with their mouths open. If you're a little kid and you haven't
learned what's socially acceptable, I blame your parents. They should've thrown a brown bag
over that thing years ago. Or get that thing an intravenous feeding tube. Seriously.
If you're an adult and you eat with your mouth open, I might have to find you personally.
Ok, so it took me a while to erase the habit too, but all it takes is a conscious effort time and time
again, and finally you drop it. THIS AIN'T AN APPOINTMENT TO REMOVE YOUR
TONSILS. I ain't your frickin dentist. I don't care that you've got a high-arched mouth. And No, I
don't want to watch you unwrap a Starburst with your tongue.
Some people like to chew gum in an exaggerated motion. Maybe they don't realize they're
doing it, or they think they look cool. Well, sorry to say people, but you ain't your favorite sports
star. Only MJ could pull off the confident gum-chew, and it was usually followed by a
scintillating dunk or shot.
What's your vertical?
I don't understand how it can be so noisy. Kids especially really love to chew the shit out of
that stuff. And then there's the loud bubble-blowing that comes with it.
POP
POP
POP
With the advent of longer-lasting gums, the cow-chewing will only get worse. Chewing with
your mouth closed, whatever the chewing material, is not about manners. It's about Humanity. If
you wanna chew like a cow, go to the range. I'll grab the prod, we'll power up the meat grinder.
Capiche?
4) People that Can't Drive
Drunk driving, tipsy driving, and driving while impaired are all examples of risky behavior.
Sure, you can take a look at a data table of drunk driving facts and statistics, organized by age,
year, nation, and any other pertinent info you wish to extrapolate. You can aggregate every
possible relevant article on teenage drunk driving consequences, deaths, and possible means of
prevention. And yes, you could supplement with pics and deathly little stories that end in a
sunken grave and the repeated words, "So much potential, so much potential..."
But wait, hit the brakes for a second. What about sober driving?
That's right, I'm talkin about the guys and gals that roll through random sobriety checkpoint
locations, stone-cold sober, in no risk of a DUI, yet still, inexplicably, a danger to every
commuter on the roads.
I'm talking about bad drivers, people. The kind that cut you off at the last minute because
they're not assertive. The kind for whom all the public service announcements and remedial
lessons in the world won't make a difference. You know, the guy who leaves his blinker on for 2
miles as he drifts in and out of lanes in his hunk-a-junk? The girl who's applying her makeup, 15
mph under the speed limit, making rush hour traffic even more congested? The person who
stops, starts, stops, starts, and ends stuck in the middle of the intersection? Move it or lose it,
Grandma!
I'm talking the worst of the worst, and it's 'bout time we start to report them.
Sure, we all know that texting while driving increases the likelihood of you being the next
car accident in the newspaper, but hey, some people don't even need cell-phones to be harbingers
of death and dismay. Some people straight-up CAN NOT drive. Makes you wonder if they're just
giving away licenses at the DMV.
How long did it take you to finish Driver's Ed? How many times did you fail the Driver's
test? Wait, so your driver's license has vision requirements? Oh, what's that, you couldn't parallel
park a Volkswagen Beetle? Ummmm.... give me your keys. Yes, yes, I know you're an organ
donor, but I'm not trying to give mine up, not right now.
Yea, I know, I know, but I for one, DON'T want to have to know what to do after a hit and
run. I'd rather never have to know. No need to fully learn the law if you don't break the law,
honey. Well, 'least that's my mantra...
But I digress. What matters is, some sober drivers pose real risks to really good drivers. And
to themselves. Sure, law enforcement, highway patrol, local police officers--they all stop these
silly nannies from time to time. But how do you stop the sober drivers who aren't technically
breaking any laws, but are still, absolutely, downright ANNOYING?
I say, we first force every prospective driver to undergo strenuous neuropsychological
evaluations. Then, based upon that and a battery of other tests (smart people, get to work) we
assign each person a list of automobiles that most closely align with their skill sets. Following
this, we mandate that every new driver complete an obstacle course designed for the type of
vehicle he or she chooses from their respective list.
We'll let Motor Trend design and test the courses, and report the fastest 30 times or so for
each course (only the fast and assertive get through...). If the person hits the average, they are
allowed to drive as any licensed driver (beyond their provisional) does in our current system.
However, if they fail to at least demonstrate average abilities on the course, they are 'branded'
(think Scarlet Letter) and forced to endure a 6-month period of abject mortification upon
completion of which, the crummy driver has one chance to redeem him or herself.
If the driver fails to be average again, he or she is granted the opportunity to work alongside
law enforcement in accident prevention, aiding officers in catching the early signs of potential
problem driving.
What this system does is send two main messages to the general public. (1) We don't
Tolerate shitty-ness, only Mastery, and (2) Driving is a Privilege NOT a Right.
Questions?
And yes and no, I possibly at some point in the future may or may not be potentially serious
about this plan, hypothetically speaking.... (???)
Can a brotha get a petition!
5) PTA PARENTS
Alright, so some parents are controlling and overly involved. But if they're single parents, I
can let it slide. After all, I'd rather have them involved than droppin the little ones off at the
dumpster. So they're cool by my book. I give them the green light.
But how 'bout the other kind? Yuuuuckkk...
What's more annoying than two suburban housewives, helicoptering over their kids,
boasting to their fellow women's club members of Little Johnny's new position on the Swim
Team?
Then there are the Dads, probly lawyers or hedge fund managers or international
businessmen, and when they're not 'conducting business' with their mistresses afar, they're
getting dragged to these darn PTA affairs alongside their silicon-bursting trophy pieces.
Ughhh...
First off, Moms, you're not teachers. So stop trying to rule the roost of the PTA like you're
like some kind of beacon of ingenuity and educational reform. Secondly, stop being superficial. I
mean, we all know that ain't your ass, or your boobs, or your waist. Hell, your face is pulled
tighter than a wedgie.
And Husbands, come on, we know you couldn't care less about the little ones. I mean, that's
what the Wife is for, right? She concerns herself with the petty academic affairs and house care,
and you do your thing abroad, bringing home that cheese and tapping that remodeled rump.
And what's with bragging about the things your son or daughter does in school? Wonderful,
you organized the pastry function and it just went swimmingly. Whaddaya want, a plaque? Oh,
and even more wonderful, Little Johnny and Petite Patricia are on the Honor Roll. It's first grade,
people! You can pick your nose and crap your trousers and make the Honor Roll! But I'm happy
you're proud...
6) People AND Rain
The power of rain is undeniable. When I say this, I do not refer to the actual destructive
force of meteorological disasters such as hurricanes or typhoons or monsoons. What I mean, is
simply the power of rain to influence the mind.
I refer to the typical person. How many times has the looming threat of rain, not even the
rain itself, stirred a change in the masses? It's like a switch has been hit, and people are suddenly
enraged, annoyed, saddened, pissed, all because it MIGHT rain. They change their plans; they
become impatient with those around them, simply because, heaven-forbid, some water might fall
from the sky, thus causing deviations in their rushed, inflexible routines.
Working at a grocery store, I've seen the psychological power of rain, when it does in fact
arrive. Husbands and wives snap at one another: "Well grab the car already, I'm not goin out in
that!"
As I walk in the parking lot, rounding up stray carts, people stare at me in bewilderment, as
if acid pours from the sky, and my nonchalance in its face can only be conflated with something
bordering on insanity.
Customers stand beneath the awning, looking nervous, even frightened, while I dance in the
heavens' showers, soaked, yet my spirits untouched. Men in business suits snap at me to load
their Lexus or their Mercedes, as they sit in the driver's seat, eyeing me through the rearview,
wondering why it takes me more than 2 minutes to put a cart-full of groceries into their vehicle.
Everywhere I look, impatience abounds, and a reckless disregard for the awesomeness of
nature is all too glaring. It's water people! You bathe yourselves in it every day. Our planet is
suffused with it!
Yet, somehow, for some reason, the majority of people find it all too negative, as if their
clothes WON'T dry, and the sun WON'T again shine. People bark at me for umbrellas and then
glare when I tell them that they must wait, that other people, just like them, are currently using
them. But I am unaffected. As the rain washes away layers, revealing an individual at its true
core, I am steadfast.
So please, rain, come on out to play. I've missed you, and wish you to stay.
7) Stink Bowls
Some people call them Toilet bowls, but I prefer the term Stink Bowls. Listen, i understand
that there are a shit ton of us humans--I've sat in rush-hour traffic, I know we're overpopulated.
So naturally, if you're using public restrooms, you're gonna encounter all kinds of nastiness (like
poop in the urinal). But from what I hear, women do have it good. Sparkling sinks and leather
couches and mounted T.V.s? Seriouuusly??
Anyway, back to Stink Bowls. I get the public thing. Good, great, people crap and pee, and
it ain't nice-looking and it ain't kind on the nostrils. What I don't like, what really stirs my batter,
is when people beat you to the Bowl.
If you went to college, you probly had a roommate. You probly had to share a bathroom at
some point. If not at college, maybe at home with your loved ones, or at work with your buddies,
or maybe on bus with a bunch of goombas. Whatever the circumstance, you've likely
encountered the person who just narrowly gets to the lovely lavatory before you do.
So there you are. Standing or sitting, fighting the urge to explode. Not only are you in pain
cuz you gotta wait for the person to poop (couldn't they have just peed?), but you also know that
you're gonna be treated by an old-fashioned stink bomb; fetid and suffocating. A most noisome
odor, and all for you.
So the person comes waddling out, a relieved smile on his or her face, and it hits you. Like a
freight train full-on, the smell could kill you. And you kinda wish it would.
So you find yourself glaring at the Turd Bombardier. And you can't help but wonder.
Wonder what they ate, if it was their 'standard,' what their waist size is, if they like to squat or
hover, if, God forbid, they washed their hands.
But at least now, you've made it to the bathroom. Finally, you've made it to the bathroom.
You're overcome with glee; if you didn't know any better, you'd half-think you won the Lotto.
Quickly, you throw down some toilet paper--double-layered, just to make sure (Gonorrhea's a
bitch). Then you press your big 'ol cheeks to the seat.
You adjust a little just to get comfortable. You silence your mind. You relax your bowels.
You take a breath. And you wait.
And wait.
And wait....
Annnnnnnd...
YOU'RE CONSTIPATED.
8) "Can you do me a favor?"
Heard this much? It could probably fall under the "Stupid Questions" category. But I'll make
it separate. Just cuz.
People ask these 6 words all the time. Now, I don't know what your background is. I don't
know who you are or what you look like. And I don't care. But I know myself, aglow with moral
compassion, and I know that when I ask for a favor, I am delivering an unspoken promise to
return that favor. Or, at the very least, remember the favor that was done for me (thanks for
bailing me out of prison, here's a beer).
See, even if the other person doesn't take it that way, they're still gonna get my favor. But
that's because I'm an exemplary human being. That's just me.
These other oddballs, with their toupees and chummy ways--they ain't got courtesy. But me
here, I'm an upstanding guy, guy.
Anywhore, I think it's important to expect a favor in return. If some skonzoid asks you to
drive them here, there, and everywhere, they better be willing to 'put out' when you call for their
services. Otherwise, they'll become a favor-junkie. They'll ask you again and again, expecting
that you just do it for fun.
Well, guess what, doofusoid? I might be a solid guy, I might have a moral compass made by
Rolex, but I ain't Gandhi. If I'm gonna take the online exam in your place, you better shuck me a
good one. If I'm gonna watch your incontinent sewer rat of a dog for 2 weeks, you better
remember it next time you "need a hand with something."
If a favor is done, you gotta do the same.
Get it,
Got it?
Good.
9) FLAKING
So you're really psyched about this new restaurant. But you don't want to go alone. Being a
social butterfly, you tell everybody you know.
But nobody wants to go. How do you know?
Because they told you so. But not with a simple yes or no.
Instead they give the ol' "I dunno, I'll have to see, maybe..." You frown and call them partypoopers and tell them that they'll have fun, and this and that, but they still won't budge from their
stance of not-really-having-a-stance.
People are flakes. We don't want to flat-out turn you down, so we fudge some flimsy reason
or say we gotta "dogsit for the grandparents." Grand. A lot of times, the "We'll see..." might
indicate nothing more than laziness. A laziness and unwillingness to plan ahead, or, perhaps, to
give your planning ahead any credence.
See, as people, we're kinda dicks. I mean, we mean well (half the time), but usually we just
want to do what we want. Most of us don't want to offend or get in fights (unless you're from
Jersey), so we play the politically correct card and 'remember' some important obligation that
will get us out of doing stuff.
It would be simple to say "no, I don't feel like doing that tonight." I would accept this. Some
people might take this personally: "You don't like hanging out with me??" But me, Nah. If you're
tired, if you're just not in the mood, I prefer to be told. I won't think less of you.
Sure, I'll probly still give you a hard time, but at least you had the guts to say it. Hell, if I'm
trying to text or call you, simply not responding or picking up would be preferable to fudging a
tenuous response. At least the no-response gets it across, especially if I've been repeatedly trying.
But of course, we can't have somebody coming right out and saying how they feel. We can't
have somebody shooting down somebody else. Nowadays, everybody's entrapped in this PC
mindset. We gotta be politically correct and we can't be racially insensitive (that's Native
Americans not Indians!). Every kid is "special," every young boy and girl can grow up to do
whatever he or she dreams (except being a female president; Hilary tried it, though I guess she's
like pseudo-woman at best).
Oh, and did I mention we can't bring religion into anything? Goodness gracious, don't say
anything about Christmas (It's Happy "Holidays" people!). And in the rare cases where gender
identity comes into conversation (and why the hell would it?), one can choose not to identify:
"I'm neither homosexual nor bisexual nor heterosexual; I defy identification."
But I'm getting off topic here...
Back to task: People. And FLAKING. A lot of people like to use the "i'll have to check my
schedule" response.
Come on. Really? Your "schedule"? What are you, Oprah? Are you a movie star? Do you
have to be in the Philippines tomorrow? Listen, I'm sure the kids can wait, the grocery list can be
satisfied later, your date with Redbox can be postponed, your preparation for next day's work
ain't that pressing (you'll be working the rest of your life!); Come On!
A lot of people also like to feign interest. You might ask them if they wanna come to a party.
So they respond by asking you "what party?" You tell them, how there's gonna be all kinds of
cool people, some they know, some they don’t, jungle juice, tuxedos, pet tigers, stuntmen and
bungee cords--the works. After your explanation, your friend seems to weigh it in his or her
mind. Your friend might softly repeat what you just said, “jungle juice, huh...."
At this point, the chances are 50/50. Your friend's saying how it sounds "like fun," "pretty
crazy," but he or she is still indecisive. And then, the worst: Your friend revisits the previous
comment about "jungle juice, huh...." From there, your friend ol' pal breaks into a tangent.
Maybe your friend recalls this one time at an office function when there was jungle juice, and it
was made by this guy Terry.
Now, Terry... Terry's a swell guy. Made solid money, a 401k, 3 beautiful children, and he's
very proud of them cuz they're all in the national honor society, and the youngest girl is pursuing
theater, and she just did this "stirring" portrayal of Juliet, but the oldest boy -- Oh the oldest boy!
He just won first prize in the science fair; it was great, and he got a ribbon, and the teachers
hugged him, and he designed his own thermonuclear device...
And then it hits you. Your friend has no intentions of joining you at the party, with the
jungle juice and the tigers. Your friend just wanted to distract you from your question. But really,
all your "friend" did was leave you hangin on, hoping, until 20 minutes of irrelevant information
later, you know you're goin solo.
But hey, friends are friends. 'Least they're not straightforward with you. That could be
DISASTROUS.
10) Loud People in Quiet Public Places
If you're like me (which you're not), you probably frequent your local library or park or
movie theater whenever you can.
So you depart, fully prepared. Armed with your wallet, your pertinent cards, some cash $$,
maybe your running shoes and shorts, maybe a Frisbee or basketball or yoyo or condom (hey, ya
never know). The point is, you get prepared to enjoy a nice afternoon enjoying an activity in one
of the above mentioned venues.
Library:
The Library is where we do everything that is fun and merry. We go to the library if we
don't have internet at home, if we want to prowl for children, if we're looking to write or read in
solitude--something along these lines.
So let's say you've traversed the catacombs of the library, and finally, after much
deliberation, you've located the perfect spot. You know that this is the perfect spot because it is
isolated, and the beanbag chair is extremely inviting; and all you wanna do is plop and start
tearing apart your riveting biography of James Joyce.
So you're sittin down, just gettin into it, when all of a sudden, from the hellish corners of
insanity, a kid's screams. A little weewonker, untethered from his parents, is apparently doing his
own revised cardio workout. He runs this way and that, bumping into shelves, hurdling laptop
wires, and making weird airplane noises.
You try to tolerate it. For Christ's sake, he's just a little kid, he doesn't KNOW any better.
Besides, his parents are probably embarrassed, and surely they'll find the little Dennis the
Menace and calm him down.
But as the minutes wear on and your patience wanes, this little goblin continues to get louder
and even more energetic.
You realize that somebody has to do something. Everybody is looking up at the kid, but
nobody is willing to take the first move and tell him to be quiet. Well, well, looks like things fall
on your shoulders once again. Collecting your thoughts, and attempting to approach it as
tactfully as possible, you sa-"Bzzzzztth vhhhhrrrr vhhhhhrrr"
Your head snaps around. From another direction, another corner of the library dissociated
from the wild child, comes another disturbance.
This time it's an adult. A freakin adult. And whaddaya know. The inconsiderate moron is
sittin, no headphones, and his computer's sound on full-blast. The video game roars with the
sounds of spaceship collisions and laser blasts, and it couldn't be MORE aggravating.
Who the hell does this guy think he is?? Does he really have no common courtesy
whatsoever? Oh yea, sure bud, just jack up your freakin Starship Enterprise--I'm sure nobody
will mind. I mean, it's not like anybody nearby is trying focus or do things or NOT listen to your
crap. Yea, yea, just sit there and get your video game hard-on. I'm glad you’re getting pleasure...
Park:
Parks are nice. They're open. They smell like grass and trees and dirt trails. They settle the
mind. They keep good spirits alive.
But not always.
Sometimes you're trying to sprawl out on a blanket, listen to your IPOD. Maybe you're just
tryin to walk your dog. Maybe you're trying to go for a head-clearing run. Maybe you're trying to
play a friendly game with your buddies in an open field. Whatever your intentions, you're
probably, hopefully, aiming to do something that SHOULD be done in a park. Physical activity,
relaxation, pensive wandering.
Well then why is Miss. Corporate Nazi over here talking way too loud on her three phones
and Blue Tooth about being "dissatisfied" with the Quarterlies? Why is she bitching and walking
super fast, and chewing out some dude or chick for not "getting it done"?
Or why is this skonz guy still wearin his slacks and suit, checking stocks on his laptop and
yelling into his headset to some distant worker bee? Why does he feel it necessary to bring his
high-stress, high-paying job into my, and everybody else's, place of sanctity? Well? Why???
See, I don't know why. And I don't WANT to know why. Lady, Gentleman, if you wanna do
business, go to the freakin office. This is a park. This is where we hippie types come to get away
from 'the man' and 'establishment.' Capiche??
But the problems don't stop with the number-crunchers and the TPS reports.
Maybe there are a bunch of loitering bros blaring their boom boxes and getting crunk.
Nobody likes loitering bros, they suck. They think that other people are gonna look at them and
think, "Whoaa... this guy's like... a guy I wanna be. Whooooaaaa...."
NO!
You're not cool, brosaurus! You and your cronies should head to the frat house. K? Go bang
out some floozies in a dorm bed, beneath a strobe-light somewhere, Okay? Go snort lines, and
flex your triceps, and toss your crinkled cans of Natty Light somewhere else, Okay? I don't want
to see you; I don't want to hear you blasting that incessant rage. I don't want to know of your
existence in this plane of reality. Okay?
If you and the other testosterone-junkies wanna have fun, by all means, have fun. Go graffiti
a wall and piss on it, and tell the cops they're all pigs. Go for it. Really. And have fun. Tons of
fun.
But not here. I'm tryin to read Calvin and Hobbes.
Move Theater:
Now, I'm no theoretical physicist, but my understanding is that a movie theater is a place
where one sits down to watch a movie. The lights dim, the noises subside, and a movie is
displayed on a giant screen for all admitted viewers to enjoy.
This is my understanding. This is what I have been led to believe.
So then, why is this rarely the case?
The lights dim, the previews run through, and finally the movie begins. But wait, people are
talking.
You've got the teens. Ya know the kind, they rip off senseless comments to impress their
douchey friends and of course, show the ladies that they don't give a Fuuu. They'll holler and yell
and scream the name of the character or actor ("yea Arnold!"). They'll laugh when things aren't
funny just to break the tense silence.
Dude, the family dog just got hit by a truck, and you're gonna laugh? Somebody deck this
skonz.
You'll get certain races that tend to react to certain movies. Ghost movies, movies about
water, politically-charged movies, alien movies, yada, yada, yada. For any genre, there is a
subpopulation that will react obnoxiously:
Blacks will "oh shit!" the ghost sequences. Whites will "hahahahhaaaaaa" moments of levity
in any movie. Mexicans will "yea mang!" quick shots of Corona or Dos Equis or yard work.
Jews will scoff at plots involving characters who are fiscally irresponsible. Nerds will chuckle
excessively at references to anything normal people don't know just to show they 'got it.'
Overeaters will cheer food, under-eaters will puke at the sight of popcorn, and everybody else
will more or less talk sporadically because they assume I can't see them in the dark of the theater.
Well guess what, guy-who's-been-talking-all-movie-long?
I've got Infrared!
11) Blocking the T.V.
This is a ubiquitous annoyance. Children, teenagers, middle-agers, senile geezers--they're all
guilty.
You're sitting there, trying to watch some Victoria's Secrets 'Angels," or maybe the latest
touchdown run by your favorite team, or perhaps the new TV movie on Lifetime. Whatever the
focus, it's ruined.
Some kangaroo decides to adjust his or her zipper, bend down, or just start talking to you-and the damn kangaroo is right in the way!
--"Hey, hoss! Do you think I'm tryin to watch somethin here?? No? Go fruck yourself!"
These people are always oblivious, and they always choose the worst time to block your
viewing. It could have been at any other time, at a freakin commercial break, but no no no...
They’ve gotta jut their gut right in front of the Tele at the precise moment can't-miss-action is in
high gear. It's like they did it on purpose, but you know they didn't. And that makes it even
worse.
--"Get outta the freakin way, yo! I'm tryna watch this!!"
And then they look, around, in no hurry, as if the shrill urgency of your voice is an everyday
occurrence.
--"I saaaaaid, 'GET OUTTA THE WAY!' "
But it's too late. You've already missed the critical moment. And you could wring their neck,
and sometimes you might. But they're so unaware of anything. They just don't know what they
did, and when they finally DO realize that they blocked viewing of the game-winning shot, they
merely shrug.
--"It's just a game, man, relax."
And you stare at them, about to find your pellet gun and pump them full.
--"Just a game? JUST A GAME? How 'bout you go to the bathroom next time you wanna
block the T.V. as you scratch your nutsack, k? FREAKIN SKONZ...."
12) School Buses
Few things are more annoying than a school Bus. You see the flashing lights, the black and
orange, and you know, without a doubt, it's gonna be a shitty one. That stupid red sign popping
out. The horde of children and teenagers screaming out the windows. Smacking their lips,
smearing their faces, all against the windows; mocking you. And it's just your luck that the damn
psych ward on wheels has to stop at every other house along your destination.
Can't we find a better way to transport these ghouls? Why can't their parents just pick 'em
up? Oh, what's that? The parents are at work, you say? Well bologna!
Parenting's a full-time job!
And what's with people being so cautious around school buses? Do we really have to stop on
both sides? I mean, if it's clear that the kid won't be crossing the road, why should oncoming
traffic stop? No, no, sure.. We all need to stop and drop everything we're doing so Carson with
the mouth farts and the Pokémon lunchbox can get home safely.
There ya go, Carson. There ya go. Now show Mommy and Daddy the C+ on your Reading
quiz. Looks like somebody gets to stay up late to watch his favorite show!
Gosh darn, isn't he cute?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
DATING WEBSITES
Greetings. My name is Philip Moonspire. I am a 43 year old heterosexual male from
Pluggity Plug, Wisconsin. I am seeking a heterosexual or bisexual female between the ages of 25
and 40. On weekends, I like to treat myself to porterhouse steaks and Anime. During Months that
end in "r," I like to collect ants from my backyard in a mason jar; biweekly, when there's low
cloud cover. As of now, I am unemployed. I consider myself an avid reader. I enjoy books about
1800s couture, Ninja Turtles, and Female sexual arousal. My favorite movie is Along Came
Polly.
I am approximately 5'5, 173 lbs. I would prefer a partner with chocolate hazelnut hair. I can
accept strawberry blonde as well. You should be between 5'1 and 5'4, 120 lbs, with supple thighs
and a pronounced chest region. Minimal freckles and other blemishes A Must. And no oddballs.
If you're clingy, I will not tolerate.
I hope to meet you soon.
The above is an example of something you might find on a dating site. Now, I'm not saying
this is the typical or the 'ideal' example of a dating website profile... but it's definitely something
I could imagine finding. Don't believe me? Skim through Eharmony, Match.com, LustBunnies,
whatever floats your boat (I warned you).
Now, before the interweb-huggers berate me for my assholishness, let me say this:
Everybody deserves to find somebody. As long as you've got some shred of decency in you,
you deserve to find somebody who can fill your illustrious dreams. Whether he or she fills the
'lonely void' or is simply a person with which to ride the carousel--we all deserve to find a source
of happiness. However fleeting, however real.
But online dating services really make it interesting, don't they? Back in the day you had to
go out into the great, unforgiving beyond (ie; the world) to find somebody. You had to meet
somebody in person first, or, have that person set up with you (arranged marriage, anyone?)
Nowadays, we can meet people before we ever, actually, meet them. Or we can just elect to
have them shipped from Sri Lanka (sign the package here, Mr. Thomas). Bottom line is: online
dating services seem to be taking hold of many people's love aspirations. And it’s genius
marketing.
We've got a friendly, bespectacled, psychologist-looking guy who can tell us all that we'll be
'matched' on 20 to 30 'key factors' of compatibility. Then, we're inundated by testimonies from
happy-go-lucky couples who found each other thanks to the miraculous equations behind these
matching services.
But wait, wait, wait. Go back a second. You're gonna 'match' me?
And what is this compatibility thing? I wonder if we took couples that did not meet online
and put them through the dating website paces; I wonder what would happen? Would they be so
nicely aligned? And what is the mysterious algorithm behind this compatibility? What assurance
do I have that cute, endearing Jessica from Maine isn't maniacal deformed Ted from Arkansas?
I don't know. Maybe it's just unsettling to me that a machine is essentially telling me the
person with whom I'll most likely succeed. Is Chemistry.com gonna figure out how our bodies
match up too? Is Eharmony gonna let me know the compatibility percentages of certain sexual
positions? Are these websites gonna tell me how we'll be when our listed current interests and
attributes change with time?
Oh.... it will? Oh, it does? Really? It.... it even does that? Oh. Oh damn...
Regardless, the sites still irk me. I mean, yea, when you're at dinner with a woman and
you're telling her about your interests and exhibiting your qualities, you two are consciously and
unconsciously integrating all this information. And then, as the time wages on, your opinion
about 'liking' or 'not liking,' being 'attracted' or 'not attracted,' becomes clearer. But the thing is,
though this information is used on the websites, there is one key component missing:
The physicality.
Sure, you can look at a person's profile pictures. And maybe they're worth a thousand words,
or thoughts. But what about a video? Now, going a step beyond, what about the real, live thing?
If you meet somebody in person, you smell them, you are physically close. Pheromones and eye
contact and body language; estrogen and testosterone and a whole deluge of chemicals.
I guess my point in all this is, it seems just a tad bit odd to meet people through the internet
like such. Sure, dating websites might lead to dates that then help to determine whether or not a
partnership could sustain. But to take that initial step, to decide to meet somebody for the first
time based on descriptions and percentages and some photos is just something else.
It just seems to me that meeting somebody for the first time in person, without preconceived
notions, is preferable. Feeling that person in a dynamic, omnisensory spatial-temporal
environment is more natural, and hopefully, ultimately, more fulfilling.
Perhaps I'm old-fashioned. Perhaps I'm narrow-minded. Perhaps I'm unwilling to admit that
certain people are better suited for the context of online relation-fostering. Perhaps having one
night stands, going for coffee dates, double-dating, seasonal flings, working at relationships-perhaps all this is what's truly 'odd.'
But then again, what do I know? Finding love through the internet? I thought that's what
porn was for...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
CROTCH FEELERS AND BUTT PATTERS
Alright, so I get the whole national security thing of the TSA. I get that Mustafa and his
band of shoe-bombers might be tryin to sneak on flights. Sure, profiling pisses off the many
honest Muslims, but unfortunately the terrorists who have hit this country the hardest ARE
Muslims. I would be mad at security too if I were a Muslim and scrutinized more so than others.
But this is the nature of profiles and composites. We take what we have seen, we internalize
beliefs and stereotypes (fair or not) and we target people that meet those traits first. A few bad
apples Do sour the batch.
Hey, you think blacks like gettin pulled over for not even speeding when the white boy in
his Aston Martin can fly scotch free through the same streets? You think they like to be doubted
because they're wearing certain colors that certain gang members wear? You think they like
getting stares when they walk in a predominantly white neighborhood?
Do you think white people like getting stares when they walk in a predominantly non-white
neighborhood? Of course not. Unfortunately for Dante and Christopher, this is human nature. If
things don't align with our expectations, with our schemas, we tend to question.
When it does get ridiculous is when old ladies, with oxygen tanks and other disabilities get
searched. What does she got on her, Mr. TSA? Bifocals? A record player? A family heirloom
sharpened into a makeshift knife? Then it goes a step beyond, when these same old ladies and
men get strip-searched.
Really?
You're gonna strip-search?? Reaaaaally???? Do you wanna put YOURSELF through that? I
mean, you know the oldie's gonna be humiliated. But is that really something you wanna be
living with? Yes, I admit it would be rather ingenious to sneak contraband through an old person,
but chances are...
But isn't there a point where personal privacy should trump public matters? What's next, you
wanna put cameras in the bathroom stalls? Come on TSA, you guys t s a (totally suck ass). Let
Grandma and Grandpa Helmwood go. You're scaring the grandkids.
Step it up, TSA.