What, Me Vote?

October 31st, 2012

Obamney – change you can believe in, or some shit like that.

Romney or Obama? The elections. Yard signs, headlines, commercials, blogs, propagandists and pundits. It’s impossible to avoid. I’ve been wondering why people are taking any of it seriously. Is this really ‘the most important election of our time’, except for the last one, and the one before that? Is it really my duty to vote? And, if I don’t vote, do I really not have the right to complain about what happens? Platitudes and bullshit. Do you really think government won’t get a little bigger next year? More regulations, more snooping.Everything will cost a little more and we will all become a little  less free. Go ahead. Tell me I’m wrong.

Here’s the deal. Voting is a dog and pony show that the Elites, the powers that be, allow us to do so that we can feel like we have a choice. You know, a say in the world that we live in. If we didn’t think that we might get a little uppity. Much easier to let the peons think that they have some control over the political process. We’ll just give them approved and vetted candidate number one, call him “R”, and approved candidate number two, call him “D”. Then we can sit back and watch all the little people fight over who’s best. Ha! Fun stuff. Don’t forget the popcorn.

Does anyone really believe that this time we will get ‘change we can believe in’ or ‘the most transparent government ever’? Why would anyone, in good conscience, bother to legitimatize this farce and put their stamp of approval on it by voting? If you must vote then vote for a Communist, or a Green or a Libertarian. Anything but the Status Quo. And please don’t give me lesser of two evils argument. You only guarantee one thing. Four more years of Evil, only lesser.

Bush and Obama both attacked countries that were no threat to the US for reasons that were total lies.

Bush and Obama both put political prisoners in offshore prisons (Guantanamo is still in business).

Both ‘fixed’ the economy by mortgaging the future of everyone, including patriotic fetuses, with more and more debt.

Both used drones to terrorize and kill people.

Neither have found a single noteworthy banker worth criminally prosecuting in the greatest theft the world has ever seen. Hell no. Those guys won’t even lose their jobs or bonuses. After the Savings and loan Scandal in the 80’s there were over 1100 prosecutions. That was over a paltry $90 billion. Today we have losses in the many 100’s of billions but nobody is guilty of anything. Come the fuck on? Bush didn’t prosecute anybody. Obama didn’t prosecute anybody and if Romney wins he won’t bother with it either. They all know who they work for. How does a candidate get a billion dollars in donations in a crashing economy anyway? Bet it didn’t come from the 99%. Bet Goldman Sacs doesn’t really care who wins. Why should you?

Why do people give one guy a pass and condemn the other? Sounds like a convenient Moral disconnect to me. If someone is labeled evil because they do evil then goddamnit, when someone else does the same things, they are evil too. Quit giving any of them a pass because they have a D or an R by their names. Just quit.

I’d love to see them hold an election where nobody bothers to come. I’d love to see a candidate win with less than 10% of voters voting for him. He would have no moral authority. I’m sure it wouldn’t stop him in any way but it would be nice to see that most people have finally given up on our corrupt political process. Then maybe something would change. If, for no other reason than people finally realize that the government will never fix anything.

Albert Einstein defined Insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

I’m opting out.


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Modern Day Indentured Servitude v.s. VAruca Salt

July 1st, 2011

What is the only difference between a Modern Day American Indentured Servant (MDAIS) and VAruca Salt?

Simple.

VAruca’s mummy and daddy didn’t have to borrow money to pay for all of VAruca’s ridiculous crap.

Do you remember little VAruca Salt in Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory? Who sang “I Want It Now”? The one that wanted her geese to lay gold eggs for Easter? That spoiled fucking brat that everyone cheers and claps for when finally she is ejected out the rotten egg shoot? As an audience, we don’t like her.

We hate her.

She got what she deserved, we say to ourselves. She is truly a bad egg. And we don’t hate her because her parents are rich.

We hate her because she is an over-indulged, satanic spawn from hell and we want her to suffer mercilessly for being the greedy, demanding little shit she is.

But, “I Want It Now” is the mantra that so many MDAIS-types live by.
And “I Can Have It Now If I Want” is what they are teaching their children.
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Happily Ever After?

May 18th, 2010

I think I’m out of stories. All I have left are images. Bright little flashes of emotions that dance in the peripheral of my vision. They seem significant to me, but I have no context to put them in for you. I can’t explain how one smile changed me, ever so slightly, or how a single look of despair, in retrospect, was a warning I should have heeded. I’m not talented enough to pull that off.

But, I’ll try.

I met a couple at a resort once. Older couple. Both in their late sixties. They had been married 40 years. In this day in age, that could be considered unusual. Hell, any marriage lasting over 10 years could arguably be considered an accomplishment. However, the fact that they were married didn’t surprise me as much as the fact that they seemed to be happily married.

I’ve met other couples in the past that had passed the 30-40-50 year mark. They always looked the same: bored, indifferent, and with dead eyes. Some were tired; some were lonely, and all looked as if they had embraced feelings of subdued acceptance.

But not this couple. This couple? Was radiant. That’s the only accurate way I can describe them. They were falling all over themselves in love with each other. They were laughing, smiling, staring adoringly into to each other’s eyes. I’ve seen teenagers less enthusiastic about their first loves. It was so unusual, it was almost madness.

“What’s your secret?” I asked.

“You know,” the gentleman replied thoughtfully, “We just really enjoy each other’s company!”

His wife nodded enthusiastically in agreement. I gaped. After all, I’ve read stories about love like this in books and even watched it played out on the big screen a couple of times. But never, never, ever have I seen a couple proudly, happily, and sincerely claim to enjoy each other after 40 years.

Amazing.

I never saw that couple again, but the very knowledge of their existence stuck with me for a long time. I have no doubt that they’re off somewhere holding hands and sipping champagne serenely by a beach. They are an enigma.

Almost exactly a year later, I met another couple at a restaurant. They tiredly proclaimed to be married for 51 years. When I complimented their accomplishment, they only shrugged.

The wife was angry, bitter, and resentful. In her eyes, her Husband could do no right. He cut his meat wrong. He put too much ranch dressing on his salad. He had no idea how to hold a knife. She threw criticisms across the table with laser accuracy.

It was obvious (to me, anyway) that the husband knew exactly how to hold a knife and cut his meat. After he poured his ranch dressing, he carefully and stealthily hid the majority of it underneath a leaf of lettuce; apparently he didn’t want as much as he poured. With a start, I realized that he was purposely antagonizing her. He was pushing her buttons out of pure spite.

Watching them was like watching a sick, evil little puppet show. He goaded her, she attacked him. He ignored her attacks, she escalated. Within minutes, dinner was ruined. They both looked supremely satisfied with this result.

Before I turned to leave, the man reached out with a bony, desperate hand and clutched my arm.

“Never, never get married,” he implored.

I looked at his wife. Instead of looking offended, her eyes widened in tentative agreement. A slight nod of her head was like the period on the end of his sentence.

That couple was trying to save my life.

Unfortunately, I had met the happy, alien couple first. The odds were against me, but they had accidently (and with no mal intent, I’m sure) turned me into a gambler.

So, I gambled. And I lost. Just like everyone else.

At what age will I learn to respect the odds? At what age will I listen to those older and wiser than myself?

Youth and the ego that comes with it is a curse.


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How to Control Your Temper

January 13th, 2010

“I used to have a really bad temper. Seriously, it was really bad.”

My colleagues initially blow me off. “Yeah. Right.”

“No I’m serious!” I insist, “I used to have a very short fuse. The kind of short fuse that results in screaming and fist fights; the kind of short fuse that puts people in jail.”

They stare at me for a moment, confused. I can tell they’re wondering if I’m trying to pull one over on them. Some of them have half smiles on their faces as they wait for the punch line they are convinced I’m about to bestow. Others see the earnest expression on my face, understand that I’m serious, and look sincerely shocked. They’ve known me for years as an extremely easy going person who never even seems flustered, let alone upset enough to scream. Many of them have seen me in confrontational, stressful situations that have made them furious and watched, firsthand, as I responded calmly and even glibly. Painting me as a once unstable lunatic with quick fists is going to be a stretch for them. But it’s the truth.

I’m still trying to convince the nonbelievers. That they believe me is necessary to the point I’m trying to make. I take a deep breath as I search for the right words.

An image flashes in my mind. It is of a 10 year old me pinning my young brother to the ground. He’s crying; I’m punching him over and over in the face. I am tired and he keeps nagging me, so I hit him until his face is covered with blood, tears, and snot. When utter exhaustion finally slows my pounding fists, I can finally hear his screams.

No.

Internally I shake my head and switch to another image. I’m a teenager in school now. A classmate walks up to me and tersely tells me I’m sitting in her seat. I already know I’m sitting in her sit. Part of the reason I sat there in the first place was to be antagonistic. Realizing this, she walks away, muttering under her breath that I’m a ‘Bitch.’ I am. I know I am. But that doesn’t stop me from grabbing her hair from behind and repeatedly slamming her face into a nearby table. I hear her teeth crunch.

No. I think, No. Stop. Something else.

I’m still a teenager, but now I’m sitting in my guidance counselor’s office. I have just assaulted my teacher. My guidance counselor says, ‘V, you’ve got to stop this. You have to. I’m afraid you’re going to end up in jail.’ She looks at me and she’s so sad. She’s so fucking sad for me. I cry. I can’t help it. I try, but I just can’t seem to stop myself.

Jesus Christ, no.

I don’t use any of these images when talking to my colleagues. I just stare at them desperately. For most, it seems to sink in.

With their images of me as the Zen Master temporarily spoiled, I begin explaining how changing your fundamental personality is possible as long as you have definite protocol in place. It’s a bit more complicated than making a New Year’s Resolution which is what most people don’t understand. This is why they ultimately fail, not because it’s impossible for a zebra to change its stripes.

So how did I finally learn to control my temper? I used the following process:

Plan to Practice Without Any Duress

The first time an actor says his lines aloud isn’t the night of the big play. The first time a figure skater straps on a pair of skates isn’t moments before competition. Yet, people who aim to control their tempers expect to be able to reel their fury in during a conflict. It doesn’t matter how much you really, really, really wish you could calm down. If you haven’t practiced beforehand, it’s going to be impossible to control yourself in the heat of the moment.

Envision Who You Are

Take of a moment to picture yourself during your last outburst. Was your face all red? Were you clenching and unclenching your fists? Picture your face contorted and screaming. Picture your environment and your loved ones shrinking back in fear and/or horror. Don’t waste your time thinking about what was inside your secret heart of hearts when you were freaking out. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t really mean what you said. When you’re a violent fucking asshole, all that matters is what you did. So ignore what you thought and take a long, hard look at your actual actions.

Envision Who You Want to Be

For me, it was pretty difficult to picture myself without a temper since that was all I had really known growing up. Screaming was normal. So I had to picture someone else. In my case, it was a good friend of mine. Very simply, she was the nicest person I had ever met in my life. Further, she never got mad. Calm, easy going, yet assertive…I envied these qualities in her. Those qualities were exactly the ones I wanted to replicate in myself.

Don’t Forget the Physical

Now that I had an image in my mind of the person I wanted to emulate, I paid close attention to her in a conflict. I noticed her wry smile and the way she shrugged her shoulders. When her buttons were pushed, I watched fascinated as she made a clever joke. When particularly frustrated, she gulped down a large breathe of air, smiled, and rolled her eyes heavenward. Palms turned upward, she shrugged slightly again and changed the subject when it became obvious she was going to gain any ground. Instead, she decided to just let it be. This. This is what I wanted for myself.

Know Your Warning Signs

I suspect for most, losing their temper does not come as any great surprise. In the midst of conflict, there is generally a slow build up. I further suspect that before finally and inevitably blowing up, most make an attempt at control. My advice is for people to pay attention to the physical cues their body gives them that they are becoming overly agitated. For me, my teeth would clench and my hands would begin to itch. In particular, my hands itching was a pretty clear physical sign that I was about to start swinging them. If you don’t know and understand these cues in yourself, you have absolutely no shot at heading them off at the pass.

Follow Through

Remember how I told you that you had to practice without any duress? Well, time to start practicing without duress. I pictured myself in the middle of a heated conflict and I practiced being the person I wanted to be. I physically practiced. In my head, someone would say something or do something that would typically set me off, and I actually physically shrugged my shoulders. I smiled wryly. I mastered the art of rolling my eyes heavenward. I did this in my bathroom mirror. I held imaginary arguments in my car. I got up and gracefully exited the room as if I were walking away from a real, live confrontation. If you haven’t practiced these sorts of things beforehand, in the heat of the moment you will be sorely lacking in any kind of muscle memory. Therefore, all of your wry smiles will inadvertently turn into angry grimaces.

Act

OK, so now that you’ve done what I told you, it’s time to put yourself to the test. The next time you enter a conflict and your body cues start warning you of a potential melt down (Are your fists clenching? Etc), think this sentence to yourself, “Lights! Camera! Action!”

Then, act. Literally. As if you were an A-list celebrity in the middle of the movie that will make our break your career. Act. Smile wryly as you trained yourself to do. Say your pre-planned clever quip. Sigh and exit the room in such a way as to make the imaginary director filming you mutter to himself, “He/she is a star!”

That person standing across the room from you? They’re also an actor. Their job is to rattle you, but your character is not the type to be easily rattled. Once this is over, you and that actor will probably grab a bite to eat in your trailer. But first, you have to nail this scene.

Will doing this feel a little awkward and weird? Sure will. But it’s better than putting your fist through the wall, isn’t it?

Now a lot of people are reading this and saying, “She’s asking me to pretend to be an actor in a movie! Keyword: acting! That’s not being true to myself!”

To which I reply: You’re absolutely right. You are acting and you are not being true to yourself. But ‘yourself’ is a fucking asshole, remember? Why would you want to be true to that, particular, ‘self?’ You, in your natural state, possess a distinct tendency to act like a raging dickhead tornado leaving nothing but pain in misery in your wake. And you want to keep that up (despite the pain you cause others) all in the name of personal honesty? Come on! Get your fucking priorities straight!

Furthermore, the more you do this, the less awkward and fake it will feel. The more you act like your ‘unruffled, Zen master, character’ the more you will, in fact, become this character. Pretty soon, someone will say something to piss you off and you will not even think about acting. You will just do it and it will feel completely and totally natural. It’s not a character anymore. It is how you behave, it’s how you handle conflict; it is who you are. It’s how you feel inside.

Remember, when you have an out of control temper, it’s a part of you. That temper is who you are, fundamentally, as a person. It isn’t a bad habit like biting your nails or twirling you hair around your finger like a moron. It is a major part of your character. In learning to control it, what you are asking of yourself is to become a different sort of person. Accept that, embrace it. Currently, you’re an asshole. That’s OK because you don’t always have to be an asshole. You can instead choose to be a nice guy. Your personality isn’t something you’re born with. It’s a choice. And with a clear vision in your head and just the right amount of practice, you can train yourself to make better choices.

“So how long does it take to become someone new?”

Well, for me, it took about 8 months. I acted for 8 months and then suddenly, I wasn’t acting anymore. You wouldn’t know it from this website, but I’m actually a fairly laid back person.

However, I still do have a bit of a potty mouth.


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I Am Not Your Fucking Honey.

January 12th, 2010

I lost the password to my stats a long time ago, so I honestly don’t know if anyone still reads this thing. Like most monkeys, I need an audience to watch me dance. Otherwise, what’s the point? I might as well just take a nap. So, I’m going to ask you to do something I’ve never done before: if you’re still reading, let me know. I’ll try my best to keep writing. If not, nap time baby.

As most of you with elephant-like memories know, I started my own business a couple of years ago. (Holy shit, this thing has existed for a couple of years!) What kind of idiot starts a business in a failing economy, you ask? This kind of idiot. Nice to meet you.

My business has been fairly successful. However, the drawback to success is that I have suddenly morphed into a workaholic. No joke, I have not had a single day off in about 3 and half months. Further, my workdays are usually 13-16 hours long. I’m a fucking horse, people. A horse.

This is explains my lack of updates. That and the afore mentioned missing audience for the monkey. Oo-oo, ah-ah.

But, I still need to bitch. Living my life with a smile plastered to my face is making my teeth hurt. So, without further ado…..

I AM NOT YOUR FUCKING HONEY!

Sweetie. Dear. Honey. Darling. Sugar.

You know what those words are? Terms of endearment. FOR CHILDREN. I call all sorts of people ‘darling, honey pot, sweet heart.’ Fortunately, all of those people are under the age of 5. When I say those words, I am commenting on the child’s precious innocence and undeniable cuteness.

Therefore,I would not dream of referring to an adult as ‘darling.’ They are not undeniably cute, they are not preciously innocent, and they are definitely not children. Therefore, it is fucking disrespectful to use a term of endearment such as ‘sweetie’ when speaking to them. Period.

Even worse are the people who refer to their elders as ‘dear, etc.’ How unbelievably condescending.

I don’t mind when someone significantly older than my calls me ‘sugar’ because, to them, I am a child. But when someone 5 years my junior has the balls to talk to me like I’m 3, I feel like spitting fire.

I’ve spoken to people who use words like this to speak to their equals and elders, and they always insist the same thing, “I didn’t mean it that way!”

Well, listen, I don’t give a flying fuck what you meant in your secret heart of hearts. Talking to me like I’m a child is rude. So don’t fucking do it anymore.

I swear to fucking God, if I turn 80 and some snide bitchy waitress calls me ‘darling,’ I will beat her to fucking death with my cane.

Sorry folks, I just had to get that shit off my chest.


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