Saturday, September 28, 2013

"For those Ten Seconds, I'm Free"- Vin Diesel

The other day when I was riding my skateboard, something very typical happened. I started getting anxious about the prospect that I might not be able to perform a certain maneuver that was very important to me. Also, I was scared because skateboarding causes pain and as we all know, "boys don't cry." Well, grown men trying to keep their childhood on a continuous life loop don't cry, or at least it's looked down upon.

Because I have seen a lot of movies and television shows, the image of a skinny, bald, Gandhi type came to my mind. Obviously those guys know how to handle shit because they set themselves on fire when they get upset.

I figure if some dude can set himself on fire because the government won't allow Miley Cyrus to perform her, "wrecking ball" routine at the local temple, I could at least siphon enough calmness out of a posture that they probably use when they stub their toe.

The funny thing is, I knew that it would help. I put my hands together in some quasi Hindu hand gesture prayer pose thing, told myself I was meditating, closed my eyes, hummed a little and entered into what could only be described as Nirvana (like, Smells Like Teen Spirit was playing in the background).

And I didn't do it out of a joke, or mockery. Nope. That was some authentic American incorporated Eastern style meditation.

That is what I love about being an American. We get all the good stuff from other cultures we really don't care anything about.

I doubt they care though. I mean, those guys are sitting there, being deep, having peace and becoming better people all day.

I mean, I kind of feel bad incorporating another culture's thousands of years of tradition into my own selfish, me only, take what I can get at the expense of everyone else so I can pretend I am a fulfilled person while neglecting the more important parts of their philosophy that consist of doing things for other people out of a good motivation.

Kind of.

What really makes me mad is that yesterday this guy who was in line behind me in the Taqueria called in his order making the cashier stop what they were doing and essentially take his order first.

So yeah, this guy cut in front of me by using his, "smart phone." He had a smug look on his face too, like he was so great for figuring out you could cut in front of people by calling in your order while you are in line.

I did not meditate though, I wanted to be mad.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

If You're not Upset, You're not Paying Wholesale

I recently overheard someone say, "most people something something, yeah, I'm cool...." I don't understand what that means. There are 7 billion people on this planet, so there is not that much anyone can say about most people, other than, "most people have dna." You can't even say that most people eat, because they don't. Well, maybe most people do.

See how hard that was?

So why do people say things like, "most people don't understand the finer points of putting gel in your hair then messing it up and going out in public like you just woke up because you like, don't even care."

Because they are dickheads.

Anyone who uses the expression, "most people" with the exception of basic human functions is a dickhead.

Most people want to pretend the world is a simple place where the only important things are those which effect them. Oh wait, is that true? How the hell could I know?

I couldn't. But, I have an idea that many people fit that description. At least people who use the expression, "most people" when discussing how great they are. It must be nice to believe that when you do something right, most people do it wrong.

Now, I do believe that most people are pretty retarded. But I also believe that I am pretty retarded.

That raises the question though, am I as retarded as most people?

This is starting to get tricky.

I'll illustrate.

Yesterday I ran into an old friend. He seemed really cool. Also, we had a lot in common. I thought we were having a great time. Then all of the sudden, he had to go.

Then I realized that I was being interviewed for a potential friendship. I thought we were just having pizza. I then wondered if I did that to people. Then I realized that I don't want friends.

Well, it's not that I don't want friends, it's just that I am really busy with my IT software engineering job in finance. So, I have to be selective with the people I spend time. It's not like you can just hang out with people because you get along really well and make each other laugh. You have to associate yourself with those people who will benefit your career ambitions. I know that sounds harsh, but it's a competitive world and sometimes you have to make sacrifices, even if that means not having meaningful relationships and having to settle for people that are nice to you because they believe that you will help them in some way.

It's ok though, you can always marry another career minded person who will read books with you that tell you how to make it seem like you are an emotionally supportive person even though you're both a couple of dickheads.

I mean, most people do that anyway. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

How I Became a Christian and Other Breaks with Reality

My friends have asked me how it was possible for me to become a christian at one point in my life. Because you know, I am a really good person. That is not why I was a christian, I just happen to be a really good person and they are shocked to think I could stoop so low (apparently).

In fact, I was so good, that I believed that it was ok for god (oops, I mean God) to send billions of people to hell for not saying that he was good in the right dialect.

Yes, I accepted that. I also accepted all of the other creeds, even though they made me uncomfortable and would eventually drive me away from the faith.

Like, let's see. Slavery, burning witches, stoning homosexuals, silencing women (that one is ok right?).  So the list goes on. The bible is a sadistic book. Christianity is institutionalized Stockholm Syndrome.

Christianity holds you captive and makes you believe that that is what you want. Nobody wants to live in fear that they will be tortured for eternity if they are bad. But, when you feel that the world is against you and all you have is the love of the creator of the universe, well, there you go.

So I felt pretty alienated from the world at one point, its pretty easy to do, just pay attention to how crazy everyone is and you might start feeling a little uncomfortable. The bible does say some good things too, like, love your neighbor. Basically, the only good thing the bible says is to love people. And it seems like that is all it would need to say.

That's when things get tricky though.

The word love means different things to different people. Add to that the fact that at many different times the god of the bible ordered his people to commit genocide, rape, and mass theft, all in the name of love, then, well, the word becomes harder to define.

Even Jesus said that he, "did not come to bring peace, but a sword." He said he came to break up families and friendships. This too in the name of love.

Back to Christianity holding you captive.

Christianity is a tricky one. It relies heavily on Platonic thought. Much like our current culture. That is why it has so easily been manipulated to fit our current state of thinking. Of course most of it is ancient and without genuine relevance, but, if you haven't thought about why you think the way you do, it can make a lot of sense.

Most people rely on heuristics when it comes to the important choices in their lives. That is why most of us work at jobs we don't like and accept a government and world that we would never be happy with. We just don't think critically.

When we are faced with hard times and difficult choices, we typically are not prepared to do so. For many Americans (including myself at one time) the idea of god just makes sense. What we don't realize is that it is not the idea of god that makes sense, the idea of god has simply been ingrained in our subconscious. So when we talk about common sense, what we are really saying is that something feels right.

Common sense is a cultural standard, not a source of understanding based on objective truth. We form feelings to codify a concept. Think about the word love for a minute, you will notice that there are emotions attached to it. Now think about the word traffic, also, emotions. Basically any concept that you can think of will come with an emotion or set of emotions.

Most christians just "know" that there is a god. What they don't realize is that that "knowledge" can be more accurately defined as cultural indoctrination based on hardwired emotions. When I was younger I had been indoctrinated into the belief that there is a god. I was also indoctrinated by our culture (secular or religious) to believe that there are good and bad people, that there is an objective standard for right and wrong and that good and evil are not only concepts, but in the Platonic sense, forms. That is, entities that exist outside the realm of thought.

As a culture, whether we are secular or religious, we think very much the same. We look down on the mentally ill, the criminals, and the unintelligent. Why would an enlightened culture do so? Ummm, because we're not really enlightened. Our cell phone might be, our political party might appear to be, our environmentally friendly car is marketed to be, but we're still living in the dark ages. And no, I did not say the middle ages, because honestly, what the fuck is that supposed to mean?

So we're all christians in a sense. Our justice system is christian, our modes of conduct, personal ethics (if we even have any) ideas of fairness, all stem from an ancient method of rationalization.

Ironically, the apostle Paul wrote, "the man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought."

Sounds like he was borrowing a little from the sophists. If I were to have a favorite bible verse, that would be the one. It's like George Carlin said, (I paraphrase) if people would shut the fuck up, we wouldn't have as many problems.

If modern christianity could have offered us something that could have been a positive contribution, it would have been that one fact that Paul pulled out of his, ummm, ancient philosophical training. We don't know shit.

What do we know then? We know that we get hungry. We know that we like to feel good. We know that pain hurts. Those are things that we know. After that, we simply use our imagination.

We make things up to make us feel like the impulses that we have are, ok.

It's a lot of trouble to try and figure out why we do the things we do, especially if all we really want is some money, a nice house, some friends who care about us and SEX .

Why would you ever feel compelled to figure things out anyway? What's the point in understanding the world if you're happy?

So, in answer to my friends question, I think at it's heart is that I am not happy. I became a christian because I wasn't happy. I stopped being a christian because I wasn't happy, and I think about how fucked up we are because I am not happy.

Now, that is not to say I am entirely unhappy. My wife makes me happy. My friends make me happy. And doing fun things make me happy. It's just that I never thought I had some noble purpose for my actions and I can see causal factors at work in my personality.

So there is my answer to all life's problems, just become unhappy and you will stop being an asshole.

Wait, did I ever say I wasn't an asshole?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

How Much Wood, would a Woodchuck Chuck if a Woodchuck was Trying ReallyHard to Fit in?

I got a hair cut today. I have always gotten the same haircut*, except when I was a kid and I asked if they could cut my hair like Jack Tripper. That was John Ritter's character from the tv show "Three's Company". I really liked that show. One night I was trying to stay up and watch it, but I kept falling asleep, because I was ten. I thought I could hang, but kids are retarded.

I'm sure that never happened to you. Smug ass.

The show was a hit. I never got the sexual innuendo though. I hadn't heard the term, innuendo yet either, I mean, maybe I heard it, I don't know. Sex was new too. They told me I could do things to myself in fifth grade. They kind of creeped me out. I wasn't doing things to myself yet.

Once I started all of that, I did not refer back to the lesson telling me it was ok. Instead I just kind of kept it to myself. Also, I did not think about the girls from Three's Company. On a side note, I also did not have the internet. I can't comprehend what all that porn would have done to me. Kids these days are very lucky.

So yeah, back to my haircut. I got my haircut at a place called, "Great Clips". Like I said earlier, I have been getting the same haircut my whole life*. It's a boring cut, but it seems to  be quite popular with guys who have beards, wear jeans and work boots with plaid shirts on while sitting at a desk where they decide what improvements need to be made to the game where you and your friends figure out how many people like who more and pictures of girls or something on social networking.

One day, after getting a haircut, I saw one of these "blue collar workers" having someone change his tire for him on his PICKUP TRUCK. That is part of the reason that I went to Great Clips today. That and it was only 15 bucks instead of 30 for a "men's haircut." Also, the nice asian lady did not treat my head like a basketball. Plus, I got a happy ending. A happy ending when you get a haircut is when she uses the clippers on your neck and it gives you goosebumps.

I'd like to think that I'm not boring, but, when I tell people that I went to Great Clips instead of "place to go and be around other people who are trying to convince themselves that their lives are substantial because they all look exactly the same and work at the same job and talk about the same places to eat that other people talk about who are trying to appear substantial" well, I guess I sound boring.

I am ok with being boring, unless I get bored. Being boring is fine with me, but being bored kind of sucks. People talk down on people who admit to being bored. Like, if you are cool you won't get bored. I try to be cool, but it doesn't come naturally. I have encountered some people who seem to be cool. I don't know if they get bored or not.

Fortunately, you now have an example of boring, i.e., this is boring.

*I've had a bunch of other haircuts. I don't know why I said that. Maybe for dramatic effect.