Let's just eliminate all the bullshit, shall we?







Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Identity

It's hard to lose your position in the rat race. (Like the joke says, "Even if you win, you're still a rat!") Most of us identify ourselves--through connections big and small--to our immediate surroundings. But when we fall from our station, maintaining a sense of who we truly are can become a tricky endeavor.

A gradual decline over an extended period may be somewhat more easily accommodated, but when one's descent is rapid and overlapping? The acclimation process may be formidable indeed.

The deceptively sneaky ease with which change can occur is terrifying. Lay-off, natural disaster, health crisis, break-up, death of loved one, and the rest can necessitate the need for a prioritizing. When these events steadily interlace, a breather may not be possible.

Perhaps the frightening and tenuous nature of bad luck being such a lurking threat is what makes for observers' discomfort. When tragedy affects many, there is a compound effect of friends, family, and loved ones not staying for the ride, let alone the long haul.

People don't like to watch difficulty, even when experienced by another. They fear the starkness of reality when it confronts them in such a personal way, befalling someone in their circle. There is a paranoia liken to early response to HIV/AIDS that colors people's interpretations; they seem to think hardship could be readily transmitted by proximity.

Some tell me that people stop calling because they are afraid I will ask them to borrow money. Or I may invite myself to eat with them. Or ask for help with tasks or debtors.

Some say that the reminder of my circumstance is too depressing for people to deal with; ignoring a friend of 20 years is the equivalent of crossing the street to avoid a homeless person on the sidewalk. The actuality of one's own perceived doom being so close at hand, so arbitrary, is too much for folks to bear.

Self-preservation takes hold, and friends must abandon the person bringing down their life raft. Otherwise, their perspective of how the world works may be tainted. Their spider's web veil of delusion that their temporary comfort and denial is not defense against the raging storm will surely fall away.

It doesn't take much: A single car accident. A stolen purse. A problem--perceived or real--at a job. A pulled muscle. An infidelity.

Our worlds are tenuous and fragile, constantly furthered by tricks and luck and whim. No matter how seasoned you are, that can be a hard lesson to learn. When you learn a vital truth that not everyone else possesses, there is a certain prerequisite loneliness. Buck up, true believers; this one's gonna require armor.


For Want of a Nail
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.

For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
-proverb

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

JOBLESS...and LOVIN' IT!!!! Woo-hoo!


Not really. Not even remotely close to an accurate statement. But that doesn't stop nimrods, morons, and troglodytes from speculating and being asinine.

Being jobless isn't a chosen fucking profession. I'm not coasting along on mass amounts (or any size amounts) of government funding. (Or any other sort of secretive benefactor-provided aid.)

My days are not spent popping bon-bons and watching soap operas. I don't sleep in, stay in my bath robe, or keep the shades drawn.

Tell me where the job that will hire me is located and I will pack and leave tonight. I will live out of my vehicle, assuming the road-weary bitch lasts to this mythic destination, until my first check clears.

As someone who doesn't bullshit or 'play games' well, I don't have an extensive network of people known to me. There is no hookup in the offing. There are no nepotistic dream desk jobs in my future.

You hang on to the hope of the possibility of the illusion of a potential maybe. You just keep plugging away, in spite of inane comments, unreturned phone calls, disappearing friends, and broken faith. You just keep plugging along.

But the 'Little Engine That Could' gets old when there seems to be no end in sight. Perseverance is do-able when there is a designated time or place for a finish line. When the status quo becomes "no end in sight," dignity and integrity become harder to maintain.

And as the deficit column continues to rapidly magnify, at the expense of the dwindling surpluses, what's a person to do?

People give advice like "Do the next right thing." "Tie a knot in the rope and hand on."
"This, too, shall pass."

The trick is breaking free of the despair which is cemented into your heart. This may not be the inevitable outcome. This may not be the final tally. But believing that gets increasingly difficult when one loses sight of any positives, any prospects, any hope.

A life lacking options is a horrifying place to be.

So I think about my heroes. People--men and women--who endured far greater than this and kept their sense of self. Survivors of poverty like my grandmother. Survivors of hardship like James Baldwin. People who suffered unimaginable living, like Solomon Radasky. People of courage and conviction like Harper Lee.

I remember that it is possible to come through torment, no matter the type or level, and remain intact. To endure. To survive. To thrive. To prosper.

Despite handicaps, heartaches, hassles, or homelessness. It may not be the most eloquent of hope-filled notions, but I know I am broken, not beaten. I know that this is temporary, and the momentary darkness needs my permission in order to take me down. I don't give it.

I am reclaiming my fighting spirit. I have everything I need within me, no matter what losses I have suffered or continue to face. I remember that others have not caved in under these same circumstance, or worse. I draw inspiration from them. Perhaps someone else can draw it from me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

WHEN YOU'RE UNEMPLOYED.....

When you're unemployed...

...and people ask you repeatedly "Have you found a job, yet?",
it wears down your nerves.

Do they plan on offering you a job if the answer is "No"?

Are they such a close friend that such personal information is
pertinent to them?

Are they unaware of what a personal inquiry this is? Are they
stupid? Insensitive? A real ass with a penchant for 'sticking it to'
others?

Do they realize how loud and booming their voice is in a public
place filled with onlookers?

Is the question curiosity, or indictment?

Should I be running my daily agenda by strangers to make sure
I'm maximizing my job search potential? Should I be seen in front
of stores, lest the talk be that "He really does have money; he's
feigning hardship."?

Do I need to carry proof of my 25 year work history to show
nosy bastards that I have pulled my weight, and food stamps
are a legitimate return on my paying in?

Should I be 'dressed for success' at all times, lest a "once-in-a-
lifetime" job offer slip through my fingers at the post office?

Is it worth my time to explain that the Such-and-Such Store is
not really hiring, they just have a permanent sign in the window
posting otherwise?

Why does the question "Where all have you applied?" seem
like a casual chat type of query? I know they don't want the
actual list of one-hundred-and-thirteen-and-counting distributed
resumes and applications. Will the comment "Everywhere"
be met with equal disdain?

Do people watch the news? Are they aware that joblessness just
came in at over 10% in the state of Georgia, again? That the
Georgia Department of Labor--a worthless wretch of an institution,
anyway--is publicly declaring that there is no reason even to call for
jobs, since there are none available.

Please, do......
tell me what you think I should do. I'm sure the perspective on my
myriad failings is more illuminated from the advantage of the outside
looking in.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cleansing: "Grandpa...Tell Me 'Bout the Good Ole Days"


The entirety of this world is built upon artifice and subterfuge;
without illusion and lies, this society would crumble in weeks.
As a result of the foundation of secrets, manipulation, delusion,
dishonesty, and facades, we are nonetheless self-destructing.


The question at hand is not "Why does violence in the workplace
occur?" The question is "Why are all the inequalities perpetrated
in the workplace allowed to occur and build resentments in the
first place?"


"Why is bullshit so prevalent?"


"Why are people more likely to lie than tell the truth?"


"Why do some people get preferential treatment while we
pretend they don't?"


The 'different standards applied to different people' is in full
effect throughout this country. It's involved in race relations,
divisions between the sexes, the demonizing of gays & lesbians,
religion being given a free pass, and more.


What happens to you in this country (and whether it's good
or bad) depends on several key factors. Your last name is a
factor (your family connection.) Who your friends are is a
BIGGGG factor. The amount of money you have buffers
you from hardship--or invites it--depending on which end
of the spectrum you fall on.

Perhaps the most influential, though, is personality type.
How good a 'player' you are; how well you can charm and
deceive and lie to others. Tell them what they want to hear.


I long for the Wild West, when the winner was the one left
standing. Or even further back, when survival of the fittest
was just that basic and dependent on how much fight you
had. And a bastard had to get close to you to finish you off;
no cowardice of the computer or anonymity of secretive
phone calls.

Because nowadays, if you fight back, you have to do it with
a savvy smile and behind-the-scenes terrorizing. Folks with
Cop friends who look the other way. With Friends and family
that assist them through their jobs or a fake alibi.... maybe even
hiding evidence. No fair fights, anymore. No sirree, Bob.


In the old days, when somebody who thought they were
'something' gave you a ration of shit, you could just beat
them to death and go on about your business. Now we
have this bullshit 'civilization' that the rich have worked out
so that a violent reaction like that gets you gassed or jailed.....
unless you're related to the afore-mentioned rich. Or devious
enough to get away with it.

But emotion is frowned upon. 'They' can break your spirit
day-in, day-out for years, and no one even shakes their
head in disgust at the ghoulish tyranny. But respond in kind?
It's the end of life as we know it. "Slave shall not rise up
against oppressor. It just isn't done." If you're being treated
poorly, that's just the way it is. Treat the oppressor poorly
in return, you're a terrorist godless bastard who needs a big
injection.

We storehouse souls in this country; warehouse them until
we can strip them clean and shit them back out. Prisons.
The Military. Institutions. Churches. Schools. Mindless
workplaces. Loveless marriages. Rigid homes. Uncaring
families.


Just keep treading water. Just keep being grateful for all
your 'blessings.'


Don't bite the hand that feeds you.
Don't use your outdoor voice.
Don't say anything untoward.
Don't step out of your place.
Don't have dreams.
Don't promote a different way of doing things.
Don't have a high opinion of yourself.
Don't believe in anything that isn't mandated by the state or religion
  or the group consensus.


Well, my Give-A-Fuck is busted.
I like drama, and I have nothing left to lose.


Get ready.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Quick Test


Feel like shit?

Constantly in pain?

Surrounded by dolts?

Accomplishments dissolving steadily?

The avalanche of horseshit is endless?

Nothing works and nothing matters?

People a constant disappointment?


CONGRATULATIONS;
You're an instant winner

in the Game of Life!

Welcome to another day in paradise!

Thanksgiving Day prayer...and salvation

"Bull dick and onion is served!"
What matters the menu if it's all hard to swallow?


This week seems the perfect time to touch on this, since this week
kicks into high gear the season of trying to 'keep up with the Jones.'
Maybe it's a good time to ask yourself why you do what you do,
and whether your traditions are healthy or not. ("It's always been
this way" is not really a deductive reason for continuing a pattern.)

After determining this, is cutting your own path something you feel
confident enough to do?

If not, read on for inspiration...or at least solidarity in your heartache!
And try not to let it get you down!

"This too, shall pass!"

***************************************************
Other people are only too happy to tell you what's 'wrong' with you.

Especially when the only thing 'wrong' with you is that you have a leg
up on them.

People will despise you for your intellect, your success, your strength,
and anything of value. But of course, that's not how it appears. Usually,
bullshit takes the form of 'concern for your welfare.' Maybe that's
subterfuge, maybe it's denial on behalf of the oblivious. Maybe people
are really that damned stupid. Bottom line; don't buy what they're selling.

Your own family and friends benefit when you fail. They find an inner
push and joy that awakens when anyone who even appears 'together'--
in any area--takes a tumble. No one is really on your side, anyway.
When a crack in the armor appears, the people who show up don't
want to piece you back together again. No, they want to make sure
you know you weren't all that to begin with.

Sometimes the quicksand you find yourself in isn't a product of happen-
stance; your neighbor or acquaintance or colleague just casually observing
the mess from the sidelines. Often, there were insidious remarks or
insinuations that led to a particular set of troubles. A warning that could
have been given (but wasn't,) a helping hand that could have been offered
(but wasn't.)

Why do we subject ourselves to the insanity of people we have nothing
 in common with? To avoid being alone? Is it really that scary to be alone
as opposed to being miserable with people that don't respect us or our
values? Out of a misguided sense of obligation or assumed connection?
Sometimes we get stuck in a rut of spending time with people who are
in our immediate environment just out of laziness to seek out someone new.

Blood means nothing unless we assume it does. If other people don't
have the same dedications, what good is a one-sided sense of duty?

This Thursday is just another day of the week. No stress required or
desired. It's all relative (but in a good, subjectivist fashion, not the
'uncle-I-have-to-endure' kind of way.) People look at you funny
when you say you're not close to your family, as if the sole burden
of that onus is on your shoulders as a freak individual who anti-socially
shuns all things 'right' and 'good' (or whatever passes for such values
on a certain day.)

There's no possibility given to the concept of a family being filled
with undesirables who critique and bitch and judge and spew venom,
causing all with a clue to desire being away from them. Oh well.
People will assume whatever they want, and their misinterpretations
are none of my concern. Anyone who would make snap or misinformed
judgments isn't someone I'd likely want to hang out with, either.

My typical 'thanksgiving' tradition does exist. No, it does not involve
colonization, indoctrination, brutal massacres, nor spread of disease.
I have a nice meal at a Chinese restaurant, typically some wine (though,
no more!) and watch favorite movies. At some point I call all my friends
and offer support and a friendly ear as they rant over whatever
ridiculousness is transpiring at their homes. They release, enjoy the
sanctuary, and then reluctantly return to the briar patch of 'forced'
responsibilities.

Sorry. I am responsible for no one else's happiness besides my own.
If an individual wants to be sad or discontent because any one person
is not in their presence on a specific day, that is definitely a personal
problem! Don't try and shame or guilt me into shit. Homo don't play that.

Do what you need to do.

CYA: Cover Your Ass. Just refuse to buy into the drama!

The rest will work itself out...it always does.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Revisiting Abandoned Skills



The most key skill one can possess is the ability to defend oneself.

Though we no longer reside in the wilderness or savage tribes, man
is still a mercenary creature. There are always threats of varied sorts
vying to destroy us or take what is ours. Unfortunately, as the import-
ance of society in general has been promoted, man's vital protection
skills have been outlawed and lost. Morality, as well as a lazy
sedentary lifestyle, is guilty of incapacitating people's natural
defensive capabilities and territorial nature.


The previously innate self-preservation skills have disappeared.
The need to retrain citizens in the way of self-defense is crucial;
not just physical strength and fitness, but emotional and psycho-
logical spiritedness, too. Many modern men and women are
casual and passive in their daily lives. They have been brainwashed
by religion, workplaces, and government to be demure and calm
at the expense of their own sense of self. People are conditioned
to accept bad situations, rude people, and violations of their bound-
aries. Citizens are expected to 'grin and bear it,' for the power of
the individual has been subdued.

 When someone becomes reliant on someone or something outside
themselves, they give away power. A man should not be concerned
with the restriction of laws or interference of the police when
defending his home, his things, his honor, or his life. If a family
member is maimed or killed due to negligence or cruelty of a
stranger, what is the repercussion? The stranger may get some
jail time, but the man is simply expected to go on as if nothing
happened. There is no means of returning a life or a limb.
There is no justice once an act is committed. (This example
speaks to the situation of a poor man without influence,
obviously. There are different rules for different people in
this classist culture; yet another reason people must take
care of protecting themselves.)


People will respect a person only to the extent that that
person demands respect. They will take advantage of
an individual to whatever extent they are capable. Even
‘simple’ name-calling that goes unanswered gives bullies
an invitation to further disrespect a passive person. And
small incidents build into larger ones all the time. Insults
devalue a person and set the stage for submissiveness to
build. This is still a world of ‘kill or be killed,’ even though
the pretense is that civility and societal laws prevail.

 The ability to defend one’s self may be a secondary skill;
the initial need might be that people must be taught to have
greater self-respect (the more butch cousin of the much
promoted ‘self-esteem’ of the last 20 years.) But the end
results of being actively capable of protecting oneself and
belongings may become necessary before a strong sense
of self is intact. So, this is a case of needing to put the cart
before the horse. With the increase of economic instability
and social unrest in this last two years, the possibility of being
robbed, overlooked, or hurt increases all the time. Human
beings need to adapt a more proactive response to potential
violence or violations besides thinking they are safe in their
little corner of the world. Wishful thinking won’t cut it when
the eviction notice or the home invader comes.


People need to know that everything from 'unsatisfactory
customer service' to 'illegal wars fought with their tax dollars'
is not something they must begrudgingly accept. Each time
one allows another to step on one's toes, a precedent is set;
the smaller battles are cumulative in effect. When someone
is dismissive or disrespectful, they must be confronted.
When a person in a position of authority takes advantage of
you, a line must be drawn. When another person invades an
individual's space or threatens them, the individual must be
willing to speak up and defend themselves.
 The first step in learning to protect oneself is to recognize the
existing problem of passive acceptance. The only difference
between someone who is a victim and someone who is a
victor is willingness. We are trained in schools, jobs, families,
and churches to be submissive; standing up to all manner of
threats is a skill which must be learned. A first step in altering
the existing problem is to seek out classes or books to learn
what is needed. Martial arts, boxing, and other physical self-
defense courses are available most anywhere.


There are also books and self-help classes to become more
assertive and even aggressive in work, personal, and financial
relationships. Sometimes one has to learn to release old
relationships, as even friends and family can be contaminants
restraining one from achieving a better self. Some people are
sick enough to prefer a friend’s failure so they can continue to
feel good about themselves, or keep the status quo. The reach
of cutthroat thinking is far indeed.


The need to properly and confidently defend oneself is the
greatest ability a person can have. Unfortunately, it is a lost
art that has to be learned (or at least reawakened.) Without
the ability to defend self, people in all areas of a person’s life
will take advantage of them. No one else can be expected to
defend us adequately or fully, and it is therefore our right and
responsibility that we train ourselves in this area of expertise.


Once one recognizes how fragile life is and how easily it may
be diminished or extinguished, the reality of defending oneself
is seen as imperative. ‘Survival of the fittest’ is still in play,
even in the Land of Plenty. Don't be fooled by claims to the
contrary.


**************************************************