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







Friday, December 10, 2010

Little Things



In keeping with the idea of looking to the positive,
I have turned my typical year-end remembrance of
past hurts to a more 'glass-half-full' attempt in order
to accentuate positives and attempt gratitude.


What passes for a success in my world is, to say the
least, a laugh riot for others. Nonetheless, I have to
make the most of what is available to me. Despite this
being one of the most difficult years of loss in my life,
I have weathered the storm better than I could have
imagined.


I'll take all the pluses I can get.


In this year, I have....
* gotten and maintained 3 part time jobs as long as
   possible
* gotten a multitude of one-shot jobs to stay afloat
* found innovative ways to keep electric and rent
    paid
* withstood loss of faith, friends, and acquaintances
* suffered losses of death in an already shrunken
   pool of friends
* survived the worst of my depression that I've endured
* stayed out of jail
* stayed alive
* stayed as healthy as is possible
* refrained from hurting others as often as possible
* did my best to sustain relationships and heal hurts
* got out of bed, dressed, and interacted FAR more times
   than I ever felt capable of doing so
* kept on dreaming and working towards putting my ideas
forth in the world
These things are meaningful to me, and that's all that matters.
We have to learn to be our own best and sole source of
support, especially during these emotional times. If you look
at the whole picture, it can be overwhelming. You just have
to break it down and take it a step at a time--one simple, easy
moment at a time, doing the best you know how.


Lots didn't work out, but I survived where others didn't.
R.I.P. Jamie, Thomas, Little Mann, Keith, and Lucy.


In the grand scheme, nothing that I have set out to do has
worked or lasted. I can let that make me feel like a failure,
or I can focus on what has worked out.


I have reconnected with old friends and made new ones
on my journey to bring inspiration to others. Outreach is
a beautiful thing. If I look back on all the blessings I have
experienced as a result of my van--a very 'simple' thing
I can do from where I am in the middle of nowhere, with
no money and little help, I am reminded that good things
come from 'nothing' too, if we are willing to raise our voices
and try.


I have been gifted this year with:


* The wild and delightful kids in Bainbridge that talked
with me in a parking lot and went for pizza.


* The young man at a Harvey's who spoke with me at
length about small town life.


* The residents at the nursing home who shared their
stories and gratitude.


* The young woman at Publix in Tallahassee who waited
for me to shake my hand and thank me (MUCH appreciated!)


* The man seeking gas to get to his dad's funeral, who,
although disagreeing, had the courage to talk to me and
respect me.


* The welder hitching to Panama City who really needed
someone to see him and hear his story.


* Visits with folks who were also suffering from depression
and also feeling alone in the world (Hi Margaret!)


* My special library community of Misfit Toys. Nothing
draws people together better than cohesiveness against a
common enemy.


* The super lady from the thrift shop who donated paints
for my project, and my friend Ebony for the flag postcard
donations for the van.


* The ladies at the Wal-Mart parking lot who were so
moved to have someone speaking up that they were barely
able to speak.


* All the honks, waves, and smiles from so many people
who have seen and appreciated the messages.

* My guardian angels who have helped to keep my babies fed
and treated.

* The people who have listened to me when I needed to talk.
This is perhaps the most valuable thing we can do; to be
responsive and compassionate to someone in pain.

* Possibility. No matter how bleak things seem, no matter what
temporary (or seemingly permanent) funk we have fallen under,
we must always know that circumstance can change in any
moment, and, that, until they do, we can find ways of thriving.


It takes all kinds of courage to make it in this world. Just
getting up and facing the music is enough to ask of many of us.
Don't despair because you don't measure up to someone
else's notion of success. Each of us has a job to do. Stand
strong, my fellow soldiers, and hold the line right where you
are. Each of us has our own light to shine.


We have to believe there is magic. Sometimes it's a matter
of letting it be where we never thought to look. This year, I cling
to the little things. When they're all you have, they start to look
pretty damned good.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving

It's hard to overcome something like obsessive thoughts, or feelings
of not measuring up. Especially so in a world where people are
taught to evaluate themselves and others by standards of achievement
and excess. But I've been working hard at it these last few months.

My depression has stayed pretty resilient these last weeks, what
with dashed plans and health issues and the loss of several young
friends (and yet another beloved fur baby.) But I continue to strive
and do my best, venturing forth to put my foot into the world.

I sought past old habits and crutches for a solution to this week's
loneliness. Prior to 'The Day,' I sent out a humorous holiday e-mail,
despite feeling less than inspired. I hoped it might lift others' spirits
at least! On Thursday, I sought out service people who had to
work on the holiday, and extended well wishes to them.

I visited the folks at the nursing home who had no family, and just listened
to them tell what was on their mind. The hospital wouldn't allow me to
visit patients without relatives since it would 'violate their privacy'
(huge eye roll!) and then I made calls to my nearest and dearest to
let them know I was thinking of them.

I ended up with a visit to probably my favorite AA group,
mostly because I was in the mood for not being alone at night.
To my delight, they had leftovers, so I got to eat some good
groceries, too! Everyone went around and claimed what they were
grateful for, which actually kind of bummed me out. It just reminded
me of what I'm facing and what I feel I've lost. But I determinedly
avoided discussing any specifics, and tried to stay upbeat.

Point is, I made a concentrated effort at not giving in to my 'typical'
thinking. It's really hard to be supportive of others when you can't
stop crying or wishing you were dead. Faking it and not allowing
the depression to rule is a full-time job. No one wants to hear it, and
it isn't as though talking about it alleviates anything, anyway. People
avoid you, you feel like you can't relate to people, people stigmatize
and dismiss you, they don't want their kids near you, you get dis-invited
from places...it isn't a party.

But even though isolation is more comfortable and desirable, it isn't
rewarding.

It's difficult, putting yourself out there, trying, revealing yourself any
little bit when your mind is obsessed with the pain of loss, of betrayal,
of judgment.....but others are hurting too.

I can't know what--if any--effect my activity had on another person
feeling less lonely, but I tried. No guarantees on the mud ball; my
best efforts are what I have to offer. I'm working on letting that be
enough.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Candlelight Vigil

I was able to make it to the FSU candlelight vigil last night,
held for the recent rash of gay suicides. The Tallahassee event
was filled with some bizarre moments, including three Christian
students who asked to lay hands on me, having "FAG!" shouted
at me when my van went through an intersection, and a gang of
hecklers making anti-gay remarks during the lighting of candles
and reading the names of the killed.

Pride Student Union and The Family Tree held the ceremony,
and they did a nice job with the preparation. There were large
color posters of many of the recent suicide victims, including
* Justin Aaberg, 15
* Tyler Clementi, 18
* Seth Walsh, 13
* Asher Brown, 13
* Raymond Chase, 19
* Aiyisha Hassan, 19
* Billy Lucas, 15

(Other recent suicides attributed directly to gay hate speech
and/or harassment include:)
* Zack Harrington, 19
* Jeanine Blanchette, 21
* Chantal Dube, 17

These are only the cases we know about. The cases where the people
involved made it known why they were ending their lives. The cases
where family, friends and authorities didn't cover up the identity of the
deceased.

In addition to the fact that most anti-bullying teachings in schools don't
include understanding and 'tolerance' for gays and lesbians, the religious
group 'Focus on the Family' (assholes!) is actively seeking to exclude
gay and lesbian students. Evidently, the only good gay to them is a dead gay.

Tyler Clementi wasn't the first homosexual-related suicide THIS YEAR at
Rutgers University.

With the pumped up anti-gay campaigns from the Tea Party, Sarah Palin,
other  overzealoused GOP members, religious groups, OM, the 'Don't Ask
Don't Tell' conflict swirling around, and more, the visibility of gay and lesbian
issues is in the air more than ever. This leads to a permissiveness for kids to
act out on the intolerance and disgust they see emulated on the television and
and in the home. It also leads gay and lesbian kids to feel 'less than' and
hopeless.

My greatest fear is that anyone--gay, straight, bi, transgendered, questioning,
and even allies--give in to the idea that we are not powerful. The volatility and
extremism of the opposition can make them seem larger than life. The fact that
they claim God on their side, and righteousness, and majority...means less than
nothing. They are paper tigers.....wooden soldiers. Their words mean nothing.

It is incumbent upon all of us to find strength and purpose in opposing this
lunacy of cruelty and spiritual apartheid. No person is superior to another. We
are all of equal value. Every hurting and lonely scared person must know this.
You must remember this when things get bad; don't get sad....get angry.

No one has the right or ability to take your joy. No matter the circumstance,
you can prevail. Don't let them win. Fight. Fight back. Speak up. Claim what
is yours.  We don't have to take mistreatment from anyone.

You are not alone.

*********************************************************
It Gets Better project on youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IcVyvg2Qlo


Free to all schools from Southern Poverty Law Center:
"Bullied" anti-gay bullying video
http://www.splcenter.org/


Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays
http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?pid=194&srcid=-2


"That's so gay" PSA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEpBYKOs3ys

If you need other help, contact info, or resources in your area,
post comments below or send an e-mail through the link on this site.
There are others who have been through this and can advise you
on how to survive and thrive. There's no shame in feeling tired or
overwhelmed; the world can be ugly at times. Let those who have
forged ahead help you do the same.

Peace,
Robert

Monday, October 11, 2010

National Coming Out Day

Living a life of fear is no way to live.

Each of us is born with immeasurable unique qualities
and incredible personalities to share with the world.
Living out loud as our true, purest selves is what makes
life worthwhile. Far easier said than done!

We have become a world that values comfort and
avoidance over striking out in defiance. The illusion of
inclusion is appetizing to us. I am as guilty as anyone of
avoiding my real purpose, being distracted, living for
others, lying to myself, and even using drugs/food/sex as
a means of escaping the real me.

I knew early on that I am homosexual. Others did too.
It made early childhood a nightmare at times. I didn't get
to develop as others do; I was too busy fighting and
defending myself. Too busy promoting a toughness that
I was too young to understand. Survival can often lead
to living incompletely; it's hard to be well-developed when
you're on guard all the time.

Not much has changed since the 1970s and 1980s when
I was in school. Kids are horrible, teachers look the other
way, parents are oblivious or--in some cases--even part
of the problem. But there are a lot more resources, and there
is a lot more opportunity for networking and getting information.

No child--or adult--should feel that they are alone in the world.
I encourage everyone to let all their friends and family know
who they truly are. Offer to answer questions. Recommend books
and websites if that's more comfortable. Support the groups that
are reaching out to gay and lesbian teens. Promote understanding
in whatever way you can.

We have voices and a passion to help one another for a reason.
We have a choice every day; love....or fear.
I would rather be concerned about what might happen to me for
standing tall, than worry about what will happen to my soul and
others if I say and do nothing.
**************************************************
The all-new, all-improved Inspiration Mobile will be making its debut
in Donalsonville today for National Coming Out Day. I'll try and get
some pictures posted for you all soon!
**************************************************
http://lgbtq.gmu.edu/programs/nationalcomingoutday.php

http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?pid=194&srcid=-2

http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/home/index.html

http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

http://www.heartstrong.org/

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"What the What?!?!" with all this week's KRAZY

Sometimes it helps to know that what you see and
feel are not unique; to know that what you are going
through is widespread. To realize that everyone on the
planet suffers, struggles,  and knows what heartbreak is
can make the process of coping easier since you understand
you aren't being singled out.

But enough already--ENOUGH!

The last week or so following the full moon has been
Nut City! Every person I know is having a string of extra
difficulties. Tensions are high at work and home. People are
flipping out, getting aggressive, paranoid, etc left and right.
So, wiggy as it is, at least we know it's not in our heads, right?

Thank goodness for small favors! The insanity is not isolated!
Recognize it for what it is; a passing phase. A torment. Not
something that has to be followed or joined in with. Be the bigger
person....walk away. Smile. Defuse the situation. Avoid drama
where possible. Give people their space.

Share a kind word where possible. Overlook an insult.
Forgive.

I'm working overtime on not letting my defensiveness over
attacks and hurts lead my behavior. Hard work to say the least.
What I'm working on is that other people are caught up in their
own turmoil, and nothing they do or say is really personal....no
matter how personal it gets. (People lash out to release their
demons. People lash out at others out of fear. It's a call for
help more than a call to arms.)

I'm trying to let people be exactly who they are, and not get
nuts thinking I need to change them or that anything is 'wrong'
with them. A friend told me last night that everybody has some 
good in them, and our job is to find it, focus on it, and embrace
it.  I'm trying...so hard.

When I start to lash out at another because of how they have
behaved, I am trying to stop myself and recognize; No one who
feels well would act that way. Don't further someone's misery by
saying or doing something designed to add hurt. Don't lack the
strength to be compassionate when someone is obviously on the
edge. Don't insult someone, their thoughts, their means of support...
even if they have done the same to you.

That animal urge....that human condition of warring and rending
asunder...defending ourselves at all costs....it's powerful. But if
we don't stop the back-and-forth, where does it end? When does
the cycle stop? I'm trying hard to be a better man.

If I can't overlook and embrace, then let me respect space and
steer away from those personalities it seems impossible to make peace
with. I want to learn discipline and control, but if each attempt to
reconcile between ' being peaceful' and 'getting the upper hand' is
a painful stalemate....best to leave well enough alone.
Let me remember the aftermath of a biting remark can last a lifetime.
My petty, false sense of triumph is fleeting and hollow.

In the moment of passion, remembering that there's a hurting soul
on the other side of a conflict is easily lost. Maybe if I can just
remember the difference between my defiant, public self and my
vulnerable, private self, I could remember that others share the
same split. We share so much more than we realize.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oasis

Holding fast to the vision
of things yet-to-come is
maddeningly arduous
when the inconsequential
bullshit of the immediate
threatens to strangle your
dream lifeless.

The nonsense looming large
due only to consistency,
pervasiveness, and stridency...
luring us deceptively into 
the crab boil of despair
where our fellows happily
assist in our demise.

To see the distance, to seek 
possibility, to connect with 
the unfamiliar and the elusive,
to wish for something better....
these goals are lofty yet laudable.
They are the truth, yet unseen;
all else is a lie.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Illusion of Security


We are trained well.
We either self-destruct, seek our fellows' demise,
or sit silently while we watch it all go down.
"Children are meant to be seen, not heard."
This is what 'good' citizens are expected to do, as well.

In case we are completely broken at home,
there is always the chastising, shaming embrace of religion.
It even had the singular benefit of creating people who 
maintain their own discipline and control. 
(So less taxing that way!)

Government, schools, jobs help polish off the task.
Marriage, for the majority, also steals your soul of independence 
and freedom. Give up. Compromise. Accept defeat.
(You can never learn those lessons well enough.)

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Job Thang

"So what do you 'do' for a living?"
"I'm a professional plucking job hunter. Whatcha got needs doin'?"

To say that things are bad here in 10%PLUS unemployed Georgia is an understatement.

The Department of Labor (which, as a government engine of efficiency and reliability, is , of course, a joke) has now started telling people who call, simply, "No jobs."

When they recently posted a listing of about 35 jobs in the area, I excitedly hopped online at the library to search what I was qualified for, only to find that every position had already been filled.

The little green piece of paper that you had to fill out in days of old? Detailing when and where you went and who you talked to to prove that you had been searching for work? They have discarded it. You just call or register online. No worries; they already know it's a waste of time and there is nothing available.

Of course, I had prior experience with the Department of Labor, from when I wasted time trying to get my overtime pay and holiday pay from a previous employer. Since I had the burden of proof, and I wasn't a major company, I received the S.O.L. discount.

More recently, with Movie Gallery, the dispute was taken to a hearing to prove I was unlawfully fired from the company. In the hearing, the employer rep was caught in a lie during the hearing, and after she further lied under oath, I presented my audio taped evidence. In her own voice she admitted that I was fired, and the proof was given to GA DOL. (The problem was that MG was lying and saying I walked off the job with no notice, and was thus ineligible to receive benefits.) They still ruled against me. Legalities pending.

Needless to say, I am in a BAD way as I sit a week away from SEVEN MONTHS without a paycheck.

I have looked into every possible job out there. I have killed a dozen trees with the number of my paper applications I have distributed. I'm on monster.com, careerbuilder.com, jobs.com, indeed.com, and some I've forgotten about, I'm sure. I'm signed with temp agencies, I've been on interviews, I've lowered myself to the notion of working with 16 year-olds flipping burgers at base pay. Can't get a BITE! (Course, part of the problem too is that I'm a leftist political activist and personality in a small rural South West Georgia town. If you think there aren't people who will refuse me available jobs based on 'who I am,' you need to get out more. These are the same folks who hollered the death threats as i campaigned for our President last year.)

I have cashed out all the stocks and insurance policies that I held. I sold my old beater for scrap (Hell, I sold seats out of my current car for scrap metal.) I had a yard sale and sold anything that was nonessential. I have sold my stove, couches, my spare tires, my comics collection, artwork, jewelry, and everything that isn't battened down. I am looking into the plasma selling bit for next week, although I seem to recall a distant memory involving passing out upon witnessing the procedure on another.

I had already turned off (well, couldn't pay for! Same diff!) computer service, pest control service, phone service, sat elite TV, and every possible 'extra.'

I have done job testing in order to receive re-numeration, returned to school (for the purpose of doing so, but the financial aid overflow helped me,) and applied for everything I know to do. The public assistance for students had all their funds dry up, and will not even have any for the last half of 2009. Without children, I do not qualify for electricity assistance, but I hear all their funds are dried up even before they made it to people on the waiting list.

I have offered to prostrate and prostitute myself for ANY job imaginable, and people say they have nothing. Not a one hour job, a one day job, a one week job. Local businesses have started hanging large signs in the windows that announce "NOT Taking Applications."

My neighbors complain about having to decide which between chicken, fish, beef or pork for dinner because they are so tired of the 'same old thing.' This, with a freezer full of food and half of what they cook being tossed in the garbage. I'd like to line them against a wall and group bitch slap them. Or beat them to death with a refrigerator.

Here's another note; If you KNOW that someone is in a bad way financially, and you have no interest or intention of helping them, kindly don't groan endlessly about the limitations of your Ultimate Cable Experience satellite TV package. Don't complain about making a trip to a neighboring town being so far when you're going to pick up a luxury item and have gas to burn. Don't rave on and on about a dinner out where you splurged with cash for 8 people, even though you 'don't know how you're going top make it.' Needless to say, I don't visit the neighbors anymore.

See, I was frugal and a recycler of all sorts from way back. I've lived in a car and on the streets, so doing without isn't a big deal either. The main problem for a lot of people is laziness and unwillingness to be thrifty. Or even simply adapt. There's a lot of paring down that can occur long before it comes time to lose the house. But folks' identity is rolled up in what they posses or what they can afford to do. Happiness is related directly to how well they can keep up with the Jones-es. I can dig it. I can. But flexibility is part of life, too.

And you're only as miserable as you're willing to be.

Happiness is a choice, not chance. And regardless of the situational specifics, I'm going to be happy. If others are willing to meet the challenge, I think they'll be able to do the same. Not to be heartless, but many of us were in line for a repositioning of priorities. Me, I'm working hard at staying sober, and remembering that bullshit like robbery and murder is a long term solution to a short term problem.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Distractions

The closer you get
to your destination,
you'll get more
grief from those
who don't wish you
to arrive.

R.I.P.

R.I.P.
Robert Sayre:
Doormat
Victim
Codependent
Schmuck
03/1969-08/2010

No more attachments
No more possessions
No more relations
No more emotions
No more weakness

Thank you, kind sir,
for aiding my demise.

Reborn from the ashes
09/10/2010

"To strike out is murder, but to 
strike in is suicide; I refuse to die."

Vengeance feeds
a warm heart.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Lessons

I am finding many valuable lessons in life
as I release my grasp on what I know and what
I imagine I know. Being open is so much more
helpful than being rigid and driven.

The cleansing fires of change have purged me
from my attachments, and given me a spiritual
'leg up' that many are not fortunate to have.
The old ways and means, old people, old beliefs,
all have fallen to the side. Only a vessel receptive to
discovering its intrinsic self remains.

When too many semblances of our old life remain,
it is easier to avoid the despair. The shift of identity
is detoured because so many falsehoods remain
in people's lives. But more and 
more folks are joining on this journey; being 
stripped of all prior markings of humanity. When 
what was believed true is gone, we either fade or fight.

We love our illusions and delusions.

Once you know there can be no trusting another,
you will learn to trust self,,,the most valuable
ally you have. Once you know you can survive without 
nice things, sufficient food, assistance, proper health, or
externals of any kind, you can then find your true
self and strength. 

Once you know there is no faith to be had in religion,
professionals, government, family, or the world, you 
pass through childish expectations and embrace reality.
Difficult as it is, it's a necessary catharsis.

Once jobs and reputation and possessions and
money and credit and friends and options seem
to have all vanished; you must find what is at the base
of YOU. You have to dig deeper than you ever had
need to before.

Discover.
Reinvent.
Reassess.
Rise anew.
Abilities never thought possessed or possible emerge,
and with them, our own limitless strength and passion.

A scar is a blessed thing; only the living worry
about scars. It's a reminder of what you passed through,
and survived.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Extremism...part Three


Control. Judgment. Rigidity. Condemnation. Justification.
Self-righteousness. Absolutism. Fixed thinking. Ego. We
all have issues with these naturally occurring aspects of our
humanity. But if everyone degenerates to the lowest common
denominator, nobody wins. In taking a stand for what we find
to be a just cause, if we lose our humanity in how we treat
our 'opponents,' then we have lost sight of the bigger picture.

I can learn the most by allowing different points of view to
be heard. The minute I assume I know something to be true
beyond a shadow of a doubt, I set myself up as God because
I assume I have attained the highest understanding possible.
I assume that the answers to the world's problems are cut and
dried to begin with, and that I am intelligent enough to know
what is best.

I learn the most when I acknowledge how little I truly know.

In retrospect, I recognize that I was becoming as demanding
and intolerant as those I was fixated on fighting, and abandoning
my initial motives by virtue of becoming emotional, attack-based,
and condemning in order to 'combat equally.' Instead of making
a point, I lost my own.

It's not my job to control others. Not my universal dictate to
change people, save people, or promote my beliefs at the
expense of others' any more than I like others trying the same.
Believing oneself 'correct' doesn't excuse hubris. There are
people and feelings behind the debates. I have a friend to thank
for reminding me of what can happen if we allow ourselves to
abandon people in pursuit of principles.

We wouldn't kick a person who is physically sick because we
don't like their opinions or tactics; why would we kick or ignore
a spiritually hurting person? If our ideals don't apply to all people,
what do they really stand for?

What are we here for, in the end, if not to be compassionate
and loving to all our sisters and brothers--not simply the ones
who agree with us? I have been in a place where I could not
see the value of all people, so who am I to judge another for
being in the same place?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
"When we see men of worth, we should think of
equaling them; when we see men of a contrary
character, we should turn inwards and examine
ourselves."
- Confucius
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Extremism...part Two

Throw it ALL out; It's the 'all-or-nothing' movement!
Absolutism is dangerous thinking in the best of times and
circumstances, but this country is in a big, hot mess right now.
Pot-stirrers are the last thing we need.

Absolutism is the insistence that there are definitive 'right'
and 'wrong' answers to complex matters, and zero shades of
compromise. And if one side presents itself as right, then by
contrast any other view is wrong. All you need to do to get
blood really pumping is toss out the whole alignment with 'God'
or country angle and you're doubly golden.

But what's behind the desire to have complicity and
strict adherence to an imagined idealized standard?

Childhood trauma and lack of development.

-Imagining a simplistic, external scapegoat for complex
problems and skirting personal responsibility is revealing
of someone who suffers from social development and
arrested development issues.

-Not seeking internal resolution, blaming others, and
seeking to control the thoughts/words/actions of other
people is representative of spiritually unadvanced
persons.

-Tantrums, manipulation, lies, cries for attention, and
victimization thinking are all signs of severe emotional
distress.

There is even a sociopathic edge to the level of
detachment that these would-be controllers possess.
I sense that most are truly so caught up in their own self
(classic grandiosity and lack of compassion) that they
don't see the ills they are causing or that there are many
layers to debates and issues. A sociopathic/child persona
only sees the world as it relates to self.

Coming to understand the level of disturbance that is
clearly behind these folks has led me not only to a new
perspective on them as individuals, but also the methods
used to counter them. You can't argue with someone who
is unwilling even to hear a point. You can't impart wisdom
or understanding to someone who imagines themselves an
infallible voice of God. You're wasting time and energy.


"Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able 
to tell the difference."- Mark Twain

We're entering an arena where folks who are uncomfortable 
with a subject or a person feel compelled to control, alter,
or eliminate the object of distress. Most people seem intent 
to control circumstances outside themselves when they can't
control what's going on within. Here are some alternate
ideas for how to go about handling discomfort that doesn't 
involve legislation, overthrowing the government, or murder.
Just in case anyone gets a wild hair.

* Allowing others the freedom to be who they are, without
the need to be dismissed, demonized, or degraded.

* Recognizing that the world does not revolve around us,
and different points of view do not undermine our security.

* Seeing all people equally, and realizing that not seeing the 
value in their viewpoint doesn't mean the person has no value.

* If you put yourself in the public eye regarding volatile matters 
and people disagree with you, you aren't being victimized.
 continued.....

Extremism...part One


I have watched with interest as a national trend has developed;
extremist divisions in the political, religious, and cultural arenas
(and, unfortunately, who can tell the difference between the
three, and longer?)

Xenophobia is not just reserved for other nations; it's fear of all
things 'strange' or 'foreign'! It is not exclusive to the South! It is
the bottom line behind every Fox News rating point, and a new
badge of honor. 'Relentlessness' is the new 'compassion.'

Not only are the extremists pushy and ill-tempered and in need
of a good therapist; they whine when they can't get their way.
Ann Coulter, Dr. Laura, Fox anchors, proponents of Prop 8;
they stomp their feet when THEIR attempts to actively hurt people
aren't readily accepted. Let there be no opposition to my opposition!

So what's going on!?!

It's a world of juvenile mindsets and schoolyard theatrics;
with arguments the equivalent of:
*"I never heard of that; it must be bad."
*"I disagree, therefore you are wrong."
*"It isn't my experience, so it is immoral."

Is this the result of the electronic age; no more merits required...
just how convincingly abrasive and seductively hateful you can be?

There seems a movement afoot consisting of many small and
seemingly disconnected factions like the Tea Party, neo-Nazi
party, extremist conservative candidates, anti-government groups,
and others, to mandate uniformity. They seek not only to espouse
their point of view, but to eliminate the right of anyone to oppose
them. They also employ spin and lies to sway people, and to
demonize any who would oppose them.

When did everything become so either-or? What's with all the
promotion of 'false dilemma'? The extremism? The polarization?
Are we really that bored that we need to invent chaos and conflict
in the world? Or has a desire to win at all costs caused people
to lose sight of the need for restraint and respect?

There is something to be said for the psyche of someone who
needs to fervently believe that a person with a different point of
view MUST be wrong in order to preserve the integrity of their
view. What possible threat does an opposing view present?
How wildly uncomfortable with your own beliefs do you have to
be to need to eliminate other views rather than discuss them rationally
or simply ignore them?

Oh, there I go with that crazy critical thinking and exploration of
ideas again!

continued......

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Free From The Herd

Even a lemming can stand out!
Walking at the park, I spied an intriguing occurrence in the wild.
Three earthlings were grouped together walking the track. The
three amigas; we'll call them Mitzi, Bitzi, and Titzi.


Just like Donald Duck's nephews, the only distinguishing characteristic
between the three was the hue of their otherwise identical garments.
The monotonous trio shared the same hairstyle, hair color, vocal pitch,
outfits, walking style, and pace. I imagine it's fair to say they also did
not realize anyone else was sharing the track.


Although humans have become accustomed to assimilation, I
question that it's a natural condition. Seems like the punctuation of a
human spirit is the contribution our individuality makes when we commune.
Why would we have sparkle and flair if we weren't meant to share?


Nonetheless, humans seem intent on cloning, branding, matching,
and gravitating to center. We are still pack animals, and as part of our
cutthroat survivalist nature there is tendency to follow the herd. But even
in a pack an animal is fundamentally alone. An individual's gut instinct
has to be relied on to battle enemies both in and out of the group.


While trained to believe there is strength in numbers, we have truly
been trained for weakness. Ultimately, we are alone. Others cannot or
will not be there for us; it is the truth we rebel against and create much
discord over. There is no drama there; it is the way of the world. We
can rely on no other besides self.  Once we embrace that beauty as
strength, not fear, we can start to blossom.


To find out the hard way that we stand alone is terrifying and strenuous,
but pain is an excellent teacher. We may have to discover it incrementally,
one relationship at a time over the years before comprehension begins.
We are trained to seek others, to employ external comforts rather than
seek internal ones. The weakness is bred into us in this society that promotes
the illusion of community.


Faced with the explosion of rage and indignance and woundedness that our
dreams of dependability and security are dead, we are left with a choice.
We may wither and die, separated from the herd, believing the lie that we
cannot survive on our own. Or we go deep, discover our innate strength of
soul, our warrior that each person has within. We can ignite that dormant flame
when we are devastated enough to be driven to do so.


You do this when you learn what we should have been taught long ago;
You are all that you have. That is a blessing, not a curse.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The More Things Change...

 (ABOVE: Dr. Laura's son, Derek, from his my space page which 
depicted child molestation, rape, torture, and other family values
before being removed. Right; their loving perfect family captured.) *

Oh, "Dr." Laura.....you crazy, hateful, nasty, common drone!


(Here's what happened, if ya don't know!)
http://mediamatters.org/research/201008130001
There are some surprises about Laura Schlessinger and her
racist, nutter tirade from two days ago on her radio show:


* That anyone would think this woman has any advice worth
offering
* That black people listen to her show in the first place since
she's known for her extreme intolerance and prejudice
* That she's still on the air or alive
* That a despicable tantrum revealing her insanity has not
been given media attention before now
* That her ridiculous apology (brought on by her PR Team,
her manager, her advertisers, her stations, and her callers)
is thought to hold water


Here's the real problem. She's a drop in the bucket...just one of
an infinite number of these right-wing evangelical conservative
nutters who wants to eliminate all things disagreed with and remake
the world over into her version of it. Or rather, the version she holds
in her head. Because she certainly doesn't practice what she preaches,
which is pretty typical for the intolerance crowd too.


Scared, smug, self-satisfied children in adults' bodies, parading
around some arm-chair moralizing and pontificating about what's
'wrong' with everyone in the world and what's 'right' with them....
only, WHOOPSIE!....they aren't really perfect  after all.....they
just desperately need for you to believe they are so they can feel
superior. Maybe it's that they really need to convince themselves.


We found out this week (SHOCK! HOLD THE PRESSES!)
that old Newt Gingrich is a big old triple  hypocrite, which of
course is no interest to his hypocritical supporters. The double
standard is invisible to them.
http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/08/11/newt-gingrichs-skeletons-his-past-wives/?ncid=AOLDSN00280000000031


Laura, Newt, Rush, Mel Gibson, Ted Haggard....there is an endless
supply of people who want to make life hard for others in order
to fulfill their own dark needs or agenda. It has always been thus.
It will continue on forever. When one falls, another rises up to take
their place.


I can't celebrate the exposing of this charlatan witch doctor because
she is insignificant. She herself does not matter; perhaps that is
precisely why people like her try so hard to invent crazy horseshit to
catapult themselves into the media and make their programs popular.
"Look at me...please, look at me. Validate me. Pay attention to me."


She is representative of a larger problem issue. You can't change
hateful or crazy, but I guess the job of the rest of us is to just keep
speaking truth and countering them so that there is resistance. Maybe
someone who might otherwise be compelled to believe the insensitive
ramblings of a lunatic will be swayed not to think less of themselves,
or harm themselves. Maybe.


I have to believe there is at least that possibility.

********************************************************
* The significance of Dr. Laura's son having some real obvious head
issues (putting it mildly) is that she considers herself an expert on how
to do things. She has published books on how people are destroying their
kids by not raising them her way. She is a grating and critical person that
devalues everyone, yet her son turned out a sociopath and she was estranged
from her own mother for a lengthy time prior to the mother's murder. Hmm.
Clean up your side of the street...and then, if you have any time left to
be giving advice.....
*********************************************************

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Battle to be 'Right'

When I was brought up, my Southern Baptist grandmother taught
that to show devotion to God was done through governing self. That one
had a task set before them; to do the best they could to maintain the ideals
of (her teacher) Jesus. In the nurturing comfort of Nana Grace's presence,
it always seemed such a simple concept. Going forth into the world, I've
learned it is hardly the case.

Whether it's politics, religion, spirituality, sexuality, or any other lifestyle
matter under the sun, there seems to be preoccupation with dominance.
When did we become so obsessed with being thought right? When did
there stop being a place at the table for all comers?

I never did understand the reactionary nature of certain groups. Those
who make a job out of telling others how they are wrong--empirically
and undeniably INCORRECT--for not believing as they do.  I always
sort of chalked it up to insecurity. But it's everywhere now. And I find
myself guilty of the same adamence, getting caught up in the fervor of this
'life-or-death' insistence that there is only one way to think, feel, act,
or speak.

People want the Pledge of Allegiance made mandatory. They want to
control enforcing not only that it gets said at every school and every public
event, but that every person must stand up, cross heart, and speak the
pledge! That blows my mind! What part of someone's brain thinks that
dedication to a country ostensibly made great by its freedoms should
regulate a specific belief system ?!?

Religious people continue to get involved in political movements, protests,
school boards, and other social agendas. Having an opinion is fine; here's
the rub. We have a whole section of society that expects to get things reshaped
in the way they want them.
*If you oppose them, you're immoral.
*If they don't 'win', they're being persecuted.
*If you don't defer to their thinking, something is wrong with yours.

I never knew about the biblical passages on passing legislation and
making the world into a perfect representation of our desires.

How is that even possible? There are so many different, contradictory
point of view, how on earth would it be possible to get everyone on
the same page?

For me, it comes down to personal responsibility. If I am taking charge
of myself, then I am doing fine. It isn't my job to control, change, condemn,
criticize, or confront someone else. I don't keep true to that understanding
100%, but when I do, everything is so much smoother.

Control is an illusion anyway. We can't control what happens on this
planet! I understand the desire to want to...the world is a scary, lonely,
unpredictable place. When we put the illusion of constraints and labels
and rules and regiments in place, we feel less threatened. But real life
is change and diversity and openness. Learning acceptance and being
okay with the way things are. If we are constantly dissatisfied with the
world outside of us as it presents itself, where does our need to control
end?

As we become truly secure with our own beliefs, maturing and loving
ourselves, I think the idea of worrying about what others do lessens.
A lot of it may be learned behavior; intolerance of parents or churches
or other upbringing being channeled. But it's a dangerous course. If
we all are unalterably right, then that intimates that others are inherently
wrong, and that just sets up the day for conflict.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" part Two

 


Does it all boil down to survival of the fittest?
That dynamic is still in play, but  at the same time, the social
Darwinism is made obsolete. There is no level playing field.
The deck is prominently stacked against the little guy.

If we were in an arena battling it out hand to hand on equal footing,
maybe that would be fair. But the argument goes that wealth
and power and breaking the rules is fair game when it comes to
survival. That since those things are at the disposal of folks at the
top of the heap, they are tools to be utilized; they comprise the
eternal victors' fitness. I say it's cheating and I say the hell with it.

Those in the ivory towers send minions or make phone calls to
handle business. They remain untouchable. I don't believe in karma;
that's a sad man's crutch. A rich joker can't be touched in the arena
of political pull, economic bullying, influence, networking, fear-mongering,
etc.

So, when we rise up with what's left to us at bottom, to attempt to
get what's ours, we give them the excuse to take advantage of their
power to stop us. To shoot us dead in the streets. Or bury us under the
jailhouse. To keep us trapped in a nowhere job despite ability. The ways
in which we are institutionally soul-murdered at length are innumerous.

There are different rules in effect for different people. If you don't know
this, you are probably taking advantage of the high-end, positive end
of the privilege scale. Or you may not have been paying attention to
the larger picture of things. If, like most of us, you have been kept
struggling non-stop to take care of staying afloat, you have been unable
to devote much time or energy to it.

If you have been paying attention, or if you have experienced the
paradigm shift shaft on a personal level, you may have already learned
the frustrations of fighting the powers that be. It is a losing proposition;
it's been set up that way so you will get discouraged and give up.

It's always been known that "You can't fight city hall."
Now city hall is in on promoting that fact, too.

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." part One


















 
As wealth continues to accumulate in the elusive smallest
percentage of the population, poverty also increases among
the larger bottom end of the population. The two need not
be intrinsically connected, or so dramatically inversed, but
they are.

     Since the people in power are the ones making the decisions
across the board (economic, political, social, etc) it stands to
reason that their decisions would benefit themselves, even if their
advancement was to the detriment of the rest of the population.
We're not going to have a dispute on that 'theory' are we!??

     There are several kinds of people, and several means of
maintaining control in our world.
   * People with power (heads of important businesses, policy
makers, influential people, leaders of various sorts)
   * People with money (real money, get-out-jail-free money,
different rules and problem-free  money)
   * People who brutalize (whether it is physical or economic
violence against fellows; folks who exploit and profiteer)
   * People who moralize and create chaos (religious leaders,
zealots, critics, the church, missionaries, pundits, TV & radio
personalities, etc)

     Typically, more than one of these types or positions of influence
overlap with one another. This is the most effective means, and it
tends to be inevitable.

     (To wit: a corrupt cop may not make much, but he gains a
windfall through theft, blackmail, racketeering, and protection.
A religion may  make modest guilt offerings, so they immorally
start using the catch-all  "Gay Agenda" as a means of eliciting
fear funds. One immoral tactic leads to another level of power
by crossing a line.)

     To have the ability to control is at heart of most ills of this
world. Once control is found, people who have it are not desirous
of losing it, and will tend to do whatever it takes to maintain their
stranglehold. Remember the smug looks of confusion on the faces
of the BP execs early on when they were trying to avoid being
thought responsible for the oil 'leak?'

     We have promoted a fiction for some time that there exists
no dichotomy in the actions of one group of people and another.
We have pretended that class warfare has been lost in an 'Age of
Prosperity.' (Huh?) The wealthy are unjustly maligned, the religious
are well-intentioned givers, the police are overworked and underpaid
and facing stress every day.......there are distractions and slight-of-hand
in effect at all times. Indoctrinating us...preparing us, like our corn
syrup diets, as lambs being led to slaughter.

     The 'idea' of worldwide inequity & imbalance is not a myth.
It continues to become a world of extreme haves and extreme
have-nots, and the two are directly related. Some economists
would try and sway that the answer is not removing or redistrib-
uting wealth, but rather building it up where it doesn't exist.
This ignores the simple reality that there is a set amount of wealth
to be 'shared,' and the ones making it now have a system in place
which protects what they have...against those who might rise up
and grab their share.

     As the stilted power imbalance completely shifts, as personal
rights have eroded to nothing, as the jail lifestyle has been imple-
mented on addicts and small time crooks, as poor people's finances
are destroyed by capricious whims of businesses and CEOs, as
courts favor the needs of the corporations and the police......the
veil is lifted. Too little, too late. Enough now know how far things
have gone wrong, but they're so far gone that knowing it won't
change anything.

     Before, cops and politicians and evangelists would deny
their corrupt intentions; they would lie to the faces of the people
that they were misquoted or misrepresented, or that they were
innocent, or that they really didn't mean to be a racist or a homophobe
or beat their wife. Now, the insincerity has faded. The blithely sancti-
monious and disaffected faces of wrong-doers parade in front of the
cameras, caught red-handed, with a defiant and unabashed "Fuck you.
Yeah, I did it--what are you going to do about it?" Middle finger up
and victorious laugh.














There is no delusion assuming the police are rich or that all CEOs
and all religious leaders are on the same page. But the only way for a
global agenda of  branding, corporate rule, the rich get richer, the
watchmen can do whatever they please...is for there to be collusion.
Each must scratch the other's back; their agendas run parallel.

     The police are lackeys when it comes to enforcing the law, just like
the military. There is no concept of right and wrong; there is only the
following of whatever dictates and precepts are popular that day. And
especially in the case of our police state, personal desires overrun any
sanctity of the position held. Racism, sexism, homophobia, vengeance,
hostility, corporate defense are all state sanctioned; a cop can do
whatever he or she wants and walk away free. And they know this.

     A badge and a gun gives unlimited power. If you weren't drawn to
the position/field because you were a scheming psychotic with N.P.D.
to start with, you'll likely become one from the seduction of the job's power.

(continued)....

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Our Own Worst Enemy; The Oral Minority

Second-Class
Citizenship

is not a ‘gift’
that’s yours
to give,


oh 
indignant,

ignorant, 

delusional,

self-aggrandizing 
morality-conflicted,

xenophobic
lifestyle-police
of America.

I am not
on this earth
to be
‘tolerated.’

If  some people 

have
             an ‘issue’
with men
who like men,
Get over it!


It's probably 
yourself 
you have the 
problem with 
anyway!

A Little Goes A Long Way.....8/27/2009


Night before last, as I was driving home from the next town over, I had another
bad nosebleed start gushing. Now, between 'there' and 'here' is a good 25 minutes
of absolutely nothing and nowhere to stop to use a bathroom. So I couldn't find a
towel, of course, and I had blood drenching my shirt and my hands and my arms
and beard. I could feel the warm blood coursing through my nostril, and the simple
notion that I could possibly bleed to death crept into my head.

That one little fear is all it took, and I was in full-on panic mode.

I kept saying to myself "I don't have anything cold, I don't have access to any towels
or cold stuff, I don't..." and it went from there. I've had them a hundred times, and,
as scary as they are, it's just a little blood. Granted, any time blood shows up on the
outside as opposed to the inside, I do tend to get excited. But a little blood goes a
long way. And it doesn't take much blood to make it look and feel like a horror movie.

Thankfully no one encountered me before I got home and cleaned up. It was pretty
gruesome! But more than the actual problem of the bleed was the worry and fear
that just got blown entirely out of proportion. All the drama.

One reason I think that such things do frighten me so is the alone thing. I always go
to the idea of there being no one to care for me, physically or otherwise, in a crisis.
And being sick or dealing with a baby scare like that makes us feel more vulnerable
and more alone that we already are. There's something about illness that makes us
"want our Mommies" or want a home cooked meal!

"Hang on...Hang on to yourself...
This one's gonna hurt like hell."

-Sarah McLachlan

I have a bad, long term habit of 'catastrophizing' everything, or "Doing worst case
scenarios." It's a BAD habit for sure, and it serves no good purpose. It's actually
counter productive, and most likely extremely a self-fulfilling prophecy...like most
things, good or bad.

I know what's required. Unfortunately, like most great insight, it's 'easier said than
done.' And changing habits can be a really difficult transformation.

But I need to try and disconnect from the emotional. Back up from the moment of
'crisis,' which may not even be a legitimate one. View things from a distance, with
some perspective.

Whether it's our own transgressions or those of our nearest and dearest, we jump
the tracks.
-Someone says something less than kind, we're ready to end a relationship.
-A few harsh words with the neighbor and we're talking about moving.
-The dog tears something up and we act as if our entire well being is compromised.
-Your kid talks back to you and you tailspin into a "Nobody respects me" funk.
-Our partner does something we dislike and we plot revenge.
-A boss does some bonehead move and we start assuming our job is in jeopardy.
-Something bad--or a series of bad things--occur, and we start acting as though the
world is coming to an end.

We tend to cut ourselves and those around us no slack. One mistake or character flaw
or misspeak is the breaking point.

CALM DOWN, DRAMA MOMMA!

Thoughts like "Nobody ever respects me" or "This kind of thing always happens to me"
are not only untrue, they build a false sense of doom and gloom. Our minds are more
geared to remembering insults than blessings. Add to that our tendency to overlook the
blessings that we do have or take them for granted. It's a bad combination.

But if we go without very much affection, or feel unappreciated, we can also tend to
build up drama as our own sense of making things in our life seem worthwhile. Or as
an abstract way of getting the attention we think we deserve.

We have to be able to separate from imaginary problems and the very real ones that
crop up in our lives. There is a natural resilience in the human spirit. Some think we
will never be given more than a Higher Power knows we can handle. That, or a more
organic approach of "We're tougher than we know" are things I hold on to.

Some resilience has to be learned. We don't have an innate belief in our self. We
might be capable of doing something, but if we don't know it in our heart and minds
then it's the same as not having it. We have to come to realize that we are capable.

If we aren't strong enough, we have to develop strength, just like any other unused
or underutilized muscle in the body.
* Research what other people have done, read books, go to support groups.
* Pray, seek spiritual counsel, ask friends for help.
* Make new friends if you don't have any.
* Break the old habits and tapes and routines and accept that change is possible in
the first place.
* Figure out why you are the way you are, and what exactly you want to change,
and then set about the task of doing it. But know that success is not predetermined;
we do all the work ourselves.

It's sink or swim time.

Suit up. You're gonna need armor for this one, sweetheart.

RESPONSE TO THE HOODS (October 2008)


Georgia Unity

Some honest answers to reasonable questions.

Isn't it better to ignore the rally? Aren't you giving the Klan
the attention they want?

The Klan and other hate groups thrive when left alone. They have been
around in some form for 143 years, growing when times are tough and people
need a scapegoat to blame for problems like a bad economy. They target poor
and undereducated angry young men who lack direction. To ignore them is to
allow others to think our community is okay with the group and its tactics.
It gives the misimpression that they are legitimate groups AND
that those who oppose them are afraid to do so publicly.

Terrorism and scare tactics are how cults build strength. They target politically
'acceptable'groups like gays and undocumented workers, since these groups
are invisible and weaker in the South, and reviled openly by churches, Republican
party members and others in the public spotlight.



What's the big deal anyway? What's wrong with the KKK ?

It's not just words they use; the words incite and inspire actions. They words make it
seem justifiable and righteous to treat these specific peoples as "less than," and that
leads to bias against those that are 'different.'

The press releases can't be believed; the Klan's entire existence is based on lies,
secrets, misinformation, hiding, and cowardice. They oppose all foreigners and
immigrants, not just 'illegals,' they still hate Blacks and Jews and Gays and Lesbians.
If the Klan is now family friendly and pro-community, then lose the robes and hoods
and names that have meant murder and terrorism during all the lynchings and house
and church bombings. It's still the same Klan. A snake can still smile.


________________________

"When good people in any country cease their vigilance and struggle, then evil men prevail." 
- Pearl S. Buck


In 2006, there were 7,722 REPORTED hate crimes in the U.S. alone, with 9, 642 victims. These crimes are ones specifically motivated by racial, religious, sexual orientation, and ethic/nationality based discrimination. Torture and assault and murders like these occur every day, and the FBI statistics reflect an 8% rise in events from the prior year.

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports there are at least 888 active organized hate groups in this country; 42 operating in Georgia alone. That's a 48% increase since Bush took office in 2000.