I wake up early, before the staccato siren that is my alarm. It's cold out this morning, I can tell because I slept well. I am so warm and comfortable beneath my pillowy blankets, but I drag myself out of bed to start the process of getting ready to go to work at a job I really don't care for.
Waking up at 5 am is hard and even harder when the reason is shit.
I do it anyhow. I need money.
I turn the heat on with reluctance, knowing the warmth comes at a cost. My electric bill. Then the typical hot shower, teeth brushing, lunch packing monotony of a 9 to 5 kind of day. Why do we live like this? Working most of the hours of our short lives. There has to be something better. Some people do what they love and are successful. I am not. I made the wrong choices apparently. Not a risk taker.
Fuck. I am already pissed. The day is dark even as the orange radiance of the flaming ball of gas that we call the sun illuminates the horizon.
I grab my lunch and gym bag and hike off to my Jeep, the vehicle I paid too much money for and no matter what I do to keep it nice always get dents, dings, and sun damage. Why can't I have anything nice?
Every day is the same. The same issues and same complaints, yet I keep going. I smile. I laugh. I love. I live with the hope that I will win the lottery and not have to deal with this ordinary shit. No luck so far.
The drive to work is a mostly easy 20 miles, especially after I get off the main boulevard through town. Naturally I expect to hit all of the lights as they turn red, even with no fucking traffic coming from the other direction. Today is my day! I hit them all at green! Holy shit. This might be a good day.
I have a good podcast babbling away in the background and the dream of a rich black cup of coffee waiting for me at my desk. I trundle down the highway with a little hope.
Hope if fleeting.
I see all the red of a thousand break lights before me. The flashing blue of the police cars. I am only halfway to work, in the middle of a swamp with no exits between me and the exit for work. Traffic is stopped and I am in the right lane. It's easy at first, but nothing is moving, and my head starts to ache with rising blood pressure.
Google maps give me the first bad news. Traffic stopped, plus twenty-eight minutes. I sit and wait, trying to focus on my podcast. Instead, I keep checking the internet for traffic reports as my ire rises. I think to myself "why the fuck do I have to suffer because some stupid shit doesn't know how to drive. I hate travelling! I have to rely on other people being responsible and they aren't!".
I rage. Then I lose it when the traffic report informs me there was a truck accident involving a car hauler being a dumbass. I should feel pity for the driver, but they were fine, and I can't. I am late for work, and I am burning fuel in an already fuel sucking vehicle.
God damnit. Fuck!
I see people driving along the median, in the grass heading for and turn around spot. I follow and gun it onto the west bound lane. There is another route, a longer more scenic route, but at least I'll get there. Time takes me to the back road, and I get going again. I'm still pissed, but it is subsiding.
Until it isn't.
A passing eighteen-wheeler, coming from the other direction, cast a stone right into my windshield. I don't see where it hits, but I hear it. The rage is back and fuckwad in front of me is driving slow as fuck because they are stupid. Fuck this asshole and fuck that truck!
I am seething like a boiling pot of water, anger and hate pushing at the edge of my sanity. I keep going. The road takes several more miles than the normal route and leads me straight into more fucking backed up traffic. Both lanes are closed on the main highway and the shit fuckers that are coming from the other direction are backed up waiting doe the highway to open. I can't get to work.
Fuck it, I am going home. Fuck these people and their stupid lives. Fuck work. Fuck the asshole who wrecked.
I am done.
I don't really mean any of this and don't know why I (we) get the road rage. This is just an excellent medium for venting. I did stay home from work though!
My Thoughts On This. (As Written By Fingers Whose Pet Brain Is In Possession Of A Splitting Headache.)
Almost titled: I Don’t Know About You, But I For One Am A Shack Full Of Clustered Mementos Owned By A Crazy Hag.
I love such questions, (the quest of eons) but I’m not up for connecting the dots today, though I was before, I think, at some point. please somebody slice out my brain and serve it to a starving hippopotamus!
It’s theoretically nice to exist in the simplicity of a body during times when thinking staggers sluggishly through a hoard of precious but useless collectables. I think existence is both separable and inseparable like that - you can define certain aspects, but they’re all part of a whole; it’s chaotic, messy. artistic. not necessarily relatable. jumping from thought to thought willy-nilly with no apparent cohesion. (Of course if you were a paraplegic you might feel differently about the challenge question. Not the whole body are we? being as you can lose a lot of body parts but still be yourself...) In fact, a place can get so messy that it can control the personality of it’s inhabitant(s), making us feel exalted or cranky (usually the latter.) Thoughts clutter here, I hoard them, and though I know I should get rid of the accumulated junk, I fear that I will lose some kind of hidden treasure (which I would know if I were thinking objectively that I couldn't really possess unless a trash-pixie snuck in and left some loot under the musty book-pile or in back of the trinket draw)- You know how sometimes, when you’re sorting through the mess of antique ideosyncracies, you wind up drudging mercilessly through your thoughts and memories, not making any progress at being more orderly, trying to be ruthlessly objective about tossing them out, then stopping on one that used to be warm and sparkly, realising it’s old now, and rusty, that you didn’t take care of it as you should, and you start shuddering out tears in a very chest-achy way, but not exactly because you’re sad about it, more because you’re inexpressibly grateful to have been so happy once?
Enough about that.
To finally pick apart a smidgen of answeringness from the debris:
The brain is the inhabitant of the hoarder’s shack. it’d likely get a bit upset if you told it that it had to get rid of it’s stuff, almost like trying to chop off a body part; telling the ego that it can no longer interact with an irreplaceable facet of it’s existence. But it is impossible to know how much the inhabitant is responsible for the dwelling, and how much the dwelling is responsible for the inhabitant. And which one owns the other. Though it’s fun to think about. In more scientific terms the brain is technically part of the body isn’t it? Which is to say I’m not a scientist and that I’ve still got this godforsaken rotten horrid headache!! The brain doesn’t seem so distinguishable from the body right now, being as it’s stubbed it’s proverbial toe. One thing is for sure: The brain is definitely the one responsible for this whole damnably nonsensical non-spell-checked gibberish nightmare of a rampling (-meant rambling but keeping it; rampling!!) mess, and it’s also the only one who can tidy up this dank filth. I’m fed up with it! it’s dusty! I can’t breathe in here! where’d I get all this junk anyway?! I think something might be moldy... is that a dead roach in the corner?... *mind chatters on indefinitely*...(great new word that: Rampling. I’d define it as getting amped up on rambling when you’re in no shape to form coherent thoughts. ... if anyone’s still reading, sorry for rampling.)
The body, on the other hand, is what one uses to fling open the hovel’s door and step out into the fresh air.
A Look at Cancel Culture
Cancel Culture. Two words that have taken on a new and somewhat twisted meaning. But let’s break this down, shall we?
Cancel: Making a conscious decision or announce that (a planned event) will not take place. Neutralize or negate the force or effect of (another).
Synonyms for cancel: annul, repeal, rescind, revoke, abolish, nullify, quash, set aside, make void.
Culture: The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively. The customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group.
Synonyms for culture: literature, music, painting, philosophy, civilization, society
way of life, lifestyle, customs, traditions, heritage, habits, ways, mores, and values.
As you can see by the words listed, separately, these words in no manner describe what is now referred to as cancel culture. Those two words are forever lost on human ears because someone decided it was high time to rid the world of what they consider interlopers meaning a person who becomes involved in a place or situation where they are not wanted or are considered not to belong.
A modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles–whether it be online, on social media, or in person. ... Notably, many people claiming to have been “cancelled” often remain untouched and continue their careers as before.
Now, after looking at both sides of the coin if Cancel Culture is more apt to mean someone who is a bully and a person who would say, “My way or the highway”, I have to consider the breakdown of both words and in my own humble opinion have to say if we continue using cancel culture to the extremes we are, then we might as well start with music, painting, writing, sculpting,.
While we are at it, let’s just eradicate every civilization we come in contact with what we deem inaproppriate to walk the earth. Destroy human values and traditions. Now that sounds like a plan of action.
Millions, no, make that billions of years ago, there was the Cro-Magnon race and also the Paleolithic man and pardon me for saying this, but then one day we became “civilized” and called the races Homo sapiens. Oh my! We changed things then. How dare we be so bold!
But it ended up far better said that way than, “I’m a white caucasian, Cro-Magnon from southeastern Pe4nnsylvania looking for a good woman and a pet dinosaur to placate.”
Getting to the final crux of this though, there are some things worth changing and others that are not.
Cancel Culture needs to be abrogated, repealed and abolished and call it what it is: pitiful and brazen bullying that should have no place on this planet. Cancel culture, those two words, sit side by side with discrimination, racial injustice and prejudice.
I don’t and won’t tolerate it.
It doesn’t matter to me what language you speak, your manner of dress, your interests, what time you wake up or go to sleep, or if you drink Pepsi for breakfast and for dinner have Cheerios. Everyone deserves their own place without fear or worry by inconsiderate human beings who think they know what’s better for them.
I’m angry. Angry that this country and other parts of the world allow this to fester and boil over. QAnon, The Good Old Boys, the KKK (yes they are still fluent), and others of their likeness are in part responsible for part this mess. But they aren't the only ones. The Black Lives Matter Movement, the assault on the LBGTQ communities, the in-school bullying; all of that and so much more is responsible, and it’s time we found a way out of it before we are all suffering because of it.
And if anyone doesn’t like what I put here ... too damn bad. I’m too old to be scared of words or threats.
After all, you can only kill me once.
Cancel culture is thoroughly useless, for the most part. Just about everyone who gets cancelled (save for those who *really* deserve it like Weinstein) rebound in like a month, to my understanding. But I will admit my understanding of this bizarre phenomenon is limited because I’m about as invested in social media as my eightysomething-year-old grandmother, possibly lesser so (she is big into Facebook). The definition I’ve gleaned is basically “if someone messes up, even in the most microcosmic sense, let’s all bandwagon together and take a stab at ruining their career/life”. Which is...a concerning mentality, to put it mildly. Not to mention hypocritical. Humans aren’t perfect, and chances are we’ve all made mistakes, so to harp on someone else for making those *same* mistakes doesn’t really make much sense. I suppose there comes a sense of superiority, knowing you’re past such plebeian slipups.
But you have to realize that way back when, when you slipped up, you had the privilege of near-anonymity. One of the reasons I choose anonymity is because fame, in its truest distillation, scares me. I don’t want my every word dissected under a microscope, especially when I’m just talking off the cuff, because rest assured I probably *will* mess up and say something profoundly stupid. Celebrities catch ample times more flak than the average joe, and the reason is simple—they have millions of people hanging on their every word. One hot take, mildly warm take, or weird turn of phrase can have (seemingly) sweeping effects. The culture of ‘celebrity worship’ only exacerbates this. Famous people are lauded as oracles by some, gods among humanity—thus making allowances for human mistakes isn’t necessary. It takes fans aback when the curtain of perfection drops; and they feel betrayed when they realize their heroes aren’t faultless. This is not the celebrity’s fault. If someone builds a celebrity’s pedestal up that high...they probably need therapy. Because that’s straight-up delusional. But it happens. A lot.
For the most part, the Twitter mob is all bark and no bite. Virtue signaling brings a great dopamine rush. Some chase this rush like that monkey of legend that had an electrode surgically implanted in the pleasure center of its brain, to be activated at the push of a button. In short, that monkey pushed the button so many times it died. (I...think that’s a true story, but who knows. Sounds about right.) Anyway, highs are a powerful thing, and when you’re bored and lonely, what easier way to get one from the comfort of your own home (apart from indulging in illegal drugs) than calling out some public figure on their indiscretions. And what easier way still, than to tell yourself it’s for a noble cause, instead of just your own narcissistic gratification. Some people even go so far as trying to *find* trouble where there is none. I think of Demi Lovato and that bizarre fro-yo shop thing (though who am I to pretend like I know what exactly she was thinking).
For some reason, a lot of weight has been put into the idea of cancel culture, like it’s actually effective—some life-changing bogeyman. While I obviously don’t see that (with a few exceptions), the illusion can become dangerous if believed. Some people are genuinely afraid of cancel culture, to the point that they’ll apologize for literally nothing. This is a slippery slope. You’re giving a lot of power to a very loud, very small group of Tweeters (Twitter-ers?).
Basically: 90% of cancel culture is useless, 5% is detrimental, and 5% is necessary. (This is my crummy, grossly ignorant estimation.)
Contemplating with Thoreau
Think you are a great multi-tasker? I doubt it.
Multi-Tasking = Poor Prioritization.
If writing is important to you, then make time to write.
If you finish the day feeling like a dog that has been chasing his tail, then not only are you exhausted, but your backside still itches, too. It is why dogs fare poorly in the wild. Take a bear now... she knows how to scratch her itch and then get on about the important business of a long winter’s nap!
There is little non-sense surrounding Momma Bear. She wakes, scratches her rear end on an unfortunate Spruce tree (quickly ridding herself of that annoying itch), while her Cubs slowly come alive. She then gathers them up before leading them straight to the termite log for twenty minutes of breakfast. When time is up, she’ll angle her unhappy brood (who wish to linger, as there are still plenty of termites to dig out) across a mountain meadow pink with Indian Paintbrush straight to her favorite elderberry patch for lunch hour. The cubs will want to laze once more in the tall grasses after their elderberry lunch, but Momma will still manage, as always, to be there early for her prime seat at the evening salmon run. All of this is no run of luck, nor accident. You see, Momma Bear had a plan, and woe to the irascible cub, panther, unfortunate hiker, or anyone else who stands between she and her goals! When there are little mouths to feed efficiency is a must.
And then there is the bee. Funny thing about a bee. He may linger about the rose bush, visiting and re-visiting it’s many petals, but he knows what he is about. He knows that the stickier his feet get, the more pollen he will find on his next visit. But if you are ever dying of thirst in the desert and a bee buzzes past your ear, follow it quickly! He will be heading directly to water, without deviation.
And while an ant appears helter-shelter, the hill somehow forms, doesn’t it?
No, it is only man and his beasts’ who get bogged down in self-made mire, accomplishing little to nothing in their eight hour day. So when you find yourself dying the death of a thousand cuts: Stop! Ask yourself what is most important. Complete that task, and ask yourself again? Then complete that task. Be the Momma Bear! Roar at those trying to hinder your progress! Be the bee and head directly to water! Prioritize!
When you find yourself with much to accomplish remember ’Ol Huck’s definition of a multi-tasker is, “one who does many things poorly.” (This is also a good thing to remember in a job interview. When you say, “I’m a great multi-tasker,” you are telling a potential boss that you do not prioritize.)
Stop. Plan. Execute without deviation!
Be the Momma Bear!
(You can thank me later, when you have completed writing your latest new story. ;)
“It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”
- Henry David Thoreau
Intimidation: To make timid or fearful.
This is the tactic of bullies. It this case it`s the mob of righteous indignant bullies who are perpetually offended who rule. It matters not if they actually are correct in their accusations. Their imaginations are limitless and in this case, social media is the weapon and the method of choice, appealing to the bots which rule there. Whether or not the complaint is valid doesn`t matter.
All you have to do is complain and the livelihood of a Twitch streamer or You Tube creator is cut off. All you have to do is start a rumor on Twitter or Face Book, or doctor a picture on Instagram and complain about a pillar of society and they magically lose everything. The perfect medium for bullies to hide behind anonymity and do their dirty work.
What happened to the cry of stop bullying? It seems to be eerily silent these days. Destroy first and investigate at leisure is the motto of most social media giants.
What happened to truth and proof? Who needs that when you can plant misinformation anywhere and the news media parrots it back without a thought of verifying it. Sorry, apologies are never good enough once the damage is done. Which is why I’ve pretty much given up on social media other than a useful tool for getting my name as an author into the search engines.
I don’t scroll the feeds like I used to. They aren’t accurate and not to be trusted. So why stress myself out trying to find the truth behind which ever indignant claim the perpetually offended are making every day? I won’t participate in their disastrous cancel culture mentality. And if you want to keep your sanity, you shouldn’t either.
Spiritualism. Hmmm. Am I the entire body, or just a spirit residing in a brain that will one day be freed from it's organic prison? It is a question I once pondered to extremism. Due to those ponderings (in a now infamous experiment) I underwent a surgery in which I traded brains with my dog. While the experiment was unable to ascertain which of us is more intelligent, I did emerge from the surgery the better looking of the two of us, I now suffer far less from regret, and more importantly, I am no longer the one who has to hook the bass boat up to the truck (no hands, you see).
I realize that this statement does not resolve the initial thesis, and is a bit scattered, but I think it proves that I am not smart enough to say.
And besides, there is a damnable squirrel yonder in my yard!
so much of me is tired of writing poorly
so much of me is tired of writing poorly
but another much of me knows I need these
pretend drafts to pile up until I use real
energy to write.
I don’t know who I’m apologizing to.
Maybe me. Maybe you.
Pride, perhaps. But that would indicate to be proud. What do I have to proud of? Who am I to assume my bad drafts are not just another regular piece of mine?
Should I cry? I don’t know. My eyes don’t care anymore. But somehow I still see potential in a me that maybe no one else has ever even see before.
Asking for approval? Wanting acknowledgement?
Oh, the qualities of the useless.
What is this, then? I ask to myself.
Is my pride from love or hate?
How arrogant to assume anyone’s reading at all?
But I am, I say.
I’m reading my writing and shudder at the nonsense. While other me deep down inside says, keep going. It’s almost time. We’re getting closer with every line.
What inspires you to write something?
Travelling. When I went to the beach last year, I was reading a book about the lost city of Ubar. Iram of the Pillars. The city was located in the Rub al Khali, or the Empty Quarter, of Oman. A desolate waste of burning sun and sand, much like the beach I was on. The incessant orange radiance beat down on us and the wind blew hard across the dunes. The miniscule grains of quartz pelted us like a thousand tiny gnats, so I wrapped my sun shirt about my head like the tagelmust of the desert peoples in Africa. Thus braced against the onslaught, I sat and pondered my next tale of adventure and the search for a city swallowed by the sands.
I've been going through something since April, by the time it's done, it will be a wild ride of ten months, just shy of a year. Because of it's legal status I won't get into details about my situation. During all this I have become very depressed, angry, hurt, disappointed and often suicidal. I stopped writing, fell out of love with words and their meanings, as words so often fail us from all aspects of life. I stopped caring about everything and everyone, it takes all I have just to get out of bed. I've never felt so dead inside as I do now, as I feel right this minute. I never catch a break, not as a child and definitely not as an adult. I've tried talking to someone and I have tried medication, just to come to an understanding that no magic doctor or nor magic pill exists. I'd be homeless right now if my support team wasn't made of such wonderful and kind human beings. My situation has robbed me of all that I am and all that I want to be. I can't sleep, can't eat or I over eat, I can't stand the person who looks back at me in the mirror, most of all, I can't stand being disappointed with life. All I do is cry. Get angry and wish myself dead, and all this is because of what someone else did to me. Where have all the good words gone?
Where does the heart go for peace of mind? Where do I go to find my heart whole again, because right now I'm fractured.