Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Your Failure to Laugh

Perhaps this has something to do with global dimming. As our light levels decrease perhaps we get a little more glum. Either way it's interesting to think that laughter can be quantified.

Sunday, May 22, 2005


I used to wonder why churches and villages and other clans would use excommunication as a form of punishment. I always thought that excommunication would be a relief, especially from certain societies that had rules and laws which were onerous and burdensome. To me what could be better than being removed from such a society? All of a sudden the outcast is in total control of the rules and regulations that govern his/her life.

As I've grown, I realize that, much like a wolf-pack, humans need rules. Humans need stratification, laws and the security that those laws provide. Not the enforcement of those laws by police, but the security of knowing boundaries. The security of knowing what is expected and what is not expected. The blanket of warmth that snugs us into the fabric of society.

I don't always agree with it, but it seems that humans beg to be led. They beg to be spoonfed what to think and how to think it. Humans want to be told what to believe. They want to know how they should feel. They turn to the tabloids, they turn to the cable news, they turn to mass media. It's quite sad that the few individual thinkers that exist are considered "radicals" or "revolutionaries." Perhaps it is because those persons can see through the veil of popular opinion and glimpse the truth.

I've heard it said that if you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water it will jump right out and hardly be burned at all. Yet if that very same frog can be placed into a pot of warm water on the stove, it will swim around and die as the water temperature becomes hotter and hotter. This metaphor is being used as a reality by large companies and governments to slowly change the way that we view our world. To introduce a new style of product, often a is interjected before the unveiling of the final product. Ford Motor Company did this in the 1980's by changing from the big boxy styled LTD's and Fairmonts and Thunderbirds to the newer more aerodynamic look of the Tempo, Taurus and new Thunderbirds. They did it again in the 1990's with the order to unveil the 2004 F-150 with it's radical new styling.

We sit and watch our government change it's policies and add laws with non-sensical riders attached. We are so concerned about ism that we watch as our rights are systematically eroded and erased. We don't even bat an eye. Our ability to move from state to state is soon going to become difficult. Imagine roadblocks on interstates hampering our interstate commerce. It will happen. Shades of the KGB you say? I agree. Isolating from state to state. Soon after it will be counties, then cities. When all else fails and unemployment is high-create more government, that's what we're coming to.

Our Congressmen reap benefits after only 6 years that many of the commonweal work a lifetime to achieve, yet fall well short. These "leaders" don't pay into social security and they hardly pay taxes. Our tax system isolates the middle income wage earners and rewards those at the topmost and the bottommost of the system. Little by little the most elite are assuming control of our daily lives. They are pushing us further and further from the decision making processes that direct our daily activities, and like that frog we swim around comfortably warm but totally unsuspecting.

I'd say that rather than being excommunicated all at once, we're watching it happen inch by inch, it's just that we're too busy being spoonfed media garbage that we don't see it happen. That's the saddest part of our isolation, isn't it?

Friday, May 20, 2005

What in Life?

In lieu of an actual blog entry which requires thought, editing and contemplation, I will use the lyrics of a song which wrote itself in my head and into reality today. I hope that you enjoy it.

What in Life?

What in life is so important
What in life is so real
What in life can make me turn and walk away
From that which I feel?

Carry on, carry on
Carry on, just carry me away
You won’t even listen to what
I’ve got nothing to say (to you)

What in life makes it worth living?
What in life makes it true?
What in life can I remember
That will be complete without you?

Some things I won’t forget
Some things I won’t save
Some things will just fall apart
Some things I will not take

What in life is forever?
What in life is complete?
What in life can make me whole again
As I shuffle down your street?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Mama Always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun

"Mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun.
But Mama, that's where the fun is."

Driving home from work tonight, this song was playing on the CD. I listened. I really listened to it today. That one phrase stuck with me, as if to tell me to write tonight. So I am writing. . .

The eyes of the sun. That's where the fun is. Bruce Springsteen, Manfred Mann. Do you think they really looked into the eyes of the sun? I think the real question is have we? What are the eyes of the sun? Do they only exist in our songs? I think the "eyes of the sun" are a representation of that which is on the very edge of being both rebellious and harmful to ourselves. I think maybe it also symbolizes our reach for that which is unattainable, that which is unknown. It could be those all night parties we wanted to attend in our teens, the prom queen that we couldn't ask out-but secretly we rehearsed doing so, it could be the exposure of all of our secrets to someone we trust, it could just be that feeling of truly being accepted for being who we are.

I think that we, as humans, tend to define ourselves continually. And that continuum needs to be periodically updated. As social creatures, our social habits change, our social circles evolve. In with the new, and out with the old. But is that "where the fun is?" There's something to be said about being conservative in one's social circles. But friends grow older and you cannot expect relationships to remain static. You cannot expect life to remain static. Change is the propellant for the rocket of success, and success may lie in the "eyes of the sun." Change though, invariably causes pain and it is that pain which is the catalyst for some to seek other social relationships and social bonds.

What type of identity do we share? Am I not human? Do I not bleed? But does that make me any less human than you, or conversely any more human? I think not, therefore I am not. I'm amazed at how cliche some of the most basic ideas of the construct of humanity have become. I read and say them to myself and they seem to have lost the very meaning that they engendered. When was the last time that anyone you know asked you a question of substance, a question of thought, a question of intrigue?

We have lost the capacity to think. Not the capacity to learn, nor the capacity to memorize, but the capacity to think! I for one, question authority. I question the abstract concepts of rights, truth, justice. I even go as far as questioning the morality of right and wrong. Much to the chagrin of my parents who think I was raised better. The fact is that I learned how to think for myself, again much to the chagrin of my parents and much to my own surprise. I surrounded myself with a /alcohol induced fog when I was an adolescent. I hid from my intellect, I hid from my depression, I hid from the real me.

I didn't really learn to think until I was in the Marine Corps. And that, of course, really bothered my superiors. I have always known how to argue, but once I learned how to think, my view of the world changed. I read books that opened up new worlds to me, among them "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," "The Dancing Wu Li Masters," "A Brief History of Time," "The God Particle." I read religious tomes and philosophy. I read Russian literature, French Literature, Early American Literature. I wrote. I stayed awake at nights debating concepts and ideals which I had previously accepted as truth. I delved deeper into the mystery that is humanity. I created my own theories. I won't bore you with those during this post though...

I wish that the idea of University hadn't been corrupted. I wish that Universities today were still dedicated to the best and the brightest. I just feel that by incorporating "University" into the schooling process, we have dumbed down the education and turned it into a business. And the business end is very successful. Yet our graduates still cannot think for themselves. In the midst of a crisis they'd rather throw their hands up and say "What do I do?" instead of actually doing something. That's a sign which tells me that he didn't even try to look "into the eyes of the sun." Sad isn't it?

Friday, May 06, 2005

What is this life?

Life is what you make it out to be, or so I've been told. "Carpe Diem!" cried the Romans. Seize the day! To sum it up I guess it means make the most of every day, laugh when you can and live life to it's very utmost.

There are times when I find this very difficult to do. I seem to be at a changing point in my life, where I become morose and despondent as well as restless. I don't know which way to turn. I am in therapy and this helps quite a bit, but my level of motivation comes crashing down almost every day. I have very little energy and my thought processes seem to cloud over. I do not understand this because it only affects my personal life, my business life-my professional life is unaffected. I remain motivated, perhaps too much so and I accomplish those tasks which I must do. I meet the goals that I should meet.

Where did my energy go? Did my motivation take a vacation? Why do I depend so much for external support for my own energies? Why is it that being alone is so easy and being with others is so difficult? I don't want to avoid society, but it seems that I don't want to join it either.

Some days I feel as though I never really learned the lessons of high school and college. Perhaps it's the that I did as a youth, perhaps the alcohol. Perhaps it's the lack of apathy that I felt at home, or the fact that I was ignored on a daily basis. Perhaps I am just feeling quite sorry for myself. Whatever the case, sometimes I still feel as if I am not a wanted nor a needed member of my own family, my extended family or anyone's family at all. I am the forgotten.

When I was in the Marine Corps, I was part of a unit that disappeared off of the radar screen during the first Persian Gulf War. They called us, or more correctly we called ourselves "The Lost ARG." (Amphibious Readiness Group.) That's what I feel my destiny has become: To perform with distinction, the missions that are set before me, yet to remain anonymous except to those who are in my immediate vicinity. Is that a noble thing or is that ignoble?

Why does it seem that my friends ignore me? My social world collapsed recently when my best friend and his wife moved to California. I didn't see him all that often but I always knew that if I called him and it was important, he'd be there. I don't blame him for following his dream. I'd be a dick to do that, but I do blame myself for not being able to make new friends easily. I'm not an easy person to know. My appearance does not belie my substance. I am the book which cannot be judged by it's own cover. I've run into that several times in the last week. Hardly anyone knows who I really am. Hardly anyone knows the scope of my yearnings, interests and life's work. I love to think, to write to discuss knowledge, information, economics, intrigue, politics, the philosophy of religion, the philosophy of rhetoric, the philosophy of philosophy. I've just recently learned how to express my feelings, and in as much as I am new at this, I do it somewhat often through these pages, but maybe not enough in person. There are times I feel like I am living a lie and that I shouldn't be involved in the auto parts business, but that I should be some sort of a business strategist or involved in some other field or endeavor that tries the limits of my knowledge and my intellect. I learn languages quite easily and can adapt my approach to suit almost any cultural norm. But in direct juxtaposition to all of this: I love my job despite all of these additional talents that I have.

My passions are many and my aptitude for these passions is quite high, yet I don't see the world in terms of dollar signs, but in terms of the heart. I give up and I give this all to you.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

The waiting is the hardest part

Most of life, it seems, we wait. We wait for traffic. We "wait a minute" for someone. We wait for our main course at a good restaurant. We wait for the bus. We wait for 5 o'clock to get here. We're waiting for the weekend. We wait until the last minute to do our taxes. We wait until the last possible instant to merge into traffic. We are a society of waiters.

I to wait. I have watched the dog this past week. The soon-to-be 16 year old Peke. With her assorted sounds, smells and needs, she makes an interesting bed-warmer. But I have still not gotten much sleep with her around. I'm averaging 2-4 hours a night. I cannot live like this much longer. I feel like a parent. When I'm at work I'm worried that she might forget where her water bowl is or something else significant like that. Anyways, the parents were supposed to come back today. I was supposed to drop the dog off with them this afternoon. I cancelled all my plans for the day. It's almost midnight and they've still not shown up yet. I'm tired and I want to go to sleep. But still I wait, still I wait.