Saturday, August 15, 2015

Always the new path, and it starts with apologies

Lately, I've had some drama to deal with and those that know me know I avoid drama.  Drama generally shows up in what the smart folk call ad-hominem, or personal attacks.  This can be painful, embarrassing, and cause serious damage to one's peace of mind, regardless of how much truth or accuracy is in the attacks.

I know who I am inside.  And I know that when the sea of drama rises, I have to swim through it to get to peaceful waters.  But I'm getting better and better at it, swimming faster, and eventually will see it from far enough away to avoid it altogether.  Life would be so much easier, wouldn't it, if you didn't care about people?  I care about people.  When I see them attacked, or I'm attacked, it's immediate pain and a feeling of depression.  I can't be the judge and jury; only they know the truths about their personal lives.  But I can feel for them, no matter what they did that didn't match up with somebody else's view of good behavior.

My friend Shane taught me two things; first, he told me I have a problem with forgiveness.  I had no idea.  And he was dead-on.  And I STILL have that problem; he told me this six years ago so I could begin working on it.  He's a peaceful, mature, good person, down at the soul level.  He's the kind of guy I always strive to be like.  He also told me that he believes in karma; I still don't.  I've seen too many aholes get through life with reasonable ease and unless they are getting their justice from some higher authority after life, I don't see karma at work.  I HOPE karma is real and justice finds its way into everybody's life.  And I hope justice has at least a touch of forgiveness in it.

But if I'm going to do what I say, and continue to close down or at least control this part of myself that gets affected by drama, there is only one real way to start out.  That is to say I'm sorry.  I'm sorry to anyone who I have ever hurt, or embarrassed, or caused any discomfort.  If karma is real, I can assure you that I've already been paid back ten-fold for those I have hurt if we're measuring in physical and psychological pain.   If karma is real, I'm thinking maybe it forgot to stop punishing me once justice was served.  So by saying and feeling that I'm sorry for those that I've hurt, I can begin to (hopefully quickly) forgive myself for those actions.  And maybe if I can forgive myself, I can forgive others.  But if I'm going anti-drama, or with the create-a-better-world-for-people philosophy, there is no place to start except to say that I'm sorry for any drama I've caused anybody, ever, or anything I did that made your world anything but a better world.

With that out of the way, which just made me literally breathe in some fresh air and feel weight come off of me, I can get on to the business of making sure that I don't go near rising seas of drama, and regardless of how much pain I'm in, nobody deserves to be snapped at because I'm hurting, even if they do something out of line.  My goal is peace of mind and helping people when I can.  I want those two things more than anything, and they have become the goals that I will now live for and repeat to myself every day.  You've heard all of the cliches; life is too short, golden rule, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all, if you're not giving, you're not living... well, I have nothing to add to that except that I do know from experience that good feelings and peace of mind come from just such behaviors.  

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Kev Still Says Get the Negative OUT!

I've seen the thought gaining momentum lately and I just want to do my bi-annual push for it as well.

Cut the negative people and thoughts out of your life.  You'll be doing yourself and those around you a huge favor.

When two of my sisters and I stood in a little circle outside the house at my Mom's 70th birthday party some years back and made a pact to kick out and keep out the negative everything from our lives, I knew it was a big deal.  I had never even considered it.  My imagination (which can be my greatest strength or weakness) immediately felt the power in it.

From that day on, I've stuck to it like glue.  I wasn't even on Facebook yet; I think it was just in its early stages then.  I don't even remember what got us talking about removing the negative stuff, but the agreement was that once we realized we were having negative thoughts or were spending much time around a negative person, they had to go.  Distance had to go between us and the thought/person.

At the time, when I told people about it, I would say, "If you've got negative people in your life, you have to toss them over the fence, out of your daily circles."  And I was careful to separate negative people from people just having a bad day or even a bad month, or a good friend or family member just giving you some difficult truths to help you see one or more of your blind spots.  The negative people we were talking about were people who lived to complain about and scorn other people, places, and things.  An example might be a coworker who starts his day telling you, "Damned traffic sucked.  Did you see the Mets last night?  Terrible.  Ok, let's go see what my dumbass boss has for me today.  He'll probably have us have a meeting at that sucky restaurant again.  I think I'll take my horrific wife their next week; she deserves it.  Hey, are you working the Anderson account?  Yes?  Good, I hated those people.  They actually think I care about them.  Ah, this coffee sucks.  And I hope our president has a terrible fishing accident today.  Where's Mills at?  Is he late again?  God that bastard is a loser.  How did he even get hired here?"

Get away from that co-worker, and stay away, if you even want a reasonable shot at true happiness.  And that goes for people in any other category.  If you can't get away from them because you have to be shoulder-to-shoulder for some reason, just stop talking to them.  They'll get the idea.  You can also send your friends and family a personal memo: "Hey, I'm trying a new thing.  Starting next month, I'm going to be putting some distance between myself and people that seem to be constantly negative--just wanted to give everybody a heads up."  Or however you would word that.  More and more, with technology, we can cut people out of our circles that bring is pain routinely or who just seek to attack.  Or you may find that you just disagree with somebody on so many fundamental levels that there is no real point in keeping them in your circles, because every conversation turns into a debate or dismissive attitudes.

If you care about other humans, you will automatically be influenced by their moods in your presence, and if they carry around a dark shadow of doom and gloom and hate and remain discontent no matter how well things are going, you will sink to the bottom with them.  It's just a matter of time.  People with no empathy have a strong advantage here--I'll call it a psycho-perk.  If you aren't concerned about others, you won't be influenced by their feelings or moods.

With the internet the way it is now, people can drag up any mistakes you've ever made and they can usually remain anonymous doing it so they have no moral equivalence test to take in order to make sure they aren't being hypocrites.  They can hurt you, your family, your friends, perfect strangers; some get joy out of it.  Normally, that comes from their own pain; projection could be happening, or they feel like failures at some/most things, and in what I believe is the most selfish kind of behavior, they seek to make others hurt just because they hurt.  I have so much "dirt" on people, I don't know where to store it all.  But I don't share it.  Most of it was shared with me in confidence; some is just stuff I stumbled across.  It is not only just mean to share that type of information, but it's not interesting to me.  Personal attacks aren't interesting.  There's probably some science behind why astrophysicists don't watch Jerry Springer re-runs.

One of the greater ironies is that most of those that are judging are self-proclaimed Christians.  How is it that I, as an Ignostic, can be less judgmental with no definitive guide to lead me than a Christian who is taught directly not to judge if they want to live the Christian life?  Say nothing of turning the other cheek or following the 10 commandments.  If it weren't so sad--this mountain of cognitive dissonance that allows them to turn off the rules when convenient--it would be hilarious.  And this goes really for all rigid religious directives or even strong personal constitutions (for example, somebody who is always preaching about how the death penalty is a good thing until somebody they know and like ends up on trial).  I know plenty of religious folks who do live by the word or their tenets, but I know too many that do not.

Overall, I believe we humans are pretty weak.  I believe we're still mostly animal, but I'm encouraged because I know we have the power to love, forgive, and, assuming normal psychological health, to empathize with our fellow human, regardless of their race, sex, oreintation, religion, or any other quality that would warrant a label or category.  As I get older, I'm losing a little bit of heart and become less defensive over my general belief system which I would normally defend pretty rigorously since it took a lot of reading and thinking and note-taking to arrive at what I believe is an accurate reality.  I couldn't possibly sell that exact reality to everybody because they took different notes, did different reading, and had different thoughts, say nothing of genetic and environmental differences or early-life influences (such as being brought up by parents of a certain religion or political party).

One thing I do know is that the ultimate freedom for the mind comes only when you can truly think for yourself (those who don't have this yet are either ditto-heads or are constantly in search of a perfect leader to lead them), but the freedom of the heart, if you care about others, is only gained when you move the haters away from this sensitive thing that you love with.  I'll treat my heart like a small, warm fire that I only let the kindest, purest, most honest people near, and I know a lot of them, so we'll have to pack in tight already, but the dark and cold personalities will have to just stay out in the dark and cold, where they like it.  If you let them near your fire, they'll just pee on it.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

When Cops Kill


Do you think you are a fair-minded American?  Listen to this story real quick:

A cop has pulled over a 20-year old male who has no license plate on his car.  The rap music coming from the car is so loud the cop has to cover his ears as he approaches the car.  "License and registration, please!," he yells as the man rolls his window down.

"Here you go," the man says, handing some papers out the window.  The cop says, "Do you realize you don't have a tag on the back?  Your rear license plate is missing."  The mans says, "Aww, naww, it musta fell off somewhere.  It's one on the front if you wanna look at that."

The officer confirms the front does have a plate, which matches the registration and the man on the license.  He goes back to his cruiser to run the man's plates and name to check for warrants.  He gets a hit on his computer that the man has a warrant for felony assault out on him.  He calls in to the dispatcher to tell them he'll be making an arrest.

He steps back up to the man's car and says, "I need you to step out of the car and place your hands behind your back."  The man pulls out a handgun and shoots the officer 7 times, killing him instantly, and speeds away.  He is never caught.


The question is: how do you feel about this?  Please take a minute to think about it.  What should happen to the man?  What about the officer's family; how should they be taken care of?  Should policies change instantly?

Now, if you were imagining the cop as white and the suspect as black as most people do, reverse it.  Black cop, white suspect, same story.  The difference you felt when you did that (or reversed it from whatever you had imagined) is what racism is.  It's really that simple.  

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Twas the night before Christmas, and some fads have gone wrong

The English part of me that really loves the language has been baking on something for a while  There is this saying going around--was made even more popular in the video game Far Cry 3 but has been going around for probably ten or twenty years now--that the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

All one really has to do is think about it for a few moments to realize that that's silly.  That's the definition, maybe, of stubbornness.  Maybe it's the definition for unintelligent, misguided persistence.  But not insanity.

No, insanity is far more complex.  Repeating the same action over and over and expecting a new result is fine.  Can you imagine the first person who began using a sharp rock to chop down a tree?  He should have stopped chopping after the first couple of times, shouldn't he have?  Unless he was insane?

What's alarming is that I saw this very incorrect and really unintelligent sentiment recently used on a political post.  I could normally let something like this go, because I don't expect a sentiment like this to gain traction, but it has.

So here is the true medical definition of insanity: 1. Persistent mental disorder or derangement. Not in scientific use.
2. Unsoundness of mind sufficient in the judgment of a civil court to render a person unfit to maintain a contractual or other legal relationship or to warrant commitment to a mental health facility.
3. In most criminal jurisdictions, a degree of mental malfunctioning considered to be sufficient to relieve the accused of legal responsibility for the act committed.

Now that we have that out of the way, we can get back to being smarter than taking pop-definitions as the gospel.  Have a happy holiday and great new year!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Where in the world is Kevin SanDiego?

A quick post to let you know I'm alive.  I'm putting most of my energy into my radio shows and writing has taken a back-burner position, but don't worry if you were waiting for my next novel.  I was born a writer.  When I'm writing, I feel like I'm doing what I was created for.  I just needed a break from it after putting out four novels and writing two more that have yet to be published.

For those interested in the radio show, which focuses on capital-T Truth, please check it out.  It has been picked up by iHeartRadio!  I do two shows; the one picked up by iHeartRadio is called Truth on Tap.  The other show I do is about the Washington Capitals and is called Caps on Tap.  Both shows' Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/TruthOnTapShow and you can hear the shows on both Spreaker and iHeartRadio at the links below:

Spreaker: http://www.spreaker.com/user/truthontap

iHeartRadio: http://www.iheart.com/show/Truth-On-Tap/

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Thing in my Stomach is ALIVE

I can imagine this.

A younger man is in an airport, with plans and enough confidence.  A baby is screaming.
The man is now pained; he needed to make a call, and cannot move because he has papers spread out all over his lap.  The baby is having severe stomach cramps--the equivelant pain of being cut across the stomach with a sharp knife.  The baby thinks she's being attacked--from the outside or inside is not a thought.  The only thought is that it hurts.

Quick hop from imagination to potentially linked truth:


Day six of fighting the Beast in the Belly has taught me to be cautious about praising a product too quickly.  The pink chewies from Rexall didn't help me at all (this is for a stomach bug with cramping and the other thing but not nausea, or very little, and only at the beginning).  The Kaopectate pills work great, for about 8 hours.  Then it's like your body says, "Get that sh** out of here," (naww mean?) and finally, Imodium functions great to keep you off of the commodium, but none of the above (nor pain meds) have calmed the stomach cramping. 

A week of this is too much. 

If I had to do it all over again, I'd start with Imodium and skip the rest.  It's exhausting.  No sleep.  Dehydration.  There is a very palpable weakness.  It's tiring my hands typing right now.  My other medical conditions that are painful are somehow slightly disconnected, like I'm too flat-lined to fully process all the pain signals.  Everything is confusing and annoying.  Sometimes when I think about very remote possibilities, I figure if I'm paying for something I did in the past or some past life, I must have really done it up right.  This is no plea for sympathy, as I find that embarrassing and emasculating, to a degree.  It's almost a prideful moment, like telling a war story.

I like telling stories through writing, so a war story it will be; here's a drama based on a true story...

It must have been the summer of 2014.  I was no stranger to frequent runs to the bathroom on occasion.  Far as I knew, that was normal for people to have a few times a year, or sometimes more.

But this time was different.

It started with the cramps--you know, the jellyfish-like motion your stomach starts making when it has business to take care of in a hurry.  It's your 3-minute warning, mostly.  And my alarm was ringing right across the country side.  My commander, Mother Nature, had called me, and ordered me to report to the Port of Porcelain.

It was in that port that I spent the better part of the next six days (at least).  My ass developed a horseshoe-shaped bruise in the perfect shape of a toilet lid.  My asteroids were a blazing, burning red after a few days there. 

At times, it was like pure rainfall.  At other times, it was like wet clay mortars going off just below me.  I won't lie--I was frightened, as I had no back-up.  I was tempted on several occasions to flee the Port of Porcelain without clearance, but then I realized that the result might be peace of mind for me, but it would make a mess for the locals, so I kept my post, and I ruled my throne like a slightly-overweight, exhausted elephant seal, flopping around, reaching in what became a routine between toilet paper, books, and the bathtub rim to brace myself for the larger bombs. 

As time went on, the bombs stopped and the rains were constant.  It was all wrong.  My energy was gone, and I mean the kind of gone like after a football game that goes to overtime.  You have no legs.  You have no will.  You aren't even that interested in survival; it's something you half-heartedly hope will happen passively, without any effort on your part, because you have no effort left to give.  After that sixth day, when PTSD and really, the older fashioned "shell shock" had set in, there was a certain comfort.  It's a strange comfort, not a good comfort--one like you'd feel if you knew you were going to die in ten minutes and had a thought about paying taxes.  That kind of comfort.  I survived.  I can die now, sure, but I survived something I shouldn't have, and doesn't it feel great to have been measured so directly and viciously by General Mother Nature, who expected you to fall in battle--doesn't it feel good to be able to crawl out of it and give her a nod, even if you knew you would die just after. 

She knew, from experience, that I would not sleep... that all of my current physical ailments would be magnified at first, and then almost irrelevant later--more like a decoration I carried as I dealt with the real pain she had brought down.  She knew I would eat fried foods and dairy and things that would make the war worse, but maybe she's not just an evil bitch--maybe she wanted me stronger.  She tends to favor the stronger ones. 

I began to wonder; "Mother Nature hasn't really created this body and mind of man very well if such small wars can render him entirely useless instead of just partially useless like I was.  She knew that my over-exposure to the town surrounding the Port would create familiarity which breeds contempt, and that lack of sleep and presence of new pain would compound the psychological component." 

My realization is that mankind is, if he should continue long enough for this phase to matter, a seriously under-developed work in progress.  Denis Leary said happiness comes in small doses; it's a cookie, a cigarette, a 5-second orgasm.  That means the rest of life is either uneventful or painful, and who needs that?  I'm fighting your little war, Mother Nature, ma'am, but just to prove to myself I can do it because I can think of a thousand ways to die that would be less unpleasant than this. 

And as for this thing in my stomach that I'm almost certain is at least the size of a midget alien, I'm going to cut it out and beat it to death with yardstick just to prolong its suffering.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

What's Wrong with the Younger Generation? The Same Thing that was Wrong with Yours.

I'm 42 years-old.  I have a lot of flaws, and have made so many mistakes that all my fingers and toes AND a calculator couldn't count them.

One of the very few areas I have not made a mistake in is wondering what it would be like when I got older, or more actively, imagining what it would be like.  Turns out I was mostly right about what I had guessed, and one thing I had guessed is that I will see the younger generation(s) as less honorable, disciplined, and respectful than mine.

Well, here we are.  2014.  I have friends who have posted as recently as today on Facebook about how much our youth is lacking--in his case, his flash of awareness came from watching a certain network that he is certain is aimed at 20-somethings, since it has mindless programs with more magic than plot--more eye candy than brain candy.

But then I thought back at the programs we used to watch.  A-Team.  Incredible Hulk.  Spencer for Hire.  MacGyver.  The Cosby Show.  Three's Company.  The Andy Griffith Show.  Saturday morning cartoons.  While a few of them taught something, most of them were mindless consumables.  Violence.  Green dudes with big muscles.  A black guy with a mohawk who feared flying, probably fearing it even more when flying with his normal pilot, an 80's version of Jim Carrey in The Mask.  Were we any better?  According to our elders then, it was mindless junk.  I keep using that word, mindless.  It's so befitting.

But that friend who questioned today's programming toward the next generation down also wondered where our species was going.  I must agree that even though the generational doubt about what we imagine is a decline in values will be ongoing, perpetually, we must admit that the line of cultural change continues to move and meander as it always has.  Change is underway, as it always has been, and because it seems rather unpredictable, it's reasonable to wonder where we are going.

There are major dichotomies at work right now.  For example, the average kid scores higher on intelligence tests now than one generation ago, yet cannot answer fundamental questions about his country, such as where California is on a map or in what century the Civil War was fought.  Because intelligence tests have only been around for a few hundred years and have undergone constant changes of their own, we can't know if that steady growth in intelligence has been linear, or cyclical, or even random.

American programming is aimed at Americans, for the most part, even though audiences are fast becoming global.  American kids are having a harder time answering questions about their country, yet intelligence tests seem to show an increasing intelligence.  Even so, regarding basic facts that you would not find in intelligence tests, America is slipping, quickly, in world rankings.

Or are we?

Isn't it possible that other nations are just suddenly tapped in to things like the internet and new mediums such that their own children have an easier time getting their hands on information?  Couldn't it just be relativity that makes us look like we're slipping, when really, our car isn't rolling backwards--the cars around us are just lurching forward?  In America, the single-parent household has skyrocketed with the fall of religion making divorce more acceptable, and therefore, a more likely choice among couples having hard times.  This alone could throw off a child's ability to focus on study, say nothing of modern, sudden changes in educational standards and testing.  Toss in with that the wide array of distractions now available to a kid than we had generations before in electronics and media access that speak directly to the more primitive areas of the mind (fear generating a need for power, lack of control generating a need for control, apathy generating a need for mind-jarring effects in entertainment, and then on to the simpler ones like the need to be liked, loved, popular, then later to escape pain with drugs, alcohol, or cutting, or the use of sex for the same affect) and you've got a bubbling soup of I-don't-know-how-this-shit-will-turn-out.

One of the biggest causes of the change we're seeing now that we're not acknowledging is the perfect intersection of the population ramp going nearly vertical (extreme population growth) at the same time that information access and global connections are reaching a fever pitch.  These two things did not necessarily have to happen at the same time, but they did, and the combination created a global curve-ball that I don't think anybody was able to predict and certainly now is making the future even harder to predict.

Maybe it's wishful thinking in part along with my own version of prediction, but I think our ultimate direction, as my friend was asking, is off of the planet.  Colonizing the portion of the Universe that we can spread out to.  That's in our nature, whether you see us more as angels or locusts, we grow and spread.  Hell, that's life's nature.  Just ask a bacterium or fire ant or rat.

There may be no real connection between that and the "new" attitudes of the younger generations, but maybe there is.  Maybe we'll need a psychologically tough, nearly numb, race of people to be able to come up with the courage to leave Earth and the fortitude to keep from snapping once away from her.  Maybe that is something that the X-Box and the internet and easy, less cerebral television programming is helping us to build.

Every generation is worse than the last, isn't it?  They don't have respect these days, you hear.  Everybody's ex is psychotic (that totally cheapens mine because she REALLY IS).  The stores charge too much.  The politicians are lying more than ever.  The music lacks culture.  These are complaints that have come from the older generations forever, and I don't expect they'll ever stop.