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.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Who Should Have Mercy

Maybe I'm selfish.  Maybe thoughts like mine should belong
to the mother whose water broke as she stumbled along
Maybe thoughts like mine should be held back and stored
So I can live up to man-image who's pain is ignored.

If I have no ego to protect, why would I do that?

Medicine surpassed rubbing of leaves on the wounds
and it evolved past the sexes and roles of the goons
and it reached up and out quickly to touch children and women
and has arrived now to touch both Lions and Tinmen.

But I can't.  I'm a man.  I played football and skydived and
got into fistfights and jumped off of high dives
and joined the world's strongest military, serving with honor.
Saved drowning victims twice.  Fished with Grizzlies just yonder.

Opened my knee with a chainsaw, broke my foot sliding into home,
Ate a worm for a dollar, lost both big toenails from moving , alone.
Rode an unbroken horse and stayed unbroken after impact
Jumped off bridges, fled cops, all wearing underwear and a ball cap.

And I sit here in pain so severe that I can't describe it
My spine and my knee keep it constantly ignited.

The medicine has evolved, it's able to treat me
to force pain to subside the the point I could be me
But me is no more, that boy from the past
Who ran down a hiked mountain with a sprained ankle, fast
With concern that if we went slow, it would swell up too large
I'm down now, rolling down, arms still raised in victory
Rolling down like a stump who needs only to look tough
While the fire in my mind asks, "When is enough?


Saturday, January 18, 2014

My blog is like my lawn mower

I don't post often, then sometimes, I post in bunches.

I don't cut grass often, but sometimes, again, in bunches, depending on rain and growth.

So the point is; is there really any bother that the interval changes?  Does the grass still not get cut?  Does the blog still not see the light of day?  Can a break from either lead to growth in the operator?  I believe so.

So, lately, I've been up to very little writing (which sucks cuz I have a book due out in April) lots of hurting (let it go), lots of paracord creations like bracelets; paracord is short for parachute cord and has 32 trillion uses and is, no matter how many dudes deny it, man-knitting, and it does VERY well at distracting one from one's problems.

I could write the best blog on the planet.  I've read some of this one popular guy's blog and how famous he has become (the 30-something that gave up his radio show to blog full time?) because I have full confidence in my ability to see well below the surface in human motivation and resulting endeavor.  The question is motive.

Do I really give a goddam if I help to save us?

I'll go think about it.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Blog Resurrected

Contrary to popular belief, I do live.  I've been devoting a lot of time to my new radio show; if you haven't checked it out, please do.  It's all about capital-T "Truth," in politics, advertising, media and also covers lots of psychology/sociology issues and news items, as well as many comedic breaks.  You can call in/chat in on LIVE shows!  Show has been picked up already by iHeartRadio and I've only been doing it for a few months!  Check this jank!  http://www.facebook.com/TruthOnTapShow

I expect some blog posts again soon as I do have a fifth book due for release on 4-14-14 (Vol. 1 of the People Phenomenal series: Flight Fortemente).  Thanks for checking everything out!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Temptation of the Public Poetry Reading, Issue 2: In the Truth of Lacking Intelligence

You can be an optimist or a pessimist, or somewhere in-between, but no matter where your mark is on that scale, you should have no opinions on math.  And who should?

Mathematically, your experiences in this world can be summed up as everything you've gone through as calculated by your mind.  Your experiences are not everything you've gone through, of course, except as calculated by your mind.  A person who may be called disconnected from reality is, of course, having a reality of his own, marked not by level of accuracy regarding what's really happening--marked only by how he perceives it, and how much of it he perceives, and how long he can remember any of it.  Without memory, there can be nothing drawn from an experience except for the immediate emotions or other thoughts it gives birth to, and without memory, the traceability of that path disappears, and therefore, can never be proven to have existed until science can record the path.  Don't hold your breath for that one.

To that end of having experienced, we are only limited by intelligence once health and normal cognitive abilities are accounted for, those being the engine of experience.  Intelligence is our legend for the map of experience, isn't it?  How can we know what we are experiencing without it?  And a lack of intelligence, which every human alive today lives with, is a measure of our ability to understand a given experience, or ascribe any value to it or even more importantly, to draw anything valuable from it.

Since we are all lacking some intelligence, leaving us all somewhere between knowing nothing and knowing it all, then we are all immeasurably limited until we find our what the end of intelligence is, and in my own humble wager, intelligence is not limited--it's a perpetual compounder, if nothing else.

Imagine if you did know it all; would you even know what to do with that?  Is it fair to even argue that knowing it all would necessarily include having the knowledge of how best to use the information you have to further (what?  Your life?  Humanity?  Science?) something or someone?

The truth in realizing that you lack intelligence is a promotion of yourself.  I'll say it aloud.  You are promoting the accuracy of your understanding of your importance and of your value to this world when you realize that, compared to all knowledge, you can't possibly have even scratched into a millionth of a millionth of one percent of it all.  This world is temporary, just as you are; your importance to it is no more measurable than is the measure of your importance to the ground compared to the train's importance to the ground that you are riding on.

By recognizing the truth of lacking intelligence, you decisively are placed into a category made by nothing more than circumstance that insists upon your expendability.  The Earth and her people can afford to lose you.  The skies stay blue even in your absence, until She, the Mother, is devoured by a dying sun and the mathematical certainty that she will be consumed by a black hole long after she has lost her ability to sustain life of any type.  And just as traffic will still move long after you're gone, the Universe will still thump long after She's gone.

The implicit idea is not that having total intelligence would make you indispensable--nothing would still rely on you for its survival; having total intelligence would make you indestructible, except by your own choosing, and anything in existence that might choose to destroy itself or allow itself to be destroyed when it doesn't have to must be lacking intelligence.  Assuming choice is never removed, total intelligence is not possible as long as choice is possible, and who among us would give up choice to have total intelligence?  Who would walk into the cell of knowledge and slam the door behind him, knowing that that would be the last decision he ever made, just to roll around in the mind of all information and it's applicability?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

People will not tolerate you enjoying your life, so you'll have to do it alone

There are only a couple of things I really dislike.  One is constant negativity, and the other is hypocrisy.

The negativity isn't something I always hated.  I didn't even isolate it from everyday, normal conversation until a few years back.  I just incorporated it within life as a part of life.  Once I separated it in my mind, I realized that I didn't have to tolerate it.  The negativity was coming from people.  All I had to do was either get those people out of my life, or insist on the old maxim, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."  Easier said than done; I know.  I worked with a guy who was always negative, so I couldn't just cast him out of my social circles.  And I didn't want to say old maxims to him; sounds bossy and judgmental.  Instead, after he would say something, I would always say some variation of, "Oh, I don't know.  When it comes to negative stuff, I just don't get involved."  He finally got the message, and because he didn't know how not to be negative, he stayed quiet a lot, which was ok with me.

It was ok with me because I had decided to have no more negativity in my life.

On my mom's 70th birthday, about 4 years ago, my youngest sister, Kelley, was visiting and she and I made a little pact while standing around outside.  Something got us talking about negative people, and particularly, critics.  We both believed that you shouldn't criticize anybody until your got your own back yard perfect, unless they asked for your honest opinion.  We both knew that some people love to stew in negativity; that steamy, acidic broth from which all of their thoughts and actions emanate, seen usually in the form of their criticism of you or other people, or places/things.  Always putting something, person, or place down.  Always, always complaining.  Just unhappiness, paraded.  We knew everybody had days like this; Hell, even weeks like this, or occasionally, an entirely bad month.  But those folks are easy to separate from those who live in the steamy broth, the acidic, corrosive poison that moves them from thought to thought, and therefore, from action to action, which usually materializes as criticism.

We made that pact.  We decided to work hard, really hard if necessary, to get negative people not only out of our social and co-worker circles but even family members.  Even siblings, parents, whomever; if they were negative, and always prone to criticize you or others, or tell you how to live (implying how you're living wrong), off they go.  Out of the circles.  You launch them over the fence of your everyday yard.  You are free to warn them; give them a month.  Tell them, "In 30 days from now, I'm going to stop hanging around or talking to anybody who I see as negative.  Not because I'm judging them or any other reason except that it brings me down, and this life is hard enough.  I don't want help to feel bad.  I don't need bricks tossed into my leaky lifeboat.  I can't handle it, and even if I could, I'm going to choose not to, because nowhere have I read that I'm not entitled to take a good, hard, fair shot at happiness.  If I'm going to take that shot--to make a real effort toward it--I have to get the negative people out of my daily communications.  There is no other way."

While hypocrisy and negativity are not necessarily related, I think they do hang out a lot together.  A hypocrite must necessarily be telling others how to live to be a hypocrite; he must also not be living by his own advice/demands.  The ultimate, near-combo mixture for me that just drives me berzerk is a hypocrite being a hypocrite while criticizing me.  A christian, for example, telling me I won't make it to heaven, when I personally know that he breaks 5 of the sacred 10 commandments weekly but believes he's forgiven if he says sorry every Sunday.  I have many, many more examples that do not involve religion, and I'm not here to pick on religion, but it is the first example that popped into my head.

While I may occasionally contradict myself, I'm ok with that.  My life path is clear to me now, at almost 41-years old.  I know a lot of people that live off of government checks when they could be working, yet they criticize others for not working.  I know plenty of people who have diets or lifestyles that are very unhealthy, yet they criticize others for eating too much or smoking cigarettes.  That's not contradiction, because they would have to believe in (and would thereby live) a healthy lifestyle in order to be contradicting themselves while criticizing the choices of others.  I contradict myself occasionally with philosophies.  Walt Whitman said, "Do I contradict myself?  Very well, I contradict myself.  I am large.  I contain multitudes," in Song to Myself.

I don't know about being large or even containing multitudes, but I'm not bothered by when I contradict myself.  I see it as almost unavoidable if you think a lot.

My girlfriend, Tanya, has a very positive outlook on life, in general.  I'm super lucky for that, because I promised myself before I started dating that I could not be in a relationship with anybody who was consistently negative.  And that now goes for my friends, too.

So this blog post is one that I made mostly to help me crystallize this particular series of beliefs that absolutely must define how I deal with others.  I'll probably refer people to it. It's very confrontational in my view to just come out and tell somebody, "You're too negative.  I'm going to avoid you from now on," yet I've had to do it, and I'll have to do it again.  If I seem to have disappeared from your life, and you happen to stumble across this, you may get a clue into what I was thinking when I removed myself from your daily life.  To sum up, this life is a bitch, no matter which way you slice it.  There's a few good things, and a shitload of bad things.  I choose to focus on the good things.  My choice may be good or bad, but it is my choice and one that I adhere to with maximum dedication.  I would advise this to anybody, this choice to not hang around/be around negative folks and hypocrites.  But yet I don't, because advising anything sounds... pushy.  There is one other context I need to put this in, though; I genuinely believe that if you don't live by this model or some variation of it, you cannot have a decent shot at real happiness.  I'm giving myself, and the people around me, the best chance possible to have happiness.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Another degrading comment from my ex-Monster in Law

I can't be sure it was from my ex. ass-in-law, especially considering the name is bart_BOY_1 but I have to go from experience.

Let me take you back.

It's July 4th, 2001.  We're gathering to watch fireworks on a lake.  In comes the ass-in-law; hyper, just smoked a big, fat joint, and she's all in my daughter's face.  100mph, this nutcase goes.  My daughter can't stand her personality; she's almost in tears as her grandma hits her with 10,000 Amps of stimulus per second in her stoned rampage.

And that was a mellow evening.

Since then, she and her daughter, my ex, have gone on a concentrated mission to separate me from my daughter, and have been fairly successful.  After I found out my ex was cheating with gawd knows how many men, I immediately filed for divorce.  I had sole custody of my daughter but with her polished court appearance at the final divorce (mostly lies; even got caught in a lie where the judge said, "What?"), she got custody back.  Some lawyers tell me it was because I was leaving the state and was honest about that (she since left and moved to another state with my daugher); others tell me it was because I lacked a vagina.  I took it to the state supreme court (I will not capitalize it) and lost again.

There was a sneakiness that pervaded my ex-ass and ex-ass-in-law's behavior; it was always in their M.O.  "Don't tell Curt," (my ex father-in-law) was something I heard every day.  It was always about hiding and lying with her and her two kids.  She also tried to get me to lie and not tell a clinic that was giving my daughter checkups for free that I had gotten a job and could afford medical care/food so I could keep getting benefits. She flat out told me, "Lie to them.  Don't tell them you have a job."  I refused.  This VA boy wasn't playing that scam game up in VT.

So tell me something.

If your husband and daughter (AND her current husband, the 4th or 5th, I've lost count) all three lived off of a check from the government, and you and your son were potheads, would you be able to easily launch attacks upon others?  Is it jealousy?  Is it just diminished brain capacity? 

It always gives me a chuckle.  But I'll probably write a lot more about them now; the government funded, pothead family. Next time, I'll leak some names.  Come poke at a sleeping dog, well...