Archive for April, 2011

#501, the first post of the rest of my blog

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

The blogosphere, and especially this sector, are not an overwhelmingly sentimental bunch. I suspect it’s owing to the preponderance of shut-ins and socially stunted decor.

I’m super sentimental and I always have been. I’m one to suddenly become unbearably thoughtful and sorrowful upon the demarcation of certain numerical milestones. I’m all about one month, one year, five years, ten years, etc. This is probably owing to my ethnicity. Hispanics love that shit. We love indulging in the past’s unrequited sadness and loss, that which has eluded us and we memorialize it with loud brassy downbeat music and drunken vocals (while we become drunken ourselves…in fact, if we become drunken, the scene takes a turn for not only the sad, but the nasty). I am Mexican, hear me lament! I love lamenting. In the blogosphere there are hundreds, thousands, of milestones reached daily, but you don’t hear about them. Last week I noticed that my post count was in the 490’s and approaching the big 500. I braced myself and thought perhaps I might post a special recollection…and believe it or not, I forgot. In fact, it was completely scourged from my mind as I posted about my puerile under-aged sexual fantasies without the slightest clue it was #500 until last evening when I signed on to my dashboard. How can someone be simultaneously fixated on artificial figures but so deeply dismissive?

Since I sought to reclaim the virginity of #500, I sat back and pondered.
500 posts in roughly a 20-month span. That is a steady average of 25 posts per month, which is spot on. I rarely have posted more than once per day (early on when I still had gusto) and rarely gone more than 2 days without posting (no recollection). I’m like friggin’ Old Faithful man. You can count on me spouting some random plume of volcanic bullshit almost every day. You can set your watch or cell phone by it. I’m ultra ritualized and I’ve frightened many people with this avocation. Especially people I come in contact with daily. I suspect most of the people I read are similar to me in degrees of compulsiveness and linearity. But I don’t know which world they live in, or if they realize that there is another sodden, disorderly universe out there in which people can barely measure their next glass of Mickey’s much less their next post length. I’m a stranger in a very strange land and many times I have nowhere to go. This blogosector is a great respite from the ignorant deer-in-the-headlights mentality of my own world, but many times, it is the repressed and self-conscious herniated pipeline that my freewheeling cohorts represent which I seek to flee. Sometimes I wish for a little ignorance, a little intellectual desensitization so that I might enjoy the moment.

The moment is #501!
I wondered, how can I commemorate 501 posts?

Of course, when you are putting together a retrospective of 500 posts, what better way than to sum them up in an exercise proclaiming their prized glory!

I’ve composed a a short list of some noteworthy moments in my first month of blogging. Back when this was “Phoenixism” and there was no distinct style to the shit I wrote.

There are so many more, and so many less.
You decide.

Virgin voyage: From August 25, 2009. I came off a 1-year-long blog previously which dealt with nothing but news and politics. Toward the tail end of that blog, I slowly discovered the PUA and MRA spheres. By the time I kicked off “Phoenixism” I had fully integretated much of that perspective into my opinions and world view. I became anti-consumerist and anti-materialist, yet I had not fully evolved into my present incarnation. This opening post surprisingly touches on a much of where I was headed even though I wasn’t conscious of it. I would say this post preternaturally outlined what I intended for Phoenixism. I sharpened and refined it and now I talk about 15-year-old girls, but the ideas are the same. The photo was taken on New Year’s Eve of 2008 while looking for a header on the previous blog. Note the pre-construction Gold Line which now stretches from East L.A. to Union Station. The march of time.

Terrible blog ideas: OK, so initially this blog was about simplifying and “uncluttering,” of mind and body. An extension of that involved cleaning my apartment from the ground up. I dove into this project, called the “East L.A. makeover,” which shamefully warranted a few video posts of my shabby apartment and my vain efforts to “clean” it up. The only thing this project served to illustrate the fact that ultimately I was a lazy ass who would rather spend time in front of the computer than actually cleaning. This post died a still-born plunge into insignificance without so much as a token farewell. My son, on the cusp of the age where he enjoyed such stuff, loved to film these. Now he would just laugh at me if I asked…

The turning point: If there was a span of time, a “moment,” that I could pinpoint as the instance in which I made a choice and effort to steer this blog on its present trajectory, it was Thanksgiving weekend of 2009. This post showcases a feature I used at at the beginning called “moments in time” in which I described, in first person, a stream of consciousness present narrative, an amusing episode or scene from earlier in the day. I enjoyed this but for whatever reason, I stopped. When I started this blog I was full of fanciful notions and I suppose they died away, but the legacy remained. This Moment in Time was written on my birhtday in 2009, the day after I took my son to his first music concert. The post kicked off a philosophical evolution that occurred over the span of the next 4 holiday days, culminating in a hopeful but dreary Sunday night post in which I symbolically bid adieu to a personally momentous weekend. I can’t impress just how strongly those 4 days altered the voyage that Phoenixism/An Unmarried Man would lead me toward.

Hot air and balloons: One of the first blogging lessons you learn is to keep it simple. Stupid. You aren’t used to having your shit read by the world and you tend to overdo it. You use tired, endless descriptions and every other word is a redundant verb. But you feel like you are doing your part because no one is there to swat your fingers. So you keep typing and typing and writing and you should have finished like 3 hours ago, but that’s not enough. You keep going! You go back a 2nd and a 3rd time and add more bullshit! You turn a lame story into pure crap. In the end, you’re left with a long narrative that no one has the gall to finish, least of all, yourself. Such was this piece of crap I wrote recounting a drunken weekend I spent in San Francisco. What a verbal disaster! But alas, I have a self-enforced policy of not deleting anything I write, however pitiful or embarrassing. This should have been deleted immediately.

Wow, they might be reading: Every once in a while, early on, you might get a bunch of random comments for an equally random post. Inexplicable, really. Your motives for blogging are varied and indistinguishable. Why do you do it? To get shit off your chest? To sway opinion? To foment arguments? Who knows. When I started, I was all about comments. Comments described my popularity, which they do…but I began to take note of views and visits. This quantified just how many times people were opening this page. Commenting is an exercise of connecting power that depends on the blogger, and not all of us have it. I sure don’t. There exists a tone and a vibe you must exude if you wish to become popular. Pay attention to bloggers who are popular. Mimic their environment. Writing what you “feel” doesn’t mean a thing in and of itself. This post was great because it inspired comments from people who normally didn’t comment here. Comments serve a purpose. Just don’t hinge all your hopes on them.

And lastly.
Sometimes your regulars die.
Sometimes they announce their demise. So you aren’t left completely in the dark.
When I started Phoenixism, a regular materialized from South Dakota named Lana. We traded barbs and she poked holes in me all the time, which is really not very difficult. In July of 2010, she announced she had cancer, and within a month or two, she was dead. It was quite eery and I posted this pseudo memorial in her honor.

These are people.

The tale of the Kindle and the very young girl

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

 

What’s a single 46-year-old man to do in such a situation?

 

Actually, the question should not involve “do” because to “do” is to risk more than it’s worth. I should ask, what’s a 46-year-old man to think? What’s he to think and feel. You see, by this age, young girls like to play with you but only within the confined limits of vague flirtation and teasing. Young girls realize that by virtue of their nubile free-flowing sexuality, they are Hot. Even an average-looking young girl, though not greatly admired by boys her age, nevertheless merits great erotic interest and thirsty glares from men twice and 3 times her age. Most girls shy away from this sadistic teasing out of embarrassment or self-containment. They lack the desire to walk down that road of sexual taunting. However, some young girls seem to enjoy the duck and jab flirtation dance with older men; it empowers them and perhaps adds to their own self-defined allure, an invisible sense of cosmetic pride they can wear proudly for the next day or two. Wise young chicks know how to market their youth while eliciting lustful but hopeless leers from all the old farts. They are shameless.

 

So what is a 46-year-old single man to do. When he’s sitting in the morning bus which carts him off to work. The daily grind. Middle-aged rigmarole, an utmost repetition of wage slavery. Seen it all, misanthropic, jaded, sitting in the very crowded bus. Reading his Kindle, reading a great but horrific book about a cancer. He sits on the sideway-facing bank of 3 seats and the old lady sitting on the other end picks up her bags and motions a young girl to sit in the middle seat separating them. There’s standing room only on this crowded ride and the girl accepts the seat gladly.

 

He’s seen her on this morning bus a couple of times. He estimates that she’s about 15 years of age. Possibly 16, at the outside. No more than that. She gets off, with her friend, at a high school outside of downtown. She is a pretty girl, wears little to no makeup, and has a tight curvy body. Attractive but really much too young. He continues reading his Kindle, reading this horrific examination of metastasization and tumors. He’s absorbed in the book and easily dismisses the fact there is a decent-looking jail-bait specimen squeezed into the seat next. His concentration separates the surrounding environment until suddenly he hears the girl ask, “What is that?” He glances up and she is pointing at the Kindle. How to explain this to a barrio child? “It’s an e-reader. An electronic book. You buy books and tranfer them into this,” he motions at the Kindle. She looks unimpressed and distant and he wonders why she would even ask. “How much did it cost?” she asks, but confused, he thinks she asked how much “they” cost as in the books. “Oh, they’re cheaper than what you pay in the bookstore, like $6-$10.” And he wonders if she’s ever been in a bookstore. She taps the Kindle as it rests in his lap, a pleasing nudge. “This?” “Oh, this was $150 he answers modestly,” since it really cost $189 because of the damned 4G, but he doesn’t want to go there. She doesn’t smile but nods and silence ensues. Her persistent but disinterested urgency is puzzling to him.

 

The question here is: how does he feel about this interaction?
Does he allow himself to entertain fantasy?
If he’s a logical and responsible man, he does not entertain anything real. She is distinctly off-limits and the social dynamic of such a situation automatically places him at a severe strategic disadvantage. The girl has all the “power” in the situation and the man can only play the part of meek and retiring law-abider. Does he allow himself to think shameful thoughts? Westernized, Christian society would beat him over the head with a hard-covered Bible if he were to openly marvel at the tickle of excitement to be experienced when the young girl pressed her pink fingernail into his lap through stiff plastic casing of the Kindle.

 

Ah such is this unfair life!

 

 

She’s my type and she knows where I live

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Some, They ask. What is your type? The unspoken implication of course meaning what is your physical type?

Does anyone give a crap what your emotional or intellectual or spiritual type is, especially when they are attempting to stir up some pathetic small talk? Maybe they don’t even like you, but it is a great question to bust up some uncomfy silence.

What is your type?

Well now, I’m glad you asked. See, my type, she is a doll. I’ve come home to find her waiting for me about three times in the past year. My type, she is heavenly beauty! I lust for her in absentia. She is a mythological compilation of feminine qualities assembled in a Venusian feast of pleasurable loin-stirring. I might very well be Beta corny and syrupy romantic and proclaim my love for her. I won’t. But can you blame me being that she finds it impossible to resist visiting me periodically?

I find her laying in my…mailbox.
Yes, she’s my type.
She visits me, courtesy of Time Warner Cable which uses her lovely image on the back of their junk mailers. She deserves so much more but who am I to say what this angel deserves?

Behold!

Now those of you who might accuse me of an Asian fetish, I say, how’s that?
This girl may very well be Asian, but her eyes are closed and we can’t conclude this. Even for an Asian. She may be Irish or Mexican or Russian or Finnish. She certainly has many common Asian physical qualities which ooze femininity. Clear, porcelain skin (check!), straight, silky black hair (check!), and graceful, slender arms (check!).

Porcelain skin is beautiful and it’s particularly a feminine quality. You don’t wish to see a man with that kind of flawless skin. It is the anti-masculine and women who are weathered from too much sun (or tanning parlors) strike me as grotesque and savage-looking. I don’t understand the draw of the female tan. Mimicking an old, torn up football does not strike me as highly sexy. Yet women lay out in the sun and live in tanning parlors because they believe it will increase their sex quotient. Yeah, maybe in a cheesy Vegas bar with clientele to match. Long silky black hair is lush and inviting. I think my lust for it stems from the fact that it is the antithesis to my own hair which is thick and wiry and rude. I’ve hated my hair all my life. I could never grow it out during my Thrash Metal years or stylishly long during my Hang 5 Puka-shelled 70’s era. My hair has always cramped my style. And her long slender delicate arms which to me are the hallmark of femininity. Those arms scream to be restrained and held down in the throes of mad love.

My type, when will she visit again?

Rules of walking

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

As I climbed out the subterranean depths of the Red Line at Pershing Square tonight, I straddled the right side of the steps as I normally do. There was a black chick who was in the same car as me and she was rushing. She might have been a dyke. Her hair was short, unstyled, and her mannerisms reeked of manliness even though her body’s buxom curves screamed female. She might have just been a manly woman. Whatever the case, she reached the stairs ahead of me and began scaling them on the left side of the steps and at the halfway point she encountered a white woman, middle-aged, straitlaced, descending the stairs directly in her path. In other words, the white lady was on her right side of the steps. She was obeying typical conscientious, logical and consistent traffic flow patterns, even as applied to pedestrian traffic around town. The popular flow of automobile traffic is so ingrained in our psyche by virtue of laws and painted lines, that we just…do it. We drive on the right side of the road. We stay out of the left side…

All traffic, even that not governed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, should abide by this common sense pattern so as to avoid head-on face to face collisions and spats (which I dread, incidentally, judging by how many times I cross streets or duck into restrooms). Tonight the black chick would not give up the right of way and the white lady needed to detour and she was not happy about it! She muttered some passive aggressive bullshit, I’m sure some of it race-laden, as she gave up her lane for the wrong-way-driving sista. My sympathies were completely with the white lady. I abide by the unofficial traffic flow myself. I always stick to the right side of sidewalks, stairwells, hallways…it’s just goddamned common sense. It’s courteous and conscientious. As long as things flow according to plan and pattern, everything is fine. Even when walking, you split the path and stay on the right side, dummy. There is no reason to break tradition and overthrow mannerly Western grids just because there are no laws dictating what you can and can’t do.

It’s like waiting in an unregulated public line. There are no “line forms here signs” or numbers called. In fact, one great example is the Red Line ticket machine. It is anarchy. People form lines wherever they plant their lazy ignorant ass and there are 3 machines side-by-side and essentially, 3 disjointed and confused lines form to feed them when in fact, the logical and orderly thing would be for one line to feed all three machines in an sequential procession of patience and next-in-line maturity. But hell no, you don’t see that. People jump in front of you and they burst ahead just to get in a bus or train car faster even though it will not get anywhere faster just because they got on seconds before you.

There is such a strong sense of disorder governing pedestrian traffic. People are truly dysfunctional oafs in the absence of rules and laws. We need to be told, repeatedly, and threatened with mild punishment, where to line up, where to proceed, where to avoid…we need it spelled out and diagrammed and enforced by legions of intrusive lawyers whose mission in life to punish the lack of common sense behind flowery words and even more flowery ceremony. If you lift the laws, if you lift the guidelines, groups of humanity will turn to marauding idiots, improvising traffic lanes for themsleves, walking where they want without regard to order or structure.

They walk on the left side of the road for fuck’s sake.

People, man. They need to be treated like children in order to maintain a “functioning” society.
Everything runs like a smoothly coerced machine.
Coercion = religion, morality, conscience.

Just walk on the right side of the goddamned sidewalk like you’re supposed to.

Scientific literacy

Monday, April 25th, 2011

“Timely” is my middle name.

About 3 weeks ago, The Audacious Epigone posted a compact series of statistical surveys measuring scientific “literacy” by the following variables: race, belief and gender. I was particularly captivated by the racial study.

There were no jaw-dropping surprises as the Blacks and my people (Hispanics) scored the lowest, in classic fashion, behind Whites and Asians.

A cursory eyeball examination of the results tells me the races ranked as such:

1) Whites
2) Asians
3) Hispanics
4) Blacks

It’s the archetypal intellectual hierarchy witnessed when examining the mental surface of the multi-cultural and decidedly unscientific American populace. I won’t print Audacious’ full chart. I’ve left out the revealing grid, but I want to show the list of scientific statements which participants were asked to complete in order to ascertain their general scientific knowledge:

I reflexively found the list amusing if for no other reason than that I’m flabbergasted by the elementariness of the items. They seem to be culled from some random General Life Science 101 course. I could easily answer all and I am not a “scientist” by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve noted this when helping my son with his science homework. Many times I’m able to explain certain concepts simply because I happen to have integrated that little tidbit of knowledge in my musings long ago. Sometimes the depth of my knowledge amuses him but I don’t feel it’s particularly noteworthy. Interestingly, The Audacious Epigone’s statistical dissection refers to the constant as “scientific literacy” because essentially, this is very much a measure of that. Of literacy.

Basic knowledge of the scientific facts in this GSS list is not a proxy for IQ. The statements measure common intelligence adequately, but what it measures most keenly are levels of ignorance. I can answer or explain these statements accurately, without reference, not because I am such a rare intellect. The only reason is because for my entire nerdy life I have been driven by curiosity and I covet knowledge. I read and read and read, and in between, I watch documentaries of every sort dealing with matters of science. I enjoy a wide swath of scientific subjects and I’ve familiarized myself with a vast array of the guiding principles of science.

Above all, the GSS survey measures ignorance. It uncovers superstition and lack of curiosity. More than anything, it highlights mediocre intellectual involvement. Slightly intriguing is that Asians lagged behind Whites by an uncharacteristically broad margin. This is explicable by the fact that this measurement of scientific literacy in the study represents a holistic curiosity which has been sated by immersion in books, television, movies, magazines and the internet, which fits the White profile, whereas Asians are typically narrowly focussed on a single field or study which saps all their curiosity and intellectual energy away, thus preventing them from seeking “non-beneficial” knowledge. There is a vicious strain of utilitarian motivation when it comes to the acquisition of knowledge by Asians. In other words, that which is not beneficial to long-term goals and aspirations is cast aside. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge is a White phenomena. Blacks and Hispanics, on the other hand, are overly enamored of mythologies and superstition and this intrudes into their motivation to learn about the nuts and bolts of the physical laws of nature which steer their magic.