Archive for July, 2011

Why Dennis Prager is happy

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

It’s our sinking sense of helplessness which binds us together as human beings. Helplessness is a high-minded, cerebral sense of despondency that separates us from the primitive entrapped fear of a hunted deer.

Helplessness is deeply mystical. It strikes our soul cold. This stabbing sense of helplessness.

How we respond and deal with helplessness is what differentiates us.

Mankind’s most common method to cope with helplessness is religion. Helplessness is not thoroughly extinguished. It can never be extinguished for we can never be sure of anything with absolute certainty. There are unknowns that will die with us, and thus, there is helplessness that will die with us. We disguise helplessness with flowery beliefs and dogma. A religious person who believes in his respective deity will still succumb to helplessness but he will bury it beneath comforting strata of faith and worship. Helplessness is not purged, it is ameliorated and the tools we use to this end are what makes me ME and you YOU. The religious man is adept at displacing his sense of helplessness onto an omnipotent fantasy by proxy, a miraculous being who can the absorb and neutralize the helplessness with scriptures of immortality which lend dogmatic succor. The religious man finds that helplessness does not sting as much when there is a god who will explain its eternal mysteries within the context of spells and commandments.

There are other secular routes we have traveled to deal with our sense of helplessness, some harmless, some not. However, the common denominator they share is that they allow us to fixate upon red herring activities or mental excursions which cleverly masquerade helplessness. They distract us from the fear and the ubiquitous void that threatens to swallow us.

Helplessness is the recognition that our existence is trivial and inconsequential. It is the realization that we control little, and if allowed to consume us without a counteracting force (ie, religion or drugs), will lead to varying states of unhappiness.

I stumbled upon the subject of happiness on Dalrock by way of Ulysses (ah, the joys of linking!). In his post, Dalrock linked to a recent Dennis Prager article entitled “Happiness Is a Moral Obligation”. In his essay Prager essentially makes the analogy between happiness and deodorant while spinning a “moral of the story” that happiness, like other forms of communal cooperation and civilized existence, must be forced and consciously enacted even if they are not present in one’s character. Even a demagogic broken record like Prager is right once in a while, and this is one of those instances where I agree with his message. I don’t believe there is anything moral about happiness, but it is a lofty and mindful sense of existence which we must strive to achieve.

I was slightly puzzled about Prager’s motives. Since when did he get into the “happy” business? It was certainly a bizarre detour for the Jewish Neo-Con ideologue from Southern California. Further consideration shaped the notion that I outlined at the beginning of this post. The concept of happiness as a moral obligation is code for Judeo-Christian devotion and surrender. It is code for what it sees as the only way of surmounting the misery of human helplessness. It certainly makes sense that a Christian sympathizer like Prager would laud an intrinsic sense of happiness which simply doubles as a relinquishment of helplessness to the comforting hands of god. I believe that devout Christians truly are happy people for they have buried all helplessness and doubt within the shrouded catacombs of their faith. It is this conception of religious faith as a counterbalance to the self-destructive force of helplessness that Prager is applauding.

However, Leo Tolstoy was wrong. There are many routes to happiness.

Reading about all this happiness alerted me to the possibility that I may portray an aura of unhappiness on this blog. I simply don’t know if I do, but viewing it from afar, within the context of a happy/unhappy duality, I can very well imagine some might think I’m a miserable person. I am not. I am very happy. I am a persistent and misanthropic cynic, however, but these are not necessarily traits that are strictly congruent with unhappiness. My path out of unhappiness is my ability to handle helplessness in all its unpleasant forms. Something that must be internalized. All unhappy people I know (and I know many) share one commonality: a deep inability to control or deal with innate helplessness. Helplessness is at the root of their misery. Whether it’s helplessness of the vast existential sort (“life sucks”), or helplessness of the mundane, immediate sense (“my life sucks”), there is still a quality of humanism about unhappiness that perturbs religionists and Prager is addressing this with his sophomoric rantings about contrived joy. To be unhappy is to flaunt dogmatic doubt. Prager is telling us to Believe, and in this we will find bliss and the ability to fend off helplessness.

The third path is to confront helplessness head on.

Embrace it but do not kiss it or become attached to it. Let it linger at the fringes of your existence. Internalize it but contain it and do not ever let it metastasize. Bolster the immunity that keeps your sense of helplessness at bay so it can be subdued immediately if it acts up. This is the hard work that Prager insinuates. Religious belief is not hard work. It is lazy as its polar opposite sense of despair and misery.

Sloth is visible on both sides of the happy/unhappy spectrum, and in the middle is where the exertion truly lies. Fighting the enemy directly. The preponderance of unhappiness merely speaks to the futility of religion and to the dearth of sincere worship in our world.

To all those asswipes who hate me

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

It’s time to turn the tables! Let’s switch roles. Like those ridiculous movies where the daughter switches roles with her mother for a day to the effect of humor without the laughs.

I’m going to turn this mofo inside out. For a change, I’d like to talk about those who venture to hate me as opposed to a detailed and obsessive recount of one of my many and varied hatreds which I devote most of my creative juices to. This is not to diminish my loathings, for there are many. And they control my life. My hatred of just about all segments of the human population is legendary, at least in my own mind. Lest you get the idea that I believe I am unnapproachably perfect, you got another thing coming! Behind this curmudgeonly and misanthropic snide appraisal of humankind, there resides an incredibly realistic and non-delusional guy who is well aware of the wrath he inspires in addition to that which he feels for others. See, I don’t mind hate which is explicable or based on something I can spell out.

If my railing about attention whores or corporate executives pisses certain people off enough to hate me, oh well. So be it. I have no problem with grounded hate, hate with a source and a tangible reason. Hate that has a name and a home. Hate away!

Essentially, I don’t care what people think of me. And I surely do not care if they hate me. Hatred of moi does not perturb me. In fact, I find it amusing and hilarious that some exert the effort and energy towards an active animus towards the very wonderful Yours Truly. If you desire to waste your precious time finding reasons to despise me, be my guest.

But.

In spite of this, I would be a big fat scumsucking liar if I said I am never bothered by other’s hatred of me.

Sometimes it bothers me. A lot.

I thought of being hated, today. I was thinking of how a few people hate me, and why they choose to do. I tried to recapture my feelings when I sense a sort inexplicable reflexive hate on the part of other asswipes. After all, in our modern, civilized world, it is very rare, very, very rare, that someone simply comes out and tells you they hate you. Not happening. And when women are involved, hatred involves a thinly veiled disgust and aversion and avoidance, one deep and free-flowing melange of feminine alienation. Women are ashamed of feelings of hatred so they channel it in the form of other appalling behaviors which equally decimate your humanity. This is the disingenuous thing about female hate. It does not reveal itself candidly but instead creates puzzlement and incoherence and thus, it becomes a speeding train wreck of mistaken motives and ad hominem suspicions. Female hatred is not quantifiable and if you listen to your instincts, you will know when a woman hates you. She will never scowl openly at you or call you a turd, but she will have no problem treating you like utter shit, which is worse, for the masculine path is one of transparency and bluntness.

Back to those who hate me.

There are people who instinctively hate me. This I know. It is beyond my control and beyond my concern, or it should be. I find that I don’t fixate on the hate aspect of this dynamic as much as the reason! Being disliked is a non-issue for me. In fact, I prefer to be disliked than ignored. Don’t ignore me, or you will ruin my day. Dislike me and I’m pleased that you’re thinking of me. That’s how pathetic and starved for attention I am.

But if you intend to dislike me, I need to know why.

See, you can’t simply hate me. An explanation or justification is required, a why.

In fact, I work with this chick who I know dislikes me. She truly abhors me and her demeanor towards me is unflattering and rude. My frame of reference is that she treats other people fine. She talks and mingles with everyone but with me. She is a cunt x 2. She is ugly, Jewish, flat and pale, but the way she hates me unconditionally drives me bats and I fixate on this chick’s motives as if she were the love of my life. It’s sick! I want to know why she hates me. She treats me like dirt. I don’t want to fuck her but I want to hear her reasons. I’m a great, intelligent, average-looking guy. What on Earth have I done do deserve this? Is it because I’m uncircumcised and I love to eat carnitas? WTF?

I thought of those random survey handouts you receive at hotels or restaurants or any number of places where you deal with a service employee. The questionnaires seek to elicit your opinion of the establishment and the service. In pre-printed curiosity, they ask if you liked or disliked your stay. If you disliked it, they want to know why.

Give us more detail, please. It’s not enough that we know you hated our lodgings. Tell us fucking WHY???

That’s how I feel.
I need create and print out one of these field surveys to people who hate me for no apparent reason. This would make me happy and satisfy all my nagging self-doubts.

Am I too short?
Too Mexican?
Too dark?
You don’t like the way I dress?
Am I too ugly?
Am I too handsome?
Am I too manly?
Am I too dorky?
Am I too hairy?

The possibilities are endless and this random survey I hand my detractors would clarify much.
And my life might be…clearer.

Food courts suck!

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

 

A preposterous statement, such as, “eating should be about…eating.”
The understated simplicity is an affront to irony, but a wise statement we should heed, nevertheless.

 

In our age of fast-paced self-important flailing about amid unreasonable schedules and obligations, between emailing on the go and never leaving a job far behind, this mantra needs to be repeated.

 

Eating should be about…eating. Because it’s not.
No, eating is about everything but eating. The act of eating in the early 21st Century is about emotions and convenience and routine and mindless supplication to habit. Eating is rarely about eating now.

 

Eating has become a joke. Food is a gimmick.
We don’t eat for the sake of eating.
We eat because we are addicted to the taste of specific foods or we eat because we’re bored or we eat because it is 6pm or we eat because we have to run to an appointment or we eat because we need to keep up with the Joneses or we eat because we want to chatter among of a group of human cattle gathered around the trough in a pronounced display of social immersion. We eat to stave off any number of unpleasant intrusions in our fragile and hectic lives. But eating as an act of eating is not to be seen.

 

We don’t eat mindfully.
Eating is an ingredient, a survival mechanism distorted by our civilized busy-bodied vehemence.

 

There are certain eating habits I dislike strongly.

 

I don’t like to eat while I’m walking or physically on the go. This includes eating while I’m driving. I don’t see the point. This is not eating. This is shoveling food in your mouth for no apparent reason other than to satisfy some mysterious subconcious appetite which bears no resemblance to the primal biological appetite which signals your brain that you need nourishment. Eating on the run is not a survival tool. It’s a mental symptom. It is a psychological ploy to sate hungers that are not physical.

 

I also hate eating in mall food courts or buffets. I refuse.
This is assembly line gluttony. They are loud, rushed and chaotic.

 

I saw this NBC video feature on MSN entitled “What should you eat at the mall food court?”

 

The story presumes to cough up dietary wisdom in search of healthy eats within the very, very limited confines of the typical mall food court, which is akin to advising you on the safest way to have sex with an HIV+ partner.

 

At least in the case of mall food courts, my advice is simple: don’t.

 

Mall food courts are the most obscene travesties of human eating. They are too busy and the food sucks. The tables are small and condensed and you bring food to your table on a ridiculous tray that is filthy but appears moist from the repeated wiping (with a dirty rag) from the flunky help. The food is mass produced detritus. Mall court feeding is the penultimate form of artificially enhanced existence. The lowest common denominator of mediocrity runs rampant between the flimsy aluminum table legs and over the serving counters where the distant and disinterested food servers stand while scooping out preheated and prefabricated food you can call…lunch To call this stuff food is offensive in itself, but to be forced to eat it within the rushed and loud context of suffocating humanity echoes the pitiful sight of cows squeezed into industrial farms where they munch on corn meal laden with antibiotics. Except the cows are not as rushed as their human counterparts. Eating on the run, eating fast, that’s what mall food courts are about. It’s not like the ostensible aim is nutrition or pleasure, is it? Is there nutrition to be found in such an environment?

 

It’s rote eating. It is surely not “eating to eat.” Eating to eat is not efficient nor productive nor does it utilize time in a very profitable manner. Eating to eat means that you command the world to slow the hell down, that you have something important to do. That you will eat, mindfully. We don’t eat mindfully. We eat with one eye closed and on foot on the gas pedal and one hand holding the cell phone. Eating has become an obligatory and pesky gesture of survival. We die a little bit every day while we scurry back to our little table with a hot dog on a stick sitting on our bacteria-infested tray.

 

A person may reply in response, “but there is no time to eat later.” Well then, don’t eat. Skip the meal, eat when you can enjoy the food. When you can devote your full attention the food in front of you.

 

 

Like a van, under a wire…

Monday, July 25th, 2011

I’m a metaphorical kinda guy.

Some guys are simple; some like to play golf or fish or root for football teams. Some guys like strip clubs. Most guys are literal and like literal stuff.

Not me. I’m a metaphorical guy.
I see disassociated symbolism everywhere I go.
I see Life in a field of grass, I see Misery in a gutter drain. Such is the fate of my perspective for I never behold reality directly. My environment enters my brain obliquely through the side door of my subconscious.

My life is a torrent of symbolism.
Nothing is ever just what it is.
This is best described as a lethargy, a distaste for concrete reality.

So. I’m a van.
A white van that has been left to sit too long by a neglectful owner.
Not abandoned, for it sits in the isolated stall of a large lot I walk by many days. It never moves. The van sits, and sits…and sits. Day after day, through sun and rain.

Forever it seems to wait and ponder a removed future.
I am a white van.

The van looks like it could move. It is intact. I guess it could potentially lead a normal vehicular life if someone would just turn the key. Give it hope. Instead, it sits, mired in its safe parking stall. Mired in regularity and lacking ambition. It lingers quaintly between those 2 fixed lines and it is comically helpless in its own multi-tonned staid manner.

A van on the move as it is meant to be, barreling down the road, is deadly and fearsome.

Sitting for months in a parking stall it is a shameful debacle.
A charade of movement. It is agonizing and laughable for there nothing fearsome about a van that snubs its nature by not moving, by not barreling. A van that never starts does not fulfill its calling. To be a van.

Instead, it is a heavy and unyielding mass of iron and rubber sitting at the edge of parking lot, doing no one any good, serving nobody, acting only as a receptacle for careless and impersonal bird shit.

It is devoured and pounded by the pelting hands of fate.

Droppings that might have splattered to the ground and been washed or purged through the recycling streams of nature instead splatter the humiliated sheet metal and dry into fossilized and impenetrable solid chunks of affixed aviary waste.

The van does not move. It won’t. It will sit forever in the quiet, lonely stall far from where everyone else parks their clean, moving cars that never play host to generations of ill-fated waste. The van only sits alone under the rain of Hollywood bird waste.

The metaphor is striking.
I am the van.

I am the un-driven van conveniently, complacently, resting in a lonely stall that I use as my solitary retreat. Safety and comfort beckon and though the more I stay, the more I refuse to move, the more I am pelted by every form of human disrespect and dishonor and discharged detritus, I still refuse to budge because the sense of predictability is too great!

I am the van that stopped moving.
I am the van that stopped being a van, the van whose tires have become buckled pedestals.

I am the van that has stayed in one place too long; the van whose emotional and spiritual shield is cloaked with a relief map of shit, for I gladly welcome the curse and the defeat. I sit in this stall and don’t move and I catch it all and the ground is thankful.

I am the van who has ceased thinking of itself as a van but instead as a parking lot adornment coated in hardened layers of indifference and insignificance.

I am the van who must move or soon lose memory of my identity.

Whores at the door

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

About 3 hours ago someone knocked on my door.
My unit is in an enclosed building and theoretically the front door is not open. This building is closed to the public. Which is bull, because everyone in this complex never closes the front door or turns out the common light. I live with a bunch of 60-year-old teenagers, basically.

The most rudimentary of upkeep and conscientious diligence are lost on their lazy old asses.

The front door is rarely closed and every little whore solicitor finds his or her way into the building and comes knocking at our doors. In the perfect world, these vermin would find a locked common door which no one would answer and they would be forced to wander on their annoying merry way and look for open apartment complexes or residential units to hawk their crap.

In the perfect world they would leave me the hell alone.

In the perfect world, my life would be my life.
My life alone.

Earlier, the little knockers announced their presence by knocking on the door belonging to the old deaf dude across the way. He has a buzzer on his door which means he’s keenly interested in visitors. I don’t have a buzzer, nor would I want one. Having a buzzer on your door means that you really take an avid interest in responding to meddlesome people who invade your living space.

So they knocked on my old neighbor’s door and buzzed the doorbell and he came running anxiously like the needy old lecher that he is. I could hear a girl pitch some bullshit she was selling and he asked how much and minutes later he returned on his hobbled legs to pay her for whatever trash she was selling. Then I ran quietly and hid, attempting to portray the illusion of a vacant apartment. The soliciting idiot knocked once and I crouched quietly in the bathroom, the farthest point from the front door. I waited like a helpless 1980’s serial slasher victim awaiting the immortal psycho madman who lingers outside the door with a knife. I waited and when silence returned, I went back to my routine gingerly.

This is my life. Do not intrude, do not upset the balance.

Damned solicitors upset my balance. They invade, they turn the placidity of my inner sanctum into mush with their empty pitches and shallow bargains. This world is simple. If I want to buy something, I will step out and buy it. I will exert the effort to purchase that which I need. Who the hell do these solicitors market to?

Who is their lame customer?

Are there segments of the population who would never buy shit if not for solicitors or worship without the door-knocking scam artists and Jehovah cult-pushers?

The concept of proselytizing sickens me as well. If I want an ideology, I will seek it out. I’m an independent and self-propelled human being with a mind. Do not disrupt my life with crap I can handle on my own. Autonomy and self-motivation are bliss!

This is how I tick. If I want something, I will get off my ass and get it. I serve myself.

Perhaps there are people whose nature is so deeply embedded into a pit of laziness that the only way they can be roused is by someone knocking on their door. People who only respond to an upset of the predictability of their life. People who rise from hibernation only if slapped across the face with blatant prostitution. Perhaps most people are sufficiently passive and apathetic that the only reason they open their eyes is because they were enticed by door knockers.

This is my space. I am independent of mind and action and I despise those who bother me selling change I can get for free.

I can do it myself.