Archive for November, 2012

Delusion of parasitic happiness

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

I was venting cathartic during lunch break today.

Earlier I told someone else I was “plagued by cynicism.”

Randomly manic and mean, I couldn’t shut up. Rabbling the rouse, all morning.

We were eating and I launched into a spiel.

Why do we work? We emjoy being slaves. We want to be controlled by stuff. We work like dogs so we can afford more shit, and we buy more shit so we can feel pigeonholed into working more more more in order to maintain that parasitic relationship with our illusions. We seek the stress of feeling trapped by the heavy hands of ownership and obligation. We aren’t happy unless we are indebted. We crave responsibility. We lust after enslavement to purchased burdens. We love being buried! We believe this is fulfillment but ultimately how can we be happy this way? How, I repeated. How???

She looked at me blankly and as she often does, interjected contrary reasoning.

Maybe they are happy she ventured. Maybe people like feeling stressed. To them, perhaps this bullshit is all worth it. Maybe they enjoy the challenge. The debt, working long stressful hours…maybe this is how they define happiness.

I thought about this.

Of course, she was correct. Happiness is only as clear to ourselves as the end of our nose is. Happiness is such a fluid, personal concept that no good can come of trying to deconstruct anyone’s but our own. How can we possibly presuppose that another person is not happy simply because they choose to live a life that would make us horribly unhappy? Conversely, many ambitious, type-A, high striving people probably infer I’m unhappy because of my slacker, low-stress, fuck-it-all attitude. I personally have very little that most ambitious, materialistic people would value. They must think I’m very unhappy. Yet, I believe I am more happy than they, but how can I know this?

My idea of happiness is that state of freedom from “externalities.” In this manner of thinking, I am happy. Externalities, if you become too engorged with attaining them, become shackles, decidedly a symbol of “non-freedom.” Freedom is not being able to do anything you want; freedom is being able to not do anything you don’t want to do.

If people want to trade their life in for consumer products and contracts, that’s their right, but I don’t see how this brings happiness. Happiness is an “internality.” When the focus on happiness is channeled through externalities, it is not happiness; it is merely egotistical appeasement.

The impermanence of shadows in Los Angeles

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Los Angeles is a stark city. I like to bash it. I hate the the crowds, the falsities…but Los Angeles presents a gruesomely clear example of social and geographical evolution in our lifetimes. It’s like an urban fruit fly…each generation is born and dies while we study. Los Angeles is a “new” city. As such, it never had the opportunity to cement a tradition that could withstand the winds of petty change and empty trends. Los Angeles is a frail tree that tries to maintain its tentacled honor in the face of capricious societal whims. Los Angeles is a whore and she will shed her skin if the new cultural flavor is enticing enough.

Incidentally, the other day I was looking for old photos of Los Angeles. This city is peculiarly photogenic, but only in the macabre sense. The city presents the light joyousness of debauchery intermingled with the austere seclusion of misanthropic retreat. Los Angeles’ geography is vast for a large American urban center; not only vast, but varied and interlaced with a multitude of storied and murderous layers wavering between dark and light, night and day, life and death, success and failure. The all or nothing fate of those who come here to test their mettle is expressed in the lit and unlit tiles of our city-scape.

Here, you can choose to hide or display. But you can rarely rest between the two states. You either dance on the bright stage, or you hunker in the gloomy underbelly of the fractured concrete void. There is no area else you can exist here.

They is why Los Angeles is so prone to moody photographers. It allows those with a lens to tell a vacant but noisy story of life in this hidden jungle.

I found a great photo album from a blogger named John Humble who has apparently specialized in historic Los Angeles photography over the last 40 years. His technique fully utilizes the brilliant light structure that rains down from the unique atmosphere lens that domes this town.

This photo caught my eye. It is of a house in Hawthorne with a well-manicured lawn and a for sale sign. Unfortunately, the house sits at a crossroads. In the background, I imagine we’re looking at the skeletal precursors to the 105 freeway which displaced its fair share of residents in the late 80s-early 90s, and curiously, the parallel descent of an airliner headed to the airport. This small idyllic home with the deep green lawn is placed in deep anguish against a devouring backdrop which will stop at nothing to see it perish. It sits in the flight path of LAX and the destruction path of a new freeway. I doubt this house is around now.

This house embodies the random and vicious intersections of fate that live in this city. Living your day now, but the wolves always knock and wait for their moment. You can fade into the shadows but ultimately, in Los Angeles, shadows are never permanent.

Lowest Common Human Denominators need not fear; Barack will take care of your gas bill

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

I have a bleak view of human society, of where it’s been and where it’s headed.

Despite our breathtaking technological advancements and sporadic pockets of smug accomplishments, we will never rise above the burden of our lowest dregs. Society’s lowest dregs will always exist while continuing to see to it that we cannot advance in a truly meaningful sense. Conversely, there is no evolutionary impetus for us to improve beyond our ignorance and vague stupidity because these collective human characteristics only serve to maintain the ruling class’ hold. They exploit our stupidity and thus allow it to continue from generation to generation. The ruling classes perpetuate stupidity of the masses in order to maintain their power grip.

In other words, if the morons among us continue falling for scam artists, I believe they deserve to be cleaned out and their type will eventually be expunged from the human race. To be smart and skeptical in this world is to be forgotten because if you are truly an independent mind of acuity, you don’t require help, and thus, do not serve to justify the pitiful existence of those who are self-appointed “nannies.” Our modern culture creates masses of busy bodies whose very existence depends on preserving human valleys of helplessness and stupidity.

Unlike the dregs who believe everything they are told, especially if it’s cloaked in the promise of “free.”

Flag notice appearing on my online gas bill

Black Friday redundancies

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Can someone stop this ride. Stop it, NOW?
American society has frankly become quite unbearable. It gives me Thanksgiving indigestion. These people.

I don’t know what’s worse. The blind consumer frenzy, or the incessant media fetish of Black Friday stupidity?

And when someone asks you “What time did you line up last night?” it is not, I repeat, NOT, necessary to say 8 o’clock pm. I suspect this is indicative of the general mental acuity running rampant among Black Friday masses. Keep me at least a mile away from this madness.

Reaching the Valley of Arrogance

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

I was talking to a friend and she said something that struck me as incredibly arrogant.

In fact, when thinking of our conversation in retrospect, I thought to myself, “that was a pretty arrogant thing of her to say.”

And while many people might have been content to abandon their thoughts in this frozen cul de sac, I am not like many people. I insisted on prying deeper and as generally happens when I judge others, I turn the microscope inwards. Judging others can turn into a very groundless, unscientific manner of perceiving the external without developing or interjecting a control subject, a constant value against which to ascertain the validity of my stupid opinion. All judgments are opinions until you test them, right? So I turn the microscope inwards and try to deduce my placement in the matter.

I thought about my friend’s arrogance. Of how demeaning and smug it was.

I placed myself in her circle. Do I act this way?

Whoops. I do.

I don’t face it, but I am horribly arrogant. In fact, I think I may be more arrogant than my friend. I have no right to judge her harshly because I am arrogant as she.

Yet.

Yet.

Something was wrong with this correlation because I simply couldn’t believe my arrogance was anything like her’s. Mine was different. It traveled a different route than her brand of arrogance. The destination was the same; the Valley of Arrogance.

But we traversed different paths. There was more than one way to reach this pasture, wasn’t there?

I examined our respective arrogance and deconstructed them and that’s when it struck me! I could sum up the paths to arrogance in a simple statement.

Some people are arrogant because they believe they are better than others; other people are arrogant because they believe others are less than they.

This is the difference between arrogant people.

I fall in the latter category. This is the category in which my significance is not that outstanding. Here, I am not particularly noteworthy. It’s merely that most people are pathetic, ignorant, lazy idiots. Perhaps I’m more enlightened than most, but it means nothing. It speaks more to the dearth of excellence than to my own singular excellence.

It still means I’ll sadly get trampled over my entire life. If I was able to at least attain my arrogance through the other route, I might have some measure of false pride or ego that would propel me towards achieving some notoriety or power. But I hate power. I hate presiding over anyone. I find it hard to be a parent, even. I deserve to tell no one how to live their life.

I’m a miserable soul, the problem is, you’re more miserable than I.