Mediocritus

Mediocritus.

As a child god, he was found wandering the streets of ancient Sparta, a mysterious orphan.
Taken under the wings of Aphrodite and later a humble house servant in the household of Zeus.

He never revealed himself as a figure of note. Unrecognized in the annals of mythology for any peculiar gifts or exaggerated human qualities.
Mediocritus blended into the godly crowd and watched with simple and inconspicuous curiosity as gods performed dramatic spells and feats while he cowered in the shadows. They rained godly accomplishments down upon the planet and Mediocritus stared blankly as they fell form the sky.

Mediocritus dug a hole for himself in the dirt ground amidst a ravine deep in the countryside.
No one knew of him nor saw him. He spoke to no one and no one saw fit to trouble themselves for his benefit.

He survived on ants, beetles and mice.
Possessed of little virility, he grew little hair and boasted a sunken chest which glimmered like pale leaves in the sun. He did not long to make a mark upon the godly canvas.
Aphrodite forgot completely forgot of him after he left the palace.

He wandered the countryside alone and psychically removed from those he intercepted on the roads.

Those who encountered him forgot of the lonely figure once he passed.
His visage and frame, unremarkable. Forgettable as the rows of trees dotting the edge of the paths. Gnarled and leafy and dusty and burnt, his skin and limbs rattled in the gentle Mediterranean breeze.

Once, he tried to make a mark by scraping the blue sky but instead a branch cracked and tumbled to the ground and he found himself one less. Close to bare.
Armless, he waited to grow another. He lost the courage to bellow at the heavens.

Mediocritus became one with the soil and no one heard of him again.

The science of killing pimples and other dogma

This is what an ominous Friday night statement sounds like.
Listen up.

Earlier, as I drove home, I was stricken with one of those rare but undeniable cravings for Taco Bell. They are unquenchable when they strike, these cravings. You know that Taco Bell taste. The meat, tinged with that specifically and unmistakable Taco Smell. Old greasy plastic Mexicana, slithered right onto your plate and down the hatch. Choose your sauce, they have so many to choose from. I. I’m a Fire guy. I’m Mexican damnit, I’m liable to eat liquid fire and ask for more without breaking a sweat. It’s what we do. We love to overpower our food with blazing spice, load it up and disguise all taste endemic to the dish at hand. Taco Bell is no exception. Actually, just because it is Taco Bell may be the most fitting reason to shower the food in hot sauce. The hotter the better with which to disguise all traces of Taco Bellness. Although, that’s what many of us like. Crave, how can I possibly crave Taco Bell? It’s a gutteral need, an urge that drives me hungrily through the drive-thru where the tubby white chick with glasses hands me a bag with 2 tacos and a personal size Pepperoni pizza. That’s right man. Most Taco Bell restaurants now accompany a Pizza Hut lite, or is it the Pizza Hut that accompanies Taco Bell? However you look at it, this is a sick and oily symbiotic relationship, an unnatural and frightening artery-clogging version of conjoined affronts to good taste. For dinner I gobbled down my pizza and 2 tacos and my specially requested Fire sauce, but since this was insufficient flammability to melt my tongue, I broke out a bottle of Tapatio. To sate my craving. Because I’m not too proud to admit I crave such things.

You can try to hide cravings and the world may never know better. And there are things you can’t hide no matter how hard you try. They defeat and overpower any piddling efforts you may exert in order to contain your private masquerade.

Like acne vulgaris. Those are the words the doctor scribbled in my chart when I went for a routine check-up back in my teens. The bastard wrote in his illegibly doctorified ink: acne vulgaris. My back was an ocean of hot, throbbing red pimples which slowly encompassed wide swaths of skin to the point where any breaks or relief between pimples was indistinguishable. It was as if my back was covered by one large pimple. It was vulgar, no doubt. But don’t tell that to a troubled and insolent teenager who is trying vainly to defeat this dermal affliction. Seeing this medical description made me cringe and I walked out the office feeling about 1/3 the man I was when I entered. My battle with pimples was legendary. It was Melvillian. A never-ending moralistic battle of wills and wrought with horrors. I tried every pimple medicine I could find. As if swathing each zit with a dollop of cold white cream would purge the bacterial-ridden swollen layers of skin of all signs of pathology. All the creams did was basically dry out the upper reaches of the zit (the iceberg portion), but the zit didn’t go anywhere. It merely appeared dehydrated while it rested dormant for a while. The discoloring remained. I sought all manners of defeating these virginity-enhancing boils. There was the other more invasive measure I preferred which involved pouring some scalding water on a towel and quickly applying it the the surface of the zit, thus weakening the outer layers which made it easy prey for popping and pressurized attempts at rupturing the infected structure. Once you were able to compromise the rigid integrity of a strong zit’s walls, the pus was a sitting duck. There was something oddly satisfying about squeezing the last gram of pasty pus out the zit’s volcanic opening, some of it bloody and watching as the pimple dwindled in size in proportion to the sheer volume of pus expelled. A symbolic gesture of extermination. Your most vile enemy, thus defeated and gutted, shrunk and de-colored until he returned with another bucket of white-blood cell weaponry in the form of a new barrel of smelly pus. It was a cyclic and repetitive battle which only ended when the pimple was reduced beyond resurrection, but in some cases, it had the last laugh for the defeated pimple, deceiving in retreat, left a mark in its wake of destruction, a mark that lived on forever in its permanent etchings of the skin. I finally left the acne behind by the time I reached my twenties, but even then I still broke out in sporadic wildfires of blemish hell. Through my 30s as well. In fact, a few years ago, maybe I was 42, 43, not sure, I developed the biggest and most fierce zit of my life. It sprung to life on the left side of my neck, just below the jaw line. It started as a small pimple that looked somewhat like an ingrown hair…next fucking thing you know, the bastard was growing at a pace that would put The Blob to shame! This despite the fact my methods of pimple battle had changed and matured. No longer reliant upon the dramatic and overzealous scorched skin policy of heat and invasion, I learned to channel my pimple wars in a more a serene and patient manner. I learned the art of Cold! I discovered that if I applied ice (or other freezing surface) to a pimple before it had a chance to mature, it could be stopped most of the time. A little pimple that threatened to overtake my face could be thwarted by the application of some direct ice. A very uncomfortable treatment but immensely preferable to the complexion-destroying firefights I had waged in years previous. My cold treatment did not require any bloodletting or pusletting. The freezing temperatures naturally reduced the advancing pimple to stillborn infancy and there was no cause to break skin. It’s the difference between cutting you open to remove gallstones or drilling small holes in your abdomen and disintegrating them via remote controlled medical tools.

Speaking of tools, I’ve been passing this really cryptic billboard in Hollywood lately.
It’s vague and non-attributed. There is no obvious sponsorship or agenda. WTF?

The mystery is disconcerting for it fails to satisfy our curiosity; that which we can wrap our head around in the pursuit of a motive, however unpalatable it may be. A random murder is more horrid than a vicious murder. A motive is what secures our morbid curiosity. A motive is the Who and the Why and the What. A motive and a billboard and a cryptic message with absolutely nothing by which to place its origins is disturbing.

I drive by the billboard all the time.

“Become the recessionista your parents always wanted.” Huh?? Could it be some megalomaniac-sponsored prop erected by the loony Scientologists who hold sway over this imbecilic town? What cult could be responsible for such nonsense? Well, it is 2011 and in the words of the techno-prophets of yesterday, knowledge is at our fingertips in the Age of the Internet. According to The Inspiration Room, the billboard is part of a series of inspirational billboards called “Recession 101” organized by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America since 2009. According to another blog, saavysugar,

An anonymous East Coast donor was so bummed about the way the country was reacting to the economic downturn, that he decided to take action in the form of an optimistic advertising campaign. Members of the Outdoor Advertising Agency of America have donated the space, printing materials and labor needed for the campaign which has been dubbed Recession 101. Designer Charlie Robb explained, “The client wanted people to realize the country has been undergone recessions before and made it through.

OK, this is almost 2 years old. Old Goddamned news.
Where the hell have I been?

Forget that…where did 2010 go?

It is the Scientologists, I betcha!

Generalizations about smokin’ hot women

Ha. Ha! Another installment of the Generalization Chronicles
*****
As compared to all other cultural demographic groups, the least is expected of them.

“Expected” denoted by expressing a vital constructive use for society. As in material contributions. We don’t expect nor desire that they do anything other than look hot. That they parade in front of our lustful eyes while we pant like thirsty dogs.

We expect them to play the role of delicate mantle pieces. We dust them off and polish them before we receive guests so that we might bask in their beautiful glow. We derive a sense of vicarious, empty pride in their presence.

Their beauty is a tangible, but elusive, object we can’t wrap or embrace in our futile grasp.
We esteem it, we place it squarely and solidly at the top of communal pedestals.
Some die for it, physically, or spiritually. Some are dying for beauty this instant. Some kill for it. Rare beauty wrecks and spawns.

In this world of mundane pleasures and swelling mediocrity, undiluted beauty suffuses us with a rapturous wonder and craving and elicits an electric sense of living, of hunger and beastly march. This beauty is winnowed from the indistinguishable and relentless procession of unremarkablable humanity.

It’a feast for the eyes!

They are good-natured. For life rewards them with the prize of angelic glory and how wonderful to fall into such a role of grand expectations on the part of others without having to lift a finger.

Her presence sparks smiles and illuminates moods and her beauty exudes an expectation of smug royalty and the swath of mankind bows at her feet. Life is gentle and congenitally rewarding. How can she not smile and endear? Thus molded from the finest porcelain, she is of delicate nature and roughness has not been allowed to char her soul. Ever. In fact, her beauty has paved a safe path for the growth of her character which has been fashioned in a retiring void. Constructed of such non-challenging and characterless demands, her personality, though gracious and superficially kind, offers little else below that level. And below is something she has never been allowed to cultivate for her persona has been crafted with the careful hands of watchful supplicants who never permitted her to scrape her soul or bruise her ego.

She is raised, skin-deep perfection, a model of vague acquaintance, but a soul as seemingly empty as the flawless skin encasing her mortal flesh and sinew.

She is beauty.

On Harvard’s new study, Pathways to Prosperity ; I think it’s time to dismantle our illusions of academic grandeur

I was “happy” to see this Yahoo story which broke ranks with the great pervasive cultural lie of the West which presumes biological equality as a natural right. I wonder if this is a harbinger of a ground-breaking paradigm shift which society sorely needs? A wake up call that disrupts our herd-like procession to embrace extended education for all and its continued propping of a matrix that derives power from such an unrealistic ethic?

Superior Chinese mothers aside, there are many way to excel in this world and countless pathways to personal prosperity, and though it may scream sacrilege to those who lovingly tout the wondrous bliss of applied studiousness and book-smarts, not everyone can benefit by such assiduous devotion to academic pursuits. Somewhere along the way, this educational paradigm become a self-perpetuating status-tinged drive to compete and outdo in the realm of degrees and diplomas without regard to the fact that this world is also fueled by bricks and mortar. Pencil-pushing bureaucratic zombies very rarely contribute anything worthy of foundational note in this world. They are in place to enable and affirm the parasitic survival of high-ranking management and MBA types who themselves also create very little; but having attained advanced degrees, are in positions institutionally-enabled to leech every last drop of prosperity our hollow consumerist culture can be bled for.

From the story:

The study is inspired by European systems of education, and its authors say too many students are graduating high school without middle-level skills that could help them land well-paying jobs as electricians, for example. About a third of jobs in the next decade won’t require a four-year college education, the study says, and this program would help American kids prepare for them.

Interesting to see such an explosive anti-degreed perspective expressed to a mainstream audience. The Harvard paper, “Pathways to Prosperity” looks interesting. I downloaded a copy and plan on reading it.

We’ve painted ourselves into a corner with this ridiculous “everyone deserves a college education” nonsense. It implies an innate level of ability for everyone in the realm of intelligence and studious application. Once such “rights” were proffered and proclaimed by Pollyanna politicians, they become an unquestionable privilege and to denounce them or scale them down was equivalent to asserting that not everyone possesses equal intelligence or scholarly skills. A horrible sentiment indeed, for equality has become the holy grail of American democracy and is so tainted and misrepresented that its bleaker insinuations have been pushed aside.

The equal ability to seek education is one thing. The ability to excel is quite another and clearly not equally apportioned, despite the well-intentioned efforts of governmental social engineering. We don’t all meet the minimum threshold requirements to excel at such endeavors and it’s time to confront the realization that all skills, academic and not, are equally valuable in contributing to our civilization’s functionality

I was struck by President Obama’s observation stated at the end of the story. “President Obama has said he wants the United States to lead the world in college graduation rates again.”

Not to single him out, for all modern politicians praise the American triumph of education and house ownership to Heavenly levels when in fact they are hardly there. They are byproducts of an overly affluent society. Our perspective and expectations are trapped in the clouds and we are overlooking the hard, tired work that needs to be done here, outside the classroom.

Some incredibly brief thoughts on Gayness

I posted elsewhere tonight and I thought it appropriate to elaborate even though I had no intention of posting shit tongiht.

Gayness is a conscious affectation.
There is not doubt they are ultimately chosen lifestyles.

I believe man has an ingrown affinity for the male in early life in order to cement his own image. Some men succumb to a breach in the natural order of sexuality.
Some surmount the shame factor and overcome the inherent sociological risks present for a man who enjoys embracing the worship of the masculine figure. Such men may assume it to become a token of idolatry in the absence of developing a true masculine persona.

Gay men are bred. They are not sprung.