The house guest I just discovered hiding in my closet

The rage, the RAGE.
God so much rage.

It’s bewildering to me. What is it about the act of written expression that elicits such unfamiliar rage?

I’m a relatively happy guy. I meander my way through each day with a clownish smile while avoiding self-important descent into the staid routines that rule my corporate existence. I’m not bitter. I don’t hate anything.

People are fond of asking, in general terms, if you’ve ever been so angry you could have murdered. Ever been asked that? It’s a strange ethereal theoretical situation posed as mind exercise. I get it bounced my way once in a while. I think it’s kind of weird. Most people say yes.
Yes! Angry fire jettisons from their eyes as they recount the incident, the moment, when they could have murdered. Reliving the moment, it seems murder is possible again. Never mind the fact that they didn’t, or couldn’t, murder. Why do people enjoy “boasting” they are capable of murder when in fact I suspect they are just flapping their lips dramatically and valiantly?

When the question is posed to me I answer “no.”
No. I’ve never been in a situation in which I felt capable of murder.
I don’t posses that bottomless depth of anger. Nothing of that sort courses through my veins.

I am a mellow waffle. Mr. Cool.
But put me in front of this blog, in front of a blank post page, and you best take cover.
The beast is unleashed.

So maybe I really do have the rage?
Why do I avoid confronting it?
Obviously if rage is capable of issuing hellishly from my fingertips, it must live somewhere in this dark soul of mine. Am I deluding myself?

Rage is a distracting and wasteful emotion. Nothing comes of rage, except more rage. And destruction.
Rage is a megadose of anger for the sake of anger only.
Rage is ego-driven. It is a contrivance we whip up in order to embellish hurt or frustration.
I’ve noticed that my rage posts on this blog usually happen to represent some of my better and intense writing. It’s the times I can’t summon rage that I feel as if my writing is bland and forced.

I see a lot of rage in the blogosphere.

This brand of blogospheric rage is fed by a mixture of anonymity and unrestrained public expression. It’s easy to speak strongly and emotionally when the object of your frustration is nameless or bodiless. It’s too easy to exclaim and generalize and cast a whole swath of people into the same despicable boat. God forbid that they actually come to life and stare you back from behind the safety of your computer screen.

Where would the rage go then?

It’s disconcerting to me that I may be the owner of all this rage and not know it.
Now that I think about it, I notice that in real life much of my humor tends be be cutting, cynical and bleak.

By golly.

There is rage in this heart of mine.

I walk a fine line between light-heartedness and subdued malevolence. Thing is, I’m not a complainer or a whiner…in fact, I’m one of those sickening “glass is half full” kind of guys. But. Rage peeks out, doesn’t it? It doesn’t just peek out, it jumps out and does a tap dance right on the tip of my nose. How can I not see it?

The average blog is a great psychological tool for providing a magnification into the owner’s mind and soul. Blogs are basically a Rorschach test expressed verbally. If you read a person’s blog carefully, analyze it, map it…you will discover who that person is. Really is.

Rage lives.
Has lived under my roof all this time…

My back is fucked up and I love L.A. Or is it the other way around?

Addiction.
The word brims with negative and tragic connotations.
I rebuf them all.
Addiction, in my mind is a neutral descriptor of a person’s obsessive tendency to become attached and dependent on a ritual or behavior.

Big deal, is that so bad? I was once addicted to Brussels sprouts.
I literally was fucking addicted to that shit (literally). Is it that horrific?
Other than the gaseous emissions which I tormented others in my vicinity with, I would hesitate to paint that addiction in negative tones.

Oh, and of course, I’ve entertained the many obligatory addictions which placed me harm’s way. You know, the big bad addictions that get all the press, all the special attention. The shit we automatically think about in our numbskulled non-thoughtfulness.

I’m addicted. To a relatively harmless ritual.
Weight training.
I literally have a difficult time functioning normally if I don’t fulfill my thrice-weekly allotment of 1 hour weight lifting sessions. At times, this leads me to lift when I shouldn’t. For instance, if I’ve slept like shit; if I have a nagging injury; if I’m sick; if I have no time to set aside because of other obligations; if a girl is begging for my attention which is busily focused on the iron. No matter…I still tenaciously manage to squeeze in the weights. My weight training is the one annoyingly immutable element in my life. At the expense of all else. This is one of those favorable addictions which straddles the line and threatens to subvert any sense of normalcy. Right now, I think it’s time to let it breathe.

The common consensus in the weight lifting community is that if you lift hard and heavy, there is absolutely nothing wrong with extended rest periods (in fact, they are probably necessary) every few months. These lengthy respites allow your body to mend and recuperate from sporadic little injuries that you’ve accumulated over the long months of heavy lifting which strains your core and joints.

I’ve given extended rests a shot in the past…but the addiction always creeps back, motherfucker.
One week turns into…three days.
I surrender to the iron.
I rest three days and I feel that my body is shriveling up into a muscleless heap of bones and cartilage. I find it hard to resist. My mind plays tricks on me. It sucker punches me. It tells me my musculature is fading away. Never mind that 3 days of not lifting one weight is really not going to put much of a dent in my muscle mass. It’s mental, like all addictions.

Right now, I’m hurt. Hurting.
My lower back has been stiff and wrenched, for at least 4, 5, even 6 months. I remember the moment it started. I was trying to pull a PR on my deadlifts, and in the process of failing the lift I felt a twinge, a strain in my lower back. It hasn’t been right since.
I ignore it, I deny it, and barrel through my routines because it hasn’t hampered my lifts. Well, it has started to eat into my squat and dead lift numbers. When your lower back is strained, it is weak and you favor it. Routines involving lower back and hips go nowhere. A couple of months ago, I was unable to re-rack 350 pounds and the entirety of that iron mass went tumbling to the floor of my 2nd floor aprtment. Thankfully the downstairs neighbors weren’t home and weren’t able to enjoy the raucous performance.
Also, my right elbow is messed up. A sharp, burning, searing pain has been radiating from the area which circles the outside of the joint. I injured it by using improper form during my rows (not to mention trying to pull a weight I had no business trying). I think it may involve a ligament. It’s disabling.

Bottom line is, I’m a mess. At my age I can’t rely on physical resiliency to cut a swath through injuries. I need to nurse and baby this shit. It’s time.

Time to take the break.
Time for a week off. I lifted yesterday and I don’t plan on lifting anything heavier than a grocery bag until next Sunday, 23rd. The long weekend.

It freaks me out. But there’s no choice.
These injuries ain’t going away. It’s OK to work through soreness, but you should never work through injury pain. You need to listen to your body. Problem is, I ignore every little plaintive plea from my muscles and joints at times like this. My body yells rest, please, rest.

I guess I’ll spend the next week doing light cardio, walking, get the blood flowing, the healing and nourishing blood flow.
It kills me.
Addiction is an odd hang-up.
Did primitive man suffer from addictions?
Is it a modern affliction thanks to our Golden Age of excess?

I think I’m addicted to the internet.
In the past year I’ve had a couple of unusually lengthy power outages and I had no problem coping with the dark, the ruined refrigerated items, the lack of television…but I had a major problem with the lack of connectivity. I was gripped by an emptiness, a void; brought on by the state of being disconnected from the global matrix. I had no signal. Stuck in my little cocoon, dark. I studied the neighbor’s lights longingly (on one occasion, the blackout was specifically confined to my apartment), at their well-lit living rooms, the well-lit units where someone was probably typing happily into the cyber village. A village I was not part of now.

The pain was spiritually excruciating. Every single neighbor’s wireless connections were password protected so I couldn’t even tap into their signal. Bastards, all of them. I’m empty without my internet fix. Yes, it makes me happy, it fills my private little loner world, it’s my connection to something awesome and weird, the blogosphere. God, I’m addicted to this? How can it be? I might have felt ashamed of this at one time (and actually, I still do) but I find communal solace that this is not unusual .

There is no doubt in my mind that sex would be an awesomely pervasive addiction if it weren’t such a chore for most guys.

If acquiring sex was as simple as a pocketful of loose change and a visit to the local 7-11, I guarantee you drug pushers would be out of a job.

Conversely, if hooking up with a 40-ouncer of Steel Reserve entailed the level of commitment, expense or additional “add-on” expense which would largely erase any doubt you would be paying for that bottle for another 18 years, MADD would be reduced to a bunch of bored nags working on new sewing patterns.

Hell yeah, pussy is too much work sometimes.
Even when it’s not.
Acquiring pussy is a great test of that little cost/benefit analysis circuit that hums away in our little brains. How much do we want it, just how important is that specific pussy that we would be willing to sacrifice or risk all manner of goods and assets and reputation to attain? The hornier you are, the worse your cost/benefit analyzer functions. In fact, very little thought goes into the equation when you’re young and oozing testosterone. At that stage in your life, it’s all about the benefit. In fact, the equation is only a benefit/benefit cost margin.

Costs? Ha! Where, when, what, me? Costs??

Nah, as you get older, more seasoned, and you’ve put in way too many laps around the block, the costs just rise and rise and rise and soon the benefit better be really fucking good in order to make you drop everything for it. It’s sad, I suppose, the jaded insolence of Middle Age, but it’s liberating as well.

Speaking of the unattainable, living in Los Angeles can suck. Pussy is plentiful, yes, but the problem is, nature has seen fit to attach it to women. Egg or chicken?
Pussy or woman?

Which follows? The horse. The cart?

If pussy was displaced, grown in vitro, sans torso, arms, legs and flowing hair, would there be much of a market for female companionship? In L.A., that would be questionable.

Funny, I read a blogospheric discussion about the dating market from a man’s perspective, the typical discussion in which men indulge in their favorite pastime of My Female-induced Wretchedness Sucks style of one-upsmanship. Washington D.C.’s dating scene is the worst, some rattled. No, New York, others.
No one seemed to think L.A.’s was the worst.

I do.
L.A. sucks man.
L.A. has the plastic vibe.
L.A. is the anti-intellectual capital of metropolitan U.S.

Whereas New York and Washington D.C. have a rich intellectual history (forget that, they have a history), Los Angeles is a fabricated town. Everything here is fabricated. There is no time-tested culture in place here that has weathered and grown through the trials and tribulations of the city. Los Angeles is an accumulation of imported parcels and blocks. There is an air of transience and displacement here. The city is unabashedly anti-intellectual. And I use “anti” as opposed to “non” because I believe that better describes Los Angeles. This city, by virtue of its show biz history redolent of manipulative artifice, is not only indifferent to intellectualism (and genuine humanity), but seriously antagonistic to the intellectual nature of good people. This is the place where your mind does not serve you well; this is the place where facades and make-believe clutter the physical and mental landscape. Superficiality and elitist conformity are proxies by which your sense of self-worth is monetized.

This is a terrible town to date because though the environment I cite is restricted to certain areas and social circles of Los Angeles, and very many publicly viewed individuals, it is insidious and seeps down to the street-level like a really skanky fashion that looks photographically hot on a strung out runway model but which looks like shit on a typical bellybusting hoodrat (who aspires to mimic her adulatory celebrity Goddesss). That intellectually void airheadedness permeates the air in Los Angeles just like the gooey brown smog in days of yore.

Los Angeles is now home to fabricated store fronts, restaurant fronts, facades, architecture imitating an artificial history, one which borrows histories from other cities because we never had one here. Any area of Los Angeles that dares to eschew the fashionable pseudo-history looks bland and boxy and featureless. It’s no accident Disneyland, the land of Everything Fake, was born here. The aura of impostors radiates its hollow glow at night. You can see it from thousands of miles away. Nothing is real or dependably original.

What does this have to do with the dating scene?
Everything.
Women, typically flighty and capricious by nature, find themselves in a town whose temperament is identically feminine by nature. Their natures are pronounced. The less desirable female traits are tempered in a cultural environment that is consistently and intelligently disciplined…and this town does not offer that. I can tolerate phoniness, but phoniness, upheld as an admirable trait unto itself and flaunted as a source of pride and character makes me sick. L.A. is a fair-weathered friend. Today’s hot item may be tomorrow’s window ticket booth clerk. L.A. begs you not to value deep and intricate thought…in fact, it begs you to embrace a culture of wax figures who look like the real thing and soon you aren’t sure if the real thing is not really the wax figure. Which is real? The dating scene here mimics that morally porous container, an unstable and bimbo-ridden town where consistency of character is confined to the stack of 120-page movie scripts cluttering Beverly Hills desks.

L.A., she will wreck you.
Or if you don’t mind parting with your soul, you may join the rest, and be part of the emerging indigenous culture.

By the way, I work in the “Industry.”
I’m just that important.

The dragon waits for no one

In his 1853 short story Cock-A-Doodle-Doo!, Herman Melville wrote of the emerging mechanized transport of locomotive trains and the ensuing carnage which greeted the widespread use of the rushing beasts:

Great improvements of the age! What! to call the facilitation of death and murder an improvement! Who wants to travel so fast? My grandfather did not, and he was no fool. Hark! here comes that old dragon again – that gigantic gad-fly of a Moloch – snort! puff! scream here he comes straight-bent through these vernal woods, like the Asiatic cholera cantering on a camel. Stand aside! here he comes, the chartered murderer! the death monopolizer! judge, jury, and hangman all together, whose victims die always without benefit of clergy. For two hundred and fifty miles that iron fiend goes yelling through the land, crying: “More! more! more!”

Writing of the exaggerated nimbleness of modern machinery.

He expressed a sense of harsh impersonality and victimization at the hands of technology’s persistent shrinkage of time and space.

Does each generation sense the stain of this technological victimization?
Does each generation peer into the rear porthole harking back a couple of generations and marvel at the hypnotic and deliberate pace of their grandparent’s lives while bemoaning current civilization’s rapidly encroaching tools of modernity.

Comparatively, Melville’s era, just about 5 generations ago, brims with a simplistic and cautious demeanor skirting the fringes of 19th Century technology. It baffles me to contemplate the idea that our fast-paced and blindingly quick technology of today will one day be considered as antiquated and primitive as a locomotive train is to us now.

In that future, how much further will the world have shrunk?

How will time appear to man as he buzzes around his daily errands in 150 years?

As time shrinks at the merciless hands of frenetic technology, 150 years in Melville’s time may be approximately matched in 30 of ours. Or less.

The future is an unknown marvel. It is hidden before us like a path curving through the dark woods; a future shielded by the mysterious discoveries laid out by our future minds. A collective mind which will undergo an incomprehensible metamorphosis, a metamorphosis of intellect and inventions. Each generation of technology surpasses the previous in ways unimaginable and the progression is non-linear. It compounds and expands beyond that which we cannot know.

Melville was a victim of his modern age.
We are all victims and beneficiaries of the niceties of invention.
Choose your path.
Do you join the parade and wallow contentedly in the excess? Do you strengthen the structure?

Or do you drop out and turn your back. Serve it no use, but realizing that in so doing, it serves you no purpose either.

Defeat will always wait and be the lone embrace to your lonely stand.

For the Dragon is never deterred.

Time for subset b. Goddamnit.

Hypnotized we are.
Like a puppy under the spell of a bouncing ball.
We watch and witness the rhythmic pattern of daily life.
Spellbound by routine.
One day leads to another. One hour leads to another. One minute leads to another.
One second…

A parade of inconspicuous moments multiplying and compounding. A pattern of life. Continuing, unabated and unchecked. We take it in but rarely take it in.
Mindful of life but barely cognizant of the preciousness of its endless array of laddered units. The pure moments.

We watch as the moments bounce by.
Like little puppies.

Our heads bob in time with the cascading and accumulating blocks of time which make up bigger blocks and bigger, and bigger, years, decades, centuries, eons. But in our own lives, the blocks so small but to our finite presence, being…large. Life encompassing.

Hypnotized we watch the seconds race or trickle past.

A day created, a day lost. A new day beckons.
And the cycle lived anew.
The parade of reality indistinguishable and our little people minds, like a puppy, see only the ball. We don’t see the bounce, we don’t see the descent nor the ascent.
We only see the ball, the regularity of our lives.
Like the massive and cold laws of physics, that which is observed with a set of variables, a, present, will once again be visible, given the same set of variables, a.

a is the backbone of our life.
a is bliss. a is comfort and solace.
Predictability.

Lazily we blankly relish the motherly comfort of a and the transcendence of b is unthinkable. So we don’t think about it.
For the laws of our personal physics don’t only tell us that the presence of a will result in the same outcome each time. Our personal physics tell us, and we foolishly come to expect, that a is a constant.

Called taking the whole damn thing for granted.
Because we are puppies and routine is our ball.

And the day you left me.

Fuck. Time to move onto subset b. The cycle begins anew.

A few reasons why I am NOT a fuckingassholeAlphamale

Aw damnit, can you you blame me for wanting to be an Alpha male?
Everyone wants to be the Alpha, the jock, the stud. The guy who has the pick of the pussy litter.
Don’t lie.
I won’t. I’d love to be. But I’m not.

I didn’t have the slightest concept of “Alpha” until I started traipsing around the mansphere. Even then, it was a bewildering freaking concept. So Alpha is what exactly? And I can be Alpha how?

And why in the world would man want to be Alpha anyways? Women?

Alpha, the romanticized and fetishized carrot today’s breed of floundering and unlaid young guys wandering like lost souls through the current sexual marketplace seem hung up on. Alpha by its very definition is rare. Unique, prized. If everyone were Alpha we’d need a lot more space, wouldn’t we? And a lot more women.

Yet all these guys all want to be Alpha. Mimic Alpha. Ah.
The subtle wordplay here is not that you are Alpha, per se, but that you act Alpha. The thinking being that as your mind goes so does your body. And your affect and mannerisms. Thus you will embody Alpha if you act the part. Eventually you will fool yourself. You will convince yourself that you are indeed Alpha until the day someone bigger and better saunters in, fucks your girlfriend and then proceeds to pummel you into the ground. Yeah, Alpha this.

The Alpha concept is awesomely cheesy. I understand so little about it other than what I’ve gleaned over the countless references to it in this corner of the blogosphere. What I’ve read, for the most part, as written by young horny guys, sounds oddly self-aggrandizing and slightly delusional. Alpha has become the magic pill, the cure for the misery of loneliness and pathological virginity.

I’m not Alpha. Decidedly not.
There are aspects of my personality that may fit the Alpha category, but there are many important ones that glaringly refuse Alphaness. In fact, I would argue that I am the anti-Alpha.

You see, that opens up a new can of worms.
Beta.
From what I’ve gathered, I’m not quite Beta either.
What the hell am I?

Who knows. Does it matter?

I imagine there is a little of both in all guys.
Anyone who is fully Beta or fully Alpha must surely exude a comic and caricature-like air of exaggeration. Not to mention the dangerous slivers of fractured emotionality.
We all must contain a mixture of Alpha and Beta.

My indisputable rise to the top of the Alpha heap (and thus my pick of females to staff my humble harem) is kept in check by several personal qualities which I believe instantly disqualify me from Gold membership at Club Alpha.

These are some reasons why I am not a fuckingassholeAlphamale.

Women aren’t that important to me.

Hahaha. Don’t go there.

I say this in all sincerity.  
I mean, of course I love women, I love hot women with great curves and sparkling eyes and I love it when they decide to sit on my lap and wiggle their ass. I love their tight jeans and their silly giggles. I love it. But frankly, the procurement of such fleshy entertainment just does not rank high on my to-do list. I certainly don’t see the need to structure my entire life around piling on more notches in the greedy quest to get more and more. I’ve been there.  I’m 45. Running after every woman like a dog chases its tail really doesn’t appeal to me at this point in my life. Alpha is a sexual trait, essentially. Alpha speaks to a male’s ability to manipulate certain qualities and traits in measured doses that will allow him to mate with the most fertile females possible. I certainly don’t think an Alpha male has such a ho-hum attitude about females as I do.

I really have no ambition

At least not in the traditional materialistic and cumulative sense seen in the modern Western mind.  I have no longing to own any of the model status symbols which we slave ourselves to.  I have no urge to own any of the big-ticket items that require one to abolish all good monetary sense in order to attain. I’m not particularly sold on structuring my life around the path which will pave the way for their acquisition. You know, big money, big job title, big checkbook.  One of the master forces propelling the civilized Alpha is the exaggerated drive to build status and power through the display of material wealth.   Consequently, access to the most females.

I’m way too chill

Dude, just think Cheech and Chong without the reefer.  I rarely get riled up. I take things at 3/4 speed compared to most people.  I do things according to my own stopwatch which beats a little slower than civilization’s master clock. Intense would hardly describe me.  Alpha must possess a drive to conquer the environment, the elements. I lack it.

I’m too small

Isn’t an Alpha dependent upon the perception of physical might and power?  Maybe in the primitive jungle eras of yore, physical prowess was proven by actual combat, but in this modern world the perception is more important than the ability.  I don’t know any men who walk around challenging other men to random fights in order to uphold their Alpha supremacy. I don’t think the crowd at the supermarket or the subway platform would be terribly impressed. In the absence of such physically expressed displays of Alpha might, we are entirely dependent on physique to answer the Alpha unknown.   Simply put, big guys have a leg up in the display of Alpha by default.   Small men are automatically perceived as less physically fearsome, and physical fearsomeness is one of the key Alpha traits. Do you intimidate?

Yeah well, I guess it would be nice. If I had found this Alpha stuff like 30 years ago.
I could have been somebody!