Showing posts with label stories of my life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stories of my life. Show all posts

Sunday, December 10, 2017

For Amor Fati, I am Grateful


For Amor Fati, I am grateful to the Deity, because without it, I would have been held by random souls I met along the way, distractions without any ultimate truth to show me; my energies diverted and wasted in pointless exercises in futility. To have a functioning Off switch is a grace for which I am immensely grateful. I have used the switch again and again, and it has never failed me.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sobriety


One reads, everywhere, that alcohol in moderation is good for you, or your heart, or your general state of mind, or your immune system, or something. A glass of wine with dinner, say, or a beer with your buddies, is supposed to enhance well-being. It helps the heart, well, they don't know how, but they think it may, due to statistics, or something.

On the one hand, we have trillions of dollars made through the global marketing of alcohol-based products. Of course, with so much money at stake, funding will be readily available to any scientist that wants to find virtue in a shot-glass.

On the other hand, we have zero dollars to be made, by the business-criminal class, from healthy, happy, high-functioning human beings.

It is clear to me where the truth lies. For the business criminal, the suffering and death of billions is of small concern, whereas their corporate stock price, and the luxuries afforded by their trade, is everything.

In the beginning, after I cut alcohol from my diet, my thinking was actually impaired, as my body chemistry took time to adjust. But after time, I see that I am stronger and in fuller possession of my powers. I sleep well, long, and deeply, awakening each morning refreshed, renewed, eager to begin the working day. My emotions are calmer, held in a tighter rein by the higher reason, which is of vast benefit. Money that was spent on expensive piss instead remains in my pocket. In addition, I lose weight.

There is a pleasure to be had from alcohol, but many paths lead to pleasure, and alcohol is neither the best nor the only way.

The trouble with a glass of wine at dinner is this. Those with ambition want more. If one glass is good, two must be better, after all.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Pledge


The Pledge of Allegiance, like praying, should be voluntary. Observe that praying is compulsory in barbarian territories, so-called Islamic "countries" ruled by despots, where "morality police" punish those caught skipping prayers.

Teachers shouldn't assault kids over prayer or the Pledge. That is a foolish thing to do. In the first place, it won't make a kid patriotic; quite the opposite. In the second place, it is a poor excuse for an assault. Teachers that do that probably should not be in the profession.

The reason people pledge, or don't pledge, is a feeling of belonging to a nation and its system.

I remember back in the day, when I skipped the Pledge, as a fourteen year-old high school freshman. The reason had to do with complete alienation from the school and the country. It seemed like the school was run by the bullies, that is, the mean teachers and the tough kids, who seemed to recognize one another on some level and work hand-in-glove in many ways. The teachers turned a blind eye to bullying, and the mean kids just had a field day and ran the school. It was like prison--no different, really. There was violence, a good deal of it, and a lot of ugliness. Under the circumstances, I did not feel motivated to do the Pledge.

One day, one of the mean teachers, the Phys. Ed. instructor, who hated my guts anyway for being queer and was always working with the bullies to tear me down, yanked me up out of my seat, just like in this media story. I returned his hatred. "Big Red" can thank his lucky star nothing came of it--at least, that is, in my case. With an eye to the future, I absorbed, rather than reflected. Of course, violence begets violence, which is a basic lesson that people forget, and so the cycle continues, from prehistoric times to the present. I concluded that it is better to look toward the future than to dwell in either the past or the present. There is nothing about the high school years worth remembering. It was all wasted time.

Today, I pledge without a second's thought, and the reason is, I feel a part of the system, and a devotion to the country that is genuine, based on my good life, and a comparison of other countries around the world. Other countries, generally, stink. The U.S. is far superior in many ways, until you start comparing the most enlightened, such as Finland, Norway, Sweden, or Canada, for example. Canada, of course, has the better health system and many other things, but even so, the U.S. is definitely worth the pledge. And, I think for a black person, the U.S. is worth the pledge, because black people have it far worse in any given African nation. Yes, even with a certain level of background racism, even with the occasional police shooting, black people generally have it pretty good in the U.S., as demonstrated by the sizeable black middle class. If I were black, I'd certainly prefer the U.S. over any African nation, and I'd try to prove the racists wrong, by living a decent life.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Little Chipmunk


A middle-aged chipmunk left a pamphlet just for my eyes to see, one of those illustrated palm-sized cartoons that I've seen a thousand times before, explaining how the only key out of Hell's prison is Jesus--that is, the crazed and ignorant Jesus of his abominable cult. I left it on the desk where he had placed it. Faux Christians such as the little chipmunk always resort to passive-aggressiveness to fulfill their petty impulses. A bit of kindness would go a lot further than one of his stupid pamphlets, let me tell you.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Almost Like Magic


Reflecting upon the world-currents that caused me the most grief, I can identify three, over the course of my life.

One: the Soviet Union. When I was a boy, we all expected to be blown up in nuclear war. That was the norm. Not only would mankind be reduced by death and radiation to half-breed mutants, but the world would become largely uninhabitable. I thought about this and prayed about it, too. Now the Soviet Union is gone, and for a while it looked as though things would be hunky-dory in that neck of the woods, but then Putin came along. Evil has a way of reinventing itself. H. Sapiens remains upon the brink. Future generations must cope with the possibility of annihilation.

Two: homosexuality. Again, when I Was a boy, I reckoned I should kill myself, because I was the only one in the world that way. That was real and that was an almost-was. Maybe in an alternative Universe, I'm not around anymore. But in this Universe, I have a strong survival instinct that outweighs the social anxiety. I brooded over this many a night and longed for a world that was different. What surprised me is that the West changed. Not the savage parts of the world, but the civilized, good and Christian West. Now, I can actually talk to priests, police officers, politicians, teachers, and neighbors about my husband. There is no need to hide. Secrets are unnecessary. That, to me, is amazing, and a miracle really, and I wonder whether it is some kind of collective white magic at work. I never expected all of this to transpire in my own lifetime. The speed with which change occurred is what surprises me. Our race, and by that I mean H. Sapiens, is awakening from a long nightmare of ignorance.

Three: marijuana. When I was a teenager, this plant was considered a heinous crime, due to hysterical propaganda that millions of people really believed. It is hard for people today to fathom the power of the Great American Drug War, which focused almost exclusively against marijuana. There are a lot of good people that were put into prison just because of that plant, but millions more were kicked out of school, fired, lost custody of their children, or other things, all because of a plant that is gentler than liquor. I was evangelical for the truth and had no patience with the lies. I told everyone I knew what I perceived to be the reality. Due to the efforts of many, marijuana is legal in some states and sold in retail stores. I never expected that to happen in my day. The lies that were manufactured to keep it illegal have lost their potency, and H. Sapiens is awakening to the wonderful and hopeful Truth. Even in my lifetime, it is possible marijuana will be legal in all of the West and that it will replace, to a large extent, that vile substance, the curse of our race, the product of Death, alcohol.

I think that each of us can perceive trends and racial thoughts that are shared by many and that is why it is possible to make predictions about the future of our civilization.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

401(k)


We had a lunch-n-learn conference out at work explaining all the wonderful advantages of letting a bank nursemaid us through our 401(k) mutual fund investments.

No thank you, Mr. Bank, you charge 1% for the dubious privilege of your pedestrian expertise, consisting of what is the difference between a stock and a bond, and your mutual fund selection is full of funds with expense ratios through the roof, an astronomical 1 - 2%. I will stick with my IRA and the only good mutual fund family, VANGUARD, thank you not at all, except for the free lunch, which was basically junk food, by the way, just like your entire product offering. What, are you trying to give us a heart attack with the food?

Some doofus raised his hand asking what the expense ratios were. The saleslady replied they were what the bank pays the mutual funds, which was a bald-faced lie, because the customer pays the mutual funds out of his principal. Nothing but lies in this meeting. They were telling us 401(k) was the only tax shelter, ignoring IRAs altogether, because they don't make money from that. After the meeting, I considered calling up Johnny to let him know the real scoop. I know my way around investing. But then I remembered back when I first started at the company. One day, when I was green on the job, Johnny sneered at me because I carried a heavy toolbox to fix a little problem that required just a single cable. Well, hey, you know what, expense ratios are Johnny's toolbox. The expense ratio's on him. That's his heavy toolbox he's lugging around, looking like a fool. Me, I'm with Vanguard. Let him pay that 1-2% for the next ten years.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

I Didn't Approve of Stephen King


When I was growing up, horror was just becoming a thing. It was wildly popular, and Stephen King dominated the bookstores. He was described as a young rebel, an upstart taking over the bestseller list. My friends read his stuff. I was appalled. It seemed, well, horrible, all this talk of the supernatural and worse, the evil supernatural. But that is where my world went, and in time, I followed, although I was one of the late adopters. I later learned King drank mouthwash to get drunk. He was a chronic alcoholic, ready to down a case to finish a book. Perhaps, indeed, it is how he managed channeling the spirits that wrote his books; but that is speculation on my part. I do think King is a good man, probably a very good man, and a very gifted writer. His presence among the canon can be undisputed; no library would be complete without him. I have read most, though not all, of his books. Besides his tendency to dwell upon the negative, another thing I dislike about him is repetition. His books do seem the same. I think any author, after a time, repeats himself, because being human, he has a finite number of thoughts and ideas. In summary, I wish to clarify that I do approve of Stephen King, now; I didn't, when he first came out, because I'm a biological conservative, that is, conservative in nature, if not politics, or at least modern politics.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Piyush


Today, just for fun and to resolve some outstanding technical problems, I installed a new solid state drive in my computer and tried installing Windows 10 fresh from a DVD. Windows 10 installed OK, but pitched a fit over the activation, which scratched a sore spot with me. There is a tawdry story involved here, and I might as well 'fess up.

You see, I did not purchase Windows 10 through proper channels. Ever the bargain-hunter, I snagged a product key for Windows 10 Professional off an Ebay seller, who later was banned from Ebay, probably for pushing shady licenses, because all she ever sold was Windows 10 licenses.

Nevertheless, I had paid her $80 for Win10 Pro, and it seemed quasi-legit. I had researched and found it to be a volume licensing for some kind of online academic institution. Microsoft indeed had gotten paid, although not quite as much as they would have preferred, no doubt. No way I was coughing up another $140 for a brand new license. Just no way.

I called Microsoft, and the first Indian I spoke with was a guy with a really smooth, mellow voice. He had me recite my product ID, a 30-digit number. I just loved listening to his voice, it was so clear and smooth. He could easily have been a jazz singer. I didn't really expect that from Indian tech support. In the end, however, he handed me bad news. I had to contact my seller and get the product key, which is different from the product ID. No other way forward, according to him.

I didn't tell him this, but the seller is out of the picture completely. She is gone, kaput, does not answer emails, so forget about that. But I know a thing or two. When I bought Windows 10 originally, the seller did send me a product key, or otherwise I never would have had a licensed Windows 10 in the first place. I printed it out back then and filed it. I found my hardcopy and, armed with that information, called Microsoft again, because Windows for some reason was not accepting that product key anymore.

This time I got an Indian dame, whose name remains Anonymous, because when she connected to my computer, the window indicated it was Piyush. But googling that name suggests that it is a masculine name, not a feminine one. I do not see any male Piyushes in Facebook. I think she was using the previous tech's, or her boyfriend's, log-in details in order to preserve the sanctity of her true identity. In truth, it is not a good idea for young female voices to be attached to actual names that can be researched and tracked down to a location. I would have done the same thing in her position and indeed I do it. The fact of the matter is, although one desires to be appreciated and admired on the Internet before an audience of one's peers, one is well-advised to treat one's identity the same as one's chastity. Many people do not seem to understand that. But Piyush, as I call her, understood.

She fixed everything for me. Windows 10 Pro was activated on my new solid state drive, and she was quick about it and rather nice, too. As for me, I was sunshine and butter on popcorn. I had all my ducks in a row. She did not have to do any extra work or waste any time explaining anything to me. I was always two steps ahead of her. I am not surprised things worked out so well for me in the end. If it is at all possible to get a positive result out of technical support, I can do it, because I am technical support, and I like people and get along quite well with them, whatever their age or gender or any other factor that other people seem to think is important. I am neutral and results-focused and results-oriented, but I also like to have fun and joke around, within the parameters of propriety. I had quite a bit of banter with Piyush.

Here is the strange thing that set me blogging with a title of the false name she used.

She liked me. I was the nicest person she spoke to all day or will speak to all week. I walked around in her mind a bit. There were echoes of unpleasant exchanges with abusive callers upset at Microsoft, and I hated that. People don't always understand how difficult computers can be. They don't know how much patience and work is required to get them to function at all. Most people in support have been abused by the ignorant, the impatient, the negligent and the frankly stupid. I am honored and grateful to the Goddess that I am not like that.

After we disconnected, I walked around the house, exuberant that I had fixed the problem and feeling a lingering pleasure from the strangely potent connection with this Piyush lady from India. Five minutes later, there was a phone call. The caller ID indicated a long distance number, but I just knew it was her.

I picked up, and there she was. She had dialed me by mistake, intending to reach her next customer. But really, are there mistakes? Is it so difficult to dial the correct number in a call center? Her subconscious preferred to talk to me again rather than play the fool's lottery on the next caller. I would have loved to talk with her for hours and learn all about her interesting life in India, but that is not such a good idea. I redirected her back to her work with firm pleasantries. I mark her existence only in this blog. Perhaps in another Universe, another reality, who knows? She was a lovely lady. She deserves to be loved. I have said it. The world must do it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Cassandra


I thought this morning that I'm a Cassandra. It is my doom to see things and tell others what I see, but never to be believed. My Father disregarded all I told him to his detriment. I tried to protect him, but of course he would not listen to me. I do not have the additional power of persuasion. I've grown well-accustomed to not being listened to, but sometimes, I tell people things anyway, out of affection, loyalty, a sense of duty or perhaps just an old habit that was never quite completely broken. Sometimes it amuses me as inexorable Fate proves me right, but people never like to admit they were wrong. Cassandras are resented universally. Silence is best, in general.

The quest after Truth is like the serpentine dance of the dragon. When you think you have her, she has eluded you altogether. Nothing is easy. If someone thinks that the world is easy, they have missed about ninety-nine per cent of the equation.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Nose Buried in His Phone


I vaguely remember an attractive young man, a friend of a friend, who introduced himself to me and several other people, then sat down at a table with us. After a few words, he buried his nose in his phone, surfing the web or whatever it was he was doing, and that was the end of him. I had been preparing polite questions in my mind, but discarded them and decided instead to forget his name, and to this day I don't remember it. That's okay, because he had no relevance. His phone indeed is more interesting than he is, as his behavior implied. He had fought traffic to meet us, but then blown any chance of making a positive impression. I do remember that he was an actor, and I found it amusing that here was a presumably social person, whose career depends upon interaction with others, and his nose is buried in his phone, and he has nothing remotely interesting to say. I learned later that his career went bust, he lost his job and had to move back in with his parents. I guess there isn't a big market for actors that stand on the stage silently fiddling with their phones.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I am the Minority Opinion

Mine is always the minority opinion... until it isn't. I'm amused with the world. Oftentimes I've lamented I was the only one to think so-and-so, such as: gays are equal to straights and not worse (!disputed by everyone I knew!); or, marijuana is better than alcohol and should be legal (!disputed by every adult I knew!); or, religion is dangerous and harmful whenever it is dogmatic (disputed by most, though my father agreed). These, my opinions, stirred controversy. Sometimes, I felt alienated to be a member of what seemed, to me many years ago, only a tiny minority.

The succession of years and momentous events in the world proved me wrong, not in what I believed, but in believing that I was the only one. Indeed my ideas have gained mind-shares, and not through advertising or money or power, but because they are right and because their truth can be experienced by everyone. The merit of my opinions has been vindicated. How lucky that so much change should happen in my lifetime for me to witness it. I have been touched upon the forehead, I have been blessed. My wonder is great, because there was a time I wished to leave this world. I am glad that I opted to remain and would recommend a similar course to anyone.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Earnest Student

The best that can be said about me is that I am an earnest student, willing and eager to learn almost anything, and I prize teachers, anyone who knows something I do not and is willing to share their knowledge freely. I value knowledge. But I have no use for those who hoard their secrets and gloat over their protected nuggets of knowledge.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Just Say No to Suicide

Certainly, young people strike me as silly sometimes. The suicide of young, healthy people seems ridiculous, a ridiculous waste of potential, and I abhor reading about news stories in which a young person has taken their own life, because their motive often seems petty.

What do I know? Was I there? Did I want to die at fifteen? Why, yes, as a matter of fact, I did, and it became a favorite fantasy of mine. If you want to know what I was fantasizing about as a teenage boy, it was Death, He was my suitor, and He was Romantic, Charming, and tempting. I saw into the other side and wanted to be there with the others, because They, the dead, seemed just as good, if not better, than the living. But that was then, and this is now.

I think that life is an opportunity, and we are fortunate to have it, and to waste it seems pointless and rather stupid. Why not see what develops? Patience. Wait and see. To end it all precludes all possibility for anything good unfolding. A young person has a long life ahead and has only experienced a tiny fraction of it so far. Why be hasty and judge the rest as worthless? Wait and see. Things do get better.

Grown-ups sometimes just aren't willing to make any effort towards understanding, because they are set in their ways. Grown-ups are not lazy or stupid, by any means, or rather most of them are not. They tend to be hard-working and clever, but they are fixed in their habits of thinking, and somewhere along the way they may have lost a flexibility of mind, an agility that allows one to walk inside the mind of another.

For instance, being gay or transgender should not be a big deal. So what? There have been and there are millions of gay and transgender kids. Nor is smoking marijuana. These are small things that cause people to freak out, because they haven't enough drama in their life and a secret part of them craves the manufacturing of drama, like on TV.

Once one moves past the brouhaha, one finds that, yes, gay people exist and have good lives, and marijuana does not warp the brain for life after all. As a matter of fact, marijuana is benign, compared to alcohol, for alcohol opens a gateway for the forces of evil to enter our world. Mohammed understood this, at least, but then, it was made obvious to him.

Society labors under a number of delusions that cause much grief. I am glad that back in the day, my instinct to survive was stronger than the desire to end all suffering, because now that I am free, I am all right. Young people go crazy due to the conflict of older people trying to control them and shape them into something that they are not. The simple fact is that children have their own DNA and cannot become perfect clones of parents. They are different not only due to genetic differences but due to the different environment, the modern culture in which they live.

If I were to speak to a young person considering suicide, I would tell them that suicide is wrong for a healthy young person. Being gay is OK, there is nothing wrong with that. Being gay, transgender, or different is not a valid reason to either consider suicide or any form of self-harm, whether it be slicing, drug abuse or risky sexual behavior. Those bad choices are the influence of the voices of darkness, dark forces that enter our world and seek to harm, to destroy. One must be strong and resist these negative impulses. In order to be good, one must be strong. Otherwise, evil wins. Do not give in to the forces of darkness. Do not let them win. If one is a good person, and one enjoys good health, then it is a wicked thing to end life. Think instead on the fate of those left behind, who will be deprived of the positive influences of one's presence. Think instead on the tremendous burdens of grief and regret left upon loved ones. It is a wrong act, a grievous Sin, and must not be permitted.

Young people are too hasty in their judgments, to apt to paint the world in black and white, too impatient with the slow crawl of progress and enlightenment. Understanding takes time. It does not happen overnight. Sometimes years or decades are required. I say wait and see. I say let love enter your heart. Resist the siren call of hatred and bitterness. Resist the voice of despair. Understand that we are limited. Human beings are feeble of mind. Yes, we are fallible in many things. Much of what we perceive may be delusion. Most of the world labors under delusions. Few people ever see the world as it is even for a single moment in time. We see as through a glass darkly. So how can we be so sure of ourselves as to make the rash assumption that life is not worth living, even before we have given it half a chance? A suicide at fourteen is not half a chance, when the average human lives to be seventy or eighty. I say wait and see. I did and I am glad I did.

Be aware there is light in the darkness. Even in the utter dark, the void, there is light that the dark cannot overcome, burning with the intensity of creation. Seek it out, draw from its energy to increase your own, and that will be your salvation.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Effortless

I used to become attached, to love in the old-fashioned romantic sense, which is an immature manner of relating to beautiful and superior beings. It is instinctive, for obvious reasons, but it is primitive, and one must progress past that infantile stage.

The perfect being does not attach in such a way to others. He may admire, respect and even love others. To become completely and utterly attached and thus bound to the material world, to the chain of karma and the cycle of life, that is a vice. He should not become attached. So it is that I do love the beings I encounter, even as I love myself. But they may come or they may go, and I may come or I may go, in life or in death, and all is well, just because. All is well, always and forever, because the cosmos is ordered thus, and it is not even necessary to understand why.

When I was very young, people broke my heart by forgetting, ignoring or otherwise excluding me from their society. How many tears I shed, how much my heart trembled, and life seemed unbearable! Now I smile like the crocodile, because that is no longer possible. Lucky me. I have known and been loved and desired and admired by beautiful and bright superior beings, captains at the very forefront of the Host. So I am thinking, "As good as you are, you are not even in the same league as so-and-so." I have already lived, and now is merely the bonus round, where I might pick up this or that without moving my overall score that much. Humans I understand fundamentally to the core. I have seen it all and known it all before, and nothing is mysterious or strange, and everything is very familiar to me.

Of my sensitivity, it was a disguised gift, and I thought it a curse in my younger days until I learned the shaman's way. Sensitivity is a rare, powerful and useful tool. I have learned to filter my sensitivity and not be overly affected by the things that I perceive. Of course, that is necessary for survival.

Even people's bad manners and petty cruelties and negligence offer insight into the workings of their minds and assist one in the reconstruction of the all-encompassing reality. With such insight, I can construct a more accurate reality based not only upon my own limited perceptions but upon the perceptions of others, so that I perceive more and am not left in ignorance. With such resources, drawing upon what others reveal to me, I can accept what is so and discard illusion.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

I'm a Socialite

I'm a late bloomer as far as socializing goes. I was withdrawn as a kid, more confident as a young man, but now that I'm in old fart territory, I feel comfortable chatting with anyone. I'm simply not afraid of anyone or anything, and I'm not intent on selling anyone anything, either. There is the sense of, "Been there, done that, survived it all."

Death

Death places a halo on the head of the dead, because they are blameless. To blame them is as pointless as blaming a rock, tree, or river--they are inanimate. Only the living may be blamed for the problems of today. With the dead, in most cases one thinks, they did the best they could with the resources at hand. Indeed in some cases, it is fantastic they could do what they did do, while laboring under such tremendous handicaps. It is important to forgive and forget whenever possible. To brood upon the past makes us vulnerable to the powers of darkness that are so eager to gain a foothold into our world. Some of those on the global scene that brood over the past are those Republicans who want to do no trade with Cuba, even though our dispute with them is fifty years old, and Cuba is no worse than China, objectively--in fact, China is far more a threat to us. North Korea and Iran brood over the past. Putin broods over the past. Those who idealize the Southern Confederacy, they too brood over the past too much. Live in the present.

Although forgiveness isn't necessary, by any means, I do forgive my dead father all his real or perceived faults without exception. He was more than good enough. He was wonderful, judged in the context of his burden, and that is the only way we should judge other people. It is easy for strong people with sound minds to be proud and powerful when put to the test. They do not have to make as much effort. They do not suffer as much. To be mentally ill is a tremendous burden. Just imagining it is frightening. Living it is worse. I read the list of side effects for his medicine the other day and that helped me understand a great deal.

The reason I have never taken acid or any powerful drug is that I fear the loss of control, the giving of the self over to the Random, to evil spirits, psychosis, or self-hypnosis, or whatever takes its place. This is also the reason that other people abstain from powerful drugs--and also heavy drinking or heavy pot smoking, because even the milder substances, when taken in great excess, can impair our sense of self-control. We do fear the loss of control and are wise to do so.

My father had many good qualities, and most importantly, he intended to do good. Conscience was  powerful in him as it is in me, and this, I think, is the seed of goodness, for without conscience, what guide have we? There is no invisible guardian standing ready to cast black magic upon us, should we do ill to others, although I think there should be. We refrain from evil not so much out of fear of the law or of societal disapproval or for our own insignificant lives, but rather out of fear of committing Sin, which alienates a human being from communion with the consciousness that pervades all things, the Force, as Obi Wan-Kenobi and Yoda described it in "Return of the Jedi." Perhaps that is indeed what God is, rather than a single being. And, perhaps we are not single beings either, and individuality is an illusion, but we are all avatars of the One, and all of us are interconnected, whether we know it or not. Those that are evil delude themselves in thinking they are separate. They are wholly sold on the illusion of individuality. After the brief span of a man's days, the illusion is dispelled. What remains of an evil-doer's savage individuality is a rotting corpse, food for worms. Those that are good perceive, maybe dimly, but they perceive an invisible network connecting all living beings. They exist not only for the benefit of self, but for the benefit of others as well, because the self is transitory, and others will inherit the earth.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Why I Don't Go to the Movies

Today I saw $25 AMC Regal Cinema gift cards going for $20. It made me wonder whether I would even be interested if they were going for $10. I am certainly not interested at $20.

Long ago, cinema owners went out of their way to make the movie-going experience horrible. Lousy, unhealthy, overpriced food and drinks that I would not feed an animal, commercials!--just like watching TV at home, long lines and exorbitant ticket prices persuaded me only a fool would buy a ticket to see a movie. That is why I have not been out to see a movie for years. I still don't think cinema owners know what time of day it is. In order for cinema owners to draw crowds back in, they would have to make the experience nice, and they have no clue how to do that. I am looking forward to the day when the cinemas close down for good and stay closed and all that space gets used for something interesting like a theater.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Closet

The closeting of so many gay and lesbian people back in the day meant that there was nobody around to talk to when I was growing up gay. Therefore, like many before me, I grew up believing I was the only one in the whole wide world, despite there being hundreds of millions of us, as we now know for a fact. Back in those days, the occasional gays outed in the media seemed remote and alien, unfathomable, unreal even, impossible to imagine. Meanwhile, the environment at school, where anybody who was gay kept quiet about it, meant no boyfriends and no real friends, no one that could understand me or what made me tick. There were some people I suspected probably were gay, but they were just as confused and uncertain as I was, if not more so.

The one best friend I had in middle school betrayed me in high school, becoming an enemy after he calculated it would serve his interests better. Due to his paranoid, unhappy mother, he belonged to a small church that was crazy and right-wing, and he wanted to please his mother, so he believed it was wrong to smile and good to frown, and all he did served that end. I never recall his mother smiling in all the days I knew her, so she had picked her church well. Now I smile to think that he lives on Queen St.

I used to want to write an autobiography because I thought that the people from my past and myself were important, but over the years, I decided that the opposite was true. I am not important, first of all. There is little from the past I want to remember, and many of the people from my past, that is to say friends and associates in school, were not particularly pleasant, to put it mildly. I am a loyal friend, one who tends to remember and repay good deeds, like a social accountant, and so in my writing, I used to feel obliged to express this loyal, sentimental fondness for old friends, even ones that betrayed me, due to random kindnesses I remembered, and I have a long memory, but like an infatuated lover, I had glossed over their faults, forgiven their sins, only remembering later in bits and pieces that puzzled me at first until I grasped the meaning. They are best left to oblivion. I even have trouble recalling some of their names. Drink deep of Lethe.

What is important is now. Now is the only thing relevant. Now I am out. There is no big deal about being gay. That is an old thing, an established thing, and is no longer important, no more than other physical or intellectual traits. Now I have a husband. Now I have a happy and stable life and hope for the future. Now I have ordered my life in a reasonable facsimile of the way I think things ought to be. Now is fuel for writing, for creativity energized by positive good, rather than drawing upon the powers of darkness.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Silk Slippers

To walk in silk slippers suits me. I only wish to get where I am going without attracting unwelcome attention. I keep my life simple, because my work is extremely complicated. If life were complicated also, then how could I be expected to focus upon complicated tasks and complete them in a satisfactory manner and on time?

Monday, May 5, 2014

I Carried a Pocket Knife

A no-brainer news article points out that victims of bullies are more likely to carry weapons to school. Duh. When a person finds that their safety and well-being are at risk, that person will do whatever it takes to protect themselves. The principal is one of self-preservation.

Long ago, when I suffered from bullying, and the P.E. teacher made clear he would do nothing about it--other than punish me for complaining--I started carrying a pocket knife to school. But the little knife was not enough. I fantasized about carrying my gun and using it against the bully and the P.E. teacher. They deserved punishment for their actions, but on the other hand, I deserved only the best in life, and so I spared them. The same principal of self-preservation that led me to carry a pocket knife led me not to use it.

The desire for vengeance must be balanced with the potential cost. Sometimes, however, people are driven to such extremes that they no longer care about the cost. I fear some of the young killers of today lack the intellectual assets to calculate the costs. They are throwing away the best part of their lives and in some cases killing innocents, which is ugly and senseless and without any sense of honor at all. To harm innocents is to become a bully, to be just like the ones you hate.

The young killer's awareness about the world and about society is so impaired that he cannot predict the outcome of his deeds. I found it helpful to role-play with cold clarity and precision. This is the way to avoid grave errors that cannot be remedied. Role-play. The human animal has developed fantastic powers of imagination, because it is useful to predict the outcomes of actions. One can imagine the different futures arising from different strategies.

Many times, I imagined killing my enemy, the brutal and arrogant bully, using a variety of means. I imagined killing the cruel and heartless P.E. teacher. I imagined killing them both on the same day. I calculated the probabilities of success and the possibilities that something unexpected might happen. I imagined what would happen in the next minute, the next hour, the next day, and the years to come. I did not like what I saw. I also did not like the idea of violence. Vengeance is one thing, but violence is another. Violence is disturbing to me whether I am being hurt or hurting. It goes against everything ingrained in my personality and upbringing. The idea of committing a real crime and receiving the disapproval of others seemed worse to me than the idea of enduring further abuse.
 
Our society is pacifist. The only accepted outlet for violence is war, and wars happen overseas, far away. Most people are like me. We are taught to abstain from violence. There are consequences for people who engage in illegal acts of violence. There is no legal concept that permits premeditated vengeance.

In Viking society, the outcome would have been different. Vikings did not leave much in the hands of karma. Vikings were about vengeance. Vikings were about blood. There is something satisfying about that, something genuine, something that appeals to our animal nature. That does not make it right, but it does explain why the History Channel's "Vikings" is such an entertaining show. It seems to me the show is all about vengeance.

I do think it is important to eliminate bullying in schools, because violence is like a virus. Violence has a way of spreading, and not everyone calls upon their power of imagination to abstain from vengeance. Nor is everyone scrupulous in limiting collateral damage.

techlorebyigor is my personal journal for ideas & opinions