Thanks and Giving

11-29-13

It’d be real easy for this old fucker to bah humbug Gobbler day, to curse and spit on the graves of our ancestors who came to the shores of the native Americans and continued on to, well, destroy their way of life.

 I’ve never taken the easy path, so I won’t go there

Instead, damn, I actually had a nice T-day, mellow, laid back, football and food. In other words, it was a normal Thanksgiving setting around the table with family.

Grandma: Rob, do you remember when Dad had to bail you out of that Liberian jail?

Me: That wasn't me mom, that was Greg.

Grandma: Bullshit, it was you.

Caleb: DAD... u were in JAIL?

Grandma: More than once.

Mom: They let him out of jail just  to marry me...

Me: That was Mark!

Like you, there’s a lot of crap going on in my life. It would be easy, and rightfully easy, to bitch about how life sucks. I’m out of work, I have a son with mental health issues, my oldest lives in Hungary, we don’t have any grandkids, I miss my dad, my brothers and sister live far and away, I can’t understand why nothing sells, why my dog won’t come when I call and so and and so forth.

Truth is, I have a lot to be thankful for. I have a little bit of money, my son is doing well, I’m able to skype with Scott in Hungary and I do look forward to the day I have grandkids, even tho’ it might down the road a bit. I’m thankful that I have nothing but fond and loving memories of my dad, that I do have pretty cool, not as cool as me, brothers and  sister. As far as the dog goes, well, Penny loves me and I try to remember that as I’m chasing her in my underware down the neighborhood street in freezing weather, with all the neighbors whistling and cat calling.

And we got to spend a couple hours alone with Jasen, Shelby, their kids and grandma, all alone. That was special!

So if you’re looking for normalcy, you won’t find it here but you will find a thankful old fucker who’s still breathing, and appreciative in the face of adversity.

So, how was yours?

 

 

Toss ‘em, Junk ‘em, Lock em up

11-17-13

I'm leaning back in my office chair, warm morning mug cradled in my hands and I'm wondering how I want to approach this as I gently rock to and fro, thinking, hmmm...

Oh Hell, sometimes you just gotta say it, . The truth is we suck when it comes to taking care of our poor. Yea, I know your friggin’ weak ass arguments,’ we spend billions on the poor and less fortunate, they're lazy, not everyone can be rich and famous’ and so on and so forth

My argument is simply this, we have created a vicious cycle where the less fortunate are continuously spinning their tires. They will never move into that far away land they dream of called middle class America. We have created virtual cities within cities for the poor to live and you and I fear to tread in those neighborhoods and wonder why.

We suck in dealing with the poor because thats all we do, we ‘deal’ with them and don't solve the myriad array of problems they face. Yes, there are those trying, Yes, there are those success stories but they remain few and far between. The first abysmal problem to cope with is the fact that poverty has everything to do with Race. Whites only account for 13% of those living in poverty. Consider too, that people of color make up 60% of those incarcerated.

It's almost as if we white people were afraid of someone with a different skin color and have decided the best way to deal with our fears is to keep them poor, to keep them isolated, to keep them locked up. Out of sight, out of mind!

These are not new, mind blowing statistics. There's no surprise here to yank our chain, no call to action. We all know what's going on and it's shameful. There's no excuse for it.

The only excuse I could offer is one of fear. There are those who fear that those who are different will take everything they have, rape their women, steal their fortunes, enslave their children and wear their fine clothes while driving their fords down main street.

I'm reminded of a time in my youth when I awoke from a drunken stupor in a Monrovian jail cell. Using the word cell is taking liberties, it was more of a chicken coop with a 5 gallon bucket tossed in the corner for doing those things of a personal nature. Of course, I was the only white person in the 10x10 coop and there were several dozen of us crammed in the wretched, stinking place but I was not afraid. If that were to happen today, here in America, I'd be fearing for my life.

Why is that?

Because in addition to race, we also fear cultures we are unfamiliar with. We are uncomfortable with their God, their food, their dress, how they speak, how they look.

We have evolved into a fear based species and it’s not a long stretch of the imagination to blame a lot of the evolution of Religion, on all Religions. For if nothing else, religions far and wide, have propagated the fear, using it to their advantage, including my own in their persecution of women.

Think about it! Want to grow as a person? Want to evolve as a species? Face your fears!

 

 

The Sorrow of Your Existence

11-7-13

There's no doubting that there are those who live miserable lives and their only joy in life is in the creation of misery for those other than themselves. You know who I’m talking about. You've got a relative, a drama queen, a friend but more than likely it’s a co worker who just loves making everyones life miserable. It is just that simple, you have one!

They manage to come in a variety of shapes and forms, male, female, old, young, fat, skinny, tall, short, good looking, ugly, it doesn't matter, they run the spectrum of humanity.

Some bounce in your office door with a congenial good morning, look you in the face and tell you how great you are and five minutes later, they're telling everyone how they saved the company 20 thousand dollars because you screwed up and you're an absolute idiot.

Others are more in your face, growling at ya, threatening to call your boss at home and therefore making your life a living hell because they really do have a wild hair stuck up their ass, and most of them managed to insert the damn, fine thing all on their own.

These are not nice people, although they pretend to be. They are not evil of course, but they are terrible unhappy with their lives, frustrated to their wits end.

Most of the ones I know were not born that way, they evolved into assholes, and that evolution isn’t an exact science as experts have clearly identified several different pathways to becoming miserable.  Common routes are bad marriages, financial problems, horseshit jobs but I guess I differ with the experts a bit. These things are probably just symptoms of an acute disease to begin with. The core of the problem is that most assholes are just hateful people, hateful of themselves, so much so, their only outlet is to make my life, your life, anybodies life, absolutely, abjectly, miserable.

Been there, seen that, done it as most of my readers probably have.

I bet though, you’ve never had the pleasure of working with a gaggle of brooding bitches, and I mean man bitches as well women. I, on the other hand, actually have had experienced that pleasurable mix of succulent succotash some years back and marveled daily at their idiocy, their laughable attempts to gather unnoticed in dark corners of unoccupied rooms to deviously whisper, plotting the days havoc.

And than walk out of the room and talk to you like you don't know what’s up.

I can’t help but think, I might be making a sales pitch to Hollywood. It’d be a good sit-com.

 

 

Privacy, Really?

10-26-13

I find it interesting, the outrage that we would spy not only on our enemies, but on our friends as well. Doesn't it make sense that if our Government spied on its own citizens that there wouldn't be too big of a moral objection to spy on just about anyone? Our invasion of privacy is justified simply on the belief that there is power in knowledge, specifically knowledge that only you have. I'd hazard a guess that the industry has grown so large that it has actually grown cumbersome and somewhat useless. I might be wrong, but good lord, if you're listening to just about every conversation in the frickin’ universe, even picking up on key words, I’d think you’d miss more than you’d get.

Now that said, I’ve heard rumors, and they are only rumors (but I did read it on the Internet) that the level of privacy invasion has reached such a technological point that our Government is not only able to track your every keystroke but watch your every move through that web cam, and there are those of you that should be ashamed of yourselves.

I gave up my right to privacy years ago when I got married, and when the kids started knowing everything I did as well, the thought was validated. When I think about it though, there’s really not an expectation of privacy at any point in your life. Hell, I remember that old bat down the road calling my parents and yipping about how bad I was riding my banana bike through her garden. Of course, it wasn't me, it was Greg, and it illustrates the problem with privacy invasions, truth and context, both being hard to come by.

Fact is, we are a nation of individuals that just like to get down and dirty with our rumor mongering and gossip. Our athletes and our celebrities don’t have the right to privacy, so why should anyone else? Speaking of facts, the NSA is the largest employer of mathematicians. I just thought I'd throw that out there. I think the reason for that is most mathematicians are dry, boring people and no one would really think to spy on a mathematician so the employment of a lot of smart wonky types is actually a security function, and kind of an ingenious one at that.

Yup, it just ain't my damn nosy neighbors looking in my windows. It's all my relatives just havin’ to know what I’m up too, all my friends asking about what I’m up too, all my co workers are in on that as well. Damn. hide the grow lights will, ya! What, I didn’t post that on Face book.

Well, the only question I have, is I know someone is watching the watchers, and I can’t but help wonder who they would be, but I do have my ideas.

 

 

 

In the Days of Old

10-20-13

In the days of old, a king would pay his town crier to deliver his news through out the cities and streets of his kingdom. It was not soon after, the kings lords figured out their castle criers could be paid as well, to deliver the news as they saw fit.

My, how things have changed over the course of decades and those moth bitten decades that have turned to centuries.

The question of honesty in the media is by nature, a question that can not be answered without one questioning ones own beliefs and biases. As a liberal, I tend to lean toward MSNBC while most conservatives lean to Fox. Indeed the only truth here is that our great watchdogs of Democracy now serve only one master, that of profit, that of greed. No media outlet, be it print, visual or digital can claim high ground in the moral arena. In fact, the only claimed ground is that of the blood soaked sand of the Colosseum where they tossed us, the innocent populace to the hungry lions of profit and greed.

Like a tired old picture show, what we are left with, is nothing meaningful. An artifact from days gone by believing there is worth in their existence where there is little to be found. Headlines, from station to station, from paper to paper are the same, dictated by the Associated Press or some other power held on high, all speaking little of truth and much of entertainment. Designed to move you emotionally and subdue your intellect, those headlines scream of murder and mayhem.

The poor, the forgotten, the sick, the tired are forgotten, are not spoke of for they remind us of our humanity and it is our humanity we rather not think about. Once one begins to think about their humanity, one begins to wonder about their own humanity and when one begins to question their humanity, they begin to question the humanity of others.

As a particular old sort, and given recent certain circumstance, I’m not a huge fan of humanity these days but the greater truth is that our media has failed to involve and engage our populace in any meaningful debate to move our country forward. We are numb, numb from the constant murders you assault us with, numb from the garbage of semi naked little girls, numb from the senseless ineptitude of feel good stories, numb from the glory of todays athletic arenas.

Our media, the very foundation of Democracy, has failed.

Thank God the Internet arrived just in time.

 

 

 

O’ Woeful Souls

10-6-13

There is a certain mindset among many Americans that is entirely damaging to the soul of this Nation. A mindset that’s shrouded in ego and paranoia to such an extent that justice, equality and even freedom, have taken a backseat to personal desire, to personal gain. It is a mindset that not only allows a certain few to shut down our Government but allows Corporations to run roughshod over the economy and others in leadership positions to assert their personal views as god given rights.

This mindset is unwilling to bend, to consider, to compromise much less believe their desires, their goals are causing harm. Greed is not good, power is not good. Both destroy from with in and leave nothing but barren ground where nothing will grow.

Power is a finite concept. There is only so much to go around. An exceptional example is a school board and a Superintendent. Often, the power lies with one entity or the other. Seldom do you find a balance in the sharing of power, a balance in the sharing of decision making and responsibility and there are numerous reasons for this. From a pure political standpoint, those who set on school boards are elected officials, owing the voters, answering to the voters. Unfortunately, all too often, it is the Superintendent that runs the show and the members of the school board are secondary in nature. It is so, simply because school board members have abrogated the power given to them by the voters, to the Superintendent. It is true in Politics, in the business world and in most organizations. The system of checks and balances which is the foundation of everything this Nation stands for, is being dismantled. Not only from a national standpoint, but all the way down to the local level.

From a fundamental standpoint, just about every living American believes there are two distinct judicial systems in America, one for the wealthy and one for the rest of us. Most Americans recognize the wealthy have access to better health care as well and if it comes to a standoff between Joe Americana and city hall, city halls going to win almost every time.

We have lost our souls and we are all the more woeful for it. Our love of Democracy has been replaced for our love of American Idol and our enduring faith in Wal-Mart. Indeed we have become fat, uneducated and consumed with ourselves, our importance. In the same breath that we berate our Government for abuse of power, we damn our Government for not doing enough. We do so because we have become babbling idiots and those who are morally bankrupt have stepped up to the plate to fill the void of the American idiot, wrapping their bodies in our American flag and spewing garbage that holds no truth, and we toss accolades at their feet.

We are the problem! We have allowed this!

 

 

Finally, the Truth

9-28-13

After 18 years, I will most likely be fired this week.

And I am at peace with that.

The last year, specifically the last 6 months have been a living nightmare. A nightmare that sucked life dry and has pretty much left nothing but a mumbling idiot. If by chance, that hammer doesn’t drop, I’ll be tendering my resignation as soon as some loose ends are tied up. Loose ends with legal ramifications.

I enjoy the people I work with. I have nothing but respect for the Teachers, the Paras the Secretaries, the Cooks, the Councilors, the Lunch Ladies and the multitude of subs and vendors I’ve had walk through my door. I’ve also been lucky enough to work for a decent Principal and a good person. Finicky, a bit retentive, yep, but I’ll take finicky any day over heartless and cruel.

I had come to believe there were some unethical and unprofessional communications happening in my department. Communications about me, and for the most part I really didn’t care. Earlier this month I clicked on an unknown text file and lo and behold, page upon page of summarized correspondence. I won’t repeat a word of what I read, but I will tell you that I have never been so emotionally shattered. I will say there were character assassination, lies, statements taken out of context, personal attacks, data violations and conspiracy, all regarding me.

I bought the correspondence to our Superintendent. Two weeks later I received a generic form letter basically stating he saw nothing wrong with the correspondences. I pretty much figure I understand why one would go that route, why I wouldn’t even get the courtesy of a conversation and it’s illustrative of a mind set too far common in today’s society.

The kicker, I’m being investigated for a data privacy violation for which they will fire me. For a text file, that some idiot left on our shared computer.

And one of the authors will probably end up with my job.

In as little as three years, our work environment went from a positive, upbeat environment to one where people shudder in the shadows, wondering who will be fired next. Not too long ago, we sought and got, the best of the best.  Now, those lucky enough have found work elsewhere.

There was a time where I believed I could affect change from working from within, acting as Steward, setting on our District Insurance, Comp Worth and Staff Development committees. Now it will be time to affect change in another way, and it looks like I’ll be having the time to do so.

Someone once told me, and not too long ago, that one thing they were sure of, is that they were a great communicator. I find that comment laughable coming from someone that refuses to listen and would jeopardize the lives of thousands for the benefit of their own ego.  Comment

 

 

It’s a Crazy, World, Man!

9-22-13

It’s a crazy, insane world full of crazy, insane fucked up people and no one goes untouched, not even this kid. Reading whatever news site you favor is like reading the obituary for the human race.

Here lies a stupid, ignorant inconsequential little species who couldn’t even figure out how to stop killing themselves”

I mean, like fuck, I’ve never really believed in the devil (except for that one bad acid trip back in the Seventies) but I really don’t have any other excuse for people’s behavior these days. It’d be easy to throw it at the feet of our religious leaders, our politicians, our community leaders, our educators, our leaders so to speak, and we can, but hey, they ain’t the only ones eating friggin’ Cheerios without the milk. Me? I’m getting tired of this ‘talk to the hand’ shit, getting real tired of those in roles of authority taking no damn responsibility for anything and then turning the problem back on us, blaming us. Sorry, ain’t my fault milks five bucks a gallon, it’s the fault of some dude who thinks he needs to live the lifestyle of an Arabian Sheik with camels and harem included. It gets worse, that milk master just knows what’s best for all the rest of us, so much so, he whacks it off in our face and we set there not even caring what just happened.

And there’s a hellluva truth in that last statement.

When people turn inwards, start caring about themselves and those around them and just kinda ignoring what’s happening in the rest of the world, the recipe for demise has been followed, followed to a T. I don’t and can’t blame most people, it’s overwhelming what’s going on in the world, people getting shot every time you turn around, kids going missing, psychos being arrested, murders galore, priests molesting teens and now, condoms are going to be required in all porn (really?) and that’s all from this mornings news read from CNN.

Day in and day out, it’s the same, oft repeated story and you question why I ask why people tune out. I don’t, I actually get it, why people tune out, I really do. It’s not the right thing to do, tuning out! We can’t afford the crazy fuckers being the captain in this ship of fools.

There is some crazy, insane shit going on in the world right now and I don’t think it’s going to end well. The problem is, you and I ain’t going to escape it, especially by doing nothing. I mean, really, how hard can it be to toss the crazies over the railing and let ‘em swim or drown instead of us all drowning together.

 

Sometimes,

6-16-13

all you can do is laugh. That is after you’ve scratched your head, pulled your hair out, barked at the moon like a damn dog, screamed from the rooftops and drank enough friggin’ Tequila to wash all your sorrows away. Sometimes, life becomes too much, to the point where it’s just downright absurd watching all the crap that comes your way. I mean really, all you can do is stand there, immobilized, and watch the crap roll down the hill knowing you’re in the way, knowing you’re going to get smothered, knowing there’s nothing you can do but take it like the man you are, bending over and smiling as the crap sends you on your way into the voids of the dark abyss.

Yep, kinda been that way for me the last few months, personal issues, financial issues, kid issues, car issues, work issues, not to mention I haven’t seen the sun for a while. For what it’s worth, I’m not talking small, every day issues, I’m talking large, life changing issues and did I mention it’s been raining continuously the last few weeks, er, months?

By far, most of the ‘issues’ are not resolved but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. That light came in the acceptance that things are what they are, out of my control and all I can do is take small, little itty bitty steps to start digging, really crawling outta the deep dark hole I’ve been in. No one else is going to do it for me!

A lot of the answer lies in letting the anger slide away as well, letting go of the frustration and above all, trying to find something positive when that great big ball of crap starts smothering you. People are what they are, I’m not going to change them, I’m not going to change the world but I can change and I choose to do so.

And that change starts with seeing the single tree in the forest. The nephew in law that comes out to help in a driving rainstorm, the sister that listens, the brothers with advice and of course, the wife who cares.

I’ve heard that God never gives you more than you can handle, opens doors when one slams shut. I’m not sure I believe all that, I’m thinking that’s just people justifying the hardships that are prevalent in all our lives, but what the hell, I’ll take any help I can get.

There’s also the sense that no matter what comes my way, I have a lot to be thankful for. My life isn’t perfect, far from it, but it is my life and I own it and while I look back over the years, I can smile.

Even in the face of extreme adversity!

 

 

 

The Bull

5-27-13

I know you’ve heard the old saying about the bull in the china shop. Yep, the one where the bull breaks everything because of his size, or is it simply that the beast breaks everything in a fit of rage because some idiot lured him into some small, quaint and delicate shop. However he entered the shop, regardless of his disposition, the end results the same, every time.

Mass destruction!

Humans are just like that dumb beast, maybe a bit dumber when I think about it. Here we are, stuck on some small, delicate and quaint little planet on the outskirts of an average galaxy, and we’re ripping it apart. Like a fat man eating himself, we’re doomed to leaving behind nothing of ourselves except for perhaps the obnoxious grin of the cheshire cat. “Why, I’ve seen a planet without a man but never seen a man without a planet”.

No, this has nothing to do with changing weather patterns and everything to do with you, with each of us, with individuals.

Information and the use of technology is so prevalent in our lives that we are being changed ethically and morally in a profound way. And we are not necessarily moving in the right trajectory. Most people blow it all off as no big deal and that’s tragic. In the space of an instant, information can be used, and is used to lie, to mislead, to cloud or muddy waters of any given event. It can and is used to drive people apart. Much of it is our own fault, with many believing, never questioning, never for an instant, wondering if what they just read, is true.

The thing in all this, we all know it, we shrug it off simply because it works for us. In other words, truth is now fallible. Truth has indeed become, a matter of perception. In the same form, following fashion, so has God.

Christians have always splintered in several ways over how they perceive their God. That has worked in the past, because even with the differences in Christianity, they all remained Christians. Today, those differences are becoming much more distinct. No God fearing Northern Christian identifies with a knock down, drag out snake biting Evangelical from down south. They each won’t identify the other as their Christian brethren. At least privately.

In the same vein that guns do not kill people, people do, technology allows for all sorts of new freedoms. New freedoms with less responsibility. Anonymity is one new freedom, and it is a misconception that you anonymous, it’s not all that hard to find ones true identify. Another new freedom is access to all kinds or private information and the ability to do with it one sees fit. Not to mention cyber bulling, posting pics of old girlfriends, etc.

Technology is the beast in the china chop that’s rewriting a lot of rules and will continue to do so. It’s going to make for a lot of heartbreak in the next few years, a lot of questions about responsibility are already being asked, and it’s only early morning on the day of a very long journey where the end result is literally, becoming the beast. That is logical evolution, you know?

 

 

 

Change, Anybody?

18 May 3013

Change is a strange and fearsome wild beast. Strange in that it is always persistent in our lives, always recognizable, and yet in the space of a passing second, our lives and the lives of our loved ones can be so very different than that instant before that passing second. A winning lottery number, a car accident, a telephone call, take your pick, you get the point. Sometimes, we see change coming down the road, at times slow and steady, others, like a raging wild beast charging our way, threatening.

Most of the time, change is beyond our control. Most of us expect it in some form and fashion. Most of us don’t like it, even kind of fear it. We do enjoy the stability of our lives, don’t we?

One of the most troubling aspects of change, is that there are times when it is forced upon a person by another person. A legal matter, a divorce, a firing. Most of those we see coming. Sometimes these impositions are justified, sometimes they are not, it really depends on your point of view. In the end run around, it doesn’t matter, we live in a hierarchal society and there will always be those we need to answer to. The question is, always will be, can we trust those that we answer to, to be wise, to be fair, to even be understanding and even compassionate? When they are, we are in kind, and the change comes with a grudging understanding of what needs to be.

When there is an ethical gap, and there is even a hint of impropriety, the change becomes sour and that sourness penetrates like a dick in a virgin, changing lives forever, not only in a person, but in any organization, small or large. Invariably, that ethical gap comes home to roost where it belongs, and like those they judge, they too will struggle. My experience has been, sadly, everyone carries their demons over into their personal lives to some extent, and worse, do not recognize when they do so. Despite all their smiles, they ultimately become unhappy little yunkers.

What really bothers me in all this, is how good people, people I have liked and respected and looked to for leadership and advice, are able to cripple their belief systems in such a way, that they become ignorant of the environment they live and play in. That following the rules is more important than being, well, a decent person.

In the long run of our days, the finality of any change lies with the individual, in how we choose to deal with it, and there are many ways of doing so. I pout, I write, I drink, cuss for a day or two, then wake up, realize I’ve done nothing really wrong, that there are larger forces at work, and I’m a much better person.

That said, paybacks always a bitch, ‘specially when you don’t see it coming.

 

 

Birthday Boy

5-5-13

Look, I understand you’re a bit ticked off with no Shot w/ Rob this week, but ya gotta understand, ya really gotta forgive this kid, cuz Friday was my Birthday. As such, there was some general wickedness going on late into the evening, with so much sin being sought and addressed that I have no idea how I ended up where I woke up. Face planted, in the asphalt, hot Saturday afternoon,  outside Bubbas, wearing nothing but panties.

And who in the hell was that green skinned woman with no hair, dressed accessible in nothing but riding leathers. Damn, I did not get her number.

At 36, I’m too old for that shit! And parts hurt. Important parts! Hurt bad.

Someone has to be looking out for me though, because here I am breathing and pounding the keyboard this dreary Sunday morning with a thought that I might want to go to church, confess, repent, but the lingering stench of liquor would drive the demons out and away in a fit of rebellious rage. That’s OK, I get it, that’s what’s important this morning, that I’m partially still here to ‘get it’.

That I’m still here is truly one of life’s great enduring mysteries.

Never thought I’d make it past Forty. When I hit 50, I still didn’t recognize the old man with the gray hair and at 56, I’m thinking fifty was rather young. That’s how it works, I guess. The older you get, the more appreciative you are of the past, especially, your own personal history. While that may be true, there are two epiphanies that swept this kid away like a tidal surge. The first, that if the measure of a man is found in his friends, his associations, I measure up well. Not that I’m perfect, not even friggin’ close, but I have good friends, far and near, old and new.

The second thought was that I’m not all that old, my health is good, and youth compares horribly with experience. Hear that woman!? I’m not to damn old to still chase a dream or two. Three might be a bit much, but I can do two.

Hmmm, I wonder if this is the green women’s number wrote down on the the length of my...

 

 

Gotta Luv the Mayhem

4-27-13

Our lives are filled with absolute insanity. An insanity that’s being drilled down to the individual from the summit of Mount Everest. The whole and entire weight of that mountain is being carried, not only on the shoulders of men and women, but on the backs of our children as well. And it is a burden we are struggling with. I see it in my friends, in their eyes. I see it in my coworkers, my neighbors, my family far and distant. Indeed, it is an illness bought on by our own making and there isn’t one among us who knows the cure.

So we suffer. We suffer alone, and we suffer collectivity and in our collectivity, in our brotherhood of humanity, we find some peace, peace in knowing that you too are just as fucked as I am. For some reason that makes it kinda, sorta, maybe, okay.

The sad, despicable truth is that we thrive on mayhem, on tragedy, war and all the illnesses of the human soul that Satan concocts in his hot, subterranean lab. We soak ‘em up like a dried sponge in the desert bloating at the first drop of rain and then wringing every ounce out to assuage our personal convictions. Our daily headlines are filled with war, with murder, with crime, with hate, with scandal and with betrayal for a reason. It is what you want to read, it is who you are.

It is not the fault of our Government, it is not the fault of Religion, it is not the fault of your parents. It is who you are as a person, as a human.

Consider, that all our rules to a civilized society only work for those who abide by them. They keep me in check only because I’ve made a conscience decision not to smithereen some idiot that pisses me off because I value my freedom. I weigh that decision out, make a decision that it’s best left to fantasy and move on with my life. For whatever reason, the rules and laws are breaking down, we are seeing more and more outright craziness in our lives. I can’t help but wonder if some virus has been released, one that dumbs us down, one that feeds our fears, one that warps our perceptions.

The reality is, those that we look to leadership are floundering in their own ships, unable to eek out simple words, simple sentences that make an iota of common sense. They too have lost their minds to a reality which doesn’t exist. Be it politicians, religious leaders of any faith, our parents, our teachers or any one of many leaders, none of these people carry the weight of importance as say the current movie playing down the street, or worse, the headline of the day. Nowadays, we just kinda laugh it off, shrug the headlines off and wait for the next bomb to explode, hoping it’s not hidden under my theater seat.

It has to be the aliens, has to!

 

 

 

The Barrel of the Gun

4-14-13

FYI-Tally

 I am not a gun enthusiast, I am not a gun owner. I am liberal minded and try to be fiscally responsible. That's how I wake up in the morning, how I view the world, fairness and equality for all.

I am also a supporter of the second amendment, known as your right to bear arms.

If you have not read it, here you are, written as it was ratified.

”A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Feel free to interpret the 27 words in any manner you see fit. Everyone else has, from Joe Blow down the road to our esteemed Supreme Court who reside a bit further down the road. In fact, our Supreme Courts has ruled on the intent of the Second Amendment several times over the years, with no real clarification.

None of this matters though, because the Second Amendment is being made a scapegoat, an excuse to do the inexcusable. Consider:

31.8 Billion is the economic impact of the Gun Industry

310 million guns in circulation

6 Billion in sales

5.5 million guns made in the US, in 2010

$140,000 is the mean annual salary of someone employed in the gun industry

47% of the populations at least one gun

50,812 licensed gun retailers

Source – Christian Science Monitor

 

This is about money, this is all about profit, and very little to do with the Second Amendment. To be blunt, we live in a society, we live in a culture, where human life is a commodity to be traded for money, for profit.

In 2012, the NRA spent 32 million dollars on politics. One million in direct contributions to politicians, 6 Million in Lobbying, 6 million in positive ads and 18 million in negative ads, almost all directed toward President Obama.

Consider too the following

What The NRA's Wayne Lapierre Gets Paid To Defend Guns

Not to mention, The bulk of the NRAs earnings come from the gun industry, anywhere between 25 to 50 million over the last 10 years.

The sad truth in all this, if it were about our second amendment rights, we'd be talking about background checks, appropriate licensing, firearm safety, weapon types and a whole host of issues that would lead us down a safe and somewhat sane road, but we cannot.

Because it is about the dollar, it is about power. It is not about your right to life, nor the right of your child to live.

 

 

As Above, So Below

4-7-13

Gay rights, Gun control, Women, Birth control, Abortion, the Rich and the Poor, divisive and inefficient Politics, Social programs, a poor Economy and War are all issues fighting for attention. Issues fighting for attention, but no solution, because if there ever was a solution, God just might step off his heavenly throne and give the Human Race a great big old ‘Hug’ with a thunderous ‘Well Done” and that complement would send our egos reeling back into disagreement and argument.

There is an ancient, old and dusty, belief that is quite eloquent.

As Above, So Below.

You are free to interpret this verbiage in any manner you wish, but I believe it refers to the simple fact that what we see here on Earth, in our daily lives is reflected in a smaller scale as well a larger scale. Electrons orbit a Nucleus in a swarm just as Planets orbit their Sun and the fact is reproduced here, in our lives, in that we orbit, influencing, and being influenced, by others.

I find it interesting that you can take the concept , As Above, So Below, and apply it to our daily routine, in how it defines our daily routine. Certainly, there is already an established hierarchy to reference. This hierarchy has a base of people that are poor, destitute, full of despair and at the pinnacle, sit the Rich, the Powerful.

As Above, So Below denotes a sense of equality, regardless of size, of importance so my hierarchy is a bit corrupted.

It is corrupted because our species views it’s existence as something outside the purview of Nature. We refuse to understand that we are not all that special, if we were, we’d be much closer to God in Spirit and Soul. While it is a nice sentiment for an individual to claim they are close to their God, to yell from the highest mountain how much they love God, they should be ashamed to do so if they do not speak out toward all the ills of humanity. There can be no singularity with God, no love for God, no understanding of God, until you love your neighbor, understand your friend and are at peace with your species as a whole, and that’s a pretty big order for our egos to fill.

We define our civilization, our culture and our society by rules of law that specify how were are to treat each other as we move through our lives. For many, it is important that their religion carry a heavier justification than the rules of man, and for some, it is simply not even a question of law or morality, they find their own path. Of course, many of mankind’s laws are based on the morality and teachings of respective churches and I would point out, there is little in the way of ‘Fairness’ or ‘Equality” in our laws. Yes, they are “Just” but getting justice has nothing to do with fairness or equality, and often, what is right, is actually so very wrong.

In the end, God speaks to individuals, individuals he intends to mold for his purpose and often, that purpose is meaningful for the human existence. We have these issues, these problems in our lives, because we are not one with the world we live in, we are not one with our neighbor, we are not one with ourselves.

We refuse to entertain any solution, any debate, any argument other than ours, even if the argument comes in the form of Gods own words.

 

We are not who we believe we are.

3-23-13

There is one inescapable truth in all our lives and it is that each and every member of the human species is less than what we should be. Our faults, as individuals and as a species are numerous and grievous, and yet there are those among us who give pause and argument for worth. They are too few however, for anyone looking in on us to consider our species moral, ethical and even intelligent.

While humans do extremely well at projecting our goodness through religion, acts of good will and a gentle compassion for others, the bigger truth is, that there are inherent demons in all of us that we refuse to confront, and many, relish and thrive with the existence of those demons. And of no small accord, the rest of us don’t bother to hold them accountable.  Yes, we can send a man to the electric chair for the most heinous of actions but wipe away a mans life, financially, to ruin him in such ways to do damage to the soul, we find acceptable.

We have it in our power, you and I, to change the world. We can create a free and equal society, a world without poverty, without hunger, without war and prejudice, but we do not. The fact that we will not even have an intelligent discussion about gun control is indicative of everything I’m writing about.

Our dreams are hollow, our dreams are of self, we care about ourselves, our immediate family and really, not anybody else. Regardless of your religion, this is true, regardless of belief, this is true. This doesn’t make us bad people, a bad species. It just makes us a normal, run of the mill species with not much of a future other than to come to some inglorious end some day with no one bothering to mourn our passing.

And that is sad, because we do have potential. That is the greatest gift that God has given us, the gift to grow, to understand, to be curious, to ask questions, and we do a fine and noble job in the quest for knowledge for the external properties of our existence, but we fail, and it’s an epic fail when in comes to asking insightful questions about ourselves, and who we are. Most brush off the possibility of answers as unattainable. Indeed, who has pondered the question, ‘Who am I?’ and answered with nothing but a shrug.

Who you are, is one who is anchored in the moment, defined by time and worse, by others around you. You are who they expect you to be. The truth is, you are driven by fear, fear of what others think, of what others might say and the more boisterous you become in denying this fact, the more fearful you are. Indeed, you are so locked into the moment that you fail to perceive the only people who have a semblance of merit are those aged with experience, and we lock them away in sterile little cubicles with bingo cards.

And that’s how it works. About the time we figure some shit out, we’re too old and our kids lock us up.

What an existence?

 

I, Taurus

3-10-13

As this old bullshitter grows older, I find myself thinking not of the past, but more so of the future, like am I ever really gonna git to frigging retire the way I have it all planed out. Probably not, because I’m pig headed and unshakable in some basic beliefs. Rock solid, just like the bull. Piss ‘em off and you’re going to get gored (wait.., anger was last week). The thing is, if I use that pig headedness to work toward my goals, I’ll be all right despite what the politicos in DC, in St. Paul, or the folks who lord over me have intended for my golden years. I am a bit unshakable in that belief.

My idea of retirement is living around my little campfire, writing. Hopefully make a buck or two because by the time I retire, a twelve pack will be running a twenty. That’s only 6 years down the road. I will of course, be unmoveable from my campfire.

That’s when my fun will begin. See, what age brings, is a freedom youth doesn’t understand. An understanding that youth doesn’t appreciate. Like the older I get, the more cosmically connected I am with the Universe. How else could I understand the fundamentals of what Taurusism is, really? See, that shit just comes with age, you can’t make it up.

From my campfire, I want nothing more than to dispense the entire width and breadth of my sixty two years of knowledge. It’s all there, somewhere, from ‘how to swim the English channel while nekkid’ to differentiating  between a ‘Trek Quark and a Quantum Quark’. Dispense it whether you want it or not, because you’re not old enough to know if you need it. Just like some friends of mine at the moment, friends who are so caught up in their own egos, they can’t figure out people are not laughing with them. C’mon guys, get on with it...

By the time I’m seventy two, it’ll be time to wrap it up, all the writing and spreading of knowledge. Time to pack that crap up and leave it behind. Theresa will be retiring, we’ll be selling the lot, cashing it in on a RV and we’ll off hunting, in the great Southwest, for UFOs and Alien types...

No shit, that’s all planed out! I’m stubborn that way.

 

 

Anger

3-3-13

There’s a lot of truth to the fact that I’ve been angry the last few weeks, and that said, I can’t publicly comment on the technicalities  because it’s like really super top-secret involving Aliens, Government Conspiracy, World destruction and the coming Pole shit, er, shift. Anger doesn’t set well with me and it certainly doesn’t make me a better person, in fact it’s kinda demeaning. Those would be my wife’s words if I could read her mind. After thirty years, she and the dog just go live in the garage when I get mad, and by the way, that’s why I can’t read her mind at the moment, she’s in the garage, my tin foiled work room.

But see, the thing is, if I were able to divulge all this secret stuff, you’d understand that I’d have a right to be angry. Hell, you might even get a bit steamed. Of course, since I can’t talk about it, that all just kind of adds to the anger, by ten fold or something like that.

In the long run of course, the challenge is how to deal with all that anger. I’m not one to come home and kick my dog (and it ain’t because she’ll just kick right back), beat my wife or even yell at the kids (Ok, I can raise my voice, but that just sucks, and I feel terrible whenever I have one of those shit fits). I can write about it here, and that’s always a good thing just as there are always things I can’t say when I write. And I can’t say, won’t say certain things just to vent, simply because that is how I was bought up, it’s my moral and ethical view of the world. And it sucks that others not only know that, but count on my morality.

At least that’s what I need people to think, because while there’s truth in my ethical world view, what people do not know, is that I pick and choose my battles with elegant care and mischievous thought. They mistake silence for inaction, they confuse hard work with agreement and one day I will clean the slate, and those angry words will spew forth, and I will be done, spent like an old mans orgasm, setting around my campfire with a cold beer, watching the sun set.

With a smirk!

 

The Intelligence of the Ruling Class

2-24-13

I do not care if you are a politician, a Doctor, a Lawyer or some rich and golden CEO, because I want you to remember one friggin little tidbit, when your toilet backs up, you need me. People like to talk about the entitlements given to the poor, to the dregs and the downtrodden of our society but they never seem to talk about the entitlements of the rich, the wealthy, the educated. You know, all those uppity ups that we ditch diggers, we sewer divers, serve.

The first entitlement given to any educated person, is the belief that they are always right, that they know better than the plumber whose ass is hanging out the back of his pants. The second entitlement is that because they spent 4 years in college, they believe they have the right to make more money than the Janitor pushing a broom, sweeping up the shit the educated person just tossed on the floor. The last, and worst entitlement, is that many of the ruling class just feel they are better people, better human beings than all those in the lower end of the financial spectrum.

What I’m really getting at, is the total lack of respect for those people in this Nation, whose lives took a direction that just didn’t give them the opportunity to live the great American dream and are instead working menial but meaningful minimum wage jobs. I always knew the lack of respect existed, this class distinction, but I never believed it widespread until now. Most won’t acknowledge the ugly truth, even to their own selves, their egos would never allow that, but it is there, in all it’s glory.

I do not agree with the Tea party, but I do understand their motivations, what drove some of these people to get up off rotund asses and start following the Limbaughs, Hannitys and the Becks of the world. They’re tired of being treated like second class citizens, tired of being treated like shit.

And they are, and we are!

And the next time someone who makes a couple hundred grand a year tells me that they know what my life is like, I’m going to kick the shit out of ya..., friend or not! I work just as hard as you do, just as long as you do. I don’t have the same access to health care as you do, to the legal system as you do, I don’t get paid to attend conventions or management seminars (Golf outings) and I don’t get to take annual trips to the Caribbean.

I’m too busy unplugging your damn toilet.

 

The Violence of Birth

2-9-13

On a cool spring morning the day after Easter, the sun rose over a a makeshift city of white canvas tents that were the homes of 1200 striking mine workers, their wives and their children. Beneath the rough wood floors of the tents, men had dug pits into which they and their families could quickly jump, seeking safety when random shots were fired into their canvass homes by Colorado Fuel & Irons (CFI) company guards. These same guards, with CFI knowledge had also converted a sedan into an armored vehicle with a mounted M1895 machine gun, appropriately named the Death Special, and was used on a daily basis to terrorize the striking workers and their families along with the random sniper shootings.

Before the sun set that cool Spring day, the leaders of the strike would be found dead, shot in the back, the camp razed, all the tents burned to the ground. Among the brutality, two women and eleven children were dead, found huddled together, having suffocated in a shallow pit. Bodies were left lying for days as an example to other would be strikers.

Their grievances:

Recognition of the union as bargaining agent

An increase in tonnage rates (equivalent to a 10% wage increase)

Enforcement of the eight-hour work day law

Payment for "dead work" (laying track, timbering, handling impurities, etc.)

Weight-checkmen elected by the workers (to keep company weightmen honest)

The right to use any store, and choose their boarding houses and doctors

Strict enforcement of Colorado's laws (such as mine safety rules, abolition of scrip), and an end to the company guard system

Promptly at 11 am on July 17th under the hot Arizona sun, 23 cattle cars whose floors were covered in several inches of manure, arrived in Bisbee and 1300 men were loaded, given no food, very little water, and under armed guard were routed to Hermanas, New Mexico, a trip of 12 hours on a 90 degree day. Kicked out of the cattle cars, the 1300 were given no food, no water, nothing except a dire warning to never return to Bisbee again.

Their crime, a peaceful and legal strike.

In September of 1897, 19 unarmed men were shot dead by the Luzerne County Sheriff and his men near Hazleton Pennsylvania for participating in a legal, peaceful strike.

In 1911, 146 garment workers died in what is known as the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. These women died not only because of unsafe and hazardous working conditions but also because they were unable to leave the building when the fire broke out. Doors had been chained and locked to keep the women working.

While the Ludlow Massacre, the Bisbee Deportation, the Luzerne massacre and the Triangle fire all happened over a hundred years ago, these events should never be far from our collective memory. These humiliations, these tragedies forced upon everyday, hardworking people should always be remembered as the foundation for every Union member. People suffered, people died, their children died under the most horrible abuses of the rich and privileged so that today I have an eight hour work day, the right to shop where and when I want, the right to visit a doctor of my choice, the right to to a safe and secure work environment and to be paid a fair wage.

I do not forget why I am Union!

It would be an easy argument for one to make that these were the result of the times, that they were the result of the fledging Union movement and the abuses should have been expected, given the times. That abuses and tragedies such as these could never happen in the modern era. My rebuttal would be be a simple word, ‘Bullshit’. The murders and injustices happened not because of the time of day but because of human nature. Human nature has not changed, federal intervention has.

Indeed, nothing really changes.

I say to you, that if you believe all the benefits you have today are the result of the goodwill of your employer, you are wrong.

I say to you, that if you believe your employer has your best interest at heart, you are wrong.

I say to you, that if you believe Unions have served their purpose and their time has passed, we will again revisit the days of deportation, murder and humiliation.

If you do not understand this, than Patria Valdez and her three young children died for nothing.

 

A Subtle Storm?

2-3-13

I’m somewhat happily surprised to hear people be a bit more intelligent about religion these days. By intelligent, I mean they are not afraid to ask questions, not afraid to question their own given faith, and not afraid to turn to something better, something of their own choosing. One of the benefits of social media is that facebook, twitter and all the rest  allow us an opportunity to realize that we are not alone, that there are others, and many of them, that are like minded in many matters. I have no doubt social media is one of the reasons for the changing dynamics regarding the acceptance of LGBT issues. Yet, reading my previous post, ‘We, the Lazy’ one would have to wonder if I’m a flaming schizoid where one week I’m cursing technology and the next week I’m blessing the cause, and you would be right, I am psychotic.

I’m also right.

There is a very subtle storm gathering, a revolution in the making. Most of you have already erred in believing it’s a political battle, a coming fight between the right and left for the moral soul of this once great Nation. Again, you are wrong.

We are a very young species compared against the backdrop of the cosmic universe. It’s not too hard to speculate, or frame an argument that humanity, is in it’s infancy and I would further argue that we are infants with a gun in our hands, and that is why one week I can curse humans and the next, give ‘em all my love.

Childhood is also fertile ground for rebellion of all sorts. If you have an ear, listen closely and you will hear the stirrings. If you have eyes, look, you will see the discontent. The political divide is nothing but a symptom for what ails all of humanity these days. People are picking sides, but this isn’t a numbers game, and there isn’t going to be a winning side.

Let me know when you figure it out.

 

 

We, the Lazy

1-20-12

We are so damn divided in this Nation that the parting of the Red Sea was a kids act compared to all of us. No one is willing to to even consider someone else’s point of view. It’s not an “I’m right, you’re wrong” kinda deal, it’s a “I’m right, you’re wrong, fuck you” kind of deal.

Yes it is!

Civility is basically dead, as is integrity and honesty and a couple other cool ideas in that mix of words. While these high ideals might exist, I bet they are actually held in pretty low standards, like if you’re being honest, you’re a damn idiot, or worse, a liar.

Get it?

I suppose I could blame it on technology. I could say that personal, and even physical relationships are an awkward thing of the past. Now you can can get married to someone online you’ve never seen, do the virtual sex thing, hand blisters and all, text and never speak, say things you never would, be someone you are not. You can actually have a real world in the land of make believe.

But it’s not the fault of technology!

See, humans are really lazy these days. Admit it, you rather be fishing, or shopping or partying. While there’s a certain population segment that thinks the real lazy people are those at the low end of the economic spectrum, the truth is, it is us, the middle class that are the lazy ones. We’ve given up, we let the government do our work, we refuse to become educated, to be knowledgeable in a world where knowledge is a quick heartbeat away.

We can’t even make up our own damn minds. In fact, we religiously parrot facts and yell loudly they are fact and don’t have a clue if the facts are true. And get this...,

We don’t care! As long as the ‘fact’ fits your agenda, you’re fine with it. Of course, your agenda is dictated by those who spout those facts, so you’re like in the middle of a circular jerk. You all know, there is nothing wrong with being, wrong!

And you all know I’m right, god dammit!

 

 

 

The Big Ocean

1-13-13

We are lost souls in an ocean of strange and trying times. Those who seek peace find only war and talk of war, those who represent the words of all their Gods have betrayed their Gods, those who desire honest conversation are spoken to with lies built upon foundations of personal desire, those who seek warmth and security are assaulted by thieves.

What peace there is, is nothing but personal, found in the heart, in the soul, and that peace is far and few apart, available to only those who somehow have managed to find some sense in the insanity of what we have become as a species.

We are not inherently distrustful, evil, ignorant and hateful.

We are inherently fearful, of change, of difference, of the unknown.

And worse of all, we accept all these things that we know are wrong and we justify that acceptance with a denial, with a claim of inability to effect change, or worse, because we no longer care.

Most claim some allegiance, some belief, in my God or yours and yet few follow in form or fashion. The true God we all worship is the god of greed, of possession and of desire. This is who we are, this is what we are, in the immediate, in the real world, it is our wants and our desire that take precedence over all else. While we claim otherwise, we know the singular truth.

We are destroying our Nation, our Legacy and Ourselves.

Indeed, there are those who believe we have arrived in the promised land, that we are the exceptional Nation. Humbleness, humility, tenets of the Christian doctrine are unknown words and now unforgivable sins. Indeed, an exceptional Nation where our people cannot even engage in an intelligent conversation on a range of topics, gun control, womens rights, immigration and the like. Indeed, we have become so intelligent that we now recognize a piece of paper incorporating a business as a living, breathing person, and having more rights than you or I.

I do not believe that whatever God you claim to worship is happy.

And it's about to get a lot worse.

 

 

 

There are those things

6 January 2013

There are those things we dare not speak of. Those truths that dwell in the darkest realms, those truths we know to be self evident yet refuse to entertain their possibilities for surely those truths conflict with ours. We know in our heart of God that all men are equal yet in our eyes all men are found lacking as equals among themselves for the most sinful of reasons.

Indeed, the hideous truth is that mere humans are incapable of living a concept such as equality. Like much of science fiction, equality can be dreamed of, lusted after, but not attained in our lifetimes. Most humans are simply incapable of extending the practice beyond their known circle. Most humans cannot simply because, before they extend the courtesy of equality in full form and fashion, they must possess in inner equality, a balance within their own lives.

For what it’s worth, this is not metaphysical, spiritual bullshit, and really nothing more than common sense. You can pretend to be many things but you cannot be what you are not. If you do not have that peace within you, you cannot extend the influence out among those you know. Most of us like to hang our spirituality out on the limb of some religion for all to see, but the deep truth is, it’s probably hanging on the wrong branch and what people see are shallow reflections of the undercurrents of unknown personalities.

We refuse to let others in because to do so is painful. We fear pain, we fear others and these are the deep dark truths we dare not speak of to friends, to family, to loved ones, much less ourselves. We do not ponder to think such things and we are smaller, we are worse for not doing so. We lack the strength within to question ourselves much less question those from where we gain our moral authority.

Just as you cannot feed a man if you have no food, you can not judge a man equal if you do not understand the concept of equality in it’s truest form, that in order to extend equality of any kind, the fear of each other must be abolished. A great man once wrote that fear is the mind killer and I tend to agree with him.

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