If You Like What You Read

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

An Idea Who's Time Has Come (Again)

What do we need today?! We need good ideas! Good ideas to help all people!

Well, at least the one's that want and need help, which is pretty much everybody I know.

One good idea is that ALL people, regardless of race, creed, color, sex and/or shoe-size should be able to pursue their own individual ideas of happiness, as long as those pursuits don't interfere with another's right to do the same. This is not a new idea. It's actually been around for quite some time I suspect. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." (Because you ARE having them do unto you by doing unto them whether you realize it or not. But that's another story for another day.) "What you give is what you get." "Live and let live." That sort of thing...

Beyond that, is there really any other idea we need to worry about? If we just keep that one idea in-mind and try to never violate it - and when we do, make amends to correct the error in judgement as soon as possible - wouldn't things have to change for the better for everyone who sincerely believed and practiced the idea? And throw in the attitude of actually "helping" another pursue their dreams of happiness (instead of the current popular philosophy of SYNFTSTGANWATGOHDTRL) and well, seems to me like we'd have a golden pathway to heaven itself. Or at the very least, a better life.

(*Screw Your Neighbor For The Short-Term Gain And Don't Worry About The Gates Of Hell Down The Road Later)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Writer Writes About A Writer Writing About Writing

It appears that I am a writer. The quality of that activity left to be judged by others more qualified than myself, but a writer nonetheless. And how does one know when one is a writer, I mean, a TRUE writer? (Whatever I mean by the word "true".)

[Isn't it nice we can always question the meaning of any word ad infinitum never getting to the bottom of anything? Reductio ad absurdum idiotica? Well, no, not really I'm finding out. It can be quite an annoying habit, challenging the meaning of everything all the time. Just ask my wife. I mean, what do I mean by the word "challenging"? (See what I mean.) ...Still, there are far too many times I find myself excepting things at face-value. With that ass-covering caveat... ]

Isn't a writer just someone who writes? Broad definition? How often or well one does it, or even how much money one gets for doing it, are not really factors involved in any bottom-line basic definition of the word. A lot, a little, good and well-paid are just adjectives, descriptors of the thing itself, i.e. the one who writes, a writer. And adjectives are subjective. How much is "a lot", what is "good" and how many zeros behind any other number signifies "well-paid"?

Write n. 1.  To produce strange markings - squiggly, crooked and straight lines, solid dots and dashes, and all kinds of combinations thereof - on paper or other such surfaces that will receive such marks, that symbolize in the mind of the reader ideas and concepts about the world and reality he and/or she perceives all around, about and within him and/or herself.

Still, there are those who will judge such words above and pronounce one a "writer" and another not. I can't do anything about that, so why bother? Not that I'm above learning and improving. Anyway...

A poem (as well as song by a groovy little band called Nowville) to further clarify my position on the creative process in general...

  -->

Good, bad, right, wrong
This, is, my, song
God, love, zen, tao
Truth, life, being, now

I’m a holy little devil
Can you hear me evil angel
And I’m comin’ on after you
Comin’ on after you

North, south, yin, yang
My, friend, Kwai, Chang
Are, you, still, free?
Can, you, hear, me?

I’m a holy little devil
Can you hear me evil angel
And I’m comin’ on after you
Comin’ on after you

We used to sing, we used to dance
Now we just sit around and no one takes a chance
Our hearts are hard, our minds are old
The gloom is deep and thick
The weather’s very cold

Good, bad, right, wrong
This, is, my, song
God, love, zen, tao
Truth, life, being, now

I’m a holy little devil
Can you hear me evil angel
And I’m comin’ on after you
Comin’ on after you

We think we know just who we are
Till trouble comes along and shakes our little star
I had a dream, an awful dream
My blood was watery
My life’s not what it seems


You can listen to the actual song here on Nowville Soundcloud page.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Big Picture

It's hard to do something hard. It's even harder to do something hard badly. Winning at sport's gambling is hard. In addition to this little fact of life, I was also not very good at it. Combine the two ideas with a good dose of pride and you have a receipt for complete disaster, utter failure and total collapse. To what degree I would experience these hells, was apparently up to me, but I was beginning to wonder if secretly I wasn't a sadomasochistic.

The phrase, "Never again" was repeated so many times in my head that I thought it was my middle name. Obviously it eventually became a joke and I realized it would take more than short fits of emotion to shake the sport's gambling monkey off my back. How did I eventually do it? I didn't. It was done for me. All I had to do was not bet. There was no one forcing me to do it. I was doing it because I liked it. I enjoyed it. At least part of it. The watching and winning part. The watching and losing part I was not so much a fan of. In fact, it eventually became like eating unflavored liver and drinking warm Heineken beer.  And as the former watching part gave way to just way too much of the latter watching part, becoming so small as to almost be nonexistent... Well, I may be an idiot, but I'm not stupid.

Still, I wanted to go out a "winner". How exactly that would be accomplished I hadn't really understood, looking back on it all. I mean, the idea was to just win some of it back - "it" being the shitloads of money I'd already lost - then I would quit and go out a "winner". Even though I was still in the red overall. No matter, my pride would be spared and I could walk out of the whole sordid affair with my chin up. So what if the winner label would cost me much more than it was worth! I'd be a winner.

But with that comforting idea, erroneous as it may have been, came another one that said, "Someday never comes." And, "Just more rationalization to keep the madness going." I mean what is a "winner" anyway? More on that later I'm sure, but for now, the "going out a winner" idea kept me chasing after the great mighty fire-breathing gambling dragon with my little 8 oz. bottle of seltzer water and toothpick sword.

The problem with this type of thinking is it's always changing to meet the situation, ignoring the fact that it has no legs to stand on, because it has no principal to stand on. So when the "going out on a winning note" time comes, it's usually greeted with the "Why quit now when you're winning?" thought. And remember, the winning part is what we like. So the former idea about quitting is often overridden by the latter idea about quitting and the only real way out is to see the overall big picture and behave with that in mind as opposed to opting for the occasional and short-lived gratification of the whole unholy process. And the overall big picture quite clearly demonstrates unequivocally that the business of trying to "beat the odds", any odds, is the business of finding out in the long run, it simply can't be done. Especially if reincarnation is true. I mean, you could spend two or three lifetimes winning big, followed by a hundred or so lifetimes of losing your shirt. In the end, over time, the odds always get ya. And time is much longer than most people realize. Much, much longer. Like infinite. In fact, it goes on forever

gambling  n.  1. An improvident activity in which winning gleefully proceeds losing.

Jedi Mind Tricks

If a gambler loses a million dollars gambling in heaven, does it really matter? Is there really such a thing as "gambling" in heaven? Is there really such a thing as heaven? Are there no end to my insipid questions? Okay, maybe they're not as insipid as they are annoying. In any case, the answer to the first three questions above are "no", "no" and "I sure hope so or else why am I wasting all this time trying be a good boy."

I wore two sets of clothing the day McMullen flew the coop. Need I say say more as to our basic idea of how to escape jail without really trying? We were about the same size, so that wasn't going to be an issue. Belief it or not, we argued more over style than anything else. "I ain't escaping jail dressed like no hipster!" was the height of McMullen's objections to what I might wear underneath what I wore over top. I had no idea what the hell a hipster was, but suspected it had some kind of fashion tie-in to a beatnik, which I was probably guilty of dressing a little like at one time or another over my many years fashion trending, so I agreed not wear "hipster" clothes underneath that particular day. Anyway, a suit and tie wasn't going to cut it either. Too conspicuous. Nobody who works in a jail wears a suit and tie in jail except people who don't really work there. You know, like politicians and administrators? Anyway, the suit and tie was out as escape fashion we thought. That was until we found out about a group of college students from China that happened to be scheduled for a visit the day of liberation. Who says there's no god? I mean, what are the odds a group of college students, from freakin' China no less, would be visiting some jail in New Jersey that day? No McMullen wasn't Chinese, but we knew there'd be an American "delegation" of some sorts hosting them on their tour of paradise and the whole thing would provide a nice distraction and camouflage at the same time for what we had planned.

I'd work on the officers in the area that day, using my Jedi mind tricks on them beforehand to set their judgmental eyes on everything and everyone other than McMullen. I all had to do was make up some sex stories about the women in the visitor's entourage and throw in some political bullshit about China and freedom and good ol' Amercia and yada, yada, yada, and they'd soon be oblivious to the fact that one of their inmates of over some fifteen years was about to walk out the front door. I mean, did they know this really wasn't a "college" group visiting from China, but was really all just the veiled first steps to the privatization of all the correctional officers' jobs? If not, I was going to tell them. Yeah, the government owed so much money to China, they were selling all the prisons to the Chinese to pay off some of the debt. Of course the Chinese would offer them their jobs back once they took over. Yeah, at half the pay and with no benefits, but hey, at least you'll have a job. ...I know, doesn't sound like anyone with half a brain would believe such nonsense, but you'd be surprised at what gets passed around as the truth in a prison. Rumor and innuendo can spread like herpes in a whorehouse. It's true, there are no secrets in jail. And that bit of social science was going to work just fine for me and McMullen.