Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This Will Make No Sense to Anyone But Myself

Questions .... always questions. Never answers. Answers only bring more questions. And the answers aren't answers at all, they only create more questions ...

What else? Why? No shit? Uhhh.. eh?

It doesn't matter what the subject matter might be ... a question remains.

It drives me crazy(er). What is wrong with you? What is wrong with me? Why don't you see the the big picture? Am I missing the big picture?

A mind in motion is questioning everything. It's maddening. I wonder how those who know me and love me endure me when I often shun the superficial, yet meaningful aspects of everyday life in the pursuit of answers to questions that have no relevance to no one but me yet to me hold significance to my own relevance.

Surrounded by a multitude of people and opinions it's as if there is a shield of superficial truth that separates every life's purpose.

Deep shit. 

As I sit and contemplate questions, I'm glancing to my left and gazing upon one who is asleep and content, snoring and grunting. No questions. I'm here and will always be here. There is no question, so she sleeps soundly.

Yet, my mind wonders, 'Why?' It questions... I'm not worthy of love, or devotion, or anything for that matter. Yeah, I try to better myself but I will never be worthy of the love and adoration of such a wonderful soul who can accept me and my scattered mind and distracted thinking.

Why do you care about another? Why do you love someone? Why do you dislike someone? Why does someone love you when you don't love yourself? Why can't we all walk naked through the streets without fear of ridicule?


A mind in motion is a mind with questions. A mind in motion questions everything. Opinions aren't questions, opinions are responses to questions posed by individuals who are seeking answers.

Question yourself and answer your questions until you are satisfied with your answer. Don't accept an answer from anyone other than yourself ... 

My answer is snoring and accepts me despite myself. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bedtime Story

Pssst ... wanna hear a story? Are you one of those, and I mean 'those' to be 'human', that like to hear about the travails of others?

If so, let me regale you with a tale that will cause you to embrace your life's insanity as being nothing more than a cosmic game of 'Jeopardy' in which you don't know any of the questions.

The story begins with a man's quest to stand taller than his 5'7" frame and ends with a friend's declaration of fear. ... just so you know, the subject of the story closely resembles me... duh.

As it so happened, this man had somewhere aquired a sheathed bootknife during a particularly lengthy manic episode. Being that bootknives irritated his ankles and really didn't allow this man to feel in control of any perceived confrontation, he decided to carry the three-inch blade in the inner pocket of his leather jacket. No big deal ... except that hubris, tempered steel, mania and Grey Goose vodka are not compatible.

By the way, this man learned a valuable lesson this night ... a plate of cheese fries sitting on a bar being shared by seemingly everyone nearby doesn't necessarily mean that you are entitled to partake in cheese fry goodness. And if, by chance, those cheese fries belong to a group of Marines in civilian clothing .. well, you know where I'm headed with this ...

It was not long after this Cheese Fry encroachment and this man's mania-fueled, Goose-inspired decision to reach for a dull bootknife that this man was described as having a deathwish.

That man has since moved past cheese fries and carrying bootknives. Somehow, he avoided being dismantled that night. I like to believe that charm and humor swayed the keepers of the cheese fries. What sticks with me now is that the man with the deathwish really hasn't changed.

Take a trip to the Dark Side and all fear evaporates. Well, at least for one man who had a 'deathwish'. More of an awakening, I believe.

The story ends without a single physical incident but resounds in memory as a victory of sorts. The bootknife was never unsheathed. Somewhere, somehow, the crazy in the marines connected with the crazy in the man in question and the Universe aligned itself for the greater good.

The idea that the man has a deathwish only caused the man to further explore his limits. What happens after that is an Iliad epic worthy of publication.

The man still has the bootknife as a reminder of craziness personified. The bar in question has since closed. The Marines are hopefully alive and well and can still share a chuckle over the short fucker who stole a cheese fry and proclaimed dominance due to self-perceived macho that a three-inch bootknife provided.

Yet, the deathwish remains. It's in this man and it's in everyone. A deathwish is a necessity, ya dig? Without a deathwish you have no drive to take risks. Granted, risking death by stabbing is a bit extreme. But, as I see it, a life dedicated to simply existing without risk is a far more deadly deathwish.

I'm pretty sure that the man with the deathwish is still alive and kickin' ... Oddly enough, what he wished to die did  die and provided a bit of manure that fertilized new life that emerged from dirt.

And they all lived happily ever after.

The end.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Let Your Inner Alien Explode.

"Whooooo are you? Whooo Whoo, whoo whoo?"

So asketh The Who. You know the tune but have you answered the question?

I'm thinkin', you're either more than you really are or less than you really are. Expectations are a bitch, eh?

I'll go first ... I'm a failure of the utmost degree. I've never lived up to my own expectations. In my mind, I've let everyone down. I've never saved a life. My words are humorous, yet meaningless. My actions have been well-intentioned yet unnoticed and largely unneeded. I've been 'there', but no one knows.

As Sarah Palin might say, "I'm You."

You are a victim of your own expectations ... or, should I say, your perceived expectations, too. Who are you?

Hold on a second... I just noticed a nuance in my self-depracating self-description. Hmmm ... occasionally, my words are humorous. I've been told that every now and then I encourage a chuckle.

Well shit... this may very well contradict my self-impsosed badge of dishonor of being a 'total failure' . How can I fail if I create a smile, a chuckle, a laugh in another?

Well shit. I've failed again. I can't even fail without failing. What can this possibly say about mankind? Did The Who write 'Who Are You?' to warn us about the Mayan Calendar and 2012 Galactic Alignment?

I'm sure that you're in a position that allows you to breathe easily ... you're financially secure, your company requires your input in order to remain stable ... your front yard is green, winterized and secure for whatever mother nature brings ... your friends require your presence at all after-hours functions ... eh ...

Who are you? Like me, you are no one. Yet, you are everyone.

I think it's a bit humorous that we're all dumbasses that think we're smartasses. In short, we're all asses trying to put our cheeks around the greater good and meaning of life which happens to spin clockwise, unless you're in Australia. I'm speaking metaphorically of a toilet, by the way....

I'm gonna stand up and be the no one that everyone recognizes as being the nobody that proclaims his nothingness. I'll be noticed for being nobody and that recogniition will propel me to limited notariety which will accentuate my nothingness that resonates with all of those who relate to my obscurity.

Hey, give it a try ... all it takes is a voice. Unless you're mute, you have a voice. And, if you do happen to be mute then you have thoughts that emanate from your hands, eyes or grunts.

Who Are You? I wanna know ....

What Are You Looking For?

It's 3:31 AM, EST. That pretty much means that no matter what time it is on the planet you are in need of help if you're reading these words.

Congratulations, you're aware and seeking answers, even if they come from me.

Read on ... and, by the way, leave your baggage at the door.

Black Friday ... Mental Health Awareness Day

It was an "Ah Ha!" moment ... one of those realizations that strike at a time when you are searching for answers to life's greatest mysteries.

Hmpf ... I was simply determined to visit my local supermarket to obtain ingredients for a sweet potato casserole ... a dish I'd never attempted to create. My nerves were on high alert. This casserole was going to be sampled by those who might forever judge me as a result of their taste buds.

I was self-absorbed in my mission .. and then, as I entered the parking lot of the supermarket, I glanced to my right. Immediately, my focus shifted to the Coleman tent. A tent ... in front of neighboring Best Buy. Not only was the tent a five-person shelter, it was second in line behind two shivering masses who were huddling beneath a blanket on a bench only inches from the locked doors.

What the fuck have we become? Why would anyone, much less a multitude of people, gather at the entrance of a retail store, hours in advance of their opening?

Unless the retailer offers satisfaction-guaranteed orgasms or your money back with every Blu-Ray purchase there is no reason to camp out at Best Buy. I enjoy walking through Best Buy. There are many, many items that I'd love to own that Best Buy sells. But, if you were to ask me, "Hey, Jefftard, is there anything at Best Buy that you'd pitch a tent and piss in a water bottle in order to save a hundred bucks?" I'd say, "Uhh, nah ... "

Instant gratification has reached an insane level. C'mon people ... we're in a time that people don't have money, jobs and health care. Yet, we're waiting in line to buy gifts? For what? To make an impression on the recipient of said gifts in order to satisfy an inner need to prove oneself?

Hey, let's have a Black Friday sale at the liquor store ... Best Buy, Macy's and Toys R Us would be empty. Buy One Cuervo and get one free ... serves the same purpose ... self-satisfying for both the buyer and recipient.

Don't misunderstand me ... I love the holidays. I still call Christmas, 'Christmas'. What I abhor is the marketing of 'love, caring and appreciation' as an early-morning sale that requires camping in order to proclaim, "Yeah! I got a great fuckin' deal!" Personally, I'd return a gift that came as a result of an extreme bargain-shopping jaunt. Why? Because that gift wasn't obtained with my best interest in mind, it was obtained at the expense and gain of the buyer's sacrifice and expected thanks for his stupidity ... eh, sacrifice.

If you arrived at your favorite retail store today at 3, 4 5, 6 or 7 AM ... I don't dislike you at all. I just think that you might need to re-evaluate your priorities. Who is really getting the best deal? You lost hours of sleep and possibly earth-shattering morning sex. You fought smelly, cranky, obsessed shoppers for bargains and compromised the very values and principles that the holidays are meant to promote. Yet, the retailers who spent $2 for the $40 'Bargain' that you must have as a token gift are wide-awake and thanking you for your dedication to the holiday spirit.

We have people that find within themselves the resolve to 'suffer' through crowds, traffic and understaffed stores. People will trample others in order to grab an over-priced, on-sale flat-screen TV. I don't get it. These are the same people that lament the state of the economy and feel sorry for the unemployed, homeless and uninsured. Are the homeless, uninsured and unemployed on their Christmas lists as they storm the gates?

Again, I ask, "What the fuck?"

Once again, another holiday has become bereft of meaning. Christmas is synonymous with extended store hours, low prices and ego-inspired giving. I'm not a religous man but I do see that Christmas is fast-becoming a glorified Hallmark holiday on par with Valentines Day and Halloween. Buy, buy, buy.

Who are those gifts meant to excite? The recipient or the giver? There's a blurry line ...

As for the campers and the stampeders ... well, you folks are more whacked than I am ... ponder on that for awhile. No discount on the latest gadget at Best Buy will correct your mental ailment.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Stuffing and Mixed Yammers

Sometimes I picture Plymouth Rock as a sound system in a muscle car or an animated 'Schoolhouse Rock' anthem. To this day, when I'm directed to picture the first Thanksgiving I picture a long, wooden picnic table. The table is overflowing with all kinds of mouth-watering bounty ... turkey, green bean casserole, biscuits, stuffing ... yeah, all that stuff and a couple dozen pumpkin pies that were brought by the squaws.

On one side of the table sit men in finely-tailored black suits, complete with ruffled shirts and buckled boots. Most are clean-shaven but a few are scoundrels and are scruffy ... even bearded. The scruffy ones squint as they peer across the table at the 'guests'... men dressed in their finery as well ... beaded leather attire complete with hand-crafted accessories meant to exclaim, "Welcome. Our place is your place."

"No, no," say the suits ... "We are educated ... welcome to our newly discovered abode. Y'all can stay as long as you know who's land this is ... Oh that? That's a musket ... What does it do? Well, hmmmm ... bring me some whipped cream for this pumpkin pie or I'll show ya. Wha..? No whipped cream? Ok, stand up, musket lessons begin now, inobedient heathen..."

Ok, ok, ok ... so that's not really the story of the first Thanksgiving ... I confess. I plucked this  account from Sarah Palin's newest book.

On to the meat ... the breast meat, so to speak. i'm working with a pickle fork and butter knife to pull the meat from my mind for this blog, so please bear with me. Away we go ...

I was sitting in a Wendy's in Hillsville, Virginia, enjoying Combo 9, large, with a Diet Coke. Across from me sat Pam, who was enjoying a Single with Cheese, no onions, and a side salad. Without warning or premeditation, I got choked up. At first, I considered gristle was the culprit ... grilled chicken can confuse the fast-food workers. No, no ... no gristle. The lump in my throat was emotional. Not the 'Oh. My God. This sandwich is orgasmic' type of emotional. This was different ..

You see, Pam and I were on our way back home after a short jaunt to Charlotte to visit my parents and sister. We'd made this trip before ... the trip was relaxed. Except for a brief, loving exchange of opinions concerning the Palins and FOX News between my dad and myself the trip consisted of good food, company and my own self-depracation.

Yet, as I reached for a fry, I had an overwhelming feeling. I told Pam, "I already miss my parents and sister."

Uh, what? I don't verbalize my feelings. I'm one tough, surviving sombitch. I love my family and I know they love me. I love seeing them and they love seeing me. And, I know all of this .... Oh shit. Is there weakness beneath this shield of pain?

This got me to thinking ... go figure. Midgets .. no, just kidding. Midgets have much to be thankful for but that's an entirely different subject ... no .. I started thinking about hurt, pain and other uplifting things.

I personally shut down a bit when I hear or read 'Happy Thanksgiving!" as it is exclaimed in a cheerful voice or prose. Motivational 'be grateful for' phrases grate me the wrong way because I know that every damn person saying or writing those words, 'Happy Thanksgiving', are doing so not because they are wishing you happiness but because they are hoping that you'll not criticize the dry stuffing too harshly.

What I realized during my Wendy's feast is that what I have is not what I am most thankful for. What I'm most thankful for is what I've lost.

Pride. Materialism. Greed. These are gone. Also gone is the love and adoration of my children. Although I'm not thankful that my children have disowned me, I am grateful that I regained my own purpose and sense of self.  Their disowning me has made me appreciate those who haven't disowned me and those who continue to see promise and potential in a man who struggles to see those qualities in himself.

Hence, the lump in my throat at Wendy's. My dad didn't think less of me because of my anti-tea party rant. My mom commended me on my Taboo rants on Lakota Phillips 'Breaking Taboo' show on http://www.newdissidentradio/ even though her beliefs often contrast my own. My sister? Well, she's more warped than I am, I believe.

Then, I glanced upwards and noticed the laugh lines at the corners of Pam's eyes. The eyes that gaze upon me and my pain... my failures .. the eyes that look at me and say, 'Thank You for loving me.' You see, Pam and her eyes were both borne or my hurt and pain.

This is some deep shit, I understand. But, in a single glance, as I looked into the eyes of a woman who was devouring a Single with Cheese, my pain of loss and self-hatred was diminished a bit. In her eyes I saw my own weakness ... I realized that I need those who need me and that, despite my anger, illness and multitude of faults, I'm not alone after all.

Thanksgiving isn't about celebrating what you have. It's about celebrating what you don't have. It's about celebrating what you lost and then gained. It's a celebration that a loss will result in growth. Be thanksful for what you don't have because the things you've lost are really the treasures that make you wealthy and wise.

Oh yes ... Pam, she is the butterfly that brings fluttering life and joy to my stunted soul. I took a strand of thread and wrapped it around my finger, took her hand and wrapped the other end around her finger and asked her if such a fragile thread would hold us together for a lifetime ....

She said yes.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanks? Selfish Bastard ...

Thanksgiving fast approaches. You wouldn't know it by watching TV ... Hell, Thanksgiving is nothing more than a brief rest stop on the highway to Christmas Town.

"No," you say ... "Thanksgiving is a day to celebrate family, blessings and football." "Thanksgiving is a day to count the many ways in which we have been blessed with love and kindness and family and equality and freedom and blah, blah, blah."

Uh, No. Maybe, if you were a pilgrim fearing for your life .. you offered a bird full of buckshot to someone who's land you inhabited, unwelcomed and feared, promising to not encroach upon that someone's life by professing your own beliefs of humanity's purpose ... well, then, maybe, if you weren't dismissed as different and summarily executed you could execute your own Godliness and claim righteousneous as your own ...

But, let's not talk about the Tea Party ... this is about Thanksgiving. This is a day that makes one pause, bow a head and take into account the many, many blessings that have enriched ones' life during the past year. The trials that matured into lessons .. the losses that matured into riches ... the relationships that blossomed into nourishing, revitalizing soul-enriching  partnerships despite the odds ...

This is Thanksgiving. And, if you can count yourself as one of the chosen above, then, by all means, celebrate. This is your week. Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, is your day. Eat up, fucker. Stand in  a circle with your family, hold hands, and one by one give thanks for one thing that you are thankful for before you attack that 15-lb turkey and dry stuffing.

Sound harsh? probably.... as I was listening to  music tonight I was taken back to an earlier time ... the late 70's ... an era searching for direction ... and my feeble mind connected to a time when family was a word synonymous with 'blanket'. Family surrounded and warmed me ... Ok, ok ... so, I didn't see Thanksgiving as anything more than a  time  to stand in line to scoop mashed potatoes and grab a homemade roll any more than I might now ... But, Thanksgiving was a time to gather with family, gaze at the old folks who smelled like mothballs and wonder who was not gonna be  there next year.

Morbid? Yeah. But, it was family. And, as odd as it may seem, most of American society approached Thanksgiving in much the same way. It was a day to appreciate not the history of the Pilgrims suckering the Indians into a meal in order to steal their land and way of life. Don't worry that the Pilgrims and those that followed smiled and slowly finagled their way into ownership of  a land through offerings of food and wampum ...

Now, as I age and attempt to delay my own mortality, I see that Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that is on the verge of becoming another 'day off' from work. I'm not one that sees Thanksgiving as being as important as say, oh, Arbor Day, but I have fond memories of Thanksgiving Day.

Today, as I was thumbing through the channels, I stumbled upon the Biography Channel. Normally, the Biography Channel is rife with features about quasi-celebrities ... but today the feature story was the Bee Gees.

I love the Bee Gees. The Bee Gees are ingrained in my past as voices that spoke to me when I needed them. I won't elaborate too much, but I can say that one of the most difficult times of my life, in my pre-teen years, was made a bit better by harmony of falsetto voices paired with stomps and heartfelt choruses.

This is my Thanksgiving. My Thanksgiving occurs each time I listen to a song that takes me back to a moment that I can remember. My Thanksgiving occurs each time that I receive a text from my mom... my sister... my dad. My Thanksgiving occurs every morning when I turn my head and look into the face of unconditional love, Pam.

Thanksgiving isn't a holiday any longer. Thanksgiving is a a signal that it's time to spend money for Christmas. Thanksgiving has run it's course ... as a holiday it's no more than a meal served after hours of toil and preparation. Thanksgiving isn't thanks giving at all. Thanksgiving is nothing more than a celebration of one's own ability to accommodate those who will critique the turkey as being too dry or the stuffing as being bland.

At the first Thanksgiving the guests of honor, the native Americans, would shrug while the Pilgrim men and women presenting the meal would be grateful if they weren't killed for having lumps in the mashed potatos. Today, we endure a meal and insignificant football games in order to ready ourselves for the rush to the shopping mall the next day. Thanksgiving isn't about thanks at all ... Thanksgiving day is the starting gate and the following midnight is the bell that signals the all-out race to Christmas.

Jesus once said of Thanksgiving, " ....... uhhhhh"..

Jesus didn't know of Thanksgiving.

No one gives Thanks anymore. I'd be willing to bet that on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, most will not  even say 'Thank You' when passed the gravy. It''s expected that the gravy will be passed. Hell, it's your right to have the gravy, eh? You earned it... ...

You're welcome.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Job ... Dude, You Were Screwed

Leave it to me to tune in to a History Channel program with an open mind. History is history, right? Well, in most cases it is ... what has happened has happened and why what has happened is usually explained, yet often the reasons for the makings of history-making are left open to interpretation.

The History Channel is an excellent source of information when it comes to Hitler, any World War, trucking goods over ice-covered Alaskan lakes and determining the value of an autographed KISS concert ticket from 1972 while being low-balled in a Las Vegas pawn shop.

Yet, every now and then, more often 'now' than 'then', the HC delves into spiritual realms. It was during one such program that I was struck with the inspiration to write ... "God Versus Satan". Oh yeah, my kind of program. I pictured Rocky brawling head-to-head with Ivan Drago ... you decide which is God and which is Satan.

As I was drawn further into the show I reflected on the many years of teachings and studying I had plodded through as I sought salvation. I was once an avid student of scripture. As such, I was very often considered the 'go-to' guy for answers to questions of salvation, scripture and sin. Believe it or not, I was as close to being an evangelical, rapture-expectant, Christian with unwavering belief that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God that you can imagine.

To make a long story short ... a switch flipped ... that belief has changed, as have many other beliefs.

Yet, this 'God Vs. Satan" program drew me in. And, as you might imagine, my mind caught contradictions in certain biblical stories that eluded comprehension during my 'holy' years. One such story is recounted below, paraphrased and modernized so that those with that uneasy, 'WTF?' feeling might understand.

Let me relate to you the story of Job. Job, the man of faith who suffered loss and discourse due to nothing more than having an unwavering faith in his God. Decide for yourself who might be to blame for one man's suffering....

..... "and Satan, the advocate, said unto God.. "Hey, Yah, you gonna give me a shot at proving that you ain't all that and a bag of manna?"
 ... and God said, "look man, I'm gonna tell ya that there ain't nothin' that you can do that is gonna undermine my authority. I made you, by God. I brought you into this world and I can take you out. Who the Hell do you think you are?"
... Satan, stunned, replied, "Ok ... ok... yeah, you made me but you keep on sayin' that you made me in your image which means that, duh, I have in me all the qualities that you have in you, eh? You keep harpin' that you gave your creation on earth your qualities too ... it's in your damn book. Have you even read it? Who was your editor?
... I'll tell ya what, Yah, I'll bet that I can make your most loyal fan on earth look up to the heavens and say, 'What the Fuck!?' I want to mess with Job. He has it all and thanks you for it. Lemme at him."

... "Hmmm ... saieth God. "Lemme contemplate ...."  After considering the mind of the creation, God agreed to the bet. Yet, God had limits ... "You can do what ya wanna do to Job. Kill his animals, his wife, his kids. Destroy his house. Ya know what? Make him wish he was dead. I'll bet you that he will still have faith in Me. Ya know why? Because I'm the 'Big Guy'. I'm bigger and better than you. Go for it."

So, Satan plagued Job with poverty, death, depression, loss. And Job had done nothing more than have faith that he was subservient to his creator, his God. He had no pride. He accepted the circumstances of his life as being given by God. To make a long story short, Job lost everything ... his flocks, his children, his wife. Yet, Job survived.

... and Satan said, "ok, Yah, he didn't cave ... the human spirit is pretty damned strong."

... And, yay, God replied, "You owe me fifty bucks."

The moral of the story? If we, as creatures of God are supposed to live without pride, why is it that a God who considers pride a sin against Him exhibits the ultimate pride by haughitly sacrificing an innocent in order to prove His own supremacy?


Friday, November 19, 2010

Spork Me

There is an individual within these loosely-guarded borders of the United States of America that recently won an award presented by his employer.

I like to image that he was recognized as the 'Spork Salesman of the Year.' Or, possibly this person was singled out as the one who reeled in the most renewals of subscriptions to a magazine. Possibly this person is being recognized as the savior of a company destined for closure.

For the sake of argument, let's focus on the Spork salesman. He's the 'everyman.' The spork is picked up in every KFC. The spork is a staple of society. I am quite certain that ancient Romans had Sporks but the evidence was lost during the Inquisition and the Catholic Church somehow claimed Sporks as a divine inspiration from God during a witch-burning somewhere.

In any case, someone, somewhere has been recognized this month as the fiscal winner of Spork Salesperson of the Year.

Yet, we all look upon our professions as being innsignificant. Does your job enable every single individual you encounter the ability to both spoon and stab a potato for nourishment? Can you claim that by your labor you make possible the nourishment of countless individuals who might otherwise go hungry if it weren't for your strides in providing not only scooping but forking capabilities in mankind's nourishment practices?

Who are we to dismiss the spork? What do you do? Shhhh ... don't ask Republicans, they don't know. it will take a bevy of Spork salesmen going on strike and possibly a boycott of drinking straw manufacturers to have those with our best interests at heart grasp the gravity of the every-day, John Q Public's plight.

Then again, the Spork salesman is simply conforming. His award is a worthy achievement but to what end? A better car or house for himself? A better position within an organization that recognizes Sporks as a means to an end on the bottom line? Maybe his hard work in pushing Sporks to foreign governments will in some way eradicate terrorism and bring peace to mankind through the example of prongs and spoons.

Most likely, Mr. Spork of the Year will be memorialized with a gold-plated emblem attached to wooden trophy embellished with a slightly bigger gold-pated entry on a plaque that reads 'Salesman of the Year". A highlight in the life of one dedicated to making a name for himself yet ironically placed within a box containing others dedicated to also achieving the same goals.

My box has balsa wood walls. I never use Sporks, they make me nervous.

It's a world filled with Spork Salesmen and their product seems easy to use and will cut your gorging time in half. What is your Spork?

Fandom Can Doom the Mighty

It's a fucked up world we live in. Yeah, yeah ... every generation has had someone who has exclaimed the same thought. I'm sure that at some point in our past there was a two-legged, hairy creature that looked upon his peers as they proclaimed to be supremely dominate and thought to himself, "Ugh, uh, moha ugga ugga mwah hegga dig muh fushigannah, ugga ugga Palin."

Yet, the Palins managed to thrive, survive and somehow not melt their igloos for millions of years. As a result of their ability to survive, they have managed to thrive. They can dance. They can fish for trout, or bass or whatever the hell they fish for, in front of brown bears.

But, the Palins are not my focus. The Palins are my neighbors. They are your neighbors. The Palins are media examples of what today's society holds dear. Deeper still, my point is not to diss the Palins. My point is to use the Palins as an example.

Bristol Palin can't wear Latex and dress as a dominatrix worth a damn. Yet, she fumbles her way to another week of Dancing With the Stars.

Levi Johnson is quite possibly the worst baby daddy since your truly, yet he garners magazine covers and notariety for having impregnated a potential recipient of the trophy for dancing dances that no one dances.

Bristol's dad ... well, what the fuck is his name anyway? He's a non-entity.

Bristol's mom ?

People relate to what they see. People relate to what they hear. People relate to what is told to them. As a result, people decide that Bristol can dance. People decide that Levi is scum. People associate themselves with non-dancing, illegitimate, illiterate figureheads simply because they elicit the laziness within the human spirit.

I use the Palins as an example of humanity's lack of purpose. It is easy to cast your vote for the underdog. Everyone wants the underdog to win in the end ... Hell, I'm an underdog. But when the underdog wins simply because he, or she, is different, or pretty, or  can quick-step, then who really wins?

We live in a world dictated by remote control. Face it, morning, noon or night the remote control takes us to what we believe and where we want to go. Media, whether reality TV or news networks, sporting events or shopping channels, dictate how we think and who we are. Put 'em all together and you have a hodgepodge of nothingness that encapsulates today's political climate which screams 'Palin'

Nothingness and easiness personified. All because people listen but don''t hear.

ok, ok ... this is a bit deep and political for such a simple mind as mine . But, what if... ... are you able to think for yourself? Myself, I wanted Hasselhoff to win Dancing With the Stars ... I relate to weakness.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Life Lessons Taught By a Spider Named Earl

Once upon a time in a basement far, far away, lived a spider. Like all spiders. he had eight legs, a threatening appearance and a penchant for eliciting terror from those who gazed upon him.

But, this spider had an issue ... this spider was unable to spin a web. Unlike his cousins who hung out at the lightbulbs at night just waiting for dinner to show up on their self-made platters, this spider was only able to scurry after dinner that was either slow, disabled or too dismayed with life to battle for another day of life.

For simplicity, let's call this spider 'Earl'. You see, Earl was born at a disadvantage. His mama was a woman that was raised in a family of 127, the youngest of the sac. She fought her way through childhood by webbing those who dared challenge her. Those males who won her affection were rewarded with eight-legged, hairy-thorax love complete with consensual death by ingestion of the spent male ... all in the name of love and survival of the family name.

Earl was special .. Earl was the only one to emerge from the sac ... Whether by chance or by choice, Earl was a survivor from the moment he stumbled over his many siblings as he entered the world. No matter that Earl's first impressions of the grandiose world that he was entering consisted of visions of food crumbs, a broom and soiled socks. No matter that Earl stepped into the unknown not aware that by simply being a spider he was despised, feared and hated. Earl stepped forward and tested his unstable legs ...

"yeah," ... Earl said to himself ... that is, if spiders talk to themselves ... "this is gonna be ok ... I must have been chosen to do something special ... "

No matter that Earl couldn't spin a web. Earl was a Wolf Spider. Wolf spiders don't spin webs but they have some big-ass teeth. Wolf spiders say, "I might not have all the tools to get what I want but if what I want can't run fast enough and I catch it, it's mine."

So, Earl opened his many eyes and spied an inviting light peeking under a closed door only five thousand steps, or for we bi-peds, two feet from the sac that was his birthplace and all he'd known. There was a whole other world beyond that door ... a future full of hope, whatever hope is to a creature that is reviled.

Earl, confident in himself, quickly crossed the door's barrier and found that he was not alone. As Earl surveyed his newfound freedom he marveled  at the possibilities ... so he can't spin webs, but his feet stick to everything ... no height is off limits. So what that he is small ... he learned that his self-image commands respect.

"Ok", Earl thought to himself .. "I'm not the biggest or the baddest bug on the block, but I'm a survivor. I'm worthy of respect. I have some big-ass teeth. I can't spin a web, but all spiders spin webs, so I'm unique."

With this in mind, a confident Earl considered himself to be not a spider, but an arachnid. A proper name worthy of consideration ... and with a confidence of a Tarantula, Earl ventured towards the baseboards in the far-away kitchen beyond the door from which he'd broached.


"Spiders are scary," the voice from above exclaimed. "Creepy bastards."

And just as quickly as a life is embraced by one so small, that same life is taken by one with no understanding of life beyond oneself.

Eight legs, four legs or two legs ... who creeps you out?

See ya on the other side, Earl. You're an arachnid in my book.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Line Drawn in Sharpie Marker

What do you consider sacred? Family? Values? Freedom? The right to view midget porn in a dark room while dressed in garb from the last Renassance Festival?

If it isn't one of these staples of societal normalcy then it is surely something else. C'mon, ponder on it for a second or two.

Imagine that you are standing shoulder to shoulder in a line of nameless, faceless people. A short, stout man strides with purpose to a podium and asks, "Those of you who consider _______ (insert your sacred item here) to be sacred, step forward. You will be first mocked, have your eyebrows shaved, be anally probed by a man named Cletus and then killed because you refused to say 'Thank You' afterwards."

What belief of yours would fill in the blank?

It's a deep-as-shit question, I know. But, it's one we all should ask of ourselves every day. I have my answer for the blank. Actually, I have a couple of answers I'd spout at the short man ... The simple fact that I answer at all is my first answer.

What is your answer? Think about it because your answer defines you.

That new outfit .. the latest tech toy... the botox .. they don't seem to matter as much right now, do they?

A Real-Time Discussion With Myself With an OK Ending

:::: YaaaawwwnN :::  What tha ...? Crap, it's tomorrow already. There goes my daily goal of drifting off to sleep before the crack of tomorrow .. midnight. Well, I'm nothing if not consistent in my self-destructive body clock maintenance.

"Hey, you .... quitcherbitchen. Who says sleepin' has to be done in the dark? Pantywaist ... You know your mind kicks into gear sometime around 11:30PM and jumps from 1st gear to 6th gear ... like a Harley Superglide ... until roughly 3:30 AM. Why fight it?

I figured it'd be you. You're the caution to my wind and I'm throwin' you like rice at a wedding. We're compadres, you and I ... without me, you're a motivational slug and without you, I'm destined for meaningless obscurity. Meaningless obscurity is a shitload worse than plain 'ol obscurity, by the way.

"Wah, wah, wah ... always rationalizing, you are. Why can't you just accept that you are a Dodo of a different feather and grab life by the nads despite the time of day? Hell, man ... time isn't anything more than a means to judge one's progress, kapiche?... The 'suits' live in eight-hour increments ... you don't. You exist minute by minute. Time is irrelevant and you know it. But, if your shallow ass wants to really set your life to an imagined clock then, right now, in Japan, it's mid-morning tomorrow. So there, Sapporro and Sushi, Jefe-san .. Better?"

You're a smartass, aren't I? I'm thinkin' that somewhere there is a psychiatrist that would readily accept a patient that criticizes himself as a smartass by making smartass comments about his inner smartass's comments. I'm thinkin' that maybe I'd be a good subject for an up-and-coming mentalist. I can't pay, of course, but I would readily accept payment in some sort of clinical study program that would ensure that the shrink garners awards and accolades after curing my twisted mind. I'd need to have some sort of client/doctor pre-nup in place, though, since the odds are 7:1 that no cure will be discovered and the well-meaning doctor will end up sharing a room with me dressed in matching baby-blue pajamas at the county 'happy farm.'

"You're a dumbass ... no self-respecting shrink is gonna go crazy after evaluating you ... You really have a problem thinking that you're such a freakin' nutjob. Dick."

Uhhh , 'scuse me, me .. did I say that the good doctor went crazy? Noooo ... the good doctor ultimately gets it and is committed to the 'happy farm' because every one else is crazy and I'm sane. When he or she concedes his or her own perceived sanity and becomes enlightentened then he or she will be tossed into the pile of belittled outcasts. It is then that the good doctor and myself will share applesauce cups and make macaroni art that will speak to the unenlightened masses through their subconscious minds. Sheesh ... I'm not a nutjob, douchebag. You and I together, along with the squad sleeping in the closet at this late hour, each hold a piece of the universal 'Jumble' puzzle. When we all get together for a few moments once or twice a day we plainly see that what those in the world consider 'absurd' and 'crazy' are really the shiznit .. we see the anti-crazy .. the reality .. the truth. And, ya know what, my maniacal frontal lobe? Those who read this will disagree and call us crazy again. Many will, at least ... because we are misunderstood and considered to be 'off the deep end.' I happen to like the deep end. Diving into the shallow end'll hurt and paralyze ya ... Yeah, the deep end is good.

"Jefe Pene, you make a point ... but, it's now 2:00AM. Nobody makes points at 2:00AM unless the point involves a bar, a hot, inebriated redhead and your insistence that by utilizing your new "Male Sensory Breathalyzer" device that you have patented and carry in your pants, she will awake manana sans headache and with no recollection of embarrassment."

You see, me... you .. us ... this is why I have a love/hate relationship with you. You point out my faults and, without firing another neuron, allow me to see those faults as positives and jump ahead .. to pounce on life like an Ethiopian on a cracker.

"Ok, I'm the edgy one and even I see that that 'cracker' comment is gonna set someone off ... You and I are very much alike even though we live on opposite sides of the brain .. I don't travel back to your pineal gland too often but you sure as hell frequent my frontal lobe dressed in a fake mustache and leather chaps. I'm thinkin' that I might show up in the daylight hours if you figure out how to set the alarm ... There's hope for you .. no, us, all of us, yet. Dick.

Yeah, ok. I'm open to the idea of a peaceful coexistence. Just don't stand in the way of my ability to watch 'The Young and the Restless" at 12:30 each day. Billy Abbott is my bro-mate. Insane, I know.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Nirvana in a Hideous Color

Here 'tis ... the desk.

Heavy, all wood, original hardware with a matching wooden chair that has a cloth seat embroidered with flowers. The desk is obviously painted ... an odd brownish-greenish hue with intermittent gray streaks that expose the fact that it was painted with a large-bristle Fuller brush. The desktop is shielded from harm by a quarter-inch plate of glass that was most likely blown by hand by an artisan in Old Salem in North Carolina many, many years ago.

Yet, as unsightly as the color might be ... as painful as it is to posture myself upon the cushionless chair ... I would not and will not change a thing. No paint .. no padding ... no new trendy harware for the drawers.

This hunk of wood will forever remain unsightly and uncomfortable ... as long as I'm kickin', at least. This desk is my sanctuary. I sit in the ass-numbing chair and glance to my left and I can see my soulmate slumbering. I move my gaze slightly right and I can peruse the treasured black globe that my mother and her brother used to imagine their own travels. I glance to the right and see the camera that captures my own travels on that globe. I close my eyes and I see my mother ... pencil in hand, becoming the woman I most admire. I squint my eyes more tightly and I see my grandmother, smiling, standing beside me as I express my self here while sitting at the desk that she also used as she ingrained herself into my conscious and soul. A lot to be seen while in this chair ...

The drawers on the desk are largely empy save for the very things that inspire hope in my soul ... a sketch pad .. drawing pencils .. my crystals. The remaining drawers are empty but I can imagine that those who sat here before me, both alive and gone, and waiting for me to fill those drawers with the spoils of my talents.

For too long this piece of furniture sat in a garage as an unsightly, insignificant reminder of what others saw as beautiful and worthy of use. Now, it sits with me as an unsightly reminder of who I am and what I'm capable of becoming. There is much inspiration oozing from the squeaking wooden drawers and hanndles ... voices calling out to remember what is important and to not change a thing ...

My ass hurts though.

Jesse Jackson ... I ain't Black Either.

The following is a fictional, yet most-likely realistic account of a conversation with media whore ... uhh... minority voice ... Jesse jackson. Please feel free to read these words in your best Jesse accent, or, if you prefer, the accent of PeeWee Herman ...

"Uhhhh ... excuuuse me there, Solenoid... uhh... SolarRay ... what is it again? Oh yes, SOUL-a-Dad. You black, ain't ya girl? Ohhh Hells nahhh.. you ain't black! You know how I know you ain't black? 'Cause you got the skin fade like Michael Jackson. Now, Michael, he WAS black. He had a black mama and a black daddy and a shitload of black brothas and sistas. PLUS, his name was 'Jackson'. Now, that's a black name. O'Brien? Girlfriend, you're Irish, or Scottish or somethin'... but there ain't no black person on this planet named 'O'Brien'. Soooo... uhh... as the good book says, "To thine own self be true." I read that when I was marchin' with the good Dr. King. "

"You know Dr. King, dontcha? No? Oh, that's right, you're too young and half white which makes you biased towards the plight of the black race. Your mama probably remembers Dr. King. Look here... I have a picture of him standing on a balcony of a motel .. see him there? That's him back there. Yeah, yeah, that me beside him. I'm imPOtent ... uh huh ... I'm black so I have a right to tell you that you ain't really black ... "

"Yeah, girrrl ... You mama is black but yo daddy is 'the man'. Just having the 'Man's' blood in you means that you can't relate to the plight of the negro. Yeah, I said negro. I'm down wit the vernacular. I'm old-school."

"Listen, quasi-honky ... your daddy probably watched your mama to make the bed, change your diapers and cook dinner. Your mama probably acted like she enjoyed changing your diaper and feedin' your gray ass .. but, lister here, giiirrrl ... she was all the while picturing your diaper as a cotton bush and your daddy was the 'massa' ... "

"This ain't no 21st century or nothin' ... there ain't no equality. And, you ain't black. Matter of fact, you ain't white, neither. You're just a pretty face that is on TV. We have that in common, except that I ain't pretty. Come to think of it, I ain't black, either ... I'm a voice. Yeah, yeah girl... that's right. I'm a voice that screams, "Remember that my great-great-great pappy paved the roads that your posin' white ass rode in to work on."

"I, Jesse, have to call out the black folks who ain't humanly black ... the ones like you who try to live without remembering that we are a minority and we are treated like slaves whether we see it or not. The ones who can't understand that the 'Man' is suckering the black folks into a false sense of security by allowing us to think that we are equal. Oh, hells nah .. we ain't equal and I ain't gonn a let anyone forget that we're at war .. a race war."

"Solenoid, give it up, giirrrrlll. Or, at least change your name to 'Levitra' or 'Urethra'. You can even use the surname 'Jackson'. And damn, girlfriend, kink that hair ... if you gonna be a black girl, be a black girl. Represent, girlfriend."

... So saieth Jesse, as I interpret his idiocy ... judge for yourself .. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/10/soledad-obrien-jesse-jackson-black_n_781524.html

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pick, Sniff, Discard.

I have an 'innie'. My belly button is an 'innie'. God knows, with every passing year it is striving to morph into an 'outie' but at this point, it's still concave. I have never quite understood why some people have protruding lumps at the navel. Yeah, I know there is a medical reason for it and I'm down with that, ya dig?

It's just that the belly button, navel for the purist, is more than a reminder of where the baby mama nourished us while we were sequestered within the womb. I know this due to a revelation .. an epiphany that was thrust upon me as I was showering. Some people sing in the shower .. others dawdle and pick at moles. A few pee and there are those who meticulously manicure the landscape, if ya know what I'm sayin'...

I usually find time for all aforementioned activities but on this particular morning, as my disfingured right hand traversed the forest of belly hair, it fell pointer finger-first into the pit of nourishment, the belly button. Let me say that the ol' finger regularly pokes at the belly hole. Hell, I'm a man. What man doesn't prod the belly button for treasure during a football game or while stalling before washing dishes after dinner?

But, this time, it was different. It was this time, under the puslating showerhead that my digit entered the abyss and found, a sweater. I'd done nothing since my last shower but sleep the night before and trust me, there was no torso covering. I'm a birthday suit sleeper ... but here it was, enough material to fabricate at least one pastie, maybe a tiny thong patch.

I will not regale you with specifics of my find. Just be thankful that the dingleberry crops are dormant for the winter. No, but I will tell you the similarities between belly button lint and life.

"Oh, this oughtta be interesting," you say.

Uh, in a warped sort of way, it might make sense ... bear with me.

When my deformed digit entered my navel and discovered that remnants of something had nested in a place so overlooked at a time when I was unaware, even unconscious, I thought of the many acts and words that came from my mind at a time of distress. I have to be honest .. there was one instance in which I was forceably thrown from a bar by two bouncers onto the sidewalk. After the expulsion, I threw a great right cross that didn't faze the brick column that received the punch but the broken finger, police intervention and anger that follwed my butt-to-concrete experience stick with me to this day.

What doesn't register at all is the reason that I was removed from the establishment. The memory of the expulsion is my belly button lint. How the lint got there is yet a mystery. It's called a 'manic blackout'. I've had many of them. It's as if I was sleepwalking with a bootknife and a deathwish.

I tell you this because belly button lint can also manifest itself in words. I'm in no way going to concede my newfound individuality that I've regained as a result of blessedly altered brain chemistry. I will continue to express myself either through my mouth, my eyes or my ass. I'm adept at expression in any form ..

However, I will bow my head, roll the newfound lint between my thumb and forefinger and admit that there are words both spoken and written that have added to my own pain by alienating two of those that I want to draw closer, my kids. Can I expect them to understand? Nah. Not now ... maybe one day. Maybe one day when they pick their own lint and wonder where it came from. Maybe one day that they understand that everyone has Oompa Loompas that plague the crevices and crannies of the body and mind with imperfections that sooner or later need to be picked clean, sniffed, respected for their mystery and then discarded.

I watched the remnants of something I don't remember spiral into the drain but learned to appreciate the significance of the mystery of those remnants. I will most likely always struggle with my not knowing how those remnants found their way into such a visible, accepted orifice (yeah, it's a hole so it's an orifice), but I can assure you that that 'innie' is clean from now on and that each time that pungent lint is extracted I'm going to consider my words and actions and make amends, if necessary.

I'll save my thoughts on toe-jam, eye boogers and dingleberries for another day. I'm not really up for a religious discussion.

Hey, my children ... if you're reading, I love you both. My belly button is clean and my mind is semi-clear but my heart is always open to you. Shower on ...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Just a Thought ...

I lost it ...

Somewhere, I lost my political incorrectness. Oh. Shit. I have become tame. I do not know to what to attribute this change ... is it due to the antidepressants finally being purged from my body? Did I piss too much? Is it from my being sedentary and enjoying far too much HGTV?

I caught myself fantasizing about Chritine O'Donnell.. I was wearing my gym shorts from middle school and she was writing the Pythagoran Theorem on the chalkboard when suddenly our eyes met .. I pulled my yellow socks to my knees  and she said "The sum of the angles equals .. something".. then we ate pudding pops and had cheese sandwiches. Hey, it's a dream ... But, realistic, eh?

I joke about Christine O'Donnell because, well, what else can you do? But, I'm really worried about becoming politically correct. My left nut is bigger than my right nut. My left lobe is bigger than my right lobe. Crap ... I'm like a leaning tower of Pisa of the mind.

I worry that if I don't conform I'll be more screwed than I already am ... and although I like being screwed, I'm not enthusiastic about being screwed by surprise.

That being said ... Sarah , Christine, Sharon ... my door is open. Political correctness aside, I hope yours are open too.

Who I Am

Hello self ...

Hello you ...

You've been a bit selfish lately, eh?

Yeah ... I suppose I have.

Here you are, a man with nothing that has everything, yet you suspect that you are at the center of all problems that affect the very one who means everything to you. Asshole. You're not all that.

Hey, hey ... is it so bad to want to ensure the happiness of the one that brings me happiness? If she's not happy, then it's a reflection upon me and my ability. What good am I if I can't bring a smile  and comfort to the one I love the most?
I'm failing to provide the very basics ...

Jeff, your life has been the ultimate rollercoaster the last three years. Loops and dips and falls and tunnels .. yet, she has held fast to the handrail and screamed, whooped and puked with your every ride. Now, it's your turn to put your hands up and take the plunge.

You have wanted this from the beginning . .... you surrendered a lifestyle ... a family .. because of your belief that she is your soulmate. And, she is. And now, she is struggling ... she didn't love you any less when you were in jail. She didn't love you any less when you were on the fringe of sanity. She didn't love you any less when you were vicious in a drunken rage. She loved you then, despite your dipshitted-ness.

Grow up, dumbass. A little bit, at least. I know that you don't care if you die, but  she does. And, she needs you. And, you need her. You owe her everything. Ya know ... if ever you become known for anything, it won't be because of who you knew ...

Yeah, I know.  It'll be because of who I am. And who I am is only partly me. The rest is her. Pam.

High Dive

You don't like me. You might know me personally or you may have never met me. But you dislike me for some reason. It doesn't really matter whether it is for my sarcastic wit or my wonderful smile. Maybe, just maybe, my joie de vive appeals to you and you wish you had my ability to sneer at the world and joke about life's absurdities.

There is something about me and what I say that you find abhorrent. Yet, here you are. That's a'ight ... I often times find myself abhorrent. I live with these thoughts and views of life .. you don't.

If life is a rope, I imagine mine as being a flourescent green. And, at the end of that green rope is a Velcro strap that is securely wrapped to one ankle. The other ankle is cold, because I wear flip-flops. But, the one ankle is warm and secure and I know that Velcro is very reliable. So, if I happen to test that green rope, that Velcro will hold fast regardless of the velocity of my fall.

But wait ... I trust my own weight will snap back, no doubt. But, what of the added weight that is thrust upon me by others wishing to test my ability? Ohhhh no. My mind suddendly added a few hundred pounds. Oh shit ... is this real weight or phantom weight? Should I jump? Did I jump?

The rope snaps back. Over and over again, it snaps back. The thrill of the jump stays with me. The exhilaration of death being defied is a momentary victory. But the Velcro strap is securely fastenened to my ankle. The next bridge is in sight and the ground below is a few feet closer.

Hooks and loops. You may not like me but you're hooked. You have your own Velcro ankle strap ...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Can I borrow a Dime?

This is not a post for the masses... or maybe it is, or should be anyway. Before you decide to delve into my ramblings it is adviseable to ponder the the following ... you know, to protect yourself from any sore toes or bruised feelings that might arise as a result of what you read.

*Disclaimer - The above mentioned warning and advisory statement does not imply in any way, shape or form whatsoever that I, the writer, give two shits or a million damns if said toes or feelings are bruised. Any discomfort experienced as a result of perusal beyond this point is a direct result of reader's own innate dissatisfaction with self colliding with reader's conformist views of life, society and its projected expectations.

I must preface the following slant by mentioning that the majority of my revived spirit and renewed mind can be directly attributed to a wonderful condition I continue to survive with ... bi-polar disorder. Not the namby-pamby "oh, I feel a little depressed, where's the ice cream?" or "gee, I'm energetic.. I think I'll vacuum" variety of Bi-P disorder but the really fun 'Where's my boot knife? I'm going to the bar" and "Only two sleeping pills? No, I can't really sleep unless I take nine" and "Hey officer, when did you re-paint the holding cell?" strain of manic-depressive disorder. Bi-Polar 1, with Rapid Cycling is the clinical term. I prefer to use the word "crazy." Most with the condition will cringe when addressed as being crazy but I embrace the word like a daddy duck holding mallard eggs.

*****  So, that being said, if you believe that we are actually in a 'war' in Iraq or Afghanistan, you may want to stop reading now. If you believe that Jesus is the 'only way' to salvation, heaven or God, you probably should stop reading now. If Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Jesse Jackson or any number of religious or political talking heads define a single personal belief that you hold sacred, definitely stop reading now. If your job, career, money, car, or house defines who you are, go now. Quickly.

Oh yeah, and if your life revolves around your children. You will hate me. I don't have a problem with anyone's hatred towards me personally, but Jesus might. So, you may want to consider saving your nice toes for a Sunday afternoon stroller-push through the mall after dropping your ten-spot in the collection plate.

****** Anyone who knows me and many who don't might have the idea that I'm firmly opposed to the concept and practice of organized religion. The truth is that I'm not biased against any one faith in particular. I think that they are all human creations based on a particular individual's own quest for meaning and answers about the unknown. It's too bad that religions have evolved into methods of controlling the populace through percieved God-given laws, directives and rituals. That being said, I want to talk about something that chaps my ass more than skinnydipping on a Louisiana 10W-30-colored beach on a windy sand-blown day....

Money. Dinero. Moolah.

.... and to help illustrate my ass-chappedness I'm going to use a familiar verse from one of the Great Bearded One's handbooks for the gullible, er, faithful, the Bible, the People's New Testament edition, no less. I'm fairly certain that every religion's instruction manual has a similar sentiment but I'll stick to the southern snake-handler's version for simplicity's sake. Why they still call it the "New" testament when it's ancient is still beyond my comprehension, but that's a topic for another day... This verse is from 1 Timothy 6:10 and goes a little somethin' like this ... cue the organ music, please ...

"For the love of money is the root of all evil. Not the money itself, which if used as by a steward of God is a blessing, so much as the love of it. This greedy love is the source of every sin. Men murder, cheat, lie, rob, run saloons, gambling houses, brothels, all for the love of money. For love of money Judas sold his Master."

We all want it, the green stuff. The more the better, no less. I've been on both sides of the denominations ... much like my experience with religion .... I was lost and now I'm found, except in reverse. I was a faithful follower of the money machine which is organized religion until I lost my mind and gained my life. In comparison, I've had a bulging wallet and I've also had a sucking, vacuum of a black hole in my back pocket. Funny things, religion and money. I'm beginning to suspect that it was a single, insecure asshole with a need to compensate for a lack of penis size, height or intelligence that created both religion and money. On the third day the same bastard created politics which was quite a simple task as politics are fueled by both money and religion.

I understand that money is a necessity. Society dictates that in order to stay fed, clothed, warm and alive, each of us must have a bit of the stuff at hand. I myself have a newfound respect for currency. Not having it forces a person to gain a newfound appreciation. I'm fortunate that I have lived a rather cushy lifestyle until recently and wanted for very little, if anything at all ... as far as material possessions and the luxuries money can provide are concerned. However, circumstances have requested I experience a slight polar shift, hell, reversal, in my financial holdings. That means that basically my holdings fit into one hand, like two rolls of quarters. I'm not angry with my own circumstances... I'm experiencing life and that is what matters. What DOES anger me is the constant, overwhelmingly present pursuit for the almighty dollar by seemingly everyone from a kid selling lemonade to Jesus and his command to "Give, Give, Give. We need a Family Life Center at Main Street Baptist Bank and Trust."

This theme cuts deep in life. Nowhere has the evil influence of money been more obvious than in the outward expressions of disappointment and disdain shown to me by my own children. They have it, I don't. That's ok. I would rather be myself and penniless than bankrupt in the aspect of love and emotion.

Ha! Fuck that! I want both and so do you. I want to retain the sense of self I have found due to my mental switch being thumbed to the 'on' position AND reclaim the joy of being able to walk into Nordstrom and buy a pair of $200 jeans that accentuate my bird legs and no-ass. However, it seems that the ability to accumulate an abundance of non-degradeable linen in my wallet decreases despite the preponderance of intellect within my noggin.

Why? Because the love of money is evil. The need for money is human. I'm human but I'm not evil. Certain individuals might take issue with the 'non-evil' aspect of my claim, but hey, it takes one to know one, so there. I stick my tongue out to those and extend a raspberry and .. why not? I fart in their general direction. Pfffttt ...

Think for a moment ... is there a moment of your day that in some way does not involve a thought or mention or consideration of finances? Seriously, think. Put down the breast pump and think. (I'm assuming that my readers are large-breasted, lactating women with a few spare moments between changings and feedings). I can't even go to the 7-11 and fill my low tire on my car without pumping seventy-five cents into a machine that will give me .. air. Air. I pay for air. So do you. How fucked is that? Someone is making money every time you pull away from the pump after checking your pressure with a faulty gauge. I hope that God is getting a cut of that action. Of course, if the Bearded One is not getting his share I have a feeling that the air-pump owner is gonna enter Heaven with broken kneecaps or an unpardoned sin or two.

It's all about the Benjamins. And, it's unfortunate. It wasn't always this way. Ok, ok .. yeah, money and priviledge have always provided the few with the most that will control the masses. Haves and Have-Nots ... yada yada yada .. I get it. But at what point do we become aware that nickels weren't scattered throughout the cosmos in the beginning?

I'd like to travel back in time to meet the hairy neanderthal that forged the first piece of currency. I'd first like to ask his motivation ... surely he, or she, was the first landlord, banker and politician. This is the semi-primate that urged Grogula to pursue payment for his 'flint to stone' spark-making technique. I'm fairly certain that a distant relative is claiming that all rights to fire-making techniques are inherent and copyrighted with restitution payable backdated to Grogula's initial discovery. As a matter of fact, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharption will form an alliance to ensure that anyone who has evey struck a match or flicked a Bic will owe money to someone who, most assuredly, will be traced back to their own ancestry.

Money. I like money. I want money. We all want money. Money provides comfort and joy, just like the Christmas carols promise. Really, money is just as valuable as food, water, air and sex, right? A natural element of human existence, right? Can you buy Chef Boyardee Lunch Buckets without money? Can you fill your tires with air without a nozzle? Can you live without Dasani? How did the ancient cultures such as the Egyptians and Romans, for example, contine to thrive without air, water, food and lunch buckets? They didn't. But, the treasures they fought for, accumulated and died for sustained them so that they could be examples of wealth and prosperity ... hold on ... I've just been told that those empires imploded due to circumstances related to .... nevermind.

Go for the gusto. Mammon waits for no one. Jump in and take what is falling from the sky because that is what Jesus, Mohammed, Xenu, Fred Phelps and Republicans exclaim to be your inheritance. Moolah.

Can I borrow twenty bucks? My ex needs money to buy my son a new pair of sneakers. It's only natural.