||[25 Nov 2017|01:03am]
call to heel
my six year old boy
pulled a fire alarm and
sobbed “i pulled it,
i pulled it, they don’t
have to come”
i held his shoulders as
the fire truck pulled up
and they asked if i was
“my” six year old boy
“my parents” are what i call
the next day someone at the school said
that i didn’t take the situation seriously enough.
i decided to call the fire department
and have someone come in and speak to the kids about the danger
since apparently my words were not enough.
i called them while standing on the balls of my feet.
the truth is, i know why they think i am too lenient.
i don’t believe in discipline.
i talked to his parents. i talked to him. i made all the consequences clear
and never once seemed angry, outraged or even frustrated.
they see me as an unmoving, irrational force-
bent only on having fun and never reprimanding
the little ones.
but the truth is that
they made me stand on the balls of my feet.
|why i shudder
||[09 Aug 2016|10:48pm]
if you dropped a glass sphere in a circle of water
bubbles came back.
the same is true for an irregular rock.
an improper, twisted, misshapen, illegitimate, unethical stone
still gives back bubbles.
appealing is an understatement to sinking beneath the surface while
under this unrelenting sun, that won't surrender to the night.
does it drown?
is this asymmetrical?
it is beautiful.
||[04 Aug 2016|10:12pm]
i stalk the wild whispers
i wait beneath the brush
not to pounce or slink
there was a time
when my teeth were less sharp
hollowed, chattering and hidden
what is a wolf without a pack?
was i driven out?
wandering around the pond,
listlessly kicking stones
until the hunger sets in
speak to me, ripples in the pond
moonlit reflected sky
arrange my place among the stars
before the bones give way
||[22 Feb 2016|07:16pm]
known in advance
when do the fingers find the keys?
electric impulses are a torrent
the answer in memory,
the mind is
forgive me, for I knew it would come to this
from the moment we met.
wait, when was this again?
whisk away my imagination, darling
daring again to fall
upon the keys
hit. hit. hit.
your hands push apart branches.
did you find the path?
was it full? Fulfilling?
i leave you now, but
we can sit together at the end.
i forgive you.
||[07 Feb 2016|12:07am]
in across words
an elbow might L bow
rhythm can't be spelled
kept between bent arm flow
tricky tacky tasks
feeling slow, though
hook and promenade
catch the cough, yo
already for warmth
icky snow, it's a faint
glow, touch your toe
no, take a letter
or a number, in a
row – bingo?
|Not by a long shot?
||[11 Aug 2013|06:28pm]
The fight for Women's Rights is not over.
I just came back from the movie Elysium. It was terrible. However, none of that made me as angry as the comment I heard after the movie from one of the people I saw it with. They said “movies have to have women in them now, because of our culture”. I had a little difficulty understanding what they were getting at. So I asked “You mean you feel movies have to have female characters now even if it comes as a sacrifice to part of the story to appeal to our culture?”. They replied “Yes”.
This was a bit of a continuation on the argument from the previous week about women's roles in general. I was taught growing up to use the word ACTOR regardless of the gender difference. I don't remember when this came about. I thought it was in an English class but I could be mistaken. The question that came up is it worse to have the job title be genderless or is it better because it emphasizes the strength of gender in that role.
We got into sports a bit as well. I heard things like “men are simply stronger” and “they are more entertaining to watch” they are simply built physically better for the sports and it is no fault of theirs”. In particular the sports picked to make this argument about were basketball, football and baseball.
I'm irritated and frustrated.
To me, Elysium is not an example of including females in roles to appeal to our culture. It had two female characters – one was an evil, manipulative self-serving power hungry terrorist willing to sacrifice and use other people to protect her lifestyle. The second was a mother who could do virtually nothing to protect and save her daughter other than asking a man to help. No feminist in their right mind would fight for these female roles in a movie.
Men are not more entertaining to watch just because more people watch them playing sports. Still, I feel like I'm not going to make good ground based on these arguments.
I said long ago that I think racism will disappear long before sexism because there are inherent differences between sexes and there aren't necessarily between different cultures. How do you fight sexism? How do you work towards equality and respect for both genders?
|Freedom, Empathy, Violence and Stupidity
||[06 Jul 2013|02:28am]
I was playing Magic the other day and thinking about freedom. White is the color of order. Blue is the color of control. Both are good at taking away freedom. My first instinct was that red and green were the colors that best represented freedom in M:TG. However, I think that is incorrect. Green doesn't really celebrate freedom. Green celebrates instinct and the natural world. This isn't what we mean when we say freedom.
Freedom – The ability or power to determine action without constraint
Green is about determining action within constraints. Red is about chaos, which I think is a form of freedom from any order. It's almost a different definition of freedom. The true color that celebrates freedom as we know it though, is Black. It's the maniacal mage digging up corpses and animating them no matter what the law or society says. Black is about individual freedom more than any other color.
I figured it was appropriate for the fourth of July. After all, what do you cherish and love about America?
Ender Wiggen, the hero of Ender's Game has two traits that distinguish him. One is his tactical genius on the battlefield. However, this particular genius stems from his more important trait – empathy. Card makes this clear in the novel with the introduction of Bean. There is someone smarter, faster and more tactical-minded than Ender. But what makes Ender special? It is his ability to understand his allies and how to utilize them. It's his ability to understand his enemies and how to defeat them. A few spoilers here – Ender was communicating with the Buggers. His empathy for his enemy was only possible because of this. That being said, I was asked why anyone would love Ender. So people love Ender because of his ability to understand and empathize with them? Do they love him because he leads them to a victory through their own strengths? Card doesn't do a good job of demonstrating the level of empathy Ender is supposed to have. He simply tells us that he has it. However, I think it is a sound concept and intriguing for two reasons.
It is unusual for a child to have a lot of empathy. They simply aren't at that stage usually. There are stages of development and empathy develops as we get older. Early in life it is all about “me, me, me”. Yes, Ender was advanced intellectually. That doesn't have anything to do with empathetic development necessarily. It is also what might lead people to believe that Ender acted older than he was.
The second has to do with love. Love is something humanity in general hasn't fully explained yet. I could go out on a limb and say it is related to empathy – However, I'm not sure it actually is. I don't have a clue why some people are much more widely loved than others. I haven't worked out that formula yet.
Violence is a tool employed to solve problems. It doesn't matter if we are talking about a schoolyard bully or Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The scale ranges – the heart of the matter does not. Outside of random, insane, psychotic tendencies the reason that violence is committed is to solve a problem. In general problem solvers in our history are not considered stupid. Still, in recent conversation most people I've talked to have said something akin to this:
“Violence is more often committed by stupid people.”
I'm paraphrasing a conversation I had on a boat today over Canandaigua lake and a few online debates. As a peace advocate I'd love for that to be a true statement. Not only should people aspire to be intelligent and come up with better solutions than violence, I truly believe violence SHOULD be considered a stupid solution.
However, I know from many experiences that what should be isn't always the case. Stupid is a judgment call. It would be nice to see some evidence that stupidity and violence are correlated.
It is simply too difficult for me to understand scientifically. Violence is everywhere. You can look at it culturally, historically and on many different scales. In America it is widely understood that more violence occurs in the more poor, less educated parts of our country. Does that make violence and stupidity related?
I'm not convinced.
|Pacifism, the no-tolerance approach on weapons and early childhood
||[04 Jun 2013|08:21pm]
The current approach is a no-tolerance view towards weapon play. This is the policy I adopted at the Y and which continued through my years of employment in early childhood. It seemed like a totally logical way to approach early childhood education. Except apparently to many people it isn't. It's argued that when you try to ignore it, it persists. Some say when you oppress violent play it comes out in sneaky ways. It's been argued to me that it helps children relate to our history, to their parents and that by telling them they aren't allowed to play with guns we are saying what their parents did in the military was wrong and they should be ashamed. I've even faced the straw man argument “you're just afraid of guns, that is why you don't want them in your classroom”. However, all of these arguments in my mind don't validate or support allowing children to bring gun play into educational or play environments. I think keeping a peaceful, no gun environment is important because it allows all the children to feel safe, it leads to understanding living a life where no guns are necessary ever, and that peaceful doesn't mean just having people walk all over you... you can stand up for yourself, and fight for yourself without violence or violent machines.
“You're just afraid of guns”. This argument is ridiculous. My fear or lack of fear has no place in a logical debate. I'm more afraid of birds than guns. Their staring black eyes seem to chip away at my soul. The most a gun can do is take my life. Most people don't feel the same way I do, though, so I'll try to approach this a little bit more realistically. My goal is to model and teach problem solving in ways that do not require weapons. In fact, I think fear as a motivator is almost always a misdiagnosis. That's an entirely different article, though. In my experience people are motivated far more by desires than by fears.
“You make them feel ashamed of their parents”. This is a tricky one. I feel like early childhood is a growing field and still not very thoroughly established. A lot of centers take a “no acknowledgment” approach towards religion and holidays because it is just easier to avoid the issue. By banning violent play I do see a direct conflict created there with families the might support and take pride in the violent defense our families commit to protect our country. My grandmother was in the waves. Both my Grandfather's served (I believe, I'm actually pretty uneducated about my own family). I think it isn't a totally realistic argument because I've actually never heard a kid say “but my parents say fighting is good” in response to my “no guns” rule. I also never tell them violence is bad (although I do believe it IS bad). Instead saying“I don't like guns” gets my point across well. Using “I” language can actually circumvent quite a bit of restriction in American society. Do you remember when you were growing up being told “that's just the rule, sorry”? I feel like I present this constantly. I leave it up to them to figure out why a rule is in place a lot of the time. I don't think anyone should feel ashamed of their parents being soldiers. There is a lot to being a soldier that I would stress before violence and it is those traits of discipline, loyalty, reliability and strength that I would impress upon them to take pride in, not whether or not their daddy shot someone in the head with a sniper rifle.
“You can't stop violent play, why even try?” This is an anarchistic argument. It's also very absolutist to just say “when you oppress it they start sneaking it in”. First off – No. When I oppress a behavior, any behavior there are multiple ways children adapt:
M: Timmy, no putting the fork in the wall socket.
-Timmy never tries to put a fork in a wall socket. What? This happens? Yes, believe it or not... sometimes kids just listen to you. It's easy to forget because more often they don't.
M: Timmy, no putting the fork in the wall socket.
M: Because electricity comes out of the wall socket, and the fork would basically bring a lightning bolt into your body. Which is bad for your body and could seriously hurt you.
This occasionally works as well.
M:Timmy, don't put the fork in the wall socket.
T: Okay. Hey, Sarah... come over here.
M: Oh God, what have you done to Sarah?!?!
Aaaaand this is why we don't do what Timmy tells us to.
M: Timmy, no putting the fork in the wall socket.
T: OKAY! I HEARD YOU THE FIRST 10 TIMES!
M: (turns around)
I mean, we have child safe wall sockets at my center. There are a couple of points to these examples though. First – sometimes oppressing something DOES work. Kids like to learn. If they learn leaning back in their chairs and standing on tables is unsafe a lot of them won't do it. Some still do, but a lot don't. Second – oppressing something and forcing sneakiness is not really something you should be afraid of. Sarah might not agree, she's feeling a little frazzled over all of this. It's a natural response to be creative and try to circumvent rules. It becomes a game. It means I end up picking and choosing battles because otherwise it would be too exhausting to fight for forty hours a week. But if I never fight? Well, then I'm just not doing my job. Examples 2 and 3 give me more excitement than the first few anyway. Because once I've used up my repertoire I have to adapt and challenge them. Teachers should not worry about encouraging sneaky behavior. They should worry about how they react to it. It just means your lesson hasn't gotten through yet.
Limits don't impose on creativity. They inspire creativity. If I tell you to cross a gym what do you do? Walk across. If I tell you you can't walk, crawl, slide, run or hop how do you cross then?
I dream of a world where we don't solve our problems at gun point. I see no reason to allow gun play at schools. I think that by eliminating guns as a resource that peaceful and negotiation play are promoted. I think that by eliminating guns as weapons I am making some children feel safer. I think that by eliminating gun play I am encouraging other interests and focus. Believe me, this world is vast. We don't need guns. We have enough other things to learn about.
You can argue I'm cutting out an important part of the world but my point is that we already DO that. We cut religion from our curriculum almost entirely. Believe it or not, I cannot cover the entire world and everything about this world in 10 months.
However, this is a relevant and controversial issue. What are your thoughts?
Some controversial viewpoints that I, of course, totally disagree with:
||[06 Dec 2012|10:36pm]
She said "You sound pretty angry about it, and rightfully so".
||[12 Nov 2012|06:17pm]
We live in a violent world. There is physical and emotionally abusive behavior everywhere. You don't need to look far to find it. It is a primal and natural way of living for many creatures. As a peace advocate it often feels like I'm fighting against something that is not only reasonable but also the status quo. That isn't unusual for me but it does make for interesting arguments.
There are so many different ways I can take this argument. I make very little progress on the front of teaching only through positive role-modeling. People have a tendency to think that it isn't enough.
Lets take a scenario: A young child likes to run into traffic. How do you correct this behavior?
I've yet to meet a child that doesn't respond to positive role-modeling. I've also yet to meet a child that doesn't push and test limits. Lets say I want to avoid physical discipline as a corrective behavior. Sure, spanking might fix the problem but it might not. That and I feel like fixing a problem with physical discipline just teaches that you can use physical discipline to solve problems (which I consider negative reinforcement). One scenario would be to bring the child down to a crash test dummy place. Let them see the result of cars hitting “people”. With enough videos or demonstrations of people getting killed by cars I'm sure you could stop a child from running into traffic. This doesn't really sit well with me either. Think about how emotionally damaging it can be to manipulate and change people that way.
I could take this entire argument in the direction of morality as well. Morality is a fascinating concept and hard to wrap your mind around. It isn't always logical and is usually socially constructed somewhat at random through strange practices and traditions.
Instead I'll just pose the questions to you. As a teacher and a peace advocate I feel it is important to give guidance and give options. However, a parent does much more when it comes to raising children. Sometimes guidance isn't enough. It's about control and safety. So how would you protect your children? Do you think emotional or physical discipline (which to me, IS negative) is necessary? Why?
|Your face is arbitrary.
||[07 Aug 2012|10:06pm]
I don't think any individual should make more than 2x as much as anyone else.
1) Wage regulation
3) Progress and Big Business
4) Debt Slavery
5) Benefits of Equality
This is a complicated issue. I'm not talking about changing America. That is too much work. I'm talking about ideals. Ideals are often unrealistic and not implementable. So this argument ends up being pretty silly, nonsensical and of little worth in the long run. However, that doesn't mean it isn't important. =)
We already limit how little we can pay people. Why? It's basically to protect labor forces. Now, it may not do that very well. In fact... it doesn't according to a lot of specialists in economics. But it is silly to make the argument “we can't regulate wages”. We do. I'm talking about a top end wage regulation. There are many problems inherent in this. In order for it to work in theory you also have to have a maximum amount of money one can own. I don't feel like getting into all the economics of this but if you really want to take it that way I will. Most people object to four things in wage regulation: Incentives, worth, progress and freedom.
A) Where is the incentive to work harder, advance and do something greater if you won't be rewarded more (incentives).
B) Some jobs are worth more than others and should be compensated as such. If I have to spend years learning about a field and someone else only has to train two months in theirs how is it fair that I get the same amount of reward? Why would I even bother investing that time to get paid the same?
C) Progress is made in two ways: Individual (often idea progress) and Group Implementation (factories, conglomerates with more resources being able to devote more time and energy (and deal with complexity) in a way individuals could not. (progress)
D) Taking away the amount of money people can earn is taking away their freedom to earn. Well, yes. That is 100% true. I feel freedom, as an American ideal, is sorely misjudged though. There is no such thing as true freedom. Every freedom comes at a cost. By taking away to earn as much money as you want I am giving the freedom of “economic equality”. This is a complicated issue as well.
Incentives are a difficult thing to understand. Stewart, you've shown me this video twice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc
There are many possible incentives in the world besides monetary. In an ideal world I would see the destruction of profit incentives. I think they lead to inequality. (Many things lead to inequality, but that of course is a separate issue). Well, what could we use without profit incentives? There are tons of ways to approach this problem. Mastery and competitive recognition being my favorite. This leads to obvious inequality as well. However, it isn't like inequality of wealth. It's something that sits better with me.
On worth. I don't think the job of a doctor IS more valuable than a subway worker. That sounds pretty shocking and I'm sure most of the world disagrees with me. One person is saving lives, one person is passing you a ticket. How can you say that their job isn't worth more. There are a few reasons. A job ends up being a job for many people in our society. You see them next to you at work or while you're waiting at the checkout line in the grocery store. I don't think society or groups of people should be able to value and equate worth with jobs financially. It is okay for a person to decide for themselves what job they think is worthwhile and to work towards that field.
I mean... really I'm against money. This entire essay is kind of pointless when I'd rather live on the enterprise anyway. =p
I think that a lot of people really have trouble with this “worth” hurdle. I'll give you an example, because I myself have not always been as free of it. In high school during the summers I had a job cleaning the computers in the school district for when the kids return in the fall. I felt that this job was mind numbingly boring. It was done in buildings that did not have air conditioning. I had to move the computers out into the hall and blow dust out of them and wipe down the keyboards with bleach. Some of they keyboards were so bad it was really beyond my cleaning capability with the tools provided to me. I felt that my job had little worth to me personally, and probably was not recognized on a grand scale as being something worthy of anyone’s time.
Now I... help teach things that will be used continuously to children for the rest of their lives. Reading, simple math skills and well, I can't even really describe the number of areas my job covers. I tell other people I primarily teach skepticism. In reality, I probably teach “being human”. I think and feel that my job is worthwhile. So do others.
Now I'm going to tell you, both these jobs have the same worth. Perhaps, a true atheist would understand this viewpoint better than someone ready to judge the world on a scale of worth. I know many depressed Eyeores who go on like Nietzsche bemoaning the world and its lack of purpose. That is one way to look at it. I like to call it “grand scale viewing”. (This doesn't mean I respect it). It's basically the view that we're all less than ants in the scheme of the universe. So it doesn't matter if you are a trash compactor or a toaster. Well, this of course is generally flawed. We have to live with a bit of ethnocentrism. I actually don't like that word seeing as I am anti... ethnic. I don't know a good word for individual-centrism or human-centrism at the moment.
Instead I tell you this. If you look you WILL find worth. If you find love, devotion and joy in what you do you will not only find inherent worth in it but also CREATE worth in it. If I had loved cleaning keyboards not only would I have been better at it. I would have discovered I was helping save children from illnesses. I was maintaining equipment which led to more money in education in the long run. I was helping to raise the standard of living... even in such a menial job.
If I want to I can destroy the worth of my job as well. I can say “the kids will learn all this stuff eventually from somewhere anyway”. Worth is so entirely subjective.
I wish I could convince people that they create their own worth in themselves and that they should always seek to find the worth of other people and their actions from a perspective that isn't there own. I know it isn't easy. Believe me, most people feel alien a lot of the time.
I got so caught up on worth that I'm tired and don't really feel like continuing to progress, debt slavery and the benefits of equality and freedom at the moment.
But I'll stand by “I don't think people should get paid more than 2x as much as anyone else” because that happens to be my economic mentality. I'm a socialist, or something.
You want to fight, lets fight. Just don't say it's arbitrary. As far as I know... most of the world is pretty damn arbitrary. Pick a real issue. Tell me where you stand and why. Convince me I am wrong. I'd hate to be a concrete thinker. =)
|Same old stuff on racism.
||[25 Jul 2012|07:54pm]
The other day I was out talking with some people I hadn't ever met before.
I mentioned that my hair used to be black, and they said “Wait, you used to be black”?
I said, “No, I was never black. My hair used to be black”.
They said “that sounded pretty racist”.
I said “What”?
She said “the way you said 'No, I was never black'”.
I replied “Hmmm. Did it?”
Now, the interesting thing is I left it there. I didn't bother trying to say I wasn't racist nor did I, through my tone (at least in my opinion) imply that I was racist. So why did I leave it like that? I think in my mind, I was making the point that people make assumptions. I wasn't going to give her any information because I was annoyed with her coming to conclusions with less information. Which, in retrospect, is a pretty petty thing to do and not very conducive to people understanding one another. I was a little surprised, though. I wanted to really think about if the way I had said it WAS racist. And the interesting thing is, I concluded that it was.
I've always been against racism and hate. I don't hate anyone based on the color of their skin. So if that is your definition, then I am not racist. However, there are some things that I do hate. I hate cultural discrimination. I hate religious discrimination. It would be BETTER to just love and have no hatred. Hatred is a feeling, as humans we know it to be unreasonable. It would be better to never have hatred, but I guess I'll return to that later because eliminating it from yourself is an arduous task and I'm not sure how to approach it. It's an emotion. Life is about how you deal with having those... not how you control them. (a lesson many medicated people need to realize, though not all).
Instead I'd like to focus on a few scenarios.
Once, a Jewish person (should I just write Jew?) told me that being Jewish meant you were one of the “chosen people of God”. This implies, not being Jewish means you are NOT one of the chosen people of God. This isn't really an assumption. It's a statement. Jewish = Chosen by God. Not Jewish = Not Chosen by God.
I HATE that any culture, religion or person can discriminate between individuals that way. So do I hate every Jewish person in existence? No. Do I hate people that believe they are chosen by God and that others aren't? Well, I certainly hate that belief in them.
Is that racist? I came to the conclusion that it is. I hate a fundamental property of Judaism. So I am... racist against Judaism.
This translates fairly well into many different things.
I hate gay pride. There is no reason, in my mind, to be proud of your sexual orientation. You might as well be proud of your bushy eyebrows or your ability to give high fives (both of those, equally awful in my mind). Pride in general, is something that I particularly despise. It is not to be confused with confidence. It is not to be confused with feeling that you have accomplished something.
Pride: a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, superiority whether as cherished in the mind or displayed in bearing and conduct.
Pride: Thinking you are better than someone else or something else.
So am I racist against gays? Well, I'm racist against gay pride! I'm racist against Jewish superiority complexes. I'm racist against your culture, if your culture thinks that it is better than another culture.
I hate the word racist.
Racist: a person who believes in racism, the doctrine that a certain human race is superior to any or all others.
I'm missing a word in that definition. There is no... hatred in that definition. What?!?
Well, okay. I don't believe that any certain human is superior to any other. So... I guess i'm as far from racist as you can get? Except, that in my experience “racist” doesn't usually mean that.
Instead, it means something like this -
Racist: Hating others because they are different.
Well, I hate the viewpoint that other people think they are better than others because of their culture, religion, background or ethnicity. I hate others for hating others because they are different. I hate others because... well... in that respect they are different from me? Damn spirals. Who can keep their head straight.
So, I guess by that definition I AM racist. This is just too confusing. I doubt this conversation would have gone well over a table with someone I'd barely met. It's easier to just let people come to their own conclusions, listen and not share.
Forget racism, forget judgment. The best way out of this entire situation is just to have LESS HATE. I can express that easily. In fact, I think I could probably live that way. I don't think I experience hate on a daily basis. (At least not since I moved away from home... ha ha...).
But, it would be a lot EASIER for me to stop myself from hating you if, say... you don't hate other people or think yourself better than someone else.
Doesn't matter. I've always thought the statement “treat other people the way you want to be treated” was stupid. It's better to “treat people better than you want them to treat you”.
Then, someone can accuse me of pretending to be superior even when I know... we're all fucking equal.
||[21 Jul 2012|01:47pm]
i have a puppet
my hand up inside her,
is that too explicit?
too raunchy or naughty?
whores and sluts are a lie
they are myths just like banshees
categorical ties to situations
he said he'd shoot up a school
but why aim at the future
the past is the part
that needs to be buried.
i have a puppet
and boy, is she pretty
everyone stares and smiles
at her antics and wiles.
she steals the show
and she looks down on me
but she needs my hand
where no one can see.
he said I had madness
that I was too dirty,
and every reflection does
come out somewhat muddy.
i have a puppet
with pretty lightning wings
insanity pulls on her, like
common day things
muscles have my hands,
the touch of my mind
is inspired by liars.
never put on a show
never speak, just stay quiet.
still his fingers hurt
and she cries strung up and dying.
i have a puppet
a grave and a gun
what do you have?
a mirror and tongue.
||[31 May 2012|12:15am]
I'm not sure which is more frightening: forcing myself to talk to strangers when I'm out in the world or forcing myself to try to write at brief descriptions of people on online dating sites.
||[27 May 2012|11:53pm]
Do not feel sorry for yourself! Just do something for yourself!
That's my motto tonight. I guess I have three friends. The good news is, they're all female?
|Just another day with the same old thoughts
||[27 May 2012|01:15pm]
I'm feeling good today. Which is probably a good thing consider it's my 30th birthday. I woke up this morning and thought "well, I made it". It might not seem like much of an accomplishment to some. I think that from here on out it's just extra toppings. I've completed the sundae. Hurrah.
Last night I was listening to this one girl who said she felt bad because this guy had cheated on his boyfriend with her.
I've... how do they put it? Walked around the block a few times. However, I don't think this makes me cynical. I've been trying to figure out the right word for how I feel when confronted with scenarios like this.
Here are some reactions I often agree with:
1) Life is short, people should try to enjoy what they can
2) You shouldn't hurt other people... or help people hurt other people
3) We put too much importance on physical acts and what they mean to us, and they mean different things to everyone. So... I need more information before I can really form an opinion.
4) You shouldn't lie to people, but finding even a simple truth between two people is harder than most of us realize.
5) I see no point in apathy (peoples feelings are involved). I see no point in grief (It's done, and grieving in most scenarios is similar to dwelling (people who repressed 9/11 for example coped with it better than those that went through grief seminars). I see no point in justice, retribution or vengeance (two wrongs don't make a right and it doesn't help either person to continue conflict).
So I take all of those reactions and say... nothing. I didn't have enough information to judge the situation on. Even if I did, I'd be hard pressed to make a judgment. Even if I knew both people. I've been hurt before in situations like this. I've hurt people in situations like this. Either way, all the scenarios feel unique to all the people involved.
Life is complicated. I drum that in whenever I can to whomever I can. It's like Robin Hood. Do you blame the thief? The kingdom? I'm not even sure if we should be "held accountable" for our actions. I think we should be educated about our actions.
Despite all the problems and suffering I've seen I don't think the right answer lies in the negative. Humanity gets so swept up in the negative. People seem to think there will be no movement without concepts like justice, fairness, grief and suffering. I've even heard artists need some suffering in their lives simply to "help their work". Whatever it is that means.
My cynical friends are disgusted with positive people. Why? I don't think it is as simple as jealousy or envy. We, as humans, want to be justified in our positions. We want to feel justified that we act and think a certain way.
Well, if you are cynical and negative I think it's unjustified. Life is a gift. Granted, I live pretty high on the scheme of human life. I complain and put my head in my hands as much as the people around me too. But... It's unjustified. There should be no tragedy that causes war. There should be no grief that demands justice. So I'm an idealist.
At least I agree with myself today. =)
||[20 May 2012|09:18pm]
i watch the man pass
with his shopping cart trash.
i search for his colors
with a cool, longing song.
a brown, black or green
an alcohol scream.
i watch as the kid picks up
the glass they call sand.
down the hands, sharp and cold
i have them hand it over
with a warm, laughing look
while they whine and complain
i take it, all the same.
please give me a reason
please sing me a song
please never plead with me
please tell me i'm wrong
in the end i am lonely
as the man passes by
as the child runs off
with the glass grasped in my hands.
the people around me
i never quite see
i never quite know
sifting through fingers
|I love riding my bike.
||[17 Mar 2012|01:03am]
I’m not sure what scares me more- the thought of absolutes or understanding everything through relativism and perspective.
It’s late. I’m having trouble sleeping. My thoughts are plaguing me. So I’m borrowing my brother’s laptop and hopefully writing some of these things out. After all, isn’t writing supposed to be a cleansing thing.
Today I had a debate with my coworker about women and their role in society. They had the guts to say that women were worse off than slaves in American history and the thought out argument to point out Obama made president before a women did. I could go so many directions with this but what it really made me ask was “what is power?”.
I rode my bike to Starbucks after work and bought a grande frappucinno that had more calories than I spent biking there and biking back. Despite all that, my muscles burned in my thighs and my bike seat made me wish I wasn’t male. I sat outside in the warm breeze watching my bike, reading my nook and luxuriating in my delicious coffee-ish desert. There was a woman online shopping with her laptop. And I thought “I wonder who spends more money in America: women or men? It must be men, right? After all… males still make more.
Of course the question is far more complicated. Why do these people spend more or less money? What economic background do they come from? What are the cultural trends? I could go on forever. But… I don’t think of money as power. I don’t think of physical strength as power. I don’t think of title and security as power.
Power: ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something.
I think of CHOICE as power. I argue that it is always better to have choice than to not have choice. But that absolute, is vastly flawed. And even as I write it I try to believe it. :)
I think that having more money gives you more choices, as a general rule. But it wouldn’t take a smart researcher long to point out how more choices can often make people miserable. I don’t know how much of that is propaganda and how much is truth, but seeing as I don’t really believe in that absolute the point is kind of moot anyway. I should really stop beating around the bush.
It’s all a matter of perspective and relativism. Would you rather be a slave that knows they are a slave or one that is ignorant of it? How many people were HAPPY being slaves compared to how many were truly unhappy? Would you rather be a comfortable slave with a secure life or a poor, homeless person with no hope run down by drugs? And if these questions bother you… they should. Because they bother me.
I would rather have my job that I have now then be paid three times as much (or even much, much more honestly) than be stuck in a cubicle. Where I didn’t have the opportunities I have. And I’ll be honest, my job gives me a LOT of opportunities. They aren’t conventional, and they aren’t always noticeable to other people… but they are there. I have a lot of choice. I have a lot of power. I smile, I laugh and at the end of the day I thank whatever Gods I don’t believe in that I have my job.
Until I get on my bike. And then I think… what do I really want? I want to be loved. I could get a dog, but there is something sick in that relationship, some beast whose entire life revolves around its “master”. The cuddly canine who just adores and loves its owner because of the food, shelter and security they provide. Love. Emotionally abusive, controlling behavior. And trust me… emotional and intellectual abuse and control is FAR worse than physical. It takes away CHOICE. It takes away power.
But is what I do really different? I am well loved, I know at my job… but why? Sure, you might get an answer from a few children. “He’s funny, he listens to me, he plays with me, blah blah blah”. Am I doing my job? Or am I emotionally manipulating people into caring about me… and does it even matter if I actually care about them or not? I do (I think)… but SO WHAT? It makes no difference. We’re all controlled in different ways, by different things, and hold our different values.
So I teach the kids with my MOST valuable mantra. Question everything. Because I think that knowledge is power. I think that knowledge gives choice. But how ironic then, that I don’t really believe in much of anything. How ironic that questioning things can keep you up at night and plague your consciousness.
I don’t believe in equality. It’s a myth we perpetrate to try to keep control. But… everything is perspective. The lines between black and white merge into gray until everything is muddled.
I watch the sunset as I bike home and think “isn’t it beautiful”. And then I think “it can tear the vision from your soul. Or remind you that when it sets that you become encompassed in a world of dark." That you depend on something to live that is wholly, and totally out of your control.
This is madness. This is my madness. This is life.