Salacious and fake.

The way people like the news, or so I hear. I’m a margins-type-a-guy, an info voyeur who chooses to keep sanity rather than pitfall into neurotic, liberal-massaged narratives calling bananas blue.

Anyway, the title of this post means nothing, which isn’t dissimilar to a lot of the headlines populating far grander media operations than my humble website. I choose not to delve into the life and times of Ms. Daniels, but may well keep the Flying Carpet bit on ice for future reincarnation. Anyway, enough rambling.

Liberals. Conservatives. In fact anyone stuck in the hole of bipartisan thinking. Life is a nuanced trip, far more complex than any of our brains and egos can contemplate. There is a world happening behind the headlines, a real one that while occasionally influenced by politics does not necessarily live for it.

Do I have a point? I may have, years ago, when I still felt reason would automatically instill itself as the sole arbiter of truth. I’m not so sure anymore, and unlike what seems like a good portion of humanity, my first instinct is not to verbally or textually slay Donald Trump.

What? You’re a Trump supporter!? No, I’m not. He’s part of many problems, as well as many solutions, according to whom you speak. He represents part of a political climate driven by far more powerful institutions than himself, a consolidated mass of divisiveness designed to usurp basic communication and in turn create hate-driven existential ghosts whose only semblance of self rises from identity politics.

Yes, the world does seem to have gone mad, mad to the point that commentary about it seems hopeless, terrifying. Instead of helping one another work towards a better world, we’re caught squabbling over soundbites, memes and hollow postulations offered by politics-on-conjunctivitis, the scraps of which are worn as skins by ‘professional’ and armchair pundits alike who inevitably sow more discord than anything, which is exactly what the resident puppet-masters are hoping for.

Ladies and gentlemen, we’re on the the verge of a brave, brave new world, an environment not all that dissimilar to the earliest days of our species. What this means is that unless we act with awareness, honesty, and justice in regards to all the major issues facing the world (economic, social, climate, immigration and more), we are only going to complicate them and make things a whole lot smellier.

 

 

 

I’m not really a nihilist; in fact, I don’t know what a nihilist is supposed to be. I’m sure someone out there figures they’re clued-up enough to tell me, but I might not care to listen.

Magic is a real thing. Then social media happened. Yes, pouring false equivalence over any-and-everything in existence is a quick-fire way to cajole magic into the realms of ‘conspiratorial fallacy’.

Why do people take pictures of their food and upload them for the world to see?
Don’t they realize people have their own food to photograph?

I’ve lived most my life as an optimist. I’ll most definitely die a humorous realist.

No, I don’t care about the TV series you’re currently watching.

Give me stars (yes, those burning gas balls in the sky) over economic reports any day.

Why do you want the latest iPhone? Really, take a moment and reverse-engineer your entire existence while mulling over that question.

The most prevalent religions right now are Delusion, Narcissism and Denial.

You might think I’m too serious. I might think you’re boring. Do you care? I don’t. If you do, go for a run or something.

If she were alive, Ayn Rand might well spend an hour contemplating the notion of Semi-Enthusiasm. It really is a powerful glove to tickle your way through our mucky modernity.

Prevailing modern narrative says that we should trade time to earn money to buy modified resources (stuff). The pattern is this: Produce and Earn, Consume and Spend. As a diagram, it’s simple to see this is circular (perhaps even viciously circular).

We live in a material age, based on a Materialist Economy (also known as a Fear Economy). For both rich and poor, the motivating force to make money is to avoid being without. This motivating force dictates our entire lives, as who would want to be without, be materially left behind, be unable to provide? By simply orienting a financial system based on our innate desire to not be without, so many have become blinded to things like compassion (and perhaps even humanity), focusing instead on ensuring a false sense of security for themselves and their accordant inner circles.

Modern narrative dictates that a character becomes a hero upon facing fear and overcoming it. In economic terms, this is a doozy: Overcome poverty, take care of basic necessities, and propel yourself to god-like status by having increased access to resources and stuff. Blinded by this narrative (taught to us from childhood), we erroneously accord respect and admiration to those who achieve this, and willfully ignore those trampled over to reach the top of the hill.

But it is stuff (and our desire for it) that’s killing us. Poisoning the air, the rivers, oceans, and environment. Killing curiosity, making us sedentary, turning us into couch-laden digital slaves desperately in need of consumer fixes. We’re increasingly ostracized from our own thoughts and minds, they so polluted by our desire to constantly obtain more that many feel they no longer know who or what they are.

Yes, in spite of the undoubted technical progress we’ve made as a species, we’ve done so at the expense of ourselves, instead creating digital surrogates that fail to satiate our endless search for meaning in a world that seems increasingly stripped of it. It goes without saying this isn’t a blanket case, and those that keep the bastion of truth flying should do so with even more vigor. But truth? one might ask. What does that mean? In an irrational world, may I put forth the concept of honor: Staying true to oneself in a progressive, intelligent manner that places humanity at the forefront of all actions and decisions, while at the same time cultivating creativity and sustainability whose intentions are to flood our world with a sense of collective existential belonging?

I wish you a nice day.

I’m a man. Well, at least on the outside. I actually prefer to think of myself as a boy wearing an adult male body, but that doesn’t bear relevance now. The only reason I’m stating my gender is to clarify that men are fully entitled to be a Girl for a Day (On the Inside).

I’m thirty-five years old, and must admit that I’ve never wished to be a girl, for any length of time. Even as a philosophically-minded individual, the thought of switching genders has never held court. Having to undergo anatomical revolution, the thought of parrying off perverts, and dealing with menstrual cycles sure seems like a lot of effort.

But recently I thought ‘Why not?’ While not actually possible to change myself into a girl for a day, I could think a gender-switch into life, right? Well, easier said than done!

I started my ‘metamorphosis’ the night before. Lying down in bed, I said out loud (but not so loud that my wife could hear) I’m going to dream like a girl. Sleep took over, followed by patterns of candy floss and bears, which may or may not resemble female dream-matter. Upon waking the next morning, I went to the bathroom and almost peed like a man. I stopped just in time, rearranged to a sit-down equivalent, and did justice to my absent second X-chromosome.

Next up was my outfit. I’d normally grab whatever’s closest and approximate to being clean, but I made the effort to accentuate the female stereotype by taking an age to dress. I duly went through each closet item (quietly as to not alert my wife) and weighed up imaginary pros-and-cons for each thing I handled. It was exhausting, and I hated every minute of it.

I was running late for work, so I rushed out the house (in a feminine way) and stepped into the elevator. Pressed the button for the 1st floor and thought what am I doing? The elevator stopped, and a man entered and said hello. I offered a testosterone-bereft ‘Hellloo’ that was all about lack-of-gonads. The man smirked, sighed, and rolled his eyes.

Work. I’d normally chill on my own before class, but I needed to host a meeting that morning. I momentarily thought to defer my experiment to another day, but upon cognizing that most females have far worse to deal with on a daily basis, I ramped up my passion for the cause.

The meeting. I spoke in a high-pitched voice, intermittently flicked a non-existent fringe from my brow, and cried after over-sentimentalizing a contentious topic. One good thing is I’ve never been asked to host another. My friend Chris came to me afterwards and asked if things were OK. I told him to give me some space, only to then mention he looked good in his jeans.

Break time was solace; not only for me, but also for my confused students who’d had to deal with my phony shrill voice and mortifying high-heeled walk all morning. I went to the cafeteria for lunch, and watched a male colleague scope out a sumptuous derriere stood at the front of line. I thought it important to let him know that he was objectifying. I went over to his table and lectured him about equality. He shook his head and said he’d report me if I took drugs at work again.

I had some time off in the afternoon, so I researched feminism. It nearly bored me into a coma. Feeling a tad guilty at my complete lack of empathy, I googled ‘fashion’ next. Ninety percent of what I saw revolved around eunuch-looking men parading around in underwear and coat hangers. Yup, it seemed I was failing at this Girl for a Day (On the Inside) stuff quite miserably.

I went home and took over the dinner reins from my wife. Adopting the slow, meticulous manner she takes when preparing food, I delivered her evening spread an hour-and-a-half later, which she was not thrilled about. Between her subsequent bouts of nagging and complaining, I forced myself to cry. She recoiled at my reaction, and asked what’d happened. I told her that I felt women had been pigeon-holed by patriarchy too long, and that we should rise up as a united force and fight back. She shook her head, took a shower, and went to bed.

In the long silence that followed, I wrote a journal entry, commenting on the bevy of imaginary cats that lived with me. I also made comments about an imaginary husband, and how I wish he could take the time to pleasure my mind, as well as my body. I then took a shower, which under Girl for a Day conditions was very strange. My final act for the day was to ask my sleeping wife (who I’d renamed Bartholomew) for a cuddle. She didn’t take kindly to this, and in no uncertain terms told me to go sleep on the sofa.

Hell, being a Girl for a Day (On the Inside) isn’t easy!

Puppies, and Kittens…

Man, adverts. Everywhere you go, it’s impossible to escape their omnipresent gaze. Even in the smallest, darkest spaces, you can’t help getting caught out by a designer handbag billboard, an App-forwarded product hoard, or incur painful self-analysis upon encountering someone who appears to be a walking advert rather than an evolved bipedal.

Puppies, and Kittens…

I’ve often wondered if a class-action lawsuit against the giants of advertising could dismantle the current mediated world we live in. I mean, imagine a world where people were free of the prejudices and mental imprisonment that advertising engineers in young minds, who form their opinions of the world from the media they consume.

Puppies, and Kittens…

Now I’m not saying let’s erase all modern mediation and regress back to the Dark Ages – not at all. What I’m considering is a world where advertising isn’t so constantly in-your-face, to the point that advertisers are allowed to terrorize us with their wares at any given time or place. And while someone might respond, “Ok, drop your tech, move out the city, and make fires by rubbing twigs together,” I don’t think that’s a balanced analysis. Urban environments don’t necessitate advertising, as the lure of city comforts and dollar is already so intrinsically ingrained that they need not be advertised. Countryside environments, for that matter, may well enjoy relative lack of advertising, but could well lament the intrusions our world imposes on their resources in fuelling advertisers’ materialist-driven agendas. I guess my point is: Does there not exist a more psychically-balanced, considerate manner in which to run the world other than veritable brainwashing?

Puppies, and Kittens…

And then comes political correctness. Whoever said we must be political, let alone correct? While it may be true that people are intrinsically political, does that mean politics should necessarily be considered the ontological ombudsman around which society arranges itself? For one, consider the malevolent wave of thought-control doing global runs at present: the ‘un-gendering’ of everything, the curtailing of free thought in favor of a politically correct-driven homogenous mind, the sum of which plays directly into the hands (and coffers) of advertisers and politicians. I mean, if you cannot see the dangerous links between advertising and political correctness – how seamlessly they corral you into Single-Mind thinking – you’ve been nicely swallowed by the boundaries you’ve let them draw for you.

Puppies, and Kittens…

It’s difficult to see beyond any status quo, usually because its disciples have vested interest in whatever regime is incumbent. In respect to the ubiquitous worldwide paradigm that is advertising and politics, corporations and their public relations officers (i.e. politicians) hold the upper hand, creating and selling us ‘truth’ that naturally segues into whatever will most profitably aid their cause. It’s a paradigm-shifting thing to grasp the extent to which this elitist double-teaming has crafted the zeitgeist, and only when a critical mass of folk cognize it’s far-reaching effects will something more humanistic rise in the hearts of humankind.

Puppies… and Kittens.

 

 

“Shooting at bulls-eyes for your kid’s food.”

Why are Podcasts all the rage now? I must admit, anything that gets too much press gets me scuttling away real fast, and the flurry of Podcast-aligned acclaim from friends and foe in recent years has been more a turn-off than anything. I guess it’s because I’m so busy all the time, I more often than not feeling like an axis around which a thousand responsibilities twirl about at any given moment. Yeah, real busy.

I’ve been getting into Joe Rogan’s stuff recently, courtesy of my best friend J’s continual talk of it. And man, it’s been a revelation. The art of Long Form – the idea of sitting down and digesting all that’s being said is a pleasure, at least in opposition to the soundbite/meme/brain fart version of reality offered up by the maelstrom of digital shit-valanches that sell the Social Media form. Really, I’ve had just about enough of the barely-articulate narrative provided by Short-Form interaction, the nadir (or pinnacle) of which is Twitter. I mean, in a world driven on denial-swallowing narcissism, why listen to or take on anything more than 140 characters?

Anyway, Podcasts are like elixirs to the digitized madness. To sit and listen to articulate, knowledgeable people speak about topics that veer clear of psychic toxicity is like music to jaded ears. While my experience with them has seen things like politics, corruption, and the general malaise being discussed, they’re usually wrestled with in an intelligent, non-partisan way, which is how I believe ALL analysis should occur. And to be safe in the knowledge that others exist whose sole purpose is NOT to take selfies or rack up ‘likes’ to fill in for actual self-esteem… what a cool breeze on a hot day!

Podcasts are awesome. In addition to these, there’s a whole lot more truth out there waiting to be discovered, stuff that’d resurrect millions of calcified pineal glands back to life. Heck, we might even as a species one day realize how much potential we actually embody when not wrapped up in social media deathtraps and/or gossipy shit-storms! Should this ever happen, perhaps even hubris can be transformed into happiness.

To call a modern truth, we exist more in flux than in control. It’s a confusing world, after all, the deluge of information dished up to us daily almost schizophrenic in character and detail.

To make sense of the rapidity of our lives, we are forced into ‘surrogates’ as a way to make sense of things. What I mean by ‘surrogates’ are the vessels of existence we choose as vehicles to administer validity and a sense of self. These could be your job, your family, your goals – you get the picture. In spite of how efficacious these may or may not be in affording meaning, they are a diversion from the grand totality of being, something we cannot possibly imagine without either returning to prehistoric ignorance or turning omniscient.

With this in mind, we need a ‘status quo’ – a common set of denominators – from which to qualify our surrogates. This means standards, cultures, rules – again, you get the picture. With these two created-devices in tow (surrogates and status quo), we have the requisite conditions to forge a well-meaning Illusion to live within.

I know some people will take exception to being told they live in an illusion, but that’s simply their (constructed) ego getting in the way. If you’re able to remove that – eliminate the apparent need for surrogates and status quo – you see how inconsequential your life really is, which for some is frankly terrifying. Yes, to peg one’s finite existence on this planet as anything other than godly can be mortifying, hence the reason surrogates and status quo are elevated to be the arbiters of ‘civil society’.

So, this Illusion… what does it mean? It means the carefully constructed economic model which dictates our lives, sold to us as culture, nationalism, identity, etc. It’s so pervasive that we cannot contemplate there being another way of living. You may term it Reality, and with it being so widespread it may be construed that way, but the Illusion part comes in when you’re duped into believing there’s no other way to live.

I’m no conspiracy theorist, and am not here to lament the state of things: I benefit from it as much as any. All I’m doing is terming it. And by terming it Illusion, that’s my cross to bear. Anyway, Illusion is the status quo, and with it being accepted from tip-to-toe, it means that everyone gets the chance to play it (Democracy, anyone?) in spite of it being rigged.

Success is How Well You Dress Illusion? This is a pretty simple concept. Take money, for example. It exists as a structure rather than a real thing, the invested power it contains belonging purely in the minds of its users. There are trillions of pieces of paper with ink printed on them the world over, so why should some be worth more than others? Because we’re taught to accept that if a note issued by a government for widespread economic use has a higher number printed on it, it’s worth more: it’s a simple, efficient way to dress Illusion. Another example is celebrity. I mean, what makes a person famous? How talented they are, how rich they are, how infamous they are, the size of their ass? It’s a classic case of bread-and-circuses, ascribing value and worth to cultural-pivots around which a smorgasbord of products and services can be sold and henceforth consumed. Again, dressing the Illusion.

At the heart of the Illusion are its residents, raised on an approximate diet of surrogates and status quo to keep the good ol’ wheel turning. At its base are The Materialists, the segment of the world population primarily concerned with consumption. To wit, think of an overweight, diabetes-ridden slob covered in sticky girly magazines either living for the delivery of his next assault rifle or wall-sized television. The Energizers are the ones bringing the products and services to The Materialists, an intelligent working-class equivalent who either due to moral-indoctrination or lack of capital find themselves lumped in this role with little chance at true social mobility. And then come The Causalists, a.k.a The Prime Movers. Due to their position at the Illusion’s helm, they can structure its elements at will, wielding their (illusory) control over an (illusory) realm via stockpiling (illusory) terms of wealth. They sit atop of the pyramid laughing, not so much at the illusory nature of being, but rather at those below them who either out of pure ignorance or flat-out denial can neither fathom or believe we live in a deliberately-fashioned Illusion.

The modern world has gone to immense efforts to detail and dress the Illusion, whether you reference the scale of astounding cities, the tapestry of time-and-space bending technologies, as well as consider art and music’s ability to whisk a subject away to realms that feel more real than this one. Yes, we’ve been draped in success – taught that’s all we’ve ever known – to the point that we’ve integrated ourselves entirely with it. And along the way we’d developed out-of-control egos, only to find ourselves in the darkest of hours lamenting what which we cannot pinpoint: the reality that we’re detached from our original natures, and might possibly never come to know them.

Imagine acupuncturing the Earth. Sticking two kilometer-high needles into cardinal points, which goes on to enact the healing of our planet. This was once mentioned to me by an elderly Taiwanese man in a park, it being his dream to realize this while still alive. Well, I’m no acupuncturist, nor do I claim to hold authority in the realms of Chinese Medicine, but simply the idea of being able to physically heal the Earth en masse remains an intriguing one.

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In a dark, vile, sick world, where does solace lie? Does it sew itself in the fabric of transcendental becoming, the depths of hedonistic indulgence, or perhaps in the perfunctories of an average existence that befits the template of Corpocracy and Consumerism?

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