Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fear and Loathing in Overland Park pt 17-24

This blog fills the hole left in your soul, but it also corresponds to all blogs written by yours truly for the month of May in the year of 2008. Please enjoy.

Part 17

On tonight's episode: This Island Earth.

"The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. From it we have learned most of what we know. Recently, we have waded a little out to sea, enough to dampen our toes, or, at most, wet our ankles. The water seems inviting. The ocean calls."
-Dr. Carl Sagan

This Island Earth. A planet full of wonders and possibilities. A planet slowly dying of greed, war, pestilence, and natural disasters.

EQ in China

Wading my way into the Company today, a thought was boiling down in my brain, the thought of revolution, rebellion, the struggle, is always there inside of me. And today was completely the same.

The world is coming to an end.

If you believe everything you read in the news, everything you see on television, this Island Earth is up for cancellation. We're on the bubble.

Tornadoes ravage the heartland. Earthquakes destroy Myanmar and China and the floods rain down from the heavens.

And all we care about are raising gas prices and whether someone is off Desperate Housewives or not. Whether David Cook will win American Idol or when our rebate checks will come in the mail.

We can't be bothered by the thought of the damnation and the struggle of thousands of people stuck under rubble needing medical attention immediately. We are too busy pissing and moaning about 4.00 a gallon and David Cook Day.

The Company doors open and a sea of faces greet the same people everyday in the same fashion and everyday feels like a never-ending nightmare. I'm Bill Murray in Groundhog Day and every day is exactly the same.

Somewhere, Trent Reznor is writing a song about this.

"It is to be remarked that a good many people are born curiously unfitted for the fate waiting them on this earth."
-Joseph Conrad

If I believed in fate, destiny, and all that nonsense, my banana yellow behemoth would have toppled over the side of the bridge traveling over I-35 and my tank would have been mashed to pieces by the oncoming traffic going NB or SB a long time ago.

Fate would have struck me a cruel blow a long time ago.

But I choose not to believe in that. I choose to believe that every single one of us was put here for a reason. Exploration? Look to the stars. Look up into the sky once a week even and think, are we really all that there is?

New Crystal Skull flavored Dr. Pepper

Filmmakers will always follow the aforementioned idea that Earth is but a stepping stone. It is but the beginning of our glimpse into worlds unknown and far-reaching in their grasp.

Maybe now is the time to look toward the stars. To think that possibly we are smaller than Hollyweird and just a group of people worried about their own futures and their own well-being and their own gas bills and instead think as a community, a global community.

We are an Island.

We are but a stop on the interspatial map.

We are but a blip.

There is so much more out there besides us. Galaxies far far away and Howard the Duck is probably still out there waiting for the remake to his film so the world can see what Duck Fu is supposed to actually look like. Not anything like that horrendous George Lucas produced flick.

Isn't he the producer of the new Indy? And all the old Indy movies? And isn't there some notorious tie-ins to Dr. Pepper and M&Ms?

Is the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull a Dr. Pepper Machine Alien that bleeds Peanut M&Ms? Are will the movie be an exploration of our deep thoughts regarding how we are truly not alone in the universe?

Many are not prepared for this thought.

Not prepared to face the fact that this isn't all there is. That their thoughts regarding who the next Survivor winner will be or how the Bachelor will ask to marry him are not the biggest and most important things that should be thought of.

Maybe we should worry about gas prices: globally. Think about how much gas costs for your neighbors in Great Britain? Or even closer, in California?

3.59 a gallon doesn't seem so bad, does it?

Think about getting trapped under the rubble of a massive 7.9 EQ in China and then worry about your the price you paid at the pump.

Seem a little insignificant?

"We are, perhaps, uniquely among the earth's creatures, the worrying animal. We worry away our lives, fearing the future, discontent with the present, unable to take in the idea of dying, unable to sit still."
-Lewis Thomas

My suggestion, my always suggestion, is to not sit still. To take the worrying and use it for good.

For something worthwhile. Not for a book discussion or the thoughts regarding politics and political power and pro-life vs pro-choice, discuss something potentially bigger than you:

Start moving toward growth. Toward progress.

Illegal immigration is a big deal, but people need jobs. People need lives. People need opportunity. We can't blame aliens, whether illegal or space, for all of our problems. It's time to put the blame on those who deserve it.

All of us.

"Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be waiting for us in our graves - or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth."
-Ayn Rand

All of us have the opportunity to make change. Progress. To open the floodgates and change the things that disgust us or damn us or threaten our way of life.

Instead of sitting there and doing nothing, get our there and make change.

Get our there and look at the stars. Invent something. Create a new mass-producing form of energy that is easily reproduced and easily given out to those who desperately need it and have no money to pay for it.

Or just do something small.

Change your outlook. Start a revolution in your mind. Don't just sit there and think of all the glory you could have: go after it.

Think about it.

You want to write a novel? Write it.
You want to start a band? Do it.
You want to be a parent? Go for it.

You want to save the world?

That's easy. Stop being so self-centered and help the world. Help the place where you live. Recycle if you want to. Stop using plastic bags. Take more walks and go for runs or walk to the local grocery store. Carpool. Drink more water and produce less plastic waste with bottles and cans of soda. Use less water when showering and waste less hot water.

Or throw a bomb in your daily routine. Upset the comfort levels you've created in your daily life.

Change your diet.

Change the way you dress.

Look to the stars.

We are not alone. We are a small speck in this universe.

But that is nothing to fear. Do not fear. I do not fear that I am small. Insignificant. Forgotten. I am part of this island Earth. I am a part of the whole. The community. If I choose to be seen, I will be seen.

Do you want to be seen? Or do you want to be comfortable and be lazy and constantly worry whether you'll be able to call in for your favorite American Idol contestant?

Or do you want to be a part of something bigger?

"The last sound on the worthless earth will be two human beings trying to launch a homemade spaceship and already quarreling about where they are going next."
-William Faulkner

Where will you go next? What will you do? Who will you be?

I am or. I will always be or. Make your choice.
Part 18

Reruns, remakes, sequels and prequels

"In the movie business...we call this the sequel."
-Arnold Schwarznegger

In every aspect of our lives, the thoughts of reruns come up quite often. And Hollyweird doesn't make it any better.

And yes, before the naysayers have at it, this entire line of thinking, this entire blog itself could be considered a rerun, sequel, etc. But let's go beyond that and return to it later.

My bright banana yellow auto took me into the parking lot of the gym. Fans fanning. Window blinds open. It appeared like a scene straight out of Apocalypse Now. Very Vietnam-era imagery, even more when the sweat started to pour down.

Inside, televisions were all on, all blaring different viewing options. Repeat performances from American Idol. No thanks. Repeat of Dr. Phil. In a gym? Rerun of the ultimate man show, King of Queens.

There was nothing on.

200-plus channels of television and everything was a repeat. A rerun. Everything was a return of Elaine from Italy after a trip with the Maestro or Dr. Phil telling someone they have to understand the problem to overcome the problem.

This was a problem.

"I enjoy watching reruns of Saturday Night Live and counting all the dead people."
-George Carlin

It is a wicked game to play while running on the treadmill. Trying to make myself fit as a fiddle for the MTV crowd. How many people on television, in your favorite movies, in your favorite music videos, are dead?

How many died this last year in tragic accidents or natural disasters and how many people are slowly dying of terrible afflictions?

Reruns have overtaken the television world in the same way that Hollyweird has been overtaken by remakes, sequels, and prequels. One of my constant Gonzos touched on this aspect of Hollyweird recently, and I will take a look into it myself.

But first ask yourself: does the rerun, repeat, or remake ever make you feel like your life is slowly becoming a rerun of previous events? That every day is almost exactly the same as the last and you're just going through the motions for the audience at home?

If you nodded your head and said Yes, I wholeheartedly agree.

Everyday begins the same. Alarm goes off. Travel to the Company. Work til my fingers want to cut free from my hands and jump off a cliff. Travel to the gym. Cook dinner. Watch television.

Start over.

My life is a rerun. The names, places, and some events change from day-to-day. But for the overarching arc of my life and probably yours, the same events transpire almost the same exact way every single solitary day.

And that makes you part of the system. Part of the reruns.

Maybe someday soon Hollyweird will remake this life of mine. Remake it flashier. More bombastic. Give it the sense of big explosions and Jerry Bruckheimer can executive produce the damn thing.

And you'll all see it. Biggest blockbuster hit in years and it's a remake of Casablanca. A remake of Jaws. Who knows what's next on the remake block?

Could your life (or in the very least, your favorite movie) be next? What is your favorite movie?

If anyone says Torque, I'll be very upset.

Or at the least, maybe your favorite movie is Robocop and this whole bit of news upsets you somewhat.

1987 Called. They want their movie idea back

Robocop: One quintessentially 80s movie that Stallone has nothing to do with that is getting a remake because some brainiac in Hollyweird felt like it was a good time for this. And I've made comment previously regarding my thoughts on Robocop. It's cheesy. It's goofy. It's gory. It's a lot of fun.

But a remake in the YouTube/Google/MTV/blogging era will not work. The movie was the 80s. Big business. Social commentary. Murder. Deceit. Pulp hero.

Today's Robocop will be played by Martin Lawrence. Or some underwear model with no acting prowess at all that they will then make Robocop actually look like a human being, not a tank with a human mouth. And the movie will be worthless.

Part 2: Point Break gets a sequel.

Johnny Utah gets his AARP card

What in the world could a Point Break sequel be about? Apparently a new character, not Mr. Utah, doing the same thing Mr. Utah did in the first movie. But maybe, just maybe, Bodhi can come back. If they can get Swayze healthy in time to make it.

Why? Why make a sequel to an 80s movie with the exact same plot as the first movie? It is called a remake, isn't it? In this day and age we have remakes of sequels or prequels based on remakes or sequels of remakes. Case in point: Ocean's Eleven through 87.

A remake that spawned sequels. The Bourne Identity.

At one point there was talk of a sequel to The Thomas Crown Affair. Really? Do Pierce Brosnan and the woman from Lethal Weapon 3 really need the work?

I know Gooch and another of my gonzos commented on sequelitis prior to my touching this topic, but I keep waiting for the sequel to my life. Dirty Man 2: Electric Boogaloo. Starring that guy that plays Randy on My Name is Earl, fighting crime while in a time machine shaped like a flying caterpillar that shoots laser beams. And the villain is played by Burt Reynolds.

"Hollywood likes short-hand pitches for a film. 'Speed' could be pitched as 'Die Hard on a bus,'...Remakes are the ultimate short-hand pitch. In 20 years when someone wants to remake 'Speed' they'll just say 'It's Speed.'"
-Paul Dergarabedian

Therein lies the issue. When making a sequel to Indiana Jones and having it made 20 years after the LAST CRUSADE, one must think, what can we do to make this sequel more appealing to the fanboys and fangirls of this terrific trilogy?

Tie-ins to M&Ms and Dr. Pepper is probably the way to go. Or I don't know, make it a good movie.

Though I will say this, the fact it is a sequel and not a prequel or a remake gets me excited.

Makes me rev the engine of my banana car everytime I drive by the movieplex. It isn't a rerun, though it has figures showing up again in a movie that people want to see for the first time in probably 20 years (Harrison Ford), but it is a new movie.

Sequels based on movies that were completely set up as singular movies, that had no intention of having sequels, irk me. As a fan of films, as a fan of some television, I have bad feelings whenever I see commercials or articles for new films based on heroes of old. RAMBO. CLIFFHANGER. ROCKY (apparently this is only Stallone).

Terminator 3 and now Terminator 4. Neither of these movies should have been made. T2 was such a perfect ending and the new ones have completely taken away from the glimmer of awesomeness that was I'll Be Back.

They become a husk of what they once were. No emotion. No real respect or creative intelligence behind the new sequel or remakes. It is just a way to cash-in.

Everything is a television show made into a movie. A 40 year old comic book made into a blockbuster. A toy-line dedicated to Saturday Morning cartoon junkies becomes the easiest way for Hollyweird to make a tie-in buck while that used to be junkie goes into craving mode once he or she steps foot in the local Target.

Everything is created to delve into our previous mindsets. When we were kids. Everything was better back then.

"There was a sense that everything we were hearing we'd heard before. This was like a rerun...So much of this had already been on, there were no bombshells dropped."
-Robert Thompson

As I always do, I made a discovery. I am not content with the content that Hollyweird is producing. I am using my voice to say: Do not watch repeats. Do not stand idly by and wait for your favorite television programs to return in a similar fashion every Fall just so that you can feel some hope in your daily schedule.

Change things up.

Do not accept this. Do not accept a remake or a sequel or a prequel of one of your favorite things as a child. 21 Jump Street was your favorite television program growing up? Don't let Hollyweird bastardize your love and turn it into a money-making machine.

Do not accept your favorite cartoon like GI Joe being turned into a pile of cow-dung thrown across the screen with flashy actors all younger than you playing characters like Sgt Slaughter or Roadblock, characters you grew to know when they told you not to smoke crack or light houses on fire.

Do not accept what Hollyweird is forcing into our eyes or down our throats.

Want for something more. Want for something based on a book that wasn't a movie first and isn't being torn to pieces in its translation. Want for something based on an original idea that someone randomly had that turns into a crazy odd film that doesn't remake an old movie but maybe homages to it.

Want for more in Hollyweird. More on television. Stop throwing money at them and maybe we can fix this.

Want for the or. Want for more. Want for the different. We are the or.

"What about a sequel to 'Butch Cassidy?' Well the guys died in it, what is it going to be, a spiritual film? Well how about a prequel? That's pretty desperate."
-Robert Redford
Part 19


"The first casualty when war comes is truth."
-Hiram Warren Johnson

Yesterday morning, my daily news intake. MSNBC. AP. Various internet sources. War and famine and disease and destruction are on the docket. The weekly and daily news medias discuss the horrible details of the dead and dying. Those displaced from their homeland because of bombing. And the only thing the world has to offer by way of War Stories is SIGN UP. Be a Citizen Soldier.

There is a lot on my mind today. There is a lot to deal with.

An end to war: in 5 years. Just in Iraq.

John McCain, potential victor of the upcoming November presidential election, predicted this. An end to war in Iraq in 5 more years. 5 more years of fighting. Of battles. Of death and destruction.

Of violence and hatred abroad and at home. 5 more years of looking at those people of Middle Eastern descent in our own backyard as potential terrorists and a lifetime of pain and suffering for those we look at in this way.

But the war against Afghanistan and the Taliban will not be done. The unseen threat will still be unseen. We will have killed Osama but not defeated his troops.

Is this a film already? Is John McCain attempting to be some sort of film hero fighting against the devils in blue dress that destroy our names and curse the American dream as being a bastardization and a farce? Does he think he's John Rambo?

"What a country calls its vital economic interests are not the things which enable its citizens to live, but the things which enable it to make war. Petrol is much more likely than wheat to be a cause of international conflict."
-Simone Weil

And there lies another problem. Discussions on the radio. At the Company this morning. All people have different thoughts and feelings. This isn't a war for oil, it's a war for peace. For the end of all suffering.

A war to prove what exactly? That we're the baddest? That we're the biggest baddest mofos to ever walk the Earth?

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity."
-Marine Corps

Exactly. Fighting for peace. An oxymoron on par with Jumbo Shrimp.

There are many things that come into my mind when arguing with someone at the Company.

This is a family-oriented place. No cursing. No swearing. No fist fights. No actual war inside these walls.

But peace? Is peace the ultimate goal from war? Is peace in actuality what we're fighting for? Is oil? Or is there something far more sinister underneath? Something much worse that fighting for this is just like stealing from your older brother when you're a little kid.

We are fighting this war because we have something to prove. Something to say to the world.

Our president, whose head is constantly up his ass in the first place, wants to prove that 9/11 can never happen to us again because we are always on the offensive. We will strike you down before you have the power to become more powerful.

And John McCain attacks Obama and Clinton for wanting to start peace talks between the Hamas and the US. Because you don't get peace with words. You get it with force.


And there are some of you out there that just might vote for him. Vote for him to send some more of your friends and family into the cusp of hell so that they can see their end before they have to pick up their guts from the ground and die with honor for their country, fighting thousands of miles away from home and dying in the sand.


"It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved much; the wheel, New York, wars and so on; whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man, for precisely the same reasons."
-Douglas Adams

Does our constant struggle for war and peace make us the smartest mammals on the face of the Earth? Or is there something more? Is there some mammal, animal, reptile, anything smarter than us?

We are trapped. Our government feels the need to struggle against the barriers of the outside world so we can prove something. So we can get the oil we need and STILL bump the prices up to 4.00 a gallon.

And we pay it.

We pay for tickets to movies directed by Michael Bay showing how wonderful and beautiful being a soldier really is. We go to movies like the upcoming GI Joe which are made to show the world that being a soldier is great.

You never run out of bullets.

You get all the hot chicks you want (or hot guys for the ladies).

There is no blood in these war scenarios.

You don't fight terror: you fight GIANT ROBOTS in a PG-13 world where instead of cursing you say heck, darn, poop, golly gosh, shoot.

You never die and you return home to your loving wife and kids who haven't grown up or grown distant from you at all because they were waiting for you the entire time you were gone.
Nothing changed. Go America!

This isn't the face of war. Hollyweird never accurately portrays the face of war (they get close from time to time). But for every time they get really really really close (Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, etc), there is a Top Gun, GI Joe, Transformers, etc. to wipe that reality clean out of our minds.

And which ones do you think make more money?

"War is addictive. Indeed, it is the most potent narcotic unleashed by mankind."
-Chris Hedges

Most video games sold the world over that are the high sellers are based in war. Call of Duty. Rainbow Six. Halo. Gears of War. They all show a different face of war. One where we generally fight aliens of faceless threats that look nothing like someone's brother or sister, father or mother, son or daughter.

We just get to shoot them and get a health pack and move along through the level.

"I know patriotism exists, and I know it has done much in the present contest. But a great and lasting war can never be supported on this principle alone. It must be aided by a prospect of interest, or some reward."
-George Washington

While making my argument against war, I was questioned on my status. Have I ever fought? Joined the army? Been in the Air Force?

I have not. I am not going to fight for a country I have a hard enough time believing in on a daily basis to have my best interests at heart that I could never see myself dying for it.

It doesn't change the fact that I've had loved ones, friends, that have fought. Have been all over the world fighting. My grandfather was in the Army during World War 2 and was on Normandy Beach as a mortarman on D-Day. He was in Italy and France.

My dad was in the Air Force. My other grandfather as well. I have friends currently in the Army fighting in Iraq that I haven't heard from in years. And this scares their families daily.

You see the looks. You hear the stories. People die every day fighting for this war of profits. For this war against a terror that can never be defeated. But these are our friends, brothers, family that are fighting for something they chose to fight for.

And by no means am I chastising them.

No way in hell.

The government who took us to war, who thought it was a good thing for our economy, who have spiraled us into a recession with a terrible job market and real estate market and just overall terribly managed governmental power, that is who I have problems with.

That is who I will fight tooth and nail against.

For their interests in this war. For their need to propagandize our daily lives and show us the horrors of war as well as show us what Fighting Americans look like in a Hollyweird viewing.

"War-making is one of the few activities that people are not supposed to view realistically; that is, with an eye to expense and practical outcome. In all-out war, expenditure is all-out, unprudent, war being defined as an emergency in which no sacrifice is excessive."
-Susan Sontag

But the sacrifices are only made by the small people. The little people. The soldiers who needed something new in their lives. The men and women who had no choice but to join so they could put food on the table for their family. So that they could give their family a better life.

These sacrifices aren't made by the people in power. They just sacrifice the lower class individuals who aren't as powerful, aren't viewed in the same light as themselves.

And that is despicable.

If war is about sacrifice, what sacrifice has our president made? He got to see his daughter get married. How many soldiers, captains, generals, majors, how many do you think didn't get to see their daughter being born?

How many do you think had to wait 2 years to see their daughter or son for the first time?

They don't show that in a Michael Bay movie.

"Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events."
-Winston Churchill

2013 is still a long way away. And there is still a lot of fighting to go between then and now. And there is no way in my mind that the war will be over by then as the interested parties will not be satisfied. They will not have gained what they sought out to gain.

Money. Power. Gold. Oil.

Whatever it is the powers are searching for, they will not find it. They will only find more blood.

More death. More fire. More orphans made every day. More parents without their children.

And those in power will sit back and enjoy their wallets and their bellies getting fuller by the day.

There will never be peace. There will never be a world without war so long as men and women are free to choose what they choose and hate who they hate.

"Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people."
-Jawaharlal Nehru

So that is my choice. I am going to make peace in my own life. I am going to change what I can change and fight for what I believe in. But there will be no war.

There will be no war in my mind or my actions.

I am part of a struggle. A struggle for understanding. A struggle to look deeper into the hearts of the world and the people who inhabit it and find what makes us all the same. Find what choice we can make together to keep war a distant thought in ALL of our minds.

I will do my part to be part of the or. One who doesn't stand idly by while our government abuses their power. One who sees that peace can only come from within, and there is no way that the power we currently have will allow for peace.

There is no profit in peace.

There is no profit in harmony.

There is no profit to those wishing for the peaceful coexistence of all parties involved in the world.

There is only profit in death and destruction.

"The world will never have lasting peace so long as men reserve for war the finest human qualities. Peace, no less than war, requires idealism and self-sacrifice and a righteous and dynamic faith."
-John Foster Dulles

I choose peace. And I will give my finest abilities and qualities to strive for that peace. I choose the or and I will always choose that.
Part 20

Do the evolution.

"We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution."
-Bill Hicks

The road to the Company was under construction this morning, which gave me a slight chuckle.

Everything seems to be in construction these days. The banana car is about to die. Everything seems to be pushing towards moving on. Everything except work.

Previously, the idea of interviewing and job hunting came up, and today, the Company made me decide it was time to evolve. To begin fresh. To start over. To flip over a new leaf. To take the words of Mr. Hicks to heart and facilitate my own creative evolution.

And so it begins.

"I was taught that the human brain was the crowning glory of evolution so far, but I think it's a very poor scheme for survival."
-Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

As the world continues to change, gas prices go higher, presidential elections get closer, we are left with the question: is this all that there is? Is there more to life than what we can easily see?
Life has road bumps. Life has upsets. Sports have Cinderella stories. And evolution could be one of those Cinderella stories.

Living in Kansas has its ups and downs.

Creationism seems to be the biggest down. When evolution is so bright, the idea of changing with the times, becoming one with your place in society, when all of that is right in our faces, how does creationism take hold of that same self-serving free-thinking society and force the idea of God creating you and everything around you with ease and as a favor to us for later?


Evolution is easy to follow.

According to Wikipedia, in biology, "evolution is the process of change in the inherited traits of a population of organisms from one generation to the next."

Easy, right?

Evolution teaches that we can change. Our habitats change.

Globally, everything changes and adapts to the surroundings and the people and things around them.

If we believe in creationism, how do we change? How can we change?

I bring this up in today's thoughts as my evolution is a daily chore, aspect, problem, pick a word and that is it. My rational feelings and thoughts continue to tell me that the Company is smothering me and destroying my will to live.

But evolution teaches me that I should strive to either adapt to the situation I have been put in or change it, somehow, some way.

Creationism would say that it was my destiny, my fate, God's will that I am here, at the Company, struggling daily to find reason in the madness that this Company offers. For a steady wage.

"The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge."
-Albert Einstein

I will not give up my free thoughts and my rational breakdown of every aspect of my being tells me to run. Head for the hills.

Take out some form of psychedelic drug and force my brain to begin to melt out of my ears.

Rational thoughts are telling me this is not where I belong.

Do we stick with what we know? Or do we venture out into the world, like babies on birth, into an unknown world and uncertain future and just take that leap? A leap of faith, quite possibly, but a leap nonetheless.

And what is the faith in? Is the faith going to be in your abilities? In yourself? Or in the God above you giving you the strength to carry on and evolve as He or She would see fit?

I choose evolution as it affords me the opportunity to blossom and grow.

"There are no shortcuts in evolution."
-Louis D. Brandeis

We understand this.

We understand the thought that human evolution, creative evolution, the struggle to make better and be better and overcome certain aspects you despise in your daily life, takes time.

There is no way to bypass the thought of evolution and jump right into its endgame.

With creationism, there seems to be.

If you believe in God and a higher power, and you believe that you are good and righteous and live your life as your "religion" teaches you, you can cut to the front of the line and get right into Heaven.

But the evolution will take time. It will take effort. It will be a struggle. It will not be easy.

"Promise yourself to live your life as a revolution and not just a process of evolution."
-Anthony D'Angelo

And that is the key.

It will all be part of a revolution. Of the mind. Of the body. The "spirit." The feelings that encompass us all.

The world around us in the a form of revolution.

Revolution is bred from the fires of recession. And we are very much in its throes.

So take this to heart: in the light of the world that surrounds you, which do you choose?

Do you choose to believe in things intrinsically there?

Or things above us that control every aspect of our being and take us into various different things without any thought one way or the other how this might affect us?

Do you believe in reality?

Do you have rational thoughts that belong in the face of the world and give voice to every aspect of your being or do you believe in a higher power that gives you that voice?

The choice, as always, is yours.

I am not telling you which to choose. I am only offering suggestions.

If you believe in God and feel creationism is the key to our salvation, then by all means, fight me, fight those who don't believe tooth and nail and to the depths of Hell.

Do not stand idly by and let others choose for you.

That is the struggle. That is the evolution.

If we can stop fighting against each other over our beliefs and just fight for what we believe in, maybe we can change the world. Maybe we can evolve our governments and create peace.

Maybe we can find new work when we need it.

We just need to be open and honest to change. Open and free to evolution and take part in a revolution and things might change for the best.

Choose something different.

Open a book instead of watching television.

Go outside and jog instead of playing a video game.

Take it upon yourself to start the evolution of the world and we might just change something along the way.

Or do nothing. That choice is yours.

I choose the or and will always choose the or. I choose to evolve and be part of the revolution. I choose to take a leap and rely on who I am and the abilities I have to make the change I desire.

I choose the or.

"You have the need and the right to spend part of your life caring for your soul. It is not easy. You have to resist the demands of the work-oriented, often defensive, element in your psyche that measures life only in terms of output - how much you produce - not in terms of the quality of your life experiences. To be a soulful person means to go against all the pervasive, prove-yourself values of our culture and instead treasure what is unique and internal and valuable in yourself and your own personal evolution."
-Jean Shinoda Bolen
Part 21

Go west young man. Go west!

"I think we all realize that the day has come when Democracy is being put upon its final test. The Old World is just now suffering from a wanton rejection of the principle of democracy and a substitution of the principle of autocracy as asserted in the name, but without the authority and sanction, of the multitude. This is the time of all others when Democracy should prove its purity and its spiritual power to prevail. It is surely the manifest destiny of the United States to lead in the attempt to make this spirit prevail."
-Woodrow Wilson

On the way to the Company this morning, thoughts rang out as true and deep within my head. And then there it was. Turning onto 119th street, a big gray blight is being built. A middle finger to the sky.

A disgusting waste of space.

Manifest Destiny has grasped my Company, and they are in the throes of expansion. Growth. Change.

The time for change is now. Let's hire a few hundred new employees and get rid of the hardworkers. Let's change things up and get new people in who don't know the horrors to be found within these doors.

And that is the idea. That is manifest destiny. Expand your borders out and change the people who you overtake.

According to Wikipedia, "Manifest Destiny was the belief that the United States was destined to expand from the Atlantic seaboard to the Pacific Ocean; it has also been used to advocate for or justify other territorial acquisitions."

You there? With me?

Manifest Destiny is the overriding principle that we have the god-given right, the Providence, to expand our borders, and take democracy aboard.

To spread our message to those that need to have the message as their lives are lacking somehow without it.

Just like the Company.

Overland Park is a hotbed of growth currently. 135th going east and west, new businesses are springing up on every corner.

New banks.

New shopping centers.

Staples. Office Depot.

Anything and everything your suburban mind could ever possibly want, just right down the block.

"The whole continent of North America appears to be destined by Divine Providence to be peopled by one nation, speaking one language, professing one general system of religious and political principles, and accustomed to one general tenor of social usages and customs. For the common happiness of them all, for their peace and prosperity, I believe it is indispensable that they should be associated in one federal Union."
-John Quincy Adams

Maybe you don't see this idea as a problem. Maybe you don't feel that spreading our democracy or our wanton need for commercialization to the world is a bad thing.

But traveling down 119th street toward the Company in my yellow behemoth auto, my entire body started to ache. The thought of every building looking the same.

Every shopping center having the same stores. All the same looking people wearing all the same looking clothes shopping at all the same stores. Talking on the same cell phones. Having no discernible qualities.

The entire world is in for this.

Every inch of Overland Park is being overtaken by construction equipment. By development. By new home associations. By people looking for their stake in the land while a massive recession hits the world and ravages it.

The idea of construction on each singular section of the world is destroying the natural resources that we are so desperately going to need as time moves on.

Trees are being cleared out for new home developments.

Burger Kings are being put up where parks used to be.

Rivers and lakes will soon be turned into shopping malls and bank parking lots.

"We have it in our power to begin the world over again. A situation, similar to the present, hath not happened since the days of Noah until now. The birthday of a new world is at hand..."
-Thomas Paine

I agree with this sentiment.

I agree that something is being born as we speak. Something sinister. Dark. Destructive.

Something that is cause for alarm.

We are smothering the world and its resources that we need for the benefit of more clothing stores and movie theaters.

We are expanding our borders and our Democracy in the Middle East in the attempt to get more oil. To spread the word of Democracy and give them peace.

When we could just as easily give them peace by leaving them be. By giving them quarter and opening our minds to their beliefs and understand them as human beings, we are forcing the beliefs of a nation on them and forcing them to adhere to our beliefs and probably, one day, our religion.

Everyone will watch American Idol someday. It will be the biggest television show in the world, not just here, if this manifest destiny continues. That's what the face of democracy is today.
Television programs. Do they represent who we are as people?

Does it represent you and your family? Do you have a desire to be loved and voted for, not based on who you are as a person, but based on a talent that has nothing to do with you as a person?

Is that what we've become?

"Your level of belief in yourself will inevitably manifest itself in whatever you do."
-Les Brown

Are we capable of believing in ourselves, in the way that we act, and everything that we can do? Or do we just give up now and face the way the world wants us to look and wear the clothes that society deems for us?

Do we accept the idea that any single one of us who isn't a supermodel isn't the norm? Do we accept manifest destiny in showing the world that all Americans look like the German models that inhabit Victoria's Secret catalogs?

OR.... do we accept the world that we have? Do we look in the mirror and accept the clothes that we wear as the ones that we like? Do we accept the way we look as perfectly normal? Do we accept each and every one of us as human beings, and not as numbers, statistics, or just clothing commercials or democratic movers and shakers?

"America, an immense territory, favored by nature with all advantages of climate, soil, great navigable rivers and lakes, must become a great country, populous and mighty; and will, in a less time than is generally conceived, be able to shake off shackles that may be imposed on her and perhaps place them on the imposters."
-Ben Franklin

Are we truthfully still the favored nation? Or have we given up? Have we given up the right to be a favored nation in our attempts at destiny?

Were we ever really anything more than just a nation, trying to become a world power? And now that we are in the throes of war, recession, crisis after crisis after crisis, isn't it about time to believe in something more?

The trip to the Company and the middle finger blight pointing into the sky made me think that there are certain things we cannot control. Company growth happens.

But destroying the world around us to build bigger and better shopping malls and create a fashion sense that the world should all struggle to achieve (I'm thinking taupe is a good summer color), is this really what Manifest Destiny has become?

Opening the door into the Company, new faces show up on every corner.

And the faces start to mesh together. Forming one person. One undecipherable blob of person that smells of horrible cologne and has no smile and listens to their Ipod while nodding in unison.

The little heads all nod in unison and the feet tap in harmony.

We have been brain washed. Our attempts to become a global power has left us powerless to stop what is there, what is growing and festering underneath.

The soul of America is gone.

"And that claim is by the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government entrusted to us."
-John L. O'Sullivan

We have overspread ourselves thin. We are lost. The people and places we love and honor and cherish and feel so deeply for have lost the one fiber of their beings that was never going to go away:

We are nothing but drones. Worker bees trying to be famous. To be popular. To have our faces on television and to be known globally as the person who won some television contest for eating bull testicles.

Manifest Destiny and the spread and creation of more and more and more and more and more and more industrialization has wiped our slate clean.

Maybe its time to use this as a rebirth.

To start fresh.

To witness the rebirth of who we are as Americans. To spread the notion of our humanity, and not our democracy.

Or maybe this is the chance for rebellion?

Are we shaped by the destiny this has created? Or are we capable of something so much more?

"Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny."
-John Oliver Hobbe
Part 22

Snuffing out Indiana Jones and the Mountain of Disappointments

Read at your own risk.

"To be perfectly honest, it's time for the Indiana Jones series to end. Lucas and Spielberg already are repeating themselves, and there's only so much juice to be sucked out of a comic book or pulp fiction hero (think about the depressing deterioration of the 'Superman' series). Let's just be thankful they're sending Indy out with an upbeat bang."
-Kansas City Star review of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Ah childhood. Where did it go? What went wrong? What changed?

What was destroyed?

Driving my yellow boat into the deep dark heart of Leawood on Thursday night, a calming storm welled up within me. Something disturbing was on the horizon.

Something sinister.

Something evil.

Something Indiana Jones couldn't possibly hope to defeat.

I parked and began to read. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting for the movie time to come. For my ticket to have relevance. To get to wait in line for an additional period of time and wait some more.

Good old Johnson County.

Reading Snuff, Chuck's new book, while watching children walk out of PacSun and Buckle and Gamestop is quite strange. Reading a book about a hardcore porn film while kids with various lengths of too long hair and various shades and degrees of too tight jeans walk past.

It makes me want for the Ark of the Covenant to be opened and some faces to be melted. It makes me want to travel inter-dimensionally into Chuck's brain and be one of the 600 waiting for my chance. My big break.

I want to get away from what surely will ruin my childhood.

"There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in."
-Deepak Chopra

Ruin it moreso than Transformers. Ruin it more than GI Joe will. Ruin it more than the new Star Wars trilogy. Ruin it more than most anything ever could. More than if they made a sequel to Ghostbusters 19 years after the fact.

That same soul-sucking feeling you get when someone makes a sequel or a prequel or a remake or a requel just to make some fast cash.

And put Steven Spielberg on the slow train to sell-out hell, because that is what happened.

At least Blues Brothers 2000 had songs in it. At least Superman Returns had the ability to laugh at it and think, wow, he's fighting a continent.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull induced so many groans in this huge fan of past Indy adventures that I couldn't help but think why? Why do this to us? Why force us to watch geriatric Indy do death-defying stunts and turn him into a super-Man that is capable of grand stunts and of hanging out with crazy skeleton people and Ernie Reyes Jr?

Why give Shia a part in the movie? When he was terrible as Sam in Transformers, terrible in Constantine, terrible in I Robot, awful in Holes, worthless in The Greatest Game Ever Played, and just seemed like an overall waste of space in this film?

Just like every character outside of Henry Jones Jr. There was no reason to waste talents like Ray Winstone and John Hurt with such completely see-through characters that they were just there. Or bring Karen Allen into the mix to smile and fawn after Indy when her character in the past was a hard-drinking badass and apparently aged to the point where she was just ready to settle down with any man. And tack on a love story and some stupid-looking special effects and call it a summer blockbuster.

Thank you so much George Lucas. Steven Spielberg. Thank you for taking away a fantastic part of my childhood and replacing it with something so utterly devoid of new ideas and mystery and give me a Indiana Jones adventure unlike any other.

"If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older."
-Tom Stoppard

I disagree. I carried part of my childhood in with me. The Indy portion. The scrapper guy who is always sweaty, dirty, and beaten down. And instead got an Indy unlike any other.

Capable of great feats of fake special effects. Capable of figuring out a puzzle that seconds earlier he said would take him forever to decipher.

Capable of anything and everything.

The trick previously was Indy was a man. A human. With the trappings of being deathly afraid of snakes and incapable of having a relationship because he was such a cur. A cad. A ladies man but someone who rarely shaved and showered.

But now, he's capable of defeating the entire Communist army all by himself. With the aid of a mental patient and a Marlon Brando wannabe.

"When childhood dies, its corpses are called adults and they enter society, one of the politer names of hell. That is why we dread children, even if we love them, they show us the state of our decay."
-Brian Aldiss

We are decaying. In the same way that Hollyweird gains my distaste and disgust when they remake movies like Robocop, Red Dawn, and Highlander, they gain more distaste when they make a sequel 19 years later to a movie called the LAST of something.

It was the ending to the saga. It gave a hearty laugh and ended big.

It was the Indy ending we wanted.

Not some drawn out excuse to use sound stages, have big idiot jungle scenes where someone swings from a vine (that is one of the human characters even), and crazy special effects that do not fit in with Indiana Jones and his face-melting adventures.

We didn't want to see Indy end his career happy. We didn't want him to have a family.

We wanted to know, in our heads, that his adventures would never cease because in our heads he would never grow old.

He would never step into the ring with a boxer 40 years younger than him to prove something. Step foot into the Burmese jungle and take down insurgents pumped so full of steroids that he couldn't move his neck. Ride a motorcycle with a shotgun in hand and a smile saying I'll be back.

We wanted Indy to ride off into the sunset, and live on in our minds.

But Hollyweird took that away from us.

"My childhood was a period of waiting for the moment when I could send everyone and everything connected with it to hell."
-Igor Stravinsky

Hell has found us. Hollyweird has caught up to the idea that maybe, just maybe, they are punishing the rest of us for ever having an opinion and loving something so much as children that maybe our children or their children may want to see it.

And they aren't capable of working a DVD player.

It's ridiculous. It's a shame. The number one movie in America this weekend will be Indiana Jones. It will do boffo box office.

And there's nothing any of us can do about it.

The machine rolls on. My heart skips two beats as I hope and pray that someday soon the machine will stop. We won't get a remake of Prince Caspian a year from now because the studio decided that it wasn't good enough and make enough money.

If we continue going to theaters and paying for drivel, and giving them our hard-earned gas money, we will make it no better. We will give future generations absolutely zero chance to have any form of entertainment.

Book deals with Doubleday will turn into movie deals with Universal, same day.

Comic book series will be optioned the week prior to the first issue's release.

Video games will have a worldwide movie/game release same day.

Nothing is sacred.

At some point in the near future, Japanese filmmakers will make the scariest horror film ever created. They will release it nationwide the first weekend in May and it will make 200 million dollars that first weekend and be the biggest thing ever. It will be hailed as genius.

And the week following will see the release of the Americanized remake, starring Vin Diesel or Leonardo DiCaprio.

Someday soon you'll hear they're planning a remake of Iron Man.

Only this time, he won't fight industrialization. It will tell us about the exploits of a man who is a monster on the inside and is selling weapons all over the world and loves the money he makes from it. And Michael Moore will direct it.

I feel like this is the death knell for Hollyweird.

I feel like, knowing that a movie I was completely interested in like War, Inc. (which yes, is considered a spiritual sequel to Grosse Pointe Blank), isn't coming to a theater near me.

A film I felt looked like it had something to offer. Something to say.

I guess I'll just wait for the remake or the prequel.

I'll wait to hear the tale of how George Lucas gained producer credit to the film and wanted to explain that John Cusack's character was born into slavery with a midichlorian count higher than any other's which made him the perfect operative for War, Inc.

And Steven Spielberg can direct the remake and instead of guns they can all carry walkie talkies and hand out Reese's Peanut Butter cups to the insurgents they are fighting.

Can't wait for the tie-ins! Can't wait for the toys.

Go to Burger King and get your super-large Orange Drink with peel-off John Cusack tattoos. Collect them all and it will give you the abilities of Lloyd Dobler.*

*Boom box and Peter Gabriel sold separately.

"I think Tom Cruise proved that people are getting bored with that kind of stuff. What they want to see is something different. And 'Indiana Jones,' if nothing else, is always different."
-George Lucas

Mr. Lucas, the well is calling. They want you back.

Is there nothing you can do? Or is there something so easy, so right there in your face, that it is screaming out to you?

Don't waste your time, money, gas, and efforts on something so completely unholy and so utterly long and boring that it will groan you to tears.

Do something different.

Write a book. Read a book.

Open the window and go outside.

Play in the rain.

Go on your own adventure and find out more about archaeology and chaos theory.

Do something other than seeing a movie. Open your mind to the possibilities around you and think for yourself.

Open your mind and be free.

Reflect upon the world what it is you want it to be. Make change.

Or not. The choice is yours.

"Childhood is not only the childhood we really had but also the impressions we formed of it in our adolescence and maturity. That is why childhood seems so long. Probably every period of life is multiplied by our reflections upon the next."
-Cesare Pavese
Part 23

After a short break, returns with opinions and a missing cat

"Popular opinion is the greatest lie in the world."
-Thomas Carlyle

There was a short gust of wind and a short burst of hope across my face. Monday started out okay. The yellow boat moved. It started. The first burst of good favor.

Second, a couple of my friends had finished Snuff, by Chuck Palahniuk. So that was fun. I could finally talk to someone about the book. The lifestyle change that was there and ready to change all of our lives.

And then we returned home from Memorial Day festivities.

And our lovely cat, Ella, had disappeared.


Ran away.

She was scared and bolted. Something spooked her.

And everyone's popular opinion says she is coming back. Says she will come home when she is ready and hungry. And it all feels like a lie.

If you see her, please find a way to contact us. We love her and miss her.
"Popular opinion is the greatest lie in the world."
-Thomas Carlyle

Let's start this again.

Driving toward the Company, a radio commercial came on for the Company. Talking about what a great place to work. Sign up today. Get discounts. Be a part of the city.

Let your soul eek out of your ears and bleed down your business casual attire until there is nothing behind your eyes but empty black holes.

I would tell you the name, but you don't want it.

Popular opinion tells me every time I open my mouth and say how disgusted I am with this Company and the clients and the relationships created on every wasted phone conversation or face-to-face conversation that the person I am speaking to tells me it can't be that bad.

How would you know? If you don't work here, shut it.

All of us get our own opinion. That makes them unique.

We don't all have to feel the customer is always right. If I choose to, I can believe the customer is always a jerk. Which 9 times out of 10, is correct.

So have your own opinion, and remember, while you are having your own opinion, every other person in the world gets their own opinion as well.

"The circumstances of the world are so variable that an irrevocable purpose or opinion is almost synonymous with a foolish one."
-William Shakespeare

Everybody gets their opinion. That's the beauty of choice. That's the beauty of the or.

We all get to feel whatever we feel.

We all get to think whatever we think.

We all get to say whatever we want to say.

We all get to say whatever we want to say. I wanted to repeat that for purpose.

If someone wants to open their mouth and make ridiculous claims about being the reincarnation of VelociJesus, can you stop him? No. Can you tell them they're insane?


Can I think Snuff is a fantastic book about a lot more than just pornography while another person thinks it is exactly that? And can we still be friends?


Opinions belong to all of us.

Someone just mentioned how horrible and disgusting cats are and it really pissed me off. But I can't stop her from saying that.

It's her opinion. Even if it is a stupid one.

"If you live according to nature, thou wilt never be poor; if according to the opinions of the world, thou wilt never be rich."

Hollyweird follows this to a T. They constantly complain about losing money and how poorly the business is being run.

And yet they are creating blockbuster motion pictures with no heart. No central character we all care about. They are creating blockbuster films with the express purpose of making money instead of making a movie.

And that is just horrible.

That's like writing this blog for the express purpose of gaining popularity or fame. Do I?

No. I do this to express my opinions.

To say something.

To offer something up to the world.

Or just say something to someone who will listen.

I will never be a part of the machine because I choose not to. As far as the Company I work for, bills and charges and gas and everything else in this world costs money and it sure is a bastard to have to work and make money just to live and survive.

But we do.

We all do.

And someday I will make something better for myself.

And I won't blame it on the world. Or blame it on poor reviews and bad word of mouth.

I will make something of myself because I choose to. Not because someone sitting next to me in cube-world thinks I should. Not because my wife thinks I should or my family thinks I should.

I will make something better for myself because I choose to.

"My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I am right."
-Ashleigh Brilliant

All of us think we are right, no matter how wrong we are.

And I could be completely wrong in my sentiment right now. I could be completely off-base in my assertion that Snuff is one of the best books I've read in a year or more and I could be wrong in assuming that the author was working out familial issues and creating an allegory on the YouTube era and how we all want to be famous for the most horribly ridiculous things.

I could be wrong on everything.

And that's the beauty of being alive.

I could be wrong about everything but I could still be right about everything as well.

You following me?

I could be completely off-base in thinking that I have any opportunity to change the world in my own way.

But I will still surely try.

I will still think Chuck is a genius no matter how many of you out there tell me his books are drivel and anti-woman.

I will still be who I am.

And that's all any of us can truly be.

"New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common."
-John Locke

If you have something to say, something you believe in so strongly, go after it. No matter who it is. No matter what it is. No matter who tells you you're wrong.

Enjoy life as it is for you.

My cat ran away. I have a terribly awful job that makes me hate the world around me. But do I hate life? Do I hate my choices? My opinions? Your opinions?

I value them.

I look at each and every one of my opinions as an opportunity to argue and change my own opinions and look at them in ways I wouldn't necessarily look at them in the first place.

I look at each and every singular action and argument between two people as an opportunity to evolve.

And what could be better than that?

"It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion, it is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who, in the midst of the world, keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

And that is the key. I hate my company. I hate our government. I hate the choices being made around me that I don't have every opportunity to change and affect.

But I will strive to do so. I will never change who I am. Not for you. Not for Chuck Palahniuk. Not for VelociJesus or Ben Affleck or the director of GI Joe.

I will always be who I am.

It's your choice who you are. What do you choose? Do you choose to take the way the world sees you and believe it? Or do you take the methods of this author and the one he fashions himself after and accept things as they are and still try to change them?

Hunter would be proud.

The choice is yours. Make it your own.

"The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error."
-John Stuart Mill
Part 24

The reality and the mafia

"Mobsters are just like everyone else - it's simple demographics. The money is moving to the suburbs and the Mafia follows the money, The Five Families."
-Selwyn Raab

To begin, an update. The cat is out still. We know where she is. We just need to find her.

**Updated again: Ella cat is home. Pissed at us for a bath. But we are SO happy to have her back.**

Onto the show:

I stepped outside this morning. The sun was low in the sky still. A low breeze was still blowing.

Promises of tomorrow and hope were all around. And the yellow banana boat auto started to idle and the rain burst forth from the sky.

And me without an umbrella or a smile.

80 degrees. 80 degrees of separation between myself and the world as the car slid out of the parking space and the rain came down in buckets, harder and harder and harder and harder.
The smile crept across my face.

There was something intrinsically beautiful and calming about the way the rain pelted the car. It wasn't going to depress me.

It was setting me free.

I shut my eyes as I pulled onto 135th and Quivira and just let the car ramble forward.

When I opened them, the world was still there. Everything was the same.

Everything except my outlook. Everything except me.

Reality is what you make of it. We've all been told that.

Reality is inside of us.

If our reality is the love of some hobby that someone else turns their nose up in disgust to, enjoy it. Forget about them.

It's your reality.

Enjoy it.

"The world is governed more by appearance than realities so that it is fully as necessary to seem to know something as to know it."
-Daniel Webster

We are governed by the way the world sees us.

The world may see myself and Gooch as very similar people. The narrator and Tyler Durden.

But who is who?

At various points in our lives, we've probably been both. I am narrating his life while he is narrating mine.

We are both Tyler Durden.

Another friend of mine pointed this out to me. More than once has it been pointed out to me.

Maybe I'm a figment of your imagination.

Maybe I'm Jacob and we're all on an island that has to be moved?

Maybe we're all the same and our own realities can be whatever we make of them.

Maybe we're all just here to be. And to enjoy being.

"There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other."
-Douglas H Everett

What is your reality?

Are you working for a Company that you hate and enjoying every other part of your life and not necessarily fitting into the angry mold of the depressed writer that most people assume to think we all should be?

Or do you belong to a crime family?

"I really grew very tired of all the Italian mafia movies that parade fancy silk suits, diamond pinky rings and lavish homes. Moviegoers may fantasize about living like that, but they can't relate to it. Guys in the Irish mafia are different from the Italians. Irish gangsters mostly dress like working-class people, drive average cars, and enjoy a good barstool conversation, just like me and you. They just happen to make their money illegally and are exceedingly violent behind closed doors."
-Mike Kenney

Ah, Hollyweird, getting certain things wrong, as usual.

But it's all perception. It's all about what the world sees when they look at you. Do they see an angry youth rebelling for no reason other than to rebel?

But is that who you are on the inside? Are you so completely void of personality that what the world says about you is exactly who are? Or is there more below the surface? A layer bubbling up and trying to break free?

Why not let that layer break out and become the reality.

Force the world to have a new perception of the things around it.

That is one of the greatest problems I witness daily.

People at the mall. People at the Company. People on the way to the Company.

People in cars.

People in planes.

People everywhere you look. At supermarkets. Strip malls.

Every single one of them trying to fit the mold that reality, that the world's perception, has said they should fit into.

Some people are a little overweight. And perception says they should be ashamed of themselves.

Some people are a little overly loud. And perception says they should speak with an inside voice and talk only in polite conversation.

Some people are highly opinionated about everything. And perception tells them to shut their mouths and follow every law and word told to them is correct.

We are told, by common perception, to accept everything blindly and know that our government is telling us the truth and has our best intentions at heart every single day.

That no one lies to us.

"The reality of the other person lies not in what he reveals to you, but what he cannot reveal to you. Therefore, if you would understand him, listen not to what he says, but rather to what he does not say."
-Kahlil Gibran

Open your eyes and create your own reality.

Believe what you want to believe.

Look at the person talking to you. Whether it's your parents, your boss, your governmental leaders, and pay attention to how squirmy they might be.

Pay attention to their actions more than their words.

Everything is a choice. Nothing has to be accepted blindly. Especially someone else's reality or someone else's perception.

If you don't agree with the magazine cover that says Gaunt and Heroin-Chic is in, don't follow that trend.

Set your own trend.

Be your own person.

Create your own reality.

And live it every single day of your life.

"Men in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

In bed

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

We are all particles. We are all part of the perception of the world. Of America. Of the Company you work for. The company you keep.

You fit into certain molds everywhere you go, but do you fit in?

Or do they fit into you?

Or is it all the same?

Don't accept anything blindly.

Don't think for a second that just because the person acting as your supervisor appears trustworthy won't back-stab you.

People will do whatever it takes to get ahead.

People will say whatever it takes.

People will be whoever they are supposed to be.

But you have the power to be different. The power to move the island.

You are capable of the greatest choice ever afforded to you.

What do you choose?

Will you follow or lead? Will you create a reality or fit into someone else's reality?

What do you choose?

"I think that a particle must have a separate reality independent of the measurements. That is an electron has spin, location and so forth even when it is not being measured. I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it."
-Albert Einstein
Final words:
The Mafia.

The Writer's Mafia

If you have a short story, 500 word max (updated recently to 1000 words), a friend and I are starting a board related to the specific purpose of creating and showing off the talents of writers.

Whether nationwide or just KC only.

Give it a try.

See what you have.

Read the rules.

We are the unsung. The unrefined. The undaunted writers of America.
And that's just through the end of May. We've got a long way to go.


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