Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fear and Loathing in Overland Park pts 11-15

Now we're back on track. More!

Part 11

More and more it continues on...

"People always ask me, 'Where were you when Kennedy was shot?' Well, I don't have an alibi."

-Emo Philips

Do people still get asked the question where were you when? Where were you on 9/11? Where were you on Mission Accomplished 2004? Where were you when Grand Theft Auto 3 was released on the PS2?

I think that's the way the world has changed. The where were yous are more sarcastic or more related to the pop-culture. Where were you when the drunk Hasselhoff video was seen?

Youtube has seemingly destroyed the question of where were you as we were all in the same place. Computer desk. Online. Internet streaming video. We all are seeing it the same way.

Print media is dead. Or alive? Is it the living dead, trudging through a graveyard of its foes and friends late at night looking for more hangers-ons? There is something to be said about print media. The ink left over on your fingers. The smell. The way a fresh paper can slice your finger so deep it bleeds for weeks. There is something that the interweb will never be able to obtain. Never be able to do to your body any physical harm (besides possible blindness, carpal tunnel, etc).

Moving on...

Grand Theft Auto vs Iron Man

Hollyweird is afraid boys and girls. Yet another year has passed and two major blockbusters are being released to fanboys and fangirls. Grand Theft Auto 4 and Iron Man.

Grand Theft Auto 4 gets me everytime. Grand Theft Auto puts me behind the wheel of a car. Behind a criminal who can do anything he wants and gets away with it with the punching of a code on a controller that takes those pesky cops and puts them back in their happy little precinct.

It makes me wish I could take my banana yellow behemoth onto the sidewalk and take people out. But I know that the crime of wanting to is too great. I will not be sucked into the fanswell. I will not be suckered into thinking myself as invincible as the man behind the wheel or the gun in GTA. I will never be that invincible.

"I hate this 'crime doesn't pay' stuff. Crime in the United States is perhaps one of the biggest businesses in the world today."

-Peter Kirk

But does crime really pay? Is that what GTA is all about? Or wish fulfillment?

By the same token, Iron Man comes out this week as well about a billionaire playboy industrialist (not Batman) who builds himself a sardine can to fight crime and big business rivals. Similar in notion to GTA only on a different spectrum. You are the businessman. You are the Iron Man. You are a billionaire who's made back-alley deals and signed weapons treaties etc etc but you never overtly committed a crime. And you get a movie deal.

I want a movie deal. I want to star in a movie about an Iron Man who is the criminal. Grand Theft Iron Man. I want to convert my banana boat into a mech warrior and thwart the decency of human kind while robbing banks and smashing through storefronts.

I want a movie deal to give me the opportunity to pick which one I want to be.

I want my own Hollyweird confidential to look into why they continue to shoot themselves in the foot. Counter-programming is supposed to be a big push in Hollyweird. This past weekend, driving from the south Overland Park toward the movie theaters, two big pictures overhead, Baby Mama and Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. Two vastly different movies.

One about babies.

One about weed.

Both probably similar styles of comedy and similar plot contrivances (Love! Frustration! Agony! Defeat! Redemption) but completely different movies.

And yet, Hollyweird is throwing Iron Man at the screen the same release week as GTA4. The Incredible Hulk comes out the same week as Metal Gear Solid 4. There are a lot of superheroes and 4s getting released at the same time. And this isn't counterprogramming.

This is the same group of people, group of fans, having to make a difficult decision. Go out into daylight and catch a flick, or stay wrapped around a HD-television set and slap fingers against a hard plastic controller while sipping water and screaming into an online headset/opponent.

Counterprogramming is the key. The calendar is wide open for days for films to be released. Why not release a movie on Monday May 5th instead of May 9th (same day as Speed Racer)? Why throw 4 Hollyweird blockbusters at the screen in the same month two years in a row (this year it goes Iron Man, Speed Racer, Chronicles of Narnia 2: Electric Boogaloo, and Indiana Jones in the 4th Dimension) and there are weeks where nothing of any relevance is released?

Why not take a page from Zack Snyder and release films in early-March that are actually decent (as opposed to tales of English-speaking Cro-magnons fighting Egyptians while riding horses and sabretooth tigers)? Why not stop flooding the market with all these films about no one and nothing and put out well-thought out pieces of cinema (like Gleaming the Cube)?

Why not?

"I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too."

-Thomas Jefferson

Therein lies the problem here. GTA 4 will be frowned upon in certain circles. Overly violent. Spouts ignorance and greed and stereotypes. It shines poorly on women. It gives a certain gleam to crime that makes it look ritzy and swanky.

That is a problem. There will be a day in the future where the government pays more attention to what you are watching on television. On your video game system. What movies you purchase. What comics and books you read online. Everything.

Soon, everything will be watched. We will be a society overthrown by its own government.

Or will we? Will we allow it? Will we sleep underneath tyranny and corruption? Or will we rebel against this system and do what we want when we want? Will we?

Will we play GTA4 or watch Iron Man in theaters? That choice is yours to make. A more simple choice.

Much simpler than whether to rebel or walk heel-toe into oblivion.

That will be much tougher.

That choice is yours. Choose wisely.

Part 12


"I'm the wild card, the joker in the deck."

-Hale Irwin

There was a hill. A hill to drive to. A hill to discover. Followed by other hills. Followed by more clues.

It began with a ticking clock and the face of George Washington. His face, obstructed by Joker paint. A smile across his wooden face.

It continued with coordinates. Latitude and longitude. It began like every other thing: with a ticking clock and a game piece.

I burst onto the scene, rolling down Nall toward where the map pointed to. 117th and Nall. In front of the Sprint Campus. Thoughts rushed through my head.

Possible boycott? Possible ambush?

Ambush felt most likely. The coordinates, the link, had been sent to me by a demon. A trickster. A Joker.

Why So Serious?

And there it was. I rolled down the street, toward the hill, and another goon was waiting for me. A gentleman dressed no different from myself. My Dr. Gonzo would arrive later in the afternoon, so I went, sat, and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

There were to be instructions. A large group of us had now gathered there atop that hill, overlooking Nall. Overlooking newly built structures. Garages. Movie theaters. And any number of passing onlookers wondering what cult-like activities were taking part within the circle on top of the hill.

We received our instructions from a man in a mask. A man claiming to be one of the lead goons for the Joker gang. Stay as a group, follow directions, and win a prize.

Would that prize be our lives?

Online informants contacted us by phone. Gave us directions. Eye to eye from Aristotle to Einstein. Purple trees. Dead limbs on a Christmas tree. Meet your maker.

It took time. Effort. The group of 85 was unruly. Unwieldy. Didn't follow the rules correctly. Didn't follow them to a T. Jumped around. Whooped and hollered.

And started from the beginning over again.

My Dr. Gonzo and I agreed. There were too many of us. Too much potential to make mistakes. Too many risks. Too many hazards. And I still felt like it was an ambush. My skin crawled as we moved from location to location. Counting. Counting for what?

The combination of a safe. The combination that would lead us to victory.

85 of us made that trip. Took upon ourselves in that scavenger hunt. It took time and effort but it paid off. We completed our journey. All on foot.

All winded, tired, beaten, we made our trip to meet our man. Another man in his mask. He had gifts to give us. Joker Cards. Branded with the emblem of the Joker. It was to be our salvation.

Each person got a different Joker card. Each person's card was different in one way or another. Different profiles of different Jokers throughout time and history. Each person, each Joker goon, was different. Along with the card came a ticket, a ticket for something else?

And finally, the combination was correct, the safe was open, and we procured from the second Joker goon "Paul" a film reel. What it was was guessed upon by each and every one of us. A new trailer? Police camera footage?

It was the trailer.

For July 18th. For The Dark Knight.

My thoughts on the trailer? Dr. Gonzo's thoughts on the trailer? Spectacular. Explosive. Gives a true voice to our pal Mr. J. Makes me salivate for July. Makes me want more.

Spoilers within...after this brief quote from Chris Nolan:

"I wouldn't consider doing a Batman sequel unless I felt like it could be a great film, a film even better than the one we already made."

-Christopher Nolan

Did he? The trailer shows Joker in his glory, proclaiming that Gotham needs a new breed of villain for its new breed of hero. Joker faces down a large gathering of what appears to be mob bosses and proclaims that they will kill the Batman.

We see Harvey Dent, a lot, getting his licks in. Taking down crime. Doing his part to make Gotham a safer place. And then we see him getting shoved face first against the floor while gasoline is poured onto the floor.

We see a lot of Batman. A lot of the new Gotham landscape. And it is beautiful. It looks like a living breathing city.

And that is all I will tell you about it. Wait until you see it. It looks great.

My Dr. Gonzo and I on this trip made it out safely. Alive. No ambush. No arrest warrants made for us.

Each and every one of the goons took home a piece of Batman and a piece of the Joker. And we all feel we have been a part of something different. A part of the or.

A part of the different. Don't we all want to be different?

"We all have different desires and needs, but if we don't discover what we want from ourselves and what we stand for, we will live passively and unfulfilled."

-Bill Watterson


Part 13


Plus, an Iron Man review.

"To be thoroughly conversant with a man's heart, is to take our final lesson in the iron-clasped volume of despair."

-Edgar Allan Poe

The night started like any other. Except for the brown-outs. And the black-outs. And power failures. And weathermen and weatherwomen breaking in on favorite television programs to interrupt. A lot of anger felt by all.

But that's not the beginning, it starts like any other story. Rolling down the street, big yellow banana auto, windows down, heat blaring against me with the wind rapping against the heat. A large group of people standing outside on Quivira and 135th, appearing dumbfounded.

McDonald's employees locking doors and waving people through the drive-thru. Lots of men and women too fit for their own good running away from the storms in a fit of jogging.

Dogs barking at the sky. Biting at the wind.

Not really like any other day.

I kept my windows down as I rolled into 119th and Nall. Searching for food. A place to sit and eat. A place to meet my numerous gonzo goons. Stopped for food near Metcalf. Kentaco Hut.

Expensive. More expensive than most fast food. But alas, they had power and the Gonzos decided.

Enjoyable meals had by all. We were on our way. Destination: Iron Man.

115th and Nall, Town Center 20. The previous destination of my Joker antics. The notorious hill incident. But this night, Thursday night, parking lot was damn near empty. Parking everywhere. All spots open. Destination: Iron Man was go for launch.

We waited. And waited. And waited. A number of other Gonzos were going to join us. A total of 10 for the Iron Man release. Weather permitting, we were waiting it out outside.

Didn't last long, we were inside within 10 minutes. In empty theater. Nothing on the screen. But a digital projector. Which was nice.

We were cogs in the machine of Hollyweird, paying our hard-earned money for something that could potentially, as one of my Gonzos recently pointed, be a bastardized version of a superhero I grew to know as friend. Called him Tony. And he might just be boiled down to paltry attempts at product placement in his blockbuster film.

But then, all the Gonzos arrived. We were deep. Real deep. We all knew it too. Hollyweird had to earn its money from us.

"Man is a shrewd inventor, and is ever taking the hint of a new machine from his own structure, adapting some of his own anatomy in iron, wood, and leather, to some required function in the work of the world."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

We were the inventions. Iron Men and Women created to see these big blockbusters from Hollyweird. If we didn't like it, no one will. We were born and raised to enjoy movies such as this.

The lights went dim. Screen grew bright. Digital projection sure is pretty. And the trailers began. LOUD and clear. Blu-ray quality, given to us from the gods above.

Indiana Jones. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Does the skull lead to hidden treasure? Possibly the hidden treasure of the Dr. Pepper machine?

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Dr. Pepper

Indy looks old. Haggard. Weather-beaten. Worn down. Maybe he should drink more Dr. Pepper.

Chronicles of Narnia: Off the Chain. Eh. Is it in fact off the chain? Lots of animals at war with other woodland creatures. Lots of shots of battle.

Chronicles of Narnia: Where's Darkman?

Hearing Darkqui-Gon Jin is always a plus, but come on? It's been a year since the kids were last in Narnia and they've all been through puberty? One of the kids has a beard and the other looks like Rollie Fingers.

Incredible Hulk. Looks cool. Makes me want to smash.

Hulk: Project Mayhem

Seriously, watch the trailer. I feel like it should be called Project Mayhem as Norton completely feels like Jack's wasted life. And here we are again with the smashing and a big green goof punching and smashing things. Could be cool.

Darkwing Duck

The Dark Knight trailer. Seen again this week. Second time on the big screen. So much prettier on the DLP. But what I wouldn't give for a Darkwing Duck big-screen movie. Joker looks cool. Heath's last role should be a doozy, and Harvey Two-Face could be pretty awesome.

The lights went DARKER and boom goes the dynamite there it was. The brilliant flash of red. Marvel Studios. Flipping pages of a comic. It feels like home.

All goes quiet in the theater for a brief moment, followed by Back in Black by AC/DC. Great. The moments were great. But it all boils down to one actor:

Robert Downey Jr.

Believable. Amazing. Completely the Tony Stark from the comics-world. The boozer. Womanizer. Super-hero?


Robert Downey Jr. The needle that could have broken the camel's back. Would he be bad like Shaq in Steel or Bob Hoskins in Super Mario Bros. or Dolph Lundgren in anything?

No. He was a perfect choice. Like Christian Bale as Batman. John Leguizamo in Super Mario Bros. Captain Lou Albano in the Mario TV show.

He made the movie. And it was easy. Favs did a great job directing what technically is his first big budget blockbuster flick. He even appeared (alongside co-hort Peter Billingsley) in a small but noticeable role.

The story itself: weaponeer, womanizer, bad boy Tony Stark goes to Afghanistan to sell some weapons. And boom. He goes down hard. Lotta of PG-13 deaths (read: no blood). Lotta gunfire.

And then one of his own explosives takes him down and throws some immovable sharpnel into his heart.

And then we learn more about this bad boy. Backstory. Plot. Possible love interest in Pepper Potts (stupid name, actually really well acted by Gwyneth Paltrow). She isn't the standard damsel in distress waiting for Superman to rescue her from a krytonite continent, she's a modern everyday woman.

Terrence Howard plays the best friend/Air Force dude. Voice of reason kinda, but really good. Not Crash good. But good. Real good. And they set him up for the sequel as the War Machine. If you don't know him, get to know him.

Jeff Bridges: The Dude. Acts very undude in this movie. No caucasians drank. No shorts and long bathrobes. No Dude abides. He was the bad guy. But I still love me some Jeff Bridges.

As a whole the movie was great. A lot of little moments. A very good origin for a different kind of superhero. And the special effects were outstanding.

We become very interested in Tony's change of heart. He doesn't want to sell weapons. He wants to save people. But first, he wants an American Cheeseburger. And where does he go? What do we see very explicitly on the screen?

You guessed it: Burger King. A bag of burgers. Maybe whoppers. Who knows? But a Whopper? Why couldn't he have gone to Backyard Burger or In n Out burger and met up with Walter and the Dude and Donny? WHY?

Back to the movie:

Great movie. The Gonzos and I were pleased. If you go and care about comics or about sequels, wait through the credits. A certain eye-patched someone shows up. And of course, you have to sit through Black Sabbath's Iron Man.

Plus: there are a number of blink (or stop listening) and you miss them cameos. Tom Morello (of the great Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave and the Nightwatchmen fame) appears briefly as a terror-goon. Tim Guinee (from John Carpenter's Vampires and Blade) appears as an Air Force douche. And Paul Bettany has a voice cameo as Jarvis. A very strange Jarvis voice sounding a little HAL for my tastes. But a stuffy British butler probably would have seemed an Alfred rip-off (as Michael Caine would have had to play him, just like he plays all butlers in movies).

Anyways, movie as a whole was a great origin film. A great first movie. And the science made sense. One of my gonzos is a graduate student in Physics and he told me so.

Plus, any movie with a Highlander reference is good by me. Bring on the Quickening. Where's the Scottish-Spaniard Ramirez when you need him? The sequel is inevitable, and I can only hope they make it to the planet Zeist so RDJ wins the prize.

"Industrial man - a sentient reciprocating engine having a fluctuating output, coupled to an iron wheel revolving with uniform velocity. And then we wonder why this should be the golden age of revolution and mental derangement."

-Aldous Huxley

But if RDJ does in fact get the prize, wouldn't that be too weird? Wouldn't that be what the or is all about? Something strange. Different. A little off-center. A little non-mainstream.

Give me the prize. And the rebellion rolls on with the banana yellow boat riding down Nall late on a Thursday night. An enjoyable night had by the Gonzos and myself, to be continued.


Part 14


Free Comic Book day included

"Capoeira can be a tool in the First World, a tool against the forces that tend to turn people into robots that do not think, do not wish, do not have any fantasies, ideals, imagination or creativity; a tool against a civilization that increasingly says one simply has to work and then go home and sit in front of a TV with a can of beer in hand, like a pig being fattened for the slaughterhouse."

-Nestor Capoeira

Like a brick to the head, capo came and went. Friday night was interesting. Took the yellow banana boat out onto the streets of Southwest Boulevard and past the art fairs and born-agains and homeless.

Into the heart of Kansas City.

A group of Gonzos and myself made the trip Friday night. Cold. No rain. A blue marker in my hand. We were going to be art and make art before the night was over. The group would grow by 2 and then by 3 and so on and so forth until the group was close to tipping level. But that is leading to another point for later.

We stopped off at Boulevard Yoga to watch a Gonzo's capo demonstration. Invited, we sat, cross-legged and barefoot in the back of the room, backs to the wall. We watched. Waited and watched.

Tambourines, bongos, and other instruments never before witnessed were played with the chanting of a spiritual group showing their unity in their art. This was the first portion of First Fridays, and it was a good start.

We watched Jason Statham move gracefully, back-flips and kick-flips and all kinds of moves with names I have no idea what they are and if I did probably not how to pronounce them. There was a man named Bamboo visiting from Chicago in a yellow shirt, and I immediately identified with him.

An outsider brought into the group with open arms from somewhere outside. The capo demonstration was a true showing of the or. It was all about the different.

"The impossibility of one person completely capturing capoeira, yet its potential to be touched by anyone are part of the balance of power and beauty of this magical art."

-Mestre Accordeon

And that is the best portion of this gonzo experiment: it was art. The beauty of the movements was a pure look into something gonzo. There wasn't plain and simple kicks, punches, or uppercuts. There was grace. Poise. Movements like a dance. And musical accompaniment.

Onto the rest of the night:

Friday then involved a trip into the cold with I am Legend and a gonzo with the words Mind-Jacking scribbled in blue marker against his left arm. We had grown, the group had now almost doubled in size and the gonzos rolled deep into the heart of First Fridays.

"The sad thing is that people are going to think this is a reflection of rap music. But it's not a reflection...people have lives outside of the music."

-David Banner

The Gonzos and one Raoul Duke witnessed a rap battle. In the heart of First Fridays across the street from Art Incubator and next door to an undergarments store. Crazy. To see a Rap Extravaganza was not the crazy part. Just the sense that not only was it next to the underwear place of business, it was also across the street from an acoustic guitarman serenading a group of women slowly grooving to his music.

And here we were, witnessing one man get trounced by the other, cold weather settling in and the cold of the beating he took hurting even more. It was glorious.

And so we continued, and ended the night in a loft across the street from the Library screaming obscenities at Baby Mario as he was beaten mercilessly by Bowser.

But the or continued on straight through into Saturday morning, when the National Holiday for the comic fan came once again: Free Comic Day. The first Saturday in May is always a wonderful day for every comic fan.

"As many people have pointed out, the scene in 'Kung Fu Hustle' where the Landlady was chasing after me resembled the Roadrunner, ...I loved to watch cartoons and read comic books when I was small. In fact, I still watch and read a lot of them now. They give me great ideas."

-Stephen Chow

And that's the great appeal of comics: they are still around. Somewhat unchanged from when you were a kid but still greatly different as well. They definitely fit with the or. They are something still completely frowned upon in some circles that you can't imagine how many people still get upset or flustered when you proudly proclaim:

I read comic books.

But don't worry about how people see you. That is the point of this continuing look into comics and the or and the great escape of mental inhibitions that the gonzos allow for us to do.

If you created an Iron Man armor that you want to wear in public, embrace that weirdness. If you love going to a comic store and smelling the old newsprint yellowed paper of the comics in the old worn boxes, by all means, smell and sniff your way baby.

Embrace the part of the or that you are part of. It is the only way to be a human. To embrace who you are.

Comics are part of the or because they are looked down upon by society in some ways to this day.

This is what happened in the 50s.

One Psychiatrist lead the call against comics

"Comic books are cheap, shoddy, anonymous. Children spend their good money for bad paper, bad English, and more often than not, bad drawing."

-Dr. Fredric Wertham

This man almost destroyed comics, and in a way, had a hand in taking a portion of them down. By looking at them as though they were demonic, womanizing, "tripe," Wertham took the case before the courts which lead to the creation of the Comics Code Authority and the demise of EC Comics and the horror comic genre almost completely.

People, still to this day, look down their nose at comics as something all about muscly men and androgynous women who are creating an unstable view of humanity, but when some creators love comics so much that they profess them in public (people who are world-renowned actors, authors, poets, etc), comics get a better viewing and a better showing.

Look at the most recent box office splash: Iron Man. Detractors tried to claim it would make no money. Too many things going against it. Bad economy. High gas prices. Not a well-loved character. Grand Theft Auto 4 came out. Bad weather. Etc.

It scored 104 million bucks. That's different. That was unexpected. That's comics. That is the graphic fiction that millions of people profess love for behind closed doors or in safe locales where they know they can trust the clerk or their friends.

I am saying it loud: I am or. I am different. I still love comics and I always will.

"Writing a book is lonelier and slower than writing comics. The joy of comics is that you have somebody to talk to. What you're writing isn't what somebody reads, it's a letter to an artist. There's immediate gratification as you start getting feedback on it."

-Neil Gaiman

Wear your or like a badge. Brazilian martial arts. Comic books. Rap battles. Art exhibits. Anything you like: BE PROUD OF IT. BE PROUD OF YOUR OR.

Be rebellious in your love of the or.


Part 15


"Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle. The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of manhood."

-George S. Patton

Competition breeds success. I've heard that before. Someone on the radio was mentioning it to my ears as I blared down the road on 69 right before the Final Countdown started to play.

There is something in the air. A competition has come to mind. One that springs forth from boredom and frustration. One involved in all facets of my life. One that will surely be cause for celebration.


What type of person celebrates competition?

All kinds baby. Competition breeds success. Competition built the tank of an automobile I sit behind the wheel of rolling down the highway to the sounds of Europe. Competition gave us different types of food. Competition gave us McDonald's VS. Burger King.

Pepsi vs. Coke.

Apollo Creed vs. Rocky Balboa.

Alien vs. Predator.

Competition: to be the best.

"Competition is the rivalry between two or more parties over something. Competition occurs naturally between living organisms which coexist in the same environment. For example, animals compete over water supplies, food and mates. In addition, humans compete for attention, wealth, prestige and fame."

Wikipedia gave me that definition. Politics is a perfect example of competition. Hollyweird coming up next.

Obama vs Clinton: Cage Style

Is competition always the best thing? This thought rangles in my head as Final Countdown is nearly over. My thoughts of Obama and Clinton stepping into the ring come over my head as I think: what would happen?

Is there competition hurting their chances at becoming the next President of the United States? John McCain has been running for the presidency unabated for months now, and Obama and Clinton are taking this to the heavens above, and damn the rest of us, they don't care.

My political views notwithstanding, this is a gonzo journalistic view. So let's look deeper: both are stupid. Because of their continuing fight, neither will win. They will polarize voters even more than they already have and McCain will reap the benefit of their battle.

Whenever one of the two wins this battle, they will be defeated and struggling for another battle with McCain. Who has had months to rest and create a battle plan whereas Clinton and Obama have spent so much time fighting each other, it is without question that they will not bring their a-game.

And that scares me.

So competition isn't always the key. It isn't always the best thing.

"Competition is not only the basis of protection to the consumer, but is incentive to progress."

-Herbert Hoover

Tila Tequila an incentive to progress?

God I wish. People go on that show, in the hopes of getting noticed in Hollyweird, only to eat balls and make out with a so-called bisexual who is also a so-called celebrity. For the shot at "love" and probably fame.

Just like all good consumers, we watched and are enthralled by these programs. We accept the mass programming forced down our throats of people like her and former porn star Bret Michaels trying to find love and more fame. And we accept it. We accept it because there is a quality to the programming that is undeniable.

It is a competition for someone's love.

It is disgusting.

Taking my vehicle over the 80 mph mark on 69 going toward 87th st and the heart of Overland Park, I want to drive it off the side of the road and end this constant Tila Tequila headache.

But I won't.

I won't allow the competition to defeat me. Competition breeds success, and so will I.

Recently, a friend has started posting his thoughts on this here sight. And instead of backing down, I will take it to the streets. I will push his thoughts forward as he has been pushing mine forward.

We will be Apollo and Rocky, throwing our fists in unison and uttering battlecries against the showing of Hollyweird and the inanities of daily life.

We wonder, we connect, we compete. We know the world itself is a competition.

We are all competing for that last spot on next season's Survivor. For that glossy promotion. For that piece of the pie.

We are all going to be competing until the day we die. May as well embrace that part of our or. Embrace the fact that competition will make us stronger. Make us better. Make us faster.

Unless we're forced to eat bull testicles on a dating program on MTV.

The man next to me in his beige Chrysler Cirrus looks over. Topping out at 85 mph now. Passed 87th street exit unfortunately, and now in a competition for my lane of travel. He wants to merge and I want to take the next exit on 75th street and make my way back toward Metcalf.

He begins to throttle up. I'm already at 85 in my yellow monstrosity and there is barely any way for the banana car to go any higher.

I've changed to a CD now. Go with the Flow begins. But I choose not to. I push down even harder against the gas and bring the car even closer to the 90 mark. Fearing meltdown, the Chrysler Cirrus pulls even closer to me, pushing his beige beast even harder himself.

We both look down at our gauges and we know we should stop.

Will I yield?

Or will I compete?

As always, I choose or.

"The essence of competitiveness is liberated when we make people believe that what they think and do is important - and then get out of their way while they do it."

-Jack Welch


The first 16 parts can now be read here, easily, for your pleasure. The rest, of the first 84 parts, are on their way. The opus continues.


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