Thursday, December 16, 2010

How to handle getting old. Seriously.

First you need to come to terms with the problem: an inevitable, irreversible state of decay. This is the first part of what will happen when you are dead and in your grave. It is a problem without a solution. Just accept that. You can slow things down, and talk yourself into being okay with it, but it does not matter, you are dying already.

If you drink enough you simply will not care about growing old. It just will not matter. The sense of life slowly seeping out of your pores with every passing second will fade away and you will be as unconcerned about aging as when you were young. Alcohol brings you into the moment, allows you to forget past and future and be here, now.

Being an asshole
Just by having enough experience with people and relationships you should have learned how to hurt feelings effectively. You also know that you have nothing to lose. Being able to make others genuinely miserable with the things you say helps to alleviate your sense of helplessness in the face of death by making you feel powerful and superior to them.

Going crazy
Remove all your inhibitions and do pretty much anything you feel like doing. All there is left to experience is death. It is coming soon. If you think seriously enough about your death, then nothing else matters. The approval and sensibilities of those around you are insignificant, the rules and obligations of society are likewise minor considerations.

Being kind, helpful, and using your life-experience to help others
Bullshit. They have no interest in hearing from you and are basically just waiting for you to get buried so they can pick through your belongings like old women at a yard sale. To them you are a useless old husk whose value is in your possessions. Most people need to suffer to learn, so good advice will go unheeded.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

You Will Still Die, Even if You Quit Smoking

Consider all the things out there that you could possibly die from. Smoking is one single thing, that might kill you somewhere down the line, among a million other things that might kill you right this second.

Quitting cigarettes provides the illusion of preventable death. Of course, everybody says they know that they are going to die, but the truth is, nobody really believes it. Eating healthy food, not smoking, getting regular exercise, all of it is with the desire to avoid death, to find a loophole in your contract with the body-bag.

Quitting cigarettes will not guarantee any kind of benefit. The drunk driver who will crash into your car tonight does not care whether or not you smoke.

Quitting will not guarantee an easier death or a longer life
Did you know that there are many illnesses that are not the results of smoking? Old and young sick people will die today who have never so much as inhaled secondhand smoke! And they die too! Some of these illnesses are painful and humiliating and just as ugly as any smoking-related disease.

The best any doctor can tell you is that not-smoking makes it less likely that you will die from certain diseases and conditions. If I don't drive and I avoid roads it makes it less likely that I will not die in an automobile accident. It doesn't make it less likely that I will die in an equally painful way from something else.

Death is, indeed, inevitable
How fascinating is that? Absolute certainty. How many things in human existence are absolutely certain to happen? It's an alien, wholly foreign concept to our imaginations. The thing that is absolutely unavoidable, the experience that is universal. Every risk you avoid, everything you accomplish, every experience you have or don't have, is meaningless in that respect. In eternity it doesn't matter if you die now or in 20 years.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

About Committing Suicide, 5 Points

1. A relatively surefire method
Meaning it has to kill you, not leave you to suffer, damaged and sentient in some hospital room, unable to finish what you started without help. They say that you need to jump off something really high to be certain, that that’s the closest to surefire you will ever get.

2. A method that is psychologically appealing
Meaning that you can see yourself following through on. For example: lots of people can’t stand the sight of blood so the thought of cutting wrists turns their stomachs.

3. Absolute certainty
Seeing that there is usually no coming back from this, this is not for those who are dithering or tremulous on any level. If you have to think about it you probably are not ready. There can be no questions anywhere in your mind.

4. No one you care about leaving behind
This has to be selfish and completely private by definition. If at any point anybody else other than you crosses your mind you probably are not ready. You have to be fixated and obsessed and completely single-minded about it.

5. No opportunity for last-minute regret
In the first point in the list I pointed out the fact that with jumping off high places there is the issue of a long fall to the ground. You get to think and feel regret after you have gone past the point of no return. It is but a few moments, but there is time for conscious, pointless remorse which is not how you want to spend your last few moments. With hanging or sleeping pills or anything that takes time there is this issue. You want to opt for the kind that takes you consciousness immediately after you have made the final step.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Most people do not hate anything or anyone randomly...

Most people do not hate anything or anyone randomly, they have specific reasons. Sometimes the reasons are objective and clear, sometimes the reasons are muddled and have to do with their own personal failings, like personal insecurity.  The people who oppose Social Conservatism have a very specific set of reasons.

I have often heard it said that everyone is a Liberal when young and a Conservative when old. This is partly true, usually when the world changes around people, they tend to cling to what they knew when young, out of fear of their own obsolescence. The world makes what was Liberal at one point, relatively Conservative at a later point.

So, why do Liberals tend to despise Conservatives? There is an arc of change that a person’s life tends to follow as they grow into Conservatism, each point in that arc comes with a characteristic that more open-minded people find offensive.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

People Will Try to Destroy Your Relationship, and Here’s Why

When people are unhappy with their own lives (and most people are), they don’t always admit this unhappiness to themselves. Instead, they will transfer the responsibility for their feelings to those around them, making those people at fault for how they feel. This will come up in a number of ways, but most notably, it makes already present resentments worse. If they would feel mildly annoyed by something, that minor irritation becomes anger. If they are already resentful and envious of certain aspects of your relationship, they may feel a need to actively do something about it, to try to poison it.

If they have an emotional connection to one or both of you then this will give them the cover they need to do it. They can offer advice and claim to do it out of love or concern. They can interfere and say that they are doing it for your own good. It may also give them a certain amount of power in your relationship. This is where mothers-in-law get their bad reputations.

That power is another reason they may do it, entirely separate from their own personal unhappiness. Power is addictive, and the fact that somebody is able to manipulate you or your partner, means that it will be at least tempting for them to do it.

Ways to defend against this:
Understand that not everybody who offers advice has your best interest in mind. Learn to see the possible ulterior motives when people appear eager to help.

Do not seek help when your are emotional. Granted, that’s when you most want it, but doing this removes much of your objectivity, and makes you overly receptive to manipulative suggestions.

Settle problems within the relationship. If it’s necessary to bring somebody in, bring in somebody wholly unconnected with any of the parties.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Poverty Can Strike at Any Moment: Be Ready

You want an idea that’s so good that nobody will ever implement it? How about this one: Live poorly. Always be ready to be poor. Be ready for poverty to strike at any moment. Learn to live like a person in the Third World.

Poverty is unpredictable. You cannot ever be so rich that you can’t lose all of it and then some. You can’t be so rich that you cannot ever get sick and be unable to spend all of it. It’s best if you never become so helplessly addicted to your wealth that you cannot function without it.

You don’t have to sell your things and move out of your mansion to experience it, just set a really low budget for your day-to-day life. Shop at the dollar stores, thrift shops and discount supermarkets. Eat a limited, inexpensive range of foods, bought in said supermarkets, or grown in your yard. Your “treats” (even poor people have them)should be simple and be far enough apart from each other that no matter how simple they are, are still “treats”. When the dollar menu at McDonald’s taste good, you are on the right track.

The idea is to reduce the emotional trauma of the fall, the potential of which is always there. To get some resources (psychological and otherwise) ready for when your quality of life changes.

Your quality of life always changes. Sooner or later, if you live long enough, your quality of life changes. You get old, you get dependent, and you get fearful because you are dependent. Everybody is trying to rob you, the world feels alien, and everybody thinks that you are a feebleminded, doddering old fool, and you hate that, mostly because you are inclined to think they are right.

Be ready is the point here. Know what it feels like before you have to know what it feels like.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Real Dangers to Kids Now

You probably should not be worried about child molesters in the classroom. Too many witnesses, too much supervision, also, they are outnumbered. The “Free Candy” van does not work in a school setting. No, there are far more insidious and powerful dangers out in an educational institution, things that nobody likes to talk about.

Certain kinds of religious people
They will attempt to convert your kid. For the most part religious people believe in indoctrination. Indiscriminate indoctrination. When they join up in their religion they are commissioned to bring in new believers using whatever platforms they have available to them. Speaking to children from a position of authority is a powerful platform. The absolute certainty that some faiths require the faithful to ostentatiously display, can, and will creep into every discussion of every subject. The fact that they are violating rules and upsetting parents allows the indoctrinators to feel martyred and heroic.

People who want to be liked
There is probably something deeply wrong with adults who desperately crave the approval of children. Yes, you want your child to feel comfortable around their teachers. You definitely don’t want them to be afraid to ask questions, or be scared away from a subject, but an adult who wants a group of somewhat diverse kids to actively like them, probably won’t have time to teach, and, if they do find time, will probably tailor their lessons with popularity in mind. It is not a viable, practical objective. I strongly suspect that the whole phenomenon of female teachers molesting male students comes from this. What better way to secure the approval of a horny, hormonal, adolescent male than via sex?

People obsessed with status and power
For some people the role of teacher is about the position of being the one educated person in a room full of impressionable morons. You get to affect their entire lives, most middle-aged people can still remember their favorite and most hated teachers from elementary school. You get to be the one who teaches them new things, you give them knowledge, you are the dispenser of it. You are the authority figure, sole source of power in the room. The problem with this power-obsession is that to keep that sense of superiority, the students must always be dumber than their teacher, at least while they are still that teacher’s students. Ambition, genius, excelling, or even just not being like all the others, are often subtly, or not so subtly discouraged.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Some People Never Mature Past Their Teens

Sometimes people peak in their teens. This is the last point in their life at which they actually had it good, felt free and optimistic. Often these people never actually grow out of being teenagers. They never get any better at life, and at age forty still have the coping skills that they did when they left high school.

Talking to them when they are adults is exactly like talking to them when they were kids. It is impossible to befriend such people. It is impossible to have a meaningful relationship with them.

The only way for some people to grow, is to suffer and to find a way out of that suffering. To experience a bad, bitter marriage, and an ugly divorce, to lose someone close, to see have multiple shifts in life and to emerge from them, to learn how to handle setbacks and despair.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Don’t Care About the Feelings

The only way to deal with, hysterical, over-emotional, mercurial people is to not care too much about what they think or are feeling at any given point. Take them too seriously and you find that your emotions run riot right along with theirs.

You can't take their feelings seriously until they stick for a period of time, then you acknowledge them. They will still probably pass, but you have to deal with them while they are around.

These up-down-up-down people take what they feel very seriously, so you can’t ever openly dismiss them. This does not mean that you don’t care about them, their lives, or that you are not interested. You just don't care about what they feel.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chuck Palahniuk Quote

"What we don't understand we can make mean anything."
Chuck Palahniuk

This goes for all the things that people don't know. You can assign meaning wherever you want when you are ignorant. Science becomes magic, other people different from you are evil, and so on.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The things that reveal the real you

Your fetishes, your sexuality, reveal who you are. The problem is that it's not affected, it is really you, it's what you do for pleasure, what you truly want to do. It shows a side of yourself that could easily be disgusting to other people. It might gross people out. It's like the skid-marks on your underwear or blowing your nose or merely appearing naked. It makes you vulnerable to scorn. This is why viewing “adult material”, for most, is private, especially if they like minorities or homosexuality or something that nobody they know finds appealing. It's secret and personal. This gives the people who make adult entertainment, who make the things that are shameful powerful in society, power. You make erotica with submissive men, or fat women, or grannies, you become powerful.

Anything that can destroy a reputation or ruin a relationship is powerful because it thrives only as the result of a compulsion, something that goes beyond options and what people want to do. If you can tap into the thing that people need to consume and you can control your product, meaning who has it, then you will make money. It becomes like crack or heroin.

Cater to the low, dark side, the side that wants revenge or is fascinated by stories of serial-killing and rape and perversion. You make any story into a soap opera with clich├ęd twists and contrived circumstances that are simple enough for anybody to understand and yet too complicated for the people on film to figure out and solve until the requisite number of episodes.

Everybody has a dark, stupid side, the part of themselves that longs for the lurid. Usually, it's the same side. Intelligent women whose identity is in their ability to think, they long for the release of ridiculous romance. Women who claim to respect themselves and embody feminist or wholesome family values, they long to do away with discretion and indulge themselves in the lifestyle of the "low woman," the indiscriminate slut. People and the rules they crave to violate offer a market to the intelligent entrepreneur. Everybody longs for their own forbidden fruit, longs to jump the fence eat from the greener pasture, you just have to come up with a way to satisfy it and sell it to them without anybody finding out.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What this “talent” thing is all about

Let’s take a guy who is really good at wood-work. It could be anything, really, cooking, music, being able to sexually satisfy a woman, but let’s say wood-work. He has what people call a “talent”,which is a word that is like the word “magic”. It’s what people use as a label for that which they do not understand. This “talent” is not, and should not be mysterious at all. To be the genius, skilled wood-worker that he is he needs to have first of all, a desire to make something with wood. That’s it. That’s the primary ingredient in “talent”, the simple need for a table, or a chair, or a dildo for his wife since he lost his penis in the war.

Whatever it is, he wants that thing to come into existence, from a tree. He doesn’t like the idea, he doesn’t want to be considered the Michelangelo of wood, he just wants this thing to exist and it does not, therefore he is obligated to make it. So he tries, and thing he creates doesn’t satisfy him, and he tries to refine it and it’s still not right, he checks out furniture every chance he can, makes a note of the stuff that looks right. He asks questions, stays awake at night thinking about it. He goes back to the drawing-board and he tries some more. The desire just won’t go away.

Eventually, over years of trying, his skills get refined. He becomes a master of the jigsaw and router and whatever else wood-workers use. He knows what methods will work and what won’t work. Then one day he makes a chair that is comfortable. He makes a table with a level surface, he makes a splinter-free phallic object. Not only has he mastered the processes that go into creating that chair, he has found that he can do it again, maybe play with the form a little bit to make it more aesthetically pleasing, more comfortable. He has a set of skills that allow him to do whatever he wants with the material he has chosen to work with.
Most people who set out to do anything don’t want a chair. They don’t realize that that’s where it starts, with a desire for something. They want the money that comes from selling chairs, they want the respect that the master-craftsmen get, they want to be able to talk about chairs and tables and maple-wood sex-toys, but not to make one. Not really. So you get critics and "experts" and teachers, who always outnumber the people who make the product. There are a million music bloggers who own guitars and only a handful of guys who can play a guitar like Brian May, a million web-cam models, but only one Belladonna.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ambrose Bierce Quote

"Politeness, n. The most acceptable hypocrisy."
Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary)

And that’s all it ever is. There is nothing sincere behind it, there is no value to it, all it is is just small-talk.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It’s bad and always will be…

The western world consists of theme park nations still living off their colonial inheritances and pretending to not have the sense of entitlement and contended superiority that comes from having oppressed. Life is this big game where grown play make-believe that they are not as shitty as they really are. Once you see this then there are no tragedies. That fucker who got murdered this morning had it coming. Everybody gets what they have coming. You pretend that I am not a dipshit and I will do the same!

Anarchy makes no sense either. You can't rebel against anything except to set up more of the same.

Guess what? Humans are assholes and you need to just accept that. Races of extraterrestrial should stay the fuck away lest we contaminate them like the diseased zombies that we are. The only way you can find something good is by not looking too closely, and the motivation to not look too closely comes from wanting to see good. Everything that you thing is good in your life really comes the need to see it there, not from the quality of the thing itself.

Nothing can change, and so all change is really just theater, so either join the cast and perform your little heart out if you want, but see it for what it is. Take nothing seriously except your performance.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

People and their judgments

In the recent months I have been around kids for more consecutive hours than at any other time in my life, including my childhood. I have come to realize that there were probably many times when I was a kid that the adults around me were fed up and disgusted, but kept it to themselves because I was a kid.

The only reason you feel at ease around people at all is because you don’t really stop to think about how you might come across to them. You have grown out of your self-consciousness if indeed you ever had any. Your childhood was before you were aware of the concept, were aware even of who you were and the fact that there was indeed a right way for you to act and a wrong way.

People judge. All people do. They use their opinions of you to escape from the circumstances of their lives. They assess you in order to find a flaw so that they can feel that they are superior to you, or at least not your inferior. Only the man in trouble does not judge, becoming so swallowed up in his circumstances that he does not care about anything beyond himself.

The criteria varies based on how much of life you have seen. The "amount" of life is not measured in quantity of years but breadth of experience, how much of the range of possible human events have you seen? You grow up in a small-town all your references are limited to that small town. You cannot conceive of life on the outside, but you don’t know it, you don’t know how limited your imagination is.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

H.L. Mencken Quote

"A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin."
H. L. Mencken 

And what's wrong with that? There is a good chance that there will be one.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Good looks mean more than pretty much everything else in life

People look their best between the ages of 19 to 25, after that it’s pretty much all downhill. Often it starts way before the 25. This is the period where you need to start developing a sense of humor and finding out how to be charismatic if you want to be social and move with the cream of the crop. You will need to make money too, because money is like White Out for your personality problems.

Yes, looks matter. How often do you see good-looking homeless people? Never.

I am not saying that this is right, but it does serve a purpose. People who lack in the looks department compensate the way guys with micro-penises compensate. Brett Favre never would have been successful if he was hung like John Holmes. I don’t think that of all the athletes in the all the professional sports’ hall of fames there is one person over 3 inches, and nobody who is particularly good-looking either. Except for maybe Michael Jordan, and he must be the size of a flea.

Anyway, my original point was that youth makes everybody look better than they ever will again. I am just saying that if you are ugly when young you are pretty much screwed and need to start being a really cool person with money.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Nature of Success

Successful people, or people who think they are successful, all believe that life is a meritocracy because this makes them superior to all of the average people.

Average people want to believe in this principle when they are faced with those who are less-than average, but any such ranking system would indicate that they are inferior to the successful. They can’t admit that so they just don’t think about any of it.

Life is not a meritocracy. It’s not a crap shoot either. Nothing is guaranteed. Lazy people get successful, hard-working people fail and wind up smoking crack in a corner behind the dumpster. Kind people suffer and die and assholes prosper, good guys get shot and bad guys get away with it. Everybody likes to pat themselves on the back and forget the advantages they had and pretend that they got success because they are just too cool to fail.

Everybody alive is more successful than the dead people. That’s how “success” really works. You have no control of anything. People who have money, who have fulfilling and profitable careers, just have not meant the right drunk driver, rapist with AIDS, workplace shooter, or period of suicidal depression due to a malfunctioning brain. If you think any of that is because you are so awesome, remember that the cancer, or one of the aforementioned things is out there, waiting for you. You won’t always be cool.   

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Why people think you are creepy

Staring at strangers
We can see you, you know. Long lingering stares at perfect strangers, makes the person you are staring at uncomfortable, if they notice, but for the rest of us, the ones who see you staring, it says so much. Depending on the subject of the stare, everybody thinks they know why you are doing it. If it’s a woman you might just look pathetic, or else look like a potential rapist or serial killer, that is, if you are a man. If you are a woman it might just seem just envious and pathetic, but in some cases malevolent and bitter. You look like somebody who is too far gone to control even the most basic impulse, too used to being alone to know how to handle being around people. You look like somebody who needs to be reacquainted with the concept of boundaries

It could be your choice of porn
Lactation bukkake and things of that ilk are not appreciated by the masses, even by people with mildly exotic tastes. People dislike tastes that disagree with their own, and dislike the fact that you have judged them by not enjoying exactly what they enjoy. Sex is a perfect area for this kind of thing to arise because most people judge themselves righteous based on which desires they repress. They have probably felt shame about something they enjoyed, could not help enjoying and felt helpless because of this. They seek to feel powerful by making you feel ashamed, just like somebody, maybe their mother, made them feel bad because they looked at Hustler magazine.

Perhaps, the things you say have something to do with it
Inappropriate, appropriate. These words mean something. There is a difference between the two. Do not comment on something like, say, a woman’s camel-toe unless you are very well-acquainted with her. Perhaps even intimate. This is not a matter for the work-place, or for strangers on the bus. Even when you are intimately acquainted it’s still a touchy subject. If you decide to bring it up, just do it and then go on to something else. Leaving the room might be a good idea. Lingering to discuss the quality of her camel-toe, places you have seen camel-toes, and how you feel about them in general, is usually a mistake. Bringing up any fetishes you may have and speaking at length about them, is also likely to make people uncomfortable. Any fetishes.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The value of the lost cause

You get the security of knowing that you will be banging your head against a dead horse for the rest of your life, looking for the solution, the elusive result that will make you feel validated and satisfied. You get to spend your days thinking up ways to solve the unsolvable, thus giving you something to think about, which you would not otherwise have. It's the ultimate red herring, the plot of your life seems to be going somewhere, even though it really isn't. Just keep on thinking those positive thoughts, keep on dreaming the dream. You won't ever find your way, you will die still fumbling in the dark, but at least you can tell yourself that what you are fumbling for might be there. You get a project with which to kill time. Life is short, so spend it on a fruitless, pointless, pleasure-less task so as to make it seem shorter.

It's way more important to be able to tell yourself that some absurdly fantastic notion is worth chasing than it is to actually accomplish anything. Once something gets done then what else is there to do? You are stuck with this finished task that no longer has a place for you, the fixer. The completed building no longer needs the builder. Sure, you are validated having gotten done, but with each passing day your role of fixer/builder diminishes in memory, and you become more and more obsolete. The good contractor must cause as many problems as he solves so as to ensure a lengthy period of work. Here’s to the lost cause!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

John Adams Quote

“Power always thinks... that it is doing God's service when it is violating all his laws.”
John Adams

That goes for all the supposedly moral, supposedly righteous people who seek to inflict their concept of righteousness on the world.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Kids are troublesome

There are things that very few people take into account before breeding, here are some of the more important ones.

1. They will not appreciate you until you are

They assume that you will always be around until it finally hits home that you are gone for good, then suddenly they see what they don’t have in their lives, contrasted with what used to be there. Every single little thing that they took for granted will be highlighted. Until you die, though, they are blind to it, you are pathetic compared to the parents of their friends.

2. Whatever method of parenting you choose will be wrong
If you push it will be too hard, if you don’t push then you should have. Every single thing you do will cause an issue and the issue will be entirely your fault. What’s more they will rebel against you, so that if you try to raise them the right way, they will go, at least for a time, in the opposite direction, and the consequences of this will also be your fault.

3. They will profoundly disappoint you
It won’t happen all at once either. When they come out of the vagina they will have all kinds of potential, but only in your imagination. You will imagine your kid to be a great man or woman, imaginative, athletic, good-looking, talented, and they will grow up to be less so. You will come to see over the course of the next 2 decades that your kid is more like the kids at their school than they are like you. You will see that they are lazier, dumber, less gifted than you are, at least at the things you think are important but most likely at everything.

4. You will screw up
And your mistakes will have very real consequences. You are a flawed person, maybe you have a temper, maybe you don’t have enough of one, maybe you love your job and spend too much time on it, maybe you are less motivated about work. Everybody has something wrong with them, everybody fucks something up at some point. Whatever mistakes you make will have definite repercussions in your child’s life, they will view life through the filter of that mistake and either become prone to it themselves, or have some other issue as a result. So on top of them making you a scapegoat for all their own adult issues they will have genuine ones that you started with your issues.

5. Teenagers are assholes
There are the assholes that are assholes to your face, and there are the assholes who hide it from you, but they are all assholes. This is not to say that some are not bigger assholes than others, who are not just going through a phase but on the road to becoming assholes for their entire lives. Every kid goes through that phase where the blurred lines between childhood and adulthood, the increased and increasing expectations, the insecurities, all combine into a shit-supercell of self-pity and melodrama.

6. You will love them too much
That means you are tied to them no matter what. Even if you kid grows up to be a serial killer or child molester. You will, because of this emotional bond, go into denial. Deep, stupid, dark denial. Everything bad said about your kid will be a lie, and even when you are convinced that, yes, he did molest the neighbors dog, you will be quick to assume that he is cured. Two weeks behind bars and you will start doing everything in your power to get him out. On one level this is sweet, on another it is an example of pure, blind human stupidity and you and your sick, perverted kid should probably be killed.

7. They will look to you for everything
Not only that, it will continue well past the point that it should. It’s a tremendous responsibility, being your child’s main supplier of stuff, of good times, of attention and affection. If you have any kind of life or interest in anything outside of child-rearing, you can change "responsibility"  to "soul-crushing burden".

8. They will be obnoxious
Kids are ignorant of everything including how not to act in public around strangers who neither know nor like them. It is important that you know this fact before somebody kicks your kid in Wal-Mart.

9. They will take a lot of your time
PTA meetings, swing-set assembly, computer assembly, re-learning math so you can help them, reading boring stories over and over again, trips to the ER, driving through the ‘hood looking for a bondsman, endless illnesses, listening to dumb stories about nothing important, all part of the job and basically will suck away maybe a third of your leisure time till they leave home.

10. You will develop patience
You will find yourself able to tolerate weakness, stupidity and assorted other flaws in people younger than you with an equanimity you would never have possessed were it not that your kid was also deficient. On the surface it seems like a good thing, except what it really is is that you are trying to pretend that the flaws are not so bad.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Divide and Conquer: A short lesson on race-baiting and similar divisive tactics

When people are taught from birth that they are superior to a certain other subset of humanity, the notion becomes an unshakeable part of their character. Humans naturally want to feel superior to other humans. Those people from that neighborhood, those people of that religion, those people of that political party, those people with that skin-color. The idea is to always feel that no matter how bad my life is or how much of a failure I am, I am not one of them. As long as you are not one of them, you have not sunk to the lowest low, there are still other people further down. It is where most people get their self-esteem.

What happens when there is no clear evidence of superiority? What happens when circumstances force you to acknowledge the humanity of the other person? That’s when you move away. You segregate. One of the main purposes of segregation, across economic, religious, or racial lines, is to avoid recognizing the other group(s) as equals. There is a loss of identity and people start to integrate when this happens. When you lose your identity as a specific group, then you lose the self-esteem associated with it. The source of your sense of superiority, therefore, is a carefully maintained ignorance of other racial, religious, and ethnic groups.

Bigots are not accidentally ignorant. Their lack of knowledge of other cultures did not come about because they are simply too lazy or unequipped to learn. It is a deliberate human behavior, a psychological device, to avoid discouragement of the individual, to bring people together, to maintain a sense of predictability and safety.

How divisive tactics like race-baiting really work
Demagogues and fomenters use one simple tactic: to weigh the need for self-esteem, to consider yourself better-than, the need for consistent, safely homogenous communities, against logic and fairness. Logic and fairness dictate that people be fair and react to individuals individually. You assume equality, at least until proven otherwise conclusively. By putting the two on the scales together, the race-baiter is asking you to choose between an inflated sense of your personal worth and being rational. Being rational always loses.

The divider calls upon what is already there, the needs and fears and desires, he does not insert them. Hitler did not make the German nation do anything that it was not already inclined to do. He merely focused already existing emotion and used to fuel specific actions. The leaders to inspire ethnic cleansing merely harness the forces, they don’t generate them.

The “cure”
The real solution to racism is not teaching about the equality of people, or “tolerance”, it is about giving people ways of feeling valuable and important apart from being a member of an ethnic group or religion. Failing that, you need to have an overwhelming necessity that renders all divisions irrelevant. You need motivations for forming communities, beyond income-level, race, and worship. Dictatorship, natural disaster, religion, and war are basically the only things known to have accomplished this.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Beware of self-righteous people

Beware of anyone claiming to want to "do the right thing". This is where the human phenomenon of "self-righteousness" usually rears its head. Self-righteousness usually comes with a desire to control others, to inflict one's sense of right on wrong on the people who behave and think differently.

This means that you need to beware of politically-minded religious people, beware of "patriots", beware of strident law-abiders (they are all hypocrites), and beware of their polar opposites, the strident atheists and religion-haters and anarchists.

Absolute certainty is the problem. People who are absolutely certain of anything usually don’t know a whole lot about that thing.

Another problem is the desperate need that insecure people have for a sense of superiority. This need dictates that they will look for and find it wherever they can. Whoever lacks what they possess is in some way inferior, those who do not think or act like them, are likewise inferior.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Questions to Ask When Assessing Your Life

Is this job really necessary? Am I doing anything that needs to be done? Even if people are willing to pay me for handling stupid, pointless tedious, empty little tasks, will I one day look back at my life and wonder what I did with it, what I have to show for my multiple decades of existence?

Is this person capable of having an actual grownup relationship? Is there any actual affection here? Are they worth the investment of your time and effort? Are they just dragging you down? Are you dragging them down? Is there any mutual need, any kind of positive symbiosis?

Will any important life-function be improved by purchasing this? Will owning it even make me feel better? Might this be just the empty disposing of disposable income? Is there anything important that I need to do, that I could do, with this money?

Do I really have a reason for reproducing? If I don’t have an actual reason (like a love for the other person that requires a human testimony, a stamp of authenticity) should I be doing it? Do I want to be tied to this person as "co-parent" for the rest of the kid’s life? Will this person produce good children? Will I produce good children? Do I want to do the massive giving-operation that raising a child requires?

How good a person am I, really? Am I good at anything? Am I somebody that anybody should want to have around? Do the people who hate me have a point?

Bloggers, Not Jonathan Alter, Killed Newsweek

Michael Wolff writing at Newser says that Jonathan Alter is the cause of Newsweek’s decline. Something about Alter’s “glowering presence”. Probably not. Blogs are the cause of Newsweek’s decline, just like they are the cause of Glenn Beck’s ascendance and and the likes of Sarah Palin rising to fame and power. As a matter of fact, you might as well just blame the Internet for everything bad in contemporary culture, as well as most of the good.

Blogs and the voice of the quarrelsome, uneducated, and completely unprofessional, have diminished the respect once held by journalists. People want to hear their own views validated, they do not want truth, Humans have never wanted truth. Were Glenn Beck to tell the truth, or to have any respect whatsoever for it, he would not be popular, he would not be rich, and nobody would care what he had to say. Instead of being a reasonable, fair, professional commentator, he is instead a character actor embodying the spirit of the common man, the average red state American. He is simply spewing forth the views of his audience, regurgitating that which they, and all the people like them already believe. Phrasing absurd, bigoted propaganda in more refined terms so as to make them feel smart for thinking the way they do.

To a certain kind of person, the educated professional is a boring elitist to whom they cannot relate. There is nothing there to cheer for, to enjoy vicariously. Jonathan Alter, with his reliance on learning and experience speaks from an ivory tower to which they cannot approach and have no desire to approach. The blogger, though, with hyperbole, and typo-riddled half-truths, misunderstandings, and speculation masked as fact, is entertaining, approachable, and offers a kind of clarity.

This is a blog, I am a blogger. I, too, write in the typo riddled, half-truths and speculative nonsense. I don’t think it is a bad thing. This is life, blogs are supposed to suspect, untidy, rough, organic. They are like families with several small children, barely functional, but still worthwhile, still possessing that which is of value. The idea is to make you think, to make you assess, and work it out. You are supposed to think critically, not simply accept as true. Be cynical, don’t trust.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

When Stupidity Rears it’s Ugly, Stupid Head

Dealing with idiots is a skill that all intelligent people should learn. Anybody with the ability to rationally analyze an issue, and who thinks in terms of objectivity and who strives to think clearly, is outnumbered. They need to learn how to not draw too much attention to themselves, and to get around the fact that morons cannot be reasoned with.

The moment you encounter your first real idiot, or a set of them, you find that it is not funny at all. It's scary and frustrating and you can't keep that look of disbelief off your face. They off course can sense your scorn. Idiots are good at sensing when other people look down on them, mostly because it happens so often. They see your scorn and think that you believe yourself to be a superior person. Of course, you do, but they won't know why. If there is a difference in race they will ascribe it to that, if there is a difference in education or social class or religion or nationality they will ascribe it to that. Idiots never know that they are idiots and so they never realize that that's why you hate them.

The futility
It is futile to try to to convince or seriously converse with somebody who is wholly emotionally invested in the wrong idea. Relationships with them should be kept on light topics, sports, food, alcohol, weather, the little things that are of no consequence and can fill up conversational dead air around a dinner table or at a bar. They will want to discuss weighty matter with you, because things like religion and politics are how they discern their clan, the people they like. You have to be on the same dumbass page with them or you are the enemy. Your job is to avoid it. Leave if you have to, or find a way to change the subject.

The truth about them
Your average moron is twice as moronic as they let on. Lets say you hear somebody talking about “health-care death panels” at work, know that they are showing you the stuff that they thought about and are fully certain of. They know this to be true and believe their logic to be insurmountable. They are not voicing the million other idiot beliefs that they have with minor doubts, this is the shit that you, Mr educated-and-rational-thinking-smarty-pants, cannot possibly counter.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fathers are not all that necessary

Yes kids “need” both parents at home. And, supposedly, they need to be of different genders too. The truth is that many kids grow up without a dad and turn out perfectly fine, meaning that a dad is not altogether necessary, though, I am sure, it is convenient to have one handy. One important lesson to learn in life is that after a certain point, neither parent is as necessary as they like to think, except, of course, for providing things like food and shelter.

Not being a daddy’s boy
Yes, that peculiarly obnoxious male sub-set. Guys who live to please their fathers. If you never had a dad it looks slightly gross, the fawning and submission and desperation for approval. The desire to imitate and to be servile. It’s a sign of all kinds of insecurities and and self-doubt, as well as an asshole father who plays emotional games with his children. Daddy’s boys are usually made that way by their fathers. It can be done with the right kind of manipulation.

None of the daddy issues that come from having a guy that looked like you in the house

The constant battles for control, the war between the young bull and the old one, the battle for attention from the mother. In the case of teenagers, there is the fact of being essentially a man and still being dependent for most of the essentials. The need to surpass and outdo your father in order to feel like a man, to compete and win, to be a better father, more successful etc.. All of these things plague guys with a live-in dad and at various turning points later in life.

No bad example

Every parent makes mistakes, is deeply flawed in ways that they can’t help but pass on to their children. This goes for everybody, no exceptions. One less parent is one less set of mistakes.

None of that paternal certainty that older men get
People like examples, younger men especially, although many men never grow out of it. It’s part of why sports are popular even among middle-aged men, they are all looking for people to admire. Role models. The role model, or template, makes you more certain that certain behaviors that you share are right. You get reinforcement. If you reflect the opinions and habits of your father you are more sure of them, even when they are wrong.There is less of the continual work-in-progress self-doubt that single-parent children have. They get set in their ways and never change because daddy was that way too.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

5 Different Ways of Escaping Real Life

Everybody tries to escape life, remember the Cormac McCarthy quote. People have different ways of doing it, and to some extent the means of escape is a sign of personality assets and defects. What does your escape mechanism say about you?

Romance fiction
This is an escape for those frustrated, for whom real life relationships are never satisfactory because the person they are with does not make them happy. These are the women who go into relationships expecting that some guy is going to, or should, make everything in their lives perfect and protect them from ever feeling unhappy about anything ever again.

Insulting commercials
Why the fuck do you have an animated lizard advertising insurance? Are toddler’s insuring their pacifiers now? Nobody questions it, either so the whole world must think this kind of thing appropriate. The reason they do it is because a fantasy animated creature automatically shuts down the grown-up part of the brain and switches on the infantile picture-book entertainment part so that you watch and accept instead of thinking about, real-life adult matters like money and property. The idea is to make you into a kid again so they can take advantage.

Mexican Immigrants
Yes, those undocumented workers, so loathed and despised by the right wing in American politics, they serve as an escape for many Americans. They are here because of Americans who  think they are too good to pick lettuce, and clean their own homes. Everybody sees themselves as belonging to the upper middleclass, or are longing for it so badly that the idea of doing menial work is unpalatable to them.

Science Fiction, for the most part
The genre, like most genres of everything, is mostly shit, built on stories that have nothing to do with science, written for people who know nothing about science, and with no themes that apply to real life. It serves only as an escape for people who are too ignorant to know what bad writing is. Speculative fiction is written usually by people who know very little about the real world and who can relate only to their own daydreams. It’s the attempt to circumvent your ignorance of the world around by making up your own worlds.

Marriage, how you see it
Your fairy-tale happily ever after lie. Of course, nobody is going to admit to being naive to the point where they actually believe that everything will turn out perfectly now, but they do. Deep down they think that marriage will change their lives for the better, which it doesn’t because can’t, and when they find this out they switch their expectations to having kids. After 3 or 4 kids they still aren’t happy so then it’s onto the divorce and the second marriage and so on and so forth on in perpetuity.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sometimes paranoia is the right feeling

Paranoia has a stigma to it. If you feel that people are working against you there is something wrong with you. There are conspiracies, sometimes they are grand and consist of many conspirators. To believe that you are the object of widespread hatred is not always narcissistic. Learning to recognize camouflaged hatred is an important life-skill.

Somebody hates you (1)
That's without knowing you, too. They hate you for being one of a gender or a race or a religion, or a sexual preference, or the lack of a religion. They might hate you for not being easily identified or for not overtly siding up with them. It doesn't matter who you are or what you do somebody, will hate you.

Somebody hates you (2)
They hate you, specifically. You. I don't care how lonely you are, how reclusive you are, somebody somewhere has noticed you and hates your guts. Everybody has enemies is not some cynical myth it's true. They hate you because of the way you wear your pants, the fact that you get Chinese delivered one night more a week than they do, the fact that your car is newer, or that you had an Obama yard sign a year ago. Odds are they know your name and that they search through your garbage weekly for some reason to make an anonymous call to the police.

The hatred is profound
It is an expression of any one of a number of issues they have. You are an excuse, a scapegoat, an outlet for all the emotions they have pent up and held inside them. You are the high school teacher who humiliated them in front of the class, the girl who pointed at the tiny penis and laughed, the father who subtly undermined their confidence in their teen years. You are a substitute for all the people they want to hurt and you never know why.

They will likely be sneaky about it
When people hate you for no reason they know that to just come out and tell you or to be overtly hostile would not be well received. They would look like an asshole (possibly racist, sexist, or xenophobic) to everybody and possibly crazy as well. No, they will keep it hidden behind a smile. They will then spend a lot of time looking at you, trying to find a reason they can use to legitimately hate you and to get other people to hate you as well.

You can't read minds
The fact is that there is always a fair chance that any given stranger will be hostile. It's far from a certainty, but the odds are pretty good that they don't like you or your kind. You can gamble that they are not, or you can bet that they are and act accordingly. If you are wrong in the first instance then you might get hurt. Wrong in the second and only they get hurt. Which sounds better to you? Bad people exist. Nobody disputes that. You know that there is always a possibility of evil people working to cause you harm. They exist. If they exist then that guy over there might be one of them. It's possible, if it's possible then you

People are interested
All of them. That's why TV is popular, that's why porn is addictive, it's the joy of getting to see into the private places in other people's lives. It doesn't matter how boring or unattractive you are, if there is a hole in your wall somebody will spend a lot of time on the other side of it just to be able to see you without being seen.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Life Skill of Maturity

The word "immaturity" can, in certain contexts, conjure up a picture of childlike innocence. Toilet humor, for instance, is "immature", but it brings back memories of youthful innocence and the time when bodily functions were still novel. It can make you laugh because it's juvenile and nostalgic.

There is another kind of immaturity that is not at all pleasant. It is that of people who have not learned how to handle life. This is the teenage, pubescent kind.

These are people who in their thirties and forties still have tantrums, still have issues dealing reasonably with others, and controlling their emotions.

Immature people are a burden to themselves and to the people who get involved in relationships with them. Never learning how to escape your adolescence and get into adulthood is a kind of retardation, a kind of defect.
If you are one of these people, you probably won’t know what I am talking about. You probably would not read this far down the page either.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Life Lesson on Soiling Your Pants

It happens, if not to anybody, at least to lots of people. How many places on the Internet attempt to teach you about dealing with the psychological and social fallout? Not many, I assure you.

Let’s just say that it’s many people’s idea of the most
 embarrassing experience possible. How you handle it will determine how you handle pretty much every bad thing yet to come in your life, and trust me, there will be many bad things yet to come. You can freak out and make yourself into a social outcast, but hiding from your problems is just a coward’s way out.

First of all, you will find that it does not really matter if this happens to you in high school, or in your work-place, or in church. In all settings you will be known as the person who crapped their pants as long as you are there. It will be used against you so get used to it.
Talk about it ad nauseam. Tell everybody who is willing to listen to you exactly what happened in detail. Describe every single awkward moment with a second-by-second descriptive replay. Seek a public forum in which you can address many people at the same time. Continue to bring it up until  you are asked to stop. If you have the presence of mind to do it, take a picture of your be-crapped self with your phone and do a show-and-tell. If people are sick of hearing about it, they may be unwilling to continue talking about it amongst themselves.
Something else you can do is poison everybody with laxatives, but this is illegal, so I am not endorsing it, merely mentioning that it could be seen (by criminals) as one. If everybody craps their pants then you will not be alone.
Tell people you were seriously ill. Induce vomiting and get yourself sent to the emergency-room. Lying could be seen as another way of chickening out, though. Not endorsing, just saying…
Joke about it. This is actually the most practical suggestion for a complete recovery here, though not everybody has the skills for it. Maybe this is your motivation to acquire them.  If you don’t you probably won’t, but it could actually make you more popular if you were to pull it off and show no trace of discomfort whatsoever, about the whole thing.
Man up (or woman up) and do what you have to do and survive. It won’t go away, but in many cases nobody will bring it up to your face. Simply going on in spite of your embarrassments is one of the most important skills for adult life, consider yourself fortunate to have been given an advanced class in it.

Note: You have to Suffer to Learn Anything

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tips For Being Less Ignorant

  • You have to admit that you are ignorant
    This is the hardest step and one impossible for genuine morons to complete. You have to actually admit that you don't know something that is 
    worth knowing. Morons tend to fall into a cycle of ego-protection and pretentiousness, so that they never have to admit to anybody just how little they know about anything. The first step to separating yourself from the morons is to be able to accept your shortcomings.
  • Learn to avoid patterns of ignorance There are educated people everywhere who know nothing about anything that they didn't learn by rote in college. There are people who read the newspapers everyday who can't tell you what they just read or point to Spain on an unlabeled map. Ignorance cannot be eliminated by the consumption of facts. You can only truly learn if you are genuinely interested.

  • Learn a new language
    This opens up a whole world of people to you who don't speak English. Granted, they are mostly hicks, but you get to know what hicks from other places are like. You get to follow any interest you may currently have only in an arena that isn't open to you right now. For instance, Univision has a ton of soap operas.

  • Meet new people I mean new people, not the people at your work-place, not the people you could possibly run into at your local bar. I mean convicts, homeless, illegal immigrants, mercenaries, hookers, senile shut-ins. Talk to them, observe them, mess with their heads.

  • Break your routine Obviously your lifestyle hasn't been helping you break the shackles of dumbness, so you need to do things differently, insert yourself into Navajo culture, watch porn in a language other than English, learn to kill someone with your bare hands. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Many Invaluable Life-Skills are Rare

It took me a long portion of my life to understand that clarity of perception, accuracy of understanding, wisdom about life, are very rare things. Bullshit ideas, self-delusion, complete and thorough and deliberate misunderstanding about the way the world works, those things are almost universal.

I am not saying that everybody is stupid. It’s too universal for so common and simple a concept as mere foolishness. No, this is something else. Apparently the ability to deceive yourself is built in to the human condition. Maybe it’s some kind of psychological self-defense mechanism.

People believe what is comfortable for them to believe whether it makes sense or not. They do not appreciate challenges. They are compulsive liars to themselves, and as such, are compelled to hate anybody who speaks the truth.

Nobody wants to see anything as it is, they want you to tell them that what they believe is right and logical. They can’t handle the truth. I am convinced that even those who claim to want the truth and to eagerly seek it out, have just repressed their need to deny it to a deeper level. They are the worst self-bullshitters of all. They have honed their arguments to sound reasonable, and put more effort into appearing to analyze the evidence more honestly, but really, they are just looking for the smaller loopholes.

Friedrich Nietzsche Life Lesson Quote

"Character is determined more by the lack of certain experiences than by those one has had."
Friedrich Nietzsche

Ignorance provides you with as many flaws/virtues as knowledge. 

Bad Parenting: The Birthplace of Materialism and The Consumer-Culture

Firstly, you realize that you can do it. Meaning, you possess the physical equipment to knock somebody up, and if you can find somebody who is willing to impregnate you, or let you impregnate them, then it seriously could happen. It’s like having a super-power, some people want to use it as quickly as possible, and often as possible, while others are afraid of it and will pretend that it’s not there.

One day, when you are in your late 20s and the novelty of being a grown-up has worn off, you will start to wonder what it would be like. This is where much of it starts. Boredom, ennui. You start to think about it and wish for it. Your parents might be pressuring you for a grandkid, that makes it seem right, like the thing you should do. Also, by now, you have a bunch of friends and acquaintances that are breeding. All of this makes it feel necessary, natural. You don’t want to get too old to “start a family”.

You meet somebody, and they have no major flaws, they haven’t raped anybody that you know of, anyway, and they are willing, so you let nature follow its course and soon you have a little human on the way. It is at the point that somebody is pregnant that the truth of it hits home. You are stuck with an 18 year job that pays nothing. 18 years at least. Not only that, the world is as shitty as it always was. You are bringing a kid into it to suffer, and why? It certainly doesn’t feel “necessary” now. It is at this point that the backpedaling starts, way before the actual birth. It’s almost never conscious, just little subtle decisions, that get rationalized as being for the “good of the child”.

From early on the kid gets a mountain of gifts. These are guilt-presents, for having brought them into the crappy world, and for feeling so burdened by them. The child sees this gift-giving as love and approval, and learns to equate fluffy toys bought in Wal-Mart with parental affection. They grow up into people who seek comfort in material things, who see them as essential. The women, especially, think that if you buy stuff for them then you must love them. The men think that if they are able to buy stuff then it means they matter, that they are important. These ideas follow them to the grave.

You see kids who live at the mall, whose entire sense of self is wrapped up in purchasing stuff. Your value as a human being, your rank, is based on what you buy. This all comes from their parents and the fact that they never really wanted the responsibility.

Ten Things That Can Make You Successful

What we have here are some skills and qualities essential for success in life, generally. Sure, they are all unfair, shallow, bigoted, but so are most people. I am not talking about how people should be, I am talking about how people are. These are what you need to climb that ladder to the top. 

1. Looking Good
By "good" I mean attractive. Pretty soon you will be so solidly networked that no mistake will be so bad your buddies won’t cover it up for you. The more people turn to fatty foods and alcohol to comfort them in times of stress (like the cable getting cut off), the harder it gets to find good-looking people, this means that having good looks goes up in value. Good looking people are favored, we all know that, everybody wants to impress them and when they are stupid we pity them, taking an hour of our day to show them how to change their desktop wallpaper. This is in the hope that they will like us ordinary people, like being around us and so that we can either impress (the also ordinary) chicks we want to seduce, or perhaps get a drunk pity-handjob one night after work.

2. Ass kissing expertise
Possibly the best workplace skill anybody can have. The really good ass-kisser can do it without looking like they are doing it, so that their co-workers don’t hate them, and their bosses don’t see the edge of sneaky insincerity that goes through it. When expertly done it can disarm even the most cynical and bitter of employers, even when they know what you are doing. The truth is that your boss secretly believes that he deserves to have his ass kissed, that getting to where he has gotten is worthy of kudos, so even insincere props will generate a positive feeling, and the guy who generates positive feelings is the last person to get fired.

3. Whiteness
This is not some rant about everybody being racist, but the fact is that being white does usually generate positive feelings in the mind of the employer, or at least no negative ones. At worst a white employee starts at zero, whereas a minority has to have a Harvard education to start at zero and sometimes not even then. The reason I can say this isn’t about racism is that this is the case with minority employers too. White people have an air of confidence (often fake)  and the will to take on responsibility that you don’t often get from other cultures, this will has nothing to do with their competence just with the ability to appear competent.

4. Being tall
This is a separate issue from having a pretty face. Being short and pretty means that you are cute if you are a girl, not beautiful, not even "hot", just cute. It permanently limits you to the upper end of mediocrity, in other words. If you are a short guy and you look like Brad Pitt, or Orlando Bloom, you will be attractive only to chicks it is illegal to have sex with. Even adult women who are shorter than you will find you vaguely ridiculous. Eventually you will have to settle for your Sarah Jessica Parker type, who is not all that hot but passably smart, and thinks she is too good for taller, more jock-like types. What was I talking about again? Oh yeah, if you are tall, basically, you have a shot at most women.

5. Knowing when to shut up
You don’t have to be smart, you just have to have learned, the way a dog learns, that you should stop talking now. Just knowing how to control your speech and your tendency to share everything can get you looking smarter than you really are. People often assume that the quiet types are smart, also you get the opportunity to listen. Just listening on a regular basis can actually get you information, would would have thought? The more you talk the more tells you give away and the more readable you become.

6. Sharing interests
Know how to pretend that soccer or (insert random social activity) is not the most boring thing ever? So begins your social life. This is similar to kissing ass, but not the same as. This is how you make friends, not ingratiate the boss, unless he happens to be lonely and needs a friend. People like having their hobbies validated by other people, which is why every fucking time-waster on earth has a ten-year-old website attached to it. You want to get "in" with your new co-workers, you just pretend to really like whatever thing they do when they aren’t at work. Cars, swinging, martial arts, WoW, whatever. Pretty soon you will be so solidly networked that no mistake will be so bad that your buddies won’t cover it up for you.

7. Being straight
Everybody knows a gay person, some straight people even have gay friends, it still creeps most guys out, kind of like seeing your dad tweak your mom’s nipple. The thing is that straight men are not usually interested in other men’s anuses, whereas gay men are. The vagina focus versus the guy-anus focus. It is a distinct difference in priorities and that causes a rift. Rifts are not good when you are tying to claw your way to the top of the shit-pile. You want unity and solid tribal narrow-mindedness. Straightness, real or pretend, is like being white (see #3), it gets you starting at zero so that guys don’t get creeped-out picturing where your dick has been.

8. Your accent Educated black Americans learn early on that Ebonics terrify white people, and English-speaking Hispanics learn to speak slowly and loudly in short sentences so that Americans don’t have to ask them shit more than once. Your accent tells people your class and your level of education. No, not really, but people like to think it does since they want to make snap-judgments about strangers.  Snap-judgments make us feel smart and in control. The key is to be able to modify your accent to suit whoever you are dealing with. If you are in the northern part of the USA, you may want to make your Tennessee drawl get thick so that you can become instantly memorable and a "character", whereas in the South you may want sound like a Yankee when applying for a job so that you can sound competent and perhaps get hired.

9. Contacts
99% of all success comes from knowing the right person. You get jobs, meet women, get good weed, get bargains on pretty much everything, if the right person thinks that doing something for you might pay off for them in the future. The key is to find out who you need to know, know the people who can put you in touch with the guy who does this thing, he can help you out.

10. Your parents It’s less about them pushing you to succeed and how much "drive" they instill in you than how driven they themselves were, meaning, how many contacts they have, and most importantly, if they are rich. An unambitious rich kid doesn’t need a whole lot of pushing to stay rich, they can ride on their last name at least to the point of moderate success. Their dad will have done a favor for some guy and that guy will hire them over the heads of better-qualified, more competent applicants and they will get a steady pay check to just coast along rather than have to prove themselves.

You have to suffer to learn anything about life

If they don’t know what it’s like to live homeless, to have their heart broken, to watch a loved one suffer and die, to face death, to face their own death, to work hard and fail, to recover from a horrible mistake, to live with a burden on their conscience, to be addicted, to quit an addiction, then they are not truly human. Not in the sense of someone who has seen any of the above. They can have no empathy with hardship because they have no idea what’s hard about it. They can fake compassion, but it the fakery is shallow and obvious and usually has the effect of making people feel worse.  Oh, yes, and it's fake.

People who have not suffered are morons when it comes to pain. They cannot recognize it, and deep down do not believe that it’s really there. Overt anguish looks theatrical, anger looks like a lack of self-control, despair is weakness. It’s all melodrama. Suffering is, to them, a Hollywood production. All the suffering in the world is distant and vaguely unbelievable.

The inexperienced are not truly human in the sense that they are unfinished. They have not been made complete by life. Invariably they are boring to talk to, pompous, trivial, with absurd priorities, and an inability to fully understand all but the most basic parts of being sentient. They are cold and unsympathetic, but not from malice, rather, from ignorance, from complete oblivion to darker realities.

If you have not overcome something, if you have not been swallowed up by pain and emerged from it, if you have not entered into to battle and survived to come home, how can you consider yourself a grown up? In what way are you different from an infant, pampered and protected by its parents? What exactly do you know about yourself or have you gained from being alive as long as you have been?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Philip Roth Life Lesson Quote

"...the world is full of people who go around believing they've got you or your neighbor figured out, there really is no bottom to what is not known. The truth about us is endless. As are the lies."
Philip Roth from The Human Stain

This is the source of racism as well as countless other types of human folly. Everything people think they know about other people. People love to feel wise and smart, and in control of the facts, except nobody really is, so that kind of knowledge really is just another form of BS.

Some aspects of getting older that people don't often think about

Aging is, possibly, the most important aspect of living. Dealing with aging, meaning time itself, is an essential life-skill that not many people acquire, no matter how long they live. It's about maturity, acting your age, time-management so that it doesn't fly away without you having accomplished anything, and coming to peace with death. There are all kinds of less-pleasant things, too, like the following:

You are going to miss a lot of things
When you are a child everything seems possible. One day, you think, you may get to see space, maybe visit another planet, at the very least there is the possibility that you will become an astronaut and know what it's like to be free from gravity. Technology seems to be moving rapidly, so that by the time you are grown up you may be able to live in a domed city, own a flying car, and a have a clone of young Demi Moore that you keep locked in the basement for your entertainment. Except, it won’t happen. When you get old enough to compare your aging to the movement of technology you realize that while it will probably happen, some day, for somebody, it won't for you. Some cool shit will happen while you are able to do something with it, but lots of cool shit will wait until you are too old to care, and most of it for when you are beyond being even so much as a memory.

You learn stuff that would only have been useful prior being old
One the big reasons people have kids is that they can find something to do with the accrued knowledge that you get only from screwing up. The shy loser learns to talk to young pretty women at age 50. You learn the appeal of cunnilingus only when the only women you have access to are somebody's grandmother. You get a work-ethic when your hands are too arthritic to do much, or technology is so far beyond your ability to grasp that you cannot adjust. You truly learn how to win a football game long after the scholarship offers have disappeared. If you don't have kids then you have nothing to do with it, you can't use what you know ever again.

Young people are assholes
Young people are to old people what the Red States in America are to Liberals. Crass and ignorant without know it. When the fact of your own ignorance is hidden completely from you, so that you are uninhibited with it, unable to disguise it or remedy it, then there is simply no point in having anything to do with you. Discussions are meaningless. The first and most important obstacle to any meaningful understanding of anything, is to admit that you do not know. If you truly believe that you do, then there is nowhere to go. You have to agree to disagree, which is what a cold war is.

You learn what a crappy kid you were
This is the other side of learning that young people are assholes. With each newly understood part of life your previous ignorance gets clearer. With old age comes the tools to introspect better, and often the time to do it in. If you have kids you see yourself reflected in their stupidity. Even if the kids around you are worse than you ever were, you still learn that you were on the same path, and could have been as bad. Parenting is a form of justice, though. The people who were the worst kids usually wind up raising kids who are worse than they ever were.

Nothing is as good as it used to be
No food, no art, no device. Nothing is made as well as when it was new, no technology can be enjoyed in the same way it was when new. No food tastes the same as when you were young and your life was relatively simple. For one thing, your tastes were less mature, you asked less of life, you had no preconceived notions and no pretensions. Now you are jaded and tired of experiencing things. For another, people change, the world changes, the ethic of one generation does not necessarily carry over to another. A pie made in one decade will cater to a different set of sensibilities the way a novel might.

So many things that you can't leave behind
You get over exactly nothing. You leave no addictions behind, you just replace them, none of your traumas are forgotten, they just get covered up. What people consider getting over stuff really has to do with the quality of the covering. How well do you mask it? How well do you keep it locked down so that you can live the rest of your life around it. It's always there, a part of who you are until you cease to be you anymore. The only recovery is a paint-job, not a reconstruction.

The True Secret of Career Success

You happened to work, and you happened to make some money. It's a coincidence. Correlation is not does not imply causation. The attempt to draw a line between the two things, your work and your wealth, is an attempt to validate yourself, to seize credit, glory, to feel like a better man than those who struggle with poverty. There are lots of people who work hard and remain in poverty and there are people who do less work than you do ("less" in effort and "value") and are still better-off than you.

The whole connection between wealth and hard work is a piece of propaganda invented by those who want to make money from your hard labor, like big business and the government. It's a gimmick that is meant to get parents to motivate their kids to enter the line of people who live and die to turn a profit for a handful of billionaires. Instead of the slave-herder's whip you get to be blamed for being poor, and poor is what you are if you do not work.

The possibility of getting rich because you studied the right thing in school and networked with the right people, and worked nights and weekends to impress the the right boss is a gamble like betting your life-savings at the blackjack tables. You might get rich. Or you might just wind up as the reliable mid-level workhorse-type that keeps industry going while a bunch of rich retards (whose families all know each other) purchase gold jewelry for their dogs and Lotus Elises for their 16 year-old kids. Or you might fail on some rung of the ladder and fall into homelessness.

Making money has to do with being liked by the right people. That's it, and you can't control that. The same way that leadership of a county has to do with whether the electorate likes you more than the other guy and not to do with whether you are competent, your career success has to do with you having the right kind of social skills to handle your employer's insecurities, disarm a supervisor's  paranoia about younger, possibly-smarter people. It's about gambling with how you portray yourself to somebody else, the part you play when around them.

The Error-free Life

People talk about the unfairness of life and the disappointments and heartbreaks as if they are inevitable. Everybody makes mistakes, right? Of course. You make mistakes because you were not careful, did not know what to look for beforehand. Mistakes show you what you should have taken the time to find out before going ahead. They show you what happens when you lack foresight, are lazy or are ignorant.

So maybe everything that makes you unhappy is your fault, is something you could have avoided if you had paid attention. Maybe all that talk about life just being tough is how fools rationalize their suffering and avoid the fact that they, and no one else, are to blame for their pain. Maybe life does not have to be tough or screwed up and would not be so if you were smart enough to make it otherwise.

Maybe out there who live perfect lives, with no pain, no hardship, who are smart enough to avoid people like you, who keep the secret of the error-free life to themselves because they know it would make no difference (to people like you) if they shared it. You can’t teach a fool to be anything else but a fool.

Chuck Palahniuk Life-Lesson Quote

"You have a choice. Live or die. Every breath is a choice. Every minute is a choice. To be or not to be." 
Chuck Palahniuk

You are alive because you want to live, don't you forget that. If you have not yet committed suicide, don't pretend that you secretly want, because you are making the same breath-to-breath choices as the rest of us.

Some Simple, Life-Changing Experiences

So you want a life-changing experience, huh? You want to experience something new and magical? You don't have to climb Everest for your life-lessons and wisdom. In fact, if there is anything that life wants to do at any given time is change. It can do so dramatically without going to a whole lot of trouble. Here are a few simple things you can do to alter your perspective and gain insight. 

1) Watching two people having sex in front you, in real life
It changes how you think about sex, humans, and human relationships forever, suddenly everything seems less magical and special and you are left with the impression of the general lowness of the human species. The word “rutting” is what best describes the live human sex-act.

2) Being homeless
I mean the destitute kind of homeless, not the kind where you move back in with your mom. It doesn't make you a nicer person, it doesn't make you stronger, but even 2 or 3 nights on the street will give you an appreciation for things that most people take for granted, and open up a little empathy for your fellow man. Note: any empathy you gain will be lost soon after you find someplace decent to live.

3) Smoking (cigarettes)
You become part of a specific demographic that cuts through racial and age-boundaries. More and more smokers are becoming a tight-knit community bound by nicotine addiction and pariah-status. It's like becoming a Christian in a Muslim country. You meet new people who give you the benefit of the doubt even if you are of a different race. If you happen to be black, non-black people know you want that cigarette more than you wan to rob them. If you happen to be an older person, they look up to you, because you know how to smoke without getting ashes on yourself. If you happen to be a chick, maybe they have a shot since non-smoking guys find them disgusting, and so on.

4) Russian roulette
There is nothing like having a loaded gun pointed at you with the safety off, even when you know that the trigger will not be pulled, you know that you are a millisecond away from eternity. Turn that up a notch by actually pulling that trigger yourself and all your doubts about the meaning of life and whether you really want to be here or not will be solved instantly. If you don't have access to a gun, driving down an unfamiliar country road at night with your headlights off is an acceptable substitute.

5) Get your ass kicked 
Trust me, it's not difficult to find someone who will do this for free, but it's best if it happens spontaneously, meaning that somebody who really wants to do it, just opens up and beats you down when you least expect it. First of all it gives you motivation for getting in shape, but it also makes you realize that there are people out there who hate your guts, that humanity has people in it who are stronger and more dangerous than you, and who actively want to hurt you. You see your vulnerabilities, you learn to distrust other people, and most of all it makes you want to compensate by working really hard at everything.