Tuesday, June 30, 2020

...BUT REALLY, I WOULD NOT MEAN TO MAKE YOU CRY ANYWAY..!

MY FIRST BOOK REVIEW..! I just finished reading the book, “Can’t Hurt Me” by retired Marine David Goggins.  It is an inspirational story (of sorts) of the author’s methods of motivating himself and changing his life.  I am not a fan of “self-help” titles but I have long felt that was due to my own arrogance and prejudices.  The book was relatable, not only from my own nod at the military but from how he went from an overweight restaurant exterminator to a decorated Navy Seal, serving on missions, not to mention his qualifications not only as a Seal but in both as an Army Ranger and as an Air Force Tactical Controller. He has also competed in many triathlons, at the world-class level. I also found it relatable based on what he did not linger on, especially in his personal life.

Solving for my skepticism, I found that “Can’t Hurt Me” was an inspiring read.  While I am too cynical to become a “fanboy” of the author, I do admire him for his walk, from barely being able to read and pass the ASVAB Miltary exam, to becoming a decorated member of the Armed Forces.  He did leave enough of a hint at some of the personal darkness that he had to overcome in his family.  But because he did not go in that direction, eschewing the sad home life trope, so I could only speculate on what I saw in his domestic life as a young man and as an adult.  Anyway, a reader could definitely understand that nothing came easily for him and that it was his conscious choice to BE, that is taking full responsibility for himself, that he could take full charge of his life to remake himself into the person that he would become.

If you are looking for a expose on dealing with racism, classism, and all the conflicts that have been dominating headlines recently, this is not that kind of book.  In fact, the refreshing part of his story is how little he cites things that could be perceived as disadvantages as reasons for anything at all.  He does not spend a lot of time talking about how few African-Americans go on to become Navy Seals… in fact, there is very little discussion about race.  There is no sense of his ever being a victim, even in his childhood, which is of itself quite admirable.  Even when he describes episodes where his health wavers, or even his childhood in Buffalo, it is done very matter-of-factly.  David Goggins does not pause for complaining or hand-wringing.  He looked into the same mirror where he found a problem deep enough until he saw the solution, standing in the same mirror, looking back at him.

As I mentioned earlier, I do not find much use of the self-help genre.  Looking back at my young adulthood, I tried to make sense of “How To Be A Millionaire” by Napoleon Hill.  Even now, as I recently revisited “...Millionaire”, again found it to be pedantic, and it seemed like a rehashing of things you already know.  And I guess that is where the allure of self-help lies… that “other voice” that encourages and reaffirms your goals and hopes.  Some authors have an “authentic voice” that reaches beyond the doubt that people have of themselves.  Besides, all of us could use another person who adds to their confidence.  So I get where people who have read “...Hurt Me” have gotten stoked.  I may as well add myself to that group, as I was impressed by his achievements and how he overcame the internal enemy inside of himself.

Finally, one of the primary things that I find problematic about these kinds of stories, this book answered, at least, partly.  Goggins overcame the only real enemy, the one within.  He never takes the easy way out, he always takes full responsibility for what goes down.  Perhaps that is part of what makes his journey so admirable.  I never got the feeling that he was handed anything that he did not earn and his hard-charging life philosophy kept his circle of people around him tight, but that seems to be part of the price for nearly all of us.

I think that I would give the book a solid “4” stars out of 5.  There are some holes that when I reflect upon what I took from the book that are asking to be filled.  And his military career was also pretty vague.  Overall, the message that you need to harden and “callous” your mind to deal with the ups and downs you face in life was pretty clear.  

*****

This is going to be my first You Tube book review!  I have long been envious of Beth’s book reviews!  Reading, for me, has to become just like working out… it is something that I do out of habit.  My tastes may have to change (more contemporary works and culturally relevant) but if my daughter actually comes out west to live with me, it could be a father/daughter thing as she is a reader as well!  Additionally, I am studying up on scriptwriting, as there is a script or two for movies somewhere around in my mind.

Work has been going well and I feel like I get along with most everyone at the Recreation Center.  When things begin opening up after the holiday, I expect the place to get PACKED!

Sunday, June 7, 2020

WONDER WHAT HEMMINGWAY WOULD MAKE OF THE TIMES

This time is different.  It certainly feels different.

Personally, several “allies” have reached out to me and offered their condolences and apologies for the systemic issues that have been highlighted in the killings of Ahmed Aubrey, George Lloyd, and Breona Taylor (and her boyfriend) recently.  I spoke sincerely with each one (including my  once and current partner) and I was left feeling better about myself and the world.  That is my OBJECTIVE perspective.  PERSONALLY… Well, this IS a journal about my wanderings in this “whatever” that we call reality, so let’s get to it!

Of COURSE, the George Lloyd incident, like with the Ahmed Aubrey incident, landed in my wheelhouse.  If I could see myself as Aubrey, you HAVE to know that I, too, am George Lloyd in a way that is way more direct and personal than claiming to “be” him in a spiritual way.  In fact, visiting my “old” new girlfriend, I had a moment at the gas station across the street from her apartment complex that could have easily lent itself to the possibility of a similar incident here in Omaha.

I had only finished working (at the Papillion Landing Rec Center) and had rode about 6 miles from work to the gas station. Processing my surroundings as I adjusted to a new and unfamiliar route, I had not eaten or had anything to drink for most of the day.  In fact, that is what drove me to stop at the gas station.  A piece of candy and a non-carbonated drink was on my mind and then the fog would be lifted.  Only I had not finished my transaction.

My bank card was due a replacement, which I did not know that at the time.  Because of my stupor, I was unresponsive to the cashier and there was a line forming behind me.  When I finally understood that my card was declining, the guy who was behind me had simply paid for my purchase.  I thanked him and took my leave.  It was not until I had sat down and had a drink or two of the sweet tea and a piece of the candy I bought from the gas station that I was able to understand what had just taken place.  The similarity was close… of course this was in Omaha and not Minneapolis, but I don’t know how different Omaha IS from Minneapolis.  My partner has already expressed her concern for me, this coming right after the Aubrey incident.  Now here I was, zoning out at a convenience store that may be similar to the one that George Lloyd was in… hell, I don’t know.  Yet, as Louis CK once opined, “...but MMMAAAYYBBEEE…”, which is the position I would have been in.  At least as far as the narrative would have gone… “he should not have been trying to pass an invalid debit card off when trying to make a purchase”.

So, yeah.  There has been that.  Still have not had the courage to go back out and run since Ahmed was shot and now I do wonder when I will go to the next quick stop for a snack.  These are among the considerations that you have to make when you are African-American, and in the Lloyd case, it does not matter if your path crosses that of a member of another minority.  YOU, the African American, in this country because your ancestors were STOLEN from their homeland… you are always and still, THE OTHER.
As I mentioned at the start, the conversations and ACTIONS of others in my circle are what gives me hope that this time, this will be different.  I can only hope that the impact within the African-American community can not only be strong, but long-lasting.  We should be ACCORDED respect… it is not something that should be asked for, as a member of society and as a human being.  The look of indifference on Officer Chavous' face as he consciously choked the life out of George Lloyd is haunting.  But it is also the look of indifference that many White Americans have of African-Americans.  Though every group can speak of their own slights within American society, African-Americans, have grievances that shadows the country like no other (yeah, I know about the Native Americans… this is NOT that story).

When I think about the last time there was a social uproar like this, the Rodney King riots, there was more distance from the act itself… the riots were in response to the officers getting away  with little damage, not the beating.  This time, the reaction went hand in hand with the incident of grievance.  That this was seen by everyone who had eyes to see it for what it was, the snuffing out of a life, has kept the dialogue up in the social consciousness for a longer time.

I am not sure if this means that there will be changes to policing, insofar as how they deal with the various communities that they serve.  To me, “to serve and protect” has always meant that the ones who were “served and protected” were the white, elite classes of people.  It has never meant what it is widely assumed to mean, to serve and protect the public at large.  KRS-One once made a rap about “the sound of the police” and in his lyrics he blurred the word “overseer” into “officer”, hinting that officers of the law are more the enforcer of rules provided by the plantation owner, not the people.  The only line of demarcation that exists in mankind is the line between the have and have nots.  It is on the level of institution, not individual, that needs to be shaken.

MEANWHILE, IN OTHER NEWS

Yes, Kitty and I are a couple again.  Even though I did have a brief interaction with another person, Kitty and I have always had open lines of communication and I believe that the both of us have grown over the past year.  We have talked about some of what was not constructive in our relationship and I have been assured that we will be able to talk through everything between us as we move ahead.

I have always been leery of the “chip off the old block” stuff.  There are so many qualities and reasons for behaviour that I have felt that it was lazy to attribute things to your parents.  Statements like, “You are just like your father/mother…” seem to lack imagination, and the vague notion that you are not yourself but owe your character to a force outside of yourself would devalue the notion of free will (which, I do not believe in!).  While I know that my other daughters have heard the “you are just like…” statement made after doing or saying something that their Mom thinks I would have said, KT, is sooo much like me that it stills my heart.

The last couple of years we have spent HOURS on the phone talking about life, her ups and downs, and of course… BOYS!  I am very flattered that she considers me a best friend and confidant, and I do try to excise detail from conversations with her Mom about our conversations, so that she can feel secure in sharing with me.  When her Mom pushes for more information, I usually fall back on, “you know that I don’t remember more than that!”, which in itself is a “true half-truth” statement.  If anything, I hope that she gets a chance to visit when the restrictions are lifted and she can spend a couple of weeks with me.

I am about to begin the book, “Can’t Hurt Me”, by David Goggins.  He is a guy who went through three elite military programs run by the Air Force, Army, and Navy.  It talks about his journey from a place of aimlessness to where he is able to compete in ultramarathons and other feats of toughness for charity and the simple sense of personal accomplishment.  One of the reasons that I am back to journaling, is that I need personal accountability that comes with regular journaling.  Which brings me to the next step on my journey… REGULAR JOURNALING.

The drama of the everyday, “the trifles of life”, is not what I want to talk about.  Instead, I want to write and talk about how I can be better at my Rock Steady franchise, be a better person and set goals to achieve.  I wonder how many people who started reading my journal really thought that the guy with traumatic brain injury was REALLY going to move to Omaha and thrive..?  Doesn’t matter, because I ALWAYS BELIEVED in me! 

Monday, May 11, 2020

THE THINGS THAT I THINK THAT I THINK ABOUT WHEN THEY ARE THINKING OF REOPENING THE STATE

...AND WHY I NEVER WENT FULL-BLOWN CONSPIRACY GUY

When I mentioned my tendency to give provenance to conspiracy theory and the suspicion inherent to them, I tried to indicate that I only would go “so far”.  I tend to look for tethering to some accepted and objective reality with which I use to prove the “something’s out there” part of the theory.  I do not continue to dig as though I was mining for Bitcoin, and get all “deep state” or “finding out how far the rabbit hole goes”.  I don’t stretch or warp logic, as that means that at some point there is a leap of faith taken.  Were I inclined to take such leaps, then I would not be agnostic.  Or, someone who accepts conspiracy theories full cloth.

There were a couple of recent incidents that struck a personal chord.  One, was the incident in Indianapolis, where the driver, Drejeanon Reed, led officers on a chase through somewhere in Naptown, and where the officers were able to track and unload their weapons and dropped the young man, first with tasers and THEN with lethal force.  One of the officers, presumably black, made a tasteless comment.  “It’s gonna be a closed casket”, referencing Reed's anticipated funeral service.  As far as the behavior of the officers, it is similar to how we took on tasks in the service, how I deal with the unpopular, grunt part of work.  Seems like the officers on the scene were up to their elbows with the kind of work that led me often to say,  “Well, it looks like the hero business is up to me”, a phrase that I co-opted from Bill Watterson’s “Calvin ‘n Hobbes”.  I did not pick up any vibes from the behavior of the officers, who were chasing down a threat to property and life.  So there was no real outrage, at least nothing that reached the national level (but I could be wrong… I have not followed the news since 2016) of protest and outrage that captivates the SJW’s and MAGA folks. The other case, down in Georgia, struck a personal chord of sorts.

Ahmaud Aubrey was said to be jogging through his Georgia neighborhood.  He was approached by some neighborhood watch members, two white men who were father and son, with father having ties to local law enforcement.  While I was, and am still, not too certain of THE FACTS, the Dad and his son just looked like the kind of men who I envision shooting another man because he was of the wrong skin color.

So with this case, you have a lot of assumptions you have to fight through.  Being told that Ahmaud was simply “jogging’ (which is a spurious claim and being walked back) through the area, it made me reflect on days I spent jogging through neighborhoods on the West Side of Detroit.  In hindsight, I can see why that was not in any shape or form a perfect identification, but I went with it.

OH, THERE IS VIDEO OF THIS, TOO (but I am NOT posting any of it..!)

And it makes me want to ask ALL the questions.  First, why was Ahmaud in the house?  It was not what I, and most people who hear, “house under construction”, think of when those words are used together.  It was prolly nearer to being “inspection ready” than it was under construction, so why was Abery IN the house?  Why would he stop from A RUN (which, IMO, a runner would NOT do unless some sort of duress was involved) to go into an empty house in the evening..?  Hearing this, my “Spidey-sense” begins to tingle.  From what he was dressed in (Docker-style shorts and flat canvas sneakers??) to his behavior around the property (again, who stops in the middle of a run to GO INTO A HOUSE AND LOOK AROUND??) and his history (cause if I was going to run Jim Bob and his inbred looking son into the ground, the fact that Ahmaud was not a choir-boy by any means has to come in as well) as a troublemaker, I think that the two cra--, er, “neighborhood watch patrol” had every right to question him.

Then… there is the wrestling scene between Ahmaud and the younger McMichael before shotgun blasts are heard in the video.  Ahmaud staggers for a few steps, then he drops.  At this point, what story is going to have more validity… that two Goobers from Georgia, with ties to law enforcement assassinated a black man for “jogging”, or that two members of a neighborhood watch responded to a suspicious character walking through an unattended property under construction?  “If it bleeds, it leads”, and you aren’t going to get much too bloodier than this.

Now that I have a cooler, less migraine-y, head to think about what has actually been reported, I have to wonder if this isn’t a case of much ado about the wrong thing?  What was Ahmaud doing IN THE PROPERTY.  Who does not know that is CRIMINAL TRESPASS? I mean, he had to open a door… it was not like the kind of construction site that I would walk through in my neighborhood when I was TWENTY-FIVE, taking it like a shortcut to another block, this home was having the interior installed. So, WHY WAS HE IN THE HOUSE??

Also, his trouble-making past, giving his attackers reason for approaching him, should be mentioned.  He was by no means an angel, and again, trespassing is against the law.  I assume that Ahmaud knew THAT before he creeped into the house!  Man…

I wonder what it is called when conspiracy theories overlap… a confluence of insanity??  I mean, does this incident help derail the re-election by guilting conservatives and energizing the liberals? Or does this cause conservatives, angered and ironically, “triggered” by the incident to come out in droves to make sure that “the libs” get owned and MAGA is kept in power?  No matter what I think the Aubrey incident represents (mainly, me trying to get home through chippy neighborhood through chippy neighborhood) is the kind of cognitive dissonance that allows for curtains of grey to cast shadows on everything, blurring things just enough that they are never clearly made out.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

IT IS A CONSPIRACY -TYPE POST

THE CONSPIRACY ISSUE

I was watching a video where a cat opened a can of Spider-Man beef and tomato pasta from the 90’s.  Of course it was inedible, the “prize” which was a macaroni shaped like some kind of action figure, was basically, still there, holding form.  Since I did not intend on watching the video, I was not too interested in the details.  It reminded me of how when we would have household conversations between my Mom, my older cousin, and me, and we would get into talking points that I did not imagine other (read: white folks) people spent a lot of time having in their homes as lead family conversation.  Whilst my cousin would have his train rolling so hard and fast that it would “leave the tracks”, yet always landing, I was of a different mindset.

To me, it is more foolish NOT to believe that there are not secret societies, groups that accumulate power to be used by their own whims, than it is to dismiss the notion out of hand.  It has NEVER been a question of whether there was an “Illuminati” for me, but how was I going to exist in “their world”.  I have had the “Cypher” (from the film, “The Matrix”) kind of outlook on the whole thing… and I thought that I would play my role until a “Neo” came along and I would throw myself behind THAT cat.  But, as it is with most things heroic, that kind of stuff, it may just have come down to me.

Since my “conspiracy genes” predate the internet, I must first tell you that it is like the religious phrase about the devil and his greatest trick-- getting people to believe he never existed.  The reason that these secret societies are not being mentioned more, has been that many people are so “plugged in” that they cannot conceive of anything resembling a group “who sits above in shadow”™ that are determining the key aspects of their lives.  But it has been that way only since going back to the times of Moses and ‘em.  Which brings me back to the “...greatest trick” statement.

The great mass of peoples either do not even care to broach the subject of “conspiracies” (and I am going to use that as a general term for all of the different groups), immediately throwing out the possibility of there actually being the kind of manipulation on a global level by maybe a few hundred people, possibly aliens, for the love of power.  It still sounds staggering to me whenever I consider it.  But, greater and smarter men than me have spoken about conspiracies and even tried to warn the masses.  Going back and starting with President Kennedy, I grew up listening to his and the words of Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman, both Roosevelts and even crooked Warren Harding speak on extra-political groups who influenced society.  I remember being TAUGHT about how relevant secret societies were in government policy.  So, whenever people would dismiss conspiracy theories, I would wonder, “Where the hell were YOU in history class?”

Because of my lack of foresight, I do not have the textbooks of my youth.  Neither do I have recordings of my teachers speaking about these things, often (unintentionally veiling them with presentation in their lesson plans) after engaging attentive students with conversation during the lesson and/or after class.  But like the devil… I do not think that they were fully aware of depth to their words… or how far the rabbit hole goes.
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The thing that annoys me about Alex Jones is that he could have been so much more than what he is.  Meaning that if, IF, warning about the globalist takeover was his priority, he could have reached out to more people, of different color, classes, and political beliefs. But just as The Party does not make martyrs, the system that exists has made Alex Jones a buffoon.  A RICH buffoon, but a buffoon nonetheless.  His fate, had he stayed true to his intention… eh, DEATH… either literal or metaphorical (such as his present life and impact).  The Party does not want martyrs… they want to erase you by making your life meaningless.  Alex Jones, the crazy pastors who are encouraging the masses to go to church and tithe (don’t forget to tithe… just drop an envelope into the blessing bucket and drive on!), they are essential, as they are the fist of The Party, concealing The Party’s fist of onyx in a velvet glove of manipulation. Yet, when it comes to taking the word of hucksters seriously…

Who THE F**K do you think JFK is talking about here?  Or Dwight D. Eisenhower here??  And these are only two that I know that I can find… FDR, crappy WARREN HARDING, Teddy, among others.  The thing about conspiracies that I know and has always made me pay attention to them, is the ease of confirming these historical links.  Cause if my lazy a** can easily find and validate a theory, then it no longer becomes “how far the rabbit hole” is going, but what ELSE is inside of it.

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So how deep did I WANT to go down the hole?  See, Alex Jones went to Bohemian Grove and he filmed what he saw.  That is what really solidified his credibility with the conspiracy crowd.  The powers-that-be from the past used their position and prestige to warn the public about the existential threat of power held by secret and subversive groups.  Yet, we still sit here, the majority finding some way to dismiss the existence of these people, who are, above the social rules.

Sitting in my sun-dappled apartment, with at least 6 months of rent in my accounts, I feel fortunate to be in a position that I can call “comfortable”.  The things that I want, materially, I do not need.  Many of the things that I want, through sacrifice, I can get.  When it comes to my needs… those are covered as well, and I can still expect the things that I have come to expect.  And that is what the Party wants, for people to accept what is what and not to ask questions, and more importantly, not to get OTHERS to ask questions… because if others are asking questions, then they may demand answers.  It is this false sense of comfort that has kept me from going “full Morpheus” and being someone who is still connected, not because he does not know that he is connected, but because he does not have the courage to disconnect.

If this left a reader confused… my apologies.  But if you take NOTHING from this entry, the question of existential meaning comes with the notion of people controlling the life you lead and the choices you are making, well, yes… the ARE people who meet in cabal and make decisions to do exactly THAT.  Maybe while I am on quarantine, I may explore consciousness and what does it mean to have consciousness and that of agency vis-a-vis what that means and do we have it?

Friday, April 17, 2020

CO-PARENTING IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS

KT,

It is almost midnight and I am not in the least bit sleepy.  While anxiety is part of my diagnosis, I wonder if the source of my late night is ACTUALLY one of the emergent conditions of CTBI.  I say that because nearly everything that could be a symptom are traits that may not necessarily be singularly identified as such.  In fact, I often ignore telling myself that a particular behavior or some kind of mental failing is due to my condition, because f*ck THAT!

Anywho, what I do know is that you have been on my mind for some time.  The pandemic has shut down everything… I was so looking forward to watching you walk across the stage!  But with things being what they are, I felt that this is a time where I should talk to you about my college experience and the impact that an irregular event had on my LIFE.

See, in ‘92 I was really doing well as an amateur boxer.  I won the Carolina Golden Gloves and went to Knoxville, Tennessee to box in the regionals.  I was unable to make it through, but I still had a chance to make the Olympic Team by winning the Olympic Trials box-off.  This meant I would have to beat up people in Carolina and then I would be on my way to Marquette, Michigan to the next round of qualifying.  Even had I not made it through, I would have had a lot of boxing people get to look at me and maybe someone would have tried to set me up as a boxer.  Anywho, I had won the first fight that I had and I was confident that I was going to beat up the guy who stood between me and the Carolina berth to the Olympic Trials.

BUT WHAT HAD HAPPENED WAS…

Most Olympic Trial competitors are made up of teams and groups around the athlete that makes sure that all the athlete has to do is compete.  My experience was not like that.  I drove down by myself from Greensboro to Wilmington, had to find my own hotel and figure out how to get around town, to where I needed to go for the boxing match.  I did that, and for the first night, I was golden.  I met my weight and was able to meet and represent myself in the appropriate meetings.  Later, I would beat up the cat for my first fight, and I had advanced to the next round.  BUT, as a fighter, I was not allowed to go to the coaches’ meeting, and by not finding out the details for the next day, I was not informed about when the weigh-in for the next night of matches.  Missing the weigh-in meant I would not be allowed to continue my Olympic dream.

I had taken spring semester off because this was going to be one of the biggest reaches at the brass ring on the Merry-Go-Round of my life.  This, I had told myself, was my “golden ticket”, my chance at a new life, dreams of becoming famous and having a gold medal hung around my neck.  At worst, I would be seen by boxing people and might have caught the eye of someone who was looking for a good fighter.  But all of those dreams, along with the dreams I did not know that I had, would be altered forever.

So now, in the time of COVID-19, your graduation has been delayed… and I am assuming that you are not sure of what is going to come of your senior year of college.  And this is how my experience and your “Graduating In The Time Of Coronavirus” sorta kinda dovetails.

Whatever it is you have going on in your life right now, do NOT lose your focus.  Identify the things that you are SURE OF in your life are the things you want to accomplish AT ALL COSTS.  I, not only did not do that, but throughout my life, have not been able to do so.  If I had your Mom’s talent for focus and goal setting and achievement, then who knows what our lives (because if I was THAT KIND OF GUY, I would have married her, at the very least, stayed in Carolina for the both of you) would have become.  But my penchant for distraction and whimsy, eventually brought me to Omaha.  I still have that penchant for whimsy (me moving to Georgia… more on that another time) so it is not like where your “maybe” is far from my ability to identify with you.  Saying “whimsy” is being kind to myself, because that is not an adjective that one should be using when describing the process that they use to arrange their thoughts, their life.  Existence is unkind to indecision.  The life that I have led is proof of that.

You do not want to have to live with a question that you should have answered when you first faced it.  You do not want to count on being able to continually find another chance to make something of yourself,  which is the knowledge that you can gain in only one way… through failure and disappointment.  The only reason that I can say this, obviously, is through my life experience.  This is the curse of the half-a** ghetto philosopher… having an understanding of “the why” my thoughts have brought me here, and in spite of the life that was foreshadowed, ending up being in this space anyway.  That is not what I want for you, to understand and being satisfied with knowing better and never really having done better.  You  deserve better than that.

I go back to missing my weigh-in and living my life without KNOWING.  I do not know what I could have been because of my own actions.  Something that I had full control of, a future of unknown positive possibilities, and I blew it.  Not missing the shot at the Olympic Team, but taking full responsibility and control of my life.  THAT is what I really missed.

See, none of your dreams and hopes are at risk.  You can still choose and make the life that you want.  You have AGENCY.  Stay on course, focus on achieving the things that you want.  Make that your prime directive.  I do not want you to end up living a life of compromise.  You have too much potential, too much ability, to live your life as a “woulda, coulda”.  Dream big, reach high, WORK HARD.  Get focused… do not worry about the things that do not fit conveniently with your goals and dreams… do not be discouraged when you have to work hard for the things you want (and if those “things” are people, let them go… but that is not this note..!).  Keep on the path, make sure you are still on YOUR PATH, and do the most you can to live a fulfilling life.

I love you more than anything I have ever loved in my life.  You are so precious and I do not care who knows it!  Be careful, do not let people breathe on you and for goodness sake, WASH YOUR FACE AND HANDS!  Anti-bacteria stuff does NOT protect you more from the virus… soap BREAKS DOWN AND DESTROYS THE VIRUS.  This may or may not be a permanent thing, unless the meeting at the Bohemian Grove decided to--

Love you lots and lots!!

Dad

Sunday, March 22, 2020

THE GOAL OF THE PARTY

VICTORY ON THE AFRICAN FRONT


Someone who can put the seemingly coincidental and totally abstract concepts of what civilization means into words better than I can (not could… heck, quantum mechanics allows me to make the case that since I COULD HAVE then it is possible that I STILL AM THAT PERSON somewhere in reality and that this take on the topic IS the best of all possible takes..!) should be trying to describe what is on my mind.  This is also going to be a divergence from my general take on my life and the course I am heading.  I think that things have been coming into a sharper focus and I need to get those thoughts down and bring them into reality.


KT has chosen me to be the emotional side of her parental unit.  She is comfortable telling me things about her life that I think makes us friends as well as a parent/child unit.  But, we have never had the opportunity to live together, so I have always felt a little awkward that I am one of, if not the bestest of her friends.  This is a place of honor that I have always cherished but kind of felt guilty about.  She has never been around me when I am going through stuff… unlike with her Mom and family in Carolina.  Sometimes her emotions are centered on being alone in and with her thoughts.  I have wondered if this, along with other things, are traits that she has no model for their identification because she did not grow up with having the other half of the genetic material that created her.  She has never seen how I handle things and how my mind takes the illusions that make the reality I live in.  


With the virus worry that is gripping the nation, I sort of had a moment this week.  My current “partner-in-training” has suggested that I should get an Iphone, so that I can do facetime with KT.  She offered to let me use her phone to call and look at my daughter as we spoke and I did just that!  But this was on Tuesday, when my anxieties reached their crest height… precisely when I wanted to speak to KT.


One of the things that I have been grateful for is the relationship that we have.  It is a real thing, tangible.  Yet, never having lived with anyone display the kind of traits that makes her feel isolated, calling her in my state-of-flux, was a touchstone moment for the both of us.  I remember how loneliness would creep upon me when I was her age… the biggest difference between us is that I expected what I have encountered (for the most part).  Also, by sharing my “moment” with her, I feel it brought us closer, maybe even more than I could imagine.  


Some of the factors that made my moment happen is due to how I process the world around me.  I am likely the last person to dismiss someone out-of-hand, especially if I cannot be any more definitive about a thing than they are.  Yes, there is a corner bookshelf in my mind where I store my “conspiracy paraphernalia”.  It is not a lot of stuff, but they tend to have a few things that I believe allows them to cross the “common sense barrier” and enter into the realm of possibility.  This, the coronavirus, is one of them.


Look, I get it.  The Chinese have weird meat sources… everyone on a continent not named “Antarctica” have humans that eat strange food… and that is because we, humans, are OMNIVORES.   To point to another ethnic group and question their diet is small-minded.  I have been wondering for years when folks will get theirs from pig’s feet and head cheese.  There are SOO MANY WEIRD FOODS in the western diet that leaves no room to talk about the dietary habits of other people in the world, whose diets are based less on convenience and more on sustenance.  As I try not to get all Chomsky in here, the profit motive shapes and curates the food that we eat as well as our dietary habits in the States.


So with that as a starter point, it would not be long before I was at the collapse of civilization( or at least what we consider “civilization” to be).  I saw (see?) governmental overreach as the low-information voter would be ready to cede their freedoms if they were promised a little bit of help.  I also can see where the divide between different social factions would drive the group divide even deeper, and more fractured.  And I am going to pause for a personal tangent, one that I hope sets up where I plan to go and get closer to the heart of my anxieties.


It is very easy to dispel people who believe in conspiracy theories.  While they seem to defy logic, what many seem to fail to realize is that there are roots strong as the ones that give life to Yggdrasil.  And as with really deep roots, one can only wonder how far they run.


First, there is always some truth in some of the conspiracy ideas that people flaut.  My Mother would roll her eyes at my cousin and me as we would go on about some (to her) half-baked theory or explanation of a politically-driven motive of the United States.  I know that when I was a kid and trying to get into Noam Chomsky among others, combing his work with Orwellian theories about the State, and other futurists who saw how grim things could become, I stopped throwing away the “rantings” that I would hear… because in many of them, a shred of truth was contained, and THAT is where my “what ifs” would begin to trouble me.


Second, like I have mentioned, there is enough “X-Files” truth to some of the ideas that one would be induced to take a closer look down the rabbit hole.  You don’t think that the Government would not risk lives to experiment on people that it felt was expendable and the profit motive gave reason enough to do so?  The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment was a “thing”.  COINTELPRO was a “thing”.  And those are a few of the more mainstream crimes that Big Bro--, excuse me, THE GOVERNMENT have committed against citizens, citizens that a shadow group in power deemed unnecessary.  So when the “wake up, sheeple” cries are sounded, I have my own vetting process to go through before I consider Alex Jones to be a tool of the very system he is claiming to fight.  Sooo….


The highlighted part of this entry is from the linked thread on another blog.  Is Evangeline Lily, C-list actress, brilliant?  I am not in a position to say so.  She sounds like a libertarian from Cheyenne to me.  But, in her comments I hear Ben Franklin… and in my bones, I feel the confirmation from being proof of the treachery that “Those Who Sit Above In Shadow” will commit in the name of power and domination.  Anywho, I saw what she said and immediately thought of the words of one of the nation’s founders.  The thing that I wonder, before people write her off as one of those wacky Hollywood stars, do some due diligence, you know, YOUR JOB AS A REPORTER and find out WHY she feels that way instead of a sensationalized sound bite.




I cannot begin to grasp how many times I would listen to this song in lieu of a conversation with another person.  A good friend of mine from this era would always bring up this “weird song” and say that I was “in search of a Stuart” to share my ravings with.  I did not care then, and I care even less than I do now.



At the start of the previous decade, there was the “Great War To End All Wars”, as well as the Great Depressions, to give character to the 20th Century.  What is the beginning of this century going to foretell?  We race even faster to the more dystopia, a blend between “1984” of Orwell and the “Brave New World” of Huxley.  They are simply different sides of the same coin, leaving little to no hope for the great masses of men.


So I formally apologized to KT.  I feel like my generation did not do enough to maintain the class freedom for her generation.  She is super smart, very beautiful, and sometimes, she even talks as though she has a head on her shoulder and there is something functioning in it!  The anxiety in me has been dialed back a bit, and I will get back to building my 5-year plan, and I use that phrase with NO IRONY AT ALL.  We are going to be in Georgia, I am going to die with my daughters and near my sisters, and that is what I will focus on.  And yes, I am still that, “poor pro black ni**a”