Cost of the War in Iraq
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Sunday, February 26, 2006

on the nature of people, personalities and individuality

I don't understand any of it. Is it more important to be yourself or be well liked?
"Be yourself!"
"The people who matter will like you for yourself!"
"If someone doesn't like you, that is their own loss!"
"Variety is the spice of life!"
But on Maslow's hierarchy of needs, love and esteem are before "Self Actualization" (whatever the fuck that means. Let's be honest, you don't know either, and if you do, you haven't thought hard enough). Actual physical requirements for life are first and most basic, but they are immediately followed by the positive regard of others. We need to have friends and relationships before we can self actualize. I don't know if that is the point I'm getting at, but it is a good side note.
The point I'm getting at is way too abstract to just say, so there will be an analogy. The closet gay who is a homophobe. Put yourself in that person's place. You know that you are attracted to other members of the same sex, but you also know you are not gay. You can then logically conclude that everyone has very deep down feelings of attraction for members of the same sex. You know that society can't work that way, it is impossible to conceive of a world in which all romantic pairings were between people of the same gender because we would become extinct. By simple philosophical definition, if it is impossible to imagine a functioning universe in which the proposed actions take place, then the proposed actions are inherently immoral. You dislike openly gay people, because you see them as normal people who are capitalizing on, exaggerating and exploiting a normal sensation that cannot be universally acted on. This is how I feel about people who are really weird. Openly weird. They don't even care that it is against societal norms. I don't think it is a) fair that they get to do whatever they want and I can't to whatever I want and b) moral for them to be completely disregarding the conventions that hold our society together. Are these unwritten rules there for a reason?
I guess what I really need to know is if every person is, as I believe, a unique individual with their own distinct world view, hopes, dreams, interests, etc. Or if most people are generally the same and there are only a few people with truly singular world views.
The thing about the gay scenario is that it does not reflect the world as we know it. Most people do not dislike gay people, which would imply that most people are not gay deep down and have no reason to resent these people being as they are. But it seems to me that most people do kind of resent really weird people. Is it because a lot of really weird people have irritating personalities or because everyone is just sick of hearing how "individual" they are when we all know that we are all individuals and this person is crowing about it as though they are the only one. Like someone who is so fucking stoked to have hands that they can't stop talking about it and using them to open jars and play piano and they have shirts that say things like "need a hand? I'm your man!"
It all really comes down to the skunk purse. I want one. I want to make my own skunk purse out of roadkill really really badly. Nearly everyone thinks this is a terrible idea. From what I understand, it is too far out of the norm to be accepted by people who don't already know me. It sounds as though it would result in me losing more potential friends than gaining. Although I would bet that the ones I gained would be pretty sweet. So the question remains: be yourself or be liked? Why do they have to be mutually exclusive? Are they mutually exclusive for everyone or only me? Why is it so hard for me to relate to other people.

Switching gears. I gave myself this gift, remember of doing whatever I want, but now I'm turning into an indian giver and trying to take it back. The more I do what I want to do, the less I understand other people. I don't get them and it was scary. I started feeling like I was tripping all the time, it was like waking up on a different planet and not knowing how you got there. It is just like that Talking Heads song, "You might find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile. And you might say to yourself: this is not my beautiful house."

Saturday, February 11, 2006

I fuckin' HATE money

And it doesn't seem to matter one little bit how much I hate it and don't use it and don't care about how much I have vs how much other people have. Because I still have to pay it, for everything, and because I don't care about it I get fucking shafted at every turn. Like spotting the payment on the Blockbuster movie pass thing. I don't care, sure I'll slide my card, take off 30 bucks, whatever. I then just forgot about it and so the next month 30 dollars was taken off automatically and so my little checkbook balancer was off 30, causing me to overdraw, getting a 30 dollar overdraft fee. I don't have any idea about any of this, because everything is just sent through the mail, which doesn't get to me for weeks because of my address change. So now my checkbook balancer is off by 60 dollars and I am overdrawing left and right, and my account always seems way too fucking low considering that I am constantly depositing money into it. So basically I've racked up over $150 just in overdraft fees, which I do not care about, take the 150, I've almost got it, I'll just work for somebody tonight and take care of it. But I need that to pay rent in the house I no longer live in. I just want to have a little projection sticking out of my back that says how much money I have at any given time. You can have it. Really, I do not care, I don't want it. The things I enjoy are free or super super cheap. But I can't give away money I don't have, and being in debt over something so ficticious and arbitrary as money just pisses me off and stresses me out more than I can express. I make a lot of money delivering pizza. Really, a whole lot. Way more than I need. I would love to just put it away to pay for things I do care about, like school, or give it to people who want it more than I do. But fucking retarded ass mistakes, just little things like the Blockbuster business end up using up all of my money. I spend more of this shit paying for mistakes and misunderstandings (rent in a house I don't live in?) than I do on everything I need and use, doubled. I HATE it. I hate it so much I could scream and shout and cry and hit somebody. It doesn't make any sense at all. And there is no element of human compassion either. A living person would not charge me $150 in overdraft charges without making sure I knew what was going on. A real human being with normal empathy faculties would not charge me 300/month for a hovel of a house that I was screamed at and told to move out of. Why do we have to indebt ourselves to this broken mess of a society.
Fuck it. I have library books to read and thrift store sheets to sew with my garage sale sewing machine. Free pets to watch. Thrift store string to braid.
What are other people DOING with all of this money? What could they possibly be spending it all on? I can't even begin to guess.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Don't worry, I have a plan

So basically this is my plan for world domination. For those of you just now joining us, please do stick around for at least the first paragraph or so; this will hopefully concern everyone, so good communication and feedback will be vital to making sure our global Utopian society is a success.
I think that the basic unit should consist of a tribe, I really have no idea how large, but it has to be self sustainable, so not so populous that it can no longer feed all of its members and generate it’s own electricity. I am leaning towards electricity being the only amenity that we keep around. Gas and running water will probably get the boot. Electricity is important for maintaining a global means of communication (the internet). Yes, you will all be allowed computers with internet access in the tribe. Possibly phones, or possibly we will work those through the internet? I don’t know much about how that shit works, to be totally honest. In the tribe, life is just that, the practice and art of living. Tribes will be basically entirely independent and sovereign, so there will be differing levels of “civilization” in each. Some of the hard-core leavers (we’ve all read Ishmael, yes?) will undoubtedly prefer to revert to an entirely hunter/gathering lifestyle and may not wish to maintain electricity or ties to what they would consider an unacceptable level of civilization. Some of the more progressive ones (or less progressive, depending on your point of view) will have full agricultural set ups in place, but I feel it will be very important to have guidelines in place for just how much control over other life forms we allow ourselves. The point here is not to rebuild back to the disastrous state we are in right now (2006), but to work in harmony with the earth and other life that exists here. So, yeah, family gardens and livestock are absolutely fine. Miles upon miles of feedlots are not. Remember, there are no day jobs, middle managers, telemarketers, etc. You WILL have time to maintain your own garden and animals; that is the POINT of your LIFE. Living it. You think it is too much work to grow your own food? It would seem to me and many others that sitting in a cubicle for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, trying to earn enough money to buy…shit, what do people buy anyways? A big screen TV to sit in front of when you get home from your long ass boring day job. Which will tell you that you are too fat (you probably are) and that you need a newer car to be happy (you don’t.) What will you do without television? Don’t worry, you won’t get bored. There are people to meet, ideas to discuss, technology to develop, drugs, food, and sex to indulge in. Art, music, literature, the pursuit of truth, beauty and happiness. Your life will be rich and rewarding, and best of all, totally sustainable.
All right, at this point I would encourage casual passersby to please tell me what you think of my concept for a utopian society before you either leave or keep reading. Would you live in it? Could you? Am I missing something really important and vital for the happiness of the masses?
And now we continue!
I personally value some of the cultural things that we have now and I don’t really feel that they should be demolished to make way for the new world order. Major metropolitan areas and their beautiful architecture will be maintained. I think it would be best if they were designated areas for artisans and philosophers. I don’t know if they will also be responsible for their own food or if they would be supported by the tribes in return for their contributions. They would be like what are now the ancient ruins in the tropical forests, except still inhabited by people immersed in their art and ideas. Possibly biomedical research would also continue in these areas, where the facilities are already present. I don’t think children would be raised in these kinds of places, they are more like campuses where anyone can go if they need a break from the normal, pastoral life style. I would propose that all child rearing take place in the villages. I don’t know much about education and child psychology, but I think that in general a somewhat Montessori approach would be best, with children leaving their parents when they wanted to and learning what they wanted, when they wanted to learn it. The phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” would become a most definite reality. I am hoping, ala Island that through appropriate raising of our kids, that most psychological problems and angst could be avoided entirely. I guess I haven’t considered the problem of mental retardation until this second. That would undoubtedly be something left up to individual tribes to decide how to deal with.
Transportation would be very limited, unless our scientists can come up with environmentally friendly, sustainable ways to do it. That means not only the fuel, but the machines themselves must be constructed out of the remains of what we have now. There aren’t going to really be any metal making factories or anything, but there will probably be a plethora of waste leftover from the present. I would propose that each tribe has one vehicle, or possibly a regional public transportation system for people wishing to travel to other tribes or the old cities. Or, even better, we could really old school it. People who desire to travel will just have to pack their shit up and Journey to new places, walking, biking, whatever. I would have to assume that travelers would always be welcomed for the entertainment that they would provide.
Crime and the judicial system would be basically nonexistent. I believe people to be mainly good, and given the right environment, I expect crime to disappear. There’s no money, drugs are legal, no big businesses or stock markets or guns. Where would crime come from? If there were any minor discrepancies, they would be taken care of by the individual tribe or family.
And all of this is only the beginning. I have so many ideas I could just burst. I’m going to save the world and anyone who wants to help is more than welcome to join. The nice thing about tribes being the basic unit is that all it takes to set all of this in motion is to just start forming tribes. Once people see that it works and works better than anything else, they will hopefully follow our lead: drop out of society and start living!
For anyone who is still poo pooing the entire idea of starting over from scratch, or questioning why people would want to leave a system that is so ingrained that it has been called human nature, I would offer a gentle reminder that global climate change is what killed out the dinosaurs and it is not just something that our great great grandchildren will have to deal with. If things continue as they are today, there will be a fundamental failure of major ecological systems and global climate patterns within the next 50 years. You will probably still be alive when England and western Europe freeze over and the poles melt and coastal areas are destroyed by hurricanes. Global warming is hippie mumbo jumbo? How about nuclear war or the bird flu? I’m not going to say that the end is near, but I would like to suggest that even without the total collapse of civilization on Earth, that maybe our tribal idea isn’t so bad. Wouldn’t it be nice to not have a job, to be happy and stress free all the time? What would you be giving up that you just couldn’t live without? If anyone mentions T.V., cars, clothes or fast food I would like to suggest that they just kill themselves now if that is all they are living for.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

hypothetical situation

So say that you're just walking along, minding your own business, and someone that you don't really even know comes up and is like, "I know this guy who is madly in love with you" and you're just like, WTF? And other people that you talk to are like "yeah, he's a lot older, but he knows absolutely everything about you and loves you beyond all reason and he was really hoping that you'd be willing to get to know him and maybe have him in your life. Forever."
Would this not be creepy?
And say that then more people were like, "he loves you so much and accepts everything about you and all he wants is for you to just love him back, unconditionally and for all eternity. Oh, and if you don't, he has said that you will basically suffer unimaginable torment by fire forever."
At this point I would think that a rational person would be getting a restraining order, and yet there are millions of people who subscribe to this totally bizarre notion and insist on being that initial unknown person: "Hi, you don't know me, but God really loves you and was hoping that you guys could become one and be together always and that you would do everything in the light of whether or not it would please him." Why the hell is this an acceptable thing to propose to someone? I suspect it has mostly to do with the fact that everyone is raised with some notion of this omnipotent God and so hearing about him is treated and dealt with in an entirely separate manner than anything else. I don't really have any further point; I was just thinking about it is all.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Friends help you move...

So today I'm lounging, in my underwear, watching bad tv, eating bad food, etc. And one of my little sister's friends calls me! Now, this happened last night, too, on the house phone at about 3 in the goddamn morning and I was like "Who IS this?" And some kid is like, "Jen Brown, who is THIS?!" So I was like, Bitch, I'm Rachael and Emma is not in the country right now so stop fucking calling; I go to bed early.
But the one who called today is my favorite of her friends, this girl is a real sweetheart, and she asked if I wanted to help her move. Now, I'm home alone and really bored so I was all like "Yeah!" And it really sucked. Also it was kind of funny because I was definitely the oldest one there except this girl's mom, and everyone was like, so how do you know Alex? And I was all...uhh, I'm Emma's big sister. Man, I'm such a loser.

This would have been an ideal post for Xanga but I've already posted there earlier today about wearing boxers under jeans, and also this little girl is subscribed to mine and so I don't want to talk about her and then have her read it. That would be weird.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Why is everything here completely pointless?

So my last goddamn baby rabbit died today. I don't suppose I'll actually tell people because it bums me out so much and I'm so angry and disappointed in myself. It got out, I guess, although I still think it is kind of unlikely that those fucking babies could get out of the cage I rigged. I suspect the dog got it, which is even worse because Lola is just the gentlest darling. She's watched me feed those things a million times, she was undoubtedly just carrying it around. I found it right outside the door (present style), absolutely matted down with spit with a little hole in its abdomen where I suppose a canine tore his ultra thin little rabbit skin. It makes me want to cry just thinking about it. I would guess he died of shock, not even the injury. Fuck! I think this was when I was outside watering the plants and I heard her tear off into the back yard and thought nothing of it. He was totally going to make it, too. I was going to release him into the fucking wild.
Why do people even bother. Even if I had released him, how long do wild rabbits live? Is their life worthwhile?
And then I had the terrible idea to watch a movie about underpaid mexicans working as janitors who tried to form a union and that doesn't help my poor bleeding heart. To care about everything so much, all the time, is just exhausting.

I guess posts like this are better when they're written "in the mood" so to speak. Earlier today I was just a wreck about this rabbit and everything. But I'm feeling better now. I like to read. Life is worth living because of enjoyable experiences. The rabbits were worth my time and money because I gained knowledge and I really think next time will be the one; I'll raise a baby woodland creature and it will live. I loved them for a short while. Shit, was it really only 13 days? That seems impossible. I wish he hadn't died.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Oh, Man

I've been alone in the house for...11 hours. And I'm already going crazy. I'm so lonely; how am I going to make it for two whole weeks! I am enjoying the freedom, my post on Xanga went something along the lines of "I make poor decisions regarding sunscreen, stand with the freezer door open because it feels good, parade around naked and eat shitty foods while watching shitty movies because I can." But that gets old...or at least the novelty wears off. Not that I'm going to put on clothes any time soon.
It'd be better if it weren't a Sunday night. I'll enjoy myself later in the week when I can just retreat into some university library and lose myself entirely in whatever I want to read about at the moment. If I find the NewScientist back issues I don't need to go home for days. I wish I didn't have all these pets/plants/mail to take care of, because I would totally see if I could camp out in libraries, public parks, whatever. The worst that could happen is ADVENTURES!
Mainly I wanted to type about myself a little bit and I feel kind of down, so I figure an anonymous outlet would be better than that dirty whore, Xanga.
Two of my wild baby rabbits died, I've only got Flora left now. She is doing fantastic, though, I think I'll actually be able to release her in a week or so. That is the first little animal I've ever succesfully raised, despite 20 years of trying. I'd say LOL, but I generally cry every time one of those damn things dies. I guess it is time to go feed that rabbit. That'll take a good five minutes. My homework is done. I could watch Clerks. I could go for a ride on my bicycle with the dog, but then I'd have to dress...
Wow I hope I never have to live alone. I can only imagine what kind of terrible eccentric I would become. An expert on something completely retarded, like gecko eye anatomy. Or worse, something that other people were interested in, like existentialism. That's becoming rather trendy. And I would just prattle on and on whenever I got any human contact, desperate for interaction, sealing my own fate.
At that point I might as well just make myself a wolf suit and make a really bad personal ad and hope that whoever responded would be so desperate that he wouldn't mind if I called him Tyler most of the time.
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