how i do

31 03 2009

here’s how i do:

i design a new fool-proof anti-theft device that is invisible to the naked eye and, upon an item’s removal from a place of business without sanctioned disarm by an authorized agent, it explodes with alarming force, ruining the item.  and probably hurting the criminal.

then, i start a new fashion trend whereby nobody removes the tags from their clothing because it’s so cool.  soon after the trend is in full swing, i remind kids of how easy it is to steal things from stores since everyone’s walking around with tags on their clothes anyway, and i sell devices that remove all of the current theft deterrents.  a swiss army knife of theft deterrents.  i have them made in some third world country and make heavy profits.

then, with theft so rampant across the country, i sell my undetectable exploding theft deterring devices at a premium price, and the deactivating devices at horrifyingly massive profits, to virtually every company in the world, as they are all so desperate to curb the theft and there are no other companies already prepared to defend their products.  also, the deactivating devices do not remove the highly explosive devices.

then i set up a company to open a chain of small hospitals that deal exclusively with explosion wounds.  also, did i mention that the explosive devices have remote control capabilities and we can blow up any number of them “accidentally” at any given time?  they do and we can!  are you getting excited yet?  when we start doing that, we launder our money like criminals and remove most of it from the theft deterring company so that they go bankrupt very soon once the lawsuits start coming in. all of the detonating remote controls go mysteriously missing, too.  and the explosions continue!

also, maybe we should also open up an insurance company that insures only against these explosions, and then we don’t blow up those people.  sick profits!

AND:  i don’t even have an mba.

is it just me or is it frightening how simple it is to manipulate a captive mass-market country?  thank god none of the companies in our world have ever figured this out.





sharing my headache

30 03 2009

So I decided to read about an apparently exciting Cricket match on BBC news yesterday.  While I am incensed that they’re using the fundamentally flawed Duckworth-Lewis system, it does sound like it was a cracking match (or mathematics meet?).  Enjoy!

Andrew Strauss struck an unbeaten 79 as England levelled the one-day series with a nine-wicket win with nine balls left under the Duckworth-Lewis system.

West Indies made 239-9 from their 50 overs, Chris Gayle firing five sixes in 46 and, after Dimitri Mascarenhas took 3-26, Dwayne Bravo hit 69 off 72 balls.

England’s target was cut to 135 from 20 overs after rain but Strauss shared 108 in 14.3 with Ravi Bopara who made 35.

The captain hit nine fours and a six to set up a decider in St Lucia on Friday.

It was only England’s second victory of an arduous winter, and was an impressive recovery from the debacle at the same ground only two days earlier when they were bowled out for 117.

I mean, yeah!





The Capricious Nature of Reality

29 03 2009

Finally, I’ve come to a metaphor about life… probably the first one ever.

Understand life as you understand weather.  If you want the metaphor I just promised, fine, life is weather.  You can always make educated guesses about how things are going to be tomorrow based on today’s happenings, but you can never be sure. Whether it turns nasty expectedly or unexpectedly, there’s no escaping the situation at hand, so without complaining, act as you need to act in order to outlast it. Likewise, when you are lucky enough to hit a nice moment, don’t allow yourself to waste it. Regardless of what manner of patch you happen to be experiencing, you’re experiencing it, so take it in stride and remember that no matter how excellent or how horrible things are, they’re going to subside and you’ll be looking at the flip side at some point. Such is the nature of life, and weather, and this newly introduced coin that has two sides.  You are being presently called on to handle my mixaphor–are you complaining, or are you accepting it, knowing that it won’t be twisting into your mind forever?

Or… are you enjoying it?  Eh?





jung science

21 03 2009

Carl Jung wrote:  “The psychological rule this is that when an inner situation is made conscious, it happens outside with, as fate.  That is to say, when the individual remains undivided and does not become conscious of his inner contradictions, the world must perforce act out the conflict and be torn into opposite halves.”

psychology and physics make strange bedfellows to the uninformed mind.   my mind is barely informed enough that i quite like the idea of them getting it ON.  individuals influencing their own experiences through the power or their attentional tunings?  reality projection according to personal contradictions?  is he saying the world becomes the reality that each of us needs in order to learn certain lessons?!!  i could be wrong–i’m asking!

but, you know…  sign me up!





idealist/counselor

12 03 2009

a friend today mentioned that she really thought i should go back to school and become a therapist, counselor, psychologist, whatever.  my natural listening and understanding skills, she said, coupled with my non-judgment made my advice, in her estimation, excellent.  well, to that i say: terrific!  hey, what’s that over there?!!  and then you hear the scurry of my footsteps in the opposite direction.

i am, for some reason, an idealist.  i didn’t choose to be as such.  i don’t think it’s necessarily a good thing to be, even.  i often wish that i was better skilled in the art of dealing effectively in the imperfect world.  as i am, i see the imperfect world, don’t understand why it can’t be perfect, and cannot fathom how to play in it.  i don’t understand why people think it’s okay to deal with some things they despise in order to do some things they don’t.  i appreciate it, i really do, and i wish often that i could just drop my qualms and participate as others do, but i can’t.  i just don’t get it.  i can’t do something i don’t think is right, because the pangs are frequent and heavy that remind me that i’m faking it, that i’m willfully being insincere, and there is no situation in which i’ve found myself wherein the end justifies the means to the extent of shutting off the little voice in my head that won’t stop repeating what a phony i am.  does anyone else have this problem?

i can’t sit in a meeting with boss-types and tell them what they want to hear, even though it’s just that simple.  even when they know i disagree, don’t care that i disagree, know that i know they don’t care that i disagree, and are only hoping that i’ll say the “right thing” so that we can all get on with living our lies.  “it’s standard procedure,” i can hear them thinking.  “we tell you we think you do this great and hope that you can start doing that for us, and you say ‘sounds great’ and we all go back to work.”  except i know i could do “this” even better and will never be able to do “that” without more intelligent support, and i can’t just say yes when it’s just not true.

i can’t even stand it when people ask me how i am and it happens that i’m not “fine,” because if i don’t want to lie, i have to break one of our society’s time-honored traditions of polite, empty, mindless jabber.  if i do lie, thereby satisfying the pleasantry police, i have myself to contend with–a phony, caught red-handed.  how can one expect to have meaningful connections to others when one won’t even commit to a short, relatively uncomfortable exchange on one’s momentary well-being?

so what about going to school for counseling, a profession for which my friend thinks i’m a natural?  well, i don’t disagree with her.  i’ve thought about it often.  can i help that it bothers me that one requires certifications and degrees in order to be considered a salable professional?  i instantly think about how, in the days of smaller communities, everyone knew who those who could be trusted in their professions were, because people knew each other, and one couldn’t get away with being a phony, fraud, or shyster.  a good mechanic was a good mechanic, a good cook a good cook, and a rotten farmer a rotten farmer.  people were drawn to do what they were good at, and people were more or less accepting of that fact until it was shown otherwise.

dishonest people need certifications and false testimonies to ingratiate themselves with others when they come to town.  with such a large and mobile society, there are so many new people in places, and so many phonies who could be whomever they said they were regardless of ability or respectable intent, our system of stale qualifications pervades and annoys (me).  now you don’t have to be good at something in order to do it.  you just have to jump through the hoops established, many of them in good faith, to be certified to do it.  so now there are tons of people who are positively horrible at what they do, but they have the papers to say it’s okay to do it, so they are accepted.  what a stupid reason to accept someone.  i once had a girlfriend with emotional disturbances who saw a therapist twice a week and never seemed to get anywhere at all.  one day i met someone who happened to work in his clinic, and when i asked her about the therapist, she told me to never let anyone i knew go to him.  her stories were painful to hear.

i’m not saying there’s no credence to having qualifications in most fields.  i get it.  it’s just not a remotely perfect system.  and i can’t find myself in it.  not to mention how much i can’t stand the racket of today’s essentially corporate education or the indentured servitude graduates so eagerly enter immediately following.  i mean, at unc, my alma mater, they just built a global education center… the fedex global education center.  for all the good that people find in that building, it’s built on a foundation of our corporate commerce, and i have to say that that’s not the place i think education should be.

am i wrong?  i know you have to play the game to win the prizes.  i guess it’s lucky that i think most of the prizes are empty, evil, or at best, full of fecal matter, too.  i guess i’ll just continue being a good friend to those who find me useful.





freedom

3 03 2009

I’ve been thinking about freedom recently, possibly because it’s mentioned on half the bumper stickers in my country, and i have begun to be confused as to what the word even means.  I suppose it’s easier for people to get behind a concept that’s as vague as “freedom,” which is why it’s such a political winner, but I also believe that this concept, in as stark a light as one can put it, is central to proper living; to leading a life of wonder, exploration, and expression; to finding one’s direction(s) and following it (them) to conclusion.

What is freedom, after all, when from the moment you are conceived, you are bound to a book of restrictions that you had no part in making?  Without the proper conditions, you will not come to term, will not be born, will not be nourished through infancy.  If you take an inadvisable step as a toddler, you can easily maim your vessel long before you develop your true will in the world, forever altering your ability to do so.  You are bound to a body that has demanding maintenance needs, and even with the most attentive care, it is only available to you for a prescribed amount of time, and much of that time, it will not be serviceable for your desired uses.  Even at your mental and physical peak, you will be greatly limited by a huge number of factors.

If you believe you have a soul, and that your soul has taken this vessel for the glory of a creator or to learn what it needs during its time here, then you can hardly refute the idea that our planet is our prison and our bodies are our cells.  We are born into our corporeal forms, which feel all manner of worldly pain, and we are not allowed out until a lifetime later, when our cells have at long last worn down and finally, grudgingly release us.  We can choose to leave our prison by our own hands at any time, of course, but have no idea what really waits beyond the walls.

At least we are free to act as we like while we’re here, I suppose.  Except, of course, that we’re really not.  If you can forget all of your physical rules, which are oppressive and time-consuming enough, in my opinion, then you are free to begin to worry about all of the man-made rules.  Those doing time here before you had initiative to set up the joint for their greatest benefit, and you have all of the benefit of arriving on the ground floor.  You have papers.  You have licenses and documents to earn and to sign, certificates to display in proof of your proficience at some man-imagined skill or another.  You have interviews, during which you can convince other inmates that you are worthy of their confidence in handling some aspect or another of their operation.  And then you get to perform in that task–this is the part where you’re being productive, viable, and useful to the world around you.  But again, this is almost always, in the cages man has set up, only to serve men higher up in the cage than you.  You’re seldom helping the world around you.  In fact, you’re usually doing quite the opposite.  You’re injuring the real LAW–the natural world, the only link besides ourselves that we may have to the force that keeps us here–in order to serve man’s law–the only force that is nakedly invented to service only itself.  And all the attention we all give to this unnatural structure serves only to strengthen it and keep our focus off of the real quandary of our existences.

There is still so much freedom that we have in the natural world, though, I think.  People love love, I belive, and we love to find another person who makes us feel funny and wonderful and happy and as with whom we should perform sexy acts.  It’s funny, we never have these ideas on our own, really, we just realize at some point that we’re driven to make this thing happen, and suddenly it’s a very important thing to us, and some of us spend inordinate amounts of time pursuing it.  Much of this time also happens to be our “prime time” physically and mentally, when we’re about as sharp as we’re ever going to be.

Even if I forget about all the lack of freedom I perceive in being a part of the world, I can’t help but find emotional traps waiting for us every step of the way.  Any former lover, friend, pet, vacation, coincidence, or embarrassment is a weight tied to our beings by the strings of our memories.  Learning is nothing more than strapping on another bag and keeping it near to help you make any new decisions that might be related.  Even something as vaunted as our precious brains and their wondrous capacities for remembering and thinking critically serve to close up our worlds, little by little, until our legs are obliged no further steps.

Perhaps that is the trick to our journeys, then—or at least our passages.  We are set “free” in a world, counted upon to self-educate, to build a homeostasis, to exist as best we can, and we have indulged ourselves foolishly to our souls’ capacities, until finally our once-buoyant selves can no longer carry on after years of weighting and hardening.  And death may be the greatest gift we’ll know—when we are liberated at last from our world of entanglements, confusions, and delusions because we were, in the end, unable to liberate ourselves.