Monday, November 2, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
I'm not even too particular about who gets killed and who doesn't. Obviously I'd prefer the chance to help rebuild, but it's not a deal breaker for me. I'm trying to think about this at a species level, rather than as just a person.
As a species I think we need to seriously reconsider this whole civilization thing. Granted, we've been at it for so long it seems a waste to abandon it now, just when it seems like we're getting the hang of it (relatively, I mean), but I really think we got sidetracked somewhere.
I think it was toothpicks. When our society reached the point that we not only had to manufacture little slivers of wood to clean our teeth with, but that we had to include a 1-800 help line and instructions on the package, we should probably have folded it all up and gone to the beach.
All that being said, I find myself thinking a lot about the end of civilization. I'll be sitting in traffic and ruminating over something deep and meaningful and then I'll remember that there's a good chance that the house I just bought will be beachfront property within my lifetime. That always makes me smile for some reason, probably because I know how to swim and sail a ship.
I also think about zombies. Zombie Apocalypse is my favorite end of civilization scenario for several reasons.
For one thing, it gives the survivors a fighting chance: zombies aren't like meteor impacts or global warming. Those big scary major disasters tend to leave things more or less ruined, so that even if there are survivors they stand little to no chance of surviving for very long.
Zombies are not so unforgiving. They won't compete with survivors for food, as they tend to look at survivors as food. Also they're not very smart, and I think eventually they'll just biodegrade or starve to death we leave them to their own devices.
The other thing is that zombie attacks give us the chance to really just kill the hell out of people ... er, people-shaped things, anyway.
I've always thought of violence as something like a prostate exam: not very pleasant but occasionally necessary to insure a longer and healthier life. Inside the Zombie Apocalypse this becomes even more true, but it doesn't have to be all bad (unless you're the squeamish type, in which case decide for yourself which is worse: getting smeared with blood and grey matter or craving blood and brain matter for dinner. Also being one of the shambling, living dead).
I tend to think that having zombies around wouldn't be all that bad. Sure they're masses of semi-decomposed, quasi-ambulatory monsters that all want to eat you, but then again, there's always a body around to behead or shoot at or light on fire or explode, so it's not like there's no bright side.
I also think there's something to be learned from living through something like that, even if it's only the most rudimentary survival skills, Like one of those team-building retreats they send corporate fatsoes on to learn how to work together, only with teeth. I've always had the notion that it's important to drive yourself to the far end of your tolerance occasionally, just to find out what you're capable of. Some people say you can't know how far a mile is until you've walked one. I disagree, I say you can't know how far a mile really is until you've walked ten or twelve or twenty; until you've walked until you stopped because it was either that or fall. Only then can you know what you're true limits are.
Plus, I think everyone needs to experience real bladder-emptying, tongue-biting, eye-popping terror from time to time. It really puts stepping in dog shit in perspective.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
... while a friend of mine read my Tarot. She's an excellent reader, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little disturbed when I left her porch.
In three shuffles I pulled The Tower three times.
The Tower is an unsettling card. Fire, lightning, falling on jagged rocks - not what I'd call a cheerful fortune. It represents a sudden, dramatic upheaval or reversal in fortune. Usually change is gradual, giving us time to adapt, but sometimes it is quick and explosive. This is the action of the Tower.
How you respond to the Tower's change makes all the difference in how uncomfortable the experience will be.You may have a burst of insight about your situation and reach a new level of understanding about it.I think this is true about most things: it's not so much the things that happen to us as how we react to them. Our reactions can completely change the character of the things that happen to us, even if they can't change the things themselves. If I can take a lesson from something, then even if it is a tragedy, at least I got something from it.
They say that the lessons we remember the longest are the ones we teach ourselves, but I think the lessons that hurt and shock us are a close second. Ask any kid who's ever stuck a penny in a light socket if they didn't take some meaning from that event. I know I did.
Learning changes a person, though - the person who knows something is vastly different from the person who has yet to learn it. That's because the things we learn are so much a part of us that we can't help but behave and even think differently once we know them.
So, I started this with the idea that I recognize the inevitability of change and accept that there's no way around it. What I wanted to say next is that I'm not afraid of change, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that I am afraid. I think that's normal, though. People fear the unknown almost as much as they fear what they don't understand. That's why so many people are afraid of the dark.
I think it's good to be afraid sometimes - it teaches you humility and caution. The danger is in letting the fear paralyze you, and it's a slippery slope. It's easy to get stuck between actions when you know the next one is going to be unpleasant.
I think the trick is maintaining a certain amount of perspective. That's easier said than done when everything's changing and the world is out to get you, but it's worth the effort. It's important to stay grounded and see the world from your own point of view, but you should always be able to step back and look at the whole picture. From far enough away, even the most terrifying situations can become small and manageable.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
The title is "I have beef"
... I got it on sale, but i forgot to buy buns, or mustard, or chips, so it's not gonna be much of a barbecue.
... But what really ticks me off is the way some women seem to be hell bent on being miserable. mebbe it's a symptom of our society, but it's like we want everyone to feel bad about themselves all the time. why else would we be constantly inundated with images, videos, movies and commercials featuring either some paper-thin waif, or some mammoth-bosomed amazon woman?
Sure, images like these sell products, but there are repercussions.
We live in a very shallow society, as I think I already mentioned, and we place far, far too much emphasis on appearances. It’s unfortunate, but I don't think it's an excuse for self pity (there is no excuse for self pity in my humble opinion).
That’s why, when i hear some perfectly good-looking chickadee bemoaning herself like she's been beaten with the ugly stick, it makes me a little angry. I can't stand the thought of the hell people put themselves through just because they don't look like supermodels and actresses.
Let’s get this straight ... actresses, models, playmates, and whatnot exist for the sole purpose of making other people feel inadequate. When people feel inadequate, they compensate by buying stuff ... usually stuff that's advertised by the very same models that made them feel inadequate in the first place. We've been conditioned over the years to believe that spending money/having new things makes us happy, so it works for a little while ... we get happier, until we come across another ad in another magazine, or see another commercial for another kind of cell phone (or whatever), and the cycle starts all over again.
So I try, in my own little way, to counteract this societal disease by remembering that beauty really is only skin deep. In fact, it's usually even shallower than that, like only as deep as the first three or four layers of makeup (I’m also strongly anti-makeup, but that's a lost cause, I know). I try to remember that in nine out of ten cases, the "beautiful" people ... the ones with what we might as well call popular beauty ... are dumb as dirt, mean as hell, snooty as all get-out, or all three. These are not what I call appealing character traits.
I’ve even known people who've gotten cosmetic surgery, and the outcome is routinely just like what happened to Peter Griffin in that one episode of Family Guy. They become mannequins with no more personality than your average bucket of dirty mop water, and then they whine and complain when all their friends get sick of hearing them talk about themselves and move off in search of less annoying climes.
There are drop dead gorgeous people out there who you'll never see in any magazine, though. There are people whose beauty will literally take your breath away, if you can just take the time to appreciate it. There are people who we really should all aspire to be, and they're not in movies or commercials, because they look like the rest of us ... just normal ("we call you 'normies'").
So I say damn the man, don't accept the standards that Wall Street advertisers have set for us. Don’t let some corporate A-hole tell you what's pretty and what's not. Remember that you, and only you, can decide what is truly beautiful, and that there really is more to life than looking good, especially if looking good involves permanently altering your body, because rubber boobs and plastic noses are creepy.
... I think I was frustrated about something when I wrote this. Couldn't tell you what it was, though.
Ah well, I'll catch you later.