Prison, ADD, And The Haunting Mistake

Posted by on Feb 18, 2013 in Sick of the Grind | 0 comments

You’ve only got one shot to get it right. ONE FUCKING SHOT!

Imagine if, when you were a baby, and you only had one opportunity to get walking right.  You had to nail it on your first try or you were forever doomed to crawl around and shit your pants the rest of your life.  How shameful.

I made a mistake a few years ago.  Well, it wasn’t really a mistake, more like I had to break an agreement, a contract.  I signed a one year lease for an apartment, and after two months of living there, I got a job offer in a different state and was going to have to move.  Obviously i was going to fail to honor the contract, so I had to break it.  And I did, without “properly” getting out of it.

So the management company sicked the dogs on me and put a measly $1400 that I owed them on my credit.  Now it follows me around, and if I try to rent an apartment through the standard channels, I get fucked in the ass because of that one little mistake.  It will follow me for another couple of years, then drop off my credit like it never happened.  It’s like a jail sentence for my finances.

I started thinking about attention deficit disorder, and how it’s not a real thing, but rather, a convenient excuse for doctors to prescribe drugs and schedule expensive office visits.  When a kid has a hard time sitting still in a classroom and can’t pay attention to a boring ass teacher, then he has ADD. I know there’s a whole test (charade) that doctors put a kid through to make the determination, but I look at it like a can’t fail test.  The medical system, and teachers and parents, have everything to gain by a positive diagnosis.  Kids get screwed and become zombies, because we refuse to change the system, because that’s really, really hard.

So now schools have this thing called “lockdown,” that apparently they initiate when there’s a threat someone is going to start shooting the place up, or when there’s an insane asylum escapee running around stabbing people with make shift eye glass knives.  How far away are we from just merging schools with prisons?  They’re not that far apart now.  The only difference is, kids get to leave and go home at the end of the day.  While they are in school, the doors are locked so no one can get in, but also, no one can get out.  Maybe we can turn prisoners into school teachers and see how that works out.

People go to prison because they made a mistake, or two, or three.  People make mistakes in school and are punished, which become stones of the prison being built in their minds.  Kids are usually forced to work alone to solve problems, so their individual aptitude can be properly measured.  Prisoners, nowadays, have a cell all to themselves, where they spend 95% of their day.  They are left to sort out their own issues, all alone.

The new and improved high school prison.

The real world works in a way where people work together to create things and solve problems. In the job force though, you are still judged based on your individual performance, or more realistically, you’re judged by another person and his/her biases towards/against you.  Regardless, if you make a mistake or fail, you are punished. In school, when you fuck up you get sent to the principle.  In the work force, when you fuck up you get written up.  Same concept, different execution.  The people lording over you like reminding you of the fact that they are still lording over you, and you best stop making mistakes according to their rules, or else.

ADD meds turn kids into zombies, so they are more docile and receptive to programming.  I wonder how long before those meds are just injected at an early age, like a flu shot that has to be taken every year?  Just neuter them before they’re able to make any memories.  Or take it a step further and sell a drug that parents or teachers can inject to turn a kid “off” when they don’t want to deal with them.  Might be easier to implant a chip directly into our brains and give remote controls to those in power so they can manipulate our minds whenever they please.  We’re already there anyway, I suppose.  Perhaps we don’t need the hardware after all?

There’s no judgement calls on the mistakes that get slapped on our records.  The person isn’t taken into consideration, how they’ve changed or what they’re like now, as opposed to the possibly several years ago when the mistake occurred.  Maybe the mistake was out of our control?  All that matters is the piece of paper produced by the keepers of the record that show the mistake.  It doesn’t show extenuating circumstances, just the basic facts.  “Well, it says here you fucked up 10 years ago.  I understand you’ve changed and haven’t made that mistake again, but it says here you fucked up 10 years ago, and that gives us the leverage to fuck you any way we want.”

What if we reversed that paradigm?  What if we took the diagnosis of ADD as an indication of a problem with the system the kid is living in (very hard), rather than a problem with the kid (very easy)?  What if we recorded all our good deeds, like the ones that really mattered, like the time you gave a bum $5 and somehow that changed his whole life, and now he’s a billionaire?  He doesn’t have to become a billionaire; maybe he uses that $5 to buy a cheap bottle of liquor that he wouldn’t have purchased had you not given it to him, and something happened to him that transformed his entire existence for the better?

What if we gave prisoners opportunities to make good in the real world, on their own, like an exercise that they creatively think of on their own, and weigh that against their past crimes?  They could develop a good deed they wanted to execute, like volunteering to work in a soup kitchen, or teach an arts and crafts class to elderly people.  Then they could be judged based on their initiative instead of on how much time they’ve spent wasting away in their cell.  Most prisoners are decent folks who got sucked into bad situations and made mistakes.  It’s hard not to when everyone else around you is.

This is brainwashing you right now.

Then our good deeds could be weighed alongside our mistakes.  And maybe all the good things I’ve done since that horrible moment when I broke the rules and cost a billion dollar company a measly thousand bucks could be pitted against my good record.  If the reverse had happened and they would’ve somehow set me, the little guy, back $1400, I’d have no recourse, except maybe logging a complaint in an anonymous online forum that nobody visits.  I can’t call the credit bureau and say “hey, they owe me $1400, put it on their record.”  Little guys have no power like that.  (Isn’t it funny how credit bureaus just take their word for it, like they couldn’t possibly be making this shit up?)

And so the system brainwashes us to believe that after we take our one shot, and if we fail, we must go back to the land of the walking dead.  Eeking through life, a failure, forever doomed to be amongst the mediocre.  Kids who get the ADD label are forever brainwashed to believe they are somehow different; they have a disability that affects the way they learn and interact with the world.  Once that becomes a belief, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.  No one thinks about the long term effects.  Maybe some time in the future, when he’s 20 something, and wants to do something extraordinary, he thinks to himself, “but I have ADD…people with ADD can’t do that.”

What if that had been the reasoning of Martin Luther King Jr., or Steve Jobs, or the Wright Brothers?

I made a mistake over 5 years ago.  A mistake out of necessity, really, an oversight, because I could’ve paid it off and followed the stupid fucking rules.  But I didn’t, my brain is imperfect and things slip through the cracks sometimes.  And it will haunt me for a few more years.  Then it will have served its sentence, much like a prisoner, an arbitrary amount of time determined by someone in a suit or black robe or impressive looking uniform.  It will be released into the nether.  Until then, I will feel shame whenever it affects my activities as a human on planet earth living, under the rule of the system.

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Political Idiocracy And The Illusion Of Choice

Posted by on Nov 5, 2012 in Sick of the Grind | 0 comments

The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting. – Charles Bukowski

Election day is finally here, and if I could give less of a shit, I would. No matter the outcome, my life won’t change one bit. Your’s probably won’t either. The election will pass, just like the Super Bowl, with fanfare, over analyzing, and posturing by the victors. On Wednesday, everyone will wake up and go through the same routine they’ve been going through. The sun rises, the work days grind on, and we’re all one day closer to death.

Porn star / professional wrestler as our next president?

But according to all the political ads, it seems America is burning to the ground, everyone is poor and starving, and soon we’ll all be dead or taken over by China. Unless, of course, we elect <insert politician’s name here>. If you live near the Mexican border, like here in Arizona, illegal immigrants are taking over all the jobs and soon we’ll all be speaking spanish and eating menudo. In so many words, America is broken, and we need politician X who will reach across the imaginary partisan line and get to work fixing things. Sounds like a good setup to a summer blockbuster drama. Somewhere Batman is smiling at the masterful use of theatricality.

Your best bet is to not vote at all. I’ll repeat that in all caps: DON’T VOTE. Think of all the mental energy you can save yourself by not playing into the political theatre. Think of the message you’d be sending. Think of the time you’d save on Tuesday standing in line with the rest of the cattle waiting for your turn to be a sucker.

You can’t escape the system, but in this moment, you can turn your back on this part of it. Your vote does not make a difference.  You’re not voting for change. The only thing you’re voting for is the continuation of the soap opera. Save that mental energy and use it to choose the next American Idol. At least your vote there makes a difference.

Obama, Romney, the rest, I’m sure they’re all well intentioned, and good enough guys (most of them anyway). The political ads try to convince you otherwise, that the opponent is a lying, cheating piece of trash who’s only in it for his own gain at the expense of everyone else. My brain is fucking thumping from the Idiocracy of it all. And I’m not even voting.

People tell me, through bumper stickers, little cookie cutter philosophy Facebook graphics things, Twitter messages, and sometimes right to my face, that if I don’t vote, I don’t get to complain. Fantastic, I’m not going to complain anyway. If that’s the only argument you have to try and convince me to spend my precious time voting, then I guess I’ll keep my mouth shut when Obama turns America into a socialist republic of communism, or when Romney decides to nuke India. My money’s on neither of those happening and everything staying exactly the same.

People love to complain, that’s for sure, and they like to blame their problems on someone. Political figures are an easy target. So if your choice doesn’t win, then you have a built in reason to back your belief about how fucked up the world is. It’s because Romney is our president. You have a built in excuse when things don’t go your way. It’s because Obama is a liar. It gives you a reason to be mad at the current state of affairs, whatever those may be. And if your guy does win? Well, you get to complain about the other idiots in congress who won’t cooperate, that’s why shit is so screwed up.

I’m not above complaining. I complain all the time, about stupid things. I whine a lot too. I complain about shitty TV shows. I complain about people buying music from shitty “artists.” I complain and whine and moan on and on about working in a fucking grey prison cube. I complain about the weather sometimes. I complain about how bad people drive. I’m an angry driver. I complain about taxes, health care, debt, money, the government, food, my neighbors, yada, yada, yada. Essentially, I don’t have any more room for anything else to complain about.

Regardless, the big machine in Washington will continue to churn no matter the faces manning the controls. We’re the ones actually in control, although it’s easier to blame the government for everything. We’re not in control because we vote on who occupies the seats in the machine. We’re in control because we can choose to turn our backs on them and refuse to participate in their little political games.  Choosing no one is still a choice, and every election more than half the country choose not to choose.

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My favorite Idiocracy political ad so far…

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How To Start A Revolution

Posted by on Oct 28, 2012 in Sick of the Grind | 0 comments

As I sat in my grey cube going insane from the incessant clicking keyboards all around me, I began contemplating if there is any human alive today on this planet that would choose this, work in a cubicle, in response to the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?”

Your own personal revolution.

I wanted to be a garbage man. At least that’s what my mom tells me. I don’t actually remember desiring to be a garbage collector, I just thought it was a cool job. When my mom would take me grocery shopping, I would ride on the side of the shopping cart and jump off when we stopped and simulate dumping trash into the cart. This was back in the day when the guys had to manually dump each unique trash can into the truck, then pull that lever that smashed it all up. I still think that would be a cool job, but nowadays, they just drive the truck and a robot arm grabs a city issued trash can to dump it into the truck.

I also wanted to be a fighter pilot, a writer, a baseball player, and a rock star. I wouldn’t be whining in this blog if I was doing any one of those things now. Somewhere between the endless possibility I was sold as a kid and the onset of reality, I settled on a more practical career path.

I would venture a bet that if I were to poll every 9 year old on this planet, none of them are dreaming of sitting in a grey cubicle all day listening to the sound of obnoxiously frantic drones clicking away at their keyboards. I’ll bet that none of them have even considered the highly generic “office worker” as a good answer to “what do you want to be when you grow up?” But chances are, that’s where they’ll end up.

As I sat there and fantasized about rolling grenades down the cubicle aisles, as I do quite a lot, I couldn’t help but think I’m totally alone in feeling completely empty and dehumanized in this environment. And the only reason I continue to do it is to make money like everyone else, so I can pay the bills that everyone expects me to pay. Fear, in other words, is the main motivational source of self inflicted mental torture. And sprinkle in a little complacency and extreme comfort just for good measure.

The clicking keyboards never used to bother me, but now it’s like lashes on my back. Every day, the multitudes file in, completely accepting of their conditioning, completely complicit in the system. They bang away on their keyboards, working, accumulating stress, propagating disease, all in the name of maintaining someone else’s profit machine. I’m one of them. We slaughtered all the natives, sent countless young people to die in senseless wars, all so we could live “free,” in our nice grey cells built for one.

This can’t last, right? There’s has to be a breaking point. Or has the system become so proficient at creating us neutered cogs that there’s only a very slight chance of resistance? I still envy the garbage man.

Revolution!

Whining doesn’t solve problems. Doing nothing, accepting your programming doesn’t solve problems. Taking up arms, affixing bayonettes and blasting the rulers right in their greedy face might. But we can’t win. The little guy will always be crushed by the big guy. David just got lucky against Goliath.

I’ve said it a thousand times: there’s no escape from the system.

It’s certainly acceptable to dive whole hog into despair. At the darkest levels, isolation, addiction, and extreme comfort becomes your life. It’s really quite easy to follow that path. Most people are on it, not necessarily at the deepest levels, but on some level. Despair is a part a life, but it doesn’t have to be permanent. I sit in my grey cube and feel despair almost the whole time I’m their. I know I have it easy. Easier than a lot of other people who are battling their own demons, both physical and mental, far bigger than any I can even imagine.

I’m happy once I leave. As soon as the outside air fills my lungs, I’m back to the land of the living, where it’s great to be an alive person. I don’t know if actual prisoners feel that same elation when they are released from jail. I did, when I was released from jail after spending two full days. Relieved might be a better term to describe my emotional state at that moment. But relief isn’t a good word to describe leaving the pit, because tomorrow the cycle will repeat.

So the revolution has to come in the form of a mental one. The makeup has to change. Smarter people, both alive and dead, have said that surrendering to your situation is a fast path to peace of mind. Something like that. Accepting the money system, and all the realities that lie within that realm, is the only true escape. Redefining what it means to be rich, not monetarily, but spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally. It can come in many forms.

A job is a means to an end. Once again, we’ve come full circle. A better man than me recently wrote, we’re all entrepreneurs, whether we’re in suffocating jobs or own our own business. I translate that to mean, we’re all in this game for ourselves. We have to look out for #1. When we lookout for #1, and we succeed, we can help #2, #3, #4, and so on. Hopefully it becomes a multi-level marketing scheme, but for the benefit of mankind, not the sleeze ball profiteers.

We can’t let the system own us. We can’t let the system use us as puppets. The corporate world is full of vampires, all they want to do is suck you dry and move on to the next victim. That’s what a job is, if you let it be. I’ve allowed myself to be a victim way too long. I don’t have much blood left, those assholes keep wanting more.

The revolution is an awakening of your own independence, a realization that everything around you is mostly under your control. You don’t need anyone to give you permission to do anything. How can you separate yourself from all the drones you encounter everyday? How can you block out all the noise your boss, coworkers, friends, and family spew out of their programmed mouths? How can you redefine yourself in an era where the human existence seems to be moving towards a singularity? How can you slap those around you into consciousness? A few of them might join the fight.

Extreme Comfort

If you were in prison for life, on death row, literally, how would you survive? You have nothing to lose by attempting to escape, what’s to stop you from making a run for it frequently?

Laziness and passivity is your prison.

The system has become highly efficient at creating prisons for your mind. Extreme comfort is a state of comfort so intense, that you don’t even have to think about it, and the slightest deviation from it produces fear, anxiety, frustration, whining, in a nutshell, emotional distress. It happens automatically, 24/7, requires minimal effort to maintain, and is exactly the state the system wants all of us to be in, all the time. A matrix without the need for expensive, mechanistic infrastructure to manage it.

Death doesn’t exist when you’re in this state, except it does, but it isn’t a motivating factor. This sofa recliner and 600 channels of pure distraction is just so God damn relaxing. I think I’ll order some more pizza and beer.

It’s an invisible hell disguised as heaven. It sucks the life out of you, like those fucking vampires who pay you to come sit in a cube so they can feed their appetite for blood. It’s the modern day human existence. Not all humans, just the ones who think they’ve conquered the planet. It’s the removal of all thoughts related to survival. We’ve stuffed all of those basic concerns into a void, and everyday we can reach in and grab whatever we want. Survival is now a matter of how fast someone can stuff a taco into a bag and shove it into your car window. That’s extreme comfort in action.

There’s nothing wrong with convenience and distraction. Humans are meant to bath in relaxation. But at this extreme level, the system’s ability to keep us plugged in is all too easy. And we propagate it every day. We are all complicit.

Be The Example

If we’re to engage in a revolution, extreme comfort has to be ripped apart, re-calibrated to be an ally, something to look forward to rather than something naturally occurring that happens as the default. It can only come after we’ve done our survival dance for the day. We’ve slain the beasts of the day, now it’s time to enjoy the spoils.

The 4 phases of revolution.

This has to happen every day, whether we’re sick, tired, not feeling motivated, sad, lonelily, whatever. In the wild, Impala’s don’t get a break from being on the alert for Cheetahs. They can, but they might end up in the Cheetah’s belly if they do. Let the weak be the bait, you be the leader. The leader of yourself, the example for others. Whether or not they choose to follow is their struggle, it doesn’t concern you. This is your revolution, care for who you can, but let those who are already dead, die.

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The Individual Is Dead

Posted by on Oct 13, 2012 in Sick of the Grind | 0 comments

We’d like to think that all the little “personalization” options we’re presented throughout the course of our lives somehow give us a sense of individuality. We get to choose the color of our car and what brand, we get to choose from a handful of layout plans when we buy a house (which you should never do unless you are insane), the clothes we choose to wear superficially highlight our personalities, and all the other little knick knacks that we fill our lives with, and that we “like” on Facebook, round out who we are as an individual. Artificially flavored of course.

Your worthless existence, if that.

To be fair, everyone’s combination of things is different. No two people own and like exactly the same thing. Each one of us has a unique combination of stuff. Or so it seems. When you scratch beyond the surface, we’re all just piled into an indistinguishable heap. All needles in a hay-less haystack.

If you’re a consumer, then you’re no different than me. We are exactly the same, two drones under the rule of the system. It doesn’t even matter how much you have or how internationally unique your items are. They’re still the same thing, items, stuff, things, possessions, whatever word you want to choose to describe the crap that is ours. A car is a thing just like a pair of shoes, both just things made of out of a bunch of stuff meshed together then sold in a store as something we are led to believe we need.

But the system has come up with a clever way to brainwash us into believing we are unique. That somehow all this shit is different, and that each one of us needs to own a collection of it in order to feel special.

The individual is dead though. Killed long ago by society, never to return again.

An individual is someone who contributes in some unique way to a tribe, a small group of people organized together for everyone’s benefit. We may think we all contribute in some unique way to society, like a doctor does something different than a janitor, but when you peel the cover away, you’ll see a similar pattern with the shit we fill our lives with. Everyone is doing the same job: chasing money.

Money has become our new daily struggle, replacing the search for food, safety, and sexual opportunities. Whether you’re feeding people the illusion of health (doctor) or sweeping up piles of trash that a bunch spoiled assholes threw on the ground (janitor), your basic motivations are the same. Not to contribute something beneficial to the tribe, but to acquire money so you can survive in society. Helping people is a good guise to make money under, but the root motivation always circles back to the acquisition of money, as a means unto its own, not an end.

Money represents freedom. The more you have the more freedom you can enjoy. The less you have the less you can enjoy. When you have enough money, more opportunity becomes available, rules stop applying to you, and you get to do pretty much whatever you want. That’s true freedom.

There’s this false belief that you’re unique because you stand out from the crowd in some way. Maybe because you dye your hair pink, or you wear bright yellow jumpsuits, or you have a personality or philosophy that is different than most. But that’s fucking hot garbage, and we know it. There’s no such thing as a unique person who chooses to live under the rules of the system, and if you’re playing the money game, you’re part of the system.

It’s OK though, because we learn as we get older that nothing really matters. In 100 years everything we’ve labeled as accomplishments will be forgotten and replaced with the new new thing of the time. So go ahead and dye your hair pink, get imitation horns implanted under your skin, or spout nonsense all over the internet about the shackles of the system (this blog). Whatever you feel you need to do to get some pleasure out of the life.

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Fall In Line You Obedient Cog

Posted by on Oct 7, 2012 in Sick of the Grind | 0 comments

Why the fuck do I need to know anything about patent law?

I remember grade school and how we were expected to behave in an orderly fashion, even though we were kids and couldn’t possibly understand the concept of orderly. Everywhere we went, we had to walk in single file lines. Partly so the teachers could keep track of us, but mostly to keep us in line, both literally and figuratively. Step out of line and the teacher would yell at you. Do it enough times to annoy the teacher and you were punished in some way, like being sent to the end of line. These were simple tests of obedience. It’s where the term “fall in line” comes from.

Things don’t change much as we move through life. We still have to stand in line and wait our turn. I’ve began to admire the folks who blatantly spit in the face or orderly society. You know, the assholes that cut line or take more than their fare share. They’ve got it right, the rest of us are just mindless drones following the well wore path.

Hint: you’re not the red one.

Most corporate jobs require you to take annual “refresher” courses. Dumb shit like data retention, security, and trademark nonsense. I hypothesized that these are nothing more than obedience tests disguised as “training.” Even though 99.9% of us never need to concern ourselves with any of the subjects covered, we still have to sit through the hour or so of some neutered human talking in monotone about which data needs to be kept for how long. Stuff that’s normally reserved for the overly compensated, over stressed legal Lackeys. Make sure you get this meaningless shit right, because some bean counter sitting in a closet somewhere has the job of making sure you complete it.

I’m so far removed from knowing what it’s like to put in a “real” days labor, working with my muscles rather than plugging my brain into a computer every day. I don’t remember having to go through these little obedience tests. There were bosses with whips who would stand around and watch me work while they shot the shit with whoever, but at least their motives was out in the open; they were blatantly exercising their status over me. In the neutered corporate culture, the motives are blanketed by propaganda, meant to make you think this is all good for the company. Well I say fuck the company.

Obedience is for dogs. They need it to feel safe and happy. Humans don’t. We need true freedom, survival of the fittest. The shackles of process and structure are all man made, meant for, you guessed it, keeping the common man under control so the ones at the top can continue to stay there. How do we break the shackles?

There’s stress involved going against the grain. It’s hard on the body and mind. And for the most part, it’s the wrong approach because it only buys you the satisfaction that “they” can’t control you, a marginal victory at best. But the truth is, non-conformity is a form of obedience. You acknowledge the rules by explicitly not following them. So in a way, you’re still under control, you’re just being difficult. If this is you, stop putting yourself through it.

The best answer is to just conform, play by their rules while quietly creating some of your own. I know surrender is a dirty word in the American machine, but it’s the only solution that keeps you sane. You can’t change how the system works, but you can change how you operate within the system. Don’t be afraid to put on your best fake corporate smile and do as your told. Choose the battles you can win rather than playing a game that is stacked heavily in favor of those wielding the power. It won’t feel good sometimes, but the satisfaction of knowing exactly why you’re doing it will keep your blood pressure low and leave you more energy for the things that matter most to you.

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