Wednesday, September 30, 2009

There is HOPE.

This story is simply amazing!

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind -- fantastic new book about a how a Malawian teenager harnessed the power of the wind.

William Kamkwamba’s parents couldn’t afford the $80 yearly tuition for their son’s school. The boy sneaked into the classroom anyway, dodging administrators for a few weeks until they caught him. Still emaciated from the recent deadly famine that had killed friends and neighbors, he went back to work on his family’s corn and tobacco farm in rural Malawi, Africa. With no hope of getting the funds to go back to school, William continued his education by teaching himself, borrowing books from the small library at the elementary school in his village. One day, when William was 14, he went to the library searching for an English-Chichewa dictionary to find out what the English word “grapes” meant, and came across a fifth-grade science book called Using Energy. Describing this moment in his autobiography, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (co-written with Bryan Mealer), William wrote, “The book has since changed my life.”
Using Energy described how windmills could be used to generate electricity. Only two percent of Malawians have electricity, and the service is notoriously unreliable. William decided an electric windmill was something he wanted to make. Illuminating his house and the other houses in his village would mean that people could read at night after work. A windmill to pump water would mean that they could grow two crops a year rather than one, grow vegetable gardens, and not have to spend two hours a day hauling water. “A windmill meant more than just power,” he wrote, “it was freedom.”
For an educated adult living in a developed nation, designing and building a wind turbine that generates electricity is something to be proud of. For a half-starved, uneducated boy living in a country plagued with drought, famine, poverty, disease, a cruelly corrupt government, crippling superstitions, and low expectations, it’s another thing altogether. It’s nothing short of monumental.
Read the rest of Mark Frauenfeld review at GOOD.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My student loan chickens have come home to roost

Things are going to shit.

I just got served with a wage garnishment court order that will take 15% of the meager salary I earn from me.

I know what you are thinking.

Maybe I should not have gone to community college.

Others might try and point out (in my defense) that the state of Arizona's constitution mandates that college should be as "free as possible."

I guess we should assume what the state's founding father's meant by that was a $12,000 fee for attending community college, followed by the attendant interest and penalties  for non-payment on my debt that I have accumulated that amount to 25,000 dollars.

It's not every day that a man faces a 15% cut in his salary.

I can't say that I am facing the possibility reasonably. 

I know I am going to lose it soon.  I don't know what that means for the readers of this blog.  Maybe they get front row seats to the destruction of a reasonable citizen, or maybe they just get tickets to the freak show.

I can't be sure at this point.

I am going to lose about 250 dollars a month.

I have no idea how I am going to cut that much money out of my budget.  I don't pay all my bills as it is.

The first thing I am going to have to do is get rid of my cell phone.  I am going to try and keep the internet as long as I can.  But with the strike looming... I have no idea what to do.

A friend of mine suggested that I cross the picket line if it comes to a strike.

I just don't know how I could do that.

I don't have a lot of morals, or even much of an established ethical system.  But if a pseudo-intellectual Marxist like me can't make the sacrifice to strike, then how can I ever think to ask it of any of the other members of the working class?

I am ready to be homeless.  

I would rather be homeless than let the capitalist dogs live one day longer on my labor.

Nothing is more humiliating for a man than an inability to pay his way.  But I will not cross a picket line against my fellow workers.

Anyone who would is dead to me.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I reach my breaking point

I'm going to get fired soon.

I keep forgetting to get the WIC checks signed at work.  WIC checks are vouchers used by poor people to purchase things like milk, cheese, and produce.

The vouchers have to be signed by the customers, or the store does not get paid.  I just got my second written warning for forgetting to get a signature.   If I get another I will be suspended and (most likely) fired.

That got me thinking, but not in a good way.

I lose my job every two or three years.  I'm getting kind of worried.  The jobs I lose are not very complicated ones.  The kind of jobs I get (and then lose) are the kind of jobs retarded people find when they "very high functioning."

Some of the mentally handicapped people I work with have had their jobs for 15 or 20 years.  Keeping the same job for 20 years seems like an impossible task for me.

I felt like shit all day. 

I forgot to take my Comtrex (that's all nothing else!) before going to work today.   I'm sick.  I had a headache with a mild fever.  My sinuses were draining into the back of my throat causing me to cough.

I am not certain if that is why I started crying at work today.  It might be because my manager told me she had "bad news" as I was getting ready to open my check stand.

I had to sign a bunch of paper work in front of customers trying to buy beer.  The customers were unhappy about the delay, because they wanted to go home and watch the football game.

Despite the hectic situation my manager tried to convey what serious trouble I was in.  She spoke in a hushed tone to me to keep the curious customers from catching on.

She had me furiously scribbling my name over copies of my "write up" all the while shielding curious courtesy clerks from reading my paper work.

The situation was laughable and most unprofessional. It is no wonder I can't take my job seriously.

But I still felt terrible. 

I sank into a pit of despair so low that I flicked my finger at a cardboard cut-out of little girl eating a Triscuit that stands at the front of my register.

"Why'd you do that?"  The grocery clerk to my left asked me nervously.

"Because that BITCH doesn't need anymore cheese."  I barked at her.

"Look at her."  I pointed to a picture of the most adorable little girl eating  a cracker you have ever seen.  "You know she just wants more cheese!"

*I'm gonna take a picture of it at work.  You'll see.

That little kid has enough cheese.  But a kid like that is never satisfied with good enough. She just uses her cuteness to get her way.

I guess you think I should just ignore that kind of shit.  But I can't any longer.

"I'm sick of people like her getting what they want."

I must have said some other stuff that I don't remember, because for the rest of the night that clerk avoided me and did not talk to me.

Not everybody ignored me though. 

BFF Jessie wanted to know why I looked so depressed.  She also wanted to know if I was going to cry.

I did not tell her that I had been holding back crying for 3 hours, and that my eyes felt puffy and my head hurt.

"It's just my life and stuff." I told her trying not to get teary eyed.

A little later in the day I talked to Leif in the break room. 

Leif and I talked about how we weren't any different from all the "unsavory types that work here."

"I mean if we were managers or something.." He paused and then added, "We might be able to fool ourselves."

"But we aren't." I interrupted.

"I mean we REALLY are just like them."  I directed that statement to myself. 

"There really in no way of getting around it." I added.

He just sort of nodded his head in approval.  Then he stood up and quietly gathered his apron and work badge and walked out of the break room.

He left me alone.

When I am alone all I have are my thoughts.

My thoughts aren't like yours.  I never have good ones.  I just have bad ones.  If you don't believe me just check out the archives of this blog.  You will never read anything in them other than me complaining, or talking shit.

I don't know what's wrong with me.

I am not going out of my way to be this negative.  I actually try to leave out some of the "more" negative things I think or feel.

I don't always do a good job of that.  Because I feel like you need to know the contingency of facts that warp my life.

Facts are what good journalists want.  And if you are a good journalist you would likely seek an explanation for my self pity by looking at my finances.

Insecurity for life is key.

It looks like the union at my grocery store is going to strike.  If we strike I won't be able to pay my bills.  Right now I am a month or so behind on my electric bill.  400 to 600 dollars a month in strike pay won't cut it.

Even if we don't strike I am sure I will be fired very soon.  I have problems staying in the real world and concentrating on routine matters like getting my WIC checks signed.

Being a dreamer is not a good idea when the only jobs you can get are the unskilled variety.  I am sure some humanities teacher taught you that unskilled labor means that you do boring, repetitive work that is closely supervised.

Most unskilled labor tasks are exactly the kind of work that brings out the worst in me.  Menial labor is mind numbingly boring. I do my best to just put up with it.  For the most part I tolerate it.  You know that I have a great capacity for tolerance.  How else do you explain walking around on a ingrown toenail for a 9 months?  

What are the other ways I cope?

I drift into daydreams.  But daydreaming is the last thing I should do.  Daydreams cause me to forget to do the little things that are required by my job that the less imaginative retard can remember to do in his sleep.

In effect my daydreams cause me to become dumber than the mentally challenged guy who dropped the bag of soup cans in the bottom of the basket last week on to an infant's head.

That makes me pretty stupid.

My daydreams are about me blowing stuff up and thereby teaching you all a lesson.

I imagine myself talking to the hostage negotiator.  He says:

"Romius, I know you are not a bad person.  I know you don't want to do this."

But I always tell the guy that I stand up for all the millions of people who die without dignity.

"Do you think that all those dying babies in Africa with flies in their eyes give a shit? They want me to take a few of you out with me.  They don't think we are nice people.  They just don't have the energy to strike out at you.

If they could they would all go out like I am, strapped to a bomb and killing as many overweight Americans waddling through the mall as they could!"

All I have is blind, impotent rage. 

Folks, that's my plan.

I have nothing else.  I have no way of things getting better.  I have 30 to 40 years of the same old shit.  Trying to hold on to a job that I think is beneath me WHEN ALL THE EVIDENCE POINTS OTHERWISE.

Even when I have a job it won't pay enough for me to go to the doctor when I need to.  I don't have a car.  I won't ever be able to ask a girl out on a date.  Who'd want to date me anyway?

I can't get laid. 

I have not been laid in 4 or 5 years.  I stopped counting it's been so long.  I see the women in my line.  I see the intimacy between them and their boyfriends.  I see them making play fights with him.

I see you kissing  your boyfriend right in front of me.  You do it on purpose, just to throw it in my face that I will never get you.

I guess I am supposed to take the wink you give me, or the arched eyebrow, or the lingering caress of your finger on mine as I hand you back your set of car keys, and go home and jerk off to THAT all day.

I don't need that.

I have the INTERNET bitches.  I can watch girls getting pissed on, or watch teen girls playing peak a boo with their cleavage on youtube.

I need to give up.

That's why I bought a pizza and Coke for tomorrow. Monday Night Football.  I also bought more Little Debbie Cupcakes.  You don't care if I get fat, because I am already disgusting to you.

It won't matter of course.

I am dying.  I probably won't get to any of you.  It always takes a few years to go from having a plan to having the balls to do something.

In that time I will die from MERSA, or cancer, or the toe infection, or from running to catch the last bus on Sunday, and having the bus driver smile as he drives right past my hobbling legs, the hammering pain of my toe plunging into me, causing my ankle to overcompensate and fracture, leaving me with one of those boot casts that half the clerks at my store have had to wear from having ingrown toe nails, and what the fuck is going on with the ingrown toenails? Is there some kind of new plague? Three clerks have had the boot cast.  They each have warned me to get my toe fixed.

The bus driver left me stranded.

Now what? Call a taxi?  Call your best friend?  Maybe you can just walk home and curse at the gods.

I could fix things.

Quit telling me to fix things.  I can't fix anything.  If I got my toe fixed, then I would have to get the sebaceous cyst fixed, and the stuff growing in my testicles, and the acid-reflux disease. And whatever is making my throat close up.

I would have to go to work and concentrate, and write down all my little signatures, and make sure every one signs whatever stuff they are supposed to sign.

I would have to pay back all the money I owe.

I know "in theory" one could do those things.

I am not unhinged.

Don't let all those motherfucking reporters tell the world I was unhinged.  I am not. I can see exactly what is wrong. I know how to ask a girl out.  I am not so stupid as to be inept.

I just see the futility of living.

Living out my life plan and giving in to the futility of it  would give me a chance to give all you X-tians a chance to say that Atheism leads to barbarism.

If I finally reach my breaking point it will BECAUSE life has no meaning.  If I break it will be BECAUSE of my Atheism.

No longer will all the smug Reddit/atheism folk be able to say that no one KILLS because of Atheism.  I will fuck all that up for you.

I have written miles of philosophy on this:

I don't have to go over that there is no god, that life is meaningless, that what most of what you do will amount to such naked mediocrity that we should be ashamed of it, that purpose is an illusion, that morality is a sham- we are all passive participants in genocide every day- and the only response I have to that fact is mocking irony- that I don't give a shit about it- and want nothing to do with making it stop-that being a passive agent to misanthropy only makes me want to be an active agent to my own destruction.

I will reach my breaking point one day.

And it will not be funny anymore.  I am not certain how many indignities you think I can tolerate.  Listen up society. Respect is a two way street.  If you keep throwing shit at me you can't expect me to just keep taking it.  

I am not going to sit at my register and hide my tears forever. I am not going to bow my head and be ashamed.  I am not going to accept the punishment you have to offer. 

I will STRIKE back!

Don't be shocked when I do.  It's about time someone fought back.


You had it coming.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I can be a Hypochondriac if I want

I'm having one of those gastric reflux kind of nights.  

You know the kind where you wake up in a panic from sleep (due to the whole throat constriction and unable to swallow thing) and get all paranoid and panicky, and by panicky I mean you start to Google stuff like "can't swallow & protein" which gives you the 14th different idea as to why you can't swallow, which has something to do with eating 40% of your calories from protein and how that is bad for your kidneys, because it take a lot of urinating to get rid of all that protein, and maybe that is why I am always thirsty, because I have so much protein and not enough physical activity (typing is not an exercise.)

I can't remember exactly what protein poisoning had to  do with not being able to swallow, and I am sure there was a point to that, but it is 5:14 in the morning, and I can't think straight.

I have brown rice.

I am going to start eating more brown rice. I think maybe I will add a few vegetables to my diet as well. I have a hard time coming up with stuff to eat that is not hamburger meat and Recess Peanut Butter Cups.  But I will give it a shot.

I will probably explode with fatness from all the carbs I am going to consume.  But I think if I stop drinking soda for a few weeks my throat might not close up on me, and that will make me feel better, and if I happen to confuse my healthy diet with feeling better then it will be a win/win situation.

Not for you mind you.

If I was still paranoid I would be the Glen Beck of the world of hypochondriacs.

But that is not going to happen now.

I wrote (ok thought) a good story in the bathroom shower yesterday (all my good ideas and narrative comes to me in the shower-why the fuck don't they make a water proof laptop for the shower *BINGO* million dollar idea.)

But because I am being all proactive all you get is this  post with no creativity, and all I get is to start eating right and stop drinking cola.

So if you prefer more "show" in your blog narrative then you need to pray that I continue to eat Fast Food and drink Coke.

But if my new found proactive orientation allows me to sleep at night instead of sitting at the computer composing a bunch of posts with too much "tell" in them then I am all for it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I ponder shit at 2:51 am

I am wondering if things are going good.

It's 3 am.  I am sitting in boxer shorts and typing.  I am not wearing a t-shit.  If you knew stuff about me you would know I don't like not wearing t-shirts.

I might be getting sick.

I am almost certain that can't be good.  I am getting sick, because one of the cashiers at work loves to come to work sick, and she doesn't care if she infects people.  She also loves to talk to me, and spread her germs all over me, and borrow my pen.

I am sure she is rubbing that pen in her vagina, because we all know that the fastest way to spread the flu is to borrow someone's writing utensil and coat it with your viral infested labia juices.

There is good news. 

The good news is that I won a free cookie from Subway.  I guess in a way that means that Subway is a sponsor of this blog.  How many of you have a major corporation willing to put it's reputation on the line and support edgy, incest based humor?  I doubt more than six of you.

There is bad news.

I have three books from the library that are overdue.  With the fines at 50 cents per day/per book we are talking a major problem and a big drain on my drinking budget.
I would take the books back, but I'm way too lazy to wake up at 11 am and take the bus down to the library, because then I would have to blog that trip to you guys, and then you would all get jealous about how 17 year old Mexican girls hit on me and buy organic cucumbers to stick up my ass.  And then I would never get around to part 2 of the Epic of Non-Epicness that was the last post.

I am finding things in my testicles.

Whatever is growing in my testicle is really growing and I can no longer deny that it is not something, as it most certainly is something, although I am sure that something is probably nothing, but nevertheless it might be something, because I am white and pasty and 38, which is right about the correct age to die from prostate cancer, which I am pretty sure is how my grandpa died (though he did not die until he was in his 80's-also I am also not 100% sure that he is dead- he may just be in a coma or something- I can't remember what Mom said and I haven't talked to the guy in 30 years or so.)
I am coughing a bit. 

I feel out of sorts.  Like the day before you get sick.  Only it's been 3 days.   I just wished I would go ahead and get sick, so I could go ahead and get over with it.
I don't see that happening.

I sense the sickness is some kind of metaphorical sickness that sticks with me and that somehow stands in for the stagnantly dull pulse that is my life.  So I won't get sick enough to die.  But I won't ever get to  feel better.

I will just sit here in this really uncomfortable chair, and wonder about getting  something to drink, and stay up way past my bedtime so I can avoid turning in my overdue library books, and watch the inglorious bastards in 34 minute intervals, because my train of thought always wanders a bit nowadays- with all the aluminum that I have absorbed into my brain from the melted non- stick pans I eat off of- because we all know that aluminum residue causes early onset Alzheimer's disease.*

*I once read somewhere that posting frequently will make you popular.  I am not sure how that works here. Also, I was thinking we should count this as part 4 of the epic (who says you get them in order?) Part 5 will be guest blogged by Sara Beth.  Also each blog post will feature some blast from the past link to the incomparable archives of this blog (or one of my many other blogs.) 

Monday, September 21, 2009

A recap of my day is a recap of my life

You've been following me for 5 years and in that time I suspect some of you wonder when things are going to change for me.

If this blog where the movies, or some kind of mainstream entertainment it would have by now, because no one like to watch a person stagnate for this long without a payoff.

All I do is wake up around 2 pm and scarf down a couple of Little Debbie cupcakes, and drink a few cokes, and wobble my growing ass into the shower where I wash the remainder of last nights shit down the shower.

Then I stand out in 114 degree heat and wait for the bus while listening to the latest atheist podcast on my 8gb Phillips mp3 player.

The first bus is always filled to capacity with ASU students too lazy to walk to school, or too poor to afford the on site parking fee.

I usually end up standing on the bus.  I have to hold on to one of the hand rails while balancing  my book bag.  The bag is filled with whatever I am reading, my work shirt, keys, and assorted other crap that some how biodegrades into crumbs.

If I remember to wear my sunglasses I can get away with looking down the shirts of some of the sitting coeds on the bus.  Many of them wear tiny tops and their nubile cleavage is exposed for me to see.

Only I am sure my fat belly gets in the way of them getting all excited about my over age access to their cleavage, so we make a little bargain.  They keep dressing like sluts, and I keep pretending I am doing something like checking my email on my ENV2, or changing songs on my mp3, and they keep pretending they don't notice me staring at their long legs in short shorts.

The social world is full of these kind of non-verbal contracts.

Once I make it to the Tempe Transportation Center I can catch my connection.  I take my second bus to work.

This bus stops at a local high school. If I don't time it right I have to share the bus with about a hundred kids.

I say kids because I am not sure when high school students got so young.  I say young, but what I really mean is immature.

The only good thing about immaturity is the brittleness of the bones of young people.  I figure all my extra years of fighting experience and utter lack of dignity means I would win in a fight with most of the boys and even a few of the girls.

Teen Girls are tuff now.  Much tougher than when I went to high school.  Either that or the influx of immigrants and minorities to my neighborhood has completely changed the nature of interactions students have at my old high school.

The Mexican girls decide who sits where on the bus.  Not all the girls, just the really tuff looking ones.   My old high school has gone gangsta.

Only a few white kids get on the bus, and all the white kids look like sheep.  Pale, mindless, nerds that wait for everyone else to find a seat before entering the bus.  They search for a place to hide stand and shift nervously from one foot to the other.  Once on the bus they keep adjusting things in their book bags and backpacks. 

Every once a while one of them raises their pink faces at me.  Like we are brothers from some 1970's black panther propaganda film.

"This is what the world is coming to."  Their eyes seem to tell me.  We are the minority now.

I am not sure what their parents are telling them.  But I guess I see why old white folk are getting angry.  It's like all the privileges of being white are gone, and the parents of these meek fucks are pissed that their genetic offspring are getting pushed out of the way.

None of the kids on the bus mess with me.

Maybe they wonder why a 40 year old man is on the bus at 3 in the afternoon.  Even if they don't understand things like politics, economics, or white man rage, they all seem smart enough to realize that NOW the last person you mess with on the bus is a 40 year old white man who has to take the bus to his minimum wage job.

That guy has nothing to lose.  So in effect I am the negro that all middle white class women see and clutch at their purses and crisply walk away from .  They don't want to look me in the eyes, otherwise they have to acknowledge the role they play in the social world that keeps me down.

I should scream at them,  "I don't want your fucking purse, WHORE!"

I seat myself at the back of the bus next to a bisexual Mexican gangsta girl.  She uses her eyes to approve of the seats the awkward looking boys covered in acne (and the earnestness of youth) get to use in some kind of secret privileged seating arrangement.

The leader of the Mexican girls tries to use the boys as a buffer against me.  She knows they won't put up much of a fight if I want to get next to her, but she wants to me to know that this is her turf too.  At least partially.  She thinks because she has numbers she gets a little respect from me.

She chatters away at the boys and makes inappropriately sexual comments to them.  The boys don't know how to handle all the upfront sexuality of the leader, but they manage to put up a decent front.

Then she makes a mistake.  She foolishly glances over at me. I know she is hooked.  I am the boss.

She took one look into my piercing stare (I am full of vigor- I am listening to hard rock, or something energetic with heavy beats like Kelly Clarkson) she recognizes the hunger in me from her flirtations with her meth addicted uncle and drops her stare to her feet quickly.

She knows it's not a good idea to look back at me again, but she keeps searching me out.  She craves our 3 second eye contact.

She straightens her denim skirt and tugs at her bra straps.  These are all dead giveaways.  I make her nervous because she is attracted to me.  All this unconscious non verbal communication is making me sweaty in the balls.

I stare out the window and watch as the people in cars drive past the halting bus.  We make stops on this run at nearly every bus stop.  At each stop the bus driver adds 2 or three more riders to an already over crowded situation.

This bus ride lasts between 15 and 20 minutes.  It all depends on whether or not we pick up any handicaps.  If we don't pick up any wheel chair riders I get to work with 4 minutes to spare.

I make my way around the shaded portion of the strip mall that houses my grocery store.  I follow along the shaded sidewalk path to avoid the sun even though cutting across the parking lot would save me a good 3 minutes or so and not make me late according to the time clock I use to punch in at work.

I keep my earphones on even as I make my way to the time clock.  If I don't wear my headphones I am stopped  by co-workers.  They tell me I am late, or they want to tell me "hello."  They want to share the latest gossip with me.

I find my way to my locker in the air conditionless breakroom.  I change undershirts and put on my work shirt and apron.  Then I head to the bathroom and pee into the broken toilet that never flushes.  The bowl is  3/4 full of someone else's yellow urine.

I make my way to my work station 6 minutes behind schedule.  I ignore the looks from my manager or supervisor.

"I know I am late." I try and head off their complaints.

"You're always late."  The heavy set Phillipino in the company CUSTOMER SERVICE vest replies.

"I know."

It's all I can say.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Slow down Chairman Mao

I get to be one of the working class after all.

In just a few days  I will take a step that few pseudo intellectuals like myself ever get to.  

It all started after I got the letter from my union. 

I felt like Charmian Mao had ordered me to the agricultural center personally.

The letter has asked me to vote for a strike authorization.

Why strike?

The grocery store I work for (like most large businesses)  wants to shaft its workers, and usher in the destruction of the American middle class by instituting pay scales that begin at the lowest amount allowed by federal or state law.

Companies do this in full ironic acknowledgment of Karl Marx.*

I need a strike like I need another ingrown toenail added to my foot.  Yet here we are.  The historical moment.  A test of my beliefs and My So Called Convictions.

I don't have to stand firm at the picket line.  I could cross it and none of you would know.  I could go on then to write about my Herculean efforts to destroy the "man" and you would come to my aid with words of encouragement.

It should seem an easy decision.  I should vote for a strike and picket.  I am a member of the Communist Party USA.  I am an avowed Marxist.  I am proudly pro-union.

The only defect I can see which my hinder my ability is in my character.

I have the stunted moral development of all philosophers.

Like Heidegger to Nazi, I am fearful that I am coward and fearful lazy American who would rather douse his brain in the chemical relaxative of cupcakes and corn syrup sodas than take action by joining with community in defending the working class against such blatant warfare by Capital.

But fear not!

It is always the case that men do not rise to anything but their circumstances.

Nothing in the world has changed.  The slings and arrows that capitalism uses to administer outrageous misfortune still exist.

What commentators about human nature always get wrong when they suppose the weakness and immorality of do-nothingers  is that morality itself is not some Platonic ideal, but is in fact nothing more than a heuristic for survival.

All the fancy talk about peace and justice is a collection of sparkles set against a golden band.  Pretty, but useless.

At no time will man (or woman) avoid pleasure for pain.  What is felt in the crowded breakrooms of union members throughout my state is not the rush of companions in a high stated mind of community and solidarity, but the gawkish animalistic impulse to protect one's own.

But we work with what we can.  And so you can bet I will vote for the strike authorization.  And you can bet I stand strong on the picket line.  I will for a moment give in to my impulse to stop posing and start acting.  If only in some small measure.

Only because it affects me.

[What follows is a comment I left at Hells Newspaper The Daily Brimstone.]

I was watching an episode of Bill Moyers last night and in the episode Moyers was talking about class, unions, and the "working class" and it all sounded so subversive that I got the shivers and shit, and getting the shivers reminded me that in fact that there is nothing to be getting all shivered about, a couple of college profs rapping old school barely constitutes an awareness of radical thinking MUCH LESS action

Then it occurred to me that while I disagree with the tone once used by SIR KELSO (think Sarte and his French man's call to kill all white people)- that what has gotten him so angry so in fact we agree too much now- We both have had personal contact with the hammer.

Obama must perform and change. 
REAL change is necessary, (but not forthcoming from him.)

Real Change may come, but it will be from US.  When the PEOPLE have had ENOUGH.  When they get organized.  When They fight back.

I have warned those who oppose this strike,  "You are dead to me if you cross that picket line."

I will be trading in favors, living off the friendship of the Hippies that own the apartment that I rent.  I will using food stamps, and selling hot dogs at picket rallies, slashing the tires of workers who side against us.

We will use twitter and blogs and tell the newspapers how we microblogged and social networked our strategies (as the only thing the media will want to report is how we tweeted where we would strike and not anything about how the middle class is dying and how the American dream is over.)

What Moyers et al get right.

The worker moverment must be tied to something more than wages.

So can we please stop asking our young men and women to stop dying for a cause that is no good, never was to begin with, and that is now lost to the dustbins of history?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I'm too good for goodness sake

I don't know how to follow a post like the last post I posted. Which I guess is why I am stuck, and why for the last 5 days you have had nothing better to do than read through my incomparable archives.

Of course I have the same problem after every post I write.  Each post is always awesome, and serves a powerful purpose.

For instance I blogged:
We need the parking lot of my grocery store littered with the heads of CEO's from fortune 500 companies.

The is nothing left to say after I say it.

You might think to yourself, "That's all good and dandy, but you've got time to think about what you are saying here so that's why you seem so fresh, witty, and smart."

You'd be fucking wrong.

My shit gets lost in translation.

You should spend 5 minutes with me in person. Like the new girl at work does. My verbal acuity could then assault your sensibility.

I turn "break time" into a extemporaneous 15 minute lecture on Deuteronomy that will butter your vagina.

I know you want me.

If you are like the the pharm tech girl at my work you will sneak up behind me and rub on me when I am in line at Jack in the Box and ask me about buying REALLY BIG CHEESEBURGERS.

We go on to have one of those conversations that only happens in movies from the 1940's where the man and the woman banter* only we have dialogue that would shock Michael Savage.


The teabagger Pharmacy tech girl is colored and should know better than to listen to racists like Michael Savage, but she doesn't, so it shouldn't surprise you to learn that it doesn't even bother her when I use the term "retard baby" even though she claims a crippled son at home (I smoothed things over by making a joke about teabagging the 70 year old pharmacist.)

Glen Beck hates it when I make fun of the handicapped.

Women just need to be told.

You want me to put you in your place. You want to be muscled to the ground without the cops looking into it.

That's why I verbally place you in one of those WWF/WWE smack downs that primes your evolutionary pump for subservience.

The only time my verbosity needs to be traded for a more laconic repose is when one of the retards at work overhears my lectures on Jesus, Interrupted and gets all worked up like retards do (fuck retards are always in heat) and agrees with me when I say that the bible forbids a woman from denying a husband his marital "rights."

"That's the reason so many men CHEAT."

I did not say that.

That response was from the retard. Actually that was retard #2. Retard # 2 is just a regular person with no known mental defects (unless you count slightly below average intelligence to be a defect.) Which you shouldn't since you are probably of average intelligence and should not be making fun of people who think 6x8=44 when you think it is 46. You're closer. But you are still a fucking retard.

All I know is I got women all over my business.

I got chicks text messaging me. I got them wanting to hang out as soon as they "dump their kids." That won't happen "for like three weeks," but when it does I will slice through her vagina like a chainsaw. I promise you that.

I work on woman in ways they can't fathom.

I promise I will not bang the newbie at work. I won't bang her because she has a boyfriend. I discovered the newbie goes to school for audio/visual so I mentioned my podcast to her. Then she began touching herself under her apron. I saw it. Her eyes got all glassy. Now she can't shut up around me.

It's always been like that for me.

I have a knack for knowing when I turn a woman on. So if you think I am sexy and you get with in 3 feet of me you might as well wear a t-shirt that say's, "I'd fuck ROm." Because that little bumper sticker on your forehead is all I can see when we talk.

All that school girl shit you feel around me comes rushing back at you like the overflow from a twice used maxipad of love. I'm talking you squeak a little from your thighs rubbing against one another when you walk away.

I promise I won't make you feel bad.

I give you enough attention to let you know that I know without making it "known" that I know that you know that I know. If you know what I mean.

I'm all about giving my bitches in-heat some dignity.

*The EXPLAINER explains.*

You might think to yourself, " How does he have a 1940's type conversation with a woman from nowadays?"

The truth is I don't. And that may seem like a lie, or some kind of misogynistic line. But it's not. You are jumping to conclusions and making a logical fallacy. If you got "angry" that's because unconsciously you have simply asserted "women are intelligent and can have witty banter" without providing any proof your rebuttal is true.

Now ask yourself, "How many intelligent woman do you know?"

The average response to this question FROM WOMEN is 2.3. Which makes the odds of me actually having a conversation like the one above small indeed.

What actually happened in my conversation at Jack in the Box is just like what happened in the 1940's. A man writes the dialogue, and the woman just reads what it is written for her. If indeed the person I was talking to really was a woman.

(The more likely explanation being the "woman" is portrayed by a man just like back in the day when ol' Shakespeare was around.)

Friday, September 11, 2009

I hate your morality

I am sitting at my computer desk preparing to go to work. A sudden feeling of queasiness has overtaken me. I have less than an hour before I must get in the shower and find a bus to transport me to what can only be described as Hell.

Friday night at the Ghetto Grocery is never fun. All manner of drunks and underage buyers assault me.

I was accosted.

An old man last night wanted to get his jar of coffee "free" because he forgot to use his club card. The old man talked for 20 minutes about how there should be prices on all the products and that the prices should be labeled clearly.

I did not want to tell him that the price was correct and the the price was clearly labeled, but I did. And so rather than take the news like a man he raddled on about "personal responsibility."

"I should get this coffee for free." The old man told me. He then told me that since "we" made the mistake "we" should take "personal responsibility."

We should make up for his time and travel costs. We should give him a 9 dollar bag of coffee for free, because he forgot to carry his club card, and because he is too old to read signs, and even though he has been coming to this store for 50 years he still doesn't realize that you need a club card to get all your savings, even though the self-checkout machine asks you to swipe your club card, and even though the sign for the coffee was clearly marked as a club card price.

The old man feels like it was the "store" that made the mistake even though he is 100 years old with nothing to do and lives only a few blocks from the store we should still "subsidize his time" all because he is the near dead and the near dead have so little time left that he should get a 10 dollar can of coffee for free even though he never left the store and even after I explained to him that I would reimburse him for his club card savings even without his club card- the old fart still felt the need to bring up the Great Depression, he felt the need to bring up his service as a cook in the Navy, all so he could get his free cup of coffee, and all this takes place for 20 minutes- which just goes to prove that the old fucker has nothing to do and no one to yell at all because he got rid of his lawn 10 years ago, and replaced it with one of those maintenance free, environmental, desert landscapes; thus avoiding all the care and worry that old people have over green lawns, and thus depriving him of a lush landscape that would calm him down after an exhilarating hour of the "Wheel of Fortune" which has so revved him up that he got a tingling down there from Vanna White when she turned a letter or two, which reminded him more of a taking a tinkling in his shorts- than of the last time he penetrated his dead wife's roast beef of a pussy-which only reminded him that he was out of coffee -which started this whole mess, because the old man was up way past him bedtime as he walked into the store at 8 PM only to be contradicted by a man half his age who, "never understood what it was like to be in the military" though despite the tragic failure to serve his country the lad understood logic, and only requested that old man get his "facts right" and the facts where "the price is marked correctly," and so the rascal youth rightly insisted that the failure was on the part of the Old Navy Seal "who forgot to use his club card" and when the old man countered that "he forgot his club card" it seemed the young man had won the debate, but the young man forgot what year it was, and how he lived in a time and place they call America, and in America things like "facts" and "logic" are not needed.

What was needed was some GOD DAMMED PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY! So the implacable youth suggested that we bring a third party into this discussion, and so a call went out to management.

Management decided quickly what was wrong. The customer. But the customer had been, "coming here for 50 years and in that time had seen personal responsibility disappear."

At this comment the implacable youth retorted by inserting his logic (and that logic being sound and irrefutable) that he "always thought that 90% of tats" were "douchey."

But management felt that 20 minutes of arguing morality was 20 minutes spent too long on unimportant matters, and with a flourish gave the really old man his free coffee (which after all was all the old man wanted) and the really old man swiped his credit card again and saw that $5 dollars was credited and with a toothy smile (courtesy of medicare and Fixedent) was out the door, but not before he mentioned how PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY always triumphs and how Obama's death panels would never get him as he again referenced the gunnery ability he obtained from serving as a cook on board a ship in 1942 that was bombed by angry yellow men.

The old man left and I was alone with my thoughts.

"It's funny. It's seems that it's always OTHER PEOPLE"S PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY that the people who lecture you on PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY want to talk to you about but you almost never hear them utter a simple word as to what THEIR personal responsibility is."

The simple and stupid sense of morality that everywhere permeates CAPITALISM is found innocuously hidden in every ethics statement at every business I have ever worked at.

It seems PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY is an issue only the worker has. Not the corporation which has not responsibility to me, but to it's shareholders, though by shareholders we really mean the executives and other highly paid who siphon off 30% or more of the income of most corporations all the while laughing at the foolish shareholders who interest they are "protecting."

All the while gains in productivity over the last 35 years have gone to the top of the food chain, and completely divorced themselves from rewarding the many who deliver on the promises from the few.

I would like to see my grocery store parking lot littered with the guillotined heads of every Fortune 500 company's CEO.

What only makes it worse is watching as the vulgar morality of Robber Barron executives and capitalist pigs seeps into the consciousness of the very exploited who recognize theft as "if I am sitting around on the clock," while the manipulation of worker duties and speeding up of the line seems "like only good business sense."

While all the morality of the "goodly" executives is to steal and plunder and abuse the notion of personal responsibility, maybe the time has come to take back the words, or give them meaning, because maybe all that goes wrong is partly are fault, the worker who refuses to think, and refuses to deface the company memo, and ask that daring question always left untold by company men, "And what is YOUR responsibility?"

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Self Help Guide to Overcoming Positivity

I need inspiration and by inspiration I mean I need beer.

I did not write this blog post drunk, I will not wake up tomorrow hungover. I guess I could be thankful for that.
If I had gotten drunk I could spin you tales, and then you could think of me as your (slightly) older, creepy uncle that only gets phone numbers from girls who can’t say no to phone number requests, and then sits outside their apartments jerking off in a yellow colored van all the while texting the girl in between placing calls to her phone that go straight to voice mail, followed by her clumsy hang-up all meant to sound like a pocket answer, which we all know is not possible when I hear you mutter, “oh shit” into the speaker phone.
But the good news for my liver may not be good news for my blog readers.
I was hoping for some liquid inspiration tonight, so I walked to the local convenience store for some beer. Nothing makes the process of creating awful blog posts more interesting to me than alcohol.
But the asshat that runs the only store within walking distance of me closes his doors at midnight and forces you to do all your shopping through a pass window the size of a breadbox.  
The window does not have nearly enough room for the clerk to get a 12 pack of Bud Light through. The clerk asked if I wanted to “wait around” while he “broke down the 12 pack and placed all the bottles in bags.” I told him, “Fuck that!” I’d rather go home to be bothered by the twitchy, caffeinated dreams that come with drinking coke and blogging until 9 am.
I have a blog of failure.
People like me have to write about failure. We write about failure because we cannot "create" in the typical sense of the word. Sometimes one of the grand failures we produce becomes a "works of art." But mostly they do not. Mostly they are like this blog, just a chronicle of failure. A sign post. A warning that clues you into estrangement of modern life.  
I imagine that is one reason why a happy person would hate this blog.
Happy People Are Delusional.
Happy people get it all wrong. They get it all wrong because they are so damn optimistic. But optimism is a delusion. It’s the same kind of delusion that pessimism is, and everyone in our culture intuitively understands how delusional pessimism is.
Everyone needs at least one pessimist friend.

I know you like to think of me as your cynical, pessimistic friend. But (as usual) you have it all wrong. I am not a pessimist. I am not cynical. I am realist. The only thing this blog (aka my world view) suffers from is a healthy dose of reality.
If you paid attention in college then you would know that depressed people score more accurately on arrange of tests:
Psychologists Shelly Taylor and Jonathon Brown state that the average “Normal” person is quite self-deluded in three areas.
a) viewing themselves in unrealistically positive terms; b) believing they have more control over their environment than they actually do; and c) holding views about the future that are more positive than the evidence can justify.

Being positive is as crazy as being negative.

Only depressed people like me get a glimpse of reality. That’s why we are depressed.

I tell you this not to burst your bubble of ignorance, but to let you know that I understand reality better than you. So you should really just shut up and listen to the things I tell you.

Reality sucks.
Unconsciously you know that. Hence your evolutionary adaption to being positive. If you actually had to face reality most of you would want to throw yourselves off a bridge, or at least stop going out in public in coffee stained undershirts.
But you don’t. Instead you project your fears and make depressed people feel guilty over seeing reality.
You conflate depression with over-negativity.
I have some advice for you. The next time you come across an area where you need to see reality. Ask a depressed person. Ask them to tell you the truth. Brace yourself because it is probably going to hurt. Not as much as when your boyfriend “corrects” you. But still. It’s bound to hurt.
1. Your ass is what makes you look fat.
2. Your parents ARE disappointed in you.
3. Life IS ultimately meaningless.
You can add to that your whole laundry list of fears and insecurities. Yes, some mirrors distort you body, and some angles in photos can be deceptive, and our society’s obsession over health and beauty is destructive, but you don’t care about any of that.
You want to be special and beautiful.
And fuck it. Who says you aren’t?

Monday, September 07, 2009

Post number 666 is Happy Labor Day

I don't want to sound like the depressed post-middle aged menopausal hypochondriac that is my audience, but...I think I am going to let the MRSA "go ahead" and kick in. The Mayo clinic says that MRSA is only fatal "sometimes."

I've adjusted to the microbial infection fairly well, other than I took another forest green shit today. It was smelly. Also, the shit had a lot of nuttiness to it. I was eating a lot of sunflower seeds last night.


Labor day is one of my 2 religious holidays, but since I am such a fuck up I forgot to request the day off. I worked on my other religious holiday, May Day, and I compounded that error by forgetting to request off the Sunday of the opening weekend for the NFL.

You may already know how much of a fuck up I am, but did you also know how lazy I am?

It's 2 pm and I woke up less than an hour ago, so instead of getting some lengthy diatribe about how Labor Day is the ruling class' attempt to get you to make you forget about May Day (and the sacrifices of the workers before you) and instead get you to gorge yourself on 57 cent hot dogs and beer until you puke or punch your pregnant teen daughter for getting "knocked up" before school starts, all you get is my vague hint that I may have contracted something hideous because the last 8 months of pouring antibiotics and hydrogen peroxide on my infected ingrown toe nail has left me with a nail a 1/3 the size it should be surrounded by the smelly soft tissue from a Gila Monster's puncture wound.

But let's all be thankful for Capitalism!

At least some of us have jobs. Even if those jobs require you to work on holidays with no extra pay.

I love my job and I love even more knowing that if I don't like my job I could always get another, nevermind the 10% of the workforce that can't get a job or the 10% of the workforce that is underemployed.

Today is not a day for complaining.

It is a day for celebrating what a great country we live in. That's why all the music at my grocery store has been patriotic this week. And that is why I keep getting strange looks from customers every time I mention to them that Labor Day is not a patriotic holiday, but in fact is a holiday of worker rebellion which is the exact opposite of the patriotic pro-business bullshit you will get on TV today.

What you can do to make up for all this.

The best thing you could do is stay home and not give your money to any company that disrespects its workforce enough to compel them to work on a worker holiday. Maybe you should spend your time protesting that stores since they give Labor day off to executives and office staff, but not the front line workers.

The next best thing you could do is get so high and drunk and full from BBQ that you forget to leave the house. That would be awesome. It would mean I won't have to work hard and it will pay homage to the brave workers that gave their lives in protest so that you could get paid overtime for working more than 8 hours.

But you won't do that.

So instead BE prepared to listen to me wine like a bitch while I ring up your sour cream/enchilada Lay's Potato chips.

And could you please try to put on a clean undershirt? It's a fucking holiday!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The glass is not half full. The glass is not half empty. It’s somewhere in between.

*Updated with link to transcript!*

I'm one of those people who falls for the moderately attractive women you see working out at the gym or (more likely) shopping for tulips in her workout clothes at Whole Foods.

You know her. She is the kind of woman who dresses ok. She is also the kind of woman who showers daily, and knows how to paint her face all pretty.

I have a friend who does not understand this about me.

My friend is a racist against white people and he is always going off on how women like Jennifer Aniston aren't all that hot and how all they really are "is
kind of average."

I guess what he is "spouting off against" is the hegemony we white people have over determining attractiveness in this world. I guess he has a right to be angered about it, and I am sure the rest of you brown people have a point: "not all white people are hot" so maybe we should not be the standard for beauty.

But that's the way it is here in the USA; moreover, I can't help being white so I can't help thinking Jennifer Aniston is hot. My whiteness goes so far as to think Ashley Simpson is a fox, and I beat off once a week to the thing that is the face that is Miley Cyrus. But when we are talking about half way decent looking celebrities like Ashley Simpson (post surgery of course) you can forgive a guy for getting all in a tizzy.

What may be a little more difficult for you to understand is why I could get all hard for a chick like Spencer Pratt's sister, (pictured above) or the girl in the pony tail at the mall standing behind me in line at the pizza palace with "pink" plastered all over her ass.

"Those kinds of chicks are everywhere." My friend would say.

And that's a legitimate response.

But just because they are everywhere doesn't mean that they aren't mildly attractive, thin, with spunky pony tails.

What can I say? I am weak. I want a good looking women and my idea of what a really good looking woman should be is "like Grace Kelly was," but I will take the "not as hot Mom" or the "college co-ed right before she gets all fat from having kids" as the substitute.

Those types are obvious of course.

I also get off when I spot a chick that has had a few kids but managed to stay tight. Or the kind that realizes that if she "was to ever have kids" she would turn into her mother so she adopts some radical liberal theology and hangs out with her hipster anarchist boyfriend and gets a few tats (just to show you she is down and has completely rejected the idea of motherhood.)

She delicately pairs soft blue cashmere sweaters over ironic t-shirts that show too much belly for her age. But she still has a flat tummy and smooth porcelain skin.

That kind of chick is the kind of girl who would get all excited when I bring up something I saw last night on the McLaughlin Group as I check out her groceries. You can read the transcript of the show here. Just scroll down to the section called "The Gospel According to Marx."

"You see they had this egg head asshat from some rightwing think tank pontificating about Karl Marx. He said something about how the United States has always had the premier capitalist economy (while discussing Marx.)

"MR. LOWRY: America was always a scandal to the Marxists, John, because the theory was, as capitalism became more and more advanced -- and America always had the most advanced form of capitalism -- you're supposed to have this dispossessed proletariat created, and they would revolt."

Of course that is the seriously most retarded thing I have ever heard as WE ALL KNOW that during the time Marx was developing his views on Capital he was living in the most advanced industrial nation on Earth, ENGLAND, not America.

Then the rest of the bullshit crew joined in and opined about the obsolescence of Marx during the worst economic crises Capitalism has faced since the Great Depression.

Then the talking heads talked some more and reassured their sheltered audience (consisting mostly of other talking heads and such) that Marxism as a philosophical system was a complete failure and was not gaining ground anywhere.

Needless to say I wanted to point out the growing power of the leftist movements in Latin America, and the stunning success of the Communist Party in Japan countering the counter examples the Libertarian idiot used like India (even though India has a major communist party -that I guess deserves none of the credit for the burgeoning economic development, but will be showered with blame for any failure.)

Hi! My name is Eleanor Clift and, "I don't even know what the liberal position is on that…"

Not to mention these over paid hacks dismissed the great depression as part of the bust/boom cycle of capitalism

"Look, capitalism -- we've gone through these booms and busts. We had the Great Depression. We've had epic recessions, like in the late 1970s, early 1980s. We're in this right now. We survive. We recover. Sometimes it takes longer than at other points. But we always come back."

Which is basically like telling all the unemployed out there "to shut the fuck up and enjoy the recession."

I mean this chick will eat that shit up.

But she is still going to want to date the guy she is with just because he is like 6 foot 2 and scraggily (though in a good way?) and he's a total anarchist and I am just an old fossil defending a relic of a theory.

Either way I have not discussed what I had planned on discussing. Which is the cup half-full/ cup half-empty analogy and my take on it.

But I am going to have to save that for another time.

p.s. check back for updates on this post as whenever the transcript/video for the aforementioned show appears I will post with additional commentary.

I know you can't wait for that!