Dream Job / Waking Truth

For much of my adult life I have been searching for “the right place”, “the right job” – a role, a position, a vocation that was/is meaningful.

In my 20’s, I thought that place was the U.S. Army, and although I don’t regret those days – in fact I remember much of my service with fondness – I still could not say, at 29, that I had found my “dream job”. Perhaps “dream jobs” are a mirage? – the siren call that pulls us too close to the rocks of disappointment and shatters our sense of self, I dunno … that’s probably a bit dramatic.

My dad was a logger.

My dad claimed, while he was alive, that he loved this work, logging. I worked for him, while in high school, a few summers – back in the late 1980’s. I set chokers – these are steel cables, often frayed from use (piercing your hands like rusty hypodermic needles) that a person wraps around the end of a log in order to drag the log to the landing where it is loaded on a truck. I did not like this job, it was horrible. I never served in combat, but while I was in the Army I used to ponder the fact that the “Army life” felt net-net safer than logging – combat would have changed that perspective, but I digress.

So, my dad was a logger, a lumberjack – and yeah, I know the Monty Python clip, so stop it …

Yes – this is a funny song.

But no – being a logger, for my dad, was not funny. It was back-breaking work. He was not a fan of “safety”, and as such his work environment was anything but safe.

I recall the last day I worked in the woods. I was setting chokers, in a “rat’s nest” (a “rat’s nest” is a mangle of brush and small logs that is so knotted that one can only compare this to the natural manifestation of a Rube-Goldberg device). I set the choker, I gave the signal for my dad to begin pulling in the load, with the wench mounted on his skidder (a skidder is a 4 wheeled tractor used to tow a load of logs from a clear-cut to the landing). As the wench slowly reeled-in the cable, the “rat’s nest” began its magic and a small log, with a diameter of about 8 inches, swung around from behind and struck me, like God was swinging a baseball bat from above. The log hit me in the legs, I flew (yes – flew) end-over-end – like Wylie Coyote in some Looney-Tunes cartoon – and when I came to (from being knocked out) my left calf was the size of a basketball (luckily – my leg was not broken) and I could see stars or birdies fluttering about. And, yes, that was the last day I worked in the woods as a logger – August, 1990.

So NO – I did not follow in my father’s footsteps and I did not choose the life of a logger. Of course, being a logger is an honourable life – a life of hard work and danger – but a life that is not for everyone.

When I left the Army in 1999, I began to get into computers and programming. One thing led to another, and eventually I earned a B.S. in Informatics/Computer Science. For the first few years I believed I had found my “dream job” – I was getting paid to think, to imagine, and the pay wasn’t bad. And even today, despite the ridiculous nature of contemporary software engineering, and the chaos that is the IT world in 2015, I still love the work enough (mostly) and frankly I’m a bit old to dream of something different besides. But, if I am honest, I don’t know that I can say for certain this is really my “dream job”.

With 93 million Americans no longer counted as part of the U.S. workforce, we must adjust our notions of the ideal job. It would be nice if we could all get paid lots, for doing fulfilling work, and have time to raise that family – somewhere where the air is clean and the land is fruitful. Sure, I have pastoral dreams of a wonderland where my life and work both have meaning, but this is not helpful. We need to stop pretending that the “dream job” is anything more than another kind of contemporary illusion (delusion) layered on top of a broken set of economic relations.

Every once in a while I run into someone who says “I’m doing my dream job” – and never have I seen a more glassy-eyed countenance in someone on hard drugs. That blank, smiley, moronic affect present in their faces signals that the drug they are on is the hardest drug of all. I would love to have that drug, the drug of delusion, but I consumed too much delusion as a young man and it no longer does anything for me.

So I do the work I have. This is my reality – my “American Dream”. I count myself lucky that I make enough to live in a non-crappy apartment, in a non-crappy part of my deteriorating society. I know that the America I believed in as a kid was either a lie or simply no longer exists, and I know that the police state that has replaced it is welcome to many of my peers – folks more interested in “deflated balls” than the state of their once free republic.

No – there is no dream job for me, and I doubt those who say they have found it. In a world designed for sociopathic types, only the serial killer can say they are “living the dream”. The rest of us are on one kind of drug or another so we can pretend, or we are stuck in disillusionment and nihilism.

Despite this, and my own critique, I still fantasize:

I fantasize about food I could buy that might not give me cancer, and water that is pure and fresh and clean …

I fantasize about a work-place and life balance that is real and supported when it matters most …

I fantasize about business leadership that is heroic and soulful …

I fantasize about an income that does not ride the moving turtle of monetary debasement, currency war, and fiat collapse …

I fantasize about my dream job – and the world that would exist that could allow for that.

And then I wake up, and go to work.

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Everything is GREAT! Just Super!

Isn’t it great?

Isn’t it great to feel great about how great things are, really?

I mean, maybe not everyone feels that great – but I’m sure some people do, and that’s just great.

I was reading today about doctors in Greece doubling as prostitutes to survive, because they are broke, busted, living in desperate poverty, cuz Greece is in a state of economic collapse – and I thought, “wow, that’s really great”.

And then theirs Draghi and the ECB deciding to print 60 billion EUROS a month starting in March (2015) and how the German people have a memory of that – and how that money printing, during the Weimar Republic in the 1920’s, turned out so great. It was just great that the money printing produced fascists, like Hitler and crap – kind of like the neo-NAZI groups arising in Western Europe today, really tremendous! These contemporary NAZIs travel to the Ukraine, armed (secretly) by NATO to commit ethnic cleansing against the people of Eastern Ukraine, and that’s pretty slick too … Yeah …

And what about that Pharrell Williams song? Hmm … It’s just great.

(no way is this status-quo reinforcing mind raping propaganda – nope, it’s pretty much great)

The more I think about it, everything is great – especially those gas prices at the pump. Sure, lots of people are losing their jobs because of it, and the one bright spot in the U.S. economy since 2008 (marginal oil production and fracking) is looking a bit dim right now and a WHOLE LOT of energy industry derivatives are exploding and that means a financial crisis approaches – but I’m sure that’s great too, we just aren’t smart enough to understand why it is so great.

I know, I know – you wanna say, “but Dan, everything is really great” – and I can’t help but agree.

We are currently escalating tensions with Russia. In the early 1990’s, after the fall of the USSR, we promised Russian leaders we would not extend NATO past Poland – we lied, and that’s wonderful. We are now putting NATO forces (which means GERMAN FORCES) very close to the Russian border – last time Germans were this close, well, that wasn’t a great time (but that’s great and you know it!). The USA seems hell bent on a strategy of antagonizing one of the other major nuclear power on planet Earth – Russia (and our policies are pushing Russia and China closer together, that seems great). When we push too hard, and find out NO RUSSIAN LEADER would allow NATO forces this close to Russia – not after their World War 2 experience, when they lost more than 20 million people to the Germans – well … we will find out how great nuclear war is. Christmas at ground zero and crap – pretty nice, great, yay.

Boy … when those bombs start falling, on U.S. cities, courtesy of our Nobel Peace Prize winning President – Barack Obama – the glow in your kids rosy cheeks will be a consistent reminder of how nice, great, wonderful, shit is (till they die from radiation exposure – and that’s probably great too).

So don’t let anyone tell you shit isn’t great!

If they do tell you crap ain’t great, well – report them … because they are likely terrorists.

Yep – you don’t feel “crap is great, and getting even more great each day” then we can throw you in jail – because the NDAA allows our government to do this, without a lawyer, without charges, and that’s pretty fucking great.

Have a great day!

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The 4 Hidden Miracles of Synergy …

The business world is crazy.

Most of the people you work with are either insane, or well on their way to becoming insane – these are just facts you need to accept. You might want to pretend that your co-workers don’t want to destroy you – BUT that is the kind of woolly-headed thinking that sunk the Titanic, leading Hitler to bomb Seattle, triggering the American Civil War (which totally sucked). [snopes it asshole]

For much of our careers, we are beaten down by tyrannical bosses, broken processes and the absence of any reason or logic in the work-place – this must end, but how? It seems like business transformation is impossible, but is it really? Or is it simply near to impossible?

Lots of folks have E-Z answers, but I don’t – my answers are based on fact-based analysis, and plenty of sleep. But it won’t be easy – nothing worthwhile ever is.

I really wish I could tell you that some “Monday morning” you will head into work and everything will be fine – but it won’t, and that is mostly due to your bad attitude and YOUR inability to embrace the “4 Hidden Miracles of Synergy”.

How did we send the first gay couple to Mars in 1979? – Synergy baby … (synergy)

(FYI: like President Obama – I get all my information from YOUTUBE and WIKIPEDIA)

You might be wondering, “well, this dude seems to have something to say about my life, maybe he can fix what’s wrong?” – no I can’t, but YOU can fix YOUR LIFE for good by re-aligning your thought processes and coming to grips with the soul-brokenness of your own mind-dilemmas. Synergy is how you do this, and the “4 Hidden Miracles of Synergy” are your path to professional achievements and gluten-free eating.

Now you’re probably thinking, “gee Dan, what are the 4 hidden miracles of synergy?” – and normally I would make you pay $350.00 to attend a seminar, before which I would charge you $125.99 for a “specialized packet” of documents and videos that can help you along the road. I might even throw in a compass or some kind of rock, or Latin saying etched on some wood or crap, and have you meditate on some ZEN poetry or something … I dunno … But I will tell you NOW, and save you the money – because I’m just that nice.

Miracle 1: “BOSS-BOOSTING”

Your boss is very fragile. Your boss wants to love and be loved. The best thing you can do for your boss is reinforce his/her self-worthiness and remind them of all their past achievements daily. By boosting-up your boss’s self-esteem, you too gain power. Your boss becomes addicted, and you are now the “pusher” of emotional status-maintenance. Your boss will need a “daily boost” and will be likely to show up for more.

Miracle 2: “FANCY REPORTS”

Reports are dumb, but you must produce them. Instead of worrying about the “data” in the reports, use fancier reports – with more colourful, interactive behaviours (Telerik makes some good shit). It’s like, “last month’s sales dropped by 33%”, but that could be re-imagined as “we are forecasting an 87% increase in sales this month … look at that really cool funnel chart!”. It’s that easy scrow.

Miracle 3: “IDENTIFYING YOUR ENEMIES”

Your enemies are EVERYWHERE. They watch you all of the time. Even your friends, who pretend they are your friends – even though you know they really aren’t – are watching, observing, scheming, and awaiting the time when they can all swoop in to destroy you, like orca whales (really dolphins) circling an harbour seal. Don’t waste your time trying to “get to know” your co-workers by “hanging out” – instead, plant listening devices … bugs … hidden cameras and crap. You need to get them before they get you is what I’m saying.

Miracle 4: “WHERE TO HIDE THE HOOCH”

The only way to survive today is to get drunk at work. You need to hide the hooch somewhere – maybe the bathroom. You might slip out to drink in your car, but you know Marisa is watching and she is a bitch. Never-the-less, you won’t achieve true synergy with your environment without getting wasted, often.

Conclusions:

I feel like we’ve learned a few things here – and that feels really great, right?

Just be sure to take these lessons back to the workplace and go find yourself some synergy.

(because that synergy crap is very helpful)

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Our Social-Media-Ego-Pyramid-Scheme …

narcissus

According to the Washington Post, there are as many users on FACEBOOK as there are people populating some of the largest nations on earth (like India or China) – 1.35 billion, if one is to believe their Q3 reporting. It seems like everyone is on FACEBOOK. I’m not on FACEBOOK, but how can I really be sure I’m not? Somehow, some way, I’m sure FACEBOOK has a replicant version of me, out there, in cyberspace – but with a shinier attitude.

I was on TWITTER, until last weekend – where in one fell swoop I deleted my account, and TWITTER says it will be deleted in approximately 30 days. The social-media cult cannot simply “let you go” on a whim, you must be made to wait, so that you are sure …

No – you cannot simply be allowed to remove yourself from any social medium without time to meditate on this digital suicide, “they” cannot simply be ignored:

I was never going to be on TWITTER, just as I never intended (nor do I intend) to be on FACEBOOK – but in November 2012, a short time after my sister Nancy died of late-stage cancer, a “friend” suggested social-media as a way to “deal with it”. In hindsight, this might have been one of the worst decisions of my life.

My decision to be on TWITTER was not a mistake because of my “fear of corporations seeing what I post” – I’m not afraid of this. I wore the uniform once, swore an oath to protect and defend the U.S. constitution – so I take my freedom of speech seriously, even if our republic is on life-support (or dead). No, I didn’t leave TWITTER out of fear of being known for my beliefs – I am proud of what I believe, even if faith in human liberty and dignity makes me a throw-back these days.

I left TWITTER because it revealed itself, as FACEBOOK does, and other social medial often do, as an echo-chamber of hate and thought control. Let’s go full circle and return to that 1.35 billion number on FACEBOOK …

I am a software engineer, professionally. I’ve worked with artificial intelligence and I am sensitive to what is and is not possible. I’ve written programs that mimic human-like text generation, using HMM (hidden Markov models) and other related techniques. So, I can honestly say “I know a bot when I see one” – but this is anecdotal, so take it with a bag of salt if you must. From my experience, a huge portion of the “users” on TWITTER (and likely FACEBOOK) are either 100% bots or swarms of managed bot-accounts. Some are honest enough to call themselves this – and so you get Friedrich Nietzsche vacillating between random quotes from Zarathustra and the promotion of soft-core porn or quickie-diet scams.

Many of the bots are so well done, and have such a nefarious purpose, that it takes a professional bot writer to notice them – and these are mostly propaganda/PR bots. These bots have a horrible agenda – to sell war-porn, hate-porn, economic hopey thinking and other kinds of intellectual garbage. These bots represent a significant portion of FACEBOOK and TWITTER – FACEBOOK says the number is roughly 11%, I think there estimate is quite low.

I am going off on this “bot tangent” to ground a simple point: that whatever you think you are getting from social-media personally, others are getting something from you as well. Sure, you may not feel like someone in the MATRIX, but you are. You are being manipulated, and even a website as “benign” as Linked-In is part of this charade of EGO dysfunction.

I’ve had a Linked-In account for a few months now – but somehow I have almost 500 connections. I am categorized as an “All Star” by the Linked-In-EGO-Pump and this must be true, because otherwise it would seem like manipulation (hint).

I don’t pay for the “premium” account – but that doesn’t matter much. I am participating in this system, reinforcing it, and making it seem even more legit in the process (even this post is a kind of legitimation). Sure, not quite as legit as the account for Viktoria Zantos-Rockus-Mueller, but then nothing could ever be that legit – she’s too legit to quit. (for more info on her, and my relationship with her, go to: letterstoviktoria.com)

Yes – I’m on Linked-In, and yes – I rationalize this like all of you do, this is “career” related. If I am honest I am doing this because it seemed like I should – a kind of social pressure to be “seen” and to reinforce those who wish to be “seen”.

I am not a crack-pot social theorist – I’m a fat, middle-aged, software engineer with a blog. I won’t pretend to know the current thinking on “narcissistic personality disorder” and I won’t do a half-ass reprise the fine work of Christopher Lasch on this subject (if you’ve not read “The Culture of Narcissism”, you should). No, this is more of my own interpretation of reality – and you don’t have to pay me a dime.

I believe there are reasons we want to be “seen” and to “see” others – good reasons, probably related to being social mammals. We social creatures learn from each other, and we have evolved reward mechanisms for this – chemicals (drugs) in the brain that get released in that moment. If some monkey figures out a better way to grope for insects in a tree-stump, we want to reward that monkey – “liking” that monkey, in pre-historic times, was a bit more rustic but equally real (and the monkey gets a dose of dopamine).

So, yeah – there are good reasons that explain our involvement in social media. But like most of our evolved characteristics, these can, in isolation from real-purpose, become problematic – even pathological.

In its pathological form, social media deprives us of real community – authentic human contact and relationships. Social media often reinforces the worst perspectives or the most banal – and serves as a medium of propaganda and psychic-driving writ large. Social media, especially TWITTER, favours the sound-bite over the logical argument or reasoned dialogue. Social media promises “everyone can be famous for 15 minutes”, per Andy Warhol’s dictum – but that is not reality either, especially when you factor in all of the accounts that are bogus, bots.

So, yes – I am deleting my TWITTER account, but I still have a YOUTUBE channel (craptopia.tv) and I still have a blog (iamsully.com) and I am still on Linked-In.

And while you might want to place Linked-In in a special category, protected from the propagandists, flim-flam artists, war-pornographers, and bromide-salesman, don’t judge too soon …

Linked-In, in very concrete ways, is a pure-form of the “see/seen” duopoly of ego-inflation. I say ego-inflation, because I really don’t know how anyone can fact check or determine whether the “count of recognized skills” means anything at all.

Sure, I have a ton of people who have recognized me for having “skills”. I am an honest person, so I am not sure that this is deserved. I’m not saying I don’t have those skills, I probably do – I just don’t know if those who are recognizing them are in a position to determine this, just as I don’t know that I am when I do the same.

The “Skills and Endorsements” region of a Linked-In profile feels like an evolved Skinnerian experiment in self-esteem buggery. I endorse you, you endorse me – and we both get our food pellet (dopamine cascade). But I am disquieted by the nature of it, and perhaps this makes me a weirdo.

Any who – why worry?

It seems to me if the social media tool you are using makes you “feel better”, then keep on using it!

No reason to stop now …

(you have over 1,000 followers)

(and they all really care about you)

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Work Sucks – Not Having Work Sucks More …

2_great_depression

We are bombarded, almost daily, by the happy-joy-joy working-stiff message – we are told that there are plenty of jobs, but that many just don’t have the skills. “Too bad for those without skills”, is what we mutter to ourselves, under our breath, as we trudge and drag ourselves into the purgatory of cube-land.

Sure, our nation suffers from one of the lowest labour participation rates in recent memory, there are about 50 million Americans on food-stamp assistance, and 90+ millions who are no longer counted as part of the workforce. But ignore these facts, please.

20141218_Eberstadt_Table1LARGEHalf of all twenty-somethings, and about 1/3 of all thirty-somethings, live with their parents. The U.S. median income is about $28K a year, and of course there is no “inflation” – unless you need to eat, educate your kids, get healthcare or purchase a place to live. Barring the necessities of life, there is no inflation at all. But please, my friends, ignore this – because it really doesn’t jive with the “everything is awesome” meme, and everything is great – right?

And where have we seen price drops lately? – at the pump. This is good news, right, OK? – come on …

The price of gasoline going down means “folks” (to use President Obama’s idiom) have more cash in their pockets. There’s only one problem with this – actually, there are several problems with this. But here’s the first problem – the one bright spot in our broken economy, since the recession “ended” in 2009, has been focused around marginal oil plays, better known as “fracking”.

Fracking was going to make us the next Saudi Arabia and at prices north of $100/barrel this seemed like a sure thing – Wall Street thought so too. Wall Street was so supportive of this shale-oil miracle, that they built a financial edifice around junk-bond and high-yield credit financing, not to mention the 20% of all derivatives that are currently bets on the “shale magic”. But you don’t boil tar-sands, drill at 7 miles below the ocean’s surface, OR frack big rocks into little rocks at anything much less than $80-90/barrel. The financing schemes surrounding the “fracking industry” require 3 things, absolutely, to survive: a) a weak dollar, b) low-interest rates and c) the price of oil being north of $100 a barrel. So, yeah – this drop in gasoline prices may feel like a wonderful thing, but in the coming months Americans will realize that “it doesn’t mean what they think it means”, to steal/paraphrase a bit of dialogue from the “Princess Bride”.

But please, my friends, with respect to crashing oil prices, ignore what I just said – hey, American Idol is coming back, right?

Youth unemployment, worldwide, is becoming a serious social problem. Most of the new jobs being created are part-time and low wage. Many of these new jobs are going to folks over 50 years old. This is a formula for generational disillusionment and worse – it might presage a period of violence and national decay, for many countries.

I have a job. I am sent emails, everyday, from online referral/head-hunting/consulting firms about “PHP jobs in Boise” and crap like that. I used to think these emails were a good sign, if only for me alone. Like, “if I needed to find another job there would be one there, just over the horizon, in Idaho”. In that sense I feel like Tom Joad from the “Grapes of Wrath”, but I’ve become as jaded as Tom was – and I don’t think there are “orange picker jobs just down the road in California”. Nor do I believe there is a whimsical PHP paradise somewhere near Boise.

Yes – being a productive worker, in today’s vise-like economy, can be too much – fewer of us are “carrying the water” on our backs. We want to believe that the “recovery” is near, just over there, beyond the mountains and far away, somewhere in Boise, Idaho. We want to believe that this recovery will come, as promised, like the rain promised by some crazy protestant minister – I think I saw a film about that once, starring Steve Martin (“Leap of Faith” it was – 1992).

The truth is darker and more difficult to accept – there never was an economic recovery in 2009 and things are about to get a whole lot worse.

But please, my dear friends – ignore this, because I’m crazy.

Pretend that up is down, that light is dark, that 2+2 = 5 (per the current Common-Core methodology). Keep pretending – especially if you are lucky enough to have a decent job like myself. I say “decent job” because I am doing 20% more in my job than just a few years ago, and making 20% less in salary, but this is some kind of sign of economic progress – just ask Janet Yellen.

Maybe it really is this simple: if you have a job that makes 2 or 3 times the national median income of $28,000.00 per year, then you are quite lucky. Sure, that money doesn’t really go far to buying a house or a new car with cash, but on paper it looks good.

Don’t be sullen, or sad – you are lucky enough to have a place reserved on the leaky life-boat … for now.

You might ponder jumping in your car, and heading in some random direction to escape the toxifying dystopia of contemporary corporate life, maybe to grow non-Monsanto-cancer food – but that’s crazy talk (eat your butt-cancer food and be happy).

Be happy in your work!

To quote a sign, once viewable over another facility, from many dystopian decades ago – and far away:

“WORK SHALL SET YOU FREE!”

arbeit_macht_frei_by_jonyrubio-d3j1nxi

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“Going Galt”, and other delusions …

The financial crisis of September 2008 hit me like the shock-wave from an explosion.

I remember going to an Oktoberfest celebration, just outside of Portland, Oregon – it was me, my family, and some friends. One of my brothers-in-law, to remain unnamed, spouted the party line concerning TARP and the first of many bailouts. For those who don’t know what TARP was, it was an acronym for Toxic Asset Relief Program, for those of us who understood what had happened it was merely the largest insult to the integrity of our free republic in recent memory – a giant check, worth almost a billion dollars, written to the richest and most powerful people that had ever lived.

I know, I know – the banking system was freezing up. “We had to destroy the free-market in order to save it”, or some silly, stupid, concept like that. It happened at the juncture of a presidential election that was already typified by more of the same – a choice between a RINO/Neocon McCain and a virtually unknown “community organizer” named Barack Obama.

My brother-in-law, whom I love, and I, got into a fight. I wasn’t interested in ruining the day, so I let his regurgitation of state propaganda stand – and why not? He was a father, someone who likely feared for his wife (my sister) and his family. The very people most susceptible to fear-based manipulation are those who raise the next generation – tell them someone is coming to take their home, car, healthcare or kid’s life, and you have them willing to support any list of horrible campaigns.

And that is the source of the problem …

The true political class of America today is the “bedroom class” – families, married couples, gay partners, with jobs, with “investments”. These people are not likely to support any change that cannot be packaged in easy to consume, self-serving, mollifying, propaganda.

And so, in the Autumn of 2008, the American people bailed-out the very folks most responsible for our current predicament.

And then we went through several cycles of monetary debasement, interest rate manipulation, market pumping, and we find ourselves here – 6 years later. And despite the fact that the U.S. economy is still behaving like a square-wheel, the American people are still believing and supporting these same lies.

Why do I mention all this? Because I have reached my breaking point.

I sit here, at home, working – I’m working from home today – and I am pondering whether my next logical life-style choice is to give up on my toxic life, and spend what little I have left truly free – which means homeless, destitute, without bank account, credit card, etc.

I wouldn’t call this “Going Galt”, because I think that too is a bit of a trap. I’ve followed people, in social media, who claim to have gone “Galt” – but I say “follow”, because they continue to engage in TWITTER, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, YOUTUBE. I read Atlas Shrugged, and I doubt that Ayn Rand intended this interpretation. As I recall, Galt created a secret community, a secret society, of people who decided to disengage with the false reality, and create their own authentic one. But it was a SECRET! Not something they publicized on REDDIT.

So, no – I’m not really preparing to go “Galt”, because I just can’t imagine how I would do it.

I can imagine giving up the few worldly possessions I have left and becoming homeless.

I can imagine working menial jobs, while homeless, to pay for the meagre food/water “shelter” I would need.

I can imagine disconnecting from the internet – sort of (that’s a tough one).

But I have a hard time imagining that I could find some hidden valley, somewhere in the Rockies, where other like minded people lived free, healthy, sustainable lives – this is a nice fantasy, but not something I believe in.

I couldn’t simply disappear – leaving my family no evidence of what happened or why. Love is the sticky widget, and I feel its pull in many of my actions. So, though I romanticize the choice of walking naked into the social maelstrom, I do not pretend this action would have zero impact upon those I care about.

By the way – I’m been reducing my connection to the corporate world, progressively, for the last few years. I can’t lie, when I moved to Indianapolis from Seattle last May (2014) I did end up buying a car – one of those “zero percent interest” deals (or what is also called sub-prime). I can debate whether or not it was sub-prime, but considering I may be driving that car onto the dealership lot soon, parking it, and leaving a note saying “can’t pay, sorry” – well, that is pretty much a sub-prime situation. I had this plan of gleaning a tiny bit of normalcy, out of this abnormal world, before I died – being recently divorced didn’t help, since the psychic turmoil of that was heavy at the time and is still a burden today. Mea culpa – I wanted a little slice of a fake American Dream.

So, no – I’m not Galt and I don’t think it’s feasible.

I know I can disconnect, take the path of the homeless man – but that is, in many ways, a resignation. I’m not saying being homeless is bad or good – it is rather that I don’t want to die, but I know my current life as a software engineer is killing me, and the life of a homeless man was not likely to be that much better for life expectancy.

I too am deluded, confused, by the impossible choices arrayed before me.

I keep hoping that I will, somehow, figure out a way to buy some land and disconnect from the system. Problem is: I need the “system” to make the money that would allow me to purchase the land – this snake eats its own tail.

I keep wanting to believe that some kind force will lessen my load, and in some ways this has happened. I like the people I work with, I just don’t like the work any longer. There was a time when I felt like I could be honest about deadlines, projects, and what was feasible – but for those few of us left working and paying taxes, everything is “now”, “yesterday”, and despite that urgency the corporate leadership is still confused, up to the last minute, as to what they want now, yesterday.

I know this story – superficially tragic as it might appear – is not nearly the worst tale of woe in America (or the world) today. We are a planet on the verge of wide-spread social collapse. People will say “well, America has de-coupled” or “look at those gas prices” – this sounds nice, and that’s all. These same Tom Friedman acolytes were explaining the “flatness of the world” (coupled) and the “grand American Oil miracle” just a few years ago. No one wants to discuss the collapse of trade, or the fact that “fracking” cannot be done economically at less than $70-$80/barrel – it is better to watch American Idol or the NFL play-offs.

So, no – I’m not going “Galt” because I live in a nation of zombies who will not allow such a thing.

I might drop off the radar, but there will be nothing heroic in the “Randian” sense about that.

I have cancelled my TWITTER account, and I suppose I may cancel my YOUTUBE account too. I will hold onto my blog as long as possible, but even that is open to negotiation.

Free-speech in America is nearly dead. Our elite use social-media as a method of control – even the so called “revolutionaries” are playing into this falsehood.

There is no exit, there is no escape, there is no magical valley some place.

If you care about your children’s future, then you must take a stand here, at home – and not in Costa-Rica.

John Galt was a fictional character – an appealing one, but a lie.

See you in the soup line.

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I am deleting my TWITTER account … (who cares)

I am not abandoning social-media entirely, though I have been questioning the rationale for participation in this medium in recent months.

I realize that for many people, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and other social-media sites, are a kind of positive force – when I created my account, in late 2012, I believed the same. It was just after my sister Nancy died of late stage meta-static cancer – just 2 years after my mother died the same way. Someone close to me suggested social-media as a way to “get out of my funk”, and for a time it did serve to connect me, if synthetically, with others. But even in the first months I could sense its true nature – and I marvelled at the lack of civility so endemic to its structure.

George Orwell, the author who famously penned “1984”, believed that police states, tyrannies, could use the simplification of language and communication as a method of control. You see, it turns out that complex thoughts, thoughts requiring more than a few hundred characters to express, were the very “memes” which risked insurrection and rebellion. Say what you will about the use of twitter to organize mobs and gangs – I’ve not seen a discussion of any depth in this medium at any time during my exposure. There are a few who attempt to chain a bunch of tweets together, but this seems futile in the cacophony of belligerent repartee.

TWITTER has become THE toxic force in my life – and it is changing the person I am, and not in a good way.

I don’t do FACEBOOK – I never will – but I have heard similar stories regarding it.

People, who reach a point and recognize that there is no communication happening, decide to step away – to leave that wasteland of illogic to the markov-model bots that mostly inhabit it. At best these sites exchange quips and daily banalities that have little or no redeeming value, at worst they serve as echo-chambers of hate.

I am no stranger to getting “really pissed” and tweeting. Those who have followed me know this. But in the end I thought that some kind of message was being sent and received, and that the message stood a chance of breaking through the propaganda maelstrom that is modern media – social, online or traditional. This was a foolish belief on my part.

TWITTER is now, mostly, a stream of confusion.

It is an endless scream of the unheard and the insane.

It is like so much of our internet reality – a rather poor replacement for actual thought and dialogue.

To those rather few who I enjoyed interacting with, and who seemed to understand me (seemed, cuz there’s know way of knowing), I say farewell and good luck. I will miss them and I believe their pursuits to be authentic.

To those sycophants, war-mongers, racists, police-state boot-licker types and other neocon and OBAMA-zombie types — I mostly say, “good riddance”. Your voices, as expressed in 140 character bursts, will not be missed.

As to my blog and youtube channel? – who knows …

I am unsure as to how much time is left for “normal things”. Our government is pursuing a path to the only debt-clearing mechanism left for them – WAR. And I don’t mean the low-level fever of war we’ve experienced since 9/11, as terrible and atavistic as that has been. I mean regional and world war. I see no creative solutions, on either the “right” or “left” in America today – and this implies that the last solution (final solution) will be implemented.

Pray for peace, tweet for peace – I tried, I failed.

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