I’ve Become Convinced…

That we are all subjects in a psychological stress test.

Think about this;

You go to the gas station and are aurally assaulted by “Helpful” video screens telling you the weather, the latest scandal, and “Oh, while you’re here go inside,” to buy an overpriced snack that you don’t need, loaded with chemicals.

I’ll often go inside just to avoid the annoying noise coming from the top of the gas pump.

Everywhere you go there are screens, and sound, and a billion things vying for our attention. It’s like our fight or flight instincts are being tested 24 / 7. 

At work, in our lunch room there are 5 TVs, one or more of which is always blaring about someone’s view of a sports team. Often on different channels. 

Without looking, you know that the TV station is being politically correct by presenting a white commentator and exactly splitting the time with a black commentator. It’s no surprise either, that the volume creeps up by about two decibels whenever the black commentator is speaking. Both are having a disagreement about some trades or teams. It’s loud, contentious, and … ANNOYING!

At my cubicle there is a cacophony of conversation. 50 people in close proximity all talking on their various phones at once, the conversations are always a selection from 5 basic themes. I can tune into one, or all of the conversations and know almost exactly what the person on the other end of the phone is saying. 

The one thing I can’t do, is tune them all out.

It’s a constant stress, like drowning all day long. It takes considerable energy and focus to be able to do my job.  

“Open Work Spaces” are, I suspect experiments designed to test the limits of human endurance while imposing rules that prevent normal human methods of blowing off steam. Conversation with each other, sharing the misery, bitching about the work, or company, or boss, etc. All are forbidden because the company demands that you be ready at all times to answer the next call. And you know that the next call will be a call that is going to be covering one of the five questions you answer ten times each and every day.

By the time I end my day I’m emotionally exhausted and physically tired as well.

Walking outside is slightly better.

Even there, the constant noise of the traffic, construction, aircraft, and people yelling into theie cellphones creates a din that is hard to ignore or escape. I’ve found that even the wildlife seems more contentious in the areas around work. They’re always bickering and fighting each other. 

I come home seeking peace. But that’s not to be had because even with the doors and windows of the apartment closed I can hear other people going about their day. Sometimes I’ll go home and just sit for an hour, in pseduo-silence trying to breathe and let my ears and mind rest. 

Even sleep doesn’t provide much respite because to sleep I still have to filter out the general noise of humanity, the gurgling of the refrigerator, the whine of the neighbors A/C unit below the bedroom window or cars coming of going from the complex, and all the other normal noises associated with humanity.

But it’s better.

I was considering all of this the other day and thought, “It’s no wonder people are so pissed off all the time. Everyone is always working to keep everyone else’s bullshit at bay.”

Then I remembered torture techniques used throughout the Cold War and realized that one of those had to do with sensory overload. There are studies that suggest if you keep a person over stimulated for long enough you’ll eventually break them, and if the person is pushed a bit further with the right stimulus you can cause a psychotic break. Literally driving them crazy.

It made me wonder if we’re not all rats in a maze.

I remembered a study about rat populations that showed if there are too many rats in a closed environment, but they have abundant food and water, eventually there will be so many rats that they start killing each other. They’ll keep screwing but they’ll eat their young. They’ll display all kinds of aberrant behavior, then they’ll start dying off. If  a “famine” is created by limiting the amount of food and water, the process is accelerated.

I couldn’t help noticing that we’re a lot like the rats.

I wondered if there wasn’t some horrific experiment being performed on the entire population of the planet.

If, as many Alien researchers believe, we actually do have alien overloads…

Here’s a simple warning to the overloads… 

The last rats standing are going to be really pissed off and perhaps you should watch Willard before continuing this experiment.  The last rats will be crazy psychotic fuckers and you’re not going to be able to control them.

Imagine a combination of charactistics like Kim Jil Un, ISIL, Al Qaida, Rasputin, Hitler, and Pol Pot, in a single individual. Then picture a billion of those individuals all with an ax to grind with you.

If that doesn’t cause an Alien’s (or whoever is running this experiment) sphincter to pucker… Well, they deserve what’s coming to them.

I Don’t think that word means what you think it means.

Mds82td

Just  read a series of articles detailing the latest report from The Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC report talks about “Hate” groups increasing in the past year.

BLM is not listed. Although I personally think they should be.

But other groups are… Groups that I’m not sure I’d qualify as “Hate” groups per se.

Obviously the KKK is listed (the SLPC report says their numbers are dropping)

Some of the groups listed are simply groups that oppose illegal immigration. Does that merit the designation “Hate Group”?

Just because you disagree with and protest or vocally oppose illegal immigration does not automatically make you a hate group. Just because you’re in favor of accountability and vetting doesn’t mean you hate.

Ku klux klan anonymous mayor

Having a dislike for something does not mean you hate it. I don’t like lima beans, but that doesn’t mean I hate them, it means that if there is an option, I’ll choose the option. That’s not hate, that’s a preference. If there’s nothing but lima beans, I’ll smile and eat them grateful for the meal.

I don’t like street signs in my country being written in a language that I don’t read or understand. That’s not hate or racism, that’s reasonable expectation that the signs be in the language generally spoken by the vast majority of the country.

After all, I wouldn’t go to Russia, China, or Saudi Arabia to live, and expect the signs to be in English. That doesn’t mean that those people hate me, it means I’m a visitor to their country and they shouldn’t have to make accommodation to me. Rather, I should do my best to learn the language.

Hate is very different from disagreement, or lack of accommodation.

2880379928 0d57facaeb z

Asking that someone wait in line to enter a restaurant, religious edifice,airport, plane, theater, or Country is not hate, it is maintaining order. Asking a stranger what their intentions are before allowing them into your house is common sense. Why do we cast these rules to the wind when we talk about allowing people into the country, (by extension our home)?

How do we equate asking questions or expressing our concerns, to hate?

My definition of hate is quite possibly different from yours. In my world hate is dark. It drives dark hideous deeds and it requires a lot of energy. You have to want to hate and you have to constantly feed hate to keep it alive.

Here’s my poor attempt at defining it:

Hate is unreasoning. It’s harsh, and comes from a place of darkness. Hate is violent and terrifying.

Hate is what creates people in masks, who riot, destroy property, burn buildings or kill other people who are just trying to get through their day.

Hate is “hurt or KILL X, Y, or Z” because they are X, Y, or Z. Hate is “Make them (whoever they may be) pay for who they are or what they believe”.

Hate is Poll Taxes, crucifixions, burning people alive trapped in a cage, beheadings, knock out games, vengeance rape, rape in general, “kill the fags”, Zyclon B, forcing people to dig their own mass grave, then shooting them, bombing school busses… shopping centers… night clubs, harming children, brutalizing anyone and throwing them off a building, or hanging someone in their own front lawn. These are hateful things born in the darkest parts of human nature.

These are acts that are so heinous that instinctively we know they are wrong; no religion or belief structures are needed, we know these acts are inherently wrong.

We look away in disgust, and a little spark of something lights in our souls because we viscerally react to people who are so… wrong. Not only wrong in their actions, but wrong on such a fundamental level that our instincts for self preservation of our species wake up, demanding we excise the sickness from the gene pool.

Is that feeling hate, or instinctive self preservation?

Longlines

I believe that someone not liking me, or a Country telling me that I may visit but cannot live there is not hate.

I’d probably like very much living in Fiji, but the odds of me being allowed to become a permanent citizen are pretty low. Fijians probably don’t hate me, but they do understand limited resources.

The same goes for Australia, even though I have some talents that could earn me a living. I don’t have enough working years left to pay enough into their tax system that I wouldn’t be a burden on their society in my later years.

These are reasoned decisions, not hatred.

For our country to be expected to make any less reasoned decisions shouldn’t be construed as hate.

The word hate is bandied about all too frequently and the definition is too fluid in our culture.

Fiji

Were I to go to Fiji and overstay my visa (i.e. permission to visit) I wouldn’t be at all surprised to have their equivalent of ICE arrest me and put me on the first plane home. Would they call me an immigrant or a criminal?

Probably the latter. The odds are, I’d be blacklisted from ever returning. Even that wouldn’t be “hate” that would be enlightened self interest on the part of the Fujian government. After all, I’ve demonstrated that I can’t be trusted to obey their laws and therefore I won’t be allowed back, and thus will not be their problem.

The fluid nature of our culture and language and the slow methodical coercion of the media has led us to a place where words no longer have any real meaning.

Immigrant – can now mean illegal visitors and legal citizens.

Hate – is now used to describe anyone who disagrees with the perceived (or peddled) correct opinion.

Racist – now only describes white people, (as I’ve mentioned before it’s the new “N” word.)

I think it’s high time that we got back to using real words with real definitions in a consistent way so that all of us have the same understanding of a situation.

I’d like to see the SPLC review their “Hate Group” list and reconsider the groups on it and the reasons those groups are classified as a Hate Group.

Moreover I’d really like words and terms like racism, racist, immigrant and illegal immigrant to actually mean what Webster’s says they do.

It’s unlikely that’s going to happen; that doesn’t mean anyone hates me.

We need to be touched

2729871104 c0dcdd2403 z

We intuitively know this, but with the hustle and bustle of our ‘work a day world’, it’s easy to forget this simple fact.

Massage can fill part of the void, if you’re living alone and aren’t seeing anyone. 

Contrary to popular belief, not every massage is a vehicle to have sex and not every masseuse or masseur is a prostitute using a clever (or not so clever) disguise to take money for sex.

Although I have been fortunate enough to have a number of massages that ended with me being invited to spend the night. However, that was something that two consenting adults entered into as adults, and no-one was “on the clock”. We were just two people having a good time and the vibe was right.

torso

I’ve had an equal number of massages that ended with me getting dressed, saying, “Thank you” and leaving.

My point however is that If we’re not touched, and acknowledged we start to become a little strange. Our needs aren’t being met and we sometimes become antisocial, or extremely needy. I’ve been both, sometimes simultaneously. 

On a subconscious level we know we need social interaction and a subtext to that is that we need to feel the warmth of another person’s touch. Lots of folks use the sterility of the internet to fill the need for interaction. Twitter, Facebook, and the various dating sites or chat applications have made millions of people feel relevant, perhaps even loved. But I think that the folks feeling “loved” because they have a bunch of “Likes” or thousands of followers is demonstrative of a sort of twisted adaptation to feelings of isolation.

NewImage

This point has been recently brought home to me. 

I talk to people all day long, I help people and move on to the next person in need. You’d think I’d have enough interaction to feel fulfilled. 

I don’t. 

Those people that I help are ephemeral. They’re just voices on the phone and most of the time they’re very needy. By the time I’m done with my day, I’m tired and really don’t want to talk to anyone else on the phone. So I entertain myself with the TV until it’s time to go to bed to get up and go back to work.

It doesn’t help that I work odd hours and weekends. By the time most people get to work, I’ve already been working 3 or 4 hours. The oddness of my work schedule has advantages and disadvantages.

The advantage is that I usually miss the stupid traffic of the San Diego area. The disadvantage is that I’m home mid-afternoon and “normal” people aren’t available. When “normal” people are available, I’m heading to bed.

When I’m done with my day, I’m tired. It’s more emotionally tired than physical, so it’s easy to be isolated, and allow that isolation to continue.

130813 263472 LA Dive Bar HMS Bounty Bar

I could stop someplace for happy hour but have you spent much time at a bar at 2PM in the afternoon?

Trust me, it isn’t pretty; not the kinds of people you’re likely to meet and develop healthy friendships with. Bars in general are dimly lit for a reason!

Gyms are better but even there, you’re dealing with folks that are probably not going to have time. They’re squeezing in a workout before they go on to the next thing; picking up the kids, heading to work on their own odd schedule, or in some cases just creepy people looking for something else entirely. 

Sauna

I’d been going along for months (possibly years off & on) fooling myself into believing that I was OK. Then because I was in some pain I went and had a massage.

Another person touching me slammed into my consciousness like a sledgehammer. I wanted, needed to feel the warmth of another person. I needed to hear that other person breathing and smell them. I needed the full 3D experience and to know that I was, in fact not alone.

A week or so later, I had the distinct pleasure of having a friend visit, and again I was struck by the power of someone else being physically in my space. It was comforting and settling and again hit me upside the head that I’d been too isolated for too long.

NewImage

A few nights later, I went out with a coworker that I enjoy being around. We had drinks, ate and laughed. I realized that even simple (non-work) interactions are very satisfying, while not very intimate or sexual, its far better than the cold interaction of words or pictures on a display.

All of this brings home two undeniable points. It’s not good to be isolated, especially in a crowd. And I need to find another job that pays better and is not on such an isolating schedule.

Social+anxiety1

All of this is to say; if you’re feeling isolated, or lonely, turning to the internet is probably not the healthiest source of “connection”.  Close the laptop, put the phone down, and turn off the TV. That’s what I’m going to be doing and hopefully I’ll be able to provide some pointers to finding something fulfilling over the next few months.

An Ugly Tableu

Getting home form a hard day at work. I get out of my car and see two neighbors having a conversation. I think nothing of it at first.

It’s only as I’m opening my car passenger door to get my backpack that I clearly hear the woman in the conversation fairly shrieking “You touched your penis!

Some part of my exhausted brain went, “Huh? What?”

The conversation that I heard after that went something like;

You touched your penis, you were in my apartment. You’re a piece of filth! No wonder your wife left you, no wonder your son doesn’t want to live with you. I hope everyone figures out what a peice of trashy filth you are!

The man who was the object of this tirade is using a cane to walk, he moves slowly and uncertainly, due to severe spinal damage. In other words, this guy is probably zero threat to a woman. And God only knows that he may have adjusted himself because of something to do with the injuries.  

I honestly don’t know, I wasn’t there. I can say that occasionally this guy when I’ve spoken to him outside the apartments. I have noticed that sometimes (clearly unconsciously he adjusts himself). Honestly it looks like he’s in pain when he does it.

As I focused on the “Conversation” I could see that he was genuinely ashamed. I could also see that the woman was quite enraged.

Then I really took a look at her and the first thought I had was she looked like Jabba the Hut.

Hell, I’d have been adjusting myself to prevent my penis from crawling up inside.

But then I realized I was downwind. I couldn’t help but notice the fetid odor of unwashed human, with just a touch of yeasty vagina. Yeah, I could smell all this from about 10 feet away.

RETCH

Now I have a conundrum, I can ignore this insanity. Or I can say what I really think, which is;

Damn lady if this broken old man is getting wood because of your fat stinky ass, you should count yourself lucky. I’d imagine there’s been nothing twix your legs that didn’t run on batteries for decades. I’d bet your vibrators are so stinky that you have to replace them every month because some stink just never goes away. I’d never punish my dick by putting it in you. Hell, seeing you naked would make me want to suck cock for free, on the street, in Iran! At least then my torment would be ended quickly by a fall from a tall building.

But I weighed my options, decided that I was too tired and that this was not my battle.

After all for me, very few people I encounter would be worth my energy.

I evaluated the situation for a moment more…

I closed the passenger door to the car, shook my head and walked away.

Neither of these people were my concern. 

In retrospect, I think that it was the shrillness of the harridan, and how closely she was mimicking, so closely the “Group Think” of the feminist movement today. Obviously she thought all men were scum but wasn’t pretty enough or gutsy enough to simply declare she was a lesbian.

Some gay men who never fully embrace their gayness get really weird and very hostile to women and other gay men. Perhaps this was the female version of the phenomenon.

Remotely interesting… Still not interesting enough for me to engage. Perhaps it was simple penis envy… Nope, not interesting enough.

I climbed the stairs to my apartment, unlocked and opened the door, closed it behind me and was immediately cloaked in silence.

Bliss!

I guess that I’m just over all the politics, victimhood, and insanity. 

I did feel kinda bad for the guy. 

But like most men, I figured if he wouldn’t defend himself then I wasn’t going to do it for him. 

Yep, the peace of my apartment was a lot better than listening to a shrill bitch badmouthing men simply because we have external plumbing.

No interest in Watching Superbowl…

Super Bowl 2017 Top Five Upsets Of All Time

First time in years I haven’t been interested.

For many years, I’ve settled in Superbowl Sunday with beer, junk food and watched, relaxing and enjoying the entertainment.

This year, zero interest. 

I’m not even sure why.

I’ve been wondering if it was all the controversy over standing (or not) for the National Anthem.

Or was it that last years commercials were boring and Politically Correct to the point that no-one remembered them? 

Or that the half-time show was largely forgettable. 

Last Years game doesn’t stand out in my mind either.

I’m wondering if it’s just that I’m tired of endless controversies.

What used to be a fun diversion, and entertaining escape for 4 hours has become mediocre in it’s conformity.

Rather than watch something that I used to really enjoy, and be sad that it’s not the fun it used to be, I’ll spare myself the sadness and read a book.

Well, It’s not called Berzerkely for nothing…

My morning coffee has been cleaned up. 

There I was sipping my (Caution Coffee May be Hot) cup of morning Joe.

Innocently, I opened my browser and saw, without any trigger warning, that there was rioting at Berkeley. That might not have been much of a trigger, given the insanity of college campuses in the past few years…

What did make it surprising was that the protest at Berkeley, was essentially about shutting down free speech. 

Uh, if I recall correctly the free speech movement started at Berkeley!

Of course the morons protesting are too uneducated to realize irony. 

After cleaning up the coffee spill, I read on.

Supposedly, the riots started over a Milo Yiannopoulos appearance. SAY WHAT?!?!?!

This is a Gay man from England, a clever writer, a conservative leaning white speaker, with a penchant for bottoming for black men, he tends to speak from his heart and flys in the face of oppressive social justice “Group Think“. 

He’s the fucking poster child for freedom of speech!

He’s made the point again and again that Political Correctness and Social Justice Warriors are not interested in anything other than imposing morality codes that align with their view of the way things should be. He’s pointed out repeatedly that what the SJW and PC crowd doesn’t like they will destroy.

Apparently, not only is he right, but now the SJW / PC crowd is going out of the way to prove him right.

Yiannopoulos is a free speech advocate, a Trump supporter, and has made fairly well reasoned arguments opposing unfettered Islamic immigration. His immigration arguments are based in what he has seen in his homeland and Europe as a whole. 

After all as a gay man, he doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that mass immigration of people who culturally condone the rape of young boys, then turn around and stigmatize and kill gay people is a clear threat. Much more so than the likes of Trump or Pence. He’s also pointed out that people who culturally oppose and oppress women’s rights and often punish the rape victim instead of the rapist represents a huge step backwards in terms progress in developed nations.

I read somewhere something like; a society is only free, as long as everyone can speak their mind without fear of retribution or harm.

Based on the protest at Berkeley and other institutions of “Higher Learning” I wonder if freedom died and no-one noticed. It’s seeming a lot more like Orwell’s 1984, and Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, with overtones of the fucking Inquisition than the country I grew up in.

Clearly as a redneck hick from one of the flyover states, I’m not educated enough to grasp the intellectual superiority of my “betters” in Berkeley.