AlcoholMastery

A channel I recently came across and have been watching the last couple of days, AlcoholMasteryTV:

I get where he’s coming from SO MUCH in that video above in terms of how he used to be as a drinker. His story gives me hope.

“Keep the alcohol out of your mouth.” Yep. Personal decision.

Personally not interested in purchasing his (or anybody else’s) course, but he has a bunch of videos up for free on his channel that are useful.

His channel is a good resource.

Saturday afternoon journaling in June 2017

Now on day 4 of my commitment toward change. Arm muscles are finally back to normal. Can extend them fully once again. Had dinner with my former partner last night and he said I had just awakened muscles in my forearm that probably had never been stressed so hard, then allowed them to get dehydrated and fatigued the day afterward, so there’s nothing really to worry about there. That’s good. Was nervous for a couple days there that I had damaged a tendon or ligament or something. But all is fine now.

Of course I’m still thinking about what all has transpired recently and why and how I feel about it. That last night out (Monday the 12th), the one where I mentioned the older lady bartender at the calmer bar seeming slightly nervous toward me, keeps running through my mind. The bar was dead that evening. A couple here or there would roam through but otherwise I was sitting in there alone, drinking and playing music on the jukebox. Wasn’t being rowdy or anything, just didn’t want to go home. And it’s that fear of going home that keeps perplexing me. Felt it so many nights while out and about. Like I’m afraid to be with myself, to sit there with my troubled thoughts and ideas and ruminations. That’s been the driving force for me in the barscene for as far back as I can remember. Just didn’t want to go home and be alone. And once it came time for me to return home, I’d want to be “set” to where I’d go to sleep shortly. Put myself out. If I didn’t drink enough at the bar to do the trick, I’d drink more once I got in. And I recall doing just that in my early 20s and here I am in my mid-30s still attempting to do the same thing.

That’s a lot of years of running from something. But what gets me is that I do look at my past and examine it in as much detail as I can. Always have done so. And I do look at what I’ve done wrong and let myself feel it deeply and acknowledge it for what it is. Just because I think about it, though, doesn’t make it go away. Worked it all out as much as I could hope to and yet here it always remains. Back another day to remind me. My thoughts are there when I drink though too. They don’t disappear. Might go under the radar for a while when distracted by others, but they crop back up as the night wears on. Not uncommon that by the end of the evening I’m actually fairly depressed or melancholic (as I prefer to call it). In other words, I didn’t remain a fun drunk for long many nights. I know that. Others knew that too. Told me so on occasion.

So the alcohol didn’t even fix what it was intended to fix, not even temporarily. Not even throughout the full evening of drinking. The thoughts always rise back up before all is done and said. And I believe it’s those thoughts I’ve been aiming to escape from all these years. I don’t know what to do with them. Don’t know how to tame them. But it’s clearly evident by now that adding alcohol to the mix not only doesn’t sufficiently eradicate them for long but also provides breeding ground for new reasons to be upset with myself.

I see it. I understand. More now than ever.

Not sure why I seem so afraid of sitting alone with myself for too long. Why it makes me stir-crazy and uncomfortable. I’ve known me long enough by now to recognize that these are simply thoughts, memories, and that they can’t do much more than pester me. Seems they wish for some sort of expression, some outlet, some way of being concretized, so to speak. And actually, if I’m honest with myself, I have known this for a long time. Guess I haven’t wanted to do it. Didn’t want to have to sit with them so intimately and try to fashion them into something else. Maybe it feels too personal, too sorrowful, too impossible to remedy. But they’re just emotions, and life could’ve been much worse. Not dealt the worst lot here. Just an awfully emotional person who feels these things so deeply that that worries me. Made me think these emotions might capsize my little ship eventually if I took up too much time with them all. So instead I opted for a “slow death” (as I call the drinking lifestyle), which is no better. Not one bit better. Very likely much, much worse. Dangerous for myself and others and completely unproductive in the big scheme of things.

So there’s no choice here right about now. This is what it is, and this is calling for what it wants. Maybe taking up these concerns and finding a way to make use of them will eventually satisfy that internal “gremlin” a bit too. I always return to what Erich Fromm wrote about our options as people: we can either find a productive path or wind up becoming destructive (whether toward others and/or ourselves). I’ve always known his words to be true, and yet I ran anyway and created this situation for myself. Reasoning alone apparently isn’t ever enough.

But I hear it now. Understand more than before, now that there are so many more memories added to the heap, generated within the last several years. New forms of destruction and chaos that were sparked by my hands and my words this time around. Teaches me about the dark side to one’s being. Our capacity to cause harm, whether we deliberately set out to do so or not. And that’s been a valuable lesson. Gotta thank something out there for showing that to me in the ways it has.

Seems to be true that we start to really strive toward heaven once we have reckoned with hell. Otherwise we don’t know what we’re even striving for. But, then again, most roads to hell are paved with good intentions. Maybe dealing in our own versions of the abyss is what helps clarify what’s actually better, more worthwhile, truly healthier, less idealistic and more real.

I can’t regret these years fully since they’ve provided a treasure trove of opportunities to observe others and myself. Lots of shocking material there. Parts of myself I wouldn’t have believed existed had I not witnessed it directly, and same goes for plenty of others. We humans are far more complex than we can imagine, because life is far more complex than we are capable of imagining. Consciousness is a trip, to say the least.

It is what it is. And I’m here to explore it amongst all of you. No one’s perfect, nor is it worthwhile to expect anybody to be. Not even sure what perfection really entails anymore. Just no longer want to toss chance to the wind and act like I’m not responsible for any outcomes when that’s so obviously not true. Such a strategy is an attempt to hide from reality. But we know how that goes…we can run on for a long time, but sooner or later we will be cut down…

True. And it’s okay. I know these days that I can take the pain. Besides, there’s nowhere else to run. And so be it. This is a blessing in disguise, I do know that and appreciate it as such. Just a transition period right now is all. Gonna take time to get my bearings and to form new habits and whatnot. Still, this is FAR better than the road I’ve been on, even if this winds up being treacherous for a spell. So far it is not, but I am preparing myself for that possibility and will accept it if it comes. Because it’s just life. This is how it can roll. Still better than the alternative I had been pursuing. That was monotonous and nihilistic and was tearing me apart. Turning me into something I didn’t want to be. Don’t want to go back there ever again. Not like that. Too pointless and painful and chaotic and uncontrollable. Became useless. Frustrating and saddening and pitiful and not much else.

Why do we fear life and living? Why do we try to hide out and not be seen for what we are? And why have we humans been attempting this since the dawn of time? What are we so afraid of? Rejection? We’re going to be forced to deal with that regardless. Pain and suffering? Same deal. Failure? I think that hits closer to the mark. Existential guilt and confusion.

Anyway, time to move on to something else.

“Joe Rogan Talks About the Biggest Unsolved Mystery Of All Time”

And then youtube went and removed the video clip in question, so in its place I’ll have to post the entire 3-hour podcast. Dammit.

The portion in question (which I’ll have to find on there later) was an excellent conversation between those three.

“Defending Postmodernism: An Open Letter to Jordan B. Peterson”

Interesting. I’ve long been troubled with all the talk over Marxism and Post-Modernism. Will have to explore these topics in greater depth going forward.

Forward-moving gameplan

Briefly, a few goals to focus on in the immediate future.

1.) Wake up earlier (and hopefully head to bed earlier as well). James Altucher sounds like he knew what he was talking about when he wrote about his decision to sober up years back requiring him to shift his sleep schedule. The night time is the right time for gremlins to run amok. I am up today at 7am. Fell asleep last night a little after midnight.

2.) Tend to my health, particularly through exercise. Fell off that wagon over the winter and have been trying to get more active in the last couple of weeks. Until I hurt my knee again, I was on a roll for a minute there. But I worked with my trainer on Monday and am still sore as the dickens in my arms and back. It’s a better kind of pain, worthwhile pain. The aim is to work out vigorously 3-4 times each week from hereon out.

3.) Embrace thriftiness. Time to save money. Used  to be able to set money aside in savings and need to get back to that.

4.) Take some downtime. Stay home more doing things that need to be done around here. De-stress from all the BS.

5.) Regain contact with some of my people, especially my Grandma. Haven’t been calling her much over this past year. My best girlfriend’s grandfather recently passed away. My buddy in Omaha called the other day but I missed it. Another buddy in Mississippi has reached out to me on occasion, but I’m never around. Haven’t talked to my Dad on the phone in many months because I kept missing his calls. Haven’t heard from my brother either. Or my uncle. Or my cousin. Gotta eventually reconnect.

6.) Stay away from certain places and people. Bad influences who stress me out and bring little to nothing to the table of real value. Tired of dealing with idiots and assholes. Took up too much of my time in the past.

7.) Play in healthier ways. Ceased transcribing portions of books years back. Ceased painting and creative writing attempts. Ceased learning to make videos. All are better uses of my time and energy now.

8.) Resume counseling. Been about a year since I quit. Call her up again and schedule visits.

9.) Form better habits and routines. Like keeping up on my various email accounts more regularly. Taking time for writing and watching lectures in the morning hours. Go on walks now that the weather permits. Keep up on my schedule and improve on what needs to be done. This one will require more detailed planning from day to day.

10.) Imagine the possibilities. A lot of opportunities await the future. I miss dreaming of constructing a better reality. Been too bogged down day to day. It can become much better without that monkey on my back pulling the strings. That gremlin only has as much power as I afford it. Those days are over now. Thankfully come to my senses. It can be better from hereon out.

The writings and podcasts of James Altucher didn’t fall on deaf ears and blind eyes, even though I’ve been stewing on them for a couple of years now. He’s a godsend in his own right and I’m glad people like him exist to share their stories and provide ideas to others in similar straits. Lots of interesting resources available out there. Many good books have come my way and deserve deeper scrutiny and attention paid. I miss that side of myself who used to could focus for long spells on such matters. And I understand this transition won’t be easy. But it feels so necessary, so entirely overdue. It’s worth making a change, for myself and my loved ones. I know it’s going to be okay.

Serves us right

Just got back in from heading to the “beach” with my buddy, soaking in some rays until the wind got so bad that after only 45 minutes we decided to retreat. Had sand blasted everywhere! Especially in my scalp. Took two washings to get it all off me.

Anyway, while we were driving back I got to thinking about modern life, as I’m prone to do, and where it’s headed and how we got to this point. He and I had been chatting about automated/self-driving cars during lunch (which the news now refers to as “autonomous cars” — ugh, so much for driver autonomy — nearly everything these days looks to be blatant propaganda). This is all part of a larger ongoing conversation between us. And it dawned on me today that, despite so many claiming America’s fall began around the time of the World Wars, I actually believe it stems further back in time. Perhaps at the Civil War. Allow me to explain.

The Civil War was a major display of power by the (Northern) United States government in refusing to allow the Confederacy to secede from the Union. Now—without getting into details about the Civil War specifically since that’s not the issue here today—what right did the North have to refuse to allow Southern states to go their own way on their own volition? Well, it wasn’t about Right, it was about MIGHT. The North prevailed and the South was kept against its citizens’ collective will. Why? Likely economic reasons primarily. And for purposes of furthering power.

What’s most interesting are the consequences that resulted from that move. Southern states, generally speaking, remain among the poorest states in the Union with two states (Arkansas and Mississippi) boasting the poorest education systems, to boot. And consider this — had the South been allowed to secede, along with the black slaves who lived there, nowadays it would be Southerners primarily blamed for racism, slavery, and likely all other perceived wrongs in U.S. history. It’s highly possible the South would’ve eventually abolished slavery on its own (but how they might’ve gone about it probably would’ve differed from how it actually wound up being done). Slavery was quickly becoming an outdated mode of economics within what were rising to become First World nations. But either way, because the South wasn’t allowed to go its own way and figure out its race relations situation on its own, now the entire country winds up blamed for that historic era. Even the Germans who settled in the Midwest in the 1870s and later, AFTER slavery was already abolished. They too commonly wind up lumped into the generic category of “White People” and are disdained equally as if they too somehow benefited from the black slave’s historic plight.

The ironic point I’m driving at here is that had the power of the (Northern) government left the South to secede, ya’ll wouldn’t be dealing with some of the societal problems cropping up in terms of race relations since the 1960s. The freed blacks (approximately 10% of all blacks brought to the U.S., according to Thomas Sowell) tended to live in the northeast where they were assimilating and doing quite well educationally and financially. The onslaught of Southern blacks with a whole different background of experiences migrating to the North caused all kinds of chaos people were unprepared to deal with, which in turn did lead to a rise in racial hostility (of course, in all fairness, the North wasn’t too pleased when Southern white folks moved up that way either and clearly stated so at the time). Different cultures, as Dr. Sowell laid out so well in his books Intellectuals and Race and Black Rednecks and White Liberals. Didn’t turn out to mesh well. Most black folks had more in common with white southerners than they did with northerners of either race. Different European ethnic groups populated separate regions, as we know. Not a lot of Italians roaming around Alabama talking about how their great-great-grandpas were born on that land.  Heh

Anyway, the major problem of resolving racial tensions could’ve been left for the South to iron out on its own since it had the largest population of black people (and still does). But no. The North meddled and now the whole country is in a tizzy since it’s assumed that all white folks automatically possess an advantage over all black folks (cue the racism diatribe). The North could’ve handled their own affairs and enjoyed the black folks who were successfully assimilating into their New England culture and left the South to handle their population in accordance with their own culture and values (and as these have been evolving in the time since). But no. Oh no. That didn’t happen. And now we see how many Southerners, of both/all races, are dependent on government welfare, both as individuals and as whole states. Mississippi would go bankrupt immediately if it attempted to secede today — too dependent on Federal aid.

When the South lost the war, its culture also took a blow. Southerners were then expected to assimilate and accept Northern values. Never happened. Resistance and rebellion turned more passive aggressive, yet it didn’t go away. Just simmered and stewed ever since. AND the black folks with generational ties to the Southland spread out throughout the nation and contributed what we now know of as the ghetto mentality. Why? Because ghettoism is a spin-off from Southern culture. Sounds strange, I know, but if you look closely enough you can see the similarities (once again, Dr. Thomas Sowell did a superb job of explaining this — way better than I can attempt here). So, in a real sense, had the Civil War not gone as it did and had this nation been broken in two, far-flung places like Minneapolis and Los Angeles might not be home to so many black ghettos today. Why would they be? The Northern blacks were highly educated and rising in power and prestige. They weren’t facing the same obstacles as the Southern blacks were, quite obviously. Jim Crow likely wouldn’t have arisen outside of the South either.

It might’ve been nice to have two social experiments operating simultaneously while influenced by differing cultures and values. I wonder what solutions and/or compromises might otherwise have been reached. But instead people were forced to be hodge-podged together, brewing deepening resentment that became a hallmark of the U.S. South that has since spread to infect the rest of the nation.

And I say all this as someone originally from the South. Through trying to force people’s hand, more trouble was caused for everybody in the long run. Go figure. But that’s the way life tends to go. Problems usually are best solved locally, not from some top-down dictates coming from officials living far away (like in New York or D.C.) who are directly unfamiliar with the culture and peoples in question. But history has already been decided, so there’s not much point in pondering what might’ve been, I guess. Too late now.

Been thinking a lot on racial issues again lately, obviously. Seems to increasingly be a hot button topic, especially within universities (myself also having been a Social Sciences major). I do contest the popular narrative being floated around these days. But I don’t write any of this in malice or intending disrespect. Just pondering is all. Wondering where this story may lead from here on out. Lots of blame being tossed around. Lots of talk of inherent “privilege.” Judging people by skin tone instead of as individuals in their own right. That is unsettling to watch ramp up.

We can’t change the past. None of us can.

Was thinking the other day about how few Southerners owned plantations or slaves. People like to say all of society benefited from slavery, but they forget about the poor laborers who were forced to contend with slave labor in order to survive. Plus the immigrants who moved here after slavery was abolished, as already mentioned above. Yet we’re all just lumped together under the same heading and categorically dismissed (unless one happens to be Hispanic, then a separate category is permitted for their Caucasians). Ralph Nader, to take one example, is actually a Lebanese-American. I am a Southern-born half-Arab. Most people I know up here in this part of the Midwest are of German descent. Or that plus Swedish descent. Yet we’re all chastised equally. Basically, we’re White so we suck. Inherently. Automatically. According to some people, that is.

Just been thinking is all. Now off to do something else.

Sunday afternoon journaling on “The Red Pill” creator

Been laying low lately. Haven’t taken time to blog much on here in recent weeks (or months) not because I lack things to talk about but probably because I haven’t felt up to opening any big cans of worms. Call it burnout or fatigue with social issues. Still watching videos and reading articles nearly as much as always (on all sorts of topics), just not commenting on what I’m reading and watching since I’m tired of getting dragged down into the muck. Did plenty of that already in years prior. But likely will eventually feel up to it again in due time.

Today I was watching The Rubin Report where he had Cassie Jaye on talking about her documentary “The Red Pill.” Haven’t watched the documentary yet and so can’t comment on that. What struck me was how charitable she seemed toward Paul Elam and A Voice For Men’s site though she proclaimed to have started out on that venture as a feminist. I agree with her assessment that feminism is an ideology and a quasi-religion and have expressed similar sentiments in the past, but what gets me here is how she seems to view the Men’s Rights Movement as wholly different than that, whereas I see it shaping up along analogous lines. Plenty of MRAs have thrown a fit when I’ve stated that, but I watched and read a whole lot of their material since late 2012 and was unable to come to any other conclusion. Even while I agree with a number of the points they make and would like to see them succeed in garnering more attention for men’s rights and perspectives. I don’t hate them as a group, just not a fan of ideologues in general, whether male or female. That’s been my take on it and so I have wandered away from gender-bent movements overall. Would rather take issue with feminists and SJWs on my own turf without allying with any other movement.

Cassie Jaye mentioned she had basically gotten out of religion in her early adulthood and stated that feminism wound up reminding her of that period of time once she “awoke” to how feminism operates these days. I can’t help but see all of these movements as ideologically driven at their core, including the so-called “MGTOW” and the MRM. Maybe I’m being too knee-jerk when it comes to ideologies, I don’t know, but I just have no time or energy for any form of group-think. Not when it comes to a religion and not when it comes to any political party or social movement either. Sure, the MRM remains in a fledgling state and on the surface looks nowhere near as concerning as does feminism, but give it time. The divide between the sexes prophesied by George Orwell is what I see coming out of these movements expanding their scope and influence as time unfolds.

That Cassie Jaye doesn’t take the hostility on display within the MRM as anything more than “satire” is a bit disconcerting to me, having read and listened to plenty from Paul Elam over time. I don’t like the guy and will keep saying I don’t see him as a leader worth following. Period. He hurt his own movement through his own actions and choices, as well as through some of those he chose to bring near him to help build the movement (John Hembling immediately springs to mind). People will say that this is all well and good for an outsider like myself to stand on the sidelines and judge what they’re trying to do, but since I’m not in the ring actually doing something then my opinion isn’t worth a damn. Fair enough. Still. It is what it is. I can’t in good conscience direct men that I know to their sites and channels when I really wish I could. Largely because most men I know wouldn’t dig their content much either.

Anyway, time to get ready to head out so I must wrap this up. Haven’t watched her film so I can’t say much more on her shifting perspective. Will finish watching her interview on The Rubin Report later today. I would like to see men’s rights taken more seriously and perhaps it takes an obnoxious movement to help get the word out. I don’t know. Just know that I’m not a fan of most folks in either the Feminist or MRM/”MGTOW” camps. Both brought some good points and arguments to light, and both then wound up going where I could no longer follow. Take what’s useful from both and keep on trucking, I guess.