“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.

Sitting with “Splitting the Atom” once again

It’s easy. Don’t let it go. Don’t lose it.

These lyrics continue to invade my thoughts at random. How I perceive this is it’s saying that indeed it is easy to let it go and lose it. In short, to lose some important part of ourselves. Therefore aim to resist doing so. And that can’t help but take diligent effort, especially considering all that we’re up against at present. Modern dragons are every bit as ferocious as those of ancient legends, despite the different shapes they may be taking now.

It is easy to let go of what matters more. This concern strikes me regularly enough. Too easy to be lulled into an abyss that proves unworthwhile. A matter plenty of us continue to wrestle with.

Conjures up questions on why we’re motivated as we are. How much of it is worth striving to change and what is better off being accepted? It will divvy up differently depending on each individual. Can’t help but do so.

Full lyrics follow:

The baby was born
Nettles and Ferns
The evening it chokes
The candle it burns
This disguise covers
Bitter lies
Repeating the joke
The meaning it dies
Pass me a coat I’m not afraid to leave
I’m letting you know
I know what you need
I’ll turn you around
This beautiful town
And then you’ll believe it when your eyes then deceive you

It’s easy, don’t let it go
It’s easy, don’t let it go
It’s easy, don’t let it go
Don’t Lose It

Its getting colder outside
Your rented space
They shadow box and they
Paper chase
It never stops
And we’ll never learn
No hope without dope
The jobless return
The bankers have bailed
The mighty retreat
The pleasure it fails
At the end of the week
You take it or leave
Or what you receive
To what you receive
Is eternited leave

It’s easy, dont let it go
It’s easy, dont let it go
It’s easy, dont let it go
Don’t lose it

Incandescent light at doors
In adolescent menopause
In little clicks you got the music stops
The needle sticks and the penny drops
The summer’s gone before you know
The muffled drums of relentless flow
You’re looking at stars that give you Vertigo
The sun’s still burning and dust will blow
Honey-scars I’ll keep you near
Our blood is gold nothing to fear
We killed the time and I love you dear
A kiss of wine we’ll disappear
The last of the last particles
Divisible invisible
The last of the last particles
Divisible invisible

Haunting song that lingers on the imagination…if you let it.

“Reggie Yates’ Extreme UK: Men at War” (full BBC film) — plus my thoughts

Well, well, well…first time hearing of and watching this today. But, then again, I am already familiar with a number of the names and handles mentioned or shown therein, the exception being Milo. Known about Roosh V since that Jordan Owen and Aurini film debacle back last year once it finally flamed out, and one of the big problems there apparently had to do with Roosh V’s involvement. So last year I went and read his supposedly “satirical” piece titled “How to Stop Rape,” which you can still read on his site (now including a disclaimer after the backlash he received).

Honestly, point blank, I think Roosh is a piece of shit, having watched several of his videos and read his posts back then before settling on that as my final assessment. And I think people who willingly choose to associate with and defend the guy bring drama upon themselves. Would you want someone treating and viewing your little sister like that? How about your daughter? Or your grand-daughter? Or your mother? To go so far as to school other men to look at life and women that way is very low, at least in my book.

He has his free speech obviously, seeing as how he’s still talking and writing and performing lectures to paying audiences throughout the world. But he can’t realistically expect for everyone to be pleased and complacent when confronted with his message. I’d cuss him out if he happened to walk into my bar, no doubt about it. Would make a big scene over an asshole like that with no qualms about doing so. I can be a major bitch when the situation seems to call for it. He can speak freely, well, so can I and others. Same goes if he were advocating getting other men drunk and trying to rape them. Or if he were a woman who talked openly about trying to get men drunk so she could take advantage of and rape men or women. It’s low-life bullshit either way you slice it and deserves to be called out. I personally have no patience for such nonsense.

There may be fine lines in certain cases, but when you go out with the intention of not hesitating and not taking no for an answer, you’ve stepped over a line already. Rationalizing and “reasoning” can indeed take a person into strange places…

Such talk is disgusting. Not to mention the rumors I read about how Roosh contracted STDs and spread them without concern. Just…ugh…ick. Like he doesn’t have a conscience at all. Me personally, I want nothing to do with that joker or anyone who chooses to align with his beliefs and outlook. Firm stance there.

But, it deserves to be stated, Roosh is not an MRA (men’s rights activist). He’s a PUA (pick-up artist), and there is a difference. But he does still qualify as a “manospherian.”

Anyway, carrying on…I actually thought Reggie was pretty fair in this BBC production. He seemed fairly open to learning about the “manosphere,” though he’d need to dig a lot deeper to gain a better understanding of the political and social arguments and concerns within the men’s rights movement. Takes a good bit of time and research to wrap one’s mind around all of that, whether you ultimately wind up agreeing on all points or not.

Can’t say I’m surprised the so-called “MGTOWs” overall chose to opt out and threw a paranoid fit over the thought of being interviewed.  lol  And that’s why I can’t take those dudes too seriously. A man actually going his own way and determining life for himself and not being ashamed to state it plain — that I can grant respect (aside from Roosh V and his ilk). But a herd of complainers with little actual ambition to change a thing that they have direct control over, wringing their hands in pleasured thoughts over the coming Armageddon, fantasizing about how scared we’ll all someday be of them and how they’ll someday rise in power by default in a collapsed society — that shit gets straight-up nutty after a while. And when you step to them and tell them off (even after they come at you first, unprovoked), what do they do? Accuse you of “shaming” them, cry victim, and eventually scuttle off back into obscurity, typical keyboard warriors destined to remain as such. Nothing new there. That’s been known to plenty of us for at least a couple years or more in terms of this internet phenomenon. Cowards. They don’t like being called that, and I don’t blanketly apply the term, but it goes for those it fits.

I get worried and nervous over all kinds of shit, particularly in recent years after my confidence took a big hit. But I still show my face and voice my concerns and reasoning without hiding or pretending. And I mold my life and work so as to accommodate my core life choices and preferred ways of being, not the other way around. We all have this option. Who doesn’t? Granted, I’m not sending threatening texts and emails to people, but that’s not my prerogative. I suppose if it’s yours then you would wish to remain anonymous.

Am I picking on the “manosphere” again tonight? Maybe a little. Mostly just irritated that this sort of footage isn’t actually out of line with how so many of these “manospherians” wind up perceived by outsiders looking in. It’s not Reggie making them look like assholes — it’s their own selves. Not all of them, mind you, but we wind up associated in the eyes of others with that which we willingly choose to affiliate ourselves. Right or wrong. And maybe some shouldn’t care much about others’ opinions and should continue living life as they see fit and improving their movements from the inside so far as they’re able. I don’t necessarily begrudge folks for aiming to reform what’s already in place. Just that our affiliations are our responsibility oftentimes, so it shouldn’t be surprising when we wind up tarred and feathered right along with the others when the time comes. Led me to thinking I’d be better off being strung up for my own thoughts, ideas, choices and behaviors, not somebody else’s whom I have no control over. And that goes for gender-bent movements just as much as for any other political or social movement under the sun. Maybe the lesson to take from this is to choose our affiliations more wisely. And scrutinize everything we’re being told, from every source.

An excerpt from “The Art of Being” by Erich Fromm

Haven’t transcribed on here in a long time. Found my copy of Erich Fromm’s The Art of Being (1989) today and so feel like sharing a bit from it, beginning on page 84:

However, stressing the One in man must not in an undialectical fashion lead to the denial of the fact that man is also an individual; that, in fact, each person is a unique individual not identical with anyone ever to be born (perhaps with the exception of identical twins). Only paradoxical thinking, so much a part of Eastern logic, permits expression of the full reality: Man is a unique individual—man’s individuality is sham and unreal. Man is “this and that” and man is “neither this nor that.” The paradoxical fact is that the deeper I experience my own or another’s unique individuality, the clearer I see through myself and him the reality of universal man, freed from all individual qualities, “the Zen Buddhists’ man without rank and without title.”

These considerations lead to the problem of the value and dangers of individualism and, related to it, the psychological study of the individual. It is very apparent that, at present, individuality and individualism are highly esteemed and widely praised as values and as personal and cultural goals. But the value of individuality is very ambiguous. On the one hand, it contains the element of liberation from authoritarian structures that prevent the autonomous development of a person. If self-knowledge serves to become aware of one’s true self, and to develop it rather than to introject a “foreign” self, imposed by the authorities, it is of great human value. In fact, the positive aspect of self-knowledge and psychology are so widely emphasized that it is scarcely necessary to add more to this phrase.

But it is extremely necessary to say something about the negative side of the cult of individuality, and its to relation to psychology. One reason for this cult is obvious: The more individuality disappears in fact, the more it is exalted in words. Industry, television, habits of consumption pay homage to the individuality of the persons they manipulate: There is the name of the bank teller in his window and the initials on the handbag. In addition, the individuality of commodities is stressed: The alleged differences between cars, cigarettes, toothpaste, which are essentially the same (in the same price class), serve the purpose of creating the illusion of the individual man or woman freely choosing individual things. There is little awareness that the individuality is, at best, one of insignificant differences, for in all their essential features commodities and human beings have lost all individuality.

The apparent individuality is cherished as a precious possession. Even if people don’t own capital, they own their individuality. Although they are not individuals, they have much individuality, and they are eager and proud to cultivate it. Since this individuality is one of small differences, they give the small, trivial differences the aspect of important, meaningful features.

Contemporary psychology has promoted and satisfied this interest in “individuality.” People think about their “problems,” talk about all the little details of their childhood history, but often what they say is glorified gossip about themselves and others, using psychological terms and concepts instead of the less sophisticated and old-fashioned gossip.

Supporting this illusion of individuality through trivial differences, contemporary psychology has a still more important function; by teaching how people ought to react under the influence of different stimuli, psychologists become an important instrument for the manipulation of others and of oneself. Behaviorism has created a whole science that teaches the art of manipulation. Many business firms make it a condition for employment that their prospective employees submit to personality tests. Many books teach the individual how to behave, in order to impress people of the value of their own personality package or of the value of the commodity they sell. By being useful in all these respects, one branch of contemporary psychology has become an important part of modern society.

While this type of psychology is useful economically and as an illusion-producing ideology, it is harmful to human beings because it tends to increase their alienation. It is fraudulent when it pretends to be based on the ideas of “self-knowledge” as the humanistic tradition, up to Freud, had conceived it.

The opposite to adjustment psychology is radical, because it goes to the roots; it is critical, because it knows that conscious thought is mostly a fabric of illusions and falsehood. It is “salvific,” because it hopes that the true knowledge of oneself and others liberates man and its conducive to his well-being. For anyone interested in psychological exploration it is necessary to be intensely aware of the fact that these two kinds of psychology have little more in common than the name, and that they follow contrary goals.

Stopped on page 86.

A bit irritated that my blog’s theme has reset itself and insists on italicizing everything, showing no distinctions even where I apply font changes. Grrr..  Ah well. Ya’ll can read a print version to see where he placed emphasis. Sorry about that.

“Joe Rogan Experience #634 – Abby Martin”

REALLY enjoyed that podcast. Very worthwhile.

A whole lot has changed since the 1900s…

While I understand the desire to maximize our experience of freedom to the greatest extent possible, we run into a number of problems in a society this heavily populated and technologically-sophisticated. I’ve said it a bunch and will say it again — a substantial difference in most-modern life compared against how people lived a mere century or two ago is that nowadays there are a WHOLE LOT more of us crammed in urban areas and we do not know (are incapable of knowing) most others who surround us in these shared living spaces. We’ve long-since left the times when people lived in relatively small communities where they were at least roughly acquainted with everybody therein (even if only through family reputation), and it doesn’t look like we’ll be returning to such ways of life anytime soon. In short, a major aspect of most-modern-day life is living among/around and interacting with countless strangers.

The reason this matters and is a massive game-changer is obviously compounded by various cultural inputs, meaning we’re not even living among people who necessarily identify with the culture(s) we do. And that seriously complicates shit, because with culture comes values. In the U.S., we have numerous subcultures that vary widely in the ways people communicate, what religion they’re likely to embrace or at least be exposed to, differences in attitudes on things like corporal punishment and what constitutes reasonable self-defense/reactions to disrespect, etc. We have people in this country from all around the globe, some of whom have lived here for generations, others who haven’t been here long at all. And we’re saturated with an untold number of ideologies varying according to which faction(s) one wishes to associate with.

A sea of diverse strangers, more or less depending on one’s particular locale.

And yet some still seem to be laboring under the fantasy that the vast majority of us see things in some similar sort of fashion, at least so much that we’d like to think most of these other strangers out here share similar values and will act accordingly. That appears to be a false assumption.

Kinda like the difference between, on one hand, the man who learns the system so as to play within it in a bid to succeed, and, on the other hand, the man who learns the system so as to game it, even if that winds up doing harm to others in the process. See, the truth is that there are a number of people out here who simply don’t care about you or what you’re trying to do or what you value most. This shouldn’t be a secret, considering we all know of some of these types who are hell-bent on doing whatever they want regardless of the social cost to others. We hear about it on the news and from our friends and family members who’ve been impacted and/or we experience this issue directly ourselves.

Once again, we’re not all on the same team. And in keeping that in mind, how much trust should we reasonably extend to others? I don’t believe there is a magic, universally-applicable answer here. Rather, we’re prompted to treat others with scrutiny until we have good reason to do otherwise. That is, until trust is established.

But how does one go about establishing trust when most people we’re surrounded by will remain strangers to us?

Well, we obviously can’t establish trust with most folks. Just not possible. And we’re never really certain which stranger out of the bunch will pose a problem for us. Hence why we have laws in place in an attempt to curb unwanted behaviors through the threat of possible legal action. And yes, due to the complexity of the society we live within and residents of each state having some say on local conditions and laws, we’ve constructed a complicated legal nightmare to traverse in this country.

But some of these laws are quite useful. For example, statutory limits placed on youths’ ability to consent to sex with grown adults. Considering parents can’t be around at all times throughout their children’s upbringing (we not living in old agrarian times anymore), they are unable to play the role of overseer where as historically parents arguably had a great deal more control in that arena. So we created laws to try to deter adults from sexually messing with youths, and as to be expected, some of those laws have been misused and abused over time. I sincerely wish we could get around that, and perhaps people of tomorrow will figure out better ways of doing so. But as it stands today, there’s a need for protection over the most vulnerable persons in our society from those who could potentially present the most harm by attempting to use youths for their own sexual desires. If parents could take such people out back and string them up from a tree, undoubtedly more than a few would try that. But we’re expected to remain civilized and to let the governing bodies sort out and punish such offenses.

We can’t simply trust random people to do right by us, let alone to do right by young people who tend to be too trusting for their own good. We know this. This is not a secret. And yet some play with the idea and come up with thinking that such laws should be removed because they’re illogical and arbitrarily determined. Many laws involve rather arbitrarily decided lines drawn in the sand, from the age to begin collecting social security payments to the legal drinking age out at bars to when you’re legally allowed to apply for a driver’s license. If we were to make an argument about the arbitrariness of age requirements in legal codes, we’d have to swipe countless laws from the books and reinvent whole new ways of determining appropriate points in development for whatever is in question. And what I’ve heard advocated was that individuals being assessed on a case-by-case basis would be fairer. Perhaps that’s true that it might be fairer for each individual, but in a society this heavily populated that just isn’t feasible.

It’s obviously not my love for Big Government or a desire to feel like I’m little more than a number that propels my thinking here, seeing as how I’ve raged against both concerns plenty enough on here. But I also am forced to be realistic with where we stand today. Times have radically changed in a few short decades and we’re embarking in a new direction, whether we individually like it or not. There will be restrictions and lines drawn in the sand all over the place. The best we can likely do is try to sway where the lines are drawn, but to eliminate them entirely? Good luck with that.

And that’s why I’m not too concerned with Justicar’s arguments, other than worrying about his expressed views pandering to those who do wish to take advantage of youths, as if we need anymore of those types cropping up and acting out. All societies draw lines in the sand, and that’s essentially what a legal system is. Our moral concerns may vary over time and laws are updated in response to that, and sometimes those laws go too far and wind up criminalizing some of the people they were intended to initially protect. That’s not good, and we should call those cases out. But I also don’t think it’s wise to throw the baby out with the bathwater by assuming that since a law can be misapplied that it therefore must have no value at all. That does not appear to be the case when we look at age of consent laws overall.

But I’m tired of that fool and have devoted enough attention to his mind games for one day.

“Cultural Marxism” (videos by Anekantavad)

“Cultural Marxism”:

“Cultural Marxism II”:

“Cultural Marxism III”:

Skipping part 4 in the series and heading on to “Cultural Marxism V” (including actual quotes from Karl Marx):

“Cultural Marxism VI”:

“Re: A Brief History of Feminism (Cultural Marxism VII?)”:

“Cultural Marxism VIII”:

Those were the best videos, IMO, out of a series created by Andy back in 2011.

I present these videos here simply as another perspective on the matter, considering how frequently I hear and read the term “cultural marxism” lobbed around these days online. Andy’s views don’t necessarily encapsulate my own views on this topic entirely, though I do share his recognition that this term is used so broadly and vaguely (plus has very little to do with Karl Marx’s actual expressed views) to where it’s rendered nearly nonsensical and is incapable of being accurately descriptive. It’s become a popular buzzword (at least in certain circles) lacking in clear content, which of course leads to the term obscuring more than it illuminates.

Tangled paradoxes

In each corridor I go in search of answers another paradox shows itself. Was just chatting last night with a buddy and this topic arose, since I can’t shut up about it. I’m always left frustrated by how all seemingly good ideas still wind us humans up in what appear to be unwinnable conundrums.

If we fight some other power to keep it from overtaking us (as in the cases of countries waging war), we risk our own society becoming damaged in the process. In the case of warfare: through maintaining standing armies and the risks (and empire-building) that go along with that; through attacking foreign nationals who very often are mere civilians not belonging to the extremist groups said to be presenting a direct threat to us (which then diminishes people’s respect for our nation’s military actions and gives rise to protests among our own citizens); through the exorbitant costs associated with waging war and how that impacts our economy overall, including how the military wound up transformed into a permanent employment sector in its own right; through soldiers potentially winding up psychologically or physically impacted as a result (and how that then impacts their families and the morale of the nation); through corporations finding ways to cash in on the war games via State contracts, which then provides them with an incentive to further lobby to keep us engaged in war where it can prove profitable; etc.

That’s just a cursory look at how ongoing warfare has led to negative consequences with lasting impact on a nation and its people and their way of life. And that’s not even going into how militarization has seeped into domestic police forces and influenced their tactics used.

See, the problem here for me is that I cannot figure out how we’re not ultimately going to wind up in a totalitarian setup eventually, somehow, some way. All roads appear to lead in that direction, regardless of people’s good intentions or what great ideas they might originally be operating with. Because technologies have changed the way the whole game of Life is played anymore, as have modern economics. The complexity is inescapable at this point, and yet history has taught us that the devil is in the details. What this might mean here is that the means employed determine the end outcome, unrealistic utopian fantasies set aside since they hold no real bearing. And it also means that any highly complex setup is vulnerable to corruption and ‘siphoning’ at various levels therein (as in the case of corporations getting into the mix and seeking ways to profit, even though through doing so they add greater complexity, which then further obscures the total reality of the situation, making it all the more cumbersome to apply necessary and effective checks and balances). Economic efficiency becomes a high priority, which comes with its own drawbacks in terms of how we humans are expected to mold ourselves to fit these demands. Before we know it, maintaining the system in question at all costs becomes a primary focus, because we’ve come to depend upon it and are accustomed to it and basically form an irrational attachment to it, even when it’s demonstrably creating more problems than it’s capable of solving.

The dog days are over…

If we minimized the size, scope and roles of our government, we’d potentially leave ourselves open and vulnerable to other nations that fortify and strengthen their own. And if we further strengthen and enlarge our own, this cycle of ramping up never ends — forward to totalitarianism. Can’t truly opt out or escape since the problem’s gone global and shows no signs of slowing anytime soon. This places us in the precarious situation of forcing all other nations to stand down against our demands, lest we wind up being made to stand down to theirs. MAD (mutually-assured destruction) is still with us — it never left and it likely never will.

If we don’t secure our borders, we risk being invaded, if only by an onslaught of immigrants who then wind up dramatically impacting our culture. But if we close our borders, we’re trapping ourselves inside every bit as much as we’re working to keep others out. And, realistically speaking, how does one truly and sufficiently go about securing a nation’s borders? The most determined will likely still find a way, especially along coastlines. This leads back to a massive top-down operation which is only possible under a powerful government. Which then, again, helps pave the way toward totalitarianism.

Another buddy and I were discussing the other day his concerns over climate change and what possible options people have at this point for reversing this trend (if one accepts climate change as a human-exacerbated phenomenon). He speaks of wind and solar power and people growing their own food and living simply. That all sounds well and good, BUT, again, climate change is only one concern among many that humans face today. We can’t put all of our energy toward addressing that, not when that’d leave us wide open in other areas. (See what I said above already about warfare and immigration.) Not to mention that the vast majority of people, here in the U.S. and elsewhere worldwide, don’t view this issue as being the numero uno concern to tackle. Plus, plenty of people are open to nuclear power because they’d rather that than accept drastic changes to their lifestyles and be forced to make sacrifices. Beyond that, these massive wind turbines and complex solar panels are sophisticated technologies requiring corporate manufacturing. Keeps us tied into the money game, which then keeps us supporting this global economic situation, whether we want to or not and likely to humanity’s detriment in the long-run. But it’s inescapable at this juncture.

In continuing our conversation on the matter, I told this buddy that if it came down to jumping on board with a top-down scheme that claims to be capable of handling administering such an undertaking as retooling our energy infrastructure, I’ll personally have to side with not. Not that I don’t care about the environment and not that I don’t think renewable energy is something worth striving toward (or getting back to), but the top-down scheme is yet another avenue toward totalitarianism. It helps pave that road to hell, all good intentions aside. This depresses him to think about, understandably so. But consider how China behaves as if its manufacturing base doesn’t care and how our nation cannot do much to change that. Even if we boycott their products, at this point they’re too powerful and it’s already too late (Thanks WALMART and other big-box stores). Probably shouldn’t have shipped so much of our manufacturing infrastructure to that country in the first place. But what’s done is done — our lack of foresight has screwed us once again.

This all ties in with conversations on how “Leftists” talk the talk when it comes to “green living,” but in reality they’re as tied in and dependent on the current status quo as the rest of us. Driving a Prius doesn’t really change a thing. Small drops in the bucket might make us feel better, like we’re at least doing our part to try to improve environmental conditions, but very often it’s just another illusion. Why? Because we live in a massive infrastructure, a concrete jungle, powered by heavy dependence on oil and coal, and even if we switched over to nuclear power that wouldn’t imply our biggest worries are behind us. Possibly Chernobyl-izing more arable land sounds every bit as folly as anything else humanity has managed to step in thus far.

Sound pessimistic? Yeah, I know. Yet another reason for why I’m not having kids.

Any and all attempts to reverse these trends or to take an alternative path is fraught with equally bad, if not much worse, consequences. We have a massive global population and must contend with the competition that arises over resources as a result. And the complexity of the technologies we in developed nations rely most on are fueled by the big money game. One way or another, major corporations are here to stay (unless we manage to across-the-board knock ourselves back into the Stone Age somehow). Government can either attempt to regulate them or become enmeshed and intertwined with them, the latter already being the case. So big government’s here and big business is here and neither are going anywhere. Any ideas we come up with to try to overhaul life as we know it will depend on these entities aiding us. Because asking them to stand aside and not obstruct us just isn’t realistic anymore. All possible solutions will be handled by some sort of centralized power, top-down system. These entities indeed intend to maintain the power they have already and to expand it where possible. That is their driving goal, for better or worse.

And this is where someone like me can’t sufficiently adapt. Have to so long as I’m here, but really resenting where it all appears to be heading. What other alternatives are feasible? Split this country into several sovereign communities (as it once was intended to be) where each does as it wishes and no centralized power can dictate, and we’ll probably wind up invaded by both Mexico and Canada by next week. Simply because then they could. We’d be rendered defenseless. So the “traditional” dream is dead, folks. I too like the idea of people living on the land and staying out of the muck so long as they’re able. Best of luck to them! I don’t begrudge people for doing what they think is best during what time remains that they can get away with it. But I see limits on the horizon. Eventually the old ways won’t be allowed to fly any longer, and they won’t prove sustainable or practical for most. Not in this setup.

Welcome to modern life.

I don’t know what to say to us right about now. Feels like nearly all advice is pointless. People are going to do what people are going to do. And I suspect some of those unable or unwilling to adjust will turn destructive as a result. That’s to be expected from obstructed people whose lives feel devoid of meaning, made to compete with machines that grow more sophisticated by the year, made to play a game that not everybody can win at (or even nominally succeed at). Such is modern life. Some will give up before even leaving the starting line. And I won’t be surprised if a growing number of people choose not to have children as well…kind of like caged animals in a zoo reacting to being kept in captivity. Won’t surprise me a bit. And there’s where we get into another arm of what will pave the way toward totalitarianism. The trend is already being labeled as “domestic terrorism,” though I prefer to simplify it by calling it what it is at root: insanity.

Insanity, as I prefer to refer to it as, can (and will) take many forms. People today sure do love to diagnose one another with various psychiatric labels, but in truth we’re all struggling to various degrees, pseudo-scientific explanations aside. Some cope better than others, but it’s mostly a matter of putting on an acceptable facade. We really have no idea what goes on behind the masks others show to the world, much as we love to speculate. Some insanity plays out in rather benign ways and is being catered to and exploited by Big Pharma. More severe cases warrant lock-up in mental institutions or prisons (which are fast becoming the same thing). All of that already plays into the power-structure-that-be. And when someone flips out and decides to go psycho on some random group of people, this reinforces the necessity of expanding domestic police forces and is then also used to justify them beefing up their security measures. Which corporations exploit by peddling wares to law enforcement agencies that allow for greater surveillance of the citizenry. This paranoid panic drummed up among the citizens through the popular media encourages us to turn on one another and to snitch to authorities, seeing as how we’re not all on the same team and regard one another more often than not as strangers worthy of suspicion. So we feed the beast, through our own actions or through alerting authorities to “questionable suspects,” and around and around it all spirals.

Where it ends, nobody knows…

Sound like a happy and productive future? Sound like something worth celebrating? Sound like a cause for optimism?

People say that we somehow need to regain the reins of this System, to figure out a way to subdue it and overhaul it, but time for that has passed. We’re now committed to it. We necessarily depend on it while simultaneously fearing its scope and power. The System is entrenched, and we’re entrenched within it, both as employees and citizens dependent on everything it offers in order to maintain our livelihoods. And what alternative is there?

Fight it how? Lobby to change a few laws? ha  Go for it, folks. Try that. As was brought up in a recent conversation, the moderate people do indeed wind up making concessions and compromises that inevitably just dig them deeper into this mess. The so-called “radicals” on the fringes, misguided as they may seem and indeed be, are the only ones willing to make a big stink, and how many do you imagine will wind up imprisoned for their troubles? But, then again, what alternative can the radicals bring to the table either? Thousands of communities going their own ways apparently won’t work anymore. A break in law and order would just result in opposing groups taking advantage of one another and seizing key resources for themselves. Because that’s where we stand today — saturated with several decades of easy living, forever seeking the easy way out, competing and pushing boundaries where we think we can get away with it — yet still up against other powers-that-be.

That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of good people in the world. But it only takes a calloused, self-serving, social-contract-dismissing minority interest to fuck it up for everybody else.

So there we have it. Where can we as individuals go from here when this is the outlook? Is this merely a problem in my own perception? What is still worth looking forward to and striving toward?

Anyway, my break is over and I need to head back to work.

[Lightly edited since for punctuation and greater clarification.]