HEROES- Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood is an actor, a director, and a musician. He has an impressive body of work and continues to work long into old age. He is a Renaissance man, a workaholic, and a libertarian. He has directed more movies than Steven Spielberg and won an Oscar. He may even get the Best Actor Oscar for Gran Torino.

What's not to like? Eastwood is a man I admire for his work, his character, and his beliefs. Plus, actors say that he is a dream to work for because of his hands off style. He gives people the freedom to do their work.

Clint Eastwood embodies the ideals I value. He is a hero.

PRINT-Stranger Than Fiction by Chuck Palahniuk

Chuck Palahniuk's book Stranger Than Fiction does not live up to its title. This isn't to say that it is not a quality read because it is. But I can imagine things far stranger than are in this book.

We like nonfiction because we find it mindblowing when these things turn out to be true. Truth carries some greater weight than bullshit as it should. But when you are someone like myself who reads a lot of strange facts on a daily basis, these true stories fail to shock or astound. I find the real world intensely interesting but not unbelievable.

This is a collection of Palahniuk's work for various magazines. You have stories of sexual depravity, castle building, steroid abuse, the impact of Fight Club, and the most touching essay concerning the murder of Palahniuk's father. That last one was a gutwrencher. You can tell there is some real pain there. I find it ironic how phenomenally good things and bad things can happen to the same person.

Palahniuk is one of my favorite writers, so I recommend this book as a good read. But if you want to read the best thing in here, skip to the end.
Xmas sux.

More on Steve Jobs

The more I read about Steve Jobs the more it is apparent to me that the man is dying. Apple is not being honest with its shareholders or the public which is stupid. Ultimately, this is Steve Jobs making this decision.

Jobs needs to come clean. He needs to make an appearance. He needs to tell the world what is up with him.

Is Steve Jobs Dying?

There's a lot of rumors swirling about one of my heroes that he may be knocking on death's door. I hope not. But he does look skeletal, and he is ditching Macworld and letting his subordinates play a bigger role.

The sad reality is that one day Apple will carry on without Jobs. It sucks, but this is the way it is. Things might be better without Jobs, but I doubt it. So do a lot of other people.

Jobs is a big hero of mine, and I will do a blog post in the "heroes" section on him. He is a remarkable individual, and I would miss his innovative spirit and leadership. He is a true original.
I am always one mistake away from termination.

Total Jerk

I was total jerk to my girlfriend today. I am always frustrated over time, and I finally took it out on her. I am such a complete dick.

I am frayed at the edges right now. I need sleep, but I don't have the time to get any. I suck the bottom out of a coffee pot in hopes that it will help me cheat the little death. It doesn't. But it does make me more pleasant. I need my java.

As always, I continue to be intoxicated by work and projects. Those things continue to be satisfying to me. But I might be taking it too far. I don't know. I almost had my power turned off today because I was too distracted to go down and pay the bill which I have plenty of money to cover. I don't have money issues. I have time issues.

Just being confessional today.

Dirtbags and Slimebags

The governor of Illinois was auctioning off Obama's senate seat to the highest bidder. Coming from Illinois, this is not surprising. Chicago and the surrounding areas are notorious for their corruption. Naturally, our new President is from this place and is "untainted" by all of it. Please. . .

I divide the world into producers and parasites. I divide the parasites into dirtbags and slimebags. All politicians are slimebags. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Dirtbags are just lazy people. They love to tuck in and go along for the ride. For them, work is for suckers. I despise them because I despise their laziness. But their mindset is identical to the slimebag. The world operates by a "system" along the lines of medieval feudalism or the pre-Civil War South. Life is divided between the haves and the have-nots. You serve the ones in power, so your only recourse is to do as little as possible. If this sounds depressing, it is.

Slimebags are the ones who accept this Machiavellian outlook and seek to game the system. They lick the ass above them while shitting on those below. This is a demeaning and dishonorable way to live, but this is the bargain that slimebags embraced to move up the powerchain. They live inauthentic lives and are miserable. Their only pleasure comes from petty cruelty to subordinates. In the case of the governor from Illinois, the pleasure came from seeing how many people would pony up to lick his ass and pay up for the privilege of being a US Senator. This was an ego boost for a sad motherfucker. I will laugh when they sodomize that fucker in prison. They have a powerchain there as well.

It just amazes me that people can be this way. I suspect that people like this came from homes of abuse where they accept that this is the way things are, and the happy people in life are the ones on top sticking it to the ones on the bottom. It really sucks in the parasite world.

In the world of producers, life is better. You wake up each day happy and ready to embrace the day. You live and work with an enthusiasm that is unmatched. Producers seek out other producers, and they respect each other on the basis of merit. Parasites cannot live in this world though it is open to them anytime they like. Their value systems prevent them from living this way. And these two classes are in perpetual conflict.

What is a producer to do? That is easy. Parasites cannot live without a host. It is just that simple. This is why corrupt nations are on the bottom in terms of power and economic prosperity while free countries are at the top. Parasites need producers. Producers do not need parasites.

Being a producer is the way to go, but it is hard. The first thing a producer needs to endure is great hatred. This hatred can be quite irrational, but it is the first step on the road to respect. People hate what they fear. Slimebags despise what they cannot control. But the best revenge is living well. Nixon died a miserable man, and this is the fate of all slimebags. Robert Mugabe will meet the same end just like Saddam Hussein. Misery. Yet, politicians are respected while capitalists are despised. Why is this? Politicians are thieves and liars who fuck shit up. Capitalists are people who give the public what they want. Even the most dishonest capitalist does less damage than the most honest politician.

I have to remind myself of these things from time to time. It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees. I made a decision about five years ago to live a more authentic existence, and it was the best decision I made in my life. I have never been happier in my life, and that life has been worth all that it has cost me. The only thing that perplexes me is the irrational hatred I get. But I know now where this hatred comes from. It is the envy of the parasites.
I will still wipe my ass with your ego you worthless pathetic slimy fuck.
I will wipe my ass with your ego.

Miserable People

It amazes me now to meet someone who is simply unhappy. I'm not talking about someone who is sad or angry at a particular moment. I am talking about people who are in a permanent state of pissed off. One way or another, they are going to take the shitty outlook on things no matter what. I can't stand people like this.

I don't like miserable people. I will tolerate them for a bit, but I usually find a way to bug the shit out of them. I wish these people would do themselves and everyone around them a huge favor and make themselves a rat poison casserole and eat the whole fucking thing. Yes, I am advocating suicide. Take yourself out of my world because you don't belong in it.

It is one thing to not be happy. It is another thing to have the outlook that you can never be happy or to try and filch the happiness of others. People like this are toxic waste. They are a corrosive element. I feel confident in saying that this is probably due to genetics. They were born this way and will probably remain this way no matter what good things come their way.

I'm learning to just ignore these fucktards. I value their more realistic outlook on life as opposed to the deluded optimism of others. But these people are good at pointing out problems. They are no good at solving them.

Markets: Stupid or Smart?

For the past decade, I have been grappling with an issue that I have been on both sides. Are markets giant social computers tallying info and providing the best reflection of all that information? Or are they chaotic and stupid and easily manipulated and gamed to one's advantage? In short, are markets stupid or smart?

People like Warren Buffett, George Soros, or Taleb will tell you that markets are stupid. All three have a healthy distrust of markets. In the case of Taleb, he says that markets are not good at pricing black swans which are rare events.

On the flip side, we have the efficient market people such as the libertarians and economists like Eugene Fama or Burton Malkiel who stress the efficiency of the markets and how they can't be beaten. Clearly, statistics indicate that there are efficiencies to the market over the long term. If this weren't so, Warren Buffett wouldn't be where he is now.

From a personal viewpoint, I can tell you that I saw both the dot-com bubble and the housing bubble. But I knew of no way to profit from that knowledge that didn't involve huge risks based on timing. I believe in bubbles which seem to indicate that markets are not efficient. Similarly, extreme pessimism or "anti-bubbles" also occur. Ben Graham's Mister Market analogy seems to fit here.

I tend to think there is a weakness to the rational actor model of economics as espoused by the Chicago School. It is an abstraction that helps in calculation but breaks down in the real world. This is the essential message of Taleb but also the Austrian school of economics and the behavioral finance people.

My bottom line is that markets are not stupid or smart but like an eccentric genius that is confounding you at every step of the way. I disagree with people who think economics can be managed, and I also disagree with people who think the market can be whipped. The market makes idiots of everyone, and I think even Taleb is exposed to the Black Swan of government default on its debts. What I can say is that the market rewards the patient and the disciplined and the humble. The market also punishes the proud. I think your estimation of the market is a direct reflection of your own hubris. For me, I think the market is brilliant.
I will warm myself by the glow of their anger.