Twitter Deactivation

I have decided to stop with Twitter. I have stopped posting to it anyway, and I see it as a colossal timesuck. I have never liked the service. Twitter feeds that I enjoyed I now send to my Google Reader. Otherwise, I am not a Twitter fan.

I am simplifying my presence on the internet. I try to keep it simple. My next task will be to edit the feeds on my Google Reader.

Low Cost Leisure

With a recession, unemployment, underemployment, and the like, it is hard to get exercise or go have fun when you are on a budget. But even in good times, you shouldn't be spending a bunch of money on high cost activities. The answer is low cost leisure. These activities promise maximum rewards dirt cheap.



1. Running

People think getting in shape requires buying a bunch of shit, becoming a triathlete with $5K worth of gear, joining some expensive gym with a locked in two year contract, or other such horseshit. But to get in phenomenal shape, all you need is a decent pair of shoes. This will cost you about $80. Running attire will cost you another $100. That's it. You go out and run. You can do it in the morning or evening. No one is going to charge your bank account for it. You don't have to find storage space for a bunch of gear. Your gym is always open. And the results are phenomenal. You will lose weight and have improved stamina and fitness. Throw in some push ups and crunches after your run for a total body workout. Plus, if you get bored with running, you can change the scenery. You can hit the trails, run in a park, or defy death by running through gang territory. Running is really cheap. When you see the weekend warriors with their kayaks and mountain bikes on their roof racks, it is neat to realize that all your gear for your sport fits on the backseat of your car. It is also your dirty little secret. People will wonder how you stay so fit with no gym or equipment.



2. Reading

People like to buy a lot of gadgets--big screen TVs, game consoles, iPads, and the like. Naturally, these gadgets also charge for content. And most of it sucks. You have crappy TV shows, crappy games, crappy movies, etc. But the best entertainment you can get comes from reading. Everyone knows the book is better than the movie. And the cost? Free. You can read free books online, check them out free from the public library, buy them used from thrift stores, or curl up at a Barnes and Noble and read it for free off the shelf. Or you can buy the books like I do. This can get expensive, but only if you choose to let it be expensive. Otherwise, you can read for free forever. They publish more books per year than you could ever read in a lifetime. I recommend picking a novelist like Agatha Christie or Ian Fleming and just reading their works all the way through. Finish one author and pick up with another. I have a vast reading list of books which grows faster than I will ever get to them.



3. Chess

Chess is super cheap. You can buy a board and a clock for less than a hundred dollars which is an investment that will last for years. You can play forever. Chess is virtually infinite. It is the most challenging game devised by humanity. You can also play 24-7 thanks to the internet. Or, if you are just a beginner, there are free chess downloads where you can play against the computer. Other games such as billiards, bowling, and golf cost money. You have to pay to play every time. Not with chess. And if you become a grandmaster, this is quite an accomplishment. Plus, unlike poker, you don't lose anything. It improves your concentration, and it is very addictive for those who get into it. Yet, you would be hard pressed to spend more than $500 in a lifetime on this activity. For those not inclined in chess, there are other games like checkers, Scrabble, or what have you with similar financial characteristics.



4. Writing

Creative types like to make things. They like to draw and paint and sculpt or make music or what have you. But all of these activities require equipment, supplies, and materials. The cost can quickly add up. Yet, writing is infinitely creative and costs nothing more than a pencil and a piece of paper. As someone who writes, I can tell you that I have enjoyed this activity for hours, and I have yet to exhaust the projects I am working on. Plus, it is damn cheap. I recommend a pencil, a notebook, and a coffee maker. Just sit down and write. Begin with a journal and write down all the things that happen to you or think about. Write poems, plays, novels, essays, etc. If you write daily like in a diary, it will amaze you how addictive the practice can be. Plus, you can do it anywhere. Even J.K. Rowling living on welfare was able to pen that first Harry Potter book. Now, as a very rich woman, her writing doesn't cost anymore now than it did then.



5. Parks and trails

If you've got kids, keeping them entertained can be a real chore and very expensive. Families often opt to take their kids to pricey amusement parks or the lake or the beach. But I have found that kids have as much fun playing at a city park or traipsing on trails in a state park. These are almost always free or at minimal cost such as $2. Find yourself a place to sit and read or get in a run or what have you. The kids will play until the point of absolute exhaustion. Just be sure to bring water and sandwiches.

You can do a lot on just a little. These 5 activities are virtually inexhaustible and cost almost nothing. Yet, people tend to activities that cost a lot of money, but they are seldom as rewarding as these low cost activities. Running will get you into better shape than mountain biking. Reading is better than watching some high budget movie. Video games are quickly beaten but not chess. Writing is more fun than trying to learn guitar. You spend more time waiting in line at amusement parks than you do playing. But the high dollar activities are more popular because companies sell you on them to make money for themselves. Since there isn't much money in low cost leisure, there is no marketing to go with it. But smart people are immune to marketing. Dumb people are not. This is why dumb people are broke and bored.

Recurring Themes

I have been keeping this blog for five years now. I've experienced a lot during that time, and my thinking has evolved a bit. But I've noticed that I keep coming back to the same themes again and again. So, here's a list of those themes.

1. Happiness comes from work.

If anyone wants the secret to happiness, it is right in front of you. Work. That's it. Just make yourself busy. Stop navel gazing. Stop ruminating. Just immerse yourself in your work. Put together a list of all the things you want to do in life and throw yourself into accomplishing them. This will make you happy.

2. There is no God.

God does not exist. I know this because there is no evidence for his existence. Changing my mind requires that you produce evidence. You will never have that evidence. Enjoy your delusion.

3. Government is evil.

Government is always a negation of freedom. Always. It consumes your wealth, curtails your liberty, and takes innocent life. Government must be limited.

4. Love is bullshit.

Love is nature's trick to make you reproduce. Most people cheat. Women marry for money. Between love and lust, stick with lust. Fuck them and forget them.

5. Extraordinary success is the product of luck.

Everyone wants to be rich and famous. In striving to be rich and famous, these people end up poor and unknown. This is because it is dumb luck that makes people rich and famous. Ordinary success is the product of work. This is being responsible and respected. No one cares about responsibility and respect. They all want to be Paris Hilton.

6. Blue collar work is real work.

White collar work is bullshit. It is mostly politics and wasting time and trying to get over on others. Blue collar work is authentic. It is tangible and real. It makes the world better. It is honest. It brings satisfaction and happiness.

7. Minimalism is superior to consumerism.

You need very little to be happy and enjoy your life. More stuff does not yield more happiness. Less stuff yields more freedom. Simple living is sustainable living. You live within your means. You check out of the status game. You have more money and less baggage.

Those are my recurring themes. I will visit them again. I may discover some new ones as well.

In Defense Of Workaholism




Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.
J.C. PENNEY

Once upon a time, some clever writer decided to combine the words "work" and "alcoholic" into a new term called "workaholic" thus turning a virtue into a vice. The irony of that put down is that workaholic has not degraded work, but work has upgraded workaholic to a term of pride. People brag about being workaholics.

Now, I can admit that there are true workaholics. These are people who live at the office and never go home. Their families suffer. And these people do terrible work preferring activity over production. But to be honest, I've never met anyone with such an affliction. I've met people who worked hard and enjoyed their work. But I have never known anyone who took work to such an absolute extreme. In fact, it makes no sense. It is like saying a person can become an alcoholic from drinking O'Doul's non-alcoholic beer. The rush from work comes from the doing but also the accomplishing. Work without accomplishment is like sex without orgasm.

For most people, a workaholic is someone who enjoys their work. And why not? You are going to spend the bulk of your life doing it. Why not enjoy it? Do something you love and get paid for it. This is the smartest thing I have ever heard.

Workaholism is a lifestyle. To be a workaholic means long hours. It means preferring work over leisure. It means putting a limit on family commitments. This doesn't mean neglecting family. It just means not living under a guilt trip from the spouse who has no problem spending all that dough you make. Tell her to cut back on consumption, so you can cut back on work and see where that gets you.

People in the media say we work too much, but I disagree. We don't work enough. We spend too much time on leisure which requires more money which gets charged to the credit cards. The result is stress and anxiety over how to pay for it. But when you work a great deal, the opposite happens. You consume less on leisure and make more money. This actually lessens anxiety.

Having a good work ethic is a virtue. No one should be ashamed of this. Workaholics produce more, earn more, and deserve their rewards. Yet, the only reward they seek is more work. How can this be a bad thing? In addition, workaholics achieve great things. Their dedication makes the world a better place.

People should be proud to be called workaholics. They should be proud that they aren't dirtbags. They should never be ashamed of getting things done. Here's to workaholics everywhere. Keep up the good work.

An Email On Marriage To The Testosterone Group

I write emails to my friends which I put under a label in Gmail as The Testosterone Group. Every so often, I write something, or they write something that I think is valuable enough to share. There are five of us. Three are married while two of us are single.

I sent a link to an article that researched marriage and concluded that married men who are happier than their wives end up getting divorced. This is something I have always believed, but I never did the research on it. Finally, someone did. In short, marriage is misery for the married man.

This email is on marriage with the original link that prompted the discussion.--C.


Being happier than your wife could end in divorce.

I think the husbands here would say we are just two kvetching bachelors congratulating ourselves on not having a life we really wish we had. But I point to the numbers:

50% of marriages end in divorce
70% of married men admit to cheating on wives
60% of married women admit to cheating on husbands

The thing you have to consider about these dismal stats is they don't capture the true picture of it all. 50% of the marriages that last include people who are effectively unmarried but continue the fiction for the sake of religion, kids, finances, etc. As for infidelity, those stats are underreported because people lie. Finally, the people who are married for real and remain faithful don't seem terribly happy.

I told my girlfriend that I would share a home with her and leave all my things to her if I croaked, but I would not marry her. Marriage is a license for a person to take the other person for granted. She didn't want this arrangement despite the fact that she would essentially be getting the same thing as if we were married. This is because she would always have to maintain herself and treat me right or else I was gone.

Most of the downsides to bachelorhood are a myth. It is said that bachelors have shorter lifespans which is true. The life expectancy of a married man is nine months longer than for a single man. But I think this is because unmarried men have bad habits that lead to this such as drinking and drug abuse. Either way, 9 months is not enough for me to live a life of misery. 9 years might be a different story. As for women, there is no statistical difference between life spans for married and single women.

Finances are another matter. Leaving out taxes, two incomes are better than one. You can buy more stuff. You can afford that home theater system. The downside is you have to watch chick flicks and Lifetime. Since women hate working, they will find a way to stay at home and not hit a lick. Then, you are better off being single because you can cut your expenses in half.

Having someone clean the house is nice, but you are better off paying a housekeeper to come in and do it for you. My past three girlfriends were slobs. I did more housework than they did. It only gets worse after marriage.

This leaves the emotional side of things. It is nice to have someone there for you to lift your spirits. The only problem is that the cause of most of your depressing thoughts is that person you sleep with. Plus, problems at work and with money are amplified when you have a wife and kids depending on you.

There must be something to being married considering that so many people do it. Even people who divorce are likely to remarry. Even people averse to marriage like Gene Simmons and Kurt Russell find themselves in relationships that are virtual marriages. Why do it?

I don't have the answer for this. The only time I have ever been tempted to get married is just to satisfy a woman's demand for a commitment. The woman's need to be married is clear--money. It is always about the money. They want a legal claim to your resources. Period. They do not want to work. They will even tolerate infidelity for the sake of that money. And they will drop a man as soon as he can't earn anymore.

It is a raw deal no matter how you look at it.

The Personal Effects of Welfare

As a libertarian, I make a lot of arguments against welfare, bailouts, etc. Most of these deal with economics and how it is bad for America. But welfare also enacts a personal cost, and I don't mean what you see on your paycheck stub. It makes you alter your choices in ways that seem beneficial in the short run but are harmful in the long run. Here are some of these effects that I see on a day-to-day basis among friends, coworkers, family, etc.

SOCIAL SECURITY

Social Security tells old people that they need to retire. So, when people hit 62, they opt to receive those benefits right then and there instead of waiting until they are 65 or 70. During that interim between 62 and 65, they can't make too much money, or they will forfeit that free income. So, they decide to work out deals with employers where they can be partial bums working just enough to get that SS check. Then, you have everyone else hitting 65 and deciding to never hit a lick again. Considering these people will probably live another 20 years, that is a lot of laziness. Granted, these folks paid into the system, so it is understandable that they would want to get some back. But I am not concerned with the fairness of it or any of that in this essay. I only look at what it does to personal choices.

Social Security encourages people to become obsolete. It idles people who are still very productive, very smart, and what have you. It also hurts older people who choose to work as companies install mandatory retirement ages and see these people as codgers who should be forced out the door. The quickest way to get old is to stop working. We have a lot of people opting to rust out instead of wearing out. This is a shame.

MILITARY DISABILITY

I have personally sat in on bull sessions where military veterans told of all the ways they could get freebies from "Uncle Sugar" for their military service. This comes in the form of disability checks. The government compensates military personnel who have suffered as a consequence of their service. For a wounded veteran, this is very just. Unfortunately, we now have epidemics of tinnitus, depression, and post-traumatic disorder as these service people look to milk the system by faking disabilities. It makes a mockery of military service.

CHILD SUPPORT

I think divorced and unmarried parents should support their children financially. The best way to do this is to have a separate account for that child to pay for their expenses such as clothing, school supplies, food, education, etc. But it doesn't work like that. The reality is that daddy sends a check to mommy or has it taken out of his check. Mommy doesn't work but spends the child support on cigarettes, malt liquor, lottery tickets, crack, or whatever. Naturally, this is never enough, so they go back to court to get more "child" support. The daddy knows the truth of where his money is going, so he fights it. This makes him a bad man who doesn't support his children. Mommy tells the kids that daddy doesn't give a fuck about them. Children grow up thinking they are poor because daddy doesn't pay enough child support. It isn't because mommy quit her job and drinks all day.

PENSIONS

I have lost count of the people who told me their career ambition is to get a government job and a government pension. We all know government workers are lazy and overpaid and a pain in the ass to deal with. They don't care about customer service because you are going to pay them whether you like it or not. Their compensation is not tied in anyway to the work they do. They can do it well or not, but they will get paid. Then, they turn retirement age and collect a pension which allows them to stop "working" or simply double dip by getting "rehired" into the same job they were doing except with a double income. This warps their thinking into believing they contribute more to society than they actually do. Why not? They are getting paid well to treat us like shit.

UNION WORKERS

Yankees from union states get union jobs at inflated wages where they milk their employers and threaten to strike on them. The result is that wages are high, prices are high, and unemployment is high in those states. Then, these union workers retire on some pension, come down South to enjoy the better cost of living, and then bitch and complain about everything. The reason it is better down here in the southern states is because we don't have unions. This is why you can afford housing, clothing, and transportation here. It is also why you can find a job. But a job doesn't count to these transplanted Yankees unless it is a union job. A union is just a way for a lazy piece of shit to protect his income from real workers who actually earn their pay instead of extorting it. But employers are wise to this which is why they have learned down here to discriminate against white guys from Michigan, New York, New Jersey, etc. This is why white blue collar males are the largest group of unemployed people today despite critical shortages in many trades. They would rather be blowhards and threaten their bosses than do real work for a change.

STUDENT LOANS AND GRANTS

Not everyone should go to college. This may seem like a shocker for some people and even taken as an insult. But I don't mean it to be insulting. As anyone who reads my blog knows, I am blue collar and prefer that to anything my college degree might get me. I'd like to go back and attend a trade school instead of law school or business school. This country has too many college graduates and drop outs, and this is because of all the money the government pumps out to go to school. Nevermind that there are no jobs there.

I see people electing to go back to school to finish bachelor's degrees, attain MBA's, go to law school or med school, or what have you. Some of these people are the young. Others are non-traditional students. But one fact hits me in the face when I see these people. They all hate books. They hate school. They are only going because they want to make some more money, and Uncle Sugar is willing to lend. Yet, it makes no sense for them to do this.

I tell people they should do things they are good at and like but can also make a living at. There is a reason I don't play in the NBA. I cannot dunk a basketball. But imagine if there was a Basketball University where Uncle sugar would pay my tuition to learn how to play basketball. Sweet deal, right? Except for one thing. I can't play basketball. I suck too bad at it. Yet, I see people going to school on just such premises. But these people would do better learning a trade or developing the one they have. But this route doesn't promise a six figure income, so they decide against it especially when they might have to pay out of their pockets. The result is that people opt to be failed college grads and drop outs instead of successful tradesmen and women.

CONCLUSION

My advice to people is to never take welfare as far as possible for them. This is because welfare creates distorting effects and makes you do things that make no sense or may be harmful to you. Regardless of the injustice of it all, it is better to be a net loser than a net gainer in the welfare/tax scheme. In other words, it is better to pay all your taxes and not get a penny back than not pay a penny in tax and derive massive benefits from the government and/or other sources. This is because work is an unqualified good and anything that disincentivizes work is an unqualified evil. Likewise, decisions you make with your small money will be way better than decisions you make with Uncle Sugar's large money.

Disconnecting From Facebook/Thoughts on Self-Promotion

I used to have my blog feed going into my Facebook page, but I have decided to end that. I see others who use a combination of blogging, social media, Twitter, and the like to put their material out there, but it seems like a lot of duplication to me.

This move deals with the issue of promotion and specifically the issue of self-promotion. How far should you go in pushing your product and brand?

I think if you are on relying on a saturation strategy then this is unsustainable. This is why people ignore spam. It is better to open the door and let people smell what you're cooking than plaster a sign on your place that screams GOOD EATS. When you have something good, people share it. They tell their friends about it.

If my writing is any good, people will find it. If it isn't, they won't bother. I've seen many actors and directors complain that the studio didn't adequately promote their movie which is why it flopped. But this is stupid. Movies flop because they suck. When they are good, they live on forever as people discover it.

I want to make good stuff. I don't know what is good, but I know what I like. I will let others decide if it is good or not. Putting my own shit on Facebook goes against this spirit. When others put my shit on Facebook, then we have something.

Rand Paul, Rachel Maddow, and the Philosophical Divide Between Statists and Libertarians

Rachel Maddow does not believe in freedom. It is one thing to say you believe in freedom to do what I think you are allowed to do, but is this freedom? This is like Nazi Germany telling Jews they were free to stop being Jews.

I recently had an argument with a twit on Facebook over civil rights for Americans accused of terrorism and a recent "death warrant" issued by Barack Obama for a US citizen. Granted, this US citizen is most likely terrorist scum. But does that mean he should forfeit his rights? This leftard turned fasctard said yes. I disagreed. We don't extend rights to people we happen to like because this makes them no rights at all. This is why they are called "inalienable."

Leftards like Rachel Maddow don't get it. Freedom isn't just for loony leftards like her that happen to agree with her. They are also for loony fasctards like Rush Limbaugh that thinks Maddow is a carpet munching dyke. Freedom is also for racists who decide to discriminate against blacks and Jews with their property. We may find this repugnant, but that is the price of freedom.

Rand Paul's appearance has sparked a fundamental philosophical discussion concerning the nature of freedom. But the proper attitude towards freedom is the principled one Voltaire took when he said, "I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Maddow and others of her ilk are unable to make this distinction. Her goal and aim was to tar and smear Rand Paul and other libertarians as racists. This is the rallying cry of the Left. They can't defend their economic positions because they are clueless on economics. They are hypocrites on the war. They are now silent on human rights for Muslims because their president is the one running things now. So, their response and only argument is to paint libertarians and Tea Party people as racists. Maddow was absolutely gleeful to take Rand Paul's principled stance and turn it into fodder for her show.

People like Maddow and others in this country are clueless about the nature of freedom. This is why freedom is dying in America. If we follow their philosophy, what end is there to all of it? Is there no point where we can say that the government has overstepped its bounds?

There is a civil war in this country between those who believe in limited government and those who believe in unlimited government. Rachel Maddow believes in unlimited government. She loves it so long as someone wields that power in agreement with her own thoughts and wishes. What she fails to realize is that thoughts and wishes change. Then, freedom and human rights matter.

Rachel Maddow is an unprincipled person. It would be interesting to see her viewpoint if I decided to frequent lesbian bars and get thrown out. Isn't this discrimination? Can't I sue under the Civil Rights Act? Isn't a lesbian bar a "public space?"

Maddow is simply wrong. Unfortunately, she and the rest of America are too shitbrained to make the distinction between defending someone's viewpoints and someone's human rights and freedom. We can disagree with the former but never at the expense of the latter. I disagree with Maddow's viewpoints, but I would also disagree with some official who decided to shut her down for uttering "hate speech."

As for Rand Paul, he needs to do like his dad and say what he thinks and let the chips fall where they may. Ron Paul had all his viewpoints misrepresented, but people now see his principled stance. Rand should do the same thing. Don't parse your words. If they paint you as what you are not, so be it. That is their shame not yours.

What I can say is that America is not ready for a libertarian revolution. Even Tea Partiers are insufficiently libertarian in their thinking. This doesn't mean the liberty message is wrong. It is right. But liberty depends on enlightenment. As long as people continue to be as stupid as Rachel Maddow, this country will always be struggling in the dark when the light switch is just inches away.

Day 7

My ex decides to throw in her two cents on the blog here. I am now a "bullshit artist." That is rich.

She has turned out like all the others in my life. There's not much I can add to that.

I made a mistake getting involved with her. This was my fault. I don't blame anyone for that except me. I just need to learn from it and not let it happen again. As sobriety returns to my thinking, I know that my rational judgments about her were correct no matter what my feelings for her were.

Love is bullshit. It doesn't make you happy, It doesn't make you better. It doesn't even make you feel better.

I have been very confessional for the past seven days. I have put it all out there warts and all. I have not tried to trash her, and I have not tried to paint flowers on my ass either. But as a recent poster here put it, I got what I deserved for not knowing what the hell I want. That stings, but it is true. I spent two years neither committing to a deeper relationship nor walking away. I should have walked away the moment I met her. I should not have become involved with her. This was my doing.

I don't want to be married. This is because I don't know anyone who is married and happy. I congratulate myself for not making that mistake. Sometimes, I wonder if I might regret being this way. But seeing other men and their misery in matrimony gives me my answer. I am reminded of this joke:

Q: Why is divorce expensive?

A: Because it is worth it.


You don't get anymore than cynical than that.

It is time to end this series. The wound has scabbed over and picking at it makes no sense. It is done. She is gone. Whatever I imagined I would have with her was just imagination. The reality is that we would have been destitute and screaming at each other until we divorced.

As for future relationships, there won't be any. The modus operandi is "hit it and quit it." I am going to let pessimism and cynicism have the wheel from now on. They drive things way better than optimism. Optimism heads straight for the ditch.

Day 6

Today has not been so good for me. A hole has opened in my chest area. It is the physiological response to the anxiety I feel over breaking up with my girlfriend.

Being alone creates stress. This is why solitary confinement creates so much trauma for the people who endure it. You can beat a man or whatnot, and it will cause him less distress than it will to isolate him. Humans have evolved to be social creatures. Our survival as a species depended upon being bonded to a group. This is why people will undergo all sorts of hazing, rituals, "beat ins," or what have you in order to belong. The group is everything.

This phenomenon is also why men get married even though it makes no sense for them to do this. No man wants to be alone. Yet, this desire for companionship is often his undoing as he bonds with those who will bring him down and toss him like a sack of garbage when the time comes.

I am an individualist. I don't go along with the collective. This makes me "selfish." This is why I am estranged from my family and can't make a relationship work for very long. I see social arrangements as existing for mutual benefit. Family and romantic relationships usually devolve into one party exploiting the other. This is why I have friends going back for decades and maintain jobs for years. Those are mutually beneficial. Relatives and girlfriends don't do mutual benefit. Those relationships are not sustainable.

I have a different set of ethics than most people. Their ethics are tribal ethics. My ethics are individual ethics. They believe in sacrifice while I believe in mutual benefit. Are my ethics superior? Yes. They are the ones that lead to freedom, equality, and a universal respect for human rights. Tribal ethics leads to most of the atrocities we witness throughout history.

I don't want to tear down my girlfriend, but her values and mine were never the same. I am an individualist while she is tribalistic. I give reasons. She gives ultimatums. I leaned on her as little as possible. But I was always bailing her out. When I said there was a limit to this, she lost interest in me. And so it goes. . .

People will say that my worldview is too conditional. No one could ever have faith in me that I would be there for them. But the reality is that these conditional relationships that I have are the ones that last the longest. No one makes you buy Coca-Cola, but that is one enduring brand. They just have to keep being what they are.

I am estranged from my mother because she is simply evil. I am estranged from my father because he called me a worthless son of a bitch after all I have done for him. I am estranged from my aunt because I can't be a doormat to family members the way she is. I have broken up with my girlfriend of two years because I don't have the financial security to support her and her children.

The arrangements people want are simple. It is sacrifice for thee but not for me. Who is the selfish one? Is it me for not asking for anything and expecting the same? Or is it them who ask for everything and give nothing in return?

A friend of mine sent this in an email describing the relationship terms he has with his wife:

My wife and I have a simple plan.

Her duties:
Take care of the kids.
Clean the house.
Feed the family.
Fuck me when I am horney regardless of her desire level.

My duties:
Make money and pay the bills.
Don't bang other chicks.
Teach my son to be a man.
Teach my daugher not to trust men.


Needless to say, I have some really funny friends. But the cool thing about this arrangement is that it is a deal with terms and conditions. My terms are these:

Her duties:
Work a job
Pay your bills
Do not cheat

My duties:
Work a job
Pay my bills
Do not cheat

I make my own food, wash my own clothes, and clean up my own mess. Or I neglect it all. But that's my problem. Everything else is negotiable.

My girlfriend did not agree to these terms. She wants a man to pay her bills. I'm not that man. I don't want a housewife. I can hire a housekeeper and eat out for a third of what it would cost me to maintain her. My mom raised me to tend to my own shit mainly because she was too lazy. Ironically, I am grateful for this benign neglect. As my girlfriend put it, "You are the only person in my life that isn't asking me to do something."

My girlfriend would have worked like a slave for me. All I wanted was for her to work for herself. She never got this.

My girlfriend belongs to a tribe of extended family. I do not belong to that tribe. She sacrifices for this tribe. They sacrifice for her. No one can get ahead. I don't sacrifice for anyone, and I do fine.

My ethics are superior. They work. This is because I work. I don't have a safety net. I don't have anyone to lean on or to bail me out. I am all I have. This would suggest I live dangerously, but I do much better than expected. It keeps me on my toes. I practice personal responsibility.

My views on relationships are essentially libertarian. Do not hurt the other person. Rely on yourself. Impose the fewest conditions possible. Women don't want this. So, I must not ever fool myself on this again.

THURSDAY

1. Floyd Landis slings shit on Lance Armstrong for the sake of money, desperation, or what have you. Do I believe Floyd? Yes. He is the Jose Canseco of professional cycling.

2. For the record, I have never used performance enhancing drugs. Of course, if caffeine is included in the list, I am dirty.

3. The easiest way to test for caffeine doping is to test the gallon of piss produced in an hour.

4. Megan Fox is off Transformers 3. That really sucks. I was seeing an Oscar for that role.

5. Rand Paul wins the primary. Will he win the general election? Hard to tell. He is popular, but he is a libertarian. The simple reality is that the USA is not a libertarian nation, and the leftards will go after Rand really hard. My advice? Do like his dad and stick to his principles. Rand tries to soften his message, but it won't work. But if the people of Kentucky like him, that is all that matters. Lose on principle. That is always a victory.

6. I really hate Rachel Maddow. Leftards only know how to argue one way. They only care to misrepresent what you stand for instead of dealing with the fact that they are wrong.

How Women Suck The Life Out Of You

Aristotle said that women could never be happy. This is because he claimed that women lacked reason, and reason was a component of happiness. Consequently, women are always miserable.

Now, I differ on the absolute sexism of this thinking. I think women can be happy in that Aristotelian sense. I think Rachael Ray fits that mold. Madonna might be another one. But speaking in a general sense, Aristotle is right.

The one thing everyone has noticed about me is how I have changed. I seem to have a spark of life back in me. Where does this come from? It comes from being free of my girlfriend. I haven't really noticed it as much as everyone else has.

I have been in countless relationships and break ups, so I have plenty of evidence to support my thesis. I do better alone. When I am free of a woman, I have more life in me. Food tastes better. Sights look better. I feel more optimistic about the future and more in control. I exercise more and eat less. I work more, and my attitude is way better.

Women suck the life out of you. They subtly but constantly undermine you. They beat you down and consume all that you have. They are emotional parasites. And they have no end of problems. They are not unlike heroin. It feels good, but you are going to shit unless you kick the habit.

Women are misery. The damage is working itself out of me, and I will be back to how I was two years ago before I met her. I was happy then. I must admit that I have not been happy with her. But I'm free now. No more relationships for me. I am going down the James Bond path and sticking to it.

Day 5

Today is not so good. I am thinking the worst about her. I am thinking she was using me and didn't give a damn about me. These thoughts will pass, too. I just feel very raw today like I slid across some asphalt.

It hurts to think that someone who loved you probably didn't give a shit about you. I went through that with my parents who used me up and tossed me like garbage. Basically, people love you because they are getting something from you. The moment they can't get anymore from you they hate you. The instant you tell someone no you are expunged.

I don't go around using people. I find that idea abhorrent. I have some sense of decency about me. I don't see people as a means to an end. I'm as selfish as anyone, but I am honest about this. I treat people the way I want to be treated, and I expect the same in return.

My girlfriend couldn't look me in the eye when she dumped me. She hid her face in shame. I never stopped loving her, but she clearly stopped loving me. That happened the moment I told her I was not going to pay her bills for her.

I don't like being close to anyone. I never know when they are going to stick it to me. My girlfriend never did me wrong, but I never give anyone that chance. I've learned my lessons. Decent people are lonely people. This is because most people are trash.

I like this line from Schopenhauer:

Almost all of our sorrows spring out of our relations with other people.

In my life, this has been very true. The worst hurts I have ever endured in life have come from people who "loved" me. The result is that I am a guarded person. I prefer being alone. I don't want people in my life because they use me, cause me grief, fuck me over, or just plain let me down. As a lady once told me, "Family will fuck you over before a stranger will." How true that is.

I want to think the best about my girlfriend, but I think this may be self-deception on my part. Maybe I just don't want to face the reality because it is too harsh. I'll probably find out later that she was cheating on me or something. I've had that happen before.

I must never become emotionally attached to another woman ever again. That is the bottom line. I had already made that decision before I met her, but I relented and gave it one more shot. That was a mistake. I make fewer and fewer mistakes as I get older. In this area, I am now at zero. I gave a little. I will now give nothing.

Q & A

Q: Are you a nihilist?

A: The short answer is no.

The long answer is that a nihilist is a person who believes human existence has no objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. My fiction writing would suggest that I am a nihilist since I write about characters like Jack Bass who are clearly nihilists. But I am working on future projects with characters who are definitely not nihilists while I have other characters that make Jack Bass look like a boy scout.

I don't believe there is a God, so life has no theocentric meaning. In other words, the meaning and purpose of life is not related to what a Supreme Being wants or thinks. As a secular individualist, I believe in an anthropocentric meaning and purpose of life. Basically, everyone wants to be happy. This is common to all humans. There is no human being that does not desire happiness. This is the basis of all ethics.

There is a right way and a wrong way to be happy. This is the product of logic in much the same way that 4 is the product of 2 + 2. This is objective. In the case of ethics, you can't be happy and habitually ignore the Golden Rule. This is because it gives others the right to ignore that rule as well and fuck your shit up. This is why even criminals find it in their best interest to formulate and abide by some code. This is why all religions in the world have some formulation of the Golden Rule. God does not need to exist to make this rule work.

Where I seem most nihilistic is in regard to values. I don't think a Monet is superior to a Pollock in any transcendant sense. I don't think pink is superior to black. I don't think Mexican food is superior to Chinese food. I might like Chinese more than Mexican food. But that is person relative.

Aesthetics are negotiable to me but not ethics. You can paint your car a ridiculous scheme of lime green and turqoise, but you don't get to drive it through a shop window and kill a bunch of people. So, I'm not a nihilist. For the Muslim, his only concern seems to be whether or not you were eating a pork sandwich when the crash occurred. Because I could give a shit about the sandwich, this makes me a "nihilist."

Day 4--What I Want

I'm on Day 4 of my break up. Feel perfectly fine. Been staying busy. My brother and my friends have heard my whining, but they can't fault my stance.

I don't want to be a lifelong bachelor. I just read a story of a guy that died and will be buried in a potter's field in New York because he has no family contacts. He died alone and unloved. I may not want to admit it, but I know no wife or children are going to miss me when I croak.

What I want is simple. I want a woman who will not cheat on me or bring me down financially. That's it. I could put a ring on that finger. But that woman is rare. She doesn't have to be rich. She doesn't have to be a supermodel. I can do my own cooking and cleaning. I am a bachelor after all.

I want a woman who is like me. She is faithful. She likes to work. She makes her own money. That's what I want. I want character. This is because I am assuming risk. I'm the one who is going to eat it in a divorce court. Women don't get this.

I would rather remain single than go through this bullshit. Trust me, being single is Plan B for my life. That is because Plan A is a pipe dream. If a woman wants me to put a ring on her finger, she has to get her shit together. Otherwise, no deal.

The Artist As Workman



When I contemplate the fried brain of Syd Barrett, I wonder at the lengths some artists will go to in order to find inspiration. Barrett wasn't the only one destroying his brain with hallucinogenic drugs. I'm sure other members of the Floyd experimented as well. We know the Beatles did as well as the Grateful Dead. Then, you have writers with their drinking, and artists with their madness and bizarre personalities. Is madness--natural or induced--the wellspring of creativity? I don't think so.

In reading about writers, musicians, artists, and other creative types, I am struck by the division between the inspired artists versus the working artists. The inspired artists will get some real sparks of genius, but they are few and far between. They create only by the spur of inspiration. Others are different. They treat their art as a job, and they sit down to work. I find these workmen (and women) are the ones who make the best, lasting, and most prolific art there is.

Let's take The Beatles. Lennon was the inspired one. McCartney was the worker. When they split, Lennon made a few great songs and degraded into a house husband to Yoko. McCartney worked his ass off and continued making great music all the way to the present day.

Bob Dylan is another workman. He tours constantly and keeps putting out albums. The man has not rested on his laurels, and the music he makes today is still as good as ever.

James Bond creator Ian Fleming is another workman. He would get up and write whether he wanted to do it or not. He treated it like a job. Vincent Van Gogh did the same thing. Despite being broke, Van Gogh would get up every day and paint something. It was habitual.

This is the way creative work needs to be. The carpenter, the plumber, and the stone mason go to work each day whether they want to or not. They put in the hours. Similarly, the artist, the musician, and the writer must do the same thing. Creativity is work. If you wait for inspiration, you will find very little of it. And LSD is no substitute for work.

BANKSY, seen in Boston, MA

Day 3

I'm on my third day of my break up. I feel fine now. The pain and grief are gone. I'm less emotional and more reflective now.

The idea that is emerging in my thinking now has to do with not doing relationships anymore. I don't want to be a stringer. A stringer is a confirmed bachelor that strings along a woman with the possibility of a commitment, but he has no intentions of actually committing. This is not something I find appealing.

I don't want any more emotional involvement with women. I already know what I am and what I will always be. I'm a dog. I'm a scoundrel. I just need to erect more barriers and keep any woman from getting too close. This isn't for my sake but for hers.

I have only been a half dog for the last decade or so. I always held out the possibility of getting married or at least thinking it might be worth doing. But I know better. I am all dog now.

Woof! Woof!

Confirmed Bachelor

confirmed bachelor
(Noun)A heterosexual male who does not want to have children and is not willing to put up with the BS women cause in a relationship. A man who understands that while marriage brings advantages to women and children, there is nothing he can get from marriage that he can't get unmarried. With a divorce rate of 50% and men getting the shaft in divorce court, a "confirmed bachelor" is a man who will not let women and the courts play him for a fool.

I came across this definition while surfing the net. It describes me accurately.

I can tell you the primary reason I never want to marry. I don't feel like being a slave to a woman and her children. That's it. Being a husband and a father means working your ass off to provide for a wife and kids who nag the shit out of you and consider you a failure and a loser because you don't buy them more shit. This is why women want men to marry them. They want a man to provide them with financial stability.

I'm not interested in this arrangement. It is stupid. I hear from married men all the time how much they envy my bachelorhood. I had a 60-year-old married man tell me marriage was a mistake and to never do it. I see married men and their absolute misery.

Marriage is a con game and a trap. Most married women cheat by all the stats I have ever read. You are likely to go through a divorce that will cost you dearly, or you may opt to stay because it is "cheaper to keep her." I knew a guy whose marriage had ended years ago but was still married to his wife. They even shared a house but slept in separate rooms and dated other people. They stayed together in that arrangement for the sake of their kid and because it was too much bother. They just didn't love each other anymore. They were roommates who had a kid together.

George Clooney is a confirmed bachelor. He was married once, and that pretty much settled it for him. He vowed to never tie the knot again, and he has stuck with that. He seems very happy to me. Charlie Sheen should learn a lesson from Clooney.

I'm not marriage material. My recent break up is precisely for this reason. I can't commit. I can't think of one single good reason why any man should ever get married. He is almost always going to be the sucker in that deal.

Is Kevin Trudeau A Scam Artist?



YES!

I see this shyster on infomercials, and he takes scamming to a whole new level. Trudeau has been tried and convicted for his scams. He has lost many judgments from the FTC. This guy has been slammed hard by the feds for his fraudulent activities. But Trudeau is the energizer bunny of scam artists. He takes a licking, but he keeps on tricking.

Trudeau is clever in his infomercials because he sets himself up as a "skeptic" and being a contrarian. Now, I am a skeptic and a contrarian, and I can tell you this guy is full of shit.

The scam I am watching now is Trudeau's riff on the Law of Attraction. Books like The Secret and others attempt to tell you to tune your "frequencies" to receive what the Universe wants to give you. You can think your way to riches and happiness. This is simply a load of shit.

Trudeau's most famous scams involve herbal remedies and quack medicine. He used to sell products, but now, he just sells books to comply with a court order. Basically, he has First Amendment protection which allows him to do this. Should people be held liable for bad advice? That is an interesting question considering most advice is bad anyway.

Trudeau is a huckster, but he has the best huck a huckster can have. He has a diversified product line. He talks a good game. He racks up the dough. And people want all of it. This is because scams are fake answers to real problems. People want to be healthy and rich. My advice is to try working for it.

Day 2

The grief comes in waves like rain bands from a hurricane. I will feel fine one minute then a fresh wave of pain and loss will hit me. Then, it subsides.

I hate breaking up. I don't think women feel anything. They are quick to love you and just as quick to hate you. Men are slow to love, but the feelings remain after the woman is gone. They have to fade like a memory.

Experience has taught me that there is no shortcut on this. You just deal. As for regrets, I don't have any. You try to fathom if there was some way it could have gone differently. But there was no way. You can't beat yourself up over it.

I have a friend of mine who is married and is a devoted husband and father of two lovely daughters. He is a great guy. I asked him what he would do if he ever lost his wife. He told me he would never be with any other woman. She was the one. He wouldn't even try.

That is an important lesson for me. Stop trying. I was already apathetic when I met her. Now, forget it. I've reached a new level of don't give a damn about women. I'm solidly in George Clooney territory now. Love, marriage, all of it--a pure ball of misery.

I feel a new wave coming, so I'll end it here.

Work Is The Answer



I work a long day because it feels good to me, and I do that no matter what my job is.
RACHAEL RAY

Everybody has problems. Not all problems are caused by laziness. But all solutions come from work. Even the person stricken by cancer can only hope a hard working doctor finds the cure.

Work is the answer. Are you unemployed? Work at finding a job. Devote 10 hours a day to finding a job. You will find a job.

There are no tricks in life. There are more efficient ways to do something, but these ways are found through work. Ultimately, all learning comes from doing.

I see work as a panacea. People may disagree, but I must ask a question. What is the alternative? What else can you do? No one can answer this. It all goes back to work.

People don't see work as the solution. They see work as the problem. We have politicians and MBAs to thank for this. The answer must lie in some neat, undiscovered trick. For the politicians, it is all about tweaking the policy. The right tweak will make all problems disappear. Similarly, MBAs engage in tomfuckery with the numbers as if production and wealth came from something other than hard work.

We are told to work smarter not harder. The irony is that the people who toss that line out are some really lazy fuckers. Their answer usually involves finding some other sucker to do the work for them. "Work smarter" is simply a euphemism for fucking someone over.

I wish work was always pleasant, but it isn't. Sometimes, you have to grunt and struggle and endure. But work is always fun. ALWAYS. It is people's thinking about work that makes it intolerable. Change that thinking, and your whole life will change. Do you see Rachael Ray frowning?

Alone Again

I have been in a relationship for the last two years, and it has ended. There's not much I can say about it except it isn't what I want. It is what she wants. And so it goes. . .

I don't care anymore. The reality of my life is that I am permanently alone. This will never change. Every break up adds scar tissue. I feel less and less. I give less and less. For two years, I have simply been steeling myself for the inevitable break up. Women wonder why I never marry. Marriage merely makes breaking up more expensive.

I don't believe in love. My lack of faith in love is equal to my lack of faith in God. I know it is nonsense. Love is a delusion, and the delusion ends when the truth emerges. Speak truth to a woman, and she will never forgive you.

I will hurt for a week or two, and then, I will feel fine again. In fact, I will actually be happier. Why? Because life goes on, and her problems are not my problems anymore. I don't have to be nagged anymore. I don't have to take an ass chewing for whatever my latest failure is. As any man will tell you, with women, you are only as good as your last trick.

I will save more money. I will lose weight. I will work more. I will make progress in projects. Why? Because those resources devoted to her will now stay with me. I get to enjoy my life again and not feel guilty about it. Whether I want to admit it or not, I am happier alone. But in the meantime, it hurts.

In the past, I would get angry and spew as much bile as possible. But like I said, I've been prepping for this. As for who is right, that is me. When a relationship ends and the other person can't look you in the eye, you were right. In the choice between truth and love, I chose truth, and the truth will always cost you.

All my relationships end the same way whether it is with women, family, or friends. I say something true, and they can't deal with it. If you want to be with someone, always keep your mouth shut. ALWAYS. If they have a drinking problem, live with it. Are they compulsive gamblers with debt problems? Just shut up and hide your money. In the end, talking to them will do nothing for them. They will only hate you and keep doing what they are doing. In the end, people love their vices more than they will ever love you.

Love is where you consider the cost of being with someone to be less than the cost of being alone. I find that the relationships that I have that endure are the ones with my brother and my friends. This is because they all have their shit together. They pay their bills. They keep a job. They don't have drug and alcohol problems. But even if they did have problems, they would never burden me with them. I would tell them what they would tell me--get your shit together.

People with problems want and demand unconditional love. This is because that is the only love that can endure with these people. But there is no such thing as unconditional love. Cheat on your spouse and get caught and see what happens. Love must be conditional. To love someone who mistreats you is to hate yourself.

I really love my girlfriend. She never did anything bad to me. As girlfriends go, she was the best. But I could not keep my mouth closed. I love truth more than her. Now, she is gone. I will miss her.

Dissection of a Midlife Crisis



I turn 40 this year. Some of my peers have already passed this milestone. Others are like me seeing it just ahead. What are we to make of 40?

40 is when you begin to realize that your life is half over. There is more behind you than ahead. Just yesterday, you were graduating from high school. Now, you are old. Where does the time go?

Midlife is about regrets. You hit 40, and you take stock. Am I rich? Am I famous? If you answer no to these questions, you have a crisis. You compensate by buying a Corvette and dating college girls. You get a tattoo and a earring. You ride a Harley. It is sort of pathetic.

For me, I look at 40 in the same way I looked at losing my hair. I just shaved my head and went on with my life. 40 is like hair loss. It is only tragic if you give a fuck. Like me, you can shave that melon. Or, you can fight it by joining Hair Club and wearing a silly rug on your noggin.

When you hit 40, you try and remake all the decisions in your life. You make all the right choices, and you end up in that parallel universe where you made all the right decisions. But this is make believe. Even the lives of the rich and famous aren't all that great. Ultimately, we should have bought stock in Apple and Microsoft back in the 80s. But who knew then? Who knows now?

The problem with this thinking is that life is not a series of bets at a blackjack table. Over the course of a lifetime, good fortune and bad averages out. This is why so many lottery winners end up broke. This is why Aristotle said you could not take sum of a man's life until it had reached its end. Aristotle was a big believer in averages.

For most people hitting 40, the big tragedy is they realize they are just average. Their lives have been lived firmly in the fat portion of the bell curve. Trying to act young is some vain attempt to hit the RESET button on life. But I don't believe in parallel universes. Even if they exist, they don't matter. The bottom line is that you can hit RESET on just about anyone's life, and they would end up almost exactly where they are right now. This is because life is mostly comprised of the daily choices we make. For someone who smokes, it isn't when they decided to take that first puff at age 14. That wasn't the mistake. It was the second, third, fourth, and fifth puff that was their undoing.

Big time events in a person's life don't seem to make much difference. Some people have been hit with all sorts of bad things like accidents, divorces, bankruptcies, and the like. But they just shake that shit off. Others manage to fuck up their lives no matter how much good fortune comes their way. This would be rock stars who can't even manage their own lives. I'm sorry, but you aren't a Master of the Universe if you can't even control your own appetites.

You are what you repeatedly do. At 40, it is clear what you like to do. If you are fat like me, you are someone who likes to eat. If you are a triathlete, you are someone who likes to exercise a lot and show off your genitals in a Speedo. If you are rich, you are someone who likes to make money. If you are twice divorced because of numerous affairs, then you are a sex addict. When we measure people not by their wealth, fame, or status but by their virtues, a much different picture emerges.

My regrets are not that I didn't buy stock in Apple or Microsoft or Google. I had neither the knowledge nor the money to make those things happen. I would have bought AOL or some other loser. It makes no sense to tie your regrets to hindsight bias. On that basis, everyone is a complete loser. I bet Bill Gates wishes he could take back a lot of business decisions he made.

My regrets are these:

-I am fat and out of shape.

-I am not neat, clean, and organized in my affairs.

-I don't work more.

I don't regret not being rich or famous. I don't regret getting old. I do regret not being better as a person. I regret my vices the chief of which is laziness. Owning a Corvette and dating bimbos is not going to change this regret.

The reality is that life is not a blackjack table but a scale in which you weigh yourself. It is not about luck but about making those consistent decisions day in and day out. When I was a kid, I used to envy child stars for being rich and famous at such a young age. I've lived long enough to see those same people go on to lead pretty shitty lives. The weighing machine is relentless. Some of those kids turn out to be Jodie Foster. Others turn out like Corey Haim. The weighing machine always has the last word. It is the only word that matters.

It is said that Julius Caesar cried like a bitch when he saw the statue of Alexander the Great who at age 30 had conquered the world while Caesar was a complete loser. Later on, Caesar would make his own conquests and get stabbed in the guts by his friends. But for me, the glaring fact is that Caesar had a really bad combover. He was a terribly insecure individual who compensated by seeking fame and glory. Caesar was the living embodiment of the midlife crisis.

We all know someone like Caesar. They are ambitious and driven and often achieve a great deal. But they hide a massive case of inferiority. That is the cool thing about getting old. You learn to accept yourself as you are. I believe this self-acceptance is what makes old people so much happier than middle aged people. You get to a point in life where you get over yourself. You become happy just being the person you are.

I will be conceited and admit to it. I've got that self-acceptance thing down. It helps to have failed in life a lot because it accelerates this process. It also helps to be on the ugly side in the looks department. I am very candid about my shortcomings, and I have learned the value of self-deprecation. I get accused of having a massively low self-esteem, but you have to remember something. I have a logo and a blog. I am also called arrogant and narcissistic and selfish. I just shrug it all off. I am just me.

I am fine with getting older. I want to be old. This is because it beats the alternative which is being dead. And in my encounters with youth, I am always struck by how stupid many young people are. I never want to go back to that state again. As for the decline of my bodily functions, most of that is because of being out of shape. A 70-year-old ran a sub-3 marathon, and I can't even run a mile at 39. Youth is no substitute for virtue which is the point I am getting at.

Going forward, my only real ambitions are to conquer these bad habits of mine. I figure everything else will take care of itself. I'd rather be in shape than be rich. I prefer a simple house to a McMansion. I'd rather work a job I love than climb the ladder. I would like to upgrade to a pickup truck. No Corvettes for me. No plastic surgery or hairpieces either. What you see is what you get.

Here's to 40. I'm glad I am alive, and I will make the next 40 better than the first 40.

Blue Collar Simplicity



This recession has changed my thinking on a lot of things--Wall Street, materialism, career, etc. The hard times is when we reconnect to our values, and we learn about what we are truly about. For me, that has been a reconnection with the blue collar lifestyle and an appreciation for the voluntary simplicity movement.

The problem with the voluntary simplicity movement is that it is the psychological crisis of yuppies and technogeeks with money and stuff who find out that none of it improves their lives one bit. So, they ditch the fancy cars and the McMansions in favor of smaller homes, hybrid vehicles, recycling their waste, and eating organic food. With it, they also reject capitalism and the work ethic.

On the other side, we have blue collar workers who dream of the good life which is almost always in material terms. They want bass boats, gigantic four wheel drive vehicles, RVs, etc. Many of them submerge themselves in consumer debt up to their eyeballs to buy all this shit. Then, they scramble, bitch, and drink because they can't make all their payments.

My choice has been to adopt the best of both of these worlds. I believe in hard work and simple living. What this means is that unlike the conflicted yuppies and technogeeks, I think being a workaholic is a good thing. But I also have no desire to acquire a bunch of shit I don't need. Most of the frivolous shit people buy is for the sake of leisure. This is the crux of the issue.

The problem with the yuppies and the technogeeks is that they have lots and lots of money but no time for leisure. For them, it is not a shortage of stuff but having time to enjoy it. They pare down to relax and enjoy life. On the flip side, you have blue collar people who have leisure time but not a whole lot of money to spend. So, they spend money they don't have and take on the very stress that the yuppies and technogeeks want to escape. Either way, you can choose to have lots of money or lots of time, but you can't have both.

All this hit me while thumbing through the master catalog for Bass Pro Shops. You can easily drop $2K on all the stuff they sell in that thing, and it will barely outfit you for a respectable fishing trip. People ask me why I don't go fishing, and the answer to that is simple. I can't afford it. In these uncertain economic times, I can't spend money that I might need for food and rent. Naturally, they tell me I should "finance it." Put it all on the credit card. No thanks.

The bottom line is that everybody wants to do the same thing--spend more and work less. My answer is the opposite. Spend less and work more. This is such a crazy idea that people look at me like I have lost my mind. But I don't buy into the myth that happiness comes from leisure.

I hate leisure. Trust me, I have tried to enjoy it. But I'm not like everyone else. I believe a bad day at work is better than a good day fishing. I know this sounds totally insane. But when I work, I accomplish things, and they pay me for it. In leisure, you pay money to accomplish nothing.

The problem people have is that they don't know what the good life is. They have an idea that revolves around leisure and materialism which they pursue and ends in frustration and disappointment. This consumerist leisure lifestyle is neither rewarding nor sustainable. People talk about enjoying the rewards of their labor, but I have found the dirty secret that the reward is in the labor itself.

This realization of mine is nothing new. This idea goes back to the Puritans and their work ethic. The Puritans believed in working hard, but they also eschewed materialism. This combination of hard work and thrift resulted in an explosion of wealth relative to other societies. These values don't necessarily have to be Christian as the same thing exists in Asian countries known as the Confucian work ethic. When you combine hard work and thrift, good things happen.

The downside of this viewpoint is that it puts you at odds with the rest of society. I feel the strain daily. I have media that tell me to buy buy buy. I have society that tells you that work is for suckers. It seems everyone is into getting over on someone else. Finally, I have to deal with family, co-workers, and friends who question my lifestyle choices. It is damn tiring.

I like to work. I want to work more. As for leisure, I spend my downtime mostly reading which is relatively cheap. I don't do vacations. I hate them. I don't care to own a Jet Ski. I think people who play golf are idiots and losers.

The American Dream today is simple. Work M-F 9-5 with an hour long lunch each day and all holidays off. Make a shitload of money fucking people over. Spend weekends on the golf course and splitting time between the lake house and the beach house. Vacation two weeks per year and try to up this to six weeks per year like the French. Have lots and lots of toys. Pat yourself on the back for all of your "hard work."

If this seems like a perversion of the work ethic, it is. Blue collar people think this is the good life, and they try to imitate it in their respective way. This means lots of hunting and fishing. Plus, rednecks play golf, too. There was a time when JFK would not play golf publicly because he didn't want to alienate himself from the working class. Now, the working class hits the links as much as the leisure class.

The most radical thing you can do in society today is work hard and not spend money. It blows people's minds. Yet, this is the firm foundation that America was built on. Hard work and thrift are the cornerstones to wealth and happiness. As the Puritans put it, "There is no joy in idleness."

I reject the central thesis of The 4-Hour Workweek
.
It is a damning indictment of our current culture and especially the business culture that such a book should be so popular. Ulimately, such dreams of unbridled leisure are a fantasy. This country and this society needs to get back to work. We need to eschew "tricks" and focus more on virtue and values.

This thinking has been an evolution for me. I have progressed in my viewpoints on this. I have the recession to thank for this reassessment. The irony and great fear of these troubled economic times is not that people will be out of work, but they will actually have to do some work for a change. No more getting over. It is all about getting the job done now. It is about providing value for the dollar and being responsible and finding happiness in something other than laying on your ass or playing with an expensive toy.

A Parable About The American Dream

I read this story a long time ago and loved the irony of it all.--C.

The American Dream
(a parable)

A boat docked in a tiny Greek village. An American tourist complimented the Greek fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

"Not very long," answered the Greek.

"But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American.

The Greek explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings I go into the village to see my friends, dance a little, play the bouzouki, and sing a few songs. I have a full life."

The American interrupted, "I have a MBA from Harvard and I can help you.
You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Athens, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge enterprise."

"How long would that take?" asked the Greek.

"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American.

"And after that?"

"Afterwards? That's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing.

"When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions? Really? And after that?"

"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your grandchildren, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife, and spend your evenings singing, dancing and playing the bouzouki with your friends."

Quotable Quotes--Albert Camus Edition



A free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad.

A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.

A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world.

A man's work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.

A taste for truth at any cost is a passion which spares nothing.

Abstract Art: A product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered.

After all manner of professors have done their best for us, the place we are to get knowledge is in books. The true university of these days is a collection of books.

After all, every murderer when he kills runs the risk of the most dreadful of deaths, whereas those who kill him risk nothing except promotion.

Ah, mon cher, for anyone who is alone, without God and without a master, the weight of days is dreadful.

Alas, after a certain age every man is responsible for his face.

All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Great works are often born on a street corner or in a restaurant's revolving door.

All modern revolutions have ended in a reinforcement of the power of the State.

An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself.

As a remedy to life in society I would suggest the big city. Nowadays, it is the only desert within our means.

At 30 a man should know himself like the palm of his hand, know the exact number of his defects and qualities, know how far he can go, foretell his failures - be what he is. And, above all, accept these things.

At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face.

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time.

Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.

But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?

By definition, a government has no conscience. Sometimes it has a policy, but nothing more.

Charm is a way of getting the answer yes without asking a clear question.

Culture: the cry of men in face of their destiny.

Don't believe your friends when they ask you to be honest with them. All they really want is to be maintained in the good opinion they have of themselves.

Don't wait for the last judgment - it takes place every day.

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.

Every man needs slaves like he needs clean air. To rule is to breathe, is it not? And even the most disenfranchised get to breathe. The lowest on the social scale have their spouses or their children.

Every revolutionary ends up either by becoming an oppressor or a heretic.

For centuries the death penalty, often accompanied by barbarous refinements, has been trying to hold crime in check; yet crime persists. Why? Because the instincts that are warring in man are not, as the law claims, constant forces in a state of equilibrium.

For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life.

Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.

He who despairs of the human condition is a coward, but he who has hope for it is a fool.

How can sincerity be a condition of friendship? A taste for truth at any cost is a passion which spares nothing.

How hard, how bitter it is to become a man!

I know of only one duty, and that is to love.

I shall tell you a great secret, my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment, it takes place every day.

I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is.

If there is sin against life, it consists... in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life.

In order to exist just once in the world, it is necessary never again to exist.

In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.

In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.

Integrity has no need of rules.

It is a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money.

It is normal to give away a little of one's life in order not to lose it all.

It is not your paintings I like, it is your painting.

Man is an idea, and a precious small idea once he turns his back on love.

Man is the only creature that refuses to be what he is.

Man wants to live, but it is useless to hope that this desire will dictate all his actions.

Martyrs, my friend, have to choose between being forgotten, mocked or used. As for being understood - never.

Men are convinced of your arguments, your sincerity, and the seriousness of your efforts only by your death.

Men are never really willing to die except for the sake of freedom: therefore they do not believe in dying completely.

Men must live and create. Live to the point of tears.

Methods of thought which claim to give the lead to our world in the name of revolution have become, in reality, ideologies of consent and not of rebellion.

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.

Note, besides, that it is no more immoral to directly rob citizens than to slip indirect taxes into the price of goods that they cannot do without.

Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear.

One leader, one people, signifies one master and millions of slaves.

Only a philosophy of eternity, in the world today, could justify non-violence.

Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.

Real nobility is based on scorn, courage, and profound indifference.

Retaliation is related to nature and instinct, not to law. Law, by definition, cannot obey the same rules as nature.

Some people talk in their sleep. Lecturers talk while other people sleep.

Stupidity has a knack of getting its way.

The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.

The desire for possession is insatiable, to such a point that it can survive even love itself. To love, therefore, is to sterilize the person one loves.

The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.

The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.

The modern mind is in complete disarray. Knowledge has stretched itself to the point where neither the world nor our intelligence can find any foot-hold. It is a fact that we are suffering from nihilism.

The myth of unlimited production brings war in its train as inevitably as clouds announce a storm.

The need to be right is the sign of a vulgar mind.

The only real progress lies in learning to be wrong all alone.

The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.

The real passion of the twentieth century is servitude.

The society based on production is only productive, not creative.

The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.

The world is never quiet, even its silence eternally resounds with the same notes, in vibrations which escape our ears. As for those that we perceive, they carry sounds to us, occasionally a chord, never a melody.

There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide.

There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.

There is the good and the bad, the great and the low, the just and the unjust. I swear to you that all that will never change.

There will be no lasting peace either in the heart of individuals or in social customs until death is outlawed.

Those who lack the courage will always find a philosophy to justify it.

Those who weep for the happy periods which they encounter in history acknowledge what they want; not the alleviation but the silencing of misery.

Those who write clearly have readers, those who write obscurely have commentators.

To abandon oneself to principles is really to die - and to die for an impossible love which is the contrary of love.

To assert in any case that a man must be absolutely cut off from society because he is absolutely evil amounts to saying that society is absolutely good, and no-one in his right mind will believe this today.

To be famous, in fact, one has only to kill one's landlady.

To be happy we must not be too concerned with others.

To correct a natural indifference I was placed half-way between misery and the sun. Misery kept me from believing that all was well under the sun, and the sun taught me that history wasn't everything.

To insure the adoration of a theorem for any length of time, faith is not enough, a police force is needed as well.

To know oneself, one should assert oneself.

Too many have dispensed with generosity in order to practice charity.

Truly fertile Music, the only kind that will move us, that we shall truly appreciate, will be a Music conducive to Dream, which banishes all reason and analysis. One must not wish first to understand and then to feel. Art does not tolerate Reason.

Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.

Virtue cannot separate itself from reality without becoming a principle of evil.

We always deceive ourselves twice about the people we love - first to their advantage, then to their disadvantage.

We are all special cases.

We call first truths those we discover after all the others.

We continue to shape our personality all our life. If we knew ourselves perfectly, we should die.

We get into the habit of living before acquiring the habit of thinking. In that race which daily hastens us towards death, the body maintains its irreparable lead.

We rarely confide in those who are better than we are.

We turn toward God only to obtain the impossible.


We used to wonder where war lived, what it was that made it so vile. And now we realize that we know where it lives... inside ourselves.

What is a rebel? A man who says no.

What the world requires of the Christians is that they should continue to be Christians.

When you have really exhausted an experience you always reverence and love it.

Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle. This is why any authentic creation is a gift to the future.

Without freedom, no art; art lives only on the restraints it imposes on itself, and dies of all others.

Without work, all life goes rotten. But when work is soulless, life stifles and dies.

You are forgiven for your happiness and your successes only if you generously consent to share them.

You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.

You have to be very rich or very poor to live without a trade.

You know what charm is: a way of getting the answer 'yes' without having asked any clear question.

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects

1. UK ELECTIONS

From the latest news, it looks like the Tories have it. It doesn't matter. The reality is the UK needs austerity. They need Margaret Thatcher. Time will tell on this.

2. AUSTERITY

We need champions of austerity. The only that qualifies is Gov. Christie in Jersey. For the most part, there is no leadership on this. What the world needs are leaders who will make the tough choices and do what is right. Obama won't do this. He is a socialist fucktard. Where will these strong executives come from? We are fucked. Utterly fucked.

3. BP

I have no thoughts on this at all. BP should pay for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

4. GOLD

If you have a lot of cash, buy gold. I don't mean gold on an exchange either. I mean real physical gold.

5. IMMIGRATION

I am pro-immigration, so I am definitely at odds with the fasctards and some libertards over what is happening in Arizona. Hell, I'm glad people think this country is worth trying to get into. I'm not sure how much longer that will last.

The reality is that white people here hate Mexicans. I call it like I see it. When a white person sees a Mexican spouting Spanish, his asshole clenches up. This "asshole clench" is the basis for Arizona's new law. This is how you know someone is illegal. They make your sphincter spasm. They need to get rid of this stupid law.

PRINT-End the Fed by Ron Paul



Ron Paul is not a scholar, and End the Fed is not a scholarly treatise. It is a manifesto for ending central banking. Everyone in this country should read it.

People are not aware of how the Federal Reserve robs from us, hurts us, and grows the government. Most people are simply ignorant of what it is that the Fed does. But if they knew, they would be very pissed. The Federal Reserve has managed to escape this popular wrath by being esoteric and mysterious. Ron Paul exposes the light on this secretive and shady institution.

Here are the basics you need to know about the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve creates money out of thin air in the exact same way that a counterfeiter does. This money then goes to Wall Street fat cat bankers, foreign governments, the federal government to finance wars, and what have you. The problem with this government sanctioned counterfeiting is that it is an act of theft. This is why counterfeiting is illegal. It robs the value of the dollars in your pocket and mine. This is known as inflation. Every dollar created makes the purchasing value of all dollars decrease. In essence, it is a hidden tax. The Fed only restrains itself by the knowledge that this ruse will be found out if they overdo it. Hyperinflation could be the result, and they can't hide that.

The worst thing the Fed does is lend help in creating bubbles. Bubbles are when a distortion occurs in the market as a result of those inflated dollars. Since they do not represent real savings or wealth, the recipients of those dollars get the wrong signal. It is like a pizza shop owner who gets an order for 50 pizzas, so he closes down his shop to fill that mammoth order. But the joke is on him when he finds out later that the order was merely a prank call. The result is that he has 50 pizzas he has to get rid of either by selling at a discount, eating them himself, donating to charity, or tossing in the garbage. This is what happens during a recession. It is when the damage is corrected. The Fed's answer is to pick up the phone again and order another 50 pizzas.

Ron Paul goes on with other criticisms of the Fed and solutions to the problems the Fed creates. Clearly, ending the Fed tops Dr. Paul's list, but he calls for a minimum an audit of the institution which may just happen. There is also talk of returning to the gold standard and repealing legal tender laws.

This is a fascinating book which I recommend highly. It is hard to read it and not grind your teeth in anger. The conclusion that you will reach at the end of the book is that we are a nation of suckers for allowing this central bank to exist. I am with Dr. Paul. End the Fed!!