VIDEO-Breakfast at Tiffany's



A friend of mine who loves old movies recommended this classic to me. I'm not a fan of chick flicks, and Breakfast at Tiffany's is a classic chick flick. But it isn't your typical chick flick. Based on a story from Truman Capote, the movie is both a lighthearted romp while simultaneously being a commentary on love and the human condition.

Audrey Hepburn shines as Holly Golightly, a free spirited lady who loves the party lifestyle and desperately wants to find a rich man to marry. But underneath her sunny exterior is a vein of sadness and loneliness. George Peppard plays Paul Varjak, the writer neighbor who befriends Holly and ends up falling in love with her. But he is merely a struggling writer who is nothing more than the kept man and boy toy of Patricia Neal. Both Holly and Paul are the roadkill of the fast highway of life as both trade love for money. Needless to say, complications ensue involving Holly's past, a connection to organized crime, and the introduction of a rich South American. I won't give anything else away.

What makes the movie so good is the fact that it is bittersweet. Unlike romantic comedies today, Holly and Paul are damaged people. You can tell they need each other and belong together. There is a gritty edge to this one as we are dealing with gold digging and women paying men for sex. It makes you want to read the Capote novella.

The movie ends with something I have known for many years. In such a harsh and empty world as ours, all we have is each other. In the truth of it all, this is what matters most. The world is a mean place full of phonies, and the most valuable thing you can have is someone who loves you just as you are.

[SOC]

My mind is blank at this moment. The reason for this is because I am not yet caffeinated. I am beginning to think I have caffeine dependency.

I don't really get to write about what I am thinking about. This is because what I am thinking about is a person who I don't want to write about. These are strange but happy times for the C-man. We will leave it at that.

The question is put to me. Is love still bullshit? My unqualified answer is yes. Love is still bullshit. My opinions on love have not changed. But with that said, I must admit that there are some rare couples out there that exhibit what I can only describe as true love. They don't cheat on each other. They don't use each other for money. They enjoy each other's company. They treat each other well. And they are perpetual newlyweds always showing love and affection.

I carry a picture on my phone of one of those couples. They are the real deal. If I ever doubt that true love exists, I pull up that picture to remind myself that black swans do exist. They are just rare.

For most people, love is and will always be a crock of shit. It is only as good as the parties involved, and I don't see womanizers and whores ever having true love. What they have is what I call "counterfeit love." This is love as the product of wishful thinking and self-delusion. I know this first hand as I have fallen for this counterfeit love many times.

True love begins as friendship. Your life partner should be your best friend. If they aren't and you find yourself sleeping with the enemy, you have fucked up. I don't know how else to put it. But when you find the One, you just know. No dating website or self-help book can help you on this. When you find the person you can live with the rest of your days, you can't not be with that person. People in counterfeit love seem desperate to find reasons to be together and to make it work. People in true love can't find a reason to not be together.

I am hopeful these days. That's all I can say right now. I am very hopeful.

68 Days of Eternity



Time moves fast in a blur
Except when I am apart from her
Then it slows to a crawl
The pendulum stopped in suspended fall
Days stretch to weeks, months, and years
My eyes drown in an ocean of tears
Time is fast to the brain
But slow to the heart in pain
Each day ticks an eternity
In agonizing infinity
Until separated souls rejoin once again
And time moves fast in its endless spin


Fast Draw on the C-man


MALNIC

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects

1. TRAYVON MARTIN

The facts of the case are simple. A black teenager was walking through a neighborhood unarmed. He was talking on his cellphone with his girlfriend when he notices someone following him. Scared, he runs. The guy following him is a stupid fool who sees a guy running away. He goes after him. An altercation ensues, and the stupid fucker shoots the teenager. Then, he claims self-defense. Unfuckingbelievable.

The Trayvon Martin case is a big deal not so much because of the particulars of that case so much as the fact that it represents a larger issue which is racial profiling and the double standard when it comes to law enforcement. Basically, if you are black in America, you get stamped with a criminal label. Law enforcement officials can do as they please with you. This is shit I have been screaming about for years to deaf ears. Now, the guy responsible for the fuck over and murder is a neighborhood watch captain. He is a civilian, so he has to go down. But what if he had a badge? Nothing would be said. This is standard operating procedure here in America. The fact that Sanford police let Zimmerman walk is merely police looking after their own except in this rare instance that Zimmerman was not one of them.

I don't know if new details will emerge from this case, but the facts as presented are very damning. My personal belief was that Zimmerman assaulted Trayvon Martin and lost the scrap. So, he pulled his weapon and shot the kid. The worst part is that it will reflect badly on people with concealed weapons permits and give fuel to the gun control shitheads to ride herd on the issue. This issue is like a water buffalo dead in the field and all the respective parties will get to feast on their portion of the carcass. I suppose I have eaten my piece of it as well.

Zimmerman needs to face charges. As someone who carries a weapon, I am always cognizant of the fact that I need to pull that weapon only in dire circumstances and only to protect life. Zimmerman failed that test. A 17-year-old kid with a cellphone and a bag of candy in his pocket is not going to kill you. And walking down a street is not a crime. Zimmerman is going to jail. He fucked his life away when he shot Trayvon.

2. STEM

I do not dispute that having a degree in science, technology, engineering, and math makes you more employable and will earn you a higher salary. The problem with STEM majors is that you still have to pay through the nose to get the education and whatever pay you get will be chopped down by student loan payments. Additionally, you aren't getting a job with a biology, math, or chemistry degree. Instead, it will be some highly specialized degree in a narrow field that will disappear or radically change in a few short years. Right now, petroleum engineering is the hot major. In ten years, those engineers will probably be out of work. If you doubt this, consider the architects and structural engineers who found themselves out of work when the housing bubble collapsed.

My personal opinion is that the idea of a major is ill founded. I reject specialization because it earns higher rewards but at the cost of higher risk. I think people would prefer stable employment at reduced income as opposed to lucrative employment that was volatile. STEM grads making big bucks are in the volatile end of the market. In my 20 years of adult living, I've seen comp sci majors and chemical and electrical engineers go from high pay to unemployment and back again. The only exception has been medical field majors. This is why the bulk of my high school counselor advice is to become a nurse, pharmacist, or doctor. Those seem like safe bets going forward.

The only antidote I have seen for volatility is diversification. You have to spread your bets. This is why a guy with a portfolio of job skills will enjoy greater stability and even higher overall income than someone with a highly specialized but rapidly dated degree in a highly technical field. If you are going to college, consider being a double or triple major. If that sounds nuts, it shouldn't. Be Renaissance on this shit.

3. ROMNEY

As far as I'm concerned, the GOP race and the eventual nominee is actually the eventual nominee. Mitt Romney has it, and he always had it. The guy wants the job, and he will do anything to get it. But will he be better than Obama? Probably not. The economy may improve under Romney, and he will get the credit. But I don't see much difference between him and Obama. I think Obama will get his ass whipped in November. I don't see how anyone can spin or sell the last four disastrous years especially when the only thing you can say is they gave you the keys to a lemon when you took office. Romney will ride hard on his management capabilities, and I think he will win. Obama has been a joke, and people are tired of his stupid ass. Romney might not be better, but he is a different face. When people are pissed, they go with different every time. This country is pissed.

4. RON PAUL

Ron Paul has done huge things for the liberty movement, but he is ignored. I think if he was in his fifites instead of his seventies he would run third party as a spoiler. But he seems like a man ready to pass the torch to his son. It won't matter because I have learned one thing from this election season. Liberty doesn't stand a chance. Or as my best friend points out to me repeatedly, "People never willingly choose to go against their self-interest." Because the status quo serves self interested parties, it isn't going away no matter how right Ron Paul may be. It is sad but reality.

5. SANTORUM

Please let this guy exit stage left. It is over, Rick. You are an embarrassment. Go away. GO THE FUCK AWAY.

Minimalism and Flow



I carry a lot of labels. I'm a writer, atheist, libertarian, blue collar guy, and a minimalist. I acquire and discard these labels as I go along. At some point, these labels come into conflict, and they need resolution. No bigger conflict exists in my living than the one between the life of minimalism and the life of flow. I am always keeping those two things in tension. I will now elaborate.

When you are living a life deep in the Flow, your projects become expansive. This is the nature of flourishing. It makes you want to do more. You want to see more, taste more, experience more, work more, and create more. Flow is all about more.

Minimalism is about less. Less distractions. Less material things. Less wasted time. Less commitments.

If I give in completely to the Flow, I produce more but also neglect more in the process. Things go well in one area and disastrously in another. Overcommitment occurs. As passionate and as robust as you can be, we are limited by the same things--time, money, and energy.

On the flip side, if I ruthlessly minimize the things in my life, I can eliminate a lot of frustrations in my life. But this also presents boredom. This seems to be a common refrain among the minimalist bloggers that I read, and I witness them go into the death spiral as they exhaust their self-limited creative options.

Minimalism is great for helping you get your shit together. If you are having trouble with finances, bad habits, and stress, the minimalist lifestyle will fix all of that for you. But we forget one important thing in this regard. The endpoint of life is not getting your shit together. The end and purpose of your life is happiness which only comes from flow. You can have all your shit together, and your life will still be empty.

People like to go to extremes because extremism is easy. So, on one side, you have the perfect but empty life of minimalism. On the other side, you have the messy but full life of flow. The answer lies in the mean. Aristotle's dictum concerning virtue being the midpoint between deficiency and excess applies here. You can have both. You can use both minimalism and flow to make your life both better and less messy. The two can work hand in hand as a writer and an editor would or a musician and a record producer. Flow is art while minimalism is management. Or as I use a favorite analogy, it is the picture and the frame.

I don't want a boring life, but I don't want a messy life either. I use minimalism to help produce a life with more flow. This means eliminating stuff I don't need, paring down unessential tasks, streamlining my chores, and focusing more on doing things as opposed to acquiring things. The result is that shit works.

The hardest part of living in this balance is coming up for air. It is stopping a high flow task to do one with less flow. But as a sweet friend points out to me repeatedly, you need times of boredom. You need white space. For me, this usually comes over the sink as I wash my dishes. It isn't actually boredom as most of my best thinking and ideas happens during this time. My brain is always on fire. But I find you need a break from doing simply to think about what you're going to do next.

THURSDAY




1. Can marijuana kill you? Only if you douse yourself with gasoline before lighting your blunt.

2. Running an unarmed person down and blasting them away is definitely self defense. We call this "preemptive murder."

3. Santorum endorses Obama over Romney. I think Rick hates Mormons.

4. I am just like an Etch-a-Sketch except there are no knobs and the screen has a giant middle finger on it.

5. I keep hearing the Echo and the Bunnymen song "Lips Like Sugar" in my head. Never goes away. NEVER.

6. The lyrics:

She Floats Like A Swan
Grace On The Water
Lips Like Sugar
Lips Like Sugar
Just When You Think You've Caught Her
She Glides Across The Water
She Calls For You Tonight
To Share This Moonlight

You'll Flow Down Her River
She'll Ask You And You'll Give Her

Lips Like Sugar
Sugar Kisses
Lips Like Sugar
Sugar Kisses

She Knows What She Knows
I Know What She's Thinking
Sugar Kisses
Sugar Kisses
Just When You Think She's Yours
She's Flown To Other Shores
To Laugh At How You Break
And Melt Into This Lake

You'll Flow Down Her River
But You'll Never Give Her

She'll Be My Mirror
Reflect What I Am
A Loser And A Winner
The King Of Siam
And My Siamese Twin
Alone On The River
Mirror Kisses


7. Yes, I miss the eighties. 1980 was an especially good year.

Desecration



Behold, my love, behold all that I simultaneously do: scandal, seduction, bad example, incest, adultery, sodomy! Oh, Satan! one and unique God of my soul, inspire thou in me something yet more, present further perversions to my smoking heart, and then shalt thou see how I shall plunge myself into them all!

MARQUIS DE SADE


One of the funniest things I like watching on YouTube is the collection of reactions people have to the underground short video known as "2 Girls 1 Cup." People who have seen that sickness know exactly what I am talking about and probably feel a bit of vomit rising in the back of their throats. The reaction to the video ranges from shock to vomiting. It is really sick shit. Basically, it is a video of a girl defecating into a cup followed by the girls eating and swapping it from mouth to mouth along with vomiting. It is one of the most disgusting things you will ever see. The vileness of the creation begs a certain question. How do people get off to this?

Things like "2 Girls 1 Cup" come at the end of a progression of perversion. Sex and the enjoyment of it is 90% mental. People may find this hard to believe, but they shouldn't. Everyday, millions of men and women satisfy themselves with nothing more than a hand and their own imaginations. It can become so intense and pleasurable that many of these people abandon physical relationships with real people to indulge themselves constantly in a fantasy world of porn. They would almost certainly pursue these things in reality if they could, but things such as laws, morals, and the lack of willing partners makes the pursuit highly problematic for these people. Still, many of these people are able to pull it off.

Because sex is such a mental thing, it becomes a province of the realm of ideas. Basically, sex becomes a subject of philosophy and strategy. If that sounds like an erection killer, it shouldn't be. Many of the sexual practices and fetishes that happen today can trace their philosophical origins to the Marquis de Sade. The Marquis was a debauched hedonist who advocated an unrestrained libertine lifestyle. This lead to him meeting with adversity and prison, but he probably enjoyed himself there as well. De Sade's writings are deep in the idea of the destruction of values and a reordering of reality purely on the dictates of personal preference. This destruction creates a thrill in the destroyer, and this thrill is what I call "desecration."



Sadism is enjoying the humiliation, degradation, and destruction of another human being. Its flip side--masochism--is merely enjoying one's own humiliation, degradation, and destruction. It really doesn't matter whether you are on the giving or receiving end because the thrill is the same. The pleasure comes from the absolute debasement of humanity. This is desecration. It is taking something holy and precious and shitting all over it. These acts of perversion create a thrill as the desecration occurs. It is very exciting and stimulating. Then, it isn't. It stops being fun and becomes just ho-hum. This is the hedonic treadmill in action. What is thrilling today will become boring tomorrow.

Going down the path of desecration creates momentary pleasure followed by boredom and numbness. In order to get the same thrill again, new levels of depravity must be reached. This requires greater acts of depravity, destruction, criminality, and violence. It gets to such an extreme that sex itself is abandoned in favor of just pure fucking evil. This is where monsters come from. This descent into evil is best captured in de Sade's work The 120 Days of Sodom which catalogs a complete descent into the perverse and the profane including torture, mutilation, and murder. That work is sickening, but it faithfully details the slippery slope of desecration. It is a work of fiction, but there are people who have actually done the things described in those pages. Some people may defend de Sade as some sort of hero of freethought, but it is my personal belief that he would have indulged himself in the most criminal of the acts described if given the chance.

The irony of desecration is that it is pursued for the sake of pleasure but ends in boredom and numbness. It is a dead end. People can either continue on the path to becoming monsters, or they simply abandon the path altogether to have relatively boring vanilla sex lives. This is a shame because it doesn't have to be this way. If desecration leads to exhaustion, boredom, and despair, it should stand to reason that consecration will lead to its opposite.

Desecration is where you take something holy and destroy it. Consecration is where you take something ordinary and make it holy and precious. It is the opposite of de Sade. Sex in the consecration mode is done as an act of love and devotion. It is where you celebrate the beauty and goodness and specialness of the other person. This path does not suffer from the hedonic treadmill. The pleasures increase and become more intense. As safety and trust are built between two partners, the passion increases. They find delight in one another. They see the things they love about the other and celebrate those things. This is the sort of thing that classic artists and poets captured in their work.



Desecration is nihilism as sex. It leaves you empty and dark. Consecration is beauty and devotion and love. It leaves you filled and loving life. Consecration has been lost in our times as internet pornography proliferates. The contemporary religious answer is to condemn all sex, but this condemnation merely cedes the sexual realm to the perverts. This abdication results in sexless religion on one hand and profane emptiness on the other hand.

Sex in the proper and flourishing context is a recognition of what is special and praiseworthy in the other person. It is not hedonistic but eudaimonistic. This is one of the great ironies of existence. The path of hedonism results in less pleasure. The path of virtue results in greater pleasure. The greatest and most sublime of sensory experiences are reserved for those who do not seek pleasure.

This idea of consecration is what we know simply as romance. Romance is gone from our time. It is silly to write poems about a beloved or paint their picture. Such notions and motions are an embarrassment now when even husbands can't find one decent thing to say about their wives. Virtue has been reduced to merely the size of breasts and butts and mechanical performance in the bedroom. Wives and girlfriends now try and compete with porn stars with cosmetic surgery, Brazilian waxes, thong underwear, and being willing to do depraved fucked up things in the bedroom. Women don't help themselves by catering to these desires. They merely debase themselves and become less special or lovely in the process. We live in an age where whores are now our queens, and we honor them by shitting on them. This is where we get "2 Girls 1 Cup."

The path of consecration begins quite simply. Find one good thing in the person you love and celebrate that thing. That's it. This will lead to a virtuous cycle as you find another thing and another thing. Consecration is taking something ordinary and seeing the beauty and specialness in that thing. And this is no mere mental thing. A virtue is what it is. And if it is special to you, then it is special. This act of consecration has the ability to spark romance across distances and rekindle romance in relationships long thought dead. This practice of consecration is also what keeps love alive across the years.

We have lost this consecration in our times. We have people who beat and shit on each other, but we can't find the humility within ourselves to find the goodness in another person. We can discuss the varieties of anal sex and bestiality, but we can't tell someone we love them. We can tell someone they are sexy, but we can't tell them that they are beautiful. These are hollow empty times we live in. But we merely have to see the beauty all around us and in each other to get it back.



---
NOTES

1. Marquis de Sade

2. The 120 Days of Sodom

[SOC]

Just got done painting. Went to the office supply place to get art supplies to make art that actually exists in the physical world. It is strange as most of my creations are digital. I'm getting used to manipulating pencil, pen, and paint. There is something very authentic about making material things.

I remember watching a documentary about the Moog synthesizer, and the thing that struck me is how artificial that instrument sounds. I don't enjoy synthesizer music. It sounds fake. Some human element is lost in the making of it. It is like ear candy that is not very filling. On the other hand, acoustic instruments like fiddle and guitar have a certain warmness and feeling to them. Those things are real.

My digital art creations strike many people as colorful and like candy. That is exactly what it is. It is candy. Candy is fake food. It is processed sugar mixed with artificial colors and flavorings. Human beings like fruit because of the flavor and the sweetness. Candy is merely fake fruit. When you eat real fruit like I do, you learn to appreciate the difference.

My whole mentality lately has been obsessed with this difference between the real and the fake. We live in a culture of fake food, fake millionaires, fake degrees, fake prosperity, fake love, etc. I yearn for the real.

This is what is wrong with this country today. It is the fakeness. Everything is fake from the empire to the money to the relationships. This is when I start sounding a bit like a conservative. There are some things that just don't change. You can't get something for nothing. Virtue counts. An honest day's work for honest pay. Be nice. Live within your means.

I'm just some blue collar guy making the median income. I don't make six figures or live in a big house I can't afford. I don't drive German automobiles or even own a Mac. I'm just a basic guy. But I am real. No one can ever take that from me. I am real. In a world full of counterfeits, real is what counts.


Grace


MALNIC

Sonnet 1

Her eyes shine with quickening desire.
My own cold heart beats quickly until
My mind’s relentless unquenchable fire
Is extinguished with her lovely will.
She demands of me a devotion true
And a constant pure unrelenting love.
I simply do not know what I should do
With this creature sent from Heaven above.
I am not worthy of a gift as this.
I break to pieces at her pleasant sight.
It is my highest solemn holy wish
To live in this woman’s undying light.
She is everything in the world to me.
My pledge to her is for eternity.

Home



I have lived the bulk of my life in South Carolina. For some, this is a cause for celebration. For others, this is some sort of tragedy. The irony is that those who consider it a tragedy are the ones who have never lived here.

South Carolina is a small state. We don't have a Grand Canyon or a Disneyworld. You can cross the entire state in less than half a day. There are no big cities. The state is mostly rural. It is a Red State which puts it on the forbidden list of Blue State coastal elites who consider the place to be backwoods and primitive.

For me, South Carolina is home. I love living here. I could probably learn to love living elsewhere, but it would be for the very reasons that I love living here. I could make a home in South Dakota or Nebraska or Colorado or Alaska. I couldn't make a home in New Jersey, Boston, DC, or the Big Apple. Those are nice places to visit, but I don't belong there.

What is it that makes South Carolina home to me? The answer is simple. The people here are generally nice, humble, and friendly. You do have your snobs and rednecks and thugged out gangbanger types. But for the most part, the people here are not obnoxious or looking for every single opportunity to fuck you over.

For me, the worst part of America is the Northeast corridor that stretches from DC to Boston. The people who live there are generally the biggest assholes you are ever going to meet. They are loud and obnoxious. They are elitist. They love unions and big government. They are the ones who clamor for trade protection and higher taxes and wealth redistribution. Then, as the quality of life there erodes for them, they all decide to come South to retire with their bloated pensions. Suddenly, the hick state of South Carolina becomes a heaven for these people because they now suddenly want to enjoy the benefits of the things they castigated and denied in their home states. This would be the lower cost of living and the nicer people.

If you want to see what this Northern flight down South produces, you need look no further than the state of Florida. The debate rages among many people. Is Florida a Southern state? The reality is that it is a hybrid state at this stage as many if not most of the people who live there have come from other places. Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and Haitians have not ruined Florida. But those Northern assholes certainly have. If you doubt this, you need look no further than the numerous billboards and radio ads giving ad hoc legal counsel for all the ways you can secure the services of some lawyer, so you can stick it to somebody else. I know the experience firsthand because I spent five years of my life in that state.

What makes Northerners such total assholes is the belief that they need aggression to make their way in the world. I always get the same answer when I ask my Yankee friends if I could make it in New York. "They would eat you alive, Charlie." Now, I am one mean motherfucker when I need to be, but I don't care to be like that 24/7 as a normal way of living. Being nice makes more sense to me. But I never hear people saying such things like that about any other place in America. Make no mistake. That area of the country is a complete shithole of assholes. This is why every fucking one of them wants to get the fuck out of there and come to places like Florida or South Carolina.

I wouldn't care if they came down here if they suddenly became nice people when they showed up. But they don't. They bring their asshole ways with them. Yankees admit that people down South are nice, but they think nice is stupid. So, while they enjoy the weather and the people here, they have to shit on us and call us hicks and simpletons because we don't make a lifestyle out of being mean and obnoxious. Then, when these assholes let their mouths finally erode the last bit of goodwill Southerners have towards them, they are always mystified and surprised when these poor dumb hicks cuss them out or beat the ever living shit out of them. It is absolutely amazing just how civil a Northern asshole can become when your fist shatters his fucking face.

Yankees talk a lot about having respect, but the irony is they never actually show any respect. They don't have a clue what that fucking means. To them respect is something paid only to those stronger than you while the weak deserve a heaping ton of shit dumped on them. In the South, respect is simply good manners. The result is that Northerners who come down South are like a houseguest who eats a fine dinner in your home, takes a shit on the dining room table when he is done, and then tells you that you have lousy food. Yet, he never fucking leaves. That is the last irony. These people just won't leave.

I have never understood how people can leave a place they claim to be superior to go to a place they consider to be inferior and remain in that inferior place. I hated Florida, so I came back to South Carolina. Why don't they go back? They always cite the good weather, but I point out that there are many other places in the USA where it never snows. They never choose to go there. They have to come here. The dirty secret is that these people love South Carolina. South Carolina is like the fat girl who cooks your meals, washes your dirty fucking underwear, and gives you the best sex you ever had in your life. But because she is fat, you have to shit on her around your friends. Yankees shit on South Carolina because they are too proud to admit that it is a nice place to live.

There are drawbacks to living here in South Carolina. This is not a travel brochure inviting you to come here and live. I would actually prefer it if you didn't come here. But this is why South Carolina is home to me. I want to live in a place where the people are nice to you as a general rule and only become assholes when provoked. I don't think South Carolina is alone in this regard. And I am right. How do I know I am right? How many Southerners do you see going up North? And how many Northerners do you see coming South? And how many Northerners do you see returning to the land of assholes? The fact is that when people come to SC for whatever reasons, they never seem to want to leave. They just stay. Even for loudmouth assholes, South Carolina is a great place to live.

If you ever decide to come to South Carolina, do me a favor. Show some fucking respect, or I'll break your friggin' face. Ha! Actually, I don't care. I am nice to everyone until it no longer works. Then, I get mean. My tip for you if you do come is try being nice and see what that does for you. I will laugh at your hick jokes and your observations that we can't keep our hands off our sisters. But don't lie to yourself or anyone else that South Carolina is a shitty place to live because it isn't. If you do say that, I am simply going to ask why you insist on staying here and watch you twist on your own hypocrisy.

Starving Artists



We realised that struggling artists are meant to struggle, that's the whole point.

BILL DRUMMOND


There is this blogger I am following that I like a great deal. He is a minimalist. He quit his crappy corporate job to follow his passion which is to be a blogger and a fiction writer. I like the guy. The only thing is that I wonder how long it will be before lack of cash forces him back into working for a living.

This blogger is no different than many other creative types. These people are writers, musicians, painters, sculptors, or what have you. The thing they all have in common is a desire to make a living from doing the creative things they love to do. For the vast majority of those people, this is an unrealistic aspiration. It just isn't going to happen. Even people with large audiences struggle to make ends meet. It helps to be a minimalist, but in the end, artists starve. It is the nature of their work.

The reason artists starve is obvious. Art is cheap. For instance, I am one of what must be a billion bloggers. Blogging is fun and rewarding in many ways. Blogging can also be lucrative if you have heavy traffic and monetize through ads and merchandising. But for most bloggers, they toil in vain on their blogs while working a day job to make ends meet. You can build an audience, but it is doubtful that you will ever make a living from it.

The things people make a living from are fairly obvious. These are things done to meet people's needs. It could be cooking, cleaning, fixing cars, wiring houses, unclogging pipes, etc. People pay for these things. So, why do people pay top dollar for a plumber but not a sculptor? The reason is because plumbing services are scarce relative to demand.



Now, art sells for millions of dollars every year. A popular artist can become rich overnight in a way that no plumber can. The richest woman in the UK is author J.K. Rowling who once lived on the dole. But these instances of massive riches are rare. They are like winning the lottery. When I see a blogger quit his day job to write, it is like watching a guy give notice to his employer after purchasing a Powerball ticket. It could happen, but I am always going to bet that it doesn't.

The reason for this odd state of affairs has to do with the concept of value. Value is subjective. I can splatter paint on a canvas, and it is worth nothing. Jackson Pollock splattered paint on a canvas, and it is worth millions. Why is this? Value is determined by purely subjective criteria.

Art serves no direct utilitarian function. This is why plumbers can reliably earn a living while sculptors cannot. People need their toilets, their showers, and their sinks. They can live without their art. In times of need, art along with other luxuries are the first thing to go. This is because the supreme value for humans is not beauty or contemplation but survival. In order to achieve happiness, the most basic requirement is being alive. This requirement for being alive is what makes trades and medicine reliable ways to make money.

Creative types are strange because they don't care very much about money. Money merely serves the end of survival and perhaps the purchase of art supplies. Beyond that, it is worthless to them. They don't care. What matters most to them is creating things they think are valuable. Others may agree or disagree. The problem is that you need money to live. Work becomes a chore serving only the higher end of the art. This is why artists gain a reputation for being impractical, poor, and lazy. When I told you about the blogger who quit his day job, it made you cringe a bit I am willing to bet.

The problem as I see it is in making a distinction between plumbing and art. I believe both are valuable. I believe plumbing and the trades can be every bit as satisfying as putting a brush to canvas. Conversely, I believe if all you do with your life is unclog toilets that this is sad and one dimensional. We have put enmity between the two where none should exist. Plumbing is valuable but so is art. There is an aesthetic in everything we make and do.

Here's a wild idea. This shit is kinda crazy, but I am going to toss it out there. Why not be both plumber and artist? Why should it be exclusively one or the other? Why does our blogger friend have to quit working to write fiction and blog posts? Why must the mundane be abandoned in favor of the sublime? Why must the sublime be abandoned for the sake of the mundane?

This is why I admire and celebrate Renaissance types. They do it all. This would be the doctor who plays in a rock band on the weekends. This would be the coworker of mine who studies martial arts. This would be the other coworker who is a drummer. This would be me with this blog. We might consider all of this extracurricular creativity to be stupid and a waste. But when you see what is happening on the internet with blogs, Facebook, and YouTube, you see a creative class emerging that rivals that of the Renaissance. This creation comes from people opting to turn off the TV and spend a part of their free time making things. It is glorious.

The problem as I see it is that we have abdicated creative pursuits to a professional class of people who get paid way out of proportion to their efforts. This would be someone like J.K. Rowling who wrote Harry Potter on the dole. You don't need to be a billionaire to write awesome books. Yet, Rowling is a billionaire. Similarly, you don't need to be free from a job to create either. I am fairly prolific as a blogger while keeping down a day job, and I still manage to waste time and goof off.

I am always going to work. I'm not even interested in quitting even if circumstances allowed me to. I am also always going to create. This blog and my other projects will continue until I am dead. They have been far too rewarding to me to give them up even if they haven't earned me a penny. I work, and I write. I like doing both. They feed each other as well. My work pays my bills and gives me time to think. My writing makes me more than just some piece of shit earning a paycheck to blow on consumer goods.

I don't think artists need to starve. I imagine Vincent van Gogh could have supported himself just fine if he painted a few rooms or houses each week on the side instead of bumming off his brother Theo. The reason we have starving artists and boring plumbers is because we have bought the lie of specialization. That is it in a nutshell. This is just so stupid on so many levels. This is why we have neurosurgeons who can operate on your brain but can't understand the statements on their 401(k) accounts. This is why we have pretentious artists who would rather starve than sell out to the Man. The result is that people are only selectively smart while being generally stupid as fuck.

Be a Renaissance type. You can be an artist and not starve. You can be a plumber and still be interesting. And the best part is that you might get rich and happy from doing both. Eschew specialization and mix it up for a change. I think this is a better way to live.

The Flow



People who read my blog or talk to me will hear me mention the word "flow" on a repeated basis. It even sounds mystical after awhile as I've gone Jedi with it and call it "the Flow." What exactly is the Flow? The Flow is what I am feeling right now as I write this. It is what I feel all the time. It seems like something magical, but it isn't. It only sounds magical. Make no mistake on this. The Flow is a rational experience. It is real, and it will change your life.

The Flow is what you experience when you lose yourself in an activity. It could be a videogame or a project or a blog post. It can be something as mundane as washing dishes or something as grand as designing a new spacecraft that will travel to other planets. It matters little what the activity is because the experience is the same. You feel alive, and your sense of time changes. Surfers call it the stoke. Athletes say it is being in the zone. All of it is the Flow.

The Flow is what Aristotle called eudaimonia or the "good god within." A person with eudaimonia flourishes. He or she is truly happy in a robust sense. They exhibit virtue. They have an energy and enthusiasm for living that most people lack. This energy is often infectious and others pick up on it and feed off of it. This sense of energy is the Flow. It is a difficult concept to describe but very easy to demonstrate. When we see or meet a person in flow, we know it. We can attempt to capture flow in the abstract sense of the term, but it is better to see it in action. People with flow generally have an enthusiasm for living, an insatiable curiosity, and a strong desire for work and activities. They also have an uncanny ability to attract friends and enjoy extreme popularity. This is because people in flow demonstrate the sort of happiness that all of us should have.

People who don't live in flow are quite miserable despite their attempts to achieve happiness. Generally, this takes either a hedonistic/materialistic turn as people seek pleasure and vanity. Others reject this and embrace religious dogma and practice. Both of these groups of people are unhappy. They lack flow. The Flow eludes them.

The easiest way to have and enjoy flow is to start with the activities you already do. Most of us do things because we have to do them. The result is that these things become burdensome and torturous. But the things we choose to do tend to be enjoyable, light, and fun. There is nothing inherently good or bad in anything. These are merely value judgments we place on things. This is why an office drone finds drudgery in shuffling papers but will find immense pleasure from working in his garden. They are both work, but the choice is what makes the difference.

The way to make life pop with flow is to always choose what you do. You must find your own end in all the activities that you do. This practice is being autotelic which means to be self-directed. For instance, the office drone may choose to make a game of his work. As he does the work, he becomes better at it as he pursues his internal motivations more than his external motivations. This autotelic process can extend to all of life. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi writes:

An autotelic person needs few material possessions and little entertainment, comfort, power, or fame because so much of what he or she does is already rewarding. Because such persons experience flow in work, in family life, when interacting with people, when eating, even when alone with nothing to do, they are less dependent on the external rewards that keep others motivated to go on with a life composed of routines. They are more autonomous and independent because they cannot be as easily manipulated with threats or rewards from the outside. At the same time, they are more involved with everything around them because they are fully immersed in the current of life.


This quotation perfectly describes my own life. It also perfectly describes the life of another person I know. We don't care about money or status. We only care about being in flow and pursuing the things that make us passionate for living. It is also why I embrace a minimalist lifestyle because I find that more conducive to living in flow. I care more about the things I do than about the things I own or the money I earn.

Flow is happiness. Anything else is a counterfeit. It is a substitute for the real and flourishing life that Aristotle and Csikszentmihalyi describe. I have not always lived in flow. I discovered the Flow when I was 35 years old. 35 years is a long time to be unhappy. But I am 41 now, and the years since then have been the happiest of my life. I learned how to be happy, and this knowledge can never be taken from me. Living in flow is a practice and a discipline, but it is enjoyable. Nothing else in the world compares to it. And when you meet another person in flow, it doubles your own sense of flow. Their enthusiasm for living joins with your own. That has been a new experience for me.

The downside of living in flow is that sometimes you forget to eat or sleep. If that sounds odd to you, it shows that you are not truly happy. The experience of flow is so overwhelming and filling that your mind feels like it is on fire. Your entire being tingles with the energy from it such that you don't even feel pain or fatigue. This is because the conscious mind can only process so much, so everything else fades into the background including your own sense of hunger or minor injuries. It always puzzles me at the end of the day to see cuts, scrapes, and bruises acquired on the job. This is because I never felt them when they happened.

The other downside of flow is a frustration with wanting to do more than your resources allow. Most of the time, this limited resource will be time. Being happy is like having a bubbling fountain inside, but you only have a cup to drink from this fountain. You become greedy for life, but life has limitations. A great example would be wanting to read the entire internet. You can't do it all or experience it all. But it is a good problem to have.

There is only so much I can write about the Flow. It is difficult to describe, so it has to be experienced to be appreciated. Most people I know who live in flow don't even know what these terms are that I am using. But they recognize them immediately as descriptors of their own existence. These people stumble into flow almost accidentally. Usually, they are creative types or surfers or athletes. Since no one required them to be creative or active, they become self-directed in their activities which sparks the Flow. Some only experience flow when doing their activity. Others learn to let the Flow overflow into the rest of their lives. The ones who go on to this second level are the ones I consider to be truly happy. They turn their entire lives into a flow experience.

Most people don't know shit about the Flow. It eludes them. They hate their jobs, and they hate their lives. They seek status that leaves them empty. They seek possessions that leave them impoverished. They pursue pleasure that leaves them numb. This is the way of death. They don't see it that way. They think they are living the good life, and they go to great pains to tell this to themselves and others. They feel an urge to try and convince everyone of something they already know in their being to be untrue. They are trapped. Then, when they encounter someone else who is truly happy in this flourishing sense, they turn hateful and envious. They seek to destroy the happy person because that person's existence shows their own existence to be a complete lie. It is akin to a creationist buying dinosaur land in order to destroy the fossil record that conflicts with his myth.

If you are already in flow, none of this is new to you. You already know these things. If you are not in flow, you will read this and smirk and laugh and wonder what the C-man is smoking these days. But if you are in-between, you will find a certain tingle and excitement in your being at the prospect that you may have found what you have always been looking for. Let me tell you a secret, my friend. You have found it. I was just like you when I found it, and it has changed my life. It will change yours as well. Catch the Flow. Do whatever it takes. Learn it and live it. What will follow will be nothing short of amazing.

It is the fate of most to never know flow. There's little I can do about this fact except to write this essay or point to the work and examples of others. It is sad that people are unable to grasp this concept or to live it. But there are times and places in history when entire communities of people have been in flow. Those times are nothing short of amazing, and they will recur again and again in the future. I think the only thing necessary for this flourishing is freedom. This is why I am a libertarian. People who flourish simply need the diminishers to get out of their way.

The Flow is what you need. Get it. Live it. Find others with it. It will make your life.

[SOC]

I am writing this in an acutely sleep deprived state. I just want to go back to bed. Today will be Day 6 of quite a run for me of a mixture of travel, work, and emotional highs and lows. If I stopped, I could easily sleep a straight 12 hours without opening my eyes a single time. I need some rest pretty bad right now. Instead, I will go and work a 15 hour day today.

I love my blog, but it is always the last in line when it comes to my life. Yet, it is a large part of my life, and I have it to thank for some pretty wonderful things that have happened to me in my life. Blogging is a chore, but it is a joyous chore.

I have a ton of things I want to write, but I simply have no time at all to work on those projects. There is simply too much going on in my life. I am happy. Very happy. I have never been happier in my life than I am right now. My life is flourishing in new and unexpected ways, but the price of that flourishing is physical exhaustion. I have slept three hours. That is all the sleep I am going to get.

Happiness is when your life is so full that you wish you never had to sleep again. I hate sleep. I hate having to do it. If they had a pill I could take that would cure sleepiness forever, I would take it. Happiness is living in flow, and you can't be in flow when you are asleep.

I have to stay awake for another day now. I am at the point where I want sleep because I am starting to feel sick from physical exhaustion. Two more hours would make me feel 100% better. But I have to get shit done. Always getting shit done. Getting to done is the story of my life except I am never done. I never rest. I just keep doing. Don't ask me how I am able to do it. I just do.

I hope my readers will hang with me. I will do my best to get back to my normal blogging schedule. But I am drinking deeply from the well of life. I am happy. Insanely joyously happy. And no, I'm not on drugs. But I am high as fuck.

The Life and Work of a POS

No matter what you do today, you will always be a piece of shit to this company.


I have a job title. This job title is POS which is merely the acronym for "piece of shit." I have always been a POS. This doesn't mean that I don't have a work ethic or care about my work. In fact, I have the opposite viewpoints and outlook. I enjoy my work or any work I do immensely. I try to make my work fun and invigorating. I am always about getting it done, having a sense of urgency, serving my customers both internal and external, and making a profit for the owners of my company. I despise those who sandbag, milk the clock, game the worker's comp system, go on strike, and basically seek every way they can to get paid for nothing. I try in every way both in thought and deed to be a person of value to my company. But make no mistake. I am and will always be a piece of shit to them.

This isn't unique to my company. It is the standard operating procedure of any company or employer I have ever worked for. I do the best job that I know how to do. I am glad for the opportunity and for getting paid for it. I believe in giving value for the dollar. The result of this is that I am hated by my employers. It blows the mind. I am unable to explain why it is like this. But I have a theory.

Companies don't want value from their employees. They want obedience. Consider the term "supervisor." This merely a more politically correct rendering of "overseer." You can see that they are essentially the same word. "Overseer" is a term from slave days. Essentially, workers are slaves in the minds of the company masters. I don't see it that way. I see myself as an entrepreneur selling my services to a customer. That customer has the right to buy or refuse those services even on a whim. Of course, I have the right to sell those services to another employer on a whim as well. This is the nature of a free market not slavery.

I figure that even on a "paid slave" basis which I know is an oxymoron that I work as hard or harder than an actual slave. This is because I am motivated by an internal need and drive. My libertarian ethics and autotelic ways demand that I give everything I can in my job. I follow my own internal boss. He is one hard motherfucker, but I love working for him. The external boss is a different matter.

You can't serve two masters, but this is exactly what you do when you work for a company with multiple layers of management. One boss tells you to do it one way. Another boss tells you to do it another way. Your customers want it a certain way. You can't piss off the one boss, but you are going to do that by listening to the other boss. You will have your ass reamed if you piss off a customer, but the customer is usually pissed over something you can't control. Piss off that customer, and you will hear from that boss. Please that customer by being proactive, and you will hear it from the boss about not following directions. It gets so bad that the same boss will tell you to do two different things that actually cancel each other out in a logical Catch-22 such that you are utterly fucked no matter which direction you take. You literally can't win no matter what you do.

Is this disheartening? Yes, it is. I would be a liar if I said otherwise. It sucks. You can fight it by speaking out, but you only get shouted down and threatened with termination. You can leave to work for someone else, but it will be the same story there as well because that was the way it was at the last job you had. You can keep your mouth shut and play the CYA game, but this won't help you either. In this game, it is heads I win and tails you lose.

The reason companies hate you comes down to one simple fact. They have to pay you. They hate this, but there it is. It works the other way as well. You have workers who want to get paid for not working. I am not one of those people. I want to feel good about the work I do. But no matter what I do, there will be no gratitude. The one year I got absolute top marks on my annual review was the year they had a freeze on pay raises. The next year I was back to being a piece of shit.

You can't get something for nothing, but this doesn't stop people from trying. This is why dedicated employees are regarded as pieces of shit while the actual pieces of shit in a company are given rewards and praise. And why do this strangeness happen? Because sometimes the slaves respond to honey instead of vinegar. Good workers don't need motivation, but bad workers always need motivation. So, they get bribes to do the job they are already paid to do. Companies think this is clever on their part. If the stick doesn't work, they try the carrot. So, they buy employees treats, stage mock lotteries, or have cash bonuses for things as ridiculous as just showing up to work on time or simply not getting injured or killed on the job. This is money for nothing. I suspect that slaves in the old days were periodically given such treats.

If you don't buy into this slavery mindset, your bosses will hate you. They don't want value. They want control and obedience. This would be a relatively easy thing to do except the Catch-22 directives make compliance a logical impossibility. So, you are a piece of shit. Always. The only thing that keeps you employed is the wider and saner logic of the marketplace. They pay you because ultimately you can't get something for nothing. But the dirty secret is that you can get something for nothing if you are willing to show the simple respect that customers and merchants display daily in their transactions. This is the double thank you. When an exchange is made, both parties say thank you to the other. I do it all the time. I even do it internally when a coworker does their job. I tell them thanks. It costs me nothing, but I always get it back in heaps from coworkers, customers, and subordinates. Unfortunately, it doesn't work on bosses.

You never say thank you to a slave. This is because it isn't a mutual exchange. A thank you implies a choice. It implies freedom and free exchange. Freedom is a foreign concept to Machiavellian managers who will threaten you, bribe you, and belittle you. But they are never going to thank you. But sometimes, when I do the things they would never do themselves, they slip up and say thanks. Those are golden moments. But I can't get used to that. It would become disheartening to expect that sort of thing. So, I go in to work everyday and I tell myself the same thing. No matter what I do, I will always be a piece of shit to this company. I am always and forever a POS.

[SOC]

I have been hit with a tsunami at work along with a personal project that I am trying to get done. The result is that I am not fulfilling my self-imposed blogging duties. I am frustrated over this lack of time to get it all done, but I have to accept the fact that I only have so many hours in a day. All I can do is try as hard as I can to get it all done.

I am writing this after getting off work. My face is dirty and grimy. I need a shower. I need some coffee. Yes, I drink coffee at night as well. I get jacked up on that shit. One day, I'm going to try that Voltaire shit of drinking 50 cups in a day. They must have been the small cups.

I am sleepy now. I hate sleep. Sleep is like a rehearsal for death.

Just woke up from sleep. This post is being written over the course of days. Between activity and sleep deprivation, I have been one busy guy. The week so far has been a blur, and it is almost over. Today, I have another full plate that I need to get through. So much to do and so much to write.

I love living in flow. It sucks when you have to stop to sleep, but it is what it is. You just want to cram all the living into your days that you can. But you can't. It is like having a massive treasure in front of you but having very small pockets. You just have to adjust to the fact that you can't have it all or do it all. But the upside is that you can be assured that there will never be a day going forward that you will not know happiness.

Life is not about positive or negative experiences. For me, they all blend together now into optimal experience. I have good things and bad things happen to me daily, but they all wash into the Flow. The Flow is where it is at. I will explain that more fully. An agnostic friend thinks I am into some Jedi mind bullshit when I talk about the Flow. But it isn't supernatural or mystical. In fact, everyone has had the Flow during moments of their lives. They just don't recognize the Flow. I do. Consequently, I cultivate it, extend it, expand it, and immerse myself in it.

My body can't always take it. No good thing comes without a bad thing, and the Flow comes with the sleep demons. I make war with the sleep demons on a constant basis. I should do the minimalist thing and try to moderate my life in this flow. But I don't. I just let it take me.

Happiness is the Flow. True love is two people living in the Flow. This is why I have become fascinated with John Lennon and Yoko Ono recently. Clearly, both people lived in Flow as John and Yoko were both creative types. John made music while Yoko made art. My favorite lyric from this era is when John writes, "Thought I'd been in love before but in my heart I wanted more." That something more was what Yoko had.

Lennon never met Yoko before he started to become attracted to her. His interest in her began through art. Before they were ever together in body, they were attracted to each other in mind. I already know what the attraction was. It was the Flow. Lennon and Ono would collaborate on many projects. They were two endlessly fascinating people who met. They had to be together. Even when circumstances and events drove them apart, they found their way back to each other. They had to be together.

Yoko catches a lot of grief for supposedly breaking up the Beatles, but this is bullshit. Bands break up on a regular basis. By the admission of each Beatle, Ono was not the cause of the end of the Beatles. The truth is that it was amazing that those four guys ever came together in the first place. And we can see what they went on to do after the break up.

The problem with any collaborative project is that some people must at some point subordinate themselves to the wishes of the others. This is the nature of comparative advantage. But it is a waste when you have a guy like Dave Grohl serving in the shadow of Kurt Cobain. Similarly, the Beatles felt constrained by serving within a group. They needed room to spread out, and the fact that they remained friendly and admiring of one another should tell you something.

Lennon and Ono were also a collaboration of two creative types, but they worked in different mediums. Lennon was a musician while Ono was an artist. They both served the other's projects. I think that difference made their work complementary. Where the Beatles rubbed and chafed against each other because they were all musicians, Lennon and Ono did not have the same antagonism and rivalry. They were mutually supportive.

I am a cynic on matters of love taking much of my viewpoints from Arthur Schopenhauer and biology. I think people just want to fuck in the biological drive to make babies. My viewpoints on all of this are unchanged and undiminished. But I must also acknowledge that there are couples who seem to defy this viewpoint. I now see that John and Yoko were one of those couples. Ono was not physically beautiful, and John could have done way better than her. In fact, he did. Cynthia Lennon was way better looking than Yoko. John left her to be with Yoko. This would be like trading a Porsche for a Volkswagen.

Yoko's appeal to John was clearly on a mental level. Yet, you can't see a picture of those two without seeing the sheer love and adoration he had for this woman. This was not mere passion. This was not about fucking or making babies. They shared Flow. This is not Schopenhauer but Aristotle. Schopenhauer said that happiness was impossible in life and the goal was to make life as painless as it was possible. But Schop was wrong on this. The fact that he wrote and did philosophy should have been some clue to him that there was happiness in life. Clearly, he enjoyed writing and philosophizing. I see people all the time in flow to greater or lesser degrees. These people flourish. Flow is real.

If Schopenhauer was wrong on happiness, I must also consider that he is also wrong on love. Schop is not entirely wrong. He shines the lights on dead ends. He is valuable in this regard. I am indebted to the man because he is a cold bracing wind of reality. But if people can be happy, we must also admit that there are people who truly love each other. I have seen them and met them.

True love comes from the shared flow of two happy people. I don't think John and Yoko understood what they had. Many people I see in flow have no clue about Aristotle and wouldn't know what the fuck I was talking about. But when I describe to them their experience of life, they immediately recognize that I am describing their state of being almost exactly. These people are naturally autotelic. They flow because of their nature. I flow as a consequence of thought and strategy. I had to make myself like this. When I tell these naturally flourishing people how to amp up, they blow it up.

I've had to come up with new terms for the love thing. There is true love, and there is bullshit love. Bullshit love is mere fucking and maybe keeping the guy around to pay the bills. True love is flourishing. It is a totally different animal. Sex and all that become expressions of that flourishing. But true love is the real deal. Bullshit love is to true love what hedonism is to eudaimonia. Hedonism is not happiness. It never can be.

I am now what a friend of mine calls a "love elitist." Basically, everything I believe about love still applies. I think the mass of humanity is under a fucking delusion in much the same way that they fail to be happy. When they say they love each other, it is a complete fucking joke in much the same way that a fool with a credit card thinks he is rich because he can buy shit. You can go through the motions, but it is all counterfeit. I can't be too harsh in my judgment because I have been just such a fool myself. I look back on all the times I said "I love you" and recognize it for a complete lie. I was sincere when I said those words in much the same way that a person who has his bank account drained by identify theft writes what he thinks is a perfectly good check. Sometimes, you just don't know any better.

Bullshit love is the rule not the exception. True love is the exception. If you don't know Flow, then you don't know happiness. If you don't know happiness, then you don't know love. Essentially, the world is enthralled to counterfeits and substitutes for the real thing, and people are too stupid to know any different. I know because I was one of those people.

Vitamin M



When you want a life of vigor and vim,
I suggest a dose of Vitamin M.
Vitamin M will make a man's whole day
By putting life in what you do or say.
This mystery cure can raise up the dead,
Give light in darkness, and banish your dread.
It's hard to find because it isn't bought
Or sold or promoted or widely sought.
Vitamin M is no potion or pill.
Or the magic of motivated will.
It is simply the flowing god within
And the love of an autotelic friend.
When two people flourish, it equals more
Than anything you ever had before.
Your eyes are opened and thoughts go higher
In the burning flames of two brains on fire.
Vitamin M is a true awesome treat
That will make you forget to sleep or eat.
It will open your mind and fill your days
In numerous incalculable ways.
So, do yourself a favor my fine friend,
And find your own source of Vitamin M.

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects

1. STACKING

There aren't enough hours in the day to do all the living that I want to do. It sucks. When multiple things start to come at me, it becomes what I call "stacking." This is what would happen when I worked in the package industry, and boxes would come down the chute at you faster than your ability to put them away. Those boxes would stack. The only thing you can do is double down and work that shit down.

Everything is stacking for me right now, so I will double down and deliver. One of the sweetest pleasures in life is the thrill you derive from getting shit done. I will endeavor to get it done. But first, we needs that coffee.

2. WAR

It never ends.

3. SANTORUM

I'm not a big fan of Mitt Romney, but I have to say that I prefer him to Rick Santorum. Santorum is a nut with his religion believing he has the right to force his values on others. It doesn't matter to me what the virtues or vices of his positions may be. Any idea wedded to force becomes a bad idea, and Rick Santorum is a man with a lot of bad ideas. Romney is no libertarian, but he at least shows some moderation and restraint. Romney wants to be liked. Santorum wants to be hated for his faith. The guy even dissed JFK for being a sell out on his faith. Romney is a nice guy who just wants to win. Santorum is just a prick. I expect to see Santorum with his own TV show on Fox News when it is done. He is playing firmly to the O'Reilly crowd.

Santorum makes Obama look good in comparison. Santorum winning the nomination would be an unmitigated disaster for the GOP. It blows my mind that this guy could potentially win it while a guy like Ron Paul can't. Republicans are fucking nuts.

4. LENNON

I have always liked Paul McCartney as my favorite Beatle while I have had only mild enthusiasm for John Lennon. I blame it all on my conservative upbringing and the negative reaction things like the peace movement brought about in my old man, a US Marine and Vietnam Veteran. My views have changed considerably over the years such that I now admire Lennon more. I always liked the music he made, but I never really cared about the words. Now, those words carry a lot of meaning for me.

Lennon changed a lot over his life and is reported to have turned more conservative before his death at age 40. Lennon is reported to have been supportive of Reagan and Thatcher. My personal belief is that John would be a libertarian today if he had lived. He strikes me as a man who was always searching and changing his views. He was a dynamic individual.

I am not a pacifist. I want peace. Unfortunately, others don't want peace. I am antiwar. I believe in arming yourself for a fight because this makes the fight less likely to happen. Reagan came more around to Lennon's views towards the end of his administration.

Lennon was a sweet man living in a mean ass world. The fact that he was shot to death speaks volumes to me. He sang the song of innocence. He never lived long enough to sing the song of experience. Those would have been good songs. His life was cut short before he could be all he was meant to be.

On a personal note, people like to crack on John for his passionate love for Yoko Ono. But I don't see the vice in loving your wife. They were the real deal, and the world hated them for it. I never saw that before, but I see it now. I like these lyrics from Lennon:

"Real Love"

All my little plans and schemes
Lost like some forgotten dream
Seems like all I really was doing
Was waiting for you

Just like little girls and boys
Playing with their little toys
Seems like all they really were doing
Was waiting for you

Don't need to be alone
No need to be alone

It's real love
It's real, yes it's real love
It's real

From this moment on I know
Exactly where my life will go
Seems that all I really was doing
Was waiting for love

Don't need to be afraid
No need to be afraid
It's real love
It's real, yes it's real love
It's real

Thought I'd been in love before,
But in my heart I wanted more
Seems like all I really was doing
Was waiting for you

Don't need to be alone
No need to be alone

It's real love
Yes it's real, yes it's real love
It's real, yes it's real love...


I think John and Yoko had real love. What the fuck is that? All I know is that you can't appreciate the real thing until you've gone through a bunch of the fake kind first. The irony is that people think they have the real thing when they really don't.

Real love involves the brain. All that other love is merely about the groin and the checkbook. Trust me, I've been through enough brainless bitches to figure it out.

How do you find real love? You don't. It finds you. It found John Lennon. It sucks that he was dead at 40, but he had one sweet life. Sometimes, your life doesn't even begin until you are 40. I imagine Lennon's last thoughts were of Yoko.

The Diminishers



Haters. What a term. It connotes jealousy and envy. At the same time, it also implies admiration. Haters admire the things they want to have and be. They hate because those things are denied to them. But you can't really hate a hater. Being hated for what you are is almost as sweet as being loved for the same things. If it wasn't, people wouldn't invest so much in status symbols that get keyed to fucking hell in parking garages.

I'm not a hater. When I see something admirable in someone else, I celebrate it. I have a coworker who I think is a complete bad ass at his job, and I praise him to the heavens for it. He is better than me at what he does. I praise him so much that people accuse me of gay tendencies and wanting to suck him off. It makes me laugh. But that's the way I am. Now, I could hate on him and talk shit about him, but the admiration would still be there hidden. Why hide it? The guy is great. The world needs great people.

Haters do no damage except to themselves. People are amused that I have an "amen" button and a "fuck you" button at the bottom of my posts. I get fuck yous all the time. I like the feedback even if it is negative. In fact, my critics make me better not worse. I need the hate and feed on it. Many of my friends are actually my harshest critics. Unlike members of the Cult of Positive Thinking, I think negative criticism is beneficial and healthy. Bring on the hate.

Diminishers are not the same as haters. They don't admire you at all. In fact, they don't give a shit about you whatsoever. The ironic thing is that these diminishers will actually claim and profess love for you. It could be a family member, a lover, or a friend. These people are supposed to be our supporters, our sponsors, and our advocates. At the very least, they shouldn't stand in the way or belittle us. Instead they discourage us, undermine us, enslave us, and consume us until there is nothing left. They diminish us.

Diminishers are evil. They always seem to know what is for our own good. They always want to control us. And the most dangerous thing to us? Our freedom to create, to perform, and to be what makes us truly special. Diminishers don't love you for what you are. They love you for what you do for them. Your role is to be a slave to their ends. But they will convince you that it is for your good end as well. The result is a slow drain of life from your being.

The antithesis to the diminisher is the one who flourishes. When people who flourish come into your life, they make you flourish, too. You feel your brain catch on fire. Your entire being is energized. You may even forget to eat or sleep because of the rush this person creates in you. People who flourish produce a contact high in all those who meet and interact with them.

Diminishers are attracted to the one who flourishes for the very qualities that make them flourish. The diminisher does not flourish. The diminisher achieves in a way that is second hand or in a drudging manner with a lot of bile and contempt. They don't enjoy the process, but they want the end result. Diminishers are often social climbers exchanging favors for status and position. The diminisher plays the game, so a person who flourishes becomes part of this game. They either get used up and essentially die inside. Or, they pick the locks on their shackles and escape.

A diminisher and a person who flourishes cannot coexist. One must subordinate to the other. I have an amigo who tells me I need to quit fighting and bite the pillow, but I can't. I can't stop flourishing. That way is death. I have been down that path. I have been diminished to the point of wanting to die. I will never go there again. I can't always win, but I can always fight. And fighting is living. I fight in order to live. People who don't flourish can never understand this.

When people who flourish come together, there is a multiplier effect. 1 + 1 = 5 in that equation. They feed off each other's flow and make one another flourish. It can be two friends, a couple, an organization, a company, a society, or even an entire generation and country. History is replete with these outbreaks of flourishing. This was the Athenians. This was the Renaissance. This was the Enlightenment. This is Silicon Valley. Outbreaks of flourishing happen at unusual times and places and when you least expect them.

The enemies of this flourishing are the diminishers. They are the parasites of every great society. They extinguish all that is great and good. It is their way. History is replete with diminishment as well. This was the Dark Ages. This was the Iron Curtain. This was the Holocaust. Diminishers consume until there is nothing left. Without a host, these parasites die off. They conquer merely to sustain the unsustainable. The diminishers always need the ones who flourish. The ones who flourish never need the diminishers.

On a personal level, the diminishers in your life are often family members and significant others. This isn't an automatic thing since those same people can also not be diminishers. They can be your greatest assets sometimes. But many times, these people just piss on everything you do or believe in. These people have to go. Diminishers are your enemies. They will take you down to misery and toss you like a sack of garbage when they are done with you. It behooves you to toss them first.

It helps to know who your enemies are. The diminishers are your enemies. The ones who flourish are your friends. As much as possible seek out and be with the ones who flourish. Be kind and gracious to your haters. But diminish the diminishers. Don't let them drain your life from you.