Here’s the thing

Do Not EnterI woke up feeling depressed this morning. I don’t have a particularly profound insight as to why I was feeling depressed when i woke up this morning. I really feel like sleeping, but I have some stuff I have to do. Write a letter, make some CD’s, go to the post office, try to clean some stuff, maybe hang out with Nolan later. I’m doing a reading from the KYS chronicles tonight. Things are actually pretty good, but still I feel miserable today. I don’t get depressed too often these days, but I guess it happens. It probably has something to do with the chemistry of common life. I am not talking about the excellent album by Fucked Up though.

Public Radio in Albuquerque is weird. The college station, KUNM which hosts Morning Edition and a few other programs I am familiar with, is still a bit foreign to me. I realize that Albuquerque is not the over educated, pseudo intellectual city I am used to. To be honest, the east coast can drown in a see of shit with everyone’s desire to run and be a part of and have an opinion on Government. Government is impossible to manage and only those who are evil have a true desire to see their own ideology succeed. For the record, in case it isn’t clear, I have no political ideology. I don’t believe any party or ideological construction can be universally applied to people. I think you are delusional if you think otherwise.

This, I think has proven abundantly clear in the last 10 years. We somehow had a party support a mental midget into the office of the president so his less friendly looking, evil cronies could seize control of the government, give lots of money to arms dealers, start wars, attack women’s health and expand the government to alarming proportions to where Northern Virginia is nothing more than strip malls and scary buildings where really spooked out people make a living off my tax dollars. When I was employed and unwillingly paid such things. Then we all elected that nice looking, young man who made a lot of promises, especially in the social aspects of what governments meddle in. And while he’s had some success he’s also placated a lot of bullshit and further utilized our tax dollars to kill people. Some things have been fixed and turned around, but you know a lot of America hates him because he’s black. Because he’s black they voted in people who make G-Dubs and his cronies look like a band of intelligent teddy bears. Now we have a war on bicyclists and the government is about to shut down. It’s been less than four months. WAY TO GO. The war on bicycles is really weird by the way. I mean, didn’t we all ride them as kids? Wasn’t it awesome?

Anyway, so I was listening to Public Radio for about 2 minutes yesterday. There was a discussion about Nuclear Energy and the disasters it’s caused/capable of. Obviously, that’s a big deal here in New Mexico as a lot of the jobs and industry are directly related to or because of nuclear energy. It’s one of those issues that if you have a clear idea of what’s right then you have not, clearly, considered the total impact of what the implementation of your opinion is. The point though is that some guy, the guy who made me turn the radio off was against Nuclear energy because god said we shouldn’t mix chemicals.

Now, I’ve never heard of god being invoked against nuclear energy in this manner. It’s logical that someone would come to this conclusion, though I seriously doubt this mental giant really thought this one through. But I started ranting to myself in the car that god forbid we should use our own ingenuity to explore this amazing paradise and try to create a better, beautiful life. Look, not everything that science does is awesome. Sometimes it really makes things shitty. But there is nothing I love more than a curious mind that also has the ability to execute on these ideas. But my ranting really got me thinking about the phrases “god forbid” and “god damn”.

These are swear words to people. And I finally figured out why. Believers can accept that which god forbids and damns because they have that faith nonsense that I can’t seem to understand. However, as an Atheist, I think it’s imperative we claim these phrases, those that evoke this god entity in our arguments. Because gee, god forbid we do take all advantages of this beautiful planet and try to extend this beautiful thing called life. No seriously, he forbids a lot of stupid shit in that book of his. He also damns a lot of behavior and people. A lot of behavior and people are damned on his behalf by his followers, both misguided and totally, bat shit crazy.

Chemistry is amazing, the mixing of elements to create new, malleable objects. I always liked Chemistry in high school. My math was always suspect, but that’s because I can’t be bothered with the details. Anyway, without chemistry, science, exploration, our lives would be shortened, we’d have less cool stuff to do and that dude would not have been able to voice his opinion to thousands across the airwaves. These are things I wish he would have considered before he opened his idiotic mouth and sent me into a momentary rage while driving the already dangerous roadways of I-25 West. We evoke so much in the name of gods, nation-states, governments and political ideologies that are so monumentally stupid, not even evil, though we do that to, but just so incredibly dumb, that it’s not really a wonder this planet is as shit fucked as it is.

Look there are a lot of things I hold true. Gay people should be allowed to get married and taxes should be collected to build schools, libraries and firehouses. People should be encouraged through their lives to be healthy and we should teach this in schools. War is bad, absolutely and completely. People who want to be cops are suspect. Corporations are entities and under the guidelines of at least this countries Constitution have no rights and I think we should do everything to ensure that they are not protected but that the individual is. I’m not against people making money, but I believe that any collection of people engaged in labor for a single purpose should be compensated equally, no matter their position. That just seems like common sense to me. Otherwise it’s nothing more than greed. Hierarchy never works because no one person can have all the answers, can always be correct and often ego gets people in more trouble and killed. These are ideas I have, based on my nearly 34 years on this awesome planet in this mostly awesome country. They are flexible, malleable have room to grown and change. I’m pretty passionate about them and they come from my experiences in this world as just an average dude trying to get from birth to death with relative ease and enjoyment. Because life is awesome. Even if I’m a little gloomy today.

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20 Questions from Christopher Hitchens

This was recently posted on the Washington Posts web site by rationalist philosopher Susan Jacoby. I am in love with this woman by the way. She asked her readers to answer these questions. After much deliberation, this is my response.

1. What is your idea of the happiest day imaginable? Eating good food, having great sex and listening to as much music as possible, all while not worrying about money, work or responsibility.

2. What do you most fear? Losing my hearing.

3. Who are your favorite figures in history? Ho Chi Minh, Helen Kellar and Howard Zinn. Mostly though, great things are not accomplished by one singular person and human history is destructive, unimaginative, and violent

4. Who are your most detested figures in history?  This is kind of a hard question to answer. I think, as history is replete with so many conquerors, it’s hard to even fathom which are the most detested. One could make an argument for just about any political, religious or military figure through history.

5. What quality do you most dislike in others? Dishonesty, laziness, irresponsibility, the inability to take ownership.

6. What quality do you most dislike in yourself? I swear too much and I am too hot headed and emotional.

7. What personal quality do you most admire? Honesty.

8. Who are your favorite writers of fiction and/or poets? Douglas Adams, Raymond Carver, Charles Bukowski, Miranda July, Neil Smith, Jamaica Kincaid, Julia Alvarez

9. Who are your favorite visual artists? Chuck Close, Andy Warhol, Basquiat, Mike Kelly, David LaChapelle, Robert Mapplethorp, Robert Williams, Glen E. Friedman, Annie Lebovitz

10. Your favorite composers? Hans Zimmerman, Phillip Glass

11. What word or expression do you most overuse? Fuck

12. What talent that you do not possess would you most like to possess? Drawing/Tattooing

13. What has disappointed you most about the United States in your lifetime? Since I’ve been born, the US has been in violent conflict every second of every day. This practice started before me.

14. What has disappointed you most internationally? Free Trade that undermines, undercuts and results in the death of the collective workers producing for the privileged. Iran is a fucking disaster, as is Pakistan and our continued policies in these places only escalate the issues. The aforementioned violent conflicts that have perpetuated non-stop since before I was born is repugnant.

15. What do you consider the most important scientific advance in your lifetime?  This is a difficult question. Probably the Hubble Telescope. The ability to study the universe we are a part of seems really important to me.

16. What decade do you consider the most desirable time of life? There is no time like the present.

17. Do you believe that advancing age necessarily brings special wisdom?  If applied properly, the perspective of experience can be invaluable. But just because you manage to survive like a cockroach does not mean you have wisdom. If you don’t learn from your own experiences you aren’t all that bright.

18. What books, fiction or nonfiction, have exerted the most influence on your life and thought? Why?  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy omnibus. It teaches about life, the universe, love, adventure, anxiety and everything else. That Douglas Adams is relegated to the science fiction ghetto is unfair (I don’t really like how fiction that includes science and space concepts is relegated to a sub-par catagory at all really). Also his Last Chance to See is pretty much the most important book ever as it dictates such a sad and compelling account of the stupidity of human kind.

19. If you’re a religious believer, what is your foremost doubt? I am not, and therefor this does not apply.

20. If you’re an atheist and we turn out to have been wrong, what is your idea of hell? Heaven? Hell, for many exists today on this planet, and there is nothing worse then a physical, spiritual and psychological existance that is a contsant struggle for survival. Especially at the hands of awesome commerce machines whom you are so disconnected from that you can barely comprehend them. I am thankful everyday that I live a relatively struggle free life. Heaven is something I couldn’t even imagine or comprehend. It is an existence where the aforementioned physical, spiritual and psychological needs are met for every sentient, living creature.