Posts Tagged ‘fear

07
Nov
18

Wisconsin Needs a Hero

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Wisconsin needs a hero…and not another name or word that ends in -ero.  Does anyone hear a violin or see any fires?

I have family in Wisconsin, USA.  And, as I am visiting and up late last night, aware of all the heated talk of politics (which seems to go nowhere…or I just have no good interest in it, anymore), I flip the channels and catch an image of the voting map around midnight last night.  And, what I saw made me nearly wake the neighborhood with my outburst.

[Of course, if you bother to look at a more current map, it’s shifted a bit, like cloud animals falling apart in the sky.  But, this was ever so apparent last night.  And, it’s too bad I didn’t have a camera or internet access at the time.]

Here.  I’ll draw you a picture.

wisconsinvotingmap-monster-midnight-nov62018-1J

Do you see it?  Please tell me you’re not suffering from poor eyesight or you only see a red mitten with blue and white flecks on it.  And, what the heck are those white triangles at the top, anyway?  Independent pyramids?  I think there’s a nuclear power plant up there somewhere.  Maybe those are like Chernobyl, and no one is alive to vote.

Yeah.  You see it now?  I’d say it’s rather apparent.

Holy fark nards!  THIS is the bad place, Eleanor.  Who needs Midnight, Texas, when you’ve got this Halloween picture?  You shouldn’t need pot brownies or one of Eric Foreman’s clan to see it.  And, yes, Jeremy Bearimy, the dot in the “I” scares the crap out of me!

I think I’ve seen that image somewhere….

wisconsinvotingmap-monster-midnight-nov62018-compared-to-sorcery-2-cover_3J

Oh, yeah.  One of my ol’ favorite mini-series.  Damn, that thing is scary.

So, as I said, Wisconsin needs a hero.  And, I think I know just the guy for the job.

wisconsinvotingmap-monster-midnight-nov62018-compared-to-sorcery-2-cover-callLink4help_4J

SO…

Help?  Anyone got an ocarina I can borrow?  Cuz I wanna catch the first magic tornado outta here and go visit some elf people in the sky.  And, I don’t want some recreational drug to take–er, pretend I’m there.

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08
May
18

F-Book Stalking and Reliving Old Wounds

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So, it’s like this.  I don’t use the site/service I prefer to call F-Book.  You know what I mean.  The place you profile people, poke them, stalk feeds, etc.  I’ve heard enough agonizing, annoying stories about the place.  So, I keep my distance.  And, for the most part, so does my family.  Yet, there are those who find their reasons and do all…that.  They may not have their own “page,” but they’ll still dig into the pages of others, of people they used to know just to see where they are now.  And, if people actually thought to look for me?  Well, too bad, so sad, you won’t find me there.

My sister decides to show me pictures of people we used to know when we were kids.  If these are former classmates of hers, I’m okay with it.  But, I still think it’s wrong if she’s not actually reaching out to these people.  That’s just stalking…or ghosting.

But, when she shows me people I shared a class with…people I used to think of as love interests and/or friends…people I lost touch with…who have now moved on, married, had kids…….

It’s like I’ve been in prison all this time.  It’s like I missed out on life.  It’s like I’ve lost them all over again and multiple ways.  It’s hard to just brush it off and say I’m not bothered or discouraged.  I’ll likely need time away from seeing more of…that…to forget about it, as aging is likely to afford.

In  a very small way, I suppose I should be happy these people, at least, appear happy.  And, the girl I thought I’d eventually marry…at least she has a kid with a name I would have agreed to give the child.

I don’t know which is worse.  Or, I do and don’t want to admit it.  If I had done the searching, I might find myself wanting to get lost in a bottle of booze I dare not touch.  But, I didn’t open the box.  My sister did.

…..

How much can one guy like me take?

I just needed to vent, to process this a bit and now have to let it all go.  So many falling stars.  So many beauties I’ve come to adore running off with other men.  I’m just too slow.  It’s my fault.  But, I’m better off not letting them get to me.  Let them go.  And, where I fall I fall.  Just tune out what I cannot hold or control.  Wait for my moment.  My moment will come.  Or, I’ll die a hermit in good service.  I’ll be like a monk or prophet.

 

28
Feb
17

My Response to “Bored Life in Wisconsin” (Dear Abby)

*****
You can find my response to this and other letters on the designated page. But, while you’re here, have a read.

Bored Life is a fifteen year-old teenager suffering from a mix of social anxiety and depression. It’s uncertain if this person is a boy or girl. But, they are clearly at a crossroad in life, lacking friendship and comfortable chats with peers, questioning acceptance of their chosen hobbies, wanting desperately to improve their situation. [I didn’t know kids (or “young adults”) still play Dungeons and Dragons.]

Abby suggests joining some groups to stimulate social activity. And, that’s sound advice (even I have yet to follow). But, I suspect this teen is resistant to joining (as I was/am). And, that may be why he/she is having such difficulty. I will speak from experience and, hopefully, provide some reassurance. But, considering my ongoing struggles, I can’t promise much. Still, it may shed some light on the paid advisor for future cases.

————–

Bored Life? I’m going to give you more than something or “anything.” Not just advice but also some of my own experience with what you are facing.

Lesson number one. Don’t ever say you’re bored or boring. Because, to the people that matter in your life, you’re not.

As I read your letter, I am checking off all the points that may match not just my teenage years but also my adult life. Repetitive schedule (including the details you gave)? Check. Depressed? Check. Inability to drive? Check. Trouble talking to others–aka social anxiety–double check. Parents that don’t go anywhere/do anything to stimulate your mind…nor, apparently, your bond/relationship with them? [Which may be something we want to discuss, later.] Double check. No friends with whom you can hang out/feel at ease with in person? Double check and an exclamation point!

Right now–and for who knows how long–you don’t have a “crowd.” You don’t have your niche. You’re a rare purple song bird in a forest full of blue and pink ones. You could perch next to a group and give your two cents. But, that would leave your comfort zone. And, once out of that comfort zone, you fear you’ll get hurt. Right? Who or what will protect you when you are completely exposed to the public and responsible for your words/actions.

Let’s tackle those key notes separately.

1) Your comfort zone/crowd.
This is what suits your desires/interests. It’s what you feel most at ease doing. This includes those “boring” activities you indulge, homework and drawing. When you get older, people start associating this with a career and raising children. Those become zones into which people lock themselves and struggle to escape. Some run away, producing single parents and questionable resumes.

Here’s the first ray of light I’d like to shed your way. What may seem boring today could be seen as a sign of dedicated study and achievement, later. And, perhaps, in the future, your work will pay off with attracting the niche crowd you’ve wanted, allowing you to filter out those who are not what they appear. [And, there will be your share of those, as well.]

Surely, you are not the only person in your world who is focused on homework, drawing and video games. Quite likely, there are others who are just about as secluded as you. And, that is why you don’t see each other or pair up. You are in your own corners, feeling similar doubts and concerns. Yet, even though you may have the same interests, there’s also the matter of personality differences.

2) Fear of painful exposure.
When we aren’t naturally adept to or taught at an early age to socialize, it becomes more and more like a stiff joint we haven’t moved in a while. It’s painful and/or difficult to stretch. It feels alien and uncertain, scary, even. What if we make the wrong move and do more harm? Leaving one’s comfort zone, trying new things…these can become painful to imagine. And, who doesn’t want to avoid pain?…except maybe those who preach “No pain, no gain.”

There are those that seem to make life appear easy. Jocks flock with jocks and hide any emotional responses they may have. Glam queens gab with other glam queens, and one is usually prettier than the rest for a reason. But, just because these people hang out and/or play together doesn’t mean they’re good friends. They may be avoiding your discomfort simply by staying busy. When they go home, life may not be as fun as they appear in school. School becomes their escape from solitude, family troubles and responsibility. It’s a different sort of comfort zone that seems high risk to people like you and me. It’s the fast lane while we coast in the slow lane.

3) Responsibility and taking chances.
Even I will admit (though I’m genetically inclined to deny) I have moments when I don’t want to be responsible for what happens. Companies satisfy this fear by posting “disclaimers” and “warnings,” all manners of fine print to ward off punishment should their business fail to satisfy the consumer and/or do greater harm. There may be something in the human genetic matrix that detests responsibility. But, if you know anything about Spider-Man, you likely know what Uncle Ben taught him.

Our great power is being the dominant species of this planet. Our responsibility is how we wield that power. We cannot be entirely careless with our actions. What we say and do impacts others.

Yet, we cannot take NO action or risk, either. If we try nothing, we achieve nothing. [But, don’t be so quick to dismiss what you DO try. Sometimes and some people will think you do nothing when, in fact, you ARE doing something that just isn’t apparent.]

One of the hard lessons of adulthood is taking steps to make progress (or even maintain what already exists) and being responsible for what results. If something goes wrong and it’s genuinely our fault, we need to take what comes with this negative result or defend ourselves if the punishment seems unjust. There will be other times when what occurs is just coincidence or cosmic fate, an “accident” we may not have been able to prevent. And, we need to learn to “roll with the punches;” accept failure or lesser achievement, regroup and try, again.

As I say, I am in a similar rut as you and not adept to making improvements/changes. But, many years after being in your shoes, I’ve gathered various tidbits of insight, therapy and wisdom from various sources. Right now, you’re at the start space on the board game of adulthood. Or, maybe, three steps from the start. I took a bit of a detour along one of those chutes or ladders and am not much closer to the finish line. But, I feel “wiser” for the experience. And, every step outside my comfort zone I am able to make, I get a tiny bit less afraid…even if I sometimes meet with what might be seen as disaster.

If I may, I have a few questions I hope aren’t too bothersome.

1) Who got you interested in Dungeons and Dragons? As I said earlier, I didn’t think anyone (especially your age) still played such games. I thought that was reserved for people from my and older generations.

I myself never played but have studied maps and guides. They were sources of artistic inspiration in my youth. I can remember being about seven or eight when I drew a picture of a warrior fending off “yellow mold” (and “black pudding” in another drawing) with a spear or sword.

2) You’ve NEVER had a crush on anyone? I could see not kissing or dating. But, not even a strong feeling about another person?

I had those feelings as early as four years old. I was given some unpleasant labels in my youth and in my teens which did not help me make friends and made approaching the concept of a romantic relationship almost impossible. I knew I wanted more than friendship with at least one girl. But, neither my parents nor my peers were any help in making my wishes come true. Instead, they made life more difficult and made me curl up in my “corner.”

Granted, there was one kid in my class who seemed the sort you claim to be. He had no interest in girls. Nor was he admittedly gay. I’d call him asexual because he was obsessed with annoying details in everything and never once said anything flattering about a boy/man or girl/woman, never showed any interest. If you asked him about such feelings, he’d pick a verbal fight and insult you.

There may be a strange blessing in this absence of “passion.” You could be spared the trials others face because they cannot control their “lust.” You could avoid the distractions and penalties (unplanned parenthood, for one) and get ahead in other areas of living. Then, down the road, those feelings you’ve been without might surface (at “the right time”). Yet, you are feeling discomfort because this difference makes relating to others less likely.

You make a point of mentioning how having feelings for someone can be a big part of interacting/talking with peers. [Can I just say I have not known any teen your age to even use the word “peers” in a sentence? That strikes me as unusual, too. I’d say “classmates,” “fellow students” or “other kids in my school.” But, peers?]

And, I can relate to that, too. I am pretty sure that’s why I was given the labels I received; I didn’t feel comfortable talking about “banging” that girl/guy or how much I wanted to grab some girl’s breasts. [Nor could I gossip about past relationships I didn’t have.] I felt guys who did this were juvenile. I didn’t necessarily say or think I was better than them–as many would argue against me–but I didn’t want to be like them. I chose a different path and was humiliated for it.

My struggles were amplified by factors I never saw coming. I was outnumbered and overwhelmed. I was at war with family. And, all of that slowed down any progress I could make so badly that I could see everyone else walking away and getting ahead in life. I continue to question my decisions and why I had to fight those battles. Could I have avoided the conflicts somehow? Could I have ignored the “jerks” and focused better on those who mattered? Why did I make the decisions I made?

I seem to recall writing a letter like yours back when I was your age (except I made it clear I had feelings for a number of girls and was distraught for losing contact with at least one). I did not find or receive any response. Hopefully, you’ll find my words and get some good out of them.

05
Jan
17

The “Smart” Future Looks Dumb and Bleak

*****
I only have to see five minutes of recent news headlines to get nightmares and palpitations.  If I had been asleep for some time and awoke to find this on TV, I’d likely go back to sleep or die on the spot.

One cause of palpitations:  Trump.  I think I’ll leave him at that.  But, I will say I see some of my worst aspects in him and too many faulty promises, like the parent that tells his/her kids too often they will do something for/with the child but never do.  And, seeing myself in him, I know I would not want to be president.  I’d rather be an advisor/assistant.

The other big mozza ball that chills me to the bone:  Rapidly advancing technology.  People are in such a rush to create artificially intelligent machines and way too many cameras.  So much talk about convenience and “smart” technology.

When I was a kid, I was told I was smart.  People still tell me I am when I doubt it.  But, there are different levels of smart.  And, I learned this the hardest way in my teens, entering high school and finding people who could do the same work in a fraction of the time.  Yes, people, not machines.  But, many of these smart people were from wealthy families that didn’t seem to care about anything; they just wanted to have it all and keep advancing without knowing what “it all” is or was before the next phase of advancement.  These were locomotives of intelligence going nowhere I could see.  For all my smarts, I was just getting trampled under their wheels.  Maybe their smarts were paid for with the highest approval for production while mine were scraped and taped together like the kid who makes his own toys instead of buying the expensive new spectacles.

If I have learned anything in the past 15 years–that may be longer than some who breast-feed off this stuff have been alive–it’s that technology that’s hot today could just as easily be pointless in ten years.  So, why invest in any of it?  Fools buy this stuff.  The smart people are the ones sitting back, buying and selling stock as the fools do all the salivating and tossing of money out windows.  But, even that comes and goes like the seasons.  It’s faulty gambling.

But, unlike some of the goofy gadgets that have come and gone, others that were only touching the tips of our fingers twenty or thirty years ago–again, perhaps beyond the age range of many who pack this stuff in their school lunch bags–are making steady and potentially hazardous progress.  Namely cameras that invade and robots, the stuff of the science fiction films I’ve been talking about for years, now.

And, where is the hot spot for showing this stuff off?  Not L.A.  Not “silicon valley.”  Not New York.  No.  It’s Las Vegas, the sleazy, I’ll-keep-every-one-of-your-immoral-secrets capital of the netherworld.  Can we say Nightmare on Earth Street?  I knew you could.

In the five minutes of a morning show I caught during breakfast, a guy is doing one of those crappy, quick displays of “feature products” at this electronics show.  And, one just happens to be a drone the size of a small pallet…you know…a shipping pallet…the sort you might see at an AMAZON.COM warehouse.  Yeah.  That marketing monster.  Skynet.  Darth Vader torn between the dark side and the light, but leaning toward the dark.

He’s talking about this drone like he approves of it at the same time he is spelling out in words plain as day that the thing is invasive and terrifying.  Companies sell this stuff to the masses as commercial entertainment.  The gadgets are the hit of every wealthy person’s social gala.  But, for every small investment in the flash-in-the-pan crazes, there’s one global step closer to these gadgets being sent out in masses to do other things we did not think were intended when we found them quaint.  Just as when the internet was ushered in as the grand means of bridging the global communication shortage, so began the madness of hackers, internet perverts and online crimes.

And, don’t get me started on all the push for online banking and “convenient” grocery shopping.  Let’s face it people, some majority taking action while the rest of you sit on your asses and let gadgets work for you–or do whatever you consider work for some tyran–er, tycoon–are taking advantage of your laziness.  And, if we go along with this madness, there will be nothing safe, secure or sacred left in this world.  You will be eliminated.  You will be replaced.  And, resistance may end up futile…or the movie you saw forty years ago but thought was just a silly bit of fiction.

Ugh!  I just have to let it out.  Wake up, Harold Cricks.  This is scary shit, people.

And, if we don’t get smart…I mean, really smart–not depend-upon-some-talking-gadget-to-answer-all-of-life’s-problems smart–you’re lives will be pointless.  Everything you think you are investing in or chasing will be a total waste of time, emotion, energy, etc.  You’ll just be a footnote in some robot empire, the slaves that built the “smart pyramids.”  If you want your lives to be worth more than the shit in your toilets…if you even bother to read these emphatic words written in a tiny hole of the internet like some message in a bottle…you’ll turn your backs to convenience and things that talk back and get your answers from people who were not built by Amazon or one of its ugly cousins.

Use your brains.  Show your work.  Stay off the grid.  Delete your Fbook pages.  Look up when passing others.  And, stay healthy.  For the sake of humanity, an investment that should be embraced and patched up when it falters, not discarded and replaced with robots.

13
Jan
15

Violence Over Free Speech, You Say? Here’s My Response

As the TV peppers me with echoes of what’s been happening in Paris, France, I found this rhyme forming in my brain.  You may have heard it somewhere.

THIS IS MY RIFLE!

my-rifle-mouth_male-portrait-looksabitlikeme_silhouette-60prcnt-1J my-rifle-mouth_male-portrait-looksabitlikeme_silhouette-60prcnt-3JTHESE ARE MY GUNS!

my-guns-fist-n-footprint_440-fist-up-left-angle-pump_silhouette-1JTHESE ARE FOR FIGHTING!

these-R-4-fighting-fst-ft-n-mouth_440-fist-up-left-angle-pump_silhouette-1JTHESE ARE FOR FUN!

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Now, all you maggots creating such a stir over free speech, you take responsibility for what you say and realize when a choice of words might stir a hornet’s nest.  This Paris incident isn’t about creativity repressed by the artists’ own nation.  No.  It’s about foreigners not approving what they find in the local media/newspapers.  You wouldn’t want someone making crude or cruel jokes about your family, nationality or religion.  Would you?  So, why is it this one incident makes people rally in support of those who didn’t take the first warning to knock it off?  No, lethal violence wasn’t necessary.  But, how often does the boy have to cry wolf before the wolf goes postal?  There’s no Tootsie roll at the center of this dilemma, kids.

28
Oct
14

Jack-o-lanterns; What Do We Scare Off and What Do We Invite or Attract?

The original purpose of jack-o-lanterns was–like costumes–to keep bad spirits away on Halloween (or the Samhain/Celtic holiday).  But, over the years, people have carved all sorts of images in pumpkins (among other things) for Halloween lanterns.

So, the other day, I asked myself…

1) What do we scare off with a silly, happy or sad jack-o-lantern? 

2) What do we scare off with a sexy or silly costume?  And,

3) If not scaring off, what do we attract or invite?”

Think about it.

What message are you sending to the spirits around you?  If you had control over this–and, I think, we do–what would you try to convey with your costume/lantern?

Ask yourself…

1) What do you need to keep away from you/your home?  Greed?  Gluttony?  Terror?  Crime?  Lust? 

2) What do you want to visit/more of in your life?  Love?  Happiness?  Candy?  Money?

3) How do we convey these messages with costumes and/or jack-o-lanterns?

AND, 4) Who is this Jack guy who got his name attached to so many pumpkins, anyway?:)

Happy Halloween…or…Happy Costume (and Lantern) Day

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11
Aug
14

They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To

Have you ever heard someone say that about some machine, toy, phone, “doodad” or gizmo? You know…the title of this piece. It’s something I haven’t heard myself in a while. But, that’s just because I am no longer a kid surrounded by elderly folks. Those who said it to me have passed on, already. But, the message still rings true now and then.

There was a time not too long ago when adults of the ’60s looked at the toys and technology of the ’80s–particularly television sets–and said, “They sure don’t make them like they used to.” This was shortly after Americans took a break from bitching about the “China-men” making inferior products. But, even today, if you listen to some of these millionaire business types, where would they be if they didn’t have their production lines overseas? Not too long ago, there was a big stink being raised about lead paint on toys. Lead paint; something I haven’t heard about since childhood when there was considerable concern about kids eating paint chips from older houses. [But, if you get me started on lead paint and the Chinese labor force working for the U.S.A., we’ll be here all week.]

The point I am slowly trying to make is…

If you look at modern technology–everything from lawn equipment to household appliances to your “newfangled” flat TVs and razor-thin-ready-to-snap-at-any-moment computers–you don’t see many–if any–lifetime warranties. You’re lucky if you get a five-year warranty. What amazes me is how some manufacturers will avoid a fuss and let you have a replacement (sometimes at an additional expense even if it’s considerably smaller).

Back when, replacements didn’t come so easily. You didn’t trade in a $100+ phone made from nuclear waste that does everything from flash a light under your bed to manage your banking/spending every two years. You bought a phone that plugged into the wall and was glad it was still working when the power went out. Now, you drop your “phone” (and I use the term lightly) in a puddle or on the sidewalk (because you have to have it with you at all times), and you’re lucky if you aren’t forking over another $200+ for a replacement.

[You see how the price shot up in just a few years? There was a time when you expected a fairly standard price for a phone. The technology didn’t change in two years, and what you had worked just fine if you didn’t take it outside and throw/drop it everywhere, you klutzes. AND, your hand didn’t vibrate or glow in the dark after holding your phone for a few hours. Okay, so maybe I am exaggerating about the hand glowing in the dark.]

There was a time when you bought something with little fear of it not working in as many as ten years or more. You trusted a name that built a reputation for itself. You trusted the materials with which the item was made.

There was a time not so long ago when cash was so scarce, they called it the Great Depression, and countless lives were in financial jeopardy. Back then, they didn’t have “smart phone plans” to worry about. They didn’t even have video entertainment. How in the world did they live?!…you kids might ask. Well, I am fairly sure there was probably the same business scheming going on then as it is today. It just came under a different label as it drove people broke. But, whatever it was, I am sure it lasted the people a few more years than a computer telling its user, “It’s been two years. Replace me.”

You know what piece of technology hasn’t changed much since the dawn of time? Mankind. We may have lost some hair and body mass (ha). We may have learned to stand up straighter and use different words now and then. We may have changed the way we eat our food, dress and clean ourselves. We probably earned a longer life expectancy from working less and sitting on those asses people have been pointing and shaking their heads at, lately. But, we can be just as dumb as our ancestors.

How dumb are we? Well, we’re so dumb that we will slap anything on our skin or trust another human being to make us look young, “pretty” or “handsome.” We’re so dumb that we take pills as directed by other humans only to suffer side-effects we should have seen coming (but we didn’t…because we’re so dumb). We’re so dumb that we will burn a plant in our mouths or wash one down our throats to fight stress only to risk the lives of others around us and put that stress on our bodily organs, anyway. We’re so dumb that we move just like cattle as we chase the latest things because the ones someone stopped making last summer are now obsolete.

Can you replace your grandparents or siblings so easily? I think not. No matter what insurance policy you buy, pill you take or defense system you install, you don’t have a lifetime warranty or even a two-year warranty. Your number could be up tomorrow. [That’s another fairly old piece of lingo, by the way. Your number being up. For those of you born after the cellphone, it means “you could die.”]

So, the next time you think about buying some new gadget, trinket or Macintablet or reach for a fresh (or freshly charged) battery pack, remember what ol’ Writingbolt just told you. You can either drain your bank account (which was filled with your life force applied to that thing called work…of whatever kind you employ) every few years chasing stupidity. Or, you can wise up and rethink the way this world appears to be going. Buy something more reliable. And, invest in those around you who are worth more than any self-destructing wireless “life-distactor.”

Maybe it’s time we all slowed down to think instead of trying to be the one who throws him or herself into a wall the fastest. Yeah. That sounds dumb. Just give it time. I’m sure it’s out there on YouBoobTube, already. And, it’s getting a billion hits.

There was a time when hits were something your older brother…




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