11/17/10

Introverted Monsters Are Extroverted Liars

If you watch the mainstream news you’ve learned about America’s escalating debt and checklist of enemies. You’ve learned about hostile foreign regimes, terrorists, and natural disasters. Global warming, religious extremists, disease epidemics and criminals run wild. You’ve learned that a click of a button can bring you heartbreaking accounts of every kind of tragedy, neatly edited in between commercials of smiling people. But more than the gory details of the modern world and the posh template in which the news presents them, you’ve unknowingly learned a visceral and urgent lesson. Be afraid. And, if you can’t handle it, change the channel.

It’s hard to think that the most important part of democracy isn’t voting or our supposed bipartisan approach to governance, it’s the information provided to the citizens who elect their representatives. It’s hard to think that the most crucial war of our time isn’t being fought on the battlefield, it’s being fought over the airwaves. The media has more power than even the greatest military might. And though weapons are remarkably well designed to kill our enemies, and intimidate our allies, only propaganda can indoctrinate them.

But it’s when you turn off the mainstream news and start to independently research what’s really happening in the world, that you begin to see a chaotic correlation of absurd, profoundly audacious, mind blowing violations of the fundamental principals of our ‘free’ society. You begin to see what that news never showed you and the misinformation that has dictated your perception of reality. It’s when you turn off that news that you can follow the strings from the puppets, to their masters, and from those masters back to you.

The question is: now that five corporations control 80% of the news, is reality fact or consensus? Is our perception apt or senseless? Because when independent journalists, political activists, free thinking citizens and the countless victims of this corrupt system are omitted from the commercial airwaves and silenced by comparison to the mainstream media’s monopoly, the news isn’t the news, it’s an infomercial. Reality is for sale. And our democracy lies in shambles. We’ve created a monster and it’s how we see the world.

11/16/10

Femin-in-or-out-ism?

About a year ago I was on a date. The bar was crowded and the restaurant was full. I’d suggested the place for its attractive décor and convenient location and had selected the woman I was on a date with for similar reasons. Our conversation bobbed in and out of interest like a cork in water. And after a while of drowning in wine, we found ourselves discussing the matter of feminism and the state of North American women today. A topic that resonates differently, not only between men and women, but their varying cultures, environments and personal values. Three things I make a point of exploring at every opportunity.
   
        
An awkward pause came in our conversation as I began to suspect that we fundamentally disagreed on the matter. She was a woman in her mid-thirties who had seen her fair share of the world and the self-aggrandizing-men who parade about it. But despite the clear wisdom she displayed about the topic, a deeper conflict of interests had become clear in the way she spoke. So, devising a question to deliberately stir the conversation, I turned to my date and asked “Do you think women are objects?”
 
           
“Yes,” she eventually replied, staring through space as she genuinely considered my question.
   


“Well… you’re the first woman I’ve heard say so,” I replied, surprised by her answer. I took another sip of my beer and waited to hear her reasoning.
            


My date told me about a conversation she’d had with an attractive young woman while waiting for a male ‘friend’ to arrive at a party. This ‘friend’ of hers had an unusual profession of teaching people how to manipulate the minds of women. Needless to say, the beautiful woman, to whom my date was explaining this, was less than impressed by the prospect of her thoughts being reduced to nothing more than a checklist of ‘dos and don’ts’. The two later parted in the waves of the party and my date eventually met the ‘friend’ she’d been waiting for on her way out the door. However, she happened upon him in the midst of a conversation with the very same beautiful woman that my date had warned of his presence earlier in the night—the very same beautiful woman who was now woofully entranced by the man she had been warned of. 
           

“It doesn’t work on a 7, or an 8, or a 9. It only works on 10’s” she explained, detailing the inner workings of bombshell-beauties everywhere. “You have to give them insulting compliments.”
     


“What?”



“These women are so sick of being praised and adored by men that the only thing they respond positively to anymore is negative attention,” she continued, amused by the power-trip-beauty-queens she was describing. I smirked and massaged the neck of my beer—she was right—about the 10’s anyway.



Unfortunately, I don’t remember how the rest of the conversation played out because at this point I’d had too much wine. But I can see now that we were purposefully distancing ourselves from true feminism by focusing only on the women that society chooses to recognize most—the beautiful, the elegant, the cliché—those more likely to be successful sacrificing respect for superficial-adoration. And later that night, as I continued to think about what she had said, I realized that her story had answered my question in an indirect way—providing an unexpected insight into the question I had asked: Nowadays, women are objectified more than ever. Because feminism is out and sexual empowerment is in.


Montreal World Film Festival

There’s so much art in the world and not enough artists. There are so many posters of movies blotting out our exposure to films. But there’s no shortage of love for them all. The Montreal World Film Festival was the latest stop on my muddled career as an aspiring writer—a refreshing shot in the arm of culture and passion. Warm wonderful people walk the streets and crowd the theaters. And amidst it all are tales of brilliant, life-changing films scattered between the all too familiar cinematic-status-quo. The people I met, and the friends I made, are now cherished in my memories as our lives splinter to different corners of the globe. But what remains on the forefront of my mind is the wealth of emotion that, without festivals to celebrate it, would otherwise be obscured by our homogonous culture. I’ve always resented how hard I’ve had to look for art and how easy it is to settle for something else. But now, having seen that I’m anything but alone, it makes me think twice about art and look forward to looking for it again.
Special thanks to the Montreal World Film Festival and, especially, all the artists in the world.



Since, Teace


Hope

            I work ankle deep in concrete, manufacturing oil-seeking-knick-knacks for the devil. I’ve smoked my brain half way up my ass just to cope with the dreary-lifeless-void that is factory labor—working side by side with every kind of dreamer and nightmare. Like so many, I’ve sacrificed my life to make a living and volunteered to be slave. The dreams of workers like me aren’t quite dead but, if said out loud, they’d sooner be crushed under the weight of reality than realized in the wake of possibility. In spaces like this, no one can hear you scream, and, on this planet, we’ve been led to believe that no one cares. 

            Because when you strip away the petty luxuries of our consumer-hungry-lifestyles it reveals the bare bones of the industrial machine—the near unanimous discontentment of workers and the overwhelming feeling of being insignificant. 
But despite the hours I’ve lost, despite the fumes I’ve breathed and the frustration I feel, it is the hope for something better that keeps me from despair. It’s the idea of people reaching further and progressing forward that makes the air taste sweet no matter where I stand. 

            I refuse to believe that I am helpless. I refuse to accept the world as it is and the future that it marches towards. I see that there is so much power in our ideas, despite sometimes feeling powerless when that’s all I have. So, I grudgingly return to work and save monopoly-money for the day that I can quit. I think about and question a workers place in this world while planning my escape from it’s shackles—hope is my dream and I would sooner die than have it taken from me. Because in this decaying democracy, undermined by greed and ambition, even our heroes can’t save us without us. Remember, we are more than we’ve become.


Blindfolded

One 3x5 American flag = $5.00. One custom made t-shirt = $16.00. One hundred custom cards = $20.00. Standing motionless at Ground Zero on September 11th, wearing a shirt that says ‘9/11 was an inside job!’ and an American flag as a blindfold =



New York has always been my favorite city. From the eccentric honesty of every shade of skin and style to the awe-inspiring-eclectic-architecture, there’s simply no place like it. I always knew I’d live there someday, I just never thought I’d belong there. So, when it came time to hop on the plane and wheel my every earthly possession across the border, it came with a sense of elation and purpose.



“Wow, kill yourself,” an irate teenager snaps as he passes me—standing in the rain amidst an endless stream of people. I can only imagine their faces—my eyes have been closed and covered all day—my vision restricted to a slim slit of feet passing amidst a few remaining protesters talking.



“Why don’t you let those people rest in peace?” an old man bitterly asks. I don’t speak.



“I know people who died when those towers came down and I think what you’re doing is despicable,” a deeply hurt woman states, pausing just long enough for me to feel the power of her words. I don’t move.



The occasional person tugs at the cards in my hand—instructing them to see the truth for themselves and research the matter rather than simply judging me for my opinion on it. But for the most part, I’m overlooked in plain view.



“Heroic move, man,” a passing stranger says.



“That’s powerful shit right there,” someone else exclaims.



I wonder if I’m making a difference; if I’m a freak in their eyes or just another billboard advertising something. I wonder if the dead would want justice; if their families would want revenge. I wonder if the truth matters to people and whether or not hearing it is worth their time. But mostly I wonder how at the end of the day, when my blindfold’s off and I’m riding the subway back home, how I could still have 83 cards left in my hand. But, then again, anyone who knows the truth about 9/11 knows how hard it is to tell people the truth. If only I didn’t have to resort to theatrics to bring attention to the issue. If only people gave a damn even when it wasn’t convenient. 



I left New York a few months later—mission accomplished: my short film Blindfold has been completed. But, now that I’m back, I remember my purpose in New York—no matter where I am.



www.ae911truth.org

Like to Think That


            I like to think that if I had an epiphany I’d know it. That if a revolutionary idea came to me I would embrace it. If God presented itself to me I would listen. If I met the woman of my dreams I’d pursue her. If I figured out which toothpaste whitens best I’d smile. And if I heard the truth I’d know it. I like to think that. But when I look back on my life, wisdom and character stem from nostalgia and reflection. From mistakes I’ve made and opportunities I’ve missed. Who I am is because of who I’m not. And who I’ll become won’t be as simple as what I like to think.
           
            As a child I didn’t conceive of myself as an evolving person. I was me; simple as simple. Cookies were awesome, the Simpsons were funny and homework sucked. Aside from that, the occasional temper-tantrum, petty feud, crush/getting crushed, my childhood-me was miraculously simple. And, in my mind, that would always be the case. My conception of growing up was getting a job; doing what you were told; not having fun and not being honest.
           
            As a teenager I didn’t think of myself as who I was, I thought of myself as who I wanted to be. The cool guy, the funny guy, the guy who could actually talk to girls without feeling ill. I failed at all these things. But I did recognise my desire to be treated like an adult; to be listened to, not coddled; understood, not ignored. I knew that I wasn’t a kid anymore. But I didn’t know exactly who I was either.
           
            It’s easy to think I know everything as a young adult, particularly since Wikepedia came around. I can look back at myself with a sense of perspective. I understand why my parents would get so upset. And I can appreciate how hard it must have been for them to put up with me, let alone love me. My friends have changed with or without me—for better or for worse. The complexity of the world has become clear and my ambitions have become realistic. I realize my limitations. I appreciate my talents. I hope and dream—but, now, I keep both feet on the ground.
           
            My future will be a surprise. No doubt I’ll look back on the person I am today and see another chapter on the road to becoming who I am. Maybe I’ll finally understand. Maybe people will finally understand me. Hopefully, I’ll have the character and wisdom to appreciate the moment for what it is—no longer depending on nostalgia for revelation. But, as I think about it, that’s just another thing I like to think. 

What I Imagine I know


            I never had a choice about being a writer. Not that I’m making excuses, I never wanted anything else. Fortunately, my path really was that simple when I was growing up: imagine; wonder; create.
           
            The process is different for everyone. I’ve always loved hearing about other people’s experiences within themselves—digging through the abyss for something more. Hearing simple tales of profound significance that helped evolve their imagination’s identity. It makes me feel like I’m not alone. Or, if I am, at least I have some company.
           
            Creativity effervesces differently in different people’s lives. But there are a couple things all creative people have in common—if you’ve got it, keeping it locked away tortures your soul. And, at the end of the day, no matter how much time you spend fantasizing, you still have to exist in the real world. Sometimes that’s not easy. But life is often a matter of surviving, not living.
           
            Before I could read, I would slather a keyboard at random and print out the results. Then, with great enthusiasm, I’d rush to my mother’s side and ask her if I’d spelled any words. She’d plod through the garbled mess of alphabet-soup-letter-arrangements until she’d happen upon a random sequence that fit together to form a particular word. I still remember her turning to me and pointing to the spot on the page where I’d spelled ‘tree’. I ran around the room I was so excited.
           
            I remember wrestling with a friend of mine, pinning him and asking “Do you give up?” He struggled once more to double check if I’d in fact won before submitting his response—Y, E, S. I repeated the letters he’d said, and realized what their pairing meant. Yes. Yes!
           
            I spread a poster sized piece of paper along the red carpet of my room and pulled the cap off a scented marker. Then, with meticulous precision, I sat crossed legged on the floor and practiced writing my name, over and over again.
           
            I wrote my first story for a school project. I wrote my first novel to prove a point to my mother. But it wasn’t until I’d grown up that I saw how much a part of my life creativity had played in how much I’d grown. I’m thankful for that. Because I know, from experience, from witnessing it and wrestling with it myself, that everyone has the power to destroy themselves or become themselves. Like Einstein said “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” 

Banana Bread


            I slowly open my eyes, groggy from the night before—my friend had brought over some hash-banana-bread. But, between the three of us we’d only managed to finished off half.
           
            I wander around the house in my underwear, waiting to wake up. I pet my kittens and put away a few bags of groceries that my mother left out. It occurs to me that it’s not like her to do that, but before I can think twice about it my sister shows up to tell me something’s wrong. Our mother’s in the hospital—she says ‘symptoms of a heart attack.’
           
            The Emergency Room extends into the waiting room where our emergency waits for a bed. There’s one television with fifteen people uncomfortably looking through the screen in between glances at one another. A drunk guy in a wheelchair sings Ozzy Ozborn at the top of his lungs until a nurse wheels him away. My mom sits calmly beside me, telling me she’ll be ok. I know her health well enough to remain sceptical.
           
            After a few hours she’s given a bed and hooked up to an ECG—another screen to stare through. The room we’re in is divided by curtains to give some privacy to the handful of people and their guests. It’s surprisingly quiet—no screams of pain or doctors desperately trying to save people’s lives—just an opium head, giggling uncontrollably as an embarrassed relative sits at his side. ‘Curtains only do so much’ I think to myself, pacing our side of the curtains.
           
            Tests are ordered. Doctors introduce themselves with limp handshakes and fleeting eye contact. My sister and my mother make small talk—perfectly relaxed. The tests come back inconclusive—they don’t know what’s wrong, which means we don’t need to stay. We go home. I call into work and use a vacation day so I can be with my mom and make sure she’s alright. Or, at least that’s what I tell myself—‘being with her will make her alright.’
           
            I struggle with what I’m supposed to be feeling. I don’t cry, this was overdue—my mother’s obese and that lifestyle only has one outcome. I’ve fought with her for years about it, but the last thing I want is to say ‘I told you so.’ Instead, what I feel is hope. I hope that she’ll be ok; that I’ll be ok without her.
           
            She recovers fully in just a couple of days from the symptoms the doctors couldn’t diagnose. She says ‘it was a wake up call about her health.’ I don’t struggle with how to feel this time—I’m relieved to hear her say that. And as my mother throws away what’s left of the hash-banana-bread, innocently stating how good it was, I realize why her ‘symptoms’ couldn’t be diagnosed. 

Night Life Luster


            When I show up hours before the show I can't help but feel elated. The bartenders are leaning on whatever won't spill over—twiddling their thumbs or reading a book. The bouncers take the time to make friendly small talk because they aren't worried about getting stabbed in an empty room. The ambiance is clean—no drunks or drugs to convolute the mix—just idle tunes, thumping at mid-volume to numb your ears before they start to bleed.
           
            The crowd comes all at once—a flock of personas itching to shed their skins. They've dressed for whatever it is they hope to get out of the night—short skirts and long jackets. You can see the anticipation in their smiles; the rhythm in their veins—they've waited for this.
           
            I pretend to fit in. Act cool and look good. It's not hard when the lights are low and everyone's drinking. I'm a loner in a sea of strangers, freckled with casual friends. And there are too many people for me to sneak away by myself. It's not that I don't enjoy the scene—it's that crowds remind me how insignificant I am. That is, until I become part of the crowd…
           
            The show starts and I forget why I needed to come. I don't worry about my worries and everything becomes as simple as 'what feels good.' It's too loud to talk and too lively to listen to anything but the music. I'm a needle in a haystack stripped of my luster—words can't help me now and I can't help but feel liberated. There's nothing quite like stepping out of your element and being completely comfortable. I've been here before and I know I'll be back. But it's more important to think of the night as special.
           
            By the end of the show I'm covered in sweat—mostly my own. The world sounds like a bomb just went off—diluted by my ringing ears. The lights come up and the stage clears along with the crowd. There will be no encore to the encore. It's 3 am again and my responsible side clicks back on, telling me to 'go home and sleep.' I listen as always. But I wait until weeks later to return to words—missing the crowd I was a part of.

Sense and Change


            2 AM and I had to be at work at 7. I’d just said ‘goodbye’ to a couple friends who were leaving the country. We pretended like keeping in touch will be more than touching our keyboards. But I know people grow too much not to grow apart unless they’re planted in the same place.
           
            My cab ride home had the usual sights—drunk people doing drunk people things—nothing out of the ordinary. The driver asked a couple questions but none of any substance—passing the time until I paid him and we went our separate ways. Then we drove past a church and I asked him if he was religious. He laughed and said ‘yes.’ And then I laughed and asked… something along the lines of ‘why?’
           
            Fast forward twenty minutes and I’m at my stop, but I haven’t gotten out of the cab. Instead, I’m listening to him rant about misconceptions—about how Muslim belief’s are tainted by mislead followers and ignorant westerners. I sympathize because I’m one of them.
           
            I remember all the details of what he says and how passionately he says them. I don’t agree in the least but I can feel what he’s feeling. And, for some reason, that’s more important than what he’s trying to explain.
           
            I thanked him for being real and not just another service with a face to get me where I’m going. I gave him a good tip—the only thing I had to share. He drove off and I remember thinking that he’d gotten the short end of the stick. Because he had his sense to give and all I had was a handful of change. 

There's More to Life Than TV, It's a Good Thing We Have TV to Watch it on


            It's an interesting time to be growing up in the world. The media grips every corner of knowledge our species has and presents it to us on our laps. For the first time, we can truly conceive of a kinda-sort-of-maybeish-direction we might be headed in and what the future of the human race could be. But that stuff's typically pretty boring so, instead, people watch movies to better understand the plights of life.
           
            Horror movies (and the daily news for that matter) have shown us the many different ways we can die. Popular fictional themes today deal with shit that, in real life, can, or does, kill us. And, regardless of how shitty horror movies typically are, they tend to do well at the box office because people want to know what it'll be like if that particular scenario is what actually ends up killing them.
           
            Back in the 40's, movies only prepared people for attacks from werewolves or mummies. But, nowadays, we've all been entertained with what it's like to die in the most horrible ways we could think of, which doesn't even include the most horrible ways we can imagine. So, as we set out into the world filled with terrorists, natural disasters, random psychopaths and soccer moms, we can reference any number of films to best defuse a dangerous situation and contribute to our collective fear.

You Say God, I Say Patato

I believe in God but I don't believe in a definition of God because... The word God is reality's equivalent of 'Smurf' or 'Marklar' (a word that can represent anything based on the context and connotation in which it is used). Now, that's not to say that I can point to a box of cereal, call it God, and expect people to understand what I'm talking about. But I could very well worship cereal and come to regard it as God. Therefore, the word God is so subjective that it can mean to one person the exact opposite of what it means to another. But since so many different people's opinions about God are regarded in a definitive way, the ambiguity of God is disavowed in favor of thinking 'correctly'. And that's what I don't understand. Because, in my opinion: whether or not someone's definition of God is the truth is irrelevant for there is truth.

Pseudo Nature


            I've come to realize that I, and most other people, don't understand the natural-world (the earth outside of mankind). Really basic stuff too, like how it works and how people fit into it. Instead, the things I know a lot about pertain to the manmade world—cities, societies, geeky-gadgets, etc. And, since the manmade world is where I spend most of my time, it makes perfect sense that I'd invest my mind in my environment.
           
            However, due to the ease of existing in a metropolitan environment, I don't really have to invest that much of my mind. All I really have to know is: a job will get me money that I can then use to purchase things from someone whose job is to take my money. Thus, even my supposed understanding of the manmade world depends heavily on other people's assistance/my assumptions and over simplifications.
           
            So, really, I don't even fully 'get' the environment I live in. And, consequently, my continued existence depends on the very society I don't understand, which just happens to depend on the natural-world society doesn't understand. Put simply: ignorance is a choice I didn't know I was making.
           
            All I can say is: take away my laptop, cell phone, internet and easy-bake-existence and any life form in the natural-world stands a better chance than I do… Except turkeys—those things are just retarded.

Infinite Decimal


            Lately I've been suffering from a colossal, brain-melting-compulsion to be free of illusions—to peel away the mirage of the life I want so I can appreciate the one I've got…
           
            "Hypothetical-dream-life": Unfortunately, I don't have super powers because this isn't a dream it's a hypothetical. But I can still do everything better than everyone else. Every woman who I find attractive lusts after me. I don't work. Instead, I tour the world allowing people a brief glimpse of how awesome I am. The things I like and wear are adored by the entire world—creating stupid fads at an unprecedented rate. I have unlimited money and nothing bad ever happens. I'm special and I know I'm special. I don't get sick; I don't get tired… I do get old, but I don't age. And when it finally comes time for my life to end, I get to choose when and how I die.
           
            'Real-life': None of the women I find attractive lust after me. I'm not the best at anything. I work everyday doing the same thing over and over again. The things I like and wear are largely influenced by stupid fads. I don't have much money and life never works out the way I think it will. I'm not special but I pretend like I am. I get sick every once in a while, and someday will probably get really sick. I'm tired. I age faster than I mature. And when I finally die, I won't have any damn say in the matter.
           
            Verdict: So basically, in my "hypothetical-dream-life" I want to be God. Or, if not 'God' than the guy he decided to live vicariously through. While in 'real-life', I'm mortal/imperfect (to say the least). And, I'm also the guy 'I' have to live with.
           
            It's not hard to see why I'd want the 'hypothetical-dream-life'—it's everything I could ever desire. But if I compare it with my 'real-life' it becomes clear just how crazy my ideal is and, also, just how empty my desires are. And that's the problem—the illusions of the life I want regurgitated until the day I die. As though what I have isn't good enough because things could be better. That feeling is a big part of what's previously driven me in my life and what's presently got me stalled. Sucks, but that's real life for yah.
           
            I don't have a solution yet. But I do have a philosophy that I think might help get me started: "Understand that you're not perfect, you never will be, and that it's not important to be. What's really important is that you don't lie to yourself about what will make you happy. Instead, embrace the good, learn from the bad, and accept that life can get ugly."

Consuming Progress

In the beginning technology was a pointy stick. Suffice to say, nowadays that stick would be cheaper, lighter, pointier and most likely be made in Mexico or China. It will travel thousands of miles just to be put on sale and purchased for occasional use. It’ll be available in different colors and sizes. It will be owned and loved by everyone until some kid pokes his eye out. Then after the public shock and subsequent lawsuits subside the stick will be recalled and replaced by a yet pointier stick… I want it.

The Grass is Greener on the Other Side Because It's Synthetic


            Suburban life is like marinating in boredom. There's a clockwork rhythm to how monotony unfolds:
           
            9-5, weekends, three-square-meals, yawn, coffee instead of sleep, sleep instead of dreams, repeat…
           
            Society holds your hand while it eats you alive. But, the depressing part is how comfortable that feels.
           
            Escalator over stairs, fast-food instead of food, capital-noun-verb-period…
           
            If I were in a coma at least I wouldn't be pretending I wasn't. Chuck Palahniuk
            wrote, "This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time." Truth is, it ended when you started counting.

Academia Vrs Creativity


            Ok. So, I'm in college. Not because I want to be, or because I want a degree, but because I have a bursary (if I don't go to school, the money my parents put away for me goes away). So, like I said, I'm in college. However, I don't really go to college. The reason is because of this reasoning: Academia squashes creativity—predetermined assignments about a predetermined subject written in essay form with an established minimum/maximum word count. In other words, the only thing the student has a say about is how well they say what they've been told to.
           
            Conversely, academia also inspires creativity—exposure to and analysis of a wide range of subject matter. Plus you meet people, get out of the house, and 'experiment.' Thing is, I've already had sex, done drugs and met people. And, after only a short while of doing that, drugs, or other people, I came to realize that it's not the reason my parents put money away for a bursary—they wanted me to have a future. And, nowadays, the notion is that a degree is synonymous with that.
           
            Now, I'm not saying that 'it's not a good idea to go to college.' In fact, it's something I think everyone should try. But, I do think it's unfortunate that the way people define having a future is by filling the mold they've been passed. Of course, this argument doesn't work for doctors or lawyers or people who genuinely need degrees to do what they do. But maybe, just maybe, if academia was more conducive to creativity, people could do what they do best better.

GOD 101

If I were God my first order of business would be to make numerous priests gay-pedophiles and then expose them to young boys. Then I'd write a book with tons of plot holes and tell people they'll go to hell if they don't believe it. Then I'd declare random spots in the middle of the desert holy so that countless generations can murder each other over the rights. After that, I'll make the worlds most coveted resource millions of years old despite the fact that the world is only six thousand years old. Then, for the finale, I'll have a mentally handicapped, cokehead-Texan peddle democracy in countries where goats are treated better than women. After that, it's nap time. But there's nothing to worry about—it's not like believers can't take a joke.

There's No Better Blindfold Than a Flag


            Patriotism has been eating away at me for a while now, and I'm losing my compulsion to fight…
           
            I was born in America and immigrated to Canada at the age of three. While I've spent months upon months in the US, visiting family and traveling, I am, ultimately, Canadian—a revelation I had previously, and foolishly, fought against. As a child I would very often suffer unwarranted discrimination for my heritage. The world hates America and I hated the world for it—consequently becoming equally as irrational, angry and discriminatory as those I fought against. Every time I heard someone say something negative about the US, a country I held in the highest regard, it hurt me enough to want to hurt those who said it. But, as time passed, logic inexorably intruded upon my patriotic-shield, serving to both protect and blind me from the world.
           
            Today I earnestly ask myself a question I would have previously thought unnecessary to analyze: is America the greatest country in the world? Even as I type it I feel that same youthful/naïve patriotism pulse viscerally through me. But… nowadays, in equal proportion to that patriotism is a profound shame and guilt for being an American; for being part of what America has become. Now, that guilt does not by any means encompass all of what it is to be an American. There is an amazing strength and will in that, which I have not seen rivaled, nor imagine could be. There is a desire for, if not actions towards, a greater good for all… for freedom, as convoluted as the word has become. American's are a good people corrupted absolutely; if only their intentions could see them absolved.
           
            I won't answer my question 'is Amercia the greatest country in the world?' Because the fight inside of me screams 'yes' and 'no,' and then screams at each other for saying so. But, all the same, I'm losing my compulsion to fight.

If Monkeys Were Smart Enough to Use Computers, Blogging is How They'd Throw Feces

Ok, ice cream cones are the coolest thing ever. Like, when I walk by a kid who's pigging out on one, I get jealous. I think about taking it every time. Just right jab and swipe—I'd be down the street before their parents even entered the scene. But I don't. Why? For one reason: I get to eat ice cream anytime I want. So kids, you can eat your: parentally-regulated-dessert-allowance that determines your exposure to frozen dairy products, because: I am a grown up.

Women Hate Tampon Commercials Too, Right?

It's not just me is it, internet? And if so, where in my sheltered-suburban-middle-class-upbringing was I led astray from the tampon fixation that seems to dominate the airwaves? I mean, I get that commercials are supposed to inform us about products that can better our lives. But I'm thinking that if a whole bunch of blood is rushing out of someone's genitalia, they aren't gonna wait for a commercial to tell them what to do, let alone appreciate that commercial when they eventually see it.