Friday, January 28, 2011

When All We Chase is Money

When we chase money, attitudes like anger, irritability, and anxiousness follow. We pass these fears and attitudes, unknowingly, to our kids and we show them anger when we are really just frustrated at life's, money related, goings on. We worry about getting to our crappy job on time so we don't get fired even though it continually destroys us.

Chasing money makes us rude to service employees and, in turn, makes our customers rude to us. No, it's not everyone but it's a large number and we all fall victim to it sooner or later as well; we get this idea of entitlement, that we are owed more than we are getting.

Chase survival; maybe hunt to eat or grow your own food but, whatever we do, we need to stop chasing after money because that will kill us more than anything.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

40 Pages of Non-Civility

There used to be a day when things were decided on just a handshake and that was good enough; so why is it today we don't even blink at forty page legal documents? We just accept them as a necessary object of the business world but what they truly represent is a complete downfall of people's integrity. No one cares about personal responsibility or integrity if you have a contract locking you into what you can and can't do.

When there's a problem, instead of talking to each other, we look for loopholes in our hundred page documents and exploit them until our goals are met. We aren't civil to each other anymore, we don't treat each other like human beings; every person is just a potential paycheck, each one of us nameless beings as expendable as the next.

Why do we need lawyers as middle men? Why can't agreements between people be simple and we can actually trust each other; take one another at our word? Now, instead of trust, we put bindings on each other and march each other around in a contract based slavery.

I don't like it, I don't want to live in such a cold, faceless world filled with fine print and no feeling for another human being. I could see humanity, one day, reaching a point where we will kill each other with no feeling; maybe the homeless, maybe other so called miscreants but society will probably accept that killing each other, with no feeling towards it, is just business as usual.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Prop 19: When Stoners Stop Being Seen as Deviants

The last California Gubernatorial election showed me a few things; one, no matter how much people hate the Democratic AND Republican nominee, almost all the votes still go to only those two parties. And two, pot is still a bane of society.

I remember, a few weeks before the vote, some stoner friends were saying they weren't going to vote; fearing legalization would only hurt their medicinal status and that marijuana would be outrageously taxed. This confusion is one thing that led to the failure to pass Proposition 19.

It's not just confused stoners (and some anti-pot sandbagging) though; reading though articles online, you see comments like "I don't recognize the right to get high," and similar sentiments. The fact of the matter is, whether or not you recognize the right to get high (or drunk for that matter), it's still a right (or should be, in the case of the former).

Somehow, we need to change people's perception; stoners are still seen as degenerates and hippy deviants. You could show them the cancer patients who smoke cannabis or the elderly with arthritis but it's not just them who matter in this; it's them and the twenty-three year old smoking for his old sports injuries and the forty-eight year old guy working in retail, getting chewed out everyday by the scum of the consumer world.

We need to remember that each one of us is human, and each of us humans have different needs; you have different needs than your daughter; your wife and son, each, have different needs too. Maybe you like the drink but your wife has always been a smoker; you compromise or you split but neither indirectly pass legislation, in the home, making it so the other can not do what it is they'd like to do. You talk to one another, like humans; like people.

We need real change in this country and we need it now! Sure for pot but also for people, for equality. We need to see each other as brothers, sisters, as one people. We have different lifestyles but why can't we live and let live? Is it possible that we are so cold to each other that, if asked, we could tell every person, eye to eye, person to person, that we say they can not do what they'd like to do; be it marry another man or, more relevant to the post, have a little weed?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Weaken the Dollar

While riding around in Los Angeles trying to find an un-metered curb, it quickly becomes apparent that, today, nothing is free. We are charged and we charge others for every little thing we do and have done, everyone is just money, money, money; every American is turned to money grubbing to survive. Without money, our society stops but money shouldn't be the be all, end all of the world.

I remember, in the not too distant past, when something needed to be done in the neighborhood, one or two or more people would come help out. At the end of the job, maybe money would be offered but it was usually declined and instead the helping parties received a dinner invitation or some other small token of gratitude. Today, when favors are done, money is not only expected but it's a great likelihood that it will be accepted; albeit graciously.

In this day and age, no one is willing to provide any services without money first (which, in advertising sources and talent agencies, for example, seems backwards) and almost everyone wants to lock you into something for at least one year, thus ensuring 12 months of your money...GUARANTEED!

Money is a great incentive to do things but it's become our number one, it's become pretty much ALL we work towards. Life shouldn't be about money or stuff or where you get in your career; it should be about people, your family, and the simple things.

It's not a goal of the mainstream public; perhaps it's a goal of no one...but it's my goal. We need to get the importance off money and onto things that really matter.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dream Government-Free

Anarchy is no dream for anyone anymore; there is no appeal of a lawless, unstructured society to the masses (I know this because Oprah has a network now). Americans' have embraced Capitalism and a Representative Democracy with open arms and most seem to be content. Still, I dream of something more; I dream government-free.

Imagine it; no paper money, no law system, simplicity at it's finest. It's not perfect but neither is how we are living; you just accept necessary evils whether it be to be ruled by your representatives or have to fend for yourself.

I think about sitting in nature, a little cabin; I flick the lighter and set ablaze a bowl of homegrown and watch the trees sway in the wind. There's no mail, no government asking for a piece of what you're earning, growing, or trading. You grow what you need, maybe you hunt when you must but overall you live in tranquility with nature, animals, and with your fellow man.

The problem: Anarchy is only as good as it's people; for that matter, any government is only as good as it's people.

It's not hopeless, an area in Anarchy could still be a friendly and successful society but America just has too many people for it to work; the masses clamoring to hear the word of the Good Reverend Dr. Phil.

It's a beautiful dream though and perhaps one day, I/we can find somewhere to make it a reality.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Make Him in Your Image

As before, I have no issues with anyone's beliefs; people need to follow what they think and I will always respect that. I was approached by a God embracing customer who informed me, in my agnostic ways, that if I don't talk to God, I'd be screwed. I'd like to show him, and everyone, that I've reinvented God for myself and I encourage you to do the same for yourself if you feel as if no religion fits your ideas or your thoughts. Let me tell you a little about MY God.

My God is a simple God, a creator. He doesn't ask anything of me; My God is like a gardener, I am his plant and he is watching me grow, watching me fight times weakness and frost and embrace strength and sunlight. He watches my the fatal moments when it's almost too much and he sees, with great wonder, the times it works out.

My God doesn't care about philosophies or paths to him, his greatest interest is watching his creation and what it does; what I do. When I grow plants in my garden, I too watch them sprout and grow; strengthen. It rejuvenates me for I see I can create just as my creator. He'd smile, proud of his creation's new found knowledge.

Your God can be just as simple; if you need God and seek 'religion' that makes sense to you...create it. God is for you and no one else; make him in your image.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Resimplify God

I am as unsure as the next guy when it comes to what else is out there; I have no real answers. For a long time I identified more with Atheism but I've grown somewhat more open to the possibility of a higher being existing, a creator. To be honest, to think affirmatively of such a thought would be more in-tune with psychedelic thinking I imagine. 

Religion is always a sticky subject, no one likes to say too much and I won't either. I don't seek to question anyone's practices, what each religion does; it makes no matter to me, all I seek to do is point out is this idea of God doesn't have to be so stringent and so structured. 

I watch my dad and his family perform puja at their new home, their new business, more or less anything; they have small prayer sessions where they sit on the floor and give offerings to copper and gold plated deities. Would God require that of you to be blessed? Would he not just care that you were running an honest business and providing well for your family? 

I watch my mom beat herself up over not going to church every Sunday. Do you have to go every Sunday to church to be 'worthy;' do you think God really cares how many times you went to church or temple or mandir?

The God I believe in is a simple one, not tied with any religious philosophy or belief system. My God looks only into your heart and your intention and, if there is a Heaven after death, then those factors will determine your placement.

And, if there, in the end, is no God, does that make personal morality any less important? I would think, without something more, morality on Earth would be most important being that these are the only people for whom you are to be seen and judged.

In the end, I just wish for everyone to be safe; live and let live for religion should not divide us. It should not even be something we concern ourselves with; leave religion to God and his world. If you believe God loves you, then you must be open to the fact that he may show you what His religion really is when you join him.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Try Different, Try 3rd Party

NOTE: While I still believe our two main political parties are basically irrelevant, I must insistent upon liberal collectivism. The conservative base rally behind their Republican side, there are few or no third parties to take votes away from Republicans. Liberals, with growing discontent for our two party system, may prefer to vote for a more radical liberal of the third party but unfortunately this only serves to divide the liberal base and allow Republicans to take elections (if you believe the popular vote means anything; I still hold that our representatives can essentially vote however they want; that's something I recall from school). Only once our world is a little more progressive, if our world is a little more progressive, can we more freely vote for a third party in a political arena in which they can take relevant percentages.
So here we are, it's 2011 and the world is the same old place. Just yesterday I saw one of those stickers with Obama's likeness upon it and the word 'Hope' underneath; apparently that hope was to ensure the stranglehold on this country is maintained by the two majority parties.

The signs, by now, should show that it doesn't really matter whether you vote Republican or Democrat; they are more or less the same thing. Both those parties do absolutely nothing and keep America, and Americans, under their thumb. The two parties are only out to maintain control of this country, they don't seek to 'be there' for the people; they are there for themselves.

A good parody of what's going on can probably be found in The Simpsons when the two aliens come to Springfield and assume position of the Democratic and Republican candidates, one alien on either side. The episode is truly not about which alien rules but it's about 'them' ruling versus us; aliens ruling is not in the best interest of the people; neither for Simpsons, nor for us.

One Springfield citizen, in that episode, stood up and said, "Well perhaps I'll vote for a third party," to which the aliens replied, "Go ahead, throw your vote away."

And, what's worse, it's true. Americans don't go for the third party; in the most recent California Gubernatorial Election (2010), despite what seemed like dislike, and even hate, for BOTH two party candidates, the third party candidates received about 1% of the vote each. Why do we just accept what we don't like if other options are available? Because that's the way it's been; because that's how it's done? We need to rise and show them we want REAL CHANGE! We need to show the two party politicians that they are not just the incumbents anymore; they stand against all the parties. Being elected should be a point of earned pride and idealism for the future of this country; it shouldn't be a job and a paycheck.

Politicians are supposed to be there for US! Let's make sure we remind them of that.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

You Don't Have to Go to College

College makes sense, in fact, it's almost stupid not to go; in today's society, college is almost required to do anything worthwhile (that you don't start yourself; i.e. business). We are at the point where a Bachelor's is like a high school diploma and maybe that's progress; we are more educated so perhaps more education is needed for those who want to go higher.

Now here's the problem; why is it thousands of dollars a semester? If school is so important than why have we only made it accessible to those with money lying around or those gutsy enough to take out a loan and risk having that debt hang over their head for years.

We all need money to operate, no one can deny that in today's America but there has to be some way to make college a more affordable option, especially if it is so important.

I am lucky, my father, an uneducated, once immigrant to this country, founded a business chain which continues to grow and go on strong; not going to college is an acceptable option because I have a fall back waiting there for my Americanized mind (in a world of immigrants and improper English), but what about those who don't have it so lucky? Are they just out of luck?

Those who don't have money merely have to watch those with money gain success as they sit and recalculate their finances a third time trying to scrounge enough money to take a class at a community college. God forbid they feel suicidal but don't really want to die; hospital will take that remainder money and then you won't even be able to afford to kill yourself.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

You Can't Afford to Be Crazy

On April 16th, 2009; I checked myself into Henry Mayo because I was suicidal at the time for reasons which now seem juvenile but I didn't think that at the time, I just went to save my life that night.

I stayed at the Behavioral Health Unit at Henry Mayo for three days, a standard psychological hold, and, while everything wasn't 'fixed' by being there, I did feel marginally better when I left.

Health insurance is a beautiful thing, they payed most of my bill but that hospital felt the need to prod me continuously for a final thousand dollars (after being paid by my insurance over $15,000). Eventually, this balance was sent to collections where my heartfelt pleas about the nonsense of overcharging the insane fell on deaf ears. How is it that we live in a world where we have to pay to be crazy? Through no fault of your own, you're now you gotta pay!

Business is business but people are also business; business makes people it's business...or at least that's the only kind of business I know how to operate, lest I have no customers.

Look at the world around us; free is a commodity that you don't see anymore. No one does anything for pure pride and accomplishment; it's only about money. Our whole world is just about money; not people, not art; green worthless pieces of paper that we give so much power and even love.

It's not our fault, we live in a world where you can't even stay home without money...everything costs money so, as a result, we all become money grubbing just so we can live in the world we've created.

We have to find a way to bring back the simplest of things; leave these do nothing politics behind and just go back to caring about your neighbor and just being good people. With each passing year, we get farther and farther away from the closeness that makes us strong, lest we only be a collection of States of America.