Don’t panic

Last week in therapy I provided a response that I found rather interesting. When asked what was on my mind I responded that I’ve been focusing on the medium picture; not the big picture, not the little picture, just the medium picture. When asked to elaborate I explained that I had been busy trying to solve all the world’s problems.

“That sounds pretty big to me.” replied my therapist.

“Not when compared to the entire universe. When you do that, the world seems really, really small. It’s important to keep things in perspective.” I explained.

Of course from the perspective of the individual the world seems really, really big. The problems we are facing are gigantic and they are global. From all the research that I’ve been doing I’ve come the the conclusion that we are basically doing everything wrong and that the human race is on a headlong course for destruction.

I really do think that our entire economic system is on the verge of collapse. We really are running out of oil. We really are destroying the environment and the natural resources of the only planet we have. So many of our resources as well as our efforts are simply being wasted. The climate really is changing for the worse and it is our fault. All of our governmental systems are corrupted and broken. We are all addicted to something whether it be drugs, sex, money, power, possessions, fake food, work or even particular emotional states. It seems like all we do is point fingers and blame each other rather than look at ourselves. Everyone is spying on everyone else. We spend all this time and energy focusing on the symptoms rather than addressing the root cause. In the process we are still fighting wars and killing each other. How stupid is that?

It really is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

So why not panic?!? Isn’t it time to totally freak out?!?

I guess the best answer I have is because it doesn’t work. People are going to freak out if they are going to freak out and there is plenty of reason to do so. I’m pretty prone to freaking out myself. It just doesn’t help; at least not in the long run. The other reason is that even as bad things are, they could be worse. Even though I believe that we are doing everything wrong, it is also true that we are doing a lot of things right. Furthermore, some of the things we do wrong turn out good and some of the things we do right turn out bad. The fact is that most of us are surviving and our population is actually growing.

Some point to population growth as being the root of all our problems. That may be true but it is also proof of all our solutions. Even if you believe that overpopulation is what will inevitably do us all in, I’ve got some good new for you there too. Population growth among the countries that are causing most of the problems is actually decreasing. The sad news is that greatest population expansion is among the countries that are doing most of the suffering.

I’ve been delving into some other number as well and what I have found is that things are not quite as bad as the doomsday scenario I painted earlier. I found this empirical data mildly comforting. As a result, I’m pretty sure that the world won’t end tomorrow. We still have a chance to survive this but we need to wake up and take responsibility. If we keep on down the road that we are going, we are doomed. That is undeniable. What is also undeniable is that some things are changing for the better. It’s just very complicated and there are a lot of moving parts. I feel like we are in a situation of taking one hundred steps forward and ninety-nine steps back; but that may just be the optimist in me.

What really concerns me is that it seems like institutions, ideology, technology, philosophy, medicine, psychology and science have all evolved faster than our humanity. In essence we have abandoned our biology to built a society devoid of what makes us human. It does not serve our primitive needs but rather uses us to perpetuate itself. We now find ourselves in a society that requires us to act in inhuman ways for the sake of society.

I want to leave you with this meme that I saw the other day. It has been floating around the internet for about a year but I’m kind of slow when it comes to those kind of things.

this-is-our-society

As with most memes our tendency is to see this and chuckle, “yup, that’s about right” and move on. That’s my typical response but this one got me thinking. It’s easy to think that nothing we do is right. It’s easy to find fault in whatever someone else does. It’s easy to say that anyone who sits around making memes clearly has too much time on their hands.

But I wanted to dig deeper, to think outside the box. I wanted to find the best solution. With a guiding principle of love and kindness I easily concluded that judging others was not the answer. but how about for the couple trying to get where they are going? I guess the real question is, “Where are we going… and why?” Society can’t tell us that. We have to figure it out on our own.

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Life outside my head

I haven’t really written much about what has gone on in my life since getting back from Mexico a month ago. Part of that is because not a lot has been going on. It’s winter and I haven’t been doing all that much that I consider all that exciting. A better answer is that I have been living in my head so what has been reflected in my blog has more to do with what I’ve been thinking than with what I’ve been doing. Neither are completely accurate however. The truth is I write about whatever I want to write about whenever I want to write. And even more accurate than that would be that I write whatever I write whenever I write because most of the time what comes out when I sit down at the computer is not quite what I had in mind when I decided to sit down at the computer.

For now I want to abandon the thoughts in my head and recap what I have been up to the past couple of weeks; let’s say going back to Christmas. It’s been an extremely chaotic time with the holidays and weekends and birthdays and random shit thrown in but in a way all of that is pretty run of the mill for me. I just want to capture the essence of what I’ve been up to so that I can move on. I’m expecting this to be a pretty boring post.

For starters, I’ve been spending a lot of time laying on my bed watching Netflix – mostly documentaries. Here is a boring ass list of said documentaries and historic dramas:

  • The Billionaires Tea Party – A left wing view of the Tea Party.
  • The One Percent – A billionaires view of the very wealthy.
  • Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream – A comparison between Park Avenue in Manhattan and Park Avenue in the South Bronx.
  • Surviving Progress – Our progress may be a trap.
  • Ayn Rand & the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged – The life and philosophy of one of our most popular thinkers.
  • The Secret of Nikola Tesla – One of our greatest inventors who claimed to have never invented anything.
  • Lovelace – A dramatization about one of our greatest porn stars.
  • Future by Design – The story of futurist and engineer, Jacques Fresco.
  • Escape from Suburbia – What are people going to do when we run out of oil?
  • Pedal-Driven – Mountain Bike riders work with the government to solve problems.
  • Unborn in the USA – A non-bias view of the Pro-Life movement.
  • Zeitgeist: Addendum – A non-political propaganda film worth paying attention to.
  • We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks – An interesting expose on Julian Assange.
  • Occupy Unmasked – An extremely right wing view of the Occupy Movement.
  • Better This World – A remarkable tale of left wing radicals in my home town.
  • The Big Buy: How Tom DeLay Stole Congress – A story of power and corruption in law and government.
  • Runaway Slave – The story of one man’s move beyond the race paradigm
  • Let’s Make Money – A propaganda film that should make you think
  • Color Me Kubrick – A dramatization of the life of the man who pretended to be Stanley Kubrick
  • American Addict – There is more money in pharmaceutical drugs than in street drugs.
  • Patriocracy A look at the political divide and the unspoken majority who just want to get along.
  • The People vs. George Lucas – The love/hate relationship between the man who created Star Wars and it’s fans.
  • Hungry For Change – What happens when we stop eating food and start eating drugs.

Wow… twenty-three movies in fourteen days!?! How could I have had time for anything else? Okay, I cheated a bit. That list went back to December 13th but I really wanted to get in the name Ayn Rand. I know that simply being able to tag her will give me a hit or two and I think she wants me to have that. She has given rise to a political movement that is completely counter to everything I believe in but I don’t think most of her followers really understand what she was saying. They just picked up on what they liked.

But that’s the way it goes.

People seem to like Ayn Rand because she gives them justification for being a selfish prick. I say just be who you are! If you are a selfish prick then own it. No one needs to give you permission or justification. I think she would agree with that. But then you can’t complain when all the people around you care more about their own needs than yours. Birds of a feather flock together, bitch!

If you do want another view of the future I would really recommend watching Future By Design by Jacque Fresco. Actually, I would recommend watching all of these documentaries. Some are more biased than others. Some are more opinionated but all have the potential to get you thinking and I highly recommend thinking… in moderation.

So knowing that I can’t simply live inside my head, what else have I been up to?

I went to my sister’s for Christmas. With my parents out of the country I had really hoped that I could just take the day off but when my sister decided to do something at her house I figured it was important to attend. I’m sorry that my other sister was not able to attend but that is the way it goes in my family. We are a group of very diverse people but clearly… somehow… we still love each other.

Usually I spend Christmas night at the bar commiserating with others who either don’t have family in town or just survived another awkward family diner. This year I just felt like going home.

The following night I had rehearsal for our show on Friday. The show was fun. The show was fantastic. The show was what I do.

Hexagon - 27 Dec 2013

Hexagon – 27 Dec 2013

My son’s mother’s sister, who lives in Canada, was there. I helped raise her when she was in high-school and she totally loves me. It was so wonderful to see her again. Also in the audience was a woman who used to live with me and while doing so taught me a great deal about the toxicity of anger and the fear which comes with it. It was really good to see her again after getting past all of that. I also talked with a fan who told me that he could never do what I do but by watching me on stage he feels like he was living vicariously through me. That is one of the greatest gifts I can give as a performer but the truth is, I too am living vicariously through the audience.

The day after a show is usually just a day of rest but I got tired of just sitting around. The weather was nice but I knew it was going to get really cold so I wanted to get out of the house while I still could. I had no plans but I needed a back up battery for my e-cig so I hoped on the bus and headed to Smokeless Smoking in Northeast Minneapolis. My friend works there so I got the “family” discount.

As I left the store he asked, “So, what are you going to do now?”

I said, I have no idea but there will probably be whiskey involved.”

I needed food so I headed to the Spring Street for nutrients and libations. After that I headed to the 331 Club for a beer or two. Next thing I knew there was a dance party going on and I was shit-faced wasted. A friend of mine had sent me a text to see what I was up to but I didn’t notice it until two hours later. I still wound up crashing at her place. Forgiveness it the key to happiness.

The next day was hard. My friend gave me a ride home but I still didn’t know whether I wanted to be alone. It was my daughter’s birthday and I hadn’t seen her face or heard her voice since September. I tried calling her that morning but could only leave a message. I figured it would be a good day to just be alone and do nothing. I made myself a screwdriver to ease the hangover but still having my doubts about being alone I reached out to my Facebook friends. Within thirty seconds I had a phone call from my friend at Smokeless Smoking offering to come pick me up.  I spent the day and night in the loving company of him, his partner and their son.

When his partner dropped me off the next morning I said, “Thank you so much for being there for me.”

To which I was replied, “No, it was you who were there for us.”

Seriously, this is how my life goes but I think it is how life goes when we are willing to humble ourselves to ask for help.

The next day of significance was New Years Eve. Once again I had no plans. If I could have done it I would have done nothing on New Years Eve. It’s fucking amateur night but I needed my peeps. I called a cab and headed to the Cabooze to see WookieFoot. I knew the show was sold out but I hoped that the lovelight would shine on me and I would still be able to get it. It didn’t and I was’t. Luckily there was another cab waiting so I grabbed it and headed to the 331 Club where my friends in the band Rapedoor were playing.

There was a great line up at the 331 that night and it was free but it was still my second choice because one of the bands has a tendency to get naked on stage.  Now I have no problem with nudity but as a stage gimmick it seems over played, especially for a band with so much talent. For some reason that didn’t stop me from stripping off all my clothes and prancing around totally nude when I was brought up on stage.

I got a ride home that night but I couldn’t find my keys to get in my house. Luckily the people who dropped me off knew well enough to make sure that I got in my house. It was cold enough to where I could have froze to death if I spent the night out doors. Instead I spent the night on the couch of some friends in South Minneapolis. By morning I was sober enough to find my keys and make it home.

Thursday I had a therapy appointment. I wanted to spend some time with my friend who let me crash at her place after the first 311 Club night. We actually had a nice evening snuggling on the couch watching movies until four in the morning. Unbeknownst to me this was much later than she wanted to be up. She was pretty pissed off that it had gotten so late and to be fair it was largely my fault. I was a pretty talkative movie watcher that night. Sharing two bottles of wine and a six pack of beer will do that to me… especially since I drank most of it.

She stormed off to bed and I took a cab home. There was a time when I would have had no choice but to sleep on the couch. I feel quite grateful to have the financial resources to take care of myself when these conflicts arise because they will happen… drinking or not. By the way, we are just fine now. In fact we were fine the next morning.

My plan was to go back and retrieve my van but I never got sober enough to drive. I thought that my son would be coming home that day but it turned out he wouldn’t be back until Saturday so I just kept drinking slowly throughout the day. That night I had a meeting with the full cast off Venus’ performance art project. I’m doing the music for it. The meeting was great and I’m looking forward to it but that is about all I have to say about it at this point.

After the meeting Venus drove me to the Spring Street where two of my friends where celebrating their birthdays with an incredible line up of bands in the basement. There is much more that I could say about that night but I’m really trying to keep my posts under two thousand words. Suffice it to say I wound up at the after party and a really cute boy brought me home.

We can also say that I didn’t do much the next day other than welcome home my son, who I haven’t seen since we got back from Mexico.

It wasn’t until Sunday that I managed to retrieve my van. That took walking over a mile in sub zero weather but my van still started up just fine. I spent that night at the bar with my friend; the one at who’s house my van was previously parked. Remarkably, that night went much better.

Monday I drove my son out to see his sister and step-mother. Today I went to retrieve him. It sounds like my daughter is doing fine and at the end of the day, that is all that matters to me.

I’m not ready

I had this absolutely awe inspiring transformative day on Tuesday. This day came on the heels of an incredibly fun, thought provoking weekend. I couldn’t wait to get home and write about it but as soon as I walked in the door I recieved a phone call from a friend who wanted to discuss disturbing hallucinations, emotional outbursts and horse ballet. Obviously, that was more important.

It also made it clear to me that my life has become a little too humdrum so instead of writing about my recent enlightenment I decided to go out and see what the rest of the world is up to on a Tuesday night. There are secret lives of fascinating people going on everywhere, even on a Tuesday.

Perhaps it’s all just too much for me. I can’t stop thinking. I can’t stop writing and rewriting Tuesday’s blog post in my head. It’s brilliant. It’s wonderful. It’s poetic… and really, really long. Actually, it’s kind of confusing and disjointed.  I can’t remember ever being so simultaneously excited and apprehensive to write anything in my life. I’m sure that I have but at the moment I am completely consumed by this present quandary.

And it is exhausting. All I want to do is sleep. I don’t want to see anyone, talk to anyone or do anything. I just want to be left alone to do nothing. I guess I need more time for my thoughts to either solidify or dissolve away. So today I wait for the future in which I can meet my past with rested eyes.

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