Trash

I saw an article on Flipboard about these Adidas shoes made entirely out of discarded plastic fishing nets that litter the seafloor. The catch was that they were cleaning out the ocean — WITH YOUR FEET?!

It just kind of got me thinking.

About how we’re on this awesome, fucking beautiful planet that we’ve been trashing since the day we became civilized. To add insult to injury, we aren’t motivated to do anything unless we’re offered some kind of incentive, so we invented a unified currency to make everything a little more fair.

Without that, nothing would get done because we only do things that work out according to our own agenda — things that make our lives easier and either line our pockets or give our ego and sense of selflessness more points.

So the only way a sneaker company can realistically do anything about our ocean’s trash problem is if you buy a pair of shoes made out of all that raw material they’ve been digging out.

I mean don’t get me wrong. They’re doing a great thing and its a really creative and enticing way to take a crack at reducing our footprint and cleaning up a big mess. I’m all for it.

It’s just kind of a catch 22 in all sorts of directions.

We have all this trash because we found out how to invent some really useful shit, like plastic. But you can’t fill a plastic factory with able bodies for free, so you pay a bunch of people to crank it out by the ton and then they go out and buy stuff with that money. Like a trendy new pair of shoes made from an epidemic, indirectly created by the very thing they do for a living.

It’s downright poetic.

Trauma and Religion, or “Another Generic Atheist Post”

The fact that I’ve never went through anything extraordinarily traumatic makes my lack of faith a no brainer. Aside from little things here and there like being disciplined “the old fashioned way,” I had it pretty easy growing up. Compared to a lot of the people I’ve grown close to in life, my childhood was a walk in the park — and I’m immensely grateful for that.

I had a conversation with a close friend (we’ll call her Kim) the other day about a devastating fire that burned her childhood home to the ground, leaving behind little more than an antique metal figurine and a porcelain pepper shaker. All four adjacent houses suffered some moderate damages from the overspray, but at the end of the day the neighbors could still change into their own pajamas and climb into their own bed for a good night’s rest – knowing it’ll all still be there when they wake up in the morning. Unfortunately for Kim, those people were no longer her neighbors and a young family of five suddenly had no idea where they were going to lay their heads at night for what would turn into the better half of a year.

I’m not 100% but I think she told me the whole thing was set in motion by the classic “squirrels chewing through wires” thing. From what I understand, for one reason or another, there was a pretty serious explosion shortly after the blaze started, too. Had Kim, her two sisters and her brother been inside eating dinner as they usually were around that time on weeknights, they most likely wouldn’t have made it out in time due to how fast the whole thing went up. For the five cats and 20 odd fish they had in an aquarium, death was believed to have been pretty quick and painless.

Not much sooner than that clueless squirrel sunk teeth into his fatal last meal, the grandmother called practically begging Kim’s mom to let her babysit Kim and her siblings at her own house. Said she’d been having visions of her recently deceased husband warning her to stay away from the house. Even though she wasn’t quite sure why, she felt it imperative that the kids were out of there — so she came and picked them up.

That leaves Mom hanging out at ground zero, sipping on a beer and watching TV, all alone. Her ex-husband had been trying to get her to come have dinner with him all day and she put it off and put it off until finally, he called and was able to convince her to meet him at the bar down the street — the house being dangerously close to ignition at this point. Coincidentally, she decided to say “what the hell” and finally took him up on his offer. Less than 45 minutes later, Kim’s childhood home full of baby photos, sentimental heirlooms and everything else the family had in their name, would be no more.

Continue reading “Trauma and Religion, or “Another Generic Atheist Post””

On anxiety and drugs

I’ve been put on antidepressants before and all things considered, they helped in a pretty big way. Not necessarily in the way that I expected, but they definitely helped me overcome some serious anxiety issues. It bugs the hell out of me when people say things like “yeah I took those for a few days and it didn’t do anything but make me tired. I mean if they work for you, great. They just didn’t do anything for me.” Like they’re expecting a fast acting 24-hour anxiety and depression miracle drug, but that’s hogwash.

It’s a pill. Made up of chemicals that affect your brain in a way that allows you to stay a little more calm in situations that pose no real threat. The whole “overcoming your demons” thing is up to you at that point.

I get that different drugs affect different people in different ways but drugs or no drugs, overcoming something like anxiety does in fact require some effort on your end. Drugs like Paxil are supposed to break the cycle of habitual thoughts that might discourage you from saying “fuck it” and trying something new — something that, more times than not, might just turn out to bring you some form of gratification. Who knows.

But when you’re not too terrified to let go and live a little, you (hopefully) begin to realize that people aren’t as shitty and judgmental as you thought they were. Or probably more accurately that everyone’s totally a judgmental asshole, but so are you and it’s nothing personal. It’s kind of hard to come to that realization when you take everything as a personal attack though, and that’s what fuels the fire of low self worth. Thus, allowing your mind to run wild on (usually) false, negative assumptions about yourself.

You don’t recognize and come to terms with that kind of shit after two or three days on an antidepressant. It takes time, lots of time, to work the new and improved formula into your system.

They’re dirt cheap and shut off your ability to worry about stuff you have no business worrying about. But just like every other mind altering substance, there’s a fine line between the benefits and drawbacks. Such as addiction; the fact that you have to ween yourself off of them when you’re ready to fly solo and whatnot.

Granted, cutting an antidepressant out of your routine is nowhere near as horrid and painstaking as getting off something like meth or heroin but it’s still not fun. Especially when the whole reason you started taking them in the first place was to curb your anxiety — then the withdrawals come knocking and bring all of that great stuff back in full force. It’s all about how desperately you want to be rid of the negative circular thinking – do the positives outweigh the negatives or is it the other way around? Are you willing to work for it or are you relying on a placebo effect to set in?

All in all, pharmaceuticals can absolutely be effective, but not without a cost. There’s potential; we’ll leave it at that.

Smoking weed, however, has a slightly different effect. Number one, it makes you completely fucking retarded. But in a good way… and a literal way, but a really good literal way.

You have three priorities at this point: hunger, thirst, and most importantly, entertainment (and I say that loosely.) The anxieties of everyday life disappear for a little bit and the only thing that matters is right now. I’m not a doctor or anything, but I don’t see how there’s still even an argument as to whether or not marijuana has medicinal benefits – namely as an antidepressant.

It’s not a conventional solution, but totally therapeutic to those of us who are into that kind of thing. I don’t think enough people can grasp that concept; the fact that one thing – regardless of what that thing is – is never going to be everyone’s favorite thing. Or even something they like. Hell, they might hate that fucking thing but someone else would kill to have that thing.

It just grinds my gears that a decent amount of people still disregard the fact that a pretty good chunk of the population thoroughly enjoys coming home and taking a load off with a fat joint and a few monster bong rips rather than slamming a 30 case of Keystone and passing out in a pile of piss and puke. Life isn’t always easy and getting addicted to real drugs doesn’t make it any easier. It’s kind of fucked up that one of the few (mostly) harmless sources of artificial happiness is still so frowned upon. It instantly enhances life, man. Come on.

Jade Helm of Tinfoil

I was power walking my way out to a quick smoke break at work the other day when a decent sized black helicopter took off into the distance. It was sort of further away than it looked at first glance so the sound of the propeller was faint, but not uncharacteristically quiet for that kind of thing. Dude walking out next to me looks up and says with a smirk, and I’m definitely paraphrasing here, “Huh. Blackhawk… Stealth chopper. Er, helicopter. Can’t hear ’em at all. Well… not completely silent but damn close. Ever heard of a thing called operation Jade Helm?” to which I replied with an unwelcoming “nah.”

I already knew where the conversation was headed but being the pushover I am, I couldn’t leave it at an awkward silence. I shot him a puzzled look as if to say “go ahead, man” and his body language shifted to what can only be interpreted as “I know what I’m about to say sounds fucking crazy but hear me out.” So for the next ten to fifteen minutes this motherfucker explained to me – with a lethal dose of confidence – how the US military is conducting these covert operations in urban areas to prepare for martial law. He said there were “FEMA camps ready to go” as if the sound of a government-owned acronym should’ve made something click in my brain and say “Holy shit! This guy’s onto something!”

In reality, the only thing he was really onto was the fact that there’s a small airport down the road that civilian, commercial, and sometimes military aircraft of all shapes and sizes come through. Of course that doesn’t matter to people like him though, because that very airport put up a chain link fence a few years ago so that obviously means they’re preparing for something big. I mean after all, you don’t just put up a fence to keep people out. They must be getting ready to keep something… or someonein. I totally get that it’s stupid to blindly trust the government. It’s not completely out of the question for someone like Hitler to take hold of a nation and turn it upside down by means of brute force and terrorism, but come on. If you think 9/11 was an inside job and Obama is the antichrist, you’re just plain silly.

The Devil’s Lettuce

I wholeheartedly agree with the age-old meme that marijuana is completely harmless. I smoke the shit on a daily nightly basis and the only drug problem I’ve ever had is the munchies, with some occasional joint pains but that’s neither here nor there.

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I’m all for legalization right down to the recreational level in all 50 States because like it or not, no magnitude of authority is going to keep people from combusting and inhaling a naturally occurring substance with minimal negative side effects and infinite benefits.

Simply put, getting stoned is fucking awesome. It’s probably safe to say that anyone who can let go of their worldly insecurities and anxieties long enough to ride out a super chill, couch-locking reefer high would agree.

I went through a pill popping snorting phase for the better part of a year after graduating highschool and that is where our real drug problem lies: government-approved, doctor-prescribed bad decisions in the form of tiny breath mint sized clumps of modern science. That’s the stuff that leaves you doing the deep shit back stroke for months on end while trying to recover from a few hazy hours of medically-induced insanity.

Weed, on the other hand, shares pretty much zero similarities with the classic favorites of our generation – including, but certainly not limited to: Percocet, Valium, Oxycontin, Vicodin, Adderall, and my former personal favorite, Xanax. As a matter of fact, about the only thing the aforementioned pharmaceuticals have in common with pot is that they all temporarily affect the way your brain functions, in one way or another.

But the thing of it is, you don’t get stoned out of your gourd and get in a brutal fist fight with your best friend. You don’t take a few rips off a bong, start foaming at the mouth and overdose in front of your family. Unless that bong has a meth bubble in place of the bowl but that’s a whole different can of worms.

Everyone already knows that though; I know I’m preaching to the choir here. The argument I’m making today is against some of my fellow burnouts; the ones who’ve been giving stoners a bad name ever since it was outlawed in the first place. I’m talking about the assholes who can’t wake up in the morning and start their day without smoking themselves into a coma.

You know the guy. He takes 45 minutes at the god damn drive through because he’s too high to figure out what he wants in the first place, then he takes an additional 15 minutes trying to count out change from a sandwich bag to pay for his order. It’s the same fuckhead who spills his two liter of Mountain Dew all over the counter in Waterbeds N Stuff window shopping bongs he’ll never be able to afford because he blows $200 a week on dabs.

Dude’s not like that from smoking pot all day though. He was born a fuckup and will always be a fuckup. It just so happens that he loves getting high and that is what ruins the image of responsible smokers.

It doesn’t matter if you’re on drugs or not. Disrespectful assholes are going to do what they do best whether they’re stoned, drunk off their ass or Xannied out on a handful of bars – and the world is full of them. Assholes, that is.

From where I stand, it’s pretty clear that the ones we need to be pushing against for legalization aren’t all gun-toting conservative Christians who faint at the thought of their babies one day falling victim to the horrors of the Devil’s lettuce. It’s the losers who walk around with no regard for other people’s things or feelings and chances are, they’re right here among us — smoking up all our weed and cleaning out our fridge when they’re done.

A Place for Friends

Before Facebook helped to usher in the dawn of Web 2.0, MySpace was basically the only reason for 16-year-old me (and virtually all of my peers) to even use a computer. It was like OkCupid, Facebook, YouTube, Soundcloud and Xanga all in one. Local bands and shitty pop stars alike used MySpace to plan events, interact with their audience and demo music while lame ass teenagers like myself at the time used it to bitch about school and hook up with girls from neighboring cities.

You could deck your profile out with custom HTML that you usually always got from sketchy 3rd party theme generators because taking the time to learn something like HTML was for fucking nerds. And who could forget those cringeworthy “20 questions” style personal surveys everyone posted on their bulletins?

We had it all, and the baby boomer generation ruined it. You know what I mean. Everyone’s parents started using it as a dating site (or whatever the fuck they thought it was) and all of a sudden MySpace fell off, leaving behind an online ghost town until Tom cashed in and sold it to some company no one’s heard of. They didn’t keep it for a whole hell of a long time before pawning it off on Justin Timberlake and a few other rich kids who (surprise) thought they could make it cool again.

It goes without saying they failed miserably at that goal. I mean, Justin Timberlake hasn’t exactly been the face of pop since the early 2000’s to begin with and even back then he was still a major douchebag. Probably not who you would normally call if you wanted to make something painfully uncool cool again, is all I’m saying.

Continue reading “A Place for Friends”

This love

I guess I’m a contrarian. Or maybe a narcissistic perfectionist with low self esteem? I know that’s contradictory; don’t get all politically correct on me and start googling shit before you even get to the second paragraph.

But anyway, its like I’m on this never ending mission to find my soulmate (or something stupid like that) and as soon as I’m in the clear with her, I suddenly lose interest. All the realities of what a relationship actually entails come crashing down as if I had no idea what to expect, and quite frankly I’m running out of shitty excuses.

It’s just that people change. So much.

Like, as soon as you get to the point where both parties are confident that the relationship is going to work, the veil of anxiety drops. The butterflies all die and what you’re now left with is… life.

Not to be confused with the single life, which (spoiler alert) turns out to be pretty fucking awesome after all, but I digress.

Sex. That’s really the only thing that separates an ordinary, run of the mill friendship from romance. You can argue all you want, but love isn’t much more than (with any luck, unprotected) sex with someone who you’re so obsessed with that you’ve devoted every last ounce of spare time and energy to. You can romanticize it until the cows come home, but at the end of the day that’s all it really is. That, and a natural high that encourages procreation but I’m too lazy to fact check so we’ll just leave it at that.

Think about it though. Damn near every adult has been madly in love with someone at some point in their life and odds are, if ya give it enough time, it’ll slowly fade away into indifference. Sometimes on great terms but more often than not, on really shitty “don’t ever fucking talk to me again” terms, swapping the indifference for intolerance. They say relationships are hard work and everyone has to compromise but those same people will also tell you not to let anyone change who you are.

Sex is one dimensional. It’s literally the best feeling in the world, but totally one dimensional. Its primitive and instinctual. Filthy, even… depending on who you ask. Its pretty much the only completely natural thing we can still get away with in the age of extreme political correctness, maximum law and order, and ubiquitous microchips. But at the end of the day, it really isn’t much more than a few minutes of flopping around on top of someone who’s up to the same shenanigans as you are. Then you both get off, have a smoke and go about the rest of your night.

In a committed relationship, you get as much of that as you can handle for a few months, followed by a lot of annoying bullshit. Worst part is, you’re balls deep by that point and even though you’re both miserable you can’t bring yourself to break it off because it’s the good lord’s plan.

Just kidding. But seriously though, you get all wrapped up in the shit and hang on by a thread for months, maybe years, and its always the same in the end. Monogamy isn’t even natural, but again; not fact checking so moving on.

Point is, relationships are a waste of time and true love is a fabrication of man. Or something like that.

Don’t let my pointless rambling fool you though; I’m all for falling madly and irrationally in love. Its a powerful force for us here mammals and quite possibly the most desirable thing our human brains can endure. So why wouldn’t you want to indulge? What’s the worst that could happen? You get your heart broken?

Don’t be a pussy. Just go for it. I mean, it’s either another human being or your hand. Don’t fall in love with your hand.

Too high for public access TV

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This fucking guy. I know 20+ minutes is a lot of time to gamble on a YouTube video. I know. But I swear on all that is sacred to me that this abortion of an interview/live performance is worth your complete and undivided attention. It’s a classic sing along for me and all my stoner friends any time we’re too ripped to come up with something better to watch and I’m never hesitant to burden my drinking buddies with this one in the early hours of the morning after a hard night of slamming shots in a wasteland of empty pizza boxes and stale cigarette smoke. The video has accumulated a total of 582 views since it was uploaded in 2008 and I’m fairly confident that about 500 of them were us.

A little bit of a back story: dude’s name is Chris “Crash” Carson and he fronts an (I think) LA-based stoner metal group called Freelance Johnson. To be completely honest, I’m not sure if they’re still active or if they even went anywhere as a band aside from a few local gigs almost a decade ago but I do know that Crash is still around, thanks to my Facebook stalking skills. Me and some friends were completely shitfaced a few years ago and sent him a message saying we love him or something like that and I shit you not, his exact response was “duuuuuuuuude,” give or take a few u’s. And that’s pretty much it.

Seriously though, at least watch the first five minutes. Dude’s a fucking riot.

Shedding Skin

I love my life. I realize my place in the universe, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

There was a time in my youth when I had absolutely no idea where I stood on the social spectrum; I wasn’t into sports in elementary/middle school, I didn’t have a weird talent or obsession with anything. I’ve never considered myself to be a part of any fandom, so to speak, and the thought of claiming the fucking outrageous title of “gamer” makes me want to suck-start a shotgun. In other words, I’ve never been incredibly passionate about anything in particular. I was into the whole bmx thing in highschool but that was fairly short lived.

That, and metal. Fucking metal. I’m still into that though.

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I totally get the whole idea that “it doesn’t matter what people think about you,” but really, it kind of does. Life is what you make of it and people – all people – inevitably fall into some level of generalized demographic. You have poor people, rich people, Bible thumpers, skeptics, junkies, perverts, prudes, hippies, hopeless romantics, narcissists, geniuses, fucking idiots and so on.

Personally, I’m white trash. I could lie and act like I’m not, but it’s your actions and personality that truly speak for you and determine how people will generally judge your character. My actions and lifestyle as a whole form a fucking giant glowing neon arrow pointing to the words “white” and “trash.”

I regularly wear this shirt, even:

Because it's a trashbag, kind of.
Because it’s a trashbag, kind of.

I totally don’t even mean any of this in a negative way, is the fucked up part. Maybe as a sort of self-depricating humor, but in a brutally honest way.

I have what they call a factory tan, meaning I’m permanently ghost white and have dark circles under my eyes, thanks to a fucked up 10 hour second shift schedule. My typical day includes getting irrationally pissed off at various industrial machinery, loading up on complete garbage that somehow passes off as food and, most importantly, chain smoking Camel Wides for 15-20 minutes every two hours. I don’t drink water unless I have to and most of what little money I do make goes towards weed, fast food and other shit that I could undoubtedly do without. I consume the shit out of everything in my path and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I don’t care who you are, that, is white trash. I’m not saying I’m a shitty person or anything; just a little trashy, is all. I’m cool with it though. What else would I be doing? Watching sports in a shitty million-dollar condo that I have to keep clean? Waking up at 5am every morning to hail a cab to the office so I can get a head start on some boring bullshit?

Fuck that. It sucks being broke but money doesn’t buy happiness. In the grand scheme of things, people as a whole haven’t been civilized for a whole hell of a long time. Entertainment can be manufactured, mass-produced, bought and sold, but commercialized nonsense is far from being the only way to be genuinely entertained. It doesn’t seem like people appreciate that a whole lot anymore.

I’ve met some pretty colorful people in my short life, let me tell ya… and there’s sure to be loads more to come. I thoroughly enjoy being alive, even if that means I’m not always the most careful or healthy person in the world. I go big or go home, and that’s just as much a curse as it is a blessing.

Gourmet

Being broke makes you appreciate shit. I’ve been (pretty much) completely fucking broke all week, partly because I’m horrible at managing money and partly because weed and cigarettes are outrageously priced nowadays. So I’m trying to avoid any (additional) unnecessary purchases. But let’s face it, ten hours feels like an eternity when you’re in a dim warehouse folding junk mail at 120 feet per minute.

I think I made it two days before breaking down and getting a shitty microwave-ready burger out of the machine and it was easily the best god damn thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. Probably because it was loaded with MSG and a ton of other miracles of modern science, but it was the highlight of my day.

So that’s where my life’s at right now.

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