Archive for the ‘Brainwashed’ Category

Graceful Dancing

Posted: May 16, 2015 in Absolute Truth, Abuse, Aging, America, Anxiety, Arguments, Atheism, Atheist, Bi-Polar, Bible, Blog, Blogging, Books, Brainwashed, Change, Charity, Charity Foundations, Christianity, Church, Community, Confessions, Coping, Corporate Culture, Crisis, Crooked Politicians, Culture, Death, Debates, Depression, Diary, Dilemma, Dreams, Duty of Care, Dying, Elderly, Emotional Abuse, Epic Battle, Ethics, Evil, Faith, Family, Fear, Forgiveness, God, Good, Good-byes, Greed, Grief, Haile Selassie, Insanity, Inside My Mind, Jesus, Journal, Lies and broken promises, Life, Lists, Living in fear, Logic, Love, Mania, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Minnesota, Misc, miscellaneous, Moral Theories, Morals, Motivation, Mourning, Nursing Homes, Opinion, Pain, Personal, Philosophy, Politics, Prayers, Progress, Psychosis, Quotes, Random, Random Thoughts, Rants, Reform, Rejection, Rights, Sadness, Self-esteem, Self-Help, Self-image, Social Debates, Social Injustices, Society, Sorrow, Spirituality, Stress, Suffering, Suicide, Suicide Note, The Bible, The Bucket List Foundation, The Philosophy of Quotes, Theology, TheRandomArtist, Thoughts, Treatment, Uncategorized, Unity, Verbal Abuse, Work, Work Environment, Writing
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The choice of letting go and saying goodbye is never easy, yet the decision to hold on is even harder. I have let go of hopes, dreams, relationships, redemption and written my goodbyes many times in the past, but every morning I regret my choices and my decisions to hold on… This was the beginning of the post I was working on last Saturday, what was to follow was going to be my final words then swallow every bit of medication I had and finally be at peace. Instead I ended up in the psych ward at Abbot where I stayed until yesterday against my doctors and others advice. I didn’t see the point in staying, all they did was drug me to the point where all I could do was sleep. I was at a crossroads where I knew whether I chose to stay or go I was leaving in worse shape when wen I went in. When I walked out of the hospital and reality came crashing down on me I knew right then and there that I fucked up choosing to go to begin with, yet again regretting my decision to hold on. So I am back where I started but with a bit more inner strength then I had before because I received a mental vacation, but seriously how long will that last? The answer will come in the next week or so as I sit back and see how everything plays out between my job, dream, finances, and relationships. I feel I am at the point where depending on how these things play out will determine my future.

My life is riddled with mistakes, and regrets each one adding to the greater mound of shit called life. At this moment three key things come to mind, keep in mind this is not in chronological order of importance.

  1. Failing at fixing all the problems at the nursing home I work at to improve the quality of life of the residents I have grown to care for so deeply.
  2. Giving up on my dreams of becoming a writer or an artist.
  3. Not finding redemption for the countless number of lives I have destroyed in my 35 years on this earth.
  4. Not following through with shit on November 26th.

I think what it comes down to is acceptance. I need to accept that I won’t ever be more than I am right now. I have to finally accept I won’t ever be able to help the residents where I work. I don’t know what’s worse giving up on my dreams or trying to redeem myself by helping people just like me who can’t help themselves. I have done shitty things; I have poisoned and hurt everyone and everything I have ever touched. Many of my poems touch on this concept of being a “virus.”

For over six years I have worked so hard to make up for all the pain and suffering I have caused by reducing the pain and suffering the residents at the nursing home I work for by the hands and decisions of the very same people who are supposed to care for and safe guard these residents. There are many good hearted people whom I work with who carry this burden of failure, if any of them are reading this they know the deep sorrow and feeling of helplessness of not being able to give these guys the proper quality of life they deserve.

I have been in business with and covered up things for “business associates” who wouldn’t hesitate putting a bullet in your head, but being involved with and covering up for an employer who is a non-profit and allows vulnerable adults and employees to be harassed mistreated and discriminated against is far worse in my eyes. There are many people at the nursing home I work at who see the same things I see but do not act; as Haile Selassie so eloquently put it

Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”

All of the people involved in my past life and unfortunately as of late too much of my current life chose “the life” and in the end we all end up in one of two places, we deserve whatever end to our means no matter how horrific or painful. Our residents on the other hand do not deserve the means that transpire until their end comes.

This is my apology to the residents that have come and gone who failed to receive the proper quality of life they deserved. I am sorry that I can no longer continue to fight for the change needed, it is destroying me. My old associates showed more mercy delivering people to their end, than the people I work for now. The people employed by this company who care are used and pushed until they break while the predators are allowed to continue to prey.

Non-profits are not supposed to be run like a criminal organization where fear and intimidation rule. Non-profits are supposed to be built upon something called “Duty of care.” If any one of the “criminals” who work at this nursing home is reading this let me define what duty of care means.

“Duty of care is the moral and legal obligation to attend to the safety and wellbeing of those they serve, those who work for them and others who come into contact with their operations.”

Now to wrap things up there may be some people who do not understand what the title of this entry has to do with the content. Below is a Youtube link of Justin Furstenfeld performing the song “Graceful Dancing.” After hearing his introduction to this powerful song, and seeing the familiar emotions during his performance I decided to check myself into the hospital which drastically changed the content of this post. For that I thank the artist and the person who posted this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCFpgfvPGZo&list=PLIWCEQoVmfdHIakN42xTrXYjPnE6I3EHB&index=55

 

Advertisements

“Human beings must be known to be loved; but Divine beings must be loved to be known.”
Blaise Pascal

Imagine if society as we know it were to completely crumble, ravaged with war, along with our complete loss of technology. Countries would soon begin to crumble; social unrest would cause unimaginable destruction. Lets take our imagination exercise further; during all of this chaos and destruction, only 5-10% of the human population survived. All technology and anything related to it is gone, and very few things such as books, paintings, or structures remain. Being resilient creatures it is only logical mankind will slowly start to re-build.

Everything we know today would be a distant memory. Soon future generations would have no idea what “The Mona Lisa” looked like, or in some cases didn’t even know it had existed. Now imagine if the Bible and all other religious scriptures had been destroyed in the mayhem. With every passing generation the concept of religion as we know it today would have all but disappeared. It would be foolish not to factor in the 5-10% of those who survived, for arguments sake lets say there was no one dominant believe system among the survivors. The people who survived each carried with them one of our many different theological beliefs, but no religious doctrine survived.

Let us continue down this rabbit hole of imagination and say a few Greek Mythology books survived the downfall of man (Yes I am aware this can be considered theology, but I include it only because unfortunately it has been downgraded to “mythology”.) Future generations would logically begin to worship Zeus, and the many other Gods behind said “mythology” and believe this to be religious fact. Even if these books did not exist it is possible for a new generation to create a completely different religion based on the remnants from the downfall. Of course these remnants would be added to with stories passed down from generation to generation.

I feel it is impossible to have a society without the driving force of religion; whether it is to calm fears or to control the population. Religion although perverted and corrupt is a necessity; eventually new religions would be formed to meet these needs. Imagine if the book “Moby Dick” survived the collapse of man. All it would take is one charismatic individual to start preaching the “religious” lessons contained in this book, and just like that a new religion is born. In time as other books are collected they are added to the “Holy Scripture.” Let’s say “Huckleberry Finn,” “Hamlet,” and “The Lord of the Rings” also survived. These various works of fiction are then woven together in a collection of stories to form a new Bible, and out they go to preach the Word, promising life hereafter in Middle Earth.

People are hardwired to need religion in their life, if this were not the case religion would have died out long ago as man discovered science and logic, because of this primal hardwiring they would latch onto this with all their might, replacing, refuting, and stumping scientific and logical advancements. I am sure whoever put this “Bible” together would take some liberties and add their own material just like the Catholics did when choosing which books to include in the Bible. This new congregation would set out to spread the gospels of William Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkien, Mark Twain, and Herman Melville, murdering all those who believed differently then they do. In time this religion and its created deities would become reality.

Now here is my question. If all of these things were to actually happened, then does the God of the Bible now cease to exist? If no one knew what a Bible even was, would the God of the Bible come down and start interacting with humans to show us he still existed? Although God made a promise he would never do it again, would he burn then flood the entire world only leaving one family to partake in incest to rebuild the world? If we look at history there have been many different religions that people have blindly followed. As time passed newer, cooler, more convenient, and better suited religions for social control became dominant. Causing all of the long forgotten deities (sorry Zeus) to be left behind and forgotten.   

“Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

I sometimes try to think about what our lives would be like if we had no religion. Would chaos and anarchy rule supreme without some spiritual moral compass to guide us? Would we as a civilization just instinctively know how to treat our fellow man, or do we require a “reward” in exchange for our good behavior. This is a hard question to answer since the concept of religion is engrained in every man, woman, and child in existence. This will continue to be the case till end times, so we are for better or worse stuck with religion.

I often times write and speculate as to why religion was created in the first place. I have two theories which I feel answer this age old question. The first being the fear of the unknown and unexplainable and the second being social control. I personally think religion was first created to subdue early mans fears, but then when the slightly more intelligent man realized how much influence it had on the masses he transformed it into a form of social control. Since this discovery; generations of generations of people have fallen victim to the soothing swan song of religion.

I have always wanted to write several books on the topic of religion, and one such idea is building a religious timeline; starting from the very first religion all the way up to where we are today. I would track the origins and expansion of said religions. I figured I wouldn’t get too detailed I would just provide the basics of each religion. One detail I would touch on is the impact the featured religion had on the civilization. There were about eight other things I would cover, but are not pertinent to this post. I started this project last year, but when I was faced with the grand scope of the project I decided to shelve it until/if my “Dylan Thomas” books took off.

I really cannot think of one thing other than religion which has had a bigger impact on human existence. Religion although sold as a ticket to salvation and as a guide on how to properly treat your fellow man, it has also been a tool to control the masses. The rulers of old used religion as a tool to give the masses some spiritual guidelines. These guidelines were necessary to keep order, and the people who were being ruled feared for their life hereafter, so they fell in line with their spiritual leaders. We can look out in the world today and still see religion being used by political leaders.

In reference to this specific quote I think we need to look at civilizations through history. I wrote about such a time period a year ago when I touched on the alliance between Rome and the Catholic Church. This was a time when there were two classes the rich and the poor. The rich Romans during this time had the power and influence of the Catholic Church on their side. They parlayed this influence to socially control the people. They fed the fear of hell into each and every one of them, so the thought of standing up against their repressors equaled eternal suicide into a lake of fire. I am not too familiar with Napoleon time period but I would be willing to bet it resembled the time period I wrote about. I think I may just have to read up on this a bit.

The poor will only stand so long being the class which is shit on for so long before the people realize they out number the rich and decide to take over. Religion is the perfect tool to keep social order amidst such repression. I think this point is illustrated even in today by studying some of the countries in the Middle East. In America religion is still a dominate force, but I do not know the extent of social control it has today. I suppose it keeps the religious nuts focused on salvation instead of murdering and having sex with small little woodland creatures. I suppose in this case religion is doing something worthwhile.

I have always looked at our country, and I have seen many blemishes on the face of this once great nation. There are so many perverted and corrupt things going on right under our noses, its enough to make you sick. We as a nation have been sold out by the representatives we have elected to look out for our best interests. This act of treason alone should be enough for an uprising! The way this government is run, and the way the system is rigged to produce faceless consumer slaves is insanity. What’s worse is this very same system which we keep running by working ourselves to death and consuming more than we can afford, consistently shits on us around every corner.

I have always been baffled as to why the masses are not storming the streets demanding things change. When I first started this blog I was optimistic my words would someday lift the veil over people’s eyes and allow them to see clearly. I want nothing more than to be able to make an impact and change things, but the task seems daunting and impossible. Because of this I suffer from the thinking “I am just one person what can I possibly do?” I am certain there are many other people who see things for what they are, but probably suffer from this same type of thinking. Because of this nobody does anything, and thus we all fall back into our proper places as cogs in the machine. If somehow, all the enlightened individuals were to come together we could make a real difference. As individuals we may not be heard, but united as one voice we can become a positive vehicle for reform. I felt confident that through my writing I could start some grassroots movement aimed at taking our country back.

I was so pumped when I came up with an idea to start a grassroots movement called “The American Republic Movement (ARM).” I was wide-eyed and optimistic about this idea. I was proud of myself for taking the first step I have always wanted to take. I created a page on my newly formed website dedicated to the movement. I started to write more political posts urging others to come together in unity and demand our officials start working for us instead of corporations and special interests. When I started this I dreamed the movement would take off just as the Tea Party Express was taking off. I felt this movement was going to make a real difference and by the time my children entered adulthood they would be living and working in a just system.

I was all gun-ho about this, until I received a slap of reality from Trey. He informed me that he worked for years trying to make a change and the way our system is set up it is impossible to defeat a two-party system. I trusted Trey and I knew he was wise, but I still thought that maybe I could make a difference. I continued to focus more of my posts on politics and the issues, and kept my ARM page up on my website. After awhile I was receiving no interest on my website contact page and little support from my readers. I became discouraged and pulled down the ARM page of my website and took a step back and stopped writing so heavily on political topics. I hit that wall where I couldn’t change even a hundred people so I just gave up and submitted to my corporate masters. I look back now and realize I just created this website with absolutely no marketing, and my blog had only been up a few months. I still hope as my readership continues to grow, and as I continue to write about political matters I am able to get even one person to be able to look through a lifetime of programming, and see things as they are. Perhaps if this one person I get to take a second look at things, may be the person who can successfully unit people together for positive change.

In the end the truth is we can make a difference in our country, but in order to do so we need to stand in unity as one voice. A hundred men and woman may be muffled, but what will our government do when a hundred million men and woman are protesting and marching the streets demanding change. We need to find people willing to run for office, even if it is at the lowest form of government, who actually cares about this country, its people, and its future. In time with the people taking the streets demanding this country changes, our current politicians will feel the pressure and realize they can no longer rule through corruption. They will be held accountable for the promises they make to us while they are running for election.

The process of ushering in real reform in this country may take many years and in reality may not show during our lifetime, but perhaps this country can become great for future generations to come. I think we all owe it to ourselves and our children to be proactive in bettering our country. We are going to hell in a hand basket and if we continue to just sit ideally by hypnotized by the opiate of the media, before you know it this country will completely collapse, and the rich will finally achieve their ultimate goal of complete control.

“Each new generation is a fresh invasion of savages.”
Hervey Allen

What do you think when you hear the word savages? Do you think about the small tribes in the rainforest worshiping the Sun God, and practicing black magic? Do you think of ancient times through the early stages of our evolution where man was primitive in their knowledge and behavior? This is a pretty broad word which may mean different things to different people. When I was studying theological anthropology the word “savages” was primarily used to describe primitive people, who still lived in small villages or tribes and believed in so called “primitive” religions. This sentiment is well known in the Christian missionary objectives. If this is indeed the case should we still be considered savages, or have we evolved into sophisticated beings?

I look at this world and I do not see sophisticated beings, I see nations of evolved savages. When I think of the word “savages” I think of beings that live by their primal urges, and are concerned with only their own personal survival. I think of men and woman driven by greed, and the rat race to accumulate more wealth and possessions. I think of people who preach hate and intolerance. I think of perverted minds consumed with insatiable desires for power. I think of these leaders who choose themselves over those they are charged to rule. To me this is what a savage is, and in my opinion we are infested with them. We may have evolved technologically wise, but we are far away from being sophisticated. We may be able to log onto our Facebooks from our iPads, but we still can’t think of others before ourselves.

If we look at our society we will find plenty of examples of people living for their own self-interests as opposed to living for the self-interests of the collective. This is why there will never be peace on earth, or a society which resembles a utopia. Peace and serenity can never be achieved if we are driven by self-interests. I already know one of my occasional readers Tony will chime in on how self-interest is what fuels progress, and without it we would not have evolved technologically and we would not have the amenities we do today. I have heard the argument from one of my co-workers that if we had universal healthcare than our quality of care would go down because no one would be motivated to become a doctor, and therefore your continuity of care would decrease. I think this statement only further shows our savagery. If this is the case than our society is breeding men and woman who get into this profession  not to actually help people, but to garnish a higher paycheck?

I would happily trade our technological advancements in exchange for a society which has advanced on an enlightened path. I would happily walk to work, live without my blog, watch non HD television, and give up my dream of becoming a writer to know my children were living in a world where the well being of your fellow man came before the well being of yourself. To live in a world were innocent men, women, and children did not need to die in the name of war, or suffer from hunger and pestilence in the name of greed. A world where are elected officials are humanitarians as opposed to crooks. A world where nations stand hand in hand in peace and unity, where differences are met by listening and understanding instead words of threats and aggression. A utopia where hate is replaced with love and love is known by all.

I would like to say a world like this is possible, but like the quote says each generation is a fresh invasion of savages who are raised on morals learned from television and video games. New generations raised on greed and self-preservation. Generations who will spit on a dying man just trying to get healthcare so he can live. A society where war is so common it seems like second nature, and is replaced on the news by movie stars babies. A world so dummied down by the media we are easy to control like herded sheep. A world where the good are hidden by the evil and the evil are in charge. A world run by savages.  

“The only reason I’m coming out here tomorrow is the schedule says I have to.”
Sparky Anderson

You could say this statement can be true for most people in America today. I would imagine the percentage is pretty high where people go to work not because they love their job, but because we have no other choice. We are so self-dependent on the all mighty dollar we are often times chained to our jobs. We do not go there because we enjoy ourselves we go there because we have no choice. Think about that for a second….Well? I personally think this is a fucked up situation. I know there is no way to live in a world without money, so there is nothing anyone can do about this situation. We need to live in and accept the society we have created until it can no longer sustain itself and crumbles. I believe America is the only country which places such high demand on its workers. We carry heavy burdens to live, provide, and survive.  If I could have it my way I would move my family to Tibet and live like monks; free of any stress or cares, but this is an unlikely scenario.

I am sure my readers are aware I often times sit and think about life and this society we live in. I am also sure my readers know I despise the system we live in.  We spend more of our lives working than we do with our friends and family. Our work defines and shapes our lives more than I think people realize; our job ultimately defines who we are and what we do. We are slaves to our paychecks; the very same paychecks we get immediately goes back to the corporations which pay our shitty wages. I know this is the life blood of what makes capitalism flow, but something still seems unfair about this societal relationship. The situation is we work our asses off to pay our bills and provide for our families. This gets harder and harder as time passes. Our wages seem to stay the same or in cases decrease, but the products we need to survive continue to increase. This is yet another way corporations can use to keep their foot on our throats. We now need our wages even more, and in many cases need to get a second or third job just to keep our heads above water. I find it sad that the people on the bottom work themselves to death so those on top can fly in private jets. I look at this country and where we are and compare it to communist Russia. On paper communism seems like a reasonable form of government, but failed terribly because mans greed had to fuck it up. In this communist state it was all about the haves and the have not’s. There was the wealthy and powerful then the poor and the powerless. This country is slowly going down this road. Soon the middle class will be pushed out by lower pay and higher overhead all in the name of a few more dollars.

The tricky part in this scenario is there are many people out there who worked their asses off to get where they are, and in my opinion deserves higher pay. I do not think everyone should be paid the same wages, because then what would motivate those to spend an extra eight years in school to become a doctor. This is where my opinions are sort of contradictory. I think our system would be great if the people slaving away to make the company they work for prosper got better compensation. I am not just saying in dollar wise although I think that is a good start. I think we need more compensation via free time. Working 40-60 hours a week is utterly insane and frankly just wrong. How many people take the time to analyze this situation? We are only awarded one life; one chance to live, and we are forced to spend this life slaving away at our careers. The employee has no choice but to fall in line or risk losing their  job. I don’t know how many people are aware of how precious time is. Each minute or hour that passes is minutes or hours we can never have back. They are lost, and I believe they are lost in the wrong areas. We need more time for our families. We need more time for ourselves. It is a sad waste of a life to be dependent on a system set out to screw you around every turn. This is one example of how we are corporate slaves.

My solution is easy and fair to the people. Companies should only hire part-time employees but pay them just and fair full-time wages. This would give everyone the time to not only work and contribute to society, but we would then be afforded the time to enjoy our lives. Hiring only part-time employees would most certainly cure our unemployment problem. Now some may say “this is crazy companies would lose millions!” But is this true? I am but a simple man with limited knowledge, but I would think with more people working then that would create more consumers and in turn create profits for the companies which may offset the higher wages given to employees. I am an idealist not a realist, so I am pretty sure there is no way to actually make this work; with that being said I also do not believe this ideal life is impossible to achieve. The same problem in communist Russia exists today in American capitalism, and that is our thirst for wealth and power.  This thirst blinds us of our main responsibility which is the betterment of our fellow man. This has and always will corrupt us.  

George Lee “Sparky” Anderson (February 22, 1934 – November 4, 2010) was a Major League Baseball manager. He managed the National League’s Cincinnati Reds to the 1975 and 1976 championships, and then added a third title in 1984 with the Detroit Tigers of the American League. He was the first manager to win the World Series in both leagues. His 2,194 career wins are the sixth most for a manager in Major League history. He was named American League Manager of the Year in 1984 and 1987. Anderson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000. I was shocked to hear Anderson’s age when he passed away at the age of 76. I remember watching him coach against the Twins when I was younger, and I always thought he was around 70 back then.

“The quest for riches darkens the sense of right and wrong.”
Antiphanes

I believe the greatest evil to come from man is greed. It destroys everything and everyone it touches. When we thirst for money, power, and respect we will bend what we consider to be right or wrong in order to justify the actions we have to do to achieve these ends. I think greed changes a man just as greed has completely destroyed our country. If broken down to the basics it can be said that greed has become more destructive than war. If we think about it war would not be possible if there was not greed behind it. I think everything dirty and wrong with man is rooted in greed. This very thing was responsible for the downfall of every great empire, and we have paved a road of gold leading to our downfall.

I know this to be true in my own experience. Prior to taking a job as a collector at Universal Acceptance Corp, I was a laid back Zen type of person. I had semi-strong morals and ethics. I was against greed, and against corporate America. I took the job as a collector and to be honest I had no expectations on what would become of me at this next stop. I had zero aspirations to achieve a higher status than a collector. I was in school during this time so I looked at this job as a pit stop. I figured I would work there for a year or two; then when I finished my degree I would be out. I didn’t end up moving on because my degree was in philosophy so it’s not like this opened a ton of new doors for me. I really do not know what I was thinking about there.

I had about nine years of management under my belt prior to taking this job. The person who interviewed me told me there was possibility of advancement, but I really wasn’t feeling it. After all these years I was sort of burned out from management. I wanted a job I could just go to then leave work at work; you know nothing really serious. I was not looking forward to doing collections because it was; well collections. This required a cold hearted person with a certain tact which I lacked. I am a very timid and shy, so I was not looking forward to having to be assertive. To my surprise I was very good at what I did. I managed to put some humanity into my position which worked better than the hard collect. I thoroughly enjoyed the bonuses, and when I saw how fast this company was expanding I set my eyes onto a management role. I worked my ass off until I was finally promoted. I started as a soft collector but over time turned to a pure dick collector because I understood my advancement depended upon it.

I stepped on friends and became cutthroat when it came time for the company to choose those who were to enter into the management training program. I remember there were six of us and only two spots. I was eventually promoted.  Now that I was managing my own team I learned about this company’s concept of the bottom line, and the things needed of me to achieve this. I of course excelled at my position and embraced this company’s philosophy and culture. The longer I worked for this company and the more I learned about how they did things the more I realized how evil this company was. They were predators feeding off those in dire straights. I went along with this and kept bending and changing my morals and ethics all in the name of advancement and bigger paychecks. Because of the years of bending and twisting my core values at work, I began to bend and twist my core values as a human being.

I did this all in the name of greed. I wanted more money so I could buy more stuff to fill my life with accomplishments and possessions. I can tell you by experience wealth and status is not that important. I contributed to the destruction of countless amounts of people, and I did this so my paycheck would be larger. We all contribute to this culture of greed. We bathe in it, and become intoxicated with filling our ego. This is not the way to live. This is not the way to treat your fellow man. We need to replace greed with charity and compassion. This is the only way we can right this ship off the path of destruction. Sadly in our current economic structure this will never be possible.

“The greatest power is not money power, but political power.”
Walter Annenberg

Personally I do not agree this statement to be true. The power today is in who has the most money, and who is paying our politicians. It is the money infiltrating our elected officials which fuels the machine we call democracy. I wrote a piece months back asking the question if we are Plutocracy. I believe we are. I think when Annenberg first took over his fathers publishing business in 1942 this may have been a true statement. In today’s world money supersedes political power. I would guess most if not all of our politicians are in the pockets of corporations and special interest groups. This my friends is a sad state of affairs. I feel sick to my stomach knowing decisions are being made not in the people’s best interests, but in the best interests of those who possess the most money. I feel appalled that the people of this country have just sat back and allowed this monstrosity to occur. 

I have no idea when this trend changed. I know the change occurred prior to my birth in 1979. If I were to make a guess I would say things started to change and the rich started to seize our country during Nixon’s presidency. I have no concrete proof of this it is just a hunch. If you look at Annenberg’s bio you will see in 1966 he used his media business to sabotage a political campaign. If it were not for his media outlets reporting untrue negative things about Milton Shapp he most likely would have won the election. The reasons Annenberg started this early example of a smear campaign was because Shapp was opposing the merger between Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central. His reasons were not known until after his death when it was revealed that Annenberg was the biggest individual stockholder in Pennsylvania Railroad.

I think this example shows how powerful media outlets are, and who owns our media outlets? Corporations do. During election time we are bombarded with positive and negative things about the candidates many of which are not true on either side. I remember during the healthcare deal. The media (probably paid by insurance companies) aired many commercials against Obama’s healthcare reform bill. These smear commercials greatly affected how the people felt about this bill. I think the meer mention of socialism really killed the momentum Obama built during his campaign. Then you look at those who cast the votes and you can be guaranteed they are making decisions based off of who is paying them the most money; sadly it isn’t the people. The heartbreaking part is people do not take the time to try to find the truth they just believe what they are told by their televisions. We missed out on something that would have help millions upon millions of struggling Americans get affordable healthcare. Now it looks like the current bill may actually cause problems, instead of correcting them, unfortunately these problems favor the insurance companies not the American people. Isn’t it amazing what money can do?   

Walter Hubert Annenberg (March 13, 1908 – October 1, 2002) was an American publisher, philanthropist, and diplomat. He owned several publications such as TV Guide, Seventeen, The Philadelphia Inquirer. In 1966, Annenberg used the pages of The Inquirer to cast doubt on the candidacy of Democrat Milton Shapp, for governor of Pennsylvania. Shapp was highly critical of the proposed merger of the Pennsylvania Railroad with the New York Central and was pushing the U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission to stop it. Walter Annenberg, who according to his New York Times obituary, was the biggest individual stockholder of the Pennsylvania Railroad, wanted to see the merger go through and was frustrated with Shapp’s opposition. During a press conference, an Inquirer reporter asked Shapp if he had ever been a patient in a mental hospital. Having never been in one, Shapp simply said “no”. The next day, a five-column front page Inquirer headline read, “Shapp Denies Mental Institution Stay.” Shapp and others have attributed his loss of the election to Annenberg’s newspaper.

Like most people in America I am very self-conscious about my body and the way I look. I feel very uneasy in my own skin, which I think adds to my shy nature and lack of confidence. I have never really thought I was part of the “beautiful people” which over the years has really bothered me. I find this kind of strange since I am very anti-conformity. A sure sign of conformity is letting society dictate to you what is beautiful over what is ugly, and what is popular over unpopular. I am not sure why I have allowed mainstream media to say to me whether I am beautiful or not, but I have and still do. I trace the root of this complexity to my early experiences with television.  

We are bombarded everyday with television, magazines, movies, and commercials’ telling us what is sexy and what isn’t. When I was younger I was introduced by the media to something called “popularity” and the opposite side of the spectrum the term “geek.” I was not yet judgmental of anyone until I learned of the social divide within the subculture known as public schools. I knew from movies such as “Lucas,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Weird Science,” and “Can’t Buy Me Love” the last thing I ever wanted to be was a geek. The popular and beautiful people in these and other movies of that time showed me that my highest objective in my youth is to be on the proper side of the cool meter. (Apparently during the eighties if you had any sort of eye conditions you were doomed to being a dork, and most likely a part of the AV club.) I did not need glasses but for most of my childhood I was on the wrong side of the cool meter. The more I found myself in this crowed the more resentment grew towards myself. I think the years of being teased only furthered my desire to be “beautiful.”  I was never able to achieve this elusive label.

I wish I felt more comfortable in my body, but I don’t. In my lifetime I hope to see a world that puts very little emphasis on the outward appearance of people. I want to live in a world where your beauty is judged by who you are inside not what you look like on the outside. I know ultimately I am responsible for my own body and if I wish to change it then I need to quit whining and do something about it. I know this but it is so much easier to say then to actually do. The problem I have is I lack any self discipline when it comes to my eating habits. I do not eat breakfast or lunch during the week, so my only meal is dinner. This is never enough to fill me up and I end up snacking until late at night then lay my fat ass down and go to sleep. I work a desk job, so I am sitting down all day long and get very little exercise when I am at work. The last thing I want to do when I get home or on the weekends is spend hours at the gym, when it is so much easier sitting on the couch watching football. I know because of all this I have only myself to blame for my appearance and I am in a cycle of self-loathing, then acceptance then self-loathing again. My body is by no means as out of control as some others, but I definitely have a belly and love handles this is where I end up carrying all my excess weight. I have never thought I carried it well hence why I am so self-conscious about myself. I just once want to be noticed as an attractive man, instead of what I am.

Why do we place such a large emphases on beauty? The Tao teaches us to never judge, and says the only way we know beauty is because we have defined ugliness. Children are far crueler than adults. I know now I will not be teased for my appearance as I had in my youth. I feel confident in not being judged by others, but I still feel a sense of sadness knowing I will not be judged for my beauty. I know I won’t be judged for my non-beauty so I guess I will take what I can get. I have hit the point where my self-loathing of my appearance supersedes any positive feelings I have. I have reached the point where my worries over others judging me have turned inward where I am always judging myself. This inner judgment has been destructive on my overall self-esteem. I just want the day to come where I can purchase extra large clothing and not feel like a complete slob. Although I am between sizes I want to hang my head high when I purchase size 38 jeans. I want to see some commercials where my peeps are doing underwear commercials.

I think an aspect of the American Dream is to have a membership in the beautiful peoples club. I do not know many people who would willingly shun this exclusive membership. I am sure you wouldn’t find one single man or woman who would say “I really just wish I would get fatter to further distance my chances of ever getting laid.” I don’t need to worry about this though because my wife thinks I brought sexy back years ago and hasn’t left since.

Tell me what you think of these songs:

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise thee, we bless thee.” From Gloria Canon

“We are marching in the light of God” From An African Celebration

“Let us sing altogether to the Son of God. He is born as our saviour and redeemer. Come see the Christ child in the manger. The sweet little babe, Christ the King.” From Psallite

“Holy, Holy, Holy Lord of hosts. Holy, Holy, Holy God of power and might. Heaven and earth are filled with all your glorious works. Blest are they who worship in your Holy Name. Holy, Holy, Holy Lord of hosts. Holy, Holy, Holy God of power and might. Holy, Holy, Holy evermore the same.” From Sanctus

So what do you think of when you read these lyrics? Would you say these are religious songs? Would you come to the conclusion that perhaps these songs would be sung in a church? I come here to you today as a pissed off parent to find out these very same songs were performed by my daughters PUBLIC school choir. I was never informed and there was never a permission slip given to me asking if I thought this material was okay. I never received anything from her school. I did not find out about this until I was sitting in the stands and the program was passed out.

I was immediately outraged by this! I could not contain my emotions. I expressed my frustrations to my wife which started a separation of church and state debate in the stands of the auditorium. I am sure the parents sitting around us were either offended or amused by our banter. In my opinion this shit does not belong in our public schools. This is a clear violation of separation between church and state. You can clearly see these songs are religious based. The lyrics do not try and hide there purpose. It is just BAM in your face. I wanted to get up; grab my daughter and pull her from this performance. I will be contacting her school today. But wait it doesn’t stop there!

I was chatting with my daughter one day afterschool and she was telling me about how in social studies they are learning about Judaism. She recanted the story of Moses and the Pharaoh and the plagues that came to the Egyptian people. She went on to say Moses parted the Red Sea in order to get away. She then explained how Moses reached Mount Sinai and spoke to the burning bush, and about how on the top of the mountain God gave Moses the Ten Commandments written by Gods finger on two stone tablets. They were teaching her this as if it is a fact not a religious belief. I am all up in arms over this. I was irritated when she was telling me about this, and I had to immediately correct her and explain that these events are not real facts they are a man made fairy tale. She has been my daughter long enough to already know this to be true. I think these songs really pushed me off the ledge.

I really want to call her school and confront the principle on this subject. I will try to refrain because I am not sure how articulate I will come across. Now back to the debate with my wife. She was telling me I am an extremist in my views and that I am a hypocrite because I am making such a big deal about this. I am not sure if she really gets my point. Here is my stance. I do not think kids should be exposed to religion until they hit the age of reason. At this point I am all for them seeking out faith if they so choose. If my daughter is fifteen and chooses to go to church I will support her. If she chooses to become a Muslim I will support her. If she so chooses the Tao or to believe in nothing I will support her. Of course I would love to expose her to my belief system, but that goes against what I believe is right for my children. I do not think exposing children to religion is the right thing because their minds are not fully developed and frankly they are gullible and will believe just about anything.

My youngest son (6) has been recently talking a lot about God, Jesus and Heaven. I am not sure where these ideas are coming from but I am not okay with this. He has been told this by someone and now looks at it as a fact. I mean c’mon this kid still believes in Santa Claus so that about says it all. I made a mistake with my daughter. She used to go to this Christian daycare center and was exposed to religion. Every time we talked I had to reprogram her to set her straight. I told her these things are fairy tales and are false teachings. I succeeded in swaying her away from Christianity. She really enjoyed the movie “Religulous” which makes me think she is probably an atheist. This point is where I can see I am hypocritical. I didn’t want to do the same thing to my son so I just tell him that this is something people believe, and is not rooted in any logical form of thinking. I really doubt he understands what that means, because he still believes in Jesus just as much as he does Santa Claus. I would love nothing more than to start schooling him in Taoism, but like I said this goes against my belief system.

All I know is I am pissed about her social studies class. Something should have been sent home informing the parents what they will be teaching when it comes to religion. I am also pissed because her choir teacher should have sent something home asking the parents if they are okay with this material. I am a firm believer in the separation between church and state. God has no place in our government and sure as shit has no place in our public schools.