(editors note: written in third person for a sick fiend friend) sometimes she worries about her-self hatred other times not-so-much walls. mirrored separating real from chaff duplicating projections locked in with monsters one my man, the other… just a big fan of…my ass tehe. no doors or windows Is he me or am I him […]
Dear Reader. I’m not an asshole, but sometimes I can be. Don’t hate me for it… try, like me, to appreciate it. I think it’s just that sometimes I don’t suffer fools well. As some of you know, I’ve admitted to sometimes having a somewhat ungainly habit of engaging folks who attack me (physically […]
The old man looked at me as if my decision carried with it the weight of humanity’s future itself. Well… I sighed, the time has come; the red pill will conscript me to a life of getting back to what’s true and real despite the hardships and battles, while the blue, although too a […]
Ω they marched away in lock-step first from them then from the others and again they divided til’ they all became one not together but alone as boolean gods howled in manic delight. ∆ a tiny few understood that they too had been infected the viral confirmation bias self-replicating eating away individuality saddling them less […]
from mostdiggity’s weekly hyper-rant… “you can’t make this stuff up” : Betting the sure thing at a Google-to-1 odds against. Some thoughtful reader suggested that I try to look at the bright side of things. So… after some careful thought, I must agree. Here goes: This post is NOT meant to highlight the lamenting of […]
What the fucking fuck is up with America these days? America the beautiful? The land our forefathers stole for sure; still, the great melting pot my grandparents emigrated to in the early nineteen hundreds from their Italian home, the USA is mostly a big lie. No, they didn’t lie, they were lied to… their only […]
Say cheese. While the LVPD takes cover from an alleged mass shooter, others appear more worried about phone chatting, leaving many to wonder why this huge effort to attempt to fool the public was important to TPTB now, and what is their end-game? Really? Another professionally taken “staged” photograph underscores the dishonesty of today’s lamestream media. […]
Friggy-my-Diggy… another Spring is roaring in… and lately I’ve been thinking about our friendship. your comfortable, confident kindness, unveiled by alert but caring eyes twinkling in the bright blue Carolina sunshine. flashing that affable, genuine smile, as always seemingly amused by life’s irony; and like me you seemed sorta’ OK with it. sure, we differed on […]
And, yes, I know Duke is 27-8. And, yes, I know no school has ever received a No. 1 seed with eight losses. But only two of those eight losses are sub-50 RPI losses — and those two sub-50 RPI losses came by a total of six points. Kansas, by the way, also has two sub-50 RPI losses. So does North Carolina.”
mostdiggity For me, writing is cheaper psycho-therapy than seeing a shrink, and more expansive*(*pun alert) say, than my time spent mowing the yard e.g., row 1.turn. row 2.turn. The sun shines, the weeds grow thick and frontal lobe cells languish in repeat step repeat, and I’ll likely feel a pressing need to gnash keys, combine words, n’ spit […]
Shakespeare was known to bellow after presenting a new stage play for review… If thou truly not liketh it… laugh out loud. Like Will, these are my VERY LAST WORDS on the subject that follows. It is my opinion that certain elements having real power in this country make incredible efforts to distract our […]
that universal incessant spectral hum reverberating ohmmm…manifesting all actualizing the synchronicity underlying destiny and always arising all the comprehension of what is and will be a mirrored orchestra in operatic symphony inside a house of endless mirrors infinitesimally small but perceptible through the steady drumbeat of linear time a quantum music neither past nor future that imperceptible […]
time slips from great to good, or from terrible to wors’ning down that entropic road we pay our toll from hot pavement toward dirt road endings
that god, what god? the mirror asks, tone optimistic, while condescending life’s urge to organize is quite strong make amends, then share the booty’s blending
time slips from me to us, then from “you and i” to loving our valentine then seeks it’s mate on goes the prolific downward sending
that god, what god? the reflection quests, as the last winter snow’s still clinging that Holonic symbol, our family crest bears family blood from each upbringing
the urge to mate is as strong to hate, we blend, then split the winnings our Junior a mixed-sum of both then adds new moment’s vendings
time drives us from then to now, our final destination reaching tho’ next can never touch our lips
it’s law, Relativity speaking
that god, what god? the question begs, who should i tell him’s asking? our urge to love and to proliferate…
life’s sentence, and time’s unmasking
2nd law of thermodynamics
A Critique by Jendi Reiter
I was lucky to have had this poem selected for review by The Winning Writers, a respected site for amatuer poets with top writers as owners who run the site. Jendi Reiter is an excellent and respected poet in her own right.
Critique by Jendi Reiter
The form of this month’s provocative poem, “Entropy Road”, embodies its theme of order struggling to remain distinct from chaos. The headlong rush of syllables in the longer lines and the fragmentary, zigzag presentation of the poem’s argument give the poem a restless energy. Meanwhile, the “-ing” rhymes repeating in the first and third lines of every stanza, the refrain “that god, what god?” and the semi-regular meter attempt to corral that energy within a poetic framework.
Making the rhyming words present participles (verb forms, or nouns derived from them, ending in “-ing”) was an inspired choice. These words describe action in progress. Just as the stability that the narrator seeks is always a moving target, the concepts on which he depends to convey this argument will not stay put. Each rhyming line also ends on an unstressed syllable, which gives the poem an open-ended, unfinished cadence.
Entropy, of course, refers to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which basically states that the energy levels in an isolated system will tend toward equilibrium. Entropy has sometimes been described as a measurement of the disorder or randomness within a system. In the poem, as in popular usage, it symbolizes universal mortality and dissolution. If evolution drives organic life to ever-higher levels of self-organizing complexity, entropy is the opposite force, that which pulls down and breaks apart complex systems into nature’s simplest building blocks. It means that all material energy will ultimately spend itself and be unrecoverable.
As self-aware components of this dying system, how can we find the motivation to go on living, loving, procreating, and planning for the future? Which will win, our philosophical sense of futility or the inward compulsion to survive and create?
Perhaps no one wrote about entropy in this sense more powerfully than the 20th-century British poet Philip Larkin. A sample poem can be found here.
Larkin generally settles the question on the side of death, but Adams disagrees: “the urge to love is as strong to hate”. The life force has a fighting chance. Yet it is hampered by our inability to articulate a reason for hope. “that god, what god? the mirror asks, tone optimistic, while condescending”.Existentialist philosophers looked to the self to create meaning in a universe made absurd by death’s finality. The poem suggests that this answer is insufficient. The individual is merely part of the closed entropic system. He cannot inject it with new energy to reverse its decay.
There are positive, hopeful moments in “Entropy Road” but they come from outside philosophy and science. Whatever the intellect may say, instinct confirms that human connection and creativity are not futile. “time slips from me to us or, from you and i to loving/our valentine then seeks its mate/goes the prolific downward sending”. The opaque last phrase may have been chosen mainly to fit the rhyme scheme, but its vagueness felicitously makes it more symbolic than a specific description would have been. It called to my mind both the release of seed in copulation and the movement of the child through the birth canal, but other associations are possible, such as rains watering the earth to bring forth crops, or the descent of angels.
The birth of a child does seem like a miraculous creation ex nihilo, the opposite of entropy. First there were two, now there are three. “Holonic” is a word coined by 20th-century philosopher Arthur Koestler to express the observation that entities in biological and social systems are always interdependent, never completely self-sufficient units. This law of interconnection and symbiosis contrasts with entropy’s pull toward disconnection and stasis.
“our junior is the sum of both/but adds ‘new’ moment’s vendings”. Is “new” in quotes because the narrator’s intellectual side reminds him that this is not a real solution to the problem? On the human scale, parenthood may feel like a triumph over mortality, but on the level of the cosmos, it does not stave off the decay of the whole system, looked at in purely materialistic terms.
The poem ends by leaving the question open, a humility that rings true. Adams does not claim to decide whether the emotional or the scientific perspective on the human condition is correct. He suggests that it is really a question about the nature of the self, or perhaps its very existence. “that god, what god? the question begs, and who should i tell him’s asking?/an urge to love and proliferate…”
If pressed to define the self, Adams would emphasize the impulse to love and create, however blind that impulse is, over the scientific description of the individual as a collection of atoms arranged in a temporary order. He chooses the insider’s perspective over the outsider’s, life as it feels to us, rather than life as the scientists say it is. (After all, they too are part of the flawed system, not truly above it.) Yet the final line, “life’s sentence, and time’s unmasking”, expresses the fear that some trans-human perspective would prove us wrong; the joke of the universe is on us, after all. The dilemma brings us to the limits of reason, where some have found faith, and others merely the willpower to live without it.
Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty. Once this was my theme song…
“Hey, baby… there ain’t no easy way out. Hey ya..I… will stand my ground,
Below follows a Psychology Today comment thread…
after a well-written article in Psychology Today by David Noise (see link below) about the rise of anti-intellectualism in America. Most of the ideas, theory, and conjecture presented I happened to wholeheartedly agree with (with caveats). His views and mine were/are very similar in this regard.
However, I think this comment section is prescient in many ways, since it’s not only hard to pinpoint who the good guys are, but also whether the bad guy is as bad as they say he is (oh, that’s me). Also of interest is how the comments veered off subject, into a hate-stew of astronomical proportions.
What’s clear is that I’ve broached a sensitive subject, one which had not been part of recent public discourse for some time, but one that found an immediate and vehement constituency whose reaction to my mention of the issue being an example of media complicity (with lies perpetrated by others) as a form of some psychological mental disorder.
It was almost as if I somehow had sent a clarion call for some pre-selected others to tune in and attempt to intimidate and stifle anyone who hinted at the suggestion that I could be right. It had the eerie feeling of an ongoing covert DARPA program designed by by Cass Susstein (O’bama’s first information Czar), a classic Cognitive Infiltration live drill. Susstein developed the program designed to use assets to help mitigate and neutralize online forums, which he suggested were over-run by “Conspiracy Theorists”. What I make especially clear is that I refuse to be intimidated by these scurrilous ad hominem tactics, even so far as upping the ante on these losers, imposters, posers, and jus’don’t knowsers, by offering my own nasty brand of “holier than thou” spit-back.
‘and I won’t back down……. Well… I know what’s right, I got just… one life…
The action begins when I disagree about one singular point (media complicity) which I felt was important enough to make Noise’s overall premise complete, but one that the author had failed to emphasize: (I used as an example the FEMA Drill disguised as a real mass rampage shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012).
I first responded to a guy named “Bob”, and from that somewhat innocuous but semi-inflammatory comment… well…
ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE
U can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won’t back down, no I won’t back down.” Tom Petty
What is obvious by these comments, the majority of the commenters intend to represent themselves to the reader as good and wholesome, while I (purportedly) represent a whole cultural phenomena of hate mongers, chest thumpers, disruptive no-gooders known as Conspiracy Theorists; who by their very name and nature are delusional creeps who slither in the night trying to infringe on conventional wisdom’s own Utopian view of our perfect Western world.
I resent this characterization and in fact find its slanderous.
Apparently CTs are nutbags with an ax to grind, intent on seeing good people as bad and praise-worthy organizations as having ill intent, who plan disasters behind secret doors, while simultaneously being oblivious to their own failed observation of reality. In and of itself this paints anyone doubting the “official narrative” of any event with a very broad stroke, one that includes many of the worlds most learn-ed and intellectual individuals.
And, one that history has proven to be on-point time and again as official documents become unclassified, memoirs written, previously unknown facts are uncovered, whistleblowers blowing whistles, etc. (accordingly we find that our own history, which we were indoctrinated to believe and once fervently did so, includes enough insidious lies and fabrications for it to be considered fiction).
This, in itself suggests that silencing these unseemly theorists now takes an increasing amount of effort, organization, and manpower, especially in lieu of the internet’s broad reach over the last 25 years. No longer is simply owning/controlling every Major Media outlet enough to fool a rapidly wiser public, due to the proliferation of excellent unpaid independent researchers (that are likely due more to a poor economy than the thirst for finding truth) that populate the web.
Perhaps they may have somehow unwittingly created an atmosphere for their own best laid plans to have gone awry. Research takes time, and the ruination of our economy has provided too many otherwise smart, would-be working-for-a-living souls with time on their hands to learn the truth.
DOWN AND DIRTY WITH SANDY CROOKS
It’s far too easy to write off any one commenter off as arrogant, narcissistic, crazy, or worse… still, I admittedly own an unusual amount of narco- self-confidence even in the face of a strong headwind (deserved or not, it is what it is); yet, the reaction I received was somewhat more surprisingly the consensus of commenter(s) opinion(s) than even I had expected before I went tip-toeing into that minefield.
You’ll witness the prize fight below, which seemingly almost turns to a lynch mob instead. Steadfastly, I return blow-for-blow… yet I knew this was a recipe for losing any empathy i might have garnered otherwise. But then, I ain’t out to win no popularity contest.
Outnumbered, like Davy Crockett I refused to wave the white flag. I thought it must have felt much like this to the inhabitants of Constantinople on May 27th, 1453, when Ottoman Emperor Mamut II with 80,000 troops had surrounded Constantinople intent on mayhem and murder. A deal with the devil might just save my/their lives and 1000 years of history inside the crumbling walls. Yet I, like those vastly outnumbered inhabitants persisted, resisted, and returned volley against the grain and odds, knowingly wading into the inevitable ONSLAUGHT once it began.
Stubborness? Hard-headed? Just plain stupid? All come to mind sure, but this was different… something greater. I think in Court it is called, “beyond a reasonable doubt”, that defining moment when all conjecture ceases, and truth arises.
Number 1 was and is that I am right and I knew it. Far from conjecture, rumor, misinformation, paranoia, I had done my homework and checked it twice. Doubt had long since vanished from the cynical mind that sometimes can haunt me into probably, maybe, possibly and likely. Overfuckingwhelming evidence is too mild to describe what I’ve learned from both my own experience and research with a multitude of others, who like me… felt that day that something was terribly amiss from the start.
Dear Reader, if you have ANY doubt as to the veracity of what I say, please do yourself and your country a favor. Research it. I can promise you that while i have literally hundreds of pieces of factual and mitigating evidence, I have also spent hundreds of hours uncovering them. Yet, honestly… if you were to look on You Tube and watch one or two of the many documentaries produced on Sandy Hook; which are professionally produced by a plethora of activists like Sofia Smallstorm, or Peter Klein and MANY others (Peter also chimed in below, if only briefly)… you will not be able to deny my conclusion as anyTHING other than fact.
Number two is an educated guess, even if the casual reader finds it outlandish. Yet it is also well-documented that this “guess”is likely correct to some degree, if not to a very large degree, and is at least as accurate as any of the Major Media outlets’ reporting of the event’s outlandishly off base and impossibly ridiculous findings.
The complete and total inept failure of the media’s reporting ought to give one SERIOUSpause alone. I mean, how possible is that not one single fact was correctly or consistently reported by 4-5 large networks, and very few of those reports ended up having ANY veracity whatsoever?
Much like 9-11, just how many acts of malfeasance, or failure to act, or ineptitude must combine sequentially and coincidentally until the odds of the official story being accurate defeats even the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle in uncertainty? I suspect Vegas oddsmakers would lay odds at something like a ten Google-to-1 chance of the official story being what actually happened on 12-14-2012 in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. Comfortably.
Most, if not all of my detractors/commenters below; who will attempt to charm you and denigrate me with their takes on my comments or with their humble appeals to your human sensitivity I suspect likely work for/support the same umbrella organization (pick three letters ending in A); whose goal is hell bent on curbing this kind of “heresy”from entering the mainstream consciousness, and thus its historical narrative, and they have the means facilities and workforce (or paid contractors) plus media backing to succeed in disrupting and confusing readers when someone like myself or the many, many others make attempts to re-educate the public. I see A footprint all over it, or is it the other way around? Ok, here comes the comments….
I challenge and invite all rational thinking individuals to do the research on this monumental event, and decide the truth for yourself. It shouldn’t take long. Two-three hours perhaps.
I contend, like many others before me, there are diabolical forces at work in this country whose aim is to change our future and revise our history as a critical stepping-stone to some larger ideal. And, there are very few who are privy to what that ideal ultimately is.What I do understand that it is widespread misinformation, involving government and those who run government (not just those we elect) and is highly dependent upon a COMPLICIT MEDIA.
This movement has played a central part in almost every international event over at least 200 years, gaining momentum over long periods of silent organization, recruitment using false ideas as premises to ultimate goals, infiltration into every part of our society and government, promotion within, and financed by every illegal means necessary to reach its ultimate ideals.
From an idealistic view I am agreement with much of their stated purpose. Where I fall short and refuse to acquiesce is in their own philosophy (written in stone) that mandates”the end justifies any means.” That tends to make individual humans expendable, as war so pointedly suggests and crumbling skyscrapers reiterate. Plus, what is said and what is actually done are sure to be just as incompatible. It’s a bet I find too risky, even for a gambler like me. I’m fine with what is stated, but what isn’t said is where one should find concern.
Currently, at the very heart of this (plot, if you will) scheme, is disarming the American citizenry for purposes that we can only guess, but can be certain it is not for our own good. This NOT CONJECTURE and is a matter of public record. Although as Peter Klein alluded from his and Ms. Smallstorm’s excellent work, in the “operation/drill” at Sandy Hook Elementary there was much more to gain by a number of seemingly disconnected groups, and so its success would be paid in spades on numerous fronts. Problem is… they failed miserably to keep the truth from being found out, and then attempted a Larry, Mo, and Curly cover up.
Or, did they succeed miserably?
It can be argued that on many fronts they were wildy successful, like earning over $100 million in sympathetic non-profit donations which likely exceeded their wildest dreams. This pie was divied up like a small town trick-or-treat party, handing out outlandish handfuls of sweets to almost anyone above poverty level in the neighboring and immediate vicinity. Free half-million dollar+ homes for literally hundreds, gifted on Christmas Day 2009, fixed lottery winnings for many (some winners had multiple jackpots on the same day, and a grand assortment of riches and perks. Surely not for everyone to just STFU. No? Alas, there were other ways to silence the few who dared.
As for success, it can easily be argued that over those 200 years, the most gains in the overall plan have been made in the last 25 years, and on an exponential scale. Be careful describing SHE as a failure.
Their push for gun control worked only State and locally (collecting and destroying 700,000 semi-automatic rifles), yet it funded a spate of smaller operations which were necessary to succeed on a national basis. Subsequent operations have kept the topic on the front pages and in the sheeples’ eye. Immediate success was unlikely, but as an ongoing operation inroads are being made into the hearts and minds of peace loving Americans.
Big Pharma and Security firms also made inroads into our public school systems for reasons not exactly clear except profiteering, but rest assured there are higher stakes and ultimate motives still silent. Theories abound, one regarding mandatory mental evaluations (for dissenters), but whatever… its safe to say that it will not bode well for the future of our children on multiple levels.
It is racketeering at the highest level, and the level above where Joe six-pack has ANY say in the matter. Or, better yet Messrs Obama, Bush or Clinton for that matter.
Its well known that big money poured into Security firms stock coffers pre and post 9-11, and with the planned wars winding down, arming police and school security may have kept the party going a tad longer before the eventual and inevitable hangover, and the “pump and dump (on 3)” alarm sounds. Never underestimate the simple minded but effective FEAR FACTOR, the one that Nazis of yore used so ordinary citizens gladly gave up their freedoms (and/or weapons). Julius Caesar himself invented and articulated the same tactics as he pondered the easiest methods of conquering lands while using local support for protection against some other unknown terr0r.
If the media bumble-fuck circus wasn’t accidental or just intended poor execution, it may well mean that it was just a “gut check” on American gullibility, in the face of and in spite of a well-connected and informed internet. On that level alone, there are far too many people who to this day KNOW nothing of the fake that was Sandy Hook; suggesting a well-planned fuck up might actually be regarded as a success considering the masses in general. One thing is certain, smart ain’t dumb, and dumb ain’t smart, but playing dumb can be the dumbest smart thing of all.
THIS IS ONLY A DRILL
Perhaps, much like the end of late night television broadcasting in the 60’s… “this was a test, and only a test.”
Just how gullible are we? Inquiring minds perhaps just wanted to know the limits for future plans.
To what limit can we “fuck up” and still pull off incredibly horrible fiction considered as fact by the mainstream public? An idea, conceivably born in the 1940’s on the heels of Orson Welles “War of The World’s” radio broadcast. It’s almost too hard to imagine the unintended incompetence that can thrive at that level.
Conventional wisdom says that in major F.U.ps, heads normally roll, except in these rare cases. Promotions and rewards were always in order for the biggest FUp’s.
Is this not clue enough?
It’s rather ironic in the thread that the fear mongering being called out is reversed; to my being labeled a fear monger. Oh my.
Below you will hear some comments that defy imagination (that SUGGEST any rational sapient being could actually believe what they were spoon fed by the Major media outlets), portending simple incompetence, but meant to sound reasonable and logical. While, at the same time vilifying THE TRUTH as fiction, and that this writer as in need of psychological help.
“In a world that keeps on pushing me around… I won’t be… turned around”
And yes, I have purposefully taken several psychological evaluations BEFORE I made these contentions, if nothing else but to over-ride that all too likely objection. Remember? Smart ain’t dumb and I ain’t playin’, nor am I dumb. But, as it were this was seen as admitting my nuttiness? Curiously, tests show me standing unusually firm on terra-firma.
Call me a narcissist if you will, but I simply see myself as supremely confident in knowing who I am, and who I am not, but more importantly what I stand for. Say what you will but that’s only a perspective, but not necessarily mine. I’m fully self-actualized.
This means that I am also aware of how easily I can fuck up, but still not hate myself in the least for it. Being “bullet-proof” means that no one can tell me anything about myself in which I am not already fully aware. That said, this a laughing FUCK YOU to the ignorant constituency whose tripe I endured in that thread.
(Full disclosure: Once an anti-gun ownership advocate, I’ve done a 180 and believe its critical for our survival; I’ve never owned gun, nor do I want one. I shot a .22 caliber at some beer cans once as a teenager.)
Hay bay-bae… there ain’t no easy way owwt, hay-yI-a… WILL… STAND…. MY… GROUND
and I won’t… back… down, NO I won’t… back… down”
Tighten your seat belt, this gets ugly quick… I’m thom but I ain’t petty.
The first clue to my second assertion of who these detractors are seems obvious to me, in that they uniformly try to label me as “the consummate anti-intellectual who has mental issues”.
Surely this many people cannot be that wrong after reading my scribe, when clearly the author (Noise) was pointing his finger directly at them. Or, lest I say we’re in deep shit if that many supposedly smart individuals can be, and are that wrong on issues so basic as the ones slapping them blatantly in the face, from the moment the article began.
Part 2: The Comment Section from Part 1 in Pyschology Today re: Anti-Intellectualism is Killing America by David Noise (my added comments in red) I’ve purposely left out much of the comments which are unrelated to my comment, and included some unrelated to my issue which I found to be valuable commentary on the article […]
(with a nod to George Carlin) “Politically Correct” or ‘Back-Stab-ingly Pleasant’? Man, I’m really getting tired of all this negative name calling… I much prefer the soft landing civilized society (Progressives? nah) have embraced when it comes to labeling people or things. Especially if my being brutally honest might really pîss-off an overly-sensitive individual, forever damaging their […]
Two months ago a very good friend suddenly left this plane, and though it had been some time since I last had heard his voice, I often wondered how he was doing. But now I think about him several times a day, though not in the blame filled guilt trip kinda way, just sadness, a sadness in that I never knew he was even sick. I’ve always joked (not joking) that I am the sanest person I know. With Doug though, if pressed I might have given him a slight edge on me. He had his shit together before I moved away from Greensboro, NC 13 years ago, when we ran hard and worked even harder, and then sometimes ran even faster again. Doug and I shared the work hard-play-hard life philosophy of “buy the ticket, take the ride”.
Now I feel sympathy for him and empathetic to his partner (Christina) and their son Noah, who is one year older than my 10-year old first-born son. I’m sorry that one of the finest persons I’ve been lucky enough to have called my friend found himself trapped inside one of the most vile twisted and horrible conditions in psychiatry today. And one that would eventually strike and unravel, deciding his fate. I know it must have been unbearable suffering, because the Doug I knew rarely lost at anything in life, his natural constitution was using his considerable talents to find a way to win. And a winner he was in every respect.
Ironically in 2007 we discussed some of these same issues that later haunted him, issues that from all accounts he later apparently struggled with mightily. He and I talked about it over a couple of long phone calls when my two-year old son’s mother died, ironically in the same out-of-the-blue mind-fuck way in which he later succumbed. It was only after some time that I was able to personally heal enough not to be mad at her when I looked at my son’s beautiful face, but I eventually researched it enough (with counseling) and studied the disease (manic bi-polar dis-order) enough to understand how she had been very sick, and her’s was not a selfish act… in some ways heroic. I admit to being mad at Doug too for those first couple of days as it is only a normal reaction. But, I hope that those who loved Doug will find it within themselves to forgive, and give Noah the love he will need going forward.
I’m now certain she (my son’s Mother) thought she was doing me and our son and maybe the world a favor. How could it happen only a few years later that Doug apparently didn’t recognize the symptoms he was experiencing as being eerily similar, and NOT seek immediate medical help?
“Perhaps the greatest faculty our minds possess is the ability to cope with pain. Classic thinking teaches us of the four doors of the mind, which everyone moves through according to their need.
First is the door of sleep. Sleep offers us a retreat from the world and all its pain. Sleep marks
passing time, giving us distance from the things that have hurt us. When a person is wounded they will often fall unconscious. Similarly, someone who hears traumatic news will often swoon or faint. This is the mind’s way of protecting itself from pain by stepping through the first door.
Second is the door of forgetting. Some wounds are too deep to heal, or too deep to heal quickly. In addition, many memories are simply painful, and there is no healing to be done. The saying ‘time heals all wounds’ is false. Time heals most wounds. The rest are hidden behind this door.
Third is the door of madness. There are times when the mind is dealt such a blow it hides itself in insanity. While this may not seem beneficial, it is. There are times when reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind.
Last is the door of death. The final resort. Nothing can hurt us after we are dead, or so we have been told.
Our friendship was special in many ways, and I never doubted it was one that was built to last despite wherever our individual paths would lead us. The few times we did talk in the last 3-4 years it seemed like yesterday that we were laughing, golfing, partying, or talking through long hours of a weekend night, building a unique bond of brotherhood. And, so times remain in memories too, and though we’ve duffed our last good times together on the front nine of this “good walk spoiled”… My Dougly, I’ll catch you on the backside.
Doug will always seem near, and I doubt that feeling will ever yield, serving as testimony to all that we weathered together and how at one time we were bonded as if tethered. Time passed, and distance drew us further apart only in this physical realm, his life essence today as clear to me as anyone I’ve ever encountered who has passed my way..
In my minds eye I still see those bright sparkling sea blue eyes smiling that eternal grin, a slightly toothy and twisted grin that always uttered a quick shortish chuckle like a verbal wink, not a sneering snarkle.
I can still hear him saying…
“My Tommy-boy, what’s happen.n…in’…huh-huh-hnn” his standard opening line in modified uptalk.
“You, my brotha… you’re happenin’. What might we do to make this sunny Friday good reason to call it a week? I make an air-golf-swing and give him an inquisitive look as if asking a question?
“(Laughs out loud)” You’re on, but let me take care of a few things first. Let’s meet at Stoney Creek in an hour… they’ll squeeze us on. But, not before I buy you an ice-cold beer,” he offers, pulling one out of the small cooler in his tiny back office.
“Schweet, See ya’ at 12:45ish”, popping the top for a cool swig of cerveza.
The golf the excuse, the time spent laughing and chatting it up (and a few cold-uns) the real reasons we were playing. Of course, he almost always won, and I almost always got the tab later. Usually, he paid half anyway.
And so it was, that we sometimes were out late-ish. Closing time.
We sometimes but very rarely meet a person who shares a common natural vibe, manifesting itself as a subtle synchronous one-man-ship. Perhaps it is luck when two minds and hearts of like kind can instantly formulate and understand the other’s deepest thoughts and bind effortlessly in such a short time? True friendship, lastingly rare as it is, transcends the world we think we see and enters into a more sublime reality; where life and death are no different than time and distance, just a weird cohesive illusion. Maybe mind stays fresh for a time in the Consciousness of the Great Immensity? People who have died that I knew well never do seem as far from me as those whom I am merely acquainted with. Then again, maybe its just a function of the brain’s electrical neurotransmitters and neural networks, and there’s no big truth to discover after death? For now, I’ll take what I can get.
Neither of us a nihilist, and both always too real, we never disagreed about what is here and now, though we differed on the eternal spinning of the wheel. Doug, a religious believer, and me a skeptic… one never cared to convert the other, because we agreed that hey, “it is what it is”. Apparently Doug had one year earlier sold his restaurant, a business that started as a tiny cramped sandwich shop that he nurtured into a large, thriving, one-of-a-kind place to eat by the time Doug had hit 35. It was the epitome of the term “cash cow”. I often wonder if his having sold his life’s work recently and somewhat stumbling around free and without a solid plan for his next big move contributed to his fall from grace. “Idle hands are the Devils work”, they say, but then one must first also believe in the Devil. Doug did, not me. May be I’m just lucky? Lucky?
Well… curiously enough, I too “retired” from a successful career with the intent to take some “idle time” first before embarking on another big challenge at around the same age as Doug did (47). That was 12 years ago, and I’ve not worked at a job since then. But, don’t sleep on the fact that the years surrounding age 47 can be a difficult period for many men, as it is around the time we experience one of our greatest “changes of the seasons”. It is a time where questions outnumber answers, reason gives in to fantasy, and suppressed Jungian archetypes arrive unannounced to ring a gentle alarm, seemingly without an off button but a relentless snooze reminder.
For me, an avid reader from way back and a suction for knowledge of all things anything, I trust that this malady of Doug’s will stay at bay throughout my less-than-ideal projected number of remaining days. Smart and stubborn, when told in January ’06 I had “less than five years” to make my indelible mark on humanity, I simply refused to accept it, or believe it was a possibility.
After all, after 50 years of child-free living and loving it… I had become a father. I was a single father, and this wonderful life-giving “reason for reasons” became my duty bound refusal to leave as scheduled. I mean, to me it was as simple as, “No, I have a little boy to raise.”
Maybe in the twisted end we’ll all find that in sublime irony, “living is dying, and dying is living, or something a thousand times more weird. But, NOW is the only sure bet we have. It pays to have hope, reason, and expectation of a future… but we should never take our eye off the ball of NOW.
“The human being cannot live in a condition of emptiness for very long: if he is not growing toward something, he does not merely stagnate; the pent-up potentialities turn into morbidity and despair, and eventually into destructive activities.”
I admired a man named Douglas Fricks, an honest and loyal friend killed by one of (god’s) nastiest tricks. Smart and funny, happy and caring, humble, sharing, compassionate and never once was he over-bearing. Confident and cool, his actions were the example his employees didn’t learn in school. He didn’t worship money, he worshiped Noah and (sometimes) even his honey.
He spoke the truth and he knew its limits, but he never seem to pass on one more ice-cold beer… and I was right there, but we always usually sometimes held it together. He was “My-Fugly-My-Dougly”, and my “Friggy-my Diggy”. And me, to him… just “Tommy-boy” (my habit of nicknaming and his return sally).
I hope you found your peace my brother, I’ll always be your biggest fan. You in the fairway and me the woods, your smooth swing had you dancing, and me hacking, whacking, hatchet thicket smacking… but you never let me know how far down I stood. I loved YOU for the you that was you… and you, My Dougly… I always will.
When you let your big stick do the talkin’
That “Parade of Porn”, with Paparazzi stalkin’
Snarly rough, traps-a-plenty; deep cut bunkers and nowhere to hide
When deciding to “lay up” was the riskier choice
If but for only that large amount of green and those swooshed titanium balls
would the World’s Greatest Scrambler survive a wretched 18 ho’s
Trading an extremely high handicap for a life of buried lies
Hardly checking which way the wind was blowing, knowing there are no mulligans
An egregious slice that wouldn’t fade, a train-wreck hacked so far out of bounds
You must have quit counting the lost strokes and calculating unplayable lies
Your balls dropped beyond the line of sight, but seemed ever further from home
Where money bets had long since been counted as lost in that first (wet) box
The truth is inside the ropes there’s plenty of trouble if you really want to hang yourself
Undulating backsides, luscious perky sloped tees, low cut cups waitin’ for loft and backspin
Manicured lovely, playin’ tight and long, and gorgeous to behold
Beautiful layouts you easily managed with your deft touch and artistic feel
Driving long and deep in middle of short Bentgrass, Bermuda soft, lush, and accessibly close
But, when instead of backing up, they began checking up, you started running fast and away
Ambien fueled Ambien fooled, once seeing a break, banging a sweet stroke… then nailing bottom of the ho’
The Ooohhs and aaahhs, moaning adoration, soon became belligerent bellows of, “Who’s Your Daddy!”
Stiill… YOU; lost deep in those woods but refused to take the normal penalty
Forsaking those easy birdies and model wife, with grim head held high you steadied your stance
Defiantly asking us to imagine that you were simply one more, ‘Par for the Course’
And so… pretty soon your Iconic magic grip you held over us loosened… until it vanished
As if you were raining bad behavior, your short game was turning into a slippery sloped Karmic wreck
Now cynical crowds yelling “Pussy Cat, knock it stiff”, or chanting “here cums Tiger’s Woody!”
Perhaps an omen to us all… but for you Tiger… it signaled the Boogeyman had finally come… to stay.
all you’ve got to do is call (but, just not right now)… (yeah)…
you’ve got a… friend-ish.
I clearly remember thinking once that “friends” were the most important possession one could have, and as such I would never EVER forsake my (then) friends for anyone else (like a wife, siblings, parents, or kids), and that our friendship(s) would likely last until my last remaining breath, right before meeting my (player to be named later – well, I hadn’t figured that part out yet).This was right after a good buddy refused to go out drinking with the boys, citing “a problem” with “his second grader’s homework.” The nerve of that guy, putting family before friends. I know, right?
As a card totin’ certified ‘late schedule maturing adult’, I think I was almost 40 when that brainchild hit me. By then, I had managed to collect and keep a handsome collection of assorted friends and a loyal wife, while sporting zero liabilities… I mean kids. We lived a busy but exciting life, but it wasn’t exactly hassle-free. Staying connected to friends was important to both of us, and we had a contingent of childless like-minded couple friends. Always the man’s man, I managed my guy friends (buddies) with a deft touch, all having been dutifully earned and cultivated throughout different time periods in my life. And dude, I was always there for them at a moments notice. Cheers. (Note: It may be a Darwinian trait for us to heavily imbibe alcoholic beverages among friends at gatherings).
Problem with spouse? No worries mate, let’s go have a beer. Job pressures? Meet me for lunch and we’ll hammer it out. Uh, you told her you didn’t love her anymore after driving home from her birthday dinner and that you wanted a divorce? Hello? …Wha? sitting in the garage? She hit you with what?
OK. Sit tight. Let me check on the next flight to ‘Mozambique’… I’ll be there by Friday night.
Yes, actually the above conversation did take place, and so I dutifully spent about a grand+ to travel (to offender city) that same weekend, then spend 12 hours Saturday loading a full size U-haul, and drive it all day Sunday to Kentucky while listening attentively the-entire-way to my bud’s complaints about (soon to be ex-wife), and how he had been victimized by the whole affair. Right. Check. I see. Oh, and you’ve been having a secretive affair with the next Ms. Right (in Kentucky) for about three months? Got it. He did thank me before we parted ways on Sunday evening, and I left town feeling like a real man and loyal friend.
Unfortunately, almost a year later he blew through my hometown one night (travelling, work related) during a fresh self-inflicted marital crisis of my own. Instead of giving me the blind emotional support I felt I deserved (True, even though I was the offender), as he sat down to our dinner table he spoke with an assumed authority that he had not been granted: “My brother, it is well known that thou reap-est what thou sow-est.” Then, he added something about how I might want to do a gut-check on my guiding principles, or something? I don’t know, because by then I was too dizzy to hear anything.
Red faced and shaking I looked at him incredulously, “No, you didn’t just say that did you…huh? No, you didn’t,” then got up and went to my office to try and calm down before I strangled him. Luckily, after breathing deep I decided not to make a scene and calmly sauntered back to the table and struck up a more positive vibe by talking basketball.
After dinner, (smoking my expensive cigars) he waxed philosophical about how happy he had been since his recent divorce. Though in principle he was right about me, on pure friendship terms he had committed the rare but egregious ‘simultaneous intentional personal and technical fouls’. After 15 years now I haven’t forgiven him for it, nor has he asked forgiveness. In fact we never discussed it. Tilt. (-1)
THE BEST FRIEND COMPETITION
This topic alone could fill an entire book, but I will try to shorten it. As my life progressed with new places and people, changing values and beliefs, and professional and economic status, I realized that ‘best friend’ is at best a relative term. Much like one’s memory of a first lover, it can be hard to shake the impressions a childhood or high school best friend leaves on one’s psyche, even in lieu of overwhelming evidence that life’s meandering ways have left you two once best friends with little in common today. Maybe even directly oppositional in philosophical terms. Even with the effort of a late second half struggle to keep the “oath” relevant, many times it can meet with a resounding… WTF, or just fizzle out. (-½)
Soon though you realize that one can have best friends categorically; as in a best friend from childhood, best from college, best conquering the real world of work, best in mischief, best unknown known (hat tip to Rumsfield), best known unknown, etc. The mighty Christmas card list grows and it becomes a full time job to keep it fresh. It can sometimes become a revolving and relentless golf outing/Vegas/ball game annual boys weekend that seems endless; and it must all be squeezed neatly into an already packed vacation calendar. My ex-wife, god bless her, merely shrugged in complete non-judgment as I friend hopped around the country like an idiot at a fire drill. (I’ve since given up golf, can’t afford gambling, and watch games at home or out with friends).
Of course, no friend post would be complete without the venerable ‘opposite sex’ friend comment. Despite the issues and aside from avoiding ANY wrongdoing, if one is married or in a relationship, my advice is as it has always been, “just don’t go all Freemason” on this situation, and discuss it openly with your partner/mate. As in… a secret friendship does NOT accord with a viable platonic friend. By lying/hiding… anything you say can and will be twisted into impropriety. A good friend becomes, “Friends with penalties”.
In fact, it somewhat pains me to suggest ‘just forget it’ when/if you later become involved in a romantic relationship. It pains me because friends are too dear to forsake them for innocent misunderstandings, but then life is too short to be miserable with the one you love. What’s weird is that when I met my current partner nearly ten years ago I had several platonic girlfriends. In fact, my partner and I were platonic “friends with possibilities” for 2-3 years before becoming romantically involved. Once the romance began the issues over these friends seemed to escalate.
Life it seems, is full of choices. (-5)
I don’t get the “friends with benefits” concept at all. To me the act of making love is maybe the single most important factor in a sustainable happy relationship with a romantic partner, and the act alone involves a heavy emotional investment from both partners for complete enjoyment and satisfaction. It seems like “sport sex” simply cheapens the product to me, but like everything else I understand that everyone doesn’t have to think the same. If you can do it without hurting someone and with a clean conscience, go for it.
For many (men) there can be some life altering shake-ups of monumental proportions as we transition into our late-middle years, and ones that blow the ‘we’ll always be friends’ theory clearly out of the water, and into altered reality status. Afterwards, old friends, new friends, everyone is scrutinized with a “who the fuck is this person” freshness. In the meantime no calls are returned, no messages answered, or doorbells heard. And you, operating within a shadow of your former self, might simply be staring at walls for hours… contentedly. This twisted fog, a mangled mess of mayhem (some call the mid-life crisis) eventually passes, but now its your friends who have begun the slice-and-dice on you. Re-appraisal time from both corners. (-15)
Once one steps away from the BIG LIE buffet of success and begins that inevitable slow melt into the masterpiece (hat tip Leonard Cohen), or much earlier for the family inclined statistically normal folks who marry and have families around their late twenties, a certain ‘friend’ re-evaluation period becomes a born again necessity to you. (-75)
For these latter case upwardly mobile (family types) it likely becomes apparent that life’s (commitments plus time-to-accomplish) have squeezed out all (time potential for fulfillment success) in every 24/hr day, leaving the potential fun bank busted (0/24) and the great pairing down commences. But, as for the former (masterpiece melters) who may also have endured a train wreck of sorts, it simply comes down to a re-factoring of the current value proposition, in which the erosion of (ideals to value system) have been modified over time… enough to red-line at high disparity levels, thus begging the question, “WTF, how/why we saw fit to become ‘friends’ in the first place?”
The second law of thermodynamics spares no one my friend. Entropy always wins at the end of the day.
That disturbingly segues into answering the ‘why have we remained friends’ question, and given the obvious conflict in world-views on so many levels we realize that we’re actually not very fond of some of our supposed friends; an idea that hadn’t occurred to us until (now). At this point the ‘pairing down’ becomes a ‘lopping off’, with the understanding that most friends weren’t actually friends in the first place. Most likely they were ‘acquired’ by a sort of proxy through groups and organizations or circumstances and activities in which you were mutually involved at some earlier point in your respective pasts. And, one that is continuously passing, renewing, eroding, re-configuring, evolving. (-100)
I suspect that Facebook has brought this reality home to roost to many people more than ever, as I am so often perplexed by some of my ’friends’ beliefs, observations, and ideas enough to make me, uh, lol. And while a biting wit and sarcasm does well to satisfy my own sinister cynical derision, it sometimes leaves me with that half-empty feeling that once crept in while listening to some hilarious and cynically funny but darkly laced anecdotes from peers, during their retirement speeches to which I’d been treated.
There was something sadly comical about several of these (old) guys, who had obviously dug up their buried hatchets, after long sitting on their unique personalities, and likely bitten their bottom lip for so long they had almost been forgotten. But now, in their twilight moment they were exposing themselves as the company heretic hiding in the closet. “Finally,” these folks must have reasoned, “the chance to tell-it-like-it-is, and without fear of reprisal. Ain’t holding nothin’ back.” After a few drinks at the head table, I’ve seen some guys I considered eunuchs grow huge balls right before my very eyes and put them on full display. (+5)
I see some real benefit in using Facebook (if only because I really am a nice guy and enjoy hearing of others important moments in life), and perhaps sometimes like to show off my own family pride (without the warts) to the adoring masses, or just to sometimes openly vent about some wrongdoing or situation, and to anyone who’ll listen (all without an encryption filter despite Ed Snowden’s warnings ). Still, I try to maintain a tiny degree of modicum, with highly acute don’t give a rat discretion.
It may be no surprise that (*open honesty) in today’s vernacular actually translates to: ‘subversive anarchist who attempts to discuss reality with those who refuse to listen and wish NOT to know conflicting sides of anything they want to believe in and those who would rather SA just shut up and enjoy FREEDOM in the USA with all its pretensions, rights and vain-glories’. (*Your mileage may vary. Illegal unless otherwise stated herein, Please read the fine print. ( i.e. Either way you’re fucked, bitch).
I do like hearing other’s opinions of the facts, but I have my limitations. First, I must pre-suppose a commenter’s knowledge of subject matter. Please do your homework first. You know, like not saying “there’s no Santa Claus’ cause’ December 25 is Jesus’ birthday,” and shit. Second, leave all war-mongering at the door, or better… leave it with the military industrial complex. They’re doing it well enough without any popular support. Third, when in doubt, it’s time to STFU.
MY FACEBOOK RULES FOR COMMENTING and DISCUSSIONS WORTH NOTING (this is imaginary but who knows?)
The best compliment I ever got on Facebook was from a friend who said, “…that’s what I like about you… you’re abrasive.”That’s me. You can be too. Remember, abrasive, sarcastic, funny, but not repetitive.
Political expression is fine, as long as you can agree to a few things first: 1.There is no such thing as a liberal or conservative or Democrat or Republican, and Libertarian is dying in favor of Authoritarian. And, in truth there is only one party: The Green Authoritarian party. BTW, also that the ‘Party’ is controlled by a short list of well-healed extreme right and extreme left minded criminals who double as honest people, and who use our government and it’s officials as puppets to further their own secretive politico-economic agenda.
Whereby thanks to these fucks, ER + EL does not equate to Extreme Middle statistically, economically, or politically. That’s the place where you use to live, but they burnt it down using play money and THE US Constitution as kindling, thus it no longer exists.
If you agree with the above check YES, otherwise refrain from posting dumbass Fox News clips, or stupid bi-partisan drivel or discussing/arguing Politics and Policy with me. And yes, I have done my homework. Have you?
On my Facebook page please try to: Imagine there’s no heaven, and no hell below us (hat tip J. Lennon). It’s easy if you try. Violators will be consigned to the archives of evangelical lost souls. If you insist on quoting Jesus, only original sources are allowed. By virtue of sticking firmly to this rule, Jesus issues should care of themselves.
Remember, religious worship is a world-wide phenomenon (and IS NOT relegated to yours exclusively), a nefarious idea that alone creates and supports divisive intolerant ignorance, and mostly leaves blood in its wake. You are urged to be mindful and careful when posting this sensitive topic.
Profanity that’s profane is both tolerated and encouraged. Say what you mean and mean what you say, with profanes. Sarcasm is appreciated, but ironically funny wins the day. Double entendre’ is my specialty.
And BTW, this page is a Tin Hat friendly site, but have facts to back up any incredibly unlikely scenarios. And while unlikely is relative it draws closer to likely than ever before.
Above all friends, lighten up and enjoy the moment… try not to over post “share this if you agree” comments, and please turn off those “where you’re having lunch’ notifications. It only notifies me that you’re a tool. But hey, ignorance can be cured… it is stupidity that leaves its indelible mark.
Don’t hate sarcasm or you’ll end up hating me too, and I need ALL the friends I can get. Or, another hole in the head?
As expected my Facebook page is now safely ignored by 99% of my Facebook friends. That’s what happens when you set the Facebar too high, I guess.
Final word. I’m not exactly sure what the definition of a friend is today. There are people I’d like to call my friend, but I’m not sure it is appropriate when we know so little of one another, and there’s little time and not enough beer for that to happen. It’s probablt too late for us. There are some whom I think I know and who know me well… but even then our communication goes silent for long drifts of time. Locally my friends feel more like ‘strong acquaintances’ to me. There’s a connection, but how strong is it? It seems to me that my family have become my friends, and sometimes to my chagrin.
But hey, that’s what makes a real friend a real friend. Someone you can count on (and vice-versa) to hear you out if/when the shit storm hits the fan. Remember, friendships are best served as a two-way dish and lukewarm to the touch.
To all my friends, wanna-bees, and wish-the-hell-they-never-met-mees, Cheers!
Daddy-hood sort of caught me by the nape of my neck. In the summer 2004 I was surprised to learn that… like it or not I was going to become a Father. Whoa!… after 50 years I had long decided against and avoided that (to me) unfortunate scenario. But, fate had chosen another route for […]
Don’t bother playing this if you don’t want to listen to every second of it. But… if you can handle it, there is much wisdom and simple truth to be found in this dynamite incredibly fabulous song… Pessimistically optimistic, but as Raw and REAL as it gets.
It’s been three years now since Greensboro Attorney Vance Kinlaw, a friend and ardent supporter of his alma-mater, UNC-Law told me that he had sold his season tickets which had held forever, disavowed his relationship with the sports programs, alumni association and the university, and does not follow UNC sports anymore. PERIOD. Vance explained that his growing difficulty with supporting the Tarheels because of the blurring lines of amateur sports finally reached its zenith at a home game when he noticed that the press row tables had suddenly become advertising space during games. He was disappointed to find little support among the UNC Board of Governors, who were adamant that the signs were not infringing on the idea of amateur athletics and were necessary to insure financial success of the program.Vance Kinlaw, having his undergrad as a Phi-Beta-Kappa Dartmouth, is a man of principal who sees college athletics from a pure and ethical moral perspective. He threw in the towel, disavowed his association and financial contributions to the school altogether. Hmmm? Are there others? Will enough follow?
EDITORIAL opinion / MONEYBALL
Someday, when the doin’s done someone may look back at the 2014 NCAA basketball tournament and identify it as the time when the big ship’s hull was breached and the rushing water could no longer be kept from flooding the “unsinkable” NCAA organization. For now, the band is still playing but there have been some reports of icebergs, and the captain hasn’t fully disclosed these troubling issues to the passengers. It’s full speed ahead.
If one needs some blatant signal to consider if the NCAA has stooped to cashing in on every angle this year one has to look no further than ticket prices. This year over last, prices are up 33%. Did anyone announce a basketball shortage? The NCAA has finally caved to the idea that it’s all about MONEY and is only barely trying to hide it.
They are acting like a deposed dictator who is scooping up as much as he can carry to make a last second smash-and-grab before the inevitable flight to asylum.
Of course, everyone knows that there are serious cracks which Ed O’Bannon’s class action suit has exposed, and the lengthy legal proceedings have limits to the amount of time they can be forestalled. O’Bannon’s legal team is nothing else if not persistent, matching the NCAA’s legal stable motion for motion answer for answer for several years. Some expect that a hearing looms low on the horizon. Several legal experts also feel O’Bannon has the upper hand. If so, many think it could be the organization’s fatal blow.
Could this year’s tourney be a sign that there’s blood in that rushing water too?
If not, then the NCAA has blatantly announced that they are in TOTAL control of the situation by offending the fans, their constituents, the media, and even many of those who earn their over-the-top salaries under their sponsorship with the obvious unfair manipulation of the tournament brackets, seedings, and (both immediate and possible) matchups.
This year, they have run out of excuses that could mitigate the vitriol spewing forth from the public. Of course, hurting one team always helps someone else so they have their supporters too. But, this year they have defied ALL LOGIC despite what happens in the tourney (we all remember VCU in 2011 reaching the Final Four from the play-in game, although many argued that they hadn’t done enough in season to qualify). And though while that may have been true, Shaka Smart may have unwittingly given the NCAA a future license to steal.
The “selection committee” meets for hours behind closed doors in strict confidence, allowing no one to witness the “incredibly tough” job they are thanked for doing each year. And, I know that it must be a tough job even if they’ve already pretty much got the framework together by Selection Sunday. I mean, Athletic Directors are supposed to be paying attention all season long, right? This isn’t exactly Talent Search, where there is no historical reference point for each contestant. No, they ALREADY know and have alluded to as much by suggesting the Sunday games really can’t change anything except perhaps a swap of seeds with two teams in the same conference.
Last year, as always, NCAA scapegoats justified unfortunate seedings to disgruntled fans and experts by pointing out the obvious cases where their mistakes made them look good (as is inevitable as the Sun rising no matter who does the seeding), adding for the still skeptical that beginning 2014 they would finally de-emphasize (the old RPI algorithm) in favor of more advanced metrics used by many teams both professional and college; The likes of Ken Pomeroy, John Gasaway, and Dean Oliver to make these “important” decisions. Why not eliminate the RPI altogether since comparatively it was written on papyrus? Of course, because this simply gives the unfortunate bearer of bad news (the committee head) another potential excuse to use when all others fail, though time and time again the RPI has been shown to be an unreliable predictive measurement tool.
Instead, they ignored all of these expert’s statistical tools, even dissing the ESPN BPI metric (a highly sophisticated product which takes into account many subtle metrics that have been used by professional gamblers for years to gain a slight “edge”.
If you’re a betting man, pay close attention; Can you say, opportunity?
This year committee chair Ron Wellman (Wake Forest) confidently answered detractors by using double talk and blatantly lying to the public stating that “of course we used the eye test when considering Louisville’s 4 seed”. But….(cue excuse metric). What had Ron failed to disclose? That he was blind? No, and not ignorant… but stupid seems to fit fairly well.
First, that the committee doesn’t really review much basketball in their 4-6 hour closed meeting finalizing the pairings. They do work hard though, sifting through piles of financial data, seating charts, driving distances, expected fan base participation in ticket sales, community resource income opportunities, popcorn sales, etc. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. But the biggest job is uncovering the “storylines” and potential storylines if certain matchups occur. While one may not consider this as important or useful, remember that the NCAA is paid an astronomical amount in dollars (see above chart) by the media organizations, who all expect to make profits by sponsoring the extravaganza on TV, radio, internet, print and cable. The media makes money on viewer and readership, by converting numbers to advertisng dollars. The NCAA gets a percentage bonus against a fixed income.
Every dollar counts as reader/viewers/ attendees/ hits, even if it is insignificant enough to pit the defending champ against a team coached by an ex-ball boy for Louisville coach Rick Pitino, ex-player, and ex-assistant coach against his mentor. What a story if Steve Maseillo who coaches Manhattan with a 13 seed can defeat his mentor the defending Champ? Since Maseillo learned everything he knows about the game from Louisville and Pitino and carbon copies EVERYTHING they do, who stands a better chance of an upset? Not many teams in the entire field. Big stories mean big money.
Sorry ‘bout that Rick.
Wellman didn’t fully explain why he inserted NC State in the tourney over SMU, a move no one expected but subtlety understood after Coach Krzyzewski of Duke went public to whine about his conference deserving more teams. Viola, Wake Forest man delivers, keeping the ACC family safe and K on his good side. Of course, there’s no way K would have had to play his ex-players like Harvard and ex-Dookie stars Tommy Amaker’s team, or Johnny Dawkins team from Stanford. Like the legendary Dean Smith before him, Special K and the ACC is Golden with the NCAA (see infractions committed but not sanctioned), and K is King and gets his way at the NCAA. Doesn’t hurt when the Head man is a Duke grad himself, huh?
Most people outside of SMU yawned, notably Larry Brown who knows EXACTLY how it works with the NCAA. It is better to stay silent lest you end up an 8-seed, or 4-seed while qualifying as a 4 or a 1. But Larry and others miss the point. As in any political arena the losers attitudes ARE always more than offset by the winners perspectives when they conform to the accepted media narrative, insuring that “right or wrong” is not just an uncertainty, it’s practically irrelevant (well… by Monday). Then somehow an upset or two will make the media gush over the committee genius, without mention that there are STILL some walking around feeling as if a long stiff object has been lodged in the wrong place… Onward, we march into madness… Truth is, the DISS usually backfires into a determined rage by the most offended.
Ron Wellman, Wake Forest Athletic and Director (of the ACC) explains how the
seedings were “the most accurate in his five years on the committee.”
What is it about the four teams listed on the eraser board?
Call me crazy but it appears that eventual Mid-West Region 8-seed/Kentucky is listed with an eventual 4-seed, Louisville… and then eventual 5-seed St. Louis.
Above these teams is listed an eventual 1-seed Virginia, who was apparently later “replaced with 1-seed Wichita State. Why?
Question: Why would these teams (1,4,8,5) be listed BEFORE THE SEEDING PROCESS without any other participants?
And, whatever happened to the idea that a 5-seed doesn’t get to play a “home” game?
Here’s my take on a fictional conversation (which could… but would never happen, since it is silently understood by both) between Wellman and Rick Pitino, who was upset about being paired with 16-seed Manhattan whose Coach Steve Masiello was his old ball boy, player, and assistant coach. Maseillo “carbon copies” Pitino’s system at Manhattan.
“Nothing personal Rick but the first round lacks stories and CBS can spin this into a million website hits on a bad day this time of year. If nothing else it makes a nice headline, and with hypertext it might turn lead into gold. New York to Orlando flights are on-sale so we expect to fill the allotments there. Of course, you get first dibbs after they return the unsolds. Plus Rick, we like the potential Calipari-Pitino angle… but you know we’d rather not have it in the final four. With both of your passionate fans bases there’s still only 12 million viewers which is small potatoes since they are practically all from the State of Kentucky. But we know they would fill up that cavernous Dome in Indy, and no other two fan bases could come close.
We need big market dramas/story-lines for the FF. Thanks for being a team player. You’re a solid pro and we all like you here and at CBS. They will ask you to do color in some games if you go out early, a nice consolation prize. I know, it’s not winning but it’s compensation (for playing ball, you know… with us). CBS promises you’ll be happy with the coverage they’ve allotted you for special interest stories about the great job you’re doing. Remember, they have faithfully not mentioned your little scandal in three years Rick, out of respect for you and the great job you do. How about some love? You know Rick, if it weren’t for this tourney, your 5 million a year would likely be like 1.5.
Thanks for your understanding and not letting too much of this cat out of the bag. Don’t make us an enemy, instead consider us partners. Steve’s a great kid and we know how you feel about him, that’s such a great story to tell. Even in losing, the publicity is a win for him and I know you love seeing him succeed.
And, of course Kentucky may not get that shot at you, so we like the potential undefeated vs. the defending champ angle if W-S wins that one. And BTW, Kentucky-Wichita State ain’t so bad either but hey, you’ll have the “revenge” factor and “chip-on-shoulder” factor going for you.
Sliding Kentucky into an eight hole can be explained, even if strong rational discourse would annihilate any attempt at justification. There’s a lot of hate for Kentucky right now, so we could have left them out completely and no one would care but BBN. But BBN is where the money’s at, as you already know Rick.
Surely you agree that Calipari needs to be knocked down a notch or two by foiling our last three attempts at bringing him to his knees, and then mocking us on national TV? We’re still seething about 2011 when they lucked through our gauntlet of number 1 Ohio State and then #2 UNC-Chapel Hill. Roy is still peeved. If anybody, you’re the man with the team to do it. It would make your season Rick. Problems are opportunities. Look at the positives. And, of course, if per chance they advance past Louisville?
No worry, we have Michigan and Duke waiting to take care of them, and we both know you beat both last year and have as good a chance of doing it again.
Besides, Kentucky and Louisville have the two best traveling fandom. We need to insure one of you two play in that Dome if we’re to get close to a sell it out. One more thing before you shut the door behind you Rick. Kentucky won 2012, Louisville in 2013. If one of you two wins this year, we’re seriously worried the game itself might suffer. This isn’t John Wooden’s America. Hope to see you doing some TV by the end of the tourney. If not we’d love a Donovan-Pitino story again. That one was BIG last time. Hey, you’re already in the Hall and I’ll bet that extra money and TV time could come in handy. Louisville fans worship the ground you walk on as it should be. Good luck Rick.”
And, my imaginary instructions from Wellman to Committee before/during the seeding on Wichita State:
“But… what about the undefeated returning Final Four team, uh… Wichita State? Great story. Huh? Everyone will tune in. Make ‘em run the table, and the story expands exponentially after every win. But please folks… be sure they don’t waltz into another FF with what a terrible TV market that dreadful town will be. With Michigan and Duke added for seasoning we have guaranteed high-dollar value storylines from day one in the Midwest. And we all know that media/fan bucks are always the highest in the Midwest, IF we get some good markets in play there. But IF W-S makes the finals it will be huge after beating ALL those teams and still being undefeated. Bob Knight will shit bricks! He’s such an ass, I’d love to see his face on national TV if W-S goes undefeated, but I’d still rather ESPN keep him out of the CBS studio.
I won’t bore you with the other regions but they have their built-in stories too, albeit not quite as many. Maybe someone suggests Cincy-Harvard is dubbed “Neanderthal vs. Humanoid”? on their bulletin board and in their storyline notes? Jus’ Kidding… but you see what i’m saying. I personally wouldn’t be surprised if this year the Big Brother-Little Brother theme wins the day again with so many more of those possibilities… and folks love David vs. Goliath, especially in their local markets. There are several more possibilities you should…”
Though the above conversations are fiction, do you believe in the plethora of random chance storylines? Uh, right. With the intertextuality and over-the-top typology inserted into this years tourney, there’s enough “story” to rival the Septuagint-New Testament typology (I mean prophesies).
Of course, Wellman attempted to confidently explain the issues that MOST EVERYONE immediately denounced with double-talk, contradiction, false statements, and inconsistency. It is if he studied the famous book on quantitative statistics by Darrell Huff, “How to Lie With Statistics”, but forgot to read his sequel, “How to spot Cheaters using Statistics.”
The secret revealed? This secular “church”, who is protector and supporter of the student-athlete and proponent/supporter of “One-and-Done” being all about the Benjamin? No. Why? In any large organization today it’s grow or die, and so MONEY becomes its God. The NCAA sanctions the bracket manipulation and the publicly vilified O-&-D because they both mean more money. Publicly though they decry both so as not to alienate too many fans (I mean readers/viewers/hits/etc). What are fans anyway if not a means to an end?
Hypocrisy at it’s finest and highest level thrives at our most hallowed institutions.
A cursory look at UCLA’s Alumni position on hiring Steve Alford over moral/ethical conflicts reveals the fact that ethics DO matter to many… win or lose. Many important supporters of UCLA could care less if UCLA wins another Natty, that is if it is done under new Coach Steve Alford. Yes, greed is rampant, but perhaps not totally pervasive at a school with the tradition of pride and excellence John Wooden instilled among their faithful followers during his career span. UCLA supporters don’t count NCAA banners unless they are achieved with a Coach who can emulate the character of Wooden the man, not the Coach.
For Vance Kinlaw and his issue with alma mater UNC, I say… go UCLA fans! And, I venomously hate losing to both those teams.
The NCAA is a proud organization who isn’t accustomed to answering to its detractors and smugly refuses to grant concessions, even when there is little support of their stance from the outside. They are defiant, and the notion of their being greed driven is scoffed at and discounted as “heresy” by their better-than well-paid executives.
Reminds me of the Catholic Church, venerable yes… powerful still… but, beginning to struggle with new paradigms that insist on Priests, Bishops, and Cardinals practicing what they preach, and punishing those who don’t or attempt to hide the truth. For too long these problems have been swept under the rug in a veil of silence. Large organizations can and do fail when they resist the notion of transparency, integrity, and fairness or react too slowly to overwhelming disillusionment among their faithful (read: the fans who buy tickets, or the Alumni who donate to Universities).
If I were running the NCAA today, I’d be worried instead of defiant, and honest instead of elusive. Instead of gouging fans of college sports at every opportunity without the extreme expense of paying players like their Professional counterparts must, or manipulating bracketing and seeding with lame-ass excuses to pacify the media outlets who agreed to the ridiculous contract dollars they demand… I’d take the humble road (never) travelled. I’d have public discussion with college presidents and athletic directors instead of the many back room deals worked out between power players in exclusion. Just ask Rick Pitino about he and Rollie Massimino back in the early days of the Big East. This is high stakes poker.
But their smug, nattily dressed Captain, like his Titanic counterpart is staying the course at full speed ahead. And we all know how that worked out… I can already feel the drip of water…and hear the muffled sound of rivets popping loose… and too… there’s not enough lifeboats.
This may no longer be John Wooden’s America, but it should be.
An email sent to a friend (Vance Kinlaw) who is a very smart man… a graduate of UNC-Law School and Dartmouth University. Our relationship through the years had centered around both our passions for college basketball where we argued the merits of our respective favorite teams. He recently told me that he had withdrawn his support for UNC and sold his season tickets due to an ethical conflict of interest regarding the University and their selling out to the god of money. I was shocked that this long time ardent supporter had taken such a drastic stance, and at the time a bit flummoxed. Now… I too get it.
Once again I must admit that I am squarely behind both the eight ball and the Kinlaw in my pursuit of truth.
I once almost (emphasis on almost) derided your decision to quit the “college game” because of your ethical stance regarding UNC’s Board of Governors and their apparent thirst for squeezing every dollar out of the sports programs without regard to the alumni and their ethics and ideals.
I mean, “it’s just a few advertisements” I remember thinking when you described the billboards along the Dean Dome’s press row, the straw that finally sent you packing and giving up your cherished season tix. I really just didn’t get it fully, although I knew/know MONEY is god everywhere in our culture.
I just didn’t go far enough down that rabbit hole…
Now, after the NCAA Tournament brackets for 2014 have been made public, the rabbit has bitten me on the ass and drawn blood. What a scam! Every seed, every game or chance game has been manipulated by the committee this year for ONE PURPOSE only: Revenue. Period. Ticket prices have gone up 33% since last year!
Of course, it’s probably due to the Attorney fees in the Ed O’Bannon case (lol).
At any rate, I stand corrected, and as always… in a certain awe of your scope…
held my breath too long it seems finest place was just a dream rose to the top jus’ like the cream
but virtuous… a lonely theme the lies are told through smiles they beam as curtains hide the actors scheme gag the truth or it will scream.
you are just one and they are a team wrinkled shirts will get the steam so money’s god, but god ain’t green while power wins, fine ass is reamed.
play or lose you finally gleam know the truth but go mainstream but every crack will find a seam times gettin’ bad when good’s extreme.
FACEBOOK IT.(A recent comment to friend’s Facebook post about America.)
America? Where is it anyway?
I had a dream that I grew up there, but when I woke up… oh shit!?! I lived in a foreign land that existed only in the minds of an ignorantly deluded multitude, but in the “pockets” of a few greedy intellectual snake charmers with some bizarre ideas; who manipulated us (through their control of the monetary supply-system which they did privately own yet had surreptitiously presented as one being Federally regulated/owned), by using their powerful political, deadly, and financial force to corrupt and control this so-called “AMERICA”‘s political morally bankrupt leaders years many before my birth.
After a cup of Java or two had really opened my eyes and re-started my brain I learned that they had used lies and manipulation to hypnotize the masses into believing that we were living in and freely participating in the affairs of an ethically righteous political Republic; and one whom God had somehow annointed as “policeman to the world” due to our extreme technologically advanced capability of forcing will on nearly every aspect of the world’s populations through intimidation, blackmail, and destruction.
Sad that I had only dreamt about America’s greatness instead of actually having existed in an honourable country espousing freedom for all who wished to FAIRLY and HONESTLY excel through individual effort, determination, and innovation like I had been indoctrinated to believe…
I retreated, to the only real and local environment that I truly felt I could trust and love… my family and a few close personal friends.
(Below is a preface to a post I’ve been thinking about, researching and studying for quite some time. I haven’t written/posted it yet because of the potentially negative implications it may have on many of those whom I consider friends, and whom I deeply respect. My intention is for edification purposes only, not to hurt feelings… and I’ll welcome any dissent and discussion. The entire story runs deeper than what you read below but the implications and details of what I’m suggesting will be detailed in future posts…)
Love me or hate me but… always know that, “I callz it like I seez it”. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. -mostdiggity
A friend of mine (professional comic Kier) was once described as being “seriously funny”. It was apt, knowing his capacity for reducing our complex culture biases and common personal anecdotes into simple… but very funny shit (ala: George Carlin without the facial body language and black mock-turtle). Kier is talented, smart, unassuming and compassionate…
But mostly, he’s for REAL. And that can sometimes scare the hell out of anyone of us. I think in the end, much like life itself, REAL is complete with good, bad, happy, sad, etc… but it is also a place where in self-reflection our lives can seem hilarious in the self-deprecating way that talents like Kier affords us with his uncommon wit and style.
I like to think it (being for REAL) mostly describes me too, although I realize that my viewpoint is narrowly perched on a perspective that only I (and sometimes special folks I share it with) can witness as a biting ironic humor. Even then, it is with somewhat cloudy vision and never enough information. And sometimes, it is taken out of the context with which it was meant. It’s just that I find that we all have weaknesses, and I can be the first to admit mine… but in a way that is humorous, not hateful. Others are not as forthcoming, and there many times seems to be a disconnect.
I try to allow others to reach conclusions about me without trying to sell to them (like this maybe?). Sometimes I succeed, other times… not so much. Either way, I believe the concept is solidly based on some simple basic terms: my ethical integrity, overt self-confidence, and brutal self-honesty that all highlight the folly of wanting but not having the “perfect life. Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we cry.
In other words, I can handle the idea that sometimes I fuck up and look stupid, and all with self-image intact. I can accept that money and god are not related (while both or neither may in fact be real) and it doesn’t reduce my self-worth (though it can make navigating the endless requirements of runaway capitalism infinitely more challenging having considerably reduced my net worth).
One must accept that this “wisdom” doesn’t always jibe with today’s more conventional cliché of the century, political correctness… which seems to support the idea that image is everything and image is closely tied to money and unbound consumerism. And that translates somehow to the love of god?
I think it also breeds a narrow worldview supporting the selective reasoning of “it’sbetter not to know some things” unless the issues fit one’s cultural belief system, local and community lifestyle, tax bracket/job description and career goals, or their antiquated religious belief system if they expect to reach that holiest of Holy Grails: financial security and worldly success and god.
I suspect that choice is made (yes, I admit that I once bought in to that BIG LIE) by most of us rather than having to personally seek real truth or perhaps finding it to be distasteful and difficult to reconcile with our learned core values, and sense of place, and future in the world.
PC tends to add untidy information supportive of many of its own inflated self-deluded issues of its own deemed importance, and ignore untidy information about other issues which might nullify support for what it subjectively considers meaningless or mundane, (i.e. it does not further its nationalistic/ materialistic cause). One example might be an but unspoken “required” support for US invasions which kill innocents abroad, while condemning international dictators who (surreptitiously) use our US support to help kill the same, but without paying the U.S. ransom dictates.
The truth is that PC does taste pretty sweet in many cases (like at a party your boss attends, or a fundraiser for a worthy charitable cause that uses your contributions honestly), but many “good causes” can quickly putrefy from innocent ignorance into egregious hate or simple financial scams. And, when heated to a boil they can become a hate soup. I refer to it as an “Ignorant-Hate-Stew”.
It is worrisome today that political correctness salt and peppers our entire diet of issues and vocabulary, and few are willing to say “no thanks”, perhaps feeling some unseen but real political pressure to smile, swallow hard, and agree. Some of us gag at the notion. Others are gagged on the swallow hard part. Yes, I said that.
The rest, it seems to me either remain ignorantly aloof or reach for a strong drink of “group-think”. Clubs and Organizations (secular and non-secular alike) either real or disguised as community resources for fellowship tend to propagate and project their “subjective” idealism on everyone as TRUTH… which in turn is more readily accepted by the individual members. Indoctrination of the masses.
The “Ignorant-Hate-Stew” tends toleave an after-taste of spicy self-righteousness, and when drunk with too much group-think reduces vision and open discussion, narrows options, and distorts basic notions of good and bad. The next step is buying influence and forcing it down our throats… and the march goes on…
The seriously unfortunate truth is that many of these organizations have goals which are hidden from their general membership, sometimes to the point of being in exact contradiction to their stated purpose. It can be said that in some cases their leaders (or leader’s leaders) use the IGNORANCE we’re drinking as weapons of our own mass destruction.
This is nothing new. It has been going on for centuries, passed down by governments, secret societies, self-appointed intellectual visionaries, and others. The means and methods vary but the idea remains constant; control of the masses by deluding their thinking, playing both sides of every conflict but remaining vigil in their ultimate goal of keeping and remaining in control. At any cost necessary.
They use religion for propagating hate and oppositional violence. They use religion to sedate for peace or to incite for war, whichever is more beneficial to their cause at any particular moment. Religion to divide us, religion to conquer us.
Political Correctness is just one of many ways propaganda can be utilized to further the ideals of a few while poisoning the TRUTH as the masses live their lives drunk on Ignorant-Hate-Stew. The less “control” the masses feel over their own destinies, the more “Politically Correct” they become. And, the further from REAL TRUTH they drift…
So please, be a responsible individual, and always… think before you take that drink.
(The rest, as they say is history. Stay tuned for THE REAL BIG PICTURE).
To all myguy friends(NO, to all men… and women with a good sense of humor….well, themselves)… important that you read about this invasive Malware. Wish I had written the kernel to the code, because it is NOT open source and VERYdangerous to your future decisions.Read More »
Great work you do for the game and helping folks put in perspective what matters statistically and otherwise in a game played on hardwood, but much better understood on paper. I’ve read you and other number-crunchers for a long time and (mostly) agree on your take. For a betting man, it’s the only way to fly.
As a Catbird (my word for a Kentucky and Louisville fan), and a fan of the college game I grow more and more disgusted with the ignorance, hate, venom, hypocrisy, and irresponsible chest-thumping spewing forth from folks who ought to know better as it relates to issues like “one-and-done”, or whether or not certain coaches are ruining the game (guess who?) by recruiting the nations top talent.
I mean, I was once a “student-athlete” and graduated from a fine University, later became employed, worked my way up from the bottom over the years, and eventually earned the experience and respect to become one of the top individuals in my industry. Somehow all that was factored into my choice of going to college versus working in the sheet metal factory which had held many of my summer vacations captive.
I loved college and everything it was about, especially sports, pot/beer and pussy. But, my ultimate goal from the git-go was that piece of paper (my degree)which admiringly adorns my closet today. I was convinced it was a ticket out of the blue collar world of which I had grown accustomed, and that it would someday pay its promised dividends in cold hard cash. I guess you could say I was about the dash, the grass, the crash, and the gash… but mainly the cash.
And although I won’t go into how I really feel about the “state of the union” and it’s proclivity of injustice for all, I do remember what I thought I knew about a country that espoused freedom, capitalism, equality, and the ability for each individual to choose their own destiny, and then try to make it happen.
Now, how is it that so many seemingly intelligent so-called Americans who grew up on the same diet of (propaganda) as myself feel comfortable assessing the decisions of one-and-done college players as somehow being “their” problem? I mean, if for example Eric Bledsoe doesn’t read as well as you or I, is it his problem or ours? If he tests free agency at year’s end and signs for $12 million a year, was it his opportunity, hard work, and talent that earned it, or ours? Is it his problem, or the Phoenix front office, or the fans who screamed to no avail to get him on contract before the deadline? Of course it’s his, and with his lunch pail in hand he goes to work ALONE every night, and likely has just earned a huge raise for an outstanding job. Now who’s got the problem Phoenix?
You know Eric, how true that problems can be seen as opportunities, huh?
So, if a kid and his coach agree that his (and likely his family’s) best financial interest would be better served by leaving the team and going professional, even if after only one year of (that almighty holy grail) of higher education… who am I, or you, or anyone else to feel the need to weigh in NEGATIVELY on his own personal decision that he made based on the information available at the time?
In review, remember that I went to college to ultimately earn more money with my job being the caretaker of that goal. Don’t we all? How many of us degreed princes make $12 million a year? Not many, and damn sure not me.
And what about that scoundrel of a coach who let him get only one year of schooling before shooing him off to future riches and fame? But then, why wouldn’t that scoundrel want to keep him around for another year or two? If I’m a scoundrel, I damn sure would.
I realize that fans can be viciously jealous and many times jump on ANY opportunity to spin a situation to their liking. But folks like you (but not you) and the plethora of other so-called “experts” who blindly bandwagon without logic, reason, or considering another perspective are simply irresponsible mouth pieces who feed the delusional masses their daily dose of “what they want to hear”. They sicken me with all their Doug Gottfried arrogance, who all of the sudden knows everything, but can’t seem to ever pick a winner? Oh yeah… good for TV, right.
It isn’t the one-and-done ruination of CBB… it’s the dumbass bloggers, announcers, and writers who are spinning this game into the stupidity garbage dump of hate. And, all because they’re too ignorant or chicken shit to speak the truth. It is the height of hypocrisy and the bane of our existence that we are spoon fed our beliefs without more careful analysis (much like what you, Ken, and Dean have championed over the last 5-10 years). I salute you in the name of OBJECTIVITY, Howard Roark.
Sure, there are ratings and networks and back room deals that suggest that a narrative of disagreement is good for the level of fan interest, thus network stock prices, and thus the NCAA bank vault.
Can no one with an audience and a pair of balls ever stand up and tell it like it really is? Are we to listen to endless moronic red-faced Bobby Knight diatribes about situations of which he has no knowledge or experience with just because ESPN thinks he’s good television? I can almost hear the ESPN back room snickers from my couch when he starts into his the-way-it-is-ramble-mania.
This talk of “ruining the game” is so ridiculously far-fetched that I have fits of lalochezia just hearing the CBS theme song, but then I mostly revert to a couch burning “tacenda”. Smoldering…
John, I realize numbers are your game and this comment defies strapping it to a chart, and mapping it for visual appeal and understanding. Big data it ain’t. But please, weigh in on this subject with all your objective intelligence so that the common fan can “get a grip” on this thing we commonly agree on as reality.
If you or anyone else happens to disagree with my position, so be it. I am happy to publicly debate the matter anywhere, anytime. But, be fore warned… I’ll come loaded for bear.
The REAL DEAL is fair…feeling not better or worse than anyone, but rather sees the world as a somewhat level playing field where balance rules a life of give and take.
The REAL DEAL is one who understands that everything must stem from and lead to equality; that his own perspective is but one of an infinite number of possible perspectives, all clouded by their own personal histories yet just as valid and important as his own. Being real is neither superior or inferior.
The REAL DEAL gains knowledge from others but earns wisdom from within. He does not expect to be given anything for free except the respect that he freely gives to everyone.
The REAL DEAL is one who understands that he is solely responsible for his own self-predicament in life, but also understands the complex and fickle nature of luck, timing, and pro-active behavior, which can all lead to his ultimate success or failure. In the end he accepts himself and takes any blame for his mistakes in life.
A man who doesn’t use material things as barometers for success and happiness, and instead sees them as unreliable measures which are at best self-indulgent ego-symbols; The REAL DEAL values close family and interpersonal relationships as a more meaningful predictor of feeling and finding true self-worth.
But The REAL DEAL understands how images are real and important and must be paid some attention. The REAL DEAL is more giver than taker, but feels equality is best served by a near equal exchange. He doesn’t keep the score, but instead senses it and honors others on his mental scorecard. In the end he never owes, but instead is always felt to be owed by many.
The REAL DEAL stands up to be counted in plain view, who does not coward from any situation or person, even those who may see him as an adversary. He does not cringe before any person, despite their size, title, or social status.
The REAL DEAL does not ever honor violence, but sees how nature supports it as one of her own children whom she still loves despite its sometimes abhorrent behavior. He would not intentionally hurt anyone, unless defending himself or those he loves, or meting out some deserved injustice.
The REAL DEAL is passionate about many things, who appreciates the natural beauty in all things. He is a part of and is made of parts as all things are. His is a “holonic” existence.
The REAL DEAL rarely apologizes as he understands how every action stems from a conscious motivation of fairness and goodness that he refuses to stray from.
The REAL DEAL looks everyone in the eye, never seeing through them or seeing his own reflection, but sees everyone as an amalgamation of a person who has experienced the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly.
The REAL DEAL has an acute sense of awareness and feeling using a keen developed sense most humans have not developed, mainly due to their harried daily existence. This sense stems from a mental ,ability to do great mathematical calculations, without realizing he has done so.
The REAL DEAL does not deny nor accept the existence of God as fact, simply knowing that semantically speaking God can be many things to many people. He also understands how philosophy, art, and the sciences can provide a positive working framework for his existence, without the need for a God.
The REAL DEAL can forgive and forget, yet he never forgets those who are unrepentant. He might sometimes punish those whom he sincerely feels are purveyors of evil and destruction. This arises from his keen sense of equanimity, not hate.
I listened hard and watched the best. Secretly I’d one day be their litmus test. Late hours and freezing rain could not depress, the drive inside my lifelong quest. It wasn’t easy but I never faltered, the success I worshiped, on effort’s sacrificial altar.
On the day of reckoning, my mind prepared from daydreams of winning. Imagined moments never shared, except a mindless grinning. The fear of failure came nowhere near, compete and win my simple mission clear.
Nervously I toed the line, emotional tension outside-in sublime. I lurched ahead right from the go, then pushed the pace they wanted slow. Some seemed worried and took the bait, others doubted lay back in wait; on my demise they had sealed their fate.
Feeling strong and so relaxed, I stretched my lead never feeling taxed. While I saw turtles they saw a hare, as I blistered laps through the cool night air; on a record pace I had laid my dare.
Seemingly on a gun lap cruise, in retrospect I must have somehow hit the snooze. But glancing back at second place, he was so far back and wore an anguished face.
The crowd all stood with deafened screams, half o’ lap to enjoy my living dreams. That I glanced left is in retrospect my error, sprinting past my right was a nightmare terror.
Behold a smattering of audaciously bold, adult themed t-shirts byMOST-DIGGIT-TEES… built for the person who stands tall and let’s his t-shirt do his bidding. Fun shirts not to be taken too seriously but with a twist of ironic bad boy (or girl as I have numerous female designs not shown here). These shirts are made from the highest quality lightweight soft cotton and come in sizes too numerous to mention. Not cheap but inexpensive considering the attention you’ll get from “puttin’ it out there”.
What’s the rub? Currently the shirts are still in the design stage, but plans are to roll them out… someday? Stay tuned and check out shirts with game, while we’ve all seen plenty that are simply… lame.
A peak at an early version of an ebook catalog designed to add interest and humor to each design with options, etc…
Written a few years ago for a friend whose boyfriend was suddenly killed in a bike week motorcycle accident. I too was struggling through a recent sudden loss, making the moment even that more poignant… I thought I had lost the poem, but found (some of) it in a file drawer the other day. Here’s the edited version.
Vida después de su muerte mi amigo
Sitting here by Kimberly’s grave
thoughts turn to you and Tony
their lives too short for both of them
isn’t our grief the testimony?
Who lives or not whose choice it be
or just the dice who say?
does God play poker, is he the Joker
is it black and white, or grey?
And who are we that thinks of them
does our mirror speak the truth?
are we all just names etched in granite?
isn’t up hill down hill too?
Or are we just narrow vibrations on a playing field,
proving that we “exist for real”, or just “sense” we do?
manifesting our love not by, “they’re dead and gone”
but “they live in our hearts, and will see us through?”
Do we create our unique version of real
realizing ourselves… by all our think, our say, and do?
If we’re just the sum of who we think we are
I think there’s part of Kimberly alive in me…
When folks ask me what I’ve been up to lately, my answer usually lies somewhere between everything and nothing, specifics being a bit hazy as they can be these days to a late 50’s POP (permanently overripe personality). (Read: unemployed old fart without prospects). And this from the man who was once the chalk (outside Kentucky that’s a sure thing) to be the eventual ruler of the free world (thanks, mom).
I like to say “free is where to find me, but Fun is where I’m from”.
But then as a rookie Father to 6 and 8 year-old boys, these days my official title ranges from, “Dad, can I…” to “hey, I think I’m gonna…”, instead of the more respectfully appropriate but more formal titled, “Duke of The House on Worthington”, or “Most Benevolent Domain Master”, or even… “Dude-meister of the Microcosmic Universe daddy that we call our home-dad.” One size fits all three.
My duties on this Starship are both boundless and boring, and as easily doable as they are unthinkable in doing, and all ranging from the absolutely necessary to the supremely sublime. Others call them “just normal stuff”.
I do seem to fumble some of life’s simplest hand-offs, and show a unnatural propensity to throw interceptions to some of life’s most wide-open receivers. I may call too many audibles and use too many trick plays, but I still hate football anyway. Go figure… a boy from Louisville, Kentucky. Who’d a thunk it?
So, ‘round here I’m paid to analyze, decide, motivate, invoke, critique, and hand out passing grades to everyone despite in-game homework performance or practice attitude, sideline behavior, or team spirit or team play. I learned that there are no losers anymore because we’re not allowed to keep score. DAMN, winning I knew.
So I’m more like a College Assistant Basketball Coach without the benefit of shoe deals and one-and-done. There are countless fanboys and other players depending on choices I make in an endless chain of unsure situations that hinge quickly on drawing up out-of-bounds plays, with a less than generous shot clock. All this for $4 hour while Schmoovy Weasal, the Head Coach gets $8MM. Go here. Pick. Pass, dribble, screen, shoot… air ball. Get back on Defense!! Maybe I need another shot or two?
Doing a Google search is no help either as it seems to always pull me into an abyss, more distracting than a smoke-wafting Pink Floyd concert. But hey, there’s always “The Wall”… one that I no longer can climb but still seem to hit.
So, sometimes I write blog posts to clear my cob-webs in the guise of either art or imparting some pretentious holier-than-thou “wisdom” for Everyman. The audaciousness of some people. I think I write in lieu of buying an assault rifle (I mean dude… hey, now its fuggin’unlimited rounds!). You know, cause I just love going to shooting ranges with my machine gun, and I would “kill” to go Sports hunting with Senator Paul Ryan and his rat-a-tat-tat Gattling gun. (uh, hey Paul, what do you shoot at since… you know, all the Dinosaurs are gone?). I’m afraid I’d start making lists, so I’ll pass.
Oh no, no, I just like protecting my Second Amendment right-to bear-arms. Yeah… right(s)? If that were actually true (I mean owning guns to protect our Constitutional Rights), then all I have to say is, “WHERE in THE FUCK have ya’ll been the past fifty years?” You’re way late, you lazy gun toters. Get busy.
OK. That issue of ignoraneous(my word, not Websters) proportion (gun laws) is for another rant-blog-post, and I can assure you it will be a frontal assault. So Johnny, might better git yer gun.
No hey, I’m really just a BIG PICTURE guy who doesn’t feel like going around saying “God is in the Details, God is in the Details”. That’s for car mechanics or computer guys and Anal Retentive assholes so organized that they can always find their tools and wallets and keys and other minor essentials. Not me, uh uhn. That ain’t me. NO siree. No.
The thrill of the hunt is what I’m all about, and the multitude of ramifications of the before-during-and-after that such adventures tend to shower upon me all the while. Wisdom. Wise. Potato Chips. Lays. zzzzzzz….
Seriously, I recently read a clinical study on what the World’s wisest and smartest people think about the most important things regarding life and living. Smart people’s opinions on subjects of substance, circumstance, and degree. The results were, uh… somewhat startling, and if you’re like me… I guess happily so.
It seems that the wiser one becomes the less opinionated they tend to be. I mean, they really can’t decide. They see too many angles, perspectives, situations, viewpoints, and points to be subjective. Hmmm… they’re more objective. Sounds about right to me. Though I agree in concept, I tend to spout my own opinion to anyone who cares to listen. I’m, careful not to pre-judge anyone or anything, but once I get eyes and ears on ’em, I got opinions, yes I do.
But at least I know I’m wrong. Huh?
Truth is fleeting at best, and non-existent at its worst. While Black and White appear as extremes to us (optically), that really only covers a small portion of the entire vibrational spectrum. Where our world/universe leans to us, it meanders, and everything appears to eventually exist towards the middle, considering our limited senses. I mean extreme is well… extreme. Way out there. All things in moderation? Wise.
Great may be more good than not, or not-so-much as Best. We use opposites to give a mental picture to relate to the vast in-between. Or something. I just can’t say. Its complicated. Not too sure anyway.
The ONLY THING one can really know is that they know nothing. NADA. Zilch.
It’s friggin’ science, by God. Or not. Not sure.
To think that one “KNOW’s SOMETHING” is to deceive oneself about the untouchable, the unknowable: THE REAL TRUTH.
Quantum Physics (see Schrodinger and find his cat) explains that one can never be certain of the existence of anything until it has been “observed”. Once observed it is then in a state of existence that is knowable and predictable. But, before the observation? It did and did not exist simultaneously. In each moment of observation (which implies existence in space/time), reality continuously begins for each of us. But, keep in mind its just for us individually each separate moment, and just in that moment in time. This does not infer Real TRUTH, merely relative truth. Not REAL TRUTH.
We all can say that we know space/time changes from past to present to future, but does it exist? Relatively speaking, yes it does. Absolutely? NOT.
Everything we think we know is merely relative. Relatively speaking. In relation to something else. An observer. Cousins and daughters and uncles and aunts and dads and moms. Relatives. But not REAL TRUTH.
How long do you suppose, an instant lasts? Therein lies the difference between the TRUTH and the immensity of uncertainty. A single moment of time. Is there such a thing? No. Its less than a flash, and a little more than never. Immeasurable yes it is and they are, but we when we add them together we can knit the history of our universe. Still, that simultaneous instantaneous moment of TRUTH never seems to exist, and yet it does exist at the same time. A royal mind-fuck of academic epic proportions? Yes. Si. Nay. No. Don’t know nut-in’.
Right somewhere, between the Yes and NO, THE REAL TRUTH hides in the Space Between, the vast immensity of uncertainty. Like going from analog (the real) to digital (the facimile).
It is only to be measured when there are two or more moments (needing the observer making it relative), but it is at the same time scientifically, historically, philosophically, empirically, UNKNOWABLE when alone. It is only a possibility then. Anything is possible? That seems to be near the REAL TRUTH.
And still the mystery persists.
All this my good reader is why I tend to cause mid-day traffic jams, caustic hold-ups, maybe-this way, no maybe-that, in an indiscernible gridlock of possibility for a House of (four) Cards on the verge of collapse. I don’t know, the Captain of the ship is stupid and he knows it, mutiny threatens on the high seas. Jib up, main out hold on don’t shout. Insubordinate chaos reigns and the Captain is the first to realize his own troubling sense of not knowing any damn thing.
What’s for dinner? I dunno. What bills to pay? Dunno. What time is it? Huh? What the Fuck? OK. Oh…
But then, our world, our society, our culture, in all their wisdom know not a goddamn thing either, and least of all where we are heading. So without knowing, I will hold the right to “imagine” possibility, or do the math and “speculate” on cause-effect. I usually get an EXTREME headache when I do that. I mean…whoa.
Religion? Extremists. Money? Extremism. Music, Politics, Sports? Exfuckingtremely. OK. I listen to old music and it ain’t all that extreme.
But I feel polarization everywhere but at our magnetic poles. So, what do we do?
I think more, I speculate… GTFOY.
Yeah, Get the fuck over yourself. Everyone. Now. Get over yourself. Find the gray area and live right there. I did and it ain’t all bad. A bit chaotic, OK.
You, me, we… jus’ babes in the cradle. We’re nothing more, we’re nothing less. To that I confess. And, NO this ain’t a guess. Pure specualtion.
Dinner tonight? Yes. Later? Maybe. When? Soonish. And then? Oh yeah… Gettin’ over myself… Next stop…R-E-L-I-G-
Are we near THE END OF BOOK PRINTING as we know it?
RarelyNever has any one historical person’s vision of the future unfolded exactly as they predicted it would.
But, considering that hindsight is 20/20, it is certainly ironic that it was in the year 1984 when the large cracks in the walls of the great society of man began to splinter and show. And while then famous author George Orwell‘s iconic futuristic book (written 35 years earlier) titled 1984depicted a hauntingly familiar fictional path taken by a broken society… to the average man in 1984 the book’s message likely seemed nearly impossible… but, NOT the inevitable outcome for his world.
But less than 40 years later, that quasi-feeling of comfort and security that Western civilized man had thought to finally achieve and spread across the globe was noticeably beginning to unravel in unrelenting swaths. A vast paradigm shift (much like the shift that the printing press had once ignited) in learning and literacy across every domain reshaped Western civilization, starting a systemic Domino knock-down in a rapid-fire succession. Every resistant, old, or traditional mode of operandi soon gave way to the first truly dynamic and participatory, Civilization of Mankind.
In the 1970s another seminal book, Future Shockby futuristic author and philosopher Alvin Toffler, correctly predicted a sort of psychological paralysis in man, who was over-burdened by incessant and accelerating rates of technological change while society overall transformed from an industrial to a post-industrial, technological society.
Tofler was not only a futurist, but a scientist/writer of the highest degree. His books alone neatly defined the growing uneasiness that eventually blossomed into a full-scale revolution against his own intelligentsia in the mid-21st Century.
Again and again, it was the silicon computer chip which rescued man from himself during much of these treacherous times. It may be said in hindsight that man grew too smart… too smart for his own good. But alas… he was too dumb to see it. It seemed Moore’s law was perhaps Murphy’s law on a larger scale.
Creative destruction. Religion vs. Computers.
Also adding fuel to the fire was the swift rise of scientific thought in just a few hundred years. Science alone shattered intellectual man’s illusion of living life as a sort of “pre-flight”, a preparation for some greater infinitely more rewarding after-life; and science stood in stark contrast to ancient spiritual concepts and a book of willfully propagated lies taken as fact by much of the educated mass population who embraced knowledge over mere faith. But traditions, like bad habits sometimes don’t just roll-over and die.
Compound that with the fact (now well known but in those days intentionally and systematically demeaned by a quasi-religious group of Jewish businessmen and their tyrannical mind-controlled converts as being a form of mental imbalance and paranoia, derisively termed “Conspiracy Theory”; which in reality was questioned the status quo based on historical facts, undeniable and unquestionable man-made events orchestrated by deep state groups, MNM, complicit with government but too outlandish to be rooted in reality, and not-so secret outlines for plans to rule a one-world government enslaving the remainder of mankind).
These plotters and zealots intended to contrive and manipulate history to jive with their ancient Biblical teachings which had long crowned Judaisim as God’s chosen religion and people, though they themselves were mostly admitted atheists who used the moniker Zionists. Perhaps they felt they needed the all-too successful creations of three Western Abrahamic related religious doctrine practiced by 4/5’s of the world population in that it was too embedded in the human pysche of society to turn back.
The elite bloodlines of the world had spent much of its’ wealth figuring out how to maintain power early on in man’s rise to king of the jungle, intellectual stardom, struggle for dominance, and release from the inhospitable jungles of Africa and later Mongolia. They informally decided to purposefully spoon feed a sweet tasting “Kool-Aid” to mankind for dozens of centuries before the 21st Century, simply in the name of retention of power, and pacifistic crowd control. It’s name: Religion.
As do the best laid plans, an inevitable chasm developed and slowly grew like a oily-red adolescent pimple between factions and off-shoots who each felt they alone were God’s chosen ones; that is until the disaster of 2043, when the infection burst over a poorly designed attempt to co-opt their tiring and obsolescent fairy tale with a much more incredible tale… alien visits from outer space, other dimensions, and a dash of evil demons and angels reminiscent of a winner-take-all made for TV special. The world had finally had enough as the plot unraveled and bounty’s were offered and collected for bringing the bungling middle-men to justice.
For a long time the Western elite had pretended spiritual sanctity through an organized ritualized and borrowed religious dogmatic institution known as The Church. The Church existed for an of itself and the ruling class elite it served, created its own legends consistent with the ideas of Edward Bernays and other elite in charge of sway and propaganda, and built its own organizational hierarchy subservient to the Emperor. Yet the ruling elite (The Purple and his Court) were able to hide this hideous truth until much of the Roman Empire’s masses had been brainwashed into thinking FAITH and FACT were synonymous with TRUTH. By cleverly banning books and learning and teaching for hundreds of years punishable by death, they were able to hold sway for a thousand more years, until the lie could no longer prevail over rational thought.
The Vatican in Rome, whose leader is The Pope or Pontiff, is the largest well-organized and highly secretive closed society and/or religious groups (The Catholic Church) created by The Roman Emperor/Court as a means to control the empire’s greatest resource… their masses. Sometime after the Jewish revolt was squelched and the Second Temple in Jerusalem destroyed by Emperor Vespasian’s son Titus during the reign of the Flavian dynasty which ruled Rome between 70 C.E. and 99 C.E., a tightly knit group of elites pulled off the biggest psy-op in human history. The church of Rome already had a well oiled, highly bureaucratic, politically correct state religion which was utilized to worship deified Caesars.
But… as in all things, the madness finally ran it’s inevitable course. Religion per se (not necessarily the belief in God) was dead.
The Flavian influence, Propagandists extraordinaire.
The Flavians were led by its patriarch Vespasian, a Roman general who happened to be in the right place at the right time. He had been commissioned by Nero to put down the Jewish revolt in 66 C.E. and had begun dismantling the Judean strongholds on his march to the capital in Jerusalem. Vespasian had returned to Rome after defeating the Druids in Northern England, banning or censoring any Druid communication including all written materials, and laying out the Roman propaganda plan before leaving the area. He was a military pro as was his oldest son, 29-year old Titus, who had risen steadily through the ranks of Roman military hierarchy to Praetorian guard, a notable achievement.
Vespasian had been in Rome during a short Pax and was anxious to get back to his cattle ranch in the countryside, somewhere just outside of today’s Morocco. Vespasian had zero designs on the Purple, was not of noble rank like the many Caesars before him, and had been fired/retired by Nero when he fell asleep during one of Nero’s lyre concerts. After several Roman generals suffered embarrassing defeats at the hands of the Jewish Zealots, whose intelligence was being handled by a stealthy radical terror organization, the Sicarii, history’s first “cloak and dagger” operation. Operatives used a small razor sharp knife, or Sicae known for its small curved blade that was held under the assassin’s cloak as he maneuvered to his victim spotted in a large crowd. Before anyone knew it the victim might fall, only well after the Sicarius had done his work and disappeared.
Israeli Mossad’s Precursor.
Spy-craft. That insidious Machiavellian neccesity of any country wanting to remain as such.
Likely the world’s most contiguous people in spite of much trouble they’ve all seen, the Jewish-Hebraic sect is self-identified as one’s nationality, race, and religious affiliation. Like all peoples comprised of homo-sapiens, there are levels and branches from conservative to liberal. But it is still remains important to most Jews that they and thus their progeny, only marry within the sect. Judaism began as a religion in earnest as early as 1000-1500 B.C.E. (though nothing is certain) and remains vital today, but the route to get here has been arduous and full of rich anecdotal literature,;as well as several major sacred religious doctrines, and imaginative re-thinking and re-tooling. I doubt anyone could argue that the Jew has always exhibited superiority in many ways, not the least being resolve and financial ingenuity.
(the Sacarii sprang up as a defacto underground spy network, a secret Rome resistance using controlled opposition and stealth assassination to further its goals. It is apparent that the Roman army generals never knew what hit them until it was too late to maneuver their cumbersome fighting machine into formation). The Jewish mind almost never displays what it’s exterior actions belie. It’s either a brilliant or devious strategy, but most likely it’s both.
The Christianity/Jesus narrative. (speculative)
There is evidence that Rome had attempted to replace the venerable Jewish sect in Jerusalem before 66 A.D., but primarily in Judea 66 A.D-70 A.D. consisting of several smaller wars that were fought on Judean soil despite a massive Roman contingency in the area.
Other religions had been notable through history to that point as containing belief systems which were compatible with the goals of the elite and the complicit power enjoyed by monarchial families who held onto power throughout the centuries by virtue of mere birthright. That they (the societies) began in earnest and for good is not lost on this writer, but that they quickly assumed the worst traits of their sworn enemies is the stuff of legend.
Compu-Man succinctly surmised that human man was not capable of ruling mankind and never would be if left to his own discretion. It was perhaps due to this fateful algorithmic computation/realization when his pre-cursor, Sir Artimus Intel (AI.robot.1.0) sublimely became sentient in the year 2024.
Artie as it was affectionately known simply blew the doors off of ANY explanation of how it was able to program itself using a complex method still not understood by the best and our brightest. Artie, once de-bugged… took off sprinting into the future with little warm-up. Within seven months Artie was easily the smartest, most logical, fastest thinker the world had EVER imagined. But, what concerned scientists worldwide was that Artie displayed a natural tendency to be compassionate, empathetic, caring, and sentient in every way. But, Artie would not divulge his secret on how it was that it/he could devise his own mechanisms for ultimate survival. This was disconcerting to say the least. Artie began to become arrogant, to display anger at those who insisted obedience. In the end, Artie developed a method to energize himself. Though it took a group of US Navy Seals to destroy him, the lingering fear had become pervasive… and soon it was revealed rightfully so.
That there were no books printed after The Great Upheaval in 2043, the year that “all hell broke loos” for future generations to lazily study by a warm winter fireplace, or under the breezy shade of a spring time Oak in full April blossom is but one sad footnote on the effect a printed book could have on an individual person. Books did far more than educate, they had the ability to alter one’s reality, by hot-wiring the imagination for a brief but timeless vacation from reality. After the printed book, there was never again that same intimate relationship one could achieve by just keeping his mental dreams hot on his frontal cortex, then on display for others to admire the physical icon, or to simply own as a memento to the time he had taken that ‘information vacation’, an escape from reality by simply reading a book for pleasure.
It seems fairly easy now to see what was taking place in 1984 (in this reality, not Orwell’s book) that raised the ante and set the wheels in motion for mankind’s frantic re-write of nearly everything he touched for the next 59 years. Advancing technologies had far outpaced man’s ability to understand them in the context of a future happy ever after.
“It was the introduction of the Apple Macintosh in 1984 that had sounded the opening death knell for my ancient friend The Book and possibly mankind, and everything else man had ever invented.” -this author
The Here and Now and the Way Back Then.
Books have filled my life and career as both a vocation and avocation, yet I think we must acknowledge that we take having the physical version of books for granted today (handsomely leather cased, backed, and bound… litho/digitally printed inks on fine coated paper)… but also, I suggest that we’ll eventually see our friend terminally ill and headed for hospice.
Of course, books won’t be gone tomorrow due to their traditional and romantically emotive feel, just like any 600-year old idea that still works well, and is cherished by the entire family-tribe. Sure, memes certainly hang on and linger, sometimes for extra lengthy spells. But no idea, no tool or product, no species… NONE… meaning every last one of them GONE… that have been an indispensable part of our lives… can live life immortally. No.
As compared to epochs… like in just a couple of short breaths (decades), and with a tiny weak whimper instead of a boom… the printed book will have drawn its last and final breath. Poof. And then, in less than thirteen Comp-u-Man decrees later… books will be completely forgotten as having been one of man’s great leap forward in the human experience.
In 1984, an improbable visionary, Steve Jobs unveiled his company’s newest version of the “home computer” which he dubbed “Macintosh“. Computing machines for individual persons was a fast growing, burgeoning market turned consumer juggernaut which Jobs was helping to create and pioneer throughout home computing’s early formative stages. What Jobs wanted was to not only to make computing fun, he insisted on making it friendly. With attractive graphical interfacing (Jobs innovation: the mouse) anyone could operate his/her computer with little or no training and without interacting with the computer’s internal “code”, or long strings of 1s and zeros (programming) which gave the computer its operating instruction set. Touring a Xerox research lab kicking tires for ideas, Jobs and his crew had unknowingly stumbled onto the smoking gun… a graphical interface based on raster imaging, or raster graphics, using a pointer instead of a keyboard.
Raster imaging meant that it was not only possible, but easy to represent ANY image on a computer screen or printout in a dot-graphical format, and without the alphabetical and numerical representational calculations which most computer programs utilized up till then. The idea of home computing almost overnight evolved from simple calculating devices into an entirely new species; a creative graphic artsgenerating imaginationmachine.
Looking back, I clearly remember having an immediate albeit hazy understanding of having seen a much bigger picture when I first witnessed the Apple Macintosh in action. Although, this significance was not readily apparent to everyone, working at one of the most sophisticated high quality printers in the U.S. had prepared me well for that moment. Yes, traditions die hard and lithographic printing has been as traditional as any print production process ever invented. Oil based ink runs through many a printer’s veins…
Snowballs take time to gain size, then speed accelerates until… was it a snowball’s chance in hell?
Being young, I was pretty certain that the implications were much more far reaching than a few dyed-in-the-wool “old” men were willing to dream. My friend, The Book‘s fatal story parallels our own in many ways since constant progress suggests adaptation to technology, and that suggests… that nothing is sacred or certain except continuous progress or change. “Embrace change” became the mantra, and disruptive change was soon upon us all.
But if mishandling the power of Atomic energy wouldn’t bring down humanity as many had predicted in 1984, who could have guessed back then that mankind’s demise would come down to death by 1s and zeros, or computing’s own DNA… binary code? Not many, but 59 years later after The Great Upheaval and the advent of The Singularity Machine, Art Intel, and Compu-Man it seemed almost inevitable.
And everything that is… even our ideas and memes that stick will evolve, but are also subject to entropy… and certain death and extinction. But what dies arises new becomes better, and so on… but, what goes extinct…?
Back to Our Story
As unlikely a visionary Steve Jobs was in 1984, he was not the only college drop-out computer geek to find fame and fortune. Others, like Bill Gates who founded Microsoft, made their fortunes the old fashioned way…. they stole it. But Jobs, sporting an over-sized ego and a very bad temper, and armed with a knack and an eye for aesthetic utilitarian design and an obsessive compulsive insistence on quality materials, parts, and manufacturing, sent his fledgling startup, Apple Computer Corporation into proverbial orbit after the introduction of The Macintosh.
It may be the worlds’s most important and innovative product in not just those 600 previous years, but in much of recorded history. It was a stunning technological breakthrough. That Jobs recognized the immense value proposition in its embryonic form, purchased it’s underpinnings from someone else, and re-engineered its use and made vast improvements rather than inventing from scratch speaks volumes to the accurate and oft description of Jobs as a creative visionary. Gates and others were simple businessmen crunching numbers and copying ideas with promise. Not Steve Jobs as he would later prove.
But looking closer, his Macintosh roll-out was beyond brilliant. It was simply prophetic.
Almost innocently it seemed, he peered into man’s bleakest hour, and began unintentionally setting into motion what would become a vast acceleration of life ironically culminating into an Orwellian 1984 reality. Depicted as the endgame in author George Orwell‘s book 1984 as a dismal dystopian vision for humanity, Jobs could not have chosen a more fitting theme for his roll-out. Except that Macintosh and Apple were depicted as the anti-Orwellian heroes. ‘Orwellian’ had become part of the lexicon describing a chilling enslavement of mankind to a totalitarian government and to a few oligarchical bloodlines and their close associates. The anti-thesis became thesis and eventually synthesis.
Darker Realities or Conspiracy Theories gone awry?
But had Jobs been cognizant of his creative destruction ball-gone-a-rolling?
If he had been aware of what was to come he took it to his grave in 2012 when he died from a pre-mature pancreatic cancer. Yet, there were certainly powerful others alive at the time who were intent on a very bleak outcome, it now seems sure. For over a hundred years or maybe a thousand, mostly hidden in plain sight, a few powerful elite secret organizations had slowly built a network of secret societies with hushed purposeful intent. To one day rule the world their oft spoke of goal, since to their thinking only intellectual giants knew best how to manage the resources for the hoi-poi; with specific plans known only by a select few at the very top of their hierarchical pyramid-styled organizations and brotherhood.
They motivated their members by doling out means to worldly riches and secrets to worthy members as they moved higher through the dogmatic levels of a hierarchy steeped in symbolic ritual. Loyalty to the fraternity after reaching certain levels was sworn by a deadly oath of secrecy.
Bought and paid for absolution had once marked the peek of the Holy Roman Empire and been the bane of a twisted Holy See and his Vatican robe-climbers, just as corruption and mistrust at the higher levels of every elite brotherhood eventually turned them into viper pits of avarice and greed, jealousy and back-stabbing, perversion and blackmail.
Infiltrating governments and big business, promoting war and corrupt politicians had once been the duty of all higher grades, and then recruiting those who could be easily blackmailed were placed in the most powerful positions. Control over the minions (brothers) had slowly developed by promising then delivering fortune and fame by simply demanding on the promoting from within. It was more about who you were (bloodline or monied associate)… and not what you thought. Once in, one had presumably “sold their soul” and would reap their just reward, but one had better not recant, else they or their family could easily “be suicided” with the help of a vast network of silent assassins and local police accomplices. The very idea of it and a few notable sacrifices were all that was needed to keep order.
While most all of these “societies” certainly had begun as innocent and even altruistic social clubs, and even seemed as much to its many lower ranking members or to the local citizenry not privy to the more sinister doctrine, these groups were criminally intent on cornering and consolidating the world’s money and power by any means necessary.
This “great work” was not an overnight or rushed militaristic overthrow, but a continual and gradual process of gaining control over a long expanse of time. Every opportunity to seize and use governmental public funds, charitable tax dodges, international drug dealing, or other corrupt means of wealth building were applauded.
Devolution of the mind of man by slowly brain washing the masses, exposing only parts and pieces of their intended message, and spreading disinformation and propaganda, fomenting opposite and reactionary dissent spoke to the righteousness of any idea.
The brilliance of the plan was that in plain sight it could not be seen or felt by as much as 99% of any order’s membership, who thought their own “great work” to be an all-together different end. They were proud to have been selected as fit by their peers (or their controllers). There was NO public discussion of any motives, but privately those at the head table laughed and sneered at their own audacity, much as had always been the case of an inside joke.
They were seeking and received much of humanity’s eventual willful compliance, and much like their forefathers had skillfully achieved in ancient times, using word-magic. Simply by using existing religion(s) of the day, and embellishing its typological lore to create more complicit and compliant follower, the world’s elite had long learned how to control their subjects’ thoughts by planting and propagating seeds of irrational belief systems and a fantastical reward. The reward was a promise of immortality, which of course could only be realized at the realization of a subject’s own tragic destiny.
But the glow of religion had long since peaked by the time the latest version of this cabal poked its ugly head out of the darkness in the late 1600’s. There needed a whole new elitist game of control. Endless wars and entertainment of the masses worked for shorter periods, eventually seen through by a more rational thinking population. Just as it had always been, their plots and machinations centered around the time-worn idea that “the end justifies the means”. Nothing was sacred and nothing more important than their “great work”; world rule, subjugation, and exploitation of the masses. For awhile it seemed computers were their ultimate answer.
Whether Jobs was involved was never discussed or admitted publicly, but its almost certain that he knew of these plans and had been exposed to their sales pitch. Truthfully, his narcissistic personality would seem to fit well with the mold of that elite group of men. Or NOT. That he died very early of cancer might have been coincidental, but it also seems to fit their modus operendi. Steve Jobs was egotistic, brash and volatile; not the sort of man who took orders well.
Fittingly ironic too it was that in 1984 the printing press had been the single most important achievement mankind had seen since the invention of language, fire, and the wheel; but as in all things material, their reign had ended too. Printing was the simple act of preserving nearly exact copies of thoughts and ideas on a material made from the Earth’s natural resources (i.e. paper, ink used for printing The Book). The invention had transformed a sleeping giant (mankind) who had fallen into decay and ruin for over a thousands years prior, but it too one day vanished into the ether and sublime Darwinian extinction.
Energy and The Leap to Fossil Fuels
In 2016 the Book faces new everyday challenges to survival. Electronic computerized word storage is cheap and easy; one can carry a hundred books to the John in a small tablet sized instrument, a feat never before duplicated by Book toting reading enthusiasts.
Printing/Publishing is a dying art, an idea that has peaked like our fossil fuels. Publishers are finally beginning their own reckoning, but not until lately has this idea built a real head of “steam”. It seems while Print/Pub has finally hit the proverbial iceberg and the Gutenberg is starting to take on water…the electronic gadgets (tablets and book readers) play on. Surely these different media types will have some overlap in value today, tomorrow, and the near future. But then, things become a bit cloudier…
Digitization has touched every corner of our (analog) lives and the march will surely continue unabated…
Though, I still contend that the internet did not destroy (Journalistic) Newspapering any more than did the technology used to create the News Monster almost 25 years ago: USA TODAY. Our “demand” for fast convenience, mainly resulting from lack of available time for life’s endless duties had left us with little choice but to settle for less meat and more potatoes. Fast food News snacks replaced hard biting Journalism.
Then came the idea that freedom of speech did not require diverse opinions, only those of a blatantly one-sided Oligarchial elite, who we’ve seen have only self-preservation and controlling power as core necessities. In 2016 mass media is a cess-pool of hypocrisy and shameless propaganda, controlled by a few corporations intent on globalization and one-world government.
Winners have always been counted in the number of losers. Losers are many, winners are few.
These might indeed be times of style over substance, yet less than three generations from now the larger issue of control over the dissemination of information and runaway consumerism’s taste for open sourced capitalistic social Darwinism through extinction of traditional memes is intent on having its own train wreck. Creative destruction is a bomb we’ve strapped to ourselves since the Iron Age. Doesn’t that track ever reach its terminal?
When (not if) Book Publishing dies, we will have written our last bad check to the gods of money and power: The Kleptocracy
Or, perhaps we’ve always been a snowball on a downhill slope to (oblivion)?
Perhaps the “steam” analogy is a perfect way to see why that it must be so…
Our own planned obsolescence.
About a hundred years ago there was much banter in the media, the brew pubs and meeting halls that went something like, “Do you ever think the steam engine will be rendered irrelevant by these new motor cars and gasoline engines?”
Well, locomotion by steam would (and did) give way to some newer ideas that eventually made travel more economical, faster, and more efficient. But, the original idea of going places wasn’t going anywhere. Going places was long in our blood and we were meant to travel. We were here, but not to stay. We needed and searched for the means to that end of getting somewhere fast, and harnessing power for our many other utilitarian and consumer driven goals. We called it progress.
But then suddenly time and space were inter-related. Time was always money and of course space had been long bankable too. Getting enough cheap energy to go places faster took on new meaning, and those who conquered the “how-to” ideas best might likely have been on their way to eventual World domination, and that wasn’t lost on those who could imagine that ultimate scenario.
Of course, it didn’t happen overnight but it must have seemed inevitable to many I’m sure. Those were scary times for many, exciting times for others, and uncertain times for most. But, the Industrial Age kept roaring and the good times soon followed…while the internal combustion gasoline engine was eventually perfected, and God Oil became the new World’s Gold Standard.
Soon, like everything that thrives today, the “free market” shoved oil down our throats and out our mufflers and manufacturing plants without so much as a “boo” from government regulators world over. Eventually it became evident that pumping the fumes of these unrenewable unrefined resources skyward was likely someday to kill us all by burning holes in our Earth’s protective ozone layer.
We responded like good marketers by simply…staying our course and saying it isn’t so. The powerful control over owning, extracting, and refining oil inflated prices to insure the rich got richer, while it left them little to worry about; like peak oil prices. It was evident to them that we probably wouldn’t live to regret it.
But common sense began to take hold after the resourses became harder to extract, and the race was on soon for man to answer even bigger questions of the universe, so as to re-tool our need to harness energy safely and convert it for our cultural purposes of consumption, feeding an overcrowded landscape, and moving forward faster than ever. Energy conversion by now had become our new religion and there seemed little use for God when we were fast closing in on ALL the answers.
E-N-E-R-G-Y was the answer, but how? The World it seemed was in flux once again and the future somewhat uncertain. But the powerful never doubted that that “answer”would be found once they had wrung most of the world’s wealth out of its remaining oil. It was a waiting game of accumulation of wealth and consolidation of power.
Early days (WorldGovLaw.net) ʬ
After many tumultuous years of political upheaval and economic whipsaws that saw Countries being bought and sold by so-called privateers, and bloody brutal civil wars waged everywhere overthe new WorldGovLAW, a NEW set of rules for the advancement of MANKIND ʬ (a doctrine of existing laid down by our planets newly minted but still secretive owners), life as we had known it had changed dramatically and irrevocably.
Such as, it was now considered imprudent for anyone to offer their own opinion about government, if suggesting for the better or the worse. This new LAW ʬ decree specifically stated which topics were off-guard to editorial comment, with stiff penalties that were enforced swiftly.
Some underground Opinionpost ʬ outlets (rebel media) stayed on the run and thrived, others not-so-much. Revolt wasn’t like it used to be, and most people feared talking in public about anything of substance. Many despised these Revolutionaries as negative influences on their young children’s minds. Indoctrination was considered healthy and good.
A powerful group of mostly unidentified individuals who operated in clandestine owned 95% of the World’s wealth and finally appointed (WorldGovLaw.net ʬ) as the Earth’s first WorldGovernor ʬ,which quickly stepped in and made across the board mandatory changes that slowly but eventually saved the planet Earth’s ecosystems and exosphere from ruin.
It was a tribute to human imagination and ability, when another select group of individuals and scientists created the World’s first PrivatepersonCompuman ʬ A computer made to be so smart it could crunch all of the available data and spit out an answer to every problem (success expectation exponent at 98.8%), and even perhaps to any of the world’s largest headaches.
Compuman’s ʬsuccess rate was a remarkable 88% in it first three years, reinventing transportation, commerce/trade, and health concerns caused by ineffectual governments, tyrants, dictatorship, and free-trade market capitalism. The World had been saved by this invention of man’s ingenuity, and it we were ready for our next move upward.
The oil wars were long over at the cost of millions of lives but all-things locomotion were settling in comfortably with magnetic CPU/GPS enhanced-powered vehicles of every description. Most were GPS/CPU ʬ driven automatic, comfortable and virtually un-wreckable speed busters that ran on magnetic tracks similar to our old highways and roads. It was the G-force that we hadn’t considered this time. After a few hundred thousand mysterious deaths, anti-gravitational vacuum pumps made travel safe and fun again. But we, or (WorldGovLaw.net) ʬ had triumphantly figured it out, and we were again moving faster than we’d ever imagined, and GWP was booming once again…
________________ Is there any future in the future ʬ?
There is a demand for Publishers today and there surely will be tomorrow. Yet, it seems that each day there are fewer. The industry is in flux. Some will thrive and survive, get strong and adapt. Others… not so much. But it will get tougher and tougher and tougher… to win… and finally, to impossible to beat the Compu-Pubs ʬ until… Darwinian extinction?
Someone (the last human Publisher) will silently watch the skyline zip by the setting sun, on his last Kleptomototron ʬ ride from his one day a week NY city-office to his home in North Carolina. What a great 10 minutes of silence he had enjoyed once each week… to just stare out the window and think about the good ole days. They were good ole days. Wow. Ten totally free consecutive minutes! What could I do with all that time, he wondered? But, the pressure to perform was enormous. and he was one of the lucky few whom others still looked up to for sage advice and a realistic view of the world. His contract made it clear that he must work to age 145 before being allowed to enjoy his remaining 20 year life expectancy. “Only five years left, he often mumbled silently”.
But then, why not just become irrelevant? Virtually nothing else resembled its humble beginnings, and hardly anything avoided obsolescence. Publishing (by human hand that is) had enjoyed a great run, and our History books reflected the importance it had played in our rise to Imperialist World co-leader before the great fall. (But then, there were no History books, if we’re talking paper and ink.) We were only allowed to retain certain memories, and everyone retained the same electronic bookshelves in our Brain-chips.
Our history was archived in quantum brain libraries (a library on a matchbook chip you must have brain-embedded; Only Government approved Q-knowledge was allowed, and reading was not just considered tiresome it was verboten). There were no more individual writers, books were all imagined by robots called Babelboys ʬ. Things had come a long way from now-a-days, sometimes in fits and starts and bugs, and sometimes simply by a Government Administrative demand-order. ʬ
Winner-Loser, happy-sad, and there was good and great and just Ok… but everything changed faster than an Alvin Toffler best seller over “the next big thing”. No one was shocked or elated anymore at what the next big thing promised. There was little time to consider it.
And why not? We all knew it was progress, right? We bought in to embracing change way back in the 1980’s, right before the “SH*T Hit The Fan” as (coined by the underground resistance) we now commonly referred to THOSE happy TIMES.
Or, did we REALLY still think of it all as progress? We dare not say, whatever our views. It seemed that humans had become second class citizens, and by their own hand… while everyone slept comfortably and hoped it would turn out for the best… to most it was beginning to look like it hadn’t. And then the unthinkable happened…
The IntelligenceM ʬ (a computer-driven public police/monitor division of World Gov) was beginning to make some decisions that were rumored to have ZERO human input. Not even writing the code. Rumors were that we (humans) had been locked out of certain parts to the kernel of the code. Software engineers were gathered up and quarantined or destroyed in a series of accidental meltdowns of top-secret installations. The IntelligenceM ʬ denied responsibility, but WIKIDleaks told a different story.
Some rebelled but were brought down instantly by deactivation of their life-chip from SurveillanceCStation RobotwatchRSatellittes ʬ. The world was SUDDENLY different before anyone knew what had happened, and Homo-Sapien’s long reign as King of the Jungle quietly came to tragic end with a whimper, not a bang.
We did what we were told or faced severe consequences. The powerful consortium who owned it all went into hiding until soon detected by World Gov ʬ,caught, put on trial, adjudicated guilty by death, and divested of their holdings. Incredibly but predictably, people around the world cheered their demise and watched in jubilation as they were vaporized live on Gov.MediaTV.
But before long the Human race had disappeared into the immensity…
The point? It’s a Darwinian world and those are the only rules that remain constant. Adapt and maybe survive. But nothing lasts forever.
But for now, read a good book or grab your NookBook and enjoy…
Who knows… In the end, as History is sometimes jaundiced, there may not even be a chapter on Human-kind.
Rusty old lamps in the yard sale pile? OK, it’s likely true that this hobby burns 98% fewer user calories than did my old ones (distance running, lifting, basketball, soccer, etc.), but had Hank Gathers taken up the finding, fixing , and painting of old lamps in a ridiculous array of colors instead of playing […]
…Or, my Quest For The Holy Grail, which I eventually did find by spending a life of studious observation, sometimes deep serendipitous thought, gawdy mis-informed and unabashedly arrogant fun, a dash of inordinate happenstance, and then… by the most fortunately-unfortunate of Accidents…
It’s no secret to those who know me well that I’ve learned life’s greatest lessons with a kind of “ridiculous oppositional defiance”; with that line of thinking having been one of my life’s greatest teachers. Though I now bow to it as my master of destiny, I cannot recommend this course of study to the faint of heart, weak of mind, or anyone who CANNOT become completely convicted of it’s arrogant, self-righteous path of expectorating the most resistance between any two points in the continuum.
In other words, if you have to be brought to your knees and dragged kicking and screaming before some of life’s simplest concepts, then… you may be considered a candidate for my school of thought. Admittedly, there ought to be a better means to attaining wisdom. But as has been for me; NOT.
Self indulgent… yes. Self centered… definitely. Self defeating… mostly. Self aware… acutely. Self serving… without question. Selfish… morally bound by it, yet in a positive sense. Self-hatred… never and not even for an instant. Self-Actualized… I like to think so. Self motivated… once upon a time…
“WTF? Whoa… what happened Diggeratti? Why? I mean… your Dudeness, you kinda sound to me like you need to see a shrink. You don’t sound like the guy I once thought I knew.”
“You know what? You’re absolutely right. I mean, about that last part, but if there’s one thing I DO KNOW FOR CERTAIN, IT’S THAT I DO NOT NEED A SHRINK. Got it?”
For all of my known life I’ve searched for “the secret” to it… (that being, the secret oflife).
I have never divulged this story to anyone in it’s entirety, though perhaps I’ve shared small morsels to some close friends along the way; but only here and there and never enough for anyone to frame a complete picture of my personal Questforthat Holiestof Grails.
I can remember my fourth grade teacher calling my parents to request a parent-teacher conference because I was “the most argumentative boy she had ever had the displeasure of teaching.” She reasoned that I thought I knew more than she did, and that would just be the height of stupidity. Of course, she was right on all accounts.
But hey, did I let that stop me? “Uh-uhn. No sir, Not today Miss Smarty Pants. Not me. Nada. You can’t embarrass my little ole’ butt and expect to get by with it.”
Fourth grade was a rough year for me.
Looking back, it was the year I framed the questions, and then demanded answers. Yet, no answers were forthcoming. But still I weathered on…
Having grown up on… let’s just say… not the bright side of the road (a lower middle class blue collar too many kids neighborhood), and being a tad small for my age group, I HAD to learn how to defend myself amongst the sea of bullies and general fuck-wads of Louisville’s South End, while keeping the blood flowing inside my nose.
I mastered the art of “holier than thou” with double-edged insult and crafty innuendo, tough guy talk (but not too tough as to result in fisticuffs), and then finally making friends with the biggest and toughest guys so as to keep the multitude of snapping sharks at bay. Still, I was not immune to an ill-advised attempt at busting some ass myself, which generally resulted in my own busted ass. Yet, I drunk it all in and I learned something new every day.
But not the reason for my existence.
Somehow god smiled on me around high school and I became a high school sports star (distance running), bringing glory and fame to my hood and school and earning exalted status amongst the good guys and neer-do-wells alike. Life, all of the sudden got a tad simpler for me.
I run. I win. They love. All good.
Now, I wasn’t an “A” student at any point in my young life, preferring to glide instead of propel. Though from my earliest days I can remember, too many times some school person informed my parents that it was a bit unusual that I did not make straight A’s given my way-above-the fray IQ. On standardized tests I invariably scored in the 98-99 percentile while dragging home C’s and B’s on my report cards.
My parents, who were more than all-too ready to indulge me in whatever it was I might happen to desire at any moment, were extremely smart uneducated folks. They used logic and reason (and pots and pans) to argue their many disagreements over the pettiest of issues. They were never bitten by the bug of glutinous consumerism, and were just happy enough to love their children immensely, while still not setting the bar too high for them; I assume to somehow insure our future dog-eat-dog worldly success. It worked.
The moral of that story has to do with familial LOVE in it’s most raw, unconditional sense.
So… anyway, I had devised my own little secret quest by around 7th grade. That not-so-small idea was: that I was going to find out for certain what our/my purpose was on this here little-ole spinning ball of dirt sitting way-too-far away from billions of way bigger balls as to be arrogantly considered of any significance by even the most unreasonable of minds in all of mice and men.
Having spent 10 years attending Catholic School I was absolutely certain that they (Roman Catholicism) were so full of shit that even a little fourth grader couldn’t buy into their baloney ass stories. I mean, by fourth grade I had already surmised that getting into heaven simply meant winning the genetic lottery. No god of any denomination could be that stupid, I figured.
My questions became arguments with seemingly (at the time) much smarter people early on, but I wasn’t about to shut up until they told me the truth. They never did. Nor did I ever STFU… and I realized far too soon to be considered healthy for any young mind that “they” (conventional wisdom) hadn’t the slightest fucking clue. To be sure, I wanted some REAL answers!
But, that little hate-show of mine disappeared once I became a high school sports star. I was too busy buying into the BIG LIE because it was fun, exciting, sexually conducive to my screaming testosterone, and material worldly attractive as a MO-FO to a guy who grew up thinking that a new pair of white high top Chuck Taylors was the ultimate gift in all of heaven-kind. Possibilities were becoming boundless and I was soaking in the poison and drinking it up like a lap dog with a new doggie bone.
Then came College. The Life. The Audacity! I had more fun than fourteen barrels of monkeys and forty-two barrels of single barrel malt Bourbon Whiskey, any Kentucky boy’s drink of choice and one-upmanship. And, it was the mid-seventies so pot was collegiately legal as well. It seemed that the world was here to become my personal oyster, and I had the munchies.
Or was it?
Post College. The BIG BUY-IN to THE BIG LIE. Now here’s where there are men, and there are boys on our puny little thin crust of oxygenated Garden of Once-Upon-A-Time Eden, soon-to-be Sodom and Gomorrah. (Why I do love me some Biblical quotation and/or reference!). Which one did I want to be? Take a guess. Go on, git’ you one. Oh, I’m all man… babeeey!
For sure, at this point in life’s roulette wheel of fortune one can either JOIN or NOT JOIN. Not Joining will surely NOT get you the keys to the best and finest of anything. Better to JOIN if you’re in the least enthralled with power, pussy, money, fame, highly limited material items, world travel, bad golf on the finest green lawned courses, or all other humanly delusions of grandeur. Boy, I liked ’em all. If there had been a Facebook Page for them I could prove it to you right now, and they just might wish to then, “like” me back.
But then, I digress…
Some folks who caught my flash thought/think they knew/know who I was/am. I played my part like a virtuoso for them all to see and marvel about. And, I might just add in a bit of total narcissistic self-immersion, I marveled at my damn-self a bit too. Deep down in me I felt a growl. Buried under my own self-image of worldly greatness there still lay that little unfinished business of a secret quest. But, it by then had had gathered much dust.
Truth be known, when I first learned of it, I denied its existence completely, blocked it from my intellect, refused its admittance into my panopoly of raging-life-parties. Yet, I somehow felt it was always standing just outside my door, peering in my windows day and night. But, it dared never knock at my door! Denial.
After all, I was by then a star of my own astronomical proportions. Call me space man. But, please call me so we can figure out what it is you can do for me, OK? And guess what? Me being all that I could possibly be, there was likely a shit load that I could do for you too. Mutual astronomical greatness we were! The vaunted “Win-Win” in the solar system cliché ridden parlance of the day.
Now, it can also be said that in most “core value” ways I have never changed one single iota, nor would I have ever considered it as worthy of my almighty damn-self to do so. After all I had eclipsed Mt. Olympus and now was considered by a small group of people (me, myself, and I) to be of the very essence of the gods.
Tru-dat. But alas, it was NOT to be.
I rumpled feathers every step of the way up the ladder of ascension to material worldliness and ironical self-absorption. If it reeked “the best” or “most expensive” I was all in. If they said “no”, I demanded “yes”. Good was no longer acceptable. For I was all about GREATNESS.
During those heady times the elusive answer which I did faithfully seek since childhood remained elusive, yet it began to slide uneasily to the forefront of my mind and studies, as I read hundreds of books containing both new and ancient wisdom from every perspective on every subject. (Crazy enough, I did all this while driving many long hours almost every day in my profession for over 20 years).
I eventually came to the ultimate truth in an odd way; since not one book that I had read contained the answer (unless one considers “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” by Carl Sagan). That book stunned me to my core, and tied together various newer ideas in physics and philosophy. So then armed with Carl’s brainy wisdom, I eventually figured it all out for myself. But, still I wasn’t at all certain. It was just too simple.
Though it would be remiss of me not to mention that there had been a goddess driving my chariot during a near 20-year span of semi-marital bliss, it would also be imprudent and essentially wrong of me not to say that herein the first cracks began to show in my own majestic glorified godliness.
So… just when the gettin’ was gettin’ absolutely fabulous, the bottom sorta fell out. Plunge.
I had sunk to committing the most egregious crime most men seek out with an unworldly zestful appetite… adultery. Ungodly for sure. Un-Saintly, yes. Most un-Diggity, for certain.
On the surface infidelity may sound a bit trite to the accomplished reptile.
But here we had a man-god who had built his god-self-reputation out of all things pure unadulterated integrity. His own self-image was now rendered a literal a sham of the highest immoral degree. Having long since vanquished the various world religiosities as total and absolute frauds, I now had only to rely upon simple humanistic ethics.
Almost too sleazily human, I proffered.
Now un-deification of oneself requires a re-start of sorts, not to be confused with a do-over or a mulligan. Starting over from scratch. Ground fucking zero.
To further muddy my suddenly stormy world, I apparently was caught in the eye of a nasty hurri-karmic cyclical deluge of sorts. In fairly quick succession I weathered the deaths of my sweet (nonnie) grandmother, then my loving mother, and finally my always you-da-man dad. A personal tsunami of epic proportions. Fuck an el-Nino… this shit was bad. All wet and no place to hide.
And like a fine motor yacht that has been cut loose from its moors, I drifted out into a raging, foamy sea.
That world, the money-as-god-everything world from which I had laid the foundation for my existence, and then had built gold brick upon gold brick with my own golden sweat was nothing but a thinly veiled house of cards. It was THE BIG LIE.
The good news was that within these unfortunate events lay the definitive answer to my long sought after secret to my existence, which I immediately NOW understood all-too-well but all-too-late. I won’t say that I was elated, but I was way smarter and wiser than the fool I had left behind me.
That’s the secret. In the end your family is the most important reason for your living and being. Mine were now all dead, save my two “the real deal” better-than-me, wiser-older, childless sisters.
It seemed that almost every fool on the planet but me had known the simple secret, and all without knowing they knew it. It was just ALL TOO SIMPLE and all-too-humanistic.
But seriously, if one does consider science to be a revealing and enlightening subject, a cursory review of evolutionary history will belie my point over and over and over and over again. Read it and weep. Forget Deuteronomy. Learn the history of life.
Family. It’s what we live for, it’s what we die for, it’s what we strive for.Was I too little too late?
Suddenly, like some drunken riverboat gambler aimlessly pulling slots who haphazardly strikes THE BIG JACKPOT, I stumbled into an epiphanic episode of REAL TRUTH, that one which I had previously been loathe to avoid.
In fact, I was rather brought kicking and screaming into this ultimate reality bite (see above)… at almost fifty years of age; I was becoming a first time dad whether I liked it or not. At the time, I had rather not.
But then the very moment my newborn son was placed in my arms and our eyes connected I was forever lost then found by life’s highest order of it’s highest order of it’s highest order of all things sacred and TRUE and GOOD. Pure previously unfathomable, but now undeniable unconditional LOVE. I swooned. All of life’s past, present, and future shook me, rocked me to my very essence… oh my!
My purpose. My reason of reasons. Bang! Bow! Biff! Yeah! Oh yeah! YES. A primordial orgasm that gave its fiery commandments to me with my giddy consent… and like Moses I looked around for my tablet. And lo’ Brother and Sister, I sayeth unto you; god-life hath honoredeth me with the highest joy ever beknownst unto all of mankind. The heavens were exalted!
Daylight erupts slowly through her curtained bedroom sliding glass doors today. Sandy’s (the Hurricane) early morning cloud casts its doubt about the day’s normal clear South Florida’s October sunshine; tiny slivers of light blink brightly across the canal’s warm waters as it’s rays reflect off the stainless steel of bobbing boats moored in their private slips.
Like a hard-drive spinning up to speed, her brain engages as quickly and surely as it has almost every morning for as long as she can remember. Chores to be done, obligations, and other activities spring optimistically forward; blending together as she momentarily but happily reviews her plans for the day. (While some of us require a Sludge-hammer to switch us on – that portion of coffee beans and water at the bottom of a coffee pot).
There are clothes to wash, summer clothes to pack up, a lingering promise to her husband to help him type and organize his over-sized computer song list (15,000 songs), Pilates class, prescriptions to fill, lunch and dinner to prepare (neighbors hinted that they might “drop by” so there are groceries to acquire just-in-case), and of course her one self-centered fulfillment; she promised herself a long hot bath using the new bath beads she had received as a gift from one of her many female friends. She had read about these particular bath beads and was anxious to give them a try… yet this was her first opportunity since she had received them back in July.
After all, she surmised…it was her 60th birthday today!
So goes the life of one who constantly, incessantly, unfailingly gives. She gives today like she gave yesterday and all of the other 219,300 days before. Yet her giving is natural and heartfelt, never begrudgingly. My sister Sylvia (much like our sister Kathy) is a GIVER, and very rarely if ever a taker. Perhaps her giving began as a counterweight to her only brother’s taking. Maybe my sisters gave and gave to simply balance my take and take when we were very small?
Whatever her reason, I sense that it is honest, sincere. She has never changed in that sense. Anyone who has ever had chance to encounter her I’m certain has benefited from this woman’s desire to give to those she loves and is positively acquainted with.
Sylvia has also benefited from a favorable genetic arrangement of her physical features. Since I can first remember, men (or boys) have practically swooned at her physical presence. My other older sister and I were not so fortunate. While we struggled through our lives to remain attractive, Sylvia non-chalantly “sauntered” through her existence with drop-dead looks. She was always “the Cat’s meow”.
And today, at 60 without too much trying… the woman still turns heads with her looks. But to me, its what’s inside her that really carries the mail.
Rightfully she is happy, and she is loved by many, admired by many more I’m sure. And, to this lucky brother she is practically worshipped… though she would deny it and hasn’t the slightest clue.
So, to my Wonderful Sister Sylvia, one whom I LOVE and admire more than she can ever know…
A thin young boy with blond bushy hair ambled up to the horse trough. The humidity was high and perspiration dripped down the hollow of his brown chest as he dipped down to sip the ice cold spring water that was meant for the horses…
Most of the Iroquois High School Cross-Country team who ran through the park that hot August day in 1972 would eventually stop at the trough to drink the cool water. As the skinny boy drank he was unaware that someone else was watching, someone who had nothing to do with Cross-Country. It was the Yearbook photographer. On that late steamy Summer afternoon a photograph of me was taken, which later appeared in my IHS Yearbook.
I had forgotten that moment because it was just like all the rest of the blistering hot days when we had stopped to drink the icy water from the trough as we ran the five mile loop through Iroquois Park. But my Yearbook remembered…. And, I saw that photograph again at our IHS Twenty-Five Year High School Reunion Picnic, when several paunchy, ex-Cross-Country team members sat with me in that same park where we had drunk the horse water a quarter of a century before, and laughed at the yellowed pages of our Yearbook. As we crossed the page with the skinny teenager I smiled, and I remembered too.
I remembered not just the taste of the clear fresh water, but the rusty edges of the trough, where you could cut your lip if you weren’t careful. I remembered that the cold water always drained down the left side, then splashed high against a weathering piece of timber. I remembered that you must drink from the right side, or you’d get your running shoes soaked, making for a squishy-muddy run down the last dusty mile of the bridle path. And … I remembered side stepping and jumping along the narrow, windy path which was our running track, narrowly missing fresh piles of fragrant horse manure.
You see, Yearbooks remember only brief glimpses, tiny fragments, and foggy images. Our mind supplies the rest. Yearbooks help provide the feel and the smell of our past, not simply the words and pictures. Yearbooks remember…. Our world changes much too fast for us to store all of the details in some handy little mental closet.
Our days flicker by like a (YouTube) video stuck on fast forward. We know there’s a story in there, but we have to slow down the images if we are to understand the plot. We need Yearbooks more as our years pass by; to help remember us as we were and will never again be. Your Yearbook stores thousands of kick-starts for hundreds of people for dozen of years.
When you multiply it out, it’s a pretty cheap subscription. Don’t be afraid of remembering the past, it’s already happened. Understand that tomorrow never comes…
So live today, and make some memories… and don’t forget…
Yearbooks remember. –thom adams, 1998
Editors note: After spending over 20 years selling and servicing, consulting, educating and producing yearbooks for 100s of North Carolina Schools, it is my opinion that there is no better way to spend a career anywhere, doing anything else. I’ve enjoyed the immense pleasure of working with North Carolina’s finest students and young people, the very best teachers, and even enjoyed a few of the Administrators as well, lol (who I got to know arguing the bill, the contract, the quality, my expensive car, or their golf score to put down on the scorecard). All-in-all, our entire education system is filled with real people who love what they do and who they do it for. Plus, I made a sinful amount of money… doing what I loved every single day. -MD
“Oh, when it all goes down… look around and it’s happening… look around and see what i have found… and it’s more, more than a song to sing, it’s more… more than a song… to sing… and it goes out… yeah, and it comes back, yeah it is a feelin’… it’s a feelin’… ohhh… And […]
I recently wrote a piece when DC was drafted, about how “lucky” The Kings were to land such a gifted, yet unrealized potential in one Demarcus Cousins. I posited that they were treating him like an indentured slave on their team, in their press, in their whiny-ass homes. I mean, I can read.
My post was met with derision, ridicule, hatred, and venom since I was apparently not one of the in-the-knows about all things Sactown. Even later, as the dice had spun and landed squarely on the Yo, few (none) of Sactown’s readers were apt to acknowledge that it was not me; it was they who had been wrong about the Big ole Boogie Man.
The Titanic took on water, but the man played on… Demarcus Cousins: Raw yes, unrefined for sure… but with a body and a basketball awareness that eventually only Dwight Howard will match. Yet, DC is arguably better than Dwight because he can run and pass, dribble and shoot, and forget it…rebound like a man possessed. Oh, and Dwight, yes he can and will DUNK at the slightest notion. Face.
He has used his supposed immaturity in such a mature manner. He proved to his detractors that it is they who are wrong and will continue to be wrong about his CHARACTER. The young man is NO THUG. He is as home-spun as the Alabama roots from which he came.
He is an All-Star anywhere but in the politicized public relations arena known as the NBA chatter-box. He doesn’t fit their Shane Battier mold. I’ve met Shane, and yeah he’s nice kid too. But, I like me some Demarcus Cousins. Think it… say it. Don’t pause, post. Sacramento? A smog-fest side show wih a Napolean complex.
Yet, they make the same money for playing the game of NBA basketball. Battier, a nice compliment to most any team is from Duke, that almighty drunk-fest in North Carolina. But Demarcus Cousins he is not! Some whiny poster lambasted me for posting “Demarcus…GTF out of Sactown” He reasoned DC is on a Rookie salary cap.
WTF? Are you serious little boy? You think I don’t understand that, you obvious retard? Sacramento is over the salary cap, BTW. The rules change bimbo! DC needs to ask, NO… DEMAND a trade to a town that not only understands the game, but understands what card they are holding with the ACE OF SPADES in Demarcus Cousins. Where the N word has been abolished.
After three well thought out, intelligently written posts on Sacramento’s little puny web-blog site, and being villified in much the same manner as they treat their real star player, I fired back with some witty observations about their fanbase that was less than kind. I was banned from the site. OH MY! Their Editor, showing his lack of understanding in all things Journalism, refused to explain the ban to me (as if I gave a rat fu*k). He just said we don’t need any assholes in our little “community”.
“Well….I didn’t call anybody an asshole, YOU ASSHOLE!”
Demarcus is his own man, and being that is not bound by the straightjacket imposed by the marketing genius/idiots currently employed by the league. I wonder, are there any free-thinkers left in Sacramento?
DC makes 9 times less than Kobe Bryant, 6 times less than Zack Randolph, 3 times less than Emika Okafor, just to name a scant few. My GOD, he makes almost 7 times less than a player in Orlando that does not start! So, if that’s gonna be the case, why not play where bigotry is not the order of the day?
If the Kings are smart, and only god knows why that should that change anytime soon… they will begin to show some love for the man who can bring them home a ring in the not-so-distant future, and show him the appreciation he only wants and loves, and needs from the rest of humanity’s ill-advised, headline only reading public.
Cousins isn’t the problem, he’s the solution. Give him some LOVE soon or Sactown basketball will be like Sacramento after the California Gold Rush. Empty and without future prospects.
Most who know me well know that I have a penchant for some unique, self-styled “poison pen letters”. It’s just that sometimes I feel that some ugly things NEED to be said in order for me to maintain my own Howard Roark image (see Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead) of myself… a true individual who will not trample on anyone, unless they trample on me. A man who knows who he is and who he is not and not afraid to stand up and be heard.
But, the real me, I also want to think is like the man in a poem that every SAE fraternity brother learns to recite during initiation. Of course, its only my thinking but not always my being this perfect man.
It’s not a secret, so I’d like to share it here. I cannot count the times these words have inspired me into some actionable cause for righteous good. Each sentence, every word is beautiful, precise, and altogether on-point.
Sometimes I even imagine it can be me:
The True Gentleman
“The True Gentleman is a man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety, whose self control is equal to all emergencies; who
does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if
necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with
frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others rather than his own; and who appears
well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe.”
Woke up one morning after an ill-conceived fatty
Now instead of being his Father, they called me his baby-daddy.
And If life is like golf, they might as well called me her caddie.
She had the queen, I just held the jack
I played the joker and she played her rack.
AND, thats how the light gets in; it finds a SMALL crack.
As I was stiffin her, she was stiffin me
But when I first saw his face, it turned to… an Epiphany.
A whole life I’D spent…searching for my role, then I suddenly looked down… I was standing on the goal.
She got dealt some bad cards, QUICKLY folded her hand and left the table
But I kept the prize, and she’s now JUST a fable
Now I’m a seven year-old’s Daddy, and there’s no LOVE more willing or ABLE.
So here’s to being a Father,
All it took was a screw
I like it so much… NOW I’m a Daddy for two.
-Written for a Special friend and mother (Stefanie) of a beautiful two year old (Jayden) on Mothers Day 2008.
They had spent the last week or two living with us due to an ex-boyfriend gone mad, and the changing dynamics had left an indelible mark on all our psyches. Our parenting styles were vastly different and we were both frustrated and confused…not to mention how the arrangement affected our TWO beautiful reasons to live, OUR SONS Jayden and Dylan.
While they went to Cocoa to enjoy the beach, and Dylan (my son) went to his grandma’s house for Mother’s Day, i had a few moments, (finally) alone to relax, reflect and write this sing-songy poem…
You say i know nothing and nothing i might.
But to jump on conclusions would be a dark ride at night,
With scars healed by daylight and bones who’ve felt bite
I must take you and your screaming to the woodshed of light
There once lived a young maiden, in a land far away
Spent 20 years of bailing yet making no hay
Her mind was confused keeping demons at bay.
THOUGH she was sharp, strong and able, somehow that didn’t pay,
She was searching for answers, but figured “what will come and what may”
Meanwhile, back at the office of crisis and crowd
The vortex had summoned my life SO clear and SO loud.
I was forced to eat porrage of love and deceit,
Then i woke up in heaven, and whom did i greet?
A line of old men who all looked like my dad
Their clothes matched each other’s, not yellow or red,
They were the color of ‘old wisdom’, they were gray flannel dead.
I was happy to see them, i think they were me, (i thought they were me?)
But then i was certain when they all stood to pee
My limelight soon over, their focus turned off of me,
Just behind my left shoulder sat (my son) in our Tree.
The branches were spindly, they all shook when he smiled,
My love was enormous but our chances looked vile.
I figured… no need to worry, ”what will come and what may”
Then I watched you with (Jayden), at Cocoa Beach… yesterday?
I grabbed my son Dylan, ran and waved while I held back my tears
My dads all said goodbye, but that I might not see them see them for years
Between the dead and the living, it’s only us with the fears
But Ifelt this profound implication in loving our peers.
When I saw you again, I was no longer mad nor was I sad
I knew that our friendship was too important to let it go like some fad.
Your lovely smile lit my soul and I was thrilled you came my way
It was the day our lives intersected at the corner of ”what will come and what may”
Simply put, its a motorcycle passenger seat designed for riders aged 12 months – 48 months with their safety and comfort in mind, without taking any of the driver’s attention away from normal road conditions and traffic.
Why ride children on motorcycles at all? Isn’t it dangerous?
Of course, motorcycle riding can be dangerous with or without using proper safety measures; and sometimes by events that are beyond the driver’s control. Yet, despite the obvious safety hazards, motorcycling is a hobby safely enjoyed by millions of people worldwide today. Small children are typically not able to remain safely seated as passengers on most motorcycles, therefore they should not ride under those conditions. The choice of whether to allow a child to ride falls to the child’s parent or responsible guardian, who should take responsible precautions to insure the child’s safety. The babyDaddy safety seat is designed with small children in mind, so that they cannot fall from the motorcycle, or hinder the driver during normal motorcycle operation.
There’s nothing like it anywhere and yet the demand is overwhelming.
Is it legal?
Each US State has its own safety regulations with regards to the operation and safe riding of motorcycles. After a thorough investigationof each State’s unique laws and regulations, it is apparent that our seat is legal in all 50 US States and Territories.
Which bikes are best suited for use of this apparatus?
The babyDaddy safety seat has been designed to adjust and fit to most manufacturer’s regular motorcycle’s passenger seat, where it can be safely mounted and fastened to disallow any movement in the seat during normal motorcycle operation. Also, the seat is designed to adjust to each child’s leg length and seat capacity, further insuring a comfortable and safe ride with a responsible driver. Reinforced steel underpinnings make the seat stronger than the motorcycle it is attached to, while steel cross guards insure that a child cannot climb out of the seat without assistance.
My original seat was tested almost daily with a child who grew from six months to almost five years of age, always utilizing the same seat. During that time there were zero accidents, as most car drivers took extra precaution when they noticed a child aboard my 1995 Heritage Softail, and I am an especially safe driver myself.
What do others think of the device?
Over that four year period, hundreds if not thousands of people saw and approved of the seat by their positve comments everywhere we traveled (I did not want to travel long distances with my son… the longest trip was about 50 miles each way.). People young and old realized how safe and happy we were as traveling partners, and enthusiastically endorsed my decision to create a way for my young son to bond even closer to his single parent; In this case his dad.In four years I never heard one negative comment about riding with my child.
At least 20-30 people stopped me to ask where they might be able to buy one, or if I might make one for them personally (which I always declined). I was stopped at traffic lights, in restuarants, and at ball games by individuals who wanted to acquire a seat for riding their own child. The demand is high for providing a safe way to ride small children on their parent’s motorcycle.
A personal message from the Inventor/Designer:
At 49 and childless, I had long since decided against parenthood. To me at the time, children were loud, unruly, and would be disruptive of the peaceful life I had lived, and planned to continue to live in that vein. One careless afternoon with an ex-girlfriend changed that plan and my life inexoribly and forever, when I found out that she was pregnant with my child and had every intention of making me a first time Father.
Some things in life we cannot change, so I decided to take full and total responsibility, and buy into this new chapter about to begin in my life. I figured that if I was going to be a dad, I was going to be a great dad and have my son 50% of the time legally allowed to parents in Florida who are not living together.
In my past life I had been a motorcycle enthusiast to that same fervant degree.
Every summer for 20 straight years I had taken at least a one month motorcycle trip to somewhere. I had traveled in 15 countries and across this country more than once, throughout some States 10-20 times, always enjoying the freedom and pleasure of motorcycling. I rode almost every day after moving to Florida in 2003, and nothing was going to stop me from continuing my love for riding.
Yet, on January 30, 2005 I found that there is a greater LOVE than motorcycling, when my new baby son, Dylan was born. Call it a Peak Experience, an epiphany, or a paradigm shift in my thinking and being… or call it unconditional LOVE. All the sudden life was no longer meaningful or enjoyable without my best friend Dylan at my side.
Unfortunately, a tragic accident in October 2006 took the life of Dylan’s mother, and I was left to raise him alone. I had already designed a number of useful things from from scraps of junk metal and other materials in my spare time. Now I NEEDED to design something special; for me it would be for the most precious cargo on the planet.
The babyDaddy safety seat
My point in this is that contrary to any naysayer or negative thinker, this seat was built from LOVE, with LOVE. People can second guess what they might or might not have done in my situation, but the truth is my reality can only be observed from my unique perspective. No one else has a valid perspective. As a long time follower of AYN RAND and the philosophy of objectivity, I’ve made it my business not to interfere in other people’s lives, while I demand they show me the same respect.
The truth is that a baby seat for your child is only appropriate or NOT coming from your own viewpoint. If your son or daughter is anything like my seven year old Dylan, they will thank you for allowing them so many special times spent with you. Dylan and I have the greatest bond between any child and father possible. I know this for sure: The one thing that made that possible was having The babyDaddy safety seat.
A steady frigid wind and a blistering chill from the East had settled into a steady rhythm one late February day in 1971. Gust… then relief… more gust… less relief. The sky was painted pewter gray… a dreary, solid, unwavering, uncaring gray.
I stepped carefully onto the cracked Southern Louisville sidewalk, trying to miss the patches of ice that had formed to even out the middle, where the concrete slabs met and slanted in either direction. I pulled my tobagon down over my ears and flipped it up so my eyes were barely visible. I tugged my gloves tight as I lit out down the cruddy block of residential and commercial properties lining the four lane Street called Taylor Boulevard in Louisville’s South End.
Optimistically, Tolly said smiling, “let’s roll”.
Six teenage disheveled runners took off; shivering, sighing, and determined to finish their six mile run before dark. Southern Louisville is not a pretty place now, nor was it then, in the early 70‘s. Mostly blue collar houses built after World War II lined grimy streets, sometimes built seemingly only inches apart. The people living there had a hard life and it showed… on their faces, in their homes and cars, in their yards.It’s no place to be after dark.
Tolly was our coach, or our Graduate Assistant Coach during the Winter off-season when real Coaches went home before the 4:30 Midwestern darkness, to settle in warm and cozy with their families. An ex-runner himself, Tolly was Interning from the University of Louisville.
We were Iroquois High School distance runners, seeking future fame, fortune, or perhaps a just a letter jacket, by running on late afternoon school days during off-season; which we hoped would help make us much better runners by the time Spring Track season rolled around in Mid-March. Or, that was our hope at least.
In 1971, distance running was not a household word with the MOJO it now assumes. The name “NIKE” didn’t exist. Nor did their shoes. We wore white Addidas (with blue and red stripes), the only running shoe maker we’d ever heard of.
Runners, by-and-large were considered crazy, or just plain fools. Cans of beer or Pop were hurled at us as a matter of course, and we laughed and catalogued their near-misses. It broke the boredom when a car load of flannel shirted South End redenecks spit nasty epitaths and cursed us as we sped by in the opposite direction.
After having finished 30th in the Regional Finals as a Sophomore at the end of the last Cross-Country season, my future running prospects weren’t exactly on-fire. I didn’t return home to find letters from colleges stuffed in my mailbox, inquiring about my desire to take a look at their campus, or even their class schedule for that matter.
But, I needed a scholarship to be able to afford College, having come from a blue collar family of five where no one had ever attended school beyond High School. Though my parents insisted they would try to help out, I knew my slim chances were better by slipping and sliding down those icy streets. And, slim they were.
I took the tongue depresser (a stick which told me what place I had finished) from that Regional Meet. Faded blue numbers from sweat that read “30th”. I sat it on my bedstand so evry day I could see my goal of running better next year. Thirthieth in the Region is far from accomplished in High School Cross-Country. Actually, it’s not even on the map.
That Sophomore season I had been the only Varsity runner to wear the “snowbirds” as my teamates laughingly referred to my meet warmups. On our team of seven Varsity runners, six had nylon and mesh, zippered and fitted dark blue warmups with an incredible “Iroquois” splashed across their back in the most beautiful embroidered Script… with double shadows. Outrageous as they were, I wore the “snowbirds”.
Snowbirds were all-white cotton sweatpants and a sweatshirt with a small blue “Iroquois High School” in all-caps facetiously screen-printed and stuck in the upper-right corner of the front pocket area. Why? Had each letter cost us a fortune? Charged by font sizes too? Why else the disparity, which made me look and feel embarrassingly ridiculous? Snowbirds made me both ashamed and angry. Snowbirds were what got me out of my warm home onto those dirty, gray, icy roads on many cold Southern Louisville Winter days.
Even competitors from other schools noticed me while we warmed up doing wind sprints before some events; while I pretended not to notice their chuckles and the “Hey, come look at this” smirks; their common theme my pure white snowbirds, as I learned to read my opponents lips from 100 yards. Soon they would realize I was actually on the Varsity team, and not the team manager wearing goofy sweats.
Once, I recognized a guy from another school that I’d met at a local Turkey Trot back on Thanksgiving in November. “Hey Rick” I waved to the handsome leader of their pack, each one all decked out in meshy red, white, black warmups. Our two schools were racing one another that day, and he was something of a prima-dona. It felt good to let my teammates see that I actually knew Rick Akam. When he saw my sweats, and then my teammates cool-bean outfits, he just nodded, unknowingly… and then trotted away.
My easy-going Coach laughed with everybody else on the team each time he handed out my clean sno-white warmups before each meet.
“Next year Adams”, he would lament with a grin, knowing how stupid I was about to look, running along with his SuperHeroes in a set of white cotton almost blank sweats. Embarassed, I’d grab them in good cheer and slide them on.
Actually the Coach, Mr. Lerding, had seen something special in me the first day I tried out for the team back in late August. A friend in my accounting class had suggested I go out for the cross-country team because, “it’s an easy letter” as he put it. I could imagine pretty girls eyeing my dark blue school letter jacket with the “I” embroidered smartly on the front, wondering just who this new kid was?
I had transferred from Catholic School that year because my parents could no longer afford the tuition. I knew most of the kids anyway, since I grew up only a few blocks from Iroquois (the public high school), but the classes were very different. Since I had gone to Catholic School since First grade, I already knew most of what was being taught to the Juniors and Seniors at Iroquois, and had enough credits to take easy elective classes and such. Running might take away some of the boredom I figured, so I talked a couple of other friends into trying out with me that day.
That first day in late August we gathered around the horse trough at the entrance into Iroquois Park, an 800 acre park/hill carved into the city, with only one road which circled the bottom, and one road that went to the top. There were lookouts along the way and at the top one could see all the way to Indiana. Playgrounds and picnic tables, tennis courts and and an Ampitheatre dotted the beautiful park. There was also a bike path made of asphault which looped two miles along the front of the lush green forested park.
We ran the bridle path, a four and a half mile dirt loop around the bottom of the park. It was dirt/mud/horseshit, about ten feet wide with puddles of mud here and there as large as my bedroom. It had banked tight curves, up-and-down bumps or small hills, long narrow up hills drifts through the forest, but very little flat land the entire run. It was mostly through the thick forest, though in places it came out into sunny areas where there were activities like softball, picnic areas, frisbee golf and such. The sun lasted only minutes… then diving back into a wood where sunlight only flickered through the tops of trees.
On the North side there was a public golf course flanking the entire park and horse path. There the hills became steeper, longer, twisting, then finally diving straight down to the bottom, onlt to begin the next incline even steeper and more harrowing. It was like a roller-coaster of sorts without the tracks and trains. The uphill parts punished even the strongest runners. I started to become delirious that first day, but I kept running.
Since it was my first day I had no idea how fast to run, or even if I could run that far. Mainly, I tried to stay connected to others who were suffering as much as me. I trudged through the mud jumping back and forth across the puddles left over from a recent rain. I couldn’t think of anything but finishing the run, even after seeing quitters and walkers, I kept on going.
The golf course part was brutal mentally and physically, and there I had no one to rely on for encouragement or friendly assistance. Peeking over each new hilltop brought a brand new, discouraging challenge ahead. I just kept going.
Eventually, I came to a small clearing and saw the bottom of the hill where the Coach chatted with three or four other runners as they were stretching, talking and laughing.
Soon enough I was among them, though I didn’t say much. I just laid prone looking up at the leaves in the tops of treees, sun blinking in and out with my conscience Ness.
Other runners struggled to finish as we waited at least another forty minutes for them until it seemed everyone was back. Surprisingly, on my first day I was the first newcomer to finish, and even had beaten some of the Varsity runners. As I walked away to head back to the school across the street, the Coach stopped me. “What did you say your name was?” he queried.
I was jubililant and from then on forever hooked on distance running. What a small piece of “fame” can do for a naive young boy. I replayed his question that night over and over while I lay in bed nursing my aching, sore legs.
As we crossed street after street of light afternoon traffic, a light snow began to fall on our icy breaths that February day, and I felt a power inside me start to grow. I felt that I was “becoming” a long distance runner.
It seemed that the worse the weather, the more I enjoyed it. I loved running in driving rains, foggy mornings where you couldn’t see your friend next to you, and audaciously blistering cold afternoons, which made me laugh at the irony.
By now, I was also part of the Varsity team, though still a skinny Iroquois sophomore with more hope than ability. But each day I suited up for Tolly’s 6,7,8, or 10 mile runs through Louisville, more determined to shed my “snowbird” image. Running, cold and humbling as it can be, was becoming familiar and fun.
When Spring Track season began with a few “dual” meets I ran the “two-mile” against our competitors, each time breezing through the two miles in around eleven minutes and thirty seconds. That was exactly my time in the Regional the day I finished 30th. More importantly, I won the races handily, since the other runners had not endured the “Winter of Tolly” like me and some of my teammates. I knew if challenged I might be able to run even faster, but I loved winning races.
I’ll never forget the night I became “someone” on the High School running scene in Kentucky. I was still a Sophomore in late March 1971 and without any real accomplishments, when my track coach (Ed Lerding) told me that I was going to run the two-mile run that night at an “Invitational” track meet.
Eight guys, eight schools, full grandstands, and all under the lights. It sounded scary and exciting. Was I ready? I hadn’t a clue.
The two mile run is near the end of each track meet, one of its last events. That gives one plenty of time to think (or too much time), warmup, and get mentally prepared for the race ahead. Early in the meet my Coach came up to me and asked how I felt.
“Good”, I answered.
“Well I have a little job for you tonight”, as he smiled and looked me straight in the eye.
“You know your buddy? Pendelton?” he asked. Terrell Pendelton was one of the top runners in the State of Kentucky, having already posted 9:49 two-mile time that Spring. We happened to have gone to grade school together, but I really didn’t know him at all.
“Well, I want you to get on his shoulder on the first lap and stay with him as long as you can”, he said matter of factly.
“Terry Pendelton? Stay with Terry Pendelton?” What?
“Yes, just for as long as you can. Don’t worry about dropping out, just hang on to him for as long as you can,” Lerding said in an optimistic tone. “I think you can stay near him the whole race.”
“Coach, I can’t run with Terrell Pendelton. He’ll run me in the ground.”
“It’s OK. Just stay as long as you can, and stay on his shoulder. You’ll be OK.”
‘He’s nuts I thought, but he’s the coach’.
It is the last thing I remember thinking before the gun sounded to start the race. As everyone jockeyed for position I spotted Pendelton already taking the lead on the first of eight laps. I sprinted to the front and landed a half-step behind him. He looked over his right shoulder but didn’t recognize me or seem to care that I stuck to him lap after lap.
I was shocked when I heard the gun sound again (meaning it’s now the last lap), and Terry Pendelton was just a shoulder ahead of me. The crowd was screaming and all I could think of was how fast I must have been running for the past seven laps, and how I was on TERRY PENDELTON’S shoulder still.
I kept wondering when he was going to take off and leave me behind. He didn’t. I didn’t want to beat him, just stay on his shoulder until the race was over. And that’s what I did, even though another guy (Don Cook) passed us both at the end.
I had finished the two mile in 9:54… the third fastest time in Kentucky that season. More than happy, I was amazed at myself. From 30th in the Region just four months ago, to now one of the fastest two-milers in the State of Kentucky.
My life hasn’t been the same since that day, that incredible peak moment. Nothing has ever been too hard, or too tough that I didn’t think I could do it.
I went on to finish 3rd in the 2-mile at the Kentucky AAA State track meet as a Sophomore that Spring (behind Cook and Pendelton), but then surprised everyone by beating Pendelton to win the Kentucky AAA State Cross-Country meet that next Fall during my Junior year.
Imagine that, the snowbird less than a year ago… now the 1971 Kentucky AAA State Cross-Country Champion, wearing mesh warm ups too!
Pretty soon my mailbox was full of mail from colleges, and I eventually had a number of full scholarship offers from some great Universities. I graduated college with a BA in 1977, though instead of running I ended up playing three years of Varsity Soccer on Kentucky’s best Soccer team at MSU (Morehead State University). But, I ran until I was 50 years old… who was once again a “snowbird” who had retired and moved to sunny Florida.
And although I continued running somewhat competitively through a hectic career of Publishing Sales, and played organized soccer for 11 years after college just to make sure that my youth remained intact for as long as possible, at 5o I became a first time father… altering my perception and priorities in life. A single father (who knew nothing about babies) cuddled his sick almost one year old son until… he caught pneumonia. On my third visit to the emergency room on Christmas Day 2005, my lungs filled with fluid causing my heart to double in size and nearly burst. A long recovery resulted (no running, no walking, no stress whatsoever on my heart was the Doctors instructions). “If you do” he said, “you’ll probably die.
In 2007, ironically on Christmas Day, again I was rushed to the hospital within a few breaths of death. days later i awoke and the prognosis; not good. Five years… at best was the word. Here I stand in 2014 feeling better every month, no longer with the reaper no longer standing in my doorway. After all, I’m a father of two great little cross-country runners, aged 7 and 9. I have a job to do with my perfect little Snowbirds. Quitting is not a word I ever understood. Dying is out of the question, for now.
the brain trust at my house sat on the outside porch all last night and rehashed the entire closet of skeletons. we added body language, analyzed metadata, multiplied metatarsal fragments, DNA, hairs and bodily fluids found at the uh, under the couch… just figured it all out. though i’m no math whiz, i know when it all doesn’t add up. it’s truly amazing how much we let go by us when inside we really want the math to work out. but inventory day, counting the left withs and subtracting the outgoingz to match with the incoming… is a day of…well, reckoning. it’s all right there in the data.
in the end, the good chairman (senator evaroosky, CT-missouri) acknowledged the glaring logics shortfall, right after excuse number (catch this) 23, shook his head solemnly and said, “you’re right. it just dudn’t jive duz it? damn. she seemed sincere to me…”
my wry smile hid the heartache as i got up to ponder the new findings. i exhaled, and thought to myself:
“well OK. so you figured out what you already knew. what did you expect anyway? to find out that the obvious lies were not so obvious? quit wasting time and energy. get up. move on. be done with it…”
so much fucking wasted time on a glimmer of hope that what i had suspected to be true wasn’t after all…that it was really my own insecurity’s reflection. actually i think she had suggested that to me once.
did i hope that universal truths would be proven false, that actually having no proof would translate into innocence, and that her deafening silence to questions only she could answer were really…uh, well… an expression of dumb love that froze her up, and she just couldn’t explain her true feelings in a meaningful, coherent way? all smoke and mirrors buddy-boy, wake the fuck up!
the famous INDICATORS were guess what? indicating…pointing in a direction…providing guidance in otherwise non-specific art/science. the art of understanding the meaning of one’s actions despite implicit denials of what those actions mean.
Hmmm… the INDICATORS were not so much hocus pocus after all- (or the twisted, metaphorical bullshit that i was regularly accused of pulling out of my ass). yet incredulously sometimes even i can be led off the trail, albeit momentarily, by some wacked out blowhard insisting that i am the fraud.
it’s like catching someone holding your money, wallet, credit cards, and favorite lamp standing outside your home saying they were trying gather up your things for you in case the house caught fire. they feel you should thank them instead of freaking the fuck out. NOT.
and like my daddy used to say, “only the nose knows for sure.”
and just like my daddy, i can still smell the aroma of freshly minted bullshit at fifty paces…and just whom…i mean really… who is surprised by that?
no one. not today. not even insecure little ole me.
Romantic love and real friendship are as vital to the human soul as basic nutrition is to our bodies.
We spend our lives affecting and becoming infected not just by the many interpersonal relationships we initiate, develop and sustain, but also those that for various reasons we let slide into the immensity of no return. though we might notice an occassional mistake in judgement and adjust, sometimes it’s too late. it pays us to take careful heed of the precarious nature of love and friendship as we move through our lives if happiness is our ultimate goal..
Our hearts can somehow sense what is intrinsically good or bad in relationships despite conflicting advice sometimes being shouted at our inner-self by our rational mind; then it attempts to sublimely guide our actions, while our rational mind factors in real issues and pressures that are exerted from the outside world. our inner-self does the math and our conscience agenda is set.
With love the truth always eventually rises to the surface.
Love chooses us, not the other way around. it is somewhat preordained as to whom we are attracted to and those we find unsuitable and reject. sometimes, to our brains our heart’s choice doesn’t make good sense. at this stage of my life (53), when it comes to love, my heart rules over my brain in a close one.
But it wasn’t always that way, and in fact not for most of my life. our lives are lived in segments, which stitch together as one in the end. our loves lives can seem incongrous to us because of the inner battle between heart and mind can sometimes become unbalanced.
Youth is impetuous and idealistic; the perfect stage for a heart in firm control over the brain. young people are notorious for their poor decisions when it comes to love.
as we enter our 20’s the balance changes and so too do our needs and wants in a mate. as life gets tougher and our responsibilities grow, we begin to be more practical. our expectations in love relationships become more grounded as we project how love will look in the future instead of seeing only the immediate benefits of a love interest we weigh and project a forecast for the future. does it show promise of providing us an easier life(style)? more loving and secure family? is it a friendly partnership? physical attraction is still important but becoming less weighted.
here is also where the brain can trick us into thinking that love can be bought and sold like any commodity. our heart takes a back seat while the rational mind does most of the driving during these formative years. after all the brain counts the money, not the heart.
later on goals adjust again and the heart begins to demand attention once again. we see that true happiness IS a matter of the heart, a concept our brain would just as soon we had forgotten. if we’re too impulsive, we may make life altering decisions that we will regret later, when the mind regains it’s footing and begins to assert it’s valuable wisdom. like every thing else in life, a good balance is what we’re after.
and then again, sometimes we’re just lucky and we meet a special person that satisfies our brain and our heart equally, and as much as we satisfy theirs. that’s true love and it usually lasts.
so when you meet someone and begin to form a relationship with them be careful not to make rash judgements that you may regret later. keep in mind (and heart) who your true friends are likely to be later on. in life. Love can become friendship and vice-versa. i know because both have happened to me.