June 28, 2010

SCREAMIN' For Change!

Chapter 29: Screamin' For Change!

By now I have read enough current events in the News, enough non-fiction 300 pagers about economics & the environment, and enough classic and modern dystopian novels to develop a bit of an opinion about the state of the world and where it is heading.

Call me pessimistic, call me sadistic, call me unreasonable. But when the science of the non-fictions, the imagination of the novels, and the reality of the current news events can be kept independent of each other, it's not hard to see how at least some plausible outcomes in the next 50 to 100 years that are talked about now might just come true. It's the cynic in me that realizes that it's really no wonder that our "Leaders" have only enough foresight to give themselves and their buddies a comfortable pension so that they might suffer the least in the earth's final days.

After all, makin' a change is a hard thing to do. Keynesian economics is a tough thing to grasp especially in times like these. "Stimulate this BITCH!" is the phrase that is uttered as half of the next EI cheque is spent on pain-numbing sensations such as alcohol consumption, drug ingestion, or sexual preoccupation. Such healthy things that a person keeps on living for. better days.

Then there's that bum on the street begging for "change". Maybe. Just maybe he doesn't want your nickels and dimes at all. Maybe his bottle collection and social security cheque is allowing him to subsist really quite reasonably. Maybe what he wants more than anything is for you to see what kind of greedy, unjustifiably inequitable world we are living in to let people - human beings - fall into the cracks like this in the first place. Maybe "Can you give me some CHANGE?" is really just a plea for you to open your eyes and realize the change that is needed in this world, and how you - the average every day citizen are the only way to make this change happen. Or maybe he's a crackhead.

So be that change you want to see. Write that letter. Heaven knows are policy writers are hopeless, and the government will have soo many cabinet shuffles in their term in office that noone really will be able to focus on getting appropriate solutions to the problems in any reasonable amount of time. Ride that bike. Even if the emission regulations and targets are changed such that the newest coal burning power plant will only be the equivalent as taking 7 million cars of the road, as opposed to the 11 million as originally promised. Take that pay cut. (What?) Get out of that labour-intensive resource-depleting bureaucratic heirerarchial institution run by pimps, fat-cats, and lawyers, and try doing something honest once in your life. I dare ya.

The 1st headline I hear as Canada sends the world leaders packin' after the 1 billion dollar G8/G20 summit this past weekend is that our country will become a supplier of Uranium to India. Now that's what I call change. If any of the volatile countries in the eastern world get a whiff of the stuff that makes a-bombs in the area - watch out! I guess if push comes to shove, Canada can always try to plead ignorance. Plus heaven knows we are dependent here on Indian immigrants to come and sustain our workforce with the declining Canadian population growth rate. CHANGE towards a more nuclear world is undesirable change. Change towards a more tolerant multi-cultural patchwork of Canadian pride is desirable change. But when this change comes at the cost of losing or replacing any of the historical attributes of what it means to be Canadian, I'm not so sure. Then again, Canadian history can prove to be pretty horrible as well.

The 2nd headline out of this big All-Important Billion Dollar Conference was about Women's rights/maternal health. Which happens to tie into everything that is needed for a positive change in this world, but especially with respect to the world population that could either plateau at 9 Billion or 14 Billion, depending on actions taken now. There have been enough studies for us to take action now to achieve the former. That's why Harper's hypocritical conditions suggested for this form of aid is especially unreasonable!! Let's get goin', World!!!

The 3rd and final headline I paid any attention to was about the riots. Well maybe these anarchists are the closest things we have to the most blatant form of civil disobedience we have out there screamin' for "change". True, most of this behaviour is totally unreasonable. But is there such a thing as "unreasonably necessary"? Doubt it. But One day there might be. These are just stepping stones for us getting to that point. The cynic in me says that anyone can be bought, at the cost of a variety of things: our children, our planet, our very own health. Paving over green zones and having McDonald's (again) for lunch while we let our kids be UNDER-educated in our system's schools is how we do this. If we could just change our focus. Our Priorities. Our lifestyles to really reasonable things like health, the environment, and the family, a more sustainable and enjoyable world would result. Guaranteed.

Below is a little flowchart (ch.76) that I created that ties in with "priorities" and the choices people make when it comes to any extra available money (if any). Since "changes" and "choices" are the 2 things that need to be realized early into this 21st Century, I thought I would pop it in with this blog.

June 15, 2010

Let's Get Extreme

Chapter 82: Let's Get Extreme!!!
(or: When Did You Become So Boring?)

Doing things that are extreme can be fun. They are often deemed by others to be "hardcore" or "deathly", thus bringing one's cool-0-meter to a an all new high. So for the people that care about things such as these, then NOT being afraid to have hobbies & interests that are considered extreme will likely become a beneficial/crucial part of your every day life.

The following are a few examples of extreme things that a person could do, if seeking to be the least bit non-conformist, or at the very least - a tad adventurous:

  • Tattooing and piercing - get the neck tattoo. I hear spiderwebs are popular. Or the nipple ring. You too, ladies.

  • Get Motorbiking. Cycling is truly more non-conformist, but that loud, raucous causing, 2-wheeled chopper will always be the epitome of rebel. Not to mention there is a degree of danger to it that screams "extreme", depending on, of course, which tattoo & piercing studio you go to.

  • Go Sky Diving. This puts bungee jumping to shame. And let's face it: That helmet is wearing you for protection.

  • Attend a G8/G20 summit. Bust some shit up. Try to not get arrested. Or do.

Being extreme will be closely associated with having a unique and inexplicable range of taste in things. He or she will take a great pleasure in a wide, wide spectrum of places, books, people, and things. The more polarized these interests are will be indicative of how truly A) out of his/her mind a person is or B) how confused he/she is about the priorities in his life. This spectrum of interests can include things like:

  • Foods. Living the vegan/vegetarian life one month and then having nothing but The Cow the next. Eating banana peppers on tuna fish and peanut butter & ham sandwiches will help you to achieve this whole new level on the extreme-o-meter.

  • Politics. Be a neo-ultraconservative greedy self-absorbed capitalist bastard, that actually cares about the environment (or says he does, anyways). In a more general sense, "Being Albertan but having Socialist Ideals" are 2 extremes that really make a person fairly unique. Think that former coke-head Tory MP: Rahim Jaffer.

  • Ideals (of Freedom). Becoming an ignorant intellect requires that you spend some degree of time thinking about the world & all of its wonders and atrocities - and then become apathetic about it. Live in a blissful oblivion and love being footloose & carefree. Because Freedom can be a wonderful concept, especially if you believe that it exists at all and is not just another societal meme. In the meantime, pack your 2500 sq.ft. home with as many 56"-3D-LCD-HDTVs as you can afford and legitimize this excessive expense by buying yourself a solar panel and wearing fair trade organic "elephants need love too" t-shirt. Cuz believe it or not, kids: This is the world, the system, we live in. It's a self-propelled machine that we are all components of. And remember that "unless your free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!" as this component. Not to mention that subsistence living is even LESS fun than it sounds. Books take sooo long to read. Natural gas is an affordable commodity. And shopping at West Edmonton Mall is just soooooo much FUN!!!

  • Music. The degree of separation between 90% of the music I listen to is outrageous. The most distinguishable differences of genres on my iPod could be classified as either melodic hardcore or Canadian folk music. These extremes are very diverse and really have no business being on the same mp3 player. Right now SNFU, Propagandhi, Pennywise, Bad Religion, and Screeching Weasel are on the playlist, along with Matthew Barber, Justin Rutledge, Neil Young, Ray LaMontagne, and David Gray. It's almost inconceivable. But it exists nevertheless. Extreme.

  • Sex. Extreme sex. Hardcore SEX. Better than soft core after all! Any guy is pretty much wishing for this every hour of every day, so the second that he will find a woman that is willing to "submit" to anything a little bit more wild than the usual semi-pornographic plights is usually the moment that the guy is usually ready for marriage. At the same time, us idealistic sex-craving philanthropic chauvinistic metropolitan men may like to cry & scream about Female Liberation! and equal opportunity ...as long as it doesn't happen in our own bedroom. Or dungeon.

  • Exercise. Excessive Exercise. Running marathons and loving a good cigarette afterward. Bench-pressing 3 times your body weight then picking up a six-pack on your way home. Playing hockey, but having more PIM than Ice Time. Oh. And don't forget about Crashed Ice. These things are extreme. Also, UFC is popular amongst kids these days, or so I hear.

  • Seeing the World. Traveling to Africa. The Dark Continent. Where stereotypes and prejudice and mis-information runs rampant. Go there. Learn something. Come back. Teach something. God knows we are ignorant. When back at home, realize how much change can happen right outside your back door, so to speak. Having a good appreciation of your local community and its faults and good things can be enlightening too. Just. Get out there. Anywhere. Especially if you can't afford the airfare (or are too socially conscious about the environmental costs of air flight). There's always sailing...

  • "Work". The last paradoxical/hypocritical suggestion I have regarding extreme lifestyle choices is giving yourself the opportunity to make conscious career decisions, inasmuch as having a thorough moral understanding of any implications of the "work" you are getting yourself involved with. Try: Working in a lumber yard while listing the Rainforest Action Network as a beneficiary in your will. Try: working in resource exploitation while "liking" the links that your "friend" Mike Hudema posts on his facebook profile. With your wages, buy a bike but keeping on commuting to work in your gas guzzler...

Without these things, a person tends to fall into the first circle of hell called Ennui. Others see him for what he is: a complacent, middle-aged working class office stooge with mortgage payments and mouths to feed and the rest of it. Apathy advances to a stage far beyond you ever thought possible in your younger years. Ideals fade away. And the positive re-enforcement allows one's sense of adventure to diminish as he falls deeper and deeper into the well of "routine work" and "just getting by". Hello shot gun barrel. Travel plans become a trip to your backyard patio after the fence gets painted and food becomes bland as you listen to the latest study on the Local News about salt being bad. Exercise is walking the dog and the motorbike turns into an SUV (hybrid? Yeah Right!). Or worse: mini-van. Sex is infrequent and fast. What you are left with is a few cd's from those exciting days that are fading from memory and perhaps a government that left you with a social support network that your mother-in-law deserves.

So my advice to you as I close out this blog:

Never grow up. Always go for the "bad" girl, eat lots of spicy food, and travel the globe as much as possible.

And if submitting to the expectations of our surrounding means
growing up
I'll try wholeheartedly to refuse

-satanic surfers

George Carlin does this all soo much better.