Character is what you crave because authenticity is what you lack. Character can only be developed through the slow grind of real life; being put to the test and succeeding or failing on one’s own merits.
It is not to be found in sterile confines of a safe shoebox life.
It is bodily fluids on concrete.
It is realizing there is nothing to be done and yet trying something anyway.
It is failing spectacularly.
It is staring death in the teeth and surrendering to its will; then leaving that moment alive, realizing you have been spared until another day.
The artificial patina of photo filters overlaid upon your phone’s window to the world does not cut it. Nor do you tattoos. This is all product.
You know it.
Get the fuck on with it already.
Baby birds fall out of their nests to be devoured alive by ants. Wildfires vital to forests’ health burn up all the critters, cute or not. Look at nature, really see it and what it does, and realize there is nothing in the universe that entitles you to anything beyond sure death.
Many think that everything must naturally work out for them because the universe or God or some benevolent spirit has a special plan for them. Maybe it will work out. Maybe it won’t. Maybe they are one of the baby birds that manages to stay in the nest. Maybe they aren’t. Do the birds that live to fly away think it is because they inherently deserve it? Perhaps they do.
Take in a mountain scene and it is beautiful, is it not? But in of itself it is not beautiful. It only is interpreted as such when it is processed through our minds. We decide what it is and so project our notion upon it. So it is with everything in our lives. Society. Culture. Religion. Money. All of it only has meaning because we all decide it does.
However, these fantasies of ours carry real weight. I can’t be with my wife unless some bureaucrat says it is okay. Because we were born on different sides of imaginary lines humans have created, we must pay office clerks special paper we’ve traded our time for in order to get other pieces of paper stamped. This permission is needed to live our lives the way we want. If we were to go together to certain places on this earth, I might be killed as a race traitor, because we were also born on different sides of another imaginary line.
This is all heavy. We have made it real because we have all decided that it is. But none of it is natural.
The power of our mind in our lives is absolute because, for us, it is the universe. Realize that the only thing you are owed is death; this is your only birthright. So between those two sure events, do your best to enjoy the fantasies you like, try not to take part in the ones you don’t, and if you find yourself on the forest floor covered in ants, try to take some comfort that there really was fuck all you could have done to prevent it.
Of course loyalty is in play. Principles. Ideals.
But what of conflicting loyalties? Which are the higher loyalties?
What of different principles that run to cross purposes?
When at these intersections of life, what shall we betray?
What loyalties and principles are inviolate?
Which are disposable?
Often the only way to choose is to move in the direction that hurts less.
Make that choice and live with the consequences.
Accept the pain along with the joy.
Such is life.
As long as you’re having fun alienating people from the cause you profess to be fighting for, that’s really the most important thing.
I think people invent conspiracy theories for the same reasons that others cling to religion; they are just coming at it from an slightly different position.
The religious believe there’s this big Daddy in the sky who has everything under control; there is a plan and we all have our part to play. Comforting, so long as you’re one of those lucky people for whom God’s plan isn’t getting raped to death over the course of a decade from childhood.
The conspiracy theorist has at least taken it down a notch. They look at the world and say: “Wow, this is really fucked up.” While they don’t cut and run with the old, “God works in mysterious ways,” they still require the comforting illusion that someone, somewhere, is in control of all this. There is still an order and a plan.
The Charlie Manson gods of the big religions love you and have a plan; just relax, everything will be fine. Daddy has the wheel. The Illuminati and the Masons don’t love you, but just relax; there’s nothing you can do about their plans, and at least someone is in control of this mess.
The truth is, there is no order and there is no grand scheme. There are simply basic human impulses and frailties being played out millions of times over. Sure, patterns emerge, because patterns always do; and our minds are programmed to detect them. Those in power are simply focused on keeping power and keeping score against each other.
There is no one at the wheel, and we are all collectively choosing extinction for the sake of our creature comforts.
Like bacteria in a petri dish. Gobbling up the food. Expanding consumption. Spreading. And now, at the cusp of poisoning ourselves with our own waste.
As natural as can be. Just more organisms, doing as organisms do.
No God. No plan. Just nature.
With cats being so persnickety about everything, why can’t they put their goddamned hairballs in their litterbox like everything else? #morningpresent
Just twenty years have totally changed the implication of the sentence:
“My anus went viral.”
Which implication is worse, the old or the new, is hard to say. I suppose it depends on what virus your asshole has sprouted, in the one case, and whether you’re some kind of anal exhibiting sex professional in the other.
Now, a combination of the two would just be the worst. Like: “I caught a terrible ass virus, and some asshole doctor (in both senses) tweeted a picture of it, which went viral. #fml”
Tis a funny old world, isn’t it?