Total Pageviews

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Attack On Watchmen

After reading through my last post again, I want to take this opportunity to correct any miscommunication that may arise from it. While I did say I did not need teachers I did not mean that I do not appreciate them. There were some that actually were passionate about their jobs and did understand me. They were few and far between but they were instrumental in imbuing me with a respect for others. They were able to penetrate my thick barrier of stubbornness and show me the fault in viewing all others as beneath me. These genuine people humbled me despite my protests. I learned humility for the first time and never forgot it. They pushed me harder than anyone ever has. By working with them, I accomplished things that even surprised myself. In their classes I was a perfect student. I would not act up or ignore. I have a deep respect for the ones who saw this as more than a job to pay the bills. They believed in their work. Teaching young minds is one of the noblest of tasks and a select few lived up to it. I only wish they all did. Maybe I wouldn't have ended up being misanthropic fuck I am today. Oh well, what's done is done. Moving on.

There is a concept that has been on my mind lately. It's been popularized in film and literature. It's the prospect of world peace through a common enemy. Even some of our greatest minds have come to this conclusion, but I still have my doubts. Two of my favorite examples of this are alien invasion flicks and Alan Moore's epic graphic novel The Watchmen.

In alien flicks, when the aliens invade, all of humanity bands together to combat this new foe. Borders are forgotten in an effort to unite against an enemy that threatens all of mankind. You might not have thought about it much, but in an attempt to destroy all humans, the evil alien conquerors have in actuality created peace on Earth. The end of the movies usually have all the peoples of Earth rejoicing. Well la di fucking da. Isn't that just adorable?

And in The Watchmen there is a similar theme. (spoiler alert) The plot mainly revolves around retired heroes coming back into action to battle an unknown foe that may or may not be killing off their former brothers in arms. Toward the end, you discover it is actually a fellow superhero who is to blame. A fellow hero who is also a super-genius. He figured out a way to usher peace on Earth and committed unspeakable atrocities to accomplish his goal. The end of the story has the heroes wondering whether or not to blow the lid on what really went down or not. The horrors have already been committed and all that was left was the ultimate aim. What is more important: the truth or peace? But I digress. By giving humanity a common non-human enemy, the masked super-genius ushers in a time of peace and saves the world from nuclear annihilation.

But I always wondered if this is what would really happen. Are human beings really that reasonable? I was unsure. It wasn't until I began watching the anime Attack On Titan that those doubts were brought back up to the surface. In the show, humanity most definitely has a common enemy: gigantic humanoid beasts that live only to devour live people, not for sustenance, but for fun. More than that, mankind is living in one single massive city protected by three 200 foot walls. If all of these previous examples are right, then how can the world within the walls not be a blissful utopia of peace? Instead, the world within the walls is exactly like the world we live in now. It's chock full of corruption, lies, and inequality. People don't change. For the most part they are spineless scum and nothing seems like it can ever change that. Sad? Yes. True? Maybe.

I'll leave you to decide for yourself. If ever a foreign entity ever declared war upon humanity would peace among men become reality, or would we just have another enemy to add to the list?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Freedom and Happiness

There are very few things I value. Two of them are freedom and happiness. I have always passed on things that would infringe upon them. As a child, every year in school, I always passed on taking AP classes. At the beginning of every school year (and sometimes again during the school year) I would receive letters telling me I qualified or was personally recommended for AP classes. Now I knew what it was all about. I understood too well what school was really about, what advanced placement was really about, and how the way the world really worked. I would have been a fool to accept.

You see, school was never about learning. Learning was byproduct of schoolwork. School was really about grades and obedience. It wasn't knowledge that mattered at all. You were expected to only memorize enough to grade high in specific areas at specific times, and to learn how to obey every nonsensical command without question.

Advanced placement only meant you reached the end of the textbook by the end of the school year. In normal class, you didn't have to go through the entire thing. In AP you were also expected to do tons of more work for the same goal: the grade. They would assign you mountains of homework every night, make you write huge papers regularly, and have you complete extensive projects. Not only that, but the other side of your expectations were raised also. They wanted rigorous obedience. Not completing any assignment on time was not tolerated. You were to be a perfect studious child, or else.

The silliest part of the entire affair was that no one was going to give a shit about all of your hard work once you graduated. All of it was meaningless in the real world. Do you think anyone gives one single fuck if you were in AP classes or not when you were a child? It won't help you in any way except as one little bit to add to a resume that an employer can glance at briefly and disregard. Besides, social interaction and friendliness at work get you more benefits, promotions, and bonuses than hard work, skill, and diligence get you combined. The positive was vastly outweighed by the negative. Years of painful effort for next to nothing. Fuck that.

I knew I could easily learn all I needed from the textbooks alone. Teachers were superfluous to me. I finished the entire textbook every year by myself and gained all they could offer while my class puttered about skipping sections learning only the easy stuff. I tested so highly that I never needed to pore over the same crap every day and work hard on papers and projects. My test grades gave me an automatic pass in every subject. I went through my entire scholastic career never having written a single paper, constructing any project, or reading any novels. Instead, I slept well both in and out of class. My intelligence gave me leverage over my teachers. They would try in vain to get me to obey, but I would win every argument with good clean logic and after a while they let me be. One of my favorite teacher deals was if at any point they call on me in class and I answer incorrectly, I can't go back to sleep; that I would have to pay attention and take notes the rest of the day. Another good one was if I did not get the highest score on a test, then I would do my homework every day for a week.

All of this meant I wasn't chained to excessive school work, nor was I burdened with the stress and frustration that goes along with it. I was happy and free.

And to this day I continue with that procedure. I pass on promotions and extra responsibilities, accept raises, and keep work at work. I live a full life in my own time. I have never stopped learning or creating. I relax and do things my own way. I'm breaking Life's rules and it feels great.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

I'm complicated and shit.

Everybody is built differently. We're kinda unique I guess. Mostly little things here and there. One of the things that really intrigues me is the way people process and deal with emotion. Some people are like a light switch with no dimmer. It's either on or off. Others have presets and jump from standard to standard. Some waiver slightly around the same neutral area. There are those who bottle it up until they explode, and those who exude even the slightest of feelings to momentous proportions. Once you get the hang of it, you can peg them out by the most subtle of tells. It's great fun when you get into it.

Me? Well I'm like a fuse-box. It's like there are all these tiny switches that control bits of my emotional state. Different combinations yield the strange results you see. The really weird part is that the switches have no direct correlation with each other. Their effects will commingle into what I feel overall, but if one goes on, it does not automatically switch another on or off. It is almost like making a tye-dye shirt. The individual colors have a fixed starting point, but they all get flung around afterward to create the unique pattern that ends up on the shirt. Sometimes I get base colors of both love/hate or disgust/horny and the design ends up all kinds of crazy.

But, like a fuse-box, too much power gets pumped through and the whole thing blows. That's when everything goes blank and numb. Some sort of self-protection thing I suppose. It's not so bad. When the emotions start coming back is when the problems start. I begin wanting things I didn't want before. I begin seeing people differently. I start having, well, feelings. Then it becomes an issue of what to do with them. A certain person I didn't mind so much might start bothering me intensely. A girl that was just some person might grow more beautiful everyday. There might be someone I suddenly wished I hung out with more, or someone I want to punch.

It's disconcerting when you become so accustomed to numbness then spontaneously you're hit with the reality that it was only a temporary state of mind to keep you from breaking down and now you have to react to a whole new worldview.

Friday, March 21, 2014

No Exit

I read an interesting passage today. I guess you could say it was about the disillusionment that accompanies aging. It generally happens to us all. The strange thing is that I was one of the few who it came early to.

I was always so jealous of other kids growing up. They always seemed to get the things I was denied. They had more than one friend, people talked about them in a positive light, they were thrown parties, they received presents, went on trips and vacations, were happy and smiled all the time, not like me at all. I was always very reserved, even melancholy. I kept to myself, didn't talk much, and was never included in anything. It was like there was this big party and everyone was invited. They were all participating in some grand game with each other, yet I was off to the side. I was the one peering through the window wondering what it was like to be inside. I was envious, but not maliciously so. True, I did wish to be part of the fun, but I held no malice for the ones who were. I just wanted to join them is all. I wanted something, anything, to happen to me. Something special I could talk about as being a member. I wanted to be able to come into school talking about how over the weekend my parents threw me a party and everyone was there and it was so much fun. I wanted an interesting life, too. I wanted stories to tell. Sitting alone in my room or walking alone through town didn't captivate audiences as much as a vacation to France. I was boring, tasteless. I didn't have any clue what was popular or why it was. It's like there was this secret club and the only rule was no Tony's allowed.

I will admit to being a bit resentful about the whole thing. That was, until I had a taste for it myself. When I finally had a party of my very own I wasn't happy at all. I expected so much, yet when I was in the thick of it, surrounded by people with a large cake staring me in the face, all I wanted to do was disappear. I hated it. I wanted to run away the entire time. I did not enjoy being the center of attention. It was all so stupid and cheap. I looked around and thought, "These people don't care one lick for me. It's all an illusion. They're all pretending to be happy, and to be happy for me. It's the event that they really care for. The ability to say 'I was there. I was invited, and it was soooo great. Too bad YOU weren't there.' It's all some twisted game of bragging rights. They're trying to lie themselves to happiness." Needless to say, I was disappointed.

It didn't end there. The presents I got were all wrong. They weren't things I wanted. These people didn't know me at all. They had no idea what I liked. They brought things just to bring things. Then came minor inclusion to the circles I so naively desired to join. The conversations that seemed so enjoyable on the outside were now trite and callow. The things that were popular were popular for no reason. It wasn't long before I was ousted from the group and alone again. They don't like it when you boldly reveal the triviality of everything they hold dear. I couldn't help it. I was just being honest. When asked why something was so great, they would give me a dirty look and respond that it is great because it is, and if I couldn't see it, then something was wrong with me. I unintentionally parted the curtains and exposed the wizard. Certain things were liked not because they were likable, but because someone said they were cool and likable. None of the people actually enjoyed what they said they did, and they would die before admitting it.

So at a very young age, I became disillusioned to the whole thing. My whole perception of the world came crashing down. Things looked a bit darker from then on. It is a game most of you still play. It is the reason for celebrity worship and extravagance. Everyone is too afraid to accept the simple truths of life. Everyone is afraid to give up hope for that happily ever after. The reason they can trudge through this world with a smile on their shit-stained teeth is they believe if they try hard enough, if they fake it long enough, they can be genuinely happy. And one day if they play the game well enough, maybe, they will be admitted into one of the upper circles where everyone is happy all the time.

So have your lavish parties, your grand weddings, your smelly children, and don't forget to tell everyone how happy you are. I'll be over here laughing and enjoying life in a way you will never understand.