Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: June 2010

My first time “scratching the surface” was with religion. I mean, to a lot of people, that’s quite an easy thing to pick on, and pick apart. It’s not exactly “rocket science” to say you don’t believe in God for this or that reason. However, it was about 4 years ago that I, while perusing my very own MySpace page, read that I was Catholic, and decided to investigate the matter.

On my internet journey, I started out just reading about Catholics and the beliefs held by the Church. Since I treated religion as an obligation, much like education, I was apathetic towards it. By the time I was old enough to care about it, and thus learn about it, it was a practice in disillusionment. Virgin births? Please. Rising from the dead? Healing the blind? Obviously Jesus has a lot of explaining to do. After some months of alienating myself from some people, I’m sure, and further research into religion, I eventually accepted that I had disproved it, and that most other people didn’t give a shit. (Sound sorta familiar these days.)

Eventually I began to get interested in politics, with the 2008 election coming up, and my getting older and interest in religion got me thinking about issues other than cars or computers. Politics, being a dynamic thing, really was much more complicated to dissect than religion. I, and others I am sure can attest, had taken a relatively hard stance against Obama, and began my road down Libertarianism. I thought the market was the cure, the government was the problem. I had probably turned that into an almost black and white distinction – a viewpoint engineered into the political arena if you change the red and blue colors around. The truth is, they are not as different as they claim, but the only things they talk about (they being politicians, modern day priests, aka bullshit artists) are things which are obvious, or they have a bullshit solution that includes spending your money, going to war, or kicking the can down the road.

The things they can’t fix, or understand, or aren’t in their interests are the things that make all politicians shit for brain assholes, or greedy sociopaths, your choice. These things are not discussed, because, like the shitty movies Hollywood puts out these days, everything has to have a happy ending.

The happy ending is the carrot on the stick. You are the donkey chasing that carrot.

A priest isn’t going to have a sermon about sexually assaulting children, and a politician isn’t going to talk about trillions in debt with no foreseeable way of paying for it. That is political suicide.

What makes you happy makes you vote, and work, and buy shit. That false sense of security you are lulled into right now is precisely what this looney bin needs to keep the wheels turning. Without the opiate of the masses, TV, or empty promises to make up for today’s setbacks, and most certainly without the complete lack of attention span in this country that lets you be fooled by the same magic tricks – we wouldn’t be such an apathetic, comatose, oblivious society we are today.

Once you get past the empty promises of your priests to be delivered in the afterlife, and the empty promises of politicians to win votes and be forgotten, then it’s not so hard to see through bullshit peddled on the news that omits or distorts the truth. Usually omits. You start to get curious, something which neither priests nor politicians desire, and those promises become lies.

But don’t take it personally. That’s the outcome of the world we live in. A world saturated in bullshit, distractions, gluttony, and immaturity. Everywhere you look you can find evidence of popular misconceptions. Like any good pyramid scheme, like our economy, you buy and sell the bullshit. I would be willing to say most of my generation is interested more in what is popular, than what is true. Popular culture is what the news is based on. Sports, celebrities, bullshit. It is what most others surround themselves with, bullshit.

People’s energy is usually put into doing something for another’s profit, or attempt at it in my case, and then anything outside of work is “leisure time” spent doing nothing of importance, thus the boredom most experience, leading to the use of several distraction methods to allay said boredom.

People are more concerned about boredom and reality TV than extinction and physical reality. They are totally disconnected from nature, the real world, and the whole rest of the ecosystem as well as themselves. People have no real identity. I can scratch the surface of society, of the “American Dream” and America today and find nothing but rotten apples. I can also scratch the surface of most people I see on a daily basis, and see that brain that took 13 billion years to get here is devoid of relevance. They, as the press calls them, are nothing but consumers. Either of food, obviously, or of advertising, distractions, or bullshit.

I think, somewhere deep, deep down, people know this about themselves. Because they try to cover it up. Fat chicks wear tight clothes playing pretend, apparently. Old ladies dress like hookers in Colleyville. I see Maybachs and Aston Martins parked at Church, who worships a guy that said the meek will inherit the Earth, and the love of money is the root of all evil. I see people so ignorant, they are ignorant to their own hypocrisy. I know a lot of dumbasses, or knew, in college acting smart because they were physically in a classroom but mentally in a playpen – where they have been, mentally, their entire lives. Even the “smart” ones that would agree with me, but think their consumer choice of different light bulbs and a Prius will afford them all the other bullshit are wrong. Technology cannot replace the immense energy we use, it is only a product of it.

People in this land of 300,000,000 live and breathe skin deep. They know nothing, or care about nothing, past the surface. It’s easier that way, I guess. Less mental effort, less mental stress. But, in reality, that only makes the time bomb bigger. Eventually, we as a society, as a world, as humans, will have to face the consequences for the way we’ve been living. That, or our future generations will. But if any of you were curious enough, you’d probably bet on the latter.

I can see why no one would believe such cynical viewpoints as I espouse here. Most people in the United States have a vested interest in the status quo remaining in place – in exponential growth, unending war, environmental destruction and their (likely) meaningless job, and meaningless money, that come as consequence those three.

You know what my meaningless job is? Pizza delivery.

My job is on the knife edge of American culture. Without factory farming to provide the pre-cooked meats brought on diesel powered trucks once a week to the store, without the 2/3 of oil we import to power those trucks and my car, and without the bailed out, propped up, zombified banking industry that lets the owner make payroll with her retirement fund, and the customers waste money on pizza – I wouldn’t have any income.

Think of the immense waste of resources and time that I, as an individual, make for my job. I drive 45 miles or so, one way, to get to work. I end up driving about another 60 at work, then 45 back home. I burn up about $15 in gas a day so that, on average, about 8 or so fat, lazy, or just spoiled (I work in Colleyville, TX – high avg. income) people can get pizza. Usually that pizza is $10 these days, to keep up with Pizza Hut, Domino’s, and Papa John’s. Unfortunately, due to the prices Mr. Jim’s distributor, Roma foods, charges the food cost is too high to sell pizzas that low.

Thus – my current owner pays me out of her private money, and has yet to make a profit since October 2009. My previous boss, the owner of another store I worked at for well over a year, paid me up to 6 weeks late for most of that time and just yesterday closed his doors permanently after desperate attempts to make profit.

Frivolities such as pizza delivery are the pawns of the American economy, or the fucked up game that we call the American economy. But, when it comes to how the chess game of life will play out, I can assure you the laws of physics will trump the laws of economics. The volatility I witness at my job is only a foretelling of what is, or will, happen to the rest of the economy.

You see. I could have a blind optimism, a testament to ignorance, a justification for obedience, but curiosity deems those things bad moves in this game. I will talk in grander vision in the next post.

When you read this post, try to remember what life is like for others in different corners of the world, and how it has treated peoples of the past.

Not a whole lot of talk about standard of living for these people. Not a whole lot of depression, or obesity; nor science, or literature.

Try to remember thousands of years ago, when there were exponentially less people on the planet. We have had humanity inflation in these recent years, so much so we deliberately ignore most people, the hundreds sometimes, we come across in a day.

Unfortunately, our brains have remain unchanged since the times we’d see 50 people in our entire lives – not in a trip to Wal Mart, so Americans are as mentally unhealthy as they are physically. As individuals, as people with access to any information they want, any entertainment, any means of travel, control over their climate, and instant communication with each other, these are where the choices we have made have taken us. We have pursued, and gained, the individual freedom only a King would have enjoyed – and a plethora of ways to use it. At least, that’s what the slogan is for modern living, for the Western lifestyle.

What’s the fine print? After all, if you have some knowledge of thermodynamics, you know that matter cannot be created or destroyed. It is a fundamental law of the universe. So where did the cars, the A/C, the buses, televisions, computers and industrial processes that provide the work and the products we participate in, and the energy to make it happen, come from? Hydrocarbons, baby! So called “fossil fuels”.

Ya. That’s the man behind the curtain, there. The Wizard of Oz is hydrocarbons. One gallon of gas is 125,000 BTUs, or 500 hours of human work. To say another way, what gets your car 30 miles down the road, would take you 500 hours to work off. Think of your gadgets surrounding you that are powered by it, the AC, the speed (when not in traffic), etc. Fossil fuels are an amazing culmination of time, pressure, and nature – the rocket fuel that has propelled civilization to the point it enslaved itself to the comforts of entertainment.

All this is enabled by very basic, animal instincts. Primal ways of how we are wired lend us easily to addictive behaviors. We overindulge, no matter who we are, because throughout our evolutionary past what is now plentiful (thanks to hydrocarbons) was, for most of history, scarce. We are addicted. Our brain rewards us with dopamine for violence, eating, and sex. With the help of, because of, or for those things, that is the man behind the curtain in our own heads. Now, most Americans have a problem with too much food, and too much debt. The ironic thing is, the literal treadmill collects dust; while the figurative treadmill of running and not getting anywhere is what we, as a society, are doing.

But, the good news is, smart people like me and you can selfishly, hypocritically, take advantage of others who sell their soul to make a buck. Movies, music, video games, cars, all make us happy for our own survival while guaranteeing the non-survival of the civilization. That’s what happens.

Our individual choices should be more balanced, yes? How to evolve, how to try to get your fill of the past so you can build the future, is difficult. But maybe it’s possible?