Thursday, December 14, 2017

Alex Jones and the Nefarious Government

[Disclaimer: This is my blog, thus I upload my writings here without much proofreading. However, I do come back and edit my entries to make them more clear and get to the heart of what I'm trying to say in each.] Status: Unfinished

It’s dawned on some of us that Alex Jones is playing a role in his 24/7 conspiracy work. For some people it’s always been obvious, but I can’t say that for myself. I discovered one of his 9/11 documentaries around 2003. It was alarming. It was a time on the internet where major long-standing notions and institutions were having their veil lifted, or were at least being questioned.

I fell for it. It was a compelling narrative. Hell, a hefty section of the population fell for it. But, I fell off the wagon a year or two after entertaining anything by Alex Jones. What cause me to completely lose confidence in him was when I saw a full clip of of a video he edited. The full clip told the opposite narrative. In his documentary he cut it off just seconds before any of this would be revealed. “Perhaps he overlooked it?” I considered. But, after having worked on a film I learned how thorough the process is and that there’s NOTHING that is overlooked in the final product. Every edit is intentional.

So, I stopped believing Jones well before he claimed that the mass shooting at the Sandy Hook school was staged. The shooting was an incomprehensible tragedy, and although it was sad that so many people believed that it was staged by the government, their ignorance isn’t what struck me (we’re all ignorant about plenty). The fact that they could believe it was what was notable to me. And, the fact that many of us could believe that the government was involved in 9/11, in they way that a few documentarians had depicted, said more about how people saw their government than how ignorant those people were. Which is, they saw heir government as: Nefarious, as capable of atrocities, as capable of pitting themselves against their own people.
     People could see them like that because of the way the government has behaved in regards to it’s own population (and other nations) in the past. They may have targeted sects of the population, but the government being capable of such things wasn’t a stretch in people’s minds.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Yearning for Problems

My spouse is a mental health counselor, so that means I partially live in a world where mental health problems are constantly focused on. After having lived in this environment for three years, I've come to realize that I don't have any mental health issues. I would have said that timidly two and a half years ago, but I'm more certain of this today than ever, and I can't emphasize enough at how bold of a claim that is in a room full of therapists. It's almost an invitation for them to prod you. Thus, I've only said this out loud twice.

I was looking at /r/preppers on reddit. It's a forum, and the topic is being prepared for when a part or all of society breaks down for whatever reason. There's something about survival situations that many are attracted to, which is ironic because we live in a fairly well-oiled machine. It's comfortable most of the time, and things work predictably. But, tying this into mental health. For most of human history our problems and routines were laid out for us. Go kill something, clean it, don't get eaten while doing it. Tend to your plants. Build a fire. Fix your shelter, etc. Furthermore, I also believe in the adage that "Idle hands are the Devil's workshop." and that that's a large contributor to the prevalence of mental problems today.

There's a part of me that keeps a bookmark in the fragility of modern society. This gives me perspective on "invented problems" vs. "real problems". I think it's one of the reasons I regard myself as having no mental health issues. Now, before you go think that I'm getting all uppity on you. I'm certainly not perfect. I struggle with procrastination and motivation like anyone, but I usually come through. Beyond that, I feel quite the blank slate. Whenever I feel some type of neurosis developing I imagine myself back in the woods, because a man in the woods doesn't have time to worry about this shit! Right? Someone may say "Well, that's because we're more specialized and sophisticated." and this is the point where our sophistication starts working against us.

Now, do I know how to find clean water? No. My family and I are fucked! Do I know how to hunt animals? No. Do I know what plants I can eat and not eat? No. No, no, no, no. I can play you a song, and barter. I figure when the shit hits the fan my trade will skyrocket in value, because there will be no more Pandora or Spotify and everybody will still continue to love music. Anyhow, I'm getting side tracked.

You have to have time in order to worry about your nose, your belly, your bald spot, whether or not your food has a significant amount of sulforaphane in it, whether or not people understand you and see the light in you. "You know what? I'm not sure if my mom loved me enough..." It takes idle time to get unhealthily obsessed with this or that, assuming you're not fighting for your fucking life in the rat race. There are indeed real problems that people have in our society, but unfortunately the solutions are often abstract. If you're hungry, you want some food, first you have to go to work and do something completely unrelated to food, then sit at home and wait for a paycheck. Cash it, take your paper, and go get you an apple. There's more steps in there than that, but you get the idea.

Hunters and gatherers were born into a tribe who knew their environment extremely well, so their problems were simple. This is what our biology is made for. It isn't made for continual profound changes in multiple arenas. Nor is it accustomed to sitting on our ass as much as we do, so we have to invent gyms to aimlessly move our bodies for the sole purpose of moving our bodies, yet another abstraction. This is why I don't understand why everyone wants their laptop to be so light, "Give me the fifteen pounder!"

So, we're accustomed to having problems, and if we don't? We'll damn well invent some. But, inventing your own problems is like recreational misery. If that's the case, you can easily go find some real problems. Like, go clean your room for example. Cleaning is supremely therapeutic, but many people in such royal positions as ourselves can't be bothered. If you live in my zip code, you're royal in relation to the world at large.

What we need is applied problems. They have to have some consequence in making life, "the world" a better place. And don't let perfection ruin a good thing, I know that procrastination trick like the back of my hand.

During my wife and I's first couples counseling session I stated that most of my problems are logistical. That there are things I'm trying to achieve and there are some obstructions, or contradictions I'm unable to reconcile. But, they're there, like a Rubik's Cube on a table, and not internal. In this case, the only internal problem would be that I'm too dumb to figure out a solution. You can't blame me for being dumb, can you?

So it seems that many people are yearning for problems.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Music In the 21st Century

I heard someone say they're tired of hearing musicians say "There's nothing good being produced anymore."

I'm guilty of this to a degree. Albeit, I've usually loved about one album per year, historically. I don't mind that, as long as I LOVE at least one (and of course not that I heard them all)

What I've found increasing since 2007 is the feeling coming through new songs. As I give them a-go I've found myself thinking "This is written as if they know it's not going to last." There's a feeling of half-assery, that they know it's ephemeral (especially when it comes to lyrics). And I don't blame them if that's the case, because personally I find it harder to excellently craft a song that listeners are going to chew, love, and spit out within a week. However... I've found a bright side to this. My music is getting further away from pop-music standards. Since, after listening to Melanie De Biasio's Blackened Cities it dawned on me that the limitations of radio and manufacturing no longer exist. (Side note: The three minute song format didn't arise because it's inherently appealing, it happened because that's about what would fit on a 45 record.) And, the internet is the busiest street corner ever, people who like what I'm doing are bound to walk by.