Archive for November 2012

The Bipolar Perspective: The Bipolar Mandate in a Society of Hate   Leave a comment

HATE MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND

Want to get somebody really amped up about a cause?   Don’t tell them how they can stop hunger in Africa.  Or, child abuse in America.  Or even heroin addiction among teens right in their own quiet suburb.   Just park too close to their Porsche in the garage at the mall this holiday season.   They will sit vigil for hours until you come out of the mall and harang you up close and personal for this awful capital offense with a string of obscenities that would make Redd Foxx flip over in his grave.

And if you ignore them and be on your way, they will follow you home with blinding high beams in your rear view mirror and finish their tirade.   Mind you, no damage was ever done to their magnificent German feat of engineering.  It’s just the idea of what could have happened.

However, try to get this same Carrera-minded individual to volunteer the same couple of hours they spent trying to “make you sorry you disrespected their 911” to attend a half-hour citizen’s watch meeting to curb neighborhood violence.  You won’t even get an RSVP.

PROPERTY VS. PROPRIETY

People’s belongings have become more important than their beings.   With the start of the economic downturn in 2008, a huge cultural fracture occurred.  People who were once the epitome of financial security went from drinking a fine cab every evening to driving a dirty one every night.   And those able to hang on to their treasures decided they did something right and slowly divorced themselves from the less fortunate.

It’s a reversal of fortune, giving the newly poor a taste of what it’s like to be Bipolar, although there is no way for them to make the direct connection.  But in a lot of ways, people with Bipolar Disorder feel on the outside too.  Like we did something wrong for having been afflicted and have never been able to play with the completely well-adjusted.  Now some of the formerly financially well-adjusted  aren’t really welcome to play with those who survived the economic downturn.  The wealthy’s property is more precious to them than their propriety as compassionate human beings.

IT”S A JUNGLE IN THERE

I don’t know if it’s the Bipolar Disorder or my mind is actually out-of-order, but when I lay my head down at night the only things that stand out are all the negativity which occurred in my day.  The imposing Cadillac Escalade who cut me off in traffic and almost caused me to hit another driver.   The weathered gray-bearded man begging on the street as a passer-by callously told them to “get a job.”  The puritanical suburbanite in the elevator who yelled I almost “ran grandma down” on my way in and demanded an apology.   The short and stout bespectacled German tourist who almost knocked me to the ground trying to get the last spot on the cable car on my way home from work.  Each night my mind is a jungle fraught with the nastiness of mankind.  It’s amazing I can sleep at all.

THE STRUGGLE

I constantly grapple with the idea of whether it is really that bad out there or if my Bipolar Disorder is magnifying the situation?   I think it’s a little of both.   I see how people are treating one another and it disgusts me.   And then my Bipolar Disorder magnifies the depression that ensues.  Trying to keep positive in a world of people intent on defecating on one another is a real challenge to someone who is already dopamine deficient.

DOUBLE DOWN

To top off the bad economy causing this great human divide, our political divisiveness is  making everything worse.   Now the conservative right is fighting to keep the elite in a class by themselves and the rest of the country at the kids table.  Plus, they are  doubling down blaming the left for everything from women allowing themselves to be raped to permitting poor people to breath the same air.

Well I’m doubling down too.  Each day I strive to be nicest most considerate individual I can be.  I am courteous to others,  helpful to my co-workers and considerate of the less fortunate.  I open doors for women, offer my seat on public transportation to the elderly and if I have an extra dollar for someone in need, it’s theirs.   Someone has to start a full-out assault on this national tone of hostility with a groundswell of kindness.

THE BITTER TASTE OF REVENGE

However when someone egregiously does you wrong, revenge is seen as a sweet way to even the score.   And I think being afflicted with Bipolar Disorder, which is also conveniently packaged with the Obsessive Disorder included, it’s easy to be consumed with retaliation.   Someone has your car towed?   Track them down and smear dog shit under their car door handles, wrap their house in cellophane so they can’t get out,  send pizza delivery guys to their house at all hours of the night and on and on.   You can become giddy with the possibilities.

But not only does this escalate the incident, it feeds this cycle of hatred.  And, revenge never really works out as gloriously as anticipated.  You get arrested for trespassing while gift-wrapping the house, get dog shit all over your hands rigging the car door handles and punish a lot of innocent pizza delivery guys who are just out trying to earn a living.

So no, the best revenge is doing nothing at all.  Not only does it show you are the better person, but it stops feeding into this cycle of human cruelty that has gone awry.   Revenge is born of bitterness, and it tastes just as bad as it ends up feeling.

THE BIPOLAR MANDATE

As Bipolar afflicted individuals, we have a special mandate in this massive freeway pile up of humanity in which everyone is out of their cars blaming one another for the fog.  We feel injustice, cruelty and disrespect more deeply than others.  So we have to consciously try harder to be ambassadors of kindness and understanding.

I know this sounds like pacifist bullshit.  But think about it.   We can be lazy and let our illness take us down the road of hopelessness and insurrection.  Or we can fight it by not succumbing to all the ass-holes of the world.

Bipolars can not act or be consumed by negativity, which in my case will lead to suicide.  Because I know if I not only don’t start letting things slide off my back and commence putting some kindness back into our society, eternal unconsciousness is a much more preferable state of mind.

Advertisements

The Bipolar Perspective: The Season of Reason   2 comments

FIGHT NIGHT

Friday night was fight night.  Or, at least it was for me.   While talking with an irrational foul-mouthed balding and bloated neighbor with bad breath over my car being towed, his deceivingly meek looking son came out of nowhere and slammed me to the ground, fracturing my wrist and cutting up my arm.   I make it a rule not to fight back unless in dire straights.   Hit someone the wrong way and you could be the one going to the big house.  Plus, fighting solves nothing.   I prefer to use words.  Aren’t we even taught as children to “use our words?”  He must have missed that lesson.

Was the confrontation avoidable?  Absolutely.   I could have dismissed it and let this vindictive Porsche laden aristocrat go on with his elitist life having cars towed off his block, as he feels not only does he own his house, but the entire street.  But I was out a $650 towing fee and wanted to know why.  So when I saw him getting out of his four door Porsche which resembles the Fred Flintstone mobile, I went up to ask him about it and a small riot broke out.

GROUND HOGS DON’T TAKE HOLIDAYS

I am Bipolar II.  I suffer from rapid cycling.  If I’m not careful I can turn from depressed to manic in a matter of seconds.  Consequently, I always have to keep myself in check.  And for years I have done a relatively good job.

But no matter how hard I try I always have a major incident during the holiday season. It could be a serious problem at work, a car accident, a deep depression, a drunken mishap… Something to make me wish I could have gone to sleep on the day before Thanksgiving and wake up January 2nd, skipping all the drama.  The holidays for me are an annual Ground Hog’s Day, the likes of the Bill Murray movie with the same name.  Problems ever year.  Same miserable results where I end up forlorn, depressed and suicidal.

SEASON OF THE WITCH

This year I made a conscious effort not to fuck up.  Starting last week I decided to make no major decisions, to drive very carefully and not get into any arguments.  At work I kept my head low and concentrated on my tasks.   I decided not to go overboard with the unavoidable holiday drinking so I wouldn’t do or say anything stupid.  Basically I was putting myself on parole.  If I started to screw up I decided to put a David Yurman Bracelet around my ankle and voluntarily submit to house arrest.

However as Donovan said in the 1960’s, “It’s The Season of the Witch.”  Some get the holiday blues and others get the witches’ brew.  I think one slipped me a mickey when I left my water bottle briefly unattended at the office last week.  I thought something tasted funny.

THE BITTER-SWEET TASTE OF REVENGE

As advised by the doctor who saw me in the emergency room when I went to have my wrist taken care of the next day, I filed assault and battery charges against the slap-happy looking son who blindsided me.  I felt kind of bad, because it was the vermin-ridden father who I wished I could have arrested.   I think he misread the situation and was protecting his dad.

Who knows what will become of the case?  With my luck it will somehow backfire on me and I’ll end up doing five to ten in San Quentin.   Most probably nothing will happen.  So then my manic brain will start thinking of all the ways of seeking revenge;  Painting “Ass Hole” on his garage door, camouflaging some spike strips at the end of his driveway or some other completely juvenile, but highly rewarding payback.

But revenge is bitter-sweet.   It’s sweet at first because you are getting back at the person who has escaped the consequences of their abusive temper-tantrum.   However it’s bitter because they will surmise it’s you and you will forever be looking over your shoulder in fear of retaliation.  Moreover, take the low road of vengeance and you’ll have another confrontation in the future.  This guy is obviously is a bottom feeder.  Take the high road and you’ll never run into miscreants like these again.

HOLIDAY BLACK AND BLUES

So as I sit here licking my wounds, my dog is sitting next to me licking his ass.   It reminds me of all my Bipolar friends and acquaintances who have told me “cheerful holiday revelers can take the whole season and shove it up their asses.”   It depresses them too.

Many researches believe people with Bipolar Disorder cycle at specific times of the year.  If it’s around the holidays, it could have to do with the colder weather and it getting dark earlier.  Or, something about the season can be a trigger.  Some people feel left out or lonely during the holidays, and it causes depression or manic behavior.

It all makes sense to me.  The issue I have is why, through all my behavioral vigilance, did I still end up black and blue this holiday season?  Was it wrong not to stand up for myself and approach the tow-happy father and son duo?  Maybe considering the time of year I should have refrained?  Should I just have accepted the $650 tow charge as just another Holiday blow and let it go at that?   Could I have guessed there could be trouble and leave it alone?  Hind site is twenty-twenty.  Maybe my dog is not so stupid for licking his ass.

THE SEASON OF REASON

For Lexus it’s “the December to remember.”  For me the holidays are “the season of reason.” Every year when I have my holiday trauma, I remind myself with extra vigilance of all the reasons not to kill myself.   If you are Bipolar, thoughts of suicide are frequent occurrences that would scare the Juicy Coutures right off “normal people.”   We see thoughts of suicide as part of the mind-scape we navigate on a daily basis.

I have them every day and night.  But around the holidays, I spend the month thinking of reasons not to go ahead and do it.  And every year it becomes harder.  Is this the season I’ll run out of reasons?

DEPARTMENT OF PARKING AND EXTORTION

Just when I thought it was all over came the encore.  I went to the San Francisco Department of Parking and Extortion to get a neighborhood parking permit so I can park without it raining tickets on me anymore.  But the city worker who resembled a potato with only half a brain would not give me the sticker unless I paid for the two tickets I received the day I was towed.  And not having my briefcase full of money with me, I couldn’t get the permit.  So as soon as my car is spotted on the street by the parking authority, it will get booted.   It’s a never-ending cycle specially created by the City of San Francisco to punish people for living and working in the city and contributing hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue.

It was all I could do not to drag the bored looking potato-headed clerk out from behind the glass via the little pass-through slot where she takes your money head first.  But I heard there is a city surcharge if you do that.  And then you are responsible for stuffing her back in.

DEATH WISH 

The easiest thing to do is sit down and die.  I have a suicide plan.  Many Bipolars that suffer deep depression do.   But I have a hard time pulling the euphemistic trigger.   I’d rather someone else do it.

So I am walking through the worst neighborhoods alone and at night.  I am crossing streets against on coming traffic.  When I’m driving near canyons I speed up, hoping to lose control, crashing through the guard rail and over the side exploding in a fireball of magnificent Mustang.  I even wash my Bipolar medication down with a couple of glasses of wine at night.  And, at the end of the day I’m secretly glad I’m alive.

I don’t really want to die.  Or at least not quite yet.  I just want Holiday Ground Hogs Day to have its final showing.  To make it through next year’s holidays without incident.  To keep my Bipolar Disorder in check instead of thinking of ways to check-out.  Medication can not do all the work.  I have to do my part by avoiding the triggers and talking to my therapist.   There is no “easy button.” Maybe reaffirming this is my holiday gift to myself.   I’d like to give this gift of wisdom to you as well this holiday season.  I hope it will help.   Sorry it’s not wrapped.

The Bipolar Perspective: Liberalism is a Mental Illness   2 comments

I DO IT TO MYSELF

Nothing is more frustrating than to spend a couple of days in a ultra conservative chat room debating US politics.  Actually, you aren’t really debating anything.   You’re just reading the most twisted viewpoints you’ve every heard outside of an institution for the criminally insane.  No matter what you say, they can quote figures from obscure ultra right wing conservative web sites run by grown men who refer to liberals as “libby libs” or “demmy dems.”  It’s a third grade mentality from those who rode to school on the short bus.

But I put myself in that chat group.  At first it was just to hear other viewpoints.  I like to vigorously debate politics.  But then came the hostility for anybody who isn’t paranoid the liberal government is out to control their lives and that god will seek revenge on them, peppered with slurs against gays and inferences of prejudice against blacks.   And I have to admit, I gave it back to them and then some.   When you are talking to a bunch of rednecks in the swamps of Florida and the underbelly of Texas, there is tons of great fodder to hurl back.  It almost seemed unfair because all they could think to call me was a fag, homo and “Petey.”

OBAMA’S ULTIMATE SOLUTION

Eventually I stopped with the insult-fest and everyone else followed suit, to the best of their sophomoric abilities.   I have to admit, I made nice, threw around a few veiled compliments and semi-agreed on a several borderline lucid arguments.   I wanted to hear more of this gibberish.   It was so grotesquely absurd I couldn’t stay away from it.   It’s like a bad car wreck you can’t help looking at on the side of the road.

Basically, their distilled argument is that “President Obama wants to increase the amount of people on welfare so he’ll have a bigger voter base dependent on him via entitlements (conservative code word for “free stuff” from the government). Then, he will change campaign term limits and continue his reign of “king.”  That is the bitter syrup of the conservative venom toward Obama.

The details may differ a little, depending the conservative, like “Obama just hates America and wants to destroy it,”  or, “he is in a secret alliance with the Muslims and he wants to force the country to worship Islam.”  All of these late night radio talk show caller conservatives are never at a loss for these far fetched seizmic scenarios.

LIBERALISM IS A MENTAL ILLNESS

“I’m a dunce and piece of shit.”  At least so I’ve been told by the moderator of this chat group. He’s an Orthodox Christian in Wichita Kansas who threatened to “cut me down like a stalk of wheat” because I commented that he does not even read the plethora of right wing propaganda he so virally posts.  He just slaps it up there.   I think that’s the real definition of a dunce.

Moreover, he also held the contention liberalism is a mental illness.   Now on this I am an expert.  I’m Bipolar II. I know what it is to suffer from deep depression, exhaustive mania and the two mixed together.  Bipolar is mental illness.  Liberalism is political philosophy.

THE BIPOLAR CONNECTION

What set my head a reelin’ is that the moderater later posted a sort of apology t.  He explained he was recently diagnosed with Bipolar Illness and is trying to control it without medication.   Apparently he is having difficulty controlling is anger.  I salute him for his honesty.

Ironically, he has no idea I authored “Buzzkill,” One Man’s Disorderly Struggle with Bipolar Disorder in 2011.   I was sure Bipolar Illness would be ridiculed by conservatives as god’s punishment for liberals, in spite of the fact a disease is politically neutral.  I wanted to extend my support to him as a lifetime sufferer, but I find it hard to believe he’d accept help from a liberal.

Ironically, up until now, unless your employer offers insurance, someone with Bipolar Disorder can not get insured.   Obama care will allow people with pre-existing conditions, like Bipolar Disorder, to get affordable insurance for the first time ever.  I wonder how this newly diagnosed Bipolar conservative will turn this around to be a negative?

WELCOME COMRADE

Obamacare.  The big bad government option.  I get chills every time I think of a poor family being able to get affordable health insurance so they can save a little more from each pay check.  This could keep some get off government assistance.  However, it would also ruin the ultra conservative argument that we are becoming a communists nation through socialized medicine.

Well then welcome Comrade!  First Mitt Romney turned Massachusetts communist with Romneycare, and now the entire county is doing it with Obmamcare.   The chat group said the rest of the United States are going to fall like dominos under communist rule.  Personally I am already being sized for a fur hat before there is a run on them.

Romney really fucked up in Massachusetts.  He did something people liked.  And now Obama is bringing it to the entire nation.  Now it’s a bad thing.   No matter what the President does he can not win with the conservatives.

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS

The last thing I learned being in this ultra conservative chat room is that when all else fails and you can’t make your point, just say “It’s gods will.”   One hollow headed woman in the group who usually just quotes scripture  and thinks “grits are yummy,” also said “Jesus is pissed.  He ain’t no baby anymore and he’s mad. He’s going to get the liberals and good.”

When did Jesus turn god’s son into a Hell’s Angel?  I must have missed that sermon.   With all this talk of Texas seceding from the United States I’ve been up all night celebrating with the rest of the country.  I’d actually like the President to put them on a time-table.  It would be like getting rid of a wicked case of hemorrhoids.

THE FINAL CONFUSION

As a Bipolar Disorder sufferer there is always the temptation to go manic on these misguided political and religious narrow minded misanthropes.   Either that or they can make you completely depressed to live in a world with human beings that are so completely irrational and warped.  You must keep your head and remain logical.  Better yet, just ignore them as the fearful, hateful narrow-minded walking contradictions that they are.  Do not let them be your trigger.   You can not win an argument with irrational fear-mongers.

If everyone in this world agreed it would be a very boring existence.   I thrive on diversity and spirited debate.   Some of the best ideas are born of compromise.   And if you don’t have the capacity to admit you are not always right,  you belong on the right.   They are never wrong.   Just ask one.

The Blessing of a Fetish   6 comments

PUGSLEY

Fetish.  Even the word sounds creepy.  You picture a fat red-headed thirty-year-old guy in a gravy-stained striped shirt resembling Pugsley from the Addams Family.  He’s voraciously wringing his freckled hands together while he has deviant sexual thoughts, much too abnormal to verbalize. He’ll later masturbate for hours in the privacy of his bedroom to his favorite website depicting female gynecological medical procedures, suppressing his moans of ecstasy as he completes all over his keyboard.

The truth is, although even the word fetish sounds perverted, it’s far from it.  We all have at least one.  Some of them are relatively tame and barely on the cusp of being taboo.  Others are really shocking to those of us who are simply turned on by things like having sex in pubic.  But fetishes are an innate part of the human sexual psyche that can not be simply cast off or ignored because they are too embarrassing for public consumption.

NATIONAL FETISH APPRECIATION DAY

People with taboo fetishes, or fetishes they consider taboo, go through life suppressing this embarrassing “abnormality” they are constantly tempted to act on.   However acting on one is often out of the question by the extreme fear someone will find out.   If you’re a guy, you’ll have to join the mafia, later turn government informant and consequently disappear into the witness protection program where you can start life again without being known as the guy who sniffs the chair every time a woman stands up.

You can not “give-up” a fetish like you can playing a sport.  It owns you.  It’s like being a homosexual and deciding you will not be attracted to your own sex anymore.  Try and convince your genitals of that.  And unless it involves something to do with minors, violence or death, why in the world would you want to get rid of it?   There should be a National Fetish Appreciation Day.  People should be grateful they have something that makes them completely sexually charged simply by just the thought of it.   Sexual stimulation and orgasms are the perks of having to drag around a human body and deal with all its inconveniences, aches and pains.   You should enjoy whatever can put you in that state ecstasy.  Unless you are living in the state of Alabama.  Then it’s probably illegal.

And if you think you are the only person who wants to be put in diapers and treated like a baby, go online.   There are countless web sites, videos, picture galleries and groups for almost any fetish you can imagine.  Plus you can browse to your heart’s content in complete anonymity.  The days of hiding in the back of an adult book store with your feet stuck to the floor searching for something that kind of depicts your fetish are long gone.   Just the fact that there are all these web sites dealing with your particular fetish proves you are not alone.   Chances are, you’ll find you are not all that over the top either.

THE POLICE DON”T GIVE SPANKINGS

Want to be spanked by someone in a position of authority?  I once had a friend who actually called the police and requested a police woman come over and spank him for real.   I actually saw him slumping down in the front seat of a police car as a police-woman drove him to an empty parking lot to explain why what he did was inappropriate.   I think that turned him on even more.  And when she was done lecturing him he still asked for his spanking.

But for those of you who don’t chose to interact with the law, there are service providers out there catering to every fetish imaginable.   Naturally, you can find them on the internet.   And these men and women are professionals, not prostitutes.   They will not have sex, although clients are encouraged to have a sexual release.   They will however help you explore your fetish by creating your ultimate fetish fantasy.  I think this is an important service long overdue.

BECOMING YOUR FETISH

For those with a really open line of communication with their significant other, spouse or friend with benefits, you might feel comfortable about sharing your fetish with them.   And if it doesn’t involve an animal they might be willing to help you indulge    Your partner might even enjoy it as well.   But you must be cognizant of their sexual needs too.   If every time you get in bed you want your man to slap your face and treat you like a slut, he’s going to want some regular loving sex as well.  Be careful not to become your fetish.

BLESSING OF THE FETISHES

Every year in San Francisco’s grand Grace Cathedral atop prestigious Nob Hill, there is a Blessing of the Animals.   People come in droves to have their dogs, cats, birds, snakes and other pets blessed by St. Francis, the Patron Saint of Animals.   This is because animals are a blessing on earth.   They are loyal, loving and harbor no ill will unless defending themselves.

Fetishes are the same way.   They are completely harmless and bring joy to people’s lives.   And if you are religious they are even God-given, although many would argue the almighty fucked up.  Yet many of the people who have them are humiliated to entertain such thoughts.  That’s why Grace Cathedral needs to have a Blessing of the Fetishes once a year.   People can go there without revealing their fetishes, but still be blessed.   It would be a way of letting them know not only is it alright to have them, but they are a blessing.

Think what your life would be like if you are a man and didn’t have the daily excitement of possibly hearing a woman fart?    Or the building crescendo if you’re a woman from peering at guys crotches all day because the bulge makes you almost orgasmic.   What would you do to fill the void?  Concentrate on work?   Volunteer to help the homeless?  Become a right-wing Christian?  Farts and bulges are far more titillating.

FANTASY ISLAND

I can’t tell you not to be embarrassed about your fetish or fetishes.  I’m certainly embarrassed about mine.  And unless you find an island where everyone is into the same behavior, you’ll probably always keep it on the QT.   But it doesn’t mean you still can’t enjoy them.  Some just use their minds.  Some use the internet.  Some find willing partners.  However it’s all good.  Furthermore, you can not call fetishes a deviation if everybody has them.  They are in our brains for a reason.   I feel it’s for our pleasure.  It is human beings who have labeled them taboo.   It’s our society who has framed them too humiliating to share.   But we can change this.   We must open our minds to what’s out there.  Consequently, in the long run we’ll all feel less abnormal about our fetishes.   Now, please excuse me while I drink from the toilet.

WILL THE REAL VEGETARIAN PLEASE STAND UP?   Leave a comment

DIRTY DINING

I am tired of self-righteous people looking down on my rib eye steak.   I don’t eat one every day.   Probably because I can’t afford to.   But when I can, am in a good restaurant and have a hankerin’ for one, I want my moo.  And as I’m enjoying its marbled fat clogging my arteries and shortening my lifespan, there is always some single young urban professional woman with short hair a few tables away eating a salad flashing me cutting looks of disapproval.  It’s as if I were munching on a shriveled up human cadaver with a frozen in time gaping open-mouthed “please help me” expression on its face pointed her way.

For a moment I look down on my plate and feel bad about myself.  I love animals.  I would never harm one.  Yet, I’m actually eating a dead one.  But as long as I don’t have to slaughter and butcher the cow myself, I can stomach it just fine.   Yes, I am weak.  A weak man when it comes to eating morality.   I can not suppress my taste for meat, no matter how many vegetarians give me the dirty dining look.

JESUS DIED FOR OUR SINS.  A COW DIED FOR OUR LOAFERS.

I think if you can abstain from eating meat on anti-cruelty to animal principles, you are a marvelous person.  Not only do you have strong convictions, but you practice what you preach.   A far better individual than I.  However, most of the vegetarians I have met are self-righteous hypocrites.  They castigate you for eating meat, yet they are wearing leather shoes, jackets and carry leather bags.

You may or may not believe Jesus died for our sins.  But a cow definitely died for those loafers.  Vogue vegetarians are not saving lives as long as they are using products made of leather.  And since many claim vegetarian status out of fashion,  they are not prepared to give up their fashionable leather apparel.   It’s in vogue to abstain from eating meat, not to shop at Payless Shoes.

And the fact that many “vegetarians” eat fish and chicken further perplexes me.  Does it hurt a chicken or fish any less to be slaughtered?  Are their lives any less important than a cow’s just because their brains are not as developed?   That’s like saying it’s OK to kill a retarded person because he or she won’t really understand what’s going on.  Killing is killing.  You either do it or you don’t.   There isn’t a happy medium.   It’s like supporting the death penalty.  You’re either for killing people or you’re not.

VEGAN VITRIOL

However the pendulum swings both ways.   There are nobel individuals out there, mostly in San Francisco, who see the hypocrisy of “vogue vegetarians” and make their statement by becoming vegans, by not eating any kind of meat or food that has any animal origins.  A cow can’t even have looked at their plate of jicama or it’s inedible.  Moreover, they do not wear any animal products either.  This is why most vegans are readily identifiable by their garb;  Canvas sneakers, pants falling down because they don’t have leather belts, canvass messenger bags and t-shirts promoting no-kill animal shelters.

But the best way to identify vegans is by the scowl on their faces.   These people are not doing this to be fashionable.   They are 100% committed to not killing any animal for any reason.  And if you are not fully on board, you get “the look.”   Head cocked to the side, lips pursed together and a cold stare through squinted eyes that penetrates your soul. Even all the way from the sidewalk and through a McDonald’s plate-glass window while you have a mouthful of Big Mac.  To a vegan you are not just eating a hamburger, you are disposing of a dead body.

So while I admire vegans for their commitment, many are seething with vitriol at those who are not in step.   And if you do find a vegan who can tolerate you, going out to eat with them is like looking for a French restaurant in Texas.   Most restaurants don’t even know the requirements for vegan cooking.  And when you finally locate one with a vegan menu, you feel like you are eating perfumed flowers and crayon flavored polenta.   You can’t wait to get home and scarf down a bowl of Count Chocula in Chocolate Milk to get that humane vegan taste out of your mouth.

PLEASE LIGHT A MATCH!

Equally annoying are the healthy eating food movements that have arisen to foul our collective kitchens;  Eating raw, eating natural and eating a turkey leg while the bird is under anesthesia so you don’t have to kill it.  Every self-styled Dr. Phil of Food has a new way of eating that is going to “change everything.”   They put out DVD’s, books, create special web sites, have seminars and even PBS specials.

One “groundbreaking program” supposed to change the way the world eats was called Food Forward, which had a single episode life span on PBS’ “starved for free programming” affiliates in Anchorage Alaska, Columbus Ohio and other major minor markets.   Surprisingly  eating plants and dirt (packed with iron you know) never caught on with the mainstream.

So, the Food Forward producers tried to cross-fund more episodes with a cheap reality series of videos called Food Rebels, staring the self-styled road warrior in search of great grub Greg Roden, who is also the show’s producer.  He aimlessly drove around the country in a trailer looking for ordinary people eating unordinary things.  It’s a total reach when programs like this find a food fool in Oregon who eats wood and calamities like Food Rebels try to convince viewers this is a newly discovered “kind of food” and way of eating.  Apparently we need to take more nutritional cues from termites.

The only thing I can say is that whenever you hear or see anything from the bowels of Food Forward’s rag-tag collection of stupid food tricks, light a match when you are done.   Please be considerate and don’t stink up the world for the rest of us.

ITS BEEN DONE BEFORE

Food has already been invented.  As much as people like the producers of Food Forward would have you believe, they are not going to discover a new food.  Ancient cultures have beat them to the punch.  The Chinese eat cow stomach lining called tripe, a delicacy left over from when they were starving in ancient China and could not waste any part of the animal.   African slaves in America made delicacies out of pigs knuckles and black-eyed peas, which were scraps left over from white people.  And Aborigines still eat insects to survive out in the bush.

Moreover, people have been even drinking their own urine for years, but I’d hardly call it a new food, or even beverage.   Plus, I’m sure it doesn’t taste all that great either.   But Food Forward, Food Rebels or whatever the producers are now calling it, might designate drinking urine a new food.   And the strange person in the little house in the woods with no electricity guzzling it down daily?  A “Food Hero.”

CHEW WITH YOUR MOUTH CLOSED

My response to all of the people with their eating idiosyncrasies, whether they be out of fashion, true conscious or a desire to be famous, “is to chew with your mouths closed.”  Nobody wants to see what you’re eating.   Nor does anyone want to be told how to eat.   People know whats good and bad for you.   They chose to eat what they want for their own reasons.  I know eating meat is a complete juxtaposition against of my love for animals.   However I unabashedly admit my shortcoming. And, its my decision if I want to reorganize my priorities.

DON’T JUST CLEAN YOUR PLATE, EAT IT.

So enough of all these “great new foods” and ways of eating.  There are no new foods and ways of eating.   Delicacies and diets just come in and out of fashion.   The only thing original are new and more delicious ways of preparing food.  Moreover, as long as there are delectable things to eat in the world, people are not going to eat out of their gardens, get their iron from consuming dirt, drink their own urine or stop eying that sizzling rib eye with the garlic butter.   So mind your manners and eat off your own plate.   Or as  Food Forward might recommend, don’t just clean your plate, eat it.  It’s loaded with calcium and they can shoot an entire episode about it!

The Good Pastor Julian   Leave a comment

WHAT JEFFERSON REALLY MEANT

Did you know the First Amendment of the Constitution says nothing about the concept of separation of church and state?   And when drafting the amendment, Thomas Jefferson actually meant that government should not interfere with religion, but religion is intended to be part of government?  Moreover,  did you know that although every Supreme Court decision ever made on this issue has ruled in favor of separation of church and state and is completely wrong?

People actually believe this.  They call themselves Christians.  But don’t confuse them with the normal, intelligent, giving and honorable Christians of the world.  These are actually Christian right wing fanatics.  Their MO is to re-construct history to fit their religious beliefs.  And if facts get in the way, they simply discount them.  Worse yet, they teach this drivel to their children.   They are actually raising an entire generation who has no idea they are being socially handicapped by their own parents and churches.  Can you imagine if they ever left their comfort zone and spouted off some of this cartoon-like doctrine in public?  They’d be clearing brush off  San Francisco sidewalks wishing they were in Crawford.  Lucky for them Al Gore invented the internet.

ITS NOT WORTH THE EFFORT

I don’t want to get into the same old argument of whether or not god exists.  I learned a long time ago you can not argue with irrational people who conveniently invent or discount “facts” to support their belief system.   Moreover,  I do believe in freedom of religion.   People are entitled to their beliefs.  And as long as they aren’t imposing them on me or anyone else, I say let the prayers to god, the holy ghost, Jesus, Buddha, Islam or whatever deity you are digging on, ring from the mountaintops.  Just please use your library voices because other people may be trying to concentrate on reality.

I’M WITH STUPID

Unfortunately, the other day I found myself in a discussion on Facebook with a Right Wing Christian Superhero named Julian Johnson about why god will make sure Romney wins the election, even though he does not pray to the proper god, which is that of the Israelites.   But, as he explained, Mormonism is closer to Christianity than President Obama’s supposed secular beliefs, so Romney is his man for President by default.   I think we are supposed to forget that President Obama is also a Christian and attends church with his family every Sunday.   Facts being irrelevant, Julian explained Obama is actually closer to Islam.   I almost peed in my pants laughing.

When I saw I was heading for one of those nonsensical theological dissertations that have absolutely no bearing on reality, I told him I was going to sign off.  I also advised him to stop concerning himself with all this theological fodder and do something to truly contribute to society.   All he does is create noise.

Julian immediately spouted off a resume of his extensive Christian theologian training and his pastoring to thirty inner city youth.   Thus he presentled himself profoundly qualified to interpret the word of god and teach children to grow up to be stupid adults.  He sure showed me.

MY JEWISH-CHRISTIAN UPBRINGING

I was born into the Jewish religion.  But almost my entire life I attended a Christian faith-based private school in Pennsylvania.  I sat through more church services than those of my own religion.   We gathered twice a week.  Yet students were taught about evolution and “it was god’s will” was never an appropriate answer on a history exam.

Yes, they did have their resident theologian with his head stuck in the bible.  And, in my senior year of high school I did have to take some kind of old or new testament class, although I still don’t know the difference and doubt that it matters.   But that was about it.  Nobody ever sat on my head until I screamed “Jesus.”   These were reasonable Christians.  There is a difference.

WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT?

Last night Barack Obama was elected President of the United State for a second term.  According to Julian Johnson and all the other online self-appointed interpreters of god’s will, before the election god was supposed to make Mitt Romney win.  Now apparently god has changed his mind and switched into protection mode.  He is now supposed to keep believers safe from the destruction of the United States that will surely ensue in Obama’s second term.

I asked some of the “political experts” bemoaning Obama’s victory on Facebook if god’s word was dependable?  After all, I had on my fire retardent underwear ready for the rapture and that never came; Everyone had a different reason for why it didn’t happened, but god made up for that calamity by letting Obama be re-elected.  President Obama is the new rapture.

After all, God owes right wing Christians a rapture and by god they are going to predict it until there is a horrible natural disaster, terrorist attack or a compromise is struck on taxing the top 10%.  Then they’ll jump up and down like frogs on a lilypad screaming “See, I told you so!   Catastrophe!  God’s will!”

THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE IS SPEECHLESS

My position on American politics has always been consistent.  No matter who wins, we need to compromise with the opposite party.  A single party can not always get everything they want.  And both parties need to take this a lot more seriously.   Children in pre-school can learn to work together.  But Congress and the Senate can’t figure it out?   The orange Speaker of the House refuses to budge on anything in spite of Obama’s attempts to reach across the aisle.  His own constituants should demand his resignation.  He is not participating in government.   He’s trying to derail it with a bad sun tan.  This is not what government is all about.

JULIAN’S BROTHER

Although Pastor Julian Johnson, with his four hundred degrees from Theological Universities and his experience mentoring thirty inner city youth finds everything I say offensively wrong, he still called me “bro.”   Like we are friends just casually jousting.  However I told him I am not his “bro.”  I think people like him are dangerous.   I do  believe in freedom of speech, but not when he is spouting off unsubstantiated claims, baltant lies, revisionist views of American history and proclamations about politics from a god most of the world does not recognize and nobody can prove exists.    Yes, the majority of the world is Muslim.  Oy vey Julian!

And does Julian Johnson have a right to his opinion?  No.  Only those with real knowledge on the subject at hand may have a valid opinion.  Pastor Julian has made everything up.  Well, he says his knowledge comes from god, but since nobody can offer proof he/she exists, he knows nothing.   And none of his circular logic is going to change that.  So he has no right to an opinion.   He’d be eaten alive in a political debate if he could not reach for the god-card.

WHAT I BELIEVE

I believe in the facts.   You want to change my mind?   Make a good enough argument and I’m with you.   I believe in America, freedom of religion, supporting our president no matter who is in office, compromise, the first amendment, compassion, freedom of intelligent speech and all inclusiveness.

But during this election process I’ve seen massive voter disenfranchisement,  I’ve heard 47% of American’s being called lazy and on the government dole by the republican candidate for president,  women being informed if they are impregnated through rape they actually willed it,  gay and women’s rights being threatened with repeal, that the failed Reagan trickle down economic theory will once again be allowed cripple our economy and that Iran is our next Iraq.   However all this would happen according to god’s plan and somehow these asinine assertions will return the United States to the glory days of slavery, beheadings of non-believers, witches and demmy-dems who are also referred to as libby-libs by the more educated republican political pundits.

CAR WRECK ON THE INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY

Lastly, I believe if there is a god, he or she would be sick to their proverbial stomach the way his/her word is misinterpreted  and twisted for the convenience of a political party and its constituency of Buick owners.   So while I am elated President Obama has another term to finish the hard work he began, I’m fearful of his self-centered fear mongering opponents acting like uncaged baboons trying to bring him down instead of building up this great country of ours.  A place where people like the good Pastor Julian Johnson can go on the internet and actually find people who agree with his preposterous fantasies.   Because if the web is the information superhighway,  Julian Johnson is a wreck void of any real knowledge which needs to be moved to the side of the road.  It’s bad enough I had to run into him.

Cons, Scams and a Dead Man   Leave a comment

DATING SITE REBEL

I recently joined eHarmony for a month to meet my perfect match… So far all 72 and counting.  Even this self-proclaimed kinder and gentler web site which supposedly treats its members with much more dignity than the Match.com’s of the world, completely takes you to the cleaners if you don’t sign up for at least three months.  I decided for a “de-press only” with no starch and paid the excessive one month fee.   I opted out of the three month spin cycle so if I didn’t like the site, I wouldn’t be forced to keep receiving my six perfect matches four times a week.

You really have to sift through eHarmony to find the “one month option.”  And, they actually make you feel dirty when you select it, like you are not playing by the rules and destined to fail.  Well then call me a dating rebel.  However I keep expecting that mild mannered mid-fifties salt and pepper haired stylishly bespectacled dating expert from the eHarmony television commercials to call and berate me on my flawed approach to online dating.

CUPID IS STUPID

Actually, I chose eHarmony because I was on Cupid.com for just a few weeks and received tons of response… From 20 year old strippers pretending to be interested in order to lure me to their lair of pay sites and cash in on my innate desire to see them naked.  When I realized it was a scam, I quit Cupid quick.  I want a date I can undress in person.

THE WIDOW LESLIE PALMER

Recently a 50 year old woman started contacting me through the laborious and redundant eHarmony multiple choice questionnaire process.  It poses ridiculous queries similar to; “If you got pulled over by the Police and they found crack in your car, would you say it belonged to your date to avoid a third strike?” Or, “What would you do if your date remembered seeing you on an episode of Lock-up?”

I wasn’t really interested in this woman, but she seemed very nice so I played along.  I told her I wasn’t sure if we were a good fit (her teeth looked like corn on the cob with extra husk), so we decided to just email one another to see if we could develop a friendship.  But I knew I’d never want to meet her in person.  Moreover, she was a widow and went to England to settle her late husband’s will who passed away four years ago.  In the back of my mind I wondered why the will was still in probate after four years?

Also, when she told me his name was Brian Palmer, I knew I’d heard it before.  The answer was on the tip of my tongue.  For days I aimlessly wandered the streets of San Francisco perplexed as to where I had heard of this person before.

Suddenly while showering one morning it came to me. Months ago someone tried to relieve me of my money with a “dead husband will scam” where somehow I would become the beneficiary of millions.  Most important, the dead guy’s name was Brian Palmer, just like this stiff.   I jumped out of the shower.  “No fucking way!”  It was all coming together.

LAZY: THE WORST KIND OF CRIMINAL

Taking to heart what I’ve learned about sending nasty emails and then regretting them later, I decided to wait and see if “Leslie,” probably a 250 pound Nigerian man in a shiny suit two sizes too small, made a suspicious move.  Maybe the name thing was just a coincidence.  She certainly wasn’t good looking enough to be playing the “promise of sex” angle.  I’d rather join the Priesthood than see what’s under that skirt.   So, what if I called her out on this and was wrong?   Then I would have insulted her and her poor beloved dead husband.  I cringed thinking about how that would play out.

But when I got into work the next morning an email saying she ran out of money in England and needs me to help her out was waiting for me.  Then she asked for ten thousand dollars.  What kind of help did she need?  Was she planning on sailing back to the United States on a yacht?

The Nigerians strike again!  I knew it was the Nigerians because they run most of the internet scams.   They are incredibly lazy and keep using the same names, photos and catch phrases in all their cons.  Moreover, they get very impatient and ask for the money way too soon.  And, their grammar is atrocious.  It’s actually kind of pathetic.  I was sort of feeling sorry for these inept Nigerians trying to steal from me.  I almost wanted to tell them where they went wrong so they wouldn’t keep making the same mistakes.  I like to help people.

THE BEG-A-THON BARK

It seems like everywhere I go someone is trying to get my meager amount of monetary reserves.  At least six people beg from me to and from work everyday.  I get telemarketed to death daily for things like a free soup spoon if I sign up for ten magazine subscriptions I don’t want.  I can’t even get gas without somebody trying to “save me the trouble of pumping it myself” in return for a few dollars.   Then I am hit up for donations by legitimate charities when I venture out for lunch.  By then I am so embittered by embezzlers I literally bark at them when I see volunteers approaching with their clipboards.

And now the beggars are starting to ask for specific dollar amounts!  When you give them some loose change  you often hear “Oh come on, can I get at least a dollar?”  It makes you want to snatch the money back.  I gave someone a dollar once and he actually asked for at least a five!  He said you can’t do anything with a dollar.  “In that case, may I have it back?” I asked.  “I can find something to do with it.”   I was going to the laundromat that evening and could change it into quarters.

SCAMMERS WITH NO MANNERS

I have no sympathy for the scammer.   “I ran out of gas on the freeway,” says the out of breath man running toward me at the gas station.  “I need money for a can of gas so I can get my pregnant wife to the hospital.  For some reason my credit card isn’t working.  My wife is ready to pop!”

“Where’s the car?  I’ll give you a ride with the gas can to help you save time,” I offer, already knowing there is no car, wife or need for any gas.

“Oh, well it’s way up there on the freeway.”  He points to in the opposite direction.  “It’ll be faster if I take it myself.”  He was starting to sound annoyed with me.  Like I was fucking him up at work and questioning his ability to run sixty miles an hour.

I pulled out my cell phone, “Let me call an ambulance for your wife.  What kind of car do you have?”

All I got was a shot of his back as the man briskly jogged across the street to another gas station looking for a better shill.  No goodbye or anything.  He had no idea how many times I heard that scam before, on both coasts!  Yet I get it at least twice a year.  And it must work or these guys wouldn’t keep using it.

A STAIN ON SOCIETY

People running games on others has gotten to the point where you can’t even be on a dating site without wondering if the person on the other end of the questionnaire is for real.  It used to be you just worried if they looked like their picture.  Now you wonder if they have a mug shot.

When I run into scammers plying their craft, especially on the internet, like with the Brian Palmer ploy, I play along for as long as possible wasting as much of their time as I possibly can.  Then, just when they think I am the sending money, I blow the lid off the whole thing.   I have my “gotcha moment.” I envision their anger with me for frittering away their valuable scamming time.  It’s really all you can do.  But it still infuriates me they have figured out how to infiltrate yet one more venue.  They are like a mysterious stain that appears on your favorite shirt and no matter what you do you can’t get it to completely disappear    These parasites are a stain on society that is actually getting worse.

LAW AND ORDER

It’s a fantasy.  The computer con men are hiding behind so many aliases, fake IP addresses and international borders they will most likely never be caught.   And the police could care less about the panhandlers on the street.  They won’t even come out on a nuisance call involving them because the California jails are bursting at the seams.  All you can do is be vigilant, don’t give money to anyone, just offer help.  If they turn down non-monetary assistance, you know they are not for real.

And if you really are sick of the cons, scams and games constantly being hurled toward you, you can still go one place where there is some law and order. Just check your local TV listings.  Law and Order is on seven days a week in every market across the United States.   It’s the closest you’ll get to anyone trying to put a stop to this nonsense that plaques the weak, infuriates the strong and utterly fascinates me with its boorishness and greed.