Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cutting in line

I saw Nora Jones in concert last night at Cobb Energy Center. She has the voice of an angel -- a very sultry angel. During her performance, I was transfixed. Outside of that ...

... I usually dread such ventures into the public, such as going to the movie theater, because of the callous rudeness one almost always experiences while being around hoi polloi. The vast majority of the 6.7 billion people on the Earth have low self respect and, therefore, proportional disrespect for others and others' rights and space. They all have their own ways of acting out this disrespect.

And so, back to the Nora concert. Before I could even get to the parking garage, some hair-feathered 30-something guy with his trophy girlfriend passes up the long line of traffic waiting to enter the theater parking lot next to the garage. The pathetic fellow picked me, of all people, to break in line in front of, with his girlfriend flashing me her winning, oh-please smile.

As I and other drivers saw barbarian coming, we all closed the distance between each others' bumpers, furious that we'd followed civil rules and that he was brazenly believing he was a notable exception. As he tried to force his sports car into the space in front of me, our bumpers came within a few inches of each other and we stared each other down with me mouthing "fuck you" to him and his pretty trophy.

He shook his head indignantly (Ha!) and backed away from the standoff, but the car behind me relented and let him in. As I stared at him in the review mirror, practically begging him to get out of his car and take a fucking beating that he deserved, his girlfriend shot the finger at me. He didn't get out of the car, and he found a parking space far away from me, even though he had a chance to pull up next to me.

These "special" people are cowards, and they are the reason I attend fewer concerts and movie theaters nowadays. Some of his breed also sat behind me and other nice people in the theater. The lady directly behind me decided to sandpaper her nails during the opening act. The lady next to me and I shot her looks to no avail, and just as I was about to turn around and say something, she evidently finished her 10 finger and stopped.

She and her "special" entourage also chatted through the opening act. I'd decided that if they continued even for one minute during Nora's performance that I'd stand up and shout them down and let it go wherever it might go. They were quiet, and my blood finally cooled about five minutes into lovely Nora's performance.

During the opening act, also, a line of eight people arriving fashionably late stood in front of their seats in the row in front of me trying to figure out whose seats were whose with their mobile phones lighting up the seat numbers. This went on for about three minutes. Meanwhile, I and 7 people next to me could not see the opening act and could not listen to the music because of our fury at the insensitivity.

Who are these people -- these drones who populate our world, believe they have special status, ignore the rights of others, disregard civility, attempt to harass civil people, and blithely interfere with others' joy while intoxicating themselves in their own narcissism?

To quote Doc Holliday, they have a great big hole, right in the middle of 'em. They are not people, not anymore. They are lower animals who've abandoned rationality, abandoned personal responsibility. They are subconsciously furious at themselves for their mental treason, and they reek the havoc that is their inner turmoil upon any who come near, in an attempt to make the lives of their victims as wretched as their own.

Instead of the self-esteem of a well-lived life, they have the vacuum-soul that attempts to mitigate its suffering by imposing suffering on others or attempts to falsely inflate its worth and walk the land like a king who imposes his special treatment upon others, becoming indignant when others don't honor the king as expected.

Some people ask why I spend so much time around my Objectivist friends. The above is my answer. Though most Objectivists haven't quite yet become perfectly moral and cleaned up their psychologies, they are, by and large, very respectful of each others' lives and space. I don't usually have to worry about the lashing out or the presumption of kingship. I can have conversation, have good laughs, have congeniality, have mature relationships, have a mutual respect for life, liberty, civility and friendship.

They don't have a big whole inside.

Here's to my friends!

Around the world in 210 days

She wasn't in school. She had something more important to do. She was told by people from around the world that she was too young to do it. Governments almost stopped her. Her parents supported her. Many people called her parents irresponsible for letting her do it. She battled 40 foot waves. Her boat capsized seven times and she righted it seven times.

She was alone on the ocean for 210 days. She sang loudly to herself on glassy oceans under starlit skies and fought off torrential storms with an iron will and a little lady's strength.

She sailed around the world in a mere 31-foot craft, crossing the equator, managing the stormy seas of the Strait of Magellan below South America that Magellan himself found tortuous and deadly, cut the waters of South Africa and headed to the Indian Ocean, befriended a seagull she named "Silly" who remained her companion for awhile, and arrived safely back in her native Australia, ebullient and happy and hungry for chocolate cookies as an adoring crowd cheered.

She is 16 years old, the youngest to ever circumnavigate the Earth alone in a boat. But she won't enter the record books because those in charge of such things refuse to recognize age anymore to dissuade ever younger kids from attempting such feats.

The young lady's name is Jessica Watson. She called her boat "Ella's Pink Lady." She does not call herself a hero. She says she just did what she wanted to do, and that it shows you can do what you put your mind to, whether boy or girl.

Please remember the name Jessica Watson the next time someone whines about life being hard and not being able to achieve what one wants, or the next time someone says that kids are not rational or capable of running their own lives and doing phenomenal things.

Congratulations, Jessica, to you and your Pink Lady!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Teenager talks eloquently about having been unschooled!

If you want to see confidence and eloquence and circumspection and what it's like for a kid who's been unschooled and knows herself and knows how to evaluate herself and the world without constantly saying "like" and stuttering and equivocating, check out this video.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

ABC does hatchet job on unschooling

A few weeks ago, ABC's Good Morning America ridiculed what I and hundreds of thousands of other parents do concerning our children's upbringing: unschooling.

But, as I posted on an unschooler list, at least it means they aren't ignoring us anymore. They've moved on to the second stage of the old adage concerning what opponents do when confronted with a new idea: 1) ignoring 2) belittling 3) arguing over 4) surrendering.

Just two stages to go.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Jesus is coming! Hide the gremlins!

During my hermetic period (from my mid-20s to mid-30s), in which I probably read a couple thousand books, I read the Bible a couple of times. It's a great book, if you're looking for wholesale slaughter of innocent men, woman and children, or perhaps for rape and pillaging, or for a jobless carpenter who says he's a god's child and will kill a man's children if the man doesn't obey him, or for endless ancestry lineage with lots of weird names, or for the word "virgin" uttered often, or for a dude named Satan (not "satin") who kills only two people in the Bible compared with tens of thousands by his prime opponent, a dude named "God."

Fascinating stuff! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The jobless carpenter's name was, as I'm sure you've guessed, "Jesus," whose best parlor trick was turning a loaf of bread into 5,000 (why didn't this guy open up his own bread shop and get RICH?). There's been a lot of talk for a couple of thousand years on when he's going to return. People kinda sorta stopped asking this question when the 2nd millennia passed with nary a sighting nor word from the carpenter, whose bones surely must be turning over and over wondering when the hell all the millions of mystics will a) stop thinking he's a "god" b) stop whispering to him in "prayers" c) stop fucking young children d) stop killing people in his name e) stop pronouncing that the missionary position is the only valid position f) and stop proclaiming that he's about to return to Earth from wherever the hell he went to.

The last of these is especially disconcerting for some of us atheists because the Jesus-God guy is supposed to be omnipresent, so isn't he already here? Can he really leave anywhere when he's everywhere? Is he in my testicles this very moment?!

Oh well, of course I'm being too rational. When hillbillies begin talking about Jesus' return from somewhere to here again for the second time, I get a chuckle. But when the "leading conservative media since 1944" sends me (an online subscriber) an email with the subject line "Is Jesus About to Return," I realize once again that I am an alien who must've been launched in a spacecraft playing Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and showing Firefly episodes from a remote star system comprising rational people who exiled me here for saying "fuck" too much and for giving love pinches to the asses of beautiful women.

The "leading conservative media" is Human Events, which was Reagan's favorite periodical. Right after I received that troubling email, the doppelganger was complete when Human Events followed up with another email with a subject line that read "The Evidence of Life After Death," which confirmed and solidified my alien status beyond a reasonable doubt.

If you cannot quite empathize with my alien predicament of having two feet firmly planted in reality and two eyes always seeking fun and facts and never wishing for there to be things there ain't, perhaps I can offer you an analogy to help:

Let's say you wake up tomorrow morning and nearly everyone on Planet Earth is calling the color "blue" the color "yellow" and they look at you like you're crazy when you demand that blue is blue. Moreover, each of these people talks blithely to gremlins nearby that you cannot see, and they say that the gremlins are their dead ancestors, who had first morphed into flies, then cockroaches, then rats, then penguins before finally metamorphosing into gremlins with green ears and engorged labia.

You know how I feel yet? I do have friends who know that blue is blue, and I latch onto those friends with abandon. "Please, PLEASE don't every leave me! PLEEEEEEEEASE!" When we get together, we look around and know that we are surrounded by the gremlin crowd, the Jesus crowd. We've seen what they've done in history, the murders, the lynchings, the rapes, the spousal abuse, the bullying, the pogroms, the tortures, the missionary position, the suppression of freedoms because they are not intellectually free, the immense robbery via taxation, the artistic oppressions, Newt Gingrich.

We know that those sitting next to us may think Jesus might have his parachute on and is coming. But if he's not, the mystics will get antsy again and look over at me and my friends and just KNOW that we ain't part of the gremlin crowd. Their eyes will turn to slits.

That's usually our cue to smile and finger our Glocks.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Trailer-trash Shakespeare dude

A few of my gentle readers don't like it so much when I go on one of my f-word tangents (that would be "fuck," not "faith") or when I say "shit" or "cunt" or whatever the fuck else I like to say occasionally. But, by damn, it's just got to be said that way sometimes. Certain low people, certain low things, certain low occasions demand it!

Besides, I was born a poor black child. Oh ... no, that was Steve Martin. I was born a poor bloody white child. I was born in a trailer. Well, not exactly IN a trailer. My family lived in a tiny trailer in San Diego until I was 4, but I was born at a hospital -- a 10-pound baby in a roomful of tiny girl babies. Maybe that's why I like women so much!

My parents and half my relatives were pretty much trailer trash without a high-school education (a good thing) and pretty damned independent and salty. My dad was a Marine when I was born and we lived near the military base in 29 Palms. He was only in the service for 4 years but didn't stop being a Marine-dad to my brother, Mike, and I until we grew lots of muscles and could kick his ass, around the age of 18. Then he got nice -- as nice as a Marine ever gets.

The f-word for dad was a language staple. He used it as an adjective ("fucking Cowboys!) or a noun ("that Nixon's a slimy fuck") or a verb ("fuck you, you son-of-a-bitch"). I emulated little of what my dad was (except for his fierce independence and honesty), but his colorful language stuck, which makes for sometimes odd bed partners with my, well, learning. I was the odd kid in the family who was into books and ideas and thinking and contemplating and graduating and asking "why" a billion times and shit like that.

None of my "intellectual" friends cussed like a pirate, and when they tried, it just sound silly. ("I think we fucking need the fucking quadratic equation to fucking figure out the fucking slope shit, you know?") In fact, I also hung around with the pot-smokers occasionally in high school and I was pretty damn good at sports, too, so the jocks and the cheerleaders knew me pretty well (though I couldn't give a shit about them, except for Jamie Williams, who was HOT AS HELL and very very nice and sweet -- and, oh yes, she had big boobs that made any conversation with her lovely face virtually impossible).

Some of my gentle readers think I lose readers or compromise my gravitas when I "go trailer." Well, yep to the former but nope to the latter. A good argument is a good argument, and sometimes one simply can't replace a well-placed expletive. You can't do it all the time, but when it comes time to call the Pope a shit-head pedophile-loving fuck, well, you just gotta call him a shit-head pedophile-loving fuck. He is base, so base language is fucking necessary. (Oops, maybe that last expletive was a bit much. Oh well, what the fuck.)

Anyway, I love Shakespeare and can quote the sublime dude endlessly, so I can cuss whenever I like, right?

Fuckin'-A right! (I love to answer my own questions)

Hey nonny nonny!