Happy Strap Day

This is a post in response to what I have been hearing all the time lately, everywhere I go, and it’s becoming sickening to say the least.  “Have a Merry Christmas.”  At my job, all they play is Christmas music all the time, every minute of every day.  If I was Jewish or Muslim or Zoroastrian, I would be ready to explode.  I am not a Christian, nor do I affiliate myself with their holidays, although my family still does, even though they’ve left Christianity behind as well.  I will make it a mission to tell everyone who wishes me a merry Christmas that I am not a Christian, and that I am insulted by your assumption that just because I am white, nice, and polite that I must be a Christian because that’s the only religion that breeds productive members of society.  These are their words not mine.

Some people say Happy Holidays.  Happy holidays is fine, if your particular belief system celebrates a holiday at this time of year, but why do we have to wish these things on people who don’t necessarily follow these “holidays?”  We’re a country who is supposed to have separation of church and state, but every Christmas day, all the businesses are closed and there is no real tolerance for non-conformity.  It is a given that everyone celebrates Christmas and it is a day where nobody goes anywhere, except to maybe a family member’s house.  Even the schools have “Christmas vacation,” which is paradoxical in itself to the people who don’t celebrate it.  What about when their particular holiday comes around and they’re stuck going to work or school?  They don’t get a day off at all.  It’s not fair that we make special preferences for certain religions when it comes to holidays and vacations.

Here’s what I’m proposing.  I want to create my own holiday, one that occurs maybe sometime in January, a three-day event called Strap Day.  I’ll give you a history of Strap Day to further indulge your curiosity.  Strap Day started when I was in twelfth grade when my friend and I were doing a word jumble of the eleven-letter word “insatiable.”  For some reason, I must have copied it down wrong or something, and while attempting to unscramble the letters to form the word I was looking for, ended up coming up with “strap day.”  Strap Day has become one of my favorite personal holidays.  Here is how it basically works:

  1. Every year, in mid-January, we buy an onslaught of straps, which we worship in a non-religious way for six hours, while facing Woonsocket, RI, where Strap Day came into origination.
  2. We hang the straps on a collection of hooks and admire them while sharing stories of how Strap Day came into origination.  It is considered unethical to have the straps hung up before Strap day, but it is a priority to have them hung up the earliest possible time on the first day of Strap Day.
  3. It was originally thought that this would be followed by the death of the first-born son, but this is not an action that can be completed every year, so we dumped it completely.
  4. Each person grabs their respective strap and goes over to the person of their choice and starts beating that person with the strap lightly for no more than seven minutes.  This is done starting with the youngest of the family, progressing to the older family members.
  5. Now, Strap Day is not for the feint of heart.  We use the straps and then we burn them, so that the next year, in anticipation for strap day, we can design and decorate a new strap for each of us.  Sometimes we even exchange straps, in the bizarre hope that we do not get beaten with that particular strap.  It’s more of a peace offering, if you would.

So, that’s Strap Day in a nutshell.  I know it may sound bizarre, but to me, Christmas and Haunakah and Kwanzaa all sound weird.  So, when January 11-13 comes around, what will you be celebrating?  I am going to start wishing people a Happy Strap Day, complete strangers even, just to gauge their reaction and to explain to them the facets of Strap Day.

The rules of Strap Day are not written in stone.  I encourage every family to put their own spin on their Strap Day tradition.  You can add or subtract any components you do not agree with, as I am open to new ideas as well, so if you have any, be sure to respond.  Since it is only three years or so old, Strap day is something that is a work in progress.  I have not yet gotten it to perfection, but it doesn’t really matter.  I believe I should request those days off from work.  I just hope one of those days isn’t a real holiday, as it may offend people who celebrate MLK day or something, but I believe it’s on the 15th or something, right?  So it’s more of a precursor to the civil rights day, and I think that’s appropriate, as Dr. King preached acceptance of everyone, no matter their color or beliefs.

So join with me in a celebration of freedom of holidays.  Don’t subscribe to Christmas and Haunakah, but come on over to the dark side, not dark because of evil, but because of lack of light, and enjoy the wonders that can be bestowed upon you and the pride you’ll have after you’ve completed your first strap, worshipped it, placed in on a hook, and then beaten a family member (lightly) with it.  And if you celebrate Christmas, you might as well use the same hooks or tacks you used to hang up the stockings to hang up the straps.  Time for me to start making my strap.  I believe this year, I’ll make it out of mock leather or possibly cow hide, although I do not feel an animal should have to die for me to make a valid strap.  I’ll update on this and I will give another post during Strap Day to give you a firsthand insight into the experience.  Last but not least I know I spelled Hanukah wrong or however it’s spelled, but don’t be offended.  It wasn’t my intention.

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Maybe I’m Not Supposed To

Maybe I’m not supposed to.  That’s how I feel when my alarm clock goes off and I am supposed to get ready for work.  Maybe this sin’t how we should be living.  WHen my alarm goes off, I just lay there, trying to fathom a good reason to get out of bed and start getting ready for work, something that is increasingly giving me more resistance every day.  I have a distinct feeling that working in a supermarket is not my calling.  As a matter of fact, I know this.  I am going back to college, but I’ll be studying Mathematics and possibly writing, although I don’t really feel the way I write needs to be called into question.  I don’t need some external source telling me whether or not my writing is good.  I feel that my writing is what it is and to judge it would be to be judging my thoughts.  You see, I am a thinker, not a worker.  I would rather write than go out into an insane society that doesn’t really make any sense to me.  I feel like somebody really messed up our life patterns with an attempt to control us through a variety of media.  I think it’s about time I’ve cancelled my subscription to society.

Work is just another way to be controlled.  You have to give your time away.  I went to work today, my boss says to another worker, who was having a conversation with another coworker, “Are you talking on my time?”  His time?  His time?  Who is he to gain ownership for our time?  He is just some distant authority figure, some ego-driven derrogatory component of this world who has a great interest keeping us rooted in fear.  Fear of losing your job, any little mistake, no matter how insignificant, can get you fired.  Just because the big boss man says so.  We are at his mercy.  It does not make any fucking sense whatsoever.  Why do I have to listen to this asshole just to make a living?  The answer is I don’t.  I don’t and I won’t for much longer.

It is MY time.  Not yours.  It’s MY life, not yours, so stop imposing ownership of MY time into your pocket.  Seven dollars an hour is not enough to keep me going in this complete and utter waste of human life, where the popular phrase, “If you’re leaning, you should be cleaning,” as well as, the ever-popular “Smile-Greet-Thank” sticker on every cash register.  I get yelled at occasionally for not having my shirt tucked in to the boss’s satisfaction.  Is that really the root of all the problems at this company?  People don’t tuck their shirts in far enough?  Come on, grow up and start looking at the person inside.  I remember one time I wore a polo shirt that was slightly off color and has “Sports Illustrated” listed on one of the sleeves.  I got a whole fucking lecture on how our store does not advertise Sports Illustrated.

Why are there all these rules that make no sense whatsoever?  I’m tired of dealing with pointless beaurocracy and guidlines, standards, and everything else of the sort.  Government regulations, tax exampt status, etc., etc., etc.  Why do we live this way? How in the hell does this make any sense?  And they wonder why over half the nation is overweight, paranoid, mentally ill, and full of fear.  Look how we’re constantly controlled, through the media and through everyday living.  Other animals don’t live like this.  They just live.  We have to worry about making enough money to survive, enough green pieces of paper to perpetuate our existance when it is moderately futile to do so.  We’re so transfixed on materialism that it sickens me.  Do other animals (and believe me, we are animals) worry about the next video game system or the next president of the United States?  No.  Do they bicker over trivialitieslike whether or not you’ve filed for your taxes yet?  Absolutely not.

Something is obviously wrong with society and we all know it, but no one takes the steps to correct it.  We just accept the fact that we destroy the naturalistic world and take animals we use for food in Holocaust-like conditions, torturing them before eventually killing them.  What kind of sick bastards are we?  If we did these things to dogs or cats, we’d be in jail, but because the animals we do this to are “delicious,” we look the other way, pretend it isn’t happening, because life is easier that way.  No confronting the truth.  Just eat that damn burger and shut up.  That’s how we think.

And we’re just told to accept the world the way it is when it could be so much better.  WE are born into such a mess, a total disjunction of how we are meant to live, overcrowding causing stress, which causes mental problems as well as physical ones. Since we keep people who are sick and dying alive, we contribute to overpopulation of species, which will be around 14 billion in about another hundred years.  Imagine how terrible it will be to live in a world like that.  Something’s got to give.

Humans killing humans and being proud in doing so (think wars).  Destroying the lives of people who don’t have the same religious and philosophical beliefs as us in a futile attempt to “restore the peace.”  If restoring the peace involves going to war, what is the logic behind that?  Let’s not forget the American government’s attempt to control most of the world’s resources, as they well know that money will very soon become completely obsolete.  With the Federal Reserve in charge of money, and their repeated printing of money, over the next two to three decades, will make the American dollar worth so little, it will be outrageous.  There is no longer any gold backing up our money, which makes me wonder if it’s worth anything at all.  Just the fact that we think our money is worth something doesn’t make it so.

But I hate the fact that we’re all expected to go out and get a job, making “money” to live on, when our ancestors did nothing of the sorts and would probably laugh at such an incredulous idea.  Using this monetary system, which is not very forgiving in itself, class systems are formed, distinguishing one human being as “better” than another, their opinions worth more, with more opportunities open to them.  Just because they seem to have collected more pieces of paper and plastic (credit cards) than the other person.  Instead of living in harmony, we live in fear of one another.  Fear that all our possessions could be stolen, our assets taken away by an unconcerned government or the evil IRS.  Why?

Is it the innate thirst for power or is it the abominable way of human nature?  I don’t know, but I for one do not feel compelled to keep living like this.  It’s not remotely human.  We should not be at the mercy of other people, simply because they have more money or more power.  Who are they to tell us what to do?  They’re not us and therefore should not be enforcing rules and laws that may make sense to them, but not to me.  I want freedom, not the purposed illusion of freedom.  This is a free country, my ass.  Moving to the Canadian wilderness may not be a bad idea.  At least then I won’t have to deal with Uncle Sam and the possibility of getting drafted into the military where I will be forced to kill innocent people from a country whose name I can’t even pronounce.  What a wonderful country we’ve become.

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Why Get a Job?

I remember watching an episode of the popular animated sitcom, Family Guy, where Peter is looking at his family history and finds out one of his ancestors was a philosopher.  They go to a cut scene of his ancestor, showing him sitting in a chair and his wife says to him, “Why don’t you go out and get a job?   All you ever do is sit here.”  And the philosopher responds, “Why?”

Getting a job is not something most people like to do.  It’s more of a must do.  In order to survive, we need to get a job, supposedly.  A job, something that takes all of your free will away and robs you of any independent thought whatsoever and binds you to a path of indentured servitude.  Why do we feel we need to get one of these jobs to earn a living and why do most of them leave people feeling unfulfilled and apathetic?  Because this isn’t the way we’re supposed to be living.  I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t make sense.  Why should we slave away on someone else’s demands, for low wages, doing something we don’t even feel remotely attracted to doing?

It’s all about our beliefs about life.  If we believe we need to get a job, then we do.  But if we think outside the box, something that’s becoming increasingly familiar to me, then we’re able to possibly define other ways to gain income without being a slave to a domineering boss who can turn off your income in the blink of an eye.  One experiment I’m currently undergoing is to see how much additional money I can generate without any real work, just a collection of my thoughts and actions unrelated to my job.  This will only include doing activities I actually want to do, not the things I don’t want to do (i.e. helping someone move).

In the last six months, I have made an additional $400 or so dollars, not bad, but I want to expand this to much, much more.  I want to get it to the point where I make $5000-$10000 a month without working at a job.  I need to start applying all of these ideas in my head, the ones that fester around late at night, waiting to come out and live in reality.  I just don’t know what’s stopping me from doing this.  Wait, I may have an idea…

Maybe my beliefs about money is what’s stopping me.  I’m not really sure how I feel about money right now because I know it is inherently worthless compared to other things, and yet we need it for survival, supposedly, although I’d question that.  To survive in society maybe, but not to survive in general.  But I do not think someone who has a lot of money is evil unless that person made the money in dishonest ways.  But I have this association of people in power with lots of money as someone who stepped over at least ten other deserving people to get where they are today.  It’s the win/lose psychology.  If someone is on top, there has to be someone who loses.  Maybe that’s the wrong way of going about this problem.

The biggest part of me not having a job is to allow myself to be true to who I am.  I don’t want to have to conform to boss’s commands, dress codes, and casual Fridays.  Every day should be casual and I should be able to live in a casual manner without having to go to some place where I sell a bit of my freedom for some cash.  I’d more likely wish to spend my time writing, philosophizing, and getting to the core of reality.  Isn’t that a much more worthwhile endeavor than writing a TPS report on bank software?  I’d certainly say so.

So to adopt a win/win way of thinking, where I do what I love and also generate income doing so is a valid goal for me to lean towards, but I would also like the people who buy my intellectual property to also benefit, so it would be more of a win/win/win situation.  If people paid for my product, they’d win by getting valuable information, and I’d win from making  a living doing what I love.  It wouldn’t be “work,” but fun.  Who wouldn’t love to make a decent income doing what they love, rather than going to “work?”  Work isn’t supposed to be fun.  If it was, they’d call it “happy fun time.”

Working from my heart and soul has been the best thing I’ve ever done, but I wouldn’t call it work.  In the past ten months or so, I’ve done extensive work on myself and questioned a lot of the fundamental beliefs I used to have about reality.  I’ve decided that if there is a purpose in life, an ideal way of living, then I am obligated to go out and find this for myself.  So far, this is what I have come up with:  Write about what you think about.  Try to understand this world around you.  I used to think I knew how the world works.  Now I know I really don’t know anything about the world, but am coming closer to understanding how I want to live, and becoming aware that the social paradigm today is completely broken.

I don’t know how some of these crazy ideas became socially acceptable in today’s world, but they are here today.  I may have to come to terms with some of them, but the whole idea of becoming a career employee with a good pension and all that added security and safety blankets doesn’t make it for me.  Working paycheck to paycheck in some hope of a dream life, just out of my reach, where I know I could be doing more to open the eyes of a dormant public, oblivious to how boring and monotonous their lives have become, how their free will and spirit is broken as soon as they are hired to a job where they surrender all control to some distant authority figure who never complements you, but is quick to criticize.  Is this what life is about?  Well, maybe your life, but I am striving to make this no longer a part of my life.

I long to share ideas with a wide audience, people who accept each other for who they are and are not judgmental.  I want to breathe passion for what I do and help others get to a point beyond the superficial way most of society views the world.  I want to delve deep into every soul and get these people to realize we are all connected and it’s in our best interest to help one another improve oneself to make the world a better place.  And I want people to practice what they preach, mean what they say and say what they mean.  I want there to be no secrets, no lies, and compassion all around.  Why can’t we all just get along?

I feel like the universe is posing a challenge to me.  Make the world a better place, help others do the same.  Show others how to enjoy life once again, as it can end at any moment.  Treat every second as precious gold and use it to work towards a state of pervasive inner peace and serenity.  Don’t let little things get in the way.  Allow them to pass, unnoticed, and grasp the big picture fully without any biases.  This is something I am working towards on a daily basis.  It’s challenging, but I love the journey.  I just hope the ideal world I’m looking for is realized in my lifetime.  I can see seeds of change, but there is still some deceit out there, and evil lurks around once in awhile.  If I can align myself with a higher cause, then I can also encourage other people to do the same, through example and through discussions.  Help me along this path because once you get on it, there will be no leaving.  It’s just too much fun.

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A Vow of Silence

Silence is golden. Have you ever heard that phrase before? I believe it is a phrase that is mostly used in Eastern cultures, where in the Western Hemisphere, we are more inclined to think that noise is golden. I have attempted, many times, to take a vow of silence, but if you alert someone that you are taking a vow of silence for a day, a week, or even a month/year, then they will invariably do anything they can to break it, by asking you direct questions, bothering you until you can’t take it anymore, or a variety of other distractions. Taking a vow of silence, even if for just one day, can give you an insight of how much energy we waste on unnecessary speech. All the small talk and boring tirades about how miserable your life is take a backseat to your modesty and your ego nearly melts away. People don’t really get a feel for what is going on inside your head, even though body language speaks volumes about your mood.

I have gone without talking for hours on end, but something or someone always breaks my concentration in not talking. Talking is the primary way in which we communicate with other people. But everybody needs a break from constantly stressing that vocal chord until it gets hoarse with strain. It is more of a spiritual practice than a physcial one, however. I find it allows you to gain peace with your mind, as it is the only thing you have left to communicate to yourself.

I don’t attempt these vows with any sort of external approval from anyone. It is not what I seek. I attempt to do this for my own peace of mind, reflection, and awakening to how much I talk when I really don’t have anything meaningful to say. I hate it when people talk because they feel uncomfortable with silence. There’s always got to be something to fill the void. Why? Why can’t we just allow a little bit of silence into our lives? Just enough to gain perspective on the rest of our life.

Delve into the mind for a change, instead of delving in external circumstances. Allow yourself to be. Don’t place any expectations on a vow of silence because the experience you have will be worth it. As I’ve said, although I have not been able to do it for more than a day due to many distractions, I’ve done it for over six hours at a time and feel totally relaxed and energized at the same time. Quieting down quiets the mind.

I cannot forsee myself ever taking a very long vow of silence, for years or decades. This is unless I go into the woods somewhere for years and don’t come into contact with another human being, that is. If I were to go away for awhile, to the mountains or the forests, I could definitely go for a long, extended period of time. But in today’s terrible society, it is nearly an impossibility, unless I carried a dry erase board around my neck at all times. Or maybe a tape recording of sayings I believe will come up if I need them.

I try certain experiments involving nonverbal communication and find that it is more difficult to get the primary point across so the other party can understand. Sometimes it’s successful, like a wave or a smile, but other times, like explaining the theory of relativity, you may need some sort of visual aid, or some sort of writing to get the message through.

I find that the less I talk, the more I listen. This may seem obvious, but it also seems like people will talk to you more because they are desperately looking for something to fill the void of silence. If they held the belief that silence was golden, then they would also be silent and it would be a much less noisy world. Just now, I heard a child screaming from outside my window. It’s sort of ironic because I never har that sort of thing around here at this hour. Maybe it always occurs, but due to my writing this article as well as listening more, I am more in tune to hearing such things.

This brings me to arguments. I hate how some people think that if they state their point in a loud, rambunctious manner, showing anger and lack of command for the volume of their voice, that their point is more valid than someone who modestly says what is on their minds in a deadpan way of speaking. I don’t like it when things like that happen because the louder person will often interrupt the point of the quieter person by dismissing it completely. They don’t even take time to listen to the other’s point of view. This is key. When taking a vow of silence, you are more susceptible to hearing others’ points of view about whatever. This allows you to fully take in what the other person is saying and then question whether or not it is valid.

I’ll never forget my fourth grade teacher whose idea of “holding the spoon” forever changed my concept of the way arguments should be settled. She took out a wooden spoon and she allowed the person to talk who was holding the spoon. The other person was not allowed to talk until they were given the spoon. So this sort of thinking gave each person an uninterrupted time to give their point, and then have an equal amount of time to listen to the other person’s point. Very balanced and fair.

So through all of this, I hope you make it a priority in life to listen more and talk less. I find it to be very enlightening, as many people have great bits of wisdom to share with you. Nobody knows everything and it’s always good to get some new information in your head. So allow others to speak first, and then offer your point of view and see how they collaborate. You might be surprised.

So my new vow of silence will be modified. Don’t speak while others are speaking, and don’t let my ego get too centered in an argument that doesn’t really affect me that much. Also, to allow silence to come back into my life. Thank you.
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Government = Evil

I saw a very intersting documentary called America:  Freedom to Fascism, which covered a variety of topics.  http://www.mercola.com/2006/dec/12/america-freedom-to-fascism.htm  The most amazing part of the documentary had to do with how there is no actual law that forces us to pay income tax and that the government is now run by the Federal Reserve, a private bank, which is striving to control the world.  Aaron Russo, the director, editor, and main character in this film, goes from former commsisioner to acting commisioner to show him the law that says they have to pay income tax.  He never gets a law.  Then he visits a juror on a tax evasion case, who says they were going to charge this person as guilty, but then realized the judge would not let them see the law.  They asked for it several times, and the judge responded by saying, “You have all you need.”

The documentary then goes into how the government granted the Federal Reserve Bank power to print money whenever they want, without anything to back it up, making money more worthless by the second.  One of the worst aspects on this documentary was how the IRS can just seize property without any rhyme or reason or without guilt of any crime.  This one family had all their assets taken away because of false allegations, and they were never even brought to court.  The whole scenerio seems unfair.  How can a government we’re supposed to trust enforce laws that don’t exist?  How is that even remotely possible?  I’ll tell you how.  They do it with brute force, using guns and arresting people who supposedly did not file a 10-40, which is not even a law, and then not allowing the 1913 Supreme Court decision into their defense, saying that Supreme Court decisions are irrelevant.  How sick is this?  Completely disgusting!

It doesn’t end there.  In 2008, the government is striving to come out with a government ID card that has fingerprints, social security numbers, retinal scans, and a list of everything that has to do with you.  Not only that, they are planning to implant every human being and product bought with a very small, miniscule chip, smaller than a grain of sand, so that they can track you, what you buy, where you are at all times, as well as the things you buy.  It even went over how badly the Patriot Act has taken away much of our freedom.  The narrator compared where this is heading to Nazi Germany.

If the banks are in control, we’re all in big trouble.  The government actually allowed this to happen and Congress has actually lost much of its power now that the banks are in control.  The people you see in power are pawns of the banking industry, who are looking to make a world government, so that they can control everything.  They call this a New World Order, which essentially means they are going to have control over the whole world.  And it all starts with these government ID cards, which will allow all of us to be tracked continuously, even moreso than today.

What many of you may or may not know is that the government is already tracking you with a variety of things.  Your credit card, your car, your supermarket club card, and a host of other media I’m not going to get into.  The documentary talked about how George Orwell got it almost completely right in his novel “1984.”  What we are becoming is the exact opposite of a democracy, and it all started with 9/11.  I remember watching a documentary that speculated convincingly that 9/11 was a fraud perpetrated by the government to gain control over the country and to exercise its new-found trust to go into Iraq and Afghanistan to have them become part of a new world order.  There are common threads in many of these documentaries.

I will bring in one more piece of information I recently had seen on the popular health website:  Mercola.com.  It was just a small clip, but here is the gist of it.  Why are their poisons in our water supply, our food supply, that are not required to be listed on the food labels?  Why do they use constant pesitcides and herbicides that have neurotoxins in them?  Why is their fluoride in our toothpaste?  Here’s what’s going on.  All of these chemicals are waste products from chemical plants and instead of disposing of them properly, they pass them off as good for you and put them in products that people use on a daily basis.  Why?  Because they are attempting a process of dumbing down society.  By dumbing down society through these neurotoxins, they are making the majority of people heavily dependent on government.  Also, as they are dumbing down, they are not able to see these complex schemes in action and remain completely oblvious to our manipulation.

So, what can we do to stop this?  We need to all band together, storm the White House and demand answers about income tax, poisoning water, and a host of other things.  Let us see the gold that backs up our money, for Christ’s sake!  I am totally pissed about all of this, but I am not surprised in the least bit.  Please, don’t believe everything the government and media feeds you.  It will ultimately lead to your death.  Thank you for listening.

 Sidenote:  I had already suspected some of this before watching these movies, but this only reaffirmed my belief in power being completely and utterly corrupt to the point of no return.  THis was not the country our founding fathers envisioned.  Look at how terrible our leaders have become, inhumane even.  I’m tempted to go off and live in the mountains somewhere just to get away from this incivility.  I now realize my money has no inherent value and that’s how I sort of felt like in the first place anyway.  I may, indeed, go off into the wilderness to live for awhile and grow my own food and drink my own water, but the world is so contaminated these days I’d have to find a totally untouched area.  Here’s to hoping.

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