In the Basement | 10-15-2015

He put a gun to my head and said “write a fucking short story”. So I did. It wasn’t good, it wasn’t thought out, I wasn’t even sure it had a plot, but I did it, and it saved my life.

The fuckers had been thinking this out for a while. How they knew I was coming to Vegas, how they knew I’d be coke’d out of my fucking mind, how they knew I’d drink too much that night. These things I didn’t know, but they raked my head as I wrote. Regardless, it didn’t matter at that point. All that mattered was that I had at least five pages by sun up, or that .38 was going through my brilliant but useless skull.

You could have asked me, years ago, if this sort of thing ever happened to writers, and I would have said no. Even after people had told me about it happening to them, I didn’t think it could happen to me. Who would do that anyways? I mean, really, what was a short story out of my hand actually worth? Looking back, I guess it’s not about whose hand it came from, but who wrote it. A reputation can make or break a man. A lack of security broke me. I typed the first thing that came to my head, which was, of course, that first line. Then I kept writing, furiously at first, but by the second paragraph I was almost out of steam, and I thought I was dead. I needed another bump to keep me going.

“Out of steam, huh?” He pressed the barrel deeper into my skull. My thick brown hair wasn’t making it any softer, and I was pretty sure the corner of the glock was making an impression in my skin. They’d tied me up completely, even my neck. The only part of my body still free to move was my forearms, and those were set on the table, my fingers plying away at the keyboard. I guess that was the best bump I was going to get. I thought as hard as I could, but thinking isn’t something you just start doing; it requires inspiration. This situation had been my inspiration, but I was pretty sure the only direction this story would go in would be with a bullet in the protagonist’s head, and that would ruin the whole fucking story.

Then there was a knock at the door, angry, rapid. I almost thought, for a moment, that this would be my salvation. Maybe it was the cops. It sure sounded like a cop knock. It wasn’t the cops. Some guy in a suit walked in.

“How’s this progressing? Is he writing?”

“He seems to be doing the best he can.”

“Well, good. Keep him going.”

The gun pressed into my skull again. This time I whimpered a bit as it made contact, and one of the guys in a corner giggled a bit. Fucking snakes. They didn’t even care that they were destroying the sanctity of my art. All they wanted was a fucking paycheck, probably from the guy in the suit.

“Watch what you’re writing,” said the man with the gun. “It would be a shame if my finger slipped.”

I knew I had no choice. I had to write. I had to do whatever it took. I thought out an ending, some random bullshit about me resisting. It ended with them killing me, my blood pouring onto the floor, the man in the suit laughing, saying some smart line about not crossing him. Whatever. They cut the ropes tying me up, and sent me on my way.

The fuckers sold it to some kid named Workman. What a crock of shit. I’m sure he never worked a day in his life. It killed me that my work was bought and sold, then thrown on some little shithead’s blog. I felt useless. They had taken the last bit of honor I had. I found my father’s .38 special, the one he used to keep on his heel.

As I pulled the trigger, I realized it wasn’t my finger doing it.

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Are You Liberal or Just Hip? | 8-27-15

Do you really think you’ll always be progressive? Do you really think you’ll never stop pushing forward? What happens when you finally get your goals done, get the world to be as you like it?

Do you really think it will stop changing?

There will come a day that progress will make you uncomfortable. Your goals and wishes for the country will have been reached, but the train will keep moving forward, past your destination. You may wonder why you ever got on a train headed toward progress.

Don’t just get off at your stop and try to slow the train down, waving your hands like a madman, yelling “enough is enough”!

Don’t get off the train. Keep riding. you don’t have to conduct it. You don’t have to serve the passengers tea. Just don’t derail the train. Don’t even slow it down, not even a bit. If you want, go to the caboose and look back at the destination you thought you’d never reach, and be proud that you made it this far.

I’ll be on the roof of the first car behind the engine, looking in wonder at where the tracks lead next.

Is Inheritance Immoral? | 8-23-15

Knowledge Is Power.

This is an undeniable fact. Some people say that money is power, but the idea “money is power” is a piece of knowledge, and it would be useless if it did not represent a piece of logical information. No one would strive to obtain money if they didn’t know that “money is power”.

Knowledge is Power.

Now that I’ve clarified this, let’s get on to the piece of knowledge that inspired this piece.

Money Is Power

This fact resonates throughout capitalist history, from the days of revolution to the industrial revolution to the digital revolution and so on. One need only look back to the politics of the last hundred years to understand that money is the source of all power today. No one listens to the broke guy in rags on the soap box anymore; they’re far too enchanted by the fancy suit on the man behind the podium. Money bought that podium, and money tailored that suit. Money is so directly proportional to power, they might as well be the same thing.

Money is power.

Now, having this piece of knowledge at hand often makes a person plan their life based on two goals: the first goal being to obtain as much money, and therefore power, as they can develop in their life, so that they can become more powerful and shape the world to their liking. The second reason is to obtain as much money, and therefore power, as they can in their lifetime, so that they can will it to their children, providing their offspring with as much money, and therefore power, as they can after their own death.

I do not in any way wish to suggest that a person should not wish the best for their child. That would be ludicrous; why have children, if not for that reason? You should wish the best for your children, and do the best for your children’s future.

On the other hand, this piece of knowledge, just like any other, has its limit. For example, you want the best for your child, but if you found out they were being bullied, would you remove that bully’s presence from your child’s life? Would you move to a different town, just because of the way a single kid was treating your child? Let’s say that other parent thought that their child bullying your child was good for their child’s self esteem, and they move to the same town you move to, just so their child can keep on using yours. What would you do then?

Would you kill for your child?

I don’t think you would. In fact, I’m willing to bet that the average person would have their own child institutionalized before they acted to kill on their offspring’s request. Hell, many parents are too busy slugging down the night’s bottle to read to their kids at night, even though they know the benefits. There are parents out there who would rather let their child beg for food all night long than to stop themselves from smoking cocaine in freebase form.

Be honest: you wouldn’t sacrifice your life for your child. In the moment, hell yea, you would jump right in front of a bullet. It would be reflex. Would you suffer a slow death, little by little, millimeter by millimeter, cut by cut, to save your child from an instant bullet to the head?

If you’re the average person, I don’t think you’d be that strong. This isn’t an insult to humanity, it’s just an observation of the average person.

Most people have parents to support them, but parents who would give their lives for them? I don’t think so. This really messes with my head though, because as far as I had been told…

“All Men Are Created Equal”

I’m gonna go ahead and update this to “all people are created equal”, because unless you’re a womanizing pig or a supra-feminist extremist, “all people” is probably what you mean when you say “all men”.

(For the record, I’ve dealt with both womanizing pigs, and supra-feminist extremists, and I have no respect for either.)

We Americans base the premises of our government on this simple fact. All people are created equal. One child at the moment of conception is just as entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as any other child is. This is the idea that inspired our forefathers to fight against their monarchical dictators.

Monarchical….monarchical… hmmmm.

The United States government works on the premise that no matter what family you’re born into, you have just as much right to the world as the next child in the next family. Inheritance goes directly against this.

Inheritance is Monarchical

 When a person gives to their child, they are giving them an advantage. While you are alive, you have the right to give as much as you want to your child, be it love, knowledge, or money. You can even go as far as to give your whole life and worth to them, to work only for their benefit. If you want.

After you die, though, you’re gone, and when you give your child the fortune you’ve saved, you are giving them your power. If you have $5 million dollars, and you give it to your child, they then have your financial power, plus any that they have accumulated over the years.

Let’s say you keep your father’s wealth, and add another $10 million by your own work. That’s $10 million you would probably have not gotten lucky enough to make if you didn’t have $5 million in investing power from your father.

Oh, and also the advantage of being raised and educated in an upper class family.

Now, you have $15 million dollars, or fifteen-million power points, as they might be better called. You give that to your child. They use it to develop more power of their own.

Do you see a cycle developing here?

It’s Just Not Fair

In 2007, 14.7% of the wealth owned by the wealthiest one-percent was obtained through inheritance, according to a study conducted by Edward Wolff of New York University and Maury Gittleman of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you didn’t know, the wealthiest 1% in America own more than the bottom 90%. 14.7% of that wealth, they did nothing to earn.

No contribution to society. No invention, or brilliant advertising pitch that skyrocketed a product into popularity. Nothing.

This is where we get politicians like Donald Trump. Donald Trump has been tapping into the lower class voting bracket, who see him as an “anti-politician”, someone against the grain of everyday politics. He is painting himself as a champion for the working man and a savior of the “impoverished, disenfranchised every-day American”.

Trump borrowed millions from his father to start his real estate empire. He did not start at the bottom and rise to the top. He started at the top, kicked out some low-income families who were renting there, and then built a tower up there with his name on it, so that he could get higher. Donald Trump has never had a legitimate, normal person’s worry in his life. At least not financially.

We need to stop acting like capitalism is a system of equality. Once wealth is sequestered to one person, there is little to threaten that person’s hold on it. The same families stay in power year after year. They marry and remarry, hiding the fact that they’re Rothschilds or Rockefellers. Very few start from the bottom and make it to the top, and that number becomes less and less every year, as more and more of the power gets held tighter and tighter by singular groups.

All men are born equal. Created equal? That depends on the parents.

I don’t think that giving your child a few million is such a bad thing, but when it’s tens of millions, even billions, it becomes unfair. Think of all the children that money could put through higher education, of all the starving families that could feed. So much more good could be done with that power.

America needs to start looking at what is really right, and what parts of its dream are the desires of a glutton. If we keep what’s right at mind, then the coming years will bring a wave of true equality, of true freedom for all people. We simply have to arm ourselves with the right knowledge. The first weapon?

Knowledge is Power.

The Self-Metaprogrammer | 8-14-15

I’ve been reading The Center of the Cyclone: An Autobiography of Inner Space by John C. Lilly, M.D., the late neuroscientist who first pioneered the use of isolation tanks to achieve states of sensory deprivation, as well as research on the intelligence and social patterns of dolphins, being one of the earliest to point out their unique mental strength. The book is a psychedelic memoir and autobiography, with a great variety of stories that depict a life spent searching for higher consciousness and spiritual health. Through experiments with LSD, sensory deprivation, and techniques he learned working with Chilean spiritual teacher Oscar Ichazo, Lilly gives a great attempt to describe the workings of the mind, or what he calls “the human biocomputer”.

One of the most refreshing ideas that Lilly describes in The Center of the Cyclone is the concept of the “Self-Metaprogrammer”. Self-Metaprogrammer is a term Lilly first came up with to describe the conscious part of each of us, the “I” or “soul”.

“…one’s self, ‘I,’ ‘Me,’ is an entity in the biocomputer. For purposes of discussion, we call this entity the ‘self-metaprogrammer.’ It operates in a way that seems to be independent of the rest of the biocomputer insofar as this is possible. The entity that one speaks to in another person when one says ‘you’ is also the entity that speaks when one says ‘I’. These speaking entities occur in this fashion when one is consciously aware that this is the case. If one is consciously aware of his own processes, then one can say that the self-metaprogrammer is operating.”

– John C. Lilly, The Center of the Cyclone, Pg. 127

When one is fully aware and within the present, to “Be Here Now” as Ram Dass put it, they will, in effect, gain an awareness that all conscious human beings have a self-metaprogrammer, since all human biocomputers are derived from the same materials using the same rules in generally the same way.

It is important to point out that awareness of one’s processes does not mean to simply have read Lilly’s book and know the workings of the mind. For one’s self-metaprogrammer to be operating, they must be aware of their mental processes in the present. For a self-metaprogrammer to be operating, its host must be aware of its presence in their human biocomputer, and observing their thoughts and behaviors with specific focus.

The self-metaprogrammer is a more logical proposal of what the core of the human psyche is. It’s existence seems to be the derivation of what Terence McKenna called “the Primary Datum”, the felt presence of immediate experience, which seems to be the defining quality of a self-metaprogrammer. Lilly goes on to describe how, dependent on whether the self-metaprogrammer is operating on an ego-based or essence-based computing level, that is to say, a positive or negative state, its processes can either bring good or bad karma or effects upon a person.

Being aware of one’s mental processes and patterns, and seeking to improve them through meditation or other means, can bring great happiness and improvements in life quality. This book is a great introduction to growth of the inner world, and Lilly’s attempt to describe that world should be required reading for any psychonaut.

Source:

Lilly, John C. The Center of the Cyclone: An Autobiograpy of Inner Space. New York: Julian Press, 1972. Print.

Pansexuality – What It Is, Why It’s Great | 8-13-15

The most inconvenient part of my sexual orientation is explaining it to other people. It’s enough of a long shot to expect people to be understanding and sensitive about bisexuality, but call yourself pansexual and you might as well be describing your childhood on Mars. Though it’s mostly unknown of by the general public, pansexuality is a lifestyle that seems to be growing in popularity, mostly because people are just now hearing of it.

The exact definition of “pansexuality” will differ dependent on who you ask. Merriam-Webster defines “pansexual” as “exhibiting or implying many different forms of sexual expression”. My personal definition is that pansexuality is the sexual orientation of not having a sexual orientation. A more specific description would be to say that pansexuals are attracted to people of all different types, regardless of gender identity or confirmations.

Basically, when you ask me what kind of person I’m into, my answer is “I don’t know and I don’t care to know.”

Pansexuals live without boxes and boundaries. For me, it’s mostly about being fluid, and going with the flow. I used to think I was bisexual, but in the end, I’m not really attracted to the female or male images themselves, and my heartstrings tend to get tugged harder by women. In the end, I’m attracted to hella hot people, whatever my definition is that day, hour, or moment. I have no idea whether the person I will fall in true love with will be a woman, a man, or someone inbetween, and I have no way of knowing.

So I stay open. I might prefer the female form, but who’s to say the perfect guy won’t come around? Being “pan” lets me throw away all the questions and worry that trying to define myself always seems to bring. I’ve got bigger things to worry about than who I’m going to be with right now anyways.

You keep being you, I’m gonna keep being me. Whatever those are, it’s all good.

Peace

– r.NW

On Inspiration | 8-12-15

I’m wary of the idea of drugs as a source of inspiration. I don’t think finding inspiration with help drugs is a bad thing or impossible, I just don’t think it’s the source of that inspiration.

It’s like me walking to St. Louis right now. I wouldn’t go there, especially by foot, unless some circumstance made it something I was obliged to do. Hell, it wouldn’t even occur to me to walk to St. Louis at this time, but if circumstances were drastic, I would start huffing it to Missouri.

Similarly, I don’t think drugs give people inspiration as much as they bring them to that inspiration. Psychoactives make people think about things and in ways that they regularly would not, and by doing so, they bring them into mental realms that they would not be in without them.

Drugs don’t inspire. Drugs bring inspiration. There’s a difference.

|8-12-15

Have you ever known anybody who only ever asks you questions? My brother is that person for me. Sometimes it feels like all he has for me is questions, and all I do is answer them. They’re not opinions or ideas, but “how does this work” or “why is the world this way”, actual school questions.

It’s not that I don’t like informing my brother, but with my four years studying chemistry in college leveled next to his inattention in high school and two years at an automotive tech school makes me appear to him like an anthropomorphic Encyclopedia Britannica. I find myself reminding him daily that I’m not a damn search engine, and there’s one on his phone if he needs it. By no means do I think he’s unintelligent in any way, but he is absolutely not well read. Uninformed is a fitting title.

***

Is there an accepted format for writing the story/screenplay of a video game? I’m watching GTA V be played, and it’s amazing to me how they were able to tie together the three characters into such a wide-reaching story. The medium seems like something with a lot of creative potential.

***

A random car got sprayed by bullets while pulling onto the freeway not a minute away from my house. Great. Just great.

At least marijuana legalization is going to ballot in Ohio this November. Progress is growing closer.

Everything is Natural | 8-12-15

Everything is natural. Every single thing. From the grass in Kansas to the smog over Beijing.

Humanity occurred naturally. There was no creation. There is always and only becoming.

Saying that humanity is outside of nature is nothing less than an attempt to dodge blame. We say there is man and his environment, and the environment is broken, never realize that it’s man that needs fixing. We are the cracked gear, the leaking fuel pump that’s killing the machine.

The anthrosphere is the biosphere. May we in flesh become one with our energy source, our respiratory foundation, our mother Earth.