I’ve got a holiday treat for you tonight as you ring out the worst year you’ve ever had and look forward to more bad news in 2014.
Hide the Razorblades
It seems I’ve been shunned, cast into the dust bin of the blogoshphere. This isn’t to be unexpected. Great minds have always been unrecognized in their lifetimes and the fact that I warn you, the 50% that are below average, off the most important and mind expanding posts, for your own good I might add, just makes it harder to be heard and appreciated.
Maybe it is because so many of you have taken my advice and devoted your life to not caring about anything, always expecting the worst, and a D minus effort. Maybe your spouse is pushing cheeseburgers under your locked bedroom door as you watch endless reruns of NCIS from your 11 season BluRay DVD collection. Perhaps you’ve discarded your cell phone and landline and your internet connection to take yourself off the grid so the NSA cannot peep on your miserable little life. You’ve given up that daily torture ritual you called fitness and sold your Nautilus machine and stationary bike and canceled your gym membership. This means you’ve taken my advice to heart. Maybe I should be glad I get so few hits and that your apathy is a testament to my persuasiveness.
I should have expected this; taken my own advice and expected the worst (for me personally). At least you have lightened my load and I can quit doing all the heavy lifting here as you tell the friends that wonder what happened to you, why they never see you, about your new, better, lifestyle. Perhaps this whole thing has gone viral but in a non-digital way, by old fashioned word of mouth.
I feel better now knowing that you have ceased to care that the Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges never work or that another government shutdown is looming in a few months, or that the Philippines are under water . This means I’ve done my job making your life just a little better and that in turn makes my life just a little better as well.
Keep up the D minus effort and we’ll all make it to the grave just a little bit less stressed out.
A lot of people blog because they have a big ego and think tens of thousands of people out there are going to hang on their every word. They want people to nod their heads for every opinion they write about. They want comments about how brilliant and how oh so right they are. They think everyone wants to look into their private psychoses and their dreary website and affirm their useless digital scribblings. It’s all about me, me, me…
Well this blog is different, it’s all about you, you, you. I’m here for you. I’ve got your back. What other blogger warns you off some posts while putting others out there that you know will improve your life? Don’t some posts seem to have been written just for you personally? Huh? Do you think I’d sit here punching this keyboard if I didn’t feel an urgent social responsibility? I’ve got tons of episodes of NCIS on the DVR and I could be parking my lazy ass on the divan and enjoying the best TV program ever made. But no, I’m here trying to improve your miserable life, a complete stranger. That’s how big I am; a giving person, a servant.
Oh sure I have to use tough love sometimes and point out the deficiencies in you and your world but you know it’s for your own good. I don’t like doing it but somebody has to or you are going to end up on the trash heap of humanity. I worry about you all the time, especially the 50% of you that are below average. I stay up late trying to think of something that is going to stick in your little pea brain, that can pull you up from the desperate and hopeless state you are currently in.
I try to temper these intense self-improvement posts with other posts of whimsy and carefree fun that will brighten your otherwise dreary day. I add the occasional important current event because I know you haven’t touched a newspaper in years and when you did all you cared about was what the Kardashians were doing. See these are all for your own good too. I spend a lot of time each and every day thinking about how to get through to you and improve your life just a little. I put all my needs aside to serve you, dear reader.
Well I just wanted you to know that when the chips are down, like they always are for you, you can count on me. I wanted you to know I’m making more than a D minus effort for you. Whatever disaster comes into your world I’ll be putting all my resources into how best to deal with it and keep you from circling the drain. Think of me as the FEMA of bloggers, but in a better way that actually arrives in time and helps the afflicted.
Remember I’m here if you need me and I’m ready to make time for you day or night. Oh, and like I’ve told you before, lowered expectations are the key to a less than miserable life so just expect the worst and everything will be all right.
Well my dumb-ass neighbors cut down all the trees in their yard. Yep, I have pictures. I guess it’s their right and whatever but geez talk about taking the property values down besides the cost to have a bunch of rednecks come in and do it. These weren’t diseased or anything. These were BIG trees. My neighbor is just too lazy to rake his leaves. He has been hacking down the larger trees in his lot for several years now and pruning the ones that are left real goofy so they look like those alien trees with all the leaves way up high and nothing down low, no branches or anything. Now where I live you want all the trees you can have because the sun beats down like a bastard most of the year.
I bitched and moaned all day at the tree service for trespassing on my property and I was watching them like a hawk to make sure they didn’t fell something into my yard. I made ’em move the logs and stuff they kept putting over my property line. I was pretty much an asshole all day. My neighbors weren’t home at the time but I’m sure the tree service guys told them how nice and friendly I’d been all day.
My neighbor is goofy anyway. He has three beemers and says he can’t afford to have a second kid. He said he had to buy a beemer station wagon when they had the one kid because he couldn’t stand to not drive a performance car. He got rid of cable and DISH but pays these geezers to come chop down all these perfectly fine trees. He leaves his family to go to races and stuff by himself even though his kid is still little. He designs tires for a living but he hates his job, he pretty much hates to do anything he doesn’t wanna do, which I guess is alright, but he’s still nuts. He does everything for himself and pretty much ignores everyone else including his own little family. I’m glad I’m not selfish like that.
What they don’t know is there is a curse on their house. The Stephen King kind. It’s worked its black magic in the past so I figure with all this new Mother Nature bad karma hanging around now it’s bound to get the thing recharged. It’s nearly All Hallows Eve so what better time to bring down some hoodoo-voodoo? See the last two occupants of the house each ended up divorced after just a few years. Now I don’t wish anything bad on anyone…
I got this off the Huffington Post so don’t bitch to me about the factual quality. It was on the internet so it has to be true just like the advert says. It says the most requested book at Gitmo is not the Quran, but the BDSM 50 Shades of Grey series! That says a lot about the general reading public left in Gitmo and leads me into today’s essential rant: Why is Gitmo still open and who is still left there?
First of all the good news, the rehabilitation program in Gitmo has to be working at least a little. The reading level has turned from the Islamic terrorist’s number one inspirational tome to the same thing that your average WalMart knuckledragger reads. This in itself makes a strong argument for mainlining these guys back into society, even here on US soil. No doubt these former hate mongering berserkers are going to work for even less than your current enslaved class of illegal aliens, so even Republicans should support this. As long as they have a steady diet of strokebooks, “Housewives,” and Kardashian fare to feed them everything should be hunky dory. My sure fire easy solution for closing Gitmo. President Obama listen up!
My second rant, er, well reasoned argument is why is Gitmo such a hot potato? Why not just close it anyway and let them all go. Put them on the next bus for Guantanamera instead of Guantanamo. These few left can’t be that big a deal since we killed all the real bad guys already, haven’t we? I have a couple of other ideas. Why not just let ’em loose somewhere and let law abiding citizens exercise some second amendment rights. Kind of like that story “The Most Dangerous Game.” Now these guys go from America’s Most Wanted to Most Wanted Moving Target. Creates a new definition for the price of freedom.
Another humane act would be to just walk away and throw them the keys. Then it’s Castro’s headache not ours. Not bad. Again freedom always has its price. My last and maybe best idea is to just drop them off where they came from and make ’em drone bait. That’s right. Practice makes perfect so a few hundred guys running around in the desert should be like novice level video game stuff. If they only put me in charge.
Anyway the last thing you want to do is try these guys in a military OR especially civilian court. Look at the costs? What if some get off, now what do you do? What if they sue in a civil court? More headaches. The worst outcome would be if some of these guys would actually look like innocent people you shouldn’t have thrown in some illegal dungeon without a trial. Who wants to open that can of worms and embarrass the government, congress, and the current and former presidents?
Given the fact that maybe we can’t close Gitmo lets just distract people from it. We need a Gitmo “leaker;” one who will rat out the government on the whole rancid mess and become a traitorous scapegoat and distract everyone from the real problem. We can give him a free ride to some third world dictatorship where there is no extradition treaty, jerk his passport, and then wring our hands for months about how he jeopardized national security and agents and soldiers in the field. The intendant distraction will make Gitmo once again look like the high patriotic enterprise, essential to national security that it almost surely isn’t.
Well here again I’ve solved another big contemporary problem in about 10 different foolproof ways and I didn’t even spend that much time on it. When you have the brains I do even a Dminus effort looks brilliant.
I’m still working on that Television essay but the topic is so deep and important it’s taking a while. It is coming along nicely though. You won’t be disappointed.
I know that last blog entry about the word thing sucked bad. Talk about bottom of the barrel. I almost deleted it but I figure someday long after I’m gone these little gems are going to bring me the fame and recognition of greatness I never had in life and it would be a shame if even the Dminus efforts were not included in my ephemera and marginalia, seeing that they are still certainly better than most of the hot air out there today.
Let’s talk today about unemployment or as I like to refer to it: “coincidental early retirement.” I think the government should shift towards using this term and let the “unemployment” defined rate gradually fade to near zero. Everyone in our free and classless society would be pleased by this. Think about it, if the government would just assume that no one over 65 wanted to work anyway (drop them from the “unemployed”) and assume that anyone who has exhausted their benefits are just lazy and shiftless and wouldn’t work at any job no matter what, now we have the retired (over 65) and the early retired (the lazy and shiftless) off the unemployment statistics. If we go one step further and assume the disabled are going to forever be unable to work, then there you have another big chunk out of the “pie of idlers” as I like to call it.
Now before we…, Whoa you over there, don’t get up out of that chair while I’m talking and don’t you dare heckle me. I’ll come right over there and smack you. Before we go any further, to avoid any misunderstanding here, I myself am currently in a temporary bout of “coincidental early retirement.” So there. Now sit back down and shut up. You know what happens when you assume…
Where was I, oh yeah, like most things in the media, business, or government, we haven’t made any real changes to the physical world here. It’s all a matter of perspective (= spin). We’ve now got our new unemployment rate down way low, near zero (Somebody is going to start talking inflation now so we may have to add something back into our statistic. There’s always a pessimist around.). Voila! Everyone feels better. Okay maybe not everyone but a lot of people. Those that don’t feel better are just going to not really care and that doesn’t count. These are mostly the lazy and shiftless that I mentioned above and nobody listens to them anyway and most don’t vote. So now I’ve proven that either people don’t care or they are way happier about our new unemployment statistic now so on average (and remember 50% of people are always going to be above average!) I think we can agree that the day is just a little sunnier now. What’s so bad about feelin’ good? Isn’t that what we yearn for most in life, feelin’ good? If you can do it without moving anything, so much the better. Why work so hard (see the “Dminus Principle”)? Anyway I’m doing all the heavy lifting here so just pay attention.
Here come the naysayers. I’ve got my usual on target answers for them. The first thing that is going to be said is it is “different” than what we do today. I say: “Is what we’re doing today working, huh?” The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I say: New Way, New Result, because what we have now obviously isn’t working. Second, the economists and statisticians are going to say that the new stat is going to skew things or under report the real situation. This is maybe the worst argument ever. The current old unemployment stat we use is a made up number too, I’m just offering a clearly better pretend number. A more optimistic made up number. Remember: perspective = spin.
Third unemployment statistics aren’t like physical constants like Avogadro’s Number or pi or the speed of light, they are just made up numbers by people to measure some thing in some way with a certain perspective (remember: spin). Why shouldn’t we use new ways of calculating statistics that put our current situation in a better, more optimistic light? I say change it again if circumstances change. Remember nothing has changed in the universe except a lot of people are a whole lot happier and the rest (the ones that don’t matter anyway) are just the same as they were before; net gain. Economists will squawk from both sides but when were economists ever right and therefore why would anyone pay any attention to them? When was the last time a tax cut “trickled down” to you or a tax hike created any jobs that the lazy and shiftless defined above would take? Huh? Never! QED!
The other thing to remember in all this is even as the old unemployment statistic creeps down most of these jobs being taken are much lower paying than the ones people had before the crash. Most former auto workers in America are now slingin’ hash and they both count as employed but the latter just barely. Most former rice slingers in China are now making autos. But why rain on the parade? The new unemployment number takes care of all that. It is virtually unaffected by the quality of the jobs that the few outside of Wall Street work at. How better to measure a half-empty statistic?
I can see that some of you are still not on board with me. How about this: let’s measure the employment rate instead of unemployment rate. Now we can crow about our 93% employment rate instead of pity-partying about the 7% unemployment rate and we haven’t even played the numbers game. How ’bout dat? I bet if you showed somebody a picture with 93 guys in it then showed them one with 100 guys in it they wouldn’t be able to tell which was which. They sure would be able to tell the difference between 7 and zero. Real life is the same. Perspective and spin. Is your day getting any better yet?
The last argument will be that other countries don’t measure it that way. What? When did we ever worry about what foreigners, especially ones that don’t live here, think? Why would we behave like these lesser lights that we have to bail out globally like a drunk every New Year’s Eve? Remember WWI, WWII, Vietnam (France), Falklands (Great Britain), Kossovo, (remember that film Behind Enemy Lines with nutcase Owen Wilson as that downed NATO pilot) not to mention keeping their oil safe for them in the Middle East. We can measure unemployment any way we want. Besides when other countries see how low our unemployment is they’ll want to measure their’s the same better American way like they always do with things.
I still apologize for that last post about words. It was really awful. I had a sort of writer’s block thing going on, but now the meds are starting to work. Hopefully this post will make up for it.
As I said in my next to last post you are probably becoming by now the poster boy or girl for this blog. If you can send a picture of you in your new carefree, and most of all, leisurely lifestyle I might feature it here, anonymously of course (see below for what you should really expect to happen).
I really struggled with the title for this post. Should I call it pessimism, optimism, hope, or despair because we’re going to hit all of these here? I decided on the straight forward approach instead of the facetious one, again for reasons that will become evident.
But onward in our journey to nirvana. The subject for this day is Pessimism, pure and simple, and I’m going to show you how to apply this little word to your outlook about everything. It’s so simple: always expect the worst. That’s it, see what I mean? We’re trending towards the Zen of life. Life is so simple really that the truths about it are almost self-evident, but really expect life to be so complicated that you are never going to understand anything. There, we’ve already applied it. Always expect to be disappointed. This is the only way to never be let down: always expect to be disappointed, then in the rare circumstance that something good does happen, you’ll be ecstatic, however when the more probable opposite occurs you won’t EVER be disappointed.
What a great way to live. If you can apply this along with the Dminus principle (see my earlier post) then life will become unbearable but essentially worry free.
Let’s see if we can find how you can apply this to a more practical situation. At work, always assume, even with a lack of evidence, that your co-workers are sniveling, back stabbing, over-ambitious weasels who are going to take the credit for all your work and get promoted a lot faster although they never deserved it. Now you cannot imagine a day when you are going to be let down in your expectations by the behavior of your co-workers. In the rare event that you are in a meeting and someone says: “Oh no, I didn’t do all this Shirley did some of it,” you are going to be on cloud nine. I would say happy enough to take the rest of the day off, go to a bar, and call in sick the next morning (again, see the Dminus principle). If the opposite happens and they take all the credit for what was mostly your work, well you expected as much and can’t really be disappointed. Either way, you weren’t disappointed. Voilà, life is actually the dreary drudge you thought it would be. This applies to everything in your pathetic life: your spouse, your job, your physical fitness plan (again, see earlier posts), your health, your finances, your family, your so-called friends and on and on. The areas for application are endless.
However, there are a number of hazards in this lifestyle: optimists and an attitude of hopefulness. Optimists are to be avoided at all costs. Assume they are possessed by a demon that wants to knock you off your currently successful downward slide and take advantage of you at the same time. They are never to be trusted. They will get you to read books by Norman Vincent Peale, Tony Robbins, and their ilk. They will tell you about the failed philosophy of positive thinking and that you are a good person with talents that are yet untapped, and we all know none of this is true as shown by past experience. What you do know is that they are waiting to swindle you and put you on a path that will leave you circling the drain without hope.
Which brings me to my second hazard: hope. Never ever hope for anything to get better. It won’t and you already know this. Hope leads to the ultimate disappointment unless it is hope for the worst to happen. If anything gives you even an inkling that things are going to work out, get as far away from it as possible, mentally and physically. Again, avoid at all costs.
I apply this principle of unbroken pessimism as often as possible in my own life. If you look at some of my earlier posts, I expected the worst outcome in both the Dunbar and stock market situations. Was I disappointed? No way the worst outcome I had expected happened. I could go along in my already depressed state knowing that only something worse could still happen. There you have it.
Oh, and have a lousy day.
In my next to last post I told you I was going to tell you about Chicago Nice. Well I didn’t and you were on the edge of your seat waiting for what I was going to say. Now you’re disappointed. See how it would have been so much better to assume I was lying or forgetful and not have anticipated that I would reveal this other principle of a nirvana-like life. I promise I’ll get to it in a later post, but you know what? Don’t be disappointed if I don’t.
Some people have taken umbrage at my musings about Bluegrass Music. Apparently these folks take life so seriously that they think my opinion 1) matters to anyone, 2) is to be taken as 100% at face value. Now seriously folks, the operative term here should be sarcasm. Bluegrass musicians are some of the most accomplished folk musicians in the world. I can appreciate their talent while at the same time I cannot bear to listen to them. It just isn’t my gig. I hate it. My apparently feeble attempt at humor in the piece was so lame that it was misconstrued as the ravings of a hydrophobic dog on Bluegrass music. Either I didn’t write things very well or you are not the sharpest tool in the shed. I know which one I’m going to bet on.
Now seriously, how can anyone take life so damn, well, seriously? Daily life is usually the most humorous thing imaginable. I mean unless the current situation in front of you involves death or you losing everything then it’s not fodder for tears. Make a joke. Have a laugh. Lighten up. People are always running up to me saying: “It’s a nightmare.” “We’re doomed.” “We’re porked.” I always ask: did anyone die? Did anyone go out of business. Did the ground just open up and swallow someone? No. I say: “Well this is just the first sign that the apocalypse is imminent.” The conference room goes quiet. Everyone in the immediate group is dead serious. About what? The world’s going to end! Again, I don’t think so. Lighten up.
There is enough grim news in the real world so your sorry insignificant little problems are a source of laughter for me and they should be for you. See the humor in the everyday occurrences. See the humor in your useless job. See the humor in your whacked out family, see the humor in the fact that you have no idea why you do 95% of the things you do, see the humor in that driver texting and fixing her hair at the same time. Bill Monroe (rest his soul) will still be there when you get back. In all seriousness folks, lighten up!