That Damn Puppet

11/11/11/.

Yes, I suppose it’s that time of… decade. When people wish for whatever their hearts desire. It’s like Christmas, but all the presents are imaginary. It’s all very confusing, really. In all of my research (first page of Google results), I haven’t been able to find much about its origins or any meaning to the number 1 that would make it particularly suited for magic or Jinnism. And honestly, I don’t think people actually think it works. I mean, if it did I’m pretty sure there would be world peace, no poverty, no racism, and most importantly, teenage relationships would be broken apart or put together so fast it’d give [name of high school drama] a run for its money. So it has no history or meaning. It doesn’t actually have the power to bend reality. So why are people so excited about 11/11/11 and its cousin 11:11, not to mention its incestuous love child 11:11 on 11/11/11?

Well I know I’m not the most optimistic of people. I’m not trying to pretend the world doesn’t have its share of problems. Everyone knows that it does. And that tends to make people sad. Because even if you don’t care about war or poverty, or the polar bears running out of ice to stand on, somebody will yell at you for it and you’ll get sad anyway.

So everyday, we’re confronted with irrefutable evidence that all our lives suck. There’s so much of it in fact, that even though nobody really WANTS to think it, they can’t help but. So I guess its only natural for us to develop some sort of defense. I’m gonna say that’s why people wish. Cause for maybe just a second they think things will get better. For them, for the world, whatever. It’s a moment of thinking that everything isn’t going horribly wrong. And I guess we really need that second, just to get us through the various things we have to get through every goddamn day.

When somebody attached a number, totally arbitrarily to it, it increased the effect. People saved all their mental wishing power for 11:11 everyday. Somebody else said it, so there’s more reason to believe, right?  And once the 11:11 thing spread, it was only a matter of time until people started looking forward to 11/11/11. One superbigmegawish. Enough hope to maybe get them through the next decade. Or at least to the next 11:11.

So to all the wishers out there, give it your all. Don’t stop at wishing for the girl to like you back, or wishing for that awesome whatever it is you want. Wish that it would rain gold, or that we could all ride bears instead of cars, or that sunlight would taste like blue Skittles. Take a second-long break into any fantasy land you choose. You probably need it.

 

EDIT: In case you’re wondering, I finished writing this at roughly 2:30AM on November 11th, 2011 (+8GMT). And yes, I did make a wish.


I Like Bears

Let’s compare.

I have extensive knowledge of several branches of science. I’m that one guy in math class that everyone hates cause he always gets the highest scores. And did I mention that this math class is Extremely Advanced Analytic Calculatory Algeboobs? Well it is. I can calculate those really big numbers and found a fancy one that never ends and everyone uses it now to calculate the deliciousness of cookies. In fact, they put my face on a button on the calculator, between e and pi. I am being chased by a grizzly bear. I know the bear’s hibernation pattern but fuck, it’s not hibernation season. I can name every molecule in the bear’s body as well as their functions. As its teeth molecules rip into my chest molecules.

I work out. A lot. I have all those muscles that people talk about when they’re talking about working out. I can run a mile in fifty three seconds.  Sorry, I can’t say much else because I honestly have no idea what I’m talking about. I am being chased by a grizzly bear. I run deeper into the forest, dodging trees and small animals. I reach a river and hop on high rocks, only reducing my speed a hair to avoid slipping. But in my haste, I don’t realize that the bear has taken another path and is roaring triumphantly on the opposite shore. I jump clear over its head, and take advantage of my position by grabbing it in a fancy martial arts throw, and I hurl it into the river with a spin. It groans as it gets to its feet, gives me a look of hateful respect, and backs away into the dense forest.

Now what was the point of that? It was obviously to show that when it really comes down to it, physical strength is clearly more effective, right? But if you change the setting to a university, and the grizzly bear to an angry college professor, Paragraph One Guy would probably win. So what AM I trying to say?

Intelligence is overrated. So is brute strength. Not to mention being able to speak Chinese, knowing the meaning of life, having really nice hair, and being very, very pretty. Basically anything that could be considered an advantage.

I’ve always considered myself intellectual, if only because I can’t call myself particularly strong, or brimming with what the TV calls “heart”. And I suppose intellectually I haven’t been doing totally horribly. The fact that people aren’t leaving death threats in the comments section (please don’t) means I could be doing worse. So for most of my life, I’ve considered that to be my forte. Or at least the only thing I’m kinda good at.

If I had some superhero friends, I’d probably be the brains (or comic relief butt monkey). I’ve been counting on my mind to come through for me my whole life, and will probably be counting on it until I have enough money to buy a fancy robot servant. But then I’ve been thinking, is that REALLY the best idea (counting on my mind, not the robot servant. Robot servant is an awesome idea)? Because as I have so eloquently illustrated here, intelligence might not be so useful.

But that’s alright, right? We all have our strengths and weaknesses.  Well yes, we do. But on TV, they matter a lot less than in real life. The brains would obviously never be attacked by a grizzly bear, unless one of his friends is close enough to save him just as the episode is about to end. Or unless he’s supposed to overcome his weaknesses with love or something. And the friend that did the bear saving wouldn’t have a test given by an angry college professor unless the brains is there to tutor him for it.

Unfortunately, humanity isn’t split into teams according to our abilities so that each group is prepared for any eventuality and can always come to the aid of any of their brethren, teaching each other lessons along the way.  People fail tests all the time because they didn’t have a super smart nerd friend, or because they didn’t study or because they were out all night at a discotheque. And sadly, people to this day get attacked by bears. I think. I hope.

See, no skill, or trait, or piece of information is really better than any other. It all depends on circumstance, which isn’t exactly easy to control. So it makes no difference if I decide to study instead of go to the gym, or if i decide to write this instead of creating a magical elixir that will make me live forever. It’s like picking a number from one to six and rolling a damn die. Because if circumstances call for me to be smart, good, but if they call for me to be ab-having, then I’m screwed. And sure you can anticipate which will be needed, but outside of school or work, or controlled environments, out in the real world, which we will all have to face at one point or another, you can’t. Maybe a serial killer will approach you and kill you if you can’t do algebra. Or maybe he’ll kill you if you can’t do a backflip. Who knows? It’s all the same  because one particular skill will probably be useless more times that it will be useful.

So I’ve established that we’re all screwed right? What do we do now? Whatever makes you happy. Because one way or another, the world is gonna keep throwing crap your way, crap that you aren’t prepared for. There’s no way you can be prepared for it all.  So it’s better to do whatever the fuck you want and get screwed than do something you don’t want to and STILL get screwed, right?


Bowling

I really suck at meeting people.

I mean, can’t we live in a world where I can just say “No, we probably DON’T have that much and common, and I really do think you are a very nice person. I just don’t want to talk to you right now. Maybe sometime in the future. But not now. Now please leave me alone.”

I’ve been trying to do the whole socializing thing, but it’s REALLY HARD. Nothing against the people, but it’s just freaking tiring for me to try to go through all the social rules and stuff, try to make myself seem more approachable and crap like that. I want to be friends with you people, really I do. But can’t we all just get along without the stupid group dynamic, personality dominance battles, and just plain bullshit pre-personalities? Can’t we just have ACTUAL conversations and not talk about lowest-common-denominator shit? Usually this is where I would go on a long rant about the state of the world or something. But this is the first time I’m updating in a while. And I’m really freaking tired.


For a Moment

Now, no matter what race you are, what language you speak (probably English if you’re reading this), where you live, blablabla, there’s one thing we all have in common. We all love complaining. It’s not a bad thing, really. It’s as much a part of us as breathing, and as much of a hobby as collecting stamps or whatever.

In fact, complaining is one of our -favorite- hobbies, below watching other people piss each other off. Number one of course, being pissing other people off (only when they don’t know we’re trying to piss them off of course). Don’t deny it, we all complain. A lot. None of us are MATURE. Sure, we can act like that around other people, but in the depths of your head, where you know all the truth is, you actually DO hate the guy with those lame shoes.

So you see aforementioned guy in the lame shoes. Maybe they’re made of gold, and are reflecting light into your eyes. Maybe he’s also wearing a hat. A huge top hat, with a beer-drinking apparatus attached to it. And the hat is bright green. Oh, maybe he also has on a shirt that says “I’m too sexy for my shirt.” You can already tell, he would take it off if he wasn’t in public, because he’s just that vain. Now what do you do about the gold shoed, top hat wearing, beer drinking, shirt sexxing son of a bitch (Henceforth referred to as “DoucheBob”)? Do you go up to him and tell him to take off his +11 Jackassery Hat, share his beer, and donate his gold shoes to some orphan whose silver one are too tight? No. You complain. Either to yourself (I hate that guy), or to somebody else (“Hey, look at that guy. I totally hate him.”). You wish he was dead too, because the world would be a much better place with one less person like him.

But given the chance, would you actually kill him? Well, probably not because that would be murder. But would you kill ALL of the people like him, knowing it would help the whole world? No, because that would be genocide. Then again, it isn’t all about ethics. Like I said, complaining is a hobby. Even a form of entertainment. After all, it’s a lot of fun to feel superior, isn’t it? So if all the assholes go away, we would be very bored indeed. With nothing to complain about, we would waste our time thinking of well… nothing at all. We would complain about that for a while, but it would get old. Not to mention, with nothing to complain about, we would stop coming up with good ideas. There would be no poems. No novels. No art. Because what else does creativity come from if not hatred? I guess assholes are more important that we thought.

But still… I hate that guy. You know the one.


Glacier

On my way home today, I was  thinking of something to post here, and I actually came up with a pretty good idea. I started thinking of how it would so in my head, and I thought it was a pretty fun idea. It also really helped that the traffic was really bad, since it gave me more time to think. But I’m not going to post that post now, obviously. Mostly because I’m really freaking tired right now, and it needs work, and I’m having a lot of fun working on it.

Here’s the thing. I didn’t really notice how bad the traffic was until I was a few minutes in. The rest of the road up to this point had been totally clear, so it was the kind of traffic that had to be caused by an accident. And indeed it was. I was expecting some regular superficial scratch and bump situation where everybody is being help up because the drivers are arguing about insurance, and the police officers are taking up more of the road with their cars because they want to feel like they’re actually doing something. But it was actually a motorcycle/taxi mess. I noticed because there was a stationary taxi and a motorcycle on the ground. Oh, and a crowd around a man who was bleeding (from the quick glimpse of him I got) quite profusely. Damn.

So of course, I did feel sorry for him, on the ground and bleeding and whatnot. Though he was also yelling quite a bit, so it couldn’t have been that bad, I guess. But as I got farther and farther from the wreck (which was easy since everyone was stuck behind it), my thoughts drifted from sadness, to concern, to “I really hate motorcycles”, to hunger, to (and this is one of my favorite ways of getting through most days) “Somewhere out there, somebody is having a WORSE day that you.” And that saying really has helped me rationalize myself out of the occasional depression. Sure, I’m using other people’s misery to make myself feel better, but it’s not like I CAUSE said misery, so there’s really no reason for me to feel guilty.

So, here’s to you, Fallen Motorcycle Accident Guy. I’ll make sure to write a post-rock song in your honor.


Tubbs

For the past few days, a strange substance has been appearing in my fridge. It’s a weird greenish color, and it has some yellow… bits. It’s kind of like a mist of… something. I honestly don’t know what it is. I’ve seen it in every possible container too. Plastic bottles, pitchers, even a bottle of vodka (which I did NOT almost drink because the lights were off). None of these containers, however had any sort of label on them. Except the bottle of vodka, which I am sure it was not.

Anyway, just a while ago I went to get a glass of water. And there it was. An entire pitcher of Substance X. Then I thought “To hell with this, I’m drinking this shit. It’s the ONLY way I’m going to find out what the FUCK this is.” But then I recalled the words of the Eternally Wise Joey Tribbiani: “It’s fat. I drank FAT.”

I’m no chef, so I have no idea why Monica just happened to have a glass of fat in her fridge, but I’m sure she had a good reason. And until I saw that episode, I didn’t even know fat could be stored in drinkable form.  But this Substance X is EXACTLY what I imagined the liqifat would look like. So just like that I was confronted with a choice. Drink the Substance, and have my curiosity satisfied, but possibly drink a glass of fat. Or NOT drink the Substance and forever be haunted by it. It was a risk.

Now, I’m not really a risk-taker. I usually prefer the safer option. But that’s not to say I never take chances. I have, and they’re paid off. But they were small things. I mean, it’s not much of a risk if all your putting at stake is some money, or maybe some pants wearing. I’ve never come to a choice that will ACTUALLY affect things, with real big consequences. Like a LOT of money, or a lot of pants wearing. Or even my certain credibility.

All of us have  to take risks, I guess. Thing is, on TV, you can always tell how risks are going to turn out. In a fluffy light time show, they’ll always benefit the character and show that taking risks is good sometimes. In a gritty edgy show, it will turn out very badly. If there was an aforementioned worst case scenario, it WILL happen. Possibly with somebody dying. Or in a complex sci-fi show, the world will decide to throw in some weird ass new choice nobody knew about before. Basically, whatever option will be the most dramatic/cool/funny/touching, etc.

And now we yet again see the stark, extremely depressing contrast between fiction and real life. See, in real life, we also have risks. Usually ones with big rewards and very unfortunate consequences. But real life isn’t guided by some writer playing god. There is no all-seeing entity controlling what we do (let’s not get into that now). But they ARE still risks. And the higher reward well, you know the rest. Thing is, when the numbers SAY you have a 0.000…1% chance of finding a golden ass cleaning toilet in your backyard, they really DO mean it’s never gonna happen, no matter how many entertaining implications there might be to it. And if they say you’re not going to win the lottery, they mean YOU’RE NOT GONNA WIN THE DAMN LOTTERY, even if it would create circumstances in which you are hated by everyone you know and realize that money isn’t true happiness.

In fact, all out lives we’re taught to play it safe. Sure, like, they mention the fact that risks can pay off sometimes. But that’s just so that they don’t seem like they really just want you to always choose a solid, not great reward instead of the -mystery box-. Because the mystery box probably has a freaking boat in it. Or maybe not. But this isn’t one of the times when I give you advice, or some sort of perspective. I’m just ranting here. If you want to go drive in the oncoming lane until just before you get a face full of truck, go right ahead. I on the other hand, opt to not have to go to the hospital. No, I’m not going to drink the fat. At least, not yet.


One of These Things

There are many things that are important to each of us, right?

Well I don’t care about those. So right now, I’m gonna focus on the “us” part. Or rather, the “me” part, cause I’m selfish like that. And I’m trying to answer the question, as everybody in this damn world is, “Who the FUCK am I?” I have a name, sure. But obviously, that isn’t enough. I’m talking a full-fledged identity thing. But really, that question is pretty damn hard to answer. I mean, everybody is unique, right? Sure but… not by much. It’s like we’re all points on the edge of a circle. Sure, that dot all the way in Norway is pretty different from you. He eats salmon all day and has to fend off polar bears with sticks as he makes his morning commute to operate a train station. But this is a circle we’re talking about. So there’s that dot right next to you, and while TECHNICALLY it’s a different dot, it is NOT different enough for anybody to care.

Again, let’s say I have an identical twin. We look EXACTLY alike, and short of a DNA test, it’s impossible to tell us apart. We like the same things, think pretty similar. We’ll get the same gifts on our birthday, get the same compliments, get the same grades in school, score a pair of hot twin supermodels (mine is the hotter one tho), you get the idea. So to most people, we’re essentially, practically the same person. Then let’s say we each have totally different circles of friends. I would be able to live a day in the life of my twin probably without anyone being any the wiser. But I wouldn’t be able to fool his friends. They’d probably pick up on the tiny little differences that make me… not him. Like noticing the 1 degree difference between me and the dot next to me.

What I’m trying to say is that, to the great majority of people, we are not unique, at all. We’re clustered into our genders, age groups, social standings, and stuff like that. But when we look closer, to our friends and stuff we ARE. And it’s impossible to be REALLY unique, in any way that matters to the great majority. Even famous people can’t do it. They have to deal with classifications like Dumb Blonde Model, Girly Man Singer, Manly Girl Actress, Arrogant Hollywood Creative Type, etcetc.

I’ve also noticed a great deal of my hating people stems from their proverbially yelling “OOH, OOH LOOKIT MEEEE I’M SOOOOOO COOL.” And sometimes, it isn’t proverbial. In fact, most of what we do it motivated by the intention of trying to be seen and recognized by everybody else. The guy who gives everybody free stuff, the guy who always gets drunk, the guy who everybody hates, the guy you know is an asshole but everybody seems to like, the guy who seems to be good at everything so people like him, the guy who is a douche and has more friends that he should, etcetc.

See, this doesn’t work. And unless you actually try to make genuine connections with people, they will not remember you, and you will be clustered into the group of people who are annoying. We can’t be like one of those superhero teams where every member is different and has a totally different skill set and use to the group, such that they wouldn’t be able to function properly if even one member was missing. And they would each have a challenge only they can complete when the team is raiding the villain’s lair. Even if he has a lame power like Heart. There are far too many people in this world for each of us to have an extremely specific role that nobody else can do. When any of us dies, the world at large will not give a fuck. And short of running for president or something, there’s nothing we can do about that. The world won’t be crippled by our loss, because there will be somebody else, or a combination of somebodies who can fill our space no problem. The only ones who will care that you’re dead are the people who you’re actually close to. It’s your role in THEIR lives that nobody else can fill.

Unfortunately, nobody seems to realize this. And if they do, it’s still hard to fight that instinct to try to be remembered for some stupid superficial reason, just for the sake of people knowing who they are, and hopefully remembering them. Hell, I’m sure even I do it. And where does this end up? With me hating everybody. Just a little. Well, just a little for MOST people.