Posts Tagged ‘life’

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By @anarchyroll
11/14/15

What is a life worth?

Which lives are more valuable than others?

What makes a life or a group of lives more valuable than others?

There has been so much justified sadness and anger at the terrorist attacks on in Paris. But ISIS has been killing people by the hundreds in the Middle East for quite a long time now. The war in Syria has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced millions, literally millions of people.

The news media has reported these facts. The refugee crisis in the Europe grabbed plenty of headlines. President Obama has spoken about Syria publicly. Russia’s direct and indirect involvement there has been international news more than once. But public outcry, sadness, and prayers have been at a minimal if not absent from the discourse completely.

Over 100 dead civillians is a big number for a terrorist attack. It is a tragedy. It is sad. It is horrible in every sense of the word. But why are those lives worth more attention and mourning than the hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths that ISIS has contributed to in the Middle East?

There’s no right or wrong answer. These questions are not being asked from a pedestal. But they are questions worth asking and worth thinking about in between news updates from the blood stained streets of Paris.

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by @anarchyroll
7/20/2014

Learning how to talk to women in bars and nightclubs for the sole purpose of having casual/promiscuous sex is not what one would call the traditional road to enlightenment and inner peace. The Game by Neil Strauss is not a personal development/self-help book. It is an entertaining non fiction story intertwined with a how to manual of how to become a more socially suave man. Many women think of this book and other “seduction” manuals and are offended at the concept and existence of such material. The seduction community has some message board posts that can be considered the Rosetta Stone of internet trolling. However, without The Game I never would have become a well read person, and never would have been able to look beyond the stigma of consuming personal development/self-help materials.

I was never taught how to talk to women, or how to talk to girls for that matter. I was socially conditioned during my youth of watching television to look at women as either objects or villains. Pamela Anderson and pro wrestling provided me an education of women that I was too afraid to learn from first hand experience. Embarrassment and looking dumb in public settings while interacting with women is often too much for the male ego to bear.

There are plenty of men out there who when it comes every level of interacting with women are natural(s). They are the exception, not the rule.  The inability and/or unwillingness most men have push through the pain of getting to the other side of their comfort zone, is much more of a psychological/medical condition that  most people would give it credit for. The genuine emotional and mental pain most men experience at just the thought of failing at socializing with the opposite sex is hard to put into words. To imply one needs to simply man up, is akin to telling clinically diagnosed psychotics to just stop being crazy.

My inability and ignorance with the opposite sex led to an uncountable number of panic attacks, emotional breakdowns/meltdowns, and repeated diversions of time, concentration, and effort in the direction of my life’s purpose.

In the tradition of the double-edged sword, being introduced to The Game eventually led to me to reading other self-help books as well as the personal development and human potential movements. I discovered both after consuming so much social dynamics and pick up artist material, that I realized the hole I was trying to fill inside of myself was deeper and more profound than a hook up or series of hook ups could fill.

But I never would have gotten to personal development without The Game. The social stigma that pick up artists face is the same that self-help books have. That something is unnatural or wrong about both the information and the people who consume/apply the material(s). I thought self-help was stupid and to consume that knowledge meant that I was weak, defective, and a failure of a human being. I thought having to read a book about how to meet women meant that I was a failure as a man.

The real failure is in knowing one is not living their life the way they want to and/or feel they should and continuing to live that way rather than seeking help in the knowledge of books or mentors. Although we would all prefer to be perfect inside and out, part of the human condition is the inadequacies we have as people internally and/or externally. I am happy that my decision to face rather than deny my failures as a social being as a gateway to address the rest of my deficiencies at both the deep and shallow levels.

And it’s a fun book to read.

 

ssrlogo2ajclogo2by @anarchyroll
7/13/2014

Life is simple but not easy.

A paradox that confuses and confounds more human beings than those who have a grasp on it. Identifying problems is simple, enacting solutions is not easy.

I am aware of most of my flaws, shortcomings, and failures but taking the corrective action I know that I need to take is difficult at the highest level. Becoming aware was simple, taking action has not been easy.

I have been amazed at how hard enacting solutions has been in my personal development. I see my errors and/or am aware when I am taking a step backwards, failing, etc but it is as if there is an invisible hand metaphorically holding me in place, holding me in a script of stagnant, repetitive, counter productive decisions and/or actions.

I think there are a lot of people who can relate. I don’t look at myself as some kind of uniquely cursed wannabe martyr. I believe an overwhelming number of human beings struggle with self mastery. Finding the balance between patience and hustle can be tricky.

Paradigms die hard and shift slow. Traditionally change is slow and gradual. But the ego/shadow or the part of yourself that doesn’t want to change will use the truth of slow change, as an excuse and justification for not taking action in the moments of choice.

To be a coward when courage is required. I have run against this sticking point which at times feels like bouncing off a brick wall. How to move past this? Identifying that is simple:

  • Persistence of effort
  • Boldness and trust in the face of adversity and the unknown
  • Pushing through the pain period

That is what is required, that I know.

How to enact those principles, tactics, and techniques when my mind is racing or blank, my breathing is short, my stomach is in knots, and/or my limbs are shaky? Well, that’s hard, but nothing worth having comes easy. And self-mastery and living life as the best version of myself is certainly worth having.

 

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ssrlogo2ajclogo2by @anarchyroll

 
(The following article is a paper I wrote for a communication studies course in college. In fact, this is the last paper I wrote before receiving a BA in Media Communications. I will be recording a short podcast on the space between stimulus and response which is also the name of my personal development blog. I wanted to have some writing with teeth, that I wrote, posted here to reference people to. It is a long read, about six pages in a word processor. The podcast about symbolic interactionism and the space between stimulus and response will be less than six minutes. The sources cited throughout are listed at the bottom. Each of which was a scholarly article found through the university database. I look forward to writing more, albeit in shorter form, about symbolic interactionism in the future.)
 

Human beings are not slaves to reactions who think and act in a vacuum. We socially construct the lives we live and worlds that we live in, one choice at a time. This is symbolic interactionism, a Chicago contribution to the world of communication theory, psychology, sociology, and anthropology. Within the theory is the concept that in between stimulus and response lays a space to choose our interpretation that is unique to humans. Evaluating, studying, and understanding the causes and effects of how and why people use this space for interpretation is where the theory places itself at the front of communication studies. People and how they communicate with themselves and the world around them are not studied from afar, on an emotionless pedestal. Researchers are made to get up close and actively empathize with their subjects as human beings, not lab rats. This ability to look at people through a large scope of empathy rather than a narrow scope of universal morality goes a long way in helping researchers better understand their subjects and reach practical conclusions on why people do what they do. Consulting a series of scholarly articles on the subject shows that symbolic interactionism is as foundational a concept to behavioral sciences as any that has come before or after it.

Whether a long and detailed explanation of the theory (Grayson, 2008), a brief summary of the theory’s application to public relations (Domingo, 2003), combining the theory with other psychological and sociological concepts (Burbank, 2010 & Rosenbaum, 2009) or a combination of all of the above (Solomon, 1983) there is a general consensus among all of them in relation to symbolic interactionism. That consensus is that any study of human action begins at the micro level, using active empathy, and respecting the inherent ability of human beings to choose how they respond to internal or external stimuli. Whether it be for better or for worse, to help or harm, with themselves or with other people, humans have the choice of how to socially construct the world they live in whether they are conscious of that choice or not. It is striking how symbolic interactionism is truly foundational to understanding why people do what they do from buying things, to how we care for the sick, to understanding abstract relationships, to how people fit into organizations. Symbolic interactionism is the salt of the Earth in the study of how humans think and act towards themselves and the world around them both internally and externally.

All of the articles cite Mead at least once, it was refreshing to see the other contributors to symbolic interactionism be represented like Charles Cooley and Manford Kuhn. Though only one of them (Solomon, 1983) brought up William James’ four separately constructed social selves. The rest of the articles would have been better served if they plugged their summaries and conclusions into the material self, social self, spiritual self, and pure ego that James contributed to the theory. Though material and social are easier to define and assign than spirituality and ego. However, the failure of the rest of the articles to apply these four selves enhanced my understanding of the overall concept as a theory grounded in the science of psychology, sociology, anthropology, and communication theory. Spiritual self and pure ego are more philosophical concepts that although they fascinate me immensely, might not have a place in research/analysis based upon hard data and evidence.

However, though not wanting to include spirituality in their studies, the socially constructed pure ego self should have been raised across the board in these studies. The ego, unlike spirituality, is covered in psychological, sociological, and anthropological studies. It is not dabbling in the theoretical afterlife to incorporate the ego when trying to explain how people think, socialize, and take the actions that they take. When the majority of people hear the word ego, they think of pampered celebrities, millionaire athletes, and spoiled socialites gracing the cover of magazines, tabloids, and pop culture web sites. It is important that people be made aware of the ego and it’s practical applications to the way people socially construct themselves, the people they socialize with, and the world they interact with on a day to day basis. Going beyond selfishness and excessive self confidence into the realm of the majority of one’s thoughts and actions coming from an ego centered place can be as important as learning about the space between stimulus and response where humans are free to choose their interpretation. Author Eckhart Tolle brought studies and applications of ego centered thinking to mainstream culture in his books The Power of Now and A New Earth. The monetary success of both books shows a hunger by the population to know more about ego based concepts and spirituality.

The omission of spiritual self and pure ego is a rare example within these articles of failing to provide support for their claims. Each article provided detailed definitions of symbolic interactionism often times using word for word sentences and paragraphs to establish what the theory is according to Mead although Cooley’s looking glass self concept is also well represented. It was surprising how well proportioned the definitions, applications, and conclusions were between each of the articles. Some used the definition and history of the theory as a starting point (Solomon, 1983), others interjected them along the way as applications of the theory was being presented (Domingo, 2003). Detailing the history of the theory along with the different people and schools of thought that have crafted it over the past century provided a flow from theory introduction, to application, to conclusion piece by piece. Credit to symbolic interactionism as a foundational way to study the social psychological aspect of the human condition was paid throughout and added credibility both to the theory as well as to the authors plugging the theory in to both micro and macro level problem solving applications.

Collectively, the articles address the fact that people aren’t aware of their inherent choice in being able to socially construct their individual lives and the world they live in. The writers are writing to inform on the specific applications and conclusions to various questions and problems. But it boils down to making people aware that they always have a choice. It is made very clear that it may not be easy for people to be aware of the choices they are constantly making inside their heads, nor is it portrayed to be easy to habitualize the awareness of making certain choices to improve quality of life or solve societal problems. Whether concepts like the looking glass self are referenced it boils down to the choices we make when socializing on an intra and interpersonal level. Other theories like social exchange (Rosenbaum, 2009), grounded theory (Jeon,2004), or critical perspective (Burbank, 2010) are used to combine with symbolic interactionism to reach a micro and/or macro level conclusions . But even those studies build upon the foundation of human beings socially constructing their identity, the identity of the people they socialize with, and the environments that they socialize in.

Across all of these articles, the concept of active empathy is stressed when applying recommendations and drawing conclusions. The need to understand each individual person, how they think, feel, and act towards themselves, others, and their environments is crucial. People are not numbers on a spreadsheet, rats in a race, or sheep on a farm. The space between stimulus and response at the heart of symbolic interactionism dictates that people be looked at with respect and dignity. The internal tenderness of people is often ignored in modern society in the name of being first to make a point or draw a conclusion. These articles pay the respect to the human condition that the theory requires. The understanding of the theory shown in the articles gives them as much credibility as the data and evidence they present. Whether making therapeutic recommendations for unconsummated marriages (Rosenbaum, 2009), trying to help people understand their meaning in an organization (Grayson, 2008), or showing a correlation between a person’s social identity and product purchases (Solomon, 1983) people are observed and reported on in a positive light that only active empathy allows to shine.

It is inherently understood and communicated by the authors that if people are flawed they are not willfully, and are not doomed in any sense of the word. Simply awareness and understanding of the theories, concepts, conclusions, and applications will do the bulk of the legwork for people to enact any micro or macro level changes within themselves, their social circles, or environments at large. Delving more into the spiritual and ego selves could have provided a deeper insight and understanding to the theory’s application to each individual article. However, the inherent belief that people are more than even their repeated actions across all the articles shows a philosophical understanding and enlightenment that is as subtle as breathing. It doesn’t need to be brought to the forefront of attention, it is so foundational it can be assumed.

Symbolic interactionism explains that people do not think or act in a vacuum. We have a space between stimulus and response where we are able to exercise the freedom to choose our interpretation. That interpretation is dependent on the social construction we have of ourselves, the people in our lives, and the environments with interact with. Every aspect of human communication is unique to the people and situations involved. Active empathy on a case by case basis is needed to understand the problem and formulate a solution. I now have a greater understanding of this foundational communication theory. What I felt was missing from the theory was a philosophical/spiritual aspect that dealt with ego centered thinking and living. To learn that it exists within the theory was a moment of enlightenment.

Though the articles neglected to go in depth on the ego and spirituality, to know that it is there and has been written about by authors like Charles Haanel, Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Stephen Covey, Jack Canfield, and Tony Robbins provides a sense of inner peace that I did not have before investigating this theory formally. The informal research I have conducted on my own time by reading books by the authors listed above has allowed me to cultivate a heightened sense of awareness of space between stimulus and response within my own mind. My biggest quest in life over the past two years has been to dissolve my ego and achieve a level of mastery in self actualization. To know that the knowledge I have consumed and been applying to the way I live has a foundation in credible behavioral science and in the universities within the city I was born and raised in is shamanic feeling. I am happy and grateful for this knowledge and only hope I can contribute to others’ understanding of it going forward as I graduate college and begin the next chapter of my life.

 

References

Burbank, P. M., & Martins, D. C. (2010). Symbolic interactionism and critical perspective: divergent or synergistic?. Nursing Philosophy, 11(1), 25-41. doi:10.1111/j.1466-769X.2009.00421.x

 

Domingo, B. (2003). Stop Slammin’ Sammy: A Theoretical Approach to the First 24 Hours of a Communications Crisis in Sports. Public Relations Quarterly, 48(4), 20-22.

 

Grayson, C. (2008). Understanding Organizational Ontology: A Symbolic Interactionism Approach to Organizational Sense-Making. Conference Papers — National Communication Association, 1.

 

Jeon, Y. (2004). The application of grounded theory and symbolic interactionism. Scandinavian Journal Of Caring Sciences, 18(3), 249-256. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6712.2004.00287.

 

Rosenbaum, T. Y. (2009). Applying theories of social exchange and symbolic interaction in the treatment of unconsummated marriage/relationship. Sexual & Relationship Therapy, 24(1), 38-46. doi:10.1080/14681990902718096

 

Solomon, M. R. (1983). The Role of Products as Social Stimuli: A Symbolic Interactionism Perspective. Journal Of Consumer Research, 10(3), 319-329.

 

SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM AS AN APPROACH TO THE STUDY OF HUMAN COMMUNICATION. (1977). Quarterly Journal of Speech, 63(1), 84.

eanda logoajclogo2by @anarchyroll
5/22/2014

How many people went to jail for causing the 2008 economic collapse of not just the United States, but the entire global economy?

I thought the answer was zero, it turns out I was wrong. The answer is one, one person from Wall Street went to jail post 2008.

It’s not just an income inequality gap that exists and is expanding in America, there is also a judicial inequality gap. Since I’m white I’ve only noticed this recently. If I was a minority I would have likely not just written about the disparity, but would have been arrested and put in jail already.

Graph courtesy of Project.org

In America, white-collar criminal really is a double entendre. One for the type of crime, a second for the race of the criminal.

Though maybe it is time to update the image and the term. Something more appropriate would be green collar crime. Though the fact that almost all of the white-collar corporate CEO’s were/are white; it is the quantity of dead presidents in their offshore bank account that is the blade to their prison term skate.

What does it say about us as a society that we allow this kind of disparity to justice to become the norm? Is the damage caused by the architects of the ’08 collapse greater than, equal to, or less than the robbery of a single person? How about the rape of a single person? The murder of a single person? Selling drugs to a single person?

I’m not pretending to have an answer here. I am certainly not standing on a pedestal.

Was the damage caused by World Com and Enron akin to a serial robber? A serial killer? A serial rapist? A drug kingpin? How do we measure the collateral damage? Is the death by stabbing of a man in his early twenties different from a retiree who finds out they have lost all of their money in a Ponzi scheme and is destitute without the physical ability to earn for the rest of their life?

What about the people who kill themselves due to an economic depression? What if they have spouses and children? Is their loss, pain, and suffering different from a woman who gets robbed and raped at gun point walking home from the train station?

When entire neighborhoods and towns are put into foreclosure. Hundreds, thousands, millions without work, shelter, food, water, or hope for the future…are the people responsible for causing so much human tragedy somehow less evil, deserving less scorn, and less judicial prosecution than a teenager who runs over a kid while texting and driving? What about drinking and driving?

When blood is spilled, lives taken, innocence stolen in violent crimes we as a society hunt down the criminals, lock them up, throw away the key, and turn the other cheek while they are habitually raped in prison. Victims of violent crimes and their families are forever changed, unable to ever fill the hole created by an evil person that took something that can never be given back.

But is that psychological damage not shared by victims of massive financial crimes against society like in 2008? When we aren’t talking about a single person losing a job or life’s savings but a large percentage of the global population. Are the strains placed on society not akin to that placed on the immediate friends and families of violent crimes?

If not, can we at least as a society agree that we should lock up hedge fund managers, investment bankers, and Ponzi schemers that cause global recessions and depressions as strictly and regularly as we lock up drug dealers and users?

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by @anarchyroll
4/29/2014

Recently I was in a public place where the emergency broadcast system went off on a couple of flat screen televisions that were mounted to the walls. What made this odd was that no less than three people turned their attention to the various screens, with their fingers crossed, and with a wishful tone in their voice said, “zombie apocalypse?!”

The only thing sadder than that is how many more people in that place were probably thinking it but didn’t say. What is more pathetic than that is the large number of people who secretly wish for, or more shamefully are preparing for, a zombie apocalypse. If only these people tried to get in shape like the vampires and werewolves from Twilight, then the time they would have to dedicate to a real life spouse as opposed to an imaginary or virtual one would take up the mental space to prepare for such nonsense.

A real life zombie apocalypse is coming, it’s called climate change.

Hurricane Katrina submerged 80% of New Orleans in water and caused over $100 billion in damage. Superstorm Sandy caused $80 billion and turned Manhattan into Venice. Did you know Venice now floods 1/3 of every year? The current drought in California is affecting 100% of the state. How about that deadly tsunami in Asia that killed 150,000 people? There’s no need to wait for an apocalypse people, the third world has been living in one for decades and the first world is headed in the same direction but just doesn’t want to think about it.

The Pentagon doesn’t give a shit about zombies, wizards, or leprechauns but regards climate change as a direct threat to national security.

We all need an escape from reality from time to time. I have certainly been guilty of being addicted to escapism, not wanting to face the real in favor of daydreams, binge TV watching, and video games. Unfortunately, a growing percentage of very smart adults are becoming so lost in the paradigm of personal entertainment entitlement, they are spending real-time, money, and resources on a concept that would get a child grounded at home, picked on in school, and forced to see a psychiatrist, take meds, or both.

Cosplayers take off the costume and go back to the real world. Zombie Apocalypse believers think that they actually know something others don’t. But lying to oneself in order to add value, purpose, and a sense of importance is not new. I empathize with those who are so bored with their own existence they have to hope and prepare for a fantasy event seen in too many mainstream movies over the past decade to become reality. Life has no instruction manual. Sometimes we lose sight of who we are and what we really want to do with our lives. Sometimes events outside of our circle of influence force us to change course to a life that doesn’t allow us to see or think beyond the survival plane for an extended period of time. Sometimes people don’t develop the internal muscles of maturity, responsibility, and desire to achieve. I empathize with people like this, I really do. I once found myself very lost, very bored with life, very much preferring the world of my imagination to that of the real.

But all these people addicted to fantasy are enablers of a real, physical world that is turning into something that will make the human race endangered or extinct. It is happening now, in real-time, before our very eyes.

There is nothing wrong with turning one’s brain off and doing something that is mindlessly fun after a long hard day or week of work. TV, movies, video games, comics, scrap-booking, web surfing, reading, concerts, drinking, whatever. Adults who pay their way through this world on top of keeping their mental, emotional, and physical shit together earn the right to have some “me time” to do something that makes them feel like a happy child again.

The problem, which seems to be evolving into an epidemic is people refusing to take up any cause other than their own entertainment. A widespread victim mentality along with disposable income and leisure time have turned multiple generations of human beings essentially into zombies. Unwilling, under the guise of being unable to think when they aren’t having their inner child killed while “on the clock”. But a professional or personal life that leaves one feeling dead inside is no reason to hope for the manifestation of George A. Romero’s wet dream. What we need is for people to move in packs like aggressive zombies with the rage virus to create policies and enact change on a global level to:

  • cut greenhouse gas emissions
  • mandate clean energy
  • reduce the size and need for landfills
  • build levies
  • punish polluters
  • take responsibility for keeping our water clean, our air breathable, and our food as organic as possible.

A zombie apocalypse implies that the Earth will still be inhabitable for the select few humans who are as over-prepared to be “Left 4 Dead” and “The Last of Us” as they are undersexed. But the real apocalypse for the human race seems more and more that it will not come from a rising of the dead but a rising of the sea levels. Maybe if AMC could make a slow burn narrative drama about that subject we can make some headway. I can promise learning about the causes of and solutions to global warming will in no way be any more boring than the second season of The Walking Dead.

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by @anarchyroll
3/25/2014

Very few issues in the last thirty years have been debated as much as the federal minimum wage. The debate is of course, a farce. The debate is bullshit. The debate is the economic equivalent of the debate over climate change/global warming. It is not a debate, it is an argument over power and control over resources and the monetary consequences thereof.
Somehow the minimum wage debate has been lumped in with the social safety net/ entitlements debate, as if recipients want something for nothing. Literally the opposite is true. We are talking about adult men and women who are not only willing to work, but show up for work 40, 50, 60, 70 hours a week or more. All they want in return for the more often than not, physical labor that they are give is for in return, the ability to pay all of their bills and have enough left over to have some fun AND save for the future.
Employees with more income are more productive. Employees who have higher wages are able to spend more money. Those are the reasons Henry Ford doubled the pay of his assembly line workers in 1914. The results were more productive grunts, but more importantly to Ford and to the country as a whole, more cars purchase, more money pumped into the economy. Ford’s workers were now able to buy the cars they put together on the assembly line in Detroit. This resulted not only in a boom in auto sales, but a boom to the economy in general, serving as a precursor to the Roaring Twenties.
Cost equals wage divided by productivity. Never forget that equation. Economists don’t, people with MBA’s don’t. Just like the dirty secret of fitness is you never need to do anything other than push-ups, sit ups, squats, pull ups, and jog the dirty secret of economic policy debate in regard to wages versus costs is that the effect of increased wages offsets the rise in costs due to an increase in productivity.
The minimum wage has remained essentially stagnant for almost twenty years while the consumer price index (the cost of the stuff we need to buy to survive) has gone up steadily over that time. Wages have not risen at all when adjusted for inflation, in fact, they have decreased.
Why are slave wages acceptable in our society? It’s 2014, not 1914. If people are willing to work, why should they not be paid enough to live off of their paycheck? Cause of the market? The people struggling the most are often working the hardest. How and why is the free market leaving them behind? These are people willing to work more than eight hours each day, more than forty hours each week. Do they not deserve to be able to have money for all their essential costs and still have some money for a little bit of fun here and there?
They perform the essential tasks. Hedge fund management is not essential, garbage pickup is. Bank vice presidents are not essential, food preparation is. Day traders are not essential, janitors are. Just because a group of workers doesn’t have an army of lobbyists doesn’t mean they don’t deserve their piece of the pie. Their piece of the pie they work for with their hands, feet, blood, sweat…and tears when they match their paychecks with their bills at the end of the month.
Remember these are human beings, not numbers on a spreadsheet. Lives, with families, not expenses on a report. Slavery has been abolished for quite some time. One of the consequences of that is if people are willing to do work, or hard labor, we pay them fairly for their time and effort. Fairly means a living wage. Living wage is $15 an hour. If we can’t afford to pay that, then we as a society must adjust before these hard-working people get a fourth job and learn to live on less than three hours of sleep per night with no vacation or retirement forever eva, forever eva, forever eva, until they are put six feet under in a pine wood box.

 

 

by @anarchyroll
3/19/2014

At what point do we stop lying to ourselves about the obesity epidemic? When does the bullshit about big is beautiful come to an end? When are we going to be able to admit to ourselves that the results of not wanting to work out enough doesn’t constitute a ‘realistic’ body image?

People are dying because they’re too fat to live.

Heart disease is the number one killer in America, why? Bad diet and lack of exercise. Deep fried carbs and minimal physical movement is not a natural evolution of man. Food is not an acceptable counter balance to stress, exercise is, check the data.

People are dying because they’re too fat to live.

Epinephrine needles are now too short to fit all the way through the thick layers of fat of the obese. We are literally becoming too fat to live. Changing Barbie’s waistline, switching to Diet Coke, and doing a ‘cleanse’ once or twice a year doesn’t mean shit if you’re airways are constricted and the needle with the drugs that relaxes said airways can’t fit into your fat fucking thunder thigh.

I understand, it is easy to put on weight and hard to lose it. I recently lost 60 pounds, it was hard but it wasn’t an effort or sacrifice of biblical proportions. Speaking of portions, that is a key. Graze, don’t eat big meals. Six to eight small ones throughout the day based on lean protein, veggies, and that’s it.

People are dying because they’re too fat to live.

You can still have fruit, grains, dairy, candy, fast food and soda. Just switch your paradigm to looking at all of those things as dessert. Everything that isn’t lean protein and veggies is dessert, eat in moderation and as rewards for doing your work and accomplishing your goals. Not once a month, once a day. The same applies to liquids. Cut all liquid consumption down to water, tea, and black coffee. Everything else is dessert, literally, have you seen the sugar content of whatever flavored drink you like? Had a good day, end it with a can of soda. Got all of your workouts in this week, have a sundae on Sunday. If you hire  personal trainer they will teach you the actual, physical value of the cheat meal. Know that you don’t have to give up junk food entirely, just regularly.

You’re living a life, not training for the NFL Combine. Take your time, set up a six month to one year plan to phase it all in. Don’t go to a boot camp, start with nothing but body weight training and calisthenics for 10 minutes total a day, three days a week, and move up in two-week increments from there. Don’t let P90x and Jillian Michaels scare you. Take your time, start with the bar low, and slowly, very slowly work your way up. Think in terms of months and years not days and weeks. Trust me, every bit helps. We’re in a golden age of fitness. You can find help and support online for free or for cheap. And if you have disposable income, good lord, the work is 2/3 done for you already, you just don’t know it yet.

Everything in moderation in life except the pursuit of your dreams. Eat to live, don’t live to eat. In America we got that one mixed up and as a result we are literally becoming too fat to live. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle, adjust accordingly.

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by @anarchyroll
2/10/2014

Much like the politicians who are running for the elections I will be a judge for, I’m doing it for the money.

I showed up the a suburban library to get a once over of the basic information that involves being an election judge. It was given in a combination Powerpoint fueled verbal presentation, a bound packet, and an interactive dry run of our duties. It started at 10 am, not an ungodly early time of day so I went in rested and somewhere between optimistic and pessimistic.

I was clearly the only person under the age of 50 in the room. I noticed this by both sight and smell. Old man stink for days. The first half hour could have easily been confused for the senior citizen throat clearing Olympics. The guy to my left took home the gold in that regard.

However, the two very nice, very proficient women in charge of the presentation stuffed my pessimism in a sack mister. They knew what they were talking about, were not dependent on the Powerpoint slides, answered every question asked without skipping a beat, and gave us a bathroom break at the exact right moment. Kudos to you ladies.

Besides the knowledge that the state of Illinois was hiring smart, savvy, experienced people to train those at the local election level, I was impressed by the infrastructure of fail safes, paper trails, and laws to attempt to prevent voting shennanigans.  I certainly can’t speak for states with electronic voting machines from the Diebold corporation, because Illinois uses paper ballets that are first verified by two sets of eyes, then a computer, then rechecked by multiple sets of eyes before being mailed in sealed containers, before they are electronically scanned, then checked by multiple sets of eyes again to verify authenticity of individual voter and election result.

The process of checking to make sure everything on the level at a polling place in Illinois is very much like the organizational structure of a casino. We were done by 1 pm. We have the option of taking additional online proficiency exams and training, for extra pay in return for that extra work. If only the government itself had competent people like the ones I encountered today, in office. If only the government operated with a little more time efficiency and a little less old man throat clearing.  If only the agencies and social safety nets had logical infrastructure in place like ones I learned about today. If those things were so, maybe voter turnout would equal or be higher than that of American Idol.

Now, which one of you assholes stole my tumbler while I was in bathroom after class ended?