Posted in Philosophy with tags , , , , , on August 26, 2015 by dakofman

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Oh Blue

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , on August 13, 2015 by dakofman

Time is no ally to man.

A young couple in Africa thought it was on their side. They vowed to make their flesh one because they saw a future together. All they had was time a head of them.

But time was no friend of theirs. It beat down on them as they raised their four children. In only forty years, they went from chasing their little ones in their home garden to barely being able to go down the stairs without help.

The couple’s bones became feeble. Walking became too much for the father. He was reduced to a wheelchair. Time took the mother’s eyes next. There was not a thing the doctor could do as the black spots in her eyes grew bigger.

Daily activities like washing the dishes or even bathing themselves became an impossible task. They had only one saving grace, their son Blue.

Blue was the eldest of the old couple’s four children. A tough man that hid a jovial attitude behind his imposing figure. A church-going man that was often found in a suit and tie even when the sun was out. He was known for his tight hug that could put people at ease and his bright smile that people couldn’t help but return.

The couple’s other children had families of their own to look after, but Blue made time for his parents.

When his mother went blind, Blue bought groceries and cooked for her. His mother taste-tested his creations. She gave him a nudge in the right direction if he strayed too far from her recipe.

When his father became too weak to walk, Blue took care of the house for him. He cut the grass and fixed up the roof. His father refused to sit aside as Blue did all the work. He handed Blue the tools and tried to steady the ladder when he had the strength to.

Blue helped his father into the bathtub at night. And chose the clothes for his mother to wear the night before. All of this he did not because he had to. But because he wanted to.

He was their son. This was the least he could do.

Time took another thing from the old couple.

A son. Blue’s younger brother. He had only turned thirty-seven a few months before. He was far too young, but that was all that time he got.

Blue was the one who had to break the news to his parents. He and his father spent the better part of a week trying to calm his mother down.

The rest of the old couple’s children returned back home. A funeral was prepared. Blue was placed in charge of arrangements. This he had to do not because he wanted to but because he had to.

He chose the best place for the wake. It happened to be the same place Blue’s grandfather’s wake had taken place in, many years before.

Back then Blue’s father had to drag him into the room to pay his respects. Blue was only ten at the time He had never seen death before. But there it was in the middle of everyone. The old man who had told Blue to stay out of trouble and ruffled his hair laid cold in a casket.

Blue’s father

That day stayed with Blue. He never forgot what his grandfather’s face looked like on the day. The old man had had a permanent wide smile on his face.Blue and Blue’s father inherited that from him. But on that day, there was no smile on the old man’s face. And there never would be again.

Blue had made arrangements for everyone else but himself when it came to his brother’s wake. He had let his sisters take his car with his parents. There was not enough room in the car for all of them and Blue. He had to call an old friend to drive him.

His pal was on his way to the wake anyhow so it was the best move. Blue hadn’t seen his friend since high school. His old pal was only in town because of the wake. The two friends caught up on everything that had happened.

Blue’s pal told him all about the accounting firm he worked for in Nigeria. Blue had never been to Nigeria and that set off another discussion on how the weather was. They eventually turned the conversation around Blue’s brother.

Blue asked his friend if he remembered that time he and his brother got into a fight. His friend told him it had been too long. So Blue told him all about he and his brother’s fight.

His brother had been talking a bunch of crap to some older boys at the school. He knew they couldn’t touch him during school hours since he was so much younger than them. But he never expected them to be waiting for him as he walked home with Blue.

Blue’s brother had jumped behind him as soon as he saw the boys. The older boys told Blue to step out of the way so they could give his brother the beating he deserved. Then Blue decked one of the boys in the mouth.

His friend piped in that he remembered now. He had joined in! And they all got their asses kicked very badly. He told Blue that his brother had been a good man.

There came a curve in the road. On the side of the road was a yellow sign that read slow down. Blue’s friend was too engaged in conversation to notice.

A tractor trailer was coming down the other side. The driver honked his horn. Blue’s pal panicked! He pressed down on the gas pedal instead of the brake! The driver of the trailer swerved away to try and save their lives.

But Blue’s pal swerved too.

Only a couple weeks after losing one son, the old couple lost another.

For the rest of their days, they waited for their own time to run out so they could see their Blue one more time.

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Top 5 Reasons People Give Up On Their Dreams

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , on July 23, 2015 by dakofman

“Anything is possible!” “You can be anything that you want to be!” “You set your mind to it, you can do it!”
We allow children to dream. Their lives are all ahead of them. Who knows what the future holds? We encourage them to hold on tightly to their aspirations and carry them with them into the future. They have the power to make their dreams come true.

But as time moves on, we are told to become more realistic about our goals in life. It might even come from the same people who told you anything was possible. We can’t all be astronauts after all. And we need to make a living. We may also bump into physical and mental limitations that make ours dreams unobtainable. Or learn that our dreams weren’t so great after all.

1. Lack of Drive

You have to be insane to do anything extraordinary. You just have to be. You must be disciplined to the point where you can’t be broken by all the rejection you face. And most people aren’t that strong. If they were, everyone would achieve their dreams. But these people have the dreams but they lack the will to make it happen. They want the dream to come to them. Or they don’t want to go through any part of the pain involved in the process.

I think everyone knows a person like this. They’re always talking about getting something done or how they would love to do something. But they don’t.

2. Family

I covered a presentation for my college newspaper about how women think they have to choose between having a career and having a family. This woman spoke about this dilemma and how women didn’t have to choose between the two. They could have both.

Unfortunately this is not true for everyone. Sacrifices have to be made for the family. I know my parents made a lot of sacrifices for me and my brother. There are things my father could have done, but didn’t because he put family first.

There are dreams that are just incompatible with having a family and kids.

3. Lack of Resources

It takes more than heart and resolve to make your dreams come true. Hard work is not always rewarded. There are people who have sacrificed everything to be actors, directors, and CEOs. And they have nothing to show for it. They had the same drive, but they didn’t know the right person to help break them in. Or they couldn’t afford to move out somewhere else to take advantage of opportunity. They might not have had enough money to pay someone to help them.

Their heart was in the right place, but it was not be.

4. Lack of Talent/Physical gift

This is more for people who want to be sports players. There are people who are biological freaks and it’s not fair. Everything comes easier to them. You can work your ass off, but you still can’t keep up with them. When the time comes for selection, it won’t be you that’s picked.

5. Lack of Luck
To me this is the equation to success

Hard Work(Time) + Resources + Luck = Success

I read stories of people breaking into the entertainment industry. There was one great actor, whose name escapes me right now, that only went into acting because someone mistook him for someone else and asked him to read lines. And so he got the job. What a lucky break.

There are people who are close to getting a break and then they get hurt. Professional wrestling is filled with stories of guys who would have loved to be on the big stage. But then they got one too many concussions and it was over. Professional sports careers can end this way.

You can have the drive, the resources, and put in the time, but without luck you still might end up having to give in and give up.

A Boy Has the Right to Dream

Face-ism

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , on July 13, 2015 by dakofman

Was linked to a great article today on face-ism or rather prejudice based on how your face looks. Good looks are not only a step up when it comes to sex appeal, but also when it comes to earning money, getting jobs, and being promoted. And according to the article, you are even more likely to get out of a crime.

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150707-is-faceism-spoiling-your-life

“In the past, this “face-ism” (as Olivola and his colleagues call it) was considered an unfortunate fact of life. But the more they come to understand its pervasive influence, the more they are beginning to wonder if it should be treated like any other prejudice. If so, it could be time to take action.”

Will people take action to help bad-looking people get a fair shake?

We say the color of a person’s skin is not what they should be judged by.

Is not the next logical step to extend this to other attributes that a person cannot control such as the shape of their cheek bones and the distance between their eyes?

Or will the ugly be forced to mutilate their faces with plastic surgery to become like everyone else?

Love wins! Fatality!

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2015 by dakofman

Finally marriage equality has come to America! Now too can the queer folk march down the aisle.

Fifteen-year-old me would have loved this. But I am saddened by this.

I had hoped that keeping marriage out of the reach of gay people would eventually lead to a discussion on the current state of marriage and why it even continues to exist.

The questions being asked by most people on the side of marriage equality was “Why can’t gays get married too? What’s wrong with love between two men or two women? ”

When it really should have been “Why does the government have their hand in marriage in the first place? Why are they getting to dictate who can marry who in the first place? Why are there privileges to being married over not?

So this was the last chance to get a look at marriage and why it exists. Unfortunately the easier route was taken. Everyone is placated in celebration so the further look into marriage will not happen.

Hopefully someone tries to marry a dolphin in the future to get us back onto the subject of marriage.

I suppose it is good for gay youth growing up. Now they can feel like their love is as accepted as everyone else’s. So that is one thing I can accept as a victory. That’s cool for them.

But what is next?

The next slip on the slope for people who idolize the past and wish things could go back to how they were.

The next step in progress for people trying to change the world and make life better for people they sympathize with.

There will be more change.

I don’t think it will be for the better like a lot of my peers claim. Nor will it be for the worse like some older people say.

The world will continue to be shit. We’re just spinning around in a circle, pretending we’re going somewhere.

All the problems we say exist we made them all up. They were not here before people decided they were. We’re the only creatures on this planet concerned with progress and slippery slopes.

Dogs don’t give a fuck about rights. House flies don’t live long enough to care who can love who. Lions do not care if they’re properly portrayed in the media. No creature ever had to worry about being in debt to someone before we showed up and said that was a thing.

None of this shit actually matters. We just say it does. It was a cycle of shit before we got here and it’ll be a cycle of shit after we go.

It’s all bullshit! However just because life is meaningless doesn’t mean we can’t have fun while we’re here!

[ File # csp11681771, License # 2614053 ] Licensed through http://www.canstockphoto.com in accordance with the End User License Agreement (http://www.canstockphoto.com/legal.php) (c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / yayayoyo

[ File # csp11681771, License # 2614053 ]
Licensed through http://www.canstockphoto.com in accordance with the End User License Agreement (http://www.canstockphoto.com/legal.php)
(c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / yayayoyo

Or Worse.

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , on June 15, 2015 by dakofman

I’m always drawn to darker topics. I try to read more positive things, but there’s just nothing all that interesting about good deeds or uplifting stories. Some guy saves a cat in a tree. It’s cute and all but what else is there to it? Some cat mauls a guy. Why did that happen? How is he recovering? Will he ever trust a cat again? What happened to the cat? Why did it attack? What is the history of cats attacking people? There’s much more there.

I had a fascination with last words for about a month. I had to come to the point in a story where I was killing off a character. I had to decide what his last words would be. I had an entire death speech written out. But then I wondered if that was realistic. What are people’s last words? I read a lot of material on the last words of people; suicide notes, airplane crash black box transcripts, emergency room help stories, cancer patient blogs. I made sure to include of various ages. I read the last words of children who didn’t quite understand what death was, the words elderly who were often prepared for it, and then the middle-aged who didn’t see it coming. There would be fear in people’s writings or messages to their family. Some people raved, begging and screaming for more time. I found those suited the character I was writing so that was the death I gave him.

Now my current fascination is divorce. I don’t know what has brought this up. None of my friends are getting divorced. I just love reading articles about what causes marriages to fail and reading the stories of people fighting an uphill battle to keep their marriages together.

A successful marriage takes two people. A successful divorce only needs one. Isn’t that funny? You can get down on your knees in front of your friend and family, then back out of what you said. Not that I advocate people staying in bad relationships. I’m not against divorce. I just think it’s funny that a person can promise their life to another for better or worse but once worse comes, they can just wash their hands of it.

After a divorce, a person has to recover their identity outside the marriage. For years they did everything with their partner in mind. They bought a house together. They might have taken a job that better fit their relationship. They were like flesh and blood. Now it’s torn asunder. They are not the same person that went into that marriage. They have to redefine themselves.

I read a lot about people feeling like they can breath again. They’re free from a bad environment that was making them miserable.

Another fascinating thing about divorce is how alarmingly high the rate of it is. It isn’t the fifty percent that’s been tossed around since the seventies. I believe around twenty-five to thirty percent of first time marriages end in divorce. So about a third of people were dead wrong when they picked their partner. What is the cause of this? Were issues ignored? How many of these people were rushed into marriage by their families? Did they quit too early? Did they just see marriage as a logical next step and didn’t realize the work that had to be put in? Did they find someone that they loved more?

Or was it irreconcilable differences?

No one is at fault. It was just two people who tried and there was no way to make it work. They’re only human after all. There are people who blame themselves for the failing of the marriage. They carry that weight and it hangs over their future connections. They can’t escape that failure. They made a vow that they couldn’t keep. How can they make the promise to someone else?

I’m hoping my next fascination will be something a bit more upbeat. Last year I was all about barren women and how they’ve been treated throughout history. It has not been good for them. Before that it was missing people who were never found. Are they still out there? I do find myself drifting towards the never-ending cycle of poverty. Why can’t you just throw money at that problem?

Divorce

Divorce

Beauty.

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2015 by dakofman

Celebrity worship is one of the easiest things a person can aptly criticize society for. You’ll never be wrong if you point it. There are always more important topics that deserve our attention than the latest outing of Miley Cyrus or the condition of Renee Zellwegger’s face. But still these sort of people get 24/7 coverage and are mauled as they leave restaurants. The demand is there. We want to know more. Who is Justin Bieber dating? Is Jennifer Lawrence really that goofy or is it all an act? Why can’t Amanda Bynes get her life together?

What is it about these people that makes us so curious?

They look good. They won the genetic lottery. Their faces are more symmetrical than the average person. They’re more charismatic. They are beautiful!

We love them for it. We shovel money at them. We love to give them money. Beautiful people can get rich just by looking good and walking down the street. We give them love. People send hundreds of love letters to celebrities. Some take it a bit too far. They get so enamored by their facial features that they have to follow them home and find out every little thing about them. People would buy the water that they bathe in.

And people want to emulate them. They want to look like them. They dress like them. And act like them. They’re trend-setters. Miley Cyrus and her stupid fucking video created the twerk. People still twerk to this day. Because she’s one of the beautiful people.

But what is the real value of beauty?

It doesn’t make you a better worker. It won’t make you a better father or mother. It won’t increase your intelligence. It doesn’t give you better reason. There is nothing virtuous about being beautiful.

Only in the world of love and lust does beauty reign supreme in value.

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This woman was kissed by the late Heath Ledger. He was a man like so many others. But his beauty sent this woman into shock with just the touch of his lips to hers. What a crazy power beauty has.

It makes your heart pump in your chest. You might stutter and slur your words when you encounter it. You can just be left in awe of it. It makes men destroy marriages just so they can have a taste of it. It makes smart women endure pain that no one should just so it can be theirs. It makes fools of us all.

We treat beautiful people differently. The rules do not apply to them. Celebrities get slaps on the wrist for their crimes. People trip over themselves trying to make beauty theirs and lock it down. Beautiful people are given better paying jobs. More people want them to be around.

But no one thinks any thing of it. For beauty is not to be criticized. Its treatment is not be rationalized. It is divine. We all just sit tight and worship it, hoping that it rubs off on us.

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