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The Way

Even if we knew the solutions to our impossible problems, (racism, sexism, crime, poverty, hunger, illness, violence) we would not be able to solve them. Our system is not built for such radical change.

Picture this. A man sleeps in his bed. He is visited by an omnipotent cosmic creature that wants to help mankind. The creature whispers in his ear the way for man to live together in peace and harmony. Where suffering is minimized and everyone can eat as much cake as they want without gaining weight. The man wakes up.

What can he do with that divine inspiration? How best could he reach the world to show us the way?

The man could try out politics, the game of compromise. But to enter politics, he’d need money and a good reputation. He’d need to appear to be what the people wanted so they would vote for him. If he had a stammer, showed weakness or was born the wrong race, he could fail right out of the gate. He’d have to shake hands and kiss butts for a long time before he could start enacting any change.

He’d have to be able to withstand the media and the mud-slinging from other politicians. His solutions would be radical therefore controversial and dangerous. He’d have to keep them bottled up or he’d end up scaring off voters. Even if he were completely right, he’d end up losing. Being right doesn’t guarantee you votes. He’d have to learn to smile for the camera. He’d have to join one of the two major parties if he wanted to really get anywhere.

Even if he made it to the top and became President, he’d have only eight years at most to stir America the right way. And that would be only America. The rest of the world would be lost to him. If people didn’t see results instantly, he’d be out in four years for someone else pretending to know what he knew. He’d face difficulty from the corrupt for his entire life if radical change did come. He might end up assassinated. Then the way would be lost.

He could try his hand at religion. He could create a church that worshiped the divine creature that visited him. . Persuasion would be a necessary tool to get started. A community would have to be born that believed in him and his way. But without the inertia of tradition, why would anyone listen to him? What separated him from the mentally ill and insane?

If he were charismatic, he might be able to start a cult. H might be lucky enough to build a grand church out of that. But the way would end up lost when he passed away. His disciples would interpret his teachings as best they could. But they would be human and therefore selfish. The way would be stained by their desires. Changing whenever it benefited them.

Academia is another path. He could write down all he knew. He might end up in peer-reviewed journals. His message would reach an elite group of intelligent people but be lost to the public. He’d receive awards for his brilliant writings. He could become so noteworthy that people would teach classes about him and his philosophy. A few students might end up inspired to do their best to carry on his way. Others might see his way as a reason to hurt others.

The man would best be suited to going right back to sleep and pretending he never heard a thing.

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101 Ways to Live Life

This list not by me, but damn do I wish it was.

1. Sing the Batman theme incessantly.

2. In the memo field of all your checks, write “for sexual favors.”

3. Specify that your drive-through order is “to go.”

4. Learn Morse code, and have conversations with friends in public consisting entirely of “Daaaa Dit Dit Daaa Dit…”

5. If you have a glass eye, tap on it occasionally with your pen while talking to others.

6. Amuse yourself for endless hours by hooking a camcorder to your TV and then pointing it at the screen. <

7. Speak only in a "robot" voice.

8. Push all the flat Lego pieces together tightly.

9. Start each meal by conspicuously licking all your food, and announce that this is so no one will "swipe your grub".

10. Leave the copy machine set to reduce 200%, extra dark, 17 inch paper, 98 copies.

11. Stomp on little plastic ketchup packets.

12. Sniffle incessantly.

13. Leave your turn signal on for fifty miles.

14. Name your dog "Dog."

15. Insist on keeping your car windshield wipers running in all weather conditions "to keep them tuned up."

16. Reply to everything someone says with "that's what YOU think."

17. Claim that you must always wear a bicycle helmet as part of your "astronaut training."

18. Declare your apartment an independent nation, and sue your neighbors upstairs for "violating your airspace".

19. Forget the punchline to a long joke, but assure the listener it was a "real hoot."

20. Follow a few paces behind someone, spraying everything they touch with Lysol.

21. Practice making fax and modem noises.

22. Highlight irrelevant information in scientific papers and "cc:" them to your boss.

23. Make beeping noises when a large person backs up.

24. Invent nonsense computer jargon in conversations, and see if people play along to avoid the appearance of ignorance.

25. Erect an elaborate network of ropes in your backyard, and tell the neighbors you are a "spider person."

26. Finish all your sentences with the words "in accordance with the prophesy."

27. Wear a special hip holster for your
remote control.

28. Do not add any inflection to the end of your sentences, producing awkward silences with the impression that you'll be saying more any moment.

29. Signal that a conversation is over by clamping your hands over your ears.

30. Disassemble your pen and "accidentally" flip the ink cartridge across the room.

31. Give a play-by-play account of a persons every action in a nasal Howard Cosell voice.

32. Holler random numbers while someone is counting.

33. Adjust the tint on your TV so that all the people are green, and insist to others that you "like it that way."

34. Drum on every available surface.

35. Staple papers in the middle of the page.

36. Ask 1-800 operators for dates.

37. Produce a rental video consisting entirely of dire FBI copyright warnings.

38. Sew anti-theft detector strips
into peoples backpacks.

39. Hide dairy products in inaccessible places.

40. Write the surprise ending to a novel on its first page.

41. Set alarms for random times.

42. Order a side of pork rinds with your filet mignon.

43. Instead of Gallo, serve Night Train next Thanksgiving.

44. Publicly investigate just how slowly you can make a "croaking" noise.

45. Honk and wave to strangers.

46. Dress only in clothes colored Hunters Orange.

47. Change channels five minutes before the end of every show.

48. Tape pieces of "Sweating to the Oldies" over climactic parts of rental movies.

49. Wear your pants backwards.

50. Decline to be seated at a restaurant, and simply eat their complimentary mints by the cash register.

51. Begin all your sentences with "ooh la la!"

52. ONLY TYPE IN UPPERCASE.

53. only type in lowercase.

54. dont use any punctuation either

55. Buy a large quantity of orange traffic cones and reroute whole streets.

56. Pay for your dinner with pennies.

57. Tie jingle bells to all your clothes.

58. Repeat everything someone says, as a question.

59. Write "X – BURIED TREASURE" in random spots on all of someone's roadmaps.

60. Inform everyone you meet of your personal Kennedy assassination/UFO/ O.J Simpson conspiracy theories.

61. Repeat the following conversation a dozen times: "Do you hear that?" "What?" "Never mind, its gone now."

62. Light road flares on a birthday cake.

63. Wander around a restaurant, asking other diners for their parsley.

64. Leave tips in Bolivian currency.

65. Demand that everyone address you as "Conquistador."

66. At the laundromat, use one dryer for each of your socks.

67. When Christmas caroling, sing "Jingle Bells, Batman smells" until physically restrained.

68. Wear a cape that says "Magnificent One."

69. As much as possible, skip rather than walk.

70. Stand over someone's shoulder, mumbling, as they read.

71. Pretend your computer's mouse is a CB radio, and talk to it.

72. Try playing the William Tell Overture by tapping on the bottom of your chin. When nearly done, announce "no, wait, I messed it up," and repeat.

73. Drive half a block.

74. Inform others that they exist only in your imagination.

75. Ask people what gender they are.

76. Lick the filling out of all the Oreos, and place the cookie parts back.

77. Cultivate a Norwegian accent. If Norwegian, affect a Southern drawl.

78. Routinely handcuff yourself to furniture, informing the curious that you don't want to fall off "in case the big one comes".

79. Deliberately hum songs that will remain lodged in co-workers brains, such as "Feliz Navidad", the Archies "Sugar" or the Mr. Rogers theme song.

80. While making presentations, occasionally bob your head. like a parakeet.

81. Lie obviously about trivial things such as the time of day.

82. Leave your Christmas lights up and lit until September.

83. Change your name to "AaJohn Aaaaasmith" for the great glory of being first in the phone book. Claim it's a Hawaiian name, and demand that people pronounce each "a."

84. Sit in your front yard pointing a hair dryer at passing cars to see if they slow down.

85. Chew on pens that you've borrowed.

86. Wear a LOT of cologne.

87. Listen to 33rpm records at 45rpm speed, and claim the faster speed is necessary because of your "superior mental processing."

88. Sing along at the opera.

89. Mow your lawn with scissors.

90. At a golf tournament, chant "swing-batabatabata-suhWING-batter!"

91. Ask the waitress for an extra seat for your "imaginary friend."

92. Go to a poetry recital and ask why each poem doesn't rhyme.

93. Ask your co-workers mysterious questions, and then scribble their answers in a notebook. Mutter something
about "psychological profiles."

94. Stare at static on the TV and claim you can see a "magic picture."

95. Select the same song on the jukebox fifty times.

96. Never make eye contact.

97. Never break eye contact.

98. Construct elaborate "crop circles" in your front lawn.

99. Construct your own pretend "tricorder," and "scan" people with it, announcing the results.

100. Make appointments for the 31st of September.

101. Invite lots of people to other people's parties.

Life…life…life

o-HAPPY-BABY-facebook

I’m nearing my mid-20s. The time is coming for me to answer a serious question. Will I have kids?
I don’t have to answer that question today but it’s still on my mind. As a man, I’ll be fine to have children for many years. I’d say it is better have a kid while I still have my vitality. I don’t want to be sixty having a thirteen year old bitching at me.

Once you have a kid, you are no longer the center of your life. It’s all them. They are what you leave behind. I take creating a life very seriously. Who am I to bring a new person into existence? Who am I to raise someone to be a part of society? What authority do I have on life? I’m still figuring things out. I’ll always be.

What if I have a child and it’s a catastrophe? Am I not to blame if my child suffers and leads a despondent life? What if my child hurts others? Do I take the blame for being a bad parent? What if they are disabled? What if they are severely disabled to the point where they can’t interact with the world? Should I have a child if I don’t know if I can bare that?

It’s the ultimate responsibility. It is also not all doom and gloom. Children bring light to a life.

Six months ago, I babysat my then seven month year old baby cousin. I sat him down on the floor. He was learning how to crawl. I put Thomas the Tank Engine in front of him then moved it a couple feet away. He started pushing off with his stubby arms. He crawled backwards. I moved him back to his original spot and put the train a bit closer. He pushed off again and ended up farther away. He has never gone forward in his life. He didn’t cry. I moved him back and he went backwards again.

His goal got farther and farther away from him. But he kept going. I found this to be so profound at the time. Now he can walk. He can follow me. Soon he’ll be able to run and be a huge pain in the neck for everyone. And it all started from going backwards a thousand times. Yet he ended up forward in the end. It seriously made me rethink some of my own personal philosophy.

Children have much to give back to their guardians. A year ago, I learned towards never having children. But today I’m not ruling it out.

So long as someone else changes the diapers.

—-

The Carey Show “The Secret in my Son’s Closet.”

WARNING! THE CAREY SHOW MAY CONTAIN MATERIAL NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN OR THE OVERLY SENSITIVE! PARENTAL DISCRETION ADVISED! ALSO THOSE OTHER DISCRETIONS THAT NO ONE TALKS ABOUT!

SECOND WARNING! THIS SHOW DOES NOT PASS THE BECHEDEL TEST! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! TWICE NOW!

A rambunctious AUDIENCE stands and applauds.

AUDIENCE:
Carey! Carey! Carey!

In front of us, a standard afternoon tabloid talk show interview. CAREY, mediator and host, stands in the audience and talks to the camera.

CAREY:
Today on the show, we have a son hiding a dark secret from his own father.

The audience gasps!

CAREY:
Say hello to Mr. Treble.

Mr. Treble, loving father in a ten gallon cowboy hat, struts his way to the interview area. He waves to the audience. The audience claps for him a bit too enthusiastically. He takes his hat off and finds his seat.

CAREY:
Mr. Treble, tell the audience what secret you think your son is hiding.

MR. TREBLE:
I think my son might be a gay.

The audience gasps!

MR. TREBLE:
And he’s ashamed of it.

The audience gasps!

CAREY:
Tell us more.

MR. TREBLE:
Bout a month or two ago. He got some new posters. Hung em on his wall. Posters of half-naked men.

The audience gasps!

CAREY:
That does sound pretty gay.

MR. TREBLE:
I asked my boy about it. He took em down. Looked in his room under his bed other day, found a copy of Playgirl in there.

The audience scratches their heads.

CAREY:
That’s the girl version of Playboy if some of you don’t know. It has a strong following in the gay community.

The audience gasps!

MR. TREBLE:
That’s not the strangest thang. I woke up late at night to check in on him. Round two or four a.m. My own son. I seen it with my own two eyes. He had on a woman’s dress!

The audience ooohs!

CAREY:
Was it his mother’s dress?

MR. TREBLE:
Don’t know bout that. I don’t give a lick of attention to what that silly woman wears.

CAREY:
Did you talk to your son about it?

MR. TREBLE:
No. I don’t know much about the queer folk. Didn’t know what to do. That’s why I’m here.

CAREY:
Put a picture of Lance up on the screen.

A picture of Lance, fifteen-year-old skinny white kid in a wifebeater, pops up on the screen. The audience awes.

MR. TREBLE:
Ain’t got no problem with the gays. Not raised that way. They people just like us. They just smells nicer and got sillier haircuts. I want my son be true to himself. Come out of the crawlspace as them queers say.

CAREY:
You mean come out of the closet.

MR. TREBLE:
We don’t have closets in my house. Don’t believe in ’em.

CAREY:
Right….

MR. TREBLE:
I’ll always love my boy no matter what. I just want him to talk to me.

Mr. Treble wipes tears from his eyes.

The audience awes.

CAREY:
Let’s give him the chance! Bring out Lance!

TWO SECURITY GUARDS carry a confused LANCE out by his arms and plop him into his seat.

LANCE:
What the hell’s going on here?! Pop?!

CAREY:
Calm down. We’re here to help you, Lance. I’m Carey. This is the Carey Show.

LANCE:
I’m on TV?!

CAREY:
Your father asked for my help so you could tell your little secret.

MR. TREBLE:
Anything you want to tell me, boy?

LANCE:
You had these men kidnap me from school to go on this terrible show?

MR. TREBLE:
Boy. That’s not what we’re here to talk about.

CAREY:
Be honest with your father. You got a secret you want to share.

LANCE:
No.

MR. TREBLE:
Why won’t you be open with me, boy? I love ya. I love ya with all my heart.

CAREY:
I thought this might happen. That’s why we have an expert here with us today to help. He’s a member of the local chapter for Lebgetiqu? Leebgootkwu? Libgitoo? Am I pronouncing that right? Paulie Dianger.

Paulie, a rotund balding slimeball in an marriage equality shirt, steps forward to an open microphone stand.


PAULIE:

It’s L.G.B.T. Not a word. An acronym.

He smiles into the camera and licks his dry lips.

MR. TREBLE:
What’s all that then?

PAULIE:
L. G. B. T. Lesbian. Gay. Bisexual. Transgender.

MR. TREBLE:
Lesbian, a gay, bisexual?What in tarnation is a bisexual?

LANCE:
Pop that’s when-

PAULIE:
Sssh. Let the expert in queerology explain. A bisexual is a person sexually attracted to men and women. They know how to have a good time with the ferocity of the male penis and the elegance of flowery vagina.

MR. TREBLE:
You telling me, there’s people who like BOTH?! WHAT?!

LANCE:
Pop, you never heard of that before?

MR. TREBLE:
No. You kids and your new fangled fascinations. I can’t keep up.

LANCE:
Bisexuals been around for like fifty years pop.

MR. TREBLE:
All these letters are too confusing. Can’t you cut it down for the older folk? Lesbians and gay same thang. Ain’t it redundant having both? These “Bisexuals” seem to be a gays too. Make it GT. For gays and those transatlantics whatever them are.

PAULIE:
There’s also a Q and sometimes an “I”. Forgot to mention that.

MR. TREBLE
What in the hell do those stand for?!

PAULIE:
I don’t know.

LANCE:
WAIT! POP! YOU THINK I’M GAY?!!

CAREY:
Lance, settle down! Let Mr. LMFAO continue.

PAULIE:
Lance, you need to come out of the closet. It’s 2015. Have no fear that you’re queer! Scream it to the world! I am gay and you should support me today! All of you here today can support Lance and his queerness by buying a T-shirt! Support the cause! One marriage equality shirt here for a 13.95! Two for 32.65!

He reaches down into a box and starts pulling out shirts.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:
That’s almost a deal! I’ll take seven!

PAULIE:
Be the first on your block to show your support. Spread the awareness. That’s the most important part of any movement. Make everyone aware! Buy a shirt for your mom and your dad! Don’t forget little Jimmy.

SLY AUDIENCE MEMBER:
Gay marriage is already legal here. What’s this money going toward exactly?

PAULIE:
Listen to this one here with his questions. “Where’s the money going?” This is a sophisticated form of homophobia. He’s afraid of gays being equal. Don’t ask where’s the money going. Ask where is this country going. And that’s forward. Ignorant people like you are getting left behind. You should all buy an extra t-shirt just to spite this homophobic bigot.


AUDIENCE MEMBER:

I’ll buy three more!

LANCE:
I’m not gay!

MR. TREBLE:
But son….those posters of naked men. And the playgirl under your bed.

LANCE:
You found that?! Pop. I’ll give to ya straight. No pun intended. I’m working out now. Those Playgirl models are in great shape. I appreciate their aesthetics without deriving any sexual satisfaction. I aspire to be them, not be in them.

MR. TREBLE:
What about the dress?

Lance blushes.

LANCE:
What? Pop you talking crazy.

MR. TREBLE:
I am your only father. Don’t lie to your own blood. You wear a woman’s dress at night!

LANCE:
It’s not a woman’s dress. It’s mine! My dress!

MR. TREBLE
So you admit it then!

LANCE:
Yea I do! I wear a dress! I love it!

The audience is too preoccupied with buying marriage equality shirts to gasp.

LANCE:
I hate boxers! I hate briefs! I hate boxer-briefs! Pop, I WANT TO BE FREE! From all the restraints of cotton. Free to feel the breeze between my knees! Free to be pretty!

BEARDED MAN IN A DRESS:
Preach on brother!

LANCE:
I ain’t no queer, pop. I’m as straight as you. Just I like wearing dresses like Carey like wearing those pants.

CAREY:
I hate these pants.

LANCE:
You shoulda talk to me at home. Why on this show? In front of millions of people who can’t afford basic cable and have to watch this crap?

MR. TREBLE:
I didn’t know what to do. I saw this show on the TV and I called and they a said they’d help. I’m sorry. Pop did you wrong, boy.

LANCE:
Shows like this exploit pain. Only the scummiest of the scummy make a living off exploiting other people’s suffering.

Carey hides his face. Paulie pockets a wad of cash.

PAULIE:
Be sure to get a bumper sticker with that t-shirt. Don’t forget to download the marriage equality app! It’s on Google Play. Only 4.99!

MR. TREBLE:
I shoulda talked to ya. I’m sorry, boy.

LANCE:
It’s alright Pop. I forgive ya. You still me pop. I always love ya.

MR. TREBLE:
You too good to me, boy.

The two hug. Mr. Treble starts to choke up. The audience awes.

Paulie rubs his double chin sinisterly, then waddles over to the father and son.

PAULIE:
Now this is a sight to see. Father and son reunited. I can feel the love. Kid, let me tell your story. We need to spread awareness of cross-dressing. I see shirts, bumper stickers, posters, Facebook profile pictures and more. I’ll talk to some people. Maybe we can add a C between the B and G.

MR. TREBLE:
That’s alright, Mr. Gay Man. We don’t need your-

PAULIE:
Woah buddy! I’m not gay. Ew. I’m a straight ally.

LANCE:
Pop. I got this one. Cross-dressing don’t need help. You ought to spread awareness of crushed nuts. Not too many folks know bout that.

PAULIE:
Crushed nuts? What’s that?

Lance KNEES him in the crotch. Paulie drops.

LANCE:
Now you’re aware!

MR. TREBLE:
That’s my boy!

The two walk off stage as the audience claps!

CAREY:
Isn’t it great? Up next we have a couple going through some trouble. She has a foot fetish. He lost the lower half of his fighting for our freedoms overseas. Should they stay together? Can you love someone when they’re only half a person? Stay tuned.

The Zone

For Day Two of Valentine’s Week here on Cynic No More, I’m going into a familiar place for a lot of people. It’s caused a lot of pain, grief, and allowed trite quotes to be liked on Facebook.

The Friend Zone.

670px-Escape-the-Friend-Zone-Step-3

Note here. When I say the word “men” or “women” always assume that I don’t mean all men and all women. Goes without saying but that I’d say it either way.

I. THE SITUATION

If somehow you don’t know about or been a part of this phenomenon, let me give to ya real quick.

Two Friends. One starts to develop romantic and/or sexual feelings for the other. The other does not return the feelings, liking things as they are. Leaving the friend with feelings in a situation

There are variations to the story. Some people wanted romance the entire time but felt more comfortable being friends before hand. Others develop feelings as time went on.

This is a rather sucky well-known situation that has led to many vitriolic blog posts from men and women alike. MTV made a television show out of this.

Much of the frustration comes from the passing of the burden of the feelings. Guys complain about friend-zoned all the time. Women feel attacked for not being interested in someone. Or they see the friendship was a ruse set up to trick her into sex.

The usual way it goes is it’s the guy getting friend zoned. I don’t doubt that happens to women, but it appears to be rarer. My female friends have never mentioned being in the friend zone to me. I never overheard the girls in the front of my homeroom back in high school talk about this as I eavesdrop. They more vented about men wanting only sex without commitment. Perhaps women are more likely to keep these happenings to themselves? Or just not share them with me?

II. OUTCOMES

Quite a few ways this can end.

The Guy Remains the Genuine Friend
The most agreeable ending. The guy recognizes they’re incompatible. He stays in touch and is happy to see her pursue love in other places. Their friendship remains strong. His feelings dissipate or kept in check for the sake of the friendship.

Image: FILE PHOTO: 70 Years Since The Casablanca World Premiere Casablanca

The Guy Cuts Off All Contact
See ya later! The friendship is over! The guy decides he’s not going to suffer and watch a person he loves, love someone else. I had a co-worker who went off about this during late-night shifts. She was a little socially awkward and was bullied by the girls at her school. So she opted to get guy friends. Without fail, all of them fell passionately in love with her. Upon her rejection of them, they all hit the road. They took away their late night texting sessions. They stopped their Skyping. They pretend like they didn’t know her.

depressed-man

The Guy Plots
Some day he will escape this zone and her love will be his! The guy who remains the friend for today and plots his rise to romantic partnership silently in the shadows. Rarely works out.

signs-of-a-desperate-man

The Girl Ignores
He just couldn’t get the clue. Maybe she felt he betrayed her trust by pursuing her. Maybe she realized he wasn’t that great a friend after all. Ignored. Blocked. Removed from the Steam Friendlist.

malesexualentitlement-300x243

Mutual Split
It’s painful for both of them and so both decide to never see each other again. The downer.

t1larg.breakup.ts

They Get Together
The girl decides why not give it a chance? The relationship works. This is the cutest outcome. Genuine love. Every time I see this happen for someone, I start giggling on the inside. Story tellers adore this ending.

Ron_and_Kim_Kiss_by_Gazpatcho

III. CONCLUSION

The drama here is that there is no real compromise between friendship and romantic relationships. A suitable in-between would shut everyone up. Friends with benefits is not it. I have not seen that go anywhere good. If you try to trickle down some romance into friendship, that begs a simple question. Why don’t you just date them?

I don’t think anyone should date someone due to pressure but neither should someone be a part of a friendship that isn’t fulfilling for them. There are limits to friendship. To desire more from a person is not wrong. Wanting to be the one who makes their beloved’s eyes light up and their heart melt is an admirable desire.

The Friend Zone breeds negativity. Close friendships end. People become bitter. Some develop toxic thoughts about the other gender.

All because a friend liked a friend more than they ought to.