Thursday, May 26, 2016

Can't Happen Here Until It Does

Godwin’s Law (also argumentum ad Naziumreductio ad Hitlerum,[2] or a Hitler Card) was formulated by the attorney Mike Godwin (former general counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation) in the 1990s and states:
As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.
Godwin's Law

At the risk of breaking Godwin's law, I would like to talk about this election because it is not totally unprecedented in this world; it is in America, but if one studies history, one can clearly see where these two ideological concepts have confronted one another before and yes I am speaking indirectly about Trump vs Clinton.    It was in the 40's of the last century that we last saw this fight and we now can see that we all lost regardless of who won.   And yes, I am talking about Hitler vs Stalin.   Today, we have this exact same dynamic fighting for control of the world, defined by Left vs Right as if that has any meaning.

America today sees a Nationalistic bigoted hate-filled demagogue seeking power using the demonetization of a Semitic people and immigrants on the right fighting with a fan of the cold war, a fan of centralized power, a fan of unquestioning loyalty, a fan of revenge, and a fan of endless conflict in the name of showing strength and is clearly willing to inflict endless casualties in the name of attaining their goals.   It truly is Hitler vs Stalin and we can't win.   And, to make matters worse, each side is so terrified of the other that they are willing to overlook and excuse their own devil in the name of stopping the other.   They will win the fight and we will lose the war.   Add in another cliche because things work better in three's.

The best line of the Star Wars saga comes from the worst movie, but it is still a great line and applies directly to this year's election:

It is not too late for the only real hope America has.  Don't let America fall to Stalin or Hitler.   Our ancestors fought too hard and died too horribly to allow that to happen here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Session Three

So I am confused right now which the counselor says is normal.  In our search for my peace of mind, it is apparently normal for one to begin with one goal and to have that goal called into question and to find you are actually seeking a different goal.   My goal was to find a way to overcome my nihilism, but it seems my true goal is to find peace in my conflicting points of view.    I am also apparently under self-imposed artificial time constraints.    Didn't see that one until I spoke it aloud today.

I was asked what was my goal in life prior to cancer.   My honest answer was I was still feeling immortal and felt I would discover my purpose given enough time.   I focused on people who "made it" late in life as inspiration that my window had not yet closed, but cancer closed that window.   Cancer started a clock in my mind and where I once seemed to have an infinite amount of time suddenly was  limited.     The list of things I hadn't yet done was longer than the list of things I had and the time to do them was running out.  I kept returning to the same word to describe my life: failure.   Another example of self-imposed time constraints: forty-five; never married, childless, career-less, etc were all I saw.  I was comparing myself to others who, to be honest, were living different lives than I was and there was no reason to expect my life to follow their path, but there you are.  Pressures of life and questionings of oneself brought me to this point.

I am currently in a state of confusion as to what I want, who I am, and what I hope to achieve.  I am goalless outside of the goal of finding a goal.  I have to spend the next two weeks debating with myself and thinking hard on how to stop being who I think I am and work on being who I want to be, as I discussed last week.   I think I need to spend less time reading on the nature of reality and perception and start actually working on it.    I am an encyclopedia of conflicting world-views and cancer has released the floodgates on them all.  I need to , for the next two weeks, work less on trying to swim and more on trying to dog-paddle.  Baby-steps as the movie "What About Bob" said to embrace.   To use another cliche'- I need to learn to crawl before engaging in a marathon.

One must get deeper down before they can start working on getting up.  Tearing down the old is a crucial part of building the new and it is a process I am engaged in.   I will survive.   I will become a better version of myself in the end and I believe that the secret to it is finding the balance between nihilism and hope.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Cheap Shot Mr Drudge. Real cheap shot.

I am far from a Clinton supporter, but I am no Trump-et either.   This is just a cheap shot and it is far from subtle.   It is quite clear the impression you are going for, Mr Drudge, and it is disgusting.

Ronnie and Neil

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Binary Choices Binary Loyalties

I'm a comic nerd.  I'm a political junkie.  I am a soda addict.  What do these three things have in common?  Binary loyalties.  Marvel or DC; Democrat or Republican; Coke or Pepsi.  Each side claims ideological purity while convinced the other side is pure evil at worst, or just plain wrong at best.   It helps ensure product loyalty and is a model we have seen these group further refine and limit.

We now see Republicans eat their own and Democrats eat their own; we see Captain America vs Ironman and Superman vs Batman.   It is only a matter of time before Coke and Diet Coke heads find themselves at full scale war as well I bet.

What of Dark Horse Comics?  What of Royal Crown Cola?  What of the Independent parties?  Non-factors the lot of them.  Each is simply something people who obviously don't care indulge in; or are fringe-sitters trying to show they are free thinkers; or maybe are just anarchists mocking us all,right?
Coke would dominate if it weren't for RC Cola diminishing their market control.   Marvel, with the backing of Disney, should just crush DC already, so why does DC keep ruining the market?   It is the Republican's fault we don't like the Democrat candidate, right?    It is surprising how easy it is to overlook one's own shortcomings when they can focus their hate and blame on something else.

People don't realize the popularity of things like Trump, Sanders, Deadpool, etc are that they are not par for the course...a course we are all sick of playing.   These are fresh options: not remakes, reboots, or prequels.   They are, for better or worse, evolution of old concepts..even cliches of them in many ways really.    Sanders is a return to the old FDR Democratic values for better or worse.   Trump is a return to the Know-Nothing Isolationist America First crowd.  Both were responses to a dissatisfaction with the status quo and each transformed politics.

I'm a Marvel guy, but I dig DC.  Joker is my  favorite comic character and he isn't a Marvel character.   I am a Left leaner, but am not a Democrat and have voted Republican in the past.   I love Diet Coke only and that the flaw in my point, but the rest of it all stands: we need to look outside the box because the box was created by those eager to keep us limited in our choices.

If you limit your choices to only "left" or "right," you will miss moving forward.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Session Two

The following was dictated into my phone on my way home from my second one-on-one session at the Cancer Support Group.   Raw and unedited.  Enjoy.

So I'm walking out of session number two with a better understanding of what I am going to call "The Trinity of Self-Identity."   There is an old expression that every story has three side: you side, my side, and what really happened.  Same too of our self-identity.   There is the self we think we are; the self we want to be; and the self we actually are.   We have an idea of the first one, a hope for the second one, but it is impossible for us to ever know the third one.   We can lie, fool, or trick ourselves into believing we know that third self, but we never can just like you can't truly know a pattern when you are in the middle of it.  You can't know the end of a story before you start it.   We won't even have the option of knowing who we were until we are dead and even then we can't know: we are dead.   And who we were to them will change based on who remembers us, so even then there is no uniform sense of our self available.  GAR!  My Grandfather said Heaven and Hell is based on who remembers you and we all end up in both.   Didn't grasp that when he said it.

I am beginning to recognize that life is more of a hurdle race than a marathon.  It is just a series of obstacles in our way that must be overcome, but each one leads to another.  No single obstacle is greater than any obstacle that preceded it, but we are just a little more fatigued from previous hurdles that we just overcame that when we reach the next one, it seems bigger.   If you beat one, you can beat them all so long as you are rested between them and life rarely gives you the option of resting.  As Richard Bach wrote in Illusions:  "Here is a test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you're alive, it isn't.   I have both found meaning in this and lost it.   It is the road I am trying to navigate right now.

I am starting to wonder if I am more sane than I thought I was and it is this sanity that is driving me insane.   Getting back to the "Trinity of Self-Identity:" I think I am a slightly over-intelligent asshole with a  lack of empathy for other people; I want to be Winnie the Pooh out of the Tao of Pooh, and what I am is unknown to me, but is probably a combination of the two.  I am more asshole to some and more Taoist to others depending upon my mood.     I think I am closer to that Taoist Master version of me than I have ever been and I am wondering if that knowledge is giving me confidence which is translating to arrogance.  It happened before.  I seem to recall that back in the early 90's when I first started anti-depressants that I was an asshole too.

After a lifetime of self-doubt and crippling insecurity, I was suddenly without it and I didn't know how to properly deal with these new feelings.   As a result, I overcompensated and, for about two months, I was the worst possible version of myself: a cocky arrogant piece of intolerant shit whose insecurities were the only things keeping him in check.  I had to slowly learn how to process these new feelings and learn how to be a more centered an better version of myself.  It took time, but I did it.  I think I might be there again.  I think coming through the other side of what I have gone through maybe has given me a new form of arrogant cockiness.

Maybe it is not that I'm afraid to be around people so much as I don't think I need them anymore.   Maybe my nihilism has taken a form of superiority where I look at people who I see as mired down with inconsequential aspects of their lives and think I'm somehow above them.   I am thinking I need to just find balance and that no aspect of what I;m feeling right now is wrong or needs to be changed so much as suimpl placed under control.   I am feeling confident I will be better in no time.