I read the paper every day, which is probably my first mistake....

Each day I read another story about violence, intolerance or corporate greed. I read as people in some countries die to gain freedoms while people in the USA give up their own. I watch corporations grow unchecked by the government. I watch the government go unchecked by the people.

I watch junkies die on the streets while our "War on Drugs" sends troops to Columbia to "solve the problem".

I watch adults give up their rights to protect their children.

I watch the Klan hate the Catholics hate the Lesbians hate the Patriarchy hate the Blacks hate the Klan

I watch European-americans complain about immigrants.

I watch as companies control people, and people let them.

I watch as a middle-aged mother of two compains about gas prices while she fills up her Jeep Grand Cherokee.

I watch, disjoined, as my own mind spirals down the well into absolute loathing for them all.

One Angry Man.

The alrternative, to disconnect. To put down the paper, turn off the television news, avoid Slashdot, yahoo, CNet, to allow it to go on around me and absorb myself in my world of perl scripts, linux servers and Dungeons & Dragons. Can I do it?

I am so tired. Tired of the outrage, anger, hatred.

Where does an atheist, whose only faith is in humankind, turn when humankind has failed him?

How does one have time to fight in a society that seems to have been engineered to use all of ones time just to make ends meet?

I'm taking a nap.

I'm often accused of being un-realistic, of being un-informed and of hiding my head in the sand. The fact is, I've made a conscious choice. I've decided to focus on things in life that I can either change, live with, or enjoy. I have two children. I don't want those kids to grow up being bitter hopeless people. I want them to know that there is beauty in the world, and there is ugliness. It's a choice what we focus on.

I am very active and vocal about recycling. I am extremely outspoken about environmental and human rights issues. I'm not a pollyanna who pretends that there is nothing wrong with the world. I do, however, choose to focus on things I can change. I often think about a quote I read a lot time ago in Mother Earth News. It was something like Our homes will be saved by people who want to save the world, but the world will be saved by people who want to save their homes. I'm know I'm committing some serious e2 no no's here by not only writing a gtky wu, but by putting in a quote that I can't attribute to anyone, but...oh well...I can handle some downvotes.

If I'm angry and bitter, I can't make anything positive happen, and I can't show my children how to be positive and make a difference. That's one lesson my kids taught me. Before I had kids I was pretty radical and intellectual and I was pissed off most of the time. I didn't want to pass that on to my kids, so I made a choice.

"Past the seeker as he prayed, came the crippled and the beggar and the beaten. And seeing them...he cried, 'Great God, how is it that a loving creator can see such things, and yet do nothing about them?'...God said, 'I did do something. I made you.'" -Sufi teaching story

I first watched Fight Club in a small movie theater with some long-time friends over Christmas break a few years ago. For most, it messes with your mind and makes you think about it for days afterwards, similar to The Matrix. For me, it was a revelation. After watching the brilliant advertising playing this movie out to be just a bunch of sweaty guys beating each other senseless, the idea that this movie was not going to be the usual sit, watch, and forget intrigued me. Scene after scene wooed me into amazement. My life, as I knew it, was being flipped inside-out and hung upside-down before my eyes. A sudden manifestation of the essence of life burst through the silver screen and deep into my head. I swallowed and twisted inside, unable to believe that I was not special, I was not a unique and beautiful snowflake.

I didn’t need designer clothes. In fact, I hated designers and the people that wore their clothes. I hated the yuppie in his speedy recent-model something-or-other with his nice neat crap shoved in my face. Anything that wasn’t vital to existence infuriated me. I began my bathing fast. Socks were discarded in the corner. Shirts with sweat stains in the armpits from the week before were donned again with pride. I was a rebel with a cause. I knew why I hated these things so. People were being born into believing that this was life. These are the bands you listen to, these are the clothes you wear, and if you don’t follow the rules, you are not a normal person. If you do not buy these dishes, that coffee table, those rims for your car, you are not going to be noticed. You will never be looked at as one with taste. Life, as the trendy person knows it, would vanish and no purchase would be big enough to establish your image. It disgusted me so much I cried.

That Christmas was the toughest shopping experience of my life. Every store I cared to look into was filled with junk. Useless decorative overpriced junk. Junk nobody needs! I had never been so mad in such an anti-materialistic way. Everywhere I went were toys everyone was too old to enjoy, food that would go uneaten and turn rotten because everyone is on a diet, clothes that couldn’t fit in anyone’s cluttered closet. Anti-materialism is not something to be practicing during the holiday season. I gave up the shopping and presented all my friends and relatives with cards as gifts.

In the time passed since then, I decided I adored many of the things I previously shunned. I’ve begun bathing again. I try to wash my clothes at least once a week. Everyone is used to getting useless gifts at Christmas so I went back to handing those out (with cards). I’m still very, very angry at corporate America. The brainwashing of a nation continues as consumerism climbs to new heights. Fight Club re-engineered my entire perspective of life for the good, as well as planting the seed for my love of psychological thrillers. In the end, I know that I really am just another brick in the wall. A colorful and uniquely textured brick, that is.

Alienated,
Disconnected,
Misunderstood.
(All of these I feel, discontented am I)
And too damn stoned.
Procrastinating and cold,
Awkward and alone.
Unsure,
indecisive,
and positively sure I have to get out of here.
But I am trapped, pinned down, and squeezed too tightly.

Bored to death of lifeless crap,
I'm not tuned in.
People around me have tiny brains,
and inflated egos.
Too selfish and too self-righteous
to not be ignoramuses.

I can't speak.
I can't run, but I'm good at sliding away,
drifting under and floating over.
A great procrastinator.

What is it that I feel, down here.
I am unsatisfied, unquenched yet fatigued.
In need of a RENEWAL.

But I'm failing to focus,
failing to concentrate
and failing to communicate.
Fight it then fight it.
Shut it down, shut it down.
Breathe; Breathe in the air.

What do I do?
What Should I feel?
Where is my will,
and when will I liberate it?

Expectations and breaking points.
I need to balance, then settle into some sort of neutral.

I know and believe that you're here.
Please help me to discover what it is
that is stepping down on and suppressing my soul.

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